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December 2013 VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 3

r e i t n o r F n e z Fro utdoors

O t a e r G e h t s e t a r b e l e hockey c

In This Issue: The Frozen Frontier High School Update Legend: John Van Boxmeer Women’s Hockey Men’s College Hockey

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Contents

In This Issue:

P.O.Box 302 East Aurora, NY 14052 716-830-0182 info@wnyhockeyreport.com Managing Partner Ian C. Woods icwoods@wnyhockeyreport.com Vice President, Business Development Ned McDonnell Commish@wnyhockeyreport.com Publisher & Managing Editor Randy Schultz Randy@wnyhockeyreport.com Designer & Photographer Janet Schultz Janet@wnyhockeyreport.com Senior Columnists Warren Kozireski Warren@wnyhockeyreport.com Contributing Editor Jeff Kolcon Jeff@maksymum.com Communications & Marketing Director Val Andrews Val@wnyhockeyreport.com Columnists Janet Schultz Michael Mroziak michael@wnyhockeyreport.com Rob Sedia rob@newedgehockey.com Lars Lewis Lars@wnyhockeyreport.com Matt Ondesko Matt@wnyhockeyreport.com Tom Barnett Tombarnett@earthlink.net Anthony Fiorello anthony@wnyhockeyreport.com Skylar Vitko-Woods

Around the Associations.......................................................................4 High School Hockey – Section V & VI ...............................................6 The Whiteboard........................................................................................9 College Hockey: Men.......................................................................... 10 Shamrocks Green & White Day........................................................ 12 Buffalo Junior Sabres........................................................................... 15 Women’s Hockey................................................................................... 16 Rochester Americans........................................................................... 18 Rochester Jr Americans...................................................................... 19 Juniors: What Are You Waiting For?................................................ 20 Rochester Youth Hockey News........................................................ 25 College Club Hockey........................................................................... 26 PUCCS....................................................................................................... 28 Cover: The Frozen Frontier................................................................ 31 Insight Hockey....................................................................................... 36 NiceRink, Maintaining Your Ice........................................................ 38 Joe Vicario............................................................................................... 39 WNY Legends of the Game............................................................... 41 Warm Hearts Warm Bodies Update................................................ 42

WNY HOCKEY REPORT No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopy and facsimile, without permission in writing from the publisher. WNY HOCKEY REPORT is an equal opportunity employer. Contents 2013 Western New York Hockey Report. All rights reserved. WNY HOCKEY REPORT (USPS 7650) is published monthly, except for May and July, by Ian C. Woods of WNY Hockey Report, 245 Lawrence Woods, Orchard Park, NY 14127. Periodicals Postage Paid at Orchard Park, NY and Additional Offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Western New York Hockey Report P.O. Box 302 East Aurora, N.Y. 14052

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at WNY Hockey Report

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Around The Associations

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Around The Associations Edited by Michael Mroziak As November reached its end and Americans celebrated Thanksgiving, several local associations enjoyed victories in their respective divisions at holiday weekend tournaments throughout Western New York. Here’s what’s been happening around the associations…

Amherst Youth Hockey Amherst Mite Minor Selects Win Tournament The Amherst Mite Minor Select team won its division at the Niagara Junior Purple Eagle Thanksgiving Tournament over that holiday weekend, going 4-0 with preliminary round wins over the host Jr. Purple Eagles, Erie (PA) and Cazenovia Park. The Knights and Jr. Purple Eagles met again in the championship game, which saw Amherst build a 3-1 only to see the hosts rally for the tie. C.J. Hurley scored the game winner at the final buzzer, assisted by Tyler Delisanti. Video of the game-winning goal is available online on YouTube at: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=M1LBF4_4TGM

Buffalo Stars Stars Peewee Majors capture Festival of Lights Crown The Buffalo Stars Peewee Major team participated in the Festival of Lights Tournament during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at Hyde Park in Niagara Falls and finished the weekend as tournament winners. The Stars’ schedule started with a 2-2 tie against the Grundy Senators on November 29, followed later that day with a 1-0 win over the Tonawanda Lightning. On Saturday, the Stars earned their way into the championship round by beating the Bud Bakewell Bruins, 2-1. The Stars faced these same Bruins on championship Sunday, and won again, this time 4-1. Buffalo Stars U16 Full Season team takes Festival of Lights crown The Stars’ 16U full season team also celebrated a championship at the Festival of Lights Tournament in their respective division. Their first game was November 29 when the team faced the Seaway Valley Rapids. Buffalo’s Ethan MacKrell opened the scoring just two minutes into the contest when he took a pass from Andrew Husted and completed a breakaway with a goal. Mike Sokol and Christopher Botzenhart both scored twice as the Stars skated to a 6-1 win. Next up for the Stars that day were the Toronto East Enders, who handed Buffalo a 6-1 loss. The following day the Stars made up for that loss and advanced to the championship game with a 3-2 overtime win over the Markham Waxers. Mike Sokol scored the game-winning goal. The championship game put the Stars up against the East Enders, but this time Buffalo held tough as the game went into overtime, followed by the shootout. Christopher Botzenhart scored the lone goal in the shootout, while Vincent Goodrich turned away all three Toronto shots he faced. Peewee MOHL team takes second in Cleveland The Buffalo Stars Peewee MOHL team skated to a second place finish at the recent Rock ‘n Roll Cup tournament in Cleveland. Facing strong competition, the team played three close games and found themselves in a three-way tie. Stellar goaltending and

hard work gave them the point differential needed to advance to the championship. Buffalo held tough against a Canadian Select League team from Waterloo, Ontario, but the southern Ontario rivals emerged on top. “I am so proud of how our players conducted themselves both on and off the ice” said Stars head coach Dave Lynch. “They battled and stood up for each other all weekend and were excellent ambassadors for the Stars organization. We were the only team our division to even score goals on the eventual winner, and at the same time, our team held them to half their usual tally.” The Peewee MOHL team’s next tournament appearance will be in Pittsburgh in January. Squirts also take second at Rock ‘n Roll tourney The Stars Squirt Mixed team also competed in Cleveland the same weekend as the Peewees and also left town with second-place mementos. As Stars officials joked, the kids not only looked forward to some hockey but also mini-sticks and the hotel pool. On the ice, though, they set their focus on the hockey and it paid off, including a come-from-behind win in the opening game against the Avenue Road Ducks. The Ducks struck first near the end of the opening period but, led by outstanding goaltending by Stars netminder Noah Kuras, the team battled its way back in the third period. Dylan Klodzinski scored his first goal of the game just under six minutes into the third period, assisted by Kenny Fox and Sam Staerker. Less than two minutes later, Bobby Rydzewski scored, his goal assisted by Klodzinski and Ian Schrader. They added another just ten seconds later, and exploded for six goals on their way to a 6-2 win. Crosby Juliano scored his first of the season, while Rydzewski scored a second goal and Klodzinski scored twice more to get a hat trick. Next up for the Stars were the Sylvania Maple Leafs, who proved to be a well-matched opponent. Sylvania would capitalize on a few Stars mistakes to put five goals in (one was an empty-net goal). However, the Stars never quit as Cameron Smith put home two goals, including one with 13 seconds left in the game. Dylan Klodzinski added his fourth goal in two games. After a convincing win over the Ann Arbor Spitfires on the final morning of the tournament, sparked by a five-goal performance by Klodzinski and a three-goal effort by Rydzewski, the Stars had a rematch with Sylvania in the championship game but fell, 2-1. Nolan Smith scored Buffalo’s goal, while Kuras put in a strong performance in front of the Stars net in spite of the loss. “I could not be more proud of this team,” said Coach Justin Mullen. “The boys came together, not just this weekend, but in the weeks leading up to it. Everyone contributed, everyone came together as a team.”

Canandaigua Knights CKH Bantam House wins Thanksgiving Wishbone Tournament The Canandaigua Knights bantam house team, coming off a loss to Depew, avenged that setback with a win in the championship game in the Wishbone Tournament. The teams skated to a 1-1 tied in regulation in the title game, setting up overtime. Noah Kurz scored the game-winning goal for the Knights in overtime. Canandaigua goaltender Aidan Berdy allowed only three goals during the tournament. Bantam Minors win Rochester Thanksgiving Classic The CKH Bantam Minor Travel team won the Rochester Thanksgiving Classic at Bill Gray’s Iceplex

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during the Thanksgiving holiday, defeating all Canadian teams (Milton Winterhawks, Eastern Ontario Cobras, Peterborough Petes and the Oakville Rangers) to secure their division’s crown.

Cazenovia Park The Cazenovia Lady Chiefs girls hockey program took Ithaca by storm the weekend of December 6-8 in the 13th Annual Ithaca Shooting Stars Tournament. Cazenovia sent three teams: 12U non-tournament bound, 12U tournament bound and a 19U tournament bound and won two of the divisions in which they entered. The youngest group, the 12UNTB team, won the 10/12 Division with a 2-1-1 record. Coached by Mark Jacobs and Joe Ziemba, the team was led by goaltender Lauryn Brown as well as offensively by Katie Doughtery, Catherine Finn and Maddie Jurusik. The defense was led by Emma Tambacas, MacKenzie Ellerbrock and Sarah Mruk. The 12U tournament bound team was the youngest in its class but advanced to the championship, where they lost to Camillus. Cloched by Chris Malicki, this Lady Chiefs squad was led by the line of Riley Malicki, Kendal Kalinowski and Maddie Ziemba. Also contributing offensively were Bethany Horvatits and Allie Jacobs. The defense was led by goaltender Dylan Gorski. In front of her on defense were Gabrielle McCrory, Paige Palinski and the Sutfin sisters, Emma and Carleigh. Coach Malicki’s 19U team aon its championship game, beating a tough Philadelphia Patriots squad in the final, 4-0, to finish their tournament run with four wins and no losses, outscoring their opponents collectively by a 32-2 margin. This team was led by forwards Erin Gehen and Missy Mallon. Defensively, goaltenders Courtney Wesolowski and Kara Rhea guarded the Caz Park net well, with defensive help from Ameila Gajewski, Grace Simmons and Olivia Jacobs. The Cazenovia Lady Chiefs have come from a startup team just four short years ago and developed into an up-and-coming organization that now has four girls teams: 12UNTB, 12UTB,16UTB and 19UTB. And, the program is still growing!

Clarence Stallions win Rochester Explorers Holiday 2013 Mite Tournament The Clarence Stallions spent their Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Rochester, where they successfully earned the crown at the Rochester Explorers Holiday Mite Tournament. The Stallions won their first game of the tournament, beating Rochester Explorers Blue by a 7-4 score, with goals by Jackson Newlove (2), Charles Murdough, Miles Santa Maria (2) and Jackson Bernadoni (2). On Day Two, Clarence dominated the Shamrocks, 9-0, with Josh Gawron earning the shutout. Goal scorers were Max Henning, Luke Marchant, Miles Santa Maria, Jackson Langlotz, Newlove, Michael Morris, and Charlie Mendola. Newlove, Murdough, Matthew Parrish, Liam Best, Mendola, and Bernadoni had assists. The Stallions later fell to Lakeview, 8-4, with Santa Maria, Marchant, Newlove, and Mendola scoring Clarence’s goals. Clarence faced Rochester Explorers Blue in the semifinal matchup and won convincingly, 11-3. The Stallions’ scorers were Morris, Murdough, Newlove, Xavier Thomann, Santa Maria, Parrish, Austin Bush (2), Henning, Marchant, and Bernadoni. The final was a rematch with Lakeview, but this time the Stallions would get the win. Marchant scored late


Around The Associations in the second period for Clarence to open the scoring, while Lakeview tied it up midway through the third period. Shortly after the Lakeview goal, Santa Maria scored to regain the lead, and scored again a short while later to secure the win. Gawron held firm in front of the Clarence net, aided by his strong defense.

Harrow Hockey The program runs from April to the beginning of June, and will play in up to a half-dozen tournaments, all in southern Ontario with the program’s home ice in the Gala Center in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The program will consist of a broad spectrum of coaches from the U.S. and Canada focusing on skill development, team play and some good old fashioned hockey fun. Earlier this year, the Harrow Hockey 2005 AAA Team capped off an exciting spring 2013 season by taking the gold medal in the Niagara Battle Tournament. What makes this team so extraordinary, besides their incredible season they had, is that the team is the combination of truly elite 2005 players from Ohio, New York, Southern Ontario and Toronto, Canada. The Niagara Battle tournament is one of the most prestigious youth hockey tournaments in North America featuring the top teams across the world. The Harrow team impressively skated their way into the finals where they secured a gold medal. Coach Ken Franasiak said, “We had a fabulous season and truly look forward to next spring. The entire coaching staff is extremely proud as well as the entire organization. To see what these remarkable seven and eight year old young kids can do is a true testament to their hard work and dedication. These boys and girls have amazing skills and heart. Their hard work and drive made it a real pleasure to watch and we’re proud to be part of such an exciting season.” Harrow Hockey is holding a team skate/tryout on January 10, 2014 from 8 to 9 p.m. and on February 7, 2014 from 8 to 9 p.m. at the Meridian Credit Union Arena Ice Skating Rink, 1565 Four Mile Creek Road, Niagaraon-the-Lake, Ontario. The cost is $10 per player. Additional information is available at www. harrowspringhockey.com or email kfranasiak@calamar.com.

Monroe County Monroe County Youth Hockey is excited to announce the following additions to our Executive Board of Directors; Terry Fisher / MCYH Travel Director Jim Yeager / MCYH House Director Rob Williams / MCYH Associate House Director Ed Swartzenberg / MCYH Safe Sport Coordinator Don Castronova / MCYH Secretary

Scholar Athlete / Sean Robson It only takes a few minutes around Sean Robson to realize he is a likeable guy. What’s not to like? The Hilton senior is a star in the classroom and in athletics and someday you might see Sean on your television, sitting in the sports anchor seat. Sean Robson has the confidence and the charisma to succeed. The Hilton senior maintains a 96 average and he is a member of the athletic leadership council. He’s a captain for both the Cadets hockey and baseball teams. Sean is an ideal role model. He has a rare perspective on the ice. Sean is in his fourth year as a member of the varsity hockey team. read more here: http://www.whec.com/article/ stories/s3229134.shtml

Niagara Junior Purple Eagles Pee Wee Majors ranked in state and nation The Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles Pee Wee majors played hosts of their association’s Thanksgiving Invitational Tournament at Dwyer Arena on the Niagara University campus and emerged winners of their division. The team has also enjoyed success elsewhere, taking the Silver Sticks Regional Qualifying Tournament in Rome, NY, and have advanced to the next round in Forest, Ontario. With a record of 20-3-5, the team is currently the 34th ranked AA Team in the nation, and 2nd ranked team in New York State. With Mark Mendel serving as head coach, the team is made up of: Om Acharya, Michael Barker,  Patrick Brady, Jackson Burns, Chris Cacciatore, Vince Capolupo, Anthony Desimone, Nick Harlock, Cam King, Kyle Lee, Tyler Lehan, Dylan Lugris, Peter Lysiak, Rhys Mendel, Drew Merino, Alex Pronobis and Dylan Russo.

Northern Educate Sports Academies Northern Educate Sports Academies, which originated in Minnesota, has expanded their operations to Rochester this season and is designed for boys and girls grades K-12. Beginning for the 2014 – 2015 season, Northern Educate Hockey Academy will be fielding three Girls Teams (U14, U16, and U19). All teams will be Tier I and tryouts will be in the spring of 2014 and will include girls from both Western New York and other parts of North America who plan to attend Northern Educate. Academically, Northern Educate Sports Academy offers individualized curriculum, challenging each student while working at their own pace to help them learn to the best of their ability. Because the studentto-teacher ratio is no more than 6:1, instructors are able to provide one-on-one help on a daily basis to ensure students are progressing on track and meeting the mandatory grade requirements. Instructors will provide 480 hours of professionally developed on-ice/on-field curriculum based on decades of experience in a wide variety of individual skills. Every athlete will participate in the Athletic Performance Program and each day will work on their athleticism, agility and strength. For more information, contact the Northern Educate office at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex (585) 672-3855.

Rochester Youth Hockey Words of Wisdom from Hoffberg, “Select Six” turns into ice success The Rochester Youth Hockey Midget Minor 16U AA team finished first in the WNYAHL Midget 16U Blue Division this season with a 13-2-3 record. How it prepared and stayed focused this season was, according to head coach Stuart MacKenzie, a little different this year. In addition to focusing on the fundamental physical skills of hockey, the coaches used a systematic approach to teaching the cognitive points of the game. Before the season began, Coach MacKenzie brought in a speaker, Eric Hoffberg, to meet with the team. Mr. Hoffberg, who grew up in the game with the Rochester Lions Youth Hockey club, is a former college and pro hockey coach who currently works as a leadership

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coach in both the sports and corporate sectors. He is also author of the book, Think Strong for Athletes. Hoffberg spoke with the players about the importance of mental toughness, specifically staying positive. Each player received a copy of his book to help them with this mental approach. The other main difference this season, according to MacKenzie, was the use of the “select six”. The “select six” was a group of six players who would meet before practice and after the previous weekend’s games. The coaches would choose four players who played an important role in the previous week’s games, in addition to the team’s co-captains. The “select six” usually included a goalie as well. The players were not necessarily chosen based on talent, but by their reactions in certain situations, interactions on the bench with other players, marked improvement or extreme deficits. The players would give input on which aspects of the previous week’s games went well and which areas needed improvement. According to Assistant Head Coach Chris Marion, “It gave the kids more ownership of the team and got them involved in the day to day decision making and direction the team would go.” According to co-captain Mike Modesti, “The coaching was different this year. We never had the ‘select six’ before and I think that made our chemistry better.” Many of the team members previously played in the Maksymum Spring select AA team. The exposure to a higher level of play also helped develop these players. Said MacKenzie, “The goal of the coaches on our team is player development. We have had 2 players move up on to AAA and 1 player now playing Junior B.” All other players made their high school teams.

Southtowns Stars Congratulations go out to the Squirt Major team, which won the Markham championship in Toronto over Veterans/Remembrance Day weekend. Registration is now underway for the Southtowns Stars Amateur Hockey Association (STSAHA) March Classic Tournament starting on Friday, February 28, 2014 and continuing through Sunday, March 2, 2014. Three games are guaranteed. Tournament fees and game lengths include: Squirt/Atom (three 11 minute periods) $715.00 PeeWee (three 12 minute periods) $775.00 Bantam (three 13 minute periods) $850.00 Midget (three 13 minute periods) $900.00  There will be a Chicken BBQ on Saturday, March 1st (dine in or take out), and a basket raffle with various items. For more information on any of these events, visit southtownsstars.com.

West Seneca The West Seneca Youth Hockey Association (WSYHA) beginner program, better known as the MiniMites, is open to boys and girls that are interested in learning the basics of hockey and skating. The program follows USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM), which encourages skill development and athleticism. All coaches working within the Mini-Mite program are USA Hockey certified, with a player-to-coach ratio of 4 to 1, with additional assistance by many WSYHA travel/select players who volunteer their time. During a typical practice, the rink is divided into six stations, each one dedicated to teaching a specific (Continued on page 35)

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High School Hockey

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High School Section VI by Matthew Ondesko Matt@wnyhockeyreport.com

Connor Fields looks to lead Timon on the ice There has been a lot of hockey talent that has graced the halls of Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School. From the likes of Doug Matteson and Patrick Fisher to Timmy Kennedy and Michael Scheu, Timon has seen its fair share of stars. You can now add senior Connor Fields to that list. Fields, a transfer from Williamsville North High School, is not only a standout on the ice, but also on the turf helping the Timon lacrosse team to great heights. It wasn’t any easy decision for Fields to leave all his friends at Williamsville North, but he did it to help him get noticed for lacrosse and to get a great education. “It was a real tough decision, actually, because all me friends are there,” said Fields. “I though it would be best for my sports career, because I really wanted to play Division I lacrosse. And I thought this would be the best for me and it fits me perfect.” Fields recently signed his National Letter of Intent to play Division I lacrosse at Albany, which is amazing considering he could have probably went Division I in hockey. That’s the kind of player Timon got, and Fields is. The senior led the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation Small Division is scoring with 39 points. His 25 goals were the best between Small and Large Schools. But, don’t expect Fields to rest on what he did last season. He has already put last year in the rearview mirror and his focus this year is getting Timon their first league title since the 2001-02 season. “We are constantly reminded of it [losing last year in the finals],” said Field. “It drives us to work harder and harder. We want to be the best and we always remind ourselves of that.” Fields got off to a great start to the year as he scored five goals and added seven assists in Timon’s 16-0 win over St. Francis as part of the Nichol’s Tournament to open the 2012-13 season. It was an amazing display as Fields just took control of the game from the opening drop of the puck. As always he tried to deflect the praise and put it on his teammates. “I have some great linemates, just like last year,” stated Fields. “We are really moving out well out there. Hopefully, I will just have as good a season as last year. And, maybe, this year win the championship.” Watching Fields on the ice, you see a young man that is in total control of what he is doing. His shot is one of the best in the league, and that may have something to do with that fact he plays lacrosse. With having to work on his underhand shot for his number one sport, it has helped Fields get more control on the ice. Also, his vision on the ice is second to known as he can pick out teammates at a drop of a hat. “The underhand shot helps with the hockey shot, obviously,” explained Fields. “It also with your leg strength and your side to side agility. They are two very similar sports.” Fields has been playing the past couple of years with a lot of extra weight on his shoulders. Colleges have been calling for his services on the lacrosse field. And now that he signed, he hopes the weight has been lifted off and that he can now focus on other things. “It takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” said Fields. “Now, I don’t have to worry about what college to go attend. I can just keep my grades up and focus on sports.”

With winning championships on the lacrosse field, Connor Fields comes with a championship pedigree and the younger kids will look to him for the leadership that they hope will bring Timon its first title in more than 10 years.

Championship or bust for Lancaster Redskins Expectations are running high in Lancaster as the Redskins aim for the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation championship, and a state title birth. “Just like any other year, we are going into the season with a positive attitude,” stated Lancaster coach Kevin Miller. “I try not to lean to hard on what I expect from the kids. I just want the kids to perform at their best and hopefully improve as we go.” Lancaster returns a very senior heavy team that has been through the playoff battles the past four years. “We have a very senior team this year,” said Miller. “We are hoping those boys carry on the tradition and see what happens.” One of the returnees is goaltender Justin DiChristopher. DiChrisopher enters his four-year with the program and gives stability between the pipes. He also can steal games for you when need be, which will be important through the season. “We are looking to have him in net for probably most of the games,” said Miller. “He came out [against Orchard Park] and really kept us in the game. There are going to be games where we are going to be outshot and we are going to need him back there. He is a great kid, hard worker in practice. Hopefully, he blossoms and pushes this team to a level that we haven’t seen yet.” The will need to have DiChristopher at his best as the division have been remade. Gone are two Large School Division and instead is one division with a new team moving up in Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School. Timon moving up, and Lockport and Niagara Falls moving down, makes the Large School Division the toughest in Western New York. “I think it is a good thing for all the schools,” said Miller. “You always want to be playing at the highest level you possibly can. The boys know, and the coaching staff know, that there are no breaks in the schedule. Everybody has to be ready on a nightly basis. I guess if you go into a game and win by double digits you pick up bad habits along the way and there is no room for that this year.” While Lancaster is an older team, Miller will rely on everybody to contribute and not just one line. That happened in their 4-3 win over Orchard Park on the opening weekend of WNY Fed. Ten different players got their name on the score sheet and Miller hopes that trend continues. “Last year we graduated a couple of spark plugs up top,” said Miller. “What we have, now, is a pretty good balance with grit and strength. Any night any of our lines can put the puck in the net with hard work. And we are going to need that this year. It’s not like one team can just focus one line or shut down one player. We are hoping to balance things out and kind of be relentless in terms of our attach. And hopefully it will work. Time will tell.”

Lockport gets a chance to compete It is a new beginning, kind of, for the Lockport High School hockey team. After years of playing all their games in the Large

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School Division of the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation, Lockport has been moved down and will compete in the second of two Small School Divisions, which a catch of course. The catch is they, along with Niagara Falls, will still be competing in the Large School playoffs at the end of the season. But, at least for now, they will be able to become competitive by playing the likes of Lewiston-Porter, St. Mary’s, St. Francis and West Seneca East. Not saying those teams are going to be easy, but it will be a lot easier then playing Lancaster, Williamsville North, Timon and St. Joe’s. “We are in a more competitive division,” said Eberhart. “We are playing teams more our level, and it will get them more motivated.” The Lions, in fact, got a taste of their new surroundings when they took part in the annual Nichols Tournament on Thanksgiving weekend. There they played Nichols, a 7-2, and St. Francis. They competed hard in both games, trailed Nichols 2-1 with seven minutes left, and escaped with a thrilling 3-2 win over the Red Raiders, where they scored two goals in less than a minute for the victory. It’s these kinds of games that can give a team confidence and they try to navigate through a crazy high school season. “I think we are going to be more confident and get more wins,” said Eberhart. And, with that, be more positive. Who knows what could happen when you get to the playoffs. This is really going to help.” Being competitive night in and night out can also help a young team come playoff time. While they will compete in the small schools, gaining wins down there can only help there chances when they move back up with the big boys in February. “Win or lose, this team will be fighting to the end,” stated Eberhart. “We are pretty good. They have a good positive feeling about themselves.” Eberhart will have a very young team on his hands, and will have to replace his son, Ricky, who went on to play at the junior level. He also believes his goaltender is much improved over years past. “We lost a couple of seniors,” said Eberhart. “We will are three lines deep. We are very good and very deep. Our goaltending is much better this year. Last year we struggled in net. They would take seven shots and we would let in seven goals. So, it was pretty tough. Our defense is pretty solid.”

Growing pains for St. Francis this season St. Francis High School Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation hockey coach Tom Murphy knew what he was getting into when he took over this season for Craig Fattey, who retired. He just didn’t think it would start out like this. Murphy has taken over a very young team as the Red Raiders opened the 2013-14 hockey season with lopsided losses to Aquanis, 8-0, and rival Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School, 16-0. Before dropping a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Lockport and a 5-1 setback to Lewiston-Porter. “We are young,” said Murphy. ‘We have a lot of guys that are in their first year in the Fed. We only have five returning players, which is highly unusual. Normally, you only replace five players, but we only have five coming back.” The biggest thing with a young team is confidence. And, when come out of the gate like St. Francis has done, confidence of the young players and the team can take a real hit.


High School Hockey Instead of getting down on themselves, however, Murphy hopes his young team takes some of these hard lessons to heart and builds a foundation that will help them later in the season. “If you don’t measure yourself, then you can’t improve,” stated Murphy. “I have all the respect in the world for Gene (Overdorf ) and his team (Timon) and I wanted them to come at us hard. I don’t think the kids were prepared for this. It’s a work in progress.” While they take their early season lumps, Murphy knows his team will get better and will be able to compete with some of the smaller schools in the Federation. “You just have to take it one shift at a time and try to win that shift, and measure yourself against that opponent,” explained Murphy. “Somehow you have to find the motivation to become a better player. We have our work cut out for us, but we are up for it.” With the team being so young, Murphy will rely on the senior leadership of defenseman Ryan Stefaniak. Stefaniak is the cousin of Cooper, who went on to play hockey and lacrosse at St. Francis, before playing lacrosse in college. Stefaniak will be looked upon to lead this young team from the bluline, as he is only one of four seniors on the team. In their loss to Lockport, Stefaniak had a great endto-end rush and roofed a short past the Lockport goaltender. And, he will be looked upon to do that a little more and provide the much needed leadership to the team. The JV White team has a record of 5-1 and is currently in second place in the Potter Division of the Southtowns Club League. The Jr. Prep team has outscored its opponents 46-6 and is currently in first place with a record of 6-1. The Jr. Prep team hopes to continue their strong play as they head to Chicago for a showcase and play a pair of exhibition games at Hamilton College & Cornell University before heading back home for the local JV Christmas Tournament. The Federation team continues to battle and be competitive behind the strong play of goaltender Grant Maier. The MPHL schedule shows no mercy as the young Prep team continues its winless streak in league play. After league weekends in Burlington, VT and Pittsburgh, PA the team found themselves losing three games by one goal and continues to build the foundation that will allow them to compete throughout the season. The Red Raiders were able to capture its first win of the season in an overtime shootout at the Barrow Showcase at Upper Canada College. Netminders Ryan Pakulski and Mike Schaefer have been outstanding while Steve Notaro, Zack Matecki, and Tim Biddle anchor the defensive core. Ryan Hornberger, a senior, provides the leadership needed offensively as this team strives to move forward. The Red Raider program is in the process of putting together another strong modified program for incoming freshman and will begin taking registrations shortly in January for its SFHL program which introduces 6th and 7th graders to St. Francis hockey through skill development and games.

St. Joe’s retooling for another run Is this the year the St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute hockey team comes back down to earth? After years of dominating the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation, and New York State in general, the Marauders may have some early season growing pains. But, even though they lost to Frontier, 4-2, to open their 2013-14 season, don’t count St. Joe’s out just yet. This team has a lot of young talent that just needs some seasoning in the league. “We have 13 new faces,” stated St. Joe’s coach Rich Crozier. “It’s going to be a transition for us. Two our defenseman are playing full season. We feel we

have one of the best programs in New York State. It’s exciting to see some of the kids in our program get the opportunity to play for the Fed team this year.” Crozier and his team aren’t used to losing a game this early in the season. In fact, last year, St. Joe’s only loss two games the entire year, going 22-2-1 (12-0) en route to the Niagara Cup and Catholic State title. So, before you right off St. Joe’s for the year, remember they have a pretty good coaching staff led by Crozier and some very good, young talent. “I will be the first to tell you, nothing has happen to St. Joe’s,” said Crozier. We would love to win every game. But, losing our first game of the season could actually be a good thing.” The Marauders do enter the season with some question marks, including a big one in net. Gone are Nichols George and Matthew Goss. And in are senior Peter Chopra and junior Benjamin Higgins. Chopra has the most playing time of any of the goaltenders playing on of the seven club teams the Marauders have. “We graduated two seniors, who both did a great job for us,” said Crozier. “Benny was our third goalie last year and he saw some limited action. “Peter played on our varsity maroon team last year that made it to Super Sunday. Peter is a veteran goalie and they will battle hard. Like our entire team, we will continue to get better.”

7

St. Joe’s will rely on a good mixture of veterans and youth when it comes to scoring goals. Returning players like James Bassett, Dominic Perna and Harlan LoVullo will be looked upon to carry the early load. But players like Matthew Barnaby Jr. will also be counted on to chip in. “It’s going to be a little bit more of a variety this year,” explained Crozier. “We relied a little bit more on one line. We definitely are going to need scoring from multiple lines. I expect Dom to be amongst the league leaders again this year. He is just a real shifty junior. He just controls the puck and is so hard to knock off the puck. Matthew Barnaby is a little guy that we took as a sophomore. He’s a goal scorer. We are going to get his adjusted to the speed and the size of our league. And don’t be surprised if Matty scores a couple goals this year too.” The Marauders schedule is a challenging one and one that is highlighted by playing at Frontier Field Saturday, Dec. 21 against McQuaid.

recent game. “Every game is going to be a challenge. We had 22 victories last year, but we might not have 22 victories this year. So, they need to get their minds wrapped around that they need to come to work everyday or we are a very ordinary team.” It’s pretty easy to see why Overdorf is excited over his team. He returns his top scorer in Connor Fields. Fields led the team in scoring and had a big opening night against St. Francis (to start the season) as he registered 12 points on five goals and seven assists. His linemate, Joe Piegay, will also be looked upon to light the lamp on a nightly basis. “We just put that line (Fields, Piegay) together, but that’s not the only line we have,” said Overdorf. “We have a couple more pretty good lines, and we are still missing some guys that are still out. We should go three lines deep.” On the blueline, the Tigers will be young, but do have some experience. Ryan Byrne, coming off an outstanding football season, will be a steady influence back there as he tries to calm some of the nerves of the younger players until they get their feet wet in the Federation. “Defense is going to be unproven again,” stated Overdorf. “We have a couple of sophomore back there, and we don’t have a lot of experience back there. They are going to be a work in progress.” The big unknown on the team will be goaltending, as Callum Knight and Tom Parshall will split time between the pipes. The two will try to replace the talented duo of Bob Milewski (graduation) and Vincent Goodrich (juniors). Those two last season helped the Tigers to a 19-3 record. While the season is only a couple of games old, Overdorf has supreme confidence they can get the job done. “I am pleasantly surprised,” said Overdorf. “We had young man transfer in [from Lewiston], and he has been a pleasant surprise. Then we have a freshman, Tom Parshall, who really surprised us. Time will tell, but I think we will be ok.” The biggest move for the Tigers this season is they have been moved up to the Large Division of the league. Since realignment took place a few years ago, Timon has always been competing in the Small School Division. Now, they will be playing the like of Orchard Park, Lancaster and Williamsville North. This type of competition should prepare them for the tough Catholic playoffs will encounter. “We were the only team to get that honor, as far as I know,” said Overdorf about moving up. “That’s good. We want a challenge. We want to play the best teams. We will be a better team by the end of the year. No matter if we win or lose, the competition will make us better.” After returning from Batavia, the Tigers return to WNY Federation action when they take on Canisius Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Northtowns Center. Game time is set for 2:20 p.m.

Bishop Timon-St. Jude tries to play down expectations

WSE looks to make life tough for opponents

When you score 16 goals in your first game of the season expectations are going to be high. Trying to temper those expectations is what Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School hockey coach Gene Overdorf is trying to do. His team is considered by many to be the class of the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association part of the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation. The Tigers made it to the Catholic finals before losing a heartbreaker to rival St. Joe’s at the First Niagara Center as part of Super Sunday last season. This season, the Tigers come in loaded for bear, as they look to win their first championship since Tim Kennedy led the squad to a title back in 2001-02. “First off, I don’t want them thinking they are one of the best teams in the league,” said Overdorf after a

Coming off a six win season a year ago, the West Seneca East High School hockey team is looking to make steady progress as they year unfolds in the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation season. “We have a young team,” stated West Seneca East coach Dan Goldie. “We might have a up and down year. There will be a learning curve with the kids and with the system that’s put in place.” West Seneca East didn’t let their nerves show in its opening season win over rival West Seneca West in front of a hostile crowd in West Seneca. It was a game that showed Goldie and his staff what the potential of this team could be. It could be exciting and cause a lot of problems within the small school playoffs when that time comes in February.

St. Joe’s will rely on a good mixture of veterans and youth when it comes to scoring goals.

WNYHockeyReport.com

(Continued on page 8


High School Hockey

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High School Section V by Warren Kozireski Warren@wnyhockeyreport.com Aquinas, Irondequoit and Canandaigua were running neck-and-neck in Division II through the opening weeks of the 2013-14 campaign. Penfield and Fairport stood 1-2 in Division I with Pittsford having gamesin-hand while Spencerport and Hilton were the early surprises in Division III with two wins each. Pittsford’s Tim Foster and Greg Weyl with Penfield’s Brian Wall and Jared Kachaylo were scoring leaders in Division I with Penfield goaltender James Krystofik allowing just four goals in his first three games and led all starters with a .911 save percentage. In Division II, the Little Irish were back led by Jimmy Diliberto and Anthony Depetres ahead of the field trailed by Canandaigua’s Joe Eddinger and Irondequoit’s Anthony Thurston in the early scoring race. The Eagles Daniel Doran and Irish netminder Justin Nevinger were both 3-0 with goals against averages at 1.50 pr better and save percentages above .917. Spencerport Brandon Corey was setting the early pace in Division III with five goals in three games with Mason Versage and Ryan Webster of Batavia Notre Dame, Brandon Henshaw of Brockport and Ranger teammate Jackson Charron close behind. Ryan Schirano of Spencerport was atop the division goaltenders with WNYHockeyReport_Nov2013.pdf 1 12/11/13 10:49 PM Batavia’s James Cryer also off to an impressive start.

Hilton sophomore Curtis Acker had a shutout in his first varsity game as a starter and was 2-0.

Hat Tricks Jake Gottorff – Aquinas Connor Rotenberg – Brighton Ernie Clement – Brighton Jimmy Diliberto – Aquinas Anthony Depetres – Aquinas Brian Wall – Penfield Brandon Corey – Spencerport Michael Campbell – McQuaid Michael Capicotto – McQuaid

Shutouts Nevinger/Conroy – Aquinas Curtis Acker – Hilton Connor Greene – Gates-Chili Bryce Guay – Canandaigua Meghan Browning – Penfield

Section VI

(Continued from page 7) But to get to that point, West Seneca East must get good goaltending. At time last year, the goaltending was shaky and it put the Trojans behind the early in the games. This year, Goldie hopes his goaltending can stand up to the pressure. “Derrick started late with his hockey career. He stared when he was like a freshman,” said Goldie. Aaron Nowak is returning from last year. I believe our goaltending is solid. I don’t see it as a problem as all.” What shouldn’t be a problem is scoring goals. The Trojans had no problem lighting the lamp last season, and through a couple of games this season have found the scoring the touch. “Mike Benaquist is a legit scorer. He has a real feel for the game,” said Goldie. “We have three balanced lines. We just need to crash the net.” In their win over West Seneca West they were able to put six goals on the defending Federation champs. Also, the win was a great confidence boost for such a young. “Huge confidence builder,” stated Goldie. “We got the opening jitters out of the way. It was a hard environment for their first game.”

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The Whiteboard

9

Half Ice Drills by Rob Sedia Professional Hockey Instructor rob@newedgehockey.com Thank you very much for the emails and positive comments about my last article; “What is Your Hockey Handicap”. Your feedback has been fantastic and is very much appreciated! I would like to thank the coaches that have taken the time to email me and give me their input as well as share their opinions about the topics at hand. I receive a large number of requests for drills specific to half ice with a focus on repetition and intensity. I realize half ice practices have their challenges and although 2 ice sessions for the price of 1 is always a good thing, we don’t want it to be at the expense of a low intensity, low rep practice. As a rule, I make sure my players know why we are doing a drill and how it relates to a game situation. I also make sure we (as a coaching staff ) focus on all the little drills within the main drill we are doing. Here is a half ice drill that not only simulates a game situation, it offers a great deal of action and will give each player a large number of reps in a short period of time. In addition to the “action” benefit, this drill is flexible. It can be modified to accommodate different age/skill levels as well as different offensive and defensive perspectives.

Off The Wall Version 1 / D2D Pass This version could technically be labeled as a 4V2 but Green D1’s role is less active than the other 5 players in the drill. The circled “C” represents the coach. The players outside of the blue line are not in the drill yet.

The Set Up: Put pucks in both corners. Line up the players as shown, Red D1 and Red D2 line up on the low side hash marks, Green F1 and Green F2 line up on the high side hash marks. Green D1 (in this example) lines up board side facing the coach and Green D2 lines up inside blue line center. All Green players are offensive players. All Red players are defensive players for this drill.

The Objective: The obvious objective of this drill is that Green (offensive players) are trying to score and Red (defensive players) are trying to prevent a goal and clear the zone.

The Action: For this version of Off The Wall, I do not like to use a whistle to start the drill. Instead, I like to make all players in the drill look at me (because I have the puck). The drill starts when I make a pass to Green D1. When I release the puck, Green F1, Green F2, Red D1, and Red D2 blast out to the wall where they must make a full stop and touch the wall with their stick then blast back into the core. Green D1 receives the pass from the coach and makes a pass to Green D2 who must make read the action. They must either shoot or pass to Green F1 or Green F2 if they were able to create space from defending players Red D1 and Red D2.

Key Points: Green D1: Although Green D1 does not get much action, let’s not underestimate the importance of a couple of things. First, he must present a target for the coach! Get the stick blade on the ice and let the passer know WHERE YOU WANT THE PUCK. This increases the chances of the pass being in an area that you can receive the puck without much trouble. Promote a “receive and release” thought process for Green D1 – DO NOT DRIBBLE THE PUCK or we will lose time and space. Green D2: When we have puck possession in the offensive zone as this drill simulates, we would like to see Green D2 in an offensive position a few feet inside the blue line. When this drill starts, Green D2 should have his eyes on the coach and his stick on the ice. He should visually follow the puck from the coach to his partner Green D1. When Green D1 receives the pass, Green D2 should already be in “receive” mode (presenting a target to Green D1). When Green D2 receives the pass from Green D1 he should NOT DRIBBLE THE PUCK! His motion should be to the net. He must make the most optimal offensive play at this point. A fast shot is not always the optimal offensive play if either Green F1 or Green F2 were able to get open OR, if Green F1 and F2 are late getting into the core. If Green F1 and Green F2 are covered by Red D1 and Red D2, a low hard shot while they are entering the core is optimal due to potential screens, tips, and the net front presence for rebounds. Green F1 & F2: Speed and aggressiveness are key when it comes to creating space and beating the Red D to the core. If we can get just one step in front of the Red D, we want to use our body as a tool to prevent the Red D from gaining ground. It is not interference if you keep moving toward the net with your eyes focused on the puck with your stick on the ice ready to receive a pass from Green D2, tip a shot, or bang away at a rebound (the puck finds its way to stick blades that are ON THE ICE, not up in the air). If Red D gets the step on you off the wall, you must be creative, change speeds, cut low then high or drive through him to the net, etc. Your ultimate goal is to get inside the Red D and become a problem for the Red D. Passiveness and laziness have NO PLACE in hockey ESPECIALLY when you are in front of your opponent’s net. I tell my players to imagine a laser pointing from their chests and stick blades with the objective to keep those lasers pointed to the puck at all times! Red D1 & D2: This is a challenging drill for Red D1 and Red 2 as the advantage goes to the offensive players for obvious reasons. As discussed for the offensive players off the wall, we would like to see Red D1 and Red D2 get the inside space off the wall and use their bodies to keep Green F1 and Green F2 to the outside. It is very important for the Red D’s to keep their sticks on the ice and to keep them active when it comes to tight quarters in front of their own net. Stick on stick and body on body are good defensive basics to keep in mind during this drill. Playing “big” and owning space is key for the Red D during this drill. It’s hard to do but try to keep Green F1 and Green F2 in a position like this: • be sure to change corners on the initial pass from the coach. • place other coaches in an area to throw the puck back into the action if need be • keep the drill as a hot rush and let the play go until it gets out of a normal game situation.

WNYHockeyReport.com

For example, we will NEVER be in a 4V2 situation in a real game so don’t let this turn into one with setting up and passing back to the point again, etc. • no cheating! Make sure players touch the wall and make a full stop facing the puck as well as use explosive crossover starts to get into the core quickly.

Off The Wall Version 2 / Low Delivery In this version, we take the point players out of the drill and focus on the puck coming into play from the coach under the goal line. Make sure the coach does not give an indication as to what side he will send the puck. This makes the goalie go post to post in an effort to take away wrap-arounds as well as disrupt tight passes. The main objective for the offensive players is to GET OPEN! If they “stand still” when they get to the net they are EASY to defend. If you would like the “Action” and “Key Points” for this version, please send an email to: rob@newedgehockey. com

Off The Wall Version 3 / With 1V1 Whip In this version, we run the Off The Wall on one side and a 1V1 whip on the other. This coach has the option to pass to F1, F2 or shoot. Make sure D1 makes his initial move from the outside to the inside for proper “inside the dots” positioning. Be sure to switch sides for another perspective. If you would like the “Action” and “Key Points” for this version, please send an email to: rob@newedgehockey. com As you can see, this one drill is quite diverse and offers plenty of versions with as many as 6 active players and only minimum of 4. There is something for everyone in this drill. It is action packed, high tempo, and a great deal of fun for the players. This drill can be run with younger house players, all the way up to juniors and beyond. Focus on the key points and be sure to explain how these relate to real game situations. Rob Sedia is a Partner/Professional Instructor with the NewEdge Hockey Training Company and will be writing a monthly column for NY Hockey Magazine. If you would like to comment on this article, ask questions, provide feedback, or share your thoughts, please send an email to: rob@newedgehockey.com


Men’s Collegiate

10

Men’s College Hockey Report

by Warren Kozireski Warren@wnyhockeyreport.com

RIT After garnering just one win over their first 11 games, the Tigers ended November on a three-game winning streak and extended that to five over the first weekend in December to launch themselves into the top five through December 9th. Webster native Dan Schuler was named Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week for the period ending November 24th after scoring five goals over three games. Freshman defenseman Todd Skirving was named Atlantic Hockey Conference Rookie of the Month for November after tallying nine points on three goals and six assists in six games. He scored his first collegiate goal in a 4-2 win over Robert Morris on November 9th. He was also AHA Rookie of the Week for the period ending November 24th. Brandon Thompson and Danny Smith scored their first collegiate goals against St. Lawrence November 23rd. Mike Rotolo (Greece) became the first RIT goaltender to win his first collegiate start since Shane Madolora on Nov. 21, 2009 and the first since Jamie Morris in 1995 to win his first three starts. Rotolo was named conference Goaltender of the week for the period ending December 1st after going 2-0-0 on the weekend with a 1.00 goals against average and .970 save percentage, stopping 64-of-66 shots in a weekend sweep over Sacred Heart. Mike Colavecchia was named Player of the Week for the same period after tallying five points on a goal and four assists. His shutout streak extended to 88:06 before being ended by AIC.

CANISIUS The Golden Griffins entered the holiday break undefeated on home ice and sat middle-of-the-pack in the conference entering the holiday break. Senior Kyle Gibbons led Canisius with three points and two goals in a home win versus RIT to become the eighth player in the program’s Division I history and the 28th Griff overall to reach the 100-point career mark. He netted tow more goals at Army December 6th to become the third player in the Griffs D1 history to record 50 career goals with Cory Conacher and Jason Weeks). He was 12 behind the school record of 62 held by Conacher. Shane Conacher scored his first collegiate goal December 6th at Army. Canisius signed four players to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period: defenseman Zack Pittman  and forwards  Jeff  Murray,  Ryan  Schmelzer (Williamsville/Jr. Sabres)  and  Nolan  Sheeran (East

Amherst/Jr. Sabres). All will join the squad for the 201415 campaign. Pittman is with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. In 76 career games with the Stars, Pittman has recorded 10 points,  four  goals, six assists and a plus/minus rating of +21. Murray has accumulated 36 points, 19 goals and 17 assists in 28 games with the Whitby Fury of the OJHL this season. Schmelzer is in his third season with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the OJHL and the team captain had 14 points on six goals and eight assists in 16 games. Sheeran had 27 points on 10 goals and 17 assists in 28 games. The team will play in the Catamont Cup at the University of Vermont with Clarkson and UMass-Lowell the weekend after Christmas.

NIAGARA Allowing an alarming 3.67 goals per game—bottom ten the in the nation—the Purple Eagles struggled through the first half and still had three road games before getting back to Dwyer Arena January 10-11. In spite of that, and that they had yet to win a nonconference game for the first time in program history or any road contest as of December 9th, the Purps were still in the middle and only four points from a top-four spot in the tight Atlantic Hockey Association. Niagara also was having trouble scoring goals with leading scorers Mike Conderman (Greece), Ryan Rashid and Hugo Turcotte tallying just four goals over the first 15 contests. Phil Nasca scored his first collegiate goal December 6th at UConn.

GENESEO The Knights were solidly in second place behind Plattsburgh with just one conference loss in the first half plus a home victory over defending SUNYAC champion Oswego to avenge last season’s 10-1 drubbing. Junior Tyler Brickler and freshman Stephen Collins (Pittsford) continued to pace the offense with junior Justin Scharfe (Webster) the assist leader with a quartet of others not far behind as the team was receiving balanced offensive contributions. Goaltender Bryan Haude (Hilton) was seeing the bulk of playing time and was sporting a 2.72 goals against average through his first eight games. Geneseo kicks off the second half January 10th at home against Franklin Pierce.

BUFFALO STATE The Bengals ended the first half of conference play unbeaten in six of their last seven and sat in third place in the SUNYAC standings at the break. The final five of those were on home ice, so as we stated in their season preview, the team will need to secure a playoff berth in enemy territory with their last five on the road including the grueling northern trip to Potsdam and Plattsburgh.

WNYHockeyReport.com

Junior transfer Dan Turgeon (MCC) continues to lead the offense with freshman Adam Rossi with seven and five goals respectively. Mike Zanella led the squad in assists with Todd Graham close behind. Freshman goaltender Mike DeLaVergne (Pawling) saw his first collegiate action November 9th playing the final 27+ minutes at Morrisville. Freshmen Nick Berst (Depew) and Jake Rosen (East Amherst) with plus sophomore Cory Gurski (Hilton) all netted their first collegiate goals November 8th at Morrisville. All seven January games will be on home ice followed by the season-ending conference trip.

FREDONIA Though the Blue Devils were scoring more goals—the primary mission of the coaching staff— they were now allowing goals at an alarming rate of 3.90 per game putting them in the bottom-15 in the nation. The good news is they still managed two wins and two ties so were sitting in the final playoff spot at the midway point of the schedule. Jared Wynia and Stephen Castriota had generated almost half of the team’s first 25 goals while sophomore defenseman Ryan Wilkinson led the squad in assists. Playing at least four underclassmen most nights on defense obviously was playing a factor in goaltender Chris Eiserman’s disappointing goals against average. The team is on a 30-day break before returning to host Elmira January 7th.

BROCKPORT As with the Blue Devils above, the Golden Eagles were also struggling defensively allowing 4.33 goals per game while scoring fewer than three which had the team three points out of a playoff spot at the halfway mark. Defenseman Chris Luker (Jr. Sabres) led the team in goals through the first 12 games with freshman Jake Taylor right on his heels and Chase Nieuwendyk topping the assists list. Brockport returns January 9-10 when they host Stonehill and Western New England in a pair of non-conference games as they try to find answers for the second half of the SUNYAC schedule.

MCC The Tribunes were undefeated in conference play with one game remaining before the holiday hiatus and they were doing it in convincing fashion scoring no fewer than six goals in any NJCCA game and three times scoring ten or more in this, their final season. The squad had 98 goals in the first ten games. The top line of freshmen Pavel Kuzmin, Dominik Gabaj and Martin Matejcek—all international players—were lapping their field with 18, 16 and 16 goals respectively over the first ten contests. (Continued on page 36)


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TO RESERVE YOUR TEAMS SPOT IN THIS YEARS A $100.00 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT IS DUE BY: FEBRUARY 7, 2014

TOURNAMENT, Official Training Center 2

1 IF NECESSARY LOCAL TEAMS WILL PLAY ON THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014. TEAMS PAYING IN FULL BY JANUARY 10, 2014 WILL SAVE $100.00 ON THEIR REGISTRATION FEE.

Hockey TryouTs sPrING 2014 Harrow AAA 2005

Harrow AAA 2003

February 7th, 2014 @ 8:00 p.m.

January 10th, 2014 @ 8:00 p.m.

All tryouts will be held at the Centennial Arena, 1565 Four Mile Creek Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Cost is $10.00 Per Player. Home ice is the Gala Center in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Practice ice will vary. Our program runs from April to the beginning of June and will include 3 tournaments & 14 practices – all in Ontario. We focus on skill development, team play and fun!

Contact Ken @ 716-523-2976 or kfranasiak@calamar.com for more information.

www.harrowspringhockey.com WNYHockeyReport.com


Shamrocks Green & White

CK S

BU F F

SHAM O L

RO

A

Shamrocks Green and White Day

The annual day after Thanksgiving tradition continued this year for the Shamrocks family. Every year, the complete Shamrocks organization celebrates the culture, colors, past and future of the Shamrocks tradition. Every player in program from LTS - Bantam, skate out in order, through fog, in game jerseys, half white, half green, lead by ceremonial bagpipes. Each player is announced and each age group, each team, line both blue lines (and beyond) for a ceremonial puck drop honoring those at center ice that have donated time to assist in the Shamrocks mission. Each age group gets a 25 minute block of playing time. The score is cumulative and at the end of the 7 groups the final group plays for the Challenge Cup. This year the White team prevailed 23-22. Shamrocks Hockey – it’s about fun, celebrating who they are and what they stand for. For more information visit: gorocks.org

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Proud Supporters WNY Hockey

With over 40 hotels across Upstate NY, our team of Hospitality Professionals looks forward to providing your athletes a “Home Away from Home.�

With team friendly accommodations and more!

www.HotelsUpstateNY.com

1-800-HOLIDAY


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Saints 45th Anniversary Celebration Saturday, January 25, 2014 7:00-11:00 pm Lancaster Elks Club 33 Legion Pkwy., Lancaster NY 14086 Ticket price: $5.00-includes voucher for 1 drink: beer or pop & finger food Cash bar after 1st drink Advance tickets available at Depew Rink Pro-shop. Call Butch Palmer: 870-3724 or contact us by email: Saintshockey15@verizon.net Check it out on facebook: Saints 45th Anniversary celebration

www.saintshockey.com WNYHockeyReport.com

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Buffalo Jr Sabres

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Buffalo Jr. Sabres Notes: by Michael Mroziak Michael@wnyhockeyreport.com

LaFontaine working his way back Forward Daniel LaFontaine was in attendance at the December 15 Frozen Frontier game but didn’t play. He’s

continuing to regain his strength in preparation for an anticipated return to the Jr. Sabres lineup in midJanuary, following a knee injury that has sidelined him since September. “It’s doing a lot better,” said LaFontaine of his healing knee. “They fully repaired it, so there’s no problems. Right now I’m just working gaining the muscle back to my leg and my quads. That’s that main goal right now.” He’s again skating with the team but still not participating in contact drills. LaFontaine was among the team’s leading scorers in the early stages of the season until he suffered his injury and required surgery. He admitted he is hungry to produce again for the Jr. Sabres, once his knee is ready for full competition. “It was tough. The first two months I was home and all my friends were in college,” said LaFontaine, who resides in Lloyd Harbor, New York. “I was on the couch a lot, watching TV, so it was pretty rough. It’s good to be back in Buffalo and with my teammates and on roadies (road trips), so it’s good.”

Mikowski, DeSimone commit to colleges Forward Max Mikowski, in his third season with the team, became the seventh player on this year’s roster to commit to a college program, and will be heading to Division I Rochester Institute of Technology next season. Mikowski’s commitment was the second within

a week. Previously, Nick DeSimone announced his commitment to Division I program Union College. Additionally, the following members of the current roster are committed to college hockey programs: Ryan Schmelzer and Nolan Sheeran (Canisius, beginning 2014), Mason Evans (Connecticut College, 2014), Dennis Gilbert (Niagara University, 2015) and Michael Ederer (St. Lawrence, 2015).

Become part of the tradition.

We’re looking for a few great coaches. Bud Bakewell hockey is now taking coaching applications for Travel Tier II hockey coaches for next season. Apply to president Allen Shubbuck via email at wnypc@adelphia.net Please send letter of interest along with coaching resume and references. www.budbakewellbruins.com / 716-913-1521.

Come Join The Bud Bakewell Bruins! A family friendly organization, where the kids come first. WNYHockeyReport.com


Women’s Hockey

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Women’s Hockey WNY Girls Varsity Hockey Federation

by Janet Schultz Janet@wnyhockeyreport.com

Buffalo State

The Bengals are struggling in their first season under Coach Candace Moxley. They end the first part of the season with a winless record. With only three games in December, the Bengals take a break and return to the ice in Adrian, Michigan on January 10 and 11. They return to the Buffalo State Arena on January 18 and 19 against ECAC West rival Oswego. That will be followed by another double-header against Cortland, another conference rival, on January 24 and 25. It will be a tough go for the team as they face the majority of their conference rivals in the second half including Elmira, Potsdam and Neumann. Nikki Kirchberger is leading the Bengals in scoring with 5 goals and 1 assist, followed by Kara Goodwin, 4 goals and 1 assist and Jeyna Minnick, 2 goals and 2 assists. Senior Jordan Lee and Sophomore Sarah Quigley have been splitting net minding duties. Lee has faced 322 shots, making 282 saves in 8 games and Quigley has made 117 saves on 134 shots in 6 games.

The 2013-14 season is underway and off to a great start. At this point there is no one team that can claim it will be in first place at the end of the season. As of December 10 Kenmore leads with 9 points and a 4-1 record after six games played. After three seasons at the bottom, Lancaster joined forces with Iroquois and they have put 2 wins and a tie on the boards giving hem 5 points and a third place in the league. Williamsville has a 1-1-2 record and 4 points and newcomer Nichols with 2 wins and 3 losses also has four points. At this point all the stats have not been compile for individual acknowledgements. The weather managed to postpone several games during December 11 -15. The Amherst/Sweethome vs Lancaster/Iroquois game at East Aurora on December 4 has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 15 at 4:45 p.m. at East Aurora. The December 12 games postponed have not been rescheduled at this time.

UB The Lady Ice Bulls are off until January 25 and 26 when they meet Vermont and January 31 against Niagara University. “We had a tough start to the season, opening up against Rhode Island and North Eastern but we are improving and have already come along way getting our first wins against a local women’s team and 19-U team,” said Head Coach Melissa Jechovich. “We are gaining confidence on the ice and learning to play as a team. We still have 3 more league games before playoffs in February.” They face Vermont January 25 and 26. “These are big weekends for us and we are working towards getting our first league win. “With Keene State dropping out of the league, there are now only 5 teams in the ECWHL,” Jechovich continued. “We are looking to continue to develop some of our younger players and looking to gain excitement for our program to continue building it for the future,” said the first-year Head Coach. Mamie Talty leads the scoring with 3 goals and 6 assists; Christine Wolcott also has 3 goals and with 4 assists comes in second with 7 points. Courtney Miller and Fallon Waxman each have 3 goals and 2 assists on the season.

Gehen Named Super Athlete Erin Gehen was named the WKBW-TV Super Athlete of the Week for December 13 after scoring a hat trick and two assists in West Seneca’s first win of the season over Nichols. “I went out and played as good as I good,” Gehen said simply. West Seneca beat Nichols, who was undefeated, 6-5.

Nichols Girls Sign Letters of Intent Five Nichols seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to play DI hockey next season. Julianna Iafallo ’14 will play hockey for Ohio State University; Allison Gasuik ’14 at Ohio State University;

WNYHockeyReport.com

Brandy Streeter ’14 for Union College; Madison Sansone ’14 at Providence College and Annika Zalewski ’14 will play hockey for Colgate University.

“Julianna has been dominating as a player her entire career while excelling in the classroom as well. She is a player who makes other players around her better,” said Nichols Girls’ Prep A Hockey Coach, Scott Welch. Over the last two years, Iafallo has accumulated 40 goals, 35 assists for a total of 75 points. She has been on teams that won seven New York State championships and has appeared in two national championship games. She is recognized by USA Hockey as a top performer at her age level and has been selected to attend USA Hockey National Camps. “Alli is considered a leader by her teammates and the coaching staff. She possesses incredible hands and ESPN type of moves and has put up tremendous numbers over her three years with 76 goals, 64 assists for 140 points,” Welch said. Gasuik has won seven New York State championships and appeared in two national championship games. She is also recognized by USA Hockey as a top performer at her age level as has been selected to attend USA Hockey National Camps. Welch describes Streeter as being “an anchor to our defense.” Over her career Streeter has been asked to play against the other team’s top lines due to her ability to shut their offense down. Over the last two years, she has accumulated 8 goals, 16 assists for a total of 24 points. Streeter has won three New York State championships and appeared in two national championship games. She has also been selected to attend USA National Hockey Camps “Madison possesses tremendous speed which makes it extremely difficult for teams to catch her. Her speed induces other teams to often panic with the puck and make mistakes,” says Welch. “She is consistently one of the hardest workers on the ice and has put up tremendous numbers over her three years with 59 goals, 54 assists for 113 points.” Sansone’s record includes 7 New York State championships and two appearances in national championship games as well as being named to attend USA Hockey National Camps. “Annika is very strong at both ends of the ice which allows her to be strong defensively as well as an outstanding playmaker,” said Welch. “ She possesses great character and leadership on and off the ice.” Zalewski has also been recognized by USA Hockey and selected to attend USA National Hockey Camps. Zalewski was also on the team that won the 2013 NYS Championship.


Women’s Hockey Around WNY… Canton Recognizes Buffalo Girl Bernadette O’Connell, Buffalo, was named one of the Roos of the Week at Canton University after leading the women’s ice hockey team to one win and a tie at Chatham University. She finished with two goals and one assist on the weekend tallying her first career point in a 1-1 tie in game one and scored two of the four Roo’s goals in a 4-1 win the following day. O’Connell played for the Buffalo Stars and for Orchard Park High School in the WNGVIH League.

Niagara Junior Purple Eagles

The NJPE G12U team has been getting prepared for itsThe NJPE G12U team has been getting prepared for its upcoming GLGHL Q games in good fashion while at the St. Catharine Girls Chaos Tournament early in November. The NJPE squad won its first three games of pool play against the West Seneca Wings, Scarbovrough Sharks, and Vaughn Flames, before loosing to the Halimand Rivercats.  The 3-1 record was good enough to earn play in the semi-final game against the Lakeshore Lightening.  Unfortunately, the Purple Eagles lost to the Lightening 2-1 in a nail-biter that saw a flurry of pressure by the Eagles in the closing minutes.  NJPE then opened league play on November 10th and walked away with a 3-0 victory against the Cazenovia Chiefs in a hard-fought game by both teams at Dwyer Arena.

4-0 and outscored opponents 32-2. The team was lead by forwards Erin Gehen and Missy Mallon. Defensively goaltenders Courtney Wesolowski and Kara Rhea kept the puck out of the net. In front of them defensemen Ameila Gajewski, Grace Simmons and Olivia Jacobs kept defenders away. The Cazenovia Lady Chiefs have come from a start up team 4 short years ago to a up and coming Girls organization that now has 4 teams: 12UNTB, 12UTB,16UTB and 19UTB, and continues to grow.

Buffalo Bisons Maddie Ziemba. Contributing offensively were Bethany Horvatits and Ally Jacobs. Defensively the team was led by Gabby McCrory, Emma Sutfin ,Carleigh Sutfin and Paige Palinski. Dylan Gorski was outstanding in net all weekend, leading her team to the Championship game under Coach Chris Malicki and staff. The Cazenovia 19u Lady Chiefs (below) lit up the ice at the Ithaca Shooting Stars Tournament winning four straight games to take home the Championship trophy. Led by Coach Chris Malicki, the girls outscored their opponents 31-2. Team scoring leaders, Erin Gehen (W. Seneca) and Missy Mallon (Amherst) each had 9 goals during the series. Power forwards Erin Jozwiak (Amherst), Vicki Smith (Cheektowaga), Brianna Mathias (Tonawanda) Erica Dombrowski (Amherst), and Kara Orlowski (Lancaster), kept the pressure on. Outstanding goaltending by both Courtney Wesolowki (Cheektowaga) and Kara Rea (Amherst), and strong defense from Amelia Gajewski (Amherst), Shannon Moran (Buffalo), Olivia Jacobs (OP), Jessie Phillips (Tonawanda) and Grace Simmons (Tonawanda) kept

The Buffalo Bisons 10U team participated in the RUSH Girls Hockey Tournament in Rochester. They finished with a 1-2-1 record after playing in four hard-fought games in their first tournament as a team. The 10U team plays a 22 league schedule in the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League and are currently 1-1 in league play. The Buffalo Bisons 19U Tier I team ended the first half of their split season 17-10-5 against some of the best competition in North America. Coached by Scott Welch, the girls are ranked #9 in the country (MYHockey Rankings) despite playing very few games with a full roster due to injuries and illness. They have competed against older Junior Canadian and US teams in Boston’s Beantown Classic Tournament, the NAHA College Showcase Labor Day Tournament, the Stoney Creek University Showcase Tournament and the US-Canada Cup Detroit College Showcase SuperSeries. Six of the girls have committed to DI Hockey programs at Providence, two at Ohio State University, Colgate University, Syracuse University and Union College with four others set to play DIII College hockey next season. The girl’s now head off to their varsity high school teams and will be back together later this month for the East Coast Wizard’s Holiday College Showcase Tournament and again in March to compete in the New York State and USA Hockey National Tier I Championship.

Buffalo Stars

Cazenovia Girls See Success

The Cazenovia Girls 12uNTB (above) competed in the Ithaca Shooting Stars tournament December 6-8. The team won the Championship in the 10/12U Division. The young Lady Chiefs were lead by goaltender Lauryn Brown, who had an outstanding weekend. The team was led offensively by Maddie Jurusik, Katie Dougherty, Catherine Finn and Emily Conroy. The defense was led by Emma Tambacas, MacKenzie Ellerbrock and Sarah Mruk. Coaching the team to success are Mark Jacobs and Joe Ziemba. The Cazenovia Girls 12UTB team (Top of next column) also competed in the Ithaca Shooting Stars Tournament. They played in the 12/14U division and finished as runner up, losing in the finals to a bigger, older Camillus team 4-1. The Cazenovia girls are made up of primarily of 10 & 11 year olds with only three12 year olds. They played hard and competed fiercely all weekend led by the line of Riley Malicki, Kendal Kalinowski and

17

scoring opportunities to a minimum. Missy Mallon (Amherst) took home the MVP of the series. The girls are looking forward to their next tournament up in the Adirondacks in January. The Cazenovia Lady Chiefs girls hockey program took Ithaca by storm the weekend of December 6-8 in the 13th Annual Ithaca Shooting Stars Tournament. Cazenovia sent three teams a 12U non tournament bound, 12U Tournament bound and a 19U Tournament bound to the tournament and came away with 2 Championships and one runner up finish. The youngest group, the 12UNTB team won the 10/12 Division with a 2-1-1 record. The team was led by goaltender Lauryn Brown. Offensivley the team was lead by Katie Doughtery,Catherine Finn and Maddie Jurusik. The defense was lead by Emma Tambacas, MacKenzie Ellerbrock and Sarah Mruk. Coach Mark Jacobs and Joe Ziemba did an outstanding job with the group. Coach Chris Malicki’s 12UTB team also played very well. As the youngest team in a 12/14 Division the team lost in the Championship to a much older and bigger Camillus team. The team was lead by the line of Riley Malicki,Kendal Kalinowski and Maddie Ziemba. Also contibuting offensively were Bethany Horvatits and Allie Jacobs. The defense was lead by goaltender Dylan Gorski. In front of her Gabrielle McCrory,Paige Palinski and the Sutfin sisters’ Emma and Carleigh shutdown oppensing offenses.The day finished up with Coach Malicki’s 19U team winning another Championship. The 19u team beat a tough Philadelphia Patriots 4-0 in the Championship game. The team went undefeated

WNYHockeyReport.com

The Buffalo Stars 19U team completed their preseason on a winning note with a 2-1 record. They have played against college club teams and against some stiff competition. A rivalry has developed between the 19U team and the Hamburg Hawks Sr. B team, which is composed of former DI and DIII college players. They also went up against St. Catharine’s and played against three intermediate A level teams in tournament play. All of this has led them to an opening weekend of league play defeating the Erie Lady Lions 5-0, with the majority of the game being played in the opposing team’s end.

Editor’s Note: I will be contacting each Girls Coach/ manager in the next few weeks. If you have information for our magazines, please let me know. I can be reached at 716-628-1966 (cell); 716-751-6524 (home) or by email Janet@nyhockeyonline.com The information in the notes I took from your websites. I wasn’t able to garner everything from every organization so I am looking for your help. I do thank those coaches/ managers/presidents/parents who have graciously sent me items over the years and urge you to continue doing so.


Rochester Americans

Rochester Americans Report by Warren Kozireski Warren@wnyhockeyreport.com The adjustment for any player advancing from junior or college hockey to the professional ranks can be daunting. From older, larger, more experienced competition to the travel to the number of games in a season to living on your own. For Buffalo Sabres first round choice Joel Armia (2011), add living in a new country, adjusting to a smaller ice surface and recovering from a broken hand suffered in training camp. Heading into the second week of December, Armia had played ten games for Rochester after being sent down from Buffalo November 9th following his recovery from the September injury. And he has acquitted himself very well with two goals and three assists with 12 penalty minutes. As many prospect websites stated, he has played a very simple game, but uses his 6’3” frame to create space and is a force along the boards on occasion. Even with his offensive numbers in Finland the last three seasons, he is very responsible defensively. “It’s a work in progress,” said Amerks head coach Chadd Cassidy. “He has some habits that are hard to break and he played on a large sheet (of ice) for a long time. His habit is to play a lot of one-on-one and, at this level, the guys are good enough and the rink is small enough that there isn’t a space there. “So he has to play a little more give-and-go and use the other guys a little bit better and understand that there are times when he has to give the puck up, get it deep and go forecheck.

“But he’s been getting better and has great skill level.” But we may not have seen anything close to his best yet. He suffered the broken hand on a slash in a preseason contest with Columbus September 25th and was inactive until November 9th before being sent to Rochester November 13th. Despite the six week layoff and three more weeks since returning to the ice, his hand is still not fully healed. “Not yet…it’s pretty sore, but I don’t know why,” said the right winger after an early December game. “Should it be? I’m not sure so I need to ask the doctors that. “Maybe a little bit (affecting his play); can’t be so strong with battles. It feels like it bends over, but I hope it will be better soon.” Armia arrived this season after three seasons in Europe with Assat Pori in Finland in the SM-Iiiga league where he scored 55 goals with 45 assists in 149 regular season games and added 12 more points over 24 postseason contests. That followed three years of junior hockey (at 14 and 15 years old) of 92 points in 63 games in the same town. Selected 16th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, just as he is adjusting to the smaller ice surface in North America, the team will head to Europe in late December for the Spengler Cup on the larger ice surface and then return January 3rd to the smaller area. Not an easy thing for a rookie to deal with. But he is looking forward to the competition near home. “It is going to be interesting playing on the bigger ice surface with good teams and good players…it’s going to be a hard tournament. Going back and forth (to different size ice) is going to be pretty confusing.” Armia has played for Finland four times on the

international stage and fared well. At the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, he scored five goals and chipped in three assists for eight points over five games to earn a berth on the tournament All-Star Team. Armia also played in international tournament with Finland’s Under-18 squad, scoring two goals and adding one in five games. At the 2011 Under-20 World Junior Championship, Armia had one assist in six games as one of the youngest players and later played at the 2011 Under-18 World Junior Championship, where he scored four goals with nine assists for 13 points in six games. In the 2012 Under-20 World Junior Championship he scored five goals with two assists with 16 penalty minutes in seven games helping his country to a fourth place finish. At the 2013 World Junior Championship – a rare third trip to the tournament – he scored six goals with six assists and had 12 penalty minutes in six games. When asked what he thinks Buffalo saw in him to invest a first round draft pick, the 20-year old hesitates. “That’s a hard question. I’m pretty good with the puck and my shot is a little heavier. I’m trying to work every day at getting more muscles.” The skills are visible even through the first dozen games of Armia’s professional career, but with all of the adjustments he has been asked to make from a new country to a smaller ice surface all while battling what apparently is a less-than-100% hand, fans and the coaching staff have likely not yet seen what the right winger will bring to the Amerks and the Sabres.

n o i t n Atte rls! i G & s Boy

Play Spring Hockey in 2014

Season will run March through May. Online registration will be available in January. • Learn & play at NU’s Dwyer Arena – One of the newest, cleanest and best facilities in WNY! • Organizational Strengths: • Competitive Travel Teams that regularly make State and National Tournaments • Strong Instructional and House Youth Programs • Fun and Challenging House Select Teams • Excellent Girl’s Hockey Program • Affiliation with the Niagara University Division 1 College Men’s Team – skate and learn with Division 1 players. • Two Features NO OTHER ASSOCIATION in WNY can match: • Minimal cost equipment loaner program for players new to hockey • Four weeks FREE Instructional Program • Lowest House Division playing fees than any other association!

Patriot’s Day Tournament Feb 15 – Feb 17, 2014 Divisions: Mites 2005 & 2006 (Half Ice), Full Ice 8U, Squirt Minor 2004, Pee Wee Minor 2002, Bantam Minor 2000, Girls 14U Classifications: A, AA, AAA

Visit www.jrpurpleeagles for more info and applications.

The Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles are home to over 800 boys and girls youth hockey players. Our travel & house programs are one of the largest in New York State!

www.jrpurpleeagles.com WNYHockeyReport.com

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Rochester Jr Americans

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Elite Team Ends Homestand on Top of Division

The Rochester Junior Americans Elite team stumbled a bit in November, but still sits atop the USPHL Elite Division. The Elite team has a record of 18-3-1-1, good for 38 points. They are six points ahead of the Boston Junior Bruins and the Jersey Hitmen in the USPHL Elite Northern Conference. November was an up and down month for the team, as they lost their most games of any month, but still finished with a 7-2-1 record to maintain their spot on the top of the standings. November started out with two big victories over Thruway rival Syracuse, with an 8-1 victory on November 6th, and an 8-2 win on November 12th. The winning streak continued with a 9-1 Junior Americans victory over the Springfield Junior Pics on November 16th, but that was followed by a 5-4 loss to the Junior Pics on November 17th. The trend of winning big on Saturday and then suffering a disappointing loss to the same opponent on Sunday continued the following weekend against the Hitmen, with a 9-2 victory on November 23rd, followed b a 4-2 loss on the 24th. “Winning big on Saturday and then suffering a disappointing loss on Sunday was a tough lesson for our players,” said head coach Craig Macdonald. “It’s something no team ever wants to go through.”

Tyler Wolf of the Elite team has 12 goals and 20 assists on the season.

The Americans continued to split homestands with their opponents into December, as they suffered a 5-4 overtime loss to Boston on December 7th, following it with a 6-5 victory on Sunday. Rochester was finally able to complete a sweep by taking two games from the Portland Junior Pirates by a combined score of 16-5. The Elite team has been lead on offense by Tyler Wolf and Conlan Keenan, who both have 32 points on the season, tied for 5th best in the USPHL Elite Division. Wolf (Naperville, IL) and Keenan (Webster, NY) both have 12 goals and 20 assists on the season. Keenan has registered a point in 16 straight games, and in 20 of his 21 games played this season. The schedule for January finds the Elite team on the road for the majority of their games, as they will have 10 road contests throughout the month. Luckily the Junior Americans have played well on the road this year, and have won 5 straight road contests dating back to October, currently the longest streak in the USPHL. “We will have to stay focused and play disciplined hockey to get through a tough schedule in Jaunary,” said Macdonald.

EMPIRE TEAM REMAINS ON TOP For the Rochester Junior Americans Empire team, November saw them not only maintain their spot on top of the standings of the Northern Conference, but also grow their lead. The Empire team went 8-1 in November, and added two more wins in early December to improve to 19-2 overall. They hold a nine point lead over the Jersey Hitmen and Syracuse Stars in the USPHL Empire Northern Conference, but have played one less game than the Hitmen and five fewer games than the Stars. The Empire team has found their most success in the friendly confines of the Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex, as they went 7-0 at home since their home opener on November 2nd. December will see four more home games before a January schedule that sees the Junior Americans on the road for 8 of their 10 contests. “Winning our home games has been huge for us and has really helped us build our lead in the division,” said head coach Jeff Kolcon. “We’re hopeful we can expand our lead with these remaining December home games before hitting the road in January.” Over their last ten games, nine different Junior Americans have scored 10 or more points, lead by Bryan Owen and Mikel Williams with 18 points each. Overall,

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Tanner Woodruff leads all Empire defensemen in scoring with 18 points. the team has scored 121 goals on the season, the most in the 24-team Empire Division, while allowing only 55 goals, tied for fifth best. Lawson Fenton has been solid in net for the Americans, leading the Empire Division with 14 wins, while his 2.83 goals against average is ninth best in the division.

WILLIAMS, WOODRUFF NAMED USPHL PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK Empire forward Mikel Williams and defenseman Tanner Woodruff were named the Empire Division Performers of the Week by the USPHL for the week ending November 24th. Williams had a huge weekend in helping the Empire team sweep the Jersey Hitmen, getting a key assist in Saturday’s 5-2 victory, and exploding on Sunday with three goals and three assists in an 11-3 victory. On the season Williams now has 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points through 20 games, topping the 22 points he tallied in 27 contests last season with the Empire team. Woodruff finished the weekend against the Hitmen with four assists, tallying two each on Saturday and Sunday. He now has recorded a point in nine straight contests, and 13 of his last 16 games. His 18 points are tops among defensemen on the Empire team, and place him fourth best in the USPHL Empire Division.


Junior Hockey Wisdom & Opinion

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What are you waiting for? by Jeff Kolcon Jeff@maksymum.com

Benjamin Franklin said “You may delay, but time will not.” The clock is ticking. You may think your “Little Johnny” has forever to get ready for the 2020 NHL draft. Wrong! From the age of 12 to the age of 18 there are 2190 days. Sounds like more than enough time to get that little superstar ready for the show. We better look at this a bit closer. A popular book that has been out for some time is Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers.” The basic theory is that to obtain true mastery of a profession, an individual must spend 10,000 hours practicing and training. This means the extra hours Johnny has to put into his craft outside of his games and 50 minute team practices. This is time shooting extra pucks. This is time perfecting his stride. This is time working longer and harder than the rest of the pack. Take a few days to read the book. Don’t spend too much time. After reading the book, there are only 2185 days until Johnny’s draft. How much time does Johnny have? Plenty. We have six years to prepare. Except, we need to trim back the schedule a few days for some realities. It is safe to say most people follow a schedule that sets time aside for major holidays. In my house, the traditional family only days are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July. You can’t train on those days. 2161 days to prepare for Johnny’s draft. Let’s be clear. Tournaments serve a role in hockey. However, skill development is not the first things that pops to mind when I think about tournaments. The typical travel team plays in six tournaments a year. Most tournaments are Friday through Sunday. Let’s not forget that we need to leave Thursday night to get to Alpena, Michigan. This means no training on Thursday.

Six tournaments take away four training days each. That is 24 days a year for 6 years. No private lessons on those days. That only leaves 2017 days to prepare for Johnny’s draft. Since we already factored in tournaments, we are still left with the other 50 games per year that are played. Game day! Tough to train. 50 game days over six years. Johnny has to be fresh on game days. No clinics or weight room. Only 1717 days left to prepare for Johnny’s draft. I think it is fair to say that we need to take at least one day off a week to rest and recover. Although some of us like to think that character is developed through hard work, Little Johnny still needs to catch up on his sleep and homework while those little muscles rest. Rest once a week equals 312 days. Maybe you can get Johnny a hyperbolic chamber to speed up recovery. If not, this only leaves 1405 days to prepare for Johnny’s draft. Most typical families take at least one solid week of vacation. I can already hear the zealot hockey families screaming that real travel hockey families don’t vacation. They may even think I am a nut for speaking such heresy. Take a week vacation and miss the Ronald McDonald Super Series Mite Summer Elite Blowout Showcase Invitational? I know. What am I thinking? However, if you do squeeze in a week in Bike Week in Daytona, each year, this only leaves 1363 days left to prepare for Johnny’s draft. Although we all hope and pray our children stay healthy and safe, the reality is there are going to be sprained ankles, colds and flus and maybe even broken bones. The truth is accidents and injuries are going to happen. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have reported the nearly 40 percent of sports related injuries are with athletes under the age of 14. Further, the severity of the injury goes up in relationship to the age of the youth athlete. We are going to hope for the best. We will assume 3 sick/injury days the first year and add 3 days each year (3, 6,9,12,1, 18). No need to email me. I know, I just made these figures up. My column, my math. We are going to hope little Johnny only has around 63 sick or injury days. 1300 days left to prepare for Johnny’s draft. We live in Western New York. There is going to be at least one

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day a year dad cant get home from work. There may be a day when the roads are shut down. Let’s be super conservative on this one (Global Warming) and only assign one weather related day per year. 1295 days until Johnny’s draft Academics may have to factor into this equation. There are days, especially when Johnny gets into high school, when he may have to study all night for the big exam. He may possibly even have to write a big paper that precludes him from spending the needed time preparing for the draft. I have no data to back this, however, let’s run with 20 total academic days that are needed. Half of you are outraged that the number is so low. Academics are important. The other half of you tuned out when I used the word academic. 1275 days to prepare for Johnny’s draft. No need to take this further. We now know how many true work days we have to prepare. We need to get to work. In fact, work it is. It will take a 40 hour work week to get little Johnny prepared for the 2020 NHL draft. According to this highly scientific study generated in this column, it will take exactly 7.843 hours per day of practice and skill development to hit our target of 10,000 hours. No worries. We have options. First, the most obvious is leave the Harley in the garage and drop the vacations. Silly for me to even put that one in there. Another easy fix is to double up on the sick/injured days. Johnny is only allowed to be sick on the major holidays. Johnny can get the trifecta if he can do his extra school work, while sick, on the major holidays. Of course, the real answer here is to start the training process at 8. Not 8 o’clock in the morning. Not 8 years old. Don’t be silly. We need to get Johnny rolling at 8 months. Hopefully most of you realize my tongue is firmly pressing my cheek. Please don’t spend all of your holiday bonus on a new Franklin Time Management system(Give me credit for circling back to Ben Franklin and time). There is truly enough time to develop. Happy Holidays.

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Rochester Youth Hockey News

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Volunteering – Rochester 2001 AAA’s Help Other Children however helping this Crisis Nursery is just as satisfying. A special thanks to parent Meredith Lee for helping our volunteer work to be a great success.”

RYH Pee Wee Minor AA Win Thanksgiving Classic

The Rochester Youth Americans 2001 AAA participated in a volunteer project at the Crisis Nursery of Rochester on December 8, 2013. The teams’ duties involved cleaning the yard and organizing the house. The Crisis Nursery serves children from infants to age 10 years old. These children are some of Rochester’s neediest children who are in dire situations and in need of respite. Coach Monks stated “I am so proud of the boys, and how they represented themselves tonight. They did a great job!!! It made them realize how lucky they are, and appreciate the opportunities we have been given. They witnessed two little ones in the nursery that have a tough life. It was a wonderful opportunity for our boys to help these children. Victories on the ice are always rewarding,

The Rochester Americans Pee Wee Minor AA Red team went 3-0-1 and won the Rochester Thanksgiving Classic, presented by MyHockey Tournaments, on December 1, 2013. The Americans triumphed over the Hamilton Spitfires in the championship game. In the first game, the Americans topped the Hamilton Spitfires 2-1, with a goal by Trevor MacDonald, assisted by Sammy Lauderdale, Mark Neu also had a goal, unassisted. Ryan Brown was in net and had 7 saves.  In game two, they tied the West London Hawks 2-2 in a hard fought game. Trevor MacDonald had a goal, assisted by Michael Walton and Conor Palmer, assisted by Mark Neu.  Ryan Varney was in net. In the Americans game 7-0 win against the Willowdale Blackhawks, Brecken Catalano had a hat trick and 1 assist, Sammy Lauderdale had 2 goals and 1 assist, with additional goals by Aiden Nasca and Justyn Hiscock.   Huck Thayer had 2 assists and Conor Palmer, Mark Neu, and Bradley Haines also had assists.   Ryan Varney had the shutout. The championship game was an exciting rematch with the Hamilton Spitfires. With a strong effort, the American prevailed 4-1 with goals by Michael Walton,

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Mark Neu, Bradley Haines and Justyn Hiscock. Mark Neu and Brecken Catalano both had 2 assists, Aiden Nasca and Justyn Hiscock each had one assist. The defense held the Spitfires to one goal again and Ryan Varney had 13 saves. The Americans defensive team of Trevor MacDonald, Luke Monar, Mark Neu and Huck Thayer had a solid weekend, allowing only 4 goals.  The Americans offensive team consisting of Brecken Catalano, Bradley Haines, Tyler Henshaw, Justyn Hiscock, Sammy Lauderdale, Luke Leach, Aiden Nasca, Conor Palmer and Michael Walton, had an amazing weekend.  The team is coached by Mike Lauderdale, with assistant coaches Brian Leach, Sean MacDonald and Jim Neu.


Men’s Club Hockey Report

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Men’s Club Hockey Report by Lars Lewis lars@wnyhockeyreport.com

Canisius Golden Griffins (ACHA, NECHL)

DIVISION I Niagara Purple Eagles (ACHA, NECHL)

Following their 10-7 win over St. Bonaventure, the Griffs have lost four out of their last five games, with the four defeats coming in a row and are currently fifth place in the NECHL. On November 8 Canisius (8-14) lost on the road to the Mountaineers of West Virginia 7-2 in Morgantown with senior Chad Loughran and freshman Dimitrious Gogos each scoring a goal and an assist. The next night at ACHA Division II Akron, the Zips defeated the Griffs 6-5 despite giving up a three-spot to Canisius in the opening period. Gogos notched two more goals and junior Austin Casselberry recorded two assists in the loss. The Griffins’ fortunes were further soured the next week on November 16 when the Oswego State Lakers bludgeoned Canisius 8-0 at Hyde Park Arena. However Canisius got back on track on November 22 and 23, earning a split against Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Both games ended 6-5 with IUP winning the first game and Canisius gaining the victory the next day. Duquense however treated the visiting Griffs to an 8-1 thumping on December 6. Junior Austin Casselberry scored the only goal for Canisius. The Griffs have two more games to close out the fall semester with a double dip on the road against Eastern Michigan on December 15 and 16 at Taylor Sportsplex.

Fourth place Niagara (9-6-0-1) hit a couple of bumps since last issue when they disposed of R.I.T 5-0 back on November 2. The Purple Eagles finished 1-3 for the month of November, with all three losses coming in a row between the 9-and-22. Niagara started the skid on the 9, losing to the Syracuse Orange 4-3 at Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion. Sophomore forward Patrick Gregory had a goal and two assists in the losing effort while freshman and Cheektowaga native Dallas Szustak scored twice. Following their defeat in Syracuse the Purps would be on the losing end of a 3-2 decision against the U.B Bulls at the Northtown Center in Amherst on the 15. Junior Charlie Chamberlain and junior Jacob Ledyard each had a goal and an assist in the loss. Freshman goaltender Mike Parda made 46 saves on 49 shots. Niagara continued their slide on the 22 as the Orange traveled to Dwyer Arena and took down the Purps 3-2. But Niagara would respond with an emphatic 11-5 win over Cortland on the 24 to close out the month on a high note. It turned out to be a coming out party for freshman Andrew Mitch, who scored four goals and recorded two assists for a team high six points on the night. The Mentor, ON native has 10G and 7A for 17PTS in 16 games. (Record indicates wins/losses/ties/OT or SO losses)

U.B Bulls (ACHA, NECHL)

While the Purple Eagles have struggled, the Bulls have been on fire by not only winning their second consecutive Blizzard In Buffalo tournament, but have also won fiveof-six. Following their split with Michigan-Dearborn, the Bulls defeated Niagara 3-2 on Friday November 15. The Bulls kept the momentum and throttled St. Bonaventure 12-4 the following night. Then came the Blizzard in Buffalo tournament the next week. With ECC, Drexel and John Carroll in Northtown Center, U.B took care of Drexel 5-3 in the semifinals with power play goals from Sean Dungan and Christopher Marsack, who also scored a shorthanded goal in the win. After John Carroll shutout ECC 7-0 in their semifinal, the Bulls defeated the Blue Streaks 4-3 in the final to clinch their second straight Blizzard in Buffalo Championship. U.B’s Michael Schalberg scored the winner on the power play early in the third period. However their five-game win streak would come to an end on December 7 when Mercyhurst defeated U.B at Northtown Center 6-4. The Bulls now enter the break in first place in the NECHL standings with a 15-4-0-2 record. (Record signifies wins/losses/ties/overtime or shootout losses)

R.I.T (ACHA, NECHL) The Tigers (5-9-0-1) earned a split with Washington & Jefferson College on the weekend of November 8 and 9, losing 6-5 the first night but winning 9-5 the next day. However that would be the last win the Tigers would record before publication. R.I.T has lost three in a row while getting outscored 25-4 in the process. Following an 8-4 defeat at home on November 15 against Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, R.I.T were shutout by Syracuse University 8-0 the next night and followed that up by losing to Oswego State on the road 8-0 on December 6. R.I.T is currently tied for sixth in the NECHL with Ithaca, 30 points behind first place U.B.

DIVISION III Erie Community College (ACHA) The Kats’ Matthew Berke and Bradley Ferrell are both tied for the team lead in goals with five apiece with Berke having a slight edge in the points department with seven to Ferrell’s six. ECC has four more games remaining in their fall semester with their lone home game taking place on December 15 at Cheektowaga Recreation Center against Fredonia State.

FREDONIA STATE (ACHA) The Blues Devils are currently sixth in the ACHA Atlantic Division, currently possessing

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a 10-3-0-2 record after going 2-3 since their 6-3 win over St. Vincent back on November 8. Fredonia started off well by disposing of Penn StateAltoona at Steele Hall 5-2 the night after their win against St. Vincent. The next week Fredonia visited Robert Morris University and were victorious 7-5 with Bryan McParlane and Donald Battista each having two goals and an assist. Then Fredonia dropped back-to-back games the next two nights. The Blue Devils first lost to California University of Pennsylvania 11-5 on the road and then fell 5-2 to ECC at Steele Hall. Definitely a rough stretch playing three games in three nights in three different buildings. After three weeks off the Blue Devils were defeated on the road 7-6 to Penn State Altoona on December 7. Tyler McTigue led Fredonia with two goals and an assist in the losing effort. Fredonia closes out the month of December with a Sunday, December 13 tilt with ECC at Cheektowaga Recreation Center at noon.

DIVISION III UNYCHL WEST DIVISION UPDATE U.B Bulls (UNYCHL, CIHA) U.B will enter the break in second place with a 3-1-1 record and finished fall semester unbeaten in their last three games. Following their 3-3 tie against St. John Fisher, the Bulls took down the Geneseo Knights 6-5 at The Ira on November 15. Joe Laffin of U.B scored twice and recorded an assist. The Bulls closed out the fall with a 3-2 win over Medaille at Northtown Center on December 6. Play will resume for U.B on January 25 at home against Geneseo.

Medaille College (UNYCHL, CIHA) The Mustangs (2-2), had two games in the month of November, losing both times. The first encounter was against the Knights of Geneseo on Sunday, November 17 and ended up on the losing end 5-3 at Holiday Twin Rinks. Nick Pagliacci scored twice and tallied an assist in the loss. Medaille two days later were defeated by D’Youville at Riverside Ice Rink in Buffalo by the same score of 5-3. Hoping to rebound after a winless November in division play, the Mustangs started off December on a winning note, beating Hobart 4-2 in non-divisional play on the 1st. Medaille closed out fall semester falling to U.B 3-2 at Northtown Center on December 6 despite scoring two power play goals. But the Mustangs also became the first team to take a point away from unbeaten Brockport this year. The Mustangs earned a 4-4 tie against the defending West Division Champions and currently sit in third place at 2-3-2 going into winter break. Unfortunately freshman Kyle Conlin for the Mustangs broke his wrist in the game against Hobart and will be out 6-8 weeks.


Men’s Club Hockey Report D’YOUVILLE COLLEGE (UNYCHL, CIHA)

The Spartans (2-5) finally cracked the win column this season, winning their first game on November 10 vs St. John Fisher 8-5 at Riverside Ice Rink. Zach Klapp of D’Youville had four points on the night (2G 2A) with six other Spartans each recording a goal in the victory. Building off their first win, the Spartans on November 19 disposed of Medaille 5-3 at Riverside. The scoring wealth was spread once more as five different Spartans scored, including a three-point night from both Dan Vyverberg (1G 2A) and Nate Wiles (1G 2A). Head coach Ed Draper’s club are now on break with no games scheduled until January 18 when they play the Mustangs of Medaille at Northtown Center.

BROCKPORT (UNYCHL, CIHA) Talk about sheer dominance, the North Stars remain unbeaten in the division, sporting an 8-0-1 record going into the break. Brockport back on November 15 upped their record to 8-0 after winning a close game with St. John Fisher 3-2 at Bill Gray’s Ice Plex. Matt Anticoli, Kyle McNeill and Glen Toczek all scored for Brockport with Eric Mueller providing two assists. After a three-week layoff, the North Stars returned to action and tied Medaille 4-4, the first time all year that someone nicked Brockport’s perfect record. Brockport’s Eric Perlowitz continues to lead the UNYCHL in goals with 16 in nine games.

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Goaltender Robert Fatone currently leads the division in GAA with a 1.33 and teammate Zach Dobz sits in third with a 2.80 GAA. The North Stars only have two more games remaining on their division schedule, both games in February against Geneseo and U.B.

with Mike Miller scoring twice and recording an assist in the win. Goaltender Andrew Simonelli made 38 saves on 42 shots. The Cardinals now enter holiday break and will resume play on January 24 against D’Youville.

GENESEO (UNYCHL, CIHA)

Rochester U/Nazareth (UNYCHL, CIHA)

With a 2-4-1 record and currently in fourth place in divisional play, the Ice Knights went 1-2 since last issue. In The Ira, Geneseo lost 6-5 against visiting U.B on November 15. Two days later, the Mustangs got the best of visiting Geneseo 5-3 at Holiday Twin Rinks. The Knights however ended their two-game skid against Rochester U/ Nazareth on November 22, winning 4-3 at Genesee Valley Park. Geneseo will now be on break until spring semester begins January 25.

ST. JOHN FISHER (UNYCHL, CIHA)

Currently 2-3 and in fifth place, the first-year member of the UNYCHL/CIHA lost both scheduled games since their 5-2 victory over D’Youville at Genesee Valley Park back on November 2. The Knights of Geneseo bested Rochester U/Nazareth at Genesee Valley Park 4-3 on November 22. Brett Barton, Nicklaus Carrothers and Isaiah Patterson all tallied goals while Ian Gabalski and James Sergeant notched assists in the loss. The combined club traveled to Bill Gray’s Iceplex the next night to take on then winless St. John Fisher and lost 9-4. The team now enters the break and will resume play on January 26 against Medaille at Genesee Valley Park.

The Cardinals (1-4-2) currently sit in the division basement, going 1-1 since last issue. After a 3-2 defeat against undefeated Brockport on November 15, the Cardinals got one in the win column on November 23 at Bill Gray’s Ice Plex with a 9-4 thumping of Rochester U/Nazareth. Adam Johnson recorded a hat trick for St. John Fisher

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For more info or to register online: www.timhortonsbackyardclassic.com WNYHockeyReport.com


PUCCS

PUCCS

by Anthony Fiorello With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, hockey players in Western New York can feel jolly knowing that their contributions to a good cause did not go unnoticed last month. The third annual PUCCS (Program for Understanding Childhood Concussion and Stroke) Charity Hockey Tournament was held from November 29 through December 1 at the Holiday Twin Rinks in Cheektowaga and raised over $90,000, with all proceeds benefitting pediatric concussion and stroke research and education. Leagues that took part in this year’s tournament included Team HPHD (High Performance Hockey Development), Team Stryker, UBNS, OTHLEA (Old Tyme Hockey League East Aurora), West Seneca Wings’ Coaches and the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 210. The final game of the tournament featured HPHD against Stryker, with HPHD emerging as champion for the second time in three years by a score of 5-1. “The final game between Stryker and HPHD really showcased some of the top senior talent in Western New York on both teams,” said HPHD coach Steve Thomson. “I think it proved to be an excellent display of skill and seasoned talent for both sides.” Team HPHD then faced off against members of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni in an exhibition game. The event drew solid attendance, according to Thomson, and autograph signings and charity baskets were held following the alumni game. The PUCCS tournament has now raised over $300,000 over the last three years. For more information, please visit www.puccs.org.

HPHD is also offering practice time and training for adult teams in Western New York. Held on Wednesday nights at 10 at the West Seneca Town Rink, according to Thomson, participating teams will have the ability to choose from a list of game systems and concepts to learn that will have everyone knowing what to do and where to go on the ice.

‘No more looking at each other after getting scored on, wondering who left their player open,’” Thomson said. “When we all row in the same direction, we see more success together than as individuals.” Teams will have the opportunity to learn about facets of the game like faceoffs, forechecking, two and three-man attacks, power plays, penalty kills, defensive zone coverages, regroups, breakouts and much more. The program starts on January 8, and each team must have a minimum of 10 players per team. The cost to join is $15 per player. To learn more, please visit www.hphd.us. Top: Team HPHD and Sabres Alumni Center: Sabres Alumni Buzzing around HPHD Goalie Tim Poet Bottom: Dr. Elad Levy Chairman Of PUCCS, Presents The PUCCS Cup to Coach Steve Thomson and Jon Haun, Kyle Leto - 2013 PUCCS Cup Senior Men’s Champions

“Basically, our goal is to create an environment of,

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Frozen Frontier

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The Frozen Frontier by Randy Schultz Randy@wnyhockeyreport.com It was called “The Frozen Frontier.” Frozen was the operative word. The official name of the event was the Greater Rochester Area Honda Dealers Frozen Frontier presented by Labatt. The 10-day outdoor hockey festival (December 13-22) was held at Frontier Field, usually the home for baseball’s Rochester Red Wings of the International League.

Fans entered the stadium through the main gate in front of Frontier Field. Many fans stopped to have their picture taken at the Morrie Silver statue, which was surrounded, by the blocks of ice featuring the events logo and hockey jerseys of the Rochester Americans and Lake Erie Monsters. It featured hockey at every level during the two weekends and 10 days of hockey activity. The kickoff on Friday, Dec. 13 featured the American Hockey League’s Americans playing the Monsters in front of a standing-room only crowd of 11,015 fans. The Amerks didn’t disappoint the home crowd, defeating the Monsters 5-4 in a shootout. But it was the little things that made the game, as well as the whole week, special. With the temperature hovering in the teens all weekend fans came dressed for the elements. Most were dressed in layers. Spotlights lit up the sky around the baseball stadium before and during the game. With snow lightly falling it created the idea of a real-life snow globe. Add to that the fog-like image of the lit-up Rochester skyline as the backdrop to the stadium and you had the perfect setting.

Santa Claus was even there, greeting fans as they entered the stadium to find their seats. And to give it that baseball flavor, a trio of retired hockey players sang “Take Me Out To The Hockey Game” late in the second period. The mascots of both the Amerks (Moose) and

Red Wings (Spikes) were also on hand to entertain the fans, both young and old alike. Fireworks lit up the sky following the game. Other hockey games that first weekend featured a women’s hockey game between RIT and Clarkson on Saturday afternoon, with the host team losing, 6-2. The evening contest had a men’s game between RIT and Niagara University that ended in a 2-2 tie. Sunday featured Hockey at Frontier Field, Rochester, NY. a triple-header of hockey games. Leading off was a game between Nazareth College and Geneseo. That was followed by a Junior Hockey game between the Buffalo Jr. Sabres and St. Michael’s. The evening featured an Alumni game between the Sabres and Amerks. Former players from the Sabres included Rob Ray, Danny Gare, Brad May and Matthew Barnaby, while former Amerks featured players like Scott Metcalfe and Scott Nichol. The second weekend got started Naomi Silver – Owner, President and CEO of the Rochester Red Wings and Ted Black – again on Friday night President of the Buffalo Sabres, drop the ceremonial puck to kick off a great three days of hockey. with the Labatt Blue as the hockey fans. You couldn’t help but smile. 3-on-3 Pond Hockey Many players who played during the 10 days had Tournament. began their hockey careers playing outdoor hockey. There were also two open skates featuring Santa Maybe it was on a homemade rink in the backyard Claus, Spikes and Moose that night. The evening was or an outdoor rink in their neighborhood. also capped off with a moonlight skate at 10 o’clock. The fans were also smiling as well. After all they Saturday and Sunday featured the Section V were part of once-in-a-lifetime experience that Rivalry Days. High School teams from all over the featured entertaining hockey at all levels. Rochester area played from morning until night. Maybe Amerks President, Ted Black, summed it up Canandaigua and Victor opening up Saturday the best. morning. They were followed by Hilton vs. “This was an exciting week for the City of Irondequoit, McQuaid vs. St. Joe’s, Webster Schroeder Rochester, the state of New York and, of course, the vs. Webster Thomas and Pittsford vs. Fairport. game of hockey,” concluded Black. “With more than Sunday saw Churchville vs. Batavia, Brockport 10 teams coming in from all corners of the state – vs. Batavia Notre Dame, Brighton vs. Spencerport, and from all levels of the game – to play hockey, this Greece Thunder vs. Greece Lightning and Gatesis a tremendous event to showcase the exceptional Chili vs. Penfield. hockey teams we have in this region. It was hockey for all levels during the 10-day span. “More importantly, it was a fun and different way Even youth hockey organizations played games on to experience hockey. Whether you were a player the once-in-a-lifetime hockey experience. or a fan watching your favorite team, these games And through it all there was one common thread were the games you’ll never forget being a part of.” that was seen by everyone in attendance. Smiles. Smiles on the faces of the hockey players as well

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Frozen Frontier

Amerks Get Hot Late Outdoors By Warren Kozireski The temperature was just 18 degrees for most of the Rochester Amerks outdoor game against Cleveland at Frontier Field in the lid-lifter of the tenday Frozen Frontier event. And Rochester trailed by two goals before rallying for three straight and rallied again when behind by two in the shootout to defeat the Lake Monsters 4-3 to culminate a perfect start to the festival. Amerks captain Matt Ellis, who was recalled to Buffalo the same night, began the scoring and finished it with a sixth-shooter in the first “extra inning” of the shootout after Mike Zigomanis and Johan Larsson rallied the Amerks back from two down in the skills competition. “I was excited to get the tap to get out there,” Ellis said. “I figured that move finds a way to get to the back of net on our goalies the odd time in practice, I figured I’d go that route as well.” “From a skill perspective, there are probably other guys that are better suited,” Cassidy said. “But with the game on the line, I wanted it on his tape. Good things happen to good people.” Though worth two points against a divisional foe, talk in the postgame locker room centered around the experience—a first for everyone on the team except Zigomanis, who played for the Toronto Marlies almost two years ago, and backup goaltender Nathan Lieuwen, who was in net for Kootenay for an outdoor game in Spokane during his junior career. “My lungs hurt, but it was a blast,” said second year Amerk Kevin Sundher. “You couldn’t really do much with the puck with conditions the way they were, but we were able to persevere.” Rochester goaltender Matt Hackett summed it up the best, “It was pretty nerve-wracking, I was nervous for the first time in a long time,” he said of the walk into the stadium for introductions. “In that tunnel, seeing all the fans and whatnot, I can’t explain how much fun it was.”

Jr. Sabres: An All-New “Frontier” by Michael Mroziak Although playing an official hockey game on an outdoor has become old hat for both the pros and the college ranks, it was never before played by members of the Ontario Junior Hockey League until December 15, when the Buffalo Jr. Sabres and St. Michael’s Buzzers met on the ice at Frontier Field in Rochester. The weather did not disappoint, as temperatures hovered around 20 degrees for the duration of the game, keeping the ice in more than adequate shape, followed by an increasing snowfall in the third period that gave this outdoor even the romance that had participants harkening back to when they were kids. “Definitely, between every whistle, you’d look around and just take everything in,” said team captain Ryan Schmelzer. “It was awesome. I can’t even explain it.” Schmelzer, who was playing his first game in several weeks after recovering from a hand injury, got Buffalo’s first goal in what would end up a 5-4

loss that, in spite of the disappointment for the Jr. Sabres, was an evenly matched contest that saw Buffalo fall behind 3-1, rally to take a 4-3 lead and then finish with a comeback by the Buzzers including a gamewinning goal by Jake Evans late in the final period. The game in Rochester was especially important to the Jr. Sabres’ Rochesterbased players, who relished the chance to play in front of their family and friends in their hometown. “A b s o l u t e l y, it felt great. It was a nice homecoming for me,” said forward Nico Gonzalez, who had a goal and assist. “I played hockey there for 15 years so it felt good to finally make a return to home and it was even more special that my parents and a couple other family members came out and made it there for the special day.” Gonzalez and the other Jr. Sabres players from the Rochester area made the most of their homecoming, accounting for a combined two goals and four assists. Pat Egan scored a goal and assisted two others, including the one by Gonzalez. Defenseman Dylan Howatt, a member of the 2012-13 squad who returned to the team in early December, also got an assist. “It was a big day for the Rochester guys,” Gonzalez said. “That was a little joke in the locker room after the game. Even though we lost, it was nice to get the Rochester guys going a little bit out there with all the family members we had there.” Hockey teams are always adjusting their play as a game progresses but most times they don’t have to

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Frozen Frontier

consider the weather. How did the Jr. Sabres work through the cold and wind, and later the snowflakes? “It was more of a mental thing,” said Schmelzer. “We worried about that and the snow. The third period (snowfall) definitely slowed the puck down a bit. But as for a game plan, we wanted to stay on them and don’t let them have time to handle the puck. Get in their face, so they couldn’t make any plays.” “I had the face mask going. I had the ears covered up. Double socks so my toes wouldn’t get too cold,” added Gonzalez. “It was pretty warm out there but the third period hit us hard, though. We were all a little chilly there.” The game was warmly received, though, by league officials. OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy was in attendance and dropped a ceremonial puck before the game. When it was over, both teams did more than exchange the traditional postgame handshakes. They joined together for a single group photo where a handful of them traded some words to look back on the day. “Just little things like ‘you’ll remember this forever’,” said Schmelzer. “It was pretty cool.”

RIT-Niagara Frozen Tie By Warren Kozireski “It’s pretty fitting that the game ended in a tie,” Niagara head coach Dave Burkholder said after his Purple Eagles and RIT finished in a 2-2 tie in the nightcap of the RIT women’s and men’s team doubleheader at the Frozen Frontier event. Niagara took a 1-0 lead after a scoreless first period on a goal by Matt Chartrain with Niagara Falls native Vince Muto earning the first assist. RIT scored twice within 1:48 late in the second period to take the lead on goals from Dan Schuler (Webster) and Danny Smith. Niagara’s Ryan Rashid tied it at 11:45 of the third off a great feed from Eden native Mike Benedict. A steady snow fell for the first two periods which resulted in extended TV timeouts to allow a crew of 30+ people with shovels and skates to remove snow from the ice surface three times each period. The temperature gauge above the right field bullpen read 16 degrees and rose to 18 by the end of the game played in front of 4,760 frigid, but entertained fans. RIT goaltender Mike Rotolo made 11 saves in the third period as Niagara swarmed the Tigers net and extended his unbeaten streak to six games since stepping into the starting role breaking the previous team record held by Jamie Morris in 1995 during the Division III era. “To be part of it is pretty special,” Rotolo said. “And at least we got a point and can keep our unbeaten streak going into the Christmas break.” “They (his hands) were cold, really cold all game,” he said. “The first two periods were a little tough, especially with the snow blowing around. You had to squint to see the puck sometimes.”

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Geneseo-Nazareth Frozen Frontier By Warren Kozireski Tyler Brickler scored twice and Zachary Vit netted his ninth of the year as Geneseo defeated Nazareth 3-2 in front of an announced crowd of 1,000 people in the first of three games played the first Sunday of the Frozen Frontier hockey festival. Geneseo goaltender Bryan Haude (Hilton), sporting a tuque over his helmet, continued his strong junior season with 21 saves to earn his seventh win. “I used one (tuque) when I played in at outdoor game in junior (February 2011 while with the Hartford Jr. WolfPack), so I used one again,” Haude said. “It was a great experience to be a part of.” Stephen Collins (Fairport) assisted on the first Brickler tally. Ben Blasko scored both Nazareth goals The Buffalo Jr. Sabres dropped a 5-4 decision to St. Michael’s in the second game despite goals from Pat Egan (Gates-Chili), Ryan Schmelzer (East Amherst), Nico Gonzalez (Aquinas) and Nick Smith (North Tonawanda). The third and final Sunday game pitted the Rochester Americans alumni against Buffalo Sabres alumni with the Amerks squad coming out with a 5-3 victory. Chris Palmer and Paul Brydges each scored two goals, and former Amerk head coach Randy Cunneyworth added a goal. Danny Gare, Andrew Peters and Rob Ray scored for the Sabres alumni.

RIT-Clarkson Women Battle the Elements by Janet Schultz The RIT women are among the few women’s ice hockey teams to play in an outdoor game. On Saturday (Dec. 14) they faced off against conference rival Clarkson with the temperature on the scoreboard at 13 degrees, snow falling and their faces full of smiles. This game was the sixth outdoor game in the history of NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey. The scoreboard at the end of the game favored No. 6 Clarkson with a 6-2 finish. Delays in this game were created by

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Mother Nature, rather than penalities, as she dropped snow that had to be cleaned during each period. Crews on hand worked quickly with shovels as the Zamboni went along picking up the snow that had accumulated on the ice making it difficult to not only pass the puck, but at times see it. It was a scoreless first period as the players had their first taste of the elements. Clarkson scored two goals in a span of 34 seconds in both the second and third periods to give them a solid lead. Kolbee McCrea scored both RIT goals, giving her a team-best 10 this season. Marissa Maugeri, Erin Zach and Lauren Klein had assists and Goalie Ali Binnington made 40 saves on 46 shots. “It was an unforgettable experience for our team, despite the final score,” said Coach Scott McDonald. “I thought our team shows good fight, coming back to make it 3-2, but credit to Clarkson, they took advantage of a few lapses late.” The Tigers are 9-10-1 overall in their second season as a DI team in the CHA. They are now off until January 3-4 when they travel to Union College.


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Around the Associations (Continued from page 5) skill: skating, edge work, puck handling, passing and small area games. The players rotate throughout these stations over the course of a practice. Absolute beginners are kept separated for half the season, to give them time to learn without any pressure. They are then assimilated and placed on a team. Games are not played until 30 practice sessions, in order to ensure players are ready to go, with emphasis placed on development over the final score. In fact, scores are not kept for this purpose. Of course, there’s also plenty of fun surrounding the hockey, with seasonal events including cider, donuts and apples enjoyed earlier this fall. Santa Claus was due to visit the WSYHA this month, while plans include a hot dog roast later into the winter. The association is also hosting several fundraisers this season with the goal to eventually purchase cross-ice hard dividers (portable dasher boards) to be installed and used next season.

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Insight Hockey

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Insight Hockey by Tom Barnett Ah, the holidays. A nutty but more digestible treat than Aunt Nellie’s curious, wrong-side-up fruitcake; a frenetic, intoxicating and near impossible time of the calendar year, which can be as much fun as it can be exhausting, exhilarating and for most, a time of authoring or unwittingly participating in what are to be transformed into memories of a lifetime. With great anticipation, we join to celebrate with family and friends, we revel in pageants, parties and obligations, as together we resolve to end the year well and commence the next with optimism, a brand new road map and unblemished slate. Against the background of the fun, the fantasy, the travel and sleep deprivation, there is often --at least here in Western New York-- the requisite and enhancing snow. But for me, no matter the temperature or state of precipitation, there was ice, always ice, hockey ice and now in retrospect, sublime hockey dreams taking root. Sure, as all of us, I can vividly recall holidays past, the nearest and dearest, the many gifts received and given, decorated tables of turkey and mom’s cutout cookies, the pile of guests’ coats in a bedroom, the pervasive contentment and happiness, (of course, the occasional disappointment...) Among my most cherished recollections and constants: holiday hockey! Playing in youth hockey leagues was a blast, especially when on school break. There was the surging excitement at the rink, in the locker room, on the ice, and the distraction of the coming holiday. But there was to be more, where no such preoccupation would dare intercede. It was long before ‘play dates’, before every ounce of every day was structured, organized and supervised, and liability was not yet the sextant by which we circumnavigate our daily walk and that we now slavishly bow to in allegiance. Simpler time? Maybe, but it was simply our time; kids’ time, brother’s, family and neighborhood time. It was dedicated backyard rink time, outdoor play and pond hockey time. We learned the game, and learned to love the game outside in our very own ‘Auditorium’, ‘Forum’ and the ‘Garden’ of our dreams, that of our backyard ‘arena’. Better learn the rules quickly, or be left behind. Solving disputes was as much a part of the learning curve as crossovers. And it was an advantage to acquire the skills to stop, in both directions, or you would soon fall victim to the fast approaching snowbank. “Losers scrape” was the threat and the reality, as well as an additional motivating factor to win that 7th game in OT, and before the sun set, or certainly rink maintenance would soon be your penalty. Saturdays during Christmas vacations were unrivaled, competitive and highly anticipated. While getting out of bed during school days seemed to darken every morning, on vacation we all sprang out of bed at ungodly hours and darted to the basement to gear up, pick our favorite sweater, struggle to tighten skates and if you were lucky, locate a couple of extra pucks and up and out you went... and played, and played, played and played some more, until either nature called, (and maybe not even then...) or sustenance and liquids were unconditionally required to refuel. Always looking to improve upon our rink ‘experience’, over the years we added lights for night play, a speaker hung on the maple tree with care to announce goals and to play music. We even experimented, unsuccessfully, with red India Ink in an effort to better mark face off dots, lines and creases. The ink sure wasn’t permanent, except for the stains it left on our clothes, while after the games we all looked like we were helpless victims of some hockey assassination attempt! Our backyard was the winter equivalent of the community pool and players from blocks around found their way to come to play. Friendships and bitter rivals ruled the day. Having two older brothers it was clear if I was intent on playing with the big boys and getting my share of rink time, toiling in goal was my price of admission. But c’mon guys, I was a sniper and a right winger on my mite team, right? No matter my protestations, it was goal. One Christmas, to my dismay, apparently Santa must have noticed. Under the

tree my brothers were thrilled to find new sticks and rolls of black friction tape that would be put to use as soon as they could get outside. As one of seven children, I searched and searched under that tree among the wonderfully wrapped packages that crowded the room, but could not find MY stick. Wait - there was one more twig, but it sure did not look like theirs. No, it was a Louisville goaltender stick, 6 lie, and, unbelievably, it had MY name on it! Why me, I’m a winger, now I’ll be sentenced to play goal the rest of the winter, Santa, how could you do this to me? The worst gift, EVER. Surely Ol’ St. Nick had a rogue elf pack his sleigh. After breakfast, my dad, who happened to play goal himself through college and beyond, showed me how to best tape the stick and begrudgingly,outside I went to join in the ‘reindeer games’. It was only January when Santa’s plan and the big picture became a bit more clear: I received leather goal pads, blocker, trapper and a mask. The surreptitious Kafka-esque metamorphosis was apparently complete. Get it pal, you are no longer a right winger and the opportunity and sheer joy to play the position --the best position I came to discover-- for decades to come and follow in my father’s skatesteps continues to be one of the great good fortunes this game has brought to me. As each year passes, I realize that I am not quite so enamored with the cold, lake effect blizzards and wind chill factors, shoveling or spending more time than absolutely necessary in the great outdoors of winter. I more than made up for this new found penchant however, with an entire youth only coming in from the cold and fun of that rink when there were no more pucks, no more light or energy left to do anything else but to reluctantly go inside, sleep, recharge and prepare to go at it all again the next day. I couldn’t wait. ‘Twas the night before Christmas and with great delight I will always recall pucks deflecting silently into the air of the dark night, as well as the sounds of skates, sticks and pucks echoing throughout the neighborhood, cheers, impromptu play-byplay, the shovels, garage panels and picket fences shattered and next door windows and lights smashed by errant shots. But it was the game at its most raw and truest self, the feel, the smell, camaraderie, the coming of age, the fun. These were the gifts and dreams I was given, may this game continue to bless you as well. Happy holidays and the best for a happy and successful new year. Go follow your dreams. Tom Barnett, a native Western New Yorker, participated as a player from the youth through collegiate level, and has been involved in coaching hockey and program development for more than 30 years. As founder and president of The Buffalo Shamrocks WNYHockeyReport_Testimonial1.pdf 1 Hockey Club, a USA Hockey program, Tom was recognized by the National Hockey League as the 2009 recipient of the inaugural Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award.

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(Continued from page 10) Jesse Little and Jon Brown were splitting time in net with Little registering an impressive 2.11 goals against average in his first six games—tops in the nation. The season resumes January 10-12 against the Detroit Junior A team.

ECC The Kats stood 2-2 in conference games through November led by Matthew Berke (Williamsville), Brad Ferrell (East Amherst) and Jacob Macchioni (Blasdell) in goals and Richard Larkin (West Seneca) in assists. Freshmen goaltender Daniel Wenner (Lockport) was playing most of the games and had a .882 save percentage over his first five games—good for fifth nationally—and stood fourth in saves.

Other Area Notes: Bentley senior goaltender Branden Komm (Williamsville) was named Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Month for November after helping Bentley finish the month on a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1). Starting with a shutout of UConn on Nov. 15, Komm has allowed just six goals in the last four games for a 1.46 GAA, while making 115 saves for a .950 save percentage. He has started every game for Bentley this season and ranked third in Atlantic Hockey in GAA (2.69) and second in save percentage (.919).

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Nice Rink... Maintenance

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Maintaining the Ice On Your NiceRink NiceIce Resurfacer

There are several methods of maintaining the ice. There is the flood method, spray and squeegee method, spray-spray-spray-spray, NiceIce resurfacer and the Zamboni method. I’ll go through all of them in detail and you can make your own decisions for your rink, as you are the “rink manager”.

The NiceIce ice resurfacer is the best and most economical method of resurfacing any ice rink. My personal backyard rink is 44’ x 88’ and takes me a whole 12 minutes to put on a fresh coat of ice. It used to take me at least an hour to spray coat a new layer of ice and now, as mentioned takes about 12 minutes or less, with less water and a much better ice surface to skate on when done. I usually put two coats on when I’m out and the second coat takes less time than the first and provides a surface that rivals indoor ice quality. The single biggest detriment to ice is the oxygen/air contained within the ice. You’ll

The Flood The flood method is simply that, flooding. To flood the rink you’ll need to have the availability of large hoses and above average water pressure. You’ll need to get the entire rink completely covered with water before any of it starts to freeze. I will actually use this method if the water wasn’t frozen and it snows on the rink. You end up with kind of a mess. The best way to overcome the mess is to totally saturate the snow to the point where it is completely slush and no white, dry snow visible. This will freeze up and be somewhat bumpy, at which time you’ll have to use one of the other methods to smooth out your ice. Do not use the flood method on smooth ice, you’ll wreck it.

hour, depending on the outside air temperature which usually takes care of even the most severe rink surface in a maximum of 3-4 hours of walking. Let’s face it, we all need winter exercise anyway, Right?

Leaves, Sticks, Acorns, Hockey Nets, Pucks, and Shovels left on the ice

Spray and Squeegee

If your rink is near any trees, periodically leaves, sticks, acorns or etc. may fall on the rink. If you can, get them removed as quickly as possible. The same goes for Hockey Nets, pucks and shovels. Do not leave them on the ice. All of those items I just mentioned are dark in color and will absorb the suns energy and heat up and create what we call “Burn Holes” in the ice.

Again, simply spray water onto the ice surface and squeegee it out to the spots that need the most attention. Do not try and squeegee areas that have started to freeze. You’ll end up with mounds of frozen slush, which will have to be chipped or scraped off later when they freeze.

Spray-Spray-Spray-Spray The name says it all! The trick to spray coating ice is “wet ice is done ice”. In other words, start spraying a spot on the rink until it’s glossy and move on. Put the layers of water on as thin as possible to get a “Nice” glass like finish and also to prevent cracking or “lifting”. How water freezes will help explain this. Water normally freezes from the top down and it also expands as it freezes. Therefore, if you put too much water on the surface and it starts to freeze, it will first freeze the top and you’ll have your base ice, a layer of water and the top layer of fresh ice. Three layers; base ice-water-top ice. The water in between the two ice layers will then start to freeze and expand as it does so. As it expands, it can only expand up into the fresh ice, therefore causing the “lifting” of the fresh top ice layer and making it bumpy and/or uneven again which is called “shale ice”. If thin layers are applied, it will freeze solid with no expansion to give you the glass like finish that ice-skating has become accustomed to. This method is the most time consuming, but will give you the best ice surface without the use of the NiceIce resurfacer explained next. A 40’ x 70’ rink will take anywhere from ½ hour to 1 ½ hours by spraying to get the ice back in glass shape, depending on the temperature and ice condition you have to start with.

NiceRink Resurfacer – Make ice maintenance easy! remember skating out on the ponds and lakes and when you made a sharp cut you’d get a big groove in the ice. The groove could be formed because too much air was contained within ice, allowing the skate to easily dig in and groove out the surface. Your base ice is basically the same as pond ice until it gets resurfaced and layered a couple of times. While utilizing the Patented NiceIce resurfacer, you will be laying down a very thin, fast freezing layer of deoxygenated water that will then become your skating surface. You now have the same ice surface that is laid down on the indoor rinks and sometimes better as air temperatures determine outdoor ice quality. Indoor ice is kept at about a constant 21-24 degrees. Your ice can be as cold as the outdoor temperature, 15, 10, 5 and so on. Hard, deoxygenated ice is good, fast ice and also will not get chewed up as much, requiring less maintenance time and more skating time! The NiceIce resurfacer is also great when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate like we would appreciate her doing so. When she dumps snow, rain, sleet or slush, it has a definite tendency to mess up a rink surface very quickly. The NiceIce resurfacer can lay down approximately ¼”to ½” inch of ice in an

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Slush ~ Snow on an unfrozen or thin iced rink All is not lost! The BEST thing to do is nothing? If you have just filled your rink and it froze over with 6” of ice or less and you get a big snow storm, the weight of the snow on the ice will force the ice downward, and the underlying water will be forced by the weight pressure of the snow up between the liner and the ice, turning the snow into slush on top of the skating surface. If your ice is too thin to get on and clean, you basically do nothing. Let the slush freeze, and then you can skate on that base if it’s smooth enough or resurface a few times to get it back to smooth. If it snows on ice that is already pretty thick, 5”+ and the slush is only around the edges of your rink, then you can tackle cleaning it off. POnce it’s cleaned off, let the surface harden back up, then resurface as needed to get it back to glass.

For more information, easy to follow full instructions and great videos, visit our website: www.NiceRink.com


Joe Vicario Feature

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Joe Vicario - Never Give Up by Randy Schultz Randy@wnyhockeyreport.com

Joe Vicario should have been a baseball player. He would have made a great hitter. Why? Basically because he has faced so many two strike situations in his 21 years on this earth. Yet he hasn’t let a third strike knock him out. Infact, Vicario came into this world with two strikes against him. He was diagnosed with Goldenhar Syndrome. That is a rare congenital defect that left Vicario with no left ear, left lung or left thumb. In addition all the vertebrae on his left side are fused with his neck. His left arm is shorter than his right and he has no left kidney. And, oh yeah, his aortic heart valve is bicuspid instead of the normal tricuspid.

Vicario loves watching reality shows like Survivor. Many of Vicario’s friends would tell you that Joe could have written the show. Vicario is a survivor. What else could you call a person who has had over 30 surgeries, most coming in his first 12 years of life? Those 30 don’t include the two cancer surgeries and emergency abdominal surgery he had last winter. But this isn’t a story about a baseball player or reality show star. It is the story of a college junior who loves hockey. Vicario is a junior at the Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition to that the Amherst native is a student manager for the RIT Tigers men’s and women’s Division I hockey programs. “My job is to coordinate the pregame meals, hang up the uniforms, clean the locker rooms and carry the

coolers,” said Vicario. “Before I got to RIT I had emailed one of the coaches there. “That email was forwarded on to Jeff Siegel (RIT’s director of hockey operations). Jeff brought me in and interviewed me. “I was hired and here I am. I love RIT. It is my second home.” Vicario is the son of Chuck and Martha Vicario. He has a younger brother, Jeremy and sister, Julia. Martha is a stay-at-home mom while Chuck works at a Goodyear Dunlop Tires plant. “My mom is the one who really put me on the right path right from the beginning,” stated Vicario. “She has always told me to be strong, tough and stay positive. “I really owe a lot to my parents.” Vicario’s love of hockey comes from the fact that his dad played the game. “My dad played for the Junior Sabres,” added Vicario. “I always wanted to play hockey, but I couldn’t. “The basic reason is because of all of the surgeries I’ve had I couldn’t play any contact sports. “By being involved in hockey the way I am at RIT is the one way I can follow in my dad’s footsteps in the game. “Hockey is also like a family sport to me. The team’s are like a family with me. “We take care of each other her. I take care of them (the players and coaches) and they take care of me.” Vicario admits that he takes life one day at a time. “I live by this rule: ‘expect the unexpected,’” remarked Vicario, who majors in applied computer technology at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. “If a speed bump comes along in life, and I’ve hit a number of them, I can overcome it. “I think that God has blessed me everyday. I get through everyday because of him. “And I’m not afraid to share that. I think that God has a plan for me. “When I found out that I had cancer, I could have taken chemo or radiation treatments. Instead, I chose surgery.” Vicario will be the first to admit that the cancer did scare him. “When you hear the word cancer, it is scary,” said Vicario. “But after a few minutes, I focused on the situation. “I just looked at it as being another speed bump in the road. I got knocked down and now it was time to get up again and move on.” Vicario will also tell you that in his life the positives outweigh the negatives. “I’m a very positive person,” added Vicario. “If I see somebody who might be having a bad day I’ll ask them ‘why are you talking negative?’ “I tell the players here that even though they may have had a bad game, put it behind you. There is always tomorrow and there will be another game tomorrow. “I know that you can’t win all the games. You win some and you lose some.”

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Has Vicario figured out what God’s plan is for him? “I have an idea,” answered the 21 year-old. “I never think negative. “If I did, I wouldn’t be here right now. I think because of that I’ve been able to help others. “I have to give a lot of credit for my positive attitude to my mother (Martha). She is my number one fan. “What I’ve gone through, my mom’s gone through. “Number two is the hockey team. I have a whole support team here at RIT. “Jeff Siegel has been like a brother to me. We talk about a lot of things. “Without Jeff I wouldn’t be here at RIT. All of these people have kept me going.” But it is Vicario’s positive attitude that keeps those who meet him and know him going. “He is an inspiration to everyone, especially after you hear his story,” remarked Elio Raibi, a senior on the RIT men’s hockey team. “But even without his story he is such a positive individual. “He brings a great attitude to the team every day. He is one of the guys on the team. “We give him a hard time just like we do everyone else on the team. But he takes on as big a load in his capacity on the team as we do as players.” “It’s remarkable what Joe has gone through,” added Joe Venniro, executive director of Sports Information for RIT. “He’s a great kid, one of those guys you always pull for. “He’s a great student as well. He carries a full load. “He never complains about anything. Joe is just great to be around.” So with everything that has happened to him in his life, what would Vicario tell people as words of advice? “I simply tell people that if they have a goal, go for it,” concluded Vicario. “If you are going to be negative about it, you won’t get that goal. “If you have a dream and you have a goal, go for it. Don’t give up on it and keep on going. “I have dreams. I’m going for them. “I’m not giving up. As I post on Facebook, ‘I can and I will survive.’ “I’ll never give up.”


Sponsors

In memory of Robert E. Coach Westphal Robert E. “Coach� Bob Age 77, of Buffalo, passed away peacefully Saturday, November 30, 2013. Coach Bob had touched so many lives through hockey. Being on the ground floor in starting the Buffalo Regals Hockey Club, he coached many young players and dedicated himself to hockey. A very quiet, and thoughtful person who also enjoyed fishing and collecting antiques. He will be missed by the Western New York hockey community.

Follow All The WNY Hockey News @ www.wnyhockey report.com

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WNY Legends of the Game

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WNY Legends In Hockey: by Randy Schultz Randy@wnyhockeyreport.com John Van Boxmeer remembered the 1984-85 hockey season quite well. He was at the crossroads of his hockey career. Following 14 seasons in the National Hockey League playing for the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Rockies, Buffalo Sabres and Quebec Nordiques, Van Boxmeer found himself finishing his career with the Rochester Americans, the minor league franchise of the Sabres in the American Hockey League. But on one particular evening midway through the season, Van Boxmeer found himself in the press box at Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium. Seated immediately next to him in the box was Jim Schoenfeld, head coach of the Amerks. Before the evening was over, the situation would change drastically for both individuals. “The Sabres had really been struggling that year,” recalled Van Boxmeer. “They had a lot of injuries to the defensive corps. “By the end of this particular night Jimmy had been relieved of his coaching duties with the Amerks and came out of his players retirement to play defense for the Sabres again. “I had wanted to get into coaching and the Sabres offered me the opportunity to take over for Schony in Rochester. I accepted and my coaching career was on its way.” It was a coaching career that would last 26 seasons

and take Van Boxmeer coast-to-coast in the U.S. and around the world. He spent nine seasons with the Amerks, five with the Long Beach Ice Dogs, four as an assistant coach with the Sabres and Los Angeles Kings. From there it was on to Bern and Lausanne for seven more hockey campaigns in Switzerland. Today, at 61, Van Boxmeer resides with his wife and family in the Los Angeles, CA area where he is a scout for the Sabres. What led Van Boxmeer to Europe to coach? “I had always wanted to coach in Europe, but I had young kids at the time,” recalled Van Boxmeer, who is the Amerks all-time winningest coach with 333 victories and included the 1987 Calder Cup Championship. “Finally everything was right. “The Kings had made changes and I was no longer a part of the organization. My kids were grown so I decided to accept the offer. What was the difference coaching in Europe vs. coaching in North America? “Intensity,” responded Van Boxmeer. “You begin training camp in mid-August and it lasts for six weeks. “You begin your season around the second week of September. They have three National Team breaks that are about 10 to 12 days at a time. “So you’re doing a lot of starting and stopping during the season. You end up doing a lot more practicing than you do playing. “Over here you’re constantly playing.” Van Boxmeer recalled his playing days in Buffalo. “When I came here it felt more like a family than any other team I had ever been on,”rememberedVan Boxmeer, who was traded to the Sabres from the Rockies for

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Photo: Topps Chewing Gum Company

legendary right winger, Rene Robert. “It was a real good team family atmosphere. “A lot of the players on team at the time had come up through the Sabres ranks including (Gilbert) Perreault, (Rick) Martin, (Don) Luce, Schoenfeld, (Craig) Ramsay, (Richie) Dunn, (Bill) Hajt, (Danny) Gare, (Tony) McKegney, (Derek) Smith and (Larry) Playfair. “It was nice setting to come into.” Van Boxmeer also recalled his time spent in Rochester. “We always seemed to have good teams,” said Van Boxmeer. “It was a good experience for me. “I met my wife in Buffalo. My daughter was born in Buffalo and my son was born in Rochester. “We enjoyed living in the Western New York area. If you were an athlete in Buffalo, the fans treated you very, very well here. “We were very appreciative of that and enjoyed our time here. We will never forget it.”


Warm Hearts Warm Bodies

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Warm Heart Warm Bodies Coat Drive Extended Through Winter. Colin would like to thank his teammates from Rochester Youth Hockey and especially The Bill Grays Regional Iceplex for helping him with the collections. The response has been terrific. A big thank you to the Amherst KNIGHT SqAA 2003 Travel Team for filling the drop box while visiting Rochester during a tournament on 12/7/13. The Open Door Mission had picked up a truck load of donations the day before. Colin was also there for a tourney the same weekend so you can imagine the surprise and happiness when we learned who filled it again. There is nothing like hockey families. We also have several drop boxes throughout Rochester (listed on the FB page). It’s nice to see the spirit catching. Thank you. In Colin’s words....”help your moms clean out your coat closet and have a ‘warm heart’ with me.” If you’re playing at Bill Grays Iceplex, please bring any lightly used winter apparel to support Colin’s Warm Hearts Warm Bodies coat drive.

Thank You!

Find us @: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Warm-Hearts-Warm-Bodies-By-Colin/643882145635123

The Cazenovia Park Hockey Association would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays & Happy New Year

Go Chiefs!

Cazenovia Park Hockey Association is accepting Coaching Applications for all teams for the 2014-15 season. • Squirt and Pee WeeTravel applications must be received by Jan 20th • Bantam and Midget applications by February 20th • All House/MOHL applications by March 20 Applications can be found in the Documents tab at www.cazhockey.com and should by mailed to: Coaching Applications

Cazenovia Park Hockey P.O. Box 108 Buffalo, NY 14220 Or can be e-mailed to cazboardbanko@gmail.com

www.cazhockey.com WNYHockeyReport.com


From the Towne family to your family...

Let us sponsor your hockey player or a team of your choice when you come into anyone of our locations! Make and appointment with Dave Martin and test drive a new or pre-owned vehicle to receive a $25 sponsorship for your player or team. Purchase any vehicle from Dave and your player or team will will receive an additional $75 sponsorship. (Restrictions apply, please contact Dave for details.)

Dave Martin dmartin@towneauto.com 716.352.1339

Happy Holidays!


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WNY Hockey Report December 2013  

WNY Hockey Report is for everything hockey from Buffalo to Rochester to Jamestown, New York. We cover everything from the Sabres, Amerks, Co...