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Late Summer 2013 VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 9


HARBORcenter Hockey Director

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In This Issue: Hockey Around Buffalo.............................................................. 4 Junior Hockey Wisdom & Opinion.......................................... 5 Legends of the Game.................................................................. 6 HARBORcenter............................................................................... 7 There is No I in Team.................................................................... 9 Future Sabres...............................................................................10 Around the Associations..........................................................11 Junior Sabres Report.................................................................12 College Hockey: Men................................................................13 Women’s Hockey.........................................................................15 NJPE Scholarships.......................................................................19 Insight Hockey.............................................................................21 How to Build Your Backyard Rink..........................................22 PUCCS.............................................................................................23 College Club Hockey.................................................................24 Rochester Hockey News...........................................................25 Rochester Youth Hockey News..............................................28

P.O.Box 302 East Aurora, NY 14052 716-830-0182 Managing Partner Ian C. Woods Vice President, Business Development Ned McDonnell Publisher & Managing Editor Randy Schultz Designer & Photographer Janet Schultz Senior Columnists Warren Kozireski Contributing Editor Jeff Kolcon Communications & Marketing Director Val Andrews Columnists Janet Schultz Michael Mroziak Kyle Gunn-Taylor Lars Lewis Matt Ondesko Tom Barnett Skylar Vitko-Woods 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



Reunion Notice Erie Community College Hockey Alumni. We’re planning a Spring 2014 reunion weekend. We’d like to see as many of our former teammates from over the past 35+ years attend. Contact Dan Whitehead at 716-652-1772  or e-mail: melindanno@verizon.netv.


Hockey Around Buffalo


HPHD: Three Years And Skating Forward

by Michael Mroziak It was three years ago when Steve Thomson first opened High Performance Hockey Development in the upper level of Holiday Twin Rinks in Cheektowaga. Perhaps to some, the sight of the skating treadmill through the windows was a curiosity. Since then that treadmill, as well as the booth in which shooters can work on their accuracy and the other high-tech training equipment in the room, has been a go-to destination for hockey players looking to further develop their game. They’ve also recently expanded to add a training rink to enhance the training experience and make the player’s development even more thorough. “With the addition of our new training rink and on-ice programming, It’s great to have all aspects of training under one roof at Holiday Twin Rinks now,” said HPHD operator Steve Thomson. “One of the other things we’re so proud to have is our high definition video analysis with automatic zoom and frame-by-frame review. Players see the details then apply corrections right away. “The reason why parents and players come to HPHD is because they can see instant results, positive results right away and that is due to our professional staff, 300-plus skill curriculum, sports science experience and technology,” said Thomson. “Our support of the local player is unmatched. You will see our staff at our members games and tournaments throughout the season, offering support and evaluating.”

HPHD coach Kyle Leto working on face offs during Bisons Girls In Season development. Whether it’s a newer player looking to get better or an advanced player seeking the means to fine-tune for his or her on-ice career advancement, the center’s staff provides its own expertise and works one-in-one with players to make it a truly personal program. As a result, they’ve seen quite a few players, from young amateurs

to junior and collegiate standouts, step up their game. “All HPHD members are standouts,” said Thomson. “With so many major success stories it’s difficult to name them all. “We have been able to help players raise their level of participation in games, assisted players in moving from the C line to the A line on their local teams, helped players reach their goals to playing travel hockey… we have assisted players to reach the goals of playing prep school and junior hockey at the national development level as well as moving on to college, and we even have players we work with so they can meet their professional career goals in North America and Europe.” They’re reputation has grown such in the past three years that local associations and teams have sought HPHD’s training expertise. These programs include the Buffalo Stars, Buffalo Regals, Depew Saints, Southtowns Stars, Buffalo Bisons and West Seneca Wings, boys and girls. HPHD has also assisted the New York State Amateur Hockey Association with its girls regional evaluations, and even gone into partnership with the Old Tyme Hockey League to host clinics for its adult players. “The guys love it. We treat them like professionals and it’s a great time for everyone.” HPHD has also put its own competitive teams on ice as part of the program’s growth. “We have a number of competitive teams and development teams, both adults and youth levels,” said Thomson. “With these Spring teams, and high performance girls teams and in-season development teams, the players get an opportunity to get a positive professional experience and they get to learn new skills and gameplay concepts that they can take with them in the following season.” HPHD has also become more involved with assisting local associations with some of their off-ice business needs. “Not only do we work with the teams on their player skill development, we also sponsor programs and teams and players with their fundraising needs like team training sponsorship, Chinese auctions and golf tournaments,” said Thomson. Perhaps one of the more high-profile partnerships is with the Program for the Understanding of Childhood Concussions, or PUCCS. In the inaugural PUCCS fundraising hockey tournament in November 2011, PUCCS iced a team that earned its way into a charity game against the Buffalo Sabres Alumni. The game filled the stands at Holiday Rinks and helped raise more than $100,000 that year. “Steve Thomson and the staff at HPHD have been a great supporter and active partner with PUCCS in raising awareness and funds,” said Dr. Elad Levy, professor and chairman of the neurosurgery department at the University at Buffalo and the founder/president of PUCCS. “Coach Thomson’s genuine interest for a player’s

Before and after same session. safety and return-to-play training methods continue to help players across Western New York.” Hockey is not an inexpensive game to play. With that in mind, Thomson says HPHD offers professional training at an affordable price, with payment plan options available for families that need them. Three years old and counting, it appears HPHD will continue to grow as does the sport of hockey in Western New York. “Hockey is definitely growing the Buffalo-Niagara region,” said Thomson. “ We’re seeing a lot more adults that are getting back to the game or taking on the game brand-new, as well as girls and learn-to-play, which are definitely on the rise. It’s exciting for the Buffalo-Niagara region as hockey continues to grow.”

HPHD member Taylor Pietrowski at USA U16 national development camp.

Junior Hockey Wisdom & Opinion


The Junior System Works by Jeff Kolcon The Junior system works. There are many people that profess to be experts that love to give opinions in regards to what is best for young hockey players that are progressing through their hockey journey. Often you hear professed experts take shots at junior hockey. Junior hockey is not for everyone. In fact, junior hockey has hurdles in regards to growth, quality standards, and consistency. These are issues that haunt hockey at all levels, not just junior hockey. Lets take a moment to address some of the knocks on junior hockey and talk about the merits of this level.

Junior Hockey is killing midget hockey

For years you heard that junior hockey was killing youth hockey, specifically midget hockey. This was true in many cases. Junior programs were recruiting heavily into the high school sophomore and junior classes leaving little for the youth organizations. A junior or senior that was not willing to commit to juniors was left with a weak midget program. While this still may be the case in some markets, the trend is changing. With the advent of the ADM, many junior leagues and junior teams have embraced midget hockey. Many junior programs, especially in the eastern United States, are building models that allow players to continue youth hockey through high school via Midgets (U18) prior to jumping to the junior ranks. Most junior programs prefer players that are done with high school. High school graduates are more mature, have more flexible schedules, and are usually physically stronger and more focused on hockey. Utilizing the ADM model (along with the High Performance protocol outlined by USA Hockey) of building regional pyramids, in theory, allows players to finish their high school education and pursue juniors without leaving their hometown. Junior hockey has made great strides to coexist with midgets. There is room for improvement. However, the relationship between the two bodies is as healthy as it has ever been.

There are too many Junior teams

This is another debate that has been around for over twenty years. It is hard to defend junior hockey that looks no different than a house level midget game. There is no doubt that many quality midget AAA teams are better than lower level junior teams.

However, the overwhelming majority of junior teams serves a purpose and are needed. The lower rungs of junior hockey should serve to develop players as quickly as possible and prepare them for the next rung of junior hockey. The litmus test for the aspiring junior player is the history of the program. Does the program encourage players to tryout for higher level teams even if they need to leave the respective program? Does the program have a path of progression inside of their organization? If a player is being pursued by a higher level, is everything possible being done to help a young player explore the opportunity? Ultimately, does the program produce a player that can play at the next level? Western NY is represented by 6-7 teams (on average) playing at different levels and serving different and unique markets. There are fewer junior teams than AAA centers. Further, there are far fewer junior teams than college programs. It seems hard to make the argument that Western New York has too many junior teams.

Junior hockey is a money grab

When it comes to pay to play junior hockey, it is important to be an informed and cautious consumer. At first blush a price tag of $6,000-$10,000 may draw a gasp, however, with travel and accommodations, and increased practice time is factored in, it may be a bargain compared to the AAA costs incurred in youth hockey. It is important to ask about how much practice ice, off-ice training time and games are included. Consider the reason that the East Coast is pay to play while the USHL is free to the players. First and foremost, many USHL programs are in markets where they are the unique and prominent attraction for the sports entertainment dollar. A western New York junior program could be the fourth or fifth choice for the hockey fan’s entertainment dollar behind an NHL franchise, an AHL franchise, numerous Division I and III colleges and even larger high schools. Drawing a large enough fan base to cover the cost of a junior program is not possible in the east ultimately requiring tuition to cover operating costs.

Summer Showcases are a money grab!

In many instances, I agree. This is clearly a time of year to beware. There are clearly groups in the summer showcase business that sell themselves as prestigious and packed with recruiters, pro scouts and college scouts only to offer games with only parents watching. If you are new to junior showcases it can be very confusing. Here are a few suggestions. First, research the showcase. Reputable companies will list the past several years of participating teams. This will also give you a sense of who attends and what

caliber of players are at the event. Location, Location, Location! There are not too many top showcases being held in Jacksonville or Tempe. Those are great cities. However, they are not hubs. Great showcases tend to work around easy to access cities. They are usually cities that have an airport that is acceptable with reasonable flights. They are usually held in facilities that can handle large volumes. Also, many of the showcases are located close to where the action is. If you are looking to play in the OHL, most likely you need to be near Toronto in the summer. If you are a potential USHL player, being in the Midwest is important. If NCAA hockey is your desire, the odds are in your favor to be in the Boston area. Why Boston? Tape a map to your wall and put a pin in the map for every college program. You will quickly see that there are a huge number of college coaches within an hour or two of Boston. All top leagues in North America either run or are affiliated with some level of showcase. From the perspective of the league and teams that belong to the league, showcases serve multiple purposes. The obvious purpose for the showcase is for players to be put in front of college programs. All top showcases will have college coaches present. It is not uncommon to see NHL scouts present at these events. Showcases also allow unsigned players to showcase their skills to other juniors teams. It is a very common practice to skate on showcase team for a team that has no interest in you but has room on their showcase team. Frequently, other junior teams in the same league or other leagues fill open roster spots through this process. Many players utilize these showcases after the tryout period is over in the spring to seek opportunities to either crack into junior hockey or to move up to a higher level.

Appreciate the option of Juniors

Always consider the source of criticism. First, not everyone goes to the OHL or USHL at 15 or 16 years old and then ascends to the professional ranks. Many critics that have been fortunate enough to travel this path like to criticize any other level of junior hockey. Most junior programs are not trying to produce professional players. In fact, that is a pleasant by product of a good development program. Most are in business to develop players for the possibility of college hockey. Junior hockey is an important part of our hockey culture not only in Western New York, but in the entire country. It can and does get better each year. Junior hockey is a great place to develop as a hockey player. While not for everyone, we should appreciate its existence and proceed as educated consumers.

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WNY Legends Of The Game


WNY Legends In Hockey: Kevyn Adams by Randy Schultz The relationships you build, the memories, the friendships, the tournaments, the swimming in the pools, the knee hockey you do is really what it is all about. That is what youth hockey is all about. That is how former National Hockey League star, Kevyn Adams described his feelings about youth hockey. Adams was the keynote speaker for the New York State Amateur Hockey Association luncheon. Although born in Washington, D.C., Adams grew up in Western New York in Clarence where he played his entire youth hockey. That included two seasons with the Niagara Scenics (now Buffalo Jr. Sabres). Adams first experience in youth hockey was at the now defunct Keenan Center Ice Arena in Lockport. After a couple of years there, it was on to the Wheatfield Blades organization where he played until joining the Scenics. Adams played for 10 seasons in the NHL for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Phoenix Coyotes and

Chicago Blackhawks. He was a member of the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes team. But after accomplishing all of that Adams still considers his youth hockey days the most memorable. The former number one draft pick of the Boston Bruins (the 25th player taken overall) in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft remembered those days. “To this day, even playing hockey at a much higher level, losing the National Championship as a BantomMajor still bothers me,” commented Adams with a smile on his face. “That wrist shot that went over our goalies glove. “You never forget things like that.” Four players that played together at the age of seven on that championship team went on to play Division I hockey, including Adams who played four seasons with the Miami of Ohio University RedHawks. Adams admits that playing on the Niagara Scenics Jr. team of the North American Hockey League was one of the more challenging experiences in his life. “I was 15 at the time,” remembered Adams. “There were some who said I wouldn’t make it and would be cut. “Maybe I should have been because I was only 5-6 at the time and not very big. It was a 15 year-old playing against a group of 18 to 20 year olds. “Actually it wasn’t a case of playing, but surviving. It was a tough league.

“But I was able to stay at home and go to school at Clarence High School. And I grew, both on and off the ice. “I remember one of the items I always packed for my road trips with the team was my book bag. I had to study on the bus. “There was one rule in my house with my parents. If I didn’t have certain grades in school, there would be no hockey.” Continued on page 30

2013 – 2014 Celebrating 40 Years of West Seneca Youth Hockey From all of our over 1,000 players, from our House and Travel teams, from our Mites to Midgets and our Girls...

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Nik Fattey: Building Buffalo Hockey Opportunities

by Skylar Vitko-Woods In the midst of a hockey city, a new legacy is being built: the HARBORcenter. This new arena is an opportunity for so many new experiences and possibilities for jobs, fun times, hard work, and excitement. With two ice rinks within the building, hockey will flourish like never before on both the professional and collegiate level. A Buffalo-born superstar, Nik Fattey, is in charge of it all. The HARBORcenter cannot be built without faithful businessmen who know a lot about hockey. Nik Fattey, the director of hockey at the new arena, is in charge of coming up with ideas on how to innovate, develop, and organize the programs, tournaments, and coaches. His job at the HARBORcenter will be developing programming for coaches, players, fans, and tourists who will bring international opportunities for this new arena. Nik is proof that you don’t have to be a player or a coach to have an important role in hockey. He’s been a hockey player since he was around 4 years old. He played for the Hamburg Hawks, and later created his own very successful hockey league, the FHL, which stands for the Fattey Hockey League. He’s played and worked in

hockey rinks his whole life and understands hockey and how it works. Fattey played NCAA Division 3 hockey and coached and played for the Hamburg Hawks, Buffalo Regals, West Seneca Wings, Buffalo Saints, and Niagara Scenics. Fattey has scouted for the Buffalo Sabres for the past eight seasons and was part of the NHL Combine and Entry Draft, Traverse City Prospects Tournament, and the IIHF World Championships. Most of all, he’s a Buffalo guy born and bred, and understands hockey behind the scenes in Buffalo. Nik Fattey stresses that “there are no opportunities that couldn’t develop” from the HARBORcenter. He is 1 out of 10 guys who have successful jobs without being a hockey player. The new arena will open up more opportunities for jobs, especially for coaches. The HARBORcenter is a significant step Buffalo is taking that will allow this hockey city to “grow part of the hockey tree,” according to Nik. This ice complex is an extraordinary opportunity for the Buffalo Sabres, the shining glory of our hockey town. The First Niagara center is a busy arena, sponsoring concerts, family nights, and two different sports games. The Sabres have been relying on the Amherst Towne Center as a practice facility, but this new arena is a dedicated place for the Sabres to practice. Teams that challenge our Sabres will have a place to practice as well, without interfering with their practices and vice versa. This new building will not only have two ice rinks, but also shops, parking, a proshop, concessions, possible office suites, and even a hotel. There are immense opportunities to host tournaments and bring in

tourism to our historically rich city. An upscale restaurant will allow families, t o u r i s t s , and players to choose between fine dining and concession. The parking lot will have 800 spaces, all open to families, explorers, players, teams, coaches, and fans. The entire concept of the HARBORcenter is to benefit. The fans and tourists will bring in money to our city through our multitude of shops and restaurants. Local talent will be brought in to practice in the arena and learn new skills. The arena will change the landscape around the city and help develop the waterfront. This year-round program will have a new coaching curriculum as well, allowing expert training and a higher level of ability by expert coaches to players with professional dreams. The HARBORcenter benefits Canisius College most of all with its hockey program. For the past several seasons the Canisius Golden Griffins have relied on Buffalo State Continued on page 23










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There is no I in team


Challenge Yourself This Season by Rob Sediaz Professional Hockey Instructor Thank you very much for the emails and positive comments about my last article; “Travel Tryouts – Proper Preparation for Your Athlete”. Your feedback has been fantastic and is very much appreciated! Research has shown that setting goals increases success. In this article, I will discuss how having the right mindset can impact personal development and help young hockey players reach their goals for the upcoming season. Goals are about energy, positivity, and challenge – they are passion and desire channeled into direction and action. Setting personal goals will help keep you focused, energize your work habits and stimulate a positive mental attitude. To make your goals a reality, write them down, stay organized and refer to them daily. Although there are many electronic ways to do this, I suggest a 3 ring binder organized by sections. Sections can/should in- clude titles such as; Strength & Conditioning, Skill Development, Sys- tems Improvement, Better Nutrition, Being a Better Team Mate, and Having a Positive Attitude etc. List specific improvement areas within these titles and when possible, measure the results. Load your binder with articles, notes, and motivational

elements such as a copy of a score sheet when you had 3 assists in a game, etc. Define the work you will have to do to realize your goals, work your tail off and enjoy the challenges. I encourage players of all ages to couple every personal goal with one sentence “Be The Hardest Worker Today” and own it.

in Team” but the truth of the matter is this; a “team” is filled with “I’s” and the only time a “team” reaches its full potential is when every “individual” makes the following commitments; “I” will be the hardest worker today. “I” will set goals. “I” will stay positive and motivated. “I” will be the best team mate.

You will NEVER get this time back and years from now, the last thing you want to say to yourself is “I wish I worked harder”. Your opportunity is now, embrace it and take everything possible from it. Regardless of where you end up (or don’t end up) in hockey, you will be a better person for it. Effort is one of the few controllables in the game, how much or how little starts between your ears and ends up in the heart. Effort (not skill) is the driving force in development, greater effort equals greater results.

“I” will not point fingers. “I” will hold myself accountable. “I” will go above and beyond. “I” will not quit – ever. “I” will be relentless in my efforts. “I” will respect my team mates, my coaches, the officials, and the rules of the game – always.

You’re in the catch 22 generation, a wealth of knowledge is at your fingertips, training technology and coaching is better than ever but good old, old fashioned work ethic is at an all time low. You have grown accustom to “instant” everything – when results are not instant, most of today’s youth want nothing to do with it. There are no cheat codes for success in hockey, you have to work harder than every player on the ice, set goals, and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Goals direct our energy. If you are clear that your goal is to be the best you can be, make it part of your daily routine, manage and measure the process and you will absolutely become the best you can be. Make this season your best ever!

Reflect on why you play the game and dedicate your energy to it as well as define what you want to do long term. We have all heard the old saying “There is No “I”

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@

The 2013 – 2014 Depew Saints Travel Coaches. Squirt Minor AAA (2004) John McCusker ............... 440-3124

Bantam Minor AAA (2000) Tim Setteducati .............. 609-2960

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Bantam Major AAA TB (1999) Dave Lally ...................... 491-2446

18U AAA TB Jamie Printz.................... 352-1517

Peewee Minor AAA (2002) Michael Suda ................. 440-3778

15U AAA Mike Sheu ...................... 597-5685

Girls 10U David Dee ...................... 913-0743

Peewee Major AAA TB (2001) Ken Czechowski............. 901-2001

16U AA Jerry Ruszala .................. 818-8471

Future Sabres


Future Sabres: Alex Lepkowski by Warren Kozireski Alex Lepkowski is trying to become the fourth West Seneca native to enjoy a career in the National Hockey League and is hoping to be at least half as successful as the other defenseman—Aaron Miller, who played in 677 NHL games over 15 seasons with Quebec, Colorado, Los Angeles and Vancouver after taking the college route through the University of Vermont. A fifth round selection by Buffalo in the 2011 entry draft, the 6’4”, 214 lb. physical blueliner did not sign a contract by the June 1st deadline, but when he went unselected in this year’s draft, the Sabres signed him to an American Hockey League deal. Which means he will be battling this fall for a spot among the d-corp in Rochester. Lepkowski began playing with the West Seneca Wings, then the Buffalo Saints before spending 40 games with St. Francis where he handed out 20 assists in 40 games. Forgoing the college option Miller chose, he was selected by Saginaw of the Ontario Hockey League and spent one and a half seasons with the Spitfires before being traded to Barrie.

Over his first 15 games following the trade, Lepkowski had three assists in 15 games but was a -8 plus/minus. After that season, he scored a career high eight goals in 2011-12 while a +3. This past season, as an assistant captain, he was a +10 despite being on the ice against the other team’s top line most nights and during the final minute protecting one goal leads. “It’s nice to be the go-to guy and I like the challenge of going against the other team’s top lines,” said Lepkowski after a March game against the Niagara IceDogs. “I wouldn’t say I was cocky or anything coming into the league, and being from Buffalo I didn’t get to see that many OHL games so I really didn’t understand the league. “So coming in I really didn’t know what to expect and definitely had a few games where I was running around and didn’t know what to do, but I think I feel a lot more confident of where I am as a player.” In total the 20 year old played in 203 career OHL games recording 27 points (8+19) with 238 penalty minutes. And in 38 career Photo by: Terry Wilson OHL playoff games, he registered seven points (4+3) and 49 penalty minutes. The Buffalo organization is deep in defensemen with Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoff, Mike Weber, Henrik

Tallinder, Alex Sulzer, Mark Pysyk and Jamie McBain potentially ticketed for the NHL and Brayden McNabb, Nick Crawford, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc and Matt MacKenzie all AHL veterans. Add first round draft pick Rasmus Ristolainen into the mix and Lepkowski won’t be asked to do too much in his introduction to the professional game. “There are definitely a lot of defensemen there, but it’s just going to make me better and make the organization better. They have great coaches and I’ll be excited to work with them when I get the chance.

Wheatfield Blades 2013 House League Information

• Saturdays and Sundays • Full 60 Minute of On Ice Sessions(not 50 minutes!!!) • 24 Full Weeks of Ice Two Times A Week • Age Appropriate Training • USA Hockey Certified Instructors • All Skill Levels Welcome • Mini Mite(Cross Ice)-Mite-Squirt-PW-Bantam Divisions • $560 Includes $20 Chiavetta’s bbq Fundraiser • Runs 9/28 – 3/22 • House Select Teams in All Divisions • Playoffs for Mite-Bantam

2013 Novice Information Beginner Program • Saturdays 10:25 am • Sunday 10:05 am • Both Days for $299

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2013 Full Ice Mite House Program • Certified Coaches • Full Ice Games 60 Minutes!! • Saturday Practice 60 minutes!! • Full 60 Minutes not 50 Minutes

Around The Associations


Around The Associations by Michael Mroziak

Buffalo Stars’ Mackrell shines off the ice, too Kevin Mackrell’s upbringing in Western New York hockey came mostly through the Buffalo Stars program, since he joined the organization in its Buffalo Hornets era at the age of seven. Now, he’s heading off to college. Mackrell will enroll at Clarkson University this fall, where he’ll study biochemistry, with the desire to then enroll in medical school to specialize in orthopedics and sports medicine. It’s the next step in a long journey for a student-athlete who learned the game as a Hornet then worked his way into the lineup of the Stars’ junior program. After two years in junior, Mackrell finished up his Stars career as a member of the team’s 18U team, playing under coach Tom Mullen. His advancement to college comes after graduating from Orchard Park High School this summer as Valedictorian of his class. In addition to that honor, Mackrell was named to Business First’s All-Academic Team First Team, putting him in the company of 24 other top students throughout the region, as well as receiving an Orchard Park Pride award. The organization is adding a second bantam MOHL (house) team for the 2013-14 season, due to high demand. Its midet teams, U16 and U18 full-season, are seeking opponents to host on Saturday, September 14 to coincide with the Stars’ Youth Opening Day at Holiday Twin Rinks in Cheektowaga. The games will be broadcast on the Stars’ internet channel on The Stars will also host their visitors for a postgame meal. The Stars’ Beginner Hockey & Learn to Skate program is offering sessions beginning in late August: Wednesday August 28 ..............06:15-07:15pm Saturday September 7 ..............04:00-05:00pm Wednesday September 11 ......06:15-07:15pm Wednesday September 18 ......06:15-07:15pm Saturday September 21 ............04:15-05:15pm Wednesday September 25 ......06:00-07:00pm Saturday September 28 ............03:30-04:30pm The cost is $25.00 per session or $69.00 all seven sessions. For more information on any of the programs or teams within the Stars organzation, contact Pete Preteroti at 716-685-1122 or

Buffalo Regals

The Regals organization was still accepting applications for coaches for the 2013-14 house league season. Visit and click on the “Coaching Application” link on the lower half of the menu located on the left side of the website’s main page. The Southtowns Stars Amateur Hockey Association (STSAHA) continues its steady growth into the 201314 season. In its House/MOHL divisions, STSAHA has grown to four teams per non-Midget division, and are near capacity for all teams. Limited spots were still available for the Stares’ Red, White, and Blue (Mite) division as well as the Squirt MOHL division. The program also

had openings remaining in its PeeWee MOHL division. The Southtowns Stars have also added travel teams to its stable of teams. Although tryouts were completed in the spring, they’re still seeking an experienced Squirt travel goalie. Intrerested families should contact John Clark at 308-4823. For information on other opportunities, visit www. or email Lori Pohrte at

Cazenovia Park Things are looking up for Cazenovia Park, which understandably is celebrating the second Stanley Cup championship by one of its most famous former players, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane… Caz Park, which recently elected Paul Spahn its new Board of Governors President, plans to enhance its house program this coming season by increasing the ice time. As announced by the association, the program will feature more practices, as well as the introduction of new power skating and skills sessions. The added practices include dryland drills, and goaltenders will have access to regular goalie clinics. Caz Park is also growing by expanding its girls’ program, adding non-tournament bound 10-Under and 8-Under teams to a lineup that already includes 19U tournament-bound, 16U tournament-bound, 12U tournament-bound and 12U non-tournament bound squads. The Cazenovia Park 16U travel team was still seeking defensemen to complete its roster. For more information, contact Jim Banko at 716-860-2846 or caz16untb@

Depew Saints

The Saints hockey club will celebrate our 45th season in 2013-14. We will recognize all current & former Saints players, coaches, & volunteers with a commemorative logo & gear. An alumni reunion weekend will also be held. We will announce the date & location soon. Our second annual 2001 AAA Halloween showcase tournament will be held at the Depew Ice pavilion from October 25th-October 27th. Participating teams: The Saints, The Sudbury Wolves, The West Seneca Wings, The Valley Forge Minutemen, The Cleveland Alliance, The Centre Wellington Fusion, & The Perinton Blades. We will have a schedule posted in the September/October report. Admission will be free. The Saints house league program will begin on September 22nd at the Depew Ice pavilion. We will be implementing new Squirt & Peewee house ADM weekly skill development sessions this season. We are looking forward to our 45th season in 2013-14. Please visit our newly redesigned website at .

Hamburg Hawks Open registration began in July, with team spots filled on a first-come firstserve basis. Upon filling all spaces, a waiting list will be formed. The online registration requires applicants to first register with USA Hockey at

Hamburg has redesigned its Mite program that, based on guideline changes by USA Hockey and New York State Amateur Hockey Association, now allows 8-year-olds to play a limited amount of full ice games. The Hawks are introducing the Patriot and RWB programs this coming season. The Patriot program is available exclusively to 8-year-olds (2005 birth years) and will feature half-ice games through December and fullice games after January 1, 2014. The Red, White and Blue (RWB) program is for 7-year-old players (2006 birth years) and will continue to play cross-ice games. The Hawks’ Initiation Program (IP), meanwhile, is accepting new registrants.

Monroe County Youth Hockey The Eagles’ 16U tournament-bound team, coached by Nick Nucci, went undefeated in the Skaters Edge Tournament held in June in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The team finished with a record of 2-0-1 in pool play to advance to the next round. The Eagles continued on through the playoffs with a 3-2 overtime win over the New England Nordiques to advance to the division finals. There, they defeated the East Coast Militia by a score of 5-4 to earn themselves the division championship.

Perinton Youth Hockey Perinton Youth Hockey will be offering Richie Carlston Goalie Scholarships for the 2013-14 season to Squirt (U10) players that will cover half of the player’s registration fee for the season. The scholarship is intended to help families have the opportunity to play hockey and enjoy the experience while offsetting a portion of the expense to attract goalies. In addition to the fee discount, each goalie will be given three development sessions in the Goalie Development Program with Bob Janosz, goalie coach for the Rochester Americans and development scout for USA Hockey. The scholarship is named in memory of Richie Carlston III, a former Perinton Youth Hockey player, standout at Fairport High School and member of the 2009-10 Syracuse University ACHA club team who died in July 2010. The scholarship is available to players in the house, travel and Rochester Monarchs teams. For more information, contact Jim Young, president of Perinton Youth Hockey, at

Rochester Youth Hockey

RYH house player evaluations are scheduled for the following dates and times: August 27, 6:10 p.m. - Mites August 27, 10 p.m. – Squirts September 5, 6:20 p.m. - Peewees September 5, 7:20 p.m. - Bantams/Midgets For more information, contact house hockey director Steve Weisbeck at

Jr. Sabres


Buffalo Jr. Sabres: Back To Unfinished Business by Michael Mroziak It was in North York, Ontario back in March where the Buffalo Jr. Sabres were perhaps robbed of a chance to stay alive in the playoffs. Their pivotal goal was very quickly called off by officials who claimed the North York Range net was jarred loose. Then in overtime, as the puck was trickling across the line, did Buffalo netminder Parker Gahagen sweep it away in time? As far as the officials were concerned, they couldn’t call it a goal fast enough, and got out of dodge. If you ask some Buffalo followers, it was a crime scene where a team of Canadian refs were simply determined not to let a bunch of Yanks (as well as the three Canadians also on their roster) continue what was one of the biggest surprises in the Ontario Junior Hockey League last season. It’s the same scene where the Buffalo Jr. Sabres will open their 2013-14 OJHL regular season, on the road at the Rangers, Sunday, September 8. That’s just one of the highlights of Buffalo’s schedule, which along with the full OJHL schedule was released

in mid-July. Coming off a season where the Jr. Sabres made history by winning the club’s first OJHL West Division and South-West Conference regular season titles, the team will be part of history again this season when they take part in the league’s first-ever outdoor game. That game without a roof will be played as part of the Rochester Americans’ ten-day celebration of hockey in December. The Jr. Sabres will host the defending OJHL Buckland Cup champion St. Michael’s Buzzers at Frontier Field on Sunday, December 15. Buffalo’s home schedule will also be quite friendly to college scouts looking to peek at some players before their own respective seasons make them busier, with the Jr. Sabres hosting five games at the Northtown Center at Amherst in September. Buffalo will host its home Nolan Sheeran moves up ice. opener on Monday, September 9, against the Toronto Photo Courtesy OJHL Images. Lakeshore Patriots. that will bring the Jr. Sabres against some longtime  Although listed on the website as a ‘home game’, BufOJHL powerhouses for rare matchups, including the falo’s game against the Mississauga Chargers on Saturstoried Wellington Dukes, who will host Buffalo on Ocday, September 28 will be played at Sixteen Mile Arena tober 18. The Dukes, in turn, will play in Western New in Oakville, Ontario, as part of the OJHL’s Governor’s York against the Jr. Sabres on February 18, 2014. Showcase, which moves to Oakville after taking place Another one of those cross-conference games, the past two seasons in Cobourg, Ontario. The change against the Pickering Panthers on January 14, 2014, of location will be helpful to the Jr. Sabres, who will see represents one of the two games the Jr. Sabres are their travel time cut by perhaps more than 50 percent, scheduled to host at First Niagara Center in downtown and making an overnight stay unnecessary. Buffalo. The other is against division rival Milton IceHockey_2012_Layout 1 9/4/12 9:39 AM Page 1 The schedule also includesUBNS_WNY some crossover games hawks on November 12. Continued on page 20

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Men’s Collegiate


WNY Men’s College Hockey

by Warren Kozireski


11/15/2013 7:00 PM


Niagara U

11/16/2013 7:05 PM


Niagara U

11/19/2013 7:05 PM


Erie, PA

11/22/2013 7:05 PM Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

11/26/2013 7:00 PM

Ithaca, NY



12/6/2013 7:00 PM UConn

Storrs Mansfield, CT

Tyler Walsh was named to the Griffs staff as Director of Hockey Operations. Walsh spent the last three years at the University of Maine and will coordinate the program’s video efforts, manage all aspects of travel and assist with the team’s community outreach programs and fundraising.

12/7/2013 7:00 PM UConn

Storrs Mansfield, CT

12/14/2013 7:00 PM


Rochester, NY


7:05 PM


Waltham, MA


7:00 PM


Waltham, MA

With the Black Bears, Walsh was responsible for scouting opposing teams, video breakdown and assisting the coaching staff at both practice and with the overall day-to-day operation.


7:05 PM


Niagara U


7:05 PM


Niagara U


7:00 PM

Holy Cross

Niagara U


7:00 PM

Holy Cross

Niagara U


7:00 PM


Niagara U


7:00 PM


Rochester, NY


7:00 PM

Sacred Heart Fairfield, CT


7:00 PM

Sacred Heart Fairfield, CT


7:05 PM


Niagara U


7:00 PM


Buffalo, NY


7:00 PM

Robert Morris Niagara U


7:05 PM

Robert Morris Coraopolis, PA


7:00 PM


Erie, PA


7:00 PM


Niagara NY


7:00 PM

Air Force

Niagara U


7:00 PM

Air Force

Niagara U

In addition, Walsh served as video coordinator for USA Hockey at the 2012 U16 and U17 Select Festival in Rochester, N.Y. He has also served as an on-ice instructor at both Maine and Michigan State summer camps. Departed forward Kyle Gibbons was invited to New Jersey’s summer development camp while senior goaltender Tony Capobianco participated in Minnesota’s camp as one of seven college players. The Griffs have not officially released their 201314 schedule or recruiting class as of this writing, but unofficially their conference opener is at Niagara October 12th.

NIAGARA Sophomore forward Dan Kolenda was invited to the Florida Panthers development camp in July. The Purple Eagles had not released their recruiting class as of deadline. Their 2013-14 season schedule is: Date

Time Opponent Location

10/5/2013 10/6/2013

7:00 PM 2:00 PM

Clarkson Clarkson

Niagara U Niagara U

10/12/2013 7:00 PM


Niagara U

10/19/2013 7:00 PM

Robert Morris Coraopolis, PA

10/25/2013 7:00 PM


Denver, CO

10/27/2013 7:00 PM Air Force

Colorado Springs, CO

11/8-8/2013 7:00 PM Ohio State

Columbus, OH

11/9-9/2013 7:00 PM


Ohio State

R.I.T. The Tigers welcome eight recruits with four forwards, three defensemen, and a goaltender. Forward Garrett McMullen and goaltender Mike Rotolo are from the Rochester area. “This is a big freshman class in both size and numbers, and everyone will be able to contribute right away,” said 15 year head coach Wayne Wilson. “This group will give us depth and roster competition that we haven’t had in a while which will make us a better team. Hopefully, this group will help us get back on track to reach our goal of making the NCAA Tournament.”

McMullen arrives from the Trail Smoke Eaters in the BCHL after starring his career with Churchville-Chili High School. He served as captain last season recording 44 points on 21 goals and 23 assists in 53 games, while leading the way with five game-winning tallies. Other forwards are Danny Smith (Edmonton, Alberta/ Sherwood Park Crusaders), Todd Skirving (Thunder Bay, Ontario/Sioux Falls Stampede), and MJHL and OJHL Most Valuable Player Caleb Cameron (Sunridge, Ontario/Listowel Cyclones). Former Greece Thunder state champion netminder Rotolo joins after two seasons in the USHL with Green Bay and Cedar Rapids. Last season, Rotolo was among the league leaders with a 19-14-4 record, two shutouts, a 2.78 goals against average and .902 save percentage in 41 games. “Mike is coming off two really strong seasons in the USHL and is a big, athletic goaltender, who takes up a lot of net,” said Wilson. “He will vie for playing time with Jordan (Ruby) and Ken (MacLean) right away.” On defense, Dustin Fostvelt (Edmonton, Alberta/ Spruce Grove Saints), Michael Holland (Cambridge, MA/ Chicago Steel), and Alex Perron-Fontaine (St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec/Chilliwack Chiefs) will join an experienced unit. Former Tigers Bobby Raymond, Dan Ringwald, Chris Saracino and Jeff Smith have signed contracts to play professionally in Europe for the 2013-14 season. Raymond signed with Iserlohn of the Deutchsland Elite League in Germany, while Ringwald will play for RT Bad Nauheim of the Bundesliga, also in Germany. Saracino has signed with HC Banska Bystrica in Slovakia while Smith will play for Rungsted in the AL-Bank Ligaen in Denmark. Thelr 2013-14 season schedule: Date

Time Opponent/Location

10/5/2013 5:05 p.m. Queens University (Ontario) Ritter Arena 10/5/2013 7:30 p.m. Skate With the Tigers Ritter Arena 10/10/2013 7:05 p.m. Colgate University Ritter Arena 10/12/2013 7:05 p.m. University of Michigan Rochester, N.Y. - Blue Cross Arena 10/18/2013 7:00 p.m. Clarkson University Potsdam, N.Y. 10/19/2013 7:30 p.m. Clarkson University Potsdam, N.Y. 10/25/2013 7:05 p.m. Penn State University University Park, Pa. 11/1/2013 7:05 p.m. Air Force Academy Ritter Arena 11/8/2013 7:05 p.m. Mercyhurst University Erie, Pa. 11/9/2013 7:05 p.m. Robert Morris University Moon Township, Pa.

Men’s College Hockey Date

Time Opponent/Location

11/19/2013 7:05 p.m. Canisius College Buffalo, N.Y. 11/22/2013 7:05 p.m. St. Lawrence University Ritter Arena 11/23/2013 7:05 p.m. St. Lawrence University Ritter Arena 11/29/2013 7:05 p.m. Sacred Heart University Fairfield, Conn.


7:05 p.m. Army – Ritter Arena


7:05 p.m. Army – Ritter Arena

1/24/2014 7:05 p.m. Niagara University Niagara University, N.Y. 1/25/2014 7:05 p.m. Niagara University Ritter Arena 1/31/2014

7:05 p.m. Holy Cross – Ritter Arena


7:05 p.m. Holy Cross – Ritter Arena

11/30/2013 7:05 p.m. Sacred Heart University Fairfield, Conn.

2/7/2014 7:05 p.m. Robert Morris University Ritter Arena

12/6/2013 7:05 p.m. American International College – Ritter Arena

2/8/2014 7:05 p.m. Robert Morris University Ritter Arena

12/7/2013 7:05 p.m. American International College – Ritter Arena

2/14/2014 7:05 p.m. Mercyhurst University Ritter Arena

12/14/2013 7:05 p.m. Niagara University Rochester, N.Y. - Frontier Field

2/15/2014 7:05 p.m. Mercyhurst University Ritter Arena

1/3/2014 7:05 p.m. University of Connecticut Storrs, Conn.

2/21/2014 9:05 p.m. Air Force Academy USAF Academy, Colo.

1/4/2014 4:05 p.m. University of Connecticut Storrs, Conn.

2/22/2014 9:05 p.m. Air Force Academy USAF Academy, Colo.

1/10/2014 7:05 p.m. Bentley University Waltham, Mass.

2/28/2014 7:05 p.m. Canisius College Buffalo, N.Y.

1/11/2014 7:05 p.m. Bentley University Waltham, Mass.

3/1/2014 7:05 p.m. Canisius College Ritter Arena

Unfinished Business! 2013-2014 Home Opener vs.Toronto Lakeshore Patriots Monday, Sept. 9 7:30 p.m. Northtown Center Amherst.

@ Buffalo Jr. Sabres Official @buffalojrsabres


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Women’s Hockey


Women’s Hockey A listing of the girls who attended ran in the Early Summer issue of WNY Hockey Report. (Please accept my apologies if I missed anyone. The rosters I had didn’t not list hometown—not even State—so I went by memory of girls I’ve seen in the past few years.) by Janet Schultz

College News


Bengals Hire Moxley The summer has been a time for players to either enjoy a vacation from hockey or develop themselves for the upcoming season. Many players from WNY took time to attend the NAPS Development Camp in Buffalo and also the NAHA Camp in Vermont. Several had the opportunity to travel to St. Cloud, Minnesota for the National Development Camp. The 2013 North American Hockey Academy (NAHA) Showcase was held June 29 to July 2 at the Cairns Arena on the University of Vermont’s campus in Burlington. This is open to players entering grades 9 through 12 and provides instructional sessions on strength and conditioning, sessions on the college recruiting process and round-table discussions with coaches from DI and DIII programs. Among locals attending were Mikaela Ditonto, Madeline Kromer, Kathryn Darling, Erin Cunningham, Alyssa Franklin and Brianna McFall. A number of players from the Buffalo Regals, as well as Ditonto and Abby Cleary took part in the NAPS Camp in Buffalo. The Regals made up the bulk of the Pro-Hockey Buffalo team that included Elisabeth Sidorski, Jenelle Piatt, Kaitlin Drew-Mead, Olivia Smith, Julia Mings, Allison Attea, Kaitlyn Rippon, Erin Stoklosa, Sophia Koenig, Taylor Tietrowski, Brittany Nowak, Brianna Gawronski, Kayla Blas, Madeline Moell, Courtney Cavarello and Kara Zelasko. (If anyone has the roster with numbers please send it to me; I photographed some of the games and need to identify the players). The NAPS Elite Prospects Camp provides on-ice skills, team building activities, classroom sessions with lecture and video, individualized feedback from coaches and a player evaluation. NCAA coaches and skills specialists run the program. The USA National Select Development Camp was held July 10 through 16 for the Select 16 and Select 17 and July 19-15 for the Select 14 and Select 15.

Head Coach Scott McDonald has his largest recruiting class in eight years with four forwards, two defense, two that will play forward and defense and two goaltenders. Added to the list of forwards will be Dakota Waites (Durham West Lightning), Brittany St. James (Durham West Lightning), MacKenzie Stone (Nepean Wildcats) and Cassie Clayton (Mississauga Chiefs). Caitlin Wallace (Stoney Creek Sabres) and Lindsay Stenason (Oakville Hornets) will play both forward and defense. Added to the defense are Taylor Thurston (Nepean Wildcats) and Lauren Klein (Mounds View High School, Minesota). In goal and vying for playing time will be Brooke Stoddart (Brampton Thunder) and Jetta Rackleff (Anaheim Lady Ducks). The Tigers open their season on September 28 with a road trip to Clarkson. On December 14 they make history when they play their first-ever outdoor game hosting Clarkson. RIT competes in College Hockey America along with Lindenwood, Mercyhurst, Robert Morris, Penn State and Syracuse. RIT enjoyed a very successful season as a DI contender in 2012-13. They finished with a 16-16-5 record, tying for third in the CHA and advancing to the CHA semifinals.

Buffalo State Under the guidance of newly appointed Coach Candace Moxley, the Bengals will open their season at home against Chatham on November 8 and 9. Added to this year’s schedule is Franklin Pierce University. Franklin Pierce played its inaugural season last year as an independent and joins the ECAC West this season. The College is located in Rindge, New Hampshire. They ended their first season 7-14 overall. The ECAC season closes with the ECAC finals on March 8 and 9.

Niagara University Women’s Club Coach Jason Elliott is looking for goalies for the upcoming season. Contact him at

Around WNY Niagara Junior Purple Eagles Advancing U10 Girls Hockey The NJPE have are working at growing their girls program by providing U10 players a chance to play more. Girls register with the coed developmental, midget or squirt team and then register to play 10U Select Girls Only. This provides the girls extra ice time along with extra games and instruction, according to Vicky Maslona of the Purple Eagles. The program started three years ago with only a very few players. Last year they developed it into a program and this year want to encourage parents who have girls to give them an opportunity to play. The girls program is a house program and even though it has the name “select” is not the traditional select travel that hockey people are used to. This is a developmental program, run cross-ice and focusing on skating skills, hockey skills and team building. “We break the groups out by skill and age,” said Maslona. “So if parents are concerned their daughter at age 7 will be playing against a big 10 year old, we don’t let that happen.” They play games against each other plus last year played against Cazenovia, West Seneca and Hamburg. All games are four-on-four cross-ice, which allows four teams to play on the ice at the same time. Games and instruction are held on weekends and one night a week, depending on ice availability at Dwyer Arena. The NJPE also have equipment for rent so parents don’t have to purchase a lot of expensive equipment for their daughter to try the sport. For $25 a season they can rent all their equipment with the exception of mouth guard, neck guard, stick, socks and skates, which all need to fit the player specifically. In addition to the coed and then girl’s only program, the NJPE also have a Four Weeks Free program through their Instructional Division. Players can sign up for four weeks which include eight ice times and decide after that if they want to play the entire season. While many of you who read this column are already involved in ice hockey, we are hoping you will share this with parents of girls who want to play hockey. For more information go to http://jrpurpleeagles.pucksystems. com/ or email Vicky Maslona at Vicky.maslona@ Make sure to forward all you girl’s hockey news to or Janet@ I’m currently looking for coaches contacts for all girl’s teams and for your schedules and special events for the upcoming season.




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NJPE Scholarships


NJPE: Award Gary Hill Memorial Scholarships The Niagara Junior Purple Eagles Gary Hill Memorial Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce Mark Grozio, Antonio Guerrucci, Adam Stanczyk, and Stephen Zafuto as the 2013 scholarship recipients. Mark Grozio, the son of Mark and Lynda, was amember of the NJPE for 8 years. A 2013 graduate of Niagara Falls High School, Mark will be attending University of Buffalo majoring in accounting. Mark is resilient, focused and hardworking. He is a leader that is able to inspire his peers toward worthwhile causes. Mark has gone above and beyond his requirement for community service.  Antonio Guerrucci, the son of Michael and Diana, was a member of the NJPE for 6 years. He’s a 2013 graduate of Lewiston Porter High School and will attend D’Youville College pursuing a career in physical therapy. Antonio’s work ethic and quiet determination to improve, made him stand out among his peers. Antonio works hard, not for a specific prize but because it is the right thing to do. It is his character trait, this sense of perseverance and purpose will serve him well as he carves his own path in life. Adam Stanczyk, the son of Andrew and Natalie, was a member of the NJPE for 8 years. He’s a 2013 graduate of Grand Island High School and will attend will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute majoring in mechanical engineering. Academic achievement, community

involvement and personal character make Adam the leader he is. He is intelligent, motivated, conscientious and willing to work hard to achieve his goals. Stephan Zafuto, the son of Steve and Maria, was a member of the NJPE for 13 years. He’s a 2013 graduate of Niagara Falls High School and will attend Canisius College as a psychology and business major. Stephan has established positive relationships that have translated into earning the respect of fellow players and coaches. He strives on a daily basis to achieve his fullest potential. Stephan is always anxious to tackle the most difficult content on his own. He enjoys the challenge and discovery of a tricky problem or the discovery of something new. The NJPE Gary Hill Memorial Scholarship is awarded to graduating high school students, both male and female, who exhibit evidence of dedication to the Niagara Junior Purple Eagles Hockey League (formerly Grand Niagara Hockey League), extracurricular activities, humanitarianism in the community and academic achievement. It is awarded in memory of the late Coach Gary Hill, who served as a positive role model and exemplified all of these attributes.  As a coach and friend to young hockey players Mr. Hill was well respected and to this day lives on in many hearts.

From left, Antonio Guerrucci, Stephen Zafuto, Mark Grozio, Adam Stanczyk.     


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Jr. Sabres


Continued from page 12 As for the team itself? Camp opens in mid-August at the Northtown Center at Amherst. Among the questions unanswered: who gets the starting goalie job with Parker Gahagen gone to Army to begin his NCAA career (along with military obligations upon graduation)? Who will step up of the offense and emerge as the go-to scorer with Tyler Gjurich gone? Who’s the leader at the point on the power play with Sean Federow heading to AIC to play college hockey? Michael Peca and his coaching staff will have a lot of business on their hands as the team gets ready to resume what they see as “unfinished business.”

GJURICH NO LONGER A MAINE MAN Even after playing out his final game as a Jr. Sabre, Tyler Gjurich has gained plenty of attention this summer, most recently as an undrafted invitee to the Buffalo Sabres’ prospect camp in mid-July. Gjurich was able to skate among Sabres draft picks, the latter of whom understandably attracted more attention from coaches and fans alike. For Gjurich, though, it was his first taste of what he apparently hopes is his new career direction. His father, Ken Gjurich, advised in an email that “due to the mass coaching change at Maine, Tyler has decommitted.” The younger G jurich announced his commitment to the Black Bears back on February 21, first via his Twitter account and later by an official Jr. Sabres team

Tyler Gjurich scores. Photo Courtesy OJHL Images. announcement. Shortly after that announcement, Maine head coach Tim Whitehead was ousted, followed later by assistant coach turned interim head coach (and former Buffalo Sabres defenseman) Bob Corkum. The younger Gjurich did not return WNY Hockey Report’s call seeking comment, but in a follow-up email his father hinted that his son, who lives near Philadelphia, would be most interested in breaking into the Buffalo system, having played his amateur hockey not only with the Jr. Sabres but also previously with the Buffalo Regals organization.

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Insight Hockey

Insight Hockey by Tom Barnett This year’s NHL playoffs featured several sub-plots, human interest stories and c l i f f h a n g e r s . Despite the early exit of our beloved Sabres, we were able to cheer on two of our own: Patrick Kane, and Canisius College alumnus Cory Conacher, who shone brightly during the Ottawa run. There was another story taking place during the playoffs: the officiating.  The TV talking heads, social media nerds and other pundits made mention of the seemingly lopsided and creative calls by the referees.   Everyone, from the fans to the players to the coaches, understands how important rules are to hockey to keeping the game fair.  Rules let the skills of the players determine the outcome of the game.  If a referee misses a call or if an opposing player commits a dirty act, the home fans’ howls echo off the rafters.   And, at the end of every series, amidst the celebrations of the winning team and the dejection of the losing team, the players put themselves aside for a few moments and go through the hand shake line.  Sportsmanship at its finest.  The emphasis on rules isn’t just at the NHL level.  Coaches, parents and players demand the rules to be followed in youth hockey as well.   And yet, the importance of following the rules and sportsmanship seem to stop outside the dasher boards.  When the season begins, the game’s worst-kept secret begins: recruitment.   It’s almost entertaining to hear stories --one local association president, whose rosters were recently plundered, told me that if he didn’t laugh, he’d cry-- about coaches trying to recruit 6, 7, 8 year-old kids to jump their current hockey club and join another team – and the player release form is all but forgotten in the process. What message is that?  It’s fully evident that today’s misguided emphasis on developing a winning team is causing zero loyalty among families and players to the program, and vice versa. The only difference apparently, between organizations’ missions, philosophies and goals may simply be the colors of their uniforms.  Once again, it’s back to the winat-all-costs mentality that has overtaken a youth sport when, in most cases, kids just want to play with their friends.  As well, it is intriguing that this year-by-year team transition today seems almost accepted,


Athletic Republic Rochester is pleased to announce our Athlete of the Month for June.

normal and conventional. Alas, in this team sport, the focus has become and remains on the individual.   Believe it or not, it really is possible for players to be happy (and even thrive, in  every  way) in their current association.   Breaking up a formerly happy team and confusing players’ objectives and perspective on their game and their experience is what makes a poor hockey experience, rather than the team’s win/loss record.   When these surreptitious ‘conversations’ and overtures to ‘the next ones’ commence, isn’t it warming to know that your child, who may be the 16th, 17th or 18th player on the depth chart are being conspired against? What lesson are we teaching kids, when, unbeknownst to you at that time, as you and your child  prepare for the season ending games, tournaments and award banquets, that you’ll soon learn your child is being thrown to the wood pile, and if they intend on continuing, will need to look for a new hockey home and new friends, new teammates.  Thanks coach!  If we as coaches – who are in reality, teachers and instructors – were true to the concepts of that calling of guiding and nurturing our kids in positive reinforcement and positive role modeling, why recruit at all? Can you imagine the similar broken model of education if a third grade teacher waltzed into the classroom during the spring semester, and pulled a few kids aside to say, “Hey, Jimmy, Mary, Skip and Jordan, I need four “A” students in my math class to improve my performance and you’re just not it getting it done.  I just found four kids in the school across town who are better than you in math and they are taking your place in the fall.”

Austin Guyett Rochester Americans U18AAA Austin plays defense for the Rochester Americans U18AAA team. He has trained with Athletic Republic since he was a mite. His hard work paid off as a member of the 2013 New York State Champion – RYH/Maksymum Stars U16AAA. We at Athletic Republic would like to recognize Austin for his work ethic and commitment to improving his game. 585-426-8488 AthleticRepublicRochester



The point is: for whose benefit are we doing this? Hockey is not only a sport, but it’s also a time tested and proven vehicle to help guide and develop kids into respectful, well-adjusted adults and not enforcing established protocols is showing kids it’s OK to circumvent the rules. ________________________________ 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 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.

Camps, Clinics, Team Lessons



“How To” Build a Backyard Ice Rink – Top 10 Questions & Answers by Jim Stoller President of NiceRink ICE is ICE, but for 22 years, since 1991 and 10’s of 1,000’s of NiceRinks in people’s yards later, we’ve got a pretty good handle on what to do AND also what not to do. Most of what we’ve learned, written and solved has just been reworded and reposted by others. Since 1991 the goal has been SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for the backyard rink builder. With time comes experience; with experience comes knowledge, knowing how to use that knowledge is what counts. 1. How cold does it have to be? The obvious answer to this is 32F/0C. 2. Will a backyard rink wreck my grass? Depending on how you build your rink and what type of liner you use, will determine the health of your grass. With a WHITE liner and the FLOOD method, we have seen a 99.9% effective rate in turf health. On the other hand, if you use a clear, blue “tarp”, black liner and/or just flood the grass, that % goes way down. 3. How big can I make my rink? The size of YOUR rink should be determined by several factors. The first factor is your available space. If you have the space and budget, go big. When your rink is just for children, you can go with a smaller 20’ x 40’ (6M x 12M) rink and be very satisfied. As a quick “guideline”, when my son was 17-18-19 Jr A, the boys came over and our NiceRink was 44’ x 88’ (13.4M x 26.8M) and it served them very well for 3 on 3 and even were able to play some 4 on 4 with the BIG boys out there. 4. Does my yard have to be level? I’m not aware of a

single yard that is “flat”. That said, no your yard does not have to be level. You just have to make sure to measure your slope BEFORE you start acquiring components and building the rink boards. 5. Buy It or Build It? This basically comes down to time vs. money. 6. When should I build or have my rink built? The best time to build/setup your backyard rink is just prior to the weather turning freezing. 7. When should I fill my rink? The best answer for this is not a date, but rather the weather forecast. As a rule of thumb, I usually install my brackets and sideboards the weekend before US Thanksgiving around November 15th or earlier and lay out the liner 2-3 weeks after.

8. How much does a Back Yard Rink cost? As stated above, it can range from just your time to spray water, to $340.00 for a NiceRink 20’ x 40’(6M x 12M) Starter Kit, to $3,800 for a 44’ x 88’ (13.4M x 26.8M) NiceRink Gold Package to $25,000 for a 20’ x 40’(6M x 12M) Refrigeration system. 9. Rink Liners? WHITE-WHITE-WHITE-WHITE! Make sure to get an Ultra-White liner on *BOTH* sides, to help keep your ice as cold as possible and to save your grass. 10. How thick does the ice have to be? A good finished shallow side ice thickness is 4”/10cm. The deep end will be determined by the pitch/slope of your site.

That’s it! Once completed we can give you some great filling, maintenance and repair tips to help keep your rink in top shape all winter long. ALL in ALL…..A backyard rink can bring you years of unlimited Frozen Memories to last you, your family and friends for a lifetime. The choices at NiceRink are infinite, the possibilities are limitless, and our product reputation is second to none. NiceRinks’ staff will provide superior customer service and years of knowledge to help you make Frozen Memories. The right decisions make all the difference! The article has been edited for space. To get more indepth information “LIKE” NiceRink on FaceBook and visit for the upcoming complete Video Series and MORE!”

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PUCCS Gains Prominence Nationwide By Michael J. Mroziak Founded here in Western New York, the Program for Understanding Childhood Concussion and Stroke, or PUCCS, has raised the eyebrows of experts and organizations in other parts of the U.S. and even across the border in Canada. Meanwhile, PUCCS is ramping up its efforts in this region, collaborating with the Buffalo Sabres to produce an educational video that, when finished in the fall and released on, will illustrate how children can identify a concussion, advise people on what to do if they exhibit concussion-like symptoms, plus cover return-to-play protocol and other pertinent concussionrelated information. “The children in the Western New York community and beyond need to be educated about the severity of concussions,” said PUCCS founder and president Dr. Elad Levy, who is also professor and chairman of the neurosurgery department at the University at Buffalo. “The video will be accompanied by supplemental information to reinforce the information in the film and will also have a short quiz at the end to make sure the information has been understood by the viewer. We are grateful for the support of Cliff Benson, who offered up the talented production team of the Sabres, and the entire Sabres organization for helping to make this educational video possible.” Participating in the video will be 20-year-old Zack Lystedt, who suffered a concussion in October 2006 when he was 13. After undergoing a bilateral craniotomy, he was in a coma for more than 30 days, with no movement or speech for nine months. Since that trauma, Lystedt has been an advocate of concussion prevention and, with the help of his attorney, developed a first-in-the-nation legislation requiring written medical clearance following a concussion before returning to practice or game action. The law, known as the “Lystedt Law,” has served as the model for legislation in 40 other states and has received the endorsement and support of the American College

of Sports Medicine, American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and the National Football League. The hard work of PUCCS has gained attention – and respect – outside of the Buffalo area. “PUCCS has created awareness throughout Western New York and won an award at a national brain injury conference in California for its accomplishments and because it serves as a positive steward of the community,” said Dr. Levy. “We have penetrated into Canada and have significantly created awareness about the importance of concussion education in schools.” That national honor was the Richard Patterson Advocacy Award, presented at the Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference. PUCCS won one of four awards given out at the conference and nominations had gone out to more than 50,000 individuals and organizations. And yet, for all the advancements in concussion recognition and research, Dr. Levy says there’s still a long way to go. “We are learning that baseline testing may not be the best standard for detecting concussions, although it is better than using nothing at all,” Dr. Levy said. “We have learned that more accurate testing may involve structured physiological stress tests to attempt to replicate concussion symptoms. The funding we provide to concussion studies allows experts to better understand and develop the clinical tools necessary to help young athletes manage and recover from the effects of concussion and stroke.” PUCCS will again be raising funds to continue research at their annual hockey tournament at Holiday Twin Rinks, which this year takes place November 29 through December 1. This year, female youth teams will take part, and the senior team that faces the Buffalo Sabres Alumni in the marquee matchup will do so by winning the senior tournament, unlike previous years when the team that raised the most money got to skate against the former NHLers.

Nik Fattey Continued from page 7 College’s arena to practice and use the ice. The HARBOR enter will be the new home of Canisius’ hockey programs. Locker rooms will be dedicated for the players and the goal towards Division 1 will be fought for with this “natural partnership,” as Bill Mar, Director of Athletics at Canisius, claims. He stresses the fact that this is an opportunity to “engage students off campus and beyond the classroom.” This new arena will allow Canisius to work on its growing hockey program. It’s a tremendous step to allow collegiate hockey players to excel the program, themselves, and make Canisius’ hockey program the best it can be. Canisius wants to keep its strong title as 19th in the country, and the HARBORcenter will allow the 2,000 fans to “rock the house,” according to John Koelmel, in charge of running the new arena. Nik Fattey is working on a great opportunity for the city of Buffalo, the Buffalo Sabres, and the Canisius Golden Griffins. The HARBORcenter will be much more than a couple new rinks; it will be a home for opportunity. As the project begins to literally take shape right next to the First Niagara center, more information can be found at Skylar Vitko-Woods is an Orchard Park High School intern. Her guest editorials will appear throughout the upcoming season. Interested in an internship with WNY Hockey Report? Please conact Ian C. Woods at

Amber Lindke (left) and Chris Randby (right) with the organizers of the Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference after receiving the Richard Patterson Advocacy Award.

Chris Randby, Zack Lystedt and Amber Lindke at the Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference where PUCCS received the Richard Patterson Advocacy Award. For more information about the tournament, please contact Amber Lindke at

College Club Hockey


Debut Of New Men’s Collegiate Ice Hockey Association by Lars Lewis With the 2013-2014 hockey season arriving within the next two months, D’Youville head coach Ed Draper is now entering his fourth season with the program and has helped spearhead a brand new club league called the Collegiate Ice Hockey Association (CIHA) that will begin play this season. The CIHA was formerly the NAIH (National Association for Intercollegiate Hockey) that housed numerous men’s Division III programs from the western New York area. I had the opportunity to interview D r a p e r regarding the brand new league and the potential it has on providing more opportunities for schools unable to get into the ACHA (American Club Hockey Association).

1) How was this formed and who was involved? “Well it was the NAIH, myself and the five coaches who were at the nationals and the NAIH and two partners, former ACHA guys who want to be named anonymous for now.”

2) How will the new Association affect the club teams in WNY? “It’s going to give them more national exposure. It will be along the same exposure as the ACHA. Our mission however is to be a little different than the ACHA. We’re trying to give more club teams more competitive footing. When Medaille played in ACHA the year before, they spent a boatload of money to play the ACHA schedule. They played competitive and yet they never received any votes in the coaches poll. We felt the coaches poll wasn’t very good for judging talent on teams.”

3) What will this organization do for D’Youville? “What has happened is that it gives us a national profile, we get inquiries from across the nation not just for academics but also the club hockey team. It has sparked a brand new interest on campus. It has brought students to our campus over the last few years regarding this league.”

4) What teams will be involved from Western New York? “The list of teams currently right now from the WNY area that were in the NAIH are Medaille, St. John Fisher, Brockport, D’Youville and were currently discussing with Geneseo. We are an alternative to the ACHA. We are not trying to go head-to-head with them. We’re just saying that, we’re going to give them a different kind of opportunity. In many of the conversations with people in the ACHA, we go and compete, but we never get ranked. We never have a shot to play in a regional because of this. There are some coaches across the country that feel the same way. We want to be an alternative. We’re going to base it on your performance in games against the strength of schedules, not on what coaches think of you.”

5) What is the mathematical formula for playoff selection? “The conferences we have in line has their own guidelines of how they’re going to conduct themselves. Teams are selected either through a playoff, or through regular season points. Every week we’ll do mathematical rankings every Wednesday during the season. Our nationals will be an eight team tournament. Four from the conferences and four at-large bids.” There will be four conferences. (New York) (Ohio River) (California) (Northwestern)

6) What was the reason behind going nationwide? “Because we wanted to give people an opportunity to get a real chance to compete for a national title on the club level. What we did is that we conducted research from the last ten years of how the ACHA were handling their

Above: The D’Youville Spartans finished third at the 2013 NAIH National Championship. rankings and that a majority of their selections were with well-funded programs. It is simply to give people a real chance at winning.”

7) Are there other areas that want to get involved in the future? “The folks that are behind this are heavily involved in hockey and we’re in discussions with teams in New England and Florida and Texas but all of those are simply preliminary discussions. We have a five-year-plan of how we want to grow. Either to bring another conference on for the following season, or a challenge cup series and so forth. The Challenge Cup is gaining interest. The difference between us and the ACHA is that there are some areas that want something to play for.”

8) What is the five-year-plan for the CIHA? “Our five year plan is to try to add at least one conference each year with our goal being eight conferences and two affiliate leagues to feed some at-large bids. We would like to get 50-60 teams that are totally within the association. We want to keep our growth not restricted but under control. Our plan includes areas in New England, Florida I was involved in the growth of hockey in Florida. It is a solid area for hockey and it has a considerable amount of teams that simply just play each other with no structure. We’re targeting Florida and the east coast first than try to move to the midwest in the future. However if somebody contacted me from the midwest looking to join the association, that would be a game-changer. We have enough flexibility in our plan to do that.” For more information regarding the new CIHA, go to

Rochester Hockey News


Rochester Hockey News Returning Players And New Arrivals Strengthen Maksymum Hockey The Rochester Junior Americans won the Empire Division of the EJHL Summer Showcase in Boston July 19-21. Primarily comprised of members of the 20132014 Rochester Americans U16AAA and U18AAA teams, the Junior Americans team capped a 5-0 weekend with a 1-0 overtime victory over the New Jersey Avalanche in Sunday’s championship. The team played solid defense all weekend but the story was the goaltending duo of Shane Fuller and Brandon Kasel, who combined they only gave up a total of 4 goals in 5 games. The Junior Americans went down the stretch in dramatic fashion winning game three on Saturday evening with a come from behind 3-2 victory against the Potomac Patriots to seal their crossover spot. Great penalty killing was required down the stretch to secure the win and advance with a bye to Sunday’s semifinals. Their opponent in the semifinals was the Philadelphia Junior Flyers, fresh off a shootout victory in the morning quarterfinals. The Junior Flyers jumped out

to a 1-0 lead in the first shift of the game. This lead held until Chris Peters scored late to tie the game and force overtime. Both teams had chances to win in overtime but the sudden death period was not enough to decide a winner as they then went into a shootout. Shane Fuller stopped all 3 Philadelphia shooters and Joey Saraceni scored the only goal for the Junior Americans victory. The finals saw a tired but determined team fight off an onslaught of shots and a 7 minute power play to keep the score tied at zero. With less than a minute remaining in OT, Joey Saraceni won a crucial battle at the line and chipped the puck to Jimmy Pelton who scored the winner on a breakaway. Dave Maksymiu and Brian Guck coached the team that consisted of 96, 97 and 98 born players.

Jimmy Pelton takes a shot during the championship game. Jimmy also scored the championship winning goal.



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Rochester Youth Hockey Teams For Beginner Program Youth Hockey organization has teamed with Bill Gray’s Iceplex and Maksymum Hockey for its Beginner, Initiation, and Pony Programs. The teaming arrangement allows a natural progression from the rink’s Learn to Skate Program that introduces kids to ice skating to the Initiation Hockey Program. All hockey programs will continue follow the USA Hockey ADM model designed to maximize the player development (www.usahockey. com/ADMKids.aspx). On-ice coaching and support will be provided by Maksymum Hockey, the Bill Gray’s Iceplex staff, and Rochester Youth coaches. Erik Geller, Director of Hockey Development at the Iceplex explained: “that by joining forces with RYH it allows participants in our Learn to Skate transition into a hockey specific programing as soon as they’ve master basic skating skills. This will keep kids challenged and interested throughout the year. Maksymum adds exceptional coach and a consistency to the program to assist and develop parent coaches to follow the ADM model.” For information on the Rochester Youth Beginner and Pony Program, go to or www. or contact Erik at erik@billgraysiceplex. com .




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Instructional Division • All coaches are USA Hockey Certified • Niagara Junior Purple Eagles will teach your child how to skate • No prior skating lessons required • Players are invited to try an initial 4 weeks for free! • $25 equipment loan per session • 24 week sessions / September – March • Cost – (including the 4 FREE weeks): $220.00 Instructional sessions are Saturday and Sunday’s. Practices are 50 minutes long with most times varying between 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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Niagara Junior Purple Eagles offers an additional program for girls aged 5 – 10 enrolled in our Instructional ADM or Squirt House Programs. This program includes: • Separate girls-only practices • Emphasis on skill development and fun • Cross-ice games against other local girls teams • Girls of all skill levels are welcome

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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!

WNY Legends Of The Game


(Continued from page 6) When it came time for college hockey, Adams’ parents were very big into education. Several colleges talked to Kevyn, including the legendary hockey coach, Tim Thomas, of Yale University. “I had the hockey skills to get into Yale,” said Adams. “Unfortunately I didn’t have the SAT scores to go with it.” Following his first year at Miami of Ohio, Adams was drafted by the Bruins. For the next three summers it was a debate of Adams returning to college or turning pro. For three consecutive summers he chose to return to college. “I can’t lie, it was because of my parents,” admitted Adams. “But it was the best decision I could have made. “I’m very proud of the fact that I have my college degree today.” Adams has some advice for those youth hockey coaches who work with today’s young hockey players. “To me, one of the most important parts of working with young players is to teach them the passion of the game and give it all you got,” remarked the 38 year-old Adams. “When kids come to play a game or practice, you want them to have a smile when they come in and a smile on their face when they leave. “Hockey should be a fun experience.” Adams also has one other strong belief. “I believe in practice,” stated Adams, who resides with his wife and family in Bemus Point. “I was never the best player on any of the teams I ever played for.

“I remember shooting puck after puck after puck to make myself better. I practiced hard and enjoyed practice. “Practice is how you will get better. Develop your skating. “If you can skate you will be off to a great start.” Adams is also a believer in not playing hockey all year long. “As a kid, when my hockey season ended, the bag got zipped up and put away. I played baseball, soccer and basketball during the summer months. “Other sports are fun too. But in the end hockey should be an enjoyable life experience. “It has been for me.”

Kevyn Adams offers great advice to today’s young players.

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WNY Hockey Report Late Summer 2013 Issue  
WNY Hockey Report Late Summer 2013 Issue