California Youth Hockey Participation at Record Levels
Dec 13, 2017 1:33 PM
USA Hockey initiatives, increased NHL and AHL presence spur interest
Young boys and girls in California have plenty of choices when it comes to sports: soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, football, dance, martial arts… and that’s just scratching the surface.
There was a time when hockey would have been at the bottom of such a list, if it made it at all. Not anymore. According to USA Hockey affiliate membership reports for 2016-17, California saw the largest increase of 8U players in its history, up 25.2 percent to 3,553. Participation among girls was particularly impressive, jumping 49 percent, a new record high. USA Hockey’s data has consistently shown that growth among players ages 4 to 8 has a positive impact on retention in the larger 9 to 14 age group.
So here’s an uncomfortable question: Will hockey still be considered Canada’s game in 2028 when there are more Americans than Canadians playing in the NHL?
I’ll wait here while you mop up that coffee.
While the idea of an NHL dominated by the U.S. may sound preposterous to any Canadian told from birth that we’re the greatest hockey-playing nation on earth, you cannot argue with math. Or, for that matter, with what’s been going on in suddenly hockey-crazy U.S. cities such as Nashville, where the Winnipeg Jets were visitors Monday night.
14th Annual Toyota-USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival
Nov 23, 2017 12:41 PM
USA Hockey, the Central District and the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois are proud to welcome and invite you to the 14th annual Toyota-USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival to be held at the Leaf's Ice Centre in West Dundee, Illinois.
The need for diversity has been something that has plagued the NHL for much longer than their Hockey Is For Everyone initiative has been around. Latino communities in particular haven’t seen themselves reflected in the world of hockey until recently. The first Latino NHL player, Bill Guerin, who is of Nicaraguan descent, was drafted in 1989. Another Latino player wouldn’t be drafted until Scott Gomez in 1998. As it stands right now, there’s still only a handful of Latino players in the NHL; among them are Al Montoya, Max Pacioretty, and Alec Martinez.
Keeping up with the Joneses may as well be an epidemic for the hockey community.
What is he or she doing this summer to get ahead? What team is she playing on next year? Who are they working out with now?
Finding a spot on an elite youth or high school team is one of the most worried-about aspects of a hockey player’s development and advancement.
It doesn’t need to be, however. Sure, playing on a top team in your age group or making a showcase squad for a major tournament may help in the quest for more exposure and better skills. But it’s not the most important thing for a hockey player’s growth overall.
The best hockey players will be found, no matter where they are playing. Opportunities will come to those who earn it.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stressed the importance of youth hockey during a summit with the commissioners of the other three major sports -- Rob Manfred of Major League Baseball, Roger Goodell of the National Football League and Adam Silver of the National Basketball Association.
Bettman said Tuesday that the amount of young players registering to play hockey has allowed the sport to grow in traditional and non-traditional markets. With the NHL more visible and its games more accessible across North America, children have become more enthusiastic about playing hockey at an early age.
Pacific District celebrates and thanks Rae Briggle for her 26 years of tireless and dedicated service to the membership of USA Hockey.
Dan Rogness, volunteer extraordinaire, made Alaska hockey go round
Jun 8, 2017 10:57 AM
For the better part of three decades, countless Alaska hockey coaches, administrators, parents and assorted officials who needed a question answered accurately and promptly received the same response: Call Dan.
"If you didn't want to look in the 500-page book, you called Dan,'' recalled Dennis Sorenson, the longtime Dimond High and youth coach. "He usually knew the rule, and he'd tell you. And then he'd double-check it to make sure.''
In April 2017, USA Hockey implemented a concussion awareness component to its annual member registration. During online registration, each member will now read and accept the acknowledgement prior to completing the registration process.
Hockey Canada adopting American Development Model (ADM)
Mar 31, 2017 7:46 AM
Hockey Canada wants all of Canada on the same page when it comes to the delivery of its Initiation Program – traditionally a player’s first brush with organized hockey at the ages of five and six.
Although the Initiation Program – originally developed more than 35 years ago – always recommended cross-ice or half-ice small-area games, its delivery has varied from community to community. Beginning in the upcoming 2017-18 season, a new Hockey Canada policy now mandates that Initiation-aged players receive age-appropriate programming on cross-ice or half-ice surfaces.
Born in Modesto, California to crop-picking parents, Carlos Gomez never could imagine that he would one day have a son playing in the National Hockey League (NHL). Shortly after Carlos was born, his entire family was deported for not having proper paperwork, landing them two hours from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
While living here, a family tragedy occurred which caused Carlo’s mother (Maria) to pack up her ten children, separate from her husband and move Tijuana with family. Maria was determined to escape poverty.
With USA beating Canada for the gold medal at the World Junior Championships last night, there are a lot of amazing stories being told about the team and its players. It was an incredible game with a storyline centering around commitment, resiliency, and a team-first attitude that lifted the squad to their gold medal.
$2,000 in the red for last year's ice time and with only $500 generated so far for this year, things weren't looking good for Rebeca's special needs student hockey program. That was until last week when Jenne Johnson, San Jose Sharks Foundation Coordinator, found the Go Fund Me Page for the team and was inspired by the story about Rebeca and her special needs hockey team. The Sharks Foundation stepped up BIG TIME. Today the students were picked up in a chartered bus at Sequoia High School and driven to Sharks Ice in San Jose to watch the Sharks practice.
USA Hockey and the Pacific District are proud to invite you the 13th Annual Disabled Hockey Festival to be held April 6th – 9th, 2017 in San Jose, California.
The mission of the Festival is to provide a fun and exciting weekend of hockey in a grand event as well as promote and grow disabled hockey throughout the country. The largest disabled hockey event of its kind, USA Hockey's Disabled Hockey Festival brings together all the disciplines: deaf/hard of hearing, sled hockey, special hockey and standing amputee / warrior.
Congratulations to the 2016-2017 USA Women's Sled Hockey Team. The USA Women's Sled Hockey team held a development camp Thursday, August 25th to Sunday, August 28th in Buffalo, NY. From this camp, the 2016-2017 US Womens Sled Hockey team was chosen.
Pair of Pacific Players Named to Prestigious Roster
Aug 31, 2016 1:28 PM
California's Brannon McManus and Washington's Kailer Yamamoto have been named to the United States' roster for the fifth annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospect's Game on September 22nd at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Edward James Samuels, 30, passed away Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. He was born May 5, 1986, in Vorhees Township, N.J., and was a 27-year resident of Las Vegas. He was a star hockey player in Las Vegas playing roller hockey for the Las Vegas Tour Rebels at Crystal Palace in Las Vegas, then ice hockey for the Las Vegas Mustangs, San Diego Jr Gulls, BCHL Victoria Salsa, NAHL Billings Bulls and was team captain for the NAHL Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
He is survived by his parents, Mary Margaret Samuels and Lee Samuels of Las Vegas; brothers, Ross Brown of Leavenworth, Kan., and Rich Samuels Jr. of Las Vegas; sisters, Shelly Cruz and Mary-Cate Zurfluh of Las Vegas; and fiance, Lelani Ho of Utah.
Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Palm Mortuary, 6701 N. Jones Blvd. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church, 3050 Alta Drive.
Anchorage goalie Isaiah Saville named to USA Hockey U-17 Select Team
Jul 15, 2016 7:23 AM
Isaiah Saville, who made his mark on state hockey as the freshman goaltender who backstopped West High to the state large-school championship in February, is making a big impression on the national scene.
Saville, who doesn't turn 16 for another two months, on Thursday was named to USA Hockey's Select Under-17 team for the Five Nations Cup.
Fairbanks Ice Dogs to host NTDP team for pair of games
Jul 8, 2016 6:28 AM
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and the defending Robertson Cup Champions, are pleased to announce that they will be hosting the USA Hockey National Team Development Program (NTDP) 17-Team for a pair of weekend exhibition home games on December 2-3, 2016 at the Big Dipper Ice Arena in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Traveling through the cornfields of Iowa, there's never a shortage of time to think, ponder, and reflect. As Oliver David, Associate Head Coach and Assistant General Manager of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, rides over the picturesque Midwestern landscape en route to his team’s next playoff game, he can’t help but do just that - think, ponder, and reflect. How did a SoCal kid that grew up with a single mom working multiple jobs now find himself helping pull the strings for one of the preeminent Tier I Junior Hockey franchises? And so quickly? Some might say it’s a wonder, achieving such great heights despite facing such seemingly insurmountable odds; but after spending a few mere moments talking to David, you’ll quickly realize that his accession upwards through the junior hockey ranks shouldn’t be a surprise, and it certainly hasn’t been by accident - if anything, it’s been destiny.
Team Oregon receives the Mitzi Toepfer Sportsmanship Award at the 2016 USAH Showcase
Mitzi Toepfer started working at McMillen park ice arena in 1962 and stay there for 45 years. She implemented the ice hockey program and the figure skating program which are both still existence today.
During her tenure Mitzi was responsible for bringing national and international hockey tournaments and regional figure skating events to McMillen. She had organized every facet of both sports, from the introductory level to the future Olympians and NHL players.
As a state representative for USA Hockey for more than 30 years, Mitzi helped bring the Silver Stick tournament to Fort Wayne, IN. Mitzi retired from the ice arena in 2006 and passed away in March 2015.
The sportsmanship award is presented to the team that exhibits true sportsmanship both on and off the ice in the spirit of the 2016 America's Showcase and best represents the true spirit of Mitzi.
Pacific District congratulates Team Oregon.
NAHL Playoff Round-Up
Apr 25, 2016 6:57 PM
The North American Hockey League, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior Hockey League in the country, wrapped up it’s first round of playoffs this past weekend as the field of sixteen championship hopefuls was cut down to eight.
At first glance, it appeared to be a ho-hum first round as none of the eight playoff matchups went the maximum of five games. However, there was still plenty to talk about as West Coast players made their presence felt when it mattered most.
Here are some of the standout performers from the NAHL’s first round of postseason action:
Gavin Nieto (Fairbanks Ice Dogs - California): Started all four games in net for the Ice Dogs in their first round matchup vs. the Coulee Region Chill. During the series, the recent Brown University commit posted a 3-1 record that included just six goals allowed over the four first round games.
Nick Wallace and Cole Suoto (Bismarck Bobcats - California): The California D-men put up an impressive performance during their first round matchup vs. the Brookings Blizzard as the duo each tallied an assist while combining for a +5 rating in the first round.
Zak Galambros (Johnstown Tomahawks - California): Netted the game-winner in Game Two vs. the New Jersey Titans as Galambros scored just :25 seconds into the third to break a scoreless tie. Johnstown would later go on to score an empty netter to win 2-0 en route to a three-game sweep of the Titans.
Garrett Van Whye (Wichita Falls Wildcats - Washington): Goal and an assist for the Washington native in Wichita Falls’ first round sweep vs. Odessa, in which the Wildcats outscored the Jackalopes 17-6 over the three games.
Rourke Russell (Wichita Falls Wildcats - California): Despite not having played since April 7th, Russell made his presence felt in his return during Game Three as the Miami University commit posted 2 assists and a +2 rating while the Wildcats wrapped up a sweep of Odessa.
Dom Garcia (Aston Rebels - Nevada): As the lone Nevadan left in this year’s NAHL playoffs, Garcia has undoubtedly helped fuel his team's success when he’s been on the ice. The Las Vegas native posted a whopping +6 rating in his team’s first round sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, tying him for the best +/- rating thus far in the 2016 NAHL playoffs.
The NAHL playoffs resume this Friday as the Division Finals get underway. Just like the previous round, the Division Finals will each be a best-of-five series.
You can follow the NAHL playoffs at www.NAHL.com/Robertson-Cup, and remember to follow USA Hockey’s Pacific District on Facebook (Facebook.com/PacificDistrict) and Twitter (@PacificHockey) for more updates on USA Hockey’s Pacific District.
Eight Pacific District Players Headed To Frozen Four
Apr 6, 2016 9:05 PM
With this 2016 NCAA Division I Frozen Four field now set, eight Pacific District Players will be vying for Division I hockey’s ultimate prize in Tampa Bay, Florida.
In all, three of the four remaining teams standing can claim a roster with Pacific District Players, as Boston College (2), Denver (3), and Quinnipiac (3) all boast players hailing from the West Coast. Here’s the full list of Pacific District Players competing in the upcoming Frozen four.
Thatcher Demko - San Diego, CA - Goaltender - Boston College Dylan Gambrell - Bonney Lake, WA - Forward - Denver Soren Jonzzon - Mountain View, CA - Forward - Quinnipiac Sean Lawrence - Granite Bay, CA - Goaltender - Quinnipiac Gabe Levin - Marina Del Rey, CA - Forward - Denver Alex Miner-Barron - Glendora, CA - Defenseman - Quinnipiac Trevor Moore - Thousand Oaks, CA - Forward - Denver Scott Savage - San Clemente, CA - Defenseman - Denver
For the second consecutive year, there’s been an increase in Pacific District players participating in the Frozen Four, up from seven last year and four in 2014. Most notably, five of this year’s eight players already have Frozen Four experience, as the Boston College duo fell to eventual champs Union College in 2014, while the Quinnipiac’s trio of Pacific players fell in the 2013 championship game to Yale.
The 2016 Frozen Four starts Thursday, April 7th with the National Semifinals as #1 overall seed Quinnipiac will face Boston College, followed by North Dakota taking on Denver. The winner of each matchup will face off two days later on Saturday, April 9th with the NCAA Division I Title on the line.
Follow all of the Pacific District players and their performance throughout the Frozen Four on the official Facebook and Twitter of USA Hockey’s Pacific District.
Heads Up, Don't Duck
Jan 16, 2016 8:28 AM
Visit USA Hockey website for information that will help players, coaches, parents and administrators with information about Heads Up Hockey.
The safety of its participants is of paramount importance to USA Hockey. USA Hockey SafeSport is the organization's program related to off-ice safety.
USA Hockey has long had systems in place to protect its participants from physical abuse, sexual abuse and other types of abuse and misconduct that can be harmful to youth hockey players and other participants. These include without limitation Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Screening, Locker Room Supervision and Hazing Policies, in addition to Codes of Conduct applicable to administrators, coaches, officials, parents, players and spectators. The USA Hockey SafeSport Handbook is intended to update and collect USA Hockey’s various policies to protect its participants from all types of misconduct and abuse.
The American Development Model integrates training, competition and recovery programming in relation to biological development and maturation. It offers equal opportunity for recreation and competition. It is participant/athlete centered, coach driven, and parent, official, administration, sport medicine & sport science supported.
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