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Christmas Showcases Dot Junior Landscape

12/19/2013, 4:45pm MST
By Tom Robinson - Special to

The Boston Bandits continued to show off the league’s best defense while going 3-0 at the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League Winter Showcase Friday through Sunday at West Chester, Pa.

Boston improved to a league-best 21-1-3 record by routing the Central Penn Panthers 11-0 and New Jersey Rockets 10-2 before handing the Metro Fighting Moose their only loss of the event, 3-1.

Taylor Hale led a defense that gave up just three goals in the three 50-minute showcase games and has allowed a league-low 1.52 goals per game. Hale, who ranks fifth in the Metro in scoring by a defenseman, had three assists at the showcase.

“Taylor has been doing a great job for us week in and week out,” Bandits coach Scott Drevitch said in a story on the league website. “He leads the team in plus-minus and has led this team from the back end all season.”

The Frederick Freeze, Hartford Junior Wolfpack, New Jersey Avalanche and Richmond Generals also went 3-0 in the 26-team event.

Corey Cairo stopped 104 of 110 shots while helping the Long Island Royals go 2-1.

Kevin Robinson had five goals and two assists for the Connecticut Junior Oilers, who won two games and lost another in overtime. His hat trick led a 5-4 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Revolution, which had won its first two showcase games.

MORE SHOWCASES: The third-place Gillette Wild won three straight games at the American West Hockey League Showcase, which is scheduled to conclude Thursday. The third win came when Gillette handed the Helena Bighorns just their second loss of the season, 2-1, on 30 saves by Sean Kelley and T.J. McMinn’s score for the only goal of the second half.

Gillette allowed one goal in each of the first three games at the showcase, which represents the last AWHL action until Dec. 31.

The Eastern Hockey League Christmas Showcase is set for Friday through Sunday in Simsbury, Conn. The league is then off until Jan. 4.

HOT ICE: The United States Hockey League’s Indiana Ice has won six straight and has points in the standings in eight straight (7-0-1) and 14 of the last 15 games (12-1-2).

The Ice has improved to 14-5-4 to give it the best winning percentage in the USHL Eastern Division. Indiana is now within one point of the Dubuque Fighting Saints and Team USA.

Jason Pawloski stopped a combined 55 of 57 shots when Indiana defeated the Muskegon Lumberjacks 3-1 on Friday and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 5-1 Saturday. Scott Conway scored two goals Saturday while Dwyer Tschantz scored the game-winning goal and assisted on two others.

USHL ROUNDUP: C.J. Smith scored five goals to lead the Chicago Steel to three USHL wins.

Kyle Hayton has a 1.40 goals-against average and .951 save percentage while playing in goal for the Sioux City Musketeers throughout a five-game winning streak. Jake Montgomery has six goals during the streak, including the game-winning goal in the two most recent victories.

Griffen Molino had just three goals in the first 24 games before scoring four times for the Sioux Falls Stampede on Friday in a 7-2 win over the Lincoln Stars. He connected three times on the power play.

Tri-City Storm defenseman Nolan Gluchowski had four assists in Friday’s 6-5 overtime win over the Youngstown Phantoms.

COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Lincoln Stars captain Zach Frye has committed to play at the University of Alabama Fairbanks. Frye, a 19-year-old from Spokane, Wash., has played parts of four seasons in the USHL. He has a goal and six assists while leading the USHL in penalty minutes with 96 in 13 games.

Muskegon forward Scott Pooley committed to the College of Holy Cross. The 19-year-old from Granger, Ind. has eight goals and eight assists in 28 USHL games.

Derek Shatzer, a goalie from Denver playing for the Rochester Junior Americans in the United States Premier Hockey League’s Elite Division, will return home to play at Colorado College, beginning in the second semester. Shatzer is 6-0-1 with a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage with Rochester.

ONE-TIMERS: Topeka RoadRunners goalie P.J. Bridges stopped 51 of 53 shots in two weekend wins to improve his GAA to 1.49, second-best in the North American Hockey League. … Tim Tarvis of the NA3HL’s Wisconsin Whalers had four goals Friday in a 7-4 win over the Breezy Point North Stars, then added the game-winner the next night to complete the series sweep, 5-1.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.

This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.

“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”

The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.

Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.

“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.

“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.

“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”

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