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Good Things Happen With Grant Gallo in Front of The Net

04/11/2014, 10:00am EDT
By Tom Robinson - Special to USAHockey.com

Northern Cyclones coach Bill Flanagan already knew he had one of the best players for clearing out room in front of his net when 6-foot-4 215-pound defenseman Grant Gallo returned for another season with the team.

When Flanagan decided to give Gallo the opposite responsibility — taking up space in front of opposing goalies on the power play — he discovered one of the key weapons that helped the Cyclones to a successful season.

Gallo piled up individual honors while helping the Cyclones produce team achievements during his final junior season before heading to SUNY Plattsburgh to play NCAA Division III hockey.

Northern finished second in the Eastern Hockey League regular season, won the first playoff championship in the reorganized league and advanced to the semifinals of the USA Hockey Tier III Junior National Championships.

Gallo was a big part of that success, leading EHL defensemen in scoring and earning honors from league coaches as the EHL’s Defenseman of the Year. Flanagan said there were many reasons for the award.

“The number of minutes he logged, his compete level, his physical play and he scored a lot of goals for us on the power play when we put him in front of the net,” Flanagan said. “He was an unbelievable penalty killer, a shot blocker and he does all the little things that don’t come up on the scoreboard.

“He was probably the best shut-down defenseman in the league — bar none.”

Flanagan would have been happy to take all those defensive contributions, but the Cyclones — who also featured runaway league scoring champion Kevin Valenti, the EHL Most Valuable Player and Forward of the Year — became more dangerous offensively with the power play tinkering.

Gallo was in front of the net in one of the team’s most important moments of the season.

Northern dropped the first two games of the EHL Championship Series against the regular-season champion New Hampshire Junior Monarchs and was facing elimination, down in the third period. That’s when Gallo positioned himself in the low slot for a power play goal that forced overtime in what turned into a three-overtime victory, the first of three straight wins that produced the championship.

“It really paid off for us,” Flanagan said. “We had our power play going when he was scoring a lot of goals from in front of the cage, but also the big screen in front so we could really move the puck around.

“It was really successful.”

The 1993 birth-year player from San Diego got 20 of his points on the power play while scoring 15 goals and adding 27 assists in 44 regular-season games. He added four more goals and two assists in 11 EHL playoff games.

“He has a big body and he just competes hard,” Flanagan said. “He has a mean streak. He’s tough to play against.”

Gallo and Valenti took three of the league’s four major awards. The other went to New Hampshire’s Jake Theut, the EHL Goaltender of the Year.

Theut went 24-3, leading the league in wins, while tying for first with four shutouts. The 1993 birth-year player from Washington, Mich. ranked third in both goals-against average (2.10) and save percentage (.935).

Valenti, a 1993 from Queensbury, N.Y., had 35 goals and 41 assists in 44 games.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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07/18/2014, 9:15pm EDT
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Starting with the upcoming season, USA Hockey is launching a new online curriculum in our Officiating Education Program. In addition to the standard registration requirements, including application, open and closed book testing and attendance at a USA Hockey Officiating Seminar, every official must complete the online material prior to receiving their card and crest for 2014-15.

The online curriculum is designed to enhance educational experience with accurate and consistent officiating information. The online modules will be broken down into three categories. The first two requirements will include general and level-specific presentations. The third category will have elective courses from a variety of topics such as positioning, procedures, penalty criteria and the mental game. These electives will be level-specific and allow you to hone your officiating skills in areas you select.

The length of each presentation will vary depending on content and focus. The majority of the presentations will fall in the 5- to 10-minute range, followed by a short quiz reviewing the content. The entire online curriculum will take 3-5 hours to complete, depending on the level of the official. The in-person seminar each official will be required to attend will be abbreviated and designed to supplement the material presented in the online curriculum.

Instructions on accessing the online seminar will be sent to you upon receiving your USA Hockey application. The curriculum will be accessed through your USAHockey.com profile and can be completed at your leisure, meaning you can log out and log back in to pick up where you left off. Some presentations are designed to be viewed before attending the seminar as a means to improve the overall seminar experience. These will be highlighted for your consideration.

Officials will find this new system to be beneficial and it will make your overall USA Hockey experience a more valuable one.  Let’s get the season off to a great start!

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