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U.S. Developmental Team Edges Canada in Series Finale

04/19/2014, 1:45pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. - Vlad Lundquist (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored late in the third period to give the U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team a 1-0 triumph over the Canadian Development Team here today at Extreme Ice Center. Goaltenders Bo Reichenbach (Bethesda, Md.) and Kyle Huckaby (Port Author, Texas) shared the shutout.

This weekend, Team USA won games two and three of the three-game series after Canada took the opener in a shootout. For the season, the U.S. National Developmental Team won five of six games against its Canadian counterpart.

Reichenbach turned aside five shots in the opening period and another five in the first half of the second period to finish with 10 saves. Huckaby stopped both of the shots he faced in 22 minutes of action.

Lundquist tallied the game's only goal with 3:32 left in regulation. Following a goalmouth scramble, Josh Misiewicz (Lagrange, Ill.) knocked the puck across the crease for Lundquist to tap into the net.

NOTES: Mike MacMillan (Buffalo, Minn.), USA Hockey's National Coach-in-Chief, is the head coach of the U.S. National Developmental Sled Team ... Former U.S. Paralympic Team members Kip St. Germaine (East Falmouth, Mass.) and Mike Blabac (Hamburg, N.Y.) serve as associate head coach and assistant coach, respectively ... Jeremy Kennedy (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey manager of membership and disabled hockey, is the general manager.

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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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