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U.S. National Inline Team Head Coach, Staff Unveiled

05/12/2014, 5:30am MDT
By USAHockey.com

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Joe Cook (Mission Viejo, Calif.) has been named head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Inline Team that will compete in the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Inline Hockey World Championship June 1-7 in Pardubice, Czech Republic, it was announced today by USA Hockey

Cook will be serving as head coach of the U.S. National Inline Team for the fifth time. A former U.S. National Inline Team member, he has helped guide the squad to three medals, including the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship. Additionally, Cook led the 1998 team to a silver medal and the 2000 squad to the bronze.

Joining Cook on the coaching staff will be Dan Brennan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), director of sled and inline hockey for USA Hockey, who will serve as general manager and assistant coach with the U.S. National Inline Team. Brennan has worked with the team since 1998 and has helped lead the group to four gold medals (2004, 2006, 2010, 2013). In addition to his work with the U.S. National Inline Team, Brennan has also served as general manager of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team since 2007, during which time the U.S. has captured gold medals in the 2010 and 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Additional staff includes Athletic Trainer Brian Brewster (Houghton, Mich.), who currently works in that same role at Michigan Tech University, and Equipment Manager Corey Rastello (Providence, R.I.), the head equipment manager for the Providence College men's ice hockey team.

The roster for the U.S. National Inline Team will be selected following a training camp to be conducted May 24-25 in Lakewood, Colorado.

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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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