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Top Junior Players Receive End-of-Year Honors

05/29/2014, 3:30pm MDT
By Tom Robinson - Special to

Omaha Lancers defenseman Tucker Poolman received the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year award given by USA Hockey. Poolman led United States Hockey League defensemen with 15 goals — 10 of which came on the power play — and was third among USHL defensemen in scoring with 41 points in 58 games.

Poolman, a 20-year-old from Grand Forks, Minn., also helped the Lancers lead the league in fewest goals allowed and penalty killing percentage.

Cal Petersen of the Waterloo Black Hawks was named as the Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year. Peterson led the league with 27 wins, including 12 straight at one point.

The Waterloo, Iowa, native and University of Notre Dame recruit was a fifth-round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

USHL AWARDS: USHL scoring champion Jake Randolph of the Omaha Lancers was named the league’s Forward of the Year in voting by the league’s coaches and general managers.

Randolph led the scoring race by 12 points with 26 goals and 60 assists in 60 games. The 60 assists set a USHL Tier I era (since 2002) record.

Other awards included: Hayden Hawkey of Omaha as Goaltender of the Year; P.K. O’Handley of the Waterloo Black Hawks as Coach of the Year; Robby Jackson of the Chicago Steel as Rookie of the Year; Jeff Brown of the Indiana Ice as General Manager of the Year; and Brandon Montour of the Waterloo Black Hawks as Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year.

Hawkey led the league with a 1.99 goals-against average, the lowest in the league’s modern era, while going 22-6-3.

Jackson set a modern era record for scoring by a USHL 16-year-old with 42 points on 28 goals and 14 assists.

O’Handley led Waterloo to the Anderson Cup for the best regular-season record of 44-11-5.

Brown guided the Ice to the Eastern Conference title and the Clark Cup as playoff champion.

COACHING MOVES: Luke Strand has been named coach and general manager of the Madison Capitols for the organization’s return to the USHL for the 2014-15 season. Strand was GM of the Sioux City Musketeers last season after coaching the team from 2009-11.

The Odessa Jackalopes have removed the interim label from coach Greg Gatto, who guided the team through the last 10 games of the North American Hockey League season.

The Southern Tier Xpress, which will begin play in the North American 3 Hockey League next season in Jamestown, N.Y., have named Rylan Galiardi coach and Seth Wolfe associate head coach.

Also in the NA3HL, the LaCrosse Freeze will have Ryan Egan as coach and general manager and the Fort Worth Brahma will have Al Rooney as coach for their debut.

USPHL CHANGES: The United States Premier Hockey League will expand its Premier Division to 11 teams next season with the addition of the Rochester Americans and Springfield Pics.

The USPHL is also adding to the Providence Capitals to its Junior Elite and Midget 16U Divisions for next season.

COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Lucas Kohls of the NAHL’s Austin Bruins has committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. The 20-year-old from Forest Lake, Minn. played both forward and defense for Austin. He had 18 goals and 23 assists in 74 games.

SPRING SHOWCASE: The Boston Junior Bruins won the A Division and the Jersey Hitmen won the B Division of the USPHL Spring Showcase.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Three ways to beat burnout

11/28/2016, 9:45pm MST
By Dave Pond

According to NHL metrics, the average hockey shift lasts somewhere between 45 and 55 seconds. There’s inherent beauty and fluidity to line changes, as skaters come on and off the ice, looking to recharge after going full throttle for their teams.

Meanwhile, your NHL officiating peers are giving their all, too – regularly logging 4-5 miles a game. Those totals are even greater at your level, where you and your colleagues officiate multiple games a day, several times per week, on a seemingly never-ending calendar.

And, although we want to perform our best every game, everyone has both good days and bad – players and officials alike. To learn more about keeping burnout at bay, we went to the experts: longtime amateur hockey scheduler Larry Carrington and former NHL official Mark Faucette.

“There is so much more to officiating than meets the eye,” said Faucette, a 17-year NHL veteran. “It may look easy from the stands, but to maintain total control of a game along with the stress, slumps, supervisors, travel, and fitness regimen takes a very special kind of person.”

Get in shape (and stay there)
We all think we’re in “pretty good” shape, but the reality is, officials must be top athletes and in great condition – even at the youngest levels.

“Conditioning is very important—the deeper into the season, the more important it is,” Carrington said. “Burnout happens physically, mentally, and emotionally. An official who is in good condition will experience less physical burnout, and that will in turn help with the emotional and mental burnout.”

Faucette stresses following a workout routine that maxes yourself at least every other day. Neither player or official should plan to use games as a vehicle toward better physical fitness.

“Where we used to go to camp to get into shape, officials today are on summer conditioning regimens and are tested as soon as they come to camp,” he said. “Taking care of your body is a total focus for the good official.

“The players are so much stronger and faster now, so it’s imperative the officials keep the same pace.”

Find balance
No, not balance on your skates (that’s a given). Rather, make sure to keep the big picture in mind, to work a manageable schedule that includes everything that’s important to you – family, friends, and time away from the rink.

Although it makes Carrington’s job as an assignor more difficult, he said it pays off in the long run.

“I encourage officials to take at least one weekend off to get away from hockey,” he said. “I certainly don't want to lose their services for a week, but the invigoration that it usually provides makes them a much more valuable asset over the course of the season.”

That’s huge in an industry where both mental and physical fatigue are commonplace.

“Every official runs into slumps, just as players do,” Faucette said. “You spend numerous hours alone as an official, and when things are not going good, where everything is negative, it can cause you duress.

“Positive thoughts and self-evaluations speed up recovery,” he continued. “So, instead of telling yourself, ‘I wonder what bad thing will happen tonight?’ say ‘I’m ready for anything – bring it on!’”

Have fun
It’s No. 3 here, but should be No. 1 on your to-do list.

“I realize the officials are all trying hard, and mistakes are part of any sport by any participant,” said Faucette, who currently serves as supervisor of officials for USA Hockey, the NAHL director of player safety and the SPHL director of officiating. “That being said, the joy I get out of seeing a young official start out at ground level and making the big time one day is immeasurable.”

For most of you reading this, the “big time” might not be the end goal (and that’s OK). But wherever you are, there’s experience you’ve gained, as well as that to come – which both point back to why you first got involved in this great sport.

As an assignor, Carrington tries to get out of the office as much as he can and intentionally varies the schedules of his officials to help keep things fresh. He also encourages his more senior officials to lend a hand to those who aren’t as long in the tooth.

“Going to the rink and helping officials help themselves get better can be very invigorating,” he said. “Even a very good, very experienced official will often find it fun and relaxing to mentor some new official at a lower-level game where the stress levels aren’t nearly as high.”

But no matter where you officiate, Carrington emphasizes keeping one thing in mind: the love of the sport and those playing it today.

“If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be out there.”

Winning Never Goes Out Of Style For Hall Of Fame Coach

12/01/2016, 12:30pm MST
By Harry Thompson - USA Hockey Magazine

Bill Belisle has coached for the past 42 seasons

Speaking from his heart, Coach touches the hearts of millions

12/01/2016, 12:15pm MST
By Harry Thompson - USA Hockey Magazine

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