skip navigation

Merger pays dividends for San Diego Junior Gulls

By Mike Scandura - Special to, 12/13/13, 4:15PM MST


Not all mergers occur on Wall Street. Just ask the San Diego Junior Gulls and the La Jolla Jaguars, whose merger in 2012 resulted in the formation of an eminently successful youth hockey association in southern California.

“There are four hockey organizations in San Diego,” said Junior Gulls President Randy Moy, who’s both coached and played at the college level and who in past seasons has guided Junior Gulls teams to the California state finals. “The Junior Gulls are the biggest and most successful. Our hockey director, Tevia Arlidge, and I are close friends, and we’ve coached in the Junior Gulls.

“Tevia felt it would be a good idea if the Jaguars, who didn’t have many teams, wanted to merge with us. We felt what we could offer them was a bigger structure, a more professional environment, professional coaches and in general that would lead to all of the kids having higher-quality teams on which to play. If you merge two programs, you’ll have more hockey players and better ones from which to choose. It helps every level.”

Bottom line? It was a win-win situation for both organizations. In fact, for the Junior Gulls, it provided them with another badly needed sheet of ice.

“It worked out really well,” Moy said. “It gave us more players, plus their players and coaches could join a higher-level organization.”

The organization that plays under the Junior Gulls banner also ranks in the top five in California for travel hockey clubs and has been a major help in developing entry-level players.

This season, thanks to the merger, the Junior Gulls (who play in the Southern California Amateur Hockey Association) will field the following travel teams: Mite (non-SCAHA); Mite Elite Development; Squirt A and BB; Peewee A, AA and B; Bantam A, AA and AAA; and Midget 16 AA and 16 AAA.

The Junior Gulls don’t have an in-house program, but the Ice-Plex does.

“The rink owns the in-house program,” Moy said. “A lot of the kids who participate in the in-house program strive to make it to the Junior Gulls.”

The Junior Gulls have been in existence for over 40 years, which makes them one of the oldest organizations of the type in southern California. But until recently, the Junior Gulls drew players primarily from San Diego County. That’s no longer the case.

“Now, we have kids who drive 1 ½ hours south to play on some of our teams, which was unheard of five or six years ago,” Moy said. “A lot of it has to do with the program’s reputation.”

The program’s reputation is enhanced by the quality of the players it’s “graduated.” More notable Junior Gulls alumni including the following:

  • Chad Ruhwedel who last season made the jump from UMass Lowell to the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres.
  • Boston College’s Thatcher Demko, who’s a product of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
  • UMass Lowell’s Ryan Collins, who played on the U.S. National Under-17 Team.
  • Randy Moy’s son, Tyler Moy, who’s a freshman at Harvard University.
  • The University of University of Nebraska Omaha’s Austin Ortega.

In addition, coach Martin St. Amour once coached the West Coast Hockey League’s San Diego Goals while coach Noah Babin, who played at the University of Notre Dame, also skated for the U.S. Junior National Team and later the American Hockey League’s Albany River Rats.

The 3-on-3 Hockey Challenge is held in April and May and involves at least six or seven teams with six players per team.

“It’s cross-ice and you’re playing three games at a time with one in each zone, without referees,” explained Moy.

Moy credits former Junior Gulls Hockey Director Larry Cahn with establishing the 3-on-3 Hockey Challenge.

“[3-on-3] always has been popular in practice,” Moy said. “The offense and defense are instant. There isn’t coaching, yet the kids love it and think they’re playing in a game.

“It’s a perfect mixture of fun and development and all the skill work you would want in hockey.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Recent News

Most Popular Articles

COVID-19 and the 2020-21 Season

By Matt Leaf 04/02/2020, 11:30am MDT

Even with almost 50 years of involvement in hockey, you can’t plan for the current state of the world and the impact coronavirus has had on our game. I think it is safe to say that nothing prepares you for the changes that have taken place in our daily lives and the uncertainty of when things might return to normal. Or in this case, what will become the new “normal.”

Our expertise is hockey, so what we’ll address in this piece: the impact of the global pandemic on our game and how likely it will affect our game in the immediate future. 

USA Hockey continues to post information on COVID-19 on the main website. These updates keep our membership informed of specific programs and the changing safety recommendations that will be in place when hockey returns. Be sure to check back regularly for updates and other hockey information.

On the officiating front, much of what we are able to do from a program standpoint is connected to player events like national tournaments and player development camps. As you know, the national tournaments (along with the March, April and May IIHF World Championship events) were cancelled. The Officiating Program then canceled our two instructor training programs that were planned for late April and early May in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Colorado Springs, Colo. 

At this time, details for any potential summer development camps are still being determined. On the player side, several camps we are connected to were cancelled, and the few camps that are still in planning have been dramatically downsized. The Officiating Program continues to monitor the decisions made for players and will take advantage of any opportunity we have to salvage our summer camp program and maximize participation.

The good news is, we are confident we will have a 2020-21 season. All indications show no reason to delay registration. It will open as scheduled on or around May 26, followed by the open book exams and online seminar curriculum on June 1. 

SafeSport Training (required for anyone born in the year 2003 or earlier) and background screening (learn about the new national level screening program in the Q & A section) will also be available to complete at that time. If COVID-19 still has things slowed down in early June, it would be an ideal time to get these requirements completed.

The biggest unknown will be the timing in which we will be able to conduct seminars. The vast majority of rinks are currently closed, and many of them took this opportunity to remove ice to save operating costs and do maintenance. There is now doubt they will be prepared to quickly ramp up once they are allowed to do so, but as with most everything right now, the timing is uncertain. As a result, some of the earlier seminars may be pushed back a few weeks. The District Referees-in-Chief will secure ice times and facilities so we can provide seminar dates and locations as quickly as possible. We are also encouraging our instructors to think outside the box by providing some weeknight seminar options, and to look at other ways to best meet the needs of our members.

The Advanced Officiating Symposium, scheduled for Providence, R.I. in late July, is still going to plan. We will continue to monitor the situation, including local restrictions and travel advisories in the coming weeks, and we will announce any changes in advance to allow for alterations to travel arrangements. Click here for up-to-date information or to reserve your seat at the 2020 Advanced Officiating Symposium.

These are difficult times for everyone, and although our hockey family is important to us, it is a small fraction of the big picture that is impacting our daily lives. To quote Andy Dufresne in his letter for Red that he left under the big oak tree in The Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We hope the coronavirus is conquered with minimal loss of lives and a return to a prosperous normal as soon as possible. We hope your passion for the game of hockey will only grow as a result of its absence. We hope we are back on the ice in the coming months and that the 2020-21 season will be our best yet.

Thank you for your continued support of USA Hockey and don’t hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do to make your hockey experience a better one. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy and be prepared to be back on the ice soon.

Q&A: What Young Players Can Learn From Watching Games

By Tom Robinson 04/08/2020, 8:45am MDT

Director of youth hockey Kenny Rausch on what can be learned while watching

USA Hockey Announces National Background Screening Program

By USA Hockey 04/02/2020, 12:00pm MDT

In order to comply with new requirements from the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), USA Hockey will be implementing a national level background screening program. This program will replace all USAH Affiliate coordinated background screen programs.

Why must officials be screened?
Per USA Hockey and USOPC policy, all coaches, officials, board members, employees, volunteers, billets and anyone else who will have regular contact with, or authority over, minor athletes are required to submit a background screen before any contact with minor athletes.

Who is required to be screened?
Officials who are 18 years-old (or older) prior to June 1 of the current year.

Any official, 18 years-old (or older) without a completed valid background screen (national or USAH Affiliate coordinated) after April 1, 2019.

All national background screens are valid for two seasons, and starting on June 1, 2020 a national background screen must be completed and in good standing before receiving an officiating card and crest.

What are the timelines for launching the national background screen program?
Beginning on April 1, 2020, background screening will be conducted by our national background screen vendor, National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), and information on background screening will be included following your registration.

As of March 22, 2020, applicants will no longer be able to submit new USA Hockey background screens through USAH Affiliate vendors, and will not be able to submit new screens through NCSI until April 1, 2020.

If you were screened after April 1, 2019 for the 2019-20 season, your screen is valid for the 2020-21 season, and you will not need to be screened under the new system until prior to the 2021-22 season. If your most recent screen is from prior to April 1, 2019, you will need to be screened under the new system, after April 1, 2020, in order to participate in the upcoming season.

All new screens submitted through the new NCSI national screening program after April 1, 2020 will be valid for two seasons.  For example, a screen submitted and approved on April 15, 2020 will be valid through the end of the 2021-22 season, which is August 31, 2022.

How can members complete their required background screen?
A link to submit for screening will be included in your membership registration confirmation email and posted in the drop-down menu under the OFFICIALS tab at

Background screens through NCSI under the national program will cost $30 for all domestic screens. For international screens (members who have lived outside of the U.S. for six consecutive months in any one county during the past 7 years) the flat rate fee is $150. If that country is solely Canada, the flat rate fee is $75.

Where can members go with questions about the national background screen program?
Please refer to the USA Hockey Background Screen webpage at