Minnesota Made AAA

    Taylor Made

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Bryan Zollman There’s an old adage that great hockey players aren’t born, they’re made. And Red Wing’s Taylor Heise is a perfect example. Heise enters her senior season as the frontrunner for the Ms. Hockey Award and leads our list of the state’s top 25 players. Coming off a season in which she scored 54 goals and tallied 80 points, Taylor isn’t focused on...


    2017-18 Minnesota Girls’ High School Team Previews

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    Albert Lea Tigers Last year: 3-21-1 Conference (record): Big 9 (2-12-1) Section: 1A Home arena: Albert Lea City Arena Head coach: Jason Fornwald Years at school: First Career record: 96-68-13 Assistant coaches: Abby Leach, Laura Wagnen Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/4 Top returning forwards: Senior Maddy Carstens (19-20--39), senior Hannah Johnson (15-5--20) Top returning defenseman:...


    Dump the dump-and-chase

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Jack Blatherwick Let’s Play Hockey Columnist It started as a routine NHL play, one of those “safe” plays the TV commentators advocate with mindless reverberation. Team No-Name (I’ll protect the guilty here) “made a wise choice,” meaning they intentionally gave up the puck to Edmonton, their opponent, deep in the Oilers’ zone.  They “took no...


    Concussions in girls’ hockey

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS The topic of concussions and “head shots” in hockey has become a very hot topic as of late, especially in the world of men’s hockey. And while “head shots” aren’t as much of a concern in the female game, concussions are the most common serious injury in women’s hockey. In fact, the NCAA sport with the highest concussion rate (...


    Artist Pete Cote gives new meaning to the term "tape-to-tape"

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Bryan Zollman Let’s Play Hockey The term tape-to-tape in hockey is used to describe a crisp on-the-money pass from one teammate to another. But for Pete Cote, going tape to tape means he has begun a new art project. Cote, of Stillwater, makes distressed hockey signs using layers of hockey tape. His unique talent has led him to making signs for some of the biggest names in hockey, inclu...


    Developing a passion for the game

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Josh Levine Let’s Play Hockey The most fundamental and necessary attribute of a future top-notch hockey player is passion for the game. It is almost impossible for an athlete to reach the highest levels of hockey without having a passion for it. Given the importance of the passion factor, hockey associations and their development committees should be reviewing and assessing their ability...


    Training tips from Natalie Darwitz and Winny Brodt-Brown

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Mary Lynn McPherson &  Susan Rennie McPherson Hockey season is in full swing and whether you are a PeeWee or a pro, the way to move your game to the next level is summed up in one word:  TRAINING. Not merely “working out,” but specific hockey training. We had the opportunity to discuss training with two of the top names in women’s hockey:  Winny Brodt-...


    John Russo's Golden Rules for Forwards

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    The Golden Rules are the key items players should strive to master as they progress up through the ranks to high school and college. The best players at the highest levels of hockey follow most of the Golden Rules most often.  Players of average skills and speed will do very well if these rules are mastered.  While the rules are basic and seem obvious, it may take many years of concentr...


    Still a great day for hockey

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Dan Bauer   I was thrilled to receive a message a couple of months ago from Mike Cowan, informing me that there would finally be a book written about Bob Johnson. I don’t think there is any question that Wisconsin hockey at all levels wouldn’t be where it is today without the influence of “Badger Bob.” The legendary Wisconsin coach turned the unsuspecting Badgers ...


    “Coach said ...”

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Hal Tearse There are 53.8 million kids playing sports in the United States and the most common phrases they all say to each other and their parents is, “Coach said ….” Because kids pay close attention to what their coaches say and do, coaches hold great power to influence young people. Research shows that in the hierarchy of adults, coaches have the highest position in the ...


    Pioneers get an early wake-up call

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Andrew Vitalis Let’s Play Hockey University of Denver men’s hockey coach Jim Montgomery walked into the Pioneer locker room last Saturday, right after DU fell to Western Michigan for the second time in as many nights and saw something he hadn’t seen in over a year – disappointment. It wasn’t so much that the Pioneers lost to the Broncos, but rather how they lost.&...


    Building a learning environment for skating improvement

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Andy Ness When looking at skating during practice, there are many different areas with which to be concerned. Some people think of skating strictly as conditioning, while others think of skating as just going through edge drills.  What are some ways we can better help our skaters of all ages learn and improve their skating skills? The big thing I want coaches to think about is creating t...


    Officially Speaking: Through the lens

    Date:11/09/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Mark Lichtenfeld Mike Lynch is a veteran referee who loves officiating adult games. He’s one of those must-have guys that every local association needs in order to fill slots for the growing ranks of late-night butcher leagues throughout the country.  Yup, just about every night or weekend, Mike is trolling a rink or stadium where there’s a hockey game to be played. Wait, M...


    150 Reasons to Love Hockey

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Kevin Kurtt Let’s Play Hockey Editor Here in Minnesota, hockey is strongly woven into our fabric of life. Our state high school tournament regularly sells out. College hockey gets higher television ratings than some college or pro basketball broadcasts. The Minnesota Wild average more than 100-percent capacity at the Xcel Energy Center. Indoor and outdoor rinks dot the landscape of the N...


    The road to St. Paul follows many routes

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Dave LeGarde Let’s Play Hockey   As boys’ and girls’ high school teams begin practicing for the 2017-18 campaign, coaches throughout Minnesota will come to the realization that the grind is just beginning. Early season frustration is inevitable as all programs, especially those with a nucleus of inexperienced players at the varsity level, face the long road ahead. The ...


    A shrine to American hockey

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Dave Schwartz Let’s Play Hockey For some, the fact that the mecca of American hockey is based in Eveleth, Minn., is a bit of a surprise. But to those that run the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (USHHF), its the equivalent of an empty-netter. “This area was one of the birthplaces of hockey,” USHHF Executive Director Doug Palazzari told me by phone. “It’s been played her...


    The fine art of goalie parenting

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Chris Gernentz Goalie Coach Benilde-St. Margaret’s School Let me preface this episode with saying that I know that most of you are amazing parents, probably much better at it than I, but I also know some of you stress and struggle with this goalie parent thing! As most of you are preparing for a full game schedule, I see the pacing start. You’re nervous trying to find your perch a...


    Parents are responsible for team success

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Hal Tearse In today’s world of youth sports, parents are interwoven into the fabric of the teams on which their kids play. This is quite a change from 20 years ago when the kids were dropped off at the rink and picked up a couple of hours later. Because parents are so much more involved in the teams, they also have a significant role in the season outcome. By understanding their roles, p...


    Fundamentals for a great team

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Kevin Hartzell Let’s Play Hockey Columnist Dysfunction. I see it everywhere. This frustrates me as a fan of great teams. And it affects more than just me; it affects society. Before looking at top fundamentals for being a great “team,” it is good to understand that we can substitute the word “team” with “marriage” (small team), “high school commu...


    An open letter to coaches: Be positive!

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By John Russo Let’s Play Hockey Columnist The following letter went out to all of the Elite League (boys and girls) and Elite Development League coaches and assistants for the 2011 season. It was one of the items identified as a “focus” for that year’s play. As you all likely know, I feel the psychological portion of the game is as important as the physical, and in fact, o...


    Do you expect success?

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Kim McCullough, MSc, YCS While being part of a great player development program is important, it doesn’t determine the level of success a player achieves. Neither does the team you play for, the summer camps you go to or the coaches you listen to. There are plenty of opportunities for girls’ hockey players to grow and develop, but only a select few ever reach the highest level of a...


    Balance and edges

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Andy Ness When we talk about edges and balance, we are really talking about what we call the “foundation” for skating. We use the analogy of building a house. We all want to see the bells and whistles that go with a home, but without a solid foundation to stand on, the extra stuff won’t matter. Much like skating, we all want to work on the advanced skills, but without having ...


    What a difference a year makes

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Andrew Vitalis Let’s Play Hockey On the surface it may have been just another meeting, but in reality it was much, much more. Brooks Lockwood knew it. Dean Talafous knew it. Chase Blackmun maybe didn’t know it then, but he definitely knows it now. The Hudson High School boys’ hockey team had just wrapped up the year after finishing runner-up in the state tournament. Soon-to-...


    Officially Speaking: Etiquette

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Mark Lichtenfeld Etiquette.  Merriam-Webster defines etiquette as, “the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life.” Officiating incorporates etiquette.  Look, I’m not referring to basic fundamentals of officiating etiquette like handing off to a lefty into his left palm and not simply assu...


    The Hockey Doc: Bucket-handle meniscus tear

    Date:11/01/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    Question:  I injured my knee when I was checked into the boards during a college game and have a bucket-handle tear of my meniscus.  Should I have it repaired or should I have it taken out so I can return back to playing hockey right away? Answer: A bucket-handle tear of a meniscus happens when the meniscus is detached from its normal position in the back of the knee and flips to the fr...


    The concussion problem

    Date:10/25/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Jack Blatherwick, Ph.D. Let’s Play Hockey Columnist As a football or hockey parent, you might think, “My son never had a concussion, so I’m not worried about CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).” But you’d be wrong, according to each of the neuroscientists and retired football players who testified in a recent congressional hearing. The C-SPAN video is a must-s...


    Measuring and reducing impacts to the head

    Date:10/25/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Mike Shogren I love the game of hockey, and have been involved in youth and high school hockey for the past 15 years as a coach and association board member. My three sons all played the sport and each suffered a concussion, one of them major. When this injury occurred, I became very engaged in the research and technology being developed to study and treat concussions in football and hockey. I...


    The MIAC player: Probably a lot better than you think

    Date:10/25/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Bryan Zollman Let’s Play Hockey The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) kicks off its season this weekend at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn., with the 8th annual MIAC Men’s Hockey Showcase. The tournament offers a sneak peak at the top teams and some of the very best hockey players the state of Minnesota has to offer. How good is MIAC hockey? Probably a lot...


    The new bosses

    Date:10/25/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Andrew Vitalis Let’s Play Hockey You can bet that as time ticked away late in the third period on an Ohio State 3-2 win over the University of Minnesota on Oct. 6 – the Buckeye women’s first win over the Gophers since 2007 – Minnesota head coach Brad Frost, while unamused on the outside, was smiling a little bit on the inside as he peered across the ice at OSU head coac...


    Cold, dry hands: How short is your bench?

    Date:10/25/2017   Source:Minnesota Made AAA  

    By Hal Tearse Hockey is a team game, and youth hockey is for the enjoyment and development of all the players. At the college and professional ranks, teams play three lines regularly and often times use the fourth line. In youth hockey, the holy grail of “winning” is too often used to relegate the third line to the bench in many games. When I coached Bantam A teams, our opponents reg...