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Welcome To Our April Newsletter

 

 

portraitSuitcoat100With April upon us, hopefully, Spring will soon spring for us all.

Congratulations if you are still playing. Hope the season continues to get extended for you…..

Just a very quick note to welcome you to this month’s newsletter.

Not too much to say, other than I hope all is well with you, and that you are getting closer to achieving your academic and athletic dreams.

This month, I think that we have gathered some very good articles and video for your reading and watching purposes and pleasure, as you consider what the next few months will bring for you.

If you ever think that we can help you leverage your hockey skills to achieve your academic pursuits, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hockeyfamilyadvisor.com


Sincerely,

David MacDonald, SPAD
Hockey Family Advisor


 

Posted in Newsletter

Jost turns pro, becomes school-record 22nd NHLer

Courtesy: Russell Hons for UNDsports.com

Jost was second on UND in points (33), goals (16), assists (19) and plus/minus (+17).

Courtesy: Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations

 

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota freshman standout Tyson Jost has signed a three-year, entry level contract with the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche and will join the club for the remainder of the 2016-17 season, it was announced on Wednesday evening by the Avalanche.

Jost was selected in the first round (10th overall) by the Avalanche in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The St. Albert, Alberta, native played in 33 games as a freshman at North Dakota in 2016-17, ranking second on the team in points (35), goals (16), assists (19) and plus/minus (+17). He also set a UND single-season record by winning 60.1 percent of his faceoffs and earned National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) All-Rookie Team honors despite missing seven games.

Button-Ad-2017-CHAFindOutMoreJost was also named to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament Team with one goal and three assists in two games, figuring in on all four UND goals in the tournament.

Earlier this year, Jost won a silver medal with Canada at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal. He collected one goal and three assists in seven games.

Jost is the second UND player to sign an NHL contract since the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, joining Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser. Once Jost makes his debut with the Avalanche, he will become the 22nd UND alum to reach the NHL this season — the most of any NCAA program in the country and the most from UND in a single season in school history.

Other UND alumni to have played in the NHL this season include: Drake Caggiula (EDM), Taylor Chorney (WSH), Aaron Dell (SJ), Derek Forbort (LA), Matt Greene (LA), Rocco Grimaldi (COL), Paul LaDue (LA), Zane McIntyre (BOS), Brock Nelson (NYI), T.J. Oshie (WSH), Zach Parise (MIN), Carter Rowney (PIT), Jordan Schmaltz (STL), Nick Schmaltz (CHI), Dillon Simpson (EDM), Drew Stafford (WPG/BOS), Troy Stecher (VAN), Jonathan Toews (CHI), Chris VandeVelde (PHI) and Travis Zajac (NJ).subscribe

 

Jost’s Career Statistics:
Year GP G A PTS PIM PPG SHG GWG +/-
2016-17 33 16 19 35 22/44 5 1 2 +17
Totals 33 16 19 35 22/44 5 1 2 +17

NHLPA considering restricting agents from contacting players under 16

Sean Day

 

The NHL Players’ Association is considering introducing a new regulation that would bar certified agents from contacting players under the age of 16 or their family members.

The possible regulation has been discussed by union staff for the past year, NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon told TSN.

“There is a lot to consider,” Weatherdon wrote in an email to TSN. “If we put a rule like this in place, it is a very big undertaking with certified agents and prospects all over the entire world. How would we go about ‘policing’ it and at what cost? So the age limit matter is getting discussed, but a decision isn’t imminent.”

subscribeIt’s unclear what kind of penalty the NHLPA might introduce for breaking a rule on contacting young players if it does introduce such a ban. It’s also unclear how the NHLPA might navigate the issue of agents being contacted by the families of young players.

Weatherdon said that multiple staff members within the NHLPA are involved in the discussion. The regulation is being contemplated, Weatherdon said, because there’s “concern that increasingly young players are being recruited and signed by agents.”

Two current NHL player agents told TSN that some agencies hire bird-dog scouts, who are typically former pro players not certified as agents, to establish relationships with players as young as nine or 10.

The NHLPA discussion coincides with work being done by former NHL player Pat LaFontaine, who has been researching the state of player development in North America on behalf of the NHL and other stakeholders.

Besides recommending pushing the NHL draft age of players to 19, LaFontaine has also recommended a rule barring agents from contacting young players, according to two player agents who have reviewed his report.

It’s unclear whether LaFontaine, who was commissioned by the NHL, has completed his research. No report has been released to the public.

Former Calgary Flames general manager Craig Button, now a hockey analyst and TSN’s Director of Scouting, sees inherent problems with agent-player relationships at a young age.

“They all recruit young players because they have to, because everyone does it,” Button said. “It’s a problem because it really sets these kids up with unreal expectations. The agents want to get hired, so they tell the kids all the upsides, all the things they’re doing great, and what a good chance they have to make it to the National Hockey League.”

The truth that few pre-teen phenoms advance to playing professional hockey can be difficult for players to cope with.

“The reality is that for all the kids born on the earth in one year, 40 of them are going to go on and play at least 400 games in the NHL,” Button said.

With players as young as 14 in Western Canada being asked to either commit to Western Hockey League teams or U.S. universities, Button said he worries that a regulation banning all contact between agents and young players might rob them of valuable advice.

“It’s hard to figure this all out when you have these choices between major junior and school at such a young age,” he said.

Contest-Button1Weatherdon said the NHLPA is aware of the need young players might have for advice and it will be a factor in the union’s decision.

If the NHLPA passes such a rule, the union, which oversees and regulates about 200 certified player agents, would follow a move made at least 15 years ago by the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation, which introduced a similar rule barring agents from contacting players under 16 or their families.

“It’s a good rule,” said Christian Lechtaler, general manager of the Frolunda Indians, a pro team in Sweden. “Let kids be kids. What good comes of having agents sign up as advisors to kids who are 10 or 11 years old? There’s no rush.”

Kristoffer Sparring, president of SICO, the Swedish-equivalent of the NHLPA, said player agents who are found to have violated the under-16 rule can have their certification suspended and be fined by the association for as much as 50,000 Swedish Krona ($7,564 Canadian).

The NHLPA will discuss the potential rule during meetings with player agents in New York on March 28, Vancouver on April 3 and Toronto on April 4.

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Four Weeks To A Better Player

Take The Right Steps To Improving Your Game and Yourself

By: Ricki Dugdale

This article was first published in the late summer, but I thought the information would be better shared at this time of the year.

Another hockey season has arrived. It’s time to see who spent the summer improving their skills and who spent it sitting on the couch playing Super Mario Brothers.

If you fall into the latter category, there’s still hope. USA Hockey Magazine asked the fitness experts from the National Strength & Conditioning Association for advice that will help every hockey player improve all aspects of his or her game in four weeks time.

Not that you’ll be the player you want to be after four short weeks, but if you follow this advice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better player.

 

 

Better Hockey Shape

Hockey is about rest and recovery, so the training routine should be more like a sprinter than a marathon runner. Instead of running long distances, your workout should consist of short interval training, like running shuttles or suicides. You also need to incorporate the right amount of rest between intervals. If you run a suicide for a minute, then give yourself two minutes to rest so your body recognizes that recovery period and can adapt.

Getting into hockey shape requires you to maintain the proper balance of working and resting, because you will be spending time resting on the bench between shifts.

 

Turn Off Before Turning In

Did you know that playing video games before bed can actually prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep?

It’s true. While video games may be good for hand-eye coordination, they shouldn’t be played before bed because your brain is still racing through Grand Theft Auto and you’re not getting into the right R.E.M. cycle.

The shoot ’em up, blow ’em up video games with a lot of screen changes, and even action movies, have the same effect.

So the next time you want to play that last level in Halo, remember that even the Colorado College hockey players are not allowed to play video games the night before a game.

 

Better Quickness

As a hockey player, your focus should be on speed and explosive movements because you are never going to reach full acceleration — the rink is not big enough.

Your first-step quickness is going to be your bread and butter, so work on the short, five- to 10-yard sprints. Diagonal movements are also important because you are pushing off of your skates in a diagonal motion, not pushing straight back like a runner.

Better Strength

Building strength is not all about how much weight you can lift. You can be the smallest guy on the team and still be the hardest one to knock off the puck.

Resistance is the key to developing strength and power. Being able to pull or push through your own weight will teach your muscles how to compensate for that resistance so that once you step out on the ice, your stride is more powerful and you become a stronger force.

 

Building A Better Core

Sit-ups and crunches are always going to be a great way to get strong abs, but hockey players should not put so much emphasis on the traditional methods. After all, hockey players play the game on their feet, not lying down.

As a hockey player, you also have tighter hip flexors from bending to accelerate or take a face off. So performing standing twists or overhead squats can help loosen up your hip flexors.

Greater Flexibility

In order to get the most range of motion from your muscles, two different types of stretches should be used in your workout.

Essentially, static stretching is your resting range of motion while dynamic stretching is your active range of motion.

Dynamic stretching should be done before a workout in order to get your blood flowing and to prepare your muscles for the work they will be doing. Dynamic stretches are done on the move and go through the muscles’ entire range of motion.

Static stretching should be done after a workout when your muscles are warm. Static stretches help maintain flexibility in the muscles.

 

A Healthier Lifestyle

A healthier lifestyle is much more than just eating right. While it is still important to make sure you’re not eating fast food burgers everyday, you also need to make sure you are training right and getting enough sleep.

More is best to a certain extent, but taking time off to be just a kid is what most athletes miss out on.

For the younger kids, parents need to take an active role in making sure that players are developing good habits at home. There is not much you can control once your kid hits the ice, but at home, you can regulate what your kids eat, how much they train, when they go to sleep and when they need to focus on school. Habits formed now will follow them throughout their playing days.

 

Improving Your Hockey Sense

Most players in the past developed hockey sense – the ability to read the ice – by spending countless hours on a local pond or backyard rink. Since those days have pretty much gone the way of the wooden hockey stick, players must find different ways to develop their hockey sense.

Getting off the couch and stepping away from the Xbox is a great start. Any opportunity you have to have a stick and a puck (or ball) in your hands is a great start. Whether it’s putting together a game of street hockey with friends or playing knee hockey in your basement with your brother, playing without coach or parent interference will allow you to figure things out on your own, and that will then translate to the ice.

On the ice, small area games are great training methods because you have to learn to read and react quickly with the puck. And even with the high cost of ice time, coaches should still find time to dump a bunch of pucks in the center of the ice and let players play.

Kickin’ Out The Jams

Are any of these heart-pumping songs in your iPod?
1. Broadway by The Goo Goo Dolls
2. Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
3. Learn to Fly by Foo Fighters
4. That Was a Crazy Game of Poker by O.A.R.
5. Wanted Dead of Alive by Bon Jovi
6. One Week by Barenaked Ladies
7. Jungle Love by Steve Miller Band
8. Run-Around by Blues Traveler
9. I’m Shipping Up To Boston by Dropkick Murphys
10. Back in Black by AC/DC

Music To Your Ears

For some athletes, listening to music while working out helps motivate them to reach new heights. Still, you have to be sure that you plug those headphones in at the right times.

You should listen to music when you are working out on your own, in a safe environment. Make sure you’re not on the street near traffic or in a gym setting where things can go wrong if you can’t hear someone yell a warning.

Try to avoid bringing your iPod to a training session with a strength and conditioning coach. They are there to coach you, not babysit. If you’re tuned into your tunes, you’re probably tuning out your coach.

Be careful about what you listen to when you are in a recovery work out, like riding a stationary bike after a game. When the tempo picks up in the song, then your tempo on the bike also picks up, defeating the purpose of a recovery ride.

Recovery Rides

Riding a stationary bike can help aid in recovery and cool down after a game or an intense workout. It gives players that didn’t see a lot of ice time some extra conditioning and it also helps circulation and blood flow slow down so the risk of cramping and tightening decreases.

Riding at a slow, easy pace for 10-15 minutes, followed by static stretching is a great cool down.

 

Be A Better Teammate

Being a better teammate starts with being the best person you can be. Your talent and skill will only get you so far and that’s when your character will shine through.

The higher you climb on the hockey ladder, the more you’ll find that everyone can play the game. Colleges tend to recruit character people, not just good hockey players. Make sure you are the type of person other players and coaches will want to be around.

 

A Better Shot

Like everything else in hockey, practice makes perfect. Find a technique that works for you and get outside with a makeshift net and shoot.

Repetition will make the motions seem natural, so when you do get on the ice, you won’t have to think about how to take the next shot. The key is repetition, repetition, repetition.

It’s also important to practice all types of shots, and from different angles. Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche spends time at every practice shooting from various angles and positions, including off the wrong foot and from his knees, because you are seldom in the perfect position for a shot on goal.

 

Six-Pack Abs

Every one, at one point or another, wants a set of washboard abs. However, as hockey players, having six-pack abs means you’re giving up something more important — body fat.

In order to have visible abs, your body fat must be very low, but that means that your gas tank is low. You need the body fat to burn as fuel when you are active.

Six-pack abs are certainly nice to look at, but you could be sacrificing performance.

The Brain Game

subscribeStudents that do well in school tend to do well in athletics. It is not necessarily translated in A’s on a report card, but students that have the ability to apply what they learn often do better in athletics. According to most coaches, if you’ll cut corners in the classroom, you’re likely to cut corners on the ice.

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Special thanks to Mark Stephenson, Jay Dawes and Greg Infantolino of the National Strength and Conditioning Association for their help with this feature.

 

How players go from ‘skinny fat’ to lean, mean NHL machines

Hockey players require a long healing process for their broken bodies before they can even think about training hard. 

By: Ronnie Shuker

 

Imagine four weeks of acupuncture, saunas and hot tubs. There are yoga, Pilates, meditation and tai chi sessions, too. And don’t forget the massage therapists, stretch therapists and chiropractors at your disposal. Oh yeah, and sleep, lots of sleep. It’s mandatory. Sounds like a blissful all-inclusive vacation, doesn’t it? Except there’s no mile-long white-sand beach where we ride on inflatable kayak sit on top or five-star hotel. No sun tanning, sipping margaritas or napping on lounge chairs. Just a gym and a long summer of training ahead.

When NHLers start training in the off-season, they don’t begin by pounding out squats, deadlifts and bench presses. Heck, they usually won’t lift anything for three or four weeks. After eight months or more of hockey, they’re so beat up that strength and conditioning coaches like Matt Nichol and Ben Prentiss spend up to a month just rebuilding their bodies. All those massages, yoga sessions and therapists are just part of the initial process of taking these broken-down jalopies and turning them into finely tuned machines again.

“A guy that plays an average number of minutes who doesn’t make the playoffs, he’s still going to show up at the start of the summer beaten, battered and bruised, probably malnourished and lacking sleep and all the rest of that,” said Nichol, who trains the likes of Tyler Seguin, Wayne Simmonds and Mike Cammalleri. “The focus of the first part of the summer is just getting healthy.” And those are just the guys whose seasons end early.

For players who make it to the playoffs, especially those who go on long runs, the post-season is like doing a hardcore workout after having run a marathon. The irony of the playoffs is the best hockey is played when the players are in their worst shape of the year. By the time their seasons are done, players have little, if anything, left to give. “I’ve been training guys now for 16 years, and I’ve yet to have a guy that’s come to me and said, ‘Yeah, I’m ready to go, 100 percent, no problems,’ – that doesn’t happen,” said Prentiss, whose clients include Jonathan Quick, Max Pacioretty and James van Riemsdyk. “They’re what I call ‘skinny fat,’ weak, toxic and injured – that’s pretty much what you’re getting. And the more minutes they play and the further they go in the playoffs, the worse they are.”

JVR_644x427


James van Riemsdyk and Ben Prentiss.

 

By “skinny fat,” Prentiss is referring to players losing muscle during the season but without dropping any bodyweight. With all the practices, games and travel, there’s no time to build muscle. Players are just trying to hold on to what they’ve built in the off-season, but they end up losing at least some muscle, which changes into fat.

Contest-Button1Rebuilding a player’s body depends a lot on how much time trainers have with them. Prentiss can do a lot more with guys who have missed the playoffs than he can for clients who go on long spring runs.

There’s also age to consider. The older the player and the more years in the league, the more recovery he’ll need. Seguin played 274 games in his first three seasons, but his body could handle it because he was in his late teens/early 20s. “If that was anyone else,” Nichol said, “if that was a 32- or 33-year-old veteran player, that would just destroy you.” Nichol describes the early weeks of rebuilding a player as “more therapy than training,” and it begins with the basics: good nutrition and proper sleep.

Seems so simple, right? But getting players on a normal sleeping schedule can be tricky. Game times, travel, pre-game coffees and energy drinks, stress and low vitamin D levels (players don’t get a lot since they’re inside arenas all season long) all play havoc with players’ health, particularly their hormone levels. Cortisol is an adrenal hormone that should be highest in the morning and lowest before bedtime, while melatonin, which helps regulate sleep and the immune system, works the other way. Players’ levels of cortisol and melatonin are usually out of whack and sometimes completely reversed. In the off-season, they’ll gButton-Ad-PreDraftet tested and possibly prescribed herbs and supplements to help get their levels back in line, but one of the simplest things they’ll do is change their sleeping habits, some take medicine as Zyppah for stop snoring so they sleep better. “These are players that have not been sleeping well,” Nichol said. “Getting eight hours from 2-10 isn’t the same as getting eight hours from 10-6. When it’s dark outside and the temperature goes down, if it wasn’t for artificial light, TV and computers that we have in our homes now, traditionally people would be winding down and your body would be getting ready for sleep. But if you’re an NHL player…these guys are getting fired up and wound up at 7:30 at night, which isn’t natural.”

Nutrition-wise, players start by detoxifying. Every player’s program is unique, and every strength and conditioning coach has a different philosophy, but Prentiss puts his clients on some variation of a high-fat diet that can include fish, chia seeds, walnuts, egg yolks, avocados, coconut oil and olive oil. He takes all the sugar out and has his guys rehydrate with lots of water.

The reconstruction process continues in the gym. Instead of weight training, players work on stretching, breathing and proper posture, using medicine balls, tubing bands and very light weights, if any at all. Nichol said some of his guys won’t even go near a dumbbell or barbell in the first few weeks of training.

The trick is to get players to tap into muscles they don’t usually use on the ice. Most are so one-side dominant, with one side of their body overcompensating for the other, that Prentiss has to even his guys out by putting them through what sounds like a grade school gym class. “That program might be rolling, tumbling, monkey bars, almost a gymnastics type of a workout,” Prentiss said. “Why? Well you’re getting back to nature, you’re getting more kinetic energy, you’re basically working all of these muscles…Your first time you do that, you might be a little dizzy, but all of that is working these muscles that, especially in hockey, never get worked.”

Jonathan Quick & Ben Prentiss.


Jonathan Quick and Ben Prentiss.

 

All of this, of course, is just the beginning.

The real work comes after Nichol, Prentiss and other elite trainers have rebuilt their broken-down clients. Once they’re put back together, players can begin to build the size and strength they need for next season.

“Players will come in from their summer training, and they’re really fit, from an off-ice perspective,” said Ryan van Asten, strength and conditioning coach for the Calgary Flames. “Their muscle mass is really good, and they’re typically really lean.”

subscribeNHLers live a charmed life, no doubt, but their summers are no island-paradise vacations. These dudes put in sweat equity equal to their profound contracts, and they’re willing to do it all over again every year. If anything, trainers have trouble making sure their guys don’t do too much too quickly. “It’s a tough sell sometimes, because they’ll see other guys in the gym and they’re lifting heavy and they’re doing conditioning and they’re doing sprints, and they’re like, ‘OK, I think I can do it, I feel OK, I think I can do it,’ ” Nichol said.

EmailThisArticle“You have to explain to them that it doesn’t matter .You have to respect the process. You have to take your time.”

 

Sleep – Effects on Performance, Injury Risk, & Player Success

 

While there are no magic bullets that target recovery, athletic performance enhancement, and injury prevention, good sleep hygiene may be today’s athlete’s closest thing to it; however, when it comes down to nerve injury claims, you do have to find professional help. With today’s compressed competition and training schedules, lack of sleep quantity, quality and consistency are taking their toll. Interestingly, recent evidence suggests that elite athletes actually require a greater sleep duration and quality than the average individual, however, paradoxically they are getting two-to-three hours less sleep than the regular population, and demonstrate worse measures of sleep quality. The aim of this month’s newsletter and information packet is to highlight the consequences of poor sleep behaviors and provide the membership with evidence-based solutions to promote optimal sleep behaviors in NBA athletes.

 

The Consequences of Decreased Sleep Duration & Poor Sleep Hygiene

Poor sleep behaviors can ultimately be broken down into two domains, sleep duration and sleep hygiene. Sleep duration is simply the length of time habitually slept over the course of a 24-hour period. Sleep hygiene is a more recent descriptor, representing both the pre-bedtime routine, sleeping environment, and sleep-wake schedule. Collectively, irregularities in aspects of either sleep duration and / or sleep hygiene can have detrimental consequences for the elite NBA athlete.

 

Performance

Sleep deprivation and poor sleep hygiene perhaps take their largest toll on an athlete’s physical performance. The evidence is clear that poor sleep behaviors decreases multiple domains of athletic performance. Specifically, decreased endurance, power output, dunkshooting accuracy, fatigability, and absolute strength. Recent studies in basketball athletes have identified sleep deprivation to decrease time to exhaustion during continuous treadmill running tasks. Furthermore, it appears poor sleep behaviors directly influence an athlete’s sense of perceived effort during athletic activities. A recent study compared running distances covered by athletes in “normal” and “sleep-deprived” conditions. For the same perceived effort, athletes covered shorter distances in the “sleep-deprived” condition compared to the “normal” sleep condition. Consequently, the NBA athlete may indeed “think” they are putting forth a maximal effort when sleep-deprived, yet will not be capable of achieving their maximal performance output as they would in normal sleep conditions. These findings are explained by increased circulating stress hormones and reductions in available muscle and systemic glycogen stores identified in sleep-deprived athletes prior to performance in the above performance assessments.

 

Neurocognitive Performance

As we all have experienced it, a lack of sleep simply makes us “feel tired,” but what are the exact measures of “feeling tired” that we can attribute to poor sleep behaviors? Sleep directly impacts three primary domains of neurocognition; (1) Attention, (2) Decision Making / Strategy, (3) New Skill Acquisition. Simply put, poor sleep behavior contributes to an inability to focus during competition, strength and conditioning sessions, and practice. While a sporadic lack of focus in the above is understandable in today’s NBA athlete, consistently poor sleep behaviors contributing to a lack of focus over time will impede player development. Furthermore, the concept of “catching up” on sleep does not have an acute benefit for improving attention and requires multiple days to recover. Thus, a consistent sleep duration or supplementation with napping is vital as will be discussed below.

Interestingly, some athletes are more susceptible to the effects of poor sleep habits on impairments in neurocognition – decision making / strategy, while others are more resilient. Unfortunately, it is not possible to identify who is more or less susceptible with any testing procedures, and an athlete’s perception of the effects of sleep behaviors on executive function are poor. Thus, it is important to pre-emptively instill ideal sleep behaviors regardless of the athlete’s perceived decision making / strategy capacity. Ultimately, the evidence base suggests that poor sleep impairs optimal in-game decision making, play reading / reacting to opposing team offensive and defensive activity, and implementation of specific game strategy.

Lastly, within the neurocognitive performance realm, sleep deprivation has a direct negative effect on player development by inhibiting new skill acquisition. Interestingly this consequence is most notable in young adults aged 18-25, NBA athletes commonly requiring the greatest need for player development. Specifically, poor sleep behaviors restrict an athlete’s ability to consolidate memories and result in a decreased capacity to develop a new skill . The decreased ability to consolidate memory from training results in decreased motor and tactical skill acquisition, such as lifting technique / form and shooting accuracy respectively.

 

Overall Health & Injury

Currently, there is a high level of evidence linking poor sleep behaviors to detrimental systemic effects. Specifically, lack of sleep and poor sleep hygiene have been Bobby Frasordirectly linked to an increased risk of type-II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and overall mortality. Within sport there appears to be an epidemiological link between injury and poor sleep, with almost a 2X elevation in injury risk in adolescent athletes sleeping less than eight hours on average per night per week. The increases in injury risk have been attributed to the increased reaction times with less sleep.

Limited sleep duration and poor hygiene are also associated with an elevated susceptibility to general illnesses secondary to a depressed immune response. Evidence implicates individuals achieving a greater volume of sleep are able to decrease the severity of and length of common flu signs and symptoms explained by markers of increased immune system function. Furthermore, long-term cohort studies have observed that individuals who report good sleep behaviors experience less frequency of signs and symptoms of general illness. Additionally, good sleep behaviors support healthy immune response to vaccinations, demonstrating a synergistic effect with common vaccination procedures such as those used for the seasonal flu.

Perhaps shared between performance enhancement, recovery capacity, and general health, good sleep behavior benefits optimal desired body composition for the NBA athlete. Sleep is conceivably identified as the primary regulator of metabolic hormones in the healthy athlete. Poor sleep behaviors have been identified to increase stress hormone (cortisol) known to promote storage of fat deposits and cause muscle catabolism, while simultaneously inhibiting the secretion of the anabolic human growth hormone (HGH) which normally promotes muscle tissue hypertrophy, recovery, and other tissue repair mechanisms. Consequently the sleep deprived athlete suffers from a hormonal profile promoting wasting of lean muscle tissue and storage of fat, facilitating an undesirable body composition.

 

Sleep Optimization

Improving an athlete’s sleep behaviors is by no means an easy task. Prior to intervening to improve sleep duration and hygiene it should be understood that it is important to communicate the underlying consequences of poor sleep and alternatively the targeted benefits of sleep optimization. Simply telling an athlete “sleep is good for you” likely will have minimal impact.

Button-Ad-2017-CHAFindOutMoreIt is important to highlight the benefits of optimal sleep and reinforce these behaviors with consistent messaging and monitoring to build positive habits. The remainder of this newsletter will discuss strategies to facilitate optimal sleep behaviors within the athlete to promote recovery capacity, athletic performance, and decrease injury. By no means are these recommendations exhaustive, but they provide an overview of best practices that apply broadly to the NBA athlete population.

 

Increasing Sleep Duration

While variable within the broad population, the restorative physiological benefits of sleep are realized with durations ranging from seven to nine hours. However, the young adult population requires approximately nine hours of sleep to optimize physical and neurocognitive performance. While the exact duration is variable and athlete specific, promoting sleep extension beyond 8-9 hours has been identified to be beneficial resulting in an enhanced anabolic / recovery response and improved athletic performance in basketball athletes. While at an extreme, there is some evidence that support total sleep volume should reach 80 hours per week in the athlete population.

80 hours per week seems unrealistic, which would result in ~11.4 hours per day, per week. However, leveraging napping during the off-season and travel may help athletes achieve this recommended total volume. Realistically this may be impossible for today’s NBA athlete in-season. However, during periods of recovery from injury, and off-season training the 80 hour target may be feasible, and should be recommended. While total sleep volume is important, acutely “forcing” an athlete to achieve greater sleep durations may be detrimental, prompting “sleep anxiety” which may actually result in difficulty falling asleep. Thus, when recommending sleep extension to an athlete, it is important to recommend a program to increase daily sleep no more than 15 – 30 minutes per evening.

To reinforce behaviors to increase sleep duration it is recommended that athletes and staff use a “sleep record / diary” paired with serial performance assessments. A general recommendation is to initiate a sleep extension program recommending 15-30 minute increases in sleep per evening for two weeks. Over the course of the two weeks the strength and conditioning coach can serially test the athlete’s performance (sprint times, agility, upper body power, vertical jump etc.) to “show” the benefits of sleep extension. While direct increases in performance may not always ensue. Various valid sleep and recovery questionnaires can be employed to determine the perceived benefits of sleep extension to the athlete.

Lastly, building and / or planning sleep duration increases during specific scenarios or points in the season may provide a recovery and performance benefit:

-Aim to achieve anabolic / hypertrophic response

-Recovery from injury

-Aim to decrease fat mass

-Aim to acutely increase athletic / tactical performance without timing / schedule for conditioning and skill development (i.e. compressed schedule, playoffs)

 

Improving Sleep Quality & Habits (Sleep Hygiene)

When improving sleep hygiene there are two primary areas of intervention; sleep environment and sleep routines. An optimal sleep environment can succinctly be described as one that is cool, quiet, dark, and comfortable. Whereas sleep routines can be broken down into pre-sleep activity and wake time anchoring.

Recommendations for an optimal sleep environment include:

Comfort Checklist

-Dark room (interior room with no windows or light blocking curtains)

-Sleep masks work for some as well, but some consider them uncomfortable

-Room temperatures 60°-70° F are conducive to sleepchecklist

-Mattress – generally preference & individual specific

Appropriate firmness

  • Comfortable sheets (preference)
  • Sleepwear (preference)
  • Quiet as possible (consider insulation at home)
  • Use of “white noise” / blocking devices

 

Establishing Pre-Sleep Routines

What NOT To do

  • Caffeinated Substance Consumption
    • Limit caffeine consumption 3-7 hours prior to bedtime
      • (While caffeine may be used as a performance enhancement aid, consider the timing of consumption when building into schedules – understandably this may be difficult to avoid)
  • Alcoholic Substance Consumption
    • Limit alcohol consumption 3-4 hours prior to bedtimeparty2.png
    • Although initially sedating, it is important to limit consumption, as there is substantial evidence that metabolism of alcohol during sleep impairs the natural sleep cycle and limits “deep / restorative sleep” and anabolic hormone release
  • Excessive Light Exposure
    • Exposure to screens (television, cell-phone, tablet, computer etc.) 1-2 hours prior to bedtime delays and limits serotonin release, which promotes “falling asleep”
    • Even if athletes note they can “fall asleep to screens” there is evidence that exposure proximal to bedtime similarly limits the volume of “deep restorative sleep” over the course of a sleep cycle

 

Good Behaviors – What you SHOULD do

  • Establish an overall sleep routine
    • Consistent bedtime (travel considerations are barriers)
    • **Consistent wake time – “ANCHORING the wake time”**
      • Identified to be one of the most influential factors in promoting beneficial consistency is to anchor the time athletes wake up in the morning regardless of time to bed and lost total duration
    • While this may be unlikely with schedules and achieving a critical mass volume of sleep, best efforts to maintain a wake time is ideal. Thus, in order to effectively to “calm down” after a late competition or other scenarios it is important to build in a “relaxation buffer” period 30-60 mins prior to target sleep time.
      • Warm shower – promotes relaxation through peripheral vasodilation and sensory stimulus
      • Self-Myofascial Release – Stretching
      • Meditation
      • Reading a book (paper – not tablet)

 

Deploying Countermeasures – The Realities of the Demands of the NBA Schedule

While the above recommendations for extending sleep duration and facilitating good sleep are supported by a substantially large evidence base, these recommendations are ideal. However, the realities of the NBA schedule present with many barriers to an ideal sleep program. Thus, it is necessary to present and deploy countermeasures to mitigate the effects of sub-optimal sleep behaviors. While these countermeasures are useful and effective, they by no means should be consistently applied to mask the underlying problems of limited sleep duration and hygiene. Regrettably, consistent application of these countermeasures will result in negative training responses, recovery capacity, and decreased performance over time. Ultimately the sleep behaviors as outlined above should be the primary focus of a sleep intervention aimed at optimizing performance in the NBA athlete. Below, countermeasures to mitigate the acute effects of poor sleep behaviors are described.

 

Napping to Increase Total Daily Sleep Volume

Napping throughout the day to increase total daily sleep volume has proved beneficial to make up for the effects of sleep deprivation on performance and can actually increase physical and cognitive performance acutely. However, improper napping techniques can lead to detrimental effects. Of primary concern are the effects of “sleep inertia” which causes excessive perception of fatigue when individuals wake from a nap at the incorrect time in their sleep cycle. A complete sleep cycle lasts approximately 90 minutes, with individuals entering deep sleep within 20-30 minutes. Awakening during a period of deep sleep results in increased sleep inertia. Thus, naps should either last no more than 20-30 minutes or on cycles of 90 minutes (1.5 hours, 3 hours, 4.5 hours etc.). Additionally, timing of naps can be important, it will likely be easiest to initiate napping in the early afternoon when “sleepiness” or “sleep drive” is known to increase.

 

Quick Napping Tips

  • Duration: Aim for 20-30 minutes or cycles of 90 minutes
  • Environment: Cool, quiet, dark, comfortable
  • Time of Day: Early afternoon

 

Caffeine

coffeeCaffeine has proved to be an effective ergogenic aid. However, the ergogenic effects are only maximally realized with adequate sleep. There is evidence to support that caffeine can indeed mitigate the effects of poor sleep habits. These ergogenic affects are only acute and taper rapidly when an individual is sleep deprived which are potentially further compounded and inhibited by the diuretic effects of caffeine in a fatigued state. One beneficial synergistic application of caffeine is that when it is used in conjunction with napping. Low to moderate caffeine doses (8 oz coffee) consumed prior to a 20-30 minute nap has been shown to increase the acute benefits of napping described above, as well as mitigate the potential for sleep inertia.

 

Minimizing the Effects of Travel on Sleep

Perhaps one of the primary barriers to optimal sleep behaviors of NBA athletes is that of travel across time zones resulting in a misalignment between an athlete’s circadian rhythm / biological clock and the local time zone, otherwise
planeknown as jet lag. Jet lag undeniably has been identified to decrease nighttime sleep quality as well as reduce daytime alertness. The general rule is that it requires approximately one day to adjust to a single hour deviation in time zone. While travel is persistent in the NBA, scheduling to adjust to longer periods of travel in a different time zone in one direction or another can provide some benefit. For example, two to three days prior to longer duration travel to a time zone(s) shift encouraging the athlete to sleep and wake on the intended travel destination’s time zone schedule can assist in adjustment upon arrival. However, shorter duration travel trips and various time zone shifts over an away schedule may prove the above recommendation ineffective. In such scenarios, napping as described will likely provide the most benefit to the athlete.

 

A Word on Sleep Disorderssleep-disorder

Persistent sleep deprivation may indeed be pathological in nature. If focused in-house interventions are not successful over time, it may be beneficial to “dive deeper” and involve sleep specialists and / or physicians and make a referral for the application of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. Evidence subscribesuggests cognitive behavioral therapy to be highly effective for the management and treatment of more advanced / serious sleep disorders. Using an assessment tool such as the Athlete Sleep Screening Questionnaire can assist in determining if referral is necessary.

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From a Hotel to the Golden Dome

 

It’s pretty simple. Pick out any single point on somebody within your field of vision. For me, I like to focus on the little logo on our game socks … eight minutes (exactly) before we step on the ice for warmups. Find a second teammate nearby and pick out the same thing. Then as fast as you can, for a minute or so, keep alternating between them. At first, try not to move your head. Then gradually start moving your head as if you were following a pass. Both spots, back and forth, whether they’re moving or not. Stay locked in. Tune out everything else and concentrate on them for as long as you possibly can.

It’s a good eye-warmup technique. It helps your focus when you have to instantly locate the puck in those critical moments in a game. I learned it from an older guy who had also played goalie when he was younger. We had talked a few times after games when I was playing in the USHL in Waterloo, Iowa. He told me about the technique and it has stuck with me ever since. I do it before every game now.

Maybe it sounds a little weird. But I feel like it’s pretty tame for a goalie as far as pregame rituals are concerned. People who know hockey have all heard the rumors about goalies. How they’re a little bit off. A little bit different. With all the stuff flying around out there, I can’t tell you what’s true and what isn’t.

The eye stretch is legitimate, though. It’s a real thing I do. And I can tell you that I, without a doubt, identify as a goalie — which means you can trust me.


I spent some time living out of a hotel in Chicago when I was 16. But it wasn’t because of a weird goalie superstition or anything like that. (Though I’m sure that if Martin Brodeur came out tomorrow and said he credited all of his 691 wins to routinely staying at a hotel, goalies all over the country would start begging their parents to pack their bags and get on the road.)

I stayed in that hotel for a different reason: I was a little bit in limbo that year. I didn’t know if I was going to get called up to stay for good with my hometown Waterloo Black Hawks or if I was going to spend the rest of the season in Chicago, where I was playing for an under-18 team in the Midwest Elite Hockey League.

Waterloo is obviously a decent drive from any major hockey city. When people think of Iowa, I know that the word hockey doesn’t scream out right away, so maybe it seems a little unusual that my family would be so invested in my youth hockey career.

But my father was a goalie. That’s how it all started. He didn’t play in the NHL, but he minded net throughout college. He taught me to skate when I was four years old. Four years later, I started playing competitive hockey.

Naturally, I was a skater first. My dad didn’t exactly try to prevent me from starting out my playing career as a goalie, but it clearly wasn’t his first choice. Maybe he was afraid that I’d get injured, or that I wasn’t big enough to master the nuances of the position back then. And as an ex-goaltender, he understood the pressures of being the last line of defense. I’m glad he let me though, because we have been best friends ever since.

I loved the pads. Ask any goalie how he first started and there’s a good chance he will say he was enamored with the gear like I was. I had to wear them. It was like I had to be a goalie. I still remember the day I asked my parents for my first set of pads.

It could be that I was always a goalie — like I was born that way and deep down my parents always knew it — but it took me getting to a certain age for them to be comfortable admitting my potential. Like how Dumbledore waited until Harry Potter was 11 before telling him he was a wizard. (Yer a ’tender, Calvin.)

By the time I had turned 11 I was deep into the life. I had my pads. My mask. My life-size Martin Brodeur Fathead on my bedroom wall. The only thing I needed was the stiff competition. Playing for a Triple A team was step one.

And that’s when the driving started. First came a Triple A team in Minneapolis (practically Wisconsin) and a couple of years later, a team in Madison. So three times a week during the season, one of my parents would pick me up after school and drive me 3½ hours to practice around the Twin Cities area. If it was a nice day, my dad would fly me in his small single-engine airplane, and it would cut the travel time down to an hour. The times in the car and the plane with my mom and dad are some of my fondest memories.

My parents only had one rule: “If we’re going to spend half of our days driving you to hockey practice, you’re going to make every single second of practice worth it.”

That was their only condition, and I did my best to honor it. I was always sort of aware that they had contributed a lot for me to be able to play hockey, but I don’t think it was until I got to college that I really thought about just how much time they actually spent just lugging me and my pads around in the car.

No matter how determined I was to play hockey, I literally could not have done it without so much support from them. It would have been physically impossible. No amount of heart or willpower can cover that amount of distance and travel expense. I’m very lucky that I just got to sleep in the car (and play hockey) while they did all of the actual hard labor.

After three years on the road, I stayed home the next year and played for my high school team. In addition to both JV and varsity practices, I practiced every day with the Waterloo Black Hawks. Three-a-days were definitely tough, but each one made me a better goaltender. But I didn’t start a single varsity hockey game my freshman year. That next season, I had the option of staying in Iowa and trying to practice with the local USHL team, the Waterloo Black Hawks, or playing in Chicago for the Midwest Elite Hockey League. The opportunity was too good to pass up. I talked it over with my family and they gave me their support right from the beginning.

It was just a matter of getting the logistics worked out.

During the first few months, we found an unfurnished house for rent, and either my mom, dad, or aunt would stay with me while somebody else stayed back home in Iowa with my sister. It was exhausting, but we worked it out. Moving to a new city, a new school and a new house was tough, but it made me appreciate time with my family that much more. The season went well, but it was definitely a relief to go back home after it was over.

The following season was even harder. I had been drafted to play for Waterloo in the USHL, but I wound up splitting time between home and Chicago because the Young Americans had also invited me back to play for a second year. This time it wasn’t so easy to find a house or create a convenient family schedule. So we ended up living for part of the year in a hotel. And trust me, it wasn’t a nice one.

Parents don’t want to live with their teenage kid in a hotel room. That sucks. It takes a mental toll. It was difficult for my entire family. Even my sister, who had to deal with everybody only being together during holidays, or sometimes on hockey weekends. She probably grew up just as fast as me during those years. She’s the unsung hero.

The sacrifices families make so that one person can pursue their dream is hard to even believe. The only person who ever complained was probably me, when I was sore or exhausted. When I’d start to feel overwhelmed by it all, on nights when my body would ache while I’d be lying in my hotel room 300 miles from my real bed — tucked under a questionable green bedspread that apparently doesn’t get washed regularly — I’d just think about what my parents had told me.

“Make every second count.”

I eventually left Chicago for home to play for the Black Hawks full-time. I got to sleep in my own bed and my whole family was under one roof again and even better a recently fixed roof by Palm Beach Roofing Expert. The drive to the rink was five minutes, and I got to play in front of my hometown fans, on a team I had been watching for as long as I could remember, and in a building where I had laced up my first skates and strapped on my first pair of pads. Everything was perfect.


I was excited when I got asked to visit Notre Dame. My family was excited. After I made my first visit, my parents told me to wait a bit and really consider my options. But I called Coach Jackson the night I got home. I couldn’t wait. It just felt right. The campus, the facilities, the culture, the history — there was a sense of a pride that I could feel right when I stepped foot on campus. This was home for me. Plus, the hockey team needed a goalie.

In my mind, there was really nothing else to consider. Stars had aligned. When Coach Jackson and I were talking about whether I would have the opportunity to play as a freshman, he told me something that has stuck with me: “Cal, I promise you one thing, you will get what you earn.” As soon as I put on the Notre Dame sweater for the first time, I felt like this was it. All the years of playing for so many different teams in so many different places, of putting my family through so much, this was where it all came together. I told myself that I was going to make every second in South Bend count.

There’s so much tradition at Notre Dame. And it’s so exciting to be able to play in front of a college crowd that’s your friends, classmates and alumni — all die-hard Irish supporters. It’s the kind of environment you live for, and there is nothing that rivals Compton Family Ice Arena on a Friday or Saturday night. With the band blasting the fight song throughout the building, there is only one goal that comes to your mind, and in giant letters in the building, everyone is reminded: Onward to Victory.

 

Last year we got a taste of something beyond the regular season. This year feels almost like a continuation of that story. And as the championship field starts, there’s an energy right now in our locker room. This is the most fun hockey can be. All the hard work we put in — all the way back from two weeks after last season ended, through the summer, the regular season and the conference playoffs. At this point, every game matters. Every shot. Every goal. Every save.

You imagine these games in your head — the big moments and the high stakes. Every day that you spent grinding — the bike rides in the summer, the drives to the rink, the infamous Notre Dame Gauntlet Run —  you were imagining yourself playing in this tournament. And best of all, you’re going to be playing with 26 of your best friends.

subscribeAnd now it starts. Sixteen teams competing for a shot at the championship. Everything has been leading up to this. Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago and Waterloo have all led me to South Bend. And it’s time to play hockey … But first, I have to stare at the little logo on our game socks.

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Body Language and Recruiting

 

 

Over the years, as I have spoken to various coaches, and I have discussed players with them, I am often reminded of the aspects of a player’s game that has nothing to do with their playing skills.

subscribeRecently, we have come across this video…. entitled, “Body Language Matters”, in which Coach Geno Auriemma comments on body language and the type of players he recruit.

Coach Gino is the head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team.

We think this important message is something that every player should keep in mind, at every level, and at every stage in their lives. I think that as mom and dads, this video is an important reminder as well.

 

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Storylines to Watch in Chicago’s NCAA Frozen Four

Four elite teams meet at United Center for the 2017 Frozen Four.

 

 

photo

Notre Dame junior Anders Bjork is the top-scoring player entering the Frozen Four with 52 points on the year.

 

By Nate Ewell

 

Thursday, April 6
6 p.m. ET: Harvard vs. Minnesota Duluth (ESPN2/TSN GO)
9:30 p.m. ET: Denver vs. Notre Dame (ESPN2/TSN GO)

Saturday, April 8
8 p.m. ET: Championship Game (ESPN/TSN GO)

 

Frozen Four Media Kit (.pdf)


Elite field – The 2017 NCAA Frozen Four is just the second in the tournament’s 16-team history (since 2003) that the top three seeds in the tournament advanced to the Frozen Four (also 2014).


Experienced leaders – All four head coaches have won NCAA championships, either as coaches (Notre Dame’s Jeff Jackson and Minnesota Duluth’s Scott Sandelin) or as players (Denver’s Jim Montgomery and Harvard’s Ted Donato). Montgomery and Donato were both named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player when they won it and hope to join four men who have won titles as both player and head coach: Dean Blais, Mike Eaves, George Gwozdecky and Al Renfrew.


Future stars – More than half of all NHL teams (17 of 30) have draft picks in the Frozen Four (27 total), with several other free agent and 2017 NHL Draft prospects in the mix as well. Harvard and Notre Dame lead the schools with eight draft picks apiece on their rosters, while Boston, Buffalo and Florida each have three prospects in the field to lead NHL teams.


New face? – The last six NCAA championships have been won by six schools, and Minnesota Duluth is the only Frozen Four entrant among that group. Four of the last six champions were first-time winners, and Notre Dame could join that group. The other three semifinalists have combined to win nine NCAA titles (seven for Denver, one each for Harvard and Minnesota Duluth).


The roads traveled – A bit on the paths to Chicago for each of the four semifinalists:

-Denver: The Pioneers rebounded from an 0-2-0 start and had unbeaten streaks of 15 and 13 games, solidifying one of the top two spots in the polls for most of the season. They entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and are led by four players with more than 35 points – a trio of underclassmen at forward and senior defenseman Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis./NTDP/COL). They are the only Frozen Four returnee from last season.

-Harvard: A talented senior class led Harvard to its first Beanpot title since 1993, an ECAC regular-season co-championship and the ECAC Tournament title. The Crimson head to Chicago boasting a school-record 18-game unbeaten streak (17-0-1) and the best offense in the nation.

-Minnesota Duluth: The Bulldogs opened the season with eight straight games against NCAA Tournament teams and went 5-1-2, and they were among the top three teams in the country virtually all year. UMD features a balanced offense – it doesn’t have a 20-goal scorer, while the other teams each have two – and one of the nation’s top freshmen goaltenders in Hunter Miska (Stacy, Minn./Dubuque-USHL).

-Notre Dame: The only team that wasn’t the No. 1 seed in its region, Notre Dame beat Minnesota and avenged a Hockey East semifinal loss to UMass Lowell to advance. Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis./NTDP/BOS) is the top scorer in the Frozen Four and leads a talented Irish junior class.


Captains’ log – College hockey captains typically boast fascinating stories, and the leaders of these four teams are no exception:

-Denver: Defenseman Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis./NTDP/COL) is a returning All-American who has been even better as a senior, much like the Pioneers as a team. He is one of three Hobey Baker top 10 finalists to make the Frozen Four (with Alexander Kerfoot and Anders Bjork).

-Harvard: Alexander Kerfoot (West Vancouver, B.C./Coquitlam-BCHL/NJ) and Devin Tringale (Medford, Mass./Valley-EJHL) are co-captains leading an eight-member class that has won 78 games at Harvard, the most at the school in more than a decade.

-Minnesota Duluth: Senior Dominic Toninato (Duluth, Minn./Fargo-USHL/TOR) is a second-generation Bulldog and the leader of a formidable group of local players on the UMD roster.

-Notre Dame: The only goaltender in the nation to wear the ‘C’ this season, junior Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa/Waterloo-USHL/BUF) has started 89 straight games, the fourth-longest streak in Division I history. He shared his path to Notre Dame with The Players’ Tribune last week.


Home state – Only Minnesota (29) and Wisconsin (8) have produced more players in the Frozen Four than Illinois (7, tied with Colorado). The Land of Lincoln ranked fourth among states producing players on the 16 tournament teams with 24 and was the only state in the top eight that isn’t home to a Division I program. The Illinois natives in the Frozen Four:

-Denver: Erich Fear (Winnetka), Greg Ogard (Wilmette)

-Harvard: Adam Baughman (Chicago), Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale)-

Notre Dame: Tody Dello (Crystal Lake), Jack Jenkins (Lake Bluff), Bobby Nardella (Rosemont)


Hey, neighbors – In addition to the Illinois natives in the field, 11 players hail from states neighboring Illinois. Eight are from Wisconsin, including Hobey Baker top-10 finalists Will Butcher (Sun Prairie) and Anders Bjork (Mequon).


O from the D – All four teams feature defensemen who are active offensively, with a blueliner on each team among the top 11 nationally in scoring.

Most Points by Defensemen, Frozen Four Participants
39 – Adam Fox, Harvard (1st nationally)
36 – Will Butcher, Denver (t-2nd)
33 – Neal Pionk, Minnesota Duluth (t-5th)
31 – Jordan Gross, Notre Dame (t-9th)


Legacies – Key players on each team have family histories in the game. Among them:

-Denver: Will Butcher’s father, Joe, won two NCAA Division III titles with Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1989, ’90) … Tyson McLellan’s father, Todd, is the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers and a former NHLer … Logan O’Connor’s father, Myles, was a star at Michigan and played in the NHL.

-Harvard: Ryan Donato’s father, Ted, won the 1989 NCAA title with Harvard and went on to play 796 NHL games … Luke Esposito’s uncle is Hall of Famer Mark Messier … Tyler Moy’s father, Randy, played at Western Michigan and his uncle, Rodger, played at Michigan Tech … Ty Pelton-Byce’s father, John, played at Wisconsin and in the NHL.

-Minnesota Duluth: Dominic Toninato’s father, Jim, also played at UMD and was on the school’s first Frozen Four team, in 1984.

-Notre Dame: Leading scorer Anders Bjork’s father, Kirt, also played at Notre Dame … Dylan Malmquist’s father, Derek, played at Harvard.


On a roll – The four participating teams rank among the top seven nationally in winning percentage since Christmas, with a combined 68-15-9 record (.788) in that time.

Best Winning Percentage, Since Christmas
.854 – Harvard (20-3-1)
.812 – Denver (19-4-1)
.792 – Air Force (18-4-2)
.773 – Minnesota Duluth (15-3-4)
.773 – Canisius (15-3-4)
.739 – UMass Lowell (17-6-0)
.705 – Notre Dame (14-5-3)


20-20 vision – Seven teams in the nation had multiple 20-goal scorers and three of them are in Chicago. Minnesota Duluth is the only team in the field without a 20-goal scorer, but its goal-scoring leaders have 19 (Alex Iafallo) and 18 (Adam Johnson).

Most Goals, Frozen Four Participants
22 – Troy Terry, Denver
21 – Anders Bjork, Notre Dame
21 – Henrik Borgstrom, Denver
21 – Ryan Donato, Harvard
21 – Tyler Moy, Harvard
21 – Andrew Oglevie, Notre Dame
19 – Alex Iafallo, Minnesota Duluth


Class by themselves – Harvard’s senior class has more goals (78) and points (191) than any other class from one team – 16% more goals than the next closest class (UMass Lowell’s juniors) and 22% more points (Penn State’s freshmen). Among senior classes, Minnesota Duluth ranks second in goals (58) and points (152).

Highest Scoring Classes, Frozen Four Teams
Harvard seniors: 78-113—191
Notre Dame juniors: 52-103—155
Minnesota Duluth seniors: 58-94—152
Denver sophomores: 64-87—151


From all over the map – Players from five countries, 18 states, six Canadian provinces and the District of Columbia are in the four-team field. Minnesota leads all states and provinces with 29 players in the Frozen Four.

By State
29 – Minnesota
8 – Wisconsin
7 – Colorado, Illinois
6 – Massachusetts, New York
4 – California
3 – Connecticut
2 – Missouri
1 – District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington

By Province
11 – British Columbia
7 – Alberta
3 – Quebec, Ontario
2 – Saskatchewan
1 – Nova Scotia

By Country
80 – United States (74%)
27 – Canada (25%)
1 – Austria, Finland, Sweden


NOTEWORTHY

Teams that have led after two periods in the 2017 tournament are 8-0 … The four teams in the field are 82-1-4 when leading after two periods … This marks just the second time since 1970 that none of the five schools with the most Frozen Four appearances – Boston College, Michigan, Boston University, North Dakota and Minnesota – are in the Frozen Four (also 2012) … Three NHL teams have teammates whose alma maters will be facing off in the semifinals: New Jersey (Beau Bennett vs. Kyle Palmieri), NY Islanders (Scott Mayfield vs. Anders Lee) and Tampa Bay (Alex Killorn vs. J.T. Brown/Jason Garrison) … United Center is the eighth NHL arena to host an NCAA game this year … Twelve players in the field – with at least one per team – were part of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, and 62 played (including those 12) played in the USHL … Harvard’s John Marino and Notre Dame’s Tory Dello were teammates on the Tri-City Storm team that won the USHL’s Clark Cup last season.

Denver: Henrik Borgstrom is one of six freshmen nationwide to lead his team in scoring (other teams: AIC, Boston University, Michigan, Minnesota State, Penn State) … Tanner Jaillet’s seven career NCAA games are the most by a goaltender since Boston College’s John Muse (9 GP, 2008-10) … The top faceoff team among the four (54.4%) … Leads the nation in second-period goals (64) … Troy Terry’s five points vs. Penn State were the most in a tournament game since Johnny Gaudreau had six vs. Denver in 2014 … The Midwest Regional Final was the 100th win for head coach Jim Montgomery and the program’s senior class; only North Dakota (109) and Quinnipiac (102) have more wins in that time … Jim Montgomery’s first year of coaching was as a volunteer assistant coach under Jeff Jackson at Notre Dame.

Harvard: The Crimson’s 18-game unbeaten streak is the longest for a team entering the Frozen Four since Northern Michigan’s in 1991 (22-0-2); its 16-game winning streak is the longest for a team entering the Frozen Four since Boston College in 2012 (17) … Tied with Boston College for the national lead with 11 shorthanded goals … Leads the nation in third-period goals (56) … Ryan Donato is the only player in the field with more than one career hat trick and the only one with a four-goal game to his credit … The 22-year gap between Frozen Four appearances for Harvard is tied for the sixth-longest all-time (Yale-60 years, Colorado College-38, Dartmouth and Providence-29, St. Lawrence-25, Cornell-22).

Minnesota Duluth: Eight of the top 20 goaltenders nationally in save percentage were freshmen this year, but Hunter Miska is the only one in the Frozen Four … Its five overtime wins on the year are the most nationally (5-0-7 in OT), including two in the West Regional … Kyle Osterberg (3) is the only player in the Frozen Four with more than one career overtime goal … Karson Kuhlman won the USHL’s Clark Cup under Jim Montgomery with the Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2013, where he was teammates with Denver’s Evan Janssen and Dylan Gambrell.

Notre Dame: Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is a Notre Dame alum … Cal Petersen’s 89 consecutive starts ranks fourth all-time in Division I … Notre Dame is the only team to win a game in the tournament after trailing at some point after the first intermission, and the Irish did so in both games at the Northeast Regional … Notre Dame’s junior class has combined for 155 points, 100 more than any of the other three teams … subscribeAnders Bjork is just the second player to be a finalist for both the Hobey Baker Award and the Hockey Humanitarian Award (also Miami’s Cody Reichard, 2012).

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