FlatSmallForNewsletterThis year, we had a wonderful event, with terrific competition and opportunities to learn more about leveraging one’s hockey skills to pursue athletic and academic dreams.
The event was attended by players from throughout Canada and the United States, and also from Europe, They all had one thing in common… they wished to learn more about College Hockey, and wished to let that be known to the prep school, junior and college coaches who attended the event.
Combine2-proedgeThe four day event started off with fitness testing, and it was wonderful to see how our participants were prepared for this year’s challenges. We wish to thank ProEdge Sports Conditioning for their involvement again this year. They do a great job  at organizing this aspect the Combine, and their facilities are second to none.
The next morning players were on the ice for team practices, run by prep school and college coaches, who were very pleased with what they saw. Following those practices, we were approached by several coaches, asking about players, who stood out as having the right attitudes and determination, and as coachable.
Combine4TownsandMeisnerIt was exciting indeed, as some of the North America’s top coaches were on the ice with the young men attending the weekends combine. Of particular interest, it was neat to watch Mike Towns, the Assistant Coach at American International College, conduct an on-ice session with Ben Meisner, a local goalie who attended AIC a number of years ago, who is now playing pro-hockey in Europe, and is home for the summer (picture to the right).
Combine9.KidsBoardsjpgLater in the day, we had a number of high level competitions, with small benches (so that coaches could watch players play a lot of hockey in stressful situations). The coaches were very impresses with the level of “compete” from all players, and how they handled themselves on  and off the ice.
On the second day of the event, we had symposium which was for the purpose of discussing “prep schools” and prep school hockey”.
combine3LewisEach of the four prep school coaches which led the session; Jeff Lewis (of Rothesay Netherwood School), Jonathon Johnson (of Shady Side Academy of Pittsburg, PA), Mike Chielleno (of Gilmour Academy in Ohio) and Doug Friedman (of Kents Hill School in Maine) gave an excellent presentation of their own hockey careers, and a short presentation regarding their schools and why they felt prep schools would be a good choice for many of the players and families in the room and he even used audiovisual support since he find a site where you can hire projector pretty easily. They then opened the floor up to a number of excellent questions, and provided answers to address the questions raised by players and parents, which included hockey, academics, living environments, and financial considerations.
Combine7RigaThe third day of the action-packed event saw more competition, and provided tremendous entertainment, as all games were close. Competition was brisk, and players reported having great time.
The third day was jammed packed with college Question and Answer sessions, and players and parents were able to again learn what college hockey is all about, and were provided the opportunity to ask questions of several coaches who were on our panel. Coaches included Bill Riga (of Quinnipiac University of Connecticut) (seen speaking), as well as John Rose (of the Ivy League’s Dartmouth College), Ben Guite (of the University of Maine) and Mike Towns (of American International College). These coaches all coach Division 1 NCAA Mens’ College Hockey.
Combine6The questions were excellent, and the answers were even better. For many of the players in the room, it was quickly realized that if they make early and proper decisions, the possibility of earning an education, while playing hockey, in not out of reach.
The highlight of the third day of the Combine was perhaps the best received a five local players, told of their road to the NCAA, and how they made important early decisions to ensure that they were able to go on and play Division 1 hockey. Each spoke of their own challenges, and how important it was to make informed decisions that did not rely on stroking their egos, Many spoke of how they are still playing hockey, while many of their better regarded playing friends (at age 15 and 16), who had decided to play CHL hockey, are no longer playing hockey, and have not gone on to earn a post-secondary education.
Combine5MakaryCampbellPlayers who participated in the session were Ben Meisner (AIG Alumni, and currently playing pro in Germany) (seen speaking), Brennan Saulnier (University of Alabama-Huntsville), Charles Grant (Dartmouth University Alumni), Nick Quillan (about to enter Colgate University), and Noah Bauld (Cornell University). These young men spoke so eloquently, regarding the roads that each traveled, and were extremely informative and forthwith in speaking of their experiences.
All in all, the event was a huge success, and many young men managed to get on the radars of coaches which would otherwise not normally have an opportunity to see them play.
We are already starting plan next year’s event. Next year, there will be a female division, and already we have 4 female college coaches who have promised to come.
We will soon, be announcing the details for next year’s event, and hope you will consider attending. Please let us know if you are interested in knowing more.
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