Tuesday, December 28, 2010

From Pucks to Pens

" Thank you for taking the time to visit our school.  The fourth grade students truly enjoyed your presentation, and went away with your message about the importance of reading and writing.  I was impressed with your presentation as well, and thought you did a wonderful job sharing your story.  Your approach really drew them in and you have inspired many young readers and writers to work hard and never give up on their goals.  Thank you again for your time!"

" I think your book was a very great book because it had a lot of fun stuff.  Also your book made me want to not put it down!"
                     4th grader

"I enjoy the book because it had some action, it taught a lesson and you used names from the real team, like Sophia and Jamie.  I really look forward to reading your next book when you are done."
                                                 4th grader

Thank you for reading to us.  You have a real exciting reading voice.  I enjoyed The Puck Hog very much and I am going to read the book again!"
           4th grader

" Thank you for coming in and reading The Puck Hog to us.  I wonder if you could come in again and read the whole thing.  I wonder if you could make another book.  It's cool.

" Thank you so much for coming in and reading The Puck Hog.  I personaly don't like sports, but your book is so interesting!  I enjoyed the book because it teaches you that team work is the way to go.  The pictures in your book are real good.  I think you and your sister should work on another.  

                           4th grade student   

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hockey Tournament Basket Scores Big Bucks

  Getting ready to host a tournament at your rink?  Raffle baskets can score some big bucks for your organization.  Struggling for a fresh idea? Compliments to the team that put this one together!  I bought more than an arm's length of tickets trying to win the Hockey Survival Basket.   

*Dunkin Donuts Gift Card
*Fleece Blanket
*Coffee thermos
*Miracle on Ice DVD
*Foot warmers
*Hand warmers
*First aid kit
*Hand wipes
*Ice scraper
*Subway Gift Card
*Chocolate Bar
*Water Bottle
*Life Savers

Ingredients that will help any hockey parent make it through a long, cold season!

Friday, December 10, 2010

4th grader Reviews The Puck Hog

by Jamie Howard
    (4th grade student and hockey player)
  The Puck Hog, by Christie Casciano, is about a teammate who will not pass the puck.  He always scores a goal.  At first, the team thought it was awesome.  But then they started to stop cheering for him.  They took him to the Crunch game to see if a little Crunch magic would help him get into passing.  The next game they faced the Thunder Birds.  The coach said, " We need a captain."
  The game felt longer than it was.  It was tied 2 to 2 with 2 minutes left.  Sophia got the puck from the face-off; she skated up to the net when a big defenseman came towards her.  She passed to Eddie and he took a shot.  He scored a goal.  Sophia taught Eddie to pass.

   Nice job Jamie!  Jamie 's review was published in his school's newsletter shortly after my visit to his classroom. Jamie's on my daughter's hockey team, and was on the mite team the year I wrote the book.  He's a great little hockey player, with good character!  Below are a few of the many handwritten ( and well-written) thank you letters I've been receiving from school kids.  I love 
the art work, especially the drawings that make me look 30 years younger! 

Hockey Fundraising. "Can" we do it?

Here we are, well into another hockey season.  Big on dreams.  Short on cash. We're all struggling for ways to come up with the dollars to fund those extras for our youth hockey players, and help defray those mighty tournament costs.  I 've done bottle and can drives several times in the past, but our lastest roundup of returnables was by far, the most successful one yet.  I would have to say timing really was everything. Our team leader picked the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Brilliant!  Not only were neighbors eager to rid their garages of the big bags of emptied containers that had piled up after their Thanksgiving feasts, they were in a generous spirit as well.  Some folks, lacking the empty cans,  were kind enough to offer donations to the team. Ah, the Christmas spirit fresh in their hearts!

Tim also found a Redemption Center willing to give us 6 cents a can and take the extra step of setting up a collection trailer in a nearby parking lot. That made it a whole lot easier.  We filled our cars, headed to the lot,  filled up their trailer, then headed back out.  We made several trips, with the new water bottle law now in effect, we were filling our 30 gallon trash cans fairly quickly. 

    A couple of pointers if you're going this route, rather than the traditional product sales.  Having the kids wear their team jerseys was a plus.  It legitimizes the operation and certainly reinforces the team concept for the kids.  Before splitting up, and heading out,  the coach also huddled our youngsters for a pep and safety talk.  He hit all the important rules..... have an adult with you, walk up to a house in pairs, don't accept invitations to go into a house, no running ahead of the group and please don't run across lawns and knock over the holiday decorations.  Be good representatives of your organization.  We also divided the kids into offense and defense.  Offense took one side of the street.  Defense on the other.  We had fun, and we raised a nice chunk of change.  Drum roll please....$800.00!  Not bad for a couple of hours of work, that rewarded teamwork! 


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Opportunity for Artists

Attention artists! Join us Saturday, Nov. 20th, 11am-1, at The Art Store, 935 Erie Blvd. East. The gallery will present my sister's illustrations for The Puck Hog. Fill out an entry form for a drawing to exhibit your work at the new Gallery! Bring the kids to meet Al, the Crunch mascot.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Review for The Puck Hog

My first customer review on the Barnes and Noble website;

Highly recommended Customer Rating See Detailed Ratings

Posted October 19, 2010, 7:56 PM EST: Loved this story!. There aren't many childrens books with a hockey theme and this was a pleasant surprise. For hockey families this is a realistic tale but if your not it has many lessons throughout. Great characters with my favorite being Sophia (yes a girl hockey player!). Enjoyed her charming & humourous wit as she deals with Eddie the "Puck Hog". A wonderful message that helps minimize winning and stats and promotes teamwork and teammates. I would recommend it for any coach especially for young hockey teams. Great collaboration of writing and illustrations from sisters. Will there be a sequel?

Wow!  Thank you.  I am truly appreciative!  A sequel?  You bet! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hockey Coaches & Parents Review The Puck Hog

"As a coach and a parent, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to teach their child the right way to play a team sport...the right way to play "life".

Mitch Major
Head Coach
Skaneateles Varsity Hockey
Skaneateles Mite A
Grade 6 Teacher

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Puck Hog on Book Store Shelves

 Special thanks to the staff at Barnes & Noble in Clay for placing The Puck Hog in a prominent spot in the store and adding a "staff recommends" card!

 I hope your children will enjoy reading The Puck Hog, as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Giving the Game Back to Kids

   I was disappointed over the weekend when I heard some parents in the stands, grumbling about the official new norm for 8-and under players, USA Hockey's Red, White and Blue program (cross-ice).  Is the idea of cross-ice making you cross? Think shrinking the playing surface is going to shrink a player's potential?  Time to melt some of those myths and read on.  In my interview with ADM's Jim Hunt,  I think you'll quickly gain an appreciation for the intended goals to create a positive environment and passion for the game.  It's time.  Hunt is the American Development Model regional manager for areas that include New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania.  He's coached on the collegiate, junior, high school and international levels and is well respected in hockey circles.      

1. Why the push for cross ice, and what are the benefits as proscribed in USA Hockey's American Development Model?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hockey Puck History

   I once saw one of my son's hockey coaches take a bite out of a hockey puck.  I guess I need to set that up better.  The remarkable action followed his big boasts to the young boys on how it was par for the course during his big, bad days of college hockey (insert caveman sound effect here) to rip off a chunk of the puck with your teeth.  Those who dared to doubt, witnessed the jaw dropping action as the coach opened wide, bit down, and a big black chunk disappeared from the six ounce disk of vucanized rubber.  Yes, it was all too much, and it got me wondering whether those little black objects were always made out of black rubber.  I think the coach actually would have enjoyed puck biting in the early days of hockey.  I'm talking way back when...even before they used coal,  wooden pucks and cow patties.
   After a little bit of researching,  I discovered this interesting tidbit..."Mothers sometimes put hot baked potatoes into their children's skates so that the skates would be cozy and warm when the children reached the rink or pond. The potatoes were not thrown away. They eventually froze and were used as pucks. Although rubber was invented in 1839, it wasn't until the late 1880's that someone thought of making rubber pucks." 

    Interesting and a little something to chew on next time I see a coach take a bite out of a hockey puck!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Concussion Facts

What every hockey parent needs to know.  Here's important information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

How Can I Recognize a Possible Concussion?

To help recognize a concussion, you should watch for the following two things among your athletes:
•A forceful bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that results in rapid movement of the head.
•Any change in the athlete’s behavior, thinking, or physical functioning.
Athletes who experience any of the signs and symptoms listed below after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body should be kept out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says they are symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sticks and Laces

 When was the last time you did a sticks and laces check?  16U Blazers hockey coach Mike Zandri recently did, and what he saw among his team of teens prompted him to quickly fire off an e-mail to parents and players.  While it may seem like small stuff,  as coach Zandri points out, the right sized stick and how you lace up your skates can make a big difference in a player's performance on the ice.  So let's review ,as the coach delivers some timely advice.
    "The past couple of times on the ice, I noticed some of the boys are using sticks that are too long.  General guidelines are nose in sneakers and chin in skates.  An inch can make a big difference, as it causes the toe of the stick to pop off the ice."  Wow, who knew?  The coach also points out, " Good pass catching requires the entire blade of the stick on the ice with the blade cupped and some down-pressure on the stick.  The blade should wear evenly.  If the heel is wearing unevenly compared to the rest of the blade, then the stick is

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Puck Hog Goals

 It's an anxious time for me, waiting for The Puck Hog to be available to young readers and parents.  The edited manuscript and artwork have been shipped off to the printer, and North Country Books predicts it will be another four to six weeks before the book will be in stores and on the shelves.
   So what inspired me to write the children's book?  Children.  If you've ever watched a youth hockey game, then you know and you've seen the passion these kids have for this sport.  I want to tap into that passion for sports... and get our children passionate about reading!  Hog books...not pucks!
   Then there's the other goal of getting kids to think about how they play the game.  Teamwork. Caring about your teammates.  Unselfish acts, like passing the puck to someone who hasn't experienced the thrill of scoring a goal.  How do you deal with the puck hog on the team?  There are so many opportunities for our kids to develop character, as well as skills.  Good coaching and level headed parents play key roles.  I think the kids will relate to this story.  There are no magic hockey sticks or helmets.  It's real life drama and who knows, maybe it will lead to a few more drama-free hockey seasons!      

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just when you thought your quarters were safe...

After a few weeks being away from the rinks this past month, I finally built up my quarter supply in my purse.  It's always nice have them handy to feed the downtown parking meter, pay the thruway toll or slip one into the grocery cart slot at Aldi's. During the winter months, I'm usually quarter-less.  My little one can't resist the lure of the gumball machine, especially the ones packed with those little collectible monkeys. By now she must possess every monkey ever made, along with those little bouncy balls.  They turn up in the oddest places. I found one in my shoe the other day.  My least favorite "prize" are those icky sticky hands.  I found on the ceiling one time. Now, I did cut her off mid-season, not that it stopped her from begging.  With a new season starting I thought, we've got to be past that by now.  By now, there's nothing new in those machines, so my quarters are safe from being snatched by little hands.  Silly me.  Now they've got silly bands.  

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hockey already? Yup

Split Season Team, means the Season Starts Early
It's still August, at least last time I checked the calender. But here we are, on a late- summer weekend getting directions to a rink, checking gear and putting laundry and grocery shopping on hold. My son is on what's called a "split season " team this year. Why start so early? Yes, that's the question I needed answered too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How The Puck Hog Came To Be

Written by Scotsman reporter Dan Bernardi, here's the story behind my story, "The Puck Hog."http://issuu.com/scotsmanonline/docs/max_080110/13

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Conditioning Clinics

Sticks, but no pucks! Sunday's conditioning clinic for youth hockey players at the Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena
The Lowdown on the Clinics
by Tammie Vivlamore
Through the months of July and August, youth hockey players have been hitting the rink for goalie and skating clinics to stay in shape and have some fun. The children are taught how to strengthen their stride, muscles and speed while working on their form, transitions and edge control.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Teaming up with The Syracuse Crunch

I'm thrilled to have the support of the Syracuse Crunch hockey team in my endeavor to promote and encourage our children to read more and read often. Some Crunch magic has been weaved into The Puck Hog story line, and the release of the book should time out well with the unveiling of the new look for our favorite AHL team, with new parent club, the Anaheim Ducks. Still waiting for a firm date on the release of the book. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Puck Hog on Track for Publishing

I met with the publisher again yesterday and The Puck Hog is right on schedule. The book should be on store shelves and available for purchase in October. Timing looks good, and should time out for the start of the 2010-2011 hockey season. The manuscript is being carefully reviewed by an editor right now and the illustrations are nearly complete. It's all very exciting and my marvelous tour of North Country Books has reaffirmed my belief that I knocked on the right door in my search for the perfect publisher. I'll keep you posted on the book's progress.
To be continued....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Elbow Pads for Youth Hockey

Click on the video above for advice on picking the right pads for Mite, Squirt or Pee Wee hockey players. Below for your high school hockey player.

McKie Sports Shop

1005 State Fair Blvd.

Syracuse, New York 13209

(315) 487-2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Perfect Padding For Elbows

So many styles to choose from and how do you know Shayna and Dave McKie explain the difference in

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gearing Up for A New Season

Shayna McKie teams up with her dad, Dave McKie, to help us get our kids properly protected for the new season. We'll start with one of the most important pieces of gear, the chest protector.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

'Barry' Exciting Chance to meet Melrose

This just in..hockey superstar Barry Melrose will be making a special appearance at the grand opening of the Dunkin' Donuts store, in Lansing ( about an hour and 30 minute drive from Syracuse at 32 Peruville Road). Mark the date on your calender folks; Saturday June 26 from 11am-2pm. The press release from Dunkin' Donuts says the National Hockey League veteran and current ESPN commentator will be available for photographs and autographs with customers at the grand opening ceremonies. Melrose, a resident of Glens Falls, appears regularly on SportsCenter and ESPNNEWS. As the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings in the early 90's, his debut season saw the team advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in franchise history. Excitement is brewing!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sometimes Grandfather Knows Best

We weren't on home ice, so I expected to see unfamiliar faces in the locker room for the Saturday spring hockey clinic that we decided to give a try. Making a slow entrance into the locker room was an elderly gentleman, one fist clenched around a handle as he wheeled an overstuffed hockey bag behind him. A young hockey player, I'm guessing around 7 years old, flew past him and picked a spot on the bench right next to us. As I laced up my daughter's skates, the elder man settled the bag near ours, and eased his way down onto one knee, slightly moaning under his breath...'hang in there knees.' Unzipping the hockey bag unleashed that familiar, foul smell. "Ah," he said, " Some things never change."I laughed as I turned to him and asked, " Is this a second generation of smelly hockey bags?"

"Oh, yeah," he said, "...had three sons go all the way up and even play some hockey in college. Been around it, a long time. Feels good to be back in the locker room with the grandson. Doesn't smell too good, but it feels good. Brings back a lot of memories."
I thought for a moment, about all the memories he most be holding on to...all those heartbreaking losses and hard-fought wins those twinkling eyes must have witnessed. Got to treasure these times, I thought to myself.

I was impressed by how quickly he got his grandson suited up, while I was still struggling to press those stubborn snaps together on my daughter's helmet. (Reminds me, one of the snaps is about to snap off again) His grandson was obviously eager to beat everyone else out of the locker room, and onto the ice. Before making his mad dash, he made a bold prediction, as his grandfather struggled to get back up on his feet, using the hockey stick as a cane. As he handed the boy his stick, the child blurted out, "Get ready to count all my goals grandpa, 'cause I bet I can out-shoot any one of these kids."

Grandpa took the stick back and said, "You're not getting this back, until I hear a promise from you." "Whaaaat grandpa,"as if he's heard a few lectures from grandpa before. " I would be more impressed to see assists out there young man. So let's see you work on your passing too. Got it? Never cared much for puck hogs."

"Ooooh....kay...," he said with his head down, as the stick was returned to his glove. The grandfather smiled,turned to me and said..." I guess there are some other things that never change. Had to give that same lecture to his dad, 'bout the same age. Took awhile, even took him out of a few games because of his pork-chop attitude, but eventually he learned. In high school, he made team captain and the coach said he was the heart and soul of the team. Proud moment for me,as he choked up and smiled at his young grandson. Hockey gave me a lot of proud moments. "

I bet he'll have many more with his talented grandson, who made a point of passing the puck to my daughter, when he could have easily scored himself.

The Poetry of Hockey

The Poetry of Hockey

Are your children stuck on subjects for poems and essays? If they're as passionate about hockey as my kids are, they ought to give hockey a try. My 8 year old daughter's poem just won a national contest. Here's her poem;

Hockey Girl With Guts

I'm the only girl on my team
And when the boys get mean
I pull out my stick
And skate real quick
My shot is really sick
On the ice, I'm never a bore
I love to score
I'm a puck hungry girl
who would rather shoot than twirl

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hockey Player Mentality

We've all seen it in our kids. That hockey player mentality. That tough, never-give-up attitude...always wanting to get back in the game no matter what. Chances are you can relate to what local hockey parent Steve Speelman said to the producers of the Animal Planet show, "Monsters Inside Me, " during an interview about his son's mysterious and life threatening illness. Here's a preview of their story, scheduled to air June 23rd at 10:00pm. We are so grateful for how it all turned out. So very grateful.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Safety "CHECK" list

When my son moved up to the Pee Wee level and the checking began, I recall watching some games with my eyes wide shut. You see it coming. Whack! You get scared. You stop breathing. You clench your fists or squeeze the blood out of the arm that's closest to you. Checking is a part of the game that I honestly don't think I'll ever get used to (or like), especially when it's my kid on the receiving end of a nasty or illegal body check.

One of my many, ' I've stopped breathing' moments. My son is in the white jersey...

Even though our youth hockey players aren't allowed to start checking in hockey until they reach the Pee Wee age, that doesn't mean they know how to deliver a check that won't hurt them or the other player. As certified USA hockey coach Frank Colabufo explains in this video, it's critical that our kids learn how to check the right way and learn how to take a check as well. Here's a beginning lesson, but there is so much more ground to cover here, especially with our teen boys who think the are invincible on the ice.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quick Stick Drills

Coach Frank Colabufo, a certified coach for USA hockey, is the head coach for the number one high school hockey team in the state, the West Genesee Wildcats. He's running camps and clinics this summer at the Skaneateles Rink.

Here's your four minute drill kids. Grab your stick, a weighted ball and head to the driveway. Coach Colabufo says this exercise will help young hockey players develop good stick handling skills. Plus, it's fun! (that's always a plus)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Advice From a Net Vet Mom

Jacob, at age 8

For what it’s worth…my advice to new goalie parents…

by goalie mom Diane Pelton

As I sat down to think what advice I would like to give to goalie parents just starting out my first thought was, “save up your money!” But in all seriousness, start by realizing that your son or daughter is taking on one of the most demanding, high pressure positions in all of sports. When a goalie
makes a mistake it ends up on the scoreboard for everyone to see. They have to make split second decisions that immediately affect the outcome of the game. I have learned many things watching my oldest son Jacob grow both as a young man and goaltender.

One of Jacob’s favorite goalie coaches (Mitch Korn) always starts his camps by talking to parents and telling them to be “seen and not heard.” I have witnessed many goalie parents walking from end to end standing behind their goalie watching every move, or shouting from the stands. Can you imagine going about your day with someone observing over your shoulder? Of course not, so why would you do it to your child? Sit in the stands and resist the urge to yell out, “watch out,” or “pay attention," or “you should have had that one!” If your goalie is looking at you, they are not focused on the play in front of them!

Realize right from the start that a shut out is hard to come by, and it is not all about the goalie. Good defense has a lot to do with how “good” your goalie looks. At first, when he was young, my son thought he should stop every puck and would get upset when he couldn’t. Over the years he has learned that his goal is to keep his team in the game as long as possible, giving them a chance to win by not giving up any “soft goals.”
Goals will happen, and when they do help your goalie to develop mental strategies to put it behind them and focus on the next shot. Once the puck is in the net, getting upset and loosing focus isn’t going to change it. Chances are the game is not over and the best goalies are the ones that can keep their focus.

One way parents can help their goalie is by keeping track of what type of goal was scored on them. If they are struggling with a particular skill or type of shot, a pattern will emerge and your goalie will know what to work on in practice. As they get older they can do this for themselves, but they might need help taking through “how could I have played that differently?” Encourage post game analysis, but don’t turn it into a lecture in the van on the way home. Be honest! Tell them when they play great, but also tell them when they could have played better. When Jacob was young his dad and I had the “three things rule”. After a game we would tell Jacob two things we saw that we thought he could have done better and one thing he did well. Eventually this changed into him telling us three things he thought about the game! Don’t let your goalie play the blame game! They are the last line of defense, regardless of mistakes the team has made. Once the puck gets to them, it is their job to try to keep the puck out of the net! Another part of the blame game is learning to ignore comments from other parents. It is tough to watch a game when your child is having an off day in the net, let alone listen to others comment that your kid looks like Swiss cheese today. Remember every player has a bad day now and then. Keep it in perspective; the next game will be better!

I know sometimes it’s hard to watch. We want to protect them. But chances are if your child has chosen to become a goalie, they are much stronger than you think. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the game…for what it is worth!

Jacob, age 14, still in the net!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Strengthen That Stride

Developing a good, strong stride doesn't always have to happen on the ice. Here's a way you can build your strength and endurance right in your own driveway. West Genesee High School hockey coach Frank Colabufo joins us again this week for another tip for young hockey players. He gets some help with the driveway demonstration from his son, Dan, who makes it look so easy! (Remember last week, the coach stressed the importance of good knee bends and full extensions)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adult Learn to Play Program

Six Week Adult Learn to Play Program

A Six Week Adult Learn to Play hockey program is being offered at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena. It is for anyone 18 or older who wants to learn to play the game of hockey.

Cost is $60. Full Hockey Equipment is strongly suggested. Adults will learn the basics of hockey while playing the game. This is not a series of practices designed to teach specific skating skills. It is a pick up hockey program for beginners. Instructors will be available to answer questions or demonstrate skills.

This program will be held on May 12, 19, and 26 from 8:15pm to 9:15 pm and June 2, 9, and 16 from 8:15 pm to 9:15 pm. Any questions please contact Tammie Vivlamore @
Tvivlamore@gmail.com or call 532-1714.

Cash or Check accepted. Please make checks out to GBIA. Payment is due the first night of the program.

See you at the Rink!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Striving For That Perfect Stride

We all know good skating makes better hockey players. Strong and powerful strides are a plus! With help from Frank Colabufo, coach of the West Genesee High School hockey team (2010 State Champs) and his son, our kids can see what kind of stride young hockey players should be striving for. Check out the video below. Next week, we'll demonstrate some off-ice exercises your kids can do in the driveway to build speed and strength.

Spring Skills Hockey Clinic at Skaneateles Ice Arena

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hockey Dad's Bread Rising in Popularity

You can see the pride on his face every time his son steps out onto the ice. Local bakery owner, Peter Christou, is now savoring his role as a hockey dad, watching his Pee Wee son develop his tactical defense skills for a Skaneateles Youth hockey team. Growing up in Central New York, hockey was a big part of Peter's life. He was a dominant blue liner for his Solvay high school hockey team and his brothers played for Christian Brothers Academy. So, for those who
know the brothers' passion for hockey, it's no surprise to see Peter
and his brothers at the local rinks, supporting their puck-chasing kids and this sport.

You'll see their support at every Crunch game. The family owned business, New York Bakery in Lakeland, is a main sponsor for the Syracuse Crunch hockey team. Just look up at the scoreboard during a game and you can't miss the sign touting their newest whole wheat creation, the official bread for the team (which is scoring big beyond our Central New York community, including soldiers overseas). The idea for their P28 High protein bread, got "baking" back when the brothers were overweight and out of shape. They knew winning their battle of the bulge would mean a major fitness makeover, but the thought of cutting bread out of their diets? Tough concept for the three brothers to swallow. After all, bread was literally their bread and butter! Working with a nutritionist and personal trainer they developed the hearty P28 bread, a healthful option that's loaded with protein. Call it a wonder bread, because combined with their new fitness attitude, Peter says it worked wonders for the now buff bakers.

It's not just a bread that's popular among adults striving to stay in shape. My 15- year old is trying to "bulk up" for high school hockey and a lot of his friends with the same goal in mind, have made P-28 their bread of choice. He's health-conscious, but far from an adventurous eater. He likes everything plain and it's always been white bread only. I've even tried to sneak him sandwiches made with those wheat breads that look like white. Nope. Somehow he can always tell and I'll always find the bread left behind on the plate. Given his aversion to anything but white bread, I was more than a little surprised when he asked for this bread with a chewy texture and chalk full of whole wheat. I thought, no way is he ever going to finish a loaf. It'll be another one of those products you buy and try and that would be the end of it. Sure the hockey connection was a plus, but as we all know how finicky teens can be with food. They're not going to stick with anything they don't like. To my surprise again, he's become a regular P28 bread eater and will now choose toasted bread slathered with peanut butter over a bag of chips to satisfy his ravenous after school snack attacks. This hockey mom says hooray for the nutritional assist! He's certainly not alone, with fitness celebrities now climbing on board the P 28 bread train. If you would like to learn more about Peter and his brother's P28 Bread go here. They even have a Facebook fan page, recipe ideas to try and Peter says they're getting ready to roll out their new bagel. Congrats to the Christou family, a local hockey family with really good taste!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Like so many of us, Cheryl Field and her husband found themselves involved in a lot of fundraising efforts to keep their two travel hockey sons in gear, on the ice, on the road and in hotels. She recalls selling lots of products that were not very memorable, buying enough coupon books that would light a good size campfire, and handling way too many sticky soda bottles and cans. What hockey parent hasn't been there and done that? But when their older son, Ken Field, expressed interest in teaching skating and stickhandling skills in what became his company, Skating Dynamics, Inc, the Fields were troubled to see so many hockey associations and teams wanting to hire Ken to work with their skaters, but unable to make the financial committment. After a bit of brainstorming, Cheryl's husband decided to create a fundraising vehicle that would be easy to do, have a hockey theme, be imaginative and help teams earn some profit. Now you know the story behind the birth of the Field Candy Company from Marquette, Michigan.

He orginally created four hockey themed candies: Fudgie Puck (with and without nuts), Rink Bar (with and without nuts), Sticky Tape Taffy (salt water taffy), and Top Shelf Peanut Butter Bars. The item that seems to be most popular is the Fudgie Puck. Cheryl says, " It is the same size as a regulation puck (3 inches in diameter and one inch thick), but tastes a whole lot better! My husband had great fun coming up with the names of the candies. Be careful with the pronounciation - bet you can't say Fudgie Puck ten times without getting into trouble!"

Cheryl, I won't take you up on that challenge, but when it comes to the challenge of raising money, it sure is nice to see some new options for keeping our teams financially fueled during the long and expensive season. The company has two websites; http://www.fudgiepuck.com/ and http://www.hockeycandy.com/

Monday, April 5, 2010

Open Communication

Check out this hockey video about sportsmanship, from the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sport program.

NHL Coach Tony Granato shares his thoughts on how open communication between coaches and players can foster a Responsible Sports environment.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Junior Hockey Stick Recall

Bauer recalls children's hockey sticks

Posted using ShareThis

Parents, you may want to check your child's hockey stick to find out whether it's on the latest recall list.
Hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer is recalling about 67,000 of its youth and junior hockey sticks, shafts, and blades because of high levels of lead in the paint used to cover them.

Here are the 13 recalled models:
-Nike Bauer Supreme One90 youth and junior stick, including shafts and replacement blades
-Nike Bauer Supreme Junior One50 junior stick, including shafts and replacement blades
-Nike Bauer Supreme One40 junior stick
-Nike Bauer Supreme One70 junior stick
-Nike Bauer/Bauer Supreme One75 junior player and goalie stick
-Nike Bauer/Bauer Vapor XX junior player and goalie stick
-Nike Bauer Supreme LTX junior stick.
-Nike Bauer Apollo junior stick
-Nike Quest Apollo junior blade
-Nike Bauer Supreme Force junior stick
-Nike Bauer Vapor XVI junior stick
-Nike Bauer Vapor XXX Lite "Woody" junior stick
-Nike Bauer Supreme Accel junior stick

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Season of Hockey Ends

by Tammie Vivlamore

The Off-Season Begins
Which means parents can breathe for a moment and catch up on all the things that they tend to put aside during the games, practices and travel of hockey season. A season that cost us all time, energy and precious sleep. Wow, you actually get to see your spouse for more than 30 seconds at a time! The end of the season means your kids are a little stronger, a little taller, and a little less hungry (or not)! Not much winter cushion on a hockey player!

Time for an Ice Break?
Nothing wrong with that! It’s okay to play a little hooky from playing hockey. You should not extend yourself and your pocket book trying to find ice time or a summer league if your child really doesn’t want to keep skating. A break from the ice can be a good thing. Whether you know it or not, a lot of non-hockey games are excellent for postseason conditioning.

Conditioning is Key
Conditioning is physical and/or mental activities that prepare an athlete for an upcoming season or performance. It is primarily done by serious athletes that have a specific goal they are trying to reach such as the Olympics, NHL, college, juniors, high school, etc.

Specific conditioning is generally not stressed until an athlete is at or close to high school age and that athlete has a specific goal in mind. “Strides” is a popular conditioning program for hockey, soccer and lacrosse. Strides is held at the CNY Family Center on Jones Road in Baldwinsville as well as other locations. ESL Arena in Rochester offers a skating treadmill and various off-season conditioning programs. The results of these programs vary especially for the younger athletes.

Get Down with Down Time
USA Hockey recommends down time for all hockey players especially young hockey players. Down time is simply time away from a sport or activity. Down time gives the muscles (including brain) a much needed rest from the sport or activity. It also is a good way to prevent burnout. Down time allows the player to pursue other interests, activities or just take in a little rest and relaxation.

Scoring Off the Ice
USA Hockey and many NHL players (current and past) recommend playing other sports or doing other activities though out the year. For the younger hockey players, this is all the conditioning they really need for next hockey season. Many coaches and talent scouts believe that athletes that participated in more than one sport before college make better athletes in their chosen sport in college.

Different sports work different muscles and promote thought and creativity which can be carried over to hockey season. If young athletes choose to play soccer, lacrosse, baseball, football or any combination of sports, they will be learning maneuvering, body contact, positioning and team play as well as strengthening their muscles, lungs and heart. Whether they know it or not they will be conditioning themselves for next hockey season.

Musical Scores
Some athletes such as Ryan Miller and Henrik Lundqvist believe that music and art can be excellent conditioners. Both Miller and Lundqvist are guitarists in bands. Miller’s band has played in Rochester and Michigan in past off seasons. Both goalies believe that playing the guitar has a calming effect, clears the mind and helps increase dexterity and reaction time. Does this work? Check out their stats on NHL.com

Still Itching for Ice Time?
After all these activities if your child still wants to get on the ice to improve or get a better shot at making that travel team, a clinic or two might be a good option. Clinics generally focus on skating or a specific area of hockey. For parents, there's plenty to consider when weighing options including cost, location and scheduling.

Top Notch Skating Clinic
Maximum Development, www.mdhockey.com, is being held at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena in August. MD focuses on skating. They break it down and really stress stride and proper skating mechanics.

Specialized Clinic
Turcotte Stick Handling, www.Turcottehockey.com, will also be held at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena in August. They are a specialized clinic focusing strictly on stick handling. They teach the skills that can be worked on in the yard or basement. (You don’t need ice to practice stick handling). Most hockey practices do not focus on stick handling. Coaches expect players will work on those skills on their own time.

Finding the Right Fit
A week is too much ice time for your child over the summer? No problem. Check your local ice hockey association or ice rinks websites. Coaches from different organizations hold week night clinics through out the summer. Some charge for a certain number of clinics (one a week for six weeks or so). Some charge for only what you attend ($10 an hour, for example).

Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena will hold Sunday clinics again. Check out their website for details, http://www.bvilleice.com/. They have even added a peewee/bantam session this season.

Your child wants to just play and have fun without concentrating on …huh…skills?
Some of the year round ice rinks offer youth summer hockey in some form. Cicero sometimes holds youth summer hockey. These are usually no contact games that happen once or twice a week. Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena has held 3 on 3 leagues. These are fast paced cross ice games of 3 skaters aside. Check out the rinks websites to see what they have in store for the summer. Check them regularly, they change frequently.

OMG! Enough hockey!There are many options for conditioning. If you and your children do nothing else this off-season, enjoy your “no hockey” time and stay in contact with the friends you made during the season. Next season will surely be more fun as a result.

Top Cats in Hockey

Congratulations again to the West Genesee Wildcats boys hockey team for taking top honors and clinching the state title! The team was honored last night with a parade at their high school. Assistant team captain Eric Haney told reporters, " It was just awesome for everyone to experience this undefeated season and state championship together." Truly a dream season, we can only just imagine. Click here to see the NewsChannel 9 story.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Moving Up and On....

Graduation Time....

Our end of the season gathering Friday night at the Spaghetti Warehouse reflected on a great season. Not in terms of wins and losses, (and there were plenty of wins) but all that our teen boys gained in terms of leadership, friendship and team spirit. There are some years when the months can just drag. Conflicts, clicks on the ice, puck hogs or parents who excessively whine or try to tell the coach how the game ought to be played. There are other years when you hit it just right. Good chemistry, respect for one another on the ice, fun tournaments, good coaching and great parental support. This was one of those years when the planets were aligned and we hit it all, just right.

More than a Season Ender

There were plenty of ' lump-in-the throat moments' Friday night for our final team gathering. Moving up in the hockey hierarchy at this level, often means moving on. Our talented second year Bantams will be playing for their high school teams next season; Camillus, Baldwinsville, C-NS, CBA, Liverpool.... wow, no longer on the same team! They grew up learning how to play on the ice together and next year they'll be battling against each other in the race for the puck. My heart is feeling a little heavy thinking about that, but fortunately this last year for youth hockey ended on a very high note. More on that...in a moment.

It seems like just yesterday I laced him up in his first pair of skates. He wasn't thrilled, but being an avid figure skater, I certainly was and I was determined not to let him give up after a few falls. Two weeks later, I got him to break from a 'march of the penguins' technique to steady glides by blowing soap bubbles on the ice, encouraging him to pop the bubbles with his blades. It worked! He began to develop a love for the ice. It wasn't long after that, my husband announced that he was okay with our son skating, as long as he had stick in his hand. I conceded. The hockey stick stuck and my son's passion for the sport grew. Fast forward to March 2010. Hard to believe this is his last year of youth hockey. A treasured time for sure. As we walked to our car Friday night after the team farewell party, my son said, " This by far was the best year." I didn't have to ask why, but I wanted to hear his reasoning... so I pressed a bit, reminding him this was the first year his travel team didn't secure the Pre-Sectional title. The first year he didn't get that first place trophy to add to all the others on his bedroom shelf. "True enough," said my son, " But this year, we were a team. A real team. " Great way to end the youth hockey experience, achieving goals that matter. Goals that really count.


We handed out gifts and photos , plus we all did a bit of reflecting on the season that just ended, including head coach Mike Zandri. Coach Zandri also praised the Bantam boys for their camaraderie and hard work. " You guys didn't get to states, but not for lack of talent. You were a really good team. It was a lot of fun. There were plenty of great moments during the season, but there was one moment that defined how tight you all got and how well you all came together as a team. It had to be... 'Big John's' goal in Lake Placid. I had a lot of favorite plays during the year, but I would have to say that was one of my favorite goals and I'll tell you why. Because when I turned around and looked back at everyone on the ice and everyone on the bench...every kid was cheering...every parent was cheering as if it was their own kid who just scored that goal. It was the way you guys rallied as a team after Big John's goal and that was a special moment. I remember the whole season, but that particular moment was a very special moment." The coach went on to say, " At the very end of the season, the whole Lake Placid experience... watching you guys run around town on your own, being responsible and good representatives of your team...a great end to a great year. "

Let's relive that magical moment in Lake Placid.....here it is again..big John's glorious goal.

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Lake Placid Pics

The joy on the ice was matched by the joy in the stands!

They soaked up every magical minute of their time on the 1980 Miracle on Ice Rink, the arena that hosted the most transcending moment in the history of U.S. hockey. Beyond winning big on the 1980 Herb Brooks rink, the Bantam boys found 'snow' many other opportunities in beautiful Lake Placid for the International Tournament.