Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why Do Our Kids Play Hockey?

For the answer to that here!

Enjoy the video? Videographer Jim Kearns specializes in sports photography. For prices and availability for your team event, contact Jim at 315-744-3178.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How We Rocked The Roofless Rink

Photo courtesy of hockey dad Steve Ratliff

We were all in awe of the magnificence of the event that honored the roots and heritage of hockey and the fact we were part of the history-making roaring crowd of 21,508. A big victory for the Syracuse Crunch, but we all scored some incredible memories.

These photos were taken from the stands by hockey mom Dawn Zimmer.... spectacular!

The 2010 Hockey Dad Grillmaster


Bill fires up the grill

Next, we saw our team use good strategy to battle the outdoor elements.
How do you conquer a biting breeze?

With a team huddle!

While others had grueling long waits on the road and in lines, we slipped into the Fairgrounds parking lot mid-morning with total ease and set up for our tailgating extravaganza. Marinated chicken, grilled steak, hamburgers, hot dogs, meatball subs, chips & dip, hot drinks galore and portable heaters. 30 degrees? Who even noticed? Well, maybe we noticed when our kids teeth started to chatter and they bit into some frozen chocolate chip cookies?

Hats off to our team manager who has managed to skillfully and flawlessly pull off all of the hectic scheduling for our tournaments/games and is always pulling us all together! Amy is our glue, plus she's a really good cook. That's a big plus for hockey tailgaters.

Great memories for hockey for hockey moms & dads.

Besides the steady, brisk breeze and rooting for our favorite Crunch players and team, there were plenty of other cool aspects of the first outdoor game in American League history. The skydiver who amazed us all by swooping into the stadium to drop (and slip) the ceremonial puck. The super sleek fighter jets racing and roaring above us and the rousing performance of the national anthem by country star Jessie James. It was also a hoot to see the variety of ways hockey fans were keeping warm. From the wool-lined viking caps and fuzzy mohawks to the layered Crunch Jersey's from days gone by. Our boys also remarked how cool it was that everyone they've ever met through hockey, from parents to players to league officials were all together, all under one big roofless rink.
Or as our photographer, hockey dad Mike Ancillotti refers to us, meet the UHMS (Ultimate Hockey Moms Society)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Great Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor Hockey Spectacular Under the Lights
by hockey mom Amy Colclough

Spectacular in so many ways! Who had more fun…the players or parents??? Picture a comfortably cold (is there such a thing) evening…snow packed bleachers …thermoses of hot beverages to keep parents and spectators warm. The ice was smooth, the lights bright, the players frisky – coaches in their best winter hats. The first puck drops…the snow begins to fall slowly and steadily. No score sheet, no scoreboard, just kids having fun! The phrase “push the puck” took on a literal sense. The snow was starting to stick – making it…well…sticky to play! During period breaks, players grabbed shovels and helped to clear the ice. Referees were dumping snow into the penalty boxes!
A few exciting breakaways by both sides were combined with sporadic snow angels – making for a truly unique game. As if it’s not enough to be a goalie and have pucks and sometimes bodies coming at you at a bazillion miles per hour, factor in snow and low visibility. All the goalies rose to the occasion making some great saves!

What else could make this game even more spectacular you ask? How about a 2-team bantam pile up at mid-ice for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity? WAIT…was that a SNOWBALL flying into the stands from the ice? Hence the start of a spectator vs. player snowball fight – personally, I think the spectators won… This was, by all accounts, a spectacular hockey event we did not want to end! Thanks to everyone for making it happen.
Photographs by hockey dad Steve Ratliff

And here's to the frozen fans in the stands!

In two days our kids get to be the spectators at the Fairgrounds to see how the pros play hockey on the race track turned ice rink. Onondaga Couny Executive Joanie Mahoney has declared Saturday hockey day in Syracuse.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Playing with Picard

Four days before they make AHL history on the outdoor ice at the Fairgrounds, Crunch players Alexandre Picard, Nick Holden and Brent Regner take time out to skate indoors at the Baldwinsville Ice Arena with our Lysander Bantam boys.

Special thanks to hockey dad Steve Ratliff for making this happen and for capturing these memorable moments on ice.

Love the Stanley Cup group shot!

" Skating with the Syracuse Crunch players today was really lifted me up after not making the Sectionals. They seemed excited about their upcoming Outdoor Game, and wanted to know if any of us were going. Being an avid Crunch fan you know I replied YES!! It was really nice for professional hockey players to take the time to skate with our team...they didn't have to, but I am glad they did! Thanks Alex, Brent & Nick, you guys ROCK!"
John Ratliff
Lysander Bantam Travel Team Forward
"Skating with the crunch players was one of the most fun things that we did all year. It was a great experience skating with those guys. Watching some of the moves that they could do was amazing. The way that they can stick handle going full speed was great to see. As soon as we stepped on the ice the fun began. First we did a couple of drills to get Josh warmed up. Then, we did some 2-1 and 3-2's. After that, we did some small ice games. We played 3-3 inside the blue lines and whomever scored 5 goals won and the losers had to do push ups. After the 3-3, we did a shootout. If you scored, you stayed in the next round. Lastly, we did another shootout. If you didn't score, you stay and the last person who didn't score had to pick up the pucks."
Matthew Zandri
Lysander Bantam Travel Team Forward

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Weekend of Good Hockey

The caliber of hockey was top-notch this weekend in New Hartford. There were few hooks, trips, slashes and plenty of stiff competition to test the Bantam Travel team's mettle. The team had some setbacks; an illness, an injury, a broken stick and even a broken blade in a game against their toughest opponent. But, with good guidance from good coaches, they had great run at the 2010 Central Section Pre-Sectionals this weekend. They also enjoyed a defining moment with a Valentine's Day victory against the talented Grizzlies. Lysander Lightning players proved they are a good high energy team and when they're playing well, they are truly impressive. They conquered Rome and racked up four solid victories Unfortunately, it was not enough to advance. In a three way tie for first place, it comes down to goal differentials and Lysander came up a goal short. Heartbreaking, but it's all part of the youth hockey experience. Not every game goes the way you want it to, so you learn how to positively accept adversity. Learn and grow. The season is far from over and no need to feel disappointed. Time now to look ahead to lighting the lamp in Lake Placid!

Action-filled games. An opportunity to win with humility and deal with adversity.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


by Christie Casciano, illustrated by Rose Mary Casciano Moziak
8 x 8 – Illus.
Paper – $ Not Set – ISBN-10 1-59531-037-1
ISBN-13 978-1-59531-037-8

Children will enjoy skating along on an
emotional journey with a tight-knit group
of youth hockey players. Their goal is to
be the best in their league, but their
biggest challenge isn’t an opposing team.
The source of their anger, frustration and
disappointment is a mouthy, self-serving
The Puck Hog, an early reader
chapter book, encourages the values of
fair play, playing together as a team, playing
hard and having fun!

Published by North Country Books.
For a complete listing of North Country Books New York State regional products go here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Goal is To Grow





Hockey IS undoubtedly teaching our kids a lot more than just how to skate!

Hey, is that a SMILE on coach grumpy??