Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Puck Hog Team Members

Read more and score is the goal of Book Hogs!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hockey New Year!

Joe, Sophia & the "Pup Hog" wishing you Happy Hockey Days!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Raise Big Bucks with Chuck A Puck!

                                               THE CHUCK A PUCK ADVANTAGE
     Searching for the right team fundraiser, that is hopefully fun and not too taxing, can be taxing enough.  Since my son started playing hockey, our teams have sold... let's see if I can remember them goes; candles, wreaths,  pies, chocolate bars,  jewelry, raffle tickets, flowers, frames, stickers and entertainment books.  We've cooked, baked and crafted.  Plus,  how many of you have repeatedly raided friends and relatives' garages for their bottles and cans?  Didn't round up enough?  Then, you round up the team to make rounds in the neighborhoods and hope the soccer and football teams didn't beat you to the doorsteps.  I know I'm missing a few money raising tactics.  After all these years of hawking,  it's now all a blur.
      We've already done several fundraisers for my daughter's team this year.  Something every team has to do if you want to ease the burden of tournament costs, trophies, and treats.  We did okay with our bake good and food sale at a recent tournament at our rink.  It brought us a couple of hundred dollars closer to our goal. That was worth our time and effort.  As for our Subway sales day?  Not so much.  Great concept. Tell folks lined up at the cash register to mention the team and we get a credit to be turned into cash. Unfortunately folks who were hungry for a sub, just weren't biting.
    The most successful so far this season, and every season for that matter,  has been Chuck A Puck with the Syracuse Crunch.  Last Saturday, our kids suited up in jerseys. Good hearted Crunch fans, who walked by our wide-eyed adorable little hockey players,  couldn't resist their charm and smiles.  $1.00 a puck, 3 bucks for 5 with a chance to win a Tully's gift card.  The Crunch made it easy for us.  They supplied all the soft numbered pucks for fans to toss onto the ice when given the cue, plus the sheets to keep track of puck purchasers. The kids used several different strategies to sell and convince folks to support youth hockey. They were so good, some people handed them money and wanted nothing in return.  The defenseman, forwards and goalie turned out to be a good team of salesman and great representatives of our hockey organization.   At the end of the night, we all had smiles on our faces with a good amount raised and good memories for our kids.  Thank you Syracuse Crunch! I would pick this fundraiser, over picking up bottles and cans any season!   This hockey mom gives Chuck A Puck, an A+ !  

Inspiration For a Sequel

Ryan can't wait for the sequel to The Puck Hog.  He's already designed a cover!    

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Writing & Teamwork promoted at Minetto School

 The “National Day of Writing” was celebrated in Minetto Elementary School recently as Christie Casciano, from News Channel 9 visited the kindergarten, first and second graders to share her experience as an author. She wrote “The Puck Hog” which promotes youth hockey, fair play and teamwork. Children heard what it takes to start with a concept, move it toward a draft and eventually a published work.

Book Signing Saturday in Liverpool

Please join us this Saturday at Books4Less in Liverpool 12-1:30pm.  We'll autograph your copy of The Puck Hog , plus have autographed posters for sale.  Great gift for your hockey player!

Located in Glenn Crossing Plaza at the corner of Route 57 & John Glenn Blvd.   

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hockey in a New York State of Mind

 FINALLY!  A publication devoted to the great sport of hockey in the great state of New York. From stories that will tug at your heartstrings, to impressive accomplishments of some of our organizations most talented kids, to news and notes on youth hockey changes and challenges.   Hockey NYS will keep you in the loop!  The folks behind this online publication are as fascinating as the stories they publish.  I had the pleasure of interviewing columnist, designer and photographer Janet Schultz.  Hats off to this special team for putting New York State Hockey..OUR the spotlight!

 What's your online magazine all about and what are your goals as you continue to grow your publication?
   Hockey NYS is an take-off of what Steve Manson (our publisher) founded 20 years ago--WNY Hockey Magazine. It's geared for youth and amateur hockey players. Our mission is to give youth, amateur and collegiate players the recognition that they don't get from local media. We want to share their stories on and off the ice.

    We learned from several individuals throughout NY that there didn't seem to be a mouth piece for hockey. Yes, there's USA Hockey Magazine but that was national. There's a need in NY to share what happens across the state, a sharing of ideas, getting the word out on tournaments and special schools, clinics, etc.

 What kinds of stories do you want to tell, and how do youth hockey organization submit their ideas to you?

We want everything. We've done stories on tournaments, mainly they send us stuff when they win; but we'd like everything.

We've had special features such as a story about the Buffalo Shamrocks who spend the summer planting, caring for and then harvesting a vegetable garden where the bounty goes to the animals at the Buffalo Zoo, where the garden is located.

We've done a special feature on two sisters who share the net on a team in Saratoga Springs. We'll listen to any idea and take it from there.

I've also tried to do little stories on women's hockey about the history of the growth of teams and organizations.

Anyone who has an idea should just call or email us. I cover women's hockey, youth thru collegiate, and can be reached at 716-751-6524 or and Randy takes care of any type of feature or youth hockey through junior and minor and he can be emailed at

Warren Kozireski is our collegiate reporter.

 Your husband is the managing editor. Please tell us more about him, his background and yours and how your talents combined make this E-Magazine happen?
Randy Schultz
     Randy was approached by Steve Manson when Steve started WNY Hockey Magazine to be a reporter. He took that on as he had been covering the Buffalo Sabres since the beginning. Randy has been a freelance sports writer since his college days including football, baseball, hockey and at one time some basketball. He has written a book on Dominik Hasek, the Buffalo Bills and several children's books on Presidents of the United States and one on the New York Knicks. Those children's books are unique, especially when they came out, because while they are short the material links to websites that give students more information. At one point in his freelance career they were calling him the "King of String" because he was writing for many of the NHL Teams program magazines (which they no longer do with freelancers) plus such publications as Hockey News, Sporting News and even our local papers. He also did the same with baseball working for the Dodgers, Angels (which he still does), and others. Randy has also done radio and tv, especially when we had Adelphia and Empire Sports.

Janet Schultz
I worked in Public Relations for my entire career, from secretary to an assistant director of public relations (actual title Technical Assistant) and also had a desire to be a photographer. Randy helped me get started by getting me to hockey games and then Steve took me on as the photographer for the WNY magazine. When I looked at the magazine I noticed very little on women's ice hockey, and with the Olympics growing the sport; I suggested a women's column, Steve assigned it to me and off I went. It actually is the most popular column in the magazine. I've mainly focused on photography up until this point. I've photographed the NHL and also covered the Buffalo Bills for ten years, did work for the LA Dodgers, Angels, USA Hockey. I also freelance for a local weekly newspaper, not sport tho' I actually cover the school board meetings for them and special events at that school, as a photographer and reporter.

Randy and Steve put their heads together about Hockey NYS and with my background I took on the design, as well as photography and of course, covering the girls/womens side. I had also taken over design of WNY Hockey after an ownership change.

By the way Randy is a admissions recruiter for Niagara County Community College; he worked in Public Relations there also. Actually I took his position when he was moved into Admissions. I retired after 38 years in Public Relations at Niagara County Community College.

   You and your husband had a chance to visit all four sectional meetings involving the State Amatuer Hockey Association. What were some of your takeaways from those meetings and impressions about youth hockey in New York State?

First, it was one of the greatest things we could have done. Each section is a little different but everyone of them is so dedicated to their hockey program.  We're just large and close in proximity to each other where the Central and North are very spread out and teams have to travel farther to play. We were met with open arms at each one. They all seemed enthusiastic and in one case, we know a person was texting a story idea during the meeting because we had it when we got back to the hotel. We thought we go in a present and leave; but we ended up staying for the entire meeting and then have people come up to talk to us after.

We also met in such different venues; first WNY was at Batavia Raceway, with a casino in it and I won $15 after; Central was in a fire hall (I'm the daughter of a volunteer) so I was at home; East was at a great restaurant in White Plains and just a half hour from our daughter's; and North was, where else, in the Olympic Arena at Lake Placid. We plan to do it again when they meet in the Spring.

   What have you found most enjoyable about reporting on and sharing hockey stories?

I've always enjoyed hockey. I didn't know much about it until I met Randy. (I grew up with 3 sisters and a brother; in a rural area where the boys in the neighborhood did play pond hockey; but their mom was from Canada and so I only knew there was this team called the Toronto Maple Leafs, I didn't know anything more about hockey or who they played). Now I love it. I liked going to games, shooting the action and then attending such events as the NHL Draft, NHL Awards and Hall of Fame events. Until I began covering women's hockey. Now I love talking to the girls, watching them play such a great game with style, finesse and professionalism. I also love interviewing the little girls. They love to talk about the sport, how they play. Their enthusiasm gets to you. Yes, I give up NHL Sabre games to go to the Girls High School Varsity games in WNY.

    What was one of the most memorable interviews you've done for your magazine?

Actually all of mine are memorable in one way or another. But there is a special one. A young lady plays in WNY who is deaf. She uses a signer on the bench to help her. She's amazing and is now playing in the Varsity Girls league for her high school. She is dedicated, loves hockey and has one killer smile.

I also just interviewed another girl who is the face of EA Sports 2012 game. She wanted an avatar created so girls playing could be girls. She contacted EA Sports and with much to do, they made her the avatar. By the time I interviewed her she had 44 media outlets talking to her and took it all in stride. She just wanted to play soccer--the summer sport she plays--and get ready for her hockey season which was just starting in midst of all this.

Other was a collegiate player who went to Unganda to help set up a medical clinic. The amazing part of this story was a group of students was to go, they boarded a bus which ended up in a serious accident on the way to the airport. She was playing a hockey playoff game and was going to join them later so she wasn't with them. Obviously the trip was cancelled, they lost an instructor in the accident, but this young lady went on her own; taking all the donations they had, worked with airlines to get everything to the right spot. She's amazing!

Our message is this is a mouth piece for NYS hockey. It's for the youth and we want to share the news about our youth hockey players.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cool Prize from BelaHockey!

                                          Know It and Love It?

BelaHockey is giving away gear to one lucky hockey fan!
Register to win a BelaHockey Junior Granato Composite Stick, Katie Kap and soft cotton long-sleeve tee. This “Know It and Love It” package is perfect for the hockey girl that wants to show she’s a BelaHockey fan on and off the ice.
Click on the “register” button to be entered into our free sweepstakes! Entrants must be fans of BelaHockey. No purchase necessary.
Entrants must either be fans of BelaHockey on Facebook or they can email their contact information (name, email, country) directly to

BelaHockey Prize Package

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Promoting Reading and Teamwork at SASCS

Local News Anchor Promotes Reading and Teamwork While Visiting SASCS Kindergarteners

Christie Casciano, anchor at WSYR-NewsChannel 9, visited SASCS's kindergarten classes to read her children's book, The Puck Hog, on October 14, 2011.

The Puck Hog is about a children's hockey team and what happens when a member of the team is not playing for the team, but for himself. Even though the book is set on the hockey ice, it is more about the benefits of teamwork than one particular sport, Casciano said. Casciano, who was accompanied by her daughter, Sophia, spoke to SASCS kindergarteners about how sports don't only promote athletic skills, but can help build character, too. Sophia also taught our kindergarteners some hockey moves!

In addition to her fun and interactive presentation, Casciano also introduced her program Read More and Score, which she created to encourage children to read.

By: Russell Cox (grade 11)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Time Out For Our Hockey Refs

    My blog so often features the perspective of parents and coaches. All good stuff. This week, we're taking some time out for the referee. We can't play the game without them, so here's a great reminder of the importance of fair play, courtesy, striving spirit, and grace in losing, from inside the glass.


     We walk into a rink for a game with our bags over shoulders and no sticks in hand. We are instantly identified as “the ref. ” Rather than being hailed as the heroes, the guys who will keep everyone playing by the rules, we're thought of as the mortal enemy of both teams and fans. Time out! We put our skates on one foot at a time and pull our jerseys over our heads, just like your players. But unlike your players, it's rare for us to have anyone cheer us on. That's unless we fall down, get knocked over, get hit with the puck or anything else that causes us harm. Fans seem to enjoy those moments. It's true that a clear undisputed call such as icing or even off-sides receives its fair share of disapproval from all in attendance. Even calling a blatant penalty that is “text book” directly from the rulebook garners a medley of objections, criticisms, and comments. The worst appears to come from the majority of parents, who apparently have never read a rule book ( ). It even happens at the professional level (witnessed as a fan not a ref). The referees are despised and obnoxious fans call out a plethora of comments when they don't like a call. I think it sometimes gets lost on fans, that we officials are only there to make sure the game is played to the highest level and standard which is mandated by the governing league. Personal safety and sportsmanship are paramount next to good positioning and interpreting the rules the best we can in every situation. It is not an easy job!


    Parents need to know that the majority of the referees (myself included) have played, coached or been involved in this game enough to understand that it is one of the most amazing sports to be a part of. Our children, spouses, friends and family come to watch us as well. Are we perfect? Absolutely not! We make mistakes from time to time and that is why we have partners on the ice, evaluations and a reputation to uphold. Things are not always “black and white” in the heat of the game. Most of the more skilled and experienced referees who officiate the higher level games are there because of the merit that they have earned throughout the years.


So,  perhaps in the future, next time you see a ref walk on or off the ice,  instead of saying “you stink” or far, far worse, how about following your mother’s advice “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”.  Or, why not to compliment us for the good things we have done as we do this for the love of the game…

~ The “Whistleblower”

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reading and Scoring at Minetto Elementary School

     My school presentations have certainly evolved since the first one, one year ago. I started off just reading a few chapters of The Puck Hog to a single classroom of about 20 students, to now doing entire school assemblies with hockey demonstrations, deep discussions about teamwork and the rewards of unselfish acts. I've been to Little Falls, Red Creek, Trumansburg, Skaneateles, Liverpool and some 30 other schools throughout Onondaga County. I've treasured every visit!
     Today I delivered a presentation to 250 very enthusiastic students, K-2, at Minetto Elementary School in Oswego County. Great kids! Sitting on the carpeted library floor, they listened intently and shared their own stories about unfair play. When it came time to share a few chapters of The Puck Hog, they hung on every word.  Author scores!
    I always enjoy the Q &A sessions at the end of the presentations and I've learned to be prepared to answer anything and everything. Sometimes the questions have nothing to do with reading, writing, being an author, being on television or hockey. ( I'll save that for another post)
Minetto Elementary joins The Puck Hog Team
    My favorite moment of the day, came not in the form of a question, but more along the lines of a comment.  I called on a boy who politely raised his hand and then so matter-of -factly made the statement,  " I got a connection, you know."  "A connection?" I asked, thinking maybe he knows someone on Sophia's hockey team, or one of my relatives, or perhaps plays hockey. He then went on to explain he has been to Syracuse Crunch hockey games, plays NHL hockey video games, and he liked my story very much. Then came his big smile, and I felt the connection.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Maven on "Ravin" Parents

     First comes the lecture;  "Parents, please,"  the certified parent instructor starts off, " No yelling at the refs, keep your cool, and remember it's only a game"....etcetera, etcetera.  Then comes the cheesy, but valid  videotape showing examples of parents behaving badly in the stands and during those car rides home after the game.  In one scene, the dad actor tells his kid all the things he did wrong in the game, and not to listen to the coach.   Then there's the mom who nags the coach because she doesn't think her kid gets enough ice time.  There are plenty of other examples, and maybe a few of them ring true.  The videotape ends, and the discussion begins.   A discussion that may not go on for very long, seeing how everyone seems to be on the same page, at least when everyone is in the same room.   Finally, the promise. We put our signatures at the bottom of a form each year, promising we'll behave ourselves in the stands during games, or else.  We might even take a moment to think about how we may have shouted something fairly unkind at the ref during the last game when he "made that bad call."  My kid didn't mean to stick his leg out while that other player was speeding by with the puck.  How could that ref think that was intentional?  He didn't see what that kid did to MY kid.  Forget your glasses ref?  You know those moments.
   So much for our promises and code of conduct once the games begin.  Fortunately, for most of my children's games,  even when intense, they've been enjoyable, with no hard feelings. That's even after some pretty hard losses. I can't say that for all the games though.   I've also had the unfortunate opportunity to witness parent behavior take the elevator ride down. Way down.  How low can it go?  Really low.  From listening to mouths loud and big enough to have their own zip codes, to insults being hurled at kids, to threats being made.  Sickening.  Yes, it can be difficult to watch refs blow calls, see kids turn into thugs, seemingly with the bulls eye on the back of your kid's jersey. You've got their number, right?  We've heard parents yell that out too.
                                                              TIME OUT!
There's no room for thuggery in youth hockey on the ice, and certainly, not in the stands.
Stan Fischler  "The Hockey Maven"
    But you're dealing with human emotion, human error, and the passion parents have for their kids. That's a lot of ingredients that doesn't always blend when mixed into a heated hockey pot.  Despite all the lectures, promises and cheesy movies, some parents still don't and won't get it.   Stan Fischler, The Hockey Maven, has a few thoughts on the subject.  Here's an excerpt of my recent interview with the Emmy winning hockey journalist, and author or more than 90 books.
    " It's not the same, when I was growing up.  My parents didn't watch me play football, they didn't watch me play stick ball.  You went outside and you played,  We never had a coach.  One of the things I find kind of sad, and it's because of the way life has changed, is that parents are always at these games. Having gone through this myself, with a soccer playing son, parents can be more of a problem than anything! The way I would do it, I would  take the parents and put them somewhere in a luncheonette until the game was over.  That's an idealistic kind of a thing. It's not reality, but I've seen too many situations personal and otherwise, where parents get too involved. "
   Extreme, radical and unrealistic? Certainly.  But, Stan makes that preposterous pitch because that's how ridiculous it's become, at times.   Of course no one would vote for the parent extraction solution.  Especially when it comes to hockey.  We invest a lot of time and money in this sport and there's tremendous satisfaction and reward from watching our children battle it out on the ice.  Plenty of life lessons are learned there too.  Good and bad.  I would, however, like to hear a little less and see a lot more tolerance among parents who have an opportunity to score for their kids while in the stands, by setting good examples and showing them the right way to behave.  Call it a win-win.

 Next week, Stan's NHL picks for good  role models for our kids. 

   Stan Fischler, known as “The Hockey Maven,” serves as the resident hockey expert for MSG Network and MSG Plus. Every week he can be seen on MSG Networks’ comprehensive hockey show “HOCKEY NIGHT LIVE” where he provides pre- and post-game features and reports for the Rangers, Devils and Islanders. In 2011 Fischler collected two New York Emmy Awards, one for his weekly -American from 1955 through 1966. Over the last four decades, Fischler has written for many publications, including The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Sport Magazine, Newsweek and Hockey Digest. With the help of his wife Shirley, Fischler has authored or co-authored more than 90 books on the game, including The Hockey Encyclopedia.

Follow Stan on twitter!!/StanFischler

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Win a copy of The Puck Hog with USA Hockey!

52 Weeks of Winners! - Week 21 - Player's Bench & The Puck Hog

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Double Prize Week: TWO Chances to WIN

• Simply log in and click on the respective "Enter" buttons to be entered into a drawing to win a great prize from Player's Bench! and a fantastic children's book The Puck Hog!
• 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 teammate. The Puck Hog, an early reader chapter book, encourages the values of fair play, playing together as a team, playing hard and having fun! Now available at

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Cutest Kindergarten Kids

    Why do you wear all that stuff when you play hockey?  How old were you when you started playing?  Do you get scared when you fall?  Do you have any other girls on your team?  The curious little kindergarten kids at the Syracuse Academy of Science had an abundance of questions for my 10 year old hockey player.  Sophia was eager to share her knowledge, and talk about her experiences which shaped the story of The Puck Hog. 
   We had to laugh when we pulled out the knee hockey sticks and asked for two volunteers to demonstrate a tape to tape pass.  When I handed the stick to the little girl we had chosen, she asked, " What do I do with this? " No clue how to hold it.  No clue, really, what it was.  Sophia showed her how to hold the stick and handle the puck, and to our amazement, the demure little lady, whacked that puck clear across the room! Bam!
   Most of the kids weren't familiar with the terms, the game, or the ice.  But they got the message.  Even at the tender age of five, they've had dealings with selfish Eddie types, who only think of themselves. On the playground, in the classroom and in their neighborhoods. When asked for examples of what they could do to be good team players, the answers came, rapid fire.  Pick up papers on the ground, say something nice to someone having a bad day, be quiet for the teacher.  One little girl raised her hand, begging me to call on her.  "I know!  I know!"
   "Great, " I said, " Let's hear!"
She smiled from ear to ear, and stood up to proudly say.....drumroll please.... "All you got to do, is ....PASS THE PUCK!"    

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Season Brings New Reasons to Smile

                              Let the Hockey Season Begin

     Cha-ching! The new hockey season has only just begun with our first practice and already my wallet has been emptied. New skates for my ten year old, shoulder pads for my high school hockey player, plus gloves, and knee pads for both of them. The family budget took a huge hit this week. Can't believe my daughter's skates were two sizes too small! Yes, I am feeling pains of guilt having told her at the end of last season, "Oh come on, they can't hurt that much?!."  Lesson learned.

   Ah yes, I can't wait to sit in the stands of our ice cold rinks, blanket wrapped around the legs and hand warmers activated in every available pocket.  Practices and games will mean many trips to the rink and out of town. There will be endless dinner challenges, weekly spelling quizzes in the car on the way home from practice,and playing tag-your-it with the husband. Fundraising strategies will be discussed and launched. Tournaments will be scheduled. Sign up sheets for the penalty box, scorekeeper, and snacks for the team. Doesn't sound like much fun? The world of a hockey parent may be a little crazy and very hectic, but it is a wonderful world, and I wouldn't trade one crazy second of it. Especially when you witness those unforgettable moments. Those times when your children demonstrate not only great skill, but good character. Cha-ching.  Priceless.

Hockey Mom Defined

When she learned my 8 year old wanted to play hockey, Nancy Duffy shared this article with me. She had written it many years ago, when her boys played. It's been in my top desk drawer ever since. At the start of each season, I pull it out and share her words of wisdom with as many hockey parents as I can. I miss Nancy so much.

    The hockey mom is truly a model of unacclaimed virtue, a paragon of womanhood tested beyond all limits. She is someone who shivers at 4,015 rink sides from Elmira to Ottawa, from Niagara to New Jersey, and who drives through four-hour blizzards for a one-hour game. She buys $200 ice skates instead of furniture, lives six months in long underwear with skate guards in her pockets. She sifts through the moldy mysteries of a hockey bag, dripping over hockey pucks in drape folds or tries to maneuver past hundreds of splintered hockey sticks, too good to be thrown out, in the upstairs closet. She lugs the hockey bags on her shoulders when her child is a tyke, bakes cookies for the locker room when he's a squirt and billets young Canadian teenagers when he's a bantam.

     There are no holidays or time-outs for a hockey mom. The day after Christmas is always spent on the road to a tournament. It's almost Easter before the season ends. That means six months of car breakdowns in Massena and whiteouts in Pulaski and Oswego. Hockey moms don't flinch when they hear that five more games have been added to the schedule, though. They just postpone their cleaning and cooking for one more month. The hockey mom endures and pays the price as long as the ice is available. Somehow the 12-and 13-year-olds who cuddle their hockey sticks in the night make it all worthwhile.

By Nancy Duffy

Monday, October 3, 2011

New York Hockey Journal: Fischler Report: .

If you're looking for a top-notch hockey kids book, get a copy of "The Puck Hog" by Christie Casciano. It's published by North Country Books ( Christie is a TV news anchor in Syracuse, N.Y. She knows of what she writes having two youth hockey players of her own in the family. "I wrote this book because I love youth hockey and I want to encourage the values of fair play, playing together as a team, playing hard and having fun," adds Christie. ...

New York Hockey Journal: Fischler Report: Tavares, Fighting and More ...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Greatest Hockey Hockey Board Games

Greatest Hockey Hockey Board Games: I found an old hockey board game while on vacation, which got me wondering about other old hockey board games. Here's a look at what I have ...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Getting the Edge in Tryouts

   House evaluations and travel team tryouts are on tap at rinks across Central New York.  After you've done the equipment check and you've got all the right sized pads, here's a mental checklist for your kids before they hit the ice!

by Frank Colabufo,

West Genesee Wildcats Head Hockey Coach


Player selection, or "tryouts" is a necessary experience that can certainly be stressful for players, parents and coaches alike. I have been part of the player evaluation and selection process for the past 22 seasons and it never gets any easier. Here are some thoughts for players and parents to consider when preparing for tryouts.

As a player, you need to have the mindset that it is your job to make the team, not the coach's job to pick you. You need to separate yourself from the rest of the group. If you don't, you risk being "on the bubble" and it may end up bursting at the end of the tryout. Here are a few ways to give yourself the best shot at making a team.

Play fast! Keep your feet moving and play with energy. Be strong in traffic and along the wall.

Win every 1 vs 1 battle all over the ice. Have a constant work ethic in every drill and on every shift. Get loose pucks first and play with an edge. Be hard to play against. Take it personally and never give up.

PLAY OFF THE PUCKResearch shows the best players in the world only possess the puck for about one minute in a 60 minute game. What are you doing when you don't have the puck? Support the play on offense and defense. Stay engaged and make a difference, especially when you don't have the puck.
Be a positive team player. Make your teammates better. Be willing to accept a role. The third line center that won't be happy unless he is on the first power play unit, probably gets cut. Carry your own bag and sticks even if your mom offers to carry them for you. Say "please" and "thank you" when you get a drink from the snack bar after practice. Do the right thing, even when you think nobody is looking. We have won championships with teams that were less talented, but we've never won a championship with teams that lacked character.

KEEPING YOUR EDGEIf you do make the team, congratulations! But, your work is just beginning. You now have the responsibility to get better every single practice. Do not take your selection for granted, because chances are, the players who were cut are making plans to get better. If you're not picked for the team, try to understand that players develop at different rates and times. As long as you are still being challenged, you will continue to improve. Keep playing and keep having fun! Hockey is a great game.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Greatest Hockey The Golden Jet: For The Record

Greatest Hockey The Golden Jet: For The Record: When it comes to the Winnipeg Jets, there may never be a greater player in city history than "The Golden Jet" Bobby Hull. If you have nev...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Big Time Rush with The Puck Hog

Nickelodeon stars from Big Time Rush autograph The Puck Hog!
In the television show, they play four hockey players from Minnesota who move to Los Angeles to pursue boy band stardom.  So kids, who do you think would have been the Puck Hog on their team?James,Kendall, Carlos or Logan?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Hockey Hall of Fame Review

Puck Hog news is breaking!  The Puck Hog is now in the Hockey Hall of Fame Resource Centre and archives.  We also received this wonderful review from the Curator. Thank you Philip! 

“Great read for kids of all son tells me, we are always taught not to be a puck hog on the ice, but reading this book is an exception.”

Philip Pritchard
Vice President, Curator
Hockey Hall of Fame

Monday, August 22, 2011


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On September 8, 2009, the Hockey Hall of Fame unveiled its new state-of-the-art "D.K. (Doc) Seaman Hockey Resource Centre" within a new 4-pad arena complex developed by the Lakeshore Lions Club in partnership with the City of Toronto and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.

The 18,000 square foot resource centre is now the new home of the Hockey Hall of Fame's vast artifact and archival collections and will serve as the focal point for research into the history of Canada's great game and cultural export. In addition, Hockey Canada will occupy a portion of the Hall's premises with a resource centre to support grass roots development programming, along with high performance and sledge hockey events in conjunction with the adjacent ice facilities.

The Resource Centre is located at 400 Kipling Ave., Toronto, ON M8V 3L1

The Resource Centre may be reached at (416) 360-7735 and

Artifact Storage Area

The archive stacks are the main source of hockey information within the "Doc" Seaman Resource Centre. Located within a climate controlled environment, these stacks contain the world's largest collection of hockey resource materials, including individual photo and biographical files, digitally restored materials, publications, periodicals, media guides and statistical analyses, and much more. The revolving high density shelving creates an efficient method for Resource Centre staff to retrieve relevant materials for any hockey project.


Eleven 15’-long stacks of hockey related material

Over 26,000 published hockey books, programs and guides

Approximately 10,000 individual player files

Approximately 9,600 individual team, league, and trophy files

Over 450 binders of hockey cards, team photos, tickets, and schedules

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Digital Archive Centre

The Digital Archive Centre is used to scan photos, negatives and slides. Resource Centre staff members are equipped with photo editing software and various types of state of the art scanners and printers.


Photo Scanners

Negative Scanners

Slide Scanners

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Cold Room

The Cold Room is the Resource Centre's primary source for hockey related photography. This climate controlled room ensures ideal preservation of the collection. The negatives and slides are stored on a series of revolving stacks. The Cold Room also contains a large number videos and film reels.


500,000 digital images

Seven 17'-long stacks of hockey related images

1,000,000 negatives

750 glass negatives

1,000,000 slides

32,000 photos

Over 4,000 film reels

Resource Services
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Stick Storage Centre

The D.K. Doc Seaman Hockey Resource Centre is home to the largest hockey stick storage facility in the world. Housing at any given time up to 4,000 hockey sticks donated by players and teams of all levels.


9 double-sided hockey stick racks, each containing 9 shelves (per side) of storage space that can each hold up to 25 sticks (per shelf). For capacity of over 4000 sticks, not including what's on display at any given time.

Resource Services
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Click here for more

on Doc Seaman

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Friday, August 19, 2011

John Buccigross Reviews The Puck Hog


Here's what ESPN Anchor John Buccigross says about the children's hockey book, The Puck Hog--

" The Puck Hog illustrates beautifully the most treasured and trumpeted values of the great game of hockey; sacrifice and selflessness."
                                                                             John Buccigross

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Onondaga Road & Reynolds join The Puck Hog team

Newscaster/Author Speaks at Onondaga Road

Students from Onondaga Road Elementary School invited 9WSYR news anchor and author, Christie Casciano to read her new book, The Puck Hog. She is the mother of two youth hockey players and her love for the game is what inspired her to write the book. She told the students that the book encourages fair play, being team players, and having fun.

Casciano has three goals to her message, also known as a hat-trick in hockey. Goal one is to get kids excited about reading and writing. Goal two is to encourage students to stay physically fit. Goal three is to help them appreciate and understand that cooperation is an important lesson throughout life.

Christie Casciano from Channel 9 reading her book The Puck Hog at Reynolds School

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Syracuse Stampede Junior Hockey team

Article submitted by Hockey Mom, Tammy Vivlamore

New Team for 20U
Looking for something fun and inexpensive to do with your kids this winter?  Can’t get enough hockey?  Maybe you should check out the Syracuse Stampede Junior Hockey team.  A junior hockey team is a team comprised of players between the ages of 15 to 20 years of age. The purpose of this hockey program is to promote players to colleges and higher level teams. The benefit to the average person is a fun, exciting family event.  You never know when one these players could be the next NHL draftee, local business owner, or teacher (just to name a few future possibilities.)
Coaches with Experience
Head Coach/Owner Mike Beavis, a resident of Mexico, has been involved with local hockey since 1993. He has coached in several junior programs over the past 18 years. Before that he was involved in youth hockey, spending 10 years with associations in MA, CT, and NY.  He is also a coach with Selects Hockey Inc. Coach Beavis operates the Cougar’s Selects training branch with Utica College Head Coach Gary Heenan, soon to be run out of Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena.
 "Our program is designed to help all its players reach a higher level of play in the future.” stated Beavis. The Stampede is comprised of players between the ages of 15-20 years old and will compete in the Mid Atlantic Division of the IJHL. The team is made up of players not only from CNY but players from Michigan, PA, CT, Ontario Canada and Europe as well. "
Coach Beavis has built relationships throughout North America and Europe that are very interested in becoming involved with his program.  “I have a great support staff going into this, with help available at every level of the game." stated Beavis.  Coach Beavis prides himself on his ability to teach and talk with his players on a one on one basis. Beavis feels that his non political approach to junior hockey and the promotion of his players will be the road to this program’s success

These players will not only be here to play hockey. They will also be out and about helping in the community whenever possible.  Coach Beavis believes that hard work and giving back to the community that supports you are keys to the future success of these players.

You can come out to support your local favorites like Mike Bay (Baldwinsville), Brandyn Morgan (Auburn), Kevin Niver (Fulton), Anthony Demichele (Whitesboro), and Kyle Williams (Rome). Once you are here you are sure to be wowed by the skating and shooting ability of Finnish players Aki and Ville Virtanen (Stockholm, Sweden) and Swedish players Viktor Lundgren (Stockholm) and Lukas Sundberg (Stockholm).  This season’s roster will be rounded out by players from Western NY, CT, MI, and PA.

Keep in mind that by supporting this team you are helping them as well as future players make and achieve their goals. Colleges and other hockey programs use this venue to find their talent. The players use this program to find their place in the world.
Join the Stampede
The Stampede will begin skating on August 22nd with a one week conditioning camp for its players and will also hold a free agent tryout on the 22nd and 23rd at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena.

All their home games and practices will be at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena.  Season tickets are on sale now. The cost is $60 for 24 games and the pass is good for one adult and one child 12 or under.   You can find more information including the player roster and game schedule at

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hockey Hall of Fame Exhibit in Oswego

We had a terrific time this weekend in Oswego at the NHL Exhibition Game.  A great game, and quite the show from Stanley Cup Champ, Erik Cole and Fulton native Rob Schremp.  Here are some highlights of our tour of the Hockey Hall of Fame Exhibit.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Celebrate Hockey with Erik Cole this weekend!

Erik Cole, NHL Players and Former Oswego State Lakers to Play
Game July 23rd at SUNY Oswego Campus Center Ice Arena
OSWEGO, New York (July 20, 2011) – Hockey enthusiasts will get a chance to see Oswego-native Erik Cole and other NHL and former Oswego State Laker hockey players up close and on the ice Saturday, July 23rd at 7 p.m. at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center Ice Arena.
            Cole, a Stanley Cup Champion, U.S. Olympian and forward with the NHL Montreal Canadiens, will join former teammates Joe Corvo and Justin Peters, as well as Fulton-native Rob Schremp on the ice to showcase their hockey skills. Former Oswego State Laker Hockey Players Kyle McCutcheon, Brendan McLaughlin, Stephen Mallaro, Kyle Gunn-Taylor, Owen Kelly, and Matt Vashaw, as well as Dream Big Director Kevin Caraccioli and Bauer Hockey representative Tim Parr are also slated to participate.

            The NHL Exhibition Game is part of the Erik Cole Dream Big Foundation Golf and Hockey Classic slated for this upcoming weekend in Oswego.
            The Erik Cole Dream Big Foundation was established in 2007 by Cole to support youth hockey programs, as well as children who are suffering from cancer and other diseases.
            Admission is a donation of $5.00 per person for adults and children are free. A commemorative Dream Big wrist band will be provided upon entrance, and the admission price includes the NHL Player Exhibition game, Hockey Hall of Fame Exhibit, and The Zambonis concert, as well as a chance to win a game worn 2011 Erik Cole Dream Big Foundation NHL Player Autographed Jersey.
            “What an incredible weekend we have scheduled at the Campus Center Ice Arena,” said Kevin Caraccioli, Erik Cole Dream Big Foundation Golf and Hockey Classic Event Organizer. “Not every day do you get to see Erik and other NHL players skate in person. Well here is a great chance to see them, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Zambonis and some great youth hockey players!”
            According to Caraccioli, Erik Cole Dream Big Foundation merchandise will also be available for purchase, and concessions stands will be open on Saturday and Sunday at the Campus Center. The Hockey Hall of Fame Exhibit will be available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the Zambonis will be in concert during the NHL Exhibition Game starting at 7 p.m.
            “We really wanted to provide the kids and their families with an ‘all things hockey’ experience over the weekend,” said Cole. “And, I think we really accomplished that this year.
            “We welcome the community to come out to the Campus Center Ice Arena and support the Dream Big Foundation,” he added.

Erik Cole
is a native of Oswego, New York and current forward with the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is in his tenth NHL season and first with Montreal. Cole was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes as the 71st overall pick in the third round of the 1998 NHL Entry. Prior to joining the Hurricanes, Cole played for Clarkson University and the Cincinnati Cyclones of the IHL. After six years in Carolina, he was traded to Edmonton in July 2008, but re-acquired by Carolina in March 2009 as part of a three-team trade. Cole signed a two-year contract with the Hurricanes in July 2009, and just this past month a 4-year contract with the Canadiens. Cole was a member of the 2006 Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes and represented the United States at the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2005 and 2007 IIHF World Championships. Cole has played in 620 career NHL games and has 184 goals and 206 points during that tenure.

Erik Cole Fast Fact: Erik’s first youth hockey team was the Oswego Sub Shop.

Joe Corvo
was born in Oak Park, Illinois and was recently acquired by the Boston Bruins. He is in his ninth NHL season and first with Boston. Corvo, a defenseman, began his career in Los Angeles after being drafted by the LA Kings in the fourth-round draft pick (83rd overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. After two years with the Kings, Corvo signed a four-year contract with the Ottawa Senators, before being traded in 2008 to the Carolina Hurricanes. While playing for the Hurricanes Corvo became the third defensemen in Hartford Whalers/Carolina franchise history to record a hat trick. After a brief stint with the Washington Capitols in 2010, Corvo returned to Carolina this past year, before being traded this past month to the Bruins. Corvo has played in 568 career NHL games and has 79 goals and 179 assists.

Joe Corvo Fast Fact: Joe was an outstanding baseball player and attended pro camps with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field and the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park.

Rob Schremp
is a native of Fulton, New York and played this past season for the Atlanta Thrashers (now known as the Winnipeg Jets) and New York Islanders. Schremp grew up in New York and then took his hockey career to Canada. He spent his major junior years in the Ontario Hockey League and then spent his rookie career as a Mississauga Ice Dog. After scoring 26 goals and 74 points, Schremp was named OHL Rookie of the Year in 2003. After a few games in the 2003-2004 season, Schremp became a London Knight and led them to their only Memorial Cup. In 2004 he was a first round pick (25th overall) in the NHL Entry Draft to the Edmonton Oilers. Schremp made his NHL debut during the 2006-07 season against the Minnesota Wild. After playing primarily with the Springfield Falcons during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, he was claimed by the Islanders. Schremp had 10 goals and 12 assists in 45 games this past year before being acquired by Atlanta. Schremp has played in 114 career NHL games and has 20 goals and 34 assists.

Rob Schremp Fast Fact: Schremp scored what was nominated as the “Goal of the Year” in the NHL on January 6, 2010 at Colorado, when he caught a puck, released it from his glove and batted it out of mid-air over Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson.

Justin Peters
is a native of Blyth, Ontario, Canada and is currently a goalie in the Carolina Hurricane organization. He just completed his second season as the back up goalie to Cam Ward in Carolina. A 2004 Second Round Draft Pick (38th overall) by the Hurricanes, Peters first played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors and the Plymouth Whalers. After being drafted in 2004, he started his professional career in 2006 with the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, the Albany River Rats, and their ECHL partner Florida Everblades. In 2010, Carolina called up Peters from the River Rats and Peters made his NHL goalie debut against the New York Islanders with a 3-1 win and 34 saves. Peters has played in 21 career NHL games with nine wins and 584 saves.

Justin Peters Fast Fact: Justin played for the Canadian team at the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic, stopping 9 of 11 shots in the second period of Canada's 10-9 shootout victory.

            For more information regarding the Erik Cole Dream Big Foundation Golf & Hockey Classic, please call (315) 887-0256, or visit

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hockey Hall of Fame coming to Oswego

“Do YOU have a



Hockey Hall of Fame staff will be at the Erik Cole Dream Big Event this weekend at Oswego Campus Center Ice with a display that showcases the history of the game.

We are the official caretakers of hockey’s history –

all leagues, all levels, worldwide!

One of the HHOF staff can speak with you about the opportunity to preserve and share something from your hometown or your favourite team with the hockey world.

    We encourage you to make a donation today that can help us showcase the stories about the players, teams and leagues for all hockey enthusiasts tomorrow.

Help us preserve the history of the game together!

For more information please visit our Curatorial Staff at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center or contact:

HHOF Acquisitions:     or

                    call (416) 360-7735