Soo Eagles Added Goalie Consultant and Goalie Scout Stu Gould to the Staff from the Gould Goalie School.
" its a thrill for me to work with Head Coach Bruno Bragagnolo, goalie coach Billy Vanderleist and the rest of the staff in trying to help bring the best goalies possible to the Soo Eagles of the NAHL"
 
Idaho Steelheads rookie making an impact

Charlie Dodero didn't hold anything back. Anticipating a pass on the power play, he was ready to shoot with his stick high and he blasted a shot past Alaska's goaltender Monday night.

"I knew I had a lane to the net. I wanted to get it hard and get it through," Dodero said after scoring his first postseason goal.

Dodero, a 22-year-old from the Chicago suburbs who played the previous four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, has developed into one of the Steelheads' best defensemen as they play deeper into the ECHL Western Conference playoffs.

Idaho lost 5-2 on Monday and trails Alaska 2-1 in their best-of-seven semifinal series. Game 4 is Wednesday night at CenturyLink Arena. Game 5 is Thursday night.

"He's one of our go-to, shutdown defensemen. He's playing really well. He's a first-year player that is playing like a fifth-year player,'' coach Brad Ralph said.

Ralph spotted Dodero at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Michigan in September. The tournament brings together prospects from eight NHL teams for a weeklong showcase. Dodero was playing for the New York Rangers' team.

The stands were filled with NHL general managers, scouts and coaches from all levels of professional hockey.

"I had a blast. Being able to play in front of that caliber of people and play against that caliber of player is pretty cool, too,'' Dodero said.

Said Ralph, who was immediately impressed: "He could skate and he played nasty." Good attributes in a defenseman, Ralph put Dodero on his list.

Dodero started the season with Greenville of the ECHL, but the Road Warriors were stocked with older, established defenders. Dodero played in 14 of the first 24 games. As a young player, he needed more ice time.

"When I had the chance to get him, I knew we had to do it," Ralph said.

Said Dodero: "I needed to play and develop. That was the only way I'd be able to move on in the ranks of pro hockey."

He joined the Steelheads for their Dec. 28 game at Las Vegas - and has played in all 53 games (44 regular season and nine playoff games) since. Dodero had four goals and 15 assists in the regular season. He's added one goal and three assists in the playoffs. His offense, secondary to his defense, is coming along.

"He works extremely hard to improve his game. I think that says a lot about his drive," Ralph said. "When you're in the ECHL trying to move up, you're drive and motivation is everything. There's no questioning that with him."

That desire is evident when the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Dodero battles opposing forwards for position in front of the Steelheads' net or fights in the corners for pucks. His style seems to infuriate foes and he often takes shots post-whistle from frustrated opponents.

"He definitely likes to grind it out, in the tough areas in front of the net and in the corners. He likes to try and get under guys' skin a bit," said Damon Kipp, who has been playing alongside Dodero on defense this postseason. "He gets under the right guys."

It's part of that "nasty" streak Ralph saw in Michigan. Dodero, like any good defenseman, makes things uncomfortable. He says it's been like that his whole life.

"I've always had to scrap and compete for every inch and every ounce of respect that I had, even through minor hockey. I had to go through a lot from people not believing in me," he said.

"Compete comes with work ethic. I feel if I don't work my hardest, I'm not giving myself the best chance to succeed and if I'm not working my hardest, it definitely shows out there."

 
Gould Goalie School is right around the corner. There are just a couple of spots left in Camp 1, Camp 2, and Camp 3 don't get shut out.
Click here to sign up.
 
In-form Zacharias ready for Steelers

American goaltender Mike Zacharias admits qualifying for the Rapid Solicitors Elite League play-offs has given Genting Casino Coventry Blaze renewed confidence.

Blaze booked a top-eight spot - and a two-legged quarter-final tie with Sheffield Steelers - courtesy of a 1-0 overtime win over Cardiff Devils at a sold out Skydome last Sunday on the final day of the regular season.

Zacharias heads into the play-offs in fine form having made 34 saves in the 2-0 defeat to Steelers last Saturday before posting a 33-shot shut-out - his second of the campaign - against Devils, being named the man of the match in both games.

The 28-year-old Minnesota native, who has a 91.1 saves percentage, said: "It was a huge relief to make the play-offs because we cut it a little close. There were a bunch of scenarios going into the final weekend but we did what we had to do.

"It was a surprise to see us in a battle for a play-off spot. We started the season really good but we got hit by the injury bug which hurt us in the middle of the season and we never got back to full strength. At times things just didn't go our way but for the most part the effort was there.

"You want to go into this time of the year playing your best hockey and I am feeling confident. My goal is to just give the team a chance to win and in the past week I hope I have given the team confidence.

"The stakes are higher now and one mistake and that could be the season. But we are at home first and I think that gives us an advantage. We will be looking to get a good start and go there ahead and see where it takes us."

Meanwhile, Blaze forward Ryan Ginand - the leading point-scorer in the Elite League with 97 - has been named in the All-Star First Team chosen by Ice Hockey Journalists UK.

Blaze take on Sheffield Steelers at the Skydome in the Rapid Solicitors Elite League play-off quarter-final first leg on Saturday March 29 (7pm face-off). Tickets can be purchased by ringing the Box Office on 02476 630693 (option 0).

 
Loyola Maroon 2014 State Champs!
 
My good friend Kenny McCudden 
Kenny McCudden has been involved in every level of hockey imaginable on every kind of frozen pond.

He's held the hands of mites as they've tentatively navigated their way around a sheet of ice for the first time. He's also managed to stroke the egos of multimillion dollar NHLers as they've tried to gain an edge - literally and figuratively - during summer off-season training.

This week, McCudden takes off for Sochi, Russia, and the culmination of something truly special. McCudden is the skating and skills coach for the United States women's Olympic hockey team, which includes Buffalo Grove native Megan Bozek, a defenseman.

"You work hard for something for two-and-a-half years to be part of it, and that's your goal, to be part of it," said McCudden, a resident of Crystal Lake. "I'm honored. I'm privileged. And it took a lot of hard work to get to this point, to be part of the program and to keep on moving on within the program, the women's national program.

"The two-and-a-half years of traveling North America with them, from New York City to Minnesota, every time I got called upon, which was a lot, whether you're running camps or running skills sessions for the women's national team, it was a real treat to get with the women."

In hockey circles, McCudden is best known as the skating and skills coach of the Chicago Wolves, who have been playing professional hockey in Rosemont for the last 20 years, winning four championships.

He works with hockey players year-round on skills such as skating, passing, shooting and stickhandling.

McCudden has been involved in coaching and teaching hockey skills since the late 1980s, when he hooked up with former Blackhawk Grant Mulvey, who went on to become the first general manager of the Wolves.

Over the years, McCudden has been a fixture at Chicago-area ice houses, putting on clinics and working tirelessly with players at every level, from morning until the Zamboni has made its last run of the night.

"I live in ice skates," he said. "There was a group of parents telling me, 'Coach, how many hours for you today?' I said it was a lighter day today, six hours on the ice. A lighter day. They go, 'Come on, what's a heavy day?' I go, 'A heavy day is eight hours. Six is more than enough.' They said, 'How do you keep the passion going?' I said, 'I was called upon to do this. I love it.'

"I'd be cheating your kids if I didn't bring out the passion of yelling their names and being a part of it and getting involved in the drills. I wouldn't be the right coach. But yeah, I want to be at this until somebody tells me I can no longer do it."

McCudden thanked U.S. general manager Reagan Carey for bringing him aboard in the first place and giving him the news that he also would be traveling to Sochi.

With the women's team, McCudden is able to channel his passion into an entirely new area.

"It brought out new passion because it was a part of my teaching I had never been involved in," he said. "I had never been involved in the women's game. So it was something completely new. Having that privilege of being able to do it and stay with it was phenomenal.

"But it brought a new passion coming back to Illinois hockey, whether it be with the Chicago Wolves or whether it be with kids hockey because it was something new in my life, really, really new. That was the women's game. I had never been involved in it. I've taught girls, but not women."

And these women are pretty good. They go into the Olympics with gold in sight. But so does their archrival, Canada, as well as Finland.

McCudden is hoping his input can make a difference, but the U.S. women's team is giving him a lot to work with.

"They're at the top of their game," he said. "To be quite honest with you, I didn't think they would be able to shoot the puck as well as they shoot the puck. And I didn't think they'd be able to zing the puck around passing it as well as they can pass it. I knew they would be very, very disciplined athletes, but where they really shocked me was with their passing and shooting.

"So when I got on the ice with them the first time, that's what really got to me, meaning that I didn't think they could move the puck like that. I knew they could play positional play. I knew they could skate. But I didn't think the puck movement and shooting would be the same. I was blown away."

The women's game lacks only the legal hitting of the men's game, but what McCudden teaches is universal, no matter who is playing.

"Even a pro player, if they can't zip the puck around or they can't place the puck, they're not going to be playing at the highest level," he said.

Now all that's left is for the players to go out and play. McCudden will be looking on with pride.

"I think the all-around progression since I've been involved, seeing the final product, taking it to one of the biggest stages on Earth in sport, when it's clicking, just the speed of their game is such a pleasure to watch," he said. "Whether they're playing in the World Championships, which is the next-closest thing to the Olympics, and you see where it's coming as a team, all the way to these preliminary game against Canada, where you see it really, really clicking, it's a process. Trying to build a team those four years is such a process."

 
Good As Gould Goalie Coach Zach Drane

It was a great weekend for our Charger teams competing in this weekend's MLK tournaments in Pittsburgh, PA and Ann Arbor, MI. The tournament organizers of both tournaments did an excellent job constructing brackets so that all teams had competitive and balanced competition.

Congratulations to Randy Sowizrol's Bantam 2 team which won their championship game 2-1. Scoring was provided with a goal from Pablo Garland assisted by Braydon Klippel, and the other goal from Mike O'Sullivan assisted by Henry Griffin. Chase McKellar backstopped the team in goal leading them to the victory.

After going undefeated in their first 4 tournament games, Billy Martin's Mite 2 team finally met its match in a tough fought 6-3 loss to the Maulers.

Steve Klima's Squirt 1 team had its Championship run stopped in a 4-2 loss. Having just won the Christmas Classic tournament, they were hoping to go back to back in tournament play. This game was a hard fought affair, and was a 1 goal game with the Phantoms getting an empty net goal at the end of the game.

In what was the most exciting game that I witnessed all weekend, Eric Vesely's Squirt 2 team came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in regulation. After no scoring in two overtimes, they unfortunately lost in a shootout. Ty Nagy had the lone shootout goal for the team. Yianno Nikas was stellar between the pipes having previously posted consecutive shutouts to get the Squirts into the Championship game today.

Rich Kuzmeski's Midget Minor CS team showed true determination in a 2-1 loss to the Ontario Junior AA Knights team. The Midgets lost to the Knights in round robin play 6-0, but came out strong in the final game. They played the Knights even until the final minutes of play when the Knights were able to take the lead. Goaltender Max Johnson had an unbelievable game in net today, and kept them in it to the end.

Thanks to all of the parents, players and coaches for their efforts this weekend. A special recognition to goaltender coach Zach Drane as our goaltender play was excellent this past weekend and a major driver of our team's successes. During our squirt game, the referee actually stopped by our bench to comment that he had officiated several different Charger level games and our goaltending was the best of all the teams he had witnessed.

GO CHARGERS!

 

Making Saves with Goalie Coach, Stu Gould

 
 
Michael Zacharias stopping a penalty shot during Coventry's 4-2 win over Cardiff on Saturday.  Michael had 40 shots and was named "Man of the Match".  Notice the expression of the fan in the upper right corner of the picture.
 
Michael Zacharias Gould Goalie School Instructor Puts on a Show in Europe
Michael and the Coventry Blaze had a great weekend, going 2-0, one of which was a 5-0 shutout on the road over then top-ranked Belfast. Michael was named "Man of the Match" for that game. Michael stopped 70 of 71 shots for the two games, including a penalty shot. Coventry finally found its scoring touch as they outscored their two opponents 11-1 this weekend. The scores may seem lopsided, but the shots were not. Overall the shots were 74-71 this weekend. Coventry had a hot goalie, while the other two teams did not.
 
Marino Ramirez, a Good As Gould Goalie, made the Squirt 2003. We are very proud of him. Marino was at two Good As Gould Goalie School's this summer and won the hardest worker award.
 
Nick Greco, a Good As Gould Goalie, made the Bantam Minor 2000 AAA at Team IL. As his Goalie Coach, we are very proud of him. Nick will be at the Goalie School Camp #4 July29th to Aug 2 2013 at Center Ice.
 
Drew Palena made, the 2003 AAA Florida Alliance Team which will represent the state of Florida in out a state tournament, is a Gould Goalie School Goalie from the Jason Ritchie Camp. We are very proud of Drew. Drew will be in camp 2 at the Gould Goalie School July 15th-19th at Addison Ice Rink.
 
Nicky Abraham, a Good As Gould Goalie at our Goalie School, made the Fury AAA Pee-wee major's. We are Very proud of him!
 
Admirals youth Goalie Matt O'Donnell who played for the Admirals Youth Squirt Elite in Glen Ellyn IL. , made the CYA AAA 02'. As his Goalie Coach, we are very Proud of him.
MADORE EAGER TO IMPRESS
In this topsy-turvy season – the first half of which was characterized by the NHL’s lockout and the second by a never-ending glut of injuries across the organization – roles can and have changed in an instant.

That’s been most true of goaltending, with Rob Madore the latest player to jump headfirst into an unexpected opportunity.

After backing up each of his first seven AHL games with no guaranteed playing time in sight, the 24-year-old rookie who spent most of this season in the ECHL is now the Checkers’ No. 1 option. He’ll play his third consecutive game tonight, with Cam Ward, Dan Ellis, Justin Peters and John Muse all on Carolina’s roster for the time being.

With Muse the latest to depart on Monday, Madore has gone from safety net to taking sole possession of the net in short order. Though his energy and practices and happy-go-lucky demeanor off the ice may have suggested he was just happy to be there, make no mistake – it’s a chance he’d been waiting for.

“Every goalie will tell you that they want to be that go-to guy, and I’m no different,” said the University of Vermont product who signed an AHL deal with Charlotte this past offseason. “I like to think that if you work hard in practice and prepare for every game, you’ll be ready to go in and you won’t have to make that adjustment.”

In what small sample size he has at this level, that’s been the case so far. After unexpectedly making his AHL debut in relief of Muse in Houston last Thursday, he stopped all 16 shots he faced. In his first start against the league-leading Texas Stars two days later, he earned a 4-2 victory by making 43 saves – the most by a Checkers goaltender since October of 2011.

It was a tough assignment for one’s first career start, but one coach Jeff Daniels felt comfortable with.

“He works so hard in practice and he wanted an opportunity to get in the net, and we just felt like he deserved a chance to get in our lineup and show what he could do,” said Daniels. “He did a really good job of holding on to the puck to slow things down when we were under pressure. He definitely gave us a chance to stay in the game.”

As impressive as that debut was, it wasn’t a stellar save that had teammates talking over the next few days. Aside from the speed in which he moves in his net, one particular play in which he sprawled to make a save and then chased a Texas puck carrier behind his net, leaving the goal open, may best describe his energetic presence.

“I’m a little enthusiastic,” he said, not afraid in the slightest to make light of his unorthodox play. “To be completely honest, I’m not really sure what I was thinking. Maybe I was just trying to test our defensive coverage out, because that’s something we’ve been working on.”

Humorous moments aside, teammates already knew that Madore takes his job, whatever that may be at any given time, quite seriously.

“I’m just trying to play the role I’m given each night,” he said. “On the bench, maybe you can provide that energy or give advice based on something you might have seen.”

There’s also his attitude in practice and in pre-game warm-ups, which he seemingly treats like Game Sevens.

“I’m a pretty competitive guy,” he said. “If you ask most of the other guys, they probably get a little annoyed with me because I don’t like to get scored on.”

While Madore is still the starter by default, the Checkers at least have one other goaltender on their roster after Mike Murphy, the team’s former goalie who had just resumed practicing with the team after five months away from pro hockey, signed a professional tryout contract on Tuesday. However, that move was believed to be made due to circumstance – a necessary step to finding an emergency backup – than anything related to the veteran’s ability to play on a regular basis.

That said, the net is Madore’s for the time being, at least until injuries begin to clear up in Carolina. After that it’s anyone’s guess, though strong performances in the meantime, including Tuesday’s start against Norfolk, could at least earn him more of a timeshare with Muse than he had seen previously.

“He’s our option, and he showed the other night what he’s capable of doing,” said Daniels.
 
Jason Ritchie is a hit last week at the Winchendon School with the Boston Bruins Alumni !

Winchendon - Almost immediately after former Winchendon School goalie and graduate Jason Ritchie (class of 2005) lost his life in a tragic accident four years later, his parents knew they had to do "something" to honor his memory and leave a mark on the campus. "It was really his mom (Donna)'s idea", recalled Jason's father, Bob. "She felt right away that we needed to do something, and the mission idea came, literally, within hours of his passing. This was her dream".

And so was launched the Jason Ritchie Hockey Foundation. "For Jason, hockey was probably the hook that kept him in school in the first place, so it just made sense to do this", Bob Ritchie remarked before last Saturday's benefit which featured the Boston Bruins Alumni facing off against the Ritchie Foundation All Stars, the culmination of a day-long series of hockey clinics and events on the Ash Street campus.

During an exclusive interview with the Courier conducted in the ice rink named in Jason's memory and dedicated two years ago this month, Bob Ritchie reflected on his son, and the Foundation, which has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Some $30,000 was raised on Saturday through donations and ticket sales. "Our goal is to provide mentoring and resources for kids who share Jason's drive and dedication", his father noted. "Jason always wanted to be a goalie. He had that great drive, that determination and dedication to play that position, and we started early because this is what he wanted to do. From the time he was very young, some of my best memories are the time we'd spend driving to and from rinks. You know, hockey practice is always early in the morning, ice time isn't easy to get, and so we'd get up at 4 or 5:00 and hit the road. I remember once asking him what he was thinking or feeling on a breakaway, when he was the only thing between the other team and a goal, and he said, 'I can feel the ice'. Conversations like those - they were really great family times. Those were the best times - the times in between the games and the practices", Ritchie reminisced. "Jason loved the Winchendon School. He loved everything about it. This was the perfect place for him, and we're forever grateful to the school for what everyone here did for him. That's why we chose the Winchendon School as the home for the Foundation.", Ritchie said.

The Ritchies have moved several times because of Bob's work ( president and CEO of American Integrity Insurance Company in Tampa, FL) and while Jason attended the Winchendon School, he lived with former school Vice-President Jack Blair and his wife, Pam, (recently promoted to Assistant Head for Teaching Excellence at the school), whose home has served as a home-away-from-home for numerous Winchendon School students through the years. "We raised boys of our own", noted Jack Blair, who currently sits on the Board of the Ritchie Foundation "and Jason was a pleasure to have live with us. He was one of those kids who had a bounce to his step. He was just a happy-go-lucky kid all the time", Blair said.

When they began the Foundation in 2009, "it wasn't easy. There was a mix of pain and pleasure and while there's more pleasure now in being able to help deserving students, that wasn't the case back then. I hadn't crossed that threshold yet. Donna made a big difference for me. We stayed the course largely because of her", said Bob Ritchie.

On the Foundation's website, there is an observation, "the best way to gain the life skills necessary to succeed is to embrace hockey and all of it's teachings on and off the ice. We honor Jason by helping those in need and giving forward". "That really does sum it up", said Bob Ritchie, while adding, "our focus is on hockey. But we believe it's important for kids to find the activity that stirs their passion, whether it's hockey or theatre or music or baseball. We want to help create success stories", he said.

 
2013 Goalie Schools - Makes great Christmas Gifts!

Camp 1 - Ellenton Ice@Sports Complex-Ellenton FL. A Portion of the proceeds will go to the Jason Ritchie Foundation June 17th to June 21 11:00am to 3:45pm Cost $390.00 Fundamentals Mite, Squirt, PeeWee

Camp 2 - Addison Ice Rink-July 15th to 19th10:30am to 3:00pm Fundamentals-Mite, Squirt, PeeWee Cost $400.00

Camp 3 - Addison Ice Rink- Invite Only-Advanced 12 Goalie's Midget AAA,Juniors, College, Only call Stu July-22 to July 26th 4:00pm to 9:00pm Cost $775.00 Get Off Sweats and Jersey

Camp 4 - Center Ice Of DuPage- July-29th to Aug-2-10:20am to 3:20am Highly Dedicated High School Bantam Goalie's Only Cost $625.00

Camp 5 - Center Ice Of DuPage-Aug-5th to Aug 9th- 9:30am to 1:30pm Fundamentals Mites, Squirts, PeeWee Cost $400.00

Click here to sign up

Goaltender brings a bit of Chicago to IUP hockey

By Josh Carney/Senior Staff Writer
J.T.Carney@iup.edu
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012

 

Looking to secure the starting goaltending job for IUP’s club hockey team, Dante Koeppen, 20, balances a very busy schedule between school and athletics.

Koeppen, a junior sport administration major and a native of Chicago, Ill., makes the trek every year to IUP, pre- paring for another promising school year and season.

“I was originally set to go to Robert Morris University,” Koeppen said. “It wasn’t until [former RMU & IUP Hockey coach] Sean Maloney left Robert Morris and convinced me to come to IUP with him.”

Maloney served as a goaltending coach while at IUP.

Having been around the game of hockey since he was just over 6-months old, it was an easy choice to play club hockey at the college level for Dante.

“My mom would take me to the rink to watch my cousins play, so I was just always around the game,” he said.

Koeppen has been a goalie since he was able to play ice hockey at the age of 5.

“I just went up to my coach one day and asked if I could be a goalie,” he said. “After that, I loved it.”

Koeppen brings a serious approach to the game of hockey, whether it is in the film room or in pre-game warm-ups.

“I take pre-game very seriously,” he said. “You play how you practice and it is very important to me to be prepared to the fullest each and every night.”

Count current Chicago Blackhawks goalie, Corey Crawford, as one player that Koeppen models his game after.

“He is just so fundamentally sound,” Koeppen said. “He is always in the right position, always making the difficult saves look easy because of his preparations before the game.”

While balancing a heavy academic workload, Koeppen must deal with practice on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with games being played on Fridays and Saturdays at S&T Bank Arena.

This year’s IUP hockey team, play- ing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, is looking for players to step up and be leaders, as they have lost an important handful of players to graduation.

“We want to go to Nationals this year,” Koeppen said. “That is our season goal. We just want to compete with all the teams we play.”

As for personal goals, Dante kept it very simple.

“I want to leave everything out on the ice, night after night,” he said. “I don’t want to look back after the game and have regrets or wish I could have done more to help the team win.”

Koeppen will be pulling double- duty off of the ice this year as well. He will serve as the vice president of the Sport Administration Club at IUP.

“I was the treasurer last year, so, this year, I am looking forward to the challenge of the VP position,” he said.

Dante’s plans include one day work in the Parks & Recreation Department. He recently completed an internship at Arlington Heights Park District over the summer.

If that doesn’t work out, he said he wants to do something with exercising. He listed opening a gym as one of the possibilities.

For now though, Dante continues to focus on being the best he possibly can, both on and off of the ice.

 
CHECKERS SIGN GOALIE ROB MADORE
7/17/12 - The Checkers made a move to solidify their goaltending on Tuesday, signing 24-year-old Rob Madore to a two-way AHL contract.

At the time of his signing, Madore, an undrafted four-year starter at the University of Vermont who finished his collegiate career last season, ranked as the fourth goalie on the organizational depth chart, making him a potential backup to fellow Hockey East alumnus John Muse with the Checkers. That could change if the team or its parent club, the Carolina Hurricanes, chooses to bring in another player, as Madore enters next season without experience at the AHL level.

The 5-foot-10, 179-pound Madore did make his professional debut in the ECHL at the end of last season, playing 12 regular-season games with the Chicago Express and five more in the postseason with the South Carolina Stingrays. The Pittsburgh native was a combined 10-6-1 in those contests with a 2.53 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout.  

The highlight of Madore’s brief pro career to this date may have been his first two playoff games, which he won in the fourth and second overtime, respectively. He made 54 saves in his South Carolina debut, a 4-3 win over Gwinnett in the first round, before stopping 39 shots in a rematch two days later.

While with Vermont, Madore posted a record of 41-64-20 with a 2.91 goals-against average, .902 save percentage and five shutouts. He was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on six separate occasions, including three times during his freshman season in 2008-09. He finished his collegiate career among the school’s all-time leaders in several statistical categories, trailing only NHL All-Star Tim Thomas with 3,352 saves.

Madore played two seasons of junior hockey with the Chicago Steel of the USHL, where he was teammates with Checkers center Sean Dolan in 2006-07.
Marino Ramirez, a Good As Gould Goalie, made the Squirt 2003. We are very proud of him. Marino was at two Good As Gould Goalie School's this summer and won the hardest worker award.
 
Nick Greco, a Good As Gould Goalie, made the Bantam Minor 2000 AAA at Team IL. As his Goalie Coach, we are very proud of him. Nick will be at the Goalie School Camp #4 July29th to Aug 2 2013 at Center Ice.
 
Drew Palena made, the 2003 AAA Florida Alliance Team which will represent the state of Florida in out a state tournament, is a Gould Goalie School Goalie from the Jason Ritchie Camp. We are very proud of Drew. Drew will be in camp 2 at the Gould Goalie School July 15th-19th at Addison Ice Rink.
 
Nicky Abraham, a Good As Gould Goalie at our Goalie School, made the Fury AAA Pee-wee major's. We are Very proud of him!
 
Admirals youth Goalie Matt O'Donnell who played for the Admirals Youth Squirt Elite in Glen Ellyn IL. , made the CYA AAA 02'. As his Goalie Coach, we are very Proud of him.
MADORE EAGER TO IMPRESS
In this topsy-turvy season – the first half of which was characterized by the NHL’s lockout and the second by a never-ending glut of injuries across the organization – roles can and have changed in an instant.

That’s been most true of goaltending, with Rob Madore the latest player to jump headfirst into an unexpected opportunity.

After backing up each of his first seven AHL games with no guaranteed playing time in sight, the 24-year-old rookie who spent most of this season in the ECHL is now the Checkers’ No. 1 option. He’ll play his third consecutive game tonight, with Cam Ward, Dan Ellis, Justin Peters and John Muse all on Carolina’s roster for the time being.

With Muse the latest to depart on Monday, Madore has gone from safety net to taking sole possession of the net in short order. Though his energy and practices and happy-go-lucky demeanor off the ice may have suggested he was just happy to be there, make no mistake – it’s a chance he’d been waiting for.

“Every goalie will tell you that they want to be that go-to guy, and I’m no different,” said the University of Vermont product who signed an AHL deal with Charlotte this past offseason. “I like to think that if you work hard in practice and prepare for every game, you’ll be ready to go in and you won’t have to make that adjustment.”

In what small sample size he has at this level, that’s been the case so far. After unexpectedly making his AHL debut in relief of Muse in Houston last Thursday, he stopped all 16 shots he faced. In his first start against the league-leading Texas Stars two days later, he earned a 4-2 victory by making 43 saves – the most by a Checkers goaltender since October of 2011.

It was a tough assignment for one’s first career start, but one coach Jeff Daniels felt comfortable with.

“He works so hard in practice and he wanted an opportunity to get in the net, and we just felt like he deserved a chance to get in our lineup and show what he could do,” said Daniels. “He did a really good job of holding on to the puck to slow things down when we were under pressure. He definitely gave us a chance to stay in the game.”

As impressive as that debut was, it wasn’t a stellar save that had teammates talking over the next few days. Aside from the speed in which he moves in his net, one particular play in which he sprawled to make a save and then chased a Texas puck carrier behind his net, leaving the goal open, may best describe his energetic presence.

“I’m a little enthusiastic,” he said, not afraid in the slightest to make light of his unorthodox play. “To be completely honest, I’m not really sure what I was thinking. Maybe I was just trying to test our defensive coverage out, because that’s something we’ve been working on.”

Humorous moments aside, teammates already knew that Madore takes his job, whatever that may be at any given time, quite seriously.

“I’m just trying to play the role I’m given each night,” he said. “On the bench, maybe you can provide that energy or give advice based on something you might have seen.”

There’s also his attitude in practice and in pre-game warm-ups, which he seemingly treats like Game Sevens.

“I’m a pretty competitive guy,” he said. “If you ask most of the other guys, they probably get a little annoyed with me because I don’t like to get scored on.”

While Madore is still the starter by default, the Checkers at least have one other goaltender on their roster after Mike Murphy, the team’s former goalie who had just resumed practicing with the team after five months away from pro hockey, signed a professional tryout contract on Tuesday. However, that move was believed to be made due to circumstance – a necessary step to finding an emergency backup – than anything related to the veteran’s ability to play on a regular basis.

That said, the net is Madore’s for the time being, at least until injuries begin to clear up in Carolina. After that it’s anyone’s guess, though strong performances in the meantime, including Tuesday’s start against Norfolk, could at least earn him more of a timeshare with Muse than he had seen previously.

“He’s our option, and he showed the other night what he’s capable of doing,” said Daniels.
 
Jason Ritchie is a hit last week at the Winchendon School with the Boston Bruins Alumni !

Winchendon - Almost immediately after former Winchendon School goalie and graduate Jason Ritchie (class of 2005) lost his life in a tragic accident four years later, his parents knew they had to do "something" to honor his memory and leave a mark on the campus. "It was really his mom (Donna)'s idea", recalled Jason's father, Bob. "She felt right away that we needed to do something, and the mission idea came, literally, within hours of his passing. This was her dream".

And so was launched the Jason Ritchie Hockey Foundation. "For Jason, hockey was probably the hook that kept him in school in the first place, so it just made sense to do this", Bob Ritchie remarked before last Saturday's benefit which featured the Boston Bruins Alumni facing off against the Ritchie Foundation All Stars, the culmination of a day-long series of hockey clinics and events on the Ash Street campus.

During an exclusive interview with the Courier conducted in the ice rink named in Jason's memory and dedicated two years ago this month, Bob Ritchie reflected on his son, and the Foundation, which has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Some $30,000 was raised on Saturday through donations and ticket sales. "Our goal is to provide mentoring and resources for kids who share Jason's drive and dedication", his father noted. "Jason always wanted to be a goalie. He had that great drive, that determination and dedication to play that position, and we started early because this is what he wanted to do. From the time he was very young, some of my best memories are the time we'd spend driving to and from rinks. You know, hockey practice is always early in the morning, ice time isn't easy to get, and so we'd get up at 4 or 5:00 and hit the road. I remember once asking him what he was thinking or feeling on a breakaway, when he was the only thing between the other team and a goal, and he said, 'I can feel the ice'. Conversations like those - they were really great family times. Those were the best times - the times in between the games and the practices", Ritchie reminisced. "Jason loved the Winchendon School. He loved everything about it. This was the perfect place for him, and we're forever grateful to the school for what everyone here did for him. That's why we chose the Winchendon School as the home for the Foundation.", Ritchie said.

The Ritchies have moved several times because of Bob's work ( president and CEO of American Integrity Insurance Company in Tampa, FL) and while Jason attended the Winchendon School, he lived with former school Vice-President Jack Blair and his wife, Pam, (recently promoted to Assistant Head for Teaching Excellence at the school), whose home has served as a home-away-from-home for numerous Winchendon School students through the years. "We raised boys of our own", noted Jack Blair, who currently sits on the Board of the Ritchie Foundation "and Jason was a pleasure to have live with us. He was one of those kids who had a bounce to his step. He was just a happy-go-lucky kid all the time", Blair said.

When they began the Foundation in 2009, "it wasn't easy. There was a mix of pain and pleasure and while there's more pleasure now in being able to help deserving students, that wasn't the case back then. I hadn't crossed that threshold yet. Donna made a big difference for me. We stayed the course largely because of her", said Bob Ritchie.

On the Foundation's website, there is an observation, "the best way to gain the life skills necessary to succeed is to embrace hockey and all of it's teachings on and off the ice. We honor Jason by helping those in need and giving forward". "That really does sum it up", said Bob Ritchie, while adding, "our focus is on hockey. But we believe it's important for kids to find the activity that stirs their passion, whether it's hockey or theatre or music or baseball. We want to help create success stories", he said.

 
2013 Goalie Schools - Makes great Christmas Gifts!

Camp 1 - Ellenton Ice@Sports Complex-Ellenton FL. A Portion of the proceeds will go to the Jason Ritchie Foundation June 17th to June 21 11:00am to 3:45pm Cost $390.00 Fundamentals Mite, Squirt, PeeWee

Camp 2 - Addison Ice Rink-July 15th to 19th10:30am to 3:00pm Fundamentals-Mite, Squirt, PeeWee Cost $400.00

Camp 3 - Addison Ice Rink- Invite Only-Advanced 12 Goalie's Midget AAA,Juniors, College, Only call Stu July-22 to July 26th 4:00pm to 9:00pm Cost $775.00 Get Off Sweats and Jersey

Camp 4 - Center Ice Of DuPage- July-29th to Aug-2-10:20am to 3:20am Highly Dedicated High School Bantam Goalie's Only Cost $625.00

Camp 5 - Center Ice Of DuPage-Aug-5th to Aug 9th- 9:30am to 1:30pm Fundamentals Mites, Squirts, PeeWee Cost $400.00

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Goaltender brings a bit of Chicago to IUP hockey

By Josh Carney/Senior Staff Writer
J.T.Carney@iup.edu
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012

 

Looking to secure the starting goaltending job for IUP’s club hockey team, Dante Koeppen, 20, balances a very busy schedule between school and athletics.

Koeppen, a junior sport administration major and a native of Chicago, Ill., makes the trek every year to IUP, pre- paring for another promising school year and season.

“I was originally set to go to Robert Morris University,” Koeppen said. “It wasn’t until [former RMU & IUP Hockey coach] Sean Maloney left Robert Morris and convinced me to come to IUP with him.”

Maloney served as a goaltending coach while at IUP.

Having been around the game of hockey since he was just over 6-months old, it was an easy choice to play club hockey at the college level for Dante.

“My mom would take me to the rink to watch my cousins play, so I was just always around the game,” he said.

Koeppen has been a goalie since he was able to play ice hockey at the age of 5.

“I just went up to my coach one day and asked if I could be a goalie,” he said. “After that, I loved it.”

Koeppen brings a serious approach to the game of hockey, whether it is in the film room or in pre-game warm-ups.

“I take pre-game very seriously,” he said. “You play how you practice and it is very important to me to be prepared to the fullest each and every night.”

Count current Chicago Blackhawks goalie, Corey Crawford, as one player that Koeppen models his game after.

“He is just so fundamentally sound,” Koeppen said. “He is always in the right position, always making the difficult saves look easy because of his preparations before the game.”

While balancing a heavy academic workload, Koeppen must deal with practice on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with games being played on Fridays and Saturdays at S&T Bank Arena.

This year’s IUP hockey team, play- ing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, is looking for players to step up and be leaders, as they have lost an important handful of players to graduation.

“We want to go to Nationals this year,” Koeppen said. “That is our season goal. We just want to compete with all the teams we play.”

As for personal goals, Dante kept it very simple.

“I want to leave everything out on the ice, night after night,” he said. “I don’t want to look back after the game and have regrets or wish I could have done more to help the team win.”

Koeppen will be pulling double- duty off of the ice this year as well. He will serve as the vice president of the Sport Administration Club at IUP.

“I was the treasurer last year, so, this year, I am looking forward to the challenge of the VP position,” he said.

Dante’s plans include one day work in the Parks & Recreation Department. He recently completed an internship at Arlington Heights Park District over the summer.

If that doesn’t work out, he said he wants to do something with exercising. He listed opening a gym as one of the possibilities.

For now though, Dante continues to focus on being the best he possibly can, both on and off of the ice.

 
CHECKERS SIGN GOALIE ROB MADORE
7/17/12 - The Checkers made a move to solidify their goaltending on Tuesday, signing 24-year-old Rob Madore to a two-way AHL contract.

At the time of his signing, Madore, an undrafted four-year starter at the University of Vermont who finished his collegiate career last season, ranked as the fourth goalie on the organizational depth chart, making him a potential backup to fellow Hockey East alumnus John Muse with the Checkers. That could change if the team or its parent club, the Carolina Hurricanes, chooses to bring in another player, as Madore enters next season without experience at the AHL level.

The 5-foot-10, 179-pound Madore did make his professional debut in the ECHL at the end of last season, playing 12 regular-season games with the Chicago Express and five more in the postseason with the South Carolina Stingrays. The Pittsburgh native was a combined 10-6-1 in those contests with a 2.53 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout.  

The highlight of Madore’s brief pro career to this date may have been his first two playoff games, which he won in the fourth and second overtime, respectively. He made 54 saves in his South Carolina debut, a 4-3 win over Gwinnett in the first round, before stopping 39 shots in a rematch two days later.

While with Vermont, Madore posted a record of 41-64-20 with a 2.91 goals-against average, .902 save percentage and five shutouts. He was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on six separate occasions, including three times during his freshman season in 2008-09. He finished his collegiate career among the school’s all-time leaders in several statistical categories, trailing only NHL All-Star Tim Thomas with 3,352 saves.

Madore played two seasons of junior hockey with the Chicago Steel of the USHL, where he was teammates with Checkers center Sean Dolan in 2006-07.