Weekend Hockey Highlights

Tomorrow I’m going to share a detailed article series on off-ice hockey training for youth hockey organizations that I wrote for Hockey Strength and Conditioning several months ago.

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Before I get to that, I want to diverge from the normal hockey training content nature of this site and congratulate some of the players I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last few years.

In no particular order:

Jamie Hill, who I’ve worked with over the last 3 off-seasons at Endeavor Sports Performance was recently awarded USHL Offensive Player of the Week. He notched 1g and 6a in 3 games on consecutive nights to help lead the Waterloo Black Hawks to 3 consecutive victories. Jamie has put in a lot of hard work since I’ve known him and is one of the players that always reaches out to me with questions during the year. I’m proud to see how all of his hard work is paying off for him.

Read the story here: USHL Honors – Week 27

Johnny Gaudreau has been a superstar at Boston College this year. John has trained with me over the last two off-seasons and to say he was under-sized for the USHL last year and for Hockey East this year would be an understatement, but John is a special player. He basically grew up on the ice. In fact, I can remember watching him go inside outside on a defenseman during a 1-on-1 when he was 5 years old (I used to help at camps at the rink John’s dad works out of in South Jersey). He’s fast and very strong for his weight, it’s his hands and vision (arguably the best vision of anyone I’ve ever seen play the game!) that really set him apart from everyone else. He’s certainly an inspiration for other under-sized players and a great example of how players can succeed despite not fitting the stereotypical mold.

Last year, in his first year in the USHL, John won rookie of the year honors and lead his team in scoring in the playoffs, en route to a USHL Championship. This year, John was awarded the MVP of the Beanpot and Hockey East Tournaments, and helped clinch a National Championship for BC with a highlight reel goal. Not a bad resume for a 5’8″ 150lb freshman!

As you can imagine, he’s gotten some nice press recently. Well deserved!

Read the story here: In the Winning Habit

And here: Gaudreau’s Highlight-Reel Goal Clinches Boston College’s 5th National Championship

Interestingly, in the 59 picture slideshow accompanying the last article, there isn’t a single shot of John’s 1-on-2, goal, or following celebration…probably because the photographers were busy picking their jaws up off the floor.

Check out the highlights from the national championship game here: NCAA National Championship Highlights

Lastly, as you likely know by now, I left a week ago to head up to Lake Placid to help out with the strength and conditioning of the US Women’s National Team Pre-World’s Training Camp, and then traveled to Burlington, Vermont for the IIHF World Championship. There is still A LOT of hockey to be played and work to be done, but Saturday was a really special night as USA opened against their rivals in Canada. In a truly unique game, USA scored 5 goals in the first 5.5 minutes to take a 5-0 lead. The crowd was loud and the atmosphere was awesome. Several of the girls that have been around for a while commented that they’ve never played in front of such a one-sided (in favor of  USA) crowd before in their entire careers. USA finished the game with a staggering 9-2 win.

Off to a great start!

Read the Story Here: Team USA Routs Canada in Opener

It’s been a great experience working with the team and the staff here. More than anything else, I’m impressed with how the entire organization, from the goalie that doesn’t dress on a given night, to the “first line” players, to the athletic trainer, to the head coach, to the program director LIVES the team motto of “Team First”. EVERYONE willingly and without hesitation makes personal sacrifices for the betterment of the team. It’s truly an honor to have an opportunity to work in this environment and it’s something I wish every player and coach at every level could witness. It’s the way TEAM games should be played and organizations should be run.

That’s a wrap for today. Check back in a couple days for the article series on off-ice hockey training for youth organizations!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. As always, I appreciate you forwarding this along to anyone you think will benefit from the info! You can use the social media dropdown menu at the top right hand corner to share it via Twitter and Facebook!

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