Congratulations to all the Wizard U10 and U12 teams that competed in the State Tournament last weekend. The U10 Major 2 and U12 Major 2 teams won the State Championship, while the U12 Major 1 team lost an OT heartbreaker in the finals. The U10 Major 1 team had a strong weekend and lost the semi-final game in OT.
The East Coast Wizards are one of only a few organizations in the world with access to this next generation training tool for improving puck skills and game sense. This training will have a big impact on your productivity in games. Please see the information and videos below and come to the Edge to try it out!
Sense Arena Hockey Training
The Edge Sports Center and the East Coast Wizards are proud to be one of the first locations to host the Sense Arena system for training skills and hockey sense. The difference between good players and great players is sense and awareness. Sense Arena is the best tool on the market for cognitive training. The system is housed in the gym at the Edge, providing the total platform for strength, conditioning, skill and cognitive training.
Thrilling sport actions, fewer injuries
The brain is the most important muscle in an athlete’s body. Let’s develop its performance and skills, so we can see more great plays, fewer injuries and pure joy in the eyes of a young athlete.
Watching top hockey, basketball, football or other team sports, we admire not only the performance of the athletes, but more and more their sense of teamplay and mental skills.
We have focused our program on training of the “brain muscle” of athletes starting at the age of 10. We believe that synchronized development of their physical and mental skills will make them better, healthier and happier players, members of winning teams.
The “vehicle” that is going to help us achieve our goal is the environment of virtual reality.
Training hockey sense and hockey skills
More than 50 drills and a dozen pre-set training plans focus on the development of:
Reaction time - with the focus on scoring (rebound, deflection, tipping, shooting one-timers), passing (passing agility drills)
Decision making - drills that force quick decisions under various conditions
Timing, movement and anticipation - training of break out passes, dynamic passing situations
Hockey IQ - reading open lanes, keep away, power-play situations
Multitasking - focusing on distribution of the brain power - decision making in parallel agility activities
All drills have several different settings, including speed, frequency and accuracy of passes from a teammate, complexity of the drills, etc.
Development of cognitive functions
Brain cognitive functions are very important not just for hockey players or athletes in general, but for all of us.
Sense Arena Training Platform brings workouts that can be performed with a pair of controllers in the players hands. A hockey stick is not always necessary.
Sample of cognitive functions you can work on:
Reaction and motor time
Time-movement anticipation etc.
Coordination skills - linking of motor skills, development of rhythmic skills
Powerful web based analytical tool
Scores from each player are uploaded to Sense Arena’s database. Players have the benefit of seeing how they compare with and compete against other athletes all over the world.
There are two types of outputs - diagnostic results (based on a normalized standard set of drills) and standard training results. Both types of data give extremely valuable information:
Helping to decide where to focus players' individual training
Benchmarks within a team setting in addition to overall comparison to players - even from the other side of the world!
That's the unique benefit of having training in a "digital environment", where the is the goalie always the same - in Toronto, Prague, Helsinki or the US!
Pricing – Each player will undergo diagnostic testing to determine their skill baseline. This is a 20 - 30 minute session and the cost is $25. The cost of each subsequent session is $50 for 30 minutes. We recommend purchasing multiple sessions to maximize skill and cognitive development. Multi-session discount cards are available at the pricing below.
- 5 - 30-minute sessions for $225
-10 - 30-minute sessions for $400
Contact Adrien Peacock at 978-621-5158 orto schedule sessions.
We are excited to announce that the East Coast Wizards Girl's program has been named the top girl's program in the country! It is a fitting tribute to our coaches, players, and families. Please follow the attached link to the video of the top 20.
Host Sites Announced for 2018 USA Hockey National Championships
Tournaments scheduled for March and April in cities nationwide
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey announced today the host sites for its slate of 2018 National Championships, with each tournament to be contested in March/April 2018.
Among the notable highlights:
· The 2018 USA Hockey Girls National Championships will mark the 40th anniversary of USA Hockey crowning the nation's best in girls and women's hockey, a tradition that dates back to 1978 and the inaugural girls national championship tournament held in Orchard Park and Cheektowaga, New York.
· USA Hockey Arena, in Plymouth, Michigan, will host its first-ever USA Hockey Youth National Championship when the nation's best compete at the 2018 USA Hockey Youth Tier I National Championship for 15-year-olds.
NOTES: USA Hockey has been conducting the United States' national championship tournaments since 1938, with teams from 37 states being crowned champions in various classifications ... A list of USA Hockey national champions dating back to 1949 can be found here.
2018 USA Hockey National Championships Sites
Youth Tier I (14U)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte Metro Hockey
April 5-9, 2018
Youth Tier I (15s)
April 5-9, 2018
Youth Tier I (16U, 18U)
Philadelphia Junior Flyers
April 5-9, 2018
Girls Tier I
East Coast Wizards
April 5-9, 2018
Women's A, B, C
East Coast Wizards
April 5-8, 2018
Wayzata Youth Hockey
March 22-25, 2018
Girls Tier II
East Coast Wizards
April 5-9, 2018
Youth Tier II (14U)
Amherst, New York
Amherst Youth Hockey
April 5-9, 2018
Youth Tier II (16U)
Wayne, New Jersey
April 5-9, 2018
Youth Tier II (18U)
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay Area Youth Hockey
April 5-9, 2018
Adult Rec Men's
Adult Rec Women's
For more information, contact Jayson Hron (
Women and men used to gaze up at the stars, awed at the sight and size of the universe, much like Detroit Red Wings fitness trainers used to be in awe at the sight and size of Brett Hull's butt during his final Motor City days.
My understanding of the sky's map is limited to the Big Dipper (good nickname for Buffalo's Tyler Myers, by the way) and the constellation Orion. Orion is located on the celestial equator and can been seen across the world, much like Pat Quinn's head. Its name, Orion, refers to a hunter in Greek mythology. Since my late teenage years, whether I am in Mingo Junction, Ohio, or Vancouver, British Columbia, I always look up and locate Orion. It's my satellite to home and youth.
I first became aware of Orion from the now bankrupt movie production company Orion Pictures Corporation, which made movies from 1978-1998. I remember the company's animated intro prior to the start of a movie: stars from the constellation would twirl into the letter "O" before the entire word "Orion" was spelled out.
It seemed as if 46 percent of movies produced in the late '70s and early '80s, my HBO sweet spot years, were produced by Orion. I am sure this number is probably much lower. "Back to School," "10," "Hoosiers," "Platoon," "No Way Out" and others all began with the animated Orion logo. I would like to publicly thank the now defunct movie company and HBO for my astronomy acumen and the indelible image of Bo Derek jogging on the beach with wet, braided hair. ("Before the Internet, there was HBO." Now there is a slogan to believe in.)
Today, kids, teenagers, adults and Sean Avery don't so much stare up to the trees, clouds, airplanes, stars and 6-foot-9 NHL linesman Mike Cvik as much as they used to; now, most stare down at their cell phones and personal digital assistants (Jim Balsillie's PDA BlackBerry, yo). As a result of all this "looking down," we miss so much up in the heavens. We even look down at these things during dinner, hockey games and Heisman Trophy presentations. People even look down at their PDAs while they drive. Who needs a moon roof on a clear summer night when I can play Tetris on I-95 while I soar through the E-ZPASS lane?
This is my gigantic preamble to why you should one day sign up your young son or daughter to play youth hockey at a local rink near you. If nothing else, it gets them away from electronics and teaches them a small slice of humanity that they can take forward through life, a life with more heart and less battery power. The rink's cold robs electronics of their battery power and signal reception, anyway.
So, if you are a first-time hockey parent, or dream of one day spending more than $10,000 and sacrificing weekends for a decade of glamorous youth or "minor" hockey, here are 13 important things you need to know about the youth hockey universe -- and hockey in general -- to help speed up the assimilation process in joining the "Congregation of Independent Insane in the Membrane Hockey Community Union" or COIIITMHCU. If you move those letters around you eventually get Chicoutimi. A miracle from the star-filled heavens above. (I'm sure my fellow COIIITMHCU members will offer even more, and we can post next week.)
1. Under no circumstances will hockey practice ever be cancelled. Ever. Even on days when school is cancelled, practice is still on. A game may be cancelled due to inclement weather because of travel concerns for the visiting team, but it would have to rain razor blades and bocce balls to cancel hockey practice at your local rink. It's good karma to respect the game.
2. Hockey is an emotional game and your child has the attention span of a chipmunk on NyQuil. The hockey coach will yell a bit during practice; he might even yell at your precious little Sparky. As long as there is teaching involved and not humiliation, it will be good for your child to be taught the right way, with emphasis.
3. Hockey is a very, very, very, very difficult game to play. You are probably terrible at it. It takes high skill and lots of courage, so lay off your kid. Don't berate them. Be patient and encourage them to play. Some kids need more time to learn how to ride the bike, but, in the end, everyone rides a bike about the same way.
Your kids are probably anywhere from age 4-8 when they first take up hockey. They will not get a call from Boston University coach Jack Parker or receive Christmas cards from the Colorado Avalanche's director of scouting. Don't berate them. Demand punctuality and unselfishness for practice and games. That's it. Passion is in someone, or it isn't. One can't implant passion in their child. My primary motive in letting my kids play hockey is exercise, physical fitness and the development of lower-body and core strength that will one day land them on a VH1 reality show that will pay off their student loans or my second mortgage.
4. Actually, I do demand two things from my 10-year-old Squirt, Jackson. Prior to every practice or game, as he turns down AC/DC's "Big Jack," gets out of the car and makes his way to the trunk to haul his hockey bag inside a cold, Connecticut rink, I say, "Jack, be the hardest, most creative and grittiest worker ... and be the one having the most fun." That might be four things, but you know what I mean.
5. Your kids should be dressing themselves and tying their own skates by their second year of Squirt. Jack is 67 pounds with 0 percent body fat and arms of linguini, and he can put on, take off and tie his own skates. If he can, anyone can. I don't go in the locker room anymore. Thank goodness; it stinks in there.
6. Do not fret over penalties not called during games and don't waste long-term heart power screaming at the referees. My observational research reveals the power-play percentage for every Mite hockey game ever played is .0000089 percent; for Squirts, .071 percent. I prefer referees to call zero penalties.
7. Yell like crazy during the game. Say whatever you want. Scream every kind of inane instruction you want to your kids. They can't hear you. In the car ride home, ask them if they had fun and gently promote creativity and competiveness, but only after you take them to Denny's for a Junior Grand Slam breakfast or 7-Eleven for a Slurpee. Having a warm breakfast after an early morning weekend game will become one of your most syrupy sweet memories.
8. Whenever possible, trade in your kids' ice skates and buy used skates, especially during those growing years and even if you can afford to buy new skates every six months. Your kids don't need $180 skates and a $100 stick no matter what your tax bracket is. They will not make them better players.
9. Missing practice (like we stated above) or games is akin to an Irish Catholic missing Mass in 1942. We take attendance at hockey games very seriously. Last week, the Islanders' Brendan Witt was hit by an SUV in Philadelphia. Witt got up off the pavement and walked to Starbucks for a coffee, and then later played against the Flyers that night. Let me repeat that: BRENDAN WITT WAS HIT BY AN SUV ... AND PLAYED THAT NIGHT! Re-read that sentence 56 times a night to your child when they have a case of the sniffles and want to stay home to watch an "iCarly" marathon. By, the way Philadelphia police cited Witt for two minutes in jail for obstruction. Witt will appeal.
10. Teach your kids not to celebrate too much after a goal if your team is winning or losing by a lot. And by all means, tell them celebrate with the team. After they score, tell them not to skate away from their teammates like soccer players. Find the person who passed you the puck and tell him or her, "Great pass." We have immediate group hugs in hockey following a short, instinctive reaction from the goal scorer. I am proud of my boy for a lot of things, but I am most proud at how excited he gets when a teammate scores a goal. He is Alex Ovechkin in this regard.
11. There is no such thing as running up the score in hockey. This is understood at every level. It's very difficult to score goals and unexplainably exhilarating when one does. Now, if we get to 14-1, we may want to take our foot off the gas a tad.
12. Unless their femur is broken in 16 places, Mites or Squirts should not lie on the ice after a fall on the ice or against the boards. Attempt to get up as quickly as one can and slowly skate to the bench.
13. Do not offer cash for goals. This has no upside. Passion and love and drive cannot be taught or bought. I do believe a certain measure of toughness and grit can be slowly encouraged and eventually taught. Encourage your kid to block shots and to battle hard in the corners. It will serve them well in life.
Enjoy the rink. Keep it fun, keep it in perspective and enjoy the madness. In this digital world of electronics, you may find hockey to be the most human endeavor you partake in. Cell phones run on batteries. Hockey players run on blood. Blood is warmer. Welcome.