Archive for the ‘Hockey’ Category

>Reidar’s hockey highlight reel

Posted: April 25, 2009 in Hockey

>Here is a little something I whipped up really quick. It has Reidar’s 98th, 99th, and 100th goal and a couple of other little bonus goals that I caught on tape. Enjoy…

(For Rubber Magazine’s Parental Guidance)

From October until March hockey dominates the households of thousands of families across California — but what about the other six months out of the year?

There are a number of ways to spend the off season. Some players take the entire time off. For skaters who need to work on their skills, though, this can be detrimental. On the flip side, for those experiencing “hockey burnout,” it can be a beneficial experience to take a break from hockey and return in the fall fresh.

After all, there are other sports to participate in that can help to improve hockey athleticism, endurance, flexibility, and stamina such as baseball, soccer, lacrosse, gymnastics, biking, running, or swimming. The benefit of cross training in other sports has been scientifically proven and the model of engaging in a variety of sporting activities in the off season has been used by European hockey clubs for years.

For those die hard players who aren’t interested in any sport but hockey, there are also inline teams which allow kids to continue working on their strength, skating, shooting and stick handling, and of course summer ice hockey teams, which practice less frequently and travel to just a handful of tournaments over the course of the summer. The value of these teams is that they are generally more competitive, have stricter tryouts, and can expose players to a high level of play, all the way up to AA or AAA.

Many of these tournaments are international in nature, allowing youngsters a chance to play teams outside of their region, state, or country. And, as in the case of my family, you can build your summer vacation around a tournament in a fun location such as Vancouver to get more for your hockey buck and infuse a little more fun into the trip.

Another popular way to keep the hockey fires burning in the off season is of course the hockey camp. California and the surrounding states have a number of good ones focusing on different skill sets. Evaluate your player or ask for an evaluation from your coach about which type of camp would best benefit your child.

We all have our own reasons for choosing how we want to spend our summers and whether hockey is a part of it. The most important factors to take into account when making the decision depend on the skill level of the player, their desire to play, and what their goals are for the coming season. No matter how your youth hockey player chooses to spend the summer, though, keep them working in some way to help get them to the next level.

VACAVILLE, Calif. – The Vacaville Jets Squirt B hockey team has once again brought home a first place trophy in tournament play, winning the Wine Country Face Off in Santa Rosa over President’s Day weekend. This is the third California tournament that the team has won this season, also taking first in the Pacific Regionals of the International Silver Stick Invitational in San Jose in November and winning their home tournament in January, the Second Annual MLK I-80 hockey tournament.

“I cannot tell you how proud we are of the team’s performance this year,” said parent and Assistant Coach Cean Burgeson. “We’re in first place in the Norcal Youth Hockey League with only one loss in regular season play and we’ve won every California tournament we’ve entered so far this season. On top of that, we were good enough to earn a trip to Pelham, Ontario, Canada in January to play in an international hockey tournament, so we couldn’t have asked for more out of this great group of kids.”

The Vacaville Jets Bantam team (14 and under) also placed first at the Wine Country Face Off, with the Jets Mite team (8 and under) playing in the championship game and coming in second. The next tournament for the Squirts, who are nine and ten year olds, is the Norcal Championship playoffs on March 21 and 22. If they place within the two top teams during that contest they will travel to Escondido, Calif. to play against the top southern California teams for the state championship at the Squirt B level.

>Hockey ‘culture’

Posted: February 17, 2009 in Hockey

(For Rubber Magazine’s Parental Guidance – March 2009)

As a native of Michigan I know what it’s like to scrape eight inches of snow and ice off my car and make the long drive to an ice rink in a snowstorm, praying that my kid’s hockey game isn’t cancelled due to inclement weather once I get there. I also know what it’s like to spend days as a kid playing eight hour pond hockey sessions with my friends. These experiences helped to instill the “hockey culture” into me, a phenomenon common in the Midwest and other frozen climes.

But do we have a true “hockey culture” here in California? We can’t play outdoors and don’t have to endure snowstorms and below freezing temperatures to get to our games. A far less common sport here, most of our kids are the only ones at school who play ice hockey, with few friends outside of their teammates who can even relate to the sport. So how do we compare to more well-known hockey states?

California hockey families still endure early morning and late evening practices every week for six months out of the year just like our eastern counterparts. We too curse our alarm clocks for waking us out of blissful Saturday morning slumber so we can drive two hours to play 7 a.m. games. Similarly, we caravan to tournament weekends full of back-to-back games, sessions at the pool, and knee hockey marathons in the hallway. And most importantly, we write the same endless checks and nearly melt our credit cards swiping them to pay for premium ice time, new equipment, and the myriad of other expenses our favored sport brings with it.

Living the culture is more a mind set than a geographical phenomenon. When our California boys beat some good Canadian hockey clubs at a recent Ontario tournament, many of the coaches and parents of those teams were flabbergasted. This to them was the ultimate insult, not only to be beaten by Americans, but to have them come from a state known more in their minds for surfing than for hockey.

I take a lot of satisfaction in that reaction. Despite the fact that we have fewer rinks and kids playing ice hockey here, it means we’ve still managed to create our own successful “hockey culture” here in the Golden State, and for that we should be proud.

>Jets host successful home tournament

Posted: February 17, 2009 in Hockey

(For March 09 Rubber Magazine)

Vacaville, Calif. — The Vacaville Jets had a good showing as hosts of the Second Annual MLK I-80 Tournament over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend, with all of their teams advancing to the finals at the Mite, Squirt, and Midget levels. Thirteen teams from Northern California and Oregon competed in the event.

In probably the tightest division, the Jets Squirt B squad narrowly beat the Tri-Valley Blue Devils A team by a score of 4-3 from a winning shot by Reidar Burgeson with only 5.7 seconds to win the championship game. Every single one of the Squirt players for the Jets contributed points to help them go undefeated during the weekend.

At the Midget level, the Jets won each of their games, beating the South Oregon Stars 9-4 to take home the first place trophy. Standing out for the Jets was Midget Chris Whitten with 15 goals, 8 assists, and 16 penalty minutes in the tournament’s 5 games. The Jets’ Mite squad also fared well, coming in second to the champion Fresno Falcons in a closely played 6-4 decision in the final game.

“We’re really happy with the turnout we had this year and the way our teams played,” said Tournament Chair Tiana Burgeson. “We grew participation with this season’s tournament, adding the Midget level for the first time, and hope to grow again next year by having competition at every level including Pee Wee and Bantam.”

(For Rubber Magazine’s Parental Guidance – February 2009)

It’s one of the most difficult topics to talk about in youth hockey: Ice time. Everyone has a different philosophy about the amount of time each player should get, making it a common topic of debate for both coaches and parents.

The most often heard argument is that every kid should get the exact same amount of ice time. Everyone pays the same fees, right? In theory this makes a lot of sense, but there are a number of factors involved in how shifts are doled out during a game.

For instance, should a player who misses practices or doesn’t work as hard in practices or games still get equal ice time? And what if a player isn’t conditioned as well physically and gets gassed more quickly? Coaches have to account for differing levels of ability, athleticism, and physical fitness. These judgements must be made on the ice during the game.

There are also differing expectations between house and travel teams. Travel teams are more competitive, cost more, and require more time and commitment from players as well as parents. Therefore, parents need to understand there’s a built in expectation that better players will get more ice time. This gets tricky in California because we don’t always have the numbers to support “A,” “B,” and house teams, so many associations are lucky to have just one team.

Tournaments also carry with them some different expectations. Do you try to give every player equal time or do you play to win a little bit harder than during regular season games? Coaches and parents need to clearly understand and communicate these types of team goals so everyone is on the same page before the season starts.

The most important thing to remember is to trust your coach to follow the rules of fair ice time. And if you feel you’re getting shortchanged, have a candid discussion with your coach to find out how he develops his ice time plan. You might find out that there are simple things you can do to help increase your child’s playing time. Managing ice time is not an exact science, but I’ve found that most coaches in USA Hockey do a good job of getting all of their players the time they need to develop their skills and improve their game.

(For Rubber Magazine Feb. 09)
Vacaville, Calif — The Vacaville Jets Squirt Bs traveled to Ontario Canada in January to compete in the championship finals of the Silver Stick Invitational, where they advanced to the semi-finals and finished in the top four out of a field of 16 teams from across the U.S. and Ontario. The team earned their trip to Canada by sweeping five games during the San Jose regional qualifier held over Thanksgiving weekend.

“The coaches and parents are all really proud of how the boys played in Canada,” said Assistant Coach Cean Burgeson. “We beat two good Canadian teams and tied another one, which is quite an accomplishment for a bunch of kids from California. We definitely changed a lot of opinions about the level of hockey we play here.”

The Jets Squirts were the first from Vacaville to ever compete in the Silver Stick Invitational Finals, traveling the farthest of all the teams who competed. Other teams in the Squirt B division hailed from Connecticut, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. Seven of the competing teams were from the province of Ontario, including the Ancaster Avalanche who won the championship in the Squirt B division.

Burgeson named one of three stars for week of Dec. 15, 2008

VACAVILLE, Calif. — Reidar Burgeson of the Jets Squirt B team in Vacaville had an outstanding Thanksgiving weekend, leading his team as captain to take first place in the 2008 Silver Stick Regional tournament in San Jose. Burgeson led all of the tournament players in his division in points with 13 goals and 6 assists and currently has 38 goals and 18 assists total on the season. To earn the championship the Jets Squirt B team went undefeated in six straight games, taking their regular season win streak to 11-0.

The tournament win allows the Jets to travel to Pelham, Ontario Canada in January to play for the Silver Stick National Championships against the winners in other regions of Canada and the U.S. including Colorado, Texas, Alabama and Maryland The Jets are currently in first place of the NorCal Squirt B division, undefeated in the regular season at 5-0.

For a link to his mention on the Dec. 18 Sharks vs. Red Wings broadcast on Comcast Sportsnet, click below:

Parental Guidance
By CEAN BURGESON (for Rubber Magazine)

They push their child athletes to the brink – buying them the best equipment, sending them to the finest camps, and purchasing expensive private lessons with expert coaches.

What I’m talking about are those parents who are convinced – sometimes absolutely certain – that their children will be professional athletes. I’ve seen them. I’ve met them. I’ve heard their stories. I’ve coached their kids.

Let’s face it. In youth hockey every young kid dreams of some day playing in the NHL. There’s something about the sport which holds a certain kind of magic for anyone who plays it. With my son and the other kids I’ve worked with, I think there’s absolutely no reason to squash these dreams, either. But as parents we need to be realistic about how much money, time, and other heartache to invest in a youth athlete in an attempt to get them into the NHL.

No matter how many goals your son scores as a Squirt or Pee Wee, the ability of a player 10-12 years old won’t necessarily dictate that they will continue to dominate at their age level as they progress. Early success doesn’t always predict later success, and there are many hurdles to overcome to make it to the big leagues. There are travel teams, tournament teams, tier teams, junior teams, not to mention prep school and high school teams across the country and Canada, all producing players with the same dream. And if a college scholarship is the goal, then there’s some other sobering information that parents need to hear.

Of the 52 colleges and universities that have Division I hockey teams, six don’t grant athletic scholarships because they belong to the Ivy League. NCAA rules allow each of the other schools to award the equivalent of 18 full hockey scholarships per year divided among up to 30 athletes. Then, after playing in the juniors or college, if they manage to make it into the NHL draft, the numbers get even more daunting.

In a 20 year study of the pro hockey draft it was found that 2 percent of the picks became superstars, 4 percent of them transformed into stars and impact players, 15 percent became good or average players, and roughly 79 percent didn’t become NHL players at all. Overall, 55 percent of the draftees never even played a single game in the NHL.
I don’t mean to dampen the spirits of any youth hockey player. Parents should let their young athletes determine the amount and type of hockey that they want to play – but don’t sacrifice your entire life or savings account to hockey. Allow kids to focus on having fun with the sport without the added pressure of grooming them for a shot at the pros and they’ll end up a winner no matter where their career takes them.

>Hecka Hockey Show launches on You Tube

Posted: December 15, 2008 in Hockey

>My 9-year-old son Reidar and I have started a weekly web program called “Hecka Hockey,” which will center on hockey here in Northern California and the NHL.

Here’s the link: