Three years ago I was very fortunate to be apart of a new program launched by Mike Mulhall and Bob McCaig. These two gentlemen wanted to give our 13-year-old players in the district a look at what would be in store for them if they were selected for the National 14 camp.
The idea was simple, each affiliate in the district would hold tryouts open to any player 13 years of age. Each affiliate would then send their top 20 players to the district camp. Mike and Bob followed the same format as the national camps.
The idea was to have these top players developed by some of the best coaches the district has to offer. Past coaches include former NHL players Uwe Krupp and Paul Mulvey.
The players are then divided up into four teams of 20 and compete against each other.
This year the district camp was held in Huntsville, AL and the affiliates sent some very strong players to that camp in July. From those 80 kids, 20 were selected for the district team.
On August 2nd through the 6th we took those 20 players up to Kent State University to see how they would compete with other district teams.
This district has come a long way from the days when we had to combine with the Atlantic District team just to be competitive. This year using ALL SE District players, these players not only competed, they beat some very good teams from the Atlantic and MidAM districts.
The Southeast District should be very proud of the success of these young men. We are no longer struggling to compete with other districts we are beating them.
Our players from this district performed so well they were impressing other coaches from the more traditional hockey areas of New Jersey and Philadelphia. Head Coach Paul Mulvey did an incredible job teaching these boys and got them so motivated they beat a very good Atlantic team 7-3.
The camp is a grueling five days. The first game was played on Friday morning — we lost a close contest 3-2. Later that day we played our second game and were tied 2-2 before losing in sudden death over-time.
The coaches were not worried, we were in both those games and knew we had not played up to our potential in either of those games. Saturday morning we played game three; we fell behind 2-0 against a very strong Atlantic team with lots of Jr. Flyers players. Our kids never gave up and were rewarded with six unanswered goals.
The teams then exchanged goals and the final was 7-3
victory for our team. Later that night we skated against a good MidAM district team to cap a 2-0 victory.
We were 2-2 for the tournament and the tie breaker put us as the second seed for the play-offs. Sunday morning we played the Atlantic team to advance to the championship game and ran across a very hot Atlantic goalie and fell 3-0 finishing the tournament in third place.
It was an honor to have been a part of this success for our district.
I was humbled by not only how good our players were but also what respectful, well-behaved young men these players were. I hope that next year even more 13’s try out because it is an experience that none of these players or coaches will ever forget and gets these players looked at by notable coaches from up north. Kent State University and Billy Switaj put on a first rate tournament. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Paul Mulvey, Mitch Hodgkiss and Tony Loe for giving up a week of their time to come and work so hard making not only better hockey players but better men out of our players.
Norm McKay is the SE District Skill Development Director and a
SE District Dave Peterson Goalie Instructor.
Goalies: Zach Fraser and Jay Williams
Defense: Shayne Gostisbehere, Josh Bretner, Perry Holcome, Mike Vollmin, Taylor Dugauy
and Harrison Foreman
Forwards: Billy Wilson, Robert Kaplove, Chase Anderson, Tim Wurman, Cody Pessig,
Kenny Gillespie, Devin Loe, Corey Hucker, Davey Chadwick, Alex Guerere,
Ben Rousch, and Ryan Fitzgerald
Head Coach: Paul Mulvey
Asst Coach: Mitch Hodgkiss
Asst Coach: Norm McKay
Team Leader: Tony Loe
Select 13’s include, in no particular order: Zach Fraser, Jay Williams, Shayne Gostisbehere, Josh Bretner, Perry Holcome,
Mike Vollmin, Taylor Dugauy, Harrison Foreman, Billy Wilson, Robert Kaplove, Chase Anderson, Tim Wurman, Cody Pessig,
Kenny Gillespie, Devin Loe, Corey Hucker, Davey Chadwick, Alex Guerere, Ben Rousch,
and Ryan Fitzgerald
Head Coach: Paul Mulvey, Asst Coach: Mitch Hodgkiss, Asst Coach: Norm McKay, Team Leader: Tony Loe