Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another reason why the NHL is "The Coolest Game on Earth!"

This is from last night's San Jose at Anaheim playoff game, carried on the Versus Network.



The video had already had over 1,100 views by the time I posted it here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to my wife!









Today is my wife Kim's 45th birthday. She is my best friend, my love, my life, my protector and the absolute best person I have ever known. Ever.

I love you, my dearest darling Pookie Bear. You are my everything and the first thing I want to see, not only tomorrow morning and the morning after that, but each and every day for the next 40 years!

Happy birthday sweetie pie bear! Thank you for saying yes!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's the BIG playtime!

Two of hockey's more well-known tournaments get rolling this week.
















The Allan Cup, emblamatic of the Canadian Senior Men's championship, began yesterday in Steinbach, Manitoba. Several former NHL players are skating in this tradition-rich tourney, whose winner, many years ago, would then go on to represent Canada in such international tournaments as the Olympics. This is worth your time to take a look at. Which, you can do right here: http://www.allancup2009.ca/index.php.

Read more about the history of the Allan Cup here: http://www.legendsofhockey.net/html/silver_splashallancup.htm


Oh, there's also some get-together starting tomorrow for this trophy:














Boston in the East and San Jose look to be two of the favorites this year, but don't ever count the defending champion Detroit Red Wings out. Follow all the action at http://www.nhl.com/.


Oh, let's not forget that the Western Hockey League continues it's post-season tonight, with game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals tonight in Vancouver, as the Giants meet the Spokane Chiefs. These teams are the two most recent winners of the Memorial Cup and meet tonight to see who gets to play Kelowna for the Western Conference pennant. Follow the action at http://www.whl.ca/ and check the recap here on the blog after the game.


This is a pretty good time to be a hockey fan for sure!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Storm name Schoneck Head Coach











From the Kearney Hub(http://www.kearneyhub.com/):

BREAKING NEWS: Tri-City Storm name new coach
By: SETH BLANK, Hub Sports Writer
04/07/2009
Updated 04/07/2009 09:20:21 AM CDT


KEARNEY - Three days after letting go of coach Tom Rudrud, the Tri-City Storm have found a new coach.

Drew Schoneck, who most recently spent two-plus seasons as coach of the Western Hockey League's Prince George Cougars, was officially named Tri-City's new head coach and general manager today.

"I'm very excited. There are two schools of thought when it comes to especially American-born players. They can opt to go to Canadian major junior, and some do, but most kids want to play in the USHL," Schoneck said from his home in Pasco, Wash., Monday night. "It's very highly regarded as far as a league, and there are only 12 teams in the league. So I'm very excited to get an opportunity to coach one of these franchises."

New Storm owner Kirk Brooks said the 35-year-old Schoneck was exactly what he was looking for.

"He's a defensive-minded guy who builds a team from the back up - from the goalie to defense to forwards. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that scorers aren't important, but if you let the other team score five, six or seven goals every game, you're not going to win many games," Brooks said.

Brooks added he did a lot of thinking about who to hire, and when it came down to it, he wanted someone with whom he could communicate and get along.

He also said he's a hands-on owner and there aren't many veteran coaches he shares the established repertoire he has with Schoneck.

"Don't get me wrong, a head coach runs the bench, and he decides who's going to be playing and who's not going to be playing. But when it comes to who we're going to keep and who we're not, I'd like to have some say-so in there," Brooks said.

Schoneck takes over a Storm squad that recently finished the worst season in the franchise's nine years in Kearney. Tri-City finished a league-worst 11-48-1 and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

The poor performance cost Rudrud his job following his first season as head coach. Rudrud also spent five years as a Storm assistant.

A defenseman in his playing days, Schoneck accumulated a 57-80-3-5 record as Prince George's head coach. He led the Cougars to the WHL's Western Conference Finals in 2007. But Prince George was 20-48-0-4 the following year.

Schoneck was fired this past December after the Cougars started the season 10-18-0-1.

Schoneck's below .500 record with Prince George doesn't worry Brooks.

"Some situations like the one I believe Tom (Rudrud) was in, there's not many options but to fail, and I think Drew was in one of those options up there," Brooks said.
Besides coaching Prince George, Schoneck spent the 2003-04 season as an assistant coach and assistant general manager for the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers. The ECHL is a minor professional league equivalent to professional baseball's AA level.

Brooks and Schoneck met when the Wranglers practiced at the Las Vegas Ice Center, which Brooks owns.

"Drew basically ran a lot of the practices, so I was able to watch the way he ran practices. I became friends with Drew and the rest is kind of history," said Brooks.

Schoneck knew Brooks was looking at purchasing a USHL team, but only recently learned he would have the chance to coach it.

"I knew that he was in the process and looking, but I was up in Washington where you don't hear too much about hockey so I didn't know how close he was until we started getting down to the brass tacks," said Schoneck.

Before coaching in Las Vegas, Schoneck also spent time as an assistant for three WHL teams. He started his coaching career in 1998 as an assistant for the league's Kelowna Rockets. The WHL is major junior hockey and is at a level similar to United States collegiate hockey.

He was also named the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's Coach of the Year in 2006.

Schoneck said one assistant coach has been chosen to join him in Tri-City, but did not want to comment on whom that coach was.

e-mail to:
seth.blank@kearneyhub.com

SCHONECK'S COACHING RESUME
1998-2000 - Kelowna Rockets Assistant (WHL)
2001-02 - Prince Albert Raiders Assistant (WHL)
2004-05 - Las Vegas Wranglers Assistant (ECHL)
2005-06 - OCN Blizzard head coach (MJHL). Named league's coach of the year.
Sept. 2006-Nov. 2006 - Powell River Kings head coach (BCHL)
2006-Dec. 2008 - Prince George Cougars head coach (WHL)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

USHL approves sale of Tri-City Storm











Kearney, Nebraska - The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced today that it has approved the sale of the Tri-City Storm franchise, as well as the FirsTier Event Center, home of the Storm, to Kirk W. Brooks, owner of Storm Hockey, LLC. Mr. Brooks takes over the reins in Tri-City from Joel Wiens, who has owned the building since 2004 and hockey organization since 2006.

"We're privileged to have someone of Kirk Brooks' experience, integrity, and intelligence join the USHL. His presence will be a real boon to the Tri-City Storm," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "Kirk also brings a commitment to youth hockey that is second to none, and he will continue that effort in the Tri-City area. We extend thanks and best wishes to outgoing owner Joel Wiens as well for his able stewardship of the team and the FirsTier Event Center over the past several years. Without Joel's investment of time, effort, and capital, this USHL membership might no longer be in Nebraska."

Kirk W. Brooks has been the owner and operator of the Las Vegas Ice Center since 2004 and began the Nevada Stars AAA youth hockey association in 2007. He continues to be philanthropic in his endeavors to promote and support youth hockey in the community. The resident of Las Vegas since 1985 also has been a trendsetter in the race and sports book industry, including the creation of Racing & Gaming Services (RGS) in 1997.

"The city of Kearney and surrounding areas have long had a love affair with the Storm and we are looking forward to further building that relationship with the community," stated Kirk W. Brooks. "The Storm want to give people a sense of excitement and a reason to come out and cheer for their hockey club. Having two children involved in hockey has fueled my passion for the game and I want to channel that passion into making the Storm successful both on and off the ice."

Opened in the fall of 2000, the FirsTier Event Center has been the home to the Tri-City Storm since their inaugural season (2000-01). Seating 5,000 for hockey games, the facility annually hosts a wide array of sporting events, family shows, entertainment acts, concerts, and other special events.

The USHL is celebrating its 30th season of junior hockey in 2008-09. With over 160 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 16 NHL Draft picks playing in the league, the USHL is the nation's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at http://www.ushl.com/.

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