Before I get into this weeks blog, I'm going to start with some shameless self-promotion. Xtreme hockey, in partnership with Evolve Hockey in Rochester, New York, will be doing a joint Christmas Camp December 27-30, 2016 in Roc City. This camp is going to be super cool; if you're in the Upstate NY area and reading this article, don't be afraid to #justgetgood and sign up! For more information, go to http://www.esgsports.com/camps.html
When he's not complaining about the local senior hockey scene, Robin Short writes a pretty good article for The Telegram. If you don't believe me, check out the top-notch article on Alex Newhook committing to BC right here http://www.thetelegram.com/Sports/2016-11-18/artic... . In case you've been living in a secluded cave without cell service over the past week, #xhockeyalums Alex Newhook has committed to the Boston College University. Newhook, a stud 2001-born Centre, made the decision to attend BC over the University of Michigan on Tuesday evening. I truly believe that the sky is the limit for this young athlete - Alex is a great hockey player, but is also very mature and respectful off the ice. Newhook is a great listener who can accept harsh criticism with the right attitude. To anyone who is reading this article, it's not always about how good a player is! Which leads me to my next point....
After 17 years in the private hockey business (RP started me at 14 as a demonstrator and Summer school instructor), my voice is starting to deteriorate. According to the specialist, my vocal chords look like a 1992 Chevrolet Caprice Classic with 500,000 km on the odometer. So instead of being on the ice shouting all the time, I spend more time in other arenas watching games. Over the past week, I have caught a couple of DJHL Bantam A games, and a Bantam AAA game between TriCom and Central. While there is a great deal of talent in these leagues, one thing that I can't help but notice is some of the negative body language that seems to be woven into the cultural fabric of new-era sports. For example, one player in the Bantam AAA game (won't name names here) turned the puck over; after the turnover, the player proceeded to look up to the heavens, flail his arms, and skate to the bench before slamming his stick on the boards. Boys and girls, this is not what any next-level agent, scout, or coach is looking for in a player. Scouts, agents, managers and coaches want guys and girls who battle through adversity! At the next level, everybody is really good at hockey. Really, really good at hockey. The difference between one potential recruit and another could be attitude; don't be on the outside looking in because of negative body language. Clean that sh*t up!
I watched a Bantam A game on Friday evening (my social life is thrilling), and I was really impressed with #xhockeyplayers Brady Mitchelmore. In my opinion, there aren't too many players who have been overlooked more than the Portugal Cove native. B Mitch always seems to be passed over for Provincial and AAA teams, but always seems to shrug it off and continue to play at a high level. Mitchelmore had two snipes on Friday (both of the highlight reel variety) and seems to have found chemistry with another overlooked player - #xhockeyplayers Patrick Hurley. Mitchelmore has great feet, is in tip-top shape, and has above-average mittens around the net. Speaking of oft-overlooked players....
Josh Langmead had a strong showing for the St. John's Maple Leafs Midget AAA club at the Monctonian AAA Challenge this past weekend in Moncton, NB. Langmead blanked the Pictou County Weeks in the Wildcard game, and almost stole one for the Leafs against the heavily-favoured Dartmouth Subaru just 2 hours later (a 4-3 loss). The 17-year-old Langmead finished the tournament with a 1.50 GAA, and in my opinion, will be a walk-on candidate at the Major Junior level in 2017-18 if he continues to grow.
On a personal note, I would like to send my best wishes to Troy Hunt and his family. Troy's son, Darian, was recently diagnosed with Leukemia; Troy, if you're reading this, I'm praying for you guys and I'm hoping for a speedy recovery #HerdtogetherforDarian
Last but not least, the Xtreme Hockey Winter '17 program registration is now online. Go to our web site www.xhockey.ca to reserve your space for January! Don't be left out in the cold (or should I say fog and torrential rain).
Until Next Time,