2018-19 WSHL College Commitments

Colorado Jr. Eagles

  • Vinny Mastrandrea – Finlandia University (NCAA D3)
  • Anders Saarela – Finlandia University (NCAA D3)
  • David Mitchell – University of Colorado (ACHAD2)
  • Tom Ignatovich – Eastern Washington University (ACHA D2)
  • John Tower – New England College (NCAA D3)
  • Carter Dahl – St. Mary’s (MN) (NCAA D3)

Ogden Mustangs

  • Matus Spodniak – American International College (NCAA D1)
  • Tyson Liverance – St. Mary’s (MN) (NCAA D3)
  • Tymen Edelkoort III – Adrian College (NCAA D3)
  • Jonathan Chin – Concordia University Ann Arbor (NAIA)
  • Austin Dittenhafer – UMASS Dartmouth (NCAA D3)

Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers

  • Connor Dunn – New England College (NCAA D3)
  • Travis Hudek – St. Mary’s (MN) (NCAA D3)
  • Griffin Wiencek – UMASS Dartmouth (NCAA D3)
  • Josh Chamberlain – New England College (NCAA D3)

Lake Tahoe Icemen

  • Phil Heisse – Southern New Hampshire University (NCAA D2)
  • Paul Frys – Eastern Washington University (ACHA D2)
  • Mitch Hunt – Eastern Washington University (ACHA D2)
  • Garrett Boehm – Western Michigan University (ACHA D1)

Long Beach Bombers

  • Matthew Reyes – New England College (NCAA D3)
  • Spencer Kozlowski – New England College (NCAA D3)
  • Tristan Ayoubi – Lawrence Tech University (ACHA D3)

Ontario Avalanche

  • William Ma – SUNY-Canton (NCAA D3)
  • Filip Subrt – Lindenwood University Belleville (NAIA)

Casper Coyotes

  • Dallen Neese – Lindenwood University Belleville (NAIA)

Utah Outliers

  • Brandon Krumpschmid – Trine University (NCAA D3)

Springfield Express

  • Vegard Feret – Lindenwood University Belleville (NAIA)

Southern Oregon Spartans

  • Scott Burvill – Lawrence Tech University (ACHA D3)

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WSHL Coaches’ Professional Connections

With the recent addition of a former NHLer as head coach of the Fresno Monsters we thought we’d look at the other NHL connections in the WSHL, as well as the experience of other WSHL coaches.

WSHL coaches who played in the NHL

Fresno Monsters head coach: Kevin Kaminski

kaminski_kevin

Played in the IHL, AHL, and NHL. Played junior hockey with the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades. He was drafted 48th overall in 1987 by the Minnesota North Stars. He scored 16 goals and had 25 assists during his IHL career. He scored 82 goals and 124 assists during his AHL career. He scored 3 goals and had 10 assists during his NHL career.

Southern Oregon Spartans goalie coach: Clint Malarchuk

malarchuk_clint

Was a goalie in the IHL and NHL. Played junior hockey for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winter Hawks. He was drafted 74th overall in 1981 by the Quebec Nordiques. He’s well known for a life-threatening injury when an opposing player’s skate hit the front ride side of his neck, it severed the carotid artery and injured the jugular vein and sheath muscle causing immediate massive blood loss. After 2 seasons with the Quebec Nordiques he went on to play 2 seasons with the Washington Capitals, 4 with the Buffalo Sabres, then played for the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL) for a season before going to the International Hockey League (IHL) for five seasons, 1 with the San Diego Gulls and 4 with the Las Vegas Thunder. His career record was 141 wins, 130 losses, 45 ties, 12 shutouts, and an .885 save percentage.

Cheyenne Stampede guest coach: Bobby Holik

holik_bobby

Had a solid, 10-season career in the NHL. Bobby was drafted 10th overall in 1989 by the Hartford Whalers. He played for Hartford for 2 seasons before going to the AHL for a game and then going back to the NHL with the New Jersey Devils for the remainder of his career, winning a Stanley Cup two of those seasons. He then went on to play for the New York Rangers for 2 seasons. After the lockout, he played 3 seasons for the Atlanta Thrashers. He returned to the New Jersey Devils for his last season. He scored 314 goals and had 337 assists in during his NHL career. He was a 2 time NHL All-Star. Bobby makes appearances in Cheyenne at practices as a guest coach, on the ice with the team.

Vail Powder Hounds head coach: Tom Younghans

younghans_tom

Played in the CHL, AHL, and NHL. He had 8 goals and 5 assists in the CHL, 4 goals in the AHL, and 44 goals with 41 assists in the NHL. He played a combined 429 games with the New York Rangers and Minnesota North Stars. He represented the United States at the Ice Hockey World Championships in 1976, 1977, and 1978. He also represented the United States at the 1981 Canada Cup.

Las Vegas Storm head coach: Gabe Gauthier

gauthier_gabe-png

Played in the CHL, ECHL, AHL, and NHL. He had 12 goals and 26 assists in the CHL, an assist in the ECHL, 57 goals and 122 assists in the AHL, and played 8 games in the NHL.

 

WSHL coaches who played in the AHL

Lake Tahoe Icemen head coach: Mickey Lang

 

WSHL coaches who played in the ECHL

Dallas Snipers head coach: Aaron Davis

Tulsa Jr. Oilers head coach: Marty Magers

Wichita Jr. Thunder head coach: Rob Weingartner

Colorado Jr. Eagles head coach: Steve Haddon

Utah Outliers head coach: Paul Taylor

 

WSHL coaches who played in the SPHL

Springfield Express head coach: Jeremy Law

Ogden Mustangs head coach: Jake Laime

Long Beach Bombers head coach: Chris White

 

WSHL coaches who played in the CHL

Oklahoma City Blazers head coach: Tyler Fleck

 

WRITTEN BY DEREK HARPER

WSHL 365 exclusive with Lake Tahoe Icemen head coach Mickey Lang

WSHL 365: What’re the goals for you this season? Expectations?

Mickey Lang: Very simple, get better every day. My mindset as a player was always to be better today than I was yesterday, and be better tomorrow than I was today. As a coach I use the same approach, try to get each player to better themselves as players every day and for myself to continue to grow as a coach.

WSHL 365: How’re you liking coaching in the WSHL?

Mickey Lang: First and foremost, I love hockey. I loved playing it, I love teaching it and now I love coaching it. I am happy to be a part of the WSHL, although for myself, it really doesn’t matter what league I am in or who I am coaching. I love being part of a team, I love to compete and I love the sport.

WSHL 365: What appealed to you about coaching the Icemen after all you accomplished while you played professionally including making the All-CHL team, All-ECHL First Team, and winning the ECHL MVP?

Mickey Lang: Several factors came into play, the first being that Reno is my hometown about hour away from Lake Tahoe. I’ve always wanted to move back but I didn’t think there would ever be a chance to live here and still be involved in hockey. I knew it would be a great opportunity and also knew it was a great challenge and something that  I wanted to be a part of. After speaking to the owner Van Oleson, I knew he was committed to making Tahoe a great hockey town and also his desire to making the Icemen a successful program.

WSHL 365: What have you taken from your professional playing days and applied in the WSHL?

Mickey Lang: Everything. I had some great coaches that I learned so much from, I played alongside great players, including guys that have played in the NHL. I have a great understanding of what it takes to play Junior, College and Professional hockey. It takes a lot of hard work to play at each level, many sacrifices and it has given me great admiration for what it takes and a great appreciation for what some athletes are willing to endure to achieve the goals.

WSHL 365: In the short time since the season has started you’re 3-6-0-0, but how do you feel the team is coming along and what things, if any do you think the team could work on?

Mickey Lang: The team is coming along great, I don’t think we have even scratched the surface of what we’re capable of accomplishing this season together. We need to work on everything, d-zone, neutral zone, o-zone, face-offs, special teams, along with other little aspects of the game. As an athlete, I believe that as soon as you get content you’re done; the same applies for being discouraged, those two things have the capability to end a team, an athlete and an organization.

WSHL 365: What were the preparations for you coming in this season scouting wise, staff wise, other?

Mickey Lang: Work together with everyone on the staff.  Find the best people for the job along with the most passionate people. Find the most energized people that want to make this program a success. Scouting wise, I wanted to find  the talent that is driven by most skilled players, the hungriest players, and the players that have been cut from others teams. Players that other organizations didn’t believe in, but I know are driven to give it all they have and the desire to be here and succeed. If there were any players that didn’t want to be a part of this program then we didn’t want them either.

WSHL 365: How has Ivan Radetskyi’s play helped to motivate the team? How did you manage to recruit and land Ivan during the off-season?

Mickey Lang: I was looking for players late one night and I saw Ivan Radetskyi from Kiev, Ukraine hadn’t signed with a team yet, I called my former teammate and one of my best buddies Artem Gumenyuk, who I played 4 years of college hockey with who happened to be from the same city in Ukraine as Ivan and told him how bad I wanted Ivan here and we were able to make it happen. I’ve seen a lot of great hockey players and Ivan has turned out to be everything I thought he’d be and more. We have several really good hockey players on our team, but there’s no doubt Ivan is a special player. He most certainly motivates me everyday, having an opportunity to coach such a gifted player is a blessing. I have a strong belief that he is the best player in the league and we are very fortunate to have him. The best attribute about Ivan, is he is a better person than he is hockey player.

INTERVIEW BY DEREK HARPER

 

 

New Ownership For Vancouver Rangers

The Vancouver Rangers have announced new ownership. The team will be owned by a group called Vancouver Sports Management LLC. The group will consist of four people, Head Coach Dave Daniello, Parker Cowand, Jerry Adamowicz, and Jon Neill. Former owners Greg and Spencer Jamison will stay on as consultants. Head coach Dave Daniello will retain his roles as General Manager and Head Coach. The Vancouver Rangers debuted in the 2015-2016 season and made the Thorne Cup Playoffs after finishing with a record of 30-18-0-4, they were eliminated by the Whitefish Wolverines in the first round. This ownership group brings together people with accomplished and diverse backgrounds. Career development, player recruiting, financial controls, business operations, community support, affiliated team activities, breadth and depth of union hockey in Vancouver, and sponsorships will increase greatly with this new ownership. The Rangers will be an essential part of the community and be involved in many activities to raise awareness of programs that brings Vancouver together. Hopes are high for the Rangers for even greater success in the 2016-2017 season.

WRITTEN BY DEREK HARPER

Fresno Monsters under new ownership

The Fresno Monsters will have a new owner starting this season. The new ownership group is called Central Valley Community Sports Foundation, the group is led by Jeff Blair. Jeff will serve as CEO of the Monsters. Jason Rivera, a Fresno native, will be the Head Coach and General Manager, Jason was formerly the assistant coach. Jason joined the coaching staff in 2013 and has a 111-24-9 record as assistant coach, during that time he was able to be part of two back to back Western Division Championships in 2014 and 2015. James Karr will return and continue as Director of Operations.

WRITTEN BY DEREK HARPER

WSHL 365 Exclusive with Bellingham Blazers head coach Mark Collins

Recently I was able to send some questions to Mark Collins, head coach of the Bellingham Blazers. They’re one of the two expansion teams this season in the WSHL.

WSHL 365: Why did Bellingham choose the WSHL over following the other NPHL teams?

Mark Collins: The WSHL was the best option for us to continue our program moving in a positive direction. The caliber of play and the reputation of the league as it continues to grow were both big factors.

WSHL 365: What is Bellingham most looking forward to this season?

Mark Collins: We are looking forward to the level of competition being much improved. We have an opportunity to play more than just a couple of teams and the challenge of having to up our game in order to compete at this level.

WSHL 365: What preparations has Bellingham done so far to prepare for their first WSHL season?

Mark Collins: We have been working hard as a coaching staff to make sure we have the best quality players that will comprise our team. We look for good players and good people that we can work with help to develop.

WSHL 365: How do you think the WSHL’s liberal import rules will affect your roster?

Mark Collins: I am originally from Canada, so for me I like the idea that we can bring in more Canadians as well as Europeans. I feel that it only helps with the caliber of play. I hope to fill the roster with the best players no matter where they are from.

WSHL 365: Any chance you change your team name?

Mark Collins: We will work on the possible name change this season. I don’t feel it is a big deal though to have two teams with the same name. We are obviously a completely different entity and nobody would have a hard time differentiating between the two organizations. We have a lot of history with the Blazers from the 70’s when Stan Smyl (Vancouver Canucks) played in Bellingham and it would be a shame to lose that.

WSHL 365: How do you feel last year’s team would stack up in the WSHL?

Mark Collins: Last year’s team was a young team that would have a hard time with challenges of the WSHL. We are building around those core players though and bringing in some veterans and solid goaltending to make sure we are competitive.

WSHL 365: What’re the biggest differences in your opinion between the NPHL and WSHL?

Mark Collins: In my opinion the WSHL as a whole is a better run organization with 30 teams compared to 6. The recruiting is quite a bit easier and once the season begins the caliber of play will be a huge difference.

INTERVIEW BY DEREK HARPER

 

WSHL expands to 30 teams!

The Breckenridge Bucks of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League (RMJHL) have joined the Western States Hockey League (WSHL). They’ll start play with the 2016-2017 season. The Bucks relocated to Vail and rebranded as the Vail Power Hounds. They’ll play at Dobson Ice Arena and in West Breckenridge. The reasons behind the move are not entirely known but it has been announced that the RMJHL has added a new team in Breckenridge.

WRITTEN BY DEREK HARPER

Game Streaming Changing

The Western States Hockey League (WSHL) is changing the site they broadcast games online from. They’ll be switching over from Fasthockey to Black Dog Enterprises. It should be a major upgrade in game production quality and customer service.

WRITTEN BY DEREK HARPER

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