ELMIRA, NY -- You won’t find the Binghamton Jr. Senators at the Ice House Sports Complex next season. In fact, when you look at the NA3HL Northeast Division in 2019-20, you won’t find Binghamton Junior Senators at all. The organization is headed west about 60 miles down I-86 to Elmira and will become the Elmira Jr. Soaring Eagles.
“This is a great opportunity for us, one that will help us recruit and develop players even further than we have over the last few years” said Head Coach Anthony Langevin. “We have had an incredible four seasons in Binghamton. We captured our Divisional Regular Season and Playoff titles each of the last three and did so through the support of the fine people of Binghamton. We’re thankful to the Binghamton community for supporting us throughout the years, but we’re excited to move to Elmira and make the Murray Athletic Center home.”
Langevin continued, “I truly enjoyed the crowd at each and every home game, especially this past season. We went undefeated, at 26-0-0, and the major reason is because of our huge home ice advantage. For that, our players, coaches, and staff will forever be grateful. To everyone at the Ice House Sports Complex, especially owners Mike and Ingrid Rogers, we thank every one of you for the past four seasons. In addition, I would like to thank all of our billet families, staff, and fans in Binghamton. We will miss all of you, but hope to see you at our home games in Elmira!”
The Murray Athletic Center is the off-campus athletics complex for Elmira College, a NCAA Division III institution. It is comprised of three domed facilities, which house the ice rink, a basketball court, four indoor tennis courts, and a weight room, plus two outdoor fields. The Jr. Soaring Eagles will have access to the certain parts of the facility for training and development.
“We will have our own locker room and a coaches’ office to start," said Langevin. "And nothing will change in terms of our available ice time. The ice will be available for skill work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every day. (New) Athletic Director Renee Carlineo has been fantastic to work with and we can’t be more excited to get started in Elmira.”
The Binghamton Jr. Senators have been one of the best teams in the NA3HL over the past couple seasons, falling in the Silver/Fraser Cup round robin round or better each of the last three years. That success will resonate with an Elmira community that is passionate when it comes to hockey. Elmira College’s men’s team averages upwards of 1,000 fans a night, even in what are considered down years in their standards. The city also had the Elmira Jackals for over 15 years, starting in the UHL in 2001 becoming the Buffalo Sabres’ ECHL affiliate in 2007. The team ceased operations in 2017 but still drew an average of 2,300 people per night in their final season, which was the fourth-straight in which the team missed the playoffs. The love for hockey in the town of Elmira never seems to fade. This all leads to an optimistic outlook from Langevin when it comes to potential support from the community.
“We had great fans in Binghamton and drew good crowds, averaging around 400 per game”, said Langevin. “The Murray Athletic Center is a beautiful arena and the people in the area support all levels of hockey, from college to pro. We feel we can be another fixture in the hockey community in Elmira and get up to 1,000 people a night at our games.”
Even doubling attendance from the 422 Binghamton averaged in the 2018-19 regular season to around 850 would vault the Jr. Soaring Eagles to the near top of the NA3HL attendance list. Currently, only three NA3HL average attendance over 850 people per game, Breezy Point, Rochester, and Alexandria.
Between the team’s recent success, the new facility, and the anticipated community support, the Jr. Soaring Eagles are set up to recruit at a far higher level. The trio of factors should appeal to any player looking to develop and secure opportunities at higher levels of hockey, whether it be Tier II junior leagues or NCAA colleges.
“Our goal remains to recruit players that want a chance at top-level development and move on to higher levels of hockey”, said Langevin. “We hit the trifecta with this move. We have a great facility with amenities that mirror a college-level program, a successful developmental and on-ice success track record, and a new community that supports hockey. We have no doubt that making the Murray Athletic Center our home will only help our recruiting and development moving forward.”
The Jr. Senators have consistently sent players to higher levels of hockey since they returned to Binghamton four years ago. The development program the team installs each year has helped players achieve growth as players and as people, become candidates for the NA3HL Top Prospects Game, and receive numerous college offers. This year was no different as the final three ‘98s made their college decisions.
Greg Simmons, a forward from Corning, NY, recorded a career-best season in 2018-19, finishing seventh in the NA3HL in scoring with 103 points in 47 games. He was selected to play in the 2019 NA3HL Top Prospects game for the Northeast Division and garnered a handful of NCAA Division III offers. However, Simmons craved the traditional, “big school” college experience and decided he would spurn those offers and commit to the University of Alabama’s ACHA Division I team.
Mike Padgeon will be headed to the NCAA Division III ranks next season as he committed to Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA. Padgeon, another Northeast Division Top Prospects game representative, wrapped-up his final year in junior hockey with 123 points in 47 games played. He is anticipating going to Anna Maria and being an impact player from the first time he steps on the ice.
Lastly, Jr. Soaring Eagle coaches won’t have to look far to keep tabs on their standout netminder in the coming years, in fact, they’ll get a front row seat on his college career. Jeff Zero, after finishing up a 17-3-0 season and leading the league with a 1.71 goals against average, committed to Elmira College and will now share the purple and gold colors with his former junior team.
With these three announcing their decisions, the Binghamton Jr. Senators will have moved on all five 1998-born players to college hockey, which is 100% of their age-outs. The team also had one younger player sign a NAHL tender, leading to a potential Tier II assignment for the 2019-20 season.
"We harp development, exposure, and player placement. From our unlimited ice time from 7am-5pm, to our individual video sessions between our morning and afternoon practices, our goal is to move on all our players onto the next level in their careers”, raved Langevin. “For younger players, we do our best to promote and move them on to the North American Hockey League. For our older guys, we move them on to college hockey programs with them putting in the time and work."
BOSTON, MA -- By the time this article goes into in production, the majority of the leagues’ regular season will have ended and playoffs will begin ramping up with the focus being for a national championship .Some officials, who have been on the ice for 20 to 25 years, will start to contemplate whether or not this was their last campaign in the stripes. For an official who has given years of effort and energy into the great sport of hockey, leaving can be difficult.
As a supervisor of officials, I have already received a number of thanks from officials who decided to move on for whatever reason, their skating has slowed down, their judgment is not as good as it used to be, more performance based reasons than personal. It’s those reasons, even though I’ve tried to coax them to stay on for another year, they say the last 3 to 4 years have been grueling and at their age, it’s time for them to move on and enjoy some quality of life and not the hustle and bustle of running from ring to rink. That I can understand. They also note the lack of motivation of going into a rink and being constantly yelled at from coaches and fans, even when they get the call right. The emotional drain on them at the end of the day has finally come full circle, and as a result, we are now losing the experience factor that we once enjoyed, which heading into next season, will have a devastating effect on most of the youth hockey here in the East.
Alfonso Botchagaloupe, who retired from ice hockey officiating a number years ago still enjoys being connected to the game. Alfonso can be seen in rinks helping younger officials with positioning, game management, and communication. He also notes there are a high number of young officials each year because of the abuse our officials have been taking from game to game. The time we invest in these kids is mostly lost over a 1 to 3 year period. The statistics today suggest over 50% of first-year officials never come back for second year and only 25% come back for a third. These numbers are devastating for people like me who are in charge of getting experienced officials on the ice, making sure the game we love is safe. As the growth of hockey expands, our lack of experienced officials continues to spiral downward, and as a result, we are putting officials and players in harm’s way. This leaves upper-level games without a solid foundation. With the expansion of full season midgets, the junior programs, and more expansion occurring at the Division III level, ice hockey officiating is really starting to show cracks in that foundation.
With all that being said, as the season starts to wind down, it’s also a great opportunity for the board of governors, team presidents, coaches and officials to come to some sort of consensus on how we will deal with abuse in the future. We’re losing good officials, or potentially good officials, because of the abuse. Soon, we won’t have anyone capable of calling a game when your son or daughter suits up to play on a Saturday in the near future. That puts their health and development at jeopardy.
We have the rulebook to deal with coach and player abusive behavior and we need the backing from the league to ensure that when a coach gets removed because of their actions, the ramifications will not be only for that one game.
Next how do we deal with the parents? We know you’re passionate about your children’s success. You’ve invested time and money into their development. But we’ve invested time and money into these officials. We’ve trained them to manage game situations to make sure your children are as safe as they can be on the ice. Penalties are going to happen. Calls aren’t going to go your way. It’s great to be competitive, but there’s a line that gets crossed that turns toxic. We need more supervision from league personnel in the rinks that will identify those parents who continue to disrupt games by yelling and screaming at their own players, the opposing teams’ players, and the officiating staff. It’s not an environment that anyone should want to come to work in and it’s turning plenty of good people away from the sport.
Finally, we need to build the officiating pool. We are asking league directors to reach out to any player 14 and above about the positive aspects of officiating. They hear and see many of the negative aspects while they’re out there on the ice or read about on the internet, but the positive aspects often outweigh the drawbacks.
For the 14-year-old player, they need to look at this as an opportunity to get more ice time, see the game from a different perspective, and at the same time make some money on the side. The skills that they’ll develop will also help them when their playing days are over as officiating may offer them an opportunity to remain on the ice. Some of my best officials are ex-players and they’ve gone on to enjoy long and successful careers working college and professional ice hockey after their playing days are over. Unfortunately, some of them are about to leave the game they love, so it’s imperative we continue to find those passionate about the game of hockey to continue building the officiating pool.
USA Hockey Seminars will start this June for new officials below is the information for the USA Hockey Officials Registration that can help you get started in officiating --www.usahockey.com/officials.
BOSTON, MA -- During a hockey game, who has the toughest job on the ice? The officials.
There is no game with no officials, and no individuals get more criticism throughout the sport. The officials are in charge of monitoring the game in a fair and honest manner. They are also involved with every play, as they can never make a line change, and throughout the contest they need to be as invisible as possible. There is no task more difficult than officiating a hockey game, and as a thank you to these top-notch individuals, the USAJHM will be presenting a monthly official’s spotlight, highlighting an advocate of the game that has gone above and beyond.
This month’s official’s spotlight features Jodi Price.
PROVIDENCE, RI -- We can officially close the books on the 6th season of the Eastern Hockey League (EHL). Following an incredible week at Schneider Arena on the campus of Providence College, we have once again crowned the New Hampshire Avalanche as the Champions of the EHL. After successfully pulling off the 'First Year, First Title' feat this past season, New Hampshire is now two for two. This year’s EHL Frozen Finals were a phenomenal display of some of the talent that the league has to offer, and a final exclamation point on another milestone season for the #Eshow.
"We just had such an awesome group again this season," said Avalanche head coach and general manager Chris Cerrella. "There were a few points during the season where I wondered if this group could accomplish what last year's team did, but that was all confirmed over the past couple weeks. Our group came together as a unit at the perfect time, and as a result, we are champions again. I couldn't be more proud of this team, and especially the 16 NCAA commits that we will have when all is said and done. Of course that is why we are all here, and that's to get these players to the next level. The tournament in Providence featured so many future collegiate hockey players, and three other great teams in the Little Flyers, Wizards, and Knights. Those are three well-run organizations from the top on down, and this was a great event for everyone involved."
HUDSON, NH -- The National Collegiate Development Conference is the only tuition-free junior hockey league located entirely on the East Coast.
With minimal travel, a professional coaching staff, an intense daily training regimen and high-intensity, competitive games, the NCDC’s Northern Cyclones team is the perfect place for the elite athlete who expects to extend his career to the NCAA game beyond junior hockey.
To Sign-Up for NCDC Cyclones Open Tryouts, visit: https://site61.goalline.ca/register.php?reg_form_id=27953
Pre-Draft Camp: (Open)
Friday, April 26, 2019
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Sunday, April 28, 2019
(NOTE: Spots are available from this camp for all Cyclones Junior teams).
Description: Practice and games throughout the weekend. All-Star Game on Sunday morning.
*Check-In on Friday at 4 p.m. at Cyclones Arena, Hudson, N.H.
Northern Cyclones Academy Opens for Midgets, Girls in 2019-20
Program Information and other information:
Open To Boys and Girls - Tier-1 and Tier 2 National Bound - 4-5 Practices Per Week - Additional skills during the day 2-3 times a week - 60-70 Regular-Season Games - Full-Time Strength and Conditioning Coach - Video Analysis Classroom Sessions - College Placement Assistance - Full-Time Participation in Elite Tournaments and Showcases.
Players attend Cyclones Academy Monday through Friday. The Academy is located at 7 Park Ave, Hudson, N.H. and is a fully supervised NCAA Approved Online High School Program.
The Academy will operate with a block schedule allowing student-athletes the ability to incorporate on-ice skills sessions, off-ice workouts, team practices, and video analysis sessions.
The student-athletes will be closely monitored by our full-time academic director and subject-specific tutors. The daily schedule will prepare the student athletes for the collegiate level on and off the ice.
18U Premier: Austin Block
18U Elite: Josh Corrigan
16U Premier: Jon Lizzotte
16U Elite: Head Coach TBA
Women’s Junior: Madyson Moore
Women’s Junior Prep: Jordan Fencl
Information on all Northern Cyclones programs can be found online at NorthernCyclones.com!