Promoting youth hockey in New Brighton, Mounds View, St. Anthony and Shoreview, MN
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October 2003 IYHA Meeting Minutes

From the President

Welcome to all of the new families and returning families to Irondale Youth Hockey! We are off to a great start of the season. Many hours of ice have been skated with lots of smiles and ?fun.?

Brad DeKanick, President


The Board of the Lake Region Hockey Association meets on the third Tuesday of every month at various locations. If you are interested in attending the next meeting, please call Gayle Goben at 651-638-9756.


Irondale Youth Hockey Association Board Meeting Minutes for Wednesday, September 24, 2003.

Note: these minutes have not been approved by the Irondale Youth Hockey Association Board.

Present: Steve Kracht, Cindy Rundle, Gary Rundle, Jeanne Falconer, Pat O?Connor, Brad DeKanick, Sally Sawyer, Dan Marcouiller, Dan Beeson, Niki Gjere. Absent: Mick Mata.

Guests: Dawn Stimmler, George Mohar, Tom Bye, Tom Welty, Randy Bortot, Jean McCreight, Whitney Johnson.


Meeting called to order by President Brad DeKanick at 7:12 p.m.

Minutes: reviewed and motion to accept (NG) (DB).

Guests: George Mohar:

Expressed strong concerns about the 14U girls situation. Has had several conversations and has tentatively found a place to play for the 14U girls / 16U girls. After much discussion, acceptable options defined:

1. North St. Paul?they are having one team, most likely need girls, would play A. Will ask if grade appropriate will accept. District 2 (same district).

2. Spring Lake Park. (This is District 10, will have to make sure about waiver.) This is preferred because it is closer.

Prefer we have an Irondale team. Additional discussion about the new rules about 14U and 16U. With the age level changes this year for the State of Minnesota, it has made it very difficult for Associations to have a 14U team. Because of the fewer numbers of girls playing hockey, there are fewer options for the girls. We don?t have the numbers in place or the rule for grade appropriate; it is more restrictive than the boys.


Sally will continue to work on the options. A lot of issues stay up in the air until Associations have completed registration and know their numbers.

Registration update: Pat O?Connor

282 players have been registered and transmitted for the registrations. Has been receiving late registrations.

New Business

Vice President: Jeanne Falconer. First two weeks in December?you will have pictures BEFORE Christmas. Will have A and B teams in the tournament. The Tournament wants only 1 B team.

Initiation Coordinator: Steve Kracht. Pony team is going to play District 2. Numbers look really good. Would really appreciate more coaching depth at the Mite level.

Boys Coordinator: Dan Marcouiller. Teams at each level. Squirt ABC, Pee Wees ABC, Bantam AB. Numbers are conservative. If we end up with fewer teams, will forfeit the $20.00 team registration fee. Warm-ups are in progress. Tryouts are beginning in a week and a half.

Girls Coordinator: Sally Sawyer. Everything going well. Ice issue at the 10U level (we have a lot of ice). Will talk with Mick.

Ice Commissioner: Mick Mata. Absent.

Registration: Pat O?Connor. Report given under Old Business.

Treasurer: Cindy Rundle. Distributed Auditor?s report. Auditor could not come tonight, will be available as needed for questions. He completed our taxes. Call Cindy if questions. Treasurer?s report: Question about money spent for interviews of coaches. Approximately $1300.00. Goes to the role of the ACE Coordinator. Will contact Mick about what ice he has. Tournaments: get information to Cindy. Insurance: working on it.

Secretary: Niki Gjere. Deadline is October 1st for newsletter. Suggestion made to link website with Minnesota Hockey and D2 hockey. Will ask Linda DeKanick to do this. Also, Linda is updating the website.

District 2: Dan Beeson. District 2 mandatory meeting?check the website. Repeat coaches can renew their level 3 certification online at the USA hockey website. Jim Partlow supervisor of officials would be willing to come and meet with parents and coaches, etc. Talk with Jim Partlow?willing to meet. Will meet with an Association. Tom Welty continues to be our SKATE coordinator. Will mail the background checks to D2 coordinator. Dodge Drives Minnesota?Jeanne will email her contact information to Mark Jorgenson who is the Executive Director of Minnesota Hockey. Blue pucks?only going to use for 8 and under. Optional for 10U and Squirts this year. Mandatory next year. Minnesota Hockey will have a mandatory President?s meeting (3-4 sessions). IYHA ? St. Anthony merger was approved. D2 rules were approved to state the St. Anthony kids could register without a waiver. St. Anthony girls can register with Roseville without a waiver. Only 3 coaches on a game bench this year. Pat has all the information for deadlines for Registration. Coaches have to provide their CEP registration. If they don?t have it, then will be red-lined out. If red-lined, will have to do a supplemental registration.

Additional information:

Scholarship: the auditor does not see an issue with the scholarship. Will defer to the next meeting.

District 2: Sally is the alternate rep to District 2. Sally resigns from the District 2 representative alternate.

Equipment: Gary Rundle Need the list for people to receive jackets. Jerseys should be done.

Additional New Business

Meeting Adjournment: Motion to adjourn meeting (NG) (SK). Meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

: none.
:President: Brad DeKanick. Ongoing issues of 14U. Can we find a permanent situation for 14U? Sally said let?s wait until we see what happens with Twin Cities. Newsletters?Board Members please get something in the newsletter. Apparel: will be getting coaches something. (next meeting) Need to look at possibly having a St. Anthony Rep on the Board.

*Many thanks to Steve Kracht for forwarding this article.


I Hope They Didn't Bring Apple Juice By Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun-


There was about two minutes to play in the playoff game and I was anxiously pacing behind the bench, barking out whatever instructions seemed important at that very moment. You watch the game and you watch the clock in those final seconds, sometimes precisely at the very same time. We were up by a goal, poised to advance to the next round of the playoffs, when I felt a tug on my jacket.

"Ah coach," one of my players said on the bench. "Yea," I answered, concentrating more on the game and the clock than on him at that instance. "Is there snacks today?" "Whaaaat?" I barked exasperated. "Did anyone bring snacks today?" "Huh," I looked away. "I hope they didn't bring apple juice." The young boy said. "I don't like apple juice."

The moment froze me in all the playoff excitement, the way all special and meaningful moments should. If somehow, I could have captured that conversation on tape, I would have had one of those special sporting moments for parents everywhere, the kind you need to play for coaches and executive and trainers and managers and all of us who take kids hockey way too seriously. It isn't life or death, as we like to think it is. It isn't do or die as often as we pretend it to be. In one tiny moment in one game minor hockey was reduced to what it really is about. Apple juice.

OK, so it's not apple juice. But what apple juice happens to represent in all of this. The snack. The routine. The ritual. Kids can win and lose and not even give a second's thought about either, but don't forget the post-game drinks. If anything will spoil a good time, that will.

You see, it's all part of the culture of hockey. Not who wins, not who scores goals, not which team accomplished what on which night, but about whether Mom and Dad are there, whether their grandparents are in the stands watching, whether their best friend was on their team and they got a shift on the power play, and yes, about what they ate. When you get involved in hockey, when you truly put your heart into the game and into the environment and into everything, it can be when it's at its best, the game is only part of the package. It becomes a social outing for parents. It becomes a social outing for children. It should never be about who is going for extra power skating and who is going straight from minor tyke to the Ottawa Senators but about building that kind of environment, the kind of memories kids and parents and families will have forever.

Sometimes, when I stand around the arenas I can't believe the tone of the conversations I hear. The visions are so shortsighted. The conversations are almost always about today and who won and who lost and who scored. Not enough people use the word fun and not enough sell it that way either. Hard as we try to think like kids, we're not kids. Hard as we try to remember what we were when we were young, our vision is clouded by perspective and logic, something not always evident with children.

Ask any parent whether they would rather win or lose and without a doubt they would say win. But ask most children what they would prefer: playing a regular shift, with power play time and penalty killing time on a losing team rather playing sparingly on a winning team, and the answer has already come out in two different studies. Overwhelmingly, kids would rather play a lot than win and play a little. Like we said, it is about apple juice. It is, after all, about the experience. You can't know what's in a kid's mind.

I was coaching a team a few years ago when I got a call from the goaltender's Father. It was the day before the championship game. The Father told me his son didn't want to play anymore. "Anymore after tomorrow." I asked. "No," the Father said. "He just doesn't want to play anymore." "Did something happen?" I asked. "He won't tell me," the Father said. I hung up the phone and began to wonder how this happened and who would play goal the next day when I decided to call back. "Can I talk to him?" I asked the father. The goalie came on the phone. "I don't want to play anymore." "But you know what tomorrow is, don't you? Are you nervous?" "No." "Then what? You can tell me." "I don't like it anymore." "Don't like playing goal?" "They hurt me," he said. "Who hurts you?" "The guys," he said "What guys?" "Our guys. They jump on me after the game. It hurts me and scares me." "Is that it?" "Yea." "Do you trust me?" "Yea." "What if I told you they won't jump on you and hurt you anymore. Would you play then?" "Are you sure?" "I'm sure." "Then I'll play."

And that was the end of the goalie crisis. The kid was scared and wouldn't tell his parents. The kid loved playing but didn't love being jumped on after winning games. You can't anticipate anything like that as a coach. You can't anticipate what's in their minds. It's their game, we have to remember. Not our game. They don't think like we do or look at the sport like we do. They don't have to adjust to us, we have to adjust to them. We have to make certain we're not spoiling their experience. Our experience is important too, but the game is for the children and not for the adults. We can say that over and over again, but the message seems to get lost every year. Lost in too many coaches who lose perspective and who think nothing of blaming and yelling and bullying. Lost by parents who think their son or daughter is the next this or the next that and they are already spending the millions their little one will be earning by the time they finish hockey in the winter, 3-on-3 in the summer, power skating over winter break, special lessons over March break, pre-tryout camp before the AAA tryouts in May and a couple weeks of hockey school, just to make certain they don't go rusty.

I have asked many NHL players how they grew up in the game. My favorite answer came from Trevor Linden, who has captained more than one team. He said he played hockey until April and then put his skates away. He played baseball all summer until the last week of August. He went to hockey camp for one week then began his season midway through September with tryouts. No Summer hockey. No special schools. No skating 12 months a year. "I didn't even see my skates for about five months a year. I think the kids today are playing way too much hockey and all you have to do is look at the development to see it really isn't producing any better players. "We have to let the kids be kids." When, I asked Gary Roberts recently, did he think he had a future in hockey. "When I got a call from an agent before the OHL draft," he said. "Before that, it was just a game we played."

Do me a favor: Until the agent comes knocking on your teenager's door, let's keep it that way. A game for kids. And one reminder, I don't care what the age: Don't forget the snacks.


(Steve Simmons writes a city column for the Toronto Sun when he isn't coaching his Avenue Road minor atom select team or Vaughan peewee house league team. His syndicated Sunday sports column is the most read sports column in Canada.)





Steve Kracht has agreed to continue his role as the Initiation Program Coordinator. He is going to transition out of that role at the end of this season. Please consider taking on this role. It would be a good opportunity for you to learn the role this year before assuming full responsibility next season. If you are interested, please talk with Steve Kracht or Brad DeKanick.