Promoting youth hockey in New Brighton, Mounds View, St. Anthony and Shoreview, MN

My my My my
Irondale Youth Hockey Association
Board Meeting: Thursday, February 16, 2006 at 6:30 p.m.
in the New Brighton Family Service Center, New Brighton, MN.
Address: IYHA, PO Box 120114, New Brighton, MN   55112 Web:
From the President Jim Cich:                                                                      
How quickly the season flies by. The Holiday’s are a blur. January is chaotic for the traveling teams, then suddenly the regular season ends. The playoffs begin this week for some teams. Just a few weeks remain in the 2005-2006 season. Highlights for January include a successful second round of the Super Rink Spectacular Tournaments. The Peewee-B team collected an overall Championship at the Mora Tourney. All the coaches gathered together to brainstorm on a long term strategy for player development. Coach Al Morelli and the Bantam-A team held a wildly successful pancake breakfast at the St. Anthony Applebee’s, showing that pride, unity and success don’t have to be kept on ice.
In last month’s newsletter I touted our low costs, but completely agree with a member that responded afterwards. If a lack of adequate ice is one reason our costs are low, then our costs are too low. Our teams and our players are suffering because of a drought of practice sessions. Aside from general practice ice, coaches discussed several other ways to improve our player development. To run clinics for general skills, offense, defense and goaltending throughout the season will require even more ice. Some things can’t significantly improve with just clinics. Goaltenders will not develop without one on one care—not just a coach shooting at the goalies. We need experienced guidance to teach the goalies when and how to move and how to stand their ground. Irondale has enough teams that would keep a Goalie Coach busy full time. Experienced specialty coaches cost money. Ice costs money. It is an investment in our player’s future.
Where do we find the ice? There has been high demand in recent seasons. With the destruction of Columbia Arenas we also lose over 125 hours of ice. Columbia provided 18% of our ice this season. I have been in constant contact with the National Sports Center since August. The new four sheet addition and its tenant use are still evolving. Irondale is a “priority”, but NSC officials are still noncommittal about what we will have available to us for 2006-2007.
As I discussed a few months back, much of the success of Irondale Hockey lay in the pre-season structure and planning. Our Program Coordinators and the coaches will develop the on-ice plan. The Association has to give them the opportunity to put their plan in place. Our players need to hit the ice the weekend after Labor Day. “Warm-ups” need to continue through three weekends. Tryouts need to be completed in the following 10 to 14 days and be completed by the 10th of October or earlier. The teams need to be together for at least three weeks prior to the start of the season on the first Saturday in November. Our teams need to be structured and seeded to create solid teams that will most benefit the development and well being of the players. We need to develop desire and build the “Irondale Attitude”.
The future of Irondale Youth Hockey requires careful planning. It goes beyond players and coaches. There are daunting long term trends in the population and school enrollment that cannot be ignored. There are other trends in youth activities and sports that inner-city hockey associations have already faced that now are affecting the inner-ring suburbs. Our goal must be to improve and strengthen Irondale Hockey the best way we can, to make the Association viable for the long-range future.
I have talked with the President of Mounds View Youth Hockey, Pat Nagle, about the relationship between the two sister Associations. We share in several important projects, including ice contracts, Lake Region gambling and the Tournaments. We can improve on that relationship and perhaps find other ways to work together. But it is very clear from our members that the desire is to keep separate youth hockey associations for the separate High School hockey programs. 
Tri-City discussions have picked up pace. The four IYHA Executive Board members are all actively involved. The two Associations have agreed to press the major issues to quickly determine if a consolidation is possible or not. Currently the outlook is mutually optimistic. One issue has become a cornerstone of our talks. The “Irondale Youth Hockey Association” will remain the sole governing body. This was clearly your number one concern. There are several tangible reasons to support your wishes:
a)       The history of Irondale High School since 1967
b)       Irondale Youth Hockey as a long established Association
c)       The many contracts with Mounds View Youth Hockey, Lake Region, Ramsey
County and the four cities involved in the SuperRink agreement.
d)       IYHA’s stable financial status, carrying $150,000 in assets at each years end.
e)       More than 250 registered players.
Tri-City understands the position Irondale is in and the reasons for our inflexibility. Meanwhile, Tri-City is a well-run Association run by a strong group of leaders that is remarkably stable for their size (120 skaters). Tri-City has much to offer a consolidated Association beyond the players, including financial assets, ice and tourney rights at the SuperRink and an addition of quality leaders and coaches. 
            Now is the time to meet with you. I have begun with a combined Coaches and Managers meeting scheduled on February 8th. I will follow up as closely as possible with meetings with each team, coinciding with the remaining practice schedules. We need to share our thoughts and shape the Associations future together.
            It has been a challenging first year as IYHA President. It can be difficult to always devote the necessary effort when you have a home and a family with two working parents. Time is limited. I don’t have to tell any of you that since you are all in the same boat. This is precisely why youth sports needs to have many hands to row the boat, to work together, to support each other and our children. This leads neatly to the topic of IYHA Elections. This April we will elect/re-elect rowers to four positions:
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Registration Coordinator
  • Initiation Coordinator
There are also many opportunities to fill smaller holes or to assist with the main projects that we have throughout the year. Grab a paddle (and maybe a life vest too).
Thank You!
Jim Cich, IYHA President
From the Vice President Brian Johnson:
This year’s Super C Super Rink Spectacular was held on January 13, 14, and 15. Co-hosted between IYHA and Mounds View, 32 teams competed in 4 brackets playing 64 games! 
Congratulations to the Irondale teams: Squirt C and Pee Wee C!
Many, many good people of IYHA helped make the Super C SRS a success. Thanks to Jeanne Falconer for coordinating the volunteers. Thanks to Tim Fredberg and Tom Welty for working the programs and printing. Thanks to Jim Cich, Beth Soberg and Tim Fredberg for their work on the raffle. A big thanks to our IYHA managers for coordinating volunteers and raffle sales: Rich Sonterre, Jackie Durheim, Roger Slipka, Bruce Mason, Cheryl Mason, Mary Folska, Mike Nundahl, Sue Sentieri, Annikka Erickson, Mike Honkanen, Stephen Soberg, Beth Soberg, Rick Artz, Deb Page, Dale Aukee, Jean Aukee, Wally Eshenaur and Tannie Eshenaur
I want to especially thank Tim Fredberg, Patty Fredberg, Torri Johnson, Rebecca Janssen, Gary Dahle, Beth Dahle, Cheryl Mason, Bruce Mason, Rick Artz, and Pat O’Connor for their outstanding help with coverage on open volunteer slots.
Thank you to Tim Fredberg for selling tickets, coordinating the ticket printing, picking up and storing the kayak and fish house, and bringing them to the Super Rink.
Thanks to all the volunteers who were Scorekeepers, Timekeepers, Penalty Box workers, Front Gate enforcers, and Rink Directors. All volunteer slots were filled and all volunteers showed up
This was the first time we have had a raffle and trade show at the Super C. Both were successful! The raffle sold 552 tickets and netted around $1,500 (which is more than the Thanksgiving SRS of 2004!) Thanks to our Trade Show vendors: Dave’s Sports Shop, Lettermen’s, Acceleration MN, Blaze Sports, Prime Time Trading, Gear Tender, IB Tech, and Dots Design LLC! The Super C SRS was profitable, making the overall SRS the best ever! Proceeds are split 50/50 between IYHA and Mounds View. I just received the final accounting from the Treasurer. For IYHA, we received $15,500. Thanks to all who made this happen!
If you have any questions about either tournament, please contact me. I will be happy to discuss any issue. Also, keep in mind that we will begin planning the 2006-07 SRS in the near future.  
From Lake Region Hockey Association—Scholarship opportunity:
Lake Region Hockey Association is again offering scholarships to graduating seniors that have played youth hockey in either IYHA or MVYHA.  While both Irondale and Mounds View have information on how to apply, this does not
limit attendance to those two schools.  Please see the counselors at one of these two schools for more information on how to apply.
Congratulations to the Irondale Pee Wee B team!
Irondale Pee Wee B's Win Dala Hockey Invitational Title in Mora

In the Peewee B class Mora invitational tournament in January, six teams competed for the Dala Championship trophy. In the first game of the pool play, the Irondale Knights opened the tourney with a strong 10-0 victory over Brainerd. The next game, Irondale skated to a very tough 2-2 tie against Mahtomedi. Irondale advanced to the championship game when Brainerd held Mahtomedi to less than a 10 goal differential. Irondale faced Sauk Rapids in the championship game. In a hard fought game with opportunities for both teams, Irondale came out on top with a 2-1 victory, taking home the championship trophy. The Irondale goalies Joel Lark and Tommy Roback were co-MVP's, giving up only 3 total goals in the tournament.  The Irondale Knights are coached by Joe Federer, Adam Sager, and Doug Loahr.

Photo Caption: The Irondale Knights Peewee B's pose with the championship trophy: (Front, from left) goalies Joel Lark and Tommy Roback; (Middle) Jake Folska, Nik Ryan, Dillon Loahr, Derek Loahr, Rob Hunt, Alex Jobin; (Back) Zach Ewing, Frankie Nesser, James Healy, Tad Miller, Ayyub Sands, Mitchell Johnson; Coaches Joe Federer, Adam Sager, Doug Loahr.
(See photo attachment)
Correspondence from the Bantam A Team to the IYHA Membership:
“Wow! The Bantam A team served 250 people at their pancake breakfast. Thanks to all of you who supported us in our fundraising. In February the players & coaches will be boarding a coach bus to head to a tournament in Milwaukee. The players, with some help from their families, have worked hard to meet our goal of over $5000. We hot you all had fun. We certainly did!
                                                                                   IYHA Bantam A Players and Coaches”
(Since this note was received, the Milwaukee tournament was canceled and the team will be heading to Davenport, Iowa for a tournament on the same weekend.)
There have been several teams that have sponsors for their teams. These are listed below. This part of the newsletter will continue throughout the rest of the IYHA season. Please notify Niki Gjere of any additions or corrections. (Please forward information about websites and addresses, etc.) Many thanks to our sponsors!
IYHA: **Champp’s New Brighton**Culvers of St. Anthony**New Brighton Sportsmen’s Club**Lake Region Hockey Association**
**Minnesota Wild**Lady Slipper**Premier Banks**John Dalnes Masonry**
12U Maroon: **Real Estate Appraisals and Inspections, Inc.**FujiYa**
Bantam A: **Applebee’s**
Pee Wee B: **Quality Post Service**
Squirt B:    **Midwest Motor Express**
Squirt C:  **Dave’s Sport Shop**Western Bank**
Once again, many, many thanks to our sponsors! Please support them! When you see them, please tell them you are from Irondale Youth Hockey.
IYHA Board Meetings are open meetings.
Please feel free to come to the meetings. If you wish to have a copy of any information which is distributed at any meeting, please email or call Niki and it will be mailed to you. Upcoming dates for 2005 Board meetings are the
third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. Our meetings have at in the New Brighton Family Service Center.
2006: February 16, March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15, July 20, August 17, September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14 (December meeting week changed due to holiday).
NOTE: If you wish to be on the agenda for the meeting, please contact Jim Cich.
Lake Region Board Meetings:
Lake Region Hockey meetings are open meetings. Contact Jeanne Falconer for dates and times of the next meetings.
            Irondale Youth Hockey Association (IYHA) Board Members 2004-2005
Jim Cich
651-295-1078 (cell)
Vice President
Brian Johnson
Jeanne Falconer
763-458-5946 (cell)
651-486-1235 (w)
Niki Gjere
612-273-6439 (w)
651-270-8551 (cell)
612-527-7437 (pager)
Ice Commissioner
Renae Olesen
763-784-6864 (h)
Boys Program Coordinator
Mark Mohar
651-639-1908 (h)
Girls Program Coordinator
Chris Tahti
651-636-6152 (h)
Initiation Coordinator
Cheryl Mason
651-639-1543 (h)
Randy Bortot
763-784-9557 (h)
952-475-4045 (Work)
Pat O’Connor
651-636-1081 (h)
District Representative
Tom Welty
763-780-4865 (h)
612-508-4833 (cell)
Non-Board Position:
ACE Coordinator
John Donovan
651-786-5200ext2480 (w)
651-592-1187 (h)
A mother was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her son. 
Suddenly the boy burst into the kitchen. "Careful! CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my goodness! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my! WHERE are we
going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful....CAREFUL!!!! I said be CAREFUL!! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY! Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!!!" 
The mother stared at him. "What is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?" 
The son calmly replied.... 
"I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm trying to play hockey......"
(Thank you to Bob Gagler for forwarding this.)
Irondale Youth Hockey Association Board Meeting Minutes:
IYHA Board of Directors meeting January 19, 2006. Note: These minutes have not been approved. They will be reviewed, corrected as needed, and approved at the next regular Board of Directors Meeting.
Board members present: Jim Cich, Brian Johnson, Niki Gjere, Jeanne Falconer, Renae Olesen, Mark Mohar, Chris Tahti, Cheryl Mason, Randy Bortot, Tom Welty.
Board Members absent:    Pat O’Connor.
Guests:                                  Jeff Martin (Irondale High School Coach), Vance Fiegel, Sue Sentieri, John Donovan, George Mohar, Al Morelli, Dan Beeson.
Meeting called to order by President Jim Cich at 6: 45 p.m. Agenda reviewed. Minutes reviewed. Motion to approve the minutes as presented (NG) (JF). Motion carried.
Guest: Jeff Martin. Brings two points for discussion / information:
1.       Super Rink is building 4 more sheets of ice. A locker room for the high school kids is essential. Currently, bags do not fit into the cars and very few kids have driver’s licenses—so it is difficult to get the kids to their practices. Having a locker room that is permanent for the High School teams is essential. Would help build home rink advantage. Both boys and girls are looking to do this. Is this something that IYHA can participate in and help with? Fundraising. There would be 40 stalls—JV and Varsity. Cost is $200,000 fully furnished for one locker room. It is $50,000 just for the space with water. Any and all fund raising ideas would be appreciated. Guarantee that all of the ice time would be at the Super Rink. Bethel would have first right to the rink, Irondale High School would have the next priority, other games would go to Ramsey County sheet of ice (Super Rink 4).
2.       We need a consistent summer hockey program. Need to commit to something—one thing—so there is consistency. Summer / Spring / Fall leagues are not focused on skill development. Encourage kids to go to a program that focuses on skill development, not on games.
Discussion about 5 year development plan: Mark Mohar.
We could do our own skill development program during the summer time. The High School shooting area has been very nice to use—thank you. To get the key to this area, contact Jim Coletti, Jeff Martin, Tom Rodefeld or John Donovan. Need to make sure there are no other programs going on—such as basketball, etc. We need to work with the High School coaches and ACE Coordinator for summer program. Need to work on skill development—need to step this up. Motion to investigate summer program with High School coaches, Coordinators, ACE Coordinator—plan to be ready for the February Board meeting for review (MM) (CT). Discussion. Jeff shared there is a resource we may want to check with—has started summer programs in the past. Motion carried.
Chris Tahti would like a hockey audit—so that we can have people that know hockey look at the program and make recommendations. Look at ways to make the program better.
If we consider running a program under IYHA, need to consider the USA Hockey Registration issues. Covered until August 30th of the year, need to review the specific rules.
Board of Directors Roundtable:
President: Jim Cich.
1.       Had talked about working with the Super Rink—whole plan at the Super Rink is in flex So that is why we haven’t met—had planned on meeting in August. Still not ready to talk with us. We are an “important partner” and on the list.
2.       “Athletic Facility Needs Assessment Update: Population Trends:” Reviewed document. Over the next 5 years, talking about a continuing decline in population / enrollment. Teetering at 3 team level for Squirt and PeeWee; 2 teams for Bantam and Girls. Not a strong level to be losing players in the program. This year, down 22 players in the Initiation program.
3.       Tri City talks. Getting feedback from people. Irondale has to keep its identity. Has to stay Irondale—name, colors. There was an article in the newspaper—not sure of the source.
4.       Some people are asking in discussion with Mounds View for merger. We are not interested at this time.
Vice President: Brian Johnson.
1.       Super C Tournament last weekend—people stepped up and it went very well. 1st Super C trade show and raffle went well. IYHA pulled this off well. A new transition for the tournaments—Mounds View seems to be less involved. We are committed to doing the raffle at each tournament again next year. This year we made $4900 total (split 50/50 with MV).
2.       Working on a post-tournament meeting with Mounds View. Will get calendar set to do Board approvals. Seems there were some hold ups this year because of timing of approvals.
3.       We did have the appropriate gambling permits.
Secretary: Niki Gjere. Newsletter deadline is February 1st. Thank you note for Bantam A team was received, read and will be in newsletter. Picture will be mailed (team picture poster) to Randy and put in the display case.
Treasurer: Jeanne Falconer (left meeting early). Report given by Jim Cich.
1.       Does anybody know an auditor—ours is getting more costly.
2.       Inventory of equipment is needed.
3.       Hoping to put out final bills to teams soon.
4.       Cost of hockey—maybe should project for registration next year. Cheryl has those costs already—we have used them for registration.
5.       From Jim Cich—question about late payment of invoice to ACE Coordinator. Late fee was incurred. Will check what invoice stated about payment time frame.
Ice Commissioner: Renae Olesen.
1.       Thank you to Cheryl Mason for taking over Ice Commissioner duties recently, family emergency.
2.       Question about Bantam A team—games are 1 ½ hours long, ice is scheduled in 2 hour blocks. Can this be scheduled differently so there is no ice time lost? Could link with other games that need 1 ½ hours, or link with practices.
Boys Program Coordinator: Mark Mohar.
1.       Pee Wee B team won the Mora tournament! Congratulations! Published in newspapers.
2.       Had an association wide coaches meeting. Emailed the Power Point presentation out.
3.       Shooting room at the Irondale High School is available—see earlier discussion.
4.       Goalie clinics—went well.
5.       If more ice, would like another goalie clinic in February. Need a 3 hour block. There are clinics available to help coaches work with goalies in their practices.
6.       Day at the park—pending the weather—will try for noon to 3 p.m. at Hanson. Will send email out to the team managers.
7.       Archiving old newsletters. Will have CD of the archive so people can have it.
8.       Thank you to Jeff Martin—he donated 25 old high school jerseys to A Bantam team—will use for tournaments.
9.       Talked with Irondale equipment manager—when they are throwing stuff out, will check with Mark to see if there is equipment we could use.
Girls Program Coordinator: Chris Tahti. January is busy. Participated in Santa Cop and did tie blankets for nursing home. Clinics scheduled in January and February.
Initiation Coordinator: Cheryl Mason. Starting to collect ice payments from the teams. Possibly two people interested in Initiation Coordinator position. $500 donation was given for a 10UB player. Thank you!
Equipment Manager: Randy Bortot. Discussion about trophy case—there are many trophies (approximately 12) from the girls at the current High School team. Will ask girls if they want the trophies. Will need more jerseys next year—we have lots of Adult XXL or XXXL. Will check on costs of tailor fees to make jerseys smaller—we have three complete sets of the larger jerseys, if we could alter them it would be helpful.
Registration Coordinator: Pat O’Connor. (Absent). Verifying all of the CEP levels. Non-rostered people that are helping out coaches—ONLY rostered coaches can be helping a coach. If having a guest coach, let Steve Swanson (District 1, TC District) know in advance.
District Representative: Tom Welty.
1.       Not much this month. President’s meeting is coming up. Talk about waivers. Redistricting is coming back again as a topic. Cannot do anything with Tri-City until April. Growing support to eliminate TC District.
2.       Disciplinary meeting last night regarding Como player at an Irondale Bantam A game.
3.       Discussion about 12B teams that are really 12A teams. We will not play the Highland Red team—it is really an A team. They have two teams and both are B, but are very unequal.
4.       10A will not have a district playoff—playing a District 3 schedule. Playoffs are during Spring break.
ACE Coordinator: John Donovan. Need last HEP testing in. Thank you to Coach Rodefeld for doing clinic with the 10U and 12U girls. Will be doing another one for 12U and Winnie Brodt for the 10Us. Will try to publicize this.
Lake Region Hockey Association: Jeanne Falconer (representative). No report.
Other business:
1.       Email copy distributed from parent of 10U girl.
2.       Parent issue – emails are frequent and abusive. Will set limits on abusive communication.
No additional business. Motion to adjourn (NG) (MM), motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.
Next meeting is scheduled for February 16, 2006 at 6:30 p.m. in the New Brighton Family Service Center.