Promoting youth hockey in New Brighton, Mounds View, St. Anthony and Shoreview, MN
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Irondale Youth Hockey Association 18
Board of Directors Meeting:Thursday, June 15, 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,
June 2006
The balancing act…….What is the right level of intensity in sports? We want to develop our players to their full potential, but we have to be aware of the “costs” involved. This includes the financial obligation to the parents, but more importantly it involves the athletic stress level to the child. Each child is different and has their individual comfort level about what they want out of each activity they partake in. Youth Hockey is unique away from the inner city since there are no community or “City Park Leagues” as an alternative. We have a captive audience for the most part. As a small Association, it is hard to cater to the varying interests in the sport. Still, we must try to find the balance that players and families can handle.
                This is important to us right now, because Irondale is in the midst of a major overhaul of our player development methods. We must decide what level of intensity to seek for our practice schedule and regiment. This also involves the need for more practice time for our teams. This will translate into increased costs. Nothing is free in hockey.
                For player development we have many pieces of the puzzle to set in place. We need an enthusiastic, qualified person to work with all of our coaches to establish an IYHA method of coaching through the ranks. Another big piece is player development clinics and who we choose to run them. One resource option is through the new Herb Brooks Foundation training facility at the SuperRink coordinated by Dean Talafous (Total Hockey USA founder and former North Star player). The new facility will be housed with a wide range of on and off the ice training equipment. One advantage of working through the Herb Brooks facility is that player development would use their ice time, not ours (30 to 40 hours). Securing more ice time for our teams is a huge concern.
                The balancing act goes to volunteers as well. Improving IYHA takes a big time effort. Thankfully we have more people involved this spring and summer than we’ve had for a long time. Thank you.
Which brings the conversation to myself, since lately I have not been there. Since March I have not been able to devote adequate time to the Association. I was hoping to get a better handle on my family obligations, but that isn’t happening. One huge obligation is to my 81-year-old Dad who is struggling to care for my 81-year-old Mom with Alzheimer’s. I haven’t been there enough for either of them and they need me more and more each day. My Dad is healthy, but struggling. If I’m not careful, he will fail before my Mom does. It has been painfully obvious that I must give up my duties to the IYHA. This was a slow decision that we have discussed at home for many weeks. It is certainly not by desire, but by necessity. Hopefully it is early enough in the summer to have a replacement on board and in tune by season’s start. The IYHA Board of Directors is full of wonderfully dedicated people. The Association is in good hands.
It is truly a balancing act.
Best Regards,
   Jim Cich
S.K.A.T.E. News:
Irondale Youth Hockey Association is once again on the board for a statewide S.K.A.T.E. award. Congratulations to Abbie Slipka who won a Caribou gift certificate for her participation in the S.K.A.T.E. program. This marks the second time an Irondale skater has won a statewide award. (Two years ago, Tommy Cunningham won an Acceleration Minnesota certificate). Way to go, Abbie and congrats to all S.K.A.T.E. participants.
In other S.K.A.T.E. news, IYHA is looking for a new S.K.A.T.E. Coordinator. Tom Welty has done this for the last four years and is ready to hand the task off to another volunteer. If you are looking for way to serve your association, this might be the way. According to Tom, the ideal candidate would possess some computer skills, have access to email and would be “somewhat” organized. Tom says that this job is a great way to meet other people in the association and does not require that you know anything about hockey. (He notes that he is proof of that). If you would like to volunteer for this task or would like more information, please contact Tom at .
From the District Rep:
The most talked-about issue at the district level is, of course, redistricting. The latest turn on this roller-coaster ride we have been on is that it appears that there are no imminent plans to eliminate our district. At the spring Minnesota hockey meeting, where it had been thought that a plan would be voted on that would “repurpose” District 1, the only plan put forward is one that would add a 13th district beginning in the 2007-08 season. (For details on this plan, which doesn’t affect us, go to This plan may be voted on at the Minnesota Hockey summer meetings. What this means for us is that we will definitely be playing in District 1 next year and that there is nothing on the table right now that would change that in the years to come. The consensus at the last District 1 meeting is that the biggest threat to our district now is the continuing drop in the number of hockey players. Because of declining numbers, Richfield and Washburn are talking about joining teams next year and possibly merging in the future. (A similar coop to the St. Louis Park/Southwest coop last year). If the drop in numbers continue and the associations continue to erode from within, it won’t take too many years before there are not enough teams in our district to form our own leagues. What can we do about this? Think Globally, Act Locally would be the catchy, if not completely accurate, call to action. We need more IYHA hockey players and recruiting is everybody’s responsibility, not just the responsibility of the board members. Talk to your neighbors and to parents of kids at other sports and encourage them to try hockey. The long-term health of our association depends on keeping or growing our numbers. Please keep this in mind during your spring and summer activities.
The only other items of note to come out of the latest district meeting are just two reminders that, as noted before, our district is now officially called “District 1”. (No more TC District) and, secondly, that there are a number of volunteer opportunities at the district level if anyone wants to get involved at that level; the help is needed and would be welcomed.
IYHA 20,000 Puck Club
IYHA has a 20,000 Puck Club, which started this spring and will go through the summer. Players that shoot at least 20,000 pucks (10,000 for returning Initiation players) during the off-season from now until the end of August will receive a 20,000 Puck Club t-shirt next fall.  All you have to do is write down the number of pucks you shoot each day in the calendar provided, add up the total, have you and a parent or guardian sign the sheet and turn it in at registration next fall. 
The key to developing a good shot is to practice shooting.  It is a small investment of your time to achieve big results.  Having a good shot does not take magic, it just takes practice.
 Have Fun!
Mark A Mohar, Boy’s Program Coordinator, Irondale Youth Hockey Association; (H) 651-639-1908; Email:
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: 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.
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**Torri Johnson**
12U Maroon: **Real Estate Appraisals and Inspections, Inc.**FujiYa**
10U Gold:    **FujiYa**
Bantam A: **Applebee’s**
Pee Wee B: **Quality Post Service**Harold Johnson family (Grandfather of Rob Hunt)**
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.
            Irondale Youth Hockey Association (IYHA) Board Members 2004-2005
Jim Cich
651-295-1078 (cell)
Vice President
Cheryl Mason
651-639-1543 (h)
Tom O’Keefe
651-785-0266 (h)
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
Bob Gabler
651-697-4708 (h)
Randy Bortot
763-784-9557 (h)
952-475-4045 (Work)
Jeanne Falconer
763-458-5946 (cell)
651-486-1235 (w)
District Representative
Tom Welty
763-780-4865 (h)
612-508-4833 (cell)
Non-Board Position:
ACE Coordinator
Irondale Youth Hockey Association Board Meeting Minutes:
IYHA Annual Meeting: May 18, 2006Note: These minutes have not been approved. They will be reviewed, corrected as needed, and approved at the next regular Board of Directors Meeting.
Meeting called to order at 6:40 p.m. in the New Brighton Family Service Center.
Board of Directors Members Present:            Jim Cich, Cheryl Mason, Niki Gjere, Jeanne Falconer, Mark Mohar, Renae Olesen, Chris Tahti, Randy Bortot, Tom Welty.
Board of Directors Members Absent:              Bob Gabler.
Guests:                                                                  Jeff Opperman, Tom O’Keefe, Dawn Stimmler, Barry Rog, John Donovan, Mark Hentges, Dan Marcouiller, Tadd Tuomie.                                                
Meeting minutes reviewed. Changed Mark Mohar to “Present” instead of Guest for both the Annual and Election meetings. Motion to accept the minutes as amended (CT) (RB), motion carried. Introductions completed.
Old Business:
Report from Player and Coach Development Committee: Jeff Opperman is presenting on behalf of committee. Jeff has 2 girls in the program. Has coached for several years. A group of 8 or 9 people got together and met around 4 or 5 times. Input from Program Coordinators. Discussion of assessment conclusions and recommendations for future development. (See handout attached.)
Motion for the Board of Directors to appoint a Player Development Committee with membership including one IYHA Board of Directors member and 3 other members, with the purpose to: 
1.       create a job description for coach and player development;
2.       compile a list of applicants;
3.       interview candidates;
4.       hold an Association wide meeting for candidate presentations to the General Membership;
5.       recommend a candidate for Board of Directors vote in July of 2006;
6.       committee and / or player development person to present to the board during hockey months;
7.       accountable for ongoing player / coach development;
8.       with the Board of Directors deciding how much is paid;
9.       and to assure that the ice is available for the player development program (MM) (CT).
Motion made by (MM) (CT), discussion. Motion carried.
Motion to appoint the following to the Player Development Committee: Board of Directors member Mark Mohar, general members of the committee include Mark Hentges, Jeff Opperman, and another to be named (JF) (TW), motion carried.
Player Development presentation:
Dean Talafous, Herb Brooks Foundation: to talk about what is happening at the Super Rink and the Herb Brooks Foundation. Grew up in Hastings. Played for the Badgers. Then played for the North Stars. Coached for 6 years as an assistant with the Gophers. Is a parent of a hockey player. Started a company called Total Hockey.
Herb Brooks center asked him to help them to create a state of the art training center. First question was “what was the mission statement?” Herb Brooks wrote notes for the last five years of his life. His main emphasis was “we have to do a better job of developing our young hockey players—all hockey players, not just the elite. The attrition rate in USA Hockey is up to 70%. If they quit hockey, then there is something wrong. Center is for all kids. Eventual goal is to support kids by giving scholarships. All inclusive, all kids, all age levels, all skill levels. Total Hockey is not going to be in Herb Brooks Training Center. It is about helping kids. Research on development, on the game, positive impact on the direction of hockey. Will help building the training center, will not run the training center. Need to make it fun, a positive experience, and make a positive change in their game. It is 12,000 square feet up at the Super Rink. Sessions will be 1-1½ hours. Will mirror the costs for ice time—provide 6 instructors—for the same / similar costs as the ice.
In Europe, their skill development is primarily with dryland. The kids would go through a complete program—skills and confidence. Improve all of the areas by 5%. Hockey specific training. Will be made affordable.
October 1 is when the Super Rink needs to be done. Will be signing up Associations starting November 1. 18 kids and 2 goalies. Stauber will have goalie clinic one level below.
Would set up a program for each kid / team and level—10 sessions in a winter is about what you can fit in for the winter. Hastings sends all of their Squirts 4 times. Woodbury sends all their kids 6 times.
Will present information to Jim Cich and start date, times, and costs. We will get a discount because of being an Association.
Tom O’Keefe: Interested in Treasurer position. Interested in communicating where funds are spent and how decisions are made. Motion to appoint Tom O’Keefe as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors (NG) (RB), motion carried.
Board Roundtable:
President: Jim Cich. Jeff Martin realized the drop in numbers for Pee Wees, and the number of kids going to Totino Grace. High School may be an option for Fridley. However, AA schools may not co-opt other AA schools. (Tri-City would make an AA High School.) To be continued.
Vice President: Cheryl Mason. All former duties have been transferred to the new Initiation Coordinator. Starting Parades, Tournament planning, and working on the Ice Committee.
Secretary: Niki Gjere. No report.
Treasurer: Jeanne Falconer / Tom O’Keefe (new position for Tom). Not all of the checkbooks are in. Jeanne is working to finish this cycle, before is transferred over.
Boys Program Coordinator: Mark Mohar. Goalie Clinic will start July 31st for 3 weeks. Keep shooting pucks.
Girls Program Coordinator: Chris Tahti. 14U will have a meeting with District 1 Girls Coordinators next week. Likely all girls Coordinators will be lead by a co-op. HS program is canceling the summer program. Girls’ coaches will meet 2nd or 3rd Tuesday of June for planning for future. Organizing a parent’s night to get the bar bingo—support Lake Region and have fun.
Ice Commissioner: Renae Olesen. Need to know how much September ice is needed. Will set up another Ice Committee meeting. On Wednesday at 8:00, Niki will get room.
Initiation Program Coordinator: Bob Gabler (absent).
Equipment Coordinator: Randy Bortot.. Has acquired equipment from the Equipment Loaner program. Need criteria for who will get equipment. Would be nice to see that whomever needs equipment gets equipment. Randy, Bob and Cheryl will meet to work on the equipment loaner procedures.
Registration Coordinator: Jeanne Falconer. Registration Thursday August 10th from 6-9 p.m.; Saturday, August 19th from 10-2; and September 14th from 6-9. Site is the Freedom Park Warming House Fireside Room.
District Representative: Tom Welty. Minnesota Hockey meeting—motion to add a 13th district and keep District 1 (formerly known as Twin Cities District). They are going to vote on it in the June meeting. Most likely it will pass. We will be in District 1 at this point—especially if the vote passes. District 1 went down 110 kids last year. Recruiting was a big discussion last month. Encouraging Associations to recruit. Proposal regarding Play-offs—would space out the play-offs, and have the championship games on the same weekend. Discussion—like the playoffs the way they are; difficult to lock up all of the dates and extend them. Give feedback to Tom. All of the District Playoffs need to be done by February 25th. District wants more people involved at the District level—lots of different positions. Tom Mickus is the new District Director. President’s meeting is coming up – will discuss waivers. Richfield and Washburn discussing a co-op plan—they are having similar numbers issues (numbers are dwindling). Similar to what Southwest and St. Louis Park did last year. S.K.A.T.E. program—Abigail Slippka won a Caribou Coffee card.
Additional Reports:
Lake Region Hockey Association: Jeanne Falconer. Out of Cousineau’s as of June. Lake Region is sending letters with their correspondence to inform people of the inability to fund out of Cousineau’s monies. Mo’s is the new name for Jakes, Lake Region has the pull-tabs for them. Got approval for 2 more years at Champps. We have another $4,000. Already funding the goalie clinics. Lake Region has a VP Position open—participation in meetings, fundraising obligations. Bar bingo is drawing more people in. Need a volunteer caller for 5/24. Opening up a new site—will need part time workers for pull-tabs. Tom would like to see the information about where it is written that we need to have the check written to a specific purpose.
Discussion about Herb Brooks Center training. Good opportunity! Excitement about this as a possibility. More to follow.
Would you like to have something published in the newsletter? Please contact Niki Gjere. Would you like something on the Web Site? Contact the IYHA webmaster.  Information you share is helpful in keeping our members up to date about activities of the Irondale Youth Hockey Association! (The deadline for the next month’s newsletter is the first of each month.) Thank you!