Archive for the ‘Ice Hockey’ Category

Hockey Returns to Boardwalk Hall; The Wildwoods to Host Fustal

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
The Hershey Bears (in white) beat the Albany Devils 4-1 at Boardwalk Hall on Jan. 11, snapping the Devils’ two-game win streak. The game also marked the return to Boardwalk Hall of Mike Haviland, now the head coach of the Bears and formerly the head coach of the bygone Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies.

The Hershey Bears (in white) beat the Albany Devils 4-1 at Boardwalk Hall on Jan. 11, snapping the Devils’ two-game win streak. The game also marked the return to Boardwalk Hall of Mike Haviland, now the head coach of the Bears and formerly the head coach of the bygone Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies.

It’s a sports-filled weekend at the South Jersey shore, as the United States Futsal Federation will host the Northeast Regional Futsal (five-player-per-side indoor soccer) Championships Saturday through Monday, Feb. 15-17, at Wildwoods Convention Center, and AHL hockey returns to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Friday, Feb. 14.

The AHL’s Albany Devils have made Boardwalk Hall their home-away-from-home of sorts, having played four games at the Hall’s Art Dorrington Rink in each of the last three seasons. The first puck drops at 7pm and the first 2,000 fans will receive a commemorative poster of the 2003 ECHL Boardwalk Bullies Kelly Cup Championship team. Additionally, former Boardwalk Bullies captain Stefan Rivard and his former teammate Ian Walterson will be signing autographs at the game during the 2nd period intermission.

Mike Haviland, current head coach of the Hershey Bears, was the coach of the 2003 Boardwalk Bullies Kelly Cup Championship team. Haviland has recently re-teamed with Ryan Mougenel who played for the Bullies in 2002-2003. Mougenel is now an assistant coach of the AHL’s Hershey Bears.

Tickets are priced at $16, $21 and $26 and are on sale now at Boardwalk Hall Box Office, through Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-736-1420. Special rates are available for kids, seniors, military, students, and groups of 10 or more. Package deals are also available. Visit boardwalkhall.com.

The three-day indoor futsal tournament will take place from 8am-8pm daily. Futsal is a variation of soccer that is played on a smaller surface utilizing five players (instead of 11 as in conventional soccer), usually always indoors, and allowing unlimited substitutions per team. Unlike other forms of indoor soccer, futsal rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique, ball control and passing in small spaces, which results in fast-paced, exciting games.

Some of last year's futsal action in the Wildwoods.

Some youth futsal action.

The Northeast Regional tournament consists of various age brackets, and is one of seven regional tournaments leading up to a national championship for which the date and location have yet to be announced. Prizes will be awarded to winning teams and top players.  Admission is $10 per day or $20 for all three days. Wristbands will be available for purchase at the door.
 Visit futsal.com 
for more about the game, or visit WildwoodsNJ.com for more about The Wildwoods.

Rick Tocchet Thinks Flyers Have A Chance

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Rick Tocchet

Rick Tocchet

I had the golden opportunity to pick the brain of Flyers analyst Rick Tocchet after we chatted about the Red Line Hockey Classic charity game in which he is participating this Sunday at Boardwalk Hall. (See that story in this week’s issue of AC Weekly on-line Wednesday and on the street Thursday).

I had to ask about the prospects for the Orange & Black. Says Tocchet, “I give a lot of credit to [coach] Craig Berube. He has done a terrific job coming in there [when Peter Laviolette was fired after just three games]. He brought in a system and the players have bought in, which is why they’ve had the turnaround. That first month was a disaster. People were questioning the management and the ownership. Now this team has a shot to really compete.”

As for the Olympic break and how it affects the league, “If you’re a coach or an owner, do you want a lot of players going? It’s a tough one because while you’re happy for the players to play for their countries, the selfish part is, do I want my best player there [with a chance to be injured] or do I want him getting two weeks off, refreshed for the rest of the season? The Olympic tournament is a tough grind.

As for the Flyers playoffs chances, Tocchet thinks they do have a good chance but admits, “They have some deficiencies. They need a [lockdown] defenseman and can they find that guy in a trade? I don’t think the division is that strong. The Flyers don’t have to play St. Louis, Los Angeles,  San Jose and all these teams. They are going against the Hurricanes, Washington. They are good teams but not powerhouses and that is an advantage for the Flyers.

“Obviously, their hated cross-state rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins are having a terrific season and are the benchmark for everybody in the east. Can you beat the Penguins is the question.”

Red Line Classic Charity Hockey Game @ Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, Feb. 9

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

AHW_Tryouts-113-526x350ATLANTIC CITY — Boardwalk Hall will serve as a “Legends of the Rink” of sorts, as several retired Stanley Cup-winning skaters from the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils will compete in the Red Line Classic: Battle of the Boards hockey game on Feb. 9 at Boardwalk Hall.

The charity hockey game will include former New Jersey Stanley Cup winners Ken Daneyko, Bruce Driver, Jim Dowd and Grant Marshall, and former Flyers Cup winners Joe Watson and Bob Kelly (both of whom were on the Flyers’ only Cup-winning teams in ’74 and ’75). Others slated to compete include former Flyers Brian Propp (who holds the dubious distinction of being on the losing end of five Stanley Cup finals, including three as a Flyer), Mark Recchi, Rick Tocchet and Todd Fedoruk. Other former NHL stars are expected to sign on as well.

Preceding the main event will be a game at 11am between the New York City and Philadelphia fire department hockey teams, which is comprised completely of firefighters and paramedics. That will be followed by a pee-wee hockey game at 12:30 and the main event at 2pm.

The Red Line Classic is an annual event that raises funds for the All Hands Working charity, a non-profit that provides firefighters with fitness equipment grants, health and nutritional resources, and survival training. Money raised by this event will be used to fund grants as well as establish scholarship programs for families of firefighters.
Proceeds will also benefit the Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation, which provides financial aid to Delaware Valley families who are in need due to a recent adversity or tragedy.

Tickets are $20, $50 and $100 and are on sale now at the Boardwalk Hall box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. Go to  theredlineclassic.com for more information.

The AHL’s Albany Devils Return to Boardwalk Hall for a Four-Game Series

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

ATLANTIC CITY — The American Hockey League’s Albany Devils will skate back into Boardwalk Hall this winter for a series of four regular-season games, taking place January through March 2014. Tickets for the series go on sale Friday, Aug. 30.

hockey“The games in Atlantic City have been a great way to bring some future Devils players to New Jersey, in a unique, fan-friendly environment,” says Albany Devils general manager Chris Lamoriello. “Our recent visits to a national landmark like Boardwalk Hall have been positive experiences for our players, and more importantly, Devils fans.”

The Albany Devils serve as the top developmental team for the three-time Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils. They last took the ice at Boardwalk Hall for four games in the 2012-13 season.  Last year, the Devils had 15 players play in both the AHL with Albany and the NHL with New Jersey. Of those players, five of them made their NHL debuts last season.

The Atlantic City schedule is as follows — Sunday, Jan. 12 at 4pm versus the Hershey Bears; Friday, Feb. 14, at 7pm versus Hershey;  Saturday, March 1, at 7pm versus the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins; and Sunday, March 23, at 4pm versus Wilkes Barre/Scranton.

“We are very excited to welcome the Albany Devils back to Boardwalk Hall,” says Greg Tesone, general manager of Boardwalk Hall. “We received a great reception from local fans last season when we hosted the Devils for four games. Our market has a strong history with hockey and a close association with the New Jersey Devils organization, our state’s only professional sports team. I think the fans will be thrilled to see that professional hockey will be returning to South Jersey once again.”

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Willie O’Ree and Art Dorrington to Host Free Youth Hockey Clinic Tues., Jan. 24, as Tribute to AHL Classic

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
Atlantic City's own Art Dorrington

Atlantic City's own Art Dorrington

ATLANTIC CITY — Professional ice hockey pioneers Willie O’Ree and Art Dorrington will host a youth hockey clinic at Boardwalk Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 4pm, in support of the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, which will take place Sunday and Monday, Jan. 29-30, at Boardwalk Hall. The youth hockey clinic is free and open to the public.

O’Ree and Dorrington hold important places in NHL history. O’Ree is recognized as the first African American hockey player to play in the NHL as a member of the Boston Bruins in 1958. Dorrington was the first African American hockey player to sign a NHL contract when he joined the New York Rangers organization in the 1950s. Due to a leg injury, Dorrington (a transplanted Nova Scotia resident who for years has called Atlantic City home) was unable to play at the NHL level, but is remembered locally as a member of the now-defunct Eastern Hockey League’s Atlantic City Seagulls’ championship team of 1951.

African American NHL pioneer Willie O'Ree

African American NHL pioneer Willie O'Ree

Prior to the start of the clinic, and in recognition and appreciation to Dorrington’s allegiance to the community and hockey career, Boardwalk Hall will rename the building’s ice rink in his honor. The dedication of the “Art Dorrington Ice Rink” at Boardwalk Hall, which includes a proclamation from Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford, will also be part of the day’s festivities.

The clinic will be comprised of students from the Atlantic City-based “Art Dorrington Ice Hockey Foundation,” and will focus on hockey technique while highlighting the importance of positive ethics such as teamwork, sportsmanship and commitment. Like Dorrington, O’Ree is a strong advocate of minority education who has invested time in introducing the game of hockey to disadvantaged youth and teaching them life lessons. O’Ree is currently the National Hockey League’s Director of Youth Development and hockey ambassador for the “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative. Similar to Dorrington’s mission, as director of youth development, O’Ree has helped launch more than 30 local grassroots hockey programs around North America with the purpose of educating disadvantaged youth in the values of hockey and life. To date more than 45,000 children have participated in O’Ree’s programs.

Tickets for the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall  Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, or by calling 800-736-1420. For group sales, call (609) 348-7023.

Philly Sports: Easter Trifecta

Monday, April 25th, 2011
Lou Williams hit the winning shot.

Lou Williams hit the winning shot.

When my sister-in-law called with Easter wishes, she asked me what I had planned for the day. “Well” said I, “There is basketball at 1pm, hockey at 3pm and the Phillies at 4pm.”

What a day it was for Philly sports fanatics. The Sixers somehow managed to shut down Miami’s big three as a couple of the Sixers’ young pups, Jrue Holiday and “Sweet Lou” Williams, make clutch buckets to earn a well-fought win over the Heat 86-82. They will most likely lose Wednesday night, but Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh know they were in a fight.

The Philadelphia Flyers managed to overcome one of coach Peter Laviolette’s rare bad moves, starting goalie Michael Leighton, as Brian Boucher came in to relieve him and stopped the bleeding. The Flyers fought back from a 3-0 hole and won 5-4 in overtime to bring the series against the Sabres back to Philly for a game seven. Suddenly it was 2010 all over again.

The magnificent day of sporting excellence was capped off in the late afternoon as it was declared an “Easter Halliday” in San Diego. The Phillies uber ace tied his career high with 14 strikeouts as the Phils polished off a sweep of the weak-hitting Padres 3-1. The scoring included an inside-the-park homerun by Shane Victorino.

The Flyers should beat the Sabres at home to make it into the next round. The Sixers will probably lose game five to the far more talented Heat, but with plenty of hope for continued success next year.

As for the Phillies, they have the best record in the majors at 15-6, but they lost another pitcher yesterday, closer Jose Contreras, and the offense is still in a slump. The great starting rotation can’t do it alone for very long.

But lets not end with the negatives. It was an unforgettable Easter Sunday for Philly fanatics.

2011 ECAC Men’s Hockey Championship

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

acw_YaleHockey_200This week the basketball court for the A-10 Championship will be replaced with an ice rink, and the Zamboni will be brought out of storage for Boardwalk Hall to host, for the first time, the 2011 ECAC Men’s Hockey Championship Tournament, one of the top conferences in college ice hockey.

For the story, go here.

Albany Devils vs. Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins Rescheduled

Monday, December 13th, 2010

acw_HockeyGoal_image2

The ice hockey game between the Albany Devils and Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins that had to be postponed Dec. 12 because of bad ice conditions, has been rescheduled for Sunday, Feb. 7, 4pm, at Boardwalk Hall. All Dec. 12 tickets will be honored for the makeup game and patrons will receive one complimentary voucher of equal value to any remaining Devils game at Boardwalk Hall.

Refunds are available at point of purchase. For the rest of the schedule, go here.

Devils vs. Phantoms at Boardwalk Hall

Monday, December 6th, 2010
Leighton makes a stop.

Leighton makes a stop.

Hockey returned to town as the Albany Devils faced the Adirondack Phantoms last night (Dec. 5) at Boardwalk Hall. Besides this natural rivalry, even in the minor league ranks, the game was of interest to Flyers fans since Flyers goalie Michael Leighton played as part of his rehap assignment. Go here for the story.

Ice Hockey Returns to Boardwalk Hall

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Bernie Parent

Bernie Parent

When the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies left town in 2005, it was hoped that the beautiful skating venue would find a replacement team sooner than later. That never happened, but local ice hockey fans received good news when it was announced that the American Hockey League’s Albany Devils and the ECHL Trenton Devils would play a total of five games at Boardwalk Hall.

Opening night will also feature hockey legends Bernie Parent and Bruce Driver. Fans will have an opportunity before the game to get an autograph from these two hockey greats. Go here for the full story.