First Month Is In The Books! Take A Stroll Through September With Our Teams
The Rage Mighty Mites are off to an amazing start to our 21’-22’ season with significant development from the 1st year skaters to the more advanced players, exactly what we expect to see! This year, we have roughly 22 kids skating in our program and we have these great kids grouped by skill level for each development Saturday where we have been focusing on the core hockey fundamentals: skating mechanics and edgework, puck control, passing and agility drills that many of these kids will be doing their entire Rage career. Sundays are gamedays and I can tell you that our plan to have 4 of the original 6 NHL teams has been a great success, with each team balanced with players of varying skill levels. We have a 1-2 pass rule in place which encourages our more developed kids to help the less experienced players get in the mix while giving our brand new skaters an opportunity to compete at the same time. While it’s early in the season, it’s safe to say that The Maple Leafs, Blackhawks, Bruins and Rangers are all tied for 1st in the South East Conference with only 1 player out on the IR list(Not Rage related!). While great sportsmanship is also the focus of our development in the mite ranks, we have a few kids that are perfecting their “cely’s” after each goal…….or assist……or water break. As the hockey development is ramping up to full speed, so are the relationships between the kids and the parents, a direct benefit of the weekend model and having 11 new mites entering The Rage this year, it’s a beautiful picture of what the future holds at The Ice Station!
The 10 U A rage team had a great first tournament of the year finishing runner-up in the A division. The team has grown so much throughout the weekend and showed amazing resiliency after getting off to a rocky start. Every player on the team contributed but the MVP of the tournament was given to Declan Burgess for his solid defensive play throughout the weekend. The most impressive part of the weekend however, was the way both parents and players displayed “the rage way” by welcoming Ethan Danzuso and his family to our team for the weekend. Ethan played fantastic for us in net. His family was so blown away by the way they were treated and how our program carried itself, that he has already received permission from his current team to come and tend net for us again in Maryland. This group should be so proud of themselves and it was a great way to kick off the season.
The boys entered the weekend knowing very little on the teams, other than the Junior Colonials from New Jersey were a lower level A team. It was clear from watching the earlier games on Friday that our true test for the weekend was going to be against the Rochester Americans who we would not see until the third game of the weekend. The boys opened up quickly on both the Junior Colonials and the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite girls team and the coaches had to real it back in to show some good sportsmanship. The coaches instituted the 3 pass rule once gaining possession. The boys did a great job of moving the puck and even had to peel off on breakaways to make sure they got their 3 passes in. Both games ended in a lopsided score and it wasn't the score that mattered, but how we demonstrated true sportsmanship in playing those two teams - coaches could not have been prouder.
The real test came on late Saturday against "Roch" as the coaches like to call them. The boys and coaches were amped up. The boys came out flying and dominated the first period with a Rage strong forecheck and backcheck. The team gave up less than 5 shots in that period, however, one of them was a breakaway that yielded a goal - score at the end of the first period was 2-1 Rage. Rage were up 3-1 at the beginning of the second on a great call by the coaches to move Darren Anderson from defense to forward on penalty kill. However, a meltdown began as the Rage gave up 3 unanswered goals to go down 3-4 and the coaches could see certain players started to unravel on the bench that lead to too much chirping between each other. The coaches observed this and called a timeout - all 10 boys were asked to sit on the bench and Coach Kevin gave his best Herb Brooks speech. As we like to say, the rest is history and the Rage scored the next 4 goals to win the game 7-4. As Coach Jason shared with the boys during the game, you stepped on their throats and took the life out of them. The final game against Roch was uneventful, Rage started slow down 1-2, however, quickly pulled it together to dominate the game for a Championship victory 8-3. During the game the other team unraveled and even saw a player from Roch skate by our fans with an unsportsmanlike gesture. The only retaliation by the Rage was to continue to forecheck and backcheck them - none of the boys chirped or said anything to that player. In addition, we had a player collide with a Roch player who was hurt for several minutes on the ice. This player, Vic Sweeney, went over to the bench to see how the player was doing and once again, exemplified the Rage sportsmanship.
Overall, the Coaches could not have been prouder of the boys. It was a great start to the weekend now the focus is back to development for our Showcase weekend in Raleigh.
The Carolina Rage 12U A team played their first tournament of the season in Pittsburgh. Despite icing a relatively young team with plenty of newcomers, the Rage earned a silver medal and made the championship game of the Steel City Pre-Season Challenge, winning two of four games over the weekend.
Goaltender Oliver Price had an amazing weekend in Pittsburgh. Ollie posted a shutout win in his first tournament game with the Rage, a 3-0 win over the Altoona Trackers. After the game, Ollie attended the Pittsburgh Penguins open practice. He received a signed goalie stick from Pengiuns goaltender Tristan Jarry, and even made the Penguins team Facebook page!
Newcomer Evan Scrimgeour, Nolan Carr, and Jared Pieri each scored for the Rage in their win over the Trackers. Another newcomer, goaltender Joel Novak, recorded his first win as a Rage goaltender in a 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite team. Pieri scored 4 goals in the game, and Aubrianna Dill scored for the Rage.
The team sends a special "thank you" to Rage 12U AA coach Josh Barone for hosting a Rage 12U party at his family's home in Pittsburgh. The kids had a fantastic time! Newcomer Drew Natale reached the finals in the "sauce contest," losing to Travis Anderson.
After an amazing first tournament, the team practices for most of October to continue our player development program. The 12U A Rage play again in Charlotte on October 22-24 in the Carolina Cup Fall Classic. See you there as the team goes for gold!
The Rage 12U AA team had a strong showing on and off the ice in its first games/tournament in Pittsburgh. The team had an unreal comeback in the first game vs Sylvania going down 2-0 in the first, trying it in the second and then scoring two goals in the last minute to clinch the victory. The team really started rolling on Saturday with two big victories over the home team and Parker Townshed’s former team the NJ Colonials. The team celebrated their wins and two wins by the 12U A team with a combined team party at the Barone’s place in Pittsburgh. The kids had a blast and held the first annual “Pizza” Sauce (think cornhole for hockey players) tournament with Travis Anderson taking home the title. Our Sunday ended on kind of a down note with Travis Anderson breaking his arm in the first and then dropping the final 6-2 vs Sylvania. Even though the team only came home with a Silver, we had a gold medal weekend in the ‘Burgh. The team has a lot of positives to build on and we are hungry to get after the rest of the season. Get well soon Travis!
Heading into the weekend, the 14UA Minor players and families were excited for another weekend of hockey at the Steel City tournament in Pittsburgh, Pa. The third tournament of the month, the Ragers were excited to build on their success from their previous week’s tournament in Coral Springs, Fl.
The first game on Friday did not goes as planned with a 5-3 loss, but that would prove to be the team’s only loss of the tournament. They came out on fire Saturday morning with a blow-out win where the only big thing worth noting was Coach Faas’s display of sportsmanship by completely shutting the offense down at the end of the second period as not to embarrass the other team. The respect and appreciation for that act was verbally recognized by the officials and parents on the other team after the game.
Consistent with a Rage 14UA tournament weekend, team manager Tami Duggan set the team and families up with a day trip between games to the Duquesne Incline where the team rode the incline to the top of Mt. Washington and took a picture overlooking Pittsburgh. This was followed by a team lunch at the Double Wide Grill.
The Saturday night game was with the Capitals Hockey Academy (Red) turned out to be a very tough, evenly matched game. In the end, our Ragers just wanted it more, played “Rage” hockey, and came out with a hard fought win creating a pathway to the championship game.
The weekend culminated in another win Sunday morning against the Kings and a Championship win against the same team that they lost to on Friday night. Again, Rage hockey was on full display as they played for one another and were simply Ragelentless! The Rage Train culture, atmosphere, and sportsmanship were all front & and; center this weekend, as usual. The players and families all got to know each other a little better and had a great time. This was the team’s first tournament win of the year, and they are looking forward to the next one!
The AA Bantam squad played really well collectively last weekend, missing the mark with the first game against the Varsity squad from Centennial High on Saturday morning, coming back to beat Fort Mill High School (3-1) in the afternoon, and then beating Centennial High (4-2) in the last game on Sunday morning. Congratulations to Nick Bogert on his Hat Trick against Centennial. Very impressive! It was a wonderful weekend of hockey, grilling out between games, team bonding with football outside and shooting pucks on the synthetic ice. In all, we received several positive responses from both Fort Mill and Centennial about our facilities, the professionalism from staff & parents and how well they felt received at the Ice Station! Thanks also go out to Coach Casey and to Coach Lee for getting the team engaged, understanding core Rage concepts during game play and moving our development to a higher level. Everyone was impressed with the dramatic increase in skill level and work shown by the team as we progressed through each game.
U16 A & AA
Both U16 teams went to Pittsburgh players and coaches down but ready to perform, and they didnt disappoint. With an iron man mentalitly both teams made the finals of each division. The A team went 4 and 1 while brining home a Championship, and the AA team went undefeated until the final game where the came up a little short with a 3-2 defeat. We can say without a shadow of a doubt that every U16 player gave it their all and left it all on the ice.
After making it to the championship game in St. Louis, the 18U team ran into some bad luck in Pittsburgh. Even though they deserved to win all of their games from their determination and effort, lady luck just wasn't on thier side and they finished 1-2-1. They are looking to rebound with a solid showing in their next event.