Monday, February 20, 2017

New Hampshire High School Rankings II- February Edition

With the New Hampshire High School Hockey season winding down, it's time to look at the rankings just prior to playoff seeding.  There have been some great storylines thus far, so the playoffs should be a great finish.

New Hampshire D1 Poll

4Bp. Guertin3942
8Manchester Central8690
9Bp. Brady9491

Marty Myers' Bedford Bulldogs are looking for the repeat and in a great position to do so. Collin Voloshin and Jay Roberto are leading the way for the Bulldogs.  Nipping at their heels, however, is Concord High, and they are paced by a terrific offense lead by two Seniors, Alex Marceau and Andrew Cole, who pace NH D1 in scoring.
Salem and Bishop Guertin are still in the hunt, with Londonderry and Hanover close behind.

Key Games this week are two President's Day matchups.  Pinkerton plays Bedford on 2/20 at 730pm and Bishop Guertin plays Londonderry on the same day at 830pm.

Here is a look at the Playoff Schedule in D1:
DIVISION I Prelims: Wed. 3/1/2017 Home of Higher Seed 6:00 p.m. Quarters: Sat. 3/4/2017 Home of Higher Seed 4:00 p.m. Semis: Wed. 3/8/2017 JFK Coliseum 5:30; 7:30 p.m. Final: Sat. 3/11/2017 SNHU Arena 4:30 p.m

New Hampshire D2 Poll

5Oyster River6761
6St. Thomas Aquinas8870

Keene has been the story all year in D2.  For years they have been a second Tier team, but not this year.  Currently they stand undefeated and have scored over 100 goals thus far on the season and given up an astonishingly miniscule 16 goals against. Jason Langevin and Gaetano Delonge have been the top scorers for Keene all year.  Bow is right behind them however, and paced by Senior Forward Doug Champagne (4th in D2 scoring).  Windham and Dover are difficult opponents every night as well.
Leading D2 in scoring is Lebanon- Stevens' Nate Gariepy with 41 points in only 15 games.  Great job!

Here is how the NH D2 Playoff Schedule looks:
DIVISION II Prelims: Wed. 3/1/2017 Home of Higher Seed 6:00 p.m. Quarters: Sat. 3/4/2017 Home of Higher Seed 4:00 p.m. Semis: Wed. 3/8/2017 Rinks at Exeter 5:30; 7:30 p.m. Final: Sat. 3/11/2017 SNHU Arena 2:30 p.m

New Hampshire D3 Poll

5John Stark/Hopkinton51041

The top teams in D3 have remained in a dog fight all year.  Belmont/ Gilford, Somersworth- Coe Brown, Berlin/ Gorham, Kennett and John Stark/ Hopkinton have taken their shots are beating one another all year and made it an interesting race.  Casey Pridham of Somersworth paces D3 in scoring with 44 points in 16 games.  Cam Cochran of Berlin, Jakob Arnold of Kearsarge/ Plymouth, and Harrison Parent of Belmont/ Gilford all have 30 plus points, and should be chasing Casey to the finish.

2 very important games this week for playoff seeding:
2/22 Somersworth- Coe Brown vs John Stark/ Hopkinton
2/22 Berlin/ Gorham vs Moultonborough Interlakes 615pm

Here is how the Schedule for NHIAA D3 looks:
DIVISION III Prelims: Wed. 3/1/2017 Home of Higher Seed 6:00 p.m. Quarters: Sat. 3/4/2017 Home of Higher Seed 4:00 p.m. Semis: Wed. 3/8/2017 Plymouth State University 5:30; 7:30 p.m. Final: Sat. 3/11/2017 SNHU Arena 12:15 p.m.

Photo of NHIAA D3 leader Belmont/ Gilford in recent action.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

NH HS Division III Game of the Week

This week's most highly anticipated NH High School hockey contest was a Division III (Small School) matchup between the unbeaten Kennett Eagles and the 1 loss Belmont- Gilford Bulldogs.  Both teams are traditional powers as Kennett has won 3 state championships in the last decade and was a final four team in 2015-16.  Belmont- Gilford was a finalist in 2015-16 and took the championship in 2014-15.  Their only loss thus far was to Berlin- Gorham.

The Ham Arena in North Conway, NH, was jam-packed full of local Kennett fans, as each team took to the ice.  Early on both Kennett and B/G traded scores in the close- checking affair.

Belmont- Gilford started to pull away mid-way through the contest when Senior Forward Chaz Hackling scored.  Kennett would not be denied however, as their Junior class of Forwards (Doucet, Couture and McPherson) all had quality chances.

Senior Defenseman James Buckley potted a goal to extend the Belmont/ Gilford lead to 3-1 before Junior forward Hunter Dupuis would add an insurance goal late to make it 4-1.

Both teams played well, and this will certainly be a matchup to keep your eyes on.  Next up for Belmont/ Gilford is Laconia/ Winnisquam at 4pm Saturday.  Kennett looks to get back on track as they play at Kearsarge/ Plymouth on Saturday at 6pm.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Hampshire High School Hockey- January Update

Happy New Year High School Hockey Fans!  Up here in New Hampshire our High School Hockey programs are off to a robust start in each division.  Here is where we currently stand...

New Hampshire D1 Poll

3Bp. Guertin2311
8Bp. Brady6130
9Manchester Central8120
10Nashua North/Souhegan913

Bedford, last year's champion is at it again.  The Marty Myers led squad has a great feeder system in the local youth hockey programs, and has adequately replaced their strong graduating class (Danato Tempesta, Nate John and others).  Currently leading the team are forwards #12 Griffin Gagne and #11 Jay Roberto.

Concord, who was a top 4 team and graduated All- State goaltender Ben Nelson in 2015-16.  Has started off strong and grabbed the first BIG Win of the year, beating Bishop Guertin 2-1 last week.

Londonderry, Salem, Pinkerton and Hanover (with Senior Forward Jensen Dodge leading the way) all are in the mix.

Big games this weekend include:
Friday, Pinkerton vs Londonderry
Saturday, Salem vs Bishop Brady

New Hampshire D2 Poll

5St. Thomas Aquinas4220
Bow and Windham, last year's finalists, are off to strong starts, but have recorded their first losses of the season in surprising upsets, when Windham lost to Portsmouth- Newmarket 3-2  on January 4, and Bow lost to Keene 3-0 on Dec. 21.

Keene has been building over the last 3 years in more ways than one...  The construction of Keene Ice center finally gives them an all-season place to play, and the team has been improving on the ice going from out of the playoffs, to in the playoffs, to now being Ranked #1!

Look for Spaulding and Goffstown to compete the top teams, and great efforts every night from Dover, and the Forward combo of Burke Ruel/ Andy Contrada in Kingswood.

Big games this week include:
Saturday, Dover vs Goffstown
Saturday, Bow vs Spaulding

New Hampshire D3 Poll

4John Stark/Hopkinton4310
5Somersworth/Coe Brown5310

Berlin/Gorham graduated 11 Seniors off the 2015-16 championship squad, but have started strong with a key win over Belmont- Gilford the first week of the season.  Berlin is led by Senior Power Forward Owen Dorval.

Where Berlin/ Gorham has experience, the young and hungry squad in North Conway (Kennett) has proven they are a force.  Led by outstanding Defenseman Kenzie Murphy and Connor Furtado, and Forwards Connor Doucet, Colby Couture and Michael Seavey, Kennett has started 5-0 and on Wednesday shocked Berlin/ Gorham with a 6-1 victory.  John Biggio has been solid in nets.

The top 5 teams (Berlin/ Gorham, Kennett, Belmont/ Gilford, John Stark Hopkinton and Somersworth/Coe Brown) appear to be a step above the rest of the field and will be jockeying for playoff seeding all winter long.

Big Games this week include:
Next Wednesday, Belmont/ Gilford vs Kennett

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ice Hockey in Harlem Clinics

Happy Holidays!  On December 23rd I had the unique privilege to travel down (from New Hampshire) to Harlem NYC and take part in running skill clinics for the Ice Hockey in Harlem program.   Taking the Squirt/ Pee Wee group for 70 minutes and then the Bantam/ Midget group for another 70 minute session, the sessions started each off with Power Skating and a Puck Skills warmup, then transitioned into some station skill work before finishing with a small area- age appropriate game.  It truly was a ton of fun!

Playing out of the outdoor, Lasker Rink in Central Park located near the intersection of 110th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard, Ice Hockey in Harlem nonprofit organization that works to improve the social and academic well being of children from the Harlem community.

 "Since 1987, thousands of boys and girls have taken part in the program and have grown into capable, responsible adults who continue to live, work and, in many cases, raise their own children in Harlem. Each season, Ice Hockey in Harlem looks to offer new athletic and educational opportunities for children in its community. IHIH uses the sport of hockey to engage students and improve their self-esteem, while also providing a safe after school alternative that keeps them from harm and improves their school attendance and grades.[3]
Ice Hockey in Harlem is also a member program of the National Hockey League's Hockey Is For Everyone initiative and has enjoyed a long relationship with New York Rangers, dating back to its inception.[4]"

Here are some pictures!

Check out their website to get involved in this worthy cause-

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Keys to winning 3 on 3 Overtime

3 on 3 Overtime is an exciting, fast-paced finished.  Since Pro Hockey (first the AHL in 2014, then the NHL in 2015) introduced this format it has greatly reduced the number of shootouts involved in determining the winner to a contest.  Many JR leagues and others have followed suit, as this format is not only high tempo and exciting, but it is a "hockey-play" rather than a "skills competition" that is determining the winner. 

Here are some key ingredients to successfully playing a 3 on 3.

1) Man on Man-  It is important for players to understand their defensive responsibilities in this format as simple breakdowns are magnified into 2 on 1's or breakaways in the 3 on 3.  Players need to recognize who their coverage is.... Man on Man when you don't have the puck or aren't going to get the puck.  Furthermore, play all defensive plays on the D-side of the puck (keeping your body between the puck and your defending net) so that you aren't trailing plays.  This can get confusing, and requires a lot of effort, but gets easier if you pre-set your combinations (generally the first 3 sets) on the bench and let your players know exactly who they are changing for.  Have players understand their responsibilities, and don't get too focused on numbers of Forwards or Defenseman.  If you have 1 Forward and 2 D on the ice, instruct exactly who your next group is changing for ( 2 D and 1 F/ 3 F/ 3D... whoever). 

2) Puck Possession-  Maintaining possession of the puck is key. Oftentimes a bad dump or turnover leads to the game winning goal.  Regroup and have a coordinated attack rather than a 1v1 or 1v2,let alone 1v 3.  I advise my team to never dump the puck unless 100% necessary, this helps in avoiding quick transitions and breakdowns.  In 3 on 3, there is no guarantee that you will get the puck back, as there is so much time and space, so make every possession a coordinated scoring possession.

3) Quality shots over Quantity-  In 5 on 5, the number of shot attempts and shot quantity is important.  In 3 on 3 OT, the focus has to be on quality chances, and minimizing risk. Given the greater time and space that you will have it is important to breakdown the defensive coverage of your opponent.  Create 2 on 1's or isolations that lead to shots being taken from high quality scoring areas (offensive zone, inside the dots).  Consequently, bad angle shots do 2 things:
1) They can lead to rim-outs and quick transitions- opponent scoring chances.
2) They put your players out of position for rebounds and transitions.  Chasing the puck rather than being in position defensively.

Here are some examples of well executed 3 on 3:

Hope this article helps, and leads to your teams next 3 on 3 OT success!!!!

Andrew Trimble

Friday, September 23, 2016

Keeping Up Your Team's Confidence

Coaching kids within the 16-20 year old age group can have it's skyward highs and also it's difficult lows.  Some seasons can feel like they breeze by with incredible ease, while others grind through with constant obstacles, struggles and hurdles to overcome.  Maintaining a positive mindset and keeping your confidence up, is a critical ingredient to success both for the player and for the team.

Male Players at the Junior Hockey Level, the level with which I coach, are asked to leave their home and be independently mature... to adjust and make rational, adult decisions.   This is far from easy. According to

Researchers at Dartmouth College scanned the brains of nineteen 18-year-old students who had moved more than 100 miles to attend school.
"During the first year of college, students have many new experiences," said psychologist Abigail Baird, the study's principal investigator. "They are faced with new cognitive, social, and emotional challenges."  A group of 17 older students, ranging in age from 25 to 35, served as a control group for comparison. The results showed that the freshmen students' brains underwent significant changes and were very different from that of the older adults.
The changes were localized to the cingulate, caudate and insula regions of the brain. These areas are believed to be where emotions and thoughts are integrated.
The researchers believe the changes represent an increased awareness of the students' inner feelings and an improved ability to organize and integrate incoming sensory information; this synthesis helps shape the kinds of emotional and behavioral responses they have to new experiences.
The results are consistent with other research suggesting that the human brain continues to grow and mature right up to the point when we become adults and even beyond. In another study, researchers found that humans don't really develop the ability to handle multiple pieces of information at once until about the ages of 16 or 17.

Understanding these challenges has forced me to alter how I coach these young men.  Through personal reflection, it has made me ask critical questions of myself and my own growth process.  It has taken a great deal of attention away from just the hockey component, and focus more on the personal development of these players, and in the process it has helped me become a better coach and better person.  Here are 3 critical ingredients I have integrated into my program to help keep the confidence of these young men up, and create a positive emotional growth period for my players and my teams:

1) Use an outside voice-  I had to learn that the more I talk, does not guarantee the more these players will listen.  In the 2014-15 season I made the decision to bring in a Life Coach to our program after a difficult stretch of games.  At the time I had no idea that it would completely change the course of our season, and the direction of our program.

Emily Clement  ( is a Life Coach in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, and she began meeting weekly with our team to help them establish goals, overcome obstacles, and gain a greater understanding of the "Big Picture".  The results were both immediate and far reaching.  For example, the week before she arrive we lost a game 11-2.  After her arrival, that same season, we saw our team go from last place in our division to 2nd best, make the playoffs, and establish the highest win total by a Laconia, NH based Junior Hockey team in a decade.  Here is a video that describes the experience-

2) Show lots of Love- The days of Bear Bryant and the Junction Boys are long gone.  Recognizing that these young athletes are different, and those days are over is a necessary component to achieving team success in our current world.  Players need for you to communicate with them on an individual and personal basis, for them to "buy in" to what you are selling.

Some of the ways I have tried to show that I care include:
+ Team Dinners
+ Monday morning breakfast & coffee with small groups of players
+ Periodic, Individual Player Meetings
+ Providing them Job Opportunities with Scoring Concepts
+ Doing extra workouts and extra training sessions right along with them
+ Volunteering Activities
+ Team Movie Night
+ Community & Service Projects
+ Fun Team Building Activities
+ Bringing former Players back as Alumni/ staying involved

Each kid needs to know they have a role and they serve as a critical cog on the team wheel.  They all need to feel important.  If you can be an active participant in helping them feel a part of your team, then you will get a more cohesive, dynamic group.

3)  Use Language they understand & Communicate on their level-  The old coaching saying of, "Never ask your players to do anything that you, yourself would not do", applies in a broad sense to all aspects of your team.

I rarely talk about my own playing experiences with my team or my players, because frankly they do not care.  I am 36 years old... soon to be 37.  These players want to know what their current role models do to be successful.  They want to know how Alex Ovechkin prepares, what Nathan McKinnon does in the off-season, and how Sidney Crosby recovers.  My heroes and my experiences are not only different mentally from theirs, but also mine as well be dinosaurs. 

We exist in an instant gratification culture, and where I had to load a VHS to watch highlights, these kids have more advanced technology readily available in the palm of their hands.  Use this technology and these resources to provide them with the necessary feedback that they are looking for.  If a kid is feeling down about a certain aspect in their life or their game, use google or youtube to find out an applicable clip or article that they can relate to.  Share it them and help them through the struggle.  Be present.

Additionally, many of these kids have never spoken on a phone before, just like I have never ridden in a horse and buggy.  I find even email is outdated for them.  Communicate how they communicate, don't force them to adjust to your world.  Use not only language they will understand but also methods of communication that makes them feel comfortable.  This will allow your message to come across more clearly and have better chances to be retained by them.  If you know they are going through a goal scoring drought and it is affecting them mentally, text them a youtube clip of Steven Stamkos highlights.  This concept can be applied to school, relationships, family and much more. 

Believe it or not, on-ice ability is far from the most important ingredient in your team's success.  Off-Ice training, strength/conditioning/recovery, and systems play are all critical components.  Yet, oftentimes, the mental toughness of your individuals and your group will play the largest role in determining your teams success.

Andrew Trimble

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas

Here are some Holiday Gift Ideas for the Hockey Enthusiast in your Life!

1) Hockey Books-  Some of my favorites include:
* GRETZKY- by Rick Reilly
* Hockey Tough- by Saul Miller
* Laura Stamm's Powerskating System
* Made in America, the Chris Chelios Story- Chris Chelios with Kevin Allen

2) Hockey Shot Extreme Radar-  I have been using this at Skill Sessions and my clinics and the kids love it!

3) Bosu Balls-  These balance and strength training aids are great for hockey players and can be used for a variety of exercises to increase balance, coordination and explosiveness.

4) Hockey Trading Cards-  Like most kids from the 1980's I collected sports cards as a kid, and hockey cards make a great stocking stuffer.  Kids learn about their favorite players, look at stats, and become more engaged in the pro game.  Upper Deck and Fleer still make cards, and these can be purchase at most WalMarts.

5) EBAY...  search ebay and find great deals on used jerseys.  It's amazing what people sell, and you can get jerseys from all over the world!

6) Home School Hockey DVD by Championship Productions.  I developed this last summer (2013) and am very proud of the information and production quality.  Get details on how to improve your game with just the materials available to you in your own backyard.
* Driveway Drills
* Cardio Conditioning
* Strength Training
* Synthetic Ice Drills
* Video Analysis