USA Junior Hockey Magazine — August 2013
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New Jersey Titans/Florida Eels/Northern Jr. Cyclones
Steve Stein And Joshua Boyd

Players with different goals flock to Titans

Two of the latest New Jersey Junior Titans signings come from different ends of the junior hockey spectrum.

Forward Mac howey is a 1993-born player from Grosse Ile, Mich., with one year of junior eligibility remaining. This is his final push to play college hockey.

Defenseman trey Kerns is a 1995- born player from Phoenix, Ariz. With three years of junior eligibility, he hopes he’s just starting to ascend the ladder to hockey at the collegiate level.

Howey last played for the Kanata (Ont.) Stallions in the Central Canada Hockey League. He was steered toward the Junior Titans by Mike Pilon from the Endeavor Sports Group.

“We got a chance to look at Mac on the ice and talk to him during an open camp we had in April,” said Junior Titans assistant coach randy Walker. “He’s a very mature kid with great grades, Ivy League-caliber grades.”

As for hockey, Howey is a stocky 5-foot- 10-inch, 180-pound power forward who Walker projects will be a top-six player on the Junior Titans in minutes on the ice.

“He isn’t a sniper. He’ll create chances,” Walker said. “He protects the puck, creates space on the wall, is a good stick-handler, two-way player and a smart player. He knows how to get open.”

Walker thinks Howey will be an excellent role model for his younger teammates who want to play college hockey.

“They’ll be able to watch him and see what’s he’s done to get to this point and what he’s doing this season,” he said.

Kerns (6-2, 175) last traveled across the country to play for the Portland Junior Pirates in the former Empire Hockey League.

Junior Titans coaches liked what they saw when Kerns participated in a regional camp for the Amarillo Bulls of the North American Hockey League held at the Junior Titans’ arena in Howell, N.J.

“Trey is a physical ‘D,’” Walker said. “He’ll clear the crease. He’s a left-handed shot, and that also was an appeal for us. We have an abundance of right-hand shots in our defense.”

Walker said Kerns also is mobile, has good lateral movement and passes well.

“He’s a humble, character kid,” he said. “He’s a quiet guy who is ready to put the necessary work in. He’s playing on the East Coast because that’s where he wants to play college hockey and this (playing for the Junior Titans in the Eastern Hockey League) is his best chance to be noticed.”

The Junior Titans will open training camp Aug. 19 for the 2013-2014 season at their new home, Middletown (N.J.) Ice World.

Eels bring in more than 30 new players

Florida Eels general manager frank scarpaci and his coaching staff of Jason Bloomingburg (United States Premier Hockey League Elite) and frankie scarpaci (USPHL Empire) are very welltraveled.

The Eels scouted at 12 different showcases, attended numerous North American League camps and entered six teams with more than 120 different prospects at various venues in search of recruits for the upcoming USPHL seasons.

In addition, the Eels employed the services of numerous professional scouts to help augment their scouting of thousands of players across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

As a result, the Eels are bringing in more than 30 new players for its two junior teams, in addition to 20 returning players.

“We moved a number of players to NCAA colleges, the NAHL and the Quebec Major Junior League, so we have some key spots to fill,” said Frank Scarpaci.

Scarpaci was not only looking for skilled people, but good people.

“Our focus in recruitment of new players has not been simply based on whether players have talent,” said Scarpaci. “They must have a certain skill set, but with all of the problems we are witnessing in sports today, the Eels continue to recruit only players who possess the highest moral character. By a similar margin the coaches and scouts sought out players who share our policy of having players who have the strongest work ethic.”

Scarpaci said the Eels fish out players who are problems in the locker room or otherwise off the ice.

“The guys we want must have an inner fiber to win and train like warriors,” said Scarpaci. “Equally important, we want players with strong academics. The operative word in college hockey is college. If a player is not a student and college-bound, then we won’t sign him.”

From Florida come new recruits alec Vyverberg, Jordan Court, nick Cafone, trey nunnik and Clayton Boyd. Coloradoans new to the team include John drummond, Bill Boberg and dylan Kaufman.

The Texans at camp will be Matt Moore, hank Bill, Michael Kobus and Zack forest. Gage downing and Caleb diesel come in from Pennsylvania. Other newcomers include stosh Mroz (Oregon), nick guidry (Massachusetts), dan Condon (Nebraska), douglas aften and robert henriksson (Sweden), sergey ilmenev (Russia) and Connor annett (Canada).

“This is a partial list of the fruits of our long travel and tremendous scouting efforts,” Scarpaci said, in late July. “We have about 10 more high-level players expected to sign in a few days.”

Cyclones setting high standard with offerings

Joining the Northern Junior Cyclones, a hockey player is in for as full an experience as there is offered in junior hockey.

And it’s all on one bill – the Cyclones include all of their amenities in the tuition, with no additional fees for travel, equipment or any such thing.

First, a player is welcomed into a large family – the Cyclones feature the full gamut of youth teams, including a large girls program. On top of it all are the two junior teams (in the Eastern Hockey League and Metropolitan Junior Hockey League) and a U16 full-season junior development team.

Players also step into a two-sheet arena that belongs to the team. Brothers Bill flanagan and Joe flanagan and their business partner Wes dolloff are the owners of the Cyclones and Cyclones Arena in Hudson, N.H.

Both rinks at Cyclones Arena are NHL regulation size 200-feet-by-85-feet. The Cyclones have their own private locker room at the arena. There is also a team workout facility at Cyclones Arena, which was built in 2004 and is coming up on its ninth season.

In addition to the off-ice training facility at Cyclones Arena, the team also takes part in weekly spinning classes at the YMCA in Woburn, Mass.

Junior players skate two hours a day from Tuesday through Thursday, with an additional light pre-game skate on Friday game days. Players have the option to use the ice for extra time after practice ends.

“The extra ice time is key, as we own the rink,” said general manager Brandon Barnard.

One night per week, Junior Cyclones players will assist at Cyclones youth practices.

Players from beyond the local area billet mainly with the family of Cyclones youth players to create a connection between players at different levels of this vast program.

The team has its own certified athletic trainer for home games and at showcases, sean roach, of Danvers, Mass.

The Cyclones are also joining the entire Eastern Hockey League in working with Educate Athletes, a program that helps prepare student-athletes for entering, and then succeeding in, college academics. This is a brand-new, and unique, initiative by the EHL and its implementation by the Cyclones is currently in the works.

The Cyclones have an equipment deal through its official supplier, TSR Hockey, for Bauer brand equipment. Cyclones junior players get a full package including gloves, helmets and pant shells, as well as apparel such as windsuits, sweatsuits, shorts, T-shirts and hats – again, all included in the tuition. TSR Hockey also gives the team a discount on large stick orders.
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