Volume 6 Issue 7 | August 2021
Warrior Families,
As we approach tryouts next week, we'd like to share with our players and parents some lessons and thoughts.

As a kid I was “cut” from every sport I played, usually more than once. I was either the worst kid on the “A” team, or the best on the “B” team. My best experiences came from being on the lower team. I was captain, leading scorer, and played in every situation on the B team….or I spent most of every game getting splinters sitting on the bench on the A team. It was a different time back then. Things happen for a reason, but looking back these were usually the right decisions.

Please know our coaches, Chris and Charlie, will do their best to make the best decisions for the club, the team, and your child. Hockey is not track, swimming, or golf where scores and times can determine decisions. Hockey is a different sport and coaches see different things in different kids, and none of us are perfect.

The article below is about a man named Ralph Cox. He could be a plumber, a banker, or a lawyer. In this case, he was a hockey player, a great hockey player that was the last man cut from the 1980 Miracle on Ice team that won the Gold medal in Lake Placid. He was cut by the late great Herb Brooks, who himself was the last man cut from the 1960 U.S. Olympic team that won Gold in Squaw Valley. This is a story of overcoming adversity and turning it into a positive. We hope you find it interesting and valuable.

Tom Gullen
WHC Executive Director
The Men Who Missed the Miracle on Ice
By Henry Bushnell - Herb Brooks was pacing. Slowly, softly, with care but unease. On a frigid Minneapolis morning, he was alone in a hotel banquet hall. Round tables and chairs lined the room. Caterers prepared a feast. A celebration neared. And yet Brooks wore distress on his taut Minnesotan face. Because before long, the empty hall would fill. U.S. hockey officials would file in. Local business leaders would follow. And Brooks, the head coach, would present to them the 20 amateurs he’d be taking to Lake Placid for the 1980 Olympics. The 20 who for months had skated together until their quads shook and their glutes burned. Who’d traveled the world and bled together. Who’d downed beers and suffered together, all in their quest to make the team. Soon, they’d lock up their apartments, pile into cars and head to the banquet hall for their sendoff. Then they’d board a plane to begin final preparations for the Olympics. They buzzed with excitement. The problem for Brooks: There weren’t 20 of them. Hours before the announcement, there were 22.
Photo credit: Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports illustration
Please take the time to read the article Tom provided, as well as his experiences as a player. Like Tom, I started slowly at the younger ages and then my development took off around Pee Wee. Everyone's development path is different. I had hundreds of teammates throughout my hockey career and the teammate that went the furthest (NHL) had never played on an "A" (or 1) team his entire youth. He got completely cut from his high school (including Junior Varsity)!!! Luckily, he stuck with it and slowly got better. He transferred to a private high school where his development started to excel. Even as a Senior, he still had 3 defenseman that were better and more highly touted on his own team. Again, he kept working hard and eventually turned his hard work into a 10-year NHL career. Not too shabby for someone that never played on a ‘1 team’. Nobody else who beat him out for those youth/high school teams made it to the NHL!  
One of the coaches who played a great role in Andrew Alberts development, was also my high school coach turned mentor. His name is Jack Blatherwick, and prior to coaching high school hockey, Jack was part of the 1980 Miracle on Ice team and worked for multiple NHL teams). I owe a great deal of my knowledge to Jack. Please read Six Keys to Improve Skating Speed and Efficiency, an article Jack wrote on how to become a better skater. 

See you at the rink!

Chris Wickersham
WHC Hockey Director
As a club, there are 3 (well, maybe 4) main points I'd like us to take away from Six Keys to Improve Skating Speed and Efficiency. Click button below to read.

  • September 12: Optional House League Preseason Clinic Begins (all age levels: Minor Mites through Pee Wee).
  • September 12: Bantam House League Evaluations/Season Begins
  • September 25/26: Minor Mite, Mite, Squirt and Pee Wee House Evaluations
We are please to announce our Travel Coaching Slate and excited about great things to come this season!
Mite 1
Ryan Davlantes | Lewis Simon Asst.

Mite 2
Lewis Simon | Jonathan Morrison Asst.

Mite 3
Ryan Davlantes

Mite 4
Daniel Vietinghoff | Bob Wilson Asst.

Mite 5
Jonathan Morrison
Squirt 1
Ricky Lee | Sam Berman Asst.

Squirt 2
Charlie Widmar

Squirt 3
Freddy Johnson

Squirt 4
John & Joe Jablonski
Pee Wee 1
Charlie Widmar
Bo Murray & Matt Gavula Asst.

Pee Wee 2
Jimmy Davis

Pee Wee 3
Michael Vail | Jon Weiser Asst.

Pee Wee 4
Bantam 1
Jason Hawkins | Ryan Pecka Asst.

Bantam 2
Aaron Blaker

Bantam 3
Daniel Chang

Chris Wickersham         Andy McNerney
Hockey Director           Travel Director

AHAI, Athletico and Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush are happy to announce the 11th year of the "A Step aHead" program. We will continue to provide education on concussion and other health and safety issues relevant to youth hockey. Please stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available. The baseline ImPACT testing will be available at affiliated Athletico clinics for a discounted rate of $15 per baseline assessment now through November 30, 2021.