Tag Archives: memories

Flames 16U Take Bronze at Nationals

Recently the Manchester Flames sent a 16U Tier II hockey team to the 2016 Toyota-USA Hockey Youth Nationals in Wayne, NJ. The tournament ran from March 31 – April 4 in multiple arenas. The Flames went 4-0 in the Tier II State Playoffs back in November to earn their bid to Nationals. The team representing New Hampshire, and the Manchester Flames organization, is listed here in hopes of bringing some attention to the kids, the coaches, and the parents, coming together to accomplish so much.

 

#/ Player/ School
1 Keenan Alnahas-Central
2 Jack Compos-Central
5 Kyle Greer-Bedford
6 Patrick Goren-Memorial
7 Tim Spencer-Bedford
8 Noah Charron-Goffstown
9 Bowen Bilodeau-Central
11 Erik Voloshin-Bedford
15 Zachary Bayer-Bedford
18 Ryan Sullivan-Memorial
22 Ryan Huppe-Trinity
26 Nathan Musgrave-Bedford
31 David Guimont-Bedford
34 Kevin Anderson-Bishop Brady
49 Phillip Tsoukalas-Windham
83 Colin Voloshin-Bedford
88 Zack Rice-Bedford
91 Jacob Tremblay-Pembroke-Campbell
99 Jack McDonough-Bedford
Head Coach: Troy Spencer
Asst. Coach: Mike Bayer
Asst. Coach: Chris Platek

16U Team 2016

(Photo by Goren) (c) Carmo Photography 2016

I wasn’t in NJ to see any of the games but I did see updates from several parents involved with this team. I put this together simply to bring attention to these kids. The vast majority of kids playing sports may never even qualify to play in the their own State’s tournament for whatever sport they compete in. Then, to win a State Championship happens to fewer still. Then of course, you add in a trip to Nationals, and well, that’s something you carry with you for the rest of your life. That’s awesome! Congratulations!

 

See, last year (2015), this team (several of the same players) also went to Nationals, out in Salt Lake City, Utah. They played 3 games and lost all three of them. They were outscored 16-0 in the games, losing to teams from Tennessee, Arizona, and Utah. Regardless of the results, I’d bet that any of these competitors would admit they were better for having played that competition, win or lose.

 

Fast forward to this past week. The Flames traveled to Wayne, NJ to play at the Nationals, again. This year was different. Last year’s adversity may have played a part in the motivation to get better. Better they were.16U logo

In the Flames first game, they battled a team from Wyoming. The Flames won the first period, 3-1, before being outscored 3-1 themselves in the middle period. This game turned into an epic battle.

 

The Flames actually fell behind 1-0 before Eric Voloshin scored on the power play with an assist from Zack Bayer. A couple of minutes later, Colin Voloshin scored an even-strength goal from Jack McDonough to give the Flames a 2-1 lead. With just 89 seconds left in the period, Zack Bayer scored on the power play, the favor returned with an assist to Eric Voloshin.

 

In the second period, Wyoming turned up the heat, scoring three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead. Then, with less than a minute to play in the period, Goffstown’s Noah Charron scored an even strength goal to tie the game at 4-4.

 

The final period was intense, and Wyoming scored first when Hunter Peterson (who would lead the tournament in goals, with 12) scored his third goal of the game to give them a 5-4 lead with less than 7 minutes to play. With just 59 seconds remaining, New Boston’s Kevin Anderson (Bishop Brady) scored the game-tying goal with an assist going to Phillip Tsoukalas. Regulation time would end in a 5-5 tie. After a 5-minute overtime period in which neither team scored, the game would be decided in a shootout.Flames

The shootout lineup went something like this, Noah Charron, Jack McDonough, Eric Voloshin, and Zack Bayer. Either way, the Flames won the shootout and took game one, 6-5. Keenan Alnahas played 56 minutes in net, turning away 19 of 24 shots, while the Flames pounded Nils Huot in net for Wyoming with 40 shots.

 

Less than 24 hours later, the Flames were back on the ice to play the Nebraska champs. This game was quite different from the opener where offense ruled, and few penalties were called. The Flames were called for 8 minor penalties in this game (with no penalties called in the 3rd period), but somehow kept Nebraska from scoring with the man advantage, as they went 0-7 on the power play. After one period, the score was 1-1. After two periods, the score was 2-2.

 

Nebraska scored first, late in the opening period, but Manchester answered with a goal of their own, just 90 seconds later. Colin Voloshin scored the goal with an assist going to Ryan Sullivan. Early in the second period, the Flames went up 2-1 when Zack Bayer scored from Eric Voloshin. Nebraska would tie the game a few minutes later.

 

In the 3rd period, the Flames would get a goal from Colin Voloshin with just 3:17 left in the game. The lone assist went to Kevin Anderson. The New Hampshire State Champs would pepper Nebraska goaltender, Brodie Bednarz, with 48 shots before being pulled for the extra attacker. There were only 56 seconds left on the clock when Kyle Greer would score an empty net goal to seal the Flames 4-2 victory. Assists on the final goal went to Jack McDonough and Eric Voloshin. David Guimont was excellent in net for the Flames, stopping 25 of 27 shots he faced.

 

Game three saw the Manchester Flames play the Oklahoma City Oil Kings, and this game was flat, down and dirty. This game would feature 14 power plays, 34 minutes in penalties, headshots, missed calls, and 13 total penalties that were called (9 on the Flames).

 

Oklahoma would jump out to a 4-1 lead in the first 24 minutes of the game. Each game was played in three, 17-minute periods, and a 5-minute overtime if needed. The second half of this game, especially the final period, saw the Flames stand up for themselves and be counted. The lone Flames goal in the first two periods, came when Eric Voloshin scored on a nice play from Zack Bayer and Colin Voloshin on the power play.

 

In the 3rd period, the Flames were literally on fire. They scored two goals and cut the deficit to 4-3 with half a period to play. Eric Voloshin scored an even-strength goal that was unassisted. Then, Zack Rice scored a goal set up by Ryan Huppe and Tim Spencer. After cutting the lead to one goal, the Flames were whistled for four consecutive penalties, and couldn’t overcome the disadvantages to score another goal. Finally, on the power play, Oklahoma scored on a power play with 20 seconds left to win 5-3. The Flames split the goaltending duties in this game with, David Guimont playing 23:51 and allowing 4 goals, while Keenan Alnahas played 27:09, allowing 1 goal. Apparently nobody kept track of shots on goal in this game so I will assume that the Flames goaltenders were awesome and saved a lot of shots.

Screenshot 2016-04-07 at 9.38.16 AM

The game against Oklahoma was a physical battle, and it was mentally draining as well. Despite the loss, the Flames qualified for the Playoff Bracket, making the final four.

 

As the pairings would have it, the Flames would open the playoffs against the team from Wyoming. Manchester would fail to get any continuity going in this game and ultimately lose 5-0. The game was full of penalties (12) and totaled 40 minutes in penalties, including misconduct penalties to both sides. The teams would combine to go 0-for-10 on power plays. Keenan Alnahas played 17:00 (one period) in net, allowing 2 goals on 6 shots. David Guimont played 34:00 (two periods) in goal, allowing 3 goals on 24 shots. The Flames would get 21 shots on Nils Huot in net, but none would get by him. Wyoming would go on to win the Championship, beating Oklahoma 4-2 in the finals. The Flames would end up taking the Bronze medal, finishing in 3rd place.
Only one team every year gets to end their season and post-season with a win in any given level of play. That’s very difficult to achieve, and people lose sight of the teams (everyone else) that doesn’t win their final game of the season, or even qualify for post-season play. This is where I like to turn things to reverse and realize how many teams started play at any given level, way back at the beginning of the season. Then the funnel gets smaller, and fewer teams qualify for local playoffs, and then only one team wins at that level. Next thing you know, there are just a few teams playing at Regionals, Sectionals, Nationals, or whatever it may be. To know that a team made it that far, to play with the final teams competing at all, is pretty awesome. To also realize that it took everyone on the roster to get there, is even more impressive. Then to place, to earn a medal in the final rounds of competition, well that’s something to hold dear because so few get to apply their skills in such rarefied air. Congratulations to the Flames 16U team, to their coaches, the families, and the organization. Remember though, chances are, none of us would be talking about Wayne, NJ and Nationals were it not for the kids. It’s all about the kids.

USA Hockey

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Rideau Canal Skate – 3 Years Ago Today

Skating the Rideau Canal 3 years ago today. Wind chills were below zero, but we had to get a skate in before heading back to the US.

Skating the Rideau Canal 3 years ago today. Wind chills were below zero, but we had to get a skate in before heading back to the US.

Smaller World

Jo

Sometimes, actually, often times I stop and think about how much we impact other people’s lives. In this case I take my mind back in time to recall, and to feel again as I felt before. To capture thoughts, memories, and feelings from a distant life I lived.

Once upon a time we persevere through our daily lives to show up at some place of work. We have our lives, our families, our schedules, our stuff. Yet, we show up and do our jobs day after day. Each of those days we interact with others. Others who are not wholly different from ourselves. Others who bring their own version of diversity to the workplace each day.

Hour upon hour, shift by shift, week by week, we allow our lives to be impacted in some way by these others while we have the same effect on them. Some we know better, beyond the layers on the outside. Some we know only by what we see. Either way, there is impact on one another.

Jobs change. Careers run in all directions. And dreams take us on countless pursuits. Then maybe the little world we knew for all of those hours, shifts, weeks, and more; where any of us could have been dinner time conversational fodder at home for any one of our post-work meals; it all changes. What doesn’t change though, is the effect we had, felt, and shared.

We came together to get a job done while pursuing our own lives. We overlapped only as we allowed. And that was good. As it should be.

Then one who was near and dear for so many hours a week. One you shared work-space with for so many weeks over so many years. One is gone. Sadly, this one left this huge, intimidating world. Saddened even more deeply by this loss, this one who left us was as much a part of our closed in, working comfortably, space that we all helped create. This one punched their ticket everyday, as we all did, working toward a common goal along side each of us.

And then it hits you; hits you hard. Sitting here wishing there was one more chance to talk, to listen, to impact, to be. That small work world that we once shared has yet smaller become. Even though that work-time and work-setting had long since disappeared, the characters from that story still had the memories and friendships to share with one another on a whim. Now we have lost this one. The cast is smaller. Our little world is smaller. The huge world is now a smaller world. Today I’m deeply saddened to know that we lost this one.

Your Marquee

Maybe put on a song you like, one that brings you back. A song that ties to something bigger than just you, and only now. Float back in time, read along with me, maybe it relates. Just a poem here that I had to get out of my brain tonight. Maybe this is a song, I don’t know. I have cousins much better at this than I. Have at it boys! Just know there’s passion here, and the feeling cuts deep enough for this meager collection of words to spill out. Enjoy. What’s on your marquee?

 

The motion picture running in your mind is only for you to see.
The picture’s familiar, remember? Your name’s on the marquee.

Physically, you’re restrained, but it’s not all body, more the mind.
The will to seek, pursue, and enjoy has been lost for another to find.

Pause for a moment and get outside that zone, inverted spiral.
You taught me that here on earth, adversity follows trial.

Just STOP! Listen please, there’s never a time when we cannot learn.
Words deserve thought, even though it may be your turn.

The smile might be tied to something long ago yet time marches still.
An open mind knows there’s countless things containing a thrill.

Yes, the movie in your mind is only for you to see, you told me.
The picture’s familiar, remember? Your name’s on the marquee.

There’s been trouble along the way, but whose not there with you?
Even then is it about what’s done, or can it be that you wish to do?

Reflect if you must, find your place, and expand the zone.
Even when you close your eyes, you’re never really alone.

If the answer’s not your desire, then ask again, a different way.
Look around, maybe it’s time you’re the rock to lean on today.

Smile, let the Light wash over you, ponder not that which is ill.
An open mind knows there’s countless things containing a thrill.

The motion picture running in your mind is only for you to see.
The picture’s familiar, remember? Your name’s on the marquee.

Yes, the movie in your mind is only for you to see, you told me.
The picture’s familiar, remember? Your name’s on the marquee.

If I could I’d go back and walk with you there, to see how it would be.
This is your matinée, remember? Your name’s on the marquee.

The Hug

May 20, 2013

Maybe it’s just me, but while I was growing up, I guess I never really gave any thought to the fact that my heroes and I would ever be adults at the same time. Of course, back then, I didn’t exactly think of my role models or my relatives as heroes either. Quite honestly, I didn’t understand myself or my truest values very well either. I guess there are a couple of points I should get to. One, in my eyes, I’m still just a kid compared to my parents, and to my aunts and uncles. Two, many of these people are, or were, my heroes.

I wrote these words while lying in a hall bed at my mother’s double cousin’s house. I was in town for the calling hours and funeral of my Aunt Janette. After driving six hours, enjoying dinner with family, going to the calling hours and visiting with family, I laid down to crash. But before sleep found me, I reached for these words and recorded them, raw and real.

Tonight, I saw pictures that brought me back to another time, visually, and ultimately in my mind I was taken back to a whole different era. Also tonight, one of my, bigger than life, heroes was standing right in front of me. I was waiting in line to visit with him, and his family, during calling hours for my Aunt Janette, his wife of 45 years, who had passed away three days prior. And even though I would put my Uncle Lloyd in the “hugs aren’t absolutely necessary, a handshake will do” category, I had long since decided that I was going to give him a big, warm hug upon my chance to be face to face with him. A big hug, that’s exactly what I was going to do. You might say, okay, big deal. Or maybe you’d even ask why a hug at all. I’ll explain. I wanted to hug my Uncle Lloyd and hold him for a moment, or two, to let him know how much he and Aunt Janette meant and always will mean to me. I wanted to hug him because here stood this man, no longer with his best friend at his side, but still greeting all who approached him in the best way he knew how, as his wife would also have done. I wanted to hug him because I love him. I wanted to hug him because I was hoping the genuine action itself would speak the volumes that my tear-soaked face, and emotionally overwhelmed, cracking, voice was not going to be able to get the words out. I wanted to hug him because he looked like he needed one, and I felt I did too. I wanted to hug him out of pure respect. I wanted to hug him because, while a handshake with a man of his caliber still means an awful lot, a hug would be unforgettable. I wanted to hug him in hopes that in some out-of-this-world way I could give him strength, support, encouragement, energy, stability, and reinforcement during such a difficult time. So, finally, I faced him, just he and I, suddenly alone in this little sliver of space, among the many in that sanctuary, and I gave my Uncle Lloyd a big hug. He said some things to me that I hope I never forget, we cried, and my voice worked just as poorly as I thought it would.

Pictures I saw at the front of the church, along the entrance to the sanctuary, and out in the hall took me down my own memory lane. I saw again, the beauty of my aunt and how it was always present where ever she was. I also saw the fit, strong, fearless, young man who my uncle was as I first remember him. Present too in those pictures, in a person who was so comfortable in his own skin, was the gleam of youthful, good-natured, mischievousness in his eyes. There’s more to the memories and visions that swirl through my mind when I think on those times, those days, those visits, and those interactions with versions of these same people before me tonight, but I will save them for another time. In the church, before the masses that gathered to share memories, condolences, and prayers, the gleam was elsewhere, and the beauty was in a better place. So, I just tucked those memories away and carried on with the evening. I visited. I cried. I hugged family. I heard stories. I sat, seeking the comfort found in numbers, among my aunts, my cousins, my second-double cousins, and the others somehow related but beyond my scope of properly defining their relations with appropriate lineage terminology.

May 22, 2013

Fast-forwarding through several hours, after sleep, after breakfast, after a visit to the farmlands, after the service, and even after the committal, I was standing out behind The People’s Church next to the burial plot as the Pastor finished the proceedings in prayer. I had family all around me, an aunt on my left arm, and aunt on my right arm, and my mother and my uncle directly in front of me. The prayer ended and I lifted my bowed head and opened my watery eyes. I looked around and for a second or two those who had gathered did not move. Silence prevailed and movement was scarce. Then, as if put in motion by something greater than himself, my Uncle Lloyd turned and just started greeting the dozens of family members and friends who had gathered throughout the little cemetery. He went to every single person. I stood among my aunts, cousins, and second-double cousins, and quietly, I waited.

Finally, my Uncle Lloyd approached me. We stood face-to-face on the soft, uneven, grass of the rain-soaked hillside. Again, every one else seemed to disappear and I heard no other sounds. Standing before me was this man who I revered more than he knows. Actually, maybe only my mother would have an idea as to how much he means to me. This day, there was no doubt, and we both welcomed the opportunity to share a manly hug. I said the only words I could say before emotions rendered my voice-box useless, “I love you.” He hugged me and said a few words to me that I will hold to myself. Simple words, simply stated, a few times, and they meant more to me than all the words I could ever write in description of knowing him for my entire life, right through to that moment. We parted and he made his way up the gradual slope toward the church and another gathering that I will also, some day describe. For now, I will just sit and treasure these moments too. Again, I bow my head and say a prayer. A prayer for him, a prayer for me, and a memory made between a couple of hugs. Amen.

A look ahead

Looking ahead to tomorrow I will have a Veteran’s Day themed post. I have thought on this often over the years, and I hope you will enjoy it. I have always liked the Veteran’s Day holiday since I was a kid, primarily because I don’t want those folks ever to be forgotten. We take so many things for granted, our military certainly should not be one of those things.

Thanksgiving is just two weeks from today! It’s hard to believe it’s that time of the year again. 6.5 weeks to Christmas, 7.5 weeks to the New Year. It flies by! I really do enjoy the weeks starting with Thanksgiving and running through New Year’s Day. I guess it’s because I had so much time with family over those weeks while growing up. I certainly have a lot of memories surrounding that time frame. I am sure I will be sharing some memories of the Holidays with you all over the next several weeks. My favorite time of the year.

I leave you with a question. Which of these is your favorite Holiday?