Tag Archives: never forget

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

Never Forget

I am re-blogging this piece in remembrance of 9/11/01. I have added only this paragraph and have deleted nothing. Just the same sentiments in remembrance. The crisp, clear, clean, cool morning this morning reminds me very much of that fateful morning 11 years ago. 11 years ago today, heroes weren’t born, but rather emerged, as heroism was in so many who, through events beyond their control, were present and heroic when their fellow Americans needed them most. Never Forget.

This page is a place to more permanently keep this close at hand. On 9/11/11 I watched, I listened to, and read pieces on the 10 year remembrance of 9/11. I cried, I thought, I remembered, I swelled with pride, I felt a lot of emotions that day. That evening into the wee hours of the following morning I also wrote a piece in my style, my words, and I want it to be here, close at hand. There will be times when I will add to this page I am sure but this is where it starts for me. Never forget.

9/11 – Ten Years Later – God Bless the USA

Today, and every day really, I thank God that I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in the greatest country in the world. I am proud to be an American every day. Please God, continue to bless the USA, and may we honor and glorify you in all we do. There is goodness in all of us. We were created and born, morally aware. And, just as those who ran towards the unknown terror of 9/11 as to free those who needed help, so did our founding fathers brave the unknown in hopes of freedom for all. It’s the USA, “One Nation, under God”, made up of millions of people with tremendous resiliency, and free will to choose that we will not give up, while harboring a true responsibility to help one another (all of whom are created equal) in times of need. I feel, and I pray for those who lost loved ones or saw so much more than anyone should see 10 years ago today. May we never forget those who were innocently taken and those who have sacrificed so much.

I am in no way trying to be political here and I don’t always know where my thoughts may take me, so let’s find out. I pray that we, the USA (that’s each one of us), don’t lose sight of the spirit that was embraced in founding our great country. I hope that we don’t forget to fight for the freedoms that we have defended around the globe. We should be continually thankful for those who have literally battled on our behalf and knowingly risked the greatest asset; a human life, for their country, our country, the USA. We should be cognizant of our own behaviors that help pave the way for true freedom in the future and be wary of those self indulgences that provoke others to restrict our freedoms with red tape and political correctness. This country was founded on right and wrong, and there is nothing political about that which is right. Right is right. Right is morally justified, while politically correct is often times a choice to act in a manner that gets a desired outcome. If the desired outcome is not right than why be politically correct?

It was December of 1967 when my dad and mom drove over the border from Canada back into the USA just so I could be born in the USA. That may not mean as much now as it did then, but I am awfully proud to have been born in the United States of America. I love Canada dearly and cherish my Canadian family who are some of the greatest people I have ever met. Still, I thank you dad and mom for making that run to Caribou, Maine, USA, right before Christmas, on my behalf.

My favorite combination of colors is truly the red, white, and blue. My favorite song is “The Star Spangled Banner”. Our National Anthem being sung at various events and venues is the television I record most often. I get goose bumps every single time I hear it. I think of the words and the inspiration behind them in a time of uncertainty. Those words will be 197 years old this week, and I think of how many times those words have meant so much too so many people. Climatically our anthem gets to “Our flag was still there” and I think of our resiliency, I think of our free will and am reminded to be so careful with this precious gift. I truly do think of us as the land of the free and the home of the brave. This week I again connect this to 9/11 as there has been, and hopefully always will be an American flag flying at Ground Zero. I will also never forget those who were technically free to run, as thousands did, but instead, instinctively were brave as so many before them have been.

I offer a closing prayer for those who care to read it. With my head bowed, I thank you God for this great country of ours, and for the thousands upon thousands of brave men and women who have given their all to maintain our freedom and our independence. I pray that we don’t forget the sacrifices and struggles past and present, allowing our quality of life to be what it can be today. We have so very much to be thankful for. In a time when we seem to measure our life’s success by things we have accumulated, money we earn, or status we have attained; may we truly cherish the choices we have, the freedoms we share, and the right to put God and our families first. I pray that each of us make the time and the commitment to love and fellowship with friends and family. At the end of our days, it’s our family who will be there with us. The recollection of the choices we were able to make will ease our hearts and minds when our days here are short. It will be the freedoms we embraced, the risks we were willing and able to take, and the free will to forgive and make that which is wrong, right that will allow a smile on our lips as we breathe for the last time. Lord, I pray we wait not, for those days to think on these things, but to actively pursue them with all that we are, and all we can be. We know not what the future holds for any of us. Let us not be caught up in that uncertainty, but have faith in You, and the tremendous power we possess to be present now. May we serve you Lord each day, knowing that the time we invest in one another is truly what makes the world go round. Lord I thank you for your many blessings as there are too many to count. Our days are full of blessings that we often times don’t even take the time to notice or thank you for. Forgive us for our sins and may we learn from our mistakes, in doing so, setting an example for others to follow so that we all may be better off for it. Lord, I ask these things in your name. Amen.