The ASHI Masters USA Men’s national teams, USA and DC respectfully, will attend their final camp from April 29th – May 1st in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada. The camp will take place at the Haig Bowl Arena hosted by Ballhockey.com, and will be streamed live for your viewing pleasure. The camp format will have drill time and a round robin game format against two national power Canadian masters teams. In addition, USA and DC will sqare off against each other in their final scrimmage before the International Street Hockey Federations Masters World Championships to be held June 1-5th in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The teams make their final push to prepare for a Gold Medal in the lion’s den per say. When General Manager Jamie Cooke was asked why he is taking the teams North for final preparations his answer was, “One of the many things I took away from Tamp in 2014 was that no one was better conditioned and also, we had the skill to match the Canadians and Europeans. However we were not prepared for the different zones and traps they run. To go North gives us an opportunity to see these types of strategies in a game situation before we get to Worlds”.
Along with the final camp there have been some personnel changes. Dracut, MA native Lee Nogler is moving from Team USA to Team DC to fill an assistant captain’s position to help lead DC to Gold. Lee was a dominant force in 2014 and although was selected to play for Team USA in 2016, he agreed to the move for the good of the program as there have been a few departures on the DC team for personal reasons and injuries. As any GM will tell you, every team loses a few guys before the tournament and additions and adjustments are part of planning and strategy. Additionally, the DC team has added some terrific players:
Defensemen Dave Reaser, 2014 Team DC Member
Forward Brian Pollinger, 2014 Team DC Member
Forward Angelo Terrana, 2014 Team DC Member
Forward Joe Marcotte, Hudson, NH
Team DC Assistant Coach Scotty Payne has taken on the additional role as the 3rd goaltender and will backup starters Brian Sullivan & Bill Jacques.
Going in the other direction, Goaltender Mike Walker has been moved from Team DC to Team USA to join Mike Zambon & Al Pater as the teams’ goaltenders after Tony Carideo suffered an unfortunate injury that will keep him out of the tournament.
Team DC Assistant Coach Chris Bokuniewicz had this to say about the changes “Injuries and personal life matters are things that any team will have to deal with at any level. You can’t let it be a distraction and certainly this team hasn’t let it distract them. All the new additions have had a chance to practice and play with the team and they immediately made a positive impact. The team is very excited to get to Niagra and put the final touches on our preparations for Banff. Both Team USA and Team DC are loaded with talented players who know what it takes to win. The Niagra camp will be a great experience for us to play together and continue bonding as a team. We have high expectations for Banff and I am certain that the players will be as ready as possible to put together a winning effort.”
The 2016 ISBHF Masters World Ball Hockey Championships takes place in Banff, Alberta June 1-6, 2016.