Herb Brooks Foundation & Minnesota Hockey Team Up to Train Top Youths

Herb Brooks said it best: “Great moments are born from great opportunities.” Larry Hendrickson and Skip Peltier of the Herb Brooks Foundation were living those exact words the day they sat with Barry Ford, Minnesota Hockey Executive Vice President of Operations, and Mike MacMillan, High Performance Program Director. You see it was the mission of Coach Brooks to train and train again and train again—and through that these opportunities will emerge.

July 6, 2010, this dream became a reality for 30 young 15-year-old boys who were invited to train with those who have gone before them. Coach Larry Hendrickson pulled a page out of Herb’s manual of coaching. You see in the State of Hockey there are players, and then there are these guys: Pat Westrum, Guy Gosselin, Justin Johnson, Scott Bell, Chris Brown, Scott Sandelin, Shjon Pjodein, Bob Motzko, Darby Hendrickson, Tom Chorske, Larry Olimb, Jeff Boeser, Bill Lechtner and Troy Jutting. Coach Hendrickson specifically chose instructors who had played their youth hockey in Minnesota.

Old School Approach
The idea of the camp was to go old school. With the rising cost of the game, we looked to make this camp affordable. In addition, we used host families to house players, allowing players to develop friendship that will last a life time! As only a hockey Mom could say it “For a small town kid to get to stay in a house in the cities and hang out with other guys was absolutely awesome! As you have stated—memories and friendships forever were created!”

The primary objective of the July 6–9 camp was to prepare these athletes for the experience they would soon have in Rochester, New York, at the USA Hockey National Summer Festival for 15-year-old boys. At the camp, these athletes were trained by the best hockey minds Minnesota has to offer. Each day started off with a skate from 9–11 am that included high speed skill and technological speed drills. A classroom session followed to help them understand how making good decisions beats self-defeating behaviors. The last skate of each day, a long one from 2–4:30 pm, stepped up the pace and had the players work in small areas to create scoring opportunities. Each day the development increased. In the end, 23 players advanced to the USA Hockey Summer Festival in Rochester, New York, July 16–23, 2010.

Unforgettable Experience
These young men represented communities from throughout Minnesota. If you see one of them at the grocery store, ask them about their experience. Just make sure you plan some time to listen to their response!
Mike MacMillan and Larry Hendrickson were the driving force of this camp and without their leadership this would have been a missed opportunity. As President Abraham Lincoln once stated “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” Congratulation to all who participated and good luck in the future!

Participants
o Gauge Ausmus, East Grand Forks
o Michael Brodzinski, Ham Lake
o Taylor Cammarata, Plymouth
o Tyler Cline, Blaine
o Ryan Daniels, Thief River Falls
o Devin Donohue, Cottage Grove
o John Dugas, North Oaks
o Nathan Erickson, Maple Grove
o Hudson Fasching, Burnsville
o Jordan Gross, Maple Grove
o Zachary Hartley, Minneapolis
o Blake Heinrich, Cambridge
o Karson Kuhlman, Esko
o Daniel Labosky, Edina
o Ryan Lundgren, Duluth
o Hunter Miska, North Branch
o TJ Moore, Edina
o Dylan Parker, Duluth
o Jack Pieruszewski, South St. Paul
o Neal Pionk, Hermantown
o Parker Reno, Edina
o Aaron Rouse, Buffalo
o James Schuldt, Minnetonka
o Andrew Scofield, Northfield
o Tyler Sheehy, Burnsville
o Connor Thie, Minnetonka
o Conner Valesano, Duluth
o Luke Voltin, Blaine

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Minnesota Hockey for providing this story.

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