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‘Icing’ on the cake

Ice Station Valencia records another successful youth hockey camp

Posted: August 7, 2008 7:08 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Dozens of area kids were able to receive valuable instruction on the game as well as meet several NHL players.

The booming voice of junior hockey coach Chris Hartly filled the hockey rink Thursday afternoon at Ice Station Valencia.

With 35 players ready to run drills the full length of the ice, Hartly shouted his commands.

"I want to see you do things the right way! Control your stick, control your hands!"

In the afternoon session of the Easton Sports Pro Peformance Hockey Academy, players ages 8 to 15 honed their shooting, stick-handling and skating skills. The camp concludes today.

"They've come a long way," Hartly said. "There were some guys who could barely skate at the beginning of the week who are motoring around now, There were kids who could barely get the puck off the ice, they're lifting it off their stick and shooting it off the glass."

In the Thursday morning session, Anaheim Ducks veteran Matthieu Schneider and Edmonton Oilers Sheldon Souray, both defensemen in the National Hockey League, showed some of the players the ropes.

"The pros came out to help, which is really cool," said Mark Becica, a 12-year-old goalie from Santa Clarita.
"They'll tell you how far they came. They'll help us with what we needed to improve on. He (Matthieu) is a fun guy. He really encourages everyone."

Becica was one of three goalies in the camp. He even had a chance to face Schneider in a scrimmage.

"They sort of scared me," Becica added. "They shoot pretty hard sometimes."

Schneider is a 20-year NHL veteran, two-time All-Star defenseman and Stanley Cup Champion with the 1993 Montreal Canadiens (the club that defeated the Los Angeles Kings in five games).

Larry Brueyere is the Hockey Director at Ice Station Valencia. He was on the ice along with several instructors teaching young pucksters how to shoot, skate and handle the puck.

"This is huge for these kids," Brueyre said. "To me, a good test for a camp is that the kids coming here Monday are still coming back Thursday and (today)."

On Monday there were skating drills, Tuesday, passing drills, Wednesday was stick handling day and Thursday focused on shooting. Today is a recap and games with Schneider and the instructors.

Anaheim player Ryan Getzlaf, who led the Ducks with 82 points, was at Ice Station Valencia on Monday.

The athlete who won the Stanley Cup in 2007 showed the players how to protect the puck.

According to parent Ray Diehr, the camp had a positive impact on his son, "The good thing is that they (the students) are skating against kids their own ages."


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