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    Debunking Common Misconceptions at 8U

    By Michael Rand 01/26/2021, 10:00am AKST

    We’re more than a decade removed from USA Hockey’s introduction of the American Development Model – a program aimed at long-term development and quality coaching concepts – so there are fewer misconceptions about the ADM’s goals than there were at its outset in 2009.

    Some of the most common misconceptions at the 8U level still persist in some form, says Kenny Rausch, former NCAA champion and USA Hockey’s director of youth hockey. 

    ‘Not Real Hockey’

    Rausch says the misconception that comes to his mind “immediately” is that 8U isn’t “real hockey” because it’s not played on a full ice sheet per ADM recommendations.

    “People think it’s not real because it’s not full ice 5 on 5,” Rausch said. “But the reality is they’re making so many hockey plays that will certainly translate to the next levels.”

    Much of the questioning comes from well-intentioned former players who grew up on big ice sheets, he says.

    “I like to point out that when kids grow up on a lake or try to play pond hockey, it’s often covered in snow,” Rausch said. “Have you ever seen them shovel a 200 x 85 foot spot? No, they shovel a small area and play in a small area.”

    Those small areas are similar to what is promoted at 8U – and help replicate some of the “pond hockey” skills of some of the sport’s greatest all-time players. 

    The analytics prove it: 8U cross-ice hockey is a ripe environment for kids to learn creativity, decision-making, time and space, navigating through traffic and get lots of puck touches, all of which helps keep the kids engaged and having a blast.

    ‘Won’t Learn a Position’

    Rausch says another common misconception is that 8U players aren’t going to be taught how to play a position.

    In some ways, perhaps, that’s true. They won’t learn one position. They’ll essentially learn every position on the ice in a sport that is evolving to be, at times, position-less.

    “What we’re teaching with small areas is positioning and not just a position,” Rausch said. “Where you are in reference to the puck, your opponent, whatever the obstacles are, that’s how you develop hockey IQ so as players get older they can play any position and feel comfortable. Gone are the days where the left defenseman protects the net and only goes into the corner.”

    Indeed, Rausch mentions a conversation he had with the father of Rasmus Dahlin of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. Dahlin, a supreme puck mover who tallied 40 points in 59 games, didn’t become a full-time defenseman until the year before he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2018.

    “We see the game at the highest levels now where two defensemen would make a pass to each other below the (opposing team’s) goal line,” Rausch said. “Back in the day if even one defenseman was down there, mom and dad were screaming ‘get back!’”

    ‘Kids Will Get Bored’

    The final misconception that Rausch still deals with is adults fearing kids will get bored playing cross-ice hockey for long stretches.

    “They think, ‘he’s been playing cross-ice for three years he must be getting bored.’ However, as long as the environment is correct and it’s fun, they will never be bored. To me that’s a myth. It’s something we put in their heads,” Rausch said. “With our high school teams we do almost nothing but cross-ice and they don’t get bored. Left to their own devices a 7- or 8-year-old would probably play in that format.”

    Results Change Minds

    Rausch notes that there are far fewer misconceptions or objections than there were a decade ago. Parents, coaches and rink operators have come around.

    What ultimately changes minds is a combination of familiarity and results. European nations like Sweden have had great long-term success with some of the concepts of the ADM.

    Rausch says we are seeing that here in the U.S. as well.

    “We’re seeing some pretty high-end kids coming up. We’re seeing more kids stick with the sport because they’re having more fun in this environment at 8U. All those things are helping us,” Rausch said.

    Save Seawolf Hockey

    By webmaster 01/15/2021, 9:45am AKST

    The UAA hockey program is not only important to our university and its students but it has a significant impact on our community. The Seawolf hockey program and its players have contributed to the Anchorage community for the past 40 years. It has elevated the game of hockey in a town that prides itself on the sport and the generations of athletes that have played the game – whether on house teams, comp, pro or adult league.

    Save Seawolf Hockey Website:

    Save Seawolf Hockey ~ The Story

    2020-21 MAHA Raffle for 2 Round Trip Tickets to Hawaii

    By webmaster 12/28/2020, 11:00am AKST

    MAHA Families:

    MAHA is kicking off its 5th annual raffle for two round trip tickets to Hawaii*. This raffle is an effort to help cover some operating expenses but is primarily to help MAHA and MAHA-hosted players and parents with ice bills.

    Details of the raffle:

    • Tickets are $5.00 each, or 5 tickets for $20.00.
    • All outstanding tickets (sold and unsold), money, and ticket reconciliation sheets will need to be turned in on February 9, 2021. Player ice credits will be transferred to your team by the due date of your February ice bill.
    • The drawing will be held Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 6:30 PM at the Brett Memorial Ice Arena. You do not need to be present to win.
    • Mini-Mite (6U): Each player may sell up to 65 raffle tickets. The first $50.00 of ticket sales per player will go to MAHA, and any money earned beyond that will first be applied to their portion of the team party fund. Ice credit in excess of the player’s party fund will be carried into the next season not to exceed $200.00. Ice credits are not transferable to other players.
    • Mite (8U) and older: Each player may sell up to 100 raffle tickets. The first $50.00 of ticket sales per player will go to MAHA, and any money earned beyond that will be used to offset the player’s current and outstanding ice bill(s) ice bill(s) dollar for dollar, not to exceed $450.00. Ice credit in excess of the player’s ice bill will be carried into the next season. Ice credits are not transferable to other players.
    • 10U and older: The first $50.00 of ticket sales per player will go to MAHA, and any money earned beyond that will be applied dollar for dollar to current and outstanding ice bill(s) through the end of the current season. Additional ice credits will be carried into the next season. Ice credits are not transferable to other players.
    • There are a total of 5,000 tickets available for sale. No player will be issued more than 50 tickets at a time. Tickets are issued first come first serve. Contact your team’s Manager or Treasurer for tickets.
    • In the event a player registers with another association, the ice credits will transfer to the team they end up playing for.
    • For additional information, the contact information for the MAHA’s Gaming Coordinator is below:

    Ali Spealman
    Mat-Su Hockey Gaming Coordinator
    Mobile: (907) 230-9413

    * Some travel restrictions may apply.

    Stick Bandits

    Click for Link

    Custom order decals from with the MAHA logo and personalize with your player's name/number. 

    Custom Ordering Page

    Merchandise Includes: 

    • Stick Labels
    • Helmet Decals
    • Car Decals
    • Water Bottle Labels
    • Bag Tags

    Coaches/Managers - Team orders are accepted for any of the items above. 

    Each sticker is die-cut printed on an premium 3mm vinyl with adhesive backing.

    2020-21 Cash Calendar Drawing Results

    Date Amount Ticket No.
    Monday, November 9, 2020 $500 0873
    Tuesday, November 10, 2020 $125 2621
    Wednesday, November 11, 2020 $200 1648
    Thursday, November 12, 2020 $325 0592
    Friday, November 13, 2020 $150 0302
    Monday, November 16, 2020 $50 1398
    Tuesday, November 17, 2020 $125 0034
    Wednesday, November 18, 2020 $200 2334
    Thursday, November 19, 2020 $100 0298
    Friday, November 20, 2020 $150 1298
    Monday, November 23, 2020 $325 2613
    Tuesday, November 24, 2020 $275 2835
    Wednesday, November 25, 2020 $175 2635
    Thursday, November 26, 2020 $1,000 2104
    Friday, November 27, 2020 $525 0280
    Monday, November 30, 2020 $250 2760
    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 $275 2984
    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 $200 0407
    Thursday, December 3, 2020 $325 1599
    Friday, December 4, 2020 $150 1501
    Monday, December 7, 2020 $150 0084
    Tuesday, December 8, 2020 $325 1693
    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 $275 0507
    Thursday, December 10, 2020 $175 2934
    Friday, December 11, 2020 $275 1091
    Monday, December 14, 2020 $325 0882
    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 $275 1254
    Wednesday, December 16, 2020 $350 0766
    Thursday, December 17, 2020 $375 1271
    Friday, December 18, 2020 $275 0751
    Monday, December 21, 2020 $475 0290
    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 $200 1106
    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 $1,000 0016
    Thursday, December 24, 2020 $175 0041
    Friday, December 25, 2020 $100 2787
    Monday, December 28, 2020 $225 2620
    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 $125 1761
    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 $250 1332
    Thursday, December 31, 2020 $125 1347
    Friday, January 1, 2021 $1,000 2536
    Monday, January 4, 2021 $100 0509
    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 $500 1008
    Wednesday, January 6, 2021 $225 1032
    Thursday, January 7, 2021 $200 0189
    Friday, January 8, 2021 $275 2870
    Monday, January 11, 2021 $325 1546
    Tuesday, January 12, 2021 $100 0836
    Wednesday, January 13, 2021 $225 0810
    Thursday, January 14, 2021 $150 0859
    Friday, January 15, 2021 $1,000 1262
    Sponsored by Big Valley Bingo

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    Mat-Su Hockey Association would like to thank our corporate sponsor Big Valley Bingo for supporting youth hockey in the Valley.

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