Jack Kopfstein Signing His Contract.
The Dells Ducks have added some west coast talent for the upcoming season in ’05 defenseman Jack Kopfstein.
The 5’11, 140 lbs. defender will begin his junior year of high school this fall in town as he has signed on with the Dells Ducks for the 2021-22 USPHL Premier League season.
A native of Vista, Calif., Kopfstein attended the Ducks’ Futures Camp recently at Lake Delton Ice Arena and impressed Head Coach/General Manager Shaun Falzone enough to get the invitation to sign with the club.
A member of the Anaheim Jr. Ducks AAA organization, Kopfstein said seeing the camp flyer was what ultimately brought him to the Dells.
“Seeing how the Ducks have done in the past and knowing it is time to start my junior career, there isn’t a better place that I have seen,” said the young defender on a Dells Ducks Questionnaire.
Kopfstein knows the learning curve will be steep to start but is confident in his ability and said he has “Good awareness, strength, speed and determination,” all good attributes for a future Ducks player. Kopfstein is influenced by the pro teams in his own area and said he tries to model himself after Anaheim Ducks defender, Cam Fowler.
“(Fowler) is the reason I play defense,” said Kopfstein. “His game pushes me forward in hockey.”
After getting a glimpse of the junior level at the Ducks’ weekend event, Kopfstein said reaction time will be the primary focus early on.
“My goal of the season is to improve my speed with everything,” said Kopfstein adding a primary draw to playing with the Ducks was the promise of practice ice time as the Ducks are the primary tenant at the Lake Delton Ice Arena and in a normal season, they get practically unlimited time on the ice.
The play of the Anaheim Ducks as well as the Colorado Avalanche have played a part in generating the young athlete’s interest in hockey.
“They both have speed an players that can move the puck,” said Kopfstein who added he plays no other sports as of this moment. “I put all my time into hockey.”
Local fans will have to wait until the Labor Day weekend to get another glimpse of Kopfstein, but he could make some other appearances in the Midwest with the team management involved in a couple different sessions over the off season.
Caden Glamkowski Signing His Contract.
The off-season is short for a junior hockey coach. Head Coach Shaun Falzone made connections and started the process of his first addition for a 2021 USPHL Premier campaign while teams were still competing in Virginia during this season’s national championship tournament.
One of the benefits from having such a young team this past season is getting a good number of experienced returners planning to right the ship this coming season and Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, Ill.) is officially on board as the team’s first new signing (several returners have already signed contracts) for the Ducks.
Glamkowski attended the ‘Duck Futures Skate’ weekend March 19-21 and liked what he saw enough that he committed to join the team for the upcoming season. The feeling was mutual as Glamkowski was partnered with Jayden Tkaczuk, the team’s top scorer this past season and formed a lethal tandem that had players and coaches singing his praises.
“From the first time I met some of the players and the coaches I fell in love with the program. I feel this is the right fit for me.”
The 5’10” 160 pounds winger showed speed, agility and a nice shot during the weekend workouts and games and the chemistry with Tkaczuk was instant.
“I have the ability to work well with my teammates,” said Glamkowski. “I see the ice well and I put the puck in the back of the net.”
Glamkowski said his biggest hockey influences have been his parents.
“My Dad and Mom – they have always been there for me and they always push me to be the best version of myself on and off the ice.”
The job of bringing the Ducks back from the ashes this season will be tough and while Glamkowski is confident he can help; he knows it will be a tough task – his goal is to “Quickly get to know my teammates and coaches and help them win some games.”
Asked what he expects will be the biggest challenges making the jump to junior hockey, Glamkowski said “The overall pace of the game will be completely different, and I am excited to play at such a high level.”
The speedy winger said one of his favorite hockey memories was a championship run at a Florida-based tournament.
“Last year, my team went to Florida and we were playing the best hockey we played all year. We made it to the semi-finals where we won in overtime. In the championship game we won 5-4 and in the whole weekend, I finished with six goals and four assists.”
Glamkowski will be close enough to home that his parents and family will be able to attend games on occasion, but he is also looking forward to the billet experience.
“I have a huge family back at home, so I hope I live somewhere that has younger kids. I am excited to meet new people and live with them.”
Glamkowski will join Coach Falzone at some of the other skates over the summer months and is looking forward to beginning the team’s second decade when they move back to town in September.
Written By: Jim Den Hollander
Jayden Tkaczuk Signing His Contract.
The Dells Ducks recently added a skilled forward, playmaker, to its roster as Jayden Tkaczuk, an ’02 from Channahon, IL signed to play the 2020-21 USPHL season.
Tkaczuk will certainly not be the tallest player on the team, measuring just 5’5 but the forward will fit perfectly on the run and gun Ducks’ roster.
Coming off a 61-points in 45 games season as both a varsity player and member of the Joliet Jaguars, Tkaczuk said he heard the Ducks had a good program and he confirmed it with a discussion with Assistant Coach, Anthony Rohde. Chalk one up for fashion to as one of the selling points for Tkaczuk was “I really liked the team colors and logo.”
Dangerous in the offensive zone, Tkaczuk racked up 23 goals and 38 helpers and said he likes to be the man with the puck down low.
“I am very good behind the o-zone net,” said Tkaczuk on a team questionnaire, adding he thinks his ability to make good, quick decisions will be helpful. Despite his size, Tkaczuk said he relishes play along the boards, and he can draw a lot of penalties.
Penalty kill and shootouts are his favorite game situations and part of his influence as a smaller player comes from watching the stay players on his favorite NHL Team – The Chicago Blackhawks in Patrick Kane and Alex Debrincat. “He is a crafty and shifty player,” said Tkaczuk of Debrincat.
While he has no hockey playing siblings, Tkaczuk nonetheless comes from an athletic family as his sister, Baylee is a two-time National Champion for Women’s College Gymnastics on uneven parallel bar for UW-Oshkosh and was recently nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Tkaczuk also played lacrosse at the competitive level and he looks forward to bringing his game to the Dells, a community he has visited and loved as a tourist. He expects the toughest transition will be “Having the ability to play at a higher, faster level.”
Written by: Jim Den Hollander
Dillon Collings Signing His Contract
The Dells Ducks added a third player from Colorado recently when Dillon Collings, an ’02 forward from Golden, Colo. Signed on with the team.
Another prospect out of the camp of Ducks’ scout Nick Turcotte, Collings said he liked the coaching style of Rohde who is himself a product of the Turcotte family as well.
Collings is confident he will fit in and make an impression likely as a playmaking forward who can log as many minutes as the coach will allow, generally at a high pace.
“I think my vision is my most impactful asset,” said Collings in a team questionnaire. “Not just assessing passing, shooting, and skating lanes, but also in simplifying my play based on what is needed for the team at that time. My endurance is also a strength because I’m as fast in the third as I am in the first.”
Previous coaches, Turcotte and Andrei Krivokrasov have played major part influencing the young forward. His goals for the upcoming season is improving on stick handling skills while building up strength and improving his all-around game.
Collings played last season, wearing a ‘C’ with Chatfield High School in Colorado and while the pace and size of the players will take some getting used to, he thinks the biggest adaptations will be away from the ice.
“The biggest change will be living with my teammates instead of my parents and spending more time on the ice.”
Collings was also on the school’s Mountain Bike team and counts himself as skier and hiker as well.
One of his biggest achievements so far in hockey came as a peewee when Collings experienced the thrill of winning a championship game in overtime, helping his team claim a league title.
The young center is preparing to make his presence felt in Lake Delton, a community he has never been to before and admits, he is “nervous” but excited about making the jump to play with the Ducks.
Written by: Jim Den Hollander
Caleb Bennett Signing His Contract.
A trip to a hockey camp in Colorado paid off in a big way for Dells Ducks Assistant Coach Anthony Rohde, recently with the signing of Centennial Colorado defenseman Caleb Bennett.
The 5’9,” 180 pound defender not only plays a big role in his own end, he is a 200-foot player, contributing at both ends and making full use of his smaller, but definitely not weaker physique.
“When I watched him at the skate, I saw a lot of strong qualities in Caleb,” said Coach Rohde. “He was a solid defenseman, good positioning and made great outlet passes. He also had a strong physical game.”
Bennett counted his passing, work on the penalty kill and a heavy shot from the blue line as his best attributes in a self-evaluation and questionnaire filled out for the team.
The ’03 blue liner should be a perfect fit for the Ducks, helping a team that struggled in its own end last season while adding to what is turning into a quick and precise transition to offense. He isn’t shy about getting involved 200 feet from his own net, last season chipping in 37 points (15g, 22a) with his travel team in Littleton.
Bennett says his father and coach/mentor Nick Turcotte have both played a big part in influencing him as a hockey player and his favorite NHL players are Mika Zibanijad of the Rangers and Buffalo defender Rasmus Ristolainen.
His goal is simple for the upcoming season – “Score more goals,” which means playing a role in the offense more often. While he favors even strength and penalty kill as his favorite times to be on the ice, his abilities should land the defenseman some time on the powerplay as well.
Bennett has never visited the Dells before but is looking forward to making his presence felt here in the fall.
If he continues to produce from his spot on the blueline as he did last season, the locals will be happy to have him.
Written by: Jim Den Hollander
Thomas Howell Signing His Contract.
The Dells Ducks’ newest signee is also the team’s first ‘04’
Thomas Howell, a 5-10, 150 lbs. defenseman from Gilmer, Texas signed on with the Ducks recently, looking to stay close with Head Coach Shaun Falzone as well as Assistant Coach Anthony Rohde.
Thomas said he picked up his love of the game from his parents. “Without them I wouldn’t love the game as much as I do,” said Thomas adding his parents encouraged him “To be my absolute best.”
He started out as a house league player on a team with his sister and developed into a more elite style player from there. Among his biggest accomplishments so far was winning a ‘Cotton Bowl’ Championship in his native Texas in a final game against a team his squad had not defeated all season. They lifted the championship trophy after pulling out the win in a shootout that lasted nine rounds.
While patrolling the blue line and his own crease is a primary concern, Howell enjoys kick starting the offense with a nice outlet pass as well.
“I’m always for the best pass, looking to set up my team to make the best play,” said Howell in a questionnaire.
Howell expects speed and size to be the biggest adjustments hill have to get by as he begins his first junior hockey season and says his own goals are “To get better each day and also to put up a lot of points.”
During the off season, Howell plays competitive soccer and also enjoys learning Jiu jitsu and working out while also enjoying some time on his PS4, most likely playing his favorite game, Rainbow Six Siege.
The Ducks’ coaching staff is excited to bring this youngster into the fold and hope for big things from Howell over the next few seasons, yet another member of the young Texas crew that will make up a big part of the identity of a Dells Ducks team celebrating its 10th season this fall.
Written By: Jim Den Hollander
Cole Boissonneault Signing His Ducks Contract.
The Ducks have added the first import player for the new season, and he hails from Gretzky’s hometown.
Cole Boissonneault, a 6’3, 170 lbs. ’02 forward from Brantford, Ontario, recently signed with the Ducks where he will play his first full junior hockey season.
Last season, the rugged winger collected five goals and a dozen helpers splitting time between AAA teams on both sides of the border.
He reached out to Coach Falzone by email and phone calls and clearly, they made an impression on each other.
“When looking at juniors, I wanted to be on a team on the rise,” said Boissonneault in a questionnaire for the team. “Coach Falzone’s personality and recruitment style was awesome and the community was very exciting to be a part of.
Boissonneault’s self-evaluation has him suited to fit the mold of a fast but rugged team in the Dells this season.
“I have good speed and go to the blue paint well for tips and rebounds,” said Boissonneault, “I feel that I have a strong hockey IQ and that I see the ice well. My playmaking ability and my shot are both strengths.
“I feel that I have a complete game and I can play in any situation. I have had success on powerplay, and I excel in those situations as well as overtime or high-pressure situations.”
Boissonneault, who hopes to use his time in the Dells as a springboard to higher levels of junior and ultimately into an American university has set some lofty goals for himself and the team. If they are reached, Ducks’ hockey fans will have plenty to cheer about this season.
He is ready to take the next step in his career but realizes it will take some work.
“AAA was high skill and speed, but junior players will be bigger and stronger,” said Boissonneault. “Reaction time and quick decisions will have to happen. There will be more community events and involvement with youth and I really look forward to helping out.”
The forward is coming off a big finish to last season and hoping to carry it forward.
“We had a really good tournament in January where I put up some good numbers,” recalled Boissonneault. “Our team did well, getting to the finals of a 70-team tournament.”
Another highlight for the Canadian was earning an MVP honor at a U-18 exhibition in Czech Republic shortly after his 16th birthday.
Cole’s younger brother Gage, 14, could follow his brother’s path down the road. “He is a big kid as well at about six-feet now and he has a great shot,” boasted the older brother. “We are really close.”
The whole family has a tight bond in fact.
“My Dad has definitely been my biggest influence,” said Boissonneault, “He has put in countless hours to help me train or even fly down when I was living in the states to watch me play. He had a good career and played ‘U’ (University) sports here in Canada. He was the one that really got me into hockey, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Boissonneault is looking forward to another season in the USA and the Dells Ducks coaches are happy with this gem from the Great White North.
Written by: Jim Den Hollander
Brendan Williamson Signing His Contract.
The Dells Ducks have had much success acquiring players from Colorado over its first nine seasons and the latest acquisition will be patrolling the blue paint.
Brendan Williamson, a 5’11,” 190 lbs. goalie from Highlands Ranch put up some stingy numbers with his varsity hockey team, allowing less than two goals a game average and posting 11 shutouts over his junior and senior seasons.
Williamson connected with the Ducks’ coaches at the recent NCDC Combine in Indiana and the bond was set by the end of the weekend. Williamson made it official, signing his contract recently.
“I really like a lot of the things about the organization,” said Williamson on a team questionnaire. “I talked to and I feel like Coach Falzone and Coach Guevara are really good coaches and really care about their players and are trying to move them on to a higher level. That is a huge determining factor for me.
“I want coaches who want to develop a strong relationship with all of the players and a coach who wants to send you to the next level. I also have a lot of family in Wisconsin so I know that I will be close to family when I’m so far away from home. I also really like how, from what I have heard, the community rallies behind the team no matter what. Overall, I decided on the Ducks because I feel like it is a great organization from the top down.”
Asked to describe his own strengths in the blue paint, Williamson said he feels like he has a calm demeanor that comes in handy in pressure situations.
“I think I am a smart hockey player who can make good decisions on the ice, being able to control my emotions when a game is stressful, remaining calm in tough situations, being able to forget about a goal right after and focus on saving the next shot.” said Williamson. “I will always support my teammates when they are struggling, both on and off the ice, adding the goaltender.
Williamson’s puck handling ability could make him valuable as a third defender and he plays with confidence.
“I will compete for every puck until the whistle blows,” said Williamson.
Coming from a hockey hotbed, Williams says his biggest influence has come from off the ice.
“The biggest influence on me in hockey has been my Dad,” said the goaltender. “He has been my biggest supporter since day one. He has been at every game he can and I always know that he will offer me tips on how I can be better after the game. He as been someone I can always talk to about how my games or practices are going and he never fails to offer me pointers or help me with a problem.”
Williamson will compete with the other goaltenders for starts and hopes to be the guy between the pipes in key situations for the Ducks this season.
“I really enjoy playing in high pressure situations,” said Williamson. “Whether that is a big game or just a big shift, I feel like I play well under pressure. I also enjoy playing in close games. That is when I am having the most fun: when everything I do matters so much.
Ducks’ coaches and management are confident Williamson will be a good fit on the team’s goaltending unit, continuing the tradition of strength between the pipes for the squad.
Cody Long Signing His Contract.
Dells Ducks Hockey team fans will be happy to learn about another returner for the 2020-21 USPHL Premier regular season.
Cody Long, a rugged, defense-minded defenseman is the seventh returner and the first ’00 to commit to leading the team into its 10th regular season.
Long uses his 6’4” 225 lbs. frame to win corner battles and clear the top of the crease, something the team’s young goaltending corps will definitely appreciate.
Long contributed six points (two goals) as well and the West Jordan, Utah native is looking to become a bigger factor in the offense in his final junior year as well. But he knows his primary role is goal prevention.
“I’m strong in corner battles and will fight for possession of the puck,” said Long in a player questionnaire. “When playing defense, I’m able to start plays in the defensive zone. I’m a defensive player than can take the puck end to end to open up or initiate play during shift change.”
Long enjoys the pressure of being counted on in his own end and counts defending 2-on-1’s as one of his favorite situations.
“My goal this season is to be a proactive player in both offensive and defensive settings and putting more pucks in net.”
The Ducks were a heavily penalized team in 2019-20, collecting almost 1000 minutes in 44 games, but Long is proof that hard physical play doesn’t have to meet time in the sin bin. Long appeared in 37 games and sat just 22 minutes. His leadership in that area will be huge in helping the team carve out a reputation of a hard-working and physical team that will spend more time up a skater than down.
Long has spend time at both forward and defense. An offensive highlight came in just junior year at high school when he helped his team follow up an undefeated regular season with the overtime game winner in the state semi-finals, sending his school to its first ever state championship final. A short time later, he celebrated a State title with his mates as well.
While noting the town can be a little slow in the winter months, Long said he is looking forward to returning to the community and spending time once again with billet mom, Sharon Fiske and her family. He is especially looking forward to reuniting with ‘Fuzz,’ Sharon’s pet German Sheppard.
Written By: Jim Den Hollander
Isaac Hyde Signs His Contract
The Dells Ducks added to its goaltending ranks with the recent signing of Isaac Hyde, a 6’4” 165 lbs. puck stopper from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Hyde, brings some USPHL Premier experience, having played 10-games for the Lansing Wolves of the Great Lakes Division. Before that, Hyde tended goal for the varsity Carroll High School Chargers.
A highlight while at the school was winning a city championship and also being named as the Goaltender of the Year, said Hyde in a team questionnaire.
“That was a very big individual and team moment that has stuck with me.”
Hyde also played some golf while at Carroll and still enjoys the game at the recreational level.
The Wolves endured a season similar to the Ducks last season, competitive with the lower tier teams in the Great Lakes Division but often outshot by a wide margin when facing the Metro Jets, Pittsburgh Vengeance or Toledo Cherokee. Hyde was called on 10 times, either starting or relieving in goal and he came up with solid efforts, posting a 3-3 record overall.
The senior guy on a three-goaltender staff, Hyde said his goals for the upcoming staff are “I would like to begin to get on the radar for NCAA Division 3 programs as well as find the consistency that I have not been able to achieve yet.
“I love playing in big game situations because there is so much excitement in those games,” said the goaltender who credits goaltender coach Parris Duffus and trainer Paul Zinchenko as his biggest hockey influences to date.
“(Duffus) has changed my perspective on goaltending, especially on the mental side and how to handle the pressure that we are under.”
With the previous junior experience, Hyde could play a big role for the Ducks this season, in particular in the early part of the season.
Written By: Jim Den Hollander
Ben Scruton Signing His Contract
The Dells Ducks lone ’03 from last season will be back as a young veteran this fall.
Ben Scruton may still be the smallest at 5’4,” 130 lbs. but he has already proven he is quick and rugged enough to handle anything thrown at him by the USPHL.
A native of Grayslake, Illinois, halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago, Scruton said he likes playing in the Dells because of its proximity to home and family and counts his parents as his biggest hockey influences.
Blessed with good speed and what he described as a ‘Good Hockey IQ,” Scruton attended the local high school in Wisconsin Dells while playing on the Ducks last season and enjoyed the community.
He used his rookie season primarily as a chance to practice and learn the junior game. He suited up for all 44 games and the two playoff encounters and a scored a couple goals in the second half of the season. He will likely be called upon for more this season as a returner, but still places learning, improving skills and working hard as his goals for the upcoming season.
Scruton has a brother that also plays hockey and counts Alex Debrincat of the Chicago BlackHawks as a player he admires and tries to emulate. Like Scruton, DeBrincat enjoyed a standout junior career and is an offensive leader for the Hawks showing a lot of doubters that his size is not a factor even at the game’s top level.
Scruton’s veteran presence may be felt most in practice and off the ice where his solid work ethic and team-first mentality will be valued highly.
Written By: Jim Den Hollander
Logan Potts Signing His Contract.
Logan Potts, 16, from Allen, Texas is the latest signing for the Dells Ducks.
A 6’0” 150 lbs. forward, Potts is looking to stay with the tandem of Head Coach Shaun Falzone and assistant Anthony Rohde as he makes his junior hockey debut.
“I have enjoyed training with Coach Falzone and Rohde in the past and I felt this was a great opportunity when they offered me a spot,” said they young forward who is also looking forward to visiting the Midwest having never set foot in the Dairyland State before.
Potts is another of the group of young, speedy forwards that will make up a core of Falzone’s Ducks team and he counts his decision making abilities along with his speed as his best hockey assets.
This past season Potts split time between Allen High School and the McKinney North Stars 16U squad and while he looks forward to making his junior hockey debut, he is aware it will a major change playing a quicker game with bigger, more physical players.
In a questionnaire, Potts said his goal for the upcoming season was “To become a better hockey player and increase my strength to play at a higher level.”
While he is focusing on hockey at the junior level, Potts is a solid all-around athlete having participated in baseball, lacrosse, soccer and inline hockey in the past.Written By: Jim Den Hollander
Luke Marks Signing his Contract.
The Dells Ducks will be welcoming back another returner as forward Luke Marks has committed to help the team rebound in 2020-21.
Marks, a 6’1” 180 lbs. forward from Andover, Minnesota missed just one game last season and he will be looking to improve on the 13 points (6g, 7a) he collected last season.
Marks’ speed and aim will help him fit in on what should be a fast tough team this fall and he will be one of the few ’00 so his leadership will be counted on heavily.
Marks said he decided to return to the Dells because, “I wanted to stay loyal to the team that chose me last year.”
Asked in a player questionnaire which situation he prefers to play in, Marks showed it clearly does not matter when he responded, “PK, full strength and powerplay.” He said his biggest challenge heading into the new season would be “Learning from a new coach will be an experience but I am excited to do it.” Marks is also a teacher himself, helping his younger brother learn the game for the past 10 years. He counts the relationship with his younger sibling as the most influential for him in the game so far.
Marks billeted with Sharon Fiske last season and like his roommate, Cody Long, he is looking forward to returning to her home for the upcoming season.
As a high school player in Minnesota, Marks has experienced the highest level of competition and counts his biggest accomplishment so far, leading his team to state in his sophomore year as a captain.
Marks has also played lacrosse at the competitive level and during the summer he likes to spend time with his hobby, woodworking or playing Call of Duty on his computer.
Watch for Marks to be a key player on the Ducks this season as he steps up his offense as one of the few aging out players on the squad.
Written By: Jim DenHollander
Adam Brown Signing His Contract.
Adam Brown recently signed the paperwork to return to the Dells Ducks for the 2020-21 USPHL Premier season.
Brown, a 5’11” 160 lbs. ’02 center from Chicago turned in a solid rookie season with the Ducks putting up nine goals and assisting on another 10 in 37 games. He may be just 18 but Brown will be among the more experienced returners having played the previous season in a Canadian junior league where he collected 22 goals in 36 games.
Brown counts his work ethic, passing and shooting as his primary assets and says his brother was his biggest hockey influence.
While playing a bigger role in helping the Ducks in its climb up the division standings, Brown hopes to attract some Tier 2 attention along the way as well. The Ducks are currently affiliated with the New Jersey Rockets of the USPHL’s NCDC League.
Part of the attraction for Brown is playing under new Head Coach Shaun Falzone as well as the expected improvements to the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena and likely the thoughts of playing a bigger offensive role. He is also looking forward to spending time with billet mother Penny Lobenstein in Reedsburg.
Brown said he enjoys setting up plays on the fly in the offensive zone and thrives on being the top guy on the powerplay ‘umbrella’ set up.
Brown should be a perfect fit with the Ducks this season as a young player already blessed with a ton of experience at the junior level.
Written By: Jim DenHollander
Liam Hogan Signing His Contract.
The Dells Ducks recently announced the addition of another forward from Rhode Island, for the upcoming season.
Liam Hogan, an ’02 from West Greenwich, RI. collected 32 points as a member of the W. Warwick/EWG Hockey Co-op in Rhode Island Division three play, after putting up 22 with the U18 Premier Hitmen.
While the level of play will be higher, having a 50-point player coming in gives the Ducks team and fans reason for optimism for a stronger offensive showing this season.
Hogan might be a little undersized at 5’8,” 150 lbs., but he makes up for it with speed and tenacity, describing himself a “a tenacious, heads up playmaker.”
The young forward counts his father as his biggest influence saying, “He’s the one who taught me the game I love.”
Hogan realizes the step to junior will be a big one and he expects the speed, size and strength of his opposition will take some getting used to. However, he is also confident he will be able to adapt and counts regular ice time becoming a player his teammates can trust as his primary goals for the season.
Named as the Finals MVP in the High School Championship is one of his best accomplishments said Hogan along with “other championships from the travel teams I was on,” as well as “Travelling to tournaments as a kid and taking in high energy environments such as Lake Placid.”
Hogan has no hockey playing siblings but was born to play the game in a family that includes cousins, uncles and a father that all participated in the sport.
Hogan said he has never been to the Dells but looks forward to bringing his New England flair to the Midwest and doing what he can to help his new team.
Written By: Jim DenHollander
Dawson Blue Signing his Contract.
Head Coach Shaun Falzone and the Dells Ducks recently announced another young signing as Dawson Blue (‘03/North Richland Hills, Texas), a 5’7” forward has signed his name to a Ducks’ contract.
Blue also has previous experience playing on a Falzone-coached team and both are excited for the upcoming season.
“I like Coach Falzone’s systems,” said Blue, who put up seven points in 16 games with Falzone’s Texas Warriors 16UAA team this past season.
Blue is hoping to fit in well at the junior level but realizes the jump will be a big one.
“With it being my first year in juniors my goal is to gain a better understanding of this level of hockey as well as enhance my skills on and off the ice,” said Dawson.
Falzone said he feels Blue could make a big impression as a rookie.
“What Dawson lacks in size he brings in heart,” said the Coach. “This is a player that I enjoyed playing for me and would love to have more players like him. He is the type of kid who will run through a wall for you and has no fear to go into corners. I describe Dawson as a grinder. I am excited to have Dawson join us.”
Written By: Jim DenHollander
Collin Driscoll Signing His Contract
The Dells Ducks are excited to welcome a new face to our flock, Collin Driscoll, an '02 from Rhode Island.
The 5’9.” 150 lbs. center from Warwick put up 43 points (20g, 23a) last season in just 12 games with the Pilgrim Patriots High School team and as a result he was named the Player of the year for the city of Warwick.
Clearly the leap to a higher level will be tougher but Driscoll is just what the Doctor ordered for a Ducks team that has found it difficult to generate offense consistently in recent seasons.
When it came to selecting a junior program, Driscoll clearly did his homework and said he selected the Ducks because “The program was getting a fresh start with no set lines or anything and it sounded like a good chance to prove myself.”
While speed has been a primary weapon for many of the Ducks’ signings so far it is quick hands and a strong accurate shot that will make Driscoll the finisher the team needs. He can be a playmaker as well as his previous numbers indicate, his good vision a big asset that should make the Ducks a dangerous team on the fly.
The young center counts his parents and grandfather as his biggest hockey influences and said he loves playing in big games and clutch situations, such as overtime. He showed he can rise to the occasion in the Rhode Island High School Championship this past season when he led his team with a hat trick ad played a key role in his team’s second straight championship.
Driscoll will be making his first trek to the Midwest to play with the Ducks and while he has never lived with a billet family or been to the Dells, he said he is looking forward to putting a checkmark beside both.
Written by: Jim DenHollander
Jerame Kennedy Signing His Contract
The Dells Ducks have announced another returner for the 2020-21 USPHL Premier season with Jerame Kennedy signing to come back.
Kennedy, an ’01 from Overland Park, Kansas joined the team late last after beginning with the Northern Cyclones 18U squad. He started off his junior resume with nine games and the 6’0,” 205 lbs. forward collected a couple assists in the Duck’s stretch run.
While his time in town was brief it certainly left an impression on the young forward.
“I love the Dells area and I loved the facilities and family atmosphere,” said Kennedy who returns with a goal of “Working hard for the team and contribute anyway possible.”
One of Penny Lobenstein’s army of billet players, Kennedy is looking forward to staying in her Reedsburg home again, saying, “She is the sweetest lady ever.”
An only child, Kennedy said his biggest hockey influence is his mother. “She has sacrificed for me to play the sport I love,” said Kennedy who also played soccer, tennis and football in high school.
Kennedy played a pair of seasons in the Cyclones’ organization and before that was a member of the Kansas City Mavericks AA 18U squad. He also enjoyed a season with the Kansas City Jets 16U squad where he won a state title.
A good description of Kennedy is, one of his biggest contributions to the game is his hard work and willingness to play a physical game on top of the crease and in the corners. A Power Forward with talent.
He will be counted on for leadership by example as despite his brief tenure, he will be one of the elder statesmen on what will be a young, but talented Ducks team.
Written by: Jim DenHollander
Joey Pachuta Signing His Contract
The Dallas-area connection has produced another player for the USPHL's Dells Ducks with the recent signing of forward Joey Pachuta ('01/Prosper, Texas).
Pachuta recently wrapped up his senior season at Prosper High School (Eagles) Coached by Shaun Falzone. "I am looking forward to the 200-foot game Pachuta will bring with him to the Ducks this fall" coach adds when talking about the latest signing.
Pachuta said getting a chance to play for Falzone played a big part in his decision to join the Ducks. "Great coaching and an opportunity to play higher in a top junior league," were the primary influences said the young center who counts face offs, back checking, screening and work ethic as his best strengths. Making him a key player in almost every situation. That work ethic has been rewarded as Pachuta said his high school coach trusted him in tough situations. "I have had some big playoff games the past couple of years," recalled Pachuta adding he "consistently performed and earned playing time in important situations."
Pachuta also spent time with Falzone this past season and the respect goes
both ways from his time on Falzone's Varsity Silver team. "We offered Joey a spot because he is a player who doesn't know the word stop," said the coach. "He keeps on going on and off the ice. He is always on the ice with Coach Rohde to work on his edgework and stickhandling to continue to improve his game. Great thing is that he (Pachuta) takes feedback and does something with it."
"He is a player who leaves it all on the ice. He even plays hard when sick or worn out. All he wants to do is get on the ice. Joey is not afraid to get in front of the net and battle. He is also the player who always has questions on how to improve his play."
Please welcome Joey to the Flock and more about Joey will be available
closer to the season.
Written by Jim DenHollander
Ethan Koval Signing His Contract
Another 2019-20 Dells Ducks player is returning to the rooster and looking
to help the turnaround beginning this fall.
Ethan Koval, an '02 from Gurnee, Ill. will be back in town looking to take
the next step in his development as a junior player having scored his first
junior goal last season and picking up 36-games of experience.
Well aware of the team's record from the previous season, Koval wants to
finish the job with the team and win or lose, he enjoys playing in the USPHL
Premier Midwest-West Division.
"The Ducks play in one of the hardest divisions in the USPHL," said Koval in
a team questionnaire. "The Ducks are known to be one of the hardest working
teams on the ice that grinds for everything and I'm passionate about being a
part of a hardworking team."
A strong skater with good vision, it's a guarantee Koval will be more
involved in the offense this season and his solid work ethic but mostly
clean play make him a great leader by example for the newest Ducks rookies.
Koval said he counts all of his coaches as his best influences. "I've taken
something from all of them and applied the learning to my game. They are
what make me the player I am today."
The young forward filed away a lot from a tough, but educational season and
he said his goals for the upcoming year are "To continue to learn and
contribute to the overall success," of the Ducks and hopefully to enjoy a
few more weekends in the post season.
"I remember our playoff games against the Havoc and how much more intense
they were as compared to the regular season."
Number 20 should be the on the game sheets more often this season and
Koval’s presence on the ice will be more daunting for Ducks' opposition.
Welcome back Ethan!
More to come as we get closer to the season.
Written by: Jim DenHollander
Part of the Ducks’ identity through most of its first nine seasons was standout goaltending. Starting with names like Rowe, Sellie-Hanson and O’Leary and continuing with Meadows, Aeschlimann, Young, Anzevino and Norrman among others, the Ducks have always had the big-time stoppers.
Another name preparing to join that list, having already carved out an awesome reputation in Texas is Anthony Falzone.
The puck stopper, originally from the Chicago area moved with his family to the Dallas area where his father – now Ducks Head Coach and Owner – Shaun Falzone moved for coaching and training opportunities.
Still young (’03), the goalie is fulfilling a childhood ambition by donning the Ducks’ jersey, watching his father behind the bench in the team’s first season 2011-12.
“I have always wanted to be a Duck since they started 10 years ago,” said Falzone in a team questionnaire.
As a goaltender, Falzone has a strong reputation for being cool under pressure and counts his ability to come up with the disc in a scrum situation as one of his top talents. Comfortable outside the blue paint and a good puck handler, Falzone said “I am very skilled at playing the puck and making plays while behind the goal line or even above the circle if needed.”
Falzone realizes he needs to watch and learn out of the gate, but has lofty goals including being the goaltender the team is counting on in the big games late in the season.
Falzone counts his father and mother as his greatest influences and of course Shaun Falzone has had a ringside seat to his son’s progress.
“I've worked with Anthony over the years from peewee and up to now. His skill set has superseded his present level of play. His vision over the years has greatly improved and has been able to break down developing play to make his save selection much better and quicker” said the goalie coach Guevara when introducing Falzone. He continues to describe Falzone’s character on and off the ice “Anthony is a great team leader on and off the ice and has a very well-balanced head on his shoulders. I will say, it will be great working with him for the 20/21 season”.
The young netminder loves to get his team to the finish line and counts penalty kill as his favorite situations as that is likely when a team counts on the goaltender more than any other.
Written by: Jim DenHollander
JD Miller Signing his Contract
Jackson “JD” Miller is the latest addition to the growing flock. “JD stands 6’4” tall and shoots right-handed from the blue line with all of his 225lbs force behind him” is how coach Falzone introduces his latest addition to the growing roster for the Duck’s upcoming season. “He is ready for juniors, especially to be able to use his size in his advantage. He is a big hitter, who does know how to use his size. He has not played for me yet, but we have been training him for the last two years, to prepare him for juniors.” coach adds to his introduction of JD.
A native of Kennedale, TX, JD is a ’02 but we don’t see any issue of him fitting right in with the team and the league. “To better myself, score some goals and be an asset to the team” said JD when asked what his goals were for the upcoming season. This is the first time that JD will be moving away from family and friends and he is actually looking forward to the billeting experience. Of course, Dallas Stars is his favorite team and he plays as fast and physical as his favorite player on the Stars, Radulov.
Please take the moment to welcome our newest Duck to the flock, Jackson “JD” Miller! More in-depth interviews will come closer to the season start.
Written by: Jim DenHollander
John Urgo Signing His Returning Player Contract
Ducks GM and Head Coach Shaun Falzone announced today the signing and return of the Defensemen John Urgo. “Amongst all the new faces on the Dells Ducks in the fall, the fans will be happy to see the familiar face of John Urgo” coach added when announcing the signing.
A rookie himself this past season, the ‘02 Chicago native made his presence felt as a defensive defenseman but he is hoping to become a little more of a threat at the opposite end as well this season saying his key goal heading into the season is to become more of an offensive threat. Urgo’s experience will be a big asset as the 6’0,” 180 lbs. defender thrives in the toughest situations.
“I love penalty kill and I love being on the ice in the last minute to help the goalie get his shutout,” said Urgo. Offensively, the numbers will almost certainly go up for Urgo as his role and presence built over the course of the season and he was ultimately rewarded as the team’s ‘Unsung Hero.’
Urgo enjoyed playing in Wisconsin Dells and the billet experience and he is excited to get back into what he called a tightknit community, this time as an experienced leader of a new group of young players. With his sights set on making the Ducks a team to be reckoned with, he is eager to turn around the fortunes and help bring the Ducks back to its former glory once again.
Please give a big welcome back to John Urgo.
More in-depth interviews will follow closer to season start.
Written By: Jim DenHollander
Liam Donovan Signing His Contract
March 28, 2020 – Prosper, TX
Shaun Falzone was announced as one of the new owners and head coach of the Dells Ducks. Without wasting any time, coach Falzone released his first signing for the upcoming season, 2020 / 2021.
Liam Donovan, ’03, originally from Commack, N.Y, has called Dallas area home for last few years, has singed to join the Dells Ducks for the upcoming season. The 5’8” Power Forward is coming off of a season with Texas Warriors 16UAA team, where he put up 52 points (25G and 27A). Coach Falzone was one of his coaches and had this to say about Liam; “I enjoyed coaching him [Liam] this past season. He was a player we could count on. He could score, play on the power play and he was a great penalty killer.”
We asked Liam a few questions to get to know him better.
Describe your on-ice strengths: “My biggest strengths is my speed and my playmaking abilities.”
What is your favorite NHL team: NY Rangers
What are your favorite pre / post-game meal: Chipotle
Do you have a pregame routine: My dad tapes my stick, that’s obviously is going to change now.
Please welcome our newest Duck to the flock. We will have more in-depth interview closer to the start of the season.
Written by: Jim DenHollander
Come out and support this important cause and cheer on your home town Dells Ducks Junior Hockey Team
The Dell's Ducks Annual Food Drive Weekend takes place this Friday November 2nd and Saturday November 3rd at 7 pm, as they face off in a two game tilt against their Division rival Hudson Havoc.
This year the Dells Ducks Junior Hockey Team and the Wisconsin Dells Food Pantry are partnering up to help feed Families in need during the holiday season.
The team's goal is to surpass last years record donation of more than 1100 pounds of food donated to children, the elderly, and economically disadvantaged families who would otherwise go hungry during the holidays.
One in Nine Wisconsin Families either go hungry or ration what they eat as hard choices must be made during the cold months. The Dells Ducks are doing their part to help these families in need.
As part of the Ducks commitment to community, players will be volunteering during various times at the Wisconsin Dells Food Pantry. They will take part in stocking of the food items as well as delivery to area homes.
Please support this cause by attending this weekends charity event and bring along at least one non-perishable food item and receive a dollar off admission.
You can expect an exciting evening of speed, checking, and scoring when these two division rivals face off against each other.
The Dells Ducks Junior Hockey Team plays all home games at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena, 112 Miller Drive Lake Delton WI
Defencemen Beckett Patten #5 & Jacob Bevins #19 are joined by forward Nolan Echols #11 in celebrating Alec Scarsella's goal
The Ducks traveled to the Fogerty Ice Arena in Blaine Minnesota for the USPHL MIAC 3 day, 3 game College Showcase weekend.
The team showed discipline and maturity in their commanding victory over the Chicago Cougars, and were very competitive in two close contests on days one and two.
Early in Game 2, the team found themselves short defensively as team captain Austin Phillips left the game due to injury. The team continued to play solid hockey, but the loss of "Philly" along with some untimely penalties, proved too much to overcome as they lost to the Minnesota Blue Ox.
After feeling the sting of defeat less than 24 hours before,the Ducks very talented squad put all the pieces together and took Division rival the Chicago Cougars to task, out skating, and most importantly, out scoring them to a 3-1 final.
The MIAC Showcase is a unique venture bringing together USPHL Premier talent with top Division 3 Schools. The MIAC consists of the best NCAA Division 3 schools throughout Minnesota and is annually one of the top conferences in Division 3 college hockey.
The Ducks finished the Tournament 1-2
Loss of a Great Man and Coach, to Early in his Life.
Ryan Frew: Coach, Leader, Father, Son, Role Model For All
"There is no greater reward than knowing that you have had a positive impact on someone's life journey" - Ryan Frew
The United States Premier Hockey League lost an amazing person in Ryan Frew, the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs’ NCDC head coach, on Monday, Oct. 5. Ryan died of complications arising from peritonitis at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
The USPHL and all of its Member Organizations express its deepest sympathies to Ryan’s wife Nanna and his sons Seamus and Quentin, his daughter Layla, as well as his extended family, the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs organization, and all others whose lives he touched.
It was a fitting reward when, in 2017, Frew received the New Hampshire Union-Leader Forty Under Forty Award, recognizing his great service to youth in New Hampshire. In the accompanying article, when asked why he chose his profession, his answer was straightforward:
“I love working with people. My chosen profession offers me the opportunity to support and influence young men’s lives during a critical stage of their development and help guide them to become the best version of themselves,” Frew told the Union-Leader. “There is no greater reward than knowing that you have had a positive impact on someone's life journey.”
Frew had a positive impact on everyone he met, no matter where he went, extending beyond the leagues, to the greater hockey community. Coaches from across the hockey realm spoke about their concern for Frew’s health during his illness.
Frew’s history with the Monarchs (and with many of the Monarchs’ opponents both then and currently with the USPHL) goes well back to the first decade of the 2000s, coaching the Monarchs’ former Empire Junior Hockey League. Ryan was hired by the Monarchs in 2004.
He brought the Monarchs to the Tier-3 Jr. B National Championship games in 2007 and 2011, and he was also on the bench for three straight Monarchs’ Tier-3 Jr. A National Championship wins from 2007 through 2009 and again in 2012.
He coached the Monarchs to Empire Jr. Hockey League titles in 2010 and 2012, as well. He also saw his Monarchs receive a USA Hockey Team Sportsmanship Award and he was an All-Star Coach in six of his eight Empire seasons.
Frew led the Monarchs to the first Eastern Hockey League regular season championship in 2014, and in 2016, the Monarchs added Playoff Champions to that resume.
Within the USPHL, he helped shepherd the Monarchs into the NCDC to start the 2018-19 season, his team’s start in the league was so impressive, he was named NCDC Coach Of The Year after that first season.
Rest In Peace, Ryan. Everyone in the USPHL will miss you and that big smile and laugh.