Development the name of the game for Storm youth
When a growing youth organization keeps adding players and as such, adds new teams at all levels, expectations continue to grow.
And while championships and wins and losses are certainly a bonus, the Nevada Storm places a heavy onus on taking each and every player in its program and developing them to be able to see the next level of the game.
Dell Truax coaches the Storm 12U AA team and is on board with the development aspect of the program set forth by hockey director Gabe Gauthier.
“Every day, we gain more strength as an organization because of the line of communication and the dedication and passion from the coaches and staff,” Gauthier said. “I am very happy about what has been accomplished since I first came here in March 2014.”
“The expectations that I have for the 12U AA team this season are to give all my players the foundation to be successful at the AA level and beyond,” Truax added. “We want to be a very competitive team that is well schooled and plays disciplined hockey. We are looking to become efficient at pushing the pace and attacking quickly with a quick transition game to lock down both the neutral zone and defensive zone.
“We want to have people talk about us and always know they were in a tough game when they play us.”
At the high school level, Jeff Bruckner coaches the Storm team that will skate in the ultra-competitive Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) in the Division 3 Varsity Division.
“During the recent Labor Day weekend tournament in Southern California, the Storm high school team was able to compete against a number of teams within the Ducks League,” explained Bruckner. “Based on the performance of the team and the opportunity to view a number of other league participants, the Nevada Storm high school team will be working on challenging for a Varsity D3 championship this season.”
Wally Lacroix is the 16U AA coach for the Storm and said positive things are on the horizon for his club this year.
“We feel very good and have positive feelings about our season,” said Lacroix. “Our goal is to compete at the highest level possible for our age group. We have given ourselves until Christmas to fully develop a new system for the boys and feel strong about the back end of our season.
“Success for our team will be based on how much we learned throughout the season and if we have we taught our young men new, more advanced skills.”
And while the Storm’s Squirt A team won the Early Bird Tournament over Labor Day weekend in Southern California and more tournament championships may follow suit this season, learning the game and developing a continued passion for the game is at the top of the coaches’ priority lists.
“Success to me is that all my players improve and love the game,” said Truax. “The goal is to teach through a competitive environment to give all these players the tools to succeed at high-level hockey.
“A successful season means we improve with every touch, and always better than the last time.”
Bruckner is on the same page with Lacroix and Truax.
“The success of this team will be based on how the players develop, both on and off the ice this season,” said Bruckner. “We are looking for our players to be respectful and mature with everything they encounter in life. This includes being positive role models within the organization and within their school environment. In addition, our goal is to provide a positive and safe atmosphere which will create a foundation for our players to be successful as they transition to college and or business life.”
— Matt Mackinder