California Rubber

California’s and Nevada’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

Ventura Vikings to join USPHL Premier’s Pacific Division for 2024-25 season

 

The United States Premier Hockey League is excited and proud to announce the addition of the Ventura Vikings to the USPHL Premier’s Pacific Division for the 2024-25 season.

The Vikings are the brainchild of three individuals with different backgrounds but a common goal of helping players from southern California and beyond make their college hockey dreams come true. Luc Beausoleil, Jeff Jarvis and Bill Bruininga are the co-owners of the Vikings, bringing together years of hockey experience on and off the ice in the hockey-rich locations of Quebec and Massachusetts. 

Beausoleil, a former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League player who went on to a 13-year pro hockey career, has been for much of the last 20 years the general manager and hockey director at the Iceoplex in Simi Valley, Calif. During that time, he also ran the California Titans AAA program that fielded 16U and 18U teams. Jarvis, a former NCAA hockey player at Saint Anselm College, moved within the past couple years from Massachusetts to California. 

“The USPHL couldn’t be happier to welcome the Ventura Vikings and three great new owners into the league. We know they will build a fantastic organization in the Los Angeles area, forming exciting new rivalries with many of our established organizations in the same area,” said USPHL Commissioner Bob Turow. 

“A couple years back, the NHL teams went all in to support and run AAA hockey in California, so you have the Jr. Ducks, Jr. Kings and Jr. Sharks, so I no longer had the California Titans. Jeff moved out here from Massachusetts, and Bill had been in our league in California for a while,” said Beausoleil. “We got together and agreed that AAA would not work, so let’s instead do a junior team.” 

The trio went right to work, putting together a website, new e-mails, social media, working with the rink for ice times, preparing to overhaul the locker room, merchandise, ticket sales, “and all the way down to in-game entertainment,” added Jarvis. 

“We were balancing everything that we could do right off the bat with that thought always of what if the league says ‘we went with someone else’” added Jarvis. That, of course, didn’t happen and the Vikings are now full USPHL members and are excited to hit the ice against some of the league’s top programs such as past Nationals participants like the Fresno Monsters and Las Vegas Thunderbirds alongside rising programs like the Ontario Jr. Reign, Bakersfield Roughnecks, Lake Tahoe Lakers and San Diego Sabers.  

“Prior to this season, I had watched a part of an Ontario Jr. Reign vs. Long Beach Shredders game, and it was pretty good hockey. At that time, I wasn’t thinking of owning or creating a junior hockey team, but it struck me – especially the Shredders uniforms, which were just crazy,” said Jarvis. “From there, it was checking out the teams and their social media accounts. We all went to this year’s USPHL Las Vegas Showcase and got to talk to the other teams’ owners and coaches. I realized upon seeing these players that they were better than the players I had played with and against just over 20 years ago at Saint Anselm. All of these kids I was seeing at the showcase would have been great NCAA Division II players then – that’s how much faster and more skilled players have become.” 

Building The Viking Ship

The Ventura Vikings Junior Hockey Club stands out not only for its dedication to athletic excellence but also for its strategic geographical location and commitment to holistic player development. Located strategically in the heart of the division, Ventura offers a unique advantage to its players. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, it minimizes travel time and allows athletes to stay closer to home, ensuring they remain well-rested and focused on their training. This proximity also enables players to maintain consistency in their daily routines, including sleeping in their beds, which contributes to their overall well-being and performance on the ice. Additionally, Ventura’s proximity to Malibu and some of California’s most stunning beaches provides players with the opportunity to unwind and recharge amidst the natural beauty of the region.

However, what truly sets the Ventura Vikings apart is their philosophy centered around comprehensive player development. The club not only emphasizes skill enhancement on the ice but also prioritizes the personal and academic growth of its athletes.

“Our players aren’t just athletes; they’re active members of the community. From mentoring youth to participating in charitable causes and local events, our Vikings embody the values of compassion and social responsibility beyond the rink. Education is paramount to us. We’re dedicated to supporting our players in reaching their academic goals, offering assistance and opportunities for educational advancement to ensure their success both on and off the ice,” added Beausoleil. 

“The Vikings program isn’t just about honing athletic skills; it’s about opening doors to future opportunities. Through connections with collegiate and professional scouts and exposure to high-level competition, we pave the way for our players’ success beyond junior hockey,” Beausoleil said. “Our structured daily schedule is designed to optimize performance on and off the ice. From practices and training sessions to academic support and community responsibilities, we help our athletes manage their commitments effectively.”

Of course, one of the major jobs ahead for the Vikings will be to fill a roster that they certainly expect to be competitive within the Pacific Division and at league events from the get-go. Each of Beausoleil, Jarvis and Bruininga have great networks of coaches, players and advisors that they will work with to put some of the foundational pieces in place. 

“We have formed relationships with different advisors, and now that we’re 100 percent officially in the USPHL, we can utilize those connections,” said Jarvis. “Here in Simi Valley, there is no elite spring or summer league, and we’re looking to set one up, and we can then recruit from that. We have two development camps planned as well. My son, who is now 16, has played AA and AAA out east, so I’m going to be reaching out to former teammates of his and educating them on our program. For instance, we’ll have two hours of extra ice after every practice so players can go out and work on skills, goaltenders can get extra shots, they can use that ice however they’ll need.” 

For information on the Ventura Vikings, go online to the website VenturaVikings.com. Also check out the Vikings on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/facebook.com/VENTURAVIKINGSJRHOCKEY
Instagram @VenturaVikings: https://www.instagram.com/venturavikings?utm_source=qr
Tik Tok (@VenturaVikings): https://www.tiktok.com/@venturavikings
Twitter/X (@VenturaVikings): https://twitter.com/venturavikings

Ventura Vikings Open Prospects Camps

The Ventura Vikings Jr. Hockey Team (USPHL Premier) Open Prospect Camps will be open to players with birth years 2004 through 2008.

Camp #1: April 27-28, 2024
Camp #2: July 13-14, 2024
https://venturavikingsprospectcampregistration.cheddarup.com

— Joshua Boyd/USPHLPremier.com

(March 14, 2024)

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