Tune In To Tone Up: The Best CrossFit YouTube Channels

The internet is overflowing with incredible CrossFit resources. From Twitter feeds to blogs, online CrossFit knowledge is endless. For a visual look at this sport, look no further than YouTube where CrossFitters across the globe post videos about technique, competition and pure-and-simple WODs. Here are the five greatest CrossFit YouTube Channels.


This YouTube Channel is the official site for CrossFit® videos. CrossFit® explains, “The CrossFit® program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience.” This YouTube Channel demonstrates its inclusive philosophy by posting videos for everyone: from introductions to CrossFit, to inspiration for athletes, to weightlifting how-tos. This channel is for everyone from people curious about CrossFit to elite CrossFit athletes.


Kelly Starrett’s YouTube Channel focuses on MobilityWOD which is billed as the ultimate guide to resolving pain, preventing injury and optimizing athletic performance. This YouTube Channel helps viewers increase flexibility and treat injuries through stretches and exercises that hone in on every joint. Starrett also helps his viewers deal with everyday pain, such as sitting through long flights in cramped airplanes.



Barbell Shrugged
 is recorded as a podcast but includes beautifully shot video that makes watching this CrossFit talk show even more enjoyable. Every Wednesday the Barbell Shrugged crew talks about CrossFit, strength, conditioning and throws in good natured humor that keeps viewers coming back. Check out Barbell Shrugged’s YouTube Channel to learn about the sport of CrossFit from an entertaining angle.



Pat Flynn’s YouTube Channel
 offers an “intelligent approach to strength, conditioning and lifestyle augmentation.” Flynn’s videos are comprehensive, covering topics from the Paleo Diet to workout tips. A majority of the videos are detailed weightlifting tutorials in which Flynn walks his viewers through various kettlebell workouts and techniques.


Hookgrip’s YouTube Channel is all about Olympic-style weightlifting. Viewers tune into this channel to see Olympic weightlifters in action and to learn more about professional weight lifting techniques. A handful of videos on Hookgrip’s channel offer slow-motion views of lifts, offering viewers a close-up look at expert weight lifting.

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/5-best-crossfit-youtube-channels

Spartan Race WODs at Your Fingertips

Spartan Races are among the many adventure-based races to challenge runners and fitness buffs. With four levels that range from 3 to 26 miles, Spartan Races will have you sprinting through unknown obstacles. Race organizers don’t release a map of the course before events, but you can be guaranteed mud, water, barbed wire and blazing fire—we’re serious. Created by seven ultra athletes and one Royal Marine, Spartan Race’s goal is simple: To get your heart pumping, your adrenaline rushing and motivate you towards a healthier, fitter lifestyle.

Sounds intense? It is, but Spartan Race organizers won’t just throw you into the fire—sign up online to receive Spartan Race’s Workouts of the Day. While training for your extreme race, these WODs will push you to focus on Spartan’s philosophy of total fitness: Flexibility, strength, muscle  endurance and aerobic power.

Spartan Race doesn’t keep a public database of past WODs, so what you have in your email inbox is what you get. Until now.

The fitness-focused minds over at Dirty Miles have compiled a database of past Spartan Race WODs. The list is sortable by speed, strength and endurance difficulty levels. You can also sort the list by average difficulty.

“As a Spartan Racer and general fitness enthusiast I’ve found the Spartan WOD’s to be very beneficial,” explains Dario Cantatore, the brains behind the Spartan WOD database. “The Spartan Race company emails the WOD’s every day but they don’t keep a running list of them, so if you haven’t subscribed before you will never see the list of workouts you have missed in the past.” To solve this problem, Dirty Miles has put each and every Spartan WOD at your fingertips.

Cantatore updates the WOD database every 1-2 weeks, which keeps you—and extreme racers like you—sweating it out with Spartan workouts. With an easy to navigate list, Dirty Miles will motivate you to kick up your training for a Spartan Race. Every extra burpee counts when there’s fire standing between you and the finish line.

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/spartan-race-wods-fingertips/ 

Warroad Drops the Gloves for Hockeytown, USA Title

Warroadians like to say that their small Minnesota town is known for three things: Walleye, windows and hockey. Walleye because of its prime location on Lake of the Woods, windows because Marvin Windows and Doors is headquartered there and hockey because of sheer numbers.

With a population of 1,781 in 2010, Warroad, Minnesota has produced a surprising number of professional and Olympic hockey players. With nine hometown kids skating in the big leagues over the years, Warroad is slowly reclaiming the title “Hockeytown, USA” from Detroit. While the Motor City earned this nickname years ago due to its habit of winning Stanley Cup championships, Warroad’s right to the moniker has been earned through its community’s rich hockey tradition.

Christian Brothers Hockey Sticks Warroad MN

Roger, left, and Bill (Billy) Christian outside their Christian Bros. hockey stick factory in Warroad, Minn., August 1988. Star Tribune staff photo.

Sure, the Detroit Red Wings’ 11 Stanley Cup wins may carry more weight than Warroad’s six high school state championship titles in the past 20 years, and a four-time National Champ—now defunct—amateur American Senior ice hockey team. But considering this tiny Minnesota town’s population is 350 times smaller than Detroit, it’s jaw-dropping that Warroad has produced more homegrown Olympians than you can shake a hockey stick at.

Warroad’s hockey pride can be linked back to its first Olympic athlete, Gordon Christian, who won a silver medal playing for the U.S. at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Italy. This was just the start of the Christian family’s strong hockey-influence on Warroad. In 1960, brothers Bill and Roger Christian won Olympic gold medals playing hockey for the U.S., and 20 years later, Dave Christian was a member of the “Miracle on Ice” 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team that brought home gold.

With gold medals earning them rock star status back home in Minnesota, Bill and Roger Christian, along with Hal Bakke, founded the Christian Brothers Hockey Company based in Warroad. The sons of a carpenter, the Christians began producing hockey sticks in 1964 using the slogan “Hockey Sticks Made by Hockey Players.” The company’s big break came in 1980 after Bill’s son Dave won Olympic gold as part of the “Miracle on Ice” team.

Thanks to free publicity from members of the U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team, sales increased approximately 40%, but by the mid-’80s, the Christian Brothers began to feel the squeeze of competition from Easton—a baseball bat manufacturer that expanded into hockey sticks. With some big-name endorsements and a profit margin of more than 30%, Easton slowly pulled ahead of the Christian Brothers, eventually leaving them in the dust. As hockey players shifted away from wooden sticks, the Christian Brothers could no longer compete and finally shuttered their factory in 2003.

After its factory, name and trademarks changed hands several times, the Christian Brothers’ tradition of made-in-America hockey sticks found new life in 2012 with BOA Athletics. After purchasing the Christian Brothers’ manufacturing equipment, Boa has continued producing high-quality hockey sticks, including the classic wooden sticks made famous by the Warroad Olympians. Operating alongside BOA, are Eleven Hockey and Olympus Athletics—founded by Warroad native Jay Fisher and James Marvin, Eleven Hockey began as a hockey R & D lab and private labeling company before morphing into Olympus, an online sporting goods retailer.

Hockey tradition in Warroad may have started with the Christian Brothers’ American-made hockey sticks, but it doesn’t end there. Since 1980, Warroad has produced four NHL players and two more Olympic silver medal-winning hockey players. Henry Boucha is a former NHL player and 1972 Winter Olympic Silver Medalist; Alan Hangsleben is a former NHL player; T.J. Oshie is a current NHL player for the St. Louis Blues; Gisele Marvin is a current member of the United States national women’s ice hockey team and 2010 Olympic silver medalist; Brock Nelson is a current NHL player with the New York Islanders.

During 2014’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Warroad has the opportunity to be the only town in America to be represented on both the men’s and women’s Olympic hockey teams. Gisèle “Gigi” Marvin will be skating for the Red, White and Blue at the Olympics for the second time, while T.J. Oshie is in the running for his first Olympic appearance.

If anyone is keeping count—and many Warroadians most likely are—the fact that this small community of 1,781 has produced 9 NHL and Olympic-level hockey players over the past 50 years is amazing. Not to mention the dozens of Warroadians who have played outstanding hockey at other levels, and the local, made-in-America hockey companies Warroad has supported over the years. No, there isn’t something in the water. This is simply a small Minnesota town absolutely steeped in hockey tradition and culture.

Step aside, Detroit. Warroad, Minnesota is here to claim its title: Hockeytown, USA.

Annie Erling Gofus writes for http://www.summitolympus.com/. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her atannie.erling@gmail.com.

Image Courtesy of: http://www.startribune.com/local/133688683.html

Originally Published to http://ultimatehockeynetwork.com/uhn-%E2%94%82-warroad-drops-the-gloves-for-hockeytown-usa-title/

Ultimate Hockey Network

Hershey Bears Come Out of Hibernation for Shootout Win

Two hat tricks in one night is exceptionally rare in the hockey world, but the GIANT Center was treated to just that—or, at least a version of that—on Wednesday night. In addition to Evan Rankin’s three goals for the Syracuse Crunch, the Gordie Howe Hat Trick’s namesake was in attendance for Hershey’s 4-3 win over Syracuse.

Mr. Hockey himself witnessed the Crunch’s early lead over the Bears, and looked on as Hershey brought a victory home in an 11-round shootout. When told about Howe’s presence at the game Coach Mike Haviland said:

“That’s pretty cool. Certainly one of the best to player to ever play the game, so that’s pretty special.”

Hershey Bears Alternate Captain Tyson Strachan vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Hershey Bears Alternate Captain Tyson Strachan vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Slow Start Ends in Shootout Win for Hershey

After ‘Cuse lit the lamp 31 seconds into the first period, Hershey trailed until the third when, with 3:02 left on the clock, Brandon Segal’s wraparound goal tied it up with help from David Kolomatis and Nate Schmidt. After an unsuccessful overtime, Hershey and Syracuse faced off in a shootout that ran 11 rounds.

Ryan Stoa’s goal kicked things off, and was followed by Stan Galiev sinking one past Kristers Gudlevskis. Rankin and Cedric Paquette scored in the second and third rounds to tie the shootout. After seven rounds of shooters were denied by David Leggio and Gudlevskis,  John Mitchell scored in the eleventh round prompting the Bears to empty their bench for an on-ice celebration.

Hat Trick for Syracuse as Gordie Howe Looks On

Hershey’s win at home can’t overshadow Rankin’s extraordinary showing. After burying a shot 31 seconds in, the Syracuse ringwinger followed up with a second lamp-lighter in the first period and rounded off his hat trick 7:49 into the second period. Unfortunately for the visiting player, not a single hat was thrown on the ice in celebration. But perhaps tallying three goals in two periods with the legendary inventor of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick as witness was good enough.

Gordie Howe is a retired Canadian hockey player famous for his scoring, strength and lengthy career. Howe is the only NHL player whose career stretched between five decades, from the 1940s to the 1980s. A four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings, he won six Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player and six Art Ross Trophies as the leading scorer. A Gordie Howe Hat Trick is achieved when a player scores a goal, records an assist and fights all in one game. It’s named after the infamous Howe who recorded his first namesake hat trick on December 22, 1920.

Howe attended Wednesday’s game with his son Mark Howe, a scout for the Detroit Red Wings. Discussing Howe’s presence at the GIANT Center added a level of glee to  post-game interviews.

“It’s pretty amazing that he’s still coming to all these games,” Segal commented with a smile.

Hershey Bears Julien Brouillette vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Hershey Bears Julien Brouillette vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Hershey witnessed an outstanding performance from the Nicolas Deschamps-Ryan Stoa-Segal line combination on Wednesday night.

“They cycle, they support each other down low, they hold onto it and they attack the net,” Coach Haviland described the trio. “They’re playing with confidence and they’ve been huge for us.”

“We’ve got some good chemistry going,” Segal said of his linemates. “We moved the puck really well down low. Just a matter of getting in there.”

Hershey Bears' Nate Schmidt and Goaltender David Leggio vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

Hershey Bears’ Nate Schmidt and Goaltender David Leggio vs Syracuse Crunch 18 December 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/Olympus Athletics)

“This game is a lot about confidence.” – Coach Haviland

After their win over Syracuse, the Bears are feeling confident going into this weekend’s match-up against the Worcester Sharks.

“The last couple games we certainly have showed a lot of character coming back, and when we play the way we know how to play, we can hem some teams in,” Coach Haviland explained. “When everybody’s on board and really doing the right things and playing the right way, we’re a tough team to defend in the offensive end.”

The Bears improve to 11-9-2-3 after Wednesday’s win over the Syracuse Crunch. Hershey meets the Worcester Sharks at the GIANT Center on Saturday, December 21 at 7:00 PM and on Sunday, December 22 at 5:00 PM.

Annie Erling Gofus writes for Olympus Athletics. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

Originally posted at http://thehockeywriters.com/hershey-bears-beat-syracuse-crunch-in-11-round-shootout/

Bucks for Burpees: Open Athletic Awards Cash for Your Fitness

We could all use a little motivation when it comes to dragging ourselves to the gym. And what better motivator to set your squats into motion than bragging rights and cash? Open Athletic kicks fitness buffs into gear with online competitions that reward the fittest with cash and prizes.

Contests are posted online along with rules, video demonstrations and prizes. Think you can out burpee the best in four minutes for $400? Prove it! Anyone can enter their scores online, but video proof is needed to win prizes. Open Athletic challenges its community to not only beat their competitors, but also themselves—users are allowed to continue posting scores until they’ve entered a personal best.

And it’s not just the strongest who win, but also the most persistent. Open Athletic’s ranking system was designed to encourage and reward individuals who frequently participate in competitions. The number of contests entered is taken into consideration when points are awarded in competitions.

Overhead squats seem unappealing now, but throw the potential to win $600 into the mix and you won’t be able to put down the barbell. Open Athletics fosters a community where you can challenge yourself, challenge others and win cold, hard cash just for hitting the gym. Get involved at openathletic.com or let their active Facebook page motivate you at facebook.com/OpenAthletic.

Who knew squats could be so rewarding?

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/bucks-burpees-open-athletic-awards-cash-fitness/

Sour Loss, Sweet Homecoming for Reading’s Cruthers

It’s hard for a losing team to find a lot of positives in a game that ended 7-2, but the one pro on a long list of cons was the return of the Reading Royals’ former captain and all-time leading scorer Ryan Cruthers. Donning purple and white for the second time this season and the first time at home since 2012, Cruthers and his teammates fell to the Fort Wayne Komets on Saturday night.

“It’s always hard when you’re down three-nothing early,” Captain Yannick Tifu lamented about the first period. “There’s no excuse. There’s no reason we should have been down three-nothing.”

The Royals left the ice at first intermission out-scored 0-3 and out-shot 4-14. And while the second period saw an uptick in pace against Fort Wayne, this momentum did not follow Reading into the third. After the Komets’ fifth goal lit Reading’s lamp, goaltender Brandon Anderson lost his cool and engaged in the first of three brawls in the last seven minutes of the game. These fights did little to re-charge Reading’s team—the game ended Komets 7 and Reading 2.

“We’re just in a slump,” Tifu told the press after Saturday’s loss. “I told the guys we just need to turn the page and be ready to work Monday morning.”

Reading Royals Forward T.J. Syner  faces the Wheeling Nailers in late November 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

The Return of a Familiar Face

“We’ve got 14 guys that initially started on our roster that are out,” Coach Larry Courville stated. Plenty of new names have been appearing on the Royals’ roster since the start of the season. In his second game with Reading, Degon dropped the gloves for his new team on Saturday, and Goalie Anderson was in the net for only the 8th time this season.

Among the new faces on the bench was a familiar one for fans at Santander Arena. Former Captain and all-time leading scorer Ryan Cruthers represented the Purple and White at home for the first time since he was traded to the Alaska Aces in March 2012 for Ethan Cox and future considerations.

“Well, you know he’s all-time leading scorer. We were forced to trade him because we weren’t great and he had some value within the league and we ended up trading him for two guys,” explained Coach Courville. “We brought him back for some short numbers… He’s got 5 points in two games. He’s gotta be pretty happy with his performance.”

Reading Royals Ryan Cruthers (Annie Erling Gofus)

Reading Royals Ryan Cruthers (Annie Erling Gofus)

Since leaving Reading, Cruthers finished the 2011-2012 season with the Aces and then moved on to the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. Most recently, he has been the Director of Hockey at the Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania where he manages over 85 kids in the Junior Royals hockey program. After working at what Coach Courville described as “basically a desk job” for the last six months, Cruthers has made a smooth transition back onto the ice.

“It was great, there was a great response. I know a lot kids who play for me are here, family is here, so it was great to be back,” Cruthers said.

Cruthers went on to explain, “Larry called me on Friday. We had talked all summer long, we knew this was probably going to happen, but we were waiting for the right time. And then he called me on Friday, I was away coaching and I told him I’d be there on Monday.”

When asked if his spot on Reading’s roster would last, Cruthers responded, “We’re taking it a day at a time right now.”

The all-time leading scorer for the Royals registered 167 points and 192 penalty minutes in 159 regular season games over three seasons (2009-12). Prior to turning pro, Cruthers split an impressive collegiate career between West Point and Robert Morris University. Before transferring to Robert Morris University, Cruthers was named West Point’s most Outstanding Freshman in 2004 after leading the team in scoring. He was named a captain as a senior at Robert Morris, and finished the season as a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award.

The Fort Wayne Komets 7-2 win over the Reading Royals was sour for a team struggling to maintain a steady roster, but it didn’t make Ryan Cruthers’s homecoming any less sweet.

“Hockey is a fun sport,” Cruthers said with a smile. “It was an easy transition. It was like I never left, to be honest.”

Originally published at http://thehockeywriters.com/sour-loss-sweet-homecoming-readings-cruthers/

Annie Erling Gofus also writes for Olympus Athletics. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

High Heels on Ice: The Tale of a Female Hockey Writer

If this was Cosmo or Glamour, I’d start my profile of Erica Koup by describing what she wore to our interview. I’d write about her glamorous retro-style sunglasses and how effortlessly beautiful her long, curled locks were. I’d gush about how sweet and down-to-earth she was as we chatted candidly over salads at a Hummelstown gastropub. And, of course, I’d really focus on the salads, because what woman isn’t just wild about salads?

But this isn’t Cosmo. In fact, this might be the exact opposite of trashy websites that cover celebrity break-ups and bikini bod diet tips. This is a hockey blog, and Erica Koup is its stylishly sweet and whip-smart writer.

On any given weekend night in Hershey, Pennsylvania, you can spot a lone woman in the Bears’ pressbox. Where the NHL scouts end and the bloggers begin sits the founder and author of The Amateur Fan—a blog that focuses on some of Pennsylvania’s finest professional hockey teams. Eyes intently on the ice, scribbling notes and taking breaks only to inform the scout to her left exactly what’s wrong with the Philadelphia Flyers this season, anyone would be shocked to learn this isn’t Erica’s day job.

“I wanted to run for office and be a politician,” the former political science student admits. “I learned about hockey from my full-time job. I worked Hershey Bears games (as a college recruiter). The first game I went to I was like, I can’t believe you’re making me go to this… I had no idea what was going on.”

What began as an annoying job assignment morphed into The Amateur Fan, where Erica has been posting game analysis and opinions for over nine months now. And while falling in love with hockey was easy, finding her place in hockey media wasn’t as simple. As a hockey rookie and a female sports writer, it can be a struggle to gain credibility.

“I think you have to have a lot of guts (to break into the hockey writing field). You need to put yourself out there. And It’s so hard to. Especially as a female,” Erica said. “Because the guys are always thinking they know more than us, because why not? It must come with their genetics that they know more about hockey than females.”

Unfortunately, Erica’s struggle for respect isn’t unique.

Just 50 miles from Hershey, PA is Santander Arena, home to the ECHL’s Reading Royals. Among the standard male media members is Candice Monhollan who is entering her third season covering Royals hockey for various news outlets. With a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Candice is a professional sports writer who still faces dubious stares.

“It’s a constant battle being a woman in this field. Just when you think you’ve proved yourself, someone else comes out of the woodwork to attack your credibility,” Candice admitted. “The downside, to be honest, is being a female in such a male-dominated career. In certain leagues, I can’t go into the locker room and even some places (have) to change protocol because I’m around and that shouldn’t be the case.”

Any hockey player will tell you that thick skin is vital in succeeding in this sport. Sometimes you need to let a clean hit roll off your shoulders while on the ice, you need to keep your head up and focus on the game. This is advice a female hockey writer can also learn from.

“The first few times (I published an article), I asked my buddy, can you read this and make sure it makes sense,” Erica recalled. “I’m just nervous to put it out there and be judged by people who maybe know a little more about hockey than me.”

“No one’s ever said you don’t understand hockey, just the English language,” Erica laughed. After posting an article on Reddit, “someone said I used the word ironic wrong.” Thick skin is useful when dealing with critics, but love of the game is far more effective.

To be honest, I invited Erica Koup to lunch in the hopes of delving deep into the painful struggles of a female hockey writer. Instead, I discovered over the course of our three-hour-long meal that Erica has happily embraced the challenges of being a woman in this field, and her hockey obsession may have something to do with it.

“I don’t know anyone else who sparks up a conversation about hockey at the eye doctors,” Erica said with a smile.

Up to three times a week, Erica settles into her assigned seat in the Hershey Bears’ pressbox and takes in her surroundings—the Giant Center’s lively crowd, the banter of fellow writers and the swish of skates on ice. When I asked what her favorite part of the job is, Erica simply replied, “I really like watching the games.” Love of hockey makes sitting in cold arenas for hours so easy, and it makes a career in the sport so desirable.

“I really want to work in the front office somewhere. Maybe community relations for a hockey team,” Erica explained. “If I can still write, I would love to continue writing. I sort of fell into writing. I never saw myself in the media or press category.”

Despite facing occasional negativity, Candice also finds that the pros out-weigh the cons as a female sports writer. “I love being able to get paid to watch sports. It’s one of those jobs where you wake up in the morning and don’t regret having to go to work. I love having the ability to travel and meet so many people and I enjoy above all else getting to write and share with others the unique story of an athlete.”

With The Amateur Fan’s first birthday just around the corner, Erica has plans for her second year of hockey writing—expansion, promotion and maybe a trip up North to hockey’s motherland…?

“Yea, I really do think that Canadians are perfect. I love it,” Erica joked as she described a recent trip to Toronto. “I thought I was going to cross the border and it was going to be like Celine Dion and hockey players everywhere.”

Erica Koup: Fashionista, hockey writer, Canada’s number one. Obviously.

Erica Koup and Annie Erling Gofus in the Reading Royals' press room. (Annie Erling Gofus)

Erica Koup and Annie Erling Gofus in the Reading Royals’ press room. (Annie Erling Gofus)

Five Girlie Questions for a Girl About Hockey:

1. Do you love or hate hockey players’ mustaches during the month of Movember?
“I love them. I admire them from the pressbox. I really want to know who has the best mustache on the Bears team. Jeff Taffe can’t grow hair on his head, but he’s pretty solid in the mustache category. I like the handlebars, I think it’s a flashback to the 70s.

2. What’s your favorite hockey jersey?
“I really like the Reading Royals’ jerseys. I like purple and the lion with the crown. The throwback jersey the Hershey Bears wore—that was a really cool jersey. And I like the Avs’ jersey, I think they have nice colors.”

3. Who is your hockey player crush?
“The reason I became a Flyers fan was not because I knew anything about the Flyers, but because of Zac Rinaldo. Gabriel Landeskog comes in a close second.”

4. Would you rather your boyfriend have Brent Burns no-teeth smile or Steve Downie’s scary red post-Washington Capitals line brawl eyeball?
“Steve Downie. I didn’t see the red eyeball, but I’ve seen the developing black eye. It’s tough.”

5. What are your secrets to staying warm and looking cute at hockey games?
“Pants, nice sweater and heels. I stay pretty warm, but throughout the game it always gets colder.”

6. Puck Bunnies, thoughts?
“I don’t think I’ve run into any puck bunnies. It has to be real, because I hear it’s real, but I don’t have any thoughts on that… If you look cute going to the game, does that qualify you as a puck bunny?”

Annie Erling Gofus also writes for Olympus Athletics. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

Originally published at http://theamateurfan.blogspot.com/2013/12/high-heels-on-ice-tale-of-female-hockey.html?spref=tw

Golden Goaldtending Can’t Save Hershey Bears In Home Loss for thehockeywriters.com

With the memory of Friday night’s loss still fresh in their minds, the Bears faced the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday for what would turn out to be a repeat performance. Despite incredible goaltending by David Leggio, Hershey fell to the Baby Penguins 4-2.

After a disappointing loss at the Mohegan Sun Arena two nights ago, Hershey looked to improve their home record and welcome the Baby Pens to one of the rowdiest rinks in the AHL.

“(Our home record) is a big concern.” Coach Mike Haviland said after Saturday’s game, “We have to get away from feeling comfortable at home… This building is the best building to play in. When teams come in here they think it’s an amazing thing. There’s 8,500, 10,000 people a night. It’s a great crowd. It’s a beautiful building. Teams are excited to play here. If you’re in the American Hockey League, you’re excited to play here. And we, for some reason, decide that we don’t want to play here. We just want to go through the motions here… We have to make this a tough building to come into.”

The Hershey Bears faced the W-B/Scranton Penguins for the second night in a row on Saturday. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

The Bears started Saturday night with zest as defenseman David Kolomatis and alternate captain Jeff Taffe drilled home two goals less than half way through the first period. It also didn’t take long for these teams’ dislike for each other to surface as five players were penalized for fighting and roughing in the first 20 minutes of the game. In a period that saw the home team out-shot 12-7, the Chocolate and White led the Penguins into the first intermission 2-0.

After an action-packed first period, the Bears lost control of the game. Chris Conner, Harry Zolnierczyk and Tom Kuhnhackl of W-B/Scranton all tallied goals in the second period.

“We stopped playing, we stopped moving our feet,” Coach Mike Haviland said of his team. “(The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins) work hard, they chip pucks, they play a simple, simple game,” Haviland commented. “They wait for you to make mistakes, they frustrate you.”

Hershey Bears' Tyson Strachan and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' Adam Payerl trade blows in the first period. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

Around the 12 minute mark of the third period, defenseman Chay Genoway fired a shot at goalie Jeff Deslauriers that faked out spectators and players alike–the lamp lit, the crowd cheered, but after review it was decided the puck never crossed the red line. Coach Haviland was among the number who thought the goal was good:

“I thought it went in… would have been a nice little break for us.”

With just two minutes left to play, the Penguins hammered the final nail in the coffin with a goal by Andrew Ebbett. A frustrating night for the entire Bears organization, but possibly none more so than goaltender Leggio. Named one of the three stars of Saturday’s game, Leggio’s magic mitts weren’t enough to drag his team back from a 2 goal deficit.

“The goalie makes unbelievable saves. If he wasn’t in there it could have been 6, 7,” Haviland commented on Leggio’s performance. “We have to play better in front of (Leggio). It’s not a goalie issue right now. We don’t have a goalie issue.”

Hershey Bears' Cameron Schilling and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' Harry Zolnierczyk. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

“(The Club) is pulling guys in, we’re pulling guys out, we’re calling guys up now, we’re trying to send messages to guys, we’re benching guys, you’ve got to push buttons.”

Early on Saturday, The Bears announced they had recalled T.J. Syner from the Reading Royals, and the forward made his 2013-2014 Hershey debut that same night. Syner joined Hershey late in the 2011-2012 season after playing four years at the University of Massachusetts where he was a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award. He was among the players to make a positive impression on Coach Haviland on Saturday:

“We need speed. He’s been playing outstanding on all the reports we got… I thought he played great tonight. We need more speed in the lineup, we need to get up and get after teams, and I think speed kills. And certainly he and Walker were our best two guys up front tonight. They got up and got after it.”

Hershey dropped to 1-2-1-0 at home, and will meet the Norfolk Admirals at the GIANT Center today at 5pm.

Originally published at http://thehockeywriters.com/golden-goaldtending-couldnt-save-hershey-bears/

T.J. Syner Returns to the Reading Royals for thehockeywriters.com

Although separated by only 50 miles, the journey from Hershey to Reading can seem long for an ECHL player eying an AHL roster spot. Movement between the Washington Capitals, the Hershey Bears and the Reading Royals has been free-flowing early this season, with players like Dmitry Orlov being recalled to the NHL, and others being re-assigned to the ECHL.

“(The Club) is pulling guys in, we’re pulling guys out, we’re calling guys up now, we’re trying to send messages to guys, we’re benching guys, you’ve got to push buttons,” Coach Mike Haviland said after a November loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Forward T.J. Syner returned to the Reading Royals in time to face the Wheeling Nailers. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

Last Minute Re-Assignment an Opportunity to Stand Out

Early on November 2nd, The Bears announced they had recalled T.J. Syner from the Reading Royals, and the forward made his 2013-2014 Hershey debut that same night. Syner joined Hershey late in the 2011-2012 season after playing four years at the University of Massachusetts where he was a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award. Although Hershey lost to the Baby Penguins 4-2, Syner was among the players to make a positive impression on Coach Haviland during the November 2nd game:

“We need speed. He’s been playing outstanding on all the reports we got… I thought he played great tonight. We need more speed in the lineup, we need to get up and get after teams, and I think speed kills. And certainly he and Walker were our best two guys up front tonight. They got up and got after it.”

T.J. Syner Playing for the Hershey Bears in early November 2013. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

“I need to wait for an opportunity to present itself, and I need to be ready when it does.”

After two Bears games and recording five penalty minutes, Syner returned to Hershey’s ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals, in time to help his flu-ravaged team to victory against the Wheeling Nailers on November 20th. With six or seven players out sick that night, Reading struggled to match Wheeling’s intense physical game.

“They work really hard, they finish every check,” Syner commented on the Nailers. “It’s hockey—you’ve gotta be able to take a hit. They’re good at that, getting under your skin.”

Reading Royals' Mike Banwell faces off with Wheeling Nailers' Paul Cianfrini. (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

“I didn’t think the first half of the game we were very good,” Royals Coach Larry Courville recalled. “ I didn’t feel we played with enough passion, energy, heart—all the things you need to be successful. And then halfway through the game, I think we got our legs.”

After a scoreless overtime, the Reading Royals out-scored the Wheeling Nailers in a shootout, bringing the team’s record against the Nailers to 4-0-0-0.

With a win on his first night back in Reading, Syner reflected on his time in Hershey and what the rest of the season may hold:

“(My time with the Hershey Bears) was a good experience,” Syner said. “It’s better to be playing down here than to be sitting in the stands up there. I’ve just got to wait for my opportunity again. The season is long… I need to wait for an opportunity to present itself, and I need to be ready when it does.”

Originally published at http://thehockeywriters.com/t-j-syner-returns-reading-royals/

Annie Erling Gofus also writes for Olympus Athletics. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

Hershey Bears vs Hartford Wolf Pack: Photos

After three years as the Connecticut Whale, the Hartford Wolf Pack is celebrating its return to a more predatory moniker by preying on the Hershey Bears. No offense to whales, but an entire pack of bloodthirsty wolves is much scarier than a pod of marine mammals, and Hartford lived up to its name change at Saturday’s game. Hartford battled through a second period deficit to come out of Giant Center with a 4-3 victory over Hershey.

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