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Friday September 30 2016 

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Sep 17, 2016, 5:17 pm

Dear Blyth Prep Hockey Players and Families

I would like to take this initial opportunity to welcome you to the Blyth Academy Prep Family.

In this initial communication I would like to go over a few items:

Goals/Objectives for the 2016/17 Season
Blyth Prep Hockey Schedule
Player Meetings/Open Door Policy
Player Handbook
Team Dress Code/Travel Needs
Credit Card Information/ Bus and Hotel Needs
Team Fundraisers
Medical and Passport Information

This email will be relatively lengthy but I will try to outline some of the key points that our staff feel are necessary for first year players to have a smooth transition into the Blyth Program, especially while travelling.

1) Firstly our team goals and objectives for this year, as a Prep Hockey program our goal is to develop all of our players to the next level. During the season we will utilize the network of NCAA, USHL, OHL, Tier II and CIS coaches, managers and scouts to ensure that we offer our players the opportunity to network as well with these individuals. As Coach Dennis Gendron of the University of Maine always emphasizes to me, "If I don't meet them, I can't help them".
In order to achieve our goal of development to the next level, this team will be run in the same manner as the top Canadian and American programs. As you look through this program and begin to experience the culture that our staff have built, you will begin to see how we intend to develop our student-athletes on and off the ice in preparation for this jump to the next level of hockey and academics.

2) Both U16 and U18 teams will kick off their season at the prestigious Boston Jr Bruins Shootout in Marlborough, MA; it is expected that there will be over 100 scouts from Junior to NCAA to Pro hockey at the New England Sports Center next weekend.

In addition to our PSHF (Prep School hockey Federation) League schedule and the showcase in Boston, we will also be attending the ECEL Showcase in Vaughan (Oct), the Harborcenter Cup in Buffalo (Oct), the Cyclones Showcase in New Hampshire (Jan) and other showcase events in Ottawa, Detroit and Eastern Canada. We will contine to play an inter-school schedule in our league with teams such as: Blyth Academy Burlington, St. Michael's Prep, The Hill Academy, Ridley College, Appleby College, Upper Canada College, and many more.
This season our U18 group will be participating in a modified schedule in the NCPHL in addition to their regular schedule; the NCPHL is a Tier III Junior League run out of the United States.

Our team schedule will be made available via email, twitter (@BlythBruinsPrep) and on our Blyth Hockey Website (www.blythpreptoronto.ca) throughout the season.

Lastly, our daily schedule will consist of Ice Sessions Tuesday through Thursday from 3:45pm-5:15pm for the U18’s and Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 3:45pm-5:20pm for the U16’s and mandatory Team Workout Sessions after the on-ice workout.

3) During the first month of the season, the staff and I will be organizing player/team meetings in order to introduce ourselves and the aspects of the program. As players would have at the NCAA or OHL level there will be an "Open-Door" Policy for all our players with the staff and I. We will meet with any player at anytime in person, via email or by phone regarding any matters of hockey, school, outside life, etc.

For parents, the staff and I will be available for contact by phone, email or in-person meeting for matters other than hockey and by appointment only. All hockey matters must first be discussed by the parents with the General Manager Simon Mestel and will be forwarded to the Coaching Staff. We are attempting to put the responsibility in the players hands to act and communicate for themselves.
 
4) We have handed out to all players a Player Handbook and Team Playbook which outlines all of our team expectations and rules of operation for the upcoming season. The Coaching Staff will be going through the handbook with each player to ensure understanding and commitment to the program. A signed copy by all members of the team will be needed and will be kept on file. Any questions regarding the handbook can be forwarded to Simon Mestel or myself.

5) The Blyth Prep Program will take a Professional approach to our dress code both on and off the ice. We will expect all players and coaching staff to follow dress code while in the arena, on road trips and on the way to games. We would also expect our players to wear “Blyth” or "Blyth Prep" Apparel during team workouts and away from the rink during road trips, just as they would be expected to do in an NCAA or OHL environment. We are attempting to brand ourselves as the "Blyth Prep Hockey Team" and this season we will have pride in that branding.
If any player or parent is in need of Blyth or Blyth Prep Branded Items please let me know and I will arrange for you to receive some. This includes: hoodies, polos, tracksuits, t-shirts, dri-fit clothing, shorts, caps, etc.
Players should dress comfortably for all road trips and should be prepared for all tournament/showcase games with the following:
Dress Shoes with Dress Socks (Not White)
Dress Pants
Dress Shirt/Tie
Warm Jacket or Suit Jacket
Warm Up apparel and shoes for pre-game warmup
As far as on ice dress code, all players have a black helmet and have received team gloves, pant shells and will receive their game socks for the season. Our staff and Captains will take care of the team jerseys for the season.
The following items are MANDATORY for all on-ice events:
Full Cage or Full (Fishbowl) Visor on helmets
Neck Guards
Mouthguards
Ear loops and ear flaps
I would also recommend that each player have three (3) sticks when travelling and an extra set of blades for their skates.

6) I have been asked by Simon Mestel and our hotel coordinators to request credit card information for the upcoming season. We will need credit card information to ensure each player or group of players has a room booked for them. The sooner we can get this information the faster we can reserve hotel rooms for not only this tournament but the future tournaments as well. In addition, while travelling, players should have a debit card, credit card or cash for them for snacks and meals; breakfast is provided by the hotel. It is safe to assume that lunch, dinner and snacks will cost about $100-$120 on a three or four day trip, but that is solely dependant on what the player plans on eating. We will usually make a stop at a grocery store on the Buffalo side of the border for players to purchase snacks and some food for meals at the hotel.

While travelling, all players will be given an itinerary printout which they will be expected to follow every day! Any changes to the itinerary will be outlined by the staff.

Lastly, we recommend that each player bring their homework and a pillow for the bus rides; it is a long trip to some of our destinations and our boys might as well get some homework done and get some rest in the evenings.

7) Team Fundraisers- We do have a couple team fundraisers planned for this season. Simon had sent out our Chudleigh's Pie fundraiser for Thanksgiving and Christmas; in addition we are trying to confirm details for our Team Christmas Dinner which will probably be the Decmber 2-4 weekend.

Also we are in the process of planning a Europe Trip in April 2017 to play some of the German, Italian and Austrian U16 and U18 programs; this trip is not mandatory for our players and will be above and beyond our budget. Simon will be finalizing flight, hotel and trip prices and details, and we will pitch the idea out once we have this information. This would make for a great finishing trip to our 2016/17 season!

8) We would expect all players to have filled out their medical information supplied by Simon Mestel.

Lastly and most importantly for travel! ALL PASSPORTS AND INTERNATIONAL VISAS (for international students) MUST BE UP TO DATE prior to stepping on the bus for our trips.

I can only guarantee two things out of this season, the first being that the team will be well organized and well run; the second being that if we can get all players and families to buy in to what we are doing then this year will be a successful and enjoyable one both on and off the ice.

Looking forward to a great season,
 
Alex Bezerra
Head Coach and Program Founder

Alex Bezerra
Director of Player Personnel and Head Coach- Blyth Bruins Prep
Director of Player Personnel and Assistant Coach- Burlington Cougars OJHL
(C) 647.300.0559
(E) abezerra@conacherathletics.com
(E) abezerra@burlingtoncougarsjrahockey.ca


BJB Shootout
Sep 16, 2016, 8:29 pm

Junior Bruins Shootout Expected to Draw Over 100 Scouts at Showcase

09/14/2016, 8:30pm EDT
By Mike Klein
Boston, MA - The Junior Bruins Shootout returns on Friday, September 23, to the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, MA. The event features action from the USPHL Premier, 18U, and 16U divisions and brings in top teams from the Eastern Seaboard for a three-day showcase in front of over one hundred college and pro scouts.
 
Premier teams involved are the Junior Bruins, South Shore Kings, Springfield Pics, PAL Jr. Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Islanders Hockey Club, Okanagan Eagles, Jersey Hitmen, Syracuse Stars, and Connecticut Jr. Rangers.
 
The 18-and-under field consists of the Junior Bruins, Selects Academy at South Kent School, PAL Jr. Islanders, Skipjacks Hockey Club, Connecticut Jr. Rangers, and Rochester Monarchs.
 
The 16-and-under teams competing in the tournament are the Junior Bruins, Skipjacks Hockey Club, Connecticut Jr. Rangers, PAL Jr. Islanders, Selects Academy at South Kent School, CP Dynamo, Potomac Patriots, Rochester Monarchs, New Jersey Rockets, and Springfield Pics.
 
18-and-under and 16-and-under teams will play a collection of league and non-league games.
 
“The Junior Bruins Shootout is a tremendous weekend of hockey for all involved,” stated USPHL Commissioner Jeff Nygaard. “It represents a great opportunity for everybody involved to compete against high-caliber competition. Peter and Chris Masters do an excellent job of running the tournament, attracting the top teams, and bringing in a large contingent of scouts.”
 
Last season, over one hundred scouts attended the event, which showcased ninety teams from the 20-and-under, 18-and under, and 16-and-under age groups. Most games will be played at the New England Sports Center, with selected games occurring at nearby Navin Rink (Marlboro), NorthStar Youth Forum (Westboro), Holy Cross (Worcester), and The Edge (Bedford). Tickets will be sold at the New England Sports Center and all games will be broadcast on FastHockey.com.
 
For more information, please visit USPHL.com
 
 

Apr 21, 2016, 5:25 pm

Oshawa goalie Sean Andrus finds a home with Blyth Bruins in Toronto

Cut from AAA hockey team last season, family finds another way

Oshawa This Week

OSHAWA — Sports tryouts invariably leave more athletes disappointed than satisfied when the final cuts are made, but it doesn’t always spell the end for those who don’t make the team.

Sean Andrus and his family were among those left questioning the process when he was cut from Oshawa’s bantam AAA hockey team last year, but rather than stew too much about it, they found a solution in an unexpected place.

Sean, a goalie, had played AAA in his hometown of Oshawa from novice through minor bantam, and had little interest in moving down to AA, so began looking for other options, but had trouble doing so because his release came after most other teams were set.

That’s when the family learned about the Blyth Bruins program in Toronto, which operates under-16 and under-18 teams out of Westwood Arena and plays in the Prep School Hockey Federation.

It proved to be more expensive than rep hockey — father Larry Andrus said they spent just over $8,000 this season — but well worth it, in the minds of both father and son.

“It has just been amazing. They run a team like an OHL team,” Larry Andrus explained. “It’s geared for kids that have a higher degree of talent and the drive to move to the next level.”

Although first and foremost an educational institution, not every player who plays hockey at Blyth attends the academy.

Sean, for example, attended Grade 9 at McLaughlin Collegiate in Oshawa and travelled to Westwood Arena three times a week for one-and-a-half hour practices followed by another hour-and-a-half in the gym.

Games are played primarily on weekends as part of tournaments that have become popular among scouts of junior and college hockey, Larry Andrus says.

Pointing out that some players come from overseas and that most were older than him this season, Sean said he was happy with the decision and looks forward to returning to play for Blyth again next season.

“At the start, I didn’t know how competitive it was really going to be, but when the season got going, I realized it was triple-A level,” he said. “At the start of last year, I really wasn’t enjoying hockey as much as I should have been, so when I found Blyth I was really happy.”

Set to turn 15 this summer, Sean will be eligible for next year’s Ontario Hockey League draft, which is where his preference still lies, despite a recent interest also being shown for NCAA hockey.

Michael Lawrence, a former goalie coach with the Oshawa Generals, has had Andrus at his goalie school the past few years, and says he noticed a marked improvement in the young keeper at the most recent sessions at the Campus Ice Centre in Oshawa.

“I noticed a huge difference in Sean now than just six months ago,” said Lawrence, who has been working the past few hockey seasons with a pro team in Switzerland. “He’s really become a way better puck-tracker and a stronger kid than he was. He still has a long, long way to go, but that’s a big credit to their program.”


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