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Coach's Corner


Sep 17, 2016, 5:16 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



Dylan Gervais Article
Dec 21, 2015, 2:24 am

Sports Hockey

Hockey adventure continues for Timmins' Dylan Gervais

Benjamin Aube

By Benjamin Aubé

In his second year with the Blyth Bruins of the Prep School Hockey Federation, Timmins' Dylan Gervais, 17, has been named one of the team's alternate captains. After moving to Toronto at the age of 14, Gervais' commitment to the game is showing results, both on and off the ice.

In his second year with the Blyth Bruins of the Prep School Hockey Federation, Timmins' Dylan Gervais, 17, has been named one of the team's alternate captains. After moving to Toronto at the age of 14, Gervais' commitment to the game is showing results, both on and off the ice.

 

TORONTO - When he was 14 years old, Dylan Gervais made the big jump from Timmins to Toronto in order to pursue his own path in hockey.

Now, in his second year with the Blyth Academy Bruins of the Prep School Hockey Federation (PSHF), Gervais has been named the team's alternate captain and has started his season with 10 points in 12 games.

“He is a force to be reckoned with,” stated Alex Bezerra, head coach of the Bruins. “Dylan is a player who has earned what he has received and brings his best effort every night.”

Gervais' journey started in his hometown Timmins, where he attended school at École secondaire catholique Thériault and played through the local hockey system up to his major bantam year with the 'AAA' Timmins Eagles.

But it was during that Grade 9 year that Gervais really caught the eye of the minor midget 'AAA' Toronto Titans. They asked him to join the team down south for the next season.

It was a large step for the young Northerner, but he adapted so well that he made the Blyth prep squad last year and is back for another go around this season as a 17-year-old.

“I love the experience I am getting with this team,” said Gervais. “I have a great coach who helps us excel and I play with teammates from Canada, the States and Europe.

“We also travel to the States. I've played in Québec City, Saint John, N.B., New York, Chicago, New Hampshire, Boston and so many more. We get a lot of exposure and opportunities to improve. We visit universities, we meet with the coaching staff from the University teams and I also get tons of exposure to scouts.”

Gervais is fourth on the U18 Bruins in scoring so far on the campaign on a team that also features major point-producers like Justin Pelowich-Pickup, captain Jonathan Pereira (14 points), Andrew Neeposh (11 points) and Solan Shifara (10 points).

“Dylan has been off to a quick start this season and is on pace to be a point-per-game player this season,” said Bezerra. “In looking at our current roster and stats, we have a program filled with some very talented players like Dylan who can score and keep the game exciting. The program preaches the pillars of dedication, commitment, family and discipline. Dylan is a prime example of a candidate who lives his life according to these pillars.”

“As he continues to grow and develop our hopes are to move him to an Ontario Junior Program to work towards his goals of playing college and pro hockey.”

After a season-and-a-half coaching Gervais, Bezerra said the Timmins native was a natural choice to be one of the team's captains.

“Success is no accident,” said Bezerra. “It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing.”

Gervais revealed he'd rather lead than follow, and said his experiences over the past three years in the the Big Smoke will serve him well in his new role as alternate captain for the Bruins.

“When I moved to Toronto nobody knew me,” said Gervais. “I had to prove myself. People tell me I'm a leader. I bring the boys together and I lead by example. I work hard on and off the ice. I motivate. I never stop, even in the summer. I give everything I have to the game. I get along with all my teammates and and I know our team will have a good year.”

Gervais has been playing both on the power play and the penalty kill this season with the Bruins, something that he believes will only help continue his overall on-ice development.

“'I am a strong forward and a two-way player with a great work ethic,” said Gervais, describing himself as a player. “I am a hard working winger that battles hard on every shift either in the corners, along the boards or in front of the net. I'm an effective player that contributes to the team spirit and give everything I have in a game.”

With his proud parents, Mike and Line, following his every step from back home in Timmins, Gervais hopes his next stop on his adventure will be somewhere on the junior hockey circuit, and eventually to the NCAA while he goes to school.

And though he's still young, Gervais said his drive has him focused on playing professional hockey one day, whether that means staying in North America or adding another chapter to his travel-log over in Europe.

“I want to be the best hockey player I can be,” he added. “This year I am finishing my grade 12. I have kept high marks throughout my high school years. I need to decide what route I'm taking for my education and my hockey. I am hoping to get a scholarship.”

 


Welcome Message
Sep 14, 2015, 12:18 am

Dear Blyth Prep Hockey Players, Families, Fans and Staff,

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 2015/16 Season

Blyth Prep Hockey Schedule

Player Meetings/Open Door Policy

Player Handbook

Team Dress Code

Credit Card Information

Medical and Passport Information

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) By competing in our league, the Prep School Hockey Federation, and a number of Prep Hockey Tournaments we will allow ourselves to visit the campuses and facilities of many of these organizations and schools. In addition to our showcase games we will be playing 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. Our team schedule will be made available via email, twitter (@BlythBruinsPrep) and on our Blyth Hockey Website (www.blythpreptoronto.ca) throughout the season.

In addition, our daily schedule will consist of Ice Sessions Tuesday through Thursday from 4pm-5:30pm for the U16’s and Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 3:45pm-5:15pm for the U18’s and mandatory Team Workout Sessions after workout.

3) During the upcoming two weeks of practices, 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 will be handing out to all players a Player Handbook 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. 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. Most of this will be supplied by the team or school but all other items we can arrange as a team to supply for our players and families.

6) I have been asked by Simon Mestel and our hotel coordinators to request credit card information for the upcoming season. Our first tournament will be September 25-27, 2015 in Buffalo and 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.

7) We will be supplying our players with a list of information (medical, passport, etc.) that they will need for the upcoming season prior to the first event.

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 meeting everyone,

 

Alex Bezerra

Head Coach and Program Founder