BYU Goalie Brandon Ward and His Love For His Late Brother

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BYU is coming into Las Vegas to take on the UNLV Rebels on Thursday 6 pm at the SoBe Ice Arena 

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BYU hockey goalie commemorates deceased brother on helmet

by NICOLETTE POULSEN

BYU goalie Brandon Ward and his older late brother Taylor were unlike most siblings: they never fought.

Instead of arguing, family and friends often saw them laughing and joking around together.

“I’ve heard a lot of families where siblings fight all the time, argue all the time, they’re always at their throats,” the boys’ father, Trevor Ward, said. “But it was the complete opposite for my boys.”

The two were known for never taking family for granted and making the most of the time they had together. Their time together was cut short when Taylor was killed in a car accident while serving a mission in Pocatello, Idaho, during Brandon’s senior year.

“I struggled a lot in my senior year,” Brandon said. “I didn’t really focus too much.”

He wasn’t ready to accept Taylor’s absence. In his mind, Taylor was still on a mission. Even to this day, he still likes to think his brother is in Idaho serving the Lord.

“I just didn’t feel like it was real,” Brandon said. “I didn’t feel like acknowledging it at first.”

Trevor felt it was God’s plan for them to have a close relationship and never argue.

Brandon is a goalie on BYU’s hockey team and said he misses having Taylor on the ice with him. The boys were competitive with one another and pushed each other to become better. However, they never let the competition interfere with their relationship.

“They were constantly challenging each other and always having a great time and a lot of fun,” Trevor said. “They challenged each other, but in a positive way.”

Although Taylor isn’t on the ice with him physically now, Brandon said he knows his brother is always there.

He said he has felt his brother’s spirit during practice and after games. Whenever Brandon does something funny or just needs a laugh, he said he can feel Taylor’s spirit.

“I’ve felt his goofy side lately these past few practices,” Brandon said. “I just do some goofy things for fun and it reminds me of him and it helps me loosen up.”

As a way to remember Taylor, Trevor and Brandon decided to include several symbolic images on his goalie helmet. Brandon has a picture of his brother on the back of his helmet. He said most goalies’ helmets have a memorial on the back. He used the memorial to remember Taylor is always in the back of his mind making sure he’s never forgotten.

“His brother is looking and watching over him,” Trevor said.

Brandon said there is a sun, moon, clouds, angels and “ROTC” on his helmet. They also put Taylor’s CTR ring on the front of the helmet.

“One half is the nighttime with a full moon,” Brandon said. “The other half is the daytime with the sun. I have a picture of him in the back and the ROTC. The angel wings represent angels going up to heaven. It has clouds because he loves clouds.”

The entire helmet is simply a symbol of Taylor.

“It’s a symbol for my brother’s rise to heaven,” Brandon said.

Despite his adversity, Brandon has been able to find success this season. He blocked 20 shots leading the team to a 10-2 victory against UVU for its first game earlier this month.

Monday Game Action – Updates

Monday, January 16, 2017

There are two big games set for today – Monday:

Noon –  UNLV is at Metro State Denver in a Big Mountain Classic game.

//Tristan Mayer, Jake Saxe, Mitchell Province have scored for UNLV in a 3-3 game late in third period. Cody Williams powerplay goal to make it UNLV 4-3 with 2:04 left in game. Metro State empty net 0:58 to play. UNLV’s Dion Antisin empty net goal with 0:07 to play. UNLV wins 5-3. Rebels 2-2-0 on their Colorado road trip. Next game: BYU vs UNLV at Las Vegas Ice Center on Thursday evening. Faceoff 6 pm.

Noon – The Nevada Storm High School Team is in a Cactus Cup gold medal game vs AHSA Premier Arizona at the AZ Ice Center in Peoria, Arizona

//Final score – Arizona wins the battle 3-1. Sam Redoble scored for the Nevada Storm High School team which gets the silver medal.

Las Vegas Weekend Goal Scorers

Here are the Las Vegas weekend goal scorers – January 12-16 2017

GOALS

6 – Jeffery Morgan, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

5 – Nikita Pintusov, WHL Las Vegas Storm

5 – Patrick Voors, Nevada Storm High School Team 

3 – Joey Allegrini, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

3 – Dion Antisn, UNLV

3 – Jean Christophe Lachapelle, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

3 – Amandus Laukkanen, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

3 – Chris Otomo, Nevada Storm High School Team

3 – Jake Saxe, UNLV

3 – Michael Yochum, Nevada Storm High School Team

2 – Patrick Conroy, Nevada Storm High School Team

2 – Andrew Hone, AAA Nevada Storm 16u

2 – Isaiah Letendre, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

2 – Nick Peck, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

2 – Sam Redoble, Nevada Storm High School Team

2 – Eric Williams, WSHL Ontario Avalanche

2 – Cody Williams, UNLV

2 – Cameron Zucker, AAA Nevada Storm 16u

1 – Bas Assaf, UNLV

1 – Ted Astrom, WSHL Nevada Storm

1 – Seth Bergeron, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

1 – Caleb Day, Nevada Storm High School Team

1 – Brenden Fehlig, WSHL Nevada Storm

1 – Jasper Fitzi, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

1 – Alex Fuhrst, AAA Nevada Storm 16u

1 – Niklas Giers, UNLV

1 – Tino Nummela, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

1 – Nicolas Ondrejkovic, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

1 – Tristan Mayer, UNLV

1 – Ben McDonald, Nevada Storm High School Team

1 – Zach Pochiro, ECHL Norfolk Admirals

1 – Mitchell Province, UNLV

1 – Tyler Rosales, Nevada Storm High School

1 – Alex Roth, WSHL Las Vegas Storm

1 – Sam Sykes, WSHl Las Vegas Storm

1 – James Taber, Nevada Storm High School

1 – Mike Trimboli, EHC Neuwied Bears – Germany

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday – UNLV 2, Denver University 4

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Sunday Flash Final Score  – UNLV 2, Denver University 4 – Nicklas Giers scored first for UNLV with assists from Cody Williams and Jake Saxe. The second UNLV goal was scored bv Jake Saxe, assisted by Ian Davis. Terry Martin was in the Rebels net.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Denver – No snow yet but it’s in the forecast when West #2 ranked UNLV takes on #7 ranked Denver tonight 9 pm local time at the Joy Burns Arena which has a NHL-sized sheet of ice.

Terry Martin will start in the net for UNLV. The top line tonight will be Cody Williams, Tristan Mayer and Viktor Brask. 

Denver is 13-7-1 overall and is coming off a big 5-1 win over ASU D2 on Saturday night. UNLV is 21-4-0 overall and coming off a very tough 1-0 loss at Boise State last night.

UNLV coach Anthony Greener said today “..Denver has been in a lot of close games with really good teams so we cannot take them lightly – and we are playing them on their home rink.”

And the forecast of a heavy snow?  “Haven’t seen it yet here,” he said from the team hotel today.

Sunday – AAA Nevada Storm 16u in Final 4 Game Today

Flash Update –  The AAA Nevada Storm 16u had more shots 49-15 but lost 2-1 in OT to Colorado Springs in a Final 4 game on Sunday. Andrew Hone scored for Las Vegas. Cameron Burchill was in net. “We dominated the entire game but we just couldn’t score,” said head coach Micah Sanford.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Superior, Colorado –  The Micah Sanford coached AAA Nevada Storm 16u is in a Final 4 game today.  The Storm advanced in a tier Futures Prospects tournament with an 4-3 OT win over Golden State Elite on Saturday. Cameron Zucker scored two goals, Andrew Hone one goal and Alex Furhst scored the OT game-winner. Anthony Bonaldi was in the net.

Micah said today “..overall this weekend we have battled hard and have won the games we needed to win the most.”

FINAL FOUR

Colorado Springs Tigers 2, Nevada Storm AAA 16u 1 OT

Omaha AAA vs Colorado Evolution

JASON ZUCKER GETS GAME-WINNER TO BEAT DALLAS STARS

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dallas – With the game on the line, Jason Zucker of Las Vegas was in the right spot – right in front of the Dallas Stars net.

Jason’s linemate Mikael Granlund fired a shot, it was blocked by the Dallas goalie and the puck bounced off Jason and went into the net in the third period. Jason was credited with the goal to help the NHL Minnesota Wild beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 before a sellout crowd of 18,532 at the American Airlines Center. Jason was selected as the #1 Star of the Game.

Jason and the Wild are on an amazing 16-1-1 run in their last 18 games.

Best Ever WSHL Las Vegas Storm Rumbles to 12-2 Win

Saturday, January 14, 2017

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – When GM/head coach Gabe Gauthier took a long look at his club on the ice Saturday night he knew they were the best team he has ever had here in town and now it is a matter of getting wired in for the playoffs which begin in March.

The WSHL Las Vegas Storm beat the Phoenix Knights for the third straight time, this one a 12-2 game and the Storm had to work through some very hard checks, fighting, and rough action near the rinkboards.

And those were the nice things to say about Phoenix which left the Las Vegas Ice Center in three vans to head home on a cold rainy Saturday night.

On the bench Gauthier looked at the bigger picture during this game. The Storm has an array of hard skating goal scorers, top defensemen and at last are strong in the net.  Las Vegas is 19-13-2 – breaking a record for most wins in a single season – and after the game Gauthier was chatting about how the youngest Storm players are getting more accustomed to the grit and hard play in the deep dark corners of the North Rink in a junior hockey game.

Those players include hometown skaters like Brenden Fehlig, Kyle Molony and Seth Bergeron who all played well in this game.  The Storm’s best hometown player is defenseman Jake McKenna who is paired with captain Tino Nummela. They defend with dignity, working hard and moving pucks out of danger zones

Gauthier said next weekend will give him a better image of where his team really is right now. The Storm is off to take on the tremendously skilled WSHL Valencia Flyers who have been an elite team for years in this league.

From the Blue Line –  Ethan Schwartz of Phoenix took a hard puck onto his face shield right above an eye in the third period…. Las Vegas hockey mom Charla Ricketts was at game. She said he son Beau – a big hockey star here in town for the WSHL Las Vegas Storm – is doing well but not playing hockey in Minot, N.D….Long time Las Vegas referee Jon Constantine, who is now living in Dayton, Ohio, stopped by to see the game. He is in town to see his mother Barbara.  Jon said when he was a referee in town he gave it his all “…no matter what level of a game I officiated – from a professional game to a squirt game. I gave it all I had.”….and speaking of greatness, referee Adam Hendren and linesman Jared Jaeger did their very best keeping this heated game on track.

WSHL LAS VEGAS STORM 12, PHOENIX KNIGHTS 2

LV – Isaiah Letendre (20th goal this season) Joey Allegrini assist

LV – Nikita Pintusov 28th (Brenden Fehlig)

LV – Nicolas Ondrejkovic 3rd (Jean Christophe Lachapelle)

LV – Jasper Fitzi 3rd (Nicolas Ondrejkovic)

LV – Jeffery Morgan 21st (Ted Astrom)

LV – Seth Bergeron 2nd (Ted Astrom, Jeffery Morgan)

LV – Joey Allegrini 8th (Seth Bergeron, Ted Astrom)

LV – Nikita Pintusov 29th (Brenden Fehlig, Seth Bergeron)

LV – Amandus Laukkanen 8th (Egor Kovalendo)

LV – Amandus Laukkanen 9th (Sam Sykes, Nick Peck)

LV – Jeffery Morgan 22nd (Ted Astrom, Isaiah Letendre)

LV – Jeffery Morgan 23rd (Joey Allegrini)

Las Vegas goalie – Spencer Kozlowski

 

 

 

NEVADA STORM HIGH SCHOOL TEAM IN GOLD MEDAL GAME MONDAY

Sunday Flash Update –  Patrick Conroy and Caleb Day scored for the Nevada Storm in a 2-1 win over the Santa Rosa Flyers in a Final 4 game.  On Monday, Nevada Storm H.S. team will take on AHSHA Premier Arizona for the gold medal.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Peoria, Arizona –  The Nevada Storm High School team is 1-1-1 overall in the six-team Cactus Cup at the AZ Ice Center this weekend. The Storm, coached by Jeff Bruckner, has advanced to the Final Four.

Here are the Friday scores:

Nevada Storm 13, Redwood City Black Stars 4

Storm goals:  Patrick Voors 4, Chris Otomo 3, Michael Yochum 1, Patrick Conroy 1, Ben McDonald 1, Sam Redoble 1, Tyler Rosales 1 and James Taber 1

Storm goalie: Gage Dunakoskie

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Nevada Storm 1, Portland Winterhawks 1 (tie)

Storm goal – Michael Yochum

Storm goalie – Sam Kjos


Saturday

Santa Rosa Flyers 4, Nevada Storm 3

Storm goal – Patrick Voors

Storm goal – Michael Yochum plus 2 assists in this game

Storm goal – Caleb Day

Storm goalie – Gage Dunakoskie

 

Sunday

FINAL FOUR

AHSHA Premier Arizona def Portland Winterhawks

Nevada Storm High School Team 2, Santa Rosa Flyers 1

Storm goal – Patrick Conroy

Storm goal – Caleb Day

 

Monday

GOLD MEDAL GAME

NOON – NEVADA STORM HIGH SCHOOL TEAM VS AHSHA PREMIER ARIZONA