RIP – There is a Hockey Heaven

RIP – There is a hockey heaven for those who have left us – Lee


Sean Darby – Rugged player who was the centerpiece on the Gold Line with best friends and teammates Sean Fox, Justin Grossman in 2001-02 season with the AA Las Vegas Mustangs 18u in a massively great season.

Sean Fox – Always wore jersey #88 and played a hard, fast game; was on the fierce checking Gold Line with Sean Darby and Justin Grossman on coach Rob Pallin’s 2001-02 AA Las Vegas Mustangs 18u which advanced to the U.S Nationals.

Johnny Oakes – He played high level roller hockey with dignity and grace while on a line with Micah Sanford, Leroy Garcia and other teenage stars of that era at Crystal Palace Roller Rink on Rancho Drive and at national roller tournaments throughout the USA. Johnny was a very special person and skater.

Eddie Samuels – His first coach was roller legend Larry Sanford when Eddie was 10 years old. Eddie played roller at all levels, then began played ice hockey with the AAA Vail Avalanche Colorado bantam team where the great Jamie O’Leary was head coach. Then Eddie was on the Red Line with Josh Jasek and Adam Naglich for star coach Rob Pallin on his 2001-02 AA Las Vegas Mustangs 18u team. Eddie played for the AAA San Diego Gulls, AAA Cal State Senators, BCHL Victoria Salsa, NAHL Billings Bulls and was captain of the NAHL Fairbanks Ice Dogs where his coach was the legendary Rob Proffit. Eddie’s best friend was all-star defenseman Eddie Del Grosso of Las Vegas.

Nick Schaefer – Best friends with Jason Zucker. The two played youth hockey on an AAA Las Vegas Storm team at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Nick was a gifted goal scorer, great skater, very popular and the unexpected passing of Nick in 2010 was an absolute devastating loss to the Las Vegas hockey community.

Hockey Dads and Moms

Lee Beebe – father of hockey son Brandon who played for the UNLV Rebels. Lee was a home builder, professional skier, musician and friend to all. Before games at the SoBe, Lee met his hockey friends at the sandwich shop just outside the rink doors.

Dave Francis – father of Las Vegas hockey star Chris Francis. Dave was the kind, helpful gatekeeper and blade sharpener at the SoBe Ice Arena Pro Shop. Dave was kind to all – no matter who you were or what team you played for. There wasn’t a player, coach or hockey parent he didn’t care for. Dave is tremendously missed in that arena setting.

Tommy Ricketts – One of the greatest hockey dads of our time. His hockey sons were Beau and Blade Ricketts. Beau played at all levels of the game – he was a star goal scorer for the Helena BigHorns in Montana and later returned to Las Vegas for a tremendous goal scoring season with the WSHL Las Vegas Storm at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Tommy collected hockey cards and would give them to youth hockey players when he was at an arena. Tommy and Jimmy Samuels of Las Vegas were best friends.

Bill Tufano – father of roller star Billy Tufano of Las Vegas. Bill for years was the statkeeper, ran the scoreboard and announced the goals in the Micah Sanford era at the Little House of Champions – Crystal Palace Roller Rink on Rancho Drive. “It was a honor to have Bill announce your goals,” said Eddie Samuels.

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For The Love of Hockey – “Learn to Play” Meeting – By Bethany Drysdale

With the school year winding down and playoff hockey in full swing, now is the perfect time to get kids out on the ice, learning to skate. This weekend, I attended an informative question and answer meeting with Matt Flynn, senior director of Youth Hockey Development. Working with Clark County School, teaching street hockey curriculum, Director Flynn works to promote the Skating Academy at all Vegas location, ensuring a consistent program. With three ice rinks across Las Vegas, and another being built in Henderson, the demand for hockey is out pacing facilities. It is important to sign up right away, to ensure a spot in a class. What better way to spend the hot Vegas summers then on the ice, learning new skills.

            Like many parents, I wanted my kids to hit the ice, stick in hand and start scoring goals. What I learned and was building the fundamentals of skating, through a structured program is crucial for any beginner before a stick can touch the ice. Since October, we have worked our way through the Snowplow Sam 1-4 levels, and this summer my oldest son will start Hockey 1. After completing Hockey 1 & 2, a child is then ready to begin the NHL sponsored “Learn to Play” 8 week development program. Children ages 5-9 are given the opportunity to learn the game of hockey, with head to toe equipment provided to them. Once finished with the 8 week class, they move on to the Lil’ Knights Cross Ice program, where they continue to learn new skills.

            Once a child is involved in the Cross Ice program, the fundamentals of skating always need some fine tuning. The High Performance Academy, High Stakes Hockey, as well as Power Skating drop-in classes are offered in the summer and throughout the school year. Hockey is a year round sport, and taking time off can put a young, developing player behind their peers. As a child progresses through the Junior Knights levels, the competition will only get better. Having the opportunity to train in a city like Las Vegas, where NHL coaches offer their expertise is one huge advantage over smaller markets. The interest in Las Vegas for hockey at all ages levels is growing so fast, demand for ice time is at record highs. Come out and see why hockey is the fastest growing sport in Nevada.

            As a parent who loves hockey it makes me even more excited to see how much my two boys enjoy skating. We skate as a family every Sunday at Sobe Ice, and there are always new skaters trying the ice for the first time. Do not be afraid to try something new, at any age. With summer approaching, find a public skate or sign up for learn to skate programs. Even adults can take classes at the same time as their children. There is a need for more women hockey players too in the house leagues around the area. I can attest to the Women’s Learn to Play on Monday nights being the most fun I have had in many years. We never stop learning new things, so give hockey a try if you have not already.

Bethany Drysdale was voted Best Hockey Writer by our readers here on Vegas Hockey


“My Greatest Goal” – Adam Naglich of Las Vegas

Adam Naglich, an ’84, grew up in Las Vegas and skated on the ‘Red Line’ with Josh Jasek and Eddie Samuels on a Rob Pallin-coached 2001-02 Las Vegas Mustangs 18u team which won the Pacific District Regionals and played in the U.S. Nationals. From there, Adam played with the BCHL Victoria Salsa, was a captain with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks, played in the ECHL with the Bakersfield Condors and skated in Hungary with Sapa Fehervar


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Captain Adam Naglich (right) of Las Vegas & NCAA Alaska Fairbanks 2005-06




“I would have to say my greatest goal would have to be when I was playing in college with NCAA Alaska Fairbanks.

“I scored against Ohio State in the playoffs. We went on to win the Best of 3 series and got to play in the CCHA Finals at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. It was my senior year and it was the first time that our team made it to the Joe in my time playing in Alaska.

“My linemates at the time were Braden Walls and Ryan Hohl.

“The actual goal wasn’t anything fancy or special. I received a pass right around the top of the left face off circle and put it low glove.

“But it really felt great winning this important series on home ice —  something that meant a lot to me and I will never, ever forget it.”

Gage Quinney, Cory Ward, Joe Sullivan Playoff Updates

Monday, April 22, 2019

AHL Playoffs

Gage Quinney of Las Vegas and the AHL Chicago Wolves are 1-1 in a Best of Five with the Grand Rapids Griffins. The next game is at Grand Rapids on Tuesday evening.

ECHL Playoffs

Cory Ward, Joe Sullivan of the ECHL Manchester Monarchs eliminated the Adironack Thunder 4-1 in a Best of Seven.  Next – Manchester Monarchs take on the winner of the Brampton Beast v New Foundland Growlers series. The Brampton Beast lead the Best of Seven 3-2.

Vegas Hockey Flashback – 2006 – Game Stories

Feb 5, 2006 – Stephen Leypoldt of Las Vegas scored a goal and dealt an assist for the Butte Roughriders Jr. B who, while playing for the fourth straight day, battled hard in an 8-6 loss to the Tri-City Titans Jr. B. Stephen found out about life on the road too: the Roughriders, in Spokane on Saturday night, got home at 4 am and then had to be on the ice vs. Tri-City by 10:30 am today.

//Kurt Long of Las Vegas scored both of the goals for the Laconia, N.H. Leafs Jr. Elite who lost 4-2 to Conrad Trimbath and the Northern Mass. Cyclones Jr. A. Kurt now has 6 goals, 4 assists this season.

//Jeff Hajner of Las Vegas blasted in three goals — his second hat trick this week — and he became the leading scorer in the league as the hot Melfort Mustangs Jr. A beat the Flin Flon Bombers 6-4 before 1,261 squeezed into the Northern Lights Palace. Hajner’s 36 goals, 38 assist for 74 points leads all scorers in the Saskatchewan League.

//Eddie Del Grosso had one goal, two assists for the USHL Indiana Ice Jr. A who got a big 5-2 win over the Chicago Steel Jr. A. It was an important win for Indiana which is battling for a playoff position.

//Stephen Leypoldt dealt his 7th assist of the season for the Butte Roughriders Jr. B. He scorched a wrist shot which went off the goalie’s blocker and linemate Brady Downs, Butte’s leading scorer, knocked in the rebound vs. the Spokane Flyers. Butte is playing without its head coach, Joe Liquori who has left the team to be with his critically ill mother. GM Mike Fink is now on the bench for the Roughriders.

//Micah Sanford, the all-time goal scorer from Las Vegas, hammered in a power play goal to help the U of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks crush visiting Lake Superior 8-0 on Friday night. Totalled, in Junior A and college hockey, Micah has scored 103 goals – the next best from Las Vegas are Adam Naglich with 68 and Jeff Hajner, 68.

Also on Friday night:

//Adam Naglich dealt an assist – making a scoring pass to Kyle Greentree on a 4 on 3 power play – to help the U of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks beat the U of Miami, 4-3.

//Jeff Hajner dealt an assist as the Melfort Mustangs Jr. A stayed hot, beating the visiting Flin Flon Bombers 6-3 before one of the largest home crowds in several weeks, 1,006 packed into the Northern Lights Palace Arena.

//Eddie Del Grosso’s USHL Indiana Ice Jr. A broke to an early lead, but lost 4-2 to the visiting Green Bay Gamblers Jr. A.

//Eddie Samuels and the NAHL Billings Bulls Jr. A have a rare off weekend. Billings returns to action on Friday, Feb. 10.

//Jeff Hajner had one of his biggest nights in Junior A hockey – he scored his 31st, 32nd and 33rd goals as the Melfort Mustangs Jr. A beat Humboldt 4-2 in a brutally tough game. After Hajner scored his 3rd goal, a Humboldt player speared Jeff’s teammate Jordan Morgan to ignite an all-out line brawl before 761 frenzed fans at Melfort’s home rink.

Hunter Toms Amazing Season with AAA LA Kings Peewees


Hunter Toms of Las Vegas with coach Brett Beebe of the AAA LA Jr Kings


Hunter Toms Amazing Season With the AAA LA Kings Peewees

Los Angeles – Hunter Toms of Las Vegas and defenseman of the 06 AAA LA Jr Kings peewees, won the Quebec international Peewee Tournament in the AAA Bracket. When the Jr Kings returned they played in the California State Championships the following weekend. The Jr Kings won the gold for the second straight year. They finished the season ranked #3 in the nation for Tier 1 AAA. Hunter is 12 years old, 5’4, 110 lbs.

In 2016 Hunter made the 06 California Brick Team and was the first Las Vegas player on that team since Jason Zucker to make the team from Las Vegas.