Saturday, June 24, 2017

Special to

Ivan Lodnia, the hockey son of coach Konstantine Lodnia, was drafted by the NHL Minnesota Wild in their first pick for the player draft on Friday. Ivan, selected in the 3rd round – the 85th pick overall – played for the OHL Erie Otters this past season.

The Wild traded their round one and two draft picks to obtain Martin Hanzel from the NHL Arizona Coyotes. Ivan Lodnia was then selected by the Wild in round three.

Years ago Konstantine was the head coach of the AA Long Beach Ice Dogs 18u who were the first most fierce rival for hockey coach Rob Pallin of the AA Las Vegas Mustangs in the 1999-2002 era. The two teams locked up in historical games. At the time in AA hockey history here in town the big Pacific rivals were the L.A. Jr Kings, Long Beach Ice Dogs, San Diego Gulls, Alaska All-Stars and the Anchorage Jr Aces.

Long Beach skated out of the historic Glacial Gardens.

In 2001-02 Las Vegas – with the Red Line of Josh Jasek, Adam Naglich and Eddie Samuels – beat the Long Beach Ice Dogs 4-1 in a Pacific District Regional game enroute to winning a gold medal there and advance to the U.S. Nationals. Las Vegas defenseman Justin Johnson scored 2 goals and Naglich, Jasek also scored to beat Long Beach – a very tough hard-skating club.