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Thursday, June 29, 2017

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – It’s time to celebrate. The USA 241 years ago signed its Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the world of hockey – GMs, head coaches, players and Las Vegas hockey moms and dads – will be celebrating all over our city on July 4.

STEVE ALLEN, HOCKEY DAD WHOSE SON JASON PLAYED FOR THE AAA LAS VEGAS REBELS, AAA L.A. JR KINGS AND AAA SAN DIEGO JR GULLS – “Going to spend July 4 with my son Jason with his family of four – Roman, Gianella, Emma, Cloe – three beautiful girls and a boy. There will be a lot of food and a lot of hockey talk. Can’t wait to see the fireworks.”

JOE BATTAGLIA, LAS VEGAS HOCKEY DAD – “Small family BBQ at the house to celebrate July 4. My son Justin is playing men’s league hockey twice each week – with Puck Dynasty on Wednesday nights and The Leafs on Thursday nights at the SoBe Ice Arena.”

BRANDON BAVIS OF MOUNT PEARL, CANADA PLAYED FOR GABE GAUTHIER’S WSHL LAS VEGAS STORM IN 2014-15. “I am doing well in Edmonton right now. Played a bit of pro hockey last year. I will be doing one of three things this year – playing pro in Sweden or in Edmonton or coaching Jr A in Ontario, Canada. I have stayed in touch with one of my Las Vegas teammates Nathan Fournier. He is moving this week from California to Montana. Hello to all of my friends in Las Vegas.”

VITO CARLO OF LAS VEGAS LAST SEASON SKATED FOR THE NA3HL ATLANTA CAPITALS. “We plan to barbecue with my family and light some fireworks. Looking to meet up too with Jimmy Samuels and some other friends as well.”

PAT CICHY, LAS VEGAS HOCKEY MOM WHOSE SON MICHAEL LAST SEASON PLAYED FOR THE NA3HL ATLANTA CAPITALS – “We will be spending time with some friends relaxing. We live down the street from the Red Rock Casino which will have fireworks and we will be able to get a glimpse of them from our yard.”


MATT EDLIN, LONG-TIME LAS VEGAS HOCKEY EXECUTIVE: “We are spending some time in Brewster, NY for five days with our girlfriend. We are heading to Cape Cod on July 4 and will be with family and friends. We just went to the Brewster Ice Arena which I learned has a great hockey arena and is the home of the New York Apple Core teams. Still living in Las Vegas however and playing some pickup hockey there. Am excited about the NHL Golden Knights and the UNLV Rebels. Hope all in Las Vegas will have a great July 4.

MEGAN EDMUNDS, THE OUTSTANDING PUBLICIST FOR THE ACHA D1 UNLV REBELS HOCKEY TEAM: “I will be spending the day working and then I will head home to hang out with family and friends. I will also be preparing to get ready for an early morning flight to Canada the next day.”

ERIK FISCHER OF LAS VEGAS last played for the WSHL Ogden Mustangs. He was always a high speed performer in ice and in roller hockey. Now he plays for the Iceaholics, a men’s league team which plays on Wednesday nights at the SoBe Ice Arena on North Rancho Drive. “Hayden Breceda – remember him – I am sure you do – is one of my teammates on Wednesday nights. We grew up playing hockey together. For July 4 we plan to be at a BBQ at my brothers house and light up some fireworks there to celebrate.”

DOUG FUNDATOR, LAS VEGAS HOCKEY DAD WHOSE SON LUKE IS A TOP GOALIE HERE IN TOWN. “Luke will be participating in the Desert Challenge Cup games at the Las Vegas Ice Center. He has a game on the morning of the 4th. After the game we will be celebrating July 4 with friends and family at our home as we have another game early the next morning on July 5. To all in Las Vegas, have a great holiday.”

GABE GAUTHIER, GM HEAD COACH WSHL LAS VEGAS STORM AND HOCKEY DIRECTOR FOR JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS YOUTH HOCKEY TEAMS AT LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER: “We have plans to celebrate the 4th with the community we live in. Our neighborhood is putting on a BBQ and activities for kids and adults.”

JARED JOERGER, OUTSTANDING ROLLER HOCKEY COACH IN LAS VEGAS – “This year our families are spending this holiday apart. I am in town working but my wife Kendall is travelling through Israel with a couple of Team USA teams as their athletic trainer. She is working as part of their sports med teams. She was chosen as one of six trainers from the USA to travel to Israel for the Maccabiah Games.”

MATT JOHNSON, FORMER LAS VEGAS COACH NOW AN ASSISTANT COACH AT TUFT’S UNIVERSITY – “We will most likely go to our lake house in Maine. We will have family and friends with us. Every town around us in the Boston area has fireworks on either July 3 or 4 which you can see from surrounding towns. So plenty of fireworks for us – it gets a little crazy so Maine is a nice escape. We will be back this season with Tufts and also we will be head coach of the East Coast Spartans U18 team as well.”

AARON KINSLOW – YEARS AGO HE AND EDDIE SAMUELS OF LAS VEGAS WERE COACHES OF THE WSHL PARK CITY MOOSE IN UTAH – “For our July 4 we will be going to Cass Lake in Minnesota for water skiiing, fishing, surfing, relaxing, spending time with family. I hope all is Las Vegas are doing well.”

JOHN MCNICHOLAS, – HOCKEY DAD OF STAR LAS VEGAS PLAYERS JOHN PAUL MCNICHOLAS AND MICHAEL MCNICHOLAS  – LIVING IN LA AREA – “We will likely stay home, go to our beach across the street and then watch fireworks from our balcony.” UPDATE ON JULY 4 FROM JOHN – “I did the Hermosa Ironman with men’s league hockey buddies – mile run, mile paddle, then some cold beverages.”

TALON MILLER FROM BIRD CREEK, ALASKA, WAS A GOALIE TWO SEASONS FOR THE AAA LAS VEGAS STORM 16U – Talon will celebrate with his wife and new baby Celeste. Talon is playing men’s league hockey over at the Subway Centre in Anchorage. The Subway Centre is the rink where the Pokey Reddick-coached Las Vegas Storm years ago upset the Alaska Wolves in the semi-finals of the Pacific District Championships. Talon was the goalie for Las Vegas in that historic game.

WILL ‘MONEY’ MUNSON, SAN DIEGO – Will was called ‘Money’ when he played with the NAHL Billings Bulls because he scored the biggest goals. He and Eddie Samuels of Las Vegas were in same billet home on brutally cold winter nights there in Montana. Billet mom Kim still keeps in touch with Will and Eddie’s family. Will said “hello to all in Las Vegas. My wife is due for our baby anytime now we so we will be laying low around the house. The plan is to watch some fireworks, go to the pool. I am playing some pick up hockey on a team called SNAFU at the Ice Town Arena in Riverside. Still keep in touch with Dusty Jackson my teammate with Billings Bulls.”

STEVE POCHIRO, LAS VEGAS HOCKEY DAD WHOSE SON ZACH PLAYED FOR THE ECHL NORFOLK ADMIRALS LAST SEASON – “We will celebrate at our house with family, swim, do fireworks and eat everything in sight.’

ROB PROFITT, GM AND HEAD COACH NAHL FAIRBANKS ICE DOGS – “Hello to all in Las Vegas. We are actually on a flight on July 4th going to our main camp in Minnesota.”

POKEY REDDICK, LAS VEGAS HOCKEY COACH: “It’s good to hear from Vegashockey. We plan to spend it at home as Zoe’s birthday is July 3 so we pretty much are always at home on the 4th. Happy July 4 to all.”

BEAU RICKETTS, THE FIRST BIG GOAL HOMETOWN GOAL SCORER FOR THE WSHL LAS VEGAS STORM THREE SEASONS AGO. Hockey mom Charla Ricketts says “…Our son Blade and myself will be in town for July 4. I’ve been in and out of a hospital to be with my sister. For July 4 Beau will be in Minot, North Dakota where he lives now. He just had his 23rd birthday. He bought a house in Minot and he’s getting it ready to move into it. We plan to see him – Blade and myself – in about three weeks. Happy July 4 to all of our friends in Las Vegas.”

NICK ROBONE, COACH, ACHA D1 UNLV REBELS – “We will be heading to my parents house for a small BBQ – burgers, ‘dogs and brats. Time to celebrate.”

JIMMY SAMUELS, GM, ACHA D2 KANSAS U HOCKEY TEAM – “Going to spend July 4 with friends and family here in Las Vegas. Going back to college soon.”

ADAM STIO, LAS VEGAS ROLLER HOCKEY GURU WHO HAS DONE IT ALL – RINK OWNER, HEAD COACH, LEAGUE ORGANIZER, GREAT PERSON – “Hope all is well for all in Las Vegas. My company Rotator Sports is sponsoring a Pro Series team at the TORHS 2hot4ice roller hockey event in Tampa on July 4-7 so I will be in Tampa for that week coaching, meeting people and trying to sell some roller hockey product. We are sponsoring Team Breakaway. We will have two games on Wednesday, July 5 – the first against, then against Tour Roadrunners New York. On Thursday we play Mission Black Ice and CarShield from Missouri. Then playoffs begin. So, no fireworks for me but I want everyone in Las Vegas to enjoy July 4th.”

PETE TRIMBOLI, LAS VEGAS HOCKEY DAD – Right now we are in NY on vacation. We will return home on July 3 and celebrate July 4 at home with BBQ and swimming.”

LAS VEGAS HOCKEY DAD GREG YOCHUM, AN OFFICIAL WITH NAHA AND WHOSE SON MIKE HAS BEEN A STAR PLAYER FOR THE LAS VEGAS STORM HIGH SCHOOL TEAM WHICH SKATES AT LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER: “We are planning to watch fireworks at Red Rock Station Casino on Charleston Ave., then hang out and celebrate July 4 at home.”

EVAN ZUCKER, ONE OF THE GREATEST GOAL SCORERS EVER IN LAS VEGAS – ICE HOCKEY AND ROLLER HOCKEY – NOW COACHING – “We will be hanging out at our parents house to BBQ, swim and light totally legal fireworks.”

SCOTT ZUCKER, HOCKEY DAD AND PRESIDENT OF NAHA: “Our kids are coming over to our house for swimming and fireworks.”


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