Saturday, December 30, 2017

“Rob Pallin Took the Time to Help Our Special Needs Son”

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – We were at the rinkboards – which is not a bad place to be – and we spotted team mom Rosey Gomez whose son #32 Isaac Gomez of the AAA Arizona Bobcats 18u was cracking into a few of the blue-shirt Central Ontario Wolves in a big game at the Las Vegas Ice Center when all of a sudden – and don’t ask me how because we don’t know – coach Rob Pallin’s name was mentioned on a cold Saturday afternoon.

Rosey, wrapped in a blanket around her, said coach Rob at the SoBe Ice Arena helped tweak the game of her son Isaac a year or two ago.

“We have a special needs son – our Jonathan,” Rosey said in the cold arena. “Coach Rob had Jonathan do some ice chores around the SoBe Ice Arena. Rob didn’t have to do it. But to our family it was so meaningful. Rob touches, helps someone, then moves on to help someone else. On off days he feeds the homeless. He doesn’t ask or get publicity for it but I wanted to let you know.”

Yes we know about coach Rob’s care for others. He is now coaching professionally in Austria with HC TWK Innsbruck.

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We chatted with Bobcats head coach Derek Morris after the game. He isn’t just a coach, he’s a legend who played for five NHL teams including the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. 

We asked about how his Bobcats moved the puck – not dump and chase – but rather move across the blue line in an organized style.

“The blue line is the most treacherous spot on the ice rink – there are more turnovers there than anywhere on the ice. What we do is work to get a wide entry and get across the blue line to set up in the offensive zone.”

Coach Morris added that premier Las Vegas defenseman Steven Avalone “has a great work ethic, works on improving his game and is totally prepared for every game.”

About Anthony Rodriguez of Las Vegas coach Morris said ‘we think he can become an excellent power forward for our team.”

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Then we got down to it.

Who is your biggest rival.

Coach Morris smiled, but just a little.

“Phoenix Jr Coyotes,” he said. 

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Goalie Luke Fundator was at the boards. He is from Las Vegas and plays for the AAA Arizona Bobcats 15u. He was outlining a certain goalie technique called “Reverse VH” which seals off corners – like using your entire leg against a post when a forward is attacking.” Hope we got that down right, not sure. Re-checking our notes.

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Central Ontario Wolves won the game 5-3.