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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