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Jason Zucker of Las Vegas with his first goal for the NHL Minnesota Wild


By Lee Samuels

The greatest players here
in the West – and primarily
Las Vegas – look back at their
very first goal in ice and roller.

Erik is a hard-skating
defenseman – first with the
AA Las Vegas Jr Wranglers
16u, then with the WSHL
Ogden Mustangs in Utah.

Like many Las Vegas
players, Erik scored his
first goal while playing
roller at Larry Sanford’s
Crystal Palace on North
Rancho Drive. Erik
blasted a slapshot for a
goal. He raised his stick
to celebrate. He was
five years old.

One of the greatest goal
scorers in Las Vegas – now
with the ECHL Quad City Mallards

“I was six years old playing
house league roller hockey
at the Boulder Highway rink
where they used to have
hockey. I played for the Vipers
when I scored my first goal –
a wrist shot, right in front
of the net.”

Matt is a former president of the
Las Vegas Jr Wranglers. He
was one of the top coaches
in town as well.

“My first goal was in Mite C
hockey at the Pilgrim Arena
in Hingiam, Mass. It was in
overtime, so that is the one
which really sticks out.”

For years, the heart, soul and
a giant goal scorer for UNLV

“The first year I played was
second-year squirts – the Las
Vegas Flames with Earl Brady
and my dad Sean Greener as
my coaches. I scored in my
first game ever. I wasn’t the
best skater but I could score.
And, it was a breakaway.
Once I scored that first goal
I knew hockey was for me.”

Founder of the Global Showcases
and one of the owners of the
BCHL Langley Rivermen,
Roy years ago was a top player.

“I scored my first goal on a
team called the PNE All-Stars
in Vancouver BC in 1957.
I was 6 years old. It was my
first game.”

Zack is a rugged athlete,
who played for the Eddie Samuels coached
WSHL Salt Lake City Moose Jr A

“I was real young, about 10,
playing for the Metro Maple
Leafs in Laurel, Md. I don’t
remember my first goal but
I do remember my first scrap.
There was a problem in front
of the net and I came charging
in to clear things out.

Aaron was a former coach
of the Salt Lake City Moose
in the WSHL. Previously,
he was an assistant in the
NAHL with the Bismarck

“I was a goalie when I
started out. I was 13 when
I got into my first game
in 1992, playing for the
Fargo Patriots against the
Fargo South Bruins. We
won 6-1.”

Talon Miller wasn’t always an
all-star goalie. The Vegas Hockey
‘Goalie of the Year’ for the AAA
Las Vegas Storm 16u years ago
was a forward. His hockey dad
Tim explains how it all started.

“When Talon was a mite he played
for a house team in Anchorage called
the Lightning Raptors. They wanted
everyone to take a turn at being a
goalie and when it came to Talon’s
turn he played so well his teammates
and coach decided their best shot to
win was with him in the net. It’s been
that way ever since.”

When Will played for the Billings
Jr Bulls he was called ‘Money’
by head coach Doug Johnson.
“Will always seems to score the
big goal when the game is on the
line,” Johnson said. A picture of
Will in a Bulls jersey that year was
on many billboards in Billings. He
is a very popular player who grew
up in the San Diego Jr Gulls

“I was seven years old playing
for a team called the Ducks in
ball hockey on an outdoor rink
in Corona, California. I will
never forget my first goal –
wrist shot, top corner.”

One of the most popular
players in Las Vegas, JP
played the last seasons
with the Cal Bears.

His father John recalls JP’s first

“It took a few games for John
Paul to get his first goal. He
scored in a Mite B tournament
in 1996 at the Santa Fe Station
Ice Arena in Las Vegas. John
Paul played for the Las Vegas
Mustangs against the South
Coast Sabers. It was a shot
from outside the blue line.
The goalie never saw it. We
were so proud we framed the
scoresheet and today it sits
on JP’s dresser.”

Michael is a gifted young
player who initally played
in Las Vegas, then in LA.

His hockey dad John
recalls Michael’s very first

“Michael scored his first
goal in 1999 in a mite house
league game at the Las Vegas
Sportspark rink. He was
playing on Bobby Burns’
Bluejacks. Michael had an
open shot in front of the net
and hit a backhander over
the goalie’s shoulder.”

Nolan was a top defenseman
for the WSHL Salt Lake
City Moose.

“I was five years old playing
roller hockey for the
Savannah Super Goose in
Georgia. It was like rec
league hockey. I scored and
it was exciting.”

Ethan is a hard worker
on the ice who can score –
56 goals for the AA Las
Vegas Jr Wranglers 16u
years ago. He is now
skating with the
UNLV Rebels.
Like many Las Vegas
players, Ethan’s roots
are in roller hockey.
As hockey dad Orlando
Montoya says…

“Last year we were in Omaha getting
Ethan ready for school and
his billet family and I asked Ethan about his first
goal and he said it was in roller
at Crystal Palace – now known
as the Las Vegas Ice Center.
It was a wraparound shot.
He was six years old.”

Angelo is one of the top coaches
in the USA and hockey director
of the powerful AAA Colorado
Thunderbirds program.

“I was six years old when I scored
my first goal in my first ever game.
I was a mite playing for the
Franklin Park Jets in Illinois.
I was shocked as I was in the
clear not really knowing what to
do but went in to deke the goaltender
and scored with a deke to my

Four-Time Vegas Hockey
Roller Player of the Year
Nick Robone has been a
star performer for years
with the Las Vegas Tour
Rebels travel teams and
with UNLV. 

“My first goal was at
Larry’s house league in
Crystal Palace. My team
name was the Rattlers.
I was on a team with
Nick Dobranich. I think
Landon Kraige was the
goalie. Nick sent over a
pass in the slot area and
I put the puck in the

Three-time Playmaker of the
Year when he played hockey
for the Las Vegas Mustangs.

“I was playing for the
Falcons squirt team at the
Santa Fe Station Ice Arena
when I got my first goal. I
was at the blue line and took
a wrist shot – the puck lifted
and went through the goalie’s
five-hole – pretty exciting
actually. I still think about
that goal.”


Jimmy two years ago played
for the Las Vegas Storm
bantam ice team. He also
plays house roller at
Crystal Palace.

“I was maybe 5 years old and
over at the Las Vegas Sports
Center on Rampart. A guy came
up to me and my mom and asked
if I would like to play in a hockey
league on Saturdays. Of course
I did and in the first weekend I
scored my first goal – I could not
tell you what kind of goal it was –
guessing low corner because I
was real young and didn’t know
how to shoot the puck that much.”

Micah is the all-time goal scorer
in Las Vegas in ice and roller and
the first to be inducted into the
Vegas Hockey Hall of Fame.

“I scored my first goal in house
league roller at my Dad’s rink.
I believe I shot a muffin on the
ground and it went in. Sometimes
it’s better to be lucky I guess. I
don’t remember the name of the
team but I think my Dad was
coaching me. I was 10 years old.”

A dynamic athlete, Jason is
the first Las Vegas player
to skate in the NHL. Jason
plays for the Minnesota Wild.
Jason’s hockey dad Scott
remembers Jason’s first

“Jason’s first goal was in a
house roller hockey at Dave’s
rink on Tropicana and Decatur.
His older brother Evan scored
his first goal when he was
5 years old, playing for
PMQT at the Santa Fe Ice