Father’s Day for Hockey Dads

By Lee Samuels

It’s Fathers Day on Sunday…..


Years and years ago our son Eddie played for the AAA Vail Avalanche 14u bantam hockey team. We were on a winter road trip in Canada playing in a holiday tournament.

The head coach was the great Jamie O’Leary.

We always wanted to go a pre-game chalkboard meeting to see the X’s and the O’s on a blackboard to outline and how to attack the net, how to defend, all of the good stuff.

It was a players only meeting but we really want to see it

So we found a route to the upstairs hotel meeting room, cracked opened a door and looked towards the coach and our players.

The meeting came to a quick halt.

Jamie O’Leary looked towards me and said “everyone on this team has a job. I coach, the players have a game plan. Our goal scorers have a way to score, our defensemen defend, our goalies are the best around.

“What’s your job here.”

“Loading the hockey bags into the back of our team pickup trucks,” we said.

While our son glared at me Jamie said “well, go do your job.”

We went downstairs, walked outside. It was very cold.

Hockey dad Bill Nobles, whose son Taner played on the team, asked “how did it go up there.”

“Not to well,” we said.

We both laughed. 

He got into the truck bed.

“Ready,” he said.

We lifted and handed him the first heavy hockey bag. 

Just at that very moment it began to snow.


To all Fathers enjoy this special day. No matter what their ages your sons and daughters dearly appreciate you being at the practices and the games more than you will ever know.

And don’t be like me….do what the coach says…




Hometown Players Alec Mono, Eric Williams Will Skate for the UNLV Rebels This Coming Season

Thursday, June 14, 2018

By Lee Samuels

Two premier hometown Las Vegas defensemen – Alec Mono and Eric Williams – will skate for the nationally-ranked UNLV Rebels ACHA D1 hockey team this fall.

Head coach Anthony Greener said “both will be great with us this coming season.

“Mono will be the puck moving defenseman who will get the first puck out of the zone and also jump into the play offensively – and I have no worries he will be the first d-man back too,” Greener said.

“Eric brings the same and he will be an added bonus to our power play with his extremely hard shot from the point area.”

Greener added the Rebels game schedule will soon be formally announced.



AGE 22

6’0″ 185


2012-13 – AAA Las Vegas Storm 16u (Captain) — 5 goals, 15 assists, 20 points

2013-14 – AAA Las Vegas Storm 18u – 0 goals, 0 assists

2014-15 – AAA Cleveland Barons 18u – 0 goals, 1 assist

2014-15 – AAA Oakland Jr Grizzlies 18u – 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points

2014-15 – USPHL Premier Springfield Jr Pics – 0 goals, 0 assists

2015-16 – EHL New Jersey Rockets – 6 goals, 16 assists, 22 points

2016-17 – NCAA D3 Curry College – Milton, Mass. – 2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points

2017-18 – NCAA D3 Curry College – Milton, Mass. – 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points



AGE 22

6’0″ 190


2013-14 – AAA L.A. Jr Kings 18u – 0 goals, 7 assists, 7 points

2014-15 – NPHL Wenatchee Wolves – 5 goals, 17 assists, 22 points

2015-16 – SJHL Melville Millionaires – 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point

2016-17 – WSHL Ontario Avalanche (Captain) – 11 goals, 30 assists, 41 points

2017-18 – NCAA D3 Chatham University – Pittsburgh – 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point




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 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 first with the AAA Vail Avalanche bantam team, then was on the Red Line with Josh Jasek and Adam Naglich for 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.

Nick Schaefer – Best friends with Jason Zucker. The two played youth hockey on a Las Vegas team at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Nick was a gifted goal scorer, great skater, very popular and the unexpected passing of Nick was a 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. 

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. He 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.

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.

To contribute here send to leesamuels07@aol.com

Breaking News – Nick Robone Planning to Skate With ‘Rebel Dynasty’ at NARCh Roller Finals in Irvine, California

June 13, 2018

By Lee Samuels

Nick Robone of Las Vegas wants to do what he’s always done – pull on a jersey, lace up his roller skates, be with his best friends and get moving onto the rink floor in a NARCh Roller Tournament in Irvine, California beginning Friday, June 29.

This is truly an amazing story. Nick was shooting victim at the Harvest 91 Festival near Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino last fall.  His brother Anthony helped rescue him. After being in a Las Vegas hospital, Nick returned as a coach with Anthony Greener and the UNLV Rebels nationally ranked ice hockey team.

But Nick, who is one of the greatest Las Vegas stars in roller hockey, is aching to get back and compete in heavy action at a NARCh roller hockey tournament.

Adam Tamura of Las Vegas is a player coach of Rebel Dynasty which is playing in a Silver level field of pro teams. Las Vegas skaters include Sean Pearson, Emmanuel Banez, Louie Dube, Eddie and Ian Davis, Mitchell Province, Austin Shannon and goalie John Eugenio.

 “I am very excited to skate with friends again. It’s been a while and it will be fun to get back out there and compete with our guys,” Nick said.

The first game will be on Friday, June 29, 4 pm.

Nick, 28, and Rebel Dynasty will take on Tropics in their first game.  Rebel Dynasty will play two more round robin games and then prepare to go into heated playoff eliminator action.

And when was the last time Nick played in a NARCh Roller Tournament?

That was in 2016

Nick’s teammates that season included star skaters Micah Sanford, Chris Francis, Billy Tufano, Shawn Pearson and Kris Carter in Men’s Pro Platinum.

Most Searched Stories Here 2017-18

Our host site wordpress keeps track of the most searched stories here on Vegashockey.net in 2017-18.

#1 – Jason Zucker

#2 – Flashback 2004 – The Last Skate at Santa Fe Stations Ice Arena


#4 – Patrick Voors, Michael Yochum Hobey Baker Award Winners for Vegas Golden Jr Knights High School Team

#5 – New Team in Town – the Cavalry

#6 – Michael McNicholas Will Play for Manglerud Star in Norway

#7 – Report – WSHL Las Vegas Storm Shutting Down Operations

#8 – The Vegas 100

#9 – Eddie Samuels

#10 – President’s Day Tournament at Las Vegas Ice Center

#11 – Michael Cichy to USPHL Wisconsin Muskies

#12 – Gia Avalone, Zoe Zamora to AAA Anaheim Lady Ducks 16u

#13 – Big Turnout at Western States Future Camp

#14 – The Ticker – The Ashley Printzen Story

#15 – Adam Stio – 10 Questions

#16 – Wedding Bells for Star Goal Scorer Kyle Callahan

#17 – Rob Pallin – We Are on the Right Path for HC TWK Innsbruck

#18 – Bryce Reddick Signs with Cardiff Devils

#19 – Photo of the Day – Coach Rob Pallin, Dora and baby Emily Charlotte

#20 – The Greatness of Micah Sanford – 78 goals, 80 assists for BCHL Chilliwack Chiefs

Next – From the Blue Line – Our 1st NHL Vegas Golden Knights Game

Coming July 4 Right Here – ‘Just One More Goal’

Coming Here on July 4….A Hockey Adventure You Will Never Forget


Based on a True Story

By Lee Samuels and Mary Cate Zurfluh

When Apache Jones grew up in Utah he made goal scoring look so easy.

He and the Utah Red Stars used to beat all of the teams – including the ones right here in Las Vegas at all age levels.

But when Apache Jones missed scoring a game-winning goal in a gold medal game his hockey coach R.C. Rock in the locker room took Apache’s hockey stick and broke it in half.

He told Apache to go home.

And home he went, never to play hockey again….

The hockey folks said he and his family went to Las Vegas but no one really knew.


Now, a few years later, the AAA Utah Red Stars coached by R.C. Rock are coming into Las Vegas for Summer Blast 2018.

And when coach Rob and his Vegas team are short on goal scorers he, Anthony Greener, Tommy Ricketts, Dave Francis, Gramps and Kendell Galor go onto a citywide search to track down Apache Jones and ask him to return to the game he loves so much in the biggest summer game ever right here in Las Vegas.

That is, if they can find him.


This story is being written by Lee Samuels and daughter Mary Cate Zurfluh who last winter wrote ‘Just in Time for Christmas the Unstoppable Johnnie Gold’ and  earlier “The Kid Who Never Scored a Goal”  here on Vegashockey.net.

Mary Cate is the author of the children’s book Flash The Cat.

This story will feature

Coach Rob Pallin

Anthony Greener and his grandfather Gramps

Kendell Galor – She will be on Vegas bench as an athletic trainer in her biggest most meaningful game.

Tommy Ricketts – one of the greatest Las Vegas hockey dads of our time

Dave Francis – for years the friendly gatekeeper at the SoBe Arena Pro Shop. His hockey son Chris is one of the all-time goal scorers in Las Vegas.

Adam Stio – referee in the biggest game of his officiating career – Summer Blast 2018

Peppers – Zamboni driver created by hockey dad Jay Zurfluh

Skeeter – A rink cat, very young, who wanders over to the wrong bench on game night – new character created by Jay Zurfluh.

Steve Allen – Las Vegas hockey dad 

Apache Jones and R.C. Rock – Both created by Lee Samuels

Johnnie Gold – guest appearance – he wants his pure gold hockey stick back


This story is dedicated to the memory of Las Vegas roller hockey star Johnny Oakes who passed unexpectedly years ago. He played high level roller with dignity and grace along with Micah Sanford, Patrick Stevenson, Leroy Garcia, Adam Naglich, Billy Tufano and so many hometown roller stars who skated together in the biggest greatest tournaments nationally while playing out of the ‘Little House of Champions’ – Crystal Palace Roller Rink on North Rancho Drive. 


An excerpt from this story….

“Tell me more about Apache Jones,” coach Rob asked Tommy Ricketts in a group meeting which included Anthony Greener, Gramps, Dave Francis and Kendell Galor.

Tommy leafed through pages in a black binder and said…

“Apache grew up in Utah. Set all of the youth hockey scoring records. Beat all of the Vegas teams. Then in a regional final Apache missed the game-winning shot. His coach R.C. Rock gave it to him after the game. Apache has been gone since.

“Oh another thing. He practices remote viewing,” Tommy said.

“What exactly is that,” asked Rob.

“Apache Jones can see the future.”

Kendell said “hold on everyone….

She paused, then brushed a tear from her eye.

“Oh he wants to play. I can sense it. 

“He knows we are looking for him.”