I truly believe that with Ceransky’s hiring of Russel Smith, we have rounded out not just the best Bantam staff in the DMV but one of the best in the country. Reid has proven himself here at TM over last two year as a vital part of our development model and Smith will fit in as a seamless compliment.
Next on the list of coaching announcements is the Bantam age group (2007 & 2006 birth years). USA Hockey’s LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) considers Bantams to be roughly the beginning of the Train to Train stage. The Train to Train stage is a development window in athletes used to emphasize training that continues the development of speed, strength and stamina while maintaining flexibility. This is a window of accelerated adaptation to aerobic, speed and strength training, and for maximum improvement in skill development. As a result, good training habits are developed during this stage.
With that in mind putting its key to put two coaches in place who not only understand what it takes to play at the next level but also know how to properly develop athletes of this age to get the most out of their potential. We are proud to announce our two Bantam Head Coaches, Russel Smith and Matt Reid.
“I truly believe that with Ceransky’s hiring of Russel Smith, we have rounded out not just the best Bantam staff in the DMV but one of the best in the country. Reid has proven himself here at TM over last two year as a vital part of our development model and Smith will fit in as a seamless compliment. A large majority of the very best players from Maryland go to these two men for private lessons. It is clear who the area trusts when it comes to skill development,” Executive Director Mike Weiss.
Russell Smith Joins Team Maryland as the New Bantam Minor Head Coach
He was one of the first coaches I met when I moved here, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to work together ever since. I have seen firsthand how he can positively affect the growth of a player and I want that for everyone at TM.
Coach Smith is beginning his first season as a Team Maryland Head Coach. He spent the last nine years as Hockey Director of one of the top Tier II programs in the area, the Tri-City Eagles. Under his direction TCE saw growth from four teams to twenty-two teams.
Russel, a local product, grew up in the Annapolis, MD area. He began his playing career for the Bowie Bruins. Following his time with Bowie, Coach Smith played for the Tri-City Eagles before making the jump to Tier 1 youth hockey with the Washington Little Caps. He attended Mount St. Joseph’s High School in Baltimore before transferring to the Pomfret School in Connecticut where he played two years of New England prep school hockey.
After his high school career, Russel moved on to the country’s best route to college hockey, juniors. He spent two years at the junior hockey level in the EJHL for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and Lowell Jr. Lockmonsters which led him to a four-year NCAA career at Elmira College.
After college Russ went on to play professionally for four seasons with the Elmira Jackals (ECHL), New Mexico Scorpions (CHL), Twin City Cyclones (SPHL), Bloomington Prairie Thunder (IHL), Muskegon Lumberjacks (IHL) and Dayton Gems (IHL). In his last pro season, he spent the year with the Mississippi RiverKings (CHL).
After his professional career Russ took the position of Hockey Director for the Tri-City Eagles in Laurel, Maryland. In his nine years with Tri-City, he grew the program by over 400%, helping to create coveted 16U and 18U AA programs and an impressive girls program. In addition to his role as Hockey Director, Russ also frequently coached teams of his own. During his tenure he was responsible for two CBHL 18U AA Playoff Championships, a 14U AA Playoff Championship, a 10U Upper A CBHL Playoff Championship, and a 10U AA CBHL Playoff Championship. While also winning three Maryland State titles at the 18U level, taking the Eagles to Nationals on each occasion.
“We have experienced very real growth at Team Maryland in the coaching department. During my time here we have welcomed Shawn Grant, Matt Reid, and Tony Horacek. Russel is a great addition to that list. He was one of the first coaches I met when I moved here, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to work together ever since. I have seen firsthand how he can positively affect the growth of a player and I want that for everyone at TM. Welcome to the family Russ,” Hockey Director Chris Ceransky.
Coach Smith is excited about the challenge and opportunity to coach at the Tier 1 level with the Team Maryland organization. His background as a coach and hockey director have provided him with invaluable experience which will translate well at the 2007 level. Over the past seven years he’s owned and operated Dedicated Hockey, providing him with the knowledge and understanding of how to best create an elite level player. We are grateful to have Russ and his dog Husmo in the TM family.
“I’m extremely grateful that TM has allowed me the opportunity to further my hockey career. I look forward to developing each of the 07’s and helping them to become the best players and people they can be. Although these are tough times, I hope all players are continuing their athletic and academic development so we can hit the ice at full speed when things get back to normal,” Coach Russ Smith.
Matt Reid Returns as the 2006 Head Coach for Second Straight Season
Yes Matt has been a great leap for us in the skills department, which makes him a great match for this age groups, but he also understands what I am trying to do here with our new culture and has been my right hand man when it comes to implementing it. His infectious drive and ferocity has helped the club take things to the next level.
Coach Reid enters his 3rd season with Team Maryland and his second season as the club’s Skills Director. In his first season with Team Maryland, Matt was instrumental in creating our 16U American team which marked the first time TM had two teams at a single age group. If that wasn’t good enough, Coach Matt led the 16U American team to AYHL regular season and playoff championship in their very first season. He returns as the bench boss for the 2006 team for a second year, after a successful 2019-20 campaign. Reid also assists the Maryland Blackbear staff as a skills coach.
“I couldn’t be happier with Matt’s effect on our club so far. His players love him, and I consider him a friend not just a co-worker. Yes Matt has been a great leap for us in the skills department, which makes him a great match for this age groups, but he also understands what I am trying to do here with our new culture and has been my right hand man when it comes to implementing it. His infectious drive and ferocity has helped the club take things to the next level,” Hockey Director Chris Ceransky.
Coach Reid brings with him an impressive playing background. Matt was in an elite group skill wise from an early age having played for the US National Team at U-16 and U-17 representing the United State in Germany and Japan. Reid was also selected by the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL Priority Selection Draft but chose to attend Northwood Prep in Lake Placid, NY. Matt’s successful Prep School career culminated with his commitment to Clarkson University (NCAA-D-I) where he won an ECAC Championship in 1999.
After his college career Matt received a contract in the Washington Capitals Organization beginning a nine-year professional career. Coach Reid had the honor to be in some of the best pro leagues in the world including the AHL, ECHL, EIHL, and in the Netherlands playing the game he loves both domestically and abroad. Matts career was not short on highlights having played in the AHL (Portland Pirates, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and Hershey Bears), 390 total points in the ECHL (Pee Dee Pride, Florence Pride, and South Carolina Stingrays), was a part of 4 Championship teams, received numerous team MVP and Offensive awards, and was coached by several current NHL coaches.
“I’d like to thank the Team Maryland organization for my opportunity to coach a 3rd season here. I’m excited about the groundwork we built with the 06’s last season and hoping it can help moving forward. Our expectations are high but our commitment to excellence and drive is higher,” Coach Matt Reid.
Matt has started his own hockey school, Redier Hockey, since moving to the area with his wife Laurie and dogs Maple & Harvey.
The Bantam Major team more commonly referred to as the 2005’s or 05’s, have had one of the lighter November schedules at Team Maryland. Prior to last weekend they hadn’t played a game in two weeks. That’s a long time to think about the 0-2 weekend they suffered on November 9th & 10th. But it seems a little time off was exactly what this group needed. The players and staff put in a lot of hard work to change the tide and now our 05’s have a lot to be thankful for going into the Thanksgiving break.
“As a staff, we were really pleased with the past few weeks of practice. We had two tough losses prior. Including the game against the Avalanche that we felt we had a chance to win. The boys worked hard and were dialed into getting better. We continued to focus on areas of our game that we felt needed improvement," Shawn Grant Bantam Major Head Coach.
Three game weekends are becoming more common in youth hockey, but it doesn’t make them any easier. Especially when you are playing three different opponents with a mix of home and road games. If that weren’t enough to bring the difficulty meter to its peak, the Bantam Majors road game would be against a top 35 ranked team in the country, who plays in a division above them, and was undefeated in AYHL Play.
The 05’s started their weekend against the Philadelphia Little Flyers. Luke Rubin lead the way with three points while Noah Lasker, Matthew Mueller, and Dylan Margel all had two. Margel’s third period stinger would end up being the game winner in this 6-5 barn burner. It may not have been the ideal victory but a win is a win and this one was just what the doctor ordered to get our boys back on track.
Fresh off a victory the 05’s moved on to their second opponent of the day, the New York Saints. Team Maryland scored first and last controlling most of the game. Noah Lasker netted the game winner on the power play assisted by Nicholas Garner and Maddox Tulacro. Maddox led the team with two point scoring a goal of his own while Jason Conlan made 19 saves allowing only one goal in a 3-1 victory.
After turning a two-game losing streak into a two-game winning streak the Bantam Majors rolled into Philly to take on their toughest test of the weekend. With their confidence at an all-time high Team Maryland took down the AYHL undefeated Junior Flyers by a score of 4-1 after a three goal second period onslaught. Jason Conlan had his second .95% save percentage game of the weekend and there were four different goal scorers (Remy Chartol, Ryan Trindade, Robert Thompson, and Luke Rubin).
“It’s always nice to see all of the hard work and preparation pay off in terms of wins and vital league points. Taking all points on a weekend is crucial towards the goals we set as a team. We felt we played our best game of the year against the Junior Flyers, which is nice going into the Thanksgiving break. We played sound team defense to limit shots and quality chances and had another strong goaltending performance by Conlan. Offensively, we capitalized on our chances from creating turnovers, a face off play, and the power play," added Grant.
Congratulations to the players and staff of our 2005 team for being selected as the Team Maryland’s Team of the Week!
Team Maryland Holiday Clinic
2005 Birth-Years and Older at Rockville Ice Arena run by U15/U16 Head Coach Tony Horacek
2006 Birth-Years and Younger at Piney Orchard run by TM Hockey Director Chris Ceransky