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
The entire TM staff would like you to join us in congratulating Sean Kilcullen. Sean is a long time Team Maryland player and after and incredible start to the 2019-20 season the Maryland Blackbears of the NAHL have affiliated Sean and called him up last weekend to play in his first junior games. Sean is a 2002 birthyear. Currently a first year 18U player on our Junior Prep team. During his time here he has lead two teams to the USAHockey National Championships.
“Playing for the Blackbears was an amazing experience. I was extremely honored and excited to be a part of the team. I am just so thankful to the players and coaches from the Blackbears and TM for the opportunity,” commented Kilcullen
The NAHL is a jump in play from almost any league in the world, but people who have seen Sean play will not be surprised that he fit right in from the start. His ability to outthink opponents and incorporate his elite stick to both defend and contribute to the offense helped to level the playing field. Blackbear Head Coach Clint Mylymok agrees, “We thought Sean was very steady in his Maryland Blackbear debut. It’s a big step, and I thought he did a great job filling in for us. We were impressed with his ability to make plays under pressure, and the way he thinks the game, is very impressive for a young player.”
For those of you not as well versed in the junior hockey world or just don’t know the specifics of how things like this work with the NAHL, here is a quick rundown. Each NAHL team is allowed to “affiliate” players during the year. That allows the player to suit up and play games with that team without the NAHL team having to take up a roster spot. The affiliate program can only be used for younger players and they can dress for a maximum of 10 games. Teams typically use affiliate players to fill in during short term injuries.
With the 18U Junior Prep team both playing and practicing in the same building as the Blackbears, the staff can get a much better read on our players than someone across the country. This makes our program a natural go to for affiliate players and NAHL tenders when they are ready. The team also plays in the NAPHL where they have much more exposure to the NAHL coaching staffs. It doesn’t hurt that each NAHL team has two tenders that can only be used on NAPHL players.
“I couldn’t be prouder and happier for Sean,” said TM Hockey Director Chris Ceransky, “He is a great young man and he puts the work in. He’s a great example that you don’t have to be loud to be good and that there is still some humble people left. It was a huge weekend for him and our program. Maryland is the place to be if you want to get better and move on. You just have to put in the work.”
Team Maryland U16 Premier Team entered USHL Fall Classic playing strong hockey atop the AYHL at 5-0-1 and 10-3 overall while earning the 18th spot in the U16 National Rankings.
Game 1 – TM dominated first 2.5 periods of hockey against 15th ranked Team Illinois before a couple breakdowns late in the third led to a 2-1 loss, the only blemish of the weekend.
Game 2 – TM continued their strong play outplaying the 39th Chicago Fury. Dimitri Kebreau led the way for TM with a hat-trick, including a highlight reel worthy SHG, to a 5-2 Win.
Game 3 – The third game of the showcase was 28th LA Jr. Kings was a good back and forth matchup that was 3-3 into the 3rd period and TM would score 2 late goals to secure a 5-3 Win.
Game 4-- The most exciting game and matchup of the weekend came against 9th Little Caesars, perennial powerhouse. TM would jump to early leads up 2-0 and later 4-2. Little Caesars would tie the game up at 4-4 forcing overtime. TM would have to kill a 5 on 3 in the 3rd and another penalty in OT to force a shootout. Quinn Kennedy scored first in the shootout. Daniel Gertz would make 4 of 5 stops in the shootout before Sam Stitz won the game on the final shot.
“(Goaltender) Gertz was unreal all weekend and the team was really strong in our own zone all weekend with some great defensive effort.” Tony Horacek said, “This weekend helped put us on the map and was a good building block but we need to get back to work and keep on improving.”
The USHL Fall Classic is a Tier-1 AAA 14U-18U held in Pittsburgh. This year’s event drew over 350 scouts from the NHL, NCAA, USHL, and other Junior A leagues in North America.
Next up: Non – League matchups with Pittsburgh Ice Men, followed by the Minnesota Blizzards Columbus Day Showcase.