Tag: David Arduin

BK Selects Boys Teams Go Unbeaten at Snowbound Culver

by Matt Gajtka

CULVER, Ind. — For most hockey fans, the word discipline often boils down to avoiding penalties.

For coaches and players, though, discipline is much more than that. On an individual level, it’s about knowing exactly how one fits into the greater scheme of the team, ideally resulting in machine-like cohesion on the ice.

If you get enough players onboard and reach critical mass, then your team becomes very difficult to play against. That was this weekend’s challenge for the BK Selects 18U and 16U teams: To match the level of discipline that’s the annual signature of the Culver Military Academy squads.

“No question it was a tough weekend,” 16U head coach Dan Collins said after his team forged a pair of ties, 2-2 and 1-1, against Culver. “Some teams you play want to run and gun and that opens things up, but these guys protect the middle and are on the defensive side of everything.

“You just had to continue to stick with the process.”

Part of that process before the weekend involved deciding whether to even play the four-game series — two for the sixth-ranked 16Us, two for the seventh-ranked 18Us — with the winter storm that blew across the Midwest and Northeast last week.

18Us head coach David Arduin doubles as the BK Selects Director of Logistics, so he joked he had to “play amateur meteorologist” for a few days in order to determine the right time to jump on Interstate 90.

“I think the easy thing to do would’ve been to cancel it but we found a way to make it safe and make it happen,” Arduin said. “And I wonder what lessons we would’ve not learned that we needed to learn, if we decided to cancel.”

Now 35-14-4, Arduin’s squad also went unbeaten against Culver and grabbed BK Selects’ lone win of the trip, a 3-1 victory Saturday. Tyler Stern (Plainsview, N.Y.) scored the final two goals in that one, both assisted by Charlie Major (Marcellus, N.Y./Cornell) and Jack Henry (Auburn, N.Y./Yale). Jack Fialkoff (New York, N.Y.) earned the win in net with 30 stops.

The 18Us’ Sunday rematch was one of the most dramatic games of the season, with Culver sprinting out to a 4-1 second-period lead before the BK Selects pushed back to force overtime. Major, J.C. Humphreys (McMurray, Pa.), Miles Meltzer (Frisco, Texas) and Michael Kadlecik (Lansing, N.Y.) each scored in the rally, with Ryan Conmy (Alexandria, Va.) assisting twice.

Even then, Arduin said some confusion in overtime regarding a particular power-play strategy meant the tie felt less than satisfying.

“We’re learning about what we need to improve upon as coaches,” Arduin said, noting that the excitement of a loud atmosphere at Culver should be good training for the Northeast Pack playoffs this week, to say nothing of the state- and national-tournament cauldrons the 18Us hope are in their future.

“Culver was really well-coached,” Arduin continued. “These were some of the best hockey games of the season. It was fast, physical, the skill level was high. Comebacks, ups, downs, highs, lows.”

Miller’s 16Us saw both sides of the drama in bucolic Culver, located less than an hour’s drive south of South Bend. They rallied to tie in one game, then saw Culver come back for a draw in the other.

Matthew Lee (Fort Erie, Ontario) scored two of the 16Us’ three goals, while Owen King (Webster, N.Y./Providence) assisted on all three. Goaltenders Paul Dalessio (Burlington, Mass.) and Florian Wade (Anchorage, Alaska) each played well as they split the weekend.

Firmly in the top 10 of the MyHockeyRanking list and standing at 37-13-5, the 16Us face the meat of their season next, with the Northeast Pack tournament this weekend in Connecticut, followed by a visit to famed Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota for a three-game set Feb. 18-20.

“We’re in a pretty good spot right now,” said Collins, in his second season leading the 16Us. “Our trip to Shattuck is important. To get the feel of the place and play a program like them, being able to go there is a big thing we’re looking forward to right now.”

And if they can carry over some of the style points from the weekend on the Culver campus, all the better.

“If we play that way against some of the teams we play, with discipline,” he said, “we’re going to make it tough for them.”

The author can be reached at matt.gajtka@gmail.com for story tips and feedback.

18U Boys Take Lessons, Victory from ‘Heavy, Physical’ Series in St. Louis

by Matt Gajtka

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — BK Selects 18U head coach David Arduin admitted his team’s emotions were mixed in its return to the Centene Community Ice Center last weekend.

On one hand, last year’s BK Selects 16U squad played a national semifinal game at the facility, a remarkable achievement in the program’s first year.

On the other hand, Arduin’s former squad, the North Jersey Avalanche prevailed that day in overtime on its way to the national title.

For this particular trip to Missouri, the opponent was different and the stakes weren’t as high, but the challenge was still eye-opening for BK Selects as they went 1-2 in a three-game series against the St. Louis AAA Blues.

And much like last year, the team could look at both sides of the coin when it came to results.

The Blues, ranked No. 4 entering the weekend by MyHockeyRankings, won 2-1 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday before fifth-ranked BK Selects (34-12-4) punched back with a 4-2 win Sunday.

“At this time of the year, you want to keep finding out about your team,” Arduin said afterward. “We learned some invaluable lessons.”

Jaden Dyke (St. Johns, Newfoundland) notched a goal and an assist in the Sunday win, which was played on the facility’s outdoor rink, ‘The Barn.’ Dyke scored in all three games and finished with two goals and two assists on the weekend.

Charlie Major (Marcellus, N.Y.) assisted on three goals Sunday, while Hans Ulvebne (Oslo, Norway) scored a goal and set up another. Goalies Steven Reganato (Holbrook, N.Y.) and Jack Fialkoff (New York, N.Y.) split Sunday’s game in half after each played a full game earlier in the series.

Arduin said he felt his team made some progress against what he called a “heavy, physical team” in the Blues (29-6-0). To that end, he and his staff instituted a “three-and-three rule” before the series to focus on winning puck battles in order to let their skill translate.

“If you’re three feet from the boards or from the net,” Arduin said, “your only thought is how to win the battle and get the puck in a better spot on the ice for your teammates. Once you win the battle, that’s when we’re at our best.

“It was hard to play at the kind of pace and skill we’re accustomed to, but we’re going to run into more mature teams and we’re going to have to find a way to adapt to that.”

Arduin lauded John Kneidel (Dublin, Ohio) for his leadership over the weekend, particularly when it came to withstanding the physical stress a team like the Blues can dole out.

“John was consistently the hardest-working player who wins all the battles and establishes a physical presence,” Arduin said. “He was showcased (on a weekend) when we had a hard time in these areas. He was the heartbeat of the team.”

Blues coaches — and former NHLers — Jeff Brown and Kelly Chase also noted the poise of BK Selects captain Jack Henry (Auburn, N.Y.).

“They said, ‘Wow, that No. 77 plays with confidence,’ “ Arduin said. “‘It doesn’t look like he has a pulse out there.’ “

The U18s travel to Indiana next weekend to face 21st-ranked Culver Academies Prep (13-14-0) in a two-game series. Friday’s faceoff is set for 8 p.m. Eastern with the rematch Saturday at noon.

With the schedule ahead of them getting thin, Arduin said he’s focused on form as the team nears the end of a successful first season of play. The BK Selects started 6-7-1 but are 28-5-3 since the final week of September.

“It’s exceeded my expectations, for sure,” Arduin said. “We’re looking for consistency, first and foremost, and a belief in that we’re doing the right things. Understanding it’s a long season and using the losses as an opportunity to grow.”