Elite Hockey AAA’s Bantam Minor Head Coach, Ben Schoeneberger is everything and more when it comes to being an excellent tier 1 hockey coach. Ben has a passion for the game, has a natural knack for teaching and has instilled the values he has learned throughout his hockey career in every player he interacts with. Ben has recently been selected as an on-ice skills coach for the 2016 USA New Development Camps and plays a vital role in the skill development for the Elite Hockey AAA & Elite Hockey Program at Cheshire Academy.
The Elite Hockey AAA program is excited to share with you a little more information on Ben Schoeneberger in the Elite Hockey “Coaches Spotlight.”
What led you to become a coach?
Hockey is the best game on earth. I was fortunate enough to have a great family and support staff that allowed me to live my dream of constantly being around the game. My entire life my mom told me that I'd be a great teacher of the game and that stuck with me. There was never any question that I would be a coach following my playing days.
What is the best thing about being a coach?
The best thing about being a coach is the sheer joy you see on a young hockey players face. When something clicks with a kid or the light pops on and you are just taken back for a second. Hockey is a simple game. The more you complicate the game of hockey the more complicated the game becomes. Seeing a young player understand what you are teaching them is the best sign that you are doing your job. You can teach kids all day long but until they understand and comprehend what you are explaining them, you have not done your job.
What has been the biggest influence in your career?
I've been asked this question more than once. It is a difficult question. My dad, mom, sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, enemies, coaches, teammates. I truly believe that my greatest influence in the game of hockey has been everyone that I've gotten to know and come across playing this awesome game. It's impossible to say one person. The old saying goes, "it takes a village to raise a child", well it takes a collective of hockey minds, to raise a hockey player.
Describe some of your most important career accomplishments:
Winning a federal hockey league championship was a very significant day in my hockey career. My four years at Castleton (class of 2013) were extremely special. In my junior year at Castleton, we lost 4 games, I was lucky enough to be on a power play with two All- Americans that dished me the puck and lead the entire country in power play goals along with having the best power play percentage in the country. I would have to say that was the most fun we ever had playing hockey.
Do you have any advice to offer parents?
My advice for parents. This is hard because I'm not a parent. But I can assure you, that most of the time you do more hurt than help. Let your kids play, let them learn. Chances are they will be better off. Hockey prepares you for life. I learned way more dealing with my own issues than I ever did when my parents were there to defend me (not that they ever had to, they instilled good values and choices in my every day decisions from day 1).
What motivates you?
I want to be the best every day. Accomplish something every day, do something every day. That's what motivates me. I believe there could be so many more great people in our world. Our world has lost the go-getter mentality. We need more of that.
What are your 2016-2017 goals?
My goals for 2016/2017 are to make the lives around me better. Whether it be my 03 elite boys, a friend, or someone I don't even know. I'm going to make it a goal to talk to one person a day that I don't know, and make sure that every day I know one more person!
What does the future hold for you - any exciting plans, developments?
The future is bright! It's my first year as a head hockey coach! I'm beyond excited to see what the hockey gods have in store for me.
How do you define success?
In my opinion success is defined as the things you learn from a normal every day situation. Being successful is taking something out of everything. Success is not an overnight thing, it's a lifelong thing.
Cheshire, Conn. - The Elite Hockey Academy continues to draw players from across the globe for the 2016-17 season! Roope Partanen & Christian Ruenenan will both call Cheshire Academy and the Elite Hockey Program home in 2016-17. Both players are coming off of impressive 2015-16 seasons playing at the U16 level in Finland.
Roope is a 5'11" 180lb defenseman who is a native to Finland. Coming off of an impressive season with Jokerit U16, Roope had 4G-12A-16P and 24 penalty minutes in 27 games. "We are very excited to have Roope on our 16U team. He is a good size player with good instincts and adds an offensive burst to the blue line" said Program Director Peter Alden.
When asked, "Why did you choose the Elite Hockey Program at Cheshire Academy?" Roope said, "I was impressed with the coaching staff and the Elite Hockey Program. I believe I will find their coaching style very beneficial to my game. The campus was very spacious and I am excited for the opportunity to play another sport at school aside from hockey." Roope also stated that he has multiple goals set for the upcoming season: "I want to become the best player I possibly can and help my team win a Championship. The opportunity to play here will enable me to further my hockey career and ultimately help me reach my goal of playing hockey professionally."
The Elite Hockey Academy is very excited to welcome Christian Ruenenan to the 16U club. Christian is a 5'10" 177lb forward who is also native to Finland. Christian had a very successful 2015-16 season with his Finish club TPS Akatemia U16. "I am very excited to watch Christian play in the upcoming season. He is a quick forward with great skill and a high hockey IQ. With the amount of on & off ice training the Elite Hockey Program offers, Christian will undoubtedly become a player to watch" - said Program Director, Peter Alden
When asked "Why did you choose the Elite Hockey Program at Cheshire Academy?" Christian mentioned the following: "I chose the Elite Hockey Program because I want to learn more about the American culture, language and style of hockey. I want to develop into the best hockey player I can be. Cheshire Academy & the Elite Hockey Program have all of the necessary facilities and coaches to allow me to reach my goals. Helping my team win a championship while developing as a hockey player is my ultimate goal with the Elite Hockey Program."
Brian's Hope - Elite Hockey - Fundraising for a cause!
Brian's Hope - Elite Hockey Program - fundraising for a cause!
The Elite Hockey Program, is fundraising for a cause! We will be participating in the Kids Fun Run at the Hammerfest Triathlon in Branford on Sunday, September 18th. The foundation supported by this event, Brian’s Hope, has one dream – to stop the progression of ALD – and three goals:
Support advances in research
Ensure genetic screening for all newborns
Promote awareness of Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)
Public awareness helps in so many ways. We hope to improve information and resources for parents, families and health care providers; to increase public support; and to catch and hold the attention of legislators. There is no doubt that information is a powerful tool.
What is ALD? Adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD, is an x-linked metabolic disorder, affecting 1:17,000 people. It is characterized by progressive neurologic deterioration due to demyelination of the cerebral white matter. Brain function declines as the protective myelin sheath is gradually stripped from the brain’s nerve cells. Without that sheath, the neurons cannot conduct action potentials—in other words, they stop telling the muscles and other elements of the central nervous system what to do.
Cheshire, Conn. (June 22, 2016) – The Elite Hockey Program is pleased to announce that 1998-born forward Nicholas Leeseberg (Parker, CO) has committed to play for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons for the 2016-17 in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) season.
Leeseberg, 18, spent last season with the 18U Elite Hockey Program. In 64 games with Elite Hockey last season, the 6'2", 174 pound forward registered 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) and 46 penalty minutes.
“Nick was some body that our scouting staff identified early on in the year as a player that sort of fits the mold of what we needed. Leeseberg can skate really well, can play either forward position whether it’s wing or centre,” said Oil Barons Head Coach and General Manager Tom Keca. “Just his versatility along with his size and his skating ability was probably the most attractive attribute that he had for us.”
Keca notes that Leeseberg’s best assets are his size, speed, and versatility. Oil Barons fans will see him used in all situations including on the power-play, penalty-kill and in tight game situations.
"Leeseberg has developed into a more complete player over the past year in our program,” Elite Hockey Academy Program Director, Peter Alden said. “He always had the gifts of a good offensive player and goal scorer. He worked hard to develop his body and become a better player without the puck offensively and defensively. He has now earned the opportunity to play at the next level and we are very happy for him and his family."
Elite Hockey Program Adds Luke Curadi to the Coaching Staff!
Luke Curadi Joins Elite Hockey Program at Cheshire Academy Coaching Staff
CHESHIRE, CT — Luke Curadi has been named Associate U16 Head Coach for the Elite Hockey Program (EHP) at Cheshire Academy. Curadi played Division I college hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and professionally with the Adirondack Thunder in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).
Peter Alden, General Manager and Director of the EHP comments, "Luke is an up-and-coming hockey coach. He has a reputation for a tireless work ethic and knowledge of the game. He welcomes the opportunity to share the keys to his success with young student-athletes. Combining Curadi's experience with our current staff, EHP has assembled a team of coaches that knows what it takes to advance our student-athletes to the next level."
Curadi a native of Cheshire, CT, comes from a strong playing background. He played junior hockey in the BCHL and the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he helped his team, the Dubuque Fighting Saints, win a Clark Cup Championship in 2011. The Championship team was coached by Jim Montgomery, the current Head Coach of Denver University.
Curadi went on to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (ECAC - NCAA DI), where served as an assistant captain during his senior year in 2015 and was a pivotal piece of the RPI defensive core, as a physical, stay-at-home defenseman. Curadi graduated on the Dean’s List in 2015 with a Business and Management degree. "I feel very fortunate and proud to have played Division 1 hockey in the ECAC at RPI for Seth Appert and his staff. Coming from one of the top college hockey programs in the country, I understand what it means to be a student-athlete at a great school and all the responsibilities that come with that," Curadi said.
Shortly after graduating from RPI, Curadi signed a pro hockey contract with the Adirondack Thunder in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). During his time in the ECHL, Curadi played in 55 games, contributed 8 points and had 88 penalty minutes. "I have learned the valuable lessons in development, recruiting and coaching from Seth Appert at RPI and former Fighting Saints Head Coach, Jim Montgomery currently at Denver University. I owe a great deal of this opportunity to all of my coaches and family for what they have taught me while playing. I look forward to working with the Elite Hockey Staff and players and helping to grow both the players and the program." Curadi said.
Elite Hockey is a Tier 1/AAA hockey organization with teams at the youth and midget levels. EH operates its 16U and 18U program in conjunction with Cheshire Academy, where it provides its student athletes with New England Prep School education and full season Tier 1 hockey experience. All teams under the EHA umbrella receive professional coaching, access to top leagues and tournaments as well as a dedicated staff that works to develop and advance its players. For more information on the Elite Hockey Program, please visit www.EliteHockey.Academy.
ELITE HOCKEY PROGRAM AT CHESHIRE ACADEMY ANNOUNCES U18 COACH!
ELITE HOCKEY PROGRAM AT CHESHIRE ACADEMY ANNOUNCES U18 COACH
Cheshire, CT – Elite Hockey Program at Cheshire Academy announces Kevin Cunningham as the U18 head coach for the 2016-2017 season. Kevin brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the program and will be instrumental in growing the Elite Hockey program.
Cunningham comes to Cheshire Academy from Connecticut College, where he served as assistant men’s hockey coach. Prior to Connecticut College, Cunningham coached at Brown University and Ohio State University.
“Kevin brings hockey knowledge and passion to Cheshire Academy and the Elite Hockey Program,” said Director of Hockey and U16 Head Coach John Toffey. “He has coached ice hockey at some of our country's leading academic institutions. Kevin’s knowledge of the college recruiting process will be very beneficial to Academy students.”
"Kevin Cunningham is a great fit for the Elite Hockey Program. He is first-class coach, a true professional and comes with many years of coaching experience that will contribute to building a successful hockey program here at Cheshire Academy”, said Program Director, Peter Alden.
The Elite Hockey Academy staff works hard to identify both suitable student-athletes and coaches that fit into the Elite Hockey model. Cunningham, along with Elite Hockey Academy staff, will continue to advance the fundamentals of the program and players for future success and growth.
"Given his years of experience on the ice as a coach as well as in higher education as a whole, Kevin is a great addition to the Academy given our goals for the program,” said Associate Head of School and Director of Admission Scott Pottbecker. “Kevin will be able to mentor these student-athletes for life after Cheshire Academy.”
Elite Hockey at Cheshire plays a full season of hockey beginning in September and continuing into March at the tier 1 level. Elite Hockey participates in the top leagues and highly scouted tournaments and showcases to provide the best exposure and development for amateur players.
For continued coverage of ELITE hockey, follow the program on Twitter @EliteHockey_CA and on Instagram @Elite_Hockey_Academy.
Important Message From Program Director, Peter Alden
Upcoming 2016 - 2017 ELITE HOCKEY AAA!
Dear Members and Prospective Families,
For the past four years, my full-time staff and I have built a highly successful “AAA” hockey program in central Connecticut. Our successes include the advancement of players to the highest levels of the game and most recently, being crowned the 2015 Tier I AAA - U18 USA Hockey National Champions. I am very proud to announce that we are continuing the success and mission, and starting a new chapter as Elite Hockey AAA.
Earlier today, we received official notice that Elite Hockey AAA has been approved to compete in the prestigious Atlantic Youth Hockey League (AYHL) for the 2016-17 season. This is significant because it enables you to continue your growth and development in the most competitive “AAA” League on the East Coast.
The vision of the Elite Hockey AAA program is to provide strong development, create big opportunities which in return generate massive results. The innovative and complete development program will field Tier 1/AAA teams from the 2007 birth year through Midget 15U, 16U & 18U levels. All Elite Hockey AAA teams have a committed coaching staff that brings a wealth of experience from both playing and coaching at all levels of hockey (Junior, Prep School, College (D1 and D3) and NHL).
Elite Hockey AAA also provides a direct link to the Elite Hockey full-season prep school program at Cheshire Academy (www.EliteHockey.Academy). Elite Hockey AAA’s mission is to provide a strong platform for player development by crafting a competitive, skill-focused and team-oriented environment for our players. The Elite Hockey AAA program is geared towards serious student-athletes who understand that academics and athletics go hand-in-hand. Elite Hockey AAA prides itself with weekly skills sessions, excellent competition and exposure at exclusive tournaments.
All levels will have an aggressive practice and game schedule for the 2016-2017 season and strong Tier 1 league memberships, including the well-respected and highly competitive Atlantic Youth Hockey League (AYHL). News, information, and updates will be posted on the Elite Hockey AAA website, www.EliteHockeyAAA.com.
Tryouts begin soon (March 13th) so please make sure to register! I look forward to you being a part of the new brand, Elite Hockey AAA!
Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.
The Atlantic Youth Hockey League is a Tier I travel league comprised of teams from the Atlantic, Southeast, New York and New England districts. The league has over 100 teams that come from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia. It is the league’s mission to develop these young players and move them on to the next phase of their playing careers. The divisions begin at the Squirt level and proceed all the way through the Midgets. The Squirt, PeeWee and Bantam levels all have a Minor and Major component and players typically spend two seasons at a level before moving to the next level. The Major teams are typically the older team, comprised mostly of players playing in their second year at the level. The Midget level is broken up into 16U American, 16U National and 18U.
Tier I Youth teams have a large workload when it comes to their playing commitment. There are more practices, games and tournaments and generally, more traveling done, than with organizations playing at the Tier II or Recreational levels.
At the end of the regular season, all eligible teams will compete for the AYHL Championship at their respective level.