Archive for January, 2015

2015Jan 29

SPAD at the World Juniors – Current Students Volunteer in Toronto

By Blog Contributor Tyler Fitch

The World Junior Championships have brought a special buzz to Canadians during the holidays, providing an entertaining and often nerve-racking event to watch around the holiday season. For a handful of SPAD students, it was also a great opportunity to gain valuable experience in the industry. This is the first of two articles relating to current SPAD Students and their experiences at this year’s World Junior Hockey Championships.

 

Glen Hall – Economic Assessment Committee

My role at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships was a member of the economic assessment committee. I was one of two team leads, guiding a team of 8 volunteers to collect valuable economic information from spectators who attended the tournament. The information collected such as spending at the arena, hotel room nights, and other entertainment expenditures, allow the organizing committee to justify to the host city that it is worthwhile to host events like these. Our team was tasked to collect economic information from 400 spectators over the length of the tournament, which we surpassed.

My experience at the tournament surpassed my expectations. I got to meet a lot of interesting people from hockey operations personnel for the LA Kings to fellow SPAD students helping out at the tournament. Being a part of an event like this, you really understand how important volunteers are to the success of the tournament. The World Juniors are returning to Toronto in 2017 and I encourage all SPAD students interested in getting valuable industry experience to apply to be a part of this great event.

Brayden Misley – Team Services

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SPAD Student Brayden Misley sets the warm-up pucks for Team Russia during the World Juniors.

I was a part of the Team Services group for the World Juniors. The main role was to help teams with anything that they needed. If a team equipment manager needed Gatorade, towels, water, fruit, etc., we would gather it for them. Roughly 2-3 hours before every game, we would deliver food & beverages to the teams. We also were tasked with cleaning dressing rooms & referees rooms, loading equipment on trucks to be taken from the MCC to the ACC, and moving them into their respective dressing rooms. Closer to game time, we were responsible for prepping the benches with Gatorade (and towels), setting up the warmup pucks, and gathering them when warmups were complete.

Overall, it was a great experience to see how an event is run from behind the scenes, and to be a part of a volunteer group who tackles the little things to keep the event running smoothly. It was also a great experience and opportunity to volunteer with Hockey Canada and meet industry professionals from Hockey Canada and various teams around the OHL.

 

 

Evan Paisley – Accreditation

The entirety of my role was to create and distribute accreditation to all the volunteers, staff, players, and guests of the IIHF. Essentially, I was tasked with taking pictures of each person, assigning them with the proper letter and number combination (which shows where each person is allowed to go) and handing them their credentials.

The experience was extremely beneficial, I met a ton of influential people from all walks of the sporting world, including some that I didn’t even know existed. It also gave me a better understanding of the amount of work that has to go into running a tournament. There were 15 accreditation volunteers and we worked every day from the 19th to the 5th, accrediting over 2000 people.

 

Nathalie Mihalek – McDonald’s Fan Zone

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Nathalie Mihalek sits at the Sportscentre desk while volunteering with the McDonalds Fan Zone.

The World Juniors McDonald’s Fan Zone at Maple Leafs Square ran from January 2nd to January 5th and throughout my time volunteering for the Fan Fest Committee, I helped with Hockey Canada’s Century Tour Bus and the TSN booth, alongside a group of 12-14 other volunteers.

Hockey Canada’s Century Tour Bus has been traveling to communities all over Canada to celebrate 100 years of hockey and the bus featured a timeline wall, interactive video walls, a replica Team Canada locker from Sochi, table hockey, tablet stations and more interactive games for fans. The TSN booth allowed individuals to sit at a replica SportsCentre commentator’s desk, read off a script and essentially, “become a commentator” of a World Junior highlight clip. My key responsibility within the Fan Zone was to raise excitement towards this emerging world-class sporting event, along with managing and encouraging participants to engage in the Fan Zone activities. Despite the cold January weather, I had an amazing time at the Championships and was able to meet a ton of great people, along with seeing other SPAD students and friends volunteering as well.

Stay tuned for more stories from SPAD students and their time at the World Juniors, including Matt Mueller, Mitch Schnitzler, Bryce Newton, and Sean Meyers. 

 

2015Jan 27

2015 Nike SPAD Wear Available Now!

By Blog Contributor David Maika

New year, new SPAD wear! SPAD Student Council is pleased to announce their partnership with T.Litzen Sports to bring you Nike SPAD wear! There’s no better way to represent your program than donning the SPAD logo we have become familiar with! Order deadline is Friday, January 30th at 11:59pmand products can be ordered at https://spad15.itemorder.com/sale. All clothing is offered in both men’s and women’s sizing. This year’s apparel options include:

  • SPAD toque
  • SPAD baseball hat
  • SPAD sweatpants
  • SPAD DriFit short sleeve shirt
  • SPAD DriFit long sleeve shirt
  • SPAD performance hoodie
  • SPAD fleece hoodie
  • SPAD polo
  • SPAD 3-pocket athletic shorts
  • SPAD gym sack

With frigid temperatures up in Sudbury, you can now represent SPAD in a fashionable (and warm!) way with the brand new SPAD toque! New to the inventory this year also includes the SPAD gym sacks.

SPAD students, faculty and alumni are renowned for their professional appearance and approach to everything they do. What better way to show this professionalism than with a SPAD embroidered polo! (SPAD embroidered suits were out of the question).

No we are professional, but sometimes SPAD needs some time to relax and watch some sports. Sweatpants are key for situations like this, and SPAD Council is happy to announce SPAD embroidered sweatpants!

All marketing tactics aside, Council could not be more excited for this year’s SPAD wear! SPAD wear is great way to show your pride for the program and connect with your classmates/colleagues.

Orders and pictures of the product can be found at https://spad15.itemorder.com/sale.

Online order process:
1. Place the items you wish to order in the cart
2. Select ‘My Cart’ on the top right corner of the screen
3. Review the items in the cart and select ‘Checkout’
4. Fill out your contact information and shipping address then select ‘Next Steps’
5. Fill out your billing information then select ‘Next Steps’ again
6. Review order and select ‘Complete My Order

For more information, feel free to contact SPAD Student Council President Nathalie Mihalek (nmihalek@laurentian.ca) or Council VP Tyler Fitch (tfitch@laurentian.ca).

2015Jan 26

SPAD Hockey Tournament – 40th Anniversary Recap

By Blog Contributor David Maika

One of the most highly anticipated events of the year has come and gone. Marking its 40th anniversary, the SPAD Hockey Tournament was one to remember.

Tournament organizer Kevin Baxter was euphoric when asked to talk about his experience managing the event. “Running this tournament was like nothing else I have ever done. The experience this has given us for our future in the business world is worth all the effort we put in as an organizing committee. The tournament was a huge success with 24 teams total participating! We also had the inaugural Shoot for a Car contest during the Staff vs. Faculty game, which raised money for the United Way.”

The tournament ran from Wednesday, January 21st to Friday, January 23rd at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in the South End of Sudbury. The tournament featured 24 teams competing, 19 mixed and 5 competitive teams.

With plenty of coffee in hand for an early wake up call, the first day began at 7am with the commencement of round robin games. Overall, there were 18 games played between both ice pads, with intense battles and slick goals throughout. The first day ran very smoothly, with plenty of excitement generated from the games, raffle table and the sheer exhilaration that comes with the tournament.

The second day consisted of another 18 games, with the thrill of playoffs looming for many teams. For 3rd year SPAD dynasty, The Morning Sherwoods, their dreams came to a halt with a record of 1-1-1.

Team Captain, Kyle Cormier had this to say about his team’s performance. “This year’s tourney was a tough one for us. We left it all out there, which is all anyone could ask for. We were just on the wrong side of some bad bounces. Sam Dodington played stellar for us in his debut with the Morning Sherwoods and kept us in the games. It was nice to end it with a big W. Couldn’t be any happier of this group and we’ll be back next year to challenge for the championship.”

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The opening face-off of the Competitive Finals in the 2015 Hockey Tournament

The third day started off with 3 games to finish the round robin play before the commencement of the Mixed Quarter-Finals and the Competitive Semi-Finals.  At the end of the day when the dust settled, only two teams stood victorious. The Brew Crew took home the Mixed Division Championship, while the Backdoor Bandits captured the Competitive Division title. Congratulations to both squads and to all the teams for making the tournament a great one!

The Staff vs Faculty game also highlighted the last day of the tournament. In a hard fought battle, Staff trounced the Faculty, 5-1. All proceeds from the Staff vs. Faculty game went to the United Way. After the game, the moment fans had been waiting for arrived. The Shoot for a Yaris! Before that could happen, two lucky fans were chosen to shoot for Sudbury Wolves ticket package and an NHL All-Star Jersey. SPAD grad and tournament sponsor Bryce Newton was up first, shooting for the Wolves ticket package. Though he didn’t win the ticket package, he did win 3 Wolves tickets! For the All Star Jersey, Nick Valliant was selected to shoot. Ben Vincent was the lucky individual to Shoot for a Yaris! Ben fell short of making 17 out of 20 shots from the far blue line, but put in a gallant effort!

The tournament organizers would like to thank all the volunteers and teams that participated in the tournament, as well as all their sponsors:

Muskoka Brewery – (Website,Facebook, Twitter)

Toronto Blue Jays – (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

Laking Toyota–(Website, Facebook, Twitter)

MLSE – (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

United Way–(Website, Facebook, Twitter)

GoodLife –(Website, Facebook, Twitter)

Source for Sports – (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

Tony V’s– (Website, Facebook)

The New Hot 93.5 – (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

DiBrina Sure Group – (Website)

Bryce Newton of Investors Group- (LinkedIn)

Dairy Queen- (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

Crocodile Printing Services – (Facebook)

Gloria’s Restaurant – (Website, Facebook)

Molson- (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

Sudbury Wolves- (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

Vrab’s Independent – (Website)

Desjardins Insurance – (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

SPAD Class of 2014

Fionn MacCools – (Facebook)

The Positive Inception – (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

Tim Hortons – (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

S.R.O Nightclub – (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

 

For pictures and other information regarding the tournament, please visit spadhockey.com.

 

2015Jan 20

The SPAD Hockey Tournament Marks Its 40th Anniversary

By Blog Contributor David Maika

The 2015 SPAD Hockey Tournament is just around the corner! Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the tournament looks to build off the success of past years.

From Wednesday, January 21st to Friday, January 23rd, teams will congregate at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex. The 2-pad arena is a perfect fit for the 5 competitive and 19 mixed teams competing in this year’s event. With familiar teams returning, as well as a plethora of new teams, the tournament is bound to be full of fun and enjoyment for players and fans.

10425106_1013178645365429_1811635254025217456_n“Being able to run this tournament is a great opportunity for myself and my 4 classmates,” said tournament organizer Andrew Vani. “With it being the 40th year we have incorporated a new event at the tournament, the shoot for a car competition that we hope will continue to be at this tournament for many years  to come. We hope we can make it the best year yet!”

A new feature to this year’s tournament is the ‘Shoot for a Yaris’ presented by Laking Toyota. For $2, you can attend the Laurentian Staff vs. Faculty Hockey Game and your name will be entered for a chance to shoot for a Yaris! All proceeds of the game will be going to United Way.

Another feature of the tournament includes The Official After-Party of the 40th Annual Hockey Tournament Presented by Muskoka Brewery.

Come out and support the guys and girls participating in this year’s tournament! The week is bound to be full of good hockey, great fun and maybe even a brand new Toyota Yaris. Make sure to check out the official website at spadhockey.com for more information. You can also visit the tournament’s official Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

For directions to Countryside arena, click here. See below for full schedule.

Hot 93.5 Rink (Pad 1)

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DiBrina Sure Rink (Pad 2)

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2015Jan 16

SPAD at the World Juniors – Jan Egert (Video Coach of Swiss National Junior Team)

By Blog Contributor David Maika

Jan Egert is a SPAD graduate and is currently the Coordinator of Central Scouting for the NHL, as well as the Video Coach & Scouting Coordinator for the Mississauga Steelheads. Jan also recently worked as the Video Coach of the Swiss National Junior team at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. Jan was kind enough to give SPAD Blog the time to ask him a few questions regarding his experience at the World Juniors and beyond.

DM: Thank you for giving SPAD Blog the time to ask a few questions. Before we get into the World Juniors, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

JE: I was born and raised in Switzerland. Moved to Canada in 1999 and grew up in
Westport, Ontario. I came to the Laurentian University SPAD program for five years. Completed four years of my undergrad and then the MBA in Sport Management at Laurentian. After that, I made my way down to Toronto. The sports stuff really started with my internship in SPAD in my 3rd year. I completed a four-month communications internship with the Ottawa Senators. There I met a few people who helped me out along the way; be it as mentors or as connections. I then started out as a scout for the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors. Just a volunteer position and it’s really just developed from there. I made my move down here (Toronto area) and had to get a job outside of the sports industry. I worked in the travel industry for a couple years but always kept my thumb on the pulse of Mississauga. I was hired as a scout and then expanded to the Video Coach and that’s eventually where things started paying off on the video side of things. I started meeting more and more people and my network grew stronger. Then the Swiss National Team came around and I contacted a colleague that been quite successful in Switzerland. I figured I would see if there was an opportunity and the shoe fit. They added me to the coaching staff for the World Juniors.

DM: Could you give a brief description of your role as Video Coach for the Swiss
National Junior Team?

JE: My role of Video Coach essentially is to watch the games live on a laptop, through
the video stream. I mark anything and everything hockey related – from turnovers, breakouts, power plays, penalty kills, scoring chances, individual player shifts. That allows us to review in the intermission, to make an adjustment on the power play or teach a defenceman or forward to chip the puck here or make a play there for example. That was the in-game aspect. Pre-game I always analyzed the opponents’ previous game, power play, penalty kill so we could find any tendencies. It’s my job to identify tendencies for the coaching staff so we’re properly prepared for our next opponent.


DM: As a whole, how would you describe your experience at the World Junior
Tournament?

JE: It was pretty neat to realize the magnitude of the event I was involved in and that I
had a direct impact, basically having a horse in the race. That was a weird feeling, it was really cool, but at the same time intimidating. I learned a lot during the two and a half weeks that I was part of the coaching staff. I think I learned more in that than I would have in a year or two in other places. It was a tremendous experience; eye-opening, humbling and reassuring that maybe the method to my madness wasn’t so far fetched.

 

DM: You are currently the Central Scouting Coordinator for the National Hockey League
AND you also work for the Mississauga Steelheads as the Video Coordinator and
Scouting Coordinator. How do you manage to balance both positions?

 

JE: I don’t sleep haha. It’s not easy. It really isn’t. The good thing is there is a lot of
synergy between the two. There’s a lot of overlap but ultimately both Mississauga and the NHL are very accommodating to my schedule as well. They’re both aware of the other so I’m very grateful. I don’t take advantage of it. In terms of work, I don’t count the
hours because I think I’d just say “you’re crazy for doing what you’re doing”. I think at
age 27, I’d rather put in the hours now where I have more flexibility; not in 10 years when I may have additional priorities, be it a family or whatever else there might be at that time.

DM: So you’re a graduate from the SPAD program. What aspect from SPAD has helped
you reach the positions you are in today?

JE: For one, the internship program. It allowed me to see how things worked in the
background. As a student, you don’t really know how things all work until you see it first-hand. You have to have the opportunity to make mistakes and learn lessons along the way, so for me the internship program was tremendous. In terms of curriculum, there’s not really one thing I can pinpoint. The entire SPAD curriculum was a foundation
and after that, it’s really what you make of it. There’s no golden ticket, no golden key to
say do it this way and you’re going to be successful. I think everyone is different and
every opportunity is different. Some people get lucky along the way, some people have to work for their luck. There’s no rule of thumb or guide.

The presentations we had to do throughout our tenure, being forced out of our comfort zone, being asked to take a chance are extremely valuable as well. Those are the kind of lessons I think that differentiate SPAD from a lot of other programs. Making mistakes is acceptable, as long as it becomes a lesson, not a habit. My field trip was in San Jose and going into it completely out of my comfort zone, not knowing what to expect, not knowing the people you’re presenting to. But I believed in my group members (Steve Rachkowski, Erika Campbell, Erin Vagnini & Nicole Thebaud) & myself; and understood that “If we’re prepared, we’re going to be okay here.” It’s those fundamental lessons that are extremely valuable and it’s not so much the 4 Ps of Marketing or steps 1,2,3. I don’t really apply that, especially in my role anymore, but I think the professionalism, the dedication to what we do and the drive to do things well. I think those are all things that SPAD breeds and I think it’s those kind of traits or characteristics that differentiate us from everybody else and that’s the kind of stuff that make us successful.

DM: It seems to be working for you.

JE: So far so good. I’ve fooled them up to this point anyway haha

DM: Do you have any advice you would like to share with the current SPAD students?

JE: My advice builds on each other. One is take a chance, swing for the fence. It’s better to swing for the fence, try to hit a home run and end up with a ground-rule double than to not swing at all. Find what you’re passionate about and pursue it. Be realistic; don’t think it’s easy to get into the hockey world or the sports world for that matter. I’ve invested many, many hours, made a lot sacrifices but I’ve also enjoyed every moment along the way. Swing for the fences, put yourself in the best position you can. Take a chance, believe in yourself and when you have that opportunity, make sure you’re prepared to make the most of it. People are going to react different ways and there’s things you can’t control, so don’t try to control them. Everything you can control – look to do so, make sure you’re prepared, make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row, so that when you’re stepping up to the plate, you know it’s a fastball coming and not a knuckle. Swing away.

DM: Make sure there’s no R.A Dickey knuckleballs coming your way.

JE: As cheesy as it sounds, it’s those metaphors and those models that you can lean on. I chuckle to myself regularly thinking about it. I haven’t made it far, but I’m quite happy with where I am at this stage of my career; and that’s a pretty cool feeling.

SPAD Blog would like to thank Jan for taking the time to talk and we wish him all the
best in the New Year!

2015Jan 15

First Years Present Sport Statistics Project in 2nd Annual “Poster Day”

By Guest Contributor Roberto Bagnato

The end of a semester for SPAD students is a very stressful time with exams, projects, presentations, and much more. For first year students, this time features one of first years most exciting projects: poster project. This year the 70+ first years displayed their posters in Alumni Hall for all to see.

Students were paired and were then required to choose a sports question, which they could prove/disprove using statistical skills learned in Dr. Vincents Sports Statistics class. The projects featured a wide variety of topics from Was Gretzky better than Orr?to Amens Corner. Almost no sport was left untouched in this years poster display as projects were based on topics in hockey, baseball, basketball, football, and golf.

The room was packed with judges, posters, and students. Many upper year SPAD students offered their support to the frosh as well as congratulations on a successful poster day. Evan Paisley, a second year SPAD student who was on hand for the event said, I thought the projects were intuitive and creative, and the amount of work put in was very evident.

posterday

Professors, Students, and Guests gather to examine the poster projects in the 2nd annual poster day.

The day featured guest judges from the School of Sports Administration. Dr. Stephen Havlovic, Dean of the Faculty of Management, as well as Associate Dean Maurice Grzeda, were also on hand to enjoy the projects.

Various awards were also given out to posters. Some of the awards distributed were Most Interesting Title, Best Overall Project, and StudentsChoice. Chad Mallory and Dania Johansens poster titled Basketball Statistics from a Coachs Perspective earned top prize as the best overall project. When asked about the project, Mallory said, I thought the project was an interesting way to approach a topic of interest to us using statistical analysis, and was definitely a useful project.

Once the day concluded, students were debriefed by Dr. Vincent and Professor Moxam and were congratulated on a job well-done. The students were then welcomed to pizza courtesy of the SPAD office, and able to discuss their projects as the day came to an end.

Congratulations and thanks go to Dr. Vincent and Professor Moxam for yet another successful poster day project, and thank you to the SPAD Office for their dedication to the day as well as for their donation of pizza, drinks, and prizes to the students. 

2015Jan 13

The ODR Classic – “The League” Holds Outdoor Rink Games This Week

By Blog Contributor Alex Saunders & Guest Writer Mitch Seabrook

“For me, hockey started in the backyard with my old man, not in an arena with heaters and the chants of 50/50 tickets. No coaching politics or crazy parents. Hockey was just a sheet of ice, a stick, a puck, and a net. (…)”

 

Third year SPAD student, David Maika, pronounced an image so vivid in his mind that he could paint a picture that many Canadian kids could relate to. For the 2014-15 academic school year, the SPAD Shinny Hockey League has undergone a massive rebranding process. “The League” was born. Aside from the new branding properties, the organizing committee for this year’s anticipated hockey league have been allowed the opportunity to bring forth many new and exciting ideas for the students of Laurentian University. When asked about what excites him the most for the upcoming season of play, Nathan Didone, a member of “The League’s” organizing committee, didn’t even have to pause to think about it.

 

“The ODR Classic. No doubt.”

 

On January 16th the ODR Classic (known as the Outdoor Rink Classic) will consist of three regular season games between the league’s six teams. Modeled after the National Hockey League’s “Winter Classic”, the ODR Classic is designed to bring the game of hockey back to its roots by skating on the proverbial pond, where dreams of playing in the NHL first began for many. Teams will now have to adapt to new challenges that they wouldn’t normally  endure during an indoor game, such as glare from the sun, skating against the wind, and depending on the weather; snowfall. Laurentian students and players will continue to wait in anticipation of the unique opportunity to play a league-organized game of hockey out in the elements.

 

“(…) The outdoor classic offers a chance to relive those childhood memories while also creating new moments with friends.”

 

David Maika is just one student of the participating 96 Laurentian University students who will lace up the skates for a brand new year of SPAD hockey. Regular season games for “The League” will take place on Friday afternoons at the Carmichael Arena. Puck drop will be at 1 PM, 2 PM and 4 PM during game days. For a complete schedule, statistics, player bios and more, visit www.TheLeagueLU.com.

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