2016 Top Prospects Blog – Day 3: The Return Home & the Experience
Today the Rebels woke up at 6:00am for a little breakfast before the long haul home. At 6:30am the boys hit the road for Pennsylvania. It was quite the drive and most of us just slept the whole way. We arrived back in Aston at around 4:00. Top Prospects was a great experience. It was a excellent opportunity to get exposed to scouts that may have never seen us play before. The weirdest thing was that kids you play against all year were now on your team and they were your teammates for a couple games. It was nice to see my family, and just an overall fun experience! Now its time to win a Robertson Cup!
Editor’s Note: A special thanks to Ryan Cusin for taking the time to share his journey. Also, congratulations to coach Joe and all the boys who participated in the Top Prospects.
2016 Top Prospects Blog – Day 2: Tough Day for Team East
Today I woke up at about 10am after a good night’s rest. The boys had a team breakfast at 10:30. After breakfast I headed to the rink to catch some of the Midwest vs. South game. After their game we were up, and let’s just say it was a rough day for Team East as we dropped the game 7-2 to Team Central. After the game I went out with my parents one more time before it was time to head back to the hotel. Tomorrow morning the Aston Rebels will be back on their way home. Top Prospects was a fun time and a great experience all around!
2016 Top Prospects Blog – Day 1; A Great Showing for the Rebels!
Woke up today around 9:30am and went and had our team breakfast at about 10. We headed to the rink at around 11. When we got to the rink we hung out for a bit then had a team meeting to just go over some of the basics. It then was time for game one. Team East ended up with a loss but it was a hard fought game that ended with a shootout. The Rebels had a great showing starting with Hanson (Darion Hanson) getting a shutout in his half of play. For the forwards, Dino (Dean Balsamo) had an assist, and I had a goal and assist. Jerry (Miettuten) had a strong game at D. After the game I went out with my family, since I’m from around the area. Ready for a good night’s rest and get back at it tomorrow for game 2!
2016 Top Prospects Blog – Travel Day
Well, we had a two game set this past weekend with the Tomahawks, which resulted in a 2-1 loss on Friday and a 3-0 win on Saturday. After the two games the guys going to prospects stayed an extra night in Johnstown. We woke up this morning at around 8:45am and walked to the rink and packed our bags. We took off at about 9:30. I slept most of the way, and I’m not quite sure about the other boys. We stopped a few times along the way for gas, use the bathroom, and snacks. We finally arrived in Michigan! We stopped and had lunch at a place, which is actually right down the street from my actual house where my mom lives, called The Bread Basket. It hit the spot! After lunch we stopped off at a local rink to watch a NAPHL game. From there, we finally found our way to the hotel after a long day. Getting ready to eat some pizza soon then hit the hay. Tomorrow is game day!
2016 Top Prospects Blog Beginning February 14
Beginning on Sunday, February 14th, five Rebels plus head coach Joe Coombs will be participating in the 2016 North American Hockey League’s Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, MI. Rebels forward Ryan Cusin will be writing a daily blog from their departure from Johnstown, PA … through the whole tournament … and upon their return to Aston, PA on Wednesday, February 17th.
Cusin, along with forward Dean Balsamo, defenseman Jerry Miettuten and goalie Darion Hanson will be playing for the East Division while defenseman Gvido Jansons will be playing for the NAHL Selects team. Coombs will be the assistant coach for the East Division.
The 2016 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament will be held from February 15-16, 2016 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. 100 total players from the NAHL will be spread amongst five teams, who will play in two games each during the event. The event will feature teams that represent the four divisions in the NAHL: Central, East, Midwest and South, along with an NAHL Selects team.
Make sure you return to read more about this exciting experience for all of the boys.
Day 12 – The Rebels have Returned
After being up for almost 24 hours, the team finally landed at Philadelphia International Airport at approximately 4pm yesterday. Despite delays, bus rides and catching connecting flights, the team landed tired but in good spirits. It was a long but fruitful trip. They were given the opportunity to see the beautiful sights and sounds of Alaska. The team won three of four games. One player returned with a broken nose and knuckle but he is ok. They grew as a team and climbed in the standings.
We would like to thank Frankie Spellman for taking the time to write his daily blog and provide us with the photos. We also would like to thank you our loyal fans and readers. Because of you, over 3,300 people read this blog. We didn’t know what to expect but it is truly humbling. We’re glad you enjoyed it. We will continue to have blogs throughout the season so please continue to visit our social media channels and our website. We also hope to see you at our home games. As Frankie would write: REBELS OUT!!!
Day 11 – The last day in Alaska
Day 11 – The last day in Alaska! It has been a long but fulfilling trip. The boys woke up at 9am and ate a little breakfast. Then we all went back to sleep for a little bit. A couple of guys walked to Arby’s to get some food. We left the hotel at 5PM for a 3 hour bus ride to Anchorage so we can fly out of there. We got to the airport around at 8pm and got something to eat and hung out. A lot of guys spent their time playing cards and messing around making a scene like usual. Our flight to Seattle is at 1:45AM. Long day of travel! Sitting by that Andrew Zerban kid again…help me! I’ll send a recap tomorrow. REBELS OUT!!!
Day 10 – Game two against Kenai
We started our tenth day by waking up at 8am and getting some breakfast. After breakfast we went for a team walk for about 30 minutes along the river. We then headed back to the hotel before we headed to the team meal at 2pm. Once the meal was over, we went back for a pre-game nap. It was a big win for the boys! We completed the weekend sweep over Kenai and taking 3 of 4 games in Alaska is huge. It moves us into second in our division. Andrew, Ryan and yours truly had a big night and we received another fine performance from Darion. Thanks for following along. One more day in Alaska! REBELS OUT!!!
Day 9 – Game Day Finally!
We woke up at 8am today and grabbed a little breakfast. After breakfast it was off to the rink for a pre-game skate at 10:15am. Once the morning skate was over, we headed back to the hotel to hang out until it was time to go to Buckets for a pre-game meal at 2pm. We then went back to the hotel for a little nap, and then we left for the rink at 5:15pm. It was a good win for the boys in Kenai for our first game! It was a hard fought game but we persevered. Another two points for the good guys! We are back at it tomorrow night for game two against the Brown Bears and our last in Alaska. REBELS OUT!!!
Day 8 – A Routine Day before Weekend Games
We woke up at 8am as we normally do. We had breakfast here at the hotel and hung out until we headed to the rink for a noon practice time. After practice we went and grabbed something to eat at Main Street Grill. After lunch some of the guys went on adventure around Kenai as you can see in some of the pictures. At 8pm we had some dinner at the hotel and then off to bed! Today was a lull day before we have our two games against Kenai this weekend. REBELS OUT!
Day 7 – Travel Day to Anchorage and Keani
It has been a long day for the boys today! We were up at 5:30am for a flight at 7:45am to fly to Anchorage. We then took another flight from Anchorage to Kenai at 10am. The planes we flew on were twin prop planes with only 26 seats on them. Once we arrived at the Anchorage airport, we went directly to the rink for practice at 1:15pm. After practice we went over to Buckets for some lunch and then back to the hotel to rest. We had pizza delivered to the hotel for dinner and many of the guys watched a movie. It was a long, long day. Lights out for the night. REBELS OUT!
Day 6 – University of Alaska Fairbanks Tour
Woke up at 8am as usual and ate some breakfast. Then at 10am we went and toured the University of Alaska Fairbanks rink for an hour. It was really cool. Nice rink and the locker room was huge. Now it’s off to practice for us. It was another good day of practice getting ready for the weekend. After practice we went back to UAF to watch the college team practice for a little bit. We then went back to the hotel and watched the World Series until dinner. We had dinner at the hotel from Oasis. After dinner we watched the rest of the baseball game and then its lights out. Have to be up early for a flight to Kenai tomorrow. REBLES OUT!
Day 5 – Growing as a Team
Just another day, woke up at 8am and ate breakfast. Then we went back to our rooms and hung out until we headed to practice at noon. We had a good day of practice and went up and down the ice, and we got better as a team today. After practice we went back to the hotel and had some lunch. Then it was just resting until dinner. Woody and I spent our time watching Shark Tank and just planning how we are going to start our own company someday. Dinner was at Tubby’s tonight, and Mason and I had a nice date at dinner watching Monday night football. We’re heading back now to get some sleep. Goodnight world!
Day 4 – Off Day
After a big win last night, the boys got to sleep in and get some rest today. We had a little breakfast at 9am and just hung out until after lunch at 12. After lunch we watched a little football and chilled. At 6pm we went up to the Chena Hot Springs. It is about an hour North from Fairbanks. We went up there at night so we could see the northern lights better. Just our luck though it was a full moon so it was a little too bright. On the way home we saw a moose and he gave us a nice little moose escort for about half a mile! Back at the hotel now and time to get some sleep and have a good practice tomorrow!
Day 3 in Alaska; Game 2 against Ice Dogs
Back at it tonight and we need a big win on the road! Woke up around 8am and had some breakfast. We then went for a team walk down to the river by our hotel for a little bit. Team meal at 1:45 again at Tubby’s, the picture is at Tubby’s and its Ryan Cusin’s favorite animal. Back to the hotel for a pre-game nap before we head to the rink for game two! That’s a big win for the boys on the road! Everybody played well tonight, especially Hanson. He gave us a chance to win! Now time to get some sleep and get some rest tomorrow for a nice off day! REBELS OUT
Day Two – Game Day
Wake up for the boys was at 8am. We got a little breakfast and it’s off to the rink for pre-game skate. Back to the hotel at 11:30am for a little bit and then off to pre-game meal at 1:45pm. Just back got back from pre-game meal and guys will spend their time taking a nap now before we head to the rink. Now to the rink for game one against Fairbanks. Lost game one to Fairbanks, need to bounce back tomorrow and get a win on the weekend. Thanks for following!
Arrived in Fairbanks at 2 AM. What a night it has been! We all had our bags when we got to Fairbanks and we were standing outside and some of the guys thought we were waiting for a bus. Everybody looked over and I never thought I would see the day but Coach Coombs pulled up in a mini van. We were able to get to the hotel and catch a couple hours of ZZ’s. My roommate for the trip is fan favorite Connor Wood. The boys got up at 8:30AM to get some breakfast. Austin Swingle, Chris Deprez and I went for a little walk down the street to a river after breakfast. On the left is a picture of Chris and Austin in front of the steamboat tour that runs in the summer. Around 11am we went to the rink for a little practice at 1 PM. After practice we have a little free time to go explore Fairbanks a little bit. We grabbed some dinner around 7PM at Tubby’s, now it’s back to the hotel and get some sleep for game day tomorrow! Thanks for following! REBELS OUT!
The boys are off to Fairbanks, AK today! It started this morning off with practice and an off-ice workout at IceWorks before we headed to the airport. Now onto the airport for a short flight to Seattle. Now at 5:55 PM we boarded the plane for our flight to Seattle for a long night. Most of the guys are spending their time sleeping and watching movies. Some are also trying to figure out what they are going to eat as you can see in picture to the left. For me, I have some guy named Andrew Zerban sitting next to me. He decided to talk my ear off for 6 hours! Traveling through the night will give the guys a better chance to get some sleep. We just landed in Seattle and it’s a race off the plane to get something to eat. Two hour layover and then a three and half hour flight to Fairbanks. Thanks to everybody following along! Check back tomorrow bright and early as we arrive in Fairbanks! REBLES OUT!
The Rebels take a 5:30pm ET flight to Seattle, WA. They will then take a flight to Fairbanks, AK. They team is due to arrive in Fairbanks at 6:00am ET.
Blazing the Alaskan Trails
On Wednesday, October 21, the Aston Rebels will leave for a 14 day trip to Alaska in which the team will play two games against powerhouse Fairbanks Ice Dogs and then the Kenai River Brown Bears. The team will fly into Fairbanks and play the Ice Dogs on October 23 and 24. The team then will fly into Anchorage and then take a two hour bus to Kenai River where the Rebels will play the Brown Bears on October 30 and 31.
Rebels forward Frank Spellman has agreed to write a daily blog – starting on Wednesday, October 21 and concluding when the flight returns to the Delaware Valley. Frank will give you updates on the games, practice, sightseeing, schoolwork and more. It will give you an insight on what the players go through and how they endure the rigors of playing junior hockey.
Make sure you return here on the daily updates beginning on October 21.