Arizona Rubber

Arizona’s and New Mexico’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

Mustangs use summer activities to build momentum for ’17-18

 

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After a busy summer, the New Mexico Mustangs girls program is primed for a successful 2017-18 season.

Mustangs president Jeff Schultz is elated with how the growth and progression of the game is coming along in the state.

“There is a lot going on, and we’re happy to be a part of it,” said Schultz.

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Over the summer, the Mustangs held a four-week program for new girls looking to play the game and join the association.

“The registrations are not complete yet, but we don’t use a shotgun approach – we go with more of a rifle approach,” said Schultz. “We don’t bring in 100 kids and hope for a 10 percent conversion rate. This year, we had 22 kids come out and more than half have registered with the Mustangs for this season, which is great for our program.”

Simultaneously, for returning Mustangs players, Saturdays in August saw professional figure skating coach Michele Jakubowski run a skating clinic – the Performance Edge Clinic – for two reasons: players can always use work on their edges and skating form, and it was the perfect lead-in to get the players back on the ice in preparation for the upcoming season.

“We did that for four weeks and that was a great thing for the girls,” Schultz said. “It was just pure skating – no pucks. It really helped out with the strides or our kids and their edges, stopping, tight turns, that kind of stuff.”

Then to cap the summer, U.S. Olympian and Arizona native Lyndsey Fry came to town for the third year to run a camp over the Sept. 9-10 weekend.

“We divided the kids into two groups – one with newer players and one with the more experienced players,” said Schultz. “She tailors her instruction to the different levels and ran some high-paced drills. That was a lot of fun and really kicked off our season and we started practicing a couple times a week after that.

Schultz added that on the horizon moving forward is more excitement for the Mustangs, “more excitement for New Mexico hockey.”

— Matt Mackinder

(Nov. 9, 2017)