Monday, February 2, 2015

How to Show Your Hockey Team Spirit

First Place Spirit Award

        There was a fun twist to our latest tournament in Glens Falls. In addition to the regular competition among teams, we all got a chance to compete for spirit bragging rights, Our girls placed in the Skills Competition and we cheered them on like they were rock stars!
      Check out what a few brainstorming sessions and a little creativity can do.      

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hockeyville, USA Closer Than You Think

    Being a hockey fan in Syracuse, New York means you're always cheering in the shadow of Orange Nation.  With basketball and football  predominately in the spotlight on the college and high school levels, at times you may feel as if you belong to some sort of secret society.  Rarely do our high school hockey teams make the Friday night sports highlights and sadly teams are contracting.  Soccer, baseball and lacrosse get far more ink and attention than our great sport of hockey. 
    But walk into any ice rink in Central New York during a high school game, or on a weekend during a Pee Wee or even a Mite match, and you might think you have just walked into Hockeyville, USA.  There is dedication, commitment and passion that would rival any sports atmosphere you would find on a basketball court or football field. 
     So, here is our chance, Central New York hockey fans,  to show our pride and passion by sharing our stories and nominating our local rinks to be named the first-ever Kraft Hockeyville USA.  Ten communities will have the chance to win thousands in arena upgrades, while one will win the grand prize – hosting an NHL® Pre-Season game televised live on NBCSN and $150,000 in arena upgrades.
      You'll need to nominate your rink before March 18, 2015.  See details below. 

  Sure, we Central New York hockey fans can still bleed Orange, but we've got ice in our veins and hockey in our hearts! 

One U.S. Community Will Win Opportunity to Host NHL® Pre-Season Game Televised on NBCSN, $150,000 in Arena Upgrades and Coveted Title as First-Ever “Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA”

NORTHFIELD, Ill. – January 1, 2015 – Announced today, at the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® featuring the Chicago Blackhawks® and Washington Capitals® broadcast on NBC, the puck officially dropped for Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA – the search for America’s most passionate hockey community. Uniting an all-star roster of partners including the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), National Hockey League (NHL®), NBC Sports Group, and USA Hockey, Kraft’s award-winning, Canadian-born HockeyvilleTM program has expanded into the U.S. for the first time to help build better hockey communities across the country. Beginning today, hockey communities across the U.S. can vie for the esteemed title of “Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA” and enter for a chance to win the grand prize of hosting an NHL® Pre-Season game televised live on NBCSN and $150,000 in arena upgrades.

“Seeing all these passionate hockey fans cheering on their team in the brisk winter air reminds me of the way so many of us fell in love with the sport,” said Dino Bianco, Executive Vice President and President, Kraft Beverages. “Fans like this coming together for their shared love of hockey is what inspired us to launch Kraft Hockeyville in the U.S. and celebrate the unity that hockey brings to communities across the country.”

Kraft also drafted a friend – NHL® legend and NBC Sports analyst, Jeremy Roenick – to help spread the word across the country. “Growing up in Boston, hockey was a way of life for children and families, and it brought together my community in a way that nothing else could. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the lessons I learned and the experiences I gained at Pilgrim Arena from coaches like my dad, Wally Roenick, Paul Kramer, and Arthur Valicenti. Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA will help communities keep these traditions alive, and that is something I am excited to be a part of working with Kraft.”

How Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA Works
Like a hockey game, Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA has three periods. In the first period, communities across the country are encouraged to enter by sharing unique stories about their local rink, teams, hockey spirit and passion and submitting their nominations now through March 18, 2015, at, where complete contest rules and nomination applications are available.

Ten community finalists will be chosen to kick off the second action-packed period, which includes three rounds of public voting:

·         Round 1 (April 14-16, 2015) – Top four communities chosen to move on to the next round; remaining six each receive $20,000 toward arena upgrades.
  • Round 2 (April 21-22, 2015) – Top two finalists selected; remaining two each receive $40,000 toward arena upgrades.
  • Round 3 (April 27-29, 2015) – One community will emerge as the first-ever “Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA”; runner-up will receive $75,000 toward arena upgrades.

In the final period, the winning community will be announced – on May 2, 2015 – and receive the grand prize of the chance to host an NHL® Pre-Season game televised on NBCSN and receive $150,000 in arena upgrades from Kraft.

Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA is meant to not only ignite a passion for hockey in America, but also bring a renewed sense of pride to communities. Since launching in Canada in 2006, Kraft HockeyvilleTM has positively impacted 43 communities with more than $1.6 million donated in arena upgrades. Kraft also hopes that its diverse portfolio of products will help unite hockey fans in their celebrations of the sport and their communities. The campaign will celebrate consumers’ excitement around a variety of iconic Kraft brands, including A1, Bulls-Eye BBQ Sauce, Cracker Barrel, Jell-O, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kraft Mayo, Kraft Natural Cheese, Kraft Salad Dressings, Kraft Singles, Maxwell House, Miracle Whip, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Stove Top and Velveeta.

For contest rules, information on nominating your community and complete program details, visit Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA can also be found at and on Twitter (@HockeyvilleUSA). You can join the conversation using #HockeyvilleUSA.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Episode 081: Christie Casciano – The Puck Hog

Episode 081: Christie Casciano – The Puck Hog

Today’s guest is a news anchor from Syracuse, New York, and is alsoEpisode 081the author of The Puck Hog.
Christie got her first introduction to the game of hockey after her seven year old son decided that he wanted to be a hockey player.
Christie’s daughter took up the game of hockey as well, and The Puck Hog series chronicles  her children’s hockey journey. 

Christie has relished the opportunity of being a “Hockey mom,” and even writes a column for “Hockey moms” for USA Hockey.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hockey Mom Snack Bar Queen


By Caroline Stanistreet

Dedicated to all the Hockey Rink Snack Bar Parents out there

(To be sung to the tune “Dancing Queen,” by Abba – yes, you ALL know it!)

Friday night and the grill is hot
Lookin’ at all the coffee pots
Ooooh-Whippin up the Slushees
Poppin up some ‘corn

You’re in the mood for snacks

Anybody could be that girl
Night is young and her hair will curl
Due to heat from the heat lamps
Keeping it all hot

You’re in the mood for snacks

And when you get the chance
You are the Snack Bar Queen
Rarely seen
By your hockey teen
Snack Bar Queen
Feel the cold
From that ice machine, oh yeah!!

You make change
But you can’t add
Oh – having some trouble with math
Ooooh…be that kid
Who will help
With The Snack Bar Queen

Teams are done and off the ice
Pizza’s warm, let’s have a slice
How ‘bout a drink then?
Powerade? Soda?
Or just an orange juice?

Chocolate and Skittles dominate
Push pops you really…… HAAATE
Way too sticky for your taste
You would rather have

A frappucino right about now!

But you are The Snack Bar Queen
Where’s that Zamboni machine?
Snack Bar Queen
Time to Clean
Off the grill so mean, oh yeah!

Nacho sauce
Must get tossed
Hav-ing-the-goo-on-your hands
See that soap
Don’t you mope

You are The Snack Bar Queen

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Life lessons in The Puck Hog

Life lessons in The Puck Hog

In your life experiences, how many times have you encountered the time hog, attention hog, or just plain hog?
In hockey, that person is the puck hog; the one skater who sees their role as star, scorer, winner.
How many times have your sons or daughters in pee-wee, mite or junior teams just wanted to stop playing their game stand at the boards or sit on the bench as their own personal puck hog has skated up and down the ice with nary a thought to passing the puck?The Puck Hog Cover
Or maybe even your own rec league game has its version of the puck hog.
Well, I know have seen it but Christie Casciano has taken the reaction to the level of writing about her puck hog experiences.
In The Puck Hog, Casciano takes the reader to the ice arena with her cast of characters including the book’s lead, Sophia, and the dreaded puck hog, Eddie!!
The author, Christie Casciano
Casciano has created a series of The Puck Hog (including volume 2) as a means to teach life lessons. As she says in the book’s preamble and back cover, Sophia (her daughter) and her team face challenges from opposing teams and from within their own side.
Eddie is the classic puck hog scoring half of the team’s goals in a season but never adds to the scoresheet with an assist. NEVER! as his teammates discover.
The Puck Hog (and its sequel) is a great platform for subtle messages and life lessons for the aspiring hockey player in your family. The first of the two-book series follows Sophia and her team through a season as it tries to resolve the conflict between the players and their puck hog.
There is that first glimmer of hope as the first book closes when Eddie acknowledges that “perfect pass” from Sophia for the championship-winning goal. But there is a sense that the puck hog has not learned the life lesson. That’s for Volume 2 of The Puck Hog.
The second book in the series has Sophia, her teammates and their puck hog graduating to Squirts. It is here that Eddie remains the team’s internal nemesis despite their success in the standings.
Volume 2 is subtitled Haunted Hockey in Lake Placid and rather than spoil the storyline let’s leave it as a mystery within the book’s broader lesson plan.
Sophia’s team heads to Lake Placid for a tournament that includes the much-feared Canadian team.
Eddie is still the puck hog but we are drawn along the storyline that has Casciano revealing frailty in Eddie that leads to the book’s pivotal moment of redemption for Eddie and celebration for Sophia and the team.The Puck Hog 2 Cover
In a gentle, but not so subtle manner Casciano has all the ingredients for what makes a puck hog including a domineering parent, in this case Eddie’s father who shouts demands and jeers for his son from the stands in both books.
In effect, Casciano has two life lessons, one for the puck hog and one for the parent. And by the end of the second book, son and father have their own epiphanies with recognition, growth and redemption presented for the reader.
Neither volume of The Puck Hog is syrupy, preachy or whiny. Instead, Casciano treats her target audience as young adults and offers them the problem, the process to resolution and the adult reaction to the redemption of Eddie and his father. There are no “I told you so’s” there is only welcoming of Eddie to “the team” as teammate.
And of course, there is Sophia’s mystery but you need to get the book for this little treasure of a back story.
Open today’s newspaper or latest Twitter feed and you will certainly see some report of poor behavior on or off the ice or field of play. Teaching moments are plentiful but how does one engrain good contact, sportsmanship or the concept of “the team”? That is where Christie Casciano’s The Puck Hog (both volumes!) comes in. This is a well-conceived and well-written pair of books that make the lessons easy to read for children and easy for the hockey players’ parents to respond to and enhance.
Rose Mary Casciano Moziak’s illustration rendition
The author Christie Casciano is an anchor with WSYR television in Syracuse, NY. The Puck Hog was illustrated by Rose Mary Casciano Moziak, Christie’s sister.
Both volumes of The Puck Hog are available through the publisher, North Country Books, Inc (
Contact Christie through Twitter @ccasciano