Special Hockey Clinic Hosted At Prudential Center

Hockey Clinic Helps Celebrate Special Hockey in New Jersey

Friday, 05.2.2014 / 12:10 PM ET / Community
By Brittany Burke
Share with your Friends

Special Hockey Clinic Hosted At Prudential Center\r\n
The NJ Devils hosted a special hockey clinic at The Rock.

The New Jersey Devils hosted a Special Hockey Clinic at the Rock for New Jersey-based American Special Hockey Association teams. (Photo / Prudential Center)

Members from the North Jersey Avalanche, New Jersey Dare Devils, Mercer Bulldogs, Brick Stars Challengers and Woodbridge Warriors participated in the clinic. (Photo / Prudential Center)

When attending a Devils game at Prudential Center, it isn’t hard to look out on the ice and picture yourself out there in place of your favorite players. Every hockey fan dreams of getting to skate out on main sheet, to look up and see the seats surrounding you and the jumbotron hovering above you.

For five special hockey teams in New Jersey, the Devils made that dream come true with a Special Hockey Day Clinic held at the Rock.

“To have an organization like [the Devils] recognize these kids and bring them out, show them a good time on the ice, bring out stars, then have an after party where they fed you and get together, it was just a great day. It was a great feeling to be there and a great feeling to be involved with it,” said New Jersey Dare Devils head coach, Stephen Ritter.

The clinic brought together players from across the state who share a common bond of special hockey. (Photo / Prudential Center)

On Wednesday, April 23 players from the Brick Stars Challengers, North Jersey Avalanche, New Jersey Dare Devils, Woodbridge Warriors and Mercer Bulldogs came to Newark with the opportunity to skate on the same ice as the Devils and learn from some of the best in the organization’s history.

“There were about 115 kids so it was really nice. Once they got on the ice and were sectioned off into different clinic areas, Ken [Daneyko] and Grant [Marshall] and Bruce [Driver] went and worked with kids in each group,” described the Brick Stars Team Manager, Dina Crepaldi. “The kids were beaming. It was about them, so it was so wonderful to see their faces.”

That day the kids were given the VIP treatment with hockey clinics, ice time, a visit from NJ Devil and their logos up throughout the building.

“I think being on the big ice was really elite for them…being on the big ice having the mascot there, just the little touches having our logo and the logos of the various clubs up on the board. All those things were great for them. In some ways they were intimidated because they’ve never been on the ice in a place like that, so it took them a little while for it all to sink in. But it was fantastic for them,” said Chris Benbow, the Mercer Bulldogs coach and president.

The time with Devils alum also made an impact on the players. Daneyko, Driver and Marshall spent time with the players, first working on on-ice drills and then meeting with the teams after the clinic ended.

Devils alumni Ken Daneyko, Bruce Driver and Grant Marshall were on hand to help run the clinic. (Photo / Prudential Center)

“We had one of our older players there who struggles with confidence and for him to go through a drill with Grant Marshall, skating with him, and then him scoring the goal, and those two celebrating together, that’s a moment. Those are the moment you remember as a coach that make you want to keep doing what you’re doing,“ recalled Benbow.

Another special aspect to the clinic was its ability to bring together players from across the state who share a unique bond through special hockey. Despite being on different teams and living in different areas of the state, the skaters are friends and so the hockey clinic served as another way for them to play with their friends.

“That’s one of the things we all talk about as parents and coaches,” said Bob Jaffe, head coach of the North Jersey Avalanche. “One of the best times of the year is when these kids go to tournaments and interact with one another. They are always interacting with their teammates, but it is unbelievable when they go to these tournaments, or an event like this and they’re like family. It’s amazing how quickly they bond with one another.”

The day wasn’t just for the players, it was for the coaches, families, team volunteers; everyone who works hard to make sure the organizations keep going.

“For me as a coach it was a thrill. It was a perfect ending to a great season that we have every year,” said Jaffe.

For more pictures from the event, click here.

For more, head to NJ Youth Hockey Central.




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54


A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59