So that was terrifying.

As many of you know, I have a Bernedoodle puppy named Dudley. He is 10 months old. He is the happiest, most playful puppy. He is my buddy. My wingman. He loves winter and hockey (no seriously, it’s the only thing on TV that holds his attention- THAT’S MY BOY!) He does however, get into more than his fair share of mischief.

Well, last weekend he became quite sick. He soon stopped eating and the brightness in his eyes was fading. I knew that something was not right. I had suspected that the tennis ball he slaughtered and devoured had caused some sort of blockage in his digestive tract. I set up an early appointment that Monday to have him X-rayed. If he did have something stuck it would need medical attention as soon as possible to prevent him from dying. After a delay in getting the results to the Vet, I was told that he did appear to have something lodged in his gut. The next morning, I took him for emergency surgery. At this point, I had barely slept for the past 72 hours (due to my concern for him). I waited anxiously for him to be out of surgery and recovering.

That afternoon, I got the call to come and get him. The Vet explained that there was a large piece of fabric that they excised from him. They showed it to me and I don’t think I will ever be able to figure out exactly what it was. It was huge! Like a t-shirt or hand towel folded over and twisted up. Dudley is a whopping 35lbs. How did he even eat this thing whole? He is with me nearly every second, how did I not witness the carnage? The Vet said that this would surely have killed him. I was more than thankful to have caught it and to have him back home with me.

Dudley is now recovering. He is eating and doing all the normal biological things that puppies do. His personality is back (maybe a bit more snuggly now) the life and energy has returned to his eyes. His job now is to eat and rest but the lil guy just wants to run and play and he is going stir-crazy.

As scary as the incident was it certainly put things into perspective. I would have done anything to save Dudley. I just wanted to see him smile and be happy again. 

It reminded me of one of our clients at Victorious. She is the mother of two of our players. We don’t hear from her regularly as she is in a very difficult battle with a terminal illness. She fights day-in and day-out to hang on for her boys. She wants to see them succeed and be happy. She doesn’t get to go to their games and recently she’s been trying to build up her strength so that she can go with them on a much-needed vacation. She does everything she can for her sons and they do the same for her.

Our world revolves around this sport. The car rides. The early morning skates. The bonds made between teammates on the ice and the bonds made between the parents in the stands. It is so easy to lose sight of what truly matters most. It is not being scouted or winning the championship. It is each other. It is family. It is the team. Do not forget that.

Boys, pick up the phone and call your mom. Dad’s call your sons. Sisters text your brothers. Support your teammates. Bring the other frozen moms some Timbits. In the end, that is what lasts. That is what matters. You never know when you or someone close to you has their card pulled. Take nothing for granted. You only get one life, make yours count, everyday.

Stay blessed,


P.S. -Happy National Puppy Day!


By Charlie Adams,, December 9, 2014

I had the opportunity last week to deliver a 75 minute program to Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka, an affiliate of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce. It was held at the Charles Martin Youth Center, which is named for a man who impacted the lives of many, many youth in his community.

I spoke on the leadership of Herb Brooks 35 years ago in that amazing journey to the gold in Lake Placid.

Out front I saw a plaque of the late Mr. Martin, and his life-approach quotes on the wall behind him. I found a connection between these two dedicated men. One black. One white. Both red on fire.

One of Charles Martin’s beliefs was:

“Believe that you can do anything that you set your mind to.”

And I thought of what Herb told those boys:

“If you work hard and we truly come together, we can do the improbable if not the impossible!”

Charles Martin always said 

“let no circumstance remove you from the center of your dreams.”

Herb’s boys lost to the Soviets 10-3 three days before the Winter Games. “No one is going to challenge the Soviets,” said the Boston Globe. 

“Unless the ice melts, the gold is the Soviets,” said the New York Times. They did not let the circumstance of that lopsided loss keep them from coming back less than two weeks later and digging into every ounce of their being to beat Goliath 4-3 as 40 million Americans would watch on TV.

“Never forget where you came from” was a founding belief of Charles Martin.

Herb Brooks coached the greatest sports victory in America’s history, but never forgot where he came from – the east side of St. Paul, Minnesota.

After his death in 2003 in a car accident, his widow Patti was asked to supply a quote about Herb for the plaque of him at the old St. Paul Hotel, where his plaque would go next to Judy Garland, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and others. 

Under all his credentials they put “I’m just a guy from the east side of St. Paul.”

In 2002, Winter Olympics organizer Mitt Romney secretly arranged the 1980 Miracle on Ice boys to light the flame in Salt Lake City at the Games. Herb was there as he was brought back to coach the 2002 team. He turned down being in the Opening Ceremonies, joking they might throw him in the cauldron, but seriously got a plane to go back to St. Paul that evening as a lifetime friend was being honored at the local VFW.

Herb’s best friend was LeRoy Houle, who owned a modest landscaping business. Even though Herb was one of America’s most in demand corporate speakers, he never got too big for his britches. 

One time LeRoy was down workers so Herb took 2 weeks off to ride around in one of his vans trimming shrubs and mowing lawns. Home owners freaked out when the looked out and saw the Miracle on Ice coach cutting their grass.

“Reach back for others” 

was something Charles Martin believed in.

Nine days after he did in 2003, Herb’s goalie coach and longtime buddy Warren Strelow was in tough shape. He was on the kidney transplant list and doctors had said chances were slim they would find the right match.

On the ninth night after Herb’s death, Warren’s wife had a distinct dream that Herb visited their home to ask about Warren’s health. The next morning, while having coffee, the phone rang and it was the hospital saying the night before they found a perfect match in all six key areas. They said the odds of that were like winning the lotto. Herb was reaching back.

Some of Charles Martin’s other life quotes were:

“Love yourself and your people.”

“You are your brother’s and sister’s keepers.”

Charles Martin influenced many young people into fine and productive careers.

Herb’s 1980 Miracle on Ice team was made up of players who would go on to do tremendous things in life. Bill Baker would study dentistry at prestigious Washington University in St. Louis and would become an oral surgeon. Several of the players are successful in the financial world. Jack O’Callahan is president of Beanpot Financial in Chicago. One player is a commercial airline pilot. Another manages a horse farm with his wife. Jim Craig, the goalie, is one of the top corporate team builders in the land with his company Gold Medal Strategies.

They were greatly influenced by Herb during their 7 month fairy tale like journey, as every day he would say things that transcended sports, like:

“Set goals in life or forever work for those that do.”

“Form good habits and become slaves to them.”

“Work so hard and become so good that you make it impossible for me to cut you.”

“Give 99% and make my job easy to cut you.”

“You have to have a real or perceived enemy to reach a goal.”

“We should be dreamers. We grew up as kids having dreams, but as adults become too sophisticated. We stop dreaming. We should always have dreams.”

“Motivation is the energy that makes everything work. It is clearly the single most critical part of performance.”

“Risk something, or forever sit with your dreams.”

“Don’t be common. The common person goes nowhere. Be uncommon.”

“You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.”

“The name on the front of the shirt is a helluva lot more important than the one on the back.”

“Men, I look for PEOPLE first, athletes second. I want people with a sound value system as you cannot buy values. You’re only as good as your values. I learned early on that you do not put greatness into people…but somehow try to pull it out.”

As the 35th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice approaches, it was an honor to speak to these people specifically about the leadership of Herb Brooks in a building named for the great Charles Martin.


Today marks the start of the 2023 Chipotle-USA Hockey High School National Championship. As of 6:00pm EST, 3/23/23, the results are as follows:


Yorktown (VA) 5

Brighton Bengals (UT) 4

St. Anthonys Friars (NY) 6

Edwardsville Tigers (MO) 0


Keller (TX) 6

Faith Lutheran Crusaders (NV) 0

South County Llamas (UT) 1

Oklahoma Oil Kings (OK) 2

Dayton Stealth (OH) 4

Des Moines Oak Leafs (IA) 5

NW Arkansas Ice Hogs (AR) 0

Prep Hockey (IL) 5

Morgantown Mohawks (WV) 4

Greenville (SC) 1

Omaha Jr. Lancers (NE) 8

Northern Kentucky Norsemen (KY)3

Gillette Grizzlies (WY) 1

East Islip Chiefs (NY) 9

Plant Panthers (FL) 2

Bishop Canevin (PA) 7


Denver East (CO) 2

New Trier Green (IL) 4

Orange Lutheren Lancers (CA) 3

Culver Academies Varsity (IN) 0

Sioux Falls Flyers (SD) 6

Valor Christian (CO) 4

Shattuck St.-Mary’s (MN) 1

CATS Academy of Boston- American 0

Hockey Academy (MA)

Click here for more:

Good luck to all participants!


Looking at line changes during stoppages in play

Greg Revak, March 19, 2023

Many people don’t understand how line change work logistically during a stoppage in play during a hockey game. Let’s change that and look at the game within the game and examine why the home team has an inherent advantage.

Free Player Substitution/Change Time

The whistle blows and the official/linesman who is not dropping the puck positions themselves in the neutral zone where they are visible to both benches. This is “free time” for both teams to make a change of players on the ice.

During this time, the away/visiting team is allowed five seconds to decide if they would like to make player substitutions. After that, only the home team can make changes.

Home Team Only Time

After the five seconds expire, the linesman/official will raise one of their hands above their head to signal that the visiting team can no longer change. The home team then has five seconds to decide to initiate player substitutions.

This is where home teams can exploit the situation to get a preferred matchup. For the neutral observer, this is a great time to focus to try to understand what the home team is attempting to do.

After those five seconds have expired, the officials hand goes down and neither team is permitted to change. The official with the puck who will drop the puck blows their whistle and prepares for the faceoff.

Faceoff Procedure

Once the whistle is blown, the centers are supposed to be given five seconds to prepare and execute the faceoff procedure.

Centers – Sticks Down

Players taking the faceoff place their stick blades in contact with the ice:

  • Depending on the league, either the attacking (read: offensive most) player or visiting team shall be the first to place their stick on the ice.

Players not taking the faceoff:

  • No other player shall be allowed to enter the face-off circle or come within 15 feet of the players facing-off the puck.
  • All other players must position themselves behind the hash marks on the outer edge of the face-off circle.


If a player facing-off fails to take his proper position immediately when directed by the Official, the Official may order him replaced for that face-off by any teammate then on the ice.

  • If a player, other than the player facing off, fails to maintain his proper position, the center of his team shall be ejected from the face-off.
  • A second violation by the same team during the same face-off results in a minor penalty for delay of game, assessed against the player committing the second violation.

After the faceoff

A minor penalty for interference “shall be assessed to any player facing-off who makes any physical contact with his opponent’s body by means of his own body or by his stick except in the course of playing the puck after the face-off has been completed”.

Faceoff Mulligans

There are a few situations where an on-ice official will call a mulligan and go through the faceoff procedure again. A few examples:

  • The puck didn’t hit the ice first
  • Players still moving during the drop
  • Players encroaching too close or within the faceoff circle

Note: Depending on league/level, there are two-person, three-person, and four-person officiating systems, so how they team up to process the procedure can vary slightly.

Think you got what it takes to make it on the second season of  Letterkenny’s spinoff show- Shoresy? Well they are looking for hockey players aged between 18-35. If you want to give it a shot, check this article out:

Arizona Players- check out this scholarship opportunity. If you have any interest in Cybersecurity this might be worth looking into.

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Players and families, we want to hear from you. If there are any questions, concerns, or if you just want to have a conversation, please feel free to contact us directly. We want to hear from you. Good Luck and Great Hockey!

Thank you,

Team VHC