Hound midgets take a break


Randy Russon
By
December 20, 2017

There is a good measure of talent on the major midget Soo Greyhounds. But as they are on break from the Great North Midget Hockey League slate, the Greyhound midgets are not in a position of strength.

A record of 9-16-4 has the Greyhounds in fourth place among the six teams in the major midget division of the Great North. The Soo trails the North Bay Trappers, Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves and Kapuskasing Flyers by healthy margins in the standings and is looking over its shoulder at the fifth-place Timmins Majors.

Too much time in the penalty box and too many goals allowed are statistics that stand out when perusing the numbers as they pertain to the Soo major midgets.

Through their 29 league games to date, the Greyhounds have spent 613 minutes in the penalty box, which includes two players who have racked up more than 90 minutes apiece in the sin bin. By comparison, first place North Bay has been tagged with 415 penalty minutes in 26 games.

In the goals against department, the Greyhounds have the worst average among major midget teams. The Soo has a goals against average of just over 5.00 per outing, which is even higher than the last place New Liskeard Cubs.

Ergo, to say that a lack of discipline and a lack of attention to team defense has played a role in the Greyhounds 9-16-4 record to date might rank as an understatement, if not a fact.

And while the players have to accept some responsibility for their record through 29 games, the coaching staff needs to take accountability for an overall lack of discipline and a conditioning level that does not appear to be in line with other teams in the Great North.

To be sure, there are a number of capable players on the Greyhounds who have shown that they have the skill and potential to advance to the next level of the game — let us say for example, in the foreseeable future, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Midget veterans such as Avery Rebek, Caleb Wood and Parker Morgan are hard working, better-than-average forwards and leaders in the goal scoring department with double digit totals of 17, 13 and 10, respectively.

Rookie forwards Nick Jameus and Nick Niro have shown a lot of promise as the two minor midget aged — as in 2002 birth date — players on the Soo major midget squad.

And on the blue line, as one example, 2001 birth year rookie Jordan Ritchie has progressed well enough to recently suit up for a pair of games as an affiliate player for the French River Rapids of the aforementioned NOJHL.

An underachieving record of 9-16-4 has led to concerns from both players and parents.

Players held a players-only meeting earlier in the season. And just last night, a group of parents held a meeting of their own.

This is a 2017-2018 season that has not gone well for the Soo major midgets, who for a long period of time were an annual power house in the Great North loop with the reputable likes of Mike Hall and then Jim Capy at the helm as head coach.

Can the 2017-2018 season be salvaged, at least in terms of respect and player development?

That starts with the coaching staff, specifically the head coach.

Upcoming, the Greyhound midgets have three games on the slate for December 29, 30 and 31 — two road matches against last place New Liskeard and a third away game versus the minor midget North Bay Trappers.

The clock is ticking on this season for the Greyhound major midgets. And the restless hands of time are threatening to pass them by.

Yes, there has been much negative that has surrounded the Greyhound major midgets over the course of the season to date.

But negativity spawns from within.

And it should be up to those who have created the negativity to try to turn the situation into a positive.

PHOTO: Soo Greyhounds forward Caleb Wood, in Great North Midget Hockey League action against the Timmins Majors. (Photo by Postmedia.)


What you think about “Hound midgets take a break”

  1. RR: You have said it Well said once again. The onus to be better has to be on a) Pancoe and his Staff b) Sault Major and c) The Players. Tho it starts at the top and we all know this.

  2. Nice write up Randy as per usual. They have many good player’s as you have stated.
    To be a good Team you are only as good as you are being coached.

  3. I keep on hearing about that Coach Panco is a Volunteer and that is great. that Kevin gives of his time. What about the Parents who give of there money ? Parents are paying EIGHT GRAND a year for there kids to play and for what I may ask !

    1. Agree with you Hounds 1972. Also we are a team that might have 3 or 4 more Wins if our kids had the same Strength and Conditioning Programs as North Bay and Sudbury. This falls on you Coach K.

  4. Further to this is more “positive news” as I am told that Parker Morgan and Jake Doucette might play for Espanola /NOJHL game this weekend. Great for them boys.

  5. This is what happens when you assign a AAA team to a past ‘house league’ coach who doesn’t have the understanding of what it takes to coach a team at the AAA level. The AAA director needs to be canned ASAP for continuing to reward him with this team year in and out without any accountability or measure of performance whatsoever.

    That said, I have watched the assistant coach Deluca’s practices when the head coach is not there. They are fast paced and he utilizes ice time very well. Deluca has a better understanding of systems, and knows how to address situations. He would likely make a difference with this team’s progress if he ran practices alone, although I’m not convinced he is a head coach. Unfortunately for the kids and parents footing the bill, the head coach runs practices like he is still coaching a house league team. As for off ice conditioning, core strength, agility etc, as Randy states in his article and I’ve said in the past, it is non-existent. For some reason he must’ve missed the memo or fell asleep during his coaching clinic when this important part of the new game of hockey was emphasized.

    IMO, This team should have been given to Mark Disano with Deluca running practices and bring in a notable goalie coach and off ice conditioning trainer. Sadly, he chooses to spend the parents hard earned $$$$ on buses instead.

    As I’ve stated in the past many times, it is very unfortunate this team did not have the 8 or more AAA players try out that opted for high school. These players left the AAA program because they got the royal shaft from this coach last year and now this program has unfortunately fallen victim to a nasty case of ‘Karma’.

    1. He was a house league coach before this? Never on the AAA system? How did he get this team and keep it one might ask. I’ve heard the AAA director is related to him through his girlfriend but who knows. It would make sense, otherwise how is he not canned ASAP. What a waste of talented kids , money, potential and futures.

    2. not to mention the $8500 price tag …. High School is a fraction of the cost… great competitive tournaments against high school teams that are allowed to use AAA, Jr. A and Jr. B players also.

  6. gordie what you just said is exactly what’s wrong . Disano should of been given the team but deluca run practices? How about just giving deluca the team and settle it at that. I would imagine he’s running practices now. Listen Dom is a great coach. Ask any kid who’s played for him. They love him. I had him for one year 15 years ago and I loved him. He runs a great practice and he knows the game so well. You won’t find one player who has ever said a bad word about him. He’s the best coach teaching wise I’ve ever come across. He’s smart and he communicates with players better then anyone I’ve ever seen. The major problem is grade 11 and 12’s are playing highshool over midget and something has to change in order to get the top players in town to pick aaa over high school. Not sure how that can be done. A lot has to do with social media. Kids don’t won’t to give up their weekends to play in the gnml. I couldn’t imagine having to watch everything your missing back home while your away via. Snapchat, instagram, Facebook etc… I honestly think that probably has just as big of an impact and kids not playing aaa because of the money concerns. And if your older then 30 don’t tell me it doesn’t affect kids because it does. Also why is it always the coaches or parents fault? These 17,18 year olds aren’t kids. Maybe it’s time they start shouldering some of the blame. They have been playing hockey long enough to know how to play the game the right way. Who’s the captains on this team? Not saying it’s their fault but maybe it’s time they take charge. Still tons of time to right the ship. I hope they turn things around. Anything can happen in the playoffs.

    1. Also…if you play high school you can do other sports…even if you are a AAA caliber player (and there are several)… with the major midgets and minor midgets, it’s frowned upon, not to mention a lot of parents think their son is a lock for the regular and supplemental draft so they have to focus on one sport

    2. NOJ Alum…..don’t think Deluca applied for the head coach job, so not sure how he could have been assigned the team???…Disano applied for head coach and is very qualified.

      1. gordie my post wasn’t any disrespect to disano. I’m aware of his credentials and I know he’s a great coach. Also i figured dom wouldn’t go behind Panco’s back and apply for his job. My point was if a coach runs practices he should be the head coach at this level. This isn’t pro hockey. Don’t forget that.

        1. NOJ …Deluca has coached this team in the past and stepped down for personal reasons. Therefore, it’s likely time for him to move on as well as. Give the team to Disano if he applies again, because he also runs excellent practices and he is a great communicator that can teach all aspects of today’s game.

          ‘ all you can do is make them better at whatever style they play’ ….. so is it safe to say that the current coach and staff have failed miserably based on the team’s performance and if so , wouldn’t you agree then that sweeping changes need to be made?

          Bring on Dizzy

          1. One thing for sure is goaltending is in good hands in Sault Ste. Marie. What Jamie disano has done in town is pretty remarkable. I couldn’t imagine the amount of time he must put in. Just look at what he’s done with the goalies the last two seasons in blind river. Pretty amazing. Not to mention he’s made culina into a top goalie in the ohl. Turned Gordon into an average goalie to the best in nojhl. his son looks to have a very bright future also. He works with kids of every age. Teaching them the new way to play net. thats a positive regarding hockey in town. Maybe the solution is everyone should start out their kids as goalies. Lol. There’s good people in town helping out. two great people involved with minor midgets in Jamie and Kevin, I stand by my words about dom and a few of his staff with the major midgets. I won’t comment about panco because I’ve never met him or seen what he’s like as a coach. Saying that I’m sure he’s involved for the right reasons. It’s all about the kids. No one is volunteering their time for their own benefit. Thanks randy for the continued coverage of hockey in town. I can’t make it to watch many games anymore in town but appreciate you making it easy to keep up. Things will turn around in town. Parents…it’s about the kids let them have fun. It goes by to quickly. And if ur kid was like me they will miss it more then you know when it’s all over. So don’t take the opportunity away from them because of your views about coaches or people in charge. Let them make memories that will last forever.

  7. Well said noj alum. Pretty sad that the media knows everything about this hockey team even to what goes on in the dressing room. Perhaps this all for the personal gain of a few parents. Like u said anything can happen in the playoffs perhaps we should give it a rest. I am fairly sure the boys know what has to be done and still have many supporters behind them wishing them luck now and in the future.

  8. Noj alum.
    You are right about Dom , his abilities, his knowledge and players love him, but he doesn’t want to travel and that’s always been an issue. He’s more of a technical guy, and very good at it, which is easier focused on as an assistant I think.
    As for the players at fault? That’s way off base. The players want to learn but there teacher can’t teach this level. It’s that simple.
    If you had a high school teacher handing out test after test and the whole class seemed to fail every one, is it the students fault? Because there been in school for years? Because that’s what your saying. He hasn’t taught them what they need to know , because he doesn’t know hockey of today’s game st this level. He has no idea what it takes snd niether does Cavaliere . Ask them questions and you will find out yourself.

  9. I understand what your saying Derek. I don’t know what kind of a coach and teacher Kevin is. I don’t know him from a hole in the ground. I strongly believe at 17 and 18 generally players don’t change the way they play regardless of who’s coaching. You can’t change a checker into a first line goal scorer at 18 years old. At that age it’s hard to break a players habits and tendencies. All you can do is make them better at whatever style they play. Every team needs a grinder / penalty killer as much as they need goal scorers. So maybe the blame needs to be directed at teachers of the past. That’s just my opinion. Not looking to rock the boat. I’m just stating it from my point of view .

  10. Simple solution to this mess……appoint the following to run next year’s Midget team:

    Marc Disano : Head Coach

    Jamie Disano : Goalie Coach (Elite Post to Post)

    John Panco: off ice conditioning coach (Superior Sports Training)

    Give these kids the quality program they deserve and value for the gads of money they are paying.

    1. Lol…. at hockey guru, ….and the guy that’s there now can? Last time I checked the Junior TBirds record , they’re doing very well. Pretty sure Marc is the assistant coach.

  11. Hockey Guru! I would say your comment is very Accurate about the Disano
    Brothers being a good choice to take the Midget AAA program if that comes available.
    After reading Gordie’s previous comments and bringing up his listed above
    Staff selection, I can only see one notable name in that being Jon Parco. The Board needs to make sure mistakes in selections are as perfect as can be. Calling yourself Elite, which is self proclaimed doesn’t mean it’s Elite. Besides that. Sault Major has a real Hockey bed of people within the Cummunity to choose from. Lambert, Lortie, Deluca etc etc. I believe if trying to make change bringing in the above mentioned besides Parco doesn’t nothing more than a face lift for the Association and what needs to be seen is new faces so it’s a complete reconstruction of the Damaged Building. Gordie. just because Disano is an assistant and the T-Birds are doing well doesn’t mean it’s because of an Assistant Coach. The T-Birds success comes from the players first, and don’t think there is a Coach that would say it’s because of a Coach an especially the Assisatant Coach. Sault Major needs to cleaned the Board and choose some new faces or more notable personal the what was mentioned in your Mach Coaching List.

  12. Gordie please. Show your true colours and stop hiding behind your alias. JP head coach cuts the game tape and prepared for each practice and game. He also trains them off ice. Marc is apart of a great staff which includes Toots Kovacs , Trevor Zachary , Terry Barbeau and trainer Jay. It’s a staff winning not any individual.

  13. I would highly doubt JP would want to coach the Midgets….pretty sure his sights are set on higher levels then where he is coaching now. Sure there are many others, however , Disano was the only other applicant.. As for Jamie, imo he is doing a pretty good job developing some of our local tenders. …I would also argue that the name ‘Elite’ seems to be working pretty well for him and his local goalie training program. In your opinion Uncle Jed what should he have called “SoSo Post to Post”?

    Mark: what relevance does anyone’s name have to do with this discussion?

  14. Remember when coaching/teaching kids use to be fun and team chemistry was a team goal. Well the fun is long gone, and now its babysitting so called expert parents to the game is getting sickening. The greatest game in the world has really taken a turn for the worst and no real clear end is near.

  15. Gordie your comment is confusing. You said Parco is looking to Coach at a higher level. I agree his sights should be, but you have to start somewhere and he is the perfect fit for the Thunder for now. I’m sure he will find that opportunity elsewhere. You also state that why would he want to Coach the AAA Midgets as head Coach but you list him as a Conditioning Coach? Not sure but why would he play that role and not just Coach and Condition his own players as he does now with the Thunder?. Second, my comment about Disano stated that the word Elite was self proclaimed, and it is. Where does my comment say he hasn’t done a good job? It doesn’t? You seem to take offence when someone mentions anything about your comments. But when I look back the word Disano is in a lot of your recents posts. Again just stating the Facts as you also like to do with your posts.So what my question to you is why would a Parent come on here on push so hard to mention Disano should be Coach when in Fact there are many more Coaches that have more experience to take the AAA Midget Program. It reminds me of watching a Presidential campaign and Disano is the only guy running. Again. Just seems unlikely that a parent would keep bringing up the same names. Like Hockey Guru mentioned. The Disano Brothers running the AAA Midget Program? Please. Sault Major needs to improve the program not cause more Headaches down the road. Just my opinion.

  16. Just seems odd Gordie that you would know some of the information that you are claiming. Comments about Deluca not applying for the Team he is on and stating that Disano was the only one to apply for the Midgets. That information is usually held confidential by the Board of Sault Major. How you would know that. You seem to have the inside scoops. Interesting.

  17. Got lotsa inside scoops Uncle J……lmao…..here are my comments, rebuttals, whatever ….

    …. Parco runs an off ice conditioning company (Superior Sports Training) that is no secret. So why not hire him as the conditioning coach for all the rep and select programs??

    …..Disano being the only other coach that applied for the major Midget team is very common knowledge or common ‘here-say’ I suppose, among the hockey circles in this town.

    …..I took no offence to your comment about the Disanos. Maybe he is calling his school Elite because he has developed a reputation around town for training many of the rep and Junior goalies and producing results as shown by the goalie stats. And BTW his website states what goalies he is training and their stats can be found on league webpages, in case your thinking ‘bingo’ more insider scoops, …lmao.
    I would say he has earned that title if these tenders keep going back to him and getting results. It’s obvious that you may have an issue with him and therefore it drives you crazy that he has the ‘gall’ to call his school Elite.
    You are entitled to your sports opinions as I am to mine, uncle J, don’t read anything more into my opinions, they are just that.
    BTW Do you take the same issue with Parco calling his school ‘Superior Sports Training’?? And would you say he is self proclaimed as well??

    Lastly, I don’t know how else to tell you this short of a PowerPoint presentation…nobody else applied other then Disano and Panco according to all the ‘here-say’ in the hockey circles. That said, I will agree 100% with you that there are certainly many many others that are as qualified and likely much much more qualified than Disano.

    This is a very small town Uncle J, hockey news typically travels quickly. You don’t need to be an insider to get the’scoops’ , just hang around any sports bar if you wanna fill your ear.

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