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Kings hail 'great addition' to coaching staff

Getting ice time in the heat of summer

Puck drops for new training center;
Former coach incorporates passion for hockey with business







2011

Simcoe

Kings hail 'great addition' to coaching staff

PENETANGUISHENE – Thomas Bly and Bert Logan have done a little tinkering with the Penetang Kings lineup, but it will not directly lead to more goals, assists or wins.

Late last week, the Georgian Bay Mid-Ontario Junior C Hockey League team announced the addition of Trevor Gardner as an assistant coach.

"Trevor is going to be a great addition to the team in that he has a very technical-type approach to hockey," said Logan, the team's head coach.

Gardner owns and operates Shoot the Puck Hockey Training Centre, a privately operated instructional facility in Barrie. While attending a recent Kings game in Alliston, he heard Logan was looking for an assistant.

"Bert actually called me a few days later and asked me if I would be willing to help him out for the remainder of this season," said Gardner.

He said he is hoping his knowledge – gleaned from long involvement in the game, including eight years of coaching in the Tier 2 Junior A ranks with Vaughan, Aurora and Bramalea – will be useful to the young players on the Penetang roster.

"There is a good young group of talented players there," said Gardner. "They are hard working and want to learn. If they can get some solid goaltending in the playoffs, I think we can make some noise."

At Shoot the Puck, he works with players on the fundamentals of skating, passing, shooting and puckhandling.

"There are no shortcuts in the game anymore," noted Gardner, who grew up in a neighbourhood with future NHL players Keith Primeau and Brad May as childhood friends.

Logan said he likes the technical qualities Gardner brings to the team, and feels he can help the Kings improve their overall skill level.

"Trevor is dedicated, has been around a long time, and I was pretty happy to get him on the bench," said Logan.

Since the beginning of the season, Logan has coached the team with a variety of assistants, including general manager Bly and retired NHL referee Dan Marouelli.

While still involved with the team as a member of the coaching staff, Marouelli had indicated previously he wanted to take time away from the bench this winter to pursue other personal interests.

That set the stage for last week's hiring of Gardner.


Link to access this article at Simcoe.com

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2009

Simcoe

Getting ice time in the heat of summer

Tucked inside an industrial plaza on Saunders Road, in Barrie's south end, you'll find a place where hockey rules.

Take one step inside the front doors and you get an immediate sense of a building that is constantly cool 12 months of the year.
You've entered the Shoot The Puck Hockey Training Centre, a little slice of heaven in the life of Trevor Gardner.

When it comes to hockey few are as passionate about the game as Gardner.
"I opened the training centre in February of 2008 and I do 90 per cent of the work around here and run 90 per cent of the classes," said Gardner.

With Barrie's growing population, the demand for ice time has increased to the point where parents, coaches and players are seeking out private ice operators like Gardner.
Within the facility are two natural ice surfaces, with one smaller surface dedicated to shooting and goaltending.

And the other ice surface accommodates groups of no more than four players at one time.
On the day The Advance stopped in to visit Gardner at the training centre, he was juggling a full day of instructional classes that would keep him in the building till nearly 9 p.m.

August has been busy for Gardner, with players as young as three taking to the ice.
Those players preparing for minor hockey tryouts, Tier 2 Junior, Ontario Hockey League and NHL camps have all been hitting the ice in July and August, preparing for the rigors of a long season.
As a child, Gardner admittedly damaged a few garage doors, while sharpening his shooting skills in his hometown of Markham.

Coached by his dad John when he was playing minor hockey, Gardner grew up in a neighbourhood where NHL players Keith Primeau and Brad May were childhood friends.
"There are no shortcuts in the game anymore," notes Gardner.

"If you want to make it in hockey now, especially at the professional level, you have to make hockey a year-round commitment. There is no summer in hockey anymore and when the NHL season ends, they might take off two weeks after the season is over and then they are right back training," he added.

Hockey is a business, with prestigious universities such as Harvard offering scholarships worth $200,000 to players wishing to make the commitment for four years.
With so much money involved at the OHL, university, NHL and even minor pro ranks, players don't have the luxury of being able to take much time away from the game during the off-season.
"To be successful at it you have to commit to hockey and treat it as if it's a job," said Gardner.

It was a four-year journey between the time Gardiner formulated the idea of creating Shoot The Puck and the day the doors opened for business.

"There are training centres like this down in Toronto where I had been working and coaching at the Provincial Junior A Hockey League level for the past 12 years, and I thought Barrie was a good hockey town, so I decided there were opportunities for a similar type training centre right here," he said.

Besides working on all aspects of hockey related to passing, shooting, stick handling and skating, the training centre provides specialized goaltending instruction with David Obelisk.
"When people ask me what I do here, I tell them I focus on shooting, stick handling and skating. They are the three areas of the game which often get ignored during regular team practices," said Gardner.

Whether it's the youngest players, who are just beginning the game or the teenagers playing Triple A hockey in the region, Gardner points out that he works with the individual player to design instruction to meet their individual needs.

"In terms of skating, when I work with players I work on putting more power in their stride and making their feet quicker, while also working on their agility and balance," he said.

"When teaching shooting I take extra time to break down specific body mechanics, so my students understand how to take a proper shot. When I put the focus on stick handling, I give the kids specific moves to use in different situations, as well as putting lots of focus on breakaway moves, so when the opportunity presents itself, the puck will end up in the back of the net," said Gardner.
Shoot the Puck Training Centre is located at 130 Saunders Road in Barrie.


Link to access this article at Simcoe.com

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2008

Barrie Examiner

Puck drops for new training centre; Former coach incorporates passion for hockey with business

Leaning on years of coaching experience and an intense passion for the game, Trevor Gardner is looking to score a winner with Barrie's newest hockey training centre.

Gardner opened his Shoot The Puck Hockey Training Centre in the city's south end last month. The facility, located at 130 Saunders Rd., Unit 15, came about through Gardner's desire to mix business with pleasure, while helping hockey players improve their skills.

"Hockey's a passion for me. It's on my mind 23 hours a day," Gardner said. "My interest is to be able to make hockey a job, and this place affords me the ability to do that."

While researching his business venture, Gardner scoped out similar facilities across the Greater Toronto Area, and, upon his investigations, found there was potential for a specialized training centre to thrive here.

"There are places similar to this down in Toronto, and I've been to these other places and I've seen how they work," Gardner said. "I had great interest in bringing one to Barrie, and talking to people, there really isn't anything like this up here.

"(And), Barrie and Simcoe County is absolutely crazy about hockey." A great variety of training is offered by Gardner, who coached Tier II hockey for six years and 'AAA' hockey for five.

Everything from introduction to skating to shooting drills, goaltending and advanced-level drills are offered on the centre's two ice surfaces - 25 by 86 feet and 25 by 53 feet in size, and complete with regulation boards, glass and nets.

For those seeking out training, there are no limits or requirements in regards to skill levels.

"It's for everybody, really," Gardner said. "I'm willing to help all walks of life, all shapes and sizes. Anybody that wants to learn, we're willing to help."

Gardner pointed to a recent e-mail he received from a man who had been out of hockey for several years, but was looking to get back in, and wanted to revive his skills at Shoot The Puck.

Students can expect the utmost attention training under Gardner's wing, as the centre's student-to-instructor ratio is three-to-one, something Gardner takes pride in.

"The most (number) of kids we're going to have out here (at a time) is six kids, and there will be two instructors," he said, adding the teaching will be thorough.

"I'm trying to pride myself on being very technical, and paying close attention to detail," he said. "The other thing that this place affords the students is a chance to work on the little things that a coach may not have a chance to do in practice.

"Things like protecting the puck along the wall, getting pucks out of the defensive zone, for a defenceman, corralling pucks off the wall, different shooting situations, faceoffs."

Gardner's training crew also includes his fiancee, Becky Sarjeant, who offers in-house athletic therapy by appointment, and David Belitski, who provides training for goaltenders, also by appointment.

Belitski is a former Ontario Hockey League all-star netminder who played for the Kitchener Rangers before playing professionally in Germany and the East Coast Hockey League.

While Gardner said starting his own business is admittedly a risk, it's one he's willing to take.

And, so far, so good.

"I decided to take a chance," he said. "We've been open for two weeks, and, so far, it's been really well-received by everybody that has come through."

The facility offers two dressing rooms, a viewing area for parents, and is also available for birthday parties.

Shoot The Puck is open seven days a week. The facility is open to boys and girls of all ages

For more information, call 812-3344, or visit www.stphockey.com

Contact the writer at ishantz@thebarrieexaminer.com


Link to access this article at Barrie Examiner.com

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