London Jr. Knights Atom AA White Team
Back row (left to right): Coaches Jeff Petruzella, Rich Palser, Dave Leff, Jamie Howes, Jack Falls Back row (players): Damon Spencer, Martin Zafka, Merryck Jacklin-De-Tibeiro, Adam Vanderheide, Daniel Wojnowski Middle row: Brady McIntosh, Adam Leff, Owen Bevan, Gage Landgren, Jordan Howes, Nick Petruzella Front row: Easton Falls, Nicholas Mangialardi, Nicolas Castrilli, Reid Palser, Ethan Howard, Brandon Balcar
The Snipe Academy of London has one goal in mind: enhancing the hockey experience in the community. To do so, the Academy uses its crew of high-quality instructors to offer well-structured programs for players looking to improve on the little things within the game.
Small class sizes are a source of pride for Snipe Academy, which was launched by a AAA hockey coach – with the support of fellow coaches and parents. The best part about Snipe? All training takes place on skates, on the training ice at the facility. That means providing the real hockey experience without the cost of ice time.
Rich Palser can certainly vouch for the effectiveness of Snipe Academy in preparing players for success. His team, the London Jr. Knights Atom AA White squad, used the Academy for its pre-season training camp in the fall, which consisted of weekly team shooting sessions and goaltending instruction.
“It served as a great team-building exercise because it gave the players and parents an opportunity to bond away from the rink,” Palser said. “And many of our players have continued to use Snipe Academy throughout the season. They’ve enjoyed their classes, and they’ve been able to get those extra reps needed to help our team succeed.”
And succeed they have. The Atoms finished first in their Alliance Division (12-1-2), and the team has been ranked No. 2 in the province all season. They were tops in the division in goals and goals against, were a +50 on the year, and had the best goals for percentage (.805) in the AA Constellation Division – across all age groups. They also won the Glenn Bellerby AA Tournament in Barrie in January.
By Karl Robb & Rich Palser and photo by Forest City Image Centre/CameraCanada Sports