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USA Hockey: Why Hockey Is The Best Workout
USA Hockey: Why Hockey Is The Best Workout By Michael Rand If...
WANTED: Host Families for 2017-2018
  WANTED: Host Families for 2017-2018 Season   Each...
Summer 2017 Clinics Announced
  The Breakaway Ice Center and the Boston Jr. Rangers are...
Spring Total Hockey Development Program
  Total Hockey Development Spring Program   The...
Ryan Blair Head of Hockey Development
  BJR introduce new position naming Blair Head of Hockey...
USA Hockey: Why Hockey Is The Best Workout

USA Hockey: Why Hockey Is The Best Workout

By Michael Rand

If you think you’re in pretty good shape – or even if you know you’re not – it’s possible to step into, say, a touch football game or a casual softball game without completely embarrassing yourself or winding up on the couch for a week with myriad pulled muscles.

But if you want an honest assessment of your current fitness level, try jumping into a hockey game. You will get a splash of cold water – or better yet, ice shavings – on your face.

While it’s true that many adult hockey league players are perhaps primarily motivated by the camaraderie and enjoyment of the sport, the fitness benefit cannot be overlooked, says Kevin Universal, a member of USA Hockey’s Adult Hockey Council and the president of the Carolina Amateur Hockey Association.

Once you start, you don’t want to stop. But once you stop, you’ll feel it once you start again.

The beauty of hockey 

A shift in hockey combines the controlled dash of a 400-meter race with the urgency of an even shorter race. 

“There are perishable skills – the combination of having the short, sprinter-type lung capacity, then getting back for a quick rest and sprint up the ice over and over,” Universal said. “That’s challenging for a lot of people."

That’s why it’s important to keep playing, even if it’s just once a week. If you fall out of that routine, you will feel it.

“I think we have at least a handful of guys on my team who travel a lot and don’t have time to work out except for hockey,” Universal said. “That’s their one or two days of exercise a week, and it’s so beneficial. Aside from just hanging out and having fun, joking around with the guys, they’ll use that as a primary means of exercise.”

Other workouts don’t measure up 

Unless you like to race the person next to you on the treadmill or try to beat yesterday’s distance on the bike or elliptical, there isn’t much true competition in gym exercises. That doesn’t mean you aren’t working, but you aren’t working the same way you are when you truly compete.

“Being a part of the game and having something on the line, it makes you dig a little deeper and makes you get into it more and get more benefit,” Universal said. “When you’re not doing that and just out recreationally exercising and trying to burn calories, you don’t get the benefit. I have friends that run or lift weights, but if they aren’t getting that type of hockey workout consistently, they feel it after games and you see it in their play.”

Universal notes a recent example to emphasize his point: a guy who had played on one of his teams a decade ago before moving away has just returned and started back in hockey a few weeks ago.

“He had regularly exercised at the gym, but he was so gassed the first four or five games,” Universal added. “He’s finally getting his legs back. It’s funny. He regularly works out, lifts weights competitively. It’s not the same when you have to go out and sprint.”

Never too late to start 

That said, don’t let the conditioning learning curve associated with hockey be a deterrent. If you used to play and are trying to get back into it, it’s never too late. Same goes for adults who have never played before.

Universal falls into that latter category. He says he grew up playing street hockey, but he never played in an organized league on the ice until he was 34. He picked it up after his kids took up the sport and he “got the itch” when some other newbies convinced him to try a beginners camp.

“I regularly run into people as adults and I encourage them to pick up the game,” Universal said. “You don’t have to have grown up with it. You just have to have the desire, and you can have some fun out there and get fit.”

Now 48, Universal can’t imagine life without the sport in so many ways – with fitness being primary among them.

“I feel the difference. I feel the lung capacity and I’m able to work harder in other areas,” Universal said. “This past weekend I did a hike with a 1,700-foot elevation drop over 1.3 miles. That’s like doing 170 flights of stairs. My legs aren’t sore, and I attribute that so much to skating. I’ve tried lacrosse, football, track, swimming, baseball, and this is definitely by far the most beneficial workout.”

by posted 05/23/2017
WANTED: Host Families for 2017-2018


WANTED: Host Families for 2017-2018 Season


Each season the Boston Jr Rangers U18 and Junior hockey teams have players ages 15-20 from all over the world who leave their families and friends and move away from home to play the game they love. To take advantage of the opportunity to develop themselves on and off the ice, our players need families willing to open up their homes. Our host families play a vital role in the long-term success of our players. The families prove to be great role models and provide a supportive family environment that will make a significant difference in the lives of these players. It is our goal to provide our players with the best “home away from home” and to make this a great experience for both the player and host family. Some families will host two players as they then travel together and are company for each other. Rich DeCaprio and Ryan Blair who coach the Jr. Rangers U18 and Junior teams help to coordinate and oversee the process throughout the year. Host families are extremely important to the Jr. Rangers players and the organization. Host families become a part of the Jr. Rangers team and family.

What is expected of the host family?

Each player will need a room of his own, or a room he can share with a teammate. We ask that each family provides a bed and a bureau or closet. It is also the host family’s responsibility that the player’s meals are provided for.

What is expected of the players?

The players must adhere to all team and house rules and show respect toward all family members. Players are responsible for their own transportation. Most players will have a vehicle of their own or will coordinate with teammates and roommates.

Host families will have a player for a minimum of 8 months. (August 15th-April15th). Each family will receive a monthly personal payment of $450 per player.


If you have any questions or are interested in hosting a player for the 2017-2018 season, please contact Rich DeCaprio at   or Ryan Blair at

by posted 05/09/2017
Summer 2017 Clinics Announced


The Breakaway Ice Center and the Boston Jr. Rangers are excited to announce our summer clinics that we will be offering in 2017.  Along with the summer development program which will be the most complete development program, we are also offering specialty 4-day clinics for players. We are offering Shooting + Scoring, Defense and Skating clinics this summer. All of the clinics are open to all players and not just Jr. Rangers players. All skill levels are welcome. 
All programs will be run by Head of Hockey Development Ryan Blair. The rest of the staff are former Division 1 players that are still playing professional hockey. We are really excited about our first summer and can't wait to get started.  
Please e-mail Ryan at with any questions.
Please click below for the information and registration pages.

by posted 05/01/2017
Spring Total Hockey Development Program


Total Hockey Development Spring Program


The Boston Junior Rangers (BJR) and Breakaway Total Hockey Training (BTHT) are excited to announce the 8 week spring training program that will run from April 4th through June 1st. This program will run twice a week and each session includes a 60 minute on-ice skills practice followed by a 45 minute off-ice workout run by BTHT.

On the ice we provide a high level of energy, and positive instruction with challenging and progressive drills geared toward consistent development. In the gym, we provide hands on, interactive coaching and a great experience for each player. This Program will be run by BJR’s Head of Hockey Development Ryan Blair. Ryan is a former collegiate (UMass Lowell) and professional hockey player who is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Total Hockey Development Program Features:

        On-Ice                                                     Gym         

  • Stickhandling          Movement Preparation & Corrective Exercise:
  • Shooting                 Correct imbalances and movement familiarization 
  • Edge Work              Speed Work and Plyometrics:
  • Explosiveness        Change of direction, acceleration, deceleration, explosive power  
  • Small area games   Functional Strength Training:Build & enhance overall muscle strength and endurance                                                                                           



8 Weeks- 2 sessions per week (Tuesday, Thursday)

Program Cost- $500.00 ($250.00 for goalies)



April 4 - May 25th

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s

On-Ice 6:20PM-7:20pm -- Off-ice 7:45PM-8:30pm


For more information please email Ryan Blair at


by posted 03/13/2017
Ryan Blair Head of Hockey Development


BJR introduce new position naming Blair

Head of Hockey Development

Tewksbury, MA- In accordance with our new development model, the Boston Junior Rangers are proud to introduce Ryan Blair as our program's first Head of Hockey Development. Ryan joined the BIC and BJR staff in 2015 as the head strength and conditioning coach for Breakaway Total Hockey Training. He also is currently in his second season with the Rangers Junior program coaching staff as the head coach for the "Elite" team and the assistant coach for the "Premier" team. In his first season, Ryan led the Elite team to 32-7-3 regular season record, and a playoff run that culminated with the Elite team's second consecutive league championship. 

    Prior to his career with BTHT and BJR, Ryan was a defenseman at UMass Lowell (Hockey East) where he played in 141 games. Following his time with the Riverhawks, Ryan played professionally for three seasons in the East Coast Hockey League with the Cincinnati Cyclones, Wheeling Nailers, and Orlando Solar bears. 

    Along with running off-ice workouts for the Jr. Rangers and North Shore Vipers during the season, Ryan has run spring and summer on-ice skills sessions with several BJR teams, and partnered with BJR and NSV staff to run spring and summer on/off-ice clinics. We believe that Ryan's combination of a strong hockey background and experience in specialized strength & conditioning for hockey players is unique and sets Ryan apart from most coaches.  Additionally, Ryan brings a positive attitude and a lot of energy to the ice, and does a great job of preparing a plan that make these high tempo skills sessions fun, while also helping the players develop the necessary skills for success every time they step on the ice!

by posted 03/06/2017
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Boston Junior Rangers - Juniors

Breakaway Total Hockey Training

Complete Game Physical Therapy

Breakaway Ice Center

North Shore Vipers

Boston Hockey League

High End Hockey

MA Hockey


ELITE 9 Hockey League

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