Breakaway Ice Center - 20 Carter Street, Tewksbury MA
My my My my
 Each year Ace Bailey's Children's Foundation seeks donations for specific items for ACE'S PLACE at the Boston Floating Hospital.  These items provide a positive and less traumatic experience for these young patients while they are hospitalized.
In years past, Breakaway Ice has collected donations that together, can purchase the exact toys and/or electronics that the hospital seeks.

This year Breakaway Ice is asking for donations in any amount to help purchase a new air hockey table for patients and families to use while in the hospital. If you would like to donate to help us make the holiday season more enjoyable for kids spending time in the hospital please click on the link below. Once on the site you can check out the information on the foundation and then make a donation to help us reach our goal.    -   scroll down halfway to view "CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR ACE'S PLACE KIDS"
 If you would like to write a check please make it out to the Ace Bailey Foundation and mail it to David Hughes c/o Breakaway Ice Center 20 Carter Street Tewksbury MA 01876. As in years past numerous small donations pooled together make a huge impact on the lives of these sick children. Please consider joining in the holiday drive and thanks for taking the time to read this. Any questions or thoughts please don't hesitate to reach out to me.
David Hughes



by posted 11/24/2014
02 Selects Win Gold

BJR 2002 Selects


Jr. Rangers ’02 Select team brings home Gold from Lake Placid


The ’02 Select team enjoyed some success in the Can/Am Challenge Cup in Lake Placid, NY last weekend (Nov. 13-16th).

The team qualified for the Gold Medal game with a 2-1-1 record during the competitive Round Robin play.

Stellar goaltending by Andrew Macdonald and Michael Graham, combined with a stout defense, limited the opposition to just 4 goals during the 4 preliminary games.

In the 2-1 Gold Medal win vs. the Central Mass Outlaws, Logan Campbell notched both goals, including the winner with 1:09 left in the game, off a feed from Ned Malolopszy.

“The kids really stepped it up when it counted. A total team effort all weekend with contributions from everyone was the key” , the coaches said. “ We got great goaltending, really tough defense, and some timely, clutch goals.”

by posted 11/20/2014




posted 10/27/2014

More Than Just Mites

The ADM Looks To Expand Its Focus Heading Into The Future

The wider the base, the taller the pyramid. It’s a concept as old as the Egyptians and as solid as the Sphinx.

Herb Brooks talked about it whenever he brought up the development of future generations of American hockey players. Still, there was no way the architect of the “Miracle on Ice” could have imagined how far the sport has advanced since the advent of the American Development Model.

When it was unveiled in 2009, the plan was to slowly introduce it at the grass-roots level and build it from the ground up. That meant focusing on the development of hockey at the 8 & Under level. 

The cornerstone of the effort was the implementation of cross-ice hockey, which creates a more age-appropriate playing surface for younger players. The smaller ice sheet affords players more opportunities to touch the puck and enjoy the thrill of scoring goals. Along with improved fun came better skill development, which provides a solid foundation for the future.

But, a funny thing happened over the course of the first five years of the program’s existence. The ADM became synonymous with Mite cross-ice hockey, and the push to expand the program onward and upward never gained much traction.

“Because we launched the American Development Model at the 8 & Under level, people assume that it’s all cross-ice hockey. And it’s not,” says ADM Regional Manager Bob Mancini. 

“The ADM is a comprehensive plan of development that starts from the ages of 8 & Under and goes all the way through 18 & Under.

“The message that I want to give to parents is to take a look at the ADM and understand that it really is about delivering to your child what’s important at each age group.”

Now that a strong foundation has been laid, it’s time to raise the roof. That’s why, heading into the 2014-15 season, there will be a shift in the approach Mancini and other ADM regional managers will take as they hit rinks around the country touting the benefits of long-term athlete development and age-appropriate training. 

“As we’ve committed to this development model at the younger ages, it’s time to put a little bit more of the focus on making sure there’s quality training and quality practices for our older kids,” says Roger Grillo, an ADM regional manager who covers the New England states.

“If you’re going to go upstairs, you have to have a furnished bedroom. You can’t set the stage at the bottom and have nothing to go to.”

To be clear, the core principles of the ADM are not changing. The program’s managers and local volunteer coordinators remain committed to the sports science. All they’re doing is broadening the focus to take aim at the Squirt and Peewee levels in an effort to capitalize on the “golden age of skill acquisition.”

“Part of our goal this year is to get out and say, ‘Squirts and Peewees, this is not just a Mite thing; it’s an evolution all the way up to Bantams and Midgets,’” says ADM Regional Manager Matt Herr, who covers the New York and Atlantic Districts. “It’s age-appropriate training at all levels, and if you do this then your kid can reach their potential.” 

There are still small pockets of resistance that exist around the country, but critics and skeptics pale in comparison to the number of parents who have bought into the ADM and demand to see it adopted as their sons and daughters progress up the ladder of development.


 “It’s gaining momentum quicker than we ever thought it would, and for people who have experienced well-run ADM programs, there’s no way they’ll accept anything less,” says Kevin McLaughlin, USA Hockey’s senior director of development who oversees the program.

The wave of momentum that started with Mites will only grow as more people buy into the ADM and understand that it is a program designed to help the individual, whether he or she is 8 or 18. The science behind the program is irrefutable as is the commitment of USA Hockey and the NHL to see it continue to grow. 

The first five years were devoted to changing a culture and creating a mindset that puts the athlete’s development ahead of simply playing games. With the base of the pyramid firmly in place, it is now time to see how high it can grow.

 “We still have some challenges ahead of us, but I think the ADM as a whole has been very well received and people have bought into it,” Grillo says. 

“It’s just a matter of fine tuning it and tweaking it, and putting out some brushfires that are out there around the country. I think we’re in a great spot, but we’ll be in a better spot down the road.”


by posted 09/15/2014
Hockey Development Recommendations

An excerpt from Kevin Neeld's blog:

  1. Practice more. Play less. It’s amazing that almost all youth teams play more games than NCAA D1 hockey teams and have a comparable travel schedules. The next time you’re at a youth game, follow one player and document the amount of time they’re on the ice, the amount of time they have a puck on their stick, the number of passes they give/accept, and the number of shots they take. You can do this 10,000 times and you’ll always come back with the same result. Most players have more puck contact time in a single practice (even a poorly designed one) than they will in a month of games.
  2. More active practices. Perform a similar tracking activity as above during practice. How much time, both in absolute terms and relative to the total practice time, does the player spend skating and with a puck on his/her stick? How many passes? How many shots? Poorly designed practices will out-perform games in these measures EVERY time, but looking at these statistics will surely demonstrate that we can make better use of our ice time. Players need to move and handle a puck to develop skating and puck skills. Do chalk talks and explain the drills off the ice. At younger ages, there should be more moving than not. 60 minute practice? AT LEAST 30 minutes of movement (standing in line doesn’t count). No exceptions.
  3. Allow time for unstructured play (pick-up). Almost no organizations do this. Small area games are a step in the right direction. Providing open ice for players to scrimmage and have fun is even better. Coaches can supervise, but not coach. Players will develop skills and learn to compete while developing a passion for the game. It’s a win for everyone.
  4. Put more kids on the ice at younger levels. Pro teams might need full ice for practices. The overwhelming majority of youth teams don’t. Colleges put 30 kids on the ice at once. Why do 10-year olds need a full sheet for 12 kids? Putting multiple teams on the ice at once will either increase the number of ice sessions available for players or decrease the cost associated for the same number of sessions. Either way the kids and families win. Don’t worry about mixing kids from various talent pools. Kids shouldn’t be divided by talent younger than 10 anyway, and if coaches run quality practices with a lot of skill work, the discrepancy in ability won’t play an important factor in the fluidity of the practice OR the improvement of the players.
  5. Put less kids on each team at younger levels. Less kids means more ice time, more opportunities to touch the puck, more opportunities to read and react to the play, more development. It’s not necessary to roll three lines with young kids. Go with two and let kids play more. They’ll develop more and have more fun. Kids want to play, not sit on the bench.
  6. Train more. Hockey has replaced preparation with more competition. The players that sacrifice off-ice training to play in prospect camps get hurt. Short-term exposure should never be prioritized over long-term development.
  7. Teach nutrition. Most players eat too little (even the ones that think they eat a lot) and rarely consume a quality nutrient. Why nutrition is thought of as a passive relative to peak performance is beyond me. What you eat provides the fuel for EVERYTHING that a player does and all of the internal reactions of his/her body. It often explains why well-conditioned players feel tired, make poor decisions, and begin to feel run down throughout the season. Nutrition fuels recovery. Over time, a lack of proper nutrition and consequent under recovery causes overtraining symptoms and can result in injury. As a last point, remember that if your games take two hours, and you ate your pre-game meal 3 hours before the game, you won’t have consumed anything to provide you with energy for over 4.5 hours when the third period rolls around. Pre-game, in-game, post-game, and throughout the day nutrition are ALL important.
  8. More parental support. Less parental coaching (unless they’re the actual coach). Dan Bauer says it best in his article “Great Advice to Star the Season
  9. Give the refs a break (they’re all bad anyway). I use to tell the players on my team that all refs were terrible so don’t complain when they make a bad call. It’s expected. To be fair to the refs, every call will be perceived as bad by someone (coach, player, parent, etc.). They do the job to the best of their abilities. Sometimes they do well; other times they don’t. It rarely dictates the outcome of a game. Complaining is a sign of mental weakness, and almost never improves your position in the ref’s eyes. Be smart. Be tough. Be quiet.
  10. Improve skills off the ice. Ice time is expensive, practicing stickhandling and shooting off the ice is not. Grab a wooden ball and spend time handling it on all sides of the body, on two feet with and without weight shifts, and on one foot with and without weight shifts. Incorporate dynamic movement into these skills by throwing on a pair of rollerblades. Buy a cheap piece of plexiglass and practice taking wrist shots, snap shots, and backhanders from a variety of body positions. It’s not the same as on-ice work, but it will transfer.

by posted 03/03/2014
Boston Junior Rangers Mission Statement
 Mission Statement:

 The Boston Junior Rangers program is designed to foster the overall development of young hockey players through a focus of on-ice skill development and off-ice physical training. The Junior Rangers program play's out of the Breakaway Ice Center in Tewksbury, MA. The teams play a minimum of 40 games through the New England Hockey League, AAA tournaments and independently scheduled games. It is the concentration, commitment and priority to skills development, on and off the ice, which differentiates the Junior Rangers Hockey program from many other local programs. 

by posted 01/05/2008
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