USA Hockey Magazine

March 2018

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28 // MARCH 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM ••••••••• Chad Billins | Marysville, Mich. I called Billy Cirillo from the Little Caesars organization. When I played in Port Huron Hockey Association, I was never a triple A kid. I was a little naïve to triple A hockey and he gave me the opportunity to play midget major to play for him and I learned so much. I called to thank him for giving me the opportunity to play for him. He said he was having a tough day and that my call made it much better. It was a little emotion- al for both of us. It was pretty special. I actually called a lot of my coaches to thank them, including my college coach at Ferris State. The list could go on. There are a lot of people who influenced my career and he was one of the big ones. ••••••••• Will Borgen | Moorhead, Minn. I called Dennis Bushey from Moorhead Youth Hockey; he's the manager and has played a big part in the lives of everybody there. He's kind of a legend there. He always gives us ice time when we want it and he's just a good guy to have at the rink. It's pretty cool to share the stories and hear who called. We've been sharing the stories a little bit in the locker room a couple guys at a time so it's cool to hear the stories from my teammates. ••••••••• John McCarthy | Boston I reached out to a high school teammate of mine. His name is Pete Frates. He was a T he path to the Olympics is not traveled alone. Nobody gets here by themselves. It takes more than a village. For the members of the U.S. Men's Team, it takes an entire hockey community of caring people who unselfishly gave up their time and themselves to help each of the 25 players get to where they are today. Nobody knew that better than Jim Johannson, a two-time Olympian who has made those Olympic dreams come true for so many others. Prior to the recent IIHF World Junior Championship, Johannson teamed up with U.S. National Junior Team head coach Bob Motzko to create a program designed to have each team member call at least one person – not a family member – to thank him or her for helping them get to where they are today. Then players had to share how those phone calls went with their teammates. Brian Gionta was in Buffalo at the time and thought it would be a great way for this U.S. Olympic Team to follow suit. " When I first heard of it at the World Juniors I was extremely excited about it and thought it was an awesome thing," the U.S. Team captain said. "Not only does it help you reflect on those who have been a big part of your life and your career but it makes you reach out to those who have touched your life and show them how much they mean to you." U.S. players talked on Monday about who they called and how they thanked those who helped them get to where they are today. PHONE A FRIEND Olympians Reach Out To Thank Those Who Paved The Way On Their Olympic Journey BONUS DIGITAL CONTENT By Harry Thompson

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