Nov 01, 2012 - 12:05 ADT

October 12, 2012,

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs are pleased to announce the opening of the Sea Dogs Academy, an elite hockey program designed to elevate the skating and conditioning skills of young hockey players.

The Sea Dogs’ mission has always been to provide a continuous commitment, dedication and excellence in the competitive success of hockey players at all ages. The newly established Sea Dogs Academy consists of a 17-week program of power-skating, skill development and conditioning practices. The first program begins on Monday, Nov. 12 and will wrap up on April 28.

“It’s been a goal of the organization for a few years now to start a Hockey Academy program and we are thrilled to finally be able to launch this,” says Saint John Sea Dogs President Wayne Long. “It will be unlike the traditional summer hockey program as it is meant as value added and extra training during the season for young players”.

The program is designed for dedicated players who want to be challenged to improve their skating and skills. The program will be taught by veteran skating coaches and former University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds players Stacy Smallman and Dax MacLean. Dax was a member of the 1998 CIS Championship Varsity Reds under head coach Mike Kelly. Stacy was a member of the 1997 Royal Bank Cup Championship team coached by Gerard Gallant and the 2007 CIS National Championship team at UNB. The duo are the owner/operators of Champions Hockey – a Power Skating and skill development program in Fredericton, NB for the past seven years and have extensive coaching experience at all levels of minor hockey.

The sessions will take place at Harbour Station and Rothesay Netherwood School Arena throughout the fall, winter and spring months. The on-ice sessions will have a minimum of 50% of our allotted time dedicated to the power-skating component while the remaining time is scheduled for skills development and conditioning.

“Our Ultimate goal is to develop the Sea Dog Academy as a complete one stop shop for the hockey athlete. It will eventually encompass heath, nutrition, skills, training etc.,” says Long. “The ‘in-season specialized skills’ concept has worked well in other markets and we think that there will be great demand for this product in Saint John.”

This program will give the Sea Dogs organization the opportunity to teach proper skating technique to the players through repetition to create muscle memory in order to enhance their form and speed. This will also give the opportunity to tailor our program to the specific needs of the group.

The skills the program will focus on are: Explosive Acceleration, Advanced Skating Techniques, Edge control, Increased speed and quickness and maxiumum skating efficiency/lengthening of the stride.

The 2012-2013 dates and times for the Sea Dogs Academy are:

Nov. 12 12:00-3:30 PM RNS

Nov. 25 8:00-11:30 AM HS

Dec. 2 8:00-11:30 AM HS

Dec. 9 8:00-11:30 AM HS

Jan. 6 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM RNS

Jan. 20 8:00-11:30 AM HS

Feb. 3 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM RNS

Feb. 10 8:00-11:30 AM HS

Feb. 24 8:00-11:30 AM HS

March 3 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM RNS

March 6 1:00-4:30 PM HS

March 10 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM RNS

March 17 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM RNS

March 24 8:00-11:30 AM HS

April 7 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM RNS

April 14 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM RNS

April 28 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM RNS

Space is limited and spaces are available on a first come-first serve basis. There are three groups available for registration: Group 1 (Born 2004, 2005, 2006) Group 2 (Born 2001, 2002, 2003) and Group 3 (Born 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000). Registration costs for the camp are $400 and players will get to keep their Sea Dogs Academy jersey.

The registration form is available online HERE and can be filled out and returned to or delivered to the Sea Dogs Administration office.

Applications for the elite program are due by Nov. 2 and can be submitted to the Sea Dogs administration office at 99 Station Street, Suite 200, Saint John, NB, E2L 4X4. Accepted applicants will be notified by email on that date.