Oct. 29, 2008

BOSTON, MA - On Saturday September 20, 2008, seven members of the UMass Boston Men's Hockey team spent their weekend afternoon volunteering at a local youth hockey clinic in Dorchester, MA. Matt Atsoff, L.G. Gattison, Chris Wyman, Brian Albert, Kyle Tejchma, Gentry Zollars and Jim Ennis all participated in the clinic, helping the youngsters of the Federated Neighborhood Dorchester Houses (FDNH) fine tune their skills while providing them with lots of useful tips and advice about the sport of hockey.

The two-hour clinic took place in the gymnasium at the Little House, a youth community center located in the Savin Hill neighborhood of Dorchester, MA. While the members of the Beacons instructed and demonstrated their skills, over 40 children, ages 6-16 soaked it all in, loving every minute of it.

Beacons head coach, Peter Belisle, was very eager for members of his team to get out and give back to the community, and was excited when this opportunity presented itself.

"I'm very glad the clinic was so well received. One of our hockey alum and former assistant coaches, Dave Doyle, made us [UMB Hockey] aware of this particular youth event. We jumped on the chance to help the local youths because it was a great occasion for college athletes to give something back while educating and encouraging younger kids to continue to play hockey," said Belisle.

The Beacons spent the first hour of the clinic working on some specific hockey skills that included a little stick handling work, some passing and then some shooting drills. Once everyone was warmed up, the kids broke down into smaller teams and showed off their skills in a round robin style scrimmage.

"The day was a lot of fun," said sophomore forward Matt Atsoff. "The kids were great, asking questions about playing hockey and you could tell they were getting a lot out of us being there. It was an awesome feeling knowing that for this group of kids, we were able to help make a difference."

Leslie Moore, the Director of Adolescent Development for FDNH, was also very appreciative of the time the members of UMB's Men's Hockey team spent with the youths.

"The Beacons were great! They came in with good spirits and high energy. The kids loved it and so did our junior coaches. Overall, it was a huge success," said Moore.

The youths were so engaged that they made a point to find out the Beacons' 2008-2009 home schedule to make sure they could catch them in action on the ice.

"It's always good to reach out to the community," said Atsoff. "With the positive response we got from this clinic, we will definitely be back in the future for others. All of our guys had a blast, we will be back for sure."

Not only are the Beacons anxious to continue to give back to the community but they're ready to hit the ice in their season opener on November 21, 2008 when they travel to Waterville, ME to take on Colby College.