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Polar Caps Skills Academy

Update - June 18

Our next session is on Tuesday June 18 in the afternoon at MIA.

  • Group 1 starts at 1:30pm with On Ice Skating
  • Group 2 starts at 1:25pm with Off-Ice Training
  • Group 3 starts at 1:30pm with Off-Ice Skills

Note that we've moved some players between groups, so be sure to check the Groups List below for latest updates.

Players remember to bring your pinny. These help us identify you in the videos that the coaches are taking while skating. If you are missing one, just let Jay Uhlinger know, and he'll get one to you at the next session.

Remember to do your homework each week and practice your stickhandling and shooting.

  • Refer to the May 13 Update email from Coach Meskin about our new shooting technique training!


The Polar Caps Skills Academy is a new program started in 2019 to provide Polar Caps players with off-season development and training while allowing them to focus on other sports during the spring and summer. The Skills Academy will take place this year during April, May, and June. Sessions will be led by Rich Smith and Toby Kinsler. Off-ice strength & conditioning training will be led by Dave Knight. Registration is open for all Polar Caps players who will be Squirt through Bantam ages for next season (born 2010-2005).

What to Bring

Players should come prepared to the sessions with the following items.

  • Full hockey gear
  • Workout clothes and sneakers
  • Stickhandling ball (wooden ball, golf ball, street hockey ball... NO tennis balls)
  • Gloves and stick for off-ice skills
  • Water bottle

For the 1st session, we would like parents to fill out and bring the Athlete Intake Form below. Dave Knight will be collecting them as part of the off-ice strength & conditioning training.

Player Groups

Players will be divided up initially for the first session into 3 groups roughly based on age and experience. At the first session on ice, skating skills will be assessed to help determine the player groupings for Group 1, 2, and 3 for the first sessions in April. The coaches will continue to evaluate players during the sessions to determine whether players should be moved to a different group as they progress.  All groups will be taught the same skills with more advanced groups having more complex concepts added more quickly (for example, Group 1 learning 3-stride power start, Group 2 learning  5-stride power start, and Group 3 learning more advanced 5-stride power start with additional 5-stride after cross-over).

The groups listed below will be for the session on May 5 at Oregon. We will continue to update the groups list as players progress through the sessions.

Groups List

´╗┐Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
Oliver Barnett Andrew Baer Ben Arnett
Gabriela Bazurto Grace Baer Michael Baer
Abby Beyler Jay Patrick Block Clayton Belshaw
Alex Blonien Isaac Boucher James Beyler
Finn Boyle Mason Brosious Benjamin Block
Sam Clark Tate Cagle Evan Blonien
Francesca Danielson Logan Corrigan Milo Boyle
Wells Draper Joshua Douglas Riley Boyle
Keegan Gunderson Scout Elmer Lucas Breunig
Caroline Held Luke Goetzke Graham Carlson
Garrett Hurley Cullen Gustavson Cale Corrigan
Madeleine Justman Parker Harms Jackson Doers
Maxwell Kaufman Ellery Helseth Dillon Engelman
Jack Kenney Kaz Helseth Andrew Gautreau
Harrison Latek Ethan Holmes Amelia Goetzke
Ethan Lee Nathan Justman William Goetzke
Willa Lenaker Will Kimmel Isabel Goldschmidt
Beatrice McAleese Hudson Kinsler Maria Greenhalgh
Dashiell McAleese Owen Koch Alec Heikkinen
Jack McDonald Trey Lanham Wyatt Helseth
Miles Mendyk Aiden Lee Niall Henderson
Lincoln Morris Ethan Li Madison Hoffman
Sydney Moskol Asher Ludwig Owen Jungers
Beckett Paulsen Jonas Maddock Easton Kinsler
Eleanor Quattromani Drew Mendyk Aleksander Likness
Amelia Simmet Hayden Meskin Quincy Loheide
William Siniscalchi Lucas Morris Daniel McClimon
Jon Spengler Timothy James Raichle William McDonald
Maxwelton Steinhauer Joseph Remm Quinn Moskol
Ashton Wedige Ryder Richards Teddy Osmond
Bridgett Welsing Lily Sager Rudy Richards
Azelle White Camden Sauer Paul Sergenian
Maksym Stankewicz Quinn Smith
Nikolai Stankewicz Walter Strange
Evan Sweeney Kate Sweeney
Joseph Tunzi Brendan Uhlinger
Rory Uhlinger Spencer Vandenheuvel
Logan Urben Jack Welsing
Aiden Voss Benjamin Wenkman
Finnegan Weidenhamer
Jacob Wenkman


The schedule below outlines when groups will be on ice and off-ice during the Skills Academy sessions.

  • The times for the Skills Academy sessions on the Polar Caps calendar correspond to the blocks of ice times that we have at each rink. Group 1 will skate first, then Group 2, and then Group 3.
  • Parents can expect their players to be there in general (training, skating, changing, etc.) during those times with younger kids starting and finishing first. On ice and off-ice is staggered for the 3 groups, so that they can rotate between them.
  • On Ice is skating edge-work. Off-Ice Training is strength and conditioning. Off-Ice Skills is stickhandling and shooting.
  • Note that Sunday evenings at Oregon will start earlier with off-ice training for Group 1 at 6pm in order to finish earlier for the younger players.
  • There is no off-ice skills or training on Tuesdays at Shell in April due to the limitations in available space.
Session Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
Sundays at Oregon in April, May, June

6:00-6:30pm Off-Ice Training

6:45-7:20pm On Ice

7:35-8:00pm Off-Ice Skills

6:00-6:25pm Off-Ice Skills

6:30-7:00pm Off-Ice Training

7:20-7:55pm On Ice

6:30-6:55pm Off-Ice Skills

7:00-7:30pm Off-Ice Training

Ice Resurface Between Groups 2 and 3

8:10-8:45pm On Ice

Tuesdays at Shell in April 5:00-5:45pm On Ice 5:45-6:30pm On Ice 6:30-7:15pm On Ice
Tuesdays at McFarland in May

6:00-6:40pm On Ice

7:00-7:30pm Off-Ice Training

7:35-7:55pm Off-Ice Skills

6:00-6:25pm Off-Ice Training

6:40-7:20pm On Ice

7:55-8:15pm Off-Ice Skills

6:00-6:25pm Off-Ice Skills

6:30-7:00pm Off-Ice Training

Ice Resurface Between Groups 2 and 3

7:35-8:15pm On Ice

Wednesdays at Oregon in June

6:00-6:35pm On Ice

7:00-7:30pm Off-Ice Training

7:30-7:50pm Off-Ice Skills

5:50-6:20pm Off-Ice Training

6:35-7:10pm On Ice

7:55-8:15pm Off-Ice Skills

6:00-6:25pm Off-Ice Skills

6:30-7:00pm Off-Ice Training

Ice Resurface Between Groups 2 and 3

7:25-8:00pm On Ice

Tuesdays and Thursdays at MIA in June

Wednesdays at McFarland in June

1:30-2:10pm On Ice

2:30-2:55pm Off-Ice Skills

3:00-3:30 Off-Ice Training

1:25-1:55pm Off-Ice Training

2:10-2:50pm On Ice

3:20-3:45pm Off-Ice Skills

1:30-1:55pm Off-Ice Skills

2:00-2:30pm Off-Ice Training

Ice Resurface Between Groups 2 and 3

3:05-3:45pm On Ice


Stickhandling and Shooting Goals

One of the goals is for our Polar Caps players to take ownership of the training process. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time. We'd like players to spend 10-15 minutes per day 5 days a week for stickhandling and shooting practice.

Please sign your Skills Academy player up on the HockeyShare site so that they can participate in the 10,000 puck shooting contest this summer. Directions for signing up are as follows.

  1. Go to the registration page at
  2. Click on the 10,000 pucks tab and login
  3. Click on the players tab and create a new profile. (They might ask you some equipment questions. Just click through this.)
  4. As you click through, you will have an option to search for your team. Type in “West Madison” and you will see the Skills Academy teams. Select the age appropriate team (Squirts, Pee Wees, Bantams).

Here is a signup instructional video:

Here are some stickhandling resources. Players can jump in where they see fit, and we will provide more individualized guidance during the formal sessions. For the experienced stickhandler, there are plenty of challenging and fun exercises if you search Pavel Barber on YouTube.

Pavel’s training tips - A good template for training in any sport or endeavor. Could print, laminate and post.

Pavel Barber intro - This one covers the basics. The critical foundation for great stickhandling. His form is great. Great hockey athletic position. His head is up!

Czech Stickhandling Workout - Crank up the tunes, get through this workout in 5-10 minutes, do this 5 days a week and become a great dangler! You don’t need the added equipment but feet forward is critical.

USA hockey - Many great off-ice drills. I believe it is the young Patrick Kane demonstrating.

Women’s 2018 Winter Olympics Shootout - Can the ladies stickhandle and snipe? If you don’t have time to watch the whole video go to 2:29 or so.


Coaches who are interested in participating in the Skills Academy sessions can sign up here.

2019 Skills Academy Coaches SignUp

Scott Meskin


Phone: 608-345-1549

Rich Smith


Toby Kinsler


Dave Knight

Strength & Conditioning