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Polar Caps Skills Academy

Update - April 15

Tuesday April 16th session at the Shell is on ice skating only.

  • Group 1 starts at 5:00pm
  • Group 2 starts at 5:45pm
  • Group 3 starts at 6:30pm

Players remember to bring your pinny. You if didn't get one yet, we'll give you one Tuesday night.

Remember to do your homework this week! Practice your stickhandling and shooting.


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 April 15 at the Shell. 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 Mason Brosious James Beyler
Isaac Boucher Tate Cagle Benjamin Block
Finn Boyle Logan Corrigan Evan Blonien
Sam Clark Scout Elmer Milo Boyle
Francesca Danielson Luke Goetzke Riley Boyle
Joshua Douglas Cullen Gustavson Lucas Breunig
Wells Draper Parker Harms Graham Carlson
Keegan Gunderson Ellery Helseth Cale Corrigan
Garrett Hurley Kaz Helseth Jackson Doers
Madeleine Justman Ethan Holmes Dillon Engelman
Maxwell Kaufman Nathan Justman Andrew Gautreau
Jack Kenney Will Kimmel Amelia Goetzke
Harrison Latek Hudson Kinsler William Goetzke
Ethan Lee Owen Koch Isabel Goldschmidt
Willa Lenaker Trey Lanham Maria Greenhalgh
Ethan Li Aiden Lee Alec Heikkinen
Beatrice McAleese Asher Ludwig Wyatt Helseth
Dashiell McAleese Jonas Maddock Niall Henderson
Jack McDonald Drew Mendyk Madison Hoffman
Miles Mendyk Hayden Meskin Owen Jungers
Lincoln Morris Lucas Morris Easton Kinsler
Sydney Moskol Timothy James Raichle Aleksander Likness
Beckett Paulsen Joseph Remm Quincy Loheide
Eleanor Quattromani Ryder Richards Daniel McClimon
Amelia Simmet Lily Sager William McDonald
William Siniscalchi Camden Sauer Quinn Moskol
Jon Spengler Maksym Stankewicz Teddy Osmond
Nikolai Stankewicz Walter Strange Rudy Richards
Maxwelton Steinhauer Evan Sweeney Quinn Smith
Rory Uhlinger Joseph Tunzi Kate Sweeney
Ashton Wedige Logan Urben Brendan Uhlinger
Bridgett Welsing Aiden Voss Spencer Vandenheuvel
Azelle White Finnegan Weidenhamer Jack Welsing
Jacob Wenkman Benjamin 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

6:45-7:25pm On Ice

7:35-7:50pm Off-Ice Skills

6:10-6:25pm Off-Ice Skills

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

7:25-8:05pm On Ice

6:40-6:55pm Off-Ice Skills

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

8:05-8:45pm 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

6:00-6:45pm On Ice

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

7:30-7:45pm Off-Ice Skills

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

6:45-7:30pm On Ice

7:45-8:00pm Off-Ice Skills

6:15-6:30pm Off-Ice Skills

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

7:30-8:15pm On Ice

Wednesdays at Oregon in June

6:00-6:40pm On Ice

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

7:30-7:45pm Off-Ice Skills

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

6:40-7:20pm On Ice

7:45-8:00pm Off-Ice Skills

6:15-6:30pm Off-Ice Skills

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

7:20-8:00pm On Ice

Tuesdays and Thursdays at MIA in June

1:30-2:15pm On Ice

2:25-2:40pm Off-Ice Skills

2:45-3:15 Off-Ice Training

1:30-2:00pm Off-Ice Training

2:15-3:00pm On Ice

3:10-3:25pm Off-Ice Skills

1:45-2:00pm Off-Ice Skills

2:05-2:35pm Off-Ice Training

3:00-3:45pm 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