First-year Outliers Hockey Academy ‘rolling right along’
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Starting out its initial foray into the Utah youth hockey scene, the Outliers Hockey Academy has four teams for the 2015-16 season and according to director of hockey Paul Taylor, “it’s been a great season so far.”
Boasting a Squirt and Bantam teams and a pair of Pee Wee teams (American and National), the Salt Lake City-based Outliers is more than just a youth hockey association, said Taylor, who said the feedback he has received from families involved has been nothing short of tremendous.
“I have had a number of parents come up to me and say that they have never had anything like this provided for their kids before,” Taylor said. “This is a quality organization and for the coaches, they’re all full time, and it shows. In just a short period of time, we’re already seeing these kids develop and improve and it’s very exciting.”
In early November, the Outliers’ two Pee Wee teams took first place at the High Mountain Shootout event in Park City. The American team topped Steamboat Springs (Colo.) 7-6 in a shootout and the National squad edged the hometown Ice Miners by a 2-1 count.
“We’re pretty much rolling right along,” said Taylor. “The one thing that I believe sets us apart from other youth programs here in Utah is that we don’t just play to play. We’re on the ice several times a week, as opposed to one or two times, and we do a significant amount of off-ice training.”
As the Outliers gains steam this season, Taylor reiterated that growing the game in Utah is the top priority and he’s hoping his program can be a major component of that growth.
“The kids keep improving and the families have told me they’re all very happy with how things have been taking place,” Taylor said. “It was one thing when we told these families over the summer what we planned on doing, but now for them to see the reality of it, they’re spreading the word and others are starting to see our growth.”
— Matt Mackinder