New coaches add muscle to staff of growing Krivo School
With the growth spurt of the Krivo School of Hockey Elite, director Andrei Krivokrasov has brought on three new assistant coaches for the 2016-17 season, all of whom have extensive knowledge in the game of hockey.
Ivan Benevelsky, Kyle Ostrow and Matt Zaba each bring a unique element of expertise to the program.
Krivo School of Hockey Eilte always welcomes players at tryouts who are looking for in an intensive skill development program and the ability to compete at the highest level. The program believes in individual player skill development and teaching how to play the game from an early age. Teams have their own full-ice training sessions four times per week.
As the program has grown to over 100 players, the new assistant coaches believe in the program and have the same passion for the youth hockey player and the game of hockey. Due to the unique aspects of the Krivo training schedule (skates held in early mornings), many of the players play multiple sports and this has shown to decrease the impact on families in the evening times.
Parents have said the morning sessions help with attention and focus in school.
“I always look for players who have tremendous work ethic,” Krivokrasov said. “Once the player has work ethic, we strongly believe in our player development approach at Krivo School of Hockey Elite. We will do everything in our power to make that player more complete.”
Ostrow, a former standout at the University of Denver, is also the head coach for Altitude Performance Hockey and is an assistant coach at Valor Christian High School with head coach George Gwozdecky.
“I have seen Coach Andrei coach skill development for many years and I think he is one of the best around,” Ostrow said. “The Krivo players are strong skaters at such a young age. They are willing to put in the work ethic and discipline to get better and that intrigues me to help coach them. I feel that my experience in playing college and professional hockey and the skill development I have done with players for the past five years can help the Krivo program. I look forward to making the transition from a player to a coach with Krivo hockey.”
For Benevelsky, he has extensive youth coaching experience at the highest level, serving as head coach and coaching director of the Ukrainian National Youth Hockey Teams. As head coach of the Ukrainian National Team, he led his team to three straight championships for the first time in its 40-year history. Four players from his last team participated in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
“I know that the Krivo School pays a lot of attention to the individual skills,” said Benevelsky. “I like it because I think this is the basis for hockey. I know that Andrei is a strong teacher and perfect coach. I know him as a good person. That was enough for me to decide that I would be a part of this organization.”
Zaba, who will be Krivo’s goaltending coach, is a former Los Angeles Kings draft pick and previously played at Colorado College, where he also works with the Tigers goalies, and in the pro ranks, including one game with the New York Rangers.
“The dedication of the players and families is why I’m a part of Krivo,” beamed Zaba. “All the kids are extremely coachable and determined to get better, which as a coach makes the experience very rewarding to be a part. I think my background playing can be an asset to the goalies and their families. I’ve gone through firsthand many of the situations these goalies will encountered. I think that helps me to relate to the kids and to keep things in perspective.”
— Matt Mackinder