Category: Family

Zanies Comedy Club To Host Fundraiser For Family Of Jr. Pred Mitchell Mielnik

As many of you know, a member of the Nashville hockey community, Jr. Predator Mitchell Mielnik, tragically passed away this summer shortly after being diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. A 16-year-old who was universally loved by his teammates, coaches, and classmates, Mitchell’s passing was a tremendous shock to many in the greater Nashville area.

To support the family in their efforts to address the healthcare costs incurred during Mitchell’s battle, Zanies Comedy Club and members of the Nashville hockey community will be hosting two comedy shows on Wednesday and Thursday this week where 100% of the proceeds will go to the family. (Click for more information about the event.)

Our Vanderbilt hockey family understands the special bonds forged through our sport, and while we never had the privilege of meeting Mitchell personally, we remain heartbroken for Mitchell’s family due to their loss. As a small token of our sympathy, our club will be making a donation to support the family, and we’d like to encourage all of our fans to do the same. You can go to Zanie’s website to purchase tickets for the shows, or simply make a donation.

We send our very best wishes to the Mielnik family as they continue to adjust to their new reality, and we share our sympathies to everyone touched by the sadness of Mitchell’s passing. Thanks to everyone in advance for supporting the Mielniks in their time of need.

The Vanderbilt Ice Hockey Club

Meet The Rookies: Jake Rubinstein – Naperville, IL

To kick off the 2014/15 season, we’re going to be running a series of posts we call the “Meet The Rookies” series. As the name implies, we’re going to pose a few quick questions to the players who are new to the club and Vanderbilt this year to help players, coaches, parents, and fans get to know the new club members. Next up - freshman goalie Jake Rubinstein from Naperville, Illinois. 

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Jake Rubinstein. I’m from the suburbs of Chicago. I played goalie for my high school, Waubonsie Valley, where we won the Illinois state ice hockey championship my senior year and I was a two-time IHSHL all-star two years in a row. I am currently studying biology here at Vanderbilt.

What are your Vanderbilt hockey goals?

Simple. Kick some ***.

What is your favorite hockey moment?

Winning the title in the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks, my senior year. It was awesome to play such a big game in an NHL arena, and it was great to put up a shutout in the win.

What was your best “celly” in your hockey career?

I did the Lambeau Leap into my bench.

Why did you start playing?

Not sure other than to say that hockey is the best game in the world.

Giving Thanks For The VU Hockey Community On Turkey Day

Coach Bernstein shares a few notes of thanks and appreciation with the VU Hockey community to kick off the 2013 holiday season.

Dear Vanderbilt Hockey faithful,

As we sit and digest our respective Thanksgiving dinners this evening surrounded by family, friends, and football, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who makes up the Vanderbilt hockey community – parents, coaches, alumni, administrators, fans, volunteers, and especially our players – for all that you do for our program.

In the summer of 2010 I had the serendipitous fortune of responding to a job posting advertising a volunteer coach role with the club. Despite knowing virtually nothing about the team, league, or players, I submitted my name for consideration because I wanted to do two things – (1) rediscover my love for the game, a passion that had been on the shelf for most of my time living in New York City and while attending business school at Vanderbilt, and (2) work with high-performing young people with strong leadership profiles who are aiming for big careers in finance, technology, and other industries.

Fast forward three and a half years later, I can say with absolute certainty that I have fulfilled those goals and then some. My commitment to the program has been one of the great joys of my life and something that I will always look back on with satisfaction and pride. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this special tradition that we have all inherited.

On that note, there are a few things I am thankful for regarding this year’s VU Hockey team that I thought I would use this forum to share. Borrowing a Letterman-esque Top-10 format, here’s the countdown. I am thankful for …

  1. Chick-fil-A. For providing sound nourishment to Vanderbilt hockey players since 1976. Delicious.
  2. Freshman Andrew Dellapina’s musical range. Andrew demonstrated his karaoke prowess by belting out Taylor Swift’s “21” followed immediately by Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid” during a recent road trip. It was like watching a young Brenden Oliver (VUH ’12) in action.
  3. The silky smooth skill of Mr. Zach Satin. It is the rare hockey player who can make a spin-o-rama look like a pirouette while having his teammates cheer him on in awe from the bench.
  4. The referees overlooking an untold number of elbows and cross-checks by freshman defenseman Nick “The Hulk” Honkala. This in addition to the ones they did call. Yes, there were a lot of penalties, but as Mickey Andrews said of his 1990s Florida State football defenses, “You gotta live on the edge sometimes.” Nick, keyword in that statement: “sometimes.”
  5. Learning a lesson about underestimating an opponent. Heading into our Saturday game versus Life University, the boys assumed we would be playing a lesser team in the second of three tilts of our weekend trip. Well, as is often the case with assumptions, we ran into a buzz saw versus Life (a graduate university for chiropractic students). I distinctly remember watching their players enter the facility and thinking, “My God, these guys are men!” The thrashing we took in that third period will stick with the boys and me for quite a while.
  6. Club President Jack Delehey organizing the club’s first merchandising campaign. Thanks to the help of the chronically injured yet endlessly positive four-year starter, scores of Vanderbilt hockey fans and players across the globe will be outfitted with officially licensed VU hockey “swag” come Christmas time. Interested in scoring your own gear? Email Jack (, he’ll take care of you.1412490_755731234440769_2086871938_o
  7. Goalie Bo Korpman having the opportunity to take a face-off, log his first road win, and notch his first ever shutout, all in the same weekend. As part of the Georgia Tech club’s “Lt Tyler Brown Night” which honored a GT alumnus who was killed in Iraq in 2004, Bo gladly agreed to take the ceremonial face-off on behalf of Vanderbilt. He then proceeded to shut out GT for 55 minutes en route to a 5-1 victory. He followed that with a Sunday shut-out versus Georgia 4-0.
  8. John Longman’s laser in overtime versus the Florida Gators. In a must-win game versus a top-10 team and SEC East rival, freshman John Longman concluded a virtuoso performance in regulation by rifling a slap shot home from the blue line just 14 seconds into overtime to seal the victory.
  9. Our amazing coaches. Coach Holston, Coach Kanouff, and the newest addition to our staff Coach Rice have been the linchpins for the club’s organization and success this season. I have appreciated everything that these guys volunteer in terms of enthusiasm, passion, and general knowledge about the game. The boys and I are lucky to have them aboard.

And the number one thing I am thankful for from the Fall 2013 semester …

  1. Support from the Nashville hockey community. We are so blessed to be in a hotbed of hockey enthusiasm and support. (Yes folks from the Northeast and Midwest, people are rabid about the game in these parts!) We are enormously thankful for our friends at Penalty Box Radio (@PenaltyBoxRadio) who have covered the team’s latest updates (thanks Stan!), managed our public address responsibilities at games (thanks Justin!), and tended to injured players (thanks Big Ben!). We’d also like to thank Pete Weber (@PeteWeberSports), a luminary figure in the Nashville hockey community who has been nice enough to support our efforts from the very first meeting of our 2013/14 season. Finally, we’d like to thank Andee Boiman and her team at the Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) for helping us build towards a more sustainable future for our program. (More on this to follow in next year’s message … !)

It remains my tremendous pleasure to interact with the players, coaches, administrators, volunteers, parents, and every other person associated with this great organization. On behalf of my wife Betsy (a.k.a., Mrs. Coach) and me, have a happy remainder of your Thanksgiving holiday and a wonderful 2013 holiday season. We look forward to making 2014 a phenomenal one for this hockey family!


Coach B

VU Adds Old, New Faces to Coaching Roster for 2012/13

Back from its summer hiatus, the Vanderbilt hockey club is due to kickoff its season on Monday, 9/3, with the first of four tryout sessions that will determine who will skate on each of the two rosters the club will be fielding – the “Vandy Black” squad which will compete in the ACHA/SECHC and the “Commodores” which will compete locally at the Centennial Sportsplex.

Ahead of the skate, we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to two of the newest members of the coaching staff who will be captaining the ship for the Commodores squad in 2012/13 – 2012 Vanderbilt graduate Jack McCallum and black-and-gold-newbie Lee Kanouff. Check out the video above for a few highlights from our preseason interviews with the duo.

As both are from Philadelphia, the players and returning coaches will no doubt be on their guard against the potential pitfalls of working with folks from the city of brotherly love. For example, the club will be institutionalizing several new controls for 2012/13, including …

  • Thou shalt not each cheesesteaks within two hours of a game.
  • Thou shalt not throw batteries at Santa, the Easter bunny, or any other holiday icon in the event that one were to show up at a game or practice during the season.
  • Thou shalt not play the movie “Invincible” starring Mark Wahlberg on bus trips. Ever.

On behalf of the players and their families, the Vanderbilt hockey club would like to welcome Lee and Jack aboard and thank them in advance for their time and energy. As highly committed volunteers, guys who are passionate about both Vanderbilt and the game of hockey, the club will no doubt benefit greatly from their contributions.

Four days until the first skate folks. Get ready for an amazing 2012/13!