Tag: Family

“Reflections” with VU Hockey Mom Lisa McLaughlin

“Reflections” is a column where Vanderbilt hockey parents answer a few questions about their sons and, in doing so, offer up some light-hearted embarrassment in a public forum. (Think of it as a modern version of parents giving their sons hugs at the elementary school bus stop.) It is also our attempt to throw an emotional life-line to those parents who are stuggling with life after 6am hockey practices and the smell of “hockey hands.” For you carpool-less hockey addict parents who love to make your kids squirm, “Reflections” is your nirvana.

This week’s “Reflections” submission comes from Lisa McLaughlin, mother of junior forward and St. Louis native Scott McLaughlin.

How did Scott first get interested in ice hockey?

Scott was interested in hockey before he could even read. He would bring me the TV Guide and say “you have to show me when the Red Wings are playing”, or would ask me to show him on a map “where the Red Wings live.” We live in St. Louis, so go figure why as a small tyke he loved the Red Wings so much and not the Blues. He started playing at the preschool age when baby hockey players are as wide as they are tall once fully suited up.

What would you say is Scott’s greatest asset (or assets) as a hockey player?

Scott’s greatest asset is his speed – hence his nickname “Scooter.” His high school lacrosse coach’s jaw dropped the first time he saw Scott running up the field – all those years of power skating in hockey gave him great speed on grass too. He’s also pretty accurate shooting goals too – a skill honed by hours spent on rollerblades taking slapshots and breaking lots of windows and siding on the backside of our house in the process!!

What is your favorite road trip story from Scott’s days playing club or high school hockey in St. Louis?

Scott’s traveling team played Thanksgiving and Christmas break tournaments in the frigid cities of Chicago or Detroit. Scott’s dad wouldn’t let him bring his his stinky clothes or equipment into our hotel room – it had to stay outside in the carrier on top of our car overnight. Scott always complained about putting on frozen pads and uniforms when the other guys’ parents let them dry and warm up their clothes on the radiators in their rooms. Bob always said the frozen gear contributed to Scott’s speed – he had to skate hard and fast to thaw out and warm up his uniform and gear.

What is the thing you do as a Mom that embarrasses Scott the most?

Most everything I do in the presence of his peers seems to embarrass him – writing this will most certainly embarrass him. Isn’t that what moms are for?

Where do you see Scott in 20 years?

Hm, in 20 years I think he’ll be a financier or corporate lawyer, and as a hobby he will still be playing on a men’s league team and will probably be coaching too – I know his passion for hockey will be lifelong.

Giving Thanks On Turkey Day

Thanksgiving Wishes from Coach Bernstein

As another Thanksgiving holiday nears completion, I wanted to take a moment tonight to both extend my warmest holiday wishes to everyone in the Vanderbilt hockey family and also share with you the many things I remain thankful for in 2011. It continues to be my pleasure to coach, manage, and learn from our group, and because this is the season for sharing thoughts of appreciation with those that you respect I thought, “Why not proclaim our good tidings from the social media mountain tops … or at least VanderbiltHockey.com?” So here I sit in front of my computer ready to do exactly that. (Caution: Anything that follows that you find objectionable, whether it be on the basis of grammar, vulgarity, incoherence, or some combination of the three, can be blamed on my present tryptophan-enhanced state of moderate obesity. My mother- and father-in-law did tremendous work in the kitchen today … thanks Mr. and Mrs. B!)

In no particular order, …

I am thankful first and foremost for the players who have come out for the team this season. As you know, participation this year has been unprecedented with nearly 50 players initially showing interest in the program and approximately 40 committing to be a part of the club. Throughout the tryout period and into the heart of our season, you guys have continually demonstrated class and leadership beyond your years. Across the ranks of both the Vandy Black and Commodores squads, I want to thank you for making coaching this team such a pleasure.

I am thankful for the stars, moons, asteroids, comets, suns, blackholes, etc. conspiring and aligning in such a way that we’d have the pleasure of welcoming such a tremendously talented group of sophomore transfers to campus this fall. Eliot, Ben, Kyle, and Brad – it’s been great having you on the team and I look forward to a phenomenal rest of the season with you guys on the ice.

I am thankful for a large crew of sophomores and our resident senior citizen MBA getting wise to the virtues of Vanderbilt hockey and deciding to come out for the team after sitting out last year. Joey, Teddy, Connor, Jim, Mike, Henry, and Mr. Weekes – smart move boys, life is always better with a little hockey sprinkled in. I know I speak for the rest of the club when I say the experience is better for everyone with you guys in the mix.

I am thankful for the delightful musings of Mr. Cory Reno, (soon-to-be) Esq. Nothing more to say, the man is an inspiration.

I am thankful for the contributions of our parents, including (but by no means limited to) Mr. and Mrs. Oliver for supporting the team in a number of ways including a special surprise that they have in store for next semester, Mr. Kaminsky for taking part in said stealth undertaking, Mr. and Mrs. McCallum for covering the cost of the charter bus to Arkansas in two weeks, Mr. McCann for designing and printing helmet decals for our players, and the many others who have found ways to support what I call our “little boot-strapped start-up on ice.” You are the angel investors making this tremendous experience possible (keyword: angel) and words cannot express how much the boys and I appreciate your support.

I am thankful for Brenden Oliver’s generosity in not only committing so much time and effort to the team as a captain and the club’s president, but also for offering me tickets to the Country Music Awards as a thank-you-for-coaching gift, tickets which I in turn gave to my wife and her friend Katie. As many know, “Mrs. Coach” is the one who makes the real sacrifices on behalf of the club (e.g., Honey, would you object to my floating money on behalf of the team to cover the cost of the charter bus to South Carolina?; Beautiful wonderful darling soulmate, would you be so kind as to give me a pass on going to ____________‘s engagement party so I can go to Atlanta with the boys? It’s a critical weekend for us, we’ve got UGA and Florida …”) so your contribution was both appreciated and strategic. Nice work.

I am thankful for seniors Matt Kaminsky, Tom Trepanier, Brenden Oliver, and Jack McCallum who have shepherded the VU hockey flock through a terrific fall 2011. Gentlemen, you have stuck with a program that has always had a powerful spirit but perhaps not always the strength in organization. Now that we have the infrastructure in place to keep the club on the tracks and chugging along in a positive direction, it makes me incredibly proud to see you working to help the younger guys raise the bar for years to follow. I look forward to making the rest of the journey even more exciting for you four in particular.

I am thankful for Coach Gatlin’s brilliant directorial efforts filming, editing, and producing videos for our home weekend games versus Memphis and Georgia State. Ben, talk about efficiency in planning, you were smart enough to pick the two weekends where the boys scored 39 goals in 4 games, thereby yielding a season’s worth of highlights in less than 6 cumulative hours of shooting. You’ve heard this many, many times already but it needs to be said again: tremendous work, I know the players and their families appreciate your working to archive such enjoyable moments and memories.

I am thankful for Coach Ware’s efforts to make our game days feel more like game events. Rusty has set up the operating system for an outstanding fan experience, complete with welcome announcements, starting line-ups, music, and goal reports throughout the game. He has also brought on an intern, current Middle Tennessee State student Shane Clore who we’re thrilled to have aboard, to help raise the bar even further. Rusty, particularly for your BCP (Business Continuity Planning), the team and I cannot thank you enough for your efforts.

I am thankful for Coach Holston deciding to move to Nashville to both (1) work for our company edo Interactive and (2) coach hockey at Vanderbilt … and because of those decisions catching a bit of flack for each. On the work front, he has been subjected to being called “Holstein” on account of our working together so closely day-in and day-out (i.e., when we’re not white-boarding UI designs for the development of new and innovative marketing technology products we’re white-boarding drills and systems for the development of new and innovative hockey strategies). Couple that with the heat he felt upon leaving his official positions with the University of Alabama Frozen Tide program and we should all take a moment to thank Jonathan for the sacrifices he’s made to be a part of our club.

And finally, I am thankful for being a part of a team experience that far surpasses the many I’ve enjoyed in my life. Stacked up against pee wee in-house leagues and high school varsity teams, consulting engagements and technology start-ups, Vanderbilt hockey sets the bar amongst all of them for three simple reasons: (1) We have outstanding people across the club; (2) as a team, we know who we are, we know what we want out of the experience, and we know how to meet and exceed our expectations for having fun and competing at a high level; and finally (3) we “go big” wherever, whenever, and however possible.

I’ll conclude with a word about this third item and, in doing so, transition from feelings of appreciation to those of anticipation. To players, parents, fans, coaches, staff, administrators, and citizens of Nashvegas – I thank you all for your efforts to help us go big in 2011. We certainly did achieve “bigness” over the last 11 months when you consider all that we’ve enjoyed: the I-40 Face-Off, an awards ceremony, Senior Night (starring Anderson Funk), feature film documentaries, founding a second team for the club … the list goes on. That said, we cannot and will not rest on our laurels folks, not when there is hockey to be played, genos to be scored, championships to be won, and incredible hockey excitement to relish next semester and beyond. I thank you for your continued commitment to the organization and, on behalf of the boys in Black and Gold, wish you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving!

Photo credit: Follow @pucksandpixels on Twitter (https://twitter.com/pucksandpixels), the author of the awesome “Hockey Turkey” image featured above. They have some awesome t-shirts and apparel which you can check out here!

“Reflections” with VU Hockey Dad Tom Trepanier

“Reflections” is a column where Vanderbilt hockey parents answer a few questions about their sons, the season, and life in general. In doing so, the hope is to both light-heartedly embarrass the guys with a modern/online/viral version of their mothers giving them hugs at the elementary school bus stop, and also throw an emotional life-line to those parents who are beside themselves with boredom now that their kids are not playing hockey six days a week. For you carpool-driving-less hockey addict parents who love to make your kids squirm, “Reflections” is your nirvana.

This week’s “Reflections” submission comes from Tom Trepanier, father of senior assistant captain Tom Trepanier, Jr.

How would you describe Tom?

Tom is awesome. He is funny, energetic, thoughtful, smart and great to be around (unless you wake him up early on the weekend).

What do you miss most about watching Tom play hockey every week?

The camaraderie of the team and the parents. A guarantee of a fun Saturday night. The goals. The rivalry between John Jay and Arlington. I also miss all the way back to mite hockey- the 5 AM trips to the rink with him sitting next to me in hockey pants bigger than him! Pam and I will be at as many games as we can this year and we are looking forward to them.

What made Tom a good hockey player back in his high school days?

Hustle, guts, determination, team play and speed.

What kind of “Hockey Dad” are you?

A dad that loved coaching the boys through bantams (From Plymouth, Ma. to Baton Rouge, La,). Perhaps a BIT overly enthusiastic at the rink!

What is the thing you do as a Dad that embarrasses Tom the most?

Yelling ‘Go Treppy’ when the rink is otherwise silent. Many others that I am sure he can fill you in on.

Any suggestions or words of encouragement for the Vanderbilt hockey team heading into 2010/11?

You ‘Dores have a great team with class kids that also happen to be excellent hockey players. From ’08-’09 with six kids travelling to Arkansas to 15-3-1 and the I40 Challenge victory. This is the year you guys can take that momentum and smoke the SEC. Go VU Hockey!

* Note to parents: Interested in partaking in a future segment of “Reflections”? Don’t be a stranger, give us a holler at vuhockey@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

“Reflections” with VU Hockey Mom Linda Oliver

In a new column we are aptly and affectionately calling “Reflections” (which, FYI, will appear regularly throughout the season), parents of our Vanderbilt hockey players will be asked to share bits of wisdom, wit, and nostalgia about their sons, the season, and life in general. The goal of the column will be two-fold: (1) to sufficiently embarrass as many players as possible with a modern/online/viral version of your mother giving you a hug and kiss at the elementary school bus stop, and (2) to throw an emotional life-line to those parents who are beside themselves with boredom now that their kids are not playing hockey six days a week. For you carpool-driving-less hockey addict parents who love to make your kids squirm, “Reflections” is your nirvana.

First up on our volunteer interviewee list? Who else but Ãœber-hockey parent Linda Oliver, mother of senior goalie and club president Brenden Oliver.

What is the best thing about being Vanderbilt Hockey’s #1 hockey mom?

Flying to Nashville to attend the games of the most intelligent, talented and best looking hockey team in the SECHC! Also, having the privilege to sit by other parents, fans and the always delightful (even after midnight) Betsy (coach’s wife).

What is the worst thing about being Vanderbilt Hockey’s #1 hockey mom?

Definitely the ice time for games- midnight, really? Also, watching any hockey player get injured.

Describe Brenden in a haiku.

Brenden tends the goal
win, lose or penalty shot 
Mom is always proud 

Where do you see Brenden in 10 years?

10 years? Married to a woman as beautiful and wonderful as Betsy Bernstein! Earning enough to support his Mother and “Aunt” Stacey’s beach habit! Loving life!

Any messages for the rest of the teams in the SECHC?

“Watch out!” 

* Note to parents: Interested in partaking in a future segment of “Reflections”? Don’t be a stranger, give us a holler at vuhockey@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!