The New Jersey 87's are excited to announce that Adam Houli will serve as an assistant coach for the Open Team USA Men's ice hockey team in the 2022 Maccabiah Games.
Houli, who is entering his fourth season as head coach and co-owner of the 87's, talks about the honor of representing both his country and his faith by joining the coaching staff.
"It is an honor to be named to Team USA Men’s Ice Hockey staff for the 21st Maccabi Games. Being able to return to Israel representing Team USA behind the bench is an amazing feeling, having so many Jewish athletes from around the world come together to compete is life changing," he said.
Maccabi USA is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to perpetuate an American Jewish community through athletic, educational and cultural programs. They are the sponsor for the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, which started in 1932.
Ice hockey was played in the 1997 Maccabiah Games, and then re-introduced in 2013. In 2009, Houli--who was playing for Trinity College at the time--had an opportunity to represent Team USA in the Friendship Games. Team USA won the gold medal in that event, but Houli said his pride in the Friendship Games went far beyond the standings.
"When I was a player for Team USA in the Friendship Games I felt a tremendous amount of pride for putting on my jersey even more so when I realized where I was playing," Houli said. "Being able to represent both my national and religious pride is an amazing feeling. I look forward to working with the staff and committee at Maccabi USA, recruiting, coaching and sharing in their experience of a lifetime."
Houli will be working alongside the Open Team USA head coach Michael Gershon. Also a New Jersey native, Gershon was recently named as the coach for the NCAA Division III Chatham Cougars and was previously an assistant coach for Robert Morris University's Division I ice hockey team.
The New Jersey 87's are pleased to announce that Tim DeBord and George Weiner will serve as the EHL team's co-captains for the 2020-21 season, while Dante Terramani has been named alternate captain.
DeBord, a native of Parker, Colorado and two-year veteran of the 87's, recorded 51 points (18g, 33a) in 37 games while serving as the alternate captain in the 2019-20 season. He currently has 89 points (39g, 50a) in 78 games between his two seasons with the organization.
Weiner and Terramani are both entering their second seasons with the 87's. Weiner is from Wayne, NJ and he put up 24 points (7g, 17a) in 40 games in his rookie campaign with the team.Terramani, a 19-year-old forward from Monterey Park, California, had an impressive first season by tallying 55 points (25g, 30a) in 44 games.
Head coach Adam Houli spoke about his decision to name the captains for the EHL squad, and how each player is a reflection of the organization's identity.
"When selecting the leadership for your team it is always important to make sure that the players you pick represent your team as a whole and all the different ways. You want leaders both on and off the ice, players who understand the greater sacrifices needed to be successful, players who other players can trust and voice those opinions to, and I believe this group is perfect," Houli said. "Each player represents something a little bit different and they show us that when you add up the little things big things come. I couldn’t be more excited to announce them as our leaders and look forward to them growing in the role."
Houli went into further detail with each player and what they will bring to the table this season for the EHL team. He started with DeBord, a dynamic two-way player that is entering his third season with the 87's.
"Tim will by the end of the year be a player with the most games played in the EHL as an 87. He is humble, quiet, but leads by example both on and off the ice. He is exactly the person as a coach you want to lead your team and I know the players feel the same. I am very happy to see Tim wear the C," Houli said.
Last season, Weiner scored all seven of his goals on the power play and proved to be a strong defender in his own end. The New Jersey native will enter his final junior season as DeBord's co-captain, and Houli credits the blue-liner for leadership abilities both on and off the ice.
"George is the type of leader who won’t be afraid to let you know you have to pick up your game, he is the type of guy that will also make sure all players are looked after. He is a tremendous person both on and off the ice , so having him wear a C will help us immensely," Houli said."
Terramani finished the 2019-20 season as the second-highest scorer for the 87's. Houli talked about his work ethic and how it can lead him to an even stronger second season with the team.
"Dante’s work ethic and coachability is what separates him the most, he thrives on being the person who gets the team going in the right direction, he takes the brunt of our criticism when we are playing poorly and harnesses it to make sure we respond," Houli said. "His path to us is also a good indicator of what type of person he is and he can relate with anyone that comes his way. He is the perfect fit to wear an A."
The New Jersey 87's have relocated from Middletown Sports Complex and will play its home games at Jersey Shore Arena for the 2020-2021 season.
Jersey Shore Arena is a three-rink facility located in Wall Township, N.J. and is home to hockey programs such as the Jersey Shore Wildcats, Manasquan High School and Christian Brothers Academy. The rink is only minutes away from the Garden State Parkway and attracts people from New York and Pennsylvania.
The relocation comes after the 87's spent its first three seasons in Middletown, sharing the arena with the New Jersey Titans of the North American Hockey League. Head coach Adam Houli spoke fondly of Middletown Sports Complex and noted that the relocation presents a new opportunity for the organization.
"Moving buildings is never easy, especially when our history starts in Middletown. We made a lot of good memories both on and off the ice with the NAHL staff, youth coaches and management and in addition we have a great relationship with the patrons of the rink," Houli said. "It was not an easy decision to make as both our coaching careers started in this rink and with the Titans. However I think we realized that in order for us to grow and prosper we had to make sure that our environment was the perfect setting for success for our players both on and off the ice."
Wall Township is about 17 miles south of Middletown, and the arena sits just a few miles away from Asbury Park Beach. With the new location, the 87's EHL and Premier teams will look to build off a dominant 2019-20 season that came to an abrupt end. Houli is confident that both teams will continue where they left off in Middletown and continue their success in their new home.
"Jersey Shore Arena provides exactly what we need. We couldn’t be more excited to move a short distance down the road to allow us to continue to build on our foundation as a true destination for junior hockey," he said. "I know our players will be thrilled with the amenities that JSA will provide, and I can’t wait to do it our way in our home for our future."