Potential is defined as "having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future." At the Pursuit of Excellence, we are committed to helping players achieve their fullest potential on and off the ice. We strive to bring out the best in every player athletically and academically while instilling core values that will help them in whatever endeavors they choose to pursue.
Since 2009, the Academy has had unrivaled success producing National, Provincial and Collegiate level players. Success can be attributed to ten months (1000 hours) of rigorous player development on and off the ice. Players in the academy will learn first hand what it takes to be an elite athlete in a high performance environment.
The Pursuit of Excellence is housed in a 27,000sqft training facility. A hockey players haven, the facility is divided into four areas specifically designed to provide players with all the equipment they need to develop, practice and hone their skills.
Furnished with six nets, a radar gun, shooting targets, rebound boards, and an endless supply of pucks, players have an entire area dedicated to improving their shot arsenal and goal scoring abilities.
A 40x80sqft replica rink with boards, this area is used for passing, stickhandling, simulated skating, and tactical training. This area is equipped with stickhandling rigs, agility ladders, two nets, weighted balls, cones, hurdles and tons of other equipment to keep players engaged and improve their stick skills.
A synthetic ice treadmill with accompanying shooting/stickhandling area, this piece of equipment helps players work on stride technique, efficiency and conditioning.
Strength and Conditioning
The weight room is on the second floor of the facility and is an impressive 9,000sqft. Featuring spin bikes, squat and bench racks, a variety of plyo and weight equipment and VERT machines, players will increase their strength, speed and stamina with programs designed by our Pinnacle Elite strength and conditioning coaches. Each player is assessed prior to season and a training package is developed to suit each players individual need.
With a mission of preparing girls to play at the next level (national, provincial, collegiate) the Pursuit of Excellence Female prep team plays in the most competitive, highly scouted tournaments in North America. In order to give our girls the best chance of success, we aim for a practice to game ratio of 10:1 ensuring that our girls are able to perform to the best of their abilities when eyes are focused on them.
At the Pursuit of Excellence, we stress the importance of academics in all of our players. We strive to develop not just hockey players but student-athletes, student-athletes that are prepared for a rigorous college curriculum. Pursuit players are integrated into the George Elliot Secondary School system. With the help of their excellence staff of teachers and advisors, our players are given the direction and knowledge to excel academically. Visit the GESS website here.
CHARACTER AND VALUES
Of equal importance to the coaches at POE is the development of every player’s character and values. Pursuit players experience humility, gratitude, hard work and the importance of a team first attitude. During the course of the year, the team will spend time volunteering in different areas of the community as well as raising awareness for a variety of causes.
ON A DAILY BASIS
A typical day at Pursuit can be seen in the schedule below:
7:30am-8:30am: Skills session (shooting, stick handling, passing, etc.) OR Classroom (game video analysis, nutrition, etc.)
1:10pm-3:20pm: On Ice Practice
4:00pm-5:00pm: Off Ice (strength, conditioning, agility, etc.)
It is not uncommon in our program for players to increase their slap shot speed by 17 mph in the first 3 months, or increase their sprint speed to a puck by 5 mph in the same time period.
Director of the Pursuit Academy, David Roy, who has been the skating coach for the Dallas Stars,Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, and other organizations including Canada's Women's Olympic Team insures that the skating development of the Pursuit players is priority number program he has developed over the last 35 years, combined with on-ice video projection, video analysis,
Head coach, Scott Spencer, comes to POE after a very successful NCAA Division 1 and Junior A coaching career. Spencer has spent the last 10 seasons coaching NCAA Division I women (6 years) men (3 years) and Junior A (1 year). His most recent stint was with The Ohio State University (WCHA) where he was an assistant coach for the Buckeyes helping lead them to one of their most successful seasons in program history. Before making the jump to OSU, he served five years at Robert Morris. In his final season with the Colonials, he acted as associate head coach of the program and specialized in recruiting, forwards and goaltending. Prior to his time at Robert Morris, Spencer was an assistant at Bemidji State University from 2003-06 where he took on the role of assistant coach with the men's program and oversaw the strength and conditioning of the women's program. While with the Beavers, he helped guide the men's program to two regular season conference titles, two conference tournament crowns and two appearances in the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.
In 2005-06, Spencer played a role in forming the Junior A squad North Iowa Outlaws of the North American Hockey League and held many responsibilities during his season with the Outlaws. He served as an assistant coach and worked with the defensemen and goaltenders, while also taking charge in recruiting, overseeing the strength and conditioning and acting as an academic advisor.
Prior to becoming a coach, Spencer played collegiately with the Minot State Beavers for four years. While playing for the Beavers, the team earned a spot at the national tournament three times, were ranked in the top-10 three times and finished third in the ACHA in 2001-02. Among his many accolades, he earned the player's player award in 2000-01, was named captain for the 2001-02 season and received honorable mention honors at the conclusion of the 2002 ACHA tournament.
|The Spencer File
Assistant coach, Melanie Jue, comes to POE after a very successful NCAA Division 1 playing career. Melanie has spent the past 2 seasons coaching and developing players in the BC high performance hockey programs as well as a number of Lower mainland hockey associations. Her most recent stint was at the U18 Team BC evaluation camp where she was an assistant coach with Team White helping lead the squad to an undefeated record and placing six players on the final Team BC roster. Before making the jump to POE, she served a year as Head Coach for the Richmond Ravens Bantam AA team. In her season with the Raven's, she directed the young squad to a third place league ranking, a second place finish at the Wickenheiser tournament and a first place finish in the Raven's Ice Classic where the team competed in the Midget category. Prior to her time with the Raven's, Jue played at the Ivy league's Cornell University where she was a rare multi sport athlete (field hockey, ice hockey). On the field, Jue was a letter winner every year she played and helped the team to back to back 10+ win seasons, tying the school record in 2010 with 11 wins. She holds the school record for most saves in a game and finished her senior season ranked second in the nation for save percentage. She was named to the First-Team All Ivy each year as well as Second-Team All American her senior year. She also garnered an invite to the NCAA Senior All Star game. Melanie has also trained with the Canadian Women's National field hockey team. On the ice, a four year varsity letterwinner from 2006-2010, Jue was essential in changing the culture of the women's hockey team. Spearheading and providing tremendous leadership during her career she helped make program history helping lead the team to many firsts including: NCAA tournament appearance in 2009, back to back NCAA tournament appearances in 2010, Ivy league title, ECAC title, NCAA top 10 ranking, as well as a finalist at the NCAA Frozen Four. She lead all seniors in points in 2010 and lead the team in goals during the NCAA tournament.
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