SOUTH MUSKOKA SHIELD
One of our most recognized accomplishment so far has been Nikita Jevpalovs who is playing in the San Jose Sharks organization. He currently plays for their AHL affiliate, San Jose Barracudas. Nikita joined us as a young 16 year old where he honed his skills for a year before moving on to play Major Junior hockey in the QMJHL. This is just one of many examples of how young raw talent joins the Shield for a year or two of development and growth before moving on to college or professional ranks. We are very proud of all our players that have worn the Shield jersey and represented our team and community with respect.
South Muskoka is the only team in league history to reach the cup finals three consecutive years, and has never lost more than 13 times since its second season, a legacy that is hard to find in any junior hockey league anywhere.
The team will now have a third banner to display this season, as the team compiled a record of 36-5-1 during the 2015-16 season to win the tough North Division.
Since its inauguration back in 2006 the team holds a winning percentage of more than 72%.
There is a reason why the Shield organization has been so successful for so long … THE PLAYERS. Our players buy into our game plan and expectations of them on and off the ice. It is a privilege to be a member of this historic franchise and everyone from volunteers, arena staff, coaches, sponsors, fans and players take pride in wearing the Shield logo and representing the club. We hold ourselves to a high standard and want to see our players succeed.
Players Advanced to College Hockey
TEAM PRESIDENT FRANK DEMASI PLAYED 4 YEARS NCAA AT LAKE FOREST COLLEGE DIV 3. HE HAS MANY CONTACTS IN NCAA AS WELL AS BEING A HEAD COACH AT NORWICH UNIVERSITY SUMMER HOCKEY CAMP EVERY SUMMER FOR THE PAST 14 YEARS. FRANK IS THE ONLY MANAGER, COACH, PRESIDENT, ETC IN THE GMHL TO HAVE PLAYED IN THE NCAA! HE KNOWS WHAT NCAA COACHES ARE LOOKING FOR BECAUSE HE IS IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH THEM ON A WEEKLY BASIS. WE HAVE ALSO ADVANCED 11 PLAYERS TO ACHA AND NAIA.
Conditioning and Development
Does your program attend College Showcases during the regular season play?
YES, WE HAVE A COLLEGE SHOWCASE. WE HAVE HAD 13 PLAYERS APPROACHED BY NCAA AND ACHA SCHOOLS DURING THESE SHOWCASES.
Practices per Week:
5 DAYS PER WEEK (MONDAY – FRIDAY) INCLUDING GAME DAY SKATE. 11 HOURS OF ICE TIME PER WEEK FOR PRACTICE AND SKILLS!
Does your program have hockey specific strength and conditioning training? If so how many days per week:
YES. 2 DAYS PER WEEK PLUS OPEN GYM WHERE PLAYERS CAN WORK OUT ON THEIR OWN AS WELL. EVERY PLAYER IS DIFFERENT. SOME NEED TO WORK MORE ON FLEXIBILITY WHERE OTHERS NEED TO PUT ON MORE BULK. OUR OPEN GYM WILL PROVIDE EACH PLAYER TO TAILOR THEIR WORK-OUTS TO FIT THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS AND WE WILL HAVE OUR STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH HELP WITH A PLAN.
Players Advanced to North American / European Professional:
YES, APPROXIMATELY 40 PLAYERS. ADVANCED PLAYERS TO ECHL, SPHL, FHL, EUROPE. TEAM PRESIDENT FRANK DEMASI PLAYED 8 SEASONS IN EUROPE AND CONTINUES TO HAVE STRONG CONNECTIONS WITH FORMER TEAMMATES, COACHES AND AGENTS. DEMASI IS CONSTANTLY RECEIVING REQUESTS FROM TEAMS OVER SEAS REGARDING HIS PLAYERS
Does your program have video evaluations?
YES. WE REVIEW VIDEO OF OUR GAMES PLUS INDIVIDUAL VIDEO. WE ALSO TAKE VIDEOS OF OUR PLAYERS DURING PRACTICE TO HIGHLIGHT TO SCOUTS THE PLAYER’S SKILLS. THESE “PRACTICE HIGHLIGHT VIDEOS” ARE POSTED ON OUR TEAM WEBSITE FOR EASY REFERENCE.
OUR PLAYERS HAVE THE OPTION OF LIVING IN A DORM-STYLE HOUSE OR WITH A BILLET FAMILY. GENERALLY, PLAYERS WHO ARE READY TO MAKE THE NEXT STEP TO COLLEGE OR PRO WILL LIVE IN THE DORM-STYLE HOUSE, WHERE OUR YOUNGER PLAYERS WILL LIVE WITH BILLET FAMILIES. THE DORM-STYLE HOUSE HELPS THE PLAYER TO PREPARE FOR LIVING “ON HIS OWN” BUT STILL IN A GROUP ENVIRONMENT WITH HIS TEAMMATES. THERE WILL BE ADULT SUPERVISION PROVIDED FOR THE HOME.
Frank Demasi – Team President & General Manager
The Toronto native enters his 5th season with the Shield. Frank was the Head Coach & General Manager for the team the previous 4 seasons (2014-2018) amassing a coaching record of 111 – 45 – 12. Frank has been promoted to Team President and will hand over the coaching reigns to long-time Assistant Coach Anthony Gambacorta. Prior to his coaching days, Frank’s professional hockey resume spanned 8 seasons in Europe. In 8 seasons of Professional hockey Frank won 6 Championships, and 3 league scoring titles, to go along with 2 Team MVP awards. Before joining the Professional ranks, Frank attended Lake Forest College in Illinois where he played 4 seasons of hockey in the NCAA. He earned a BA in the Social Sciences with a concentration in Sociology and Anthropology. Frank’s experience, relationships, and contacts in college hockey in the USA and Europe play a huge part in giving our club an edge over others in the league to advancing players. Frank, his wife Megan and their sons Arthur & Joe make Muskoka their home.
Anthony Gambacorta – Head Coach
Anthony was born in Toronto and played 7 years of minor hockey in the GTHL AAA level for the Don Mills Flyers, Jr. Canadiens, Vaughan Kings and North York Rangers. Anthony advanced to the Junior level lacing up the skates for 5 seasons for the Toronto Moose, Innisfil Lakers, and the South Muskoka Shield. During this span Anthony was a 3 time All-Star, and was consistently on the top of the charts in leading all defensemen in points. After retiring as a player Anthony began coaching in the GMHL for the Lefroy Wave before moving on to coach the South Muskoka Shield and in that season earned the right to coach in the 2013 All Star game. As an Assistant coach the previous 4 seasons with the Shield Anthony was tasked with running the team’s defensemen, powerplay, video analysis, scouting and using his various contacts to assist in player advancement. Anthony is a seasoned veteran of the GMHL and his experience and knowledge of the game and the league are an asset to our hockey club and our players.