Here are our latest podcasts.

Never Far from Home Ep. 154 - In honor of...

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 154 - In honor of...

Jenna Janshen got involved with hockey in elementary school. She spent a few years playing the game, then moved into officiating. She talks about her pathway within the rink, the few years she took off for college, and coming back to the game after she graduated. Her journey has taken her to many places, and through it all, she has found a great family within the rink community. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 153 - Well Equipped

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 153 - Well Equipped

Nicholas Bayruns was born into hockey. He speaks about his childhood moving around the country, and eventually ending up in upstate New York. He loves the game, and shares some of his favorite memories of playing. Things get good when we move to his time in college, where he learned to love the game in a whole new way, as an equipment manager. Enjoy his many great tales.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 152 - Good People

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 152 - Good People

Craig Blumegold began playing hockey just before he turned 30. He shares stories about how he fell in love with the game so quickly, and how it has become a major part of his life today. Craig has been involved now as a player, ref, and coach, and he has been lucky enough to find himself inside the disabled hockey realm for refereeing. His stories are great, and you can hear in them just how easy it is to love the great game we all do.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 151 - From fan to guest

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 151 - From fan to guest

Allan Marini is a huge hockey fan, and since finding the podcast, he has become a fan of the trip as well. It was an absolute pleasure discussing some of his favorite memories, most hockey related, others are not. While we talked on many major moments, some of the names and dates may be off a little, but bare with us, because the journey is the destination. Allan talks about time in Hamilton, Toronto, and finally, being in the states. Enjoy!

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 150 - Mom's of Hockey #7

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 150 - Mom's of Hockey #7

Kira Ripley has been in the rinks since she was a little girl. Her older brother of two and a half years was a hockey player, so Kira has many memories of being in the car with the whole family heading to his games. She shares a few of those, and we get into when she became a mom of three boys, and the difficulties, and of course the triumphs, of all three in the sport. Kira also tells about some of her best friendships, and how they were forged in the rink. A big thank you to ALL the mom's of hockey. We love you all.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 149 - Mom's of Hockey #6

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 149 - Mom's of Hockey #6

Cathy Lapointe grew up on the East Coast with hockey ever-present in her peripheral. She was enamored by the sport, but didn't fall in love with it until she had two boys who began playing. She shares some stories of camaraderie, on the teams, and in the stands with the other parents as well. We go into what makes hockey so special for her and her kids. A big thank you to all the mom's of hockey.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 148 - Mom's of Hockey #5

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 148 - Mom's of Hockey #5

Doris Donley has played a wonderful games of hockey. Period 1: Falling in love with the sport, and her now husband. Period 2: Learning more about the rules, and watching her son fall in love with the game. Period 3: Finally picking it up herself, and finding different aspects to adore. Overtime: volunteering, and giving back to the game which ended up giving her so much. Enjoy her many tales amidst the game itself, and a big thanks to ALL the mom's of hockey.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 147 - Mom's of Hockey #4

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 147 - Mom's of Hockey #4

Olga Chase grew up in What is now the Czech Republic. She is also my mom. I was lucky enough to have her on as a guest, and hear some of her incredible stories, including some about hockey in the 1972 World Championship, and others about life. Many of her younger days were spent under the Communist regime of the Soviet Union and she shares some of those experiences. Enjoy her many tales, and I hope you like this one as much as I did, though I may be biased. A big thank you to ALL the mom's of hockey.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 146 - Mom's of Hockey #3

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 146 - Mom's of Hockey #3

Lori Mitchell became involved with the game of hockey when she was dating her now-husband, Paul. When they moved to Colorado and had kids, they were quickly introduced to the sport, and finally, Lori began playing as well, becoming the fourth in the family to partake. She shares stories of how she fell in love with the game in the many different capacities, and how she found a family in the locker room with the Bobcats. A big thanks to ALL the Mom's of Hockey, and to Lori for her time.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 145 - Mom's of Hockey #2

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 145 - Mom's of Hockey #2

Lori Walsh was introduced to hockey in her later teen years, when she started dating a hockey player. As fate would have it, she married him eventually, and their journey through the hockey world has taken them from Detroit to San Diego, then Knoxville and eventually Colorado. We talk about her favorite memories of the game, and how it has helped shape the family she has now. Enjoy, and many thanks to the Mom's of Hockey...

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 144 - Mom's of Hockey #1

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 144 - Mom's of Hockey #1

Lesli Cochran was first introduced to hockey when she was a kid, but didn't truly begin following the sport until she was a mom. Her oldest, Mike, is one of my best friends, and was the hockey player in the family. Lesli talks about putting off hockey as long as they could, and inevitably, giving in and letting Mike play a sport that has shaped his life. We talk about some of her favorite memories, and the impact she has seen the sport have on her son, and the whole family. Enjoy, and thank you to Hockey Mom's everywhere.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 143 - Musician Turned Sportsman

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 143 - Musician Turned Sportsman

Chris Garner grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and watched hockey as a kid, but he didn't find himself playing until his late thirties. We talk about his childhood, growing into a musician, and some fun stories come up about some of the traveling he has been lucky enough to do. Things transition into a more sporty realm when Chris began playing hockey, volleyball, and golf, and we chat about the camaraderie of sport, and how important community is. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 142 - Overseas Knees

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 142 - Overseas Knees

Taylor Cook was born into hockey. She grew up in a very supportive family, and in her mid-teens, she shifted gears, and became more serious within girls hockey. We talk about her youth days, some of her favorite memories and people she encountered, and then we get into her overseas experience. Taylor has been lucky enough to find a great home now, but there were some interesting times in getting there. Enjoy!

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 141 - UND Tendy '87

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 141 - UND Tendy '87

Ed Belfour grew up in Manitoba, and was born into the hockey culture. He tells stories of his youth days, playing on some very competitive and strong teams, and his unlikely happening into being a goalie. We talk about his path to UND, and helping the Sioux capture the National Championship in '87. And of course, we get into his NHL career. Wrapping up, we are able to discuss Belfour Spirits, and his latest endeavor with a family business. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 140 - Community Gained

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 140 - Community Gained

Sawyer Lorenz got involved with hockey in his teenage years. He was a fan first, and talks about how and why he was watching the '07 Finals. We go through his timeline of involvement within the sport, which includes some playing, some scorekeeping, and at every turn, love for the game. He tells stories about his first goals, and shares moments and passion with regards to the Jr. team that called Steamboat home for a few years. Enjoy his tales.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 139 - Thorby

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 139 - Thorby

Chris Thorburn grew up in Canada, and was born into the hockey scene. we talk to him about his journey through youth hockey, to juniors, to eventually making it to the NHL. We gather stories along the path, and also take a different direction for a piece of time, exploring autism, and the personal connection it has for Chris. Enjoy his many tales, including some from the Stanley Cup run he went on.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 138 - Big Booming Red Wings Fan

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 138 - Big Booming Red Wings Fan

Alex Coffey did have a few years of hockey when he was young, but stopped playing in second grade when he decided to pursue skiing. He was a member of SSWSC, but has always been a huge hockey fan, and for some reason, a Red Wings fan. We forgive him of that, and talk about his life, from early playing days, to soccer and skiing, so coming back to the sport in High School. Enjoy his tales.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 137 - The Crossover

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 137 - The Crossover

Sady Tobin was involved with the rink from a young age, as her brother played hockey and was three years older. She didn't start playing until she was a teenager, and loved the sport. We talk about her days in youth hockey, then her time at prep school playing both hockey and soccer. Her tales she shares include some post-college days, when she became involved with RMHS. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 136 - Birdie

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 136 - Birdie

Ian Anderson spent most of his youth days in Steamboat. He started playing hockey at a young age, and fell in love with the sport because of a former Avalanche superstar. He shares that story, and many others along his career. We played many seasons on the same team, so it was a great experience to sit down with an old friend, catch up, and share some war stories. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 135 - VC Bobcats

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 135 - VC Bobcats

Ellen Tully grew up around the rink. She was the youngest in a hockey family, and though she did not ever play organized hockey herself, she fell in love with the game. That love and passion has stuck with her as she has traversed the hockey landscape, and the journey has led her to being the first female owner of a professional hockey team. We talk about the Bobcats, who enter their first season of play this fall, and we also touch on some of her stories leading up to ownership. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 134 - Legalized Carnage

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 134 - Legalized Carnage

Gary Whiteley became involved in the game of hockey in his early twenties. He fell in love with the game, and wishes now that he had gotten involved at an earlier age. He tells stories about how he fell in love with it, some of his favorite stories of learning to play the game, and then, inevitably, we talk about his goaltending. He has played standing hockey, and some sledge hockey. Enjoy his many tales.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 133 - UND '87

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 133 - UND '87

Bob Joyce was born into the hockey world. His father was a player himself, and Bob quickly found a love for the game. We talk about his early days, and some of his favorite memories from growing up in Winnipeg. We touch on family, the impact they had on him, and continue to have on him, including his mother. Enjoy the many tales he shares, including some from his National Championship run in '87, and his legacy he has helped shape at his most recent school. 

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 132 - One Sheffield

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 132 - One Sheffield

Martin Peters was first introduced to the game of hockey with a family name that many know, the Gretzky's. He met Keith and Walter, and shares that brief story. His life took him away from the sport for a few years, but he has since returned, and in a big way in the UK. We talk about his renewed love of the game from the perspective of a father, and also talk at length about the whole Sheffield program. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 131 - The Middle Triplet

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 131 - The Middle Triplet

Zack Slezak began playing hockey shortly after he could walk. He shares stories about growing up in the Chicago area, falling in love with the sport and the community surrounding it, then moving to Tampa. Now in Florida, a non-traditional hockey market, he has continued to find himself happening in to great stories, and great experiences. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 130 - The Clumsy Artist

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 130 - The Clumsy Artist

Jacquelin Zimmerman began figure skating in her youth days, as she was exploring the many sports available to her at the time. She fell in love with skating, and progressed through the ranks. She talks about some of her favorite memories from her youth, under a few different coaches. We also get into the community aspect of the sport, and how lucky she was to find some camaraderie in a sport that is not always boasting that. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 129 - Strength in Culture

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 129 - Strength in Culture

Connor Lyons began playing roller hockey, and a few years later got into the realm of ice hockey. His journey has taken him all around the world, playing and coaching. We talk about some of his favorite stories of playing, and get into some strength coach stories as well. Enjoy the many tales he brings to the table in this episode.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 128 - Big Roller Hockey Guy

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 128 - Big Roller Hockey Guy

Jordan Mackenzie began playing roller hockey, and has been able to stay involved with the rink since he was eight. He now is participating with the Lightning street teams, and shares some of his stories, from his time biking to the local roller rink, to his first experiences with ice hockey. Enjoy the tales of a guy who has a real passion for giving back to the communities he lives in.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 127 - Blueprints

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 127 - Blueprints

Ryan Cronin grew up in upstate New York, and was introduced to the hockey world by his grandpa at just three or four. He was fixated on the game when they went, even as such a young age, and his passion stuck with him. We go into stories from some of his more formative relationships in the game, including a high school player five years his senior, and his high school coach. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 126 - Born into Boston Fandom

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 126 - Born into Boston Fandom

Nick Strid began skating around eight years old. He began skating on figure skates for the first few months, then quickly transitioned into hockey. His love for the game developed fast, and even now, he understands that he wants to be involved in some capacity as long as he can. Enjoy his tales from youth days, through high school, and even into some college club. 

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 125 - Lightning Outreach

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 125 - Lightning Outreach

On this unique episode of NFFH, I am joined by a couple guys working for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their outreach programs: Aaron and Jordan. They are able to talk about the great programs that they are lucky to be a part of, and there is a small piece of their backgrounds mixed in as well, including how Jordan is a roller hockey guy. Enjoy this one, a glimpse into at least one organizations efforts to expand the game.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 124 - The Grind

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 124 - The Grind

Dusty Henning began playing when he was a youngin. He regales me with some of his best memories of his youth days, before we get into his long list of pro hockey. The man has played a lot of different places, and struggled to find good management in his early days, running into a few situations of teams that folded before the year was done. Enjoy this one, it's entertaining.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 123 - Small Town Juneau Boy

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 123 - Small Town Juneau Boy

Colter Pritchard began playing hockey in his early teens, after first getting introduced to skating at three. He quickly became a goaltender, and loved it. His hockey journey took him from AK to the lower 48 for juniors, then to Utah for college. We talk about the journey, the different people who impacted him along the way, and we touch on his future plans. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 122 - Real Life

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 122 - Real Life

Ricky Gnatowsky was not born into hockey, at all. He happened into the rink life, after REAL LIFE, and he has since fallen in love with the community. We go into stories from his early days when he was still learning the ropes of the pro shop, to his time now as a manager of the Brandon facility. Oh ya, and he raps. Oh ya (again) and WE rap. So there's that...

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 121 - The Metro Method

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 121 - The Metro Method

Glen Metropolit grew up in Toronto. We sat down today over some coffee, and he shared some stories from his youth playing days, moving from ball hockey in to the ice rink, and eventually, finding the game could take him many places. He talks about his transition from high school hockey to Junior B, then moving from Junior B right into pros. Enjoy the tales he shares, all leading him to developing the "Metro Method".

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 120 - Florida Fans

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 120 - Florida Fans

Amber Niland was born to be a hockey player. She started playing when she was around five, and has been engaging in different aspects of the community of the rink since. She talks about playing, then her transition into women's hockey in the state, and eventually, she found her way into coaching. Enjoy her many tales!

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 119 - SteelKings

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 119 - SteelKings

Jake Oakley was introduced to hockey at a younger age, but at first, he was not a fan of skating. He would attend games with his father and sister, and loved the atmosphere, falling in love with the many aspects of the sport. Later on in life, he found himself presented with the chance to be a part of a great organization, in the Steel Kings. Enjoy his many tales.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 118 - Block 17

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 118 - Block 17

Liz Stewart always seemed to fancy hockey. She was not involved in the game in her childhood, but around her teen years, finally found her way to the rink. She shares her stories of why she loves the game, and we get into a tough subject as well: mental health. She is currently working to become a sports psychologist, and we go into some details about her dissertation. You guessed it, it's on hockey. Enjoy

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 117 - The Rink Life

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 117 - The Rink Life

Graig O'Brien was able to explore the community of the pond as a kid, as well as deck hockey. He was then introduced to the game later on as a dad, and has fallen in love with the community of the game, both from the parenting standpoint, and from that of someone now playing in the beer leagues. Enjoy his many tales.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 116 - Block Party

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 116 - Block Party

Seth Kushner was introduced to hockey as a fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was able to grow his love of the game after working with some of the players, and getting a closer look at some of the inner workings of the organization. Enjoy his tales of transition from radio days to podcasts, and the many great guests he has had on. 

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 115 - Working Hard

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 115 - Working Hard

Kyle was at rinks from a young age, watching hockey, but didn't begin playing till he was ten. We get into details about his youth hockey days, and eventually his tales from junior hockey, until his injuries forced him out of the game. Enjoy!

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 114 - Taranaki Masters Games

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 114 - Taranaki Masters Games

I am joined by a few awesome guys from the Taranaki Masters Games in New Zealand, and we are able to talk about inline, and how it is growing in the country. Each guy gets a few minutes to tell his own story as well. Enjoy this one. It is a little bit of a tough one, listening-wise, as we were on a zoom call, and my internet was barely holding up. But even with that, you can tell how much they love the game.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 113 - Whale Tales

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 113 - Whale Tales

Jamie Goldsmith began skating on Beaver Lake, and played boys hokey for a few years before making the shift to girls around twelve or thirteen. Enjoy her many stories from playing time, to her coaching days! We also get a few good laughs about how we connected, which can be fun in and of itself.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 112 - The Bus Boy

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 112 - The Bus Boy

Ernie Hartlieb was born into the hockey community. His father was a big fan and player of the game, and being in Michigan, it was an easy sell. He remembers falling in love with the game right from his first pair of skates. Enjoy his tales, as we work through his timeline inside the rink, and tell some fun stories along the way.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 111 - The Parking Lot

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 111 - The Parking Lot

Tom McLean got a later start in hockey. He was already in his early twenties when he began playing, and being in Florida in the 90's, he was first introduced to the roller rink. We talk about some of his storyline, how he eventually became involved in ice hockey, and of course, we explore what he is doing now with his podcast and Facebook group, "The Parking Lot". Enjoy!

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 110 - Morty

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 110 - Morty

Craig Morton was another NFFH'er born into hockey. His father was a big hockey guy in Detroit, and Craig had an older brother that was already a player as well. He grew up in the midwest, and shares stories of his youth days, including a couple bad injuries. His transition from player to coach was a quick one, and we explore the different involvements with the game that he has had. Enjoy.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 109 - Shaggy

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 109 - Shaggy

Warren Hewett began playing hockey in his mid to late teens. He started in the roller arena, before moving over to ice within a year or two. There was an overlap of a few years, when he was doing both, but eventually injuries forced him into ice in a full time capacity. Enjoy his many stories from his local rinks, to some European tours he partook in.

 

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Never Far from Home Ep. 108 - Surrounded by Talent

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 108 - Surrounded by Talent

Bryan Smith began playing hockey a little later in life, but was able to catch up quick. We talk about his journey through his playing days, through his short stint as a seasonal employee enjoying the best of summers and winters in Colorado. He then goes into great detail, and shares some fantastic stories, about Rocky Mtn. Hockey schools. Enjoy his many tales of travel and hockey, and how he has been lucky enough to surround himself with great people and minds.

Never Far from Home Ep. 107 - Through Hockey

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 107 - Through Hockey

Brent Pearson began skating from the age of two. He was born into a family of hockey players and figure skaters, as his mom was on the ice at high levels of figure, and his father was a hockey guy. It was easy enough to fall in love with the game, and we explore some of his favorite memories of his competitive days, some fro his time in senior AAA, playing with his brother, and of course we get into how hockey has remained a centerpiece to his life through all his travel. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 106 - Black Butterflies

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 106 - Black Butterflies

Kam Fink began playing roller hockey, and within a few years had transitioned to ice. We step through his journey, including a couple tough years in Peewee, all the way through his college days. Like all of us, Covid has impacted his playing nowadays, but he is anxiously awaiting returning to the rink, and soon enough getting involved in coaching. Enjoy his many stories.

Never Far from Home Ep. 105 - Shrode-a-saurus

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 105 - Shrode-a-saurus

Kaitlyn Shrode started skating around six years old. She is the younger of the Shrode sisters, and tells many stories of growing up in the hockey household she did. Her tales span youth time spent in Craig, to her time spent on the front range, then Chicago, and eventually, how she found her way back into the hockey life in Naples, Florida, of all places. Enjoy!

Never Far from Home Ep. 104 - Shrodey

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 104 - Shrodey

Taylor Shrode began playing hockey when she was ten. She fell in love with the game a few years later when she started traveling for a team on the Front Range of Colorado. She talks about her trip through the rest of U19, then into her college career as well. Enjoy the many tales she has about her hockey!

Never Far from Home Ep. 103 - Home is where the rink is

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 103 - Home is where the rink is

Bobby Davis began playing hockey around nine or ten. He shares tales from a young age of the impact his mom and dad had on him, not just on the ice, but in life. He was well travelled in the game by the time he graduated high school, and has found himself plugged in to the community of the rink at every juncture of his life. Enjoy the many stories he shares about what exactly makes this community one of his most important to this day. 

Never Far from Home Ep. 102 - Betting on myself

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 102 - Betting on myself

Nicco Cardarelli began playing hockey early in his childhood. He gathered rather quickly that it would not lead him to the NHL as a player, but he accepted this, and found a love of the game amidst the camaraderie with teammates, and eventual lifelong friends. His passion took over again in his mid-twenties, when he decided to get into broadcasting, and he shares stories from his many experiences that have since unfolded, including Parasport.tv, a company he began. Enjoy!

Never Far from Home Ep. 101 - Elbow Crease

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 101 - Elbow Crease

Kyle Hayton began playing hockey when he was seven. He found more of a pssion for the game around twelve, and pursued his dreams of playing professionally. His journey took him through many stops, and we explore stories from most. Enjoy the tales of a tendy who, dare I say it, seemed to have his stuff together.

Never Far from Home Ep. 100 - State of Hockey Address Feb. 2021

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 100 - State of Hockey Address Feb. 2021

In the first ever State of Hockey Address, Mike Cochran returns to the show, as we talk about what the first one hundred episodes have done. There is a recap, touching on some of the favorite episodes, and there is an update to the trip itself. The boys end with a little NHL hockey talk as well. Enjoy, and thank you for your support through the first 100. The promise is alive, that each episode we strive to be better!

Never Far from Home Ep. 99 - Car rides

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 99 - Car rides

Sheldon Randell grew up in Newfoundland, and was started skating at a very early age. His dad was a big influencer in his hockey, and he shares some fantastic stories about the many car rides he had to take, playing in a town an hour away from his home. He goes on to tell of his personal growth in terms of loving the game, and how he loves it more now than he did as a kid. Enjoy!

Never Far from Home Ep. 98 - Data Points

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 98 - Data Points

Paul Podkulski became involved with hockey as a fan as a young child. He grew up in upstate New York, but because of family, he was a Flyers fan. We go through his fandom, and how he eventually found himself working for a company that has the NHL as a client. Paul also shares some stories about Florida hockey players. Enjoy his many tales, and details.

Never Far from Home Ep. 97 - Go Figure...

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 97 - Go Figure...

On a special edition of the pod, I am joined by two figure skaters to tell some great stories. Alex and Michelle Aiken chat about their respective time growing up within the figure skating world, and they touch on histories that include a combined 13 national championship appearances, with five medals. They also talk about their transitions into the coaching world, and just what the community of the rink has meant to them. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 96 - Back and Forth

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 96 - Back and Forth

Dajon Mingo began his journey in the rink on figure skates. He participated in that capacity from 5-7, then found himself in hockey. He talks about his journey from his time in the youth leagues of Michigan, through his junior career, and into his pro days. He tells stories along the way, and it was a great chat with another good hockey guy. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 95 - Jax Ice

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 95 - Jax Ice

Laura Belluccia was a figure skater in her younger days when she grew up near Tampa. She got into a few of her favorite memories from her younger time, but our conversation quickly led to her current tales. We talked about the ideas of rink, community, and what those things can do for everyone who participates. Enjoy our chat!

Never Far from Home Ep. 94 - Gin

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 94 - Gin

Kevin Gintoli began playing around nine, and it was my pleasure to talk to him. Our conversation spanned his days playing competitively at the youth level, through his time in the beer leagues, where all roads lead. More importantly to both of us, we were able to touch on the factor of family. He was the fourth of four siblings I have had the pleasure of interviewing, and we went into what family means to him. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 93 - Ice Tigers

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 93 - Ice Tigers

Jimi Drinkall began playing hockey in his twenties, after attending a professional game in his local rink. He loved the physical side of the game, and found himself a home with the Ice tigers within the first year or so of trying the sport. Enjoy his many tales from starting to play, to the adversity he faced with only six members of a squad, all the way to rebuilding an organization into one of inclusivity. Jimi was a great first interview from across the pond.

Never Far from Home Ep. 92 - Skittles

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 92 - Skittles

Garrett Gintoli was born in to the hockey life. He talks about his first experiences within the rink, and gets in to his other timeline impacts. This one went a little off the rails, but was a fantastic interview with yet ANOTHER member of Clan Gintoli. Enjoy the latest installment.

Never Far from Home Ep. 91 - Ice Rink Casinos

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 91 - Ice Rink Casinos

Michele Gintoli began playing at the same time as two of her brothers, and quickly was drawn in to love the game of hockey. She talks about her storyline, which includes girls teams in her youth days, and coaching more recently. She also continues playing on a woman's team. Enjoy the many tales she slings around, as the second Gintoli to captivate the NFFH audience this week.

Never Far from Home Ep. 90 - Buffalo Gold

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 90 - Buffalo Gold

Peter Gintoli began playing when he was four. His family all jumped in to the sport, and the four kids playing was the first introduction that mom and dad had to the hockey scene. Things progressed from it being something fun, to the realization that he could take it somewhere, and Peter did. He talks about his lengthy career including time in High School, Juniors, College, Semi-pro, and also we dive into his time on Team USA. Enjoy his many stories.

Never Far from Home Ep. 89 - The Kimchi Cup

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 89 - The Kimchi Cup

Paul Novak was born and raised in Germany. His father was a sports fanatic, and Paul, along with his older brother Joe, both followed suit. Paul grew up in the rink community, and played hockey for years. His journey has taken him all around the world, for work, and he tells tales from each point along the way. That includes his time in Korea, organizing the Kimchi Cup. Enjoy his rich history of travel, and hockey.

Never Far from Home Ep. 88 - The Hockey Recap

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 88 - The Hockey Recap

Matt Schoepflin was another guest born into hockey. His father played, and had a love of the game, and it bled over to Matt. He grew up in Colorado, played most of his youth hockey there, then ended up at a boarding school, and then played four years of college. He went on to coach, and has great stories he shares from all those avenues he has explored within the rink community. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 87 - The Middlebury Child

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 87 - The Middlebury Child

Katie Mandigo was born into hockey. She was skating from a very young age, and found a passion for the game she knew she wanted to pursue as far as it would take her. She told me stories about growing up around the rink at Middlebury, where her father coaches the women's team, including one about some puck snowmen... I hope you enjoy her many tales as much as I did!

Never Far from Home Ep. 86 - Washington Pride

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 86 - Washington Pride

Kush Sidhu grew up playing hockey in Montreal. He moved stateside, and continued to grow his love for the game, eventually finding himself working with Northeastern as a goalie, then a goalie coach for the girls side of things. He has many tales from his playing days, and even more from the coaching standpoint. Enjoy his many stories.

Never Far from Home Ep. 85 - Like Father, Like Daughter

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 85 - Like Father, Like Daughter

Alexis Pearson never played organized hockey. While she grew up in Minnesota, and skated in her early days, she never found herself in organized forms of the sport we love. Her father did, however, find the passion within his little girl when she was almost twelve. Alexis talks about knowing, from her early teens, that she wanted to partake in the sport at its highest level, in the capacity of broadcasting. Enjoy her tales of the path she has made for herself to this point, and the success she has already found.

Never Far from Home Ep. 84 - "Middlebury Bill" Mandigo

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 84 - "Middlebury Bill" Mandigo

Bill Mandigo grew up playing hockey, and had a great head start, as his father was a player himself. We delve into a few of his stories from his time spent playing, but things ramp up when the conversation shifts to coaching. His stories span time spent at a number of different schools, before he finally landed at Middlebury. His coaching has spanned decades, and his tales are just as impressive as the number. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 83 - "Middlebury Bill" Beaney

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 83 - "Middlebury Bill" Beaney

Bill Beaney Grew up in Lake Placid. He was skating from the age of two or three, and forged a love of the game in one of the most prolific sporting communities in America. He tells tales of his competitive playing days, including a four year stint at UNH. Our conversation also heads into his robust coaching career, and the many connections and relationships he has made through his time as a bench boss. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 82 - Baby bump scrums

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 82 - Baby bump scrums

Jessi Pierce became fascinated with hockey, and the rink, at a young age. She grew up a fan, but became more heavily involved her senior year of high school, when she was the statistician for her high school team. We go in to the tales of her time in college, running around between her 18 internships, then head through her path that lead her back to Minnesota, and eventually in to her job with the NHL. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 81 - Hockey gives, and hockey takes

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 81 - Hockey gives, and hockey takes

Matt Billman got introduced to hockey in the roller rink, and found an immediate love for the game. He quickly realized he was destined for the ice, after an encounter with an olympic sized rink, and his story was only just beginning. We discuss his time as a competitive player, through his college years, his stint working for the UFC, some coaching, and of course we tie it all together with the beer leagues. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 80 - Fandom

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 80 - Fandom

Brandon Enroth had his addiction to hockey begin when he started watching the game. He talks about going to his first Capitals game with his dad, and the love of the sport that was born from it. He played some roller and street hockey as a kid, and began ice in high school. His tales span his years as a fan, to those playing competitively, and of course, his journey to the beer league. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 79 - B-roll

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 79 - B-roll

Harry Gehring began skating early in life, and played organized hockey starting around five. He spent most of his childhood in Minnesota, headed to St. Louis for college, and found himself in DC eventually. His tales span his years from the competition of youth, to the beer league mentality as an adult. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 78 - How to Goalie

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 78 - How to Goalie

Rugge Preto started playing hockey when he was an early teen. He grew up in Argentina, and talks about his experiences that lead to him falling in love with the game, and eventually taking it to the highest level he could in his home country. He has great tales of travel to Canada to represent his country, then again to Germany for the World Cup. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. (Please forgive the audio, as the internet connection was poor.)

Never Far from Home Ep. 77 - Side-Eye

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 77 - Side-Eye

Heather Lorden got involved in the skating world at a very young age. She was instantly drawn to the rink, and quickly moved through the figure skating ladder. Her journey includes stops in Steamboat, where she began, CSU, where she came upon some realizations of times since past, and finds itself currently on the lakes of Wisconsin. Enjoy her many tales.

Never Far from Home Ep. 76 - The Roamer

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 76 - The Roamer

Patrick Spengler got involved in hockey as little later on than most, but found a passion for the community. He speaks on his love of improvement, personally challenging himself to get better each time on the ice. He also dives into the camaraderie of the rink, an spect that hits home for so many folks who are a part of it. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 75 - Driver of the bus

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 75 - Driver of the bus

Sara Mortel was born into hockey and the rink. She loved the game right away, and has been in many different capacities, but most prominently was a player and coach. She tells many stories that span her playing years, then dives into coaching, both her own, and some of her idols including her father. Enjoy the many tales she has to share.

Never Far from Home Ep. 74 - MAC(K)

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 74 - MAC(K)

Meghan Koupal got involved with hockey a little later in life, but had a good basis of sport through her youth, playing both soccer and basketball in high school. She transitioned to a full-time soccer player in college, then finally began skating competitively when she returned to Colorado after graduation. She tells stories of her early days in an intro to hockey class, and her quick movement into coed leagues, and eventually touches on her time with the Chix with Sticks in Steamboat. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 73 - Political Science

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 73 - Political Science

Jake Berube has been playing hockey in one form or another since early childhood. He began with roller hockey, transitioned to ice hockey, and off the mic we talked about one of his more recent endeavors, ball hockey. His tales include days spent in house league, his first foray into travel teams, then his eventual junior experience and college. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 72 - Skate-less

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 72 - Skate-less

Brendan Selby began playing when he was four or five years old. While he is a younger guest on the pod, he has a history of playing, and now, has coached for multiple years. Enjoy the tales he shares from his playing days, to talk on those he idolized professionally, and then of course, we hear some of his favorite stories involving the game.

Never Far from Home Ep. 71 - That's Aho

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 71 - That's Aho

Michael Lee began playing hockey in his mid-thirties, but was involved with the rink from his high school days when he was a skate guard. He tells of his childhood, growing up as the middle child of three, and with parents who were behind their kids the whole way.  We explore everything, from those beginnings, to his time as a father, and everything in between. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 70 - Rink Rust

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 70 - Rink Rust

Thomas Larson got a later start in hockey than some. He began skating at 10, and playing at 11. He talks about his quick upward trajectory in the game, injuries in Juniors that began to take their toll, and his eventual hand he was dealt. While he was "forced" out of playing competitively, he found the game again, and it helped him out of the same darkness its absence had put him in. Enjoy his tales, from success to struggle. He is another guest who was, and is still to a degree, defined by the game.

Never Far from Home Ep. 69 - Glenn Allen adventures

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 69 - Glenn Allen adventures

Dan Greeson played hockey most of his youth. He tells about the impacts the game had on him, with a unique look on things, because of his remote village he spent most of his childhood in. Hockey is hockey, but it can mean different things to different people, and teach lessons in new ways. Dan explores that idea somewhat. He has not played since his senior year of high school, his last game being the state championship game. That being said, he walks through life today shaped by the many lessons he took away from the game. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 68 - On the farm

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 68 - On the farm

Spencer Neville began playing hockey seemingly right away, when it became available. She talks about moving through life, balancing a heavy school load with both hockey and soccer, and eventually, finding different ways to love the game. Spencer helped to start a women's program at George Washington, and recalls some of the early days and what it looked like for the girls wanting to be on the ground floor in the effort. Enjoy her many tales, for such a young hockey player.

Never Far from Home Ep. 68 - On the farm

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 68 - On the farm

Spencer Neville began playing hockey seemingly right away, when it became available. She talks about moving through life, balancing a heavy school load with both hockey and soccer, and eventually, finding different ways to love the game. Spencer helped to start a women's program at George Washington, and recalls some of the early days and what it looked like for the girls wanting to be on the ground floor in the effort. Enjoy her many tales, for such a young hockey player.

Never Far from Home Ep. 67 - GW2

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 67 - GW2

Lauren Bolger began playing hockey after trying out figure skating first. She then watched her brother play, and decided that the sport of choice would require pads. Her stories span triumph, with a Tier 1 team, learning to be a leader from upperclass teammates, then being that leader to those who came up next. She talks of college hockey, and the locker room, and everything that makes her love the sport, and the community. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 66 - Confidence Regained

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 66 - Confidence Regained

Libby Lukens began skating when she was only four years old. Spurred on my her two older siblings having played hockey, she put the gear on, and found the love of the game for herself. The sport took her to places she never thought she would play, and gave her many lessons that she could take with her in to her day to day life. Enjoy her tales, from humility, to a rebirth of sorts. This young lady has some good ones.

Never Far from Home Ep. 65 - Whammer Time

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 65 - Whammer Time

Chris Hagen began playing ice hockey when he was nine, but he had been participating in some whammer time for a year or two prior. He quickly found his love for the game, and continued to grow with the game, and soon enough he would claim it as a big piece of his identity. Chris played for the University of Michigan club team, and was it’s captain. He then went on a great adventure for the years after college, before finally making his way back to Steamboat for another stretch of time. Enjoy his great tales, full of a love for hockey, and some harder moments, within family.

Never Far from Home Ep. 64 - Space Station

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 64 - Space Station

Eric Dorris began playing hockey in his mid-forties after seeing the excitement it brought his kids. He grew up in sports, mostly football through high school, then in college he found rugby. That stayed with him right up until he began playing on the frozen serengeti. Now, years into his latest sport endeavor, he has no plans of slowing down, having connected with another phenomenal community. Enjoy his stories.

Never Far from Home Ep. 63 - Dawg Nation

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 63 - Dawg Nation

Martin Richardson and Mike Freeman joined me on this special round table episode. They talked about Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, the big Ice Complex project that they are working on, and also go into a few stories about the beginning of the foundation, as well as Mike's introduction to it. Enjoy their tales, and key in on how YOU can contribute to make a reality of this phenomenal plan.

Never Far from Home Ep. 62 - El Pres.

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 62 - El Pres.

Martin Richardson began playing organized hockey later in life, but grew up skating on ponds all around Colorado. He has always had a passion for the game, and came to find himself at the helm of the Dawgs early in the 2000's. Years later, and per circumstance, he founded Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation. While it is an incredible organization which helps those in need, the origin story will likely bring a tear to your eye. Enjoy his tales, of sorrow, and triumph. 

Never Far from Home Ep. 61 - Dammit Tom

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 61 - Dammit Tom

Tom Krabacher began playing hockey at a young age, but nothing organized till his adult years. He had a good introduction to the skating, though, so hew quickly moved up the adult league ranks. In the midst of childhood, he tried many different sports, and eventually landed on football, and played in college. Enjoy his stories from his sporting days, to playing rec hockey, and of course, we included some Trash Panda talk.

Never Far from Home Ep. 60 - Dr. Saul Miller

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 60 - Dr. Saul Miller

Dr. Saul Miller is one of North America’s leading sport psychologists. He has a PhD in clinical psychology and is the author of eight books, including: Hockey Tough: A Winning Mental Game, Performing Under Pressure, and Why Teams Win.  In sport, he has worked in the NFL, CFL, NBA, major league baseball, with PGA Tour golfers and Olympians from Canada, USA, and Europe in over a twenty different sports. Pro teams he’s worked with include: New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, BC Lions, Los Angeles Dodgers, Rams, and Clippers. In hockey he has worked in the NHL with the LA Kings, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Nashville Predators, and with individual players on half the teams in the NHL. He’s also consulted with over a dozen pro hockey teams in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Norway and with national hockey teams for Canada, Slovakia, Italy, and Switzerland. In Switzerland he’s been called “Meistermacher” (championship-maker). Dr. Saul has created a free youtube channel called Sport Psychology School: You can link to the channel here: https://goo.gl/TNBfrK

Never Far from Home Ep. 59 - Of life, and it's opposite

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 59 - Of life, and it's opposite

Hestia Chase grew up in Steamboat, mostly, and didn’t play much organized hockey in her youth. She was, however, very athletic, and shares some stories about other sports, and the impact they had, and continue to have, on her. She did play one year of U19, but has really gotten involved with the rink since reaching adulthood. Enjoy her stories, which will make you both laugh, and cry.

Never Far from Home Ep. 58 - Side Stories

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 58 - Side Stories

Chris Porter grew up in Minnesota, and played hockey from a very young age. He Ended up playing competitively through college, and shares some of his stories from his youth-days. We work up the timeline from there, and the tales he has to share will likely make you laugh, and generally will fill your hockey soul. Enjoy.

Never Far from Home Ep. 57 - Finesse

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 57 - Finesse

Michael Drennen started playing hockey at a later age, but came from a background of sports, specifically football and wrestling. He shares many tales, from the football field, to the wrestling mat, and of course, he speaks about the rink, and it’s community. Enjoy!

Never Far from Home Ep. 56 - Click Here

Listen to Never Far from Home Ep. 56 - Click Here

Andrew Bilski picked up hockey at a later age, but came from a background of sports, specifically football. He has many grand tales of friendships that he has made from the rink, after beginning his playing. That morphed into clock-work, DJ-ing, and generally being a rink rat. Enjoy his tales, as I did.