THE HISTORY OF THE MAD DOGS HOCKEY TEAM
The origination of the Mad Dogs Hockey Team really started back in 1995-1996, with a clinic/mite team of Burlington youth hockey players. At the end of the regular season, I started entering those players in spring & summer leagues for players who wanted to keep playing during the off season. We were originally called the Coyotes in which we wore a white/red/blue jersey, with no logo, just coyotes written on the face of the shirt.
1996-1997 Spring League Coyotes
The Dog Head came from a vending machine sticker from Rocco’s Restaurant in Wilmington as well as the old Gianelli’s of Burlington. I would buy the dog head stickers for my team players and place on their helmets.
Back in 1998 +/-, Gianelli’s stopped carrying the stickers, and when I inquired about more stickers, they said they were discontinued, but gave me the name of the company. Ken Scrocca, who was coaching with me at the time, was savvy enough to track down the dog stickers and order them for me. He was able to get about #250 stickers, the last of the production, so we purchased them all, to continue putting them on player’s helmets.
Then in 1999 I was coaching Burlington Squirt A team, and that particular year, the jerseys supplied by the town were too small for most of my kids, so I decided, along with the okay from the parents of that team, to skate under our own logo, the Mad Dog Head. The Burlington Skating Assoc. was not to happy that we were not wearing it’s Burlington Devil, but I told them until they straightened our shirts out, we would use this as our second jersey. We ended up only wearing this Mad Dog jersey all year, and the kids loved it. That summer I started using that dog head as my summer/spring team jersey.
1999 Squirt A Burlington Mad Dogs
In 2000/2001, I wanted to change the Dog to be meaner and unique, and that’s when my son Billy made a drawing with the stick in the teeth of the dog. I went ahead and had the ticket tape of the new Mad Dog made for screening, and that’s been the logo ever since.
In 2001/2002 the MADDOG TEAM consisted of only high caliber players, who played in just tournaments between their regular league games and I was in the process of entering them in the Valley league as an Independent team. During this same time I was also coaching a town team with Mike Sokolski, and in talking, he mentioned his brother had started a middle school team, and there was about 80-90 teams out there playing independently. Mike didn’t know many of the details, so he and I met with his brother, kicked around a few ideas, and came up with some coach contacts that summer. I then went out and secured ref’s and ice for the games, and. then registered the Logo and Team with Mass Hockey & USA Hockey. Had a meeting with the school superintendant Mr. Picone, A.D. Mr Gillis, Coach Bob Conceison who granted me permission through the MSMS and the principal Mr. Connors to ackknowledge the creation of the Mad Dog Middle School team.
By the fall of the 2002-2003 season, I created a team which is now known as the Burlington Middle School Team – “The Mad Dogs”. Unfortunately the Burlington Ice Palace had no available Ice, so I went to the O’Brien rink in Woburn, which was able to accommodate my ice needs, establishing the new home ice of the Mad Dogs team, and remains the home ice today. Also, about this same time, a lot of new teams were forming; players were leaving their town teams for select teams, including my son Billy. The newly formed MSMS Middle School Mad Dogs team was a great opportunity for kids who’ve left town, or didn’t play together on town teams to now play together having mixed abilities and talent.
This is where the Mad Dogs are today. Although we are independent from the school, we chose to call it the Middle school team to give players a feel of High school, including a couple of bus trips to games, music playing at home games, as well as wearing shirts & ties to school on game day. We stress skills, development, discipline, and teaching the fundamentals of ice hockey throughout the year, starting with our skill/practice sessions beginning on Fridays in September for 10 +/- weeks. We found these sessions allowed all the kids to become more hockey educated and properly evaluated. We believe this is a considerable improvement over holding just a one-time hour tryout. All the kids gain from this concept
People have asked “how long would we coach the Mad Dogs, and I always answered “ I’ll leave that to the kids, when the interest isn’t there then the team will no longer be there”. And in closing, just remember:
“The Few, The Proud, The Mad Dogs!”
Head/C. Bill Pepicelli & ASST/C. /Billy Pepicelli /Chris Marchese
Mad Dogs 1st Career WIN: December 14, 2002 Vs. North Reading Hornets .3-2 WIN. The Mad Dogs won thier 1st and 100th Win on the same ice surface both wins came at Hockeytown USA
The Official Mad Dogs Jerseys 2001-Present