ABOUT ICE BARN
The start of something big.
Ice Barn is looking to fundamentally change the youth and performance hockey landscape in the United States, starting in Westfield, Indiana. We're launching the first Ice Barn Academy with an all-star team of coaches and administrators, in a state of the art facility.
This is Ice Barn
Ice Barn is a cutting-edge hockey academy program built to accelerate development of hockey athletes and give them pathways to top-tier high school, collegiate, semi-professional, and professional careers.
Our academy is based around the 3v3 model of play. In 3v3 hockey players get more puck touches and greater opportunity to put learned skills into practice, and with greater repetition to really hone their new skills. This model accelerates the individual development of hockey athletes, at any age, in their fundamental and team skills.
The Ice Barn Indiana facility is state of the art. It's built to optimize the training experience for hockey athletes and designed for the 3v3 model of play. The unique size of our rink allows for an optimal coaching experience and more direct feedback for athletes. The rink has full-regulation marking, but is scaled down dimensionally to maximize on individual reps, as well as increased unit and team play. The quality of the ice itself is top-grade and designed to be hygienic and clean - and stay that way.
This is the ultimate environment to develop a hockey athlete.
We're launching Ice Barn in Westfield, Indiana. Indiana is home to an untapped wealth of hockey talent with little to no access to true academy-style opportunities for high-performance athletes, or young athletes looking to build a better foundation for their game. Westfield itself has outstanding accessibility. In fact, our brand new training facility is located just off the junction of US-31 and Indiana 32. Our local community includes so many great options for healthy food, sit-down restaurants, shopping, event space, and hotels for traveling athletes and teams. Westfield is also home to a variety of trails, parks, and other recreational spaces. It's the perfect community to host our program, as well as the families of our athletes.
Meet the Team
Search the world far and wide and you'll find no bigger proponent of small area hockey than Chris LaCombe, Ice Barn Indy's head of instruction and programming. “3v3 rink play recreates the pond hockey development effect," he says, "of knowing how and when to use the skills you learn in practice, and doing them with greater repetition than is available in any other type of hockey. In my experience, I can say unequivocally there is no better way to super charge player skill development." LaCombe would know. He's spent his entire career in hockey, including 27 years and 3,000-plus games as a Level 4 USA certified youth coach in Minnesota as well as the past decade as a NHLPA-certified sports agent, with Creative Artists Agency CAA-Sports hockey where LaCombe has been involved in the development of more than 300 NHL drafted players. Among the draftees LaCombe has helped to develop have been five of the past 10 1st overall NHL draft picks.
Indy Ice Barn Owner and Managing Partner Josh Mervis has had about every role in developmental hockey one can find during his 30+ years in hockey. Starting in 1996 he was as an assistant coach at the University of Maine under the tutelage of Black Bears Head Coach Shawn Walsh. Mervis then parlayed that coaching and development knowledge into a 26-year career in junior hockey that continues today with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers. Beginning with the Danville Wings as GM and Coach, Mervis transformed the franchise from a struggling NAHL Tier 2 squad into a model USHL Tier 1 program. Following the success in Danville, Mervis moved on to start the USHL’s Indiana Ice in 2004, and then founded the the Muskegon Lumberjacks in 2010. During the course of Mervis' leadership in junior hockey, his USHL franchises produced almost 400 NCAA Division I hockey scholarship players, and numerous NHL draft choices. “Building this 3v3 rink is a culmination of everything I’ve learned in 26 years of working at the highest amateur level of the sport. I am convinced the constant application of skills, and repetition of on-ice decision-making, while being forced to move and play in small spaces will create the perfect development opportunity for young players."
Bernie John understands what it takes to forge a hockey player from a young athlete. He knows because he's lived it. John, Ice Barn Indianapolis head instructor, learned to play hockey on the outdoor rinks and frozen ponds of Sudbury, Ontario. From there, he would go onto to play major junior hockey, in the OHL for his hometown Sudbury Wolves. John enjoyed a 13-year professional hockey career, playing in various leagues and cities, amassing nearly 900 points in 855 games. Prior to heading Ice Barn's on-ice instruction and curriculum, John spent three seasons as head coach and general manager of the ECHL's Indy Fuel.
Lead Goaltending Instructor
Indy Ice Barn Lead Goalie Instructor Nick Johnsen has learned from the best. For the past three summers, Johnsen, a native of St. Charles, Missouri, has studied under one of the best and most highly-respected goaltending coaches in the world, Mitch Korn. Korn, currently director of goaltending for the New York Islanders, has helped mold some of the best to ever play the game, including Pekka Rinne, Dominik Hasek, Braden Holtby, and Robin Lehner. As a goalie-coaching disciple of Korn's, it is Johnsen's aim to turn Ice Barn into a hotbed for net minders, a place where they can work harder than they ever have before to develop into the elite goalie they've always dreamt about.
Coach Mike Bozoian grew up a Detroit kid, lacing up his youth hockey blades for area powerhouses Little Caesars and Compuware. At age 16, Bozoian was hired as a skating instructor at Suburban Hockey School in Novi, Michigan. Suburban had been founded by a pair of former professional and collegiate players, Tom Anastos and Lyle Phair. Bozoian worked there eight years, learning to teach young players proper skating technique, including lengthening their stride, improving posture, and using edges properly. Bozoain eventually became one of Suburban Hockey’s head instructors, in charge of running his own camp and training other instructors.
In addition to his coaching background, Bozoian enjoyed a stellar career as a player. After youth hockey, he played two years in the North American Hockey League. During his second NAHL campaign, while being selected to the league All-Star team, Bozoian won the “fastest skater competition.”
Bozoian went on to play Division I college hockey at Niagara University (NY). He turned pro at the conclusion of his junior year, playing professionally in Germany. Bozoian’s professional career would also take him to Indianapolis (CHL), Cincinnati (ECHL), and Dayton (ECHL).
After retiring from pro hockey, Bozoian moved to Indianapolis, where he attended the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, graduating in 2010.
Brent Gwidt, a Minocqua, WI native, was drafted by the Washington Capitals and played three seasons of junior hockey with the Indiana Ice before receiving a scholarship to play Division I hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Gwidt's Mavericks career spanned 144 games, in which he notched 19 goals and added 20 assists, and served as team captain in his final year. He would go on to play professional hockey for three seasons with the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies, retiring in 2016.