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Roller Hockey Spotlight:
Team Breakaway Leaves Its Mark on East Coast

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

By David W. Unkle
SJSports Staff Writer

(PHILADELPHIA)---For Pedro Cancel, Team Breakaway is the fruitful combination of his three passions: hockey, photography, and inspiring youth to embrace the game that he has defined him for many years.

“Hockey has always been a part of my life,” said Cancel. “I’ve witnessed the game from the perspective of a player, a coach, and photographer.”

Due to injury, Cancel no longer actively plays the sport yet that doesn’t curtail his enthusiasm for the game.

“I enjoy seeing the game through their eyes because there’s so much passion for the sport and sense of achievement. “

“Win or loose these kids have a spark in their eyes.”

He went on to say, cultivating and maintaining the “spark” is the challenge in for coaches and parents involved in organized sports today.

“I believe that when you set a foundation in a sport with children, more often then not, they grow to love it without ever realizing the value of their dedication.”

They key, he adds, is having something to focus their energies on in a world that is full of options both desirable and undesirable.

“Children involved in organized sports what it’s like to work hard to achieve. They learn teamwork, they learn to listen and follow direction, to think about how their actions or inactions impact the game.

“Most importantly, they put their energy towards positive goals…and end up with memories and friendships that last a lifetime.”

Team Breakaway has evolved into nine teams organized by birth year to allow players to compete together for many of years.

Widely known throughout the East Coast as well as far-off places like

California, British Columbia and Toronto, Team Breakaway reaped the benefits with their committed style of play, finishing in either first or second place (in all divisions) over three separate East Coast tournaments this summer.

Team Breakaway 1990's were the ECHO Champions in the 12U division with Nicky Martini winning the Tournament MVP award.

In the 17U AAU Qualifier in Pennsylvania, Team Breakaway saw their Championship hopes erased in an exhilarating overtime loss to the Bad Apples.

The East Coast Fury 1988's (soon to be called Team Breakaway 88's) also placed 2nd in the same AAU Tournament in Pennsylvania, losing 1-0 to the Lawn Crest Lightning.

A bigger and stronger Carolina K9s dominated the Team Breakaway 1989's in the Virginia ECHO tournament and the ‘89’s were pleased with finishing in the runner-up position.

Breakaway's 1992's played in the TORHS Tournament in North Jersey, dominating the 10U division coming away with the tournament championship.

The offensive firepower came from Andrew Tegeler (19 G, 6A) and KJ Tieffenworth (12 G, 13 A). Defenseman Dominick Racabaldo pinched in 10 points. Goalie Chris Valazano was strong between the pipes for the ‘92’s. The ‘92’s also played in the 12U division despite being overmatched in size and age.

Unlike other teams in competition, Team Breakaway is an independent group that funds their own tournaments and equipment. Players receive support from parents and coaches. This team is currently seeking sponsors to help in defraying the cost of team uniforms and travel.

Log on to the team’s website for updates on or e-mail Pedro Cancel at .

Photos by Pedro Cancel

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