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  • Zenon Konopka talks about his father's war torn life.

    Christopher Botta from fanhouse.com wrote a great piece about Zenon Konopka, pictured left with his custom made 300 GS gloves and custom syncro elite one piece stick.

    Ask most NHL players where they get their character and work ethic, and you'll hear warm and appreciative stories about moms and dads who drove them to hockey practices at five o'clock in the morning. Ask Zenon Konopka, the gritty and pugnacious fourth-line center of the New York Islanders, and he's got some story to tell about Zenon Konopka Sr.

    "I play hockey and I scrap, and I guess people say I'm tough," said Konopka, who led the NHL last season with 33 fighting majors while a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning. "But my dad ... now, he was tough. There isn't any comparison between what I do as a hockey player and what his life was all about."

    Konopka's Polish-born father was three years old when Germany and later Russia invaded Poland at the start of World War II. Russian soldiers came to his family's home and said they would be placed in a concentration camp in Siberia.

    "The way I understand the story," said the Islander, "my father's family was left on a train to Siberia for two straight weeks before it moved an inch. People got sick. People died all around them before they even left Poland."

    His family was not spared; Konopka had relatives who died of starvation.

    His grandfather and uncle were given a choice after Germany split from Russia: if they joined the battle against the Nazis, the Konopka family would be relocated to a safe location in Africa. They went to war while Zenon Konopka's father and aunts lived in Africa.

    "Two of my aunts are still alive," said Konopka. "They follow my hockey career and they'll always be an inspiration to me."

    Sadly, his father did not live to see Konopka play with the Lightning -- or even his four years as a teenager with the Ottawa 67s of the Ontario Hockey League.

    "I was 13 years old," remembers Konopka, who was raised by his mother and father in Niagara-on-the-Lake. "I was supposed to go on a school trip to Quebec, but for some reason I couldn't understand, Dad insisted that I didn't go.

    "He worked in a GM plant for 10 hours a day, but in the morning and at night, he worked on our family farm. One morning while I was sleeping, he was out on his tractor. He went to make a left turn on the road at the same time a car tried to pass him on the left. They crashed. My father fell out of the tractor, but the tractor landed on him and he passed away instantly."

    Zenon Konopka Sr. was 58 years old. His son says it took him more than a decade before he could bring himself to discuss his death.

    "It's still so hard," he says today. "My father was indestructible in my eyes. To me, he was the invincible man."

    Zenon Konopka can talk about tragedy today because time has allowed him to see that his own story of a climb from the depths of the minors to the NHL is, in large part, a tale about his parents.

    With his father gone, his mother Arlene ran the family farm with Zenon and his sisters before selling it when he left to play junior hockey. Through it all, Arlene still found time -- like most Canadian parents -- to drive Zenon to his hockey games and practices. The few lessons the young boy was unable to learn from his dad about work ethic, he saw every day in the actions of his mom. It's easy to see why Konopka never gave up on his NHL dream, a goal his father told everyone in Niagara-on-the-Lake was his destiny.

    Those good years with the 67s did not earn Konopka an NHL or American League contract. He played for $300 a week in East Coast League in Wheeling, W.Va. He never stopped trying to reach the NHL. He won faceoffs and blocked shots, and if taking on every fighter who challenged or took liberties with a teammate in Wheeling or Scranton or Idaho or Cincinnati would also get the attention of scouts, it was a small price to pay.

    "Courage is my grandfather and uncle fighting the Nazis, you know what I mean?" he says.

    Six years into his pro career, Konopka finally started to get noticed and taken seriously. He played his first 23 NHL games with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the 2005-06 season. The next year, he got an earnest look in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, got in six NHL games and played for the aptly-named Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. On a team with a half-dozen guys willing to drop the gloves, Konopka could fight and play. After averaging 20 goals and 50 points over two full seasons in the AHL, the six-foot, 200-pound center got his first real chance in the NHL. In 74 games last season with Tampa Bay, Konopka had two goals, three assists and 265 penalty minutes.

    The Islanders, admirers of his passion and grit for a while, gave him a one-way offer when he became an unrestricted free agent. More established in the NHL than he has ever been in his career, the 29-year-old Konopka isn't about to stop fighting and playing in memory of his father.

    "I lost my dad when I was just 13 years old, but when I look back at those years, everything for him revolved around me," Konopka said the other day after an Islanders' practice. "I was talking to my older sisters about him a few years ago, asking them questions about dad. One of them joked, 'I think you knew him better than all of us. You were his life.' That really kind of blew me away.

    "He was always there for me, taking me to hockey, taking me to baseball, being my biggest fan. He made incredible sacrifices for his family. I was lucky to have him in my life, and every time I'm about to play another game, I'm thinking of him."">fanhouse.com

    Ask most NHL players where they get their character and work ethic, and you'll hear warm and appreciative stories about moms and dads who drove them to hockey practices at five o'clock in the morning. Ask Zenon Konopka, the gritty and pugnacious fourth-line center of the New York Islanders, and he's got some story to tell about Zenon Konopka Sr.

    "I play hockey and I scrap, and I guess people say I'm tough," said Konopka, who led the NHL last season with 33 fighting majors while a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning. "But my dad ... now, he was tough. There isn't any comparison between what I do as a hockey player and what his life was all about."

    Konopka's Polish-born father was three years old when Germany and later Russia invaded Poland at the start of World War II. Russian soldiers came to his family's home and said they would be placed in a concentration camp in Siberia.

    "The way I understand the story," said the Islander, "my father's family was left on a train to Siberia for two straight weeks before it moved an inch. People got sick. People died all around them before they even left Poland."

    His family was not spared; Konopka had relatives who died of starvation.

    His grandfather and uncle were given a choice after Germany split from Russia: if they joined the battle against the Nazis, the Konopka family would be relocated to a safe location in Africa. They went to war while Zenon Konopka's father and aunts lived in Africa.

    "Two of my aunts are still alive," said Konopka. "They follow my hockey career and they'll always be an inspiration to me."

    Sadly, his father did not live to see Konopka play with the Lightning -- or even his four years as a teenager with the Ottawa 67s of the Ontario Hockey League.

    "I was 13 years old," remembers Konopka, who was raised by his mother and father in Niagara-on-the-Lake. "I was supposed to go on a school trip to Quebec, but for some reason I couldn't understand, Dad insisted that I didn't go.

    "He worked in a GM plant for 10 hours a day, but in the morning and at night, he worked on our family farm. One morning while I was sleeping, he was out on his tractor. He went to make a left turn on the road at the same time a car tried to pass him on the left. They crashed. My father fell out of the tractor, but the tractor landed on him and he passed away instantly."

    Zenon Konopka Sr. was 58 years old. His son says it took him more than a decade before he could bring himself to discuss his death.

    "It's still so hard," he says today. "My father was indestructible in my eyes. To me, he was the invincible man."

    Zenon Konopka can talk about tragedy today because time has allowed him to see that his own story of a climb from the depths of the minors to the NHL is, in large part, a tale about his parents.

    With his father gone, his mother Arlene ran the family farm with Zenon and his sisters before selling it when he left to play junior hockey. Through it all, Arlene still found time -- like most Canadian parents -- to drive Zenon to his hockey games and practices. The few lessons the young boy was unable to learn from his dad about work ethic, he saw every day in the actions of his mom. It's easy to see why Konopka never gave up on his NHL dream, a goal his father told everyone in Niagara-on-the-Lake was his destiny.

    Those good years with the 67s did not earn Konopka an NHL or American League contract. He played for $300 a week in East Coast League in Wheeling, W.Va. He never stopped trying to reach the NHL. He won faceoffs and blocked shots, and if taking on every fighter who challenged or took liberties with a teammate in Wheeling or Scranton or Idaho or Cincinnati would also get the attention of scouts, it was a small price to pay.

    "Courage is my grandfather and uncle fighting the Nazis, you know what I mean?" he says.

    -Zenon Konopka Six years into his pro career, Konopka finally started to get noticed and taken seriously. He played his first 23 NHL games with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the 2005-06 season. The next year, he got an earnest look in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, got in six NHL games and played for the aptly-named Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. On a team with a half-dozen guys willing to drop the gloves, Konopka could fight and play. After averaging 20 goals and 50 points over two full seasons in the AHL, the six-foot, 200-pound center got his first real chance in the NHL. In 74 games last season with Tampa Bay, Konopka had two goals, three assists and 265 penalty minutes.

    The Islanders, admirers of his passion and grit for a while, gave him a one-way offer when he became an unrestricted free agent. More established in the NHL than he has ever been in his career, the 29-year-old Konopka isn't about to stop fighting and playing in memory of his father.

    "I lost my dad when I was just 13 years old, but when I look back at those years, everything for him revolved around me," Konopka said the other day after an Islanders' practice. "I was talking to my older sisters about him a few years ago, asking them questions about dad. One of them joked, 'I think you knew him better than all of us. You were his life.' That really kind of blew me away.

    "He was always there for me, taking me to hockey, taking me to baseball, being my biggest fan. He made incredible sacrifices for his family. I was lucky to have him in my life, and every time I'm about to play another game, I'm thinking of him."

    view the original article at nhl.fanhouse.com 

  • Katrina Dowd joins Harrow Sports

    Harrow Sports is proud to announce Katrina Dowd, the latest addition to our Sport management team. The Three - time D1 National Champion will be heading up our Women’s Lacrosse division. Katrina brings years of experience on the field, and a decorated sports career to Harrow – qualities that will ensure that we continue to bring innovative, progressive and versatile products to the lacrosse field.At Harrow, our consultants are truly spectacular athletes. Hand-picked from D1 colleges and professional circuits, we believe these players are truly suited to test, refine and develop some of the most advanced sports equipment on the market. We continue this tradition by welcoming Katrina to our ranks, an outstanding player with a formidable record.

    Katrina is one of the top lacrosse players in the nation. By graduation, she had won three division 1 national championships, bringing 77 goals and 109 points into her final year. As the #4 goal scorer in her college’s history, she rounded out her college career as Female Athlete of the Year with an incredible 267 points and 209 goals.

    Often cited as a player who performs under pressure; her fearless, unwavering approach earned her the 2010 IWCLA attacker of the year. In Katrina’s own words, “Great players step up in the toughest situations, and that's tournament time”.

    In addition to her championship wins, Katrina was a finalist for the coveted Tewaaraton Award, standing alongside the top 25 players in the nation. She was also one of four nominees for the 2010 Honda Lacrosse Award.

    As a junior, Katrina played all 23 games, starting in 20. Her 75 goals, thirteen assists and 88 points shattered her own previous records, earning her the title of 2009 NCAA tournament MVP and IWCLA first team all – American. Titles that were truly earned, Katrina is a three time NCAA all-tournament team selection, scoring a record 22 goals in the 2009 NCAA tournament.

    In case you’re reading this, recognize her name, but can’t place where, Katrina’s media highlight was her incredible no look, over the shoulder goal which was featured on ESPN’s highlight reel. You can see the footage of this unbelievable shot at our youtube channel, youtube.com/harrowsportsvids

    Katrina brings this same dedication and relentlessness to Harrow. At the forefront of her game, her drive and passion will ensure our women’s lacrosse range will continue to develop as some of the best equipment in the world.

    We at Harrow are excited to have Katrina on board, and look forward to the incredible developments she will surely bring to Harrow, and to women’s lacrosse.

  • Harrow Sports To Sponsor the Central Hockey League

    Harrow Sports is proud to announce that they have signed a three year sponsorship agreement with the Central Hockey League (CHL)! The Central Hockey League (formerly the Central Junior Hockey League) is a 12 team Junior "A" Hockey League based out of Eastern Ontario that kicked off their 50th year at their Annual September Showcase last weekend."Being one of the title supplier's for the Tier 1 Junior "A" Central Hockey League is a major step in the growth of Harrow Hockey. The Central Hockey League has proven, year over year, to be one of the premiere Junior hockey leagues in Canada. We are very excited to have signed this three year sponsorship, and look forward to building a long term relationship with Kevin and the league!" says Harrow Sports Ontario Sales Supervisor and Hockey Pro-Rep, Mike Cwiertniewski.Kevin Abrams, the League Commissioner, states, “We've been watching the growth and success of Harrow Sports over the past couple years. Their diversity as a complete custom equipment and apparel manufacturing company make them a perfect fit for the Central Hockey League. The fact that the top two scorers in our league last year were using Harrow Hockey sticks when the agreement wasn't in place was all the evidence we needed to feel confident in this new sponsorship agreement. We hope this is the beginning of a long-term partnership."

    Harrow Sports, Inc., based in Denver, Colorado, is a sports-equipment manufacturer focusing on hockey, lacrosse, squash, field hockey, racquetball and tennis. Harrow serves the hockey market with a complete line of equipment and apparel products.

    For additional information, contact Harrow Sports at 800.541.2905 or by email at custserv@harrowsports.com.

  • Photos: Harrow Hockey Gear in Action

    Enjoy these great photos of Alberta Sales Consultant Ryan Steinke in action with his Harrow Pro-Foam goalie stick.Ryan plays for the Devils in the Capital City Elite Hockey League, considered the most competitive senior men's hockey league in the City of Edmonton, Alberta.

  • Harrow Sports Announces New Retail Location in Greenwich, Connecticut

    Harrow Sports is excited to announce the grand opening of a new retail store in the heart of Greenwich, Connecticut. Harrow Sports Greenwich is located just off Greenwich Avenue behind Saks. Customers can shop Harrow’s selection of premium products for squash, lacrosse, ice hockey, field hockey and apparel. Coaches and athletic directors can inquire about Harrow team outfitting packages for uniforms, spirit wear and custom equipment. Portions of all squash racquet sales will go to the local squash professionals who support the Harrow brand.The new Harrow Retail store is located at 189 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830. Customers can contact the store at 203-742-6060.

    Be sure to stop by and check out our products which are among the most technologically advanced and effective in their respective sports. Each day, more coaches and athletic directors are turning to Harrow Sports for their athletes’ equipment and apparel needs.

  • Harrow Sports signs partnership with Western Collegiate Field Hockey Conference


    Denver, CO - Harrow Sports, a diversified sporting goods and apparel manufacturer based in Denver, Colorado, has signed a partnership agreement with the Western Collegiate Field Hockey Conference and their member teams."We are excited to work with a company that has a great reputation and is catering to each of our University’s needs.” Say’s Amber Zimmermann, WCFHC President. “We are grateful for their generous offerings to each team and our conference as a whole. We look forward to the opportunity to represent Harrow Sports over the next two years."“Club sports participation at the collegiate level is on the rise and being played at a higher level every year. These programs have the same equipment and apparel needs as NCAA programs but generally operate on a much tighter budget. We have made collegiate club sports programs a principal focus across the board and our partnership with the WCFHC is indicative of that commitment, " says Bill Edell, Western Region Sales Manager at Harrow Sports. “We look forward to supporting the WCFHC and all of their participating teams for the next few years.

    For additional information, contact Harrow Sports at 800.541.2905 or by email at custserv@harrowsports.com.

    For more information on the WCFHC visit www.wcfhc.org.

  • Products of the Week! Harrow Titan 10000 and 5280

    Harrow Sports is proud to introduce its newest field hockey sticks to the line-up this season. The Titan 10000 and 5280 offer maximum control and extreme power to your game.The Harrow Titan 10000 Field Hockey Stick is the stiffest, most powerful stick in our line. Elite players will be pleasantly surprised with the force behind hits yet soft touch on receptions.

    Brilliant fiberglass placement creates added forgiveness to the Harrow 5280 Field Hockey Stick without sacrificing power. A sandpaper finish on the toe also adds to the exceptional feel of this stick.The Harrow Titan 10000 and Harrow 5280 are both in stock and available online at www.harrowsports.com . Check them out today!

  • 2010 World Lacrosse Championship Wrap-up


    We recently returned from the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England where we spent three days at our Harrow Lacrosse booth in the main sales tent. This event was extremely well run by the ELA and our hats go off to Monkhouse for creating a very welcoming and successful sales area for people to visit, shop for lacrosse gear and socialize.In addition to the physical presence we had at the games, we were well represented by a number of top National lacrosse teams. Among the teams that Harrow Sports sponsored, spectators saw Japan, Italy, Suisse, Netherlands, Argentina, Slovakia, South Korea, and many masters lacrosse teams all sporting Harrow Gear and/or Apparel. The official Harrow lacrosse uniforms that were worn by team Argentina were some of the most complimented lacrosse uniforms at the event. All the teams looked great.

    Harrow Sports International Sales Manager Rose Kiernan represented Harrow Sports at the World Lacrosse Championship. "I was excited to participate in the Manchester games and to have met so many great people in the short time I was able to attend. As a company, Harrow Sports hopes to continue expanding our business relationships deep into the international market. This event was a great place to start."

    For additional information about Harrow Sports and Harrow's International Sales, please contact Rose Kiernan at rkiernan@harrowsports.com

  • Harrow Sports to Sponsor Shorter University Women's Lacrosse

    DENVER, CO - Harrow Sports inks a 4 year agreement with Shorter University Women's Lacrosse to be their exclusive equipment and apparel supplier. Shorter University Women's Lacrosse enters its inaugural season in 2011, and will play a full competitive schedule that includes NAIA, NCAA III and NCAA II institutions."We are truly excited to be a part of the vision that Shorter University has in women's lacrosse," said Harrow Sports Sales Manager, Bill Edell. "We believe their commitment to women's athletics is exemplary and feel this partnership will be beneficial to both sides. With a fully funded program and the support of an athletic department that is dedicated to success, I have no doubt that Shorter University Women's Lacrosse will be a legitimate contender in the very near future.""I am extremely excited to partner with Harrow in the process of building the foundation of lacrosse here at Shorter University." Said Brittni Dulaney, Shorter University ,Head Women's Lacrosse Coach. "I know that working with Harrow will allow us to maximize the potential of our program."

    For additional information, contact Harrow Sports at 800.541.2905 or by email at custserv@harrowsports.com.

    For more information on Shorter University Athletics visit http://goshorterhawks.cstv.com/

  • 2010 Vail Lacrosse Shootout

    Some exciting drama in the Supermasters winner’s bracket. The Quicksilver Elder Statesmen needed overtime to get past the Adidas Magic Wands 7-6 yesterday. It was a tight match today, tied 2-2 at the beginning of the second quarter. However, in the end, the Elder Statesmen prevailed in an 8-7 win!

    Harrow Sports Western Region Manager, Bill Edell [pictured here], is a member of the Quicksilver Elder Statesman team

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