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BOB O'CONNELL

FOUNDER/PRESIDENT, CHALLENGER TOURS/NORTH AMERICAN STARS

Bob is the Founder of Challenger Tours and Co-Founder of the New England Pro-Am Hockey League.  For 28 years Bob had a successful career working for IBM but along the way he was involved with a few events that had the attention of the hockey world.

Born in New York City, Bob has been involved with hockey most of his life from his roller hockey days in Manhattan to helping organize the amateur hockey teams the Lynchmen and Clovers in South Boston.  Bob assisted in the development of the John Cunniff Hockey School and was an NHLPA registered agent.  He had the privilege of working for hockey legend Bobby Orr at Woolf Associates and specialized in evaluating players from the former Eastern Bloc of countries including Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus, Latvia and Ukraine.

In 1980 Bob was instrumental in obtaining for Gold Medal winner Mike Eruzione his first corporate speaking engagement at IBM.  To this day Mike continues to electrify audiences throughout America with his motivational speeches.  Several years later in 1988 Bob was responsible for bringing the former Soviet Union National Junior Team to the historic city of Quincy, MA.  This was the first time the Soviets would play an independent team consisting primarily of players from New England.  The team was coached by John Cunniff, one of the foremost coaches in USA Hockey and the NHL.

Bob became involved with women’s hockey when he first met Olympic icon Angela Ruggiero. Angela’s dynamic personality and success inspired Bob to formulate the North American Stars and compete in the Czech Hockey Challenge Cup (CHCC), one of the most prestigious tournaments in Europe.  This tournament brings together teams from throughout Europe and in their first year they beat the defending European Women’s Champion SKIF from Russia.

The North American Stars offer players an opportunity to play at a high level internationally as well as an outstanding cultural experience.  Bob’s goal of formulating teams to compete as the North American Stars against many European countries has now become a reality.


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Keira Goin

Director of Women’s Hockey

A 2016 North American Stars alum, Keira Goin enters her first season as the head coach for the North American Stars.  Currently working as the assistant coach for the women’s ice hockey program at Wesleyan University, Goin is excited to be returning to the Stars team with whom she won gold.

 

A standout goalie from 2013-2017 at Utica College, she holds the program records in wins (40) and shutouts (13).  During her junior campaign, she compiled seven shutouts and rattled off four in a row, which are both school records, as well.  She backstopped the Pioneers to a program-best 19 wins during the 2015-16 year.

 

The Dobbs Ferry, NY native finished her career with a 1.75 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage, compiling a career-high 55 saves during a 4-2 triumph over nationally ranked #1 Plattsburgh State on Feb. 13, 2016.

Goin, who is currently a member of the Connecticut Whale of the National Women’s Hockey League, was honored by the Utica Athletic Department with the Jim “Doc” Spartano Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete Award, which is an honor based around education, teamwork, leadership, loyalty, perseverance and sportsmanship.

A three-time ECAC West All-Academic Team selection (2015-17), she maintained a 3.80 GPA during her time in college, while also being named two-time ECAC West Honorable Mention (2016, 2017) and an All-Rookie Team honoree in 2013-14.

Goin graduated from Utica College with a BA in Public Relations and a concentration in Sports Communication in May 2017.

Prior to Utica College, she played for the Hotchkiss School from 2010-2013, as well as a pair of national-qualifying club teams: the Mid-Fairfield Connecticut Stars U19 Tier 1 (2011-2013) and Connecticut Polar Bears U16 Tier 1 (2010-11).  


 
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TORI WOLTER  

ADMINISTRATIVE, WEB, AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

We are pleased to announce Tori, a member of the NA Stars in 2015 who captured the Silver Medal at the Czech Hockey Challenge Cup (CHCC) and is presently a Junior Defenseman at Nichols College in Dudley, MA, will be joining Challenger Tours and the NA Stars.  Tori will be working as an Administrative Assistant intern responsible for Social Media and the NA Stars web site.  In addition, she will be coordinating the travel arrangements for the NA Stars and their families and guests and serve as a liaison in Prague for the NA Stars teams participating in 2017 at the CHCC.

Tori is majoring in Business Administration concentrating in Finance and International Business.  She’s on the Dean’s List at Nichols as well as a member of the New England Conference All Academic Team and Emerging Leaders Program.

She has won several Public Speaking Awards and was selected by Nichols College to be the Bicentennial Event Speaker.

ZOE BARBIER

EUROPEAN MANAGER

Zoë Barbier is a currently Dutch national women’s hockey player, born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She has been playing hockey since the age of eight, starting at the Dordrecht Lions where she transferred to Zoetermeer after two seasons. Barbier has been playing for the Zoetermeer Panthers most of her hockey career until the age of 18.

Barbier moved to Stockholm, Sweden to play for SDE in the SDHL from 2014-2016.

After her adventure in Sweden she moved back to the Netherlands to start a bachelor Sports Management study at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

Currently Barbier is playing in the second men’s division (1st Div) in the Netherlands at the hockey club where it all started for her, the Dordrecht Lions.

In 2009 she got selected for the Dutch National women’s team and at the age of 15 she played her first World Championship(D3) in New Castle, Australia. Where the Dutch Women’s National team won Gold and got up to div 2.

Barbier has been playing 6 World Championships (Div3, Div1B) and two Olympic Qualification tournaments with the Dutch National team.