ROCHESTER HOCKEY ACADEMY
Founded by former NHL player Rory Fitzpatrick, Rochester Hockey Academy was started to help players of all ages develop and improve upon your current skills so that you may become a stronger, more confident player. The staff at RHA is made up of passionate instructors with extensive hockey experience who stay up to date on the most current and effective coaching/instructing techniques. RHA works with players of all ages and skill levels ranging from beginner to pro and is also a proud partner with Next Level Strength and Conditioning - Rochester's premier sports performance training facility!
We believe that talent is only a small component of what it takes to be successful. We know that it's what a player does beyond their regular games and practices that will make them stand out above the rest!
Because our coaches have an extensive hockey background and have been through the process already, we know that if you're not willing to put in the extra time and effort to gain an edge on the competition, someone else will leave you left behind! Our coaches know the value of hard work and the importance of having FUN! RHA promises to provide each player an opportunity to improve their game through positive coaching and a supportive learning environment.
Dave Leaderer-Director/Head Instructor
Dave is a native of Rochester, NY. Throughout his career, Dave has had the chance to play under some very well renowned junior, college, and pro coaches including Chris and Peter Masters (Boston Jr. Bruins – EJHL), Don “Toot” Cahoon (UMass Amherst), Red Gendron (UMaine), Rick Kowalsky (Albany Devils), and Lane Lambert (Washington Capitals).
Growing up Dave was selected to represent Team New York for the 15U, 16U, and 17U USA Hockey festival. From there, he moved to Hopkinton, MA to play for the Boston Jr Bruins full season Midget AAA team where he was named captain. The following season, Dave played for the Boston Jr Bruins (EJHL), helping them to the EJHL finals. As a defensemen with the Jr Bruins, Dave amassed 21 points in 37 games. While with the Jr Bruins, Dave earned a full scholarship to UMass Amherst where he played as a true freshman. During his career at Umass Amherst, Dave was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie team, Hockey East All-Academic team, and was named one of the team captains his senior year. In his 4 years at UMass, Dave registered 33 points and was a major contributor to UMass’s first ever NCAA appearance. After college, Dave went on to sign as a free agent with the Trenton Devils of the ECHL. As a pro, Dave played 3 seasons with the Trenton Devils and 1 season with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL totaling 114 points. Dave was able to get a couple of brief stints with the Albany Devils and Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL as well.
After his playing career, Dave helped coach the Connecticut Jr Wolkpack (1999) to the USA Nationals. His coaching and development that year led to a commitments to Divison I, III, Jr, and Prep Schools. Dave’s most recent coaching was with the U14 Rochester Monarchs leading them to the New York states. His promise is that each player will receive excellent training and hep them reach their top potential.
Rory Fitzpatrick: President
The Irondequoit, NY, native has played 15 seasons of professional hockey… In his career, he has played in 287 regular season games in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers… He has played in 430 AHL games and recorded 39 goals and 113 assists for teams in Rochester, Philadelphia, Hamilton, Worcester and Fredericton... Three times he has participated in the AHL All-Star Classic (1997, 1998 and 2009)… At the 1997 event, he won the hardest shot competition, firing the puck 92.4 miles per-hour... He was the captain of the PlanetUSA Team in 2009. Rory is married with one daughter and 3 sons. He played for Rochester Youth Hockey as a kid and is bringing his skill, passion for the game and knowledge back to his hometown to help take youth hockey in Rochester to a new level.
Dave Insalaco: Instructor (Summer Only)
Played 4 years at Brockport College.He is seventh all-time at SUNY Brockport in goals and 10th in points. Insalaco was an All-SUNYAC second team selection in 2000 and Chase Memorial Academic Athletic Scholarship winner.Insalaco began his coaching career in 2002-03 as a volunteer assistant at the State University College at Brockport. In 2003-04, he moved to SUNY Geneseo as an assistant coach. There, he worked under current RIT Associate Head Coach Brian Hills for two seasons. During Insalaco’s three seasons at SUNYGeneseo, the Ice Knights went 51-23-11 and earned two NCAA Division III Tournament berths. Current Asst Coach at RIT. Dave brings a level of passion and intensity to coaching and player development that is unmatched. His attention to detail and highly structured practice sessions will push players at any level to become their best.
Eric Sorenson: Director/Manager of RHA Goaltending
Eric grew up in Fairport, winning a sectional title in 2007 with the Red Raiders. That season he was also voted to the first All-Greater Rochester team, was voted First-team All-County, and was selected to the Bowman Cup Showcase, which the Rochester Seniors won for the first time. Following his high school career, Eric spent three years in the Syracuse Stars Junior organization, one on the Empire Jr. B team, and the final two seasons on their Jr. A EJHL team. From there, Eric progressed to the college level where he was a four year starter in net for the Western New England University Golden Bears (NCAA D-III, ECAC Northeast), located in Springfield, Massachusetts. At WNEU, Eric left the program as one of the most decorated goaltenders in school history, as he was a member of the most successful class of Golden Bears hockey players in over two decades, helping lead the program to their first winning season in 18 years. He also left with multiple records including most wins, and most saves in school history. He was also twice voted to the ECAC-NE All-Conference Second Team, a result of eleven goaltender of the week awards, and three All-Academic team awards. He graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor's in Sport Management. Eric has been coaching at a variety of goaltending camps for the last eight years, including working with NHL goaltending coaches Mitch Korn (WSH) and Mike Bales (PIT). He is currently the Director and Manager of RHA Goaltending and after spending the past year doing private lessons, he is excited to continue to give back to the Rochester hockey community. He also believes a combination of conventional and unconventional training techniques can help create the best enviroment to help improve a goaltender's abilities, while maintaining a fun and safe environment. In addition to his work with RHA Goaltending, Eric is an assistant coach at Nazareth College, where he works primarily with the goaltenders on a daily basis amongst his other duties.
Brian Kelly: Instructor
Brian played Varsity Hockey and Lacrosse at Pittsford High School. He was captain of St. John Fisher College Hockey Team and recipient of Thomas M. Nicohls Scholarship for Leadership. Brain is currently director of programming at Paul Louis Arena and is also an Instructor for Bob Janosz School of Goaltending.
Christain Vella: Instructor
Christian is a Hilton native playing for Hilton High his freshman year. Christian then went on to play 16U for Maksymum Hockey totalling 10g, 11a. From there, Christian advanced his career by moving out west to join the Dells Ducks of the MNJHL. Christian played there for 2 years totalling 44 points. For the 2015-15 season, Christian started off in the OJHLwith the Lindsay Muskies obtaining 2 points in 10 games. Christian then returned to his former team, Dells Ducks as they were now in the USPHL. Christian captained the team to the USPHL Jr 'A' Elite division championship winning it at all. Christian amassed 12g, 11a in 31 games. Christian is excited to develop our Rochester talent and teach them what he has learned on the ice in his successful carerr thus far.
Stephen Mallaro: Senior Instructor
Stephen is a Syracuse native. Stephen played 4 years at SUNY Oswego amassing 38 points in 68 games. A member of the 2010 SUNYAC Championship Hockey team at Oswego, Mallaro was an assistant captain for the Lakers during his senior year and a First-Team All-SUNYAC selection in 2010 and a Second-Team pick in 2011. He led the Oswego defensemen in scoring as a junior and again as a senior. After graduation, Mallaro played in the ECHL with the Elmira Jackals, the Trenton Titans and finished the 2011-12 season as a member of the Gwinnett Gladiators helping the team to a first place finish in the Southern Division of the ECHL and a second place finish in the Eastern Conference. After a brief stint as co-owner and lead instructor for the MR Hockey School, Mallaro moved on to Manhattanville College as an assistant coach as he completed work on a master’s degree in Sport Business Management from the school. He helped the Valiants to an ECAC West Conference Championship title game in 2012-13 and a semifinal appearance in 2013-14 Tournament. As the lead assistant coach for defense and special teams, Mallaro coached the ECAC West Co-Defensive Player of the Year and a Third-Team All-American. Stephen then joined the coaching staff at SUNY Brockport for the 2014-15 season where he is the assistant coach now.
Nick Gulo: Instructor
This will be Nick's second year working as an instructor with the Rochester Hockey Academy. Nick is currently finishing up his Freshman year at SUNY Brockport where he was able to play in 6 games registering 2 assists. Before SUNY Brockport, Nick played for the U18 Buffalo Jr Sabres in the Tier 1 Elite league and then also for the Junior Sabres Jr A team in the OJHL. From there, Nick took his talents to the New Jersey Jr Titans in the EHL. Nick's break out year was his last year of Juniors when he played for the Syracuse Jr Stars Jr A Elite team in the USPHL. Nick amassed 30 points in 41 games. Nick is excited to work with Rochester's young talent, helping them excel them game and get to the next level.