The Long Beach Shredders are Exciting, Affordable, and Fun Family-Entertainment
By John Grossi
It’s year two for Long Beach’s only hockey team. If you never made it out to watch your Long Beach Shredders in their rookie season last year, put it atop the list for family entertainment this coming fall and winter.
The Long Beach Shredders is a junior hockey club (ages 16-20) in the USPHL Premiere League, filled with kids trying to make an upward path on their hockey journey during the final stages of youth. For the fan, what you see is fast-paced, high-level hockey play in an exciting league that takes on all the bells and whistles of a minor-league atmosphere.
Cheap beer, a rowdy mascot, fan entertainment, lots of chanting, and sweet merch. The Long Beach Shredders is an experience like no other around.
Bringing Hockey Home
Emerson Etem is the owner/general manager/ head coach for the Long Beach Shredders, and no one cares more about bringing a high-quality product to Long Beach hockey fans than Etem. A former first-round draft pick by the Anaheim Ducks, Etem played 5 seasons in the NHL before an injury forced his career to a halt. After his NHL career, Etem spent three seasons as head coach in the USPHL for teams in Montana and Minnesota where the hockey was great, but the location didn’t quite feel like home.
Emerson and wife Danette were both born and raised in Long Beach. They wanted to give their two young children that same opportunity to be raised in Long Beach but they could see the writing on the wall. With Etem’s coaching career, he would have to continue getting jobs in the hockey-centric northern half of the country unless he did something drastic. In 2020, the Etems poured their life savings into buying an USPHL club of their own then moved it into beautiful, sunny southern California. Specifically Long Beach, home sweet home!
The inaugural season was Etem’s fourth year coaching at this level, but his first year acting as owner and general manager. He was highly pleased, but not altogether shocked at the level of support with which Long Beach fans embraced the Shredders in his first year. He knows how well this city supports teams that are their own.
“From a business standpoint, it’s everything I expected and more —and just goes to show how great the Long Beach and Lakewood areas are as a whole.”
Timeless Memories for the Fans
Etem’s favorite moment of last year’s season involved a young fan with special needs named Sebastian, who was invited out to participate in the on-ice challenge in between periods. The game was to shoot a puck toward a series of different-sized nets. If you made the big net, you got a free Shredders hat. If you made the smallest goal, you won a full-season ticket pass to the 2022-2023 season. Sebastian, already a fan-favorite, took a rip and drained the puck in the smallest net, the only contestant to achieve that feat all season! The crowd erupted in applause and cheering, and stood to its feet as Sebastian celebrated on ice like the happiest person in the world.
That moment showed Etem everything his team was and could be. Hockey fans and sports enthusiasts will, of course, love the affordable, close-to-home entertainment of exciting hockey in an intimate setting. Beyond that, the Long Beach Shredders offer a place where the whole family comes out, kids get involved with both on-ice entertainment and off-ice games, and families and friends make sports memories that will last a lifetime without breaking the bank.
So gear up, dress warm, and head to a Long Beach Shredders game this fall. And don’t hesitate to sign up your little ones for a fun on-ice challenge during intermission… you never know, they might surprise you!