BRAINERD | JUNE 12-15th 2023
DETROIT LAKES | AUGUST 7-10th 2023
MEET THE STAFF
Our goal is to bring local and world class coaches to the best place on Earth, the Brainerd Lakes Area. Our coaches bring a tremendous amount of knowledge, expertise and commitment to each training session and offer the best possible training conditions for our athletes. Fostering high levels of professionalism, energy, motivation, their wide-range of playing and coaching experience helps them both connect with the kids and become role models.
Gaven Bickford is currently in his second season with the Madison Capitols in the USHL. Here, he is the Assistant General Manager and Associate Head Coach. Before the Capitols, Gaven had a three year tenure with the Minnesota Magicians. After two seasons as the Magicians' Assistant Coach, Bickford was promoted to General Manager and Director of Scouting with the Magicians during the 2020-21 season. Bickford has overseen over 100 division one commitments and six NHL Draft picks.
Throughout the years, Gaven has developed a passion for all levels of hockey and gives back through coaching. He has directed and counseled numerous hockey camps around the Midwest. Gaven is from Crosslake, Minnesota where he played his youth and High School hockey for the Northern Lakes Lightning.
"I coach because I love the game and love helping kids reach their goals whether that's making their top youth team, the varsity team, playing juniors or even college hockey, I want to mentor and advocate for them through the process"
Bickford played his youth and High School hockey for the Northern Lakes Lightning. After High School, Gaven attended Siena College in Albany, New York, where he earned a degree in Marketing and was a member of the Club Hockey Team (ACHA).
The native of Crosslake, Minnesota currently resides in Madison, WI with his wife, Emily and chocolate lab Penny.
The last few seasons Emily has coached for various associations and programs across the Twin Cities, throughout MN and now in Madison,WI; where she relocated when (now husband!) Gaven took his job with the USHL team.
Emily has gained a real following with players of all ages and skill as a skill development coach, she offers weekly skills sessions and private lessons. Formally, she was the Head Coach for Gentry Academy and MAP South high school tier director. She has worked for Minneapolis and Blaine youth hockey associations as both a coach and girls hockey coordinator + mentor. She continues to stay involved with the MN district Tier One Spring and Fall programs, CCM High Performance coaching and evaluations, USA Hockey Clinics, WHAM (Women's Hockey Association of Minnesota) and many AAA summer teams.
"I consider my coaching style as very competitive, yet holistic. I coach to build up young, resilient players to find successes in their athletics but also in their academics, relationship and futures. She adds "The Northerner hockey camp was always a dream of mine, summer hockey should include a lot of skill development but be FUN!"
- Emily Erickson
Growing up in northern Minnesota (Crosslake, MN) her youth hockey was played at the Breezy Point Ice Arena, in junior high she played for her high school hockey team formerly known as the Pequot Lakes Patriots (now, Northern Lakes Lighting) before transferring to a hockey prep school in Stowe, VT (NAHA- North American Hockey Academy). From there she would go on to play D1 hockey and D3 golf for Union College (ECAC) in Schenectady, NY.
Emily graduated from Union College in 2017 with a double major in Economics and Entrepreneurship and currently works for an international commercial real estate company. She very much looks forward to the camp week every summer, when she can give back to all of the aspiring hockey players in the BLA and throughout MN youth hockey organizations!