The Buffalo Jr. Sabres Academy at St. Mary’s High School

For more information and to begin the application process, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Excellence in Academics & on the Ice

This program brings elite youth hockey players from around the world, including right here in Western New York, to live and learn at St. Mary’s High School while competing at the highest level of boys’ hockey in the country.

The Buffalo Jr. Sabres Academy at St. Mary’s High School provides young men with an incredible opportunity to receive the highest-level private school education possible and optimize the potential to achieve their goals of becoming professional hockey players. St. Mary’s utilizes a collegiate-like setting and includes countless opportunities for development of the person, student, and hockey player. Founded in 1904, St. Mary’s has a rich tradition as one of the oldest private high schools in the country. Ranked seventh academically out of 134 high schools in Buffalo Business First’s rankings, St. Mary’s offers the premier co-ed college-preparatory experience in Western New York.

This program is unique in its market. Graduates of the academy receive the academic background to advance to top-tier colleges and universities, while also receiving world-class training to maximize each student athlete’s individual potential. This full season program focuses on collegiate academic and athletic exposure along with player development.

These young men are also still able to participate in all the activities high school life has to offer, including other high school sports, clubs, dances, mission trips, spirit weeks, honor societies, class trips, and more!

As part of the living and learning experience offered through this partnership, any young man who wishes to be a part of the program but lives outside of Lancaster, NY will become part of a billet family. These families will provide all of the basics for our student athletes and foster an environment of support so they will succeed on the ice and in the classroom.

St. Mary’s High School Academic Schedule*

7:50-8:00 am Homeroom
Period 1 English
Period 2 Math
Period 3 Science
Period 4 Religion
Period 5 Social Studies
Period 6 Lunch
Period 7 Foreign Language

Buffalo Jr. Sabres Academy of Hockey Schedule

1 pm Depart from SMHS
1:30-2:30 pm Off-Ice Impact Sports Performance
2:45-3:50 pm On-Ice Buffalo Jr. Sabres Academy of Hockey
4-5 pm Study Hall – Lecom HarborCenter Theatre/Meeting Room






*Sample schedule; subject to change

Buffalo Jr. Sabres Academy of Hockey

This Buffalo Jr. Sabres Academy of Hockey Program will specialize in small group training, customizing sessions to the group’s needs. A focus will be placed on both the offensive and defensive aspects of the game. Individual instruction in skills along with a gameplay atmosphere will be provided, which will allow the players to take the instruction and translate it into gameplay. This is a tremendous opportunity for small group training that is not normally offered.

  • Tim Kennedy
    • Buffalo Jr. Sabres Academy of Hockey Director. Retired 10-year professional hockey player (NHL, AHL, KHL). Played for Buffalo, Florida, San Jose, and Phoenix in the NHL, along with Jokerit in the KHL. Prior to turning professional, attended Michigan State University, winning the 2006-07 Men’s Division I National Championship. Drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 2005 NHL Draft, while playing for the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL.
  • Nick Tuzzolino
    • Retired professional hockey player with 500+ games of experience in the ECHL/AHL. Prior to that, played in the Ontario Hockey League and then drafted to the NHL by the New York Islanders. Currently, specializes in Hockey Development at the Buffalo Jr. Sabres Academy of Hockey, working along youth and professional players. Focuses on the defensive sides of the game, including footwork, the ability to be offensive, and teaching habits of defending. Head Coach and General Manager of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres Jr. A Team in the Ontario Junior Hockey League for the past 3 years.

Impact Sports Performance

Impact Sports Performance has partnered with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres Academy of Hockey and St. Mary’s High School to create an exclusive Athletic Development Program:

      • Individualized assessment/programming & more specialized semi-private training model
      • Strong focus on speed/power development & education on long-term athletic development
      • Access to a new recovery room with lounge chairs, hyperice modalities, & Normatec
      • Direct integration with UBMD Orthopedics & Sports Medicine services, similar to professional athletes
  • Kevin Phengthavone, MS, CSCS, CSAC
    • Head Strength Coach for Canisius Men’s Hockey, Buffalo Junior Sabres, and the Buffalo Bandits. Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from University at Buffalo. College Lacrosse Athlete. Advanced certifications in Strength & Conditioning, Speed & Agility. Training with UB Bulls, Buffalo Sabres, and Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training (IFAST). Previous Strength Coach for Buffalo State Hockey. Resides in Hamburg with his wife and daughter.
  • Brian DeLuca, PT, MBA, CSCS, CAFS
    • Director of Impact Sports Performance & Physical Therapy for UBMD Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.  Honors Graduate of University at Buffalo Physical Therapy and Executive MBA programs. College Soccer Athlete and current Triathlete. Advanced certifications in Strength & Conditioning & Applied Functional Science. 20+ years of experience working with youth, college and pro athletes.  Resides in Amherst with his wife and three kids.

St. Mary’s High School Leadership

  • Kevin Kelleher ’89 – Head of School
    • Bachelor’s Degree in History from St. Bonaventure University, followed by a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University at Buffalo Law School. Moved on to work for the Atlantic 10 Conference in Philadelphia, serving as the Assistant Director of Championships and Compliance. Worked for a sports event management firm known as the Gazelle Group, where he was the Director of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic held annually at Madison Square Garden. In 1993, became the founder of the Chris Wanat Memorial Foundation and has given over $250,000 to the Lancaster/Depew community.
    • In the summer of 2000, returned to St. Mary’s High School as Athletic Director and Enrollment Director for six years. Served as Coach of the Boys Varsity Basketball Team, bringing home the first-ever state championship.
    • In 2006, became one of the owners of Integrity Distribution and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ADPRO Sports.
    • In January 2014, became Vice President of St. Mary’s High School and Head of School in 2016.

The Application Process

  1. Fill out this general information form – Click here.
  2. Download and complete all of the registration paperwork electronically here. Please email the completed packet to Andrea Drabik, Dena of Student Life & Admissions at – Download the forms here.
  3. ?????????????