Mark's Story

Mark Soares is the Owner and lead instructor of Maxx Force Professional Hockey Development. He founded his company after retirement from professional hockey. Although unable to play at a high level anymore, his passion and love for the sport of hockey continues.  Hockey has led him down this path to help give back to young hockey athletes looking to achieve their goals through hockey, whether that be making the next rep minor hockey team to Junior A, University or further more to play professional hockey in the NHL or in Europe.

Mark has had a tremendous experience through hockey playing alongside many great players who currently play in the NHL and overseas in Europe. Hockey has opened many doors for him that most didn't think was possible. Thanks to the support and sacrifice of his parents, family, friends and of course all the coaches along the way to help guide him down the right path of hockey, he would not be where he is today. 

Hockey taught Mark many lessons along the way, all of which relate to the real world. Focus, hard work, determination, teamwork and friendship, and most importantly it taught him that anything is achievable if you just put your mind to it.

Mark who is  considered small in stature standing at 5'7" and 170lbs, against the odds with his size and constant reminder that maybe he was just too small to play at the high levels of hockey pushed though and proved at every level that his size did not matter.

 

"Its NOT the size of the dog in a fight, It is the size of the fight in the dog" a quote he stood by all these years of playing hockey got him to where most struggle to go.

Just turning the age of 16 he tried out for three different junior A hockey teams, two of which said he was too small and not ready. Slightly discouraged, but with no intention of giving up his last try out of the summer before the new season was with the Coquitlam Express. He gave his all and was determined to play Junior A. He was selected for rookie camp and went on to make main camp proving he belonged at that level and gave ownership and coaches no excuses for cutting him. The first two teams that Mark tried out for eventually admitted to him while they coached him for the BCHL All Star Game held in Victoria, BC that they never should have cut him and had regretted their decision after seeing his success with the Express. 

Mark Soares at the age of 16, known for his speed, no fear grit and quick release shot started out with the Express at just 5'4" 140lbs and there he played for 5 years for the same organization leading the team to a National RBC Canadian Championship in 2006 with the Burnaby Express. Mark was given the honor of having his jersey retired with the Express and goes down in team history with most games played and a record of most points scored for the organization. A record that still holds today. As a Burnaby boy this was a proud moment for him and his family.  

Mark eventually was awarded a hockey scholarship where he played his next 4 years of hockey with Lakehead University Thunderwolves in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Again Mark set a new record for most consecutive goals scored in one game at the CIS University level. During his time there he earned awards such as male athlete of the year, freshman of the year and 1st and second all star recognition.

Mark Graduated from Lakehead University with a Business Degree in 2010 and has always felt very fortunate that the love of the game presented this opportunity to receive an education. The summer of graduation he trained for a hockey season like he had done every other year but this time had no idea what lay ahead.

A short time later he received a call for the opportunity he was looking for. His hard work had paid off and he was given the opportunity to play professionally for the ESV Kaufbeuren, in the second league in Germany. There he played two seasons before receiving the contract he was looking for to play for the Kassel Huskies in Germany. Three games in he unfortunately suffered a knee injury that would end his season and possibly career. One year, two surgeries later and intense rehab and training, Mark returned to hockey just in time for a new season. This time for a 1st division team in he Netherlands. Mark eventually returned to Germany and due to his knee issues finished out his career with Weiden Blue Devils in the Oberliga.

Mark's passion for hockey has led him to now turn the tables and rather work for himself, he puts his efforts towards giving young hockey players the skills and knowledge they need to eventually fulfill their passion in hockey like he did.

 

Mark says  "If not for my parents, family and coaches support over years I don't think I would be where I am today. They gave me the tools and the knowledge to succeed. I'm here now and started my own hockey development company because not only is it my passion but its the opportunity of lifetime. An opportunity to give back to hockey, to give young athletes the chance to experience what I experienced through proper skill development and training. The road is truly life changing and bumpy, lots of ups, downs, and disappointments but when you finally get where you've wanted to be it makes it all worth while. It's a feeling you carry forever and to me it has become my motivation. What I did with hockey is what I plan on doing with this company take it straight to the top at the upmost professional level."