In Like Flynn
6’3,” 215 lb. RW Ryan Flynn of the U.S. Under-18 Team has committed to the University of Minnesota.
A Lino Lakes, Minn. native, Flynn played for Centennial HS before heading to Ann Arbor a year ago, was also recruited by Boston College, Harvard, and Wisconsin.
Flynn’s game is a combination of power and finesse. He’s still a little bit raw, but as he gets smoother he could be quite a force. He and teammate-to-be Kyle Okposo played on a line together at the Select 17 Festival in St. Cloud this summer and were virtually unstoppable.
Flynn made his official visit to the U on Tuesday.
6’2” goaltender Marc Cheverie, who was the MVP of the Sask Midget AAA League last season while playing for the Notre Dame Hounds, and is now playing for Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL), has narrowed his college choices down to Cornell, North Dakota, Denver, and Michigan State, with others trying to get into the picture as well. Cheverie, a Halifax, Nova Scotia native, has a 2.31 gaa and a .922 save percentage in five games with the Clippers. He’s the younger brother of Evan Cheverie, a forward at Miami-Ohio from 1998-2002 and now with the Long Beach Ice Dogs (ECHL).
Cushing senior goalie Richard Bachman, who along with current UMass freshman Jon Quick, were head and shoulders above all other New England prep goalies last season, has Cornell, Boston College, Colorado College, and Harvard on his short list.
Former Northwood, University of Wisconsin, and New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter, who is completing his undergraduate degree at Yale this year, will be a volunteer goalie coach for the Eli who, truth be told, had difficulties in goal last season.
Notes From Around
The schools in the picture for 5’10”, 160 lb. US Under-18 Team forward Pat Kane, the leading scorer of last year’s Under-17 Team, are BU, Michigan, Michigan State, and Miami. Kane, a Buffalo, NY native who’s been a leading scorer at every level he’s played at, is only a junior in high school, and will likely play in the USHL next year. He was the first player taken in the USHL Futures draft earlier this month, by the Omaha Lancers.
-- Union College defenseman Phil McDavitt will not be playing hockey at Union this season, though he will be staying at the school for the academic year, and hopes to transfer to a NESCAC school for next season. “It was his decision,” said Union coach Nate Leaman. “He said he didn’t like worrying every night about whether he’d be in the lineup or not. He’s a phenomenal kid. Whatever Div. III program gets him is going to be extremely lucky.”
-- Mike Vaskivuo, the leading scorer at the Westminster School last year, gave it a shot with the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL), but to no avail. Instead, he’ll be taking a PG year at the South Kent School, which was his fallback position.
-- Matt Lindsay, former Deerfield Academy and Williams College forward, and the son of former Deerfield coach Jim Lindsay, is moving up the coaching ladder himself. He’llbe a volunteer assistant at Colorado College this season. Lindsay worked for the last two years as an assistant for Mark Taylor at Hobart College. Taylor was an assistant at UMass-Lowell with current CC assistant Norm Bazin. Philippe Roy, a defenseman at Clarkson from 1996-2000, takes Lindsay’s position at Hobart. Roy, a St. Leonard, Quebec native, retired from pro hockey after playing last season in France.
‘90s Shine at Junior Bruins Shootout
One of the bright lights of last weekend’s Boston Junior Bruins shootout was 14-year-old forward Sean Logue of the GBL Bruins who, by the way, did not play in the Saturday night fiasco. Logue, whose father Ed, was an offensive lineman at Boston College, was born in Waltham, Mass. but grew up in Maryland and Missouri, played on the St. Louis 16-and-Under squad coached by Basil McRae and featuring superb forward Phillip McRae, who is now with the U.S. Under-17 team as an underager.
Logue, who’s already 5’11”, 175 lbs., has moved back to Massachusetts. A November 1990 birthdate who’s only in the 9th grade, Logue will be playing for Xaverian High School this season. A smooth skater with size, quickness, hands, and exceptional poise, Logue is good enough to play in the USHL next year, or join his former teammate in Ann Arbor. Logue was unable to play in the Select 15 Festival over the summer due to a wrist injury.
-- Another ’90 forward who stood out at the Junior Bruins Shootout was 6’0”, 152 lb. RC Max Cook of the Chicago Mission. Excellent hands. Great passer. Great vision. Very, very skilled. Cook is right up there with Logue.
-- 5’7”, 150 lb. LD David Warsofsky of the GBL Bruins – he didn’t play in the Saturday night fiasco either -- was another excellent ’90 on hand. A great skater, he can go with the puck. Warsofsky, who’ll be going to Cushing this season, is in the mold of former Boston College defenseman Marty Hughes, though perhaps faster than Hughes was at the same age.
Unlike Logue, Cook and Warsofsky were seen at the Select 15 Festival.
-- 5’11” forward Mike Cichy, of New Hartford, Conn. and the Boston Junior Bruins (Empire Jr. B) squad, another outstanding ’90, and one of the top forwards at this past summer’s Select 15 Festival, has the attention of Notre Dame, Michigan State, UNH, Boston College, and others.
-- Twelve of the 14 EJHL teams were on hand. Only the New England Falcons and New England Huskies were not at the tournament. It’s still early, but of the teams participating, it looks like the Junior Bruins and Monarchs will fight it out for the top again. The expansion Syracuse Stars, will struggle, as their two best prospects, 5’11” forward Kevin McCarey and 6’3” LD Kevin O’Neill are also both ‘90s, and it’s tough to win in the EJHL when your best players are both only 15 year old. The Cap District Selects will struggle, too. This could be the weakest team coach Jim Salfi has ever had. There are also very few players on the team from the greater Albany area, which we hope is just a hiccup, and not indicative of the future of hockey in the Capital District.
Coach Darren Turcotte, whose Southern Ice Lightning Midget AAA squad, based in Nashville, Tenn., was forced to close on September 20 (see USHR News, Sept. 21), says he’s managed to place his players in other programs he feels comfortable with.
“I’m happy everyone is getting hooked up somewhere,” Turcotte said. “As for myself, I have to get a few financial things cleared up and then move on.
Turcotte’s squad has spread out across the country in a kind of hockey diaspora. Among the destinations are Grand Rapids, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; Marquette, Michigan; San Jose, California; and Amsterdam, Holland.
A few kids remain undecided about where to go next.
Elite Midget Programs Reportedly Fix Game
The GBL Bruins and the Mid-Fairfield Blues midget AAA programs are alleged to have thrown a game late Saturday night at the Boston Junior Bruins Shootout in Marlborough, Mass. According to reports, the two coaches, John Flaherty of the GBL (Greater Boston League) Bruins, and Chris Kiene of the Mid-Fairfield Blues, prearranged a tie in their round-robin finale, thus enabling both teams to advance to Sunday’s playoff round.
An angry Peter Masters, the tournament director, pulled his team, the Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL) -- representing an entirely different organization than the GBL Bruins -- from Sunday’s playoff game, and, even though his squad had legitimately qualified with a 3-0-0 record, gave their spot to the Portland Junior Pirates (AJHL), who had waited around since early Saturday afternoon in order to find out their fate for Sunday – only to see two teams tank a game in order to box them out.
Eyewitnesses report that it was clear from the opening faceoff that the fix was in. During the game, shortened to 25 minutes because of the late hour, Masters went down to the benches on two separate occasions and confronted both Flaherty and Kiene.
“The two teams went on the ice, and right from the beginning you could tell something was up,” Masters said. “Kids were laughing and joking around. In warm-ups they were shooting it into the corner.”
“When the game started, they weren’t hitting. They weren’t skating hard.”
Masters, who an eyewitness described as ‘fuming,’ went down to the benches in the early minutes of play and told Flaherty and Kiene, individually, to tell the kids to play.The coaches, he said, essentially replied, ‘They are playing. What are you talking about?’”
“I knew they had fixed it,” Masters said.
About eight minutes into the game, Masters, having seen such sights as BC recruit Joe Whitney, normally an offensive dynamo, dump the puck into the corner on a 3-on-2, went down to the benches again. This time the tournament host spoke to the two coaches together in the walkway.
“I asked them to tell their teams to give us 17 minutes of effort.”
However, the game continued as before. With a batch of legitimate Div. I college prospects on the two teams’ rosters, a number of college coaches had stayed until late to see the game. Some left early, and some stayed to the end, but all left angry and disillusioned.
One coach told USHR that, “It was obvious right from the first shift that something was up. The laughing and joking around. The lack of hitting. Each team had perhaps two ‘shots’ on goal. Both teams continually got it to the red line and just dumped it in. Kids on partial breakaways were missing the net by wide margins… I’ve never seen anything like this -- ever. It was terrible, an insult to the game.”
“I won’t recruit any player that played in that game,” he added. “They laid down. These were kids I was literally waiting to watch. I stayed at the rink until 11 pm and they tanked it. They threw the game. It was stunning.”
A scout who watched the game described it as looking like “a bad high school practice -- where the players didn’t want to be there.”
“There were,” he added, “probably less than five checks in the whole 25 minutes. No skating. No play down low. No penalties. Nothing. It was an absolute joke.”
It was roughly ten minutes into the game before a shot reached either of the goalies. Then the GBL Bruins’ Ryan Driscoll put one on net that went in. Later, things were evened up when a Mid-Fairfield player walked through GBL defenseman Chris Huxley and shot it into the middle of the net, beating Richard Bachman.
“Driscoll’s goal," the scout said, "was on a shot that appeared to surprise (Mid-Fairfield goalie) Randy Wolcott. I truly believe the game was designed to end up 0-0. At any rate, Mid-Fairfield now had to score to even it up -- and the second goal was very suspect. After it went in, and made it 1-1, no pucks went anywhere near either net. It was like the teams were terrified of making it a 2-1 game -- and then having to score yet again.”
It didn’t happen. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.
The Portland coaches, Sean O’Brien and Jay Pecora, and many of the Portland players were in the stands, and angrily mocking the play on the ice. They had waited around since early afternoon, and kept their hotel rooms only to see their team eliminated by means of a bogus game.
“Obviously, they were very upset,” Masters said. “I apologized to them and told them they could have the Junior Bruins spot even though we were 3-0. It wasn’t fair to Portland,” Masters said, adding, “of course it wasn’t fair to our guys, either. I had to make a lot of decisions quickly.”
Masters didn’t kick the two teams out of the tournament because it would have messed up the brackets and caused the cancellation of games involving other teams that had legitimately made it to the playoffs.
“All of this happened at 11:15 Saturday night,” Masters said. “I couldn’t have come up with two outside teams to plug into the playoffs on such short notice. The whole thing turned what had been a great weekend into something else, something I’ve never seen before.”
Several players, confronted afterward, reportedly admitted to laying down. One player, told that he had just cheated a team to get in, told a scout, “I just did what I was told.” Another said, “I shouldn’t have done it, but it was the first time I played with the team, so I just went along with it.”
The GBL Bruins had numerous players from Cushing, Nobles, Berkshire, and Thayer.
Mid-Fairfield had a batch of Avon and Choate players.
While it would have been nice to see at least one player stand up and walk out in a situation like this, not one did. The vast majority came back the next day, too. Eyewitnesses report that parents watched the game quietly, and did not confront the coaches either. It is, of course, unknown how many – if any -- confronted their children.
“It starts with the coaches,” one eyewitness said. “But they weren’t the only grownups in the building. The parents were cowed.”
These are two organizations with a record of success, and the game could have been a really good showcase, albeit in front of a small crowd, if the two teams had gone at it hard. The GBL Bruins, with Chris Bourque, Keith Yandle, Danny McGoff, Steve Smolinsky et al, beat Shattuck to win the Midget Nationals in 2004. The Mid-Fairfield Blues team at Marlborough over the weekend featured the core players from the Mid-Fairfield team Kiene coached to the Tier I 16-and-Under national title in April in Bensenville, Ill.
Kiene, a 6’5” former Merrimack college defenseman who played in the AHL, was an assistant at UConn, founded the Connecticut Whalers Jr. B program, and was one of two finalists for the Merrimack College job this past summer.
John Flaherty is an assistant coach at Boston College High School, where he also coaches the freshman team.
Flaherty hasn’t yet returned phone calls from USHR.
Eyewitnesses report that GBL Bruins GM Pat Bohan was also behind the bench during Saturday night’s game.
Kiene was reportedly alone behind the Mid-Fairfield bench.
Kiene has not returned a phone call from USHR.
The following day, ironically, Mid-Fairfield had to back out of the semis as goaltender Randy Wolcott was reported to be suffering from back spasms. GBL wound up winning the whole tournament, crossing over to beat the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) and the Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL). With something on the line, GBL played hard. Whitney was phenomenal, playing with a lot of energy. He scored the shorthanded goal that beat the Valley Warriors, 2-1. His two linemates, D.J. Fimiani and Driscoll, were also excellent. Bachman was terrific in net.
The win, though, will always be tainted.
As one scout said, “It was like the Black Sox. No athletic integrity whatsoever.”
Petrecki to BC
6'3", 204 lb. LD Nick Petrecki of the Omaha Lancers (USHL) has committed to Boston College for '07. While not exactly a surprise it's still welcome news for Eagle fandom.
Petrecki, a native of Clifton Park, NY, just north of Albany -- and south of beautiful Saratoga Race Track -- is one of the elite '89 birthdates, with the potential to be a first round NHL draft pick in a couple of years.
This May, Petrecki was a first-round draft pick of the Plymouth Whalers (OHL). He was also invited to join the U.S. National Team Development Program. He turned both down for the chance to play for Mike Hastings' Omaha Lancers.
Petrecki played last season for the Capitol District Selects (EJHL), coached by Jim Salfi. The year before that he played for Capitol District's midget team.
Where Will They Wind Up?
Here are a bunch of the top prospects and the schools showing interest. To varying degrees, interest – from both sides – is constantly shifting, and often depends on how schools are progressing with other prospects. Nonetheless, this should give you a good idea where these players may end up.
-- Sioux City Musketeers center Phil DeSimone is getting interest from BU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Vermont.
-- Omaha Lancers center Brett Bruneteau is getting attention from CC, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, BC, UNH, and Ohio State.
-- The frontrunners for US Under-17 defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk are BU and Michigan.
-- Colorado College still appears to be the frontrunner for Tony Lucia. Notre Dame and UNH are in there, too. Minnesota is being mentioned, too, so there is at least some chance that he could wind up playing for his dad.
-- Young Sioux City center Sam Gagner has visited BU as well as BC, but we’re hearing that the Eagles, along with Wisconsin, are the frontrunners. Minnesota is reportedly in the mix, too.
-- U.S. Under-17 Team forward James Van Riemsdyk is getting heavy interest from BC, Michigan, BU, UNH, and Notre Dame. He’s a good student and the Ivies are pleading their case, too.
-- Cedar Rapids defenseman Kevin Wehrs has interest from UNH, Minnesota-Duluth, and St. Cloud State.
-- The frontrunner for Omaha Lancers defenseman Nick Petrecki appears to be BC.
-- Chicago Steel defenseman Dan Lawson is getting attention from a slew ofIvies – and Ohio State, where his parents attended school.
We’ll have more of these as soon as word reaches our ears.
The Southern Ice Lightning Midget AAA squad has disbanded in the wake of the firing of head coach Darren Turcotte, a 12-year NHL veteran who founded the Midget AAA squad after finishing up his pro career with the Nashville Predators.
Turcotte, in addition to serving as coach of the midget squad, was the general manager of the Southern Ice Arena in Franklin, Tennessee. The rink was purchased by a new owner, Scott Fish, in March of this year.
Fish fired Turcotte from his position as rink manager as well.
Reportedly, the players stood behind Turcotte, so Fish told them to pack their bags, and shut down the program.
“He told me I was a good coach,” Turcotte said, “but I wasn’t teaching them ‘life skills.’”
Right now, Turcotte is making calls to his peers trying to place his players, not an easy task given that the season has already begun. And not an easy task given the fact that there is no comparable program in the whole state of Tennessee, and well beyond, for that matter. Players will have to move, or play at a level below their abilities.
“The kids are an emotional wreck, “ said Turcotte. “That’s fully understandable. I am, too.”
The Southern Ice Lightning were scheduled to play a number of tournaments, such as the Marquette Electricians Tournament, the Sudbury Tournament, the Team Illinois Thanksgiving Tournament, and the Ann Arbor Tournament.
Turcotte, who played for the NY Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, and the Nashville Predators, started the Southern Ice Lightning program in 2002-03.
In addition to coaching his midget squad, Turcotte has helped out with USA Hockey, and was an assistant on the Roger Grillo-coached 2004 Under-18 Select Team that went overseas that August.
Fish, who did not return a call seeking comment, has taken over the running of the Southern Ice Arena.
Buc Bowl Review
This year’s Buc Bowl, the 16th annual, held over the weekend in Des Moines, offered up some high-paced games, and some tight contests. As usual, it was extremely well-attended, with – we assume -- every Div. I school in attendance, and many schools rotating all three coaches through (NCAA rules only permit two at a time). In addition, NHL Central Scouting and just about all NHL teams were on hand.
From an NHL point of view, at least as far as next June’s draft is concerned, there are fewer high-end kids in the USHL this season than in past years. Right now, it looks like Des Moines forward Kyle Okposo and Green Bay defenseman Eric Gryba are the league’s top draft-eligible ‘88s. Both are projected to go by the third round.
As for colleges, there were, as always, a lot of players to look over, not just for next season, but, since the league has a lot of young, high-skilled kids, for future seasons.
There were roughly 275 players here, ranging from 20-year-old vets with several years of USHL experience to 15 and 16 years olds making the big leap. Needless to say, there is a lot to keep in mind when watching these games, and with two games usually going on at once, it’s hard, try as one might, to see everything.
Here is an early look at the teams, and who played well over the weekend. Bear in mind that one weekend is a tiny sliver of the season, and a lot can, and will, change. Nonetheless, while we expect the players we mentioned below to continue to play well, there will be others that emerge over the course of the next six months.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders:
Roughly two-thirds of the RoughRiders squad that won the Clark Cup last spring is gone. But a couple key players are back, including 6’1” center Ted Purcell, a Newfoundlander who turned 20 last week. A Maine recruit for ‘06, Purcell could step in and be an impact freshman at any college in the country right now. He’s smart, strong, patient, and may be the best forward in the league right now. The other key for Cedar Rapids is goaltender Alex Stalock, a Minnesota-Duluth recruit and San Jose Sharks 4th round pick. Stalock was very sharp here.
On Friday, the tournament’s second day, 6’4”, 198 lb. defenseman named Siarhei Kolasau -- who could skate, move the puck with ease, and hit hard – appeared on the RoughRiders blue line. A 5/22/86 birthdate, Kolasau is from Minsk, Belarus. He was a 2004 second round pick of Prince George in the CHL import draft. In 2004 he was also a fifth round selection of the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL draft. Last winter, Kolasau played in his native country, and was on the Belarus World Junior Team. As far as anyone can tell, his amateur status is intact. However, he does not speak English. He couldn’t go to the CHL due to the fact that Prince George dropped him from their list when he didn’t sign on a year ago. Until last week he was at the Red Wings rookie camp, after which the club’s front office decided the USHL would be a good place for him to develop. At any rate, Cedar Rapids head coach/GM Mark Carlson has himself a player.
While Purcell, Kolasau, and Stalock are key players, another deserving mention is late ’87 RW Jacob Cepis, a Bowling Green recruit who’s 5’7”, 150 lbs., quick, elusive, and hard-nosed.
The best uncommitted forwards, in our opinion, were the two ‘88s -- 5’8” LW Andy Miele, who played for Little Caesar’s Midgets last season; and 6’1” RW Ian Slater, who played for the Madison Capitols. Both Miele and Slater picked up a pair of goals in Thursday’s game vs. Helsinki IFK.
The best uncommitted player on the whole team was ’88 LD Kevin Wehrs, ex of Wayzata HS. Wehrs is a smooth skater who can carry the puck and make intelligent plays.
It could be a long season for the Steel and first-year head coach/GM Chris Imes. The Steel competed here, but just lack depth.
Up front, the best player for our money was ’88 centerman Brian Keane, a UMass recruit who played for the Rochester Jr. Americans last season. Keane, who’s 5’11”, 165 lbs., works extremely hard in all three zones.
Of the uncommitted forwards on the Steel, 5’9” LW Dan Kissel, a veteran of last year’s team, stood out the most.
The blue line is the Steel’s strongest area. The most-scrutinized player on the blue line was 6’3”, 225 lb. RD Dan Lawson, an ’88 who played midgets with the Chicago Chill last season. Lawson needs to move his feet quicker -- and do everything quicker – but he has a lot of upside, and is hands-down the team’s best uncommitted player. The team’s other top uncommitted player is 6’2” defenseman Ian Tallet, an ’87 who played midget AAA in St. Louis last winter and was the Steel’s top draft pick last spring.
Goaltending, the team’s strength last season with Shane Connelly and Billy Sauer, is a question mark this time around.
The #1 looks to be Shaun Williams, ex of the Springfield Spirit (NAHL), who was very sharp in kicking out 32 of 35 vs. Des Moines. The other candidates are Bobby Jarosz, an ’87 who played for the Cleveland Barons (NAHL) last season, and Wyatt Russell, an ’86 who is the son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. Russell, released by his BCHL team last week, struggled here.
By the way, Chicago has a Bryn Mawr, PA native named Chris Brennan in their lineup. A left wing, Brennan, an ’86, played club hockey at the University of Rhode Island last season, and was drafted by the Steel in the spring draft. Brennan didn’t exactly stand out, but he worked hard and competed.
Des Moines Buccaneers:
Buccaneers head coach/GM Regg Simon has put together a much stronger team than last year’s, significantly better up front and in goal, but about the same on the blue line.
University of Minnesota recruit Kyle Okposo played the weekend at center, though he’ll likely go back to wing in college. An ’88, Okposo is a bull, a force of nature who plays like his hair is on fire. Tremendous power, strength and shot. On Saturday, he scored on a shot that would have beaten any goalie at any level. Okposo is learning, though, that at this level it’s a little harder to plow through guys than it was at Shattuck.
An uncommitted player who put himself on the map in a big way was 6’1” RC Trevor Lewis, who was consistently noticeable every single shift, particularly in Thursday night’s game. Lewis, a second-year USHL player from Murray, Utah and the Pike’s Peak Miners Midget Program, skates hard, makes things happen, and thinks the game well.
Three other top uncommitted players are ’86 LW Alex Laseen, an ’86 from Redondo Beach, CA who is 6’0” and has good hands; ’86 LW Rich Purslow, ex of Apple Core, who showed a lot of skill and smarts, but needs to get a little stronger and more dynamic to reach his true potential; and RWAaron Palushaj, ex of Honeybaked Midget minor and the team’s only ’89. Palushaj, who is 6’0”, 175 lbs. plays within himself and looks like a veteran at times. He’s not flashy, just an honest hard-working wing.
LW Colin Vock is also uncommitted. He’ll be 20 in a couple months. As a USHL veteran, he’ll be counted on to put up points. He could be a solid role player at the Div. I level.
UNH recruit Brian Foster, who played for the NH Monarchs (EJHL) last season and was a fifth round pick of the Florida Panthers in July’s draft, was, for our money, the top goalie of the tournament.
Green Bay Gamblers:
The Gamblers, like Des Moines, are a much-improved team. It’s just night and day compared to last year. Head coach/GM Mark Mazzoleni and his staff have a solid group of players, a good blend.
Up front, the key player is LW Kevin Deeth, Notre Dame’s5’7” recruit. Deeth, ex of Shattuck-St. Mary’s, is lightning quick and difficult to defend against. On the right side is erstwhile Avon Old Farms RW Sean Backman, a Yale recruit who was on fire all weekend, buzzing around and generating a lot of offense.
Green Bay was closely watched by college recruiters, as the Gamblers have a batch of top uncommitted players.
Upfront, we’ll start with 5’8” RC Steve Silva, an ’87 out of Tabor Academy who is skilled with the puck and has good wheels. Then there’s 6’5”, 203 lb. LW John Mitchell, a power forward with a huge upside. Mitchell has a nice shot, burying a couple against the Chicago Steel. We didn’t see much of 6’2”, 204 lb. LC Greg Beller, a sixth round pick of the NY Rangers out of Lake of the Woods HS. Beller broke his collarone in the second period of Thursday’s game and will be out approximately eight weeks, but we saw enough to know that he’ll be a player who gets a lot of college attention.
Also uncommitted is LW Sergei Somma, an ’87 who played last season for the Cap District Selects (EJHL). He’s not a pretty skater, but he’s quietly effective. 5’9” LC Bryan Roloff, a worker type, could get some attention.
We didn’t see former Westminster School forward Mike Vaskivuo, who only played one game here.
The big story on the blue line is 6’4”, 200 lb. right-shot Eric Gryba, an ’88 who played for the Saskatoon Contacts Midget AAA squad and was named the top D-man at the Telus (formerly Air Canada) Cup. Gryba had a year of midget eligibility left back home, where midget age players – with the exception of those playing major junior -- are not allowed to play outside of their home province. Gryba, though, had grandparents in Nanaimo, moved in with them, and enrolled in school, expecting to play this year for the Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL). But Gryba couldn’t get his transfer, despite two appeals to Hockey Canada, which dictacted that he play for Melfort, the team that holds his rights in the Sask League. New Green Bay assistant Leigh Mendelson got wind of this situation, and Gryba, a big pro-style D-man who also happens to be a strong student, was on his way to Green Bay.
Green Bay is also strong in net. Both Dan Rosen, an ’87 who was with Green Bay last season; and Max Strang, a late ’89 from Pennsylvania who played midget minor last year in Markham, Ont. were excellent. Both are strong students. Strang, having been home-schooled, has already graduated from high school – and he’s only 15.
5’9” LC Todd McIlrath, a Bowling Green recruit and a key to Indiana’s offense, was on fire when he separated his shoulder on Friday. He’ll be out of action for a while. That means 5’6” RW Justin Milo, a Cornell recruit, will have to step up and carry more of the load. Milo has as quick a release to his shot as anyone in the league, and snapped off two quick goals in Saturday’s game.
6’2” center Brian Gifford, a Denver recruit and 2004 third round Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick, was good in spots, but will need to do more than he did here. 5’8” LW John Kemp, a UNO recruit, was very quiet. Just didn’t get much done.
The top uncommitted player up front is 6’2” LW Sean Dolan, but he needs to play with more jam, as his puck skills are just OK. 6’2” RW Jay Sprague, from theGeorgetown Raiders (OPJHL) will be counted on to be a contributor. 5’8” Garrett Roe, an ’88 LC, has skill and can scoot, but only occasionally put his whole game together.
6’2”, 195 lb. Michigan recruit Tristin Llewellyn, an ’89 with one USHL season already under his belt, plays a nasty, physical game, and was by far Indiana’s – well, the league’s really -- top prospect on defense. 5’10” Nick Bailen, a 12/12/89 birthdate from upstate New York, will be a blueliner to keep an eye on for the future.
Lincoln is a hard team to get a line on, as they go on the ice late. The Stars only had four days of skating under their belt when they showed up here. Given that, they still did not resemble some of the Lincoln teams of the past.
6’2”, 190 lb. ’87 RC Chris Vande Velde, a North Dakota recruit from Moorhead HS and Edmonton fourth round pick, is a smooth skater with scoring ability -- and far and away the best prospect on the team. James Perkin, a Bowling Green recruit who lit it up with the Calgary Canucks (AJHL) last season, didn’t do that much here.
It’s a little hard to see who will step up after those two. Of the uncommitted, we liked 5’8” Danny Baco, a late ’88 from the Buffalo Lightning.
On D, Kyle Hardwick, a late ’86 from Warroad HS, looks like he could be the main guy. He’s uncommitted. As you may know, the Stars lost their top draft pick, 6’5” Tysen Dowzak, to the WHL.
The goaltendering should be solid with Michigan recruit Steve Jakiel. Late ’88 Bryan Hogan, formerly of Detroit Central Catholic HS, struggled, but head coach/GM Steve Johnson is high on him.
First off, goaltender Eddie Neville came up with the game of the tournament, standing on his head in a 54-save shutout of the Green Bay Gamblers on Friday. Neville, a 20-year-old, was simply unconscious, stealing a game for his team in front of recruiters from just about every Div. I college in the country. Green Bay just poured it on right up to the last second of play, and Neville had to come up with some beauties.
As is the custom, Omaha is extremely strong on the blue line. Special mention should be made of 6’3”, 204 lb. ’89 Nick Petrecki, who was excellent, particularly in Thursday’s game.
Up front, 6’0”, 175 lb. LW Tony Lucia, the former Wayzata HS forward and son of the Gophers coach, was outstanding. Just a smart and very effective player. Lucia, a San Jose sixth round pick, is uncommitted.
With a surfeit of D, coach Mike Hastings has asked Michigan State recruit Ryan Turek to play up front. Turek, who played forward in youth hockey, was put at center here and didn’t look out of place, making some nice passes. Turek may do some moving back and forth between forward and the blue line. The Michigan State coaching staff is OK with Turek playing up front.
6’1” Maine recruit Robby Dee, who played for Breck last season and was drafted by Edmonton in the third round of July’s NHL draft, injured his shoulder in the tournament. We do not know how long he’ll be out.
5’11” center Brett Bruneteau, who played at Shattuck last season, looked a little tentative, but, like Petrecki, he’s just an ’89. Also, like Petrecki, he’s uncommitted – and one of the top prospects in the country.
6’0” LW Tommy Mele, an ’86 from the Bronx who played on Apple Core’s Jr. B team two years ago before going up to Ontario to play Tier II with Hawkesbury last season, played very well.
We didn’t get a strong feel one way or the other for 5’10” LW Chris Moran, a Niagara recruit. Moran, an ’87, played for the Buffalo Lightning last season, lit it up, and was named Provincial League player of the year.
Northern Michigan recruit Mark Olver joined the Lancers in advance of the Buc Bowl after getting released by the Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) where he had gone for a year of seasoning after playing for the Marquette Electricians Midget AAA squad last season.
There’s a back story to Olver’s getting released by Chilliwack.
Mark’s father, Northern Michigan assistant John Olver, who for the last ten years has coached the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL), released a player named Greg Keith last December. Keith is the son of Chilliwack owner Morey Keith. Before the end of the season, the younger Keith would be released by three other coaches.
Chilliwack’s owner obviously didn’t forget. Instead, he waited until the eve of the season before ordering coach Harvey Smyl to release Mark Olver. Keith didn’t come out and say that he asked for Olver to be released as retribution for his son being released by John Olver, but the facts certainly point in that direction -- and no one feels otherwise.
Reportedly, the players on the Chillwack Chiefs almost walked out over the situation. Coach Smyl can’t be happy, but he has a responsibility to the remaining players on the Chiefs.
Lancers assistant coach Jimmy McGroarty, who knows the Olver family and has been recruiting the youngest Olver for two years, knew of the situation, and moved quickly to get Olver to the Lancers.
“We were inconvenienced and disappointed,” said John Olver, at the Buc Bowl in the dual capacity as father and Northern Michigan assistant. “Mark was in school and had to pull up stakes and move. It’s made his year more challenging than necessary. Somehow, though, he’ll benefit from it.”
“Mark was not hurt, my family was not hurt. There was only one person hurt by this,” said Olver, clearly alluding to Chilliwack’s owner. “”Everyone in the hockey community knows.”
Sioux City Musketeers:
Are the Musketeers, who reached the Clark Cup finals last season, too young to challenge this time around? Maybe, but they are skilled, well-balanced, and a lot of fun to watch.
On the blue line, Sioux City has one ’86 (Mike Beck); three ‘88s (Chad Morin, Sean Coffey, Steven Kampfer); two ‘89s (Christian Steingraber and Frank Grzeszczak); and the league’s only ’90 (Kevin Bodker).They all looked good, and none more so than Chad Morin. He seems reenergized. He just looks more confident here than he did while playing for U.S. Under-18 head coach Ron Rolston last season.
Goaltender Billy Blasé, another player who lost his confidence while playing on Rolston’s Under-18 team last season, was outstanding here, kicking out 27 of 29 in the Musketeers 3-2 win over Cedar Rapids on Friday.
Up front, uncommitted 6’1” LC Phil DeSimone was outstanding – he’s come a long way in the past year -- and will be the main cog in the Musketeers attack. He’s surrounded by a pretty strong cast though, like 5’10” RC Justin Cseter, a returnee from last year’s team; ’89 RC – and future star -- Sam Gagner, and mighty mite RW Dustin Gazley – listed as 5’8” and a mere 143 lbs. To that list we can also add 5’9” Anthony Maiani and 5’6” Spencer Heichman – teammates on Honeybaked ’89. Both are skilled.
Sioux Falls Stampede:
One of the weaker teams here.
Up front, 5’11” LW Ryan Thang, a Notre Dame recruit, is the top returning forward so a lot will be riding on him.
Of the uncommitted forwards ’87 Drew Fisher, a 6’3”, 200 lb centerman from International Falls HS; and 5’10” RW Nick Dineen, an ’89 from Omaha and the Pikes Peak Miners, both looked impressive.
On the blue line, 6’4” RD Jared Hummel, a St. Cloud State recruit, was solid. We didn’t notice 6’2” RD Nate Prosser, a Colorado College recruit, that much – not necessarily a bad thing for a D-man.
In net, 6’2” Alex Kangas, who played for Rochester Century HS last year, was excellent.
Head coach/GM Bliss Littler probably has more returnees than any other team, so the Storm should probably be in the hunt all season.
The big gun for Waterloo is 6’2”, 190 lb. LW Zach Cohen, a BU recruit who plays a classic power forward game, skating well and hard and just driving to the net. He just keeps getting better and should be one of the dominant forwards in the league this season.
6’0” RW Jarod Palmer, a Miami recruit and a league veteran, will also be counted on to put up points.
On defense, Kyle Lawson, who played with the U.S. Under-18 team last year, was excellent, competing hard and making good smart plays. Lawson, Jeff Jackson’s first recruit at Notre Dame and a seventh round pick of Carolina in July’s NHL draft, could be playing college hockey right now. Colorado College recruit Brian Connelly, who played for Tri-City last year, was also very impressive.
Of the uncommitted blueliners, 5’11” Cameron Cooper, an ’88 from Holy Angels, has the most upside. 5’11” Mark Bernier, an ’85, is a veteran who could help someone.
Waterloo Black Hawks:
Head coach/GM P.K. O’Handley has another solid team – they won all the games they played here. Still, this typist doesn’t have a good handle on the team. It’s hard to tell if they’ll challenge this year. A lot of players played well, but no one was really excellent, standing out in a major way. They might be more than the sum of their parts.
Up front, 6’2”, 195 LW Zach Bearson, a Wisconsin recruit and seventh round Florida pick, was a little hard to miss. He’ll be the veteran guy to lead the offense. Ditto for Ferris recruit Cody Chupp, and 6’1” newcomer Mitch Ryan, a Minnesota-Duluth recruit out of Cloquet HS.
Additional help will come from some of the talented youngsters on the team, like ’88 LW James Marcou, a UMass recruit; and ’88 center Mike Borisenok, a UNH recruit.
6’0” Kyle Reeds, an ’88 from St. Louis Midget AAA, is our pick as the top uncommitted forward on Waterloo.
On the blue line, ’87 Drew Dobson, a Michigan Tech recruit, stood out. Former Chicago Young American Vince Loverde, just an ’89, will be very good. So, too, will 6’3” Joe Sova, an ’88 who played last season with the Chicago Mission Midget AAA. 6’3” Christian Jensen, who played for the New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL) last season, has a way to go but was still way better than expected – he’s enormous and has improved his agility considerably. 6’3” Joe Sova, an ’88 who played with the Chicago Mission midgets last season, will be good. ’87 Pasko Skarica, ex of Milton Academy, is another big body at 6’4”, 215 lbs. Skarica and Sova both struggled with the pace a bit, but should be OK down the line.
Joe Grossman, ex of BC High and now in his second year with the Black Hawks, will again be the one to carry the freight in goal.
USHL Forms Own Central Scouting
The USHL has set up its own Central Scouting Agency, effective immediately.
The league’s director of scouting will be Bob Turow, the president of the Prospects Hockey Tournament.
Turow, a longtime OHL scout and native of Ontario, says, “We intend to identify the continent’s best players and, in the USHL, provide them with a ‘super’ junior league in which to play in, one that will lead directly to the NCAA, which already supplies the NHL with twenty percent of its players.”
Turow says he can do one thing that the colleges can’t: he can talk to the elite players, no matter their age, and point out to them the value of taking the USHL/NCAA route over major junior. Right now, the top players, particularly in Canada, have major junior teams both drafting them and talking to them before NCAA teams can make any contact.
Kelly Katorji, Prospects Director of Hockey Operations, will be the USHL’s first head scout. Bob Thornton will be the Atlantic USA scout while Dan Phelps will be the Michigan USA scout.
In hiring Turow, USHL president Gino Gasparini said, “Our first priority is to build on our foundation as the top NCAA developmental league and grow our exposure to the NHL.”
Dumont Named Assistant at Bowling Green
Jamie Dumont has been named as an assistant on Scott Paluch’s staff at Bowling Green, filling the vacancy created when Kevin Patrick joined the Wisconsin staff last month.
Dumont has been an assistant coach at Bowdoin over the past four seasons, a span during which the Polar Bears have never lost more than eight games in a season.
Dumont played his college hockey at Oswego State, started his coaching career there as a volunteer assistant in 1998, then moved on to Hobart for two seasons before joining Terry Meagher’s staff at Bowdoin.
Princeton, St. Cloud State Fill Assistants’ Slots
-- Omaha Lancers (USHL) assistant coach Keith Fisher has been hired onto Guy Gadowsky’s staff at Princeton.
Fisher, for the last five years, has been an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator on Mike Hastings’ staff at Omaha. Prior to that, he worked for two years as an undergraduate assistant at St. Cloud State, his alma mater.
-- Look for Eric Rud, who worked last season filling in for Norm Bazin at Colorado College, to be named shortly as an assistant on Bob Motzko’s staff at St. Cloud State.
Rud, a top defenseman at Colorado College from 1993-97, spent the 2002-2004 seasons as an assistant with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL).
These are both very astute hires, and particularly fortuitous for the two schools, espcially given the late date. Fisher and Rud are hard-working and extremely knowledgeable concerning the player pool. Both are highly regarded by the college coaching fraternity.
Hines Funeral Arrangements Complete
The wake of former Army hockey player Derek Hines will be held Thurs. September 9 from 4-9 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception church on Green St. in Newburyport, Mass.Funeral services are Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church. Burial will follow at St Mary’s Cemetery in Newburyport.
Hines, who graduated from St. John’s Prep in 1999 and the U.S. Military Academy in 2003, died Thursday night Sept. 1 during a firefight with insurgents in Baylough, Afghanistan. He was 25.
6’1” Berkshire School LD Patrick Cullity, previously committed to Boston University, will instead be attending the University of Vermont starting in the fall of ’06.
The change came as a result of the Cullity family’s understanding that, when their son committed to the Terriers in August 2004, that he would finish his last two years at Berkshire and then go directly to Boston University.
The Terrier coaching staff subsequently felt that Cullity’s game would benefit strongly from a year in the USHL. Cullity went out to Omaha’s camp this summer, committed to the Lancers, and was on their roster until a week ago. At the last minute, however, Cullity decided he wanted to return to Berkshire, where, as a senior, he will captain both the soccer and hockey team this year.
The BU staff felt that, under that scenario, Cullity should play a postgrad year in the USHL and report to BU in the fall of ’07.
“We agreed to disagree,” said Patrick’s father, Tom Cullity, “and just go our separate ways.”
Cullity was uncommitted for a week after making the decision to return to prep school. Last week, though, after the Boston University coaching staff granted Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon permission to speak to the defenseman, Cullity went up to Burlington, met with Sneddon, and yesterday made his decision to accept Vermont’s offer of a full scholarship. Vermont had recruited Cullity earlier, before the Tewksbury, Mass. resident committed to BU.
As a side note, Cullity’s father played for the University of Pennsylvania during the final two years of the Quakers’ hockey program, then transferred to Vermont for his junior and senior years. A high-scoring forward with the Catamounts, he graduated in 1980.
USHL Futures Draft
The USHL Futures Draft took place today, with Patrick Kane going #1 overall to the Omaha Lancers.
Under the rules of the futures draft, each USHL team is allowed to select six players -- four U.S.-born players as well as two Canadian-born players. The teams selecting the players hold their USHL rights for one calendar year.
All players under the age of 18, with the exception of those on active 23-man USHL rosters, are eligible for the futures draft.
Players drafted in the futures draft can be added to the team that drafted them at any point during the upcoming season, either on a full-time basis or as an injury replacement. Players taken in the futures draft do not, however, have to play even a single game with the team that selected them in order for their rights to be held until next September.
Note: Teams listed below for drafted players are last year’s teams.
- Omaha, Patrick Kane, F, US NTDP
- Indiana (from Tri-City), Nigel Williams, D, Team Illinois
- Sioux Falls, Doug Leaverton, D, Honeybaked
- Cedar Rapids, Greg Squires, F, US NTDP
- Tri-City (from Indiana), David Fisher, D, Apple Valley HS
- Lincoln, Ryan Lowery, D, Team Illinois
- Sioux City, Kyle Medvec, D, Apple Valley HS
- Waterloo, Mike Hoeffel, F, Hill Murray HS
- Green Bay, Andy Inderieden, F, Breck
- Des Moines, Brian Mountain, G, Milton Academy
- Chicago, Barry Almeida, F, New England Jr. Falcons (EJHL)
- Omaha, Tom Serratore, F, Colorado Thunderbirds
- Tri-City, Patrick White, F, Grand Rapids HS
- Sioux Falls, Ryan McDonagh, D, Cretin-Derham Hall HS
- Cedar Rapids, Tommy Wingels, F, Team Illinois
- Indiana, Joe Whitney, F, Lawrence Academy
- Lincoln, Carter Camper, F, Cleveland Barons
- Sioux City, Max Pacioretty, F, Taft
- Waterloo, Anthony Schooley, F, Honeybaked
- Green Bay, Nick Canzanello, D, Rochester Mayo HS
- Des Moines, Ryan Simpson, G, NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL)
- Chicago, Dayn Belfour, G, Streetsville (OPJHL)
- Omaha, Tyler Ruegsegger, F, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
- Tri-City, Ryan Carroll, G, North Jersey Avalanche
- Sioux Falls, Taylor Matson, F, Holy Angels
- Cedar Rapids, Colin Trachsel, D, Duluth East HS
- Indiana, Tony Mosey, F, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
- Lincoln, Matt Quigley, F, Pittsburgh Hornets
- Sioux City, Alex Tuckerman, F, Nauset (Mass.) HS
- Waterloo, Gabe Heller, D, Chicago Young Americans
- Green Bay, Nick Jaskowiak, D, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
- Des Moines, Brian Volpei, F, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
- Chicago, Kyle Greco, F, Chicago Young Americans
- Omaha, Austin Lee, G, Bloomington-Jefferson
- Tri-City, Brett Wysopal, D, Chicago Chill
- Sioux Falls, Justin Kircheval, F, Brookings HS
- Cedar Rapids, Jordan Baker, F, Olds Grizzlies
- Indiana, Jimmy Hayes, F, Noble & Greenough
- Lincoln, Tony Yearego, D, Belle Tire
- Sioux City, Scooter Vaughn, D, Honeybaked
- Waterloo, Derek Graham, F, Northwood School
- Green Bay, Ryan Santana, F, LA Selects
- Des Moines, Ben Youds, D, Maple Grove HS
- Chicago, Dan Durham, F, Team Illinois
- Sioux City, Travis Oleksuk, F, Thunder Bay Midget Minor
- Green Bay, Blake Gallagher, F, Dartmouth AAA
- Indiana (from Chicago), Brad Malone, F, Cushing Academy
- Lincoln, Kyle Turris, F, Burnaby
- Omaha, Alex Biega, D, Salisbury School
- Chicago, Mike Dalhuisen, F, Central Ontario Wolves
- Waterloo, Cody Goloubef, D, Toronto Marlies
- Cedar Rapids, Jason Bergeron, F, Brampton Capitals
- Des Moines, Kevin Mole, D, Mississauga Senators
- Sioux Falls, Derek Lee, F, North Shore
- Tri-City, Jesse Martin, F, Edmonton KFC
- Sioux City, Robert Botuzzo, D, Thunder Bay Midget Minor
- Green Bay, Lewis Capporusso, F, Toronto Red Wings
- Chicago, Jeremy Beller, F, Lake of the Woods HS
- Omaha, Brendan Smith, D, Toronto Marlies
- Indiana, Ngai Wilson, D, Toronto Marlies
- Lincoln, Brian Lebler, F, Penticton
- Waterloo, James Livingston, F, York Simcoe
- Cedar Rapids, Jared Spurgeon, D, Edmonton K-Pats
- Des Moines, Michael Biega, F, Salisbury School
- Sioux Falls, Simon Danis-Pepin, D, Gatineau AAA
- Tri-City, Josh Gillam, F, Peterborough
Butler a Wildcat
6’1”, 190 lb. Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL) RW Bobby Butler has committed to the University of New Hampshire for the fall of ’06.
Butler played last season for the Junior Bruins as well as for his father atMarlboro (Mass.) HS. He’d been playing at the latter, a Div. III high school, since the 8th grade and came close to breaking Allen Bourbeau’s all-time Mass. high school scoring record. With the Junior Bruins, he had an 18-14-32 line in 49 games.
A 4/26/87 birthdate, he was graduated from high school in June, so will only be playing for the Junior Bruins this season.
Butler has size, soft hands, and both playmaking ability and a strong shot. He's not shy physically, either. His game is a good combination of strength and finesse. He’s not the prettiest skater, being a little knock-kneed, but he does get there, and is hard to knock off the puck.
He stood out at the recent Beantown Classic and afterward visited Lowell, Northeastern, and Boston College.
He’s the younger brother of ex-Cushing and current Holy Cross defenseman J.R. Butler.
Former College Player Killed in Afghanistan
Former Army hockey player Derek Hines died Thursday night Sept. 1 during a firefight with insurgents in Baylough, Afghanistan.
Reports from Hines’ commanding officer indicate that the 25-year-old forward from Newburyport, Mass., who played at St. John’s Prep before going on to West Point and graduating with the class of ’03, fought until he drew his last breath, firing at insurgents well after being fatally shot.
Army head hockey coach Brian Riley said he had received an e-mail from Hines last Tuesday in which his former player offered encouraging words for the upcoming season, and reported that he was excited about the upcoming mission. Riley concluded his reply by writing,“Be safe. We’re proud of you.”
“This kid was a special kid,” Riley said. “It was never about him. It was always about the team. To have this happen is just devastating.”
“Everything he stood for is what we want our players to be -- and the academy hopes its graduates to be.
“He defined what a hero truly is. He had a positive impact on everybody he came across. The world is truly a lesser place without him.”
As a player, Hines, who captained St. John’s Prep into the Super 8 and was a leading scorer in both hockey and lacrosse there, was small – perhaps a shade under 5’8” – but played big. “He had speed,” Riley said. “Every time he was on the ice he created excitement. He was a high-energy player. When we needed a change in momentum he was the guy we’d have out there.”
After graduating, Hines worked as a volunteer assistant at Army. Many of the current Cadets either played with or were coached by Hines, who had excellent leadership abilities.
Hines, a first lieutenant in a Ranger division, had been in Afghanistan for six months with the 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment. On Aug. 21, less than two weeks before his death, he was in a firefight that killed four members of his unit. Hines helped pull four dead Rangers from a Humvee while heavy artillery exploded around them.
Hines, the son of Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Steven Hines and his wife, Susan, has three younger siblings: two brothers, one at Wesleyan and one at St. John’s Prep; and a sister at Dartmouth.
When his Army duties were complete, Hines hoped to attend Harvard Business School. He was scheduled for a leave later this month, and was looking forward to seeing his girlfriend, a fellow West Point grad currently stationed in Germany.
Information on funeral services are incomplete.
Richardson Found Not Guilty
Yesterday at Suffolk County (Mass.) Superior Court, jurors found former coach and NHL scout Bob Richardson not guilty of sexual assault.
Richardson, 51, had been charged with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy in a dorm room at the International Hockey Academy, of which Richardson was a director, in July 1998, as well as on two subsequent occasions.
The Boston Globe covered it in more detail. Here’s the link:
Sinclair to be Named at Skidmore
Neil Sinclair has stepped down from his position as head coach of the Williams College women's team and will be named the new head coach of the Skidmore College men's team..
Prior to taking the Williams job two years ago, Sinclair, a 1993 Div. III All-American at Middlebury College, was at his alma mater, as an assistant on Bill Beaney's staff. When Beaney took a sabbatical in 2002-03, Sinclair took over the Panthers as interim head coach.
The Skidmore job became vacant when Paul Dion resigned earlier this month after 22 seasons behind the bench.
The US Hockey Report will be closed until Labor Day. However, if anything of more than passing interest should occur, and we hear of it, we will post it --either as soon as possible, or next week.