First '87 Commits
6'0", 175 lb. LD Jack Johnson, who'll be entering the 10th grade at Shattuck-St. Mary's in a week or two, has committed to the University of Michigan. He will arrive in the fall of 2005.
Johnson has committed to play for the U.S. National Team Development Program in the fall of 2003.
For more on Johnson, please scroll down a few pages to the news of this past Monday (8/26/02).
Born on the Fourth of July
6'0", 180 lb. right-shot forward Ryan Cruthers of New York Apple Core (EJHL) has committed to Army.
Cruthers, who's extremely dangerous in the offensive zone and a natural scorer and playmaker, was one of the top scorers in the EJHL last season, helping lead Henry Lazar's team into the league title game, where they fell to the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, 2-1. Cruthers, who scored the only Apple Core goal in that game, is a good get for West Point.
A 7/4/84 birthdate, Cruthers is from Farmingdale, NY, on Long Island.
A New Associate Head Coach for Mercyhurst
Dave Smith, an assistant at Bowling Green for the past two seasons, has been hired as an associate head coach on the staff of Rick Gotkin at Mercyhurst College.
Before going to BGSU, Smith was an assistant for two seasons at Miami.
A 1992 graduate of Ohio State, Smith played seven years of minor pro hockey before going into coaching.
A Native Son for the Badgers
6'0", 195 lb. left-shot forward Jake Dowell of the U.S. NTDP has committed to the University of Wisconsin.
Dowell, a native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, becomes the fourth member of this year's Under-18 team to commit to the Badgers since Mike Eaves took over the program in the spring. The others are forward Robbie Earl, and defensemen Ryan Suter and Jeff Likens.
"It wasn't hard (to pick Wisconsin)," Dowell said, "because playing there has always been a dream of mine."
A 3/4/85 birthdate, Dowell played for Memorial HS in Eau Claire as a 10th grader and was named first team all-state. Last winter, Dowell, who combines size, toughness, and physical play with skill and smarts, played in all 63 of the Under-17 team's games last season, posting a 10-19-29 line.
Haskins Goes Major Junior
6'1", 165 lb. RC Tyler Haskins, an '86 who last week helped lead the US to the gold at the 2002 Five Nations Tournament -- and was named the tournament's top forward -- will be leaving the Sioux City Musketeers, having signed with Jeff Jackson's Guelph Storm (OHL).
Haskins, who was Guelph's fifth round pick in the May OHL draft and was in the Storm's camp earlier this month, was the only '86 in the USHL last season. In 46 games, he posted a 3-8-11 line with 20 pims as Sioux City won the league title. Haskins was outstanding at Select 16s, where we ranked him the #6 overall forward. He could easily have been higher had he buried a few more of his chances. In our comments we noted that "playing in the USHL as a 15-year-old no doubt had something to do with it, but Haskins was a man among boys out there... goes to net hard, has a nice release, and was around the puck constantly... (Haskins) not only created a ton of chances, but was extremely physical as well."
Haskins grew up in Ohio, where he played for the Cleveland Barons Pee-Wees, but moved to Arizona a couple of years ago and played for the Phoenix Polar Bears.
A right-shot center, Haskins is a 5/26/86 birthdate.
Gordon to Gophers
5'10", 155 lb. left-shot forward Ben Gordon of International Falls HS has committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2004-05 season.
Gordon, a smart, cerebral player who sees things on the ice most other kids don't and has the passing skills to make something of it, will return to International Falls and play his senior season with the Broncos, a Minnesota Class A school. Gordon will then take a year with the Lincoln Stars (USHL) in 2003-04.
Gordon was the #2 scorer in the state last year and topped that off by leading the U.S. Select 17 Festival in scoring with a 3-8-11 line in six games. We had him ranked #4 among forwards there. Gordon, a 1/31/85 birthdate, was named to the all-tournament team and was on the Select 17 team that was in the Czech Republic last week.
Former Brown Defenseman Dead in Car Crash
Darren McPeak, a big left-shot defenseman who played at Rhode Island's LaSalle HS before heading off to play prep hockey at Northfield-Mt. Hermon and one year of college hockey at Brown University (1998-99), was pronounced dead shortly after his car crossed the center line of Rhode Island Rt. 116 in his hometown of Smithfield, RI and crashed into a fire truck headed in the other direction.
Capt. Michael Hopton of the Smithfield police said McPeak's car, a 32-year-old Pontiac Firebird, rounded a curve in the road and headed straight at the fire truck at "a high rate of speed." The car left no skid marks.
Hopton told the Providence Journal that McPeak was "six feet over into the fire truck's lane" when the vehicles collided.
McPeak, who turned 23 last month, was not wearing a seatbelt. The car was totaled.
Firefighter Donald Brown, the driver of the firetruck, was taken to Rhode Island hospital with leg injuries.
McPeak was in the same freshman class at Brown as forward Kevin Pope, who committed suicide while home in Stittsville, Ontario during Christmas break of the '98-99 season.
For a tournament in its first year, the Beantown Classic, held over the weekend at the new Valley Forum II in Malden, Mass., boasted a full haywagon of talent. And, rather than spreading that talent among twenty teams, Peter Masters and the staff of the Boston Jr. Bruins, hosts of the tournament, placed each player on one of four teams, each coached by a different NHL scout. Good players, good pace, 18-man rosters -- you can't ask for much more than that. .
As you can see from the all-tournament team below (it was picked by the coaches), a number of familiar faces were on the ice. In the crowd could be found a batch of pro scouts and top Div. I coaches like Jerry York, Jack Parker, Mark Mazzoleni, and Tim Whitehead, the latter of whom didn't leave the rink from morning until night, subsisting entirely on four grilled cheese sandwiches.
Here are the all-star teams:
First Team All-Stars: Goal: Corey Schneider (Phillips Andover). Defense: Chris Kelley (Deerfield); Bret "Spider" Tyler (Boston Jr. Bruins). Forwards: Keith Johnson (New England Jr. Coyotes); Colin McDonald (New England Jr. Coyotes); Danny Shribman (Deerfield).
Second Team All-Stars: Goal: Nevin Hamilton (Boston Jr. Bruins). Defense: Adam Staniech (Boston Jr. Bruins). Bryan Cirullo (New England Jr. Coyotes). Forwards: T.J. Fox (Salisbury School); Rob Bellamy (Berkshire School); Kory Falite (Boston Jr. Bruins Midget AAA).
Tournament co-MVPs were Schneider and Hamilton, who together backstopped the Royal team to the gold medal. Schneider was named the tournament's top goaltender. Kelley and Tyler were named top d-men. Shribman, a right-shot center, got the nod as top forward in the tournament. Named best pro prospect was Brian Boyle of St. Sebastian's. Named as the tournament's biggest surprise was defenseman Matt Duffy, an '86 from Cheverus HS (it's in Portland, Maine).
A few notes:
** Andover Academy goaltender Corey Schneider, an '86, was tremendous, clearly the #1 goalie here. One who did not make an all-star team, but who easily could have had his team reached the gold medal game, was St. Paul's school goaltender Brad Shirley, an '83. Those two, along with Boston Jr. Bruins '85 goaltender Nevin Hamilton, comprised the top three here.
** On defense, a deep position here, Sean Sullivan (St. Sebastian's) could easily have won an all-star nod. The same could be said of Andrew Thomas (NH Junior Monarchs). Big defenseman Paul Baier, who's transferring from St. Georges to Deerfield, where he'll be a repeat junior, has size, presence, and can skate. He'll be watched closely by Div. I recruiters and pro scouts this winter. '87 born RD Andrew Andricopoulos (Tabor) was excellent. This kid's high-end potential is way up there. He has size at 6'1", can skate and handle the puck, and is an intense, physical competitor. 6'2", 193 lb. Joey Ryan (Valley Jr. Warriors), a late '87, is another young prospect with a ton of upside.
** Up front, RW Rob Bellamy, who played on the Coyotes midget squad last winter, was a total revelation, a 6'1" power forward who was dynamic, hard-nosed, and the best forechecker in the tournament. He'll be a repeat 11th grader at Berkshire School this winter. Other forwards who stood out, but perhaps not consistently enough to make the cut for the all-star teams included Matt Vokes (St. John's-Shrewsbury) and Garrett Summerfield (Cap District). There were no doubt others, but those two come quickly to mind. You might add in Sam Bowles (Hotchkiss) and Brian Pouliot (UMass-Lowell).
Next year, Masters is looking to add at least two out-of-area teams to the tournament, perhaps one from Ontario and one from Minnesota. The key will be keeping the tournament small. Needless to say, this tournament was a real whack to the kneecaps of HNIB, aesthetically if not financially.
Likens Commits to Badgers
U.S. NTDP defensemen Jeff Likens, a highly mobile, smooth-skating, right-shot D who's skilled at both ends of the ice, has committed to the University of Wisconsin.
Likens is the third player from the NTDP -- he joins D Ryan Suter and F Robbie Earl -- to commit to the Badgers since Mike Eaves took over the program last spring.
Likens took unofficial visits to Boston College, Harvard, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Notre Dame. Wisconsin was reported to be foremost in his mind all the way, though.
Likens, who's 5'11", 167 lbs. and an 8/28/85 birthdate, is from Barrington, Ill. where he played on the Chicago Chill Midgets before joining the U.S. Under-17 team last year. For the Under-17s, Likens played all 63 games, posting a 2-13-15 line. This year he, along with fellow Badger recruits Suter and Earl, will be playing for the U.S. Under-18 team.
In addition to Likens, we have more college commitments.
** U.S. Under-18 teammate Bobby Selden, a native of Negaunee, Mich., just 10 miles from Marquette on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, will be playing in front of the home folks next year, as he has committed to Northern Michigan University and new head coach Walt Kyle.
Selden, who played for the Marquette Electricians Midget AAA program before going to Ann Arbor, is 6'1", 198 lbs. and a big, solid, rugged, defensive defenseman. A right shot, he's a 1/30/85 birthdate. Last year, in 58 games, he posted an 0-4-4 line.
** "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose," wrote Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr in Les Guepes, a sardonic mid-19th century monthly journal he edited. Most people, even the French, would have long since forgotten Karr except for the above-mentioned words of wisdom, roughly translated as "The more things change, the more they remain the same."
In that one sentence, Karr gained immortality.
Speaking of immortality, shouldn't Providence College's Schneider Arena be renamed Gary Dineen Arena in honor of the longtime Springfield Pics/New England Whalers/Junior Coyotes coach?
After all, another Junior Coyote, in this case 6'2", 185 RW Colin McDonald, has committed to PC, making his final choice from between Northeastern and the Friars. McDonald, a big power forward with pro potential, will arrive at PC in the fall of 2003, where he'll be one of at least ten ex-Coyotes on the Friars roster.
McDonald was named a first-team all star at this past weekend's Beantown Classic, notching three goals in the first eight minutes of Sunday's Bronze medal game.
** Cushing Academy senior-to-be Chris Fontas, a 6'1", 190 lb. forward from Nashua, NH, has committed to UMass-Lowell. Last year for the Penguins, Fontas posted a 4-18-22 line.
** Depending on who you talked to at the U.S. Select 15 Festival in St. Cloud earlier this month, everyone seemed to have either Steven Spade of Rochester, NY and the Georgetown Raiders (OPJHL) or Jack Johnson of Faribault, Minn. and Shattuck-St. Mary's as their #1 blue line prospects.
Johnson, who played for the Shattuck Bantams last season is 6'0", 175 lbs. and a left shot. Next week, he'll begin the 10th grade at Shattuck.
Johnson, already offered a spot in the US National Program for a year from now, will be visiting Ann Arbor this week. He'll check out the Ice Cube and meet with Moe Mantha and the staff there. However, he'll also be stopping by Yost Arena and the University of Michigan hockey offices.
Look for Johnson to be offered a spot on the 2005-06 Wolverines -- and look for Johnson to accept.
Here are some of our comments on Johnson from St. Cloud the earlier in the month:
"... a force here. A high-energy, exciting, up-tempo player to watch, Johnson is strong on his skates, can rush the puck, and has a blistering slapshot. Likes to work his way down from the point and blast away. Hard-nosed. Imposes his will on the game. His one fault is he tries to do too much at times -- not necessarily a bad thing at this age -- and thus can get himself into trouble."
In case you're wondering, we ranked Johnson #2, right behind Spade. They are both, of course, terrific prospects.
Johnson's father, Jack Johnson, a native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., was a defenseman on the Michigan State Spartans from 1975-77, toward the final years of the Amo Bessone era. Johnson's mother, however, is a University of Michigan grad.
By the Sweat of his Brow
Andover Academy goaltender Corey Schneider, an '86 going into the 11th grade, will, time permitting, be playing in three different tournaments in the Boston area this weekend --- the Boston Junior Bruins tournament in Malden, Steve Kasper's Tournament up in Salem, NH, and a pair of games between the New England Moose -- the top players from Brian Daccord's Superskills Summer Training Camp (mostly '86s and '87s,0 plus a few '85s) -- and the Lac St. Louis Lions Midget Minor squad on Sunday 8/25 at 5 pm and then again on Monday 8/26 at noon. Both games will be held at Merrimack College... 6'0", 183 lb. RW Matt Hartman, who played eight games for the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) and his entire junior season with St. Cloud Apollo HS, will be staying home and play for St. Cloud State when the 2003-04 rolls around. Hartman, an '84 DOB played on the line centered by Mike Howe, the team's leading scorer and a sought-after Div. I recruit.... We should have gotten this into print a little while ago, but, hey, better late than never: 6'0", 170 lb. Jarod Palmer, an '86 from Fridley, Minn and Spring Lake Park HS, will be playing the upcoming season with the US Under-17 Team. Last year at Spring Lake, where he was a linemate of Mankato State-bound David Backes, Palmer posted a 14-16-30 line in 16 games before breaking his ankle late in the season, causing him to miss both the NTDP's spring evaluation camp and this summer's Select 16s. Palmer, whose father heads up the women's program at Bethel College in St. Paul, is a smooth skater with a good stick. He's good in tight spaces and is both creative and mean -- he's as likely to go right through a player standing in his way as he is to go around him.
Notes: The Faceoff at the Summit, the NAHL's pre-season affair held at the Capital Center in Lansing, Michigan runs Friday morning Sept. 6 to Sunday night Sept. 8 and features all ten NAHL teams -- some games count in the regular-season standings -- plus both the U.S. Under-17 and Under-18 teams.. The Des Moines Buccaneers will be hosting the Buc Bowl the following weekend (Thurs 9/12-Sun 9/15), with nine of the eleven USHL teams on hand. The only teams that will not be there are Lincoln and Green Bay, but you can catch them the following weekend at the Cedar Rapids tournament, which has contracted from 16 to six teams this season. The other four teams there will be host Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Chciago, and Des Moines... On the final weekend in September the Boston Jr. Bruins will be hosting the EJHL pre-season tournament. All EJHL teams except the New England Junior Coyotes, will be on hand...
Bang-Bang Shines at 14s
Blake Geoffrion, the grandson of former Montreal Canadiens great Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, may only be in the eighth grade back home in Tennessee, but one seasoned observer at the recent Select 14 Festival (Rochester, NY; July 27-Aug.1) said the 14 year old could play in the USHL "right now."
Geoffrion, who's 6'2", 165 lbs., was head and shoulders above all other forwards at selects, both literally and figuratively. He plays a power game. His technique and stride are good, he plays big, has good hands, distributes the puck well, and can finish.
Five other forwards who were a notch below Geoffrion, but above the rest of the pack, were -- in no particular order -- 5'8" Carter Camper ('88 Cleveland Barons); 5'8" Chris Atkinson (NJ Devils Bantam Major); 5'6" Milton Lyles (South Florida Golden Wolves); 5'8" Josh Stone (LI Royals); and 5'9" Jeremy Stocker (Syracuse Stars Bantam Major).
On defense, the top kid in a class as deep as it is good was Chad Morin of the Syracuse Stars Jr. B. Morin, who is 5'11" and 175 lbs., moved the puck very well for a kid of his size/age. He is good at controlling and distributing the puck. Morin was also very strong defensively, smartly handling 1-on-1 situations.
Four other defensemen of note were 5'8" Ken Trentowksi (LI Royals); 6'0" Chris Summers (HoneyBaked '88); 5'10" Garett Goodman (Jr. Islanders); and 6'1" Tyler Lindgren (Northern Colorado Youth Hockey Bantam).
As for the goalies, you could throw a blanket over a handful of them, but since we have to pick one we'll go with Neil Conway of the Euclid (Ohio) Stars Bantam Majors. Conway, who is 5'8", 147 lbs., is a challenging type of goaltender who is also really good at handling the puck, a relatively rare skill in goalies of this age, though Bryan Mountain (Minutemen Bantam Major), can do it, too.
Below are the players we felt stood out at the festival.
Select 14s: Pick of the Litter
Note: The following are arranged alphabetically.
Goaltenders: Neil Conway (Euclid Stars Bantam Major); Jameson Miller (N. Michigan Travelers); Bryan Mountain (Minutemen Bantam Major); and Stefan Shively (Desert Youth Hockey Association).
Defensemen: Peter Child (CSB Hawks); Brandon Clark (Spokane Americans Bantam AA); Garett Goodman (Jr. Islanders); Tyler Lindgren (Northern Colorado Youth Hockey Bantam); Chad Morin (Syracuse Stars Jr. B); Kyle Pobur (HoneyBaked '88); Michael Ratchuk (Buffalo Regals Bantam Minors); Chris Summers (HoneyBaked '88); Corey Toy (Washington Little Caps); Kenneth Trentowski (LI Royals); Anthony Yeargo (Little Caesar's '88).
Forwards: Chris Atkinson (NJ Devils Bantam Major); William Baco (Buffalo Saints Bantam Minor); Josh Burrows (HoneyBaked '88); Thomas Campbell (Grafton Bantam A); Carter Camper (Cleveland Barons '88); Sam Cehula (N. Star Bantam Tier II); Patrick Colclough (Raiders Hockey Club); Blake Geoffrion (Nashville Ice Tigers Bantam); Brett Hextall (Valley Forge Minutemen); Mike Hull (Little Caesar's); Matthew Jennings (CYA); Milton Lyles II (South Florida Golden Wolves); Nicholas Payson (PBHC Travel); Luke Popko (NJ Rockets Bantam Major); Josh Rabbani (LA Junior Kings Bantam Major); Ian Slater (Central Florida Flames); Ben Smith (Mid-Fairfield Blues); Gregory Squires (NJ Devils Bantam Major); Jeremy Stocker (Syracuse Stars Bantam Major); Josh Stone (LI Royals); Patrick Tiesling (Marquette American Legion Bantam A).
Goebel Commits to Michigan State
5'8", 160 lb. Tommy Goebel of the Cleveland Barons, the fifth-leading scorer in the NAHL last season, has committed to the Michigan State Spartans.
A right-shot forward from Parma, Ontario, Goebel is a small, quick, feisty forward with an excellent stick and a strong sense of the game. In 55 games last season, he had a 23-48-71 line with 96 pims.
Goebel, who is from Parma, Ohio, is a 11/20/84 birthdate. .
Ralph Impresses at HNIB
Jonathan Ralph, a 6'1", 195 lb. RD from Chester, NJ will be leaving Shattuck-St. Mary's and spending his senior year with the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL), a team loaded with top-flight prospects on the blue line -- e.g. returnees Dan Venard, Brandon Longley, and Jake Taylor, plus newcomers Noah Babin (US NTDP), Kyle Klubertanz (Chicago Chill), and Wes O'Neil (Chatham Maroons). Speaking of Ralph, he stood out at Hockey Night in Boston's Major Showcase All-Star weekend, which was certainly the most watered-down version of that tournament (20 teams!) we've ever seen. There were fewer high-profile players, and fewer pro scouts and college recruiters than in the past. The ice was lousy, too. As for the all-star weekend, competition, there were six all-star teams, each with about a half-dozen players that simply wouldn't have been named an all-star in the past. On Saturday night, the first two games were desultory affairs that featured more turnovers than this typist has seen in some squirt games, though the final game between Mid-Atlantic and Mid-America -- which had it's share of turnovers, too -- was at least a spirited affair. Ryan Cruthers (Apple Core) stood out, and his linemates, Eric Thomassian (Walpole Stars) and Tom Collingham (Apple Core), played well, too; as did Kevin Dwyer (Choate). Ralph was the strongest d-man on the squad. For Mid-America, forward Matt Ford (Shattuck), Colin Kingston (undecided), defenseman Phil Levine (undecided), and goaltender Chris Molinaro (Salisbury) all showed something. For Mass., forwards Brian Boyle (St. Seb's), Matt Vokes (St. John's-Shrewsbury), Chris Myers (Salisbury), Pat Gannon (Arlington HS), Scott McDougall (Walpole Stars), and Chris O'Brien (Berkshire) were all solid, as was defenseman Sean Sullivan (St. Seb's). For New England, Dan Travis (Deerfield), and Todd Fletcher (Chelmsford HS) stood out up front, while Sean Hurley (NMH) and Matt Gosselin (Junior Lock Monsters) were strong on the blue line. Scott Tomes (Valley Junior Warriors) looked strong in net, though we are really reluctant to judge goalies off this tournament -- one period, in-and-out. Anyway, if we had to narrow that group down, we'd say the best players we saw on Saturday were Cruthers and Travis up front, Ralph on the blue line, and Tomes in the net. It could have been totally different Friday night, or any other night. In the juniors/sophomores game, Shane Farrell (Mount St. Charles) and Cory Quirk (Catholic Memorial) looked good for the North team up front, but their defense made the difference, as John Burns (Tabor), Paul Baier (Deerfield), Matt Duffy (Cheverus HS), and Phil McDavitt (Nobles) all stood out. Another excellent prospect on that team is '87 birthdate Andrew Andricopoulous (Tabor); here, he was OK, not great. The South juniors/sophomores got strong games from Brian Bicek (Chicago Chill Midgets), Sean Backman (Avon Old Farms), Kory Falite (Junior Bruins), and Carter Lee (Canterbury). On the blue line Femi Amurawaiye (Holderness), the younger brother of Brown-bound Dami, stood out. If we had to make one comment on this group, we'd simply say its strength was on the blue line... Speaking of the Gamblers, which is where we started this story out, 5'10", 175 lb. RC William Parenteau will be leaving the Breck School for Green Bay shortly. Parenteau is in the Czech Republic now with the U.S. Under-17 Select team.
A New Coach for Thayer
Larry Rooney, a Thayer star in the '80s who returned to his alma mater to assist outgoing coach Jack Foley with the varsity since 1997, has been named the school's new head hockey coach. He will also be teaching part-time at the Braintree, Mass. school.
Rooney, now 35, was the captain of the Thayer teams that featured Jeremy Roenick and won back-to-back New England prep titles in '86 and '87. A left-shot defenseman, Rooney went on to play for Providence College for four years, and, following graduation in 1991, played a year in the ECHL. A South Boston native, Rooney was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round of the1986 NHL draft.
The players were notified by mail in letters that arrived at their homes yesterday (Friday).
U.S. Edges Finland
Breclav, Czech Republic -- The U.S. Under-18 Selects played their worst game of the tournament here today, but still managed to come out on top, defeating Finland, 5-3.
Noble & Greenough forward Chris Poli, off the forecheck, put the U.S. up, 1-0, at 13:26 of the first period, but Finland came back to tie it on a late PPG.
Five minutes into the second period, Finland went ahead 2-1 on its second PPG of the game. However, with 4:45 remaining, International Falls High School forward Ben Gordon put the U.S. back into a tie at the 15:15 mark.
Forty seconds into the third period, Walpole Stars (EJHL) forward Joe Rooney made it 3-2 U.S. At 9:10 Brent Borgen of Mahtomedi (Minn.) HS, the leading U.S. scorer here, made it 4-2. Finland came back to cut it to one, before Green Bay Gamblers defenseman Dan Venard scored an empty-netter to make it 5-3.
Wylie Rogers was in net for the U.S.
In the nightcap, Canada defeated Russia, 6-3, winning themselves a spot in Sunday's championship game vs. host Czechoslovakia.
- Here is the schedule for Sunday:
- Gold Medal Game: Canada vs. Czech Republic
- Bronze Medal Game: Switzerland vs. Russia
- 5th Place Game: USA vs. Sweden
- 7th Place Game: Finland vs. Slovakia
Terriers Strike Again
The Terriers gained their second blue chip player of the week when 6'1", 190 lb. LD Matt Lashoff committed to the Boston University Terriers last night, roughly 48 hours after Chris Bourque committed.
Lashoff played for the Connecticut Yankees '86 team in 2000-2001, then went to Avon Old Farms last season, where as a 10th grader he was the team's best defenseman. This season, Lashoff will play in the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor. While he will be a junior, Lashoff is contemplating accelerating, which would mean he'd arrive at BU a year from now. All that, however, remains to be seen, so, for now, it's prudent to put him down as a fall '04 arrival.
Lashoff, who is heading to Ann Arbor for orientation at Pioneer HS tomorrow, took his visit to BU last night, arriving late after being stuck in traffic for an hour and a half on the Mass Pike due to a flipped-over tanker truck. Jack Parker and his staff stayed put, and Lashoff made his commitment.
For Lashoff, it came down to BC and BU. Last spring, the defenseman made an unofficial visit to BC. This summer, Lashoff worked the camp of former BU defenseman Dale Dunbar. Lashoff, who said that everyone at BC and BU was great, indicated a major factor in his decision to pick BU was the presence of strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle.
Lashoff, a 9/29/86 birthdate, is a native of East Greenbush, NY, a little bit south of Albany. In addition to having the size, Lashoff is a very smooth skater. He handles the puck well and with confidence, consistently getting it out of his own end either by skating it out of making a clean outlet pass. He's a bit of hybrid D. You can't call him a defensive D-man, exactly, but neither can you call him an offensive D. Lashoff's game is pretty well integrated for his age, and he's strong at both ends. His offensive upside is steadily emerging. In 22 games at Avon, he posted a 2-13-15 line.
At the 2001 US Select 15 Festival in St. Cloud, we rated Lashoff the #1 defenseman in camp. He did not take part in this summer's Select 16 Festival.
Toews Takes Over in Chicago
A.J. Toews has been named the new head coach/GM of the Chicago Steel (USHL), taking over for Steve Richmond, who has accepted a full-time scouting position with the Washington Capitals.
Toews, an assistant on Mark Carlson's staff at Cedar Rapids for the past couple of years, is a native of Los Altos, California who went on to play prep hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's and college hockey at Northeastern. After his sophomore season ('97-98) Toews was forced to retire because of a back injury, and began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant with the Huskies.
U.S. Under-18 Selects Hang On, Gain Win
Breclav, Czech Republic -- The U.S. Under-18 Selects jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, then hung on to beat Sweden, 5-3 in the last day of round-robin play here.
The win, the first by the U.S., gives the team the #3 slot in their pool. Friday, they will play Finland, #4 in the opposite pool.
With a win, the U.S. could finish as high as fifth, which would actually be a significant accomplishment, mainly because the other nations, even if they don't have all their top kids here, at least have a good number of them. The U.S., as you might know, strictly picks this team from players who stood out at the Select 17 Festival. Players who played for the NTDP in the prior season are excluded from the select festivals, thus those players are unable to take part in this tournament. The feeling, not without merit, within USA Hockey is that the NTDP kids get their share of trips to Europe and other high-profile situations, thus this tournament should be available for the "second tier" of kids. Of course, second tier is a bit of a misnomer as this squad has players who will be coming to the NTDP this season (Wylie Rogers) and players who have been invited to the NTDP but, for a variety of reasons, turned it down, e.g. Kyle Klubertanz, Aaron Bader, Brian McGuirk, Joe Rooney, and Drew Stafford.
The U.S. has been taking some flak from other countries here, with the team frequently being referred to as the "B team".
Getting back to the game against Sweden, the U.S. was outshot 40-30 on the game, but in net Rogers, the Fairbanks, Alaska native who played for the Metro Jets (CSHL) last season, came up with his best game of the tournament.
For the fourth day in a row, the U.S. scored less than two minutes into the game, with James Unger getting things going. Jeff LoVecchio, Brian McGuirk, and Eric Slais would make it 4-0 by the middle of the second period. By the end of the period, Sweden had cut the U.S. lead to 4-1, then notched two more goals in the third to make it a one-goal game. Ben Gordon scored an insurance goal with about five minutes remaining in the third to make it a 5-3 final.
Unger, who plays for the Topeka ScareCrows (USHL), was named player of the game, and is reported to be the top U.S. kid thus far in the tournament.
In other games yesterday, the Czech Republic edged Russia, 2-1, before an all-time record crowd of 4,200 fans (all highly partisan) in Breclav. Star Russian forward Alexander Ovechkin, who was stopped on a penalty shot, was kept off the board by the Canadians.
Today in Breclav, right after the the conclusion of the U.S.-Finland game, is the marquee game:. #1 seed Russia vs. #1 seed Czech Republic.
- U.S. Results:
- Sat. Aug. 10 -- Czech Republic 5 vs. USA 3 @ Breclav, Czech Republic (exhibition game)
- Mon. Aug. 12 Czech Republic 6 vs. USA 3 @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Tues. Aug. 13 USA 1 vs. Russia 11 @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Thurs. Aug. 15 Sweden 3 vs. USA 5 @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Fri. Aug. 16 Qualification Round: USA vs. Finland @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Sat. Aug. 18 Medal Round TBD
Bourque to BU
Cushing Academy star forward Chris Bourque has committed to Boston University. Bourque, a leading scorer last winter as a freshman at Cushing, is expected to arrive on Comm. Ave. in the fall of 2005, by which time the Terriers will be playing in their new building.
Bourque, a 5'7", 160 lb. forward (left shot RW), was outstanding at last month's USA Hockey Select Festival, winning our vote as top forward in the camp. While he lacks size, he's a strong skater whose low center of gravity makes it difficult to knock him off his skates. He likes the physical game, hits hard, and can take a hit, too, rolling off his check and getting right back into the play. He's aggressive in the offensive zone, always moving his feet, looking for the right play if he has the puck, or a chance to get open if he doesn't. When he gets the puck down low, he's lethal.
Based on his play at the 16 Festival, Bourque was named to the U.S. Select Under-17 team going to Czech Republic in a few days for the Five Nations tournament. The U.S. will play four games between Aug. 20-24, facing Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Bourque, a native of Topsfield, Mass. and a 1/29/86 birthdate, is the son of former NHL defenseman Ray Bourque. Prior to going to Cushing, the younger Bourque played for the Littleton (Colorado) Bantams. He was invited to the National Team Development Program in March but chose to return to Cushing instead.
From the beginning, BU had the inside line on Bourque, a point illustrated by the fact that BC, also very interested in the Cushing forward, didn't even get a chance to get him up to the Heights for a visit. The same applies to UNH. .
Canadian Champs coming to New England
The Victoriaville Tigers, the QMJHL camps and Memorial Cup finalist; and the Halifax Oland Exports, the winners of the 2002 Royal Bank Cup, which goes to the Canadian Tier II champions, will be coming to Greater Boston Fri. Aug. 24 to Sun. Aug. 26.
The camp, held at the ICenter in Salem, NH, is hosted by Steve Kasper Sports Management International and Top Gun, and will also feature two teams of New England players, the rosters of which are below.
The players will have twice daily on-ice sessions starting Mon. Aug. 19. Kasper and former Bruin teammates Raymond Bourque, Bruce Crowder, and Reggie Lemelin, will all be on ice with the kids.
Here are the rosters. They are not final, as players may be moved between one team and the other.
Team 1: Goaltenders: Corey Schneider, Kain Tisi. Defensemen: Tim Holland, Mickey Dudley, Brian McCafferty, Bryant Harris, John Butler, John Grzelcyk. Forwards: Chris Capraro, Casey Ftorek, Chris Rebernik, Mac Faulkner, Joey Zappala, Dan Travis, David Riley, Robert Burns, Chris Genovese, Ian Willets, Christian Jensen, Keith Duperon.
Team II: Goaltenders: Keith Longo, Dan DelBuono, Chris Mannix. Defensemen: Mike Reynolds, Jayson Lee, Marc Bastarache, Mike Watson, Ryan Palmer. Forwards: Patrick Kimball, Benn Ferriero, Marc Borden, Derek Kirlis, Scott Crowder, Paul Jerusik, Christopher McPhee, Tyler Vrolyk, Alex Berry, Adam Scott, Chris Fontas, Ian Palmer.
- The Games:
- Fri. Aug. 23, 5:30 pm -- Team I vs. Halifax Oland Exports
- 8:00 pm -- Team II vs. Tigres de Victoriaville
- Sat. Aug. 24, 4:00 pm -- Team II vs. Halifax Oland Exports
- 7:00 pm -- Team I vs. Tigres de Victoriaville
One more game has just been added to the schedule. On Sun. Aug. 25, Victoriaville will play against a team of the 20 top players on the two U.S. teams.
This tournament, in conjunction with the Boston Jr. Bruins-hosted Beantown Classic, which will be going on concurrently in Malden, Mass., should give Boston-area scouts and recruiters another good reason to spend summer days inside.
Russia Blitzes U.S. Under-18 Selects
Breclav, Czech Republic -- Russian wing Alexander Ovechkin, a 6'1", 180 lb. wing, scored three goals and two assists to lead his country to an 11-1 pasting of the U.S. last night at the Under-18 World Junior Cup.
Ovechkin, who plays for Moscow Dynamo of the Russian Superleague and has already been dubbed the #1 overall pick for the 2004 NHL draft by the Hockey News, has size, can fly, and can make excellent plays at top speed. He's also physical, and has a great shot. "He has no weaknesses, he's phenomenal," reported one NHL scout here.
The Russian Under-18 team, which has four potential first-round NHL draft picks, is superb, featuring the country's best available players in that age group. The U.S. kids, the scout said, clearly lack that level of talent but "were working hard and giving it their best."
The Russians pulled a bush league move when, with the 11-1 lead and under 10 seconds left on the clock, they pulled their goalie for an extra skater in an effort to get Ovechkin his sixth point, a move, we're happy to report, that was unsuccessful.
The U.S. was outshot in the game, 50-29.
Lee Sweat scored just 1:16 into the game, giving the U.S. a short-lived 1-0 lead
Here's the U.S. schedule:
- Sat. Aug. 10 -- Czech Republic 5 vs. USA 3 @ Breclav, Czech Republic (exhibition game)
- Mon. Aug. 12 Czech Republic 6 vs. USA 3 @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Tues. Aug. 13 USA 1 vs. Russia 11 @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Thurs. Aug. 15 Sweden vs. USA @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Fri. Aug. 16 Qualification Round TBD
- Sat. Aug. 18 Medal Round TBD
It's catch-up time, so here's some news, much of it stuff that this reporter didn't have time to type up while scouting the '87s out in St. Cloud last week, and some newer stuff, too.
-- It's official. Before Gov. Dummer center Brian McGuirk left for the Czech Republic with the U.S. Under-18 Select team, he committed to Boston University. Since McGuirk, a 7/11/85 birthdate, is only going into the 11th grade this season, he won't be arriving at BU until the fall of 2004, at which time the Terriers hope to be in their new building. McGuirk, a 6'0", 181 lb. left-shot center from Danvers, Mass., is reported to have received a full scholarship. McGuirk has great wheels and plays a very up-tempo hard-nosed, physical game. He'll score his share of goals wherever he goes, but he's not a natural goal scorer. In general, the bulk of his goals come as a result of his tenacity and hard work -- he doesn't quit on plays. UNH was also in the hunt for McGuirk.
-- As mentioned below, Shattuck-St. Mary's defenseman Jack Johnson, a standout in St. Cloud, is the first '87 to accept an invitation to join the NTDP -- this being for the 2003-04 season. In the meantime, both Tommy Fritsche and Brandon Scero have been invited to -- and will be joining -- the NTDP for this year.
Fritsche, a 5'10", 175 lb. LW from Parma, Ohio, won a slot in the program at last month's Select 16 Festival, where he was the leading scorer with a 4-8-12 line. Fritsche, a late '86 birthdate and the younger brother of the Sarnia Sting (OHL) forward Danny Fritsche, will be teammates at Ann Arbor with center Nathan Davis, with whom he's played for years.
Scero, a 6'0, 190 lb. forward with the HoneyBaked '86s last winter, was also picked to join the NTDP off of a strong showing at the Select 16s.
One of those spots opened up when Patrick Davis, a 5'11", 175 lb. center with the Belle Tire Bantams decided not to join the NTDP. His coach of last year, Victor Federov, father of the Red Wings star, will be running a midget program and taking Davis with him.
Under high consideration for one of the available slots was 6'2", 185 lb. William Paukovich of Englewoood, Colorado and the Arapaho Midget AA squad. Paukovich is pretty raw, but has great pro potential and may turn out to be a strong world junior prospect a few years down the line -- the U.S. never seems to have enough big power forwards. Paukovich, who's already committed to Denver -- for whatever year all parties feel he's ready -- will be playing for the Tri-City Storm (USHL) this season.
-- Hamilton Kealty Bees (OPJHL) goaltender David Brown will be joining the Dave Poulin's Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the fall of 2003. Brown, who's 5'11", 175 lbs., was a standout at last for Team Ontario at last winter's World Under-17 Challenge in Manitoba. His OHL rights are held by Mississauga (5th round, 2001).
-- Boston College is reported to be zeroing in on Nobles D Dan McGoff, U.S. Under-17 defenseman Matt Lashoff, and Cushing forward Chris Bourque. (Boston University is also in the hunt for Lashoff.) UMass, Providence, and Clarkson are all pushing hard for Des Moines (USHL) forward Matt Burto.
-- Cornell has a commitment from 6'4", 190 lb. forward Bryon Bitz, who played midget hockey last winter with the Saskatoon Contacts, finishing up as the league's fifth-leading scorer. CC, Denver, Duluth, Lake State, and RPI were other schools interested in him. A 7/21/84 birthdate, Bitz will be playing for the Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL) this season. Of Cornell's 21 returnees from last season, 15 are 6'0" or better, led by 6'5", 220 lb. captain Stephen Baby. Of the Big Red's seven recruits for this fall, four are 6'0" or better. For the fall of 2003, Cornell's four recruits are, respectively, 6'0", 6'2", 6'2", and 6'4".
-- Mercyhurst assistant Greg Klym is reported to be taking over as an assistant at Union, taking the spot of Kevin Patrick, who went to Bowling Green with Scott Paluch. And Wayne State assistant Danny Brooks is reported to be the man to take over the assistant's position at Brown, vacated when Steven King left for the world of private business.
-- Hockey Night in Boston will be holding its all-star weekend this Friday and Saturday, the 16th and 17th. But that's not the end of things in the Boston area. The following weekend features the Beantown Classic, a new tournament hosted by the Boston Jr. Bruins and taking place at the new arena behind Malden High School run by the Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL) ownership. This is a four team, invitation-only tournament that is modeled after the old pro elite tournaments. Players for the Beantown Classic were picked by NHL scouts, each of whom based their decisions on both pro and Div. I potential. Among those committed -- the tournament will feature top '83s right on down to a few of the top '87s -- are Bryan Cirullo, Bill LeClerc, Chris Murray, Ray Ortiz, Kevin Regan, Kenny Roche, Jimmy Russo, Joey Ryan, Corey Schneider, Sean Sullivan, Brett Tyler, Brian Boyle, and many others.
There will be two games each day. Check www.beantownclassic.com for more. The tournament starts Thursday Aug. 22 and runs through Sun. Aug. 25.
-- 6'5", 215 lb. goaltender Joe Pearce, a Boston College recruit who came out of nowhere to help lead the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs to the EJHL championship this past spring, has left the Monarchs for the Chicago Steel (USHL). Pearce was a fifth round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in June's NHL draft.
-- Speaking of the Steel, head coach/GM Steve Richmond is leaving the club to take a full-time scouting position with the Washington Capitals. Before taking over the Steel, Richmond, a defenseman at Michigan and with four NHL teams in the late '80s, scouted for the Chicago Black Hawks. Who will take over the Steel? The names we've heard bandied about are Mike Aikens, a former assistant on Richmond's staff who's now at Billings (AWHL); A.J. Toews, who most recently was an assistant at Cedar Rapids; and Will Nichol, an assistant at Chicago last season. Nichol, though, may have already taken the head job at the IMG Academy in Florida that former Lake State assistant Paul Jerrard briefly held before being hired by the Colorado Avalanche.
-- The U.S. National Junior Camp, which wound up Sunday in Lake Placid, is the first step in the shaping of the team that will play in the WJC, which gets underway in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Dec. 26. More often than not a player will pop up somewhere in the fall and win himself a spot on the team, but for now this is a rough look at how things shook out in the North Woods.
In net, the leading candidates are Jimmy Howard (Maine) and Bobby Goepfert (Providence). In addition, Alvaro Montoya (Michigan) played well , and, despite being an '85, is in the picture. Dominic Vicari (River City Lancers) didn't get a chance to show what he can do, injuring himself halfway through the first game. And Dwight Labrosse (Guelph Storm) struggled.
On defense, lone returnee Ryan Whitney (BU) is a shoo-in, with Timmy Gleason (Windsor), Mark Stuart (CC), and Matt Jones (UND) all very impressive as well. There will be seven d-men. Judging off the camp, the leading candidates for the three remaining spots are Ryan Suter (U.S. Under-18 Team), Matt Carle (River City Lancers), Evan Shaw (Michigan State), and Judd Stevens (Minnesota).
Up front, returnees Dustin Brown (Guelph Storm), Dwight Helminen (Michigan), Chris Higgins (Yale), Ryan Hollweg (Medicine Hat), and Eric Nystrom (Michigan) all look to be shoo-ins, so that takes care of five slots right there. The next group of five would likely include Barry Tallackson (Minnesota), Zach Parisé (UND), Patrick Eaves (BC), Ryan Kesler (Ohio State), and Patrick O'Sullivan (Mississauga IceDogs). That makes ten forwards. Three more will be needed, and Lee Falardeau (Michigan State), Brian McConnell (BU), Ryan Shannon (BC), Nate Thompson (Seattle Thunderbirds), and Brett Sterling (CC) all look to have a good shot.
Here's the roster:
Note: The roster does not reflect a couple of changes: defenseman Eric Lundberg (PC) replaced the injured Bryan Miller (BU) before camp, and goaltender Travis Weber (Minnesota), though invited, didn't accept the invitation. Vicari, as mentioned above, was injured and done early. The same with Mike Morris (Northeastern), who injured his wrist in the first game. McConnell was hit from the side while digging the puck out from along the boards and went down hard. He was taken off on a stretcher, but checked out OK later on.
Select 15 Standouts
One nice thing about this year's Select 15 Festival, which wound up Thursday in St. Cloud, Minn., was the weather. Unlike last year, when the thermometer was consistently in the 95-100 degree range, this time around the thermometer was generally around 80, and quite pleasant.
As for the festival itself, the mixing up of teams -- as opposed to the old method of keeping the kids with their district squads -- has taken some of the allure away from the tournament. The excitement just isn't there. Purple and Maroon doesn't cut it the way Minnesota and Michigan does. Not surprisingly, the number of people attending the festival has gone down and there are times when it's just downright silent while the games are going on. It didn't used to be this way and, while many coaches don't really mind the new approach -- and the players know nothing else -- a good number of those who are watching every game are strongly in favor of bringing back the old format. No one's counting on it happening, though.
An interesting side story to this year's festival was the showing of the players from Wisconsin, specifically Madison, which produced highly-rated forwards Phil Kessel and Jack Skille, and Jeremy Dehner, a highly rated d-man. There are several others from Madison and other points in Wisconsin who had strong showings here.
The all-tournament team consisted of forwards Jack Skille, Phil Kessel, and Nathan Gerbe; defensemen Jack Johnson and Kyle Lawson; and goalie Robert Jarosz.
In the ranking below we give the most weight to actual performance at the festival, but we don't totally disregard future potential, either. If a player's performance is significantly hurt by injury and we are aware of it, we will mention it. Finally, remember that, as good as the players are at these things, it's still summer hockey. We've all seen kids who are just not as good in the summer as winter, which is OK. Winter is when the games count!
Note: The rankings below reflect the views of the U.S. Hockey Report only. We we have neither the time nor inclination to answer letters of complaint about individual player rankings. Most of the kids here fall into three categories: 1) Kids who flat-out played well, regardless of how they project for Jr. A or Div I or pro hockey. 2) Kids who are excellent players who either played a little (or a lot) below par and/or were injured. Since this can also work as a finders list we were careful to include -- at least somewhere in the ranking -- all such players. 3) Projects who could turn out to be big-time players, but right now are just big, raw, untutored kids growing into their body.
The rankings, as mentioned above, are weighted toward the first category -- the kids who simply came and played well.
1. Phil Kessel, #17 Purple, 5-10/160 -- From Verona, Wisc. and the Madison Capitols Bantams. Has speed -- he simply flies -- and stick skills that allow him to work the puck through traffic and create opportunities. A dangerous, elusive player. Keeps opponents off balance. Late '87 DOB. Named to all-tournament team. 7-5-12.
2. Jack Skille, #10 Royal Blue, 5-11/185 -- From Madison, Wisc. and Team Wisconsin Midget AAA. His father, Lee Skille, now the AD at Madison Memorial, played hockey for the University of Wisconsin in the mid-'70s and was a roommate of current Badger head coach Mike Eaves. Skille is an exceptional player, a top prospect. He's explosive, and powers to the net. Great shot, just snaps it off. An exciting player to watch. Named to all-tournament team. 6-0-6 w/3 penalties.
3. Scott Birnstill, #20 Maroon, 6-2/205 -- From Commack, NY. Played last winter for the Long Island Gulls Bantam. Moving up to NY Applecore (EJHL) this season. Was quiet early but then came to life. His shot is excellent. Had the inside of the post all staked out. Passing skills are also strong. Good skater. Tools are excellent. Needs to play with more passion. 6-3-9 w/ 4 penalties.
4. Ryan Stoa, #11 Green, 6-2/180 -- Bloomington native attends Bloomington Kennedy HS. A rangy centerman and strong skater with a good stride, Stoa doesn't have incredible stick skills, but does have soft hands and makes nice soft touch passes. More of a finesse center than a power forward type, though he could add elements of the latter into his game. 2-5-7.
5. Tommy Mannino, #18 Black, 6-0/211-- From Farmington Hills, Mich. Played for The Storm Midget AA. Going to play midgets for Chris Coury this season. Uses a long stick, but handles (and protects) puck well. Sees the ice and uses his size effectively. 5-0-5.
6. Daniel Collins, #17 Gray, 6-2/183 -- From Carthage, NY and the Syracuse Stars. Has size, can skate, has good stick skills and can make a play. Good finisher. Dangerous down low. 2-6-8.
7. Nathan Gerbe, #9 Gold, 5-6/145 -- From Oxford, Mich. and HoneyBaked '87. Skilled player with grit and tenacity. Very crafty. Plays bigger than his listed height/weight of 5'6". Named to all-tournament team. 5-2-7 w/ 4 penalties.
8. Tim Miller, #18 Maroon, 6-0/175 -- From Davisburg, Mich. and the Compuware '87s. He's big, fast, strong, and has an excellent shot. Soft hands. Very solid on his feet. 4-7-11 w/ 3 penalties.
9. Bobby Ryan, #16 Gold, 6-1/185 -- From LA Jr. Kings Bantams. Looks to have big-time potential. He's a big, strong winger with all the offensive tools. Needs to get the feet going a little more and use his size better. Very good high-end potential. 4-5-9.
10. Robby Dee, #17 Black, 5-11/155 -- From Plymouth, Minn. Played for Armstrong Bantams. Look for him with Armstrong HS this winter. Good-sized, smooth-skating centerman with a strong sense of the game and the ability to create or finish off scoring opportunities. 3-3-6.
11. Graham Sisson, #10 Gold, 5-8/145 -- From Chesterfield, Missouri and the St. Louis Amateur Blues. Not a flashy player, but quietly effective, from blocking point-blank shots at one end to making a play or finishing one off at the other end. Extremely productive here. 6-5-11.
12. Vladimir Nikiforov, #14 Purple, 5-2/115 -- From Hauppage, NY. Played for the Long Island Royals Bantams. Very small but he's a late '87, so he should grow a bit. Extremely aware player who was probably the best passer in the tournament. Tape-to-tape every time. A fun player to watch. 2-3-5.
13. Travis Vermeulen, #15 Orange, 5-4/155 -- From Centerville, Minn. Played for Centennial Bantams last season. 3-6-9. Small, but very, very crafty. Needs to lengthen his stride. 3-6-9.
14. Chad Rau, #19 Gold, 5-10/155 -- Eden Prairie Bantam A. Skates well, is agile, has good hands, and competes. Solid in all aspects of game. 2-3-5.
15. Jimmy Fraser, #17 Orange, 5-11/158 -- From Port Huron, Mich. Played for Honeybaked '86 last season. 2-3-5. Skates hard, is physical. Has a nice release.
16. John Kemp, #18 Navy, 5-8/164 -- From Arcadia, Calif. and the LA Jr. Kings. A fluid skater with the agility to stickhandle through a crowd. His puck skills, in conjunction with his sense of the game, make him a player to watch. Makes nice passes and gets open well. 4-1-5 w/ 2 penalties.
17. Ben Holmstrom, #18 Gray, 5-10/137 -- From Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Bantams. Gets open well for the pass. Very good down low. Good skater. Good hands. 4-4-8.
18. Chris Clackson, #16 Maroon, 5-11/176 -- From McMurray, PA. Played for the Pittsburgh Hornets '87s last winter. Good size and good hands. Skating needs a little improvement. Big point producer here. 5-4-9.
19. Jordan Fulton, #14 Navy 6-0/175 -- From Brooklyn Park, Minn. Played for Champlin Park Bantams. Showed flashes of top-end skill but was inconsistent. Definitely worth keeping an eye on. 2-2-4.
20. Ryan Thang, #15 White, 5-11/175 -- From Edina, Minn. Played for Edina Bantams last season. Competes. Skates hard. Good all-around player. 0-4-4.
21. Benn Ferriero, #18 Green, 5-10/165 -- From Essex, Mass. and Governor Dummer Academy. In a 2-2 game, Ferriero roofed a beauty from 15-20' that tucked under the crossbar, then shot back out. Nobody saw it. The other team scored the next goal, and went on to win. 0-4-4.
22. Chris Murphy, #8 Orange, 5-9/150 -- From Arlington, Mass. Played for Valley Junior Warriors organization. Going to St. Sebastian's. Skilled. Skates well. Goes to the net hard -- and scores. One of the sleepers here. 5-3-8.
23. Matt Ambroz, #15 Maroon, 6-2/185 -- From New Prague, Minn. and New Prague HS. A big winger who puts up points. 2-3-5.
24. Jon Ammerman, #12 Navy, 5-10/170 -- From Moorhead, Minn. and the Moorhead Bantams. Power forward type got better every day. Good speed, good shot. 3-1-4.
25. Mike Testwuide, #8 Green, 6-1/185 -- Not the greatest skater, but has size and a nose for the net. Good power forward potential. From Vail, Colorado but goes to the Northwood School. 2-4-6.
26. Jason Lawrence, #9 Royal Blue, 5-10/178 -- From Saugus, Mass. Played varsity for Austin Prep last season. Good stick. Good on draws. Needs to become a stronger skater. 3-4-7.
27. Joseph Brock, #20 Black, 5-8/160 -- From Cumming, Georgia. Attends Shattuck-St. Mary's. Has an idea of what to do with puck. Good sense of the game. Good hands; makes good passes. 3-1-4.
28. Steven Silva, #9 Gray, 5-9/148 -- From Tyngsboro, Mass. and the Cardigan Mountain School. Good skater is shifty and works hard. 1-6-7.
29. Tommy Schmicker, #9 Purple, 6-2/197 -- From Rye, NY. Played for New Jersey Jr. Devils last winter. Going to Deerfield Academy. Big rugged kid with a good stick. Skating is OK. 3-2-5.
30. Zach Bearson, #19 Orange, 6-1/170 -- From Naperville, Ill. Played for TI '87. Big center came up with the game winner vs. Gold with only 48 seconds left -- and right after his team had given up the lead. 4-1-5 w/ 4 penalties.
31. Michael Fenkell, #14 Red, 5-8/145 -- From Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and HoneyBaked '87. 3-1-4.
32. Justin Abdelkader, #15 Teal, 6-0/175 -- From Muskegon, Mich. and the Muskegon Chiefs. A power forward type. Scored game-winning goal vs. Purple team, driving down left side and just letting one rip. 2-0-2.
33. Patrick Schafer, #19 Navy, 5-9/154 -- From Hilliard, Ohio and the Cleveland Barons Bantams. A 12/24/87 DOB. Nice goal vs. Teal, splitting the D and roofing one. 4-1-5 w/ 4 penalties.
34. Luke Lynes, #9 Green, 6-1/160 -- From Ellicott City, Maryland and the Washington Little Caps. Good skills; a little inconsistent. Nov. '87 birthdate. 2-2-4.
35. Jonathan Maniff, #15 Gold, 5-9/165 -- From Revere, Mass. and Austin Prep Varsity. Nice touch around the net. 5-2-7.
36. Anthony McIntyre, #11 White, 5-10/166 -- From Waterford Township, Mich. Plays at Orchard Lake St. Mary's HS. Lacks speed, but competes, is physical, and has a touch around the net. 6-1-7.
37. Phillip DeSimone, #14 Teal, 5-11/177 -- From Williamsville, NY and the Buffalo Saints '86 Selects. 2-1-3. Nice individual move vs. Maroon, splitting the D and beating goaltender with a nifty backhander.
38. Hunter Bishop, #9 Black, 5-9/150 -- From Fairbanks, Alaska and the Arctic Lions Bantams. Works hard. 1-2-3.
39. Bryan Haczyk, #12 Maroon, 5-7/140 -- From Nutley, NJ and the New Jersey Devils Bantam. Good hands. Works hard. 0-3-3.
40. Michael Guzzo, #11 Royal Blue, 5-8/153 -- From Pinckney, Mich. and HoneyBaked '87s. Always involved. 3-4-7 w/ 4 penalties.
41. Brett Bandazian, #15 Royal Blue, 6-0/185 -- From Wyckoff, NJ and the New Jersey Devils Bantams. Skates well, has good size, and a bullet of a shot. 1-4-5.
42. David Meckler, #17 Teal, 5-11/160 -- From Highland Park, Ill. and TI Midget Major. Good hand skills, but his skating holds him back a bit. 3-1-4.
43. Zachary MacVoy, #10 Purple, 6-1/210 -- From Livonia, Mich. and Compuware '87. Needs to move feet quicker. Always noticeable. The 11 penalties ( including several misconducts) helped. 1-1-2.
44. Ryan Jones, #20 White, 6-2/166 -- From Pittsburgh, PA and the North Hills Vipers. A big winger to keep an eye on. 0-2-2.
45. Jacob Cepis, #11 Purple, 5-1/112 -- From Parma, Ohio and the Cleveland Jr. Barons '87. A waterbug. Clever. Very dangerous 1-on-1. A 12/21/87 DOB so he'll grow some. 4-1-5.
46. Tyler Weigel, #8 Maroon, 5-10/165 -- From Madison, Wisc. and the Madison Capitols Bantams. Very effective in offensive zone. 5-2-7.
47. Asher Hirshberg, #15 Green, 5-11/185 -- Ann Arbor, Mich. native played for the Vipers Bantam AA team last winter. 4-1-5 w/3 penalties.
48. Chris DeBaere, #20 Teal, 5-6/135 -- From Wayland, Mass. Played last winter for Minutemen Flames. Going to Belmont Hill. Hard-working player skates well, handles puck well, and plays both ends of the ice. 2-0-2.
49. Ben Ketchum, #11 Red, 5-11/170 -- From Greenwich, Conn. and the Greenwich Skating Club Bantams. Excellent, smooth skater with hands to match. 1-1-2.
50. Chris Cahill, #17 Red, 5-11/170 -- From North Andover, Mass. Going to Belmont Hill. Power forward prospect. Probably has more offensive skills than he showed here. 1-0-1.
1. Steven Spade, #3 Purple, 6-2/185 -- RD from Rochester Americans '87s has size, a nice long stride, likes to hit, and has a ton of poise. Looks like a pro already. Will be playing for the Georgetown Raiders (OPJHL). A 12/10/87 birthdate, which suggests he will continue growing. 1-0-1 w/ 6 penalties.
2. Jack Johnson, #4 Navy, 6-0/175 -- LD from Faribault, Minn. and Shattuck-St. Mary's Bantam squad was a force here. A high-energy, exciting, up-tempo player to watch, Johnson is strong on his skates, can rush the puck, and has a blistering slapshot. Likes to work his way down from the point and blast away. Hard-nosed. Imposes his will on the game. Was a major force in Monday's game vs. Gold. His one fault is he tries to do too much at times -- not necessarily a bad thing at this age -- and thus can get himself into trouble. On Friday, Jackson, who was named to the all-tournament team here, was invited to the NTDP for the 2003-04 season, and accepted. He will return to Shattuck for this season. 1-0-1 w/ 6 penalties.
3. Kyle Lawson, #2 Royal Blue, 6-0/200 -- RD from New Hudson, Mich. and '87 Little Caesar's. We don't think he's quite 6'0", but he is very solid on his skates, plays physically, and plays both ways. What makes him a special prospect is his offensive skill. Breaks up plays nicely in his end, gathers in the puck and makes that first pass unerringly. Simply a very good playmaking D. Has a good shot, too. Sees the game well. Led all defensemen in scoring with an eye-popping 4-7-11 line, more than twice as many points as the next defenseman in the scoring leaders, and only one point behind tournament leader Phil Kessel. Named to all-tournament team.
4. Brian Lee, # 4 Maroon, 6-2/175 -- Big RD played for Moorhead (Minn.) Bantams last winter. Smooth, steady, has size and great feet. Better offensively than defensively. Sometimes overhandles the puck, but decisions are basically good. We expect he'll play for the Spuds this year. 0-4-4 w/ 4 penalties.
5. Mark Mitera, #6 Red, 6-2/170 -- LD from Livonia, Mich. and HoneyBaked 87s. Great skill package -- size, hands, skating, a strong shot. Still kind of raw, but there's a lot of talent to work with here. Late '87 birthdate. 0-0-0.
6. Taylor Chorney, #2 Red, 5-8/150 -- RD from Hastings, Minn. and Hastings A Bantam has exceptional passing and stick skills. Dad is Marc Chorney, who played at North Dakota and in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins and LA Kings. 0-0-0.
7. Brandon Gentile, #5 Teal, 6-0/170 -- From Clarkson, Mich. and Little Caesar's '87 Good-sized LD. Uses his head. Physical. Competes. Physically strong. Good feet. A defensive D who can chip in a bit offensively. 0-4-4 w/ 3 penalties.
8. Zachary Jones, #5 Green, 5-11/170 -- RD from Naperville, Ill. and TI '87. Younger brother of North Dakota D-man Matt Jones. Like his brother, Jones is a very good skater, and very skilled. Needs to get a little more involved physically. 0-1-1.
9. Ryan Turek, #4 White, 5-11/158 -- From Northville, Mich. and Little Caesar's '87. Late '87 birthdate, so there's room for growth. Very mobile, smooth-skating RD. 1-1-2.
10. Chris Gravelding, #7 Royal Blue, 5-9/170 -- RD from Clinton, NY. Played last season for the Syracuse Stars Bantams. Can really skate with the puck. Works hard all over the ice. Good sense of the game. A Dec. '87 birthdate. 0-0-0.
11. Jeremy Dehner, #3 Black, 5-7/155 -- From Madison, Wisc. Played for the Madison Capitols Bantams, coached by Bob Suter. Smooth offensive left-shot D who is solid in his own end, too. Smooth skater who changes speed nicely. Has a nice low shot. 0-0-0.
12. David Inman, #7 Maroon, 6-0/190 -- RD from San Diego, Calif. and the LA Jr. Kings Bantams. Smooth, confident and strong defensively. Hockey sense OK. Nice shot. 1-0-1.
13. Michael Phillippi, #4 Orange, 5-10/150 -- RD played for Hill-Murray JV last winter. Good hands. Has patience, poise, too. 0-4-4.
14. Michael Kondratek, #7 Orange, 5-8/165 -- From Canton, Mich. and HoneyBaked '87. Small, clever RD. Nice one-timer. 2-2-4.
15. Colin Young, #7 Red, 5-11/175 -- LD from Dedham, Mass. and the Walpole Stars Midgets. Brother of Princeton-bound D-man Seamus Young. Will be at St. Sebastian's himself. Got better as week progressed. Scored nice goal Wed., walking it across the blue line until seeing an opening and firing it top shelf. 1-01.
16. Carl Babich, #5 Gray, 5-11/150 -- LD from Eveleth, Minn. and Eveleth-Gilbert HS, coached by former UVM star Craig Homola. A raw talent who does everything well. Athletic. Competitive. 0-1-1.
17. Timothy Kunes, #6 Gray, 5-10/150 -- LD From Huntington, NY and the Long Island Gulls Bantam A. Good skating stride. Good hands. Outlet passes were very good. Needs to get a little sharper in his own end. 0-1-1.
18. Jonathan Fox, #3 White, 5-8/155 -- LD from Fresno, CA and the LA Jr. Kings Bantam Major. A smooth skater with good offensive skills. Not bad in his own end, either. 1-1-2.
19. Chris Babich, #4 Green, 5-11/150 -- RD from Eveleth, Minn. and Eveleth-Gilbert HS. Good physical tools. Babich is the twin brother of Carl Babich, a LD playing here for the Grey team. 1-0-1.
20. Adam Snead, #2 Orange, 6-0/148 -- RD from Sylvania, OH and the Toledo Jr. Storm. Nice accurate shot. Good offensively. 2-3-5 w/ 2 penalties.
21. Erik Felde, #4 Gray, 5-8/150 -- LD from Anchorage, AK and Alaska All-Stars Bantams. Good hands and agility. Moves puck well. A 12/29/87 DOB, just three days from being an '88. 0-2-2.
22. Sean Coughlin, #5 Navy, 5-11/160 -- RD From Winthrop, Mass. Played for Middlesex Islanders. Tall, lanky, and a decent skater. Played physically. Passes were on the mark. December '87 birthdate. 0-4-4 w/ 3 penalties.
23. Max Mobley, #5 Royal Blue, 5-6/160 -- RD from Glendale, AZ and the Chandler Jr. Polar Bears. Skates well with puck, and has a nice shot. 2-1-3.
24. Cody Wild, #2 Black, 5-11/166 -- LD has good hands. From N. Providence, RI. Played for LaSalle Academy (RI) and Boston Jr. Bruins Midgets. 0-1-1.
25. Chris Huxley, #2 Purple, 5-8/149 -- LD from S. Weymouth, HS and Weymouth HS Varsity. 2-3-5.
26. Johnathan Kearns, #2 Gold, 5-11/155 -- RD from Park Ridge, IL and TI's Bantam Major team. 0-3-3 w/ 4 penalties.
27. Sam Zabkowicz, #2 Navy, 5-4/115 -- From Greendale, Wisc. Attends University School of Milwaukee. Played for Team Wisconsin '87s last season. LD is small, skilled with the puck, mobile. 0-1-1.
28. Tim Filangieri, #6 Black, 6-0/190 -- LD from N. Massapequa, NY and the Long Island Gulls Bantam A. Solid defensive defenseman. 0-0-0.
29. Hunter Thunell, #5 Red, 6-2/175 -- Big RD from Walpole, Mass. and the St. Sebastian's School.skates well for his size. A meat-and-potatoes defensive defenseman. 1-0-1.
30. Pierre Lamoureux, #7 White, 6-1/194 -- Will play for Grand Forks Central HS. 0-0-0 w/ 5 penalties. Big and physical. Skating needs improvement. 0-0-0.
31. Anthony Galante, #4 Teal, 5-10/170 -- From E. Amherst, NY. Plays for St. Francis HS and the Depew Saints. 1-2-3 w/ 4 penalties.
32. Ross James, #2 Teal, 6-1/178 -- From Orono, Maine and the PVHC Travel Bantam A. Good size. A player who could develop in time. 0-0-0.
33. Jason Fredricks, #6 Maroon, 6-0/165 -- From Eagle River, Wisc. Played for Shattuck-St.Mary's Bantam AA. 1-0-1.
34. Tim Geverd, #3 Green, 5-10/190 -- RD from Hooksett, NH and the Cardigan Mountain School. Tough, competitive, and good with the puck. 1-2-3.
35. Dallas Bossort, #6 Navy, 5-11/175 -- RD From Bismarck, ND. Goes to Century HS. Skates well with puck. 0-3-3.
1. Robert Jarosz, #30 Royal Blue, 5-11/150 -- From Crystal Lake, Ill. and the CYA organization. Very efficient in his movement and squares up nicely to shooter. Had three shutout halves, and only allowed three goals all week long. Named to all-tournament team. .962
2. Billy Blase, #1 Black, 5-10/xxx -- From Santa Monica, CA and LA Jr. Kings Bantam AAA. Was excellent throughout the week, allowing three goals total, and posting three shutout halves. .965
3. Shane Connelly, #30 White, 5-7/150 -- Native of Cheltenham, PA already has one season of varsity hockey under his belt at Culver Military Academy. Very sound technically, and very quick, too. Never allowed more than one goal per game. .928
4. Aaron Rock, #30 Orange, 6-0/165 -- From Wheaton, Ill and Chicago Chill Midget Minor. Had three shutout halves. .923
5. Shawn Hunwick, #30 Maroon, 5-5/140 -- From Roseville, Mich. and HoneyBaked. Younger brother of NTDP defenseman Matt Hunwick. Small, quick, and athletic. Makes flashy saves Started slowly, but played very well in second half of tournament. .902
6. Brennan Poderzay, #1 Teal, 5-11/168 -- From Tower, Minn. Played varsity for Ely HS, which is up on the Iron Range. Sees the puck well through a crowd. .901
7. Chris Drobnicki, #1 Navy, 5-7/170 -- From Clifton, NY and Albany Academy. Started tournament with three consecutive shutout halves. .940
8. Jeff Frazee, #30 Red, 5-11/180 -- From Burnsville, Minn. and Holy Angels, where he played in six varsity games. Consistently good here. Didn't have a bad game. .920
9. Peter Cox, #30 Green, 6-1/200 -- From Lunenberg, Mass. and St. John's-Shrewsbury HS. Used his size well. Gained confidence from two shutout halves at start of tournament. 924
10. Justin Wakefield, #1 Orange, 5-11/161 -- From Pittsford, NY and Perinton Midget Major. Consistent throughout week, never allowing more than one goal until last game, when he allowed two. .926
U.S. Under-18 Selects Bow to Czechs in Exhibition Tilt
The USA Hockey Under-18 Select Team has arrived in Breclav, Czech Republic. Last night, they tuned up for this week's Under-18 Junior World Cup with a game against the host country.
The Czech Republic won, 5-3.
The U.S. led 1-0, gave up a pair of goals to fall behind, 2-1, got one to tie it up at 2-2, then gave up a pair to fall behind 4-2. The U.S. cut the Czech Republic lead to 4-3, but the hosts scored a late goal for the final 5-3 margin of victory.
The U.S. goals were scored by Aaron Bader (Seattle Thunderbirds); Brent Borgen (Mahtomedi HS); and James Unger (Topeka Scarecrows).
We don't have save totals. However, Zane Kalemba (Hotchkiss School) and Wylie Rogers (NTDP) split time in net, Kalemba giving up two goals and Rogers three.
Steve Johnson of the Lincoln Stars (USHL) is the team's head coach. He is being assisted by Steve Dagdigian, the head coach at the St. Sebastian's School, and U.S. Air Force Academy associate head coach Derek Schooley.
All of the players on the team were picked off their performance at the Select 17 Festival, which concluded six days ago in St. Cloud, Minnesota
No players who competed for the NTDP last season are allowed to appear at the Select Festivals, hence no NTDP veterans are on the team going to this tournament.
Here's the U.S. schedule:
- Sat. Aug. 10 -- Czech Republic 5 vs. USA 3 @ Breclav, Czech Republic (exhibition game)
- Mon. Aug. 12 Czech Republic vs. USA @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Tues. Aug. 13 USA vs. Russia @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Thurs. Aug. 15 Sweden vs. USA @ Breclav, Czech Republic
- Fri. Aug. 16 Qualification Round TBD
- Sat. Aug. 18 Medal Round TBD
The United States is in Group B. Group A consists of Slovakia, Finland, Canada, and Switzerland and that pool will compete in Piestany, Slovakia, which is over the border and down the road apiece.