Established 1996
 
 

 

2/28/03

78 Saves; 5 OTs = Local Hero

The big man in Minnesota tonight is Lakeville HS junior goaltender Brandon O'Brien, who made 78 saves to lead his team to a five OT 3-2 win over Rochester Century in the Section 1AA final and a slot in the Minnesota State High School tournament.

Lakeville won despite being outshot 80-37. O'Brien never faltered as the pressure increased -- of his saves, 14 were in the second overtime and 18 in the fourth overtime. The OT periods rotated between 8 and 15 minutes, and the game lasted 97:57.

When Aaron Lawson scored in that 98th minute the teams were 1:03 from heading to a sixth OT. Instead, Lakeville, the state's instant Cinderella team, is heading to the Xcel Center to face powerful Eden Prairie in the quarterfinals next Thursday night.

In other Class AA games last night:

-- At Mariucci Arena, Holy Angels topped Eastview, 4-0, and will also advance to the Xcel Center. The defending champions, skating and passing well in the early going, jumped out to a very quick 2-0 lead on a couple of soft goals, but after that Eastview took over. From the 7:11 mark of the first period onward, Eastview outshot Holy Angels 26-14, but sophomore goalie Jeff Frazee was excellent, blanking Eastview, whose forwards -- Tim Hartung and Nate Ryan, in particular -- had some excellent scoring opportunities as they dominated the Holy Angels defense down low. But Frazee blanked them, ending their 11-game unbeaten streak, and season.

Besides Frazee, other standouts for Holy Angels were defenseman Jack Hillen, and forwards Kevin Rollwagen, Jimmy Kilpatrick, and Mike Taylor.

-- In the other final at Mariucci, Eden Prairie simply had too much speed and finesse for Edina, who couldn't keep up on the big sheet and were trounced, 6-0.

The game, between two teams which finished among the top five ranked metro teams, didn't live up to its advance billing. Eden Prairie jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, and led 6-0 after two. Most of the crowd was gone by then. The final period was played on running time.

Ryan Watters, Chad Rau, and Ryan Hawkins all had strong games for Eden Prairie. Marcus Paulson made 22 saves for the shutout.

-- Elsewhere in Class AA, Roseville advanced by knocking off Cretin-Derham Hall 5-1 in the Section 2AA final, earning their third trip to the state tournament in four years.

-- In Class A play, top-seeded Blake was upset by St. Louis Park, 4-2, in the Section 5A final.

 

2/28/03

Prep Senior All-Star Game Rosters

Here are the rosters for the Prep Senior All-Star Game, which will be held Sunday morning at 10 am at the Icenter in Salem, NH. Players from the four teams that made the tournament are ineligible, of course.

East Seniors

Goaltenders (3): Herb Hollins (KUA), James Kalec (NMH), David Scardella (Milton).

Defensemen (8): Taso Kapernekas (GDA); Eric Yeager (Exeter); Colin Greenhalgh (Nobles); Bill LeClerc (St. Paul's); Greg Goldman (Thayer); Rob Concannon (Pingree); John Doherty (Andover); Jon Landry (Nobles).

Forwards (12): John Geverd (Lawrence); Joe Fernald (Thayer); Dave Germain (NMH); Ian Hanley (BB&N); Nick Mazzolini (Andover); Jared Silver (Tabor); Brendan Byrne (Milton); Barry McLaughlin (GDA); Casey Carr (Holderness); Al Stevenson (St. Paul's); John Halverson (Exeter); Marc Santuccio (Bridgton).

West Seniors

Goaltenders (3): Alec Pine (Berkshire); Dan Tatar (Loomis); Pat Watson (Pomfret).

Defensemen (8): Tim Holland (Berkshire); Matt Torti (Canterbury); Brandon Zangel (Hotchkiss); William Wallace (Hotchkiss); Brett Shirreffs (Hotchkiss); Mike Polsonetti (Pomfret); Kyle Sibley (Salisbury); Ben Loss (Westminster); Peter Watson (Winchendon).

Forwards (12): Ryan McDonald (Avon Old Farms); Mike Cohen (Berkshire); James Sixsmith (Canterbury); Kevin Dwyer (Choate); Boo White (Choate); Sam Bowles (Hotchkiss); Jason Beliveau (Millbrook); Paul Cullen (Millbrook); Matt Rafuse (Pomfret); Chris Myers (Salisbury); James Trahon (Salisbury); Jordan Virtue (Winchendon).

 

2/27/03

Portland, Maine Gets a Junior Team

The Portland Pirates (AHL) will be sponsoring a new junior team for the state of Maine starting this fall.

The team, which will play at the Biddeford Ice Arena, about 15 miles south of Portland, will be called the Portland Junior Pirates. The AHL club will supply unforms and help the junior team with cross-marketing, promotion, and office space. The club will be run by the Maine Hockey Group, which consists of co-owners Sean O'Brien, 28, a Saco, Maine resident and NHL scout with the Florida Panthers, and Jay Pecora, 29, the former head coach at Deering (Maine) HS. O'Brien and Pecora played together at both Austin Prep and New England College, and have run hockey schools together for the past six years.

O'Brien, who will continue to scout for Florida, will be the GM . Pecora will be the head coach.

The team has active support from Pirates CEO Brian Petrovek, former Deputy Executive Director of USA Hockey and a Harvard goaltender back in the mid-70s. Petrovek will serve on the Maine Hockey Group board.

The team, a tuition-based organization, will play a 60-65 game independent schedule next year. The following year they hope to be accepted into the EJHL, which right now has a freeze on any new franchises.

 

2/26/03

Top Prep Seeds Advance

In Wednesday's Div. I prep quarterfinal action, the top seeds all won. Two-time defending champion St. Sebastian's scored three third-period goals to come from behind and top Exeter, 5-3. Deerfield scored two goals in the final 3:40 of regulation and then added a powerplay goal in OT to edge Salisbury, 3-2. Cushing topped Gov. Dummer, 6-2, while Taft trounced Hotchkiss, 11-2.

For more details, please go to the New England Prep Page.

Here's the schedule for the semis.

Sat. March 1
NEPSIHA Semifinals at the Icenter; Salem, NH

11:00 am -- DII Semifinal: Tilton vs. Proctor
1:15 pm -- DII Semifinal: South Kent vs. St. George's
3:30 pm -- DI Semifinal: Deerfield vs. Cushing
6:00 pm -- DI Semifinal: St. Sebastian's vs. Taft

 

2/26/03

Kowalkoski Shuts Down Benilde

In as nail-biter in Minnesota Class A sectional play last night, #1-seeded Blake got an OT goal from sophomore Jeremy Roberts to knock off Benilde-St. Margaret's, 1-0, in semifinal play last night.

But the real hero for Blake was 5'11" junior goaltender Justin Kowalkoski, who came under heavy pressure in the first period and then again in an OT period dominated by Benilde.

"How many times do you watch one net for seven minutes, and the other team gets one shot and it's over?" asked Benilde coach Ken Pauly.

"We weathered the storm," said John Hamre, Blake's first-year head coach.

Hamre's team will meet St. Louis Park (6-2 winners over Richfield last night) on Thursday, with a trip to the Xcel Center riding in the balance. .

-- In Section 7A, Hibbing, behind a goal by sophomore Shea Walters, upset International Falls, 1-0, in the final at the DECC. Hibbing had been shut out by International Falls, featuring Minnesota recruit Ben Gordon, twice during the regular season.

-- Golden Gopers recruit Brent Borgen notched five points (3g,2a) in Mahtomedi's 7-3 win over Minnehaha Academy in a 3A sectional semi.

-- In a Div. 3AA semifinal, White Bear Lake knocked off Hill-Murray, 4-2, behind a pair of goals by senior forward Troy Collova. White Bear Lake will play the winner of tonight's Centennial-North St. Paul game. In a Section 4AA semi, Anoka topped Armstrong, 4-1.

 

2/26/03

Mass. Publics Advance

Belmont High, after fighting off a late rally by St. John's Prep, came out on top, 5-3; and Chelmsford High edged St. Johns-Shrewsbury 2-1 last night to advance to the Super 8 this Sunday at Tsongas Arena in Lowell.

This year's tournament is composed of four publics, and four Catholics.

The times we were previously given for Sunday's action at Tsongas were incorrect. Here are the correct times.

#4 Hingham vs. #5 Austin Prep, Noon.
#3 Arlington vs. #6 Arlington Catholic, 2:30 pm
#7 Belmont vs. #2 Catholic Memorial, 4:45 pm
#8 Chelmsford vs. #1 BC High, 7:00 pm


2/25/06

Updated Prep Playoff Schedule

Here's the final updated version of the playoff schedule for Wednesday -- and the weekend, too. Note there have been a couple of minor changes in times and venue, mostly on the Div. II side.

Wed. Feb. 26 Quarterfinals:

Div. I

#4E Exeter at #1E St. Sebastian's, 4:00 pm
#3E Gov. Dummer at #2E Cushing, 3:00 pm
#4W Salisbury at #1W Deerfield, 3:30 pm
#3W Hotchkiss at #2W Taft, 2:30 pm

Div. II

#8 Tilton at #1Pingree, 3:30 pm
#7 Groton at #2 South Kent (at Loomis, 4:30 pm)
#6 St. George's at #3 Hoosac (at Choate, 4:00 pm)
#5 Proctor at #4 St. Mark's, 3:00 pm

Sat. March 1
NEPSIHA Semifinals at the Icenter; Salem, NH

11:00 am -- DII Semifinal (winner of Pingree/Tilton vs. winner of St. Mark's/Proctor)
1:15 pm -- DII Semifinal (winner of South Kent/Groton vs. winner of Hoosac/St. George's)
3:30 pm -- DI Semifinal (winner of Deerfield/Salisbury vs. winner of Cushing/Gov. Dummer)
6:00 pm -- DI Semifinal (winner of St. Sebastian's/Exeter vs. winner of Taft/Hotchkiss)


Sun. March 2

NEPSIHA Finals at the Icenter; Salem, NH
10:00 am -- East-West Senior Game
12:30 pm -- DII Final
3:00 pm -- DI Final

Driving Directions to the Icenter: From Boston, Take Route 93 North. Right after crossing the Mass/New Hampshire border, take Exit 1 (Rockingham Park Boulevard). After exiting, you will see a sign for Mall Road, which will take you up on an overpass. When you come to a traffic light, take a right. This is Mall Road (you will see the race track on your right). Very shortly thereafter, it comes to a T, take a left there (Rt. 38 South), go straight through two sets of lights, and you'll see the Icenter about a half-mile down on your right.

 

2/25/06

Collins a Buckeye

Sioux City Musketeers RD Sean Collins has committed to Ohio State. A 6'1", 200 lb. RD from Troy, Mich., Collins is a steady defenseman who's solid 1-on-1, doesn't make a lot of mistakes, and can play in any situation.

Collins, who played for the Cleveland Barons (NAHL) the last two years and, before that, Sarnia of the Western Ontario Jr. B League, is a Little Caesar's product.

In 46 games played, Collins has a 2-18-20 line, with 73 pims.

 

2/23/03

Mass Super 8 Matchups

Here are the seedings for the Massachusetts Div. 1A Tournament.

1. BC High (19-0-0) 1.000
2. Catholic Memorial (11-4-3) .694
3. Arlington (18-3-1) .841
4. Hingham (16-3-1) .825
5. Austin Prep (14-3-2) .789
6. Arlington Catholic (13-5-1) .711
7. Belmont (17-2-1) .875
8. St. John's-Shrewsbury (14-6-1) .690
9. Chelmsford (15-7-0) .682
10. St. John's Prep (11-5-2) .667

Teams left on the outside looking in were Winchester, Woburn, and Waltham. Winchester coach John Messuri, whose team finished 16-3-1 with non-league wins over Catholic Memorial and St. John's-Shrewsbury was not happy, telling a reporter that the exclusion of his team and Woburn, which shared the Middlesex League title with Belmont, indicates there is a problem with the selection process.

"I think that MIAA hockey just took a huge step backwards," the former Princeton forward said. "The committees have to become solely independent entities. Anybody who coaches any team can't be on these committees. It's embarrassing."

The tournament gets underway with preliminary round action at the Chelmsford Forum on Tuesday night as #9 Chelmsford plays #8 St. John's-Shrewsbury (6:00 pm) and #10 St. John's Prep meets #7 Belmont (8:15 pm). The winners become the #7-8 seeds and advance to Tsongas Arena on Sunday.

Here's the schedule for Sunday (Tsongas Arena; Lowell, Mass.)

Game 1: #1 BC High vs. St. Johns (S)/Chelmsford winner, Noon
Game 2: #4 Hingham vs. #5 Austin Prep, 2:30 pm
Game 3: #2 Catholic Memorial vs. Belmont/St. John's Prep winner, 5:00 pm
Game 4: #3 Arlington vs. #6 Arlington Catholic, 7:30 pm

As usual, it's double elimination, so Sunday's losers will meet at Tsongas on Tues. March 4, with the winners meeting Wed. March 5, also at Tsongas Arena.

 

2/23/03

Prep Matchups Announced

Here are the seeds for the New England Prep Tournament, which gets underway with quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Div. I East

1. St. Sebastian's
2. Cushing
3. Gov. Dummer
4. Exeter

Div. I West

1. Deerfield
2. Taft
3. Hotchkiss
4. Salisbury

Div. II

1. Pingree
2. South Kent
3. Hoosac
4. St. Mark's
5. Proctor
6. St. George's
7. Groton
8. Tilton

Schedule for Wed. Feb. 26 Quarterfinals:

Div. I

#4E Exeter at #1E St. Sebastian's, 4:00 pm
#3E Gov. Dummer at #2E Cushing, 3:00 pm
#4W Salisbury at #1W Deerfield, 3:30 pm
#3W Hotchkiss at #2W Taft, 2:30 pm

Div. II

#8 Tilton at #1Pingree, 3:30 pm
#7 Groton at #2 South Kent (at Loomis, 4:30 pm)
#6 St. George's at #3 Hoosac (at Choate, 4:00 pm)
#5 Proctor at #4 St. Mark's, 3:00 pm

Notes: In Div. I, Exeter just barely edged out Lawrence Academy for the last playoff spot. Ten days ago, Lawrence looked like a lock for a playoff position but finished the season with four consecutive losses (to GDA, St. Seb's, GDA again, and St. Paul's). Yesterday's Exeter win over Andover combined with Lawrence's home loss to St. Paul's lifed Exeter into the #4 spot in the east. Despite being KO'd, Lawrence has more "good wins" than Exeter, as Charlie Corey's team has wins over playoff-bound teams St. Seb's and Cushing. Exeter, on the other hand, did not beat a single playoff-bound team, having a loss and tie vs. Cushing, a loss to GDA, and loss to Deerfield. Following Lawrence in the seeding would have been Nobles, Andover, and St. Paul's, all bunched pretty closely together. Nobles was sunk by losses to both GDA and St. Seb's last week.

In the West, things were clear cut.

In Div. II, Tilton squeezed into the #8 spot when Rye Country Day lost to Kingswood-Oxford yesterday.

On Sat. March 1 the winners will convene at the Icenter in Salem, NH for the semis, with the finals taking place on Sun. March 2. Here are the schedules for those days.

Sat. March 1 (Icenter; Salem, NH)
11:00 am -- DII Semifinal (winner of 1/8 vs. winner of 4/5)
1:15 pm -- DII Semifinal (winner of 2/7 vs. winner of 3/6)
3:30 pm -- DI Semifinal (winner of 1W/4W vs. winner of 2E/3E)
6:00 pm -- DI Semifinal (winner of 1E/4E vs. winner of 2W/3W)

Sun. March 2 (Icenter; Salem, NH)
10:00 am -- East-West Senior Game
12:30 pm -- DII Final
3:00 pm -- DI Final

The DII games will all be 15-minute periods; the DI games will all be 18-minute periods with 2/5/10 penalties.

 

2/22/03

D-Man for Wildcats

Cushing Academy senior RD Chris Murray has committed to UNH for this coming fall.

Murray, a 6'1", 185 lb. native of Dover, Mass., is Cushing's top-scoring defenseman. A 12/26/84 birthdate, Murray has strong passing skills, an excellent one-timer, and plays a strong physical game, too.

He, along with Andover's John Doherty, will join seven returning defenseman at UNH next year, so the competition for playing time will be serious in Durham. Before going to Cushing this season, Murray played at Lawrence Academy and, before that, at Catholic Memorial. He's the younger brother of Dartmouth senior forward Mike Murray, and the son of former BU defenseman and assistant coach Bob Murray, now a Boston-based sports agent .

 

2/22/03

Prep Tournament: What You Need to Know

As we wrote in the fall, this season's New England Div. I and Div. II prep semifinals and finals -- plus a senior all-star game -- are, after a one-year hiatus, moving back to the Icenter in Salem, NH on Sat. and Sun, March 1-2.

However, before getting there, there's the matter of the quarterfinals. While the precise order is yet to be determined, in Div. I it looks like St. Sebastian's, Cushing, Lawrence, and GDA in the East; and Deerfield, Taft, Hotchkiss, and Salisbury in the West.

Every year, we're asked about the criteria for the tournament. Because it is strictly mathematical, it is also as straightforward as possible.

For the Div. I teams (it's pretty similar for Div. II), the formula goes like this:

1. Overall NEPSIHA record.

2. NEPSIHA Div. I record.

3. Strength of Schedule: This is computed by taking each school's winning percentage vs. NEPSIHA teams with a Div. I record of .500 or better record and multiplying it by the percentage of games that school played against NEPSIHA Div. I teams with a .500 or better record.

(The reason percentage is used, as opposed to a pure number, is to take into consideration the different number of games teams play. Prior to last year, a team that played fewer games due to school or league rules was unfairly punished. "In the old system," NEPSIHA president Tim Pratt wrote last year, "a team basically got one point for a win vs. a good team, and one-half point for a tie. So a team that played 36 games, 18 vs. good teams, and went 9-9 would win out over a team that played 24 games, 12 against good teams, and went 6-6 -- even though in percentages their seasons were identical." )

All of those numbers will be crunched by the NEPSIHA committee's computer on the morning of Sunday Feb. 23. We'll then have the brackets for you here.

The quarterfinals are scheduled for Wed. Feb. 26 this season, and, as is customary, will be held at campus sites. The games will be held at the higher-seeded schools unless the travel time exceeds two hours, in which case the game will be held at a neutral site somewhere between the two schools. In Div. I that's not going to happen. In Div. II, it could.

 

2/21/03

Nizwantowski Gets a Year in Jail for Assault of Former Girlfriend

Northampton, Mass. -- Former UMass-Amherst and Cushing forward Brad Nizwantowski, 22, was sentenced yesterday to a year in jail for kidnapping and assault with a dangerous weapon.

According to prosecutors, in December 2001, Nizwantowski forced his ex-girlfriend, Amanda Mentuck, into her room and threatened her and her two roommates with a steak knife. He also threatened to harm himself, the women testified.

In testimony, Nizwantowski said he was upset over Mentuck's decision to break up with him, and had been drinking and taking painkillers before going to her apartment in Amherst.

Nizwantowski, a winger from Peabody, Mass, played for Cushing, graduating in 1999. He played for the Minutemen until being dismissed from the team after his arrest, which occurred midway through his junior season.

 

2/21/03

Nine Forwards; 1 Defenseman?

The ten candidates for the 2003 Mr. Hockey Award, given annually to the top high school player in Minnesota are, in alphabetical order:

Brent Borgen, F, Mahtomedi; Nate Dey, F, North St. Paul; Sean Garrity, F, North St. Paul; Ben Gordon, F, International Falls; Ryan Hawkins, F, Eden Prairie; Jimmy Kilpatrick, F, Holy Angels; Mike Lundin, D, Apple Valley; Brad Peterson, F, Bloomington-Jefferson; Garret O. Regan, F, Hill-Murray; Scott Thauwald, F, Rochester Mayo.

White Bear Lake's Jon Anderson has been named winner of the Frank Brimsek Award, given to the state's top goaltender.

The Mr. Hockey Award will be handed out March 9, the day after the state high school tournament ends. The award is only open to seniors, which makes it suspect. The Associated Press also gives out a player of the year award, and it's open to players from all grades.

In Minnesota, sectional play has begun and there have already beeen a couple of upsets. Totino-Grace, the defending Class A champion, has been knocked off by Benilde-St. Margaret's, and Breck has been KO'd by Richfield. In the latter, Richfield senior goalie Mason Reinhart shut down Breck's potent offense -- the Fulton brothers, Robby Dee, Blake Wheeler, Peter Mueller, and Andrew Birkholz -- by making 55 saves, including 24 in the third period, to lead his team to a 4-2 win.

In Class AA, another top-ranked team, Bloomington-Jefferson is history, having been knocked off, 4-3, by Minnetonka, with senior goaltender Dan Steinkamp kicking out 44 shots.

 

2/20/03

Eaves-Leavitt Incident Shakes Badgers

A late night confrontation between University of Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves and sophomore center Alex Leavitt at the Grand Forks, N.D. Holiday Inn on Nov. 23, previously downplayed by all parties, is back in the news with a major twist. In today's Wisconsin State Journal, reporter Andy Baggot reports that Leavitt is now saying that Eaves, on the night in question, pushed him back 10-15 feet, threw him down into a chair, and then pinned him against the wall while he was still in the chair. The 5'10" Leavitt, who was being confronted by Eaves for missing curfew and reportedly being disrespectful, also said his shirt was ripped, that he suffered an abrasion on his neck, and he was subjected a 10-minute tirade by coach Eaves.

Earlier in the year, Leavitt stated that no physical confrontation had taken place. The Edmonton native said he was coming forward now because, as he told Baggot, it had gotten to the point where, "I felt it was necessary that I told the truth."

After the initial incident, Leavitt's father, John Leavitt asked Wisconsin AD Pat Richter to fire Eaves. The Leavitts, along with family attorney Dick Wesley, were told that was not going to happen, but were offered several guarantees by the administration, namely that Eaves would undergo anger-management therapy and that the 19-year-old would be protected from any "vindictiveness" on the part of Eaves.

Reportedly, Richter put a letter of reprimand in Eaves' personal file, and had the coach explain what happened to the players.

Leavitt told Baggot that the reason he was coming forward now was because he felt he'd been treated unfairly since the incident, getting demoted from the first line to the fourth and sitting out the last three games as a healthy scratch.

Yesterday, Eaves told the center, who's in his draft year, that he'd be back in the lineup for this weekend's series against St. Cloud State. Leavitt responded by saying that he'd rather not play -- and that's where things stand now.

Eaves is not commenting on the whole incident, at least until speaking to lawyers for the university.

Last spring, Richter hired Eaves, a Wisconsin legend and the school's all-time leading scorer, to turn the school's moribund program around. Eaves is doing so, and his first recruiting class -- Ryan Suter et al -- will be arriving in Madison in the fall. However, the Leavitt situation could hurt the rebuilding process, though to what extent is hard to say. Once these things reach the light of day, they can move in a number of different directions. Generally, though, physical confrontations between coach and player -- see Mark Morris and Clarkson College -- do not work out happily for the coach. Morris, of course, did not have the support of the administration, whereas Eaves does, though that support can only go so far if outside forces are pressing hard enough.

There's sure to be more on this story, so stay tuned. Here's the link to the full article from today's Wisconsin State Journal:

http://www.madison.com/wisconsinstatejournal/sports/43054.php

 

2/18/03

Another Comrie for Denver

5'8", 155 lb. forward Dan Comrie will be heading to the Denver Pioneers in the fall of 2004, following in the footsteps of his cousin, Denver All-American Paul Comrie.

Comrie, a creative player with excellent puck skills, took an unofficial visit to Denver on Saturday between games at the annual Pike's Peak Presidents Day Tournament, which his San Diego Gulls Midget AAA team was playing in

The son of Fred Comrie, a successful San Diego businessman who used to own the San Diego Gulls (IHL), Comrie is also the first cousin of former Michigan star (and current Edmonton Oiler) Mike Comrie.

This Comrie, though, was born in San Diego, and played for the Pacific squad at last summer's Select 16 Festival. He didn't really stand out there, but since then he's reportedly taken off, picking up his speed, and significantly improving his shot. He reportedly shoots 2,000 pucks a week on his family's tennis court at home. A left wing, Comrie has 82 goals so far this year for the Gulls, way up from the 35 he had last year at the Midget AA level.

Comrie is also a star roller hockey player in the San Diego area.

An 8/15/86 birthdate, Comrie will likely play next season for St. Albert's (AJHL), as much of his family is in the Edmonton area.

 

2/18/03

Morrow to BU

6'6", 205 lb. LD Thomas Morrow of the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) will be playing for Boston University next season.

Morrow, a first-year USHL player from Afton, Minnesota, played for the Hill-Murray team that lost out to Holy Angels in the title game of last year's Minnesota State High School Tournament. This season, Morrow started out with the Tri-City Storm (USHL), but was moved to Des Moines as part of a five-player trade on Dec. 26.

Morrow is a very good skater, particularly for his size, has good hands, and moves the puck well. At the USHL All-Star game earlier this month, he rushed the puck more than in the past.

Morrow was committed to Colorado College earlier in the season, but CC changed their mind on him and withdrew their offer.

With his excellent skating ability and tremendous size, Morrow, a 10/21/83 birthdate, is draft-eligible this year and should go somwhere between the 3rd-6th rounds. He projects as a solid defensive defenseman who, because he skates so well, is able to cover a lot of ice. Some scouts -- and some college recruiters, too -- feel Morrow's physical game is weak.


2/17/03

Belmont Hill Forward Dies in Weekend Car Crash

An early Saturday morning car crash in Wellesley, Mass. has claimed the life of Belmont Hill senior forward Darren Gallup.

Gallup, better known for his football exploits -- he was the ISL MVP and a Harvard recruit -- was driving his Jeep shortly after midnight when it flipped on its side, throwing the 18-year-old from the vehicle and pinning him underneath. Gallup was not wearing a seatbelt.

Gallup, who, in addition to football and hockey, played lacrosse and golf, was a National Merit Scholar, and a classical piano player. He is the son of Boston College assistant A.D. for football operations Barry Gallup.

Gallup led the ISL with 20 touchdowns last season and 126 points. He scored seven touchdowns in an early-November game against BB&N, and that was in three quarters of play, as he was rested for the final quarter.

All varsity sports were cancelled on Saturday. This coming Wednesday (2/19), the Belmont Hill hockey team was scheduled to host St. Paul's. However, the game has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday, and may not be played at all.

In addition to his father, Gallup leaves behind his mother and two siblings.

The funeral service will be at Belmont Hill School's Hamilton Chapel Tuesday morning at 11 am, with relatives and friends invited. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Darren D. Gallup Scholarship Fund, c/o Belmont Hill School, 350 Prospect St. Belmont, MA 02478

 

2/14/03

Ryan to NTDP

Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL) defenseman Joey Ryan has committed to the U.S. National Team Development Program for next year, where he will play for the U.S. Under-17 Team.

Ryan, 6'2", 180 lbs. and a right shot, is a big defensive defenseman who plays physically, can skate, and makes the smart, simple play. If he hadn't opted for the NTDP, he would have gone in the first round of this coming June's Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft.

A native of Malden, Mass., Ryan in his second year with the Warriors, joining them in November 2001, just a couple of weeks after his 14th birthday. He's a 10/19/87 birthdate. In 20 games, he has a 1-2-3 line with 72 pims.

Ryan is the third defenseman committed to the NTDP for next year, joining Shattuck's Jack Johnson and Tabor Academy's Andrew Andricopoulos.

Five forwards are committed to the NTDP for next season: Jack Skille (Verona, Wisc. HS); Bobby Ryan (HoneyBaked 87), Scott Birnstill (NY Apple Core -- EJHL); Nathan Gerbe (River City -- USHL); and Phil Kessel (Madison Midget AAA).

No goaltenders are committed.

The program's invitation-only tryout camp is March 8-11 in Ann Arbor.

 

2/13/03

Joined at the Hip

Earlier this week, 6'2", 190 lb. RW Nate Dey of North St. Paul (Minn.) High School committed to St. Cloud State for '04. Yesterday his linemate, 6'1", 190 lb. LW Sean Garrity, did the same.

Before joining the Huskies, the two -- both are '85s -- will play a year in the USHL for the Green Bay Gamblers.

Dey has the greater upside of the two. His poise, along with his size/strength, skating ability, and shot make him a solid pro prospect. He's a cerebral player, too, is patient, has good hands, and a great release.

Garrity also has good hands, perhaps a little better right now than Dey. He's skilled, has speed, and digs, always keeping his feet moving. A lot of his goals come on rebounds. He reads and reacts to the play well, and he and Dey complement each other nicely. (Their centerman, senior Ryan Peterson, is no slouch, either.) goals in 23 games.)

In 23 games, Dey has a 30-27-57 line; Garrity is 28-27-55. Peterson leads them both in points with a 21-39-60 line. He's just smaller. The line as a whole has 79 goals, which averages out to better than three a game.

 

2/13/03

Prep Playoff Possibilities

We erred yesterday when we said that NMH might be able to squeeze into the west bracket for the New England Div. I Prep tournament. Despite knocking off powerhouses Cushing and St. Sebastian's, they just have too many losses. On top of that, they are not, we learned, in the west, anyway. They're in the east, geography be damned. So I guess we were wrong twice.

Speaking of the east, the fight for the fourth spot is really a four-team scrum, as Exeter is in there along with GDA, Nobles, and Andover. However, Exeter is a long shot. For starters, they have a tough one on Saturday, traveling west to face a Deerfield team that's probably not in the kindest of moods after their hopes for an undefeated season evaporated in yesterday's home loss to Taft. After games against Brewster and Pomfret, they finish the season against arch-rival Andover.

For the Div. II prep tournament, Pingree, South Kent, St. Mark's, and St. George's all are locks. After that, it gets murky. Hoosac appears to be a lock, but they appear to have more games to play than the rest of the field, so put an asterisk next to them. Others in there fighting for a playoff position include Groton, Brewster, Proctor, Kents Hill, and Tilton. That's ten we've mentioned, and it's an eight team field with the #1 seed hosting the #8 seed; #2 playing #7, #3 playing #6, and #4 meeting #5. The winners advance to Salem, NH for the semis on Sat. March 1.

 

2/12/03

It's Getting To Be That Time Again

The 2003 New England Prep School Ice Hockey Tournament gets underway on Wed. Feb. 26 -- two weeks from this afternoon -- with quarterfinals at campus sites.

On Sat. March 1 the winners will convene at the Icenter in Salem, NH for the semis, with the finals taking place on Sun. March 2. Here are the schedules for those days.

Sat. March 1 (Icenter; Salem, NH)
11:00 am -- DII Semifinal (winner of 1/8 vs. winner of 4/5)
1:15 pm -- DII Semifinal (winner of 2/7 vs. winner of 3/6)
3:30 pm -- DI Semifinal (winner of 1W/4W vs. winner of 2E/3E)
6:00 pm -- DI Semifinal (winner of 1E/4E vs. winner of 2W/3W)

Sun. March 2 (Icenter; Salem, NH)
10:00 am -- East-West Senior Game
12:30 pm -- DII Final
3:00 pm -- DI Final

The DII games will all be 15-minute periods; the DI games will all be 18-minute periods with 2/5/10 penalties.

We get a lot of e-mail at this time of year asking which teams are in the east and which are in the west. Basically, the Founders League and the western division of the New England Prep School Conference are in the west; while the Keller Division of the ISL and the eastern division of the New England Prep School Conference are in the east.

Going into this afternoon's games, it looks like seven of the eight Div. I slots are already settled -- all four in the west, and three in the east. Here are those schools, along with their won-lost record in games against NEPSIHA Div. I opponents, which, of course, is the principal factor in determining seeding for the tournament.

In the west, Deerfield (15-0-3), Taft (13-2-1), Hotchkiss (12-3-1), and Salisbury (14-4-2) all look to be in. It would probably take a total collapse to knock out one of those teams. In such a scenario, NMH appears likeliest to sneak in, but their odds aren't good.

In the east, Cushing (17-2-1), St. Sebastian's (15-2-1), Lawrence (12-3-1) are sitting pretty. The fourth spot appears to be up for grabs by any one of three contenders: Andover (9-3-3), GDA (11-4-3), and Nobles (13-7-2).

 

2/11/03

USHL Tenders

Here is the updated list of signed USHL tenders. Players with a red asterisk before their name are new since the last time we posted the list.

Cedar Rapids:
*Mike Lundin, D, Apple Valley, MN. (Apple Valley HS) 9/24/84

Chicago:
Jeff Hazelwood, F, Dublin, CA (IMG Academy) 7/24/85

Des Moines:
None.

Green Bay:
Sean Garrity, F, North St. Paul, MN (North St. Paul HS) 7/23/85
Nate Dey, F, Maplewood, MN (North St. Paul HS) 2/14/85

Lincoln:
None

River City:
Jeff Lerg, G, Livonia, MI (HoneyBaked Midget AAA) 4/9/86
Brett Motherwell, D, Novi, MI (HoneyBaked Midget AAA) 9/11/86

Sioux City:
*Travis Turnbull, F, Chesterfield, MO (St. Louis Jr. Blues Midget AAA) 7/7/86
*Justin Johnston, D, Grosse Pte. Woods, MI (Honeybaked Midget AAA) 3/26/86

Sioux Falls:
Cody Lampl, D, Ketchum, ID (Dallas Stars Midget AAA) 6/19/86
Jeff Prough, F, Dearborn, MI (HoneyBaked Midget AAA) 4/20/86

Topeka:
None

Tri-City:
Chris Zarb, D, Waterford, MI (Little Caesar's) 1/11/85

Waterloo:
*Kevin Regan, G, South Boston, MA (St. Sebastian's) 7/25/84

Note: All teams are allowed three tenders this season. Trading tenders is allowed. Topeka traded one of their picks to Sioux Falls -- that's the only trade so far.

 

2/11/03

Manos 'Lucky'

Mike Manos, a 5'8" defenseman with the Green Mountain Glades (EJHL) severely fractured vertebrae in his neck in game on Friday, and, while it's likely that his hockey career is over, it's looking like he'll be able to lead a normal life.

While Manos may not feel particularly fortunate right now, his coach Brad Holt, said that his defenseman, who played in last month's EJHL all-star game and was looking to continue his hockey career at a NESCAC school next season, is "increibly lucky."

Reportedly, 90 percent of people who suffer such a fracture are paralyzed for life.

The accident happened in a game against the Junior Bruins. With about eight seconds left in the second period and the Glades killing a penalty, Manos went behind his net to puck up the puck and was hit from behind by 5'10" Junior Bruin forward Mike Curtis.

Curtis received a two-minute penalty, but, says Holt, "it was not a malicious hit."

Manos went down hard, like he'd been knocked out. The game was delayed for 40 minutes until the Glades captain -- and best player -- could be gotten safely into an ambulance and taken to the Bay State Medical Center in Springfield.

The latest news is that there is no surgery planned. Manos is in a halo and doctors will simply allow the healing process to begin.

"The next few months," Holt said, "will be very difficult for him."

However, Holt reported, doctors have not totally ruled out a return to playing hockey again, saying that in a year they'll reevaluate.

"That conversation," said Holt, "was incredibly uplifting. Hopefully, in a year, there will be positive news."

For now, though, Manos is still in the hospital in Massachusetts while his teammates are in Vermont. "He's feeling along and separated and isolated," said Holt, "and he's in significant pain. Hopefully, he'll be going home today or tomorrow."

For those seeking to send cards or reach the defenseman, the Manos family home is at 279 Boxford St; North Andover, MA 01845.

This was Manos' second season with the Glades. The defenseman played four years of varsity hockey at the Brooks School, a Div. II prep school in North Andover, from which he graduated in 2001.

Manos wore #44 with the Glades, which was previously worn by Weston Lea, the ex-Glade who moved on to the Holderness School. Lea was killed in a tragic accident on January 14, as he and a classmate were hit by an alledged drunk driver while walking near the school on the night of January 14th.

 

2/7/03

USA Selects Schedule, Summer '03

Here are the dates for USA Hockey's Select Festivals for the coming summer.

Select 17 Festival, St. Cloud, Minn., Fri. July 11- Thurs. July 17
Select 16 Festival, Rochester, NY, Fri. June 27 -- Thurs. July 3
Select 15 Festival, St. Cloud, Minn., Fri. Aug. 1- Thurs. Aug. 7
Select 14 Festival, Rochester, NY, Sat. July 19-Fri. July 25

 

2/7/03

Good Times for Lampl

Last year at this time, Cody Lampl was hoping to draw interest from one of the top DIII programs in New England -- perhaps Middlebury, Colby, or Bowdoin, to name a few. That was the dream, a realistic one for a 5' 8", 130 lb. defenseman playing for the Sun Valley Jr. Hockey midget squad in Ketchum, Idaho.

Now, Lampl, who's 16, has committed to Colorado College, where he'll go after spending next season in the USHL.

How'd it happen?

First off, not many people knew of him when he showed up this past July at the Select 16 Festival in Rochester, NY, mainly because the summer before he'd broken his ankle on the eve of the US Select 15 Festival and couldn't play. This past summer, though, he was in good health and, as soon as the Rocky Mt. Select 16s hit the ice, Lampl's skating, quickness, puck skills, and smarts won converts. He's small, no doubt about it, but quick, puckhandling defensemen are at a premium. Suddenly, Lampl, an unknown, was getting a bunch of attention. His play at the Select 16s drew attention from the Dallas Stars Midget AAA program, coached by Dwight Mullins, and he signed on with them. He also caught the eye of junior and college coaches.

Lampl has bloomed in Dallas, where former NHL defenseman Craig Ludwig, whose twin sons played on the Stars last season before moving on to the Texas Tornado (NAHL), comes out and volunteers with the team several days a week. Earlier this season, Lampl signed a tender with the the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) for next season. He's also added another inch -- he's now 5'9", 140. Over Christmas and New Year's, his play at the MAC's Midget AAA tournament in Calgary gained him even more attention.

Two weekends ago, Lampl went to CC on an unoffical and the place clicked with him. It was the first school he visited -- and the last.

Lampl, by the way, was born and brought up in Pittsburgh, where he got his start on skates and played as a first-year mite on a team with Harvard recruit Dylan Reese; Dartmouth recruit Grant Lewis; Gary Klapkowski (Sudbury -- OHL); Brandon Burns (NTDP); and others.

When he arrived in Idaho as a second-year mite, there were two indoor ice rinks in the entire state. Lampl doubled as a hockey player and a figure skater up until the age of nine. He can do an axel on hockey skates, and he can shoot the duck, too.

Lampl spent one season (2000-01) at Cardigan Mountain, a New Hampshire pre-prep school, where he played on the JV team.

 

2/5/03

Potulny, Backes Shine in USHL All-Star Game

Green Bay, Wisc. -- Team USHL knocked off Team World, 6-1, in the 2003 USHL /Prospects All-Star Game before 4,280 here at the Resch Center last night.

Here are the players who stood out for us:

6'0", 185 lb. LC Ryan Potulny, a Gophers recruit who plays for Lincoln, was our #1 star. Potulny, an '84 from Grand Forks, ND, is a powerful kid with intensity and grit. He's lethal from the top of the circles down. An intelligent player, too. Had two goals and an assist on the night.

6'2", 200 lb. RW David Backes, a Mankato State recruit, was Potulny's linemate here -- they're teammates at Lincoln -- and was our #2 star. Backes scored his team's second goal and it was a beauty as the Blaine, Minn. native, an '84, fed Potulny with a backwards between-the-legs pass. Potulny could have scored but instead dished it back to Backes, who snapped it over Kellen Briggs. A ton of poise. Had a goal and an assist on the night.

Our #3 star would have to be 5'10" River City goaltender Dominic Vicari. The Michigan State recruit was flawless, stopping all 12 of the shots he faced. We just like his presence, his quickness, the way he pops right back up into position, and his exceptional focus.

We could also give our #3 star to 5'11" RC Joe Pavelski of Waterloo. Pavelski, who scored two goals, both on rebounds, is an '84 and doesn't yet have a college. A smart player who does well in tight spots and likes to shoot the puck, Pavelski is a native of Plover, Wisc. who played for Stevens Point High School. Needless to say, he had a ton of family and friends at the game. He was named the game's MVP, but we're not sure he would have been if the game had been played outside Wisconsin. Still, credit where credit is due.

The bulk of the game's talent was on the blueline.

6'4", 205 lb. RD Jake Taylor, a Byron, Minn. native and Gopher recruit stood out in a losing cause. An '83 who plays for Green Bay, Taylor played with a lot of confidence, which he should have, this being his second all-star game.

6'6", 205 lb. LD Thomas Morrow of Alton, Minn. was also excellent, playing better as the game went on. A late '83 who plays for Des Moines, Morrow rushed the puck and moved his feet -- more active than in the past.

6'0", 190 lb. LD Matt Carle, a Denver recruit from Anchorage, Alaska, played his customary smart, steady game. An '84 who played last year in the NTDP, Carle makes nice outlet passes and is strong in the transition game..

6'2", 190 lb. RD Mike Vanelli, a Gopher recruit from Mendota Heights, Minn. chipped in with a goal and an assist. Vanelli, a late '83 playing for Sioux Falls, is a smart d-man who moves the puck quickly and is always thinking a play ahead.

6'4", 205 lb. LD Luke Beaverson, a North Dakota recruit from Vadnais Heights, Minn is a late '84 playing for Green Bay. Beaverson has size and can skate and, while all the pieces of his game aren't yet together, he is getting there.

6'0", 194 lb. Slavomir Tomko, a Slovakian playing for Topeka, had an OK game. Played with grit, made some nice outlet passes. Nothing to light the world on fire, but solid. He's a late '83.

6'4", 200 lb. Wes O'Neill of Green Bay... well, we're trying to limit our comments here to guys we thought played well and O'Neill, a native of Essex, Ontario, did do some things nicely, but his game is definitely not all of a piece. The upside is there, but he's an '86, won't turn 17 until next month, and even though he's set to go to Notre Dame in the fall, we think another year in Green Bay, where Mark Osiecki could continue working with him, would do more for him in the long run than going into the CCHA so soon. Of course, the chances of his taking a second year are slim.

We left out a couple of forwards.

Lincoln's John Snowden, a 6'0" forward and '82 birthdate, played well. He shoots a lot -- and shoots well. Plays tough and finishes his checks. Had one goal, a nice one where he cut across the slot, left to right and fired back against the grain to beat Joe Fallon.

His teammate here, Janne Jokila, like Snowden an older kid -- he too is an '82 -- is quick, skilled, and agile. Showed great head fakes. Looked like he could go end-to-end several times. A flashy player from Finland, Jokila, is fun to watch. We're not quite sure how much he really accomplishes with all that skill, but that's a whole 'nother subject.

In addition to Vicari, Bemidji, Minn. native Joe Fallon, an '85 playing for Cedar Rapids, was very good, only allowing one goal, the snapshot by Snowden on which he may have been screened. Lincoln's Nate Ziegelmann, a late '82 from Grand Forks, put up the big numbers, kicking out 22 of 23. When Ziegelmann came out, Kellen Briggs of Sioux Falls, a Gophers recruit, went in and let in five goals on 23 shots. He was overcommitting on shots, and one goal went off his glove and filtered in behind him. Not a night he'll remember.

There were no penalties called in the game, for what that's worth.

 

2/5/03

Lewiston Gives Thumbs-Up to Q

Last night, the Lewiston, Maine City Council voted unanimously to back a financial incentive package that is the key to bringing the Sherbrooke Castors (QMJHL) to a new home in the Central Maine Civic Center.

The QMJHL will vote on whether to allow the move on February 13. That vote is expected to be a formality.

Then, later in February, the city councilors will go back to their chamber and take a more formal vote on the financial package.

All signs indicate that the Q will have a foothold in New England come the fall.

We don't quite know what to make of this. Our gut feeling is that both the number of corporations in Lewiston and the population (roughly 37,000 with another 23,000 in Auburn, which is not too far away ) is too small to support a major junior team, particularly given competition from the AHL's Portland Pirates, whose attendance has been shrinking, and the Maine Black Bears. However, there are a good number of Lewiston residents of French-Canadian descent, though whether there are enough to help keep a major junior team afloat remains to be seen. It should also be noted that Lewiston is a nearly bankrupt mill town with a flagging economy. There is one college in town -- Bates. A large number of Somalians, roughly 2,000, recenlty have moved to Leewiston, which the city helped facilitate, hoping the gain more federal and state aid. Hopefully, in future years we may see a Somalian flying up and down the ice for, say, St. Dom's.

In should also be noted that the situation in Maine is totally different than, say, the Pacific Northwest, where, in the WHL, there are several American-based major junior teams. However, Portland, Seattle, Spokane, and Tri-City all have large population centers and also benefit from the fact that there is basically no competition for the hockey fan's interest.

Note: For more details and background, see the USHR News for Jan. 31.

 

2/4/03

Big Catch for Bowling Green

The last big-name player of the current recruiting class, 6'0", 170 lb. LD Jonathan Sigalet of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks (BCHL), passed on five college hockey powerhouses, choosing instead to become the first major recruit of the Scott Paluch era at Bowling Green.

Sigalet, an early '86 birthdate, has accelerated his studies and in September will head to Bowling Green, joining his brother Jordan, a sophomore goaltender and 6th-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins.

Sigalet visited Bowling Green back on Nov. 9, the weekend of the Michigan game, and then didn't visit any schools until two weeks ago, when he managed to visit both Boston University and Minnesota on the same trip. Other schools that were hot on Sigalet's trail but were unable to get him in for a visit were UNH, Maine, and Denver.

Sigalet, who'll be playing for British Columbia's Under-17 team at the Canada games at the end of the month, reportedly made his final decision from between Minnesota and Bowling Green.

Still a 16 year old, and a year removed from bantam hockey, the BCHL rookie has notched 51 points in 46 games. What sets him apart from his peers is a potent combination of excellent feet and an understadning of the game to match. While, like any 16-year-old, he needs to get stronger, he'll be able to step in at Bowling Green and help out on the power play from the get-go.

While first-year coach Paluch and his staff can thank Buddy Powers and staff for recruiting the older brother, they still had to go out and woo the younger brother away from considerable competition, which they certainly did. Good players tend to follow good players, so it's a big step for the Falcons and Paluch, their first-year head coach, as well as his assistants, Kevin Patrick and Ron Fogarty.

By the way, the top six scorers on coach Gary Davidson's Salmon Arm squad are all going Div. I next fall: LW Alex Nikiforuk (UNO); C Brady Murray (UND); LW Josh Ciocco (UNH); Sigalet (BGSU); RW Mitch Carefoot (Cornell); RW Adrian Veideman (Denver); and LW Blaine Jarvis (Bemidji State).

 

2/3/03

It's That Time Again

Last week we reviewed Chico Adrahtas' book on Glenn Hall, so, on this, the first Monday in February, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Bernie Corbett's book on the Beanpot.

Recently published, it's called The Beanpot: Fifty Years of Thrills, Spills, and Chills, and we're going to assume the publisher came up with the subtitle, which is more appropriate to NASCAR racing or the X Games than anything as venerable as the Beanpot. But that's a minor quibble. What really matters is that someone took the time to put this long overdue book together.

Corbett, who is the voice of BU Hockey (and Harvard football), does a good job establishing the tournament's origins and, once the groundwork is set, uses his words, along with contemporaneous accounts from Boston papers, to give a chronology of every game in the tournament's history.

Interspersed here and there are nice sidebars on select Beanpot participants. For example, BC defenseman Red Martin, who played 58 minutes in the 1961 championship game and was named MVP; Harvard forward Gene Kinasewich; 1966 BU captain Dennis O'Connell; 1980 MVP Dave Archambault of Northeastern; long-time Huskies coach Fern Flaman; and Billy Cleary and Jack Parker, Beanpot participants as both player and coach. Jerry York, BC class of '67, did not make the cut -- surely he'll get his own sidebar someday.

Needless to say, the Blizzard of '78, which managed to postpone the final round until March 1st of that year, received plenty of ink.

More sidebars -- particularly profiles -- would have been been a nice addition to the book. We could have done without the full text of speeches made by former tournament participants at recent Beanpot lunches. Somehow speeches, put down on paper, read like...speeches.

In addition to accounts of all the games, the book is extremely useful as a work of reference, for it includes box scores of every tournament game right up through 2002, an alphabetical listing of every participant (and the years they played), MVPs, Eberly Award winners, and various all-time records.

For any fan of college hockey, most particularly those from the Boston area, this is must-have.

We forgot to mention that it's a coffee table book with plenty of pictures, all in black-and-white. It's reasonably priced, too.

Link to Amazon.com

By the way, if anyone wants to read further on the Beanpot, go to your local library and search out the 1983 New Yorker magazine article on the Beanpot by Charles McGrath. We've never read anything that imparts the flavor of the event more fully.

One more thing: As crazy as it may be to bet against Parker and BU in the Beanpot, we're going to go out on a limb and predict that Harvard, despite losing to the Terriers earlier in the season, will take tonight's early game, and move on to face Boston College in the final. Of ocurse, we're only making a gentleman's bet.

 

2/1/03

Taylor Chace -- Call Him Coach

At tonight's sold-out UNH-Maine game at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, the teammates of Taylor Chace, the 16-year-old New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) forward whose career came to a premature end when he broke his back and severely damaged his spinal cord in a game in Ontario October 6th, will be kick-starting a fund to support his recovery.

Chace's teammates will be manning tables in the arena's lobby, one in each of the building's four corners, and will be taking donations for the Taylor Chace Fund, the proceeds of which will go to not only help with Chace's recovery, but will also help others whose families may need help in case of serious injury.

"We're really happy to help," said UNH coach Dick Umile. "Taylor's a great kid. His sister goes to UNH. We consider him one of ours and we just want to help out."

Don't be surprised to see Chace, who hopes to go to UNH, helping out Umile before long. Right now, the 10th-grader from Hampton Falls, NH, is being groomed as an assistant coach by Monarchs head coach Sean Tremblay.

"His career on the ice is over," Tremblay said, "and he wants a career off the ice, coaching. We're acting on that. Taylor is in on all the coaches meetings with Chris (Grassie) and I, soaking up everything. In making the transition to coaching he has to learn how to think less like a player and more like a coach. When we go on the road recruiting, we're sitting in the car talking shop."

"Dick Umile has been great, too," Tremblay says. "He has him at all the UNH home games and has him in the locker room. When he gets to UNH, he'll be utilized."

As for the future, Tremblay says he hopes his protege will someday be able to skate again, and get out on the ice and help run practices. In the meantime, Chace is learning other things, such as the art of breaking down game film. "Even if he can't get on the ice we've covering the bases for him to have a career in the game -- and he recognizes the opportunity," Tremblay says.

Chace's physical progress in rehab has been impressive, but it's difficult to project exactly how much more improvement can be expected. "He still doesn't have feeling in his toes," Tremblay said, "There are still muscles that do not work. It's a long road ahead. We're grateful that he's where he's at and not still in a wheelchair, which really could have been the case."

In the meantime, Chace is plowing ahead. He has a busy life. There's school to attend. There's the grind of rehab. Then, along with Monarchs defenseman Scott Marchesi, who billets at the Chace's Hampton Falls, NH home, he heads to the rink. And then there are days and nights watching local prep and high school action, evaluating players.

In a couple of years, Chace will be in college. And someday -- who knows? -- Tremblay and Chace could be coaching against each other from opposite sides of the ice.

 

USHR Headlines

 

Around the Rinks

Paul Dore, who scored the game-winner with 52 seconds left to lead KUA to a 4-3 win over Salisbury in the Elite 8 Championship, is a senior the Wildca
Paul Dore, who scored the game-winner with 52 seconds left to lead KUA to a 4-3 win over Salisbury in the Elite 8 Championship, is a senior the Wildcats will be counting on heavily as they go for a record 4-peat. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)
 
With Justin Hryckowian and Nick Capone taking their senior seasons in the USHL, classmate and UVM recruit Lucas Mercuri is Salisbury's leading returni
With Justin Hryckowian and Nick Capone taking their senior seasons in the USHL, classmate and UVM recruit Lucas Mercuri is Salisbury's leading returning scorer. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)
 
Kent's Aidan Cobb, now a senior, committed to Cornell after helping lead Kent to the Large School Championship last March.
Kent's Aidan Cobb, now a senior, committed to Cornell after helping lead Kent to the Large School Championship last March. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)