Established 1996
 
 

7/28/03

The New UVM Assistant Will Be...

...either Notre Dame assistant coach John Micheletto or Union Assistant Andrew Will.

Micheletto, who was a candidate for the Union head job, has been at Notre Dame for the last four years. For the three year period before that ('96-99), he was at Union, where he spent two years as an assistant with Kevin Sneddon and one as an assistant under Sneddon. A Chicago native, Micheletto grew up playing for Team Illinois before going on to Milton Academy and Dartmouth. Prior to going to Union, Micheletto was the head hockey coach and an English teacher at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA from 1991-96. Hill doesn't traditionally attract the high-end players, but while Micheletto was there, he helped develop forward Chris Bala, a Pennsylvania native who would go on to star at Harvard and is now in the Minnesota Wild organization. Micheletto has also long been involved in coaching USA select teams.

Will is just six years out of college, having graduated from Union in 1997, where he was a defensman and captain of the Dutchmen in his senior year. A North York, Ontario native, Will played at Upper Canada College before arriving at Union. After graduation Will played for a couple of seasons in the ECHL and then returned to Unior to begin his coaching career at his alma mater. Last season was his fourth as an assistant to Sneddon. .

Sneddon, as we reported earlier, will be keeping Damian DiGiulian on as an assistant. DiGiulian, a Connecticut native who played at the Kent School and Hamilton College, has been a Vermont assistant for the last six seasons,

 

7/28/03 UPDATED

Leaman to Take Over Dutchmen

Harvard assistant coach Nate Leaman will, possibly as early as Tuesday, be named the new head coach at Union College, taking over for Kevin Sneddon.

Interviews were held last week. Notre Dame assistant John Micheletto interviewed Mon-Tues. and afterward withdrew his name from consideration; Wisconsin assistant Troy Ward interviewed Tues-Wed.; and Leaman came in Wed-Thurs. There are reports that a fourth candidate was interviewed as well, but, if so, it's news to us. Bowling Green assistant Kevin Patrick would be a good guess, though. Patrick, like Micheletto, worked under Sneddon at Union, and is a Schenectady native.

In the end, as expected, Union AD Val Belmonte, a former Harvard assistant coach, chose Leaman, the current Harvard assistant.

It's worth noting that there are a good number of young Div. I assistants -- guys in the same position as Leaman -- who didn't apply for the job simply because they thought they had no chance, that the post would be going to someone with more experience, or else someone with Union connections. Neither turned out to be the case, and some of those guys are certainly kicking themselves for not taking a shot at it.

For more biographical info on Leaman please scroll down to the USHR story of 7/21/03.

UPDATE 7/29 Patrick, we've learned, was not the fourth finalist. Frankly, we're not sure that there was a fourth finalist, though if we do learn more, we'll run it here.

 

7/25/03

A Good Take

If there are any Boston/Providence area college hockey fans overtaxing their air conditioners while thinking of something to do on a hot midsummer night, some of the top college players and recruits, along with the a number of pros, go at it on Tuesday nights in Bridgewater, Mass. and Thursday nights in Hingham, Mass.

The players you'll find include Brooks Orpik, Noah Welch, Freddy Meyer, Trevor Byrne, Brett Novak, John Sabo, Dennis Pakcard, Adam Pineault, Billy Tibbetts, Joe Rooney, Hugh Jessiman, Rob Flynn, Chris Corrinet, Mike Ryan, Brendan Walsh, Matt Underhill, Bill LeClerc, Gabe Winer, Tom Poti, Brendan Buckley, Mike Mottau, Ryan Whitney, Erik Nikulas, Chris Bourque, Marty Reasoner, Mike Ayers, Marvin Degon, John Doherty, Jeff Pietrasiak, Paul Mara, Jesse Lane, Danny Spang, John Adams, Josh Hennessy, Tyler Kolarik, Chad Kolarik, Jon DiSalvatore, Rob Fried, and many, many others.

Bridgewater (the Bridgewater Ice Arena) is probably the better take of the two, with a higher percentage of the top players in attendance. Hingham (Pilgrim Arena) is a notch below, at about 75%.

At Bridgewater the games -- there are six teams-- are at 6:00, 7:30, and 9:00 pm on Tuesdays through Aug. 12. On Thurs. Aug 14 the semis will be held, with the finals on Tues. Aug. 19 at 8:00 pm. Directions to the arena can be found at www.nehhockey.com/bridgewaterdir.html

An entirely separate tournament, the annual Chowder Cup Pro-Am Tournament is on for Thurs.-Sun. July 31-Aug. 3 at Ioro Arena in Walpole. Most teams here will feature a mix of top junior and prep players. In addition, a number of EJHL and NAHL teams will be sending pretty much their whole 2003-04 squad. Last year, the top teams -- the Boston Junior Bruins edged the Texas Tornado, 2-1, in the title game -- put on a pretty good show. For rosters and a schedule check on www.proamhockey.com and click on "Chowder Cup."

 

7/23/03

Robert Morris U Coach Search

Robert Morris University, a Pittsburgh-area school which will be joining Atlantic Hockey in the fall of '05, is currently searching for a coach to usher the program into the Div. I ranks.

AD Susan Hofacre said the school hoped to name its coach next month. Hofacre would neither confirm nor deny any candidates for the job.

Our sources list the finalists, presented in alphabetical order (and subject to change, of course). as:

-- Former Iona Coach Frank Bretti.

-- Former Wisconsin and Notre Dame assistant, Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) head coach/GM and current New England College head coach Tom Carroll.

-- Former Wisconsin and current Findlay assistant Pat Ford.

-- Former Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) head coach Tony Gasparini.

-- Current Air Force assistant Derek Schooley.

By the way, Robert Morris University was not named for the cigarette company -- that's Phillip Morris. Robert Morris University was also not named for the Robert Morris who, while in grad school at Cornell, sent out a worm that crippled -- at least temporarily -- major computer systems around the world. That was in 1988, and the son of the chief scientist at the National Computer Security Center wound up serving jail time for it. Today, he's free -- and a member of the Hacker's Hall of Fame (seriously). The Robert Morris for whom the university was actually named was a Pennsylvania financier and statesman, and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Robert Morris, nicknamed the Colonials, will play their games at the Island Sports Center, which is on Neville Island, ten miles up the Ohio River from Pittsburgh. The university is currently working on buying the complex.

Atlantic Hockey was recently formed out of the remnants of the MAAC.

 

7/23/03

The New-Look NAHL

The NAHL, which just two months ago had shrunk to seven teams, is now a 21-team league, and all teams will convence at the league's two showcases, Thurs-Sun. Oct. 16-19 in Blaine, Minn., and Thurs.-Sun. Jan. 16-19 in Chicago, Ill. The league considers those dates tentative, but they appear solid.

Here are the teams and divisions:

NAHL North: Cleveland Barons, Dayton Gems, Soo Kewadin Casino Indians, Springfield (Ill.) Jr. Blues, Toledo Ice Diggers, US National Team, Youngstown Phantoms.

NAHL West: Billings Bulls, Bismarck Bobcats, Bozeman Icedogs, Fargo-Moorhead Jets, Fernie Ghostriders, Helena Bighorns, Minnesota Blizzard. (Note: The latter will be playing out of Alexandria, Minn.)

NAHL South: Central Texas Blackhawks, Faribanks Ice Dogs, Lone Star Cavalry, Springfield (MO) Spirit, Texas Tornado, Texarkana Bandits, Wichita Falls Rustlers.

As you can see, the NAHL basically joined forces with the AWHL, which had itself, a year or so ago, brought the Southern teams under its umbrella.

Each team will play a 56-game regular season schedule, with 48 games played within the division. The eight remaining games -- to be played at the showcases -- will be played outside the division.

The league has reinstated the use of the redline and touch icing. Also, the league will be using officials from USA Hockey's Officiating Development Program.

 

7/22/03

Almost Famous

After the Select 17 Tournament ended last Thursday, twenty players -- all from the festival -- were named to the U.S. Under-18 Select Team, which will head over to Piestany, Slovakia next month to compete in the Under-18 Junior World Cup. The list of the kids named can be found below (July 18 News), but if you're wondering who was seriously considered and closely watched by the coaching staff but fell just a little short -- the bubble guys -- here they are.

Forwards: Erik Condra (HoneyBaked Midget AAA) and Phillip Axtell (Marquette Electricians Midget AAA).

Defensemen: Anthony Aiello (Thayer Academy); Nick Schaus (River City Lancers); and Chris Butler (Sioux City Musketeers).

Goaltenders: Cory Netrefa (Chicago Mission Midget AAA) and Stephen Ritter (Bergen Catholic HS)

 

7/22/03 UPDATED 7/24/03

Select 17 Standouts

Team-by-team, here are the standouts from the Select 17 Festival:

ATLANTIC: Moises Gutierrez, an at-large forward from Anchorage, AK who played major junior with Kamloops last season, was the team's standout. Defenseman John Conte was OK. Goaltender Stephen Ritter from Bergen Catholic -- he's quick and athletic -- was very good. Ritter will be playing for the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) in the upcoming season. Gutierrez was named to the U.S. Under-18 Select team that will be heading to the World Under-18 Junior Cup in Piestany, Slovakia next month.

CENTRAL: Defenseman Dan Marziani, a Chicago kid who played in the OHL last winter, was very noticeable. He's big and he can skate, but needs to learn to think the game better. The standout defenseman was Chris Butler of the St. Louis Blues Jr. B (CSHL). He has good size, moves well, makes good plays, and has a head for the game. Luke Lucyk was excellent, too. In goal, Cory Netrefa was excellent. Up front, Chad Costello and Patrick Galivan played well. Lucyk and forward Eric Lampe were named to the team going to Slovakia.

DAKOTAS: Jacques Lamoureux, a big tough forward stood out. Matt Moreland also played well. Steve Bandurski was OK. Overall, the team was very thin up front. Best d-man was Kyle Hardwick of Warroad (Minn.) HS, a heady, smart player who's feet need a little work. 6'0" defenseman Morgan Simonson of Grand Forks Central HS had an excellent week -- he can skate and handle the puck. He also led all D here in scoring, and finished in a four-way tie in overall points with a 2-5-7 line. Another defenseman, Rory Farrell, a Mass. native who played in the NAHL last season, showed significant improvement in his game. Goaltender A.J. Drago showed flashes.

MASSACHUSETTS: The gold medal winners had the best group of d-men in the tournament -- Dan McGoff, Keith Yandle, Anthony Aiello, Topher Bevis, Alex Souza, et al -- and the #1 goalie here, Andover's Cory Schneider. The team only allowed an average of one goal per game -- hence the undefeated record. Up front, they weren't as talented as a few other teams here, but they played as a team, i.e. they moved the puck and made plays. Forwards who stood out included Alex Berry, Nick Coskren, Cory Quirk, and Gerry Pollastrone. Matt Nelson, a natural point producer during the winter, didn't notch a point here. Schneider, McGoff (probably the best all-around D here), Yandle, Berry, and Pollastrone were all named to the Slovakia team.

MICHIGAN: Evan Rankin and Jeff Prough were Michigan's top guys up front. Rankin isn't the best skater, but he has a good stick and can score goals. Prough is a smallish skilled kid from the HoneyBaked Midgets. Other forwards who played well were Erik Condra, Nik Sellers, and Matt Jones, even though the latter was kept off the scoreboard. On D, Brett Motherwell didn't play particularly well the first couple of games but came on at the end. He's a small, smart d-man. Justin Johnston also played well. Michael Van Wagner is big and shoots the puck hard, but doesn't see the ice in front of him that well. Kyle Kuk, the younger brother of former Wisconsin forward Dustin Kuk, does see the ice well, and moves the puck smartly. Rankin, Prough, and Motherwell were all named to the team going overseas. Both goaltenders -- Jeff Lerg and Andrew Batson -- played well.

MID-AM: Up front, Tyler Haskins of the Guelph Storm (OHL) was the man -- and there was a big gap between him and the next-best forward. However, Mid-Am has a couple of prospects who could develop into something: Christian Hanson, who's tough (and also is the son of Slapshot's Dave Hanson) and Nick De Croo, who has nice hands. On the blue line, Thomas Gerken was their best. In goal, Ian Keserich of the Cleveland Barons (NAHL) was excellent. Both were named to the team going to Slovakia.

MINNESOTA: Justin Bostrom, a Mounds View kid who can skate, has skills, and is aggressive, was among the top two or three forward prospects here. (Others would be the two major junior kids -- Haskins and Gutierrez.) Other forwards who stood out included Mike Taylor of Holy Angels, a smallish power forward type, and Shattuck's Tyler Eaves (first cousin to Ben and Patrick Eaves), who is good with the puck but his skating holds him back a little. Tom Gorowsky is smart and has a good stick but his skating holds him back, too. Minnesota, like Massachusetts, had a strong group of defensemen, led by Holy Angels' Jack Hillen, a CC recruit; and Matt Niskanen, an Iron Ranger from Mt. Iron -- and one of the tournament's pleasant surprises. Chris Peluso also stood out, though on a slightly lesser level. Matt Sorteberg and Josh Duncan were OK, too. Bostrom, Taylor, Hillen, aand Niskanen are all making the Slovakia trip.

NEW ENGLAND: The better players on this squad were all forwards. Jon Rheault, who was at St. Paul's School last year but is leaving there to play for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL), was one of the forwards who finished in a four-way tie for the tournament scoring lead, with seven points apiece. Another was Peter Lenes of Tabor, a small, skilled forward (yesterday we wrote that Lenes was going to the EJHL -- our mistake, he's staying at Tabor). Brian Shea, who played on aline with the aforementioned pair, was also noticeable. Avon Old Farms forwards Sean Backman and John Mori also played well.

NEW YORK: Up front, Michael Karwoski, Chris Mueller, and Steve Zalewski were the main guys. Also playing well was big Jon Marshall, who may have the greatest upside of the three. Marshall, an upstate New Yorker, plays for the Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL). Another forward who played well was Greg Collins. He's not quite as competitive as his brother, BC's Chris Collins, but he's skilled and is a little bigger. Tim Kennedy also had a good week. Shawn Weller is a big power forward who moved well and played aggressively. On defense, the standout was Nick Schaus, a small defenseman from the River City Lancers (USHL) who can skate and move the puck. Apple Core defensman Gerard Heinz was also very good. New York's goalies, Dan Ramirez and Kirk Manke, were excellent, going three straight games without giving up a goal and allowing merely five goals between them. Karwoski, Mueller, and Zalewski were the three Empire Staters named to the team going to Slovakia.

PACIFIC: The most skilled player was forward Patrick Davis, an at-large kid from Michigan. However, Davis had a lackluster tournament, failing to even score a point. Forward Ryan Kim was quite noticeable -- he's a skilled energy guy. Forwards Nick Brower and Travis Wolfe were also noticeable.

SOUTHEASTERN: Up front, Phillip Axtell, who's 6'5", 245 lbs., was particularly intriguing for his size and offensive ability. The only downside to Axtell, who played last winter for the Marquette Electricians Midget AAA program, is his skating. It's just a very long way down to his feet. On defense, Joe Charlebois, a native of Potsdam, NY who played Tier II hockey across the river in Ontario, was very good -- easily the best player on the team. Charlebois will be playing for the National Program in the upcoming season.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN: Jonathan Pelle, an at-large player from Apple Core, was the best forward, though Jake Davis, from the Taft School, and Joey Sides were good, too. Overall, though, this was a weak group of forwards. On defense, Cody Lampl didn't play as well as expected. The team struggled, failing to win a single game.

 

7/21/03

Leaman for Union?

There is a college-imposed gag order on all applicants for the vacant head coaching job at Union College, so no one is saying much. However, it looks like there is a surprise candidate: Harvard assistant Nate Leaman.

Leaman, according to word on the street and around the rinks, is the front runner. Union AD Val Belmonte has reportedly told people that he's interested in a young coach. Leaman, the top assistant at Harvard, fits that bill, being just six years out of college (as was Kevin Sneddon, when he got the Union job). A high-scoring forward, Leaman graduated from Cortland State in 1997. After that, he helped coach Old Town (NY) HS for a season, then spent the following year as a graduate assistant on Shawn Walsh's staff at Maine. Leaman, a native of Centerville, Ohio, came to Cambridge in the summer of 1999, when Mark Mazzoleni took over the Harvard program. He's worked hard at Harvard and is respected in the game. His candidacy at Union reportedly received a big push from Billy Cleary, who was Harvard's coach for 19 years until taking over as AD (he's now retired). Belmonte was an assistant on Cleary's staff at Harvard from 1979-82, so words from his ex-boss are likely to carry some weight.

Last week, the word was that Union's final choice was looking to be either Leaman or Wisconsin assistant Troy Ward, a 41-year-old who, over the last ten years has been an assistant at Denver University (WCHA), head coach/GM at Dubuque (USHL), assistant with the Indianapolis Ice (IHL), assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), head coach with the Trenton Titans (ECHL), and director of hockey operations for the ECHL. Ward knows his way around the hockey world -- and is knowledgable. Recently, it appeared he was going to the NY Islanders as an assistant. He was offered a one-year contract, which is about all any assistant coach coming into the NHL can expect to get in these days of a looming lockout in September '04. Ward turned it down. He can afford to, though, as he'd be a top candidate for a position at a high-profile school, particularly if the Badgers take another step or two forward.

Notes: Concurrent to all of this is Sneddon's search for an assistant at UVM. The new coach will be keeping Damian DiGiulian on board, and will bring in someone. Don't be surprised to see either Notre Dame assistant John Micheletto or Bowling Green assistant Kevin Patrick get the job. Sneddon, Micheletto, and Patrick all worked together at Union, so there's a good history there. Micheletto and Patrick are candidates for the Union head job as well, so Sneddon is waiting to see how things shake out at Union before naming his assistant. Ex-Vermont assistant Pat Norton will be moving on to Northeastern University as an assistant.

 

7/18/03

Mass. Wins 17 Festival

Over recent years, fewer and fewer high profile kids are choosing to participate in the Select 17 Festival. Why? It's simple: They don't have to. The best are either in the NTDP, already committed to college, or playing major junior. There is nothing in it for them, except maybe helping out their home district, though such sentiments clearly don't carry much catchet anymore.

This means that among the missing at the festivities in St. Cloud were NTDP kids like Adam Pineault, Kevin Porter, Chad Kolarik, Tommy Fritsche, Mike Brennan, Nate Hagemo, A.J. Thelen -- and 17 other '86s.

Also among the missing were U.S.-born '86s playing major junior, like Robbie Schremp, Taylor Raszka, Patrick Kaleta, Brandon Dubinsky, Jordan LaVallee, and others.

How about top prep kids, like Chris Bourque, Kevin Kapstad, Matt Germain, and Kyle Koziara? Missing.

And top USHL kids, like Domenic Maiani? Also missing -- broke his arm.

Included among the above is the bulk of the marquee names, the kids other kids want to go up against, best vs. best. But a large number of them weren't there, for whatever reason, and the tournament, already suffering from attrition, lost a lot of glamour because of their absence.

Most of the big names, you will notice, are forwards. Of the top eight forwards we ranked last year, when this birth year was playing in the 16 Festival, all except one (Tyler Haskins) was missing this time around.

Defense wasn't as bad. It's true that of the top five d-men we ranked last year only one (Dan McGoff) was there this time around, but after that there weren't many key names missing. The same applies to goaltending. Of the top eight goalies we ranked last year only the two kids who moved on to the NTDP (Chris Carlson and Jordan Pearce) were missing.

Not surprisingly then, defense ruled the day. Four teams gave up an average of less than two goals per game -- Mass. (6), Minnesota (11), Central (11), and New York (7). Not surprisingly, they finished the tournament in that exact order.

Massachusetts won the whole thing by beating Minnesota, 1-0 on a shorthanded goal by Lawrence Academy's Patrick Kimball. Masachusetts had the best group of d-men -- McGoff, Anthony Aiello, Keith Yandle, Brett Bevis, Alex Souza, et al. And the Commonwealth, coached by St. Seb's Steve Dagdigian, also had the tourney's top goaltender, BC recruit Cory Schneider, who only allowed two goals, thus posting a .989 save % and a 0.67 gaa.

In the bronze medal game, Central won, 2-1, on a shootout goal.

After the tournament, the Under-18 Select Team, which will head over to Piestany, Slovakia next month to compete in the Under-18 Junior World Cup, was named. And here it is:

Forwards (12): Alex Berry (Gov. Dummer); Justin Bostrom (Mounds View HS); Moises Gutierrez (Kamloops Blazers, WHL); Tyler Haskins (Guelph Storm, OHL); Michael Karwoski (NY Apple Core); Eric Lampe (Madison Capitols Midget AAAA); Chris Mueller (Nichols School); Gerry Pollastrone (Salisbury School); Jeffery Prough (HoneyBaked Midget AAA); Evan Rankin (HoneyBaked Midget AAA); Mike Taylor (Holy Angels); Steve Zalewski (New Hartford N.Y, HS).

Defensemen (6): Jack Hillen (Holy Angels); Luke Lucyk (Tri-City Storm, USHL); Dan McGoff (Nobles); Brett Motherwell (HoneyBaked Midget AAA); Matt Niskanen (Virginia-Mt. Iron HS); Keith Yandle (Cushing).

Goaltenders (2): Ian Keserich (Cleveland Barons Jr. A); Cory Schneider (Phillips Andover).

Head Coach: Troy Jutting (Mankato State). Assistant Coaches: Andy Slaggert (University of Notre Dame) and Paul Caulfield (Wisconsin-Stevens Point).

Note: We're not going to rank players from the 17s, as we did with the 16s. However, we will be putting together a list of some of the top players, including many who didn't make the Select Team.

 

7/17/03

Backes, Pineault Junior Camp Adds

Forwards Adam Pineault, a BC recruit; and David Backes, a Mankato State recruit, have been added to the list of U.S. Junior camp invitees.

Pineault, a 6'2" Holyoke, Mass. native who played for the NTDP, and Backes, a 6'2" Blaine, Minn. native who played for the Lincoln Stars (USHL), will be replacing 5'9" T.J. Hensick and 5'8" Brett Sterling.

Hensick, the leading scorer on the Under-18 team last winter, is out with a wrist injury; Sterling, who will be a sophomore at CC this fall and is a veteran of last winter's National Junior Team, had shoulder surgery at the end of CC's season, and needs a little more time to fully heal.

The junior camp will be held in Lake Placid, NY from August 2-9.

 

7/15/03

Five Additions for the NTDP's Under-17 Team

Five players have been added to the NTDP's Under-17 Team for the upcoming season. They are: defensemen Erik Felde, Chad Morin, and David Inman; and forwards John Kemp and Nathan Lawrence.

In addition, Benn Ferreiro of Gov. Dummer Academy (Mass.), and Taylor Chorney of Hastings HS (Minn.) were asked, but chose to stay where they were.

The team, barring defections, is now set for the upcoming season.

Felde, 5'9" and 155 lbs, is a left-shot defensman from Anchorage who played last season for the Alaska All-Stars Midget AAA squad, coached by former Alaska-Anchorage defenseman Todd Bethard. A tremendous skater, Felde notched 30 points in 45 games for the All-Stars last season. He's practically an '88 -- his DOB is 12/29/87.

Morin, 5'11" and 176 lbs., and a defenseman with the Syracuse Stars Jr. B, is actually an '88, which makes him the first underage defenseman the program has ever brought in. The cousin of former NTDP defenseman J.D. Forrest, Morin was the consensus #1 d-man at last summer's Select 14 Festival. The NTDP staff would have preferred bringing him in next year, but the recent defections to major junior forced their hand a bit.

Inman, 6'1" and 195 lbs., played last season for the LA Junior Kings Midget AAA squad, coached by former Rochester Americans (AHL) and Canadian National Team defensman James Gasseau. Inman, a right shot from San Diego, has size, poise, and can chip in at both ends of the ice. A 3/8/87 birthdate, Inman posted a 26-24-50 line in 63 games last season. At the Select 16 Festival, he was the only defenseman to notch three goals.

Lawrence, a 5'9" left-shot wing from Stoughton, Wisc. and the Madison Capitols Midgets, coached by Bob Suter, was the third-leading scorer at the Select 16 Festival. One of his teammates with the Capitols, and on the gold-medal winning Central team at the Select 16s, was Phil Kessel, who, of course, is also going to the NTDP. Lawrence notched 120 points in 75 games last winter. He's a 3/14/87 brithdate.

Kemp, 5'7" and 174 lbs., is a native of Arcadia, California, home to the Santa Anita Race Track, which you'll see a lot of in the upcoming film Seabiscuit (don't forget to read the book). Kemp, like Inman, played last winter for the LA Jr. Kings Midget AAA team, where, in 58 games, he notched a 12-72-84 line, a rather incredible assists-to-goals ratio. He's a very curioius player in that he's short and slow, but is also the possessor of excellent hands and the kind of vision that enables him to slow the game to a crawl. He's a wizard of a playmaker, a Harry Potter of the ice, but will his lack of size and speed hamper his play at the next level?

Felde, Inman, and Kemp were all on Pacific's bronze-medal winning Select 16 team.

Felde, Kemp, and Lawrence will also be on the US Under-17 Select Team which is heading to Slovakia for the Five Nations Tournament Aug. 20-24. (Chorney and Ferriero are also on the team.)

 

7/11/03

Select 16 Festival Rankings

Here are our annual rankings from the Select 16 Festival, held this year in Rochester, NY and ending last week.

As usual, our main criteria in ranking players was how they played at the tournament. Some consideration is given to past performance and future projectability.

.

Forwards:

1. Phil Kessel, Central, #8 Purple, 5'11", 165 lbs. -- Late '87 from Madison, Wisc. and the Madison Capitols Midgets, where he scored 158 points in 71 games last winter. Going to NTDP. High-end skill. Has speed and tremendous scoring abilty. The best player here.

2. Ryan Stoa, Minn., #9 Black, 6'2", 190 lbs. -- Left-shot center from Bloomington-Jefferson. Going to the NTDP.

3. Jason Lawrence, Mass., #15 Navy, 5'10", 178 lb. -- RC from Saugus, Mass. and the Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL). Going to NTDP.

4. Evan Trupp, Pacific, #16 Grey, 5'6", 130 lbs. -- From Anchorage, AK and the North Stars Midget Minor A. Late '87 birthdate. Came up big in bronze medal game, notching a pair of goals in 4-3 win over New England.

5. Nathan Lawrence, Central, #9 Purple, 5'9" 190 lbs. -- Left-shot wing from Stoughton, Wisc. and the Madison Capitols Midgets, where he had 120 points in 75 games last winter. The given weight looks high.

6. John Kemp, Pacific, #14 Grey, 5'9", 165 lbs. -- From Arcadia, CA and the LA Jr. Kings Midget AAA, Physical tools are totally unprepossessing, but he has what you can't teach -- a great head for the game.

7. Tim Miller, Michigan, #15 White, 6'1", 180 lbs. -- LW from Davisburg, Mich and Compuware Midget Major. Going to River City (USHL). Has size, plays physically, and has a nasty streak.

8. Andy Bohmbach, Central, #11 Purple, 6'1", 170 lbs. -- LW from Hudson (Wisc.) High School. Opened eyes as the week progressed.

9. Chad Rau, Minn., #10 Black, 5'11", 170 lbs. -- Was paired with Stoa and Ryan Thang to make up Minnesota's top line. From Eden Prairie HS.

10. Kevin Deeth, Pacific, #8 Grey, 5'8", 165 lbs. -- From Gig Harbor, WA. Played last winter for one of Shattuck-St. Mary's Midget programs. Makes things happen, Dangerous down low. .

11. Ryan Thang, Minn., #8 Black, 6'1", 185 lbs. -- RW from Edina HS

12. Zach Bearson, Central, #10 Purple, 6'1", 190 lbs.-- RC from Naperville, Ill. TI Midgets. Drafted by Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL).

13. Ben Holmstrom, Rocky Mt., #14 Teal, 5'11", 155 lbs. -- RC from Colorado Springs, Col. and the Pikes Peak Miners.

14. Benn Ferriero, Mass., #11 Navy, 5'11", 170 lbs. -- RC from Governor Dummer Academy. Was tremendous the first couple of days, and was invited to the NTDP, though he may choose to stay home in Mass. By game #3 of the tournament, Ferriero developed food poisoning, and his game suffered. If he had continued to play as well as he did the first couple of days, he'd have been ranked much higher.

15. Justin Mercier, Michigan, #18 White, 5'11", 175 lbs. -- From Erie, PA and Compuware Midget Major. Going to the St. Louis Heartland Eagles (USHL), the ex-Topeka franchise. Goalies, stay on your feet. Mercier likes to go top shelf.

16. Jerad Stewart, Minn., #20 Black, 5'11", 185 lbs. -- RC from the Wayzata Bantams. December '87 birthdate.

17. Ben Ketchum, New England, #11 Royal Blue, 5'10, 170 lbs. -- From Greenwich, CT and the Mid-Fairfield Midgets Has speed and uses it well.

18. Joe Miller, Dakota, #20 Gold, 5'10", 175 lbs. -- At-large player from Wayzata (Minn.) Bantams, where hs scored a ton of points last season. Doesn't have speed or great size, but he's a savvy player who's always around the puck. Generates a lot of offense.

19. John Cavanagh, New England, #8 Royal Blue, 5'6", 140 lbs. -- From Warwick, RI and Toll Gate HS. Cousin of Harvard forward Tommy Cavanagh. Similar strengths, too.

20. Jeff Velleca, New England, #16 Royal Blue, 6'1", 165 lbs. -- LC from Notre Dame-Fairfield HS in Connecticut. Smooth skater with size.

21. Scott Halpern, Southeastern, # 12 Orange, 5'10", 160 lbs. -- Right-shot center from Boca Raton, Col. and the Canterbury School .

22. Tommy Schmicker, Atlantic, #18 Maroon, 6'2", 212 lbs.-- LC from Rye, NY and Deerfield Academy JV. Excellent size. Should become more agile in time.

23. Travis Vermeulen, Minn., #12 Black, 5'6", 155 lbs. -- LC from Centerville, MN and Centennial HS. Small, but is quick and really competes. Succesful here despite scoring zero points.

24. Garrett Peters, New England, #12 Royal Blue, 6'0", 180 lbs. -- RW from Riverside, RI. Played last winter for the Boston Junior Bruins Midget AAA and LaSalle HS. Right-shot wing with a strong, hard shot.

25. Chris Murphy, Mass., #17 Mass., 5'10", 170 lb. -- LW from Arlington, Mass. and St. Sebastian's Country Day School. Very good skater.

26. Dan Kissel, Central, #12 Purple, 5'8", 145 lbs. -- LC from Crestwood, Ill. and CYA Midgets

27. Matt Arhontas, Central, #19 Purple, 5'6", 145lbs. -- RW from Naperville, Ill. and TI Midgets. Going to Chicago Mission Midgets.

28. Zach MacVoy, Michigan, 6'1", 198 lbs. -- RC from Livonia, Mich. and Little Caesar's. Going to NTDP. Didn't have very good week. Played well in flashes only.

29. Luke Lynes, Southeastern, # 16 Orange, 6'1", 175 lbs. -- LC from Ellicott City, Maryland and the Washington Little Caps. An 11/28/87 birthdate, he'll be going to Culver Military Academy this fall.

30. Micheal Testwuide, Rocky Mt., #18 Teal, 6'2", 200 lbs. -- RW from Vail, Col. but plays in NY for the Northwood School.

31. Dan Collins, NY, #11 Green, 6'2", 184 lbs. -- From Carthage, NY and the Syracuse Stars (OPJHL). Just signed with Plymouth Whalers (OHL). Struggled here, but has size, skating ability.

32. Jake Coyle, Mid-Am, #12 Red, 5'5", 162 lbs. RW from Brooklyn, OH and the HoneyBaked '87s. Will be playing for the NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) this season. Very small, but hard-nosed and physical. Scored with one second left togive his team a 3-3 tie with New York.

33. Mike Kramer, Dakota, #19 Gold, 5'10", 180 lbs. -- At-large player from Como Park (Minn.) HS.

34. Anthony McIntyre, Michigan, #8 White, 5'11", 183 lbs. -- LW from Little Caesar's.

35. Kyle Brown, Mid-Am, #9 Red, 5'11", 180 lbs. -- LW from Toledo Ice Diggers Midget AAA

36. Phillip DeSimone, New York, #14 Green, 6'1", 190 lbs. -- LC from Nichols School. Came up big with a couple of goals in his team's playoff game.

37. Ray Kaunisto, Michigan, #11 White, 6'2", 165 lbs. -- LW from Soo Indians Midget Major. Going to the Soo Indians (NAHL). Has size and moves well. A sleeper -- worth following.

38. Aaron Bogosian, New York, #10 Green, 5'10", 172 lbs. -- From Massena, NY but played for the Brockville Braves (OPJHL) last season.

39. Vladimir Nikoforov, New York, #20 Green, 5'5", 130 lbs. -- From Hauppage, LI and the Suffolk PAL Midget Major, where he played for his father. A late '87 who's skilled but tiny. Lack of strength limited his effectiveness here, but when grows and/or fills out, he could be a player.

40. Justin Abdelkader, Michigan, #14 White, 6'1", 185 lbs. -- Left-shot forward from Mona Shores. Michigan. Moved the puck well.

41. Patrick Schafer, Mid-Am, #19 Red, 5'10", 163 lbs. -- RC played for Cleveland Barons Midgets last winter. A 12/24/87 birthdate.

42. Michael Guzzo, Dakota, #18 Gold, 5'8", 157 lbs. -- At-large player from HoneyBaked '87s. Good little two-way forward.

43. Chris Clackson, Mid-Am, #11 Red, 5'11", 190 lbs. LC from Pittsburgh Hornets Midget AAA squad. Has size, but needs to learn to use it more effectively.

44. Hunter Bishop, Pacific, #9 Grey, 5'10", 170 lbs. -- LC from Fairbanks, AK and the Arctic Lions Midgets

45. Jason Denk, Mid-Am, #14 Red, 5'7", 135 lbs. -- From N. Royalton, OH and the Cleveland Barons Midget AAA. Came up with at least one highlight film goal, so there's something there, but it wasn't consistently on display.

 

Defensemen:

1. Erik Felde, Pacific, #2 Grey, 5'9", 155 lbs. -- LD from Anchorage, AK and the Alaska All-Stars Midget AAA squad. A 12/29/87 birthdate. Purest skating defenseman here. Invited to NTDP.

2. Taylor Chorney, Minn., #4 Black, 5'10", 165 lbs. -- LD from Hastings HS. Was invited to NTDP off his play here.

3. Brandon Gentile, Michigan, #3 White, 6'0", 180 lbs. -- LD from Clarkson, Mich. and Little Caesar's '87. Going to NTDP. Took a lot of penalites, so was msissing from action for huge swaths of time. Looked good when he was out there, however.

4. Jon Ammerman, Minn., #3 Black, 5'11", 175 lbs. -- LD from the Moorhead HS Spuds. Was invited to NTDP in March, but chose to remain in Minnesota.

5. David Inman, Pacific, #3 Grey, 6'1", 195 lbs. -- RD from San Diego and the LA Junior Kings Midgets. Won a spot on the NTDP off his play here.

6. Garret Suter, Central, #2 Purple, 6'0", 185 lbs. -- RD from Madison Capitols Midgets. Improving and growing. Looks as if he'll be playing for Capitols again this season.

7. Brian Lee, Minn., #2 Black, 6'2", 180 lbs. -- RD is teammates of Ammerman at Moorhead HS.

8. Ryan Turek, Michigan, #5 White, 6'0", 178 lbs. -- Late '87 RD from Northvile, Mich. and HoneyBaked Midget Major. Already committed to Michigan State.

9. Mike Stuart, New York, #6 Green, 6'4", 210 lbs. -- RD from Rome, NY and the St. Paul's School. Going to NTDP.

10. Mark Mitera, Michigan, #6 White, 6'3", 180 lbs. -- Late '87 from Livonia, Mich. and Little Caesar's Midget Major. Going to NTDP. Big, nasty pro-type d-man.

11. Johnathan Kearns, Central, #5 Purple, 5'11", 183 lbs. -- RD from TI Midget Majors.

12. Cody Wild, New England, #2 Royal Blue, 6'2", 175 lbs. -- LD from Boston Junior Bruins Midget AAA and La Salle HS. Has grown, and improved, a lot over the last year.

13. Jake Holzemer, Mid-Am, #4 Red, 5'9", 156 lbs. -- RD from Toledo Ice Diggers. In the Peter Harrold mold. A very good skater.

14. Zach Jones, Central, #4 Purple, 5'11", 175 lbs. -- LD from Lisle, Ill. Chicago Chill Midget Major. Going to NTDP Younger brother of North Dakota defenseman Matt Jones.

15. Colin Young, Mass., #7 Navy, 6'1", 190 lbs. -- LD from Dedham, Mass. and St. Seb's. Solid defensive defenseman. Nothing flashy, just sound. Younger brother of Princeton D Seamus Young.

16. Tim Kunes, New York, #4 Green, 6'0, 165 lbs. -- LD from Huntington, NY and the LI Gulls Midget AAA. Will be playing for the New England Jr. Coyotes (EJHL) this season.

17. Kyle Lawson, Michigan, #2 White, 5'11", 200 lbs. -- RD from New Hudson, Mich. Played for HoneyBaked '87 last winter. Had a hip injury which hindered him here.

18. Aaron Gens, Minn., #5 Black, 6'0", 175 lbs. -- From Lake of the Woods HS, where the wind blows heavy on the borderline.

19. Michael Phillippi, Dakota, #7 Gold, 5'10, 160 lbs. -- At large player from Minnesota, Phillippi is a RD from Hill-Murray.

20. Tommy Dignard, Mass., #3 Navy, 5'10", 175 lbs. -- LD from Reading, Mass. and Phillips Andover. Heady, smart d-man with good mobility.

21. Evan Stephens, Michigan, #7 White, 5'11", 168 lbs. -- RD from Ojibwa Eagles Midget AAA. A 12/7/87 birthdate. Probably the #5 d-man on Michigan team, but it was a strong group with the likes of Gentile, Turek, Mitera, Lawson, and hard to stand out. He's a good player, though, and worth following.

22. AJ Meyer, Atlantic, #4 Maroon, 6'0", 170 lbs. -- RD from Westfield, NY and Choate.

23. Sam Zabcowicz, Central, #3 Purple, 5'7", 130 lbs. -- A LD from Greendale, Wisc. Small, but hard-nosed -- and skilled. Played at University School in Milwaukee last season. Will be going to Culver this year. Younger brother of Maine D Tom Zabcowicz.

24. Steve Spade, New York, #5 Green, 6'2", 190. lbs. -- RD from Rochester, NY. Played last season with the Georgetown Raiders (OPJHL). A first-round OHL draft pick this past spring, Spade will be going to the Barrie Colts in the fall. A 12/10/87 birthdate. Didn't take control here as he did at Select 15s. Seemed listless.

25. Patrick Cullity, Dakota, #5 Gold -- At-large player from Massachusetts.

26. Pierre-Paul Lamoureaux, Dakota, #2 Gold, 6'2", 210lbs. -- LD from Grand Forks Central HS. Will be at Shattuck this season.

27. Peter Boldt, New England, #6 Royal Blue, 5'11", 165 lbs. -- From Greenwich, Conn. RD played for the Taft JV last winter.

28. Randy King, Rocky Mt., #4 Teal, 6'2", 195 lbs. -- RD from Salt Lake City, Utah. Played last winter in the Adirondacks, for the Northwood School B team.

29. Nick Tabisz, Mid-Am, #6 Red, 5'11", 163 lbs. -- LD from Dayton Gems Midget AAA. Good offensively.

 

Goaltenders:

1. Brian Foster, New England, #1 Royal Blue, 6'2", 160 lbs. -- From Bishop Brady HS inManchester, NH. Will be playing for the NH Junior Monarchs.

2. Drew O'Connell, Pacific, #1 Grey, 5'11", 175 lbs. -- From Anchorage, AK and the Alaska All-Stars Midget AAA,

3. Shane Connelly, Atlantic, #1 Maroon, 5'8", 155 lbs. -- From Cheltenham, PA. Has played last two seasons with Culver Varsity. Now heading to Chciago Steel (USHL). .

4. Tristan Favro, Atlantic, #30 Maroon, 5'10", 175 lbs. -- From Westfield, NJ and the NJ Junior Titans.

5. Jeff Frazee, Minn., #1 Black, 6'0", 190 lbs. -- From Holy Angels. Going to NTDP.

6. Bryce Shattie, New England, #30 Royal Blue, 6'4", 208 lbs. -- From Hanover (NH) HS

7. Bobby Jarosz, Central, #30 Purple, 6'0" -- From Crystal Lake, Ill. and the Chicago Young Americans.

8. Billy Blase, Pacific, #30 Grey, Taft School, 5'11", 185 lbs. -- From Santa Monica, CA. Played at Taft last winter but was #2 behind PG John Curry and didn't get into a lot of games. Here, he wasn't moving and reacting as well as he can. Going to the NTDP.

9. Alex Stalock, Minn., #30 Black, 5'11", 155 lbs. -- From South St. Paul HS. Needs work on some things, but he's athletic, so should improve.

10. Shane Foley, New York, #1 Green, 6'0", 160 lbs. -- From Clinton HS.

11. Brycen Eberwein, Dakota, #1 Gold, 5'11", 170 lbs. -- From Grand Forks, ND and Shattuck-St. Mary's Midgets

12. Patrick Street, Southeastern, # 30 Orange, 6'0", 180 lbs. -- From Washington Little Caps Midget AAA.

 

UPDATE 7/14/03:

Here are the players chosen for the U.S. Under-17 Select Team, chosen entirely from the Festival (though some players were unable to attend due to other commitments.) The tournament will be held in Prievizda, Slovakia with the U.S. facing the Czech Republic (8/20); Germany (8/21); Switzerland (8/23); and host Slovakia (8/24).

Forwards (12): Zach Bearson, Andy Bohmbach, Benn Ferriero, Ben Holmstrom; John Kemp; Ben Ketchum; Nathan Lawrence; Tim Miller; Chad Rau; Ryan Stoa; Ryan Thang; and Evan Trupp.

Defensemen (6): Jonathan Ammerman; Taylor Chorney; Erik Felde; Johnathan Kearns; Brian Lee; and Ryan Turek.

Goaltenders (2): Shane Connelly and Brian Foster.

The coaching staff consists of head coach Frank Serratore (U.S. Air Force Academy), and assistants Gene Reilly (Binghamton -- AHL) and Joe Bonnett (Colorado College).

 

7/9/03

Richardson Charged with Rape of 14-Year-Old Boy

Bobby Richardson, 49, a former Div I assistant at Yale, BU, and Northeastern, has been indicted by a Suffolk County (Mass.) grand jury on charges that he raped a 14-year-old boy at an International Hockey Academy summer camp five years ago.

Richardson, the camp director, allegedly assaulted the victim on July 30, 1998 in a Boston University dorm room, during an IHA summper camp. Prosecutors say Richardson assaulted the boy twice more in the winter of 1998-99, both times at Richardson's Dorchester home.

Richardson, who was an assistant coach of the girl's team at Milton Academy last winter while also working as a scout for the NHL's Calgary Flames and running IHA clinics and camps, will be arraigned on Mon. July 14.

Richardson was let go by the Flames this spring in an organizational shakeup.

Richardson, who did not play college hockey, was an assistant at Yale in the late 70's-early '80s, at BU in the mid-to late '80s and then at Northeastern in the early '90s.

One of his recruits for BU was former BC High forward Mike Sullivan, just recently named coach of the Boston Bruins.

Lat August, Richardson coached the Mass Select 14s in their annual Friendship Series in Sweden.

Richardson has written extensively on hockey coaching and philosophy, and is well known in Mass youth hockey circles. A number of Richardson's articles can be found on the IHA website, the link to which can be found below. Also included are links to articles on Richardson's indictment in today's Boston Herald (it was on the front page, with a picture of Richardson), the Boston Globe (it was in the Metro section), and the Calgary Sun.

Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Calgary News, International Hockey Academy

 

UPDATE 7/14/03:

Richardson has pleaded not guilty in Suffolk County Superior Court yesterday to the eight charges against him. While Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson released Richardson on personal recognizance, the conditions imposed on the 49-year-old include: no unsupervised contact with anyone under 18 and no contact with the alleged victim. Richardson, whose pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Thurs. Sept. 4, has also been ordered to surrender his passport.

 

7/8/03

Two Buckeyes

Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) RC Domenic Maiani and U.S. NTDP LW Tom Fritsche have committed to Ohio State.

-- Maiani, a 5'10", 175 lbs. native of Shelby Township, Mich., was one of about ten '86s in the USHL last season. He's an excellent skater who is strong in all three zones, has hockey sense, and makes players around him better. A product of the HoneyBaked system, Maiani played briefly for Chris Coury last September before moving on to Sioux City shortly after the Buc Bowl. He played 50 games and posted a 7-12-19 line in USHL play..

Maiani made his final choice from between Ohio State and St. Cloud. Other schools reportedly in the picture were Michigan State, Miami, and CC.

Maiani won't be playing at the Select 17s, which begin this weekend in St. Cloud, Minn. He broke his wrist at the Sioux City's camp, but is expected to be OK by the start of the USHL season.

Maiani will arrive at Ohio Stae in the fall of '04.

-- Fritsche, a 5'9", 170 lb. LW from Parma Ohio, was the U.S. Under 17-Team's fourth-leading scorer this past season. In 44 NAHL games he notched a 14-9-23 line.

Fritsche, a 9/30/86 birthdate, will be a junior this season, after which he will age out at the NTDP and likely play in the USHL for his senior season before going to Ohio State in the fall of '05.

Of the two, Fritsche projects a little better. He's smart, extremely good in traffic, has excellent hockey sense, and is dangerous down low. He should be a big point producer at the NCAA level. Over the last couple of years, Fritsche has grown and become faster. He's good at both ends, and is hard-nosed.

Other schools reported to be in the hunt for Fritsche were Miami and Michigan State.

Fritsche chose the Buckeyes when he went to watch his brother, Danny, a second-round pick in the NHL draft last month and a Sarnia Sting (OHL) center, at the Columbus Blue Jackets camp. Basically, Fritsche came over to the Ohio State campus and decided on the spot that he wanted to be a Buckeye. Both brothers, then, could be playing at the same time in the same city in their native state.

Maiani and Fritsche were teammates on the US Under-17 Select Team that went to the Czech Republic last summer.

Fritsche played for the Cleveland Barons '86 team before moving on to Ann Arbor.

 

7/7/03

R.I. Coaching Legend Dead at 83

William E. "Babe" Mousseau, who helped build one of New England's great small-town hockey traditions while coaching Burrillville (R.I.) High to seven state championships and five New England titles in 18 seasons, died June 30 at age 83.

Burrillville had come close but had never won a New England championship when Mousseau took over in 1957 after his mentor, Tom Eccleston Jr., left to become head coach at Providence College. But Mousseau helped push the Broncos over the top.

After an overtime loss to the Len Ceglarski-coached Walpole (Mass.) High School squad in the New England finals in 1958, Burrillville won its first title in '59, beating Arlington, Mass. They repeated in 1960, and won again in 1963, 1973, and 1974.

An old-school motivator -- was there any other kind in those days? -- Mousseau's teams were usually big and physical and could outskate just about any opponent.

"He kept it very simple, and the simplicity was that you gave 100 percent and that you never made any excuses," former player Howie Laporte told the Providence Journal last week.

Tactically, Burrillville was as subtle as a Scott Stevens shoulder check. They'd dump the puck in from center ice and then rush in and retrieve it. The game plan was built around their edge in conditioning.

And the secret to their superior legs was outdoor ice.

Back before global warming, Burrillville, a mill town with dozens of ponds and at a slightly higher elevation in Rhode Island's northwest corner, had ice earlier and for longer than the rest of the state. This was almost an unfair advantage in an era in which other teams fought for practice time at the Rhode Island Auditorium in Providence, one of the state's few indoor rinks.

"One year we had 76 outdoor practices," former player Buster Clegg told the Journal in 2000. "If you were a freshman, one of your duties was to get a bucket of water and fill all the cracks in the ice after practice. Think players today would do that?"

By the time Mousseau quit in 1974, the Bobby Orr era in New England was in full bloom, and rinks had sprung up all over the place, including in Burrillville, donated by a textile mill baron.

In the years since, unfortunately, Burrillville hockey has been in a free fall. The legacy left by men like Mousseau and Eccleston is fading.

As Burrillville grew from a small mill town to an affluent suburb, high school hockey's importance in the community was transformed, too, from a religion to just another diversion, like playing video games or going to the mall.

By last fall, years of poundings at the hands of Mount St. Charles and La Salle had taken a toll. The Burrillville School Committee briefly considered dropping varsity hockey unless the team was allowed to play in a lower division. Cooler heads prevailed, though, and the Broncos played out the season, winning only three games. This season, Burrillville will compete in the second division.

 

7/4/03

Central Takes Select 16s; Four Invited to NTDP

Central came from behind to top Minnesota, 6-5, yesterday and take the 2003 Select 16 Festival in Rochester, NY. The winning goal was scored by RW Dan Decato of Verona (Wisc.) HS with 4:05 on the clock. Three minutes earlier, the tying goal goal was scored by Phil Kessel, who played for the Madison Capitols Midgets last season and is going to the NTDP shortly. Kessel, the leading scorer at the tournament, is reported to have narrowed his college choices down to Michigan and Minnesota. A late '87, he's going into his sophomore year in high schoool.

The NTDP invited four more players to the program for next season, all of whom were at the Festival. They are: 5'10", 165 lb. LD Taylor Chorney from Hastings HS (Minn.); 5'8", 155 lb. LD Erik Felde of the Alaska All-Stars Midget AAA program; and 6'1", 195 lb. RD David Inman of the LA Jr. Kings Bantams.

At forward, RC Benn Ferriero of Governor Dummer Academy (Mass.) was invited.

We'll have more on the Select 16's on Monday. Drive safely and have a great July 4th weekend.

 

7/3/03

Heshmatpour Makes it Three

Yesterday, we mentioned that 6'5", 228 lb. defenseman Devereaux Heshmatpour, who signed a commitment to the NTDP this spring, has backed out and will play the upcoming season with the Kitchener Rangers (OHL).

It's felt that Heshmatpour, the third player to sign a commitment to the Ann Arbor program but then renege, never intended to go to the NTDP, but, rather, was using his commitment to the program as leverage in his negotiations with Kitchener.

NTDP head coach Moe Mantha described himself as "disappointed" by recent developments. "What is a father teaching his son about the value of his name?" " Mantha asked. "Signing a commitment, putting your name to paper, should actually mean something."

It's now being reported that forward Bobby Ryan will be the fourth signed NTDP player to go major junior as it's expected he either has, or will soon be, signing with the Owen Sound Attack (OHL), though the NTDP has not heard anything official. The bulk of the NTDP-signed kids who are leaving for major junior are represented by Don Meehan's Newport Sports, a highly unpopular agency within USA hockey circles.

Meehan didn't return our call seeking comment.

UPDATE 7/4 Bobby Ryan has signed with the Owen Sound Attack.


7/3/03

Four '88s off to Finland

The United States, as well as all 50 IIHF nations, will be sending four top '88s to Vieramaki, Finland on Friday for a one-week development camp, which occurs every two years. The US kids chosen for the honor are forwards Kyle Okposo of Shattuck-St. Mary's Bantams and Carter Camper of the Cleveland Barons Midget AAA squad; defenseman Brian Strait of Northfield-Mt. Hermon School (Mass.); and goaltender Joe Palmer of the Syracuse Jr. B squad.

 

7/2/03

Handicapping the Union Job

Reportedly, athletic director Val Belmonte's wish list for the now vacant Union job consists of UMass assistant Bill Gilligan, St. John's (Minn.) College head coach John Harrington, and BC assistant Ron Rolston. Notre Dame assistant John Micheletto and Dartmouth assistant Dave Peters are also considered top candidates.

Gilligan, the former All America at Brown ('77) who is still the Bears all-time leading scorer, played in the WHA and then professionally in Austria and Switzerland. Afterward, he had a lengthy 19-year career as head coach/GM for several European pro teams and a three-year stint as head coach of the Swiss National Team in the early '90s. In Europe, he even coached the father of current UMass defenseman Thomas Pock. Gilligan, the younger brother of outgoing UVM head coach Mike Gilligan, is in his fifth year at UMass.

Rolston, who has been an assistant at Lake Superior State, Clarkson, Harvard, and now BC, was a strong candidate recently for the job at Michigan Tech, his alma mater. However, he withdrew his name, feeling that Tech wouldn't be able to give the program the full resources needed to seriously compete in the WCHA. The same situation would be true at Union, so Rolston may not want to head down that road again.

Harrington, for the last ten years, has coached the St. John's Johnnies, a Div. III school in St. Cloud, Minn. A Minnesota-Duluth grad, Harrington was a member of the 1980 US Olympic Team. He's the father of Univeristy of Minnesota defenseman Chris Harrington.

Micheletto is in his fourth year as an assistant at Notre Dame. For the three year period before that ('96-99), he was at Union, where he spent two years as an assistant with Kevin Sneddon and one as an assistant under Sneddon. Sneddon holds Micheletto in very high regard, which will carry weight. Micheletto also goes back twenty or more years with Belmonte. A Chicago native who grew up playing for Team Illinois before going on to Milton Academy and Dartmouth, Micheletto knows Belmonte from the latter's days both as head coach at the now-defunct University of Illinois-Chicago program, which was then in the CCHA; and from USA Hockey, where Belmonte became director of the coaching program. Micheletto has long been involved in coaching USA select teams. Micheletto also was the head hockey coach and an English teacher at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA from 1991-96, where he helped develop forward Chris Bala, a Pennsylvania native who would go on to star at Harvard and is now in the Minnesota Wild organization.

A sleeper pick for the Union posting is Dartmouth assistant Dave Peters, who's been instrumental in lifting the Big Green into the top ranks of the ECAC. Peters, a former JV player at Boston College, has a wealth of experience and contacts in the game. A head coach at the high school level and also in the NAHL with the Danville Wings, Peters is perhaps best known for his lengthy tenure as a Providence assistant, though his recent success at Dartmouth has elevated his profile considerably.

Union is a non-scholarship school, hence one of the job qualifications is familiarity with financial aid and all the paperwork that goes with it. Peters and Micheletto are both very familiar with all that.

Former Union assistant Kevin Patrick, who worked under Sneddon for four years at Union before going west to work for Scotty Paluch at Bowling Green, has been mentioned as a candidate. Patrick, a local boy, from Schenectady, was a '92 graduate of Notre Dame who began his coaching career as an assistant at Deerfield Academy in 1993, spent a year as an assistant with the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL), then came to Union when Sneddon was moved up to head coach. Patrick is younger than all the coaches above, so his chances appear slimmer. However, in promoting Sneddon to head

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)