Established 1996
 
 
USHR August 2003 News

 

8/28/02

Smart -- or Not So Smart?

UMass-Lowell goaltender Dominic Smart, who played in 26 games as a freshman last season, has left the hockey team, and the school, too.

Reportedly, he wishes to be home near his girlfriend.

Smart, who's from Millersville, Maryland and played for the Cap District Selects (EJHL) before coming to UMass-Lowell, posted a 6-12-5 record with a 3.77 gaa and .842 save percentage with the River Hawks last season. He showed a lot of promise, especially during an 11-game stretch from mid-January to March 1. However, on March 7-8, he allowed seven, then eight goals in a pair of playoff games at UNH, which didn't help his final numbers much.

Smart, who turned 21 last month, is 6'0", 188 lbs., and would have been a sophomore this season. He was never drafted.

With Travis Weber leaving Minnesota, we've seen two goalies this month walk away from major conference schools -- and into early retirement.

The River Hawks will start the season with two goalies: junior Chris Davidson, who played in 17 gmes last season, and sophomore Paul Mammola, who played in one game.

Former Apple Core goalie John Yaros, who sat out last season, will be eligible to play for Lowell starting with the Badger Showdown Jan. 27, when the RiverHawks play Ferris State. Yaros sat out last season after transferring from Army. He will have two and a half years of eligibility with the River Hawks.

 

8/26/03

Lancer Forward Dies From Head Injury

River City Lancers (USHL) forward Phil Todd, 18, died today in an Omaha hospital as a result of a head injury suffered in a freak mishap last Thursday night.

Police reported that Todd was sitting on the trunk of a slow-moving car as it pulled out of an Omaha driveway. Todd jumped off, tripped, and hit his head on the driveway. Since the accident, he had hovered near death.

Todd, a 6'2", 185 lb. power forward from Centerville, Minn., played for Centennial HS through the 2001-02 season. He joined the Lancers a couple of months into the season last year, having chosen to stay home and play football for Centennial before reporting to the USHL. In 39 regular-season games for the Lancers, Todd, a 9/25/84 birthdate, posted a 13-8-21 line.

Todd is survived by his parents, a sister, Janna, and a brother, Andrew. Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but we will let you know the details as soon as we learn them.

 

8/26/03

Weber Leaves Gophers

Travis Weber, the #1 goalie for the defending NCAA champions University of Minnesota, has left the hockey team and withdrawn from school.

Weber, who would have been a junior, reportedly has lost interest in playing anymore.

Last season, Weber played in 34 games and posted a 2.50 gaa and a .902 save percentage. In April, Weber was named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team after facing 60 shots and allowing a combined three goals in wins over Michigan and UNH. An '82 from Hibbing, Minn., Weber played in the NTDP and, before that, for Hibbing HS. He is undrafted, hence a free agent.

The Gophers will go into the upcoming season with junior Justin Johnson, who played in 14 games last season, as their lone returnee. Kellen Briggs, who played for the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL), is coming in as a freshman.

 

8/26/03

New Assistant Coach for Notre Dame

Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) assistant Layne LeBel has been named as the new assistant coach on Dave Poulin's staff at Notre Dame.

LeBel fills the opening that was created when John Micheletto accepted a position as an assistant at the University of Vermont last month. .

LeBel, 31, is a former Michigan Tech defenseman (1990-94), who afterward played one year for the Memphis Riverkings, and four years in Germany. In 1999-2000 he was head coach of the Wisconsin Midget AAA squad. He joned the Gamblers staff the following season, and was with them for three years.

This is the fourth time that Gamblers head coach Mark Osiecki has lost an assistant late in the summer. Last year it was Erik Raygor; the year before that it was Ian Kallay; and a couple of years before that it was Kevin Patrick.

If anyone out there reading this is serious about coaching and feels qualified to coach in the USHL, Osiecki is considering candidates for the open position. His email address is gamblers@pmiwi.com.

Osiecki is going into the season without the guy he had lined up as his #1 goalie -- Chris Holt, who played last year for the US Under-18 Team. Holt had initially been recruited by the University of Nebraska-Omaha for the fall of '04, but that all changed suddenly when Dan Ellis gave up his final season of eligibility and turned pro with the Dallas Stars organization last week. Suddenly, Holt was being summoned to UNO, and is enrolled in college now.

Osiecki has picked up goaltender Anthony Tocco, who has played midgets over the past couple of years with the Marquette Electricians, Chicago Chill, and Michigan Ice Dogs. Tocco is a 10/3/85 birthdate from Belleville, Michigan. He will compete for playing time with Troy Davenport, an '85 who starred for Simley HS (Minn.) last season.

Osiecki has also added 5'11", 180 lb. wing Billy Smith, who played for the US Under-17 Team last season, to the Gamblers roster. Smith was, until very recently, going to play for the Swift Current Broncos (WHL) this season, but had a change of heart. Smith, an 8/10/86 birthdate from Sterling, Alaska, posted a 6-10-16 line in 60 games with the Under-17 Team.

 

8/25/03

Thompson to UNH

6'1", 185 lb. LC Alan Thompson of the Holderness School has committed to the University of New Hampshire.

Thompson, who is going into his senior year at Holderness, had a 19-31-50 scoring line last year. He's a power forward type who also has a good stick and a head for the game, as his numbers indicate. He's a natural athlete and in the upcoming season will be captain of football (he's a tight end), hockey, and baseball (center fielder/pitcher). He's also an excellent student, ranked third in his class.

In addition to UNH, Thompson made vists this summer to Northeastern and Dartmouth (where, of course, he could have played in Thompson Arena).

Thompson is an in-state kid, hailing from Gilford, NH, which is in New Hampshire's Lake Country, near Laconia. Holderness is in the same general region. He's a 9/28/84 birthdate.

 

8/25/03

Lawrence Leads U.S. Under-17s to Gold

On Sunday, the U.S. Under-17 Team, picked on the basis of their play at USA Hockey's Select 17 Festival in Rochester, NY earlier this summer, won the gold medal at the Five Nations Tournament in Prievidza, Slovakia.

This comes a week after the U.S. Under-18s won the gold medal here, beating Russia, 3-2, on Aug. 16.

In Sunday's gold medal game, a 3-1 win over Slovakia, Nathan Lawrence had a pair of goals and assisted on the third, a John Kemp goal. Lawrence, from the Madison Capitols Midgets, led the tournament in scoring with a 5-2-7 line.

Brian Lee, of Moorhead (Minn.) HS, was named the top defenseman in the tournament.

The Scores:
Aug. 20: USA 6, Czech Republic 3 -- Brian Foster kicks out 26 of 29 shots
Aug. 21: USA 4, Germany 4 -- Tim Miller and Kemp pick up two points apiece
Aug. 23: USA 5, Switzerland 2 -- Four-point day (2-2) for Nathan Lawrence
Aug. 24: USA 3, Slovakia 1 -- Lawrence figures in all three goals

The Team:
Forwards (12): Zach Bearson, Andy Bohmbach, Ben Holmstrom; John Kemp; Ben Ketchum; Nathan Lawrence; Chad Rau; Tim Miller; Evan Trupp; Ryan Thang; Justin Mercier; and Chris Murphy.

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 consisted of head coach Frank Serratore (U.S. Air Force Academy), and assistants Gene Reilly (Harvard University) and Joe Bonnett (Colorado College).

 

8/24/03

Beantown Classic Recap

The Beantown Classic, held Aug. 14-17 at the Iorio Arena in Walpole, featured most of the top prep and junior players in the Northeast, and a good number from outside the region, too.

This year, there were eight teams in the top division, up from four a year ago when the tournament, then in its inaugural year, was held in a single-sheet rink in Malden, Mass. The tempo and skill level was not quite as high this year as last, but a number of kids who might not have made the cut under the four-team format got an opportunity to show what they could do -- and there were some definite surprises. All in all, it was the east's best summer showcase.

The tournament went head-to-head with Hockey Night in Boston's All-Star Weekend, and many of the kids rostered at both had to do some shuttling back and forth. For the most part, though, the scouts and recruiters didn't follow them -- they just stayed at Iorio Arena. It's looking like HNIB will either have to go back to the drawing board and retool -- or accept lesser status. Even if Hockey Night doesn't get the star players anymore, Lance LoFaro and company can still rake in the dough. After all, there are plenty of kids out there who didn't make the Beantown Classic rosters and still hope to play college hockey at some level. But, this summer, for the NHL scouts and Div. I recruiters who visited Hockey Night, there wasn't much for them to see. Most came back shaking their heads and muttering about what a waste of time it was. Most people in the business have seen how Hockey Night, in recent years, has gone downhill, proving that you can water down the soup a little, bit but if you do it a lot the customer will send it back to the kitchen. Somewhere a line was crossed, and it was truly only a matter of time before someone decided HNIB was vulnerable and players and their families were open to options. In this, the Beantown Classic's second year, HNIB felt the shock. Now, the challenge for the Beantown Classic staff -- Peter Masters, Chris Masters, and Scott Fitzgerald -- in future years will be to keep the tournament small, and the quality high.

Here's a look at the teams in the tournament, and the players on them that we most noticed.

--- The Royals, coached by New York Rangers scout Bob Crocker, the dean of New England scouts, won the whole thing. The three best forwards were 5'11" Torrey Mitchell of Hotchkiss, an '85 from Quebec who's an excellent skater, quite explosive, goes to open space well, and can finish; 5'9" LC Matt Greene, a late '85 from BC High, who's a smart player who'll get better as he gets stronger; and 5'9" Chris Donovan of the Berkshire School, an '85 who put himself on the map, showing good hands, passing ability, a shot, and a solid work ethic.

The best long-term prospect up front may be 6'0" Ben Smith, an '88 from Avon, Conn. who plays at Westminster. Smith was also one of the top players at the Select 15 Festival earlier this month.

Others who played well were 5'11" Luke Jones, an '85 from the Junior Bruins; 5'11" Kory Falite, an '86 who finished the tournament as his team's leading scorer; and LC Garrett O. Regan, an '85 from Hastings, Minn. and the Waterloo Black Hawks.

On D, Maine recruit Bret Tyler was excellent.

So, too, especially given his age, was Brian Strait, a 6'0" '88 LD from Northfield-Mt. Hermon.

Both goalies -- the Junior Bruins' 6'1" Nevin Hamilton, an '85, and Jeff Mansfield, a late '84 who's signed for this season with Apple Core -- were very good. Mansfield, as many of you know, is deaf, but he could actually wind up as a Div. I goalie. It's hard to say in what capacity, but he's already been admitted to Princeton, and is deferring in order to play another year of juniors. Mansfield has always been pretty consistent. We've seen him quite a bit but can't really recall any bad games from him.

-- The Bombers, coached by Edmonton Oilers scout Chris McCarthy, were led by 6'0" LC Paul Stastny of the River City Lancers (USHL), a late '85 from St. Louis and the son of NHL Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, who, by the way, was at the tournament. Stastny was the second-leading scorer here, and the fulcrum of the tournament's top line, which had 6'2" Eric Slais, an '85 from Fenton, Missouri and the Chicago Steel, on the on the left wing and the Cap District Selects' Shawn Weller on the right side. Stastny may have been the tournament's best overall player. Slais, who has size but could work on his skating and agility, was his team's #2 forward. Weller was the physical, bruising type, and extremely effective.

Other forwards we liked included 5'7" RC Steve Silva, an '87 who is going from Cardigan Mountain to Tabor Academy and can stickhandle; 5'11" forward Bobby Butler of the Junior Bruins, an '87 who was the third-leading scorer here; and the two linemates from Holderness -- 5'10" Phil Farrow, an '85 from the Maritimes who has a good stick and is shifty; and 6'0" Alan Thompson, a late '84 from New Hampshire who's a strong two-way, up and down the wing type player who can also make a play and score.

Garrett Vassel, a 6'2" '85 from Long Island who will play for the Tri-City Storm, is improving, and could be a role guy at the Div. I level. Right now, though, we'd give the edge to the above-mentioned Thompson.

On the blueline, 5'10" Tommy Dignard, an '87 who plays for Phillips Andover, was excellent. -- just a smart, young D. The more we watch him, the more we like him. 6'1" Cody Wild, a left shot '87 who played last year fro LaSalle (RI) HS, is another young D who has grown and come a long way as a player in the past year. It's hard to guess how far he'll go, but he definitely has upside. 5'11" LD Dave Leaderer, an '86 with the Junior Bruins, was solid.

In net, we liked both goalies, 6'2" Kirk Manke, an '86 who played at Albany Academy last year, but will be playing for Cap District this year, posted two shutouts in a row; and 5'9" Chris Rossi, an '86 from LaSalle (RI) HS was good, too.

-- The Saints, coached by Boston Bruins Director of Pro Scouting and Player Development Sean Coady, were led by Deerfield forward Scott Bartlett, who opened some eyes. Bartlett, who's 5'9", has very good skills -- quickness, a good stick, a shot he gets off quickly, and good awareness. Nobody would have predicted before the beginning of play that Bartlett would wind up as the guy who'd lead the tournament in scoring, but that's exactly what he did. Previously, we had him pegged as a NESCAC-type player, and that might still indeed be the case, but you can be sure that both Div. I and Div. III recruiters in attendance will be watching him this winter. Bartlett, along with Berkshire's Donovan, mentioned above, won the tournament's "Biggest Surprise Award," and both were good choices.

Other forwards whose play we also liked a lot were 6'0" Brett Bandazian, a late '87 going to Choate; 6'1" Maine recruit and New England Coyote Rob Bellamy, who didn't make as big a splash as he did at Malden last year but was solid nonetheless; Super-skilled 5'10" RC Jason Lawrence, an '87 formerly with the Boston Junior Bruins but now going on to the NTDP; and 5'9" Alex Meintel of Taft, an '85 who's quick, has an excellent stick, is patient and heady as all get out, and may wind up at Harvard.

On defense, the two players we liked the most were 6'2" RD Andrew Thomas, a late '85 who's going from the NH Jr. Monarchs to the Waterloo Black Hawks; and 6'4" Deerfield RD Paul Baier, a Brown recruit who's raw, but has a lot of upside (he was voted one of two top pro prospects here). A couple of others who played well were 5'11" RD Josh Duncan, an '86 from Rochester Lourdes (Minn.) HS who'll be playing for the Waterloo Black Hawks this season; and 6'0" RD Jack Christian of Taft, an '87 who looks like he could turn into a player in time.

-- The Outlaws, coached by Pittsburgh Penguins scout Neil Shea, had 6'0" Josh Robertson, an '84 from Proctor; 6'0" Jimmy Russo, an '85 from Cushing; and 6'1" Chris Poli, an '85 from Nobles up front. They all did OK. Nothing great, but when we saw this team, which just happened to be less than the other seven teams, those three were the most instantly recognizable, the ones who stood out.

On defense, our top two were 6'2" Anthony Aiello, an '85 from Thayer, and 6'0" Brian McCafferty of Belmont Hill. McCafferty, an '86 from Belmont Hill, is coming off a shoulder injury which caused him to miss all of last season.

6'1" Topher Bevis, an '86 who played at Lawrence Academy last season and is now going to the NTDP, was solid. However, as he gets older, he's falling back to the pack a bit. 6'1" St. Seb's defenseman Colin Young, an '87, was effective.

This was not as good a team as it looked on paper, but they did get a strong goaltending performance out of Peter Vetri, an '85 who played at Lawrence Academy as a 10th grader, but is jumping to the BCHL (Williams Lake). Vetri, a 5'11", 180 lb. competitive type, has been offered a full scholarship to UMass-Lowell, but hasn't accepted it, most likely because of some late-arriving interest from Boston University.

-- The Chiefs, coached by Toronto Maple Leafs scout Mark Yanetti, had plenty of firepower but weren't that good defensively. However, '86 goaltender Dan Ramirez of the Walpole Stars was solid.

The Chiefs were led by 6'0" RD Jonathan Ralph, a late '84 from New Jersey who played at Shattuck and is now starting his second year with the Green Bay Gamblers. Ralph, an excellent skater with a lot of offensive upside, showed anticipation, played assertively, and led all defenseman in scoring. He was also named best defenseman (though the tournament MVP went to Bret Tyler, also a d-man.)

Joe Walchessen, a fast, strong 6'0" RD from the Cornwall Colts, also stood out.

Up front, 6'2", 175 lb. center Ilya Yakolev, an '86 who played last year for Tracktor Chelyabinsk and will be playing for the Erie Otters (OHL) this season, showed himself to be perhaps the team's best pro prospect up front.

6'2" Carter Lee, an '84 from Canterbury who was picked by San Jose in the ninth and final round of June's NHL draft, is an interesting one. He has size and, even though his skating is not the greatest, does frequently find himself in position to score or make a play. Despite his size, he does not play a very physical game. Don't really know what to make of him, but he is an intriquing case..

6'2" RC Mike Arciero, a late '85 from Avon Old Farms is a power forward who is steadily improving. He's a Div. I prospect, but looks like the kind of guy who will likely have to prove himself in juniors.

6'0" forward Anthony Cosmano, an '85 who will be playing for the River City Lancers; and Kevin Deeth, an '87 from Shatuck who was a standout at the Select 16 Festival, were players we expected to stand out, but didn't. Cosmano did, however, score six points.

-- The Apaches, coached by Colorado Avalanche scout Chris O'Sullivan, had five or six players we liked up front.

5'11" Shane Farrell, a late '85 who will be moving from Mount St. Charles to Taft, where he will be a repeat junior, is a skilled, heady player with a great stick Very slippery.

5'11" Jon Rheault, an '86 who will be moving from St. Paul's to the NH Junior Monarchs, is a skilled uptempo player who creates offense.

6'3", 200 lb. Jon Marshall, an '86 from the Boston Junior Bruins, is big and every now and then does something to make you take note. However, he needs to produce offense more consistently. Experience and hard work could get him there. Marshall is a top student and Harvard and Cornell are both reportedly interested.

5'11" Torren Del Forte, an '86 from upstate New York playing for the Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL), skates hard, and is a high-tempo type who can also create some offense.

6'3", 212 lb. Tommy Schicker, who played JV for Deerfield last winter, is going to be very good in time. His feet are a little slow, but he's only an '87 and is already 6'3". He hasn't finished growing into his body yet.

There was no take-charge guy on defense on this team, though there were some good prospects.

6'4" Mike Stuart, an '87 who played last winter at St. Paul's but is leaving for the NTDP, has the tools -- like size and a willingness to use it. But his decision-making needs work. If he makes inroads in that area, he could be a big-timer.

6'0" BC recruit Brian O'Hanley, a late '84 who played for BC High last winter, will be taking a PG year at Salisbury, which he definitely needs. O'Hanley is fundamentally solid and has an excellent shot, but he needs to learn to do things quicker and with more decisiveness to make any kind of impact at the next level.

6'3" RD Will Boardman, an '85 from Deerfield, was OK, but we expected more.

In goal, A.J. Drago of the Mercer Chiefs, an '86 who's really put himself on the map over the past year, was very good except for one lapse in one game where he let in two successive softies from the point. However, he made a lot of saves and was among the very top goalies here.

-- The Warriors, coached by Wayne Smith, a scout with the Columbus Blue Jackets, were small up front, big on the blue line and in goal, but ultimately unsuccesful, winning just one game.

Up front, 6'2" Blair Yaworski of the Calgary Canucks (AJHL), a late '85, was solid, the best all-round forward on the team, and the most ready prospect, too. Funny, isn't it, how a lot of the players who travelled the farthest were also the best players. Here's what it all means: If you're going to go to the trouble and expense of getting there, you'd better play well.

As for the U.S. kids, we liked the '86s and '87s the most. 6'0" RW Garrett Peters, an '87 from LaSalle (RI) HS and the Junior Bruins, was the best prospect, followed perhaps by 5'11" John Mori, an '86 from Avon Old Farms, and 5'10" LC Cory Quirk, an '86 from Catholic Memorial. .

5'8", 155 lb. Pat Gannon, an '84 who has graduated from Arlington High Schooler and will be playing for the Junior Bruins, was good, but needs to become more muscular and dynamic to play at where he's going in a year (he's walking on at BC). 5'10" Matt Burto, an '84 who played for Des Moines last year, made a few nice passes but still has a way to go. Burto is a UMass recruit.

6'1" T.J. Fox, who left Salisbury in the middle of last season for Green Bay but has since been moved to the Chicago Steel, injured his wrist and was a DNP for much of the tournament, so it's hard to say anything about him one way or the other.

On defense, 6'5", 215 lb. Kyle Koziara of Cushing was clearly the #1 guy. Even so, he didn't play the way he does in the winter. Koziara is a very good student. Ivy schools -- Yale, to name one -- are in the hunt for him. Koziara -- and Bourque, for that matter -- could well have been the best pro prospects here (the award was given to Paul Baier and Brian Strait).

5'11" LD Mike Harr, an '87 from Xaverian HS, played very well, showing confidence, assertiveness, and good mobility.

In net, 6'0" Dmitri Papaevagelou, an '85 who'll be playing for the NH Junior Monarchs this season, was very solid.

-- The Conquistadors, coached by Columbus Blue Jackets scout Scott Fitzgerald, were strong on paper, but failed to win a single one of their five games, mainly because the big names didn't come up so big.

Starting with the forwards, Cushing's Chris Bourque, a BU recruit and the one player in the tournament most likely to win the Hobey Baker Award someday, was just so-so, spending more time hacking and whacking than making the plays we expect of him.

Boomer Ewing, Bourque's linemate at Cushing and also a BU recruit, missed much of the tournament because he had previously committed to a fishing tournament.

The GDA duo of Brian McGuirk, yet another BU recruit on the Conquistadors; and Benn Ferriero were just OK. Same with 5'5" Peter Lenes, an '86 from Tabor.

However, we liked what we saw of 6'1" Billy Ryan, a late '85 from Cushing. It looks like he may be ready for a breakout year.

We also liked 5'7" Joe Whitney of Belmont Hill, an '88 who has skill, can skate, competes hard, and has plenty of time to grow a little more and fill out. If he stays on track, he'll be an excellent college player.

UMass-Amherst recruit P.J. Fenton of the New England Coyotes has grown quite a bit over the last two years and projects as a solid two-way grinding winger.

The best player on the Conquistadors (we like that name, by the way) was 5'11", 175 lb. LD Kevin Kapstad, an '86 from Gov. Dummer who's already committed to UNH. Kapstad plays tough and nasty, can skate with the puck and move it, too.

6'1" LD Steve McClellan, an '85 from Catholic Memorial, is improving steadily.

In addition to the above-mentioned eight-team NHL division, a four-team college division took part in the tournament as well. Most of the best prospects there were the younger kids, the '88s and '87s. We wrote of many of them in our coverage of the Select 15 and 16 Festivals, guys like goaltenders Tristan Favro, Ryan Simpson, and A.J. Scola. Defensemen like Bobby Sanguinetti and Jon Wolter. Forwards Like Mike Borisenok, Chris DeBaere, Kyle Kucharski, and Mark Dube. There were some less well-known kids who caught our eye, but we want to watch them a bit during the season, to get a better line on them.

About 90% of the players in the NHL Division we were already familiar with, the exceptions being the Canadians, Russians, and an odd assortment of others, mainly guys who made the tournament out of the tryouts (as opposed to a direct invitation).

For more on the tournament, including rosters, standings, scoring and goaltending leaders, and awards, check out www.beantownclassic.com

 

8/22/03

Lancers Forward in Critical Condition

River City Lancers (USHL) forward Phil Todd is in criticial condition tonight at an Omaha hospital after suffering a head injury while jumping off the back of a moving car in Omaha last night.

Police told the Omaha World-Herald that Todd was riding on the trunk of a 'slow-moving' Volkswagen Jetta at 9:20 pm and, when he jumped off, hit his head on the pavement.

The driver of the car was identified only as a 17-year-old friend of Todd's from Orchard Park, NY. Lancers defenseman Nick Schaus is 17, and a native of Orchard Park. According to Omaha police, the driver was reportedly unaware that Todd and another person were riding on the trunk.

Todd, a 6'2", 185 lb. power forward from Centerville, Minn., played for Centennial HS through the 2001-02 season. He joined the Lancers a couple of months into the season last year, having chosen to stay home and play football for Centennial before reporting to the USHL. In 39 regular-season games for the Lancers, Todd, a 9/25/84 birthdate, posted a 13-8-21 line.

Todd is at the Creighton University Medical Center.

 

8/23/03

Riga Named Assistant at Union

Bill Riga, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL) organization, has been named an assistant at Union, thus rounding out Nate Leaman's staff.

Riga, a former forward at UMass-Lowell (1992-96) and a Westboro, Mass. native who played prep hockey at the St. Mark's School, has been with the Junior Bruins for seven years, and has shown himself to be extremely conversant with the Eastern U.S. player pool at virtually every age level. In addition, Riga, 29, ran the Junior Bruins strength and conditioning program.

Riga should work well with Union's other assistant, Tony Gasparini, who knows his way through the USHL, Minnesota high schools, and the rest of the U.S. Both are rink rats, and are likely to turn up a valuable sleeper or two for the Dutchmen.

It's trivia now, but if Roger Grillo had been named head coach at Vermont earlier this summer, as many expected, current Brown assistant Chris Potter would likely have been promoted to head coach, and Riga would have likely been his assistant.

Getting back to Union, Chad Cassidy, a '95 Cortland State grad most recently an assistant at Potsdam State (SUNYAC), interviewed well and was the other finalist for the Union job that went to Riga. Matt Thomas, a '98 RIT grad and a former assistant coach at the University of Maine, was a candidate, too. Last season, Thomas was an assistant coach with the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies (ECHL).

Note: With Riga's departure, the Boston Junior Bruins now have an opening for two coaches. One is a full-time position, and is for someone who will work with all of the Junior Bruins programs. The other is a part-time position coaching the short-season midget team. E-mail Peter Masters at peter@bostonjuniorbruins.com

 

 

8/22/03

Richmond Jumps to the O

Earlier in the week, it was Ohio State soph-to-be Ryan Kesler who left school. Now, another soph-to-be, University of Michigan defenseman Danny Richmond has bid his school adieu as well.

Richmond, a 6'0", 175 lb. Chicago area native, was signed by the London Knights (OHL), coached by former NHL cheap-shot artist extraordinaire Dale Hunter. Look for Richmond to run the Kinghts' power play.

At Michigan last season, Richmond posted a 3-19-22 line in 43 games. In 2001-02, he played for the Chicago Steel (USHL), leading the league's defensemen in scoring, and being named a first-team all-star. In 2000-01, he played for Team Illinois Midget Major. In 1999-00, Richmond played for CYA Midget Major.

Richmond is the son of Steve Richmond, a University of Michigan defenseman (1978-82) who went on to play in the NHL. The elder Richmond is now a scout for the Washington Capitals.

Richmond is just the latest of over a dozen players to have left college hockey during the off season, joining the likes of not only Kesler, but Chris Higgins (Yale), David Hale (North Dakota), Randy Jones (Clarkson), and David LeNevue (Cornell).

 

8/22/03

CC Recruit Opts for Baseball

Colorado College hockey recruit Jamie Hoffman, a 6'2", 195 lb. RW who played for the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) and, before that, New Ulm HS in Minnesota, is opting for a baseball career..

Hoffman, who turned 19 a couple of days ago, was signed by Los Angeles Dodgers Assistant GM Jeff Schugel, also a former New Ulm baseball star. In a few weeks, Hoffman will report to the Dodgers Instructional League team in Vero Beach, Florida. He will not enroll at CC.

Hoffman was drafted in the eighth round of June's NHL draft by the Carolina Hurricane. However, he was bypassed in the baseball draft. .

If baseball doesn't work out for Hoffman, his NCAA eligibility for hockey remains.

Hoffman, a shortstop, went a tournament record 10 for 11 (.909) in the 2002 Minnesota State High School Baseball Tournament

 

8/22/03

Kasper/Top Gun Tournament on Tap

Steve Kasper's tournament, in conjunction with the Top Gun organization, gets underway this evening at the Icenter in Salem, NH. Four teams -- the Victoriaville Tigers, the Lewiston Maineiacs (QMJHL), and a pair of teams made up of local kids -- will face off in a three-day round-robin tournament. Games are tonight at 5:30 and 8:00; Saturday at 4:00 and 7:00; and Sunday at noon and 2:30.

Among the players are Brian McCafferty, Keith Yandle, Billy Ryan, Steve McClellan, A.J. Scola, Kevin Kapstad, Dan McGoff, Patrick Kimball, Benn Ferriero, Brian McGuirk, and Chris Bourque (whose father, along with Bruce Crowder and Reggie Lemelin, was an instructor at the week-long camp).

 

8/21/03

USHL Underage Draft -- Complete List

This year -- and this year only -- the USHL is utilizing an 'underage' draft, which they are officially calling the affiliate draft. The draft has been completed and below are the players that each team is protecting, up to a maximum of four. These future prospects are protected, basically in hopes that they will come play, either this season or next, with the team that holds their rights. All are '86's and '87s (though '88s are also eligible.)

A player can be moved off the afiliate list onto the regular 23-man protected list but can not subsequently be put back on unless he's been brought up to replace an injured player, in which case he can only play for 45 days before being on the 23-man roster for keeps. Teams can trade these picks, which is why Green Bay has a couple of picks in the second round.

The draft, four rounds in length, was designed to allow a maximum of 48 players to be selected (12 players per round). However, some teams are keeping some '86s and '87s on their 23-man roster, all being players they drafted back in early May. (See USHR news of 5/7/03 for complete spring draft list.) That's why there's a total of 41, not 48, players below. The '86s and '87s that will be kept on the 23-man rosters of the teams that drafted them in the spring are:

Green Bay -- Cory Schneider, G, Andover
Green Bay -- Phil Kessel, F, Madison Capitols
Danville -- Patrick Galivan, F, Team Illinois
Des Moines -- Ian Keserich, G, Cleveland Jr. Barons
Des Moines -- Rory Farrell, D, Cleveland Jr. Barons
St. Louis -- Shawn Weller, F, Cap District Selects

The USHL intended for this list to be kept secret. We just hate to spill the beans, but here goes:

First Round:

1. River City -- Tom Fritsche, F, NTDP
2. Sioux Falls -- Ryan Thang, F, Edina HS
3. Chicago -- Chris Mueller, F, Buffalo Saints/ Nichols School
4. Tri-City -- Matt Niskanen, D, Virginia HS
5. Des Moines -- Greg Flynn, D, Centennial HS
6. Cedar Rapids -- Brendan Olinyk, F, Wisconsin Rapids HS
7. River City -- Bryan Lerg, F, NTDP
8. Danville -- Todd McIlrath, F, NTDP
9. Sioux City -- Jarred Hummel, D, Holy Angels
10. St. Louis -- Joe Finley, D, Edina HS
11. Waterloo -- Joe Grimaldi, D, NTDP
12. Lincoln -- Taylor Chorney, D, Hastings HS

2nd Round:

1. Green Bay -- Garrett Suter, D, Madison Capitols
2. Sioux Falls -- Matt Moreland, F, Grand Forks Central HS
3. Chicago -- Sam Liimatainen, D, Team Illinois
4. Tri-City -- Matt Sorteberg, D, Anoka HS
5. Des Moines -- Chad Rau, F, Eden Prairie HS
6. Cedar Rapids -- Kyle Lawson, D, HoneyBaked
7. Green Bay -- Blake Wheeler, F, Breck
8. Danville -- Nick DeCroo, F, Pittsburgh Hornets
9. Sioux City -- Nick Kemp, F, Hermantown HS
10. St. Louis -- Ryan Turek, D, HoneyBaked
11. Waterloo -- Mike Testwuide, F, Northwood
12. Lincoln -- Jon Marshall, F, Boston Jr. Bruins

3rd Round:

1. Sioux Falls -- Chris Peluso, D, Brainerd HS
2. Chicago -- David Leaderer, D, Boston Jr. Bruins
3. Tri-City -- Steven Zalewski, F, Northwood School
4. Cedar Rapids -- Hunter Bishop, F, Alaska All-Stars
5. River City -- Bobby Jarosz, G, Chicago Young Americans
6. Danville -- Vladimir Nikoforov, F, Suffolk PAL
7. Sioux City -- Matt Conners, F, Buffalo Saints
8. St. Louis -- Zach Cohen, F, Team Illinois
9. Waterloo -- Andy Bohmbach, F, Hudson (Wisc.) HS
10. Lincoln -- Kyle Hardwick, D, Warroad HS

4th Round:

1. Sioux Falls -- Ray Kaunisto, F, Soo Indians
2. Chicago -- Dan Ryan, F, Team Illinois
3. Tri-City -- Jarred Palmer, F, NTDP
4. River City -- Julian Marcuzzi, D, Richmond Jr. B
5. Sioux City -- Brian Roloffs, F, Buffalo Saints
6. Waterloo -- Zach Firlotte, D, Millbrook School
7. Lincoln -- Michael Karwoski, F, NY Apple Core

 

8/20/03

Geverd Recovering After Operation, but Career Possibly Over

Tim Geverd, a freshman defenseman at Milton Academy last season, is in a Philadelphia hospital, recovering from an operation Monday in which one of his heart valves was repaired.

In late June and early July, Geverd, a Pennsylvania native now residing in Hooksett, NH, played as an at-large player on the Southestern District Select 16 Team in Rochester, NY as an at-large player from the New England District. A couple of weeks after the tournament, where he played well, Geverd was diagnosed with a staph infection of the blood, which caused endocarditis, an inflammation of the lining of the heart and its valves. That was on July 17th. Five days after that, while in the hospital, the 6'0", 205 lb. defenseman suffered a minor stroke, though no neurological damage was detected.

Subsequent tests revealed that Geverd had suffered a damaged heart valve. On Monday, as mentioned above, it was repaired.

If you've seen Geverd play, with large, heavy, thick-framed eyeglasses that recalled the Hanson Brothers in Slapshot, you may know that he already has overcome one large obstacle in his athletic career -- the loss of an eye in a childhood accident. According to his parents, Jake and Terrie Geverd, it was the encouragement of his older brother, John Geverd, a senior forward at Lawrence Academy last season, that gave Tim the impetus to stick with sports despite the handicap of playing with a glass eye. The younger Geverd's glass eye was known to occasionally pop out onto the ice during games.

The chances of Geverd ever playing full-contact hockey again are slim. However, he's heard that before, so one never knows.

"The jury is still out as to whether he will ever play again," Geverd's mother said. "But if everything falls into place, he will."

Earlier in the summer, Geverd left Milton Academy in order to play the upcoming season with his older brother on the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL). Before going to Milton, Geverd played at Cardigan Mountain. At that time, the family bought a house in Hooksett, and that's where the Geverd boys were going to be living while playing for the Monarchs. Shortly, when he gets out of the hospital, where he's been for over a month, he will be living there and, as planned, enrolled at Bishop Brady HS (where the mother of UNH defenseman Robbie Barker is the principal.)

Geverd is at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

Get-well cards can be sent to noltie19@aol.com

 

8/18/03

Seidman to Brown

US NTDP RW Seth Seidman has committed to Brown University.

Seidman, who will play for the US Under-18 Team this season, posted a 4-11-15 line in 62 games with the Under-17 team last season. He also had 45 penalty minutes.

Seidman, who's 6'1", 175 lbs., is from Milton, Mass. He played at Milton Academy before heading to Ann Arbor. At Milton, as a 10th grader, he notched 30 points.

A 7/5/86 birthdate, Seidman is a two-way winger who is strong along the wall and in front of the net. He has pretty decent hands, so his scoring numbers could go up in college. His skating is not the smoothest, but he gets there OK.

So far, Brown's class coming in a year from now consists of: Seidman, RW Todd Johnson (Taft); LD Sean Hurley (Chicago -- USHL); RD Paul Baier (Deerfield); RD David Robertson (River City -- USHL) and G Adam D'Alba (Chicago -- USHL).

Notes:

Ohio State 6'2" center Ryan Kesler, who was picked by Vancouver in the first round (#23 overall) in June's NHL draft, will be leaving the Buckeyes to sign immediately with the Canucks.

Kesler, who projects as a strong two-way centerman at the pro level, posted an 11-20-31 line as a freshman at Ohio State. The Livonia, Mich. native was also a standout for the US at the World Juniors. He's a 8/31/84 birthdate, and is again eligible for the World Junior team.

Also leaving school is University of Nebraska-Omaha goaltender Dan Ellis, who signed with the Dallas Stars, the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2000 NHL draft.

Ellis, who's 6'0, 192 lbs., would have been a senior for the Mavericks this season. A native of Orangeville, Ont. and a 6/19/80 birthdate, Ellis played for the Omaha Lancers (USHL) before joining the Mavericks.

Last year, at UNO, Ellis posted a 3.18 gaa and a .900 save percentage, the worst numbers of his three years of NCAA play.



8/16/03

U.S. Under-18 Selects Top Russia, Win Gold

On the day that Herb Brooks was buried in St. Paul, Minn., the U.S. Under-18 Select Team rallied to top Russia, 3-2, in the gold medal game of the 2003 Under-18 World Junior Cup in Piestany, Slovaakia.

Forward Eric Lampe, who played for the Madison Capitols Midget AAA team last season, scored two goals, including the game-winner. Forward Chris Mueller (1g,1a) and defenseman Luke Lucyk (2a) also each had two points.

Russia went up 2-0 early on, scoring two power-play goals.

At the 17:32 mark of the first period, the comeback got under way as Lampe scored his first goal, with assists going to Chris Mueller and defenseman Luke Lucyk.

In the middle of the second period, the U.S. tied the score at 2-2 with a shorthanded goal by Mueller, who took a long pass from Lucyk, put a move on the Russian goaltender, and buried it.

The winning goal came in the third period, when Lampe took a Jeff Prough pass out from the corner and wristed home a high shot stick-side.

Goaltender Cory Schneider stopped 32 of 34 shots for the win.

According to our eyes on the scene yesterday, the Russians were definitely the more talented of the two teams, but the U.S., which finished the tournament 5-0-0, simply wanted it more and came up with a gutsy performance.

Both U.S. goalies were great throughout, with Ian Keserich being named the best goaltender in the tournament. Some of the other top U.S. kids would have to include forward Mike Taylor of Holy Angels, who was tremendous throughout the tournament, and led the U.S. in scoring with a 2-5-7 line.Tyler Haskins (3-2-5) was excellent as well. Evan Rankin (3-1-4) and Jeff Prough (2-2-4) were solid.

On defense, Jack Hillen was excellent, especially with the puck. Brett Motherwell was also excellent. Dan McGoff had a strong tournament, too.

The U.S. coaching -- Mankato State head coach Troy Jutting assisted by Andy Slaggert of Notre Dame and Paul Caufield of Wisconsin-Stevens Point -- was also excellent.

The Scores:
Aug. 10: U.S. 4, Slovakia 2 (exhibition)
Aug. 11: U.S. 5, Sweden 2 -- Yandle one-timer, off a drop pass from Prough, turns out to be the game-winner
Aug. 12: U.S. 3, Russia 2 (OT) -- 43 saves by Keserich and a Rankin game-winner at 2:43 of OT
Aug. 13: U.S. 5, Slovkia 1 -- Prough notches two goals; Haskins named player of the game
Aug. 15: U.S. 4, Canada 3 (OT) -- Lucyk, off a Taylor pass, nails a one-timer in OT
Aug. 16: Gold Medal Game: U.S. 3, Russia 2

The Team:
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); Steven 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 Caufield (Wisconsin-Stevens Point).

 

8/16/03

A Big Power Forward for the Eli

6'2", 220 lb. LC Will Engasser of Chanhassen, Minn. and the Blake School has committed to Yale and will be applying early decision for the fall of '04. .

Engasser is a big, raw, slightly knock-kneed skater with legitimate pro potential. He wins the battles along the wall and in front of the net, and has a good head for the game. He's also a pure competitor. A 9/25/85 birthdate, Engasser is a serious three-sport athlete, also playing football and baseball. He was recruited by a number of big-time Div. foootball schools, Stanford reportedly being one, but is casting his lot with hockey.

Engasser, eligible for next June's NHL draft, is coached at Blake by ex-Yale and NTDP assistant coach John Hamre, who will have a group of three 6'2" seniors this season who will all go on to Div. I play a year from now.

The others are 6'2", 190 lb. RW J.T. Wyman, who committed to Dartmouth last month. Wyman is an excellent skater with outside speed, a quick release, and a bomb of a one-timer. A 2/26/86 birthdate, Wyman is from Shorewood, Minn.

The defenseman of the group is 6'2", 185 lb. Rob Page, who has taken unofficial visits to Harvard, Yale, and Minnesota and will shortly visit Denver. A 7/9/85 birthdate from Eden Prairie, Minn., Page not only has size but is also a graceful, fluid skater who is as comfortable playing the physical game as he is the finesse game. For college play, he'll need to get stronger. A right shot, Page is expected to make a college decision as early as the end of August or beginning of September.

Notes:

It's official now -- Gene Reilly is the new Harvard assistant.

Grant Standbrook, Maine's long-time assistant coach, has bounced back quickly from injuries to both knees suffered in a spring fall on the stairs at the Iorio Arena in Walpole, Mass. He's been out around the rinks -- and back on the golf course -- for a while now. People often speculate on how much longer Standbrook will stay in the business, but it should be noted the Winnipeg native and former Minnesota-Duluth forward has the genes for longevity. You could ask his mother, who turned 100 this week and celebrated with a party back in Winnipeg.

Ryan Rezmierski has been hired as an assistant coach with the Danville Wings (USHL). Rezmierski, who has volunteered with the NTDP and served as video coordinator for University of Michigan hockey, has also been an assistant on several select teams from Michigan.

The 13th Annual Marquette Electricians Fall Classic, to be held Sept 25-28, a beautiful time of the year on the U.P., has its strongest-ever field this year, with all the top midget programs in the country on tap -- twenty in all. They are: Detroit HoneyBaked, Cleveland Barons, Pittsburgh Hornets, Marquette Electricians, Alaska All-Stars, Shattuck-St. Mary's, Ojibwa Eagles, Mercer Chiefs, Pikes Peak Miners, Detroit Belle Tire, Little Caesar's, Dallas Stars, Capital Center Pride, Chicago Young Americans, Detroit Ice Dogs, Team Illinois, Detroit Compuware, Soo Kewadin Indians, L.A. Hockey Club, and the Chicago Chill.

 

8/14/03

Select 15 Rankings

Here are our rankings from the U.S. Select 15 Festival, which concluded last Friday in in St. Cloud, Minn.

As is our custom in ranking players at Select Festivals, we heavily weigh how a player actually contributed on ice at the festival. Projectability comes a close second, and is more geared to the college than the pro game. .

Forwards:

1. Peter Mueller, #9 Navy, Breck School, 6-1/185 -- Left early on with strep throat. Best prospect here. Will play for NTDP as an underage player this season. 2-0-2

2. Kyle Okposo, #10 Teal, Shattuck-St.Mary's Bantam, 5-11/180 -- RC from St. Paul, Minn. and Shattuck-St. Mary's. Power forward with quick feet and great shot. 5-2-7

3. Chris Atkinson, #8 Red, New Jersey Devils, 5-9/160 - - Right-shot center. Always moving, always looking, always thinking. Puck-on-a-string type. Best pure playmaker here. From Sparta, NJ. Going to the Salisbury School, where he will be joining his older brother. 2-10-12

4. Jason Reese, #9 Grey, Tri-City Bantams, Tri-City Bantams, 5-11/155 - - LC from Gresham, Oregon was the top American picked in the WHL bantam draft (#7 overall) and it's not hard to see why. He sees the ice extremely well, can hit and skate, and has a nice shot. Blasted a five-hold goal from the blue line in one of the games. 3-2-5

5. Michael Forney, #15 Red, TRF Lincoln HS, 6-3/170 --- Big, powerful RW with a strong, accurate shot. From Thief River Falls, Minn. 6-4-10

6. Ben Smith, #9 Black, Westminster School, 5-10/185 - - RC started slowly but picked it up the second half of the week. Can skate, make a play, and score. Excellent in all three zones. A very complete player for his age. Avon, Conn. native plays for the Westminster School. 1-7-8

7. Brad Reck, # 12 Black, HoneyBaked Midget Major, 6-2/190 --- Big RW from Shelby Township, Mich. is not the smoothest skater around, but he does get there. Uses his size and reach effectively. Bangs in the corner and along the wall. Will be playing for HoneyBaked Midget Major. 3-4-7

8. Blake Geoffrion, #8 Maroon, Culver Military Academy, 6-2/182 - - Brentwood, Tenn. native (and grandson of Boom Boom) is big and strong, which can get you a long way at this age level. Needs to keep his feet moving and be more aware of his teammates. Could be a big-time player, but it's very early in the game. 4-4-8

9. Luke Popko, #9 White, New Jersey Rockets, 5-9/175 - - Tied for the scoring lead here with a 7-6-13 line, though seven of those points came in one game, a 10-6 win over the Grey team. A LC from Skillman, NJ, Popko has a hard, accurate shot, and makes passes that are on the money. He can also play physically. On some days he looked like as good as any player here, but not on others. Will be at Taft this fall.

10. Michael Fillinger, #14 Grey, Compuware '88, 5-11/170 --- Grand Ledge, Mich. native will be playing for the Ice Dogs 88s. Strong on skates, good stick, and a nice touch around the net. Sept. '88 birthdate. Leading goal scorer here here, and tied for overall scoring lead. 9-4-13

11. Nicholas Grasso, #19 Grey, LI Gulls Midget Major, 6-0/173 - - Good-sized RC from Smithtown, NY has good size, strength, and is tough to knock off his skates. Hits, makes plays, and scores. Will be playing for Suffolk PAL. No relation to former Avon Old Farms forward Joey Grasso. 3-8-11

12. Carter Camper, #9 Orange, Cleveland Barons '87, 5-9/165 -- Has played a ton of hockey since the end of the regular season, including a trip to Europe. Appeared tired, and lacked jump. However, the reason for the hype was clear nonetheless. Camper has an excellent stick, is a good skater, and generates scoring opportunities. Rocky River, Ohio native will be playing for the HoneyBaked Midgets this season. 3-2-5

13. Jeremy Stocker, #12 Red, Buffalo Saints Bantam Major, 5-10/175 --- Right-shot wing from Baldwinsville, NY will be playing juniors for the Syracuse Stars. Has good hands and a shot which he gets off quickly. A sniper. 4-4-8

14. Rhett Rakhshani, #8 Teal, California Wave Bantam AAA, 5-10/155 - - RC from Huntington Beach, CA was terrific the first half of the week, but faded over the second half. 1-2-3

15. Joe Whitney, #9 Maroon, Belmont Hill, 5-5/150 - - Quick, tough wing, plus he's an excellent stickhandler, and sure-handed passer. From Reading, Mass. 4-5-9

16. Patrick Kane, #10 Purple, Buffalo Saints, 5-6/130 - - Winger from Buffalo, NY leaves d-men flatfooted. Changes speed well. Has a great backhand. Patient, smart, and fun to watch. Small, but he's also a 11/19/88 birthdate, so he's going to grow some. 6-4-10

17. Gregory Squires, #10 Maroon, New Jersey Devils AAA, 5-5/140 -- Skilled, flashy wing from White Plains, NY will be going to the Brunswick School, where he will be the school's best player since Hugh Jessiman (though he'll never be as big). Fun to watch. 4-4-8

18. Garrett Roe, #9 Green, Shattuck St. Mary's Bantam AAA, 5-8/150 -- Pesky center from Vienna, VA scoots, works hard, makes things happen. 2-5-7

19. Josh Bergren, #19 Orange, Centennial Bantam A, 5-8/140 -- Good skater, quick stick, and very dangerous down low. Excellent shot, a sniper. Picked the corner neatly in Wednesday's game. Going to Centennial HS. 5-0-5.

20. James Marcou, #20 Navy, Long Island Royals, 5-5/125 -- Small, skilled LW competed like mad. He just forced his way into our consciousness. Will be playing for Suffolk PAL Midgets. 2-6-8

21. Jamie Leathers, #17 Gold, Shattuck-St. Mary's Bantam, 5-10/169 --- From Savage, Minn,. and Shattuck. Makes plays and finishes. 4-3-7

22. Doug Rogers, #8 White, St. Sebastian's, 5-11/165 -- RC from Watertown, Mass. and St. Sebastian's didn't start the week that well. Played with more assertiveness the last few days. Good player, though. 1-5-6

23. Tyler Ruegsegger, #9 Purple, Shattuck-St. Mary's Bantam, 5-11/160 -- Very good stick. Needs to improve his first step, though once he gets going he's OK. Lakewood, Col. native. 1-1-2

24. Jack Clayman, #12 Purple, Assabet Valley '88, 5-11/155 -- Good size LW. Has a hard shot with a quick release. Going to Governor Dummer. 3-2-5

25. Kyle Reeds, #11 Purple, St. Louis Amateur Blues '88, 5-11/176 -- Hard-driving up and down the wing type who bangs, competes, and has a scoring touch. 4-2-6

26. Pat Tiesling, #15 White, HoneyBaked '88, 6-2/185 -- Big wing from Rhinelander, Wisc. Will be playing for Compuware Midget Major. 2-3-5

27. Matt Quigley, #8 Gold, Pittsburgh Hornets, 5-10/155 -- Quick, skilled late '88 RW from Pittsburgh. 2-3-5

28. Danny Baco, #11 Black, Buffalo Saints Bantam Major, 5-8/155 -- Fiesty, hard-working LW from Buffalo, NY. A 10/10/88 birthdate. Will be playing for Buffalo Saints Midget Major. Fun to watch. 4-2-6

29. Mark Dube, #20 Maroon, Billerica HS, 5-8/170 -- Natural goal scorer from N. Billerica, Mass. will be going to Belmont Hill. 4-4-8

30. Milton Lyles, #11 Grey, Eaglebrook School, 5-8/145 -- RW from Opa Locka, Florida is a fluid, excellent skater who's slight and physically weak. He's a late '88, though. Ran out of gas as the week went along. Plays with a do rag, which you don't see every day. 2-4-6

31. John Combs, #8 Green, HoneyBaked '88, 6-0/200 --- Good hands and a very good shot. St. Louis native carries too much weight. It hurts his skating. 5-1-6

32. Owen Carpino, #17 Red, Eaglebrook School, 6-0/170 -- Good-sized, heads-up left-shot center from Nashua, NH and the Eaglebrook School. 1-4-5

33. Ryan Pezzulo, #18 Green, Valley Jr. Warriors, 5-10/172 -- Strong, high-energy RW from Newbury, Mass. and the Valley Junior Warriors. 5-1-6

34. Mario Lamoureaux, #8 Navy, Grand Forks Central HS, 5-10/180 -- Yet another Lamoureaux from Grand Forks, ND, and there's more in the pipeline, we're told - both brothers and sisters. 2-3-5

35. Derek Roehl, #10 White, Little Caesar's '88, 5-9/155 -- RC snuck up on us. 5-3-8.

36. Nick Payson, #11 Navy, Bangor Rams, 5-10/170 -- Maine native has very good instincts with the puck. Dangerous down low. OK skater. 5-1-6

37. Josh Rabbani, #10 Green, LA Kings Midget 16-U, 5-11/182 -- RW from Calabasas, Calif. is going to Shattuck. He has a great stick, and sees the ice well. He could help his game by trimming down a bit. 2-5-7

38. Tony Romano, #17 Maroon, LI Royals Midget Minor, 5-8/140 -- RC showed good anticipation, skating skills, and shot. A Smithtown, NY native, he'll be playing for the Suffolk PAL Midgets. Grew on us as the week went along. 5-3-8

39. Jordan VanGilder, #20 Gold, Centennial Bantam A, 5-7/135 -- Natural scorer from Lino Lakes, Minn. will be playing for Centennial HS. 5-2-7

40. Bill Sweatt, #8 Royal, Team Illinois Bantam Major, 5-9/150 - - Speedy wing from Elburn, Ill. 3-1-4

41. Mike Borisenok, #8 Orange, Albany Academy, 5-7/140 -- Latham, NY native was 2-4-6

42. Tony Mosey, #8 Purple, Shattuck-St.Mary's Bantam, 5-10/165 -- LC scored his only goal here on a bomb of a shot. It came about 10 second after he nailed the crossbar. Prior Lake, Min. native. 1-2-3

43. Barry Almeida, #19 Red, New England Jr. Coyotes Midget AAA, 5-6/145 -- RW from Springfield, Mass. is excellent skater. An 11/28/88 birthdate so he'll grow some. 3-3-6

44. Ian Slater, #16 White, Florida Golden Wolves, 5-11/175 -- RW will be going to Culver. 2-6-8

45. Joey Smith, #15 Teal, Woburn HS, 5-11/178 -- RW was hampered by injured shoulder. Was tentative early on, but picked it up the last few days. Good-sized, and an excellent skater. Will be going to Andover. 1-0-1

46. Stephen Bergin, #10 Gold, Eaglebrook School, 5-10/165 -- Strong, rugged power forward type from Groton, Mass. Physical and strong on his skates. Will be playing for Boston Jr. Bruins Midgets. 1-2-3

47. Eric Lake, #10 Orange, Boston Junior Bruins Midget AAA, 5-6/175 -- Energy player from Arlington, Mass. and St. Sebastian's who looks like he may have a finishing touch, though it was not apparent here. 12/17/88 birthdate. 0-2-2

48. Neil Ruffini, #9 Red, Little Caesar's '87 AAA, 5-9/170 -- From Chelsea, Michigan, the home of Jiffy Mix. Will be playing for Little Caesar's Midgets. Good hands. Good skater. 3-0-3

49. Nic Bownds, #18 Red, Dallas Storm Bantam AA, 5-11/175 -- Right shot center from Dallas, Texas. OK player; noticeable. 0-3-3

50. Andy Inderieden, # 18 Maroon, Maple Grove Bantam A, 6-1/180 -- Big RW will be playing for Maple Grove HS. 1-2-3

 

Defensemen:

1. Mike Ratchuk, #5 Grey, Depew Saints Saints Midget Minor, 5-9/140 -- Buffalo, NY native is an extremely high-skilled player. Can either skate it out of the zone or make a pass. Doesn't shy away from physical play. Excellent mobility. Made eye-popping back -door pass from the blue line on one of his team's goals. 2-3-5

2. Tysen Dowzak, #5 Gold, Shattuck-St. Mary's Bantam, 6-6 -- LD from Ferugs Falls has tremendous size and soft hands. In other words, he's a potential NHL first rounder. Goes to Shattuck. 1-3-4

3. Erik Johnson, #2 Red, Holy Angels, 6-3/195 -- Big, solid defensive defenseman from Bloomington will be playing his second year of varsity at Holy Angels. Also has first round NHL potential. Feet are very good for size/age, and will get steadily better. 1-5-6

4. Chris Summers, #3 Orange, Michigan Ice Dogs '88, 6-2/170 -- Excellent prospect from Ypsilanti, Mich. will be playing for HoneyBaked Midget Majors in the upcoming season. Can play physically without running around.. Good outlet passer. 1-1-2

5. Chad Morin, #3 Teal, Syracuse Crunch Jr. A, 6-0/192 -- Left-shot D has an excellent stick, a lot of poise, and a really good head for the game. Will be going to the NTDP as the program's first-ever underaged defenseman. From Auburn, NY. Is a cousin of BC's J.D. Forrest, which probably explains a lot. 0-0-0

6. Jamie McBain, #4 Orange, Shattuck-St. Mary's Bantam, 6-1/165 -- From Faribault, Minn. Smart. Good size doesn't hurt either. 0-1-1

7. Corey Toy, #3 Maroon, Hotchkiss School, 6-0/175 -- Sound defenseman has size, a mean streak, is a good skater, and opened eyes with a beautiful unassisted goal on the final day of round-robin play. From Round Hill, Virginia. Excellent prospect. Undecided as to where he will play this season. 1-3-4

8. Jonathan Wolter, #2 Black, New Jersey Rockets, 6-0/160 -- RD from Chester, NJ is smooth and poised. His outlet passes were right on the money. 0-1-1

9. Kevin Montgomery, #2 Royal Blue, Buffalo Saints Bantam Major AAA, 6-1/170 -- LD from Rochester, NY has size, can skate with the puck, is poised in his end, and can make a pass. Will be playing juniors for the Syracuse Stars. 0-2-2

10. Joe Sova, #7 Orange, Team Illinois, 6-2/170 -- Bergen, Ill. native definitely has the size. We think he may have enough skill, too. 1-3-4

11. Brian Strait, #2 Purple, Northfield-Mt. Hermon, 6-0/180 -- Excellent skater with exceptional poise, Strait will be playing his second year of varsity at NMH. A native of Waltham, Mass., where your grandfather's pocket watch may have been made. 1-0-1

12. Nick Canzanello, #4 Grey, Rochester-Mayo HS, 5-10/158 -- Very good offensive D is brother of CC senior defensman Andrew Canzanello. He's quick-thinking and always trying to make things happen. He already has a year of varsity hockey at Rochester Mayo under his belt. 0-4-4

13. Bobby Sanguinetti, #3 Grey, Lawrenceville School, 6-1/155 -- RD from Mount Holly, NJ is a smooth, fluid skater with size. His passes are on the money, too. 1-1-2

14. David Beach, #3 Red, Alaska All-Stars Bantam AAA, 6-1/200 -- Anchorage native is a defensive defenseman with size. 1-0-1

15. Derrick LaPoint, #6 White, Eau Claire North HS, 6-1/160 -- Gangly, awkward LD from Eau Claire, Wisc. As he fills out and gains experience, he could be OK. 1-1-2

16. Tony Yearego, #7 Green, HoneyBaked '88, 5-11/170 -- Offensive left-shot D from Shelby Township, Mich. had a hat trick in Saturday's game. Top-scoring d-man here. 4-3-7

17. Derek McCallum, #3 White, Hill Murray HS, 5-10/155 -- LD from Shoreview, Minn. and Hill Murray HS is confident, quick, and skilled. 1-1-2

18. Kevin Crane, Maroon #2, California Wave Bantam AAA, 5-9/165 -- Smooth-RD from Irvine, CA will be going to Exeter. 1-0-1

19. Trent Palm, #7 Teal, Shattuck-St. Mary's Bantam, 6-0/170 -- Good-sized RD from Edina, Minn. 0-3-3

20. Jimmy Martin, #2 Grey, St. Louis Blues '88, 5-9/160 - Small but well put-together RD from St. Louis. Moves the puck very well, a smart player. A 10/20/88 birthdate. 1-0-1

21. Shane Sims, #4 Navy, Buffalo Saints, 6-0/165 -- From East Amherst, NY. Will be playing for the Buffalo Saints Midgets. 3-0-3

22. Wes Stephanian, #5 Royal Blue, Boston Jr. Terriers, 6-0/160 -- RD from Belmont, Mass. and the Belmont Hill School. 0-0-0

23. John Laub, #5 White, Trenton HS, 5-7/185 -- Good, mobile LD will be playing for Little Caesar's '88s. 0-0-0

24. Steven Kampfer, #4 Maroon, Little Caesar's '88, 5-10/160 - Jackson, Mich. RD is a late '88. 2-2-4

25. Blake Johnson, #3 Gold, Oklahoma City Blazers Midget AA, 5-9/155 -- From Oklahoma City and Oklahoma City Blazers Midget AA. 2-0-2


Goaltenders:

1. Joe Palmer, #1 Navy, Syracuse Stars Jr. B, 6-1/185 --- Easily the best goalie prospect here. Has size, poise, confidence, and moves very well laterally. Doesn't smother rebounds as well as he might. From Yorkville, NY, near Utica. His .904 save percentage made him the only goalie here with a save percentage over .900. His 2.69 gaa was also a tournament best.

2. Ryan Simpson, #1 Black, St. Paul's School, 5-11/150 -- Bow, NH native plays at St. Paul's. Solid in every way. Good glove. Good feet. Good positioning. Good rebound control . Good size. .875 save %.

3. Alan Armour, #1 Purple, Team Illinois '88, 5-8/165 -- Downer's Grove, Ill. Native seldom left a rebound. Human vacuum cleaner is also an 11/9/88 birthdate. .867 save %.

4. Rob Tennyson, #30 Black, Holy Angels JV, 6-1/220 -- We don't know if he's related to the poet, but we do know that he does an effective job keeping the puck in front of him. .889 save %.

5. Neil Conway, #1 Green, Cleveland Barons Bantam Major, 6-0/180 -- Athletic. Good glove. Good size. Got very little in the way of support from his d-men. .883 save %.

6. Bryan Mountain, #30 Orange, Valley Forge Minutemen 16-U, 5-2/115 -- Bryn Mawr, PA native will be playing for the Junior Flyers '87-88 team. Challenges the shooter well. .865 save %.

7. Ben Powers, #30 Maroon, Atlanta Fire Midget Minor AA, 6-0/160 -- Good-sized kid from the heart of Dixie. Has some potential. .870 save %.

8. Jonathan Lee, #1 Orange, San Jose Jr. Sharks Bantam Major, 5-8/165 -- Monterey, CA native who plays for San Jose Jr. Sharks Midgets likes to challenge the shooter. .863 save %.

 

8/13/03

A New Coach for Milton Academy

Former Northeastern University assistant Paul Cannata has been named the new boy's varsity hockey coach at Milton Academy.

Cannata, 36, takes over for Paul Marks, who coached the Mustangs for the last five years. Technically, though, Cannata takes over for Paul Pearl, who accepted the job in late June, but had a change of heart less than a week later, and returned to his head coaching position at Holy Cross.

Cannata, a South Boston native who was on Bruce Crowder's staff from 1996-02 before retiring to build a small-rink complex outside of Boston (which has been up and running since last fall), also had a change of heart. In late spring, Cannata was hired as Director of Hockey and the head coach of the boy's varsity team at Lake Forest Academy, forty minutes north of Chicago. With his taking the Milton job instead, the Lake Forest job has become open immediately. It's a good position, with the responsibility limited to coaching and running hockey operations. Lake Forest, a well-endowed school with a nice on-campus rink, has, despite its resources, never been anywhere close to other midwestern programs such as Shattuck and Culver. They wish to change that. Interested applicants should contact Athletic Director Kevin Versen immediately at (847) 615-3262.

Hiring someone with Cannata's experience and knowledge to run the Milton program -- he'll also work in admissions -- is a big plus for Milton, which really has struggled recently and is likely to take some time to get back to where it once was.

Cannata, who played at Roxbury Latin and Hamilton College, was head coach at UMass-Boston before joining the Northeastern staff. He has long been a part of the Massachusetts Satellite Program, and has coached USA Select Teams here and abroad.

Cannata has run a summer hockey camp at Milton Academy for the last six years, so he knows where to fill the water bottles.

Cannata will become a first-time father in a couple of weeks, which also played into his decision to stay east.

 

8/13/03

HNIB All-Star Rosters

The HNIB All-Star Weekend gets underway at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. this Friday. Here's the schedule:

Friday Aug. 15:
New England vs. NY/Mid-Atlantic, 5 pm
Skills Competition, 7 pm
Mass. vs. Mid-America, 8:15 pm

Saturday Aug. 16:
Mass/New England Juniors/Sophomores vs. National Division Juniors/Sophomores, 4:00 pm
3rd Place Game, 6:15 pm
1st Place Game, 8:30 pm

ROSTERS:

Massachusetts:
Forwards: Josh Robertson, Matt Greene, Cory Quirk, Rob Campbell, Ted Brzek, Matt Lentini, Nolan Boike, Paul Garabedian, Luke Jones, Greg O'Connell, Michael Foley, Jimmy Russo. Defensemen: Matt Burke, Patrick Gunn, Bret Tyler, Arthur Fritch, John Burns, Brian O'Hanley, Chirs Diozzi, Fred Dirkes. Goaltenders: Joe Grossman, Jeff Mansfield, Joe Hubbard. Coaches: Bill Cullen, Gary Bishop, and Mike Walsh. Selected but unable to play: Phil McDavitt.

New England:
Forwards: Rob Bellamy, Tom Maregni, Greg McCarthy, Pat Gannon, Ryan Masucci, Jim Koehler, Kyle Smith, Dan Deluca, Garrett Daigler, Naoto Hamashima, Brendan O'Brien, Colby Gilbert. Defensemen: Jeff Landers, Wil Boardman, Mike Wrobel, Mark Mulhern, Bill Ninteau, Paul Baier, Nick Jillson, Kevin Hughes. Goaltenders: Mike Coskren, Chris Rossi, Ryan Hatch. Coaches: Charlie Corey and Mike Addesa.

NY/Mid-Atlantic:
Forwards: Phil Farrow, Matt Gilroy, Carter Lee, Ryan Ferguson, Ross Grubin, Jon Higgins, Geoff Exum, T.J. Kelley, Kevin Connolly, Neal Connors, Bill Keenan, Dan Bergan. Defensemen: J.D. McCabe, Ryan Klein, Mike Gershon, Christian Jensen, Kyle Mills, Ed Klein, Steve Coon, Eddie Baran. Goaltenders: Jeff Fischer, Mike Raine, Ted Levine. Coaches: Bill Maniscalco and Patrick Dennehy.

Mid-America:
Forwards: Tyler Carlbom, Tim Dancey, Wyatt Kupperman, Tom Connell, Dan Rohrer, Kevin Armstrong, Christopher Thiess, Jon Graves, Brian Gallagher, Chris Conway, Jeff Christiansen, Sheldon Kee. Defensemen: Jared Gallo, Ryan Monaghan, Jason Miller, Jamie Fritsch, Kegan Rue, Thomas Harrison, Jeff White, Michael Pompa. Goaltenders: Daniel Trundle, Issa Azat, Andrew Davis. Coaches: Larry Rocha and Eric Soltys.

National Division Jrs/Sophs:
Forwards: Kyle Tyll, Shane Farrell, Tommy Lange, Cam Friscia, Michael Ashley, Cory Manley, Matt Gerald, Will Peltz, Justin Pallos, Chris Donovan, Nate Bostic, Bob Butler. Defensemen: Chris Talbert, Anthony Barela, John Webster, Charles Moroni, Femi Amurawaiye, Derek Whitney, Joe Lyle, Mike Migliaro. Goaltenders: Josh Roarke, Evan Johnson, Mike Reilly. Coaches: Ted Kelley and Larry Rocha. Selected but unable to play: Robbie Tesar, Ben Fields.

Mass/NE Division Jrs/Sophs:
Forwards: Brian Morrissey, Chris Higgins, Kory Falite, Matt Johnson, Pierce Norton, Mark Cerretani, J.P. Martignetti, Nick Coskren, Jonathan Maniff, Mark Rinaldi, Nikita Mikhno, Jon Rheault, Mike Genovese. Defensemen: Brian McCafferty, Alex Sousa, Steve Capraro, Brett Noll, Jayson Lee, Chris Genovese, Pat Bowen, Kevin Kapstad. Goaltenders: Mike Spillane, Jamie DiGiulio, Matt Ward. Coaches: Peter Doherty and Dan Shine.

Note:
The Beantown Classic starts tomorrow (Thurs.) at 1 pm at Walpole's Iorio Arena and continues through the weekend. Virtually all the higher-profile kids selected for NHIB's All-Star teams are also on Beantown Classic rosters, so conflicts appear inevitable. Those listed for both tournaments include Jimmy Russo, Teddy Brzek, Pat Gannon, Alex Sousa, Rob Bellamy, Paul Baier, Bret Tyler, Matt Greene, Jeff Mansfield, Cory Quirk, Pat Bowen, Jon Rheault, Brian O'Hanley, Will Boardman, Jasyon Lee, Kevin Kapstad, Chris Higgins, Phil Farrow, Bobby Butler, Chris Rossi, Jon Maniff, Matt Ward, and Kevin Hughes.

 

8/11/03

Herb Brooks Dead at 66

Herb Brooks died in a single-car rollover accident this afternoon on I-35 near Forest Lake, Minn., about 25 miles north of the Twin Cities. Eyewitnesses to the accident reported that Brooks' 2000 Toyota minivan, heading south, swerved from right to left across the highway and crashed in the grassy median dividing the north and southbound lanes, ejecting Brooks from the vehicle. The accident, just north of the 35W and 35E split, came under clear skies. Brooks, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was found 40 feet from the vehicle and is reported to have died instantly. There were no passengers, no other cars were involved, and there is no evidence that alcohol was a factor.

Brooks, 66, in recent years a scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins, was returning from the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame golf outing honoring Bobby Hull at the Giants Ridge Golf Resort in Biwabik, Minnesota, which is at the east end of the Iron Range, about five miles north of the museum's home in Eveleth. After golfing in the morning -- he was reportedly partnered with ex-Gopher and Olympic great John Mayasich -- Brooks left early to catch an afternoon flight from Minneapolis to Chicago.

Anyone reading this publication is probably well-versed in Brooks' accomplishments from his days at St. Paul Johnson High School, where hed the Governors to the 1955 state championship, to his days as a player and, later, highly successful coach at the University of Minnesota, to the Miracle on Ice in 1980 at Lake Placid, to his stints as head coach of three NHL teams, and, finally, to his return 18 months ago to coach the 2002 Olympic team in Salt Lake City. And that just scratches the surface. There's more, like his being the last player cut from the 1960 Olympic Team but going on to play for the 1964 and 1968 Olympic teams; to his coaching stint at St. Cloud State in 1986-87 and with the French Olympic Team in 1988.

One thing we always appreciated about Brooks was the simple fact that he was highly opinionated, and didn't lose sleep worrying about taking unpopular stands, mainly because he knew it invited rebuttal and further discussion -- and in the end, perhaps, a solution.

Last summer, Brooks was asked to coach the N.Y. Rangers, but turned it down to stay in Minnesota with his family, A native of Birchwood Village, Minn., on White Bear Lake northeast of the Twin Cities, Brooks leaves his wife, Patti, his two grown children, Dan and Kelly, and five grandchildren.

If there is any one man in the country who reigned as the figurehead for US Hockey, it was Herb Brooks. He was America's coach and he will be missed.

8/12 UPDATE:
Brooks will be remembered at a 10 am Saturday mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul. Visiting hours are from 3-8 pm Friday at the Cathedral, and again from 8:30 Saturday until Mass.

 

8/10/03

Gasparini Named Assistant at Union

Former Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) GM/head coach Tony Gasparini will be named as an assistant on Nate Leaman's staff at Union College. Gasparini, 29, the son of USHL commissioner Gino Gasparini, is a Grand Forks, ND native who went on to become the #2 goaltender at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Right after his graduation in 1999, he went to work as chief recruiter and assistant at Sioux Falls. As a recruiter, Gasparini is a well-connected workhorse who knows the talent pool and will go anywhere to find players. Gasparini has a younger brother, Joe, who plays for the University of Vermont. Reportedly, Leaman is still mulling over his choices for the other assistant position.

 

8/10/03

Mazz's Man?

Former University of Maine assistant Gene Reilly is reportedly the top candidate to replace Nate Leaman, recently hired at Union, as an assistant on Mark Mazzoleni's staff at Harvard.

For the last two seasons, Reilly, 40, has been an assistant coach in the Ottawa Senators organization, coaching at Grand Rapids (AHL) and Binghamton (AHL). For the three seasons before that, Reilly was an assistant at the University of Maine, going behind the bench as interim head coach when Shawn Walsh was undergoing cancer treatment in 2000-01.

In the decade before he went to Maine, Reilly, a Springfield, Mass. native, coached the Springfield Pics/New England Junior Whalers/New England Coyotes of the EJHL, first as an assistant to Gary Dineen and then as a head coach. At the end of his tenure, Reilly's squads, which sent numerous players on to the Div. I ranks, won three consecutive EJHL regular season and playoff championships.

Reilly, an '86 graduate of Elmira College, is a hard worker with a strong analytical mind and an eye for talent.

Later this week, he'll be headed to Prievizda, Slovakia, where he, along with Joe Bonnett of Colorado College, will serve as an assistant on the staff of Air Force head coach Frank Serratore as the U.S. competes in the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament Aug. 20-24.

Another candidate for the Harvard job is Tim Coghlin, the head coach of the St. Norbert Green Knights (NCHA). Coghlin, whose team went 27-2-2 last season before bowing to Norwich in the NCAA Div. III semis, played for Mazzoleni when the latter was coaching at Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the late '80s.

Notes: Rick Bennett, whom we had mentioned last week, was indeed a serious candidate for the Harvard assistant's job. However, he will be staying at Providence College, his alma mater (class of '90).

 

8/10/03

Notes From All Over

The US Under-17 Select team, which will be heading to Europe this week, will be without forwards Ryan Stoa and Benn Ferriero, who have decided not to go. Filling their spots will be Justin Mercier of Erie, PA, who played last season for the Compuware Midgets and will be playing for St. Louis (USHL) this season; and Chris Murphy of Arlington, Mass. and St. Sebastian's School. The U.S. opens tournament play in Prievizda, Slovakia with a game against the Czech Republic on Aug. 20. Games against Germany (8/21), Switzerland (8/23), and host Slovakia (8/24) follow.

Bryce Luker, who played last season at St. Marks, a Div. II prep school in Southboro, Mass., has committed to Michigan Tech and will be a freshman there starting next month. Luker, who is 6'3", 195 lbs. and a native of Montreal, Que., led Div. II goaltenders in all categories last season. A big, technically-sound goaltender, Luker really shined when we saw him, making the position look easy. He turned 18 in March, which is young for a Div. I goalietender. The returning goalies at Tech are junior Cam Ellsworth, who played 35 games last season; and Ricky Cazares, who played six.

Speaking of goaltenders, 36 of them (eight drafted and 28 undrafted) will be appearing at goalie guru Brian Daccord's camp this week (Aug. 11-15) at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Mass. There will be two groups skating, one going on at 9:00 am and the other at 11:10 am. Half the camp consists of an older group that features signed pros such as Andrew Raycroft (Boston/Providence) and Scott Clemmensen (Albany); and drafted players like Nick Boucher (Dartmouth College), Marty Magers (River City Lancers), Tyson Kellerman (Saginaw Spirit), Brad Topping (Brampton Battalion), Jeff Weber (Plymouth Whalers), Chris Holt (Green Bay Gamblers). The other half of the camp consists of prospects from the '85-'87 crop such as Steve Hartley (Miami-Ohio), Sean Samuel (Dartmouth), Chris Carlson (NTDP), Keith Longo (Cushing Academy), Jeff Frazee (NTDP), Brian Foster (NH Jr. Monarchs), and Aaron Rock (Team Illinois). Instructors include John Vanbiesbrouck, Kelly Hrudey, Guy Hebert, Robbie Ftorek, Brian Daccord, Tom Dempsey, and Jamie McGuire. In addition, there will be a goaltending seminar -- this is also free to the public -- from 6:00 to 9:30 pm on Wednesday Aug. 13th at the Wyndham Hotel in Andover. Speakers include Vanbiesbrouck, Hrudey, Raycroft, and Clemmensen. It's geared for goalies, parents, and coaches. For more info call (978) 479-9543.



8/5/03

Schooley Takes Over

Air Force assistant Derek Schooley has been named the first head coach of Robert Morris University.

Schooley, 32, is a St. Louis native who went on to play defense at Western Michigan, graduating in '94. After working as a volunteer assistant at Cornell for a year, he moved on to Air Force, where he has been for the last five years.

A tireless recruiter and extremely hard worker, Schooley has logged serious mileage criss-crossing the country for Air Force. And that's not going to change, either, now that he's at Robert Morris. Since Robert Morris doesn't begin Div. I play in Atlantic Hockey (formerly the MAAC) for another year, Schooley has a whole year to recruit. The university, which is in Pittsburgh, has 10 full scholarships to dole out.

As play doesn't begin until next fall, Schooley will not be naming his assistants for a while.

The other finalists for the Robert Morris job were former Iona head coach Frank Bretti and current Findlay assistant Pat Ford.

Notes: Speaking of assistants, former Maine assistant and interim head coach Gene Reilly, who's been in the AHL recently with Grand Rapids and Binghamton, is reported to be a candidate for the Harvard assistant's job recently vacated by Nate Leaman. Also reported to be a candidate for the job is current Brown and former Wayne State assistant Danny Brooks and, as we mentioned earlier, current Providence assistant Rick Bennett.

 

8/2/03

Best of Select 14s

The discrepancy in size and physical maturation at the Select 14 Festival -- players ranged in size from 4'11" to 6'3" -- cannot be underestimated, and we tried to keep it in mind when watching players, which, by the way, we were only able to do during the first couple of days, so a player who started poorly but came on like gangbusters at the end of the tournament may have gone unnoticed. Just something to keep in mind.

With that caveat, here are 42 players (26 forwards, 14 defensemen, and two goalies) who stood out for us.

By the way, at least half a dozen players at the camp -- and very good ones at that -- were from the California Wave '89s, more proof that hockey's demographic is continually evolving.

Also, the local referees working the games did a great job just letting the kids play instead of nickel and diming the game to death. It was refreshing -- USA Hockey should have these guys work all the festivals in Rochester. The games flowed well, with far fewer penalties.


1989 Forwards:

Orange
Mike Cieslak -- Rochester Youth Hockey, 6'0"/160
Good size, plays physically, and takes a hit to make a play.

Dominic Morrone -- Philly Junior Flyers, 5'8"/160
Great one-on-one skills -- can skate, shoot, and score. A lot to like at this age, but needs to improve his game when he doesn't have the puck on his stick.

Purple
David Boehm - Jr. Everblades (Fla), 5'6"/125
Small and quick. Great speed and skill. Makes things happen offensively every shift. Fun to watch.

David Brownshidle - NJ Titans 6'1"/180
Big, raw power forward with all the tools, but needs to be polished. Project to be very good by the time he is 16

Josh Holstrom - Colorado Springs Bantam AA, 5'6"/110
Similar style player to older brother, Ben, a standout at the Select 16 festival this summer. Josh is tough, but needs strength -- he's only 110 lbs. Has good skills and speed, drives to the net, and works hard. .

Black
Cameron Atkinson - Mid Fairfield (CT) 5'1"/102
Quick and smart. Excellent skills. Has great hockey sense and gets things done despite small stature.

Stephen Bury - Central Penn Panthers 5'10"/165
Big, strong power forward with above-average hands. Good in tight and along the wall. Very strong. Excellent prospect

Matt Heinzelman - Compuware 1989 5'4"/145
Small, quick, skilled forward with excellent playmaking ability

Maroon
Mike Zanella - Syracuse Stars 5'9"/150
Good size forward with speed. Gets up and down the ice well. A 12/30/89 birthdate, he's just 48 hours from being a 1990.

Bobby Conner - Central Penn Panthers 5'8"/165
Power forward with very good strength. Tough to knock off the puck. Finishes checks.

Navy
Nick Cook - Central Penn Panthers 5'6"/160
Consumate power forward with excellent scoring touch. Was dominating at times. Only 5'6" but plays bigger. Very strong. Goes to net hard. Bangs.

Thor Skalski - Belle Tire 1989's 5'8"/140
Small and skilled…check that, very skilled. Excellent quickness, terrific hands, and superior vision. With linemates Cook and Milhouse created a ton of offensive chances. Was the best "line" we saw here.

Jon Milhouse - California Wave 1989's 5'8"/130
Average-sized forward who competes every shift. Plays hard in all three zones. Strong and physical. Good along boards and in offensive zone below dots.

White
Jack Downing - New Canaan HS (CT) 5'11"/150
Good-sized forward with excellent puck skills. Needs to engage more and be less of a perimeter player, given that he's nearly six feet already. Nonetheless, he seems to always be around the puck. Has good hands, and can shoot it.

Royal
Ryan Schnell - Team Illinois 1988's 6'3"/205
Tremendous size and above-average skill. A true power forward. Faded in and out at times, but when he plays, he is dominating. Good reach and strength. Physically, he was a men among boys, but did not use that to his advantage enough. Obviously very early, but if he learns to play big, he could be a pro.

Daniel Vranek - Tampa Bay Jr. Lightning 5'3"/115
Small, quick skilled forward with outstanding speed. Can really fly. Very good one-on-one player.

Red
Matthew Thurber - Madison Capitols 5'8"/155
Good skater with above-average skills. Gets around the ice well, and you can't help but notice him every time he steps on the ice. Huge upside.

Matt Rappaport - Eaglebrook School 5'2"/105
Very small, but very smart. Has outstanding hockey sense, and knows how to get things done. Was injured on day two with a knee-on-knee check, but came back later. Does not play 5'2" and is not afraid of anything.

Grey
John Belloti - Chicago Mission 5'10"/135
Tall, lanky forward with excellent reach and good puck skills. Makes things happen in the offensive zone. Was very average at times, but showed flashes of tremendous potential.

Jason Bourgea - Chittenden South Burlington A 5'2"/115
Small, skilled forward with outstanding quickness and skills. Can flat out fly.

Teal
Greg Dobson - Philadelphia Jr. Flyers 5'6"/150
Power forward with good quickness took a while to get comfortable, but when he did, he was very good. Short and stocky but very strong and difficult to knock off the puck. Good below the dots.

Matthew Rust - HoneyBaked 1989's 5'8"/150
Physical, strong power forward who battles up and down the ice.

Green
Brennan Jacobson - Madison Capitols 5'7"/140
Has excellent speed. Was great at times but then took some shifts off. Has all the tools offensively. Needs work on his decision making with the puck.

Tyler Murovich - Pittsburgh Predators 5'3"/115
Very small skilled forward who made things happen shift in and shift out. Very smart, knows how to play despite diminutive stature.

Keegan Brees - Alaska All-Stars 5'10"/135
Very tall forward who competes hard and is not afraid to go to the net. Scored three goals in the game we saw. Nice touch around the net.

Gold
Colin Long - California Wave 1989's 5'4"/125
Small, skilled and quick. Outstanding puck skills and tremendous shot. Fun to watch.


1989 Defensemen:

Green
Ben Rosen - Long Island Gulls Bantam 5'10/165
Good offensive defenseman. Skates well. Good size.

Chris Morford - South Pointe Bantam AA 6'2"/175
Big and strong. A physical presence.

Grey
Nick Petrecki - Albnay Storm Bantam Major AAA 5'11"/165
Has all the tools offensively, and is a really good skater, smooth and fluid. Great on the breakout. On of the top couple of d-men here.

Patrick Bursee - NJ Devils Bantam AAA 5'8"/135
Extremely sound defensive defenseman. Always in the right spot at the right time.

White
Daniel Kelly - Vermont Glades Midget AAA 6'0"/155
Limited skills, but big and strong -- a battler.

Teal
Ian Cole - Compuware '89 6'0"/180
Along with Petrecki, mentioned above, was probably the best d-man here. Jumped up into the rush. Good puck skills. Big. Polished.

Red
Teddy Ruth - Dallas Storm Bantam AA 5'11"/155
Tall, lean, lanky d-man with a good head for the game

Black
Kevin Shattenkirk -- NJ Devils Bantam Major 5'10"/165
Puck is always on his stick. An excellent offensive player who needs to continue working on his defensive game.

Tristan Llewellyn - HoneyBaked '89 6'1"/175
Really strong skater, especially for a 14 year old with his size.

Eric Springer - Green Bay Gamblers Bantam AAA 5'8"/165
Solid all-around player. Not big, but is strong.

Orange
Mac Watts - HoneyBaked '89 5'5"/125
Small, but gets it done. Leads the rush. Can stickhandle. Can make a pass. Just a very good package.

Charles LoVerde -- Chicago Young Americans 5'10"/185
Big, strong, thick, and tough. Plays with jam.

Navy
Michael Walsh - Team Illinois Bantam Major '88s 5'10"/170
Good-sized kid. Solid player.

Maroon
Logan Maly - Madison Capitols Bantam '88s 5'8"/165
Short and stocky, but quick. Plays with an edge.


1989 Goalies:

Royal
Jeremy Smith - Michigan Ice Dogs 5'10"/140
Was outstanding. Hybrid type. Very competitive. Always in the right spot at the right time.

Purple
Andrew Margolin - NJ Devils Bantam Major 5'6"/132
Solid hybrid goalie who makes things look very easy. Poised and confident. Very efficient

 

8/2/03

It's Official -- Lashoff to Kitchener

The OHL trading period opened yesterday, and Matt Lashoff, who played for the NTDP's Under-17 team last season, has, as expected, been traded from the Sault. Ste. Marie Greyhounds to the Kitchener Rangers.

Lashoff, a smooth-skating native of East Greenbush, NY, near Albany, played for the Connecticut Yankees '86 team and Avon Old Farms before heading out to the NTDP a year ago. However, the 6'1", 185 lb. left-shot defenseman struggled with his decision-making and the overall tempo from the start and, though improving in the second half, was not among the younger team's top defenseman. Lashoff, who committed to BU before going out to Ann Arbor, became unhappy with his situation and decided he'd leave the program at the end of the season.

The Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) drafted him this spring, but Lashoff, with the aid of his agent, Bobby Orr, opted for major junior. The Greyhounds owned his rights, having selected him in the third round of the 2002 draft, but Lashoff wanted to go to the Kitchener Rangers, the defending Memorial Cup champions and visited the Ontario city after the NTDP season ended.

Kitchener head coach/GM Peter DeBoer arranged a trade in principle with the Soo, which became official yesterday.

With the Under-17 team last season, Lashoff played 46 games and scored seven points.

A 9/29/86 birthdate, Lashoff will be eligible for the NHL draft in 2005.

 

8/2/03

Robert Morris Finalists

There are three finalists for the head coaching job at Robert Morris University, which is expected to join Atlantic Hockey in the fall of '04.

They are:

-- Frank Bretti, the coach at Iona College until the school dropped hockey this past spring.

-- Pat Ford, currently an assistant at the Univeristy of Findlay (CHA) and, before that, an assistant at Wisconsin under Jeff Sauer.

-- Derek Schooley, currently an assistant at the U.S. Air Force Academy (CHA).

All interviewed over the past 10 days. Look for the coach to be named within the next week or two.

 

8/2/03

Micheletto Moves from Notre Dame to Vermont

John Micheletto, an assistant on Dave Poulin's staff at Notre Dame for the past four seasons, will join Kevin Sneddon's staff at the University of Vermont.

Micheletto was at Union from '96-99, where he spent two years as an assistant with Sneddon and one as an assistant under Sneddon. A Chicago native, Micheletto grew up playing in the Team Illinois organization -- he was a defenseman -- before going on to Milton Academy and Dartmouth. Prior to going to Union, he was the head hockey coach and an English teacher at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA from 1991-96.

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,

With Vermont all set, there are positions now open for four Div. I assistants: two at Union, and one apiece at Notre Dame and Harvard. We'll let you know what we find out in regards to these jobs. So far, all we've heard -- and it's unconfirmed -- is that Providence College assistant Rick Bennett is reported to be a candidate at Harvard.

 

8/2/03

Ferriero Narrows His Choices

Governor Dummer Academy RC Benn Ferriero has narrowed his college choices to Boston College and Providence College, with the Eagles holding an edge.

Ferriero, who will be a junior this season, is 5'11", 170 lbs. and a 4/29/87 birthdate. He's a native of Essex, Mass., on the North Shore.

Ferriero, off his strong performance at last month's Select 16 Festival, was invited to play the next two seasons for the NTDP, but declined, choosing to stay at GDA.

However, Ferriero will be on the US Under-17 Select Team, which will be competing at the Five Nations Tournament in Slovakia Aug. 20-24.

 

8/2/03

Another Junior Blue to Merrimack

Springfield Jr. Blues LC Derek Pallardy has committed to Merrimack College for '04-05.

A 5'10", 183 lb. native of Missouri, Pallardy, who turned 20 two weeks ago, projects to be a 2nd-3rd line guy at Merrimack. He's solid on the draws, and sees the ice well. In 52 games for the Blues, he posted a 13-20-33 line.

Pallardy, along with fellow Merrimack recruit Hank Carisio, is in the Boston area this weekend playing for the Jr. Blues at the Chowder Cup.

 

8/1/03

Beantown Classic Looking Strong Again

Outside of the U.S. Select festivals, we're not crazy about summer hockey tournaments. Most feature way too many teams, and way too many players of varying ages and abilities to really be useful as anything other than a skills competition. Far better for kids to play a baseball game in the sunlight, or sail, or go to the beach -- or simply work on their game away from the scrutiny of scouts, recruiters, etc. Better for scouts and recruiters, too, we might add.

That's an ideal world, though. In the real world, summer tournaments exist, and, in rare cases, can even be enjoyable. Last summer, the best New England tournament, by far, was the Beantown Classic, run principally by Peter Masters and the staff of the Boston Junior Bruins in conjunction with NHL scouts, particularly Scott Fitzgerald of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Being a small tournament limited to the best players, it was extremely well-scouted, and worth the effort.

As was the case last year, the tournament will have four teams made up of top New England players, all invited as individuals. This year, though, there will be a big change, as the overall number of teams has increased due to the addition of top players from outside New England, as well as a number who got into the tournament through tryouts. Will the quality remain as high? We will be able to answer that in a couple of weeks. Right now, though, the list of players committed is awfully impressive, including Rob Bellamy (New England Jr. Coyotes), Chris Bourque (Cushing Academy), Anthony Cosmano (River City Lancers), Kevin Deeth (Shattuck-St. Mary's), Matt Greene (BC High), Jason Lawrence (NTDP), Jon Marshall (Boston Jr. Bruins), Torrey Mitchell (Hotchkiss), Brian O'Hanley (Salisbury School), Jon Ralph (Green Bay Gamblers), Tommy Schmicker (Deerfield Academy), Eric Slais (Chicago Steel), Mike Stuart (NTDP), Bret Tyler (Boston Jr. Bruins), and so on.

Check out the list at www.beantownclassic.com

The tournament will be held from Thurs. Aug. 14 to Sun. Aug. 17 at at Walpole's Iorio Arena, a two-rink facility. Games begin at 1:00 pm Thursday, noon on Friday, 9:30 am on Saturday. Playoffs are on Sunday, with the championship game due to end by 4:00 pm. There will also be a couple of exhibition games featuring top '88s, 89s, and '90s.

The Beantown Classic, it should be noted, will be going head to head with Hockey Night in Boston's All-Star Weekend.

It should also be noted that the New York Rangers' Bob Crocker, former Penn coach and Hartford Whalers assistant GM and today the dean of New England scouts, will be coaching at the tournament.

 

 

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)