Lazar Holds the Key
There is just one team left in the expansion picture for the EJHL right now and that’s the New Jersey franchise owned and operated – at least on paper -- by the Boston Junior Bruins and the Masters family.
The league, with the support of commissioner Dan Esdale, has backed the Masters’ efforts to get a team in New Jersey. They feel it’s a ripe area, primarily because there is a player pool in the New Jersey/Philadelphia area that, with some exceptions, the league has only been able to scratch the surface of. Most Atlantic District players, of course, have traditionally opted for prep school, particularly the Connecticut schools like Taft, Hotchkiss, and Salisbury.
One obstacle – the only obstacle, really – to the Junior Bruins placing a team in New Jersey is NY Apple Core head coach Henry Lazar, who can deep six the whole project with one vote if he decides to utilize the 75-mile protected zone allowed him.
It’s 55 miles from Apple Core’s Long Island rink to the Rock Ice Palace in Dunellen, NJ, which will be home to the proposed expansion franchise. Dunellen is in central New Jersey, about halfway between Trenton and Manhattan, and reachable from the Philadelphia area. While it does fall under the 75-mile difference, it’s a long trip when it comes to actual travel time, as anyone who has driven in and around New York City full well knows. Players from Jersey haven’t typically joined Lazar’s team, though it's possible the Westchester County kids Apple Core attracts could find traveling to New Jersey just as easy, or easier, than traveling to Long Island. So there's a chance that Lazar will waive the 75-mile rule, though it's far from set in stone. It’s likely that the Masters will have to give Lazar something in exchange for agreeing to allow the expansion team to go forward.
The New Jersey franchise will be run by Toby Harris, a teammate of Peter Masters for four years at Boston College. Harris now manages the Rock Ice Palace.
Since we reported on possible EJHL expansion five or six weeks ago, the league has received numerous inquiries, the most intriguing one coming from a group in Southern Connecticut’s Fairfield County.
The league hopes to get this whole thing settled this week.
The Portland Jr. Pirates, an independent junior squad run by Sean O’Brien and Jay Pecora, did a presentation in front of the league's owners last month in Fitchburg, Mass., and would like to be in the league next year. However, the league feels that there are already more EJHL teams than necessary in Eastern New England, and is reluctant to expand within the area. However, the Junior Pirates will be pushing for some form of an interlocking schedule with the EJHL next season -- and participation in all league showcase tournaments. Their aim, though, remains becoming a full-fledged league member. The Junior Pirates, by the way, enjoy active support from their association with the Portland Pirates AHL franchise and its CEO/owner Brian Petrovek, the 1977 Beanpot MVP while a goaltender at Harvard.
The Rochester, NY group that expressed interest hasn’t followed up their presentation with much, so they’re out too, at least for next year.
It's expected that EJHL teams will have a meeting, and possibly a vote, on this expansion issue soon. No date has been set, though.
Note: A mini-tournament featuring a number of EJHL teams will be taking place at UMass this weekend. There will be one game Friday night, with the Cap District Selects facing the Bay State Breakers at 7:00 pm. On Saturday, there are three games: The Junior Bruins play Cap District at 9:45 am; the Portland Pirates play the New England Jr. Coyotes at noon; and the Junior Bruins Midget AAA team will play Bay State's Midget AAA team at 2:30. (At 7:00 pm, UMass and Merrimack face off at the Mullin's Center). On Sunday, the Junior Bruins play the Coyotes at 11 am, and the Bridgewater Bandits play the Junior Pirates at 1:00 pm.
Maher Era Ending at Taft?
Mike Maher, head hockey coach and dean of students at Taft, is reported to be one of two finalists for the head of school position at the Berkshire School.
The school’s trustees are having their winter meeting tomorrow and it’s possible that either Maher or the other unnamed candidate will be presented to them by Berkshire’s head of school search committee.
Since the untimely death last fall of Larry Piatelli, the Berkshire job has been filled on an interim basis .
In addition, Maher is also reported to be a candidate for the headmaster’s job at St. George’s School in Newport, RI.
Maher attended the University of Vermont, where he was captain of the 1985-86 team. He’s been at Taft for 17 years.
We're just guessing, but it appears highly unlikely that Maher, should he get either job, would be coaching the hockey team. Back in the day headmasters were known to double as hockey coaches, but the responsibilities of the former position, much of which involves fundraising, are too great these days.
A phone call to Maher, who is away from the school for two days, has not been returned.
Vaughan to Return to the Bench Next Season
Don Vaughan, currently serving as Colgate’s interim AD, has announced his intention to return as head coach of the Red Raiders next season.
Stan Moore, who is Colgate’s interim head coach in Vaughan’s absence, will return to his position as the Red Raiders’ associate head coach.
Under Moore, the Red Raiders are tied with Dartmouth for second place in the ECAC with a 14-8-3 overall (9-4-0 in the ECAC).
A Scorer for Clarkson
5’11”, 185 pound NY Apple Core wing Ryan Hodkinson, the third-leading scorer in the EJHL, has committed to Clarkson, which is only averaging around three goals per game and needs players who can put points on the board.
Hodkinson, in his fourth year in the EJHL, has a 15-28-43 line in 26 games played. Sacred Heart and Niagara were the other schools recruiting the native of Mt. Sinai, NY.
Three of the top four scorers in the EJHL play for Apple Core, which is having a down year, holding steady at the .500 mark. C.J. Tozzo, the fourth leading scorer in the league (one point behind Hodkinson) recently committed to Niagara. The league’s leading scorer, Jon Pelle, is in the process of visiting schools. His short list consists of Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Vermont, and Clarkson.
Gardner Wins Number 500
John Gardner, in his 29th year as head coach at Avon Old Farms – and he’s only 51 – picked up his 500th career win yesterday afternoon when the Winged Beavers, after getting in an early hole, emerged with a 4-3 win over Loomis.
When the team bus returned to Avon, the whole school was waiting to greet the coach. On top of the school’s distinctive tower was a neon sign reading “500.”
This afternoon at lunch, Avon’s headmaster gave Gardner a cake with the coach’s likeness in icing. His players gave him a team picture inscribed by all.
ESPN came up and taped a segment for airing on Feb. 7.
When Gardner, a ’74 graduate of Wesleyan (where, by the way, he was a football teammate of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick) took over the Avon hockey program at the start of the 1975-76 season, he was basically starting from scratch -- the school had nothing in the way of hockey tradition or players.
Twenty-nine years later, Avon Old Farms is the only school to win three NEPSIHA Div. I crowns (’89, ’93, ’00) and it could easily have been four, as Gardner’s ’86 team, led by Brian Leetch, was edged by a Thayer squad featuring freshman Jeremy Roenick.
In addition to Leetch, top players Gardner has coached included Cal Ingraham, David Roberts, Matt Martin, Jeff Hamilton, Niko Dimitrakos, Mick Mounsey, and Chris Higgins.
Belmont Hill head coach Ken Martin, who picked up career win 500 in the 2000 season, is in his 31st year at Belmont Hill. No one else, in terms of longevity, comes close to Gardner and Martin. Active college coaches that have been at it that long are Jerry York, who started at Clarkson in 1972 and Jack Parker, who has been behind the BU bench since 1973.
Avon Old Farms assistant coach Brian Doyle, who’s worked under Gardner for seven years, described his boss as a “ a great motivator.”
“The kids love him,” Doyle said. “They really respect him. He can joke with them but there’s no doubt who’s in charge. He’s just a great communicator, and great at getting the most out of his players. He knows all his X’s and O’s, too.”
“He never mentioned the milestone to the kids,” Doyle said, adding that the kids knew anyway. “ They were nervous but they got that monkey off their back.”
Gardner was just taking it in stride. Before heading out for today’s practice he said, “We’re pretty banged up, but we haven’t played that well since we beat Hotchkiss. Since then it’s been a struggle. I’ll be giving them a little piece of my mind this afternoon.”
One Goalie, One Forward for the Catamounts
LC Mike Atkinson of the Salisbury School and goaltender Joe Fallon of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) have both committed to the University of Vermont.
Atkinson, an 11th grader who will arrive in Burlington in the fall of2005, is a skilled centerman who combines exceptional hockey sense with competitiveness. He’s not really big – we think the 5’11”, 160 on the Salisbury roster is generous --but has the head, the good stick, and is totally fearless. He has plenty of time to fill out more before he arrives at UVM in their inaugural year in Hockey East.
Atkinson, who won a national championship in 2000 with the NJ Devils Bantams, is a Sparta, NJ native and an 8/13/85 birthdate. Besides UVM, he took unofficial visits to Harvard and UMass.
Atkinson plays on the same line for Salisbury as his younger brother, Chris, an ’88 RW currently a freshman at the school. The younger Atkinson is one of the elite ‘88s in the U.S., and a strong NTDP candidate. There’s a chance he’ll be following his older brother to UVM someday, though there’s still a long way to go until then.
Fallon is a 6’3”, 185 lb. goaltender out of Bemidji, Minn. currently playing his second year in the USHL, where he’s been named to the all-star team for next Tuesday’s game in Lincoln, Nebraska. With a 19-8-1 record, three shutouts, a 2.32 gaa, and a .922 save percentage, he’s right up there among the league leaders. Central Scouting’s mid-term ranking had him listed 11th among North American goaltenders eligible for June’s NHL draft.
Goaltending has been a problem for the 3-17-3 Catamounts this season, with the team allowing an average of4-5 goals per game.
Fallon is a big stand-up type who takes up a lot of the net and is very efficient in his movement. He’s technically sound, keeping himself square to the puck and just letting it hit him. He’s athletic enough to make the 2nd and 3rd save. He doesn’t get rattled very easily – a lot of poise.
Bowling Green and UVM were his final choices. Minnesota had some interest as well.
Brewster Again #1 in USHR Prep Poll
Brewster Academy, which hosts #2 Pingree on Friday night, was a unanimous #1 choice among voters in this week's USHR Div. II prep poll.
Junior Bruins Win Northwood Tournament in 2 OTs
In the second overtime period at the Northwood Tournament finale on Sunday, UMass recruit Matt Burto scored to give the Junior Bruins a 2-1 win over NY Apple Core in a battle of EJHL teams.
It was Burto’s second goal of the game, which featured great performances by both the Junior B’s Nevin Hamilton and Apple Core’s Jeff Mansfield.The Junior Bruins outshot Apple Core 36-23.
Junior Bruins defenseman Jarrett Sousa was named Tournament MVP.
The All-Tournament team consisted of
D – Cody Wild, Junior Bruins
F – Cass Buttafuoco, NY Apple Core
F – Matt Fitzgibbons, Jr. Bruins Midget AAA
F – Matt Burto, Junior Bruins
F – Ryan Hodkinson, NY Apple Core
G – Charlie Lockwood, Northwood
G – Corey Milan, Northwood
In the semis, the Jr. Bruins beat the Bruins Midget AAA squad , 5-1, and Apple Core beat Northwood, 5-2.
In the consolation games, the Junior Flyers topped the Wheatfield Blades, 6-4, and the Chicago Mission topped the Boston Harbor Wolves, 3-2.
Cushing New #1 in USHR Div. I Poll
With Avon’s loss at Berkshire yesterday, the Winged Beavers fall from the ranks of the undefeated – and from top spot in this week’s USHR Div. I prep poll as well.
The new #1 is Cushing, which remains undefeated in games that will count toward playoff seeding. The only team to beat Cushing this season was Culver, which edged the Penguins 3-2 at the Lawrence-Groton Tournament on Sat. Dec. 20. Since then, the Penguins have gone unbeaten, with their two toughest games being the 4 OT tie with an enigmatic Nobles squad in the Watkins finale Jan. 4, and a hard-earned 3-2 OT win over Thayer on Wednesday.
Lawrence Academy Statement on Corey
Lawrence Academy head of school Scott Wiggins has issued a letter -- terse, with little in the way of hard information -- addressing the head coaching situation at the school.
Ex-head coach Charlie Corey has moved off campus, and is living in West Groton, Mass. with his wife and three young children. Besides spending time as a househusband, he's working on his resume in preparation for the next step in his life, whether that's teaching and coaching at prep school or at the junior or college level. Corey wanted to thank his assistant coaches -- guys like Sean Sheehan, Tom Resor, and Billy Flanagan -- as well as former players, and all the fellow prep coaches he's coached against. Corey can be reached at (978) 448-5169.
Soo Indians Done?
The Soo Indians, one of the most-respected franchises in the NAHL, could be shut down after the season.
Earlier this week, by a 6-4 vote, the board of directors of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, which owns the team and the casino that sponsors them, voted 6-4 to eliminate funding for next season.
Head coach/GM Joe Shawhan addressed his players after learning the news. The team is currently in first place in the NAHL’s North Division with a 28-2-5 record.
The vote was a surprise to Shawhan, who told us “he wasn’t aware anything was going on” and to many in the community. Shawhan, however, indicated there is a chance – though how good a chance is hard to say -- for a second vote in mid-to-late February, as two board members were absent from this week’s vote due to illness.
In addition, not all the board members are from the Soo area, and a second vote would give those who would like to see Jr. A hockey continue in the town a chance to convey to the board the intangibles that don’t show up in the bottom line -- specifically, providing the town with a team to root for, which means something in a small community like the Soo, and serving as a feather in the cap of the tribe and the Kewadin Casino.
“To be honest with you,” Shawhan said, “the hockey team is a political item. Our function is to be a link between tribal and local interests as well as a traveling billboard for the casino. Our job is to unify, not divide.”
“I’m just an employee of the tribe,” added Shawhan, a native of Sault Ste. Marie and a former Lake Superior State goaltender.
In 1995, The Sault Tribe bought the Lakeland Jets and moved the NAHL team north, where it’s been ever since. The Soo Indians closing could mean that there will be no Jr. A hockey teams left in Michigan. When the NAHL was founded back in the ‘70s, four of the five teams were from Michigan, and the league has always had a strong Michigan presence.
Earlier this season, before Christmas, the Dayton Gems (NAHL) closed up shop in mid-season.
A Native Son for the Cats
5’10”, 173 lb. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) center Reese Wisnowski has committed to the University of Vermont and will arrive in Burlington this fall.
Wisnowski, who is seventh in the EJHL in scoring with a 9-28-37 line in 22 games, is a 10/30/84 birthdate from East Middlebury, Vermont. Wisnowski played two years at the National Sports Academy before joining the Monarchs, where he’s in his second year. The Monarchs captain, Wisnowski is a quick, up-tempo player who can make plays – note the number of assists – and is excellent on draws. UVM head coach Kevin Sneddon watched him closely when the Monarchs were playing the Green Mountain Glades in Burlington two weeks ago.
Wisnowski joins Hotchkiss forward Torrey Mitchell in Vermont’s entering class this fall.
Stastny a Pioneer
5’11½”, 190 lb. River City Lancers (USHL) LC Paul Stastny has committed to Denver University for this fall.
Stastny, a St. Louis, MO native and the son of NHL Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, is a 12/27/85 birthdate in his second year with River City.
In last week’s Central Scouting Mid-Term Ranking of North American skaters, Stastny was the highest-ranked USHL player (2nd round, #53 overall). That translates, once goalies and Europeans are added in, to a potential third-round pick. Stastny is expected to opt in.
Stastny is a smart player who is lethal on 2-on-1’s, possessing a keen sense of when to shoot and when to pass. He’s also an excellent faceoff man. Physically, he’s been a bit of a late bloomer, as was his father before him. The difference in Stastny’s strength since last season is significant, and has led to more power in his skating. Also, he’s doubled his production since last season and is now averaging a USHL-best 1.31 ppg. In 32 games, Stastny has a 16-24-42 line, putting him one point behind league leader Bryan Marshall of Danville. Stastny also has a +13. Over the holidays, he was the leading goal scorer at the Viking Cup and tied teammate Matt Hartman, a St. Cloud State recruit, for total points.
Stastny, who made his final choice from between Notre Dame and Denver, will join a freshman class which, at least so far, consists of forwards Ryan Dingle (Tri-City), Tom May (Des Moines), and Geoff Paukovich (US Under-18); and goaltender Peter Mannino (Tri-City).
---Bowling Green has received a verbal commitment from 6’5”, 200 lb. LW Andrew Sarauer of the Langley Hornets (BCHL). Sarauer, an 11/17/84 birthdate from Outlook, Saskatchewan, has played 43 games for Langley this season and has a 33-20-53 line. His 33 goals puts him in a tie for sixth in the league. In addition to Bowling Green, both Alaska schools and Northern Michigan were also recruiting him.
DNA Match Leads to Arrest in Woburn Case
Over the weekend a DNA match led to the arrest of a registered sex offender for the brutal murders in Woburn, Mass. of Joanne Presti and her 12-year-old daughter, Alyssa Presti. Joanne was a former girlfriend of ex-Woburn High, RPI, and NHL forward John Carter, and Alyssa was his daughter from that relationship.
The arrested man, Michael J. Bizanowicz, 41, of Lowell, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated rape. Because of the toothlessness of the Mass. Sex Offender Registry, no one on Woburn’s Totman Drive, where the suspect lived across the street from the victims for a year and a half, was aware of the fact that Bizanowicz had been sentenced to three years in prison in 1998 for repeatedly raping an 11-year-old boy and a 15-year-old family babysitter. Even more incredible is the fact that Bizanowicz only served two years for this crime, has repeatedly violated his probation, was arrested for attempting to use a forged prescription, and was still allowed to live free on a street crowded with young children.
Yesterday, at his arraignment in Woburn District Court, Bizanowicz pleaded not guilty. Because of his past record and the severe brutality of this crime, the details of which are just too sick to go into here, Bizanowicz will be held without bail.
Roughly two dozen members of the LoPresti family were at the arraignment. Carter, who has said he regrets never getting to know his daughter, was at the arraignment as well.
Russo, Curry Pick Their Schools
Thayer senior forward Jimmy Russo has committed to Northeastern. Russo, a 6’0”, 170 lb. RW from Weymouth, Mass. is a 1/18/85 birthdate who played for Thayer two years ago, then went to Cushing Academy last season. This year, he returned to Thayer. Russo’s final choice was between Merrimack and Northeastern.
Also committing to school this week is Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) 6’3”, 195 lb. power forward Mike Curry of Eagle River, Alaska. Curry, a RW, will be headed to Minnesota-Duluth.Other schools in the hunt for Curry were St. Cloud State, Merrimack, and Michigan Tech. Curry, a late bloomer, is a 9/20/84 birthdate in his second year with the Musketeers. In 34 games, he has a 12-11-23 line with a +4 and 71 pims.
15-Year-Old Commits to UMass
5’6”, 135 lb. RC James Marcou of the Suffolk PAL Midgets has committed to UMass. A 10th grader now, Marcou will be arriving in Amherst in the fall of ’06.
Marcou, a King’s Park, NY native who played for the Long Island Royals Bantams in last spring’s Nationals, is playing this season with the Suffolk PAL midgets, where he is coached by Aleksey Nikiforov.
A 2/19/88 birthdate, Marcou has 80 points in 45 games. We haven’t seen him this season with Suffolk PAL, but we saw him in August at the National Select 15 Festival, where he was among our top-rated forwards. He’s smart, skilled, dynamic, and competes like mad. While very small, he has three years to grown and fill out.
Better Days Ahead for CC
It’s been a down year by CC’s standards, but the fact that the Tigers are ranked 14th in this week’s USCHO poll shows that the team is hanging in there, battling for a return to the NCAA tournament.
After last season, Hobey Baker Award winner Peter Sejna left early to turn pro, and forward Noah Clarke and defenseman Tom Preissing graduated. That’s three of the four players (Brett Sterling was the other) who averaged over a point a game for the Scott Owens-coached team last season.
This year no one is averaging a point a game; and the team is averaging 3.09 goals per game, whereas last year’s 30-7-5 team connected for an average of 4.64 GPG. The team’s GAA has actually gone down a tiny bit this season. Still, the Tigers have lost their last four games.
There have been injuries, and sickness, too: freshman forward Brandon Polich suffered a cut spleen and missed the early season, forward (and captain) Colin Stuart was sidelined with separated shoulder Nov. 7. Soon afterward junior goalie Curtis McIlhinney also went down with mono.
None of that compares with the Nov. 20 car accident outside Spokane, Washington that could easily have taken the life of assistant coach Norm Bazin.
Bazin, one of college hockey’s true gentlemen, returned home just before Christmas and is on the mend, doing a few hours of rehab every day and getting around on crutches. Bazin is expected to make a full recovery, though it will take time. He and his wife, Michelle, are expecting their first child in early February, which should provide a big emotional boost.
Meanwhile, Owens has hired Major Joe Delich as an emergency replacement hire through the end of April. Delich, a friend of Bazin, Owens, and assistant Joe Bonnett, is a 37-year-old former Eveleth (Minn.) HS and Air Force Academy player who has had two stints on the Air Force hockey staff, most recently working with Frank Serratore from ’98-01 as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. For the last two-plus years, Delich has been working on his PhD in sports management at the University of North Colorado while keeping his hand in the game by doing some scouting for the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL). In between his two stints on the Air Force hockey staff, Delich was stationed in Omaha and in Alaska doing complex electronic intelligence work for the Air Force. He’s a well-rounded fellow who, when this stint at CC ends, will begin working on his doctoral proposal. Afterwards, at the end of the summer, he’ll return to active duty with the Air Force.
Colorado College, which will have Holy Angels D Jack Hillen and Danville Wings (USHL) forward Derek Patrosso coming in this fall, and then Danville D Cody Lampl, in ’05, now has a couple more recruits.
The biggest fish is 6’1”, 200 lb. LW Scott McCulloch of the Grand Prairie Storm (AJHL).
A power forward who can finish, McCulloch was slotted in the third round (#71 overall) of last week’s NHL Central Scouting Mid-Term Ranking. A 3/10/86 birthdate from Lancombe, Alberta, McCulloch has been injured for the last month but is expected back in action any day. In 35 games, he has a 17-24-41 line with 54 pims.
McCulloch, who chose CC over Harvard and Boston College, is the brother of Harvard senior defenseman David McCulloch.
Also coming to the Springs in the fall is Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) RW James Brannigan, a smooth skater with a finishing touch. Brannigan, a Brooklyn, NY native who played for the New York Bobcats Jr. B last year and led the MJHL in scoring, won a job with the RoughRiders at last spring’s tryout camp.
He’s made the leap successfully. In the USHL this year, Brannigan has a 17-14-31 line and a +7 in 39 games. He’s tied for 20th in the league in scoring and can really shoot it – he has a nice wrist shot he can get off quickly.
A 10/20/84 birthdate, Brannigan is 5’10”, 175 lbs. Other schools interested in him were RPI, Vermont, Northeastern, and Providence College.
Avon Moves to Top of USHR Prep Poll
Undefeated and untied Avon Old Farms, which knocked off previous #1 Hotchkiss last Wednesday, has moved to the top of this week’s USHR Div. I Prep poll.
Brewster Again #1 in USHR Div. II Prep Poll
Brewster Academy is once again #1 in this week's USHR Div. II prep poll, released tonight.
Jan. 19 USHR Div. II Prep Poll
A Power Forward for the Terriers
6’2”, 220 lb. New England Jr. Coyotes power forward Ryan Weston has committed to Boston University for the fall.
Weston, a Henniker, NH native, went to the Tilton School for three years where he was a major cog on the Mike Walsh-coached teams that perennially won the Div. II New England prep crown. Last year was Weston’s first with the Coyotes, and with his size, skating ability, and shot began to show that he could be a major college prospect. This year, out from under the shadow of former Coyotes forwards Colin McDonald (Providence), Mark McCutcheon (Cornell), and Keith Johnson (Maine), he’s grown into his body, is playing with a ton of confidence, and has turned into a force, playing physically, making plays, winning the battles along the wall, and finishing.
Weston, who turned 20 last week, leads the Coyotes in scoring with a 10-24-34 line in 23 league games. He’s the fifth-leading scorer in the league.
This year, he’s been mainly playing the off-wing (he’s a right shot), but has played center, too. At BU look for him to line up on the right side and create space for some of the Terriers’ smaller left-shot forwards.
Weston was ranked in the eighth round of North American skaters in Central Scouting’s list that came out the other day– lower than his ability dictates, but, then again, he’s an early ’84 in what is primarily an ’86 draft.
Weston, who’s getting a full scholarship from BU, was also recruited by Clarkson, Maine, and Providence College.
Notes: In other college recruiting news, Robert Morris University, which commences Div. I play in the fall, has landed a potential local hero in forward Jace Buzek, a speedy energy guy who grew up playing for the Joe Gaul-coached Pittsburgh Hornets midget squad, played for the 2003 NAHL champions Pittsburgh Forge (with Dylan Reese and others), and then joined the Tri-City Storm (USHL) this fall. Buzek, an ’85, is from Greensburg, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
By the way, when the rush of Christmas/New Year’s tournaments commenced, we began to fall behind in reporting college commitments. It happens every year. However, once those tournaments ended, this typist came down with the flu (for the first time in at least 10 years), and got even farther behind. Things are getting back to normal now, and we apologize to those who didn’t get the ink they deserve.
Northwood Tournament Schedule
Here's the schedule for the 2004 Northwood School Invitational Hockey Tournament, which gets underway next Friday, Jan. 23, at Lake Placid, NY.
Let’s Play Two
Wellesley, Mass. -- The EJHL All-Stars hit the ice here at the Babson College Skating Center last night for a pair of games.
As we mentioned last week, the possibility of the two games being played 4x4 was a real possibility, but was scuttled. The games were played 5x5 with 22 minute halves.
In the first game, which had a good pace, the South topped the North, 5-4. Clarkson recruit Shawn Weller (Cap District) was a force, as expected, popping a couple goals, one after picking up his own rebound and putting a deke on the goalie. Teammates of Weller’s who had good games included 5’9” D Nick Barnych (NE Jr. Coyotes) a mobile ‘85 defenseman whose passes were unerringly accurate; 5’11” LD Steve Thompson (NY Apple Core), who was very involved in his own end; 6’1”, 200 lb. LC Jordan Virtue (Walpole Stars), an ’84 who has come on really strongly lately; and 5’8 Jon Pelle (NY Apple Core), an ’86 who is smart, quick, goes hard, and moves the puck extremely well.
On the North Team, some of the better players included 6’2” LD defenseman Kevin Kielt (NH Jr. Monarchs), an ’84 who’s a big-stay-at-home type who can also pop in a goal, as he did last night; 5’9” forward Ryan Ginand (Jr. Bruins), a Northeastern recruit for ’05 who used his quickness to consistently lead the rush through the neutral zone;tiny 5’5” Albert Mitchell (Green Mountain Glades), an ’84 who worked hard, was impossible not to notice, and could be a nice prospect for a Div. III school; and 5’10” forward Jon Rheault (NH Jr. Monarchs), a Providence recruit who had a goal and an assist, which he does pretty much every night of the season.
The nightcap never really developed the flow the first game, hence was a little harder to judge players. The big names, like forwards Ryan Weston (NE Jr. Coyotes) and Robbie Bellamy (NE Jr. Coyotes), were hard to miss out there. Of the less-heralded players, standouts included 6’3” RD David MacDonald (NE Jr. Coyotes), an ’85 from Nova Scotia who played at St. Paul’s School last year and has come a long way since the beginning of the season, playing more physically and assertively and making decisions more quickly; and ’84 goaltender Jeff Mansfield (NY Apple Core), who was flawless. Mansfield, as many of you may know, is deaf. However, we’ve seen no signs that this has a negative effect on his game, and may even have a positive effect (in terms of blocking out distractions?) that we can’t even pretend to know about. Mansfield was accepted to Princeton last winter, but has deferred to play a year for Apple Core. An admirable player, on all levels.
The North team got a strong performance from ‘84 forward Dave Germain (NH Jr. Monarchs), a Yale recruit who notched a goal and an assist and, along with ’84 forward Reese Wisnowksi (NH Jr. Monarchs) and ’85 forward Sam Bowles (Jr. Bruins), led the North team’s offense. On defense, 6’2” Matt Duffy (NH Jr. Monarchs), an ’86, can rip off shots from the point – he has a lot of upside. In goal, 6’1” Nevin Hamilton (Jr. Bruins), an ’85, was solid, as is his custom. Just as good was 5'11" Jake Thaler, an '85 from the Green Mountain Glades who allowed no goals, denied Bellamy on a breakaway, and came up with several other nice saves.
Notes: Some players we would have liked to see included defensemen Tim Kunes and Matt Generous of the Coyotes, both of whom were injured. Healthy players who we feel should have been here included F Kevin Karwoski (NY Apple Core), F Jon Marshall (Jr. Bruins), F Travis Blood (Lock Monsters), G Dan Ramirez (Walpole), F Nick Johnson (Coyotes), F Kory Falite (Junior Bruins), and forward Torren DelForte (Jr. Bruins) – there are likely others, but those spring to mind… We didn’t mind the two-game setup, we always like seeing more players. However, we felt that, if indeed there are going to be two games, that more of the good young prospects should be sprinkled into the lineups. Part of the problem with this year’s setup was that the teams – picked by the coaches – can dress no more than eight players from any one league team, and must have a minimum of three. The team with the worst record in the league, the Bridgewater Bandits, had five players rostered for last night’s games --- that’s way too much. In addition, it costs good players on powerhouse teams an opportunity to participate, and brings down the overall level of play, which in turn makes evaluations more difficult for the scouts and recruiters in attendance. We propose that next year the teams be picked from a group that includes league coaches as well as a small panel of NHL scouts, and Div. and Div. III recruiters – and then get rid of the maximum of eight players and reduce the minimum to one.
Schremp Top Yank in Central Scouting's Mid-Term Ranking
The NHL's Central Scouting Mid-Term Ranking of North American draft-eligible players is out and London Knights (OHL) center Robbie Schremp – at #7 overall -- tops the list of 102 U.S. kids.
The top-rated high schooler, nationwide, is 6’4” Breck junior RW Blake Wheeler, who has a lot of interest from eastern schools such as BC and the Ivies, as well as western schools like Minn., CC, Michigan, Michigan St., Wisconsin, and North Dakota.
Of the 270 players on the list, 129 are from major junior. That’s less than half – 47% to be precise. This seems like an unusually small number, though we don’t have the figures to definitively back it up. The bulk of the goaltenders and first rounders are from major junior.
Bear in mind that kids who will decide not to opt in to this June’s draft are on this list, though they won’t be on the final one that comes out in the spring, after the deadline for that decision has passed.
By league (overall numbers, regardless of nationality):
Major Junior: 128 (6 are Americans)
USHL: 30 (26 are Americans)
NAHL: 1 (goalie Ian Keserich)
Sask League: 1
Ontario Provincial League: 7
Western Ontario Jr. B: 1
US Midgets: 1 (6’5” Maryland native Phil Axtell)
US Under-18: 6
US High School (West): 11
US High School East: 23
Of the 23 Eastern high schoolers, 21 are Americans – Hotchkiss’ center Torrey Mitchell and Salisbury LW Andrew Estey are both from north of the border. Of that group of 23, all but three are in prep school.
The #1–rated player in North America is 6’2” Prince Albert (WHL) center Kyle Chipchura. The #1-rated player in Europe -- no surprise here – is 6’2 Russian LW Alexander Ovechkin, who plays for Moscow Dynamo.
Jan. 2004 Central Scouting Mid-Term Ranking (US-born players in bold):
1. Kyle Chipchura. C, Prince Albert (Maj. Jr)
2. Andrew Ladd, LW, Calgary (Maj. Jr)
3. Wojtek Wolski, LW, Brampton (Maj. Jr)
4. Alexandre Picard, LW, Lewiston (Maj. Jr)
5. Cam Barker, D, Medicine Hat (Maj. Jr)
6. Dave Bolland, C/RW, London (Maj. Jr)
7. Robbie Schremp, C, London (Maj. Jr)
8. Mike Green, D, Saskatoon (Maj. Jr)
9. Drew Stafford, RW, North Dakota (NCAA)
10. Vaclav Meidl, C, Plymouth (Maj. Jr)
11. Jeff Schultz, D, Calgary (Maj. Jr)
12. Bryan Bickell, LW, Ottawa (Maj. Jr)
13. Boris Valabik, D, Kitchener (Maj. Jr)
14. Ryan Garlock, C, Windsor (Maj. Jr)
15. Evan McGrath, C, Kitchener (Maj. Jr)
16. A.J. Thelen, D, Michigan State (NCAA)
17. Kyle Wharton, D, Ottawa (Maj. Jr)
18. Dane Byers, LW, Prince Albert (Maj. Jr)
19. Wes O’Neill, D, Notre Dame (NCAA)
20. Travis Zajac, C, Salmon Arm (BCHL)
21. Adam Pineault, RW, Boston College (NCAA)
22. Roman Tesliuk, D, Kamloops (Maj. Jr)
23. Adam Berti, LW, Oshawa (Maj. Jr)
24. David Booth, LW, Michigan State (NCAA)
25. Michael Funk, D, Portland (Maj. Jr)
26. Aki Seitsonen, C, Prince Albert (Maj. Jr)
27. Mark Fistric, D, Vancouver (Maj. Jr)
28. Brett Carson, D, Calgary (Maj. Jr)
29. Grant Lewis, D, Dartmouth (NCAA)
30. Peter Pohl, RW, Gatineau (Maj. Jr)
31. Mitch Maunu, D, Windsor (Maj. Jr)
32. Bryan Young, D, Peterborough (Maj. Jr)
33. Raymond Sawada, RW, Nanaimo (BCHL)
34. Andy Rogers, D, Calgary (Maj. Jr)
35. Casey Borer, D, St. Cloud State (NCAA)
36. Logan Stephenson, D, Tri-City (Maj. Jr)
37. Peter Tsimikalis, C, Ottawa (Maj. Jr)
38. Craig Voakes, C/RW, Kitchener (Maj. Jr)
39. Max Gordichuk, D, Kamloops (Maj. Jr)
40. Bruce Graham, C, Moncton (Maj. Jr)
41. Chad Painchaud, LW, Mississauga (Maj. Jr)
42. David LaLiberte, RW, Prince Edward Island (Maj. Jr)
43. Blake Comeau, RW, Kelowna (Maj. Jr)
44. Steve Birnstill, D, Northeastern (NCAA)
45. Frederik Cabana, C/LW, Halifax (Maj. Jr)
46. Blake Wheeler, RW, Breck
47. Shawn Weller, LW, Capital District (EJHL)
48. Geoff Paukovich, LW, US Under-18
49. Michal Sersen,D, Rimouski (Maj. Jr)
50. Jordan Smith, D, Sault Ste. Marie (Maj. Jr)
51. Nick Fugere, LW, Gatineau (Maj. Jr)
52. Ryan Stephenson, LW, Kingston (Maj. Jr)
53. Paul Stastny, C, River City (USHL)
54. Tyler Haskins, C, Toronto St. Michael’s (Maj. Jr)
55. Chris Zarb, D, Tri-City (USHL)
56. Mike Lundin, D, Maine (NCAA)
57. Brian Ihnacak, C, Brown (NCAA)
58. Jake Dowell, C, Wisconsin (NCAA)
59. Clayton Barthel, D, Seattle (Maj. Jr)
60. Kyle Wilson, C, Colgate (NCAA)
61. Chris Chucko, LW, Salmon Arm (BCHL)
62. Chad Kolarik, C, US Under-18
63. Darin Olver, C, Northern Michigan (NCAA)
64. Will Engasser, LW, Blake
65. Nick Johnson, RW, St. Albert (AJHL)
66. Joe Barnes, C, Saskatoon (Maj. Jr)
67. Keith Yandle, D, Cushing Academy
68. Eric Hunter, C, Prince George (Maj. Jr)
69. John Lammers, LW, Lethbridge (Maj. Jr)
70. Blair Yaworski, C, Sioux City (USHL)
71. Scott McCulloch, LW, Grande Prairie (AJHL)
72. Tyler Kennedy, C, Sault Ste. Marie (Maj. Jr)
73. Jeff Caron, D, Merrimack College (NCAA)
74. Paul Baier, D, Deerfield
75. Dustin Boyd, C, Moose Jaw (Maj. Jr)
76. Victor Oreskovich, RW, Green Bay (USHL)
77. Rob Page, D, Blake
78. Rob Bellamy, RW, New England Jr. Coyotes (EJHL)
79. Jared Walker, C, Red Deer (Maj. Jr)
80. Jan Steber, C/LW, Halifax (Maj. Jr)
81. Robbie Earl, LW, Wisconsin (NCAA)
82. David Schulz, D, Swift Current (Maj. Jr)
83. Anthony Aiello, D, Thayer
84. Tom May, RW, Des Moines (USHL)
85. Jonathan Sigalet, D, Bowling Green (NCAA)
86. Kyle Raftis, D, Kingston (Maj. Jr)
87. Brian McGuirk, LW, Governor Dummer
88. Bret Nasby, D, Oshawa (Maj. Jr)
89. Jordan Morrison, C, Peterborough (Maj. Jr)
90. J.T. Wyman, RW, Blake
91. Mark Tobin, LW, Rimouski (Maj. Jr)
92. Brandon Dubinsky, C, Portland (Maj. Jr)
93. Dan Winnik, C/LW, University of New Hampshire (NCAA)
94. Scott Lehman, D, Toronto St. Michael’s (Maj. Jr)
95. Marek Hascak, C, Shawinigan (Maj. Jr)
96. T.J. Hensick, C, Michigan (NCAA)
97. Renaud Des Alliers, LW, Victoriaville (Maj. Jr)
98. Sean Garrity, C, Green Bay (USHL)
99. Matt Vokes, C/RW, Cedar Rapids (USHL)
100. Martins Karsums, RW, Moncton (Maj. Jr)
101. Evan Rankin, RW, Lincoln (USHL)
102. Chris Hulit, RW, Oshawa (Maj. Jr)
103. Brett Festerling, D, Tri-City (Maj. Jr)
104. Jason Pitton, LW, Sault Ste. Marie (Maj. Jr)
105. Billy Ryan, C, Cushing Academy
106. Kevin Schaeffer, D, Boston University (NCAA)
107. R.J. Anderson, D, Centennial
108. Denis Tolpeko, LW, Seattle (Maj. Jr)
109. John Adams, C, Belleville (Maj. Jr)
110. Dan Revelle, C, Mississauga (Maj. Jr)
111. Matt Christie, C, Miami University (NCAA)
112. Justin Keller, LW, Kelowna (Maj. Jr)
113. Jordan LaVallee, LW, Quebec(Maj. Jr)
114. Troy Brouwer, RW, Moose Jaw (Maj. Jr)
115. Mitch Carefoot, C, Cornell (NCAA)
116. Kyle Koziara, D, Cushing Academy
117. Patrick Bordeleau, LW, Val D’Or (Maj. Jr)
118. Gino Pisellini, RW, Plymouth (Maj. Jr)
119. Jordan Foote, LW, Nanaimo (BCHL)
120. David Halasz, D, Ottawa (Maj. Jr)
121. Nate Dey, RW, Green Bay (USHL)
122. Brian Gifford, C, Moorhead
123. Moises Gutierrez, RW, Kamloops (Maj. Jr)
124. Justin Vienneau, D, Shawinigan (Maj. Jr)
125. John Dingle, RW, Tri-City (USHL)
126. Ned Lukacevic, LW, Spokane (Maj. Jr)
127. Craig Switzer, D, Salmon Arm (BCHL)
128. Brendan Milnamow, D, Taft
129. Rob Jarvis, D, Dartmouth (NCAA)
130. Clay McFadden, C, Oshawa (Maj. Jr)
131. Evan Schafer, D, Prince Albert (Maj. Jr)
132. Thomas Pohl, C, Tri-City (USHL)
133. Nick Tuzzolini, D, Lincoln (USHL)
134. Jean-Claude Sawyer, D, Cape Breton (Maj. Jr)
135. Derek Peltier, D, Cedar Rapids (USHL)
136. Jake Obermeyer, D, Tri-City (USHL)
137. Chris Poli, LW, Nobles
138. Keith Johnson, C, Maine (NCAA)
139. Jim McKenzie, RW, Sioux Falls(USHL)
140. Kyle Radke, D, Grande Prairie (AJHL)
141. Mitchell Bartley, LW, Vancouver(Maj. Jr)
142. Kevin Porter, C/LW, US Under-18
143. Michael Busto, D, Swift Current (Maj. Jr)
144. Mike Brown, RW, Michigan (NCAA)
145. Mike Curry, RW, Sioux City (USHL)
146. Joe Cooper, RW, Miami University (NCAA)
147. Matt Auffrey, RW, US Under-18
148. Alexandre Vachon, LW, Rimouski (Maj. Jr)
149. Kyle Klubertanz, D, Green Bay (USHL)
150. Torrey Mitchell, C, Hotchkiss
151. Jeff Likens, D, Wisconsin (NCAA)
152. Alex Berry, RW, Cushing Academy
153. Kris Hogg, LW, Kamloops (Maj. Jr)
154. Ryan Pottruff, D, London (Maj. Jr)
155. Matt McIlvane, C, Chicago (USHL)
156. George Ryazantsev, RW, Barrie (Maj. Jr)
157. Ryan Sullivan, D, Merrimack (NCAA)
158. Mikko Kuukka, D, Red Deer (Maj. Jr)
159. Jeff Hazelwood, LW, Green Bay (USHL)
160. Mike Santorelli, C, Vernon (BCHL)
161. Brett Bevis, D, US Under-18
162. Bobby Selden, D, Northern Michigan (NCAA)
163. Patrick Kaleta, RW, Peterborough(Maj. Jr)
164. Shawn Mole, D, Yale (NCAA)
165. Phillip Axtell, LW, Marquette Midget AAA
166. Derek Patrosso, LW, Danville (USHL)
167. Matt Fornataro, C, Waterloo (USHL)
168. Nicolas Robillard, RW, Baie Comeau (Maj. Jr)
169. Matt Robinson, LW, South Surrey (BCHL)
170. Tom Gorowsky, C, Centennial
171. Blake Friesen, D, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
172. Dylan Cox, LW, Phillips Exeter
173. Jeremy Schenderling, C, Kootenay(Maj. Jr)
174. Liam Reddox, LW, Peterborough (Maj. Jr)
175. Jack Hillen, D, Holy Angels
176. Aaron Gagnon, C, Seattle (Maj. Jr)
177. Mark Heatley, RW, Wisconsin (NCAA)
178. Alex Dulac-Lemelin, D, Baie Comeau(Maj. Jr)
179. Matt Hunwick, D, Michigan (NCAA)
180. Ryan Jenner, D, Victoriaville(Maj. Jr)
181. Will Boardman, D, Deerfield
182. Andrew Gordon, RW, Notre Dame (SJHL)
183. Olivier Magnan,k D, Rouyn Noranda (Maj. Jr)
184. Jean-Michel Rizk, RW, Saginaw (Maj. Jr)
185. Scott Thauwald, LW, Colorado College (NCAA)
186. Kyle Sonnenburg, D, Belleville (Maj. Jr)
187. Luciano Aquino, C/LW, Maine (NCAA)
188. Olivier Bouchard, LW, Union (NCAA)
189. Paul McFarland, LW, Kitchener (Maj. Jr)
190. Ashton Rome, RW, Moose Jaw (Maj. Jr)
191. Luke Beaverson, D, Green Bay (USHL)
192. Trevor Kell, RW, London (Maj. Jr)
193. Clayton Stoner, D, Tri-City (Maj. Jr)
194. Ben Cottreau, C. Markham (OPJRA)
195. Dan Malloy, D, Northwood
196. Steve McClellan, D, Catholic Memorial
197. Jeff Christiansen, RW, University School of Milwaukee
198. Chris Bourque, C/LW, Cushing
199. Iain McPhee, D, Windsor (Maj. Jr)
200. Matt Germain, C, Northfield-Mt.Hermon
201. Nick Jillson, D, Mount St. Charles
202. Jamie Silverson, D, Leamington (WJRB)
203. Mike Lesperance, LW, Newmarket (OPJRA)
204. Mike Card, D, Kelowna (Maj. Jr)
205. Kyle Deck, D, Regina (Maj. Jr)
206. Colin Stone, C, Swift Current (Maj. Jr)
207. Riley Day, D, Medicine Hat (Maj. Jr)
208. Bryan McGregor, C/RW, Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)
209. Ryan Olidid, RW, Markham (OPJRA)
210. Chad Klassen, C, Spokane (Maj. Jr)
211. Michael Bartlett, RW, Notre Dame (NCAA)
212. Rob Drummond, C/RW, London (Maj. Jr)
213. Andrew Hotham, D, Barrie (Maj. Jr)
214. Matt Jones, RW, Green Bay (USHL)
215. Brandon Scero, LW, US Under-18
216. Jon Marshall, RW, Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL)
217. Ryan Weston, RW, New England Jr. Coyotes (EJHL)
218. Jon Globke, D, Sioux Falls (USHL)
219. Tomas Sinisalo, LW, Green Bay (USHL)
220. Andrew Estey, LW, Salisbury
221. Matt Sorteberg, D, Anoka
222. Pierce Norton, RW, Thayer
223. Matt Greene, C, BC High
224. Matt Caruana, C, Bowmanville (OPJRA)
225. Gerry Pollastrone, LW, Salisbury School
226. Tom Zabkowicz, D, Maine (NCAA)
227. Bryan Cirullo, D, Northeastern (NCAA)
228. Michael Alexiou, LW, Merrimack (NCAA)
229. Todd Johnson, RW, Taft
230. Sebastien Gauthier, RW, Shawinigan (Maj. Jr)
231. Michael Koska, D, Aurora (OPJRA)
232. Steven Zalewski, C, Northwood
233. Andrew Gibbons, RW, Oshawa (Maj. Jr)
234. Ryan Smith, RW, Colgate (NCAA)
235. Ben Camper, F, Bay State (EJHL)
236. Jeff Kyrzakos, RW, Toronto St. Michael’s Jr. A (OPJRA)
237. Maxime Belanger, D, Baie Comeau (Maj. Jr)
238. David MacDonald, D, New England Coyotes (EJHL)
239. Dustin Molle, D, Waterloo (USHL)
240. Daniel Vukovic, D, Toronto St. Michael’s Jr. A (OPJRA)
1. Alvaro Montoya, Michigan(NCAA)
2. David Shantz, Mississauga (Maj. Jr)
3. Devan Dubnyk, Kamloops (Maj. Jr)
4. Justin Peters, Toronto St. Michael’s (Maj. Jr)
5. Dan LaCosta, Owen Sound (Maj. Jr)
6. Julien Ellis-Plante, Shawinigan (Maj. Jr)
7. Cory Schneider, Phillips Andover
8. Jeff Glass, Kootenay (Maj. Jr)
9. Philippe Roberge, Rouyn Noranda (Maj. Jr)
10. Daniel Taylor, Guelph (Maj. Jr)
11. Joe Fallon, Cedar Rapids (USHL)
12. Jakub Cech, Sault Ste. Marie (Maj. Jr)
USHL All-Star Rosters Released
The rosters for the 2004 USHL Prospects/All-Star Game, to be held Tues. Feb. 3 at the Ice Box Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska, were announced today. And here they are:
-- Team USHL --
Goaltenders (2): Phil Lamoreaux (Lincoln); Peter Mannino (Tri-City).
Defensemen (6): Brett Motherwell (River City); David Carlisle (River City); Mike Hodgson (Sioux City); Johann Kroll (Sioux City); Nick Schaus (River City); Nick Tuzzolino (Lincoln).
Forwards (12): John Dingle (Tri-City); Tom Pohl (Tri-City); Jim McKenzie (Sioux Falls); Marty Mjellelli (Des Moines); Paul Stastny (River City); Domenic Maiani (Sioux City); Bryan Marshall (Danville); Mike Curry (Sioux City); Mike Howe (River City); Evan Rankin (Lincoln); Tom May (Des Moines); Bill Thomas (Tri-City).
Coaches: Glen Sonmor, Tom Rudrud.
-- Team World --
Goaltenders (2): Joe Fallon (Cedar Rapids); Jimmy Spratt (Sioux City).
Defensemen (6): Derek Peltier (Cedar Rapids); Slavomir Tomko (St. Louis); Dustin Molle (Waterloo); Kyle Klubertanz (Green Bay); Chris Zarb (Tri-City); Jake Obermeyer (Tri-City).
Forwards (12): Jon Grabarek (Cedar Rapids); Derek Patrosso (Danville); Nate Dey (Green Bay); Sean Garrity (Green Bay); Joe Pavelski (Waterloo); Topher Scott (Chicago); Blair Yaworski (Sioux City); Matt McIlvane (Chicago); Rastislav Spirko (Tri-City); Alex Foster (Danville); Victor Oreskovich (Green Bay); Matt Vokes (Cedar Rapids).
Coaches: Bob Gernander; Eric Rud.
Why Team World? What’s that about? There are only four imports on the team – two from Slovakia (Tomko and Spirko) and two Canadians (Yaworski and Oreskovich). Of the other 36 players, 12 are from Minnesota, nine from Michigan, three from Illinois, two each from Wisconsin, NY, and Alaska, and one apiece from North Dakota, California, Mass., Ohio, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.
Brewster #1 in Div. II
Brewster Academy, which outscored opponents 29-3 last week, sits atop this week's USHR Div. II prep poll.
EJHL All-Stars Set to FaceoffThursday Night
The EJHL All-Stars – four teams of 18 players each – will face off in a pair of games this Thursday night (Jan. 15) at the Babson College Skating Center in Wellesley, Mass.
The games are at 7:40 and 9:00 pm.
We originally heard that both games would consist entirely of 4x4 play. Yesterday, though, we heard that the league’s coaches may be revisiting that particular issue over the next few days. No matter what the playing format, there will still be two games, and at the above-mentioned time and place.
-- 7:40 pm Game --
Goaltenders: Andrew Eaton (Bridgewater); Dave Leggio (Cap District).
Defensemen: Phil Gabriele (Walpole); Andrew Linard (Bay State); Nick Barnych (Jr. Coyotes); Mark Moller (Jr. Coyotes); Steve Thompson (Apple Core)
Forwards: Paul D’Agostino (Cap District); Mike Venit (Bay State); Jeff Pappalardi (Cap District): Shawn Weller (Cap District); John Rocchio (Bridgewater); Joe Loiselle (Bridgewater); P.J. Fenton (Jr. Coyotes); Jordan Virtue (Walpole); Jon Pelle (Apple Core); C.J. Tozzo (Apple Core); Nick Lynch (Cap District); Ryan Coakley (Walpole).
Coaches: Jack Sweeney (Walpole); Henry Lazar (Apple Core); Ken Frates (Bridgewater).
Goaltenders: Dimitri Papaevagelou (NH Jr. Monarchs); Vincent Monaco (Lock Monsters).
Defensemen: Noah Lucia (Boston Harbor Wolves); Kevin Kielt (NH Monarchs); Tom Wenstrom (Valley Jr. Warriors); Scott Marchesi (NH Jr. Monarchs); Peter Watson (Lock Monsters); Bret Tyler (Jr. Bruins).
Forwards: Ryan Ginand (Jr. Bruins); Albert Mitchell (Green Mt. Glades); Ryan McDonald (Lock Monsters); Scott Marchesi (NH Jr. Monarchs); Jon Rheault (NH Jr. Monarchs); Matt Burto (Jr. Bruins); Nick Monroe (Lock Monsters); Josh Coyle (NH Jr. Monarchs); Matt Goslant (Green Mt. Glades); Bryan Williams (Harbor Wolves); Sean Ferguson (Valley Jr. Warriors).
Coaches: Sean Tremblay (NH Jr. Monarchs); Paul Jenkins (Lock Monsters); Steve Hoar (Harbor Wolves).
-- 9:00 pm Game --
Goaltenders: Raph Cundari (Bay State); Jeff Mansfield (Apple Core).
Defensemen: Brett Noll (Bridgewater); David MacDonald (Jr. Coyotes); Jacob Schuster (Walpole); Drew Reynolds (Cap District); Ryan Palmer (Jr. Coyotes).
Forwards: Ryan Weston (Jr. Coyotes); Paul Dufault (Walpole); Chris Margott (Bay State); Greg McCarthy (Walpole); Ken Porter (Cap District); Ben Camper (Bay State); John Murphy (Bridgewater); Martin Moucha (Cap District); Rob Bellamy (Jr. Coyotes); Casey Balog (Bay State); Ryan Hodkinson (Apple Core).
Note: D Matt Generous of the Jr. Coyotes was named to the team but is out with an injury.
Coaches: Lincoln Flagg (Jr. Coyotes); David McCauley (Bay State); Jim Salfi (Cap District).
Goaltenders: Jacob Thaler (Green Mt. Glades); Nevin Hamilton (Jr. Bruins).
Defensemen: Dana Thibault (Green Mt. Glades); Matt Gosselin (Lock Monsters); David Leaderer (Jr. Bruins); Jarrett Sousa (Jr. Bruins); Matt Duffy (NH Jr. Monarchs).
Forwards: Dave Germain (NH Monarchs), Reese Wisnowski (NH Jr. Monarchs); Sam Bowles (Jr. Bruins); Greg Adamo (Green Mt. Glades); Scott Brady (Jr. Bruins); Craig Sanders (Valley Jr. Warriors); Angelo Serse (Harbor Wolves); Will Ryan (Green Mt. Glades); Russell Smith (Lock Monsters); Mark Bates (Harbor Wolves); Ryan Clark (Lock Monsters).
Coaches: Peter Masters (Jr. Bruins); Brad Holt (Green Mt. Glades); Andy Heinze (Valley Jr. Warriors).
Hotchkiss Remains at #1
Once again, undefeated Hotchkiss holds down the top spot in this week’s USHR Div. I Prep poll.
Look for a new Div. II prep poll tomorrow.
Ex-Wife, Daughter of Former RPI Star Murdered
In what the office of Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley has determined to be a double homicide, the ex-wife and 12-year old daughter of John Carter, a star forward on RPI’s 1985 NCAA championship squad, have been found dead in their home in Woburn, Mass.
The DA’s office has spoken to Carter, a 1982 graduate of Woburn High School, describing him as full cooperative as well as distraught. Coakley said that no one had been ruled in or out as a suspect in the case, and that a motive has yet to be determined.
The girl, Alyssa Presti, and her 34-year-old mother, Joanne Presti, were stabbed to death. A two-year-old boy, reportedly the child of Presti’s second husband, from whom Presti is also divorced, was found alive and unharmed in his crib.
Joanne Presti, it was learned today, filed a restraining order in late 2001 against Thomas Pollak, her second husband. Pollak, 38, subsequently moved to Delaware and the order lapsed. Right now, he is the prime suspect.
The girl, a seventh grader at the Joyce Middle School in Woburn, was described by New England Cable News as a conscientious straight A student, a cheerleader, and a quiet smiling girl.
Carter’s father said that his son did not have a relationship with his daughter.
Woburn Police Chief Phillip Mahoney said it was the first time he could remember a child being killed in Woburn. “Any time a child is killed it is, to me, one of Woburn’s worst murders,” he said.
Carter, a 5’10” left wing with speed and a hard, accurate shot, was signed by the Boston Bruins as a free agent following his senior year at RPI, and had a ten-year pro career, most spent bouncing back and forth between the Bruins and their AHL farm club in Portland. In 1984-85, as a junior at RPI, he and linemates Adam Oates and Mark Jooris teamed up for 97 goals as the Engineers capped off a 35-2-1 season under head coach Mike Addesa with a 2-1 win over Providence College at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Carter, a two-time All America selection, is the second-leading scorer in RPI history with a 117-108-225 line. Only Frank Chiarelli, the father of former Harvard forward (and current director of legal relations for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators) Peter Chiarelli, has more, and that was back in the early ‘50s.
Few Changes in This Week's Prep Poll
Hotchkiss, still undefeated after a 6-2 win at Exeter Monday, remains in the #1 spot in this week's USHR prep poll.
USHR Poll: Jan. 5, 2004
Because of the small number of Div. II games played since our last poll, there is no Div. II poll this week.
Cushing, UCC Weekend Winners
In Ashburnham, Mass., Noble & Greenough scored three goals in the final 3:52 of regulation to tie up host Cushing at 3-3 and send the game into four overtime periods – and then a shootout, which Cushing won, giving the hosts the title of the 13th annual E.G. Watkins Tournament.
At the Tabor Tournament in Marion, Mass., Upper Canada College won its second major prep tournament in two weeks, defeating the New England Jr. Coyotes, 3-1.
For more details, click on Prep Boys above.
U.S. Wins Gold at WJC
The U.S. scored three times in the third period to come back from a 3-1 deficit and knock off Canada in the title game of the 2004 World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland.
The winning goal came when Canada goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins tried to clear the puck and it hit one of his own defenseman, Braydon Coburn, and caromed into the net with 5:12 remaining in the third period.
The U.S. captured silver at the 1997 WJC when the Jeff Jackson-coached team lost to Canada 2-0 in Geneva, Switzerland, but this was the first time in the tournament’s 28-year history that the U.S. has won gold in the world juniors. The U.S. did it with twelve members of the team that Mike Eaves coached to the IIHF World Under-18 championship in April 2002. That year, in the title game against Russia (featuring Alexander Ovechkin), David Booth scored a pair and Zach Parise added a goal in a 3-1 win.
Today in Helsinki, Parise was named MVP of the tournament.
USA Hockey’s $2 million website should have something up on the tournament before long. In the meantime, you’ll get a more interesting take from the Canadian papers, likely replete with much breast beating. To be fair, the Canadian team was young and most of its players will be eligible again next year, when the tournament is held in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Rimouski Oceanic forward Sydney Crosby actually has three years of eligibility remaining.
The U.S. team is heavily mid-western, and most of its players went through the NTDP or major junior. There are no players from Massachusetts on the team, and no players who ever set foot in a New England prep school. However, there are four former Shattuck-St. Mary's players (Eaves, Murray, Parise, Stafford) and one from Culver Military (Suter).
For details of today's game and probably a good number of articles in the days to come, here’s a link to the Toronto Globe and Mail
At Lawrence, Corey Era Abruptly Ends
Lawrence Academy head coach Charlie Corey, in his 22nd year behind the bench, has, by mutual agreement with the school, resigned from his coaching and teaching position effective immediately.
When the Edward G. Watkins Tournament at Cushing Academy opened this morning with an NMH vs. Lawrence Academy game, arriving coaches and fans were surprised to see Corey missing, and taken aback by news that the voluble coach – an institution at the school -- would no longer be part of the scene. In his position was assistant Sean Sheehan, who has been named interim head coach.
Corey, reached by phone this afternoon, took the high road, preferring not to comment on the situation. “I just want to thank everyone,” he said. “I will be fine, and my family will be fine. I hope to get back into coaching and teaching soon.”
Asked whether he was fired or resigned, Corey said, “I resigned… it was my decision.”
Semantically speaking, that’s probably true, but it’s not really in a coach’s nature to quit in mid-season, and definitely not in Corey’s. In asking around, the most common refrain we heard was that Lawrence Academy’s new head of school, Scott Wiggins, who just took over this fall, was not a fan of Corey’s style and wanted to go in a new direction, perhaps bring in his own guy, maybe someone more buttoned-down than Corey. An old-school type, Corey, whose father was a prep school coach, grew up surrounded by prep school athletics. As many know, he has strong opinions about the changing world of athletics and how things should and shouldn’t be done. It’s Corey’s way, as is his highly-charged style of coaching, a kind of athletic passionplay.
If there was any issue that brought this to a head, no one had heard anything.
A letter of resignation from Corey and a letter from the school has reportedly been prepared. We left a message for Wiggins requesting it this afternoon, but haven’t received a copy as of yet.
Corey will be leaving his residence at the school by mid-January.
The Corey years at Lawrence were memorable, numbering numerous ISL championships and boasting players that would go on to star in college, in the Olympics, and reach the NHL. David A. Jensen,Ted Crowley, and Steve Heinze all played for Corey at Lawrence, as did current BC star forward Tony Voce and Providence College defenseman Steven Wood.