Established 1996

2/29/04 Updated 3/1

Prep Playoff Matchups

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

Div. I East

1. Cushing
2. Andover
3. Thayer
4. Tabor

Div. I West

1. Avon
2. Salisbury
3. Taft
4. Pomfret

Div. II

1. Proctor
2. Pingree
3. St. George’s
4. South Kent
5. Brewster
6. Brooks
7. Brunswick
8. Kent’s Hill

Schedule for Wed. March 3 Quarterfinals:

Div. I

#4E Tabor at #1E Cushing, 5:00 pm
#3E Thayer at #2E Andover, 4:00 pm
#4W Pomfret at #1W Avon, 3:30 pm
#3W Taft at #2W Salisbury, 3:30 pm

Div. II

#8 Kent’s Hill vs. #1 Proctor (at Phillips Exeter, 3:30 pm)
#7 Brunswick vs. #2 Pingree (at Pomfret, 4:30 pm)
#6 Brooks at #3 St. George's, 4:00 pm
#5 Brewster vs. #4 South Kent (at Eaglebrook School, 4:00 pm) 


In Div. I East, Thayer’s win over St. Seb’s yesterday was significant, as it lifted them up into the #3 spot.It was close, though, as Tabor, Thayer, and Andover all finished with the same number of total points.

In Div. I West, Deerfield was just one percentage point away from getting the #4 slot. If the two schools had finished tied, Pomfret would have gotten in by dint of finishing better in two categories – 1) Overall Div. I and 2) Overall NEPSIHA.

In Div. II, Pingree’s loss to Hebron yesterday dropped them to #2.

Close but No Cigar Dept.:

In the East: #5 Belmont Hill, #6 GDA, #7 Nobles, #8 St. Seb’s, and #9 Holderness.

In the West: #5 Deerfield, #6 Hotchkiss, #7 Canterbury, and #8 Trinity-Pawling.


On Sat. March 6 the winners will convene at the Icenter in Salem, NH for the semis, with the finals taking place on Sun. March 7. Here are the schedules for those days.

Sat. March 6 (Icenter; Salem, NH)
11:00 am -- DII Semi: Proctor/Kent’s Hill winner vs. S. Kent/Brewster winner
1:15 pm -- DII Semi: Pingree/Brunswick winner vs. St. George’s/Brooks winner
3:30 pm -- DI Semi: Cushing/Tabor winner vs. Salisbury/Taft winner
6:00 pm -- DI Semi: Avon/Pomfret winner vs. Andover/Thayer winner

Sun. March 7 (Icenter; Salem, NH)
10:30 am -- East-West Senior Game (rosters to be announced later in the week)
12:30 pm -- DII Final
3:00 pm -- DI Final




Cushing #1 in Final Div. I Prep Poll of Season

This season’s playoffs feature more teams with a legitimate chances to win than we’ve seen in a while.

Cushing, with its high-powered offense, and Avon, with Jon Quick in net and peerless overall defense, are easy to envision in the title game – they are the cream of the crop. After them, we think there are three teams that could surprise, each for quite different reasons. Salisbury, an offensive juggernaut right up there with Cushing, certainly remembers losing to Deerfield in OT in the quarters last season – on a terrible call, no less. They’ll have plenty of motivation. Last season, Deerfield won it all, giving outgoing coach Jim Lindsay his first prep title. Can Taft do the same for Mike Maher? Skill-wise, the Rhinos are not in the same class as Salisbury, but emerged with a 2-2 tie the last time the two teams met -- despite being outshot by a wide margin -- and beat them the time before that. They are senior-laden and hard to shake, though Hotchkiss managed to do just that on Saturday. Of the remaining four teams, we think Andover has the best shot to make a lot of noise. Numerous times this season they’ve been outshot and outplayed, and still come out on top. Cory Schneider steals games, but can he steal three in a row? He’ll have to be the Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the prep ranks, which is well within the realm of possibility. Thayer has a lot of skill, and play a tough, physical game, but are young, and perhaps a year away. Tabor is peaking at the right time, but we still think they will have an extremely tough time getting to Salem. Ditto for Pomfret.

USHR Div. I Prep Poll: Feb. 29, 2004




Prep Playoff Scenarios

This is all unofficial, but going into Saturday’s action, this is how thing are looking for playoff purposes.


#1 Cushing

#2 Andover

#3 Tabor
#4 Thayer

#5 Governor Dummer

#6 Belmont Hill

#7 Nobles

#8 St. Sebastian’s

#9 Holderness

It looks like the matchups in the east are already set, as Thayer could lose vs. St. Sebastian’s (Noon, Conte Forum) and not have to worry about the teams below them. As for Andover and Tabor, they could possibly, depending on today’s results, flip-flop positions, so they are playing for home ice. Could Thayer move up to #3 if Andover and/or Tabor lose? Of that we’re not sure. Andover will be hosting Exeter at 4:00 pm and Tabor will be playing at NMH at 5:30 pm.

GDA, Belmont Hill, Nobles, St. Seb’s, and Holderness are out of contention.


#1 Avon

#2 Salisbury

#3 Taft

#4 Pomfret

#5 Deerfield

#6 Hotchkiss

#7 Canterbury

#8 Trinity-Pawling

Avon is solid at #1. Could #2 Salisbury and #2 Taft flip-flop? They’re pretty close, so it’s possible. If #4 Pomfret loses and #5 Deerfield wins, would that enable Deerfield to be lifted into the playoffs? There’s some difference of opinion here, but we think Pomfret is safe at #4. Pomfret plays at KUA at 4:00 pm and Westminster plays at Deerfield at 6:00 pm.

So Deerfield, which started the season poorly but right now is playing better than Pomfret, is possibly out of contention.

Hotchkiss, Canterbury, and Trinity-Pawling are definitely out of contention.

If we learn anything else about the above scenarios before this afternoon’s games, we’ll pass along the info. As we said above, this is all unofficial.

As for Div. II, it look’s like Pingree has the #1 seed locked up, as does Proctor with the #2. After that it gets interesting as Brooks, St. George’s, and South Kent are all in the #3-#5 range. Two of those three teams will be playing at home, and one won’t. Brewster looks pretty solid for #6, and Kent’s Hill, playing better now that nearly in the season, looks equally solid at the #7 spot. Right now Brunswick is #8, but Hebron will be fighting for that last playoff berth. If Hebron is able to beat Pingree this afternoon and Vermont Academy is able to beat Brunswick, Hebron could overtake the young and banged-up Brunswick team.




Kielt to BU

6’2”, 185 lb. LD Kevin Kielt of the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) has committed to Boston University for the fall.

Kielt, a Brick, NJ native who played for the New Jersey Titans (MJHL) before coming to the Monarchs last season, is a big mobile D who has steadily added an offensive dimension to his game over the last 2-3 years.

Kielt, an assistant captain with the Monarchs, who are currently first overall in the EJHL standings (3 points ahead of the Jr. Bruins), leads the Monarchs defensemen in scoring with a 12-19-31 line in 35 games. He has 62 penalty minutes.

Kielt is a 7/5/84 birthdate and undrafted.

In 2001-02, he helped lead Brick HS to the New Jersey public high school championship, and was named the state’s player of the year. 



Minnesota Upsets

In Minnesota sectional play last night, there were two upsets:

Eden Prairie, ranked #6 in Class AA, was knocked off by unranked Minnetonka, 4-3, with the winning goal, a shorthanded tally by Kevin Eidsmo, coming at 5:32 of overtime.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s, ranked #7 in Class A, lost 3-2 to #14 Totino-Grace as Erik Bredesen scored with six seconds left in regulation. 


Our Bad

On Wednesday, we wrote unkindly of the MIAA selection committee for seeding Framingham as the #4 seed in the Mass. Div. I South bracket.

Framingham had previously, for Super 8 purposes, been ranked #10 in Div. 1A, but lost in the Super 8 playdowns to #7 Belmont and were dropped down to the Div. I playoffs, where they were seeded fourth, behind three teams which didn’t make the cut for the Super 8: Milton, Braintree, and Bridgewater-Raynham.

We felt that dropping Framingham below those schools defied rational explanation, and, shooting from the hip, said so in unflattering terms. However, a reader has pointed out that there is an explanation. It’s just not a rational one.

Quite simply, unlike the Super 8 teams, the rest of the teams in Massachusetts high school hockey are seeded for the playoffs based solely on winning percentage. There is no allowance whatsoever for strength of schedule. Framingham, then, is being punished for playing a more difficult schedule.

Obviously, we should have criticized the rules instead of the selection committee, but we didn’t and that’s our bad. The committee was just playing the hand it was dealt. However, if the selection committee has the power to change the rule, we think it might be a good idea to do so before the start of next season.


Break out the Abacus

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

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

1. Overall NEPSIHA record.

2. NEPSIHA Div. I record.

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

(The reason percentage is used, as opposed to a pure number, is to take into consideration the different number of games teams play. Prior to 2002, a team that played fewer games due to school or league rules was unfairly punished. "In the old system," former NEPSIHA president Tim Pratt wrote at the time, "a team basically got one point for a win vs. a good team, and one-half point for a tie. So a team that played 36 games, 18 vs. good teams, and went 9-9 would win out over a team that played 24 games, 12 against good teams, and went 6-6 -- even though in percentages their seasons were identical." )

The other thing to keep in mind is the fact that in Div. I there must be four teams from the west and four teams from the east, hence there are years in which a team will get in as the #4 seed in one region despite the fact that their final crunched numbers place them behind a non-playoff bound team from the other region.

All of those numbers will be crunched by the NEPSIHA committee's computer on the morning of Sunday Feb. 29. We'll then have the brackets for you here shortly after the meeting ends..

The quarterfinals are scheduled for Wed. March 3 this season, and, as is customary, will be held at campus sites. The games will be held at the higher-seeded schools unless the travel time exceeds two hours, in which case the game will be held at a neutral site somewhere between the two schools. In Div. I that’s not going to happen. In Div. II, which doesn’t split itself up into geographical regions, it could.


Lawrence Academy Names New Head Coach

Lawrence Academy has named Kevin Potter as the school’s new head coach.

Potter has been head coach/AD at the Kent’s Hill School in Maine for the last two years. Before that, he was the head hockey coach at North Yarmouth Academy, where he had players like Travis Roy under his tutelage. He’s also been a coach with various New England District teams at USA Hockey Select Festivals.

Potter has had a lot of success at NYA, where he coached from 1990-2002 winning several Class A state championships. Currently, he’s having success at Kent’s Hill, which is headed to the Div. II playoffs next week.

Potter graduated from the Hill School and went on to Bowdoin, where he was captain of the hockey team and a first team All-American defenseman. He graduated in 1989.

At Lawrence, Potter will live on campus, serve as a dorm parent, work in the admissions department and possibly teach history as well.




Pelle Picks Harvard

New York Apple Core (EJHL) center Jon Pelle has committed to Harvard for this fall.

Pelle, a 5’8”, 150 lb. 3/29/86 birthdate from West Islip, NY, is currently tied for second in the EJHL scoring race, with a line of 26-32-58 in 34 games played. He trails league leader Jon Rheault of the NH Jr. Monarchs by just three points.

Pelle has excellent hands and playmaking ability, and is vital to Apple Core’s power play and penalty killing units.

In addition to Harvard, Pelle had offers from Clarkson, Yale, Cornell, and Vermont. He visited Harvard during the Beanpot. 



Super 8 Set

In last night’s Super 8 playdowns at Billerica’s Chelmsford Forum (is it any wonder kids struggle with geography, when grownups are confusing them?) #7 Belmont topped #10 Framingham, 6-3, while #8 Duxbury topped #9 Billerica, 4-2.

Therefore, the matchups for Round 1 this Sun. (Feb. 29) at Tsongas Arena in Lowell will be:

#3 Arlington Catholic vs. #6 St. John’s Prep, 12:15 pm

#4 Hingham vs. #5 Waltham, 2:30 pm

#1 Catholic Memorial vs. Duxbury, 4:45 pm

#2 BC High vs. Belmont, 7:15 pm

With the playdowns complete, Billerica and Framingham dropped down to Div 1. Billerica gets the #1 North seed, which is as it should be. In the South, though, the Div. I top seed went to Milton, Braintree was seeded #2, Bridgewater-Raynham #3, and finally… Framingham – at #4.

Why Framingham, the only one of those four schools chosen to play in the Super 8 playdowns, would suddenly be seeded below those other three teams when they drop down to Div. I defies rational explanation and makes the MIAA selection committee appear to be a bunch of boobs.



Running it Up?

Last night, in the Minnesota High School Section 8AA quarterfinals, the Moorhead Spuds walloped Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake by the ungodly score of 27-0.

Minnesota high schools play 18-minute periods, so that averages out to exactly a goal every two minutes. Moorhead notched 10 goals in the first period, nine in the second, and eight in the third, which was running time.  

Nineteen different Spuds scored in the contest. Four players had hat tricks. Eleven players had at least four points, and every skater had at least one point.

The Spuds outshot Monticello 87-3.

Moorhead, coached by Dave Morinville, features 6’1” junior defensemen Brian Lee, a North Dakota recruit, and Jon Ammerman. Up front, senior Brian Gifford, senior Nick Deutz, and junior Matt Becker are all solid prospects.

Monticello finishes the season 1-25. They were outscored 239-26. Other big losses they suffered were an 18-0 pasting at the hands of Centennial, and a 24-0 thumping by Totino-Grace.   



Brown Lands a High-End D

U.S. Under-17 Team RD Mike Stuart has committed to Brown University.

Stuart, a 6’4, 210 lb. native of Rome, NY, is a 2/6/87 birthdate currently in the 11th grade in Ann Arbor, so he’ll arrive at Meehan in the fall of ’05.

Stuart, who played at St. Paul’s School last season, is a top student who wanted to go Ivy, and, in addition to Brown, visited -- either formally or, last summer, informally -- Dartmouth, Cornell, and Yale. Stuart also considered Clarkson and RPI.

At 6’4”, 210 lbs., Stuart will be followed closely by pro scouts. He’ll be eligible for the 2005 NHL draft.

With the Under-17 team this year, Stuart, in 43 games, has a 6-13-19 line with 41 pims.




Gorowsky Makes His Pick

Centennial High School forward Tom Gorowsky has committed to the University of Wisconsin.

Gorowsky, who’s 5’11”, 180 lbs., and an ’86 birthdate, is the leading scorer in Minnesota and is playing with the top-ranked team in the state, as well. He’s also one of ten finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award, given annually to the top senior in the state.

Gorowsky, who also visited North Dakota and Minnesota, is a power forward with a strong, accurate shot, and very dangerous around the net.

Gorowsky, who will arrive in Madison in the fall of ’05, will play next season for the Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL), who drafted him last May.

His uncle, Dan Gorowsky, played on the Badgers 1981 NCAA championship team.

While Gorowsky is the leading scorer in the state, the Cougars play in the weak North Suburban conference, and have hammered a number of teams. Their 24-1-0 record shows a batch of lopsided wins, e.g. 17-0, 16-0, 18-0, 20-0, 15-0, 13-0, and 17-1.

Nonetheless, Centennial, which has never made it to states, has wins over Top 10 programs like Moorhead, Holy Angels, White Bear Lake, Wayzata, and Hill- Murray. Their only loss of the season came to Edina.

When Centennial beat #2-ranked Moorhead, 2-0, Gorowsky scored both goals. He has been kept off the board in only one game all season, that against Holy Angels.

In 25 games, Gorowsky has a 37-48-85 line. In one of the tougher conferences he might have 60 or so points, which isn’t bad either.

-- Goaltender Justin Kowalkoski of the Blake School has committed to Colgate. Kowalkoski, who’s 5’10” and 165 lbs., is a 3/19/86 birthdate. With Blake this season, he has a 1.40 gaa and a .930 save percentage. Blake, coached by former Yale, Princeton, and NTDP assistant coach John Hamre, has, including Kowalkoski, four players heading to Div. I schools next season. The others are D Rob Page and Will Engasser (Yale), and J.T. Wyman (Dartmouth).



Taft, Lawrence Coaches to be Named Shortly

Look for the new head coach at Taft to be named by the end of the week. Our best intelligence indicates the finalists for the job to be Holderness head coach Pat Dennehy, Avon Old Farms assistant coach Dan Murphy, and Brunswick head coach John Riley.

The Lawrence Academy job was offered last week to Dennehy, who declined it. At the time, the other finalist was Kent’s Hill School head hockey coach/ADKevin Potter. Unless an entirely new candidate has since stepped into the picture, signs point to Potter as the man for the job.




Mass. Super 8 Matchups

In the manner of the Olympics and other international tournaments, the Massachusetts high school hockey tournament will be switching to a two-bracket setup this season.

Yesterday, the MIAA announced the seedings for the Super 8. They are:

1. Catholic Memorial (17-2-0)
2. BC High (17-2-1)

3. Arlington Catholic (16-4-0)
4. Hingham (13-4-5)

5. Waltham (15-3-3)

6. St. John’s Prep (13-7-0)

7. Belmont (16-2-2)

8. Duxbury (17-4-0)

9. Billerica (14-4-2)

10. Framingham (12-5-5)

Conspicuous by their absence are schools such as Reading, Arlington, Austin Prep, and St. John’s-Shrewsbury, recent Super 8 invitees that didn’t make the cut this time around.

Tomorrow (Tues. 2/24), there will be a playdown at the Chelmsford Forum. #8 Duxbury will play #9 Billerica at 6:00 pm and #7 Belmont will play #10 Framingham at 8:15 pm. The winners become the 7th-8th seeds in the Super 8 field while the losers drop down into the Div. I field.

Bracket 1 of the Super 8 field will consist of CM, Hingham, Waltham, and the Duxbury/Billerica winner. Bracket 2 will consist of BC High, Arlington Catholic, St. John’s Prep, and the Belmont/Framingham winner.

Round 1 will be Sun. Feb. 29 at Tsongas Arena in Lowell. The matchups are:

#3 Arlington Catholic vs. #6 St. John’s Prep, 12:15 pm

#4 Hingham vs. #5 Waltham, 2:30 pm

#1 Catholic Memorial vs. Duxbury/Billerica winner, 4:45 pm

#2 BC High vs. Belmont/Framingham winner, 7:15 pm

Everything winds up at the Fleet Center, where the championship will be held on Sat. March. 13


Pingree, Proctor Top Div. II Prep Poll

Pingree and Proctor are the unanimous #1-2 teams in this week’s USHR Div. II Prep Poll.


USHR Div. II Prep Poll: Feb. 23, 2004



The Penultimate Poll

By this time next week, we’ll not only have a final poll for you, but the matchups for the prep playoffs as well.

This poll then, is the last one of the regular season. With playoff spots and seedings in the balance our comments this week are being replaced by a rather prosaic – though hopefully useful -- listing of each of our Top 10 team’s losses and ties, as well as remaining games.

Please note that there’s a team in this week’s poll that wasn’t there last week: Deerfield. Also note that the biggest gainer is Tabor Academy.

Going into the final week of the regular season, this is how the playoff picture looks:

In the east, there are six teams contending for the four spots. Cushing will be #1. After the Penguins, the five teams in the hunt are Andover, Belmont Hill, Tabor, GDA, and Thayer. We don’t have the machinery or programs to crunch the numbers, but it looks like GDA and Thayer will need to have strong weeks – or get some help from the teams in front of them – in order to squeeze in.

In the west, there are five teams that we think have a realistic shot. Avon will be #1. Taft or Salisbury will be #2-3, in whatever order, so look for them to meet in the prep quarters. #4 looks to be Pomfret. Deerfield has an outside chance at the #4 spot, too, though the Big Green would have to win all their games while Pomfret goes in the tank. Canterbury is an even greater long shot – we just can’t see it happening for them.       

USHR Prep Poll: Week of Feb. 22, 2004




Chico Steps Down

Tom ‘Chico’ Adrahtas, who suffered an apparent heart attack in the coaches locker room in Green Bay on Fri. Jan. 30, resigned as head coach of the Danville Wings (USHL) yesterday.

Citing health concerns, Adrahtas, 54, who has been in the Wings organization since 1999, said he felt it was in the best interest of the team that he step down now. Adrahtas, who prior to coming to Danville was a key figure in the establishment of the successful Team Illinois Midget AAA program, is home in Chicago recuperating and undergoing tests.

In his absence, GM Josh Mervis, who coached the Wings before hiring Adrahtas to take over for him three years ago, has returned to the bench.

In his resignation letter to Wings owner Lou Mervis, Adrahtas, who is also the author of an acclaimed recent biography of former NHL goaltender Glenn Hall, wrote, “I am very proud of the time I’ve spent here, and I walk away knowing I had a positive influence on every young man who wore the Wings’ crest, and grateful for the opportunity you provided for me to do so.”



Mr. Hockey Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 2004 Mr. Hockey Award, given annually to the top high school hockey player currently in the 12th grade in Minnesota, have been announced. They are:

Will Engasser, F, Blake

Blake Friesen, D, Benilde-St. Margaret’s

Brian Gifford, F, Moorhead

Alex Goligoski, D, Grand Rapids

Tom Gorowsky, F, Centennial

Jack Hillen, D, Holy Angels

Sam Kelly, F, Hill Murray

Rob Page, D, Blake

Mike Taylor, F, Holy Angels

J.T. Wyman, F, Blake

Engasser has committed to Yale, Friesen to Mankato State, Goligoski to the University of Minnesota, Hillen to CC, Page to Yale, Taylor to Harvard, and Wyman to Dartmouth.

The winner will be named on Sun. March 14, the day after the close of the Minnesota State High School Tournament.

Matt Lundin of Apple Valley, who may be joining his brother, freshman D Mike Lundin,at the University of Maine, won the Frank Brimsek Award, given annually to the state’s top senior goaltender.


Former NMU Wildcat Survives Mountain Ordeal

Former Northern Michigan University forward Eric LeMarque, born in France but raised in Southern California, almost died last week in the Sierra Nevada Mountains after straying off a mountain trail and becoming lost while snowboarding alone on Feb. 6.

LeMarque, a Boston Bruins 1987 draft pick who also played on the 1994 French Olympic team in Lillehammer, Norway, built himself a makeshift igloo and survived on pine nuts and needles. When he was found by a rescue crew a week later, on Feb. 13, he was conscious though barely moving.

LeMarque, 34, is in LA’s Sherman Oaks Hospital being treated for dehydration, hypothermia, and severe frostbite.

“It was amazing that he survived in that cold,” Joe Rousek, a member of the 14-man rescue crew that found LeMarque, told the Associated Press. “We knew he was a hockey player, in good shape. But I don’t think he’d have lasted another night.”

LeMarque’s mother, Susan LeMarque of Sherman Oaks, told the AP that her son had gone to Mammoth with some friends, but when they left he continued to snowboard alone, but went off the track.

“When it got dark, he couldn’t tell quite where he was,” she said. “He continued on down the mountain, thinking he’d find his way out.”

LeMarque, who played for Rick Comley’s NMU teams of the late ‘80s, wandered for miles down the western slopes of Mammoth Mountain, a popular resort near Yosemite National Park, roughly 75 miles northeast of Fresno. The snow was deep, up to 15 feet. In the barren woods, with snow up to 15 feet deep, LeMarque gathered nuts, needles, and built a tiny igloo.

“He kept his wits,” said his mother.

LeMarque arrived at Northern as a 17-year-old freshman in 1986, and played four years with the Wilcats, then in the WCHA, amassing 133 points. LeMarque, very skilled offensively, came up through the Santa Monica youth organization. He was a member of that first wave of Californians to reach hockey success at higher levels. Other mid-to-late 60’s birthdates from the LA area included Chris Nelson and Rob Mendel (Wisconsin), Mike DeCarle and Ken Martel (Lake Superior State), Ralph Barahona (Div. III All-American at Wisconsin-Stevens Point who played briefly in the NHL), and Matt Hervey and Craig Coxe (major junior players who bounced around pro hockey, including the NHL).

Recently, LeMarque was a member of Team Easton of Los Angeles, the silver medal winners in the USA Hockey Adult Non-Check Over-30 National Championship.




A Second ’88 for the Minutemen

15-year-old Nick Grasso, a 6’0”, 173 lb. RC from Suffolk PAL Jr. B, has committed to UMass for the fall of 2006.

Grasso, who’ll turn 16 on April 18th, joins James Marcou, a fellow ’88 forward, as a UMass recruit. Grasso and Marcou, who plays with the Suffolk PAL Midget AAA squad, have known each other since they were four years old.

The commitments of Marcou and Grasso to UMass may foreshadow a change in the landscape of recruiting young players. Up to last month, only one ’88 had committed to a Div. I school and that was NTDP forward Peter Mueller, who committed to the Gophers in the fall. Mueller is a big-time prospect, a blue-chipper, and it’s no accident that he’s playing in Ann Arbor as an underager. On the other hand, Marcou and Grasso, while still among the better ’88 prospects in the country (we had Grasso as our 11th-ranked forward at last summer’s Select 15 Festival), are not blue-chippers – at least not yet. However, Toot Cahoon, Bill Gilligan, and Mark Dennehy are pretty savvy and with Marcou and Grasso they have commitments from two kids who are skilled but also have a lot of grit and drive to their game. Nonetheless, they’re still very young, so there’s risk involved. It will be interesting to see if these two ‘88s committing to UMass will accelerate even further the trend of young players committing early. If Marcou and Grasso develop like the UMass staff hopes, other schools may wind up wishing they’d jumped in earlier. It’s possible that, before long, all the top scholarship schools will have the key guys in their recruiting classes locked up several years in advance.

UMass is dealing from a position of new-found strength. They’re in second place, the program has come a long way under Cahoon and now they’re beginning to reap the benefits. A few years ago, UMass would have been as unlikely to get early commitments from top 15-year-olds as they would have been to sell 8,389 tickets to a game at the Mullins Center, which they did for last Friday’s game vs. BC – and Grasso was there.

Both Grasso and Marcou cited the coaching staff and the fact that UMass is the closest Hockey East school to their Long Island homes as factors in their decision.

Grasso has good size, strength, plays hard, and is tough to knock off his skates. He hits and make plays (he’s leading the league in assists), and he’s playing against kids up to twenty years old. In a game against the Connecticut Wolves a couple of weeks ago, Cahoon saw Grasso drop the gloves against a much older player, and more than hold his own. Grasso also scored two goals in the game.So there’s your Gordie Howe hat trick.



EJHL Playoffs to Sport Retro Look

The EJHL playoffs will have a new look this year -- or perhaps we should say a retro look, as they will mimic the old ECAC format of two games plus a mini game.

The playoffs start Mon. March 8, the day after the regular season ends. All games will be at Holy Cross, high on a hill, overlooking the golden pastures of downtown Worcester.

Here’s the schedule:


Mon. March 8:
#1 North vs. #4 South, 4:00 pm
#4 North vs. #1 South, 7:00 pm

Tues. March 9:

#2 North vs. #3 South, 4:00 pm
#3 North vs. #2 South, 7:00 pm

Wed. March 10:

No Games

Thurs. March 11:

#1 South vs. #4 North, 4:00 pm

#4 South vs. #1 North, 7:00 pm

Fri. March 12:

#2 South vs. #3 North, 4:00 pm

#3 South vs. #2 North, 7:00 pm

In the above games, there will be a five-minute OT. If, at the end of OT, any games on Mon.-Tues. remain tied, that’s how it goes in the books. However, if at the conclusion of any games on Thurs.-Fri. a series stands at 1-1 or 0-0-2, the traditional five-minute OT will be played. If nothing is decided in OT, the ice will be cut and a full 20-minute mini-game – not sudden death -- will be played. If a second mini-game is required, it will be played NHL style, with each team using four skaters.

(Also, note that because of travel considerations, if Apple Core is scheduled for a 7:00 pm start, that day’s games may get flip-flopped, allowing Apple Core to play at 4:00 pm)

After the last quarterfinal game on Friday, the four remaining teams will be reseeded for semifinal action. The determinant here will be overall league standings at the close of the regular season. The #1 will play #4; #2 will play #3.



Sat. March 13:
Game #1: 4:00 pm

Game #2: 7:00 pm


Mon. March 15:

Championship Game: 7:00 pm




EJHL Leading Scorer to Dutchmen

5’10”, 170 lb. RW Josh Coyle of the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) has committed to Union College for the fall.

Coyle is the leading scorer in the EJHL with a 28-27-55 line in 29 games. (NY Apple Core’s Jon Pelle, who has reportedly narrowed his college choices down to Cornell and Harvard, also has 55 points, but has played two more games than Coyle.)

Coyle, a 9/15/84 birthdate from Brroklyn, Ohio, is a good get for Union, which is currently the lowest-scoring team in the ECAC with just 37 goals in 18 league games (2.05 gpg).

Coyle has excellent puck skills and offensive instincts, is extremely dangerous on the powerplay, and is a game-breaker type. He competes for loose pucks and takes a lot of shots on goal. He has a short little choppy stride, and his defensive play needs further work, but Union needs a game-breaker type and Coyle has put up very good numbers wherever he’s gone.

Before coming to the Monarchs last summer, Coyle played in the NAHL, splitting last season between the Pittsburgh Forge and the Soo Indians. He came up thtrough the Cleveland Barons organization.

In addition to Union, Coyle took at official visit to Maine. UNH showed interest, too.

Coyle is the second Monarch to make his college commitment in the past week, as 6’1”, 205 lb. defenseman Chris Colvin, also an ’84 from Ohio, has committed to West Point. Colvin, a rugged, tenacious defenseman, played for Kimball Union before joining the Monarchs after graduation.

Notes: Going into the final few weeks of play (the regular season ends Sun. March 7), the Monarchs and the Junior Bruins currently find themselves in a flat-footed tie for first place in the EJHL. Both teams have identical 27-4-1 record Those two teams, each with 55 points, have the #1-2 slots locked up. They also lead the rest of the league by a mile. Their closest pursurers, Cap District and the New England Jr. Coyotes, are each tied with 40 points, 15 points behind. Right behind them, at #5 overall, are the Lowell Junior Lock Monsters (39 points). Walpole (35 pts) is sixth, Apple Core (32 points) is seventh, and the Bay State Breakers (27 points) are eighth. Eight teams qualify for the playoffs, so if the season were to end today, that’s how it would look. However, the Boston Harborwolves (26 points) are in contention for that final slot, too, while the Green Mountain Glades (20 pts.) are a long shot. The Valley Jr. Warriors and Bridgewater Bandits won’t make the playoffs.




Pingree Unanimous #1 Pick in USHR Div. II Poll

Once again, the Pingree School, by unanimous vote, is the #1 team in the USHR Div. II prep poll.

USHR Div. II Prep Poll: Week of Feb. 16, 2004



Cushing Rolling Along

Once again, Cushing Academy holds down the top spot in the New England Div. I prep poll.

USHR Prep Poll: Feb. 15, 2004



Former College Stars Win World Pond Hockey Title

You may want to check out the article in today’s New York Times on the World Pond Hockey Championship held last weekend on Roulston Lake in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick.

It’s a very good article, and should resonate with many USHR readers, particularly those who have been lucky enough to play a lot of outdoor hockey.

Out of 80 teams entered in the tournament (most from the Maritimes), there were four teams from the United States, three from the Washington, DC area comprised of guys who skate out of the same Rockville, Maryland rink every Thursday night, and The Boston Danglers who, as it turned out, won the whole tournament. Reporter Charles McGrath refers to the Danglers as “an exceptionally smoothing-skating foursome who are really Canadians, as some locals were quick to point out.”

McGrath goes on to say that the four met while playing at Merrimack College in the early to mid-90s, and have since settled in Massachusetts. McGrath only identified one player by name. That was Cooper Naylor, who was actually born in Mt. Kisco, NY, though he grew up in Nova Scotia. Naylor, today a 33-year-old teacher in the Tewksbury, Mass. public school system, was a forward who was named MVP of the ’93-94 team. Naylor went on to play in the ECHL and WCHL.

The remaining three players (these are all 4-on-4 games), who went unnamed by the Times, are:

-- Mark Goble, a former Nepean Raider who, in ’92-93, was named as a forward to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team (Maine’s Chris Ferraro and Paul Kariya were the other two forwards named to the team.)

-- Rob Atkinson, 34, a Moncton, NB native and left wing who played for a couple of years in the ECHL.

-- Mark Cornforth, 31, a Montreal-born defenseman who went on to play six years in the IHL or AHL and, in the ’95-96 season, was called up from Providence (AHL) by the Boston Bruins. Cornforth played six games teamed with Ray Bourque on the Bruins blue line.

So, as you can see, these guys are not exactly fifty-somethings from the local tavern. We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but perhaps this tournament might, given its growth, have to be restricted to players whose amateur status is still intact.

Any candidates who fit that bill? Right here in the Boston-area we have two ex-Hobey Baker winners and former Olympians in Scott Fusco (’86) and Lane MacDonald (’89). That’s a pretty good start. As far as we know, neither played pro… well, MacDonald played 15 games in Switzerland, but perhaps a waiver would be in order for European league players. We’d like to find a couple of others (maximum age: 40) and send them up for the tournament. Can anybody out there think of any top collegians who never played pro at any level in North America? If so, e-mail their names to information@ushr.comThe team can wear the USHR.Dotcoms uniforms from the Prospects Tourney. We’ll also throw in a case of beer – one case for each player -- and transportation to the tournament. We can also offer a ride back home -- but only if the wooden replica of the Stanley Cup is riding shotgun, of course.  

New York Times Article

Village of Plaster Rock, NB web site




NTDP Commitments for Next Season

Earlier in the season, we mentioned that 5’9” defenseman Mike Ratchuk of Buffalo, NY, and 6’2” forward Blake Geoffrion of Brentwood, Tennessee had committed to the US NTDP’s Under-17 Team for next season.

Ratchuk is the brother of NHL defenseman Peter Ratchuk and Geoffrion is the grandson of former NHL star “Boom Boom” Geoffrion.

Since then three others have been named to next year’s Under-17 Team:

-- Rhett Rakhshani, a 5’10”, 155 lb. highly skilled forward from the California Wave ’88 and HuntingtonBeach, California.

-- Billy Sweatt, a 5’9”, 150 lb. forward from the Team Illinois Midgets, is an excellent skater who can handle the puck at top speed and score goals. Like his brother, Colorado College freshman defenseman Lee Sweatt, he’s a former roller hockey player.

-- Chris Summers, a 6’2”, 170 lb. defenseman from Ypsilanti, Mich. playing for the Victory Honda Ice Dogs Midgets, has size and is probably the best skater of any d-man of his age and size.

There will be more players named, plus there are additional spots that will be won at next month’s invitation-only tryout camp in Ann Arbor.

Notes: The Under-18 Team, which had scheduled a pair of games in late March vs. The EJHL All-Stars, has cancelled that trip. They will be leaving a week later for Europe and the World Under-18 championship…. D Jack Johnson and forwards Phil Kessel, Jack Skille, and Nathan Gerbe have been moved up from the Under-17 team to the Under-18 team. Going the other direction are D Brandon Burns, and forwards Matt Kaiser, Brandon Scero, and Dan Fardig, the latter being a depth player with the NTDP.




Changes in Bridgewater

With the Bridgewater Bandits in the EJHL cellar with a 4-25-3 record, changes were inevitable. Last week, GM Neil Hall, who has also been an assistant coach at Tabor Academy this year, and the Bandits went their separate ways. Ditto for head coach Ken Frates.

Hall is planning on running his own summer tournaments.

Meanwhile, Scott Harlow, who’s running the junior team now, is conducting a search for someone to both serve as head coach for the Bandits plus serve as director of Hub City Hockey, the arm of the Bandits organization responsible for the various tournaments run out of the Bridgewater Ice Arena, e.g. The Hub Cup (June 10-13) and the summer pro-am tournament.

Here is the short list for the Bridgewater job:

-- Charlie Corey, until late December the head coach at Lawrence Academy.

-- Bill Bowes, until last week the head coach at Wentworth College.


-- Mike Doneghey, ex-Merrimack goalie now serving as assistant coach at his alma mater.


-- Mike McLaughlin, former UVM player now an assistant at Amherst College.


-- Howie Rosenblatt, former Merrimack forward is now an assistant with URI’s successful club team.

Look for the new hire to be announced by the end of the week. The Bandits have seven games left in the regular season and have already been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

The new alignment for Hub City Hockey consists of Paul Vincent (Director of on-ice development), John McLean (Director of Coaching), Scott Harlow (General Manager), and Neil Shea (Director of Hockey Operations).

The Bridewater Ice Arena is owned by Harlow and Ben Ewing, the father of Cushing forward Boomer Ewing.



Prep Playoffs: Dates, Times, and More

In three weeks we’ll know who’s made it into the prep playoffs and who hasn’t. In the meantime, here are the dates and times for the post-season. The semis and finals will again be held at the Icenter in Salem, NH, which features an Olympic-sized sheet in its main arena.  

Wed. March 3:
Quarterfinals at campus sites

Sat. March 6: Semifinals at the Icenter in Salem, NH (Main Arena):

Div. II: 11:00 am and 1:15 pm
Div. I: 3:30 and 6:00 pm

Sun. March 7: Finals at the Icenter in Salem, NH (Main Arena): 

Div. II: 12:30 pm

Div. I: 3:00 pm

There will also be a senior all-star game at 10 am on Sunday.

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

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

1. Overall NEPSIHA record.

2. NEPSIHA Div. I record.

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

(The reason percentage is used, as opposed to a pure number, is to take into consideration the different number of games teams play. Prior to the 2001-02 season, a team that played fewer games due to school or league rules was unfairly punished.)

All of the above numbers will be crunched by the NEPSIHA committee's computer on the morning of Sunday Feb. 29. By the afternoon, the process will be completed and we’ll report the matchups.

The quarterfinals, scheduled for Wed. March 3 this season, will, as is customary, be held at campus sites. The games will be held at the higher-seeded schools unless the travel time exceeds two hours, in which case the game will be held at a neutral site somewhere between the two schools.

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



Pingree Holds onto Top Spot in Div. II Poll

The Pingree School is once again the #1-ranked team in this week’s USHR Div. II prep poll.

USHR Div. II Prep Poll: Feb. 9, 2004


2/9/04 Updated

Maher to Take Berkshire Head of School Post

Look for long-time Taft coach Mike Maher to be named the new head of school at Berkshire as early as tomorrow (Tues.) morning.

This means that the Maher era at Taft will come to a close at the end of the season. And with Taft playing strong hockey lately, there's a possibility that Maher could go out much as Jim Lindsay did at Deerfield last year -- with a championship.

It is extremely unlikely that Maher will coach varsity hockey at Berkshire. Unlike the old days, being a headmaster and varsity hockey coach do not go together. Today, huge importance is placed on fundraising, and headmasters have to spearhead the effort. That's also a big part of the reason headmasters are extremely well-rewarded these days, earning roughly $175-275K  at the top New England boarding schools.

Berkshire has gone through a rough patch, what with the death of highly-respected Larry Piatelli last fall, just weeks after the start of school. Piatelli's predecessor, Paul Christopher, saw his reign as Berkshire's head of school come to an end after getting himself embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal two years ago.    

As for Berkshire boy's hockey, it currently exists in the shadow of the highly successful girl's program. Alex Moody is the current Berkshire coach.

UPDATE 2/10/04: It's official. Maher was named the new Berkshire head of school this morning at an all-school special assembly at the Sheffield, Mass. boarding school. Maher will assume duties his new duties on July 1.  




Cushing Holds Onto #1 Spot in USHR Div. I Prep Poll

Cushing Academy, playing without forwards Chris Bourque and Alex Berry, only managed a 4-4 tie with Pomfret last week, but still hold onto the top spot in this week’s USHR Div. I poll.

USHR Div. I Prep Poll: Feb. 8, 2004




Must-See TV

At 6:00 pm tonight ESPN Classic will take a two-hour break from an all-day orgy of old NHL All-Star games in order to show the U.S. National Junior Team’s 4-3 come-from-behind win over Canada at last month’s World Junior Championship gold medal game in Helsinki.

If you haven’t seen it, this is must-see TV, especially the third period, which the U.S. went into trailing 3-1 but blitzed the Canadians with a period of scintillating hockey to skate off with the first-ever U.S. win in the 27-year history of the WJC.

What adjustments did the U.S. make before the final period? What was said in the locker room?

Mike Eaves huddled with assistants John Hynes and Ken Martel, the latter having watched from above. “We felt,” he recalled, “that the top two units didn’t have the spark they had earlier in the tournament,” Eaves said, referring to the Brady Murray-Zach Parise-Stephen Werner and Patrick Eaves-Patrick O’Sullivan-Ryan Kesler lines.

“We made adjustments between periods and focused on the fact that Canada hadn’t really seen the best we could offer. That’s what we told the kids. We focused on getting the D involved in the forecheck and support by the defensemen – a second wave – on the line rush. We wanted to get the puck to the net, and create traffic in front of (Marc-Andre) Fleury.”

The coaching staff, who’d been watching tape of all Canada’s games, felt Fleury wasn’t tracking the puck well through traffic and if the U.S. was to have any success against him in the third period they would have to get bodies – and the puck – to the net.

Eaves also told the players that they had to “manufacture goals” and pointed out the way to do this: by middle lane drive, by getting people to the net on line rushes, by getting traffic around Fleury, and by getting a consistent forecheck going.

The U.S. forecheck worked well against Canada because the Canadian defensemen tended, when they got into trouble, to just rim it out – right into the jaws of the pinching U.S. d-men.

Eaves told his players how hard they’d have to work to overcome the two-goal deficit they faced. “It’s just going to be that much sweeter when we score three goals and come back,” he said.

In order to gain the above-mentioned spark”, Eaves put Kesler with Parise and Werner, and put Drew Stafford on the right side with O’Sullivan and Eaves.

“It ultimately did gave us that spark,” said Eaves, who felt that up until the third period the Canadians “hadn’t seen our best game.” In the third, though, they faced a U.S. squad that dug deep and ratcheted up the pressure on a surprised Canadian defense, putting them back on their heels.

First, though, it took a couple of big saves by Al Montoya in the early minutes of the third to keep the US within two goals. “Those were Grade A chances.”

The U.S. made it a one-goal game when Eaves hit O’Sullivan with a pass. O’Sullivan gathered it in and then roofed a pure goal scorer’s goal over Fleury at the 4:39 mark. The U.S. suddenly had the momentum they were seeking and cranked the pace up another notch. The speed, the end-to-end action, and the energy over the last 15 minutes are something to see.

The U.S. tied it up a little over two minutes later, at the 6:58 mark. Again, it was simply a matter of going to the net. Parise broke down the right side with speed, got it back to a pinching Danny Richmond, who simply poked it toward the net. “On this goal,” said Eaves, “Kesler could have skated into the corner like a lot of players do, but he had the presence of mind to stop in front of the net.” Kesler put home the rebound to tie the game at 3-3.

The winning goal, as you no doubt know, came when Fleury came out to play the puck and cleared it off the back of his defenseman, Braydon Coburn. The puck bounced back into the Canadian net as Fleury made a desperate lunge for it. It would be easy to call it a lucky goal, but it was U.S. pressure – in the person of a rapidly bearing down O’Sullivan -- that caused Fleury to rush his play. “We got a fortuitous bounce,” said Eaves, “but it was a by-product of the momentum we’d created.”

This gold medal-winning U.S. squad was a talented and competitive group of players. However, the U.S. has had special teams enter this tournament before, yet fail to win the gold, or, often, any medal whatsoever.

One of the things that gave this team an edge over its predecessors was the fact that the bulk of the players had played together in the NTDP for the exact same coaching staff. The coaches knew what buttons to push. Sometimes, in short tournaments like this, the tournament can be over before the coaches have even figured out which buttons to push for which player. With the level of familiarity between the players and coaches so high, the U.S. didn’t face that problem.

The system employed with the Under-18 Team nearly two years ago was the same used last month in Finland. Despite the passage of time, it was easy to get that core group of players back on the same page. It’s also easier to hide an outside kid until he picks up on the system, which allowed the coaches more time to work on special teams than their opponents may have had.

In the big games, the teams that are most systematically sound have the advantage. The U.S. was sound systematically.

One other thing: the players expected to win and were willing to play roles and sacrifice themselves for the teams. Against the Russians the U.S. players blocked 23 shots. Against Slovakia, Ryan Kesler had to have his eyelid sewn back together. The semifinal game against Finland may have been the toughest battle for the U.S. kids because, said Eaves, “it was in their own back yard and they have such pride in their country. They didn’t have the high-end talent, but they played so well – and so hard -- as a team. That was an amazing game. Very tough.”

The U.S. coaches, and director of player personnel Lew Mongelluzzo, felt they picked the right people, guys who fit certain roles and accepted them. Were they the best players available? Not necessarily, but they were the best team.

And when the final buzzer sounded, said Eaves, “It was just pure joy. My vertical jump was never so high.”

Set your timer, or Tivo, or whatever, for 6:00 pm, and enjoy.




St. George’s Star Makes His Pick

Junior center Shea Guthrie of the St. George’s School has committed to Clarkson, and will be heading to the North Country in the fall of ’05.

Guthrie, an ’87 from Carleton Place, Ontario whose hat trick in the Div. II semis last March helped lead his school into the title game against Proctor, was drafted by the OHL’s Ottawa ‘67s (4th round) in May, but returned to the Newport, RI school where he’s coached by Rich Dempsey and Ryan Mulhern. Guthrie, who’s related to Colgate interim AD Don Vaughan, took an unofficial visit to Colgate last summer.

Guthrie is 6'0", 180 lbs., an excellent skater who who can get in top gear quickly and make plays at high speed. He should play on the top two lines at the Div. I level. He almost single-handedly demolished perennial Rhode Island state high school champions Mount St. Charles last week, notching six points (4g,2a) in an 8-2 St. George’s win, and sending long-time Mount coach Bill Belisle into a fit of apoplexy.

RPI, Dartmouth, and Boston University were other schools interested in Guthrie. The '67s tried hard to get him to opt for the major junior route last summer. 

Notes: Defenseman Jarrett Sousa of the Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL) has committed to Merrimack College. Sousa, who is 5’11” and 185 lbs., is a 2/24/85 birthdate from Providence, RI. He played there for St. Ray’s until midway through his sophomore season, when he moved on to the Junior Bruins Midgets. Sousa, who was named MVP of the Northwood Tournament two weekends ago, is a smooth skater who handles the puck well, is a strong defender, and has added a lot of offensive punch to his game this year. In 51 games, he has a 2-31-51 line and a team-leading 105 penalty minutes. He’s second on the team with a +67.





In August, the Beantown Classic trumped Hockey Night in Boston in a head-to-head showdown of summer showcases.

Now, with the two tournaments’ owners and respective lawyers playing suit-countersuit, Part II is on the horizon. In late March, competing head-on with Hockey Night in Boston’s annual All-Scholastic Tournament, the Boston Jr. Bruins’ Peter and Chris Masters, directors of the Beantown Classic, will be running a high-level showcase of top ’84-‘88s at Boston College’s Conte Forum.

The dates for the Masters’ tournament, which has yet to have a formal name, will be Mon. March 29 through Wed. March 31, the same dates on which Hockey Night in Boston’s tournament, traditionally at Merrimack College, will be taking place at the Chelmsford Forum in North Billerica, Mass.

The Masters’ tournament will consist of two divisions. The older division will consist of four teams made up exclusively of ‘84’s to ‘87s playing a round-robin over three days. Two of the four teams will be junior all-star teams and two will be prep all-star teams.

The other division – call it the younger division – will consist of two teams and be made up of ‘87s and top ‘88s. This group will be playing only on the tournament’s second and third days, and will only play each other.

Game times are not set, but ice has been reserved from 3 pm onwards.

As in August’s Beantown Classic, NHL scouts will serve as coaches.



Bourque Hospitalized

Cushing forward and BU recruit Chris Bourque is in the Mass Eye and Ear Hospital undergoing evaluation and recuperating.

In a game against Tilton on Mon. Jan. 26, Bourque took a slash to the neck. He played in Cushing’s game two days later vs. NMH, but the following morning (Thurs.) was experiencing pain and severe swelling. On Saturday he was out of the lineup for the Cushing-Exeter game. That night he was admitted to the hospital and had surgery Sunday morning. Apparently, Bourque developed an infection at the point of the injury.

Bourque is reported to be doing well, but no one is sure when he will be back in the lineup. He is still being evaluated.

Update: Bourque is expected to return home today. He will be receiving antibiotics intravenously for 7-10 days.

Alex Berry is also out of the Cushing lineup, having suffered a shoulder injury in the NMH game. Tommy Bardis is now playing on the top line with Billy Ryan and Boomer Ewing. Dan Silhavey has been moved into Alex Berry's slot on the second line. 


Lawrence Academy Interviewing Candidates

Lawrence Academy is interviewing candidates to fill the position of head hockey coach held for years by Charlie Corey.

Names we’ve heard in connection with the job are Dan Driscoll, assistant coach at Pomfret; Matt Mulhern, head coach at Groton; Scott Robson, assistant coach at Quinnipiac University; Kevin Potter, head coach/AD at Kent’s Hill School; and Scott Sanders, head coach at Rivers.

We expect there will be more.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, we misidentified Robson as Quinnipiac's head coach. Quinnipiiac's head coach is Rand Pecknold (a Lawrence Academy grad, by the way).



Bourque Out with Neck Injury

Cushing Academy wing Chris Bourque, a Boston University recruit, missed Saturday’s Exeter game with a neck injury and will remain out for an indefinite period of time while it heals.

He is, however, expected back before the end of the season.

Bourque, with a 27-32-59 line in 21 games, is the leading scorer in Div. I prep hockey.


USHL Coach Suffers Apparent Heart Attack

Tom ‘Chico’ Adrahtas, the head coach of the Danville Wings (USHL), suffered an apparent heart attack in the coaches locker room after a 4-1 Wings loss in Green Bay Friday night.

Adrahtas, 54, is home in Chicago recuperating and undergoing tests.

In his absence, GM Josh Mervis, who coached the Wings before hiring Adrahtas to take over for him three years ago, has returned to the bench. Mervis is being helped by former Wings assistant coach Andy Vicari, who has been working on getting his MBA at the University of Illinois this seasonVicari joins full-time assistants Sean Ortiz and Ryan Rezmierski.

“He’s going to get healthy really soon,” Mervis said of Adrahtas, “and he’s coming back. Everything will be back to normal.”

Cards can be sent to the Wings office at 3295 East Main St.; Danville, IL 61834

This has been a rough time for the Wings, as they suffered their tenth consecutive loss on Saturday and have dropped to the .500 mark.Their last win came on Jan. 6.




Pingree New #1 in Div. II Poll

Pingree, led by Dan Gordon (1g,4a) and BU recruit Chris Higgins (2g,3a), KO’d previously top-ranked Brewster in a big 6-0 road win Friday night. They take over the #1 spot in this week’s Div. II poll.

USHR Div. II Prep Poll: Feb. 2, 2004



Cushing Enters February with #1 Ranking

We’re putting up the Div. I prep poll a little early today because, like many New Englanders, we are putting aside work tonight in order to watch the Super Bowl.

USHR Div. I Prep Poll: Feb. 1, 2004