Under-18 Junior World Cup Gets Underway Today
The 2004 Under-18 Junior World Cup gets underway today with the U.S. facing off against Finland in Hodonin, Czech Republic.
In an exhibition game on Sunday, the U.S. fell to the Czech Republic, 6-2. The U.S., outshot 28-25, got a power play goal from Nate Lawrence in the first period and an even-strength goal from Ben Holmstrom in the third.
The U.S. players were picked, with the exception of defenseman Brian Lee (concussion), on the basis of their play at USA Hockey’s Select 17 Festival in St. Cloud, Minn. last month. Kids who played in the National Program last season are not eligible.
2004 United States Under-18 Select Team
Goaltenders (2): Shane Connelly (Chicago Steel -USHL); Drew O'Connell(Alaska All Stars Midget AAA).
Defenseman (6): Taylor Chorney (Shattuck-St. Mary's); Jeremy Dehner (Culver Academy); Tim Kunes (New England Jr. Coyotes --EJHL); Kyle Lawson (Honeybaked Midget AAA); Brian Lee (Moorhead HS); Alec Martinez (Honeybaked Midget AAA).
Forwards (12): Hunter Bishop (Fairbanks Icedogs --NAHL); Kevin Deeth (Shattuck-St. Mary's); Benn Ferriero (Governor Dummer Academy); Shawn Gawrys (St. Louis Jr. Blues --CSHL); Ben Holmstrom (Sioux Falls Stampede -- USHL); Nathan Lawrence (NTDP); Justin Mercier (St. Louis Heartland Eagles --USHL); Sean O'Connor (Erie Otters -- OHL); Gary Steffes (Stratford Cullitons -- OHA); Mike Testwuide (Pikes Peak Miners Midget AAA); Evan Trupp (Anchorage North Stars Midget AAA); Andreas Vlassopoulos (LA Stars Midget AAA).
Head Coach: Roger Grillo (Brown University). Assistant Coaches: Kenny Rausch (UMass-Lowell) and Darren Turcotte (Southern Ice Lightning.).
2004 Under-18 Junior World Cup Schedule
(U.S. Games Only; times are local. Subtract six hours for EST)
Aug. 10 4:30 p.m. USA vs. Finland Hodonin, Czech Rep.
Aug. 11 4:30 p.m. USA vs. Russia Breclav, Czech Rep.
Aug. 12 7:00 p.m. USA vs. Czech Rep. Hodonin, Czech Rep.
Aug. 14 TBD Semifinal Round TBD
Aug. 15 TBD Gold- & Bronze-Medal Games TBD
Note: This group, all ‘87s, won the Five Nations Tournament in Prievidza, Slovakia last summer, going 5-0-0. There are seven returnees from that team: Connelly, Chorney, Lee, Holmstrom, Lawrence, Mercier, and Trupp. This year’s squad includes seven players with Div. I commitments. They are: Chorney (N. Dakota); Kunes (BC), Lawson (Notre Dame); Lee (N. Dakota); Deeth (Notre Dame); Ferriero (BC); and Vlassopoulos (CC).
Top Prep D to BU
6’2, 185 lb. Berkshire School LD Pat Cullity has committed to Boston University for the fall of ’06.
Cullity, who received a full scholarship, is a Tewksbury, Mass. native and a 1/26/87 birthdate. Over the past year he’s come on fast. A smooth, strong skater who rates highly for his physical play as well as his finesse play, Cullity has offensive upside, and is outstanding running Berkshire’s power play. He’s a probable pick for next June’s NHL Draft, and may go in the high rounds.
Cullity, who will be a junior this season, was on the Middlesex Islanders team – with Joey Ryan, Andrew Andricopoulos, Danny Rossman, et al – that won the International Pee Wee championship in Quebec City about five years ago.
Before going to Berkshire, Cullity played for coach Alex Moody at the Brooks School in North Andover, Mass. for two years. When Moody got the Berkshire job, Cullity followed. (Cullity, by the way, is the second NCAA Div. I defenseman to play at the Brooks School in recent years. Former Maine D Paul Lynch, now eligible at UMass, also went to Brooks.)
Cullity, who also plays soccer and baseball, has his QMJHL draft rights held by the Halifax Moose and his USHL rights held by Green Bay.
Cullity was excellent at the Select 17s last month in St. Cloud, Minn., where we had him rated the #6 d-man overall (behind only Taylor Chorney, Mark Mitera, Zach Jones, Tim Kunes, and Brandon Gentile). He could have been even higher, but he dislocated his shoulder in the third game and was out for the rest of the week.
Cullity made his final pick from between BU and UMass. Additional schools in the picture included Maine, UNH, Merrimack, Vermont (where his father played), Dartmouth, Princeton, and Harvard.
This typist was away last week. In the process of catching up, we must mention that BU also received a commitment from 5’8”, 160 lb. RC Greg Squires.
Squires, who we rated as the ninth-best forward at this summer’s Select 16 Festival in Rochester, NY, is a White Plains, NY native who came up through the New Jersey Devils youth organization. Last season, Squires played at the Brunswick School. For the next two years, he’ll be in Ann Arbor with the NTDP. He’s a 7/6/88 birthdate.
Squires visited BU right after the Select 16s, was blown away by the new arena, and then returned last week to make it official. It all happened pretty fast. UNH was the other school in the picture.
Squires is a high energy, offensively creative left-shot center who is also suited to the wing. An exciting player to watch, he’s quick, has a great first step, and a great stick, too. Very dangerous 1-on-1, Squires is also lethal coming out of the corners or behind the net. He’s not a pure goal scorer, though he’ll score his share. He’s more of an assist man.
Squires will arrive at BU in the fall of ’06.
6’2”, 220 lb. defenseman Chris Frank, who plays for Cowichan Valley (BCHL), has committed to Western Michigan for the fall of ’05. Frank, a native of Lynwood, Washington, was also recruited by St. Cloud State, North Dakota, and Maine.
Springfield Junior Blues (NAHL) goaltender Wes Russell has committed to Quinnipiac for the fall of ’05. Russell, a Springfield, Ill. native, helped lead the Junior Blues to the NAHL North Division playoff title and a berth in the league championship series. Russell, who is 6’1”, 185 lbs. and a 1/7/85 birthdate, posted a 2.52 gaa and a .911 save percentage last season.
USHR is in summer vacation mode until Labor Day, but this typist will be endeavoring to stay abreast of things – at least when within cell phone/internet range. We’ll be back at it full time on the morning after Labor Day – Tues. Sept. 7.
We mentioned that Shattuck star forward Angelo Esposito visited BU, BC, Brown, Harvard, and UNH two weeks ago. It should be noted that he also visited Dartmouth back in the spring… Forward Joe Whitney was not invited back to Belmont Hill School and has transferred to Lawrence Academy… Upper Canada College star power forward Colin Greening, a 6’1” LW from St. John’s, Newfoundland, has reportedly been offered a full scholarship by RPI. Clarkson and Cornell are also in the picture…Another full scholarship guy, Greening’s UCC teammate Brayden Irwin, a 6’4” RW from Toronto, has reportedly visited UNH… The last we heard on goaltender Joe Pearce, a freshman at BC last season, is that he will not be transferring to another school. Pearce will stay on at BC as a student, but not as a hockey player. New ECAC member Quinnipiac was among the schools hoping to get Pearce to transfer…. Former BU forward Albie O’Connell, 28, an assistant at Colby College last season, has accepted a position as an assistant at Niagara… Former Compuware assistant coach/GM and Wayne State volunteer coach Marc Fakler has been hired on as an assistant at Robert Morris... Shawn Kurulak, 29, former assistant at Bemidji State and head coach with the Fargo-Moorhead Jets (NAHL) has been hired as an assistant at Army. Kurulak, a ’99 Denver grad, is a native of Calgary, Alberta… Also hired by Army is Steve Riley, who will be a volunteer goalie coach. This Riley, who will continue his work with the New Jersey Devils youth organization, is not related to new Army head coach Brian Riley, but is the brother of Brunswick School head coach John Riley… Former UMass assistant Bill Gilligan is working part-time as a scout with the Los Angeles Kings.
US Under-17 Selects Finish Second at Five Nations
The U.S.soundly beat host Germany, 8-2, to finish second in the Five Nations Trounament in Halle, Germany today.
The U.S. team, chosen after the Select 16 Festival (’88s) in late June/early July, finished with a 3-1-0 record, as did the Czech Republic. The Czechs, however, took first, having beaten the U.S. 2-1 on Friday. Slovakia finished third, followed by Germany and Switzerland.
In today’s game,seven different forwards had multiple point games: Kyle Okposo (1g,2a), Joe Whitney (2g), Cory Callen (2g), James Marcou (1g,1a), Patrick Kane (1g,1a), Doug Rogers (1g,1a), and Brian Gibbons (1g,1a).
Goaltender Neil Conway won the U.S. Player of the Game award, kicking out 26 of 28 shots.
The U.S. began play on Tues 8/24 with a 4-1 win over Slovakia. On Thurs. 8/26 they topped Switzerland, 5-3. On Friday, as we mentioned, they lost to the Czech Republic, 2-1.
In the four-game series, Kane, a Buffalo, NY native playing for Honeybaked, was the leading scorer for the U.S., posting a 4-3-7 line. The next four U.S. scorerseach had five points: Okposo (3-2-5), Tony Romano (2-3-5), Gibbons (1-4), and Marcou (1-4).
U.S. Under-17 Selects:
Goaltenders (2): Neil Conway (Stouffville Jr. A); William Sauer (Buffalo Saints Midget AAA).
Defensemen (6): Corey Toy (Hotchkiss); Steven Kampfer (Little Caesar’s Midget AAA); Arne Krogh (Alaska All-Stars Midget AAA); Kevin McNamara (Belmont Hill); Will O’Neill (St. John’s Prep); Tysen Dowzak (Shattuck-St. Mary’s).
Forwards (12): Cory Callen (Salisbury); Tony Romano (Suffolk PAL Midget AAA); Brian Gibbons (Thayer); Patrick Kane (Honeybaked Midget AAA); Mario Lamoureux (Grand Forks Central); James Marcou (Suffolk PAL Midget AAA); Kyle Okposo (Shattuck-St. Mary’s Midget AAA); Doug Rogers (St. Sebastian’s); Brian Day (Governor Dummer); Tyler Ruegsegger (Shattuck-St. Mary’s Midget AAA); Ben Smith (Boston Junior Bruins); Joe Whitney (Belmont Hill).
Head Coach: Andy Slaggert (Notre Dame). Assistant Coaches: David Berard (Providence College) and Tom Rudrud (Tri-City Storm).
Note: Teams listed in roster are last year's team's.
Ritter a Standout at Beantown Classic
We stopped in at the Beantown Classic in Walpole, Mass. on Thursday and Friday, and watched parts of the action over those days. As usual there was a good number ofplayers, anda contingent of college recruiters and pro scouts. It's a little hard to get a read on everyone in a game or two of summer hockey, so we concentrated on guys who were clearly on their game, players who played better than we expected, and some raw players who need more time.
Those falling into those categories included:
Tabor Academy’s Stephen Ritter was our top pick, hands down. Ritter, an ’86 who is 6’3” and moves well, was showing the same form as the last time we saw him – back in March, helping lead Tabor into overtime of the prep championship game. He hasn’t missed a beat. Besides Ritter, wesaw Alex Petizian of Gilmour Academy; Nevin Hamilton of the Junior Bruins; and Joe Grossman, who played at BC High last winter, also make good showings. UNH recruit Brian Foster did not look that sharp, overcommitting a bit.
6’2” Keith Yandle of Cushing Academy was – hands down -- the guy with the most potential. Behind him we’d go with 6’1” Patrick Cullity, an ’87 from the Berkshire School. Others who stood out included Jon Wolter, an ’88 from Westminster; Brian McCafferty, an ’86 from Belmont Hill, who seemed quicker than last season; and young Ben Rosen, an ’89 from the LI Gulls.
A pair of big, raw, young defensemen definitely worth following closely are 6’3” Pasko Skarica, an ‘87 from Long Island who’s going to Milton; 6’3” Matt Kronk, an ’88 with the Junior Bruins; and 6’3” Philippe Paquet, a Quebec native who’s heading to the Salisbury School.
A couple of big, raw, but slightly older defensemen who could turn out OK in the long run include 6’4” ’85 Fred Dirkes, who’s better by far than a year ago; and 6’3” Zach Firlotte, an ’86 from the Millbrook School who’ll be playing for the Cornwall Colts this season. 6'3" Christian Jensen, an '86 who'll be playing for the Jersey Hitmen, could also fall into this category. .
’87 AJ Meyer from Choate, 5’10” Kevin Crane, an ’88 from Phillips Exeter, Joe Walchessen an ’85 from NJ going to the Cornwall Colts, and Jon Lareau an ’87 from the St. George’s School were all guys who played better than this typist expected.
Our top six consisted of 6’0” Bobby Butler, an ’87 from the Boston Jr. Bruins; Alex Berry, a 6’3” ’86 RW who is moving from Cushing to the Junior Bruins for his senior year; Brian Keane, an ’88 from the Rochester Americans; 6’2” LW Colin Greening, an ’86 from Upper Canada College; 5'7" Union recruit Augie DiMarzo, an ’85 who’ll be a senior at Avon Old Farms; ’89 Josh Franklin of Noble & Greenough; and Graham Sisson, a 5’9” ’87 from the St. Louis Blues.
Butler, Berry, Greening, and Franklin are all power forwards with puck skills. DiMarzo is a pure goal scorer. Keane is a high-skill future star. Sisson is unassuming, but a headsy player..
In the Futures Division, standout forwards included Joey Smith, an ’88 from Phillips Andover; Oliver Koo, a small skilled ’90 going to Westminster; Chris Lee an ’89 with the NJ Rockets; Josh Burrows, an ’88 forward from Nobles; Jack Clayman, an ’88 forward from GDA; 5’8” Barry Almeida of the New England Coyotes; and Todd Chinova, an ’89 forward from the Connecticut Jr. Wolves. Those were the guys we noticed right off the bat.
Defensemen we liked included 6’3” Sean Coffey of St. Seb’s; Peter Child, an ’88 from Vermont; and Edwin Shea, an ’89 from the Boston Jr. Bruins. There were certainlyothers, but, again, those were the guys who stood out for us right away.
The best goalies we saw were Nick Broadwater, an ’89 with the Portland Jr. Pirates; and Ray Monroe, an ’87 at St. John’s-Shrewsbury.
Our viewing of the Futures Division was definitely catch-as-catch-can.
Top '88 D Commits to Gophers
6’4”, 203 lb. RD Erik Johnson, our top-rated defenseman at last month’s Select 16 Festival, has committed to the University of Minnesota.
Johnson, a Bloomington native who played for Holy Angels last winter, and is leaving for Ann Arbor and the NTDP in a couple of days, not only has the size, but also has puck skills, a shot, poise, and good anticipation.
A 3/21/88 birthdate, Johnson will be a junior this year. He’ll arrive at Mariucci in the fall of ’06.
Johnson was recruited by other schools – CC, Duluth, Wisconsin – but, as is usually the case with Twin Cities kids, the Gophers had it all the way.
’89 Sweepstakes Beginning
Shattuck-St. Mary’s 15-year-old star forward Angelo Esposito made unofficial visits to five New England colleges last week – BU, BC, Harvard, Brown, and UNH.
We’re betting that the 6’1, 175 lb. Esposito, a sophomore at Shattuck and a native of Montreal, lands at a scholarship school. Some people are assuming that BU has a leg up on the competition because Raymond Bourque, a fellow native of Montreal and the father of incoming forward Chris Bourque (who, by the way, played very well at the U.S. Junior camp earlier this month), might be putting in a good word for the Terriers program. It’s speculation, for sure, but not unfounded.
At any rate, it looks like Esposito, a 2/20/89 birthdate, will be playing his college hockey in the Northeast – if he can fight off pressure from the QMJHL. Word is that the family is committed to the NCAA route.
2004 USHL Futures Draft Results
In the futures draft, each USHL team is allowed four selections under the age of 18. The players selected (they are listed below) can play zero games – or any number of games, actually -- with the club that selected them and still remain the property of the team drafting them, provided they are on that team’s protected list at this time next year.
Des Moines -- Brian Foster, G, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, 2/4/1987
Chicago -- Michael Phillipi, D, Hill-Murray High School, 4/10/1987
Tri-City -- Kyle Lawson, D, Honeybaked Midget, 1/11/1987
Lincoln -- Chris VandeVelde, F, Moorhead High School, 3/15/1987
Sioux Falls -- Michael Gergen, F, Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep, 2/17/1987
Sioux City -- Anthony Maiani, F, Honeybaked Midgets, 2/24/1989
Waterloo --James Marcou, F, New York Bobcats, 2/19/1988
Cedar Rapids -- Nick Jaskowiak, D, Benilde-St. Margaret's Prep, 2/8/1989
Omaha -- Robby Dee, F, Breck School, 4/9/1987
Green Bay-- Kevin Deeth, F, Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep, 5/26/1987
Indiana -- Vladimir Nikoforov, F, Suffolk PAL, 10/7/1987
Des Moines -- Evan Trupp, F, Alaska All-Stars, 10/22/87
Chicago -- Brian Keane, F, Buffalo Saints, 5/17/88
Tri-City -- Jon Ammerman, D, Moorhead HS, 5/9/87
Lincoln -- Ben Beaudoin, F, Simley HS, 1/18/87
Sioux Falls -- Zach Redmond, D, Compuware Midgets, 7/26/88
Sioux City -- Hunter Thunell, D, Phillips Andover Academy, 1/2/87
Waterloo -- Joe Sova, D, Chicago Mission, 5/8/88
Cedar Rapids -- Ryan Santana, F, California Wave, 11/22/88
Omaha-- Arne Krogh, D, Alaska All-Stars, 3/1/88
Green Bay -- Nick Canzanello, D, Rochester Mayo HS, 2/2/88
Indiana -- Jake Vigen, D, Red River HS, 3/3/87
Des Moines -- Rob Spalding, D, Roseville HS, 6/8/87
Chicago -- Kai Kantola, F, Kerkko Reipas Lahti (Finland), 9/11/87
Tri-City -- Matt Ambroz, F, New Prague HS, 3/25/87
Lincoln -- Mike Devoney, G, Team Illinois, 5/17/87
Sioux Falls -- Mike Forney, F, Thief River Falls HS, 5/14/88
Sioux City -- Peter Mueller, F, NTDP, 4/14/88
Waterloo -- Mike Borisenok, F, Albany Academy, 2/25/88
Cedar Rapids -- Kevin Wehrs, D, Wayzata HS, 4/7/88
Omaha -- Kevin Clark, F, Winnipeg Jr. Blues, 12/29/87
Green Bay -- Patrick Cullity, D, Berkshire School, 1/26/87
Indiana -- Drew Fisher, F, International Falls High School, 2/6/87
Des Moines -- Jordan Fulton, F, Breck School, 9/12/87
Chicago -- Matt DiGirolamo, G, Jr. Flyers Midgets, 6/9/88
Tri-City -- Cameron Cooper, D, Holy Angels, 5/19/88
Lincoln -- Ross James, D, Lawrence Academy, 6/6/87
Sioux Falls -- Matt Kronk, D, Boston Jr. Bruins Midgets, 8/12/88
Sioux City -- Sam Gagner, F, Toronto Marlboros Bantams, 8/10/89
Waterloo -- Mike Sauer, D, St. Cloud Tech, 8/7/87
Cedar Rapids -- Gary Steffes, F,Stratford Cullitons, 5/20/87
Omaha -- Jimmy Martin, D, St. Louis Jr. Blues, 10/20/88
Green Bay -- Joe Welch, F, Hastings HS, 4/29/87
Indiana -- Nigel Williams, D, Team Illinois, 4/18/88
USHRSummer 2004 Green Book Ready
The U.S. Hockey Report is proud to announce that the Summer 2004 Green Book is back from the printer and now available for ordering.
The Green Book, a valuable tool for keeping tabs on the player pool covering the ‘87-‘88-‘89 birth years, will consist of over 300 player rankings and capsule scouting reports from this summer’s Select 15, 16, and 17 Festivals.
For each festival, we will rank the top one hundred or more players, broken down by position – forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders. Also, you’ll find comments on individual players as well as the nuts and bolts, i.e height, weight, last year’s team, this year’s team, tournament stats, an overview of each individual tournament, an anecdote or two, and more.
The cost is $25, except for the following: if you are a coach or employee or any college, Tier I or Tier II junior teams OR are a player agent, member of the media, or are otherwise employed in the business of hockey, the cost is $50.
To order please click on the ad in the left-hand column of this page, and thank you for your support.
Will first-round NHL draft pick Blake Wheeler forego his senior year at Breck and join the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers?
The answer will come very soon. Wheeler will be visiting Green Bay at the end of the week, looking at a couple of schools there, visiting with Gamblers new head coach Mark Mazzoleni, and, in general, getting the lay of the land. (Yes, the Packers will be playing a pre-season game at home Saturday.)
After the weekend, Wheeler – given that school gets underway in Wisconsin in a couple of weeks -- will decide whether he’ll return to his Minnesota high school and help Breck defend its Class A championship, or go to the USHL.
If Wheeler opts for the USHL, it’ll likely be whole hog – no 10-and-10 pre-season/post-season thing.
Wheeler, a 6’3”, 185 lb. RW who will be playing for the Gophers in the fall of ’05, was picked fifth overall by Phoenix in June’s NHL draft. If he goes to Green Bay, he will become the highest NHL draft pick ever to play in the USHL.
Wheeler is coming off a good showing at the National Junior Team Evaluation Camp in Grand Forks, ND Aug. 8-15. While the Robbinsdale, Minn. resident got off to a slow start, he came on at the end of the camp and didn’t look out of place at all. If the team were to be picked today, he’d certainly be on the bubble, and, because of a general lack of size up front, might have an even better chance of making the cut. A good fall in the USHL might put him over the top.
With all of the above in mind, the smart money says he goes to Green Bay.
Wheeler, by the way, has been Green Bay’s property for one year, having been selected by former Green Bay coach/GM Mark Osiecki in the second round (#19 overall) of the August 2003 USHL underage draft.
Indiana Ice (USHL) LC Todd McIlrath has committed to Bowling Green for the ’05-06 season.
McIlrath, a 5’9”, 170 lb. native of Northville, Mich., is a Honeybaked product who put on a sterling performance at the 2001 Select 15 Festival and was invited to to join the NTDP the following year. McIlrath, a 2/27/86 birthdate, played 1½ seasons with the National Program and was actually committed to Notre Dame for this fall. However, Notre Dame withdrew their offer when McIlrath got into academic trouble at high school in Ann Arbor last year. In mid-season, an unhappy McIlrath, who had been playing on the Under-18s for Moe Mantha, left the National Program and signed on with the Danville Wings. Things got back on track for him in Danville, where in 33 games he had a 8-13-21 line with 62 pims.
U.S. Under-18 Selects Finish Fourth
The 2004 U.S. Under-18 Select Team, battered by food poisoning and injury, fell to Sweden, 3-0, in today’s bronze medal game in Piestany, Slovakia.
Notre Dame recruit Kyle Lawson, a defenseman who’ll be playing for the NTDP this season, missed today’s game with an injury, but still finished as the top U.S. scorer with three goals. Other top scorers were forwards Gary Steffes of the Stratford Cullitons, with two goals; and Mike Testwuide of the Pikes Peak Miners, with a goal and an assist.
This age group won it all last summer with a 5-0-0 mark, but this year had to settle for fourth, behind Sweden, the Czech Republic and Canada.
Canada, which blanked the U.S. 4-0 in Saturday’s semifinal, topped the Czech Republic 4-1 in today’s title game, winning their eighth championship in the event’s nine years. Brock Bradford (Coquitlam Express – BCHL), Gilbert Brule (Vancouver Giants – WHL), Cal Clutterbuck (St. Michael’s Majors – OHL), and BC recruit Dan Bertram (Camrose Kodiaks – AJHL) all scored for Canada in what was a chippy game (Canada had 20 penalties, including a couple of game misconducts and the Czechs picked up 11 minors). Canada goaltender Carey Price (Tri-City Americans – WHL) kicked out 16 shots for the shutout.
U.S. Results, Under-18 Junior World Cup
Tues. Aug. 10 – US 4, Finland 1
Wed. Aug. 11 – US 3, Russia 2
Thurs. Aug. 12 – Czech Republic 5, US 1
Sat. Aug. 14 – Canada 4, US 0 (semifinal)
Sun. Aug. 15 – Sweden 3, US 0 (Bronze Medal Game)
For U.S. Roster, scroll down to USHR News of Aug. 10
Donato Picks New Harvard Assistant from Pro Ranks
First-year Harvard head coach Ted Donato has picked Bobby Jay as his second assistant.
Jay, a 38-year-old Burlington, Mass. native, played defense for Merrimack College, where, in his senior year, he was a member of the ’87-88 team that reached the NCAA quarterfinals, only to be ousted by eventual national champions Lake Superior State.
After graduation, Jay played ten years of pro hockey, all but three games in the minors. His last five seasons as a player were with the Detroit Vipers (IHL), where he was a teammate of Peter Ciavaglia, Donato’s friend and former Harvard teammate.
After serving as an assistant coach with the Vipers from ’99-01, Jay spent two seasons as an assistant with the Manchester Monarchs (AHL). While there, he coached Donato, who had been sent down by the LA Kings, in ’01-02.
Last season, Jay was GM and assistant coach with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), a Florida Panthers affiliate. However, this May, the man who had hired Jay, Florida Panthers GM Rick Dudley (Jay’s coach with the Vipers in the ‘90s), was fired and replaced by Mike Keenan. In June, Keenan dismissed Jay.
In a normal season, Jay might have had another job in pro hockey by now, but with the lockout looming, clubs aren’t hiring so this is a good opportunity for Jay, the father of five children, to come back to Eastern Mass. and have work while the NHL sorts itself out. Naturally, there’s a chance he’ll return to the pros as early as next season. After all, pro money is infinitely better than that received by an assistant at Harvard.
Among Harvard’s three-man coaching staff, only two-year assistant Sean McCann, the youngest member of the staff, has any college coaching experience. This is highly unusual if not unprecedented in modern times. As Harvard embarks on what’s best described as a high risk-high reward strategy, many observers feel the overall lack of college coaching experience will hurt the Crimson. Others, while acknowledging that there will be a steep learning curve, also feel that Donato’s engaging, upbeat personality will more than compensate.
As always, time will tell.
A New Coach for NMH
Northfield-Mt. Hermon has hired Josh Brandwene as the school’s new head hockey coach, replacing Jeff Matthews, who resigned earlier in the summer to return to RPI, his alma mater, as an assistant coach.
Last year, Brandwene, 35, was the head coach at Michigan-Dearborn (ACHA). Prior to that, he was head coach for seven years at Delaware, and two years at West Virginia. Brandwene, who also served on the board of governors of the ACHA, was an assistant coach for the all-star team of ACHA players that represented the US in the University games in Tarvisio, Italy in 2003.
Brandwene grew up in Rutland, Vt. and Hershey, Penn. He was a defenseman at Penn State, from which he graduated in 1991.
Brandwene’s first coaching job was at Farmington (Conn.) High School. In all he has 14 years experience behind the bench.
Avon Old Farms goaltender Jon Quick has committed to UMass.
Quick, a 6’1”, 180 lb. senior-to-be who helped lead the Winged Beavers to the New England prep title this past March, will join the Minutemen in the fall of ’05.
An ’86 from Hamden, Conn., Quick, for a big guy is, well, quick – he can get the pads out there nicely, as he proved in a big 53-save effort at Salisbury with a week remaining in the regular season. Quick also came up big as Avon knocked off Andover, with Cory Schneider in goal, 4-1 in the prep semis; and then edged Tabor 3-2 in OT to win it all.
Gabe Winer will be a senior when Quick arrives, and Tim Warner, also an Avon grad, will have graduated.
Div. I Assistants on the Move
Gene Reilly, most recently an assistant at Harvard, is sliding across the river to Northeastern, where he will join Bruce Crowder’s staff.
Todd Jones, most recently an assistant at Alaska-Fairbanks, will be joining Mike Kemp’s staff at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.The other three finalists for the position were Union assistant Tony Gasparini, Wayne State assistant Willie Mitchell, and former Danville Wings (USHL) assistant Andy Vicari.
The four names most prominently mentioned in connection with the vacant Harvard assistant’s job are Merrimack College associate head coach Mike Doneghy; Brunswick School and NTDP eastern scout John Riley, NTDP assistant coach John Lilley, and former Harvard center Peter Ciavaglia. We’ve also heard the name of former Merrimack defenseman Bobby Jay, who played with and also coached Ciavaglia with the Detroit Vipers (IHL). Jay has most recently been an assistant with the Manchester Monarchs (AHL).
8/2/04 Eades New Assistant at North Dakota
Cary Eades, AD and head boy’s hockey coach at Warroad (Minn.) High School, will be named the new assistant coach at the University of North Dakota.
Over the last ten years, Eades who played on two of UND’s national championship teams (‘78 and ’82), has coached Warroad to six Minnesota state high school tournaments, winning it all three times (’94, 96,’03); coming in second twice (’97, ’00) and third once (’95).
Before taking over at Warroad, Eades coached in the USHL, winning the national junior title in ’92-93 with the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Prior to that, Eades served as an assistant on Gino Gasparini’s staff when North Dakota, behind Eddie Belfour, Tony Hrkac et al, won the ’87 NCAA championship.