Playoff Picture: The Home Stretch
With two weeks to go, and the finish line in sight, the outcomes of the races in the East and West remain uncertain.
The battle in the West continues in the form of two distinct three-team skirmishes.There is a small gap separating Salisbury, Avon and Taft for the top three spots.Salisbury has a tie-breaker edge over Avon for the first seed, but Taft—despite its loss to Salisbury—remains close behind, secure in the third spot, but with home-ice still in range.Canterbury continues to hold the edge over Deerfield and Choate for the fourth—and final—playoff berth.Deerfield did not have a good week, though it didn’t wind up hurting them much in the race. The reason: Choate was caught looking ahead to Andover and ended up losing to Westminster; and Canterbury, with a chance to open up some ground and buy a little security, fell to Cushing.
What do we have to look forward to this week?Canterbury plays Williston and Kent and should pick up two victories.Since they close the season with AOF and Salisbury, they need to win this week’s games.Can Choate and Deerfield gain any ground this week?It will be hard.Choate plays Avon and Taft, while Deerfield tangles with Taft and Exeter.Of course, everything flips in the final week when Canterbury plays Avon and Salisbury.But, to be in position to take advantage of that tough schedule, Choate and Deerfield must, at the very least, split this week’s games.Each of them needs, ideally, to close the gap a little (and, at the very least, not lose ground) to have a chance to vault past Canterbury at the end.In the battle for top seed, the schedule this week favors Salisbury, who face Kent and Albany Academy before meeting Avon on Saturday.Taft has a challenging week with Deerfield and Choate.Barring something unforeseen, these two battles will not be decided until the final buzzer of the last game.
Here are the numbers.Remember that the numbers in parentheses represent each team’s rank in the three equally-weighted categories considered by NEPSIHA: all NEPSIHA win %; D1 win %; and strength of schedule/win % against winning teams.
1. Salisbury: 6 (1 + 1 + 4)
2. Avon: 6 (2 + 2 + 2)
3. Taft: 7 (3 + 3 + 1)
4. Canterbury: 13 (4 + 4 + 5)
5. Deerfield: 16 (5 + 5 + 7)
6. Choate: 17 (7 + 7 + 3)
Things shook out a little bit in the East.NMH is effectively out of the race, having lost to Exeter on Saturday.Tabor and St. Paul’s needed to sweep the week to bolster their positions and each fell just short.Tabor beat Cushing, but fell to St. Sebastian’s in overtime.St. Paul’s beat Milton and Thayer, but was defeated by KUA.Neither team is mathematically out of it.There are scenarios that put St. Paul’s and/or Tabor into the playoffs, but all of those scenarios start with a single premise.Both teams must win out!!At this point, a loss by either St. Paul’s or Tabor will effectively snuff out their playoff dreams.Neither team has it easy this week.St. Paul’s plays Belmont Hill, St. Sebastian’s and Thayer.Tabor encounters Thayer, Andover, and Holderness.Should either team sweep the week, they will remain alive.But they are going to need to keep winning and probably get some help.
Thayer and Nobles sit at the top of the playoff standings, with Thayer currently holding the top spot because of the tie-breaker.Cushing is right behind at #3 and Andover holds the final spot, just ahead of Exeter.Andover has, by far, the toughest schedule this week, with games against Cushing and Tabor.With final week matches with NMH and Exeter, Andover has the most to gain with some big wins, but the biggest risk.Since Exeter’s finishing schedule is easier, at least on paper, Andover can ill-afford even a split of these last 4 games.
The race in the East will go down to the final game.Whether it is a five-team sprint of a seven-team one is unclear.What is certain is that we will know a lot more at this time next week….unless things stay as jumbled as they have been, and then we won’t.
Here is the tale of the tape in the East.
1. Thayer: 6 (1 + 2 + 3)
2. Nobles: 6 (2 + 3 + 1)
3. Cushing: 8 (2 + 1 + 5)
4. Andover: 10 (2 + 4 + 4)
5. Exeter: 11 (5 + 4 + 2)
6. St. Paul’s: 21 (6 + 6 + 9)
7. Tabor: 24 (7 + 7 + 10)
Did anyone receive any help from the teams on the cusp of the .500 mark?Not really. Gunnery dropped two this week and cannot make the break-even mark. Berkshire can hit that level by finishing 5-1—a tough order, but not impossible. Bridgton has one Div. I game remaining, vs. Exeter.If they beat Exeter, they will hit .500 in games vs. Div. I opponents; if they lose, they won’t.Westminster can get to break-even with four wins in its remaining six games.St. Seb’s crawled above the .500 level this week, and they can stay there with a win and tie over the final four games.There is a lot to watch over these next two weeks…and we’ll have our eyes wide open!
EJHL Iron to Face U.S. Under-18 Team This Weekend
The Boston Junior Bruins and the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs will face off against the U.S. Under-18 Team in a pair of games this weekend.
The Junior Bruins will play the Under-18 Team at the Salem (NH) Icenter on Sat. March 5, with faceoff set for 8:10 pm, following the last of the four New England prep semis.
On Sunday March 6, the Junior Monarchs will face the Under-18 team at Harvard University’s Bright Hockey Center. Faceoff is set for 7:30.
Tomorrow afternoon (Tues. March 1), the Junior Bruins will play a league game vs. the Monarchs at Hooksett, NH at 2:00 pm. This game, which was originally scheduled for back in October, could go a long way toward deciding the EJHL regular-season champion. The Junior Bruins, winners of all three meetings between the two teams this season, are one point ahead of the Monarchs in the standings. Each team has four games remaining before the start of playoffs. Chris Donovan (ankle) and Pat Kimball (shoulder) are still out for the Jr. Bruins. Ryan Simpson is scheduled to get the start in net for the Monarchs.
Prep Quarterfinal Matchups Announced
Here are the matchups for the quarterfinals on Wed. March 2. All game are at campus sites unless otherwise noted.
Div. I East:
#4 Andover at #1 Cushing, 3:30 pm
#3 Thayer at #2 Nobles, 5:00 pm
Div. I West:
#4 Canterbury at #1 Avon, 3:30 pm
#3 Taft at #2 Salisbury, 3:30 pm
#8 Kent’s Hill vs. #1 Worcester Academy (at Phillips Exeter Academy, 4:00 pm)
#7 Hoosac at #2 Vermont, Time TBA
#6 St. Mark’s vs. #3 Brunswick (at Choate, 4:00)
#5 Brooks at #4 St. George’s, 4:30 pm
Mass. Super 8 Seedings
1. Catholic Memorial (11-5-4) .650
2. Boston College (15-5-2) .725
3. Hingham (15-5-2) .727
4. Waltham (12-3-5) .725
5. Arlington Catholic (14-5-1) .725
6. Reading (17-5-0) .772
7. Duxbury (18-4-0) .818
8. Medford (15-4-2) .761
9. Austin Prep (12-5-3) .675
10. St. John’s Prep (10-4-6) .650
The play-in games will be held Tues. March 1 at the Chelmsford Forum.
#7 Duxbury vs. #10 St. John’s Prep, 6:00 pm
#8 Medford vs. #9 Austin Prep, 8:15 pm
Minnesota State High School Tournament Schedule
Sectional finals in Minnesota were completed last night. In the evening’s biggest game, between a pair of teams ranked 2-3 in Class AA, White Bear Lake knocked out defending champ Centennial, 5-3, in the Section 4 final . Next stop is the Xcel Energy Center and the 2005 State Tournament. Moorhead (22-2-2), a senior-laden team led by senior forwards Chris VandeVelde and Drew Fisher, and defensemen Brian Lee and Jon Ammerman, is the favorite in Class AA. Undefeated Warroad (26-0-2), led by senior forward T.J. Oshie is the favorite in Class A.
Teams that were knocked out in sectional play and their final poll position:
Class AA: #3 Centennial; #6 Wayzata; #7 Apple Valley; #8 Roseville, #9 Eden Prairie; and #10 Cloquet.
Class A: #2 Breck; #4 Blake; #5 Benilde-St. Margaret’s; #9 Lake of the Woods; and #10 Thief River Falls.
Here are the matchups for next week.
Quarterfinals: Thurs. March 3
Duluth East vs. White Bear Lake, noon
Moorhead vs. Rochester Century, 2:00 pm
Bloomington Jefferson vs. Holy Angels, 7:00 pm
Elk River vs. Tartan, 9:00 pm
Semifinals: Fri. March 4
Duluth East/White Bear Lake winner vs. Moorhead/Roch. Century winner, 7:00 pm
Bloom. Jefferson/Holy Angels winner vs. Elk River/Tartan winner, 9:00 pm
Championship: Sat. March 5
Semifinal winners, 7:00 pm
Quarterfinals: Wed. March 2
Virginia vs. St. Thomas Academy, noon
Warroad vs. Albert Lea, 2:00 pm
Shakopee vs. Totino-Grace, 7:00 pm
Little Falls vs. Duluth Marshall, 9:00 pm
Semifinals: Fri. March 4
Virginia/St. Thomas Academy winner vs. Warroad/Albert Lea winner, noon
Shakopee/Totino-Grace winner vs. Little Falls/Duluth Marshall winner, 2:00 pm
Championship: Sat. March 5
Semifinal winners, noon
Mr. Hockey Award Finalists
Here are the ten finalists for Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey Award, given annually to the top senior in the state. The winner will be announced on Sun. March 6.
Brian Connelly, D, Bloomington Jefferson
Robby Dee, F, Breck
R.J. Anderson, D, Centennial
Mitch Ryan, F, Cloquet/Esko/Carlton
Jared Hummel, D, Holy Angels
Brian Lee, D, Moorhead
Chris VandeVelde, F, Moorhead
Matt Ambroz, F, New Prague
Matt Niskanen, D, Virginia/Mt. Iron/Buhl
T.J. Oshie, F, Warroad
Goaltender Alec Richards of Breck, a Yale recruit, has been named the winner of the Frank Brimsek Award, given annually to the state’s top senior goalie.
All-New England Teams Announced
Here are the 2004-05 All-New England teams, as voted by league coaches.
Division I East:
G: Skylar Nipps, Sr. St. Paul's
D: Anthony Aiello, Sr. Thayer
D: Keith Yandle, Sr. Cushing
F: Brian Gibbons, So. Thayer
F: Matt Nelson, Sr. Nobles
F: Pierce Norton, Sr. Thayer
Division I West:
G: Jon Quick, Sr. Avon Old Farms
D: Alex Biega, Jr. Salisbury
D: Pat Cullity, Jr. Berkshire
F: Sam Bozoian, Jr. Choate
F: Augie DiMarzo, Sr. Avon Old Farms
F: Jerry Pollastrone, Sr. Salisbury
Division II: First Team:
G: Scott Barchard, Jr. Rivers
D: Kevin Shattenkirk, So. Brunswick
D: Tom Breslin, Sr. Proctor
D: Jon Lareau, Sr. St. George's
F: Pat Brosnihan, Sr. Worcester Academy
F: Shea Guthrie, Sr. St. George's
F: Rob Harlow, Sr. Vermont Academy
F: Justin Pallos, Jr. St. Mark's
Division II: Second Team:
G: Ryan Comerford, Sr. Worcester Academy
G: Jared Hay, So. Berwick
D: Nick Bartelloni, Sr. Worcester Academy
D: Mike Corbelle, Sr. Pingree
D: Jason Oxner, Sr. Groton
F: Jay Anctil, Sr. Proctor
F: Marc Concannon, Sr. Pingree
F: Ryan Riffe, Jr. Brooks
Harvard Great Kinasewich Dies of Cancer at 62
Former Harvard great Gene Kinasewich, a forward on the high-flying Crimson teams of the early ‘60s, died this week of cancer. He was 62.
Kinasewich, the 13th of 14 children of Ukranian immigrants who settled in Edmonton, remained in hockey right to the end, helping organize exchange programs for young players from the Ukraine, a country where hockey rinks are as scarce as jobs and money.
We wrote about Kinasewich last month in connection with the visit of the Druzhba (which means friendship)’78 team to the Boston area, where they played preps schools, high schools, midget, and junior teams. While here, the players toured prep schools, and a number of them may actually be playing over here in the fall, including 17-year-old star forward Lizaveta Ryabkina, one of two girls on the team (there is no girls hockey in the Ukraine).
Kinasewich, though very frail, was at the rink most days, helping with arrangements for the kids from his ancestral homeland, some of whom you may see playing college hockey here in the US before long. That, too, will be part of Kinasewich's legacy.
Last month, we provided a link to a fine article on Kinasewich by George Sullivan. If you missed it the first time, here it is again:
Things Tightening Further in the East
The playoff race in the East is in a total state of flux. While Cushing and Nobles are safely in, it’s an ever-shifting scenario after that, with a bewildering number of possibilities.
Today, one misreported score turned up, which, while not affecting the order, has tightened up the race (see new standings below). There is an added situation to watch as Berkshire plays today and tomorrow. If they lose both, they finish under .500. Pomfret also has games today and tomorrow. If they win both, they reach .500. Of course, these are things the teams in contention have no control over. They just have to win, and look up and see how it all shakes out Sunday morning.
1. Cushing: 3 (1-1-1)
2. Nobles: 6 (2-2-2)
3. St. Paul's: 13 (5-4-4)
4. Thayer: 14 (3-3-8)
5. Andover: 14 (4-5-5)
6. Exeter: 18 (6-6-6)
Trotter a Pioneer
5’10”, 175 lb. RC Brock Trotter of the Lincoln Stars (USHL) has committed to Denver for this fall. Trotter, the fifth-leading scorer in the USHL with a 17-31-48 line in 45 games, is a playmaker who can also finish. He’s creative, anticipates well, and has a good stick.
A 1/16/87 birthdate from Brandon, Manitoba, he played for the Dauphin Kings (MJHL) last season. Denver first saw him at the World Under-17 Challenge in Newfoundland 14 months ago. Last July 1, Denver head coach George Gwozdecky was at his home. The Trotter family and the family of Denver defenseman Brett Skinner are friends, which no doubt helped the Pioneers’ cause.
Trotter made official visits to Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, and UNH. BC and Michigan got into the picture late, but didn't get visits. Last summer, Trotter made an unofficial visit to North Dakota.
Also committing to Denver yesterday was Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) 6’1”, 200 lb. defenseman J.P Testwuide, a physical, hard-working player who’ll compete for playing time and offer some depth on the blue line. Testwuide, an 11/5/84 birthdate is a Vail, Colorado native.
Prep Playoffs: Dates, Times, and More
In a few days we’ll be able to name all the teams that have made it into the prep playoffs. In the meantime, here are the latest NEPSIHA numbers. We'll dig into it and offer up possibilities and scenarios tomorrow.
1. Cushing: 3 (1-1-1)
2. Nobles: 6 (2-2-2)
3. St. Paul's: 13 (5-4-4)
4. Andover: 14 (4-5-5)
5. Thayer: 15 (3-3-9)
6. Exeter: 19 (6-6-7)
1. Avon: 3 (1-1-1)
2. Salisbury: 7 (2-2-3)
3. Taft: 8 (3-3-2)
4. Canterbury: 13 (4-4-5)
5. Deerfield: 16 (5-5-6)
Here are the brackets for postseason play:
Quarterfinal action is scheduled for Wed. March 2 at campus sites:
#3 East will play at #2 East; and #4 West will play at #1 West. The winners will faceoff at the Icenter in Salem, NH in semifinal play on Sat. March 5 at 3:30 pm.
#4 East will play at #1 East; and #3 West will play at #2 West. The winners will meet at the Icenter in Salem, NH in semifinal play on Sat. March 5 at 6:00 pm.
The Div. I championship game will be held at 3:00 pm on Sun. March 6, also in Salem, NH.
For Div. II, teams are simply seeded 1-8. As with Div. I, the quarterfinals will take place next Wednesday 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.
#1 plays #8 and #4 faces #5. The winners will meet at the Icenter in Salem, NH in semifinal action on Sat. March 5 at 11:00 am.
#2 plays #7 and #3 plays #6. The winners will meet at the Icenter in Salem, NH in a semifinal matchup on Sat. March 5 at 1:15 pm.
The Div. II championship game will be held Sunday March 6 at 12:30 pm, also in Salem, NH.
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.
Div. II Playoff Picture
Readers have asked for it, so here’s our best crack at the Div. II playoff picture going into Wednesday’s games. This is far less precise than what we’ve posted for Div. I, but we think it’s close, otherwise we wouldn't be going into print with it. Just keep in mind that it is unofficial. One problem reported in Div. II is that some teams have not played the requisite number of Div. II games because of snowed-out games that haven’t been made up, so that could have a bearing. Anyway, here goes:
If the season were to end now, we believe the seeds would look like this:
1. Worcester Academy
4. Vermont Academy
6. St. George’s
7. St. Mark’s
8. Proctor, Berwick, Kent’s Hill, and Rivers all have a chance
St. George’s has St. Marks today – a big game for both teams.
St. Mark’s, after today’s game vs. St. George's, finishes with Groton.
Berwick has Pingree, Kent’s Hill, and Worcester. A 2-1 or 3-0 record may get them in.
Kent’s Hill has Berwick and New Hampton. If they go 2-0, they are likely in.
Proctor, which plays Cushing today, has Brooks on Saturday. They need to win that game, and probably will need some outside help.
Vermont has Hoosac and Brunswick. They are likely in, but could drop with bad week.
Rivers has Brooks, Pingree, and Brewster. They could sneak back in if they go 3-0.
Brunswick has Rye and Vermont Academy. If they go 2-0, they may get the #1 seed. If they split they should still finish in the top four.
Worcester has St. Thomas More and Berwick. If they win out, they can expect the#1 seed.
If Pingree wins three games this week, they will climb over 500 and help anyone who
beat them over the course of the season.
The Div. II playoff criteria is as follows. All three categories are equally weighted.
1. Overall record, including Div. 1 and Div. II games
2. Overall NEPSIHA Div. II record
3. [Winning percentage vs. NEPSIHA Div. I AND Div. II teams with a
.500 record or better TIMES the % of games played against NEPSIHA Div. I teams and Div. II teams with a .500 record or better.
Key Div. II games through the end of the season:
Vermont at Hoosac
Middlesex at Groton
Roxbury Latin at Portsmouth Abbey
Proctor at Cushing
St. George's at St. Mark's
Brooks at Rivers
Pingree at Berwick
Berwick at Kents Hill
New Hampton at Proctor
Pingree at Rivers
Berwick at Worcester (Game Moved to Lawrence Academy at 12:30pm)
Proctor at Brooks
Hoosac at NYA
Pingree at Hebron
Rivers at Brewster
St. Mark's at Groton
New Hampton at Kents Hill
Vermont at Brunswick
Brunswick Remains #1 in USHR Div. II Prep Poll
The Brunswick School, which had its 11-game winning streak snapped with an OT loss at Div. I Lawrenceville, holds on to the top spot in this week’s USHR Div. II prep poll.
Div. I Playoff Picture – Tues. Feb. 22
Here are the way things look as of noon today. (One caveat: please bear in mind that nothing is official until NEPSIHA tallies everything up Sunday morning.)
- Cushing: 3 (1-1-1)
- Nobles: 6 (2-2-2)
- Thayer: 13 (3-3-7)
- St. Paul’s: 14 (6-4-4)
- Exeter: 14 (5-5-4)
- Andover: 15 (4-5-6)
Cushing should finish #1 and Nobles should finish #2. We believe their positions could flip-flop only if Cushing was to lose to both Proctor and Holderness and Nobles was to sweep its two remaining games (@ GDA, and home vs. Milton). In either case, both teams have clinched playoff positions.
Thayer, St. Paul’s, Exeter, and Andover will fight it out for the two remaining spots.
None of the four is a lock, but we feel Thayer, already in third with a point in hand, currently has an edge. Thayer plays host to BB&N tomorrow, then plays St. Seb’s (at the Canton SportsPlex) in Saturday’s finale.
Andover goes into its final two games (vs. NMH; @ Exeter) in an interesting position. Since both of the their opponents are over .500, they could pull themselves way up in the third category.
Still, no matter which way you look at it, it’s all up in the air. The bottom line is that none of the schools currently in the #3-6 slots can truly afford to lose a single game and expect to get in.
Exeter, by the way, hosts Holderness today and then heads down to Pomfret tomorrow. If they win them both, they could be playing for a playoff berth when they host Andover on Saturday.
- Avon: 3 (1-1-1)
- Salisbury: 7 (2-2-3)
- Taft: 8 (3-3-2)
- Canterbury: 14 (4-4-6)
- Deerfield: 14 (5-5-4)
According to every scenario we’ve run, Canterbury has clinched a playoff berth. Deerfield could win their remaining games, and Canterbury could lose theirs -- and Canterbury would still get the final berth by the very narrowest of margins.
So, basically, the West is now a three-team battle for home ice.
These appear to be the three most likely scenarios:
If Avon, Taft, and Salisbury all win out, the West finish will be: 1) Avon, 2) Salisbury, and 3) Taft.
If Avon splits, and Salisbury and Taft win out, the finish will be: 1) Salisbury, 2) Avon, 3) Taft.
If Avon loses two, and Salisbury and Taft both win two, then Salisbury would win a tie-breaker to finish in first over Taft, and Avon would drop to third.
There are other, more remote scenarios, that could affect the final order of those three schools. If they are applicable after tomorrow’s games, we’ll explore them then.
Note: Avon plays host to Canterbury tomorrow, then finishes at Loomis on Sat. night. Salisbury plays at Hotchkiss tomorrow, then hosts Canterbury Sat. afternoon. Taft plays at Trinity-Pawling tomorrow, then hosts Hotchkiss on Saturday afternoon. Canterbury plays at Avon tomorrow, then at Salisbury Saturday afternoon.
Avon Back at #1
Avon Old Farms not only beat Salisbury, 6-2, yesterday, but knocked them out of the top spot – and took their place.
Avon, the defending prep school champion, was #1 in the USHR Div. I prep poll earlier in the season; now they’re #1 again.
Milton Kicks Out Five Players
Yesterday, Milton Academy expelled five members of the varsity hockey team from the school. It is alleged that the boys engaged in sex acts with a 15-year-old female student in the boy’s locker room on January 24th.
This story was front page news in today’s Boston Globe – not the front page of the sports section, but the front page of the whole paper.
The Globe did not name the five players or the girl, who are all minors. We are going to follow the Globe's policy.
The girl has been placed on “administrative leave” by the school.
According to the Globe, the school reported the incident to the Milton Police yesterday, three days after school officials learned of it.
Milton Academy spokeswoman Cathleen Everett told the Globe she did not believe the case involved “a rape of any kind.” She did, however, say that “the boys participated in a a situation that involved a 5-to-1 ratio of boys to the single girl. Regardless of any other circumstances, that ratio by definition represents a pressurized situation, and the boys should have known that. It was a situation where coercion, either implicit of explicit, was an element of the interaction.”
Everett added that, “This behavior, which clearly violates community norms, is simple unacceptable at Milton Academy.”
The Globe also reported that Milton police were not commenting on the matter, and that a spokesman for the Norfolk district attorney’s office would not comment on whether charges were likely to be filed. As of now, none have been. The spokesman for the DA's office, David Traub, told the Globe that statutory rape laws generally cover all sex acts.
“A 15-year-old cannot legally consent to sex; that’s the way the law is written,” Traub told the Globe.
This is obviously a setback to the school's hockey program, which is in its second year under head coach Paul Cannata, who left the ranks of Div. I college assistants to take the Milton job. Cannata, a Hamilton College grad, is highly regarded by his peers in the hockey world, and has worked extremely hard to put Milton’s hockey program back on the map after several down years.
The Globe article didn’t deal much with the hockey angle, and how this might affect the future of the program. We spoke to Cannata this morning, who said, “It’s an unfortunate and sad scenario and I feel sad for all parties involved. Those involved have been dealt with by the school. They’ve been disciplined. Life will go on, and I continue to be committed to developing a strong, respected hockey program here at Milton. We were looking at being a pretty good team. We’ll keep going.”
We also spoke to head of school Robin Robertson, who said, “I’m not prepared to say anything other than that I’m fully committed to the hockey program and to coach Cannata. This is a school issue; not a hockey issue.”
Prep Playoff Picture -- Corrected
Yesterday, a prep coach whose team is in the playoff hunt wondered why our rankings under the "third criterion" were so different from the ones that NEPSIHA had come up with. With a little digging, and a few e-mail and phone calls, we figured out that we were interpreting the language of that third playoff criterion differently from NEPSIHA. In other words, we made a mistake. The third criterion is a team's record against Div. I teams with a .500 record or better multiplied by the percentage of games against those teams. We interpreted that latter element to be the percentage of all Div. I games, but it actually includes Div. II games also. As a consequence, we had Thayer and
Andover, both of which play a number of Div. II games, ranked higher than they should have been. Anyway, it's a complicated formula, what with teams moving above and below the .500 mark almost daily. It's the first year we've done this, so there's been a bit of a learning curve. However, we believe we have it nailed now, and we appreciate the clarification from NEPSIHA. We want our playoff updates to be as accurate as possible, and the good folks at NEPSIHA have been very helpful in making sure we have it right.
The bottom line is that while this changes very little in the West, it makes a real difference in the East. Thayer is hurt and Cushing is helped. Andover's chances are a bit worse than it appeared and St. Paul's position is much better. If Andover can win its last three games, however, they ought to be in good shape. Tabor's chances are a little better than we had indicated, but they remain in a bind in the playoff race.
Here's how things look, as of Friday noon.
1. Cushing: 4 (2-1-1)
2. Nobles: 8 (3-3-2)
3. Thayer: 10 (1-2-7)
4. Exeter: 13 (4-4-5)
5. St. Paul's: 15 (6-5-4)
6. Andover: 21 (5-6-10)
7. Tabor: 21 (7-8-6)
1. Salisbury: 5 (1-1-3)
2. Avon: 6 (2-2-2)
3. Taft: 7 (3-3-1)
4. Canterbury: 13 (4-4-5)
5. Deerfield: 16 (5-5-6)
6. Choate: 16 (6-6-4)
Andover and Tabor in the East, and Deerfield and Choate in the West are tied in points, but Andover and Deerfield have an edge because they lead in two of the three criteria. That could all change by tomorrow, though.
Here is the actual formula, as published in the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association Coaches Directory. Each of the following three criteria are equally weighted.
-- Overall NEPSIHA record.
-- NEPSIHA Division I record
-- [Winning percentage vs. NEPSIHA Division I teams with a .500 record or better] TIMES [percentage of games played against NEPSIHA Division I teams with a .500 record or better.]
How's it work?
To give an example, let's use Exeter. They have, as of today, played 24 games of which two (Culver, Northwood) don't count toward the playoffs because they are not NEPSIHA schools. That leaves 22 games which count. Exeter is 17-5-2 in those games, placing them, in that category, #4 in the East. Remove the five Div. II games from their record, and they are 13-5-1, which places them #4 in the second category. To come up with a number for the third criterion, we start by figuring out how many of Exeter's games have been against opponents with a Div. I won-lost record above .500. The answer is 10, which we divide by 22 (the overall number of games from the first criterion). That comes out to .454. For the final step, we multiply .454 by Exeter's won-lost percentage in those 10 games, which is .500. That computes to .227, which places them at #5 in the third criterion. So that's it: 4+4+5 = 13. That puts them in fourth place. If the season ended today, they'd make the playoffs.
Thurs. Feb. 17 Playoff Update
If the season ended today, Andover, St. Paul’s and Tabor would be on the outside, looking in at the playoffs in the East.In the West, Deerfield and Choate would be playing “what if” and planning for next year.Fortunately, the season is not over and no one is mathematically eliminated.
The East is more settled than it has been all season, but nothing is definite yet.We thought Tabor would be done with one more loss, but it turns out that there is one scenario that could get the Seawolves in.Don’t bet on it, but so long as there is life, they stay in the mix.The same is true for St. Paul’s…the hearts still beats despite a tie on Wednesday.Will they still be alive, come Saturday night?We’ll see.What is more pressing in the East is which team will enter the last week of play in the 5th spot and needing good play and good luck to get in.Right now, Thayer, Cushing and Nobles are the most secure of the teams still alive in the East.It would take a strange turn of events for any of them to slide out of the playoffs.So, that leaves us with Exeter and Andover probably playing for the fourth and final Eastern berth.And these two long-standing rivals battle on the last day of the season.Will that game be the one to decide things, once and for all?Stay tuned, we’ll let you know all the possibilities after this weekend’s action is completed.Here are the numbers in the East, with each team’s rank in the three categories NEPSIHA considers in parentheses (and if you need to remind yourself what those categories are….NEPSIHA win %; D1 win % and strength of schedule/winning % against teams at or above the .500 mark):
1. Thayer: 5 (1 + 2 + 2)
2. Cushing: 6 (2 + 1 + 3)
3. Nobles: 7 (3 + 3 + 1)
4. Exeter: 12 (4 + 4 + 4)
5. Andover: 16 (5 + 6 + 5)
6. St. Paul’s: 18 (6 + 5 + 7)
7. Tabor: 26 (7 + 8 + 11)
Out West, we didn’t expect much movement this week, and with the week half-done, we are right…so far.Salisbury continues to occupy the top spot, but only because of the tie-breaker.Avon remains second, and we suspect that this Saturday’s matchup will decide the first seed, once and for all.Taft looks secure in the third spot, barring a total collapse…and we don’t expect to see that either.
Canterbury’s hold on the fourth place slot remains tenuous, and with games next week against Avon and Salisbury, hope remains for Deerfield and Choate.After this weekend, we’ll work out all of the possibilities, but Deerfield and Choate would help their causes immeasurably if they can upset Exeter and Taft, respectively.
The tally in the West is as follows:
1. Salisbury: 5 (1 + 1 + 3)
2. Avon: 5 (2 + 2 + 1)
3. Taft: 8 (3 + 3 + 2)
4. Canterbury: 13 (4 + 4 + 5)
5. Deerfield: 16 (5 + 5 + 6)
6. Choate: 17 (7 + 6 + 4)
On Monday, we’ll update the race to the .500 mark and see whether any team’s battle to the .500 mark will make a difference in the playoff race.We’ll also set up the week’s action and run through some of the possibilities as the playoff race rockets to a conclusion.
U.S. Under-18 Team Wins Five Nations Tournament
The U.S. Under-18 team, behind a three-point effort (2g,1a) from RW Jack Skille, topped Russia yesterday, 5-1, to finish the Five Nations Tournament in Tjorn, Sweden with a perfect 4-0-0 record.
In earlier games, the US beat Sweden, 5-2; the Czech Republic, 6-4; and Finland, 6-3.
The tournament is a warm-up for April’s IIHF World Under-18 Championship, though the teams countries send in April are generally strengthened versions of the squads appearing at the Five Nations.
In Piestany, Slovakia, the U.S. Under-17 Team finished play at the Vlado Dzurilla Four Nations Tournament with a 1-1-1 record. The U.S. toped Germany, 5-2; lost to Slovakia, 7-1; and tied Switzerland, 6-6.
-- 6’0”, 187 lb. Andrei Uryadov, a left-shot RW at the South Kent School, has committed to RPI for this coming fall.
Uryadov, a PG from St. Petersburg, Russia, is South Kent’s second-leading scorer, with a 17-16-33 line in 27 games.
A PG, Uryadov is a 3/1/86 birthdate. Other schools interested were Clarkson, Denver (if spent a year in juniors), and, earlier in the process, Yale.
The connection that brought Uryadov to South Kent was another St. Petersburg native,former Middlebury star Nickolai Bobrov, who is now the Boston Bruins chief European scout.
-- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL)6’0”, 215 lb. RD Tim Geverd has committed to the University of Vermont for this fall.
Geverd, 1/26/87 birthdate originally from the Philadelphia area, is a tough, hard-hitting, physical defenseman.
He’s also had to overcome a lot to get to where he is today, as he missed the ’03-04 season after having open-heart surgery.
“Not a lot of people gave me half a chance, but I always knew I could do it. To have my dream realized is really special.”
Before coming to the Monarchs, Geverd played at Milton Academy. His older brother, John, played at Lawrence Academy.
Brunswick Again Tops Field in USHR Div. II Poll
The Brunswick School, undefeated since Dec. 18, once again holds down the #1 spot in the USHR Div. II weekly poll.
USHR Div. II Poll: Week of Feb. 14
Salisbury Still #1 in USHR Div. I Prep Poll
Salisbury, after a big win Wednesday at Taft, is still holding down the top spot in this week’s USHR Div. I Prep Poll.
Game of the week: #1 Salisbury at #2 Avon on Saturday, but both teams have business to take care of before then.
Thursday Feb. 10 Playoff Update
We promised weekly updates on the playoff races, but yesterday’s action was so compelling that, beginning today, we’re going to go to twice-a-week playoff updates. There were quite a few games of note yesterday. Salisbury’s win over Taft did not change the rankings in the West. However, it did move Taft farther away from the top two and allowed Canterbury to creep a bit closer to the third spot. Deerfield and Choate remain tied for the fifth spot in the West -- DA was upset by Loomis and Choate defeated Pomfret.
Deerfield’s loss to Loomis may cost it dearly down the road. The Big Green missed a chance to improve its ranking in the two “win percentage” categories and with three in a row versus AOF, Taft, and Exeter, those percentage points may be critical—and not recoverable. Choate could only hold its own yesterday, and it did. There was no way it could improve its rankings in any of the three categories NEPSIHA considers with a win; it could only be hurt with a loss. With a playoff race this tight, not losing ground is crucial, and as important as capitalizing on opportunities to gain. The biggest beneficiary of yesterday’s results may well be Canterbury. They “held serve” with a win over Trinity-Pawling, and the loss by Taft—which moved Taft down a couple of notches—moved Canterbury to a position right on Taft’s heels.
Remember, the three criteria are: NEPSIHA win percentage; D1 win percentage; and strength of schedule and win percentage against better teams. The numbers in the West, as of today, look like this:
1. Salisbury: 6 (1 + 1 + 4)
2. AOF: 7 (2 + 2 + 3)
3. Taft: 9 (4 + 4 + 1)
4. Canterbury: 11 (3 + 3 + 5)
5. Deerfield: 16 (5 + 5 + 6)
6. Choate: 16 (7 + 7 +2)
There were two big pieces of news in the East. The first was Tabor’s win at Cushing. Aside from allowing the Seawolves to remain very much alive in the playoff hunt, Cushing’s loss dropped the Penguins from the first slot to the fourth seed, as of today. Yes, one loss can make that much of a difference! With Cushing’s fall, Thayer, Andover and Nobles each moved up one spot. Exeter remains on the outside, looking in.
The other big event that contributed to the rankings change was St. Sebastian’s loss to Belmont Hill. Why did it matter? With the loss, St. Seb’s fell below the .500 mark. For now, games against St. Sebastian’s no longer figure into the third criterion. That change made a difference. If St. Seb’s can climb above the break-even level by the end of the season, who knows what it will mean.
Here are the numbers, as of today:
1. Thayer: 7 (1 + 1 + 5)
2. Andover: 8 (2 + 3 + 3)
3. Nobles: 8 (3 + 4 + 1)
4. Cushing: 10 (4 + 2 + 4)
5. Exeter: 13 (5 + 6 + 2)
6. St. Paul’s: 21 (6 + 5 + 10)
7. Tabor: 21 (7 + 6 + 8)
8. NMH: 28 (9 + 8 + 11)
Can any of the top four teams in the east be comfortable in their position? No. Should the next four teams be despondent? No. The nice thing about the way the East schedule breaks out over the remaining 2 ½ weeks is that the top 8 teams play games against one another. Tabor and St. Paul’s could still grab one of the top two seeds and Cushing and Thayer could miss out altogether.
There is an X-factor in all of this. Pay attention to scores for St. Sebastian’s, Bridgton, Berkshire, Westminster, and Gunnery. Those five teams are within range of the .500 mark. If any of them make it, the contenders’ scores in the third criterion will change and the rankings could shift dramatically. There is one factor to keep in the back of your mind. While the East race will be affected if St. Sebastian’s and Bridgton get to break-even, the race will also be shaped by whether Berkshire, Gunnery and Westminster make it to the .500 mark. Cushing, Nobles, NMH and St. Paul’s would each get credit for one more quality win (and a higher proportion of games against better opponents). Tabor would have two more quality wins, boosting its score and ranking in the third criterion. So, while you study the game scores, keep an eye on these teams. We’ll keep you apprised of their race to get to break-even and let you know how that factors into the playoff rankings.
New Blood Leads U.S. Under-17s in Slovakia
Both NTDP teams opened up tournament week with wins overseas today.
The Under-17 Team -- bolstered by the addition of LD Nigel Williams (Team Illinois Midgets), RC Sean Dolan (Indiana Ice), RW Brian Day (Gov. Dummer), and RC James Marcou (N.Y. Bobcats) – beat Germany, 5-2, at the Under-18 Vlado Dzurilla Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia.
The newcomers came up big, scoring all five goals: Williams had a 2-1-3 line and a +4; Dolan had a pair of goals and a +3; and Day added a goal of his own.
Scratched from tournament play is LD Chris Summers, who is out with an injury. Also missing from the Under-17 roster is Brian Strait, who has moved up to play this week with the Under-18 Team, which got big games from Phil Kessel (2g,1a) and Jason Lawrence (1g,2a) in a 5-2 win over Sweden at the Under-18 Five Nations Tournament on the island of Tjorn, Sweden.
RD Taylor Chorney (Shattuck-St. Mary’s), and RW Nick Foligno (Sudbury Wolves) and RW Chad Rau (Des Moines) have also been added to the Under-18 roster. David Inman and Andreas Vlassopoulos are both scratches.
The Under-17’s will face host Slovakia tomorrow, and play their third and final game on Saturday against Switzerland.
The Under-18’s will face Czechoslovakia tomorrow, Finland on Saturday, and Russia on Sunday.
Salisbury Remains #1 in USHR Div. I Prep Poll
Salisbury, which faces a Wednesday rematch with Taft, the only school to beat them this season, is once again the #1 team in this week’s USHR Div. I prep poll.
We apologize for the tardiness of this poll – the Superbowl and the Beanpot ate up a lot of hours over the past couple of days, though things are now back to normal.
The Div. II poll will be posted tonight.
6’3”, 200 lb. Salisbury School RD Phil Paquet has committed to Clarkson. Paquet, a first-year senior from St. Augustin, Quebec, chose Clarkson over a bunch of Ivies, Union, UVM, RPI, and Maine. A number of schools wanted Paquet to take a year in juniors and come on board in ’06, but Clarkson is taking him for fall ’05.
Paquet, who skates well for his size, is learning to use that size to his advantage, by becoming more consistently physical. A defensive defenseman, he’s on the raw side, and still growing into his body, but he has a lot of upside.He has one goal and two assists in 18 games this season.
Paquet, a 3/1/87 birthdate, is eligible for June’s NHL draft (if they have one). In Central Scouting’s mid-term ranking of North American skaters, he was ranked #64, making him the second highest-ranked draft-eligible player in New England prep schools, just eight spots behind Cushing defenseman Keith Yandle.
-- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) 5’7”, 175 lb. right-shot forward Jason Williams has committed to Colgate for the fall of ’06. Williams, whose grandfather and uncle attended Colgate, is a Plattsburgh, NY native who graduated from the National Sports Academy before joining the Jr. Monarchs He’ll play another season for Sean Tremblay’s club next season.
Williams, who plays a high-energy up-tempo game, is the Monarchs’ second leading scorer with a 22-19-41 line in 43 games. He’s a 2/22/86 birthdate.
-- Western Michigan has a verbal commitment from Dave Krisky, a 5’10”, 185 lb. left wing from the Williams Lake TimberWolves (BCHL). Krisky, who visited Western over the weekend, is a 21-year-old who skates well and has a heavy shot. In 43 games, he has a 31-28-59 line with 22 pims. A 1/13/84 birthdate, Krisky is a Westbank, BC native in his second year in the BCHL.
Brunswick Holds Onto Top Spot in USHR Div. II Prep Poll
The Brunswick School, winners of eight straight, are once again #1 in this week’s USHR Div. II Prep Poll.
USHR Div. II Prep Poll
Div. I Prep Playoff Picture
Another exciting week in NEPSIHA, and we are a little closer to knowing which teams are in and which teams are struggling for life.It was a quiet week in the West.Salisbury, Avon and Taft remain securely in the top three spots while the battle for the final spot between Canterbury, Choate and Deerfield is oh so close, with Canterbury having a slight edge.In the East, there is the illusion that three teams are secure, with the battle for fourth place now being a two team race.But a closer look at the situation, especially with the upcoming schedules, makes it premature to jump to this conclusion.If this were an election, it would still be too close to call.By next week, we may know a lot more -- or it might be a total jumble.
Who had good weeks? Everyone in contention in the West did.The numbers show little change from last week.There is still a battle for position among the Big Three, with Salisbury having a slight edge.But Avon and Taft are right behind and each of the leaders has a stretch remaining this season that will tell the tale.The same is true in the battle for the fourth seed.Canterbury currently has a slight edge, but with its final two games against Avon and Salisbury, there can be no slip-ups in the next two weeks leading up to those games.Choate has, perhaps, a slightly easier schedule over the remaining weeks, facing only two teams with records above .500.Of course, those teams are Avon and Taft, so their schedule is by no means an easy one.
Between February 9 and February 19, we have these huge games to look forward to: Taft/Salisbury (2/9); Avon/Deerfield (2/12); Andover/Choate (2/12); Canterbury/Cushing (2/12); Avon/Choate (2/16); Deerfield/Taft (2/16); Avon/Salisbury (2/19); Choate/Taft (2/19); Deerfield/Exeter (2/19); Deerfield/Choate (2/20); Avon/Canterbury (2/23); and Canterbury/Salisbury (2/26).If there are no major slip-ups, these games will determine who is in and who falls short.
Here are the numbers, with the cumulative rank in the three categories considered by NEPSIHA (i.e. NEPSIHA win percentage; Div. I NEPSIHA win percentage; and winning percentage vs. NEPSIHA Div. I teams with a .500 record or better record multiplied by percentage of games played against NEPSIHA Div. I teams with a .500 record or better.)
1. Salisbury: 6 (1+1+4)
2. AOF: 7 (2+2+3)
3. Taft: 7 (3+3+1)
4. Canterbury: 13 (4+4+5)
5. Choate: 16 (5+5+6)
6. Deerfield: 16 (7+7+2)
In the East, Cushing had a good week and Tabor had a bad one.In the tight battle for East playoff spots, two wins pushed Cushing into the top spot with three weeks to go. Tabor had only one D1 game on its schedule, and its loss to NMH dropped it to seventh place in the playoff hunt, just behind St. Paul’s.The four top dogs this week in the east (Cushing, Thayer, Nobles and Andover) can ill afford to rest easy, however.Exeter is just behind, battling for the 4th spot and just barely out of the top spot.And where did St. Paul’s come from?After lurking just outside the top six all season, St. Paul’s held its own this week and watched as Tabor slipped below them.
So what do we have to look forward to over the next week or two in the East?Well, we’ll know a lot more about Tabor’s chances after this week’s battles with Cushing and St. Sebastian’s.And if the Seawolves survive that, all they have coming up after that is Thayer and Andover.Exeter has a critical rematch with NMH on its horizon (2/12), while Nobles faces GDA (2/9) and Milton (2/12).Among the top three, Andover has the easiest task (on paper), as it faces KUA on 2/9 and has the rest of the week off.Its tough stretch is still to come as it closes its season versus Cushing, Tabor, NMH and Exeter. Cushing, by contrast, has tough tests this week (Tabor and Canterbury), but things get a lot easier for the Penguins after that, with only Andover left as a serious challenger.Thayer has two tough games this week, facing Belmont Hill and St. Paul’s back to back.Its remaining schedule is as difficult as Tabor’s, but Thayer is in a much better position going into those tilts.
And keep one eye on NMH, which faces Williston and Exeter this week.Two wins will help, but if the teams just ahead of it falter, NMH could vault into the battle for the fourth spot.A longshot?Sure.But in the topsy-turvy East, it is not impossible.
By the numbers, things look like this:
1. Cushing: 7 (2+1+4)
2. Thayer: 8 (1+2+5)
3. Andover: 9 (3+3+4)
4. Nobles: 9 (4+4+1)
5. Exeter: 12 (5+5+2)
6. St. Paul’s: 23 (6+6+11)
7. Tabor: 24 (8+7+9)
8. NMH: 25 (9+8+8)
The American Hockey Coaches Association is running an auction, which is ending at 2 pm -- less than two hours.
Up for auction are 29 game-worn – and signed -- NHL jerseys. Hockey Coaches Care, the ACHA’s charitable arm, is conduction the auction. The organization is a good one, and so is the cause. On top of that, you might find a good deal, so please check out the following link.
News and Notes
6’0”, 190 lb. LW Ryan Garbutt of the Winnipeg South Blues (MJHL) has committed to Brown for the fall. Garbutt, who made his final choice between Brown and Alaska-Anchorage, will bring the Bears both scoring ability and grit. In 53 games this season, Garbutt has a Dan Fridgen-like line of 34-31-65 line with 242 pims…6’2”, 177 lb. Indiana Ice forward Sean Dolan has been added to the U.S. Under-17 Team for the Four Nations Cup this coming week. Dolan, a St. Louis native, has played 12 games for the Ice and has a 1-1-2 line with two pims. A late bloomer who grew a lot over the summer, Dolan works hard and competes every shift. He’s a 2/11/88 birthdate…. 5’10”, 170 lb. Brock Trotter of the Lincoln Stars (USHL) is visiting Denver this weekend. UNH and Minn-Duluth are also reported to be very much in the mix – possibly Maine and North Dakota, too. A nifty player, Trotter, an ’87 from Brandon, Manitoba, has a 13-24-37 line in 39 games… RW Jared Boll, Trotter’s teammate in Lincoln, is looking at Wisconsin, Miami, North Dakota, Duluth, and Ferris State. Boll, 6’2” and 190 lbs., has played 38 games this season and has a 19-16-35 line with a whopping 199 pims…5’10”, 175 lb. Matt Glasser, a LW with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) reportedly has narrowed his college choices to Denver or Boston University. Glasser is an ’87 from Calgary and in his second year in the AJHL… The AHL is moving into USHL territory, which has to be a source of concern for commissioner Gino Gasparini and the USHL team owners. This week, Calgary Flames president and CEO Ken King, along with head coach Darryl Sutter and the organization’s top financial people were once again in Omaha, meeting with local investors and hammering out an agreement that would place the dormant St. John’s Flames franchise, to be redubbed the Omaha Knights, into Omaha’s old 9,000 seat Civic Auditorium. The University of Nebraska-Omaha plays in the larger, and newer, Qwest Center, while the Omaha Lancers (USHL) play across the river in Iowa. Three teams is a lot of hockey for a city of 400,000 to support. The Lancers are a major success on the ice, but they too, have suffered attendance-wise since moving out of downtown. Farther north, the Des Moines AHL team, a Dallas Stars affiliate, will begin play in that city’s new 15,585 seat Wells Fargo Arena this fall, which can’t make the Des Moines Buccaneers, who play in suburban Urbandale, feel too good. The Bucs, in the midst of a wretched season, don’t draw anything near what they did a few years back. To top it all off, the St. Louis Blues AHL team, the Worcester Ice Cats, will be playing in Peoria, Ill. in the fall. Peoria has never been a USHL city, but it definitely fits the profile, and a USHL team that might in the past have thought about pulling up stakes and heading there might not do it now. The league is pretty well tapped out in the Midwest and will be looking east and west for either expansion or franchise relocation.
Michigan Lands Another Top Youngster
Michigan has landed another top recruit, getting a verbal commitment from right-shot forward Tyler Swystun of the Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL). Swystun, an ’88 who was the leading scorer of the Pacific Team in the World Under-17 Challenge last month, will be arriving at Michigan at a time to be determined -- either this fall of in the fall of ’06.
A 5’11”, 170 lb. native of Cochrane, Alberta, Swystun has big-time speed. For the first-place Kodiaks, Swystun has an 11-16-27 line in 39 games.
Swystun made his final choice from between UNH and Michigan.
Also committing to college this week was Swystun’s teammate, T.J. Fast, a dynamic offensive defenseman and an excellent skater to boot. Fast will be playing for Denver, having made his final choice between the Pioneers, Minn-Duluth, and North Dakota. A left-shot D, Fast, a Calgary native, is a cousin of former Denver forward Paul Comrie. Fast also has two sisters who played hockey at St. Cloud State. A 9/2/87 birthdate, Fast stands 6-1/190, and has a 7-25-32 line in 44 games for Camrose.Fast will join Julian Marcuzzi and Chris Butler as freshman D for the Pioneers in the fall, joining Brett Skinner, Matt Carle, and Andy Thomas.
Other Camrose Kodiaks who will be moving on to NCAA play in the fall are forwards Mason Raymond and MacGregor Sharp (both Minn.-Duluth recruits who committed last season), and Lee Jubinville (Princeton).
Rau Heading Overseas
CC recruit Chad Rau, one of the few bright spots on a dismal Des Moines Buccaneers squad, will be heading to Sweden on Saturday to play with the U.S. Under-18 Team at next week’s Five Nations Tournament. Minnesota-Duluth recruit Andrew Carroll will take Rau’s spot in the USHL Prospects/All-Star game, to be played Tuesday in Grand Forks.
Rau, with a line of 19-25-44 line, is three points behind USHL scoring leader Dan Riedel of Lincoln. Rau, playing with a team that has a 6-26-5 record, has figured in 44 of his team’s 96 goals.
In injury-related roster changes for the USHL All-Star game, Merrimack recruit Rob Ricci of Cedar Rapids will replace teammate Phil Axtell; and Des Moines’ Ryan Raven will replace Indiana’s Todd McIlrath.
Former BC High goaltender Joe Grossman, now playing for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL, has committed to Boston College for this coming fall. With Matti Kaltiainen and Robbie Miller graduating, Grossman and Adam Reasoner will battle for playing time behind Cory Schneider next season.
Grossman, a 5’11”, 165 lb. ‘85 birthdate from Foxboro. Mass., has played 17 games for Waterloo, posting a 2.53 gaa and a .903 save percentage.
He joins Matt and Justin Greene, Brian O’Hanley and, of course, coach Jerry York as Double Eagles at the Heights.
Quinnipiac has picked up a goaltender for the fall in 5’11” Greg “Bud” Fisher, an ’87 playing for the Lindsay Muskies of the OPJHL…. 6’0”, 200 lb. Avon Old Farms senior defenseman Joe DeBello, an ’86 from Oswego, Ill., will be heading to Colgate in the fall. DeBello has a 2-6-8 line in 18 games for the Winged Beavers…. Pomfret School head coach Dan Driscoll is recuperating from an emergency appendectomy performed last week.
Brunswick New #1 in USHR Div. II Prep Poll
The Brunswick School has moved into the top spot in this week’s USHR Div. II Poll, dropping Worcester Academy to the #2 spot.
Brunswick edged Worcester, 2-1 in OT, on Saturday.
Brunswick, Worcester, and Brooks all received at least one first place vote in the poll. Every voter had those three, plus St. George’s, in their top four. So there’s a strong consensus on the top four Div. II teams going into February.