Kessel to Announce it’s the Gophers
USA Hockey will be holding a press conference this afternoon to announce thatU.S. Under-18 star forward Phil Kessel has committed to the University of Minnesota.
First off, let us say that we think that USA Hockey’s holding a press conference to announce a 17-year-old player’s college decision is a mistake. What happens next? Will every player who goes to the NTDP get his own press conference to announce what college he’ll attend? Will the trickle-down effect lead to USHL teams holding press conferences to announce verbal commitments? Is this good for the sport? Is it good for kids? Is it a good precedent for USA Hockey to be setting? Has anyone in Colorado Springs thought this one out?
Well, you know the answer to that last question.
An unconfirmed report we received claims that Kathy Kessel, the player’s mother, hired a press agent to represent her son. If true, the press agent may have pressured USA Hockey to hold the press conference, and USA Hockey is not exactly an organization that stands on principle.
Back to Kessel. As of 6 pm last night he’d informed both Mike Eaves and Red Berenson (who’d made a late push) that he would not be playing for them.
Kessel made his official visit to the U on the weekend of Feb. 19. That night the Gophers played the Under-18 team, beating them, 7-5. In the stands, fans held signs – and they didn’t look handmade, either – imploring Phil to become a Gopher. Kessel figured in four of the five U.S. goals that night (2g,2a). Late in the game he was playing on a line with Gopher recruits Ryan Stoa and Peter Mueller. They were, said an NHL scout at the game, “the best line in college hockey – and they’re not even in college yet.”
There were two drawbacks to Kessel, a Madison, Wisconsin native, going with the hometown Badgers.
-- The Badgers, under Eaves, employ a more defensive system than than the up-tempo Gophers. Kessel, who has speed, likes the wide-open style.
-- The Badgers have recruited Kessel’s Under-18 team teammate, Jack Skille. Kessel and Skille don’t hang out together. It's also reported that the parents in the two families don’t speak to each other, at least not kindly. With all this bad blood between the two sets of parents as well as the kids, Eaves would have had to do an awful lot of fence-mending before Skille and Kessel shared the same stage.
A major plus for Minnesota, in addition to their style of play, is the fact that Kessel’s girlfriend will also be enrolling there. Plus, Kessel is pals with fellow Gopher recruits Jeff Frazee, Stoa, and Mueller.
The reason for the delay in Kessel announcing his college choice revolved around the OHL option. If an NHL collective bargaining agreement was in place, it’s possible he would have taken that route (his rights are owned by Saginaw) and spent his draft year there -- he’s a late ’87. However, with all the uncertainty surrounding the NHL’s future, it’s unlikely that Kessel’s family advisor, Don Meehan, would have suggested the OHL for next year.
Kessel’s father, Phil Kessel Sr., was a football player at Northern Michigan who went on to play quarterback on the Washington Redskins taxi squad for a couple of years. Afterward, he headed north to play in the Canadian pro league.
Kessel, who has a 30-28-51 line in 31 games this season, is being projected as the likely #1 overall pick for the 2006 NHL draft (if they have one).
After the press conference, Kessel and this teammates will fly to Boston, where they play the Boston Jr. Bruins Saturday afternoon (at Belmont Hill, 1:30), and the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs Sunday night (7:30 pm, at Harvard.)
Bachman Slams Door on Shattuck
Bensenville, Ill. -- In first day action at Nationals on Wednesday, Shattuck-St. Mary’s outshot the GBL Boston Jr. Bruins, 46-14, but the Junior Bruins, behind a 45-save effort from Cushing Academy goaltender Richard Bachman and a pair of goals by Tabor’s Steve Silva, won 2-1.
Silva’s second goal of the game came at 3:15 of OT, and Bachman made half a dozen remarkable saves late in the game. The GBL Junior Bruins had only two formal practices before heading out to Chicago.
In other games, the Buffalo Saints topped the NH Jr. Monarchs, 5-4. Nick Simpson had a pair of goals for Buffalo. Joey Gaudet, the son of Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet, had a hand in all four Monarchs goals (2g,2a).
In a game with 121 penalty minutes, the Philly Jr. Flyers topped the Florida Jr. Everblades, 7-4. Greg Manz (3a), Dominic Morrone (2g), and Trey Milstead (1g,1a) led the scoring parade for the Jr. Flyers. Kevin Mixon had two goals for the Everblades.
The LA Selects, behind a pair of goals from James Becker, topped the Colorado Outlaws, 3-1. In goal, Nick Krauss kicked out 19 of 20 for LA. Andrew Ross stopped 27 of 30 for the Outlaws.
The Pittsburgh Hornets topped Detroit Victory Honda, 5-3. Leading the way for Pittsburgh were Ron Cramer (1g,1a), and Nick DeCroo (1g,1a). For Victory Honda, Michael Guzzo (1g,1a) and defenseman Kyle Page (2a) were the multiple-point producers.
The Chicago Chill, behind 32 saves from Thomas Speer, topped Team Illinois, 3-1.
In the 16-and-Unders, Shattuck-St. Mary’s topped the Eastern Mass. Senators, 7-4. Brett Bruneteau was 2-3-5 for the game while Brian Volpei finished with a 3-1-4 line. All three of Volpei’s goals came in the first period.
In another noteworthy U-16 game, Honeybaked topped the Indianapolis Checkers, 2-1. For Honeybaked, Kevin Piespney scored both goals, and Brad Phillips kicked out 26 of 27. At the other end, Checkers’ goalie Matt Jacob kicked out 37 of 39.
U.S. Under-17 team forward Chris Atkinson has made a verbal commitment to the University of Vermont for the fall of ’06, at which time he will rejoin his brother, Mike Atkinson, who will be a freshman with the Catamounts this fall.
The younger Atkinson, who turned 17 today, is a 5’7½”, 163 lb. forward from Sparta, NJ. Other schools he was considering included UNH, BU, and Bowling Green. In 45 games with the Under-17 team this year, Atkinson, who distributes the puck smartly and sees the ice well, has a 8-21-29 line and 19 pims.
He and his brother were teammates in ’03-04 at the Salisbury School.
Pulling His Name
Former Northeastern star forward and 10-year Div. I assistant coach Jay Heinbuck, now a scout for the New York Islanders, reports that he is no longer among the contenders for the vacant Northeastern coaching position.
Hirsch Expected Back for Frozen Four
University of Minnesota forward Tyler Hirsch, who has been practicing with the team and is expected to return to action at the Frozen Four, met with the Minneapolis media yesterday but did not offer an explanation for his actions following the Gophers’ 3-0 loss to Colorado College on March 18.
“I’d rather leave it as a ‘no comment’ and leave people to interpret it as they will,” Hirsch told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“I was gone for what the doctors thought were personal reasons,” he added.
Hirsch also said, “It’s been a rough couple weeks. Thank God the team is behind me and supported me.”
Last night, Sioux City Musketeers 6’2”, 150 lb. goaltender Jeff Zatkoff committed to Miami-Ohio for the fall of ’05. Zatkoff had recently visited both Miami and Ohio State, with the latter school interested in him for ’06. The Buckeyes also had interest in U.S. Under-17 goaltender Joe Palmer, more really, because when Palmer took the slot at Ohio State for fall ’06, Zatkoff, who, unlike Palmer, will finish school this spring, took Miami for this fall.
Zatkoff, a 6/9/87 birthdate from Chesterfield, Michigan, has played 23 games for Sioux City this season and has a 2.58 gaa and a .914 save percentage. He’s a rookie in the league, having played for Detroit Victory Honda Midget AAA in ’03-04.
Palmer, who is 6’1”, 205 lbs. and a 2/19/88 birthdate, is from Yorkville, NY. In 17 regular season games with the Under-17 Team he has a 3.14 gaa and a .898 save percentage. He was very good at the World Under-17 Challenge over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday, posting a 1.67 gaa and a .923 save percentage in three games.
News from Around
Another serious candidate for the Northeastern job is former BU forward Kenny Rausch, who was called in by Northeastern AD Dave O’Brien on Friday. Since graduating from BU in ’95, Rausch has been an assistant at BU, Niagara, and, for the last four years, UMass-Lowell…. Cedar Rapids defenseman Alec Martinez, who was originally ticketed to Miami-Ohio for the fall of ’06, is needed there sooner, and will be arriving this fall….Former Maine star Chris Imes has been hired as an assistant coach by the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL). The Stampede will finish last in their division for the third consecutive season… Look for UCC forward Colin Greening, a Cornell recruit expected to arrive in Ithaca this fall, to play next season in the BCHL, then go to Cornell in the fall of ’06… Don’t be surprised to see UMass recruit Vladimir Nikiforov of the NY Bobcats give up his college eligibility to play major junior in Quebec. Over the weekend, Nikiforov, the leading scorer in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League (AJHL), visited the Moncton Wildcats. An ‘87 from New York, and an American citizen, Nikiforov has never been selected in a major junior draft, so he could be a free agent as far as QMJHL play is concerned. Nikiforov had originally intended to play with the Indiana Ice (USHL) next season, then move on to UMass in the fall of ’06. Here’s hoping he chooses the college route… Former UMass assistant Bill Gilligan is returning to Switzerland, where he will coach Rapperswill in the Swiss Elite League. The United States needs coaches with Gilligan’s breadth of experience and knowledge. We shouldn’t be losing guys like him to Europe. Rapperswill, however, is right outside of Zurich, a pretty attractive city. David Tanabe of Carolina is a notable NHLer currently on the Rapperswill roster.… 6’4”, 210 lb. forward Nick Snow, who played at St. Paul’s before going to the New England Jr. Falcons this past season, will be moving on to Harvard in the fall. In 50 games with the Falcons, Snow had a 17-12-29 line… The Atlantic Junior Hockey League (AJHL) has accepted two expansion franchises for next season. The New England Ice Hogs will be playing out of the new Foxboro (Mass.) Sports Center. The Hudson Valley Eagles, currently in the MET league, will be playing out of the Knickerbocker Arena in Troy, NY.… The USHL regular season ends this coming weekend. With two games to go the only battle for a playoff spot is between Indiana and Green Bay. Indiana goes into the weekend with a two-pointlead. They’ll be on the road, at Des Moines and Waterloo, while Green Bay hosts Cedar Rapids for a pair. Cedar Rapids and Omaha have both clinched first place in their division. Both are tied for first overall with 85 points apiece.
Northeastern Coaching Possibilities
Former Northeastern defenseman and assistant coach Jim Madigan has been offered the Northeastern job. However, when we saw him over the weekend, and put him on the spot, he said he would not be taking the position vacated by Bruce Crowder. Madigan, who, in addition to scouting for the New York Islanders, has a key position as Northeastern’s director of athletic development, says, “I’m very happy helping out the school in that area.”
Jay Heinbuck, a high-scoring teammate of Madigan’s on the strong Northeastern teams of the early ‘80s, later went on to spend 10 years as an assistant, mostly at St. Lawrence, and has spent the past few seasons as a full-time scout for the Islanders. Heinbuck is reported to be a strong candidate for the position, and he’s interested in it, too.
Also being mentioned a lot is Greg Cronin, former Maine assistant (and interim head coach) who went on to the NTDP. Cronin, an Arlington native who went on to play at BB&N and Colby, has been in the Islanders organization for the past sixyears, most recently as the head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). Cronin, an intense coach, would have to learn the current player pool.
BC assistant Mike Cavanaugh, a former Bowdoin player who was been an assistant on Jerry York’s staff for at least ten years, is being prominently mentioned.
U.S. Under-18 head coach Ron Rolston, now engaged to a Boston girl, has also been getting mentions; as is Under-17 head coach John Hynes, a former Terrier who has been an assistant under Jack Parker, Jeff Jackson, Blaise MacDonald, and Mike Eaves. It’s believed, however, that Hynes would like to get into the pro game, though the times aren’t great for that.
The names of former Bruins head coaches Steve Kasper and Robbie Ftorek keep popping up. Kasper was formerly connected to programs at the Salem, NH IceCenter, while Ftorek is coaching the Albany River Rats (AHL). Neither have college degrees, which, in the post Ferny Flaman-Cooney Weiland era, probably will be enough to eliminate them as candidates.
Stan Moore, currently the associate head coach at Colgate and a finalist for the Canisius job, has applied for the Northeastern job and should get serious consideration. Moore has head coaching experience, both at Union and Colgate where, last year, he served as an interim head coach when Don Vaughan spent the season as AD before he realized he liked coaching hockey more.
The name of Brown head coach Roger Grillo, a former Maine defenseman originally from Apple Valley, Minn., has popped up frequently.
Clarkson assistant Greg Drechsel, a former Colgate forward who has also been a Div. I assistant at Miami and Denver as well as serving as an LA Kings full time scout, is a candidate.
Former UMass-Lowell forward Mark Carlson, who went on to serve as an assistant with the Huskies before heading west to earn his spurs as head coach/GM of the first place Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL), is said to be getting consideration.
UNH assistant Scott Borek, a former Dartmouth forward who has served as an assistant at Dartmouth, Providence, Brown, and UNH; as well as head coach at Colby, New England College,and Lake Superior State, is a logical candidate. Borek, however, likes the Durham area and doesn’t want to uproot his family
These are some of the names currently under discussion. If you hear of any other serious candidates, please let us know at information@ ushr.com
Beantown & HNIB: Schedules and Roster
The Beantown Classic and Hockey Night in Boston are going head-to-head this spring. Here are the rosters and schedules:
Wed. March 23
8:00 PM Pre Draft Team A vs. Pre Draft Team B @ Holy Cross
3:30 PM Pre Draft Team A vs. Pre Draft Team C @ Foxboro Sports Center
4:30 pm Draft Division Team A vs. Draft Division Team B @ Foxboro Sports Center
5:30 pm Draft Division Team C vs. Draft Division Team D @ Foxboro Sports Center
7:30 PM Pre Draft Team A vs. Pre Draft Team D @ Foxboro Sports Center
Fri. March 25
1:20 PM Pre Draft Team D vs. Pre Draft Team B @ NESC
1:10 pm – Draft Division Team A vs. Draft Division Team C @ NESC
5:30 pm -- Draft Division Team B vs. Draft Division Team D @ NESC
6:30 PM Pre Draft Team D vs. Pre Draft Team C @ NESC
Sat. March 26
12:50 PM Pre Draft Team B vs. Pre Draft Team C @ NESC
1:20 pm – – Draft Division Team C vs. Draft Division Team B @ NESC
2:50 pm -- – Draft Division Team A vs. Draft Division Team D @ NESC
Hockey Night in Boston:
All Games at Chelmsford Forum:
Thurs. March 24:
4:00 pm – AJHL/Northeast vs. NY/Mid-Atlantic
6:15 pm – EJHL vs. New England
8:30 pm – Mass. Publics/Catholics vs. Mass. Privates/ISL
Fri. March 25:
4:00 pm – Mass Publics/Catholics vs. New England
6:15 pm – Mass. Privates/ISL vs. NY/Mid-Atlantic
8:30 pm – AJHL/Northeast vs. EJHL
Sat. March 26:
4:00 pm – NY/Mid-Atlantic vs. New England
6:15 pm – AJHL/Northeast vs. Mass. Publics/Catholics
8:30 pm – EJHL vs. Mass. Privates/ISL
Sun. March 27:
11:00 am – Playoffs: #6 vs. #5
1:15 pm – Playoffs: #4 vs. #3
3:30 pm – Playoffs: #1 vs. #2
Junior Bruins Crowned EJHL Champs
Worcester, Mass. -- In their third trip to the final, the Boston Jr. Bruins finally nailed it, winning their first EJHL crown with a 4-3 win over the defending champion New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs tonight at Holy Cross.
The winning goal came with 57 seconds left in regulation when a Monarchs player breaking up ice through the neutral zone was harassed and turned the puck over. Bruins defenseman Mike Harr picked it up, moved it to Ryan Ginand, who, in turn, moved it to Luke Jones, who drove a shot past Monarchs goalie Brian Foster for the game-winner.
Monarchs coach Sean Tremblay felt his player’s turnover was due to the fact that he was hooked. The ref didn’t buy it, though.
This game had an excellent pace, which stands to reason, as the two best teams in the league were competing.
The Monarchs struck first when, just 1:43 into the period, and with Alex Berry off for a hit from behind, a shot from the point by Jamie Fritsch rebounded to the left of Junior Bruins goaltender Nevin Hamilton. The Monarchs’ Jason Williams, always dangerous, knocked home the loose puck to put the Monarchs up 1-0.
The Junior Bruins tied it up at the 13;27 mark when Garrett Peters slid the puck out from the right corner to Kory Falite, who fired it home from the lower edge of the faceoff circle to Foster’s left. This, too, was a power play goal.
In the second, the Junior Bruins went up 2-1 when Alex Berry, from just inside the blue line, teed one up that hit the bottom of the cross bar and went into the net at 7:13 – another power play goal.
Playing a rare stretch of 5x5 hockey,Matt Fitzgibbons, coming down the right side, saw Chris Donovan on the left side and hit him with a pass. The pass was a little behind Donovan, who had to reach back a little for it, and then, with one motion, sweep it toward the net. Donovan didn’t get much on the shot and Foster’s view was unobstructed, but it slid past him anyway, giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead at the 9:39 mark.
With that goal, Tremblay lifted Foster, sending in Ryan Simpson. Simpson was only in for 36 seconds, which was long enough to make two saves, while Tremblay had a talk with his #1 goalie in the runway behind the bench, trying to get him on track.
Forty-four seconds after Foster returned to the net he made a great pad save on Peters, keeping the game from going to 4-1.
The Monarchs cut the lead to one when, after squandering a 5-on-3, the Monarchs called a time out and capitalized on the remaining 5-on-4, Fritsch, off a pass from Matt Duffy, scoring from the top of the faceoff circle with 3:24 remaining in the second. The goal seemed to energize the Monarchs, who finished the period strongly, and went into the dressing room down 3-2.
Early in the third, Berry missed a chance to give his Junior Bruins teammates some breathing room when he hit a post. But a couple of minutes later – with 14:54 left in the period – bigMonarchs defenseman Jason Tarbell blasted one from the point to tie the game at 3-3
At that point the game slowed a bit, and tightened up. Both teams seemed tired, particularly the Bruins, and were going on nerves.
The Monarchs attempt to come back was hurt when Tarbell hookeda Bruins player on a 3-on-1.
In net, Foster continued to appear a little shaky, at one point nearly dropping the puck from his glove hand into the net behind him.
Finally, with 56 seconds left, Junior Bruins defenseman Mike Harr picked up the loose puck in center ice and got it to Ryan Ginand, who moved it up to Luke Jones, who scored.
The Junior Bruins had a great chance with 56 seconds left but Bobby Butler missed the empty net.
The Monarchs came right aback and had a serious flurry – the best shot came off the stick of Jason Williams. However, Hamilton stood tall, not allowing anything past him.
The MVP of the game was Hamilton, the Junior Bruins goaltender, who finished with 33 saves. .
Tonight marked the third year the Junior Bruins were in the final. It was however, just their first title game win.
Junior Bruins coach Peter Masters afterward tipped his hat to Jones. “He not only scored the winner to clinch our regular season title, but he came up even bigger tonight.”
"Our MVP all season,” he added, “has been Nevin Hamilton. I thought he played solid tonight, controlling his rebounds and coming up with five or six big-time saves on tricky shots.
“Topher Bevis also played a fantastic game,” Masters added, “as did Garrett Peters.”
“Having lost the championship in two of the last four years, we were hungry -- focused and hungry.
“We had to be because the Monarchs are coached tremendously. They execute, they play great D in front of the net. Their power play, which has driven them, was awesome again.
Across the rink, Monarchs coach Tremblay said, “I have a lot of respect for my team coming back from a 3-1 deficit. They bounced back. They’re a resilient bunch and I was really pleased with their effort in coming back. The Bruins were ready. But so were our guys. It was an exciting game, with some huge momentum shifts.”
Boston Jr. Bruins 4, NH Jr. Monarchs 3
2005 EJHL Championship Game
NH – Jason Williams (Matt Duffy, Jamie Fritsch) ppg 1:43
B – Kory Falite (Garrett Peters, Casey Russell) ppg 13:27
B – Alex Berry (Ryan Ginand, Cody Wild) ppg 7:13
B – Chris Donovan (Pat Kimball, Matt Fitzgibbons) 9:39
NH – Fritsch (Duffy, Scott Crowder) ppg 16:36
NH – Jason Tarbell (Ian O’Connor, Ryan Paradis) 5:06
B – Luke Jones (Ginand, Mike Harr) 19:03
SOG: Junior Bruins 37, Jr. Monarchs 36.
NH: Brian Foster (35/31), Ryan Simpson (2/2)
B – Nevin Hamilton (36/33)
Penalties: Monarchs 9, Junior Bruins 8.
Hirsch Hospitalized with Nervous Breakdown
According to multiple sources University of Minnesota junior forward Tyler Hirsch, his team’s leading scorer, has been hospitalized with a nervous breakdown in the wake of his bizarre post-game performance after the Gophers’ 3-0 loss to Colorado College at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday night.
Hirsch will not be playing for the Gophers again this season. However, a nervous breakdown does not preclude his playing next year or anytime in the future.
The University of Minnesota is waiting for the family to release a statement, and would welcome it, as it would reduce the amount of speculation that has swirled around the Gophers while they are also trying to prepare for the NCAA Tournament. The activity on message boards has been intense, with much of it negative and mean-spirited commentary on Hirsch’s mental state.
In case you missed it, here’s what happened. After the teams had left the ice, and as fans were filing out of the building about five minutes after the game, Hirsch went to the center ice faceoff circle and, before the bull gang had a chance to get on the ice – the Zamboni door was partway opened – placed a puck before himself and took off for the net. When he got to the hash marks he fired a slap shot into the net, but didn’t slow up or turn away. Instead, he continued full tilt into the net, closelining himself on the crossbar, ramming the net into the backboards and onto its back. Hirsch got up out of the net, skated in a gentle arc back towardcenter ice, calmly laid his stick along the red line inside the faceoff circle and just as calmly skated off the ice.
The whole thing had a surreal feel to it, as the Xcel Center PA announcer cheerfully shilled tickets for upcoming events throughout the incident
Many fans assumed Hirsch was doing some kind of exorcism – the Gophers, remember, had been blanked – and hooted and hollered with joy.
Reportedly, Hirsch’s mother is extremely religious, with a fire-and-brimstone evangelical/fundamentalist slant. Many of the initial reports we heard suggested that Hirsch’s actions, which appear in hindsight to be freighted with religious symbolism, were fueled by the same religious leanings.
Those reports indicate that Hirsch had become deeply influenced by the film “The Passion of the Christ,” the controversial Mel Gibson-directed film about the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The violence in the film is highly realistic and, according to viewers we’ve spoken to, the graphic depictions of Jesus’ torture make watching the film an excruciating experience for some, while having a different effect on others.
We’re also told that the 21-year-old had told his teammates that, “We have to get the devil out of the building” and words to that effect.
Reportedly, Hirsch was also crying on the bench during Friday night’s game.
While the reports dealing with Hirsch -- and whatever religious motives he may or may not have -- come from good sources, no one knows exactly what is going on in Hirsch’s head.
All of us know certain high-achieving types who are extremely vulnerable to life’s stresses, and Div. I hockey players at major programs like the U face a lot of it.
Hirsch, a smart, personable kid, is from Bloomington, Minn. and attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s, where he was a high achiever in the classroom, on the ice, and in the day-to-day life of the school. He was student council president. He was also the president of student activities as well as the senior representative to the headmaster’s advisory committee. He was recruited by Ivy League schools.
“It was bizarre – let’s leave it at that,” Gopher head coach Don Lucia told reporters after Friday’s the game.
Lucia also said, “Obviously, with Tyler there are some personal issues, and I don’t care to go into any more detail than that.”
Because of students’ rights issues, Lucia is not able to speak of Hirsch’s current situation. It has to come from the Hirsch family.
We’re not drawing any connection to be drawn between the two incidents, but in Friday’s early game at the Xcel Center, a 2-1 Denver OT win over North Dakota, the Fighting Sioux’s 5’8”, 180 lb. forward Robbie Bina broke his neck early in the second period when checked into the boards by 6’4”, 215 lb. freshman forward Geoff Paukovich.
Bina, a sophomore from Grand Forks, lay on the ice for 15-20 minutes before being taken off on a stretcher. He’s at Regions Medical Center in St. Paul, where on Monday he underwent over four hours of surgery after it was determined that his C-7 vertebra had burst. The vertebra was removed, and the c-6 vertebra was fused to the T-1.
Bina is reportedly walking and using his extremities. Doctors are reportedly hopeful for a full recovery, which by definition reflects hope that he will be able to play high-level hockey again.
On the play, Paukovich received only a two-minute minor for boarding but later was given a one-game suspension by the league. Paukovich served the suspension by sitting out Saturday’s WCHA championship game against Colorado College.
One seasoned observer at the game described Paukovich’s hit as “not dirty, but overly aggressive,” and felt the big Colorado native should have received a five-minute major and a DQ. On the play, North Dakota was going to be called for a delayed penalty and as Bina went to get the puck, he might have lightened up a little. Paukovich was flying, probably couldn’t hold up very easily, and Bina was hit, his head hitting the boards near the outside hash marks in the North Dakota end.
VanRiemsdyk, in OT, Lifts Christian Brothers to NJ Title
East Rutherford, NJ -- Christian Brothers Academy forward James VanRiemsdyk took a beautiful stretch pass from defenseman Eric Castellazzo, beat a defender, and fired it home at 8:43 of overtime to give his team a 2-1 win over Delbarton and the 2005 New Jersey state championship at the Continental Airlines Arena last night.
The title is CBA’s first since 1996.
Delbarton actually got on the board first, scoring their only goal of the night with just over four minutes remaining in the first period. Delbarton forward Charles Nerbak knocked the puck to an open Michael Del Mauro, who one-timed a shot that beat CBA goalie Ryan DeCeuster through the legs.
CBA tied the game with four minutes remaining in the third on a pretty unassisted goal by CBA captain Mark Schofield.
That was it until overtime, and VanRiemsdyk’s game-winning goal. (VanRiemsdyk, by the way, was invited to the NTDP tryout camp currently taking place in Ann Arbor -- naturally, he couldn’t go. The NTDP camp ends tonight.)
Christian Brothers outshot Delbarton, 50-30. D’Urso had 48 saves for Delbarton, while DeCeuster kicked out 29 for CBA.
Delbarton (22-2-6) lost only two games this season – both to Christian Brothers (25-3-2).
Beantown Classic on Tap
The annual Beantown Classic gets underway tomorrow (Wed. 3/23) and runs through Saturday at several different sites.
The schedule is up on the tournament’s website www.beantownclassic.com .
Updated rosters will be put up tomorrow, so check back. Under the Beantown Spring Classic tab on the toolbar, the rosters can be found on the drop-down menu.
Catholic Memorial – Again
At 4:20 of the third period in last night’s Super 8 title game between Catholic Memorial and Arlington Catholic at the Fleet Center, with the game tied at 1-1, CM’s Mike DiOrio, stationed behind the goal line, made a passout to Jeff Kasper in the slot. Kasper banged it home to make it 2-1 CM. The Knights would add an empty-net goal by Matt Mascucci for the final 3-1 margin of victory.
CM, which had been beaten by AC in a preliminary round game last week, dominated play in the first, though Arlington Catholic struck first when Mike Adams, capitalizing on a CM defensive zone breakdown, put his team up 1-0 at 9:13. Late in the period, Mascucci tied it up for CM.
CM also dominated the scoreless second period. In the third, Arlington Catholic had the edge in shots and CM goaltender Brendan Sullivan, who finished the game with 21 saves, had to come up big on a couple of occasions. David Pinkham had 27 saves for AC.
Catholic Memorial, which beat BC High in last year’s final, has now won the Super 8 for three straight years plus six of the last seven.
In the 15-year history of the tournament, CM has won 12 titles.
Duxbury High, which had a 17-game winning streak during the regular season but was KO’d early in the Super 8 after losing a play-in game to St. John’s Prep, beat Woburn, 3-1, for the Mass Div. I title.
A powerplay goal in OT by Tom DeRosa gave Boston Latin a 3-2 win over defending champs Saugus High.
Boston Latin goalie John Bruno had 25 saves including a big pad save in OT when Craig and Nick Serino (the sons of Merrimack head coach Chris Serino) teamed up for a great opportunity.
Bobby Butler had a hand in five of his team’s six goals (4g,1a) to lead Marlboro High past Bishop Stang, 6-3.
Butler, the son of Marlboro head coach John Butler, also plays for the Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL).
Butler finished his season with a 58-30-88 line in 25 games. For his career at Marlboro, he finished with a 173-108-281 line.
NTDP Camp Invite List
Here are the players who have been invited to, and will be participating in, this year's NTDP tryout camp. Players arrived yesterday and will be hitting the ice today.
As is customary, players will be split into two teams, red and blue, for four scrimmages over three days.
All of the below-named players, except Tristan Llewellyn, who is injured, will be dressed to play. Llewellyn, a 6’1”, 178 lb. defenseman with the Indiana Ice (and the youngest player in the USHL), suffered an orbital fracture in a fight last Saturday with Tri-City’s Alex Hudson. Reportedly, Llewellyn picked the fight, which was unprovoked, and Hudson, an ’87, pummeled him. The NTDP will not be replacing him on the camp roster.
All of the below are ‘89s. And yes, Dayn Belfour is Eddie Belfour’s son, and Justin Vaive is Rick Vaive’s son. Brennan Vargas is the son of former Wisconsin forward Ernie Vargas.
Dayn Belfour – Streetsville Derbys (OPJHL)
Reid Ellingson – Cloquet HS (Minn.)
Mike Moser – LA Jr. Kings
Kent Patterson – Blake HS (Minn.)
Brad Phillips – Honeybaked Midget Minor
John Yanchek – New Jersey Jr. Devils
Colby Cohen – Syracuse Jr. A (OPJHL)
Ian Cole – Detroit Victory Honda Midget AAA
Tommy Cross – Simsbury HS (Conn.)
Cade Fairchild – Duluth East HS (Minn.)
Frank Grzeszczak – Detroit Honeybaked Midget AAA
David Kolomatis – New Jersey Rockets (AJHL)
Joey Lavin – Boston Junior Bruins Midget AAA
Tristan Llewellyn – Indiana Ice (USHL) -- injured
Derrick Pallis – Noble & Greenough
Nick Petrecki – Capital District Selects (EJHL)
Ben Rosen – Suffolk PAL
Ted Ruth – Chicago Mission Midget AAA
Kevin Shattenkirk – Brunswick School
Charles Vaughn -- Honeybaked Midget Minor
John Albert – Cleveland Barons Midget AAA
Mike Cieslak – McQuaid Jesuit HS (NY)
Jack Downing – Taft
Dan Durham – Team Illinois Midget AAA
Josh Franklin – Noble & Greenough
Andrew Glass -- Noble & Greenough
Jimmy Hayes -- Noble & Greenough
Ryan Hayes -- Syracuse Jr. A (OPJHL)
Mike Hoeffel – Hill-Murray HS (Minn.)
Ansel Ivens-Anderson – Brewster Bulldogs (Empire Jr. B)
Patrick Johnson – Madison Memorial HS (Wisc.)
Anthony Maiani -- Honeybaked Midget Minor
Nick Palmieri – Northwood School
Matt Rust -- Detroit Honeybaked Midget AAA
Ryan Schnell – Team Illinois Midget AAA
C.J. Severyn – Pittsburgh Hornets Midget Minor
Jason Silvia – St. John’s Prep (Mass.)
Daniel Smith – Phoenix Firebirds Midget AAA
Matt Smyth – Markham Islanders Midget Minor
Justin Vaive – Toronto Marlies Midget Minor
James Van Riemsdyk – Christian Brothers Academy (NJ)
Brennan Vargas – Coon Rapids HS (Minn.)
Patrick White – Grand Rapids HS (Minn.)
USA NATIONAL TEAM DEVELOPMENT CAMP SCHEDULE
Sunday, March 20, 2005:
11:55am – 12:55 pm Red Team Practice
1:05pm – 2:05 pm Blue Team Practice
7:45 pm -- 9:35 pm Scrimmage
Monday, March 21, 2005:
8:00 am – 8:50 am Goaltender Practice
9:00 – 9:50 am Red Team Practice
10:00 am – 10:50 am Blue Team Practice
2:30 pm – 4:20pm Scrimmage
Tuesday, March 22, 2005:
9:00 am Goaltender Practice
10:00 -- 11:50 am Scrimmage
2:00 -- 3:20 pm Scrimmage
Toll Gate Repeats in Rhode Island
For the second year in a row, Toll Gate has won the Rhode Island state championship. In 2004, the Titans ended Mount St. Charles’ 26-year stranglehold on the title. Last night, they trounced Bishop Hendricken, 9-1, to complete a two-game sweep at Providence College’s Schneider Arena.
It marks the first time in 38 years that a public high school has won back-to-back titles.
The scoring heroes last night were Patrick Aldridge (7a), Dean Smith (4g,1a), John Cavanagh (2g,3a), Chris LaBella (1g,2a), and David Cavanagh (3a).
In net, senior Ryan Scott, who started the season as a backup, followed up his game #1 shutout by stopping 19 of 20 shots.
Toll Gate scored five unanswered goals in the first – three off the stick of Smith. The Titans added three in the second and one in the third.
Tollgate finished the regular season in third place, losing seven of eight to the two teams – Mount St. Charles and LaSalle – that finished ahead of them.
And in the first game of the semifinal series, Toll Gate (of Warwick, RI, south of Providence), lost their fifth game in five tries to LaSalle. The score wasn’t close, either: 6-1.
Then Toll Gate started winning and didn’t stop. After that 6-1 loss, Scott settled down in net and only allowed only two goals in the next four games.
John Cavanagh led the offense. Until last night he had been involved in every goal in Toll Gate’s postseason. Last night, he was “only” involved in five out of nine.
Just so there’s no confusion, here’s the deal with the Cavanaghs. There are two of them on Toll Gate-- John, a 5’9” senior forward; and Dave, a 6’1” senior defenseman.
They are first cousins.
Dave is the son of Joe Cavanagh, a Cranston East star in the 1960s who went on to become an All-American for Harvard. Dave’s brother is current Harvard senior center Tom Cavanagh.
John is the son of Bob Cavanagh, Joe’s younger brother and a Harvard player in his own right.
Starting in the fall, both of the cousins will be taking a PG year at Salisbury.
Delbarton, CBA Advance to New Jersey Title Game
Delbarton and Christian Brothers Academy each won their semifinal game this afternoon at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ, and will face off in the Non-Public New Jersey state playoffs tomorrow night(Mon. 3/21) at 9 pm.
Today, #1 CBA topped #4 Don Bosco, 5-2; and #2 Delbarton topped #3 Seton Hall Prep, also by a 5-2 score.
Delbarton and CBA have met three times this season. On Dec. 11 CBA won, 2-1; on Jan. 12, the two teams skated to a 2-2 tie; and on Feb. 26, in the Gordon Cup Championship, Delbarton prevailed, 6-4.
Each team, then is 1-1-1 against the other.
Jr. B’s, Monarchs Advance to EJHL Title Game Tues.
One again this year, The Boston Jr. Bruins and the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs will face off in the EJHL title game.
In the regular season, the Junior Bruins finished first overall with 84 points, while the Monarchs finished right on their heels, with 83. There was quite a gap between them and the third place team. However, the Bruins topped the Monarchs all four times they met during the regular season.
This afternoon each won their semifinal matches.
--- In the first semi, the Junior Bruins topped the Walpole Stars, 2-0. Jimmy Driscoll and Chris Donovan each scored a goal for the Bruins, while Nevin Hamilton posted a 37-save shutout. James LaCour kicked out 41 of 43 for Walpole.
-- In the second semi, the Monarchs topped the Valley Warriors, 7-3. After the first, the Monarchs led 2-1 on goals by Eric Bausano and Dan Bartlett. In the second, they blew it open with a 5-spot. Ryan Paradis and Brian Shea scored equal-strength goals early, then Valley handed the Monarchs nearly four straight minutes of 5-on-3. The Monarchs took advantage, as Jamie Fritsch and Scott Crowder both scored while the Monarchs were two men up. Ian O’Connor added an even-strength goal late in the period to go up 7-2 after two. And that was more than the Monarchs needed, as Brian Foster kicked out 32 of 35 in net. D.J. Del Buono kicked out 32 of 39 for the Valley Warriors.
Last year’s title game was won by the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, 6-3.
Faceoff is Tuesday night at 7:00 pm at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.
More High School Tournament News
In the Super 8 semifinals at the Fleet Center last night, Catholic Memorial topped Reading 3-1; and Arlington Catholic edged St. John’s Prep, 3-2.
The two teams will meet to determine the state champion Sunday at 8 pm, at Boston’s Fleet Center.
The McQuaid Knights (Rochester, NY) beat Baldwinsville, 7-3, to win their first NY State High School Championship in front of 3,600 fans at the Aud in Utica.
McQuaid’s top scorers – the line of Ryan Flanigan, Mike Cieslak, and Brandon Ninn – scored all of the Knights’ goals. Flanigan and Cieslak each had hat tricks, and Nunn had a single goal.
The Knights’ eighth grade goaltender, Nick BonDurant, kicked out 23 of 26 for the win.
The night before, in the semis, McQuaid topped Shenendahowa, 5-1.
On LongIsland, St. Mary’s won the NYSAH state championship, defeating Orchard Park, 5-3, in the finals, held in Syosset, LI.
St. Mary’s, coached by NY Apple Cores’s Henry Lazar, lost just one of 41 games this season as they won their seventh straight title and their 10th of the last 11 years.
Rich Purslow had two goals, Steve Schultz had two goals (one an empty-netter), and Cornell recruit Matt Connors had one.
Grand Forks Red River, behind a shutout from Eric Olson and goals from Derek Kuntz, Marc Mihulka, and Kyle Enders (an empty-netter), blanked Grand Forks Central, 3-0 to win the North Dakota State High School Championship.
GF Red River was seeded third in the East, and GF Central was seeded fourth in the East.
The two #1 seeds both failed to reached the finals. #1W Minot was KO’d in the quarters (by Central), and #1E Fargo South was beaten in the semis (by Red River).
Defenseman Jake Marto of Grand Forks Central was named Mr. Hockey for North Dakota.
St. Edward’s HS beat Shaker Heights, 2-0, to take the 2005 Ohio High School Championship before 2,771 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on Sunday.
Junior forward Jeremy Lascko scored both goals, the first coming three minutes into the third period, and the second on his next shift 2½ minutes later.
Senior Mark Wilson assisted on both goals.
St. Edward’s started a sophomore, Everett Graves, in goal for the first time at state. Graves stopped all 21 shots Shaker Heights fired his way, nine in the last six minutes.
The title was St. Edward's 10th in 13 championship games, extending its state record, and third in the last four years.For the second year in a row, the Eagles (29-10-1) posted consecutive shutouts in the semifinal and final. No other team has done it once.
St. Edward’s and Shaker Heights have played in 21 of the 28 state final hockey games.
Shaker Heights coach Mike Bartley and St. Edward's Bob Whidden, who last month became the first Ohio high school hockey coaches to win 500 career games, were recognized after the game. Both, appropriately, are tied with 505 victories apiece.
Whidden, who was a goaltender for the WHA Cleveland Crusaders with Gerry Cheevers, retired after the title game, and will be moving to Florida.Whidden coached Mike Rupp, who scored the winning goal in Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup finals for the New Jersey Devils, and several other professional players.
High School Roundup
Last spring, in the finals, Toll Gate ended Mount St. Charles’ 26-year reign as Rhode Island state champs.
This year, Mount St. Charles, the #1 seed, won’t even be in the finals, as they’ve been bounced out by #5 seed Bishop Hendricken, which took two games in the best-of-3 semifinal series.
On Friday night, in the opening game of the best-of-three finals, Bishop Hendricken will face off against defending champ and #3 seed Toll Gate. Game time at Providence College’s Schneider Arena is 7 pm. Game two is scheduled for Saturday 3/19 at Schneider, also at 7 pm. Same with game three – if necessary.
On Feb. 28 at Gutterson Field House, #3 seed Bellows Free Academy beat #1 Champlain Valley Union, 3-1, to take the 2005 Vermont State High School title.
Last night, Cheverus beat Lewiston, 5-2, to take the Maine Class A title at the Colisee in Lewiston (formerly the Central Maine Civic Center). Cheverus scored in the first minute of play and scored twice more before the end of the first period.
Hanover took the New Hampshire Div. I state title on Sunday, beating Salem HS, 3-2, at the Whittemore Center in Durham.
All the Hanover goals were scored by senior Woody Redpath, and all came in the first period.
Salem, coached by Mark McGinn, was the defending state champ. Dartmouth College coach Bobby Gaudet couldn’t make the game, as the Big Green was in Burlington, getting knocked out of the ECAC tournament by Vermont. Gaudet has two sons on the team, senior Joe Gaudet, who will play for the NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) next season, and Jimmy, who’s still a sophomore.
Fairfield Prep won their third state title in the last five years by beating Notre Dame- West Haven 4-1 on Saturday night at Yale’s Ingalls Rink. Prep’s star forward Mark Arcobello was kept off the scoresheet, but that posed no problem for the Jesuits, who finished the season 20-3-1.
The big weekend is coming up. In the private division, the semis, which will take place at Continental Airlines Arena on Sunday, will feature:
#1 Christian Brothers Academy vs. #4 Don Bosco Prep, noon
#2 Delbarton vs. #3 Seton Hall Prep, 5:00 pm
The final is Monday night at 9:00 pm.
On Saturday at Compuware Arena in Plymouth, Detroit Catholic Central won their seventh championship in nine years, blanking East Kentwood, 4-0. Harrison Niemann had a pair of goals, Tim Buttery had a pair of assists, and Ross Tashjian posted a 16-save shutout. DCC beat Clarkston, 3-1, in the semis and blanked Brighton, 5-0, in the quarters.
Prior to that, Detroit Catholic Central won all three of their regional games. It takes six straight wins to gain a title in Michigan.
#1-ranked Superior HS edged #2 Arrowhead 2-1 in OT Saturday afternoon in Madison with senior Luke Mertz scoring 54 seconds in. Prior to that, Mertz had only scored four goals all year. The tournament MVP was Brett Olson of Superior. Arrowhead was the first Milwaukee area school to play for a state title since the tournament begain in 1971.
Canisius Starts Interviewing for New Head Coach
According to sources, Canisius is doing interviews for their vacant head coaching position this week. Coaches confirmed to interview soon are:
Jerry Forton, Niagara associate coach
Craig Barnett, former Findlay head coach now at Lake Forest Academy
Seymour Clancy, Interm Canisius Head Coach
Others rumored to be interested or interviewing:
Joe Bonnett, Colorado College assistant coach
Stan Moore, Colgate associate head coach
Campbell Blair, Maine assistant coach
Frank Bretti, RPI assistant coach
Dave Smith, Mercyhurst assistant coach
Controversial Ruling Keeps BC High from Advancing to Super 8 Semis
The Mass. Super 8 quarterfinals turned out to be a bit of a schmozzle due to a vaguely-worded tie-breaking formula that left everyone at Lowell’s Tsongas Center totally confused Monday night during and after Reading’s 3-1 win over St. John’s Prep, and BC High’s 4-1 win over Hingham.
When the games ended, there was, among the four-team bracket, a three-way tie at the top. St. Johns Prep, BC High, and Reading all had 2-1 records. However, only two can advance to the Fleet for tomorrow’s semis, hence the confusion. Reading was in, because they had allowed the fewest goals in the three-game quarters. That left St. John’s and BC High going for the final spot. It was awarded to St. John’s Prep because… no is sure exactly why.
BC High coach Joe McCabe was as perplexed as anyone. After being informed his squad was out of the picture, McCabe pointed out that his team had allowed two goals fewer than St. John’s Prep and that, if fewer goals allowed was the tiebreaker, then BC High should be in.
It appears that McCabe is correct. But it is also true that the rule, as posted on the MIAA website, was written by someone clearly challenged by the prospect of expressing himself – or herself – clearly. Here’s what it says, as it applies to this case:
“If 3 teams are tied, the tie-breakers are: 1) fewest goals allowed amongst the 3 teams, if one team is eliminated, head to head.”
The part about being eliminated, head to head, is the real head scratcher. What exactly did they mean by that? And how exactly does it apply?. The MIAA made its ruling based on their interpretation, but no one has been able to explain how they came to their decision. It actually sounds like if the situation were flipped and BC High got in, that St. John's Prep would have an argument, too.
BC High appealed and the MIAA held a meeting this morning, voting 4-1 to uphold their original ruling: So BC High is out, kaput. The semifinals tomorrow at the Fleet Center (or whatever they’re calling the building these days) will feature Reading/CMat 6:00 pm, followed by AC/St. John’s Prep at 7:45.
Today’s MIAA press release also added this bit of balm for McCabe’s squad: “The Ice hockey Committee commended Boston College High School for their outstanding Hockey legacy and indicated they will include the tie breaker policy in future Ice Hockey deliberations.”
Doesn’t get you much, but there it is.
We’ll be wrapping up other state high school tournaments later.
Despite posting won-lost records that have improved steadily over the past few years, from 10-21-3 in ’02-03 (the season Mike Ryan, Jason Guerriero, and Mike Morris were freshmen) to 11-16-7 last season to 15-18-5 this season, Northeastern AD Dave O’Brien has announced that he will not renew the contract of head coach Bruce Crowder.
Maybe, after nine years and just two winning seasons, the former UNH and Bruins’ winger wore out his welcome. Remember, Crowder was a hot property when he came on board, having paid his dues as an assistant to Sean Walsh, and then taken over at Lowell, where he posted winning records in three of his last four years there, including seasonsin which the River Hawks went 25-10 and 26-10.
Maybe someone else can come on and do better, but don’t count on it. People make the assumption that since Northeastern is in the Hub of the Universe, and a Beanpot school, that they should be competing with BU and BC for players. It’s never worked that way, though. Sure, Northeastern might steal a Mike Ryan or Mike Morris every blue moon, but those guys aren’t lining up on St. Botolph Street.
O’Brien says NU will begin their search immediately. Whoever takes the job had best be a great salesman, and with charisma galore. Will they get anyone like that -- or is Northeastern the graveyard of coaches?
Guthrie Named USHR Div. II Player of the Year
The USHR Division II Player of the Year is St. George’s School 6’0”, 187 lb. senior forward Shea Guthrie.
Guthrie, a RW/C, has great acceleration, can slow down or speed up the game, has a deadly shot, and is an excellent playmaker. At the Div. II level, he was frequently dominating. Had he chosen to play at a top Div. I prep school, his set of skills would have easily allowed him to star at that level, too.
Guthrie, the major reason St. George’s won the Div. II prep title (and reached the title game in each of his three years there), will be going to Clarkson in the fall.
In June’s NHL draft (we’re assuming they have one), Guthrie will likely be drafted somewhere between rounds 3-6.
Guthrie is from Carleton Place, Ontario, about 30 miles southwest of Ottawa, and is a 7/30/87 birthdate.
Quick Named USHR Div. I Player of the Year
The USHR Div. I Player of the Year is Avon Old Farms goaltender Jon Quick.
Quick, who started all 27 of Avon’s games, and played all his team’s minutes except for about 45, posted a 1.19 gaa and a .951 save percentage.
Here are some telling figures:
In nine games, he posted shutouts
In ten games, he allowed only one goal
In four games, he allowed two goals
In two games, he allowed three goals
In one game, he allowed four goals (vs. Loomis)
In one game, he allowed five goals (vs. Albany Academy)
Allowing one or fewer goals in 19 out of 27 games is no small feat.
Quick, who is 6’0” and 180 lbs., came to Avon as a repeat sophomore from Hamden HS.
At the time, Avon was in a pickle. The previous April, Winged Beavers goaltender A.J. Bucchino surprised Avon Old Farms head coach John Gardner by informing him that he would be foregoing his senior year in prep school for the USHL.
Quick was thrown into the fire.
You could see right away, that he was going to be a great athlete,” Gardner said.
In June, Quick will be selected in the NHL draft, probably between rounds 2-4. In the fall, it’s off to UMass.
For now, though, Quick, a catcher, is going to Florida with the Avon Old Farms baseball team.
Rossman Commits to Huskies
Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL) 6’0”, 181 lb. forward Danny Rossman has committed to Northeastern. He’ll play one more year of juniors and arrive in the fall of ’06.
A 4/28/87 birthdate from Boxford, Mass., Rossman played for the Pingree School and Cushing Academy before leaving the latter after one year for the Junior Warriors.
In 50 games with the Valley Warriors, Rossman had a 25-29-54 line, and was the 10th leading scorer in the league.
Rossman’s game is built around his speed and quickness. He’s learned to go the net harder and more often this season.
Romano to Big Red
New York Junior Bobcats 5’11”, 165 lb. forward Tony Romano has committed to Cornell for the fall of ’06.
Romano, a right shot LW, is a 1/5/88 birthdate from Smithtown, LI. He visited Cornell just before this weekend’s AJHL playoff games. In Saturday’s win over the NJ Rockets, Romano had a seven point game (3g,4a) in an 11-2 win.
Romano was the fourth leading scorer in the AJHL with a 34-29-63 line in 34 regular season games.
Romano is not a physical player, but he is very quick and has a great stick. Sometimes he’s invisible on the ice; other times, he looks like one of the next great college stars.
Other schools reported to be in the picture included Providence and Boston College.
3/14/05 Updated 3/15, 3/16, 3/17, 3/18, 3/19, 3/20
The 2005 Eastern Junior Hockey League playoffs get underway tonight with a pair of play-in games: the #7 Glades meet the #10 Falcons at 7:30, and the #8 Huskies meet the #9 CD Selects at 9:40 pm.
The winners will advance to the best-of-three quarterfinal round. In the quarters, each team plays a two-game series against a single opponent: #1 vs. #8; #2 vs. #7; #3 vs. #6; etc. If the teams split, there will be a 20-min. mini-game at the conclusion of the second game to determine which team advances to the semis, which will be on Sun. March 20 at noon and 3:00. The championship game is on Mon. night March 21 at 7:00 pm.
All EJHL playoff games will be at Holy Cross College; Worcester, Mass., up there on the hill, with the lights twinkling below.
Here are the final EJHL Standings: 1) Boston Junior Bruins, 77 pts. 2) New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, 76 pts. 3) Valley Junior Warriors, 61 pts. 4) Bay State Breakers, 57 pts. 5) Walpole Stars, 56 pts. 6) NY Apple Core, 54 pts. 7) Green Mountain Glades, 52 pts. 8) New England Jr. Huskies, 48 pts. 9) Capital District Selects, 47 pts. 10) New England Jr. Falcons, 41 pts. 11) Jersey Hitmen, 38 pts. 12) Bridgewater Bandits, 26 pts. 13) Boston Harbor Wolves, 18 pts.
For the playoffs, teams will be reseeded after the play-in round and then again after the quarterfinal round.
Mon. March 14 – Play-in Games:
7:30 pm – Falcons 3, Glades 0
9:40 pm – CD Selects 5, Huskies 3
Tues. March 15 – quarterfinals:
6:30 pm – Apple Core 7, Valley 3
8:30 pm – Stars 7, Breakers 2
Wed. March 16 – quarterfinals:
7:30 pm – Jr. Bruins 1, Junior Falcons 1
9:40 pm – Monarchs 9, CD Selects 2
Thurs. March 17 – quarterfinals:
6:30 pm – Warriors 4, Apple Core 3 (Warriors win mini-game, 2-1, and advance to semis, opponent TBD)
8:30 pm – Stars 3, Breakers 2 (Stars advance to semifinals, opponent TBD)
Fri. March 18 – quarterfinals:
4:00 pm – Jr. Bruins 4, Junior Falcons 3
6:30 pm – Monarchs 6, CD Selects 2
Sat. March 19 – off day; no games scheduled.
Sun. March 20 – semifinals:
Noon -- Boston Jr. Bruins 2, Walpole Stars 0
3:00 pm -- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs 7, Valley Jr. Warriors 3
Tues. March 22 –Championship Game at 7:00 pm.
Doneghey New Head Coach at Bridgewater
Merrimack College assistant coach Mike Doneghey will be leaving the Warriors to become the head coach of the Bridgewater Bandits (EJHL).
Doneghey, 34, a former goalie at Catholic Memorial and Merrimack, has been an assistant at his alma mater for the last six years. In one of those years head coach Chris Serino was getting treatment for throat cancer and Doneghey was the interim head coach.
At Bridgewater, Doneghey will be teaming up with Mike McLaughlin, who was head coach this year but will be the GM/associate head coach next year. Doneghey, who lives in North Attleboro, Mass., 25 minutes from Bridgewater, has been working summers with youth groups, the Hub Cup, and other enterprises out of the Bridgewater rink, which is owned and operated by Ben Ewing, the father of the BU forward.
When McLaughlin was hired last year, Doneghey was also a candidate.
“I wasn’t ready then,” Doneghey says. “And they got a great guy in Mike McLaughlin. Mike’s one of the reasons I took the job now. I’m excited about working with him. He has a good hockey mind and he’s a great guy.”
Doneghey was also the head coach at Fairfield University, when the program was Div. III, and was making the transition to Div. I as a MAAC school (and had no scholarships).In addition, he’s been an assistant at Hamilton and UNH.
Doneghey says he plans to use the contacts he has from his years of recruiting to strengthen the Bandits by bringing in more players from other parts of the country.
The Bandits finished this season 12th in the 13-team EJHL with a 10-34-3-1 record.
Gendron Fired by Indiana
Indiana Ice (USHL) head coach Red Gendron was fired today by Indiana Ice owner/CEO Paul Skjodt.
From what we’ve been able to gather, the parting, in sports talk, was “by mutual consent.” Gendron has one more year on his contract, which reportedly pays approximately $100,000 per year.
The Ice have not won in their last 11 games, since February 4, and are in imminent danger of being passed by Green Bay, losers of four of their last five, in the battle for the last playoff spot in the East Division.
The team’s director of player personnel, Dean Grillo, will be taking over as interim head coach. Grillo, who scouts for Pittsburgh, runs, along with his father Chuck Grillo, the Minnesota Hockey Camps in Brainerd, Minn.
Also, Skjodt is reported to be stepping out of the owner’s box to go behind the bench as an assistant coach effective immediately. Skjodt, a Toronto native, played for the Indianapolis Checkers from 1985-87. In recent years, he and his wife Cindy were founding members of the Indianapolis Checkers AAA youth program.
Earlier in the season, the Ice lost top-scoring center Todd McIlrath to an ACL injury and last week lost goaltender Pat Watson for the remainder of the season with an injured groin. The goaltender they’ve been going with, James Kohout, who was expected to be playing back in Mass. with Acton-Boxboro HS, has struggled so far. He’s played five games, with a .853 save % and a 5.08 gaa.
On Friday, the Ice brought in forward Drew Fisher, one of the team’s draft choices, for the rest of the season, which ends in three weeks, unless the team reaches the playoffs. Fisher, a 6’3” forward played for Moorhead HS, posting a 20-25-45 line in 30 games. Fisher played sparingly Friday night; he didn’t dress last night.
It’s reported that Gendron didn’t see eye-to-eye with a significant number of his players, including the two Czechs on the Ice, forward Michal Borovansky, who played for the Czech Republic at the world junior championship, and forward Milan Gulas, who was the last cut for that team.
In mid-January, the Ice lost GM Josh Mervis, who reportedly didn’t see eye-to-eye with Skjodt.
Note: Indiana, as of today, has offically added Breck HS goaltender Alec Richards, a Yale recruit and the winner of the Frank Brimsek Award, which goes annually to the top senior goaltender in the state of Minnesota. Since he's an emergency replacement he is eligible to play in 15 days from Watson's injury.
Boston Bulldogs Win AJHL Crown
Salem, NH – The Boston Bulldogs won the Atlantic Junior Hockey League crown here this afternoon, topping the New York Bobcats, 4-1. The Mike Addesa-coached Bulldogs, a bit older than the Aleksey Nikiforov-coached Bobcats, were able to use their age and physicality to wear down the Bobcats. Naoto Hamashima and Craig Moore each had a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs. Dan Beauregard kicked out 29 of 30 for for the Bulldogs while Chris Molinaro, a Plattsburgh State recruit, stopped 47 of 51 for the Bobcats.
Boston Bulldogs 4, NY Bobcats 1
Boston – Peter Schelzi (unassisted) 16:23
NY – Andrew Gagnon (Jason DeLuca, Mike Coppola) 18:01
Boston – Craig Moore (Naoto Hamashima, Craig Moreton) 2:56
Boston – Jim Koehler (Greg Costa) 3:52
Boston – Hamashima (Moore) 9:23
Penalties: Boston 4, NY 4
Boston – Dan Beauregard (30/29)
NY – Chris Molinaro (51/47)
In earlier games, all at the Salem Icenter:
Fri. 3/11 Quarterfinal: Northern Mass Cyclones 5, Washington Jr. Nationals 4
Fri. 3/11 Quarterfinal: New Jersey Rockets 5, Portland Jr. Pirates 3
Sat. 3/12 Semifinal: NY Bobcats 11, NJ Rockets 2
Sat. 3/12 Semifinal: Boston Bulldogs 11, Northern Mass Cyclones 2
Most Valuable Player: Vladimir Nikiforov (Bobcats)
Rookie of the Year: Tie between Nick Lampson (Rockets) and Mark Hanscom (Northern Mass Cyclones).
Most Valuable Goaltender: Chris Molinaro (Bobcats)
Most Valuable Defenseman: Jacques Perreault (Bulldogs)Coach of the Year: Aleksey Nikiforov (Bobcats)
Avon Old Farms Tops Final Div. I Prep Poll
Avon Old Farms, which won its fifth Div. I title by beating Canterbury in the quarters, Nobles in the semis, and Cushing in the finals, finished atop the final Div. I poll.
St. George’s Tops Final Div. II Poll
St. George’s, which won the Div. II title by beating Brooks in the quarters, Worcester Academy in the semis, and Hoosac in the finals, finished atop the final Div. II Poll.
3/12/05 Updated 3/13
Shattuck Wins Midwest Prep Invitational Championship
All Games at Culver Academy; Culver, Ind.
Fri. March 11:
Shattuck 4, Culver 3
Northwood 3, Gilmour 1
Lake Forest Academy 4, Upper Canada College 4
Wyoming Seminary 6, St. Andrew’s College 3
Sat. March 12:
Upper Canada College 3, Culver 0
Wyoming Seminary 3, Northwood 3
Shattuck 9, Lake Forest 0
St. Andrew’s College 3, Gilmour 1
Shattuck 6, Upper Canada College 1
St. Andrew’s 4, Northwood 3
Culver 6, Lake Forest 2
Wyoming Seminary 6, Gilmour 4
Standings after Round Robin:
Lake Forest 0-2-1
Wyoming Seminary 2-0-1
St. Andrew’s 2-1-0
Sun. March 13: PLAYOFFS
9:30 am: Maroon #2 vs. White #1: Wyoming Seminary 5, Upper Canada College 2
9:30 am: White #2 vs. Maroon #1: Shattuck 3, St. Andrew's College 2 (OT)
11:30 am: Maroon #3 vs. White #3: Culver 2, Northwood 2
11:30 am: Maroon #4 vs. White #4: Lake Forest vs. Gilmour
3:30 pm: Championship Game:
Shattuck 9, Wyoming 1
Rousseau Leaving St. Mark’s
St. Mark’s School varsity hockey coach Shawn Rousseau is leaving the Southborough, Mass. boarding school at the end of the school year to accept a position at a boarding school in Maryland.
His wife, Laurie Rousseau, the girls’ hockey coach and assistant athletic director at St. Marks, will be leaving with him. Neither will be coaching hockey in Maryland as the school, St. James School, doesn’t offer it.
Both made the decision because the new school offered them a chance to advance toward their professional goals of becoming, respectively, head of school and athletic director.
“I have mixed emotions,” Rousseau said. “My wife and I have loved our time at St. Mark’s.”
This year was Rousseau’s fourth year behind the bench. The team reached the semis of the Div. II tournament over the weekend in Salem, NH before bowing to Hoosac.
Rousseau, who broke the news to his players yesterday, will be handing over a team that is poised to do very well next season – there isn’t a single senior on the team. “I’m going to miss the boy’s more than I can articulate right now,” said Rousseau. “This year has been the culmination of my time here.”
There was no word on who the next coach might be. Rousseau’s assistant is 31-year-old Scott Dolesh, a Michigan native who went on to play defense at Dartmouth.
Lee Named Mr. Hockey
6’2, 200 lb. RD Brian Lee of Moorhead HS has been named Mr. Hockey in Minnesota.
Lee, who’s going to North Dakota in the fall, had a 12-26-38 line in 25 games for the Spuds. He missed six games while playing for the U.S. in the World Junior Championship in Grand Forks, ND.
Lee, a potentialfirst-round draft pick this summer, helped lead his team to the championship game of the state tournament, on Saturday, but the Spuds bowed to Holy Angels, 6-4
The award is given annually to the top senior in the state.
In addition to Lee there were nine other finalists. They are:
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
Chris VandeVelde, F, Moorhead
Matt Ambroz, F, New Prague
Matt Niskanen, D, Virginia/Mt. Iron/Buhl
T.J. Oshie, F, Warroad
Maguire to Brown
5’11”, 185 lb. Noble & Greenough junior RW Ryan Maguire has made a verbal commitment to Brown for the fall of ’06.
Maguire is a hard-working, physical player with an edge. He’s also a strong skater, has a hard shot and can finish.
An Arlington, Mass. native, Maguire played at Arlington HS before heading to Nobles.
A right shot and an 8/13/86 birthdate, Maguire is also an excellent baseball player.
He was named MVP of the Cushing New Year’s Tournament.
Holy Angels, Warroad Winners in Minnesota
Holy Angels, despite being outshot by a wide margin, topped #1-ranked Moorhead, 6-4, in the Minnesota Class AA Championship Game at the Excel Center.
Jay Barriball had a hat trick for Holy Angels (the last goal was an empty-netter). Tyler Hawkins, Ryan Hurley, and Lathan Logan had single goals. For Moorhead, Matt Becker, Chris VandeVelde, Cory Johnson, and Drew Fisher scored.
Class AA All-tournament team
Alex Kangas, G, Rochester Century; Eric Schulz, F, Tartan; Chris Sall, G, Duluth East; Cade Fairchild, D, Duluth East; John Ammerman, D, Moorhead; Chris Vandevelde, F, Moorhead; Brian Lee, D, Moorhead; Matt Becker, F, Moorhead; Lathan Logan, F, Holy Angels; Tyler Hawkins, F, Holy Angels; Jared Hummel, D, Holy Angels; Jay Barriball, F, Holy Angels.
Aaaron Marvin, off a T.J. Oshie pass, scored a powerplay goal at 11:27 of the second overtime to give Warroad a 4-3 win over Totino-Grace in the Minnesota Class A title game Saturday afternoon.
The game, an up-and-down classic, ended Totino-Grace's 25-game unbeaten streak, and gave Warroad (27-0-2) an unbeaten season.
Interesting stat: Totino-Grace scored the only goal of the second period, marking the first time Warroad had been outscored in a period all season.
Avon Repeats As New England Prep Champs
Avon Old Farms beat Cushing 3-0, behind shutout goaltending from Jon Quick, to take the 2005 New England prep title today in Salem, NH, their second straight, and fifth in school history.
No other school has won more than two titles. All of Avon’s titles have come under head coach John Gardner.
For the full story, please see Prep News.
Minnesota State Champions to be Crowned Today
Yesterday’s Minnesota State High School Tournament semifinal action at the Xcel Center in St. Paul, Minn.:
Class AA semifinals:
Moorhead 4, Duluth East 1. Duluth East senior goaltender Chris Sall stopped 48 of 52 Moorhead shots but it wasn’t enough to stop the powerful Moorhead Spuds from moving on to their sixth state championship appearance in 14 years. Senior goalie Derek Hittle had 18 saves for the Spuds. Defenseman Brian Lee and forward Nate Miller each had a pair of assists. Goals came from four different players.
Holy Angels 4, Tartan 2. Holy Angels scored three third period goals in less than six minutes to advance to tonight’s Class AA championship game against Moorhead. Tartan outshot Holy Angels, 31-25. Junior Lathan Logan had two goals for Holy Angels; sophomore Bryan Brutlag and junior Jay Barriball had one apiece. Junior Keaton Smith was strong in goal for Holy Angels, stopping 29 of 31 shots.
Class A Semifinals:
Warroad 4, St. Thomas Academy 0. Senior Kyle Krahn had a pair of goals and Ben Bengston and T.J. Oshie had one apiece in Warroad’s 4-0 semifinal win over St. Thomas Academy.
Totino-Grace 2, Duluth Marshall 1 (OT): Senior Erik Bredesen scored 32 seconds into overtime to give Totino-Grace a 2-1 win over Duluth Marshall.
Today’s Games, for all the marbles.
Class A: Warroad vs. Totino-Grace, noon CST, Xcel Center
Class AA: Moorhead vs. Holy Angels, 7:00 pm CST, Xcel Center
Rochester Century senior goaltender Alex Kangas broke a 57-year-old State Tournament record with 50 saves, but his team still lost, 2-1, to White Bear Lake, in a consolation semifinal at Mariucci Arena yesterday.
Kangas also made 42 saves in a 3-0 quarterfinal loss to Moorhead on Thursday.
The previous record for saves in a non-overtime game was 49, set by Jim Mattson of St. Louis Park in a 1948 quarterfinal game in which Mattson’s team was thumped 10-0 by Warroad.
The overall save record in a state tournament game was set by Apple Valley’s Karl Goehring, who kicked out 65 in a five-OT win over Duluth East in 1996.
Ryan Moses plays for Rye Country Day, a weak Div. II program so out of the loop that he wasn’t even one of the goalies voted to the Div. II All-Star team. That’s what happens when you play on a team that loses a lot of games. However, Moses keeps the scores respectable -- and gets a ton of work.
A couple of weeks ago against Brunswick he faced 76 shots and stopped 74 of them, allowing Rye to gain a 2-2 tie against a team they could barely skate with. (The final shots on goal were Brunswick 76, Rye 9.)
Moses coach, Gary Bingham, said he had “never seen a high school performance like that.”
He’s seen some that have come close, though, as Bingham said his goalie “gets deluged” in a regular fashion.
“He faced 55 shots against Hill; 66 against Lawrenceville. He’s the only reason we can hang around,” Bingham said. “I would not be surprised to see him at a Div. I program some day.”
Brunswick coach John Riley agrees. “He’s capable of playing Div. III college hockey right now. If he wanted to take two more years, he could be a candidate for an ECAC school. My understanding is that he will either PG in prep school next year or play junior hockey. He’s the best goalie we faced all year, that’s for sure.”
Moses, an 11/8/86 birthdate, is 6’0” and 185 lbs. and serious about his craft. He played for the Brewster Bulldogs in the fall, and was named to the Empire League All-Star Team after posting a 13-2 record, with a 2.55 gaa, and a .920 save percentage. He worked with Nashville Predators goalie coach Mitch Korn over the summer, which Bingham said “brought his game up another notch.” He’s also an outstanding student, with 1330 SATs.
“He’s very quiet, keeps to himself, almost shy,” Bingham says. “He has great focus and professionalism. He’s always working. I just leave him alone.”
South Kent Forward Battling Cancer
South Kent School senior forward Aaron Davies has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Davies, 19, a three-year-player from Chesapeake, Virginia, only learned of it last week, a few days before the end of South Kent’s season. He’s back in Virginia undergoing an extensive chemotherapy program that will last 5-8 months and include 3-5 chemo sessions per week.
Yesterday, South Kent coach Geoff Marottolo reported that the tumor, after one week of chemo, had shrunk 50-60 percent – a hopeful sign.
Marottolo reports that Davies, who’s normally 6’0”, 220 but has shrunk down to 180 lbs., is a tough kid and a battler. Davies played on the same line this season as RPI recruit Andrei Uryadov, creating space for the skilled Russian, and gaining Davies attention from several Atlantic Hockey colleges.
As the season went along, though, Davies faded. “He wasn’t himself,” Marottolo said. “When he started coming off ten seconds into a shift I became concerned. After the Northwood Tournament in late January I told him to go get a blood test. I suspected he might have mono.”
One test led to another. Finally, early last week, the diagnosis ofnon-Hodgkins lymphoma (stage 3) came down. The cancer has not spread to his organs.
“I didn’t play that bad with one lung, did I?” Davies kidded his coach.
South Kent is a small school of 132 students where everyone knows everyone else. The community held a 24 hour vigil in advance of Davies’ first chemo treatment earlier this week.
“Our heads are scrambled eggs here,” said Marottolo. “This is intense.”
For those wishing to send a card or note to Davies, the address is:
1504 Elm Ave.
New England Prep Finals Set
In Div. I action today in Salem, NH, Avon Old Farms topped Nobles, 5-1; and Cushing surprised Salisbury, 4-2.
Cushing will take on defending champions Avon at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon.
In Div. II, St. George's and Hoosac emerged as winners and will meet in tomorrow's 12:30 pm title match.
Check the Boy's Prep Pages for all the details.
Minnesota HS Semifinals on Tap for Today
Here are the results from Thursday’s Class AA Semifinals at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
Tartan 4, Elk River 3. Senior Mike Wallgren scored with 1:10 left to lead Tartan past Elk River, 4-3. Controversy surrounded the winning goal, a back-door tip-in, as Elk River coach Tony Sarsland felt there was a Tartan player in the crease.
Holy Angels 3, Bloomington Jefferson 2. Senior Tyler Hawkins broke open a 1-1 game with two straight second-period goals to lead Holy Angels to a 3-2 win.
Moorhead 3, Rochester Century 0. Senior Matt Becker scored a goal and added an assist as Moorhead blanked unranked and overmatched Rochester Century. Seniors Brian Lee and Cory Johnson also scored for the Spuds. Senior Spencer Deutz notched the shutout, making 14 saves. Senior Alex Kangas kicked out 42 of 45 shots for Century.
Duluth East 3, White Bear Lake 2. Freshman Keegan Flaherty scored on a wrist shot with 11:47 remaining to lead Duluth East past White Bear Lake. East, which came back from a 2-1 third period deficit, also had to face down a 6-on-4 in the final minute of play.
Today’s Games: Semifinals (at the Excel Center):
Class A: St. Thomas Academy vs. Warroad, noon
Class A: Totino-Grace vs. Duluth Marshall, 2:00
Class AA: Duluth East vs. Moorhead, 7:00
Class AA: Holy Angels vs. Tartan, 9:00
Mass Super 8 Has a Home – Finally
It took until yesterday – three days before the event – but the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association finally has a deal for a building, BU’s Harry Agganis Arena, to house Sunday’s first-round games.
First Round Super 8 games * Sun. March 6, 2005 * Agganis Arena, Boston University
Game 1: #4 Waltham vs. #5 Arlington Catholic, noon
Game 2: #3 Hingham vs. #6 Reading, 2:30
Game 3: #2 BC High vs. #7 St. John’s Prep, 4:45
Game 4: #1 Catholic Memorial vs. #8 Austin Prep, 7:00
Here’s the schedule for Tues. March 8 at Tsongas Arena, Lowell
Hingham vs. St. John’s Prep, 6:00 pm
BC High vs. Reading, 8:15 pm
… and Thurs. March 10 at Tsongas Arena, Lowell
Waltham vs. Austin Prep, 6:00 pm
CM vs AC, 8:15 pm
New Time for Junior Bruins vs. Under-18 Team
The Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL) vs. U.S. Under-18 Team game will be played at 1:30 pm tomorrow (Sat. 3/5) on the large sheet at the Belmont Hill School. This is 100% certain. The Junior Bruins, by the way, will be augmented by defenseman Anthony Aiello (Thayer), forward Chris Murphy (St. Sebatian's), and possibly Brian Gibbons (Thayer) and Brian Day (Gov. Dummer).
14-Year-Old Shines at Minnesota State HS Tournament
Yesterday’s standout at the Minnesota State High School Tournament Class A quarterfinals was 14-year-old eighth grader Jordan Schroeder. The 1990-born forward scored two goals and added two assists to lead St. Thomas Academy to an 8-2 upset of Virginia/Mt. Iron/Buhl, one-upping 6’2” Virginia RD Matt Niskanen, a Minnesota-Duluth recruit expected to go in the top few rounds of this year’s NHL draft.
In yesterday’s other quarterfinals: sophomore forward Aaron Marvin (2g) and senior D Kyle Hardwick (1g,2a) led Warroad, still perfect at 25-0-2, past Albert Lea… Senior forward Dan Malone (1g,3a) and senior D Brian Schack (2g,1a) led Totino-Grace to a 5-2 win over Shakopee. The win was their 24th in a row… Duluth Marshall hammered Little Falls, 9-2, outshooting them 44-18 in the process. Senior forwards Scott Kozlak (4g) and Chris Connolly (1g,3a); and junior forward Kevin Mahoney (2g,1a) led the scoring parade for Marshall.
In Friday’s semis at the Excel Center, St. Thomas will play Warroad at noon; and Totino-Grace will face Duluth Marshall at 2:00 pm.
Prep Coaches Nix NTDP Game
The Boston Junior Bruins vs. U.S. Under-18 Team game scheduled for Saturday night at 8:10 at the Icecenter in Salem, NH has been scuttled by NEPSIHA, the association of the New England prep school hockey coaches.
The Junior Bruins, after a couple days of scrambling, secured another venue this afternoon, and the game will be played at the Belmont Hill School at 12:10 on Saturday afternoon. According to Jr. Bruins coach Peter Masters, the time is “99% certain.” (When it’s 100% certain, we’ll let you know.)
From the feedback we’re getting, there is a lot of disappointment over this decision by the prep coaches, mainly because the game would not have gone head-to-head with any of the semis. After the day’s fourth and final semi, the big sheet, where the prep games will be played, has a New Hampshire high school game scheduled.
The back rink is where the Jr. Bruins and the Under-18 team would have played. There would have been no conflict with the prep tournament whatsoever. Furthermore, it’s a totally different rink, with only a roof in common. It even has its own entrance.
NEPSIHA, since they only rent the big rink for the hours of the tournament, did not, contractually speaking, have the power to disallow the ice rental for the Junior Bruins vs.Under-18 game. However, they made it very clear to rink owner Peter Ferriero, whose son Benn Ferriero (Gov. Dummer) will be skating with the Under-18s this weekend, that, if the NTDP- Jr. Bruins game were to go on, that the prep tournament would take their business elsewhere next season. Ferriero made the smart business decision, but really shouldn’t have been put in that position.
Our question is simply this: why can’t we all get along?
Or is this just the year hockey fans get shafted at every turn?
Here’s the deal: If the game had been allowed to stand, everybody would have come out ahead. Fans who might not otherwise come to the prep tournament would show up, pay their admission, bolster the NEPSIHA coffers, and see four excellent prep teams go at it. The prep tournament, just like the Minnesota High School Tournament, is a great showcase, and one that would have had the chance to be even more memorable for those making the long trip. Many of the fans in Salem on Saturday will have never seen Under-18 forward Phil Kessel, who is looking more and more like a once-in-a-decade player, a U.S. Sydney Crosby. It would have been a treat for all to amble downstairs after the prep games and take a peek.
Now, the prep coaches have put themselves in the position of being seen as killjoys.
We know there are philosophical differences between the preps and the NTDP and junior hockey, but we don’t really see why the prep coaches feel threatened to the point that such protectionism as we’re discussing here is necessary. Prep hockey has been around for a long, long time, has an incredibly rich tradition (in all senses of the word), and is in fine shape. One can argue about whether the quality is as high as in other years, but when we look around we see about 800 Div. I varsity players, about 500 Div. II varsity players, and an even larger number playing JV, freshman, etc. We also see dozens of girls programs. And we see rinks that some college programs would kill for. Losing five or so kids to the NTDP and a handful to the EJHL is not going to make a dent in those numbers. Preps win most recruiting battles against EJHL teams. Don’t believe it? Ask the EJHL coaches.
However, sending the Junior Bruins – US Under-18 game packing gives the appearance that prep coaches are really concerned about being shown up or something. It gives an appearance of weakness, which is just bad PR. The NTDP, junior hockey, and prep hockey are all different products. Nobody with half a brain is going to confuse them.
On Saturday, a lot of the NHL scouts will head over to see the Under-18 Team and then show up in Salem later in the afternoon. Some might not show up at all. At the very least, many will miss the Div. II games. That’s too bad, because this weekend should be about the players. It’s their day in the sun. They worked hard to get to Salem. And we just want attentive people watching. Unfortunately, some of those people will be missing, and all because grownups felt the need to make a point that could have been better made elsewhere, and at some other time.
We feel strongly about this. Maybe this winter’s NHL labor battles have gotten the better of this, but we’re really sick of fighting. There just has to be a way to get along.
Top Seeds Move on in Div. I
In Div. I quarterfinal action this afternoon, home ice proved nice as all four top seeds moved on to Salem, NH for Saturday’s semifinals at the Icenter.
We want to thank all those who called and e-mailed in period-by-period updates. For those of you who haven’t seen them please check out the Prep Boys section – or even the Prep Girls section, for that matter.
Div. I Saturday Semifinal matchups:
#1W Avon vs. #2E Nobles, 3:30 pm
#1E Cushing vs. #2W Salisbury, 6:00 pm
The Div. I championship game is on Sunday at 3:00 pm.
Div. II Saturday Semifinal matchups:
#1 Worcester Academy vs. #4 St. George's, 11:00 am
#7 Hoosac vs. #6 St. Mark's, 1:15 pm
The Div. II championship game is on Sunday at 12:30 pm
Final NEPSIHA Rankings
Here are the final Div. I rankings, courtesy of NEPSIHA. The three categories are:
1) Overall NEPSIHA record.
2) Overall NEPSIHA Div. I record.
3) Strength of schedule.
1.Cushing: 4 (1-1-2)
2.Nobles: 5 (2-2-1)
3.Thayer: 12 (3-3-6)
4.Andover: 12 (4-5-3)
5.St. Paul’s: 16 (5-4-7)
6.Exeter: 20 (6-6-8)
7. NMH: 22 (9-8-5)
8.Tabor: 24 (7-7-10)
9.St. Sebastian’s: 24 (11-9-4)
10. GDA: 32 (10-9-13)
11. Bridgton: 32 (7-11-14)
12. Belmont Hill: 33 (12-12-9)
13. Lawrence Academy: 38 (14-14-10)
14. Milton: 44 (13-13-18)
15. Holderness: 44 (16-16-12)
16. KUA: 46 (15-15-16)
17. Tilton: 49 (17-17-15)
18. BB&N: 52 (18-18-16)
- 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)
- Choate: 20 (7-8-5)
- Westminster: 24 (7-8-9)
- South Kent: 25 (6-6-13)
- Pomfret: 27 (10-10-7)
- Berkshire: 30 (11-11-8)
- Winchendon: 32 (9-7-16)
- Albany Academy: 37 (12-13-12)
- Loomis: 38 (14-14-10)
- Gunnery: 40 (13-12-15)
- Hotchkiss: 41 (15-15-11)
- Trinity-Pawling: 48 (16-16-16)
- Millbrook: 48 (17-17-14)
- Kent: 52 (18-18-16)
- Williston: 53 (18-19-16)
Div. I Notes:
St. Paul’s did what they had to do – i.e. win out – and they still didn’t get in. How close was it? If Thayer had lost on Saturday, St. Paul’s would have been in. Ironically, St. Paul’s beat Thayer on consecutive Saturdays – both times in OT. Thayer will be facing Nobles tomorrow without RW Pierce Norton who was tossed from Saturday’s game against St. Sebastian’s for a hit from behind.
Nobles, which beat Cushing in the Watkins finale, came extremely close to taking over the #1 spot in the East from the Penguins. The difference between the team when all the numbers were crunched was .001.
Div. II Notes:
In Div. II, there’s not much disagreement: the top four seeds all deserve to be there. With the exception of #4 St. George's, which has a loss and a tie in their two games with #5 Brooks (tomorrow's opponent) and a loss also to #6 St. Mark's, the teams that got home ice went undefeated in head-to-head competition against the bottom four seeds.
Of the 56 potential matchups (8x7) in Div. II, only about 30 happened, and those were mostly matchups between ISL teams. Does the ISL skew things by playing schedules that feature few games outside of the league? We think so. If, in any given year, the ISL is strong top-to-bottom, they can effectively cancel each other out to the point where it’s possible that none would make it. If, in a given year, it’s particularly weak at the bottom – this year, for example – three teams can make the tournament.
Here are the records of playoff-bound Div. II teams vs. the seven other playoff bound teams during the regular season.
#1 Worcester Academy: 1-1
#2 Vermont Academy: 1-1-1
#3 Brunswick: 4-1-1
#4 St. George’s: 2-2-1
#5 Brooks: 3-1-2
#6 St. Mark’s: 1-3
#7 Hoosac: 1-3
#8 Kent’s Hill: 0-4-1
Calling All Blackberries
We’re going to do things a little differently for the quarterfinals this year. We’re going to attempt to post updates at the end of every period of every game, both Div. I and Div. II, and both boys and girls.
We’re looking for volunteers, most especially volunteers with Blackberries who would be willing, when each period ends, to send a short e-mail to us with the score at the end of each period and, if known, goal scorers. It’s fine, if something seems newsworthy, to add additional info. The important thing, however, is to get the basic info in, so people can get scores in what will be pretty close to real-time.
If anyone has a Blackberry and would be willing to help out, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know which game you will be attending. Also, if you do NOT have a Blackberry, but would be willing to phone in scores at the end of periods, please email us and let us know because we may be able to use you, too, either as a principle reporter or as a backup. After all, not everyone has a Blackberry, but virtually everyone has a cell phone.
The goal is to keep the whole hockey community up to date, and give those who can’t be at the games timely information. With your help we can pull this project off. It should be fun.