4/1/06 Updated, with Funeral information
Gary Dineen, 62, Dies After Lengthy Illness
Gary Dineen, the dean of New England Junior Hockey, died this morning in Springfield, Mass. He was 62 years old, and had been battling cancer for the last ten years, though in the end it was a fast-moving infection from a seemingly minor leg cut that brought him down.
Dineen endured his illness with supreme grace, never complaining, no matter how debilitating the treatments, and doing everything he could to get to the rink as much as possible. In recent years, the first thing anyone would ask when his New England Junior Falcons showed up was, “Is Gary here?”
If he wasn’t, his spirit certainly was. An integral part of the New England hockey scene, he will be greatly missed.
”I’ve never seen a man endure what he has endured with such perseverance. He never once talked about what he was going through,” said Eastern Junior Hockey League commissioner Dan Esdale. “He was a great man, and this is a great loss.”
For the past thirty years, Dineen, as founder/coach/GM and guiding force of the Springfield Pics – later to become the Junior Whalers and, most recently, the New England Junior Coyotes – has guided over 300 kids on to the college ranks. Thirty-five, including Bill Guerin and Scott LaChance, have been drafted into the NHL.
Dineen, a Montreal native, played at St. Micheal’s in Toronto for Father David Bauer, the legendary coach who would also coach Dineen in the ’64 and ’68 Olympic games. Dineen, a 5’10” center, also played on the ’63-64 Memorial Cup-winning Toronto Marlboros squad that included Pete Stemkowksi, Mike Walton, Ron Ellis, Rod Seiling, Wayne Carleton and others. Dineen played four games in the NHL, with the Minnesota North Stars in 1968-69. After that, he played several seasons in the minors, finishing his playing career with the Calder Cup-winning Springfield Kings in 1971. Dineen settled in Springfield, raising a family. The following season Dineen served as Springfield’s coach/GM.
In 1973, Dineen began his junior program, the Springfield Pics, and quickly started developing top-flight college prospects – future BU goaltender Brian Durocher was an one of his first players.
Dineen, one of the finest gentleman one could hope to find in hockey, stressed far more than just hockey in mentoring his charges, using his position as coach to help kids see all that life could offer them if they simply put in the effort.
A strong proponent of skill development, Dineen taught kids how to play the game right. College coaches could count on Dineen’s players arriving on campus well-grounded in the basics.
Dineen is survived by his wife, Patty, and daughter Katie, a recent graduate of Williams College. Many believe Dineen willed himself to stay alive long enough to see his daughter receive her diploma.
Arrangements for Gary Dineen's Services are as follows:
Tues. April 4:
Wake, 4-8 pm
Curran-Jones Funeral Home
West Springfield, Mass.
Wed. April 5:
Funeral Services, 10:00 am
Sacred Heart Church
Burial immediately following in St. Thomas Cemetery, West Springfield, Mass.
Brown's #1 Goalie Calls it Quits
Brown sophomore Adam D’Alba, who has started 54 of Brown’s 65 games over the past two seasons, has hung up his skates and pads with two years of eligibility left.
The decision was D’Alba’s. He will continue on as a student at Brown.
The Glencoe, Illinois native’s decision leaves Brown with two goalies for next season: Mark Sibbald, who as a 21-year-old freshman this season, played six games for Brown, posting a 3.26/.889 line; and Dan Rosen, who has played the last two years in the USHL, suiting up this past season for three teams (Green Bay, Omaha, and Waterloo). Rosen, who finished with a 3.27 gaa and a .895 save percentage in 35 games played, will enter Brown as a 19-year-old freshman this fall.
Brown had a tough go of it this season, finishing last in the ECAC with a 3-14-5 record (5-20-7) overall. Nine of the team’s losses were by one goal.
In 27 games his freshman season, D’Alba had a 14-10-2 record with a 2.26 gaa and a .924 save percentage (seventh in the nation). As a sophomore, he had a 5-15-6 record with a 3.14 gaa and a .910 save percentage. He wasn’t as consistent as the previous season but rebounded enormously down the stretch. He was outstanding against St. Lawrence in the playoffs, almost pulling off a huge upset as the Bears took St. Lawrence into overtime of a third and deciding game in first-round play. Brown was outshot 163-73 in that series and D’Alba had 153 saves in three nights work.
And those look to be the last three nights of his college career.
There is always a chance that D’Alba could change his mind when he gets a little more perspective on the season, but the Brown staff is currently looking around for another goalie to bring in as a late admit. However, if they don’t find the right guy, they’ll go with two – Sibbald and Rosen – and see how things play out.
U.S. Under-18s Win Gold
Angelholm, Sweden – The U.S. topped Finland 3-1 on Saturday to win the IIHF World Under-18 Championship for the second year in a row.
The U.S. trailed Finland 1-0 after one, but got second period goals from Rhett Rakhshani at 5:34 and Chris Summers at 19:59 to take a 2-1 lead into the third.
In the third, the U.S. kept Finland off the board despite having to kill nearly seven consecutive minutes of penalties after Erik Johnson was given a major for checking to the head while the U.S. was already killing a 5-on-3.
Mike Carman scored an empty net goal with two seconds left in the game for the final 3-1 margin of victory.
The U.S. outshot Finland, 46-31. Joe Palmer kicked out 30 of 31 shots for the win. Riku Helenius stopped 44 of 46 in a losing cause.
Unlike last year’s gold-medal winning team, the team the U.S. won with here – coached by John Hynes -- consisted entirely of kids from the National Program. This year’s team was also the far less-heralded of the two teams, but they pulled it off.
Defensemen Erik Johnson and Jamie McBain, and forward Patrick Kane were all named to the all-tournament team.
Kane (12 pts.), McBain (11 pts.), and Johnson (10 pts.) were the tournament’s top three scorers.
Palmer, in four games, had a save percentage of .949. Brett Bennett, in two games, had a save percentage of .969.
The U.S. finished the tournament having converted on 36.2% of their power play opportunities, far better than any other team here. The U.S. goaltenders combined save percentage of .953 was also the best here. The U.S. killed penalties at a 92.1% rate, good for second-best here.
In the bronze medal game, the Czech Republic beat Canada, 4-1.
Kane OT Goal Lifts US into Gold Medal Game
Angelholm, Sweden -- A goal by Patrick Kane from Mike Carman at 6:50 of overtime gave the U.S. a 4-3 win over the Czech Republic in tonight's semifinal at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
The U.S. will meet Finland, 3-2 overtime winners over Canada earlier today, for the gold medal on Saturday.
The U.S. almost let this one get away. After building up a 3-0 lead on first period goals by Ryan Flynn (from Blake Geoffrion), Jamie McBain (on the pp from Erik Johnson) and Rhett Rakhshani (on the pp from Mike Ratchuk and Joe Palmer), the U.S. went scoreless for the rest of regulation.
The Czechs started their comeback five minutes into the second period, Bohdan Visnak scoring on the power play after Chris Summers had been assessed a major and game misconduct for charging.
The Czech Republic scored another power play goal early in the third, as Martin Bartos cashed in just after the U.S. got the first man back from a 5-on-3.
Jiri Tlusty tied the game with an even-strength goal at the 12:47 mark, and that's where it stood until Kane, the tournament's leading scorer, struck in OT.
The Czech Republic outshot the US, 42-38. Joe Palmer had 39 saves for the U.S., and Jakub Kovar had 34 for the Czech Republic.
NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings
The National Hockey League's Central Scouting Service released its final rankings today.
Of the 240 North American players ranked (210 skaters; 30 goalies), 96 are American and 143 are Canadian. That's 40% and 60%, respectively.
The #1-ranked player is U.S. Under-18 Team defenseman Erik Johnson. The next-highest ranked U.S. player is University of Minnesota center Phil Kessel, who has fallen to the fifth spot. Everett Silvertips center Peter Mueller follows him at #6.
For a detailed listing, click on the link below. Here, though, is a quick listing of Americans by round.
First Round (12): Erik Johnson, Phil Kessel, Peter Mueller, Kyle Okposo, Bobby Sanguinetti, Nigel Williams, Nick Foligno, Mark Mitera, Brian Strait, Carl Sneep, David Fischer, Trevor Lewis.
Second Round (11): Joey Ryan, Blake Geoffrion, Mike Weber, Jeff Petry, Michael Forney, Kevin Montgomery, Chris Summers, Luke Lynes, Derrick LaPoint, Aaron Marvin, Rhett Rakhshani.
Third Round (11): Michael Carman, Ryan Turek, Ryan Flynn, Michael Ratchuk, Kyle Medvec, Cameron Cepek, Jamie McBain, Brian Gibbons, Tysen Dowzak, Matt McCollem, Benn Ferriero.
Fourth Round (11): Joe Devin, Kevin Quick, Chad Morin, Jon Rheault, Zach Jones, Kai Kantola, Jordan Willert, Doug Rogers, Tommy Sestito, Eric Baier, Cody Wild.
Fifth Round (11): James Pouliot, Erik Felde, Mike Griffin, Brian Day, Andy Sackrison, Matt Lombardi, Tony Romano, David Grun, Zach Cohen, Tyler Ruegsegger, Tim Filiangieri.
Sixth Round (16): Dan Lawson, Josh Burrows, Sean Dolan, Ben Smith, Chris Higgins, Andrew Rowe, Jordan Fulton, Jack Christian, Mike Devin, Sean Coffey, Chris Huxley, Will O'Neill, Jeremy Beller, Jimmy Fraser, Austin Mayer, Jason Lawrence.
Seventh Round (13): Carter Camper, Mike Testwuide, Brett Motherwell, Joe Smith, Ray Kaunisto, Chris Clackson, Gary Steffes, David Meckler, Vladimir Nickiforov, Phillip Axtell, David de Kastrozza, Scott Fletcher, Michael Brennan.
Goaltenders (11): Jeff Zatkoff, Joe Palmer, Brett Bennett, Alex Kangas, Billy Sauer, Alec Richards, Ryan Simpson, John Murray, Richard Bachman, Joey Perricone, Austin Lee.
5'5.5", 142 lb. RW Vladimir Nikiforov (Barrie -- OHL), the smallest player in the draft, and 6'5.5", 250 lb. LW Phillip Axtell (Cedar Rapids -- USHL), the largest player, were paired, ranked at #206-207. Someone at Central has a nice wry sense of humor.
First Recruit of Allain Era
Cushing junior forward Broc Little has committed to Yale University for the fall of ’07.
Little is coming off a breakthrough season for Cushing, finishing as the team’s leading scorer with a 35-20-55 line in 33 games. His 35 goals led all Division I prep players.
At 5’9”, 150 lbs., Little may be on the slight side physically, but he can skate -- and score.
A 3/24/88 birthdate from Rindge, NH, Little is – at least technically -- the first recruit of the Keith Allain era at Yale, which began on Saturday. Of course, Yale assistant C.J. Marottolo has been on the trail of Little for awhile.
Princeton was also recruiting Little, but wanted him to take a year of juniors and come in ’08.
Murray Offered RPI Job
We have been able to confirm that former Los Angeles Kings coach Andy Murray has been offered the RPI head coaching position.
The offer came over the weekend, and Murray has already, or will shortly be, getting back to RPI AD Ken Ralph with his answer.
The other two remaining candidates, as we confirmed on Friday, are BC assistant Mike Cavanaugh and Denver assistant Seth Appert.
Appert New Engineers Head Coach
Interesting developments on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute coaching front, as former Los Angeles Kings head coach Andy Murray has turned down the school's offer.
RPI AD Ken Ralph immediately turned to 31-year-old Denver assistant Seth Appert, who has accepted the job.
Appert, a bright and personable former goaltender at Ferris State has, despite his young age, nine years experience as a Div. I assistant at Denver, where he helped bring the school back-to-back national titles in 2004 and 2005.
He will be introduced to the RPI community on Friday.
Under-18s Trounce Belarus
Angelholm, Sweden -- The U.S. scored eight second period goals en route to a 12-1 pasting of Belarus in the IIHF World Under-18 championships here tonight.
The U.S. also scored eight power play goals and outshot Belarus, 55-10. However, Belarus outshot the U.S. in the final period as the U.S. backed off and didn't take a shot until the final five minutes of the period.
Scorers for the U.S. were: Erik Johnson (4g,1a), Pat Kane (1g,2a), Michael Carman (1g,2a), Mike McBain (3a), James O'Brien (2g), Rhett Rakhshani (1g), Billy Sweatt (1g), Ryan Hayes (1g), Blake Geoffrion (1a), Trent Palm (1a), and Ryan Flynn (1a).
Brett Bennett kicked out nine of the ten shots he faced.
The U.S., which has outscored its opponents 30-3, finished the round robin portion of the tournament with a 4-0-0 record and a first place finish in the A pool. The U.S. draws a bye into Thursday's semifinals, in which they will face the winner of Wednesday's Sweden-Czech Republic game. The gold medal game is scheduled for Saturday.
Five of the top six scorers here are off the U.S. team: Kane (11 pts.), McBain (10 pts.), Johnson (9 pts.), Sweatt (7 pts.), and Carman (6 pts.). The U.S. is 15 for 40 on the powerplay (37.5%) and the penalty killers have not given up a goal in 35 opportunities.
Hoeffel Says Yes
Hill-Murray junior LW Mike Hoeffel has accepted an invitation from the NTDP to spend his senior year with the U.S. Under-18 Team.
The NTDP also extended invitations to join next season’s Under-18 Team to Nick Larson, Hoeffel’s linemate at Hill-Murray; and Nobles 6’3” forward Jimmy Hayes. Both Larson and Hayes elected to stay put, though.
Hoeffel, a Gopher recruit, posted a 27-44-71 scoring line in 31 games at Hill-Murray this season.
Under-18s Blank Czechs
Angelholm, Sweden – The U.S. blanked the Czech Republic to improve their record to 3-0-0 at the 2006 IIHF World Under-18 Championship here Saturday.
The U.S., which has outscored their opponents 18-2 here, outshot the Czech Republic, 45-23. Joe Palmer picked up the shutout for the U.S.
U.S. scorers were: Patrick Kane (1g,2a), Rhett Rakhshani (2g), Mike Carman (1g,1a), Jamie McBain (2a), Billy Sweatt (1g), Blake Geoffrion (1a), and Erik Johnson (1a).
The U.S. plays Belarus (0-3-0) in their final round robin game on Monday.
Final Three for RPI
RPI AD Ken Ralph has done a good job keeping the process of hiring the next coach from seeing the light of day, or reaching the ears of those who might speculate.
However, reliable sources have indicated to USHR the identities of the finalists – the Big Three.
It’s a little surprising.
--- Leading off is the mystery pro candidate, Andy Murray, who, in his seventh season as head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, was fired on March 21 despite his team’s winning record.
Murray, a Manitoba native who has been an assistant or associate head coach with the Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota North Stars, and Winnipeg Jets as well as the head coach of the Canadian National Team, is quite familiar with the U.S. game.
In 1998-99, he coached Shattuck-St. Mary’s, where his son Brady, who went on to the University of North Dakota and now plays pro in Switzerland, would later attend school. Murray has another son, Jordy, currently at Shattuck. Jordy is a 10th grader and a strong college prospect for the fall of ’08.
Murray attended college at Brandon (Manitoba) University, graduating in 1972.
While Troy, NY is far removed – in many ways -- from the city of Angels, we don’t think that would bother Murray in the least. He strikes us as the kind of coach who is up for different challenges.
--- Mike Cavanaugh, BC’s assistant coach, is the senior candidate from the Div. I college ranks, with 15 years of coaching experience, the last 11 at Boston College where the program has had great success. With the Eagles just six days removed from another NCAA championship game appearance, Cavanaugh would not be a hard sell to the RPI community. Prior to Boston College, Cavanaugh was with Jerry York for a year at Bowling Green. Cavanaugh was also an assistant at Dartmouth for two years and the Belmont Hill School for one.
Cavanaugh, an Andover, Mass. native, was a 1990 graduate of Bowdoin, where he was also team captain.
--- University of Denver assistant coach Seth Appert, 31, is the youngster of the group of three. Appert has been at Denver for the last nine years, two as a volunteer and seven as a full-time assistant. In that time, Denver has won two straight national championships.
A goaltender at Ferris State, from where he was graduated in 1996, Appert is credited with playing a key role in the development of Denver goalies Wade Dubielwicz and Adam Berkhoel.
Appert, a regular coach at USA Hockey Select Camps, has a strong feel for the player pool both north and south of the 50th parallel.
An apology to readers of USHR. We attempted to post the above story after it was written last night, but had troubles with our web server. So for about 10-11 hours the site was down. Everything is OK now, though. Thank you for your patience
Junior Falcons Map Out Post-Dineen Era
The New England Junior Falcons organization has announced a reorganization and succession plan for the post-Gary Dineen era.
Lincoln Flagg has been promoted from head coach to general manager and director of player development. Flagg was hand picked for the position by Dineen, who coached him as a player, and later hired him to work at his hockey school and take the reins of the junior team. Flagg will be also be behind the bench again this fall, serving as an associate head coach.
Mike McLaughlin, who was a volunteer on Flagg’s staff this past season, will be the new head coach of the Junior Falcons.
McLaughlin, a native of Longmeadow, Mass., played for Dineen’s ’85-86 Springfield Pics before going on to the University of Vermont, where he was captain in his senior year. A 1988 Buffalo Sabres draft pick, McLaughlin played in the AHL, ECHL, and the German Elite League.
After retiring as a player, McLaughlin served as an assistant at UMass for a year, then spent seven years as an assistant coach at Amherst College. In 2004-05, he took his first head coaching job, with the Bridgewater Bandits (EJHL).
Katie Dineen, Gary’s daughter and a recent graduate of Williams College, has been named to the Junior Falcons Board of Directors. Katie, an accomplished athlete, will work to see that her father’s organizational philosophy continues.
Pattie Dineen, Gary’s wife, will remain as director of academic counseling and SAT preparation instructor. She will also continue her role on the board of directors.
Paul Stelzer, a hard-working volunteer for the Falcon’s organization as well as USA Hockey, has been named assistant general manager. In addition, Stelzer will continue on as the organization’s director of business operations. Stelzer, a close associate of Dineen’s, will also serve as head coach of the Midget 18-U half-season team.
Vern Smith, who has coached in the Falcons organization for the past ten years, will return for his second year as head coach of the Falcon’s Empire Junior League team. Smith, a second round draft pick of the New York Islanders in 1982, first moved to Springfield when the Islanders had their AHL farm club there in the 1980s.
Chris Shuman, a former player and protégé of Dineen, will be the Junior Falcons Director of Youth Development. Shuman has coached in the Junior Falcons youth program since its inception.
“Under Gary’s guidance,” Flagg says, “the Junior Falcons have been preparing for this unfortunate day over the past year.
“No one will be ever be able to replace Gary Dineen and all he meant to us, but our program remains on more than solid footing with these changes.”
Under-18s Trounce Germany, 9-0
Angelholm, Sweden – The U.S. Under-18 Team trounced Germany, 9-0, in their second game of the round-robin play here yesterday.
The U.S. outshot Germany 62-22. Three of the U.S. goals came on the power play. Brett Bennett picked up the shutout.
The scorers: Patrick Kane (3g,1a); Billy Sweatt (1g,2a); Jamie McBain (3a); Luke Popko (2g); James O’Brien (1g,1a); Mike Ratchuk (2a); Erik Johnson (2a); Mike Carman (1g); and James VanRiemsdyk (1a).
The U.S. plays the Czech Republic on Saturday.
Allain To Be Named New Yale Head Coach
Former Yale goaltender Keith Allain will be introduced as the new Eli coach at a 1 pm press conference tomorrow (Saturday).
Allain, a 1980 grad, played for and was later an assistant under Tim Taylor, who was forced out of his post on March 28 after three decades behind the Yale bench.
Currently the current St. Louis Blues goaltending coach, Allain, 47, has extensive pro and international experience.
Reportedly, only four candidates were interviewed for the job: Allain, Holy Cross head coach Paul Pearl, Harvard assistant Sean McCann, and Dartmouth assistant Dave Peters. All four of those men are top-shelf coaches, so Yale certainly knew what they were looking for.
RPI Search Narrows
The RPI and Yale searches have been very, very quiet – about as quiet as these processes can be.
We’ll get to Yale, but it looks like RPI has narrowed its group to six. We think we have a bead on the candidates, but then again, we thought the same thing two years ago when the Princeton job opened. At that time, we knew who all the candidates were… except the guy (Gadowsky) who came off the ice floes and got the job.
With that caveat out of the way, here’s our list:
Don Vaughn, Colgate head coach: We’re hearing his name in a serious way. It seems like a lateral move (and perhaps not even that) to us. Could it be for leverage? Certainly worked for Mike Schafer a year ago when the Notre Dame job opened up. However, if he really wants the job, then he has to be considered the favorite.
Stan Moore, Providence assistant coach: A two-time ECAC coach of the year, at both Union and Colgate. Impeccable credentials, experience, and a true son of the Empire State. If Vaughn doesn’t take it, and Moore wants it, we’re putting our money on him.
Mike Cavanaugh, Boston College assistant: We know the BC coach is in the picture for either the Yale or RPI job, we just don’t know for sure which one. Jerry York probably knows which one, ditto for the ADs at both schools, and Cavanaugh’s wife. We don’t know for sure, but anecdotal evidence points to RPI. Cavanaugh has been with York since the latter returned from Boston College and cemented the Eagles position as a perennial powerhouse. With that in mind, and BC five days removed from the NCAA championship game, Cavanaugh would be an easy sell to the RPI community.
Dave Peters, Dartmouth assistant: Dartmouth had twenty straight losing seasons before he joined Bob Gaudet’s staff. Peters has been a key to returning the Big Green to the ECAC’s upper echelon… which is exactly where the Engineers would like to be.
Casey Jones, Ohio State assistant: A former Cornell forward, he knows the ECAC and how it works. He also has a lot of contacts – as do all these guys – and knows where the players are. RPI needs players.
Joe Bonnett, Colorado College assistant: He has family ties to the Empire State – his wife is from New York City – so he’s interested. CC has been consistently successful during his tenure.
Possible mystery candidates who might come out of left field include Mercyhurst’s Rick Gotkin and Holy Cross’ Paul Pearl. Both are very good hockey men. As current head coaches, they can’t exactly pursue the job, but it’s worth wondering if Ralph has reached out to them in an attempt to gauge their interest.
What About Yale?
We believe that Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) head coach Dave Bassegio and St. Louis Blues goaltender coach Keith Allain are the top candidates.
The consensus seems to be that Bassegio is the front runner, with Allain waiting in the wings. Both are Yale alums.
Ths search will not end as quickly, and Yale is in the process of interviewing.
We think, if the process gets past the two Yale alums, that all bets are off. We also believe that at least some of those of the RPI candidates will also be candidates in Connecticut.
Allain, by the way, has been named by Mike Eaves to his coaching staff for the IIHF World Championship, which takes place May 5-21 in Riga, Latvia. Washington Caps assistant Jay Leach was named as the other assistant. Wisconsin assistant Mark Osiecki will be the squad's video coordinator.
Sweatt's Pair Leads U.S. Under-18s Past Russia
Angelholm, Sweden -- The U.S. came back from a 2-1 deficit to score three unanswered goals in the third period and top Russia 4-2 in opening night action at the 2006 IIHF World Under-18 championship last night.
Billy Sweatt tied up the game at 2-2 by converting on a penalty shot 3:21 into the third period. Sweatt struck again at 14:30, knocking home a rebound for the game-winner.
Ryan Flynn added an empty net goal with one second remaining for the 4-2 margin of victory.
The U.S. outshot Russia, 42-21 in the game. Joe Palmer was in net for the u.S.
In the first period, Jamie McBain scored on a rebound of an Erik Johnson shot, a power play goal.
U.S. Under-18s Look to Defend Gold
The US will look to defend their 2005 Gold medal at the World Under-18 Championship in Angelholm, Sweden starting tomorrow night. Defenseman Erik Johnson and goaltender Joe Palmer, who served as a backup in net to Jeff Frazee, are the only returning players off last year's gold medal team. Top US eligible players absent include Peter Mueller, Bob Sanguinetti and Kyle Okoposo. Only Mueller was listed on the US Preliminary roster and he's not available as his junior team, the Everett Silver Tips have advanced in the WHL playoffs.
The key to success for the US team this year starts with the strong group of d-men led by Johnson and team captain Brian Strait. There are no real snipers and the US forwards lack the high-end skills of last year's team which featured Phil Kessel, Jack Skille, Mueller and Ryan Stoa. Up front, the US squad will be led by Patrick Kane and Bill Sweatt along with power winger Blake Geoffrion. Head coach John Hynes also brought along Minnesota high school standout Mike Forney (Thief River Falls HS) on the trip, but Forney is injured and can’t play, so James VanRiemsdyk will be a last-minute addition . Earlier, Under-17 forwards Ryan Hayes and Colin Wilson were added to the team, as was offensive defenseman Cade Fairchild. Hynes will have defenseman Chris Summers up front for the tournament. Palmer, who at times this year has struggled with his consistency, will have to come up big in net for the US to bring home the gold.
Unless the US team has a complete collapse they should easily beat the Germans and Belarus and advance at least to the qualifier. Tomorrow’s opener against Russia and the third game (Sat. vs. the Czechs) look to be tough challenges. The Czechs are lead by forwards Michael Frolik and Jiri Tlusty, both of whom played on the Czech World Junior team, and are anchored on the blueline by smooth-skating David Ruzicka. It's supposedly a down year for Russian prospects, but Russia always seems to field a strong team in the Under-18s and will look to improve on their fifth place finish last year, which came on the heels of winning gold in 2004.
On the other side of the bracket, barring a major upset, the Canadians, Swedes and Finns should all advance out of the preliminary round. Canada will field a solid team but will be playing without their top three forwards -- Jonathan Toews (North Dakota), and two junior players still in the playoffs, Jordan Staal and James Sheppard. All are expected to be very high first round picks in June’s NHL draft. Canada still will be very strong between the pipes with top rated ‘88 goalie prospect Jonathan Bernier. One player to watch on the Canadian team will be ‘90 born forward John Tavares.
USA Hockey is expected to provide audio broadcasts of the US games and the tournament can be followed online at:
Select the WU18 link.
Goaltenders (2): Joe Palmer, Brett Bennett.
Defensemen (8): Cade Fairchild, Nigel Williams, Jamie McBain, Erik Johnson, Brian Strait, Kevin Montgomery, Trent Palm, Mike Ratchuk.
Forwards (12): Blake Geoffrion, Ryan Hayes, Rhett Rakhshani, Ryan Flynn, Chris Summers, Jame O’Brien, Michael Carman, Bill Sweatt, James VanRiemsdyk, Colin Wilson, Patrick Kane, Luke Popko.
Note: All players on the above roster are NTDP players. Under-18 players not playing are Chris Atkinson (injury) as well as Tony Mosey, Greg Squires, and Steve Sperry, who are playing for Ron Rolston's Under-17 team in the NAHL playoffs. Hynes elected not to make wholesale changes from outside the program like Rolston did last year when he brought in Taylor Chorney, Dan Collins, Ben Ferriero, and Chad Rau for the World Under-18's.
2006 IIHF World U18 Championship
Angelholm, Halmstad, SWEDEN
Group A: US, Russia, Germany, Czech, Belarus.
Group B: Canada, Slovakia, Sweden, Norway, Finland.
Wed. April 12 – US vs. Russia (7:45 pm local time; 1:45 pm EST)
Thurs. April 13 – US vs. Germany (7:45 pm local time; 1:45 pm EST)
Sat. April 15 – U.S. vs. Czech Republic (7:45 pm local time; 1:45 pm EST)
Mon. April 17 – US vs. Belarus (7:45 pm local time; 1:45 pm EST)
Wed. April 19 -- Cross-Over Game
Thurs. April 20 -- Semifinals
Sat. April 22 -- Medal Games
The U.S. has completed their only two exhibition games, defeating Sweden, 5-2, on Friday, and Finland, 8-4, on Sunday.
In Friday’s win over Sweden, Pat Kane (2g,1a) and Erik Johnson (1g,2a) led the attack with three points apiece. Jamie McBain and Ryan Flynn both added goals of their own while Joe Palmer kicked out 18 of 20 shots. The U.S. outshot Sweden, 30-20.
In Sunday’s win over Finland, Kane (1g,2a), James O’Brien (1g,1a) Rhett Rakhshani (1g,1a), Mike Carman (2g), Colin Wilson (1g,1a) and Jamie McBain (2a) led the charge. Peter Ratchuk and Ryan Hayes chipped in with single goals and Brett Bennett stopped 32 of 36 shots. The U.S. was outshot by Finland, 36-33.
USHL Divisional Finals on Tap
The USHL Divisional finals get underway tonight with the defending Clark Cup Champion Cedar Rapids RoughRiders hosting the Des Moines Buccaneers for the Eastern Division Championship. Tomorrow night, the Western Division faces off with the Sioux Falls Stampede hosting the Lincoln Stars. Both series can be either viewed on the B2 network or listened to on the USHL web site.
The preliminary round of the playoffs featured three of the four series going the full five games with only the Buccaneers disposing of Mark Mazzolini's Green Bay Gamblers in the minimum three games. The RoughRiders, down 2-1 in the series to Indiana, starved off elimination on a Gary Steffes goal in a 3-2 OT win on the road to even the series at 3-3 and then cruised to a 6-2 win in the decisive game at home. Steffes, Ted Purcell, Phil Axtell, defenseman David Strathman and Alex Stalock in net led the way for the victorious RoughRiders who, despite their playoff experience, will have their hands full with a very talented and deep Buccaneers squad. Des Moines is led by forwards Trevor Lewis and Kyle Okposo and goaltender Troy Davenport who, with the early departure of David McKee to the NHL, will be returning to the Cornell Big Red in the fall to battle for the number goaltending position. On the backline, ‘87 Jeff Petry had an excellent series against the Gamblers with a 1-1-2 +5 line. Petry, Lewis and Okposo are being closely watched by many NHL scouts for the upcoming NHL Draft in June.
Prediction: Both teams finished with identical regular season records with Cedar Rapids winning the season series 5-2 and with that the home ice advantage in this short five-game series. While not as deep and talented as last year, Cedar Rapids has a little more skill up front than the Bucs and is solid on the blue line. Plus, it's always hard to go against a defending champion, especially one with a talented netminder with a championship ring on his finger. Still Des Moines comes in with a hot goaltender and a well-rested team after sweeping Green Bay. Particularly impressive has been Regg Simon's defensive core which lost team leader John Vadnais midway through the regular season due to injury. We see this series going five games and won't be surprised if a few are decided in OT. It's a real toss up, but in the end the intangibles and a late Okposo goal on the road will continue the Bucs magical last-to-first ride this season into the Clark Cup finals.
The Sioux Falls Stampede, who ran away from the league earlier in the year and finished with the best overall record, were a mortal 10-8-2 in their final 20 games and got a good scare from Tri-City, as they were forced to come back from a 2-1 deficit and win the last two games of the series in order to advance. Both games were tight checking, defensive struggles with the Stampede pulling out 2-0 wins in each game. The series wasn't decided until Ben Holmstrom's empty netter with 16 seconds left in the decisive game. Alex Kangas struggled in net, and John Murray has emerged as the number one guy in net for Kevin Hartzell. The late addition of Minnesota high school forward Jay Barribal has added increased punch to an already formidable group of forwards led by Andreas Nodl, Mark Magnowski and Casey Parenteau. Talented blueline Nate Prosser anchors the defense but it's in net where the Stampede have excelled and Murray will have to come up big between the pipes in order for Sioux Falls to advance past a hungry Lincoln Stars team. The Stars closed out the regular season on a seven-game winning streak, but had to battle through an experienced and tough Omaha Lancer team, escaping with a 1-0 victory in the decisive game. The Stars are very deep up front, counting no fewer than nine forwards who managed double digit numbers in goals scored during the regular season -- snipers Mike Davies, JJ Koehler and Justin Milo head the list. On the blueline, Eli Vlaisavljevich led USHL defensemen in scoring during the regular season. The big question for the Stars is in net where late ‘88 Bryan Hogan has been inconsistent at times but was rock solid in the first round of the playoffs, particularly in his 44-save shutout of the Lancers in the decisive game, a 1-0 win for Lincoln.
Prediction: Though Sioux Falls stumbled a little down the regular season stretch, playing two elimination games against the Storm probably helped re-energize the team and build confidence. All the games should be close as five of the seven regular season matchups were decided by just one goal with the Stampede winning five of seven. While Lincoln led the league in scoring, has three lines that can light the lamp, and has the advantage in special teams both in the PP and PK, it's goaltending and team defense that wins championships. We see the edge in both categories clearly with the Stampede, who we see advancing in four games.
Yandle Top D in Q
Former Cushing defenseman Keith Yandle has won the Butch Bouchard Trophy, given annually to the top defenseman in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Yandle was also named the league’s defensive player of the year, was named to the first All-Star team, and was the leading scorer among the league’s defenseman.
Yandle, whose Moncton Wildcats are battling Halifax in the Q quarterfinals (Moncton, as host city, also has an automatic berth in the Memorial Cup), currently has a 25-59-84 line in 66 games. He has 109 penalty minutes and is a +50.
Yandle, a fourth round draft choice of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2005 and a former UNH and Maine recruit, was also runner-up to Quebec Remparts RW Alexander Radulov in the league MVP running. Radulov, a Nashville first round pick in 2004 and Russian import, led the Q in scoring with 152 points in 62 games.
Quebec Remparts defenseman Joey Ryan, a former Valley Junior Warrior from Malden, Mass., has won the league’s humanitarian award. Ryan led all league defensemen with 202 pims, though that has anything to do with his getting the award (we think)
Shattuck-St. Mary’s center Angelo Esposito, also with the Quebec Remparts, was named offensive rookie of the year. Esposito has a 39-59-98 line in 57 games.
Former St. Paul’s School defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk of the Halifax Mooseheads was named to the all-rookie team.
Since we’re giving props to Keith Yandle, we should mention that his older brother, UNH defenseman Brian Yandle, was named to the second All-American team for the second year in a row. Yandle is currently skating with the Lowell Lock Monsters (AHL) on an amateur tryout basis.
Dumont Called Home
Jamie Dumont has been named associate head coach of the Portland Junior Pirates (AJHL) and director of hockey operations for the whole organization.
Dumont, a native of Lewiston, Maine, was an assistant coach on Scott Paluch’s staff at Bowling Green this season.
Prior to that he served as a grad assistant at the University of Maine and spent four years on Terry Meagher’s staff at Bowdoin. He was also an assistant at Hobart for two years.
Dumont will work with head coach Jay Pecora on the junior team, run the organization’s recruiting, and work with the midget and youth programs as well as the summer camps.
Huxley Makes His Move
Noble & Greenough defenseman Chris Huxley, who had been recruited to RPI last fall, will instead be playing next season in juniors and joining Harvard University in the fall of ’07.
RPI has been without a coach since firing Dan Fridgen a month ago, and Huxley, who committed to RPI in the preseason and then went out and played so well that some of the bigger schools were kicking themselves for not getting involved, decided to make his move to the green pastures of Harvard University.
USA Hockey Player Development Camps
Here's the schedule for this summer:
Select 16 Player Development Camp
Select 17 Player Development Camp
St. Cloud, Minn.
Select 14 Player Development Camp
Select 15 Player Development Camp
St. Cloud, Minn.
July 29-Aug. 4
When we called Dallas Stars forward Bill Guerin and asked him to share some of his thoughts about his junior coach, Gary Dineen, the Dallas Stars forward said, “I could keep you on the phone for hours about how he affected my life -- and hundreds of other lives, too. How much time do you have?”
Six other notables from the hockey world responded in a similar way, all more than happy to pass along thoughts about – and lessons gleaned from – the dean of New England junior hockey, who died on Saturday morning after a long illness. Dinee, who was 62, leaves his wife, Patty, daughter Katie, and an enormous extended hockey family.
The director of pro scouting for the Carolina Hurricanes, Johnston has had a lengthy and distinguished career in pro and amateur hockey.
Gary and I go back to 1964 when we were both on the Canadian Olympic Team and then we stayed with the National Program through the 1968 Olympics. We both turned pro the same year, ironically with the Minnesota North Stars, and we spent part of our second year in Waterloo, Iowa, where the North Stars had a farm team. From there Gary was traded to the LA Kings who assigned him to Springfield. I’d say Western Mass was the big beneficiary there.
Gary was a really talented player -- a playmaking, offensive, thinking player. He wasn’t a great natural scorer, but if you were lucky enough to play on his line you’d get a hatful of chances, and if you were good you’d put a lot of them in.
The Canadian National Progam was instituted by Father David Bauer, a priest who had been Gary’s coach at St. Mike’s. It was his vision. But it was bare bones. No one paid much attention because none of the Olympic players played in the NHL. You didn’t get paid, of course. When we got into playing the Russians it didn’t take us long to realize how good they were.
Gary was a thinker and (playing the Russians) probably had more impact on him than the rest of us. The only time we ever beat Russia was in 1967, the year of the Canadian centennial – at an international tournament in Winnipeg. I remember that Gary was absolutely thrilled with that game. He had a great game, too.
(When we were) in the Minnesota organization, the NHL went from six to twelve teams but getting a spot still involved a little bit of luck and timing and that sort of thing. When Gary was traded to LA and then had the opportunity to get into coaching I think he might have found that to be his first love. He did very well in his first year coaching in the AHL and thought he deserved a raise and asked for one. Jack Kent Cooke, who owned the Kings then, figured he could hire someone else for less. Gary stuck around Springfield, met Patty, and the rest is history.
I don’t know what better legacy one can leave than Gary’s. He had such a tremendous influence on kids – as a coach, as a teacher, and a leader. A lot of us would have liked to have been as influential on the game and young people as he has.
The ‘Dean of New England Scouts,’ Crocker is currently working for the Los Angeles Kings. Like Marshall Johnston, he’s been in the game, at both the pro and amateur level, for decades.
In recent years Gary was in physical pain and suffered beyond comprehension, but he never complained. He was always upbeat. He always had time for you. He’d call you back promptly. Send film – whatever you needed. He was just a special, special guy.
Gary was a giver, not a taker. He had a profound effect on kids, and gave them a first-class opportunity.
He’s been a great friend to young hockey players – in his summer camps, on his teams – and totally involved, totally entrenched with their lives.
He ran a first class program and spent thousands of dollars of his own to keep it going. He just wanted to give kids an opportunity to play hockey and maybe derive a better life from that participation.
I’ve always felt that Gary ‘shortchanged’ himself professionally by not trying to attain a higher position in the hockey world. He was so qualified. But he seemed content running his program, helping kids with potential better themselves. He was very unselfish. I think he cared more about his players than himself.
And probably the greatest gift he received was the love of those players, which probably meant more to him than any financial gain.
Gary was a fierce competitor. He could battle officials with the best of them. Yet at the end of the day, he always had respect for them.
This is a sad day for hockey. But he’ll always be remembered. You don’t replace guys like that – Bob Johnson, Herb Brooks, Gary Dineen. They come along once in a lifetime. They’re special.
A native of Wilbraham, Mass., the Dallas Stars forward played for Dineen’s Springfield Pics from 1985 until 1989, when he headed off to Boston College.
Gary had a major, major influence on me. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I started at his hockey school at eight, so I’ve known him for almost 30 years. From Day One he was a great help to me and my parents. He was always very influential, like another father to me.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled in the NHL and I’ve called him for guidance. It’s always helped. He always understood what I was going through and helped me feel better about myself.
With Gary it was never about making better hockey players, it was about helping guys become better people, and, through hockey, to get an education. He always stressed how important character, hard work, and education were.
’You can’t just be a good hockey player,’ he’d say. ‘You have to be a good citizen, a good person.’
One time when I was 15 my grades were slipping and Gary and my dad decided it would be a good idea if I took a two-week break from the team. Gary just knew I needed time to focus on my studies, that that was what was most important.”
Gary was the best. There will never be another one like him. This is a big loss for all of us.
Currently the head coach of Boston University’s women’s team, Durocher, a goaltender, was the first major scholarship player to come out of Dineen’s program, then in its infancy. Durocher attended BU, where he was co-captain of the ’77-78 NCAA championship team.
Back then (’73-74), the concept and the program was totally unknown in Western Mass. I was at Longmeadow High School and I joined the Pics for my senior year after getting a tryout.
Playing in Western Mass you might as well have been living on the moon back then, and the first five years were lean for the program. Gary worked hard, but he couldn’t quite convince the college assistant coaches that there were players in Western Mass. By the mid-eighties all that changed though, and it was because of Gary’s program and his work.
We played in the New England Junior Hockey League and played 55-60 games. The original eight teams were Springfield, Fitchburg, Tyngsboro, Rhode Island, Charles River Flames (Newton-based), Tri-Valley (Rockland-based), Weymouth, and Pembroke. We had about 8-10 kids Springfield area kids. The rest of the team was AIC and UMass students.
Gary had a pedigree that included education. He had played in the Olympics, he went to St. Mike’s, he was a graduate of the University of British Columbia. He crossed multiple boundaries. He treated you as an adult at a time when a lot of coaches were just iron-fisted rulers. At the time he was also a very young guy, but he was very worldly.
He was a guy who gave you structure and lessons in how to play the game, but he also gave you the freedom to play. When it came to skills, he defined it differently than a lot of others at the time. He’d knew all the tiny details of the game, in great depth, and would work on them with you.
A New England Jr. Coyotes forward, Almeida was recently named EJHL MVP for the 2005-06 season.
Everyone just loved him. Because he was sick I never got to experience what it was like to have him be my coach, to be on the bench. But he had an impact on me in many ways. We were planning to get together in a week and talk about colleges – have dinner at his house and sit down and talk about different options. I feel terrible that won’t happen.
He had a big impact on me before the playoffs last season. He told me that I wasn’t skating. He said, ‘For you to be a player, you have to be ‘a skating Barry’, you can’t be ‘a watching Barry.’ When he said that I took it to heart. Ever since I’ve been ‘Skating Barry.’
He taught life lessons. ‘Without character,’ he’d say, ‘you won’t be what you want to be.’
Currently a Northeastern assistant, Reilly was head coach of the Pics/Whalers in the 90’s, putting together a 276-79-31 record before being hired away by the University of Maine in 1998.
Gary was by far the best coach I’ve ever worked with. He was the best – by far. He knew the X’s and O’s, but the key thing was his communication skills and the way he could motivate.
He was much more than a developer of players. He was a developer of people. Father Bauer, who was his mentor, would say, ‘There’s more to hockey than your slapshot.’ Gary believed that. He was a difference-maker in people’s lives.
Gary was a really considerate, caring human being who listened to people. He was also very bright, and had a charisma. When he walked into a room he had an aura.
In the summer, I worked Gary’s hockey camp and I lived with the Dineens on the Cape. I liken that experience to the book “Tuesdays with Morrie.” It was a ball. He was like an angel for me.
Behind his desk he kept a saying from Calvin Coolidge and he’d read it after every banquet:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not – nothing is more common than unsuccessful men of talent. Genius will not – unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not – the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are all-powerful.
Gary would also say ‘I just want to leave this world a little bit better off.’ And he did.
A Pics player from 1972-75, Flagg went on to play at UMass and coach at AIC. For the past six seasons, he’s been head coach of the Junior Coyotes.
I was fortunate to play under him and then to coach under him. I’d say the main thing I learned from Gary was how to treat people and how to look for character and goodness in people.
Gary turned raw athletes, through the right amount of coaching and right amount of practice, into hockey players. He gave kids out here a chance to get looked at for college. In the early days, since the college coaches wouldn’t come out here, Gary’s approach was ‘we’ll go to Boston -- and beat teams there.’
(In recent months), he was not allowed to come to our games because his immune system was so low, but he saw us win the quarterfinals in Foxboro from the glassed-in viewing area there. Afterwards he came down to the locker room and those kids faces lit up. That was the last time he saw the team. He was too ill to go to Worcester (for the semi-finals.)
Gary took a disease that strips you of your dignity and he didn’t allow it to strip him of his dignity. He fought it to the end and then it just overcame him.
It’s hard to lose someone who is such a father figure. It’s a tremendous loss for the world.
Gary’s legacy will remain, though. The (junior) program will continue and we will forge on in his memory. The hockey camp, which he started in 1972, will continue. They are his legacy.
6’0”, 175 left-shot center Danny Hobbs, a Shawville, Que. native who played at Stanstead College, has committed to UMass. Hobbs, a 6/1/89 birthdate, will be leaving Stanstead to play junior hockey next season, most likely in the EJHL or the Central Ontario Junior League. Right now, he’s expected for at Amherst in the fall of ’07, though ’08 is a possibility, too.
Hobbs, a playmaker, is an excellent skater with hockey sense to match.
-- 6’1”, 195 lb. Taft junior defenseman Eric Baier, who had previously committed to Dartmouth, has committed to Providence College, which will put him across town from older brother, Paul, a sophomore defenseman at Brown.
Baier had a 5-5-10 line for Div. I prep runner-up Taft.
-- 6’1”, 185 lb. C/LW Jonathan Higgins of the Green Mountain Glades (EJHL) will be playing at the University of Vermont in the fall.
Higgins, an ’86, graduated from Exeter HS two years ago, then took a PG year at Phillips Exeter Academy, then moved on to the Glades this year.
Higgins is a physical two-way forward. In the EJHL this season, the Stratham, NH native refined his game, really coming on in the second half and becoming more of an offensive force than expected. Higgins finished the season with a 23-16-39 line in 44 games.
-- 6'1", 208 lb. Northern Mass. Jr. Cyclones (Atlantic Jr. Hockey League) RD Brett Carriere has committed to the University of Maine for this coming fall.
Carriere, who is from Ottawa, Ont., is a July '85 birthdate. He led all AJHL defensemen in scoring with a 9-48-58 line in 41 games played.
GBL Junior Bruins Win Nationals in OTThe GBL Junior Bruins topped the Chicago Chill, 2-1 in overtime, to take the U.S. Tier I 18-and-Under national championship in Rochester, NY this afternoon.
Brad Malone scored the winning goal at the 7:33 mark of the extra session. Malone also assisted on Cushing teammate Alex Curran’s goal early in the third period that tied the game at 1-1.
The GBL Junior Bruins were outshot by the Chill 34-28 but goaltender Richard Bachman, yet another Cushing player, was up to the task, kicking out 33 shots.
Four days ago, on Wednesday, the Junior Bruins topped the Chill in the first game of the round-robin portion of the tournament, also in OT, though the game was forfeited to the Chill when it was learned that the GBL Bruins had used an ineligible player in the game. The only other loss the GBL Bruins suffered was on Friday, when Shattuck-St. Mary’s, trailing 2-0 late in the third, came up with two goals to tie it in regulation and then won it with a Zach Harrison OT strike.
-- In the Tier I 16-and-Under championship game, the California Wave beat the New Jersey Devils, 3-2, also in OT.
The overtime goal, scored by the Wave’s Michael Juola, was a power play tally and came at the 9:54 mark.
Three penalties were called in overtime, all on New Jersey. Now that’s something you don’t see much in OT.
-- In the Tier I 14-and-Under championship game, the LA Selects beat the Rochester Americans, 4-1.
USA Hockey Pulls Mass Entry From Nationals
The South Boston Shamrocks, who had been representing Massachusetts in the Tier II 18-and-Under Nationals in Pittsburgh, have been forced to withdraw from the tournament because of ineligible players.
The team, coached by Teddy Cuniff, was barred from playing their final round-robin game last night. They have returned to Boston.
The team already had four players discovered to be ineligible just prior to the tournament’s first game: defenseman Cullen Lundholm from the Bridgewater Bandits (EJHL), and, from the Bridgewater Bandits Empire Jr. B team, forwards Brian Yanovitch and Jimmy Ennis, and goaltender Doug Carr. Carr’s ineligibility left the team in Philadelphia with just one goaltender, Matt Hadge. However, before last night’s game versus the South Central Alaska Wolves, it was revealed that Hadge, too, had been double rostered with the Bandits Jr. B team. USA Hockey stepped in and pulled the plug.
We have no idea why, with four junior players declared ineligible prior to the tournament’s first game, no one stepped forward and mentioned that the sole remaining goalie was also ineligible. He was, after all, a teammate of the barred kids.
Efforts to reach Cuniff have so far been unsuccessful.
Dan Esdale, EJHL commissioner and a Mass Hockey vice president, said, “Yesterday they (the South Boston Shamrocks) got the information that Hadge was ineligible. USA Hockey made the decision (to immediately pull them from the tournament).”
Esdale said that the “whole thing” – both what happened in the Tier I Nationals and the GBL Junior Bruins having to forfeit a game in the Tier I Nationals in Rochester – was “very, very unfortunate.”
Esdale also said that he was feeling the heat.
”It’s a position you don’t want to be in,” he said. “It’s unfortunate because there was no malice or bad intent. It is, though, an embarrassment for everyone involved. We want to get through this and have safeguards for the future.”
On a related note, though Esdale seemed reluctant to fan the flames and make a big deal of GBL Junior Bruins coach John Flaherty’s comments regarding the events surrounding the forfeiture of Wednesday’s game at the Tier I Nationals against the Chicago Chill, he did say that his recollection of the conversations concerning D.J. Fimiani’s eligibility differed from Flaherty’s and that the two “would be meeting to talk about it” after the team returns from Rochester.