The Skating Center at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. has been a hive of activity the last few weeks as USA Hockey has totally taken it over, using it as a base for an ambitious project that will wind up benefiting thousands of players across the country.
“We’re totally redoing our USA Hockey skills video,” said Ken Martel, USA Hockey Coordinator of Youth Hockey. ”The last time this was done was in 1983 – and that was on VHS!”
Martel, a former coach at Michigan Tech, the Air Force Academy, and the US National Team Development Program, is the point man behind the $500,000 project for which USA Hockey has partnered with Cramer Productions, a Norwood, Mass. business owned by former Boston College star Tom “Red” Martin.
“We’re shooting 400 skills here,” Martel says. “Everything will go on a DVD you can slide it right into your laptop. We’ll have a set list, a menu, so you can click on, for example, “skating” and fifty different skating drills will pop up. You just pick the one you need. If you choose crossovers, you’ll see a player executing a crossover, but you can also jump to a clip of Phil Kessel in the World Juniors. The game footage backs up the skill. The viewer picks and chooses what he wants to see.”
“It will be totally interactive. Coaches will be able to create practice plans and they can take various skills and put them in a format in which they can email them to all their players in advance of practice so the kids will know what they’ll be working on.”
The video covers five basic areas: Skating; Puckhandling/Puck Control, Passing/Receiving; Shooting/Scoring; and “Angling/Body Contact/Checking.
The Babson Skating Center looks like a Hollywood film set, with klieg lights and boom cranes. The stars are Mike Emrick, who is doing the voice-overs, and Eddie Olczyk, who is introducing each section. The actors are local players, from youth players to current NHLers like former St. Paul’s and BC forward Jeff Giuliano. Other local players demonstrating skills include Brian Strait, Jimmy Hayes, Cam Atkinson, Andrew Orpik, Robby Vrolyk, David Warsofsky, Steven Birnstill, Ryan Ginand, and Pat Gannon.
“With the players we’ve used, we’ve looked for technical correctness,” said Martel.
“We’ve had a chance to see what the Canadians, Finns, and Swedes have done in the way of video. We have had the opportunity to sit back and see what they’ve done and ask ourselves ‘How can we do it better?’ The answer is to make it more user-friendly. That’s something we’ve worked hard on.”
“And this is an ongoing project,” Martel says. “It doesn’t end when this phase is all done. The technology allows us to come back and add sections in -- game tactics, team tactics, goaltending, there are tons of different categories.”
Martel, along with Mark Tabrum, the director of USA Hockey’s coaching education program; Dan Brennan, the manager of the coaching education program; and Kevin McLaughlin, USA Hockey’s Youth Director, have put in a lot of hours on this. They were looking a little haggard when we saw them.
“We’ve been here 18 days, going from noon to 9 pm Monday through Saturday with a one hour break in the middle,” said Tabrum. “It’s been a huge undertaking.”
Shooting winds down tonight, but post-production work will continue. The video could be ready as early as October. USA Hockey is trying to keep the price reasonable -- $40 has been mentioned. When it’s ready we’ll have more info here.
Brisebois a Red Raider
St. Paul’s School forward Francois Brisebois has accepted a four-year scholarship to Colgate beginning next fall.
Brisebois, a 2/26/88 birthdate from Montreal, had a 14-25-39 in 28 games for St. Pauls last season, which tied him for the team lead in points with fellow Montrealer Yuri Bouharevich. A left shot LW/C, Brisebois, 5’10” and 168 lbs., is very clever with the puck and a quick, shifty skater. Among schools recruiting Brisebois were Yale, Union, and Holy Cross.
Brisebois played in last week’s Beantown Classic, and looked very good.
Prior to St. Paul’s, Brisebois played for Ecole Edouard Montpetit Midget AAA, where he was a teammate of Bouharevich.
Mike Cheever, ‘Quintessential Volunteer,’ Dies After Long Illness
Mike Cheever, a long-time volunteer who rose to become president of Mass Hockey, died at his Swampscott, Mass. home last night from cancer. He was 68.
Cheever, a one-time Marine Corps sergeant who favored an army haircut right to the end, was a no-nonsense guy who could run U.S. Select Festivals and international tours with all the precision his military training gave him, yet all the while keep those around him loose with great stories punctuated by his wry sense of humor.
Cheever got into hockey simply for the love of the game. A Lynn, Mass. native who attended St. Mary’s High School in that city, he later moved to Swampscott, Mass. He got into youth hockey in 1967 simply because little league baseball, where he had also volunteered, was over and he had the energy to help out with another sport. Cheever had children, but they weren’t hockey players. He just enjoyed the game, and liked doing things, so he headed over to the local rink and asked what needed to be done.
He never stopped asking what needed to be done.
And when Mike Cheever was handed a task, it got done, and done right.
Cheever, who served for 15 years on USA Hockey’s youth council, was, according to Jack McCatherin, who worked with him at numerous Mass Hockey and USA Hockey events and projects, “the quintessential volunteer.”
We second that. Volunteers like Cheever keep the whole system of youth hockey in this country running, and Mike Cheever kept things running for a long time.
Cheever¸ who apprenticed under Duke Kumpel, Mark Kumpel’s father, worked as a full-time union pipefitter for Johnson Control.
Here are the funeral arrangements.
In lieu of flowers the family has asked to send donations to a scholarship set up in Mike's name.
Mike Cheever Scholarship Foundation
C/o Marian Gallo-Muise
405 Paradise Road B 337VSQ
Swampscott, MA 01907
Solomine, Landergan, &RhodesFuneral Home
67 Ocean Street
Friday Sept 1, 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00
Sat 10:00 St. Johns Catholic Church
LA’s Simpson and Gates Make Their Picks
Lawrence Academy center John Simpson and goaltender Justin Gates, both of whom will be seniors this season, have committed to college over the last few days.
Simpson, a 5’10”, 175 lb. center from Acton, Mass., will be going to Union in the fall of ‘07. The third-leading scorer last season, Simpson, an ’87, is a very hard-working, two-way player with good speed and passing ability.
Gates, a 6’0”, 160 lb. native of Cranston, RI, will be going to Providence College in the fall of ’08. One of the top few goalies in prep hockey last winter, Gates, a 3/20/88 birthdate, was a key to Lawrence’s going 21-5-4 and making the playoffs.
BU Wins One…
Star Cushing Academy defenseman David Warsofsky has committed to Boston University.
Warsofsky, in our opinion the most skilled defenseman in prep hockey last winter – and that as a ninth grader – is scheduled to enter BU in the fall of ’09, but look for him to accelerate his studies and arrive on Agganis Way in the fall of ’08.
Warsofsky, who’s 5’9” and 155 lbs., is a native of North Marshfield, Mass. Last season, in 37 games with the Penguins, Warsofsky had an 8-26-34 scoring line, making him one of the top-scoring defensemen in prep hockey.
Warsofsky is small, but he has excellent mobility, an excellent stick, and he sees the ice uncommonly well. He can thread the needle with his passes – a high number of them are exceptional. He has poise a-plenty. When he’s running the power play for the Terriers in a few years, those high-priced seats in the new arena will be worth every penny. He’s just a fun player to watch.
Warsofsky, a ’90, was invited to play with the NTDP this season, but chose to remain at Cushing, where his brother will be joining him this season. Warsofsky has an older brother who played prep hockey at Holderness a few years back.
While numerous colleges tried to get in on the Warsofsky hunt, BU had the inside track all along. Warsofsky grew up following the Terriers, and the parents of former BU player Mike Sullivan are his godparents.
… and Loses One
It’s official. Uber-recruit Patrick Kane has finally made up his mind, and has told the staff of the National Team Development Program, which was hoping to have him for half a season before he went off to college, that he will instead be going the major junior route and signing with the London Knights (OHL).
Anyone who reads USHR is probably familiar with this saga, as Kane has weighed college (read BU) and the major junior route for a long time. Most observers suspected the London Knights, who came after him hard, would win out in the end.
Kane would have been an exciting player to watch in NCAA competition, but it isn’t going to happen.
Did the college option drive up his price? You can bet on it.
Kane, a 5’9”, 160 lb. center from Buffalo, NY who turns 18 in November, led the NTDP Under-18 Team in scoring last winter, notching 102 points and breaking Phil Kessel’s single-season scoring record of 98 points in the process. (In all fairness, Kane played 11 more games in his record-setting season than Kessel had.)
Kaufman Named Assistant at Ferris State
Former Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) head coach/GM Mark Kaufman has been named as an assistant on Bob Daniels’ staff at Ferris State.
Kaufman, who was fired by Sioux Falls ownership late in the 2004-05 season, his second season back in the USHL, was an assistant at Ferris State in 1993-94.
After that, he went on to the minor pro ranks for eight years, working as an assistant coach in the San Jose Sharks organization, with stops at Kansas City and Lexington, Kentucky. After leaving the Sharks organization, Kaufman was head coach of the Richmond Rengeades (ECHL) for four years, and the Kalamazoo Wings (UHL), for part of one season.
Kaufman returned to the USHL in the 2003-04 season.
DiGiulian Steps Down at Vermont
Damian DiGiulian, about to start his tenth season as an assistant at the University of Vermont, has resigned.
DiGiulian, a 36-year-old native of Branford, Conn. whose tenure in Vermont has spanned both the Mike Gilligan and Kevin Sneddon regimes, cited family reasons for stepping down.
In a statement, DiGiulian said, “The reason for my resignation is really quite simple. I want to spend the next year of my life with my young son Giovanni and my wife Kelly. I am committed to continuing my career as a coach in the future but want to take this time to enjoy it with my family.”
DiGiulian, a former forward at the Kent School and Hamilton College (1989-93), coached juniors for the Butte Fighting Irish, in what was then called the Frontier League, before joining Gilligan’s staff in the fall of 1997.
Matthews the Man for Northwood
Former RPI assistant Jeff Matthews has been named the new head coach at the Northwood School.
Matthews, who was let go at RPI in May when new Engineers head coach Seth Appert chose to bring in his own assistants, will be replacing Mark Morris at Northwood. Morris was recently named head coach of the Manchester Monarchs, the LA Kings AHL affiliate.
Matthews spent the last two years as an assistant on Dan Fridgen’s staff. Prior to that, Matthews, 33, was head coach at Northfield-Mt. Hermon for three years (’01-’04).
Matthews was an assistant at AIC before going to NMH.
A native of Westfield, Mass., Matthews, a forward, played prep hockey at Deerfield Academy and college hockey at RPI (’91-95).
In addition to coaching hockey, Matthews will work in the admissions and development office at Northwood.
Bonino Scooped Up by Terriers
Boston University started recruiting Nick Bonino extremely late in the process – the Avon Old Farms center visited the school just a couple of days ago (see below) – but came out the winner for his services.
Bonino, who will graduate in ’07, was also recruited by UNH and Providence College.
A smart center who wins draws, has an excellent stick and sees the ice well, Bonino was the Winged Beavers' leading scorer last winter.
University of Minnesota 18-year-old forward Phil Kessel will be foregoing his final three years of college eligibility to sign a three-year contract with the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins, under new GM Peter Chiarelli, are signing Kessel with the expectation that the Madison, Wisc. Native will be skating a regular shift with the big club.
Kessel, 6’0”, 190 lbs., was Boston’s top choice in the June draft (#5 overall). Last season with the Gophers, he played 39 games, posting an 18-33-51 line.
New England Junior Falcons (EJHL) GM/Associate Head Coach Lincoln Flagg reports that EJHL 2005-06 Most Valuable Player Barry Almeida, a Boston College recruit for ’07-08, is progressing “wonderfully” and will be able to play for the Falcons in the upcoming season, though probably not until October
Because of an excess of blood in the eye, Almeida is having difficulty seeing forward, though he is having no trouble seeing up and down. That will be addressed when he goes in for laser surgery next week.
“They’ll be draining the blood from the eye, and repairing the retina,” says Flagg. “He should be ready to go.”
“Barry’s attitude has been great. He’s done just what the doctors have told him to do.”
Almeida was injured earlier in the summer when a bottle thrown into a bonfire at a teammate’s graduation party exploded, sending a shard of glass into his eye.
Almeida was temporarily blinded. In the not-too-distant past, in the days before laser surgery, this would have ended his hockey career. Upon hearing of the injury, BC head coach Jerry York guaranteed Almeida’s scholarship, whether or not he’d be able to play hockey for the Eagles.
”It was very worrisome,” says Flagg. “He almost saw his dreams go down the tube.”
”When he comes back, he’ll be hungry.”
Rockies, Southeast Up; Northeast Down
A new addition to this year’s Select 15 Green Book is a listing at the back of the book of the players each district sends as their representatives.
As you probably know, each district’s team is a team in theory only because, at the festival, they’re all jumbled together, not a format we favor, but that’s a topic for another day.
After completing and mailing out the Green Books we picked up a copy and studied each district’s roster with the goal of attempting to handicap how things would have turned out if teams had played as districts, i.e. the old format.
Having been at St. Cloud from beginning to end, this is how we think it would have gone:
Michigan and Minnesota would have played in the gold medal game, and it might have been a classic. Both teams were strong and deep.
Our picks for the bronze medal game would have been Central and Pacific. Two pretty even teams. A toss-up.
The X-factor in all this is Rocky Mountain. Because it’s traditionally been a weak district, they are only allowed to send 18 players – not too long ago it was ten. Rocky Mountain has really come along in the last five years, not only in Colorado, but in Arizona and Texas, the latter of which sent a batch of high-end prospects (all from one team). Allow Rocky Mountain a couple more players and they’d have the depth to be the #3- or #4 team here. With the steady population growth in this part of the country, Rocky Mountain could well be the #1 district a few years down the line. Before that happens, though, they will probably get split up into separate districts -- Minnesota and Michigan would insist on it.
Anyway, we’ll put them at #5, though you could make a strong argument for them at #3-4. As for the #6-7 slots, take your pick of Southeast or Mid-Am. Southeast is making great strides. Again, population growth is a factor. Having six NHL teams in the district doesn’t hurt either.
The Northeast, a part of the country in which population growth is stagnant, is suffering, hockey-wise.
We thought the four weakest districts at St. Cloud were, in no particular order, Massachusetts, New England, New York, and Atlantic.
We will go a step further and say that if Massachusetts and New England had combined forces to send their twenty best players, they would still struggle to break into the top 4-5 teams here.
Ditto for New York and Atlantic. And speaking of New York, players from the Long Island/NYC area were conspicuous by their absence. There were just two – all the rest were from upstate New York.
We have a small number of Green Books left. Click below if you’d like to order one. We are also ordering more copies and they will be ready to go out starting tomorrow.
Lindsay Back East
Former Deerfield Academy and Williams College forward Matt Lindsay has been hired as on assistant on Derek Schooley’s staff at Robert Morris University.
Last season, Lindsay was a volunteer assistant at Colorado College. Before that, he was an assistant at Hobart for three years, and before that he was at Utica College for one year.
Lindsay is the son of Jim Lindsay, the former Deerfield head hockey coach. Lindsay pere is now AD at the Blake School in Minnesota.
Rumored to be a candidate for the assistant’s job at Ferris State is Mark Kaufman, who was an assistant at Ferris for one year in the early ‘90s before going on to the minor pro ranks for eight years. Kaufman’s last coaching job was as head coach of the Sioux Falls Musketeers (USHL). He was let go at the tail end of the 2004-05 season.
Another Small Forward for the Eagles
Avon Old Farms 5’8”, 155 lb. forward Cam Atkinson, a standout at the recent Junior World Cup (Memorial of Ivan Hlinka) Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic, has committed to Boston College.
Atkinson, a 6/5/89 birthdate from Greenwich, Conn., was the second-leading scorer – as a sophomore -- at Avon last winter. He will graduate from Avon in ’08.
In 26 games, Atkinson posted a 19-24-43 line.
As long as we’re on the subject of Avon, look for last season’s leading scorer, senior-to-be Nick Bonino, to make up his mind on college by the end of the weekend. It’s supposedly down to UNH and Providence, but Bonino wasn’t playing at the Beantown Classic this morning as he was visiting Boston University. Bonino, a 6’0, 170 lb. center from Farmington, Conn., had a 26-30-56 line in 26 games.
Fun in the Modern World
An 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck lost control and wiped out an electrical transformer in Framingham, Mass. this afternoon.
The hockey connection is this: the transformer is right outside the building housing the Boston Junior Bruins office, and now they – and everyone else on the block -- have no power, and won’t for 2-4 days. It couldn’t have come at a worst time for them, as the Beantown Summer Classic is gearing up to start in a couple of days and now they have to scramble to run it out of their homes.
The tournament is not threatened, but it’s just making things tougher for the organizers.
Everything is on course, Peter Masters reports, but things like fax machines are, of course, down, so he asks that those trying to reach him do so by email at email@example.com
The web site is operational, and the schedules can be found there, at www.beantownclassic.com
The Masters are working on getting rosters up. Look for them late tonight or tomorrow.
We have no idea if Lance LoFaro was driving the 18-wheeler.
North Dakota Candidates Line Up
There is a batch of applicants for the University of North Dakota assistant’s position, with the leading candidates reported to be Steve Johnson, Lee Davidson, and Dane Jackson – all alums.
Johnson, 40, was a UND forward from ’84-88, and has had a lot of success over the last decade in Lincoln, sending numerous players to the college ranks. Five current members of the Fighting Sioux played for Johnson in Lincoln. Johnson is also a local hero, having played at Grand Forks Central HS. How much does Johnson want the job? Well, he doesn’t mind taking a pay cut, which will be a necessity. Johnson will also have to give up whatever ownership stake he has in the Stars.
Davidson, 38, one of the all-time Fighting Sioux leading scorers, was a volunteer assistant at his alma mater from 1999-02. For his final two seasons there, Davidson worked alongside current UND head coach Dave Hakstol, then an assistant, For the past four seasons, Davidson has been an assistant at Minnesota-Duluth.
Jackson, 36, was a forward at UND from ’88-92. Last winter he became head coach of the Adirondack Frostbite (UHL) after head coach Marc Potvin died unexpectedly in a hotel room in Kalamazoo, Mich. on Jan. 13. This spring, the Frostbite, partly owned by Barry Melrose, went belly-up.
(Hakstol, a UND defenseman from ’89-92, was a teammate to both Davidson and Jackson, but not Johnson, who graduated right before Hakstol’s time.)
-- Keith Morris, 35, an assistant at University of Alaska-Anchorage, and a forward at UAA from ’90-94. Resigned – not that he had a choice, exactly -- at UAA when first-year head coach Dave Shyiak turned over the staff.
-- Jason Herter, 35, a d-man who also was a teammate of Hakstol’s at UND. Herter coaches the Russell Stover Midget AAA squad in Overland Park, Kansas. Herter sounds like a long shot to us.
-- Bob Joyce, 40, who played at UND before Hakstol’s time, has reportedly applied. We don’t have anything on him as a coach. He finished up his playing career in Europe about five years ago. Would appear to be a long shot as well.
-- Gary Shuchuk, a Wisconsin alum, has reportedly applied. Shuchuk, 39, finished his playing career a couple of years ago and has been coaching midgets in Wisconsin.
-- Dane Litke, a Fighting Sioux defenseman from ’93-97 and the current head coach of the Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL) is also said to be a candidate.
We have not heard the name of Scott Koberinski mentioned, at least not prominently. Koberinski, a volunteer with the Fighting Sioux last season, has extensive USHL head coaching experience. He also played for UND from ’85-89.
North Dakota has a commitment from 5’11”, 155 lb. Eden Prairie HS right-shot forward Danny Kristo. A smooth skater with a good stick and poise, Kristo was a standout at the recent Select 16 Festival. He was invited to the NTDP, where he will spend the next two seasons.
In 27 games at Eden Prairie last season, Kristo had a 15-24-39 line. He’s a 6/18/90 and was a freshman last year, meaning that if he doesn’t accelerate, he’ll be in Grand Forks in ’09.
Kristo also visited the University of Minnesota.
Canada Roster for Today’s Gold Medal Tilt
Canada, which has gone 3-0 at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka, faces the U.S. in today’s gold medal game in Breclav, Czech Republic.
Leading scorers for Canada are center Angelo Esposito (3-1-4) and RW Bryan Cameron (4-0-4).
Canada has outscored their opponents, 13-5, beating Switzerland 5-3, then topping both Sweden and Slovakia by 4-1 scores.
All of the players on Canada’s roster, with the exception of University of Wisconsin recruit Kyle Turris, are from the major junior ranks.
Canada Under-18 Select Team
Goaltenders (2): Trevor Cann (Peterborough – OHL); Justin Leclerc (Lethbridge - WHL).
Defensemen (7): Drew Doughty (Guelph – OHL); Alex Grant (Saint John – QMJHL); Thomas Hickey (Seattle – WHL); Mark Katic (Sarnia – OHL); John Negrin (Kootenay – WHL); Nick Ross (Regina – WHL); Luke Schenn (Kelowna – WHL).
Forwards (13): Yves Bastien (Kitchener – OHL); Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge – WHL); Bryan Cameron (Belleville – OHL); Tyler Ennis (Medicine Hat – WHL); Angelo Esposito (Quebec – QMJHL); Olivier Fortier (Rimouski – QMJHL); Colton Gillies (Saskatoon – WHL); Dwight King (Lethbridge – WHL); Logan MacMillan (Halifax – QMJHL); Brett Sonne (Calgary – WHL); Brandon Sutter (Red Deer – WHL); Kyle Turris (Burnaby – BCHL); Zach Torquato (Saginaw – OHL).
Head Coach: Cory Clouston. Assistant Coaches: Dave Hunchak and Jeff Truitt.
Canada Blanks US Under-18s; Takes Gold
Canada’s summer Under-18 team won their third straight Junior World Cup title with a 3-0 blanking of the U.S. before a crowd of 879 – mostly scouts – at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament gold medal game today in Breclav, Czech Republic.
Trevor Cann (Peterborough – OHL) picked up the shutout for Canada, kicking out 20 shots. Forward Brett Sonne (Calgary – WHL) had two goals and was named the player of the game.
Tyler Ennis (Medicine Hat – WHL) had the other goal for Canada. Ennis also had an assist, earning himself a two-point day.
Canada scored one goal in each period and outshot the U.S, 30-20. U.S. goaltender Jeremy Smith (Plymouth – OHL) had 27 saves.
Defenseman Jonathan Blum (Vancouver – WHL) was named the U.S. player of the game.
Scoring By Period
CAN 1-1-1 -- 3
USA 0-0-0 -- 0
First Period – Scoring: 1, CAN, Sonne (Esposito, Doughty), 10:49 (pp). Penalties: CAN, Schenn (holding), 3:30; USA, Thurberg (hooking), 8:57; USA, Petrecki (cross-checking), 9:28; CAN, Sonne (holding the stick), 15:02; USA, Carle (tripping), 17:34.
Second Period – Scoring: 2, CAN, Sonne (Ennis, Katic), 2:12 (4x4). Penalties: CAN, Turris (holding the stick), 1:10; USA, Blum (tripping), 1:22; CAN, Doughty (interference), 2:47; USA, Thomassoni (hooking), 5:52; USA, Petrecki (slashing), 7:54; CAN, Cameron (roughing), 12:41; USA, Diamond (hit from behind); 18:30, USA, Diamond (misconduct), 18:30.
Third Period – Scoring: 3, CAN, Ennis (Sutter), 10:38. Penalties: CAN, Boychuck (slashing), 5: 24; USA, Schenn (high-sticking), 6:54; USA, Olczyk (holding), 9: 28; CAN, Doughty (holding), 9:44; USA, Sacchetti (checking to the head), 12:41; USA, Sacchetti (misconduct), 12:41; CAN, Esposito (tripping), 12:54; USA, Hayes (slashing), 16:36; USA, LoVerde (delay of game), 18:42; CAN, Gillies (high-sticking), 19:51; USA, Petrecki (roughing), 19:51.
Shots By Period 1 2 3 Total
USA 9 5 6 20
CAN 12 10 8 30
Goaltending (SH-SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Smith, 60:00 12-11 10-9 8-7 30-27
CAN, Cann, 60:00 9-9 5-5 6-6 20-20
Power Play: USA 0-9; CAN 1-11
Penalties: USA 14-44; CAN 10-20
Officials: Referee-Minar; Linesmen-Cech, Hammer
Under-18s Win in OT, Advance to Gold Medal Game
The U.S. Under-18 Select Team got an overtime goal from Jonathan Blum at 3:06 of OT to top host Czech Republic, 4-3, at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic today.
With the win, the U.S. (3-0-0) moves on to a gold medal game matchup vs. Canada on Saturday.
On the winning goal, which came with the teams playing a 4-on-4 OT format, Blum, a defenseman for the Vancouver Giants (WHL), banged a goalmouth pass from NTDP forward Jimmy Hayes past Czech goaltender Tomas Vosvrda at the 3:06 mark.
US goals in regulation were scored by Hayes, on the power play, and Omaha’s Nick Petrecki (both in the first period), and Apple Core’s Joey Diamond in the third.
The Czech Republic outshot the US, 44-33, but US goaltender Jeremy Smith, who’ll be playing the upcoming season with the Plymouth Whalers (OHL), came up big, making 41 saves. For the second game in a row, Smith was named the US player of the game.
US special teams were key, as the US killed 11 of 12 penalties and cashed in on three of eight power play opportunities.
Since the tournament’s inception in 2002, the winners have been Canada (2002), the U.S. (2003), Canada (2004), and Canada (2005).
Scoring By Period
USA 2-0-1-1 -- 4
CZE 0-2-1-0 -- 3
First Period – Scoring: 1, USA, Hayes (Hoeffel, Bruneteau), 5:52 (pp); 2, USA, Petrecki (Blum), 14:02 (4x3). Penalties: USA, Atkinson (charging), 1:11; CZE, Stoklasa (hooking), 4:16; USA, McDonagh (other), 6:15; USA, McDonagh (misconduct), 6:15; CZE, Roth (delay of game), 12:30; CZE, Ostrcil (delay of game), 12:52; USA, Cross (interference), 13: 15; CZE, Kafka (charging), 15:13; USA, Cross (Slashing), 15:34; CZE, Jebavy (interference), 19:01; USA, McDonagh (interference), 19:20.
Second Period – Scoring: 3, CZE, Havran (Indra), 10:01; 4, CZE, Voracek (Roman, Kana), 15:09 (pp). Penalties: USA, Atkinson (delay of game), 3:46; USA, Petrecki (charging), 10:20; USA, LoVerde (slashing), 13:01; USA, Petrecki (boarding), 14:35; CZE, Hoda (interference), 18: 39; USA, Diamond (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:39.
Third Period – Scoring: 5, USA, Diamond (Sacchetti), 8:07 (pp); 6, CZE, Voracek (Roman, Kana), 13:23. Penalties: USA, Tomassoni (charging), 4:24; USA, Harper (roughing), 4:24; CZE, Paryzek (roughing), 4:24; CZE, Kafka (interference), 7:35; USA, Brownschidle (slashing), 15:30; USA, LoVerde (misconduct), 15:30; USA, Thurber (charging), 15:30; CZE, Team (too many players on ice), 17:12.
Shots By Period 1 2 3 OT Total
USA 16 5 8 4 33
CZE 10 12 20 2 44
Goaltending (SH-SV) 1 2 3 OT Total
USA, Smith, 60:00 10-10 12-10 20-19 2-2 44-41
CZE, Vosvrda, 60:00 16-14 5-5 8-7 4-3 33-29
Power Play: USA 3-8; CZE 1-12
Penalties: USA 16-48; CZE 10-20
New Assistant At WMU
Robert Morris assistant Marc Fakler has been named as an assistant at Western Michigan University.
An Ann Arbor, Mich. native, Fakler went on to serve as assistant coach/ assistant GM of the Compuware Ambassadors (NAHL) from 2000-2002. After that he spent two years as a volunteer assistant for Wayne State. For the last two years he has served on Derek Schooley’s staff at Robert Morris University.
Fakler played at Western Michigan in ’88-89, and got his degree from Eastern Michigan in ’02.
Schooley is burning the midnight lamp mulling over candidates for the position vacated by Fakler. It's the last open Div. I assistant's position in the east. Schooley is looking for the best available person, someone who knows where the players are -- and can recruit. If you're that person, get in touch with him ASAP.
Matt Duchene, the top ’91 from Haliburton, Ontario who has committed to Michigan State, has college hockey in his genes:
Three of his uncles played NCAA hockey.
Newell Brown, currently an assistant with the Anaheim Ducks, is the best known of the three, having starred at Michigan State in the early 80s before beginning his coaching career as an assistant to Ron Mason there.
Phil Brown played for Northern Michigan from ’86-90.
Allister Brown, a defenseman, played for UNH from ’83-87.
On top of all that, Duchene’s mother is a guidance counselor in high school. So it’s fair to say that Duchene is unlikely to be swayed by major junior, though there will be pressure as he’s a potential #1 overall pick for next spring’s OHL draft.
Duchene has three years of school left and is scheduled to arrive in East Lansing in the fall of ’09. He’ll play midgets this season, the Provincial League in ’07-08, and the USHL in ’08-09. However, Duchene is a good student and may accelerate his studies, arriving on the college scene in ‘08.
An Appropriate Choice
Back in the day, when the Druids held sway, the Gauls spoke an early derivative of the Celtic language so perhaps it’s totally appropriate that young Patrick Gaul has committed to the Fighting Irish for the ‘08-09 season.
(Is that a bit of a reach? Thought so. Please forgive us. It’s been a long day – already.)
Gaul, who will be appearing with the Under-17 Select Team that begins play in the Three Nations tournament in Rochester, NY this weekend, is 5’8” but 165 lbs. A combination of ice smarts and skill, Gaul is a pure playmaker who knows what to do when the puck is – and isn’t -- on his stick. Put him with linemates who can bury it, and you have something.
Gaul is the son of Pittsburgh Hornets midget coach Joe Gaul, and the younger brother of former Dartmouth forward Joe Gaul.
Gaul, who played for his father last season, will be joining the National Team Development Program this season.
Other teams in the hunt for Gaul were BC and UNH.
U.S. Under-18 Selects Top Russia, 4-2
The U.S. Under-18 Select Team topped Russia 4-2 today at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic.
The U.S., now 2-0 in the tournament, got a 36-save effort from goaltender Jeremy Smith, who was named player of the game.
The U.S. got goals from a power play goal from Nico Sacchetti and an even-strength goal from Jimmy Hayes in the first period. Patrick White and Brett Bruneteau scored for the U.S. in the second period.
Shane Harper had two assists for the U.S. Bruneteau had an assist to go along with his goal.
The U.S. plays its last round-robin game tomorrow (Thurs.) vs. the host Czech Republic.
Scoring By Period
USA 2-2-0 -- 4
RUS 1-0-1 -- 2
First Period – Scoring: 1, USA, Sacchetti (McDonagh, Harper), 5:27 (pp); 2, USA, Hayes (Harper, Bruneteau), 12:21; 3, RUS, Korostin (Karamnov), 15:09 (pp). Penalties: USA, Petrecki (charging), 1:17; RUS, Fedin (delay of game); RUS, Seleznev (hooking), 6:40; RUS, Trakhanov (interference), 7:49; RUS, Klyukin (hooking), 12:48; USA, Diamond (charging), 12:58; USA, Petrecki (interference), 14:34; USA, Petrecki (slashing), 17:25; RUS, Vasiliev (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:58; USA, LoVerde (slashing), 18:58; RUS, Korostin (hooking), 19:40.
Second Period – Scoring: 4, USA, White (Cross), 9:42 (4x4); 5, USA, Bruneteau (Hoeffel), 11:53. Penalties: RUS, Vasiliev (tripping), 2:20; USA, Bruneteau (slashing), 4:59; RUS, Lukyanchikov (holding), 9:08; USA, Hoeffel (delay of game), 9:11; USA, Thurber (charging), 12:34; RUS, Zhelobnyuk (charging), 13:27; USA, White (tripping), 14: 05; RUS, Dubinin (cross-checking), 16:05; RUS, Egin (interference), 17:13; USA, Johnson (hooking), 17:25; USA, Serratore (charging), 19:53.
Third Period – Scoring: 6, RUS, Dadonov (Korostin), 13:54 (pp). Penalties: USA, Tomassoni (holding), 6:28; USA, Cross (slashing), 10:26; USA, LoVerde (delay of game), 11:12; USA, Petrecki (slashing), 12:19; USA, Brownschidle (high-sticking), 15:18; USA, Petrecki (roughing), 16:16.
Shots By Period 1 2 3 Total
USA 12 22 7 41
RUS 10 7 21 38
Goaltending (SH-SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Smith, 60:00 10-9 7-7 21-20 38-36
RUS, Zhelobnyuk, 40:00 12-10 22-20 x-x 34-30
RUS, Gayduchenko, 20:00 x-x x-x 7-7 7-7
Power Play: USA 1-10; RUS 2-16
Penalties: USA 17-34; RUS 11-22
Cornell’s O’Byrne Turns Pro
6’5”, 234 lb. Cornell defenseman Ryan O’Byrne has signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens.
O’Byrne, who would have been a senior this year, was a third round pick (# 79 overall) of the Canadiens in the 2003 draft.
A New Assistant for Michigan Tech
Chris Tok was named today to the Michigan Tech staff as an assistant coach.
Tok, 33, is a Coleraine, Minn. native who played defense at the University of Wisconsin, graduating in ’95.
For the last four seasons, Tok has worked for the Waterloo Black Hawks under head coach/GM P.K. O’Handley. For Tok’s first three years he was an assistant. Last fall, Tok was promoted to associate head coach/assistant GM.
Major University to Major Junior
Yale sophomore-to-be David Meckler signed with the London Knights (OHL) this afternoon.
Meckler, a 6’0”, 190 lb. RC from Highland Park, Ill. and a fifth round pick of the Los Angeles Kings center in June’s NHL draft, posted a 7-3-10 line in 31 games for the Eli.
Meckler’s claim to fame in his brief college career came when he tipped home a Zach Mayer shot for a power play goal at 1:35 of the fifth overtime to lift Yale to a 3-2 win over Union. The game was the longest in NCAA history. It would also turn out to be Yale head coach Tim Taylor’s final career win.
Hayes Leads U.S. Past Finland
Breclav, Czech Republic – Jimmy Hayes scored a pair of goals to lead the U.S. Under-18 Select Team to a 3-2 win over Finland in opening day action at the 2006 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament.
Mike Hoeffel scored the other US goal. All three goals – one in each period -- came on the power play.
The U.S. outshot Finland, 38-26. Jeremy Smith, who’ll be playing with the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) this season, kicked out 24 shots.
Hayes, a BC recruit, played for Noble & Greenough the past two seasons, while Hoeffel, a Gopher recruit, played at Hill-Murray High School in Minnesota.
The tournament, formerly known as the World Under-18 Junior World Cup, has been renamed in honor of Ivan Hlinka, the Czech forward and coach who died in an auto accident two years ago.
The U.S. players were selected from the Select 17 Festival held in St. Cloud last month. The squad’s head coach is Ed Olczyk. The assistant coach is Miami assistant Jeff Blashill.
FIN 1-0-1 -- 2
USA 1-1-1 -- 3
First Period – Scoring: 1, USA, Hoeffel (Cross), 6:34 (pp); 2, FIN, Talonen (unassisted), 16:15 (4x3). Penalties: USA, Hoeffel (slashing), :34; USA, Hayes (hooking), :34; USA, Cross (high-sticking), 3:41; FIN, Lucenius (tripping), 4:35; USA, Diamond (cross-checking), 6:53; FIN, Kluuskeri (hooking), 10:42; USA, Cross (hooking), 14:22; USA, Petrecki (high-sticking), 14:57; FIN, Jaaskela (interference), 16:02; USA, Bruneteau (holding), 19:34.
Second Period – Scoring: 3, USA, Hayes (Bruneteau, Atkinson), 4:59 (pp). Penalties: FIN, Tuomivaara (high-sticking), 3:21; FIN, Vaananen (tripping), 5: 07; FIN, Makkonen (interference), 8:29; USA, Serratore (hooking), 10:18; FIN, Talonen (roughing), 14:26; USA, Diamond (slashing), 14:26; USA, Team (too many players on ice), 19:31.
Third Period – Scoring: 4, FIN, Sallinen (Roppo), 16:15; 5, USA, Hayes (Tomassoni, Bruneteau), 18:18 (pp). Penalties: USA, LoVerde (hooking), 4:35; FIN, Poysti (elbowing), 8:56; FIN, Makkonen (hooking), 10:34; FIN, Makkonen (tripping), 17:23.
Shots By Period 1 2 3 Total
USA 9 14 15 38
FIN 12 7 7 26
Goaltending (SH-SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Smith, 60:00 12-11 7-7 7-6 26-24
FIN, Sateri, 60:00 9-8 14-13 15-14 38-35
Power Play: USA 3-10; FIN 1-11
Penalties: USA 11-22; FIN 10-20
Goalies (2): Dayne Belfour (Victory Honda Midget AAA); Jeremy Smith (Plymouth Whalers – OHL).
Defensemen (7): Jonathan Blum (Vancouver Giants – WHL); David Carle (Shattuck-St. Mary’s); Tommy Cross (Simsbury, Conn. HS); Vincent LoVerde (Waterloo – USHL); Ryan McDonagh (Cretin-Derham Hall); Nick Petrecki (Omaha Lancers – USHL); Matt Tomassoni (Chicago Mission Midget AAA).
Forwards (13): Cam Atkinson (Avon Old Farms); David Brownschidle (Tri-City Storm – USHL); Brett Bruneteau (Omaha Lancers – USHL); Joey Diamond (NY Apple Core – EJHL); Shane Harper (Everett Silvertips – WHL); Jimmy Hayes (Noble & Greenough); Mike Hoeffel (Hill-Murray HS); Tyler Johnson (Cloquet HS); Ed Olczyk (Pittsburgh Predators Midget AAA); Nico Sachetti (Virginia, Minn. HS); Tom Serratore (Colorado Thunderbirds Midget AAA); Matt Thurber (Omaha Lancers – USHL); Patrick White (Grand Rapids HS).
The U.S. Schedule:
Tues. Aug. 8 – U.S. 3, Finland 2
Wed. Aug. 9 – U.S. vs. Russia, 1530 local time (9:30 am EST)
Thurs. Aug. 10 – Czech Republic vs. U.S., 1900 local time (1:00 pm EST)
Sat. Aug 12 – TBD (Crossover game)
8/8/06 Updated twice
Western Michigan University appears to be down to three candidates for the vacant assistant’s post.
John LaFontaine (Bozeman – NAHL), Tim Christian (Lake Superior State), and Mark Fakler (Robert Morris University) are all reportedly involved.
Up on the UP, the names we’re hearing for the Michigan Tech job are Chris Tok (Waterloo – USHL) and Todd Knott (Des Moines – USHL).
Add Honeybaked Midget Major head coach John Kisil as an applicant for both jobs. Kisil played at Michigan Tech, arriving as a walk-on and being named team captain his senior year, '96-97. Pat Mikesch, currently an assistant at Tech, was a teammate of Kisil's.
Christian reportedly turned down the job at Western.
We mentioned before that Tok had reportedly turned down the job at Michigan Tech. Scratch that. He's still a candidate.
Under-17 Selects Named
What, a year ago, was the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament is now the Under-17 Three Nations Tournament, as Slovakia and then the Czech Republic pulled out earlier this summer.
With the tournament on U.S. soil this year, USA Hockey will be sending two teams to the tournament. Switzerland and Germany will be the other participating countries.
The tournament will be held at the ESL Sports Center in Rochester, NY and will run from this coming Saturday, Aug. 12, to Friday Aug. 18.
The US will be sending a total of 40 players, with 32 chosen from the Select 16 Festival and eight chosen from last week’s Select 15 Festival.
The eight ‘91s -- seven forwards, and one defenseman – will be split evenly between the teams – four to a side. The sole ’91 defenseman, Cam Fowler (Honeybaked) is, at 14 years and eight months, the youngest player in the tournament. He was also, in our eyes, the top prospect at the 15 Festival, the only player clearly a notch above every single other player at his position.
The 91’s are denoted by an asterisk -- # -- below.
The forty US players come from 16 U.S. states. Minnesota leads the way with nine, followed by Michigan with six, and four each from California and Massachusetts.
Last August, in Switzerland, the U.S. finished first in this tournament, going 3-0-1 vs. Slovakia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Germany.
Here are the rosters:
U.S. Under-17 Select Team Blue:
Goaltenders (2): Garrett Beckwith (NJ Devils Midget); Josh Watson (Central Penn Panthers Midget).
Defensemen (6): Joe Gleason (Edina HS); Aaron Ness (Roseau HS); Max Nicastro (California Wave Midget); Steven Spinnell (Team Illinois Midget); David Warsofsky (Cushing Academy); Chris Wideman (St. Louis Blues Midget).
Forwards: Mark Anthoine (Portland Jr. Pirates); Brett Beebe (California Wave Midget); Max Cook (Chicago Mission Midget), Nate Dewhurst (Culver Academy) Kyle Jean (Soo Indians Midget), Pat Mullane (Avon Old Farms), #Zach Tatrn (Buffalo Regals Bantam), #David Valek (Ocelari Trinec – Czech Republic Extra Liga); #Ryan Walters (Rosemount, Minn. Bantam); #Steven Whitney (Lawrence Academy); Jake Youso (International Falls HS); Matt Zarbo (Boston Junior Bruins – Empire League).
Head Coach: Rick Bennett (Union College)
Assistant Coaches: Sean Tremblay (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs); Kyle Wallack (Yale University).
U.S. Under-17 Select Team White:
Goaltenders (2): Jordan Tibbett (Honeybaked Midget); Matthew Walsh (Neponset Valley River Rats).
Defensemen (6): #Cam Fowler (Honeybaked Bantam); Ryan Grimshaw (Salisbury School); Austin Handley (Honeybaked Midget); Brett Kostolansky (Shattuck-St. Mary’s); Sam Lofquist (Shattuck-St. Mary’s); Drew Olson (Brainerd HS).
Forwards (12): #Chris Brown (Dallas Alliance Bulldogs Bantam); #Zach Budish (Edina Bantam); Patrick Gaul (Pittsburgh Hornets Midget); Ben Hanowski (Little Falls HS); Sean Logue (Boston Junior Bruins Midget); Kellen Michalak (Midland, Mich Northstars Midget); John O’Neill (Anoka HS); Troy Power (California Wave Midget); #Kenny Ryan (Honeybaked Midget); Shawn Szydlowski (Belle Tire Midget); Alex Velischek (New Jersey Devils Midget); Mitch Wahl (LA Jr. Kings Midget).
Head Coach: Cary Eades (University of North Dakota)
Assistant Coach: Brian Renfrew (Michigan State).
Sat. Aug. 12 -- Team White vs. Team Blue (exhibition), 7:00 pm
Mon. Aug. 14 -- Team Blue vs. Germany, 4:00 pm
Team White vs. Switzerland, 7:30 pm
Tues. Aug. 15 -- Team Blue vs. Switzerland, 4:00 pm
Team White vs. Germany, 7:30 pm
Wed. Aug. 16 -- Germany vs. Switzerland, 4:00 pm
Team White vs. Team Blue, 7:30 pm
Thurs. Aug. 17 -- Germany vs. TBD
Fri. Aug. 18 -- TBD vs. TBD
Tickets are $8 for grownups, and $5 for students. And remember, we’re all students in this here pageant.
Keserich Leaves Ohio State
Goaltender Ian Keserich, who appeared in ten games for Ohio State while serving as a backup to Dave Caruso over the past two seasons, has left college for the USHL’s Tri-City Storm.
With top goaltending prospect Joe Palmer coming in from the NTDP, Keserich saw that he could well spend the next two years as a backup as well.
Instead, he’ll go to the Storm, take a full course load at a local community college, and look to transfer to another school, where he'll be eligible for the start of the 2007-08 season. Like both of his parents, Keserich is an artist, and is pursuing a major in fine arts.
As a freshman, Keserich appeared in six games, posting a 2.42 gaa and a .905 save percentage. This past season, as a sophomore, he appeared in four games, posting a 2.66 gaa and a .900 save percentage. However, he didn't play a single minute after the weekend of Dec. 10-11, when he kicked out 60 of 62 shots as the host Buckeyes took a pair from Union.
Keserich, who is 6'2" and 200 lbs., played juniors with the Cleveland Barons (NAHL). When he entered Ohio State two years ago, his career looked to be on an upward trajectory.
He played on the US Under-18 Select Team that won gold at the Under-18 Junior World Cup in 2003 and was named top goaltender in the tournament, leading the U.S. to overtime wins over both Russia and Canada.
In 2004, he was drafted in the seventh round by the Colorado Avalanche.
Last summer, despite his limited ice time as a freshman, he was still invited to the U.S. National Junior Team Evaluation Camp.
As of now, the Buckeyes have two rostered goalies -- Palmer, and Phil "Fort" Lauderdale, ex of the Westminster School and the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL). Lauderdale, who has yet to apear in a game for the Buckeyes (he played on the school's club team as a freshman), will be a senior this season.
Morris Bids Northwood Adieu
Former Clarkson head coach Mark Morris, who has been the head coach at the Northwood School for the past two seasons, is on the move, having just been named the new head coach of the Manchester Monarchs (AHL).
Morris replaces Jimmy Hughes, who was fired in June.
The Monarchs are the top farm club of the Los Angeles Kings, whose assistant GM is Ron Hextall. Hextall, who also serves as the Monarchs GM, has a son, Brett, who played for Morris last season at Northwood.
It was at Clarkson that Morris, 48, made his name, coaching 14 seasons before an on-ice roughing incident with one of his players, Zach Schwan, led to his firing in 2002.
We have heard no word on who will be Morris’ successor at Northwood. Morris, a 1977 Northwood grad, played his college hockey at Colgate.
6’0”, 160 LC Corey Trivino has committed to Boston University.
Trivino, who averaged over a point a game with the Toronto Marlboros Midget Minor team last season, was highly sought after by BU.
Trivino made his final choice from between BU and UNH.
A 1/12/90 birthdate, Trivino, highly skilled, with quick feet and a quick stick, will be playing the upcoming season for the Stouffville Spirit (OPJHL).
He'll arrive at BU in '08.
Trivino would likely have gone in the first round of May’s OHL draft, but his NCAA leanings scared teams off. He was ultimately drafted by the Barrie Colts in the fifth round.
A Danish, Please
A few months ago, when Providence College expelled goaltender Stephen Ritter from school, the Friars were forced to bring in their goalie of the future, the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs’ Ryan Simpson, a year earlier than planned.
That threw the master plan of Monarchs head coach/GM Sean Tremblay, into the trash. In a country minute, Tremblay went from going into the upcoming season with a sure thing in goal to an enormous question mark.
Tremblay got to work, and now he has a pair of goalies – and they’re a unique pair.
One, Patrick Galbraith, an ’86, played last season in Denmark’s Elite League, and enjoyed success playing against teams that have a number of former North American pros and college players.
Galbraith was playing in the league because his father, George Galbraith, a goaltender at Clarkson in the early to mid-70s, is a fixture on the Danish hockey scene, first playing and then coaching there.
When it came time to think about college for his son, Galbraith called his old Clarkson teammate, LA Kings GM Dave Taylor, for advice. Soon after, Taylor had video and so did a number of Div. I colleges – Clarkson, St. Cloud, Maine, to name a few. And those who saw the video were intrigued.
“But they wanted to see how he could do playing a year of juniors first,” said Tremblay. “They called me because they knew we had lost Simpson early.”
Tremblay did due diligence, studying film of Galbraith, and making further calls.
Now, Galbraith, who’s awaiting his release from Denmark, will be a Monarch.
“Everybody will want to know who the Danish goalie is,” said Tremblay. “He’ll get a lot of looks right off the bat.”
Tremblay’s other goalie for the upcoming season, James Mello, who could be in a rotation with Galbraith, also has a story. An ’88 and a true senior from LaSalle HS in Rhode Island, Mello plays goal both on ice and in-line – and very well at that: he was on the USA National In-line team that just won the gold medal in Budapest.
Tremblay knew about him before that, though. “He was unbelievable at the Chicago Showcase,” said Tremblay.
“In in-line hockey you can’t move laterally,” Tremblay added, “so positioning becomes extremely important. So that’s excellent. However, because he’s also an ice hockey goalie, he can move laterally – and he’s quick.”
Mello, who lives in Rehoboth, Mass., near the Rhode Island border, grew up in Chicago playing in the Chicago Young Americans organization. There, his family was neighbors with Eddie Belfour and his family.
Ritter, by the way, will be attempting to get things back on track this season playing with the Marquette Rangers, the NAHL’s expansion team coached by Leigh Mendelson, who had knew Ritter, a New Jersey native, from working with Atlantic District teams.