Established 1996


Sioux Falls Wins Clark Cup

The Sioux Falls Stampede, behind a 27-save shutout from Matt Lundin, blanked the host Waterloo Black Hawks 3-0 tonight to take the 2007 Clark Cup before a crowd of 3,500 at Waterloo’s Young Arena.

The Stampede, who were outshot 27-22, scored a goal in each period – from Drew Fisher, Brad Malone, and Dan Sexton – en route to winning the first Clark Cup for the franchise, which began play in 1999.

Sioux Falls went 7-1 in the playoffs, including a 5-0 record on the road. They outscored their opponents, 38-18. 

Lundin, an ’86 from Apple Valley, Minn. who played two years at the University of Maine, played all eight of Sioux Falls playoff games, posting a 2.22 gaa and a .924 save percentage. 




Coaching News

Steve Johnson, the only head coach in the Lincoln Stars (USHL) 11-year history, has resigned to return to his hometown of Grand Forks, ND and go into business. In recent years, Johnson, who starred at the University of North Dakota in the 1980s, has applied for numerous North Dakota hockey openings, on both the men’s and women’s side.

With Lincoln, Johnson had only one losing season. His single-season best was ’00-01, when the Stars, with Brandon Bochenski and Chris Fournier leading the offense, went 43-7-0.


The Houston Aeros (AHL), a Minnesota Wild affiliate, have hired Kevin Constantine as their new head coach.

Constantine, 48, is an International Falls, Minn. native who played goal at RPI and went on to coach at just about every level: prep (at Northwood), NAHL, USHL, IHL, NHL, and most recently, WHL, with the expansion Everett Silvertips.


Gary Suter, a Madison, Wisc. native who played at Culver Academy, Dubuque (USHL), and the University of Wisconsin before going on to a 17-year NHL career, will be coaching the Madison Capitols Midget AAA team this season. Suter, along with his brother Bob, owns the twin-sheet rink the Capitols call home in Madison.


The Indiana Ice (USHL) hired Charlie Skjodt, the brother of team owner Paul Skjodt, as head coach with a game left in the regular season, then went 6-1 in the playoffs, reaching the semis before losing a 3-2 OT decision to Sioux Falls.

Skjodt, along with assistant head coach Scott McConnell, have been hired for next season.


A Spud for the Engineers

6’2”, 190 lb. RD Jeff Foss from Moorhead (Minn.) HS has committed to RPI for this fall.

Foss was the Spuds captain and leading scorer among the team's defensemen with a 15-31-46 line. When his high school season ended he joined the Sioux Falls Stampede and won himself a USHL championship.

Foss, who was ranked #132 overall in the final NHL Central Scouting ranking, is a 12-12-88 birthdate.

He made his final choice from between RPI and Colorado College.



The Road to College

The dates for this year’s Road to College Camp are Thurs. June 21 to Sun. June 24 at Milton Academy in Milton, Mass. 

This will be the camp’s third year, and directors Chuckie Hughes and Dan Donato, teammates at Catholic Memorial in the late ‘80s before going on to college at Harvard and BU, respectively, offer some things that you don't find at most camps, specifically, an academic and informational component.  

There’s an NCAA recruiting workshop, a college financial planning workshop, SAT workshops and prep classes, nutrition workshops, a Div. I coaches forum, a NESCAC workshop, a flexibility and strength training workshop, essay planning, and lectures on various topics – e.g. “Self-Assessment and Developing the Student Athlete,” “Trends and Training in College Hockey,” “Developing Interview and Communication Skills, ” “Finding the Right College, ” and more. 

Some of the above offerings are for parents, some are for players, and some are for everybody. 

For downtime, the kids get to kick back and watch a movie. And there’s plenty of work to be done on-ice.

And then there are games. Two a day for three days. Four teams in total. The head coaches are Brendan Creagh (Deerfield), Steve Dagdigian (St. Sebastian’s), Larry Rooney (Thayer), and Bruce Wolanin (Pomfret). Here’s the schedule:

Friday June 22 -- 2:00 and 4:00 pm
Sat. June 23 -- 2:00 and 4:00 pm
Sun. June 24 – 11:00 am and 1:00 pm

Last year, 28 colleges had coaches on hand, and there should be at least that many and likely more this year. The players invited to camp are all uncommitted (a requirement) which means college coaches don’t have to waste their time watching players that have already been taken. The camp features a solid group that includes a large number of the top available prep players. There are new players like Danny Biega, who hasn’t even arrived at prep school yet, as well as other Div. I prospects. There is also a solid group of NESCAC-type candidates.  

Hughes and Donato, in the years ahead, are planning to build up the camp and extend it beyond its prep origins, opening it up to strong junior and high school prospects.

"Right now, I want this to be the destination for the best players in New England,” Donato said, “and if in the future more kids come in from the Midwest and Canada, all the better. I’d like to take this and turn it into something special.”



Bound for Italy

Jamie Dumont, the associate head coach of the Portland Jr. Pirates (AJHL) as well as the organization’s director of hockey operations, will be heading off to Italy to coach the Bolzano Hockey Club’s junior team. 

Dumont, a Lewiston, Maine native who played college hockey at Oswego State, was previously an assistant at Bowdoin and Bowling Green.


Bound for Worcester

Babson assistant Jason Smith has been hired for the same position on the staff of Paul Pearl at Holy Cross. Smith will replace Albie O’Connell, who was recently hired as an assistant at Merrimack College.


Gouchie Opts for Q

Jeremy Gouchie, a ’90 birthdate from the Montreal area who was slated to attend Cushing Academy this fall, has signed with Cape Breton (QMJHL).

A quick, skilled forward, Gouchie had 47 points and 120 pims in 44 games for Collège Charles-Lemoyne (Quebec Midget AAA) this past season.

Gouchie also played for two years at Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask. In addition, he’d played five exhibition game at the major junior level, so, if he’d opted for the college route, he would have had to sit out a year plus five games.


According to Hoyle

6’3” Oakville Blades (OPJHL) goaltender Matt Hoyle has verbally committed to Harvard for the fall of ’08.

Hoyle, coached by former Vezina Trophy winner Don Edwards, was the Provincial League West Division Rookie of the Year, posting a 22-7-1-1 record with a 2.59 gaa and a .900 save percentage in the regular season. 

He was recruited by Harvard, Maine, and Clarkson (for ’08); and Wisconsin (for ’09).

A Mississauga, Ont. native who attends St. Mike’s, Hoyle is a 2006 fifth round pick of Kingston (OHL).  Before going to the Provincial League, he played for the Toronto Marlies.

A butterfly goalie who’s technically sound and a strong student of the game, Hoyle is a 4/20/90 birthdate. He’s eligible for the 2008 NHL draft.

More Goalie News:

St. Paul’s School 6’2” senior goaltender Tyler O’Brien has accepted a recruited non-scholarship spot from Colorado College for this coming fall.

O’Brien will join former Cushing Academy goaltender Richard Bachman as incoming freshmen. Drew O’Connell, who played eight games this past season, will be a junior.

At St. Paul’s, O’Brien posted a 17-7-3 record with a 2.35 gaa. As a senior, he was 11-9-1 with a 2.80 gaa.

O’Brien, who not only has size but athleticism, came to St. Paul’s as a repeat junior after being first team all-state at Stowe (Vt.) HS. He was close with Harvard, but the Crimson went with Tabor’s Ryan Carroll instead. Before the opportunity from CC came up this spring, O’Brien was considering playing a year of juniors next season.


USHL Protected Lists

With USHL camps starting up in June, a good starting point for getting a line on how each team will look – and what their needs might be – is their 30-man protected list.

Basically, 30-man list consists of:

1) Veteran players that the club wishes to hold onto, at least for now.

2) Drafted players from the draft of May 15. (Note that  getting drafted doesn’t automatically land a player on the protected list.)

3) ‘89s who were selected in the October 4, 2006 Futures Draft that the drafting club wishes to retain rights to. (‘89s selected in the Futures Draft  but not moved to the protected list are free agents as far as the USHL is concerned. After July 1, when all the USHL teams will have completed their camps, each team’s 30-man protected list will be pared to 25. The ‘89s that were both selected in the Futures Draft and on the selecting team’s current 30-man roster can be left off the July 1st 25-man list, yet remain that team’s property. A team can do that by simply sliding the player over to their 12-man affiliate list. A common reason teams will do this is to hold onto a player who is an older senior in high school or prep school and, while not ready now, will almost certainly be ready in a year’s time. For the most part, though, a team would want to keep the number of ’89s on their protected lists down to as few as possible. The reason is simple: each  ’89 a team stashes on its affiliate list represents a pick that team has to surrender in the Futures Draft, a 12-round affair for 16-17 year olds. For example, if a team has carried over three ‘89s from last season’s affiliate list,  they will have nine instead of 12 picks. And, all things being equal, teams generally want to clear out the ‘89s so they have as many picks of ‘90s and ‘91s as they can get come October. USHL coaches will tell you that the Futures Draft is a more important source of  the league’s high-skilled players than the regular May phase, and hence of greater value. Teams don’t want to give up those picks without a sound reason.

In this fall’s Futures Draft each team will be required to draft four ‘91s and, according to plans, this will be accomplished with the first four picks. After each team has selected their ‘91s, teams can move on to drafting ‘90s. With the heavy premium on ‘91s, there is a major USHL emphasis on scouting that birth year. Look for a huge league presence at next month’s Select 16 Festival in Rochester, NY. 

At any rate, starting next week, USHL teams can drop/add and make trades as long as they stay at or below 30 players. .

By July 1, USHL rosters must be trimmed to 25 players and remain at that number until the close of the USHL Fall Classic (formerly the Buc Bowl) on the last weekend of September. At that time, the number is cut to 23.

In addition to all the above, keep in mind that a team can only roster four ‘87s this coming season. A team may have more than four on their protected list right now, but any surplus will have to be gone by the start of the season.

Two import players are allowed per team. However, if a team is returning an import player from last season they are allowed to carry two more, giving them a total of three. If a team has two returning import players, they can only add one new one. If a team had no import players this past season, they can only bring in two imports for next season.

The USHL system of protected lists/May draft/futures draft/imports/drop-adds etc. is pretty byzantine. If the above has helped demystify some of it, we’ve done our job.

Here, then, are the protected lists:

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Bryce Aneloski, ’90 D, TI
Derek Arnold, ’90 F, Jr. Bruins
Gustav Bengston, ’89 F, NW Regulators (import)
Grant Blakey, ’89 F, Victory Honda
David Boehm, ’89 F, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Jesse Brown, ’90 F, Syracuse Stars
Justin Bruckel, ’90 F, Syracuse Stars
Justin Castagna, ’90 F, Anaheim Jr. Ducks
Dean Chelios, ’89 F, Cranbrook HS
Sean Coughlin, ’87 D, Cushing Academy
Matt Donovan, ’90 D, Dallas AAA
Kyle Flanagan, ’88 F, Cornwall
Dan Ford, ’90 D, Syracuse Stars
Bobby Gutsch, ’89 F, Duluth Marshall
Robert Harrison, ’88 D, Mahoning Valley
Michael Johnson, ’89 G, Madison Capitals
Doug Jones, ’87 F, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Ben Lynch, ’88 F, Blaine HS
Matthew Mangene, ’89 F, NY Bobcats
Scott Mathis, ’88 F, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Vince Mihalek, ’90 F, Gilmour Academy
Kent Patterson, ’89 G, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Paul Phillips, ’91 D, Chicago Chill
Mike Seidel, ’88 F, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Ian Slater, ’88 F, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Eric Springer, ’89 F, TI
Tyler Thompson, ’89 F, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Matt Tomassonni, ’89 D, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Jeff Vellecca, ’87 F, New England Falcons
Casey Wellman, ’87 F, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Chicago Steel

Eric Alexander, ’89 F, East Kentwood HS
Spencer Anderson, ’88 F, Brampton (OPJHL)
Mark Anthoine, ’90 F, Portland Jr. Pirates
Josh Bemis, ’90 D, Chicago Steel
Tim Buttery, ’87 D, Chicago Steel
Corey Chakeen, ’89 F, Chicago Steel
Luca Cunti, ’89 F, MC Thorgau (import)
Brian Dowd, ’89 F, Thayer Academy
Dan Durham, ’89 F, Chicago Steel
Zach Golembiewski, ’91 F, Belle Tire
Josh Kesler, ’89 F, Victory Honda
Drew Leblanc, ’89 F, Chicago Steel
Rob Madore, ’88 G, Chicago Steel
Andy Miele, ’88 F, Chicago Steel
Andrew Miller, ’88  F, Cranbrook Kingswood
Tyler Murovich, ’89 F, Chicago Steel
Trevor Nill, ’89 F, Compuware AAA
Simon Olsson, ’89 F, Chicago Steel (import)
Brian O’Neill, ’88 D, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers
Dan Otto, ’88 F, Chicago Steel
Derek Pallis, ’89 D, Nobles
Nick Pisellini, ’90 G, Chicago Steel
Jared Rickord, ’89 F, Chicago Mission
Dan Ryan, ’87 F, Chicago Steel
Ryan Schnell, ’89 F, U.S. Under-18 Team
Aaron Schmit, ’88 D, Culver Academy
Alex Simonson, ’90 F, Grand Forks Central
Barron Smith, ’91 D, Chicago Mission
Mike Walsh, ’89 D, Chicago Steel
Will Weber, ’88 D, Gaylord HS

Des Moines Buccaneers

Kyle Bailey, ’88 F, Des Moines Buccaneers
David Bakowski, ’89 D, St. Louis AAA
Andrew Blazek, ‘88 F, Des Moines Buccaneers
Ben Blood, ‘89 D, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
Clint Bourbonais, ‘89 F, Orchard Lake
Kyle Cantlon, ’88 G, Marathon Renegades (import)
Jefferson Dahl, ‘89 Eau Claire Memorial HS
Nate Dewhurt, ‘90 F, Des Moines Buccaneers
Michael Dorr, ‘88 F, Des Moines Buccaneers
Derek Elliot, ‘87 F, Des Moines Buccaneers
Jake Gardiner, ‘90 Minnetonka HS
Austin Handley, ‘90 D, Des Moines Buccaneers
Adam Henderson, ‘89 F, Spruce Grove AJHL (import)
Locke Jillson, ‘88 F, Dallas AAA
Chris Knowlton, ‘89 F, Des Moines Buccaneers
Adam Krelove, ‘87 D, Des Moines Buccaneers  (import)
Sean Logue, ‘90 F, Foxboro Stars
JP Maley, ‘89 D, St. Louis Bandits
Rob Maloney, ‘89 F, Eastview HS
Taylor Matson, ‘88 F, Des Moines Buccaneers
Ryan McKiernan, ’89 D, Jersey Hitmen
Steven Moses, ’89 F, Boston Jr. Bruins
Mike Mosher, ‘89 G, LA Jr. Kings AAA
Bobby Reiners, ‘87 D, Des Moines Buccaneers
Ryan Ruikka, ‘88 D, Des Moines Buccaneers
Rody Selk, ’87 F, Des Moines Buccaneers
Jeffrey Smith, ’88 F, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
Jordan Tibbett, ’90 G, Des Moines Buccaneers
Trent Vogelhuber, ’88 F, St. Louis Bandits
Miles Winter, ’88 F, Mahoning Valley

Green Bay Gamblers

Mike Borisenok, ’88 F, Green Bay Gamblers
Stephen Bozek, ’89 F, Chicago Mission
Stephen Carew, ’88 F, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
Baylor Dieter, ’88 D, Green Bay Gamblers
Keegan Flaherty, ’90 F, Duluth East
Phil Ginand, ’88 F, New England Huskies
Nick Graves, ’88 G, Green Bay Gamblers
Garrett Grimstad, ’88 F, Green Bay Gamblers
Anthony Hayes, ’89 F, Green Bay Gamblers
Taylor Johnson, ’89 D, White Bear Lake
Jacob Johnstone, ’90 F, Capital Center Pride
Tyler Jundt, ’88 D, Green Bay Gamblers
Christopher Lee, ’89 F, Green Bay Gamblers
Josh Levine, ’88 F, Bloomington Jefferson HS
Ryan Little, ’88 D, Green Bay Gamblers
Derek Loisel, ’89 F, Coon Rapids
Taylor McReynolds, ’87 F, Green Bay Gamblers (import)
Chris Morrisette, ’88 F, St. Andrew’s College (import)
Dominic Morrone, ’89 F, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers AAA
Kyle Rank, ’87 G, Apple Core
Reed Rushing, ’88 D, Alaska Avalanche
Ryan Santana, ’88 F, Green Bay Gamblers
Chris Saracino, ’89 D, St. Louis Jr. Blues
Joe Schiller, ’88 F, Detroit Lakes HS
Robert Shea, ’90 D, Belle Tire
Aaron Shibrowski, ’88 D, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
Chris Slavik, ’88 D, Elk River HS
Seth Soley, ’88 F, Eau Claire Memorial HS
Daniel Weiss, ’89 D, Springfield Blues
Brian Yanovitch, ’88 F, Bridgewater Bandits

Indiana Ice

Brandon Bahneman, '88 F, Rochester Lourdes HS
Nick Bailen, '89 D, Indiana Ice
Brandon Blandina, '89 F, Lake Forest Academy
Kyle Bonis, '89 F, Bancroft (import)
Peter Boyd, '88 F, Northwood (import)
Paul Carey, '88 F, Salisbury
Mike Cieslak, '89 F, U.S. Under-18 Team
Ron Cramer, '88 F, Indiana Ice
Patrick Cullen, '89 F, Washington Nationals
Scott Darling, '88 G, Capital District
Brent Gwidt, '88 F, Indiana Ice
Alex Handy, '88 F, Indiana Jr. Ice
Brian Harrison, '89 D, Chicago Chill
Matt Hoyle, '90 G, Oakville Blades (import)
Justin Jokinen, '89 F, Cloquet HS
John Kemp, '87 F, Indiana Ice
Eddie Levens, '87 D, Indiana Ice
Robert Martini, '88 F, Indiana Ice (import)
Corbin McPherson, '88 D, Cowichan (BCHL)
John Muse, '88 G, Nobles
David Onofrey, '88 D, Indiana Jr. Ice
Chris Paliafito, '89 G, Lake Forest Academy
Nico Sachetti, '89 F, Virginia HS
Ryan Scott, '87 D, Indiana Ice
Jake Skjodt, '87 F, Indiana Ice
Matt Smith, '88 D, Indiana Ice
T.J. Syner, '88 F, New England Falcons
John Tavares, '90 F, Oshawa Generals (OHL) (import)
Brennan Vargas, '89 F, U.S. Under-18 Team
Angelo Vrachnas, '89 F, New York Bobcats

Lincoln Stars

Danny Baco, ’88 F, Lincoln Stars
Matt Bartkowksi, ’88 D, Lincoln Stars
Hunter Bishop, ’87 F, Vernon Vipers
Brandon Bollig, ’87 F, Lincoln Stars
Dennis Brown, ’89 D, LA Hockey Club
Rick Carden, ’88 F, Lincoln Stars
Rocco Carzo, ’90 F, PLF Midget
Jeff Ceccacci, ’88 D, Surrey Eagles
Bryce Christiansen, ’87 G, Lincoln Stars
JJ Crew, ’89 F, Lincoln Stars
Kyle Delaurell, ’88 F, Colorado Rampage
Travis Erstad, ’88 F, Lincoln Stars
Jared Festler, ’89 F, Stevens Point HS
Kyle Follmer, ’87 D, Lincoln Stars
Jason Gregoire, ’89 F, Lincoln Stars  (import)
Michael Guzzo, ’87 F, Penticton Vees
Joseph Harcharik, ’88 F, North Iowa
Ross Henry, ’90 D, Lincoln Stars
Corey Hibbeler, ’89 D, Culver Academy
Nick Hopper, ’88 G, Santa Fe Roadrunners
Tyler Kieffer, ’89 D, Stillwater HS
Ryan Ladoucer, ’89 D, Red River HS
Eric Lake, ’88 F, Lincoln Stars
Spencer McMillan, ’88 F, St. Paul Academy
Joe Miller, ’87 F, Lincoln Stars
Jacob Newton, ’88 D, Texas Tornado
Brandon Richardson, ’88 F, Pembroke Lumber Kings
Mark Silverman, ’89 F, Victory Honda
Charles Smith, ’88 F, Belle Tire
Patrick Tatum, ’88 F, Fort Worth Texans

Ohio Blue Jackets

Dan Barczuk, ’88 F, Ohio Blue Jackets
Matt Bourdeau, ’89 F, Ohio Blue Jackets
Charles Brockett, ’88 F, Ohio Blue Jackets
Corson Cramer, ’88 G, Texas Tornado
Tommy Cross, ’89 D, Westminster School
Justin Cseter, ’88 F, Ohio Blue Jackets
Alexei Doistonov, ’89 F, Ohio Blue Jackets
Brian Flynn, ’88 F, Pomfret
Andrew Glass, ’89 F, Nobles
Patrick Goebel, ’87 D, Ohio Blue Jackets
Timothy Hall, ’90 F, Ohio Blue Jackets
Jimmy Hayes, ’89 F, U.S. Under-18 Team
Ryan Hill, ’88 D, Ohio Blue Jackets
Alden Hirschfeld, ’88 F, Mahoning Valley
Danny Hobbs, ’89 F, Ohio Blue Jackets (import)
Niko Kapetanovic, ’89 F, North Wisconsin
Matt Leitner, ’90 F, Anaheim Jr. Ducks
Sean McCauley, ’87 F, Ohio Blue Jackets
Jon Merrill, ’92 F, Little Caesar’s
Cody Murphy, ’91 F, TI
Jordan Murray, ’90 F, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
Scott Pederson, ’88 G, Team Illinois
Derek Roehl, ’88 F, Ohio Blue Jackets
Nolan Ryan, ’88 D, Ohio Blue Jackets
John Ryder, ’89 D, Ohio Blue Jackets
Dalton Speelman, ’89 F, San Jose Midget AAA
Steve Spinell, ’90 D, TI
Andy Taranto, ’88 F, Ohio Blue Jackets
Zach Trotman, ’90 D, Victory Honda
Randy Wolcott, ’88 G, Avon Old Farms

Omaha Lancers

Ben Arnt, ’89 F, Omaha Lancers
Joe Beaudette, ’88 F, Omaha Lancers
Brett Bruneteau, ’89 F, Omaha Lancers
Chris Ciotti, ’90 F, Gilmour Academy
Adam Comrie, ’90 D, Omaha Lancers
Chris Connolly, ’87 F, Fargo-Moorhead
Jake Coyle, ’87 F, Mahoning Valley
David Eddy, ’89 F, Woodbury HS
Dakota Eveland, ’91 F, LA Selects
Donnie Harris, ’90 D, NW Regulators
Jake Hauswirth, ’88 F, Ojibwa Midget AAA
Chris Hepp, ’87 D, Omaha Lancers
Justin Johnson, ’88 F, Omaha Lancers
Alex Killorn, ’87 F, Deerfield Academy (import)
Aaron Lewadniuk, ’89 F, Winkler Flyers (import)
Richard Manley, ’89 F, Chicago Steel
Drew Olson, ’90 D, Brainerd HS
Will O’Neill, ’88 D, Omaha Lancers
Andrew Palmisano, ’88 G, Omaha Lancers
Keir Ross, ’89 D, Omaha Lancers
Edwin Shea, ’89 D, Boston Jr. Bruins
Brendan Sheehan, ’88 F, Omaha Lancers
Jake Sloat, ’90 D, Colorado T-Birds
Joe Sova, ’88 D, Sioux City Musketeers
Nick Thielen, ’89 F, Moorhead HS
Matt Thurber, ’89 F, Omaha Lancers
Dane Walters, ’89 F, Dallas Stars AAA
Shea Walters, ’87 F, Omaha Lancers
Josh Watson, ’90 G, Hill School
Matt White, ’89 F, Cushing Academy

Sioux City Musketeers

Justin Brossman, ’88 F, Vernon Vipers
Cody Butcher, ’87 D, Merritt (BCHL)
Sean Coffey, ’88 D, Sioux City Musketeers
Matt Crandell, ’88 D, Sioux City Musketeers
Nick Curry, ’89 F, Sioux City Musketeers
Donnie Hallmark, ’88 F, Sioux City Musketeers
Joe Hartman, ’89 D, Alexandria Blizzard
Spencer Heichman, ’89 F, Sioux City Musketeers
Adam Hout, ’89 D, LA Jr. Kings
Jake Johnson, ’89 F, Duluth Denfield
Michael Keenan, ’89 D, Catholic Memorial
Ben Kinne, ’88 F, Santa Fe Roadrunners
Kyle Lundey, ’88 F, Dubuque Thunderbirds
Will MacDonald, ’89 F, Culver Academy
Anthony Maiani, ’89 F, Sioux City Musketeers
Jerrod Mermis, ’90 F, St. Louis Jr. Blues
Eddie Olczyk, ’89 F, Sioux City Musketeers
Travis Oleksuk, ’89 F, Sioux City Musketeers (import)
Steve Qualir, ’89 F, Rocky Mountain Wranglers
Josh Robinson, ’89 G, Sioux City Musketeers
Eric Rubino, ’89 F, St. Mike’s Jr. A (import)
Tom Serratore, ’89 F, Colorado Rampage
Alex Stuart, ’88 D, Sioux City Musketeers
Jon Swavely, ’89 F, Valley Forge Jr. A
Cory Tamblyn, ’89 F, Markham Jr. A (import)
Nate Taurence, ’89 D, Detroit Little Caesar’s
Steve Thompson, ’88 G, Vernon Vipers
Justin Troiani, ’89 D, St. Mike’s Jr. A (import)
Alex Tuckerman, ’88 F, Sioux City Musketeers
Danny Wurden, ’89 D, Sioux City Musketeers

Sioux Falls Stampede

Joey Brehm, ’88 D, Edina HS
Terry Broadhurst, ’88 F, Chicago Chill
Adam Chavez, ’89 D, Belle Tire
Jordy Christian, ’88 F, Sioux Falls Stampede
Garrett Chumley, ’88 F, Cambridge HS
Jack Connolly, ’89 F, Duluth Marshall
Nick Dineen, ’89 F, Sioux Falls Stampede
Sean Escobedo, ’90 D, NY Apple Core
Theodore Falk, ’89 F, Homestead HS
Drew Fisher, ’87 F, Sioux Falls Stampede
Jeff Foss, ’88 D, Sioux Falls Stampede
David Grun, ’87 F, Sioux Falls Stampede
Gabe Guentzel, ’88 D, Southern Minnesota
Jake Hansen, ’89 F, Sioux Falls Stampede
Eric Hartzell, ’89 G, Sioux Falls Stampede
Thomas Healy, ’88 F, TI
Augie Hoffman, ’88 D, Mission Midget
Michael Juola, ’89 F, LA Jr. Kings
Scott  Kishel, ’89 D, Virginia HS
Milan Luzaich, ’88 D, Rocky Mountain Wranglers
Tony McDonald, ’88 F, Totino Grace HS
Kristof Reinthaler, ’88 D, Dallas Stars AAA (import)
Jeff Rohrkemper, ’89 F, Grosse Point North HS
Jason Silvia, ’89 F, Belmont Hill School
Jordan Singer, ’88 F, Centennial HS
Britton Smith, ’88 F, Holy Angels
Max Strang, ’89 G, Sioux Falls Stampede
Robbie Vrolyk, ’89 F, Sioux Falls Stampede
Kent Wittman, ’88 D, Dallas Stars Midget AAA
Sam Zabkowicz, ’87 D, Sioux Falls Stampede

Tri-City Storm

Brett Beebe, ’90 F, Anaheim Alliance
Josh Berge, ’90 F, Alliance Bulldogs
Colin Briscoe, ’89 F, Century HS
David Carle, ’89 D, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
Peter Child, ’88 D, St. Paul’s School
Mike Cichy, ’90 F, Boston Junior Bruins
Cameron Cooper, ’88 D, Tri-City Storm
Anthony DeCenzo, ’89 F, Hibbing HS
Kyle Ensign, ’88 F, Tri-City Storm
Chris Franks, ’89 D, Burnsville HS
Chris Hickey, ’88 F, Cretin-Derham Hall
Michael Hudson, ’87 F, Tri-City Storm
Nick Jaskowiak, ’89 D, Salisbury School
Thomas Kleidon, ’89 D, Santa Fe Roadrunners
Mario Lamoureux, ’88 F, Tri-City Storm
Thomas Mannino, ’87 F, Tri-City Storm
Brandon Martell, ’88 D, Elk River HS
Troy Mattila, ’88 F, Springfield Jr. B
Ian O’Brien, ’90 G, Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins
Nick Oliver, ’91 F, Roseau HS
Ryan Peltoma, ’88 D, Tri-City Storm
Mike Pilot, ’87 F, Tri-City Storm
Charlie Raskop, ’89 D, Holy Angels
Aaron Rock, ’87 G, Tri-City Storm
Colin Smith, ’88 F, Belle Tire
AJ Treais, ’91 F, Little Caesar’s
Jordan vanGuilder, ’88 F, Tri-City Storm
Sean Wiles, ’87 F, Tri-City Storm
Jordan Willert, ’87 F, Tri-City Storm
Hakan Yumusaklar, ’89 G, Lakeville South

Waterloo Black Hawks

Chad Billlins, ’89 D, Alpena Ice Diggers
Nick Carson, ’89 D, Blaine HS
Matt DiGirolamo, ’88 G, Waterloo Black Hawks
Joey Dillon, ’90 D, Junior Bruins (Empire)
Corey Fienhage, ’90 D, Eastview HS
Christopher Forfar, ’88 F, Chicago Chill AAA
Andrew Hamburg, ’89 F, Dallas Stars AAA
Joe Howe, ’90 G, Wayzata HS
Jan Mikael Juutilainen, ’88 F, Waterloo Black Hawks (import)
Kory Kaunisto, ’89 F, Traverse City
Blake Kessel, ’89 D, Waterloo Black Hawks
Ryan Kretzer, ’88 F, Springfield Blues
Nick Larson, ’89 F, St. Thomas Academy
John Lee, ’89 D, Waterloo Black Hawks
Billy Maday, ’88 F, Waterloo Black Hawks
Jon Madden, ’87 F, Waterloo Black Hawks
Michael Marcou, ’89 D, Waterloo Black Hawks
Matt Marshall, ’88 F, Nobles
Drew McKenzie, ’88 D, Taft
Keegan Meuer, ’89 F, Waterloo Black Hawks
Michael Montrose, ’91 D, Little Caesar’s
Kevin Nugent, ’89 F, Taft
Brett Olson, ’87 F, Waterloo Black Hawks
Tony Resendes, ’87 F, Northern Mass. Jr. Cyclones
Jordan Samuels-Thomas, ’90 F, Hartford Wolfpack
Anthony Schooley, ’89 F, Traverse City
Craig Smith, ’89 F, Waterloo Black Hawks
Chris Student, ’89 D, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
Paul Weisgarber, ’88 F, Waterloo Black Hawks
Patrick Wey, ’91 D, Pittsburgh Hornets 


Beantown Summer Classic Moved Back

The Beantown Summer Classic has changed its dates, moving back four days in order to get out from under the newly-installed Div. I recruiting dead period.

Originally, the tournament was scheduled to run from Aug. 15-19. Under the revised schedule, the tournament will run from Aug. 19-22.

The tournament, to be held at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass.,  will start on Sun. Aug. 19, with practices and a couple of evening games. A full slate of games will be played on Mon.-Tues.-Wed. Aug. 20-21-22.

None of this will affect the dates of the tryout camps.

The women’s Beantown Classic will run on Aug. 17-18-19.

Tournament director Peter Masters said, “We had to adjust to the new recruiting calendar. Luckily we’re small enough to remain flexible to do that. We could adjust quickly.”

-- Hockey Night in Boston will not be shifting their dates. Tournament director Lance LoFaro said that it’s just too late to make any adjustment, as hotels have been booked, ice has been rented, coaches have committed, and vacations have been planned. “There are just a million things like that,” he said, “and months of planning.”

“You just go with the flow. None of this will affect prep or junior coaches, or Div. III coaches, or NHL scouts. Also, our tournament is a little bit younger (than the Beantown Classic). Adjustments will be made in the future.”

“I think if we had been given proper warning it would have been OK,” LoFaro added. “But to be hit with it now is a big hassle.”

Hockey Night in Boston, in its 33rd year, will be holding its major summer showcase on July 27-29 and then, after a week’s break, will pick up and continue from August 5-13 at the Icenter in Salem, NH.  Hockey Night has a non-compete agreement with the Beantown Classic under which HNIB must conclude play by Aug. 14, while the Beantown Classic may not begin play until Aug. 15. 

-- The Chowder Cup and the EJHL Showcase will both be running head-to-head from Thurs.-Sun. Aug. 2-5.

Div. I coaches will be able to attend during the first two days, Thurs.-Fri. Aug. 2-3, but will not be able to attend the weekend sessions on Sat.-Sun. Aug. 4-5.  

Mike O'Connell reports that, in future years, the Chowder Cup schedule will be set up to fall outside of the blacked-out dates for Div. I head coaches.  



Bombaugh Arraigned on Rape Charge

St. John’s Fog Devils (QMJHL) defenseman Keith Bombaugh, a Massachusetts native and former prep player, pled not guilty in Falmouth (Mass.) District Court yesterday to a charge of rape of a minor.

Bombaugh, 18, and another defendant, Jarrod Scott-Reynolds, also 18 and a Falmouth High School senior, are charged with the rape of a 16-year-old girl they met at a party over a week ago.

Bombaugh and Scott-Reynolds, who appeared in court with their parents, were released on $1,000 bail each.

Five members of the girl’s family were in court yesterday, where, according to the Cape Cod Times, the girl’s father said that his daughter had been taken into the woods by Bombaugh, Scott-Reynolds, and an unidentified and uncharged third teen, each of whom assaulted her. The girl did not report the alleged assault for several days. Her parents, noticing changed behavior, talked to her, and, after being told what happened, went to the police.

The attorneys for the two men said their clients are innocent. Bombaugh’s attorney, Rob Galibois, said text messages between the girl and the teens will show that she met them willingly. He also said the third teen would likely testify for the defense.

Bombaugh, a Falmouth native and an ’89 birthdate, played at Tabor Academy for two years, from ’03-05, then went to Lawrence Academy as a repeat junior in ’05-06. Last June, he was selected by St. John’s in the seventh round of the QMJHL draft.

He played 38 out of 70 games with the Fog Devils, and had an 0-3-3 line with 74 pims, mostly fighting misconducts. His attorney said that he was supposed to report to training camp in August, but would probably still be fighting the charges.



Siciliano Returning to Sioux City

Sioux City Musketeers head coach Dave Siciliano has withdrawn his name from consideration for the head coaching position at his alma mater, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and will return to the Musketeers for his eighth season.

“I will be back and I am excited about the upcoming tryout camp,” Siciliano said.

Sioux City is also hosting the USHL’s preseason showcase tournament this September, as the former Buc Bowl will now circulate around the league, giving all teams a shot at being host.

Siciliano has 490 wins in the USHL, placing him second all time. He is just 27 wins behind former Sioux City and Des Moines coach Bob Ferguson.

Siciliano coached the powerhouse Thunder Bay Flyers (USHL) from 1986-93, where he compiled a record of 249-77-10. Siciliano still keeps a residence in Thunder Bay, and has a daughter who lives there.


Coaching positions that remain open include:

-- Head coaching position at Alaska-Fairbanks. Since all the candidates are current Div. I assistants, filling this will open up an assistant’s job somewhere.

-- Assistant coaching position at Bowling Green. This opened up when Danton Cole was hired as head coach at Alabama-Huntsville.

-- Assistant coaching position at Northern Michigan. This one opened up when John Olver was hired by the Iowa Stars (AHL) in late April.

-- Head coaching position with the Indiana Ice (USHL). Jack Bowkus was let go on the final weekend of the regular season, and Charlie Skjodt took over as interim head coach for the playoffs. We’ve heard the name of St. Cloud State assistant coach Fred Harbinson mentioned in connection with this job.



Recruiting Calendar Stands Strong

The first full weekend of the recruiting calendar wrapped up yesterday and observers at both the EJHL Spring Showcase and the Michigan-Minnesota series report that Div. I coaches were nowhere to be seen. 

The first part of the recruiting calendar concludes at the end of the month, and a second dead period runs from August 4-19.

The recruiting calendar does not apply to Div. III head coaches.



Hebron’s New Head Coach

UConn assistant coach Matt Plante has been named the new head coach at Hebron Academy, where he will take the reins from Rob Gagnon, who was recently hired to take over the Cushing program.  

Plante, 30, is a Troy, NY native and former Quinnipiac defenseman (class of ’02). He served as a volunteer assistant at UConn in ’03-04, then went to Wesleyan as an assistant for two years, and then returned to UConn this past season.

“He’s the right guy for this job,” Gagnon said. “I’m very happy, and feel totally comfortable with him taking over."

“Matt knows both the Div. I and Div. III recruiting game. His resources and contacts are perfect for what Hebron needs to stay successful. I’d gotten to know him while he was out recruiting and I saw him everywhere. That impressed me.”

Plante said, “I’m really excited about Hebron. Rob’s done a great job the past couple of years and I just want to continue carrying the torch.”

Asked what excited him about moving on to coach in prep school, Plante pointed to something Dan Donato touched on in a recent article in these pages. “I liked what he said about the greatest reward being ‘moving great kids on to great schools’ and helping them accomplish their goals. That meant something to me.”

Plante visited the Hebron campus last week and said he was impressed with it. “Everyone was warm, friendly, and approachable. I was there for just two days and everyone made me feel so welcome. It’s the environment I was looking for.” 

All of the players who Gagnon recruited to Hebron for the coming season are sticking with their commitment to the school.



A Top D for Crimson

U.S. Under-17 Team RD Ryan Grimshaw has committed to Harvard for the fall of ’08.

A junior, Grimshaw, who’s 6’0”, 185 lbs. and a Rochester, NY native, played the 2005-06 season at the Salisbury School before heading out to Ann Arbor this season, where he’s had a strong campaign.

A hard-working two-way defenseman, Grimshaw can handle every aspect of the game. He’s excellent in his own end, a good skater who can make an accurate first pass, and he also has offensive upside.

Grimshaw made his final choice from among Harvard, Michigan, BU, Cornell, and RPI.



Salisbury Wagon Getting Lighter?

With the departure of head coach Dan Donato, at least one of Salisbury’s recruits, and possibly others, are considering other options.

-- 5’10½”, 157 lb. RC Louis Leblanc of the Lac St-Louis Lions (Quebec Midget AAA) is – or was -- due to enroll at Salisbury as an 11th grader in the fall. A dynamic C/LW being pursued by a host of colleges, Leblanc’s options, in addition to Salisbury, include returning to Lac St-Louis or heading to another boarding school.

Cushing Academy has been rumored as a new landing spot for Leblanc. New Cushing head coach Rob Gagnon said, “I’ve heard those rumors too, but I haven’t received a phone call from anyone.” In addition, Gagnon, citing the prep coaches code of conduct, said, “I would never go after a kid who has already committed to another school – that’s unethical.”

Leblanc is a good student, and it’s said that his interest in Salisbury stemmed from an interest in going on to Harvard.

The big gorilla in the closet is the Q, which holds its draft on Sat. June 2nd. Rumors are circulating that $500,000 has been offered to Leblanc, though that seems high. Only a few teams – e.g., Quebec, Moncton, and Saint John – have that kind of cash. However, Leblanc and Steven Anthony are the two highest-ranked forwards available, so anything is possible. (You may recall that Angelo Esposito was pulled off the NCAA track two years ago by an offer from the Quebec Remparts that some insist reached $850,000 a season after all attendance clauses and other incentives were reached. Phil Lecavalier, a former Clarkson defenseman and the older brother of Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier, was Esposito’s agent – and he’s the family adviser to Leblanc, as well.)

-- Leblanc’s Lac St-Louis teammate, 5’10½”, 186 lb. RD Danny Biega, the younger brother of Alex and Michael Biega, is also rumored to be looking at other options, or is at least in a holding pattern. Biega, also projected as a first rounder in the Q draft, would be an 11th grader this fall.

You can be sure that once Salisbury has a new coach in position a lot of this will get resolved – one way or another.

(The family of Lawrence Academy recruit Steven Anthony is getting inundated by the Q as well, but they are said to be sticking with the prep/NCAA route. Anthony’s deposit has been made at Lawrence Academy, where he would join the 11th grade.)



When will Salisbury have a new coach and who will it be?

Former Salisbury head coach -- and current assistant -- Matt Corkery said, “The headmaster, Chisholm Chandler, is in the process of evaluating resumes. He and Dick Flood are culling through them.”

The plan is to start having candidates visit the campus toward the end of this week.

As for the possibility of losing recruits due to the fact that there is no coach in place, Corkery said, “We’ve been in touch with all the families and they have a sense of what the timetable will be.”

“We’d like to get it done within the next couple of weeks,” Corkery added. “We’re excited about the quality of people who have been in touch with us.”

Who are the candidates?

Corkery’s lips are sealed.

“Most of the people who have contacted us already have jobs,” Corkery said. “As soon as we have people on campus, the process will become more public.”

It’s believed that Salisbury is looking primarily among Div. I college assistants with a strong track record.


In an earlier article on Salisbury, we mentioned that Edina High School RW Matt Reber, a Dartmouth recruit, would be taking a PG year at Salisbury. That’s no longer the case. Reber has been moved off the waitlist at Dartmouth and will be playing for the Big Green in the upcoming season.


He’s a Union Man

Bridgewater Bandits (EJHL) 5’11”, 180 lb. forward Brian Yanovitch has committed to Union College for the fall of ’08.

Yanovitch, who had a 15-27-42 line in 44 games for the Bandits, is an 8/31/88 birthdate from Mansfield, Mass., where he was an All-Scholastic high school player before joining the Bandits.

A draft pick of the Green Bay Gamblers in last week’s USHL draft, Yanovitch has good feet and hands and is a pesky type -- annoying to play against.  



The New Marshall in Town

6’1”, 175 junior forward Matt Marshall of Noble & Greenough has committed to the University of Vermont for the fall of ’08.

A center/right wing whose game springs from his skating skill, Marshall was Nobles’ third leading scorer, behind senior Josh Franklin (who is going to UVM this fall), and junior Nick Resor. For part of the season, Marshall was slowed by a hamstring injury.

Marshall committed to Northeastern University after coming off a strong season at Hingham High School in ’05-06. This past fall he went to Nobles as a repeat junior. His stock rose during the season, and he reneged on his commitment to Northeastern in mid-January.  

An 8/30/88 DOB, Marshall is eligible for June's NHL draft – he was last year, too – and is rated at #63 among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings.

Providence College was also in the picture for Marshall, as were several Ivies.   


Recruiting Calendar Staying in Place

Despite requests for a one-year stay of execution, the recruiting calendar, which passed by a 40-2 vote at the coaches’ convention, remains in place.

The first of two dead periods (May 15-31, and Aug. 4-19) went into effect on Tuesday. The first big test comes this weekend, both in the midwest, where there is a major Minnesota vs. Michigan tournament taking place in Detroit; and in the east, where the EJHL is holding a spring showcase in Massachusetts.

Eyes will be on these tournaments, as observers will be curious to see if any Div. I college recruiters cross the line and attend. If that happens, everything could be up in the air again by Monday.

The difference, as we pointed out in an earlier article, between the hockey recruiting calendar and that of other NCAA sports is that the hockey calendar is no more than a gentlemen’s agreement amongst the coaches. As it is not an NCAA rule, there is no penalty for breaking it.


The Atlantic Junior Hockey League is seeking to hire a Director of League Operations. It’s a work-at-home position, with frequent travel, primarily in the Northeast. All applications must be received by May 25th. For a job description and applicant qualifications please email



Weber #1 Pick in USHL Draft

The Chicago Steel selected Will Weber, a 6’4” defenseman out of Gaylord (Michigan) High School, with the #1 overall pick in today’s USHL draft.

Weber, who’ll be graduating from Gaylord High in a few weeks, is an excellent skater for a kid of his size, and provides offensive pop from the blue line. He has committed to Miami University for the fall of ’08. He’ll likely be selected in the NHL draft next month,

Weber is the son of Dick Weber, who played for Cornell in the mid-70s, but died tragically in a Gaylord plane crash in October 2000, when his son was 11.

With the top players in Michigan traditionally going the AAA route, it’s nice to see a high school player -- and one from the hinterlands -- getting this kind of notice. It once again proves that if you can play, you’ll be found. In the East, everyone is wrapped up in playing for a Div. I prep school. But let’s not forget that there are some awfully good players that come out of Div. II prep schools, e.g. Shea Guthrie and Hugh Jessiman. There are nowhere near as many, it's true, but the point is this: if you have the skill and are willing to apply yourself, you can make it from anywhere. Play where you want to play and, in due time, the rest will take care of itself. Will Weber is just the latest proof.

USHL Draft



Recruiting Calendar Creating Consternation

After years of talk, a college hockey recruiting calendar was voted on and passed at the coaches convention in Florida. The vote was driven by a desire to protect college coaches from being on the road virtually – literally, actually – every single weekend of the year.

The vote, effective immediately, would keep Div. I coaches out of the rinks from May 15-31 and again from August 4-19. The May dead period would encompass two weekends while the August period would encompass the first three weekends of the month.

The proposal was put forth for vote by the WCHA and passed, 40-2. Only the University of Maine and Holy Cross voted against it.

Unlike dark periods in other NCAA sports, this is not NCAA legislation. Rather, it’s a gentlemen’s agreement among the college coaches. In other words, if the agreement is broken, it would not be an NCAA violation as would be the case in, say, basketball, and schools would not be punished. It is expected, however, that the coaches, as members of the American Hockey Coaches Association, will honor the agreement, as the lopsidedness of the vote certainly suggests.

However, there is a movement afoot to hold off implementation of the calendar until next May. The push has come from tournament organizers, in particular Peter Masters, the head coach of the Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL) and the organizer of the Beantown Classic.   

There are well-attended tournaments in the East, particularly during the three weekends in August, that would be imperiled by an absence of Div. I coaches. They include the Chowder Cup, the EJHL Showcase, Hockey Night in Boston, and Masters’ Summer Beantown Classic.

Money has been shelled out for ice, parents and their kids have made summer plans based around these events, and now, on relatively short notice, the plug has been pulled on them.

The American Hockey Coaches Association, Hockey East, the ECAC and Atlantic Hockey are receiving pressure to delayed implementation until ‘08. In many cases, the assistant coaches at the eastern schools -- ironically, among those the new ruling is principally designed to protect – are asking for the one-year reprieve. Whether the ACHA and their eastern leagues agree to take up the cause and bring it to their WCHA and CCHA brethren, who have fewer major tournaments to attend in their part of the country during those periods, remains to be seen. 

The WCHA coaches, who sponsored the proposal, don’t miss much under the proposal. They would still get to attend the USHL playoffs in its entirety (the championship game was last night). With the arrival of June, coaches from both the east and west begin making the circuit of USHL camps and USA Select Festivals. The Aug. 4 date is the final day of the USA Hockey Select 15 Festival. There’s nothing major in the Midwest in August. In the east, as mentioned above, there are four major tournaments in this time slot and numerous organizers, coaches, and kids are affected:

1. The Eastern Junior Hockey League Showcase (32 teams, 640 players)

2. The Chowder Cup (88 teams, over 1600 players)

3. Hockey Night in Boston (approximately 20 teams, 400 players).

4. The Beantown Classic (Eight teams, 140 players)

Since the August dark period doesn’t start until Aug. 4, the Chowder Cup and the EJ Showcase, which run from Aug. 2-5, could still be scouted on Thurs-Fri. Aug. 2-3, but not over the weekend days.

Hockey Night in Boston, which runs from late July through the first few weeks of August, and the Beantown Classic would be hit hard.

Masters feels he and other tournament organizers have been blindsided, and that the same goes for the participants.

“If we had been given one year to adjust that would have been one thing,” Masters said, “but to put it in now is wrong.”

Masters said that if the recruiting calendar doesn’t get delayed for a year there will be a mad scramble among the tournaments to find ice. It will be extremely difficult, he said, and, in some case, impossible.

Merrimack College head coach Mark Dennehy, currently running the Hockey East meetings, has been the recipient of various entreaties to put the ruling on hold for a year.

“Because I am on the board of directors,” Dennehy said, “I’ve definitely received phone calls. All I can do is try to figure out what effect this is going to have.”

“I’m trying to get answers for people. I personally don’t have any answers. We voted on this because the coaches wanted it. We knew there would be fallout but we think it’s for the betterment of the game.”

Dennehy was asked if there could be an exemption.

“I can’t comment on that,” he said. “There are a lot of questions.”

The only two schools that voted against the proposal in the first place were the University of Maine and Holy Crosss.

Maine head coach Tim Whitehead feels that the proposed recruiting calendar plays right into the hands of the Canadian Major Junior Leagues by giving them the opportunity to use two large time blocks to schedule tournaments and camps that would attract top players. Whitehead feels that WHL and OHL, in particular, will set up invite camps during those freed-up weekends in late May and August and that kids from emerging hockey areas such as California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida will be pursued aggressively.

Whitehead feels that the NCAA recruiting restrictions already in place make it difficult enough to compete against major junior, and questions the wisdom of giving the CHL additional time blocks during which they can bring in prospects who might otherwise have chosen to attend a tournament in which they could play before NCAA coaches.

In an email, Holy Cross head coach Paul Pearl wrote, “I am against the recruiting calendar because I am against putting any recruiting restrictions on ourselves other than what the NCAA puts in place. I think we all can decide for ourselves what tournaments we go to. Plus all the evaluations are free in the summer. Lastly, who decides what the good tournaments are? What might be good for Holy Cross may not be good for bigger schools.”

“With that said,” Pearl added, “we obviously will comply with what the body decides.”

It’s also felt by many that the recruiting calendar will hurt the Div. III coaches, who are not directly governed by it, but could get hit with a ripple effect. Since Div. III coaches at Northeast schools rarely travel out of New England and New York state, they use the August events to inexpensively evaluate the talent pool for the upcoming season. If Div. I recruiters can’t show up at these events, it’s been posited, then the players won’t either. That means the Div. III guys would sit home, too.

When we asked an assistant at a top CCHA school about how the recruiting calendar would affect his school, he said, “It won’t really. There’s nothing we really need to be at on those weekends. I can see how it’s different back in Massachusetts, though. I can definitely see that.”

Stay tuned on this one.


The scheduled Michigan vs. Minnesota series, scheduled for the Detroit area this coming weekend, will go on as scheduled. There will, of course, be no Div. I coaches in attendance unless the ban is put on hold this week. 



Proctor Academy Joins Div. I

Proctor Academy, which has reached the Div. II Final Four three times in the five-year tenure of head coach Mike Walsh, is stepping up and joining Div. I beginning this fall.

Walsh has always scheduled as many Div. I games as possible on his team’s schedule. This past season, there were 15, which is the minimum NEPSIHA requires for post-season play. “Our schedule will be tweaked a little, but not dramatically,” he said.

Walsh said Proctor, at least for next year, will play as a Div. I independent. Phillips Andover is the only other current Div. I independent.

“I don’t see a league offering us anything that we wouldn’t get by being independent,” he said.

When asked what the school would do if the existing Div. I prep leagues ever went to the much-discussed league championships and auto bids, Walsh replied, “That would change things. We could slide into the New England Prep League. But for now, we’re looking at it one step at a time.”

Asked how long it would take for Proctor to be competitive at the Div. I level, Walsh said, “I’m not going to concede anything. However, we are a few guys short. This move, I believe, will bring us those guys.”  

 “Speaking strictly from a hockey perspective, over the next couple of years there will be an opportunity for the higher level kids to come in here and be driving the bus rather than being a passenger. It’s a great opportunity for kids to get in on the ground level.”

Walsh has shown a lot of prospective student-athletes around the school’s Andover, NH campus and says, “I know for a fact that there are tons of kids who’ve loved everything about the school… except the fact that it’s in Div. II.”

Walsh sees a good number of those kids now deciding on Proctor, not just for the opportunity to play Div. I prep hockey, but for all the other things the school has to offer.

“We feel as a school that there are several programs at the elite level here – basketball, skiing, music, and the arts – so this (moving the hockey program to Div. I) is consistent with the school’s mission. There is excellence here in several areas – it’s not a school that’s driven by just one program. I think that’s really important.”

“Proctor is the kind of place where you can fast track yourself for college by opening yourself to a variety of experiences – everything from taking AP classes to spending a spring semester abroad, to building a 12-foot wooden pram by hand, to working in the school’s woodlot in order to feed the dorms’ wood-fired furnaces which, by the way, is a great workout.”

“We have a way of arousing students to get out of their comfort zone and experience things that will help them when they go off to college.”

Walsh, a forward who played his prep hockey at St. Sebastian’s before heading off to Colgate (1980-84) went on to play six years in the New York Islanders organization, including a couple of stints with the parent club. He finished his career playing for the Maine Mariners, then the Bruins’ AHL affiliate, and with a couple of years in Europe.

Right after retiring from pro hockey, Walsh began coaching at Tilton, where he won three straight Div. II titles (’00, ’01, ’02). In the fall of ’02, he took over at Proctor and in his first season won another Div. II title – his fourth straight. In Walsh’s five years at Proctor the school has reached the playoffs in all but one season. In addition to winning the championship in ’03, they made two other visits to Salem, NH, losing in the semis to South Kent in ’04, and losing in the finals to Hebron in ‘06.

“It’s been a good run,” Walsh said. “We’re going to keep it going. I want us to be in the mix, but we’re not going to define success only by whether or not we get into the playoffs right away. We’ll have great rivalries. We’ll have big games. There will be a lot of positives.”

One thing Walsh is hoping to implement for next season is a kind of Lakes Region Beanpot type of tournament that would feature Proctor, Tilton, Holderness, and Kimball Union.

“There’s been a lot of positive feedback on this,” he said. “It would take place on the last Friday and Saturday of the regular season. It wouldn’t affect the New Englands. The kids from all four schools could put closure on the regular season by competing for a trophy and championship.”

Proctor will continue to compete in the St. Sebastian’s Christmas Tournament and the BB&N New Year’s Tournament.



Gardner Takes Over Presidency of NEPSIHA

The New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association league meetings were held this morning, and the dean of the Founders League, Avon Old Farms head coach John Gardner, was unanimously voted in as the new president of NEPSIHA.

Gardner takes over from Choate head coach Patrick Dennehy, whose term expired today. Dennehy, who did an excellent job balancing all the competing interests at play in the prep game, leaves NEPSIHA in a strong position, as shown by the steadily increasing attendance at the prep tournament each March.

“John Gardner is a strong voice with a strong personality,” Dennehy said. “He’s the right guy to take us to the next level.”

In other news from the meeting

-- NEPSIHA is planning on adopting the NCAA rule concerning goaltending equipment. We don’t have a copy of the ’06-07 NCAA rulebook handy, but the basic thing to know is that the width of the pads can be no greater than 11 inches. We’ll try to get the precise wording for you shortly.

-- The Rivers School has declared its intentions to play at the Div. I level. This past season they played one game against a Div. I opponent (St. Seb’s) and another against a school that has just become Div. I (Proctor). If they keep those two on their schedule, they’ll still have to come up with 13 more opponents in order to reach 15, the number required to qualify for the Div. I tournament. This move might take some time, but the Weston, Mass. day school has taken the first step. 

-- Bridgton is officially out of NEPSIHA, having opted to leave and play a more junior-type schedule, in the mold of Northwood and the National Sports Academy. They’ll still likely play a number of games against New England preps, though those games will not count as offical NEPSIHA games.

-- The following was not part of the meeting, but we’re throwing it in here anyway because it is relevant:

The NEPSAC executive committee met this spring and clarified the whole major junior issue, which came to a head this year over Hoosac forward Matthew David, who played for Holderness then left to play a year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Victoriaville Tigers, then returned to prep school as a senior at Hoosac, which went on to win the Div. II crown.

NEPSAC has adopted the NCAA approach and ruled that if you played for pay you are ineligible, meaning there will be no more former major junior players competing for NEPSAC schools.  NEPSAC is reportedly still working on clarifying the ruling. It’s possible, though not yet official, that NEPSAC will allow a player who has played major junior hockey to come to prep school and play another sport – just not hockey.

All NEPSIHA schools are members of NEPSAC, which stands for the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council, and are subject to its constitution, by-laws and policies.


U.S. Players Taken in OHL Draft

Sixty U.S. players were taken in Saturday’s OHL draft, a significant increase over last year, when 41 U.S. players were selected.

In 2005, 49 U.S. kids were picked.

There weren’t may major surprises. NTDP recruits Cam Fowler and Beau Schmitz, both defensemen, were the two U.S. kids selected in the first round, by Kitchener and Plymouth respectively. Fowler has committed to Notre Dame, and Schmitz to Ferris State.

The first number below represents the round in which each player was selected. The second number is the pick within the round.

All players are ’91 birthdates unless otherwise indicated.

We’ve indicated which players have committed to college. We went over the list pretty carefully,  but if we've missed any American-born players, please let us know.

1/18 Kitchener – Cam Fowler, LD, Honeybaked ‘91s  Notre Dame
1/19 Plymouth – Beau Schmitz, RD, Belle Tire Under-16  Ferris State
2/5 Peterborough – Zach Tatrn, RW, Pittsburgh Predators Under-16
2/7 Erie – Brandon Maxwell, G, Cambridge (Ont.) Hawks
2/16 Belleville – Bjorn Krupp, LD, TPH Thunder
2/19 Sudbury – Marcus Foligno, LW, Sudbury Nickel Capitals (dual citizen)
3/1 Erie – David Shields, RD, Maksymum
3/11 Guelph – Conor Stokes, LW, Syracuse Stars Jr. B
3/16 Plymouth --  Kevin Lynch, RC, Honeybaked ‘91s
3/17 Sarnia – Joe Rogalski, RD, Buffalo Saints
4/1 Erie – Tyler Hostetter, RD, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers
4/7 Sault Ste. Marie – John Ramage, RD, St. Louis Amateur Blues Under-18
4/9 Kitchener – Jeremy Morin, RW, Syracuse Stars (EJHL)
4/11 London – Barron Smith, RD, Chicago Mission Under-16
4/18 Sarnia – Daniel Broussard, RD, TPH Thunder
4/20 Plymouth – R.J. Mahalak, LW, Detroit Belle Tire Under-16
5/1 Erie -- Bryan Hogan, G, Lincoln Stars (USHL) ‘88
5/2 Saginaw – Brad Walch, LD, Honeybaked ‘91s
5/11 Windsor – Andrew Yogan, LC, Florida Jr. Panthers Under-16
5/13 Plymouth – Zach Golembiewski, RC, Detroit Belle Tire Under-16
6/1 Sault Ste. Marie – Michael Montrose, LD, Little Caesar’s Under-16
6/10 Oshawa – Corey Morbeck, G, Wisconsin AAA
6/15 Mississauga – Joe Zarbo, LC, St. Francis (NY) HS/Rochester Americans
6/20 Kingston – Cody Murphy, LW, Team Illinois
7/2 Windsor – Kenny Ryan, RW, Detroit Honeybaked ’91  Boston College
7/5 Brampton – Matt White, LW, Pittsburgh Hornets Under-16
7/6 Ottawa – Paul Phillips, LD, Chicago Chill Midget
7/8 Owen Sound – Michael Steele, LW, Florida Jr. Panthers AA
8/2 Windsor -- Chris Crane, RC, Detroit Honeybaked ‘91
8/12 Sarnia – Kevin Quick, LD, Salisbury School ’88  Michigan
8/13 Sarnia – Kyle Quick, LD, Salisbury School
8/19 Plymouth – Tyler Brown, LW, Detroit Belle Tire Under-16
9/13 Sault Ste. Marie – Mike Miller, RD, Detroit Honeybaked Midget
9/14 Belleville – Zach Bernardi, RW, TPH Thunder
9/17 Owen Sound – Jeff Teglia, G, Chicago Mission Under-16
9/18 Kitchener – Christian Stevens, RD, Phillips Exeter Academy
10/11 Guelph – Tyler Osborne, RD, St. Louis Midgets
10/12 Sarnia --  Ian Ruel, RD, Victory Honda ‘90
10/13 Sault Ste. Marie – Brad Phillips, G, U.S. Under-18 ’89 Notre Dame
10/16 Saginaw – Jonathan Carmony, LD, Washington Jr. Capitals
10/18 Brampton -- Sam Alfieri, RC, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
11/16 Saginaw – Brian Robbins, G, New Jersey Rockets
12/3 St. Michael’s – Jordan Miller, RW, Detroit Belle Tire Under-16
12/10 Oshawa – Sam Calabrese, RD, Team Illinois   Notre Dame
12/13 Sault Ste. Marie – Kevin Albers, RD, Detroit Belle Tire Under-16
12/14 Belleville – David Wohlberg, LC, U.S. Under-17 ’90 Michigan
12/17 Kitchener – Vinny Saponari, RW, U.S. Under-17 ‘90
12/18 Kitchener – Jerry D’Amigo, LW, Binghamton Jr. Senators
13/8 Owen Sound – Patrick Wey, LD, Pittsburgh Hornets Midget Major
13/12 Sarnia – Chris Cohen, G, Little Caesars Under-16
13/16 Saginaw – Steven West, RD, U.S. Under-17  ’90  Ohio State
13/18 Kitchener -- Mike Conderman, LW, Rochester Americans
13/19 Plymouth – Torey Krug, LD, Belle Tire Under-16s
14/2 Windsor – Brad Smith, RW, Belle Tire Under-16s  Ohio State
14/5 Brampton – Matt Boley, G, Belle Tire Under-16s
14/12 Sarnia – Shane Halaas, RW, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s HS (Mich.)
14/19 Plymouth – Myles McCauley, RW, Belle Tire
15/15 Mississauga – A.J. Treais, RC, Little Caesars Under-16  Michigan
15/17 Barrie – Chris Leone, LD, Belle Tire Under-16s
15/20 London – Nicholas Luukko, LW, Team Comcast


The following are Canadian players selected in the draft who have committed to US colleges:

1/5 Brampton – Matthew Duchene, LC, Central Ontario Wolves Michigan State
1/9 Kingston – Ethan Werek, LC, Toronto Marlboros  Boston University
1/17 Barrie – Mitch Lebar, LC, Toronto Young Nationals  Michigan
6/3 St. Michael’s – Patrick McEachen, LD, North York Rangers  Maine
7/20 London – Daniel Erlich, LW, Toronto Marlboros  Northeastern
8/18 Kitchener – Michael Catenacci, LC, Toronto Marlboros  Maine


USHL Final Four Faces Off  Today

The USHL Final Four gets underway this afternoon at Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa.

The schedule:

Saturday May 12 (semifinals):
Indiana Ice vs. Sioux Falls Stampede, 2:05 pm
Des Moines Buccaneers vs. Waterloo Black Hawks, 7:05 pm

Sunday May 13:
Championship Game, 7:05 pm

This is a whole new format for the USHL’s Clark Cup playoffs. In past years, the format consisted of the traditional NHL-type “best-of” series. This year, the USHL, in an experiment, has brought together three vastly different formats, beginning with a first round that was a traditional best-of-seven and reduced the field from 12 to six teams. Next up was a pair of quick round-robin series, one in the East Division and one in the West Division, that eliminated one team in each division. And today, a traditional NCAA-type Final Four gets underway.

Some quick notes on the four teams:

-- Des Moines is the defending Clark Cup champion, and has eight players left over from last year’s team.

-- Waterloo, the host team, is very tough at home, going 29-3-2 at Young Arena this season (regular season and playoffs combined).

-- Indiana, 6-0 in the playoffs under interim head coach Charlie Skjodt, never had a winning streak that long during the regular season.

-- Sioux Falls is the most potent offensive team in the playoffs, averaging 5.33 goals per game, while goaltender Matt Lundin has held opponents at bay with a 2.65 gaa average.


East Division:

Round 1:
#1 Waterloo defeated #6 Chicago, four games to one.
#2 Cedar Rapids swept #5 Ohio, four games to none.
#3 Indiana swept #4 Green Bay, four games to none.
(Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and Indiana advance.)

Round 2 was a three-game, three-team round robin.
Indiana (2-0) and Waterloo (1-1) advanced, while Cedar Rapids (0-2) was eliminated.

Indiana and Waterloo advance to Final Four.

West Division:

Round 1:
#6 Des Moines defeated #1 Omaha, four games to one (close games, though).
#2 Tri-City beat #5 Sioux City, four games to three
#4 Sioux Falls swept #3 Lincoln, four games to none.
(Des Moines, Tri-City, and Sioux Falls advance.)

Round 2 was a three-game, three-team round robin.
Des Moines (2-0) and Sioux Falls (1-1) advanced, while Tri-City (0-2) was eliminated.

Des Moines and Sioux Falls advance to Final Four.


Sioux Falls, Waterloo Advance

The Sioux Falls Stampede and Waterloo Black Hawks emerged as victors in today’s semifinals and will face each other for the 2007 Clark Cup Championship Sunday at 7:05 pm in Waterloo, Iowa.

-- In today’s early game, the Stampede edged Indiana, 3-2, on a goal at 4:47 of overtime by Drew Fisher.

Indiana, which outshot Sioux Falls, 37-31 in the game, led 2-1 going into the third, but Sioux Falls tied it up on a Dan Sexton goal at 7:03 to send the game into overtime.

Matt Lundin kicked out 35 of 37 shots to pick up the win for the Stampede.

Garrett Roe (1g,1a) figured in both of Indiana’s goals.

-- In the nightcap, a Josh Turnbull goal at 1:29 of OT, from James Marcou and Ryan Cramer, gave host Waterloo a 1-0 win over defending Clark Cup champion Des Moines.

Ryan Rondeau kicked out 17 shots for the shutout. Matt Dalton stopped 29 of 30 shots in a losing cause.


Moffat Top Yank in WHL Bantam Draft

The number of U.S. kids selected in this year’s WHL Bantam Draft has increased from 12 last year to 21 this year.

The leader of the pack is Luke Moffat of Scottsdale, Arizona, who was selected #2 overall. Moffat was the clear #1 pick going in but the team drafting first, the Portland Winter Hawks, couldn’t come to a pre-draft agreement getting him to commit to the WHL, so he dropped to second, where Kelowna selected him. Moffat, who is roughly 5'10", 165 lbs. is skilled and tough, equally comfortable with the finesse and physical game. He'll likely top out at over 6'0" -- his father, Ken Moffat, a native Canadian who married an American, has long been involved in coaching hockey. Look for Moffat, who played for the Phoenix Fire Bantams this season, to move to Detroit over the summer and play for Compuware midget minors next season. That's the word right now, anyway. There is also an outside chance that Moffat could wind up in Ann Arbor next season, playing for the NTDP's Under-17 Team as an underager.

All players selected in the WHL Draft are ‘92s. 

1/2 Kelowna – Luke Moffat, C, Scottsdale, AZ
3/60 Seattle – Brandon Carlson, D, Ladera Ranch, CA
4/84 Seattle – Jason Zucker, C, Las Vegas, NV
5/108 Kelowna – Scott Wamsganz, LW, Anchorage, AK
5/109 Medicine Hat – Jayce Douskey, C, Centennial, CO
6/114 Spokane – T.C. Cratsenberg, C, Federal Way, WA
6/115 Medicine Hat – Emerson Etem, C, Long Beach, CA
6/128 Red Deer – Kevin Woodyat, D, Scottsdale, AZ
6/132 Everett – Markus McCrae, LW, Canyon Lake, CA
7/135 Kelowna – Nick Shore, RW, Cherry Hills, CO
7/152 Kootenay – Tyler Vanscourt, D, Corona, CA
9/178 Portland – Vince Nash, RW, Champlin, MN
9/184 Swift Current – Zach Habscheid, D, Winchester, Mass.
9/188 Spokane – Ian Young, D, Missouri City, TX
10/199 Edmonton – Phillip Samuelsson, D, Phoenix, AZ
10/205 Prince Albert – Conor Clancey, RW, Phoenix, AZ
10/214 Vancouver – J.T. Barnett, LW, Scottsdale, AZ
10/218 Kootenay – Colton St. Clair, RW, Gilbert, AZ
11/227 Prince Albert – Taylor Love, D, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
11/229 Lethbridge – Cody Castro, D, Peoria, AZ
12/251 Lethbridge – Brandon Brossoit, C, El Segundo, CA


Zach Habscheid, the son of Boston Bruins associate head coach Marc Habscheid might be a dual or even 100% Canadian. Mass residents can not be drafted into the WHL, only the QMJHL.



Alaska-Fairbanks Candidates

The University of Alaska-Fairbanks will be doing phone interviews with five candidates for the head coaching position vacated by Tavis MacMillan, who resigned on April 10.

The phone interviews began yesterday and will continue through tomorrow.

The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

Chris Brooks, Western Michigan assistant
Jason Lammers, Ohio State assistant
Kevin Patrick, Wisconsin assistant
Steve Rohlik, Minnesota-Duluth assistant
Eric Rud, St. Cloud State assistant

We’ve also learned that Michigan State assistant Brian Renfrew and Robert Morris University head coach Derek Schooley were contacted but withdrew their names from consideration, opting to stay at their schools.


The Nanooks finished 11th in the 12-team CCHA this season with an overall record of 11-22-6 and a league record of 7-16-5.

Lammers is the one candidate who actually worked at the school, as he was an assistant to Guy Gadowsky from 2002-04 before moving on with Gadowsky to Princeton.

Alaska-Fairbanks advertises itself as the school with the “360 million-acre classroom.” For purposes of reference, the state of Rhode Island has 776,957 acres, meaning Brown University and Providence College share a classroom that’s 1/540th the size of Alaska-Fairbank’s.

The state sport of Alaska is not hockey. It is dog mushing.

The length of the day today in Faribanks will be 18 hours, 5 minutes. The length of visible light will be 21 hours, 17 minutes. By June 21, the summer solstice, there will be 24 hours of visible light. 

Conversely, on December 22nd the sun rises at 10:59 am and sets at 2:40 pm -- that's less than four hours of daylight. Oh, the average high temperature for January 13th is 1 degree, while the average low is -13. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Fairbanks was -66 on Jan. 14, 1934 (what does that feel like?). The hottest it ever got was 99 degrees on July 28, 1919. There are spectacular displays of the Aurora Borealis on roughly 200 days each year.   



Donato: “I’m Happy and Sad”

Coach Dan Donato told his team last night that he would be leaving Salisbury.

How’d they take it?

“I think they took it well,” he said. “I think they’re excited for me. I’m a Boston guy, and I’m returning home. It’ll be great to get to a BC-BU game, or one of Teddy’s games, or a Sox game at Fenway.”

“I guess you could say I’m both happy and sad about leaving Salisbury. I’ve loved it here. The school was great to me, and I had the honor of working with great kids. I have great memories here.”

Donato said winning the 2006 New England prep championship was a highlight, but added that “placing great kids at great schools” was the greatest satisfaction he found.

“But now I’m excited for my kids.”

Donato has three young children, a boy and two girls, and at Dexter/Southfield they will get the standard free tuition available to children of faculty members at most prep schools. “It’s really simple,” Donato said. “Dexter is a great school. I have three young kids. They’re part of the package. They go for free – K through 9 and beyond.”

Salisbury couldn’t offer anything like that, especially for the girls – it’s an all-boys school in far western Connecticut, a three-hour drive from Boston.

“At the end of the day, my decision came down to what’s best for my family. This is a great opportunity for my kids to go to one of the best schools in Boston.

“Plus, I want my kids to grow up around my brothers’ kids.”

Donato has two brothers in the Boston area, Chris, who was a star athlete at Williams, and Ted, who anyone reading this site probably knows is currently coaching at Harvard.

On top of being able to return to his roots, and set up his kids in a great situation, Donato will receive a pay boost. In addition, he cited the opportunity to earn his masters at a Boston area school as another factor in his decision.

Donato said he would be part of the process in picking his successor. “I could see it being attractive to an assistant in the college ranks,” he said, alluding to the grind that Div. I recruiters have to go through, particularly those with children.

Whoever takes over won’t need to be doing any rebuilding. Salisbury has a boatload of talented kids coming in. Last week, we wrote about Danny Biega and Louis Leblanc. But there’s a lot more, like Andy Iles, a highly-touted ’92 goalie from Ithaca HS and the Syracuse Stars organization; Matt Nieto and Shane Sooth, a pair of highly skilled ’92 forwards off the LA Hockey Club squad that reached the finals of the 14-and-Under Nationals last month in Buffalo; '92 Brandon Russo, the top scoring defensmen at the 14-and-Under Nationals, and a member of the Mid-Fairfield Blues, who won the whole thing; Tommy Clune, a Toronto native who is the younger brother of Richard Clune, who finished up his OHL career in March and has signed with Dallas; Syracuse Stars (EJHL) ’90 defenseman Dan Ford; and Matt Reber, a Dartmouth recruit from Edina HS who'll be doing a PG year.

So, assuming they all come, there’s plenty in the cupboard.

 “I believe I am leaving the program in good shape,” Donato said.


5/8/07 Updated

Something New

Starting this Friday, May 11 and running through Sunday the 13th, USA Hockey will be conducting a National Junior Goaltender Evaluation Camp at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Seven goaltenders will be watched with the purpose of getting to know in depth each player's strengths and weaknesses in advance of the US National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid Aug. 3-11. They will be followed right through that camp and up until decision day in the fall. This weekend is not envisioned to be like an episode of "Survivor," where goaltenders get voted off the island.  

These are the guys who'll be in Ann Arbor this weekend: 

Brett Bennett (Williamsville, NY/Boston University, 3/8/88)
Neil Conway (Concord, Ohio/Owen Sound- OHL, 1/17/88)
Thomas McCollum (Sanborn, NY/Guelph – OHL, 12/7/89)
Joe Palmer (Yorkville, NY/Ohio State, 2/19/88)
Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich./US Under-18, 4/22/89)
Billy Sauer (Rochester, NY/University of Michigan, 1/6/88)
Josh Unice (Toledo, Ohio/US Under-18, 6/24/89)

An interesting point about these goaltenders is that they all hail from the Rust Belt, specifically the 450 mile stretch running from just outside Utica, NY to suburban Detroit. Four of the goalies are from upstate NY, two from Ohio, and one from Michigan.

John Hynes, head coach of the 2008 U.S. National Junior Team will run the camp along with Yale head coach Keith Allain and Bill Howard, long the volunteer assistant at the University of Wisconsin.

The 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Liberec and Pardubice, Czech Republic.


Jeremy Smith, the #1 ranked goaltender in Central Scouting’s final rankings, is a Michigan native playing with the Plymouth Whalers, who are still alive in the OHL playoffs. Because of that commitment, Smith will not be at the Ann Arbor camp.

Another goaltender currently in the playoffs who is also very much in the junior team picture is Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) goaltender Kent Patterson. A native of Plymouth, Minnesota and former Blake School goaltender, Patterson is a 9/15/89 birthdate, which makes him eligible -- he hit the cutoff day exactly, or actually his parents did -- for June's NHL draft.



Donato Leaving Salisbury

Salisbury School head hockey coach Dan Donato, who, during his six-year tenure almost single-handedly turned the western Connecticut boys’ boarding school into a hockey powerhouse, is leaving the school at the end of the academic year to return to the Boston area, where he and his wife are from.

Donato will be joining the faculty at the Dexter School in Brookline, Mass. He toured the school last week, and has been hired to work in admissions. Donato, a former third baseman in the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays organizations, will also help coach the baseball team there. In addition, he will serve as an assistant to head hockey coach/athletic director Brian McColgan, the former St. Lawrence University star defenseman who has been steadily building up the Dexter hockey program, really from scratch. Until recently, Dexter only went up through the ninth grade, but they have added upper grades and last season joined NEPSIHA as a Div. II school.

The announcement was made in a statement by Salisbury headmaster Chisholm Chandler, who said, “We are proud of all that Salisbury has accomplished during Dan’s six-year tenure as head coach. His efforts and leadership have enabled us to continue to achieve the highest standards of play and sportsmanship in interscholastic hockey in New England. We wish Danny well in this new opportunity. Every effort will be made to select the next leader who will maintain the finest traditions of the sport at Salisbury in the years ahead.”

We’re waiting to hear from Donato, but we're told he just wanted to be back in the Boston area, and amidst family.

No word yet on any possible replacement. The Salisbury statement said that Chandler will be consulting with his predecessor, Richard T. Flood, Jr., in the search for candidates to replace Donato.


Unknown No Longer

Last fall, T.J. Brennan was virtually unknown. He started playing hockey late – at 10 – and as recently as two years ago was playing midget AA hockey for the Mt. Laurel Jaguars in Southern New Jersey.

An ’89, he  was on no one’s radar screen. He never appeared at a USA Hockey Select Festival. No prep schools showed interest. No EJHL, NAHL, or USHL teams showed interest.

Last season, Brennan moved up to the Philadelphia Little Flyers (Atlantic Jr. B) and did manage to get “a couple of letters” from Div. III colleges. However, on the word of Stephane Carbonneau, a former major junior player who had a cup of coffee in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques and now coaches the Little Flyers midget team while serving as manager of the Aston (Pa.) Ice Works, Brennan was invited to the St. John’s Fog Devils (QMJHL) camp last August. He made the team, but, having no agent, he got the typical Canadian major junior education package ($3,500 a year for each year he plays in the league -- if he never plays pro).

But Brennan, a strong-skating offensive defenseman who is 6’0” and 204 lbs., went out and had an impressive season, winning the Raymond Lagace Trophy, which goes to the league’s top rookie defenseman. In Central Scouting’s Final Rankings he is at #29 among North American skaters, meaning that he could go in the second or third round of June’s NHL draft.

With the Fog Devils eliminated, though, Brennan is back in New Jersey getting ready for the NHL combine while attending Moorestown High School, where he will be graduating with his class next month. 

“I’ve lived in Moorestown my whole life,” Brennan said. “I just played locally until last year. My dad just said work hard and the right people will see you. I guess luck went my way.”

Newfoundland is a world apart – and 18 hours away by car -- from New Jersey, and Brennan was homesick at first.

“It took a lot to get used to up there,” he admits.

There was only one other American on the team, former prep player Keith Bombaugh, but he was sent back home, leaving Brennan as the sole U.S. kid.

What made the difference, Brennan said, was the people in Newfoundland. "They were unbelievable," he said. "My billet family was great, so comforting. They really welcomed me. Everybody in Canada knows how the people of Newfoundland are – just really nice.”

One night this winter, Brennan, his roommate, and his billets got stuck in a snowbank.  When a car pulled up, Brennan got nervous. He’s a Jersey kid, and figured whoever would stop probably was packing a gun, and probably wanted money. “But he didn’t want money,” said Brennan. “He just wanted to get us out of the snowbank. My billets said they were surprised he didn’t also invite us over for dinner!”

We asked Brennan why he never tried out for any of the Atlantic District select teams. “We didn’t know the right people to talk to,” he said. “We got different answers from everyone. So it never crossed our minds to try out. I would have loved to stay in U.S. but didn’t really have a chance.”

”Education wise, I would have loved college and to play sports there but my ultimate goal is the NHL and I’ll do whatever I can to get there.”

When Brennan returned to Moorestown High last month, he went out for the baseball team. However, before getting into a game he learned that, because of his major junior play, he was considered a professional, and hence ineligible.

“That wasn’t good news,” he said. “Nothing I can do about it, though.”

Brennan was asked if he’s planning on going to Columbus for the draft. “I’m not sure,” he said. “If we go, we’ll go for the event. We don’t want to get too into it. We don’t want to get too disappointed.”

Brennan always says, “we.”

“I’m real close with my family,” he said, “and they’re a big part of my success. Their support was just great. They came up every two or three weeks. My parents. My sister. My brother. It makes you appreciate home and family. It’s so important.”

As anyone who reads the U.S. Hockey Report knows, we like to see U.S. kids playing in the U.S. and taking the NCAA route. But Brennan never really had that option.

We hope he has a long, successful career in pro hockey.



Top Quebec Prospects Opting for Preps

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s central scouting came out today with its final rankings for the league’s June draft.

Three of the top eight ranked players will be heading to New England prep schools this fall – barring any late changes of mind.

-- 5’10½”, 157 lb. RC Louis Leblanc of the Lac St-Louis Lions (Quebec Midget AAA) is ranked #2 overall and is scheduled to enroll at Salisbury as an 11th grader – though he could accelerate -- in the fall. Vermont has offered Leblanc for ’08 or ’09, and reportedly Clarkson has too. BU is very bullish on Leblanc, and BC is in the picture, too. And since he’s a strong student, Harvard is said to be a possibility. A 1/26/91 birthdate, Leblanc is a dynamic C/LW with speed, competitiveness, hands, and an edge to his game.

In 40 games, Leblanc had a 31-18-49 line  with 72 pims. He’s told the teams drafting high in the Q that he’s NCAA bound.

-- 6’2”, 190 lb. LC Steven Anthony, who played at Holderness before going back to his native Halifax and playing for the Dartmouth Subways (Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League) this past season, is returning to the prep ranks, this time to Lawrence Academy. Anthony, a 3/21/91 birthdate, visited Lawrence in mid-April and made an unofficial to Boston University the next day. In addition to BU, the other schools onto Anthony are BC (for ’09), UNH, Vermont, and Maine. Right now, the Boston schools look to be the frontrunners. Anthony will be enrolling at Lawrence as a junior, but, like Leblanc, has taken enough grade 11 classes in Canada so that with some summer school he could accelerate.

Anthony is ranked #3 overall, though reports are that the Saint John (New Brunswick) Sea Dogs have said they will take him #1 overall. They are pulling out all the stops, pressuring the family, but they are not one of the richer teams in the league so Anthony can’t be enticed with the mega-money Quebec was able to toss at Angelo Esposito a couple of years ago.

In 35 games, Anthony had a 33-31-64 line to help lead the Subways to the league title. He and Steven Whitney could make one dynamic duo for Lawrence Academy in the upcoming season.

Anthony is also an outstanding pitcher, and played in the Canada Games. He was all-league in baseball at Holderness two years ago.

-- 5’10½”, 186 lb. RD Danny Biega of the Lac St-Louis Lions (Quebec Midget AAA) is ranked #8 overall and, along with Leblanc, is scheduled to enroll at Salisbury as an 11th grader. Biega, the brother of Harvard defenseman Alex Biega and Harvard recruit Michael Biega, is a 9/26/91 birthdate, so look for him to stay at Salisbury for the full two years. Some observers feel he could be the best of the three brothers. He’s a strong student, so could wind up at Harvard as well, meaning there’s a good chance all three brothers could play there together (for one year). Biega, in 39 games with Lac St-Louis, had a 8-18-26 line.


-- He’s not going to a New England prep but 5’8½”, 165 lb. John Esposito, the brother of Angelo, is ranked in the third round. Esposito, a late ’91 and a left shot center, played in Saskatchewan for the Notre Dame Hounds this season. Currently a ninth grader, he’ll be in the 10th next year, but may accelerate and graduate in ’09. He’s a smart player, with really good hands. He, too, is a strong student, and reportedly has his eyes on Harvard.

-- 6’2”, 191 lb. Jessyko Bernard, a sophomore at Cushing this past season, is ranked high in the second round. Bernard, a 4/11/91 birthdate, is a Moncton, NB native.

-- 6’2” goaltender Jake Williams, a sophomore at Northfield-Mt. Hermon this season, is listed in the 9th through 12th round grouping. A ’90, Williams is from Montreal. 



College Hockey Gets a Boost from New NCAA Legislation

The NCAA has approved a new piece of legislation that will enable college hockey coaches to initiate contact with prospective student-athletes a year earlier than previously allowed.

The legislation, which goes into effect immediately, was spearheaded by University of Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).

The impetus, said Jackson, was the need, due to the young age at which major junior recruiting starts, to be able to “at least educate the kids regarding major junior and let them know that colleges are interested. We needed to overcome the recruitment of young players by major junior.”

Under the new legislation coaches will be allowed to make one telephone call per month to a prospective student-athlete on or after June 15th at the conclusion of the player’s sophomore year in high school. A year later – on July 31st after the player’s junior year in high school – the rules revert to what is the current norm, i.e. one call per week.

In addition, starting on or after June 15 of the player’s sophomore year, colleges may provide recruiting materials – i.e. media guides, etc. -- to the prospective student-athletes.

“This is an exemption for the existing legislation that says you can’t do anything until after July 1 of a player’s senior year. It’s actually a basketball exemption that we tagged onto.”

Jackson reports immediate benefits. Last week, for example, he couldn’t speak to Ontario kids eligible for Saturday’s OHL draft. This week, though, he can, and so can his peers.