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U.S. Under-17s Top Russia, 6-2

Strathroy, Ontario – The U.S. Under-17 Team got goals from six different players during its 6-2 win over Russia before a sold-out crowd of more than 900 here at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Sunday.

Four of the goals came on the power play, and two were shorthanded.

The U.S. scored three goals early in the first, from Drew Shore, Steven Whitney and Jeremy Morin. After the third goal, at the 7:13 mark, Russia pulled goaltender Eduard Reyzvikh and replaced him with Dmitry Shikin.

Ryan Bourque scored in the second, and Jerry D’Amigo and A.J. Treais scored in the third.

Nick Mattson had three assists for the U.S. Morin was named player of the game for the U.S.

The U.S. outshot Russia, 49-41. Brandon Maxwell kicked out 39 shots for the win. 

Russia was whistled for 16 minors and the U.S. was called for 13.

The U.S. is tied atop Pool B with Canada West. Both teams are 2-0 going into Monday’s head-to-head matchup in Woodstock, Ontario (4:00 pm EST). The U.S. also plays Tuesday, vs. Germany, in the last preliminary round game. Playoffs are Jan. 3-4.

1st Period:  
US -- Drew Shore (Kyle Palmieri) shg 4:00
US -- Steven Whitney (Shore) ppg 6:08
US -- Jeremy Morin (Nick Mattson, A.J. Treais) ppg 7:13

2nd Period:
 Russia -- Sergey Chvanov (Dmitry A.Orlov) :47
 US -- Ryan Bourque (Sam Calabrese) shg 7:50
 Russia -- Maxim Kitsin (Vladimir Malinovsky) 10:16

3rd Period:
 US -- Jerry D'Amigo (Mattson) ppg 9:17
 US -- Treais (D'Amigo, Mattson) ppg 10:03



Conboy to Spartans

Omaha Lancers 6’4”, 200 lb. LW Andrew Conboy, the USHL leader in penalty minutes, has committed to Michigan State for this coming fall.

A fifth-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens last June, Conboy is from Rosemount, Minn. but played midget AAA with Victory Honda.

Conboy had previously committed to Omaha-Nebraska, but reneged on that. He had reportedly signed a letter of intent with UNO, but it became void after Conboy failed to get through the clearinghouse. Conboy, who is taking a full load of courses at an Omaha-area four year college, will transfer in to Michigan State as a sophomore. Michigan State, of course, is in the same league as UNO.

So far this season, Conboy, a 5/16/88 birthdate, has a 7-11-18 line in 27 games to go with 111 penalty minutes. He’s on track to finish the season with 60 points and over 250 penalty minutes.

It’s hard to say for sure, but he could be just a one-year player at Michigan State. 

Other schools in the picture were the University of Minnesota, St. Cloud State, and Alaska-Fairbanks.

-- Lincoln Stars (USHL) 5’11”, 200 lb. defenseman Tyler Kieffer, who had committed to St. Cloud State, but was reportedly having eligibility difficulties, has left Lincoln and singed with Everett (WHL).

Kieffer, who has one assist in 19 games as a USHL rookie, is a Stillwater, Minn. native and played his high school hockey at Stillwater HS.

-- UNH forward Danny Rossman has left the Wildcats to join the Indiana Ice (USHL). Rossman, who played 18 games as a freshman last season, appeared in just two games this season, the season opener against BU and a game against Brown on Nov. 24.


Wilson Hat Trick Leads U.S. Past Finland

Liberec, Czech Republic – The U.S. National Junior Team, in a game that had no bearing on the standings, topped Finland 5-3 to wrap up preliminary round play with a perfect 4-0-0 record.

The U.S. attack was led by the line of James vanRiemsdyk (1g,3a), Colin Wilson (3g,1a), and Jordan Schroeder (2a). After the U.S. scored their fifth goal midway through the second, Finland switched goaltenders. It helped their cause, as the U.S. was shut out the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Finland came back in the third with three goals against Joe Palmer, who had replaced Jeremy Smith (two shutout periods) at the start of the frame.

Canada won their game over Denmark, 4-1, behind two goals from Kyle Turris, and one apiece from Shawn Matthias and John Tavares.

Wednesday’s quarterfinal matchups are Russia vs. Czech Republic and Canada vs. Finland. The U.S., having drawn a bye, won't be playing again until Fri. Jan. 4, when they play the winner of Canada vs. Finland. The game will  be at 2:00 pm EST -- unless the Czech Republic (the host country) reaches the semifinals, in which case the U.S. will be play at 10:00 am EST.  


Through preliminary round play, van Riemsdyk (4-6-10), Wilson (6-1-7), and Schroeder (0-7-7) are the tournament's top three scorers.  Smith (1.36, .938) is the tournament's third-leading goaltender, trailing only the Canadian duo of Steve Mason and Jonathan Bernier.

The only other time the U.S. won all four of its preliminary round games was in 2004, the only year the U.S. won gold. 

Today's attendance was 1,133.

U.S. 5, Finland 3:

First Period:
US – Wilson (vanRiemsdyk, Schroeder) 9:29
US – Wilson (Blum, vanRiemsdyk) ppg  13:20

Second Period:
US – Wilson (Schoeder, vanRiemsdyk) 1:43
US – Ruegsegger (McBain, Okposo) 4:44
US – vanRiemsdyk (Wilson) 9:14

Third Period:
F – Aaltonen (Salminen, Lajunen) ppg  10:52
F – Kousa (Lucenius, Juutilainen) ppg  15:21
F – Lucenius (Poysti, Jalvanti) 19:14

US -- Smith (40:00) 15/15
US -- Palmer (20:00) 11/8
F – Helenius (29:14) 20/15
F – Sateri (30:46) 9/9

US Lines:
Rakhshani – Ruegsegger – Okposo
vanRiemsdyk – Wilson – Schroeder
Geoffrion – Carman – Sweatt
Pacioretty – Rust – Flynn

Defense Pairings:
Summers - Blum
Strait - Sanguinetti
Montgomery - Cole
Fairchild - McBain

Final Preliminary Round Standings:

Group A:
1. Sweden
2. Canada
3. Czech Republic
4. Slovakia
5. Denmark

Group B:
1. U.S.
2. Russia
3. Finland
4. Kazakhstan
5. Switzerland 

US Schedule
2008 IIHF World Junior Championship Schedule
Dec. 26-Jan. 5 -- Liberec & Pardubice, Czech Republic

Wed. Dec. 26 US 5, Kazakhstan 1
Fri. Dec. 28 US 4, Switzerland 2
Sat. Dec. 29 US 3, Russia 2
Mon. Dec. 31 U.S. 5, Finland 3
Wed. Jan. 2 -- Quarterfinals – US gets a bye
Fri. Jan. 4 -- Semifinals – US vs. winner of Canada/Finland
Sat. Jan. 5 -- Gold and Bronze Medal Games -- TBD


Six Unanswered Goals Spark Comeback

Woodstock, Ontario – The U.S. Under-17 Team came back from a 4-1 deficit late in the second period, scoring six unanswered goals to defeat Canada West, 7-4, at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The U.S. (3-0-0) will face Germany in its final preliminary round game on Jan. 1 at 2:00 pm EST.

Jeremy Morin (2g,1a) was named U.S. player of the game. Other point-getters for the U.S. were Kenny Ryan (1g,1a), Chris Brown (1g,1a), Kyle Palmieri (g), Kevin Lynch (g), Jerry D’Amigo (a), Ryan Bourque (g), Drew Shore (a).

The U.S. outshot Canada West 47-23. The U.S. is averaging 51 shots a game here.

U.S. 7, Canada West 4:

First Period - Scoring: WEST, Glennie (Schenn, Bubnick) 10:30

Second Period - Scoring: USA, Palmieri (unassisted), 2:23; WEST, Schenn (Bubnick, Cowen), 8:12; WEST, Schenn (Glennie, Bubnick), 12:48; WEST, Schenn (Glennie, Ashton), 14:59 (pp); USA, Morin (Ryan), 15:20; USA, Brown (Morin), 18:11

Third Period - Scoring: USA, Lynch (D'Amigo), 2:57; USA, Bourque (Shore), 4:52 (pp); USA, Morin (Brown), 7:20; USA, Ryan (unassisted), 12:56

Goaltending – Krahn (West) 47/40; Maxwell (US) 23/19

SOG: US 47, West 23

Penalties: US—6 minors; West – 6 minors.

US Schedule
World Under-17 Challenge

Fri. Dec. 28 – Team Pacific 5, US 4 – shootout (exhib.)
Sat. Dec. 29 – US 8, Team Atlantic 0

Sun. Dec. 30 – US 6, Russia 2
Mon. Dec. 31 – US 7, Team West 4

Tues. Jan. 1 -- Germany, 2:00 pm
Thurs. Jan. 3 -- TBD
Fri. Jan. 4 – TBD



U.S. Under-17s Rout Atlantic, 8-0

London, Ontario – The U.S. Under-17 Team routed Canada’s Team Atlantic 8-0 in opening day action at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge here today.

U.S. forward Drew Shore started things off with an unassisted short handed goal just 1:28 into the game, and things snowballed from there. Final shots were US 56, Atlantic 23.

Boston College recruit Brandon Maxwell earned the shutout for the U.S.

The U.S. faces Russia tomorrow at 3:00 pm at Strathroy Arena.

First Period:

USA -- Shore (unassisted) 1:28 (sh)
USA -- Calabrese (Ryan, Crowley) 6:43 (en)

Penalties: USA-- Calabrese (hooking), 0:57; USA -- Schmitz (interference) 9:59; ATL -- Couturier (tripping) 13:47; ATL -- Roski (delay of game) 18:26.

Second Period:

USA -- Morin (unassisted) 3:32
USA -- Palmieri (Whitney, Shore) 4:35
USA -- Whitney (Shore) 5:33
USA -- Morin (Mattson, Treais) 8:29 (pp)
USA -- D'Amigo (Lynch) 8:57
USA -- Lynch (D'Amigo, Schmitz) 18:33.

Penalties: ATL -- Boudreau (high sticking) 7:34; USA -- Lynch (interference) 10:39; USA -- Krupp (interference) 13:57; USA -- Whitney (goaltender interference) 19:10.

Third Period:

No Scoring.

Penalties: ATL -- Boudreau (delay of game) 4:23; ATL -- Roski (slashing) 6:13; USA -- Fowler (interference) 7:23; USA -- Schmitz (hooking) 7:55.



U.S. Edges Russia at WJC; Gains Bye

Liberec, Czech Republic -- The U.S. edged Russia 3-2 here this evening at the World Junior Championship, improving their record to 3-0-0, clinching the top seed in the B pool, and earning a bye into the semis. 

By earning the top seed, the U.S. avoids the quarterfinals, in which the #2 finisher in each pool crosses over to play #3 finisher in other pool. The U.S. will instead go directly to the semifinals. It’s too early to say who the U.S. might face off against. A lot can still happen. Today, Canada joined the ranks of the defeated as Sweden edged them in an A pool preliminary round game, 4-3. It was the first loss for Canada at the World Junior Championship since the 2004 final -- a winning streak of 20 games.

The U.S. still has one more preliminary round game, vs. Finland on Monday.

"Our guys played with deep belief in themselves," U.S. head coach John Hynes said. "Our commitment to team play was evident and I thought as the game wore on, we showed good survival skills when we needed to. We definitely took another step forward."

The U.S. forced five straight penalties to Russia to start the game and eventually took a 1-0 lead at 11:31 of the first period on a 5x3 power play goal by Tyler Ruegsegger, who banged home the rebound of a Jordan Schroeder shot. Kyle Okposo also picked up an assist.  

 Russia tied it up in the second, on an Alexei Cherepanov rebound goal at 8:36.

In the third, James vanRiemsdyk scored on the power play at 3:01, as Russian goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky got a piece of the shot, but managed to deflect it off his pad and into the net to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.  Rhett Rakhshani picked up an assist on the goal.  The U.S. made it 3-1 at the 7:44 mark when Mike Carman scored an even-strength goal, with assists going to Blake Geoffrion and Chris Summers.

Victor Tikhonov beat U.S. goaltender Jeremy Smith at the 14:36 mark to cut the U.S. lead to 3-2 and put some suspense into the final minutes, but the U.S. held the fort.

Summers was named player of the game for  the U.S.

The U.S.outshot Russia, 49-30. Bobrovsky, who kicked out 46 shots in a losing cause, was named player of the game for Russia.

US Schedule
2008 IIHF World Junior Championship Schedule
Dec. 26-Jan. 5 -- Liberec & Pardubice, Czech Republic

Wed. Dec. 26 US 5, Kazakhstan 1
Fri. Dec. 28 US 4, Switzerland 2
Sat. Dec. 29 US 3, Russia 2
Mon. Dec. 31 -- vs. Finland – at Liberec, Czech Republic (6:00 pm local/12:00 pm EST)
Wed. Jan. 2 -- Quarterfinals – US gets a bye
Fri. Jan. 4 -- Semifinals – US vs. ???
Sat. Jan. 5 -- Gold and Bronze Medal Games -- TBD


U.S. Goes Up 2-0 at WJC: Russia Next

Liberec, Czech Republic -- The U.S. scored four power play goals -- two on 5x3s -- in a 4-2 win over Switzerland today at the World Junior Championship.

The U.S., now 2-0-0 in round robin competition, faces Russia tomorrow (Sat.) at 8:00 pm local time (2:00 pm EST).

US scoring: James vanRiemsdyk (1g,2a), Colin Wilson (2g), Jordan Schroeder (3a), Bobby Sanguinetti (1g,1a), Rhett Rakhshani (1a), and Kyle Okposo (1a).

The U.S. outshot Switzerland, 51-18.  


Scoring By Period

USA 1 - 1 2 4
SUI 0 - 1 1 2

First Period:

USA -- Wilson (Schroeder, vanRiemsdyk) 5:08 (pp)

SUI, Wieser (hooking) 3:12; USA, Carman (hooking) 9:27; USA, Summers (tripping) 13:55; SUI, Bykov (hooking) 20:00.

Second Period:

USA -- Sanguinetti (vanRiemsdyk, Rakhshani) 2:57 (pp)
SUI -- Bykov (Wiesner) 4:17

SUI, Josi (tripping) 1:40; USA, Rakhshani (interference) 6:00; SUI, Froidevaux (tripping) 9:37; USA, Rust (interference) 12:22; SUI, Schlagenhauf (hooking) 15:04.

Third Period:

USA -- vanRiemsdyk (Sanguinetti, Schroeder) 2:27 (5x3 pp)
USA -- Wilson (Okposo, Schroeder) 9:30 (5x3 pp)
SUI -- Jacquemet (Weber, Froidevaux) 15:45 (pp)

SUI, Weber (cross-checking) :29; SUI, Maurer (boarding) 2:10; SUI, Josi (tripping) 3:02; SUI, Jacquemet (tripping) 7:33; SUI, Weber (boarding) 9:01; USA, Ruegsegger (interference) 9:51; SUI, Sbisa (holding) 10:40; USA, Flynn (hooking) 14:14; USA, Geoffrion (charging), 18:12.

Shots by Period
USA   19 18 14 51
SUI   9 4 5 18
Goaltenders (SH/SV)   1 2 3 Total
USA, Smith, 60:00   9-9 4-3 5-4 18-16
SUI, Mayer, 58:40   19-18 18-17 14-12 51-47




Power Play:
USA 4-11; SUI 1-6
Penalties: USA 7-14; SUI 11-22
Attendance: 1,222


Spring Beantown Classic Dates

The Spring Beantown Classic will run from Wed. through Fri. March 19-21, 2008 at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Mass.

The format will be the same as last year, with one game Wednesday night, followed by a big day on Thursday, with all teams playing two games, then three games on Friday, with everything winding up in the early afternoon, enabling scouts to get to their NCAA Regional games.

This is an invitation-only tournament. Unlike the summer tournament, there are no tryouts.

There will  be two divisions, a draft division of ‘87s to ‘90s and a pre-draft division of ‘91s and ‘92s.


U.S. Under-17s Set for World Under-17 Challenge

The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge gets underway in London, Ontario tomorrow with the U.S. Under-17 Team facing off against Team Pacific in a 7 pm exhibition game.

Lawrence Academy forward Steven Whitney, who played with the Under-17 Team when they came east for the Beantown Classic Oct. 19-20, will be joining the team for the tournament, which runs through Fri. Jan. 4.

The U.S. should do well in this tournament, as they have the advantage of sending a standing, full-season team while Canada sends five regional teams that are put together only for the tournament. However, the U.S. hasn't won it in a while. Russia (Dec. 30) could pose a problem for the U.S., as they beat the U.S. 2-1 back on Nov. 11 in Dmitrov, Russia in a game which featured a brawl at the final buzzer. The Russian team arriving here should have at least half of the players who suited up for that game.  

Click on the link below to be taken to the tournament’s page, which is a section within Hockey Canada’s website.

Under-17 Team Roster (all ’91 birthdates):

Goaltenders (2): Brandon Maxwell, Adam Murray.

Defensemen (8): Tyler Amburgey, Sam Calbrese, Richie Crowley, Cam Fowler, Bjorn Krupp, Nick Mattson, Beau Schmitz, and William Wrenn.

Forwards (12): Ryan Bourque, Chris Brown, Jerry D’Amigo, Zach Golembiewski, Kevin Lynch, Jeremy Morin, Kyle Palmieri, Kenny Ryan, Drew Shore, A.J. Treais, David Valek, and Steven Whitney.

Head Coach: Ron Rolston. Assistant Coach: Chadd Cassidy.

US Schedule:

Fri. Dec. 28 – Team Pacific (exhib.), 7 pm
Sat. Dec. 19 -- Team Atlantic, 2 pm
Sun. Dec. 30 -- Russia, 3 pm
Mon. Dec. 31 -- Team West, 4 pm
Tues. Jan. 1 -- Germany, 2 pm
Thurs. Jan. 3 -- TBD
Fri. Jan. 4 – TBD

World Under-17 Hockey Challenge



U.S. Opens WJC With a Win

Liberec, Czech Republic – The U.S. National Junior Team got goals from five different players en route to a 5-1 win over Kazakhstan in the opener of the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship here today.

Kazakhstan broke out to a 1-0 lead when Alexandr Kurshuk tipped a shot past U.S. goaltender Jeremy Smith for a power play goal at the 14:46 mark. However, with three seconds left to play in the period, James vanRiemsdyk, who would be named U.S. player of the game, evened things up at 1-1.

The U.S. dominated the rest of the game, scoring four unanswered goals. By period, the U.S. outshot Zazakhstan 15-5, 16-3, and 18-10. Final shots on goal were 49-18.

vanRiemsdyk  (1g,1a), Kyle Okposo (1g,1a), Tyler Ruegsegger (2a), and Billy Sweatt (2a) each finished with two points. Rhett Rakhshani (1g), Colin Wilson (ppg), Mike Carman (1g), and Cade Fairchild (1a) each had one point.

Team USA will practice tomorrow at noon local time (6:00 am EST). On Friday they face Switzerland at noon EST.

Brian Strait was named U.S.captain, with Blake Geoffrion, Chris Summers, and Ruegsegger named alternates 

US Lines:
Rakhshani – Ruegsegger – Okposo
vanRiemsdyk – Wilson – Schroeder
Pacioretty – Carman – Sweatt
Geoffrion – Rust – Flynn

Defense Pairings:
Summers - Blum
Strait - Sanguinetti
Montgomery - Cole
Fairchild - McBain

Other Games: 

In other B pool action, Marat Kalimulin (1g,3a) figured in four of Russia’s goals in a 7-4 win over Finland.

In the A pool, Jonathan Bernier (Lewiston – QMJHL) posted a 44-save shutout and John Tavares (Oshawa – OHL) scored a pair of goals to lead Canada past the Czech Republic, 3-0.

A Johan Alcen goal with 4:57 remaining in regulation lifted Sweden to a 4-3 win over Slovakia.


The 2008 U.S. National Junior Team:

Goaltenders (2): Joe Palmer (Ohio St. – ‘88); Jeremy Smith (Plymouth – OHL, 89).

Defensemen (8): Jonathon Blum (Vancouver – WHL, ‘89); Ian Cole (Notre Dame, ’89); Cade Fairchild (Minnesota, ’89); Jamie McBain (Wisconsin, ’88); Kevin Montgomery (London – OHL, ’88); Bobby Sanguinetti (Owen Sound – OHL, 88); Brian Strait (BU, ’88); Chris Summers (Michigan, ’88).

Forwards (12): Mike Carman (Minnesota, ’88); Ryan Flynn (Minnesota, ’88); Blake Geoffrion (Wisconsin, ’88); Kyle Okposo (Minnesota, ’88), Max Pacioretty (Michigan, ’88); Rhett Rakhshani (Denver, ’88), Tyler Ruegsegger (Denver, ’88); Matt Rust (Michigan, ’89); Jordan Schroeder (U.S. Under-18 Team, ’90); Billy Sweatt (Colorado College, ’88), James vanRiemsdyk (UNH, ’89), Colin Wilson (BU, ’89).

Head Coach: John Hynes (U.S. Under-18 Team) Assistant Coaches: Keith Allain (Yale University) and Patrick Foley (Harvard University).


US Schedule
2008 IIHF World Junior Championship Schedule
Dec. 26-Jan. 5 -- Liberec & Pardubice, Czech Republic

Wed. Dec. 26 US 5, Kazakhstan 1
Fri. Dec. 28 -- vs. Switzerland– at Liberec, Czech Republic (6:00 pm local/12:00 pm EST)
Sat. Dec. 29 -- vs. Russia – at Liberec, Czech Republic (8:00 pm local/2:00 pm EST)
Mon. Dec. 31 -- vs. Finland – at Liberec, Czech Republic (6:00 pm local/12:00 pm EST)
Wed. Jan. 2 -- Quarterfinals – TBD
Fri. Jan. 4 -- Semifinals -- TBD
Sat. Jan. 5 -- Gold and Bronze Medal Games -- TBD



Coassin to Crimson

New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) forward Rence Coassin has committed to Harvard for the fall of ’08.

Coassin, a left-shot center, is in his second year with the Monarchs after graduating from Choate in 2006. As a senior at Choate he was an assistant captain and was selected to the All-Founders League Team. He was also captain of the Mid-Fairfield team that won the Midget Tier I national championship in 2005.

A 6’1”, 197 lb. native of Hamden, Conn., Coassin is a 2/20/88 birthdate. In 24 games with the Monarchs this season, he has a 8-9-17 line. Sean Tremblay, the Monarchs GM/head coach, cited Coassin’s playmaking ability and intensity of play. “I would say he might be one of the hardest working players I have ever coached,” Tremblay said.


Big Commitment for Huskies

Northeastern got a big commitment last night in 6’4”, 185 lb. Sioux City Musketeers wing Steve Quailer.

A USHL rookie who played midgets last season for the Colorado Rampage, Qualier has a 6-20-26 line in 22 games played. He’s currently tied for eighth in the league in points, and is second in assists (behind only Indiana’s John Kemp).

A 8/5/89 birthdate from Arvada, Colorado, outside Denver, Qualier skates well for his size and has good hands, as evidenced by his assist total. He’s still a little raw, but he has a lot of upside. He is a “B” prospect in Central’s fall list, meaning he’s a mid-round prospect for June’s NHL draft. Qualier was eligible last year but was passed over.   

A left shot who plays the off wing, Qualier was recruited right off the bat this season by Northeastern, at the USHL Fall Classic in Sioux City. 

-- Another Sioux City forward made a commitment earlier this week, as 6’1”, 190 lb. forward Ben Kinne, also a USHL rookie, committed to Bemidji State.

A 6/4/88 birthdate from St. Paul, Minn., Kinne played for Cretin-Derham Hall before going to the Santa Fe Roadrunners (NAHL) last season.

In 22 games with Sioux City, Kinne has a 9-7-16 line.  



Longtime Prep Coach Dave Rogerson Dies at 76

Dave Rogerson, a star player at Middlesex and Bowdoin who went on to coach Noble & Greenough and Groton, died Saturday at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, NH. He was 76 and had been fighting a long battle with heart disease.

“Rogie,” a native of Brookline, Mass., attended the Middlesex School and was a three-sport athlete, winning the ISL scoring crown and captaining the baseball team as a senior. After graduation in 1950 he went on to Bowdoin, where he starred in hockey. After graduating in 1954, Rogerson served in the army during the Korean War. Afterward, he went into coaching and teaching. For eleven years he taught math and history and coached the varsity hockey team at Nobles -- his 1965-66 squad won the ISL championship. In 1967 Rogerson moved on to the Groton School where he served as director of admissions and director of athletics, taught history and coached football, hockey and baseball. In 1989 he has named to the Mass Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame. The following year, 1990, he and his wife, Anita, retired to Bridgewater, Vt., but for the next five years he worked part time in admissions at Cardigan Mountain. For a few years after that he tutored Bridgewater Village School first, second and third graders in math and reading.

There will be a celebration of Dave Rogerson’s life on Sat. Dec. 29 at 2 pm at the Barnard Town Hall in Barnard, Vt. A graveside service will be held in the spring at Hardscrabble, the family property in Bridgewater, Vt. The public is welcome to attend.

Donations may be made to the David S. Rogerson Fund at Bowdoin College, 4100 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011.

We should point out that the MVP award at the Flood-Marr is officially named the David Rogerson Award – and Rogie passed away right in the middle of the tournament.


Worcester Academy #1 in Div. II

Worcester Academy is the unanimous #1 in the first USHR Div. II Prep Poll of the '07-08 season.

For the full poll click on the link below. Next poll is scheduled for Mon. Jan. 7, 2008.

USHR Div. II Prep Poll, Dec. 18, 2007


From Muskie to Husky

5’11”, 187 lb. Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) forward Alex Tuckerman has committed to Northeastern for the fall of ’08.

Tuckerman is a fast, skilled tough guy who comes to battle. Actually, he treads that fine line in his play a la Mark Messier -- and no, we are not saying he has Messier’s upside. As a matter of fact he was bypassed in last summer’s NHL draft but, as a 12/23/88 birthdate, he’s eligible again and is a potential mid-rounder for this coming June. 

In 17 games this season, Tuckerman has a 5-14-19 line with 26 pims for the Musketeers, who, at 18-4-0, have the best winning percentage in the USHL. 

Tuckerman was suspended for four games in early October for an illegal hit on Omaha’s 6’5”, 225 lb Tyler Elbrecht. Tuckerman KO’d him with an open ice hit, shoulder to jaw.

Tuckerman is a native of Orleans, Massachusetts, on the elbow of the Cape, and never  did Mass Hockey, the Beantown Classic, HNIB or anything along those lines. He was seen playing in a fall tournament by Sioux City scout – now assistant coach – Bobby Kinsella, who followed up and watched him that winter at Div. III Nauset High School, where he was in the 10th grade. When the USHL draft came around in the spring, Sioux City took him in the third round  (one round after Max Pacioretty).

 Other schools interested in Tuckerman were Mankato State, BU, Quinnipiac, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, and Ohio State. Some schools, like BU, were interested for ’09, but Tuckerman feels he’s ready for the college game – and wanted to come back home to Massachusetts – hence Northeastern.



Kipp a Wildcat

6’0”, 202 lb. Salmon Arm SilverBacks (BCHL) defenseman Damon Kipp has committed to the University of New Hampshire for the fall of ’08.

Kipp, a right shot, is a local kid who grew up in Salmon Arm, BC and played his youth hockey there. A 9/4/88 birthdate, this is his third year with the SilverBacks, the squad that also recently sent Josh Ciocco and Craig Switzer on to UNH.

Kipp moves the puck very well – he makes a good first pass. He doesn’t panic and comes out of the zone very effectively. He’s physical and is a very good 1-on-1 defender. He’s very mobile, and a good skater – not a burner, but just good. As he moves the puck well, he’ll be very effective on the big sheet at the Whittemore Center.

In 31 games this season, Kipp has 5-24-29 points. Also, for the second year in a row, he was the assistant captain of the Canada West team at the World Jr. A Challenge, played last month in Trail, BC.

Last year he was offered by Bowling Green and Northern Michigan but opted to take another year in the BCHL.

This time around he made his final pick from between UNH and Wisconsin.

Kipp will join Waterloo’s Blake Kessel as UNH defense recruits for next fall.



Balysky a Friar

Taft senior forward Andy Balysky has committed to Providence College for the fall of ’08.

Balysky, who was Taft’s second-leading scorer last season with a 10-16-26 line in 23 games, is an excellent two-way forward who can play any position up front and has shown a knack for scoring at opportune times. He is extremely competitive, a throwback prep school athlete who was captain of Taft’s football team this season and has run track for several years. 

A 4/20/89 birthdate from Randolph, NJ, Balysky is 5’10, 184 lbs. His final decision came down to Holy Cross or Providence.


Salisbury Tops USHR Div. I Prep Poll

The Salisbury School, undefeated at 5-0-2 has taken over the #1 spot on this week’s USHR Div. I prep poll from Avon Old Farms. The Winged Beavers fell to Kent in the title game at the Avon Tournament.

Salisbury is not the only team in Div. I that is undefeated. Belmont Hill can make the same claim (though both teams have tied games) and as such holds down the #2 spot.

After those two there are several teams – Avon, Kent, and Hotchkiss, that have one loss, and each is a quality loss. Avon has lost to Kent. Kent has lost to Salisbury. Hotchkiss has also lost to Salisbury.

Following them are a couple teams with two quality losses. Deerfield has lost to Avon and Hotchkiss. Nobles has lost to Belmont Hill and Salisbury.

So there’s plenty of symmetry, but it won’t last for long.

USHR Div. I Prep Poll -- Dec. 17, 2007


Lalor to Take Over South Shore Kings

Twelve-year NHL defenseman Mike Lalor, who won a Stanely Cup with the 1986 Montreal Canadiens, has been hired to take over behind the South Shore Kings (EJHL) bench.

Lalor, 44, will be taking the position on an interim basis. The Kings will begin looking for a permanent head coach shortly. 

Lalor, a native of Buffalo, NY, played in the OHL and AHL before sticking with the Canadiens in 1985-86. A dependable defensive defenseman, Lalor would play four years in Montreal before moving on to St. Louis, Washington, Winnipeg, San Jose, and Dallas.

After his playing career ended, he moved to Needham, Mass. His son Jordan, an ’88 defenseman,  graduated from St. Sebastian’s in 2006 and now plays for South Shore. A younger son, Mac, is a junior defenseman at St. Sebastian’s.

South Shore is currently 12-9-3, in fifth place in the EJHL’s Southern Division. Lalor, who has coached in the Boston Junior Eagles organization, takes over for Jack Sweeney, who coached the franchise for seven years.

12/11/07 updated 12/12

Sweeney and South Shore Kings Part Ways

Jack Sweeney, who was in his seventh year coaching the South Shore Kings EJHL franchise (formerly the Foxboro Stars and, before that, the Walpole Stars), is out.

Sweeney, who we reached by phone late last night, says he was fired, but the Kings management group claims that Sweeney quit. We’ve tried to sort things out and it sounds like the reality is somewhere in the middle, with semantics and perspective playing the usual role.

We do know, however, that Sweeney had been frustrated by a number of things. For one thing, we’ve heard from a reliable source that a dissatisfied player whom Sweeney had held accountable had done an end-run around the coach and gone to the management group with his complaint; Sweeney was unhappy with the way that situation was handled.

Sweeney would neither confirm or deny the story.

Yesterday afternoon, Sweeney met with the South Shore Kings management group, which consists of president Rich Touzos and rink manager/director of hockey operations Scott Harlow. At the meeting, Sweeney was steamed. Whether it was one thing that got to him, or an accumulation of things, we can only speculate on. The bottom line, though, is that the meeting signified the end of the line for Sweeney’s tenure as coach.

Harlow, reached by phone today, said that “there wasn’t any one issue” but allowed that the afternoon session “brought everything to a head” and that “Jack left on his own accord.” However, Harlow added, “With every team, within a season, there are issues and in this case they just weren’t going to get worked out. It was time to go in a different direction.”

“We hold no grudges and I don’t think he holds any grudges against us,” Harlow said. “We wish Jack luck in his future hockey career.”

Sweeney was equally gracious in talking about the Kings organization.

“I have a very distinct thought process about how to manage a team,” Sweeney said, “and they have their own thought process as to how to manage a team – and they differ. That said, I’d like to say that I’m very thankful to the organization for giving me the opportunity I was given. It’s been rewarding watching my players move on to play at prestigious Div. I and Div. III programs and for that I am thankful.”

Sweeney was asked whether wins or losses – the Kings are at 12-9-3 -- figured in any of this.

“I would say no,” he said, “because we had a stretch where we had just one loss in 13 games. But over the last five we’ve had one tie and four losses (0-4-1). We came back from the Thanksgiving break not focused – and it showed.”

“But this is a good team,” Sweeney continued. “There will be a transition period but the kids will continue on with the season. The situation (with the South Shore Kings) is a breeding ground for success. They have a great strength and conditioning coach who sublets space at the rink. The owner is a good guy. I have nothing bad to say. My time has come, so let’s move on. This isn’t about me anymore.”

As for who the next South Shore Kings coach will be, there is no shortage of candidates.

“My phone’s been ringing off the hook this morning,” said Harlow. “I guess the EJ is a pretty good league to work in.”

Harlow, who is working as an assistant at Nobles this season, said he will not be going behind the Kings bench.

Touzos, who owns the Foxboro Sports Center and the South Shore Kings, took over the franchise at the beginning of the 2006-07 season. So this was Sweeney’s second season under the new group. For the previous five seasons, Fred Lane had owned the team.

Sweeney was an assistant at Babson before beginning his EJHL coaching career. He’s also been active in the Mass Satellite Program and is highly regarded by his peers. 


Henrion to Wildcats

Boston Junior Bruins RW John Henrion has committed to UNH for ’09 or ’10.

Despite being one of just five ‘91s in the EJHL, Henrion leads his team in scoring with an 18-9-27 line in 26 games. He also leads the Junior Bruins in penalty minutes with 42. In the list of league leaders, his 18 goals place him second, one behind the league leader.

Henrion, who was invited in March to join the NTDP for this season, chose instead to stay home and play for the Junior Bruins. He’s one of the three blue chip ’91 forwards from Massachusetts, with Ryan Bourque (US Under-17/UNH) and Steven Whitney (Lawrence Academy/BC) being the others.

Henrion, a 1/19/91 birthdate, is from Holden, Mass., about 10 miles north of Worcester, and is in the 11th grade. He’s a rugged, physical winger who can really shoot the puck. He has as good a release as you’ll find on any kid of that age.

In addition to UNH, the schools that made up Henrion’s final five were Vermont, Maine, Boston University, and Boston College.


Nice Goal, Max!

Maybe you saw this little 15-second YouTube video of the highlight reel goal scored by nine-year-old Max Gerlach the other night.

Max plays for the Texas Attack ’98 team. That’s right, the ‘98s.

Max Gerlach's Goal

We suspect Max’s handlers saw Mike Legg’s goal in the 1996 NCAA West Regionals in East Lansing, Michigan. Legg, you may recall, was behind the goal line when he pulled off his lacrosse-style goal. It was a big goal, too, as it tied up the game against the University of Minnesota. The Wolverines would go on to win the game – and the NCAA Tournament. The stick with which Legg scored the goal is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Legg won an ESPY for Outrageous Play of the Year. 

You can find that on YouTube, too. (What can’t you find on YouTube?)

Mike Legg's Goal 3/24/96

As long as we’re on the subject of Max Gerlach, there’s another Max Gerlach. If you studied F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in school or college (who didn’t?), you may have heard of him.

Many Fitzgerald biographers believe that the character of Jay Gatsby was based on Gerlach, a bootlegger who threw lavish parties and mixed with all the right people. It’s believed that Gerlach was the liquor source – this was during prohibition, remember – for Fitzgerald and his Princeton buddies. Gerlach owned a Manhattan garage to store his fleet of cars, and it was directly around the corner from the Princeton Club, where Fitzgerald spent many an hour.

It’s also said that Max Gerlach was General Pershing’s nephew. 

Anyway, if you need brushing up on the novel, we found it... on YouTube, of course. 

The Great Gatsby (in six minutes)


Avon #1 in Season's First USHR Div. I Poll

Defending champion Avon Old Farms sits atop the first USHR 2007-08 Div. I poll. That said, we don't put too much stock into a poll this early in the season -- the statistical sample is just too small. But these teams have played well -- the top seven are all undefeated.  

The first Div. II prep poll will be released on Dec. 18.

USHR Div. I Poll -- 12/10/07  


Quick Arrival

Roughly six months after leaving UMass-Amherst after his sophomore season, former Avon Old Farms goaltender Jonathan Quick has made his NHL debut.

On Thursday night, Quick picked up the win as the Los Angeles Kings, the team that drafted him in the third round of the 2005 draft, defeated the Buffalo Sabres 8-2 at the Staples Center.

Quick stopped 15 of the 17 shots he faced.

The 21-year-old from Milford, Conn. was filling in for the Kings’ #1 starter, Jason LaBarbera, who is out with a rib injury.

Quick began the season with the Reading Royals (ECHL). A couple of weeks ago he was brought up to the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) and appeared in three games there with a 2.67 gaa and .909 save percentage before the Kings came calling.

“It was just good timing that I happened to get in tonight,” Quick said. “It was a lot easier with the support the team gave me and the way they played in front of me. It was a good game for me to start off my career with. It was a lot of fun.”


Need Sandpaper?

Omaha Lancers 6’4”, 200 lb. power forward Andrew Conboy has reneged on his commitment to the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Conboy, a fifth round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens in June, has a batch of schools -- from Hockey East to the WCHA -- looking to land him. Being a Rosemount, Minn. native, it’s likely he’ll stay in the west. We’ve heard the Gophers, Minnesota-Duluth, and North Dakota all mentioned. It’s possible a deal is already in the works.

Conboy should be in college now, but failed to get through the clearinghouse after graduating from high school in 2006. However, he’s now in an Omaha-area four-year college (Bellevue University), taking a full course load, and would transfer in as a sophomore to whatever school takes him. After graduating, he’d have an additional year of college eligibility remaining.

Reportedly, Conboy signed a letter of intent with Nebraska-Omaha, but, since he failed to get through the clearinghouse and is back to square one, that LOI may be null and void.

Doc DelCastillo, the former UNO assistant who recruited Conboy is no longer at the school, having taken the head job at Alaska-Fairbanks over the summer.

Last year, in 56 regular season games, Conboy had a 25-25-50 line with 104 pims for the Lancers. This year, to date, he has a 7-10-17 line in 21 games – with a league-leading 88 pims. So he’s on a pace for 60 points and over 250 pims.

In Omaha’s most recent game, a shootout win at home over Des Moines on Tuesday night, Conboy was slashed early in the first period by Des Moines forward Brett Bruneteau, a former Lancer teammate. Bruneteau, an Omaha native, then challenged Conboy. He swung and missed – and Conboy connected with an uppercut to the jaw that knocked Bruneteau out cold. After a minute or two, Bruneteau was helped back to the bench. After the game, Buccaneers head coach Regg Simon reported his forward, a Washington Caps draft pick and North Dakota recruit, had a concussion and would be reevaluated back in Des Moines.

Why Bruneteau, who's 5'11", went after Conboy is a mystery. Likely there is more there than meets the eye. Bruneteau, an Omaha native who should have been a star in this hometown, was instead far less than that, in no small part because his hockey career was reportedly micromanaged by his father, which led to his trade from Omaha to Indiana. On Nov. 20 he was traded again, this time to Des Moines.

At any rate, on Tuesday night, after the fight, and with Omaha on the power play, due to Bruneteau starting things with the slash, Barry Almeida scored to put Omaha up, 1-0.

After a scoreless OT, the game went to a shootout where Conboy scored the game-winner – and skated past the Des Moines bench pumping his fist. The Omaha fans ate it up, and Conboy was named the game’s #1 star.

Conboy is the younger brother of former St. Cloud State defenseman Tim Conboy, now with Albany (AHL). Another brother, Tom, is a defensive lineman at St. Cloud State. The father, Tim Sr., is a football coach and administrator at Rosemount High.

A 5/16/88 birthdate, Conboy played in the Beantown Classic in the summer of 2006. Early in the tournament, he fought one of the other USHL players rostered at the tournament, and then tried to get at him in the locker room. He also ran former St. Paul’s defenseman Peter Child twice from behind, and the second time managed to break his own wrist. At the hospital, Conboy reportedly declined anesthetics before being operated on. He’s really out of Slapshot.

Conboy played Minnesota High School hockey, but left early and wound up in the Detroit area playing for Victory Honda’s Midget AAA team, where he could fight, and did, in just about every game. In 05-06, he played for Wichita Falls (NAHL) and racked up 158 penalty minutes in 51 games.

The wild man has toned it down, a little.

Omaha head coach Mike Hastings told an Omaha World-News correspondent that Conboy has been “outstanding” this season.     

”I’m real happy with his development,” Hastings said. “He’s become one of the top power forwards in the league.”

“He’s an honest player who’s doing the right things with passion and commitment,” Hastings added. “I don’t know if there’s a player in the league I’d trade him for. If another GM came to me with a good offer, I’d have to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.’”

An NHL scout who has watched Omaha a lot this season described Conboy as, “A kid with a lot of upside potential. He has surprisingly good hands, soft hands. He can make a pass. He goes to the net hard. He’s a tough kid. His best years could be ahead of him if he goes to the right program. It’s up to him. He has the tools. He’s not a guy who will carry your team, but he’s good in a lot of different areas. He surprised people with his season last year. I know I was surprised me with his skill. I didn’t think he had that much.”

“I should also say – and I don’t say this much – that he could be a player better suited to major junior than the NCAA.”



Hughes to Saints

Taft 6’2”, 178 lb. senior defenseman George Hughes has committed to St. Lawrence University for next year.

Hughes, who is in his third year at Taft, has blossomed over the past couple of seasons. “He’ll continue to get better as he grows into his body more,” said Taft head coach Danny Murphy. “He’s a big rangy guy with a long stride, and a great long reach. He has patience with the puck. He just does so many things so well. His upside is huge.”

Hughes, a 12/27/88 birthdate from Westwood, Mass., is the son and nephew of, respectively, former Malden Catholic and Harvard stars George and Jack Hughes. George was a forward and Jack a defenseman. Jack, as you may recall, was the next-to-last cut for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team (UNH’s Ralph Cox was the last).

Hughes is also the sister of Hotchkiss Girls senior forward Aleca Hughes, a Yale recruit for next fall… so, in short, good bloodlines abound.


EJHL Leading Scorer Picks Robert Morris

Robert Morris University, which has wins over Boston University and Ohio State this year, and #1-ranked- at-the-time Notre Dame last season, is a Div. I program steadily gaining traction under fourth year head coach Derek Schooley.

Earlier this week the Colonials picked up a commitment from Trevor Lewis, who is leading the EJHL in scoring with a 13-27-40 line in 24 games. Lewis, a 9/24/87 birthdate and late bloomer, is from Lititz, PA, which is between Reading and Harrisburg.

Other schools in the picture were Union, Niagara, Merrimack, and Northeastern.



U.S. National Junior Team Named

The U.S. National Junior Team was named today, and here it is:

Goaltenders (2): Joe Palmer (Ohio St. – ‘88); Jeremy Smith (Plymouth – OHL, 89).

Defensemen (8): Jonathon Blum (Vancouver – WHL, ‘89); Ian Cole (Notre Dame, ’89); Cade Fairchild (Minnesota, ’89); Jamie McBain (Wisconsin, ’88); Kevin Montgomery (London – OHL, ’88); Bobby Sanguinetti (Owen Sound – OHL, 88); Brian Strait (BU, ’88); Chris Summers (Michigan, ’88).

Forwards (12): Mike Carman (Minnesota, ’88); Ryan Flynn (Minnesota, ’88); Blake Geoffrion (Wisconsin, ’88); Kyle Okposo (Minnesota, ’88), Max Pacioretty (Michigan, ’88); Rhett Rakhshani (Denver, ’88), Tyler Ruegsegger (Denver, ’88); Matt Rust (Michigan, ’89); Jordan Schroeder (U.S. Under-18 Team, ’90); Billy Sweatt (Colorado College, ’88), James vanRiemsdyk (UNH, ’89), Colin Wilson (BU, ’89).

Head Coach: John Hynes (U.S. Under-18 Team) Assistant Coaches: Keith Allain (Yale University) and Patrick Foley (Harvard University).


The IIHF World Junior Championship will be held in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic, Dec. 26, 2007 - Jan. 5, 2008.

-- Six players on the 22-man roster played for the 2007 U.S. National Junior Team that earned the bronze medal at last January’s WJC in Leksand and Mora, Sweden. They are: forwards vanRiemsdyk, Sweatt,Carman, Geoffrion, and Okposo; and defenseman McBain.

-- The youngest player on the team is Schroeder, a 9/29/90 birthdate. The oldest is Strait, a 1/4/88 birthdate. In total, there are 14 '88s, seven '89s, and one '90. 

-- Sixteen members of the team played in the U.S. NTDP.

-- Two members of the team formerly played in the USHL, Okposo at Des Moines, and Pacioretty at Sioux City.

-- Nine members of the team currently play in the WCHA, five in the CCHA, three in Hockey East, three in the OHL, one from the WHL, and one from the US Under-18 Team.

-- Four members from the team are from the University of Minnesota, three from the University of Michigan, with two apiece from Wisconsin, Denver, and Boston University. 

-- Summers can play both forward and defense, and has done so both in the NTDP and at Michigan.

-- Players out of the picture for the U.S. start with first rounders Patrick Kane (Chicago - NHL), Eric Johnson (St. Louis - NHL), and Peter Mueller (Phoenix - NHL). Obviously those guys would be a huge addition to the U.S. squad.

Players at the evaluation camp who didn't make the cut include goaltenders Thomas McCollum (Guelph - OHL, '89), Kent Patterson (Cedar Rapids - USHL, '89), and Josh Unice (Kitchener - OHL, '89); defensemen T.J. Brennan (St. John's - QMJHL, '89), David Fischer (Minnesota, '88), Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin, '89), Trent Palm (Minnesota-Duluth, '88), Kevin Quick (Michigan, '88), Mike Ratchuk (Michigan State, '88), Teddy Ruth (Notre Dame, '89), Kevin Shattenkirk (BU, '89); forwards Mark Arcobello (Yale, '88), Brian Day (Colgate, '88), T.J. Galiardi (Calgary - WHL, '88), Jimmy Hayes (U.S. NTDP, '89), Luke Popko (BU, '88), Doug Rogers ('88, Harvard), Tony Romano (London - OHL, '88), Ben Ryan (Notre Dame, '88), Ben Smith (BC, '88), Aaron Palushaj (Michigan, '89), Eric Tangradi (Belleville - ohl, '89), Patrick White (Minnesota, '89).

Of the above group, Unice, McDonagh, and Shattenkirk would have been on our list of guys who, coming into the start of this season, stood a very strong chance of making the team. We might have also included Ben Smith and Palushaj. Obviously, a number of players at the camp are serious candidates for next year's team and were brought to Lake Placid simply to get their feet wet. And then there were a number of '88s there who were long shots from the get-go. 


US Schedule
2008 IIHF World Junior Championship Schedule

Dec. 26-Jan. 5• Liberec & Pardubice, Czech Republic

Thurs. Dec. 18 -- at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich.  (exhib.) 7:30 pm EST
Thurs. Dec. 22 -- vs. Czech Republic (exhib.) -- at Ceska Trebova, Czech Republic(6:00 pm local/12:00 pm EST)   Wed. Dec. 26 -- vs. Kazakhstan – at Liberec, Czech Republic (4:00 pm local/10:00 am EST)
Fri. Dec. 28 -- vs. Switzerland– at Liberec, Czech Republic (6:00 pm local/12:00 pm EST)
Sat. Dec. 29 -- vs. Russia – at Liberec, Czech Republic (8:00 pm local/2:00 pm EST)
Mon. Dec. 31 -- vs. Finland – at Liberec, Czech Republic (6:00 pm local/12:00 pm EST)
Wed. Jan. 2 -- Quarterfinals – TBD
Fri. Jan. 4 -- Semifinals -- TBD
Sat. Jan. 5 -- Gold and Bronze Medal Games -- TBD




Crocker to be Honored Tonight

Today, Bob Crocker is best known as the dean of the New England scouts. He’s the guy the younger scouts try to emulate, for his thoroughness, his energy level, his knowledge of the game, and, most importantly, the way he treats people.

Over 35 years ago, Crocker, who now scouts for the LA Kings, was an assistant on Jack Kelley’s staff at Boston University, and was the key guy in recruiting the players that would form the nucleus of the Terriers back-to-back NCAA championship teams of ’70-71 and ’71-72.

There were some pretty remarkable players on those teams, which went 54-6-2 over those two seasons. Steve Stirling, Bob Brown, John Danby, Toot Cahoon, the late Ric Jordan, Ron Anderson, Bob Gryp, Tim Regan, Dan Brady… and those are just the big names.

Chairman of the Friends of BU Hockey Paul Giandomenico was a forward on both of those teams and is the force behind the tribute to Crocker planned during tonight’s BU-BC game at Agganis Arena. “Bob was a major contributor to those two championship teams. He must have recruited ninety percent of the guys,” Giandomenico says.

However, Giandomenico points out, Bob did more than just recruit the kids to BU. “For the four years that the kids were there, he was everyone’s father. He helped them take care of any problems or issues they had. He was just the man. He was especially important to the guys who came down from Canada. He would help them get acclimated to the city and the life at school and he made sure they stayed in school. He kept them reined in.”

A good number of the players who will be toasting Crocker tonight in Agganis’ Mark Bavis Suite are coming down from Canada to be on hand.

Giandomenico says the ceremony will be low-key. Between periods the Jumbotron’s cameras will pan up there and a short tribute will be read. The former players have a gift for him – a Chelsea Clock – but, says Giandomenico, it’s on backorder.   

The players on hand will encompass a greater range than just those two years, as Crocker’s ties with Boston University go back much further. After graduating from BU in 1955, Crocker served the school as director of intramurals. He also was head coach of the varsity baseball team. In the 1960s, Crocker coached the freshman hockey team, which one year went 17-0-0.

After the second NCAA championship season at BU, Crocker took over as head coach of the University of Pennsylvania. In his first season, the Quakers went 16-9-2 and finished fourth in the ECAC, which consisted of 17 teams then. On March 6 Penn went up to Walter Brown Arena and defeated BU, 7-3, knocking the Terriers, then coached by Leon Abbott, out of the ECAC Tournament.

Penn, however, didn’t capitalize on their hockey success, and instead tightened the team’s budget, putting  a serious crimp on recruiting. By the late ‘70s varsity hockey at Penn was done. 

Crocker then put in 15 years as an assistant general manager with the Hartford Whalers (NHL). After that he scouted for the New York Rangers, who won a Stanley Cup during that time, and is now with Los Angeles.


We’re printing this story as late as possible. We want people going to the game to have this info so they can stop and say hi to Crocker, but at the same time much of this is meant to be a surprise. However, he may have an inkling that something is up because his wife of 56 years, Ann, is attending the game with him tonight -- and that’s a rarity.