Established 1996
 
 

3/28/08

Pratt to Take a Year Abroad

St. Paul’s School head coach Tim Pratt will be spending next year abroad, teaching English and serving as college counselor with School Year Abroad in Rennes, France.

“It’s a really exciting year for me and my family,” Pratt wrote in an email.

During Pratt’s absence, assistant coach Mark Bozek will coach the team. Bozek played at St. Paul’s, graduating in ’98, and Wesleyan, graduating in ’02.

“I feel very good about having the program in his hands,”Pratt added. “He will do a great job.”

St. Paul’s finished the season 21-4-3, one of the great seasons in the school’s long hockey history. In the NEPSIHA title game, they fell to Avon Old Farms, 3-2, in overtime.



3/31/08

2008 Great 8 Rosters

The 27h annual Ted Brill Great 8 Tournament gets underway Friday night at 6:00 pm with four quarterfinals. Semifinals are Saturday, with quarterfinal winners meeting at 12:30 and 3:00 pm and quarterfinal losers meeting at 1:00 and 3:30 pm.

On Sunday, the seventh place game is at 11:30 am; the fifth place game is at 2:00 pm; the third place game is at noon; and the championship game is at 2:30 pm.

All games are at Wakota Arena in South St. Paul.

The series started in 1983 and for the first 14 years was known as the Minnesota High School All-Star Maroon and Gold Series and featured just two teams – an outstate team and a metro team. Twelve years ago, the tournament expanded to four teams with a combined total of 68 players and was known as the “Great 68.” Eight years ago it ballooned to its current eight-team format.

2008 Great 8 Rosters

2008 Great 8 Bracket



3/28/08

McEachern Moves On

Northeastern assistant coach Shawn McEachern has left the Huskies program. The move was by “mutual decision,” according to head coach Greg Cronin.

McEachern, a former Boston Univeristy star forward who went on to a 15-year career in the NHL, was on the Huskies staff for a year and a half. He came on board in an emergency situation, taking over for Brendan Walsh, who had left to become a Boston police officer.

Cronin said he hadn’t begun his search for a replacement yet.

“It will be an attractive position to a lot of people,” he said. “The school has evolved into a great place to work. And the hockey program is moving in the right direction.”



3/26/08

Mount Back on Top

After a four-year title drought, Mount St. Charles is back on top, having edged Bishop Hendricken, 4-3 last night at Providence College’s Schneider Arena, to sweep the best-of-three Rhode Island Div. I championship series.

Mount, down 2-0 just three minutes into the game, had to come back to win this one. Trailing by 3-2 entering the third, Peter DeAngelo scored on a slapshot to tie the game at 3-3 at the 2:35 mark. At 6:44, Leo Levesque III scored the game-winning goal, off a rebound.

Senior forward John Guay, who led the Mount in points during the regular season, was named the series MVP.

Guay is the son of former U.S. Olympian and Providence College star Paul Guay. He’s also the grandson of Dr. Jean “Doc” Guay, who tended to Mount players for decades up to his death at age 77 several weeks ago.

It was the 27th state title for 78-year-old Mount St. Charles coach Bill Belisle, who was behind the bench for the school’s famous run of 26 consecutive championships between 1978-2003. And it was the 25th title for his son, co-coach Dave Belisle.

With last night’s loss, Hendricken’s two-year run as state champion came to an end. It  was the 15th time the two schools met for the title. 


 


3/25/08

2007-08 USHR Prep Forward of the Year

* Cam Atkinson, Senior, Avon Old Farms *

Atkinson, a Boston College recruit from Greenwich, Conn., finished the season with a 26-37-63 line in 28 games. A 5’9”, 170 lb. winger, Atkinson was the key forward on the 27-1 Avon team that won the New England prep title. He’s quick, he finishes and he makes players around him better.

Runners Up:

 Alex Killorn, Sr., Deerfield (Harvard)
Jason Bourgea, Sr., St. Paul’s (Dartmouth)
Justin Daniels, Sr., Kent (Northeastern)
 

***

2007-08 USHR Prep Defenseman of the Year

A Tie Between:

* Connor Goggin, senior, Choate

and

* Michael Daly, senior, St. Paul’s School *

6’1”, 177 lb. Connor Goggin, a Dartmouth recruit, played AA hockey – and baseball -- in Illinois. He arrived at Choate as a sophomore forward, but was converted to defense. Goggin, extremely athletic, has improved every year, and he was pretty hard to miss this season, finishing with a 7-23-30 line.

5’11”, 190 lb. RD Mike Daly, a Holy Cross recruit from South Burlington, Vt., was a crucial component in the success St. Paul’s had this season, playing a strong game at both ends of the ice. From the blue line, he was able to dictate much of the play, and was consistently able to get the puck up to his forwards. A sturdy defenseman, Daly finished with an 8-18-26 line. 
 

Runners Up:

Tommy Cross, Sr., Westminster (BC)
Lee Moffie, Jr., Avon Old Farms (Michigan)
 
***

2007-08 USHR Prep Goaltender of the Year

* Ryan Purdy, Senior, Phillips Exeter *

Purdy, a 5’7”, 155 lb. native of San Diego, California, is the Jeff Lerg of the New England preps. Without Purdy, who played youth hockey in the California Wave organization, Exeter would not have made the playoffs. And once there he got them to the third overtime vs. Belmont Hill, kicking out 62 shots. He’s leaning toward Williams College.

Runners Up: 

Michael Condon, Jr., Belmont Hill
John Yanchek, Sr., Hotchkiss (Middlebury)
Andrew Peabody, Sr., St. Paul’s 



3/22/08

Delbarton Wins in N.J.

#1 Delbarton topped #2 St. Augustine, 5-1, to win the New Jersey non-public state championship this afternoon at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Senior Mike Smigelski led the way with two goals and an assist, while linemates Andy Bell (1g,1a) and Mike Pirovano (1g) came through, too. That line figured in four of the five Delbarton goals. Pirovano was also awarded a penalty shot with 3:43 remaining but missed on his opportunity to make it 6-1.

St. Augustine managed to hold Delbarton’s top line of all-state senior center Charles Nerbak (1g), and sophomores Kenny Agostino (2g) and Michael Ambrosia somewhat in check – to no avail, though. Nerbak, by the way, will be playing at Middlebury College in the fall.

Delbarton senior goaltender Micheal Infante stopped 21 of 22 shots for the win.

Delbarton finishes the season 27-1-1. Delbarton’s loss came on Dec. 12, a 3-1, decision to Christian Brothers Academy, and its tie came on Dec. 14, a 1-1 game against Bishop Eustace. The squad, coached by Bruce Shatel, will  carry a 24 game winning streak into next season.

St. Augustine came into the game as defending champion, having gone 23-0 last season. Coached by former University of Vermont forward Tim Fingerhut, they finished this season at 18-7-2.

This, of course, is the first year the tournament was held at the Prudential Center.


 


3/22/08

Cancer Strikes Former Coach, Scout

Former coach and NHL scout Herb Hammond is battling a nasty, aggressive cancer and would get a lift from hearing from any of the numerous friends he’s made over his decades in the game. 

A Beverly, Mass. native who started his coaching career at North Yarmouth Academy and Albany Academy back in the ‘60s, Hammond went on to become head coach at Oswego State (’68-80), Plattsburgh State (’80-83), and Brown University (‘82-88).

From 1989-2000 Hammond scouted for the NY Rangers, getting his Stanley Cup ring in 1994.

When Hammond retired from scouting, he settled in Michigan, to help his wife take care of her parents. Now, Hammond is the one who needs care, as the cancer, which spread through his jaw, has required that he relearn how to talk and swallow. It’s hoped that the cancer does not metastasize, and get near his brain. Hammond is in a good clinic, getting good care, but has a long battle ahead of him.

Hammond, a devoted Red Sox fan, can be reached by email at redsox9@att.net


 


3/21/08

Beantown Classic

Thursday was the ‘big day’ at the Beantown Classic, with all teams playing twice. It’s always a challenge to write about these things, mainly because it’s a showcase, and there are simply a lot of good players performing under a variety of circumstances (i.e. some were in game shape; others have been hanging around beaches in warmer climes.)

Many of the standouts came from teams that are still playing, and many of these same players traveled the farthest. To them, perhaps, the showcase represented an opportunity -- and they didn’t waste it. Some Boston-area kids, on the other hand, appear to take the honor of an invitation to tournaments such as this as a birthright, and simply go through the motions. That’s unfortunate, as there are a lot of good, though less-heralded, players out there who would be absolutely thrilled to get an opportunity to play at a tournament as heavily scouted as this one.

That said, the Pre-Draft Division was overall very strong, for our money the best pre-draft division we’ve seen at this tournament. This typist had to do a bit of hopping, as there were often two and even three games going on simultaneously and, even within divisions, a meaningful range of birth years could be found. There could have been somebody putting on a show in one rink, but this typist may have been at another rink, so consider the following list a bit of catch-as-catch-can.

In random order, our picks from the Pre-Draft Division (’91,’92,’93):

Forwards:

6’2” Max Capuano, ’91, Bridgewater Empire – opened our eyes
6’0” Brandon McNally, ’92, Belmont Hill – sees the ice well.
5’11” Ryan Randall, ’92, Junior Monarchs Empire Team – 2g,2a Wed. night
5’8” Quinn Smith, ’92, Avon Old Farms – quick, determined
6’1” Kevin Sullivan, ’91, Berkshire – part of Bears’ all-soph line
5’10” David Bondra, ’92, Team Maryland Under-16 – son of Peter Bondra
6’2” Chris Kreider, ’91, Andover Academy – lacked customary jump, still OK
5’10” Colin Markison, ’92, the NJ Devils – a player to keep tabs on
6’0” Nick Sorkin, ’91, Team Maryland Under-16  -- ditto
6’0” Joe Zarbo, ’91, Junior Bruins EJHL– Clarkson recruit
6’0” Billy Arnold, ’92, Nobles  -- best ’92 forward in New England
6’0” Connor Brickley, ’92, Belmont Hill – Colleges are lining up
6’0” John Henrion, ’91, Junior Bruins EJHL – looks like a college player… already
5’10” Morgan Bonner, ’91 St. Andrew’s College – another less than familiar name

Defensemen:

5’11” Michael Chaisson, ’91, Nevada Stars – son of the late Steve Chiasson
6’4” Ross McMullan, ’91, Nevada Stars – a totally new name for us
6’2” Brendan Rempel, ’91, Avon Old Farms – BC, BU both interested
6’1” Danny Federico, ’92, Junior Bruins Empire – smooth, poised
6’2” Craig Wyszomirski, ’92, New Jersey Devils – a lot of upside
6’3” Brian Demoulin, ’91, Biddeford HS – also a lot of upside, size and puck skills
6’2” Michael Reardon, ’92, Nobles – the tools are there

Goalies:

Hard to say. We give extra credit to goaltenders just for showing up at these things.

Note:

Late ’89 Waltham HS goalie Steven Hopkins, who is 6’1”, was included in with the Pre-Draft Division mainly because he impressed during the Super 8 and, because the goalie slots in the draft division were filled, the only way to get him into the tournament and get a look at him was in with the younger kids. We saw Billy Arnold zing one past his glove short side, but other than that he looked good.


Draft Division (’88, ’89, ’90):


We were able to watch only a small amount of the draft division, but checked out 6’3” CM defenseman and Harvard recruit Peter Starrett, curious to see how he would perform against quick, fast forwards. He did fine. He’s raw, for sure, but the skills are there, and he does have size… 5’10” Craig Kitto, a ’90 forward with the Washington Nationals (AJHL), can definitely skate -- and he was playing with a purpose here… The St. Paul’s starting five were all placed on one team, so we got a little reprise of the season just past. Yes, they still look good… Northwood’s 6’4” forward Julien Cayer is the top-ranked prep player from the Northeast for June’s draft. He’s very skinny, though. When he gains more upper body strength things could get very interesting …  Kent’s 6’2” forward Justin Daniels made a strong argument for his draft position here… 5’9” Jeff Buvinow, a Brown recruit, may be one of the smallest d-man in the ECAC next season, but he’s smart, just sees it really well… Choate’s Mark Goggin scored a nice top-shelf goal… Belmont Hill’s Mike Condon looked strong in net… Bridgewater’s 5’11” forward Brian Yanovitch was on his game… 6’2” Taft defenseman and St. Lawrence recruit George Hughes was skating well and was consistently noticeable… 6’2” Colgate recruit Nick Prockow looked better here than when we saw him during the regular season.

Note:

Hockey Night in Boston, long a fixture in the month of March, will not be holding their All-Scholastic Tournament this year. However, their summer tournament will continue.      



3/20/08

Filling Out the Calendar

The dates for this spring’s IIHF World Under-18 Championship are April 13-23. The tournament is in Kazan, Russia, in the Republic of Tatarstan. That’s 500 miles southeast of Moscow. The city does have its own airport. 

Summer 2008 USA Hockey Player Development Camps:

Select 14 – at Rochester, NY (ESL Sports Centre), July 12-18
Select 15 – at St. Cloud, Minn. (National Hockey Center), Aug. 2-8
Select 16 – at Rochester, NY (ESL Sports Center), June 21-27
Select 17 -- at St. Cloud, Minn. (National Hockey Center), July 7-13

--  This November’s Four Nations Tournament featuring the U.S. Under-18 Team, Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland will take place at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid Nov. 4-9. At the same venue, and over the same days, the U.S. Women’s Select Team will be hosting their own Four Nations Tournament at the same time and place. The women will face Canada, Finland, and Sweden. 

-- The 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship will be held in Fargo, ND and Moorhead, Minn., the first time in its 11-year history that the tournament will be held in the U.S.

Games will be played in Fargo’s 5,000 seat Urban Plains Center, scheduled to be completed by the end of this year (It will be the home of the USHL’s newest entry, the Fargo Force, coached by Dean Blais.)

Some games will be played at the Moorhead Sports Center, which hold about 3,000 people.

Fargo and Moorhead are directly across the river from each other.

The dates are tentatively set as April 9-19, 2009.



3/18/08 Update: The schedule for this weekend's Div. I finals in RI has been changed. Game #1 will now be Mon., 7:30, at PC. Games #2-3, same time and place, are on Tues. and Wed. The word is that Hendricken threatened not to show up if game #1 were played on Saturday, feeling that it interfered with the celebration of Easter. For public consumption, the interscholastic league says both schools requested the change, but that is not true. Mount had said it would play Saturday -- any time, any place. By the way, St. Raphael will play, as scheduled, in the Div. II finals on Saturday.

Two States to Go

The final curtain has come down on the high school hockey season everywhere except  Rhode Island and New Jersey.

In the teeny-tiny state, Mount St. Charles and Bishop Hendricken will meet in the best-of-three Division I state championship hockey series starting Saturday night at 7:30 at Providence College's Schneider Arena. Game #2 will be played Monday night at Schneider and game #3, if necessary, will be played Tuesday night, also at Schneider.

In New Jersey, which is the fourth-smallest state in the union, but still seven times larger than Rhode Island, Saturday is the day of reckoning, as the finals are set for the Prudential Center in Newark. In New Jersey, most of the attention goes to the “private championship” which this year will feature #1 Delbarton facing off against #3 St. Augustine Prep. St. Augustine is the defending state champ. Faceoff is at 2:00 pm, followed by the true high school championships at 4:00 pm (Public B) and 6:00 pm (Public A). 

Now, a recap of the completed tournaments. We’ve covered Minnesota and Massachusetts already, so let’s look elsewhere:


-- In Vermont, well, the Green Mountain State plays their championship game early. On Thurs. Feb. 21, at Gutterson Field House, #1 seed Essex topped #2 seed Champlain Valley Union, 4-2. Essex scored three goals in the first period, two by center Ben Pearl.

The win gave Essex their third straight Div. I championship, fourth in the last five years, and 13th all-time. In state championship games the Hornets are 13-for-16.

CVU has lost three finals over the last five years.


--  In Connecticut, on Saturday, Fairfield Prep defeated Notre Dame-Fairfield 5-3 at a sold out Ingalls Rink to win their fourth Division I championship in five years and 13th overall (since 1977).  Senior Robert Summerlin scored the last three goals of the game, bringing the Jesuits from a 3-2 deficit to a 5-3 win. Paul Tropsa had a goal and two assists. Fairfield Prep, after losing 14 players from last year’s team, started the season 2-7 before rebounding late and getting hot just before the playoffs.


-- In New York State, Massena won the Div. I crown, beating West Genesee, 3-2, in triple overtime on Sun. March 9 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium

Defenseman Mike Mailhot found the back of the net with 29 seconds remaining in the third OT (each of which ran for 7:30).

”It was just sheer excitement,” Mailhot told a reporter. “Honestly, I was jumping up and down like a school girl.”

Hmmmm.


-- In New Hampshire, on Sun. March 9, Bishop Guertin won their second straight Div. I title, blanking Bishop Brady, 3-0, before 5,685 at Manchester’s Verizon Arena.

Guertin junior goaltender Dave O’Brien kicked out 23 shots in recording his eighth shutout of the season. Eric Harries had two goals and an assist for the Cardinals.

It was the fifth Div. I state championship for Bishop Guertin, and the fourth in this still-young century.


-- In Maine, Biddeford topped Lewiston, 4-1, to win the Class A state championship on Sat. March 8 in Lewiston.

The win game Biddeford a perfect 24-0 season.

The game was marred by an on-ice fight with a couple minutes left in the game. Two players, one from each team, were ejected.

Biddeford goaltender Tony Dube, who posted a 1.00 gaa in 18 games and went 46-9 in his three seasons at Biddeford, was named winner of the Travis Roy Award, given annually to the top player in the state.


-- In Wisconsin, Eau Claire Memorial High School captured its first-ever state title with a 3-1 win over Madison Edgewood High School on Sat. March 3 in Madison.

The Old Abes – named for a bald eagle that was a mascot of a Wisconsin volunteer regiment in the Civil War – finished the season 26-0. The trip to the state tournament was their ninth, but their appearance in the championship game was their first, and they made it one to remember.

Eau Claire Memorial outshot Edgewood 44-23, but the Old Abes were held to three goals by Edgewood backstop Brad Jerzewski, who made 41 saves in a losing cause. Ryan Falch, Hunter Scott, and Jefferson Dahl scored for Eau Claire.

Dahl, a senior, was named Mr. Hockey for the state of Wisconsin.


  


3/17/08

Hitmen New Champs in EJHL

For the first time in years, there’s an EJHL champion other than the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs or the Junior Bruins. It’s the Jersey Hitmen who, at Holy Cross last night,  concluded their two-game sweep of the Jr. Monarchs with a 5-4 win.

The Hitmen also swept the Monarchs during the regular season (although the two teams finished in a tie for first). Both teams will represent the EJHL in the upcoming Jr. A Tier II Nationals.

The last team other than the Monarchs or Junior Bruins to win the league playoffs was the New York Apple Core team of five years ago.

The Hitmen had to come-from behind to win last night’s game as the Monarchs had a 2-0 lead late in the second, on goals by Jeff Velleca and Yuri Bouharevich. With about six minutes to go, the Monarchs had a nice chance to make it 3-0 and possibly put the game out of reach, but Velleca was stopped on a breakaway, the play came back the other way and the Hitmen’s Nick Lampson scored to make it a 2-1 game. Within five minutes, the Hitmen added three more, as Ryan Craig, Matt Amico, and Lampson (again) found the back of the net.

The Hitmen took a 4-2 lead into the third, but had to hang on, as the Monarchs, on goals by Bouharevich and Ryan Miniaci, twice got within one goal – but no closer.

This was a good team effort by the Hitmen, who benefited this season from the strongest blue line they ever had. But they’ll be looking for some new guys for next fall, as ’90 Andrew Himelson, who could be headed to Clarkson in '09 may take a year in the USHL first; ’92 Kevin Clare could be with the NTDP; ‘88 Ryan Ruikka is heading to Boston University; and ’88 Bill Day is bound for West Point.


Notes:


The Hitmen, owned during the four years of their existence by the Masters family, who also own the Junior Bruins, have been sold to Bobby Riesse, who owns the Ice Vault in Wayne, NJ, the rink the Hitmen  play out of. The new ownership will take over on April 1. Toby Harris will stay on as head coach. Jim Hunt, who has part ownership, will be a part-time coach and also have GM duties.


 


3/17/08

Beantown List

The list of players invited to the Beantown Spring Classic, which will run Wed.-Fri. March 19-21 at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass., is now posted at the tournament website.

The Draft Division will consist of ’88s to ‘90s; the Pre-Draft Division will be made up of ‘91s and younger.

There will be no players from the just-completed EJHL championship series between the Jersey Hitmen and New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. That’s because the two teams just came off the EJHL championship and are preparing for Nationals. We reported earlier that UNH recruit Greg Burke, as he's a ’90 and NHL teams might want to get one more look at him prior to the draft, would be there. But that's changed -- he won't be there.

Beantown List    Look for this to be updated over the next couple of days.



3/16/08

Reading Makes History

With a big night from their all-senior top line of Rob Toczylowski, Michael Lozzi, and Patrick Kiley and shutout goaltending from junior Jeff Wyer, Reading topped Malden Catholic 3-0 tonight, becoming the first public school to win the Super 8 title in the tournament’s 18-year history.

Early on, Reading looked nothing like a championship team. Malden Catholic took it to them off the opening faceoff, controlling the flow of the game in all three zones, crisply moving the puck, and getting great scoring opportunities. The Lancer forwards failed to get a handle on some of them; Wyer came up huge on the rest.

Then, late in the period, Reading got an opportunity, and took advantage. Kiley took a pass in the neutral zone, put a move on Malden Catholic d-man Brian Yanovitch just inside the blue line, temporarily lost control of the puck but kicked it back up onto his stick, and moved in alone on Lancers junior goalie John Carbonneau. Kiley held it patiently and, from the bottom of the faceoff circle, took a short side shot that broke off the goaltender and into the net to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead with 3:19 left in the period.

Late in the period, Wyer came up with the save of the game, on Malden Catholic’s Zack Sheppard, thus preserving the 1-0 lead that Reading, which had been outshot by a roughly 8-2 margin, was able to carry into the first intermission.

The key goal of the game was a painful one to watch, certainly the softest/flukiest goal this observer has seen all season. Just 12 seconds into the second period, Reading’s Toczylowski scored on a 65-foot dump-in from the neutral zone, the puck just bounding past Carbonneau to make it 2-0.

This goal seemed to unhinge Malden Catholic. Suddenly, the Lancer defensemen began overcompensating. Reading, meanwhile, smelling blood, was pressing their advantage, boring in on Carbonneau.

Reading went up 3-0 at 6:33 when Toczylowski took a nice diagonal pass from Lozzi in the neutral zone, broke down the left side and fired a long shot from above the faceoff circle that beat Carbonneau to the far corner, making it 3-0 Rockets at the 6:33 mark.

That was pretty much the game. Malden Catholic began to get in some penalty trouble, further hindering their chances of regaining the momentum they had held for most of the first period. 

After dominating the second, Reading backed off a little in the third, and played a very composed, shut-down game, making sure that Malden Catholic, which had displayed early on just how dangerous they could be when given room to operate, had no opportunities to get back into the game.

With the win, Reading brought the Super 8 title to a public school, something that many observers had begun to feel might never happen again.


Notes:

-- Besides becoming the first public school to win the tournament, Reading becomes just the fourth school of any sort to take home a title in the 18-year history of the tournament, joining Catholic Memorial (12 titles), BC High (4 titles), and Arlington Catholic (1 title).

-- It’s been 30 years since a public school previously won it all. That was in 1978, pre-Super 8, when Hudson High defeated Burlington in OT in the title game.

-- Reading was only the third public school to reach the Super 8 final, joining Weymouth (2007) and Medford (1993).

-- The crowd was larger than we’ve seen at this tournament in years. Around 7:20 – ten minutes before opening faceoff -- the lower bowl had filled up and the balcony, initially closed off, was opened to scattered fans. There was a buzz in the air, the fans and players were ready to go, but the MIAA successfully managed to take some of the edge off by handing out hardware, which delayed the start until about 7:40 pm.

-- Reading went 5-0 in the tournament, beating BC High, 2-1; Catholic Memorial, 5-2; Waltham, 4-1; Xaverian, 5-2; and, finally, tonight, Malden Catholic, 3-0.

-- Reading finished the season 25-1, with their only loss coming Jan. 21, a 3-1 decision to BC High at Reading's Burbank Arena. The Rockets were seeded #5 by the Super 8 committee. Malden Catholic finishes the season 15-6-4. They were seeded sixth.

-- Lozzi finished the season with a 25-47-72 line. Kiley, who led Super 8 scorers with 15 points, was 26-45-71 and Toczylowski 35-30-65. 
 
-- In the Div. I title game, Needham won its first state title in 38 years, defeating Westford Academy, 4-1. Senior Cody Sharib had a pair, sophomore Sam Kane had one, and Mark Joyce had an empty-netter. Needham senior goalie Sam Gifford was strong in net, only allowing one goal, and that with 4:10 left.

-- Sandwich won the Div. II title game, topping Wilmington 1-0, as freshman goalie Pat Farrington kicked out all 18 shots he faced and Craig Brubaker scored the game's only goal, a second-period tally.

-- In the Div. III final, Westfield edged Scituate, 3-2, on a Ryan Leonard goal with 50 seconds left in regulation. 



3/14/08

NTDP Camp: Breakdown By Districts

If you are wondering where the ‘92s invited to next week’s NTDP Evaluation Camp are coming from, we’ve broken it down by district.

To us, it further illustrates the changing demographics of hockey in the U.S. As you see, there are a total of 11 players from the Pacific and Rocky Mountain districts – specifically, the Los Angeles Basin (4), Las Vegas (1), Greater Phoenix (2), Dallas (3), and Denver (1). That’s more than the New York-New England-Mass-Atlantic districts combined.

We’re not saying this is a good or bad thing. We’re just pointing out changes that are the inevitable result of a population shift away from the Northeast. The fact that these so-called non-traditional hockey areas are also home to NHL teams has helped them grow the numbers. The rinks, and youth hockey programs, followed the money, popping up in the suburbs of these cities. It’s all paying off now, as is evident in the steadily-growing number of serious prospects.


Michigan: 10 (Accettura, Campbell, Gravel, Gunn, Knight, Merrill, Rust, Sinelli, Watson, Yanakeff)

Minnesota: 8 (Bjugstad, Forbort, Gardiner, Isackson, Marshall, McMorrow, Pauluk, Rubbelke)

Rocky Mountain: 6 (Fallon, Hargrove, McMinimy, Moffatt, Shore, St. Clair)

Pacific: 5 (Balisy, Etem, Nieto, Sooth, Zucker)

Central: 4 (Carruth, Mersch, Simonelli, Tynan)

New York: 4 (Clendening, Iles, Lane, Tiefenwerth)

Massachusetts: 3 (Arnold, Brickley, Reardon)

Mid-Am: 3 (Johns, Lippincott, Saad)

Atlantic: 2 (Carroccio, Clare)

New England: 1 (Russo)

Southeastern: 1 (Tinordi) 
 

-- Of the 47 players invited to camp (46 rostered plus LD Jon Merrill), all but three – forwards Bjugstad, Hargrove, and Lane – appeared at last summer’s Select 15 Festival.

-- Carruth, a 6’1” goaltender and a Minnesota-Duluth recruit for fall ‘10 is from Shorewood, Minn., about 20 miles west of the Twin Cities. We could (should?) have listed him with the Minnesota kids, but he’s been living in Chicago for the last couple seasons playing AAA hockey with the Chicago Fury, in order to play in more games. And he tried out for Selects there. That’s why he’s in Central.


 


3/13/08

NTDP Evaluation Camp Roster

Here’s the roster for the National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp, to be held at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube Sat.-Tues. March 22-25. All are '92 birthdates. As a group, they're deep up front, thin on the blue line, and we’ll see about the goaltending.

Players arrive Saturday and practice that night, starting at 8:00 pm. Scrimmages are at 11:15 am and then again at 6:15 pm on Sunday, at 7:15 pm on Monday, and at noon on Tuesday.     

Goaltenders (4):

Jack Campbell
, Honeybaked Under-18
Mac Carruth, Chicago Fury Under-18
Andy Iles, Salisbury School
Willie Yanakeff, Honeybaked Under-16

Defensemen (16):

Evan Accettura, Victory Honda Under-18
Bennett Carroccio, Phillips Andover Academy
Kevin Clare, Jersey Hitmen
Adam Clendening, Toronto Marlies
Michael Gunn, Compuware Under-16
Kevin Gravel, Marquette Electricians Under-18
Derek Forbort, Duluth East HS
Stephen Johns, Pittsburgh Under-18
Ben Marshall, Mahtomedi HS
Kevin McMorrow, Park Rapids HS
Jeffrey Pauluk, Bloomington Jefferson HS
Michael Reardon, Noble & Greenough
Joe Rubbelke, St. Paul Johnson HS
Brandon Russo, Salisbury School
Frankie Simonelli, Team Illinois Under-16
Jarred Tinordi, Washington Jr. Nationals

Forwards (24):

Bill Arnold, Noble and Greenough
Chasen Balisy, Toronto Jr. Canadiens
Nick Bjugstad, Blaine HS
Connor Brickley, Belmont Hill
Emerson Etem, Shattuck St. Mary’s
Jacob Fallon, Texas Attack Under-16
Max Gardiner, Minnetonka HS
Colton Hargrove, Texas Attack Under-16
Christian Isackson, St. Thomas Academy
Jared Knight, Compuware Under-16
Phil Lane, Rochester Alliance Under-16
Alex Lippincott, Cleveland Under-18
Jeff McMinimy, Texas Attack Under-16
Michael Mersch, Team Illinois Under-16
Luke Moffatt, Compuware Under-16
Matt Nieto, Salisbury School
Bryan Rust, Honeybaked Under-16
Brandon Saad, Pittsburgh Under-18
Nick Shore, Colorado Thunderbirds Under-16
Andrew Sinelli, Honeybaked Under-16
Shane Sooth, Salisbury School
Colten St. Clair, P.F. Changs Under-18
K.J. Tiefenwerth, St. Anthony's HS
T.J. Tynan, Chicago Mission Under-16
Austin Watson, Compuware Under-16
Jason Zucker, Compuware Under-16

Note: Little Caesar’s Under-18 defenseman Jon Merrill will not be at the camp. (He’s already on the team.) 


 


3/12/08

Super 8 Semis Tonight

The Mass Super 8 Semifinals are tonight (Wed.) at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Mass.

6:00 pm – Reading High vs. Xaverian
8:00 pm – Catholic Memorial vs. Malden Catholic

Reading and Malden Catholic are both 3-0 in this year’s Super 8 competition. Catholic Memorial and Xaverian are both 2-1. CM’s loss came in Round 2 last Thursday, a 5-2 loss to Reading. Xaverian’s only loss was to Malden Catholic, a 5-2 decision in Round 3 Sunday night.

The four teams still alive include a #1 seed (CM), a #5 seed (Reading), a #6 seed Malden Catholic, and a #10 seed (Xaverian).

Teams that are out are #2 Hingham, #3 St. John’s Prep, #4 BC High, #7 Needham, #8 Waltham, and #9 Westford Academy.


***


3/12/08

New Face in EJHL Playoffs

The Jersey Hitmen will face the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs for the EJHL crown this coming weekend.

The two teams finished the regular season as co-champions, with 68 points apiece. The Hitmen, however, swept the season series with the Monarchs, hence have had the top seed throughout the playoffs.

For the Hitmen, it will be their first appearance in the finals. The Monarchs, on the other hand, have reached the finals in six of the last seven seasons.

Here’s the schedule. All games are at Holy Cross, best-of-three.
Sat. March 15, 5:00 pm; Sun. March 16, 5:00 pm, and Mon. March 17, if necessary, 7:00 pm.


***

The AJHL finals are also this coming weekend, with Northern Cyclones facing off against the Philadelphia Little Flyers in a best-of-three series at Cyclones Arena in Hudson, NH.. Games times are Fri. March 14 at 7:00 pm; Sat. March 15 at 5:00 pm; and Sun. March 16 (if necessary) at 1:00 pm.



***

Also, this weekend, on Fri, Sat., and Sun., the Empire Junior Hockey League are holding their final four weekend at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Mass. The Boston Junior Bruins and the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs represent the east, while Syracuse Stars and Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins represent the west. Each team will play one round-robin game each day. The teams with the best record will meet in the title game Sunday at 4:30 pm.


  


3/12/08

Malden Catholic, Reading Shake Things Up

Malden Catholic edged Catholic Memorial, 3-2, and Reading topped Xaverian, 5-2, tonight at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell.

Malden Catholic will meet Reading for the Super 8 Title Sunday night at the TD Banknorth Garden.

That's right... no CM, no BC High. Instead, we get #5 seed Reading, a public school (!!), and #6 seed Malden Catholic, a once-proud program that had endured a long string of losing seasons until Chris Serino,the former Merrimack head coach/AD (and former UNH assistant, and former Northfield-Mt Hermon and Saugus High head coach) took over the program three years ago next month.

The championship game matchup gives a nice jolt to the Super 8 -- and more importantly, Massachusetts high school hockey -- by returning a sense of possibility to what had become, without taking anything away from CM and BC High, a deathly boring and predictable tournament. We don't expect that the Garden will be packed on Sunday night the way it was in decades past, but it will be far more livelier -- and loud -- than it has been in years. Maybe the ghosts are finally stirring, and a period of renewal is upon us. Or perhaps that's just wishful thinking. What is undeniable is this: for Massachusetts hockey to return to the prominence it had up until the end of the '80s, the high schools will have to play a key role. And for that to happen, there needs to be a host of teams that enter each season with a chance to ultimately make it to the Garden. Tonight, Reading and Malden Catholic proved that, at the very least, there are two more teams than most people thought.  



3/11/08

19,559


We should have mentioned earlier that the attendance figure -- 19,559 -- for Friday night’s semifinals of the Minnesota State High School Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center set a new record for a hockey game in the state of Minnesota.

Of course, there were two games, not one, and the fans who packed the building – as well as a statewide TV audience -- got to see what, at least for this typist, was easily the most compelling night of hockey viewed thus far this season.

We just looked up the enrollment of Edina High School, which is listed as 1,700. It looked as if every single one of those students – minus the hockey players, of course – was in the stands at the Xcel Energy Center. It’s a pretty impressive sound when the synchronized cheers of the Hornets supporters rocket back and forth between the green-and-white clad students clustered in a group up in the balcony, and the other half down in the loge seats. It’s something best experienced first hand. And the first semi, against a quick, determined Benilde-St. Margaret’s squad, featured great stretches of nail-biting up-and-down action that wasn’t closed down until Edina winger Marshall Everson jammed one home in overtime. In that moment, all that pent-up energy just enveloped the building which, unlike a lot of the new arenas, seems to hold the sound in beautifully.

The nightcap lacked the early game’s tension, but how often do you see a 29-0 team, a defending champion and prohibitive favorite, get thumped? That’s what happened to Roseau, in part  through a masterful game plan put together by head coach Bill Lechner and his assistant, Pat Schafhauser, the former Hill-Murray and Boston College defenseman who was paralyzed 12 years ago while playing for Lugano. Watching the Hill-Murray players get after Roseau star defenseman Aaron Ness and his teammates was strangely similar to watching the New York Giants offensive line hunting down New England quarterback Tom Brady in last month’s Super Bowl.

And after that 6-2 dismantling of Roseau, it seemed almost inevitable that Hill-Murray had the force with it. How else to explain center Ryan Furne’s shot from outside the blue line beating the Edina goaltender with one-tenth of a second left in the first period? Of course, Hill-Murray senior goaltender Joe Phillippi kicked out all 31 shots he faced. That helped. And, as they had done the night before in taking down Roseau, the players simply executed.

Note:

The previous record for the largest crowd at a hockey game in Minnesota was set last March 17 when 19,463 packed the Xcel Energy Center for the WCHA championship game in which the Gophers, on a Blake Wheeler OT goal, edged North Dakota, 3-2.

 

3/10/08

Ness Named Mr. Hockey

Roseau 5’10”, 155 lb. LD Aaron Ness was named 2008 Minnesota Mr. Hockey on Sunday at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

Ness, who turned down overtures from both the USHL and the NTDP in order to stay at Roseau, is a junior who has been taking a double load of courses this season in order to matriculate at the University of Minnesota in the fall.

Ness, who has quick hands and a great stick, has the geometry of hockey figured out. With Ness, it’s all about angles and caroms. Plus he can tweezer the puck out from a crowd of players and snap off a pass to an open man before anyone realizes what’s happened. A fun player to watch.

Here are the 10 Mr. Hockey Finalists. Only seniors are eligible for the award.

Tyler Barnes, F,Burnsville High School
J. T. Brown F,Rosemount High School
Cory Fienhage, D,Eastview High School
Jake Gardiner, D,  Minnetonka High School
Joe Gleason, D,  Edina High School
Justin Jokinen, F,Cloquet High School
Zack Lehrke, F,Park Rapids High School
Aaron Ness, D,  Roseau High School
Drew Olson, D,Brainerd High School
Jake Youso, F,International Falls High

Ness, by the way, finished the season with a 26-41-67 line in 31 games played.


Earlier, Hill-Murray’s Joe Phillippi was named winner of the Frank Brimsek Award, given annually to the state’s top senior goaltender. 

Previous Mr. Hockey Award winners:

Tom Chorske (1985), George Pelawa (1986), Kris Miller (1987), Larry Olimb (1988), Trent Klatt (1989), Joe Dziedzic (1990), Darby Hendrickson (1991), Brian Bonin (1992), Nick Checco (1993), Mike Crowley (1994), Erik Rasmussen (1995), Dave Spehar (1996), Aaron Miskovich (1997), John Pohl (1998), Jeff Taffe (1999), Paul Martin (2000), Marty Sertich (2001), Gino Guyer (2002), Nate Dey (2003), Tom Gorowski (2004), Brian Lee (2005), David Fischer (2006) and Ryan McDonagh (2007).


3/11/08

A.P. All-State Team

The Associated Press 2008 All-State team for Minnesota, as voted on by statewide media.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

Aaron Ness, Roseau

FIRST TEAM:

F--Zach Lehrke, Sr., Park Rapids
F--Beau Hanowski, Sr., Little Falls
F--Zach Budish, Jr., Edina
D--Aaron Ness, Sr., Roseau
D--Jake Gardiner, Sr., Minnetonka
G--Mike Lee, Jr., Roseau

SECOND TEAM:

F--Jake Youso, Sr., International Falls
F--Tyler Barnes, Sr., Burnsville
F--Ricky Litchfield, Sr., Mankato West
D--Joe Gleason, Sr., Edina
D--Drew Olson, Sr., Brainerd
G--Joe Phillippi, Sr., Hill-Murray


HONORABLE MENTION

Forwards:

Tom Alexander, JR, Rochester Mayo; Seth Ambroz, FR, New Prague; Kevin Anderson, SR, Robbinsdale Armstrong; Korby Anderson, SR, Owatonna; Ryan Anderson, SR, Mankato West; Blake Appelhof, SR, Benilde-St. Margaret's; Jace Baldwin, JR, International Falls; Cory Belisle, SR, Anoka; Matt Berglund, SR, Benilde-St. Margaret's; Josh Birkholz, JR, Blake; Sam Blaisdell, JR, Minnehaha Academy; Ryan Bohrer, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall; Jared Bowman, SR, Albert Lea; J.T. Brown, SR, Rosemount; Dan Cecka, SR, Hill-Murray; Sam Coatta, JR, Minnetonka; Ladd Corrin, SR, International Falls; Anthony DeCenzo, SR, Hibbing; David Eddy, SR, Woodbury; Marshall Everson, JR, Edina; Chris Fiala, SR, White Bear Lake; Taylor Funk, JR, Rochester Lourdes; Ryan Furne, SR, Hill-Murray; Joe Frazer, SR, Brainerd; Lucas Gervais, SO, Fergus Falls; Devon Grossell, JR, Winona; Cole Gunner, JR, Richfield; Ben Hanowski, JR, Little Falls; Jake Hendrickson, SR, Burnsville; Jake Johnson, SR, Duluth Denfeld; Rob Johnson, SR, Duluth East; Ryan Johnson, SR, Blaine; Justin Jokinen, SR, Cloquet/Esko/Carlton; Ryan Kesti, SR, Red Wing; Tony Krogen, SR, Marshall; Trenton Krueger, SR, St. Paul Johnson; Tyler Landman, JR, Roseau; Jared Larson, SR, Eastview; Anders Lee, JR, Edina; Corey Leivermann, SR, Mankato West; Danny Mattson, JR, Holy Angels; Adam Mueller, SR, Roseville; Joey Nadeau, SR, Winona; Ben Nelson, SR, Roseau; Nick Oliver, JR, Roseau; John O'Neill, SR, Anoka; Cody Peck, SR, Fergus Falls; Bryce Ravndalen, SR, Warroad; Brock Pederson, SR, Mounds View; Ben Persian, JR, Orono; Tyler Pitlick, JR, Centennial; Sean Randall, SR, Coon Rapids; Bryce Ravndalen, SR, Warroad; Kyle Reinarts, JR, New Ulm; Conor Rooney, SR, St. Thomas Academy; James Saintey, SR, St. Thomas Academy; Mike Schaber, SR, Blaine; Blake Schammel, JR, Red Wing; Berkley Scott, JR, Anoka; Chris Stafne, SR, Duluth Denfeld; Sean Stewart, JR, New Ulm; Charlie Thauwald, JR, Rochester Mayo; Nick Thielen, SR, Moorhead; Cory Thorson, SR, Robbinsdale Armstrong; Zach Vierling, SR, Coon Rapids; Tyler Voigt, JR, Rochester Lourdes; Ryan Walters, SO, St. Thomas Academy; Casey Woodside, SR, Albert Lea; Steve Zierke, SR, Benilde-St. Margaret's.

Defensemen:

David Brown, SR, Cloquet/Esko/Carlton; Brandon Burrell, SR, North Metro; Will Corrin, SO, International Falls; Bo Dolan, SR, Hill-Murray; Cory Fienhage, SR, Eastview; Noah Greene, SR, Hopkins; Matt Grose, SR, Lakeville North; Dano Jacques, SR, Duluth Marshall; Nick Jensen, JR, Rogers; Nick Leddy, JR, Eden Prairie; Jeff Lesmeister, SR, Anoka; Luke McManus, SR, Rosemount; Eric Olson, SR, International Falls; Zach Palmquist, JR, South St. Paul; Grant Paulson, JR, Owatonna; Anthony Raiola, SR, Minnetonka; Adam Royce, SR, Albert Lea; Joe Rubbelke, SO, St. Paul Johnson; Alec Rush, JR, Eden Prairie; Dan Sova, SR, Hill-Murray; Pete Spratte, JR, Rochester Lourdes; Chris Student, SR, Benilde-St. Margaret's; Blake Thompson, SO, Eden Prairie; Rob Vannelli, SR, St. Thomas Academy; Matt Youso, SO, International Falls.

Goaltenders:

Mike Becker, SR, Burnsville; Tyler Bruggeman, JR, Mankato West; Matt Buonomo, SR, Minnetonka; Derrick Caschetta, SR, Edina; Matt Cooper, JR, Duluth East; Alex Fons, SO, Hopkins; Mike Hart, SO, International Falls; Tom Horner, SR, North St. Paul; Brandon Jaeger, SR, Champlin Park; Steve Loyd, JR, Eden Prairie; Matt Messina, JR, Duluth Marshall; Kyle Moody, SR, Osseo; Ben Podobinski, JR, Roseville; Mike Shibrowski, JR, Benilde-St. Margaret's; Brandon Wigen, SR, Woodbury; Hakan Yumusaklar, SR, Lakeville South.


 


3/10/08

Northwood Saves Best for Last

Culver, Ind. -- The Northwood School, entering the third period down 3-1, roared back with a vengeance, notching three unanswered goals to defeat host Culver Academy, 4-3, in the championship game of the Ninth Annual Midwest Prep Invitational yesterday.

 Northwood finishes the season 33-7-2.  Of their seven losses, only two were by more than one goal, and one of those was an empty- netter. Culver, also a strong team, finished the season 29-12-4. Over the holidays, as you’ll recall, Culver swept through Massachusetts twice, winning the titles at both the Lawrence/Groton Tournament and the Watkins Tournament at Cushing Academy.

In other words, two well-matched teams took to the ice yesterday, and didn’t disappoint, playing a fast-paced, very physical game in front of a lively crowd (it was senior day at Culver).

The first period was scoreless, but Culver had the edge in play as Northwood had to kill off a couple of penalties. Both goalies, Courtney Lockwood for Northwood and Jason Torf for Culver, came up with a couple of big saves to keep the game 0-0.

In the second, Culver built a 2-0 lead on goals from senior forward Anthony Olson and senior defenseman Cory Hibbeler. Northwood head coach Jeff Matthews called time out and changed goalies, coming back with starter Richie LaVeau, who has been nursing an ankle strain. Northwood's leading scorer, junior Alex Chiasson scored a power play goal to make it a 2-1. Culver, however, came right back with a Sebastian Geoffrion goal to take a 3-1 lead into the third.

Midway through the third, a bad bounce gave Northwood a breakaway and they capitalized, with Jacob Morley burying it to make it a one-goal game. Northwood kept the momentum going, and, with 8:27 left, Matt Firman scored from a scrum in front to tie the game at 3-3. Several minutes later, with 5:51 left, Wesleyan recruit Tom Salah, a PG from Gloucester, Mass., banged home a rebound in front for the game winner. Senior center Mark Grinhaus, who centers Firman and Salah, had three assists in the game.

It was the second straight game in which Northwood came back from a 3-1 deficit, as they were also down to St. Andrew’s College on Saturday. Then Grinhaus struck for three goals and Morley converted off a 2-on-1 with Chiasson, driving home a one-timer to give Northwood a berth in the title game.


.


3/10/08

New York Times on Athletic Scholarships

The New York Times is running a three-part series looking into the chase for NCAA athletic scholarships, the scarcity of athletic aid, and the challenges that coaches and athletes face.

Hockey, in case you were wondering, offers a larger yearly value per recipient -- an average of  $21,755 for men; $20,540 for women – than any other sport. And men’s riflery offers the least, with an average of $3,608 per recipient. So put away those guns. 

If Part 1 is an indicator of what’s to come, this series promises to be sobering, but also quite welcome. This is information that both parents and kids – i.e. “student- athletes” – will be need to know. 

Part 1 ran today, and Parts 2 and 3 will follow on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Scholarship Divide, New York Times, 3/10/08




3/8/08 

Minnesota State Tournament:
Finals

@ Xcel Energy Center; St. Paul, Minn. 
Sat. March 8, 2008 
Attendance, first session: 7,380
Attendance, second session: 18,689


Class AA Championship Game: Hill-Murray 3, Edina 0 (Final)   


Phillippi Slams Door on Hornets

Senior Joe Phillippi, with a 31-save shutout, led Hill-Murray to a 3-0 win over Edina at the Xcel Energy Center tonight, giving the Pioneers their first state title in 17 years.

Just as in last night’s upset of Roseau, though in a less overtly physical manner, the Pioneers took a hard-nosed, workmanlike approach to the game, getting an early lead and then trusting their goaltender to keep Edina at bay.

Hill-Murray’s defensemen did a great job keeping the Hornets forwards from getting in close to Phillippi, and jamming away at the few loose pucks or rebounds that Phillippi allowed.

After a brief feeling-out period, Hill-Murray took control of the first period, getting on the board off a turnover, as senior center Ryan Furne picked off an Edina pass in the neutral zone, broke in alone, and snapped a low, hard shot past Edina senior goaltender Derrick Caschetta to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead at the 2:30 mark.

Hill-Murray’s Dan Cecka had a great chance to add another when he tapped the rebound of an Isaac Kohl’s shot behind Caschetta. However, the puck hit the far post and bounced  back out into play, but out of harm’s way.

With just one second left in the period, Furne got his second goal of the game. Using Edina defenseman Jack Jorgeson as a screen, Furne let one rip from just outside the blue line. It broke off Caschetta’s right pad and into the net to make it 2-0.

The second period was all about Hill-Murray goaltender Joe Phillippi, as Edina had a huge territorial edge, outshooting Hill-Murray 15-4, working the puck around methodically and taking shots from far out, in tight, and from every angle possible – but coming up empty.

Hill-Murray was called for three minors in the period, to just one for Edina, which helped keep the puck in the Pioneers end for much of the period.

The closest Edina came to getting a goal was when Marshall Everson, from the blue line, unleashed a bomb that rang off the far post at about the 10 minute mark. Then, with 2:49 left in the period, Phillippi came up big, robbing Joe Gleason with a glove save on a point blank shot.

Meanwhile, Hill-Murray had no shots on the Edina net (though they did have a few near misses) until there was just 3:30 remaining in the period.

With 2:06 left in the period, Hill-Murray’s Furne was called for interference, giving Edina a shot at making it a one-goal game. Nothing came of it, though.

Hill-Murray had two excellent chances to extend their lead late in the final minute of the stanza, but Caschetta came up with saves on Kohls and, seconds later, Furne.  

In the third period, Hill-Murray went up 3-0 when a Chris Casto shot from the right point was deflected by Delaney Metcalf, shooting up into the top right corner of the net at the 4:36 mark.

With about eight minutes left in the period, Edina’s Budish hit a post.

With 5:54 remaining in regulation, and with Edina having 42 seconds left on a power play, and a faceoff in the Hill-Murray end, Edina head coach Curt Giles called a timeout. Down by three, it looked like he might pull his goaltender, but didn’t – and never got the opportunity to do so.


All-Tournament Team:

Goaltender:
Joe Phillippi, Sr., Hill-Murray
Derrick Caschetta, Sr., Edina

Defensemen:
Dan Sova, Sr., Hill-Murray
Aaron Ness, Jr. (technically), Roseau
Chris Student, Sr., Benilde-St. Margaret’s
Joe Gleason, Sr., Edina

Forwards:
Ryan Furne, Sr., Hill-Murray
Dan Cecka, Sr., Hill-Murray
Tyler Landman, Jr., Roseau
Matthew Berglund, Sr., Benilde-St. Margaret’s
Zach Budish, Jr., Hill-Murray
Marshall Everson, Jr., Hill-Murray



       ****

Class AA Third Place Game:

Benilde-St. Margaret's 5, Roseau 1 (Final)

Both teams came out flat after tough semifinal losses last night, but Benilde-St. Margaret's proved a little more resilient, summoning up energy as the game moved along, and skating off with a 5-1 win over Roseau.

Roseau, undefeated until last night, ended their season with two straight losses. They never really got up off  the mat in this one. Star defenseman Aaron Ness, who was bounced around and neutralized by Hill-Murray last night, showed little spark in his final high school game today.

Benilde didn't try to emulate Hill-Murray's approach of last night. They just played their game, and that was enough.   

After a scoreless first period, Benilde scored once in the second, and four times in the final period.

The Red Knights got two points apiece from Matt Bergland (2g),  Niklas Almstrom (1g,1a), Jack Dwyer (2a), and Jon Holmers (2a). 

Junior Michael Shiborowski was given the start in goal for Benilde and came up with a strong game, kicking out 21 of 22 shots.


               ****

Cadets Take Class A Crown 

St. Thomas Academy 5, Duluth Marshall 1 (Final):

St. Thomas Academy finished their cruise through the Class A field, taking the title with a convincing 5-1 win over Duluth Marshall this afternoon.

Sophomore Christian Isackson and senior James Saintey each had two goals. Sophomore Ryan Walters had a goal and an assist, and senior Conor Rooney had a pair of assists.

Sophomore goaltender Kurt Altrichter kicked out 13 of 14 shots to earn the win.

The difference between the two teams was simply one of depth. The Cadets were able to put out two strong lines, while Marshall could only counter with one.

It didn’t take long for St. Thomas Academy to set the tone today. Just 37 seconds into the period, Isackson skated down the left side, turned a d-man, and slid a backhander five hole on Duluth Marshall junior goaltender Willie Paul to make it 1-0. Sophomore Justin Crandall picked up an assist on the play.

With 38 seconds left in the period, Saintey stepped into a loose puck in the high slot and drilled it past Paul, glove side, a couple feet up, to give the Cadets a 2-0 lead.

Early in the second period, STA went up 3-0 when Walters, off a pass from linemate Rooney, notched his sixth goal of the tournament, snapping one past Paul at the 2:46 mark. Junior Matt Messina then replaced Paul in the Marshall goal.

With 3:51 left in the period, Duluth Marshall got on the board when David Hafferty, on a 50-foot pass through the neutral zone, connected with a breaking Pat Mahoney, who tucked it five-hole to cut the Cadets lead to 3-1. 

St. Thomas Academy salted it away with a couple of third period goals. Isackson came down right side, skated around one defender and fired it short side for his second of the game at 11:07.

A couple of minutes later, on the power play, Saintey followed suit with his second of the game, taking a feed from Walters and burying it for his second goal of the game, putting the Cadets up 5-1.

Things got a little chippy at the end, with six of the game's eight penalties called in the final four minutes of play. In the final seconds, Marshall defenseman Dano Jacques fired a clearing pass dead center into the large and vocal Cadets cheering section. (No penalty was called.)


Class A All-Tournament Team:

Goaltenders:
Kurt Altrichter
, Soph., St. Thomas Academy
Willie Paul, Jr., Duluth Marshall

Defensemen:
Mark McDonald
, Sr., Warroad
Dano Jacques, Sr., Duluth Marshall
Jon Schreiner, Sr., St. Thomas Academy
Rob Vannelli, Sr., St. Thomas Academy

Forwards:
Stephen Rindelaub
, Sr., St. Cloud Cathedral
Bryce Ravndalen, Sr., Warroad
Zach Mausolf, Jr., Duluth Marshall
Ryan Walters, Soph., St. Thomas Academy
James Saintey, Sr., St. Thomas Academy
Christian Isackson, Sr., St. Thomas Academy


Today’s Schedule/Xcel Energy Center:

Class A Championship Game, 12:00 pm:
#1 St. Thomas Academy 5, Duluth Marshall 1

Class AA Third Place Game, 4:00 pm:
 #1 Roseau vs. #3 Benilde-St. Margaret’s

Class AA Championship Game, 7:00 pm
#2 Edina vs. #4 Hill-Murray

All times are local time. 


 


3/7/08   

Minnesota State Tournament:
Semifinals

@ Xcel Energy Center; St. Paul, Minn. 
Fri. March 7, 2008  
Attendance, first session: 9,869
Attendance, second session: 19,559

Class AA Semifinals: 
 
Roseau Stunned by Hill-Murray, 6-2. 

The #1 seed Roseau Rams, 29-0 entering the game, will not be defending their state championship as they were stunned by Hill-Murray, 6-2.

Hill-Murray perfectly executed their game plan, knocking the quick, skilled Rams off their game right from the opening faceoff. The Pioneers played extremely physically, frustrating the Rams by denying them space. Every time a Roseau player touched the puck, a Hill-Murray player was right on him. And Roseau let it get to them.

As a result, Hill-Murray will face Edina for the state championship Saturday at 7:00 pm.

For Roseau, it’s a painful loss. This is not something they are accustomed to. For esxample, junior goaltender Mike Lee entered play tonight with a 42-0-0 high school record.

The winner tonight was 5’9” Hill-Murray senior Joe Phillippi, who was immense, kicking out 34 of 36 shots and playing a poised game from beginning to end.

Hill-Murray would probably have been happy to keep the game close to the final period, but instead found themselves up 3-0 early in the second period.

The Pioneers scored first on the power play, at 12:46 of the first, when Bo Dolan made a point-to-point pass to Jeff Westerhaus, who fired on net. The rebound came to junior Nick Widing, who banged it home to put the Pioneers up 1-0.

Just 1:40 later, Hill-Murray went up 2-0 when Dan Cecka carried the puck behind the Roseau net and got it out front to Isaac Kohls, whose shot rebounded out front. Ryan Furne converted it to give Hill-Murray a 2-0 lead with 3:14 left in the period.

Hill-Murray’s Kohls took a dumb penalty at the buzzer, cross-checking Aaron Ness from behind and putting Roseau on the power play to start the second period.

However, Hill-Murray killed off the penalty to Kohls and then, 41 seconds later, went up 3-0 when Kohls, from the left side held the puck as a streaking Dave Cascalenda broke to the net, then hit him with a perfect pass. Cascalenda fired it by Roseau junior goaltender Mike Lee to put his team up 3-0 at the 2:41 mark.

Down by three goals, Roseau got a power play opportunity and pressed hard, leading to a pair of short-handed breakaways by the Pioneers, the second of which was a particularly dangerous one by Kohls that required Lee to come up with a big save.

Roseau, increasingly frustrated with the physical pounding, began to retaliate. Ben Nelson, after getting cross-checked by Hill-Murray’s Jeff Westerhaus, body-slammed Westerhaus to the ice behind the Roseau net. So, what could have been a Rams power play was nullified, as matching minors were called.

Ness took a big hit with about four minutes left in the second period and was shook up, and favoring his shoulder.

Roseau gave a lift to their supporters when, 2:14 into the third, they were able to finally get on the board. Tyler Landman drew it back to Mike Koening at the left point. The defenseman’s shot was tipped in by Dustin Moser to make it a 3-1 game.

At 5:27 of the third, while on the power play, Roseau had a goal waived off when it was ruled that Moser had interfered with Phillippi. The replay was unambiguous. And to make matters worse for Roseau, Hill-Murray killed off the power play.

The Pioneers went up 4-1 when Ryan Furne, from deep in his own end, sent a long arcing pass to Dan Cecka, who picked it up in the neutral zone, skated in alone, and went to his backhand, putting it past Lee at the 14:27 mark.

A minute later, after Roseau had pulled their goaltender, Kohls scored into the empty net to give Hill-Murray a 5-1 lead.

With 44 seconds remaining in the game, Roseau’s Kevin Erickson tapped home a rebound to make it 5-2. Kohl then added another empty-netter – this one with 14 seconds left for the final margin of victory.

Hill-Murray’s Jeff Sonntag and Roseau’s Ryan Weston got into it a bit at the buzzer, and both were assessed matching roughing penalties.

And that’s it, Roseau will be playing in the third place game, facing off against Benilde-St. Margaret’s at 4:00 pm. Hill-Murray takes the ice against Edina at 7:00 pm. 


Edina Edged Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 5-4, in OT Thriller --

A Marshall Everson goal at 5:48 of overtime lifted Edina to a 5-4 win over Benilde-St. Margaret's in tonight's first semifinal. 

Edina will play the winner of the upcoming Roseau/Hill-Murray game in the state championship game on Saturday night at 7:00 pm CST.

This was the game of the tournament so far, a back and forth game that was taken to another level in the third period when, after Edina took an early 4-2 lead on a goal by junior defenseman Brendan Baker, Benilde came right back with a pair of goals 1:40 apart by Chris Student and Matthew Berglund.

From that point forward, the game entered a stretch of play that had both teams capping off countless rushes up and down the ice with great scoring opportunities that had 18,000 fans enveloping the Xcel Energy Center with great cresendoes of noise. 

We have another game coming up in minutes, so we can't enumerate every rush, but part of what made this game so gripping was the contrast in the two teams top units and the way the went at each other. Benilde's top line of seniors Blake Appelhof, Steven Zierke, and Matthew Berglund were buzzing all night and with offensive defenseman Chris Student pitching in managed to give Edina fits. Meanwhile, the Hornets bigger, stronger top line of Zach Budish, Anders Lee, and Marsh Everson -- along with small, quick Joe Gleason coming up behind -- forced Benilde to utilize all their muscle to keep them away from sophomore netminder Jacob Meyers. It wasn't easy, and Meyers had to coming up big on numerous occasions.

The winning goal came on a combination of skill and determination, as Lee, just inside the Red Knights' zone, got it across to Budish while Everson was heading for the net. Budish, as he so often does, got the puck to Everson, but the Harvard recruit had to jam, poke, and prod the puck over the line, which he did, to the delight of the Edina fans. 

Several minutes before the game-winner, Joe Gleason was winding it up in his end for an end-to-end-rush when he was tripped. On the ensuing power play, the Hornets buzzed the Benilde net, with Budish actually rolling a puck inches north of the goal line from one side of the crease to the other. Once the power play was killed and as both teams failed to cash in on all the tantalizingly close chances, it looked like the eight-minute OT period would come to an end, ice would get made, and we'd be into endless 17-minute sessions. But, a couple minutes before the game got to that point, Everson and company ended it, and sent the Hornets on to the title game.

Going back to the beginning,
Edina got on the board first when Benilde-St. Margaret’s normally sure-handed defenseman Chris Student failed to get a handle on a puck along the wall in his end and turned it over to Edina senior forward Matt Leer, who swooped in, picked up the puck, broke in alone on Benilde sophomore goaltender Jacob Meyers, and buried it short side for a 1-0 Hornets lead.

Benilde came back at 15:48 when senior forward Jonathan Holmers outmuscled an Edina defenseman at the end boards, and passed it across to Thomas Knauff, who sent it back to Holmers. Holmers banged it past Edina goaltender Derrick Caschetta to tie the game at 1-1.

Just 16 seconds later, Edina got it back, going up 2-1 when Joe Gleason unleashed a rocket from the left point that beat Meyers, top corner blocker side at 16:04. Jack Jorgensen and Marshall Everson picked up assists on the goal.

Benilde outshot Edina 9-8 in the period.

In the second period, Benilde did a great job using their quickness to pin Edina in for stretches of the period, while  Edina was able to use their size and strength to keep Benilde from getting second chances down low.

Edina went up 3-1 on the power play when Marsh Everson picked up the rebound of a Brendan Baker shot from the point, carried it around behind the net and pushed it out front onto the stick of linemate Zach Budish. Budish took several whacks at it and was finally able to get past Meyers, short side, at 4:54.

Benilde got a power play goal of their own to cut the Hornets lead to 3-2 when Steve Zierke picked up a bouncing puck out at the blue line and skated it back into the Edina end, beat a d-man, held it nicely and beat Caschetta went high glove side at 8:16.

Benilde had a 14-6 edge in shots in the second period. In the third, though, Edina defenseman Brendan Baker picked up a puck wedged against the boards just north of the left faceoff circle and wristed one in on net, beating Meyers far side at the 2:12 mark.

That woke up Benilde and, less than three minutes later, the Red Knights had tied it up, and sent the game into overtime.




FIRST SESSION:

Class A Semifinals:

Cadets, Hilltoppers Advance to Class A Title Game


St. Thomas Academy 9, St. Cloud Cathedral 2 (Final):
 

St. Thomas Academy scored 17 seconds into today’s semifinal, then took only three shots the rest of the period, and scored on two of them – a pair of strikes 24 seconds apart. Over the next two periods the Cadets added a half dozen more goals en route to a 9-2 shellacking of St. Cloud Cathedral.

St. Thomas Academy, the top seed in Class A, advances to Saturday’s Class A championship game against Duluth Marshall, 3-1 winners over Warroad, 3-1, in today’s first game.

The Cadets attack was led by four point efforts from sophomores Ryan Walters (2g,2a) and Christian Isackson (4a). Sophomore Noah Gavin (2g,1a), senior Conor Rooney (1g,2a) and sophomore Justin Crandall (1g,2a) each had three points. Senior forward James Saintey (1g,1a), and senior defensemen Rob Vannelli (1g,1a) and Jon Schreiner (1g,1a) each had two points.

Senior Stephen Rindelaub scored both of St. Cloud Cathedral’s goals.

On St. Thomas Academy’s first goal, at the 0:17 mark, Walters, at the end boards, slipped the puck to Saintey, who, stationed at the corner of the net, tucked it short side for the 1-0 lead.

Later in the period, STA struck for two quick ones. On the first, Saintey came down the right side, crossed the blue line and passed left to Walters, who snapped one home to make it 2-0. Then, before the Cadets’ cheering section had a chance to sit down, Isackson passed the puck out from the corner onto the stick of Schreiner, who was pinching down. 3-0, Cadets. 

In the second, STA amped up the attack, outshooting St. Cloud Cathedral 14-4 and outscoring them 4-1.

Isackson won a battle for the puck at the end boards and moved it out front to Crandall, who made it 4-0.

Isackson made a nice pass to Gavin. 5-0.

St. Cloud Cathedral got one on a nice individual effort by Rindelaub, who won a battle for a loose puck in the corner, stepped out over the goal line and beat STA sophomore goaltender Kurt Altrichter on a bad-angle shot.

STA came right back, with Gavin, from way out at the blue line whistling a 50-footer into the top far corner to make it 6-1.

STA added another on a nice passing sequence – defenseman Schreiner up to Walters who moved it over to Rooney. 7-1, Cadets. And that’s where the second period ended.

The third period was just a matter of playing out the clock. Just 20 seconds in St. Thomas made it 8-1 when, on the power play, Rob Vannelli rolled one in on St. Cloud sophomore goalie Nick Maiers, who let it bounce past him. Maiers, who was seriously crossed up on the shot from the blue line two goals earlier, was completely lost now, but would nonetheless stay in the game until the bitter end.

At 4:46, Rindelaub scored his second goal of the game for St. Cloud Cathedral. A little over a minute later, the Cadets got it back when Walters sniped one top shelf to make it 9-2 – and that’s where it ended, mercifully.

Notes:

-- It’s an impressive site seeing all the Cadets from STA, in their military finest, filling up a whole section. It’s like watching the Army-Navy football game. They are loud too -- every student in the school clearly is off for the afternoon.

-- In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune yesterday, columnist John Millea points out that, of the 16 teams competing in the tournament, those with the five largest enrollments are in Class AA, which is as it should be. However, the next three schools, in order of enrollment, are Litchfield, Mankato West, and St. Thomas Academy, all of which compete in Class A. The first two schools have a long, long way to go before they can even think about opting up to Class AA. However, as Millea argues, St. Thomas  Academy, which has made four straight appearances here and is playing on a significantly higher level than any other team, is already there. During the regular season, 13 of their 25 games came against Class AA opponents, and they won most of them, finishing the season with a 23-5 overall record. The Cadets are, to these eyes, a AA team playing down. They should win tomorrow’s title game pretty handily. If they don’t – and we don’t want to take anything away from Duluth Marshall – it will be an upset of epic proportions. 

 

Duluth Marshall 3, Warroad 1 (Final):

Duluth Marshall, behind a pair of goals from junior RW Zach Mausolf and a 33-save performance by junior Willie Paul, topped Warroad, 3-1 here this morning.

Warroad outshot Marshall in every period, but had a hard time solving Paul. Shots in the game were 34-19 in favor of favor of the Warriors.

Marshall advances to Saturday’s Class A championship game against the winner of the upcoming St. Thomas Academy/St. Cloud Cathedral semifinal.

Marshall got on the board first when, at 11:46 of the first, senior Tom Paine won a 1-on-1 battle for a loose puck in the high slot and quickly snapped the puck on net, catching Warroad goalie Jared Paquin by surprise.

Marshall’s next two goals were scored by Mausolf. On the first goal, early in the second period, senior ddefenseman Dano Jacques did the heavy lifting, carrying the puck into the  zone, curling behind the net, and putting it on the stick of Mausolf, five feet in front. On the second goal, which came just 15 seconds into the third, Mausolf scored off a Warroad defensive zone TO.
 
Warroad made it 3-1 late, with senior Jeremy Hahn skating the puck out of the corner and sliding it across the top of the crease to linemate Dane Shaugabay, who shot it over the outstretched glove of Marshall’s Paul. 

Notes:

Mausolf, along with linemate David Hafferty, and senior defenseman Jacques, were the skaters who stood out for Marshall today. As mentioned above, 5’9” Paul came up huge in goal.

For Warroad, their top line -- LW Jeremy Hahn, senior C Bryce Ravndalen, and junior RW Shaugabay stood out from the start.  6’2” senior D Mark McDonald was solid again for Warroad, although he was the d-man whose turnover resulted in the final Marshall goal.

 
Today’s Schedule/Resuls from the Xcel Energy Center:

Class A Semifinals:
#2 Duluth Marshall 3, #3 Warroad 1, 11:00 am
#1 St. Thomas Academy 9, #4 St. Cloud Cathedral 2 , 1:00 pm

Class AA Semifinals:
#2 Edina 5, #3 Benilde-St. Margaret’s 4 (OT), 6:00 pm
#4 Hill-Murray 6, #1 Roseau 2, 8:00 pm

All times are local time. 


3/6/08

Minnesota State Tournament
Class AA Quarterfinals

@ Xcel Energy Center; St. Paul, Minn. 
Thurs. March 6, 2008 
Attendance, first session: 16,258
Attendance, evening session, 17,621

EVENING SESSION:

#4 Hill-Murray 3, Lakeville South 0 (Final)

This was the mismatch of the day, with Lakeville South, just .500 in regular season but winning their section, facing off against 24-3-1 Hill-Murray.

But Lakeville South made the Pioneers work, and at times threatened to make it a game.

In the end, though, Hill-Murray was too good.

The Pioneers were slow asserting themselves, but they eventually did, and, with three minutes left in the first period, captain Ryan Furne picked up a loose puck in the slot and wristed one far corner past Lakeville South 5’8” senior goaltender Hakan Yumusaklar to give Hill-Murray a 1-0 lead, which is where things stood after one.

In the second, Lakeville South – the Cougars -- came out hard, put on pressure, and carried the play early, but then, just like that, the play turned the other way, and Hill-Murray senior forward Dan Cecka came hard down the left side and let one rip inside the far post to make it 2-0.

Hill-Murray made it 3-0 late in the period when junior Tyler Zepeda fought through a check below the goal line and got out front to Furne who, from point blank range, didn’t miss. That was it. There was no scoring in the third period. Not a lot of excitement either.

The key to the game was the shutout work of Hill-Murray’s 5’9” senior Joe Phillippi, who kicked out all 18 shots he faced. Yumusaklar, his counterpart on Lakeville South, was also very good, kicking out 28 of 31 shots. The three he did let in were tough chances.

Hill-Murray doesn’t have any lights-out forwards, but they do have two lines worth of  good, solid players. The seniors – 5’11” Cecka and 6’1” Furne – were consistently noticeable. Several junior forwards stood out as well – 5’9” Isaac Kohls, 5’11” Nick Widing, and Zepeda, who is 5’9”. On the blue line, both seniors, 6’3” Dan Sova and 5’11” Bo Dolan, were solid.

For Lakeville South, 6’1” senior RW Bill Simon worked hard – the whole team did, actually. And 6’0” freshman RW Drew Brevig is someone we’ll be keeping on our list.  

Hill-Murray will face Roseau in the semis Friday night at 8:00 pm.


#1 Roseau 8, Blaine 2 (Final)

The #1 Roseau Rams (28-0, with a 41 game undefeated streak), featuring star defenseman Aaron Ness, began their title defense with a convincing 8-2 win over Blaine.

Senior center Tyler Landman had four goals -- one on the power play, one short-handed, and two even strength. He also had two assists. Senior Ben Nelson (1g,4a) had a five-point night while Ness (2g,2a) had four.

It was a rough night for Blaine, but they just ran into a buzzsaw. Senior linemates Ryan Johnson and Steffen Hansen played well for the Bengals. 5'11" freshman winger Nick Bjugstad, a nephew of Scott Bjugstad, is a player to keep an eye on. He's a '92 and will be at the NTDP evaluation camp later this month.  

Now, to the game. Roseau went up 1-0 at 6:16 of the first, Tyler Landman tipped home a shot from the left point by Ben Nelson. Nick Oliver also picked up an assist on the goal.

A little over two minutes later, Ness, a junior who's accelerating and will play for the Gophers in the fall, picked off an errant pass just outside the Blaine end, skated it over the blue line, slipped easily past the forward covering up high, then held it…just long enough. The second defender went down onto the ice, and then Blaine goaltender Danny Harper followed suit by prostrating himself on the ice as well. Ness, as easy as you like, then fired the puck into the empty net at 8:26. Unassisted goal. ESPN play off the day? It gets our vote. 

At 11:35, with the teams skating 4x3, Ness sent a pass across to Ben Nelson, who drove home a shot from the point to make it 3-0 Roseau.
 
Roseau went up 4-0 just 57 seconds into the second period when Landman curled from the far hash marks, around the lower radius of the left faceoff circle and kept going for the net, releasing a backhander that eluded Harper’s outstretched glove hand. Hat trick for Landman.

At the next whistle Brent Hollerud replaced Harper in the Blaine net.

Ness scored his second goal of the game, a power play tally, when he sent a pass down to Landman at the top of the right faceoff circle. Landman sent it right back to Ness, who shot through a screen, right into the far top corner of the net, stick side to make it 5-0.

Ben Nelson put Roseau up 6-0 when he knocked home the rebound of a shot from the point by Ryan Weston at 12:14.

Blaine finally got on the board when defenseman Tony Larson, at the left point, fired a shot that rebounded out to Ryan Johnson at the far side of the net. Johnson fired it back at the net, short side, to cut the Roseau lead to 6-1.

In the third period, Roseau's Adam Krochenmus scored from the left side of the net, about 7' out, slipping one short side to make it 7-1.

Blaine scored a power play goal at 12:01 as Hansen cut across the slot and lifted a backhander by Lee to make it a 7-2 game. 

Landeman scored shorthanded with 2:05 left, outracing a Blaine player to the puck in the neutral zone, cutting in hard the net, and jammed it home to make it 8-2.

The Rams will meet the winner of the Hill-Murray/Lakeville South game Friday night at 8:00 pm.



MORNING/AFTERNOON SESSION: 

#3 Benilde-St. Margaret’s 4, Woodbury 1 -- 

Benilde dominated this one territorially, outshooting Woodbury 46-21, but Woodbury senior goaltender Brandon Wigan was outstanding, kicking out 42 shots to keep his team in the game before Benilde salted it away with an empty netter and an even-strength goal in the final minute to account for the final 4-1 score.

First, a look at Benilde. Their foundation of their offense is 5’9” senior RD Chris Student, a pure puck-moving defenseman. Student, a Northeastern recruit, moves it to the three kids on his team’s top line – 5’9 senior LW Blake Appelhof, 5’10” senior RC Steve Zierke, and 5’10” RW Matt Bergland – who buzz and will shoot it every chance they get, particularly Zierke and Bergland, who combined for over twenty shots. Benilde also got nice contributions from a couple of ‘92s – sophomore goalie 5’11” Jacob Meyers, who stopped 20 of 21 shots and stood up to the pressure late; and 5’10” freshman LD Patrick Daly.

Woodbury doesn’t have the depth of Benilde. Their offense is built around senior center David Eddy, who tries to do a lot by himself, always going 1-on-1 but, lacking speed, would often get broken up, leading to odd-man rushes the other way. However, dishing it off might not have been particularly productive, either. The star for Woodbury was the goalie. He kept them in the game, and, particularly late, the team rallied around him, worked hard, and made things interesting.

The first period today was lackluster and tentative, with Benilde going into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead on a Bergland goal.

In the second, Benilde came out and just overwhelmed Woodbury, outshooting them 19-3 but only getting one goal out of it, That was at the 12:25 mark, when fourth line center James McCormick took a shot that rebounded to Jonathan Holmers who buried it for the 2-0 lead. And that’s where things stood after two. 

Benilde started the third with a 5-on-3 powerplay, but couldn’t do anything with it. Tired, perhaps, from all those shots they took in the second? At any rate, shortly afterward, they started getting careless in their own end, allowing Woodbury to get some whacks at the puck down low. Benilde head coach Ken Pauly took a timeout with 12:30 remaining in the period just to settle down his players.

Woodbury kept working, though, and finally broke through at 9:54, with Eddy converting a rebound of a Walker Hyland shot from the left point. Woodbury didn't stop there, though, and, with 2:13 remaining, Benilde’s Pat Borer was called for a cross check. Early in the power play, Woodbury had a couple chances to tie it up, but couldn’t cash in. Finally, they pulled their goalie to go for the 6x4, but Benilde’s Jon Grupa got the empty-netter to salt it away. Benilde’s Appelhof  added another goal with one second left for the final 4-1 margin of victory.

Woodbury’s Eddy was given a major for a cross-check at the final buzzer.

Benilde will face Edina in the first Class AA semifinal Friday night. Faceoff is 6:00 pm local time.


#2 Edina 5, Cloquet 0 (Final) --  

Edina 5'8" senior RD Joe Gleason scored a pair of goals off electrifying rushes and senior goaltender Derrick Caschetta picked up the shutout on 27 saves as Edina blanked Cloquet, 5-0 in front of a packed house here today.

Edina, which was simply too deep, too big, and too talented for Cloquet, got -- in addition to Gleason -- strong performances from 6'2" junior forward Marshall Everson, a Harvard recruit, and his center, 6'4" Zach Budish. Those two have been playing together for years, and it shows. Everson and Budish had a hand in the three remaining Edina goals, with the latter scoring a pair. Everson's younger brother, LD Max Everson, a '93, showed a lot of poise for his age, and will be a player to watch going forward.      

For Cloquet, 6'1" defensman David Brown was a standout, playing well in his end while chipping in nicely at the other end. 6'4" senior center Justin Jokinen was hard to miss -- big, skilled, but a little perimeter perhaps. 5'9" senior LW Adam Boleman just worked hard.

Gleason, a North Dakota recruit, put Edina on the scoreboard first, scoring on a end-to-end rush at 9:01 of the first. Gleason picked up the puck behind his own net, cleaning beat two defenders on his route up-ice and then went five-hole on Cloquet goaltender Aaron Baker to give the Hornets the 1-0 lead.

In the second, Cloquet came to life, pressuring early, and keeping Edina from getting anything going for the first half of the period. Caschetta, the Edina goaltender, had to come up big, stopping a stuff attempt at the end of a give-and-go -- the puck was on the line, but did not cross. Edina went up 2-0 when junior RW Connor Gaarden curled out from the corner and from the high slot fired a 40' wrister that beat Baker high glove side at 11:36.

The Hornets made it 3-0 with 19 seconds left in the period, on a shorthanded goal. Budish drifted down the right side on a 2-on-1, glanced left to Everson to get the goalie moving, and then fired it short side. 

Gleason struck again in the third, carrying the puck from just inside his blue line, blowing past a defender in the neutral zone, then another in the right faceoff circle, and finally cutting back inside and lifting a backhander past Baker to make it 4-0.

Edina added another when sophomore Blake Chapman picked up the puck off the end boards, made a five-foot pass to Budish, who made his own five-foot pass to Everson in the slot. Everson buried it to make it 5-0 with 2:53 left.  
 

Today’s Schedule/Results (all times CST):
#2 Edina 5, Cloquet 0, 11:00 am
#3 Benilde-St. Margaret’s 4, Woodbury 1, 1:00 pm
#1 Roseau 8, Blaine 2, 6:00 pm
#4 Hill-Murray 3, Lakeville South 0, 8:00 pm


3/5/08

Minnesota State Tournament
Class A Quarterfinals

@ Xcel Energy Center; St. Paul, Minn.
Wed. March 5, 2008

Class A Quarterfinal: #1 St. Cloud Cathedral 3, Blake 1 –

St. Cloud Cathedral got goals from three different players and sophomore goaltender Nick Maiers kicked out 13 of 14 shots to lead his team to a 3-1 win over Blake and a berth in Friday’s semifinal against St. Thomas Academy,

This game was distinctly slower paced than any other game here today. After an extremely lackluster first period, the game picked up a bit in the second. St. Cloud Cathedral went up 1-0 when forward Evan Quist fell behind the Blake net but had the presence of mind to tap it to linemate Jordan Palusky, who curled out front and roofed it – nice shot – to put Cathedral on the board at the 11:30 mark.  Less than a minute later, Cathedral went up 2-0 when Stephen Rindelaub deflected a Joe Nessler point shot past Blake goalie Peter Johnson at the 12:21 mark. 

At the 2:35 mark of the third, Cathedral sophomore Kyle Kudak neatly turned a Blake d-man and fired a nice shot short side to make it 3-0.

With 3:36 remaining Blake forward Jack Barnes, an Army recruit, carried the puck into the Cathedral end down the left side and centered a pass to University of Minnesota recruit Josh Birkholz, who had been a non-factor for Blake up to that moment. He buried a four-foot shot to make it a 3-1 game.

Big Cathedral defenseman Nate Schmidt, a sophomore and also a Gopher recruit, was noticeable, but mistake prone.

 

Class A Quarterfinal: #1 St. Thomas Academy 5, Little Falls 3 –

Highly entertaining game. #1 seed St. Thomas scored a pair in the first five minutes of the game to go up 2-0, then Little Falls came back with a pair of their own before the end of the period. After that the two teams swapped goals before St. Thomas put it away with a pair in the third.

5’11” sophomore center Ryan Walters had a hat trick for St. Thomas Academy, which, by the way, is the only all-male/ROTC/parochial school in the state – and it’s quite the sight seeing a couple hundred students in full voice and cadets’ uniforms to boot. Walters, a ’91, is a known commodity, and he was on his game tonight. Others who stood out included 6’0” senior LD Jon Scheiner, 5’9” freshman RW A.J. Reid, 5’10’ sophomore C Christian Isackson, 5’9” senior LW James Saintey, 5’8” senior RW Conor Rooney, and 5’11 senior RD Rob Vannelli. We saw flashes from 5’9” freshman Zach Schoeder (younger brother of Justin Schoeder).  

For Little Falls, St. Cloud State recruit Ben Hanowski, who had a pair of goals, was a force all night. The school lost Jared Festler to the USHL after last season, and Hanowski is graduating this spring… it might be a while before they have it this good again.   

Not surprisingly, the pace of this one was distinctly faster, and the skill level higher, than the games in the morning session. And the first period was wild. St. Thomas Academy went up 1-0 on the power play when a centering pass by the sophomore, Isackson, went off the skate of a Little Falls d-man and into the net. Several minutes later, Cadets’ defenseman Schreiner came down the left side and made a nice pass across the top of the crease to Walters who knocked it into the open net at 4:03.  Little Falls then came back with a pair as senior center Zac Laird took it end to end, and rolled it in on STA sophomore goaltender Kurt Altrichter. The puck rebounded out – a bad rebound -- to Ben Nelson, who buried it. Shortly afterward, Schroeder picked up a TO in the neutral zone and had a breakaway, but Little Falls junior goalie Michael Sprel stuffed him. Little Falls tied it at 2-2 on a big-time goal by Hanowski, who picked up a puck flatfooted on the half wall, carried it to the net, and rolled it in past the outstretched glove of Altrichter, who looked shaky in the first.

In the second Hanowksi was awarded a penalty shot, but was stuffed by Sperl. Shortly afterward, St. Thomas Academy took a 3-2 lead on a beautiful passing sequence from  Rooney on the left across to Vannelli on the right and back to the slot where Walters buried it for his second of the game at the 14:55 mark. A picture-perfect goal.       

In the third, things got wild again, with Little Falls tying it up at 3-3 when Hanowski scored his second of the game at the 5:04 mark, just driving to the net, and putting a nice move on Altrichter, who stayed with him and looked like he had a chance on it, but lost the handle.

St. Thomas came right back and took the lead at 7:44 when, on the power play, Walters notched his third of the game, a 35-40 foot shot that eluded Sperl. 

The Cadets got an insurance goal at 10:25 to make it 5-3 when senior James Saintey drove hard to the net, holding off a defender, and, as he tried to put it on net, it deflected in off a Little Falls defenseman.

St. Thomas will play the winner of the upcoming St. Cloud Cathedral-Blake game Friday at 1:00 pm.



Class A Quarterfinal: #3 Warroad 4, Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato 0 --

Litchfield finished the season fifth in a six-team conference with a losing record (12-14-2) and was making their first appearance here. #3 Warroad (22-6-0) has been here 18 times before.

This game had all the earmarks of a blowout from the opening faceoff and, shot-wise, it was – Warroad had the edge, 39-10 -- but on the scoreboard it was just a very decisive 4-0 win.

Warroad’s top line of senior LW Jeremy Hahn, senior C Bryce Ravndalen, and junior RW Dane Shaugabay stood out from the start.  

Warroad went up 2-0 in the first, as Hahn scored on a nice redirect from the slot and, in the final minute of the period, senior Ravndalen split the D with a great move, put a little deke on the Litchfield goalie and buried it. Early in the second, 6’2” senior D Mark McDonald scored on a blast from the point to make it 3-0. In the final minute of the third, 6’4” sophomore C Brock Nelson scored on a tip-in.

Warroad forward Andy Pelland hurt himself while making an open ice hit in the second period and didn’t return for the remainder of the game.

Warroad will play Duluth Marshall in a semifinal on Friday (11:00 am).


Class A Quarterfinal: Duluth Marshall 2, Mankato West 1

Duluth Marshall, which has reached the Class A final for the past two seasons, took a first step toward getting back there with a 2-1 win over Mankato West.

The winning goal, off the stick of junior Pat Mahoney, came on the power play at 1:39 of the third period. Mahoney, strong on draws, centered Marshall’s top line, which had senior David Hafferty on the left, and junior Zach Mausoff on the right. That line, along with senior D Dano Jacques, stood out.

For Mankato West, 6’1” senior center Corey Lievermann, a Mankato State recruit, was very noticeable, as was 5’10” senior wing Ricky Litchfield, 6’0” junior RW Andrew Bruggeman, and 5’8” senior center Ryan Anderson.

Mankato West 5’10” goaltender Tyler Bruggeman, an 11th grader, was excellent in a losing cause, kicking out 31 of 33 shots. Duluth Marshall goaltender Willie Paul was also very good, kicking out 20 of 21 shots.

Mankato West was making its first-ever tournament appearance. The big difference: they didn't have the depth of Marshall. They played well, though, and Bruggeman gave them a chance. A high sticking penalty with 1:52 left meant Mankato was only able to play 5x5 after pulling the goalie for the extra attacker, but still had a couple decent chances to tie it up. 


Note:

We should mention that a new feature of the Minnesota State Tournament is a seeding process. In the past, sectional winners simply played each other in a rotation. However, with that system, top teams sometimes wound up facing each other in the quarterfinals. The 16 head coaches in the tournament seed the top four teams in each division. Their opponents are selected by blind draw.

Class A Seeds:

1. St. Thomas Academy
2. Duluth Marshall
3. Warroad
4. St. Cloud Cathedral

Class AA Seeds:

1. Roseau
2. Edina
3. Benilde-St.Margaret's
4. Hill-Murray

Thursdays Schedule -- Class AA Quarterfinals.

11:00 am CST -- Edina vs. Cloquet
1:00 pm CST -- Benilde vs. Woodbury
6:00 pm CST -- Roseau vs. Blaine
8:00 pm -- Hill-Murray vs. Lakeville South



3/04/08


Cross, Goggin Head West

Westminster School 6’3” senior defenseman Tommy Cross flew out to Columbus, Ohio and will suit up this weekend for the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets (USHL) who are hosting Sioux City for a pair.

After that Cross, a BC recruit and a Boston Bruins second round draft choice, will play seven more league games before Westminster starts back up for the spring semester.


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Choate 6’0” junior forward  Mark Goggin is out in Ann Arbor and will be playing for both the Under-17 and Under-18 Team, as needed.

The idea is for the program to get a sense of what he can do, and prepare him for inclusion on the World Under-Under-18 roster in April.

The feeling this year is that the kids in Ann Arbor aren’t good enough to give the U.S. a chance at a medal at the World Under-18s, so look for a big transfusion of new blood on the team.

Goggin played for the Under-17 Team in tonight’s 1-0 overtime loss to Traverse City (NAHL).


  


3/3/08

EJHL Semifinals Coming Up

Here are the seedings for the EJHL semifinals, this Sat.-Sun. March 8-9 at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass. With Syracuse, previously a #3 seed, knocked out by #6 seed South Shore Kings over the weekend, the new seedings look like this:

1. Jersey Hitmen
2. NH Jr. Monarchs
3. Junior Bruins
4. South Shore Kings

And here’s this weekend’s schedule:

Sat. March 8:
1:40 pm: Monarchs vs. Junior Bruins
4:40 pm: Hitmen vs. South Shore Kings

Sun. March 9:
12:10 pm -- Hitmen vs. South Shore Kings
3:10 pm -- Monarchs vs. Junior Bruins

How They Got There:

EJHL Quarterfinals Results

Sat. March 1:
Bay State 4, Monarchs 0
Bruins 4, Bridgewater 2
Hitmen 6, Huskies 2
Syracuse 3, South Shore 2

Sun. March 2:
South Shore 6, Syracuse 3 – South Shore wins mini-game to advance
Hitmen 5, Huskies 4 – Hitmen sweep series, 2-0
Monarchs 7, Bay State 0 – Monarchs win mini-game to advance
Bruins 6, Bridgewater 2 – Bruins sweep series, 2-0


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Empire League Quarters On Tap as Well

The Empire League’s National Conference will also be in action this weekend in Marlborough, playing their quarterfinal series on Rink 2 at the same time the EJHL semis are being played on rink 1. There will be a lot of action out there in the shadow of Route 495.


Empire League National Conference:
Best-of-3 series with mini-game (if necessary)

Sat. March 8:
2:20 pm: #1 Junior Bruins vs. #6 Fitchburg Huskies
5:20 PM: #2 NH Jr. Monarchs vs. #4 South Shore Kings

Sun. March 9:
12:50 pm: #1 Junior Bruins vs. #6 Fitchburg Huskies
3:50 pm: #2 NH Jr. Monarchs vs. #4 South Shore Kings
*Mini games would directly follow

Here is the other conference. They take place at the higher seed.

Empire League American Conference:

Sat. March 8:
5:00 pm: #1 Maksymum vs. #6 Syracuse Stars (@ Rochester)
7:10 pm: #2 Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins vs. #4 Jersey Wildcats (@ Pittsburgh)

Sun. March 9:
10:00 am: #1 Maksymum vs. #6 Syracuse Stars (@ Rochester)
11:30 am: #2 Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins vs. #4 Jersey Wildcats (@ Pittsburgh)
*Mini games would directly follow

The winners of all four series advance to the Empire Final Four at the New England Sports Center Fri.-Sun. March 4-16. The Empire Final Four is a round-robin series with the two teams with the best record meeting Sunday afternoon in the championship game. 


 


3/2/08

Championship Sunday

Please check back for updates.

10:30 am Division II Final:
Middlesex vs. Governors

12:30 pm Division I Final:
Nobles vs. Hotchkiss


 


3/2/08

Avon Wins Seventh Div. I Title

A rebound goal off the stick of Avon senior forward Ricky Longobardi at 5:24 of overtime gave Avon Old Farms a 3-2 win over St. Paul’s for the New England prep title in front of packed house at the Icenter in Salem this afternoon.

The win gave Avon, and coach John Gardner, its seventh Div. I crown, and fourth in the last five years.

For a full account please check the USHR March Prep News.


  

3/1/08

A Team of His Own

Three years ago, Brockton, Mass. native Bobby Kinsella headed west, having parlayed his doggedness as a scout into a position as assistant coach/director of scouting and recruiting for the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL).

Now, after the current season, he’s returning back home as coach/GM of the Boston Jr. Rangers, an independent Midget AAA squad that will play out of the Mark Bavis Arena in Rockland.

Kinsella, 33, says that, in his new position, he plans to use the same philosophy as that which he operated under in the USHL, that is, “find kids, develop them, and move them on to the next level.”

“I’ve watched hockey from Maine to Alaska and I think there is a real need for top midget AAA programs,” he said. “Right now, there are way too many 15-16 year olds playing juniors. These are kids who are skilled enough, but physically are not ready to be playing against 18-19 year olds. Everyone is in such a rush to get to juniors right now. In the USHL, though, a lot of the best young skilled players are coming out of midgets.”

“I never heard a single kid complain that he spent a year too many in midgets,” Kinsella adds. “But I did hear kids complain that they had gone off to juniors too early.”

Through his USHL work, Kinsella knows what top-level prospects look like – Sioux City has had a couple of first rounders in the NHL draft during his time with the organization, and the organization has also sent scores of  players on to Div. I play. Kinsella is detailed and organized, has developed a network of contacts, and expects to tap them for players. He envisions a blend of national players – they’ll have billets – and Boston area players.

Kinsella knows what he’s looking for. “I want kids who want to come in and compete, kids who want to get better and then move on to juniors, college, and pro hockey,” he said.

Kinsella will be working with Matt Smith, who owns the team and will serve as associate head coach and assistant general manager. Smith, a former Catholic Memorial defenseman who went west to the University of Wisconsin for a year before leaving for juniors, is currently a CM assistant. He also coached those powerful South Shore Dynamo teams of a few years back, and has worked as a part-time scout for the New York Islanders.

The Jr. Rangers, who will be affiliated with Global Hockey, will be operating in the same sphere as Tim Lovell’s Boston Advantage AAA Midget Team, also an independent. The Jr. Rangers will be hosting a tournament at the new Dedham Ice Arena in December. They are aiming for a 60-70 game schedule against not just midget AAA teams, but also prep schools (Kinsella played at New Hampton), and junior teams. They will also be traveling to a number of the top midget tournaments.

Tryouts will be in late April.

Their website is www.jrrangers.com


 


3/1/08

Vermont Looks to Sweden Again

Swedish sophomore forward Viktor Stalberg has been one of Vermont’s top forwards all season, so the Catamount coaches, looking again to Sweden, have secured a verbal commitment from 5’9”, 179 lb. RW Tobias Nilsson-Roos, who plays for the Malmo Red Hawks of the J20 SuperElit. (That’s Sweden’s top junior league, the same league in which Stalberg, a Toronto draft pick, was playing two years ago. Nilsson-Roos’ numbers – a league-leading 32 goals in 38 games to date -- are actually slightly better than Stalberg’s were at this point two seasons ago.)

Maine was the other school in the hunt for Nilsson-Roos. (His current teammate, Gustav Nyqvist, has committed to Maine.)

 Nilsson-Roos is a 3/27/88 birthdate. He is reported to have good skills and hockey sense, and a quick release to his shot. His defensive game needs to be refined -- and he has time to do that as he won’t be arriving on the shores of Lake Champlain until the fall of ’09.


 


3/1/08

On to the Xcel Center

The last of the sectional championship games were completed last night in Minnesota, and the winners are moving on to the state tournament, which gets underway at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Wednesday (Class A) and Thursday (Class AA) and continues through next Saturday. We’ll be there to bring you coverage.

Here are the sectional title game results:

Class AA:

1AA – Lakeville South 3, Lakeville North 0
2AA – Edina 4, Burnsville 3
3AA -- Woodbury 8, Rosemount 2
4AA -- Hill-Murray 2, White Bear Lake 1
5AA -- Blaine 6, Centennial 1
6AA -- Benilde-St. Margaret’s 3, Minnetonka 2
7AA -- Cloquet 3, Anoka 2
8AA -- Roseau 6, Moorhead 1

Class A:

1A -- Mankato West 3, Rochester Lourdes 1
2A -- Blake 5, Breck 2
3A -- Litchfield 3, New Ulm 1
4A -- St. Thomas Academy 3, South St. Paul 0
5A -- St. Cloud Cathedral 3, Duluth Denfield 1
6A -- Little Falls 5, Alexandria 2
7A -- Duluth Marshall 4, Hibbing 3
8A --Warroad 2, East Grand Forks 0
 


3/1/08

The Sons of Ethan Allen

If it appears that some of the St. Paul’s School players have been playing with each other all their lives, you’re right on the money.

Of the six Vermonters on the team, four key players – the whole top line and the top d-man – are Burlington area natives who all came up through the Chittenden-South Burlington youth proram.

Winger Ben Albertson and center Jason Bourgea, both ‘89s, have played together since mites – this is their 12th straight season as linemates. The other winger on St. Paul’s top line, junior Alex Davidson, is a year younger – he’s a ’90 -- so while he also came up through Chittenden-South Burlington Youth Hockey Program he can’t claim the same number of uninterrupted years.

Top defenseman Mike Daly and Bourgea live on the same street in South Burlington, Butler Drive. The two families houses are diagonally across from each other. South Kent might be on the lookout from diagonal Daly to Bourgea passes through center ice this afternoon.

Alas, Daly’s defensive partner, Cheyne Rocha, is from Rye, New Hampshire. And #1 goaltender Andrew Peabody is from Marblehead, Mass. Their consolation? They live on the Atlantic Ocean, which Vermonters tend to think of as Lake Champlain with some salt   thrown in.

The Vermont connection appears to have started with three members of the St. Paul’s class of ’02 – forwards Kevin Child, Colin Koch, and Adam Dann (now an assistant coach at Hotchkiss). Later, goaltender Tyler O’Brien and defenseman Peter Child, Kevin’s younger brother, came along. 

The Child brothers are the sons of former University of Vermont defenseman Ted Child, ’74. Colin Koch is the son of the late Randy Koch, a star forward for the Catamounts from 1974-78.


Around the Rinks

With Justin Hryckowian and Nick Capone taking their senior seasons in the USHL, classmate and UVM recruit Lucas Mercuri is Salisbury's leading returni
With Justin Hryckowian and Nick Capone taking their senior seasons in the USHL, classmate and UVM recruit Lucas Mercuri is Salisbury's leading returning scorer. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)
 
Kent's Aidan Cobb, now a senior, committed to Cornell after helping lead Kent to the Large School Championship last March.
Kent's Aidan Cobb, now a senior, committed to Cornell after helping lead Kent to the Large School Championship last March. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)