The Bottom of the Barrel?The Eastern Professional Hockey League, which has the potential to be the worst minor pro hockey league the U.S. has ever seen, begins play on Saturday with games in Danbury, Conn. and West Orange, NJ.
We admit it, we’re curious. You could even say we’re bullish on this league. Our platform in this election season revolves around -- what else? -- job creation. And when you can take a group largely made up of former Div. III players, add in a handful of ex-Div. I players and, for good measure, a few guys we’ve seen on Apple Core rosters over the years and give them all employment, well, things just have to be looking up, right?
And let’s not forget the one and only Billy Tibbetts, who's tough to sum up in a paragraph. A 34-year-old forward for Danbury, Tibbetts is a Scituate, Mass. native and former prep school player who spent four years in the Massachusetts State Prison in Walpole (sorry, make that Cedar Junction) for shooting a man with a BB gun while serving a suspended sentence for the rape of a 15-year-old girl at a party. Following his release in 2000, Tibbetts fashioned an erratic NHL career as an enforcer with three NHL teams, and attempted to make it a fourth by earning a spot on the reality TV show “Be a Bruin.” (Only in Boston, right?) Tibbetts might have actually pulled it off, too, but Mike O’Connell, then Boston’s GM, managed to keep his wits about him. Since then, Tibbetts has mostly been wandering through the forest of minor pro hockey. Fourteen months ago, in August 2007, he landed back in the news for leading a Mass state trooper on a high-speed chase through the South Shore, finally crashing his 2007 BMW into a telephone pole in the town of Abington, where he was apprehended hiding in someone's back yard . A few months later, he signed on with a team in the Swiss pro league.
Now, American fans, instead of paying to put up Tibbetts in the Big House, can again pay to see him play hockey – he could lead the league in both scoring and penalty minutes. For all we know, Tibbetts might actually be viewing the league as a stepping stone back to the show, or at least the AHL.
But who will last longer – Tibbetts or the league? Two teams have already dropped out -- the New Hampshire Freeze (Exeter, NH) and the Copper City Chiefs (Rome, NY). That means it’s a four-team loop. It looks like the Hudson Valley Bears, the Danbury Mad Hatters, the Jersey Rockhoppers, and the Brooklyn Aces will get to know each other quite well.
Danbury, buy the way, is coached by former University of Maine defenseman Dave MacIsaac, who played for the Danbury Trashers of the United Hockey League. The Trashers, you may recall, were owned by Danbury trash hauler James Galante, who was sent to the pen after a mob-connected conspiracy to control the region’s trash hauling industry was broken up during the ‘06-07 season. Galante, who once punched out a referee after a Trashers game, was forced to shut down the team on the spot.
That haul netted the feds 29 others including former Waterbury, Conn. mayor Joseph Santopietro, who was arrested for racketeering, and Todd Stirling, a Plymouth, Mass. native and the coach of the Danbury Trashers. Stirling, the son of Steve Stirling, was charged with one count of wire fraud for signing fraudulent salary cap reports and faxing them on to the UHL office. The Trashers, it seems, were circumventing the league's $250,000 salary cap by giving players and their wives/girlfriends under-the-table payments and no-show jobs with one of the seven trash hauling companies owned by Galante. The Trashers payroll was roughly three times the league salary cap.
Just last week the government’s case against Stirling was settled. He received probation.
Box Score of the MonthWe’ve never before had a Box Score of the Month (and we might never again), but this one is too good to go unremarked upon.
On Saturday night Oct. 11th in front of 714 fans (that was the announced figure) at the Edge Arena in Bensenville, Ill., the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, trailing 6-2 with less than ten minutes to play, scored five straight goals in a span of 4:15 to take a 7-6 road win from the Chicago Steel.
Every one of the those five Green Bay goals – three straight by Michael Forney sandwiched around a pair by William Rapuzzi – came as a result of being on a 5-on-3 power play for pretty much all of the games final 10 minutes.
So what happened?
Basically, two incidents – or, to be precise, two separate groups of incidents, 12 seconds apart. The first, at 9:55 of the third, was a line brawl which appears to have started when Green Bay’s 5’10”, 188 lb. forward C.J. Lee got tangled up with 6’2”, 185 lb. Chicago defenseman Max Nicastro. Lee, though, slipped out of that matchup and into one against 5”10”, 175 lb. Chicago defenseman Brett Kostolansky, a fight the rookie wanted no part of and, not surprisingly, came out on the wrong side of. In all, four players from each side brawled and went to the box.
Twelve seconds after that mess was sorted out, at the 10:07 mark, the two teams lined up for the draw and Chicago’s 6’3”, 225 lb. forward Ryan Schnell set out to exact revenge on the Gamblers, cross-checking and slashing right off the faceoff and then jumping 5’9”, 182 lb. Gamblers defenseman Chris Saracino, lifting him up and driving him into the ice (which would result in an attempt to injure match penalty).
Meanwhile, Schnell’s teammate, 6’3”, 185 lb. forward Alex Simonson, was mixing it up over by the Chicago bench, a trip that earned him a cross-checking major and a game misconduct.
When part two of the brawl was sorted out, Green Bay, which was already on a power play, was assessed with a total of five minutes of penalties while Chicago received a total of 44 – and we’re only talking part two here. (The two incidents combined drew 151 minutes; and the full game resulted in 216 penalty minutes.)
At a practical level, the visiting Gamblers received a continuous 5-on-3 from there on out. And man, did they cash in, finding the back of the net at 10:43, 12:08, 13:43, 14:25, and 14:58. And that was the game.
Green Bay, having been outplayed for the first 50 minutes of the game, snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat, and went from having their heads down and butts kicked to celebrating like they’d won the Stanley Cup.
There were suspensions galore. For Green Bay, Lee, Ryan Furne, Taylor Johnson, and Kevin Albers each received one game.
Chicago was hit much harder, with Andrew Miller getting one game, Simonson two, and Schnell five games.
Schnell has just finished sitting out his five games and is expected back in the lineup tonight (Friday). As fate would have it, the Steel are in Green Bay for a rematch. On Halloween night. You might want to check out that boxscore, too.
As for the events of October 11th, one Div. I assistant coach in attendance said simply, “I have never seen something like that before.”
And you will probably never see a box score like this again:
Green Bay 7, Chicago 6 -- 10/11/08
Best of the Beantown
Over the weekend, the local hockey savants were out in full force at the Beantown Fall Classic, played in Exeter, NH (along with several satellite venues.)
The top ’93 we saw all weekend – and perhaps the top prospect in the entire tournament – was 6’0”, 180 lb. forward J.T. Miller of the Pittsburgh Hornets Midgets. Miller was our #4-ranked forward at the Select 15 Festival in August, but it was still eye-opening to see him dominate against older players. When he’s on the ice, it’s hard to take your eyes off him. He’s physical, wins battles all over the ice and is strong in every area. In Sunday morning’s playoff game he went coast-to-coast, undressed a Little Bruins defenseman, and skated in alone on net… but lost the handle. His competitiveness puts him over the top. He’s more than the sum of his parts, and has a bright future in front of him. He's a virtual cinch for the NTDP, if that's the route he chooses to take.
As for the top ’92, we’re going with two -- 6’0”, 217 lb. forward Billy Arnold (Boston Little Bruins) and 6’2”, 180 lb. forward Kevin Hayes (South Shore Dynamos). Arnold, who has committed to Boston College; and Hayes, who is considering BC, BU, Harvard, and UNH, are teammates at Nobles, as USHR readers probably already know. Both see the ice really well. A year ago we thought Arnold was significantly better, but since then Hayes has really narrowed the gap, perhaps even closed it. At any rate, the younger brother of BC forward Jimmy Hayes just keeps getting better. In OT of Saturday’s exciting Under-19 quarterfinal, South Shore forward Charlie Coyle, probably the third best ’92 in New England, feathered a pass to Hayes who ripped it top shelf to edge Belle Tire, 5-4. Later, at the BU-Michigan game, we ran into Chris Coury, Belle Tire’s coach, who said his team’s inability to contain Hayes was the difference in the game.
We’ll get back to playoff results but first we want to mention some other players that stood out for us. We were not able to see all the teams, and some we only saw briefly, so it’s an impressionistic look, at best.
Playing within the EJHL/Prep Division, Northwood started their ’08-09 campaign with a 6-1 win over Bridgton Academy and a 4-0 win over the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs before bowing to the Jersey Hitmen, 3-0, on Sunday. Gone from last season are high-enders Julian Cayer (Clarkson) and Alex Chiasson (Des Moines – USHL) but the cupboard is far from bare. 6’5” d-man Nik Pokulok, a Clarkson recruit, is back on the blue line. New players of interest include goalie Raphael Girard, an 11th grader and ’91 birthdate who on Saturday blanked the Monarchs; and 5’10” ’92 d-man Marc-Anthoine Carrier, an 11th grader. Both are from Quebec. Another Quebec player who caught our eye was smooth-skating ’91 D Etienne St-Germain, a 6’1” senior. There are some new Americans on the team as well. 5’9” 11th grade center Jordan Hobaica, formerly of Clinton (NY) High School, looked good, as did 5’11” PG Ben McLaughlin, formerly with the Pingree School (Mass.).
The Under-19 Division was won by the Little Bruins, a split-season team that seems to be rolling through the competition this fall, having so far won the Mass Select Labor Day Tournament, the Junior Bruins shootout, and now this shindig. We already mentioned Billy Arnold, but this is a solid team with a lot of depth. Brendan McNally (who just recently joined the team), Union recruit Wayne Simpson, Joey Yeadon, and Gunnar Hughes all looked good up front. So, too, did Mark Hourihan, just coming back from a concussion. On the blue line, 6’5” Exeter D and Colgate recruit Thomas Larkin was very good, and 6’2” Al Butler is coming along. 6’2” Roo Adams can skate with the puck. Both goalies, John Carbonneau and Gene Lane, played well. A good all-around team.
In the Under-19 Division, the St. Louis Selects, coached by Gino Cavallini, were young, skating three ‘93s and 11 ‘92s. Those who stood out included ’92 forwards T.J. Schlueter and Michael Parks, ’93 forward David Schmidt, and ’93 D Kyle Sucher.
The San Jose Sharks skated a couple of kids whose name you may have seen on Central’s early-season watch list, 6’3” LD Daniel Senkbell, an 11th grader, and 6’1” RD Ben Paulides, a 12th grader. Senkbell was the one who caught our eye, as he has size, skates fluidly, and can make a pass.
The Philadelphia Jr. Flyers had a big left-shot D, 6’6”, 215 lb. Eric Knodel, who was drawing some attention, though his skating has a ways to go. 6’1 forward Brian Christie, a ’92, played well for them.
The Florida Alliance, a good-sized team, had some interesting prospects in ’93 forward Devin Loe, ’92 forward Trent Ruffolo, and 6’3” ’92 RD Lucas Quillen.
The South Shore Dynamos feature the Matt Harlow-Kevin Hayes-Charlie Coyle line, perhaps the best line in the whole tournament. And then there’s Connor Brickley, who gives them a fourth top forward. Tom O’Regan, the son of former BU and NHL forward Tommy O’Regan, is a ’92 from St. Sebastian’s who is coming along very well. ’91 Gus Young anchors the blue line.
Team Maryland has an interesting prospect in 6’1”, 160 lb. center Nick Sorkin a ’91 and a 12th grader who will be coming north to play for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) next season. He’s on the skinny side now, but he could fill out and become a nice Div. I prospect. Team Maryland met the Little Bruins in the quarters and took a 3-3 tie into the dressing room. In the second half, however, the Little Bruins scored four unanswered goals to win it going away.
We already wrote about J.T. Miller above, but should also mention there’s another ’93 on the Pittsburgh Hornets, Jake Achenbach and, while he’s a notch below Miller, he’s a prospect we'll be following.
On Team Illinois, a couple of ’92 forwards – Garrett Allen and Nick Lappin – really stood out for us. The latter, the son of one of the Lappin brothers of St. Lawrence fame, is actually a Nov. ’92 birthdate – close to a ‘93. Allen is from Wisconsin.
We only had a chance to catch one Under-16 game, a Team Illinois-Victory Honda game on Thursday night. 6’2”, 182 lb. forward Trevor Morbeck, a Nov. ’93 birthdate – close to a ’94 -- is big and strong and really stands out from the pack at this level. We expect to be hearing a lot from him in the years to come.
Before closing, we should tell you that the little restaurant at the Rinks in Exeter is excellent. Nothing fancy, but not exactly what you would expect to find in a rink either. The soups were outstanding. Try the Cranberry Butternut Bisque if you’re ever there. You won’t be sorry.
10/23/08 Budish Out for the Season
Budish, a University of Minnesota recruit and a potential first round pick in June’s NHL draft, will miss the entire hockey season.
“Zach will have surgery in the second week in November and should be fine in 3-4 months,” says Edina coach Curt Giles.
“You can’t replace Zach,” Giles adds. “He’s a heck of an athlete. On top of that, he’s a great kid whose character and leadership just can not be replaced.”
Obviously, there are questions about Budish’s future. Will he be ready to join the Gophers next fall? How about the NHL draft? Given that he will miss a whole season of competitive hockey, Budish’s situation presents a dilemma to NHL scouting staffs.
“It will be interesting to see how teams approach it,” says Giles, a 5”8”, 175 lb. former defenseman who played 14 seasons in the NHL. “I’m sure there will be a lot of testing (before the draft).”
“The main focus now is to make sure that the surgery and rehab is done right, so he can move forward,” says Giles, adding, “I expect I will be getting many questions over the season about his rehab.”
Budish Out for the Season6’3”, 215 lb. Edina High School RW Zach Budish tore his ACL early in the Hornet’s Tuesday night football playoff game, a 49-6 win over Minneapolis Southwest.
Budish’s loss is a major blow to Edina, which reached the state tournament championship game last March – a 3-0 loss to Hill-Murray – but returned their entire top line of Budish, Anders Lee, and Marsh Everson.
Lee, the star quarterback on the football team, has seen his stock for hockey rise this fall. Though he has the ability to play football in college, hockey is the route he will be taking. Harvard, which received a commitment from his linemate, Everson, last winter, has been onto Lee for a long time. Notre Dame is in the picture. And Denver, Princeton, Duluth, and North Dakota are also recruiting Lee. Wisconsin was in the picture for a while, but dropped out when Lee wouldn’t commit within the time frame the Badgers wanted.
Lee and his Edina teammates take to the gridiron Saturday in a semi against #1 seed Eden Prairie, the two-time defending state champs. Edina is the #4 seed. Lee has run for 33 touchdowns thus far this season.
NHL Central Scouting Players to WatchThe Central Scouting Players to Watch list has been released. It is what it is -- a preliminary list. Players are either ranked with an “A”, considered a potential top three round selection; a "B" for a potential third to fifth round selection, or a “C”, a potential late round selection. Expect a lot of changes between now and the NHL Entry Draft June 26-27 in Montreal, Que.
Here's the link.
Central Scouting Players to Watch
11th Stanstead College Invitational Tournament
-- at Stanstead, Quebec Canada; Jan. 9-10-11, 2009
Stanstead College, Upper Canada College, Hoosac School, Kings
Wyoming Seminary, St. Francis School, Appleby College,
Northwood School Midgets
Fri. Jan. 9, 2009:
10:00 am -- Stanstead College vs. Kings Edgehill School
12:15 pm -- Upper Canada College vs. Hoosac School
2:30 pm -- St. Francis School vs. Northwood School
4:45 pm -- Wyoming Seminary vs. Appleby College
7:00 pm -- Hoosac School vs. Stanstead College
9:15 pm -- Kings Edgehill School vs. Upper Canada College
Sat. Jan.10, 2009:
8:00 am -- Northwood School vs. Wyoming Seminary
10:15 am -- Appleby College vs. St. Francis School
12:30 pm -- Hoosac School vs. Kings Edgehill School
2:45 pm -- Stanstead College vs. Upper Canada College
5:00 pm -- Northwood School vs. Appleby College
7:15 pm -- Wyoming Seminary vs. St. Francis School
Sun. Jan. 11, 2009:
8:00 am -- 7th Place Game: 4th Red Division vs. 4th White Division
10:15 am -- 5th Place Game 3rd Red Dividion vs. 3rd White Division
12:30 pm -- 3rd Place Game 2nd Red Division vs. 2nd White Division
2:45 pm -- Championship Game 1st Red Division vs. 1st White Division
The Northwood School team entered in the tournament is the school’s #2 team – i.e. the midget squad, not the junior team. All other teams in the Stanstead Tournament are varsities.
2008 U.S. Junior Select Team AnnouncedThe junior select team USA Hockey sends to World Junior A Challenge in Camrose, Alberta Nov. 2-9 was announced today.
All 22 players are from the USHL.
Five players – defensemen Seth Helgason and Max Nicastro; and forwards Mike Cichy, Nick Larson, and Craig Smith – were members of the team that finished a disappointing third place at last November’s tournament.
With six teams in the tournament, each team plays just two preliminary round games. The U.S. will face off against Germany on Tues. Nov. 4 and Canada East on Wed. Nov. 5. Quarters are on Thurs. Nov. 6; semis are on the Sat. Nov. 8, and medal round games are on Sun. Nov. 9.
The Canadian teams in the tournament consist of Tier II players, so, in the wake of the success of the Omaha Lancers and the Indiana Ice in games against Quebec Major Junior teams in September of '07, it was expected the USHL would have had a stronger showing in last year's tournament, held in Nelson, BC.
However, before the tournament even began, there were questions about the selection process, and a bit of finger pointing and head-scratching among those who wondered why the league wasn’t sending its best players. To give one much-discussed example, then-Green Bay forward Keegan Flaherty, who finished the USHL season with just four points, was named to the team, while Paul Carey, who was ripping it up and would finish the season with 66 points, was not selected. (By the way, Flaherty, a ’90, is still in the USHL, playing for Fargo).
We’ll see how things go this year. Winning would certainly help. One thing is clear: this is an older team than last time around. Last November, Barry Almeida was the only ’88 – the oldest eligible birth year – on the U.S. roster. This season, there are five ‘89s. Of the remaining 17 players, 15 are ‘90s and two are ‘91s.
2008 United States Junior Select Team:
Joe Howe (Waterloo, ‘90); Mike Lee (Fargo, late ‘90).
Matt Donovan (Cedar Rapids, ‘90); Seth Helgeson (Sioux City, late ‘90); Dave Makowski (Green Bay, ‘89); Lee Moffie (Waterloo, ‘90); John Moore (Chicago, late ‘90); Max Nicastro (Chicago, ‘90); Darren Rowe (Cedar Rapids, ‘89).
Josh Balch (Des Moines, ‘90); Josh Birkholz (Fargo, ‘91); Greg Burke (Cedar Rapids, ‘90); Rocco Carzo (Des Moines, ‘90); Mike Cichy (Tri-City, ‘90); David Gerths (Lincoln, late ‘90): Danny Kristo (Omaha, ‘90); Nick Larson (Waterloo, ‘89); Pat Mullane (Omaha, ‘90); Nick Oddo (Cedar Rapids, ‘90); Craig Smith (Waterloo, ‘89); Matt White (Des Moines, late ‘91); Robbie Vrolyk (Sioux Falls, ‘89).
Head coach: Mark Carlson (Cedar Rapids). Assistant coaches: Todd Knott (Sioux City) and Bliss Littler (Omaha).
10/21/08 updated 10/22/08
Updated Fall Beantown Schedule
Here is the latest updated schedule for the Beantown Classic, scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at The Rinks at Exeter (primarily), plus Governor's Academy, the Dover (NH) arena, and UNH.
The version posted yesterday underwent revisions last night, and the schedule we have now is up-to-date.
-- at St. Mark’s School, Southborough, Mass. and the Middlesex School, Concord, Mass.
Fri. Dec. 19, 2008:
5:30 pm – Game 1: Middlesex vs. Ridley College (@ Middlesex)
5:30 pm – Game 2: St. Mark's vs. Berwick Academy (@ St. Mark's)
7:30 pm – Game 3: Stanstead College vs. Hebron Academy (@ Middlesex)
7:30 pm – Game 4: Worcester Academy vs. Vermont Academy (@ St. Mark's)
Sat. Dec. 20, 2008:
8:30 am – Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3 (@ Middlesex)
8:30 am – Game 6: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 4 (@ St. Mark's)
10:30 am – Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 3 (@ Middlesex)
10:30 am – Game 8: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 4 (@ St. Mark's)
1:30 pm – Game 9: Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 (@ St. Mark’s)
1:30 pm – Consolation Game -- Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 (@ Middlesex)
3:30 pm – Game 11: Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 (@ St. Mark’s)
3:30 pm -- Championship Game -- Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 (@ Middlesex)
10/19/08 A Top Mass. ’92 Commits to BU
Coyle, the leading scorer at Thayer as a freshman, is a 3/2/92 birthdate from East Weymouth, Mass. In late June, he added to his reputation with a big impression at the Select 16 Festival, finishing as one of the top scorers there.
This fall, he has continued to raise his stock. We saw him help lead his midget team to a 4-3 win over a very tough Suffolk PAL team, potting a game-winner with 19 seconds left.
A Top Mass. ’92 Commits to BU6’1”, 185 lb. Thayer sophomore RW Charlie Coyle has committed to Boston University for the fall of ’11.
Coyle has been a lifelong fan of BU hockey – “buhockey” is even part of his e-mail address – so, when it came to recruiting him, other schools were never really able to get a toehold.
-- at Cushing Academy Thurs.-Sat. Jan 1-3, 2009
Northfield-Mt. Hermon School
Noble & Greenough
Thurs. Jan. 1, 2009:
9:00 am – NMH vs. Lawrence
11:10 am – Cushing vs. Pomfret
1:20 pm – Berkshire vs. Culver
3:30 pm – Nobles vs. Canterbury
5:40 pm – Pomfret vs. NMH
7:50 pm – Cushing vs. Lawrence
Fri. Jan. 2, 2009:
9:00 am – Culver vs. Canterbury
11:10 am – Berkshire vs. Nobles
1:20 pm – Pomfret vs. Lawrence
3:30 pm – Cushing vs. Northfield-Mt. Hermon
5:40 pm – Canterbury vs. Berkshire
7:50 pm – Culver vs. Nobles
Sat. Jan. 3, 2009:
9:00 am – Fisher 4 vs. Iorio 4
11:10 am – Fisher 3 vs. Iorio 3
1:20 pm – Fisher 2 vs. Iorio 2
3:30 pm – Championship Game: Fisher 1 vs. Iorio 1
10th Annual BB&N Holiday Showcase
-- at Cambridge, Mass. (except where indicated); Tues.-Wed. Dec. 30-31, 2008
Participating Schools: BB&N, Dexter School, Hebron Academy, Proctor Academy, Roxbury Latin School, Shady Side Academy, Thayer Academy, Williston-Northampton School.
Tues. Dec. 30, 2008:
1st Round --
9:00 am – Game #1 -- Roxbury Latin vs. BB&N
9:00 am – Game #2 -- Dexter vs. Shady Side (@ Dexter School)
11:00 am – Game #3 -- Hebron vs. Proctor
11:00 am – Game #4 -- Thayer vs. Williston (@ Dexter School)
2nd Round --
1:30 pm – Game #5 – Loser #1 vs. Loser #2
3:30 pm – Game #6 – Semi-finals – Winner #1 vs. Winner #2
5:30 pm – Game #7 –Loser #3 vs. Loser #4
7:30 pm – Game #8 -- Semi-finals – Winner #3 vs. Winner #4
8:30 am – Game #9 -- Loser #5 vs. Loser #7
10:30 am – Game #10 – Winner #5 vs. Winner #7
12:30 pm – 3rd Place Game -- Loser #6 vs. Loser #8
3:00 pm – Championship Game -- Winner #6 vs. Winner #8
-- at Marion, Mass; Sat.-Sun. Jan. 3-4, 2009
Sat. Jan. 3, 2009:
9:00 am – Milton vs. St. Sebastian’s
11:00 am – Tabor vs. Hill
1:00 pm – Governor’s vs. Tilton
3:30 pm – St. Sebastian’s vs. Hill
5:30 pm – Tabor vs. Governor’s
7:30 pm – Tilton vs. Milton
Sun. Jan. 4, 2009:
10:00 am – Game 1
12:00 pm – Game 2
2:00 pm – Championship Game
Latest on Kampfer Assault
University of Michigan junior defenseman Steven Kampfer, seriously injured in an on-campus assault early Sunday morning, is out of the hospital, and, wearing a neck brace, watched his teammates practice at Yost Arena yesterday. His season is likely over.
According to sources we’ve spoken to, Kampfer, an Anaheim draft pick, came extremely close to being paralyzed or killed, as he was picked up and driven head first into the concrete. A red-shirted Wolverine football player -- and former wrestler -- has been identified in connection with the attack, and has been suspended from the team. No charges have been filed yet.
The Michigan Daily, one of the better student newspapers in the country, will probably stay on top of this story, so you might want to check back in with them over the coming week or so.
EJ Daily Double
EJ Daily Double6’2”, 175 lb. Junior Bruins (EJHL) defenseman Colin Shea, the younger brother of Boston College freshman D Edwin Shea, has committed to UMass on a full scholarship. Shea, who played for the Junior Bruins Empire team last year, is a 5/12/91 birthdate and will be joining the Minutemen in the fall of ’09. A native of Shrewsbury, Mass., Shea also considered Boston College.
5’11”, 165 lb. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs forward Aaron Kesselman has committed to Princeton University for the fall of ’11.
The youngest member of the Junior Monarchs, having just turned 17 a few days ago – he’s a 10/13/91 birthdate, Kesselman played last season for the New Jersey Junior Titans.
In seven games to date, Kesselman, who also made an unofficial visit to Yale, has a 2-3-5 line with 11 pims.
A native of Mays Landing, NJ (it’s in the southern part of the state, near Atlantic City), Kesselman has an older sister who rows crew at Princeton.
6’1”, 170 lb. U.S. Under-17 Team goaltender Jack Campbell has committed to the University of Michigan for the fall of ’10.
Campbell, a Honeybaked product from Clyde, Michigan, chose Michigan over Notre Dame.
He’s a 1/9/92 birthdate.
Exeter Invitational SchedulePhillips Exeter Academy; Dec. 17-19, 2008
Note: There’s been some attrition here, as Governor’s, Pomfret, and Tilton have decamped in whole for Governor’s new tournament, while Northwood has decamped in part (they will be playing just one game at Exeter).You’ll find some newcomers at Exeter this year.
Wed. Dec. 17, 2008:
Exeter vs. Tilton, 4:30 pm
Stanstead vs. Portland Jr. Pirates, 6:00 pm
Culver vs. South Kent, 7:00 pm
Thurs. Dec. 18, 2008:
Exeter vs. Culver, 2:30 pm
South Kent vs. Valley Jr. Warriors, 3:30 pm
Holderness vs. Stanstead College, 5:00 pm
Vermont Glades vs. Northwood, 6:00 pm
Jr. Bruins vs. Jr. Monarchs, 7:30 pm
Wyoming Seminary vs. New England Stars, 8:00 pm
Fri. Dec. 19, 2008:
Exeter vs. Holderness, 1:00 pm
Stanstead vs. Wyoming Seminary, 1:30 pm
Lawrence/Governor’s Holiday Tournament-- at Groton, Mass. and Byfield, Mass. Dec. 19-Dec. 21, 2008
This is a tentative schedule.
Lawrence Academy has combined forces with Governor’s Academy to create a new tournament. Newcomers to Massachusetts should be advised that Groton and Byfield are at least an hour apart! (Also, when looking at the schedule below, take note of the fact that games are actually at three different rinks, as the Cushing vs. Hill game on Friday is at the Groton School and faces off just a half hour before Lawrence vs. Culver, which is at Lawrence Academy.) On Sunday, all the games are at Governor’s, though the order of the games may change due to Culver’s travel needs.
10:00 am – Cushing vs. Hill (at Groton School)
10:30 am – Lawrence vs. Culver (at LA)
5:00 pm – Tilton vs. Northwood (at GA)
5:45 pm – Hill vs. Culver (at LA)
7:00 pm – Governor’s vs. Pomfret (at GA)
8:00 pm – Lawrence vs. Cushing (at LA)
Sat. Dec. 20, 2008:
9:30 am – Governor’s vs. Tilton (at GA)
11:30 am – Northwood vs. Pomfret (at GA)
12:00 pm – Culver vs. Cushing (at LA)
2:30 pm – Lawrence vs. Hill (at LA)
5:30 pm – Pomfret vs. Tilton (at GA)
7:30 pm – Governor’s vs. Northwood (at GA)
Sun. Dec. 21, 2008 (Crossover day):
8:30 am – 4th place game (at GA)
10:30 am – 3rd place game (at GA)
12:30 pm – 2nd place game (at GA)
2:30 pm – Championship game (at GA)
44th Annual Flood-Marr Tournament-- at Noble & Greenough (Friday 12/19 and Sunday 12/21) and at Milton Academy(Saturday 12/20).
Noble & Greenough
Fri. Dec. 19, 2008, Flood Rink, Nobles
9:00 am – Kimball Union vs. Nobles
11:00 am – Salisbury vs. Deerfield
1:00 pm – Phillips Andover vs. Westminster
3:00 pm – Milton vs. Hotchkiss
5:00 pm – Salisbury vs. Nobles
7:00 pm – Deerfield vs. Kimball Union
Sat. Dec. 20, 2008, Roberts Rink, Milton
9:00 am – Phillips Andover vs. Milton
11:00 am – Westminster vs. Hotchkiss
1:00 pm – Deerfield vs. Nobles
3:00 pm – Kimball Union vs. Salisbury
5:00 pm – Westminster vs. Milton Academy
7:00 pm – Hotchkiss vs. Phillips Andover
Sun. Dec. 21 @ Flood Rink, Nobles
8:00 am -- 7th Place Game -- 4th Place Owen vs. 4th Place Harding
10:00 am -- 5th Place Game -- 3rdPlace Owen vs. 3rd Place Harding
12:00 pm -- 3rd Place Game -- 2nd Place Owen vs. 2nd Place Harding
2:00 pm -- 1st Place Game – 1st Place Owen vs. 1st Place Harding
Nice PokeA morning tip o’ the hat to 40-year-old Matt Stairs, whose eighth inning pinch-hit home run – an absolute bomb to deep right field -- gave the Philadelphia Phillies a 7-5 road win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and a commanding 3-1 edge in the National League Championship Series.
There’s a hockey connection here. In the winter, Stairs, who lives in Levant, Maine, about 12 miles northwest of Bangor, with his wife, Lisa, and three daughters (they took advantage of the long weekend to travel to LA for the games), is the assistant hockey coach at John Bapst Memorial HS, which competes in Maine Class B. Last winter, the school made its first-ever appearance in the state semifinals. Stairs worked primarily with the forwards.
Stairs, a Fredericton, New Brunswick native, grew up dreaming of an NHL career, and once told a reporter, “I’d change my career for hockey in a heartbeat.”
It’s probably a good thing he didn’t. He’s rather short and round. Nonetheless, he’s had a great baseball career, and stands at 180th all-time among home run leaders, with 254. What makes that even more remarkable is the fact that he hit most of those in his thirties. Kind of makes you wonder what might have been if he had gotten a fair shake earlier.
Red Sox fans may remember that he was with the Red Sox as a 27-year-old in 1995 and only got into 39 games (1 HR, 17 RBI). He was traded away by the Dan Duquette Sox and quickly blossomed in Oakland.
Those who know Stairs well say he is a regular guy, totally without ego or pretense. He takes his Canadian heritage seriously and was disappointed when he was traded from Toronto to Philadelphia in August. We suspect last night might have changed that. He’ll certainly never again have to buy a beer in Philadelphia.
By the way, unlike most baseball players, Stairs will not touch a baseball in the off-season. His off-season training regimen consists of skating and shooting. That’s it.
61st Annual Lawrenceville Christmas Tournament
-- at Lawrenceville and Princeton, NJ; Dec. 20-21, 2008
In the entire history of this tournament, the host school, Lawrenceville, has never won it. Sixty shots at the can and – nada, rien, nihil, niente. We don’t like to cheer for specific teams, but enough already… go Big Red.
Sat. Dec. 20, 2008:
9:00 am – Belmont Hill vs. Canterbury
9:00 am – Taft vs. Nichols (@ Baker Rink; Princeton University)
11:00 am – Lawrenceville vs. Upper Canada College
11:00 am – Choate vs. Northfield-Mt. Hermon (@ Baker Rink; Princeton University)
2:00 pm – Losers of Games 1 & 2
4:00 pm – Losers of Games 3 & 4
7:00 pm – Winners of Games 1 & 2
9:00 pm -- Winners of Games 3 & 4
Sun. Dec. 21, 2008:
8:00 am – Losers of Games 5 & 6
10:00 am – Winners of Games 5 & 6
12:00 pm – Losers of Games 7 & 8
2:30 pm – Championship Game: Winners of Games 7 & 8
USHL Futures DraftFor the results of tonight’s USHL draft, pleasego to:
2008 USHL Futures Draft
The Second Annual Winchendon School Jamboree will be held on Sat. Nov. 22. The games will each be 50 minutes, stop time (two 25-minute halves).
Sat. Nov. 22:
8:00 am -- Les Dynamiques vs. Worcester Academy
9:40 am -- Winchendon vs. BB&N
11:20 am -- New Hampton vs. Worcester Academy
1:00 pm -- Bridgton vs. Les Dynamiques
2:40 pm -- BB&N vs. Williston
4:20 pm -- Winchendon vs. Bridgton
6:00 pm -- Williston vs. New Hampton
26th Annual Avon Old Farms Xmas Classic
-- at Avon Old Farms; Avon, Conn., Dec. 18-19-20, 2008
Pierpont Division: Berkshire School, Kent School, Tabor Academy, The Gunnery. Trautman Division: Avon Old Farms, Loomis-Chaffee, St. Paul’s, Trinity-Pawling.
Thurs. Dec. 18, 2008:
3:00 pm –Trinity-Pawling vs. Avon
5:00 pm – Kent vs. Tabor
7:00 pm – Berkshire vs. Gunnery
9:00 pm – Loomis-Chaffee vs. St. Paul’s
Fri. Dec. 19, 2008:
9:00 am – Gunnery vs. Kent (at Trinity College Rink)
9:00 am – Tabor vs. Berkshire
11:00 am – St. Paul’s vs. Trinity-Pawling (at Trinity College Rink)
11:00 am – Loomis-Chaffee vs. Avon
3:00 pm – Gunnery vs. Tabor
5:00 pm – Berkshire vs. Kent
7:00 pm – Trinity-Pawling vs. Loomis-Chaffee
9:00 pm – St. Paul’s vs. Avon
Sat. Dec. 20, 2008:
8:30 am – 4th Place Pierpont vs. 4th Place Trautman
10: 30 am – 3rd Place Pierpont vs. 3rd Place Trautman
1:30 pm – 2nd Place Pierpont vs. 2nd Place Trautman
3:30 pm -- 1st Place Pierpont vs. 1st Place Trautman
Northwood Thanksgiving College Showcase
The second annual Northwood School Thanksgiving College Showcase will be held in the Capital District on Sat. and Sun. Nov. 29-30. Games will be at Union College's Achilles Center on Saturday, and RPI's Houston Field House on Sunday.
Here's the Schedule:
Sat. Nov. 29 (@ Union College; Schenectady, NY):
Salisbury vs. Northwood, 11:45 am
Pomfret vs. St. Andrew's, 2:00 pm
Sun. Nov. 30 (@ RPI; Troy, NY):
Northwood vs. St. Andrew's College, 11:15 am
Salisbury vs. Pomfret, 1:30 pm
There will be seven Div. I college teams in action on the same weekend in the Capital District. The 58th Annual RPI Holiday Tournament will feature RPI, Princeton, Northeastern, and Mercyhurst. Game are at 4 pm and 7 pm on both Friday and Saturday. Union is home Friday vs. Army and Saturday vs. Providence. Both games are at 7 pm.
Northwood opens their season Friday, October 24th at the Beantown Fall Classic. They'll play two games on that day, facing off against Bridgton Academy at 1:40 pm, and the Jersey (EJHL) at 7:10 pm. On Saturday, they will face the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) at 1:10 pm.
Northwood will return to New England Nov. 7-9 for the Valley Junior Warriors Tournament in Haverhill, Mass.
On Sunday Nov. 16 Northwood will face Cushing Academy in the season opener for the Penguins. Game time is 2:00 pm at UMass-Amherst.
SPS JamboreeThis season's St. Paul's School Jamboree will look just like recent years, taking place on the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving, and with the same schools. All games - four on Sunday and two on Monday -- will be held in Concord, NH. Here's the schedule:
Sun. Nov. 30, 2008:
10:00 am - St. Paul's vs. Taft
12:15 pm - Canterbury vs. Tabor
4:00 pm - Taft vs. Tabor
6:15 pm - St. Paul's vs. Canterbury
Mon. Dec. 1, 2008:
10:00 am - Canterbury vs. Taft
12:15 pm - St. Paul's vs. Tabor
Founders' League Jamboree
The Founders' League Jamboree will take place on the afternoon of Wed. Dec. 3rd at the Taft School in Watertown, Conn. Starting times will be staggered, with games going on at both of the school's rinks. Mays is the older rink; Odden the spiffy new one. Each game will pit a team from the league's Eastern Division vs. a team from the Western Division.
Here's the full schedule:
Wed. Dec. 3, 2008:
2:00 pm -- Trinity-Pawling vs. Westminster (Mays)
2:30 pm -- Kent vs. Avon Old Farms (Odden)
3:00 pm -- Trinity Pawling vs. Loomis-Chaffee (Mays)
3:30 pm -- Taft vs. Westminster (Odden)
4:00 pm -- Salisbury vs. Avon Old Farms (Mays)
4:30 pm -- Taft vs. Deerfield (Odden)
5:00 pm -- Kent vs. Choate (Mays)
5:30 pm -- Hotchkiss vs. Deerfield (Odden)
6:00 pm -- Salisbury vs. Loomis-Chaffee (Mays)
6:30 pm -- Hotchkiss vs. Choate (Odden)
Belmont Hill Jamboree
The Belmont Hill Jamboree will be held on Sat. Nov. 29.
Here is the tentative schedule:
Sat. Nov. 29, 2008:
8:30 am - Belmont Hill vs. Winchendon
10:00 am - Governor's Academy vs. Proctor Academy
1:00 pm - Proctor Academy vs. Belmont Hill
2:30 pm - Winchendon vs. Governor's Academy
Each game will consist of three 15-minute periods, with ice made between the second and third periods.
A Southern Road Trip
It will be Cushing vs. Lawrence, a couple of old rivals, in the finale of the Cooler Classic Thanksgiving Showcase in Alpharetta, Georgia on Sunday Nov. 30 at 7:30 pm.
The late start was requested by Lawrence head coach Kevin Potter to accommodate NHL teams (the Thrashers are playing St. Louis at 3:00 pm that day) who wanted to watch senior forward Steven Whitney, a '91 eligible for next June's NHL draft.
In addition to Cushing and Lawrence, Hebron Academy will be on hand, as will a pair of junior teams, the New England Stars (coached by Dan Fontas, the captain of Cushing's 1998 prep championship team) and the Florida Alliance.
On top of that, a '94 birth year tournament will be run in conjunction with the prep/junior showcase.
The Atlanta Fire is hosting the tournament, which will take place at the Cooler, a multi-sport facility in Alpharetta, about 30 minutes north of the Atlanta airport.
John Bardis, the father of former Cushing and current University of Wisconsin forward Tom Bardis, owns both the Cooler and the Atlanta Fire organization. And he'll be hosting a party for all of the players at his house on Saturday evening.
Longtime Cushing coach Steve Jacobs is the vice-president and is in charge of day-to-day operations for both the rink and the Atlanta Fire organization. Former Cushing and UNH defenseman Brian Yandle is hockey director for the Fire. Former Cushing and UMass forward Steve Jacobs, Jr. is running the Cooler Hockey Academy.
A lot of big names are involved with the Atlanta Fire organization. Three former NHLers are coaching within the organization. Scott Pearson coaches the pee wee minor team. Randy Boyd is the head coach of the bantam major team. Dan Bouchard is the Fire's goaltending instructor. And then there's one who didn't make it - in hockey, that is. That would be former Billerica High forward Tom Glavine, an LA Kings fourth round draft choice in 1984. He's an assistant coach of both the Squirt A and Bantam A teams.
Jacobs reports that there are players to be found in the south. There are six kids from the Fire organization alone that will be making their way to New England prep schools this winter. Two are going to St. Mark's. One apiece will be heading to St. George's, Pomfret, NMH, and Choate. And let us remind you that Boston University freshman Vinny Saponari (and his older brother, Victor) are Fire products.
Not surprisingly, there will be seminars for the families of prospective prep players during the tournament, plus a seminar on the NCAA Clearinghouse and the recruiting process.
Here's the schedule:
Friday Nov. 28:
Cushing at 1:00 pm/ Hebron at 2:00 pm/Lawrence at 3:10 pm
3:00 pm - New England Stars vs. Florida Alliance
5:15 pm - Cushing vs. Hebron
7:30 pm - Lawrence vs. Florida Alliance
Sat. Nov. 29:
Hebron at 8:00 am/Cushing at 9:00 am/Lawrence at 3:00 pm
10:00 am - New England Stars vs. Lawrence
2:00 pm - Hebron vs. Florida Alliance
4:15 pm - New England Stars vs. Cushing
Sun. Nov. 30:
Hebron at 8:45 am/Lawrence at 8:45 am/Cushing at 9:45 am
11:00 am - Florida Alliance vs. Atlanta Fire Selects
1:15 pm - Hebron vs. New England Stars
7:30 pm - Cushing vs. Lawrence
Another BCHLer for the Wildcats
6’2”, 183 lb. left shot forward Cam Reid of the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) has committed to UNH for the fall of ’09.
An 8/25/91 birthdate from Delta, BC, Reid is in his second year in the BCHL. With Victoria last season he had a 10-16-26 line in 55 games. This year, in 11 games so far, he has a 2-5-7 line.
Though he’s playing wing now, Reid projects to be a center in college. He’s a smart player with good hands. He can create opportunities for his linemates, and can finish, too.
Reid played on the Team Pacific Under-17 Team in last winter’s Under-17 Challenge. He also played on one of the teams – the Vancouver Vipers -- that came east over the summer for the Beantown-sponsored tournament in July, so he’s already played at the Whittemore Center.
UNH has been on Reid for a long time. Michigan and BC were also reported to have had some interest.
Choosing the Spartan Life
6'3", 195 lb. U.S. Under-17 goaltender Willie Yanakeff has committed to Michigan State for the fall of '10.
Yanakeff, a native of Jerome, Michigan, about a half hour west of Ann Arbor, played for the Victory Honda organization before moving to Honeybaked, where he played for the midget minor team last season.
Yanakeff, a 4/30/92 birthdate, chose Michigan State over Miami and UNH.
USHL regular season play starts this weekend so teams are trimming their rosters to the 23-man limit.
Here's what's happened over the past week.
Omaha dropped three of the four goalies who played for them in the Fall Classic, saying goodbye to Tommy Tartaglione, Matt Weninger, and Andreas Goetz... Omaha added '89 goalie Dan Sullivan, ex of Apple Core, who they received from Waterloo... '90 Miami recruit Max Cook was traded from Green Bay to Indiana in exchange for a pick... Indiana traded Bowling Green recruit Ian Ruel to Omaha, also for a pick...'90 Keegan Flaherty goes from Green Bay to Fargo... Tri-City dropped former Gophers recruit Brandon Martell, an '88 D. Martell hooked on with Fargo... Lincoln dropped veteran Justin Cseter, an '88; he is now with Salmon Arm (BCHL)... '89 defenseman Chris Franks goes from Tri-City to Owatonna (NAHL)... Green Bay traded Wisconsin recruit Chase Drake to Sioux City... Michigan Tech recruit Anthony Schooley, an '89, goes from Tri-City to Green Bay... Sioux Falls traded '90 forward Duncan McKellar to Lincoln... Notre Dame recruit Kevin Nugent, an '89, was traded from Waterloo to Tri-City... Tri-City dropped Jordan VanGilder, an '88, he's now with Topeka (NAHL)... '89 D Mac Watts goes from Sioux City to Wichita Falls (NAHL)... '88 goaltender Nick Graves goes from Sioux City to Green Bay.
Moved onto affiliate list (all are 1990 birthdates):
F Tyler Kotlarz (Chicago)
F John O'Neill (Green Bay) Minn.-Duluth recruit
F Nic Dowd (Des Moines)
D Robert Shea (GB) Bowling Green recruit
D Derek Johnson (Cedar Rapids)
F Zach Lehrke (Cedar Rapids) Mankato recruit
F Craig Kitto (Sioux City)
D Stephen Hoshaw (Waterloo) Alaska-Fairbanks recruit
D Doug Marshall (Sioux Falls)
G Steve Summerhays (Green Bay)
by Waterloo -- '89 F Angelo Vrachnas
by Tri-City - '89 F Andrew Hamburg - Colorado College recruit
by Sioux City - '88 G Nick Graves
by Sioux City - '90 F Nardo Nagtzaam
by Tri-City - '89 F Michael Juola
by Waterloo - '91 F Tyler Brickler
by Waterloo - '88 F Johan Gyllberg
by Omaha - F Bruce Crawford
by Lincoln - '90 F Justin Bruckel
by Indiana -- '88 F Ryan Pajimola
by Indiana - '89 F Chris Darnell
by Cedar Rapids - '90 F Vince Mihalek - Cornell recruit
by Tri-City - '89 G Jason Horstman
by Lincoln - '89 D Guy Leboeuf
by Omaha - '88 D Tyler Elbrecht
by Omaha - '88 D Ryan Peltoma
by Fargo - '90 F Dmitry Lugin
by Fargo - '89 F Gehrett Sargis
by Chicago - '90 F Matt Lindblad
by Chicago - '90 D Dano Jacques
by Tri-City - '89 F Mark Morikawa
by Green Bay - '89 F Dalimar Jancovic
by Des Moines - ‘88 F Joseph Harcharik
by Fargo - '89 D Jarrett Galbreath
by Fargo -- '90 D Jake Sloat
by Lincoln - '89 F Ryan Finnegan
by Waterloo - '88 D Ryan Hill
Berkshire Jamboree ScheduleThe Piatelli Jamboree, hosted by the Berkshire School, is scheduled for Mon. Dec. 1st, which is exactly two months from today.
Here’s the schedule:
9:55 am -- Berkshire vs. South Kent School
11:10 am – Northfield-Mt. Hermon vs. Gunnery
12:20 pm – Winchendon vs. Pomfret
1:30 pm – South Kent vs. Gunnery
2:40 pm – Berkshire vs. Winchendon
3:50 pm – Pomfret vs. Northfield-Mt. Hermon
The games will be running time, with 25-minute halves.
Berkshire’s spiffy new $30-million multi-purpose athletic center is nearing completion and is scheduled to open on Jan. 1st, with a dedication to follow sometime later in January.
The building is 117,000 square feet, and features two sheets – one Olympic, and one standard. You want locker rooms? The building has 14 of them, one for each of the school’s teams. In addition, the school will be moving all athletic department offices into the building. Other amenities include a fitness center, a stretching area, a training room, classrooms, and function rooms. This typist checked it out, at least from the outside, while driving through the Berkshires on a summer Sunday afternoon. It’s an impressive building, and it’s setting in the shadow of Mt. Everett just adds to the effect.
As of yet, the arena is unnamed. Make a large enough gift to the school and perhaps it will be named after you!
Whoever it’s named after, the arena will be forever associated with Berkshire’s head of school Mike Maher, who raised all that cash, no easy task in the current economic climate. During Maher’s years as hockey coach at Taft, the Rhinos’ new arena was built, and they kept the old one, too. Beautiful rinks just seem to follow the former University of Vermont captain around.
In other hockey news, head coach Dan Driscoll was named the school’s athletic director over the summer. Don’t worry, he’s still the hockey coach. Former athletic director/girls hockey coach Lori Charpentier has moved on to the Brooks School.
We'll be posting a number of jamboree schedules over the next few days, so please check back.