Edina Wins 7th State Title
-- Saturday at the Excel Energy Center; St. Paul, Minn. (Attendance: 17,833)
Class AA title game:
Edina 4, Minnetonka 2
Fifth-ranked Edina topped #1 Minnetonka, 4-2, to win the 2010 Minnesota Class AA State Hockey Tournament.
For the Hornets, it was their seventh title.
Edina, on a goal by senior Ryan Cutshall on the first shift of the game, took a quick 1-0 lead on a weary Minnetonka team that had been extended to four overtimes in the late semi the night before.
Cutshall's father had played on the Edina team that won a state title back in 1982, an apt omen for the Hornets, who simply had more energy tonight than Minnetonka could handle. After Edina struck three more times in the second, on goals by Michael Sit, Brett Stolpestad, and Jake Sampson, this one was effectively in the bag.
Trailing 4-0, Minnetonka roused themselves in the third, as defenseman Andrew Prochno scored a pair of goals on one shift, at 1:02 and 1:44 of the third. But that was all Minnetonka had in the tank.
Minnetonka outshot Edina, 25-20 in the game, but numbers deceive.
Minnetonka's season ends with a 27-2-2 and both losses coming to Edina, one in the regular season and the second tonight. Edina, which lost two times to Minnetonka, finishes the season with a 23-6-2 record.
Class AA All-Tournament Team:
Goaltenders: Connor Girard (Jr., Edina); Jim Kruger (Sr., Minnetonka).
Defensemen: Max Everson (Jr., Edina); Justin Holl (Sr., Minnetonka); Andrew Prochno (Sr., Minnetonka); Chris Casto (Sr., Hill-Murray).
Forwards: Ryan Cuthsall (Sr., Edina); Charlie Taft (Sr., Edina), Max Gardiner (Sr., Minnetonka); Jack Walsh (Sr., Minnetonka); Willie Faust (Sr., Hill-Murray); Hudson Fasching (Fr., Apple Valley).
Herb Brooks Award:
Peter Sikich, senior defenseman, Apple Valley. This award goes to "the most qualified player in the state tournament who strongly represents the values, characteristics, and traits that defined Herb Brooks."
Breck Takes Class A Crown
Class A Title Game:
Breck 2, Hermantown 1
A Mike Morin goal at 15:20 of the third period lifted the Breck School to the 2010 Class A Championship.
Class A All-Tournament Team:
Goaltenders: John Russell (Sr., Breck); Andy Foster (Soph., Warroad).
Defensemen: Jeff Paczynski (Sr., Hermantown); Ben Gislason (Sr., Breck); Jared Kolquist (Soph., Hermantown); Ben Marshall (Jr., Mahtomedi).
Forwards: Mike Morin (Sr., Breck); Tyson Fulton (Sr., Breck); Charlie Comnick (Sr., Hermantown); Brock Nelson (Sr., Warroad); Brett Hebel (Sr., Warroad); Brandon Zurn (Sr., Mahtomedia).
Herb Brooks Award:
Casey Myhre, senior goaltender, Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl.
Central Scouting's Combine List
Today, NHL's Central Scouting released their list of the top 100 players available for this June's NHL draft.
All are expected to be at the annual NHL combine, which runs May 24-29 in Toronto. At the combine, NHL teams will be inspecting and dissecting all 100 players, putting them through extensive off-ice tests, both physical and psychological, as well as conducting interviews.
Of the 100 players on Central's list, 49 are Canadian-born, 30 are U.S.-born, and 21 are from Europe.
Here are the U.S. players who'll be there, in alphabetical order, and broken down into geographical groups. We've also included a section for Canadians who have retained their amateur eligibility and are playing NCAA, in prep school, the USHL, or Tier II.
The towns/cities before players' names are their birthplaces, not necessarily where they now live.
Northeast Prep/High School/Juniors:
Kenny Agostino, LW, 5-11/190, Morristown, NJ -- Delbarton
Charlie Coyle, C/RW, 6'1.5/202, E. Weymouth, Mass. -- South Shore Kings (EJHL)
Kevin Hayes, RW, 6'2.25/201, Boston, Mass. -- Noble & Greenough
Patrick McNally, LD, 6-2/180, Glen Head, NY -- Milton Academy
Mike Pereira, LW, 5'10.75/170 -- Avon Old Farms
Minnesota High School:
Mark Alt, RD, 6-3/199, Kansas City, MO -- Cretin-Derham Hall
Nick Bjugstad, RC, 6'3.75/188, Minneapolis, Minn. -- Blaine
Max Gardiner, LC, 6'2.5/176, Edina, Minn. -- Minnetonka
Zane Gothberg, 6'0.5/177, Grand Forks, ND -- Thief River Falls
Justin Holl, RD, 6'2.25/170, Edina, Minn. -- Minnetonka
Brock Nelson, LC, 6'2.5/205, Minneapolis, Minn. -- Warroad
Connor Brickley, LC, 5'11.5/190, Malden, Mass. -- Des Moines
Jacob Fallon, LC, 5'10/191, Riverside, CA -- Indiana
Kevin Gravel, LD, 6'4/185/Marquette, Mich. -- Sioux City
Billy Arnold, RC, 5'11.5/218, Boston, Mass.
Jack Campbell, G, 6'2.5/175, Port Huron, Mich.
Justin Faulk, RD, 5'11.75/196, South St. Paul, Minn.
Derek Forbort, 6'4.5, 198, Duluth, Minn.
Stephen Johns, RD, 6'3.25/215, Ellwood City, PA
Jon Merrill, LD, 6'3.25/198, Oklahoma City, OK
Jarred Tinordi, LD, 6'5.5/205, Millersville, MD
Jason Zucker, LW, 5'10.5/174, Las Vegas, Nevada
Brandon Archibald, RD, 6'3.5/200, Port Huron, Mich. -- Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Emerson Etem, RW, 6'0.25/190, Long Beach, Cal. -- Medicine Hat (WHL)
Cam Fowler, LD, 6'1.25/190, Windsor, Ont. -- Windsor (OHL)
Curtis Hamilton, LW, 6'2.25/209, Tacoma, Wash. -- Saskatoon (WHL)
Austin Watson, LW, 6-3.25/185, Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Peterborough (OHL)
Andrew Yogan, C/LW, 6'2.75/205, Coral Springs, Fla. -- Erie (OHL)
Beau Bennett, RW, 6'0.5/173, Gardena, CA -- Penticton
Americans Playing NCAA:
Tyler Pitlick, RC, 6'1.5/194, Minneapolis, Minn. -- Minnesota State (WCHA)
Canadians Playing NCAA, Prep, USHL, or Tier II:
Joe Basaraba, RW, 6'2.25/190, Fort Frances, Ont. -- Shattuck-St. Mary's
Danny Biega, RD, 6'0", 191, Montreal, Que. -- Harvard (NCAA)
Sam Brittain, G, 6'2.75/215, Calgary, Alb. -- Canmore (AJHL)
Jaden Schwartz, LC, 5-10/180, Melfort, Sask. -- Tri-City (USHL)
Riley Sheahan, LC, 6'1.5/202, St. Catherines, Ont. -- Notre Dame (CCHA)
U.S. Roster for World Under-18s Announced
USA Hockey has announced its 22-man roster for the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, to be held in Russia April 13-23.
Eighteen of the players are off the U.S. Under-18 Team, two are ‘93s up from the Under-17 Team, and two players are being brought in from outside the program.
The two ‘93s are forwards Tyler Biggs and Rocco Grimaldi.
The two players being brought in from outside the program are Connor Brickley (Des Moines - USHL) and Austin Watson (Peterborough - OHL).
U.S. Under-18 Team:
Goaltenders (2): Jack Campbell, Andy Iles.
Defensemen (7): Adam Clendening, Justin Faulk, Derek Forbort, Stephen Johns, Jon Merrill, Frankie Simonelli, Jarred Tinordi.
Forwards (13): Billy Arnold, Chase Balisy, Tyler Biggs, Connor Brickley, Austin Czarnik, Rocco Grimaldi, Luke Moffatt, Matt Nieto, Bryan Rust, Brandon Saad, Nick Shore, Austin Watson, Jason Zucker.
Head Coach: Kurt Kleinendorst. Assistant Coaches: John Wroblewski, Tim Taylor, and Cole Bassett. Goaltending Coach: Joe Exter.
Five players - Campbell, Clendening, Merrill, Nieto, and Zucker -- are playing on their second World Under-18 Team, having been on the squad that won gold last April in Fargo, North Dakota.
Two players not on the roster are Kevin Clare and Michael Mersch. The former, who has been playing well, may be getting punished for the off-ice incident at the high school in January, though it's also hard to argue with the guys who are going -- it's a strong group any way you cut it. Mersch, on the other hand, hasn't been as effective as the guys in front of him.
Minsk & Bobruisk, Russia.
Thurs. April 8 - Belarus (exhibition)
Sat. April 10 - Slovakia
Tues. April 13 - Sweden
Wed. April 14 - Switzerland
Fri. April 16 - Canada
Sun. April 18 - Belarus
Tues. April 20 - Quarterfinals
Wed. April 21 - Semifinals
Fri. April 23 - Bronze and Gold Medal Games
Western New England Fall Elite League News
The Western New England Fall Prep Elite League, which played its inaugural season out of Trinity College last season, has a few changes on tap for this fall.
First off, the league will switch from a Saturday evening/Sunday afternoon setup at Trinity College to a Sunday-only setup at the twin-sheet Newington Ice Center, ten miles south of Hartford. Teams will each play two games on Sunday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The games will start at 10:00 or 10:30 am and everybody will be on their way back to school or home by mid to late afternoon.
The league feels there are two advantages here. First off, last fall there were numerous conflicts with school events on Saturday nights. Secondly, very few college coaches were able to show up on Saturday, as their teams were playing, or they were off scouting junior tournaments. Ditto for the pro scouts. Sunday is just easier for all involved.
The league will also take a cue from their counterpart in Massachusetts and offer two divisions this time around.
The College Division will consist primarily of ‘91s, ‘92s, and ‘93s, with overlap allowing top ‘94s to play up.
The Prospects Division will consist of ‘93s, ‘94s, and ‘95s.
Just to mix things up, there will be a weekend, most likely at the end of September, at Yale's Ingalls Rink.
In addition there will be crossover weekends. The Western New England Fall Elite League teams will travel up to Salem, NH on the weekend of October 2nd, and the NEFPL will travel down to Connecticut and play on Sunday October 17th. The games on the 17th will be at Quinnipiac.
Though the Newington Ice Center will be the league's home rink, there may still be some games played at Trinity. In addition, the league will be looking to bring in some outside teams for a weekend or two. The Mississauga Reps '94 team, which was very strong this season, will likely make the trip, and the league is looking to bring in similar teams from outside the area. If interested, please contact Jason Pagni at info(at)westernprep-elite.com
The player selection process will be similar to what the NEFPL does in that the stronger players - the no-brainers -- have already been invited. Remaining spots - at both levels - will be filled at the April 11th tryouts, which will be held at Newington. Tryout times are on the league's website.
Unlike last year, this time around the tournament will be open to top Connecticut high school players, so there might me some new blood, and some players looking to make a real impression. Fifteen to twenty of the better high school players in the state are expected to try out on the 11th.
Selanne Sets Up Bonino's First
If your morning newspaper was totally rain-sogged and unreadable, you probably missed the news that former Avon Old Farms and Boston University star forward Nick Bonino scored his first NHL goal last night in the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 home win over Dallas.
The goal, a power play tally at 8:11 of the second period, was set up by Teemu Selanne, who had scored his 600th career goal last week, placing him 18th all time.
Selanne was honored in a ceremony before the game. Among those on hand was his good friend Jari Kurri, who is one goal ahead of Selanne at 601. Kurri, now 49, flew over from Finland, took part in the ceremony, and was hoping to see Selanne tie his record. However, Selanne, who had eight shots on goal, couldn't bury it. Perhaps Kurri can someday tell his grandchildren that he saw Bonino's first NHL goal.
Selanne presented Bonino, who was playing in his second NHL game, with the puck and later told reporters, "A first NHL goal is always something. You know, you can see what kind of skills he has. He's so calm. What's amazing about rookies these days is rookies are so ready."
Bonino, an '88 birthdate from Farmington, Conn. who went undrafted in his first year of eligibility, was taken in the sixth round of the 2007 draft by San Jose. The Sharks traded him last year to Anaheim, and the Ducks signed him to a two-year entry-level contract last week. Bonino gave up his last year of eligibility at BU.
Butler Reaps Reward
University of New Hampshire 6'0", 185 lb. free agent RW Bobby Butler signed a two-year deal with the Ottawa Senators last night, and will join the team in Washington for Tuesday night's game against the Capitals.
A Hockey East Player of the Year and Hobey Baker Award nominee, Butler played 39 games for UNH this year and finished with a 29-24-53 line.
Passed over in his draft year -- he's a 4/26/87 birthdate -- Butler is reaping the bigger reward now. Half a dozen NHL teams made offers yesterday.
Butler played for Marlborough (Mass.) High School, where he won a Div. III state title in 2005 on a team coached by his father, John. This means that tomorrow night in Washington, when Butler goes up against Caps defenseman Tom Poti, who played at Worcester's St. Peter-Marian HS before heading to Cushing Academy, there will be two former Central Massachusetts Div. III high school players in the same NHL game. Hall Gill (Nashoba Valley Regional HS) is the only other former Central Mass. Div. III high school player in the NHL.
Butler also played for the Junior Bruins organization for four years, and exclusively in '05-06, the year before he headed off to UNH.
St. Peter-Marian High School is Div. I, not Div. III
Speaking of the Junior Bruins, their former goaltender, 6'5", 215 lb. Connor Knapp, was outstanding in Miami's 3-2 double OT win over Michigan in the NCAA Midwest Regional Final last night. In the game, which ended after midnight, Knapp kicked out 55 of 57 shots. A sixth-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in last summer's NHL draft, Knapp has a 1.84 gaa and a .926 save percentage in 19 games with the RedHawks, who will face Boston College in an NCAA semi on Thurs. April 8 (8:30 pm). Knapp will be facing off against several of his old Junior Bruins teammates: defenseman Edwin Shea, F/D Patch Alber, and F Tommy Atkinson are all former Junior Bruins on the Eagles roster.
Another former EJHL player on Miami's roster, Pat Cannone, who was also outstanding last night, notching two of Miami's three goals, will be going up against Barry Almeida, his former linemate on the New England Junior Falcons.
Fri. 3/26/10 -- Sat. 3/27 update: RIT blitzes UNH, 6-2; advances to Frozen Four.
Former Prep Backup Stuns Denver
6'1", 180 lb. Jared DeMichiel, an Avon, Conn. native and former backup goalie at Avon Old Farms, is tonight's ‘unknown' hero, leading the Rochester Institute of Technology to a 2-1 upset of powerhouse Denver University in NCAA Regional action tonight in Albany, NY.
"DeMike," a senior at RIT, is a case study in persistence.
He barely played at Avon, as all the minutes went to Jon Quick, who led Avon to a prep title as a junior in ‘03-04. Quick, after one more year at Avon, would go on to UMass, the LA Kings, and the U.S. Olympic Team.
DeMichiel -- after graduating from Avon in '04 -- went out to the NAHL and played 20 games the following season with the Springfield (IL) Jr. Blues. In '05-06, he found himself on the roster of the woeful, cellar-dwelling Boston Harborwolves (EJHL). He stuck with it, though, and did well enough to get a call from USHL's cellar-dwellers that season, the Chicago Steel (USHL), whom he joined in December.
From there, it was on to RIT. He played two games as a freshman, six as a soph, 20 as a junior - and here he is, a senior in the spotlight, the star of RIT's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Div. I Tournament. Seizing the moment, DeMichiel kicked out 39 of 40 shots, besting Florida Panthers draft pick and Hobey Baker Award nominee Marc Cheverie (23/25.)
Tomorrow night, in the NCAA East Regional final, DeMichiel and his teammates face another major challenge in UNH. Bobby Butler (2g), Mike Sislo (2g), and Paul Thompson (2g) were on fire tonight, scoring all of UNH's goals and just scorching Cornell's Ben Scrivens (another Hobey nominee) with a bunch of snipes, mostly to the glove side.
If you can't make it to the Times Union Center in Albany tomorrow, the game will be broadcast on ESPNU (6:30 pm).
By the way, DeMichiel has a blog.
USHR Prep Players of the Year
U.S. Hockey Report Prep Forward of the Year:
Kevin Hayes, Noble & Greenough
Nobles head coach Brian Day refers to Hayes as "the most gifted player I've ever coached."
That's no small praise, as there have been some very good ones that have rolled through Nobles in recent years.
When his linemate of last season, Billy Arnold (they had identical 28-27-55 scoring lines) headed off to the NTDP, there were those who predicted that Hayes's point totals would drop off without Arnold being there to dish the puck to him.
What people overlooked is the fact that Hayes is not just a finisher. In addition to his great size and reach, he also has a soft pair of hands, and sees the ice as few others. The Dorchester, Mass. native did not suffer without Arnold. He just grabbed the reins, posted a 25-44-69 line (in 29 games) and led Nobles to a 23-5-1 record and the Prep Final Four.
Although a junior at Nobles, Hayes is on track to accelerate, planning to get his high school diploma over the summer and matriculate at Boston College in the fall. Before that, however, comes the NHL draft. The current feeling is that Hayes, a 5/8/92 birthdate, will be selected late in the first round.
"He has an unbelievable skill set," Day says. "That's apparent when you watch him play. But he also has great hockey IQ. He understands the pace of a hockey game as well as anyone I've seen. He does things I've never seen before, all those subtle things. He knows where everybody around him is at all times. When he chases down a puck he looks to see where everybody is. He'll also take a pass differently than other players. Ninety-nine percent will take a pass from a teammate tape-to-tape. Kevin will sometimes just let it go and take it off the board, to get more separation."
"It's hard to find natural goal scorers like Kevin," Day adds, "but he enjoys setting up plays more than scoring goals."
Day says he saw a tremendous growth in Hayes from last year to this year. "His work ethic in all three zones was much better. That's a function of maturing. His leadership was consistently present and so evident in the bigger games. He was just so much better on the defensive side of the puck this year. And that's all a byproduct of his maturing as a young man."
"Plus, he's a real focused kid. I had him in class (economics) this year. He enjoys learning. He sits in the front row. He contributes. Kids gravitate toward him. He's respected and admired in the school community. He's humble."
U.S. Hockey Report Prep Defenseman of the Year:
Patrick McNally, Milton Academy
McNally, a new junior at Milton Academy this year, arrived on the scene with little advanced fanfare, but by the end of the Flood-Marr Tournament, was the talk of the scouting community.
A 6'2", 180 lb. Glen Head, Long Island native and a 12/4/91 birthdate, McNally is a product of the Suffolk PAL program -- Eric Nystrom, Chris Higgins, Mike Komisarek, James Marcou, and many others are among those who preceded McNally through coach Alexi Nikiforov's highly-regarded program.
McNally's size, athleticism, agility, and passion for jumping into the offense and taking it end-to-end caught the eyes of scouts, fans, and opponents. For Milton, he was the missing ingredient, an offensive blueliner who could jump-start Milton's attack - and often finish it by lighting the lamp at the other end. He gave Milton a flair, and helped make the Mustangs an extremely entertaining team to watch.
Not many teams have a defenseman as their leading overall scorer. This season, Milton did, as McNally finished the season with a 14-21-35 line in 28 games.
Paul Cannata, Milton's head coach, said, "He certainly stepped in and was a very good hockey player for us. He created a lot of offense from the blue line and provided a lot of spark. Great student. Good kid. And a pleasure to coach."
"He loves to play hockey, carry the puck, skate, and make plays. There's a freshness to his game that is really enjoyable. You don't want to coach that out of him."
McNally, who is expected to go somewhere between the second and the fourth round of June's NHL draft, will matriculate at Harvard in the fall of '11.
U.S. Hockey Report Prep Goaltender of the Year:
Branden Komm, Northfield-Mt. Hermon
This was a tough one. There were a number of goalies we really liked for this award, and compelling arguments can be made for each of them, but Komm was the guy who put his team on his back, knocked two strong teams out of the playoffs, and carried NMH to the championship game. Yes, NMH's offense had a lot to do with that, but the Hoggers were a team that played old-fashioned firewagon hockey. That meant Komm had to bail them out on numerous odd-man rushes the other way. He did, a lot of the time, and when he was hot, he was something else, making more acrobatic, athletic saves than we saw from any other prep goalie this year. His save percentage of .906 was lower than a good number of other goalies, but he also faced a ton of shots, many of which were grade A opportunities. Context is everything when it comes to statistics.
Komm, a product of the Amherst (NY) Knights Midget AAA program, came up big in pressure games. In the aforementioned quarterfinal at Kent, he stopped 43 of 44 shots. Two nights later, he kicked out 40 of 43 shots in a semifinal OT win over Westminster. In the final against Avon, Komm came up with some excellent saves, but the Avon power play just overwhelmed the Hoggers, who won 4-1.
Tom Pratt, his coach at NMH, said Komm, who had a hip flexor problem that kept him out of games in December - who can forget the goalie-less games at the Lawrenceville tournament? - was "a laser beam from January on in terms of his focus."
"Going hand-in-hand with that focus," Pratt added, "was a real aggressiveness in his approach. He was right out there at the top of the crease. He controlled the puck well. We had a lot of great forwards and he allowed us to play the style that we did with confidence."
Pratt said that Komm wasn't quite ready to play in the Cushing Tournament, but gutted it out. Pratt said his goaltender wasn't really a hundred percent until the second week of January.
From that point forward, NMH went 14-3-1 and won the #8 seed in the playoffs. They headed down to Connecticut for the quarterfinals on March 3rd, and shocked #1-seeded Kent. "The third period," recalls Pratt, "was all Kent. From where I was standing on the bench, (Komm) was to my left. I barely turned my head to the right all period. There was no panic on his part. I never felt they were really threatening our lead even though they were outshooting us by a huge margin."
Komm will be going to Nationals with the GBL Junior Bruins in a couple of weeks. He was drafted by Youngstown (USHL), but recently committed to Bentley College. He will be heading there in the fall.
Fitzgerald Chooses BC
5'9", 150 lb. C/RW Ryan Fitzgerald, a freshman at Malden Catholic, has committed to Boston College for the fall of '13.
A 10/19/94 birthdate from North Reading, Fitzgerald posted a 17-30-47 line in 24 games for Malden Catholic this season. He's a smart player - an excellent playmaker who moves the puck really well, makes players around him better, skates well, and competes.
The son of former Providence College star, NHL first round draft pick ('86), and 18-year NHLer Tommy Fitzgerald, the younger Fitzgerald was also offered by UNH. The Wildcats were probably the school in most direct competion with BC. (UNH assistant Scott Borek had helped recruit the father to PC 25 years ago.) UMass also was in the picture. BU reportedly made a late push, but the younger Fitzgerald never actually took a visit there. BC has been on him for quite a while, since last summer and fall.
Fitzgerald, who was excellent at last week's Beantown Spring Classic, will be heading out this weekend to the NTDP Evaluation Camp (March 27-30) at Ann Arbor.
Speaking of the NTDP camp, fellow BC recruit Brendan Silk, a sophomore at Austin Prep, suffered a deep bone bruise in the Super 8, and is unlikely to be able to skate at the camp.
U.S. Sled Team Wins Gold
The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey team topped Japan, 2-0, before a crowd of 5,810 to win the gold at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games Saturday in Vancouver, BC.
In its five games, the U.S. Team, coached by Ray Maluta, did not allow a single goal, topping South Korea, 5-0; the Czech Republic, 3-0; Japan, 6-0: Norway, 3-0 (semifinals); and, as mentioned above, Japan, 2-0, in the Gold Medal Game.
Taylor Chace, of Hampton Falls, NH, a forward at the Cardigan Mountain School who went on to play for the New England Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) before getting injured, is now a defenseman. And a good one -- Chase was named the top defenseman of the tournament.
The top goaltender of the tournament was Steve Cash, of Overland, Missouri, who posted a 1.000 save percentage.
Sat. 3/20/10 - updated
Beantown Pre-Draft Division
The top prospect here was 6'1", 175 lb. '94-born Latvian center Zemgus Girgensons of the Green Mountain Glades (EJHL) --- and by a wide margin.
If Girgensons had been moved up to the draft division, he would have been just fine. He's that good. A rangy centerman with a bit of grit, Girgensons has soft hands, and excellent acceleration for a kid of his size/age. Since he doesn't telegraph anything, it's difficult to tell if he's going to dish or shoot (and he does both equally well). This makes him lethal in prime scoring areas. People use Peter Forsberg's name a lot when trying to describe his style, though we see don't see Girgensons as having quite the same level of grittiness as Forsberg. And that's not a knock - very few players in the history of the game possessed Forsberg's determination. However you want to describe him, Girgensons has all the earmarks of a first round NHL draft pick. He doesn't have an agent yet, though they are all angling for position.
A native of the city of Riga, Girgensons is accelerating his studies, which means he will now enter the University of Vermont in the fall of '11, and be eligible for the NHL draft in the summer of '12, after his freshman year.
-- We thought the top defenseman in the pre-draft division was 6'5", 230 lb. '93 defenseman Michael McKee, an Ontario native who played for the Kent School last winter. We're surprised a top Div. I school hasn't snapped him up yet. In this setting, he was able to show a little more offense than is customary. He put a hit on Girgensons and stopped him in his tracks. He also towered over Girgensons, and Gergensons is not small.
-- Top goalies were 6'0" Jake Thoubboron, a '94 from the NJ Avalanche who is going to Deerfield in the fall. We really liked him last summer, where we had him ranked #2 at the Select 15 Festival (trailing only Dalton Izyk), and 6'0" Patrick Spano, a '93 who played last winter at the Westminster School. 5'11" Noah Klag, a '93 from the Team Comcast Under-18s, had a couple of impressive games. Also intriguing is 6'5" Jon Gillies, a '94 who was at Salisbury this past season.
-- On the Orange Team, we really liked the forwards from Jared Beach's Comcast Under-18s. 5'7", 140 lb. '93 John Gaudreau, a Northeastern commit, is a gas to watch, quick and highly skilled. 5'5" Dan Barnaby and 5'9" David Ferreira, both late '93s, were also consistently noticeable. 5'10" Nobles '94 Andrew Doane didn't put up numbers like the above players, but was his usual solid self.
-- The Royal Blue team, which had Girgensons as its centerpiece, was loaded -- very deep up front. Every forward did something, at one time or another, that caught our attention. 6'1" Ben Foster, from Choate, a '93, was consistently noticeable -- good size, strong, really hard to knock off his skates. 6'1", 190 lb. late '93 Brian Hart, who played at Brewster last season but is transferring to Phillips Exeter, benefited from being on Girgenson's line, but has a lot of upside of his own. 5'9" UVM recruit Connor Anthoine, a '93 who plays with Girgensons on the Glades and was on his line here, had a good tournament. 5'11" Belmont Hill '93 Jimmy Vesey was really having a nice game Thursday night - a couple goals and an assist - but left with a separated shoulder. Crafty 5'7" Kimball Union '94 Dennis Kravchenko was his usual self - smart, good stick. Danny O'Regan, a 5'9" '94 plays at Roxbury Latin and doesn't get the attention he deserves. Andover '95 Eddie Ellis, who is 6'1", has size and skating ability - he's a player whose development we'll be followed by many. 5'9" Colin Blackwell, a '93 from St. John's Prep, showed a nice touch, and put himself on the map here.
Of the Royal Blue defensemen, Belmont Hill's 5'9" ‘94 Matt Grzelcyk was very good, as expected. Late '93 Joe McNamara, also of Belmont Hill, played a smart, consistent game, moving the puck well. We should mention that these games were fast and wide open and the smaller, quicker, offensively-skilled D who could jump-start the offense were the one who generally showed better. However, even after taking that into consideration, the forwards here were better, deeper, and younger than the defensemen. And that applied to every single team.
--The Light Blue team was led offensively by the Malden Catholic kids. Late '94 Ryan Fitzgerald, who is 5'9", 150 lbs., was excellent - he's smart, and was consistently making plays, and driving the offense. Late '93 Brendan Collier, his linemate all season, is 5'9" and clever, with a real head for the game and a quick stick. 6'1" '95 Brandon Shea is on the edge of becoming a force - and he's only a '95 (there were only two '95s in the tournament). Westminster's 5'10" winger David Hallisey, a '94, is an excellent skater and was consistently dangerous. 6'3" Sebastian Romeo, a '94 from the Palm Beach Hawks, has size, strength and provided energy. Similar in style to Romeo, though not as big, is 6'1" '94 Cam Darcy of Dexter. Darcy didn't put up much in the way of points, but kept his feet moving and used his size well.
On defense, Trevor Owens, a 6'1", 185 lb. late '93 from the Carolina Hurricanes Under-16 team caught our attention - a big strong kid with pretty good feet.
In net, we already mentioned Gillies. 6'2" '93 Steve Michalek of Loomis wasn't bad either. All those shots he faced over the winter certainly didn't hurt him. He's somebody we'll watch closer next winter.
-- The White Team really struggled, losing all three of their games, a couple by dispritingly wide margins. We noticed 6'0" Justin Selman, a late '93 from the NJ Avalanche, 6'1" '93 Ryan Rosenthal of the Kent School, and 6'0" late '93 Devin Tringale of Lawrence Academy. But after that -- not much. The Junior Bruins Empire kids - there were 11 of them on the team - did little for themselves. We understand that it's March, the weather outside was sunny and pushing 70 degrees, and they've made a hundred trips to the New England Sports Center this year. We also understand that many other kids in the tournament were totally jacked to be at the Sports Center for the first time. Maybe if the Junior Bruins Empire kids had been spread around to other teams and forced to up their tempo, things might have worked out better for them.
John Gaudreau (2-5-7), David Ferreira (5-1-6), Zemgus Girgensons (3-3-6), Colin Blackwell (2-3-5), Ben Foster (2-24), Brian Hart (2-2-4), Jimmy Vesey (2-24), Connor Anthoine (1-3-4), Justin Selman (3-03), David Hallisey (2-1-3), Joseph DePietto (1-2-3), Dan Barnaby (1-2-3), Brendan Collier (1-2-3), Danny O'Regan (0-3-3), Dennis Kravchenko (2-0-2), RJ Burns (2-0-2), Devin Tringale (2-0-2), Matthew Caito (1-12), Jason Michaud (1-1-2), Michael Weaver (1-1-2), Ryan Fitzgerald (1-1-2), Michael Iovanna (1-1-2), Michael Vecchione (1-1-2), Shayne Gostisbehere (0-2-2), Frankie Vatrano (0-2-2), Paul Russell (0-2-2), Ryan Rosenthal (0-2-2), Josh Bretner (1-0-1), Michael McKee (1-0-1), Adam Gilmour (1-0-1), Andrew Doane (1-0-1), Zane Popilock (1-0-1), Robbie Baillargeon (1-0-1), Collin Bourque (1-0-1), Sebastian Romeo (1-0-1), Kevin McKernan (1-0-1), Connor Fallon (0-1-1), Michael Flynn (0-1-1), Devin Albert (0-1-1), Chris Calnan (0-1-1), Michael Davis (0-1-1), James Gabrione (0-1-1), Dylan Shamburger (0-1-1), Corey Scammon (0-1-1), Cam Darcy (0-1-1), Brandon Shea (0-1-1), Kevin Salvucci (0-1-1), Kyle Webb (0-1-1), Brian Morgan (0-1-1), Matt Baldino (0-1-1), Joey Yeadon (0-1-1), Joe McNamara (0-0-0), Matt Grzelcyk (0-0-0), Ross Scherma (0-0-0), Michael Doherty (0-0-0), Eddie Ellis (0-0-0), Kyle O'Brien (0-0-0), Phil Sciretta (0-0-0), Sam Kurker (0-0-0), Charles Donners (0-0-0), Connor Evangelista (0-0-0), Trevor Owens (0-0-0), Dylan Pike (0-0-0), Kurt Krotz (0-0-0), Desmond Bergin (0-0-0), Derek Stahl (0-0-0), Griffyn Martin (0-0-0), Mitch Beyer (0-0-0), Matt Manzella (0-0-0), Mac Cook (0-0-0), Joe Prescott (0-0-0), Evan Schultz (0-0-0), Casey Miller (0-0-0).
Patrick Spano (39/41) .951
Noah Klag (54/58) .931
Jon Gillies (49/54) .907
Jake Thoubboron (45/51) .882
Matt Morris (42/48) .875
Steve Michalek (53/61) .869
Colin Stevens (29/37) .784
Chris Eiserman (35/45) .778
Draft Division Leaders
Draft Division Scoring:
Drew Brown (4-2-6), Mike Seward (3-2-5), Mark Hourihan (1-4-5), Brandon McNally (4-0-4), Garnet Hathaway (3-1-4), Alex Hagen (3-1-4), Connor Sheary (2-2-4), Petr Placek (2-2-4), Danny Linell (2-2-4), Vinny Scotti (1-3-4), Luke Hannon (1-3-4), Mike Reardon (2-1-3), Marc-Anthoine Carriere (1-2-3), Noel Acciari (1-2-3), Jason Binkley (1-2-3), Mike Conderman (1-2-3), Tommy O’Regan (0-3-3), Nick Gordon (0-3-3), Chris Wagner (2-0-2), Eric Neiley (2-0-2), Garrett White (1-1-2), Marcello DeAngelis (1-1-2), Daniel Bahntge (1-1-2), Kyle Smith (1-1-2), Matt Willows (1-1-2), Cam Spiro (1-1-2), TJ Powers (1-1-2), Kevin Hayes (0-2-2), Logan Roe (0-2-2), Andrew Tegeler (0-2-2), Joseph Pendenza (0-2-2), Michael Pirovano (1-0-1), Terrence Wallin (1-0-1), Thane Heller (1-0-1), Casey Thrush (1-0-1), Justin Mansfield (1-0-1), Jacob Rutt (1-0-1), Aaron Kesselman (1-0-1), Bennett Carroccio (0-1-1), Jared Wiedemann (0-1-1), Joey Fiori (0-1-1), Nick Lovejoy (0-1-1), Kenny Agostino (0-1-1), Michael Pereira (0-1-1), Mac Lalor (0-1-1), Mike Montagna (0-1-1), Maxim Gaudreault (0-1-1), Zach Luczyk (0-1-1), Cody Learned (0-1-1), Mike Holland (0-1-1), Bill Eiserman (0-1-1), Trevor Van Riemsdyk (0-1-1), RJ Boyd (0-1-1), Trent Ruffolo (0-1-1), Pat McNally (0-0-0), Jake Turrin (0-0-0), Castan Sommer (0-0-0), Brett Riley (0-0-0), Jonathan Mleczko (0-0-0), Eliott Bostrom (0-0-0), Nick Luuko (0-0-0), Kyle Quick (0-0-0), Gabe Colona (0-0-0), Michael Ambrosia (0-0-0), Shane Gorman (0-0-0), Justin Agosta (0-0-0), Colin Shea (0-0-0), Martin Jorgenson (0-0-0), Danny Federico (0-0-0), Brian Harris (0-0-0), Patrick Doherty (0-0-0), Trevor Mingoia (0-0-0), Kevin Sullivan (0-0-0).
Draft Division Goaltenders:
Martin Oullette (56/60) .933
Alex Vazzano (53/57) .930
Brian Billett (59/64) .922
Kenneth MacLean (63/69) .913
Raphael Girard (62/68) .912
Max Fenkell (59/63) .908
Brad Barone (47/52) .904
Anthony Cadieux (55/67) .821
Note: Forward Petr Placek, defenseman Bennett Carroccio, and goaltender Kenneth MacLean are all late '92s and thus ineligible for the NHL draft until 2011.
2010 Beantown Spring Classic
There is no one single event in New England that draws as many heavy hitters - both on and off the ice -- as the Beantown Spring Classic. We're told the sign-in sheet totaled around 150 NHL scouts (and their bosses), college coaches, player agents, and contingents from the USHL and major junior.
As always the competition was good (there are only four teams in each division), with wide-open play and a number of close games.
We focused our attention on the pre-draft division, mainly because we've expended a million words on the players in the draft division over the years. Our feeling: it was by far the best pre-draft division this tournament has had.
We'll have more on that later, but right now we want to give you the basics, i.e. the scores. We'll be updating those later, too.
We'll have scoring and goalie leaders once things are added up later on.
Draft Division Scores:
12:20 pm -- Team A (Navy Blue) 4, Team B (Teal) 3 -- final
2:40 pm -- Team C (Yellow) 4, Team D (Grey) 4 -- final
7:30 pm -- Team A (Navy Blue) 5, Team C (Yellow) 3 -- final
9:30 pm - Team B (Teal) 5, Team D (Grey) 5 -- final
12:20 pm - Team A (Navy Blue) 8, Team D (Grey) 5 -- final
2:40 pm - Team B (Teal) 2, Team C (Yellow) 1 -- final
Pre-Draft Division Scores:
8:10 pm - Team 1 (Royal Blue) 8, Team 4 (White) 3 -- final
1:40 pm - Team 1 (Royal Blue) 4, Team 2 (Orange) 4 -- final
3:30 pm - Team 3 (Light Blue) 4, Team 4 (White) 2 -- final
8:20 pm - Team 1 (Royal Blue) 4, Team 3 (Light Blue) 1 -- final
9:00 pm - Team 2 (Orange) 6, Team 4 (White) 1 -- final
2:10 pm - Team 2 (Orange) 7, Team 3 (Light Blue) 5 -- final
It's Old Hat for These Guys
When Union College head hockey coach Nate Leaman received a call from the Hockey Hall of Fame, it was not unexpected. After all, his team had just hosted the longest game in NCAA college hockey history, a 3-2 five overtime loss to Quinnipiac in an ECAC quarterfinal last Friday night/Saturday morning. The game, which had started at 7:07 pm, ended at 1:03 am, nearly six hours later.
The Hall of Fame asked Leaman for a Union College jersey.
"OK, " Leaman pointed out, "but you already have one from the last time."
It's true, of course. The five overtime game last Friday, which ran for 150:22 of playing time, eclipsed the previous NCAA record, also a five OT game (141:35) played March 5, 2006, also at Union College's Achilles Center. That game, also an ECAC playoff game was won by Yale, 3-2.
What are the odds that the two longest games in NCAA history would involve the same team (Union), the same rink (Achilles), and that both games would be lost by Union by the exact same score?
Pretty slim, we'd say.
Three coaches from the first overtime game, Leaman, Union assistant Rick Bennett, and Quinnipiac assistant Billy Riga (formerly at Union) were also behind the bench for the second game.
We caught up with all three to see how they were coping with their new-found fame.
Leaman, despite the fact that his team came back the next two nights to take the series, was suffering. "We had a lot of chances to win it - three or four breakaways in OT and a couple of real good looks -- so it was probably the toughest loss of my career. I didn't sleep well that night, but I was so proud of my team coming back and winning the series. It was a tough game. We played so well. I still get a knot in my stomach thinking about it."
We asked Leaman how it felt to be an expert in quadruple overtime games.
"Expert!?" he exclaimed. "I haven't won one yet!"
Leaman said the two games were vastly different. "The first one was more of a grinding game - not a lot of scoring chances. In the Quinnipiac game, there were a lot of scoring chances with both goalies making great saves. The second game was a faster game. In the Yale game, I had one player get sick but I didn't have a single player cramp up. In this one, five or six players cramped up. Our trainer, Cheryl Rockwood, was really running around. She'd be helping one guy in the tunnel and then another guy would need her on the bench. Also, one of our guys, Stephane Boileau, got injured in the third period, so guys were getting double-shifted the rest of the way."
"But we were also much better prepared this time. We had Gatorade, powershakes, granola, pizza crusts, and fruit."
Between periods, said Leaman, "We'd just tell ‘em one or two things. We stressed taking care of the puck. Simple things. We focused on being strong in the danger areas, and getting everything to the net."
Leaman said his team's pump-up tape was played between every period. "They guys were calling out the goals and hits - they knew it pretty well."
Assistant coach Bennett had played a couple of multi-OT games in the AHL, but nothing like what he experienced from behind the Skating Dutchmen's bench.
"Sometimes in these things you're more of a cheerleader," he said. "You're just trying to keep the guys energized," he said. "My role was with the D so you have to have strong changes because one slip-up can cost you the game."
Bennett says that, after the game, the Union staff watched two periods of video. "The next day was a quick turnaround," he said, and "and we needed to get an edge." Bennett reports that he got home around 2:30 or 3:00 am.
One thing that stuck out in Bennett's mind was the fact that the next day when the Union players arrived at the rink for Saturday's game, they were really upbeat. "The first guy I saw was (Mike) Schreiber and he was really positive. They weren't acting like they had lost," he said.
Bennett believes that the job that Rockwood, Union's trainer, did in keeping the players fed between periods was a key. "It didn't bring us a win that night, but I really believe it had a carryover effect to the next night."
Quinnipiac assistant Riga was in the unusual position of being on the visitor's bench in his second 5-OT game.
"Well, I know that I can stand up for long periods of time," he said. "I also know that after the first OT there's not a lot of coaching to be done. The game changes, and you become a cheerleader, a nutritional expert, and a motivational specialist."
"The game," says Riga, "began to look like tennis... 25-second shifts, dump it in, and change."
"The (2006 game) was not great. It was two mediocre teams at the time, both trying to hold on.
"This time it was a very good game played by much better teams. If I was a fan and had bought a ticket to the first game I probably would have left. For the second game, I would have stayed to the end.
"Having recruited players on the other bench made the whole thing special - but weird, too."
For Quinnipiac, the five OT game was part of a stretch of six games in ten days. "But," added Riga, "the OT game really made it seven-and-a-half games in ten days. That's really something."
The salient facts of the game are this: Quinnipiac won it when Greg Holt scored at 10:22 of the fifth overtime. Dan Clarke kicked out 73 of the 75 shots he faced for Union, and Keith Kinkaid stopped 52 of 55 for Union.
Quinnipiac's season may be done (it was the tenth time in 12 years of Div. I play in which the Bobcats have won 20 or more), but Union is still alive, and goes up against St. Lawrence in an ECAC semi at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY (7:00 pm tomorrow).
In case you are wondering no AHL, IHL, ECHL, or high school games exceeded last Friday's Quinnipiac-Union game in length. And only three games in NHL history were longer. On May 4, 2000, the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1, on a Keith Primeau goal at 12:01 of the fifth overtime. On April 3, 1933, the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Boston Bruins, 1-0, on a Ken Doraty goal at 4:46 of the sixth overtime. And then there's the longest of all. That came on March 24, 1936 when Mud Bruneteau, at 16:30 of the sixth overtime, scored the goal that gave the Detroit Red Wings a 1-0 win over the Montreal Maroons. If Bruneteau were still alive today, he would never have to buy himself another beer in the Motor City.
Nichols' Youthful Renaissance
At the beginning of the prep season nearly four months ago, we wrote about the Nichols School, a once-formidable program that used to pump out top Div. I recruits with regularity but, in recent years, had fallen off the map. Last season, Nichols finished with four wins. When they showed up at the Berkshire School Jamboree a few days after Thanksgiving, this typist looked at their roster and thought, ‘Uh-Oh.' There were two ‘95s on the team, seven ‘94s, seven ‘93s, and four ‘92s. In other words, 16 players were bantam aged. Then they went out beat Pomfret, 4-1, with '94-born center Andrew Poturalski figuring in all four of his team's goals. Well, it got our attention.
We saw them again at the Nichols/Belmont Hill Jamboree a month later, where they were hammered by South Kent and Belmont Hill. Nonetheless, they finished the season last week, bowing in game three of a best-of-three league finals vs. St. Andrew's College and finishing with a 24-11-3 record under new head coach Jamie Printz, formerly at Bridgton Academy. Those 24 wins represent a 20-game improvement. And despite being basically an Under-16 team they topped the Buffalo Regals Under-18s, the perennial NY rep at Nationals.
"They surprised me quite a bit," Printz said. "At first I thought they were way too young to beat guys but they just kept going."
Several players who are sure to get a lot of attention are:
Poturalski, who we mentioned above. He's 5'9", 160 lbs., and finished with a 33-28-61 line - pretty noteworthy for a '94. "He's improved a lot since the beginning of the season," Printz says. "We played St. Andrew's six times and it took them about one and a half games to figure out he was the guy they absolutely had to stop. He got a lot of attention. Shots after the whistle, etc. But they couldn't keep him off the board long."
"He's tough to knock off the puck. He can do some great things individually, but the next piece is working more on finding his linemates. He can escape traffic, but needs to see better outside traffic. That will come through experience. He made a huge leap from his freshman year to his sophomore year. He's great with the puck on his stick, but I tell him he'll get to a point where it's not on his stick all the time. He's smart. He gets it."
We asked Printz if Poturalski, who's getting Div. I attention from the Ivies, as well as Clarkson, Merrimack, Vermont, RPI, and Canisius (they've already offered him), would be lured away from Nichols.
"I'm pretty confident he'll be back, but he has a lot of people tugging at him."
Another standout, 6'3", 185 lb. freshman defenseman Wilson Vershay, a 6/10/95 birthdate played the whole season as a 14-year-old.
"He had a tremendous year," said Printz. "Most people are shocked when they hear he's a '95. He doesn't play like a '95. His confidence just grew as the year went along. Against Northwood, he was awesome. And when I watch him with his bantam team, he's an offensive force whereas with us, he plays it much more conservatively. He's never seen a weight room. He's going to be a good one."
Another '95 who bears close watching is 6'2" forward Nick Smith. "He didn't put up a ton of points, but at the end of the year he was playing with a ton of confidence. I was just watching him with his bantam team, too. You can definitely see where he's headed."
So there you have it. The keys to Nichols' renaissance are young, very young. If they stay at the Amherst, NY, day school this team will be fun to watch in the years to come.
"Our guys are exited about next year," said Printz. "A couple stopped in my office the other day asking about next year's schedule, wanting to see if we were going back to New England."
A good question. Are you?
"Yes, we will be back at Berkshire in the fall."
And Let's Not Forget New England
Things were busy during the prep season, and we didn't really have the chance to point out exactly how far some of this year's top programs had come. If you had spent the better part of this decade on a different planet - we're partial to Remulak -- you'd have suffered from severe disorientation.
NMH made it to the title game in just their third season under Tom Pratt. The cupboard was so bare when he took over that the Hoggers went 2-29-0 his first season before improving to 12-13-8 in '08-09, and then reaching the championship game this season. If there were a coach of the year award in prep hockey, Pratt would have to be the winner this season.
Kent, nearly unbeatable for much of the season, had just come off a 3-23-1 season when Matt Herr was handed the reins in '05-06. They went 21-5 this year.
At Milton, Paul Cannata took over a program in a shambles six years ago. His first season, the Mustangs won three games. This year, they won 19.
Kimball Union won six games in '07-08, the first year under Ryan Miller. This season, Miller's third, they won 20.
Gunnery was so bad early in the decade that former Cushing head coach Steve Jacobs grew weary of seeing them drag down the annual Watkins Tournament and asked them to spend New Year's somewhere else, like back home. Then Chris Baudo began turning the program around. And not only is Gunnery back in the Cushing Tournament, but they won it this year.
And what about Dexter? They didn't even have an upper school until a few years back. And while it's true they had more than a few creampuffs on the schedule this season, by the time they got to Salem it was pretty obvious they could hang in there against the big boys. They are young, and they will be a force to contend with next year and beyond. Hey, no one has ever said Danny Donato can't recruit or coach.
Monarchs Win Fifth Crown
-- at The College of the Holy Cross; Worcester, Mass.
With his team having given up a two-goal lead and the score tied at 3-3 midway through the third, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs LW Patrick Kiley slipped behind the South Shore Kings' defense, took a nice pass from Kyle Mountain and wristed the puck past Kings' goaltender Brad Barone to notch the game-winner as the Monarchs topped a never-say-die South Shore squad, 4-3, to win the 2010 EJHL Championship here today.
The win gave the Monarchs and head coach Sean Tremblay their fifth title in the last nine years.
Things were looking bad for South Shore before the puck even dropped this afternoon. Star forward Charlie Coyle was playing on a bad ankle -- and looking gimpy. UMass recruit Shane Walsh was out, as was LW Sean Logue, a St. Lawrence recruit. (And then, shortly into the game, West Point recruit Brian Schultz went down with a hand injury, and defenseman Kyle LeBrun was lost for the day when he took eight stitches.)
The Monarchs struck 5:52 into the first, with Northeastern recruit Zac Stone putting his team up 1-0 as he finished off a nice passing sequence with Jamie Ferullo and Trevor van Riemsdyk. The Monarchs would, by period's end, pump 14 shots on Barone, but that was the only one that found the back of the net.
Just six seconds into the second period - right off the opening faceoff - the Monarchs' Alex Gacek flew in on Barone to extend his team's lead to 2-0. The suddenness of the goal made it seem like a statement goal, the kind that would set the tone for the rest of the period, and probably the game.
But it didn't. A little over a minute later, South Shore answered, as Coyle, manning the left point on the power play, wristed a low, glove-side shot past Monarchs goaltender Brian Billett to make it a one-goal game.
The Monarchs though, made it 3-1 when Charlie Mullan made a pass out from the right corner, and right onto the stick of big Brooks Harrington, who, at the 6:40 mark, snapped one past Barone. Again, things looked bad for the Kings. They were undermanned and the game was physical, with the Monarchs getting the body on the Kings, wearing them down every chance they had.
But the Kings came back, scoring one when Coyle, off a faceoff play, benefitted from a pick and found himself all alone in the slot. Coyle didn't miss, wristing one past Billett for this second goal of the period at the 11:55 mark.
The Monarchs took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
At 6:25 of the third, the Kings tied it up at 3-3 on a great unassisted effort by Colgate recruit Chris Wagner, who'd been rather silent up to that point. After a turnover in the neutral zone, the puck was flipped into the Monarchs' end by defenseman Terrence O'Neilland and was rolling toward the goal line for what looked to be a certain icing call. Wagner, though, skating hard and fast up the left side, simply outskated the puck, catching up to it, gathering it in, and taking a hard right turn - a buttonhook - to the net. Billett appeared to be a little surprised, and Wagner beat him to tie the game up at 3-3.
However, less than four minutes later Kiley would give the lead back to the Monarchs and this time they held it, efficiently dumping the puck into the South Shore end, and making the Kings lug it out the rest of the period.
The Kings had a final glimmer of hope when the Monarchs' Herrington was called for a cross check with 1:28 in regulation. Harlow lifted Barone and put out the extra attacker for a 6-on-4, but Billett and the Monarchs held the fort.
After the game, Monarchs head coach Sean Tremblay said, "Tonight we did the same thing we've done all year as we got a good solid effort from all four lines and six D. We finished our checks well. Obviously, they had a lighter bench, so we wore them down. I was amazed at South Shore's ability to keep coming at us. They played with heart. And Coyle is as impressive a player as I've seen in our league for a while. For someone playing hurt, he made a lot happen."
"For us, I really thought Brice O'Connor was special on the blue line tonight. They pulled their goaltender to make it a 6-on-4 and he was the one who made the veteran play to get it out of the zone and preserve the victory. And Brian Billett came up big tonight, too."
South Shore Kings head coach Scott Harlow said, "It was a great hockey game. I asked my kids to give their all and lay it on the line and they did. I can't fault their effort. I can't fault their sacrifice. We were down a lot of guys. That's not an excuse, though. It's just the way it was. I really couldn't be prouder of my guys."
Harlow said that, at the beginning of the season, he didn't look at his team - he had only three returnees -- as a group that would make it to the finals. "However, what stuck out about the team was their work ethic every day during practice. They just never quit. They were determined, and they made sacrifices. I couldn't be happier for the guys. They put everything they had out there."
Most Valuable Player: Chris Wagner, South Shore Kings
Rookie of the Year: Charlie Coyle, South Shore Kings
Offensive Player of the Year: Chris Wagner, South Shore Kings
Defensive Player of the Year: Brice O'Connor, NH Jr. Monarchs
Goalie of the Year: Brian Billett, NH Jr. Monarchs
Coach of the Year: Scott Harlow, South Shore Kings
Coyle Out of Beantown
After the game, in talking about BU recruit Charlie Coyle, a top prospect for June's NHL draft, Harlow said, "Coyle was a horse today. He does the little things right. To play like that at fifty percent is a tribute to him."
Then Harlow added the words a number of scouts coming into town for the Beantown Classic later this week might not be happy to hear: "Charlie won't be playing in the the Beantown. He has to rest his ankle."
Harbormen Win Super 8 Title
-- Today at the TD Banknorth Garden
Super 8 Championship Game:
Hingham High 1, Catholic Memorial 0
Junior goaltender Derek McInnis blanked CM, kicking out all 19 shots he faced to give the Harbormen their first Super 8 Title. Hingham's win marks the second time in the tourney's 20-year history that a public school has won the Super 8, as Hingham joins Reading High, winners in 2008. The game's only goal, coming midway through the first period, was scored by junior Tim Driscoll, who tipped a shot by junior defenseman Steven Bellew past CM junior goalie Tommy Knox.
Today's other games:
Div. I - Arlington Catholic 5, Archbishop Williams 0
Div. II - Canton 4, Newburyport 2
Div. III - Longmeadow 2, Scituate 1
Kings Come from Behind; Move On
-- EJHL semifinal #2 at Holy Cross; Worcester, Mass.
The South Shore Kings, trailing by a goal late in the third, jolted the Jersey Hitmen with back-to-back goals from Brian Schultz and Chris Rettig less than four minutes apart, and skated off with a hard-fought 3-2 win here tonight.
The Kings' Brad Barone was terrific in net, stopping 43 of the 45 shots he faced -- and South Shore advances to play the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (4:00 pm tomorrow) in the 2010 EJHL Championship Game.
The Hitmen, who were outshooting the Kings by a wide margin but only had a 2-1 lead to show for it, saw that slim lead disappear with less than eight minutes left in regulation. Charlie Coyle, who was definitely playing hurt, came down his off wing looking like he'd be carrying the puck around behind the net. Instead, he pulled up hard just below the goal line and dished it out front to Brian Shultz, who one-timed it past Hitmen goalie Steve Racine at the 12:08 mark to tie the game at 2-2. At 15:57 the Kings' Chris Rettig scored the game-winner as he one-timed a puck that had squirted out from a scrum in front of Racine. 3-2, Kings, just like that.
This one had the appearances of a win for the Hitmen. The came out flying tonight, were relentless on the forecheck, and fired from everywhere on Brad Barone. However, South Shore kept themselves in the game. They were physical, helped Barone by clearing away second chances, and hung in there until they got their chances late.
Will Frederick scored both of the Hitmen's goals, and both came on the power play, one in the first period, and one in the second. Frederick's goals were sandwiched around an early second period tally from the Kings' Jake Friedman.
Delbarton Wins Third Straight NJ Title
-- at the Prudential Center; Newark, NJ
Yale recruit Kenny Agostino (4g,1a) and Princeton recruit Michael Ambrosia (2g,3a) each had five points as Delbarton rolled over Gloucester Catholic 7-2, winning their third straight New Jersey Non-Public Championship here tonight.
The title was Delbarton's seventh state championship, a record. For head coach Bruce Shatel it was his fifth crown in nine seasons. With the win, Delbarton finishes the season 27-1-0. Going back to last season, they have won 41 of their last 42 games.
Gloucester Catholic, led by junior forward John Gaudreau, a Northeastern recruit for the fall of '11, finished the season 15-4-2, not bad for a program in only its sixth season.
Gloucester Catholic actually held a 2-1 lead early in the first, on goals by Gaudreau and Joe Crespo. But then Delbarton took over, reeling off sixth unanswered goals to win it going away.
NH Jr. Monarchs Advance to EJ Final
-- EJHL semifinal #1 at Holy Cross; Worcester, Mass.
An unassisted goal by Alex Gacek at 9:41 of the third period broke a 1-1 tie and sent the New Hamphire Jr. Monarchs on to a 5-1 win in the first EJHL semifinal here this afternoon.
Less than three minutes after Gacek's goal, Brice O'Connor, from Patrick Kiley, made it a 3-1 game. Jamie Ferullo and Kiley added empty netters in the final minute to account for the final 5-1 score.
After a scoreless first period, the Monarchs went up 1-0 at 6:12 of the second when Aaron Kesselman scored off a faceoff play, with assists going to Jamie Ferullo and Patrick Doherty.
The Junior Bruins answered back at the 13:37 mark of the period with a highlight reel goal off the stick of Brad Peltz, who converted passes from Thane Heller and Kyle Smith at the 13:37 mark.
Both goaltenders were excellent. Brian Billett stopeed 36 of 37 for the Junior Bruins, and Kenneth MacLean kicked out 38 of 41 for the Junior Bruins.
The Junior Monarchs advance to tomorrow's title game (4:00 pm, at Holy Cross). They will play the winner of tonight's South Shore Kings- Jersey Hitmen semifinal.
Minnesota State Tournament Semifinals
-- Friday at the Excel Energy Center; St. Paul, Minn. (Att: 19,253)
Evening Session (Class AA):
Class AA Semifinal #2:
Minnetonka 2, Hill-Murray 1 (4 OT)
This one fell short of the tournament record for longest game, coming in a little under seven minutes shy of the record set in a 1996 semi between Apple Valley and Duluth East. The game ended at 12:19 am Saturday.
The heroes for Minnetonka were sophomore Eric Baskin, who ended it at 2:31 of the fourth OT, and senior goaltender Jim Kruger, who kicked out 42 of the 43 shots he faced.
Baskin's goal came when he circled the net and, on his backhand, tucked the puck inside the post past Hill-Murray junior goaltender Tim Shaughnessy.
#1-ranked Minnetonka, with one loss on the season, played it cautiously against #2-ranked Hill-Murray, possibly too cautiously, though you can't argue with the result. At any rate, Hill-Murray, and its top line of senior Willie Faust, junior Ben Bahe, and junior Kevin Becker, carried much of the play in regulation and held a 24-9 edge in shots going into OT.
Kruger had some big saves among the 42 he'd finish with, though none bigger than a point-blank shot he stopped with 20 seconds left in the third period.
The game was noteworthy in another sense. There were zero penalties in 86:31 of hockey. (For those of you curious about how the minutes added up, Minnesota employs an overtime system that starts with an eight-minute OT period, followed by a 17-minute period, then back to eight, then 17... ad infinitum.)
Class AA Semifinal #1:
Edina 2, Apple Valley 0
Edina head coach Curt Giles employs a defensive game plan, limiting Apple Valley's chances. However, one of them was memorable and that came at 11:11 of the second period when Apple Valley's '95 freshman Hudson Fasching (remember the name) made a rush down the left side, beat two Edina defenders, and centered it to '94 sophomore A.J. Michaelson (we've written about him in the past). Michaelson had a nice 10' open shot but Edina junior goaltender Connor Girard came up with a big-time glove save. Had Michaelson scored it would have tied the game at 1-1 and turned the momentum. However, a little over two minutes later, Edina senior forward Charlie Taft tallied a short-handed goal to make it 2-0. And that was the ball game.
Afternoon session (Class A):
Class A Semifinal #2:
Breck 4, Warroad 2
Breck's all-senior top line of Mike Morin-Riley Borer-Tyson Fulton was the difference here, figuring in three of Breck's four goals. For Warroad, 6'2", 205 lb. senior center Brock Nelson, likely to go in the top couple rounds of June's NHL draft, scored both his team's goals, his 50th and 51st of the season.
Class A Semifinal #1:
Hermantown 7, Mahtomedi 6 (OT)
A Mahtomedi buzzer-beater with 0.0 left in regulation was waived off, as replays showed the puck had not crossed the goal line behind Hermantown senior goaltender Tyler Ample. So the game moved on to overtime.
Sophomore Jared Thomas, who also had four assists in the game, scored the game-winner for Hermantown at 1:12 of OT.
This was a tough loss for Mahtomedi, holders of a 6-4 lead midway through the third.
New England Fall Prep League Tryouts
The New England Fall Prep League, which had a successful inaugural season playing out of the Babson College rink last fall, is stepping it up with some significant changes.
First off, the tournament will be moving from Babson, which only had a single sheet, to the Icenter in Salem, NH, which has two sheets, one Olympic-sized and one NHL-sized.
Mark this down: tryouts are nine days away - on Sunday March 21st at the Icenter. Keep in mind that, despite the word prep in the league's name, the league is also open to top high school players. Last year there were at least a dozen high school players in the Under-19 Division and a larger number in the Under-17 Division. The league is simply looking for the best players. A number of slots will be reserved for top kids entering prep school in the fall from outside of New England.
The tryouts a week from Sunday are for real, and not a ‘fundraiser'. While some slots have been offered to high-end players, there are at least 50 slots that will be filled out of the tryouts. The NEFPL is the highest quality fall league in Massachusetts and was well-scouted by college and NHL teams last fall.
Teams will employ 18-man rosters, with 10 forwards, six D, and two goalies. If teams at the Under-19 level are short on any given game day, coaches will use the Under-17 Division as the feeder system, pulling up players as needed.
There will be five teams at the Under-19 Division. These will consist of '91, '92, '93, and '94 birthdates. The Under-17 Division will consist of '93,'94, and '95 birthdates. Each team will play a minimum of 16 games.
The season will kick off with the NEFPL Labor Day Showcase in Salem. Each team will play 4-6 games that weekend. The Showcase is also looking for 4-6 high end under-16 programs to play in the U-17 Division, and a similar number of top under-18 programs to play in the U-19 Division. Preferably, these teams will be from outside of the New England area. Interested teams should contact Peter Ferriero at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the Labor Day Showcase is concluded, teams will go to a Saturday-Sunday schedule. As mentioned above, the Icenter has two rinks so, on Saturdays, there will be three games, with the first starting at 6:00 pm. The final game will be done by 9:30, enabling players to be back at their dorms/homes at a reasonable hour. On Sundays, games will start at 11:30 am and be done by the late afternoon.
A new feature this year will be "crossover weekends" with the Western New England Fall Prep League, which will be based out of Newington, Connecticut this season. On the weekend of October 2nd, the Connecticut teams will be coming up to Salem. And on Oct. 31st, the Mass teams will be heading to Connecticut for games at Quinnipiac College.
For more information, including the precise details for the March 21st tryouts, go to the league website at www.nefphl.com
We'll have info on the Western New England Fall Prep League shortly.
The crossover day has been moved up from Sun. Oct. 31st. The new date is Sun. Oct. 17th.
Coyle Set to Go
Pro scouts are asking, so here's the lowdown: South Shore Kings forward Charlie Coyle, who had to leave this past Sunday's EJHL quarterfinal game due to an injured ankle, has been checked out by doctors and, according to Kings coach Scott Harlow, is "one hundred percent ready" for tomorrow's South Shore Kings EJHL semifinal game vs. the Jersey Hitmen (at Holy Cross; 7:00 pm).
Minnesota State Tournament - Today!
-- at the Excel Energy Center; St. Paul, Minn.
Class A Semis:
Hermantown vs. Mahtomedi, 11:00 am CST
Breck vs. Warroad, 1:00 pm CST
Class AA Semis:
Edina vs. Apple Valley, 6:00 pm CST
Minnetonka vs. Hill-Murray, 8:00 pm CST
Sat. March 13:
Class A: semifinal winners, noon CST
Class AA: semifinals winners, 7:00 pm CST
These games can be seen on the Internet. Go to:
Class A -- Wed. 3/10/10
Mahtomedi 7, Alexandria 1
Hermantown 2, Virginia 1
Breck 11, New Ulm 1
Warroad 9, Rochester Lourdes 0
Class AA -- Thurs. 3/11/10
Edina 7, Roseau 3
Apple Valley 2, Blaine 0
Minnetonka 6, Lakeville North 1
Hill-Murray 5, Duluth East 3
NTDP Evaluation Camp Roster
Forty-seven '94 birthdates - five goaltenders, 16 defensemen, and 26 forwards -- have been invited to the NTDP Evaluation Camp in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The camp runs from Sat. March 27th through Tues. March 30th. The group of players will be split into two teams, as usual, and will play games on Sat. 3/27 at 5:30 pm, Sun. 3/28 at 4:30 pm, Mon. 3/29 at 6:30 pm, and Tues. 3/30 at 11:00 am.
Here's the roster:
Nate Arentz (Lakeville, Minn./ Lakeville North H.S.
Riley Barber (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Compuware Midget Minor)
A.J. Coleman (Moon Twp., Pa. / Pittsburgh Hornets Midget Minor)
Cameron Darcy (South Boston, Mass. / Dexter School)
Thomas Di Pauli (Woodridge, Ill. / Chicago Mission Midget Minor)
Ryan Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass. / Malden Catholic)
Alexander Galchenyuk (Chicago, Ill. / Chicago Young Americans Midget Minor)
Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill. / Chicago Mission Midget Minor)
Bradley Hawkinson (Aurora, Colo. / Colorado Thunderbirds Midget Minor)
Vincent Hinostroza (Melrose Park, Ill. / Chicago Mission Midget Minor)
Nicolas Kerdiles (Lewisville, Texas /LA Selects Midget Minor)
Matthew Lane (Rochester, N.Y. / Missassauga Reps Minor)
Stephane Matteau (Chicago, Ill. / Notre Dame (Sask.) Hounds)
A.J. Michaelson (Apple Valley, Minn. / Apple Valley H.S.
Cristoval "Boo" Nieves (Syracuse, N.Y. / Syracuse Stars Midget Minor)
*Nickolas Olsson (Escondido, Calif. / LA Selects Midget Minor)
Cody Payne (Weston, Fla. / Missassauga Reps Minor)
Tyler Pham (Prairie Grove, Ill. / Team Illinois Midget Minor)
Ray Pigozzi (Evanston, Ill. / Chicago Mission Midget Minor)
Henrik Samuelsson (Pittsburgh, Pa. / P.F. Chang's Midget Major)
Quentin Shore (Denver, Colo. / Colorado Thunderbirds Midget Minor)
Brendan Silk (Melrose, Mass. / Austin Prep)
Zach Stepan (Hastings, Minn. / Shattuck-St. Mary's U16)
Gavin Stoik (Portland, Ore. / Colorado Thunderbirds Midget Minor)
Gage Torrel (Monticello, Minn. / Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake H.S.)
*Frankie Vatrano (E. Longmeadow, Mass. / Junior Bruins - Empire)
Dylan Blujus (Buffalo, N.Y. / Buffalo Regals Midget Major)
Connor Carrick (Oak Lawn, Ill. / Chicago Fury Midget Minor)
Matias Cleland (Boulder, Colo. / Colorado Thunderbirds Midget Minor)
Troy Donnay (Fenton, Mich. / Belle Tire Midget Minor)
Nick Ebert (Livingston, N.J. / Waterloo Black Hawks - USHL)
Matthew Grzelyck (Boston, Mass. / Belmont Hill School)
Max Iafrate (Baltimore, Md. / Belle Tire Midget Minor)
Seth Jones (Plano, Texas / Dallas Stars Midget Major)
Dakota Mermis (Alton, Ill. / St. Louis Blues Midget Major)
Sam Piazza (Hinsdale, Ill. / Chicago Mission Midget Minor)
Patrick Sieloff (Ann Arbor, Mich. / Compuware Midget Minor)
Brady Skjei (Lakeville, Minn. / Lakeville North H.S.)
Jacob Trouba (Rochester, Mich. / Compuware Midget Minor)
Justin Wade (Aurora, Ill. / Chicago Mission Midget Minor)
Grant Webermin (Southfield, Mich. / Honeybaked Midget Minor)
Mark Yanis (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. / Belle Tire Midget Minor)
Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine / Salisbury School)
Brandon Hope (Ann Arbor, Mich. / Honeybaked Midget Major)
Dalton Izyk (Syracuse, N.Y. / Syracuse Stars Midget Minor)
Jake Moore (Arcade, N.Y. / Buffalo Regals Midget Minor)
Jared Rutledge (Skokie, Ill. / Chicago Young Americans Midget Minor)
Players whose names are preceded by an asterisk will be unable to participate in the camp.
Notes From the Super 8 Semifinals
-- at Tsongas Arena; Lowell, Mass.
Hingham High 4, Malden Catholic 2 (OT) - Hingham senior Eric Sherman set the tone here, putting his team up 1-0 and showwing nice hands in deking Malden Catholic goaltender Pat Young. (Sherman, along with junior Tim Driscoll, and senior Andrew Pompeo, made up Hingham's top line.) The surprise big gun was Rick Boyle, who notched a pair for the Harbormen, including the game winner in OT. Except for one soft goal, we thought Hingham junior goaltender Derek McInnis, was excellent. He was out at the top of the crease challenging shooters all night.
Malden Catholic's top line has freshman Ryan Fitzgerald centering sophomore Brendan Collier and junior Mike Vecchione. Fitzgerald, the son of Tommy Fitzgerald (ex of PC and the NHL), is a late '94 and a very smart centerman who was being watched by several Div. I schools last night. Collier was a nice player to watch, too. He's small but he has nice hands and complements Fitzgerald well. On the power play, they were able to move it really nicely. Vecchione is a '93-born junior and gave the line some physical strength and energy.
Catholic Memorial 1, Austin Prep 0 - Austin Prep was the more intriguing of the two teams as they are very young, with 11 freshmen or sophomores on their roster. The only goal in the game came in the first period when CM's Matt Dalton, on the forecheck, picked the pocket of an AP d-man on the end boards. Dalton moved it to Vinny Repucci who in turn moved it out front to Brian Besinger - a nice goal off hard work. And that was the game.
We thought both goalies played well, both facing an equal amount of shots, though CM played a solid defensive game and kept Austin Prep from getting quality shots down low - they were really stifled. CM junior Tommy Knox made all the saves he had to make. AP's junior goalie Brendan Leahy was intriguing -- a good-sized kid with some upside.
AP's top line consisted of sophomore Casey Miller, who has a nice touch, centering senior Brandon Hart, and 6'1" sophomore Brendan Silk, who recently committed to Boston College.
Silk, who was almost certainly playing his last high school game last night, was kept off the board, but he's the one player that just jumps out at you every shift. We've written about him before, but in case you missed it, he plays a controlled, pro-style game, has size, possesses an abundance of hockey sense, and has a smooth, strong skating stride. Watching Silk is a bit like watching a young John LeClair. And if he keeps improving steadily, he could have a career like LeClair. We are a little nervous about saying that about a 16-year-old, but he's a good one, and the parallel is real. Silk's work ethic is reported to be very strong as well.
By the way, the MIAA does a poor job running this tournament. The players deserve better. Right up top, the tournament's byzantine setup -- double elimination, crossover games, etc. -- is not easily grasped by the casual fan. On top of that, the MIAA is exceedingly slow in announcing game dates and locations. Also, wouldn't it be more fun to just blow up the whole Super 8 and open up the tournament with a low seed vs. high seed single elimination setup? Some Cinderella teams would emerge and inject some life into the whole moribund affair.
Anyone who went to last night's semis can tell you that Tsongas Arena (capacity: 6,500) is way too big. When you only have 1,500 or so fans, it's a quiet building -- the sound just drifts up into that high ceiling. But maybe silence is what the MIAA is looking for. As you have surely noticed if you've ever been to one of these things, the MIAA runs police tape around the perimeter of the rink so that kids can't get near the rinkside seats. God forbid that they might pound on the glass and rattle the players. To make sure such horrors don't come to pass, an army of MIAA volunteers with brightly-colored bibs - behavior police - keep a stern eye on things. Exuberance is discouraged. The total effect is like watching a hockey game in the Boston Public Library, except the Boston Public Library is free and an MIAA hockey game is far from that. Try $15 bucks for parking, $12 for an adult ticket, $5 for a program - and plenty more for concessions. By contrast, at last weekend's New England Prep Tournament grownups were charged $5 admission, $2 for a program, the parking was free, and kids could bang on the glass and make all the noise they wanted. As a matter of fact, the students raised the energy level in the building, and it was fun. There was a vast difference in the level of play, too, but no good comes from plowing over that field again.
If the MIAA cares at all about bringing high school hockey back - even a tiny bit - they have to change the format, put these games in a smaller building, charge reasonable amounts so that people won't feel like they're getting ripped off, and allow fans to let down their hair a bit. Today, the MIAA is a group of total killjoys, and their message to kids - we don't trust you -- is all too clear. Real hockey people need to be put in charge of running this tournament, or it's just going to keep fading away.
Delbarton, Gloucester Catholic Advance
In New Jersey non-public semi-final action last night, #1 seed Delbarton topped #5 seed Morristown Beard, 4-2; and #3 seed Gloucester Catholic topped #2 Christian Brothers Academy, 5-2.
Delbarton (26-1-0) will be going for its third consecutive title when they face off against Gloucester Catholic (15-3-2) on Sat. March 13 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Game time is 5:00 pm.
Minnesota State Tournament Stars Today
-- at the Excel Energy Center; St. Paul, Minn.
Wed. March 10:
Class A Quarterfinals
11:00 am - Mahtomedi vs. Alexandria
1:00 pm - Hermantown vs. Virginia
6:00 pm - Breck vs. New Ulm
8:00 pm - Warroad vs. Rochester Lourdes
Thurs. March 11:
Class AA Quarterfinals
11:00 am - Edina vs. Roseau
1:00 pm - Blaine vs. Apple Valley
6:00 pm - Minnetonka vs. Lakeville North
8:00 pm - Hill-Murray vs. Duluth East
Fri. March 12:
Class A Semifinals
11:00 am - Winners of Wednesday's early games
1:00 pm - Winners of Wednesday's late games
Class AA Semifinals
6:00 pm -- Winners of Thursday's early games
8:00 pm -- Winners of Thursday's late games
Sat. March 13:
12:00 pm - Class A Championship
7:00 pm - Class AA Championship
Denver University has a commitment from 5'10", 170 lb. '94-born LD Dakota Mermis of the St. Louis Blues Midget Majors for the fall of '12.
In addition, Mermis' older brother, Lincoln Stars (USHL) forward Jarrod Mermis, a '90 birthdate who has a 4-8-12 line in 35 games with the Stars, will also be heading to Denver.
The younger Mermis is the future star, however. A 1/5/94 birthdate from Alton, Illinois, he has played 48 games at the midget major level this season and has an 11-26-37 line with 76 points. He also played two games with his brother at Lincoln in December.
We had him ranked as an "A" defenseman -- #5 overall - at last summer's Select 15 Festival. He's an excellent skater with a good low center of gravity, and very strong offensive skills. We were continually impressed with his passes, which we felt were hard, flat, and extremely accurate. We also felt he took care of business in his own end.
He'll be at the NTDP camp later this month.
Haar to Huskies
6'0", 180 lb. Russell Stover Under-18 left-shot D Garrett Haar has committed to Northeastern for the fall of '11 or '12.
Haar, an 8/16/93 birthdate, is an offensive-minded defenseman who played at the Select 16 Festival last summer and was named to the Under-17 Select team that went to the Five Nations Tournament in Fussen, Germany last August. Haar is a native of Huntington Beach, California and, prior to this season, played for the LA Selects along with Adam Reid, also a '93 birthdate, and also a Northeastern recruit.
Huntington Beach, by the way, is in Orange County, south of Long Beach, and right on the Pacific Coast Highway. It calls itself Surf City USA and the World Surfing Championships are held there every summer. Former University of Minnesota and Boston Bruins (briefly) goaltender John Blue was from Huntington Beach and was a surfer dude. And, of course, Northeastern head coach Greg Cronin, who got hooked on surfing when he was coaching in the New York Islanders organization, spends his down time in the summer riding the waves. Haar, though, does not surf.
Haar's father was originally from Ohio and played college hoops at the University of Toledo.
Currently a junior in high school, Haar also visited Ohio State and Colorado College as well as Northeastern.
In 42 games with Russell Stover, Haar has a 4-34-38 line.
Mighty Mite to the Heights -- in ‘13
5'6", 160 lb. '94 forward Austin Cangelosi, the leading scorer at the Northfield-Mt. Hermon School as a freshman, has committed to Boston College for the fall of '13.
Cangelosi, an 8/27/94 birthdate from Estero, Florida (that's about halfway between Naples and Fort Meyers), had a 26-28-54 line in 33 games in helping lead NMH to Sunday's New England Prep Championship game, where the Hoggers bowed to Avon Old Farms, 4-1.
Cangelosi was born in New Jersey and, like his older brother John, started out as a roller hockey player. When Austin was eight, his family moved to Florida and, beginning as a mite, he started playing ice hockey as well.
His older brother went off to NMH last season, and, though Austin visited numerous prep schools, in the end he decided he wanted to play on the same team as his older brother. It worked out pretty well, as NMH, who nobody expected to contend for anything, had a storybook season.
The schools that were in the picture for Cangelosi were Maine, Merrimack, UNH, Northeastern, and BC.
Cangelosi, who won't turn 16 until late August, is very much in the BC tradition of small, crafty forwards. He's quick, has a great stick, and can create offense from thin air because of his sense of the game. He's fun to watch. He's very similar to Nathan Gerbe and Steven Whitney when they were 15.
Cangelosi is the third '94 to commit to Boston College, joining forwards Frankie Vatrano of the Junior Bruins Empire League Team and Brendan Silk of Austin Prep.
Hayes Looking to the Heights - This Fall
Noble & Greenough junior forward Kevin Hayes, who could be selected in the first round of the NHL draft in June, will not be returning to Nobles for his senior year.
Hayes is looking to accelerate his schooling and enter Boston College in the fall. He wants it. Boston College wants it. And certainly any NHL team drafting him will want it as well.
His situation is similar to that of current BC freshman Chris Kreider one year ago. Just as Kreider couldn't get a diploma from Andover and had to return to his local high school, Hayes will not be allowed to get one from Nobles. There are some hoops to jump through but, basically, Hayes, in order to become an early qualifier, will, like Kreider, also have to go to a Massachusetts high school (West Roxbury HS, in this case), take a summer class, and get a diploma in August. The one difference is the fact that Kreider had attended high school (Masconomet) for two years before going to Andover. Hayes, from Dorchester, has never gone to public high school. He's been at Nobles all along.
Avon's Smith to BC in ‘11
Avon Old Farms 5'9", 170 lb. senior forward Quinn Smith, one of the heroes of Sunday's prep championship game win over NMH, will, after a year of juniors, be headed to Boston College in the fall of '11.
Smith, the second leading scorer at Avon this year - behind linemate Michael Pereira - had a 21-25-46 line in 29 games. A 1/11/92 birthdate from Fairfield, Connecticut, he's in his third year at Avon.
Smith, who had a pair of goals in Sunday's win, is a quick forward with a good stick and offensive instincts. A good comparison from recent years might be Pat Gannon. Smith will probably play a similar role for the Eagles, though he may prove to have a better touch around the net. Time will tell.
Keeping It in the Family
6'1", 185 lb. Deerfield PG goaltender Connor Riley has committed to Harvard for this fall, following in the footsteps of his brother, John Riley, who is Harvard's #3 goalie and will be graduating this year.
At Harvard, the younger Riley will be taking over for his older brother. If Kyle Richter returns for his senior year, Harvard will have four goaltenders next season: Richter, senior-to-be Ryan Carroll, freshman Raphael Girard, and Connor Riley. Harvard will then be looking to add one goaltender for the '11-12 season.
Harvard has promised Riley that, with the (possible) exception of next season, they will not carry more than three goalies during his four years in Cambridge.
Riley, a 1/17/91 birthdate who posted a .921 save percentage while playing in all 27 of Deerfield's games this season, is a native of Lake Forest, Ill. and played in the Team Illinois organization (like his brother) before heading to Deerfield this season.
Mass. Super 8 Schedule
Tomorrow night (Wed. March 10) at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Mass.
6:00 pm -- Malden Catholic vs. Hingham
8:00 pm - Catholic Memorial vs. Austin Prep
Winners advance to the Boston Garden for Sunday's championship game.
EJHL Final Four
Here are the matchups for this weekend's EJHL semifinals and finals. All games are at Holy Cross; Worcester, Mass.
Sat. March 13:
3:00 pm - Junior Bruins vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
7:00 pm - Jersey Hitmen vs. South Shore Kings
Sun. March 14
4:00 pm - Championship Game
South Shore Kings forward Charlie Coyle suffered an ankle injury in yesterday's game and is day-to-day for this weekend. We'll let you know if his status changes.
Grzelcyk Chooses Terriers
5'9", 145 lb. Belmont Hill freshman LD Matt Grzelcyk has committed to Boston University for the fall of '13.
A 1/5/94 from Charlestown, Mass., Grzelcyk is, in our opinion, the best '94 defenseman in New England. He's an agile, highly mobile, d-man with a quick stick who draws comparisons to BU defenseman David Warsofsky at the same age.
In 31 games at Belmont Hill, Grzelcyk has a 2-18-20 line.
In a couple of weeks, he will be going out to Ann Arbor for the NTDP tryout.
Grzelcyk (pronounced Grizz-lick) had a strong showing at last summer's Select 15 Festival and, last fall, was offered by BU before he had even played a single game at the varsity level. He wanted to wait until the end of the season before making his decision public.
McNally Picks Harvard
Milton Academy 6'2", 180 lb. junior defenseman Pat McNally has chosen Harvard and will matriculate there in the fall of '11.
A 12/4/91 from Glen Head, NY, McNally came on to the prep scene as a largely unknown player from Long Island, and made an immediate impact, helping lead his team to their first postseason berth in a long while, though they lost, 3-2, to Nobles in Wednesday's quarterfinals.
McNally, who is expected to go around the second or third round in June's NHL draft, is a strong skating D with great natural athleticism and offensive upside. He was not only Milton's leading scoring defenseman, but their leading scorer overall, with a 14-21-35 line in 28 games played.
Northeastern was on him early, but McNally decided he wanted to go Ivy, and made his final choice from between Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth.
McNally is the son of a former basketball player who is now an FBI agent. His sister, Delia, is a star defenseman -- and similar in style to her brother -- at the Berkshire School.
Philippe Hudon, a fall ’11 Cornell recruit and star forward at Choate, has been suspended from school for a week due to “academic dishonesty.”
Hudon, a ’93 junior from Hudson, Quebec, left the school and returned home on Tuesday. He missed his quarterfinal playoff game Wednesday, the semis Saturday afternoon, and the finals coming up on Sunday afternoon.
Hudon will return to Choate after spring break, and will be on probation, meaning everything will be OK provided he doesn’t make another mistake.
“He’s coming back to school,” Choate head coach Pat Dennehy said. “He hasn’t been kicked out. The family has talked to Cornell. Cornell has talked to me. And they are very supportive. Philippe, though, has to hold up his end of the bargain and not screw up again.”
“He apologized to the whole team on Tuesday night and he feels terrible,” Dennehy added. “He’s a class act. This is out of character. He puts a lot of pressure on himself and he wants to be perfect in everything he does. It was a young mistake.”
5'10", 170 lb. Rivers School junior forward Connor Dempsey has committed to Dartmouth for the fall of '12.
A 10/3/92 birthdate from Winthrop, Mass., Dempsey is a left-shot center who, in 27 games at Rivers this season, had a 21-21-42 line. He's a good skater, competes, moves the puck well, and has a good sense of the game.
His coach at Rivers, Brendan Flemming, said, "(Dempsey) is very good at faceoffs and he skates so well he can speed the game up, or slow it down. He's hard to knock off the puck in any zone and is tremendously responsible defensively. He's also an excellent penalty killer."
Other Ivies as well as Holy Cross were also interested in Dempsey.
Dempsey is the brother of Jillian Dempsey, a freshman forward for the Harvard women.
Former Williston-Northampton forward Brendan Woods has committed to Wisconsin for the fall of '11.
Woods, a 6/11/92 from Palmyra, Pennsylvania, is now with the Chicago Steel (USHL). He hurt himself in the Fall Classic, but came back after the new year and has played 20 games since, with one goal and three assists. The son of Washington Caps assistant coach Bob Woods, the younger Woods, a rugged 6'2", 180 lb. LW, was ranked 52nd on Central Scouting's Mid-Term Rankings in January.
Other schools in the hunt for Woods were North Dakota, Cornell, Minnesota, and UNH.
5'11", 190 lb. Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) forward Tom Serratore has committed to the University of Minnesota for this fall.
A 7/16/89 from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the son of Air Force head coach Frank Serratore, the younger Serratore is a gritty, extremely hard-working player. He's actually the type of player the talented-but-hovering-around-.500 Gophers could use right now.
With Youngstown, Serratore, has a 13-11-24 line in 47 games. It's his third year in the USHL. He spent the last two, one of which was abbreviated by injury, with Sioux City.
Beantown Spring Classic
The 2010 Beantown Spring Classic will run from Wed. March 17 through Fri. March 19 at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass.
The actual team rosters will be posted next week, but a list of committed players (Draft Division) has been posted on the tournament's web site. A list of younger players (Futures Division) will be posted tomorrow.
A Late Bloomer
Denver University has a commitment from 6'1", 185 lb. Colorado Thunderbirds Midget AAA forward Dan Doremus.
A 10/22/91 birthdate from Aspen, Colorado, Doremus's story is unusual in that, until this season, he had never played AAA hockey. Last year at this time, he was an 11th grader playing for Aspen High School -- their nickname is the Skiers -- and Div. I schools weren't paying attention.
This season, he left Aspen High, transferred to Arapahoe High School (Littleton, Colorado) and signed on to play with the Thunderbirds, coached by former Denver defenseman and Div. I assistant Shawn Kurulak. He also played three games for the Tri-City Storm (USHL) over Christmas break.
A right shot center, he's stood out in Midwest Elite League play, where he has a 23-20-43 line in 39 games. He's very competitive, has good size, works extremely hard, sees the ice well, and both makes plays and finishes. He's signed a tender with Wenatchee (NAHL) for next year, but BCHL, and USHL teams are onto him as well. He'll play one or two years of juniors before going to Denver.
Both his parents went to Denver, his father as an undergrad, and his mother as a grad student. He has an older hockey-playing brother, Tyler Doremus, a sophomore forward at Skidmore.
From Sweden to St. Botolph St.
6'2", 200 lb. Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) forward Ludwig Karlsson has committed to Northeastern for the fall of '11.
A 1//6/91 birthdate from Linkoping, Sweden, Karlsson missed practically all of the '08-09 season with an injury, but has come on strong this season. Northeastern really liked him at the Fall Classic and kept on him. Reportedly, when he visited Boston he really liked the city. He'd only visited WCHA schools before that.
A left wing for the Gamblers, Karlsson projects as a center in college because of his vision and playmaking ability down low. He's a smooth skater, a power forward type who protects the puck well, and has a hard shot. He's still learning his way around the North American style of play, and will return to the Gamblers for one more year.
Hart to Friars
Phillips Exeter 6'1", 195 lb. postgrad RD Kevin Hart has committed to Providence College for this coming fall.
Hart is an 8/6/91 birthdate from Cumberland, Maine. He, along with his younger brother Brian (now a sophomore at Brewster Academy), helped lead Greely High to the 2009 Maine State championship.
Hart made his final choice between Providence and Boston University. Dana Barbin, his coach at Exeter, said it was a difficult choice for Hart but, "He really liked Providence a lot. Tim Army has known the Hart family for years."
Hart almost went the NESCAC route. He applied early decision at Bowdoin but didn't get in, thus had to wait for the regular admissions process to play out. Then Providence and BU stepped into the picture, and everything changed.
Ironically, Hart's father, John Hart, played on Terry Meagher's first team at Bowdoin, 27 years ago.
Barbin says, "I was confident that he would come in (to Exeter) and do great things. He was underrated, under the radar. He has a really good future. He's an athlete. He hit over .500 for his Legion team last summer. He has good bloodlines. He has size, poise, smarts, and defends well."
Going into tomorrow's prep quarterfinal vs. Berkshire, Hart has played 28 games, and has a 1-10-11 line.
Providence also has a commitment for this fall from 5'11", 185 lb. Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL) RW Damian Cross, the league's leading scorer with a 53-85-138 line in 61 games. His closest competitor trails by a whopping 27 points.
A 5/13/89 from Nepean, Ont., Cross was also sought after by Western Michigan and Bemidji State.
Empire Playoffs Set
The Empire Jr. B playoffs are set. There's an east-west format with all eight teams in each region playing a double elimination tournament this weekend. Two teams from each region advance to the Empire Final Four the following weekend.
East Seeds -- @ Haverhill, Mass.
#1 Junior Bruins vs. #8 South Shore Kings
#2 Monarchs vs. #7 NE Huskies
#3 Bridgewater vs. #6 Springfield Pics
#4 Green Mountain vs. #5 Bay State Breakers
West Seeds -- @ Warwick, PA
#1 Apple Core vs. #8 Philly Revolution
#2 Jersey Hitmen vs. #7 Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins
#3 Buffalo Stars vs. #6 Syracuse Stars
#4 Brewster Bulldogs vs. #5 Maksymum
Foxboro Sports Center
Fri. March 12: 3:00 pm and 3:10 pm
Sat. March 13: 11:00 am, 11:20 am, and 7:00 pm
Sun. March 14: Championship Game: 1:00 pm
Federico to Quinnipiac
6'1", 197 lb. LD Danny Federico of the Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL) has committed to Quinnipiac for the fall of '11.
A 6/3/92 birthdate from Acton, Mass., Federico, who is in his second year with the Junior Bruins EJ team, is a good solid all-around defenseman, a strong skater with a good stride who has very good hockey sense. He's sound in his end, and also moves the puck well, as his 2-25-27 line (in 44 games) attests to. If there's one thing he could work on, it's his feet and overall agility.
He'll play one more year with the Junior Bruins.
The EJHL playoff matchups are now set.
Quarterfinals - at Foxboro Sports Center; Foxboro, Mass.
Sat. March 6
2:10 pm - Junior Bruins vs. Bay State Breakers
3:50 pm - South Shore Kings vs. Green Mountain Glades
4:50 pm - New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs vs. NY Apple Core
6:30 pm - Jersey Hitmen vs. Syracuse Stars
Sun. March 7
10:50 am -- South Shore Kings vs. Green Mountain Glades
12:20 pm -- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs vs. NY Apple Core
2:40 pm -- Jersey Hitmen vs. Syracuse Stars
4:10 pm -- Junior Bruins vs. Bay State Breakers
Semifinals - at Holy Cross; Worcester, Mass.
Sat. March 13 - 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Finals -- at Holy Cross; Worcester, Mass.
Sun. March 14 - 4:00 pm
Gordon Conference All-Stars
F - Kenny Agostino, Sr., Delbarton
F - Michael Ambrosia, Sr. Delbarton
F - Tim Clifton, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
D - Joakim Ryan, Jr., Christian Brothers Academy
D - Matt Killian, Jr., Delbarton
G - Jimmy Harrison, Jr., Seton Hall Prep
In case you missed it, Christian Brothers Academy, behind Tim Clifton (2g,2a) and goaltender Zach Dietrich (an 11-save shutout) blanked St. Augustine Prep, 7-0, in the Gordon Conference championship game Saturday night. Both schools will advance to the state tournament, as will Delbarton, which was stunned by St. Augustine Prep in last Wednesday's conference semifinal.
The 1989 New Jersey State High School Championship game between Delbarton and St. Joseph's of Montvale was cancelled due to a measles outbreak.
As Delbarton senior Martin Schwartz told a local paper at the time, "This has got to be at least 10 times worse than losing."
Now, 21 years later, the squads are reassembling and, on Sat. April 3, will play the championship that never was.
Click below for the article in today's Times Record, a New Jersey paper.
Delbarton vs. St. Joseph's
2009-10 NEPSIHA All-Star Teams
Here are this season's New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association All-Star teams, as voted on by league coaches,
G - Martin Ouellette, Jr., Kimball Union
D - Pat McNally, Jr., Milton
D - Gus Young, Sr., Nobles
F - Kevin Hayes, Jr., Nobles
F - Mike Conderman, Sr., Cushing
F - Conor Sheary, Sr., Cushing
G - Alex Vazzano, Sr., Gunnery
G - Marco De Filippo, Sr., Kent
D - Logan Roe, Jr., Kent
D - Brandon Russo, Sr., Salisbury
F - Kevin Sullivan, Sr., Berkshire
F - Mike Pereira, Sr., Avon Old Farms
F - Philippe Hudon, Jr., Choate