Wherever you are on this Christmas morning, we hope that the bounty of the season, be it material, spiritual or some fine combination of the two, has landed on your door, and is prepared to settle in for the day, or longer.
From here at the U.S. Hockey Report, we just want to say thank you to all our subscribers. Without you, this site would not exist. It's as simple as that. We are grateful, and want you to know that.
The Other World Juniors; Part I
With the preliminary round of the top division of the 2011 World Junior Championship winding up in Buffalo tonight, it’s time to look back to the Div. IA World Juniors, which concluded Dec. 19 in Bobruisk, Belarus, with Latvia beating host Belarus in the title game, 3-1.
By winning the title, Latvia will move up to the A pool for next year’s World Juniors. Led by a line consisting of a pair of ‘91s in Juris Upitis and Ronalds Kenins, and a ’94 in UVM recruit Zemgus Girgensons, Latvia went 5-0-0, and outscored their opponents, 21-3.
Upitis, in five games, had a 3-5-8 line, while Girgensons, now back playing with the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL), had a 4-3-7 line. Next year at this time, Girgensons, who will be a Vermont freshman, will be playing in the 2012 top-level World Juniors in his draft year. And, yes, he will be watched like a hawk.
Others playing hockey in North American but returning to represent their country included ’91 D Ralfs Freibergs of the Texas Tornado, who also played for Latvia.
Cornell ’91 freshman D Kirill Gotovets, ex of Shattuck-St. Mary’s. played for Belarus.
’92 F Yevgeny Lymansky of the Philadephia Thunder; ’91 F Yegor Bezyly of Brewster Academy, and ’91 forward Vladyslav Gavrik of Skidmore College played for the Ukraine.
’91 forwards Jack Prince (Texas Tornado) and Josh Batch (Bay State Breakers) played for Great Britain.
In case anyone is looking for a goalie, the Directorate Award for the tournament’s best goaltender went to Ben Bowns, a ’91 from Great Britain. Bowns, who plays for the Sheffield Steeldogs, played the full 300 minutes, and faced 208 shots, stopping 198 of them. That gave him a 2.00 gaa and a .952 save percentage. He’s a silly-sider, catching with his right hand.
We’ll check in on the other, lower levels of the World Juniors over the next couple weeks.
O’Gara Chooses Yale
6’3”, 175 lb. Milton Academy junior LD Rob O’Gara has committed to Yale for the fall of ’12.
O’Gara, who made his final choice from between Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, was a Central Scouting “B” Prospect on the Oct. 19 Players to Watch List, meaning he’s a mid-round prospect.
Here’s what we wrote about O’Gara after watching him in the Beantown Classic in mid-October.
“This game was our first chance to see new Milton Academy defenseman Rob O’Gara, the latest Paul Cannata find. Like Patrick McNally last season, O’Gara is a new junior at Milton who is coming in largely unknown. There are other parallels with McNally. O’Gara is big, actually bigger than McNally. In addition, he’s from Long Island, and is entering his draft year the same year he’s entering prep school. Also, just as with McNally last year, the first three schools reportedly on him are Harvard, Yale, and Northeastern. It’s Groundhog Day! O’Gara, a left shot listed as 6’3”, 185 lb., is a different player than McNally in that he won’t take be going end-to-end every game, and he won’t be scoring 14 goals, as McNally did last year. O'Gara is a strong two-way defenseman with good hands and a good stick. He appears to have a good head for the game, too, so there is some offensive upside. We want to see him a bit more, but this is a player who’ll be getting plenty of attention from pro scouts and colleges this fall and winter.”
We haven’t seen much to change our opinion.
Naclerio Commits to Brown
This one was from last week. 6’0”, 180 lb. Avon Old Farms senior LC Mark Naclerio has committed to Brown.
Naclerio, who has steadily improved over his three seasons at Avon, is now tied (with Greg Gozzo) for the scoring lead on the 8-1-0 Winged Beavers. In nine games, Naclerio has a 5-11-16 line.
A 4/4/92 birthdate from Milford, Conn., Naclerio is fundamentally solid in all three zones, and projects to be a solid two-way forward at the Div. I level.
Engineers Get a Goal Scorer
5’9” St. Thomas Academy (Minn.) senior RC Zach Schroeder has committed to RPI for the fall of ’11 or ’12.
He’s the younger brother of Jordan Schroeder, the former Gopher selected in the first round of the 2009 draft by Vancouver, and now playing in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose.
Zach Schoeder is a very good skater, and a goal scorer. He led St. Thomas -- a good team, finishing 22-6-0 and falling just short of the state tournament -- with 33 goals. Other top forwards on the squad included Justin Crandall (Minn.-Duluth recruit now at Omaha) and Christian Isackson (University of Minnesota recruit now at Sioux Falls).
Schroeder finished the season with a 33-22-55 line in 28 games played.
Two for the Wildcats
-- 5’6”, 153 lb. Deerfield Academy freshman forward Tyler Kelleher has committed to the University of New Hampshire for the fall of ’14.
Kelleher, who is the second-leading scorer at Deerfield despite his youth – he’s a 1/2/95 birthdate – is a native of Longmeadow, Mass. who was sensational at the Select 15 Festival in Rochester, NY this past summer, leading the tournament with a 7-9-16 line while creating magic with linemate Max Becker of the LA Selects.
Kelleher was our third-ranked forward at Select 15s, behind Hudson Fasching and Gabe Guertler. When Kelleher fills out – and he has a bunch of years to do it -- he projects to be an excellent college hockey player.
A speedy puck handling forward, Kelleher is really well-suited to the big surface at the Whittemore Center. He can score and he can make plays, and he can do it at tempo.
In seven games for Deerfield, which has gotten off to a bad start – they only have two wins -- Kelleher has stood out, with a 6-4-10 line in seven games.
-- UNH also has a commitment from North Jersey Avalanche Midget Minor right-shot defenseman Brett Pesce.
Pesce’s strength is his size – he’s 6’2”, 180 lbs. -- combined with speed, and the ability to move the puck well. He has very quick feet – outstanding given his size and age.
Currently in grade 11, the 11/15/94 birthdate is from Tarrytown, NY and is due in Durham in ’13 or ’14.
-- If you missed it over the holidays, we should point out that Durham resident and 6'0", 195 lb. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) LD Ryan Randall will be at UNH in either the fall of '11 or '12. Randall, who until last season was a forward on the Monarchs Empire Team, made the move to D and it's paid off nicely. He has an offensive touch from the blue line, and jumps into the rush nicely. He has played 26 games to date this season and has a 7-12-19 scoring line, which puts him second among Monarchs' d-men in scoring (he trails only Trevor van Riemsdyk) and places him fourth among league d-man. A 2/20/92 birthdate, he's continually improving in his own end, is tough to beat, and has good leadership skills. He can certainly explain to recruits from distant locales exactly what the Wildcats mean to folks in the Granite State.
Kent New #1 in USHR Prep Poll
Kent, which defeated Avon in the title game at the Avon Christmas Classic, supplants the Winged Beavers at the top of this week's USHR Prep Poll.
USHR Prep Poll: Week of Dec. 20, 2010
Malden Catholic Too Much for Delbarton
Malden Catholic lived up to their press clippings this afternoon, blanking New Jersey defending state private champion Delbarton, 3-0, at a jam-packed Malden Valley Forum II.
We’re not kidding when we say it was packed. Even though just one of the two teams was from Massachusetts, it’s been a long while since we’ve seen a regular season high school game in the Commonwealth that had this atmosphere.
The fact that many scouts were already in town for the prep tourneys certainly helped swell the number of pro scouts at the game. Top college coaches, like Jerry York and Jack Parker, were there as well. The parking was insane. This typist parked about five blocks away and hiked in.
Malden Catholic’s top line of junior LW Brendan Collier, sophomore center Ryan Fitzgerald, and senior RW Mike Vecchione figured in all three goals. No surprise there. For our money, that trio comprises the best line in New England high school hockey. If they were in prep school, they would be the best there, too.
Fitzgerald put MC up 1-0 midway through the first, deking the D and notching a nifty shorthanded goal. Vecchione and freshman D Nick Rolli picked up assists.
Early in the second, Collier made the play out of the corner, finding Fitzgerald in the slot. The BC recruit buried it for his second goal of the game.
With 1:21 to play, Vecchione, a UNH recruit, added an empty-netter.
Malden Catholic senior goaltender Patrick Young was as good as he had to be, stopping all 21 Delbarton shots he faced.
Malden Catholic head coach Chris Serino’s team is young. Besides the two underclassmen – Fitzgerald and Collier -- mentioned above, a lot of the other players who will be closely followed are on the young side. Quick RW Mike Iovanna is a soph; blueliners Colin MacGillvary and Brendan White are too. Defenseman Connor Evangelista is a junior; ditto for center Nick Roberto. There are only two seniors who are key players: Vecchione, as well as LW Garrett White, who returned from prep school (Pomfret) to play with his younger brother.
Delbarton is clearly missing its top line of last season – Kenny Agostino (now at Yale), Mike Pirovano (with the Jr. Bruins) and Michael Ambrosia (a Princeton recruit now in the USHL) – but it’s given guys who played a bit in the shadows a chance to step into a more prominent role.
6’2”, 200 senior LC Peter McMullen, a power forward (and the grandson of former NJ Devils owner John McMullen) had committed to Bucknell for lacrosse, but is suddenly getting a lot of interest for hockey, both from colleges and pro scouts (he’s a ’93 and eligible for June’s NHL draft). Don’t be surprised to see him wind up at Boston College, where his sister is already a student.
Delbarton had some young forwards we liked. ’95 soph Drew Melanson, who has already been offered by RPI, showed a lot of potential. So did ’95 soph John Baiocco. Keep an eye on them.
6’2” senior D – and Yale recruit -- Matt Killian, who spent the fall with the U.S. Under-18 Team, was not his usual self today – just never got around to making a mark on the game. Junior RD Tommy Davis was also a notch below his best. As a whole, the Delbarton D corps was a little scrambly. They had their hands full with Malden Catholic, and were particularly stretched out trying to contain the Big Three of Collier, Fitzgerald, and Vecchione.
Delbarton, by the way will be facing Catholic Memorial Sunday at Walter Brown Arena (2:00 pm). They are also taking a Minnesota trip next month, and will be facing Shattuck-St. Mary’s, St. Thomas Academy, and the Breck School between Jan. 14-17.
-- Junior Bruins defenseman Al Butler has committed to UMass-Lowell, effective immediately. He will enter school at the end of the Christmas break and play the second half of the season. Butler, who is 6’3”, 216 lbs., is a 4/15/91 birthdate from Marlboro, Mass. in his second year with the Junior Bruins. In 26 games, he has a 2-4-6 line with 41 pims.
-- The Green Mountain Glades (EJHL) have fired head coach Chris Line and replaced him with Glades' Empire coach David Pavlik. The Glades are 8-15-3 in EJHL Play.
Today’s Flood-Marr finale – a 3-2 double OT Westminster win over Kimball Union – offered a little bit of everything.
First off, there was no loser in this game. Either team could easily have won – and Kimball Union actually thought they had won when they tucked one past Westminster junior goaltender Patrick Spano less than one minute into the second overtime. From the far end of the ice, where we were watching, it certainly looked like referee Scott Whittemore was pointing at the net – i.e. signaling a goal – but then changed his mind and waved it off on account of the post being off its mooring. We never saw the wash-out signal, and the KUA players streamed onto the ice en masse to celebrate what would have been the school’s first-ever Flood-Marr title win. The celebration, however, was short-lived.
When play resumed, KUA senior defenseman Rafael Turcotte was whistled off for tripping. On the subsequent power play, Westminster junior forward Emilio Audi made a nice play getting it to PG Luke Laskiewicz in front. Laskiewicz, who had a great tournament, buried it for his – and Westminster’s – third goal of the day.
While this was a tough loss for Kimball Union, a measure of consolation can be gained from the fact that, for NEPSIHA purposes, it goes in the books as a tie, as the goal was recorded after – well after – the first five minutes of overtime.
“That was a great prep school hockey game,” Westminster coach Tim Joncas said afterward. “The pace was frenetic. Up-and-down action. Just a ton of energy. We really played as a group. Everyone chipped in. We won battles. Blocked shots. There was just no quit in them. We have a good team. No superstars. Everybody plays together. There are no excuses with these guys.”
Joncas also tipped his cap to KUA. “Ryan Miller has done a fantastic job with that program. There was no quit in that team, either.”
Miller shared Joncas’ feelings about the quality of the game, but in the immediate aftermath was downcast over the waved off goal call, and understandably less ebullient than his counterpart. “I couldn’t be more proud of my team, “ he said. “I thought we had it won there, but, win or lose, I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Nobles-Milton game for third place was a really good battle, too. Nobles broke a 1-1 tie early in the second on a great snipe from the slot by freshman Brandon Shea that beat Milton senior goalie Dan Bowen high glove side. Milton’s 6’4” senior wing Dan Merenich tied it at 2-2 – he can shoot it – on a goal that occurred seconds after just after Nobles defenseman Mike Reardon’s shoulder popped out with the play in the Nobles end. In hindsight, Reardon probably should have dropped to the ice, flopped around like a hooked fish, and drawn the whistle. But it was his shoulder that was injured, he could still skate, and he made his way diagonally across the defensive zone toward the bench, leaving Nobles down a man. Merenich scored, and Nobles head coach Brian Day argued -- without success -- that the whistle should have been blown due to the injury.
The breaks weren’t going Nobles’ way, though. Milton scored the winning goal with 7:32 left in the third when senior forward George Pantazopolous flipped the puck from the corner toward the slot, where it hit Nobles junior defenseman Tim Boyle on the shinpad and totally reversed direction, bouncing into the Nobles net. Pretty flukey.
Late in the third, with the extra attacker on, Nobles forward Andrew Doane came very close to tying it up, but, as is often the case, the play quickly turned back up the ice and Milton’s TJ Schneider iced it with an empty-netter.
BC Admissions Says No to Saponari
Boston College admissions has denied the transfer application of former BU forward Vinny Saponari.
Saponari, booted from the Boston University hockey team after his sophomore season, would have entered BC as a junior in the fall of ’11.
Atlanta’s fourth choice in the 2008 draft, Saponari currently leads the USHL in scoring (8-22-30 in 21 games) while helping lead the expansion Dubuque Fighting Saints to the top of the Western Conference standings.
“He’s very disappointed,” said Dubuque coach Jim Montgomery. “He had a long face in my office.”
“It’s too bad, because he’s been playing great. I think he’s the most dominant player in the league now,” says Montgomery. “He’s ready to play in the AHL and develop into a professional player.”
Montgomery reports that the coaching staff at BC “was not happy” with the thumbs-down.
As for the future, Montgomery says his assistant captain “is keeping his options open” and will start talking to schools again in February.
“But,” Montgomery added, "he’s a little down on schools right now.”
Wed. 12/15/10- update: Corey's Nashua North team won the game, 7-2. His two sons, who were day-care age when he was at Lawrence, were with him on the bench "so they would know what Dad had done for most of his life!" Corey says.
The Return of Charlie Corey
Charlie Corey, the head hockey coach at Lawrence Academy for 21 years (1979-1989, and again from 1992-2003) and the head coach at Colby College for three years (from 1989 through 1992), is back at it.
Tonight, for the first time in seven years, Corey’s stentorian tones will echo – as head coach -- throughout a hockey arena as the 58 year old leads Nashua North, where he also teaches history and English, against Nashua South.
Corey, who played for Hotchkiss and Bowdoin back in the day, was asked if he still had something left in his vocal chords.
“God gave me these things,” he replied. “And they are pretty well rested. I will try to be quiet, but I think that will last for five or ten minutes. Then the nerves will take over.”
Corey worked as an assistant last winter under Darryl Green, and the two hit it off great. But, over the summer, Green left to take the vacant assistant’s position at UMass-Lowell, his alma mater. And Corey was offered the head job at Nashua North.
Corey, who had future Olympians and NHLers on his rosters back during the Lawrence days, and left the school with a 389-201-26 record, says he finds coaching at Nashua North refreshing. “At this level you have what you have, and you do the best you can with it and hopefully that’s good enough. If it isn’t, well as long as they try hard and work their buts off – which they do – that’s all you can ask.”
What Corey doesn’t have is depth. “I have five freshmen,” he said, “and the heaviest is 130 pounds.”
He also has a brother and sister combo on one line – Brendan and Melissa Robbins, the children of Jim Robbins, who played for Nashua High and, in the early ‘80s, for some pretty powerful Providence College squads.
Tonight’s game is at the Conway Arena in Nashua, NH. Faceoff is at 6:00 pm.
Two Commitments for the Wolverines
The University of Michigan has two new commitments, both for next fall. They are:
-- U.S. Under-18 Team goaltender John Gibson, a 6’3”, 200 lb. native of Pittsburgh, PA, who had originally committed to Ohio State in the summer of ’09 but decommitted after the Buckeyes made their coaching change this past spring. At that point it looked like there was a chance Gibson would choose to go to Kitchener (OHL) after finishing up at Ann Arbor. But Michigan, which lost Jack Campbell to the O last winter, stayed in the picture. A 7/14/93, Gibson has size, athletic ability, and good presence. Before joining the Under-17 Team last year, Gibson played for the Pittsburgh Hornets Midget Major squad.
Thus far this season, Gibson has played in 15 games with the Under-18s and has a 2.89 gaa and a .917 save percentage. He’ll likely go in the top couple of rounds of June’s NHL draft.
-- 6’3”, 185 lb. Stouffville Spirit (OPJHL) RD Brennan Serville, a great skating defenseman with size who is good on the breakout, has good hands and sees the ice well. Serville had originally committed to Canisius last winter, but then decommitted this September.
Right now, the native of Pickering, Ont., is in his second year with Stouffville. A 6/2/93 birthdate, he is listed by Central as a “B” prospect for June’s NHL draft.
Serville was on the silver-medal winning Team Canada East at last month’s World Jr. A Challenge in Penticton. Last week, he played for Team East at the 2010 CJHL Prospects Game – games, really (there are two) -- in Dauphin, Manitoba, a CJHL/NHL Central Scouting showcase for the top 40 draft-eligible players across Canada’s ten Jr. A leagues.
In 17 games with Stouffville this season, Serville has an 0-8-8 scoring line with 18 pims.
Serville made his final pick from between Michigan, Michigan State, and UNH.
Avon Starting Out Where They Finished
Defending prep champion Avon Old Farms (4-0-0) sits atop of the first USHR Prep Poll of the 2011-12 season.
That said, it is early and, with the holiday tournaments beginning later this week, we expect significant changes before the next poll a week from today. You may notice that some pretty good teams are missing from this week’s poll, e.g. Kent, Gunnery, and Salisbury. We certainly expect them to make some noise, and perhaps others, too.
USHR Prep Poll: Week of Dec. 13, 2010
Norris Picks Friars
5’10”, 180 lb. forward Brent Norris of the Nepean Raiders (CJHL) has committed to Providence College for the fall of ’12.
A 6/18/93 birthdate, Norris, a right-shot center also comfortable playing wing, has a team-leading 22-14-36 line in 33 games played so far.
Norris has speed and can score. He has a knack around the net, and a nice one-timer.
An Ottawa native, Norris played in the recently-completed CJHL Top Prospects Tournament. He was also offered by Colgate and Clarkson.
A High-Skill Ontario Forward for BU
5’10”, 170 lb. RW Evan Rodrigues of the Georgetown Raiders (OPJHL) has committed to Boston University for next fall.
Rodrigues, a 7/28/93 from Etobicoke, Ont. and a former ’93 Marlie, had, in five games played, a 3-4-7 scoring line at the 2010 World Jr. A Challenge in Penticton, BC Nov. 8-14 while skating for the silver medal-winning Team Canada East squad (they lost to the U.S., 6-4, in the final). Rodrigues’ seven points tied him for the tournament lead. He was also named to the tournament’s all-star team.
Prior to that, in mid-October, Rodrigues had been given a C rating in NHL’s Central Scouting Players to Watch list.
Last season, Rodrigues, selected in the 10th round of the 2009 OHL draft by the Ottawa ‘67s, had a 20-31-51 line in 56 games played.
This season, he’s upped his production, with a 12-21-33 line (and 20 pims) in 20 games played to date.
Rodrigues has really good hands, a high skill level, is excellent on the power play, and has a lot of offensive upside – just very good natural offensive instincts. He’s a good skater, though not a waterbug type. A comparable player on the current BU squad would be Sahir Gill, in that he’s not necessarily the type that NHL guys get excited over, but projects to be a fine college player.
In addition to BU, other programs competing for Rodrigues included Notre Dame and Michigan.
A Letter From the Editor
This is hard to write, as I am not used to writing about myself. But last week I was jolted into action when a long-time hockey guy told me there was a rumor making the rounds -- a rumor that I was dying.
This is not true. I am not dying.
However, I do have cancer. It was discovered early last month. A week later, on Nov. 16th, I had surgery to remove two malignant tumors on my neck, where cancer had metastasized from my right tonsil. The tonsils were also removed.
Ahead of me is a joint regimen of chemotherapy and radiation aimed at wiping out any remaining cancerous cells in the area. That treatment is scheduled to begin next week. I am up for it – and actually really looking forward to getting on with the battle. As for the U.S. Hockey Report, I plan on working as much as possible throughout this treatment. However, I have added a few excellent interns, and may be adding more. I will definitely be at fewer games than a normal year, and thus may miss out on some breaking stories, so any help with news tips will be appreciated.
I have always seen USHR as a kind of small town newspaper, with its readership consisting of both friends I know and friends I have yet to meet. I really want to stress how thankful I am for the support I have received from the hockey community. While the surgery pretty much wiped me out for the second half of November, I now feel energized. I will give all I have to the fight, and intend on being here for a long time.
U.S. Hockey Report
NAHL Top Prospects in Mass. Starting Sunday
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) Top Prospects Tournament gets underway Sunday at the Iorio Ice Arena in Walpole, Mass. Play will continue through Tuesday.
Four teams, comprised of the NAHL’s top committed and uncommitted college players, will play a three-game round robin tournament.
Also included are the NAHL’s 2011 draft-eligible players who appeared on Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List of Oct. 19.
The teams, in case you were wondering, are named after former NAHLers Ryan Miller, Brian Rafalski, David Legwand, and Doug Weight. The NAHL – and the junior hockey landscape – has changed so much since those guys played in the league that not one of the franchises they played for – Soo Indians, Melvindale Blades, Compuware Ambassadors, and Bloomfield Jets, respectively – even exist anymore.
Team Legwand Roster
Team Miller Roster
Team Rafalski Roster
Team Weight Roster
The Schedule (all games at Iorio Arena):
Sun. Dec. 5
Team Weight vs. Team Miller, 4:30 pm
Team Legwand vs. Team Rafalski, 7:30 pm
Mon. Dec. 6
Team Miller vs. Team Legwand, 3:00 pm
Team Rafalski vs. Team Weight, 6:00 pm
Tues. Dec. 7
Team Legwand vs. Team Weight, 9:30 am
Team Rafalski vs. Team Miller, 12:30 pm
6’2”, 185 lb. Brunswick School right shot forward John Hayden has committed to Yale for ’13 or ’14.
Currently a sophomore at Brunswick, Hayden, a 2/14/95 birthdate, is a big power forward who finishes checks and has good hands. He’s a native of Greenwich, Conn. and wanted to stay close to home.
Hayden has played a lot of hockey over the last week. After competing with Brunswick at the Yale Jamboree last Sunday, then playing five or six games with Honeybaked at Silver Sticks over the Thanksgiving break, Hayden was right there at Berkshire on Monday, playing with Brunswick in the Piatelli Jamboree. Today, in a regular-season game, he put his team out to an early 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal vs. South Kent, a game Brunswick eventually lost, 6-3.
Highly sought after ’95 LD Charlie Pelnik of the Carolina Junior Hurricanes U-16 Team has committed to North Dakota for the fall of ’13.
Pelnik, who is 6’3”, 185 lbs., and the son of an insurance company owner in Cary, NC, plays with a real edge, and has the size to back it up. A 5/15/95 birthdate, he was excellent at Select 15s and is a candidate for the NTDP.
Boston University offered him first. Other schools besides North Dakota that were in the mix included BC, Nottre Dame, Michigan, and Vermont.
6’4”, 210 lb. Hotchkiss RW Petr Placek, a Harvard recruit and a Central Scouting “A” prospect for June’s NHL draft, was injured (knee) and missed today’s Founders’ League Jamboree. He should be back in action by the Flood-Marr Tournament.
Exeter center Eric Neiley, a Dartmouth recruit for next fall, and Exeter's captain this season, lacerated his kidney in a game the weekend before Thanksgiving and will be out quite a while.
Neiley appeared to have stuck himself while attempting to hit another player. He returned to the bench in pain and was sent to Beth Israel that night. Don't look for him in action until January at the earliest