Established 1996

Milton Tops USHR Prep Poll Again
Milton Academy (16-3-1 in NEPSIHA games; 17-3-1 overall) sits atop the USHR Prep Poll for the third consecutive week.

No teams have been bounced out this week. The top few teams remain the same; ditto for the bottom three. There is change in the #4-7 slots. And lurking just outside the top ten are Dexter, Kent, Choate, and Westminster.

USHR Prep Poll: Week of Feb. 7, 2011


                            NEPSIHA All-New England Teams

The 2010-11 New England Prep All-Stars, as voted for by league coaches. You might say this season was the year of the goaltender!


                                  East All-Stars

                  G- Steve Mastalerz-KUA- Senior

                  G- Sean Dougherty- Milton- Senior

                  G- William Flaschbinder- Tilton- Senior

                  D- Pat McNally- Milton- Senior

                  D- Desmond Bergin- St. Sebastians- Senior

                   F- Rob Baillargeon- Cushing –Sophomore

                   F- Cam Spiro- Tabor- Senior

                   F- Connor Gorman- New Hampton- Senior


                                  West All-Stars

                    G- Steve Michalek- Loomis Chaffee- Senior

                    G- Pat Spano- Westminster- Junior

                     D- Colin Sullivan- Avon- Junior

                     D- Craig Wyszomirski- Gunnery- Senior

                     F- Noel Acciari- Kent- Senior

                     F- Mark Naclerio- Avon- Senior

                     F- David Limoges- Albany- Senior



2011 NEPSIHA Playoff Schedule
Quarterfinals --
at campus sites except as noted.
Please check back for updates on starting times.

Corkery/Stuart (Open) Tournament:

#8 Nobles @ #1 Milton, 4:00 pm
#5 Avon Old Farms @ #4 Lawrence, 5:30 pm
#6 Kimball Union @ #3 Kent  (at Loomis, 4:15 pm)
#7 Cushing @ #2 Salisbury, 3:30 pm

Martin/Earl (Large School) Tournament:

#8 Berkshire @ #1 Albany Academy, 3:30 pm
#5 Northfield Mt. Hermon @ #4 Governor's, 3:00 pm
#6 St. Sebastian's @ #3 Belmont Hill, 3:30 pm
#7 Brunswick @ #2 Westminster, 5:00 pm

Piatelli/Simmons (Small School) Tournament:

#8 New Hampton @ #1 South Kent  (at Williston, 2:30 pm)
#5 Groton @ #4 Gunnery  (at Avon Old Farms, 3:30 pm)
#6 Hebron @ #3 Tilton, 5:45 pm
#7 Pomfret @ #2 Dexter, 5:00 pm


The winners of Wednesday’s quarterfinals advance to the Icenter in Salem, NH for the semifinals and finals on the weekend of March 4-6.

Schedule/brackets for Salem:

Fri. March 4
5:30 pm -- Stuart/Corkery Semifinal (1-8 winners vs. 4-5 winners)
8:00 pm -- Stuart/Corkery Semifinal (2-7 winners vs. 3-6 winners) 

Sat. March 5
9:00 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Semifinal (1-8 winners vs. 4-5 winners)
11:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Semifinal (2-7 winners vs. 3-6 winners) 
2:00 pm -- Martin/Earl Semifinal (1-8 winners vs. 4-5 winners)
4:30 pm -- Martin/Earl Semifinal (2-7 winners vs. 3-6 winners) 

Sun. March 6
10:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Final
1:00 pm -- Martin/Earl Final
3:30 pm -- Stuart/Corkery Final


O’Regan Following Father’s Path
5’9”, 170 lb. St. Sebastian’s junior forward Danny O’Regan has committed to Boston University for the fall of ’13.

A 1/30/94 birthdate from Needham, Mass., O’Regan will play a year of juniors before entering BU, where his father, Tommy O’Regan, played from ’79-’83 then went directly to playing a full season in the NHL. After a couple more years in the Pens organization, O’Regan played for 11 years in Germany.

Danny O’Regan made his final choice from between BU and Harvard, where his older brother, Tommy, now with Sioux Falls (USHL), will matriculate in the fall.   Yale, Dartmouth, and Northeastern were also in the picture earlier.

After playing as a freshman and sophomore at Roxbury Latin, O’Regan came over to St. Seb’s this season and was the team’s top center. In 25 games so far has a 23-23-46 line. The Arrows have one more regular season game, and it’s on Saturday at noon, against Thayer. The game will be played at… Walter Brown Arena.

A small, skilled, playmaker, O’Regan is an excellent puck distributor, one of those players who finds the seams, and makes those around him better.

“His strengths are his vision, playmaking ability, and hockey sense,” says St. Sebastian’s head coach Sean McCann. “He understands and does things so well down low because he has that ability to separate himself from the D to create offensive opportunities for himself and linemates.”

“He’s also a very competitive, internally-driven kid. He works hard in the weight room. He never stops challenging himself. “

Nickerson to Big Green
5’7”, 154 lb. Boston Advantage forward Kyle Nickerson has committed to Dartmouth for the fall of ’13 or ’14.

A ’93 from Weston, Mass., Nickerson plays for the midget major club and, in 38 league games, has a 12-13-25 line with four penalty minutes.

Nickerson is a quick, cerebral, playmaking center in his second season with the Advantage organization. Last year, he played with the midget minor squad.

He's also the cousin of former Dartmouth defenseman Ben Lovejoy, now with the Pittsburgh Penguins; and Nick Lovejoy, currently a freshman d-man for the Big Green.

Tringale Goes Ivy
6’0”, 185 lb. Lawrence Academy junior LW Devin Tringale has committed to Harvard for the fall of ’12.

A 9/21/93 birthdate from Medford, Mass., Tringale is one of the dozen freshmen that Lawrence head coach Kevin Potter brought in a couple of years ago. A hard-working power forward type who plays on the school's top line with Andrew Cerretani, Tringale is a relentless worker on and off the ice. While he was slowed a bit last month with asthma, and his production tailed off, the basics of his game remained in tact. He’s physical. He takes the body well. He’s strong on his skates. He’s also possibly the best two-way forward in prep hockey, a smart player who can handle all situations.

Being a late ’93, Tringale is not eligible for the draft until ’12. We can see him going in the middle rounds. He’s a sturdy type who does a lot of little things well, and plays a pro-style game to begin with. He could develop well over four years in college.

Brown and BC were the other schools that Tringale was interested in.

In 27 games so far this year, he has a 16-25-41 line.


Mastalerz a Minuteman
6’1”, 200 lb. Kimball Union senior goaltender Steve Mastalerz has committed to UMass-Amherst for this fall.

Mastalerz, a 4/14/92 birthdate from North Andover, Mass., has had an excellent season this year for the Wildcats, posting a .928 save percentage in 1,516 minutes played.

Last year, as a junior, Mastalerz posted a .901 save percentage playing in the shadow of Martin Ouellette, who accelerated at the last minute and entered Maine a year early due to the end-of-season meltdown by Black Bear goaltender Scott Darling.

With Ouellette gone, goaltending was a question mark for KUA entering the season, but KUA head coach Ryan Miller stuck with Mastalerz, who had been with the program since his sophomore year, rather than go with someone new. The move paid off in a big way for everyone.

UMass will have two freshman ‘92’s competing for playing time in the fall as Kevin Boyle of Westside (BCHL) is also due to come in. Boyle, from Manalapan, NJ, committed to UMass two years ago, when he was with the New Jersey Rockets (AJHL).

Fur Flying

There may be a dustup coming in the Founders’ League, where Salisbury has been called on the carpet by an opposing school – or schools -- for playing a 20-year-old.

NEPSAC rules don’t prohibit this – only Founders’ League rules – so Knights forward Connor Cunningham, who turned 20 on Feb. 6, can not be barred from the post-season.

Avon Old Farms senior D Denton King has been suspended from school and will miss the remainder of the hockey season. King, a Saskatchewan native, will be allowed to return for the spring semester, but that will not help the Winged Beavers as they try to make a push toward Salem.

As we’ve mentioned, St. Sebastian’s key forward Joe Prescott is out for the year. That's hardly the end of the injuries, though. Doubtful for Wednesday’s big game against Lawrence Academy is top defenseman Desmond Bergin (MCL).

Milton Tops USHR Poll for 5th Straight Week
Milton Academy (21-3-1 overall; 20-3-1 NEPSIHA) sits atop the USHR Prep Poll for the fifth consecutive week.

New to this week's poll is South Kent, winners of four of their last five, three of which have come against Albany Academy, Belmont Hill, and The Gunnery, all previously-ranked teams.

Out is... The Gunnery, which lost two in a row last week -- to Salisbury and South Kent.

This, by the way, is the last poll of the season. We find polls that are conducted once the regular season is over -- and teams have been seeded for the playoffs -- rather pointless. Or at least after the fact. And that's exactly where we'll be at this time next week.

USHR Prep Poll: Week of Feb. 21, 2011

Post-Season Schedule

It's gettting to be that time of year.

On Sun.  Feb. 27th, the NEPSIHA Tournament Committee meets, goes over the numbers, seeds the field for all three tournaments, and releases a schedule for the quarterfinals, which will all be held on Wed. March 2 at campus sites.

The three tournaments are:

  • Elite 8  - Scott Stuart/Matt Corkery Tournament (Open Tournament)
  • Larger School - Ken Martin/Tom Earl Tournament (Large School Tournament)
  • Smaller School - Larry Piatelli/Sam Simmons Tournament (Small School Tournament)

Teams will be seeded 1-8 for each quarterfinal tournament, with #8 at #1, #7 at #2, #6 at #3, and #5 and #4.

All games, as mentioned, will be played at campus sites. However, if two schools are located over two and three quarters hours apart, a neutral site approximately midway between the two schools will be chosen.

The winners of Wednesday’s quarterfinals advance to the Icenter in Salem, NH for the semifinals and finals on the weekend of March 4-6. Here is the schedule/brackets for Salem, with times subject to change.

Fri. March 4
5:30 pm -- Stuart/Corkery Semifinal (1-8 winners vs. 4-5 winners)
8:00 pm -- Stuart/Corkery Semifinal (2-7 winners vs. 3-6 winners) 

Sat. March 5
9:00 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Semifinal (1-8 winners vs. 4-5 winners)
11:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Semifinal (2-7 winners vs. 3-6 winners) 
2:00 pm -- Martin/Earl Semifinal (1-8 winners vs. 4-5 winners)
4:30 pm -- Martin/Earl Semifinal (2-7 winners vs. 3-6 winners) 

Sun. March 6
10:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Final
1:00 pm -- Martin/Earl Final
3:30 pm -- Stuart/Corkery Final

Tier I Midget Showcase This Weekend

The Boston Advantage is hosting a Tier I Elite Hockey League Midget Major showcase starting tomorrow, Sat Feb. 19th and running through Monday the 21st at the Pilgrim Skating Arena in Hingham, Mass.

There are a dozen or so high-end players scattered among the ten teams, which are:

EAST: Boston Advantage, Team Comcast, Pittsburgh Hornets, Buffalo Regals, Philly Jr. Flyers.

MID-AM: St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Madison Capitols, Russell Stover.



The Math Behind the Rankings
We here at USHR have been receiving a lot of questions about how the new playoff system works.  Instead of replying to multiple emails with the same information we will do our best to explain the mathematics the formula is built on, and hopefully address many of the questions that have been sent to us.

In order to understand the system one must first start with the calculations for RPI.  RPI, which stands for Ratings Percentage Index, is set up as a way to rank all of the NEPSIHA teams in an equitable manner, taking into account both results and strength of schedule. The RPI is split into three categories.  The first is winning percentage, which is self-explanatory. This is worth 25% of the final RPI calculation.  The second category measures your opponents' winning percentage.  In other words, how good are the teams that you are playing? This category is worth 21% of the RPI calculation, which you will note recognizes that how you play -- your own winning percentage - is of greater weight than how your opponents play, i.e the second category.  The third category is opponents' opponents' winning percentage and is worth 54% of the RPI calculation.  This category is truly a strength of schedule component and it was created to reduce the variation that happens for some teams on a yearly basis. It also eliminates any benefit that might come from running up gaudy won-loss records against weak teams.

Once the RPI numbers are calculated, the top 16 teams (based on the RPI) are then put into what is known as the JSPR system, which ultimately determines the seedings for what we have been calling the elite 8. The JSPR system offers a more in depth comparison of the Top 16 RPI Teams - aka  "Teams Under Consideration." It does so based on four criteria that we will get to shortly.

We should first mention that teams under consideration have been limited to 16 teams because it was determined that 16 teams provides a large enough sampling to determine the top eight teams overall. It would be extremely time consuming and of dubious value to evaluate all NEPSHIA teams under the JSPR system because of the fact that if a team doesn't make the top 16 in RPI, there is little to no chance that they would crack the top eight in the JSPR system - they simply would not have won enough games against the top teams.  Teams within the top 16 in RPI have a legitimate chance of cracking the top eight of the JSPR system and making it to the big tournament.   This begs the question, how does the JSPR system work?

It works because it takes the top 16 teams in the RPI, and then, using four separate categories, compares each team to the other fifteen teams in hypothetical comparisons based upon actual on-ice results.  The four categories the JSPR system uses in order to compare two teams are as follows.

1. Season Series, i.e., if two teams in a JSPR comparison have played this season, the winner of the season series earns one point.

2. RPI Comparison, i.e., how any given pair of teams stand against all other NEPSHIA teams in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).

3. Record vs. Mutual Opponents, i.e., if the two teams have faced common opponents on the ice, results against those teams provides an indicator of the comparative strength of the teams being compared.

4. Record vs. Teams Under Consideration, i.e., how have the two teams played against the top sixteen teams in NEPSHIA.

Please Note:

The Season Series Criteria (#1 above) is slightly changed from last year’s formula.  Last year, a point was earned in each JSPR comparison for each victory a team has in a JSPR comparison.  However, this year, only a single point is given.  An example of where this change affects the standings is a JSPR comparison between Nobles and St. Sebastian’s.  St. Sebastian’s has beaten Nobles twice this year, but only gets one point in their JSPR comparison against Nobles. Last year, they would have received two.

Gorman to Friars
5’10”, 170 lb. New Hampton School senior LW Connor Gorman has committed to Providence College for the fall of ’12.

An 8/20/92 birthdate from Shrewsbury, Mass., Gorman is currently the leading goal scorer in New England prep hockey with 35. He shares the overall tie in points with Cushing’s Robbie Baillargeon. Each has 59.

Gorman, who will play a year for Sean Tremblay’s New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) before matriculating at PC, is a bit off the beaten path at New Hampton, but that didn’t stop Friars’ head coach Tim Army from taking a trip up there in early January.

In his second year at New Hampton after coming in as a repeat junior from St. John’s-Shrewsbury last season, Gorman is a tenacious, relentless player who works hard, both with and without the puck. While he’s not the biggest guy, he has speed and is dangerous getting the puck in stride and coming down the wing. Gorman also uses his speed and quickness well on the PK and forecheck. He’ll need to add strength before arriving in Providence.

"His biggest assets are his speed and his quickness," says New Hampton second-year head coach Matt Wright. "Those are the key attributes at the next level. He also has a really good shot. Not only has he been the leader offensively, but he's been the leader in the locker room as well. He's very vocal, and a really positive individual. He leads by example."

UMass-Lowell was also in the hunt for Gorman.

Mon. 2/14/11

Milton Keeps a Tight Grip on #1 Slot
Milton Academy (19-3-1 overall; 18-3-1 NEPSIHA), which came back from a 2-0 deficit to top Nobles 4-2 on Saturday, sits atop the USHR Prep Poll for the fourth straight week.

Albany Academy, 4-2 losers to South Kent last Thursday, have been bounced out of this week’s prep poll. Moving back into the top ten is Kent, currently riding a four-game winning streak.

USHR Prep Poll: Week of Feb. 14, 2011

Mon. 2/14/11

Top Recruit Chooses UNO
5’10”, 190 lb. Fargo Force (USHL) LD Brian Cooper has committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha for the fall of ’12.

Cooper, despite his size, could be a first round draft NHL draft pick in the summer of ’12. More immediately, he projects to be a terrific college hockey player and, for a long time now, the Anchorage, Alaska native has been the object of an intense recruiting battle. Cooper, who at one time had a list of suitors as long as his arm, narrowed it down in recent months to the University of Minnesota, Colorado College, and UNO.

A Keith Ballard/Nick Leddy type, Cooper is a puck-moving D with excellent skating skills. He’s also extremely competitive, and gets everything out of his frame.

Currently a junior in high school, Cooper is an 11/1/93 birthdate. Now in his second year with Fargo, he has, in 36 games to date, a 10-13-23 line with a +11 and 96 pims.


A Couple of Links

On Wednesday, the New York Times ran an article entitled A Battle Across the Border in Recruiting that focuses on the efforts of College Hockey Inc. and its executive director, Paul Kelly, as they go head-to-head with the CHL and Hockey Canada. It’s not exactly filled with any new developments, but it does define the battle for the general reader and for that reason alone is worth perusing. 

New York Times: A Battle Across the Border in Recruiting

An article that should be reaching the Canadian kids who are doing fence sitting over the NCAA or major junior route can be found in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal entitled Why College Hockey Arenas are the Cathedrals of Sports. You may disagree with some of their choices (Cornell’s Lynah Rink didn’t make the cut), but, no matter what, college arenas certainly have the edge over major junior in arena atmosphere. Besides all that, we thought the new new cathedral of college hockey arenas – and hockey arenas in general – was the great outdoors.

Wall St. Journal: Why College Hockey Arenas are the Cathedrals of Sports

A Future Wildcat…
5’11”, 160 lb. RC Andrew Poturalski of the Nichols School has committed to the University of New Hampshire for the fall of  '13.

A 1/14/94 birthdate from Williamsville, NY, Poturalski is a junior at Nichols, where he has been the sharpshooter on a young team that has shown that Nichols hockey doesn’t just have a past, but a future, too. Last season, Poturalski, in 38 games, had a 33-28-61 line.

Poturalski is very clever with the puck, being able to handle it in extremely tight quarters. He can snipe it, too. Watching him at last summer’s Select 16 Festival in Rochester, NY, we saw all those skills on display (he was a participant in the all-star game at the close of the festival) but we also saw a player who was undeveloped physically and had a difficult time asserting himself because of it. It is fair to say that will change with time and effort.

Poturalski was selected by the Sioux City Musketeers in last spring’s USHL Future’s Draft.

… and a Future Catamount
6’1”, 190 lb. LC Kyle Mountain of the Penticton Vees (BCHL) has committed to the University of Vermont for this fall.

Mountain, who does a little bit of everything for Penticton, has a 9-14-23 line – and 33 pims -- in 54 games played.

A 9/30/90 birthdate from Bryn Mawr, PA, he’s the son of NHL player agent Steve Mountain and the brother of Northeastern’s backup goaltender Bryan Mountain, a sophomore.

Martin Reaches 700-win Plateau
With last night’s 7-1 win over Andover, Belmont Hill head coach Ken Martin reached the 700-win plateau.

Now in his 38th year as head coach at Belmont Hill, Martin’s overall record is 700-265-43, a winning percentage of .710.

Included are:

--- Two NEPSIHA Div. I prep championships, in 1985 and 1990.

-- 15 ISL championships, including 11 in a 12-year stretch between 1977 and 1988.

-- 13 Lawrenceville Xmas Tournament titles.

-- Nine Nichols Tournament titles.

-- Two Hobey Baker winners, defenseman Mark Fusco and his younger brother, forward Scott Fusco, were Belmont Hill grads.

Most remarkable perhaps is the fact that Martin has never, in all those years, missed a game. And only once has he missed a practice, which came when his son, Ken, then a Babson senior, played his last college game. That’s positively Ripkenesque.

Martin himself was a star forward at Belmont Hill in the 1960s before going on to Bowdoin. 

Two More ‘95s Commit
5’8”, 145 lb. Delbarton School sophomore forward John Baiocco has committed to Yale.

A 6/6/95 birthdate from South Morristown, NJ, Baiocco is currently the second-leading scorer at Delbarton, trailing only senior Peter McMullen. Baiocco, in 17 games, has a 12-12-24 line.

Baiocco, who also played for the Westchester Express last year and was at last summer’s Select 15 Festival as a last-minute fill in for an injured player, is the fourth member of this year’s Delbarton squad with a Div. I commitment. Baiocco joins Matt Killian (Yale), McMullen (BC) and Drew Melanson (RPI).

-- 5’10”, 160 lb. Buffalo Regals U-16 forward Dylan McLaughlin has committed to Northeastern for the fall of ’13 or ’14.

A left-shot center, McLaughlin, a sophomore in high school, is a 6/5/95 birthdate from Lancaster, NY, a bit west of Buffalo.

More a playmaker than scorer, McLaughlin is a good skater who plays well in all three zones. Like Baiocco, McLaughlin has yet to physically mature.

McLaughlin, who played at last summer’s Select 15 Festival, also made a visit to Yale, and is a possibility for the NTDP.