Russo to Penn State
Indiana Ice (USHL) 5’8”, 170 lb. defenseman Brandon Russo has committed to Penn State and will be heading there this fall.
Russo, a 3/26/92 birthdate from Fairfield, Conn., is a 2010 graduate of the Salisbury School.
Penn State will spend their final season as a club team next season. The following season the Nittany Lions will be a Division I independent, then join the Big 10 Hockey Conference in 2013-14. For players like Russo, the one season of club hockey he will play doesn’t affect anything – he’ll have four seasons of eligibility starting in 2012-13.
In case you missed it, Guy Gadowsky was recently named Penn State’s head coach and is bringing along both of his assistants from Princeton, Keith Fisher and Matt Lindsay. Gadowsky and his staff will coach the club team in the fall, and no doubt spending a lot of time on the road, too.
Top BCHL Prospect to BC
5’8”, 170 lb. RC Evan Richardson of the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) has committed to Boston College for the fall of ’12.
A Nanaimo, BC native and a 5/30/94 birthdate, the 16-year-old BCHL rookie, who missed a few weeks around mid-season with a shoulder injury, finished the season with a 12-30-42 line in 55 games.
Richardson, a prototypical Boston College forward, is fast – just an excellent skater with soft hands, a strong shot, and vision.
The Boston College staff has been watching him since first seeing him in action at the 2009 Mac’s Tournament in Calgary. At the time Richardson was playing for the North Island Silvertips of the British Columbia Major Midget League. That season (‘09-10), as a 15-year-old, Richardson wound up leading the league in scoring with a 35-38-73 line in 37 games. Trailing Richardson by ten points was Vancouver NW Giants forward Destry Straight, who will be arriving at Boston College this fall.
(As an aside, we should point out that, in ’08-09, the year before Richardson and Straight finished 1-2 in league scoring, the league scoring title was won by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, likely to go #1 overall in next month’s NHL draft. In other words, leading that league in scoring means something. It’s a strong midget league.)
Richardson was a first-round pick of Swift Current in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.
Ian Jenkins Dead at 15
Top U.S. born ’95 goaltender Ian Jenkins, after being taken off life support over the weekend, died this morning at University Hospital at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Jenkins, a native of Ypsilanti, Mich. who played for the Belle Tire midget minor team this past season, signed with the London Knights (OHL) last Wednesday. The following day, he fell from the back of a pickup truck driven by a school friend in Milan, Michigan. Jenkins, a sophomore at Milan High School, suffered massive head trauma and swelling of the brain in the fall.
"We want to let everyone know that, as he always did, Ian batled right up to the final buzzer, but he lost at 7:54 this morning," Ian's father, Joel Jenkins, said in a statement. "He will be missed. We thank everyone for everything they have done over the past few days."
Mon. 5/23/11-- updated
Ready, Set, Hire!
We have an informal tally of the number of full-time assistant coaching positions currently open in Div. I hockey: 16.
To say that we don’t remember anything like this happening before would be an understatement. In most years, having half that number of positions available at this time of year would be a bonanza.
In addition to the 16 assistants’ positions, there is also a nice Div. III head coaching position at Hamilton College, vacated when Norm Bazin was hired as the head coach at UMass-Lowell, his alma mater.
And there’s a USHL head job available with the Indiana Ice, a position that will likely be filled by a current college assistant. Let the musical chairs begin.
Anyway, here’s our list of Div. I schools with the number of assistants’ positions available. If we’ve missed any – or any have been filled – let us know.
Providence – 1
Lowell – 2
Union – 2
Princeton – 2
Cornell – 1
Harvard – 1
St. Lawrence -- 1
Clarkson -- 2
Michigan – 1
Michigan Tech – 2
Minnesota-Duluth – 1
Cornell associate head coach Casey Jones will be named Clarkson’s next head coach, according to the Watertown (NY) Daily News.
Jones, a 1990 Cornell grad and Boston Bruins 10th round draft pick, started his coaching career under Brian McCutcheon at Cornell from 1991-93, then joined Mark Morris’ Clarkson staff from 1993-95. From there, Jones headed west, serving as an assistant at Ohio State for 13 years before returning to Cornell three years ago.
The finalists for the Clarkson job were Jones and US Under-18 head coach Ron Rolston, also a former Clarkson assistant under Morris.
Trailing 1-0 at home midway through game #3 of the Clark Cup best-of-five finals, the Dubuque Fighting Saints exploded for three goals – from Tony Larson, Joakim Ryan, and Tyler Lundey – en route to a 4-2 win over the Green Bay Gamblers Friday night.
Dubuque leads the series 2-1 with a chance to win the title at home in tonight’s game 4.
Dubuque outshot Green Bay, 29-20. Matt Morris kicked out 18 of 20 shots for the win. Ryan McKay stopped 19 of 23 for Green Bay. When Riley Barber scored on him to put Dubuque up 4-1 at 2:23 of the third, McKay was replaced by Adam Wilcox (6/6).
Grant Arnold and C.J Eick scored Green Bay’s goals.
Highly-touted ’92 forward Zach Hyman, who had committed to Guy Gadowsky at Princeton, has decommitted and will be at the University of Michigan this fall. The 6’1”, 182 lb. Hyman, a fifth-round pick of Florida in last summer’s NHL draft, was named the 2011 Canadian Junior A Player of the Year last month. In 43 games, Hyman put up a 42-60-102 line for the Tier II Hamilton Red Wings (his father, Stuart, referred to by the Toronto Star as ‘The Ultimate Hockey Dad’ – and not in a flattering way – is the owner of the Red Wings as well as the International Scouting Service.) Among the schools interested in Hyman, once Gadowsky had headed south, was Harvard. However, an attempt to interest the admissions department in such a late applicant reportedly went nowhere.
Michigan – in a kind of package deal – also took Hyman’s younger brother, Spencer, a burly 6’0”, 208 lb. late ’93 LD. He’ll be coming to Ann Arbor in either ’12 or ’13.
As long as we’re on decommitments, Union recruit Drew Brown, who committed to Nate Leaman at Union, is now following Leaman to Providence and will be suiting up for the Friars this fall. The forward, from Grass Lake, Michigan, was the second-leading scorer at Kent last season, with a 22-29-51 line in 27 games. His 51 points were one fewer than linemate Noel Acciari, who is also Providence-bound this fall.
Former UNH star Mark Mowers will be an assistant coach at Belmont Hill in the upcoming season. Mowers, who played 278 NHL games – with Nashville, Detroit, Boston, and Anaheim -- retired this spring after playing the last four seasons in Switzerland.
New Belmont Hill head coach Jeremiah McCarthy will have an entire new staff at Belmont Hill. No holdovers.
Minnesota-Duluth associate coach Brett Larson has been hired as the new head coach of the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL).
Larson, 38, a native of Duluth who played four years for Minnesota-Duluth and was captain his senior year, went on to play 12 years of minor pro before retiring and returning in 2008 to his hometown -- and alma mater -- as a member of Scott Sandelin's staff.
Expansion Fighting Saints Win Clark Cup
Dubuque Fighting Saints goaltender Matt Morris kicked out 37 of 38 shots tonight to lead his team to a 6-1 home win over Green Bay and the 2011 Clark Cup Championship.
After a scoreless first period, Dubuque took a 2-1 lead after two, and then blew things open with four unanswered goals in the third period.
T.J. Schlueter had a pair of goals for Dubuque while Tyler Lundey, John Doherty, John Gaudreau, and Shane Walsh had single goals.
Dubuque, an expansion team coached by former RPI assistant Jim Montgomery and assisted by Bobby Kinsella and Joe Coombs, also finished the regular season as USHL Western Division champions.
5/11/21 Box Score: Dubuque 6, Green Bay 1
Zavisza Takes Over at Loomis
J.R. Zavisza, an assistant at Loomis last year, will be taking over as head coach of the varsity. Bob Howe, who was doubling as head coach and athletic director, will continue on as AD.
Zavisza, a 31-year-old from Suffield, Conn. who played at Avon Old Farms before joining the NTDP as part of its first group of recruits in the fall of ’97, got his coaching start earlier than most. While at UMass, he realized that his college career wasn’t exactly taking off (he totaled four goals over three seasons), and his passion for the game was fading. So, during his junior year, while still playing for the Minutemen, he took on an assistant’s position at nearby Belchertown (Mass.) High School.
“I was going to school, playing, and coaching – all at the same time,” Zavisza recalled. “It was crazy.”
“But through coaching,” he adds, “I refound my love and passion for the game.”
After his junior year, and after learning he wouldn’t be seeing much, if any, ice time as a senior, Zavisza decided to retire from playing and concentrate on coaching while continuing with his studies.
“I didn’t want to just practice for an entire season,” he says.
Instead, he returned to Belchertown High, where he would stay for a total of five years, the last two as a head coach. By then, he was in grad school at UMass. One year, he was as an assistant at Belchertown while also coaching the Eaglebrook School JV team.
“There was a lot of running back and forth,” he recalls.
In ’06, he got his degree in history from UMass and returned to Avon Old Farms, where he coached Varsity B for four years before joining Howe’s staff at Loomis this past winter.
Now, he’s the head guy, and a full-time history teacher, as well.
“My plan here is to establish a hockey program whereas it’s been more of a ‘hockey team’ thing here over the past ten years or so. We play in the toughest prep league and my goal is to get us into the top half of the league. The school is beginning to support that goal and will do what they have to do over the next few years to get us where we have to be.”
Zavisza points to other Founders’ League schools that went through fallow years before getting back up on top, such as the Kent School.
“Loomis is a really good school,” he adds. “There is great opportunity here. The school has a great reputation. We have a beautiful campus and our athletics are strong across the board, but football and hockey have been neglected a bit. They are now putting more emphasis on those sports to bring them up to the level of the other boys and girls programs.”
Zavisza’s first order of business ? Finding a quality assistant coach. And he’s taking applications now.
Top U.S. ’95 Goalie in Critical Condition
Top American ’95 goaltender Ian Jenkins of Ypsilanti, Michigan suffered a head injury in a pickup truck accident Thursday afternoon. He has undergone surgery at University Hospital at the University of Michigan, and is in critical condition.
Jenkins, who was felt to be the best goalie in this spring’s OHL draft, went in the second round because he said he’d only play for London or Windsor. London took him. At last July’s Select 15 Festival we felt Jenkins was the clear #1 goalie in camp, just as he had been at 14’s the year before. He attended the NTDP’s Evaluation Camp in March, and was excellent.
How the accident, which took place in Milan, Michigan, about 12 miles south of Ypsilanti, came about is unclear.
“The incident is still under investigation,” Milan, Mich. police chief Jeffrey Lewis told the London Free Press.
“We have a 16-year-old driver of the truck and the victim who was either a passenger in the truck or running behind the truck. He fell and struck his head.”
Lewis said the police were interviewing eyewitnesses but don’t yet have exact information about what the driver and Jenkins were doing. Lewis did say that the vehicle did not hit Jenkins.
“His injuries,” Lewis said, “were caused when his head struck the pavement.” Lewis described the area of Milan where the accident took place as a “quiet subdivision.”
“As of yet there is no evidence of speeding, reckless behavior, drugs or alcohol. We’re continuing to monitor the situation and the victim’s condition.”
Jenkins, who is still 15 – he’ turns 16 on August 13th – played this past season for Belle Tire’s midget minor team. He was slated to be in London this weekend for the Knights’ mini-camp.
USHL Draft Underway
It’s draft day in the USHL and things are underway. You can follow the results at www.ushldraft.com.
The #1 overall pick, by the Chicago Steel, was 6'2", 180 lb. center Brian Christie of the Topeka Roadrunners (NAHL). Christie, a Merrimack recruit for the fall of '13, is a 4/20/92 birthdate from West Chester, PA. In 57 games for Topeka, he had a 20-38-58 line to go with a league-leading +38.
Also underway is the USHL Clark Cup Championship Round. Over the weekend, the Green Bay Gamblers hosted the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the first two games of the best-of-five series. The teams split.
On Friday night, Gamblers goaltender Ryan McKay stopped all 23 shots he faced and Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Robert Francis, and Alex Broadhurst scored the goals in a 3-0 Green Bay win.
On Saturday night, Dubuque edged Green Bay, 2-1, with Vinny Saponari and Shane Sooth scoring for the Fighting Saints. Broadhurst scored Green Bay’s lone goal, his second of the series.
Dubuque’s Matt Morris kicked out 23 of 24 shots for the win. McKay took the loss, stopping 17 of 19.
Hayward New Head Coach at Governor’s
Taft assistant coach Leon Hayward has been named the new head coach at Governor’s Academy, where he will also work in admissions.
Hayward, 32, is a native of Seattle, Wash. who came east to Tabor Academy in the mid-‘90s. While there, he was a star three-sport athlete, playing football (he was the starting QB and captain), hockey, and lacrosse.
After graduation from Tabor, Hayward, a 6’0, 208 lb. forward, went on to play for the Northeastern Huskies. After graduation, he went on to pro hockey, moving back and forth between the AHL and the ECHL over the next six years. In 2007-08, Hayward began his coaching career as an assistant with the Texas Wildcatters (ECHL). The next year he joined Dan Murphy’s staff at Taft, also joining the math deptartment and working in admissions.
“Obviously, I am very happy for him,” said Murphy, “but also sad to see him go because he is a talented educator who cares deeply about the development of adolescents in all factors of school life. Governor’s got a great young coach with wonderful positive energy. He also has a great hockey mind and is a wonderful teacher of the game and skill development. He will do great things at the school and with the hockey program. I could not be more proud of him. We will miss him at Taft.”
It should also be noted that, with the appointment, Hayward becomes the first African-American head coach in New England prep hockey history. There’s no official record book to look this sort of thing up in, but unless someone can show otherwise, we believe it to be true.
Aa an aside, current Milton Academy head coach Paul Cannata was an assistant coach on Bruce Crowder's staff during all four years Hayward was at Northeastern. Starting this fall, Hayward and Cannata will be facing each other from opposite benches in Keller Division action.
As for the Taft bench, Murphy will be looking for someone to take Hayward’s place, so get those résumés in.
Former Avon Old Farms and Omaha Lancers (USHL) forward Stefan Demopoulos has committed to Providence College for this fall.
A La Mesa, California native, Demopoulos, 5’8”, 170 lbs. and a 1/17/91, has played in the USHL for two years after graduating from Avon. This past season he was third on the Lancers in scoring with a 16-24-40.
Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) forward and captain John Parker will be heading to the University of Maine this fall.
Parker, 6’0” and 185 lbs., is a 1/11/92 birthdate from Greenbrook, NJ. He has played in the USHL for the last three seasons—after two years in Indiana he was claimed by Muskegon in last year’s USHL expansion draft.
Parker had a 9-22-31 line in 58 games for Muskegon this season.
Governor's to Name a Coach Soon
The Governor’s Academy has winnowed down their original pile of over 100 applicants to five finalists, who have all been interviewed.
Governor’s has been very hush-hush on who is among the final five, but we have been able to confirm three: Harvard assistant Bobby Jay, Taft assistant Leon Hayward, and Bowdoin assistant Jeff Pellegrini.
Linell Decommits; Has New Home
5’8”, 185 lb. Choate speedster Danny Linell, a Harvard commit who was waitlisted by the university, will instead be playing for Boston College this fall.
After hearing he’d been waitlisted, Linell contacted BU, Michigan, and BC. On his visit to the Heights the Boston College staff offered him a full scholarship. Done deal.
A 9/4/92 from Great Neck, Long Island, Linell had an 18-15-33 line for the Wild Boars this past season.
McCarthy Belmont Hill’s Pick
Jeremiah McCarthy has been named the new head coach at Belmont Hill.
McCarthy, 35, is a Belmont native and a ’94 graduate of Belmont Hill. A defenseman, he went on to play four years for Harvard, and then spent ten years playing minor pro hockey (for 11 different teams, mostly in the US, but also in Russia, Sweden, Italy, and Austria. So he’s seen the world.) McCarthy retired after the 2007-08 season.
A math teacher who will also coach either JV or freshman lacrosse, McCarthy has been at the school for one year.
Green Bay, Dubuque Advance to USHL Finals
The Green Bay Gamblers, under first year head coach Eric Rud, and the Dubuque Fighting Saints, an expansion team under first year head coach Jim Montgomery have advanced to the USHL’s Clark Cup finals.
Both semifinal rounds, a best of five series, were won in four games.
In the Western Conference final it took a goal at 2:38 of OT by Vermont recruit Zemgus Girgensons to give the Fighting Saints a 3-2 win over the Sioux Falls Stampede.
In the Eastern Conference, Green Bay got goals from four different players and outshot the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 33-20 to advance.
For Green Bay, the defending Clark Cup champions, it will be their second straight appearance in the finals. You may recall that last year Green Bay, facing Fargo, lost the first two games at home, but then traveled to Fargo and took both road games (one in OT) before bringing it back to Green Bay where they won game #5 and the Clark Cup title.
The best-of-five series begins with games #1 and 2 being played this Friday and Saturday at Green Bay.
Prier New Princeton Head Coach
Bob Prier, an assistant at St. Lawrence for the last nine years, is being named Princeton’s new head coach this afternoon.
Prier, a big, low-key guy, is really liked and respected in coaching and recruiting circles. He started out as an NCAA assistant at Denver (2000-01). After that, he moved on to Princeton for a year (2001-02), so he knows his way around Baker Rink. (So, too, does Prier’s wife Lorenda, a former goaltending coach for the Princeton’s womens’ program.)
A 34-year-old native of Nepean, Ontario, Prier was the captain and leading scorer at St. Lawrence in his senior year. Over his four years at St. Lawrence, Prier had a 60-56-116 line in 133 games. A Boston Bruins eighth round draft pick in 1996, Prier’s pro career was curtailed early on by injury.
At Princeton, Prier replaces Guy Gadowsky, who recently took the Penn State job.
Fairbanks Wins NAHL Title
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs topped the Michigan Warriors 4-2 Saturday night in Topeka, Kansas to win the NAHL’s Robertson Cup.
Forward John Stampohar had a goal and two assists, and goaltender Joe Phillippi kicked out 23 shots.
Phillippi was named the tournament’s MVP.
Jordan Davis (Topeka RoadRunners)
Scott Henegar (Michigan)
Tayler Munson (Fairbanks)
Derek Hills (Amarillo Bulls)
Kevin Gibson (Michigan)
Joe Phillippi (Fairbanks)
USA Hockey Select Camps Schedule
Here are the dates for USA Hockey’s Player Development Camps this June and July. The opening date listed for each camp is the date that players report. Competition starts on Day #2. There are six days of competition. Last year, at the older levels (16 and 17) there was a championship game on the final day followed by an all-star game. It was a success that we assume will be repeated, though we haven’t confirmed that.
All the camps will again take place at the Sports Centre at MCC in Rochester, NY.
Here they are, in chronological order.
Select 16 (‘95s) Fri. June 24- Thurs. June 30
Select 17 (‘94s) Thurs. July 7-Wed. July 13
Select 14 (’97s) Fri. July 8-Thurs. July 14
Select 15 (’96s) Fri. July 15-Thurs. July 21