Established 1996

Beantown Pro Division
The Beantown Summer Classic finished up at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Mass. two days ago. We’ve already done the Futures Division. Let’s look now at kids we liked in the Pro Division (‘91s, ‘92s, ‘93s, and ‘94s).


The best prospect here – at any position -- for June’s NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, PA was Phillips Exeter’s 6’2”, 215 lb. Brian Hart, who has 2nd/3rd round potential. Hart was sleepy in Monday’s early game – perhaps he’d passed on his Dunkin’ iced coffee -- but came back at night with a strong performance, notching what might have been the tournament’s top goal. After stretching to corral a pass inside the offensive blue line, Hart spotted his linemate breaking to the net, hit him with a perfect cross-ice diagonal pass, then broke to the net, took the return pass -- and just roofed it. Bing!

Hart’s team – the Outlaws – had some firepower. 6’1”, 180 lb. UNH recruit Kyle Smith, an excellent passer, had a nice tournament, finishing as leading scorer with a 3-8-11 line. 5’9”, 175 lb. Vinny Scotti, the erstwhile Gunnery forward now going into his second year with the Junior Bruins also played well. Scotti, a ’92, is good on both sides of the puck and is very unselfish, always looking to make plays. A top student, he’s getting Ivy interest.

On the Royals, 6’3”, 185 lb. Adam Gilmour, a ’94 at Nobles who’s committed to Quinnipiac for ’13, came up big. Gilmour, who’ll be a junior this year, has size, can skate, can shoot it – and he scored a batch of goals here. The knock on him is that he doesn’t engage enough.

6’2”, 200 lb. Collin MacDonald of the Jersey Hitmen (EJHL) looked good. A big, strong power forward type with a strong stride, MacDonald, a ’92, is getting a lot of interest from Hockey East schools. He could be one of those types whose pro stock rises steadily as his college career moves along. He has that look about him.

MacDonald, who played for the Saints here, had a couple of teammates we liked. 5’11”, 190 lb. Josh Roberts, formerly of Trinity-Pawling and also a ’92, was skating well, and made himself consistently noticeable. He’ll be at Trail (BCHL) this winter. 6’2”, 185 lb. Jason Stephanik, a ’94, also made his presence felt. None of those three – MacDonald, Roberts, or Stephanik – found the back of the net much. But not for lack of shooting the puck. They just ran up against some strong goaltending performances.

Speaking of offensive skill, the Warriors had plenty to spare. Malden Catholic’s dynamic duo of Brendan Collier (BU, ’13) and Ryan Fitzgerald (BC, ’13) were playing like they knew exactly where each other would be before they got there, which, of course, they did.  There’s just a lot of skill and intelligence between those two. They’re fun to watch, and we’ll be making the trip to the Valley Forum II in Malden to do just that. Too bad they’ll be on opposing teams in college.

Also on the same team as Fitzgerald and Collier was 6’0”, 170 lb. Robbie Baillargeon, formerly of Cushing and now heading out to Indiana (USHL). Baillargeon missed the morning game, and we only caught a little of him in the evening game. Baillargeon, of course, is a BU recruit for fall ’13 and a potential 3rd-5th round guy for next June’s NHL draft in Pittsburgh.

6’0”, 193 lb. Devin Tringale, a late ’93 from Lawrence Academy is a solid big body who plays a rugged up-and-down-the-wing pro-style game. Doesn’t have great hands, but is a well-rounded type. Could be a late-round draft pick next June.

6’0”, 185 lb. Niko Rufo, who’ll be at Kimball Union this season, showed a nice natural touch around the net. He was the youngest player on his team, but led it in scoring nonetheless. He put himself on the map here.

6’2”, 176 lb. Liam McDermott, a 12/22/94 birthdate from the Cleveland Barons organization – he’s the younger brother of Colorado College sophomore D Eamonn McDermott – has size and can skate. Not sure of his puck skills, vision, etc. but he was also the youngest player in the pro division, so he’s worth checking back on.

6’2”, 172 lb. Alex Gonye, a ’94 and a rising junior at Deerfield Academy, was a consistent force for the Bombers, and a pleasant surprise. Ditto for 6’1”, 180 lb. Alex Rauter, also a ’94. Rauter will be a new student at Choate and should pick up some of the scoring slack lost to graduation there. 

On the Chiefs, we liked 6’3”, 195 lb. Chris Calnan, a ’94 and a junior-to-be at Nobles, and 6’0”, 195 lb. Nick Finn, a ’93 with good speed who is going into his senior year at Westminster.


As for the blueliners, the pickings were slimmer. Or perhaps the lack of defense in summer hockey makes it thus.

That said, one defenseman boosted his stock significantly. That was 6’0”, 195 lb. Thomas Parisi, a ’93 from the New York Bobcats who’ll be playing for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) this season. Parisi showed poise, can skate, has a nice stick and, from the blue line, was the key to his team’s attack. He’ll be getting a lot of attention from top Div. I schools.

6’2”, 190 lb. T.J. Roche, a ’94 from the North Jersey Avalanche had a good week. We like his size and work ethic.

The ‘94s from Salisbury were very good. We’re talking about 6’1”, 188 lb. Ryan Segalla, and 6’2”, 215 lb. Mark Hamilton. They were teammates here, and anchored their team’s defense.

6’0”, 188 lb. Desmond Bergin, who’ll spend a year with the Junior Bruins before matriculating at Harvard, was good, as we would expect.  

6’0”, 190 lb. Garrett Cockerill of Compuware helped himself by coming east for the tournament. A’94, he can skate, he can shoot it, and he’s tough. Cockerill will be playing in the NAHL this season.

6’3”, 215 lb. Al Butler, who played half of last season at UMass-Lowell, is a greybeard – a ’91 who’s now back with the Junior Bruins. Butler lacks the foot speed the new staff at Lowell is looking for, but he could be a good pickup for an Atlantic Hockey school. The brother of former UNH star Bobby Butler is tough, and can lay guys out. He was, according to his coach here, LA Kings scout Bob Crocker, his team’s undisputed leader.

Ron Fishman, a 6’0”, 175 lb. ’93 from Gunnery, was quite good. Not flashy, just steady and poised. A couple big body types in prep school worth keeping an eye on are 6’5”, 190 lb. Greg Zaffino, a ’94 birthdate and a rising junior at St. Paul’s, and 6’5”, 228 lb. Doyle Somerby, who’ll be a junior at Kimball Union.

That’s it.


In net, the player here who really seized the moment was Nick Ellis, a 6’1”, 180 lb. ’94 from the Pomfret School. Ellis was on an abysmal team (they went 0-5-0) hence faced a lot of shots. On Tuesday night, in his half in net against the Saints, he was absolutely peppered, and responded by putting on a clinic. Nothing got by him. A Marylander going into his junior year at Pomfret, Ellis has size, athleticism, really quick feet, and was tracking the puck extremely well. He’ll be taking unofficial visits to Providence and UNH.

There were three other goalies who stood out for this observer: 5’9”, 170 lb. Michael Santaguida, a ’93 rising senior at Avon Old Farms; 6’2”, 205 lb. Ben Halford, a ’93 who was at Albany Academy and is slated to play this season with the South Shore Kings (EJHL); and 5’11”, 170 lb. Hayden Neuman, a ’93 from Saint Andrews College.



Wed. 8/31/11

Players' Blog: EJHL All-Stars Top Latvia
-- By Tyler Kapp (Boston Bandits) and Cam Brown (NH Jr. Monarchs)

Today was the first official game of the World Junior Club Cup for the EJHL All-Star Team, facing off against Latvia’s “Riga.” We had a morning skate after breakfast to start off the day, and did some flow drills to get our legs moving for the game in the afternoon. After about a 45-minute skate we went back for lunch and a quick nap. We got the rink two hours before our game, giving us plenty of time to warm up. After another 20-minute on ice warm up, the game was underway. Latvia scored an early goal to take the lead off a back door pass that left the team feeling momentarily deflated. Despite this, we regrouped soon after when Jimmy Vesey buried a rebound off a shot from the point, pulling the whole team back into the game.

Heading into the second tied at one, we immediately took the momentum, taking stride from Andrews’ stellar goaltending. Jimmy Vesey notched his second of the night when the puck took a perfect bounce off the boards from behind the net directly to Vesey in front who had no trouble finishing. Mike LeFrenier made his second big play of the night on defense, helping to increase the lead to one. Latvia recovered soon after, evening the score at 2-2 later in the period. Some slight breakdowns that led to penalties on both sides contributed to both Connor MacPhee’s goal on a drive to the net from Connor Gorman, and KJ Tiefenwerth’s beautiful goal from Kyle Smith who slid it from behind the net in their trademark Junior Bruins style.

The keys to maintaining this 4 to 2 lead in the third period for the victory were of course Andrews’ goaltending, as well as the timeout Coach Tremblay called halfway through the third to regroup the guys and formulate a team agenda. Getting a bit selfish at times early in the period, the timeout was a perfect turning point for the rest of the game, shutting out Latvia and securing the victory.

After the post-game celebration and meal, we headed back to the rink to witness the opening ceremonies for the Russia-Slovakia game, two teams we will face in the coming days. Once that was over, we headed back to the hotel to rest up for tomorrow's game against Slovakia. We’re all looking forward to it.


Woodchuck Classic Schedule

The 7th Annual Woodchuck Classic is coming up, starting Thurs. Sept. 8 and concluding Sun. Sept. 11, with games being played at half a dozen rinks in and around Burlington, Vt.  

The EJHL will be represented by the NH Jr. Monarchs, Junior Bruins, Jersey Hitmen, South Shore Kings, Cap District Selects, Green Mountain Glades, Springfield Jr. Pics, New England Huskies, Bay State Breakers and Philadelphia Revolution. Tier II teams from Canada include the Oakville Blades, Aurora Tigers, Wellington Dukes, Trenton Golden Hawks, Woodstock Slammers, Lindsey Muskies, Vaughan Vipers, Buffalo Blades, St. Lawrence Lions, and Cegep Andre Laurendeau Boomerang.

From the AJHL come the Northern Mass. Cyclones, Hartford Wolf Pack, Portland Pirates, and New Jersey Rockets. The Wolf Pack and Rockets will also send along their MET teams.

From the Empire League, the Glades, Monarchs, Brewster, Cap District, Syracuse, Jersey Hitmen, Junior Bruins, South Shore, and Jersey Wildcats will be on hand. In addition, the Monarchs CHA team will be competing. The East Coast Eagles and Atlanta Knights will send both their Empire South and EJHL South Teams.

  The midget division will be very strong this year with both Team Comcast U16 and U18 teams as well as the LI Royals U16 and U18 teams. The tournament has also added Hill Academy (Ontario), coached by Lindsay Hofford. The Seacoast Saints, Essex Midgets, Kick Ice Coyotes, St. Lawrence Thunder and Rice Prep will also be in attendance. Michigan Elite and the Little Bruins return.

 New this year is a ‘97 division, with Little Caesar’s, Westchester Express, Upper Canada, Kingston Jr. Frontanacs, Eastern Ontario, Académie Hockey Gagnon, and Ulysses Odyssey (great name, by the way).

 Here’s the schedule:

2011 Woodchuck Classic



Tues. 8/30/11 FYI -- The ice at Providence College's Schneider Arena melted last night, so tomorrow's showcase has been moved across town to Brown's Meehan Auditorium. 

EJHL All-Stars in Russia: The Players’ Blog
The EJHL All-Stars are representing the U.S. in the World Junior Cup in Omsk, Siberia and head coach Sean Tremblay has asked different pairs of players to take turns collaborating on blog entries each day. Here, then, is their work to date. Each entry is presented in full, with only minor edits for readability.

First up are Connor Gorman of the NH Jr. Monarchs and Zach Luczyk of the Junior Bruins, who teamed up to write Friday’s blog.

On Thursday, August 25th, the EJHL All-Stars, who are representing the United States in the U-21 World Junior Cup, left Logan Airport for JFK and then to Moscow, Russia.  The majority of the team, coaches, trainers, and equipment managers gathered in Boston (a few New York players met us at JFK) and the trip had begun.  After being delayed a few times and waiting on the runway for 2 hours, our team finally made it to JFK. After another few hours of waiting at JFK, where we got to eat and hang out with the team some more, we boarded a huge plane that was headed to Moscow, Russia.  Each seat had a TV that supplied video games and movies.  After an 8 hour flight of pretty much staying up all night, and some interesting plane food, we had made it to Russia.  In our minds it was 4:00 in the morning, but in Moscow it was already 12:00 p.m.  We were all exhausted.  After receiving our luggage we got onto a very nice bus that brought us about an hour to our hotel.  We are staying at the AeroStar hotel, which is just outside the city of Moscow.  We were assigned our roommates, unpacked a little bit, had a team lunch at the hotel and then went sightseeing for the afternoon and night.  

After our team dinner we proceeded to board a tour bus with a tour guide who was extremely knowledgeable of the city of Moscow’s historic sites. As we entered the city the team was in awe due to the amazing architectural landmarks that Moscow is known for. After driving around the city for a while we exited the bus at Saint Basil's Cathedral, which marked the beginning of the famous Red Square. The Red Square is surrounded by the Kremlin Walls and Lenin’s tomb on one side, and on the other by GUM, the country’s largest department store. Inside the GUM the amazing amount of stores is almost overwhelming.  The team then exited the GUM and entered the Liberian Gate and Chapel. Inside the chapel we were able to observe a mass. The streets were packed by all sorts of people from all over the world, and it was an exciting thing to be able to see and be a part of it. We were able to see the tomb of the unknown soldiers, guarded by three active soldiers, at the Alexander Garden. The team then re-boarded the bus and traveled to other famous landmarks such as Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery, Bolshoi Theater, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Luzhniki Stadium, just to name a few.  The city of Moscow is an unbelievable site to see and this trip has already been rewarding without having stepped on the ice.


Next up, with Saturday’s blog, are Stephen Miller of the NH Jr. Monarchs and Tyler Bouchard of the Springfield Jr. Pics.

Greetings from Moscow!

Just getting back to the hotel after our exhibition game and our first time on the ice since Wednesday’s training camp. After 2 hours on a bus each way, and still getting used to the time difference, we’re all pretty exhausted. The 9 am breakfast was an early start to the day and from then on it was all hockey. In the end, we drove away with good memories after defeating our Russian competitors 4-3 in a heart-pounding shootout.

The game began with a 20 minute on-ice warm up as fans began filling the arena. By the time we took the ice for the game, the fans had doubled in number. We took the early lead on a two-man advantage when Kyle Williams notched a snap shot from the point that squeaked by the goaltender’s armpit. The Russians responded minutes later with a shot from the top of the circle on an offensive rush that found bottom blocker.
Heading into the second tied at 1-1, there were some hard hits and a few scrums. All this on top of nearly 5 or 6 penalties per team, a trend that lasted the whole game unfortunately. We opened the scoring when Joe Prescott deflected a tic-tac-toe pass from line mate Jimmy Vesey on the man advantage, putting us up by 1. The lead was kept at bay by stunning goaltending from both Andrews and Kapp, and it wasn’t until a third period tip that lofted the puck up into the air and net that the Russians responded.

The Russians continued their polished attack with a barrage of shots, one a slap shot from the top of the circles that snuck by our goaltender, leaving us down 1 late in the game. With less than a minute remaining, and just as we had sent the extra man onto the ice, Zachary Luczyk redirected a beautiful pass from KJ Tiefenwerth right in the slot to beat the goaltender and tie the game at 3. Before the game was over, however, a heated brawl broke out behind our net as Kyle Smith and Zachary Luczyk brawled with our opponents, earning a less than approving response from the 2000 or so fans. In order to determine a winner, a shootout, or as the referees called it, "bullets,” was held. Kapp was strong in net, stopping all 3 opponents. Their goalie was not as lucky when in the third round Nick Bligh turned hero when he slid the puck five-hole on him, causing the bench to erupt in celebration. The game had been won.

After the game, 50 or so little kids who loved the game and wanted to talk greeted us outside. We took photos and got to know them as our coaches gave speeches inside the arena. It was an amazing experience playing at such a competitive level against an excellent hockey team in front of so many fans. At times it was hard to hear oneself think, but in the end, it was an experience none of us would soon trade away. 

The writers of Sunday’s Blog are Thomas Parisi of the NH Jr. Monarchs and Brian Harris of the Junior Bruins.

Our Sunday started off with packing up all of our equipment and luggage for the flight to Omsk. We had to put tags on our bags so the tournament could take them directly to the rink from the jet so we didn’t have to get them and bring them ourselves, which was pretty neat. We then had our last breakfast at the Aerostar Hotel and headed off in a coach bus to the airport. Our flight ended up being delayed for an hour but it was not a big deal since today was just mainly a travel day. Most teams all flew into Moscow about 3 days ago and played exhibition games so all of the teams that did that got onto two private jets and we took off to Omsk. The flight took a little over 3 hours.

When we arrived in Omsk we just got off the Jet and walked directly onto a coach bus for just our team that then transported us to the hotel. The hotel was about 15 minutes from the airport. We then had dinner and headed over to the rink to check it out. The rink was unreal. We have our own locker room for the week with stalls for each player. The tournament also gave us a t-shirt pin and mini banner with the tournament logo on it to keep. The actual rink holds about 10,000 fans and is pretty incredible.  We then went back to the hotel and packed it in for the night. We have practice tomorrow and then start the tournament Tuesday night. We are all looking very forward to it!


Monday’s blog writers are Matt Vidal (Bay State Breakers) and Mike Jamieson (NH Jr. Monarchs).

From Omsk -- Today, August 29th, was our first practice at the Omsk arena. The guys got off to a slow start because of the 3 hour time change from Moscow, 11 hours overall since we left the United States. The hospitality at the rink was second to none, starting with the locker room accomodations. Each player received his own stall, T-shirt, towel, laundry bag, banner, and pin. During the practice there were multiple cameras filming and streaming it over the website,, which gave the guys an extra jump in their step. Toward the end of practice lines started to click and players began to really seem to develop chemistry with each other. The mindset of the players and coaching staff was geared toward beating tomorrow’s opponent, Latvia at 3 p.m.

After practice the press came into the locker room to conduct interviews with player Joe Prescott and Coach Sean Tremblay. They each lasted a few minutes, with questions pertaining to the tournament and how we were adapting to the international play. After the boys showered up we headed off to the grocery store, to purchase water and a few snacks for each individual room. Then we headed back to the hotel for lunch.

Today was the first day where the boys actually got to get out and see the city of Omsk, and mingle with the locals. We went into local stores and restaurants, and there was a lot of talk about the upcoming tournament. There have been billboards, T.V. commercials, and newspaper articles advertising the World Junior Cup throughout the city for the past couple of months. This is something that the boys were not used to in a sense of a whole city excited about the game of hockey, and especially the game on Friday night vs. the Red Army where there is expected to be a full house of 9,000 people.

Overall today was a great day for the guys to loosen up on and off the ice, and also catch up on some much-needed sleep. The city of Omsk’s hospitality and the hype of the upcoming World Junior Cup is more than what the boys could have ever imagined.


Goaltenders (2):
Tyler Kapp (Boston Bandits); Zachary Andrews (NH Jr. Monarchs).

Defensemen (7):

Brian Harris (Junior Bruins); Cody Smith (Junior Bruins); Tom Parisi (NH Jr. Monarchs); Jake Bolton (NH Jr. Monarchs); Mike LaFrenier (New England Huskies); Derek Stahl (NH Jr. Monarchs); Kyle Williams
(NH Jr. Monarchs).

Forwards (13):

Matt Vidal
(Bay State Breakers); Tyler Bouchard (Springfield Jr. Pics); Joe Prescott (South Shore Kings); Jimmy Vesey (South Shore Kings); Connor MacPhee (NH Jr. Monarchs); Zach Luczyk (Junior Bruins); Cam Brown (NH Jr. Monarchs); KJ Teifenwerth (Junior Bruins); Connor Gorman (NH Jr. Monarchs); Kyle Smith (Junior Bruins); Michael Jamieson (NH Jr. Monarchs); Stephen Miller (NH Jr. Monarchs); Nick Bligh (South Shore Kings).  


Tropical storm Irene knocked out the power at the Foxboro Sports Center so the mini-Jamboree that was scheduled to be played there Monday afternoon will instead be played tomorrow (Tues. 8/30) at a different venue -- Walpole’s Iorio Arena.

The Neponset Valley River Rats U-18s will face off against the Connecticut Bobcats at 2:50 pm. On the other sheet, also at 2:50 pm, the Cape Cod Whalers U-16 Team will face the Bobcats U-16s. At 4:20 pm, the River Rats U-16s will face the Bay State Breakers U-16s.

On Wednesday, there will be another mini-jamboree, this one at Providence College’s Schneider Arena. Here’s the schedule for that.

9:30 am -- Conn. Bobcats U-18 vs. Cap District Selects (EJHL)
11:00 am – Neponset Valley U-18 vs. Apple Core (EJHL)
1:30 pm – Conn. Bobcats U-18 vs. Apple Core (EJHL)
3:00 pm – Neponset Valley U-18 vs. Cap District (EJHL)
4:30 pm – Conn. Bobcats U-16 vs. RI Saints U-16  

Johnson to USHL
Graham Johnson, an assistant at Hamilton College for the past two seasons, has been named as an assistant on Regg Simon’s staff with the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL).

“Graham has worked under some very good coaches,” Simon says. “So I know he’s joining our organization with a solid foundation as a coach and recruiter.”

Johnson’s former position at Hamilton is open, and new head coach Rob Haberbusch is interviewing candidates.


In the Family Footsteps
Shayne Bingham, who graduated from Rye Country Day School in June, has been named to the hockey roster at Miami.

Bingham wrote head coach Rico Blasi over the summer and, upon getting on campus, was given a tryout, and offered the last spot on the Redhawks’ roster.

Bingham, who was the captain and leading scorer at Rye CD, was coached by his father, Gary Bingham, who played at Miami in the very early days of the school’s varsity hockey program, under their first coach, Steve Cady, for whom the school’s arena is named.

UNH Stays on a Roll
The University of New Hampshire continues on its roll, having added another top recruit in 5’11”, 160 lb. right-shot wing Jordan Masters, who, last night, committed to the Wildcats for the fall of ’12 or ’13.

Masters, a 4/30/94 birthdate who played his rookie USHL season for the Muskegon Lumberjacks last winter, was, earlier this month, the leading scorer (4-3-7 in four games played) on the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Masters made a name for himself filling in for an injured player at the 2010 Select 16 Camp. A Rochester, NY native, Masters, who played bantam major and midget minor for the Little Caesar’s organization, wound up as one of the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals in six games, and impressed with his intensely competitive style of play – and the fact that he can just simply bury the puck.

A good point of comparison for UNH fans, who may be seeing the nucleus of an NCAA championship-level team being assembled before their eyes, would be Colin Hemingway, who played for the Wildcats from 1999-2003 and, over his final two seasons, notched 55 goals and 113 points.

In 49 games with Muskegon last season, Masters had a 5-7-12 line – and 55 pims -- in 55 games played.

Masters told us he chose UNH because,  “When I went on a visit there, I just felt really comfortable, I liked the coaching staff, and I liked the school. I’d liked it growing up because I had heard good things from guys from around here (i.e., upstate NY) who had played there, like Phil DeSimone and Greg Collins.”

Masters says the best aspect of his game is “being a power forward, being competitive, and getting into the dirty areas. That’s where my goals come from.”

One of the most heavily-recruited kids in the region, Masters visited RPI, BU, BC, Vermont, and UNH – and made his final pick from among those schools. Earlier, he’d also visited Miami and Ohio State, but decided his college future lay eastward.  

His coach at Muskegon, Kevin Patrick, says that, “the biggest thing with (Masters) is that he plays bigger than his size. He has a great ability to get to hard areas and possess that ice – make things happen -- in all three zones."

“He’s not a one-dimensional player. He could play for any college team – even if he wasn’t a scorer.”

But he is a scorer, and, for the upcoming season, Patrick has high hopes for him. “He’s obviously had great success within his age group, and internationally. Last year, though, was his first in the USHL and it’s not easy for a 16-year-old in this league. You have to fight for everything. You see players in year two take great leaps in production, like Ryan Misiak who went from 17 points with Sioux Falls to 58 with us. Or Brian Ferlin in Indiana, who went from 16 to 73. (Masters) will be called on to play a much bigger role as a second-year player on this team.”

Masters is up for the challenge. “Last year,” he says, “was a kind of getting-used-to-the league year; this year I should be one of the leaders on the team.”

Kurker Commits to Terriers
6'1", 195 lb. St. John's Prep forward Sam Kurker has committed to Boston University for the fall of '12, or, more likely, the fall of '13, after a year of juniors.

From Reading, Mass., Kurker is a big strong, physical RW with a good scoring touch. He will be the captain and, with Colin Blackwell (to Harvard) and Shane Eiserman (to Cushing) gone, will be the key to St. John's Prep attack this coming winter. Last winter, you may recall, St. John's Prep reached the Mass State Final at the TD Garden, losing to Malden Catholic, 4-3, in OT. Kurker was the third leading scorer on the team, behind Blackwell and Eiserman.

Kurker had a really strong Select 17 Camp last month in Rochester, NY, from which he was named to the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that represented the U.S. at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament earlier this month.

Kurker, whose father, Paul, played at Union College in the early '80s, made his final choice from between BU, Providence, and Northeastern.

Back Again
Mike Warde, an assistant coach at Alabama-Huntsville for the past season, is returning to West Point, where he was an assistant on Rob Riley’s staff for four years (1999-2003).

Warde replaces Rob Haberbusch, who was named the new head coach at Hamilton College over the summer. It was Haberbusch who initially replaced Warde on Army’s staff – and now Warde is back, and Haberbusch is gone. The coaching circle is truly… circular.    

Army, by the way, will need to replace 11 seniors after this season.


Another Top Recruit for the Wildcats
It’s been a busy week for UNH – a new assistant coach in Jim Tortorella, a new recruit for ’12 in the Jersey Hitmen’s Collin MacDonald and now… another top recruit in Shane Eiserman, who is scheduled to arrive in Durham in the fall of ’14.

Eiserman starred at St. John’s Prep last winter, finishing second in scoring to senior – and Harvard recruit – Colin Blackwell. In late June, Eiserman was a standout at USA Hockey’s Select 16 Camp, a performance that earned him a spot on the roster of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team that went undefeated at the Five Nations Tournament in Ann Arbor a couple of weeks ago.

A left shot, Eiserman, who’s 6’0”, 180 lbs., is equally good at center – coach Bob Corkum used him there at the Five Nations -- or wing.

This fall, Eiserman, a 10/10/95 birthdate, (meaning he’ll be eligible for the 2014 NHL draft) will be entering Cushing Academy as a true sophomore.

“He really sees it,” says Cushing coach Rob Gagnon. “His vision is really good, but what I look for first in a player is their ability to play in all three zones – their responsibility. When I watched him at St. John’s Prep every time the puck came up the wall in his end he got it out – to good spaces, which usually meant to Blackwell flying through center ice. That really says a lot for a freshman.”

“He’s also exceptionally strong on the puck,” Gagnon added. “You simply can’t get it away from him. His puck protection is excellent.”

Eiserman is a native of West Newbury, Mass., about half an hour south of Durham, and watched games at the Whittemore Center growing up. His father, Bill, played a season at Lowell before breaking his leg, and both his older brothers, Bill, a defenseman, and Chris, a goaltender, are UMass-Lowell recruits, for ’11 and ’12, respectively.

In addition to UNH, the younger Eiserman visited Boston University, though the Terriers didn’t make an offer at the time.

-- Speaking of Cushing, former Penguins defenseman R.J. Boyd, who left Sacred Heart halfway through his freshman season to join the Chicago Steel (USHL), has committed to Michigan State for next season.

The Spartans staff watched him at the Indiana Ice camp this summer, and apparently liked what they saw.

Boyd will be playing for the Ice this season.


Darcy To Make His Choice Next Month
6’0”, 184 lb. U.S. Under-18 Team forward Cam Darcy, who decommitted from Northeastern in the wake of former head coach Greg Cronin’s departure to the NHL, will make up his mind next month between two schools: Boston College and Boston University.

This gives the rivals a chance to watch the South Boston native, who was at Dexter before heading to Ann Arbor last fall, play some early-season games.

Darcy, a 3/2/94 birthdate going into his senior year in high school, will arrive at the Heights – or Comm. Ave. – in the fall of ’12.

Darcy’s teammate on the U.S. Under-18 Team, 6’0”, 167 lb. forward Quentin Shore has committed to the University of Denver.

Shore’s two older brothers, Drew and Nick, also played in the NTDP and are currently at Denver. Quentin would arrive in the fall of ’12 and would play with Nick, who would be a junior, and possibly with Drew as well. However, Drew would be a senior then, and it is likely that he will have turned pro (Florida owns his rights). Denver fans, of course, are hoping he’ll stick around so all three brothers can play together – a pretty rare occurrence in Div. I play.

5’10”, 165 lb. Maple Grove (Minn.) HS right-shot D Jordan Gross has committed to Notre Dame for the fall of ’13.

In 28 games at Maple Grove last season, Gross, as a sophomore, put up an 8-22-20 line in 28 games from the blue line.

Gross, who was invited to the NTDP 40-man camp in March, had a strong showing at USA Hockey’s Select 16 Player Development Camp in Rochester and was selected to the Five Nations Tournament Squad. However, an injury caused him to bow out; he was replaced by Colorado College recruit Garrett Cecere

Gross, a 5/9/95 birthdate, has his USHL rights owned by Green Bay.

UNH Lands ‘Diamond in the Rough’

6’2”, 200 lb. New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL) forward Collin MacDonald has committed to the University of New Hampshire for the fall of ’12.

One of the all-time leading scorers in New Jersey High School hockey history, MacDonald scored over 300 goals in the four years he played for the West Milford High School Highlanders while also playing for the Hitmen organization. In the spring of ’10, he graduated from high school, and last season played only for the Hitmen Empire Team while also taking classes at Passaic County Community College. He tore it up, finishing as the Empire League’s leading scorer with a 29-53-82 line in 39 games played.

MacDonald, who has a 3.9 gpa, is the classic late bloomer, having never played in any USA Hockey Festivals. He just played high school hockey and the Empire League -- and was a huge success at both levels. Now, he is more than ready to move on to the EJHL, as shown by his play at the EJHL Showcase, and then, last week, at the Beantown Classic.

A 6/21/92 birthdate, MacDonald plays a pro-style game and, as we mentioned last week, could be one of those guys who, despite being totally unknown in his draft year, turns into an NHL prospect as his game develops in college.

“People overuse the term ‘diamond in the rough,’” says Jersey Hitmen head coach Toby Harris. “But that’s really what Collin MacDonald is. He has a tremendous release, very quick hands, awesome speed, and size. He has everything to succeed on the big rink at UNH. Plus he’s one of the nicest kids you will ever meet. Four years ago he was playing AA hockey, and when he came to us he improved by at least 10 goals each season. Then when he got in the weight room he just took off. This year, he has the potential to be a top five scorer in the EJ.”

“This kid’s best hockey is ahead of him. He’s an amazing kind of case study.”

Harris reports that MacDonald doesn’t yet have a family advisor but that four agencies are trying to track him down.

To show how quickly MacDonald’s stock has shot up, consider that he visited one college after the EJHL Classic (Providence College). Then, last week, he visited four more schools on the drive up to – or returning from -- the Beantown Classic (Harvard, UNH, Sacred Heart, and Quinnipiac). Also, Penn State was trying to get him on campus, and other Ivies such as Dartmouth and Brown were calling. But he’s a small-town boy, from that corner of New Jersey -- still fairly rural -- up by the New York state line, and he liked what he saw up in Durham.

Cockerill Coming East
6’0”, 190 lb. defenseman Garret Cockerill has committed to Northeastern for the fall of ’13.

Cockerill helped himself with a strong performance at the Beantown Summer Classic last week, where we liked his skating, his shot, and his hard-nosed approach to the game. A 2/19/94 birthdate and Michigan native, Cockerill played for Compuware’s Under-18 Team last season. He was the leading scoring defenseman on the team with a 6-11-17 line and 50 pims in 37 games.

It’s not certain where Cockerill will play this season, but it will be either with the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL), who drafted the defenseman with the second overall pick of the 2010 USHL Futures Draft, or the Traverse City North Stars (NAHL).

KUA’s Rufo to Friars
Providence has another recruit for fall ’13 in 6’0”, 175 lb. Niko Rufo who, like Nick Ellis, is coming off a strong showing at last week’s Beantown Summer Classic (see USHR News. Fri. 8/19/11).

Rufo will be playing at Kimball Union this winter, where the Stoneham, Mass. native will be a junior.  He’ll be playing for Neponset Valley in the fall.

Last year, he played for the Junior Bruins (Empire League) and in ’09-10 was at Arlington Catholic. With the Empire Bruins, he had an 18-20-38 line in 40 games played.

“He has high-end skill, he has a great touch, and his best hockey is ahead of him,” says new KUA coach Mike Levine.

Dunham Not the Retiring Sort
Trinity College head hockey coach Dave Cataruzolo is leaving the Nutmeg State to take the Director of Hockey Operations job at Harvard.

A Watertown, Mass. native, Cataruzolo has been head coach at Trinity for four seasons and posted a 58-39-8 record in that time.

At Harvard, he’ll be replacing Bill Downey, who came from Penn State, his alma mater, a year ago and is now returning to be the Nittany Lions’ Director of Hockey Operations.

Where does this leave Trinity? The school is undergoing a search process, but it doesn’t appear they will be rushing it. They don’t have to because coach John Dunham, the only coach Trinity knew until he stepped down after the new rink was completed in 2007, is still active in hockey circles – very active actually. Last season, he was helping out with a minor league team in Rome, NY, working as an assistant on John Gardner’s staff at Avon Old Farms, and doing whatever needed doing at Trinity.

Last week, Dunham was at the Beantown Classic, keeping things going for the Bantams.

At any rate, it looks extremely likely that, for the upcoming season, Dunham will be the interim head coach while the Bantams undergo a formal search in time for the ’12-13 season.

As for the Winged Beavers, it looks like they are going to have to wait a year to get Dunham back.


Change at the NTDP
National Team Development Program Director of Player Personnel Ryan Rezmierski is leaving the program for a scouting position with the Nashville Predators.
Rezmierski, who's from Ann Arbor, started with the program back in the inaugural season, as a volunteer and, over two stints, has been there for ten years in total.

Peter Ward, who has been at the NTDP for three years, is taking Rezmierski's spot, moving up from his position as assistant director of player personnel.

PC’s Goalie of the Future
6’1”, 165 lb. Pomfret goalie Nick Ellis, coming off a strong showing at the Beantown Summer Classic, has committed to Providence College for the fall of ’13.

A junior-to-be at Pomfret, Ellis is a 1/18/94 birthdate from Millersville, MD. He played in the Team Maryland organization before coming to Pomfret last fall.

Former Yale assistant Bruce Wolanin, his coach at Pomfret, describes Ellis as “a lanky, extremely athletic goalie who gets across the crease extremely well.”

“He’s also focused as all get-out. He gets to the rink early, and he stays late. Plus he’s a student of goaltending -- a cheerful, humble kid who is able to put goals-against behind him.”

“(Ellis) wanted to be in Hockey East,” Wolanin adds, “and he also wanted a small school. With Nick, Providence has a goalie who I think is going to be elite.”

Ellis is eligible for next summer’s NHL Draft, and, much like Loomis’ Stephen Michalek last season, will be closely watched this winter.

Ellis will be playing this fall with the Neponset River Rats. He’ll be sharing goaltending duties with Yale recruit – and Westminster senior -- Patrick Spano.


A 'New' Assistant for UNH
Look for an announcement from UNH naming Colby head coach Jim Tortorella to the University of New Hampshire staff.

Tortorella, takes the spot vacated by Dave Lassonde, who was recently hired by Denver.

A goaltender at the University of Maine from 1978-81, Tortorella, one of the most respected coaches in the Div. III ranks, has coached Colby to a 230-138-33 record over the last 16 years.

While on the surface, this seems a major surprise – Tortorella was the ‘mystery candidate’ at UNH over recent days – the Colby coach’s connection to the Wildcats program is two-fold, as, back in the early ‘90s, he was an assistant to UNH assistant Scott Borek when Borek was the head coach at Colby and he was also an assistant on Umile’s staff at UNH. So this is a bit of a homecoming for Tortorella.

In 1998-99 and again in ’99-00, Tortorella, who is very detail-oriented, was an assistant coach on the staff of equally detail-oriented Jeff Jackson at the World Junior Championships.

At Colby, he’s mentored a ton of assistants who’ve gone on to success – Brown head coach Brendan Whittet, Babson’s Jamie Rice, Harvard assistant Albie O’Connell,  NHL scout Brian Putnam -- and numerous others. Recently, Tortorella hired former Northeastern forward Jason Guerrerio as an assistant.

As far as a successor to Tortorella at Colby goes, a likely candidate -- or at least possible -- is right on campus. Stan Moore, a former Div. I head coach at Union who most recently served as an assistant on Tim Army’s staff at Providence, lives on the Colby campus, as his wife, Barbara, is dean of students there.

Around and About
Look for UNH to fill their assistant’s position as soon as today. The names most discussed at the Beantown Classic earlier this week – though you can be sure there are others -- were New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs’ head coach/GM Sean Tremblay, Merrimack assistant Glenn Stewart, Brown assistant Mark White, and former player agent Josh Ciocco. All of the above know the player pool, but some would have to take a pay cut as UNH, despite the fact that its flagship sport is hockey, pays its assistants less than other Hockey East schools. In the past, Tremblay, because he's well-compensated for running one of the top junior programs in the country, has turned down offers to take an assistant's position at other Div. I programs. But the Newburyport, Mass. resident is said to be interested in the Wildcats' opening.


At the Beantown Classic on Monday, there were a lot of heads shaking in puzzlement over the decision by Taft’s #1 goalie, rising senior Jimmy Harrison, to bail on the Rhinos – and his midget team, the Neponset River Rats – in order to head north to the Gloucester Rangers of the Central Ontario Junior Hockey League. Besides the fact that it leaves his teams in the lurch, it was deemed a low percentage move, particularly in this era in which Ontario kids are looking to come south to New England preps in order to gain college exposure.

The new coach at Hebron Academy is James LeBlanc, previously an assistant at the school. LeBlanc replaces Matt Plante, who took a position over the summer as an assistant on the staff of Indiana Ice (USHL) head coach Kyle Wallack.

5’10”, 165 lb. LD Garrett Cecere, a 1/5/95 birthdate who played for Shattuck-St. Mary’s Under-16 Team last winter, has committed to Colorado College for fall ’13 or ’14.

Cecere, a junior at Shattuck this fall, is a Des Moines, Iowa native. He’s the younger brother of Nick Cecere, who played at Northwood, in the BCHL, and with a couple of USHL teams. Formerly committed at Nebraska-Omaha (and that was 2-3 years ago), the older Cecere will be at Michigan Tech this fall.

Garrett, who is five years younger, is a mobile, puck-moving d-man who competes hard. He made the all-stars at June’s Select 16 Camp in Rochester, NY, but didn’t make the final group of seven players that went undefeated in the Five Nations Tournament last week in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Junior Bruins Empire League forward Jack Eichel, a standout at Select 15s, was visiting Boston College last week and has a full scholarship offer to mull over from the Eagles. Look for Boston University to make their pitch as well. Eichel has been offered a slot at the NTDP for next season.

6’5”, 215 lb. Brunswick School senior-to-be Kevin Duane, who has size, a great shot, good hands, but whose skating has a way to go, has been offered by Providence and was visiting BU Wednesday, after the Beantown Classic.


Brandon Tanev, the brother of former RIT and current Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev, has committed to Providence  College for the fall of ’12.

Tanev, a 5’10”, 150 lb. forward, is a Toronto native who averaged nearly a point a game for the Markham Waxers (OPJHL) last season. He’ll be playing in the BCHL, for Surrey, this season. A late bloomer like his brother, Tanev has very good speed, a good stick and plays with a lot of jam. He’s more of a playmaker than a finisher.



Beantown Futures
The Beantown Summer Classic wound up at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro yesterday. Here is a slightly-less-than-scientific list of some of the kids we liked in the Futures Division, which consisted of ’94s,’95s, and ’96s.

For our money, the top forward in the division was 5’9”, 155 lb.  Ryan Hitchcock, a ’96 from the Long Island Gulls. Hitchcock is a pure hockey player -- great stick, great sense of the game, can skate, makes plays, and finish. He was the only ’96 on his team, and, down the line, projects to be an excellent college player.

We thought 6’0”, 175 lb. Sean Malone, a ’95 from the Nichols School, was very good. Noticeable every shift – a well-rounded, competitive kid. One of his teammates here, ’96 Joshua Gabriel from the Buffalo Regals, is another definitely worth following.

5’9”, 170 lb. Ara Nazarian, a Mass ’96 who also played well out in Rochester last month, was very good. He has a real nose for the net – very dangerous down low.

6’2”, 195 lb. Nick Santoro, a ’95 who will be at Avon Old Farms, is a big, strong power forward type who will give a boost to the Winged Beavers.

5’8”, 147 lb. Bryan Lemos, a ’96 from Rhode Island’s LaSalle HS, was pulled up from the Prospects Division and put up numbers.

Others we noticed included Sonny Milano, a ’96 from the Cleveland Barons U-16 team, showed he can really skate – excellent athleticism. Would like to see more production.

5’10”, 167 lb. Alec Marsh, a late ’95 from the New Jersey Colonials, played well, as did his teammate, 5’10”, 142 lb. Tyler Drevitch, a ’95 from the Bridgewater Bandits (Empire).

A Futures Division sleeper was 5’9”, 160 lb. Nick O’Connor, a 12/27/94 birthdate out of Canton High School.

We liked late ’94 Mason Kreuger, who’s going to Avon Old Farms; and 5’11”, 190 lb.
Brendon Kearney, a ’95 from Honeybaked.  Chris Vicario, a late ’95 from the Junior Bruins, played well too.

Note: 6’0”, 175 lb. late ’96 Jack Eichel (Junior Bruins Empire) was a scratch when we were watching, but he did play at least some of the games. We just didn’t have the chance to see him.

The games were pretty wide open so the offensive defensemen had the best chance to shine, and Ryan Collins a 6’3”, 180 lb. ’96 birthdate from Benilde-St. Margaret’s was probably the best D in the division. He could rush the puck at will, has size, and can skate. We liked him at Select 15s last month as well. Could have been more mindful of his own end, but no matter: he will be a good one.

Ditto for 6’2”, 185 lb. ’96 Ryan Bliss from St. Paul’s. He already has colleges like Cornell and Yale onto him. Bliss has good feet and athleticism for a player of his age – the tools are all there. He’s not as gifted offensively as Collins, and also needs to continue to refine his game defensively. He has a way to go, but the upside is hard to mistake.

John-Claude Brassard, a 5’11, 170 lb. late ’95 from Nobles was consistently noticeable. 6’2”, 180 lb. Dakota Ford, a ’95 from Gunnery, is unspectacular but a big, fundamentally solid Div. I prospect.

Those were our top guys. There were others, though we want to see a bit more of them in the winter, when the games are a little tighter.

In net, 6’3” Anderson Snair, a ’94 from the Maritimes and Ridley College (Ont.), posted a .986 save percentage, allowing just one goal.

We’ll pull together our notes for the Pro Division and hopefully have something for you by tomorrow.

Hunt to Harvard

Riley Hunt, a ’95 who will be playing for the Vernon Vipers (BCHL) this season, has committed to Harvard for ’13 or ’14.

Hunt, who played midget A in his hometown of Revelstoke, BC, and participated in the BC Provincial U-17 Camp in July, will be going into his junior year of high school. A small, fast forward who can make plays and finish, Hunt was also pursued by UNH and Cornell.

Brown head coach Brendan Whittet has picked his new assistant – Mike Souza, the former Wakefield High star forward who went on to UNH, where he was a teammate of current Brown assistant Mark White.

Souza, 33, just retired from pro hockey last spring after playing the last five seasons in Italy.


Duclair Goes Major Junior
Highly-coveted NCAA prospect Anthony Duclair, a ’95 forward from the Lac St. Louis Lions, has gone major junior, committing to the Québec Remparts (QMJHL) yesterday.

It’s not a major surprise, but a loss nonetheless, as Duclair would have been a high-end college player. The three schools in the mix for Duclair, a 5’10”, 150 lb. native of Pointe-Claire, Québec, were BC, BU, and Vermont, with Boston College considered the front-runner.

Duclair, who was at Québec’s camp over the weekend on a 48-hour basis that protected his NCAA eligibility, had, in 41 games with Lac St. Louis last season, a 30-39-69 line. Because of the chance he would go major junior, Duclair, who would likely have been selected second or third overall, was drafted in the third round by the Remparts.

He’ll join former BU recruit Adam Erne, also a ’95, on the Remparts this season. Erne, who signed with Québec last month, reportedly got, as part of his signing bonus, an education package that includes college tuition for his siblings.

Don Granato Named New NTDP Head Coach
Don Granato, a former USHL, ECHL, and AHL head coach, has been named a head coach at the National Team Development Program, and will take charge of the U.S. Under-17 Team immediately.

Granato, 44, was the first-ever head coach of the then-expansion Green Bay Gamblers (’94-97), leading the squad to the 1996 Clark Cup as well as two regular season USHL titles. Granato then moved on to the pro ranks, coaching in the Coast League at Columbus for two years, and Peoria for one year. In Peoria, he led the Rivermen to the Kelly Cup in 2000. Granato’s next stop was the AHL, where he coached St. Louis’ AHL affiliate, the Worcester IceCats, for five seasons. After his first season, he was named AHL coach of the year. During his final season in Worcester (’04-05) he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a form of cancer. After undergoing chemotherapy, Granato defeated the disease, and returned to coaching in ’05-06 as an assistant with the St. Louis Blues.

A Downers Grove, Ill. native, Granato coached the Chicago Wolves in ’08-09, but was fired six games into the ’09-10 season. Last year, he served as a scout for Vancouver.

Granato was a forward at Wisconsin from ’87-91, and is the brother of Tony Granato and Cammi Granato.


Danton Cole
will be coaching the Under-18 Team this season.

Granato will be replacing Ron Rolston, who was named head coach of the Rochester Amerks (AHL) last month.

Lassonde Heads West
Longtime UNH assistant David Lassonde is moving to the University of Denver, where he will fill the assistant’s position vacated by Derek Lalonde, who was recently named head coach of the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL).

Lassonde, a Rochester, NH native, has been an NCAA assistant since starting at UNH in 1988. That’s 22 full seasons – 18 of which have been spent at UNH. He also spent three seasons at Wisconsin (’91-94), and three at Miami-Ohio (’94-97).

Like Lalonde, who he is replacing, Lassonde, a goalie at Providence College in the early ‘80s, is noted for his work with goaltenders. Pretty much every summer he can be found working with goaltenders at USA Hockey Select Festivals.

Manno Has a Home
6’0”, 185 lb. South Kent School forward Joe Manno has committed to Northeastern for this fall.

Manno, a 12/23/92 birthdate from Montreal, Que., played for the Lac St. Louis Lions before heading to South Kent last fall.

He was previously committed to UMass.

In 24 games at South Kent last winter, Manno posted a 16-27-43 line (with 62 pims) in 24 games played.  


Pigozzi, Too

5’11”, 162 lb. Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) forward Ray Pigozzi has committed to Denver, for fall '12 or '13.

A 4/3/94 birthdate from Evanston, Ill., Pigozzi played for the Chicago Mission’s midget minor team before making the jump to the USHL last fall.

In 51 games with Des Moines, he posted a 6-12-18 line.


U.S. Under-17 Selects Finish Perfect Week

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Devin Williams kicked out 33 of the 35 shots he faced and the U.S. Under-17 Selects got goals from five different players in a 5-1 win over Switzerland at the finale of the Five Nations Tournament last night.

The U.S. finished with a 4-0-0 record.

“The players deserve all the credit in going undefeated,” said U.S. head coach Bob Corkum. “They bought into the system and concept of togetherness that our coaching staff preached en route to the title.”

1st Period:
USA – Turner (Siroky) 3:55
USA – Vanderwiel (Brodzinski, Lodge) 13:43
USA – Lettieri (Siroky, Oglevie) PPG 17:28
SUI – Fazzini (Hogger) PPG 18:16

nd Period:
USA – Siroky (Cecere, Schoenborn) 8:40
USA – Guertler (Labosky, Oglevie) 18:11

rd Period:
No Scoring

SOG: USA 38, SUI 34

Goaltenders: USA Williams (34/33); SUI Aeberhard – 20 min. (14/11), Mauerhofer – 40 min. (24/22)

Power plays: USA 1/3; SUI 1/4


Under-17s Clinch First
Ann Arbor, Mich. – The U.S. Under-17 Select Team, behind a Daniel Vanderwiel hat trick, topped Slovakia 6-4 last night, clinching fist place with one game to go at the Five Nations Tournament.

The U.S., which outshot Slovakia 55-47 in the game, is 3-0-0 and faces Switzerland tonight.

“It feels great to clinch the tournament title,” said head coach Bob Corkum. “But we still have unfinished business tomorrow against Switzerland, as one of the goals here was to go undefeated.”

1st Period:
USA -- Vanderwiel (Lettieri, Schoenborn) 7:18
SVK – Blaho (Varga) 9:23

nd Period:
SVK – Cehlarik (unn) 1:08
USA -- Vanderwiel (Oglevie, Brodzinski) PPG 6:00
USA -- Lettieri (Oglevie, Raskob) PPG 7:54
USA – Eiserman (Siroky) 9:14
SVK – Listiak (Pavlicek) PPG 12:50
SVK – Listiak (Kasanicky) 15:55

3rd Period:
USA – Brodzinski (unn) 2:51
USA – Vanderwiel (Schoenborn) 3:10

Shots on goal: US 55, SVK 47.

Goaltenders: SVK Okolicany (55/49); USA Demko – 40 min. (17/13); Williams – 20 min. (11/11).

Power plays: SVK 1/9; USA 2/5

Anthony Noreen is the new head coach of the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL), replacing Curtis Carr, who resigned to take an assistant’s position at Merrimack College.

Noreen, 28, spent three years as an assistant on
Wil Nichol’s staff at Wisconsin-Stevens Point before coming to the USHL last season.


Leaving After All
Boston University recruit Robbie Baillargeon, who put up 64 points as a sophomore last season at Cushing Academy, will be joining the Indiana Ice for the upcoming season. Earlier this summer, Baillargeon made the Indiana squad out of training camp, but decided to return to Cushing. However, he subsequently had a change of heart and is going to be heading out there after all. Baillargeon is a potential top three rounds pick for next June’s NHL draft.

“Cushing was happy to have Robbie,” says Cushing head coach Rob Gagnon. “He’s a great kid. We want to see our kids have success whether they stay at Cushing or move on.”

Cushing, which has some quality incoming players – Shane Eiserman, Thomas Aldworth, Shane Kavanagh, Connor Brassard, and others – has, according to Gagnon upgraded their schedule “from good to great.” Avon Old Farms has been added and will make the trip to Cushing on Sunday Dec. 4 for a 1:00 pm start. Other new opponents are Belmont Hill, Berkshire, and Salisbury.

Some of these changes in schedule came about because South Kent raised the ire of other NEPSIHA schools by bringing in a U-16 team run by an outside business interest – i.e. Selects Hockey Academy at South Kent. As a result, South Kent’s prep team was dropped by Avon, Cushing, Berkshire, Belmont Hill, and NMH. South Kent head coach Eric Soltys, however, has replaced the lost games with matchups against Culver, Northwood, Hill Academy, and Delbarton. A possible trip out to Shattuck-St. Mary’s is in the works as well.


Other prep players leaving early for juniors include – and they are all forwards -- Joe Prescott, Jim Vesey, and Nick Bligh (all to the South Shore Kings), Stephen Miller (NH Jr. Monarchs), Dennis Kravchenko (Cedar Rapids – USHL), and Austin Cangelosi (Youngstown -- USHL).

Cangelosi, who had told NMH he wasn’t coming back, had a change of heart after his coach-to-be at Youngstown, Curtis Carr, was hired at Merrimack. Last week, the Floridian asked to return to NMH, but there was no room at the inn -- his bed had been taken. So, after making inquiries at other boarding schools, Cangelosi is returning to Youngstown, where the new coach has yet to be named.  


Under-18s Finish With a Win

Breclav, Czech Republic – A power play goal by Alex Galchenyuk at 6:32 of the third period broke a 1-1 tie and led the U.S. Under-18 Select Team to a 3-1 win over the Czech Republic in the fifth-place game of the Ivan Hlinka Tournament here today.

In the U.S. net, Jon Gillies kicked out 21 of 22 shots to earn the win.

The U.S. finished the tournament with a 1-2-0-1 record.

“We played our best defensive game of the tournament this afternoon,” said head coach Seth Appert. “We’re disappointed to win four out of our five games this week, including the exhibition, and not have a shot at first place. But, as a staff, we couldn’t be more proud of our players.”

U.S. Under-18 Select Team 3, Czech Republic 1

1st Period:
USA – Schilkey (Wade, O’Regan) PPG 3:40

2nd Period:
No Scoring

3rd Period:
CZE – Hudecek (Matejcek, Houfek) 4:32
USA – Galchenyuk (Masters) PPG 6:53
USA – O’Regan (Nanne) ENG 18:42

Shots on Goal: CZE 22, USA 17.

Goaltenders:  CZE -- Langhammer (16/14); USA – Gillies (22/21).

Power Play: CZE 0/6; USA 2/6.


Fri. 8/12/11

Beantown Classic Rosters

The rosters for the Beantown Summer Classic, which will be going full-tilt by Monday, have been posted on the tournament website. Here's the link:

Beantown Classic Rosters -- Summer 2011

Harvard Rounds Out Its Staff
Look for Harvard to name Jerry Forton, formerly at UMass-Lowell, as their new assistant.

Forton, a Buffalo, NY native who played his college hockey at the University of Buffalo, was an assistant at Niagara University from 1996 – the year Niagara went Div. I – to 2008. He came to UMass-Lowell two years ago, where he was reunited with Blaise MacDonald, who had initially hired him at Niagara.

Forton, in total, has 15 years experience as a Div. I assistant. Both his employers -- Niagara and Lowell -- have tended to draw from all over the place in their search for players, so Forton is extremely well connected throughout leagues all across North America. He’s also outgoing, with a fine sense of humor – and that’s always a good thing.

Forton joins Albie O'Connell, who was hired to Ted Donato's staff last month.


Under-17 Selects Edge Germany
Ann Arbor, Mich. – In Five Nations Tournament action last night, the U.S. got goals from four different scorers and goaltender Thatcher Demko kicked out 25 of 27 shots to lead his team to a 4-2 win over Germany.

The U.S. outshot Germany, 47-27 but it was a one-goal game until the final minute, when a Gabe Guertler empty-netter iced it.

“The goaltending was outstanding for both teams in tonight’s game,” said U.S. head coach Bob Corkum. “It was a hard-fought battle that came down to the wire.”

1st Period:
USA – Erne (Guertler, Labosky) PPG 14:49
USA – Siroky (Vanderwiel) PPG 17:42
GER – Eisenschmid (Vollmayer) PPG 18:36

nd Period:
USA – Lettieri (Moore) 13:59

rd Period:
GER – Tiffels (Gollenbeck) PPG 1:53
USA – Guertler – ENG

Goaltenders: US – Demko (27/25); GER – Weitzmann (46/43).

Power Plays: US 2/8; GER 2/7.

Former UNH goaltender Mike Ayers has been named the new NTDP goaltending coach. Ayers, a Hingham, Mass. native, played at Thayer Academy and Dubuque (USHL) before matriculating at UNH. After his college career, he played in the AHL and in Europe.  For the last two seasons, he has been the goaltending coach at St. Cloud State.

Ayers, 31, replaces Joe Exter, who has moved on to become an assistant coach at Ohio State.

No Relation

Andy Jones, an assistant with the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) for the past five seasons, will be joining Phil Roy as an assistant on the staff of new Clarkson head coach Casey Jones.

Jones – Andy, that is -- is a Minnesotan, having graduated from Minnetonka High School before going on to Amherst College, where he played hockey and baseball. During his senior year (’99-00), Jones captained the hockey team. After getting his degree in psychology, he stayed on at his alma mater, working as an assistant coach for the Lord Jeffs while pursuing a masters in management at UMass-Amherst.

Prep All-Stars to Play in Bauer NIT

A team of New England Prep School All-Stars will be traveling out to the Twin Cities to compete in the 2011 Bauer NIT Tournament November 4-5-6.

The squad will be drawn exclusively from the top players in the two fall prep leagues, the Western New England Fall Prep Elite Hockey League (Conn.) and the New England Fall Prep Hockey League (Mass.). Those playing midgets are ineligible.

The New England Prep School All-Stars will be part of an eight-team field that includes two teams of all-stars drawn Upper Midwest High School Elite League – Minnesota White and Minnesota Red – as well as Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the Norwegian Under-18 National Team, the Northwood School, the Michigan Stars, and the Massachusetts High School All-Stars.

"The competition this year will be really exceptional," said tournament director John Russo. "We're thrilled to have a team from the New England prep schools. It will be an exciting thing for them, and it will be really good for us as well. We want everyone to have a great experience."

In last November’s title game, Shattuck-St. Mary’s, which would go on to win the U-18 National Title in Simsbury, Conn. in April, bowed to Minnesota White, 5-4 in overtime, with Christian Horn of Benilde-St. Margaret’s scoring the winning goal.

All games are played at the New Hope Arena in New Hope, Minn., about ten miles north of downtown Minneapolis. The Norwegian U-18s are coming to the U.S. eight days early to have a training camp and play some tune-up games vs. Div. III colleges.

John Gardner, Avon Old Farms head coach and president of NEPSIHA when this project got rolling, says, “The Minnesota Fall Elite League is an excellent league and the model for what we are doing with our fall leagues here. This trip to the Bauer NIT is a great opportunity to be seen playing against some the best kids from that part of the country. It’s a great opportunity for the players, and we’re going to send the best kids from the two fall leagues. We’ll be looking for kids who can provide the right chemistry.”


U.S. Under-17 Selects Top Czech Republic
Ann Arbor, Mich. – The U.S. Under-17 Select Team opened play at the Five Nations Tournament here with a 5-1 win over the Czech Republic.

Michael Downing (1g,1a), Adam Erne (1g,1a), Gabe Guertler (1g,1a), and Andrew Oglevie (2a) each had two points for the U.S.

Goaltender Thatcher Demko kicked out 34 of 35 shots for the win.

The U.S. was outshot, 35-32.

“We did a lot of good things on the ice to take the early lead,” said head coach Bob Corkum. “The kids came out fired up and our goaltender played great.”

All players were selected out of the Select 16 Camp, held in late June in Rochester, NY.

1st period:
USA – Erne (Guertler) 1:04
USA – Downing (Oglevie, Eisermann) ppg 3:53
USA -- Guertler (Erne, Labosky) 7:30

nd Period:
USA – Clifton (Turner, Lodge) 9:52

rd Period:
Cze – Bunda (Rob) ppg 5:32
Siroky (Downing, Oglevie) ppg 9:32

Power plays: Cze (1/8); US (2/5).

Goaltenders – Cze: Jekel (32/27); USA: Demko (35/34).

U.S. Under-17 Select Team:

Goaltenders (2):
Thatcher Demko
(San Diego Jr. Gulls); Devin Williams (Michigan Warriors).

Defensemen (7):

Michael Brodzinski
(Blaine HS), Garrett Cecere (Shattuck-St.Mary's), Connor Clifton (NJ Hitmen), Anthony DeAngelo (Cedar Rapids – USHL), Michael Downing (Detroit Catholic Central HS), R.J. Gicewicz (Nichols School), Willie Raskob (Shattuck-St. Mary’s). [Replaced due to injury: Jordan Gross (Maple Grove HS)]

Forwards (13):

Shane Eiserman
(St. John’s Prep), Adam Erne (Indiana – USHL), Gabe Guertler (Team Illinois), Daniel Labosky (Benilde-St. Margaret’s), Vinni Lettieri (Minnetonka HS), Jimmy Lodge (Toronto Titans), Trevor Moore (LA Selects), Andrew Oglevie (Culver Academy), Sam Povoroziniouk (Chicago – USHL), Alex Schoenborn (Minot HS), Ryan Siroky (LA Selects), Michael Turner (Chicago – USHL), Daniel Vanderwiel
(Team Illinois).
Head Coach:
Bob Corkum
Assistant Coach: Pat Mikesch

The U.S. Schedule:
Tues. Aug. 9 – Czech Republic, 7:00 pm, W, 3-1
Wed. Aug. 10 – Germany, 7:00 pm
Friday Aug. 12 – Slovakia, 7:00 pm
Sat. Aug. 13 – Switzerland, 7:00 pm.


Under-18s Win in a Shootout
Piestany, Slovakia – Alex Galchenyuk and Jordan Masters scored a pair of late third period goals to lift the U.S. Under-18 Select Team into a 5-5 tie, then, after a scoreless OT, each scored in the shootout to give the U.S. a 6-5 win over host Slovakia at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament here today.

“I’m extremely proud of our guys for overcoming so much adversity today,” said U.S. head coach Seth Appert. “We stuck together through penalties and after falling behind a couple of times, and came away with a big win.”

The U.S. next plays on Friday (opponent TBD) in the tournament’s fifth-place game.

Masters, who had two goals in regulation, leads U.S. scorers with a 4-2-6 line in three games.

1st Period:
SVK – Kolena (Griger) PPG 0:32
SVK – Parobok (Paulovic) 4:10
USA – Cox (Silk, Brady) 12:42
USA – Nanne (O’Regan, Lappin) 14:43
SVK – Sohajda (unn.) PPG 18:42

nd Period:
SVK – Sohajda (Dano) PPG 15:53
USA – Masters (Hinostroza) PPG 17:25

rd Period:
SVK – Lunter (Strauch) 13:58
USA – Masters (Doherty, Galchenyuk) PPG 16:59
USA – Galchenyuk (Hinostroza, Doherty) 17:54

Overtime: No scoring.

Shootout: Galchenyuk, Masters.

Goaltenders: SVK: Sabol (35/29); USA Peterson (11/8 in 20:00), Gillies (20/18 in 45 min.).

PP: SVK 3/7; US 2/3. 

Cut Down Day at National Junior Camp
It was cut down day at the U.S. National Junior Team Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY yesterday.

Fifteen players were cut from the original 44-man roster, leaving 29 players for the upcoming games vs. Sweden (Wed., 4:00 pm), Finland (Thurs., 4:00 pm), and Sweden (Sat., 4:00 pm).

Cut players were: goaltender Willie Yanakeff (Michigan St.); defensemen Brian Cooper (Fargo – USHL), Kevin Gravel (St. Cloud St.), Justin Holl (Minnesota), Scott Mayfield (Youngstown – USHL), and Robbie Russo (US Under-18); forwards Chase Balisy (Western Michigan), Tyler Biggs (US Under-18), Reid Boucher (US Under-18), Kevin Hayes (Boston College), Phil Lane (Brampton – OHL), Shane McColgan (Kelowna – WHL), Michael Mersch (Wisconsin), Matt Nieto (Boston University), and Bryan Rust (Notre Dame).

Ten of the cut players – Yanakeff, Gravel, Hill, Mayfield, Balisy, Hayes, Lane, Mersch, Nieto, and Rust -- are ‘92s and in their last year of eligibility for the U.S. National Junior Team.

Cooper, Russo, Biggs, Boucher, and McColgan are all ‘93s.

The remaining 29-man roster:

Goaltenders (3):
Jack Campbell (Windsor – OHL, ‘92), John Gibson (US Under-18, ‘93), Andy Iles (Cornell, ‘92).

Defensemen (9):
Adam Clendening (Boston University, ’92), Justin Faulk (Minnesota-Duluth, ’92), Derek Forbort (North Dakota, ’92), Stephen Johns (Notre Dame, ’92), Seth Jones (US Under-18, ’94), Austin Levi (Plymouth – OHL, ’92), Jon Merrill (Michigan, ’92), Connor Murphy (US Under-18, ’93), Jarred Tinordi (London – OHL, ’92).

Forwards (17):
Kenny Agostino (Yale, ’92), Billy Arnold (Boston College, ’92), Nick Bjugstad (Minnesota, ’92), Connor Brickley (Vermont, ’92), Charlie Coyle (Boston University, ’92), Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat -- WHL, ’92), Brian Ferlin (Indiana -- USHL, ’92), Rocco Grimaldi (US Under-18, ’93), Jared Knight (London – OHL, ’92), J.T. Miller (US Under-18, ’93), Stefan Noesen (Plymouth – OHL, ’93), Shane Prince (Ottawa – OHL, ’92), Nick Shore (Denver, ’92), Vince Trocheck (Saginaw – OHL, ’93), TJ Tynan (Notre Dame, ’92), Austin Watson (Peterborough – OHL, ‘92), Jason Zucker (Denver, ’92).

Head Coach: Dean Blais. Assistants: Scott Sandelin, Tom Ward, and Joe Exter. Director of Player Personnel: Tim Taylor.


Immediate Help for Friars
6’1”, 180 lb. Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL) LC Matt Montesano, who was scheduled to play for the Sioux Musketeers (USHL) in the upcoming season, will instead be heading directly to Providence College.

A 4/1/91 birthdate from West Bridgewater, Mass., Montesano played at BC High and then the Boston Advantage Midget AAA program before going to the Alberta Junior Hockey League last season. In 67 games with Bonnyville, Montesano had a 27-36-63 line.

Labanc Joins NTDP

5’10”, 150 lb. Kevin Labanc, a left wing who played for the New Jersey Rockets Jr. B team last winter, will be joining the National Team Development Team later this month.

Labanc, a 12/12/95 birthdate who committed to Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish last week, was one of the standout forwards at the Select 16 Camp in late June in Rochester, NY. He’s a playmaker who sees the ice extremely well. He makes players on the ice with him better – a bit of a hockey cliché, but very apt in Labanc's case.

A native of Staten Island, NY, Labanc was a sixth round pick of Barrie in last month’s OHL draft, and a third round pick of Des Moines in April’s USHL Futures Draft.

In a lot of places we’ve seen lately, the player's name is spelled Lablanc, like he’s French. But this is incorrect: it is Labanc.


Hinostroza, U.S. Under-18s Edge Russia in OT

Piestany, Slovakia --
Vince Hinostroza scored with less than a minute remaining in OT to give the U.S. Under-18 Select Team a 5-4 win over Russia at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament today.

The goal was Hinostroza’s second of the game. Jordan Masters (1g,1a) and Danny O’Regan (1g,1a) also had a couple of points for the U.S.

The U.S. held a 3-1 lead early in the third period but Russia tied it with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart, setting up OT.

“Our guys played really inspired hockey today,” said U.S. head coach Seth Appert. “We were blocking shots, checking hard and playing the American way in order to get this victory.”

Game Summary 8/9/11:
US Under-18 Selects 5, Russia 4

st Period:
Russia – Timirev (Malenkikh) 8:10 sh
USA – Masters (Galchenyuk) 11:50

2nd Period:

USA – O’Regan (Doherty) 19:30 ppg

3rd Period:
USA – Hinostroza (Brady) 2:13
Russia – Khlopotov (Kamaev) 7:42 ppg
Russia – Galin (Grigorenko) 9:21 ppg
USA – Nieves (O’Regan) 15:14
Russia – Shingaryeyev (unassisted) 18:16


USA – Hinostroza (Masters, Pesce) 4:29


Russia – Vasilevski (36/31); USA – Gillies (31/27)

Power Plays:

Russia – 2/8; US – 1/7

U.S. Schedule:

Sat. Aug 6 – Czech Republic (exhibition) W, 5-3
Mon. Aug. 8 – Finland,  L-3-6
Tues. Aug. 9 – Russia, W 5-4 (OT)
Wed. Aug. 10 – Slovakia
Fri. Aug. 12 – semis
Sat. Aug. 13 -- finals


Mon. 6/13/11

Florentino Staying Put
6’2”, 200 lb. South Kent School defenseman Anthony Florentino, a Providence College recruit for the fall of ’13, has turned down an invitation to join the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He will remain at South Kent. “He had our blessing if he wanted to go,” said South Kent head coach Eric Soltys. “I think it might have been a different situation if he had been offered last spring after the 40-man camp. If they had gotten him they would have had one of the best. Anthony is just a great kid both on and off the ice.”

A 1/30/95 birthdate and West Roxbury, Mass. native, Florentino attended Xaverian HS before going to South Kent last fall.

The NTDP has had a tough time filling the last opening for a defenseman on the Under-17 Team.  Ham Lake, Minnesota native Michael Brodzinski, who plays for Blaine High School, was offered after the Select 16 Festival a month ago, but also decided to stay home.

The defensemen they have already are: Gage Ausmus (East Grand Forks HS), Will Butcher (Madison Capitols), Trevor Hamilton (Honeybaked), Willie Raskob (Shattuck U-16), Steve Santini (Apple Core – EJHL), Scott Savage (LA Selects), and Keaton Thompson (Devils Lake HS).


The U.S. Under-18 Select Team bowed to Finland, 6-3, in opening day action at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia on Sunday.

The U.S. had a 3-1 lead in the first but Finland came up with five consecutive goals, the final one an empty-netter.  After Finland went up 1-0 at the 15 second mark, the U.S. came right back, tying it up when Jordan Masters – with assists going to Teddy Doherty and Boo Nieves – scored a power play goal at the 50 second mark. The U.S. then went ahead on goals by Nick Schilkey (from Nieves and Masters) and Luke Johnson (from Ryan Lowney and Louie Nanne).  But that was all they got.

We were physical and attacked the net tonight,” said head coach Seth Appert. “But we turned the puck over too much trying to make the big plays, and Finland really took advantage of that.”

Jon Gillies stopped 33 of 38 shots and took the loss.

U.S. Roster:

Goaltenders (2): Jon Gillies (Indiana - USHL), Calvin Petersen (CYA).

Defensemen (7): Ian Brady (Cedar Rapids -- USHL), Teddy Doherty (Shattuck-St. Mary’s), Josh Hanson (Portland – WHL), Ryan Lowney (Compuware), Brett Pesce (North Jersey Avalanche), Jacob Slavin (Colorado Thunderbirds), Justin Wade (Fargo – USHL).

Forwards (13): Joseph Cox (Compuware), Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia – OHL), Vince Hinostroza (Waterloo – USHL), Luke Johnson (Central HS; North Dakota), Sam Kurker (St. John’s Prep), Tim Lappin (Chicago Mission), Jordan Masters (Muskegon – USHL), Louie Nanne (Edina HS), Cristoval “Boo” Nieves (Kent School), Danny O’Regan (St. Sebastian’s), Cody Payne (Oshawa – OHL), Nick Schilkey (Honeybaked), Brendan Silk (US Under-17; DNP).

Head Coach: Seth Appert (RPI) Assistant Coaches: Matt Herr (Kent) and Matt Greason (NTDP).

U.S. Schedule:

Sat. Aug 6 – Czech Republic (exhibition) W, 5-3
Mon. Aug. 8 – Finland, L-3-6
Tues. Aug. 9 – Russia
Wed. Aug. 10 – Slovakia
Fri. Aug. 12 – semis
Sat. Aug. 13 -- finals

Merrimack, UNO Hire Assistants

Curtis Carr, the head coach/GM of the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL), has been hired as an assistant on Mark Dennehy's staff at Merrimack College. Look for him to be introduced tomorrow. At Merrimack, Carr will replace Phil Roy, who returned to his alma mater, Clarkson, to take an assistant’s position. 

Last season was Carr’s first as a head coach in the USHL. Prior to that, he spent four seasons with the club as associate coach/director of player development.

-- Brian Renfrew, an assistant at Michigan for the last nine years, has been hired as an assistant at Nebraska-Omaha. He replaces Mike Guentzel, who returned to the University of Minnesota.

Another Hit for Northeastern
6’2”, 170 lb. U.S. Under-18 Team center Cam Darcy has officially decommitted from Northeastern, another major – though not entirely unexpected – hit for the Huskies.

Darcy notified the Northeastern staff late last week.

A native of South Boston, Mass., Darcy played at the Dexter School before heading out to Ann Arbor last fall. He is an “A” prospect on Central Scouting’s list for next summer’s NHL draft, and is one of 36 top prospects invited to the NHL’s RDO Camp in Toronto August 17-18. RDO stands for Research, Development and Orientation Camp – a bit of a weighty moniker, isn’t it? The camp aims to give the NHL a chance to try out potential rule changes in a game setting while also letting scouts get a look at some of the top prospects for next summer’s NHL draft. Dan Bylsma, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Dave Tippett, head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, will be coaching the two squads.  

Darcy is one of nine non-CHL players invited to the camp. The others are goaltender Daniel Altshuller (Nepean Raiders); defensemen Michael Matheson (Dubuque -- USHL), Jordan Schmaltz (Sioux City -- USHL) and Jacob Trouba (U.S. Under-18); and forwards Phillip DiGiuseppe (University of Michigan), Zemgus Girgensons (Dubuque – USHL), Nick Kerdiles (US Under-18), and Collin Olson (US Under-18).

While on the subject of the RDO Camp...

-- Altshuller and Matheson are with the Canadian Under-18 Select Team at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia this week. They are the only non-CHL players to make the squad. In their first game of the tournament today, the Canadians were soundly beaten, 5-1, by Sweden.

-- Girgensons, the University of Vermont's prized recruit, has been inundated with offers from CHL teams this summer.  Moncton and Quebec made huge offers, with the Remparts' offer reportedly topping the $700,000 package that was given to Angelo Esposito a few years back. Right after, the London Knights (OHL) and the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) pitched in with offers of their own. Girgensons reportedly listened to them all -- and politely declined them all. The native of Riga, Latvia, who played for the Green Mountain Glades (EJHL) before going to Dubuque, will return to the USHL and, as captain, help the Fighting Saints defend its USHL title. With both Matheson and Girgensons in the lineup, coach Jim Montgomery’s team will have a posse of NHL scouts closely tracking them throughout the upcoming season.

Big D Decommits

Western Michigan, under new head coach Andy Murray, has pulled in a couple of Northeastern recruits in defenseman Garrett Haar and forward Justin Kovacs. Now, the Broncos are losing one of their own recruits, as 6’2”, 185 lb. National Team Development Program defenseman Joe Fiala has decommitted.

Fiala, a left shot D who played in the NTDP the past two seasons, was originally expected to come into Western Michigan this fall. A big, stay-at-home defensive d-man. Fiala committed to former Western coach Jeff Blashill last fall.

A ’93 birthdate from Verona, Wisc., Fiala will be playing for the Indiana Ice (USHL) this season while restarting the college process. A strong student, Fiala is said to interested in the Ivies, as well as numerous other programs – in other words, he’s pretty wide open.


Lalonde Tabbed at Green Bay
Denver assistant coach Derek Lalonde has been hired as the new head coach/GM of the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL).

Lalonde has been an assistant with the Pioneers for the last five years. Prior to that, he was at Ferris State for four years, and Hamilton College for two years.

A native of Brasher Falls, NY, which is up in the North Country near Canton and Potsdam, Lalonde was a college goaltender at SUNY-Cortland. He’s well known as a ‘goalie guru’ and has worked with the goaltenders at numerous USA Hockey developmental camps.

Now, of course, Denver has an opening, so on it goes, in this very unusual summer for college coaches.

The three names most prominently heard for the Brown assistant's job that opened up when associate head coach Jerry Keefe took his new position on Jim Madigan’s staff at Northeastern:

-- Mike Souza, the former UNH forward (and teammate with current Brown assistant Mark White) who just retired from pro hockey after playing the last six seasons in Europe.

-- Jason Smith, an assistant at Holy Cross (under one-time Brown assistant Paul Pearl). Before Holy Cross, Smith was an assistant at Babson for four years, and at Salem State for four years.

-- Ben Murphy, the former Cushing Academy and University of Maine forward, has been an assistant at Bentley College for the last two years. He actually took the position that was vacated by Mark White when the latter latter was hired in '09 by then newly-minted Brown head coach Brendan Whittet.

EJHL All-Stars Picked for Russian Trip

The EJHL is sending an all-star team to compete in the World Junior Cup in Omsk, Siberia Tues. Aug 30th through Sat. Sept. 3rd. Team EJHL will play three games, facing off against squads from Latvia, Slovakia, and Russia.

Twenty-two players, all of whom will be playing in the EJHL in the upcoming season, were chosen out of a two-day camp in Haverhill, Mass. on July 20-21. Participants in the camp – two teams worth – were nominated by league coaches.

“The kids in camp pounded each other,” said Team EJHL head coach Sean Tremblay. “I was impressed with their desire to make the team and go overseas.”

The Russians are picking up the tab, so it’s an all-expenses paid trip to a part of the world not many Americans get to. Omsk is 1,400 miles west of Moscow. Omsk is also where Fyodor Dostoyevsky spent four years in a prison camp.

You may notice that there are no members of the Jersey Hitmen on the roster. The Hitmen, who went 40-2-2-1 en route to the EJHL regular season championship last season, start training camp on August 22nd and so declined to send players to the tryouts for the team going overseas.

The Hitmen, the only team in the league to start training camp before Labor Day, have been fined $3,000 for not taking part in a league voted-upon event. “We will appeal it at the September meeting,” said Hitmen head coach Toby Harris.


Goaltenders (2):
Tyler Kapp (Boston Bandits); Zachary Andrews (NH Jr. Monarchs).

Defensemen (7):
Brian Harris (Junior Bruins); Cody Smith (Junior Bruins); Tom Parisi (NH Jr. Monarchs); Jake Bolton (NH Jr. Monarchs); Mike LaFrenier (New England Huskies); Derek Stahl (NH Jr. Monarchs); Kyle Williams (NH Jr. Monarchs).

Forwards (13):
Matt Vidal (Bay State Breakers); Tyler Bouchard (Springfield Jr. Pics); Joe Prescott (South Shore Kings); Jimmy Vesey (South Shore Kings); Connor MacPhee (NH Jr. Monarchs); Zach Luczyk (Junior Bruins); Cam Brown (NH Jr. Monarchs); KJ Teifenwerth (Junior Bruins); Connor Gorman (NH Jr. Monarchs); Kyle Smith (Junior Bruins); Michael Jamieson (NH Jr. Monarchs); Stephen Miller (NH Jr. Monarchs); Nick Bligh (South Shore Kings).  


-- The former Bridgewater Bandits are now the Boston Bandits (that’s stretching it geographically, as Bridgewater is closer to New Bedford than it is to Boston). 

-- As you may have noticed a handful of players are giving up their final year of prep hockey to play in the EJ. Those include Prescott (St. Sebastian’s), Vesey (Belmont Hill), Miller (Nobles), and Bligh (Dexter).

-- Most of the EJHL teams will be in action Sept. 9-11 at the Woodchuck Classic in Burlington, Vt. Ditto for the Boston Junior Bruins Shootout Sept. 23-25 at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Mass.

Haar, Too
The Northeastern diaspora continues, with Garrett Haar, who originally committed to Greg Cronin back in March of 2010, the latest to find a new home.

Haar, a 6'0", 193 lb. left shot D, will be playing for Western Michigan this fall.

A '93 birthdate from Huntington Beach, California, Haar played for Russell Stover U-18 before going on to Fargo (USHL) last season. With Fargo, he showed some offensive flair, putting up a 7-16-23 line in 51 games played. He was drafted by Washington (7th round) in June, the same month he decommitted from Northeastern in the wake of Cronin leaving for Toronto.

At Western, under new head coach Andy Murray, Haar will be joining Justin Kovacs, another former Huskie recruit. Kovacs, the eighth-leading scorer in the USHL last season while playing for Cedar Rapids, committed to Western last week.

Gaudreau Boys Have Their New Home

5’6”, 137 lb. forward John Gaudreau, released from his National Letter of Intent by Northeastern AD Peter Roby last week, made it official this morning: he’ll be skating for the Boston College Eagles this fall.

Gaudreau had been recruited to Northeastern by Greg Cronin and his staff when he was still playing for Team Comcast U-18 and Gloucester Catholic HS. He moved on to the USHL last season where, playing left wing, he was the fourth-leading scorer in the league, with a 36-36-72 line in 60 games played for the league champion Dubuque Fighting Saints.

In June, the Carneys Point, NJ native (it’s across the river from Wilmington, Delaware) was selected in the fourth round of the NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames.

A freshman with the potential to score 30-40 points right off the bat, Gaudreau was coveted by a host of schools from the moment he decommitted at Northeastern. However, not all schools had full scholarship money on hand in midsummer. The schools most prominently in the hunt were BC, BU, UNH, and Vermont, and Gaudreau visited them all. But the Eagles, with Cam Atkinson, Jimmy Hayes, and Philip Samuelson all leaving school after last season, always had money for Gaudreau (and Danny Linnell, too). Their national championships -- and success with small forwards -- couldn't have hurt either.

Getting Gaudreau on board gives BC probably the second-most gifted offensive threat among entering NCAA freshmen. 5'6", 160 lb. Rocco Grimaldi, a second-round pick of the Florida Panthers and North Dakota recruit, would have to get the edge there. He's stronger physically, for one thing.

In recent weeks, Gaudreau, who was never drafted by an OHL team and was therefore a free agent, received significant offers from the Windsor Spitfires and the London Knights.

If you haven’t had the chance to see Gaudreau play, here’s what we wrote about him after the 2010 USA Hockey Select 17 Camp in Rochester, NY, where we rated him the #1 overall forward: “
Gaudreau was the show here. Great hands, great moves, and superb creativity. Really strong on the puck, never gives up on plays. Creates offense out of nothing. Hard to hit, sneaky. Ectomorph Supremo. Heading to Dubuque (USHL), and then Northeastern.”

That same month – July of 2010 -- Gaudreau’s younger brother, Matt, a 5’9”, 145 lb. late ’94 center, also committed to Northeastern. He, too, will be headed to Boston College, in the fall of ’13 (or whenever he’s physically ready). The younger Gaudreau, who played for Team Comcast U-16 last year as well as Gloucester Catholic (13-23-36 in 20 games), will be with the Omaha Lancers (USHL) this season.

While not as offensively dynamic as his older brother, Matt is bigger, and is a highly-competitive two-way forward who plays hard in all three zones, and will provide his share of goals. While he has a very good skill level, it’s not eye-popping like his older brother.

It's hard to say if the two brothers,
the sons of Guy Gaudreau, a star forward at Norwich (class of ’80), will ever play together at the Heights, as John, if he keeps progressing, could get pressure to sign early. He's definitely stronger on the ice than he is in the classroom.


We just got off the phone with John Gaudreau, and asked him what the key to his choosing Boston College was. "They are used to the small player,"  he replied. "You see all the small players who played there and are in the NHL. Other schools have good small players, too, but BC has just done really well with them."

Another key, Gaudreau said, was the opportunity to play with his little brother. We pointed out that Calgary could come calling before that ever happens. "Hopefully," Gaudreau replied, "I do get the chance to play pro in two years. But if not, I get to play with my brother for a couple of years. For me, that's a win-win situation."

Gaudreau said he really liked UNH. "A lot of guys I know from my area played there or are going there -- Jamie Hill, Kyle Smith, James VanRiemsdyk -- and a lot of those guys were convincing me about UNH. I also really liked UVM's campus. I live in the country in New Jersey and so I liked that. But in the end, I really like the city of Boston, and that's why I made the decision when I was 15 to go to Northeastern."

We asked Gaudreau how much of his decision to decommit at Northeastern revolved solely around the fact that Greg Cronin left Northeastern for the pro ranks. "I really liked Coach Cronin," Gaudreau said, " and I really liked Albie O'Connell, who recruited me. Even if Coach Cronin left and Albie stayed, I probably would have stayed, too. But then Albie left to go to Harvard, so I made up my mind to go. I really liked Northeastern, though." 

We asked what areas of his game improved the most last season in the USHL. "My game probably got a lot better in the defensive zone." he said. "Before Dubuque I wasn't very good in the defensive zone, and it was something people old me about. Coach (Jim) Montgomery helped me a lot there, and it's an area that I still have to make a priority, and will continue working on at BC."

Carousel Continues
Word on the street indicates Quinnipiac is about to fill the assistant’s position that opened up when Ben Syer headed off to Cornell. And it’s a name familiar to the school’s fans – Reid Cashman, who scored 142 points from the blueline during his four years at Quinnipiac, was a Hobey Baker award finalist in ’06-07, and retired from pro hockey after finishing up last season in Austria.

Now 28, Cashman played high school hockey at Red Wing HS in Minnesota – not one of the state’s high-profile programs – and was a 6’2” late bloomer who went overlooked by colleges. However, he made a USHL team -- Waterloo – and one year later was playing at Quinnipiac.

A couple weeks ago, Quinnipiac thought they had Syer’s spot filled, as eight-year Michigan State assistant Brian Renfrew had been offered and accepted the position. But after taking it, Renfrew felt that, for his family’s sake, he’d be better off staying in the Midwest – and the job opened up again.

Renfrew is reported to be one of three finalists for the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) head coaching position, which opened up late when Eric Rud went back to Colorado College, his alma mater, as an assistant. The other two finalists for the Green Bay job are said to be Derek Lalonde, an assistant at Denver for five years; and Jon Rogger, who has spent the last four years as a Gamblers assistant.

Renfrew is also said to be a candidate for the assistant’s position at Nebraska-Omaha, which has been vacant since Mike Guentzel returned to the Gophers.

He’s also said to be in the mix for the NTDP position that has been open since Ron Rolston was named head coach of the Rochester Amerks (AHL).

A name we are hearing prominently mentioned for the NTDP position is that of 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ US Olympian John “Bah” Harrington.

After 15 years as head coach at Div. III Saint John’s University, which is right outside St. Cloud, Minn., Harrington stepped down after the ’07-08 season in order to take a position as head coach of HC Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss National League. However, he was fired partway through the season. Within a month, he was named head coach of the Slovenian National Team, a position he held for a year, until LA Kings forward Anze Kopitar’s father succeeded him. Such are the vicissitudes of coaching in Europe.

By the way, the Slovenian National Team, along with Lithuania and Denmark, has never played in the Olympics. Their National Junior Team has never played in the top-level tournament either.

Denver has a commitment for fall ’14 from 6’0”, 180 lb. Gage Ausmus – for fall ’14. Ausmus, a big, strong defensive defenseman from East Grand Forks (Minn.) HS, will be giving up his football career -- last season, as a sophomore, he threw 22 TD passes as the East Grand Forks starting QB – to join the U.S. Under-17 Team. After two years in Ann Arbor, Ausmus, a 4/22/95 birthdate, will play a year in the USHL.   

Last week, forward Connor Chatham, a late ’95 who played for the St. Louis Blues U-16 Team last winter, and is also heading to the US Under-17 Team, also committed to Denver – for the fall of ’13. Notre Dame was reported to be the other school in the hunt for Chatham. (However, the Irish landed another top late ’95 in New Jersey Rocket Jr. B forward Kevin Labanc, so that evens that out.)

In addition, Denver has a commitment from ’96 center Jared Fiegel, a standout at the U.S. Select 15 Camp last month. That’s for the fall of ’14.

As for Clarkson’s open assistant’s position, we’ve heard Matt Greason, an assistant with the NTDP last season, and J.B. Bittner, an assistant at Ohio State most prominently mentioned. 

6’2”, 185 lb. forward Joe Manno, who played at South Kent last season and had committed to UMass for this fall, has reportedly decommitted. Manno had NCAA Clearinghouse issues but has since passed through. Providence College is interested – but so is Saint John (QMJHL).

Madigan Picks His Staff
New Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan has chosen Brown assistant Jerry Keefe and Harvard assistant Patrick Foley as his assistants.

Keefe, the former Providence College forward, is a 35-year-old who makes his home in Saugus, Mass. He is a go-getter who recruits hard. Brendan Whittet hired him as his top assistant when he got the Brown job in 2009. Before Brown, Keefe had spent two years as the head coach at Westfield State. And before that, he was an assistant at UMass-Boston for a year – his first college job, a position that he learned was open from his friend, former Northeastern -- and current Harvard -- assistant  Albie O’Connell.

Patrick Foley has been on Ted Donato’s staff at Harvard the past four years. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach with the U.S. National Team Development Program for two years.

A Milton, Mass. native, Foley, 30, played at St. Sebastian’s before joining the NTDP as a player, and then going on to UNH, where he was a three-year captain. He lives in Charlestown, Mass. Unlike Keefe, he won’t be shaving much off his commuting time.

Former NU assistant Sebastien Laplante took an assistant's position with the Houston Aeros (AHL). "It was a great professional opportunity to improve my career and get better as a coach," he reports.