Crimson Combine: The '05s
The '05 Crimson Combine, a small four-team tournament with many of the top North American kids born that year, wound up Friday at Harvard's Bright Arena.
Below are USHR's tournament MVP and All-Star Teams, a first and second team, each with ten players. At this age things can change quickly, but generally the top players at this event are also the top players several years later. Of course, plenty of the players who are unheralded at this age -- usually the ones who work hardest -- turn out to be excellent, too.
We felt that this group was much deeper up front than on the blue line.
As has been the case every year, Paul Pearl (former Harvard assistant now at BU) and Rob Rassey (Harvard assistant) run the show and it's a good one, with little wasted time. The kids do tons of dryland/off-ice work as well as playing one game a day. Harvard staffers such as assistant Jim Tortorella and director of hockey ops Sean O'Brien helped out as well. Ditto for Harvard defensemen Adam Fox and John Marino and Dexter defenseman Bobby Pearl.
Coaches included top prep coaches such as Dave Cataruzolo (Roxbury Latin), Carl Corazzini (St. Mark's), Derek Cunha (Williston-Northampton), Brian Day (Nobles), Jeremiah McCarthy (Belmont Hill), Dan Murphy (St. Paul's), Dave Ries (Brooks), and Bill Riley (Groton).
Ryan Fine, Mid-Fairfield forward
First All-Star Team:
Ryan Fine (Mid-Fairfield) -- A skilled, smart, natural goal scorer who is unselfish and makes plays. Clever and a pure skater -- he just glides.
Will Smith (Junior Eagles) -- Another pure scorer. Had a hat trick Thursday including a couple off breakaways. Heavy on the puck.
Salvatore Guzzo (Mid-Fairfield) -- Big strong power forward type. Good shot, good skater once he gets going. Plays well without the puck.
Calum Ritchie (Oakville Rangers) -- Has the puck on his stick a lot. Tireless. Played in both games on Friday, and looked just as good -- if not better -- in the second game.
Nick Lardis (Oakville Rangers) -- Scored a great breakaway goal. Dynamic. Explosive. Has a high hockey IQ.
Landan Resendes (Assabet) -- Small and exciting. Fun to watch. The puck just follows him around. Shifty and excellent in open ice.
Nicholas Fascia (Philadelphia HC) -- Best D here. A smart, mature player, with no wasted effort. Very good shot too.
Lucas St. Louis (Mid-Fairfield) -- Also smart and always in the right place at the right time. When he gets stronger, look out. Son of Marty; brother of Ryan.
Ben Cook (Flames) -- Very competitive. Knows when to move puck. Gets tangled up with himself at times, but time should take care of that.
Ryan Sanborn (Mid-Fairfield) -- The prototypical 21st century goalie -- big and athletic. Technically sound. Not a lot of wasted movement.
Second All-Star Team
Chase Pirtle (NJ Colonials) -- Rangy, powerful kid. Excellent release; good puck skills.
Charlie Cerrato (R&M Hockey Supply) -- Maryland native is a bulldog type with sneaky skill. Makes plays.
Jake McManus (Islanders) -- Excellent stick and high hockey IQ. Could be really good in the long run.
Michael Hagens (LI Royals) -- Really good stick. Gets open well.
Joey Willis (Chicago Mission) -- Fast, long, and takes the puck to the net.
Jesse Allecia (Mid-Fairfield) -- Excellent speed.
Drew Fortesque (Mid-Fairfield) -- Two-way defenseman who can skate and jumps up into the play at the right times.
Paul Fischer (Chicago Mission) -- Big and strong. Decent hands. Good on offensive blue line as he has a bomb of a shot.
Jack O'Brien (Terriers) -- Smart, heads-up player.
Paul Dalessio (Islanders) -- Small and lightning-quick.
ECC Labor Day Schedules & Rosters
Here they are, in the nick of time, the program books for the East Coast Classics Labor Day Cup, which starts this afternoon and runs through Monday Sept. 3rd.
The tournament -- 18U, 16U, and 15U -- has three separate program books, the links to which are below. On the second page of the books, you'll find a list of the eight rinks the tournament will be using, along with their addresses.
Labor Day Faceoff Starts Friday
The Annual Labor Day Face Off Tournament will run from Fri. Aug. 31st through Sun. Sept. 2nd at various venues in Eastern Mass. And if the weather is anything like today's, a cool arena might be a pretty nice place to be, unless you own a nice piece of beachfront property, in which case we don't want to hear about it.
Here's the lowdown:
All Tier 1 Division games will be held at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass.
All Tier 2 Division games will be held at the Bridegwater Ice Arena in Bridgewater, Mass.
All Elite Division games will take place at the Foxboro Sports Center (Foxboro, Mass.), the New England Sports Village (Attleboro, Mass.), Rodman Arena (Walpole, Mass.) and the Boch Ice Center (Dedham, Mass.).
And here are all the links you'll need:
River Rats Jamboree Coming Up
The Neponset Valley River Rats Jamboree, always a good kickoff to the fall season, will take place Monday and Tuesday August 27-28 at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass.
This is a terrific start for surveying the split-season -- and a number of full-season teams -- from the Northeast.
The tournament, run by Albany Academy head coach and River Rats majordomo Steve Needham, starts Monday morning at 10:00 am and will run pretty much all day for both days.
Here are the schedules and rosters:
USA Hockey Prospects Game Roster Released
USA Hockey announced its 42-man roster for the annual All-American Prospects Game today. All players chosen are eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.
This year, the game will be played in St. Paul, Minn. on Wed. Sept 19th (7:00pm). Now in its seventh year, it's the first time the game has been held outside the Northeast. Previous year's sites are Buffalo, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Five players who played prep hockey in the 2017-18 season were named to the roster, which was chosen by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting.
The next job is to split them into two balanced teams.
Four players who played prep hockey in the 2017-18 season were named to the roster. They are defensemen Braden Doyle (Lawrence Academy), Jayden Struble (St. Sebastian's), Cade Webber (Rivers), and forward John Farinacci (Dexter). In addition, there are a handful of players who left prep hockey early for the NTDP: Goalie Spencer Knight (Avon), defenseman Henry Thrun (St. Mark's), and forwards Matt Boldy (Dexter) and Trevor Zegras (Avon).
The division we most wanted to see Monday at the Beantown was the Prospects Division.
The division had four teams, two consisting of '04s and '05s and two consisting of '06s and '07s. The latter we took a pass on: too young.
Our #1-2 for Prospects d-men were '04s Ryan Buckley and Shaun McEwen.
Buckley is advanced for his age. He has poise with the puck and breaks it out with ease. Positions himself well in all three zones and makes the simple play. Has the skating skill to go end-to-end, but tended not to, leaving his d-partner to do that. He also has size at 5'11". (His father, Jerry, a former BC forward and now a player agent, is a barrel-chested 6'2".) Buckley plays with the Junior Eagles U15s and attends St. George's.
Buckley's partner, McEwen, is a lanky 5'10" left shot, whose skating is exceptional. He can fly, with or without the puck. He likes to handle the puck, does it well and, in the Beantown's wide open play, stood out, happily taking it end to end several times. His team, Navy, beat Yellow 9-4. (McEwen, from South Hadley, Mass., is the grandson of Toot Cahoon.)
Up front, Ryan Schelling, a 5'10" '04 from Suffern, NY and the New Jersey Avalanche Bantam Majors, really stood out. All he does is make plays and score. An excellent young player. Best forward in the division.
Landan Resendes, an '05 who is listed at 5'0", is an elusive waterbug who has the puck on a string. Strong stick skills, and quick on his feet. Really fun to watch.
James Fisher, a 5'9" '04 forward from the Junior Bruins U16s, is a good skater who scored on a top-shelf shot with a nice release. Not flashy, just played a strong all-around game.
So there you have it. Three forwards, and two defenseman. There were other talented kids, but we'll just stick with our top 5. As for a goaltender, we'll have to take a pass.
Beantown Team Rosters
Here are the team rosters for the 2018 Summer Beantown. Tomorrow (Monday 8/13) all teams will be in action.
Strelow Invites Announced
The 11th annual Warren Strelow National Team Goaltending Camp runs from next Tues. Aug. 14th through the 18th at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. The 27 invitees, all candidates for current and future US National Teams, were announced Friday.
The camp will be led by Thomas Speer, U.S. National Team goaltending coach, Phil Osaer, American Development Model goaltending manager at USA Hockey, and regional scouts Brennan Poderzay and Jared Waimon. In addition, camp senior staff will include Joe Exter (assistant coach, Michigan State University), David Lassonde (assistant coach, Dartmouth University/U.S. National Junior Team), Kevin Reiter (director of player personnel, USA Hockey NTDP) and Nick Petraglia (assistant coach, Miami University of Ohio).
Additional camp coaching staff includes Peter Aubry (Chicago Blackhawks), Scott Clemmensen (New Jersey Devils), Jeff Salajko (Detroit Red Wings), Alex Westlund (Washington Capitals), Mike Buckley (Pittsburgh Penguins), Larry Clemens (Janesville Jets), Brian Eklund (Boston University), Michael Garman (Chicago Steel), Karl Goehring (Tampa Bay Lightning), Brian Renfrew (Winnipeg Jets), Josh Robinson (Florida Everblades), Dave Rogaliski (St. Louis Blues) and Zach Cisek (University of Notre Dame).
For the first time in camp history, USA Hockey has invited current professionals to participate in the camp, The list of current professionals participating include Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings), Zane McIntyre (Providence Bruins), Phoenix Copley (Washington Capitals), Charlie Lindgren (Montreal Canadiens); Collin Delia (Rockford Ice Hogs), Jake Oettinger (Boston University), and Joseph Woll (Boston College).
Seven goalies are from the 1999, 2000, and 2002 birth class while six goaltenders on the camp roster are from the 2001 birth class. Fourteen states are represented on the roster. Michigan leads the way with five goaltenders, while Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey boast three apiece. Alaska, Minnesota, and New York each have two, and Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin each have one.
Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals -- OHL)
Jacob Kucharski (Des Moines -- USHL)
Jared Moe (Waterloo -- USHL)
Keith Petruzzelli (Quinnipiac)
Cayden Primeau (Northeastern)
Dylan St. Cyr (Notre Dame)
Adam Scheel (Penticton -- BCHL)
Drew Deridder (NTDP)
Josh Graziano (Coulee Region/NTDP)
Ben Kraws (Sioux City -- USHL)
Jonathan Mor (NTDP)
Isaiah Saville (Minnesota Magicians)
Christian Stover (Scranton Wilkes-Barre)
Ryan Ullan (Bismarck -- NAHL)
Alex Aslanidis (Avon Old Farms)
Dominic Basse (Team Maryland)
Jackson Bernard (Chicago Mission)
Joshua Langford (Dallas Stars Elite)
Cameron Rowe (NTDP)
Jack Williams (St. Louis Jr. Blues)
Aiden Campbell (Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins 15U)
Drew Commesso (St. Sebastian's)
Levi Gho (Culver Academy)
Peyton Grainer (Victory Honda)
Noah Grannan (Milwaukee Jr. Admirals)
Xavier Medina (Honeybaked)
Grant Riley (Rochester Coalition)
Beantown Player List
Here's the Beantown player list. Actual team rosters will be ready Saturday night.
As usual, the tournament willl be held at the New England Sports Center (Marlborough, Mass.). This year's dates are Sat. Aug 11 to midday Wed. Aug. 15th.
The tournament has changed this year, with a top group limited to committed players along with some players that NHL Central Scouting saw at the Select 17 Camp and would like to see again. The committed division consists of '99s to '01s.
The Pro Division ('98s to '01s) has been whittled from eight teams to six. Naturally, these will consist of uncommitted players.
The Futures Division is for '01s, '02s and '03s.
The Prospects Division consists of two teams of '04s/'05s and two teams of '06s/'07s.
Mount Saint Charles Makes Bold Move
This season will be the last for Bill Belisle, whose Mount Saint Charles squads have won 31 Rhode Island State Championships.
Recent years, however, have not been as good for the Woonsocket, RI school. To return the program to relevance, the school will attempt to follow in the steps of Shattuck-St. Mary's, Selects Academy at South Kent, and a handful of others.
They've also gone a step farther, hiring away Selects' coaches Matt Plante, Devin Rask and Scott Gainey. That trio will spend the upcoming season scouting and recruiting for the Mount, and will begin play in 2019-20. With little competition in the littlest state, they should be perennial entries at Nationals.
"Rask and Plante are great coaches," said school president Alan Tenreiro.
Former Mount and NHL stars such as Bryan Berard (director of player development) and Brian Boucher (advisor to the program) will be returning to their alma mater.
The school will maintain a "prep" team and play in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, which they last won in 2014.
"It was clear to us that we had to do something to make things better," said Tenreiro. "We had a gem of a hockey program, but we've been looking at trends in hockey. The game has changed and there are just more offerings."
"We want to reposition our hockey program nationally."
The Mount used to be a regular stop for NHL scouts, and college and junior recruiters. Not much lately, though.
Tenreiro announced an official news conference for Thurs. Sept. 20 at the school. Tenreiro will offically introduce his coaches to the community on that day and speak of future plans for the school, one of which is to build a second arena on campus and introduce a girls' program.
Meanwhile Selects Academy is looking for a few coaches for the upcoming season.