Monday, August 31, 2009

The Program

KHL fights for two high profiled QMJHL prospects

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

IceDogs sign two

Press Release

IceDogs General Manager Dave Brown announced today that IceDogs have signed 2009 Priority Selection picks John Chartrand and Andrew Fritsch.

Chartrand, a 6’0”, 170 lb goalie from the Barrie Colts Minor Midget Team was selected in the 4th round, 80th overall, by the IceDogs.

John is described as having good size and speed, and being a player that plays the game with energy.

“He is someone we zeroed in on at the draft and I looked forward to working with him” said IceDogs Goalie Coach Ben Vanderklok.

In Fritsch, the IceDogs 3rd round pick, 57th overall, the IceDogs have themselves “a skilled winger who brings offense to the table”, according to head scout Scott Halpenny. He adds that “Andrew is a good skater and will work well in the small confines of the Gatorade Garden City Complex”.

The 5'11, 165 lb left-winger spent the 2008-09 season with the Brantford 99ers, playing in 59 games, scoring 33 goals and adding 38 assists for 71 points, along with 12 penalty minutes.

When asked about the latest signings, General Manager Dave Brown said “We are very happy to have been able to sign another two of our selections. Both Chartrand and Fritsch are skilled players who will help this team. They have both had an excellent couple of days at training camp and we are glad to have them as a part of our organization.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Petes sign Puempel

Press Release

The Peterborough Petes are proud to announce that the Ontario Hockey League team has agreed to terms with first round draft pick Matt Puempel. Puempel, the sixth overall draft pick in the 2009 OHL Priority selection recorded 88 goals and 144 points in 76 games with the Sun County Panthers of the Alliance hockey league.

“I am very happy and proud to become a Pete. The Ontario Hockey League is a great developmental league and it is an honour to be part of such a prestigious league and the Petes organization” states Matt.

Matt will attend Thomas A Stewart Secondary School in Peterborough while playing for the Petes as a student athlete.

Petes General Manager Jeff Twohey says “we are really excited to have Matt with us. He and his family made it clear from our first meeting in April that they wanted to play in the Ontario Hockey League. Matt is a player with talent and character, and is a great addition to our team.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

The Board of Governors votes to raise education bursaries

Press Release

BAIE-COMEAU, Saturday, August 29, 2009 – The Board of Governors today voted to modify the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Scholastic Policy, significantly raising the dollars invested by franchises towards player education. Governors agreed to bump the bursaries to $5,000 per player per year up from $4,000 last season; an additional investment of approximately $100,000 per year.

"The Governors of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are sending a clear message today," said QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau. "Our clubs’ willingness to continue investing significant dollars into our bursaries program demonstrates their commitment to educating our players. It is part of our fundamental mission to support their academic undertakings in order to develop responsible and educated citizens."

Players who arrive in the League as 19 or 20 year-olds are no longer required to have played a minimum of two years in order to benefit from the bursaries program (4.1.1). As such, a player is no longer required to have studied for a minimum of 4 semesters while playing major junior (4.1.2) to be eligible. For example, a player can now play for a single season (2 semesters) and still be eligible for 2 bursaries.

Finally, following a unanimous vote by the Board of Governors, all five members of the Executive Committee were re-elected. Jean Brousseau will begin his third mandate as President of the Board of Governors while Gervais Munger (1st Vice-President), Louis Brousseau (2nd Vice-President), Jean Marcotte (Treasurer) and Julien Gagnon (Secretary) are back for another term.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chiefs honor former captains

Press Release

Each year the Spokane Chiefs honor three former captains by naming the training camp teams after them. This year, two of the team namesakes will be in attendance this weekend when the Chiefs open their annual fall camp. Kevin Sawyer and Brandin Cote will help evaluate players and coach prospects for the team that they both wore the captain’s C for. Trent Whitfield, the captain of the 1998 club, will have his name attached to the third team participating in camp.

Sawyer returned to the organization when he retired as a player in 2004 and served as the Chiefs Assistant Coach for two seasons. He has been back to Spokane every fall for camp and has been the color commentator for the Chiefs television broadcasts for the last four years.

For Cote, it is a new endeavor. The Chiefs all-time leader in games played with 352, sixth in WHL history, has been put on the shelf with a knee injury that will keep him off the ice for another six months.

“I will spend the year going to school in Red Deer working toward my Bachelor’s Degree in education,” Cote said after he caught up with Dan Mitchell, the Chiefs Dressing Room Manager while he was in Spokane.

“Next season I will make a decision on whether or not I’m going to play and I’m open to any opportunity that comes up. I will rehab with the focus of hopefully playing next year.”

The injury has forced the Chiefs first round Bantam selection in 1996 to think of life after his playing days are over. “I have always wanted to stay in the game and coaching has intrigued me. Teaching would be a good fall back, but I want to say involved in some capacity.”

Cote entered the league as a 16-year-old in 1997-98 on the team that hosted the Memorial Cup. Two years later he was an alternate captain playing for a 47 win team that went to the WHL Finals.

“We probably had more skill and talent on the team when I was 16, but our 2000 team was the tightest and most close knit team that we had when I was here,” Cote said. “We weren’t the most talented group but willing to put in the time and effort and it is a team that I will remember as working hard and having fun every day.”

Cote served as the Chiefs captain in 2000-01 and 2001-02.

To say that Cote’s memories of Spokane are good would be an understatement, “To me, its probably at the top of my list in spots that I have played. It is the best junior hockey league in the world and as professional an organization that you will find. The Chiefs can rival the professional leagues here in North American and Europe. I always said that I would play here forever… only if I could play junior hockey for the rest of my life,” he laughed.

“It is a place that I grew very fond of and somewhere I will always consider home in some sense.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Boston Rookie Camp roster

Press Release

BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today the 24-man rookie roster that will participate in the team’s rookie camp in Kitchener, Ontario. The team will depart Boston for Kitchener on Saturday, September 5 and return on Thursday, September 10. The team will play three games total, one each against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The travel roster includes the eighth overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Zach Hamill, and three members of the Bruins ’09 NHL Draft Class, as Ryan Button (third round, 86th overall), Lane MacDermid (fourth round, 112th overall) and Tyler Randell (sixth round, 176th overall) will all skate in the camp. The Bruins first round pick in the ’09 draft, Jordan Caron, will not participate due to injury.

Other recent draft selections making the trip are: Max Sauve (2008, second round), Mike Hutchinson (2008, third round), Jamie Arniel (2008, fourth round), Alain Goulet (2007, sixth round), Jordan Knackstedt (2007, seventh round) and Levi Nelson (2006, sixth round).

Rounding out the travel roster are players acquired through trades or free agency Jeffrey LoVecchio, Matt Marquardt, Rob Kwiet, Scott Fletcher, Matt Dalton and Adam Courchaine and rookie camp invitees Chris DeSousa, Jason Lawrence, Taylor MacDougall, Jason Wilson, Mark Isherwood, Peter Stevens, Marc Zanetti and Brad Good.

The full roster breakdown by position can be found below along with the camp schedule.

The Bruins rookies will have limited media availability on Saturday, September 5 starting as early as 8:30 a.m. at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, MA, following their off-ice testing. Members of the media should note that due to the testing and tight travel schedule, all rookies may not be available.

Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development Don Sweeney will be available to the media at approximately 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, September 5 at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Oil Kings sign Moroz

Press Release

Edmonton, AB.: The Edmonton Oil Kings are pleased to announce the signing of Mitchell Moroz. The left winger was the Oil Kings second round pick, 30th overall, in the 2009 draft.

"We are very proud to have Mitchell move forward with his Western Hockey League career with the Edmonton Oil Kings and start the process of earning his Western Hockey League scholarship," says Oil Kings General Manager Bob Green. "As a fifteen year old, Mitchell will gain valuable experience over the course of this season as he prepares for his WHL career"

Moroz spent last season with the Calagary Northstars of the Alberta Major Bantam League. The 6 foot, 176 pound winger scored 20 goals and added 16 assists in 31 Regular Season games.

The Edmonton Oil Kings host the 3rd Annual Pre-season Invitational Tournament presented by Elite Sportswear and Awards this weekend at Servus Credit Union Place in St. Albert. The games begin tomorrow with the Medicine Hat Tigers taking on the Moose Jaw Warriors at 3:00 pm. The Oil Kings face the Regina Pats at 7:00 pm. Click on the link for a full schedule.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reid Gets Call for U-17 Program

Press Release

Toronto - The Ontario Under 17 Policy Committee is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Reid as an Assistant Coach for Ontario's Under 17 Team. Mr. Reid is currently an Assistant coach with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League.

Jeff’s appointment comes after the resignation of Assistant Coach Drake Berehowsky who stepped down after accepting a coaching position in the American Hockey League.

"I am pleased that Jeff has agreed to be an Assistant Coach with Team Ontario, stated Director of Operations Rob Kitamura. “Jeff brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to the program and I know that everyone associated with the team will benefit from his appointment. We are sorry to see Drake leave but understand that the move to the American Hockey League would have prohibited his involvement with the Under 17 program and Team Ontario this year. "

"I am very excited by the opportunity presented to me by the Under 17 Policy committee today and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead for Team Ontario in the coming months" stated Mr Reid.

Team Ontario will be participating in the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge being held in Timmins Ontario from December 29, 2009 until January 4, 2010.

The Ontario Under 17 Program is a component of Hockey Canada's

Program of Excellence and is facilitated through the Hockey Development Centre for Ontario on behalf of their 3 Ontario Branches. The program receives financial support from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion. In total, more than 1500 players will participate at regional Under 17 identification camps throughout Ontario in 2009/2010.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

SJHL Hall of Fame

Press Release

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is pleased to announce the creation of the SJHL Hall Of Fame and Wall Of Honor.

The SJHL virtual Hall Of Fame includes a 12-team Wall Of Honor, 1-league Wall Of Honor, and 1-SJHL Hall Of Fame.

The SJHL prides itself on Rich Tradition, Strong Future and therefore has created a venue to recognize greats from years past. In general, the premise is to highlight success for those players, officials, coaches, and builders who used the SJHL as a springboard for future success.

Annually, teams will nominate a candidate on their team’s Wall Of Honor to be considered for the SJHL Hall Of Fame.

A selection process based on merit and other determined criteria shall select no more than six Hall Of Fame inductees per year. A Hall Of Fame Game will be played in conjunction with the Hall Of Fame Weekend. The Battlefords North Stars will be in Weyburn to face the Red Wings on October 9th. A Hall Of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony will highlight the festivities on October 10th.

The entire weekend is a presentation of Highwood Distillers.

This year’s inaugural inductees include:

Ron Hextall (Melville Millionaires). Hextall used the Millionaire program as the initial stepping stone toward his glorious career in the National Hockey League, predominately spent with the Philadelphia Flyers. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as a rookie in 1987 for being the NHL’s MVP during the playoffs. He also was the first ever netminder to shoot and score a goal at the NHL level, something he also accomplished in the playoffs. He’s currently the Assistant General Manager for the Los Angeles Kings.

Chris Chelios (Moose Jaw Canucks). Chelios spent three years in the SJHL and parlayed his Junior ‘A’ career into an NCAA scholarship before landing on the scene with the Montreal Canadiens in 1985, getting named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. He has won three Norris Trophies for being the NHL’s top defenseman. The 25-year NHL veteran is hoping to begin his 26th season this October.

Wayne Kartusch (SJHL President). Kartusch spent 26-years as President of the SJHL, resigning his post in 2003. He has received numerous accolades and honors for hard work and dedication to the sport of the game. He has been bestowed a lifetime membership to the SHA as well as the Canadian Junior Hockey League. He’s also been named Hockey Canada’s Volunteer Of The Year. He was enshrined in Saskatchewan’s Sports Hall Of Fame in 2007.

Ron Rumball (Weyburn Red Wings). Rumball has provided the Red Wings with forty years of service, holding roles on the Board of Directors, Director Of Scouting, Assistant Coach, Interim Head Coach, and General Manager. A retired school teacher, Rumball continues to seek out talent for the Wings, who have a storied history as one of the SJHL’s most storied franchises. His most recent major accomplishment was serving as GM for the 2005 RBC Cup champions.

Dwight McMillan (Weyburn Red Wings). McMillan has won over a thousand regular season games in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, putting him in an extremely elite class with Scotty Bowman (NHL) and Brian Kilrea (OHL). His tenure as a player and/or coach has spanned five decades with Weyburn and he wielded some magic in 2005 by taking a fifth place team and leading them to an RBC Cup (national championship). McMillan has ties back to the Red Wings as far back as 1961 when he appeared as a rookie on the very first Red Wing club ever.

The SJHL is extremely proud and pleased to announce the creation of the virtual Hall Of Fame and Wall Of Honor as well as to recognize these five very special individuals for being the first ever inductees.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

A new look for Waterloo

Press Release

A new look, a new mantra, and a new retail location will all be part of the Waterloo Black Hawks 2009-2010 season, with the opening puck drop now just weeks away.

The Black Hawks will take the ice thinking "Work Hard, Play Harder." Team front office and coaching staff agree that the motto fits the organization's players, fans, and the Cedar Valley at-large.

"This team is not going to be out-worked," said Waterloo Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O'Handley. "The character of this group is going to be something that I expect even casual fans will notice in practice and on game nights. We're going to have some very talented forwards and big, physical defensemen. It's a blue-collar team with the kind of values people who work in the Cedar Valley can appreciate. Our fans don't take days off, and neither will we."

Images of the Black Hawks' new alternate logo were also released Friday. The close-up of the bird from the club's familiar emblem puts the Hawk in motion. The organization's colors-black, white, and red-are all utilized in the design. An outline of Iowa's eastern border is also incorporated into the rendering.

"It was important to us to symbolize where we're from right in the logo," said Vice President of Business Operations Shawna Rowe. "We were inspired by designs we saw used by some big league franchises, which included something specific about their community or region."

Merchandise featuring new and classic Black Hawk trademarks will be available soon from the team's new retail outlet, Party Town Outfitters. The location on the main concourse at Young Arena will be open within the next few weeks, followed by an online store connected to Construction of the rustic, north woods-themed shop was completed recently by Matt Boldt Construction. Visitors to Young Arena in the past few weeks may have noticed the store, laid out to look like a cabin, just above the Black Hawks box office.

"I'm really excited to be rounding up merchandise, which I think our fans will really enjoy," said Rowe, who is spearheading the Black Hawks retail effort.

Details about a grand opening for Party Town Outfitters will be announced soon.

The Black Hawks open the preseason at Young Arena Wednesday, September 16th against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. The regular season begins on the road Saturday, October 3rd in Green Bay. The RoughRiders return to Young Arena to visit Waterloo for the regular season home opener on Saturday, October 10th.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Friday, August 28, 2009

General Annual Assembly in Baie-Comeau

Press Release

BAIE-COMEAU, Thursday, August 27, 2009 – The General Annual Assembly of team Members and the Board of Governors of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will be held tomorrow and Saturday at the Manoir Hotel in Baie-Comeau.

The two-day event regroups owners, governors and the League’s administrative staff.

Several issues will be discussed, including the election of officers to the Board of Governors, modifications to the student-athlete bursary program, the presentation of the 2009-10 schedule of events as well as possible rule amendments.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Swift Current signs four

Press Release

Swift Current, SK---Swift Current Broncos General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb announced that the club has signed Andrew Sullivan, Andy Blanke, Adam Lowry and Shea Howorko to WHL contracts.

Sullivan and Blanke are both 17 year olds who played midget AAA last year. Sullivan, from Calgary, played for the Calgary North Stars and was drafted by the Broncos in the 7th round, 149th over-all in 2007. Blanke is a local Swift Current product who led the Swift Current Legionnaires in scoring last season and was listed by the Broncos in 2008.

Adam Lowry, from Calgary, is 16 years old and played last season for the Midget Calgary Rangers. Lowry was selected by the Broncos in the 4th round 78th over-all in the 2008 Bantam Draft. He is the son of current Calgary Flames assistant coach Dave Lowry.

Shea Howorko, 15, was the Broncos second round selection in this past spring’s bantam draft. He resides in Regina but is originally from Swift Current. Last season he played bantam for the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Saskatchewan.

“The players we have signed are a strong group of young forwards,” says head coach and general manager Mark Lamb, “they all had impressive training camps and we look forward to them becoming impact players for us in the future.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Foligno steps down as coach

Press Release

Sudbury Wolves Coach/GM Mike Foligno has announced that he will be stepping-down as Head Coach of the Sudbury Wolves.

Foligno addressed the players and parents attending last night's Training Camp meeting at the Quality Inn and informed everyone that he will need to take some time to tend to family obligations. Foligno will be continuing in his role as the team's General Manager for this season.

Foligno has assigned the coaching responsibilities to his Associate Coach Bryan Verreault and new Assistant Coach Jeff Beukeboom.

Verreault, 46, has been Foligno's associate coach for the past six seasons. Verreault has coached for more than 25 years in the Sudbury area and his teams have won championships at every level that he has coached.

Beukeboom, 44, was recently hired by Foligno and will coach the defence. Beukeboom played 14 years in the NHL and won four Stanley Cups with Edmonton and New York.

"I care deeply for this team and I am very confident that we have the players and the coaches to lead this team to a championship this season" notes Foligno. "I know that Bryan and Jeff will do a great job for us behind the bench and we will have quality players and leaders on this year's team" adds Foligno.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Brassard signs with Windsor

Press Release

The Windsor Spitfires are proud to announce that they have signed Windsor native Austen Brassard to an OHL contract and education package. The Spitfires selected Brassard with their first round pick in this year’s OHL Priority Selection. A 6’2, 180 pound right-winger, Brassard scored 55 goals and 121 points with 111 penalty minutes in 69 games played with the Windsor Jr. Spitfires Minor Midget AAA team last season.

“We’re excited to add a local boy and player of Austen’s caliber to our team. He’s a very exciting player who has a blue collar work ethic and great skill. Austen will be a big part of our team in the years to come,” said Windsor Spitfires Vice-President and General Manager Warren Rychel.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Moscow Dynamo challenges Galiev's contract with Saint John

Press Release

Saint John Sea Dogs Director of Hockey Operations Mike Kelly announced on Wednesday that import forward Stanislav Galiev has, with help from the office of local Member of Parliament Rodney Weston, secured a travel visa and will be leaving his native Russia this coming weekend. Galiev is expected to arrive in the Port City on Sunday, August 30.

“We’re incredibly excited that Stanislav will be arriving in Canada this weekend,” said Kelly. “He’s a very special player and we’re looking forward to having him join the Sea Dogs in the near future.”

The Sea Dogs must now await clearance from the International Ice Hockey Federation for Galiev to skate with the team. Galiev’s transfer to the Canadian Hockey League has been challenged by Moscow Dynamo, a Russian club who own the highly-touted NHL prospect’s European rights.

“We are confident that the IIHF will act in Stanislav’s best interests and allow him to play in Saint John this season,” says Sea Dogs President Wayne Long. “The protest filed by Moscow is both surprising and disappointing, but we fully intend on respecting the transfer process and exercising patience as we await the final ruling from what we regard as a fair and just governing body.”

Saint John made Galiev the #1 overall selection at the 2009 CHL Import Draft in June. The 17-year old offensive wizard tallied 29G-35A-64P in 60 games played with the Indiana Ice (USHL) last season, adding 13GP-5G-4A-9P during his team’s successful run to a Clark Cup Championship.

Galiev helped Team Russia win a Silver Medal at the 2009 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament, registering 1G-2A-3P in four games played at the prestigious international event.

The Sea Dogs also announced today that goaltender Jared Kelly has been added to the team’s training camp roster. The 18-year old net minder was 12-2 with the Kensington Vipers and Sherwood Falcons of the IJHL last season, registering a league-best G.A.A. of 2.70 and a SV% of 0.921 in the process.

Saint John (2-0) will host the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (1-1) in QMJHL pre-season action on Saturday, August 29 at Harbour Station (puck drop: 7pm). Tickets to this match are available by clicking HERE.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

White commits to UNO

Press Release

The Omaha Lancers announced that forward Matt White has committed to the University of Nebraska at Omaha and will enroll at the school just across town in the fall of 2010 following his USHL career.

White played all 60 games for the Lancers during the 2008-09 season collecting 47 points (17g, 30a) which ranked fifth in team scoring. He posted a six-game point streak from October 17th to November 7th scoring eight points (4g, 4a) during that span. White also ended the regular season on a four-game scoring streak recording six points (3g, 3a).

During his rookie season with the Lancers in 2007-08, White registered 16 points (5g, 11a) in 38 games. He played a key role during the postseason as he tallied 10 points (2g, 8a) in 13 playoff contests and helped Omaha capture the Clark Cup. The native of Whittier, California is set to play for the Lancers during the upcoming 2009-10 USHL season.

Upon joining the University of Nebraska at Omaha team, White will be reunited with former Lancers coach Mike Hastings who is now an associate head coach of the Mavericks squad. Hastings is the USHL's all-time leader in coaching victories (529). The head coach of the Mavericks is Dean Blais who was named USHL Coach of the Year after guiding the Fargo Force during the 2008-09 season.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pats sign three

Press Release

Regina, SK – The Regina Pats are proud to announce that they have signed their first and second round picks from the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft to a Standard Players Agreement.
Chandler Stephenson was the Pats first round pick, taken 5th overall in the WHL Bantam Draft. With the Saskatoon Generals this past season, Stephenson amassed 72 points in 46 games. He was also an AP with the Saskatoon Blazers of the SMAAAHL last season, playing in 9 games picking up two goals and an assist, and was with the club during the Mac’s Midget Tournament over the holiday season. His brother, Colton Stephenson is currently a forward with the Edmonton Oil Kings.

C - Chandler Stephenson
Born – Apr 22nd, 1994
Hometown - Saskatoon, Sask.
5’9” 155lbs.
08-09 Saskatoon Generals (Stn Bantam) GP-46 G-49 A-61 PTS-110 PIM-72

Tayler Balog was the Pats second round pick, taken 28th overall in the WHL Bantam Draft. The Kipling, Saskatchewan native played with the Weyburn Crescent Point Wings of the South Sask. Minor Hockey League this past season, and picked up 76 points in 26 games.

C – Tayler Balog
Born – April 21st, 1994
Hometown - Kipling, Sask.
6’1” 170lbs.
Weyburn (SSMHL) GP-26 G-44 A-32 PTS-76 PIM-34

Regina Pats General Manager, Brent Parker, “We are excited to have these two young players committed to our organization and feel they will be an important part of our future. Both kids will have a tremendous impact in our league.”

Stephenson and Balog will take part in the Prairie Mobile Communications Blue and White game tomorrow night in Lumsden. It’s a 7pm puck drop at the Lumsden Arena.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Everett extends Varady's contract

Press Release

Everett, WA -- Everett Silvertips Vice President / General Manager Doug Soetaert announced Tuesday that the club has extended Associate Head Coach Jay Varady’s contract through the 2010-11 season. Varady, 31, will be entering his seventh season with the organization, which includes three seasons as the Associate Head Coach.

In Varady’s Silvertips tenure, the organization has posted a Western Conference Championship and three U.S. Division titles while making the playoffs in each of his six years. Prior to his time in Everett, he served as an Assistant Coach with the Pittsburgh Forge, winning the Junior A NAHL National Championship in 2003. The Cahokia, Illinois native also played three seasons of Division I NCAA hockey with Union College prior to an injury that relocated him to the bench, where he served as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2000-01 season.

Varady was recently named to USA Hockey’s coaching staff for the 2010 World Junior Championships. After participating as an assistant coach at the 2008 and 2009 Summer Evaluation Camps, Varady will operate as a Video Coordinator for the upcoming tournament, held from December 26 through January 5 in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

The Moose Jaw Warriors open up a special room in Pediatrics Ward of the Moose Jaw Union Hospital

Press Release

Moose Jaw, SK -- The Moose Jaw Warriors in partnership with McDonalds officially opened the Warriors/McDonalds Room in the Pediatrics Ward of the Moose Jaw Union Hospital today. Warriors’ players, staff and board members were on hand for the grand opening.

The Warriors Room was made possible by the “One Step at a Time” promotion put on by McDonalds last season. For every Big Mac sold on a Warriors home game, McDonalds donated one dollar to help renovate the room. With construction beginning in June, the room underwent complete renovations for the past 3 months.

New flooring was installed to resemble a hockey arena. Rink boards surround the room with brightly colored walls adding to the hockey rink theme. A giant wall mural was created containing a cheering crowd that doubles as an eye-spy game. The Warriors logo has been placed prominently on the windows. A coat rack and framed pictures, both made of hockey sticks, constructed and donated by Jason Moran complete the room.

At the Grand Opening, another announcement was made on behalf of the Warriors Alumni Association. Warriors Alumni Kent Hayes and Mike Keane donated $2,500 to the Moose Jaw Union Hospital Pediatrics Ward. Former Warrior Derek Kletzel was on hand to make the presentation. The donation will allow the Hospital Foundation to take one more step to improve the Pediatrics Ward.

A big thank you goes to McDonalds Owner/Operator Doug Douley, Moose Jaw Union Hospital Maintenance Staff and Kelly McEllree of the Moose Jaw Hospital Foundation for making the room a reality.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bruins sign six

Press Release

Chilliwack, B.C. -- The Chilliwack Bruins are pleased to announce the signing of six players to standard WHL education contracts. The signings were announced following the completion of training camp Sunday evening.
Joining the Bruins organization are defenceman Brett Cote and Turner Popoff as well as forwards Brandon Magee, Zane Jones, Matt Bissett and Travis Belhorad. Cote, Popoff, Magee and Jones were all selected by the Bruins in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft. The Bruins have now signed six of their 2009 draft picks. As 1994 born players they are eligible to play in five regular season games during the upcoming season prior to the completion of their minor hockey seasons. Belhorad, who becomes the first American player to sign with the Bruins was signed as a free agent.

“We’re really pleased to have these players join our organization,” said Bruins Head Coach and General Manager Marc Habscheid. “They performed well throughout camp and we look forward to seeing them improve throughout the coming season.”

The Bruins also announced that defenseman James Bettauer, as well as forwards Matt Ius and Scott MacDonald have been released. “As a group, we felt we needed to move in a different direction,” added Habscheid. “By making this decision now, it gives each of them some time to decide what they want to do next.”

The Bruins first exhibtion games are scheduled for this weekend when they host the Kelowna Rockets Friday night at Prospera Centre before traveling to Kelowna Saturday night.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Topeka's Ryan Commits To Niagara

Press Release

Topeka RoadRunners defenseman Kevin Ryan has inked an agreement to play hockey for the Niagara University Purple Eagles.

Ryan joined the RoadRunners shortly after last year's Christmas break upon being traded by the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL.

"It threw me a little at first," admitted Ryan about the trade. "But when I got to Topeka, I found it be a lot like my hometown and I felt very comfortable here."

Ryan played in 12 regular season games, and then another eight postseason contests, posting three assists and a +6 rating.

Ryan had generated a bit of college interest with his reliable play on the blue line and ability to rush the puck without sacrificing his defensive obligations. He had been on a few official visits to Division I campuses but nothing had shown itself to be irresistible. But when Niagara University contacted him a second time, everything fell into place.

"Everything is just perfect. The academics, the campus, it's 45 minutes from home," he said. "The coaches there are over-the-top. I'm happy that I will get a chance to play there."

The college deal calls for Ryan to start play in Fall 2010, leaving him free to skate one more season for Topeka.

"I worked hard this summer to prepare. I've put on 10-15 lbs. of good weight, and I'm in better shape than I was going into last season," he said. He plans on majoring in Business with a minor in biological chemistry so that he may continue on to medical school.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Giants sign two

Press Release

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Giants General Manager Scott Bonner announced the signing of the Giants top two picks in the 2009 Bantam Draft. Both Dalton Sward, 15 (Jan 10/94) of Abbotsford, B.C and Matthieu Bellerive, 14 (Dec 7/94) of North Vancouver B.C. have agreed to join the Giants organization. Sward was taken in the first round, 21st overall and Bellerive was selected 43rd overall in round two. Both players took part in the Giants just concluded rookie camp.

Bonner says “Both Dalton and Matt are important parts of the Giants future, it was nice to see them on the ice this week with our rookies and we look forward to watching them develop over the season”

Sward, a centre, played for the Abbotsford Hawks where he scored 68 goals and had 58 assists for 126 points. Bellerive a Right Winger played with POE-Kelowna registering 22 goals and 30 assists for 52 points in 25 games.

Main camp begins today for the Giants. Sward will be among the players taking part. The players will be split into two groups for weekend action at the Ladner Leisure Centre, the ice times both days are 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. The two groups will take part in a scrimmage both nights at 7:00 p.m.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Program

Junior teams using a NCAA loophole

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

QMJHL summer trade deadline closes

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Monday, August 24, 2009 – Several teams made moves prior to the midnight trade deadline. The Chicoutimi Saguenéens traded goaltender Sean Coulton (91-03-21) to the Val-d’Or Foreurs for a fourth round pick in 2010.

The Saint John Sea Dogs sent Simon Groulx (92-07-06) to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar for a second pick in 2010. The Sea Dogs also acquired Marc-Antoine Gélinas (89-02-13) from the Gatineau Olympiques for an eighth round selection in 2010. Finally, they sent Matthew Stoddard (90-06-20) to the Halifax Mooseheads for a seventh round pick in 2011.

The Shawinigan Cataractes landed William Kane (92-11-18) by trading Mathieu Milse (90-02-10) to the Drummondville Voltigeurs. The Cataractes also traded a fifth round pick in 2011 to the Drakkar for François Lacerte (91-10-10) and Ryan Lagacé (91-05-07).

The P.E.I. Rocket acquired Éric Bouchard (90-05-02) from the Cataractes for a sixth round choice in 2011.

The Moncton Wildcats sent Zach O’Brien (92-06-29) to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies for a fifth round pick in 2010.

The Baie-Comeau Drakkar traded an eighth round selection in 2010 to the Sea Dogs for Philip Richer (91-05-01).

The Quebec Remparts traded a fifth round pick in 2010 to the Lewiston MAINEiacs for Dany Coulombe (91-04-05).

The Victoriaville Tigres sent Vincent Tessier (91-01-14) and a seventh round pick in 2011 to the Foreurs for Jean-Sébastien Boucher (91-03-06).

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

First-rounder Goodrow signs with Troops

Press Release

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Barclay Goodrow, the Brampton Battalion’s first-round pick in the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection in May, has signed with the club, it was announced Wednesday.

Left winger Goodrow, 16, was the 17th overall selection on May 2. A resident of Aurora, Ont., he scored 67 goals and earned 47 assists for 114 points in 71 games last season with the York Simcoe Express minor midgets.

“It’s really exciting to get everything done,” said Goodrow. “I’m really looking forward to getting started.”

Goodrow, six-foot-one and 211 pounds, took part in the Battalion’s orientation camp in late May. He said it gave him an idea of what he needed to work on over the summer.

“I think I’ve done what I needed to do. I think I’m stronger and fitter. I was working on my cardio every day and I’ve been working with a skating coach. I want to work hard in training camp and impress the coaches.”

Stan Butler, Battalion director of hockey operations and head coach, said he knows Goodrow is a dedicated athlete.

“I think he’s done a lot of the things he needed to do over the summer to have success here. He’s put in a lot of time in the weight room, and I think that will be beneficial to him down the road. He’s a big, strong kid and a smart hockey player. We’re excited about having him in our lineup.”

Goodrow attended a number of Battalion playoff games last season. He said he expects the longer season and higher calibre of play will be the biggest differences between minor hockey and major junior.

“The OHL season is a lot longer, and the players are a lot more talented. You have to play hard every night. In minor midget there were some weaker teams, so you might not have to be your best to win. In the OHL every team is pretty good.”

Goodrow is one of more than 40 players expected to attend the Battalion’s training camp, which opens next Wednesday.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Vipers' Kane commits to Ferris State

Press Release

The Ferris State Bulldogs have just signed one of the best shots in the B.C. Hockey League. Vernon Vipers’ forward Cory Kane has committed to play with the Bulldogs of the NCAA’s Central Collegiate Hockey Association for the 2010/11 season.

Kane, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound Irvine, Calif. product, recorded 20 goals for 44 points and 44 penalty minutes in his rookie season.

“They treated me very well and it seemed like they really wanted me,” said the 18-year-old, who recently returned from a flydown to Big Rapids, Michigan. “They seemed like genuine people that you can trust, and that’s what I was looking for.”

While getting a scholarship signed is one less thing to worry about, Kane says there is still pressure to perform.

“You can relax a little bit, you’ve got that pressure off your back, but you’ve still got to have a big year. They’ll be counting on me as a second-year player.”

Vernon head coach Mark Ferner sees solid potential in Kane, and is looking forward to seeing him develop for one more season in a Vipers’ jersey.

“He’s got all the tools to be not only a good junior player, but a good college player and pro as well. “All the tools are there, it’s just a matter of putting it all together.”

The Bulldogs were 9-14-5 last season.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Two QMJHL games cancelled due to Hurricane Bill

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Saturday, August 22, 2009 - With hurricane Bill expected to sweep through the northern parts of Nova Scotia tomorrow, the scheduled game between the Moncton Wildcats and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles has been cancelled.

The game is rescheduled on next Tuesday, August 25, at 7 pm.

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Sunday, August 23, 2009 - This afternoon's game between the P.E.I. Rocket and the Halifax Mooseheads has been cancelled due to weather conditions.

Further information on a possible replay at a later date will be released early this week.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Wenatchee Will Host 2010 Robertson Cup

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL), has announced that the Wenatchee Wild has been selected to host the 2010 Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, which will be held from May 3-8, 2010 at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Wash.

We couldn't be happier to bring our league championship to Wenatchee next season," said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. "Since its inception, the Wild has established itself as one of the NAHL's premier organizations, both on and off the ice, and we have no doubt it will host a tournament to remember."

Named the NAHL Organization of the Year in its inaugural season of 2008-09, the Wild averaged an attendance of 2,714 per game, and totaled 78,719 fans, both of which topped the League.

"Being chosen to host the Robertson Cup Championship is a real treat for our fans and the entire Wenatchee community," said Wild president Bill Stewart. "We're looking forward to showcasing our city and its hospitality to all of the visiting teams, scouts, fans and families."

The five-team Robertson Cup Championship crowns the NAHL's playoff champion (USA Hockey's Tier II Junior A national champion). As the host team, the Wild will receive an automatic bid to the 2010 tournament.

The oldest junior hockey trophy in the United States, the Robertson Cup is named in honor of Chuck Robertson, a pioneer of junior hockey in the NAHL and youth hockey in the state of Michigan. Robertson was the owner of the Paddock Pools Saints when they won a record seven straight NAHL championships from 1976-83.

This past season, the St. Louis Bandits won their third straight Robertson Cup Championship, which was hosted by the North Iowa Outlaws.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

USA finishes third

Press Release

FUSSEN, Germany - Alex Gacek (Dracut, Mass.) recorded a hat trick and Shane McColgan (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) netted two goals as the U.S. Under-17 Select Team defeated Germany, 9-6, at the 2009 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament here today. Team USA finished the tournament in third place with a 2-0-0-2 record.

Christian Horn (Plymouth, Minn.) put Team USA on the board at 2:17 of the first period when he knocked in a rebound past the German goaltender. Cason Hohmann (Plymouth, Mich.) and Gacek collected assists on the play.

After Germany tied the game at 4:00, Gacek gave the U.S. a 2-1 advantage at 12:14 of the opening frame. McColgan sent a pass to Gacek who slammed the puck into the net for the power-play marker.

The U.S. scored twice more in the first period. Hohmann picked up his second assist of the night by setting up Brian Cooper (Anchorage, Alaska) who sent a wrist shot off the netminder's shoulder and into the back of the net. Jordan Schmaltz (Verona, Wis.) gave the U.S. a 4-1 lead heading into the first intermission after beating the goaltender high to the glove side. Garrett Haar (Huntington Beach, Calif.) also picked up an assist on the play.

At 2:15 of the second period, Gacek netted his second goal of the game to give the U.S. a 5-1 advantage. Horn picked up the loose puck in the corner and fired a pass to Gacek who beat the goaltender on the stick side.

Germany closed the gap to 5-3 before Horn scored a power-play goal from Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio) with 34 seconds remaining in the second period.

The United States and Germany alternated goals in the third period. After Germany scored at 6:39, McColgan's rebound goal 46 seconds later widened Team USA's lead to 7-4. Murphy and Seth Swenson (Parker, Colo.) collected assists on the play.

Germany answered with another goal before McColgan potted his second tally of the game from Haar with a wrist shot that beat the goaltender to the short side at 12:37.

After Germany scored once more, Gacek completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal with 55 seconds remaining in the third period to account for the 9-6 final.

U.S. netminder Jay Williams (McLean, Va.) recorded 32 saves in the winning effort.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Aaron Ness' WHL rights traded to Brandon

Press Release

Brandon, Manitoba – The Brandon Wheat Kings have dealt 18-year old goalkeeper James Priestner and a fifth round draft choice to the Prince George Cougars in exchange for a third round bantam draft pick in 2011 as well as the playing rights to 19-year old defenceman Aaron Ness of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The fifth round pick in 2011 is conditional on Ness reporting to the Wheat Kings.

Obtained from Kamloops last October, Priestner appeared in 28 games for the Wheat Kings in 2008-09, compiling a 17-7-1-1 record, a 3.08 goals against average and an .883 save percentage.

A second round draft choice of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, Ness is entering his second season with the Gophers after an outstanding high school career that saw him capture the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award in 2007-08.

Friday’s announcement leaves 19-year old Andrew Hayes as Brandon’s only veteran netminder on its current roster. A 19-year old Sherwood Park, Alberta native, Hayes is coming off a solid season with the Wheat Kings, compiling an impressive 30-11-2-1 record, a 2.84 goals against average, a .901 save percentage and three shutouts.

The former third round bantam draft choice has six shutouts in his first two WHL seasons, leaving him in a tie for fifth place on the club’s all time list.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Lind to Notre Dame

Press Release

The Chicago Steel announced that defenseman Kevin Lind has committed to play hockey at the University of Notre Dame following his USHL career.

Lind posted five points (2g, 3a) and 45 penalty minutes in 50 games during his first season with the Steel in 2008-09. The 6-3, 200 pound native of Homer Glen, Illinois is set to join the Steel again this season. Lind recently competed for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial in Piestany, Slovakia. He scored the overtime winner in the 7-6 victory vs. Slovakia to propel the U.S. team into the bronze medal game.

Three players who spent the 2008-09 season in the USHL will suit up for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this fall; Mike Johnson (Cedar Rapids), Kevin Nugent (Tri-City), and Nick Larson (Waterloo). They will join former USHL players Kevin Deeth (Green Bay), Dan Kissel (Chicago), Kyle Lawson (Tri-City), Billy Maday (Waterloo), Christiaan Minella (Sioux City), Calle Ridderwall (Tri-City), Ben Ryan (Des Moines), and Ryan Thang (Omaha) on the Fighting Irish roster.

Current USHL players Jeff Costello (Cedar Rapids), David Gerths (Lincoln), Garrett Peterson (Lincoln), and Joe Lavin (Omaha) have also committed to the University of Notre Dame following their USHL careers.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

USA falls to the Czech Republic

Press Release

FUSSEN, Germany - U.S. netminder Brendan Jensen (El Granada, Calif.) turned aside 33 shots, but the U.S. Under-17 Select Team fell to the Czech Republic, 2-1, at the 2009 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament here today.

After the Czech Republic's Zedenek Dolezai scored the game's first goal at 11:25 of the first period, defenseman Dan Molenaar (Eden Prairie, Minn.) tied the game with a wrist shot over Czech goaltender Matej Machovsky's glove at 6:49 of the second period. Cason Hohmann (Plymouth, Mich.) and Jordan Schmaltz (Verona, Wis.) collected assists on the power-play marker.

Less than four minutes later, the Czech Republic's Martin Frk scored the game-winning goal, beating Jensen with a slap shot through a screen.

The U.S. Under-17 Select Team plays Germany in its final game on Saturday (Aug. 22) at 11:30 a.m. EDT in Fussen, Germany.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Friday, August 21, 2009

WHL Training Camps open

Press Release

Calgary, AB – The majority of WHL teams will open their doors for training camp today as preparations begin for the upcoming 2009-10 WHL season.
The Kelowna Rockets, the 2009 Ed Chynoweth Cup – WHL Champions, are among the Clubs who will open their doors for either rookie or main camp today at Prospera Place.

The 2009 WHL Exhibition season opens on Thursday, August 27 with the Prince Albert Raiders hosting their East Division rivals the Saskatoon Blades at the Art Hauser Centre. This season’s exhibition schedule also features three tournaments with the Edmonton Oil Kings tournament set for August 28 – 30, the Everett Silvertips tournament goes on the September 4 – 6 weekend and the Tri-City Americans will host their annual tournament over the September 10 – 13 weekend.

The Edmonton Oil Kings 3rd annual pre-season tournament begins Friday, August 28 and features six WHL Eastern Conference Clubs including the host Oil Kings, Medicine Hat Tigers, Moose Jaw Warriors, Red Deer Rebels, Regina Pats and Swift Current Broncos.

The Everett tournament opens Friday, September 4 and features the Prince George Cougars and all five U.S. Division Clubs, the Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans.

The Tri-City Americans annual tournament features the host Americans, the Everett Silvertips, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Portland Winterhawks, and Spokane Chiefs starting on Thursday, September 10.

The 2009-10 WHL regular season will begin on Thursday, September 17th, with a special Opening Night game featuring the 2009 Ed Chynoweth Cup – WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets hosting their B.C. Division rivals the Vancouver Giants, for a banner raising evening at Prospera Place in Kelowna. The game will be broadcast LIVE on SHAW TV with the pre-game show starting at 7:00 pm (PT).

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

QMJHL Pre-Season begins today

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Thursday, August 20, 2009 – Now that training camps across the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League have opened, the start of the 2009-10 pre-season is just around the corner.

Three games are on the schedule for the first night of pre-season action: The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles visit the Tim Hortons 4-Plex to take on the Moncton Wildcats, the Chicoutimi Saguenéens host the Baie-Comeau Drakkar at the Georges-Vézina Centre and the Shawinigan Cataractes take on the Montreal Juniors at the Colisée Jean-Béliveau in Longueuil.

The defending President Cup-champion Drummondville Voltigeurs open up their new campaign by battling the Lewiston MAINEiacs at the Marcel-Dionne Centre on Saturday.

Of note, the pre-season comes to a close on Sunday, September 6.

To consult the 2009-10 pre-season schedule, simply click on the link below.

Pre-Season Schedule

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

U.S. tops Switzerland

Press Release

FUSSEN, Germany - The U.S. Under-17 Select Team scored twice shorthanded and once on the power play as it topped Switzerland, 4-3, at the 2009 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament here today.

Austin Wuthrich's (Anchorage, Alaska) shorthanded goal gave Team USA a 1-0 lead at 8:04 of the first period. Wuthrich collected the puck along the boards and fired a slap shot that beat the goaltender over his glove.

After Switzerland tied the game on a power play with less than three minutes remaining in the opening frame, Christian Horn (Plymouth, Minn.) gave the U.S. a 2-1 advantage with 21 seconds remaining in the period. Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio) sent a long pass off the boards that Horn shot over Swiss netminder Luca Botthauser's glove for the shorthanded tally.

Switzerland tied the game at 2:46 of the second period before Cason Hohmann's (Plymouth, Mich.) slap shot at 6:25 went off the post and into the back of the net. Defensemen Brian Cooper (Anchorage, Alaska) and Dan Molenaar (Eden Prairie, Minn) assisted on the power-play goal.

Cooper extended Team USA's lead to 4-2 by knocking in a rebound off of Seth Swenson's (Parker, Colo.) initial shot at 14:30 of the second period.

Switzerland scored once more with less than five minutes remaining in the second period to account for the 4-3 final.

U.S. netminder Jay Williams (McLean, Va.) recorded 23 saves in the winning effort.

The U.S. Under-17 Select Team plays the Czech Republic in its third game on Friday (Aug. 21) at 9 a.m. EDT in Fussen, Germany.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Battle of Iowa

Press Release

The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders will host the first ever Battle of Iowa September 19 and 20 as the RoughRiders will welcome their in-state United States Hockey League rivals from Waterloo, Des Moines and Sioux City to the Stable for the four-team tournament.

The first of its kind tussle for statewide supremacy will open with a match-up between the Des Moines Buccaneers and Sioux City Musketeers on Saturday, September 19 at 3:00PM. The RoughRiders and arch rival Waterloo Black Hawks will face off in the night cap at 7:00PM. The winners of the first day's games will meet in the following day's championship game, while day one's defeated teams will contest the consolation game. Regardless of whether they win or lose Saturday night, the Riders will play in the second of the two games slated for September 20. The Riders will clash with either Des Moines or Sioux City at 5:00PM. Sunday's action will begin at 1:00PM when the Black Hawks collide with either the Bucs or the Musketeers.

Tickets to the Battle go on sale Tuesday, September 8 at the RoughRiders' ticket office at the Stable and online at Tickets cover admission to two games per day for just $15 for adults and for only $10 for children 12 and under. Battle of Iowa tickets are included in season ticket holders' packages.

The Battle of Iowa will serve as the climax to what will be a busy week for the RoughRiders. The Riders will play a green vs. white scrimmage at the Stable on the night of Saturday, September 12 at 7:00PM. Admission to the Green and White game is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item. All donations will go to the HACAP Food Reservoir. In the wake of the Green and White game the Riders will gear up for the Battle with a full week of practice.

Battle of Iowa

Saturday, September 19

3:00PM Des Moines vs. Sioux City

7:00PM Cedar Rapids vs. Waterloo

Sunday, September 20

1:00PM Waterloo vs. Des Moines/Sioux City

5:00PM Cedar Rapids vs. Des Moines/Sioux City

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Saginaw signs four

Press Release

The Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club are pleased to announce the signings of four new players - defenseman Matt Braun, goalie Tadeas Galansky, forward Garrett Ross and defenseman Frank Schumacher. All four were introduced amongst family and friends at the Saginaw Spirit Ticket and Merchandise Store Wednesday afternoon.

Defenseman Matt Braun signed with the Spirit following a season with the OHL Oakville Blades, where he accumulated 1 goal, 4 assists and 61 PIM in 27 games. The 92-born Mississauga, Ontario native was selected 70th overall by the Spirit in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection. Braun will be wearing number 44 for the Spirit.

"I am a big believer that hard work is what will get you far in life," stated Braun, "I'm more of a defensive player; stay at home D. I like to make simple plays and keep the puck out of the net when I'm on the ice"

The Spirit also added goalie Tadeas Galansky to the roster. The 92-born Czech native was selected 33rd overall by the Spirit in the 2009 CHL Import Draft . Galansky will wear number 1 for the Spirit.

Stated Galansky, 'I want to become a goalie for the Saginaw Spirit and stop the puck. I am looking forward to the upcoming season".

The Spirit also added two Victory Honda alumni in forward Garrett Ross and defenseman Frank Schumacher. Joining Ross and Schumacher at the signing were the staff of Victory Honda Hockey and their former coaches.

Ross joins the team as a free agent after being selected 17th overall by the USHL in their 2009 Futures Draft. The 92-born Dearborn, Michigan native spent the 2008-2009 season in Victory Honda's U18 program, accumulating 28 goals, 28 assists and 40 PIM in 46 games. Ross will be wearing number 5 for the Spirit.

"I'm the type of player that likes to make plays, score goals, and work hard at the same time," stated Ross, "I know Coach Watson will push me hard and get help me play to the best of my ability".

Victory Honda U18 Head Coach Sean Ortize feels that Ross is a tough kid. "Garret Ross was the leading scorer on our team as a 92. He's a very skilled player and a very competitive kid and that's what's going to help him continue to develop and grow".

Defenseman Frank Schumacher played in Victory Honda's U16 program last season, posting 9 goals, 10 assists and 63 PIM in 30 games. The 93-born Brighton, Michigan native was selected 130th overall in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection. Schumacher will wear number 27 for the Spirit.

Stated Schumacher, "I'm more of an offensive defenseman and I like to move the puck, score goals, and get points. My coaches were a big part of my development. They gave me a lot of confidence and continuously encourage me to work hard and do my best."

Victory Honda U16 Head Coach Tony Maci guided Schumacher last season. "Frank played last year as a defenseman and led our team in points as defenseman, which is hard to do at our level. I think he'll be a good fit for these guys year after year".

All four players are set to attend the Spirit's fall training camp, which starts on August 26.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Alexandria Tabs Jeff Crouse As Assistant Coach

Press Release

The Alexandria Blizzard have announced that native son, Jeff Crouse, will be returning to his hometown to serve as an Assistant Coach to Head Coach, Doc DelCastillo for the 2009-2010 season. Crouse returns to the city where he began his coaching career as an assistant with the Minnesota Blizzard from 2003-2005.

Crouse joins the Blizzard after serving as Head Coach for the North Iowa Outlaws last season, and leading them to a 38-18-5 mark, which was good enough for second place in the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) Central Division.

“I am very excited to be back in ‘Alex’ again, where I first began my Junior coaching career,” said Crouse. “With all the experience that Doc has in hockey, and my knowledge of the League and the Central Division, I think that we have a very good opportunity in front of us to do something special. I am truly looking forward to working with Doc and the whole Blizzard organization on our quest to win a championship.”

Prior to his head coaching stint, Crouse spent three years as an assistant from 2005-2008 with the NAHL’s Santa Fe Roadrunners and the North Iowa Outlaws. No stranger to playing junior hockey, Crouse played for three teams – North Iowa, Bismarck and Great Falls – before embarking on a Division III college hockey career with the University of Wisconsin River Falls and Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“The Blizzard organization is proud to welcome Jeff back into our community,” said DelCastillo. “We feel that with his experience and enthusiasm for hockey, this will be a great fit for both Jeff, and the Blizzard.”

Blizzard president, Chris Canavati added, “Providing opportunities for local players and coaches to advance their career is a primary objective of this organization. It will be exciting and fun to have Jeff Crouse back with the Blizzard.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Winterhawks Sign Ryan Johansen

Press Release

The Portland Winterhawks have signed Ryan Johansen, their seventh round pick in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft, who spent last season with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).

Johansen, a 6’2”, 180-pound center, will be 17 for the 2009-10 season. As a rookie last season with Penticton, Johansen had five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 47 regular season games. In the postseason, his scoring increased to four goals and three assists for seven points in 10 games.

“Ryan is an exciting young prospect who had a terrific rookie season last year in a high-caliber league,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston. “He’s a big center with skill who will be a great addition to our young core.”

Season tickets for the 2009-10 season are on sale now. Call 503-238-HAWK to reserve your spot to all 36 games today.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tigres, Drakkar swap forwards

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 – The Baie-Comeau Drakkar and Victoriaville Tigres traded forwards this afternoon.

The Tigres sent right-winger David Cliche (89-12-28) to the Drakkar for left-winger Marc-André Laroche (89-02-15).

Cliché played in 58 games last season, collecting 20 goals and 12 assists. As for Laroche, he registered 14 goals and 8 assists in 35 games.

Of note, the QMJHL trade period ends on August 23.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Halifax makes two trades

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 – The Halifax Mooseheads made a couple of trades today with the beginning of the QMJHL pre-season only a few days away.

The Mooseheads acquired Anthony Kimlin (90-01-20), Spencer Metcalfe (90-10-26) and Jordan Costello (91-03-20) from the Gatineau Olympiques for an eighth round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft.

Moreover, the Mooseheads sent Mathew Burns (92-02-14) to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies for a twelfth round pick in 2010.

In another move, the Shawinigan Cataractes flipped Sasha Guimond (91-03-28) to the Quebec Remparts for a sixth round pick in 2011.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Americans Tab Hiller To Be Head Coach

Press Release

KENNEWICK, WA - Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the team has signed Jim Hiller to a multi-year contract to serve as the club's new head coach. Per team policy, the terms and conditions of the agreement were not disclosed. Hiller replaces Don Nachbaur on the Tri-City bench, becoming the 19th coach in the franchise's history.

Hiller brings a wealth of Western Hockey League experience to Tri-City after spending the past three seasons with the Chilliwack Bruins. Hiller's 72 wins are second only to Seattle's Rob Sumner for most WHL wins among active coaches in the U.S. Division. His 216 WHL games coached are also 5th among active coaches in the Western Conference.

"Coaching is all about building relationships with your players to maximize potential and performance," explained Tory. "I have known Jim for many years and watched him grow into one of the WHL's premier coaches. His firm, fair and calm approach is exactly what our team needs to continue the commitment to excellence that has previously been established."

"Jim played for and learned from some of the NHL's top coaches, including Tom Renney, Bryan Murray, Mike Keenan and Scotty Bowman," Tory continued. "We look forward to him returning to the Americans."

After concluding a 13-year playing career, including 63 NHL games, Hiller began his coaching career with the Americans in 2002-03 as an assistant coach under Shawn Clouston. Hiller was then promoted to the team's associate coach before the start of the 2003-04 season, the first under former head coach Don Nachbaur.

"It is a great day for my family and I, as we are thrilled to be calling the Tri-Cities home again," said Hiller. "The energy and enthusiasm by players and fans alike make this an exciting team to be part of. I'm also fortunate to have an experienced coach in Terry in place to ease the transition."

Before the 2004-05 season, Hiller took an opportunity to serve as the General Manager and Head Coach of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the British Columbia Hockey League. In two seasons with the Bulldogs, Hiller compiled a 75-32-3-8 record (0.682 win%), including two second-place finishes in the Island Division, back-to-back Conference Semi-Finals appearances and won the BCHL's Coach of the Year award in 05-06.

Hiller returned to the Western Hockey League in 2006-07, this time as the head coach of the new expansion team, the Chilliwack Bruins. Tasked with competing in the always-competitive B.C. Division, Hiller led the Bruins to the post-season in their inaugural season after a 25-40-5-2 record. Then, in Year 2, Hiller's Bruins won 28 games and collected a franchise-high 65 points while claiming 3rd in the B.C. Division and the #6 seed in the 2008 Playoffs.

"The way this team is built suits my philosophy of an up-tempo, attacking style of hockey," Hiller explained. "We will continue to be an aggressive, forechecking team with an equal emphasis on defensive intensity."

To welcome Coach Hiller to the team, the Americans will be holding a 'Meet and Greet' session on Tuesday, August 25 at Kimo's Sports Café in Richland starting at 3:00 p.m. The 'Meet and Greet' will be open to the public and Tri-City fans are encouraged to come and visit with Coach Hiller.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

USA falls to Slovakia

Press Release

FUSSEN, Germany - Forward Alex Gacek (Dracut, Mass.) and defenseman Jordan Schmaltz (Verona, Wis.) netted a goal each, but the U.S. Under-17 Select Team fell to Slovakia, 3-2, at the 2009 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament here today.

After U.S. netminder Brendan Jensen (El Granada, Calif.) turned aside a penalty shot less than eight minutes into the game, Slovakia tallied a power-play marker at 9:42 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead.

Team USA responded at 2:46 of the second period when Gacek fired a wrist shot from Cason Hohmann (Plymouth, Mich.) over the goaltender's blocker.

Slovakia took a 2-1 advantage at 11:10 of the second period before Schmaltz tied the game six minutes later. The forward intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, skated down the left boards and drove to the net, where he stuffed the puck inside the near post.

Slovakia scored once more at 9:29 of the third period to account for the 3-2 final.

Team USA will play Switzerland in its second game on Thursday (Aug. 20) at 1:30 p.m. EDT in Fussen, Germany.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Former Raider President John Odnokon Passes

Press Release

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – It is with great sadness the Prince Albert Raiders announce the passing of long time supporter and former team President John Odnokon, who was 78. Odnokon, inducted to the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder in 2000 for his work in hockey and with the Raiders, and a lifetime member of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, passed away Sunday.

Odnokon was involved with the Northern Hockey Development Association in 1972, the organization that was instrumental in getting a Saskatchewan Junior League franchise, the Raiders, for Prince Albert. He served on the Raider Board of Directors during the Raider days in the SJHL, from 1972 to 1982 and was the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the league from 1974-82. During this time he oversaw the leagues’ rules committee and implemented league policies. One of his decisions was to suspend his son Mark, a member of the Raiders at the time.

He returned to the Raiders Board of Directors from 1994-96 including a stint as team President.

He was highly involved in minor hockey in the Crescent Heights area of Prince Albert. He coached and managed many teams that his sons played on. In 1975-76 he was the manager of the Bantam AA team, including his son Mickey, winning the Provincial championship.

John Odnokon is survived by his wife Lorraine, children Mickey, Mark, Pam, Doug and Patrick and their families.

Prayer service is Thursday at 7:00 PM, with the funeral Friday at St. Joseph’s, 260 25th St. East, Prince Albert. Time of the funeral has yet to be finalized.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

First Day of Sea Dogs camp

Press Release

The fifth training camp in Saint John Sea Dogs history got underway on Monday, with a full day of competitive action taking place at Harbour Station.

After a veteran-laden Team A kicked things with a spirited camp-opening practice, Teams B and C, comprised entirely of rookies and free agents, hit the ice to square off in the first of two scrimmages on the day at 10:30am.

Team B, donning white jerseys, turned in a dominating performance in the morning contest, earning a 5-1 victory on the strength of a stellar effort from a line comprised of 16-year old forwards Jonathan Huberdeau, Scott Oke, and Aidan Kelly, all of whom were acquired by Saint John during the opening three rounds of the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft.

A swap was then made before the evening match (6:15pm), as Oke moved over to Team C in exchange for eighth round ’09 draft pick Gino Goguen, a native of Grand-Digue, NB.

Skating alongside former Lawrence Academy Spartans standout Zack Phillips, Oke again impressed in Scrimmage #2. On his new team, the St-Lambert, QC native continued to score, distribute the puck well, and use his 6’1” frame to great effect in the offensive zone.

After a back-and-forth opening evening frame, a great individual effort by Zack Phillips gave Team C the lead heading into halftime. The 17-year old Frederictonian skated through a pair of defenseman and fired a rocket of a snap shot to the back of the net to put his squad up 4-3 midway through the scrimmage.

Aidan Kelly buried a nice feed from Jonathan Huberdeau early in the second half of the game to tie things up at four apiece, but that would be as close as Team B would get as Team C went on a solid offensive run which ultimately secured them a 9-5 win.

Season V Training Camp reconvenes on Tuesday morning at 9:00am. A full itinerary for Day Two can be found below:

9:00-10:00am – Practice, Team A
10:30am-12:00pm – Scrimmage, Team B vs. Team C
4:00-5:00pm – Practice, Team A
5:15-6:00pm – Practice, Goaltenders Only
6:15-8:00pm – Scrimmage, Team B vs. Team C

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Sarnia's training camp schedule

Press Release

Sarnia, ON – The Sarnia Sting have announced the schedule for the 2009 Training Camp in preparation for the 2009-2010 OHL Season.

The Sting will open on Wednesday August 26th with all players reporting to the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre (SSEC) for physicals and fitness testing.

On-ice sessions will take place August 27th – August 31st with the team beginning its standard practice times on September 1st (3:15 – 5:00 daily). All on-ice sessions will take place on the main ice pad at the SSEC.

The following is the schedule for the 2009 Sarnia Sting Training Camp.

Wednesday August 26th
1:00 pm Players Report
1:45 pm Fitness Testing

Thursday August 27th
9:00am Scrimmage
3:00pm Scrimmage

Friday August 28th
9:00am Scrimmage
3:00pm Scrimmage

Saturday August 29th
10:00am Team White Game Day Skate
11:00am Team Black Game Day Skate
4:00pm Sting Black and White Game

Sunday August 30th
9:00am Team 1 – Practice
10:45am Team 2 – Practice
4:00pm Scrimmage

Monday August 31st
9:00am Team 2 – Practice
10:00am Team 1 – Practice

Training camp ice times (excluding Black and White game) are free of charge and open to the public.

All proceeds from the Black and White game (prices to be announced later this week) will benefit the Sarnia-Lambton United Way.

The Sting will be announcing the 2009 Training Camp Roster later this week.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Program

Let's go Camping

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

MJAHL releases schedule

Press Release

The Maritime Junior A Hockey League has finalized its 50 game regular season schedule for the 2009/2010 season. Key highlights of this year’s schedule include a reduction in games to be played by the 11 member teams to 50 and for the fourth year the MJAHL has scheduled its 11 game Showcase Weekend. This year's Showcase will again take place in Summerside.

Regular season action gets underway on Thursday, September 10th. Both Divisions offer up one game each as the Dieppe Commandos host the Miramichi Timberwolves and the Weeks Crushers host the Campbellton Tigers. Friday night sees no action and then three games go on Saturday as Amherst hosts Yarmouth, Campbellton is back home to take on Miramichi and Truro hosts the Crushers. Two Sunday games end the first weekend of regular season play as Bridgewater hosts Amherst and Summerside hosts Dieppe.

The fourth annual MJAHL Showcase weekend is scheduled to take place October 2nd – 4th with all matches being played at Credit Union Arena in Summerside. All eleven MJAHL clubs will play over the course of the 3 day event with all games counting toward overall standings.

Check the schedule section to see the regular season schedule. A full schedule of pre-season action will be available shorty.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

USA wins tune up over Germany

Press Release

FUSSEN, Germany - The U.S. Under-17 Select Team garnered goals from three different players as it topped Germany, 3-1, in its lone exhibition game in preparation for the 2009 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament here today. Team USA plays Slovakia in its first game on Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. EDT in Fussen, Germany.

"We were able to build on some very solid goaltending tonight," said Rick Bennett, assistant coach of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team. "Once the team is comfortable playing the same system, we'll be very competitive."

After two scoreless frames, Seth Swenson (Parker, Colo.) netted the game's first goal at 2:02 of the third period. Kevin Becker (Roseville, Minn.) carried the puck into the attacking zone and sent a pass through the defenseman's legs, where Swenson collected it and beat the German goaltender.

After Germany tied the game less than four minutes later, Becker picked up his second point on a power-play tally from Kenneth Gillespie (Fuquay Varina, N.C.) and Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio). Gillespie sent a cross-ice pass to Becker, who tapped it into the open net.

Team USA extended its lead to 3-1 when Alex Gacek (Dracut, Mass.) knocked in Alex Racino's (Merrill, Wis.) rebound out of the air at 14:01. Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.) also picked up an assist on the play.

Both U.S. netminders Brendan Jensen (El Granada, Calif.) and Jay Williams (McLean, Va.) saw action in the game. Jensen turned aside all nine shots he faced in the start, and Williams recorded 19 saves in the winning effort.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Majors open camp on August 27th

Press Release

Mississauga ON – The 2009-10 season is fast approaching and the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors are set once again for the annual training camp at the Hershey Centre. The camp will take place from Thursday, August 27 to Sunday, August 30, with fitness testing and physicals being held on the first day.

Scrimmages and dry land training sessions begin on Friday (August 28) and will continue until the camp wraps up on Sunday (August 30). Please note that only scrimmages are open to public and media, and they will be held at the Hershey Centre’s Community Rink #2 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Times are subject to last-minute change so visit the Majors website at for updates.

In total, 46 players were invited to participate in camp this year, which include returning and drafted players.

Majors host exhibition games on Thursday, September 3 vs. Owen Sound Attack at 7 p.m. at the Milton Sports Centre (605 Santa Maria Blvd., Milton) on Rink B, and on Sunday, September 6 vs. Peterborough Petes at 2 p.m. at Joshua Creek Arena (1663 North Service Road East, Oakville), Blue Rink. The full exhibition schedule is available on the Majors website.

The 2009-10 regular season kicks off when Mississauga visits the Brampton Battalion on Friday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. Mark your calendars for the Majors home opener which takes place on Friday, October 2 versus the Battalion at 7:30 p.m.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Sorry About That

I didn't realize it was from last year. That what happens when you post at 12:25am

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Spitfires Renew Affiliation with LaSalle Vipers Jr. B

Press Release

The Windsor Spitfires today announced that they have renewed their affiliation with the LaSalle Vipers OHA Junior B Hockey Club for the 2009-2010 season. The Spitfires and Vipers will work closely in the development of hockey talent during the upcoming campaign.

“The Windsor Spitfires are very fortunate to partner up with the Vipers for another season. I believe this is a good working relationship for both organizations and will allow us to make our respective teams stronger this season,” said Windsor Spitfires Vice-President and General Manager Warren Rychel.

“We’re glad to renew our relationship with the best junior hockey club in North America. Through our association with the Spitfires, we have the unique opportunity to follow in Windsor’s footsteps by sharing with the Spits in the development of players as we continue to build a championship caliber team in LaSalle,” commented LaSalle Vipers General Manager Kevin McIntosh.

The LaSalle Vipers will open their training camp on Sunday, August 16th at the Vollmer Recreation Complex in LaSalle. For more information on Vipers hockey, please visit their website at

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Drumheller Dragons add two coaches

Press Release

The Drumheller Dragons are proud to announce the addition of Jon Armbruster and Dave Ferrari to their Coaching Staff. Mr. Armbruster has been hired as the Team’s Assistant General Manager, Associate Coach and Director of Player Development. Mr. Ferrari has been appointed to the positions of Assistant Coach and Assistant Director of Player Development.

As a player, Jon Armbruster competed in the ACAC for three seasons as a member of Briercrest College. He then began his coaching career with the Caronport Cougars midget team, where he had a substantial role in advancing seven players to the Junior ‘A’ level in a single year. He spent the following three seasons in the AJHL on the coaching staffs of the Crowsnest Pass Timberwolves and Brooks Bandits before moving on to become an Assistant Coach with the Concordia Stingers in the CIS. Once back in Alberta, he joined the Bow Valley Timber Wolves in the Southern Alberta Midget League, where he continued his track record of successfully developing players for the next level.

“I would like to thank the Dragons’ ownership and management for the opportunity to coach in the AJHL again,” comments Coach Armbruster. “It is a special league and this is a special team. There’s just a culture here, an attitude, a deep desire to be the best that is extremely energizing. I can’t wait to meet our players and fans.”

Dave Ferrari, a native of Melbourne, Australia, brings with him an impressive breadth and depth of playing and coaching experience overseas. In 2005, he was a member of the Melbourne Ice, a semi-professional team which competes in the AIHL (Australia’s national hockey league), and later that same season he played for – and captained – the Victorian state team at the 2005 U-23 Australian National Championships. Before coming to Canada in 2006, Dave also spent three seasons coaching the Melbourne Sharks U-17 club, during which time he carried the additional duties of organizing and instructing several development clinics and leagues in the City of Geelong. Since arriving in Canada, he has become an important part of Hockey Alberta’s ongoing coaching development initiatives, having most recently provided technical and video support for the last two High Performance I coaching certification programs.

“I came to Canada to immerse myself in the game of hockey, to grow my knowledge as a coach and to share what I’ve learned playing at an elite level on another continent,” comments Coach Ferrari. “I’ve been very fortunate to do that so far and I’m thrilled to continue doing so as a part of the Drumheller Dragons program. I really identify with the “University of Hockey” concept on which the Dragons’ player development model is based, and I’m eager to start working with our student-athletes.”

“It’s a great time to be a Dragon,” says the Team’s Vice President, Rod Knelsen. “Our players and fans will be struck by the passion for, and knowledge of, the game of hockey that these two gentlemen bring. We’re very fortunate to have two people of this calibre on our staff. Our players will benefit tremendously from their work ethic and expertise.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Boivin commits to Colorado College

Press Release

The Nanaimo Clippers are pleased to announce that defenceman Michael Boivin has committed to join the WCHA's Colorado College Tigers for the 2009/10 season.

Boivin joined Nanaimo midway through the 2007 season and has since played in 78 games in a Clipper uniform, recording 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 career points.

Boivin joins fellow 2009 Clipper Defenseman Colin Dueck (Yale), Anders Franzon (Vermont), and Connor Krukowski (Manhattanville) who have accepted NCAA scholarships.

"The Nanaimo Clippers Hockey Club is extremely proud of Michael's achievements and wish him much success in Colorado," Clippers head coach and general manager Bill Bestwick says. "The Nanaimo Clippers Ownership and Management would like to thank Michael for his contributions to the Clipper organization while in uniform."

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

USA shutout Russia

Press Release

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Team USA potted six power-play goals, including two each from Philip McRae (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Jerry D’Amigo (Binghamton, N.Y.), to capture a 6-0 victory over Russia at the Olympic Center here today. The win gave the United States three victories in four games against Russia at the 2009 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Goaltender Mike Lee (Roseau, Minn.) earned the shutout, turning aside all 12 Russian shots. In four games, Team USA surrendered only six goals.

“We feel comfortable with a good group of guys coming out of this camp, particularly our goaltenders,” said Dean Blais (International Falls, Minn.), head coach of the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team. “We’ll use the next few months to evaluate these players and others to solidify our roster.”

Team USA took a 1-0 first-period lead with a power-play goal from McRae. The forward parked himself on the far post, corralled a rebound off a David Warsofsky (Marshfield, Mass.) shot, and sent the puck over the glove of Russian netminder Alexey Trifonov.

D’Amigo helped Team USA build a 4-0 second-period lead with power-play goals 7:29 and 14:44 into the frame. He added an assist on Jordan Schroeder’s (Prior Lake, Minn.) power-play tally at 11:05.

In the third period, both teams combined for 66 penalty minutes. Team USA took advantage of its opportunities, as McRae and Derek Stepan (Hastings, Minn.) notched power-play goals to finalize the scoring.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Mitch Bruijsten commits to Alaska Anchorage

Press Release

The Sioux City Musketeers announced that forward Mitch Bruijsten has been offered a scholarship to the University of Alaska Anchorage and will enroll at the school this fall.

Bruijsten spent two seasons in the USHL playing for the Musketeers. He ranked third on the club during the 2008-09 season with 41 points (16g, 25a) in 51 games played. He recorded a seven-game point streak (2g, 9a) from February 17th, 2009 to March 7th, 2009 which was highlighted by a five-point night (1g, 4a) in an 8-2 win vs. Des Moines on February 21st. The native of Nijmegen, Netherlands posted 30 points (14g, 16a) and plus-12 rating during his rookie season in the USHL.

"We hate to lose a guy of Mitch's caliber, but this is what the USHL is all about – moving kids on to college where they can play the game they love and get a great education at the same time," said Luke Strand, Sioux City Head Coach and General Manager. "We will miss him, but wish him all the best for a great career at UAA.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Canada takes the gold

Press Release

BRECLAV, Czech Republic – Canada beat Russia in the under-18 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka hockey tournament final for a second straight summer, and won the event for a fifth time in six years by playing its style of game.

Some big early hits set the tone and continued physical play wore down the Russians as Canada cruised to gold with a 9-2 victory Saturday.

Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers found the net twice while Brandon Gormley of the Moncton Wildcats and Ryan Spooner of the Peterborough Petes also scored during a four-goal, second-period outburst that effectively decided things. And it was Canada's rough-and-tumble ways that set it all up.

“We got the kids playing the right way,” said head coach Bob Boughner, his players hooting and hollering in the background. “We know how the Russians wanted to play, they want the puck turned over and to trade chances.

“What we did is just chip (the puck) to open areas, dump it in and get on the forecheck and take the body to them. Over the course of the game we just wore them down and that's when the offence starts coming.”

Gormley opened the scoring in the first, Jeff Skinner of the Kitchener Rangers also picked up a pair while Jaden Schwartz of the Notre Dame Hounds and John McFarland of the Sudbury Wolves had the other goals for Canada, which led 2-1 after 20 minutes and 6-2 through 40.

Kiril Kabanov and Stanislav Galiev replied for the Russians, who were worn down by their opponents' punishing physical game.
“We had some video on them and saw they're a real run and gun team,” said Skinner. “We wanted to shut that down and play the game our way, take the game to them.

“That's what we did and it helped us a lot.”

Louis Domingue of the Wildcats stopped 20 shots for the win. Last year, Canada beat Russia 6-3 in the final.

“It's not easy having a bunch of kids coming from different areas of the country and having to, one bond as a team, and two have different coaching with different systems they haven't played before,” said Boughner. “I thought they came together and really meshed as a group and started playing the right way.

“They played to the Canadian identity.”

They also did it in a remarkably one-sided fashion, winning its two warmup games before the tournament and all four games at the event by a combined score of 40-7.

But there were some moments of adversity, particularly in Tuesday's 3-2 victory over Sweden in which they fell behind early and had to rally.

“That was the big game for us,” said Boughner. “It was a tight game and we found a way to win that one.

“Sweden is probably the second-best team in this tournament, there was a lot of pressure in that game. Once we won that game, we knew that was going to be our toughest task.”

Skinner agreed, and said the seeds of the gold-medal win were planted in that game.

“It was sort of like our first test,” he said. “It was just that little bit of adversity that team needs to go through to win this kind of tournament.

“We handled it well and it got us to where we are now.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at