Friday, April 30, 2010

CJHL Announces Player of the Year Finalists

Press Release

CJHL Announces Player of the Year Finalists

This season, more than 3,000 players suited up for Junior A games across Canada, in locations from Nanaimo, B.C. to Woodstock, N.B. But only six have been named as finalists for the RBC Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year award.

The finalists were selected by their respective CJHL leagues, with the winner – who will be announced during the 2010 RBC Cup in Dauphin, Man. and presented with his award at the tournament awards banquet on May 7 – chosen by a panel that includes Hockey Canada’s five living Life Members: Don Johnson, Frank Libera, Frank McKinnon, Gordon Renwick and Clair Sudsbury.

The winner will join a distinguished list of past honourees that includes current and former NHLers Kyle Turris (2007), Jeff Tambellini (2002), Dany Heatley (1999), Mike Comrie (1998), Paul Kariya (1992) and Greg Johnson (1989).

The 2010 nominees for RBC Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year are (in alphabetical order):

Archambault was Mr. Everything in the LHJAAAQ this season, taking home the league’s scoring title (46g 48a 94p) and player of the year award, while also winning the league’s RBC scholarship, the only of the six finalists to be in the running for both the national player of the year and national scholarship. An alternate captain with Longueuil, the 20-year-old let his play on the ice do the talking, helping his team to the LHJAAAQ’s second-best record and a spot in the league final. As a four-year veteran of the team, Archambault knows the importance of setting an example for young players, and lets his determination and eagerness to do whatever it takes to win inspire his teammates, young and old.

Off the ice, Archambault is enrolled at the University of Montreal, taking classes towards a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Public Relations. He hopes to pursue a Masters in Labour Law, but hopes to do so while also continuing his hockey career at a college or university in the U.S. or Canada.

Canadian Junior A hockey’s scoring leader, Cross racked up a remarkable 140 points in 62 games for the Lumber Kings, helping them to a franchise-best season with 52 wins and 105 points while taking home the league’s most outstanding player award. He added an additional 23 points in 16 playoff contests as the Lumber Kings won their fourth-consecutive CJHL title and came within one victory of a trip to the 2010 RBC Cup. A former captain in Cornwall and alternate with the Lumber Kings, Cross leads by example both on and off the ice, knowing the playing hockey in a small town like Pembroke means the players are treated by celebrities by the community.

Recently committed to Providence College (NCAA DI) for the 2010-11 season, Cross will major in Business and Sports Management, with hopes to one day work in hockey, work with the next generation of players and give back to the game that has given him so much.

The Alberta Junior Hockey League’s most valuable player, Kunyk finished in the top five in league scoring with 87 points (44g 43a) while taking home Sherwood Park’s awards for most valuable player, top scorer and fan favourite. He made a splash on the international stage in November in Summerside, P.E.I., leading the World Junior A Challenge in scoring and earning a spot on the tournament all-star team while helping Canada West to a silver medal. A lead-by-example type of player, Kunyk lets his play on the ice do the talking, coming up with big goal after big goal for the Crusaders while helping the younger players along in their development.

A player who has always found a way to balance school and hockey – he attended a hockey academy beginning in Grade 5 – Kunyk is a 2010-11 recruit of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks who will pursue a business degree while continuing to chase his dreams of a professional hockey career.

Penticton’s captain for the past two seasons, Manderson had a breakout season for the Vees, doubling his point total from the 2008-09 campaign with 113 points in 50 games, earning the BCHL Interior Conference nod as most valuable player and his second-consecutive Penticton MVP award. The Fergus, Ont. native combined with Beau Bennett to form a lethal one-two punch, combining for 233 points as Penticton pushed the Vernon Vipers for first place during the regular season and again in the playoffs, when Manderson had 25 points in 16 games. Never a rah-rah player in the dressing room, Manderson earns respect by playing to his limits every day, whether it be in a game or at practice.

Non-committal as of yet regarding his hockey/education plans for 2010-11, Manderson works with the Read to Succeed program in Penticton, going into local elementary schools to read to students and talk about the value of reading and education.

The captain of the RBC Cup hosts, Shamanski was far and away the best defenceman in the MJHL this season, racking up 71 points (19g 52a), 29 more than the second-highest scoring blueliner in the league. He saved perhaps his best performance for the playoffs, leading the Kings in scoring as they won their first MJHL championship in 17 years and first ANAVET Cup since 1983. A two-time MJHL all-star, Shamanski donned the ‘C’ this season after one year as an alternate captain and was the leader on the ice who worked to get his team the bounces, instead of the leader off the ice who talked about getting them, putting the term ‘actions speak louder than words’ to good use.

Shamanski plans to attend an NCAA Division I school in the fall to continue his education and his hockey career, although he has yet to commit to a school. After two years of general sciences and math, he will major in Pharmacy with the goal of working in rural Manitoba hospitals or opening a pharmacy in his hometown of Carberry, Man. (pop. 1,502).

The SJHL’s No. 3 scorer among defenceman, Stevenson captained the Ice Wolves to the SJHL playoffs one year after a last-place finish, and led them on a Cinderella run to their first league championship and a berth at the 2010 RBC Cup. His reward? The SJHL’s player of the year award and a three-year entry level contract the NHL’s Washington Capitals, which begins next season. Stevenson likes to pattern his game after two-time Olympic gold medallist Chris Pronger – a player who leads by example on and off the ice, who can play in any situation and is feared by opponents for his all-around game.

Stevenson has committed to St. Lawrence University for this fall, with an eye towards majoring in Business, but has yet to decide whether to continue his education or begin his professional career with the Capitals.

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

NTDP nets 13 commitments

Press Release

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – USA Hockey today announced that 13 players have been added to the 2010-11 roster for its National Team Development Program. The group of 13, which includes eight forwards, four defensemen and one goaltender, will be part of the U.S. National Under-17 Team next year.

“We’re pleased to announce this next group of players that will surely benefit from being part of the National Team Development Program,” said Ryan Rezmierski, director of player personnel for the NTDP. “We’re very excited about the talent level of this group. Our scouting staff, especially Peter Ward, Eric Silverman, Mike Kesler and Louis Pacella, has done an outstanding job evaluating these players and helping bring them into the mix.”

The eight forwards added for next season include Cameron Darcy (South Boston, Mass.), Thomas Di Pauli (Woodridge, Ill.), Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill.), Stefan Matteau (Chicago, Ill.), Quentin Shore (Denver, Colo.), Brendan Silk (Melrose, Mass.), Henrik Samuelsson (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Frankie Vatrano (E. Longmeadow, Mass.).

The five defensemen joining Team USA in 2010-11 include Connor Carrick (Oak Lawn, Ill.), Dakota Mermis (Alton, Ill.), Patrick Sieloff (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Brady Skjei (Lakeville, Minn.).

The lone goaltender signed on for next season is Jared Rutledge (Skokie, Ill.).

NOTES: The latest additions join Seth Jones (Plano, Texas), Nicolas Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.), Niklas Olsson (Escondido, Calif.) and Jacob Trouba (Rochester, Mich.), who were already announced as part of next year’s team … Two players, Stefan Matteau and Henrik Samuelsson, are sons of former National Hockey League players … Quentin Shore’s two older brothers, Drew (2007-09) and Nick (2008-10), each played at the NTDP … The U.S. National Under-17 Team will be made up of two goaltenders, eight defensemen and 13 forwards.

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

Sting Announce Alex Galchenyuk as First Overall Pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League in association with the Sarnia Sting hockey club are pleased to announce that Alex Galchenyuk will be the first overall pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection. The announcement was made this afternoon at a press conference by Sting General Manager Dave MacQueen. The 2010 OHL Priority Selection is set for Saturday May 1st beginning at 9:00 am.

Alex will be a featured guest on the live 2010 OHL Priority Selection Draft Show presented by State Farm. The draft show along with complete draft coverage is available at

Galchenyuk, a 16-year-old from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the 2010 Jack Ferguson Award winner as the player selected first overall in the OHL Priority Selection. He is the third member of the Sting to receive the award following Jeff Brown in 1994 and Steven Stamkos in 2006. He also becomes just the fourth American player to receive this prestigious distinction following Pat Peake (Detroit 1990), Patrick O’Sullivan (Mississauga 2001), and Robbie Schremp (Mississauga 2002). Previous “Fergie” Award winners include John Tavares (Oshawa 2005), Ryan O’Reilly (Erie 2007), John McFarland (Sudbury 2008), and Daniel Catenacci (Sault Ste. Marie 2009).

Galchenyuk had an incredible season for the Chicago Young Americans Minor Midget AAA Team; helping them win 22 games, leading them to a second place finish overall in the USA Hockey Tier 1 Midget League.

Galchenyuk, one of the top ranked players by OHL Central Scouting, led his league in scoring with 44 goals and 43 assists for 87 points in just 38 games; outscoring the next highest scorer in the league by and outstanding 19 goals and 33 points. Galchenyuk leads all draft eligible players with a point per game average of 2.28.

Sting Head Scout Jim Debenham is impressed by Galchenyuk, saying, “The first time I saw Alexander play I knew he was a special player. He is one of the most dominating players I have seen in this age group. He has great hands and is a natural goal scorer. He's a player that tries to make something happen on every shift. He makes the players around him better. Alexander has the best point per game average of all players in this year’s draft at 2.28 with the next closest being 1.91. He is 1 of 3 players in the entire draft that averaged more than 1 goal per game at 1.16.”

Director of Central Scouting and Player Development for the OHL, Robert Kitamura added, “Alex Galchenyuk has to be considered one of the most gifted, creative and skilled offensive players available in this years draft. He was a dominate force in the U16 level in USA Hockey’s Tier 1 Midget League, and he has the potential to be just as exciting and productive in the Ontario Hockey League. Fans of the Sarnia Sting and the OHL will benefit as Alex continues his development over the next few years.”

Player Bio
Alex Galchenyuk
Born: February 12, 1994 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Resides: Chicago, Illinois
Ht: 6.01 Wt: 180
Season Team GP G A PTS PIM
2009-10 Chicago Young Americans 38 44 43 87 56

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

RoadRunners' Johnson headed to St. Cloud State

Press Release

The Topeka RoadRunners have announced that forward Bryce Johnson has committed to St. Cloud State University (WCHA) for next season.

Johnson, from Grimes, Iowa, finished tied for 13th in league scoring this year with 54 points on 19 goals in 58 regular-season games. He was also a plus-16.

“I've always wanted to play in the WCHA, and it's in the Midwest so it's close to home. That and I wanted to go to a decent-sized school,” said Johnson.

Though the RoadRunners' season ended earlier than anticipated, Johnson can't say enough his time in Topeka, in particular the team's coaches: head coach Scott Langer and assistant R.J. Enga.

"I learned so much this season from both of them,” said Johnson. “It's a long season, and I know they worked their butts off not just for me, but my teammates as well.

“There's a lot of players out there fighting for a limited number of Division I spots, and the coaches do a great job of promoting us to the next level.”

“Bryce was un-drafted and un-tendered, but certainly on our radar,” said Langer. “He came ready to work; he was very determined, and he clearly proved he belonged.”

Johnson is also quick to credit the RoadRunners fans and his teammates for helping him earn a Division I opportunity.

“I'll always be grateful for my time as a RoadRunner,” said Johnson, who plans to pursue a major in Business and Finance at St. Cloud. “I'll miss everything here (in Topeka). It's been a great experience.

“I just want everyone to know that their support is what makes all of this possible. We (the players) talk about it on the bus, in the locker room; it's amazing to play for such enthusiastic fans, easily the best fans in the league.”

Johnson is the sixth RoadRunner from this year's team to commit to a Division I school, joining Cole Schneider (University of Connecticut), Kevin Ryan (Niagara University), Erik Higby (Northern Michigan), Tony Thomas (Air Force Academy) and Nickolas Gatt (Alabama-Huntsville).

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

Rogers to broadcast games two and four of 2010 President Cup Final

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Thursday, April 29, 2010 - The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today announced that Rogers TV would be broadcasting games #2 and #4 live from Moncton Coliseum.

"We are very happy to have the opportunity to offer our fans games two and four of this historic series on local television," said the Commissioner of the QMJHL, Gilles Courteau. "These two broadcasts would not have been possible without the valued cooperation of our major partner, TELUS, and the Moncton Wildcats organization."

Fans are invited to watch all the games live by visiting QMJHL.MYTELUS.COM

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

NAHL announces All-Rookie Team

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its All-Rookie Team for the 2009-10 season, as selected by the league’s coaches and general managers.

NAHL All-Rookie Team
Forward: Bryce Johnson, Topeka RoadRunners
Forward: Tanner Kero, Marquette Rangers
Forward: Shawn Pauly, Wenatchee Wild
Defenseman: Alex McLean, Wenatchee Wild
Defenseman: Sam Rendle, Bismarck Bobcats
Goaltender: Brandon Jaeger, Wenatchee Wild

Johnson, a 19-year-old St. Cloud State University (WCHA) recruit from Grimes, Iowa, tallied 19 goals for 54 points in 58 regular-season games to finish tied for 13th in league scoring.

A 17-year-old from Hancock, Mich., Kero, a Michigan Tech University (WCHA) recruit, notched 51 points on a league-leading 32 goals in 57 games.

Pauly, a 17-year-old Air Force Academy (Atlantic Hockey) recruit from Bellingham, Wash., struck for 17 goals for 36 points in 50 games for the regular-season champion Wild.

McLean, a 19-year-old from Duluth, Minn., who will also play his college hockey at Air Force, registered four goals for 20 points in 51 games. He was also a plus-19.

Rendle, a 19-year-old Bemidji State University (WCHA) recruit from Grand Rapids, Minn., tied for the league-lead in scoring among defensemen with 47 points on 10 goals in 57 games. He was also a plus-22.

Jaeger, a 19-year-old from Champlin, Minn., fashioned a 22-3-1 record in 29 appearances to compliment a NAHL-best goals-against average (1.83) and save percentage (.928).

NAHL players in their first year of Junior A hockey are considered rookies.

The Rookie of the Year, along with the Most Valuable Player, All-NAHL Team, Forward of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, Goaltender of the Year and the NAHL’s nominee for the USA Hockey Junior Player of the Year will be announced Robertson Cup Championship Tournament banquet on Monday, May 3, in Wenatchee, Wash.

The Academic Achievement Award, Community Service Award, Coach of the Year, General Manager of the Year and Organization of the Year will also be announced at the banquet.

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

Forsberg selected First Overall in 2010 WHL Bantam Draft by Prince George Cougars

Press Release

Edmonton, AB -- With the first overall selection in the '10 WHL Bantam Draft the Prince George Cougars selected Alex Forsberg of Waldheim, Saskatchewan.

Forsberg, a 5’9”, 170 pound centre played the 2009-10 season with the Beardy’s Blackhawks of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, finishing tied for third in league scoring with 26 goals and 46 assists for 72 points in 44 games, tops among all rookies in the SMAAAHL. In the 2010 SMAAAHL playoffs, Alex recorded seven goals and nine points in six games, earning a goal in Beardy’s final five games and recorded a point in all six games.

“We are proud to select a quality young man with exceptional hockey ability first overall in the draft,” said Cougars General Manager Dallas Thompson. “Alex possesses the skills necessary to become a top quality hockey player for the Prince George Cougars.”

“What he did this year in a Midget AAA setting is incredible,” said Wade Klippenstein, Cougars Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel. “It’s almost unprecedented for a second year bantam player to not only play Midget AAA, but to dominate. His maturity as a player, his intelligence and his ability to score really give him all the important characteristics of becoming a great hockey player.”

“It’s really exciting to be picked first by the Cougars,” said Forsberg. “It’s great to be joining my brother in Prince George. Being the first pick happens to only one player every year and to be one of those players is really special.”

Alex is the younger brother of Cougars defenceman Jesse Forsberg. Alex and Jesse become the first brothers to both be selected by the same team in the first round of the WHL Bantam Draft. The Cougars selected Jesse 11th overall in 2008.

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

Blue Jackets Sign Defenseman Cody Goloubef to Three-Year Entry Level Contract

Press Release

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Cody Goloubef to a standard three-year entry level contract, General Manager Scott Howson announced Arpil 29. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Goloubef, 20, (pronounced GO-luh-behf) registered three goals and 11 assists for 14 points, 64 penalty minutes and was +13 in 42 games during his junior season at the University of Wisconsin (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) in 2009-10. He ranked third among club defensemen in points and plus/minus rating and helped the Badgers reach the National Championship game.

"Cody comes from a very successful program at Wisconsin and we believe it is the right time for him to begin his professional career," Howson said.

A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Goloubef was the Blue Jackets' second pick, 37th overall, in the 2008 Entry Draft. He collected 12-25-37, 180 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +18 in 118 career games with Wisconsin. He notched 0-1-1, eight penalty minutes and was +10 in six games at the 2009 World Junior Championships, helping Team Canada win the gold medal.

Deposits for 2010-11 Columbus Blue Jackets season tickets, as well as 10- and 20-game plans, are being accepted now. For information, call (800) NHL-COLS or visit

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

Cooper Named USHL Coach and GM of the Year

Press Release

The United States Hockey League today announced that Jon Cooper of the Green Bay Gamblers has been named both the USHL Coach of the Year presented by KwikRink and the USHL General Manager of the Year presented by JLG Architects. The awards were determined by a vote of League coaches and general managers.

"The USHL gives out separate awards for the League's top General Manager, and its top Head Coach for good reason – the demands of each position are separate, unique, and extraordinarily challenging," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "It's a tribute to Jon's extraordinary talents that he has managed to excel in both, managing the overall hockey operations of a superb Green Bay Gamblers organization while coaching a team that has now won two consecutive Anderson Cups and is preparing for the Clark Cup Finals. These are well-deserved awards for an impressive performance in all facets this year."

Cooper led the Gamblers to their second straight Anderson Cup title as the team compiled a League-best 45-10-5 record and 95 points in the standings during the 2009-10 regular season. The 45 wins by the Gamblers are the most in team history and the highest win total in the USHL since the Omaha Lancers won 46 games during the 2000-01 campaign. Green Bay led the League in both home wins (22) and road victories (23), which is one shy of equaling the USHL record of 24 road wins established by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders during the 2004-05 season. The Gamblers set a League season high when they won 15 consecutive games from December 15th, 2009 to February 3rd, 2010. They were also the top defensive squad this season, allowing the fewest goals in the USHL (140).

Since Cooper joined the organization prior to the 2008-09 season, the Gamblers have posted an 84-27-9 record in the regular season. They have also tallied a 10-4 record in the playoffs over two years, which includes this season as Green Bay has earned a spot in the Clark Cup Finals. Three Gamblers players were also individually recognized by the USHL this season as David Makowski was named USHL Defenseman of the Year, Steve Summerhays was named USHL Goaltender of the Year, and forward Anders Lee was named USHL Rookie of the Year. All three players also earned All-USHL First Team honors.

Last season, Cooper guided the Gamblers to the largest turnaround in USHL history as they improved 50 points in the standings from the previous year and won the Anderson Cup on the final day of the regular season with a 39-17-4 record (82 points).

In addition to victories, Cooper has helped develop and prepare Green Bay players for the next levels of hockey. Sixteen of the players on the roster this season have commitments to continue their careers at NCAA Division I hockey programs. Last June, Gamblers defenseman Nick Jensen was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft following his first USHL season. Later in the summer, Michael Forney signed an entry-level NHL contract with the Atlanta Thrashers after leading the Gamblers in scoring during the 2008-09 season.

It is the eighth time in USHL history that an individual has been named both the USHL Coach of the Year and USHL General Manager of the Year in the same season; P.K. O'Handley (2002-03), Mike Hastings (2001-02, 1996-97), Steve Johnson (2000-01), Bob Ferguson (1991-92, 1985-86), and Frank Serratore (1984-85).

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

Regina Pats Jordan Eberle named WHL Player of the Year

Press Release

Edmonton, AB - The Western Hockey League announced today at the annual WHL Awards Luncheon that Regina Pats forward Jordan Eberle has been named the 2009-10 WHL Player of the Year and recipient of the Four Broncos Memorial trophy.

Eberle enjoyed an outstanding 2009-10 WHL season, despite his Regina Pats not qualifying for the WHL playoffs. The 19-year-old from Regina, SK, scored 50 goals and added 56 assists for 106 points in just 57 regular-season games for his hometown team to finish second in WHL scoring. Eberle’s 1.86 points-per-game average marked the highest points-per-game average for any WHL player since the 1998-99 season.

The 5’11”, 184-lb forward finished tied for second among all WHL players with 19 power play goals, and also tied for second in shorthanded goals with six on the season. In addition, Eberle was selected among the 3 Stars in 26 of 57 games he played, earning the 1st Star selection 13 times. The leading goal-scorer in the history of Canada’s National Junior team, Eberle recorded at least one point in 50 of 57 games he played for Regina this season, and was held pointless in consecutive games on only two occasions all season.

Drafted in the first round (22nd overall) by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Eberle has piled up 155 goals and 155 assists for 310 points in 254 games through his four years with the Pats. He was selected by the Pats in the seventh round (126th overall) in the 2005 WHL Bantam Draft.

Jordan Eberle is the WHL’s nominee for the CHL Player of the Year at the Canadian Hockey League Awards, which will be handed out during the 2010 MasterCard Memorial in Brandon, Manitoba.

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

WHL Announces 2009-10 Award Winners

Press Release

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League announced the 2009-10 winners of the annual WHL Awards presented Wednesday, April 28th at the WHL Awards Luncheon held in Edmonton, Alberta.

WHL Player of the Year - Four Broncos Memorial Trophy
Jordan Eberle (Regina, SK), Regina Pats

Craig Cunningham (Trail, BC), Vancouver Giants

WHL Rookie of the Year - Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Burnaby, BC), Red Deer Rebels

Shane McColgan (Manhattan Beach, CA), Kelowna Rockets

WHL Goaltender of the Year - Del Wilson Trophy
Martin Jones (North Vancouver, BC), Calgary Hitmen

Calvin Pickard (Winnipeg, MB), Seattle Thunderbirds

WHL Defenceman of the Year - Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy
Tyson Barrie (Victoria, BC), Kelowna Rockets

Michael Stone (Winnipeg, MB), Calgary Hitmen

WHL Scholastic Player Award - Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy
Adam Lowry (Calgary, AB) Swift Current Broncos

Spencer Main (North Vancouver, BC) Kelowna Rockets

WHL Most Sportsmanlike Award - Brad Hornung Trophy
Jason Bast (Moose Jaw, SK) Moose Jaw Warriors

Jared Spurgeon (Edmonton, AB), Spokane Chiefs

WHL Humanitarian of the Year - Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy
Matt Fraser (Red Deer, AB) Kootenay Ice

Zack Dailey (Healy, AK) Everett Silvertips

WHL Coach of the Year - Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy
Mark Holick, Kootenay Ice

Craig Hartsburg, Everett Silvertips

WHL Executive of the Year - Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy
Kelly McCrimmon, Brandon Wheat Kings

Bob Tory, Tri-City Americans

WHL Marketing/Public Relations Award
Everett Silvertips, Zoran Rajcic

Brandon Wheat Kings, Rick Dillabough

WHL Top Scorer - Bob Clarke Trophy
Brandon Kozun – (Calgary, AB) Calgary Hitmen
GP – 65 G – 32 A – 75 Pts – 107 PIM - 50

WHL Top Official - Allen Paradice Memorial Trophy
Chris Savage (Medicine Hat, AB)

WHL Regular Season Champions - Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy
Calgary Hitmen

WHL Scholastic Team Award
Tri-City Americans

WHL Alumni Association Achievement Award
Professional Hockey recipient – Joe Sakic (Swift Current Broncos)
Academic recipient – Gavin McLeod (Kelowna Rockets)

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

Tyler Seguin Wins Red Tilson Trophy

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers is the 2009-10 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the league.

Seguin finished the regular season tied for first overall in league scoring with 106 points including 48 goals and 58 assists in 63 games, with a plus-minus rating of plus-17 and 54 penalty minutes. He becomes the first Whaler to win the award since David Legwand in 1997-98, with Pat Peake of the Detroit Jr. Red Wings organization winning in 1992-93.

The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented by the Ontario Hockey League. Accredited media were asked to select their top three choices from the 20 nominees representing all 20 member clubs. Players received five points for a first place selection, three points for second place and one point for a third place selection.

Seguin received 224 points in the voting process ahead of Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires who finished second with 197 points. Nazem Kadri of the London Knights finished third with 34 points. Seguin appeared as either the first or second selection on over 96% of all media ballots.

“I am very proud to be accepting this award today,” Seguin said. “It is a very exciting day for me and I want to thank my family, coaches, and my teammates. I accomplished a lot of my personal goals this season. I wish the team could have gone farther in the playoffs, but overall it was a great year.”

An 18-year-old from Brampton, ON, Seguin also shares the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy with Hall as OHL Scoring Champion. Seguin’s 48 goals were third most in the league and his 58 assists were ranked sixth overall. He recorded 29 multi-point games and tallied five hat-tricks. He scored five points in two games this year including a 9-2 win on October 10 as first star against the Sudbury Wolves, and on December 11 as first star of a 6-3 victory over the Erie Otters. He was named the All Weather Windows OHL Player of the Month twice for December and January, and was also named the Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week two times this season.

“Tyler’s off-ice work has been exceptional this season,” said Mike Vellucci, Whalers’ President, General Manager and Head Coach. “In terms of his conditioning, he’s one of the most committed players I’ve ever seen. He strives to be the best player he can possibly be and not just in games. Tyler is a hockey player – he’s not just a player who happens to play hockey. He’s an ultimate professional.”

Selected ninth overall by Plymouth in the 2008 Priority Selection from the Toronto Young Nationals, Seguin completes two full OHL seasons with 173 career points in 124 games. He is eligible for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and is ranked first overall by NHL Central Scouting. He competed in the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game as captain of Team Orr. He also represented the OHL in the 2009 SUBWAY Super Series and was a Western Conference All-Star at the 2010 OHL All-Star Classic. He was also voted the Smartest Player and the Best Playmaker in the Western Conference Coaches Poll, while finishing second in voting as the OHL’s Best Stickhandler and Most Dangerous in the Goal Area.

Other winners of the Red Tilson Trophy include Frank Mahovlich (Toronto 1957), Mike Foligno (Sudbury, 1979), Doug Gilmour (Cornwall 1983), Eric Lindros (Oshawa 1991), Brad Boyes (Erie 2001 & 2002), Corey Perry (London 2005), and John Tavares (Oshawa 2007). Cody Hodgson of the Brampton Battalion won the award last season.

The trophy is named in honour of Albert "Red" Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.

Seguin will be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year Award presented at the CHL Awards Ceremony during the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Brandon, MB.

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Canucks sign defenceman Kevin Connauton

Press Release

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks President & General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have signed free agent defenceman Kevin Connauton. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Connauton, 20, appeared in 69 games with the Giants in 2009-10, recording 72 points (24-48-72) and 107 penalty minutes. The Edmonton, Alberta native shared the League’s top spot as the highest scoring defenceman in the regular season (24-48-72). He added 13 points (3-10-13) and 21 penalty minutes in 16 playoff games.

The 6’1”, 196 lb. defenceman was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the third round, 83rd overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

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

Panthers Agree to Entry Level Contract with C AJ Jenks

Press Release

SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers General Manager Randy Sexton announced today the club has agreed to an entry level contract with C AJ Jenks.

Jenks, 19, played in 52 games with the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) this season placing second on the team in goals (23), assists (40) and points (63), finishing behind the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting No. 1 prospect Tyler Seguin. Jenks, who served as Plymouth’s team captain played in nine playoffs games this year with the Whalers scoring four goals with eight assists.

The Wolverine Lake, MI native won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan, recording five points (3-2-5) in 7 games. Jenks was drafted by Florida with their fourth choice (100th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Jenks becomes the fourth prospect to be signed by the Florida this off-season joining Marc Cheverie, Adam Comrie and Eric Selleck

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

Arnold Receives USHL Curt Hammer Award

Press Release

The United States Hockey League today announced that Waterloo Black Hawks forward Derek Arnold has been named the recipient of the USHL Curt Hammer Award

The Curt Hammer Award has been presented annually since the 1988-89 season in honor of the late Curt Hammer, and honors the USHL player who distinguishes himself both on and off the ice by demonstrating outstanding performance skills, pride, and determination. The award is given in memory of the late Curt Hammer, who served as president of the Des Moines Buccaneers for three seasons (1984-87) and also held the role of secretary for the USHL.

"Derek is one of the finest human beings that I have ever had the opportunity to coach," said Waterloo Black Hawks Head Coach and General Manager P.K. O'Handley. "He is a great teammate, friend, and worker – he is what every organization wants and needs. Derek embodies everything this award represents."

Arnold recently completed his second USHL season and was fourth on the Black Hawks in scoring with 59 points (20g, 39a) in 59 regular season games while serving as alternate captain for the team. It was the second straight 20-goal season for the native of Foxboro, Massachusetts after he totaled 32 points (20g, 12a) in 52 games during the 2008-09 campaign. Arnold registered a 16-game point streak from January 30th to March 12th, compiling 29 points (16g, 13a) during that span. It was the second-longest streak in the USHL this season. Arnold will continue his hockey career at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell beginning this fall.

Off the ice, Arnold was a leader in the Waterloo community spending countless hours of his time in service activities. Prior to the start of the 2009-10 season, he created "Arnie's Army," which was an initiative to channel the enthusiasm of Waterloo's fans into a benefit for local youth. The forward, who wore #29 on his uniform, developed the concept of having wristbands and hard hats – stamped with "Arnie's Army 29" – available for purchase during the season, with all proceeds benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Black Hawk County. The Waterloo Black Hawks organization lent its support by donating the wristbands and hard hats while also providing a large quantity of tickets throughout the season to the Boys and Girls Clubs. Arnold's idea raised several thousand dollars for the cause.

"Derek's 'Arnie's Army' initiative was one of the outstanding public service efforts I've seen from any athlete at any level, much less the USHL," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "But it didn't end there – this is one great young hockey player. We're looking forward to great things from Derek Arnold, both on and off the ice, for a long time to come. The Curt Hammer Award could not have been given to a finer person, or a better example of what we strive to stand for in the USHL."

Among the multiple community service projects he took part, Arnold volunteered to coach youth hockey in Waterloo. He also organized his Black Hawks teammates to serve as coaches during a fundraising youth hockey tournament this spring.

Hammer, a dedicated volunteer and supporter of hockey in the Des Moines community until succumbing to cancer in 1987, was one of the founders Hart-Hammer, Inc., a commercial heating and air conditioning ventilation equipment sales firm. The company still operates today providing extensive sales and engineering support in Iowa, Nebraska, and western Illinois. The award was established to honor his commitment to the League and the perseverance he displayed in continuing his work through hockey while battling the illness.

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

Robertson Cup Championship schedule announced

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the game schedule for the five-team Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, which will be held from May 4-9 at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Wash.

The Central Division champion Bismarck Bobcats, North Division champion Traverse City North Stars, South Division champion St. Louis Bandits, West Division champion Wenatchee Wild and West Division runner-up Fairbanks Ice Dogs will play a four-game round robin from Tuesday, May 4-Saturday, May 8.

The two teams with the most points at the conclusion of the round robin will play in the Robertson Cup championship game on Sunday, May 9 (5:05 p.m. PDT).

Tuesday, May 4
Bismarck Bobcats vs. St. Louis Bandits, 2:05 p.m.
Traverse City North Stars vs. Wenatchee Wild, 6:35 p.m.

Wednesday, May 5
Traverse City North Stars vs. St. Louis Bandits, 2:05 p.m.
Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. Wenatchee Wild, 6:35 p.m.

Thursday, May 6
Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. St. Louis Bandits, 2:05 p.m.
Traverse City North Stars vs. Bismarck Bobcats, 7:05 p.m.

Friday, May 7
Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. Traverse City North Stars, 2:35 p.m.
Bismarck Bobcats vs. Wenatchee Wild, 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, May 8
Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. Bismarck Bobcats, 2:35 p.m.
St. Louis Bandits vs. Wenatchee Wild, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday, May 9
Championship Game, 5:05 p.m.

(all games local Pacific time)

The Robertson Cup champion represents the NAHL’s playoff champion and USA Hockey’s Tier II Junior A national champion.

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.

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

Philip-Michaël Devos Named CHL Player of the Week

Press Release

TORONTO, Tuesday, April 27, 2010 – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Philip-Michaël Devos of the Victoriaville Tigres is the CHL Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 25. Devos scored eight points including three goals and five assists in three games in the QMJHL Semi-Final series against the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Devos became just the sixth member of the Tigres to record five points in a playoff game when he scored two goals and added three assists as first star of the Game 3 win 6-3 last Tuesday night. He recorded a single assist on Friday night in the 6-1 loss in Game 4, and helped the Tigres avoid elimination by scoring the game-winner and adding an assist Saturday in the 4-2 win in Game 5 of the series. The Tigres dropped Game 6 of the series 7-1 on Monday night, setting up a QMJHL Final between the Sea Dogs and the Moncton Wildcats for the President Cup.

Devos, who just turned 20-years-old on Monday, is from Sorel-Tracy, QC. He just completed his fourth QMJHL season with the Tigres as captain of the team accumulating 93 points in 68 regular season games to finish tied for third overall in the league. He also added a league-high 24 points in 16 playoff games.

Scott Timmins of the Windsor Spitfires was also considered after scoring five goals and three assists for eight points in four games to lead the defending MasterCard Memorial Cup Champions to a seven game series win over the Kitchener Rangers. The Spitfires will now face the Barrie Colts in the OHL Finals. Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans scored one goal and six assists for seven points in four games to advance his club to the WHL Finals where they will face the Calgary Hitmen after defeating the Vancouver Giants in six games.

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

Owsley named CHL Goaltender of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Drew Owsley of the Tri-City Americans is the CHL Goaltender of the Week for the second time this post-season. For the week ending April 25, Owsley won three games with just one loss posting a goals-against-average of 1.97 and save percentage of .939 backstopping the Americans to a six game series win over the Vancouver Giants in the WHL’s Western Conference Finals.

Owsley was named the WHL Western Conference Championship Series MVP with three consecutive victories and first star performances to close out the series. After dropping a 3-2 overtime decision in Game 3 with 24 saves on Tuesday, he made 30 saves as part of a 5-2 win in Game 4 on Thursday to tie the series 2-2. He continued his strong play with 40 saves on Friday in the 4-1 win in Game 5, and made another 30 saves in the Game 6 finale to preserve a 5-2 win for the Americans who captured their first ever Western Conference Championship title and will now face the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL Finals.

Owsley, a 19-year-old from Lethbridge, AB, is competing in his second WHL season with the Americans. Named to the WHL’s Western Conference second All-Star team, Owsley finished the regular season with a goals-against-average of 2.51 and an impressive record of 33-11-1-1.

Philipp Grubauer was also considered for winning four straight games for the Windsor Spitfires who defeated the Kitchener Rangers in seven games to advance to the OHL Finals against the Barrie Colts. He posted one shutout victory in four starts with a goals-against-average of 2.50 and save percentage of .921. In the QMJHL Semi-Finals, Nicola Riopel of the Moncton Wildcats won two games including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.27 and save percentage of .961 to lead the Wildcats to a five game series victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs and will now face the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL Finals.

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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

OHL Announces Officiating Staff for 2010 Rogers Championship Series

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League and Director of Officiating Conrad Haché today announced the officiating staff for the 2010 Rogers OHL Championship Series. 11 officials including five referees and six linesmen have been selected to work the series.

The series features the Bobby Orr Trophy winners the Barrie Colts hosting the Wayne Gretzky Trophy winners the Windsor Spitfires in pursuit of the Robertson Cup beginning Tuesday night at 7:35 pm at the Barrie Molson Centre.

“The Ontario Hockey League is very proud of our officiating staff,” said Haché. “These officials have been selected based on their performance throughout the 2010 Playoffs and look forward to a competitive series between two very exciting teams.”

Referees named to work the series are veterans Craig Spada of Ridgeway, ON, Sean Reid of London, ON, Scott Hoberg of Clinton Township, Michigan, Darcy Burchell of Hamilton, ON, along with Bob Langdon of Woodstock, ON.

Linesmen selected to work the series are Jason Finley (Guelph), Kevin Hastings (Kitchener), Ryan Lachine (LaSalle), Kendrick Nicholson (Sauble Beach), Dave Pfohl (Georgetown) and Matt Traub (Thornhill).

Hoberg and Spada are working their fourth Rogers OHL Championship Series, while Reid and Burchell are working their third. This will be the first Championship Series for Langdon. Among the linesmen, Hastings is working his eighth Championship Series, with Lachine working his fifth, Traub working his fourth, Nicholson working his third, and Finley skating in his second. This marks the first Championship Series appearance for Pfohl.

Rogers Championship Series Officiating Staff:

Referees Yrs (Yrs as Referee)
Darcy Burchell 7 (7)
Scott Hoberg 14 (6)
Bob Langdon 9 (5)
Sean Reid 11 (7)
Craig Spada 7 (6)

Jason Finley 4
Kevin Hastings 11
Ryan Lachine 7
Kendrick Nicholson 5
Dave Pfohl 7
Matt Traub 5

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

The Program

News and Notes from the U-18

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

Vernon looks to repeat at RBC Cup as schedule, tournament field set

Press Release

Just hours after defeating the Spruce Grove Saints for the Doyle Cup title, the Vernon Vipers have once again switched their focus to a new task ahead. On Saturday, the Vipers will play their 2010 RBC Cup opener against the host Dauphin Kings to kick off their battle for back-to-back National Junior A Championships.

In Dauphin, the Vipers will set out to match a tremendous 2009 run in Victoria that saw the team win six consecutive games, including a 2-0 victory over the Humboldt Broncos in the championship game.

Their opponents include the Kings, who earned the Anavet Cup (SJHL-MJHL Championship) despite already being guaranteed a spot as hosts, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's La Ronge Ice Wolves, the Ontario Junior Hockey League's Oakville Blades and the Central Junior Hockey League's Brockville Braves.

Vernon's schedule for the round-robin portion of the 2010 RBC Cup:

Saturday, May 1st -- Vernon Vipers @ Dauphin Kings -- 5:00 PM Pacific
Sunday, May 2nd -- La Ronge Ice Wolves @ Vernon Vipers -- 5:00 PM Pacific
Tuesday, May 4th -- Oakville Blades @ Vernon Vipers -- 12:00 PM Pacific
Wednesday, May 5th -- Vernon Vipers @ Brockville Braves -- 12:00 PM Pacific

The tournament semi-finals will be held at 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM on Saturday, May 8th, while the National Championship game is slated for Sunday, May 9th.

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

Vernon's Braden Pimm named BCHL POW

Press Release

Vernon Vipers forward Braden Pimm has been named the British Columbia Hockey League's Player of the Week for the week ending April 26th, the league announced Monday.

Pimm's week was highlighted by a pair of goals against the Spruce Grove Saints in Game 7 of the 2010 Doyle Cup. In that game, the 20-year old scored Vernon's opening goal on a shorthanded effort midway through the first period and later netted the tying goal en route to a Vipers' win.

The Fort St. John, B.C. product also contributed assists in Games 4 and 5, setting up a pair of power-play goals by linemate Mike Collins. Pimm finished the seven-game series with three goals and four assists.

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

Carrozzi Named OHL Goaltender of the Year

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Chris Carrozzi of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors is the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year for the 2009-10 season.

Carrozzi, a 20-year-old from Nepean, ON, finished his fourth career OHL season with a 19-10-3-2 record and tied for a league-high with five shutout victories. He posted the second-best goals-against-average in the league with a mark of 2.36 and tied for the fourth-best save percentage at .916. He becomes the third member of the Majors’ organization to win this award following Bujar Amidovski in 1997-98, and Andy Chiodo in 2002-03.

“It feels great to win this award and I owe a big thank you to the Majors organization and to my teammates for helping me this season,” Carrozzi said. “We are a very defensive team that always worked hard, and it is nice to get some recognition this year for how well our team played.”

Carrozzi held opponents to two or less goals in 16 of his 34 starts and made 30 or more saves in six games this season including a season-high 50 saves February 18 despite a 5-1 loss to the Windsor Spitfires. The Majors’ goaltending tandem of Carrozzi and JP Anderson won the Dave Pinkney Trophy combining to allow a league-low 175 goals-against. Carrozzi represented the Majors and the Eastern Conference at the 2010 OHL All-Star Classic and was named the OHL’s Goaltender of the Month for October. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers.

“Chris put the work in for four years and earned this award over some very elite goaltenders in this league,” said Majors Head Coach and General Manager Dave Cameron. “He is a valuable part of our organization and this award is a testament to his hard work.”

The OHL Goaltender of the Year is awarded to the league's most outstanding goaltender as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for a goaltender from their own hockey club. Goaltenders received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Carrozzi received 59 points in the voting process ahead of runner-up Matt Hackett of the Plymouth Whalers who received 48 points. Patrick Killeen of the Brampton Battalion finished third in voting with 27 points.

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

Owsley named Boston Pizza WHL Player of the Week

Press Release

CALGARY, AB. - The BOSTON PIZZA WHL Player of the Week is goaltender Drew Owsley of the Tri-City Americans.

Owsley posted a 3-0-0-1 record this past week, stopping 124 of 132 shots faced for a 1.970 goals-against average and 0.939 save percentage to help lead the Americans’ to a 4-2 series win over the Vancouver Giants in the Kal Tire WHL Western Conference Championship.

With the Western Conference Final tied at 1-1, the Americans were in Vancouver to face the Giants for game three on Tuesday, April 20th. Owsley stopped 24 of 27 shots faced losing to the Giants 3-2 in over-time. In game four of the series, on Thursday, April 22nd in Vancouver, Owsley helped the Ams’ bounce back stopping 30 of 32 shots and was named the games 1st Star in the Americans 5-2 victory. With the series tied 2-2, game five was in Tri-City on Friday, April 23rd. Owsley stopped an incredible 40 of 41 shots and was named the games 1st star in the Americans 4-1 win. The Americans had a chance capture their franchise’s first Western Conference Championship on Sunday, April 25th at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. For the third straight game Owsley had a 1st Star performance, stopping 30 of 32 shots faced leading the Ams’ to a 5-2 win to take the series 4-2. He was also named the 2010 WHL Western Conference Championship Series MVP, as voted on by the media.

The Tri-City Americans will now face the Husky WHL Eastern Conference Champion Calgary Hitmen in the WHL Championship Series starting this Friday in Calgary. For ticket information visit

Owsley, a 19 year old (in his 18 year old season) from Lethbridge, Alberta, is currently playing his second season with the Tri-City Americans. He finished the regular season 5th among WHL goaltenders with a 2.51 GAA and posted a 33-11-1-1 record and was named to the WHL Western Conference 2nd All Star Team.

The WHL has also nominated Drew Owsley of the Tri-City Americans for the CHL Goaltender of the Week Award.

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

Spitfires’ Scott Timmins Named Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Scott Timmins of the Windsor Spitfires is the Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week for the week ending April 25. Timmins led the league with eight points including five goals and three assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-6 in four wins against the Kitchener Rangers in the Rogers Western Conference Championship Series.

Timmins helped the Spitfires capture the Wayne Gretzky Trophy for the second straight season with two first star performances in the final two games of the series. He scored a hat-trick including the game-winner in the 6-4 win in Game 6 on Friday night, and scored a goal and an assist in the decisive 4-1 win in Game 7 on Sunday to lead the Spitfires to a berth in the Rogers Championship Series where they will compete for the Robertson Cup against the Barrie Colts. His week also included an assist in the 3-0 win in Game 5 on Thursday night, and a goal and an assist Tuesday night in the 7-5 win in Game 4.

Timmins, a 20-year-old from Hamilton, ON, is playing in his fourth OHL season. With 17 points in 15 playoff games, he is pursuing his third straight OHL Championship title having won last season with the Spitfires and in 2008 as a member of the Kitchener Rangers.

Spitfires’ forwards Adam Henrique and Taylor Hall were also considered for the award each recording seven points in four games. Henrique produced six goals and one assist, while Hall scored four goals and added three assists. In goal, the Spitfires’ Philipp Grubauer won four games including a shutout victory posting a goals-against-average of 2.50 and save percentage of .921.

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

Monday, April 26, 2010

Schedule Set for USHL Clark Cup Finals

Press Release

The United States Hockey League today announced the schedule for the 2010 Clark Cup Finals as the Green Bay Gamblers and the Fargo Force seek to claim the League's top prize, the Clark Cup. The series opens this weekend with the first two contests being played at the Resch Center in Green Bay on Friday, April 30th and Saturday, May 1st.

The Green Bay Gamblers have home-ice advantage for the best-of-five final series. They earned the overall first seed in the playoffs after capturing the Anderson Cup during the regular season by compiling a League-best 95 points in the standings. Green Bay reached the Clark Cup Finals by sweeping the Waterloo Black Hawks in the first round of the postseason (3-0) and knocking off the defending champion Indiana Ice in the East Division Finals, three games to one.

The Fargo Force make their second consecutive trip to the Clark Cup Finals after finishing runner-up to Indiana a year ago. Fargo earned a trip to the final series this season by sweeping the Sioux Falls Stampede in three games during the first round and winning a thrilling five-game series vs. the Omaha Lancers in the West Division Finals.


Green Bay Gamblers vs. Fargo Force

Game 1: Friday, April 30th, 7:05 PM (CDT) – Fargo at Green Bay (Resch Center)

Game 2: Saturday, May 1st, 7:05 PM (CDT) – Fargo at Green Bay (Resch Center)

Game 3: Friday, May 7th, 7:35 PM (CDT) – Green Bay @ Fargo (Urban Plains Center)

Game 4: Saturday, May 8th, 7:05 PM (CDT) – Green Bay @ Fargo* (Urban Plains Center)

Game 5: Wednesday, May 12th, 7:05 PM (CDT) – Fargo @ Green Bay* (Resch Center)

* if necessary

(Note local start time)

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

WHL Announces 2010 Championship Series Schedule - Calgary Hitmen vs. Tri-City Americans

Press Release

Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League has announced the schedule for the 2010 WHL Championship Series between the Husky Eastern Conference Champion Calgary Hitmen and the Kal Tire Western Conference Champion Tri-City Americans. The winner will be presented the Ed Chynoweth Cup and represent the WHL at the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Brandon, Manitoba.


SERIES O (Game # - Visitor @ Home; Date)
All Start Times Are Local

#1 – Tri-City @ Calgary; Friday, April 30 (7:30pm MT)
#2 – Tri-City @ Calgary; Saturday, May 1 (8:00pm MT)
#3 – Calgary @ Tri-City; Tuesday, May 4 (7:05pm PT)
#4 – Calgary @ Tri-City; Wednesday, May 5 (7:05pm PT)
#5 – Tri-City @ Calgary; Friday, May 7 (7:00pm MT)**
#6 – Calgary @ Tri-City; Sunday, May 9 (5:05pm PT)**
#7 – Tri-City @ Calgary; Monday, May 10 (7:00pm MT)**
** - if necessary

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


Press Release

Springfield, MA- The Springfield Pics are proud to announce that Captain Nick Campanale has committed to American International College for this fall.

The Chester Springs, PA native finished with 15 goals 20 assists for 35 points.

"I would like to thank Coach Tabb and the entire Springfield Pics organization for everything they have done for me and allowing me to accomplish my dream of playing Division I college hockey. A special thank you to my family for their time and support over the years and with this process." said Campanale

"Nick was a leader both in the room and on the ice, I am so happy for him and his family. His hard work and perseverance allowed him to have a breakout season while reaching his goal of playing Division I college hockey. He came into the season in tremendous condition and never looked back." said Coach Tabb

Campanale will join Pics alum Greg Vatrano with the Yellow Jackets. The entire Springfield Pics organization wish Nick great success at AIC.

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

Spitfires win Wayne Gretzky Trophy

Press Release

One week ago, the Windsor Spitfires were facing the prospects of an early end to their season.

The defending OHL and Memorial Cup champions dropped the first three games of the Rogers Western Conference Championship Series to the Kitchener Rangers and were one loss away from the end of their year.

But the Spitfires staged a dramatic comeback that was capped with a 4-1 win on home ice on Sunday to win the series and the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as Western Conference champions for the second straight season.

“We made it really hard on ourselves early and it was a tough hole to dig ourselves out of,” said Spitfires’ coach Bob Boughner. “I don’t know if we overlooked them a little bit or maybe it was the layoff early.

“You’ve got to give these kids all the credit - they never gave up. The positive attitude and the energy in the room from Game 4 in Kitchener - winning that was huge. It was an intense series and tonight was no different. It was a heck of a series.”

Adam Henrique opened the scoring in Game 7 with his 15th goal of the playoffs with a little more than five minutes to go in the first period. Eric Wellwood scored in the second period and Scott Timmins and Justin Shugg counted in the third to seal the win and the series.

“We’re just happy that this series is over,” Henrique said. “We may have been focusing on the next series too much but once we got our heads around that this series is the one that counts we started playing our game.”

Cam Fowler had a pair of assists while Philipp Grubauer stopped all but one of the 27 shots he faced to record his fourth straight win in the series.

The Spitfires became the third team in OHL history to win a playoff series after losing the first three games.

“Our backs were against the wall,” Boughner said. “Even though we believed in ourselves and everyone said the right things, when you get into a crucial situation with four straight elimination games, your season can be over. It was intense pressure every game. As soon as we let our foot off the gas pedal a little bit, Kitchener would come back. It’s a relief tonight.”

Julian Cimadamore cut the Spitfires lead in half with a short-handed goal in the final minute of the second period but that was all the offence the Rangers came up with.

“It’s a little bit bittersweet right now,” said Rangers’ GM/coach Steve Spott. “Our kids emptied their tanks and played hard to a man. They gave everything they had against a very good hockey club.”

The Spitfires will face the Barrie Colts in the Rogers OHL Championship Series starting on Tuesday in Barrie (7:30 on Rogers TV, TV Cogeco and the OHL Action Pak).

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

Sunday, April 25, 2010

USHL Playoff Recap - Series Clinching Saturday

Press Release

Fargo Force 5 @ Omaha Lancers 2

Chase Grant scored his seventh goal of the playoffs, which is tied for the USHL lead, to help the Force clinch the series, 3-2, with the Lancers and earn a second straight trip to the Clark Cup Finals.

Nate Condon opened the scoring in the deciding Game Five with his third of the playoffs, but Erik Haula scored his second goal in the past three games to pull the Lancers even after the first 20 minutes.

The teams combined for 25 shots in the second period, but only J.P. Burkemper was able to light the lamp scoring his first playoff goal for the Force.

Troy Power scored his second goal in as many games for the Lancers early in the third period to once again even the score. Chase Grant put the Force back on top for good with his second game-winner of the series less than three minutes later. Matt Leitner extended the lead to two goals and then added an empty netter for his second goal of the period and fifth of the series. Leitner leads the USHL with eight playoff goals. Force goaltender Ryan Mass made 27 saves to earn the victory.


Green Bay Gamblers 4 @ Indiana Ice 2

Anders Lee scored two goals to help the Anderson Cup champion Gamblers knock off the defending Clark Cup champs in Game Four to earn a trip to the finals. Green Bay wins the series 3-1.

Chris Crane scored his second goal in as many nights for Green Bay to open the scoring just over six minutes into the contest. However, Antti Roppo and Max Cook would also score their second goals in as many nights during the period to give the Ice their first lead in the series since winning Game One.

In the second period, Anders Lee and Reed Seckel both converted on the power play to re-claim the lead for the Gamblers who fired 14 shots on goal in the middle frame. It was the third straight game that Seckel has tallied a goal.

Despite a push from the Ice in the third period, the Gamblers held their ground as goaltender Steve Summerhays stopped all 13 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes and Anders Lee added a shorthanded goal to seal the victory. Lee finished with three points (2g, 1a), his third straight multi-point game, and leads the League in playoff scoring with 15 points (7g, 8a) in seven postseason games.


Clark Cup Finals

The Green Bay Gamblers and Fargo Force will now play a best-of-five series to determine the winner of the League's top prize, the Clark Cup.

Green Bay will have home-ice advantage for the series after earning the Anderson Cup title during the regular season.

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

OHL Announces Rogers Championship Series Schedule

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the two possible schedules for the Rogers OHL Championship Series for the Robertson Cup.

The series begins this Tuesday April 27, 2010, at 7:35 pm at the Barrie Molson Centre.

The Colts will host the winner of the Wayne Gretzky Trophy from the Rogers Western Conference Championship Series between the Windsor Spitfires and the Kitchener Rangers which will be decided on Sunday April 25 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor beginning at 2:00 pm. The Colts won the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference Champions by defeating the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors in five games.

Scenario 1:
Barrie Colts vs. Windsor Spitfires:
Game 1 – Tuesday April 27 at 7:35 pm – Windsor at Barrie
Game 2 – Thursday April 29 at 7:35 pm – Windsor at Barrie
Game 3 – Sunday May 2 at 4:05 pm – Barrie at Windsor
Game 4 – Tuesday May 4 at 7:05 pm – Barrie at Windsor
Game 5 – Thursday May 6 at 7:35 pm – Windsor at Barrie*
Game 6 – Saturday May 8 at 7:05 pm – Barrie at Windsor*
Game 7 – Monday May 10 at 7:35 pm – Windsor at Barrie*

*if necessary

Scenario 2:
Barrie Colts vs. Kitchener Rangers:
Game 1 – Tuesday April 27 at 7:35 pm – Kitchener at Barrie
Game 2 – Thursday April 29 at 7:05 pm – Barrie at Kitchener
Game 3 – Sunday May 2 at 4:05 pm – Kitchener at Barrie
Game 4 – Tuesday May 4 at 7:05 pm – Barrie at Kitchener
Game 5 – Thursday May 6 at 7:35 pm – Kitchener at Barrie*
Game 6 – Saturday May 8 at 7:05 pm – Barrie at Kitchener*
Game 7 – Monday May 10 at 7:35 pm – Kitchener at Barrie*

*if necessary

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

Quesnel Millionaires name Smutek captain for 2010/11 season

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League's Quesnel Millionaires are pleased to announce the appointment of 19-year old defenseman Skyler Smutek as the the team's Captain for the 2010/11 season.

Smutek will carry the torch for the Mills following the graduation of three-year veteran Trever Hertz. The Seattle, WA product plays a solid, physical game while contributing on offence, as his seven goals and 27 assists during the 2009/10 season illustrate. Smutek also chipped oin five assists during Quesnel's two-round playoff run in March.

"Skyler has all the leadership qualities to lead the team both on the ice and off," says Millionaires head coach and general manager Glen Watson. "He works hard every day and sets a great example for the younger players who watch and follow his work ethic."

"I've always wanted to be the captain of a junior hockey team," says Smutek of his appointment. "It's really a dream come true and I couldn't be more excited."

Smutek was acquired during the 2009 offseason in a trade with the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The Quesnel Millionaires organization would like to congratulate Skyler, as he is very deserving to wear the 'C' on his jersey.

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

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Muzzin Named OHL Defenceman of the Year

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Jacob Muzzin of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is the winner of the Max Kaminsky Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman for the 2009-10 season.

Muzzin, a 21-year-old from Woodstock, Ontario, led the Greyhounds in scoring and finished second overall in league scoring by a defenceman with 15 goals and 52 assists for 67 points in 64 games. He finished the season with 76 penalty minutes and tied for a team-best plus-minus rating of plus-6. His 31 power play assists were also tied for second overall in the league. Muzzin becomes the second member of the Greyhounds to win this award following Craig Hartsburg in 1976-77.

“This is a great honour to win this award and be recognized with so many other great players,” said Muzzin. “I worked hard this offseason and took on a leadership role this year and developed more confidence with the puck. Sault Ste. Marie has given me so much and is like a second home, this was a good way to end my stay here.”

Muzzin was also highly recognized in the 2009-10 Western Conference Coaches Poll where he finished first in voting in the Hardest Shot and Best Defensive Defenceman categories. He also finished tied for first in the Best Bodychecker category, and was considered the second best offensive defenceman. This season he finished second in voting behind Bryan Cameron of the Barrie Colts for the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Top Overage Player.

“Jacob did an outstanding job for us this season,” said Greyhounds’ Head Coach Denny Lambert. “He brought class, respect, and loyalty to this organization and was a role model for our younger players. He was a key member of our turnaround this year and is exactly what our organization represents in all areas on and off the ice.”

Muzzin was selected 11th overall by the Greyhounds in the 2005 OHL Priority Selection and played four seasons with the club competing in 230 career games. The Hounds’ captain represented his club twice in the OHL All-Star Classic and was an assistant captain for the Western Conference All-Stars this season. He scored a career-high four assists on November 28 as second star of a 7-1 win over the Sarnia Sting. Originally selected in the fifth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Muzzin signed with the Los Angeles Kings in January. He is currently competing with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs in pursuit of a Calder Cup Championship.

The Max Kaminsky Trophy is awarded each year to the Most Outstanding Defenceman as selected by OHL General Managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for their own nominee. Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Muzzin received 73 points in the voting process ahead of runner-up Nick Crawford of the Barrie Colts with 45 points. Cameron Gaunce of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors finished third for the second straight year receiving 27 points.

Former winners of the award include Al MacInnis (Kitchener 1982-83), Chris Pronger (Peterborough 1992-93), Bryan Berard (Detroit 1994-95 and 1995-96), Marc Staal (Sudbury 2006-07), and Drew Doughty (Guelph 2007-08). Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires was last year’s recipient.

The award is named in recognition of Max Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston, and Montreal. After he retired from playing, Kaminsky enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catherine's Teepees in 1960.

Muzzin will be formally presented with the award at the 2009-10 OHL Awards Ceremony taking place on Wednesday June 9, 2010, at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He will also be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Defenceman of the Year.

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

Mike Thomas suspended one game

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Monday, April 22, 2010 - The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Disciplinary Prefect, Raymond Bolduc, today announced that Saint John Sea Dogs forward Mike Thomas has been suspended one game for charging. The incident occurred during last Tuesday's game versus the Victoriaville Tigres.

The decision was rendered after reviewing the videotape of the incident, gathering the testimonies of the players and members of both organizations, reading the official’s report and consulting the independent committee in the matter of disciplinary sanctions.

The Disciplinary Prefect will not be available for further comment.

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

Junior Player of the Year nominees announced

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) announced today its eight nominees - two per division - for the 2010 Junior Player of the Year Award, which is presented annually by USA Hockey to the outstanding American-born player in junior hockey.

The eight players, listed alphabetically by division below, will be pared down to four next week by the NAHL’s Junior Player of the Year Selection Committee.

The league’s final nominee will then be submitted to USA Hockey’s blue-ribbon coaches and administrators for consideration, along with candidates from every other USA Hockey-sanctioned junior league.

Central Division
Jason Fabian, Forward, Bismarck Bobcats
In his second season with the Bobcats, Fabian finished ninth overall in league scoring with 58 points (24 goals) in 57 games for the Central Division regular-season champions. The 20-year-old from Roseau, Minn., has committed to the Air Force Academy (Atlantic Hockey) for next season.

Cory Thorson, Forward, Owatonna Express
Thorson, in his second year with the Express, tallied 24 goals for 54 points in 58 regular-season games. The 19-year-old from Crystal, Minn., has committed to St. Cloud State University (WCHA) for next season.

North Division
Garrett Ladd, Forward, Marquette Rangers
In his third year with Marquette, Ladd finished fifth overall in league scoring with 63 points on 23 goals in 55 games. The 20-year-old from Fenton, Mich., has committed to Bemidji State University (WCHA) for next season.

Garrett Thompson, Forward, Traverse City North Stars
In his third NAHL season, Thompson struck for 24 goals for 50 points in 57 regular-season games. The 19-year-old from Woodhaven, Mich., has committed to Ferris State University (CCHA) for next season.

South Division
Erik Higby, Forward, Topeka RoadRunners
A 20-year-old from New Braunfels, Texas, Higby, in his second NAHL season, won the league’s regular-season scoring title with 80 points on 27 goals for the South Division regular-season champions. He has committed to Northern Michigan University (CCHA) for next year.

Jared Rickord, Forward Springfield Jr. Blues
In second season with the Jr. Blues, Rickord, a 20-year-old from Skokie, Ill., finished third overall in league scoring with 68 points on 28 goals in 58 games. He has committed to Bentley University (Atlantic Hockey) for 2010-11.

West Division
Brandon Jaeger, Goaltender, Wenatchee Wild
In 29 appearances with the NAHL regular-season champion Wild, Jaeger, a 19-year-old from Champlin, Minn., fashioned a 22-3-1 record to compliment a league-leading goals-against average (1.83) and save percentage (.928).

Jake Parenteau, Defenseman, Alaska Avalanche
In his second season with the Avalanche, Parenteau led all NAHL defensemen in scoring with 47 points (16 goals) in 55 regular-season games. The 19-year-old from Shafer, Minn., has committed to the University of Minnesota (WCHA) for next season.

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

NAHL announces All-Divisional Teams

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its All-Central, -North, -South and -West Division Teams for the 2009-10 season, as selected by the league’s coaches and general managers.

All-Central Division Team
Forward: Jason Fabian, Bismarck Bobcats
Forward: Nardo Nagtzaam, Alexandria Blizzard
Forward: Cory Thorson, Owatonna Express
Defenseman: Derek Docken, Albert Lea Thunder
Defenseman: Sam Rendle, Bismarck Bobcats
Goaltender: Ryan Faragher, Bismarck Bobcats

All-North Division Team
Forward: Tanner Kero, Marquette Rangers
Forward: Andrew Kolb, Marquette Rangers
Forward: Garrett Ladd, Marquette Rangers
Defenseman: Mike Schenfeld, Janesville Jets
Defenseman: Travis White, Traverse City North Stars
Goaltender: Kevin Kissaw, Marquette Rangers

All-South Division Team
Forward: Erik Higby, Topeka RoadRunners
Forward: Jared Rickord, Springfield Jr. Blues
Forward: Brian Sheehan, Wichita Falls Wildcats
Defenseman: Blake Edwards, St. Louis Bandits
Defenseman: Kevin Ryan, Topeka RoadRunners
Goaltender: Dan Sullivan, Texas Tornado

All-West Division Team
Forward: Jeff Jubinville, Wenatchee Wild
Forward: Michael Juola, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Forward: Johan Skinnars, Kenai River Brown Bears
Defenseman: Adam McKenzie, Wenatchee Wild
Defenseman: Jake Parenteau, Alaska Avalanche
Goaltender: Brandon Jaeger, Wenatchee Wild

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

Friday, April 23, 2010

U18: Gold again for USA

Press Release

Gold Medal Game
Sweden – United States 1-3 (0-1, 0-2, 1-0)
MINSK – USA successfully defended its title at the World U18 Championship with a 3-1 win against Sweden. The gold is the American’s fifth at the U18 level and brings their total medal haul to eight at the annual event. Sweden’s silver medal matched its best finish at U18s, which it earned once, in 1999.

Today’s win avenged the only U.S. loss of this year’s tournament, a 4-2 defeat in the preliminary round. Since 2002, the Americans have missed the podium at U18s only once, in 2003 when they took fourth place.

The game was played in the 15,000-seat Minsk Arena. It was the only game of the event that was played at the newly-opened, state-of-the art building and more than 10,000 fans came for the final.

The Americans came out fired up in the first period and quickly took the 1-0 lead when Luke Moffatt scored a clean shot from the slot 2:10 into action. The Americans pressured the Swedish net after the goal, but Johan Gustafsson stood his ground and weathered the storm.

The momentum took a massive turn when Austin Watson was given a five minute penalty and game misconduct for a brutal hit on Sweden’s Herni Snall. Snall had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher, likely with a concussion. The U.S. was forced to buckle down and change to defense mode, and ultimately killed the lengthy penalty while getting nearly as many shots as the Swedes during the man advantage.

Midway through the second period, the Americans extended their lead to 2-0. Justin Faulk flipped in the puck after Nick Shore fed him a pass as he streaked in front of the goal. The Americans continued to pressure the Swedish net and climbed ahead 3-0, just 14 seconds into a power-play late in the second. Rocco Grimaldi scored on the rebound, putting the U.S. in pole position heading into the break.

Sweden found renewed life in the third period when Ludvig Rensfeldt put in a shot from the face-off circle to make it a 3-1 affair 6:54 into the third frame. But despite having their best play of the game after the goal, the comeback went no further as the U.S. hung on for the 3-1 win.

For two U.S. players, the gold medal was their third in a row at an IIHF event. Jason Zucker and Jack Campbell were on the gold medal-winning teams at the 2009 U18s, the 2010 U20s and now this year’s U18s.

Bronze Medal Game
Finland – Russia 5-1 (0-0, 1-0, 4-1)
MINSK – Finland took its second consecutive bronze medal at the World U18 Championship after topping Russia, 5-1, in today’s bronze medal game. Teemu Pulkkinen scored a hat trick, to bring his goal total to ten goals at the event.

The Finns were definitely pleased with their third-place finish, especially considering the obstacles they had to overcome at this year’s event. Top goaltender Sami Aittokallio going down with an injury before the first game and a few players had flu symptoms for today’s bronze medal game. It is Finland’s sixth medal at the U18s and their third bronze medal finish.

Finland and Russia met in the preliminary round, which Finland won 5-4 and for much of the game it looked like today’s game would be similarly close until the Finns erupted with four, third-period goals.

Pulkkinen has been Finland’s go-to man the entire tournament, so it seemed only fitting that he broke a 35-minute scoreless deadlock to give Finland the 1-0 lead. Pulkkinen streaked down the ice and fired in a shot from the slot that beat Russian goaltender Andrei Vasilevski high.

Before the goal, the teams were playing tentatively, trading penalties but not taking advantage of the extra man opportunities.

Finland opened up a seemingly huge 2-0 lead when Mikael Granlund, Finland’s other top player, scored 2:33 into the third period on the first power-play chance of the period. He was assisted by his younger brother Markus. After the 2-0 goal, the floodgates opened, with the Finns putting in another three markers compared with Russia's lone, late-game tally in the 5-1 win.

Just like in their semi-final loss, Russia's frustration shone through in a late-game melee, which resulted in 127 penalty minutes.

Directorate Awards:
Goaltender: Jack Campbell (USA)
Defenseman: Adam Larsson (SWE)
Forward: Teemu Pulkkinen (FIN)

Media All-Star Team
Goaltender: Jack Campbell (USA)
Defensemen: Adam Clendening (USA); Adam Larsson (SWE)
Forwards: Johan Larsson (SWE); Evgeni Kuznetsov (RUS); Teemu Pulkkinen (FIN)
MVP: Jack Campbell (USA)

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

Faucette Committed to USHL Officiating Development

Press Release

The United States Hockey League is at the forefront of player development, annually sending many of its alumni to college hockey programs across the USA, into the NHL Entry Draft, and eventually into professional hockey at all levels. While development of players is the number one priority for the League, the USHL has also been successful in the development and advancement of off-ice administrators, general managers, and coaches.

The League also has a successful track record in development of on-ice officials. Most recently, Brian Pancich, who worked in the USHL several years, joined the NHL staff this season as a linesman. Fourteen seasons ago, the USHL made a joint commitment with USA Hockey for the development of on-ice officials. The USHL was the first to provide slots for the new Officials Development Program (ODP), which focuses on the development of on-ice officials for eventual work in international, collegiate, and professional hockey.

In addition to the plethora of college and pro hockey scouts in attendance on any given game night in the USHL, another small group of people under the direction of USHL's Director of Hockey Operations Scott Brand are also in arenas. These individuals are in and out of the official's dressing rooms evaluating, coaching, and listening to young officials who are also looking for career advancement.

One such supervisor is frequently recognized by the college and pro scouts as he moves around the venue of his game assignment. Most likely, it is because Mark Faucette was an official during many of the games these scouts participated in as players at the minor professional or NHL levels.

Faucette, who has already lived the life that many of the younger officials are dreaming about, spent 17 years in the NHL. Thus, when he enters the locker room as part of his supervisory duties, he brings instant credibility and creates a little awe in the young men and women he coaches. He is representative of the cross-section of supervisors who bring extensive professional, international, and amateur hockey officiating experience to a newer generation of aspiring officials.

The former referee is one of the few US-born officials who have worked in the NHL, and his work at that level also brings credibility in his discussions with the coaches, general managers, and game officials as he deals with the inevitable questions and issues that arise in the competitive world of USHL hockey.

Faucette was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and played both high school and Division II college hockey in the area. He began officiating at the age of 20, drawing on the influence of his father who worked as a linesman in the American Hockey League, including assignments to the Calder Cup Finals.

"Dad also worked as an NCAA referee, earning two assignments to the NCAA finals. He was my inspiration when it came to officiating," said Faucette. Despite his NHL success, he may not be the most sought after member of his family for advice by others. Faucette has a younger brother who works as part of the production staff of television reality show American Idol.

Faucette was first noticed by the NHL when he attended an officiating school conducted by Kevin Collins, a long-time NHL linesman. Collins was instrumental in Faucette beginning his pro career as a linesman in the AHL.

The next move for Faucette was the transition from linesman to a NHL referee trainee. This brought assignments in the Canadian junior leagues before moving up to work in the International Hockey League, the Central Hockey League, the ECHL, and the AHL.

In 1985, he was hired full-time by the NHL as a referee and before his career ended, he had officiated 912 regular season games as well as numerous playoff assignments, including the NHL Conference Finals. Faucette also skated as a referee at the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo and the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. He was assigned to officiate the 1996 NHL All-Star Game in Boston and the International Ice Hockey Federation's first World Cup of Hockey that same year.

Faucette has a number of memories from his NHL days. "My first assignment in the NHL ended in a line brawl as Buffalo and Detroit erupted in a melee. In my first playoff game, I saw Wayne Gretzky score an overtime winning goal, and I worked the first-ever four-man officiating crew in the NHL at Madison Square Garden."

The former NHL referee now resides in Florida and works in the hockey off-season for Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays. His first work off the ice as a supervisor began in 2006 for the ECHL before being hired by USA Hockey in the summer of 2009 for his current role.

"I am proud of our staff's work with the young men and women in our program," said Faucette of his efforts with the ODP. In addition to supervising young officials in the ECHL, Southern Professional Hockey League, the USHL and five other junior leagues across the USA, he is used as an on-ice instructor at officiating camps sponsored by USA Hockey and the various leagues that utilize officials from the ODP.

Faucette realizes the role of supervisor involves more than just game criticism. "I understand that the youngsters in stripes are very fragile at this stage of their development and need to be taught and educated - not just criticized. This is the hardest time of their career as they are seeking an identity, looking for acceptance, traveling alone for long periods of time, and being away from loved ones for months at a time. All of this on top of having to master the rules and execute their best in what may be a hostile environment."

The veteran referee has been in their position and is looking to pass along the knowledge that was afforded to him during his on-ice career. "I am very grateful to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly for investing their time in my career, as well as for the time spent by members of the NHLOA Alumni and its present members. Now it is my turn to give to the next generation."

Faucette is hopeful that through his work with the ODP he can help foster two of his personal goals. He sees the advent of the four-man officiating crew, which was introduced in the USHL this season, as necessary in today's faster game and is hopeful for a wider adoption of the system. He likes the teamwork created when two referees are on the ice so they work in unison to have a better overall view of the game.

Secondly, while he has a commitment to all of his charges, he is hopeful more US-born officials can break into the NHL and higher levels of pro hockey. "The USHL is loaded with both talented players and officials who bring it all out every night. This is a great proving ground for up-and-coming officials as the intensity and great crowds emulate collegiate and pro levels. It can be overwhelming for some at this level or it can be a launching pad for officials who have their sights on bigger goals."

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

Chill unveils logo

Press Release

The Coulee Region Chill, which will begin play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) next season, has announced the unveiling of its logo.

The logo was designed by Sammy Gross of 144Design.

“Perhaps the greatest challenge in the design process was creating an identity for a name that doesn’t have an obvious mascot,” said Gross. “The first renditions actually didn’t even incorporate a mascot at all, they were strictly typographical treatments. The incorporation of the penguin accomplished the sleek and edgy quality we were striving for.”

The Chill, which relocated from North Iowa, will play its home games at OmniCenter in Onalaska, Wis.

“Our goal was to create a custom logo that would set the team apart from Day 1,” Gross added. “What we landed on was well thought out and holds together nicely as a brand. I commend the Chill organization; it made the right move in getting this off on the right foot.”

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

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NHL History Will be Made - Martin Jones WJC parody

I did my take on the NHL commercial series

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