Tuesday, May 31, 2011

League Acquires MAINEiacs

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - The Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Gilles Courteau, today announced that the Lewiston MAINEiacs franchise will be bought out by the League.

The decision was rendered this afternoon following a vote from League Members. The financial terms were not disclosed.

"Following a vote from League Members, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is purchasing the Lewiston MAINEiacs franchise," said the Commissioner. "Therefore, the franchise will be dissolved and the players submitted to a special draft which will in most likelihood be held on Friday. I am disappointed for the fans in Lewiston. The MAINEiacs enjoyed some very good moments, including a President Cup championship in 2007. I know that Mark Just and his ownership group did all that they could to save the franchise, but the situation was no longer viable."

Details surrounding a special dispersal draft will be unveiled as soon as they become available.

"I am truly sad for MAINEiacs fans," added the majority owner Mark Just. "For those that supported the team over the past few years, I would like to thank you. Nonetheless, mounting financial losses became too much to bear for our ownership group."

The Commissioner also announced that following the 2011-12 season an expansion team will be awarded to a group of investors which is led by former QMJHL and NHL All-Star Jocelyn Thibault. The team will begin play in the 2012-13 season and will play its games at the Palais des Sports Léopold-Drolet in the city of Sherbrooke.

"The QMJHL is very excited to welcome Sherbrooke back into its fold," said the Commissioner. "With strong local ownership, I am convinced that major junior hockey will once again flourish in Sherbrooke.

In the next few days, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will work toward completing a seventeen team 2011-12 regular season schedule.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Vatanen Inked to Three-Year Entry-Level Deal

Press Release

The Ducks announced on Monday that they have signed defenseman Sami Vatanen to a three-year entry-level contract. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

Vatanen recorded 31 points and a plus-30 rating for JYP Jyvaskyla of the Finnish Elite League in 2010-11. The defenseman also represented Team Finland at the last two IIHF World Junior Championships.

Vatanen, 19 (6/3/91), appeared in 52 contests for JYP Jyvaskyla of the Finnish Elite League in 2010-11, scoring 11-20=31 points with a +30 rating and 30 penalty minutes (PIM). Named the Finnish Elite League’s Defenseman of the Year in 2010-11, Vatanen was also selected to the league’s postseason All-Star team after leading all defensemen in scoring and ranking first overall in plus/minus. He made his debut with Jyvaskyla in 2009-10, collecting 7-23=30 points in 55 games. The 5-10, 165-pound blueliner has also netted 4-5=9 points in 17 career playoff games with Jyvaskyla.

Selected by Anaheim in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Vatanen represented Team Finland at the last two IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo, NY (2011) and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (2010). He recorded 0-4=4 points in six games as team captain during the 2011 championship and 2-3=5 points in six contests at the 2010 tournament. Vatanen also captained Finland to a bronze-medal win over Canada at the 2009 IIHF Under-18 World Championships in Fargo, ND. In six games during the World tournament, he scored 0-5=5 points with a +6 rating.

A native of Jyvaskyla, Finland, Vatanen spent two seasons with his hometown Jyvaskyla junior team prior to making his Finnish Elite League debut in 2009-10. In 55 games with the junior squad, Vatanen collected 12-36=48 points with 52 PIM between 2007-09.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Kings Sign Prospect Nicolas Deslauriers To A Three-Year Entry Level Contract

Press Release

Deslauriers, 20, was selected by the Kings in the third round (84th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He recently completed his fourth season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with the Gatineau Olympiques, and he led all QMJHL defensemen in 2011 playoff scoring with 20 points (5-15=20) in 24 post-season games. Deslauriers helped Gatineau advance to the QMJHL’s championship series (the President’s Cup Final) before the Olympiques lost to the Saint John Sea Dogs in six games.

In 48 regular season games during the 2010-11 season, Deslauriers racked up 43 points (13-30=43) and 53 penalty minutes. He led all defensemen on his team in goals (13), assists (30), points (43), power-play goals (6), and plus/minus rating (plus-22).

A 6-1, 200-pound native of LaSalle, Quebec, Deslauriers joined the Olympiques after three seasons with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL). In 2009-10, he tied for 12th among QMJHL defensemen with 45 points (9-36=45) while finishing with a plus-22 rating in 65 regular season games. In 2008-09, Deslauriers ranked second among club defensemen in goals (11), points (30) and assists (19) while appearing in 68 regular season games.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Cizikas Agrees to Terms On Entry-Level Contract

Press Release

The New York Islanders announced today that Casey Cizikas has agreed to terms on an entry-level contract.

Cizikas, 20, scored a career-high 64 points (29 goals, 35 assists) in 52 games this season for the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League, ranking third on the team in scoring. The Toronto, ON, native also scored 19 points and a team-high 14 assists in 16 OHL playoff games, tying for second place on the team in post-season scoring and seventh place in the league. Cizikas added two goals and one assist in five games during the 2011 Memorial Cup, as Mississauga fell to the Saint John Sea Dogs in the Finals.

On the international stage, Cizikas played for Team Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, NY. He scored two goals with one assist in seven games to help his country earn a Silver Medal.

The Islanders selected Cizikas in the fourth round (92nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. In four seasons with Mississauga, the 6’0”, 185-pound forward totaled 88 goals and 115 assists for 203 points in 237 games. He finished his Junior career with 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) in 47 OHL Playoff games.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Oil Barons and MacDonald Island Park to host Red-White game

Press Release

The Fort McMurray Oil Barons and MacDonald Island Park announced today that the Casman Centre will host a Red-White game as part of Canada's National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp on Sunday, August 7, 2011.

"We're thrilled to not only bring excitement of the camp to Edmonton, but to Fort McMurray as well as we strive to bring Alberta together for this winter's World Juniors," said Al Coates, executive director of the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The game will take place at 7 p.m. and tickets will be on sale for $30 each beginning on Friday, July 8 for regular Fort McMurray Oil Barons season ticket holders. The general public will be able to buy tickets beginning on July 15.

The day will also include a Maple Leaf Luncheon, which is open to the public from noon to 1 p.m. Tickets will be sold for $100 and will go on sale on Friday, June 17. The luncheon will feature all 40 players in attendance at the camp, which is the first step towards selection of Canada's National Junior Team for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"Once again world-class talent is coming to Fort McMurray and we are proud to host the best junior hockey players in Canada," said Councillor Don Scott of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. "This is a fantastic opportunity for our community to showcase the Big Spirit our residents have for hockey and supporting our national athletes."

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Summerside awarded 2013 RBC Royal Bank Cup, Yarmouth awarded 2012 World Junior A Challenge

Press Release

At the AGM it was announced the the Summerside Western Capitals were successful in their bid to host the Royal Bank Cup in 2013. It was also announced that Yarmouth, Nova Scotia was selected as to host the World Junior A Challenge in 2013. Below is the complete release from Hockey Canada.

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada’s 92nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), attended by more than 250 delegates from across the country, wrapped up Saturday at the Westin Calgary after three days of discussion about what will benefit the growth and development of Canada’s game.

Hockey Canada’s 2011 AGM brought together the governing body’s board of directors, officers, life members, partner organizations and representation from all 13 branches, as well as from councils that oversee female hockey, junior hockey, minor hockey, senior hockey and hockey development.

On Saturday afternoon, Michael Bruni (Calgary, Alta.), was elected chair of the board by acclamation, taking over for Ken Corbett (Carleton Place, Ont.), who concluded a term of over two years as chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors.

In addition, Jim Hornell (Brantford, Ont.) was elected executive vice-chair by acclamation, James Mays (Prince Albert, Sask.) was elected referee-in-chief by acclamation, while Corbett takes on the position of past chair.

Five officers were also elected to Hockey Canada’s board of directors: Claude Allain (Gatineau, Que.), Michael Brind’Amour (St-Charles-Borromée, Que.), Joe Drago (Sudbury, Ont.), Terry Ledingham (Bon Accord, Alta.) and Ed Pupich (Schumacher, Ont.).

The Hockey Canada AGM delegates also recognized and thanked retiring officer Marcel Redekop (Herbert, Sask.) and outgoing past chair René Marcil (Trois-Rivières, Que.).

Items approved by Hockey Canada’s board of directors during this year’s AGM include:
zero tolerance measures for all head contact or checks in minor, female, junior and senior hockey: in minor and female hockey, a minor penalty shall be assessed for all accidental hits to the head, while a double minor penalty, or a major and game misconduct at the discretion of the referee based on the degree of violence of impact, shall be assessed for any intentional contact to the head; in junior (Junior A, B, C, D) and senior hockey, a minor and a misconduct or a major and a game misconduct shall be assessed for all checks to the head, at the discretion of the referee a major penalty and a game misconduct, or match penalty, shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent under this rule approval of an action plan to address recruitment and retention in Canada, including: membership card; partnerships; education and communications initiatives; reporting strategies; an e-learning strategy that will bring hockey development (coaching, officiating, safety) to Hockey Canada’s membership through on-line platforms a new strategy for the development, recruitment and licensing of Hockey Canada sports schools

Host communities approved by Hockey Canada’s board of directors at the 2011 Hockey Canada AGM:

2011-12 season
2011 World Junior A Challenge – Langley, B.C.

2012-13 season
2012 World Junior A Challenge – Yarmouth, N.S. 2013 Esso Cup – Burnaby, B.C. 2013 TELUS Cup – Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. 2013 RBC Cup – Summerside, P.E.I.

Hockey Canada’s Annual General Meeting kicked off Thursday, May 26 and included a banquet on the evening of Friday, May 27 that honoured ten deserving award recipients who have all had a significant impact on the hockey community.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Riders Zajac Commits to University of Denver

Press Release

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders defenseman Nolan Zajac has committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of Denver following his USHL career.

Zajac collected 30 points (3g, 27) and a plus-15 rating in just 45 games this season for the RoughRiders. He tied for ninth among USHL defensemen in scoring and was fifth among blueliners with 27 assists. The 18-year-old defenseman helped the RoughRiders tie a team record with 42 victories on the way to capturing the Anderson Cup title for best regular season finish in the League. It was the second USHL season for the native of Winnipeg, Manitoba after recording 11 assists in 49 games during his rookie campaign in 2009-10.

Nolan Zajac is the youngest of four hockey-playing brothers and the only defenseman among the family. The oldest, Travis, completed his fifth season with the New Jersey Devils in the NHL. Darcy spent this season in the Devils system, playing 40 games for their AHL affiliate, the Albany Devils. Kelly recently completed his junior season at Union College.

Zajac will join RoughRiders teammate Josiah Didier, who is also committed to the University of Denver. Seven other players who played in the USHL during the 2010-11 season are also committed to play hockey at the school; Garrett Allen (Chicago Steel), Matt Tabrum (Omaha Lancers), Daniel Doremus (Sioux Falls Stampede), Zac Larraza (Team USA), Dakota Mermis (Team USA), Matt Van Voorhis (Team USA), and Scott Mayfield (Youngstown Phantoms).

The University of Denver Pioneers is a member of the WCHA and had 12 USHL alumni on the roster this season; Nate Dewhurst (Des Moines Buccaneers), Matt Donovan (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Chris Knowlton (Des Moines Buccaneers), John Lee (Waterloo Black Hawks), Anthony Maiani (Sioux City Musketeers), David Makowski (Green Bay Gamblers), Jesse Martin (Tri-City Storm), Jarrod Mermis (Lincoln Stars/Sioux City Musketeers), Paul Phillips (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), John Ryder (Ohio Junior Blue Jackets), Nick Shore (Team USA), and Jason Zucker (Team USA).

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Raiders Extend Derkatch’s Contract

Press Release

Prince Albert SK- The Prince Albert Raiders are pleased to announce that they have extended the contract of their Director of Player Personnel Dale Derkatch, who will now also assume the role of Skills Development Coach for the Raider organization.

Derkatch joined the Raiders as Director of Player Personnel at the start of the 2009-10 season and has played a pivotal part in player acquisition and development over the past two seasons. As the new Skills Development Coach for the Raiders, Derkatch will now play a more active role in the skill development of prospects and players periodically throughout the season.

“I’m very excited to stay on as Director of Player Personnel.” Said Derkatch. “It is a pleasure to work with Bruno, his coaching staff and everyone involved in the Raider organization. Now, as the Skills Development Coach as well, I am looking forward to being a part of the coaching staff and working with the players directly. It is a unique, exciting opportunity and hopefully I can contribute to the overall success of the organization.”

Prior to joining the Raiders, Derkatch served as the coach of the Regina Pats in the 2008-09 season and in the four years prior to that was the Director of Hockey Development at the prestigious Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox Saskatchewan. Among his many duties at Notre Dame, Derkatch oversaw all aspects of scouting and recruitment to the college including appointment of scouts and contacting potential players and their parents. As a coach at Notre Dame, Derkatch was selected the SMAAAHL Coach of the Year in 2006-07 and was a finalist for that award in two other seasons.

From 1998-04 Derkatch was an Amateur Scout for the Washington Capitals of the NHL. He identified, evaluated and assessed draft eligible players for the NHL Entry Draft. While maintaining constant knowledge of all draft eligible players he also formulated a cost efficient schedule to scout across Canada, the United States and Europe for the Caps.

As a player Derkatch was one of the most prolific scorers in WHL history. Among his records are: career playoff points (103), career playoff assists (73) and most points in one playoff season (53 in 1984). He was the WHL Rookie of the Year in 1982 and won the league scoring title in 1983. The speedy centre played for Canada at the World Junior Championships in 1983 and 1984 and played on the Canadian Olympic team in 1984.

He was a 7th round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 1983. Derkatch went on to a 14 year professional career in Europe playing in Elite Leagues in Finland, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Paul Fricker Named Giants Goaltending Coach

Press Release

Vancouver, B.C. - The Vancouver Giants have named Paul Fricker as the team's goaltending coach. He joins the team immediately after spending the last 7 seasons working for the Seattle Thunderbirds. The bulk of his 30 plus years experience comes working with goaltenders on a one on one basis, as a personal coach. Fricker himself is a former University of Michigan product and was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the 9th round, 176th overall in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, but never played a game in the NHL.

"We are very excited for Paul to join our organization," said Head Coach Don Hay. "He has a proven track record working with and helping to develop young goaltenders. His experience and familiarity with the WHL will be a major asset."

"It is a honour to join the Vancouver Giants organization," said Fricker. "I have watched from the outside since the club's inception and believe I have a pretty good understanding of what they are all about. I am very excited for the opportunity to work with Don and the rest of the staff."

Fricker got his first look at the Giants goaltenders of the future at this past weekend's spring camp and was impressed. "All 5 goalies involved at spring camp were good. There definitely is a lot of potential and promise in the group we have."

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Blackhawks sign Salak, Froese and Gilbert

Press Release

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed goaltender Alexander Salak (SAL-ak) to a two-year contract, and forwards Byron Froese (FRAYZ) and David Gilbert (zhihl-BAIR) to three-year entry-level contracts.

Salak, 24, helped lead Farjestad BK to the 2011 Swedish Elitserien championship, ranking second along league netminders with a 1.97 GAA and .926 save percentage in 33 regular-season contests. The goaltender was acquired by Chicago, along with forward Michael Frolik, in a trade with the Florida Panthers on February 9.

The Strakonice, Czech Republic, native made his North American debut last season, being honored as an American Hockey League All-Star in the midst of compiling a 29-14-0 record and a .910 save percentage over 50 games with the AHL’s Rochester Americans. He also made his National Hockey League debut, stopping 34-of-40 shots in two relief appearances with the Panthers.

Froese, 20, shared ninth in the Western Hockey League with a career-high 43 goals, including a league-leading 24 power-play markers, and ranked third on the Red Deer Rebels with a career-best 81 points in 70 regular-season games. The Winkler, Manitoba, native also paced the Rebels with five goals and added two assists in nine WHL postseason tilts.

Originally selected by the Blackhawks in the fourth round (119th overall) of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Froese notched 99 goals and 115 assists in 233 career contests over parts of three WHL campaigns with Red Deer (2010-11) and the Everett Silvertips (2008-10).

Gilbert, 20, recorded a career-high 28 goals and 51 points, along with a +22 plus/minus rating, in 52 regular-season tilts with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan this season, and added three points (2G, A) in four Quebec Major Junior Hockey League postseason contests. Following the conclusion of his junior campaign the Chateauguay, Quebec, native notched three points (2G, A) and a +3 rating in five games with the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.

Originally selected by the Blackhawks in the seventh round (209th overall) of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Gilbert notched 156 points (70G, 86A) and 112 penalty minutes in 209 regular-season contests over parts of four QMJHL seasons with the Quebec Remparts (2007-10) and Acadie-Bathurst (2010-11). He added 19 points (14G, 5A) in 37 career postseason tilts.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Clydesdales to host open camp June 17-19

Press Release

DULUTH, Minn. -- The Duluth Clydesdales have announced they will be holding an open camp June 17-19 at the Fogarty Ice House in Blaine, Minn.

The camp will consist of four separate hour-long on-ice sessions with members of the Clydesdales staff along with one-on-one exit interviews, which will follow the final on-ice session.

All potential recruits are invited to attend to acclimate themselves with head coach Sean Storie and the rest of the staff.

The camp fee is $100 and can be submitted by mail with registration or via paypal.

Registration forms and online payment information can be located on the main page of the team's website at http://www.duluthclydesdales.com.

For additonal details on the camp and Duluth Clydesdales hockey contact the team at clydesdaleshockey@gmail.com.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Oil Barons and MacDonald Island Park to host Canada’s National Junior Team

Press Release

The Fort McMurray Oil Barons and MacDonald Island Park to host Red-White game as part of Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp on Sunday, August 7, 2011.

“We’re thrilled to not only bring excitement of the camp to Edmonton, but to Fort McMurray as well as we strive to bring Alberta together for this winter’s World Juniors,” said Al Coates, executive director of the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The game will take place at 7 p.m. and tickets will be on sale for $30 each beginning on Friday, July 8 for regular Fort McMurray Oil Barons season ticket holders. The general public will be able to buy tickets beginning on July 15.

The day will also include a Maple Leaf Luncheon, which is open to the public from noon to 1 p.m. Tickets will be sold for $100 and will go on sale on Friday, June 17. The luncheon will feature all 40 players in attendance at the camp, which is the first step towards selection of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

“Once again world-class talent is coming to Fort McMurray and we are proud to host the best junior hockey players in Canada,” said Councillor Don Scott of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our community to showcase the Big Spirit our residents have for hockey and supporting our national athletes.”

For tickets to the Maple Leaf Luncheon please visit www.macdonaldisland.ca.

For tickets to the Red-White game at the Casman Centre please visit www.oilbarons.com.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Monday, May 30, 2011


Press Release

The Coquitlam Express are pleased to announce that Matthew Hutchinson and Jared Eng will be representing Canada in this years IIHF World Inline Hockey Championships June 19 - 25th in Pardubice, Czech Republic.

Both Hutchinson and Eng were first year defencemen for the Express last season; Hutchinson will be returning to play for the 2011-12 season and Eng will be furthering his hockey and education at Sacred Heart University in the fall.

The Canadian Inline Hockey team is coming off a 4th place finish at the 2010 World Championships in Karlstad, Sweden, Team Canada is looking to make the step to the podium this year with several returning players and solid mix of new blood into the program.

Players are expected to cover their own travel expences which can be costly going to the Czech Republic; both Matt and Jared are looking for sponsorship to help offset the cost. A full sponsorship package may be found here.

2011 Team Canada Roster

G Brett Leggat Hamilton, Ontario
G Ewen MacPherson Sherwood Park, Alberta
D Kyle Henderson Edmonton, Alberta
D Kirk French Langley, BC
D Jared Eng North Vancouver, BC
D Matthew Hutchinson North Vancouver, BC
D/F Max Grassi North Vancouver, BC
F Dave Hammond Orange, CA
F Thomas Woods Vancouver, BC
F Kye Benjaminsen Vancouver, BC
F Jimmy Carter Victoria, BC
F Dylan Nowakowski Calgary, AB
F Josh Foote Sherwood Park, AB
F Adam Ross Red Deer, AB

You can follow Team Canada during the championships at www.niha.ca via video interviews, stories and live game updates.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Canucks sign Steven Anthony

Press Release

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks President & General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have signed left winger Steven Anthony. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Anthony, 20, spent the 2010.11 season with the Saint John Sea Dogs, recording 60 points (23-37-60) in 61 games during the regular season and was a member of the Memorial Cup-winning Sea Dogs. In four seasons with the Sea Dogs, the Halifax, Nova Scotia native has earned 163 points (66-97-163) in 244 games played. Anthony also appeared in his first NHL pre-season game on September 21, 2010 at Calgary, registering four shots on goal.

The 6’2”, 187-pound forward was originally selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh round, 187th overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

Cranbrook, BC – The Kootenay ICE Hockey Club announced today that Forward Matt Fraser has been named the Boston Pizza Top Playoff Performer for the 2011 WHL Playoffs.

Matt was a physical force at both ends of the ice throughout the WHL Playoffs. He helped lead the ICE to their third career WHL Championship with 17 goals and 10 assists for 27 points in just 19 games. In the playoffs, Matt recorded four game winning goals and had nine multi-point games. During the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup, he was the second leading scorer in the tournament with four goals and two assists in five games and recorded two game winning goals and two multi-point games.

The ICE would like to thank Boston Pizza for their sponsorship of the Top Playoff Performer Award.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Senators sign forward Jakob Silfverberg to an entry-level contract

Press Release

OTTAWA - Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today that the club has signed forward Jakob Silfverberg to a three-year entry-level contract. Silfverberg recently concluded 2010-11 play by helping Team Sweden earn a silver medal at the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.

A native of Gavle, Sweden, Silfverberg has spent the last three seasons with Brynas of the Swedish Elite League (SEL), with whom he set professional career highs in 2010-11 in goals (18), assists (16), points (34) and games played (53). He ranked first among all Brynas players in goals and was third in overall team scoring this season. He also concluded the 2011 post-season ranked second (tie) on his team with four playoff points (four assists) as Brynas was eliminated by eventual champion Farjestads in five games.

Silfverberg, 20, was the Senators’ first of two second-round picks (39th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. In 117 career SEL contests, he has registered 54 points (29 goals, 25 assists) while amassing 22 penalty minutes.

In addition to playing for Sweden at the 2011 World Championship, Silfverberg has also represented his country at each of the last three World Junior Hockey Championships, winning a silver medal in 2009 in Ottawa and a bronze medal in 2010 in Saskatoon.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Senators sign forward Louie Caporusso to an entry-level contract

Press Release

OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators announced today that the club has signed forward Louie Caporusso to a two-year entry-level contract.

A Toronto native, Caporusso recently completed his fourth and final season of college eligibility with the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s University of Michigan Wolverines, who he helped reach the NCAA championship game (Frozen Four final) on April 9 in St. Paul, Minn.

Caporusso played in 41 games this season, scoring 11 times and adding 20 assists, while recording 22 penalty minutes. He served as Michigan’s alternate team captain this past season. In four years with the Wolverines, he recorded 144 points (68 goals, 76 assists) while registering 96 penalty minutes in 160 games. He ranked second in team scoring in each of his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

Originally drafted by the Senators in the third round (90th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Caporusso has participated in the team’s annual development camp in each of the last four summers.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Campbellton Group Announce Personnell

Press Release

Lionel Ahier, owner of owner of Dixie Lee Foods in Campbellton, is no stranger to the league. Ahier was involved with the team in the 1990's when the team was referred to as the Restigouche River Rats. It was announced last week that Ahier and a group of local business owners were making an effort to take over operations of the club and keep the team viable in Campbellton.

On Friday, Ahier confirmed that Charles Leblanc will be returning as Head Coach and GM. Also, Jason Leblanc will return as Assistant Coach and Pat Belliveau will return as Director of Operations.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Royals’ DiChiara Signs with St. Louis Bandits of the NAHL

Press Release

Long Island Royals’ Frank DiChiara, the MET League’s Scoring Champ and MVP, has signed with the Saint Louis Bandits of the NAHL. The Bandits have won the NAHL championship 3 out the last 4 years (07,08 and 09), and the hope is that the signing of Dichiara, along with some key draft picks, can help bring them back to the championship game.

Dichiara, who has high expectations for his future, sees the Bandits as a great stepping stone to accomplish his hockey and academic goals.

"There is a natural growth in hockey that you have to follow,” said DiChiara. “Each step you take leads to another. The opportunity to play for Coach Brown and the Bandits will go a long way in helping me reach my goals. I hope during the course of this upcoming season to commit to a D-I college and follow a path that, I hope, leads me to the NHL - my ultimate dream.”

Dichiara who graduates this year from high school has a 4.0 GPA and is in the top 10% of his class. This MET League All Star and Keegan Cup Champ has a bright future and we hope that the path he is on leads to continued success.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

MAINEiacs Owner Explores Options

Maine Hockey Journal Story

Press Release

Mark Just, Majority Owner of the Lewiston MAINEiacs, has confirmed that after posting financial losses for eight consecutive seasons, that the organization is exploring all options available to it.

The franchise has very passionate fans and corporate partners. As much as the organization values the support received over the years, it has not been enough to meet financial obligations without generous contributions from the ownership. The organization has reached the point where it cannot continue to operate under the fiscal conditions as they exist today.

"I have been trying to do everything that I possibly can to keep the team intact," stated Mr. Just. "All and every option is on the table, including selling to local investors or others, looking at relocation options, and / or seeking additional sources of funding within the State of Maine."

"As the only United States based team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the organization incurs a higher level of expenditures for immigration, healthcare, and travel." mentioned Just. "As a result, the team is working toward finding solutions to reduce these costs and become profitable. We cannot continue to lose money as the team has in the past eight seasons."

Staff and key support members were briefed this evening on the current state of the team and Mr. Just's commitment to keeping this team together if at all possible. Rumors have surfaced recently of the state of the franchise which has only lead to speculation that prohibits progress in attempts to gain the support required to operate a major junior hockey team in Lewiston.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Sea Dogs capture 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup championship

Press Release

MISSISSAUGA, Sunday, March 29, 2011 – Simon Després, Zack Phillips and Jonathan Huberdeau scored goals while Jacob DeSerres was spectacular, making 34 saves, to lead the Saint John Sea Dogs to a 3-1 win over the host Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors thus earning the right to hoist the MasterCard Memorial Cup as CHL champions.

The Sea Dogs opened the scoring at 2:24 with a shorthanded marker. All-star defenseman Simon Després, a Pittsburgh Penguins first round pick, sped around a Majors blue-liner and beat J.P. Anderson with a quick wrist shot.

Saint John benefited from two consecutive power-play chances, and they made no mistake with Zack Phillips jumping on a loose puck in the crease and pushing it between the legs of J.P. Anderson at 13:17.

Mississauga continued playing undisciplined hockey and was called for two additional penalties. But head coach Gerard Gallant’s troops were unable to take a three-goal lead heading into the first intermission.

The Majors almost got on the board early in the second period, but the attacker hit the cross-bar to keep the score 2-0 in favour of Saint John. Riley Brace finally got Mississauga on the board at 14:41. He directed a great pass from Justin Shugg past Jacob DeSerres.

The Majors put enormous pressure on the Saint John defence throughout the third period, but DeSerres made save after save to keep Mississauga at bay.

Jonathan Huberdeau, who was named the tournament MVP, put an end to the suspense by scoring his third goal of the tournament with just under four minutes to play.

Of note, the Sea Dogs become the first Maritimes-based team to lift the MasterCard Memorial Cup in CHL history. Saint John will try to defend its title at the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup which will be held in Shawinigan.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

BCHL establishes new mark for scholarships attained in one season

Press Release

It's a record that didn't stand for very long.

The mark of 112 scholarships received by British Columbia Hockey League players each of the last two season has been shattered this year.

This week when the Merritt Centennials announced the commitment of defenceman and captain Steve Tresierra to Queen's University of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, it pushed the league over the previous standard.

"Colleges in Canada and the United States increasingly look to our league as our teams and coaches continue to provide them with outstanding young men who are ready for the next level," said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. "I'm thrilled so many of our players are getting a chance to continue their hockey careers while receiving an education."

More announcements are coming in to the BCHL office each week so continue to check the league website for news.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

2010-11 CHL Awards

Press Release

Mississauga, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the ten national award winners for the 2010-11 season including Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires who earned both the CGC Defenceman of the Year and CCM Player of the Year Awards. Ellis becomes the first player to win both awards since Bryan Fogarty of the Niagara Falls Thunder in 1988-89.

Winners were presented with their awards at Hammerson Hall in the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga as part of the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup festivities.

2010-11 CHL Award Winners:

Jack Link’s Top Prospect of the Year: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Red Deer Rebels

An 18-year-old from Burnaby, BC, Nugent-Hopkins is the number one ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He led the Rebels and finished tied for third in the WHL scoring race with 106 points in 69 games during the 2010-11 regular season while his 75 assists led all WHL players in that category. He was also named Player of the Game for Team Orr at the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Also considered for the award was Gabriel Landeskog of the Kitchener Rangers, and Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

FRAM Sportsman of the Year: Philip-Michaël Devos, Gatineau Olympiques

The 21-year-old from Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, dominated the scoring race in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 47 goals and 114 points, while recording only 31 penalty minutes. His work ethic, classy demeanour and sportsmanship also helped him capture the Frank.-J.-Selke trophy as the QMJHL’s top gentleman. Also considered for the award was Jason Akeson of the Kitchener Rangers, and Tyler Johnson of the Spokane Chiefs.

Chrysler Top Scorer of the Year: Linden Vey, Medicine Hat Tigers

A 19-year-old from Wakaw, SK, Vey finished the 2010-11 regular season with 46 goals and 70 assists for 116 points along with a +37 rating in 69 games to lead the CHL in scoring. Vey scored 13 power play goals, five shorthanded markers and seven game-winning goals. The recently signed Los Angeles Kings prospect recorded at least a point in 54 of the 69 games he played this season. Jason Akeson of the Kitchener Rangers and Tyler Toffoli of the Ottawa 67’s led the OHL in scoring, while Philip-Michaël Devos of the Gatineau Olympiques led the QMJHL.

Home Hardware Humanitarian Player of the Year: Spencer Edwards, Moose Jaw Warriors

A 20-year-old from Coquitlam, BC, Edwards was involved in many community programs throughout the year, including a "Captain's Care" program which he created himself. The program saw the Warriors captain make regular visits to the Moose Jaw Union Hospital to spend time with sick children. He also played a large role in the Warriors "Get Gutsy" campaign, which saw the team raise thousands of dollars for Crohn's and Colitis. Also considered for the award was Jack Walchessen of the Peterborough Petes, and Gabriel Lemieux of the Shawinigan Cataractes.

Subway Scholastic Player of the Year: Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs

A 17-year-old from Toronto, ON, Hamilton attends Governor Simcoe Secondary School in St. Catharines where he maintains an overall academic average of 94% in six Grade 12 level courses. On the ice, Hamilton is the top ranked defenceman for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft rated fourth overall among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting. He finished fourth in scoring among OHL defencemen with 58 points in 67 games scoring 12 goals and 46 assists and a team-high plus-minus rating of plus-35. Also considered for the award was Nicolas Therrien of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, and Colin Smith of the Kamloops Blazers.

Old Dutch Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Gerard Gallant, Saint John Sea Dogs

A native of Summerside, PEI, Gallant wins this award for the second straight season after leading the Sea Dogs to a first overall finish in the QMJHL standings with 58 wins and 119 points while maintaining top spot in the BMO CHL MasterCard Top-10 rankings for the final 15 weeks of the season. Gallant becomes just the second coach to win this award in back-to-back seasons following Bob Boughner who won the award in 2008 and 2009 with the Windsor Spitfires. Also considered for the award was Mark Reeds of the Owen Sound Attack, and Don Nachbaur of the Spokane Chiefs.

BMO Rookie of the Year: Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting

A 17-year-old from Nizhnekamsk, Russia, Yakupov led all rookies and finished tied for fourth overall in OHL scoring with 101 points in 65 games scoring 49 goals and 52 assists. Eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, he became just the fifth OHL rookie to reach 100 points in a season in the last 15 years. Yakupov also established new Sting record for goals and points by a rookie surpassing the marks set by Steven Stamkos in the 2006-07 season. Also considered for the award was Charles Hudon of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, and Matt Dumba of the Red Deer Rebels.

PERT Plus Goaltender of the Year: Darcy Kuemper, Red Deer Rebels

A 21-year-old from Saskatoon, SK, Kuemper backstopped the Rebels to a Central Division crown for the first time since the 2002-03 season. The recently signed Minnesota Wild prospect appeared in 62 games this season, and led all WHL goaltenders in every major statistical category including wins (45), goals-against average (1.86), save percentage (.933) and shutouts (13). Kuemper’s 13 shutouts also tied a WHL single season record. Also considered for the award was Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs, and Jacob DeSerres of the Saint John Sea Dogs.

CGC Defenceman of the Year: Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires

A 20-year-old from Freelton, ON, Ellis led all defencemen in scoring and finished tied for fourth overall in the OHL with 101 points in 58 games scoring 24 goals and 77 assists. He became the first OHL defenceman to score 100 points in a season since Jamie Rivers of the Sudbury Wolves recorded 121 points in 1993-94. The Nashville Predators prospect was a nominee for this award in 2008-09 and became just the third defenceman in OHL history to record 300 career points. Also considered for the award was Simon Després of the Saint John Sea Dogs, and Stefan Elliott of the Saskatoon Blades.

CCM Player of the Year: Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires

Ellis, who scored 101 points in 58 games with 24 goals and 77 assists, becomes the first defenceman to win this award since Brian Campbell of the Ottawa 67’s in the 1998-99 season. A winner throughout his four-year junior career with the Spitfires, the 2009 first round pick of the Nashville Predators captured two OHL and Memorial Cup titles and was named to the MasterCard Memorial Cup All-Star Team in 2009. Internationally, Ellis is the only player in the history of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence to win Gold at each of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2008), IIHF World Under-18 Championship (2008), Memorial of Ivan Hlinka (2008), and the IIHF World Junior Championship (2009). He also earned silver medals with Canada at the 2010 World Junior Championship and again in 2011 in Buffalo, NY, when he served as Team Captain and was named Best Defenceman of the tournament setting a new IIHF and Team Canada record for most career-points by a defenceman with 25 in 20 games. Also considered for the award was Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, and Darcy Kuemper of the Red Deer Rebels.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Olczyk Honored With USHL Curt Hammer Award

Press Release

The United States Hockey League that Sioux City Musketeers forward Tommy Olczyk has been named the 2010-11 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 recognizes 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.

Olczyk recently completed his fourth season in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers and had his best season offensively as he collected 19 points (10g, 9a) while playing in all 60 regular season games. It was the second consecutive season that the reliable forward took the ice for every regular season contest. Over his four seasons in the USHL, he suited up for 205 games and tallied 60 points (25g, 35a). Olczyk, 20, helped guide the Musketeers to the Clark Cup Playoffs this year as they won nine of their final 10 games to reach the postseason for the first time since 2008 – the rookie season for Olczyk. He recently committed to continue his academic and hockey career at Penn State University which will begin NCAA Division I play in the 2012-13 season.

The native of Long Grove, Illinois was an alternate captain for the Musketeers this season after wearing the "C" on his uniform in 2009-10. His leadership was felt on the ice, in the locker room, and throughout the community during his time in Sioux City, especially this season as the club welcomed 17 new players to begin the season. Olczyk has played a significant role in the team's signature fund raising event, "Face Off for Charity." The annual dinner event involves Musketeers players serving as waiters and competing for the highest amount of tips. This season marked the second time that Olczyk has collected the largest amount of tips among the Musketeers as he set a new record with $1,200 earned for charity. During the event, he also addressed the large crowd by reading an account from one of the children at the Boys and Girls Home and Family Services, the benefactor of "Face Off for Charity."

Olczyk quickly became a fan favorite during his USHL career. One of the charitable items auctioned by the team each season is "30 Minutes of Ice Time with a Musketeer." The winner of the auction in each of the past three seasons has chosen Olczyk, and he has graciously and eagerly spent the 30 minutes of ice time teaching skills to a young hockey player one-one-one.

The Musketeers captain has also made more school appearances in the Sioux City area than any other player. At the appearances, Olczyk has read to young students, spoken to entire classrooms, and provided encouragement to children in the community. The Musketeers organization has leaned on him to be an important voice for the club, recognizing his ability to effectively speak to people. That has been frequently on display during countless interviews with television, radio, and newspaper outlets that Olczyk has conducted during both hockey and community events.

"Tommy Olczyk represents everything we want the USHL to stand for," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "He had a significant impact on and off the ice and will be a valuable piece to help start what will quickly be one of the most important NCAA Division I programs in the United States. Having the name 'Olczyk' on your back carries with it a certain special set of responsibilities and he has done that with grace and made a name for himself. We can only hope that we have helped him as much in his hockey career as he has helped not just us, but his community during his time in the USHL. Congratulations to one of our best."

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 can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Mylymok returns as Ice Dogs coach; Adds G.M. duties

Press Release

DRYDEN, Ont. – The Dryden Ice Dogs have announced the Clint Mylymok has agreed to a deal to return as head coach for a third season while also adding the role as general manager to his day-to-day duties with the club.

In his first two seasons behind the Dryden bench, Mylymok has posted a 72-29-7 overall record while also leading the Ice Dogs to the Bill Salonen Cup final in each year.

Off the ice, a change in the team’s executive sees Malcolm Robertson being named the Ice Dogs’ new president with Ted Lake sliding into the role as past president.

The following are the Dryden Ice Dogs executive for the 2011-12 season:

President: Malcolm Robertson
Past President: Ted Lake
Vice President: Mike Ebbeling
Secretary: Tammy Woitowicz
Treasurer: Sandra Boyko
Head Coach and General Manager: Clint Mylymok
Director of Hockey Operations: Brad Boyko
Director of Business Operations: Ally Dunham
Director at Large: Rob Adis
Director at Large: Lori La Forest

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

The Estevan Bruins Jr. A Hockey Club are proud to announce that they have added Cole Zahn, to the Bruins coaching staff as the Assistant Coach to the Bruins newly acquired Head Coach/GM Keith Cassidy.

Cole, originally from Bethune, played his junior Career as a rock solid d-man for

the Selkirk Steelers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League from 2004-2007 before joining Cassidy on the coaching staff in Selkirk. The two were behind the bench together when the Steelers made an appearance at the 2007 Royal Bank Cup.

Zahn has also been working as a regional scout for the WHL’s Vancouver Giants and will continue in that capacity.

"I am ecstatic that Cole has decided to become a member of the Bruins staff, “Cassidy said. “As a coach and as a friend, I’ve always wanted to find an opportunity where he and I could work together again in a coaching capacity. Cole will be a huge asset to the Bruins organization both on ice with the players, and as an ambassador in the community. Cole is a quality individual, with great character and phenomenal work ethic. I am thrilled that he has agreed to work with the Bruins – and I am very much looking forward to Cole becoming a part of the Bruins family, and the community of Estevan."

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Cents hire Martin in assistant coach's role

Press Release

The Merritt Centennials of the BC Hockey League are pleased to announce the hiring of Joe Martin as assistant coach and general manager for the next two seasons.

"Joe is exactly what we were looking for in an assistant coach," said Cents head coach and primary general manager Luke Pierce. "His familiarity with junior hockey in B.C., recruiting of players, and hockey knowledge will be an instant impact within the Merritt Centennials culture."

Martin has been the head coach and general manager of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Creston Valley Thundercats for the past four years and guided the team to one regular season division title, two first-round playoff series wins, moved ten players on to college, ten players on to Junior ‘A’ hockey and produced a regular season record of 112-68-3-2. He was also named Eddie Mountain Division Coach of the Year for 2010-11.

“I'm very happy to be joining the Centennials in their 39th year of operation in the BCHL. The last few years I've been watching the team’s progress under Luke Pierce and now to join the organization and work with Luke is an honour,” said Martin. “The Cents have a great reputation in junior hockey and after meeting some of the people I can see why. I look forward to making the move to Merritt permanently and working with the community on building a championship team."

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gloucester Rangers Jr “A” hockey club

Press Release

The Gloucester Rangers Jr “A” hockey club was saddened yesterday to hear of the accidental death of Eric Leighton, one of our top prospects for the upcoming season. Eric was drafted in the 4th round in 2010 by the Rangers and he was looking forward to going to their prospect camp in June.

“Eric & I had discussed the opportunities for him this season with the Rangers and that he would be expected to play a role on defense for our team. When Eric was drafted last year, he not only showed us his hockey skills but also our experience and discussions with him demonstrated his maturity and leadership skills both on and off the ice. Many of our players that knew and played with Eric have contacted the team and have expressed how much they will miss his toughness on the team this season,” said Paul Jennings, owner and general manager.

“He was a great kid and will be sadly missed by all the Ranger players, staff and our hockey community and we would like to relay our condolences to Eric’s family on behalf of the Gloucester Ranger Jr “A” organization, as well as the executive and teams of the CCHL,” said Paul Jennings.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Wild Signs Larsson To Entry Level Deal

Press Release

t's been less than a year, but the early returns on the first Minnesota Wild draft led by Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr look quite tantalizing. The club's first round pick, Mikael Granlund, enjoyed another stellar year in the Finnish Elite League and then dazzled at the World Championships where he helped Finland win gold.

Following the selection of Granlund, the Wild had three picks in last year's second round. One of those was used to select Jason Zucker, who was named the Rookie of the Year in the WCHA after a spectacular freshman campaign. The other two second rounders have been signed to Entry Level contracts. Brett Bulmer inked his deal last month, and today the Wild signed Swedish forward Johan Larsson to a three-year, entry level contract.

The 18-year-old posted four goals and four assists while playing 43 games with Brynas IF Gavle in Sweden's Elite League. He moved up to the Elite League early in the season after dominating with Brynas' junior team, posting six goals and nine assists in 10 games.

Larsson also showed his skills and leadership in international competition. As a member of Sweden's World Junior team, he posted a goal and three assists as the Swedes took fourth. At the Under-19 Three Nations Tournament, he tallied two goals and three assists in three games while serving as captain of the squad.

At 6-feet, 198 pounds, Larsson plays with an edge, willing to take the body and utilize his speed. While he is expected to return to Sweden for the regular season this winter, Larsson will be at the Wild's Development Camp in June, and possibly the team's training camp in September.

"We're very excited to have Johan under contract," said Flahr. "He's a quality prospect with a good combination of skill, grit, and character. We look forward to having him in camp and monitoring his development going forward."

Granlund is also expected to play in Europe next season. Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher told the Star Tribune, "Mikael has consistently said he wanted to fulfill all of his commitments in Finland before he comes over to play in the NHL."

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Wild Signs Foucault To Entry Level Deal

Press Release

A day after coming to terms with the Western Hockey League's Goaltender of the Year Darcy Kuemper, the Minnesota Wild signed another WHL product. And this one's a scorer.

The Wild signed left wing Kris Foucault of the Calgary Hitmen to a three-year entry level deal on Friday, locking up another prospect acquired via the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

In his final season of junior hockey, Foucault led the Hitmen in scoring with 48 points. He tied for the team lead with 25 goals and was third with 23 assists. He also registered 11 multi-point games. At the completion of his season, Foucault signed an amateur tryout contract with the Houston Aeros and appeared in one game.

One year earlier, the fourth round pick (103rd overall) helped Calgary to the WHL championship by posting 43 points (22-21=43) in 68 games, and then adding nine goals and seven assists in 23 playoff games. He was a teammate that season of fellow Wild prospect Joel Broda, who is currently with the Aeros.

Foucault's signing could be the last of the summer from the 2009 Draft class. The Wild made eight selections that year. Two of them - Nick Leddy and Alexander Fallstrom - were dealt in trades for Cam Barker and Chuck Kobasew, respectively. Foucault joins Kuemper and Matthew Hackett as the three that have signed. Only Jere Sallinen, Erik Haula and Anthony Hamburg remain unsigned, and Haula and Hamburg don't need to be due to remaining college eligibility.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

The two time defending Credit Union Cup champion La Ronge Ice Wolves have announced Ron Holloway will serve as an assistant coach to Bob Beatty in the 2011-12 season.

Holloway, a former trainer with the club, is no stranger to the recent success of the hockey club having spent time this year with the club both late in the playoffs and during the ANAVET Cup.

He comes to the team after being the Head Coach of the Ochapowace Thunder of the Prairie Junior Hockey League. Despite a regular season that saw the team finish under 500, they upset the first place Regina Capitals and made it to the South Division final before falling to the eventual league champions from Pilot Butte.

The Wolves were looking for an assistant after Gavin Holcomb moved on to become the head coach of the Melfort Mustangs.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

The Kindersley Klippers have announced Rockie Zinger will return as head coach for the 2011-12 season. Zinger came to the Klippers last season as an assistant coach to Larry Wintoneak, and was promoted when Wintoneak was let go by the hockey club in December.

Once Zinger assumed the head coaching duties, the team flourished and got all the way to the Sherwood Conference finals before falling to the Yorkton Terriers.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Majors Advance to MasterCard Memorial Cup Championship Final on Sunday

Press Release

MISSISSAUGA, Friday, March 27, 2011 – Devante Smith-Pelly scored two goals to lead the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors to a 3-1 victory over the resilient Kootenay Ice in the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup semi-final game. The Majors will now face the Saint John Sea Dogs in Sunday’s championship final.

The Majors got a power-play opportunity in the opening seconds of the game and capitalized on their first shot on goal as Devante Smith-Pelly registered his second marker of the tournament at 1:03.

No other goals were recorded in the period but the Majors dictated tempo for most of the first twenty minutes with bone-crushing hits.

The play tightened up in the second period. Consequently, there were very few scoring opportunities on either side.

Mississauga still managed to take a short-lived two-goal lead after Devante Smith-Pelly collected his second goal of the game at 17:40. But Kootenay, which is no stranger to comebacks in this tournament, cut the lead by one with less than two tenths of a second left in the second period. Joe Antilla pounced on a rebound and buried a shot past J.P. Anderson.

Goaltending was the name of the game in the third period. J.P. Anderson pushed away fourteen shots while his opponent, Nathan Lieuwen, was also brilliant, making eight saves.

Chris DeSousa added the insurance goal into an empty-net with less than one minute left.

Devante Smith-Pelly was named the game’s first star while teammate J.P. Anderson received the second star. Stuart Percy was rewarded with the third star.

The 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup final goes Sunday night as the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors battle the Saint John Sea Dogs live on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS starting at 7 pm.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

U-17 Team West prospects to attend POE Top-40 Camp

Press Release

WINNIPEG, MB - Hockey Manitoba is pleased to announce the Under-17 prospects for Team West who will attend the Program of Excellence (POE) Top-40 Camp, held May 26-29, 2011 in Winnipeg. This camp is the first official phase of the selection process for these athletes who will contend for spots to play in the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will once gain be held in Winnipeg and surrounding area, December 28, 2011 to January 4, 2012.


The forty Manitoba born players invited to the POE Top-40 Camp have been scouted throughout the winter and spring of 2011, which includes all 20 members of theU-16 Team Manitoba roster who competed at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, NS. Out of the forty players attending this camp, only 11 will be named to the final Team West roster in November along with 11 players named from Saskatchewan. Leading the U-17 program in Manitoba will be Don MacGillivray (Winnipeg) who will be an assistant coach of Team West, joined by video coach Ray Neufeld (Winnipeg). Leading up to the World U-17's, MacGillivray and Neufeld will work with the Team West head coach and another assistant coach as appointed by the Saskatchewan Hockey Association.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

2011 Male U16 Rosters Announced for Provincial Camp

Press Release

BC Hockey announced May 25, 2011 the 71 players selected to attend the 2011 Male Under 16 Provincial Camp being held in Penticton, BC from June 30 – July 4, 2011.
Selections for the Provincial Camp were made based on player’s performances at the U16 BC Cup that was held in Kamloops, BC from April 27 – May 1, 2011.
Attending the Male U16 Provincial Camp is the next step of the U16 High Performance process for players competing for a spot on Team BC. Athletes attending this next step of the High Performance Program are considered to be among the top players in this age category in the province.
The focus of the five day Provincial Camp is two-fold.  First, the camp will continue to introduce high performance athletes to the most up to date information and concepts as they relate to both National and International levels of hockey. Second, 30-32 players will be selected for the U16 Team BC short list, and will be evaluated during club team play until early October, 2011. 
The 20 players selected to Team BC from the short list will compete at the inaugural Western Branch Challenge from October 28-31, 2011 in Saskatchewan. The host city has not yet been officially determined.
The BC Hockey High Performance Under 16 Program is designed as an introduction to BC Hockey’s High Performance Program, exposing players, coaches and officials to short term competition. The U16 Program also acts as a precursor to the BC Hockey High Performance U17 Program, which is used to identify and train players and team personnel for Provincial, Regional and National Teams.
For more information about BC Hockey, please visit the BC Hockey website at www.bchockey.net or email info@bchockey.net.
(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Male Top 80 Selected for Summer Camp

Press Release

The Sask First Bantam Program is open annually to all second year Bantam players, in the province. They are all invited to a zone camp where they are given a fair and equal opportunity to continue in the program. At the initial zone camp, a team of twenty will be chosen to represent their zone each March where the eight zone teams compete. Following this tournament, forty of the top players (twenty four forwards, twelve defenseman and two goaltenders) are invited to a summer camp where they will undergo technical, physical and mental preparation.

At the summer camp these forty players will join forty players who were selected from the previous years program. The summer camp will consist of forty players who have just completed their second year of Bantam and forty who have just completed their first year of Midget hockey. The players who would be 16 year olds in the upcoming hockey season would be the age category where the bulk of the players would be taken from to participate in the Hockey Canada National High Performance Program operating in that year. The forty players in the older group may or may not be completely the same group which attended the summer camp the previous year. The SHA utilizes the evaluation network within the SMAAAHL/SJHL/WHL to determine the forty players who will attend following their first year of Midget eligibility.

The SHA operates its High Performance or Sask First Programs, according to a cyclical arrangement as outlined by Hockey Canada. Every four years Hockey Canada encourages Provinces to participate in the Canada Winter Games, a Under 17 Competition. In Non-Canada Games years, Hockey Canada sponsors the World Under 17 Challenge where Saskatchewan join's forces with Manitoba to create Team Western.

The Top 40 - 1995 and Top 40 - 1996 have been finalized for Sask First Summer Camp in Wilcox July 18-22.

The Top 40 - 1995 and Top 40 - 1996 have been finalized for Sask First Summer Camp in Wilcox July 18-22.

Top 40 - 1995
Top 40 - 1996

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

Hockey Alberta announced on Wednesday the top 80 U16 male hockey players that have been selected to compete at the Team Alberta U16 Provincial Development Camp, July 18-24, 2011 in Camrose, Alberta in preparation for the 2011 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.


The players selected to compete at the Team Alberta U16 Provincial Development Camp were evaluated and chosen from the 2010/11 club season and from the 2011 Alberta Cup which was hosted in Lethbridge in April. 

“We’ve had a good chance to look at players during the season and at the Alberta Cup. Moving forward we feel we selected the 80 players that fit into the identity we are looking to form,” said Team Alberta Head Coach, Blair Becker. “We have a very talented group and we are excited to see how the players have progressed when we see them at Provincial Camp”

Through high intensity on and off ice training as well as classroom sessions, athletes attending Provincial Camp are given the opportunity to develop their skills within the game of hockey and as people. The U16 Male Program is the second stage of the development and identification process that feeds Team Alberta and Team Pacific.

From Provincial Camp, players will be short listed and scouted with their club teams until Team Alberta names its 20 player roster that will compete at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in late October in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. 

In 2009, Team Alberta captured the gold medal at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup when the event was hosted in Blackfalds, Alberta.

Former Team Alberta players include 2011 WHL Rookie of the Year Mathew Dumba and current NHL players such as Jay Bouwmeester, Devan Dubnyk, Jordan Eberle and Scott Hartnell.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wings signed Almqvist, a '09 draft pick

Press Release

DETROIT -- The Red Wings have signed defenseman Adam Almqvist to a three-year entry-level contact. As per club policy, no further details regarding this deal will be disclosed.

A native of Jönköping, Sweden, Almqvist was originally selected by Detroit in the seventh round (210th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The 20-year-old blue-liner has spent the past two seasons in the Swedish Elite League where he has recorded 24 points (2G-22A) in addition to a +31 rating and 42 penalty minutes in 80 games played for HV71, a talent-laden club that has won back-to-back regular-season championships.

Almqvist led all junior-aged SEL players in scoring during the 2010 Le Mat Playoffs, contributing 11 points (1G-10A) in 16 appearances during HV71’s successful run to a league title. He also finished the 2010-11 campaign with the best plus/minus mark (+20) in his league. The 5-foot-11, 174-pound defenseman has represented his country at several international competitions, including the 2008 U-18 Junior World Cup, where Sweden captured a bronze medal.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Sharks Sign Forward Freddie Hamilton

Press Release

SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has signed forward Freddie Hamilton to an entry-level contract. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hamilton recently finished his third season with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), finishing second on the team in goals (38), assists (45) and points (83) while playing in all of the team’s 68 games. He added 7 game-winning goals (T-9th OHL) and was a + 25.

In the OHL playoffs, Hamilton posted 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 14 games.

Hamilton was originally selected by San Jose in the fifth round (129th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

NAHL announces 2011 Entry Draft results

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the results of its 2011 Entry Draft, which was conducted online today (Thursday, May 26).

View the results of the NAHL Entry Draft here.

Prior to the Entry Draft, the NAHL conducted a one-round draft of North American 3 Hockey League (3HL) players. View the results of the 3HL draft here.

The 3HL Entry Draft will be held on Thursday, June 2, at 6 p.m. CST.

Eight North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) players were selected in the NAHL Entry Draft. In all, 59 PHL players were drafted or tendered by NAHL teams during the 2010-11 season. View the PHL players selected in the NAHL Entry Draft here.

Players not drafted or tendered by NAHL teams are still able to participate in each team's respective open tryout camps. Click here for tryout information for all 28 NAHL teams.
(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Ron Choules named head coach of Screaming Eagles

Press Release

Sydney – The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles have named Ron Choules as their new Head Coach. The announcement was made on Friday morning at Centre 200 by General Manager Pierre Roux.

Choules, a native of Montreal, becomes the fifth head coach in Screaming Eagles history. There were over 20 applicants for the position that became vacant when Mario Durocher was relieved of the General Manager and Head Coach position in early April.

“Ron is an excellent communicator and motivator and he has experience within our division which for me is very important,” Roux said.

Choules has previous head coaching experience in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

He also worked as a head coach in Quebec Junior AAA League with Kahnawake Condors before taking over the reins in Bathurst.

Choules was also an assistant coach with Canada’s gold medal winning team at the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Under-18 Hockey tournament.

“Our team identity will be important. I intend to have a hard nosed, hard working, competitive hockey club next season,” Choules said.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

The Lake Superior State Lakers have recruited former Weyburn Red Wings defenceman T-J Wees.

Wees, a 6-2, 210-pound defenseman from Golden, Colo had three goals and 25 assists along with 165 minutes in penalties for the Wings last season.

Wees will join former Kindersley Klipper Andrew Dommett and another former Wing—defenceman Andrew Perreault at LSSU. Head coach Jim Roque likes what he sees in Wees saying he is a big, strong physical defenceman that will compete for playing time and give them the physical presence he is seeking.

Wees is the second member of the Wings to continue his hockey career in the U-S. Goalie Riley Hengen committed to Minot State earlier this month.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

As Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr fine tunes his prospect list in advance of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center, he can most likely eliminate most players with a "G" under the position column. On Thursday, the Wild came to terms with Red Deer Rebels goaltender Darcy Kuemper, the Western Hockey League's Goaltender and Player of the Year.

Kuemper now bolsters and already deep goaltending prospect pool featuring German standout Dennis Endras, and Houston Aeros rookie Matt Hackett who has led his team to the American Hockey League's Calder Cup Finals.

Kuemper found out on Wednesday night from his agent that an agreement was completed.

"I was really excited and happy to hear that the agreement was done," said Kuemper, who will attend his third development camp in July. "I've loved my time there getting to know the organization and the city. And I've really enjoyed my time in Houston as well."

"We're very excited to add Darcy to our goaltending mix," said Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher. "He had an outstanding season with Red Deer and we're looking forward to watching him continue his progression toward becoming an NHL goaltender."

The sixth round draft pick (161st overall) in 2009 led the WHL in every major goaltending category including wins (45), goals against average (1.86), save percentage (.933) and shutouts (12).

"After a summer of hard work, I was really just concentrating on getting off to a good start," he said of his remarkable start to finish campaign. "I had confidence early because I was a veteran and knew exactly what to expect. And that confidence grew throughout the year and I was able to keep up the pace.

His stellar season led to mild speculation that he would be difficult to sign, and if the Wild had not come to an agreement with him, he could have regained his draft eligibility in June.

That no longer becomes a concern, and the 6-foot-5, 203-pound netminder can soon turn his attention toward his first professional season next year. But first, he'll have one more award ceremony to sit through. On Saturday, he'll attend a Memorial Cup Awards banquet to find out if he is the Canadian Hockey League Goaltender of the Year or Player of the Year...or both.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

2011 first-round pick Jordan Maletta will be among the players taking part in the annual mini-camp this Saturday.

The one-day event will feature 2010 and 2011 draftees as well as free-agent invites.

Players will report for fitness and orientation at 12 noon. A practice and scrimmage, open to the public, follows from 2-4pm at the AM 800 rink in the WFCU Centre.

Spitfires ownership and management will be welcoming new players and families at a private function later in the evening.

BLADES PRO SHOP will also be open, featuring a Spitfires player equipment sale and other items up to 50% off.









(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Bulls Release 2011 Orientation Camp Roster

Press Release


BERISHA, Aaron RC 5.08/165 Mar. 5, 1995
BOLTON, Cole RW 6.00/160 Oct. 26, 1994
BOUDREAU, Deric RW 5.08/165 Jan. 16, 1994
CARNEVALE, Alex RC 5.11/160 Jan. 14, 1995
CORSON, Dylan LC 5.10/189 Mar. 1, 1994
DEEG, Steven RW 5.10/195 Apr. 9, 1993
DeLAURENTIS, Erick RW 5.11/170 Jul. 9, 1994
GAUNCE, Brendan LC 6.02/205 Mar. 25, 1994
JOSEPHS, Troy LW 5.10/160 May. 9, 1994
LAVOIE, Miguel RW 6.00/172 Jan. 11, 1994
LEMMON, Mack RW 5.10/175 Jan. 12, 1995
MacAULAY, Mark LW 6.01/185 Mar. 13, 1994
McKENZIE, Connor LW 5.11/170 Feb. 28, 1995
MEULLER, Viktor LC 6.01/160 Mar. 2, 1995
ROSS, Matt
LW 6.04/212 Mar. 10, 1994
PANDACHUCK, Tim LC 5.09/175 Jul. 10, 1995
SANTINO, Andrew LW 5.08/176 May 17, 1993
SIMMONDS, Scott LW 6.01/190 Aug. 29, 1993
THORNTON, Chase LC 5.09/170 Feb. 9, 1994


BIGNELL, Adam LD 5.11/175 Mar. 24, 1994
BROWN, Jordan LD 5.10/150 Mar. 6, 1995
DOXTATOR, Andrew RD 5.09/165 Feb. 26, 1993
GREAVES, Damian RD 6.01/175 Jul. 5, 1994
JACKLIN, Brad RD 6.00/187 Jul. 13, 1994
LAIRD, Connor LD 6.00/170 May 31, 1995
LOGAN, Ryan RD 6.02/210 Aug. 16, 1993
SHUNOCK, Nic LD 5.09/160 Oct. 13, 1994
SMOKLER, Tyler RD 5.11/195 Feb. 4, 1995
SNELLING, Darryl LD 6.02/160 Mar. 13, 1994
SUBBAN, Jordan RD 5.09/170 Mar. 3, 1995
WINTJES, Eric RD 6.00/190 Jul. 3, 1993


ALTSHULLER, Daniel G 6.03/195 Jul. 24, 1994
BANITSIOTIS, Braydon G 6.01/200 May. 10, 1995
GRAHAM, Charlie G 5.10/160 Jun. 30, 1995
SUBBAN, Malcolm G 6.00/178 Dec. 21, 1993

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Owen Sound Attack Eliminated in MasterCard Memorial Cup Tie-Breaker

Press Release

MISSISSAUGA, Thursday, March 26, 2011 – After falling behind by two goals, the Ice quickly recovered and registered six unanswered markers to go on to a 7-3 victory over the Owen Sound Attack and clinch a berth in the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup semi-final game.

Owen Sound opened the scoring at 7:12 when Cameron Brace scooped up a loose puck in the crease and easily pushed it behind goaltender Nathan Lieuwen.

Kootenay got a great opportunity to tie the game up at one with a two-man advantage with a few minutes left in the first, but they were unable to capitalize. After being unrelenting even with two players in the box, the Attack doubled their lead with a Jesse Blacker marker at 18:45.

The Ice offense got going in a big way in the second period. Erik Benoit directed the puck with his skate onto his stick and pushed it past Scott Stajcer at 7:48. Less than thirty seconds later, Kootenay tied the game up. Joe Antilla blasted a shot that beat the Owen Sound goaltender on his glove side. Finally, Matt Fraser helped the Ice go up 3-2 with a power-play goal at 11:14.

Matt Fraser, Cody Eakin and Max Reinhart each scored in the first five minutes of play of the third period to put the game well out of reach at 6-3.

At that point, Owen Sound made a goaltending change and brought in Jordan Binnington.

But it was too little too late. Mike Halmo and Cody Eakin scored goals before it was all said and done. Matt Fraser earned first star honours with his three-point showing.

The 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup semi-final goes Friday night as the Kootenay Ice battle the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors live on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS starting at 7 pm.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

TRIO OF REILLY BROTHERS JOIN THE VEES FAMILY PENTICTON, BC – The Penticton Vees are thrilled to announce the addition of three dynamic hockey player to the club, who all happen to be brothers.

Connor, Ryan, and Mike Reilly of Chanhassen, Minnesota have all committed to joining the Penticton Vees for the 2011-2012 season.

“It’s not everyday that you have the opportunity to add three quality players such as Connor, Ryan, and Mikey.” Stated Vees Head Coach and General Manager Fred Harbinson. “I am very excited that I will be able to help develop these three brothers for the University of Minnesota.”

Twins Connor and Ryan - who will play as 20-year-olds this season - both suited up with the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL, while Mike - the youngest of the three entering his 18-years-old season – skated at Shattuck St. Mary’s High School in Minnesota. 20-year-old twins Connor and Ryan are both forwards, while Mike is a defenseman. Connor finished third in team scoring this past season with 14 goals and 25 assists in 60 games for the Sioux Falls Stampede, while Ryan added 14 points in 42 games played.

The Vees have had great success with former USHL players in recent years, with Derik Johnson and Bo Dolan as examples of players who left and came to play big roles for the Vees.

Mike Reilly had an exceptional season with the National Champions at Shattuck St. Mary’s, posting nearly a point per game as a defender. Mike finished with 48 points in 54 games, and is rated 52nd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting for the upcoming June NHL Entry Draft.

Mike is just the latest in a stream of talented kids to join the Vees from the state of Minnesota. Joey Benik, the BCHL’s leading rookie goal scorer last season, played high school hockey in Minnesota two seasons ago.

The Vees would like to offer Ryan, Connor, and Mike Reilly a warm welcome to the organization, and the City of Penticton.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Leafs Sign Kenny Ryan To Entry-Level Contract

Press Release

Brian Burke, President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Thursday that the hockey club has signed 2009 draft pick Kenny Ryan to a three-year entry level contract.

Ryan, 19, was originally the Maple Leafs’ second choice, selected 50th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-0, 210-pound right-winger played the past two seasons for the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires. In 2010-11, he collected 58 points on 21 goals and 37 assists with 42 penalty minutes in 60 games played. He ranked second on the team with a (+16) rating. In 18 playoff games with Windsor, the native of Franklin Village, Michigan registered four goals and eight assists for 12 points along with 25 minutes in penalties.

Prior to joining the Spitfires, Ryan spent two seasons playing in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Western Hockey League (WHL) Franchise is proud to announce that Marc Habscheid will continue with the Victoria Franchise as their General Manager and Head Coach after holding the same position with Chilliwack over the past two seasons. During his time with the Bruins he compiled a 65-64-6-9 record and led the club to the WHL Playoffs in both seasons.

Habscheid comes to Victoria with a successful hockey pedigree as both a coach and a player. His coaching career has spanned over 13 years and was highlighted during the 2003-04 season when Habscheid led the Kelowna Rockets to their only Memorial Cup Championship. That season he also was named the Canadian Hockey League and WHL Coach of the Year. His playing career began in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades. From there he went on to compete in 345 NHL games with Edmonton, Minnesota, Detroit and Calgary over his 15 professional seasons.

“The opportunity to continue my role in Victoria is very exciting for me and my family.” Habscheid said. “RG Properties is known as a first class company and I look forward to representing both the city of Victoria and also RG.

“The last two years in Chilliwack we saw a marked improvement on the ice with this franchise, and I look forward to continuing to build this team and program in Victoria.”

The majority of his 13-year coaching career has been spent in the WHL with Kamloops, Kelowna and Chilliwack, but the 48-year-old Habscheid began his coaching career during the 1996-97 season with a year at the helm of the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). Habscheid also had a stint coaching in the National Hockey League (NHL), as he served as the Associate Coach for the Boston Bruins during the 2006-07 campaign.

“We are happy that Marc has decided to stay on with the Victoria WHL Franchise,” team president Dave Dakers said. “Marc has had significant success in the past and we look forward to him replicating that here.”

The Swift Current, SK native also garnered international success in the coaching world when he took the reigns of various teams for Canada. He began his career with Hockey Canada in 2001 when he was named an assistant coach for Canada’s Under-20 World Junior team. In 2003, he was named head coach of the Under-20 team, and led Canada to a silver medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships. He also coached Canada to gold medals in consecutive World Hockey Championships (2005 and 2006), and was a member of the coaching staff for Canada’s 2006 Olympic squad in Turin, Italy. Habscheid also won a gold medal as the assistant coach for Canada’s National U-18 Team in 1999. He also became the first person in Canadian hockey history to both play and coach for the National World Junior team.

Habscheid’s 15-year professional playing career (1981-82 thru 1995-96) was highlighted by 345 total contests in the NHL where he accumulated 72 goals and 91 assists for 163 points. Prior to turning professional he spent three seasons as a member of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades where he scored 253 points (100g-153a) in 142 games.

Habscheid’s international playing career began in 1982 when he helped the Canadian National Junior Team claim its first gold medal in the U-20 tournament. Following the 1982 gold medal win, Habscheid competed in 126 career international games for Canada between international tournaments, World Hockey Championships and Olympic Games.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Western Hockey League (WHL) Franchise is proud to announce that Pat Conacher will continue with the Victoria Franchise as their Assistant General Manager and Assistant Coach after holding the same positions with Chilliwack last season. Conacher helped lead the Bruins to a 33-31-0-4 record in 2010-11 with a WHL Playoff berth.

The Edmonton, AB native brings a wealth of experience both as a player and coach to the Victoria franchise. Conacher won a Stanley Cup playing with the Edmonton Oilers during the 1983-84 season to highlight his 521 career games across a 17-year National Hockey League (NHL) career. The former forward spent his time in the NHL with the Oilers, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames.

“I have known Pat for 28 years and he brings a wealth of experience to our franchise” General Manager and Head Coach Marc Habscheid said. “He has played and coached at the NHL level as well as served as an agent and a colour analyst. His experience makes him an invaluable resource to our players and to me.”

Conacher rejoins General Manager and Head Coach Marc Habscheid behind the bench after being part of his coaching staff in Chilliwack last season. Conacher also was part of Habscheid’s Kelowna Rockets coaching staff during the 1999-00 season and played with him for two years (1983-84 and 1984-85) with the Oilers.

The 52 year-old began his coaching resume as a player-coach for the Canadian National Hockey Team in the 1997-98 season before spending three years as the Assistant Coach of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes between the 2001-02 and 2003-04 campaigns. Following his time in Phoenix, Conacher moved to become a head coach in the American Hockey League for two years with the Utah Grizzlies (2004-05) and San Antonio Rampage (2005-06). Prior to his season in Chilliwack he was most recently a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ scouting staff for two years (2007-08 and 2008-09).

Originally drafted by the Rangers in 1979 (round four, 76th overall), Conacher totaled 139 points (63g-76a) in his 521 career NHL contests. He also went to the Stanley Cup Final with the Kings in 1993, and was twice named their most inspirational player and unsung hero.

Conacher also played 459 games in the American Hockey League (AHL) between six teams where he scored 115 goals and 211 assists for 326 points.

Prior to becoming a professional hockey player, Conacher played for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s (SJHL) Battleford Barons in 1976-77 prior to one season with the WCHL’s Billings Bighorns (1977-78) and one campaign (1978-79) in the WHL split between the Bighorns and Saskatoon Blades

Following his playing career, Conacher spent one season (1997-98) as a radio color analyst for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Press Release

ALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Friday that Don Hay, head coach of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, will be head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, scheduled for December 26, 2011 to January 5, 2012 in Calgary and Edmonton, Alta.

Hay will be joined on the coaching staff by assistant coaches George Burnett (head coach and general manager, Belleville Bulls, OHL), Ryan Huska (head coach, Kelowna Rockets, WHL) and Pascal Vincent (head coach and general manager, Montreal Juniors, QMJHL).

Don Hay, 57, will step behind the bench of Canada’s National Junior Team for the first time since leading Canada to a gold medal and its first-ever perfect record at the 1995 IIHF World Junior Championship. One of just five WHL coaches with 500 regular season victories, Hay has won three WHL championships (1994, 1995 with Kamloops, 2006 with Vancouver) and three Memorial Cups (1994 and 1995 with Kamloops, 2007 with Vancouver) and is a two-time WHL Coach of the Year (1998-99, 2008-09). The Kamloops, B.C., native was a 2008 inductee into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame.

“It is an honour to once again serve as head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team,” said Hay. “I am excited to work with the tremendous staff we have assembled and reclaim gold for Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.”

George Burnett, 49, will be an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team for a second consecutive year, having helped Canada claim silver in 2010. He has also served as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in 2001 and 2010, winning a gold medal both years, and was an assistant coach for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Belarus, where Canada finished seventh. Burnett has spent 14 seasons as a head coach in the Ontario Hockey League, seven with the Belleville Bulls. He has also been bench boss for Niagara Falls, Guelph and Oshawa, winning the OHL Coach of the Year award twice, during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons.

Ryan Huska, 35, will return as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team for the second year in a row, having served under Dave Cameron in 2010. Head coach of the Rockets since 2007, Huska is a veteran of seven Memorial Cups as both a player and a coach – he won championships as a player with the Kamloops Blazers in 1992, 1994 and 1995 and as an assistant coach with Kelowna in 2004, and also appeared in the tournament as Kelowna’s assistant coach in 2003 and 2005 and as the team’s head coach in 2009.

Pascal Vincent, 39, will serve as an assistant coach with Team Canada for the second time, having been behind the bench of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in 2003, when Canada finished fourth at the Junior World Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Vincent has been head coach and general manager of the Juniors for the past three seasons, and spent nine seasons with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles as head coach and GM, earning the QMJHL Coach of the Year award in 2007-08.

Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s senior director of national teams and hockey operations, along with Hockey Canada’s hockey operations department will work closely with the coaching staff in planning and executing all team logistics.

Further details regarding Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp, scheduled for August 3-7 in Edmonton, including a full practice schedule and roster, will be announced at a later date.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)