Monday, April 30, 2012

Petes’ D’Agostini OHL Humanitarian of Year

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that goaltender Andrew D’Agostini of the Peterborough Petes is the 2011-12 recipient of the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy presented to the OHL’s Humanitarian of the Year.

D’Agostini, a 19-year-old from Scarborough, ON, earns the award for his efforts in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada shown large in part through his support and friendship of six-year-old Anthony Romanelli who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis three years ago.  D’Agostini is the fifth member of the Petes to receive this award and the second straight following Jack Walchessen who was last year’s recipient.

“I would like to thank the Peterborough Petes and the OHL for this great honour,” said D’Agostini.  “Peterborough has always made me feel welcome and I have enjoyed every minute giving back to them. The real heroes are people like Anthony and his family who understand how precious every day is.”

D’Agostini first reached out to Cystic Fibrosis Canada after hearing the affects of the disease when the local chapter spoke to the Petes’ organization on December 17 prior to club’s fundraising efforts and team skate in support of the foundation.  D’Agostini took it upon himself to meet the presenter, Tracy Romanelli, and her son Anthony, and expressed his interest in helping to raise money for the cause.  The meeting turned into an ongoing and impactful friendship where D’Agostini has maintained constant communication with Anthony and his family providing gracious comfort and support.  D’Agostini is now the spokesman for the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk which takes place on May 27, 2012, and captains the team “Shutout for Anthony” which has already raised over $5,000.

“Seeing the boys together is just amazing,” said Tracy Romanelli.  “Andrew had said to me in that first meeting that he was going to help make a difference in Anthony’s life.  I realize it is not easy for a young man to get involved with a sick child but Andrew has given Anthony the dream of becoming a goalie and the hope that one day he may not have to deal with Cystic Fibrosis.”

In addition to his work for Cystic Fibrosis, D’Agostini has contributed over 250 hours in the past three seasons to various causes such as the Petes’ “Partners in Education Program”, while spending time in the pediatric ward of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, playing floor hockey with a local group of Special Olympians, and visiting a young Petes’ fan after returning home from an extended stay in the hospital as a result of a car accident leaving a Petes’ game earlier in the season.  On the ice, D’Agostini played in 38 games between the pipes posting a record of 17-15-1-1 with one shutout, a goals-against-average of 3.90 and save percentage of .890.  He was last year’s recipient of the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award presented to the league’s top High School Student Athlete of the Year.

“The Peterborough Petes are very proud of Andrew and the announcement of him being named the recipient of the Dan Snyder Memorial Award as OHL Humanitarian of the Year,” said Petes’ Assistant General Manager Aaron Garfat.  “This is an award that the Petes take great pride in nominating a player for.  Andrew’s involvement in the community goes above and beyond and is a true reflection of his character.  He is a great role model for the youth of our community both on and off the ice.”

Each year the OHL awards a player that has demonstrated outstanding qualities as a positive role model in the community with the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy.  The Ontario Hockey League Board of Governors announced in 2004 that the OHL Humanitarian of the Year award would be renamed in recognition of the former Owen Sound Platers captain, who was twice named his team's Humanitarian of the Year in recognition of his tremendous efforts in supporting community activities.

In addition to D’Agostini and Walchessen, other Petes to win the award include Brent Tully (1994), Mike Martone (1997), and Jeff MacDougald who was the first player to receive the award in recognition of Snyder in the 2004-05 season.  This is the third time where a team has had back-to-back recipients following Chris Terry and Ryan Hayes of the Plymouth Whalers in 2009 and 2010, while David Silverstone and Michael Mole earned the award as members of the Belleville Bulls in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

D’Agostini will be the OHL’s nominee for Humanitarian of the Year at the annual CHL Awards on May 26 and will be formally presented with the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony which takes place June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

2011-12 Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy Nominees:

Barrie – Dylan Smoskowitz*
Belleville – Luke Judson
Brampton – Mitchell Porowski
Erie – Mac MacDonnell
Guelph – Kyle Pereira
Kingston – Cody Alcock
Kitchener – Ben Fanelli*
London – Scott Harrington
Mississauga – Brett Foy
Niagara – Mark Visentin
Oshawa – Kevin Bailie
Ottawa – Shane Prince
Owen Sound – Jay Gilbert
Peterborough – Andrew D’Agostini
Plymouth – Colin MacDonald
Saginaw – Eric Locke
Sarnia – Nathan Chiarlitti**
Sault Ste. Marie – Brandon Alderson
Sudbury – Nathan Pancel
Windsor – John Cullen

*repeat nominee
** three-time nominee

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

SAINT JOHN, NB – The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has unveiled the schedule for the 2012 President’s Cup championship series between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Rimouski Oceanic.

The defending champion Sea Dogs have advanced to the final for the third straight season after Stanislav Galiev’s overtime goal lifted them to a 4-3 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in Game 5 of their semifinal series Saturday.

Saint John will take on the Oceanic, who clinched their semifinal series against the Halifax Mooseheads with a 3-2 win in overtime in Game 6 Sunday.

As regular-season champions, the top-seeded Sea Dogs will open the series at home Friday. The game will be televised nationally by Sportsnet and have a start time of 8 p.m. Game 2 is set for 7 p.m. Saturday before the series shifts to Rimouski for Games 3 and 4 (and 5, if necessary). If necessary, Games 6 and 7 would be back in the Port City.

A full schedule for the Sea Dogs – Oceanic series can be found below (all times Atlantic):

GAME ONE – Friday, May 4: 8 p.m. @ Harbour Station

GAME TWO – Saturday, May 5: 7 p.m. @ Harbour Station

GAME THREE – Wednesday, May 9: 8:30 p.m. @ Colisee de Rimouski

GAME FOUR – Thursday, May 10: 8:30 p.m. @ Colisee de Rimouski

*GAME FIVE – Saturday, May 12: 5 p.m. @ Colisee de Rimouski

*GAME SIX – Monday, May 14: 7 p.m. @ Harbour Station

*GAME SEVEN – Wednesday, May 16: 7 p.m. @ Harbour Station

(Nathan can be reached at

Phantoms Agree To 2-Year Extension With Head Coach Anthony Noreen

Press Release

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Phantoms have agreed to a two-year contract extension with Head Coach and General Manager Anthony Noreen that will keep Coach Noreen behind the bench in the Mahoning Valley through the 2013-2014 season, team owner Bruce J. Zoldan announced today. As per club policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Last season Noreen, 29, led the Phantoms to a 32-21-7 record, finishing fourth in the United States Hockey League’s Eastern Conference and qualifying for the postseason for the first time in franchise history. The Phantoms also won their first Clark Cup playoff series with a two-game sweep of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders before bowing out to the top-seeded Green Bay Gamblers 3-games-to-1 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Anthony Noreen
“I’m extremely excited, honored and ultimately humbled to have the opportunity to be a head coach in this league and know I’m going to be with this organization for the next few years,” Noreen said. “I want to thank Bruce Zoldan, the Zoldan family and everyone in our front office and at B.J. Alan and Phantom Fireworks for all their support. There’s no secret that this is my dream and what I’ve wanted to do since Day 1, and I couldn’t be more thankful to Mr. Zoldan for giving me this opportunity and entrusting me with such a big endeavor. I hope to make him proud in the future.”

In his first season as a head coach, Noreen orchestrated a nine-win, 18-point swing as the Phantoms rose to prominence in their third year in the USHL. The 2011-2012 Phantoms set franchise records for wins (32), home wins (18), away wins (14), goals scored (202) and fewest goals allowed (196). Under Noreen’s high-octane coaching style, the Phantoms penalty kill unit led the entire USHL with 19 short-handed goals scored – two short of the all-time record of 21 set by the 2005-2006 Des Moines Buccaneers.

“I believe Anthony Noreen is a rising star in the coaching ranks, and I couldn’t be more excited to have him at the helm of the Phantoms for the next two seasons,” Zoldan said. “His performance this season speaks for itself. He helped put Youngstown on the national hockey map, and I have the upmost confidence that he will continue build upon that success as we pursue our ultimate goal of winning the USHL’s Clark Cup.”

Noreen was named the third head coach in Phantoms history on Aug. 10, 2011, taking over for Curtis Carr, who made the transition to the collegiate ranks by accepting an assistant coaching position at Merrimack College. Noreen was an assistant coach on Carr’s 2010-2011 staff, and he was instrumental in the development of current Denver defenseman Scott Mayfield, who was selected by the New York Islanders in the second round (34th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Prior to joining the Phantoms organization, Noreen, a Chicago native, spent three seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, University of Wisconsin – Steven’s Point. Under the tutelage of former USHL Coach of the Year Wil Nichol, who is now a scout with the Washington Capitals, Noreen and the Pointers amassed a 41-34-7 record from 2007-2010.

Noreen said that the experience he gained behind the bench in Youngstown this season was invaluable both in terms of his personal development and that of the team. He said that the team made major strides this season and he is looking forward to even more successes with assistant coaches Brad Patterson and Rob Rassey, as well as the strong core of players returning next season.

“We wanted to build an identity last season, and I think we’ve accomplished that. It starts with the leadership and the culture inside our locker room, but now I think people know what to expect when they play a Youngstown Phantoms team,” Noreen said. “The bar has been set, and we hope to exceed it.”

(Nathan can be reached at

USHL Presents Online Broadcast of 2012 USHL Futures Draft

Press Release

The United States Hockey League will present a live online broadcast of the 2012 USHL Futures Draft on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 at 6:00 PM (CST). The USHL and FASTHockey are partnering to present the first-ever draft show for free on

The live show will have the official announcement of all selections in the 2012 USHL Futures Draft and include player interviews, analysis, highlights, and much more from the USHL. To watch the show presented by FASTHockey, viewers can simply visit and click the USHL Futures Draft page.

The 2012 USHL Futures Draft consists of six rounds as 15 USHL Member Clubs will select players from the 1996 birth year age group. The National Team Development Program does not participate in the Futures Draft as they conduct a separate player selection process, held separately but in cooperation with the USHL.

The selection order of the USHL Futures Draft was established earlier this season and is determined via a random lottery system so that each Member Club had equal opportunity to earn the top pick. The first overall selection for the 2012 Draft belongs to the Omaha Lancers. The draft reverses order at the beginning of each round. The team selecting last in the first round will select first during the second round.

Each USHL Member Club has six selections in the Futures Draft, unless the Club has used one of two available tenders available to all teams under the League’s new tender system. The tender offer option, available for the first time this year, gives each Member Club the opportunity to sign as many as two 1996 birth year players in advance of the Futures Draft. Teams using one tender surrendered their second-round selection in the 2012 Futures Draft; teams using their second tender also surrendered their third-round pick. A total of 12 players have been tendered by USHL Member Clubs in advance of Tuesday’s draft.

Every one of the 78 players that will be selected in the 2012 Futures Draft is automatically placed on the Affiliate List of the USHL team that selected him. The Club retains the draftee’s rights for three years and can add the player to its active roster at any point during the season. In general, players selected in the USHL Futures Draft have not reached the level to play in the USHL for the next season, but USHL Member Clubs will regularly monitor their players’ progress. This season, 42 players selected in 2011 USHL Futures Draft took the ice for at least one USHL game during the 2011-12 campaign.

Last year, the Waterloo Black Hawks selected Taylor Cammarata with the first overall pick in the USHL Futures Draft. The forward went on to lead the Black Hawks in scoring with 69 points (27g, 75a) while appearing in all 60 regular season games. Cammarata’s point total was the highest scored by a 16-year-old in USHL Tier 1 era history.

2012 USHL Futures Draft Order – First Round

Omaha Lancers

Waterloo Black Hawks

Tri-City Storm

Sioux City Musketeers

Indiana Ice

Chicago Steel

Fargo Force

Sioux City Musketeers (from Cedar Rapids RoughRiders via trade)

Sioux Falls Stampede

Muskegon Lumberjacks

Dubuque Fighting Saints

Youngstown Phantoms

Lincoln Stars

Green Bay Gamblers

Tri-City Storm (from Des Moines Buccaneers via trade)

USHL Tenders

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders – Paul O’Connor (D) and Chris Birdsall (G)

Dubuque Fighting Saints – Keegan Ford (D) and Seamus Malone (F)

Fargo Force – Butrus Ghafari (D)

Green Bay Gamblers – Brendan Lemieux (F) and Jake Linhart (D)

Indiana Ice – Joshua Jacobs (D)

Omaha Lancers – Ryan Tait (F)

Sioux City Musketeers – Ryan Mantha (F)

Youngstown Phantoms – Kyle Connor (F) and J.J. Piccinich (F)

Fargo, Indiana, Omaha, and Sioux City all give up their second-round pick in the 2012 USHL Futures Draft.

Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Green Bay, and Youngstown all give up their second and third-round picks in the Futures Draft.

(Nathan can be reached at

Robertson Cup schedule announced

Press Release

The final round of divisional playoffs came to a conclusion over the weekend and the North American Hockey League released the schedule for the 2012 Robertson Cup Tournament on Monday. The six qualifying teams were broken into two pools, with each team from Pool A playing each team from Pool B and vice-versa. Pool A features the Amarillo Bulls, St. Louis Bandits, and Port Huron Fighting Falcons while the Bismarck Bobcats, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, and Texas Tornado will be playing out of Pool B. Below, you can find a complete breakdown of the pool play section of the tournament. Start times during pool play are at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. on all three days.

Thursday, May 3rd
Friday, May 4th
Saturday, May 5th
St. Louis vs. Fairbanks
St. Louis vs. Bismarck
Amarillo vs. Bismarck
Port Huron vs. Bismarck
Amarillo vs. Fairbanks
Port Huron vs. Fairbanks
Amarillo vs. Texas
Port Huron vs. Texas
St. Louis vs. Texas
All overtime Robertson Cup games, including those played during pool play, will be played using Sudden Death format. If the score is tied after three periods, the teams will go to their respective dressing rooms while the ice is resurfaced for a 20-minute overtime period. This process will repeat until a goal is scored.
The top two teams in each pool will advance to the semifinal round, to be played Monday, May 7th. Goal differential will be used as the first tiebreaker, while goal quotient will be used as the second tiebreaker. By dividing goals scored by goals allowed, positions will be determined based on the highest quotient.  However, should all three teams in one pool go 3-0, all teams from that pool will advance to the semifinals. The team with the best goal differential in the opposite pool will also move on to the semifinals. Similarly, if all three teams from one pool go 2-1, the same rules apply.

The Robertson Cup begins on Thursday, May 3rd, as Fairbanks gets set to defend their title and takes on St. Louis, who won three straight Robertson Cups from 2007-2009. That game is scheduled for a 12:30 faceoff.

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

Following a two-year stint as a director of the Ontario Hockey Association, the Cobourg Cougars are pleased to announce that they have named Perry Bowles (photo credit - Craig Campbell/HHOF) as their new director of hockey operations, a position that was vacant in the 2011-2012 campaign. Bowles is a former general manager of both the Cougars, as well as the Bowmanville Eagles, who merged with the Cougars in 2010.

"Perry will work closely with the Cougars' management group in its continuing efforts to become a leader in Canadian junior hockey," said Cougars' co-owner Scott Mackie. "(Perry) is a very seasoned and well-respected member of the junior hockey community, and we believe he is someone who will do great things for the Cougars going-forward."

Some of Perry’s accomplishments include his role as general manager in helping to guide the Bowmanville Eagles Junior 'A' team to the OJHL (then known as the OPJHL) Eastern Conference Championship in both 2004 and 2006, being selected in 2005 to take an Eastern Canada Junior 'A' Prospects team to the CJHL Prospects Game in Vernon B.C., and he played an instrumental role in helping many players move on to higher levels of hockey, including James Neal of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I am extremely excited to be back with the Cougars' organization and I expect to make a positive and impactful contribution. It is a tremendous feeling to be coming back home to the Cobourg Cougars organization," said Bowles. "(The Cougars) are a team with incredibly strong support from its community, sponsors and fans and it’s extremely nice to be coming home after a brief hiatus with the OHA and in league administration."

In addition to continuing with the Cougars’ strategic decision to foster closer relations with its Junior 'C' neighbours to the west, namely the Clarington Eagles and the Port Hope Panthers, Bowles’ first job will be to help appoint the Cougars’ next coaching staff, at a time when it readies for its first try-out, slated for May 5-6 at the Cobourg Community Centre.

"Perry understands what it takes to be successful and he will be instrumental in assisting the club going-forward, with an emphasis on helping it to recruit and develop players interested in progressing to higher levels within hockey," Mackie said.

(Nathan can be reached at

Springfield Jr. Blues announce new ownership group

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that its Board of Governors has approved the application for ownership of the Springfield Jr. Blues, the league’s oldest running active team, to FERZOW, LLC.

Based out of Sunnyvale, California, FERZOW, LLC was formed for the purpose of ownership and management of an NAHL team. FERZOW, LLC is owned and operated by Daniel Ferguson. As a businessman, Ferguson co-founded and co-owned a leading Silicon Valley print publishing company. For 10 years he held multiple titles including CTO and VP of Corporate Relations before resigning to a consultant role so he could pursue new opportunities including sports management. Ferguson is no stranger to hockey as he is an active member in the San Jose Jr. Sharks program of the North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL). Along with coaching for the past 8 years at both the AAA and AA level, Daniel has been a board member for three different terms.

The Springfield Jr. Blues are the NAHL’s longest running active team, having joined the NAHL back during the 1993-94 season. The Jr. Blues are just one of seven NAHL teams to have won multiple Robertson Cup Championships (1996, 1997). “The approval of Dan Ferguson and FERZOW, LLC, was a necessary element to ensure Springfield’s long-term stability in the NAHL and to continue the proud tradition the Jr. Blues have established over the past 19 years while a member of our league,” said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld.

FERZOW, LLC also announced that Tony Zasowski, former head coach and President of the PHL’s San Jose Jr. Sharks program for the last three seasons, has been named head coach and general manager for the Springfield Jr. Blues for the 2012-13 season. “I am very excited to become part of the rich history of the Jr. Blues franchise,” said Zasowski. “As a former AAA player growing up in Chicago, I used to come on Friday nights to watch the Jr. Blues and many of my former teammates play. I remember the great atmosphere that the Nelson Center had back then and I am excited to continue the tradition of excellence that has been established in Springfield.”

As a player, Zasowski grew up in Illinois playing goaltender for Team Illinois and Chicago Young Americans. His junior career included winning an Anderson Cup and National Championship with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL and playing in Omaha where he won a Clark Cup where he set a league record with 35 wins in a season and won Goalie of the Year. From there, he earned a scholarship at the University of Notre Dame where he was named Freshman of the Year for the Irish. He finished up his playing career with the Dayton Bombers in the ECHL.

Zasowski’s coaching experience has most recently included coaching both the 18U and 16U San Jose Jr. Sharks teams in the PHL. This past season, his 16U team won the PHL’s regular season title and in 2010-11 his 18U team did the same, along with winning the California Tier I AAA State Championship. “The PHL has been a great training ground as a coach and competition forces a coach to prepare his team to be at their best for every game,” said Zasowski. “In addition to the competition, it has fostered many great relationships with junior and college coaches, particularly in the NAHL. I am very excited to take the next step to being a head coach in the NAHL. After coaching in the PHL the last three seasons, I am excited to be able to now work and compete against the coaches that I have been promoting my players to.”

Prior to coaching with the Jr. Sharks, Zasowski was Assistant Coach/Goalie Coach for the Pensacola Ice Pilots in the ECHL. Zasowski also had stints in the USHL as Assistant Coach/Assistant General Manager with the Chicago Steel, in the NAHL as Assistant Coach with the Springfield Spirit. In addition to his regular coaching duties, Tony has worked numerous USA Hockey Select Festivals as a goalie coach and evaluator.

A presentation to and final approval by the USA Hockey junior council is expected no later than June 9th.

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

LONDON, ONTARIO: London Knights General Manager and Head Coach Mark Hunter is pleased to announce that the team has signed 17 year old forward Remi Elie to an Ontario Hockey League contract. Elie was the Knights 5th round draft pick (91st overall) in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection. He spent this past season playing with the Hawkesbury Hawks in the Central Canada Hockey League.

Remi Elie
Born Apr 16 1995 -- Green Valley, ONT
Height 6.00 -- Weight 185
  Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2011-12 Hawkesbury Hawks CCHL 59 21 25 46 39 9 5 4 9 12

 (Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

CALGARY, AB. - The Western Hockey League announced today that Portland Winterhawks forward Brad Ross is the WHL Player of the Week.

Ross collected four points, scoring two goals and two assists while maintained a +3 rating in two games over the last week, helping the Winterhawks capture the Kal Tire WHL Western Conference Championship with a 4-0 series win over the Tri-City Americans.

On Wednesday, April 25th, the Winterhawks played host to the Tri-City Americans at the Rose Garden holding a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Championship.  Ross scored one goal and one assist in the Winterhawks 3-1 win over the Americans.  The next night, Thursday, April 26th, Ross had another one goal and one assist performance as the Winterhawks downed the Americans 4-1.

The Portland Winterhawks have advanced to the WHL Championship Series with a 4-0 series victory of the Tri-City Americans in the Kal Tire WHL Western Conference Championship.  The Winterhawks will now face the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL Championship Series with the first two games schedule for Thursday, May 3 and Friday, May 4 at 7:00pm MT in Edmonton at Rexall Place.

Ross, a 20-year-old (born 1992) from Lethbridge, AB, is playing his fourth full season with the Portland Winterhawks.  The ‘Hawks made him the 5th overall selection at the 2007 WHL Draft and was selected in the 2nd round (43rd overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.  During the 2011-12 WHL regular season Ross set career highs in goals (42) and points (82).  He currently sits 4th among all WHL scorers in the playoffs with 20 points (12 goals, 8 assists) in 15 games played.

The WHL has also nominated Mac Carruth of the Portland Winterhawks for the CHL Goaltender of the Week Award.  Carruthposted a 2-0-0-0 record this past week, stopping 77 of 79 shots faced for a 1.00 goals-against average and 0.975 save percentage.  Carruth, a native of Shorewood, MN, helped the Winterhawks emerge with a 4-0 series win over the Tri-City Americans in the Kal Tire WHL Western Conference Final.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Knights’ Olli Maatta OHL Player of Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that rookie defenceman Olli Maatta of the London Knights is the OHL Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 29 after scoring three goals and two assists for five points in two games.

Maatta helped the Knights win the final two games of the Rogers Western Conference Championship Series over the Kitchener Rangers to capture their fourth Wayne Gretzky Trophy and first Western Conference title since 2006.  In Game 3 of the series on Tuesday night, Maatta scored two goals in the second period just 22 seconds apart including the game-winner as first star of a 5-2 win over the Rangers.  On Wednesday night in Game 4, Maatta opened the scoring with a shorthanded marker and added two assists on the power play for a three-point night as second star of the 4-2 series-clinching win.

Maatta, a 17-year-old native of Finland, recorded five goals and 27 assists for 32 points in 58 games this season with the Knights.  Eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Maatta was listed at eighth overall by NHL Central Scouting in their final North American Rankings.  So far in 14 playoff games he has scored five goals and 14 assists for 19 points which ties him for the club lead in scoring and also has him tied for first in playoff scoring among defencemen.

Also considered for the award this week was Freddie Hamilton and David Pacan of the Niagara IceDogs.  In the final three games of the Rogers Eastern Conference Championship Series against the Ottawa 67’s, both Hamilton and Pacan scored two goals and four assists for six points helping the IceDogs capture their first Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference Champions.  In goal, the IceDogs’ Mark Visentin went 3-0-0-0 with a goals-against-average of 2.00 and save percentage of .934.

(Nathan can be reached at

Waugh to wear the 'C'

Press Release

Powell River, BC– April 25, 2012 - The Kings are proud to announce that Teagan Waugh will be Captain of the 2012-2013 team.

Hailing from Nanaimo, Teagan joined the green and gold at the beginning of the 2009-2010 season. Wearing number 8, Teagan consistently improved and developed as a forward over his three years with the team. He plays with heart and is always one of the hardest working players on the ice.

Kings' head coach and general manager Kent Lewis is confident in the choice to give the ‘C’ to Waugh. “He is the right fit for Captain, he has experience and maturity. Teagan is a tireless worker and he commits 100% to everything he does. He is respected in the room because of his passion and work ethic. He knows what our goals are and what we expect of a Captain. We are confident he will lead in a very good way.”

Waugh is excited to take on this new responsibility both on and off the ice noting, “It’s a great honour to be a Captain of the Kings’ franchise. It is great to be put in the ranks of guys like Mat Bodie, Matt Garbowsky, and Chris Williams. It is a big responsibility but I look forward to the opportunity to do so.”

Waugh goes on to say, “I’ll bring a hard work ethic to the rink everyday. The most important thing is that I want to lead by example.”

Congrats Teagan!

(Nathan can be reached at

Steelers' Heide awarded IBAM Scholarship

Press Release

The inaugural Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba (IBAM) scholarship has been awarded to Dylan Heide of the Selkirk Steelers.

(Image Caption: Accepting the cheque for $2,000 from IBAM President, Curtis Wyatt (left) for the inaugural IBAM-MJHL Scholarship is Paul Heide (right), father of Dylan Heide with Selkirk Steelers Head Coach, Ryan Smith (middle) looking on. Dylan was in Toronto on a campus visit at the University of Toronto and was unable to attend the IBAM President’s Dinner last night.)

The IBAM Scholarship provides $2,000 towards post-secondary education.

“IBAM is committed to making a positive impact in our community,” said IBAM Chief Executive Officer, David Schioler. “The scholarship ensures that a young man will be able to pursue his post-secondary educational goals. Dylan was selected for his community involvement and citizenship, in addition to his excellence on the ice.”

Heide, 20, says he plans to attend university next fall and study business. “I’m honoured to be the first winner of the IBAM Scholarship,” said Heide, who hails from Winnipeg. “This funding will certainly assist me as I pursue my schooling.”

Heide, a four-year veteran of the Steelers, was a key contributor both on and off the ice. In 62 games this past season the talented defenseman recorded 61 points (20 goals-41 assists). Away from the rink, Heide was active within the community of Selkirk.

He delivered Christmas Cheer Board hampers throughout Selkirk, volunteered at the Selkirk Community Bingo, assisted children at Learn to Skate Programs and worked as an on-ice instructor at various hockey skill development camps.

“Dylan Heide epitomizes what the MJHL is all about,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “He is a committed student-athlete and community volunteer. Our league promotes quality on the ice, combined with education. Thanks to IBAM for its support and promotion of our league.”

(Nathan can be reached at

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Maher Maso to drop puck during Robertson Cup

Press Release

The Texas Tornado have announced that Frisco Mayor Maher Maso will drop the ceremonial first puck before the Tornado's Robertson Cup game on Friday, May 4th at 7:30 p.m.

"Mayor Maso has been very helpful as we prepare to host this year's Robertson Cup," Tornado Vice-President Ben Weber said. "We're excited he'll be at Dr Pepper Arena to open up our Friday night game."

Next Friday will mark the second day of pool play for all Robertson Cup teams. All six teams will play three games of pool play over three days. Following that, the top four teams will advance to the semifinals, scheduled for Monday, May 7th. The two semifinal winners will play for the Robertson Cup the following day, Tuesday, May 8th, at 7:30 p.m.

(Nathan can be reached at

Cameron Critchlow suspended for Game 6

Press Release

If the Halifax Mooseheads are going to force a game 7 they're going to have to do it without their captain.

Cameron Critchlow was informed today he has been suspended for tomorrow afternoon's Game 6 at the Metro Centre between the Herd and the Rimouski Oceanic. The suspension is the result of the league's decision to maintain the automatic 1 game suspension that accompanies last night's referees call stating that Critchlow removed his opponent's helmet in a fight. Critchlow dropped the gloves after the Mooseheads got down early in an attempt to spark a young Mooseheads squad playing in a hostile environment.

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

The 2011-2012 hockey season may be over for the Orangeville Junior 'A' Flyers, but they have already started building for the next Ontario Junior Hockey League campaign.

Flyers owner/governor David Arsenault announced that Dana Baker will take over as General Manager of the club, effective immediately, replacing Barry Rice, who will leave the club to concentrate on his player advisory business.

Baker is no stranger to the Flyers, having worked as the Associate General Manager for the Flyers (and former Villanova Knights) for the past two seasons.

Prior to his time with the Flyers/Knights, Dana spent six years with the Brampton Capitals working in a variety of positions, which include the final four years as General Manager. His minor hockey years were spent coaching and managing in the GTHL with the Mississauga Reps and Toronto Marlies organizations.

Retired from the Toronto Police Service in February 2011 after 35 plus years of service, Baker would like to thank Barry Rice for the fine job he did as GM of the organization over the past three seasons. "My goal is make the Flyers franchise one of the elite programs in the OJHL and one that the citizens of Orangeville can be proud of," said Baker, who has been busy at area arenas scouting prospective players for next season.

"The transition from Barry to Dana should be a smooth one," said Arsenault in announcing the change. "Barry and Dana worked hand-in-hand over the past couple of seasons and the philosophies they shared will remain in place. I would like to thank Barry Rice for the time and efforts he put in on behalf of the organization, building a struggling Villanova program into a competitive operation in Orangeville. We wish Barry all the best in his new business."

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League has announced the schedule for the 2012 WHL Championship Series between the Husky Eastern Conference Champion Edmonton Oil Kings and the Kal Tire Western Conference Champion Portland Winterhawks. The winner of the WHL Championship Series will be presented the Ed Chynoweth Cup and represent the WHL at the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Shawinigan, Quebec. Please see 2012 WHL Championship logo attached.


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

#1 – Portland @ Edmonton; Thursday, May 3 (7:00pm MT)
#2 – Portland @ Edmonton; Friday, May 4 (7:00pm MT)
#3 – Edmonton @ Portland; Sunday, May 6 (6:00pm PT), Rose Garden
#4 – Edmonton @ Portland; Tuesday, May 8 (7:00pm PT), Rose Garden
#5 – Portland @ Edmonton; Thursday, May 10 (7:00pm MT)**
#6 – Edmonton @ Portland; Saturday, May 12 (TBD), Rose Garden**
#7 – Portland @ Edmonton; Sunday, May 13 (TBD)**
** - if necessary

(Nathan can be reached at

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Becanic resigns as head coach of the Wenatchee Wild

Press Release

Wenatchee Wild President and Managing Partner Bill Stewart announced today that John Becanic has resigned from his position as head coach.

“We appreciate coach Becanic’s service,” Stewart said, “and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

“We are committed to hire the best coach we can find who will implement an exciting brand of hockey for our fans and continue to develop our players so they can achieve their long-term career goals,” Stewart said.

Becanic finished his first full season as head coach Thursday when the Wild were knocked out of the Robertson Cup playoffs by the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the divisional finals. The Wild finished the 2011-12 season in second place in the NAHL’s West Division with a 36-17-7 record. They defeated Alaska in the divisional semifinals in five games before falling to Fairbanks.

“It is with mixed emotions that I am stepping back from my position as head coach of the Wenatchee Wild,” Becanic said. “Although I have loved living in the community and cherished every day I have spent with these young men, I think it is best for me to move on to other hockey ventures.”

The Wild allowed an average of just 1.70 goals per game in 2011-12, which broke the NAHL all-time single-season record. To date, eight players from the 2011-12 squad have committed to Division I schools, including: Ben Carey and Blake Saylor (Air Force), Matt Cope (Robert Morris University), Greg Lewis (Clarkson University), Shawn Pauly and Kyle Huson (UConn), Blake Roubos (Niagara University) and Kyle Vogel (Army).

“I am very proud of what coach [Chris] Clark and I have accomplished as a staff, and I am grateful for his hard work and loyalty,” Becanic said. “The players and people of Wenatchee will always have a special place in my heart.”

Becanic was hired on Dec. 13, 2010, as a midseason replacement. The Wild went 19-10-1 under Becanic’s tutelage over the remainder of the 2010-11 season, which was good enough for a second-place finish in the West Division. The Wild swept Alaska in the semifinal round of the playoffs in 2011 before bowing to eventual Robertson Cup champion Fairbanks in the divisional finals.

(Nathan can be reached at

Blue Jackets Ink Prospect Michael Chaput to Three-Year Entry Level Contract

Press Release

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Michael Chaput to a standard three-year entry level contract, club Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Scott Howson announced today.

Chaput (pronounced sha-PUT), 20, registered 21 goals and 42 assists for 63 points, had 47 penalty minutes and a +39 plus/minus rating in 57 games with Shawinigan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2011-12. He led the club in assists, while ranking second in points and third (tied) in game-winning goals (four). He added 4-8-12 and two penalty minutes in 11 playoff games, helping the Cataractes reach the QMJHL semifinals.

Philadelphia’s first pick, 89th overall, in the 2010 Entry Draft, Chaput was acquired along with Greg Moore from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for left wing Tom Sestito on February 28, 2011. A native of Ile Bizard, Quebec, he has tallied 77-110-187 with 238 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +49 in 216 career QMJHL games with Shawinigan and Lewiston.

(Nathan can be reached at

Vees win Doyle Cup, headed for Humboldt and a shot at national title

Press Release

For the fourth consecutive year, the BCHL will have a team at the RBC Cup thanks to the Penticton Vees' Game 5 win over the Brooks Bandits that secured the team's first Doyle Cup since 1986.

Joey Benik tallied twice in the first period and completed a hat trick before the midway point of the second as Penticton carved out a 5-1 lead heading into the final frame. Benik's second goal, with just under four minutes to go in the opening frame, proved to be the winner.

Just as in Wednesday's Game 4 win, the Vees' power play was deadly connecting three times on six chances.

For Brooks, Colton Semenok's man-advantage goal early in the second gave the visitors a pulse briefly but Benik's third just under eight minutes later restored the Vees three-goal lead, brought a flurry of hats to the ice and chased Jan Obernesser from the Bandits net in favour of Michael Fredrick.

Steven Fogarty scored twice for the Vees, both goals were on the man advantage, and his second tally late in the middle frame all but crushed any hope the Bandits had left.

Brooks' Chris Muscoby scored late in the third period, shortly after Bryce Gervais had scored the Penticton's sixth, but the Vees were still able to storm the ice when the final horn sounded in a celebratory pile on goaltender Michael Garteig in the right-wing corner of their defensive zone.

Garteig made 31 saves in the win and improves to 3-1 in the postseason.

Penticton will be the last team to have its name engraved on the Doyle Cup as the four western Junior A leagues will play in the inaugural Western Canada Cup starting next year.

(Nathan can be reached at

Sholl Commits to Bowling Green of the CCHA

Press Release

Fresno, Calif. – The North American Hockey League Fresno Monsters’ goaltender Tomas Sholl announced today that he has committed to Bowling Green of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Sholl, a 17-year-old from Hermosa Beach, California, posted a record of 20-14-6 with 2 shutouts in his 2011-2012 rookie season. He finished the season with a goals against average of 2.38 and a .920 save percentage for the Monsters. Sholl also participated in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Troy, Michigan.

“We couldn’t be happier for Tomas,” stated GM/NAHL Head Coach Eric Ballard. “He is a wonderful young man that has all the ingredients of a high-end college hockey player both on and off the ice. Tomas got better every day, and we noticed early on that his path was going to be a successful one.”

Sholl played for the L.A. Jr. Kings 16 AAA midget team before landing in Fresno for the 2011-2012 season. “I’m just totally excited,” explains Sholl. “I loved the coaching staff and campus at Bowling Green. It was just the right fit for me. The Monsters gave me a huge opportunity to play this year and be exposed, and I am proud to be a future Falcon.”

Sholl played 40 games for the Fresno Monsters this season, and Coach Ballard couldn’t say enough of his work ethic and compete levels. “Tomas showed up every day ready to work and get better every time he stepped on the ice. Bowling Green is getting an exceptional goaltender, and it is very exciting for Tomas and for the Monsters’ organization,” said Ballard.

(Nathan can be reached at

Eagles & The Eagle renew deal

Press Release

Sydney – The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles have come to terms with 103.5 The Eagle on a new three-year broadcast agreement. The new agreement will begin on June 1, 2012 and end May 31, 2015.

Under the terms of the agreement all 68 regular season games and all playoff games will broadcast on The Eagle at 103.5 FM.

Screaming Eagles Marketing Director Peter MacDonald was pleased to see both sides able to come to a new agreement.

“We receive tremendous support from The Eagle and it’s affiliate station The Giant and it’s important knowing that this will allow our fans to stay in touch with our team over the next three seasons.

Dave Newbury General Manager of The Eagle understands the important role the Screaming Eagles play in the community which is a key factor from the radio stations perspective.

“From the first day we went on the air we realized it is important that we support local intiatives and the partnership we have with the Screaming Eagles has been very positive and this agreement means that this relationship with grow stronger.”

The 2012-2013 regular season is tentatively scheduled to begin on Thursday September 20.

(Nathan can be reached at

Friday, April 27, 2012

Jeff Twohey Appointed General Manager of Oshawa Generals

Press Release

The Oshawa Generals announced today the hiring of Jeffrey Twohey to the position of General Manager.

President and Governor Rocco Tullio commented, “We are very excited to welcome Jeff Twohey to the Generals family. Jeff brings with him a wealth of experience and a strong standing in the hockey community. He is a well-respected individual and we know he will work hard for us.”

Twohey served as General Manager with the Peterborough Petes for 17 years beginning in 1993. During his time with the Petes, he oversaw the development of 45 NHL draft picks including first round picks Lucas Krajicek, Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Zach Bogosian, and Zack Kassian. During his time as General Manager, Twohey built two Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Championship teams, winning titles in 1996 and 2006.

Before becoming General Manager, Twohey served as Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager with Peterborough, helping them to OHL Championships in 1989 and 1993.

Most recently, Twohey worked for the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League (NHL) as an Amateur Scout and has also scouted for the Dallas Stars of the NHL.

“I’m thrilled to join the Oshawa Generals. This is a club with a long and distinguished history in the league and I’m confident that we can find success together,” commented Jeff Twohey.
(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

Boston, MA-With great anticipation, The Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL), the East Coast’s most powerful junior hockey league, has created their own AAA U-16 Division, which will prepare players to become the EJHL and college recruits of the future. The thirteen-team EJHL Elite Prospects League(EPL) will be directly affiliated and operated by the existing members of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. Players will be exposed to the EJHL’s NCAA-style practices--including systems, plays, skill development, off-ice training techniques, and most importantly, academic guidance. This new League creates a seamless transition process will allow players at the U-16 level to be promoted to the parent clubs much sooner. During the season players may also be rewarded with the opportunity to practice and play with the parent EJHL teams.

“Each player will have everything they need within each organization and will not have to worry where they go next in the college process,” stated Commissioner Henry Lazar.

The EPL has other major advantages to consider, as it will be a much more affordable option for parents compared to private school. In addition the EPL will deliver a more comprehensive hockey program than most schools are able to offer.

Lazar further added, “There is no better development model for a hockey organization than to have a player start at 15 years old, advance through the ranks in their own organization and realize their college dreams ---all in the same organization. The EPL will give players and parents the complete package of opportunity needed –all under one roof.”

College scouts are already excited about the impact and potential this new cultivation of players will produce.

The EPL will play a 24-26 game league schedule, allowing for each organization to play selected exhibition games and to go to some of the best Elite Showcases for this level. It is expected that each EPL team will be playing 50 plus games. There will be playoffs and a league champion crowned. Teams that are National Championship bound through their own Districts will compete for the USA Hockey U-16 National Championship. An emphasis will be on practice and skill development as well as off-ice strength training and conditioning while always focusing on excellence in the classroom. Parents will be guided on the proper college process through seminars, meetings, and constant contact to help players prepare hockey resumes and video.

As of this article, the EPL will have teams from New Hampshire to Philadelphia and Boston to Rochester. The League will use Point Streak for their statistics and will maintain its own web site. Plans also include an invitation-only college showcase, where college coaches will give seminars on the recruiting process as these young men begin their quest for their Division 1 dream.

Please see the EJHL web site to get more information as it becomes available and to link to the new EPL in the near future. Please call your local EJHL organizations to get information about the U-16 program in your area.



(Nathan can be reached at

Rogers OHL Championship Series Schedules

Press Release

Toronto, ON - The Ontario Hockey League has announced the two schedule scenarios for the 2012 Rogers OHL Championship Series.

The final series will open on Thursday May 3 at the John Labatt Centre with the host London Knights who recently captured the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as Western Conference Champions, taking on the Eastern Conference Champions and winners of the Bobby Orr Trophy. The Knights will play the winner between the Niagara IceDogs and the Ottawa 67’s who play Game 5 of the Rogers Eastern Conference Championship Series tonight with the IceDogs holding a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

2012 Rogers OHL Championship Series Schedule:

Scenario 1: London Knights vs. Niagara IceDogs

Game 1: Thursday May 3 – Niagara at London - 7:00 pm

Game 2: Saturday May 5 – London at Niagara – 7:00 pm

Game 3: Monday May 7 – Niagara at London – 7:00 pm

Game 4: Wednesday May 9 – London at Niagara – 7:00 pm

Game 5: Friday May 11 – Niagara at London – 7:00 pm*

Game 6: Sunday May 13 – London at Niagara – 2:00 pm*

Game 7: Monday May 14 – Niagara at London – 7:00 pm*

*if necessary

Scenario 2: London Knights vs. Ottawa 67’s

Game 1: Thursday May 3 – Ottawa at London - 7:00 pm

Game 2: Friday May 4 – Ottawa at London – 7:00 pm

Game 3: Sunday May 6 – London at Ottawa – 2:00 pm

Game 4: Tuesday May 8 – London at Ottawa – 7:00 pm

Game 5: Thursday May 10 – Ottawa at London – 7:00 pm*

Game 6: Saturday May 12 – London at Ottawa – 2:00 pm*

Game 7: Monday May 14 – Ottawa at London – 7:00 pm*

*if necessary

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana Ice and Green Bay Gamblers add another chapter to the rivalry as the teams meet in the Eastern Conference finals for the third time in four years.  The series begins next Thursday (5/3) in Green Bay, WI with game three slated for Sunday (5/6) back in Indianapolis.

Indy secured their trip to the Eastern Conference finals after defeating the reining Clark Cup Champion Dubuque Fighting Saints 3-1 on Wednesday to sweep the series in three games.  Daniil Tarasov recorded seven points (3G, 4A) in the three-game series, including a record-breaking five-point (3G, 2A) effort in Saturday’s 6-3 victory at Pepsi Coliseum.  Jake Fallon (2G, 3A), Sean Kuraly (2G, 2A) and Robbie Baillargeon all had points in all three contests while goaltender Jon Gillies posted a 3-0-0 record with a 2.00 GAA and a .940 save percentage.

The #1 seed Gamblers punched their ticket to the finals with a 4-1 win on Wednesday overYoungstownto take their series three games to one.  Alex Broadhurst leads the Gamblers with seven points (5G, 2A) in four postseason appearances, including three shorthanded goals against the Phantoms in Sunday’s 6-3 victory.  Netminder Ryan McKay is 3-1-0 in playoff action with a 2.74 GAA and a .880 save percentage.
Indiana and Green Bay will be venturing into familiar territory as the two rivals have previously met four times in the postseason, including two meetings in the Eastern Conference finals.  The Ice eliminated the Gamblers from the playoffs in 2007 and in the 2009 Eastern Conference finals which culminated in Indy’s march to the 2009 Clark Cup Championship. Green Bay overtook the Ice in the Eastern Conference finals during their 2010 Clark Cup Championship run and knocked out Indy last season in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
ICE at Green Bay                 Thursday, May 3                   8:05 pm-Resch CenterICE at Green Bay                 Friday, May 4                        8:05 pm-Resch CenterGreen Bay at ICE                 Sunday, May 6                      5:05 pm-Pepsi ColiseumGreen Bay at ICE*                Monday, May 7                      7:05 pm-Pepsi ColiseumICE at Green Bay*                Wednesday, May 9                8:05 pm-Resch Center
*If Necessary

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

Calgary, AB -- The 2012 WHL Awards Luncheon is just one week away, as the WHL prepares to honor the best of the 2011-12 regular season. The 2012 WHL Bantam Draft is also scheduled for next week as WHL Clubs replenish their systems with graduating Bantam-aged players. Both of the WHL annually events will be available, free of charge, via LIVE webcast available at .


The event, held annually to recognize the WHL’s best performers, will be held in Calgary, AB, in the Sundance Room at the Deerfoot Inn on Wednesday, May 2nd.

The list of nominees for the 2012 WHL Awards includes many worthy candidates who enjoyed memorable performances throughout the 2011-12 WHL regular season.

The WHL’s most coveted award is the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the WHL Player of the Year. This year’s finalists for the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy are forward Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers, representing the Eastern Conference, and forward Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans, representing the Western Conference.

The Tigers’ Etem enjoyed an outstanding 2011-12 season, leading the WHL with a whopping 61 goals while finishing seventh among all WHL players with 107 points. A 19-year-old from Long Beach, CA, Etem became the first WHL player to score 50 goals in 50 or fewer games and to score 60 or more goals since the 2000-01 season. The Anaheim Ducks prospect was a unanimous selection to the WHL Eastern Conference First All-Star team.

A native of Winnipeg, MB, Brendan Shinnimin’s season for the Tri-City Americans was an incredible one as he led the entire WHL in scoring with 134 points for the highest point total in the WHL since the 1998-99 season, earning him the Bob Clarke trophy. Shinnimin, who is in his fourth and final season with the Americans, finished second among all WHL players with 58 goals and second with 76 assists. A unanimous selection to the WHL Western Conference First All-Star team, the Phoenix Coyotes prospect was named the Husky WHL Player of the Month after putting up an astounding 23 goals and 43 points in just 14 games. He ended the regular season on a 23-game point streak.

Among other 2012 WHL Awards nominees are the two finalists for the WHL Rookie of the Year. One of 16-year-old Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice, the Eastern Conference’s finalist, and 17-year-old Swiss forward Tim Bozon of the Kamloops Blazers, the Western Conference’s finalist, will go home with the Jim Piggott Memorial trophy.

The 2012 WHL Awards Luncheon will also see the presentation of the Bill Hunter Memorial trophy for the WHL Defenceman of the Year, the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial trophy for WHL Scholastic Player of the Year, the Brad Hornung trophy for WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player, the Del Wilson trophy for WHL Goaltender of the Year, the Dunc McCallum Memorial trophy for WHL Coach of the Year, the Lloyd Saunders Memorial trophy for WHL Executive of the Year, the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial trophy for WHL Humanitarian of the Year, the Allen Paradice Memorial trophy for WHL Top Official, and the award for WHL Marketing.

Over the years, the WHL has presented awards to many players who have gone on to stardom in the NHL and in international play.

Past winners of the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy include current NHL stars Cam Ward (Red Deer Rebels, 2003-04), Jordan Eberle (Regina Pats, 2009-10) and Jarome Iginla (Kamloops Blazers, 1995-96), and NHL legends such as Joe Sakic (Swift Current Broncos, 1986-87 & 1987-88), Mike Vernon (Calgary Wranglers, 1981-82 & 1982-83), Bryan Trottier (Lethbridge Broncos, 1974-75) and Bobby Clarke (Flin Flon Bombers, 1968-69). Last year’s winner was goaltender Darcy Kuemper of the Red Deer Rebels.


The Western Hockey League will conduct its annual Bantam Draft on Thursday, May 3rd, at the Deerfoot Inn in Calgary, AB.

The WHL Bantam Draft is the first opportunity for WHL Clubs to replenish their systems with graduating Bantam-aged players. The order of selection for the first round of the draft is determined through a weighted lottery consisting of the six non-playoff teams. The draft order is based on the inverse overall standings from the regular season.

The 2012 WHL Bantam Draft will see the Seattle Thunderbirds select first overall. It marks the first time in franchise history that the Thunderbirds will have the first overall pick in the WHL Bantam Draft.

WHL fans can watch the first round of the 2011-12 WHL Bantam Draft live online via Webcast. The Draft begins at 8:30AM MST.

Players eligible for the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft will be 1997-born players who reside in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.


Following is the order of selection for the 1st round of the WHL Bantam Draft:

1). Seattle Thunderbirds
2). Prince Albert Raiders
3). Prince George Cougars
4). Lethbridge Hurricanes
5). Swift Current Broncos
6). Red Deer Rebels
7). Everett Silvertips
8). Victoria Royals
9). Kelowna Rockets
10). Kootenay Ice
11). Regina Pats
12). Brandon Wheat Kings
13). Saskatoon Blades
14). Spokane Chiefs
15). Vancouver Giants
16). Medicine Hat Tigers
17). Calgary Hitmen
18). Moose Jaw Warriors
19). Kamloops Blazers
20). Portland Winterhawks
21). Tri-City Americans
22). Edmonton Oil Kings


Following is the order of selection for the 2nd and all subsequent rounds of the WHL Bantam Draft:

1) Prince Albert Raiders
2) Prince George Cougars
3) Seattle Thunderbirds
4) Everett Silvertips
5) Victoria Royals
6) Lethbridge Hurricanes
7) Swift Current Broncos
8) Red Deer Rebels
9). Kelowna Rockets
10). Kootenay Ice
11). Regina Pats
12). Brandon Wheat Kings
13). Saskatoon Blades
14). Spokane Chiefs
15). Vancouver Giants
16). Medicine Hat Tigers
17). Calgary Hitmen
18). Moose Jaw Warriors
19). Kamloops Blazers
20). Portland Winterhawks
21). Tri-City Americans
22). Edmonton Oil Kings

(Nathan can be reached at

Rivermen Add Butcher & Dombrovskiy

Press Release

Township of Langley, BC, Wednesday, April 25, 2012: The Langley Rivermen Junior “A” Hockey Club continues to add young talent to its roster. The franchise announced a pair of signings for the upcoming 2012-2013 season:

Viktor Dombrovskiy, Defenseman, 16 years old (born 1996): Viktor will make his way to the Rivermen with just a short drive from his hometown of Coquitlam, BC. He is a young defenseman that played in the BC Major Midget League last season for the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs and recorded one goal and eight assists in twenty-four games played.

Head Coach Bobby Henderson felt they could not pass up the opportunity to sign this young player,

“Viktor came to our camp last season and was very impressive at just 15 years old and we definitely kept an eye on him throughout the year,” Henderson said, “he was just recently at our prospects camp as well and has really improved his overall game”.

Viktor is a 5’10”, 170 pound defensemen and is a player that was a hot commodity around the league,

“We are fortunate to have him on board with us as he was Coquitlam’s first pick in the BCHL affiliate draft last season,” Henderson continued. “and the cherry on top is that he is just a clean cut kid that is very smart and will be a treat to have.”

Ben Butcher, Forward, 17 years old (born 1995): Ben hails from Bellingham, Washington, but played last season with the Pursuit of Excellence U-18 program, which is based out of Kelowna, BC. He was able to rack up eight goals and fourteen assists in forty-two games played. Ben is a big forward at 6’2”, 190 pounds, who Associate Head Coach Jordan Emmerson feels will have a bright future in the BCHL,

“Ben is a big kid that has improved in all areas in the last two seasons and is continuing to develop,” Emmerson said, “he skates very well and has a good skill set to go along with a very creative mind.”

Ben has a familiar last name in the Lower Mainland hockey community as his father Garth had a long NHL career spent mostly with the Vancouver Canucks. Ben’s older brother Matt was a BCHL stand out as well, spending three seasons with the Chilliwack Chiefs (where he was named Coastal Conference MVP in 2006) before being drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the fifth round.

“We have watched Ben very closely in the past and he made a strong impression on us at our prospects camp and felt we could not let him get away,” said Emmerson, “he is still very young at 17 years old and we feel the sky is the limit for him.”

(Nathan can be reached at

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Otters' Pelech named Top High School Student and Scholastic Player of Year

Press Release

The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Adam Pelech of the Erie Otters is this year’s recipient of both the Bobby Smith Trophy as Scholastic Player of the Year as well as the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award as the top High School Student Athlete.

Pelech, a 17-year-old from Toronto, ON, is a Grade 12 student at McDowell Senior High School in Erie, PA, where he received a 95% average with a full course load including Algebra, Computer Applications, English, Introduction to Business, Physical Education, and Sports and Entertainment Studies.  Pelech becomes the Otters’ second Bobby Smith Trophy winner following Brad Boyes who received the honour in 2000.  He is the organization’s first Ivan Tennant Memorial Award winner but follows in the footsteps of his older brother Matt who was the award’s first recipient in 2005 as a member of the Sarnia Sting.  Pelech becomes the first player to receive both awards in the same season.
"It's awesome, it's an award that my brother won when he was playing in the league so it's cool that I have won it as well,” said Pelech.  “Both academics and on-ice performance go hand in hand and it's great to be recognized for both."

Pelech has completed his second season with the Otters and is among the top OHL defencemen eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  He recorded 20 points in 44 games this season for the Otters and represented Canada earning a bronze medal at the recent IIHF World Under-18 Championship where he was an Alternate Captain.

"Adam Pelech shows his leadership by conduct,” said Otters General Manager Sherry Bassin.  “He is truly a leader on the ice and a leader in the classroom.  He does it quietly and shows by his conduct that goals can be accomplished if you stick with it.  We are proud of his accomplishments in the classroom and on the ice.  His dedication to being the best is why he will have a long career in the National Hockey League."
Each year the Bobby Smith Trophy is presented to the OHL Scholastic Player of the year who best combines high standards of play and academic excellence.  The trophy is in honour of Bobby Smith, former Ottawa 67's star who exhibited a standard of excellence in both of these areas.  The Ivan Tennant Memorial Award is given to the Top Academic High School Player and is named in honour of Ivan Tennant, who spent a lifetime combining hockey and education.  He was the Kitchener Rangers' Education Consultant for 20 years and a key figure on the OHL's Education Consultant's Committee. 

Former winners of the Bobby Smith Trophy include NHL stars Dustin Brown who was a three-time award winner with Guelph from 2001-03, Steven Stamkos (Sarnia 2006-07), and Matt Duchene (Brampton 2008-09).  The two most recent recipients include Erik Gudbranson and last year’s winner Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs who was later named the CHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year.  Hamilton also won the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award in 2010 one year after his brother Freddie Hamilton.  Goaltender Andrew D’Agostini of the Peterborough Petes was last year’s winner. 

Following Pelech in consideration for the Bobby Smith Award was runner-up Matt Murray of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and Daniel Altshuller of the Oshawa Generals.  Chris Bigras of the Owen Sound Attack and Spencer Turcotte of the Guelph Storm were both runner-ups for the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award. 
Pelech will be formally presented with his awards at the OHL’s annual Awards Ceremony June 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.  He will also be the OHL’s nominee for the CHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year award.

All 20 of the OHL’s member clubs provide nominees for each award with the Bobby Smith Trophy nominees representing the 2011-12 OHL Scholastic Team.

Bobby Smith Award Winner- Adam Pelech, Erie Otters
Ekblad, Aaron
Gaunce, Brendan
Quinte SS
Auld, Justin
Univeristy of Toronto
Pelech, Adam
McDowell SHS
Finn, Matt
Our Lady of Lourdes CS
Blight, Braydon
Holy Cross
Pederson, Brent
Eastwood Collegiate
Welychka, Brett
St. Thomas Aquinas
Duhaime, Ryan
Philip Pocock CSS
Hamilton, Freddie
Brock University
Altshuller, Daniel
Henry Street HS
Monahan, Sean
Hillcrest HS
Owen Sound
Bigras, Chris
West Hill SS
Ritchie, Nicholas
Thomas A Stewart SS
Wilson, Tom
Plymouth HS
Kea, Justin
Saginaw Heritage HS
Chiarlitti, Nathan
University of Guelph
Murray, Matt
Superior Heights
Schutt, Samuel
Clarke, Michael
St. Anne's HS

Ivan Tennant Winner- Adam Pelech, Erie Otters



Ekblad, Aaron

Innisdale SS
Simmonds, Scott
Quinte Secondary
Robinson, Brandon
Turner Fenton HS
Pelech, Adam
McDowell SH
Guelph Turcotte, Spencer Our Lady of Lourdes
Smith, Jacob
Holy Cross Catholic
Pedersen, Brent
Eastwood Collegiate
Athanasiou, Andreas
Oakridge SS
Martin, Spencer
Philip Pocock
Graham, Jesse
Governor Simcoe SS
Altshuller, Daniel
Henry Street HS
Monahan, Sean
Hillcrest HS
Owen Sound
Bigras, Chris
West Hill SS
Varga, Steven
Thomas A. Stewart SS
Wilson, Tom
Plymouth HS
Kea, Justin
Heritage HS
Latta, Nick
Northern Collegiate
Nurse, Darnell
St. Mary's High School
Schutt, Samuel
Johnson, Ben
St. Anne's HS

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Murray Joins Canada's Pre-Camp for Worlds

Press Release

EVERETT – Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray has more hockey to play before the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, as Hockey Canada today announced that Murray will travel to Europe with the National Men's Team for a pre-competition camp and exhibition games leading up to the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship.

The camp starts Friday in Zurich, Switzerland and features Canada playing a pair of exhibition contests against the Swiss National Team on Sunday and Tuesday. Murray is the first undrafted player to accompany Team Canada for World Championship activities since goaltender Jamie Storr in 1994; one year after winger Paul Kariya in 1993. Murray and defenseman Adam Mitchell (who plays professionally in Germany) are the only players attending Canada’s camp who do not currently play in the National Hockey League. The two will practice with the team in Kloten, Switzerland and may participate in the two exhibitions, but are not part of Canada’s World Championship roster at this time.

Murray, 18, is no stranger to donning the Maple Leaf for Team Canada, having competed in this year’s World Junior Championships, the 2010 and 2011 Under-18 World Championships and the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. The White City, Saskatchewan native is projected to be among the first players chosen in the NHL Entry Draft in June after being ranked second among all eligible North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Despite being limited to 46 games this season due to injury and the World Juniors, the Silvertips’ captain paced all Everett defensemen and ranked seventh on the team in scoring with 31 points (9g/22a). He then led the club in playoff scoring with five points (3g/2a) in four postseason games. Murray has been a Second Team WHL All-Star in each of the past two seasons and is this year’s Western Conference finalist for the WHL’s 2012 Most Sportsmanlike Player Award. He also played in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in February.

The 2012 IIHF Men’s Hockey World Championship opens next Friday, May 4 and runs through May 20 in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. Rosters for Canada and many other world hockey powers are comprised almost exclusively of NHL players whose teams did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs or were eliminated in the first round.

Canada’s World Championship roster is stocked with former WHLers, including forwards Jamie Benn (Kelowna), Jordan Eberle (Regina), Ryan Getzlaf (Calgary), Evander Kane (Vancouver), and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer), defensemen Jay Bouwmeester (Medicine Hat), Duncan Keith (Kelowna), Dion Phaneuf (Red Deer) and Luke Schenn (Kelowna), and goaltenders Devan Dubnyk (Kamloops) and Cam Ward (Red Deer).

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Chris Allman named Officiating Coordinator for NAHL, 3HL

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that Chris Allman has been named the Officiating Coordinator for both the NAHL and the North American 3 Hockey League (3HL). Allman will begin his duties on May 1, 2012.

“We are pleased to have Chris as a member of the staff in a role that we feel is very important to the overall success of our leagues,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “As we constantly strive for an enhanced product on the ice, we feel that Chris brings the experience necessary to ensure that the officiating and our development of officials in the NAHL/3HL remains consistent and adapts with the level of play. We will continue to work with USA Hockey to develop and educate our on-ice officials and maintain a certain level of accountability to help keep our players competing in a safe environment.”

“I am honored to be selected as the Officiating Coordinator for the NAHL and 3HL, as it will allow me to educate and train a larger pool of officials with the support of my supervisory team,” said Allman. “I am also very excited to be able to help the on-ice officials provide a safe and consistent playing environment that will allow players to hone their skills as they climb the next rung in the ladder; whether it is college or professional hockey.”

Allman’s main responsibilities will include supervising, evaluating and coordinating all the officials within the NAHL/3HL. Allman is no stranger to officiating or the supervisory role at the league level. For the past four years, Allman has been the Director of Officiating for the Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League (AMHL), a Tier III junior league. His responsibilities included educating and developing on ice officials through evaluations and observation.

“I plan on introducing the officials to more group training which will focus on performance consistency game to game,” said Allman. “Some methods that the officials will experience include; weekly review questions, power skating sessions, and off-ice coaching at higher levels. Building a strong supervisory team is a key aspect and the quality of the officials will be reflected by their supervisors (coaches) advice and guidance. Resuming and rebuilding our working relationship with USA Hockey's Officiating Development Program will be of high importance to reaching all of these goals.”

Allman has a wide array of experience on the ice as an official where for the past 10 years he has worked professionally in the AHL, ECHL, CHL and SPHL as a referee or linesman. He also has on-ice experience at both the NAHL and USHL levels. “I am looking forward to returning as an administrator where I got my start in officiating… in junior hockey,” said Allman. “Junior hockey is a spring board for players, coaches, and officials to help develop their careers. The people working in this league are very professional and without their hard work the NAHL and 3HL would not be able to provide such a dynamic opportunity for the development of players, coaches, and officials alike.

Scott Brand, who is the Officiating Development Coordinator for USA Hockey and who also has supervised the NAHL during the past 14 seasons with their officiating program, believes that Allman will be a nice fit for the league. “I am excited for the NAHL and 3HL and the officials with the selection of Chris Allman as the new officiating coordinator. He is bringing a proven track record of development and will hold the officials to a high standard. Chris is one of the hardest workers in the officiating world and is recognized as one of the best when it comes to development.,” said Brand.

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Petes Sign Top Pick Eric Cornel

Press Release

Peterborough Petes General Manager David Reid announced today that the team has signed their 1st round selection Eric Cornel, the 3rd overall pick from the 2012 OHL Priority Selection to an OHL Contract and Education Package.

“Eric is a tremendously talented young hockey player and the Peterborough Petes are very happy to be signing Eric and adding Eric to our team” says Petes General Manager David Reid. “Eric plays a very high tempo game and is a player that makes all players around him better. We are looking forward to watching Eric begin his OHL career at our Orientation Camp May 5th and 6th at the Memorial Centre.”

The Petes selected Cornel from the Upper Canada Cyclones of the Ottawa East Minor Hockey Association with the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection on Saturday April 7th. Eric also represented Canada at the 2012 Youth Olympics in Austria.

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Vees make hay on power play, rack up four man-advantage goals in Game 4

Press Release

A quick pair of second-period power-play goals, two of four on the night for the Penticton Vees, proved to be all the scoring the BCHL team needed in a 6-1 Game 4 win that put them up three games to one on the Brooks Bandits in the Doyle Cup

A scoreless first period saw the Vees outshoot the Bandits 11-3 with Brooks goalie Jan Obernesser making several big saves including one on a Travis St. Denis breakaway when he had been sprung loose after serving a penalty

With Anthony Petruzzelli serving a slashing penalty, Joey Benik broke the ice at 4:56 of the second and Mario Lucia followed 1:03 later with another power-play goal that would hold up to be the winner.

Brooks got within one early in the third as Mark Reners converted a power-play goal of his own with assists from Dakota Mason and David Watt. But 1:33 after that, Lucia scored his second of the night to restore the Vees' multi-goal lead.

A goal from Ryan Reilly after a super effort by Troy Stecher all but sealed it though Mike Reilly and Logan Johnston scored the Vees third and fourth power-play goals 1:19 apart to round out the scoring for the Vees.

Michael Garteig made 20 saves for the win.

Penticton can punch their ticket to the RBC Cup with one more win. Game 5 goes Friday at 7 p.m. at South Okanagan Events Centre.

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Steelers' Harris heading to NCAA

Press Release

The Selkirk Steelers announce that 19-year-old goaltender Adam Harris has accepted an NCAA Division 1 hockey scholarship to Canisius College (Buffalo, New York) of the Atlantic Hockey Association beginning this upcoming 2012-2013 season.

Harris, originally from Penticton, BC came to the Steelers in October 2011 after previously playing in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). During his time with the Steelers, Harris played in 33 games compiling 23 wins with 9 losses and 2.75 goals against average. Harris was also a finalist for the MJHL’s 2011-2012 Goalie of the Year Award.

"My full congratulations go out to Adam on accepting this scholarship. He should be very proud of this accomplishment and for having such an outstanding year. His play on the ice along with his marks off the ice attracted many schools. Working with the staff at Canisius College went smoothly and I feel both sides will be happy with the decision. I would've loved to have Adam back for one more year but this is an opportunity he couldn't pass up. As an organization, we are constantly trying to promote our players to the next level, whether that is NCAA, WHL, CIS or Professional. The entire Steelers Organization is extremely proud of Adam and we wish him all the best at Canisius College" says Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Ryan Smith.

"I want to thank the organization as a whole for bringing me into Selkirk. I would also like to thank the coaches for giving me the opportunity to play and for giving me the support and confidence I needed to succeed. I would also like to thanks my teammates for making it a great year and the most successful season of my career. Joining the Steelers was the best decision I ever made and this team and this season will always be how I remember my junior career" says goaltender Adam Harris.

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Nichols signs SPA with Hounds

Press Release

The Soo Greyhounds Hockey Club is proud to announce that goaltender JUSTIN NICHOLS has been signed to a Standard Player Agreement in preparation for the 2012/13 season.

"We are thrilled today that Justin has committed to our program. Obviously, Justin had plenty of options and we are excited that given all of interest in him that he elected to commit to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds" began GM Kyle Dubas.

"Justin is a technically sound goaltender, who is very athletic and is extremely intelligent. That combination of skill and his quickness allows him to read and react to the play and be in great position the majority of the time."

Nichols was selected by the Hounds with their 2nd pick of the third round during the 2011 OHL Priority Selection presented by StateFarm.
This past season the St. Catharine’s ON native played at the prestigious Salisbury Academy Prep School where he started 20 of the 28 games for the club.
Off the ice, Nichols received Second Honours for his acadmic performance.

"I am extremely excited about joining the Greyhounds organization . Obviously I feel it is a team that's on the up and I want to be a part that, for sure. It's a great step hockey wise for me, but also a great step to develop as a person” stated Nichols.

The 5’9”, 150-lb netminder will not be in attendance at the team’s upcoming Development Camp but is expected at the Hounds main training camp at the end of August.

"We do recognize that it will be an adjustment for Justin and we feel as though there is no goaltender better suited to partner with Justin and show him what it will take to reach his potential than Matt Murray" continued Dubas.

"We expect Matt and Justin to push one another throughout the season and cultivate a relationship that will allow both to maximize their potential during their time with our program.”

The Hounds will hold their Spring Development Camp in just over a week – May 4th to 6th – at the John Rhodes Community Centre. Further information can be found on

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