Monday, May 31, 2010

Sakatoon Blades Sign 2010 Top Bantam Draft Choice McGauley

Press Release

Saskatoon, SK -- Saskatoon Blades’ General Manager and Head Coach Lorne Molleken is very pleased to announce the signing of centre Tim McGauley to a Western Hockey League Education Contract as the hockey club finished up their annual Spring Prospects Camp.

The Blades selected McGauley in the 1st round of the 2010 W.H.L. Bantam Draft, 20th overall. A product of Wilcox, Sk., McGauley scored 57 goals and added 46 assists for 103 points while playing in just 26 games with the Lumsden/Bethune Contacts of the South Sask Bantam Hockey League during the 2009-10 season.

“The McGauley family is very excited about Tim becoming a member of our organization,” said Molleken. “He’s a young guy that has a lot of potential to be a real good player in the W.H.L. We’re very pleased to have him on board.”

McGauley is a 5’10”, 150 lb. left-handed shot will turn 15 years old on July 23.

“It means a lot for me to sign with the Blades,” said McGauley. I’m very excited and I can’t wait to be a part of the organization!”

The education component of the contract, through the Western Hockey League Scholarship Program, played an important part in the family’s decision to have Tim McGauley Jr. commit to the Blades.

“There’s no guarantees in this game, or in any business for that matter,” explained Tim McGauley Sr., father of the Blades’ young prospect. “But, the idea of having an insurance policy of education is about as good an insurance policy a young fellow can have at this stage of the game, I think.”

McGauley will play this upcoming season with the Regina Pat-Canadians in the Saskatchewan AAA Midget Hockey League. He will also be eligible to play in five regular-season games with the Blades until the Pat-Canadians’ season is complete.

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

Rangers Sign Jesse Young

Press Release

Kitchener Rangers Head Coach and General Manager Steve Spott announced that the team has signed Jesse Young to an Ontario Hockey League contract with the Rangers. Chosen in the 11th round of the 2010 OHL Priority Selection by the Rangers, Young played the 2009-10 season with the Detroit Honeybaked U16s where he amassed 3 goals, 10 assists and 37 PIMs in 37 games.

Jesse is a safe steady defenseman who plays a strong game in his own end of the ice. He makes an excellent first pass and has good lateral mobility.

Jesse Young

Hometown: Walled Lake

Birthdate: 2/28/1994

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 200

Position: Defense

Shoots: Right

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

Regina Pats sign first pick in 2010 Bantam Draft Klimchuk

Press Release

Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats are proud to announce that they have signed their first round pick from the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft Morgan Klimchuk to a WHL Standard Players Agreement.

Morgan Klimchuk was taken by the Pats 5th overall in the recent 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. He was the Captain of a Calgary Bison squad that won the silver medal at the Western Canadian Bantam Championships. In 28 games with the Bisons this season, Klimchuk scored 33 times and collected 19 assists for 52 points while adding 44 minutes in penalties. He was also a 2009-2010 South Division AMBHL All-Star.

C – Morgan Klimchuk
5’10” 155lbs.
Shoots: Left
Born: March 02/05
Calgary, Alberta
09-10 Calgary Bisons (AMBHL)
GP – 28 G – 33 A – 19 Pts. – 52 PIM – 44 (Captain)

Regina Pats General Manager, Chad Lang, “It’s great to have the opportunity to sign our first round pick to a Standard Players Agreement. Morgan competed extremely well during our on-ice session this past weekend at our spring camp. More importantly, he conducted himself well, on and off the ice, showing some great leadership qualities.” Lang continues, “Morgan’s character along with his work ethic and determination makes him an important piece to the future of the Pats.”

Morgan was ecstatic, “It’s been a crazy month looking forward to the Bantam Draft and then signing with the Pats. Now, when it’s all done, it’s been an honour and very exciting for me.”

Morgan recently competed at this past weekend spring camp, and will be returning to Regina this August for training camp.

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

Merritt head coach Pierce signs extension through 2013

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League's Merritt Centennials are pleased to announce that Head Coach and General Manager Luke Pierce has agreed to terms of a three-year contract extension through the 2012/13 season.

"This signing is a significant step in achieving our goal of becoming a strong contender in the BCHL," said Centennials President Jerry Canuel. "This provides our organization with the stability and long-term focus necessary for success. Luke is well respected in our community and despite his relatively short time in the BCHL, he is also very well respected by other teams and coaches. He has a passion for the game and he embraces the 'team' attitude and philosophy."

Pierce took over head coaching duties in November following the departure of Dylan Forsythe and led the Centennials to their first playoff appearance since the 2006/07 season.

"The Centennials Board of Directors felt that with the team's improvement in the latter part of last season along with the enthusiasm and passion Luke has for hockey and our community, it was essential for him to be involved in the future and overall direction of our organization," said Cents Governor and Director of Hockey Operations Brian Barrett.

With the extension announced, Pierce turns his attention to building on a successful season with a core of talent that includes leading scorer Dustin Johnson, rookie stand-out Jeff Jones and 2010 BCHL All-Star Steve Tresierra.

"I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue my young coaching career here in Merritt," said Pierce. "The Centennials and this community have a very special meaning to me not only as a hockey coach, but also as a proud resident of the Nicola Valley."

"My goal for the next three years is to create a culture here with our players that our fans can directly relate to," continues Pierce. "Along with the Board of Directors, my aim is to establish the Centennials as the pride of this city and in time, I believe we will accomplish that."

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

Warriors' head coach Yopyk adds GM title to role in Westside

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League's Westside Warriors are pleased to announce that head coach Darren Yopyk has also been appointed the team's general manager.

Yopyk recently led the Warriors to a third place finish in the BCHL’s Interior Conference and a second round playoff appearance in his first season with the team. The former Merrimack College assist coach has been working tirelessly in recruiting high -end prospects to ensure the Warriors fifth year in the league is their best ever.

“I want to first thank the Westside Warriors and the Cheyne family for giving me this opportunity,” says Yopyk. “I am excited to continue to build on the strong foundation that has been established over the past five seasons here in Westside. I look forward to continue not only building a Championship team, but also building Champion players and people along the way.”

The Warriors had eight player commit to post-secondary scholarships during the 2009/10 season. Team co-captains Trevor Bailey and Joel Woznikoski are both bound for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology while five others have committed to NCAA Division I schools.

Westside has also received a commitment from WHL third-round draft pick Michael King, who will help fill the hole left by Woznikoski and Brendan Ellis on the Warriors' blueline. Ellis was named the Interior Conference's Top Defenceman last season.

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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sherbrook named Official Equipment Supplier of NAHL

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that Sherbrook Hockey Company (SBK) has been named the Official Equipment Supplier of the NAHL.

As part of the agreement, Sherbrook will serve as the exclusive provider of hockey sticks, pants and gloves to the NAHL.

“SBK has demonstrated a strong commitment to the NAHL and we couldn’t be happier to partner with such a reputable organization,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Although SBK is a relatively new company, its experienced management team and personnel are anything but new to the equipment manufacturing industry or the NAHL.”

“Team SBK is very pleased and privileged to be associated with the NAHL and the NAPHL,” said Georges Guilbault, president and CEO of SBK Hockey Company. “We’re looking forward to a mutual prosperous business relationship.”

SBK will sponsor the NAHL Player of the Week and Player of the Month awards, along with the Most Valuable Player awards for the regular season and the league’s two Top Prospects Tournaments.

In addition, SBK will be the title sponsor of the NAHL Showcase Tournament and the Top Prospects Tournaments, along with all six North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) events.

SBK will also offer special team pricing and personal team service to every participating NAPHL program and youth teams within their associations.

“With a product line and customer service that’s second to none, coupled with SBK’s enthusiasm for the NAHL and NAPHL and their success, all the pieces are in place for a prosperous relationship,” Frankenfeld added.

Already the Preferred Goaltender Supplier of the NAHL and the NAPHL, SBK will continue to sponsor the NAHL Goaltender of the Month and Goaltender of the Year awards. It will also sponsor the All-NAHL and All-Rookie Team goaltenders, as well as the All-Divisional Team goaltenders.

Dedicated to hockey players with attitude and passion, SBK Hockey offers a complete line of composite hockey sticks and protective equipment, including protective goaltender equipment. For more information on SBK, visit

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

Vernon's Noonan is BCHL's 98th commitment, set for Boston Univ.

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League's Vernon Vipers are pleased to announced that 19-year old defenceman Garrett Noonan has committed to attend Boston University and suit up for the NCAA Division I Terriers for the 2010/11 season.

Noonan recently completed his rookie season in the BCHL by helping the Vipers capture their second consecutive National Championship. The Norfolk, MA native scored twice and added 16 assists during the regular season before netting six points in 19 playoff games.

"Garrett improved immensely throughout the season and this didn't go unnoticed by scouts," says Vipers head coach Mark Ferner. "He's joining one of the most prestigious and storied programs in all of the NCAA and we're very proud of his achievements."

Boston University is a perennial Division I Championship contender, with their most recent title coming in 2009. Noonan joins teammate Sahir Gill as a Terriers recruit, and will link up with former BCHLers Ryan Santana, Justin Courtnall and Grant Rollheiser in his freshman season.

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

Hockey legend Charles Henry resigns

Press Release

GATINEAU, Saturday, May 29, 2010 - After 25 years of loyal service, Charles Henry rendered yesterday his resignation to the President of the Gatineau Olympiques. The organization is surprised and disappointed by his decision.

It is true that the imminent hiring of a new general manager and head coach was part of the succession plan of the team, but the intent of the organization was to implicate Mr. Henry as an Ambassador and Special Advisor assigned to different projects.

Charles Henry deserved to become an ambassador for life. He was a great builder, not only with the Gatineau Olympiques, but also in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Generations of coaches have benefited through the years, oh his wealth of experience.

The Gatineau Olympiques would like to thank him for all his efforts and dedication. The organization ensures that there will always be a place for him with the Olympiques and wishes one day to honour Charles Henry for his many accomplishments.

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

Saturday, May 29, 2010

$30,000 Raised in Wheat Kings’ Commemorative Jersey Auction

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Brandon Wheat Kings and the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup Host Committee today announced that a donation of $30,000 will be made to the Dominion Command Poppy Trust Fund. The money was raised through an online auction of the Wheat Kings’ game-worn and game-issued commemorative jerseys for the opening game of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Poppy funds are spent to support veterans and their families, buy hospital equipment, support cadet groups, and provide student bursaries.

The commemorative jersey signed by Hockey Night in Canada hosts Don Cherry and Ron MacLean received the highest bid of any jersey at $3,800.

Commemorative jerseys worn by the last three hosts of the MasterCard Memorial Cup including the Brandon Wheat Kings, the Rimouski Oceanic, and the Kitchener Rangers have cumulatively generated over $90,000 for the fund.

The commemorative jerseys were designed by the CHL in conjunction with the Brandon Wheat Kings in honour of the Canadian Army, specifically the men and women past, present, and future of CFB Shilo. CFB Shilo is Manitoba’s only army base and is located approximately 20 minutes from Westman Place, home of the Wheat Kings.

The Memorial Cup was donated in 1919 by the Ontario Hockey Association as a memorial to the men and women who had given their lives in the defence of Canada during World War I. This year, the prestigious trophy was rededicated to all of Canada’s war fallen as part of the opening ceremonies of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup at CFB Shilo.

The Memorial Cup was presented for the 92nd time on Sunday when the Windsor Spitfires became just the eighth team in history to win back-to-back titles.

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

2011 Team Pacific Staff

Press Release

BC Hockey announced May 27, 2010 the BC staff for Team Pacific that will compete at the 2011 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg, Manitoba from December 28, 2010 to January 4, 2011. The announcement is a culmination of an application process led by BC Hockey Officer at Large Robin Douville.

Director of Operations – Glen Carrier (Maple Ridge, BC)

Glen has been involved with the BC Hockey High Performance Program for over 10 years, participating at all steps of the program. In 2007 he served as the Director of Operations for Team BC that competed at the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon. Currently he serves as the BC Provincial Scout and Coordinator of USA Scouts for the Chilliwack Bruins of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

Head Coach – Robert Dirk (Penticton, BC)

Following a successful 10 year NHL playing career, Robert has been involved with coaching at all levels of hockey. Currently he serves as a head coach at the Okanagan Hockey Academy working with its midget program. Robert resides in Penticton, BC with his wife Melia, son Jagger and daughter Aspen.

Assistant Coach – Kris Knoblauch (Cranbrook, BC)

Kris has been an assistant coach with the Kootenay Ice of the WHL since the 2007-08 season. Knoblauch helped guide the Ice to a fourth place finish in the Eastern Conference this past season. He has been involved with the BC Hockey high performance program for the past three (3) years.

Equipment Manager – Troy Clifford (Kamloops, BC)

Troy has been involved with the BC Hockey High Performance Program since 2008 and has excelled within the program. Additionally he has been heavily involved with the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association and this past season served as the Senior Athletic Trainer for the TRU Wolfpack University Hockey team of the BCIHL. In his professional life Troy has worked for BC Ambulance since January 1988 and is the Operational Paramedic Supervisor and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator in Kamloops.

Hockey Alberta recently named Blair Becker as an assistant coach and Ryan Williams as the athletic therapist to Team Pacific. Becker has been an assistant coach with the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League since the 2008-09 season. Williams has an extensive background in sports physiotherapy, working at a variety of levels including WHL, CIS, AJHL and AMHL.

Team Pacific is made up of players from both British Columbia and Alberta who were born in 1994. This represents the first stage of Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence. The 11 players selected from BC will be identified, evaluated, and trained through BC Hockey’s Under 17 High Performance Program, which acts as the province's talent identification and training program for player representation on Canada's national teams.

At the 2010 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge Team Pacific finished a disappointing fifth. The team lost 2-1 to the United States in the final preliminary game of the event relegating them to the 5th place game. Team Pacific has never won gold in the history of the event, but has finished second 5 out of the past 10 years.

The World Under 17 Hockey Challenge is the unofficial World Championship for this age level and the first stage for Hockey Canada to identify players for the National Under 18 Team and the World Junior Team. In addition to the five Canadian teams (Pacific, Western, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic) there will be five international teams from USA, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.

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

2010 Male Under 17 Provincial Development Camp

Press Release

BC Hockey announced May 28, 2010 the 54 players selected to attend the 2010 Male Under 17 Provincial Development Camp in Salmon Arm, July 20-24, 2010. The five (5) day camp will provide each player an opportunity to train and prepare for possible selection to Team Pacific and future national teams.
“I am truly honoured to be selected for the head coach position of Team Pacific. I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the staff and evaluators in picking the best players that fit into being the best team possible,” said Team Pacific head coach Robert Dirk. “As a coach, I’m extremely excited to be working with and coaching some of the best players in their age group not only from BC and Alberta, but from across Canada.”
The objectives of this year's camp are to one (1) evaluate and train BC's top 16 year old athletes in preparation for the challenges of high performance hockey, both at the national and international level, and two (2) to short list 21 players for potential participation with Team Pacific at the 2011 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge. Of the 21 short listed players, 11 will be selected November 15 to join 11 players from Alberta, forming Team Pacific 2011.
The Provincial Camp represents the third stage of the BC Hockey Male High Performance Program. It is designed to identify and train BC’s top players born in 1994 for Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. These players have successfully performed in the two (2) previous stages of the BC Hockey Male High Performance Program (U17 District Camp and the U17 BC Cup).
BC Hockey is currently reviewing the Male U17 program structure and is working with Hockey Alberta on the development of a Regional Camp. Any changes that are made to the Male U17 high performance program will not be implemented until the 2010-2011 season.
The BC Hockey U17 Male High Performance Program is the first stage in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. The objective of this program is to introduce players and coaches to world international style competition and IIHF playing rules. This program assists with the identification and training of players and coaches for the National Under 18 Team, the National Junior Team and the Canadian Olympic Team.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Chad Lang has been hired as the Regina Pats General Manager

Press Release

Regina, Saskatchewan – Regina Pats President, Brent Parker is proud to announce Chad Lang as the clubs new General Manager.

Lang has a strong resume from his time as the General Manager of the Moose Jaw Warriors. He was originally hired by the Warriors in 2003 as its Director of Marketing and Corporate Sales and took over the G.M. role with the Warriors partway through the 2004-05 season.

Chad helped build a team that won the Eastern Conference title in 2006 and a berth into the WHL Finals. For his work that season, Lang was the Eastern Conference nominee for the WHL’s Executive of the Year. During his tenure with the Warriors Lang guided the team to 2 of its 3 best records in franchise history. He has sent the likes of Tomas Fleischman, Troy Brouwer, Dustin Boyd, Kenndal McArdle to the National Hockey League.

Lang has just finished up a stint as the Director of Hockey Operations for the MasterCard Memorial Cup in Brandon.

He is a product of the Regina Minor Hockey system and played for the Regina Pat Canadians as well as the Kindersley Klippers of the SJHL.
Lang, as well as his wife, Shaulen and children Ethan and Daxton have made Regina their home.

Regina Pats President, Brent Parker “I am pleased to have Chad joining our organization as the new General Manager. He brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of our league and our team and he has a good track record of success. I look forward to handing over the reins of our hockey department so that Chad can begin the process of putting his stamp on our team”

Regina Pats General Manager, Chad Lang “I’m extremely excited for this opportunity to be a part of the long history of the Regina Pats. I know there is a big job in front of me, and I’m confident that through the process the organization will be back at the top of the WHL.”
Lang signed a 3 year, deal that will begin immediately.

Time is running out to get your early bird prices for Regina Pats season tickets. The Deadline is this Monday, May 31st. Just visit the Regina Pats office located in the west entrance of the Brandt Centre, or call 522-PATS for more information.

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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Preds Sign 2008 Second Rounder Roman Josi

Press Release

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed 2008 second round draft pick Roman Josi (ROH-man YO-see) to a three-year entry-level contract.

Josi, 19 (6/1/90), helped SC Bern win both the Swiss League regular season and playoff titles in 2009-10. In Bern’s postseason run, the 6-1 198-pounder led all defensemen and tied for fourth overall in goals (6), in addition to ranking second at the position and tied for ninth among all skaters in points (13). During the 2009-10 regular season, Josi was limited to 26 of Bern’s 50 contests due to injury, but ranked second among Swiss blueliners in points per game (.81). In 2008-09, he led all Swiss League junior players in points (7), goals (17) and assists (24), and in 2007-08, Josi was one of just four 17-year-olds to play in Switzerland’s top division.

The 38th overall selection in 2008 also has a lengthy international play resume. The Bern, Switzerland native led Swiss defensemen in points (1g-2a-3pts) and plus/minus rating (+3) in seven games in his second appearance at the World Championships in May. He has also played three World Junior Championships and two U-18 World Championships. Josi was named to the Swiss team for the 2010 Olympics, but could not participate due to injury.

Josi will attend Predators training camp in September, and is expected to play his first North American season in 2010-11.

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

Lightning sign 2008 draft pick, D Mark Barberio

Press Release

Tampa Bay Lightning
Defenseman Mark Barberio led Moncton in plus-minus rating with a plus-39 and was tied for the team lead for game-winning goals.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Mark Barberio to a standard three-year entry level contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

"We always like adding good character people and quality players to the organization," Head Amateur Scout Darryl Plandowski said. "Mark has a good skill level and he's a winner, having played on championship teams. We look forward to adding him to the organization and working to develop Mark as a professional."

Barberio, 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, is coming off an impressive junior career with the Moncton Wildcats and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey league. During that time he amassed 46 goals and 168 points with a plus-53 rating in 261 career games. Barberio participated in the 2010 QMJHL All-Star Game and was named to the 2006-07 QMJHL All-Rookie Team. He was also selected to represent the QMJHL in the 2009 Canada-Russia Super Series as well as the 2007 Canada-Russia Challenge.

The Montreal native, Barberio had what may have been his best season in 2009-10, setting career highs for goals with 17, assists with 43, points with 60 and shorthanded goals with three in 65 games with the Wildcats. He also notched seven power play goals and five game-winning goals. Barberio led Moncton in plus-minus rating with a plus-39 and was tied for the team lead for game-winning goals. He also led all team defensemen in goals and was second in assists and points. Barberio was second in the QMJHL for game-winning goals, fifth for points and assists and sixth for goals.

Barberio also had success during the QMJHL playoffs, registering five goals and 22 points in 21 contests. He led all league defensemen for points, assists and was second in goals. Overall, Barberio ranked second for assists and seventh for points among all skaters as he helped Moncton to the QMJHL Championship. He also played in three games during the Memorial Cup.

He was drafted by Tampa Bay in sixth round, 152nd overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

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

Ducks Sign Rockets' McMillan to Three-Year Contract

Press Release

Anaheim, CA - The Ducks have signed left wing Brandon McMillan to a three-year entry-level contract. Per club policy, no terms of the deal were disclosed.

McMillan, 20 (3/22/90), appeared in 55 contests in his fourth season with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2009-10, scoring 25-42=67 points with 63 penalty minutes (PIM) and a +11 rating. Ranking tied for second on the club in goals and third in points and assists, McMillan set career highs in all three categories. He scored a career-high four goals in the final contest of the regular season on Mar. 13 vs. Prince George. The 5-11, 185-pound winger led the Rockets in postseason scoring, collecting 5-10=15 points in 12 games. He scored the game-winning goal on Apr. 3 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals at Tri-City. In addition, McMillan appeared for Team Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, scoring 4-4=8 points in six contests en route to the silver medal.

A native of Richmond, British Columbia, McMillan registered 14-35=49 points in 70 contests with Kelowna in 2008-09. He finished fifth on the club in assists and sixth in points and registered a career-high five-point night (3-2=5) on Nov. 21 at Prince George. In addition, McMillan helped the Rockets to a WHL Championship in the postseason. Advancing to the Memorial Cup final, the club eventually fell to Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), four-games-to-one (4-1).

Selected by Anaheim in the third round (85th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, McMillan earned 56-113=169 points in 251 career WHL games. He played in a career-high 71 regular season contests in 2007-08 (missed only one contest), scoring 15-26=41 points. His international hockey resume also includes representing the gold-medal winning Team Canada at the 2008 IIHF Under-18 World Championship in Russia, scoring 1-2=3 points in the tournament. Additionally, McMillan represented Team B.C. at the 2007 Canada Winter Games.

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

New Name, New Home, & New Sponsors

Press Release

Junior ‘A’ hockey in HRM is about to take on a much different look this season with the Metro Marauders set to begin play out of the Dartmouth Sportsplex starting this September. The announcement was made by the team’s current executive, ownership group and major sponsors at a press conference today at their new home.

The Marauders are making the move across the harbour after having played the past two seasons at the Halifax Forum as the Halifax Lions.

“The Halifax Forum has been very good to Junior ‘A’ hockey over the years and our relationship with their management group has been rock solid,” said John Patterson, spokesperson for the ownership group. “This isn’t an instance of us running from the Forum but rather we feel like this is a great opportunity to move to the Dartmouth Sportsplex. The Dartmouth Sportsplex is the perfect sized facility for Junior ‘A’ hockey here in Metro. We have had our eye on moving to the Sportsplex for a long while now.”

As part of the move, game times have been moved to Friday night at 7:00 PM.

The Marauders also announced today the addition of some very recognizable brands as corporate sponsors. The presenting sponsor for the upcoming season will be Molson Coors, with other notable sponsors including McDonald’s, Gatorade & McInnes Cooper.

“Corporate sponsorship was one area we wanted to improve upon this off season,” said Matt Hill, President & Governor of the Marauders.

“We have been in discussions with Molson Coors for some time now and we are tremendously excited to have come to a partnership agreement where they will be our presenting sponsor for this upcoming season and seasons to come. Molson Coors reputation speaks for itself and we feel honoured to have them on-board. We’re also ecstatic to have such other notable companies as McDonald’s, Gatorade and McInnes Cooper offer their support to our organization.”

Hill noted additional sponsorship announcements will be forthcoming.

In a further move, the Marauders have partnered with Donnie Oram and his Black Dog Marketing + Advertising firm, who were responsible for the new team name and logo. Oram has put together a whole brand strategy that is going to revolve around the new name and logo starting this summer and leading into the season which starts near the middle of September.

“This brand is unique to Metro and the MJAHL and one that we can build a whole brand strategy around. It is going to be fun to watch it evolve into what we really believe it can. Our goal is to make it a recognizable brand in and around Metro in the hockey community and one that becomes synonymous with Junior ‘A’ hockey in Metro,” explained Oram.

Changes to the Marauders ownership group were also announced with Marco Chiarot, an oral surgeon in Dartmouth who is a partner in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Consultants, joining current team owners John Patterson, Rodi Saarloos and John Keizer.

“Marco has expressed a keen interest in becoming involved in our franchise and believes in the direction we are going. He brings to our team a wealth of knowledge and strong passion for success that will be part of the backbone of our hockey team. We are really excited to have Marco on-board as we move forward as the Metro Marauders,” added Hill.

In commenting on the move to Friday night games, Hill noted that it offered a great opportunity to attract local minor hockey players out to the games.

“With home games moving to Friday night, we can get minor hockey players involved in our team and begin to form relationships with each of them. We are going to be very active in the community and schools, but most importantly with minor hockey teams. We want these minor hockey players to feel as if they are part of our organization.”

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

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that its Board of Governors has approved the transfer of ownership of the Alpena IceDiggers membership and its relocation to Corpus Christi, Texas, for the 2010-11 season.

The team will play its home games out of the 7,400-seat American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.

“Not only is Corpus Christi an ideal fit for our league, geographically, but it’s also home to a first-class facility and passionate hockey fans,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “What’s more, it’s backed by a local ownership group and management team that are committed to both the players’ and community’s success.”

Pat Dunn, who boasts varied experiences in hockey both as a player and in the front office, is excited that hockey will remain in Corpus Christi.

“We couldn’t be happier to be a part of the North American Hockey League and everything it has to offer its fans, players and respective communities,” said Dunn. “Corpus Christi is a great hockey town and we’re excited to showcase some of the best young players in the world as they work their way to the collegiate and professional ranks.”

Corpus Christi is the fourth NAHL team to call Texas home, joining the yet-to-be named Amarillo club, which was introduced to the league last week, the Texas Tornado and Wichita Falls Wildcats.

“The addition of Amarillo and now Corpus Christi bolsters our already strong presence in the South and creates even more exciting rivalries for our fans and our players,” said Frankenfeld. “All four of these markets are supported by tremendous ownership groups that are committed to seeing hockey flourish in the Lone Star State.”

The IceDiggers, who were owned by Stephen Marks of the Alpena IceDiggers Corporation, played five seasons in Alpena after relocating from Toledo, Ohio, after the 2004-05 season.

In Alpena, the IceDiggers qualified for the playoffs three times - their best season came in 2006-07 when they fashioned a 37-20-5 record, good for 79 points and a second-place finish in the NAHL’s North Division - and moved over 30 players onto NCAA programs.

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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wings sign Wisconsin's Brendan Smith

Press Release

DETROIT -- The Red Wings announced today that the club has signed defenseman Brendan Smith to a three-year entry level contract.

Smith, 21, was Detroit’s first round draft pick (27th overall) in the 2007 NHL draftt. The Mimico, Ontario, native spent the past three seasons playing for the University of Wisconsin in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association under the watch of head coach Mike Eaves, father of Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves.

“Brendan improved tremendously in each of his three seasons at Wisconsin,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. “He was a dominant player at the collegiate level, in particular at his position, and we feel he is ready to take the next step in his career at the professional level. We look forward to having him at training camp in Traverse City in September.”

Smith enjoyed a stellar junior season at Wisconsin, leading the nation in scoring among defensemen with 15 goals and 52 points. He was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate hockey player.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenseman was named to the All-WCHA First Team and also took home honors as the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year. Smith became the first Badgers defenseman to record 50 points in a season since 1989-90 and the first to post at least 10 power-play goals in a season since 1979-80.

In three seasons at Wisconsin, Smith collected 87 points (26-61-87) and 177 PIM.

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

Penguins Sign RW Nick Petersen to Three-Year Contract

Press Release

Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed right wing Nick Petersen to a three-year entry level contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

Petersen, who was drafted by Pittsburgh in the fourth round (121st overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, completed his first season with Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Petersen posted 39 goals, 40 assists, 79 points, 12 power-play goals and a plus-46 rating in 59 games with the Sea Dogs. His 79 points ranked third on the team, while his plus-46 rating paced the club.

The 6-foot-3, 188-pound winger added 28 points (7G-21A) in 21 postseason games.

Petersen, 20, played the previous two years with Shawinigan of the QMJHL, compiling 119 points (48G-71A). He finished sixth in the league in scoring in 2008-09 after posting 90 points on 37 goals and 53 assists in 68 contests. He also notched a plus-57 rating. The Wakefield, Quebec native followed that campaign with a strong showing in the playoffs after recording 22 points (10G-12A) in 21 games.

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

Wheat Kings Defenceman Hamonic signs with New York Islanders

Press Release

The New York Islanders announced today the signing of Travis Hamonic to a three-year entry-level contract.

Hamonic completed his four-year junior hockey league career with the Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday as they were defeated by the Windsor Spitfires in the Memorial Cup Championship. The 6’2, 215 pound defenseman was named a 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup All-Star, totaling 11 points (four goals and seven assists) in 15 games.

Hamonic represented Team Canada at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Saskatoon, SK. In six games, Hamonic scored a goal and two assists.

A native of St. Malo, MB, Hamonic played the majority of his junior hockey career with the Moose Jaw Warriors. In 171 games played with the Warriors, Hamonic tallied 28 goals and 76 assists for 104 points. He was traded from the Warriors to the Wheat Kings this season and played 10 regular season games with Brandon, registering five points (1 goal and 4 assists).

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

Dominic Jalbert receives Guy Lafleur Award of Excellence

Press Release

The program was introduced in 1985 with the objective of encouraging sports and academics excellence for all players competing in all three major amateur hockey leagues in the province of Quebec: The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Canadian Interuniversity Sports in Quebec (CIS) and the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League. The winners are selected by a jury consisting of representatives from the sports media, the hockey and education communities. Molson will award recipients of the Guy Lafleur Awards of Excellence a $6,000 scholarship.

Dominic Jalbert is the recipient in the QMJHL. The 20-year-old winger attended Cégep de Chicoutimi where he studied in applied sciences while also registering for classes at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. He maintained an impressive 83% average. He was honoured at the Golden Puck Awards Gala as the QMJHL’s top student athlete, winning the Marcel-Robert Trophy. He was also honoured by the Canadian Hockey League as the Subway Scholastic Player of the Year. He collected 131 points in 227 over a four-year career in the QMJHL.

A former QMJHL player also received a Guy Lafleur Award of Excellence. Francis Guérette-Charland, a former forward with the Victoriaville Tigres and current member of the Patriotes of l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), registered 24 goals and 29 assists in only 27 games. He is currently working towards a business degree. Guérette-Charland received the R.W. Pugh Trophy as the CIS’ Sportsman of the Year.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

NAHL announces Entry Draft results

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the results of today's Entry Draft.

Click here to view the results of the draft.

Click here for more information on the NAHL Entry Draft.

Click here for tryout information for all 25 NAHL teams.

The NAHL, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior A league boasting 25 teams from across the country, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey.

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Press Release

The Indiana Ice is proud to announce the hiring of former head coach Charlie Skjodt (scott) to the position of Head Coach and VP of Hockey Operations. He replaces Jeff Blashill who has assumed the role of head coach at Western Michigan University.

Skjodt returns to a scene of past glory as he was instrumental in beginning the team's recent winning success in both the regular season and the playoffs.

"With the timing of Jeff's departure to WMU, we needed to find an experienced and qualified head coach with a winning track record, "said President/GM Paul Skjodt. "His record speaks for itself and we believe our organization should be a Clark Cup contender each and every year. Justin Lyle and Brad Lutsch both had a great teacher over the last two years, which will allow Charlie to have a seamless transition moving forward."

He was originally hired at the tail end of the 2006-07 season and led that squad to a final four appearance winning six of seven playoff games, including six straight victories and a four-game sweep in round one against Green Bay. His 2007-08 encore included an East Division Championship, 39-15-6 record and a franchise-best 22-4-4 mark at home.

"Though I was not behind the bench, I was still involved with the Ice and had the pleasure of watching Jeff (Blashill) take our team to the national championship and win it all, "said Charlie Skjodt. "We are very excited with the returning class and the new prospects coming in, along with our upcoming camps. I look forward to continuing the winning tradition."

The veteran bench boss helped mentor, train and develop defenseman John Carlson in 2007-08 that culminated with the Washington Capitals first round selection at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He was second among USHL defensemen in scoring with Skjodt and he now is a full-time member of the "Caps."

He also coached some of the most prolific players in Ice history including forwards Garrett Roe (LA Kings), John Kemp and Paul Carey (Colorado) and goaltenders Alex Kangas (Atlanta) and Scott Darling (Phoenix). The three forwards were three of the top five point producers in

2007-08 and Kemp finished tied for first overall. Kangas manned the nets during the 2006-07 playoff run, while Darling was the main netminder in 2007-08.

Skjodt has been a hockey fixture in Indianapolis both as a player and coach. He was a 1976 NHL Draft Pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs and is the second all-time leading scorer in Indianapolis Checkers history. He played junior hockey for the Windsor Spitfires and held the all-time rookie goal-scoring record for the club (41) for 33 years, until it was broken in 2007-08 by Taylor Hall (45), who is expected to go first or second overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Following the 2007-08 campaign, Skjodt took a leave of absence from coaching to attend to his business interests, but has regained his passion to be a head coach in the league. He will oversee the entire hockey operations department and announced that Justin Lyle has been retained as Associate Head Coach and Brad Lutsch has been promoted to VP of Player Personnel and will also continue his role as Assistant Coach.

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

Kamloops Blazers sign Corey Fienhage from NCAA North Dakota

Press Release

Kamloops, BC – Craig Bonner, the Vice President and General Manager of the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club, has announced today that the Club has signed 20 year old defenseman Corey Fienhage to a standard WHL contract.

“Corey is a big physical defenseman who felt that the WHL was the best route for him in order to prepare himself to play pro hockey,” said Craig Bonner. “He is a mobile defenseman that will have an opportunity to play an important role with our hockey club,” he stated. “Anytime you can add a player who is a highly touted pro prospect it is a benefit to your team,” added Bonner.

Fienhage was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the 3rd round, 81st overall in the 2008 NHL Draft.

The 6’3” 215lb right shot defenseman has spent the last two seasons with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in NCAA Division 1 hockey. Prior to joining the Fighting Sioux, the Apple Valley Minnesota native played high school hockey and also in the United States Hockey League for the Indiana Ice.

“Corey is excited to be a Kamloops Blazer,” continued Bonner. “We look forward to seeing him in a Blazer uniform this upcoming season,” he concluded.

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

Salmon Arm adds MacKay as Associate Coach and Assistant GM

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League's Salmon Arm SilverBacks are pleased to announce the addition of Kevin MacKay to the team's Hockey Operations staff for the upcoming 2010/11season.

MacKay will assume the title of Associate Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. He has spent the last several years coaching in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, most recently as the Head Coach/GM of the Kimberley Dynamiters. Prior to that, Kevin spent time with Hockey Canada as well as being a Head Coach/GM at the Junior A level in British Columbia and Alberta.

"To add someone to our staff with Kevin’s credentials is outstanding for the organization and our players," says SilverBacks GM/Head Coach Rylan Ferster. "I have known Kevin personally for over 15 years. He knows the league and is a first-class person and coach."

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

Alberni's Rogic commits to NCAA Div. I RPI for 2010/11 season

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League's Alberni Valley Bulldogs are excited to announce that forward Johnny Rogic has committed to attend the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and suit up for the NCAA Division I Engineers for the 2010/11 season.

The six-foot, 185 pound forward had a breakout season for the Bulldogs during the 2009/10 season, scoring 18 times and totalling 47 points in the regular season. He was also a key to the team's postseason run with six goals in 13 games. He leaves the BCHL with 22 goals and 58 points in 100 career games.

"Johnny is a committed person off the ice and on the ice," Bulldogs GM/Head Coach Esdale notes. "He had an excellent season and really proved to be an important ingredient in our recipe for success last year. He is very deserving of this opportunity and I know that he will continue to build off his success’s that he had last season."

Rogic joins Penticton's Luke Curadi and Bo Dolan as RPI recruits who played in the league during the 2009/10 campaign. The trio will join a number of BCHL grads with the Engineers.

The entire Bulldogs organization wishes Johnny all the best as he moves on to NCAA Division I hockey and thanks him for his dedication to the program over the past two years.

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blazers Sign 2010 Second-Round Pick Harvey

Press Release

Kamloops, BC – The Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club is pleased to announce the signing of Tyson Harvey. Harvey was a second round pick, 35th overall in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft by the Blazers.

Harvey hails from Nanaimo, BC and played this past season with the Nanaimo Clippers Bantam AAA team. The Clippers won the VIAHA Island League Championship banner this past season. The 5’11” 170lb smooth skating defenseman was the first of five players selected from Vancouver Island in this years Bantam Draft.

“Tyson is a strong two-way defenseman that has good size and distributes the puck well,” says Director of Player Personnel Matt Recchi. “He is a big physical player that is mobile and has plenty of offensive upside to his game,” he continued. “We are excited that Tyson has committed to the WHL and the Kamloops Blazers, and are eager to watch him develop over the next few seasons,” concluded Recchi.

Harvey is expected to play this upcoming season with the BC Major Midget North Island Silvertips.

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

Pieces of USHL Finals to Hall of Fame

Press Release

Several items from the historic Game Five of the USHL Clark Cup Finals are on their way to Toronto to be put on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Among the pieces of memorabilia are the game stick and gloves used by Green Bay Gamblers forward Anders Lee who was named Clark Cup Playoff MVP. Lee tallied a League-leading 22 points (10g, 12a) in the playoffs using the CCM U+ CL stick and CCM HG 4R Pro gloves. He equaled a game high three points (1g, 2a) in the decisive Game Five against the Fargo Force, including the game-tying goal in the third period.

Additional items include ticket stubs and a game program from Game Five, which boasted a record sellout crowd of 8,487 at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was the largest crowd to attend a Gamblers home game and the largest attendance figure in USHL playoff history. A copy of the next morning's Green Bay Gazette depicting the Gamblers first Clark Cup title in ten years will also be contributed to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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

NAHL readies for Wednesday's Entry Draft

Press Release

Fresh off the heels of the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, the North American Hockey League (NAHL) is readying for its 2010 Entry Draft, which will be held this Wednesday, May 26, at 1 p.m. CST.

There is no registration process to be eligible for the NAHL Entry Draft, and the results will be posted on

Amateur players less than 21 years of age on or before December 31, 2010 who are not listed on an NAHL team’s roster or are listed on an NAHL team’s roster but played less than (10) NAHL regular season and/or playoff games during the 2009-10 season and did not accept a tender from an NAHL team prior to the 2010 NAHL Entry Draft are eligible for selection in the draft.

Eligible teams shall make selections in each round in reverse order of their finish in the 2009-10 NAHL regular-season standings. New member clubs will have their order of selection determined by lottery; those teams will select first.

The NAHL Entry Draft consists of the number of rounds necessary for each club’s protected list to reach 30 players, which are made up of veteran players, tendered players and drafted players. Each eligible NAHL team will have one selection per round unless it has acquired or lost selections due to trades with other NAHL clubs.

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


Press Release

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Annual Session officially kicks off in Drummondville (QC), Tuesday June 1st, and will end on Saturday June 5th.

Owners, Governors, General Managers, Head Coaches, Athletic Therapists, Academic Consultants and Marketing Directors from all 18 franchises will be on hand to take part in daily meetings to discuss key issues surrounding QMJHL undertakings.

Activities include :

- THURSDAY - the QMJHL golf tournament at the Club de golf de Drummondville

- FRIDAY - the Top Prospects, at the "CÉGEP de Drummondville" (Salle Georges d’Or)

- SATURDAY - the 2010 QMJHL Entry Draft, at the "Centre Marcel Dionne" (free entrance) | CLICK BELOW FOR THE DETAILS

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

Monday, May 24, 2010

Auction Ends Tomorrow

Press Release

The CHL and MeiGray have partnered to offer collectors across the globe absolute authenticity. The CHL-MeiGray Game-Worn Jersey Authentication Program will offer collectors authentic game-worn jerseys directly off the ice of the game’s hottest young prospects.

“Today’s CHL prospects are tomorrow’s NHL superstars, and those jerseys are treasured by fans and collectors across the globe,” said Barry Meisel, president of the MeiGray Group. “We’re honored that such a respected, tradition-rich league like the CHL has asked MeiGray to authenticate its most important game-worn jerseys. It shows the CHL cares about its fans, its collectors, and the rich heritage of these jerseys.”

The Canadian Hockey League is the world's largest development hockey league with 60 teams in 10 Canadian provinces and five American states.

The CHL is made up of the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League. Last season, more than nine million fans attended CHL games in the regular season, playoffs and the MasterCard Memorial Cup national championship.

The CHL continues to be the leading provider of talent to the National Hockey League, which is greater than any other league. More than 500 CHL graduates attended Canadian Universities and Colleges on scholarships from CHL member teams last season.

The MeiGray Group is the world’s leading authenticator and distributor of game-worn hockey jerseys. MeiGray works with the National Hockey League and 14 National Hockey League teams and the ECHL authenticating and distributing its game-worn jerseys.

MeiGray’s state of the art authentication system uses individually numbered security tags armed with covert and overt features to ensure that the authenticity of every jersey sold through its system is absolute.

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

QMJHL loses former great

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Sunday, May 23, 2010 - The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today is in mourning following the loss of former Laval Voisins forward Michel Mongeau, who has passed away at the age of 45.

Mongeau played his entire four-year career with the Voisins, including two with former superstar Mario Lemieux.

He collected 180 goals and 248 assists in only 223 games.

The entire Quebec Major Junior Hockey League family extends its condolences to the Mongeau family.

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

The Windsor Spitfires Win 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup

Press Release

BRANDON, MB – The Windsor Spitfires were crowned 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup Champions after defeating the Brandon Wheat Kings 9-1 in the Championship game on Sunday in Brandon, MB.

It’s the second straight Memorial Cup title for the back-to-back OHL champion spitfires, marking the first time a team has won two straight Memorial Cup championships since the Kamloops Blazers accomplished the feat in 1994 and 1995.

“I was a little worried with how we came out in the first five minutes…we kind of weathered the storm a bit,” said Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner. “But, as a coach, you want your guys to play like robots – everybody plays the same – and the guys did that tonight.

“All the guys were playing very unselfish and did what they had to do, and I was very impressed with how we played,” said Boughner.

In the end, the Spitfires were just too much for the tournament host Wheat Kings to handle, as they put on their second straight dominant performance versus the Brandon side. The Wheat Kings fell 9-3 to the Spitfires in the round robin opener, meaning they were outscored 18-4 by the talented Windsor outfit in two games.

“We got down 3-0, and we were lucky to get it to 3-1, but that fourth goal really took the wind out of us and it got a bit ugly,” said Wheat Kings’ veteran Matt Calvert, playing in what would end up being his last game as a Wheat King. “When we get down by three or four, we just don’t have the structure we need…when we got down with that fourth goal, we seemed to kind of shut it down.

“But, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished…we have a hell of a group of guys in that room, we had a lot of success this year, and I love every one of them,” he said.

The star-studded Spitfires put on an offensive clinic in the final, particularly in a dominant second period where they outshot the Wheat Kings 27-7, and left the home side without an answer. All of the Spitfires’ big guns produced, with Taylor Hall leading the way with a goal and two assists.

Hall earned his second straight tournament MVP award after putting up five goals and nine points in four games.

“It’s just an incredible feeling,” said Hall of his team’s second straight Memorial Cup Championship. “I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is the number one experience I’ve had…just with the adversity we’ve faced, the coaches, the group of guys we have here, everyone chipped in in their own way, and that’s what makes it so special.

Unlike their round robin encounter, the Wheat Kings came out strong and put early pressure on the defending champs, with Travis Hamonic clanging one of the post less than three minutes in and Grubauer forced into making a few big stops early on.

“We did have a good start, but we gave up the second goal in the last minute of the first period, and I think that hurt us,” said Wheat Kings’ head coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon. “I think Windsor played very well, and we couldn’t get possession of the puck down low and generate any good chances.

“We lost to a very good team, so give credit where credit is due, but Windsor demonstrated throughout their four games that they were the best team in the tournament, by far,” he said.

However, it would be the Spitfires getting on the board first 6:34 into the opening period, with Adam Henrique sliding a shot through DeSerres’ pads after he found himself all alone in front of the Wheat Kings’ net.

The Spitfires made it 2-0 with just 33 seconds remaining in the first period. Eric Wellwood fired home from the slot after a nice three-way passing sequence following a Wheat Kings turnover at their blue line.

The Spitfires kept coming in the second period, and it would be Taylor Hall making it 3-0 on the power play just 4:34 into the frame. With Brent Raedeke off for slashing, Hall ripped a perfectly placed wrist shot that beat DeSerres high over the shoulder on the short side. It was Hall’s fifth goal of the tournament.

The Wheat Kings finally broke through on a power play of their own 8:16 into the second period, when Matt Calvert buried a rebound from the slot after Grubauer made an initial save on Scott Glennie, who had sped in from the right side.

The Momentum didn’t last long for the Wheat Kings, though, as the Spitfires regained their three-goal lead just 40 seconds after Calvert’s goal. With a crowd in front of DeSerres, Greg Nemisz squeaked one in after whacking away at the side of the net. The play needed review to determine if the whistle had gone before the puck went in.

The powerful Windsor side kept pouring it on in the second period, coming with wave after wave of offensive pressure, and made it 5-1 when Marc Cantin beat DeSerres from the right circle with another well-placed wrist shot.

Cam Fowler would add another before the end of the second period, putting the Spitfires comfortably in place to win their second straight MasterCard Memorial Cup Championship.

Zack Kassian, Adam Henrique – with his second of the game – and Dale Mitchell added goals in the third period for the Spitfires.

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

Anning named Kings' assistant GM

Press Release

The Dauphin Kings are excited to announce that the organization has signed David Anning to a three year contract extension following a very successful 2009/10 season.

Anning joined the Kings prior to the 2008/09 season as the club’s Assistant Coach and Director of Marketing. The Winnipeg, MB native spent time with the Winnipeg Saints (MJHL) in the same capacity prior to joining the Kings. Along with the contract extension, Anning now becomes the club’s Assistant G.M. as well as remaining the Assistant Coach and Director of Marketing.

“I’m very happy David will be back with our hockey club. His hard working demeanor, overall hockey sense and strong passion he brings to our program is valued tremendously. We work well together and respect each other. Our regular season record of 92-27-5 in the past 2 years state that”, stated GM/Head Coach Marlin Murray

David has enjoyed a very successful coaching career, which includes coaching in the MJHL Championship series twice in the past three seasons. He won an MJHL Championship and Anavet Cup Championship with the Kings this past season. He has also been a part of Hockey Manitoba’s Program of Excellence as an Assistant Coach with Team Manitoba’s Under 16 program which captured silver at the Western Canadian Under 16 Challenge and he was recently named Assistant Coach of Team West for the upcoming 2011 World Under 17 Challenge.

As was the case for the past two seasons, Anning will work closely with the club’s defencemen, a position he played for four seasons in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

“I’m very excited to have been given the opportunity to work with Coach Murray and the Kings for the next three seasons. The organization has been great to me and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with a premier organization in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League,” explains Anning. “Marlin and I work very well together and I believe our styles compliment each other. We have a great relationship and I’m excited that we’re able to work together for another three seasons.”

Also signing a three-year deal was Equipment Manager TYROL DEEG. “Tyrol’s work ethic with our organization is very much appreciated. We are happy to have him on board for 3 more years”.

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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bruneteau Commits to Lake Superior State

Press Release

Lincoln Stars defenseman Matt Bruneteau has committed to play collegiate hockey at Lake Superior State University.

Bruneteau played in all but one of the 60 regular season games for the Stars this season and chipped in six points (2g, 4a). It was his second USHL season after collecting seven points (1g, 6a) in 37 games for the Stars during the 2008-09 campaign. The 20-year-old native of Omaha, Nebraska has played 96 regular season games during his two-year USHL career and has also appeared in five playoff contests.

Lake Superior State University is located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and is a member of the CCHA. Four USHL alumni were on the Lakers squad during the 2009-10 season; Nathan Perkovich (Chicago Steel), Seven Kaunisto (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Nik Sellers (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), and Zac MacVoy (Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets).

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

NAHL partners with Steva Sports Software

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that it has partnered with Steva Sports Software, Inc., the most utilized video indexing and analysis software in the sport of hockey, to provide its teams with access to STEVA PRO for coaching and developing its players.

Designed to take game preparation and postgame analysis to a new level, Steva Sports Software will provide each NAHL team a license with which they can easily analyze video of games and practices, as well as integrate video highlights on their respective Web sites.

Coaches can create and save short video clips that can be used for all of the following: maximizing time; developing team and individual play through visual feedback; scouting opponents and recruits; improving the quality of practices through visual feedback; presentation of custom movies; and creating team video albums.

Keeping with its commitment to maximizing the exposure and opportunities of its student-athletes, the NAHL is excited to utilize Steva’s state-of-the-art technology.

“This is a partnership that will benefit our league for years to come,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “As a top producer of collegiate and professional players, our primary goal is to develop and expose our student-athletes to higher levels of hockey and Steva’s involvement is another step in the right direction.”

“We’re extremely excited to have been chosen by the NAHL as the exclusive video analysis software provider,” said Ron Mathurin, vice president of STEVA Sports Software. "The NAHL has long established itself as a premier Junior A league and now players, teams, coaches, scouts and fans will be the first to benefit from our integrated Pointstreak/STEVA video analysis system.”

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

Warren Strelow Camp invitees named

Press Release

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey today announced the 36 goaltenders who will attend the third annual Warren Strelow National Team Goaltending Camp, May 27-30, in Ann Arbor, Mich. The goaltenders chosen represent the top goaltenders eligible for international play in select age groups.

The elite camp will cover the physical and mental aspects of the goaltending position, helping each goaltender master the fundamentals of the position while developing a personal identity that translates into game success.

The camp will be led by Joe Exter, Warren Strelow mentor and U.S. National Team goaltending coach, and regional mentors Mike Ayers and Bob Janosz. In addition, assistant mentors Seth Appert, Jeff Blashill, Dave Flint, Derek Lalonde, David Lassonde, Emily McKissock, Phil Osaer and Nick Petraglia, as well as guest coaches Mandy Cronin, Bill Howard, Alison Quandt, Brian Renfrew and John Vanbiesbrouck will be on hand for instruction.

NOTES: A total of 13 of this year's attendees also participated in the camp in 2009, including Corinne Boyles, Aubree Moore, Becca Ruegsegger, Molly Schaus, Jackee Snikeris and Jessie Vetter on the female side; and Kevin Dluhy, John Gibson, Brandon Hope, James Howe, Dalton Izyk, Brendan Jensen, Matt McNeely and Colin Stevens on the boys' side ... For more information on USA Hockey's Warren Strelow Goaltending Mentor Program, click

Brendan Burke PF Changs Midget U16 Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Blake Cates Stillwater High School High School Stillwater, Minn.
Kevin Dluhy New Jersey Rockets MetJHL Branchburg, N.J.
Patrick Fraser St. Sebastian's School Prep School Franklin, Mass.
John Gibson USA Hockey NTDP USHL Pittsburgh, Pa.
Jon Gillies Salisbury School Prep School S. Portland, Maine
Eric Hancock Cleveland Barons Bantam 95 N. Royalton, Ohio
Brandon Hope Honeybaked Midget U18 Canton, Mich.
James Howe Little Caesar's Midget U16 Northville, Mich.
Dalton Izyk Syracuse Nationals Midget U16 Oswego, N.Y.
David Jacobson LA Selects Midget U16 Calabasas, Calif.
Brenden Jensen Wenatchee Wild NAHL El Granada, Calif.
Ryan Kellenberger Don Mills Flyers Midget U16 Los Altos, Calif.
Andrew Lee Amherst Knights Bantam 95 E. Amherst, N.Y.
Connor Maher Marshfield High School High School Marshfield, Mass.
Matt McNeely USA Hockey NTDP USHL Burnsville, Minn.
Drew Michals Buckingham Browne & Nichols Prep School Newton, Mass.
Talon Miller Anchorage North Stars Midget U16 Bird Creek, Alaska
Jake Moore Buffalo Regals Midget U16 Arcade, N.Y.
Collin Olson Apple Valley High School High School Apple Valley, Minn.
Nick Schreiter Madison Capitals Bantam 95 Madison, Wis.
Colin Stevens Boston Junior Bruins EmJHL Niskayuna, N.Y.
Zach Thompson Duluth Denfeld High School High School W. Duluth, Minn.
Devin Williams Belle Tire Bantam 95 Saginaw, Mich.

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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

CHL Announces 2009-10 Award Winners

Press Release

Brandon, MB - The Canadian Hockey League today announced ten national award winners for the 2009-10 season including Jordan Eberle of the Regina Pats as the CCM CHL Player of the Year. Winners were presented with their awards at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on Saturday afternoon, as part of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup festivities.

2009-10 CHL Award Winners:

Jack Link’s Top Prospect of the Year: Tyler Seguin, Plymouth Whalers

Seguin is the number one ranked player for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft as determined by NHL Central Scouting. He finished the OHL regular season tied for first overall in league scoring with 106 points including 48 goals and 58 assists in 63 games for the Whalers, with a plus-minus rating of plus-17 and 54 penalty minutes. An 18-year-old from Brampton, ON, he recorded 29 multi-point games and tallied five hat-tricks, and captained Team Orr at the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Also considered for the award was Brett Connolly of the Prince George Cougars, and Brandon Gormley of the Moncton Wildcats.

Husky Sportsman of the Year: Jason Bast, Moose Jaw Warriors

Bast enjoyed a solid season in his final year in the WHL serving as Warriors team captain. The 20-year-old from Moose Jaw, SK, scored a team-leading 33 goals while adding 31 assists for 64 points in 60 games, while recording just 16 minutes in penalties all season. His +25 rating also led the Warriors. In his fifth WHL season, Bast has been a leader for the Warriors in all areas of the ice, and plays in all situations. Also considered for the award was Ryan Spooner of the Peterborough Petes, and Mike Hoffman of the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Chrysler Dodge Top Scorer of the Year: Brandon Kozun, Calgary Hitmen

Kozun finished the 2009-10 regular season with 32 goals and 75 assists for 107 points in 65 games for the Hitmen. A 19-year-old from Calgary, AB, and Los Angeles Kings prospect, he led all WHL players this season with 75 assists and 39 power play assists, and finished tied for second among WHL players with 10 game-winning goals. He recorded at least one point in 52 of his 65 games, and did not go more than three games without registering a point. Also considered for the award was the tandem of OHL scoring leaders Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires and Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers, with Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs leading the QMJHL in scoring.

Home Hardware Humanitarian of the Year: Ryan Hayes, Plymouth Whalers

Hayes, a 20-year-old from Syracuse, New York, led the Whalers organization in his third OHL season with 54 official community appearances representing participation in nearly a quarter of the team’s total community events. This season Hayes took on a leadership role for the Whalers in the “Friends of Jaclyn” program which supports the non-profit charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors. He also showed extensive participation with Special Olympics Michigan at their annual hockey tournament cheering on the participants, passing out the medals, and staying afterwards to pose for pictures and sign autographs. Also considered for the award was Matt Fraser of the Kootenay Ice, and Nick MacNeil of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Subway Scholastic Player of the Year: Dominic Jalbert, Chicoutimi Sagueneens

Jalbert captured the Marcel-Robert trophy as QMJHL Scholastic Player of the Year for the Sagueneens.
A 20-year-old from Hull, QC, he completed his four-year career with registering 14 goals and 49 assists for 63 points in 68 games in his final season. Also considered for the award was Erik Gudbranson of the Kingston Frontenacs, and Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos.

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

Gallant, a native of Summerside, PEI, led Sea Dogs to their first ever Jean-Rougeau trophy as regular season champions with 53-12-1-2 record for 109 points. Also considered for the award was Mark Holick of the Kootenay Ice, and Dale Hunter of the London Knights.

BMO Rookie of the Year: Matt Puempel, Peterborough Petes

Puempel, a 17-year-old from Essex, ON, was selected by the Petes with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection and led all OHL rookies in scoring with 64 points in 59 games with a rookie and team-high 33 goals with 31 assists. His 64 points placed him 39th overall in league scoring and was the only rookie listed in the OHL’s top-80 scorers. This season, Puempel also competed as a member of Team Ontario winning silver at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Also considered for the award was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels, and Petr Straka of the Rimouski Oceanic.

Prospects Hockey Goaltender of the Year: Jake Allen, Drummondville Voltigeurs

Allen, a 19-year-old from Fredericton, NB, also captured the Jacques-Plante trophy with the best goals-against-average in the QMJHL with a mark of 2.20. He also posted a save percentage of .922 and produced a 29-14 record in 45 games with the Voltigeurs and Montreal Juniors this season. Allen also backstopped the Canadian National Junior Team to a silver medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship. Also considered for the award was Martin Jones of the Calgary Hitmen, and Chris Carrozzi of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.

Right Guard Defenceman of the Year: David Savard, Moncton Wildcats

Savard also took home two awards in the QMJHL this season including the Emile-Bouchard and Kevin Lowe trophies for best defenceman and best defensive defenceman. He scored 13 goals and 64 assists for 77 points in 64 games this season for the Wildcats. A 19-year-old from St-Hyacinthe, QC, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, Savard became the first defenceman to lead the league in assists. Also considered for the award was Tyson Barrie of the Kelowna Rockets, and Jacob Muzzin of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

CCM Player of the Year: Jordan Eberle, Regina Pats

Eberle enjoyed an outstanding 2009-10 WHL season scoring 50 goals and 56 assists for 106 points in just 57 games for his hometown Pats. His 1.86 points-per-game average marked the highest points-per-game average for any WHL player since the 1998-99 season. He finished tied for second among all WHL players with 19 power play goals, and also tied for second in shorthanded goals with six on the season. The leading goal-scorer in the history of Canada’s National Junior team and Edmonton Oilers prospect, Eberle recorded at least one point in 50 of 57 games he played for Regina this season. Also considered for the award was Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers, and Mike Hoffman of the Saint John Sea Dogs.

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


Press Release

Marlboro, MA- Last weekend's Eastern Spring Showcase served as the kickoff to the summer hockey season, and when the final buzzer rang, the Philadelphia Revolution emerged with the championship and the attention of all the scouts in attendance.

The Revolution regrouped after a difficult inaugural campaign and came to the showcase armed with a trio of veterans, a solid contingent of players from last season's Empire (Junior B) entry, and a handful of recruits, the Revolution hoped to help solidify the team for the upcoming season.

"We had some great chemistry considering everyone was coming from different parts of the country," said Director of Hockey Operations Geoff Marottolo. "We thought it would be a good opportunity for the newer players to get to know the veterans and it turned out to be an excellent showcase."

The Revolution started off with a tilt against one of the Springfield Pics entries on Friday and followed that up with wins on Saturday against the Capital District Selects and the Jersey Hitmen. Sunday's playoff round saw the team defeat the South Shore Kings, Apple Core, and finally the Junior Bruins.

"It was only spring hockey, but we still wanted to win it," commented Marottolo. "Hopefully we can use it as a springboard to the season and put together a great run in the fall."

"We faced a very high level of competition and played some very exciting games. Our organization is always striving to be better, and we're very pleased with the result."

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

Grizzlies add one of B.C.'s top prospects in MML star Evan Richardson

Press Release

Victoria Grizzlies' head coach Vic Gervais doesn't know exactly when hotshot recruit Evan Richardson will begin to leave his mark on the British Columbia Hockey League, but one thing is for certain.

"Even as a 16-year old, it won't take him long," Gervais predicts. "I think he's going to be an impact player for us this season."

Richardson has committed to join the Grizzlies after leading B.C.'s Major Midget League in scoring as a 15-year old with 73 points -- 10 ahead of his closest competitor. He also enjoyed immediate success upon his making his BCHL debut, scoring twice in just his second game after signing on as an associate player with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

But in this instance, it's clear that where Richardson is going is far more important than where he's been. A first round Bantam draft pick of the Swift Current Broncos a year ago, the soon-to-be 16-year old is turning to Junior A hockey instead of making the immediate jump to Major Junior.

"Evan is already drawing a ton of interest from top-end universities," says Gervais. "They aren't able to talk to him until June 15th [due to NCAA recruiting guidelines] but Evan and his family are aware of the educational route and they've gone through both scenarios."

Gervais is quick to point out that Richardson may still choose to move on to the Western Hockey League at some point, but that his decision to join the Grizzlies leaves him with a number of options open entering his Grade 11 year. And those possibilities are likely to expand should the Nanaimo product's performance meet his coach's expectations.

"Evan is a player who is very dangerous offensively," he says. "He can score any time he is on the ice and he's an explosive skater -- he has that third or fourth gear that most guys just can't match."

It's fair to say that the Grizzlies have had the phenom on their radar for some time. In fact, Richardson was just nine years old when head scout Dennis Taylor first noticed him during an Atom tournament. Gervais is very glad he did.

"His familiarity with Evan and his family was a big reason for him committing to us," he explains. "They've showed some real loyalty to Dennis through this process."

With Richardson on board, his coach is now turning his sights to adding a few experienced Junior A players to help aid in his development.

"Every team is looking to have that go-to line who can decide a game for you, and we're no different," Gervais says. "We're looking to add a few older guys and have that established first line like Alberni Valley had (with David Dziurzynski and brothers Mitch and Mark MacMillan) last season."

It will be a few months before Gervais knows if his newest commit will immediately assume a role on a top unit; in the meantime, the Grizzlies' coach is satisfied knowing that one of the province's most sought-after players will make Victoria his home for the near future.

"With junior hockey, lots of kids rush in [to playing Major Junior] and kick themselves later," he says. "I'm glad that Evan has made the decision to start here."

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

Wheat Kings advance to 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup Final

Press Release

BRANDON, MB – Jay Fehr scored 3:16 into overtime, sending the Brandon Wheat Kings through to the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup final with a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Hitmen in the tournament semi-final on Friday night in Brandon, MB.

The 21-year-old from Morden, MB, buried a shot from the high slot that beat Jones through the legs, sending the Wheat Kings bench and the 5,235 fans at Westman Communications Place into a frenzy as chants of “We Want the Cup” rang out in the stands.

The Wheat Kings – the tournament’s host team – will now face the OHL Champion and defending Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires in Sunday’s Championship game.

“Rajala just dropped it and I just ripped it, and it went in,” said overtime hero Fehr on the play that put the Wheat Kings into the final on Sunday.

The victory not only sends the home side to the Memorial Cup final, but represents sweet redemption for a Wheat Kings’ team that had lost five straight to their WHL rivals the Hitmen, including a demoralizing 5-1 defeat on Wednesday night in the round robin finale.

“It was a very exciting game, and a hard game for us for a number of reasons, mainly because we trailed,” said Wheat Kings’ head coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon. “I thought that our guys persevered tonight because we were able to come back and tie it, then overcome even more adversity when Calgary tied it late.”

Things didn’t start so smoothly for the Wheat Kings as they found themselves down 2-0 after the opening period, while also frustrated at not being able to solve Calgary netminder Martin Jones.

Jones was sharp from the start for the Hitmen, making several big saves. None was bigger than his stretching pad save to deny Matt Calvert on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush. Jones’ stellar opening-period play continued as he denied Schenn on a wraparound attempt.

“Obviously, it’s a tough pill to swallow and a tough way to go out,” said Jones. “We didn’t play our best game tonight, and I think that’s what is going to hurt the most.”

Joel Broda got the scoring started 15:34 into the period when he found himself all alone in front of De Serres after a rebound from a Michael Stone shot popped out to him. De Serres made the first save on Broda, but could do nothing about the second attempt.

The Hitmen made it 2-0 just nine seconds later with Ian Schultz beating De Serres from the right side.

The Wheat Kings’ offense – so dangerous all season long – finally started to click against the Hitmen in the second period, outshooting the WHL champions 21-5 in the frame while enjoying all three power plays awarded in the period.

After Jones stymied Schenn on a breakaway in the opening minute of the frame, the Wheaties finally put one past Jones 1:35 into the period, with Alexander Urbom burying a shot from the left circle.

The Hitmen regained their two-goal advantage when Tyler Fiddler’s long blast eluded De Serres with the Wheat Kings on the power play. However, the two-goal lead didn’t last long as Matt Calvert beat Jones just two minutes later.

The Wheat Kings tied things up at 3-3 with just 10 seconds remaining in the second period. Working another power play, Travis Hamonic’s blast from the point found its way through traffic and past Jones.

With Ben Wilson in the box serving Calgary’s fourth consecutive penalty, Colby Robak gave the Wheat Kings their first lead of the game 5:09 into the third period when his point shot beat Jones just seconds into the power play.

The Hitmen tied things back up at 4-4 with Misha Fisenko’s first of the tournament. The Russian forward swept in a rebound off a Brandon Kozun shot that just snuck inside the far post. The goal had to be reviewed to determine if it had crossed the line.

“I’m very proud of how what our guys have accomplished this season,” said Hitmen head coach Mike Williamson. “We had a number of guys who didn’t play the way we needed them to, for whatever reason, or get what they need to get done.

“Brandon was the better team tonight,” he said.

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

NAHL approves sale of Tornado

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that its Board of Governors has approved the transfer of ownership of the Texas Tornado membership.

The new ownership group is led by Bill Yuill, president of Consolidated Sports Holdings USA, Inc.

A native and resident of Medicine Hat, Alberta, Yuill, who is also chairman and CEO of The Monarch Corporation, a privately-owned company with three operating divisions - communications, investments and sports franchises - has owned and operated successful baseball and hockey teams for over three decades.

“Since 1999, the Texas Tornado has been one of the premier junior hockey organizations not only in the NAHL, but all of North America, and we’re excited for Bill Yuill and Consolidated Sports Holdings to carry on that winning tradition,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “His business experience and expertise, along with his success owning and operating hockey teams, speaks for itself.”

“We’re proud to become members of the North American Hockey League and participate in its continued growth and development,” said Yuill. “We see a bright future.”

Consolidated Sports Holdings executive vice president Gary Gelinas, who boasts extensive experience owning and managing sports franchises, will oversee the operations of the Tornado.

“I’m delighted with the opportunity to become established in the Dallas market,” Yuill added. “Over the years, our company has operated franchises in seven different states, but this will be one of the first ones in Texas.”

The Tornado plays its home games out of the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco. One of the premier junior hockey facilities in North America, the recently renovated arena also serves as the practice home of the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

“The Texas Tornado has built a successful following here in North Texas and we are very excited to be part of that continued tradition under Bill Yuill and Consolidated Sports Holdings,” said Randy Locey, executive vice president for the Dallas Stars and Dr Pepper Arena. “We look forward to working with Bill and Gary and continue growing the sport of hockey in Texas.”

Under the team’s previous owners, Bob and Kirby Schlegel, of Schlegel Sports Group, the Tornado solidified itself as one of the elite junior hockey programs in North America, on and off the ice.

The Tornado won three straight national championships from 2004-06 and seven NAHL regular-season division titles thanks to seven straight 40-plus-win seasons from 1999-07. The Tornado has also developed and moved over 80 players onto the NCAA and professional ranks (four of its former players skated in the NHL this season).

“Bob and Kirby have been at the forefront of helping the NAHL evolve into the best junior hockey league in North America, and we can’t thank them enough for the commitment they’ve shown over the years,” said Frankenfeld. “Their involvement has done so much for the Frisco community, the fans, and, most importantly, the players and their success.”

“I’d like to thank the Schlegel family and the Dallas Stars for their cooperation and support throughout the transition,” said Yuill.

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

Friday, May 21, 2010

CHL to Launch New Online Network

Press Release

Brandon, MB – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that a new online network of league and team websites will be launched in September.

All 60 CHL team websites in addition to league sites including,,, and will be revamped prior to the 2010-11 regular season puck drop. The redesign and integration of 64 new websites will mark the largest ever Canadian sports online network launch.

The redesign will provide a more streamlined set of websites with improved navigation, consistent advertising opportunities with national and league sponsor recognition, standard schedule and ticket locations on every site, along with the ability for leagues and teams to easily share news and video features for fans across the entire CHL to enjoy.
“On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League we are very excited to launch the CHL’s new online network next season,” said CHL President David Branch. “This initiative will enable us to expand our network using the latest technology and features to reach new fans, while creating new and exciting content across the entire CHL.”

The CHL network will join professional sports leagues such as the NHL, Major League Baseball, and the CFL that have already created similar networks with their clubs.

“We are thrilled to be working with the CHL to build the largest online sports network in Canada,” said David Watkins, MRX’s Vice President of Digital Business. “We have already started working with the leagues and teams to ensure that the website features they want are provided, with the mutual goal of generating traffic while encouraging fans to explore the entire network on a regular basis.”

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

Canadian Hockey League and EA Announce New Partnership

Press Release

Brandon, MB. – May 21, 2010 – The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) in association with Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced a four year agreement that will see the league included in EA SPORTS™ NHL® products. The three regional leagues that make up the CHL, including the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), will all have their teams and players represented in EA SPORTS NHL 11 when it becomes available in retail stores this September.

Representing 51 Canadian and nine American teams with players aged 16-20 the CHL is the top development league in the world and the number one provider of talent to the NHL. 47% of all players selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft came from CHL teams. The 2010 NHL Entry Draft could mark the fourth straight year where a CHL player is selected first overall, with Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers and Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires representing the top two ranked players by NHL Central Scouting.

“The CHL is very excited to partner with an industry leader like EA SPORTS to create a brand new way for CHL fans to associate with their favorite CHL teams and players,” said David Branch, President, CHL. “This opportunity also provides EA SPORTS fans around the world the ability to learn more about the next wave of NHL stars as they compete in the best development league in the world.”

“It’s exciting to have the CHL integrated into our game for the first time,” said Jordan Edelstein, VP of Marketing, EA SPORTS. “Their inclusion will make NHL 11 the most definitive and complete hockey experience available.”

Four of the last five players to be featured on the cover of EA SPORTS NHL Series games are CHL graduates including Patrick Kane, Dion Phaneuf, Eric Staal and Vincent Lecavalier.

The licensing agreement between EA SPORTS and the CHL allows the following to be included in NHL 11:

• Ability to play with all 60 teams that make up the CHL

• Names and Likenesses of players that are on the rosters of a CHL team

• Mastercard Memorial Cup

• CHL new RBK Edge Jersey design in NHL 11

• WHL, OHL and QMJHL logos and league structures

The CHL integration in NHL 11 will tie to several modes in the game, including Be A Pro, Be A GM, Tournament Mode, Season Mode and Playoff Mode.

The EA SPORTS NHL franchise has won 22 Sports Game of the Year awards over the past three years. This year the NHL 11 franchise begins a new era with gameplay innovations that are set to deliver the most realistic, accurate and exciting representation of NHL hockey to date.

NHL 11 will be available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system with an MSRP of $59.99. It is developed by EA Canada in Burnaby, B.C. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB or PEGI.

EA SPORTS is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers personal access to the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® Football and NCAA Basketball, Fight Night boxing and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, while EA SPORTS Active™ Personal Trainer for the Wii is the most critically acclaimed product available for interactive fitness.

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