Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stars Forward Commits to University of Alaska Fairbanks

Press Release

Lincoln Stars forward Matt Friese has committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of Alaska Fairbanks following his USHL career.

Friese has appeared in all 36 games for the Stars this season and collected 20 points (7g, 13a) while posting a plus-11 rating. The 19-year-old put together a five-game point streak (1g, 5a) from December 3-16 and then recorded a USHL career high three-point game (1g, 2a) and a plus-four rating in the 7-6 win over Des Moines on December 30th. Friese first broke into the USHL during the 2009-10 season with the Tri-City Storm and scored his first USHL goal in just his second game. He also played 10 games last season with the Chicago Steel, putting up six points (2g, 4a).

The Wasilla, Alaska native will be returning to his home state when his collegiate career begins at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He joins fellow Alaska native Jared Linnell of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders who is also committed to the school.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a member of the CCHA and five USHL alumni are on the roster this season for the Nanooks – Steve Thompson (Sioux City/Omaha), Justin Filzen (Green Bay Gamblers), Cody Butcher (Sioux City Musketeers), Andy Taranto (Fargo Force/Omaha Lancers), and Nolan Youngmun (Sioux Fall Stampede).

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


Press Release

CALGARY, AB (Courtesy of CalgaryFlames.com) -- Prior to their game against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night, the Calgary Flames will pay tribute to former Flames defenceman Brad McCrimmon.

A former all star defenceman with the Western Hockey League's Brandon Wheat Kings, McCrimmon was one of the 43 victims on board the Russian plane carrying the Kontinental Hockey League team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl that crashed on Sept. 7, 2010.

During warm-ups, Flames players will don jerseys sporting McCrimmon's number four and name on the back. Their respective numbers will be displayed on the arms of the jersey. The jerseys will be autographed and auctioned off after the game with the proceeds going to the Flames Foundation for Life.

A custom tribute logo - 4 Brad - has been created and will be present on all materials connected with the tribute. Stickers with the logo will be on Flames players helmets tomorrow night.

The Plenty, SK native was known as a prolific scorer while playing in junior. He played for the Brandon Wheat Kings for three seasons, collecting an astounding 279 points during his tenure with the club. In his final year in the WCHL, he managed 24 goals and was just two points shy of hitting the 100 point mark.

The Wheat Kings made the postseason for all three seasons McCrimmon played for them and he was key in their success in the playoffs. He averaged more than a point per game and he was able to help his team make it all the way to the Memorial Cup in the 1978-79 season.

McCrimmon also represented Canada twice at the World Junior Hockey Championships.

Drafted in the first round draft, 15th overall, of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft by Boston, McCrimmon spent three seasons with the Bruins before being dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers for goaltender Pete Peeters. He ended playing with the Flyers for five years where he was able to set career highs at a professional level in both goals (15) and points (56) in the 1985-86 campaign.

He was traded to the Flames after the summer of 1987. In addition to his ability to provide offence from the blueline, he was steadfast in his own zone. He accrued a +109 rating through 231 games played with Calgary. In his first year with the Flames, he posted a +48 rating - a league-high that season.

He was a key player for the club during their run to the Stanley Cup in 1989. He played in every game during the playoffs, earning three assists, and was depended upon to keep the opposition's top players at bay.

An invaluable leader both on and off the ice, McCrimmon was handed the captaincy by the Flames for the 1989-90 season.

"Beast was a quiet individual who, in my opinion, had a very deep and thorough understanding of the game," Jim Peplinski stated. "I took great pride and pleasure and a lot of appreciation in talking to Brad about parts of the game that he saw in a way I certainly didn't and many others didn't."

The Flames traded McCrimmon to the Detroit Red Wings after the 1989-90 season ended. He spent three years with the Red Wings before moving on to the Hartford Whalers for three seasons. He ended his playing career with the Phoenix Coyotes in the 1996-97 season.

In total, he played 1222 regular season games, scored 81 goals, 322 assists and 403 points. McCrimmon played in 116 postseason tilts, managing 11 goals and 29 points. His career plus-minus rating, a +444, is only rivaled by seven players in NHL history.

McCrimmon would join the Flames organization for a second time on August 8, 2000 when he was named an assistant coach with the club. He also spent time as an assistant coach for the New York Islanders (1997-98 through 1998-99), Atlanta Thrashers (2003-04 through 2007-08) and the Detroit Red Wings (2008-09 through 2010-11).

McCrimmon was one of a number of former Wheat King Greats to be recognized during pre-game ceremonies during the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup, which was played in Brandon.

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

North Stars name former NHLer Lonny Bohonos interim coach

Press Release

The Thunder Bay North Stars Junior A Hockey Club announce that they have brought in Lonny Bohonos to be their interim coach after the departure of Todd Howarth.

Bohonos played major junior hockey in the Western Hockey League. He then played many years in the American Hockey League for NHL affiliates Syracuse Crunch (Vancouver Canucks) and the St. John’s Maple Leafs (Toronto Maple Leafs).

During his professional career he played a total of 70 games for the Vancouver Canucks and 13 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The highlight of his NHL career came in the 1999 playoffs when he was given an opportunity to skate on a scoring line with Matts Sundin.

He put up three goals and six assists in nine games to help Toronto to the Conference Finals that season.

His professional career also took him to play in Europe where his career was ended in an injury during the 2005-2006 season.

A native of Winnipeg, Man., Bohonos has lived in Thunder Bay since 2006.

He has previously coached 14 of the present North Stars players in his tenure as a coach in the Thunder Bay Kings organization as well as with the Hockey Northwestern Ontario Select Team at the OHL Cup.

The ownership group of the Thunder Bay North Stars welcome Lonny to the team and wish he and the players well in the remainder of the regular season, throughout the playoffs and along the road to the Dudley Hewitt Cup.

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

Banner Banner Banner Steelers’ Daniels MJHL Player of Week

Press Release

Chris Daniels of the Selkirk Steelers has been named the MJHL Player of the Week. The 20-year-old forward was a key contributor in the Steelers’ offensive attack, scoring four goals and recording six points in two games last week.

Daniels, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, has enjoyed a solid season for the Steelers, sitting with 39 points (16-23) in 40 games. The Steelers have been the hottest team in the MJHL of late, reflected in a 7-2-0-1 record in the last 10 games.

Daniels, who hails from Winnipeg, has been a key member of the club during that stretch.

The runners up for the MJHL Player of the Week award are 19 year old forward Jesse Sinatynski of the Dauphin Kings and 20 year old goaltender Shea Cooper of the Portage Terriers.

Notes: Steelers currently sit fourth in the very tight Addison Division with 31 wins and 64 points after 51 games. Off the ice, the club is preparing for its annual fund-raising dinner, which features former NHL star Marcel Dionne. The dinner takes place Thursday, February 16. Tickets can be obtained by contacting the Steelers.

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

Officials, broadcasters named for NAHL Top Prospects

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the members of the 2011-12 NAHL on-ice officiating crew that have been named to work the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Combat Hockey. In addition, the NAHL also announced the broadcasters for the event, which can be seen live on FASTHockey.

The three referees that have been selected are: Andy Howard, Sean MacFarlane and Brandon Schmitt. The six linesmen that have been selected are: Kevin Cassidy, Dorsey Dick, Garrett Gaydosh, Jameson Gronert, Rick Lembo and Ian McCambridge.

“This is a great opportunity for these officials and recognizes their quality of work this year while officiating in the NAHL,” said Rick Looker, Officiating Coordinator for the NAHL. “The NAHL is not only an important training ground for players, but for officials as well and this is a testament to their development so far within our league this season.”

The NAHL also announced the broadcasters for the event, which can be viewed live and exclusively on FASTHockey, official broadcast partner of the NAHL. Heading up the lead play-by-play duties will be Paul Teeple, voice of the NAHL’s Bismarck Bobcats. Teeple is in his third season broadcasting for the Bobcats and broadcasted the 2010 Robertson Cup National Championship game, in which Bismarck won. Joining Teeple in the broadcast booth will be Joey Battaino, voice of the NAHL’s Michigan Warriors, who will be doing color commentary.

The 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Combat Hockey, will be held from February 20-22, 2012 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan. 120 of some of the best players from the NAHL will be spread among six teams, who will play in three games each during the event. The event will feature teams from the Central, Midwest, North, South and West Divisions of the NAHL, along with an NAHL 18U Selects team comprised of some of the top players currently playing in the NAHL that were born in 1993 or later.

A live broadcast of the games will be available for through the NAHL’s exclusive online broadcast partner, FASTHockey. Viewers can watch all the Top Prospects games during the three-day event live at fasthockey.com.

For more information on the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament including team rosters, event and ticket information, visit the official website of the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament at: http://www.nahltopprospects.com/.

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

Jr. Trappers play-by-play man exchanges the microphone for a bat

Press Release

Matt Sookram is looking to try and fulfill a childhood dream.

The 22-year-old play-by-play for Jr. Trappers FastHockey.com internet broadcasts, is heading to Yuma, Arizona to take part in the Arizona Winter League; a one-month developmental league for players who have played at the College or University level in North America.

The second baseman/shortstop found out about the unique opportunity by surfing the Blue Jays website.

“Basically, you get to play in front of a bunch of scouts for a month from the major league level, there are scouts from Japan and a bunch of independent North American league teams will be there as well. They give you the ultimate baseball experience,” said Sookram, who played for the York University Varsity Baseball team.

Sookram, a graduating student of the Broadcast Journalism program at Canadore College, has been doing play-by-play for the Trappers since last year’s playoff series versus the Abitibi Eskimos last March.

“Getting a chance to do broadcasting with the Trappers has been a huge advantage for me,” said the Brampton native.

“Honestly, I don’t see it as a job because it is something I enjoy doing, I mean, it’s just so fun. I’m just calling it as I’m seeing it and that is what the job is and that is what I enjoy and hopefully that is something I would love to do as a profession whether its baseball or hockey – baseball would be the ultimate – but I love doing Trappers hockey so I could see that continuing as well.”

The Jr. Trappers organization will miss his broadcasting expertise.

“We wish Matt tremendous success in Arizona,” said Jr. Trappers President/GM Chris Dawson.

“I love the knowledge and enthusiasm he brought with him during every Jr. Trappers broadcast. If he brings that with him to the ball diamond, his dream may come true.”

Sookram saved up for this opportunity and he is hoping to make the best of it.

“In some ways I would love to come back (to North Bay) but on the other hand getting paid to play baseball is something that has always been a dream of mine and that’s what I’m going to work towards,” said Sookram.

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

Force Forward Commits to University of North Dakota

Press Release

The Fargo Force announced that forward Bryn Chyzyk has committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of North Dakota following his USHL career.

“It feels good to get the commitment out of the way and stay focused on the rest of the season here with Fargo”, said Chyzyk. “To grow up watching the Sioux play and have a dream come true to play for them, it’s pretty unbelievable.”

Chyzyk became the sixth USHL player to reach the 20-goal mark when he tallied his 20th of the season in Sunday’s 6-2 loss to Omaha. He has been one of the USHL’s hottest players as of late, including scoring 12 goals over a 13-game span from December 3rd to January 20th. Chyzyk has appeared in all 37 games for the Force this season and is second on the team in scoring with 31 points (20g, 11a). The 19-year-old was undrafted by the Force and made the team during training camp.

Chyzyk will have a familiar face when he steps on campus as his teammate Zane Gothberg will also play at North Dakota next season.

Seven other current USHL players have also committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of North Dakota – Jack Rowe (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Luke Voltin (Des Moines Buccaneers), Jordan Schmaltz (Green Bay Gamblers), Luke Johnson (Lincoln Stars), Paul LaDue (Lincoln Stars), Miles Koules (Team USA), and Keaton Thompson (Team USA).

The University of North Dakota is a member of the WCHA and has nine USHL alumni on the roster this season; Ben Blood (Des Moines/Indiana), Derek Forbort (Team USA), Joe Gleason (Des Moines Buccaneers), Danny Kristo (Omaha Lancers), Mario Lamoureux (Tri-City Storm), Nick Mattson (Indiana Ice), Andrew Panzarella (Waterloo/Tri-City/Des Moines), Michael Parks (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), and Colten St. Clair (Fargo Force).

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

Gamblers Goaltender Commits to St. Lawrence University

Press Release

The Green Bay Gamblers announced that goaltender Michael Rotolo has committed to play collegiate hockey at St. Lawrence University following his USHL career.

Rotolo has posted a stellar 8-2-0 record with a 2.58 GAA and .913 SV% during his rookie USHL season. In his first USHL start, he made 33 saves in the 6-2 win vs. Cedar Rapids on December 10th. The 18-year-old native of Rochester, New York then won five consecutive starts from December 31st to January 14th.

Two other current USHL players are also committed to St. Lawrence University – Drew Smolcynski of the Indiana Ice and Eric Sweetman of the Youngstown Phantoms.

St. Lawrence University is located in Canton, New York and is a member of the ECAC. A total of 10 USHL alumni are on the roster this season at the school; Mark Armstrong (Green Bay/Indiana), Rick Carden (Lincoln Stars), Peter Child (Green Bay Gamblers), Jacob Drewiske (Sioux Falls Stampede), Kyle Flanagan (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), George Hughes (Waterloo Black Hawks), Sean Logue (Indiana Ice), Patrick Raley (Chicago Steel), Chris Martin (Indiana Ice), and Gunnar Hughes (Waterloo Black Hawks).

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


Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets and Home Hardware Stores Limited today announced the four events and participants for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Skills Competition set for Tuesday January 31 at 7:00 pm at Prospera Place.

40 of the CHL’s top prospects eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft have been divided into four different events including the Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Shooting Accuracy, and a Showdown Breakaway Contest where players will try and impress a panel of judges with their breakaway skills. Following the four events, all participants will have the ability to showcase their skills in a 3-on3 game before fans and scouts in attendance.

The best individual score in each event receives a goal for their team, with another goal awarded for the best team average from each event for a total of eight available goals. The 3-on-3 game consists of two 15-minute periods with running time with all goals scored counting towards the overall competition score.

Last year’s winners included Buffalo Sabres prospect Daniel Catenacci in the Fastest Skater competition, Kelowna Rocket Myles Bell in the Hardest Shot contest, Ottawa Senators prospect Matthew Puempel in the Shooting Accuracy, and Detroit Red Wings prospect Tomas Jurco in the Breakaway Challenge.

2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Skills Competition Participants:

Skill 1 – Fastest Skater

Team Orr:
Lukas Sutter (Saskatoon Blades)
Branden Troock (Seattle Thunderbirds)
Francis Beauvillier (Rimouski Oceanic)
Tomas Hyka (Gatineau Olympiques)

Team Cherry:

Brett Kulak (Vancouver Giants)
Damon Severson (Kelowna Rockets)
Mike Winther (Prince Albert Raiders)
Gemel Smith (Owen Sound Attack)

Skill 2 – Hardest Shot

Team Orr:
Matthew Finn (Guelph Storm)
Chandler Stephenson (Regina Pats)
Adam Pelech (Erie Otters)
Dalton Thrower (Saskatoon Blades)

Team Cherry:
Ryan Murray (Everett Silvertips)
Nick Ebert (Windsor Spitfires)
Coda Gordon (Swift Current Broncos)
Mathew Dumba (Red Deer Rebels)

Skill 3 – Shooting Accuracy

Team Orr:
Mikhail Grigorenko (Quebec Remparts)
Derrick Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks)
Gianluca Curcuruto (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Team Cherry:
Dillon Fournier (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
Tom Wilson (Plymouth Whalers)
Scott Laughton (Oshawa Generals)
Andrew Ryan (Halifax Mooseheads)

Skill 4 – Show-Down Breakaway Contest

Team Orr:
Scott Kosmachuk (Guelph Storm)
Tanner Pearson (Barrie Colts)
Andreas Athanasiou (London Knights)
Radek Faksa (Kitchener Rangers)
Colton Sissons (Kelowna Rockets)
Raphael Bussieres (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Team Cherry:
Tim Bozon (Kamloops Blazers)
Martin Frk (Halifax Mooseheads)
Daniil Zharkov (Belleville Bulls)
Brendan Gaunce (Belleville Bulls)
Dane Fox (Erie Otters)
Dominik Volek (Regina Pats)


Team Orr:
Francois Tremblay (Val d’Or Foreurs)
Chris Driedger (Calgary Hitmen)

Team Cherry:
Matthew Murray (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Brandon Whitney (Victoriaville Tigres)

The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is supported by title sponsor Home Hardware for the 13th straight year with associate sponsors Bank of Montreal, Subway, and CCM.

The game will be broadcast live to a national audience on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Quebec beginning at 7:00 pm Pacific and available online through Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will mark the 17th annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL draft eligible players. The two-day event also features a skills competition and three-on-three challenge taking place on Tuesday January 31, 2012. Ticket packages are still available for the two-day event and can be purchased at http://www.selectyourtickets.com/prospects.php or by calling 250-762-5050.

For more information including rosters and historical stats please visit www.homehardwaretopprospectsgame.com

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

Howarth steps down as North Stars coach

Press Release

The Thunder Bay North Stars Junior A Hockey Club announced Sunday that Todd Howarth has advised the ownership group that he is stepping down as head coach of the North Stars effective immediately, citing personal reasons.

The ownership group of the North Stars wish to thank Todd for his many years of service to the team and to the organization.

He leaves the Thunder Bay North Stars and the Superior International Junior Hockey League as the longest serving coach and the coach with the best record in SIJHL history.

The ownership group and the players of the Thunder Bay North Stars wish Todd well in his future endeavours.

A further announcement will be made regarding Coach Howarth’s interim replacement in due course.

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

NAHL announces Combat Hockey 3 stars of the week

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Three Stars of the Week presented by Combat Hockey for the week ending January 29, 2012. The Three Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2011-12 regular season that honors the top performing players each week of the regular season as nominated by their respective teams.

1st Star: Andrew O’Leary, forward, Topeka RoadRunners
Scoring five goals in a game is a rarity in the NAHL. In the past eight seasons, it has happened only three times, including twice this year. The most recent came this past Saturday night as Topeka RoadRunners forward Andrew O’Leary, 20, scored five goals in a win over New Mexico. However, the most impressive part of the night was the fact that the native of Noriwch, Vermont accounted for all five of his team’s goals in the 5-1 win, including the game-winner. The performance doubled O’Leary’s (6’1/210) goal total for the entire season and helped the RoadRunners sweep the Mustangs and move into 2nd place in the South Division. Topeka only had nine shots in the game and seven of them came off O’Leary’s stick. “It was nice to see Andrew have some success because he has worked very hard to try and get back what he gained last season,” said RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer. “Everything went right on Saturday, but he did the work by putting himself in position to score. He was good the night before too, but on Saturday he used his speed on a few goals and let his abilities take over and great things happened.”

2nd Star: Donald Olivieri, defenseman, Bismarck Bobcats
It has been a couple of years since an NAHL defenseman has reached the 15-goal plateau, but that’s exactly what Bismarck Bobcats defenseman Donald Olivieri, 20, did this past weekend as helped Bismarck to a three-game road sweep in Austin and Alexandria. For the weekend, the defenseman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had three goals (including one game-winner) an assist and was a +2. On Friday, Olivieri (5’10/183) registered an assist in a 6-1 win at Austin. On Saturday, Olivieri scored Bismarck’s second goal on the power play in a 4-2 win and sweep of the Bruins. Olivieri saved his best game for last on Sunday, as he scored twice, including the game-winning goal, as Bismarck snapped Alexandria’s 11-game winning streak with a 4-3 road win. For the season, Olivieri has 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists) in 33 games played. His 15 goals leads all NAHL defensemen. “Donald handles and shoots the puck as good as any defenseman I have seen in anyone at this level,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “When we needed a big goal, he always seems to set it up or score it. He also has worked very hard on playing better defensive hockey and has improved in that area as well to become a very good all-around defenseman in this league.”

3rd Star: Sean O’Rourke, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The ‘go-to’ guy on the Fairbanks blueline this year has been 20-year-old defenseman Sean O’Rourke. A for as much as the Ice Dogs get praised for their high-powered offense, it was the defenseman O’Rourke who helped the Ice Dogs take two of three games in Alaska against the Avalanche this past weekend and creep closer to 1st place in the West Division. On Thursday, O’Rourke chipped in with an assist on the game-winning goal in a 3-0 shutout win. On Friday, the Alta Loma, California native had two more assists in a close 6-5 loss. On Saturday, O’Rourke (5’9/180) again chimed in with two more assists in a 7-2 win. For the weekend, O’Rourke registered five assists in three games and was a +3. He leads Fairbanks in scoring for defensemen with 27 points (4 goals, 23 assists) in 29 games played. “Sean showed great leadership and was key part of winning the series against Alaska,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart. “Sean always knows where his teammates are on the ice and is an essential part of our power play. He is a fierce competitor and one of the heart and souls of the team.”

Other players nominated were (alphabetical): Clint Carlisle, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Wehebe Darge, forward, Alaska Avalache – Mike Davis, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Codey Hansen, forward, Alaska Avalanche – Joey Haydock, forward, Chicago Hitmen – AJ Jarosz, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – Bill Kent, forward, New Mexico Mustangs – Jalen Krogman, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Truman Landowski, forward, Janesville Jets – Aaron Nelson, goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats – Robert Nichols, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild – Tyler Poulsen, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Cory Ramsey, defenseman, Topeka RoadRunners – Tate Rusk, defenseman, New Mexico Mustangs – Zach Schrotenboer, forward, Chicago Hitmen.

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

USHL Honors - Week 18

Press Release

The United States Hockey League today announced the weekly award winners for the 18th week of the 2011-12 USHL regular season.

Award winners include forwards Kyle Criscuolo of the Sioux City Musketeers and Scott MacDonald of the Waterloo Black Hawks, named co-recipients of CCM Offensive Player of the Week; defenseman Nolan Zajac of Omaha Lancers, selected as CCM Defensive Player of the Week; and Alex Lyon of the Omaha Lancers who earned honors as Reebok Goaltender of the Week.

Criscuolo scored five goals and posted a plus-five rating over three games for the Musketeers. He scored both goals in the 2-0 win vs. Fargo on Thursday. The 19-year-old then tallied three goals, including the game-winner, in Friday’s 6-3 victory against Sioux Falls. It was the first regular season USHL hat trick for Criscuolo and his fourth multi-goal game of the year. The native of Southampton, New Jersey has collected 25 points (13g, 12a) in 36 games for the Musketeers this season and leads the team with four game-winning goals.

MacDonald recorded five points (4g, 1a) over three games for the Black Hawks. He recorded his first USHL career hat trick and dished out an assist in the 6-5 shootout win vs. Cedar Rapids on Saturday. The 20-year-old had scored three goals total in 21 previous games this season. Two of his goals were shorthanded which ties a USHL record for most shorthanded goals in a game. MacDonald then scored his team’s first goal in the 7-3 victory against Des Moines on Sunday. The native of Surrey, British Columbia has registered 13 points (7g, 6a) in 23 games during his first USHL season.

Zajac recorded six points (2g, 4a) and a plus-four rating during three games for the Lancers. He dished out one assist in Friday’s 3-2 loss to Tri-City. He collected two points (1g, 1a), including the game-winning goal, and helped to shutout Des Moines in Saturday’s 4-0 victory. The 19-year-old then had a game high three points (1g, 2a) in the 6-2 win vs. Fargo on Sunday. Zajac is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba and is currently riding a seven-game point streak. He is tied for the lead in scoring among USHL defensemen with 25 points (6g, 19a) in 38 games this season.

Lyon posted a 1.00 goals-against-average and a .964 save percentage in two victories for the Lancers. He stopped all 28 shots he faced in Saturday’s 4-0 win vs. Des Moines. It was his third shutout of the season which ties him for the lead among USHL goaltenders. The 19-year-old then made 29 saves in the 6-2 victory over Fargo on Sunday. Lyon has compiled a 17-8-2 record this season, ranking third in wins among League netminders. The native of Baudette, Minnesota also began the week by participating in the 2012 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and helping Team East to a 5-3 win.

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

Yakupov To Miss Top Prospects Game

Press Release

Sarnia, On – General Manager Jacques Beaulieu announced this morning that forward Nail Yakupov will not be attending this year’s Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Beaulieu has released the following statement on behalf of the hockey club.

“Dr. R. Giffin of the Fowler Kennedy Clinic in London has advised the hockey club that it is in the best interest of the player not to partake in the Top Prospects game on Wednesday in Kelowna.”

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

Two more 3HL players sign NAHL tenders

Press Release

Two more NA3HL players have signed tenders to play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) next season.

The Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks of the 3HL are pleased to announce the signing goaltender L.J. Dvorak to a tender with the Port Huron Fighting Falcons of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the 2012-13 Season. This marks the second player from the Jacks to move on from the 3HL to the NAHL this season. L.J. currently has 2.30 goals against average and a save percentage of .922. The 6’3” goaltender hails from Bismarck, North Dakota.

When asked about L.J and his future in the sport, Head Coach Bob Jacobson said, "Since he (Dvorak) arrived in Cleveland this past August he has been consistent in his work habits. The type of competitor he is will help make him a great goaltender in the years to come and a great addition to Port Huron. One of the major things that stand out to our staff is his attention to detail. He gets very upset when he gives up a goal in practice. This shows he is really passionate about his craft and performance. Down the stretch we will need our goaltending to remain strong. We are confident L.J. will continue to perform at a high level."

Dvorak recently went up and skated with the Fighting Falcons, who are in 1st place this season in the NAHL’s North Division. When asked about their choice to tender Dvorak, head coach Bill Warren of Port Huron said, “LJ was a player that we as a staff in Port Huron first saw at our final invite only camp in July. He was very close to making our team for this season. We have continued monitored his development this year with Cleveland. We feel he is a player that will help us continue the growth of our program here in Port Huron and we can help him achieve his goals in the sport of hockey."

Meanwhile, the Granite City Lumberjacks of the 3HL are pleased to announce that forward Zac Sikich has signed a tender with the NAHL’s Austin Bruins to play in the 2012-13 season. Sikich, 18, is currently 4th on the team in scoring with 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 36 games played.

The native of Oak Park, California, began the season scoring 10 points in his first 8 games and never looked back from there. He is tied for 3rd on the team with three game-winning goals. His four point effort in a win over Michigan at the 3HL Showcase back on December 4th was the validation that the Austin Bruins and head coach Chris Tok needed.

The 5’11/175 lbs. forward is in his second year with Granite City. “Zac has developed at a very good pace during his time here with Granite City,” said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Willner. “I think Austin is going to be very pleased with Zac next season because he has a great work ethic and understands how to create offense, especially for his linemates.”

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

Sioux Lookout's Chris Hoffman named Pizza Hut player of the wee

Press Release

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Monday that Chris Hoffman of the Sioux Lookout Flyers has been named Pizza Hut player of the week for the period running Jan. 23-29.

In three games this past week the 20-year-old native of Leonard, Mich., racked up 11 points helping Sioux Lookout skate to a trio of victories.

He opened up with a two-goal, one-assist performance in a win over Iron Range this past Tuesday.

The Flyers’ forward followed that up with a hat-trick, which included scoring the game-winning goal and setting up two others, in another triumph over the Ironheads on Wednesday. He then wrapped up his award-winning run by registering another three-tally night that featured his second game-winner in as many outings while leading his squad to a 5-2 upset of league-leading Wisconsin on Saturday.

Hoffman tops his club in overall offensive production with 53 points, including a SIJHL-best 33 goals. He also sits eighth league scoring.

To recognize his on-ice efforts Hoffman will be presented with a gift card courtesy of Pizza Hut.

Honourable mention for the Pizza Hut player of the week award went to Brandon Wolframe, (F) Thunder Bay North Stars; Hunter Scott, (F) Duluth Clydesdales; Ryan Lobreau, (F) Dryden Ice Dogs; Tanner Hamilton, (G) Fort Frances Lakers; Tanner Milliron, (G) Wisconsin Wilderness and Christopher Andre (F) Iron Range Iron Heads.

At the conclusion of the 2011-12 regular season the top performer in the SIJHL will earn the Pizza Hut player of the year award.

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

Benik cracks double-digit mark for week to take POW nod

Press Release

Penticton Vees forward Joey Benik has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 29, the league announced on Monday.

Benik led all BCHL scorers on the week with 10 points and helped the Vees to three more wins giving them 28 straight. The Andover, Minnesota product opened the week with a goal and two helpers and a 1st Star honour against Merritt, followed with the same stat line for 2nd Star against Salmon Arm and capped things off with a second-period hat trick and an assist in a 1st Star showing against Salmon Arm.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder, committed to St. Cloud State for next season, now has 21 goals and 49 assists on the season, good for fourth on the Vees and fifth in the BCHL.

Honourable mentions this week go to Nanaimo Clippers goalie Billy Faust (2-1 record, 1.01 GAA, .969 sv%, 3rd Star, 1st Star), Penticton Vees forward Steven Fogarty (three goals, six assists, two 2nd Stars), Vernon Vipers defenceman Ryan Renz (five assists, 1st Star), Langley Rivermen forward Derek Sutliffe (four goals, five assists, 1st Star) and Langley Rivermen forward Mike Tebbutt (four goals, three assists, 3rd Star).

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


Press Release

CALGARY, AB. - The Western Hockey League announced today that Prince Albert Raiders forward Mark McNeill is the WHL Player of the Week.

McNeill collected eight points, scoring five goals and three assists to go with a +4 rating, in three games over the past week helping the Raiders to a 2-1-0-0 record.

On Wednesday, January 25, the Raiders began a three game road trip through the WHL Central Division with their first stop in Medicine Hat. McNeill scored four goals, added an assist and was named the games 2nd Star, but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers downed the Raiders 6-5. On Friday, January 27, McNeill scored his 23rd goal of the season in the Raiders 7-6 road victory over the Kootenay Ice. The next night, Saturday, January 28, the Raiders were in Lethbridge to face the Hurricanes. McNeill nabbed a pair of assists as the Raiders doubled up the ‘Canes 6-3.

McNeill currently ranks 22nd among all WHL scorers with 55 points (23 goals, 32 assists) in 47 games played thus far this season. An 18-year-old from Edmonton, AB, he is in his third full season with the Prince Albert Raiders. McNeill was the 5th overall selection in the 2008 WHL Draft by the Raiders and was selected 18th overall in the 2011 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The WHL has also nominated Chris Driedger of the Calgary Hitmen for the CHL Goaltender of the Week Award. Driedger posted a 2-0-0-0 record with one shut-out this past week, stopping 48 of 49 shots faced for a 0.980 save-percentage and 0.50 goals-against average. Driedger, a 17-year-old from Winnipeg, MB, is an NHL top prospect who is competing at the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospect Game this week in Kelowna. He led the Hitmen to a pair of victories this past week, a 2-0 shot-out victory over the Vancouver Giants and a 4-1 win over the high flying Tri-City Americans.

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

IceDogs’ Visentin OHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that goaltender Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs is the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 29 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record with two shutout victories and a goals-against-average of 0.00 and save percentage of 1.000.

Visentin becomes the first goaltender to claim OHL Player of the Week honours this season and has recorded three straight shutouts to give him an OHL-high seven shutouts on the season.  On Thursday night he made 26 saves as second star of a 6-0 win over the Belleville Bulls before stopping 15 shots on Sunday as second star of a 3-0 win over the Brampton Battalion.  The win helped lift the IceDogs to a first place tie with the Battalion in the OHL’s Central Division with both teams resting at 63 points.

Visentin, a 19-year-old from Waterdown, ON, is playing in his fourth OHL season.  The Phoenix Coyotes prospect and Canadian National Junior Team netminder carries an 18-7-0-2 record with a 2.29 goals-against-average and a .914 save percentage on the season.

Also considered for the award this week was Tobias Rieder of the Kitchener Rangers who scored four goals and four assists for eight points in three games.  Greg McKegg of the London Knights picked up seven points in three games scoring once and adding six assists.
(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

Will, Micallef and Brunelle named the TELUS three stars of the week

Press Release

Roman Will, Alex Micallef and Jonathan Brunelle were named today the TELUS three stars of the week for the period spanning January 23rd to the 29th.

Moncton Wildcats goaltender Roman Will wins this week’s first star. Thursday, against the Saint John Sea Dogs, Will made 45 saves and was named the first star of the game. Saturday, he helped his teams win 2-1 against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar by making 37 stops. He was, once more, named the first star of the game. He finished the week with 82 saves and a saves percentage of 0.976.

Alex Micallef, the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defenseman, is the second star. Wednesday, in a 6-5 win against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, he scored 1 goal and added 2 assists whilst Friday, in a 6-1 win against Moncton, he scored one goal and was named the 3rd star of the game. The next day, his team won yet again 4-2 against the PEI Rocket; Micallef scored a goal in a 3rd consecutive game. Finally, Sunday against the Saint John Sea Dogs, he recorded an assist, which enabled the defenseman to get at least one point in a 5th consecutive game. Micallef finished the week with 3 goals, 3 assists and a +/- of +4.

Screaming Eagles centre Jonathan Brunelle is the third star. Tuesday, against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, he scored a goal and added 2 assists to earn the game’s 1st star. Friday, in a 7-3 win against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, he scored 1 goal and added 3 assists for a total of 4 points, on top of being named the 2nd star of the game. He racked up 2 goals and 5 assists for a total of 7 points in 3 games and a +/- of +1.

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

Lordo headed to Penn State next season

Press Release

Sioux Falls, SD—The Sioux Falls Stampede are proud to announce that captain defenseman Joseph Lordo has committed to Penn State University for the 2012-13 season. He becomes the 9th Stampede player to commit to a Division I school. Lordo will be part of the Nittany Lions inaugural season as a Division I program. Penn State will begin play at the Division I level next season and will join the all-new Big Ten Conference for the 2013-14 season.

Lordo, who recently celebrated his 21st birthday, is in his second season with the Stampede. The St. Louis, MO native has 12 points (3g, 9a) in 34 games this season with the Herd. Last year, Lordo tallied 10 points (3g, 7a) and was a +14 in 59 games and was a key part in the Stampede’s run to the Western Conference Finals. He was acquired by the Stampede during the 2010 USHL Draft after spending time in the NAHL.

Penn State will play in the 200,000-square foot, 6,000-seat state-of-the-art Pegula Ice Arena starting with the 2013-14 season. The Nittany Lions are coached by Guy Gadowsky who is in his first season. He spent the past seven years leading Princeton to NCAA Tournament berths in 2008 and 2009. He also guided Princeton to an ECAC Hockey title in 2008 and was named Inside College Hockey National Coach of the Year that season as well.

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

Terriers and Kings remain in Top 20

Press Release

The Canadian Junior Hockey League today announced its Weekly Top 20 rankings. Last week’s rankings and the leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis. The weekly rankings are selected in consultation with NHL Central Scouting and are proudly presented by PlayingUpHockey.com:

Penticton Vees (BCHL) (1)
Humboldt Broncos (SJHL) (3)
Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (2)
Wisconsin Wilderness (SIJHL) (4)
Woodstock Slammers (MHL) (6)
Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (5)
Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (7)
Nepean Raiders (CCHL) (9)
Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL) (8)
Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (10)
Lloydminster Bobcats (AJHL) (12)
Portage Terriers (MJHL) (14)
Dauphin Kings (MJHL) (11)
Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL) (16)
Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (17)
Powell River Kings (BCHL) (19)
Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (13)
Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (15)
Wellington Dukes (OJHL) (18)
Les Cougars du College Champlain - Sherbrooke (LHJAAAQ) (20)

Honourable Mention: Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL), Soo Eagles (NOJHL), Cobourg Cougars (OJHL), St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL), Cornwall Colts (CCHL).

Weekly rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including the league in which the teams play, winning percentage, win-loss record, total points accumulated, goals-for versus goals-against ratio, etc.

The CJHL is comprised of the ten Junior A hockey leagues across Canada. More information on the CJHL can be found by clicking on the league website. www.cjhlhockey.com

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

Canalta Hotels AJHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Brooks Bandits Goaltender, Jan Obernesser, is the Canalta Hotels AJHL Player of the Week for the week of January 23rd - 29th, 2012. Obernesser was 3-0 over the week and stopped 86 of 92 shots in victories versus the Canmore Eagles, Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Bonnyville Pontiacs.

Jan Obernesser leads all AJHL Goaltenders with 30 wins and leads all South Division Goaltenders with a 2.22 GAA. Obernesser has already played over 2,500 minutes in net this season, second overall in the AJHL. The Bandits currently lead the AJHL South Division with 84 points.

Obernesser is a 19 year-old goaltender from Calgary, Alberta and is in his third season with the Bandits.

The Alberta Junior Hockey League is proud to partner with Canalta Hotels to recognize the AJHL Player of the Week for the 2011-2012 AJHL Season.

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


Press Release

If you are a former player or coach from the Buffalo Junior Sabres, the Niagara Scenics or the Buffalo Lightning … the team is looking for you!

On Tuesday, February 7th the Buffalo Jr. Sabres will face off against the Oakville Blades at 7:30pm at the Northtown Center in Amherst. It’s the final home game of the Ontario Junior Hockey League regular season schedule, and the Jr. Sabres are marking the occasion by hosting its first-ever “Alumni Night.”.

The team is inviting all former players of the junior franchise to attend the game and catch up with old friends, coaches and teammates. Family members of alumni are also invited. Admission to the game is free to alumni and their families.

Following the game there will be a reception at Santora’s Pizza Pub & Grill (located at 1402 Millersport Hwy, Amherst). Pizza, wings and beverages will be served.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Pat Fisher at (716) 512-3406 or pfisher@buffalojuniorsabres.com.

For more information on the Junior Sabres, visit www.buffalojuniorsabres.com.

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

2012 Wall of Honour Inductees Announced

Press Release

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan- The Prince Albert Raiders are pleased to announce the three inductees to join the Raiders Wall of Honour for the 2011-12 season. As nominated by the Raider Alumni - Robin Bartel & Dean McAmmond in the Players Category, and as brought forward by the Past Presidents Gerry Bergen in the Builders Category.

The trio will be honoured at a special on-ice ceremony prior to the Raiders home game against the Kootenay Ice on Saturday, February 25th at 7:00 PM.

Robin Bartel – Player (SJHL)

In his three seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders from 1979-82, Bartel took part in 3 Centennial Cup Championship games, winning the last two in 1981 and 1982. He helped add to the tradition of winning in 1979 when he was a large group of players that joined a Raider team that had only 6 hold overs from the previous year (1978-79), the teams’ first National Junior A Title winners.

In his three seasons Bartel played 180 games on the Raider blue line with 29 goals, 117 assists and 482 penalty minutes. He would add 66 points in 49 playoff games.

After spending a season with the University of Saskatchewan, Bartel joined former Raider teammates James Patrick and Dave Tippett with the Canadian National team in 1984 when they took part in the Olympic games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

He would then turn pro playing 41 games in the NHL for Calgary and Vancouver and 185 games in the AHL for Moncton, Fredricton, Milwaukee and St. John’s. After a second stint with the National team and playing in Britain in 1989-90, Bartel retired until returning to appear in 2 games for the St.John’s Maple Leafs of the AHL in 1993-94.

Dean McAmmond– Player (WHL)

Dean McAmmond toiled 3 and a half seasons for the Prince Albert Raiders from 1989-93. In 217 career games as a Raider left winger, McAmmond scored 97 goals, adding 129 assists. McAmmond was the key player in a 7 player deal with the Swift Current Broncos in January, 1993, just after returning from helping Team Canada to a gold medal at the 1993 World Junior Championships in Sweden.

He was the Raider Rookie of the Year in 1990 and Playoff MVP in 1992 leading the Raiders to the Eastern Conference Final. McAmmond scored the game winning goal in the inaugural Chrysler Challenge Cup all star game pitting the best of the WHL against top players from Ontario and Quebec, held in Saskatoon in 1992.
In 1991, the Chicago Blackhawks made McAmmond their first round selection, 22nd overall, making his NHL debut in the 1992-92 season, still with junior eligibility left. McAmmond had 2 assists in 5 games with the Hawks as an 18 year-old.

He would go on to a 996 game NHL career with Chicago, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Calgary, St.Louis, Ottawa, New York Islanders and New Jersey scoring 186 goals and 262 assists.

Gerry Bergen - Builder

Gerry Bergen has been a key volunteer at almost every Prince Albert Raider game since 1985 when Rick Wilson asked him to be a volunteer official. In the years following Gerry has served in every capacity as an off ice official as goal judge, penalty box attendant, spotter, time keeper and score keeper.

In 2001 Gerry became the Off-Ice Coordinator managing 14 volunteers and corresponding with the WHL Director of Officiating about new procedures and rules required.

Gerry has been active in minor sports all his life, as an original canvasser for the Comuniplex to minor hockey coach for 11 years, on the steering committee of the Centre Four league, president of the East End Community Club and off-ice official from the Major Midget Mintos.

Bartel and McAmmond are the 13th and 14th former players to be honoured since 2007 while Bergen is the 9th inductee onto the Builders Wall of Honour. The Wall of Honour is located in the History and Heroes section of the Art Hauser Centre by the Raider Dressing Room.

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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Roster Changes Announced for 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League Kelowna Rockets Hockey Club and Home Hardware Stores Limited today announced that three players have been added to rosters for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game to be played February 1 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, BC.

Dalton Thrower of the Saskatoon Blades has been added to the Team Orr roster while Dane Fox of the Erie Otters and Dillon Fournier of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies will compete for Team Cherry.  The three players replace Olli Maatta of the London Knights, along with Charles Hudon of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, and Cody Ceci of the Ottawa 67’s who are unable to participate due to injury.

Thrower, is an 18-year-old defenceman from North Vancouver, BC, playing in his third WHL season with the Blades.  Ranked 30th among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting in their midterm rankings, Thrower, at 6’0’’ and 185lbs, is fifth among WHL defencemen in scoring with 40 points in 50 games so far this season.

Fox, an 18-year-old from Thamesville, ON, is playing in his third OHL season.  The 6’0’’ 185lb forward is ranked 48th among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting and has 42 points in 43 games so far this season.

Fournier, a 17-year-old from Dorval, QC, is playing in his second QMJHL season.  The 6’1’’ 160lb defenceman has 29 points in 39 games this season and is ranked 138 by NHL Central Scouting.

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


Press Release

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Corpus Christi IceRays have announced that the game originally scheduled for Saturday, February 18th has been moved to Thursday, February 16th due to an event being scheduled inside the American Bank Center. Fans who have tickets already for Saturday's game can use them for Thursday's game.

The IceRays home tonight against Wichita Falls. Puck drops at 7:05PM, coverage begins at 6:50PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on ESPN Radio 1440AM.

Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/corpuschristiicerays), Twitter (@goicerays), and the team’s Youtube channel ICERAYS TV (@goicerays)

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


Press Release

SJHL President Bill Chow is proud to announce a new 10 year partnership with Canalta Hotels. The agreement includes renaming the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Championship Trophy to the Canalta Cup.

This landmark agreement between Canalta and the SJHL will also see the hotel chain contribute more than $600,000 in partnership revenue to the League over the next 10 years.

“Canalta’s partnership with the SJHL shows their commitment to supporting long-standing Saskatchewan traditions,” said Bill Chow, SJHL President. “We are excited to have them join our SJHL corporate family.”

Canalta Hotels, established in 1979, currently has six hotels in five Saskatchewan markets, Weyburn, Moosomin, Tisdale, Humboldt and Melfort. The family owned business is also in the construction phase of properties in Esterhazy and Shaunavon.

“It is an honour to have our company name on one of the most respected and cherished championship trophies in hockey,” said Gary Hoffert, Regional Vice President of Canalta Hotels. “This unique agreement helps promote our hotel properties in the Saskatchewan marketplace.”

The battle for the Conalta Cup will begin when the SJHL playoffs start at the end of February.

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

Blake Commits to University of Alaska Anchorage

Press Release

The Battlefords North Stars are pleased to announce that twenty year old forward Blake Tatchell (North Battleford, SK) has verbally accepted a full scholarship to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage for the 2012-2013 season. The Alaska Anchorage Seawolves play in the WCHA conference of the NCAA.

Tatchell developed within the Battlefords minor hockey system including three seasons with the Battlefords North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. During his time with the North Stars, Tatchell was named North Stars Rookie of the Year during the 2009/10 season and earned Team MVP during the 2010/11 season. Currently, Tatchell has 72 points in 45 games played, which is second in Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League scoring.

“The entire North Stars Organization is extremely proud of Blake for this accomplishment,” comments North Stars Coach Kevin Hasselberg “His dedication and commitment to the development of his skills are reasons he will be continuing to pursue both academic and athletic goals while with the Seawolves program.”

On behalf of the entire North Stars Organization, we would like to congratulate Blake and the Tatchell family for this accomplishment, and wish him continued success both academically and athletically with the Seawolves.

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


Press Release

Stouffville Spirit alternate captain Paul Geiger has confirmed his commitment to join the Clarkson University Golden Knights beginning with the 2012-13 ECAC season.

The 6'3", 210 lbs. defenceman grew up playing his minor hockey in the same town in which he now mans the point for the Spirit. By grade 10 he was a key component of the Stouffville District Secondary School's OFSAA 'AA' championship season and he made the jump to OJHL in 2009-10 as a member of the Markham Waxers. Despite a tough season, where he often watched games from the stands, Geiger worked hard to improve and by 2010-11 was a full-time member of his hometown club.

Last season, now playing regular minutes, Geiger finished third on the club in scoring from the point with 34 points and helped the club on a remarkable semi-final run that would ultimately see them fall to the eventual OJHL champion Wellington Dukes.

He returned this season as the only defenceman left from the exciting playoff run and hoping to achieve his goal of an NCAA scholarship and follow in the footsteps of his Father Ross (Cornell - Hockey) and Sister Natalie (Notre Dame - Track). Thus far Geiger has not disappointed, sitting fourth on the club in scoring with 46 points in 36 games played, which also is the second-best total among all rearguards in the OJHL.

All this has been accomplished thus far, while missing a handful of games to attend the Team Canada East camp and the 2011 World Junior 'A' Challenge held in Langley, B.C. Geiger would help lead Canada East to a second consecutive silver medal performance, highlighted by a 4-2 victory over Team USA, comprised mostly of USHL players, in the semi-final game.

Congratulations to Paul and best of luck in his collegiate career!

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

Coquitlam's youngest player locked up by Merrimack for 2014

Press Release

Coquitlam Express 1995-born forward Jace Hennig has played just nine games in the BCHL but has landed an NCAA Div. I scholarship as he committed this week to Merrimack College for the 2014-15 season.

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Port Moody product has a goal and an assists so far in his young career and looks to be a big part of the future of the Express franchise.

"This is great news and a good commitment for local young kids to see how our program benefits the younger players," said Express head coach Jon Calvano.

Hennig began the current season with the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs of the B.C. Major Midget League and racked up 20 goals and 21 assists in just 18 games.

Merrimack has been a major recruiter of BCHL talent in recent seasons with six league alums (Kyle Bigos, Mike Collins, Brendan Ellis, Jordan Heywood, Quinn Gould and Kyle Singleton) on their current roster and six more (Izaak Berglund, Wade Murphy, Braxton Bilous, Hennig, Matt Cronin and Austin Plevy) committed for seasons ahead.

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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

AJHL All Star Weekend Schedule of Events Set

Press Release

The 2012 AJHL All Star Weekend is scheduled to take place this Sunday, January 29th at Iorio Arena in Walpole, MA. The AJHL will showcase four teams consisting of some of the top Junior talent on the east coast at the ’95-’91 birth years. All 12 AJHL teams will be represented among the AJHL All Stars and AJHL Young Guns teams. Last year’s All Star Weekend saw over 50 NHL and NCAA college scouts in attendance.

Game Schedule and Rosters:
AJHL Young Guns – Olympic Rink – Puck Drop: 11:05AM
Team Olympic – White Jerseys
Team America – Dark Jerseys
AJHL Young Guns Rosters AJHL Young Guns Media Guide

AJHL All Stars – Olympic Rink – Puck Drop: 1:25PM
Team Olympic – White Jerseys
Team America – Dark Jerseys
AJHL All Star Rosters AJHL All Stars Media Guide

Tickets can be purchased at Iorio Arena Sunday morning. General Admission tickets will be $5. Anyone who is 12 years old and younger or is a registered USA Hockey Youth or Junior player will be free.

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


Press Release

Why are only three 20 year-olds allowed on a team? Why are not all games officiated by two referees? How is the WHL schedule determined?

Have a burning question regarding your Western Hockey League? Well now you can have your question heard and answered by WHL Commissioner Ron Robison.

Starting this weekend WHL fans can submit questions for the 'Commish' via Twitter and Facebook.

From the questions submitted, the best of the bunch will be selected and WHL 'Commish' Ron Robison will answer your enquiries via video on the WHL website, Twitter and Facebook.

Send in your 'Ask the Commish' question via Twitter by:

Mentioning @TheWHL and include #AskTheCommish

Send in your 'Ask the Commish' question via Facebook by:

Responding to the weekly 'Ask the Commish' posting at http://www.facebook.com/WHLHockey with your question

Have something on your mind regarding your Western Hockey League? This is your chance to have your burning questions answered by WHL 'Commish' Ron Robison now!

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

Winterhawks Sign Steven Alldridge

Press Release

The Portland Winterhawks have signed Steven Alldridge, a 15-year-old forward from the Northwest Territories the team had placed on its protected list in July 2011.

Alldridge plays for the Pursuit of Excellence AAA Midget U18 team, based in Kelowna, British Columbia, in the North American Prospects Hockey League. In 34 games this season, he has five goals and eight assists for 13 points.

Last season Alldridge played for the Notre Dame Bantam AA team in the Regina (Saskatchewan) Midget Tier 2 League, and posted 29 goals and 31 assists for 60 points in 28 games played.

“Steven had a very good training camp for us and has continued to make tremendous strides this season playing for the Pursuit of Excellence program,” said Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “We believe he has the potential to be an excellent player in the WHL, and we’re excited he’s joining our organization.”

Alldridge will finish the season with Pursuit of Excellence and is expected to join the Winterhawks next season.

Winterhawks Group Parties, starting at just 10 people, are a great way to have fun with friends and family and an easy team builder for your office or company. Group rates start at only $16.50 per person and everyone receives a limited edition Winterhawks hat – a $50 combo value. Call 503-236-HAWK or e-mail seats@winterhawks.com to get your Group Party started today.

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

OMHA Top Prospects Prepare for St. Catharines Showcase

Press Release

 The great ones – like Steven Stamkos played in the OMHA – with the next crop of OHL talent set to take to the ice at the OMHA Showcase in St. Catharines January 28 and 29.

Ten teams from the South Central AAA league (SCTA) minor midget AAAs will battle head-to-head in a series of games in front of pro, junior and university scouts at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre. The event is a preview of the top picks in this spring’s Ontario Hockey League and, in a few short years, the National Hockey League draft. The OMHA is a premier player development league; recent grads now in the NHL include Stamkos, Matt Duchene, Corey Perry and Cody Hodgson.

The games played are regular season contests. Results will be available here.

Playing head-to-head in the same rink allows scouts the ability to compare talents in the same environment. The competing teams are the high-flying Southern Tier Admirals, Niagara North Stars, Niagara Rivermen, Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs, Halton Hurricanes, Guelph Jr. Storm, Oakville Rangers, Brampton, Burlington Eagles and Grey Bruce Highlanders.

“You can sit there for two days and get a good read on kids before the playoffs start. This could be the last look for some kids before the OHL draft (in April),” said Ontario Hockey League Director of Central Scouting Darrell Woodley.

The weekend is about far more than scouting. The OMHA AAA Parent/Player Education Seminar will inform players and their families about the opportunities hockey can generate – options to play in the Ontario Hockey League or Ontario University Athletics.

“Profiling our AAA athletes at the Showcase events is an excellent way for scouts and universities to see all players,” said OMHA President Joyce Junker.  “The OMHA is proud of every player and wants to do the best job possible to support them and their families by hosting such events as this.”

Special guest speakers include Tom Bly about OMHA programs that support player development, Murray Nystrom, head coach of the Brock Badgers men’s team and Brock player Derek Brochu, a grad of Welland Tigers minor hockey and the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack and Guelph Storm. More information about the guest speakers is available here.

"Brock University hockey is pleased to be part of this important weekend for OMHA players,” said Badgers’ coach Nystrom. “Development opportunities in OMHA centres continue to grow.  This showcase weekend enhances the experience of these athletes and helps prepare them for their next level of play."

“The Ontario Hockey League offers student-athletes the best of both worlds when it comes to on ice development and opportunities in education,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch.  “We look forward to the opportunity to meet so many of the OMHA’s great student-athletes and future stars of the OHL at these events.”

The Showcase sponsors include the OHL, OUA, Brock University, Pro Hockey Life, Under Armour, Rinknet Breakout, Shoeless Joe’s Restaurants, and Xilarate Sports Power Fluid.

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

Friday, January 27, 2012


Press Release

The Eastern Junior Hockey League has announced the establishment of a brand new 16-and-under league for the 2012-13 season.

The program, which will consist of full-season teams, will be the first of its kind in the Northeast, allowing for greater development and less travel, resulting in a smaller number of school days missed. The new league will follow the High Performance Club Criteria developed by USA Hockey in accordance with the American Development Model. Our programs will be affordable and promote development on the ice as well as in the community and the class room.

“The purpose of the initiative is to better develop our prospects while using [the EJHL’s] well-established network to provide exposure and promotion,” said EJHL Commissioner Bob Mainhardt. “This is a very exciting time for the EJHL and, more importantly, this is a crucial development for our current and future players.”

For more information, please contact the EJHL office at 781-938-4400 or any of our member clubs.

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


Press Release

Markham Waxers defenceman Robert Mann (pictured with Whitby Fury - photo credit: Brian Watts/OJHL) has confirmed his commitment to join the Robert Morris University Colonials beginning with the 2012-13 Atlantic Hockey season.

The 6' 3", 215 lbs. native of Oshawa, Ontario played his first OJHL game as an affiliated 16-year old midget with the Whitby Fury back in 2009-10. After playing three games for the Fury that season, he joined the club full-time in 2010-11, recording seven goals and twenty-five points in 45 games played to finish second among the team's defencemen in scoring.

Midway through this season, after notching another 11 points in 21 games for the Fury, Mann was moved to the Markham Waxers, where he has anchored the club's back-end this season, especially following the loss of rearguard Stephen Midensky to the OHL's Kitchener Rangers. He currently leads all Fury d-men in scoring with 24 assists and 26 points and sits second among all players with 17 power play assists.

Congratulations to Rob and best of luck the rest of this season and beyond!

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

Winterhawks Sign Adam De Champlain

Press Release

The Portland Winterhawks have signed center Adam De Champlain, the team’s 10th round pick in the 2009 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

De Champlain, 17, is playing this season for the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, where he has eight goals and six assists for 14 points in 38 games.

Last season in 34 games with the Sherwood Park J. Ennis Kings of the Alberta Midget Hockey League, De Champlain had nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points.

“Adam is a solid two-way forward who will add depth and experience to our group next year. Playing with Camrose, one of the elite teams in the AJHL, has really accelerated his development," said Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston.

De Champlain will finish the season with Camrose and is expected to join the Winterhawks next season.

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


Press Release

WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee Wild reacquired Jacob Barber (Dardenne Prairie, Mo.), the high-energy, high-scoring forward that was a catalyst on last season’s team that contended for a West Division championship. The Wild also acquired defenseman Tyler Rostenkowski (Bloomingdale, Ill.) and the rights to forward Alec Shields (Moon Township, Pa.).

Barber was a 2011 USHL Entry Draft first-round selection by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. He notched four points (1G, 3A) and was plus-6 in 11 games with Cedar Rapids. The RoughRiders dealt Barber to the Jersey Hitmen of the EJHL at the end of November. With the Hitmen, Barber posted eight points (1G, 7A) in 11 games.

“It feels great,” Barber said of his return to Wenatchee. “I’m glad to be back. I loved it here last year.”

Barber was originally acquired by the Wild on Feb. 4, 2011, from the Alaska Avalanche. He was plus-4 and scored 10 goals and five assists in 16 games for the Wild through the remainder of the regular season and was selected for one SBK Hockey West Player of the Week. Barber went to tally seven points (3G, 4A) and was plus-4 in seven playoff games with the Wild.

“He could have a big impact,” said Wild head coach John Becanic. “Jacob’s such a dynamic player, and he brings a certain attitude to the bench that I thought was really good for us.”

Rostenkowski was in his third season with the Texas Tornado. Committed to Air Force, the left-handed blueliner scored three goals this season with 10 assists (13 points). He was also plus-6. In his regular-season career with the Tornado, Rostenkowski racked up 36 points (10G, 26A) and was plus-19.

“We really felt we needed a left shot defenseman,” said Becanic. “Tyler’s a veteran player that has played in really good programs. He’s a high, high character guy, and he should help give us some more offense on the back end.”

The Wild also acquired the rights to Shields, though he will not be eligible to play for several weeks as he continues to recover from an injury.

A Mercyhurst College recruit, Shields spent the last three seasons with the Traverse City North Stars. In 80 games with the North Stars since 2009, he notched 66 points (29G, 37A) and was plus-22.

Shields was with the North Stars during their 2010 playoff run that concluded with a trip to the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament that was held at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee.

“Alec’s a world class skater and a point-per-game guy in our league,” Becanic said of Shields. “He’s an impact player that’s a first line center on any team in this league.”

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sissons and Murray Named Team Orr and Team Cherry Captains

Press Release

Toronto, ON - The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League Kelowna Rockets Hockey Club and Home Hardware Stores Limited today announced the captains and alternate captains for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game to be played February 1 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, BC.

Colton Sissons of the host Kelowna Rockets will captain Team Orr which will be coached by Pat Quinn, while Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips will be captain for Team Cherry which is coached by Mark Recchi.  Alternate captains for Team Orr include Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts and Tanner Pearson of the Barrie Colts, with Brendan Gaunce of the Belleville Bulls and Martin Frk of the Halifax Mooseheads serving as alternate captains for Team Cherry.

Sissons, an 18-year-old from North Vancouver, BC, is the top ranked WHL forward at number 14 in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  Playing in his second WHL season, Sissons also serves as captain of the Rockets where he has 36 points in 48 games so far this season.  Team Orr’s alternate captains both competed at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship with Grigorenko earning a silver medal with Russia and Pearson winning bronze with Canada.  Grigorenko is the top ranked QMJHL forward at number two overall and leads all rookies with 60 points in 38 games for the Remparts.  Pearson, ranked 22 by NHL Central Scouting, is currently second in OHL scoring with 70 points in 37 games for the Colts.

Murray, an 18-year-old defenceman from White City, SK, will lead Team Cherry as the top ranked WHL skater for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at number three among North American prospects.  He also captains the Silvertips and represented Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.  Gaunce represents the OHL as an alternate captain on Team Cherry, also serving as an alternate for the Bulls where he leads the club with 44 points in 45 games as the number 11 ranked prospect.  The Mooseheads’ Frk is the second highest ranked QMJHL skater for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at number 25 and has 10 points in 14 games since returning from injury after posting 50 points in 62 games as a rookie last season.

Also announced today was the addition of goaltender Chris Driedger of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen to the Team Orr roster for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Driedger, a 17-year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was ranked 12th among North American Goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting in their midterm rankings.  At 6’2’’ and 186lbs, Driedger is playing in his second season and first with the Hitmen.  In 27 games he carries a record of 13-7-2-1 with one shutout and a goals-against-average of 2.86 and save percentage of .894.  Driedger replaces Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls who is unable to participate due to injury.

The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is supported by title sponsor Home Hardware for the 13th straight year with associate sponsors Bank of Montreal, Subway, and CCM.

The game will be broadcast live to a national audience on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Quebec beginning at 7:00 pm Pacific and available online through Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will mark the 17th annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL draft eligible players.  The two-day event also features a skills competition and three-on-three challenge taking place on Tuesday January 31, 2012.  Ticket packages are still available for the two-day event and can be purchased at http://www.selectyourtickets.com/prospects.php or by calling 250-762-5050.

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

Sam Johnson Joins Bulls From Wild

Press Release

AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls, proud members of the North American Hockey League added some size to their defense on Wednesday afternoon by acquiring Sam Johnson from the Wenatchee Wild.

Johnson has played in 34 games for the Wild where he netted one goal and added nine assists for 10 points and 37 penalty minutes. Six of Johnson’s nine assists have come on the power play. The 6 ft, 1 inch, 195 pound native of Dallas Texas has also fired 37 shots on goal.

“We are at a stage where we are contending for the Robertson Cup and we thought bringing in a player like Sam will add more depth to the back end,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams “I like to carry eight defenseman during the playoff run and right now we are at seven. We hope he can contribute right away and give us the edge that we need.”

Williams said that Johnson is excited about coming to Amarillo and playing in his own state.

“He is from Dallas and played with Clint Carlisle, and comes from the organization where our other tender Cody Rogers is from,” Williams added. “I think that it’s important that people know we have great hockey players right here in the State of Texas. It’s only his first year of junior hockey but he has been playing for a good coach, John Becanic (in Wenatchee), for a team that has done a pretty good job on the defensive side of the puck.”

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


Press Release

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Corpus Christi IceRays announced today that they have moved forward Dmitry Ermakov to the Green Mountain Glades in the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL)

In 28 games played this year, Ermakov recorded 3 goals and 11 assists.

“We wish Dmitry the best of luck with the Green Mountain Glades,” said head coach Justin Quenneville. “It is unfortunate sometimes in our industry that situations do not always work out, and I hope fans can respect the limitations to disclosing why Dmitry was moved and that hockey decisions are sometimes met by both parties. Dmitry is had nothing but respect and great things to say about the organization and fans, but he is looking to moving forward with his hockey endeavors.”

The Green Mountain Glades are members of the EJHL, a Tier III Junior A league on the East Coast. The Glades are in the North Division on the EJHL and sit in fourth place with a record of 15-15-3.

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

SASKATOON BLADES: Sign Nelson Nogier

Press Release

The Saskatoon Blades are pleased to announce that they have signed defenceman Nelson Nogier to a Western Hockey League education contract.

The 6'1, 168 pound native of Saskatoon was the Blades 4th round selection, 71st overall, in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

"The Saskatoon Blades organization are excited to get a player like Nelson under contract," said Blades assistant General Manager Jarrod Brodsky.

"He's shown the qualities that we like in a player and we are very happy with his development since we drafted him this past spring. We look forward to seeing him develop even further in the coming months."

Nogier has spent the 2011-2012 season with the Saskatoon Contacts, where he has posted 3 goals and 11 points in 35 games up to this point of the year.

Saskatoon Blades Hockey, It Starts Here!

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

Rivermen d-man Coyne lands scholarship to Alaska-Fairbanks

Press Release

The Langley Rivermen are pleased to announce defenceman Richard Coyne has committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for the 2012-2013 season.

Since joining the Rivermen franchise in mid November from the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, Richard has been an anchor back on the blue line for the Rivermen. Rivermen defence coach Bobby Henderson is not surprised Richard has furthered his hockey career.

“We are very excited for him and believe Alaska-Fairbanks will be a great opportunity. He has worked extremely hard since being here with us and really deserves this."

The Arizona native has put up six assists in 16 games in his time in a Rivermen uniform and has provided veteran leadership on a young squad. Coyne did not have to look far to learn about his new university as Rivermen offensive coach Jordan Emmerson spent four years at Alaska-Fairbanks. With this announcement, the Rivermen now have five players on the roster who have commitments to either a college or university.

On behalf of the entire Langley Rivermen organization we would like to congratulate Richard on his accomplishment.

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

Wild defenseman Kyle Huson commits to UCONN

Press Release

The Wenatchee Wild of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have announced that defenseman Kyle Huson (Parker, Colo.) has committed to continue his education and hockey career at the University of Connecticut this fall.

“It’s a big stress relief,” Huson said of his decision to commit to the Division I Huskies, noting that academics weighed heavily in his decision. “And now I can just focus solely on winning and being there for my team.”

Huson is in his second season with Wild. He recorded 27 points (2G, 25A) in 53 games last season. He was a team-best plus-23 in 2010-11, and his 25 assists were the third most on the team.

One of the team’s assistant captains, Huson has four points (1G, 3A) in 36 games this season. He has also been a major part of the Wild’s No. 2-ranked penalty-kill in the NAHL, which is operating at a success rate over 88 percent.

“Obviously we’re very excited for Kyle,” said Wild assistant coach Chris Clark. “He has played a very tough role for us playing against every team’s top line every night.”

Bruce Marshall is in his 24th season as head coach at UConn. The Huskies, who compete in the Atlantic Hockey Association, currently own an overall record of 11-12-2.

Huson is the sixth player on the Wild’s active roster to commit to a Division I school. The other five are: Ben Carey and Blake Saylor (Air Force), Matt Cope (Robert Morris University), Kyle Vogel (Army) and Blake Roubos (Niagara University).

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

Ice Dogs forfeit Jan. 18 game to Lakers

Press Release

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday that upon further investigation, the Dryden Ice Dogs have forfeited their Wednesday, Jan. 18 vs. the Fort Frances Lakers due to the use of an ineligible player.

The Ice Dogs inadvertently dressed one player over the maximum of 18 skaters and two goaltenders allowed as per Hockey Canada regulations in the game.

The SIJHL received full cooperation from both clubs in the investigation and it was deemed the use of the extra player by the Ice Dogs was inadvertent.

However due to the violation, Dryden forfeits their original 6-4 victory with Fort Frances now being awarded the two points from the game and a 1-0 victory.

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CHL Announces BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings for week 18 of the 2011-12 season.  The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey League’s Top 10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings – Week 18

Team (Record)
Last Week Rank
Number of Weeks Ranked
London Knights (35-9-0-1)
Kamloops Blazers (34-10-1-2)
Tri-City Americans (34-11-0-1)
Shawinigan Cataractes (33-11-2-2)
Saint John Sea Dogs (34-13-0-2)
Edmonton Oil Kings (32-11-1-4)
Plymouth Whalers (31-12-2-1)
Ottawa 67's (29-11-4-1)
Quebec Remparts (30-11-4-2)
Kitchener Rangers (30-13-1-0)

Honourable Mention:

Portland Winterhawks (31-14-2-1)

Victoriaville Tigres (32-15-0-2)

Niagara IceDogs (28-14-0-3)

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


Press Release

The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) announced today that it has unveiled seven new end of year awards, including the first-ever Fan Favourite Award that will see fans choose their favourite OJHL star. This brings the total number of year-end league awards handed out to sixteen. As well, the OJHL announced the formation of an 11 person Awards Committee that will be responsible for voting on each of the award winner. The new awards include:

• OJHL Fan Favourite Award
• OJHL Volunteer-of-the-Year
• OJHL Humanitarian-of-the-Year
• OJHL Trainer-of-the-Year
• OJHL Scholastic Player-of-the-Year
• OJHL Executive-of-the-Year
• OJHL Top Prospect Award

The most anticipated of the new awards is the Fan Favourite Award, which is to be voted upon and selected by you, the fans. All fans will be allowed to submit players names in an online form found on the homepage of the OJHL website, www.ojhl.ca. The winner will be the player that receives the most submissions (votes) through the course of the online voting.

Voting begins today (January 25, 2012) and will run throughout the playoffs, ending at 5pm EST on Sunday, March 25, 2012. The winner of the first-ever Fan Favourite Award will be unveiled prior to game one of the OJHL Championship Series during the 2nd Annual OJHL Awards Ceremony.

More importantly, the award will be presented to the winning player by a fan. Teams will be asked to nominate one important fan to their club (using their own criteria) and then one lucky OJHL fan will be randomly selected from that group to present the award on-ice prior to game one of the OJHL Championship.

Criteria for the other new OJHL Awards is as follows:

The Volunteer-of-the-Year will be awarded to the person who has volunteered for the team that is adjudged to have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty for his or her member club throughout the course of the regular season. Past experience and longevity will also be considered when selecting the winner.

The Humanitarian-of-the-Year will be awarded to the player adjudged to have made the most notable contribution to his community in a humanitarian sense, including, but not limited to, charitable work, school visits and extra-curricular off-ice activities.

The Trainer-of-the-Year will awarded to the trainer, therapist or equipment manager that is adjudged to be the best at his profession for his or her member club throughout the course of the regular season. Past experience and longevity will also be considered when selecting the winner.

The Scholastic Player-of-the-Year will be awarded to the player adjudged to best combine success on the ice with his club, along with success in school.

The Executive-of-the-Year will be awarded to a club executive, including, but not limited to, President, Vice-President, General Manager, Assistant General Manager or Marketing Executive, that is adjudged to have exceeded expectations in his role with the club throughout the course of the regular season.

The Top Prospect Award will be awarded to the player adjudged to be the best eligible prospect for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

OJHL Awards that remain in competition include:

• Most Valuable Player
• Top Defenceman
• Rookie-of-the-Year
• Most Gentlemanly Player
• Most Improved Player
• Coach-of-the-Year
• Top Scorer
• Top Goaltender
• Playoff MVP
• 1st & 2nd OJHL All-Star Teams
• 1st & 2nd OJHL All-Prospect Teams

Along with the seven new awards, the OJHL announced a new voting procedure that sees the formation of an 11 person Awards Committee. Following the nominations from across the league, the committee will be assigned the task of voting for the league award winners. Breakdown of the committee is as follows:

• OJHL Staff Member
• OJHL Board of Governor – North-West Conference representative
• OJHL Board of Governor – South-East Conference representative
• OJHL General Manager – East Division representative
• OJHL General Manager – North Division representative
• OJHL General Manager – South Division representative
• OJHL General Manager – West Division representative
• OJHL Media Member – East Division representative
• OJHL Media Member – North Division representative
• OJHL Media Member – South Division representative
• OJHL Media Member – West Division representative

“The OJHL is excited to unveil this list of new awards and especially the Fan Favourite Award as it allows an important segment of our game, the fan’s, to voice their opinion on who they feel the league’s best player might be. By creating seven new league awards, the Board of Governors have taken another step toward the league’s mandate to promote our most integral resource, the players,” said OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy. Savoy continued by saying, “The formation of an Awards Committee that includes both league, club and media members, allows us to take another step toward complete transparency in the award selection process.”

“As Governors of the OJHL, we wanted to ensure that we recognized the significant contributions of not only our players, but also the staff and volunteers of our teams,” stated OJHL Chairman and Whitby Fury Governor Scott McCrory. “The OJHL made a strategic decision to ensure that we promote the efforts and accomplishments of our players and we have had tremendous support from our media partners in each of the communities that we are located. We feel that the addition of media members in our year-end award process allows for another knowledgeable and impartial group to ensure that the very best of our nominees are awarded for their successes.

The OJHL Awards will be unveiled throughout the course of the playoffs with the first awards, Top Scorer and Top Goaltender announced immediately following the completion of the regular season based on statistics.

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


Press Release

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League will be hosting the seventh annual WHL U.S. Prospects Camp in Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Ice facility from April 13-15, 2012.

The WHL U.S. Prospects Camp provides a unique opportunity for U.S. born hockey players to participate with other top ranked 1997 and 1998 born players in the only evaluation camp conducted by the Western Hockey League in the U.S. this season. The WHL is the largest Major Junior Hockey League in North America and is a leading supplier of player talent to the National Hockey League. Virtually all of the WHL’s 22 Member Clubs will have scouts in attendance to evaluate player’s ability to play in one of the world’s finest development League for junior aged players.

“The WHL U.S. Prospects Camp provides our WHL Clubs with the opportunity to evaluate top prospects from throughout the western United States who are eligible for this year’s WHL Bantam Draft,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison, “It is important we provide these young prospects every opportunity to learn more about the benefits of playing in the Western Hockey League, including details on our WHL Scholarship Program.”

The WHL U.S. Prospects Camp is open only to U.S. Residents born in 1997 and 1998, who live in the Western United States (all U.S. States west of the Mississippi River and Alaska). Of the 34 U.S. born players currently on WHL rosters, 16 attended a WHL U.S. Prospects Camp.

WHL Head Coaches will run the benches of each camp team. Last year’s camp featured Bruno Campese (Prince Albert Raiders), Dean Clark (Prince George Cougars), Don Hay (Vancouver Giants) and Derek Laxdal (Edmonton Oil Kings). Current California born WHL players will also attend the camp, serving as assistant coaches during the weekend. Current Kamloops Blazer Chase Souto (Yorba Linda, CA) and graduate player Parker Stanfield (Orange County, CA/Everett Silvertips) attended last year’s camp.

The WHL U.S. Prospect Camp also features a WHL Prospects Information Session, where players and their families will learn about the benefits of playing Major Junior hockey in Canada. In past seasons guest speakers have included former Kamloops Blazers’ Scott Neidermeyer and Darcy Tucker, and current Edmonton Oil King Tyler Maxwell.

For those players who were invited to participate in this year’s camp, please complete the Player Registration Form and submit it to the WHL Office:
Attn: Tyler Boldt
Manager, Player Development and Recruitment
Western Hockey League
Phone: 403-693-3058
Fax: 403-693-3031
Email: boldtt@whl.ca 
2012 WHL U.S. Prospect Camp Player Application Form CLICK HERE
2012 WHL U.S. Prospect Camp Schedule (tentative) CLICK HERE
Team rosters, finalized schedules, and other camp information will become available in the near future.

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