Saturday, March 31, 2012

NA3HL announces 2011-12 season award winners

Press Release

The North American 3 Hockey League (3HL) has announced its award winners for the 2011-12 season, which include: Most Valuable Player, Forward of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, General Manager of the Year and Organization of the Year, along with its All-NA3HL Teams, Community Service and Academic Award winners as voted by the league’s coaches and general managers.

Granite City Lumberjacks goaltender Matt Grove has been named Most Valuable Player and as 3HL Goaltender of the Year. Grove, 21, dominated between the pipes this season and was honored three times as Brian’s Goaltender of the Month (October 2011, November 2011, February 2012). The Crookston, Minnesota native led the 3HL in wins (29), shutouts (5), goals against average (1.66), games played (37), minutes played (2,134) and was second in save percentage (92.2%). “Matt has been so consistent all season long,” said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Willner. “He deserves a lot of credit for our team’s success this season and the guys are playing with a lot of confidence knowing he is behind them.”

Peter Lindblad was honored as the 3HL’s Forward of the Year. The 20-year-old from Benson, Minnesota tied for 2nd in the 3HL scoring with 67 points as was tied for 1st in game-winning goals with seven.

A pair of Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks were honored as Cameron Dimmitt took home Rookie of the Year honors and defenseman Steve Lecey took home Defenseman of the Year honors. Dimmitt, 19, led the 3HL in scoring with 77 points, while Lecey was 2nd among 3HL defensemen in scoring with 35 points.

North Iowa Bulls head coach Todd Sanden won the 3HL Coach of the Year award thanks in large part to leading his expansion Bulls to a 2nd place finish in the West Division in both the regular season and playoffs, while also leading the 3HL in attendance.

The Granite City Lumberjacks and their head coach/general manager Brad Willner were awarded with the 3HL Organization of the Year and Willner with the General Manager of the Year. The Lumberjacks won both the regular season and playoff titles in the West Division and finished 2nd in the 3HL in both wins (33) and points (70), while also having several players move up to the NAHL during the season.

Trace Jablin, an 18-year-old forward from the St. Louis Jr. Blues was honored with the 3HL’s Academic Achievement Award, while Chicago Hitmen forward Jeremy Edwards, 18, was honored with the 3HL’s Community Service Award.

All-3HL 1st Team
Forward: Cameron Dimmitt, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks
Forward: Peter Lindblad, Granite City Lumberjacks
Forward: Steve Klisz, Metro Jets
Defense: Steve Lecey, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks
Defense: Nick Zierden, Granite City Lumberjacks
Goaltender: Matt Grove, Granite City Lumberjacks

All-3HL 2nd Team
Forward: Matt Kroska, North Iowa Bulls
Forward: Michael Mikulan, Peoria Mustangs
Forward: Nico Vecchio, Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins
Defense: Nikolas Sakellaropoulos, Peoria Mustangs
Defense: Joe Bowler, St. Louis Jr. Blues
Goaltender: Ben Myers, Flint Jr. Generals

(Nathan can be reached at

MHL Executive, General Manager to coach under 17's

Press Release

The Team Atlantic staff were officially announced today for both the Male Under 17 team and the Female Under 18 team. Both teams staff are listed below.

The Female National Under 18 tournament is being held this year in Dawson Creek BC from November 7th to 11th 2012, with the Male World Under 17 tournament taking place from December 29th to January 4th 2013, with the location to be determined in the near future.

The list of both teams staff are listed below:

Team Atlantic Male Under U17 Staff:

Dave Ritcey, Head Coach – Truro, NS
Scott Gordon, Assistant Coach – St. John’s, NL
Terry Rhindress, Assistant Coach – Riverview, NB
Joe Johnson, Goaltending Coach – Lower Sackville, NS
Jessica Sears, Trainer - Dieppe, NB
Nathan Belliveau, Equipment Manager – Saint John, NB
Brad Taylor, Director of Operations – Lower Sackville, NS

Team Atlantic Female Under U18 Staff:

Gary Dove, Head Coach, Goose Bay, NL
Zach Bell, Assistant Coach, Sackville, NB
Jen MacDonald, Assistant Coach, Stratford, PE
Chris Rinehart, Trainer, Oromocto, NB
Steve Richardson, Equipment Manager, Moncton, NB
Brad Taylor, Director of Operations – Lower Sackville, NS

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Locker resigns as Clydesdales head coach

Press Release

DULUTH, Minn. -- Superior International Junior Hockey League coach of the year finalist Chris Locker has announced his resignation as head coach of the Duluth Clydesdales, effective immediately.

In just one season behind the bench with the Clydesdales, Locker led Duluth to a franchise record 20 wins in the 2011-12 campaign.

That marked a nine-win and 17-point improvement from a year ago, the club's first campaign in the SIJHL.

No word on the reasons for Locker's departure or who will be stepping in as the new head coach of the team were made available.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Canalta Cup Schedule

Press Release

1. Fri March 30 at Humboldt 7:30 pm
2. Sat March 31 at Humboldt 7:30 pm
3. Thur April 5 at Weyburn 7:30 pm
4. Fri April 6 at Weyburn 7:30 pm
5. Tue April 10 at Humboldt 7:30 pm
6. Fri April 13 at Weyburn 7:30 pm
7. Sun April 15 at Humboldt 6:00 pm

(Nathan can be reached at

Screaming Eagles Make Coaching Change

Press Release

Sydney – General Manager Pierre Roux announced that assistant coach Kevin Higo will not be offered a new contract for next season.

Higo was in the final year of a two-year agreement with the Screaming Eagles that was to expire on July 31. Higo is a native of Lethbridge, Alberta and prior to coming to Cape Breton held a similar position with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League.

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Finalists for the Humanitarian and Community Involvement Trophy presented by the Public Relations firm NATIONAL

Press Release

The name of the 3 finalists for the Humanitarian and Community Involvement Trophy presented by the Public Relations firm NATIONAL, were revealed today. Andrew Molson, chairman of the Public Relations firm NATIONAL and Coors, will award the trophy during the Golden Puck Awards Gala on April 4th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Montreal.

The finalists are:

Konrad Abeltshauser of the Halifax Mooseheads
Vincent Barnard of the Québec Remparts
Cédrick Henley of the Val-d'Or Foreurs

The Humanitarian and Community Involvement Trophy is awarded annually to the player having contributed the most to the well-being of his community and participated in nurturing his team's and the league's non-profit undertakings.

"We received many nominations from our teams and it was certainly a difficult task to sort through them" said Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Commissioner Gilles Courteau. "After going through the candidates, I can confirm that we have several players who are heavily invested in their communities and in so doing are outstanding role models."

"It's impressive to see the time that QMJHL players invest in their communities" said Andrew Molson, chairman of the Public Relations firm NATIONAL and Coors. "These players are excellent role models for young people and I am proud to present this trophy."

You can follow the Golden Puck Awards Gala live on Twitter with the hashtag #goldenpuck and see the video highlights on the QMJHL's website

(Nathan can be reached at

WCC logo, other details announced at Nanaimo media conference

Press Release

The Canadian Junior Hockey League and Nanaimo Clippers held a media conference Thursday in Nanaimo - the host community of the 2013 Western Canada Cup - to introduce the community, media and fans to the newly formed event and a chance to welcome the executives from the four western leagues to the host city.

“We are incredibly excited to be awarded the opportunity to bring the inaugural Western Canada Cup to the city of Nanaimo, our loyal fans, and corporate sponsors”, stated Nanaimo Clippers owner Ken Wagner. “The Western Canada Cup will be a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our beautiful city and province. It creates an equally exciting opportunity to showcase Western Canada’s top hockey talent to our deserving fans. We are confident our tournament committee will set exceptional standards with the inaugural Western Canada Cup.”

The 2013 Western Canada Cup Host Committee is already in full motion preparing for the event in Nanaimo. “The key positions on the host organizing committee are now in place and we are extremely eager to begin the detailed planning associated with an event of this prestige and magnitude,” stated Host Committee Chair Graham Calder. “Nanaimo is the right city for this inaugural event due to the strong support from the Clipper organization, our fans and business supporters. As we move towards the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, we will be reaching out to the great volunteer community in Nanaimo to help stage this event and to set a very high standard for this tournament going forward."

The CJHL, in conjunction with the host committee, unveiled the official logo for the Western Canada Cup. The Western Canada Cup logo is based on the classic shield and banner motif, and reflects the four leagues through the use of the four stars in the banner. The distinctive Western Canada Cup wordmark reflects a modern, high energy tone and incorporates red to represent Canada. The bold graphic outline and overall balanced composition provide a solid, confident icon to represent the ideals of sportsmanship and excellence in Western Canadian Junior Hockey. The colours used within the Western Canada Cup logo pays homage to the CJHL using the same palette to unite the four leagues under the CJHL.

Canadian Junior Hockey League Chairman Kirk Lamb believes the new regional playoff format will increase exposure for the athletes and further highlight Junior A hockey across Canada, “The Western Canada Cup will create great excitement for our fans, teams and communities across the western provinces. This new event, along with the Fred Page Cup in the East and Dudley-Hewitt Cup in Ontario, will foster an even higher level of competition and talent. The Western Canada Cup represents an extension of the great partnerships being created by the Junior A leagues in the West which have continued to benefit the CJHL.”

The 2013 Western Canada Cup will be held from April 26 to May 5. The event will be hosted by the BCHL in 2013, followed by the MJHL (2014), AJHL (2015), and SJHL (2016). A Site Selection Committee will be responsible for selecting a host team annually, upon the recommendation of the host league.

The Western Canada Cup:In January 2012, the Canadian Junior Hockey League announced a new regional playoff format for its four western provinces. The British Columbia Hockey League, Alberta Junior Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and Manitoba Junior Hockey League will participate in a five-team tournament and award the first-ever Western Canada Cup beginning in 2013.

The Western Canada Cup will include a host team and the champion from each of the four western leagues. The 13-game tournament will include a round-robin schedule followed by two semifinal games and a championship game. The winner and runner-up will both represent Western Canada at the RBC Cup National Junior A Championship.

(Nathan can be reached at

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bussières suspended for 3 games

Press Release

The Disciplinary Prefect of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Raymond Bolduc, suspended today Raphaël Bussières for 2 additional games to the one already purged on March 28th. The suspension was handed out following an incident that occurred on March 27th against the Victoriaville Tigres.

Here is the rationale that led to the decision:

The opponent:
Coming out of his zone and skating toward centre ice.
Passed the puck to a teammate next to the boards.
Was injured on the play.

The player at fault:
Pivoted, took a stride toward his opponent and hit him on the head while he was in a vulnerable position.
Simultaneously hit the player’s body and head.
Propelled himself upward on the impact.
Wasn’t at his first offence.

The decision was rendered after reviewing the video of the incident, gathering the testimonies from the players and the organizations involved, reading the officials’ report and consulting the independent committee in the matter of disciplinary sanctions.

The videos of the events will be available soon.

(Nathan can be reached at

Columbus Blue Jackets Sign Center Boone Jenner to A Three-Year Entry Level Contract

Press Release

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Boone Jenner to a three-year Entry Level contract, club Executive Vice President and General Manager Scott Howson announced today. Jenner was selected by Columbus in the second round, 37th overall, of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Jenner, 18, is currently playing in his third season with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. He tallied 22 goals and 27 assists for 49 points with 59 penalty minutes and a +12 plus/minus rating in 43 games this season. Oshawa’s team captain, he has added 3-2-5 and six penalty minutes in three OHL playoff games. The Dorchester, Ontario native also collected 0-2-2 and 29 penalty minutes in five games at the 2012 World Junior Championships, helping Canada win the bronze medal.

The 6-2, 199-pound center has registered 66-98-194 and 207 penalty minutes in 171 career OHL games with Oshawa. In 2010-11, he notched 25-41-66, 57 penalty minutes and was +10 in 63 games and added 7-5-12 and 14 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games. He earned OHL All-Rookie Team honors in 2009-10 after picking up 19-30-49 and 91 penalty minutes in 65 outings.

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League says it's content with the current twelve team set up and will not be moving into Alberta in the near future.

News reports, in recent days, have come out of Cold Lake concerning a possible expansion into that community. SJHL President Bill Chow acknowledges a group has, indeed, shown interest in the league. “We have decided not to prolong the process or a decision about a franchise in Cold Lake.”

The Alberta Junior Hockey League, which runs pretty much a mirror league to the SJHL, currently has a franchise 51-kilometres outside of Cold Lake (Bonnyville) and the two leagues have an extremely good working partnership. “It would be difficult to grant a franchise to the group with the existing Bonnyville franchise so close,” says Chow.

Chow says there are other logistics involved of having a team in Alberta playing in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and there is considerable required involvement of numerous levels of hockey to establish a new franchise based out of the boundaries of Saskatchewan.

Chow also says he's grateful of the Cold Lake group showing interest in the SJHL as a viable means of entertainment for the community; however expansion outside of Saskatchewan isn't on the horizon.

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) today announced that Christian Finch (photo credit - Craig Campbell/HHOF) of the Stouffville Spirit has been named the recipient of the OJHL Most Valuable Player Award.

Christian Finch finished the 2011-12 season as the OJHL’s leading scorer with 104 points, 18 points clear of his closest competition and as the only player to reach the century mark this season. His 67 assists were also tops in the league, while his 37 goals were the third best total and his 32 power play assists ranked him second among all power play specialists.

The 6’0”, 186 lbs. native of Unionville, Ontario, has played three seasons as a member of the Spirit, making the switch from defence to forward following his first year with the club. Making a genius of his coach for the move, Finch’s point totals have rapidly increased each season, from 21 to 83 to his league-leading total of 104 points this year. One of the best all-around players in the OJHL, Finch was the catalyst for the league’s third best offensive unit that finished the season with 217 goals for, as well as the third best power play unit at 24.20%.

Consistently a threat every time he touched the ice, Finch would be held pointless only twice this season and would finish the year on a 33 game point scoring streak that dated back to October 23. His totals include 33 multi-point games, of which he notched five points once and four points on seven separate occasions. These efforts would earn Finch back-to-back Gongshow Gear North-West Conference Player-of-the-Month Awards in November and December, as well as 1st Team All-Star honours following the season.

Other highlights of Finch’s remarkable season include confirming an NCAA Division I scholarship during the off-season to Clarkson University where he will play for the Golden Knights beginning next season, and over Christmas he was a key member of the North Division All-Stars that finished as runner-up at the inaugural Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge that was held in Smiths Falls, Ontario.

The OJHL Most Valuable Player Award is awarded annually to the player adjudged to be the most valuable
player to his club’s success throughout the course of the regular season.

Adrian Ignagni of the St. Michael’s Buzzers has been named runner-up in the OJHL award balloting to Finch.

The 18-year old netminder was one of key contributors to the Buzzers first place finish in the South Division this season, playing in a league-high 42 games, as well as 2,495:41 minutes played. Ignagni finished the season with a 32-6-4 record, including two shutouts, a 2.60 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.

The first-ever recipient of the OJHL Fan Favourite Award will be announced prior to game one of the 2012 OJHL Championship Series when all OJHL Award winners will be honoured in a pre-game ceremony.

(Nathan can be reached at

Field set for 3HL Championship Tournament in Chicago

Press Release

The North American 3 Hockey League (3HL) playoffs will come to a conclusion this weekend as the league hosts its annual 3HL Championship Tournament at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, Illinois from March 30th – April 2nd.

Four teams have advanced to the 3HL Championship Tournament: Flint Jr. Generals (East Division), Granite City Lumberjacks (West Division), St. Louis Jr. Blues (Central Division), Toledo Cherokee (North Division). All four not only won their respective divisional regular season titles, but also their playoff divisional titles as well, marking the first time in 3HL history the four #1 seeds from each division advanced to the 3HL Championship Tournament. The teams will be seeded 1-4 based upon their regular season records because all were crowned as divisional champions.

The weekend will begin on Thursday, March 29th with the 3HL Champions dinner for all four teams. During the event, the 3HL will hand out their league awards for the 2011-12 season and the results will be posted exclusively on later that evening.

Competition begins the next day on Friday, March 30th. All four teams will play one another in a round-robin format with the top two teams advancing to the 3HL Championship game on Monday, April 2nd. Here is a look at the Championship schedule:

Friday, March 30th
4:30pm - #3 St. Louis vs. #2 Granite City
7:30pm - #4 Toledo vs. #1 Flint

Saturday, March 31st
4:30pm - #4 Toledo vs. #2 Granite City
7:30pm - #3 St. Louis vs. #1 Flint

Sunday, April 1st
2:30pm - #4 Toledo vs. #3 St. Louis
5:30pm - #2 Granite City vs. #1 Flint

Monday, April 2nd
12:30pm – 3HL National Championship Game

Tickets for the 3HL Championship Tournament will be on sale at the Fox Valley Ice Arena beginning Friday, March 30th. Tournament and daily passes will be available for purchase. Tournament and daily passes for scouts will also be for sale. All seven games of the 3HL Championship Tournament can also be viewed live on FASTHockey, the official broadcast provider of the 3HL.

For complete tournament information including schedule, format and statistics, visit

Here is a look the the four teams that will compete for the 3HL Championship:

East Division Champion: Flint Jr. Generals (35-10-3, 73 pts.)
Division Semi-Finals: Defeated the Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins, 2-0
Division Finals: Defeated the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks, 2-0
The Jr. Generals swept both the East Division Semi-Finals against Pittsburgh and the East Division Finals against Cleveland to arrive at the 3HL Championship Tournament. They are the only team remaining in the 3HL playoffs who has yet to suffer a loss. The Jr. Generals are led by goaltender Ben Myers, who was one of only two goalies in the league this season to win the Brian’s Goalie of the Month award. Out of the top 10 scorers in the 3HL during the regular season, Flint had three of them… Richard Jansson (67 pts.), Andy Lay (65 pts.) and Edward Osowski (62 pts.). Meanwhile, Cody Damon leads the team in playoff scoring with seven points so far this post-season.
2011-12 record vs. Granite City: 1-0-0
2011-12 record vs. St. Louis: 0-0-0
2011-12 record vs. Toledo: 2-3-0

West Division Champion: Granite City Lumberjacks (33-11-4, 70 pts.)
Division Semi-Finals: Defeated the Minnesota Flying Aces, 2-0
Division Finals: Defeates the North Iowa Bulls, 2-1
The Granite City Lumberjacks moved through their semi-final round with a sweep of Minnesota, but ran into a determined North Iowa Bulls team in the West Division Finals. All three games were decided by a goal and two went to overtime, but the Lumberjacks prevailed. The key to Granite City’s success has been goaltender Matt Grove, who statistically, was the league’s top goaltender this season and one of only two goalies to win the Brian’s Goalie of the Month award this season. Peter Lindblad led he league in game-winning goals and finished tied for 2nd in 3HL scoring this season, while defenseman Nick Zierden brings a solid, physical presence along the blueline. Riley Bengston leads the Lumberjacks in playoff scoring with five points in five games.
2011-12 record vs. Flint: 0-0-1
2011-12 record vs. St. Louis: 2-3-0
2011-12 record vs. Toledo: 0-0-0

Central Division Champion: St. Louis Jr. Blues (31-12-5, 67 pts.)
Division Semi-Finals: Defeated the Quad City Jr. Flames, 2-1
Division Finals: Defeated the Peoria Mustangs, 2-1
The Jr. Blues were pushed to the brink in both playoff series leading up the 3HL Championship, but responded with two big Game 3 wins, letting everyone know that when the pressure is on the team is quick to respond. Johnny Mueller leads the 3HL in playoff scoring with 10 points in six games and defenseman Joe Bowler is one of the best set-up men in the league. On the offensive side, Daniel Rosse is capable of putting up big points and goals, as he led the Jr. Blues in both goals and assists this season. However, the Jr. Blues success in the 3HL Championship may hinge on the play of goaltender Mitch Fernsler. He has been spectacular in the 3HL playoffs, including starting and winning both Game 3’s, in which he has allowed just one goal in 47 shots. His 1.23 goals against average in the playoffs ranks 2nd.
2011-12 record vs. Flint: 0-0-0
2011-12 record vs. Granite City: 3-2-0
2011-12 record vs. Toledo: 1-0-0

North Division Champion: Toledo Cherokee (31-15-2, 64 pts.)
Division Semi-Finals: Defeated the Battle Creek Jr. Revolution, 2-0
Division Finals: Defeated the Queen City Steam, 2-1
After cruising through the division semi-finals against Battle Creek, the Toledo Cherokee found themselves in a dog fight in the division finals against the Queen City Steam. The Cherokee would win Games 2 and 3 to advance to the 3HL Championship, showing their medal in Game 3 with a come-from-behind win that included four goals in the 3rd period. Scoring three of those goals was Mike Baker, who leads the 3HL in playoff goals with six in five games played. If there is a strong point for the Cherokee in the playoffs to this point, it has been their offense, which is the best in the 3HL playoffs thus far. Toledo is averaging over 4 ½ goals per game and over 50 shots on goal per game during the playoffs. They are also allowing the fewest shots on goal against during the playoffs, which is a recipe for success. Ryan Kelly and Christos Papaioannou are also helping the offense with some big numbers. With goalies Austyn Roudebush and Lukas Gavalier splitting time and games to this point in the playoffs, it will be interesting to see who gets the start come tournament time.
2011-12 record vs. Flint: 3-2-0
2011-12 record vs. Granite City: 0-0-0
2011-12 record vs. St. Louis: 0-1-0

(Nathan can be reached at

A look inside the 2012 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs

Press Release

It is one of the most exciting times of the year, the NAHL playoffs. 28 teams have worked all season long for their next goal… to get to the post-season. After this Sunday, that will be a reality for 20 teams. Following two rounds of playoffs, only six teams will remain for a shot at becoming NAHL Robertson Cup National Champions.

Every hockey league has a different playoff structure and the NAHL is no different. Here is a brief look at some frequently asked questions about the 2012 NAHL Playoffs and each team’s quest to become the Robertson Cup National Champion:

Q: When is the final regular season game of the 2011-12 season?
A: Sunday, April 1, 2012

Q: How many NAHL teams make the playoffs?
A: 20, the top four from each of the five divisions in the NAHL.

Q: How is seeding for the playoffs in each division determined?
A: By the number of points accumulated in the regular season.

Q: What is the tie-breaking format between two teams with the same number of points?
A: 1. Wins 2. Head-to-head record 3. Goal differential in head-to-head competition 4. Total goal differential 5. Coin Flip

Q: What is the playoff format for each playoff round and the Robertson Cup?

Q: Is there a way to view a 2012 playoff schedule and bracket online?
A: Yes, right here

Q: What if the score in a playoff game is tied after regulation?
A: Playoff games in the NAHL are played to completion. There are no shootouts like in the regular season. If the game is tied after regulation, the ice shall be resurfaced. A fifteen minute intermission shall take place. Then, a twenty-minute, 5 on 5, sudden death overtime period shall be played. The game shall end upon a goal being scored and the Club scoring declared the winner. If no goal is scored, the same procedure as above shall be repeated until a winner has been determined. Clubs will change ends each overtime period.

Q: Will all playoff games be broadcast?
A: Yes, all games are broadcast live on FASTHockey, the official broadcast provider of the NAHL.

Q: Where is the 2012 NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship being held?
A: Frisco, Texas

Q: Does the Robertson Cup and the 2012 NAHL Playoffs have a dedicated website?
A: Yes,

Q: Who are the past Robertson Cup Champions?

(Nathan can be reached at

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Carlson, Asuchak, and Elynuik Sign Pro Contracts.

Press Release

The Prince George Cougars are pleased to announce that 20-year-old forward Spencer Asuchak, 20-year-old defenceman Cody Carlson, and 19-year-old forward Campbell Elynuik have signed professional contracts. Asuchak is California bound, and will be joining the Ontario Reign of the East Coast Hockey League. Carlson is heading to Texas to play for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in the Central Hockey League. Elynuik has signed an amateur tryout contract with the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League.

Asuchak (Kamloops, B.C.) finished the 2011-2012 season tied for the team lead in goals with 18, and he finished with a new season-high in points with 36. Asuchak played a total of 224 games in the Western Hockey League and recorded 49 goals and 95 career points along with 208 penalty minutes. Asuchak joins an Ontario squad that is currently ranked first in the ECHL’s Pacific Division. Through 65 games, the Reign are 39-18-5-3.

Cody Carlson (Victoria, B.C.) was the only Cougars player to suit up for all 72 games this season. He finished with nine goals and 39 points which led all Cougars defencemen. Carlson played over 300 games in the Western Hockey League and scored 25 career goals and 135 career points. The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees are currently ranked fourth in the CHL’s Berry Conference with a record of 30-27-7.

Elynuik (Calgary, AB) led the Prince George Cougars in penalty-minutes this season with 156. The 6’4, 190 pound winger was acquired by the Prince George Cougars in an October trade with the Regina Pats. Elynuik scored four goals, 11 points and tallied 132 penalty-minutes in 52 games with Prince George during the 2011-2012 season. Elynuik had previously spent parts of three seasons with the Everett Silvertips before being traded to Regina prior to the 2011-2012 season.

The Prince George Cougars wish to congratulate all three, and wish them all of the best in their professional hockey paths.

(Nathan can be reached at

Gillam commits to Cornell

Press Release

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce goaltender Mitch Gillam has committed to Cornell University for the 2013-2014 season.

Gillam was named the Chiefs Co MVP for the 2011-12 season after registering 23 wins to go along with a goals against average of 3.10 and a save percentage of 91.1. Gillam was also named one of the game’s three stars in four of the Chiefs six playoff games versus the Penticton Vees.

Gillam is the fourth Chief to secure an NCAA scholarship this season. He joins David Thompson (Penn State 2013), Anderson White (Alabama Huntsville 2012) and Malcolm Gould (Michigan Tech 2012).

(Nathan can be reached at

Raiders Name Hockey Operations Staff for 2012-2013

Press Release

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – The Board of Directors of the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League has finalized its’ Hockey Operations staff for the 2012-13 season.

General Manager Bruno Campese, Head Coach Steve Young and Athletic Therapist Duane Bartley have all had the option year of their contracts with the club picked up and are retained on staff for the 2012-13 season.

Assistant Coach Dave Manson has been promoted to Associate Coach. Manson joined the Raiders as an Assistant Coach this past season.
Assistant Coach Craig Bedard, who has been with the Raiders since the 2007-08 season did not have the option year of his contract renewed.

The Raiders are pleased to announce the addition of Tim Leonard as an Assistant Coach. Leonard has been with the Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Major Midget Hockey League the past 10 years. The past 7 seasons he was the Head Coach after being Assistant Coach the previous 3.

Leonard led the Mintos to back to back Telus Cup Championships in 2006 and 2007, the first time that had ever been accomplished, with the Mintos going 14-0 in the two national championship tournaments. The Mintos were 3 time Saskatchewan League Champions and twice Western Canadian champs under Leonard.

“After 3 years of continued improvement, this year was an unexpected disappointment” said Dale McFee, President of the Board of the Raiders. “The Board has reviewed all the documentation and is confident with some tweaking we have the right people to bounce back next year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Craig Bedard for his 5 years of dedication and service to the Raider Hockey club.”

(Nathan can be reached at

Bussières suspended until further notice

Press Release

The Disciplinary Prefect of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Raymond Bolduc, today suspended Baie-Comeau Drakkar Raphaël Bussière until further notice. This decision was taken following a disciplinary review of the case.

Bussières will not be permitted to participate in any of his team's games until the disciplinary process is completed.

"I will gather the testimonies from the players and organizations involved, read the officials' report and consult the independent committee in the matter of disciplinary sanctions before announcing my decision in the next couple of days," said the Disciplinary prefect.

(Nathan can be reached at

NTDP Announces First Six Commitments for 2012-13 Season

Press Release

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Forwards Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.), Jared Fiegl (Parker, Colo.), Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) and Ryan MacInnis (St. Louis, Mo.), along with defensemen Ryan Bliss (Bedford, N.H.) and Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn.) have committed to join USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program for the 2012-13 season, it was announced today. The players, all from the 1996 birth year, will compete as members of the U.S. National Under-17 Team.

“We are pleased to welcome this talented group to the NTDP,” said Peter Ward, director of player personnel for the NTDP. “These players will provide a solid foundation for future signings and we will continue to find the top talent in the country as we fill out our roster.”

During the 2011-12 season, Eichel skated for the Boston Junior Bruins team of the Empire Junior Hockey League. He scored 39 goals and added 47 assists in 36 games. His 86 points were fourth most in the league.

Fiegl competed for the Colorado Rampage Midget Minor team of the Tier I Elite League and recorded 22 points (11-11), which was third most on the squad. He also chipped in with one power-play tally and one game-winning goal.

Larkin comes from the Belle Tire (Mich.) Midget Minor team of the Tier I Elite League, where he averaged a point a game, scoring 11 goals and collecting 11 assists in 22 games. Four of Larkin's 11 tallies were game-winning goals. His season was shortened due to injury.

MacInnis played for the St. Louis Blues Midget Minor team of the Tier I Elite League during the 2011-12 campaign. He ranked first on the team with 47 points (27-20) in 34 games. MacInnis finished tied for eighth overall in points within the league and tied for fourth in scoring with 27 goals.

Bliss skated for St. Paul's (N.H.) School of the New England Prep School League. He recorded one goal and added three assists in 21 games.

During the 2011-12 campaign, Glover played for Benilde-St. Margaret's (Minn.) High School of the Minnesota State High School League and notched two goals and 16 assists in 27 games as the Red Knights claimed the 2012 MSHSL Class AA State Championship.

NOTES: Eichel, Fiegl, MacInnis, Bliss and Glover all competed for Team USA in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games from Jan. 13-22, 2012, in Innsbruck, Austria. Larkin was named to the team but did not compete due to injury ... The 2012-13 U.S. National Under-17 Team will play in the United States Hockey League, the top junior league in the U.S. It will also compete in three international competitions, including the 2013 World Under-17 Challenge … The U.S. National Under-17 Team will be comprised of two goaltenders, 12 forwards and eight defensemen.

 (Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

Kingston Voyageurs alternate captain Steve McParland (photo credit - Brian Watts/OJHL Images) has confirmed his commitment to join the Providence College Friars beginning with the 2012-13 Hockey East season.

McParland and Providence had been talking nearly all season long. Associate Head Coach Ben Barr from Providence first took a liking to McParland's play back in the OJHL Governors' Showcase weekend held in Cobourg back in mid October and followed it up with several visits to Kingston to watch McParland over the course of the season.

McParland was the heart and soul of the Vees lineup this season and finished the regular season with 25 goals and 30 assists for 55 points, including a league leading eight game-winning goals. In 96 total regular season games for the Vees over two seasons, McParland finished with 44 goals and 55 assists for 99 points. He also registered 8 goals and 14 assists for 22 points in 34 playoff games, which further proves the fact that McParland is a winner, having helped the Vees to back to back playoff runs of 15 games or more.

"Well its definitely a relief to finally be over and know where I'm going for next season so i can start planning my future. I'm extremely excited to play division one hockey and couldn't be happier to be going to a program as rich in history as Providence," said McParland, who plans on taking either Civil Engineering or Architecture while at Providence.

McParland becomes the third member of his family to attend an NCAA Division I program on a hockey scholarship as his brother Nick plays for Lake Superior State and his sister Jenna plays for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.

"I also want to thank the the Vees organization, both this year and last year's staff for helping me reach my end goal. The Vees are a first class organization who really care about the players here and the fans are some of the best in the league and I want to thank them for all their support in my two years as a Voyageur. It is a time I will always cherish and never forget," finished McParland.

Congratulations to Steve and best of luck in all his future endeavours!

(Nathan can be reached at

Otters to unveil first overall pick April 6

Press Release

The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League have announced the details of the 2012 Erie Otters Draft Weekend presented by Springhill Suites by Marriott and Colony Pub and Grille in cooperation with the Erie County Convention Center Authority, which will take place Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7.

The centerpiece of the weekend will take place April 6 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. when the Bayfront Convention Center hosts the unveiling of the first overall choice made by the Otters in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection. The first overall selection will be announced live from the event at 5:00 p.m.

Corporate partners are invited to the event, and it also provides an opportunity for Season Ticket Holders to renew their tickets for the 2012-2013 OHL season at Tullio Arena. Those who place a $50 deposit on their 2012-2013 Season Tickets will have an opportunity to meet the first overall draft pick and enjoy light refreshments.

Season Ticket Holder renewal information for the 2012-2013 season will be mailed to homes by the end of the week.

The 2012 OHL Priority Selection will begin at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, April 7 when the Otters will begin the 15-round process. They will hold 14 choices in the draft, including five of the first 55 selections.

(Nathan can be reached at

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Press Release

SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed forward Jason Zucker (pronounced ZOOKER) to an entry-level contract. Zucker will join the team on Wednesday and be available to the media following the Wild’s 11 am practice at Xcel Energy Center.

“After two successful seasons at the University of Denver, Jason, his representation, and Wild management have agreed that it was the right time for Jason to turn pro,” said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. “He has achieved great personal success in a short period of time at both the collegiate and national team levels. We are very excited to have Jason under contract and look forward to seeing his development within the Wild organization.”

Zucker, 20 (1/16/92), collected 46 points (22-24=46), including nine power-play goals, a plus-six rating and 38 penalty minutes (PIM) in 38 games this season during his sophomore campaign at the University of Denver. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound native of Las Vegas, Nev., ranked second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in goals and tied for second in scoring this season. He ranked tied for ninth in the NCAA in PPGs, tied for 13th in goals and tied for 15th in the nation in scoring. Zucker served as team captain for Team USA at the 2012 World Junior Championship and tallied seven points (3-4=7). He registered 45 points (23-22=45) in 40 games last season at Denver. Zucker ranked second in the WCHA in goals and third in points and was named the WCHA Freshman of the Year.

He is one of two United States players to win three gold medals in one calendar year as he won a gold medal at the 2009 and 2010 World Under-18 Championships as well as the 2010 World Junior Championship and one of 21 American players to appear in three World Junior Championships.

Zucker was selected by Minnesota in the second round (No. 59) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

(Nathan can be reached at

Two more PHL players sign NAHL tenders

Press Release

A pair of North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) players have signed tenders to play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) next season.

Connor Webb, 17, a goaltender for the Lansing Capitals 18U team, has signed an NAHL tender with the Michigan Warriors.

Kurt Gosselin, 17, a defenseman for the Detroit Falcons 18U team, has signed an NAHL tender with the Soo Eagles.

Webb, a native of South Lyon, Michigan, won’t have to travel far to play for the Warriors next season in the NAHL.  He has played the last two seasons for the Lansing Capitals 18U team and this season played in 13 PHL regular season games, posting a 10-2-1 record with a PHL-leading four shutouts.  Webb (6’2/185) ranked 2nd in the PHL in goals against average (1.78) and 4th in save percentage (91.6%).  Webb won seven out of his first eight PHL starts this season, recording all four shutouts in that time span.

Gosselin, a native of Brighton, Michigan, will also stay in his home state and play for the NAHL’s Soo Eagles, a new team in the NAHL for the 2012-13 season.  In 21 PHL games with the Detroit Falcons 18U team this past season, Gosselin (5’10/180) recorded 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists).  In the 3HL’s Championship Series, he recorded three points in four games to help Detroit to the semi-finals, where they eventually lost to the Pittsburgh Viper Stars in overtime.   Gosselin ranked in the top 10 in PHL scoring for defensemen.
To date, 43 PHL players have signed 2011-12 NAHL tenders.  View the complete list here.

 (Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

Spokane Chief defenseman Brenden Kichton has completed surgery for a broken jaw and will miss the remainder of the season.

The 19-year-old was struck with a puck at the beginning of the third period of game one in Vancouver and missed game two. He remained in Vancouver to await surgery as the team travelled back to Spokane. Kichton is expected to be cleared to travel by mid-week and will return to his hometown of Spruce Grove, Alberta.

The Chiefs will host the Giants in games three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday night in the Spokane Arena. Gametime both nights is 7:05.

(Nathan can be reached at

Blizzard’s Baptiste MJHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Kolton Baptiste of the OCN Blizzard has been named MJHL Player of the Week, Commissioner Kim Davis announced today.

Baptiste, 19, tallied five points (3-2) last week for the Blizzard, who recently lost the Sher-Wood Division final in six games to Winnipeg Saints.

The runners up are 18 year old goaltender Adam Iwan of the Portage Terriers and 20 year old forward Paul Crane of the Winnipeg Saints.

MJHL Championship Final

The battle for the Turnbull Trophy is down to two teams ─ Portage Terriers and Winnipeg Saints. Terriers, defending MJHL champions, advanced to the final after defeating Winnipeg Blues in six games. The schedule is below:

April 01
Winnipeg Saints
Portage Terriers
6:30 pm
April 03
Portage Terriers
Winnipeg Saints
7:30 pm
April 05
Winnipeg Saints
Portage Terriers
7:30 pm
April 07
Portage Terriers
Winnipeg Saints
7:30 pm
April 10
Winnipeg Saints
Portage Terriers
7:30 pm
April 12
Portage Terriers
Winnipeg Saints
7:30 pm
April 14
Winnipeg Saints
Portage Terriers
7:30 pm

(Nathan can be reached at

Yogan Inks deal with New York Rangers

Press Release

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced on Monday that the club has agreed to terms with forward Andrew Yogan.

Yogan, 20, became the first player born and raised in the state of Florida to be drafted by an NHL team when the Rangers selected him in the fourth round, 100th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. This season, Yogan established career-highs with 41 goals, 37 assists and 78 points, along with 96 penalty minutes in 66 games with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

He led Peterborough and tied for 15th in the OHL in points, and ranked first on the Petes and tied for sixth in the league in goals. He also led the team in power play goals (nine), and tied for second in assists and penalty minutes (96).

Yogan was one of only two Petes, and the only one who skated in more than 13 games, to post a positive plus/minus rating with a team-high, plus-eight rating. He registered 21 multi-point performances, including a season-high, five points, and a career-high, four goals, on March 18 at Oshawa.

Yogan finished the season with a career-high, eight-game point streak from February 26 vs. Belleville to March 18 at Oshawa, recording 12 goals and eight assists for 20 points over the span.

The Coral Springs, Florida native has skated in 240 career OHL games over five seasons with the Windsor Spitfires, Erie Otters and Peterborough Petes, registering 96 goals and 90 assists for 186 points, along with 287 penalty minutes. He recorded single game, career-highs with four assists, six points and a plus-six rating with Erie on January 30, 2009, vs. Oshawa.

Yogan tallied two goals while making his OHL debut on September 21, 2007, vs. Erie as a member of the Windsor Spitfires. In addition, Yogan has registered two assists and 10 penalty minutes in eight career OHL playoff contests with Windsor and Erie.

(Nathan can be reached at

OHL Announces Disciplinary Action

Press Release

Toronto, ON - The Ontario Hockey League today announced the results of the completion of the review of two (2) separate incidents which took place in games played on Friday, March 23rd, 2012.

Game of Friday, March 23rd, 2012 – Belleville Bulls at Ottawa 67’s

The incident reviewed was a match penalty assessed to player Marc Zanetti of the Ottawa 67’s for spearing during the pre-game warm-up.  Based on a review by the League, player Marc Zanetti shall be suspended for five (5) games dating from and including the game of Friday, March 23rd, 2012.

Game of Friday, March 23rd, 2012 – Owen Sound Attack at Kitchener Rangers

The incident reviewed was a check to the head by player Tyler Randell of the Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club.  Based on a review by the League, player Randell shall be suspended for ten (10) games, dating from but not including the game of Friday, March, 23rd, 2012.

Click here to see video and rationale of the Tyler Randell suspension.

The league has taken the position, that for education purposes, any announcement regarding supplementary discipline will be supported by video footage and additional rationale for all incidents involving checking to the head, checking from behind, and others at the discretion of the league.

(Nathan can be reached at

Sea Dogs’ Charlie Coyle Named CHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Charlie Coyle of the Saint John Sea Dogs is the CHL Player of the Week for the first week of the 2012 CHL Playoffs ending March 25 after recording 10 points in two games scoring six goals and four assists with an impressive plus-minus rating of plus-9.

Coyle made his CHL playoff debut with two five-point games last week to lead the top ranked Sea Dogs to a 2-0 first round series lead over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.  In both games Coyle recorded a hat-trick and added two assists as first star of the contest including a 13-4 win on Friday and an 8-1 win on Saturday, both times tying a franchise record for most points in a single playoff game.

Coyle, a 20-year-old from East Weymouth, Massachusetts, joined the Sea Dogs midway through this season and collected 38 points in 23 games.  A member of the U.S National Junior Team at the 2012 World Junior Championship, Coyle is a Minnesota Wild prospect selected by the San Jose Sharks in the first round, 28th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Also considered for the award this week was the OHL’s Ryan Strome who scored three goals and five assists for eight points in three games to lead the Niagara IceDogs to a 2-1 series lead over the Oshawa Generals.  In the WHL, Jordan Martinook of the Vancouver Giants picked up three goals and five assists for eight points in two victories over the Spokane Chiefs in first round playoff action.

(Nathan can be reached at

Sagueneens’ Christopher Gibson Named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Christopher Gibson of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the first week of the 2012 CHL Playoffs ending March 25 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .963.

Gibson backstopped the eighth seeded Sagueneens to two wins to open their first round playoff series against the ninth seeded Acadie-Bathurst Titan.  He made 27 saves as third star of a 3-1 win in Game 1 on Friday night before making 25 saves on Saturday as second star of a 6-1 win over the Titan in Game 2.

Gibson, a 19-year-old Finnish native is playing in his third QMJHL season with the Sagueneens.  The Los Angeles Kings prospect, selected in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, played for Finland at the 2012 World Junior Championship and posted a 27-17-2-2 record this season with three shutouts and a goals-against-average of 2.97 and save percentage of .893.

Also considered for the award this week was Michael Houser of the London Knights who won two games over the Windsor Spitfires including a shutout victory in first round OHL playoff action posting a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .952.  In the WHL, Laurent Brossoit backstopped the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 2-0 series lead over the Kootenay Ice with a shutout victory and goals-against-average of 1.50 and save percentage of .944.

(Nathan can be reached at

Jones West Point Bound

Press Release

Penticton, BC- The Penticton Vees Junior Hockey Club is pleased to announce DJ Jones has committed to Army for the 2013-2014 season.

Jones, 19, is enjoying a successful first season with the Penticton Vees after being signed in mid-December, as he’s become major contributor on the Vees blue-line. The Plymouth, Minnesota native started the season with the Surrey Eagles before landing in Penticton. Jones has played in 24 regular season games for the Vees scoring once and collecting seven points; in the playoffs, Jones has played in all six games, chipping in with one assist.

Head Coach & GM Fred Harbinson says committing to Army tells you the person Jones is, “It takes a special person to be able to play for West Point. DJ is one of the most dedicated players I have ever coached; it goes without saying that he possesses all characteristics of a natural leader.”

The hockey program at West Point has been in existence since 1903 and represents the United States Military Academy. Army plays in the Atlantic Hockey Conference and in 2008 won their first conference title, the Atlantic Hockey Regular Season Championship.

Jones is the first Vees player to attend the prestigious West Point Academy and becomes the 16th to secure an NCAA Division l Scholarship.

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) today announced that Devin Shore (photo credit - Tim Bates/OJHL Images) of the Whitby Fury has been named the first-ever recipient of the OJHL Top Prospect Award as selected in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting.

Recently named the OJHL Rookie-of-the-Year, the 17-year old power forward took the OJHL by storm this season, leading the Whitby Fury with 29 goals, while finishing second on the club in scoring with 58 points, all this despite missing numerous games while attending the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge. Shore would consistently fill the stands with scouts wherever he played throughout the season, steadily moving up the NHL Draft rankings as the top-ranked prospect in the entire CJHL.

“Devin Shore is a smart play maker with good offensive instincts,” stated Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr. “He sees the ice well and has a quick read and react game. Not only does he create scoring chances, but he’s a proven goal scorer. It is quite an accomplishment for a first-year player to be an impact player and to win Rookie-of-the-Year. The experience Devin has gained playing in the OJHL will help his future development playing for the University of Maine.”

The 6’0”, 186 lbs. native of Ajax, Ontario joined the Fury this season after playing for The Hill Academy in Vaughan. Shore chose to commit to the University of Maine Black Bears (2013) NCAA Division I program prior to being selected in the 4th round of the 2011 OHL Priority Selection, 69th overall, by the Barrie Colts, paving his way to make the jump to the OJHL.

Shore has more than lived up to expectations this season with totals of 29 goals and 58 points, placing him 12th and 24th overall respectively among all OJHL players and also played significant minutes on both the power play and penalty kill. He led the Fury with nine power player goals, while also notching 17 power play assists, tied for the sixth best total in the league, to propel the league’s eighth best power play unit at 20.47%. Shore was also an important cog on the penalty kill, notching two shorthanded goals, helping the OJHL’s fourth best unit to an 85.86% ranking. Shore’s season included 17 multi-point games and a 14 game point scoring streak from December 18 to February 3 that helped him win OJHL South-East Conference Gongshow Gear Player-of-the-Month honours for January.

Other highlights of Shore’s impressive rookie campaign include a dominant performance at the 2011 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Langley, B.C. as a member of Team Canada East, where he would record a tournament leading six points in four games played to earn Most Valuable Player honours during a silver medal performance. Shore was also a member of the OJHL East Division All-Stars that competed at the inaugural Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge that was held in Smiths Falls, Ontario and was named an OJHL 2nd Team All-Star, as well as 1st Team All-Rookie, the only OJHL player named to both squads. All season long, he has been closely followed by NHL Central Scouting, steadily moving up the draft rankings and most recently he was ranked in the 3rd round of their mid-term rankings, 75th overall, among North American Skaters.

The OJHL Top Prospect Award is awarded annually to the player selected in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting as the top-ranked draft eligible prospect for the upcoming NHL Draft.

James De Haas of the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots has been named runner-up to Shore as OJHL Top Prospect. The 17-year old rearguard led all Patriots defencemen in scoring during his rookie season with 29 points in 45 games played. The totals also placed him top 20 among all OJHL defencemen, while his 10 goals was the fifth best total.

The OJHL Most Valuable Player Award recipient will be announced later this week.

(Nathan can be reached at

Vees Meet Cents in Interior Final

Press Release

Penticton, BC- The Penticton Vees will face the Merritt Centennials in the Interior Conference Final starting Tuesday, March 27th at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The two teams last met in the playoffs in 2010, the Vees sweeping the Centennials in four games in the opening round of the Fred Page Cup playoffs. This is a rematch of the 2001 Interior Final, the Centennials sweeping the then Penticton Panthers in four games. This marks the seventh meeting in the post-season between the two teams; the Vees winning two of the last three series.

The Vees advanced after beating the Chilliwack Chiefs in six games in the opening round. Penticton took the last two games (4-2 & 4-0) of the series to clinch a spot in the final four. Joey Benik leads all Vees in playoff scoring with four goals and eight points, closely followed by Wade Murphy (4-3-7) and Mario Lucia (3-3-6). Chad Katunar was the goaltender of record in all six games, posting a 4-1-0-1 record, with a 1.64 goals-against average and a .936 save-percentage, to go along with one shutout.

The Merritt Centennials are one of the hottest teams in the BCHL; dating back to the regular season, the Cents’ have won seven games in a row, including a four game sweep of the Prince George Spruce Kings in their Interior Conference Semi-Final series. Merritt finished second in the Interior Conference in the regular season, fashioning together a 34-18-2-6 record for 76 points. Evan Stack leads the Centennials in playoff scoring with three goals and five points; rounding out the top three is Chad Brears (1-3-4) and Regan Soquila (0-4-4). Lino Chimienti started and won all four games against the Spruce Kings, while sporting a league best 1.47 goal-against average and .949 save-percentage.

The Vees won seven of eight regular season meetings against the Centennials but Merritt has the distinction of the only team in the regular season to take points away from the SOEC. Merritt handed the Vees their only home ice loss on November 5th, a 3-2 overtime setback. Also the Cents’ also picked up a single point in a 5-4 overtime loss on October 29th.

Playoff Series Schedule
Game 1 Mar 27th (SOEC)
Game 2 Mar 28th (SOEC)
Ø Game 3 Mar 30th (Nicola Valley Arena)
Ø Game 4 Mar 31st (Nicola Valley Arena)
Game 5** April 2nd (SOEC)
Game 6** April 3rd (Nicola Valley Arena)
Game 7** April 5th (SOEC)
**If necessary
Ø 7:30pm start

(Nathan can be reached at

SC BRONCOS: Nedomlel Signs ATO with Grand Rapids

Press Release

Swift Current Bronco defenceman, Richard Nedomlel, has signed an Amateur Tryout Agreement with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, the primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.

In 72 games played this past season the 6’4”, 225-pound Prague, Czech Republic product has more than quadrupled his point totals from last season with 46 points (10-36-46) and recorded 83 penalty minutes. He wrapped up the 2011/12 regular season ranking 16th amongst all defencemen in the WHL in scoring (46) and fifth in both power play assists (24) and power play points (32).

“His improvement this season is the reason that they’re bringing him up,” states General Manager and Head Coach, Mark Lamb. “This will be a really good learning experience for him and a chance for him to get involved in the organization and make a name for himself in the pro-ranks.”

Nedomlel was drafted 175th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

(Nathan can be reached at

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 March 25, 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: Tomas Sholl, goaltender, Fresno Monsters
With two games remaining in the regular season, the Fresno Monsters sit in the driver’s seat for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division, thanks in large part to the goaltending of rookie Tomas Sholl. Sholl, who represented Fresno at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament back in February, had a fantastic weekend as he recorded two wins to help sweep the Wenatchee Wild, stopping a combined 57 of 59 shots in the process for a 96.6% save percentage and a goals against average of 0.99. On Friday, Sholl, 17, stopped all 35 shots in a 3-0 shutout of the Wild. On Saturday, the Hermosa Beach, California native made 22 saves in a 3-2 overtime win against Wenatchee. “He has improved since day one and keeps getting better each time he plays,” said Monsters head coach Eric Ballard. “He was the difference maker in both games this past weekend and that’s what you need this time of the year. He is a big reason of why we have a great chance to make the playoff this year.”

2nd Star: Connor Hellebuyck, goaltender, Odessa Jackalopes
As good as he was last week in earning the league’s #3 star, Odessa goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, 18, was even better this week in helping Odessa maintain the 4th and final playoff spot in the South Division heading into the final regular season weekend. The Commerce, Michigan native stopped a combined 61 of 62 shots, with the one goal he gave up coming in a 1-0 loss at South Division Champion Amarillo on Saturday. On Wednesday, Hellebuyck, a UMASS-Lowell recruit stopped all 24 shots in a 2-0 road shutout in Wichita Falls. In Saturday’s 1-0 loss in Amarillo, Hellebuyck made 37 saves. Hellebuyck is currently second in the NAHL in save percentage at 93.1%. “I think Connor is playing his best hockey of the season right now and he has worked hard to get to where he is,” said Jackalopes head coach Paul Gillis. “We are in a position to make the playoffs thanks in part to solid goaltending and that is something we can rely on game in and game out with the consistency Connor is playing with right now.”

3rd Star: AJ Reid, forward, Austin Bruins
Army recruit AJ Reid, 19, was instrumental in helping Austin win two of three games over the weekend, which included a weekend sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats. On Friday, the Lakeville, Minnesota native recorded the game-winning goal and added three assists in the Bruins 5-3 win over the Bobcats. The next night, Reid scored the game-tying goal in the 2nd period, as the Bruins completed the sweep of the Bobcats with a 5-2 win. On Sunday, Reid increased his point streak to three games with an assist in a 5-3 loss against the Alexandria Blizzard. For the weekend, Reid had six points (2 goals, 4 assists) as Austin posted a 2-1-0 record. Since coming to Austin back in early January, Reid has put up 27 points in 24 games played. “AJ has been a great addition to our offense and understands how to score big goals,” said Bruins assistant coach Kasey Yoder. “He plays in all situations and plays well at both ends of the ice.”

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Charlie Adams, forward, Austin Bruins – Marc Biggs, forward, Texas Tornado – Brendan Bradley, forward, Fresno Monsters – Brandon Brossoit, forward, Alaska Avalanche – Sean Campbell, defenseman, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Garret Clemment, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Mike Erickson, forward, Amarillo Bulls – Greg Gruehl, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls – Joe Kalisz, forward, St. Louis Bandits – Jake Lynes, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Robert Mantha, forward, Michigan Warriors – Kevin Novakovich, forward, Alaska Avalanche – Taylor Portner, forward, Odessa Jackalopes – Jack Prince, forward, Texas Tornado – Brock Raffaele, forward, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings – Doug Rose, defenseman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Tim Shaughnessy, goaltender, Minot Minotauros – Brandon Smith, forward Corpus Christi IceRays – Beau Walker, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays – AJ White, forward, Michigan Warriors.

(Nathan can be reached at

Cousins signed by Flyers

Press Release

The Soo Greyhounds Hockey Club is extremely pleased to announce that centreman NICK COUSINS (3rd Rd, 2011 NHL - 68th overall) has been signed to an entry-level 3 year contract by the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers

"As an organization we are very proud for Nick and his family. It is our job to ensure that we have a development model in place that allows every player to maximize his ability if he puts forth the effort required to do so.
This season Nick developed both on and off the ice and today's commitment to him by the Philadelphia Flyers shows that Nick's combination of natural ability and hard work can pay off" explained Hounds GM Kyle Dubas.

Cousins, the Hounds 2nd Round pick in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection is coming off a banner season with the club.
In 65 games played, the Belleville ON product had 35 goals and 53 assists good for 88 points as the team's scoring leader. (6th overall in the OHL).

Additionally, Cousins was a member of Team OHL at the Subway Super Series held in the Soo and capped off the year with a trio of team awards; Top Scorer, Regular Season MVP and Three Star Award.

"This is a dream come true for me and my family and I'm thrilled to be a part of the Philadelphia Flyers organization" stated Cousins when reached at home on Monday Night.

"I have to thank the Soo Greyhounds organization, from the coaching staff on, for the amount of trust they have put in me and for giving me the opportunity I had this year. I wouldn't have gotten to this point without them.

Cousins will now report to the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL (American Hockey League) on an Amateur Tryout contract.
The Phantoms have nine games remaining on the regular season schedule and sit 3rd in the Northeast Division.

(Nathan can be reached at

Lalonde Makes History Behind the Bench

Press Release

With a 6-3 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms this past Friday, head coach Derek Lalonde recorded his 42nd victory surpassing Eric Rud (41) for most wins by a first year head coach in USHL history.

Lalonde became just the fifth coach in USHL history to lead a team to the Anderson Cup in the first season behind the bench in the League. The last coach to accomplish that feat was Jon Cooper with the Green Bay Gamblers during the 2008-09 season. Lalonde is also only the second coach in USHL history to reach the 40-win mark in his first season, following Eric Rud who won 41 games last season with the Gamblers.

“It is a great honor to have accomplished these feats in my first season with the amount of great coaches that have coached in the USHL,” said head coach and general manager Derek Lalonde, “I certainly benefited from coming into a great organization where a lot of the good pieces were already in place.”

Prior to coming to the Gamblers, Lalonde spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Denver. While at Denver, Lalonde assisted in all aspects with the DU program, including recruiting, video breakdown, goaltending and skill development. Lalonde helped the Pioneers to two WCHA Championships (2008 & 2010), four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and 122-63-19 record in five seasons as assistant coach.

Lalonde helped recruit six nationally-ranked recruiting classes. He recruited 11 NHL draft picks, including first round picks Beau Bennett and Joe Colborne. Lalonde also recruited second round selections Jason Zucker, Patrick Wiercioch, Drew Shore and William Wrenn, and non-drafted recruits Tyler Bozak and Anthony Maiani.

Currently the Gamblers are three wins shy of their team record 45 victories which was set during their 2009-10 Anderson Cup-winning season. They are also nine points shy of the team record 95 points they earned in the standings in 2009-10.

The Gamblers are back at home this weekend as they take on the Youngstown Phantoms Friday and Saturday and the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Sunday afternoon. Friday and Saturday are Festival Food family nights, and Sunday afternoon is a skate with the team after the game. For tickets and promotions information visit

(Nathan can be reached at

Monday, March 26, 2012

USHL Honors - Week 26

Press Release

The United States Hockey League today announced the weekly award winners for the 26th week of the 2011-12 USHL regular season.

Award winners include forward Daniil Tarasov of the Indiana Ice, named recipient of CCM Offensive Player of the Week; defenseman Ryan Obuchowski of the Indiana Ice, selected as CCM Defensive Player of the Week; and Zane Gothberg of the Fargo Force who earned Reebok Goaltender of the Week.

Tarasov scored six points (5g, 1a) and posted a plus-four rating in leading the Ice to three victories in three nights. He scored a goal in Friday’s 3-2 win against Cedar Rapids, tying his total of 37 from a season ago. The 20-year-old then scored two goals in the second period of Saturday’s 5-2 win over Youngstown. Tarasov’s second goal was his eighth game-winning goal of the season which leads all USHL players. On Sunday, he scored his 40th goal and then tallied his 41st to tie the game late in the third period as the Ice had the goaltender pulled in favor of the extra attacker. Indiana would go on to earn a 5-4 shootout victory over Team USA. The five-goal weekend helped Tarasov break his own team record for goals in a season. The Moscow, Russia native is currently riding a seven-game point streak (8g, 6a) and is second in USHL scoring with 76 points (41g, 35a) through 54 games this season.

Obuchowski collected five points (1g, 4a) and posted a plus-two rating over the three wins for the Ice. He scored his seventh goal of the season and dished out an assist in the second period of Saturday’s 5-2 win against Youngstown. The Canton, Michigan native then set a USHL career high when he recorded three assists in Sunday’s 5-4 shootout win against Team USA. Obuchowski is tied for second among all USHL defensemen in scoring with 36 points (7g, 29a). His 29 assists currently lead all League blueliners. Playing his second USHL season, the 19-year-old defenseman is second on the Ice with a plus-16 rating. It is the second time this season he has captured the weekly USHL honor.

Gothberg posted a 1.00 goals-against-average and .964 save percentage while in net for two Force victories. He stopped all 25 shots he faced in Friday’s 2-0 win against Des Moines which was his second consecutive shutout and gave him a League-leading six for the season. The 19-year-old then extended his personal winning streak to three games when he made 28 saves in Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Des Moines. It was the 24th win of the season for Gothberg, tying him for third among USHL goaltenders. He is currently second among League netminders in both GAA (2.29) and SV% (.919). It is the third time this season that the Thief River Falls, Minnesota native has won the weekly goaltending award after earning the honor in consecutive weeks in January.

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Capitals forward Devin Gannnon is BCHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Devin Gannon has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 25, the league announced Monday.

Gannon was stellar in the high-scoring, seven-game thriller versus the Surrey Eagles, scoring six goals and grabbing four assists in the last five games.

The Kamloops, BC native got the week started with a hat trick and 1st Star honours in Game 3 versus the Eagles, leading the Caps to a 5-2 win, their first of the postseason. He followed up with two goals and one assists in a 7-5 loss to Surrey in Game 4, earning 2nd Star honours. Gannon added points in Game 5, 6, and 7 to finish off the hot week.

Honourable mentions this week go to Washington Capitals forward Brett Knowles (three goals, six assists), Surrey Eagles defenceman Devon Toews (four goals, three assists, hat trick, 3rd Star), Penticton Vees forward Joey Benik (four goals, two assists, 3rd Star), and Coquitlam Express forward Alex Petan (three goals, two assists, 1st Star, 2nd Star).

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IceDogs’ Ryan Strome Named OHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Ryan Strome of the Niagara IceDogs is the OHL Player of the Week for the first week of the 2012 OHL Playoffs ending March 25 after leading the league with eight points in three games scoring three goals and five assists.

Strome picked up a goal and two assists on Thursday night helping the top ranked IceDogs begin their first round Eastern Conference Playoff matchup against the eighth seeded Oshawa Generals with a big 8-2 win on home ice. The IceDogs took a 2-0 series lead on Friday with Strome recording two assists in the 6-1 win in Oshawa. In Game 3 on Sunday night in St. Catharines, Strome scored twice and added an assist and was named second star of the game despite a 6-4 loss to the Generals. The IceDogs lead the series 2-1 heading into Game 4 in Oshawa on Wednesday night.

Strome, an 18-year-old from Mississauga, ON, is playing in his third OHL campaign and finished the 2011-12 regular season with 30 goals and 38 assists for 68 points in 46 games. A member of Canada’s National Junior Team this season, Strome was selected fifth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders.

Also considered for the award this week was Tobias Rieder who scored three goals and two assists for five points in two games to help the Kitchener Rangers take a 2-0 first round series lead over the Owen Sound Attack. Francis Menard of the Guelph Storm had two goals and two assists for four points in a pair of victories over the Plymouth Whalers. In goal, Michael Houser of the London Knights won both of his starts against the Windsor Spitfires including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .952.

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Henderson takes over for O'Rourke behind Rivermen bench

Press Release

The Langley Rivermen have announced the resignation of head coach and general manager Steve O’Rourke. O'Rourke just finished his first year behind the bench in the inaugural Rivermen season and has resigned due to personal reasons.

The 37-year-old came to the club from the Abbottsford Heat of the American Hockey League, where he spent two seasons as an assistant coach, and led the Rivermen to a seventh place finish with a 19-35-1-5 record worth a total of 44 points.

“I would like to thank the Henderson family for the opportunity and the fans in Langley for their support and I wish them well" said O’Rourke.

The Rivermen would like to thank Steve for his contributions to the team and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Bobby Henderson, the club's assistant coach this past season, will take over as head coach and general manager making him the second in franchise history. Jordan Emmerson will be the team's associate head coach.

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

CALGARY, AB. - The Western Hockey League announced today that Vancouver Giants forward Jordan Martinook is the WHL Player of the Week.

Martinook picked up eight points, scoring three goals and five assists to go with a +6 rating in two games over the last week, helping the Vancouver Giants jump out to a 2-0 series lead over the Spokane Chiefs in the 2012 Kal Tire WHL Western Conference Quarter-Finals best-of-seven series.

On Friday, March 23rd, the Giants (4) hosted the Spokane Chiefs (5) at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver for game one of 2012 WHL Playoffs opening round series. Martinook scored two goals, two assists and was named the games 1st Star in the Giants 7-5 victory over the Chiefs. Game two of the opening round series went the following evening, Saturday, March 24th, in Vancouver. Martinook collected one goal, three assists and was again named the games 1st Star as the Giants downed the Chiefs 7-3.

The Vancouver Giants currently have a 2-0 series lead over the Spokane Chiefs, with games three and four set in Spokane on Tuesday, March 27th and Wednesday, March 28th at 7:05pm PT.

Martinook, a 19-year-old from Leduc, AB, is playing his second full season with the Vancouver Giants. During the 2011-12 WHL regular season he set career highs in all offensive categories scoring 40 goals and 24 assist for 64 points.

The WHL has also nominated Laurent Brossoit of the Edmonton Oil Kings for the CHL Goaltender of the Week Award. Brossoit posted a 2-0-0-0 record this past week with one shut-out, stopping 51 of 54 shots faced for a 1.50 goals-against average and .944 save percentage. Brossoit, a 19-year-old (born 1993) from Surrey, BC, led the Oil Kings to a pair of opening round wins over the Kootenay Ice in the 2012 WHL Playoffs.

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Berisha commits to the Bulls

Press Release

BELLEVILLE, ON - Belleville Bulls Head Coach and General Manager George Burnett announced Monday Aaron Berisha, the team's fourth round pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection is heading to Belleville for the 2012-13 season. The Mississauga native has spent this season playing at Salisbury Prep School in Salisbury, Connecticut.

Berisha was named the 2011 OHL Cup MVP after leading fellow teammate Jordan Subban and the GTHL Champion Toronto Marlboros to the title with 8 goals and 5 assists in 7 tournament games.

"Aaron has followed up a strong Minor Midget season with a terrific sophomore year at Salisbury, making him one of the most sought after Division I prospects this season," said Burnett. "It's great for our organization to have Aaron and his family's commitment to come and play in Belleville."

Berisha has 29 goals and 35 assists in 43 games with Salisbury this season and continues to develop his game. "Aaron's has excellent skill, vision and hockey sense that have enabled him to be considered amongst the elite offensive players at every level he's competed at," added Burnett. "We look forward to seeing him in Belleville next season."

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

The Philadelphia Revolution is proud to announce Chris Kanaly as their new General Manger. Chris has been a member of the Revolution staff the last 3 seasons as an assistant and was a coach on both the EJHL and Empire Benches the past few years. Kanaly is the current Goaltender Coach for the Philadelphia Flyers 'AA' Affiliate in Trenton (Titans) and owns one of the largest Goaltender Schools in New Jersey.

His school has placed numerous students at the Division 1 and Professional ranks over the past decade including Revolution Alumnus Jamie Regan, who has committed to play for the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 2012. Chris tended goal collegiately at Hofstra University from 1991 - 1995.

Owner, Phil Pulley said "The future successes of the Revolution on the ice will be directly attributed to Kanaly's ability to assemble and lead a team of management, coaches, scouts and administrators who continually identify, sign, develop and motivate an exceptional group of experienced hockey players. We believe that under his leadership, the Philadelphia Revolution will soon achieve its goal of winning an Eastern Junior Hockey League Championship.”

Kanaly went on to say, "Working for a First Class Ownership group is what any GM in this league would want. Having the tools and support to build and develop young talent in the Philadelphia area is a special gift. I look forward to the challenges ahead as we assemble and prepare our Teams to compete annually to win a championship in their respective divisions.

The Philadelphia Revolution has agreed to terms with James Laux earlier today and he will become the franchise's New Head Coach of their flagship team that plays in the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL). Laux previously spent the past 3 seasons guiding the Revolution’s Empire Team. As the Head Coach, he amassed an impressive 81 - 54 - 7 record while appearing in the Empire Playoffs for three consecutive seasons and made one National Tournament Appearance with his team in 2012.

Laux played collegiately at the NCAA Division 1 Level for Colorado College in Colorado Springs from 2001 - 2003. He then went on to play professionally in the Philadelphia Flyers Organization with the Phantoms in the AHL and Trenton Titans in ECHL.

"Having the opportunity to hire a Coach of James' caliber and pedigree is something that this Organization could not pass up. Said newly appointed General Manager, Chris Kanaly. He went on to say at the Press Conference, "Being able to promote from within and change the culture of our franchise is something that we hold in very high esteem. James brings not only a reputation as a no nonsense coach, but he has also played at the highest levels. This will be an important attribute when placing players at the Divison 1 Collegiate level. I look forward to working closely with him during the 2012 Season and beyond."

Laux went on to say, "I am excited for the opportunity to continue my Coaching career here in Philadelphia.”

(Nathan can be reached at

Boston U16 Coaches Announced

Press Release

MARLBORO, MA-The Junior Bruins are proud to announce the staff for the teams U16 full season midget team. The team’s GM will be Chris Masters who will oversee the team roster, tryout process, scheduling, recruiting and direction of the program. The teams coaches will be Craig Falite and Topher Bevis who will serve as Associate Head Coaches.

“We met with a number of coaches interested in coaching our U16′s as well as conducting an internal search and we decided on, and are thrilled to announce, that both Craig and Topher will be guiding this team. This isn’t a home run for us but a grand slam. The U16′s have hit the jackpot in regards to their coaches,” GM Chris Masters commented. “Their coaching experience, playing experience, style, enthusiasm and hockey knowledge will serve the players well.”

Topher Bevis (pictured left) first came to the Bruins as a defensemen on the 1986 Junior Bruins AAA tournament team. The Harvard, MA native was a standout for the ’86 Minuteman Flames, a team that will go down as one of the best in MBHL history. His ’86 Junior Bruins AAA tournament team saw him play with college alumni such as Adam Pineault (Boston College), Pat Kimball (Merrimack), Brian McCafferty (Harvard), Gerry Pollastrone (U-Mass Amherst), Dave Leaderer (U-Mass Amherst) and Torren Del Forte (Union) to name a few.

Bevis also joined the Litte Bruins and played alongside a talented group of players that included Ben Smith (NTDP, Boston College, Chicago Blackhawks), Bobby Butler (UNH/Ottawa Senators), Kory Falite (U-Lowell), Jason Lawrence (NTDP/Boston University), Cody Wild (Providence) as well as the aforementioned Kimball and Mccaferty.

After a stint at Lawrence Academy he went on to play for the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, MI. He is one of ten B’s players (not including AAA team players) to play for the NTDP, which leads all programs on the east coast for player placement with the NTDP.

Following his time in Ann Arbor, he spent a year with the Junior Bruins (EJHL), before heading to U-Mass Amherst on a full scholarship. While at U-Mass he was a team captain and mainstay for coach Toot Cahoon and the Minutemen.

“Topher will primarily work with our defensemen and a main focus of our U16 team is development and working with each player to maximize their talents so our U16′s will get coaching that most players wouldn’t get till they are in a college program working with Coach Bevis,” Masters commented. “The strides our players will make over the course of a full season with both Topher and Craig will be immeasurable and we are thrilled to have them on board.”

Craig Falite (pictured left), a Billerica, MA native, has been with the Bruins for the last year as a roving instructor with EJHL, Empire and ESHL teams while serving as an assistant coach with Andy Powers on the Little Bruins.

Falite, who grew up playing in the MBHL for the North Shore Raiders, played in the USHL for Waterloo before heading onto play at Quinnipiac University and helping the Bobcats to their first ever NCAA tournament appearance. He is the brother of long time B’s forward and former U-Lowell star forward Kory Falite.

“Craig, over this past year, has shown an enthusiasm and attention to details in his teaching that we felt this is where his talents would best serve our program and players in coaching the U16′s. Players who are still in a critical stage of development will need someone like Craig who can work with them daily, and over the course of the season, to make the necessary improvements to their game,” Masters continued.

In addition to coaching the U16′s Bevis will coach in the B’s AAA tournament team program as well as serve as an assistant coach with the B’s EJHL team. Falite will also coach in the AAA tournament team program and assist with the B’s U18 team.

(Nathan can be reached at

Logo and other details of inaugrual WCC to be announced Thursday, March 29

Press Release

The four western provinces of the Canadian Junior Hockey League and the Nanaimo Clippers Hockey Club will host a press conference on Thursday, March 29, 2012 in Nanaimo, BC.

The Nanaimo Clippers will host the 2013 Western Canada Cup from April 26 – May 5, 2013. The host committee and participating leagues will proudly reveal the event logo and details of the inaugural event to the community of Nanaimo at the March 29 press conference.

Unveiling of event logo and announcement of details for the inaugural Western Canada Cup.

A unique opportunity to simultaneously access the leaders of the British Columbia Hockey League, Alberta Junior Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and Manitoba Junior Hockey League

Thursday, March 29th, 2012
11:00am (Local Time)

Frank Crane Arena
Nanaimo, BC


CJHL Chairman, Kirk Lamb
2013 Western Canada Cup Host Committee Chairman, J. Graham Calder
BCHL Commissioner, John Grisdale
AJHL President, Craig T. Cripps
SJHL President: William D. (Bill) Chow
MJHL Commissioner: Kim Davis
Nanaimo Clippers Ownership and Staff
Members of the 2013 Western Canada Cup Host Committee

All participants will be available to the media immediately following the press conference, and for telephone interviews to media representatives not in attendance.

(Nathan can be reached at

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sproul, Ouellet to entry-level contracts

Press Release

DETROIT – The Red Wings today announced that defensemen Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul have both been signed to three-year entry-level contracts. In accordance with club policy, additional terms of these deals will not be disclosed.

Ouellet, 18, has skated with the Montreal Juniors/Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) franchise for the past two seasons where he has recorded 103 points (29G-74) and a rating of +43 in 130 career appearances. Selected by Detroit in the second round (48th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Ouellet was a member of Team Orr at the 2011 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game, played at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

Montreal’s first choice (14th overall) at the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft, Ouellet was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team in 2009-10 and represented his home province of Quebec at the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario. Currently competing in the President’s Cup Playoffs with Blainville-Boisbriand, Ouellet finished third amongst all QMJHL defensemen with 60 points (21G-39A) in 63 appearances during the 2011-12 regular season.

Detroit’s third selection (second round, 55th overall) at last summer’s NHL draft, Sproul, 19, has spent the last two seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds where he has amassed 37G-50A-87P-89PIM in 122 games played. The 6’4”, 185-lb. blue-liner was chosen by Sault Ste. Marie in the sixth round (108th overall) of the 2009 OHL Priority Selection Draft after enjoying a standout season with Vaughn Kings of the Greater Toronto Hockey League in 2008-09.

A native of Mississauga, ON, Sproul was a member of the Ontario Hockey’s League’s Second All-Rookie Team in 2010-11 and was named the Greyhounds’ top defenseman in 2011-12 after finishing tied for third amongst all OHL rearguards with 54 points (23G-31A) in 61 games.

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

Winnipeg, MB. – The Brandon Wheat Kings are pleased to announce that two members of the National Hockey League’s Jets will be on hand to perform the ceremonial opening face-off Sunday night at MTS Centre when the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinals come to Winnipeg.

Performing the face-off will be Jets’ captain Andrew Ladd and Winkler, Manitoba product Eric Fehr - two WHL graduates. While Fehr is a former member of the Wheat Kings, Ladd played two seasons with the Hitmen, including the 2004-05 campaign when Brandon beat Calgary in one of the most memorable playoff series in Wheat Kings’ history.

Trailing the best of seven Eastern Conference Semi-Finals three games to one, the Wheat Kings staved off elimination with a home ice win in game five, scored an upset victory in game six and then downed the Hitmen in the seventh and deciding game before close to 6,000 fans at Brandon’s Keystone Centre.

This year's best of seven opening round playoff series is deadlocked at one game each after the Hitmen blanked Brandon 4-0 in game two Friday night. Due to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon, games three, four and five will be played at MTS Centre. This marks the second straight year that the annual Fair has forced the Wheat Kings to play their first round playoff home games in Winnipeg.

A former WHL Player of the Year, Fehr played 279 games with the Wheat Kings, scoring 146 goals (9th in club history) and 277 points. In 265 career NHL games, the former Washington Capitals’ right-winger has 48 goals and 96 points.

A native of Maple Ridge, B.C., Ladd is a former Stanley Cup winner and is currently among the Jets’ leading scorers entering the final three weeks of the 2011-12 campaign. A former member of both the Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks, Ladd currently has 24 goals and 44 points in 74 games this season. In 476 career NHL games, the fourth player chosen in the 2004 Entry Draft has scored 252 points, including 116 goals.

Ladd and the Jets scored a dramatic 4-3 Overtime victory over the hometown Capitals Friday night and will close out a pivotal 3-game road trip Saturday night in Nashville against the Predators.

(Nathan can be reached at