Sunday, March 31, 2013

North Iowa Bulls crowned 2012-13 NA3HL Silver Cup Champions

Press Release

North Iowa Bulls 11 vs. Peoria Mustangs 0

It was all North Iowa from start to finish on Saturday as the Bulls were propelled by a torrid start and went onto cruise to a 11-0 win over the Peoria Mustangs in the NA3HL Silver Cup Championship Game.  As the NA3HL Champions, the North Iowa Bulls earned the right to represent the NA3HL at the USA Hockey Tier III Junior National Championships in Rochester, Minnesota, from April 4-8.

The Bulls jumped out to a great start and it took less than a minute for them to grab the lead.  Matt Kroska won a face-off in the Peoria zone and the puck went straight to Eric Behrend, who one-timed a blast past Mustangs goaltender Michael Parda.  After Bulls goalie Matt Bartels made a breakaway save, the Bulls carried that momentum down the ice and capitalized once again.  This time Kroska was the recipient of a nice cross ice pass to put home a one-time from the bottom of the right post to make the score 2-0.  The barrage by North Iowa continued as Bryan Broders scored from the right circle to make it 3-0 for the Bulls.  The Bulls continued the pressure as a shot from the point from Ron Lindgren found its way through traffic and a screened Michael Parda to put the Bulls ahead 4-0.  The scored would climb to 5-0 as Kroska again found himself on the backdoor alone against Parda and lifted a shot over Parda’s left shoulder for a 5-0 lead.  The fifth Bulls goal would spell the end of the afternoon for Parda, who was replaced by Alex Reichle.  The Bulls fired off 26 shots in the period to Peoria’s seven.

In the 2nd period, the Mustangs came out strong and held North Iowa at bay much of the period.  However, the Bulls offense was not to be denied as Andrew Halama scored to make it 6-0 with less than two minutes to go in the period.  Patrick Sivets made it 7-0 with :26 seconds remaining in the period.

The 3rd period began like the 1st period did, with North Iowa scoring a goal.  This time it was Matt Kroska completing his hat-trick with a nice shot that beat Reichle.  The Bulls made it 9-0 on a goal from Kyle Krueger as he put home the fourth shot in a sequence.  Eric Behrend made it 10-0.  Patrick Sivets scored his second of the game to make the final 11-0.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Tyler Wotherspoon Signs With Calgary Flames

Press Release

The Calgary Flames have announced that they have signed Winterhawks defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon to a three-year entry level contract. Wotherspoon was drafted by the Flames in the second round, 57th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Wotherspoon registered a career-high 37 points this season (seven goals, 30 assists), and finished second in the WHL in plus/minus at +62, behind only teammate Nic Petan. He has two goals and two assists for four points in five playoff games this season. Wotherspoon also represented Canada at the World Junior Championship this year, where he had a goal and an assist for two points.

“I’m very proud of Tyler for signing with the Flames. He's had an outstanding season and this is a tremendous achievement for him. He has a bright future ahead of him,” said Winterhawks Acting Head Coach Travis Green. “He has worked hard at his game over the past four years and has developed into a top prospect.”

 (Nathan can be reached at

Tomahawks Official Playoff Apparel To Be Sold at Giant Eagle Locations

Press Release

Johnstown, Pa. – The Johnstown Tomahawks are thrilled to announce that official team 2013 Robertson Cup Playoff t-shirts will be available at local Giant Eagle locations. Beginning on the afternoon of Friday, March 29, stores located on Scalp Ave., Westmont, and downtown Johnstown will sell the t-shirts.

“This is a very exciting expansion for the Tomahawks in regards to merchandise, as it makes our product more accessible for our fans,” said Game-Night Operations and Community Relations Manager Whitney Pappas, who also handles the team’s merchandise. “We are looking forward to this partnership with Giant Eagle and to making team apparel available beyond our current hours and location inside the War Memorial Arena.”

The shirts will be sold in a variety of sizes, beginning at $9.99. For more information, please contact the Tomahawks at (814) 536-4625.

2013-2014 Season Tickets are available now by calling (814-536-4625) or visiting the Tomahawks office. More information is available online at

 (Nathan can be reached at

NA3HL announces 2012-13 season award winners

Press Release

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced its award winners for the 2012-13 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 1st and 2nd Teams, Community Service and Academic Award winners as voted by the league’s coaches and general managers.

Three Rivers Vengeance forward Nico Vecchio (North Huntington, PA) has been named the NA3HL Most Valuable Player, as well as, the NA3HL Forward of the Year.  Vecchio, 20, had his best career season to date with 82 points (30 goals, 52 assists) in 48 games played this season.  His 52 assists were tops in the NA3HL and his 82 points ranked 2nd of all NA3HL players.  He was honored as the NA3HL Forward of the Month in for December this past season.  In his four years with the Three Rivers/Pittsburgh organization, he totaled 229 career regular season points. 

Connor Langfield (Rosemount, MN) of the North Iowa Bulls was honored as NA3HL Defenseman of the Year.  Langfield, 20, played in 41 regular season games for the Bulls and had 48 points (13 goals, 35 assists).  His 48 points and 35 assists were tops among NA3HL defensemen and his amazing +65 rating led the entire league.

Peoria Mustangs goaltender Michael Parda (Waukesha, WI) was honored as the NA3HL Goaltender of the Year.  Parda, 20, posted a 17-8-1 record during the regular season.  His save percentage of 94.4% not only led the entire NA3HL, but was also the highest mark in the league since the 2008-09 season.  He was second in the league in shutouts with five and also ranked 3rd in the NA3HL in goals against average (1.78) and saves (742).

Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks forward Scott Cuthrell (Waterford, MI) was honored as the NA3HL Rookie of the Year.  Cuthrell, 19, had a very impressive first season in the NA3HL, as he led the league in scoring with 88 points (47 goals, 41 assists) in 46 games played, helping Cleveland capture the East Division title.  His 47 goals not only led the league, but were the most in the league since the 2009-10 season.  He also had 13 power play goals, which tied for the NA3HL lead.

St. Louis head coach JP Beilsten was honored as the NA3HL Coach of the Year.  Beilsten led the Jr. Blues to the best regular season record in the NA3HL and the Central Division regular season title with a 43-3-2 mark.  The three losses in regulation was the fewest since the 2007-08 season.  St. Louis also has four players tendered in the NAHL to date.

Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks General Manager and head coach Bob Jacobson was honored as the NA3HL General Manager of the Year.  Under Jacobson, the Lumberjacks won the NA3HL’s East Division with a record of 38-10.  This year also marked the second consecutive year that a Cleveland player earned Rookie of the Year honors in the NA3HL. 

The St. Louis Jr. Blues were honored as the NA3HL Organization of the Year.

Toledo Cherokee forward Jordan Fogarty (Adrian, MI) was honored with the NA3HL Academic Achievement Award, while Alexandria Blizzard forward Garrett Skinner (Alexandria, MN) was honored with the NA3HL Outstanding Community Service Award.

All-NA3HL 1st Team

Forward:    Nico Vecchio, Three Rivers Vengeance

Forward:    Scott Cuthrell, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Forward:    Ian Ecklund, Alexandria Blizzard

Defense:    Kyle Meeh, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Defense:    Connor Langfield, North Iowa Bulls

Goaltender:    Michael Parda, Peoria Mustangs

All-NA3HL 2nd Team

Forward:    Matt Kroska, North Iowa Bulls

Forward:    Alex Berardinelli, Three Rivers Vengeance

Forward:    Drew Otto, Granite City Lumberjacks

Defense:    Kyle Ware, Battle Creek Revolution

Defense:    Andrew Sprouse, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks

Goaltender:    Matt Hughes, Battle Creek Revolution

 (Nathan can be reached at

MJHL Announces 2012-2013 Season Awards

Press Release

 HAWTHORNE, NJ – The Metropolitan Junior Hockey League is pleased to announce its year-end awards for the 2012-2013 season.  Nine awards were handed out and the New Jersey Rockets Troy Conzo (’97 birth year/Nesconset, NY) was given the league’s top award by being voted the league’s Most Valuable Player.  Conzo was also voted Rookie of the Year.  Boston’s Jared Dauhphinais (’92 birth year/Cranston RI) was voted Goalie of the Year.  Connecticut’s Tyler Hines (’94 birth year/North Haven, CT) was chosen as the Defensive Forward of the Year.  Long Island’s Michael Cartwright (’93 birth year/Coram, NY) was voted Defensive Defenseman of the Year and Conzo’s Rocket teammate Charlie McAvoy (’97 birth year/Long Beach, NY) was chosen offensive defenseman of the year and Boston’s Rich DeCaprio was voted as the Coach of the Year.

Rocket goaltender Joshua Creelman (’96 birth year/High Bridge, NJ) was named Postseason MVP and Richmond forward Steven Valva (’92 birth year/Henrico, VA) was the league scoring champion and New Jersey Renegades forward Cody Williams (’92 birth year/Las Vegas, NV) won the goal scoring title in awards handed out without a vote.

Conzo, who finished third in the MJHL in scoring with 69 points (33G 36A) in 36 league games, won the Most Valuable Player voting and was a near unanimous selection as the league’s Rookie of the Year.  Spending the majority of the season on the Rockets top line, Conzo saw ice time in all situations for the Keegan Cup Champions and was also the team’s second leading scorer in the championship run.  Conzo gives the Rockets back-to-back Most Valuable Players and Rookie of the Years as Ryan Hitchcock (’96 birth year/Manhasset, NY & committed to Yale University) won the MVP award and Alec Marsh (’95 birth year/Bridgewater, NJ & committed to Penn State University) was the Rookie of the Year for the 2011-2012 season.

Dauphinais put together a solid season in net for the Boston Junior Rangers, taking to the ice in 19 games, amassing an 11-5 record with a GAA of 2.14 and a save percentage of 93%.  It was in the Junior Rangers run to the Keegan Cup finals where the Cranston native shined, with a record of 6-2, starting all eight of the Junior Ranger playoff games and had a GAA of 2.38 and a save percentage of 93%.

Connecticut’s Hines and the Long Island’s Cartwright were recognized for their outstanding defensive play this season in being recognized as the top defensive forward and defenseman respectively.  Hines helped anchor the lowest goals against in the Francis Division, the fourth lowest in the MJHL, and also added 13 goals on the year, showing that the North Haven native has the ability to contribute on both ends of the ice.

Cartwright, the top defenseman for Head Coach Ken Hoey and the Long Island Royals, anchored the top defensive unit in the Mullen Division.  The Royals captain is on the ice in all situations, often matching up with the opposing team’s top offensive line and guided the Royals to their second consecutive Mullen Division regular season crown.  Cartwright also is a offensive contributor for the Royals, finishing eighth in scoring among defensemen and was the second leading scorer for the Royals in the Keegan Cup playoffs.

McAvoy, the leading scorer among defensemen with 43 points (12G 31A), was a near unanimous selection for the Offensive Defenseman of the Year Award.  The Long Beach native was a participant in the USANTDP Evaluation Camp and was a key offensive contributor for the Rockets high-powered offense, the second most productive offense in the MJHL.  McAvoy was the team’s third leading scorer in the regular season and then was the team’s third leading scorer in the playoffs, despite not seeing the ice in the Keegan Cup finals because of the NTDP Evaluation Camp.

The final voted award was handed out to DeCaprio, the Head Coach of the Boston Junior Rangers, who were the regular season, and postseason, champions of the Francis Division, reached the Keegan Cup final game in their first year in existence.  DeCaprio, who brought nine years of coaching experience, and four years of Division One playing experience from Niagara University, into his first year behind the bench for the Junior Rangers, guided the Junior Rangers to a 26-8 record, the fourth best record in the MJHL.

Creelman was named the Keegan Cup’s Most Valuable Player after guiding the Rockets to their second consecutive Keegan Cup Championship.  The High Bridge native had a 7-3 record during the playoffs, including two shutouts – a forty-three save victory over Central Penn and a thirty save win over Boston in the finals.  Creelman had a sparkling 1.80 goals against and a save percentage of 95%.

Valva, the second year forward for R.C. Lyke and the Richmond Generals, won the scoring title by a comfortable five points over Williams.  The Henrico native had thirty-seven goals and forty-six assists, leading the MJHL in assists.  Valva added fourteen more points in the Generals run to the Keegan Cup semifinals, leading the team in points.

Williams, the first year forward for the Renegades franchise, set the Renegades single season mark for points in a season with seventy-eight total points.  Williams erupted for ten goals over a three game span in mid-January, taking over the goal scoring lead from Valva and despite only having one goal in his final three regular season games, Williams held off a late charge from Valva to take home the goal scoring title, giving the Renegades the league’s top goal scorer two years in a row.

The league will be naming it’s All-League teams next week, the first time the MJHL will bestow those awards.

 (Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

The Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) are proud to announce the commitments of forwards Myles Fitzgerald, Leo Fitzgerald and Gerry Fitzgerald to the Bemidji State University Beavers for the 2014-15 season

The Fitzgeralds finished top 3 in scoring for the Grizzlies and will finish their final year of Junior Hockey in Victoria next season before heading to Bemidji to join fellow teammate DJ Jones.

Coach Bestwick commented, "Bemidji and Coach Serratore are a perfect fit and I have every confidence they will be fan favorites and great teammates, just as they are here."

The Fitzgeralds commented, "we are so excited to know we have the opportunity to advance our play at the next level for 4 years!  And to remain together is fantastic.  We Thank Coach Bestwick and Coach Didmon for their unconditional support and efforts on our behalf.".

(Nathan can be reached at

Saturday, March 30, 2013

2012-13 Red Tilson Trophy Nominees

Press Release

 The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented annually by the league to the Most Outstanding Player in the Ontario Hockey League during the regular season schedule of games as voted by sports writers and broadcasters in the OHL.

The following players have been nominated by the Member Teams of the Ontario Hockey League as their most outstanding player for the 2012-13 regular season.

2012-13 Red Tilson Trophy Nominees:

Barrie – Mark Scheifele (finished 13th in OHL with 79PTS in 45GP scoring 39G 40A)

Belleville – Malcolm Subban (29-11-4-0 record with 5 SO, 2.14 GAA, .934 SV%)

Brampton – Barclay Goodrow (finished 1st on Battalion with 52PTS in 62GP scoring 38G 14A)

Erie – Connor Brown (finished 1st on Otters with 69PTS in 63GP scoring 28G 41A)

Guelph – Garret Sparks (36-17-0-4 record with 7 SO, 2.65 GAA, .917 SV%)

Kingston – Henri Ikonen (finished 1st on Frontenacs with 51PTS in 61GP scoring 22G 29A)

Kitchener – Matt Puempel (finished 4th on Rangers with 47PTS in 51GP scoring 35G 12A)

London – Seth Griffith (finished 11th in OHL with 81PTS in 54GP scoring 33G 48A)

Mississauga – Dylan DeMelo (finished 3rd on Steelheads with 50PTS in 64GP scoring 15G 35A)

Niagara – Ryan Strome (finished 6th in OHL with 94PTS in 53GP scoring 34G 60A)

Oshawa – Boone Jenner (finished 10th in OHL with 82PTS in 56GP scoring 45G 37A)

Ottawa – Sean Monahan (finished 15th in OHL with 78PTS in 58GP scoring 31G 47A)

Owen Sound – Jordan Binnington (32-12-1-5 record with 7 SO, 2.17 GAA, .932 SV%)

Peterborough – Andrew D’Agostini (17-18-1-3 record 1 SO, 3.24 GAA, .911 SV%)

Plymouth – Vince Trocheck (finished 1st in OHL with 109PTS in 63GP scoring 50G 59A)

Saginaw – Eric Locke (finished 4th in OHL with 97PTS in 68GP scoring 44G 53A)

Sarnia – Charles Sarault (finished 2nd in OHL with 108PTS in 68GP scoring 22G 86A)

Sault Ste. Marie – Nick Cousins (finished 3rd in OHL with 103PTS in 64GP scoring 27G 76A)

Sudbury – Mathew Campagna (finished 1st on Wolves with 68PTS in 66GP scoring 24G 44A)

Windsor – Kerby Rychel (finished 8th in OHL with 87PTS in 68GP scoring 40G 47A)

Last season goaltender Michael Houser of the London Knights received 182 points ahead of Top Scorer Michael Sgarbossa of the Sudbury Wolves who received 164 points, Tyler Toffoli of the Ottawa 67’s who received 106 points, and Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs who received 104 voting points.

The trophy is named in honour of Albert "Red" Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.

The 2012-13 Red Tilson Trophy winner will be announced in advance of the OHL Championship Series.

The league will begin announcing individual award winners in April, beginning with the Emms Family Award presented to the Rookie of the Year.

(Nathan can be reached at

Bulls win OT thriller to move onto title game

Press Release

The NA3HL Silver Cup Championship game is set after North Iowa defeated Granite City, 3-2 in overtime on Friday night.  In other action, Cleveland finished the event with a 1-1 record thanks to a win over the St. Louis Jr. Blues.

Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks 7 vs. St. Louis Jr. Blues 4 – With Peoria already into the Championship game from Pool A, the game between Cleveland and St. Louis was all about pride on Friday.  Cleveland finished off the Silver Cup Tournament with a 7-4 win over the St. Louis Jr. Blues on the final day of round-robin competition.  The Lumberjacks finished the event with a 1-1 record, while St. Louis finished with an 0-2 record.  Cleveland was propelled by five goals in the final eight minutes of the game after St. Louis led in the 3rd period at one point, 4-2. St. Louis opened the game with a 2-0 lead in the 1st period on goals from Kerry McGlynn and Sam Turner.  Cleveland answered back twice in the 2nd period to tie the game at 2-2 on goals from Mike Palasics and Dallas Szustak.  St. Louis reclaimed a two goal lead on goals from Ryan Hogland and Jeremy Edwards.  Then came the string of five goals by the Jr. Lumberjacks, which included the second goals of the game from both Palasics and Szustak.  Other goals came from Louis Sawchik and two others from Cameron Dimmitt to secure the 7-4 win for Cleveland.  Boxscore

North Iowa Bulls 3 vs. Granite City Lumberjacks 2 (OT) – In an epic battle of two West Division rivals for a spot in the Championship game, it took overtime, but the North Iowa Bulls ended up winning just over two minutes into the extra session to move onto the title game.  The Bulls jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a goal in the 1st period from Patrick Sivets and a goal in the 2nd period from Bryan Broders.  However, the Lumberjacks didn’t quit, thanks in large part to the goaltending of Scott Murray, which kept Granite City in the game.  The Lumberjacks finally broke through against the Bulls and goaltender Matt Bartels as Brett Love came in on a 2 on 1 and lasered a shot over the glove of Bartels to draw the Jacks to within 2-1.  After a 3rd period, which saw both goalies make some great saves, the Lumberjacks tied the game on a late power play thanks to a nice shot from Drew Otto, who slipped a wrist shot over Bartels to send the game to overtime.  In the overtime, Granite City had a couple chances to win, but the puck would not find the back of t3he net.  It took the Bulls one chance to capture the game-winner, as a wrap-around attempt squirted out front right to an open Bobby Chapman, who slid home the game-winner past a sprawled Murray.  With the win the Bulls advance to the NA3HL Silver Cup Championship game on Saturday against the Peoria Mustangs.  Boxscore

The NA3HL Silver Cup Championship game is on Saturday, March 30th at 1pm (cst).  It can be followed on the official website at:

Watch the Championship game live at FASTHockey

Click here to view and order event pictures

 (Nathan can be reached at

Cody Guidorzi Signs Tender Agreement For 2013-14 Season

Press Release

PORT HURON -- The Port Huron Fighting Falcons, proud members of the North American Hockey League, today announced the signing of forward Cody Guidorzi to a tender agreement for the 2013-2014 season. The tender agreement gives the Fighting Falcons Guidorzi’s playing rights within the NAHL for next season.

A St. Louis. MO native, Guidorzi is currently playing for the St. Louis Jr. Blues of the tier III NA3HL. Guidorzi led the Jr. Blues with 54 points on 24 goals and 30 assists in 44 games played in the regular season.  The 17-year-old forward tallied three goals and three assists in St. Louis’ three-game first-round victory over the Quad City Jr. Flames.

“Cody is a top-20 scorer in the NA3HL, and a guy that we think can make an impact at the next level for us next season,” said Michael Gershon, head coach and general manager of the Port Huron Fighting Falcons.

Guidorzi is the seventh forward tendered by the Fighting Falcons for next season, and the ninth overall. The Fighting Falcons have signed tender agreements with players from eight different states.

 (Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

Aurora Tigers captain Daniel Clairmont (photo credit - Shawn Muir/OJHL Images) has confirmed his commitment to join the American International College (AIC) Yellow Jackets beginning with the 2013-14 Atlantic Hockey season.

The five year OJHL veteran and native of Bracebridge, Ontario joined the league just prior to turning 16, as a 15-year old in September of 2008 with the Couchiching Terriers.  Clairmont would gain some valuable experience during his rookie campaign as Couchiching finished as runner-up to the Georgetown Raiders for the regular season title and would would increase his offensive production from 14 points to 24 in 2009-10.  Following his sophomore season, the Terriers would suspend operations and Clairmont was off to the Huntsville Otters, where he would spend the next two years of his OJHL career.  The playmaking forward would become one of the club's offensive leaders during his tenure, finishing tied for second on the club with 21 goals in 2010-11 and notching six points in four games as the host of the Dudley-Hewitt Cup, narrowly missing a trip to the national championship after falling to Wellington in the championship game.  Last year Clairmont would lead the Otters in scoring with 31 goals and 57 points, while his goal total also ranked him ninth in the entire league scoring race.  A fan favourite throughout his time in Huntsville, he was the top vote-getter for the club in balloting for the OJHL Fan Favourite Award and would represent the North Division All-Stars, helping them finish as runner-up at the inaugural Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge that was held in Smiths Falls, Ontario.  Once again, however; he was on the move when the Otters suspended operations, remaining in the North Division as a member of the Aurora Tigers.  Playing in his fifth Junior 'A' season, Clairmont was almost immediately made captain of the club and was instrumental in leading the Tigers to their first regular season North Division title since 2007, leading the club in scoring with 32 assists and 49 points.  Clairmont would also represent the North Division once again at the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge that was held in Wellington, Ontario.

Congratulations on Daniel on a tremendous five year OJHL career and best of luck in the NCAA!

 (Nathan can be reached at

Brown Bears Duwe makes NCAA DI commitment

Press Release

The Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce that veteran forward Brad Duwe has announced his NCAA Division I commitment to the University of Alaska-Anchorage.  Alaska-Anchorage are members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).

Duwe, 20, is in his third full season with the Brown Bears.  The local Soldotna, Alaska native also recently participated in the 2013 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament as a part of team Frontier, which was held last month in Troy, Michigan.  Duwe (6’2/203) played well in the event, recording three points including the game-winning goal in the final day in a 5-4 win over the NAHL 18U Selects.

Duwe’s play continued to stay on a high level through February and March.  Less than two weeks ago, he was named as the NAHL’s West Division Star of the Week as he Brown Bears have currently won their last five straight games.  It wasn’t until the last few months that Duwe got healthy and back into the grove of playing the type of hockey the forward is capable of.  Duwe totaled six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in the three wins and was a +3 during the week in which he was honored. 

For the season, he has 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 17 games played.  “Brad has been with us a while and is such an important part of this team,” said Brown Bears head coach Oliver David.  “When he is healthy and playing at 100% he has the capability of being a point per game guy.  The key now will be making sure his solid play is consistent in the playoffs.”

David continued… “We are ecstatic for Brad and his commitment to play for Alaska-Anchorage.  Last weekend, he became our all-time goal leader, and surpassed the 100 point mark, all in a Brown Bear uniform. I'm looking forward to watching his development continue at Alaska-Anchorage with Coach Shiak and Coach Blair.  We are going to miss having him around. It has been special.”

(Nathan can be reached at

Jamestown defenseman Zink makes NCAA DI commitment

Press Release

Another Jamestown Ironmen has committed to play Division I college hockey.  Defenseman Dylan Zink (6’0”, 175lbs.) committed to play at the University of Massachusetts Lowell earlier this week.

The UMass Lowell River Hawks are part of the Hockey East conference and actually captured their first ever conference title this past weekend in front of 13,738 fans at the TD Garden in Boston.

The River Hawks are ranked third in the country in Division I hockey and are currently competing in the NCAA’s Northeast Regional Tournament with an opportunity to play their way to the Frozen Four. This marks the second consecutive year that the team has made the NCAA tournament, finishing one win away from the Frozen Four in 2012.

“When you’re playing juniors, it’s a dream to get to play Division I hockey,” said an excited Zink after finishing up practice at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena late Wednesday morning.

Zink had an opportunity to tour the UMass Lowell campus, getting a chance to meet everyone in the hockey program from the head coach to the equipment manager. “I liked everything about their program and the direction that they are headed in,” said Zink.

“Dylan has been a huge part of our success this season,” said Ironmen head coach Dan Daikawa.” We traded for him very early in the season and he has continued to score consistently, be offensive and quarterback the powerplay.”

Zink has compiled 15 goals and 17 assists over 50 games with the Ironmen this season. He stands at +14 with 32 points and one game-winning score.

He played in the 2013 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Troy, Michigan last month as a part of the Great Lakes team.

“We are excited as an organization,” added Daikawa. “He has worked extremely hard on and off the ice in his time in Jamestown, and we know he’ll continue that success at the next level.”

Despite the big decision and all of the excitement 

 (Nathan can be reached at

Friday, March 29, 2013

More bad news on the Rockets injury front

Press Release

Kelowna Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton announced on Friday that two more Kelowna Rockets players have been lost to the club indefinitely with long term injuries.

Due to the number of inquiries the Rockets have had about the injuries, the organization is releasing the following details on the nature of injuries.

Veteran defenceman MacKenzie Johnston, 19, suffered a 2nd-degree shoulder separation after being hit in game four on Wednesday in Seattle. He will be sidelined for a minimum of six to eight weeks.

Rookie forward Rourke Chartier is also out indefinitely with an undisclosed upper body injury that will keep him sidelined six to eight weeks.

The two players join Rockets regulars Colton Sissons, Carter Rigby and Mitchell Wheaton, all out with long term injuries.

Forward JT Barnett has also missed games and is listed as day to day.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Force Extend Coach John Marks for Two Seasons

Press Release

 The Fargo Force announced they have extended the contract of head coach John Marks for an additional two seasons.

Marks is in his second USHL season after the leading the Force to a 31-23-6 record in 2011-12 and the team’s fourth consecutive Clark Cup Playoffs appearance.  The Force are currently second place in the Western Conference this season under Marks with a 35-16-7 record.  They are two victories shy of equaling the team record of 37 set in 2009-10.

“I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful to Ace Brandt and the Fargo Force organization to give me the opportunity to continue to do what I love to do,” said Marks.  “Right now, I couldn’t be in a better place as a hockey coach or in my life.  I am very thankful to be surrounded by a tremendous group of people with the coaching staff, the front office and the players.  They say anytime you have success, it’s because you’re surrounded by good people.  I hope we can continue the great tradition that was started from year one with Dean Blais and carry on what we all want to do and that’s to try and win a Clark Cup.”

John Marks began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of North Dakota in 1982 where he helped lead the Sioux to the 1987 NCAA Championship.  He has also had stints as a head coach in the ECHL, the Southern Professional Hockey League, and the International Hockey League.  He was the first coach to lead two different teams to a championship in the ECHL – the Charlotte Checkers in 1995-96 and Greenville Growl in 2001-02.  Marks also captured a championship in the SPHL and was named that league’s coach of the year in 2006-07.

Before coming to Fargo, he was most recently the head coach for the Winkler Flyers of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League during the 2010-11 season where he led the team to a 38-17-7 record.

“We are pleased to have extended John’s contract for an additional two years,” said general manager Jon Kram.  “The team has been successful over the last two seasons with him on the bench, and we look forward to that continued success under John’s leadership.”

Marks had a lengthy playing career as a defenseman.  He played collegiately at the University of North Dakota and was twice named All-American.  He was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round (9th overall) of the 1968 NHL Draft and went on to play 10 seasons with the club.  Over 657 NHL games, he produced 275 points (112g, 163a).


(Nathan can be reached at

Peoria moves onto title game, while Granite City eliminates Flint

Press Release

 The NA3HL Silver Cup Championship picture became a lot clearer after games on Thursday as the Peoria Mustangs punched their ticket to the title game with a win over Cleveland, while Granite City beat Flint to set up a showdown on Friday with North Iowa.

Game #3: Peoria Mustangs 5 vs. Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks 2

The Mustangs dream ride through the NA3HL Silver Cup Championship continued with a 5-2 win over the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks.  The win moved the Mustangs to 2-0 in the event and into the title game as the winners of Pool A.  For the second straight game, the Mustangs rode the hot goaltending of Michael Parda early.  A goal early in the 1st period from Austin Wisely also set the tone.  Cory Kettler then gave the Mustangs a big lift with back-to-back goals to counter a goal from Cleveland’s Nick Balavich to make the score 3-1.  Brendan Murphy scored late in the 2nd period to make it 4-1 for the Mustangs.  Cleveland cut the lead to 4-2 early in the 3rd period on a goal from Mike Palasics, but an empty-net goal from Chance Homerin secured the win for Peoria.  The Mustangs have now won 10 straight game, including all five playoff games.  They will have a day off on Friday before playing in the Championship game on Saturday. Boxscore

Game #4: Granite City Lumberjacks 5 vs. Flint Jr. Generals 2

In their first game of the Silver Cup Championship Tournament, the Granite City Lumberjacks defeated the Flint Jr. Generals, 5-2.  With the loss, Flint fell to 0-2 and were eliminated from the Silver Cup Tournament.  Aaron Storch got the Lumberjacks off on the right note as he scored the opening two goals for Granite City, which came seven minutes apart in the 1st period.  Flint clawed back to within 2-1 with a goal from Edward Osowski in the 2nd period.  However, Storch struck again for a hat-trick with his third consecutive goal for Granite City in the 3rd period to make the score 3-1.  Lucas Debenedet scored for the Lumberjacks midway through the 3rd period to make it 4-1.  Flint’s Nicholas Gnagni scored to make it 4-2, but a late empty-net goal from Zac Sikich secured the 5-2 win.  Granite City, which moved to 1-0, will face North Iowa on Friday for a chance to go to the Championship game for the chance to face Peoria on Saturday. Boxscore

Follow all the Day 2 Silver Cup action on the official website at:

Watch all the games live at FASTHockey

 (Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

The executive of the Estevan Bruins Hockey Club would like to announce it has decided not to renew the contract of head coach and general manager Keith Cassidy. He will no longer handle head coach and GM duties effective immediately.

"We would like to thank Keith for his contributions to the Bruins organization. Keith played a key role in the team's transition to Spectra Place and has been a strong ambassador in the community," said president Jeff Pierson. "However this is a results based business and there is no getting around the fact the past year was a disappointing one. We feel our fans deserve a winning team and we will take all steps necessary to make that happen."

Pierson added that the search for a new head coach and GM will begin immediately.

(Nathan can be reached at

Spruce Kings announce Contract Extension for the General Manager

Press Release

PRINCE GEORGE, BC – The Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) announced today a two-year contract extension of the team’s General Manager, Mike Hawes through the 2014-15 season.

Mike Hawes first assumed the full time role of General Manager in November 2010 after having been the team’s assistant GM since joining the Prince George Spruce Kings for the 2005-06 season. Hawes has proven to be adept at developing the team through the addition of players able to play in the BCHL.

"Our league is ever evolving and growing with the level of talent coming in," said Spruce Kings Board Member, Todd Doherty. "Mike has a great eye for that talent and is always working at making our team better, which is essential for this team playing in the best Junior A league in all of North America."

"Mike's respect in the hockey world is immeasurable," continued Doherty. "Having someone at the helm that can pick up the phone and call coaches and GMs from around the league is important for the growth of the team. Mike also has a good relationship with the NCAA teams and coaches which makes him an asset for the players too."

This contract extension was originally agreed to in January with both sides deciding it was in the best interests of the team to wait until the end of the season before releasing the information.

"Getting this contract extension tells me that the board is happy about the work that is being done here," said Spruce Kings General Manager, Mike Hawes. "When the board is able to show their confidence in me and what the team is doing, it is a definitely a good feeling."

"There's nothing more I want for the city of Prince George and the Spruce Kings than to bring a championship team to the city," continued Hawes. "I think the fans deserve it, the city deserves it and they have been loyal to us. Our fan base is increasing every year, and again this season, which is a positive. I really look forward to working hard and having success here with the Spruce Kings."

(Nathan can be reached at

Roslovic accepts NTDP offer

Press Release

The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets are thrilled to announce that forward Jack Roslovic has accepted an offer from Team USA, USNTDP in Ann Arbor, to play for their U17 team next season.  Jack is a 1997 and been in the program for the past five seasons.  He becomes the first Columbus born Ohio AAA Blue Jackets player to make the USNTDP.  Congratulations Jack!!!

 (Nathan can be reached at

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Press Release

The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) today announced that Tyler Gjurich (photo credit - Shawn Muir/OJHL Images) of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres has been named the recipient of the OJHL Rookie-of-the-Year Award.

After playing five games as an affiliate with the Jr. Sabres in 2009-10, Tyler Gjurich returned to the club after two seasons in the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) as a member of the Springfield Jr. Pics to not only lead Buffalo, but the entire OJHL in scoring during his rookie OJHL season.  He became the first member of the franchise to lead the league in scoring since Jeff Farkas accomplished the feat, leading the Metro Junior 'A' Hockey League in scoring with 112 points for the Niagara Scenic in 1995-96.

Gjurich jumped out to a quick start this season and would continue a dominant offensive performance throughout the 2012-13 season; leading the OJHL with 53 goals, the only player to reach the 50 goal milestone this season, 97 points and 4 shorthanded goals, while finishing second among all players with 9 game-winning goals.  He would fail to record a point in just 11 games this season, while recording multiple points 30 times, including three, five point efforts.  A key member of both Jr. Sabres' special teams units, Gjurich finished seventh in the OJHL with 11 power play goals and ninth with 18 power play assists, to key the league's fourth best unit with a 21.04% success rate.  Counted on defensively as well, he would tally six shorthanded points and help kill off 89.92% of Buffalo's penalties for the top ranked penalty killing unit in the league.

Perhaps more importantly, however; was the fact that the offensive dynamo notched 62 of his 97 points at even strength and his 53 goals represented more than 21% of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 249 goals for this season, which also ranked first overall among all OJHL clubs.  Gjurich's impressive season was instrumental in securing the Buffalo Jr. Sabres the South-West Conference regular season title with a 38-12-5 record for 81 points, the franchise’s best finish since making the jump to the Metro league in 1995-96.

Other highlights of Gjurich’s impressive rookie campaign included being a member of the OJHL West Division All-Stars that competed at the 2012 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge held in Wellington, Ontario, as well as being named an OJHL 1st Team All-Star following the season.  He was named the South-West Conference Gongshow Gear Player-of-the-Month for November, as well as runner-up in December, and confirmed his commitment to join the University of Maine Black Bears next season.

The OJHL Rookie-of-the-Year Award is awarded annually to the player adjudged to be the most proficient in his first year of competition playing in the OJHL throughout the regular season.

Jake Evans of the St. Michael's Buzzers has been named runner-up in the OJHL award balloting to Gjurich.

The 16-year old forward joined the Buzzers full-time this season, finishing third on the club with 32 assists and seventh in overall scoring with 44 points.  Playing significant minutes with the man advantage, Evans would also notch 15 assists on the power play this season.

The OJHL Top Prospect Award and the OJHL Most Valuable Player Award recipients will be announced next week.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Gordy Defiel of the Minnesota Wilderness named SIJHL’s top goaltender for 2012-13

Press Release

 THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Thursday that Gordy Defiel of the Minnesota Wilderness has been named the recipient of the SIJHL’s top goaltender award for the 2012-13 regular season.

He bested fellow nominees Eric Szymczyk of the Dryden Ice Dogs and Chase Hollander of the Minnesota Iron Rangers to earn the accolades.

The native of Stillwater, Minn., who turned 20 in January, had a remarkable campaign for the Wilderness posting a 25-1-2 record while leading all SIJHL netminders in wins (25), goals-against average (1.39), save percentage (.945) and shutouts. (8)

Defiel’s GAA and save mark also set SIJHL single season records in each category.

Of note, his numbers not only paced the SIJHL, but he also led all puckstoppers in the entire 127-team Canadian Junior Hockey League in both average and save percentage while also tying for top spot overall in shutouts.

This marks the third straight season a Wilderness goalkeeper has won the award joining John McLean in 2010-11 and Tanner Milliron in 2011-12.

(Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

The Kingston Frontenacs are announcing the addition of two key positions to their Business Office, in communications and sales roles. Joining the club is Dayna Scott, as Coordinator of Communications and Marketing, and Jordan Quaresma, as Account Executive.

"We are excited with the addition of both Dayna and Jordan to our team," said Justin Chenier, Executive Director of Business Operations. "This has been a very busy season as we've worked hard to build our brand and create excitement for our fans. Dayna's experience will allow us to greatly develop our fan engagement experience. The addition of Jordan will help drive sales in all aspects of our business, from tickets and group sales to corporate sales and sponsorships."

Dayna Scott is a graduate of the Integrated Marketing Communications and Social Media program at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario. She comes to the Kingston Frontenacs from Ontario East Economic Development Commission and the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce, and her experience includes past internships with the Kingston Frontenacs and Niagara Ice Dogs.

Jordan Quaresma is a graduate of the Sports Administration program at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario. He comes to the Kingston Frontenacs after working in corporate sponsorships and digital marketing with the Oshawa Generals.

"We have very ambitious plans to continue marketing our brand over the summer months, building on the excitement of this season and these additions to our team will certainly make us stronger, delivering a bolder product to our customers, both ticket buyers and corporate sponsors," said Chenier

 (Nathan can be reached at

Peoria and North Iowa win on Day 1 at the Silver Cup

Press Release

e #1: Peoria Mustangs 5 vs. St. Louis Jr. Blues 2

It just goes to show anyone that what happens in the regular season often does not translate to success in the playoffs.  Case in point, Peoria’s win in the first game of the Silver Cup over the #1 seeded St. Louis Jr. Blues. The Jr. Blues had gone 8-0 against the Mustangs during the regular season, outscoring them 41-8 in the process.  However, from the start of the game on Wednesday at the Fox Valley Ice Arena, it would be a different story.  That was thanks in large part to Peoria goaltender Michael Parda, who was the overwhelming difference in the game.  Parda was perfect through the first two periods of the game as he allowed Peoria a chance to hang around and ultimately take the lead.  Connor Millard scored in the 1st period to make it 1-0.  In the 2nd period, Peoria added two more goals as Chance Homerin scored to make it 2-0 and then Alexander Turin was the recipient of a nice play by Cory Kettler to one-time a shot past Jr. Blues goaltender Mikhail Broliden for a 3-0 Peoria lead after two periods.  St. Louis came out in the 3rd period on fire.  After a stong penalty kill, Trey Dodd struck for the first St. Louis goal as he fired a slapshot over Parda.  Cody Fedak closed the gap to within 3-2 as he snuck home a loose puck under an outstretched Parda.  However, Peoria stayed tough and got a late power play goal in the 3rd period as Lynden Fields poked home a loose puck.  Cody Lichtenvoort added an empty-net goal for the 5-2 final score. Boxscore

Game #2: North Iowa Bulls 5 vs. Flint Jr. Generals 0

The North Iowa Bulls used a balanced scoring attack in a physical game with the Flint Jr. Generals to post a 5-0 win in the opening game of the Silver Cup for both teams.  North Iowa goaltender Matthew Bartels stopped all 24 shots came his way.  Bryan Broders opened the scoring for the Bulls in the 1st period.  James Hughes added a goal early in the 2nd period to make it 2-0.  That was followed by a power play goal by Patrick Sivets to make it 3-0.  Flint had a chance late iun the 2nd period to try and score as Brandon Anderson was given a five-minute major for a hit from behind on Flint’s Alex Compean.  However, the Jr. Generals could not take advantage, which led to more goals in the 3rd period from the Bulls.  Richie Marenis scored four minutes into the frame to make it 4-0 and Eric Behrend added a late power play goal to make the final scored 5-0.  Jake Johnson finished with two assists for the Bulls and Eric Behrend and James Hughes also had multi-point games as the Bulls won their fourth straight playoff game. Boxscore

Follow all the Day 2 Silver Cup action on the official website at:

Watch all the games live at FASTHockey

 (Nathan can be reached at

NOJHL announces semifinal schedules

Press Release

SUDBURY -- The Northern Ontario Junior League announced Wednesday the schedules for the two upcoming semifinal series.

One match-up will feature the No. 1 North Bay Trappers taking on the No. 4 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners while the No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds will meet the No. 3 Sudbury Nickel Barons in the other.

Action in the Trappers – Gold Miners series will get underway Saturday at North Bay’s Memorial Gardens and features a 7 p.m. face-off.

Game 2 will go Sunday at the same time back in North Bay before they head to the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex in Kirkland Lake April 5-6 for games 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m.

As for action in the Thunderbirds – Nickel Barons series, it begins tomorrow night at Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie at 7:30 p.m.

Game 2 is slated for Saturday at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff and also sees a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.

The Soo will return to Essar Centre for game 3 on April 2 with the two sides returning to the Nickel Barons home venue the following evening, April 3 for game 4.

Each of those contests start at 7:30 p.m.

Both series will be best-of-seven affairs with the two winners meeting for the NOJHL championship.

NOJHL Playoffs: Round 2

Series D
No. 1 North Bay Trappers vs. No. 4 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Best-of-seven series

Game 1: Saturday, March 30 @ North Bay 7 p.m. (Memorial Gardens)
Game 2: Sunday, March 31 @ North Bay 7 p.m. (Memorial Gardens)
Game 3: Friday, April 5 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac)
Game 4: Saturday, April 6 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac)
Game 5*: Monday, April 8 @ North Bay 7 p.m. (Memorial Gardens)
Game 6*: Tuesday, April 9 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac)
Game 7*: Thursday, April 11 @ North Bay 7 p.m. (Memorial Gardens)

* - if necessary

Series E
No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds vs. 3 Sudbury Nickel Barons
Best-of-seven series

Game 1: Thursday, March 28 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 2: Saturday, March 30 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland)
Game 3: Tuesday, April 2 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 4: Wednesday, April 3 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland)
Game 5*: Friday, April 5 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 6*: Monday, April 8 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland)
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 10 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)

* - if necessary

 (Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

The Ontario Junior Hockey League today announced that Jordan Dunin (photo credit - Brian Watts/OJHL Images) of the Newmarket Hurricanes has been named the recipient of the OJHL Scholastic Player-of-the-Year Award and has been selected as the league’s nominee for the annual RBC Junior ‘A’ Scholarship awarded by RBC in conjunction with Hockey Canada.

Along with receiving the OJHL Award, Dunin will receive a $1,000 scholarship from RBC and will be one of 10 finalists (one from each member of the CJHL) in the running for an additional $5,000 national scholarship award that will be presented during the 2013 RBC Cup, National Junior 'A' Championship being held in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

Remarkably, Jordan Dunin played the majority of his minor hockey career as a ‘AAA’ goaltender, from 2004-07, with the York-Simcoe Express program.  Entering his peewee season in 2007-08, the Aurora, Ontario native joined the Aurora Tigers ‘AA’ organization and made the transition to a skater, initially as a defenceman.  By 2008-09, Dunin was a forward and had already returned to the Express to close out his minor hockey career.  Despite a shoulder injury that would limit him to just 11 games during his minor midget season, recording nine points, the up-and-coming forward would be selected by the Erie Otters in the 7th round, 134th overall, of the 2011 OHL Priority Selection.

Converted to a forward just three seasons earlier, Dunin was drafted into the OHL and made his junior hockey debut in 2011-12 with the nearby Newmarket Hurricanes.  With a December birthday, the 15-year old started the season with promise, notching two goals and two assists in eight games played before a concussion would sideline him in early November, forcing the youngster to miss the remainder of the season, as well as three months of school, due to the severity of the injury.  Exhibiting extraordinary perseverance in overcoming the adversity, Dunin returned this season after missing all of September and would play in 44 of the Hurricanes 55 games while chipping-in offensively with 10 goals, fifth best on the club, and 16 points.

Despite his time spent dedicated to the game of hockey, even more impressive is Dunin's list of accomplishments in the classroom.  Attending the prestigious St. Andrew's College in Aurora, the 17-year old is poised to graduate this year as an Ontario Scholar, currently maintaining a 92% average.  Not only is he a member of the Honour Roll for his academic achievements, but he is also on the Headmaster's Honour Roll for having 85% or higher in all courses being taken, and has been such recognized for the past two years.

Dunin continues to accomplish all of this while recovering from the extreme effects of post-concussion syndrome.  After missing three months of school, he would return more determined than ever and was able to finish grade 11 with his classmates, excelling at summer courses to keep pace.  Although undecided, Dunin has already been offered early admission to the Queen's University Commerce program with an academic scholarship.

If not busy enough between his academic and hockey careers, Dunin has spent countless hours volunteering his services in the community.  Currently the Director of Sponsorship for the St. Andrew's College SpringSmash, he has helped raise thousands of dollars for the local Children's Aid Society and last year he was one of the school's top fundraisers for the event.  Along with assisting his former Express organization with peewee practices for the past three years, Dunin also spends time working with a family foundation that supports the Children's Aid Society, Salvation Army, Kerry's Place and Yellow Brick House with the Holiday Hero Program.

The OJHL Scholastic Player-of-the-Year Award is awarded annually to the player adjudged to best combine success on the ice with his club, along with success in school

Evan Jasper of the Cobourg Cougars is the runner-up in the OJHL award selection to Dunin.

The now 21-year old native of Whitby, Ontario was the captain of the Cougars this past year, completing his fourth season in the OJHL.  Taking on numerous volunteer initiatives throughout the season, both for the team and within the community, Jasper previously graduated high school on the Honour Roll and attended Trent University this season.  He will be attending Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut beginning in the fall.

The OJHL Rookie-of-the-Year Award recipient will be announced later this week.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

OHL Announces Disciplinary Action

Press Release

Toronto, ON - The Ontario Hockey League today announced the results of the review of an incident which took place in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series between the Barrie Colts Hockey Club and the visiting Kingston Frontenacs Hockey Club on Saturday March 23, 2013.

The incident reviewed was a major penalty and game misconduct for checking to the head by player Ryan O’Connor of the Barrie Colts Hockey Club resulting in an injury to player Spencer Watson of the Kingston Frontenacs Hockey Club.  Based on a review by the league, player Ryan O’Connor shall be suspended for a total of 10 games.

 (Nathan can be reached at

NTDP Announces First Seven Commitments for 2013-14 Season

Press Release

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Forwards Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.), Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.), Luke Kirwan (DeWitt, N.Y.), Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) and Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.), along with defensemen Nicholas Boka (Plymouth, Mich.) and Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) will join USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program for the 2013-14 season it was announced today. The players, all from the 1997 birth year, will compete as members of the U.S. National Under-17 Team.

Fischer averaged just over a point per game for the Chicago Mission Midget Minor program in 2012-13. He recorded 26 points (12-14) in 25 contests and is verbally committed to play college hockey for the University of Notre Dame.

Greenway skated for Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault, Minn. during the 2012-13 season and amassed 60 points (22-38) in 43 games played.

Kirwan totaled 16 points (11-5) in 34 regular-season games with the Islanders Hockey Club of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. He also tallied three goals and registered one assist in four playoff games.

Tkachuk skated with the St. Louis Blues Midget Minor program in 2012-13. He amassed 82 points (25-57) in 41 regular-season games. Tkachuk, who is verbally committed to play college hockey at the University of Notre Dame, also totaled 13 points (4-9) in five playoff games.

Warren recently completed the 2012-13 season for the Compuware Midget Minor (Mich.) program. He had 51 points (20-31) in 54 games played. He is verbally committed to play college hockey at the University of Michigan.

Boka skated in 50 games for the Compuware Midget Minor (Mich.) program and totaled 30 points (12-18) in 2012-13.

Werenski skated in 28 games for the Little Caesars Midget Major program in 2012-13. He scored seven goals and added 14 assists as part of the High Performance Hockey League.

NOTES: The 2013-14 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 2014 World Under-17 Challenge in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia … Matthew Tkachuk is the son of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and four-time Olympian (1992, 1998, 2002, 2006), Keith Tkachuk, who spent 19 seasons in the National Hockey League.

 (Nathan can be reached at

NA3HL Silver Cup Championship Tournament field is set

Press Release

After an exciting weekend of playoff hockey, the field is set for the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Silver Cup Championship Tournament.  The NA3HL Silver Cup Championship will feature six teams and be played at the Fox Valley Ice Arena, Geneva, Illinois, from March 27-30. 

The six teams that have won their Division Semi-Finals series and advanced to the Silver Cup are: St. Louis Jr. Blues, North Iowa Bulls, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks, Granite City Lumberjacks, Flint Jr. Generals and the Peoria Mustangs.  St. Louis, Granite City and Flint all appeared in the tournament last season with Granite City winning the 2012 Silver Cup Championship.

All event information including: schedule, ticket information, scouting information, venue, hotels, car rentals and more can be found on the NA3HL Silver Cup website at:

For those that can’t make it to the event, all Silver Cup Tournament games will be broadcast live on FASTHockey.

The teams will be placed in two, three-team pools. Teams will be seeded according to their finish in the NA3HL regular season standings. A round-robin format will be used, with the teams playing the other two teams within their pool. The top team in each pool after round robin competition will advance on to play for the Championship. The bottom four teams at the conclusion of round robin play will be eliminated from the tournament. In the event of a tie after round-robin play, a tiebreaking procedure adopted in the rules and regulations shall be used to break the tie.

Pool A: #1 St. Louis Jr. Blues, #3 Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks, #6 Peoria Mustangs

Pool B: #2 North Iowa Bulls, #4 Granite City Lumberjacks, #5 Flint Jr. Generals

2013 Silver Cup Schedule

Wed, March 27: St. Louis vs. Peoria, 5:00pm; North Iowa vs. Flint, 8:00pm

Thu, March 28: Cleveland vs. Peoria, 2:00pm; Granite City vs. Flint, 5:00pm

Fri, March 29: St. Louis vs. Cleveland, 3:00pm; North Iowa vs. Granite City, 6:00pm

Sat, March 30: Championship, Pool A winner vs. Pool B winner. 1:00pm

(Nathan can be reached at

Fostvelt To Be A RIT Tiger Next Season

Press Release

Dustin Fostvelt has committed to the Rochester Institute of Technology to play for the Tigers in the upcoming 2013-2014 season.  The 20 year old, 3rd year defenseman has had an impressive career with the Saints. In his time with the Saints Dustin has produced 75 points in 170 career regular season games while posting 136 penalty minutes. Fostvelt is a proven playoff performer adding 17 points in 30 career playoff games and that doesn't include his steady contributions in the defensive zone. Dustin was a part of the All Rookie team in his first season and this year was a nominee for the Defenseman of the Year award. He also helped the Saints earn AJHL Championships in 2010 and 2011.  The Saints are pleased to know Dustin will be able to continue his hockey career at the Division 1 level while earning a top notch education.

"I am very excited to be a part of the RIT organization next year," says Fostvelt.  It has always been my goal to get a Division 1 scholarship and I just couldn't be happier with my decision to be a Tiger.  I would like to thank my friends, family and past coaches for all of their support in getting me to the NCAA."

"Dustin is an elite puck moving defenseman that is able to close defensively very quickly due to his great skating ability," says Saints Head Coach and General Manager Jason McKee.  "Dustin has played in all key situations for us this season and has had a breakout year.  Dustin has worked very hard in achieving his goal of acquiring a post secondary scholarship and the Saints organization is extremely proud that he will be the 5th member of this year's roster that has committed to playing Division 1 hockey this year."

 (Nathan can be reached at

MJHL Welcomes North Jersey Avalance Franchise

Press Release

HAWTHORNE, NJ – The Metropolitan Junior Hockey League is pleased to announce the addition of the North Jersey Avalanche to the league and that the franchise will begin regular season play with the 2013-2014 season.  The longstanding member of the AMHL was approved as a member at the Mid-Winter Meeting and received unanimous approval from USA Hockey’s Junior Council.  General Manager Glenn Hefferan will head the organization and his first act was to put together a coaching staff that would be able to develop players and provide quality instruction, a trademark of the Avalanche youth organization.

Hefferan reached out to his many contacts and landed Head Coach Bill McCreary.  McCreary, a Mendham, New Jersey resident, has experience paying for the NAHL, Providence University (Hockey East) and seven years of professional experience.  In addition to his playing career, McCreary has coached in the SPHL along with the East Coasts Selects program.  Assistant Coaches Corey Deak, Stephen Ritter and Glenn Carlough along with Goaltending Coach Dan Meyers will join McCreary on the bench for the inaugural season.

“For nearly fifty years, the MJHL and its member teams, continues to do the best job at providing elite players with an avenue to develop their skills in order to advance to higher levels of hockey,” said Hefferan.  “With league alumni on the rosters of the Major Junior, the NAHL, the USHL, all across the NCAA and onto the NHL, that doesn’t happen by accident.”

“The North Jersey Avalanche are proud to be competing in the MJHL,” added McCreary.  “The longest operating junior hockey league in the country, the MJHL is a necessary stepping stone for today’s athletes, and is designed to truly prepare athletes for the next level.”

In addition to the coaching staff being put in place for the 2013-2014 season, the Avalanche also announced their first open Junior tryout, which will be held at the Ice House in Hackensack, New Jersey on April 9th, 10th and 11th from 7:30 – 9:00pm.

“When you stay focused on the important issues like quality of coaching, a high amount of on and off ice training, you can’t go wrong,” said Hefferan.  “The Avalanche plan to provide this and more to those players that our part of our franchise year in and year out.  What’s important for players that are serious about Junior hockey is that the MJHL, and all of its member teams, represent stability and both the league, and the Avalanche organization, are in lockstep as to what is truly important and that is the development and advancement of our players.”

The current plan is for the Ice House facility to undergo a few renovations, and the Junior players will have full access to the building’s state-of-the-art workout facility in addition to a modern, private locker room, dedicated to just the junior program.

“The Avalanche name has a reputation around the country for developing top players in a top facility,” shared McCreary.  “We are receiving interest from players all over the United States from players who want to be a part of our program because they are serious about pursuing a hockey career.”

With much uncertainty surrounding the Tier III Junior Hockey landscape, specifically in the Northeast, Hefferan hopes that the Avalanche, and the MJHL, can be a part of the solution and not part of the still-evolving drama.  “Thankfully, the Avalanche, and the MJHL, aren’t necessarily caught up in the politicking we currently see unfolding in Junior hockey,” he said.  “There seems to be too much focus on power, money, lawyers and countless other things that have nothing to good player development and promotion, which at the end of the day, is what we are here for.”

For more information on the North Jersey Junior Avalanche, including their tryout forms and application, you may log onto their website, 

(Nathan can be reached at

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Press Release

HERSHEY, Pa.– The HERSHEY BEARS announced today that the club has signed forward Chandler Stephenson and defenseman Michal Cajkovsky to amateur tryout agreements.  The announcements were made by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.

Stephenson, 18, recently completed his third season of junior hockey with the Regina Pats (WHL), where he finished third on the squad in assists (31) and points (45) and fourth in goals (14) in 46 games played.  The 5-11, 191-pound native of Saskatoon, SK has totaled 106 points (43 goals, 63 assists) in 161 career games over three years with the Pats.

Stephenson was selected by the Washington Capitals in the third round (77th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry draft, and participated in the Capitals’ 2012 summer development camp.

Cajkovsky, 20, finished his third junior season and second with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s.  In 66 games, Cajkovsky’s 10 goals, 24 assists and 34 points all ranked second among Ottawa defensemen.

The 6’3, 208-pound native of Bratislava, Slovakia recorded 55 points (13 goals, 42 assists) and 209 penalty minutes over two seasons with Ottawa, and added 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 67 games with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs in 2010-11.

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Thunderbirds’ Casola named NOJHL’s best overall team player award winner

Press Release

SUDBURY -- The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday that Darcy Casola of the Soo Thunderbirds has been named the 2012-13 recipient of NOJHL’s best overall team player award.

The 20-year-old Sault Ste. Marie product led his hometown team in offensive production throughout the course of the regular season with 66 points after competing in all 48 games his club played and finishing up with 28 goals and 38 assists.

Casola’s efforts allowed him to also end up third in league scoring with his goal total tying him for third best overall.

His nine power play tallies knotted him for fourth best in the NOJHL and he also shared second spot in league shorthanded markers with three.

Casola’s offensive output marked a 46-point improvement from his efforts on last year’s Sault Ste. Marie squad that went on to capture both the NOJHL and Dudley-Hewitt Cup titles.

He becomes the fourth player from the Thunderbirds to capture the award in its 11-year history.

He joins Micky Sartoretto (2011-12), Jerry Petingalo (2009-10) and Kyle Jones (2004-05) as previous Soo skaters to garner the accolades.

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Lakers' Spicer named SIJHL's most improved player

Press Release

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – For his efforts during the course of the 2012-13 regular season, the Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday that, Colton Spicer of the Fort Frances Lakers has been named the SIJHL’s most improved player award recipient.

The 18-year-old Fort Frances native earned the honour over fellow nominees Chris Sitko of the Dryden Ice Dogs and Conrad Sampair of the Minnesota Wilderness in voting done by each of the SIJHL’s member clubs.

In regular season competition Spicer registered 56 points on 34 goals and 22 assists, which marked a 36-point improvement from a year ago.

His 2012-13 regular season totals had him second on the Lakers in offensive production as well as tied for seventh overall in the league.

Spicer also raised his goal total by 22 on the campaign as well.

Furthermore he finished knotted for sixth in the SIJHL in power play tallies with seven and shared fourth in game-winning markers with four.

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Press Release

Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes announced today the club has relieved General Manager and Head Coach Rich Preston of his duties effective immediately.

Last July, the Hurricanes Board of Directors unanimously agreed to exercise the 2013-2014 season option for Preston; however Board President Brian McNaughton says it was time to move in a new direction. “Rich has done what we have asked him by rebuilding the team through the draft and we appreciate all the work he has done. We are; however, not satisfied with the direction we headed in the last 30 games of the season and believe that making a change today is in the best interest of the franchise.”

Preston did start building the team by selecting players including Sam McKechnie, Adam Henry, Macoy Erkamps, Reid Duke and Ryan Pilon however during his four year tenure with the club, Preston failed to guide the Hurricanes to the playoffs finishing with a record of 100-156-13-19.

WHL Season:              Record:                       Conference Standing:

2009-2010                   20-44-5-3 (48 pts.)      11th in East

2010-2011                   23-36-5-8 (59 pts.)      9th in East

2011-2012                   29-42-0-1 (59 pts.)      11th in East

2012-2013                   28-34-3-7 (66 pts.)      9th in East

In relieving Preston of his duties, the club also announced Assistant General Manager, Brad Robson has been promoted to the position of General Manager. Robson has been with the club since 2007 and brings vast experience and knowledge to the club.

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Press Release

The Western Hockey League announced today that forward Cody Sylvester of the Calgary Hitmen has been named the HUSKY WHL Player of the Month for March.

The 20-year-old product of Vernon, B.C. scored eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points while posting a +10 rating in eight games to lead all WHL players in scoring in the month of March while helping the Hitmen to a 6-3-0 record.  Sylvester scored in six of eight games he played during the month while putting up multiple points in five of eight games, including a seven-point performance versus Saskatoon on March 5th.  He was named the game’s 1st Star in three of his eight appearances in March.

Sylvester finished the 2012-13 WHL regular season with a career high 41 goals and 90 points in 68 games for the Hitmen, putting him in 10th place in WHL scoring while helping the Hitmen to a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference.  Sylvester was selected to the 2013 WHL Eastern Conference Second All-Star team for his excellent season.

Selected by the Hitmen in the eighth round, 168th overall, in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft, Sylvester has played 315 career regular-season games over five seasons in Calgary, amassing 229 points.  The Eastern Conference finalist for 2013 WHL Humanitarian of the Year, Sylvester also captured a WHL championship with the Hitmen in 2010.

His accomplishments make Cody Sylvester a deserving choice as the HUSKY WHL Player of the Month for March. 

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Press Release

The Western Hockey League announced today that Cole Cheveldave, of the Kamloops Blazers, has been named the VAUGHN WHL Goaltender of the Month for March.

The 19-year-old product of Calgary, AB, posted a 5-2-0 record with two shutouts through seven appearances in the month of March, allowing just 10 goals on 182 shots for a 1.43 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage in that span.  Cheveldave held opposition to two or fewer goals in each of his five wins during March, including shutouts versus B.C. Division rivals Kelowna and Victoria. His efforts earned him 3rd Star honors in three of his seven appearances in March.

Cheveldave finished the 2012-13 WHL regular-season ranked fifth among WHL netminders with a 2.38 goals-against average and tied for third with 36 victories.  The 5’10”, 173-lb netminder is in his second season in the WHL with the Blazers, and has posted a 70-27-3-4 record with 10 shutouts in 111 regular-season contests.

His accomplishments make Cole Cheveldave a deserving choice as the VAUGHN WHL Goaltender of the Month for March

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Tigers’ Cam Lanigan Named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Cam Lanigan of the Medicine Hat Tigers is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the opening week of the CHL Playoffs ending March 24 after posting a 2-0 record with one shutout and a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .988.

Lanigan claims the award for the second time this season after backstopping the seventh seed Tigers to a 2-0 series lead in the WHL’s Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals against the Saskatoon Blades last week.  He stopped 42 shots in each of the first two road games of the series and also earned first star honours in both contests.  The Tigers grabbed a 4-1 victory over the Blades in Game 1 Thursday night before Lanigan picked up his first career post-season shutout in the 3-0 victory in Game 2 on Friday.

Lanigan, a 20-year-old from Calgary, AB, is playing in his fifth career WHL season.  Acquired from the Portland Winterhawks early this season, Lanigan posted a 20-18-1-1 record for the Tigers including three shutouts with a goals-against-average of 3.00 and save percentage of .910.

Also considered for the award this week was Anaheim Ducks prospect John Gibson of the Kitchener Rangers who went 2-0 with a shutout win in the first two games of the OHL Western Conference Quarter-Finals against the Guelph Storm posting a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .977.  In the QMJHL, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Brandon Whitney of the Victoriaville Tigres went 1-0-1-0 including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.31 and save percentage of .968 in two games against the Moncton Wildcats in first round playoff action.

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Mooseheads’ Martin Frk Named CHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward Martin Frk of the Halifax Mooseheads is the CHL Player of the Week for the opening week of the CHL Playoffs ending March 24 after scoring five goals and three assists for eight points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-4.

Frk exploded for all eight of his points in Game 1 of the top ranked Mooseheads’ First Round QMJHL Playoff Series against the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday night.  With five goals including a natural hat-trick in a span of 7:50 during the second period, Frk also added three assists and was named first star of the 11-1 victory.  The Mooseheads also edged the Sea Dogs by a 2-1 score on Saturday night to grab a 2-0 series lead.

Frk, a 19-year-old native of the Czech Republic is playing in his third QMJHL season with the Mooseheads.  Selected in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, Frk recorded a career high 35 goals and 49 assists for 84 points in 56 games.

Also considered for the award this week was Stephane Legault of the Edmonton Oil Kings who scored three goals and five assists for eight points in two games against the Kootenay Ice in WHL first round playoff action.  In the OHL, Scott Laughton of the Oshawa Generals scored three goals and three assists for six points in two wins against the Niagara IceDogs in their first round series. 

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BRANDON WHEAT KINGS: Reaching Out To The Community

Press Release

 Brandon, Manitoba – The Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings are pleased to announce that close to $6,000 was raised in two Community Outreach programs during the 2012-13 regular season.

In addition to generating over $4,700 in this year’s Westman Dreams for Kids Campaign, Big Brothers and Sisters of Brandon will soon be receiving a cheque from ScotiaMcLeod as a result of this year’s Saves for Kids Program.

The Wheat Kings scored 189 goals this past season, helping to raise money and profile for the Westman Dreams for Kids Foundation, which was formed in 1991 to help make dreams come true for western Manitoba children suffering from life threatening diseases.

"Goals for Kids" was established the following year and has raised over $300,000 since that time.

As in past years, several local businesses served as corporate sponsors this year. Each time, the Wheat Kings scored a goal or Brandon recorded a shutout, these sponsors would donate at least $25 to the Foundation.

The Westman Dreams for Kids Foundation is a non-profit, local registered organization dedicated to granting dreams to seriously ill children throughout western Manitoba.

Among the local businesses participating in this year's program were Crocus Credit Union, C & C Construction, Brandon Source for Sports, Paterson Patterson Wyman and Abel, Morningstar Metal, EMCO Waterworks, Dr. Brian Kiliwnik, Precision Toyota, Roy Johnston and Co., J & G Homes, Forbidden Flavours, Wheat City Roofing, Mobile One Marine, Total Eye Care, Advance Auto Body, Jason Kreiser of the Keystone Centre, Al Rosendaal of Investors Group and NAPA.

Roblin’s Jayce Hawryluk, the Wheat Kings MNP Rookie of the Year, led the team with eighteen goals this season, followed by Eric Roy and Tim McGauley with 17 each and current Spokane Chiefs left-winger Alessio Bertaggia with sixteen. The Swiss sniper was leading the club in scoring when he was traded to the Western Conference in January.

As Canada’s leading child and youth mentoring charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters facilitates life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their potential, both as individuals and citizens.The Brandon Big Brothers agency was incorporated as a charitable organization in 1972, with a more representative amalgamation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Brandon occurring in 1981.Big Brothers and Sisters of Brandon is an independent agency that is governed by a board of directors.

In addition to this year’s Goals and Saves for Kids campaigns, the hockey club partnered with PhysioFirst to help raise money for several local charities through their Saturday night Chuck-a-Puck events. Among the many charities to benefit this year were the Brandon Kidney Foundation, Food for Thought, KidSport, Funds for Furry Friends, the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex, Sea Cadets, Manitoba Special Olympics and Waves of Hope Brandon.

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USHL Youth Challenge Series Part of 2013-14 Event Schedule

Press Release

  The United States Hockey League, as part of its continuing effort to expand the League’s brand and accessibility to the best players in North America, will significantly increase its showcase efforts for top North American youth players this year.

During the 2013-14 season, the League’s Player Development group will partner with a number of its Member Clubs to present top-quality youth hockey tournaments, with the USHL Clubs as hosts and scheduled in concert with weekend USHL games.  These new events join the USHL’s increasingly popular “Young Guns” showcase series, launched last year in San Jose with the cooperation of the San Jose Sharks and again set for Labor Day weekend, and continuing for a third season in Philadelphia as a partnership with Team Comcast and the Philadelphia Flyers (date still pending).  The League has also announced a major new showcase as part of the first USHL Atlantic Challenge, scheduled for the second weekend in September at new sites in New Jersey and Long Island.

Taken together, the League will recognize this youth-driven initiative as the USHL Youth Challenge Series.  All of the events in the Youth Challenge Series – the Young Guns tournaments, the Atlantic Challenge showcase, and the USHL Club-based open-invitation events – will offer top-level competition for youth teams at multiple age levels and access to top coaches and scouts.  Just as important, the Atlantic Challenge and the Club showcases will give all participating players a “nose-to-the-glass” opportunity to watch USHL games and be exposed to the on- and off-ice elements of elite junior hockey.

“There is no better way to promote the USHL experience to the best youth players in North America than to give them the chance to see the USHL in action,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince.  “It is a cooperative commitment by this office and our Member Clubs to expose the best bantam and midget players in the country to see their future – to show them just how good they can be, and why the education-based American development model delivers the goods like no other.  As USA Hockey’s flagship league, we need to not only be the best on the ice, but teachers of how to get there.  That’s what this is about.”

This season’s edition of the USHL Youth Challenge Series will begin again in San Jose, California as the San Jose Sharks organization enters its second year of a partnership with the USHL to host the Sharks’ Western Shootout – the tenth anniversary of one of the Northwest’s top showcase events, traditionally held on Labor Day Weekend.

The next weekend, September 6th through the 8th, marks the launch of USHL Atlantic Challenge, a combination USHL preseason tournament and youth showcase.  Held in East Meadow, New York and Hackensack, New Jersey, six USHL teams will compete in major preseason competition, while some of the region’s top under-14, under-16, and under-18 teams meet in a tournament competition wrapped around the USHL games.

USHL Clubs hosting USHL Youth Challenge events this year to date include the Indiana Ice, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, and Tri-City Storm.  All three organizations operate major youth programs (the Indiana Junior Ice, Rocky Mountain RoughRiders, and Las Vegas Storm, respectively), and are HPHL affiliate organizations with a full schedule of competition against other top youth teams across the country.

The Indiana Ice launch the Club-based competition this year with their “Bigfoot Hockey Showcase,” which will run parallel to this year’s USHL Fall Classic East in Indianapolis from September 13-15th.  Participating youth players will have the opportunity to watch preseason games featuring all eight USHL Eastern Conference teams, in the final action prior to the launch of the 2013-14 USHL regular season.

Challenge Series events hosted by the RoughRiders and Storm are currently in planning and will be announced after the USHL’s 2013-14 regular season schedule is completed to insure great matchups for tournament participants.  Other USHL Member Clubs may participate as well in the expanding series.

 (Nathan can be reached at

North Bay’s Brandon Janke named NOJHL’s most gentlemanly player

Press Release

SUDBURY -- The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Monday that Brandon Janke of the North Bay Trappers has been named the 2012-13 recipient of the Onaping Falls Huskies Award, which is presented annually to the NOJHL’s most gentlemanly player.

In 46 games during the course of the regular season the 19-year-old Huntsville native only accumulated 20 minutes in penalties, including just four minutes since Nov. 18.

His penalty minute totals were also the second lowest among the top 15 point producers in the entire NOJHL.

Janke was also productive on the ice scoring 14 times and adding 28 assists for 42 points finishing fourth in Trappers’ offensive numbers as well as tied for 15th in the league.

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NOJHL coach of the year goes to Kirkland Lake’s Marc Lafleur

Press Release

SUDBURY – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday that Marc Lafleur of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners has been named the 2012-13 recipient of the Mirl ‘Red’ McCarthy Memorial Trophy, emblematic of the NOJHL’s coach of the year.

In his first campaign at the helm behind the Gold Miners bench, he led Kirkland Lake to a more than respectable 25-18-2-3 record along with a fourth place finish in the regular season standings. His disciplined club also boasted a league-low 612 penalty minutes.

Lafleur was also earlier named a NOJHL first team all-star for his effort in guiding his club in their first full season in the league as the Gold Miners.

The 37-year-old Hearst product joined Kirkland Lake after spending the last two years as an assistant coach with Rouyn-Noranda of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

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Press Release

Jeremy Johnson, Yorkton Terriers
1992 F Jeremy Johnson (Yorkton SK) opened up the Sherwood Division final with a hat trick performance as he led the Terriers to a 3-1 win over Melville in game one and an, eventual, 2-0 series lead in the best of seven.  Two of Johnson’s goals came on great individual efforts as he undressed defensemen and then the third was from a real sharp angle late in the third period that was the nail in the coffin for game one.

Logan Sproule, Humboldt Broncos
1993 D Logan Sproule (Saskatoon SK) is the anchor of the Humboldt Bronco defense and may very well be the SJHL’s best all around blueliner when you look at the total package of his game.  Sproule picked up a goal in game one’s overtime victory over Flin Flon in the North Division final and then added an assist in a game two win as well.  Sproule was, especially, good defensively on Saturday night when he helped limit the Bombers to under 30 shots despite Flin Flon getting six powerplays, two of which were 5-on-3 man advantages.

Zach Simpson, Melville Millionaires
1993 D Zach Simpson (Parker CO) is playing a key role for the Melville Millionaires as they try to advance to the Canalta Cup finals with a defense built around a cast that is short on superstars.  In fact, with number one man Brennan Ritchie injured early in the Yorkton series, it was Simpson who got the nod to eat up most of Ritchie’s ice time.

Devin Buffalo, Flin Flon Bombers
1993 G Devin Buffalo (Wetaskiwin AB) didn’t win either of his starts last week as the Flin Flon Bombers fell behind 0-2 against the Humboldt Broncos; but Buffalo was the reason his teammates were able to get into double overtime in game one and then he kept the Broncos at bay in game two and Flin Flon came within a single goal again of stealing a win.  Buffalo had numerous saves both nights that would make any highlight reel.

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Steinbach Pistons’ Rous Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Kyle Rous of the Steinbach Pistons has been named the Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Player of the Week, ending March 24.

Rous, who hails from Winnipeg, has been a major factor in the Pistons’ playoff success. The 20-year-old defenceman recorded six points (0-6) in four games for the Pistons who are in the Addison Division final against Winnipeg Blues.

The runners up are 20 year old goaltender Jeremy Pominville of the Dauphin Kings and 20 year old forward Richard Olson of the Steinbach Pistons.

 (Nathan can be reached at

'Dogs netminder Deo a workhorse on way to Gongshow POW

Press Release

 Alberni Valley Bulldogs goalie Jay Deo has been named the Gongshow BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 24, the league announced Monday.

Deo posted four wins in helping Alberni Valley to come back and defeat Nanaimo in the Island semifinals and get a split of their first two games against Victoria.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound netminder stopped 164 of the 171 shots he faced in five games including a 39-save effort in Game 4 against Nanaimo. Deo also posted his second shutout of the season, first of the playoffs, in a Game 2 victory against Victoria.

The Langley, B.C. native earned three 1st Star nods in the five games plus one 3rd Star honour while registering a .959 save percentage and 1.41 goals-against average.

Honourable mentions this week:

Surrey Eagles F Trevor Cameron (5G 1A, 1st Star, FortisBC Energy Player)

Alberni Valley Bulldogs D Chase Van Allen (2G 3A, GWG, 2nd Star, 3rd Star)

West Kelowna Warriors F Max French (3G 1A, hat trick, GWG, 1st Star)

Surrey Eagles F Brady Shaw (3G 4A, two GWGs, two 3rd Stars, FortisBC Energy Player)

Victoria Grizzlies G Brady Rouleau (3W, .929 sv%, 1.72 GAA, 2nd Star)

 (Nathan can be reached at


Press Release

Newmarket Hurricanes rookie defenceman Sean Walker (photo credit - Graeme Reid/OJHL Images) has confirmed his commitment to join the Bowling Green State University Falcons beginning with the 2013-14 WCHA season.

The Keswick, Ontario native, who played for the York-Simcoe Express in 2010-11, would play five games as an affiliate with the Hurricanes last season, notching three assists, while spending the majority of the year with the Georgina Ice Junior 'C' club.  Walker joined Newmarket fulltime this season and has helped stabilize the back-end, leading all rearguards in scoring with 24 points in 53 gams played during the regular season, while also playing four games for the OJHL North Division All-Stars at the 2012 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge held in Wellington, Ontario.  Walker has continued his stellar play through two rounds of the playoffs, notching three assists thus far as the 'Canes enter the North-East Conference Championship.

Congratulations to Sean and best of luck as he looks to capture an OJHL title to close out his junior career!

 (Nathan can be reached at