Friday, January 31, 2014

Rideout commits to Mavericks

Press Release

POWELL RIVER, BC -- The Powell River Kings are proud to announce that 1994-born defenceman Brian Rideout has committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks for the 2014/2015 season.

Rideout, in his 2nd year with the Kings made the decision earlier this week, seeing an excellent opportunity for him to step in and contribute during his freshman season. “They need some players right now, they’re short on the blue line so it’s nice to go in somewhere I’m expected to play and work for a spot, and not just be a guy on the depth chart” says Rideout. “Everyone wants to play, especially if you’re getting a chance to go to school and play, you want to actually be in the line-up and work for your spot night in and night out.”

He adds that a decision on his college future has been a tough one to balance with playing. “It’s kind of something that came up a little before Christmas, and you try not to think about it while you’re playing. Over the weekend, we were short and I was able to get out of my mind and then things fell in place on Monday.”

In 44 games to date this season, Rideout has 4 goals and 19 assists, and leads all Kings defencemen in scoring. For Kings Head Coach and General Manager Kent Lewis, Rideout’s decision is a nice reward for a player who has developed well in Powell River. “We’re really happy for Brian and his decision to go to Nebraska-Omaha next season” says Lewis. “He’s come in and especially this year, logged a lot of big minutes for us in a lot of different situations.”

Rideout will be the 3rd BCHL player on the Mavericks roster, joining former Penticton Vees forward James Polk and Prince George Spruce Kings goaltender Kirk Thompson. Rideout knows that the quick turn-around between Junior and College hockey will be a big test for him. “Everything seems like it’ll happen so fast in the next couple of months, but I just need to keep working on the little things, not lose focus and not get content with anything.”

Off the ice, Rideout has his sights set on one particular program at UNO. “They offer a really good Construction Management major, so that’s something that’s got my interest, so hopefully my courses line up with that” says Rideout.

The University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks play in the NCAA’s National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), which is home former Kings defenceman Matt Joyaux (Miami-Ohio) and in 2015/2016 Jarid Lukosevicius (Denver).

(Nathan can be reached at

Express's Rockwood, BCHL's leading assist getter, heading to Wisconsin

Press Release

After setting up teammates all season, Coquitlam Express forward Adam Rockwood has set himself up for an NCAA future by committing to the University of Wisconsin.

The hometown Coquitlam product leads the BCHL with 49 assists on the season and will head to college for the coming season.

Rockwood's 60 points put him fourth overall in league scoring.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound playmaker is the eighth Express player to accept a scholarship. He will join current rival Matt Ustaski of the Langley Rivermen with the Badgers next season.

Wisconsin currently has  on their roster in forwards Mark Zengerle, Jedd Soleway and Morgan Zulinick and goalie Joel Rumpel.

The Badgers compete in the newly created Big 10 conference which includes Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Minnesota.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Saints Defenseman Makes College Commitment

Press Release

 The Dubuque Fighting Saints announced that defenseman and team captain Alexx Privitera has committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of Vermont beginning next season.

Privitera has appeared in all but one of the 35 games for the Saints this season and is tied for first on the team with 27 points (6g, 21a).  His point total is fourth amongst USHL defensemen and he is third in that group with 21 assists.  The Old Tappan, New Jersey native has been a force on the power play this season as his 12 assists on the man-advantage are tied for third among all USHL players.

It is the third USHL season for Privitera.  He first played in the League with Team USA during the 2009-10 season before joining the Muskegon Lumberjacks for their inaugural campaign in 2010-11.  Over his USHL career, he has recorded 67 points (19g, 48a) and 194 penalty minutes over 125 regular season games.

Privitera also helped the Saints capture the bronze medal this past August at the 2013 Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia.  He was named the best defenseman of the tournament, scoring six points (4g, 2a) over five contests, including a hat trick in the bronze medal game.

He joins his young brother and Saints teammate, Jarrid Privitera, who committed to the University of Vermont this week.  Teammate Robby Darrar will also attend the school along with three other current USHL players – Drew Best (Green Bay Gamblers), Kevin Irwin (Green Bay Gamblers), and Haralds Egle (Muskegon Lumberjacks).

The University of Vermont is a member of Hockey East and has 10 USHL alumni on the Catamounts roster this season; Mario Puskarich (Tri-City/Waterloo), Michael Paliotta (Team USA), Jake Fallon (Indiana Ice), Connor Brickley (Des Moines Buccaneers), H.T. Lenz (Des Moines Buccaneers), Colin Markison (Omaha Lancers), Matt White (Des Moines Buccaneers), Thomas Forgione (Sioux Falls/Cedar Rapids), Nick Luukko (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and Anthony DeCenzo (Tri-City Storm).

Additionally, Vermont assistant coaches Kevin Patrick (Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2010-12) and Kyle Wallack (Indiana Ice, 2011-12) were both head coaches in the USHL.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Esmark 18U forward Alavi signs NAHL tende

Press Release

The Esmark Stars of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U forward Adam Alavi has signed an NAHL tender agreement with the Soo Eagles. The Eagles compete in the NAHL’s North Division.
Alavi, 17, was the leading scorer on this year’s Esmark Stars 18U squad. In 24 games played during the NAPHL regular season, Alavi (5’10/170) recorded 28 points, which included 10 goals and 18 assists. The native of McMurray, Pennsylvania also had four game-winning goals, which tied for the NAPHL lead in the 18U Division.
Alavi led the Stars to a 19-3-2 record during the NAPHL regular season, which was good for 3rd place. Last season, he played for the Stars 16U team leading them all the way to the NAPHL 16U Championship game. In 22 regular season games last year, Alavi had 25 points and also had 8 points in five playoff games during the 16U team’s run last year.
Alavi was named the NAPHL 18U offensive Franklin Peak Performer from the NAPHL Showcase in Blaine, MN from December 6-9, as helped the Stars to a perfect 5-0 record at the event. Alavi led all 18U scorers in Blaine with 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) in five games played. Alavi (5’10/170) had multi-point games in four of his five outings.
Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick says despite being a younger 18U player, Alavi has tremendous upside and potential. “Adam is a hard-working and focused player. What is very encouraging to us is that he has improved since the first day and now is seeing the benefit of his hard work pay off,” said Kosick. “He is a solid two-way player, which is why I believe he will be successful at the next levels of hockey.”
Alavi is the fourth member of the Esmark 18U team to sign a tender this season, joining teammates Brian Baker (Lone Star), Tristan Ramage (Johnstown) and Carmen Dalesandro (Soo)

 (Nathan can be reached at

r. Blues defenseman Meeh to finish season in NAHL

Press Release

St. Louis Jr. Blues and NA3HL defensman Kyle Meeh was signed by the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL last week and will finish the 2013-14 season with them.
Meeh had been given a tender offer for the 2014-15 season but was given the opportunity to practice and skate with the Jr. Blues during an off weekend for St. Louis. After playing two games this past weekend, the Springfield Jr. Blues decided to make the move for this year rather than tender Meeh for next season.
Head Coach Chris Flaugher said, "We were lucky to have Kyle as long as we did this year. We were not expecting him to be back in a St. Louis uniform this season. But his presence in the line-up and in the locker room, with so many young players and rookies, put us in a position where now we are in contention for the division title."
Meeh commented, "This has what I have been working towards for the last couple of years. I just want to prove I can play at that level and higher. Springfield is giving me that opportunity and I am excited about the opportunity."
This past weekend, in 2 games, Meeh notched an assist and had a chance to shoot in Springfield's shootout loss to Coulee Region. 

 (Nathan can be reached at

NA3HL announces 2014 Top Prospects rosters

Press Release

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced the rosters for next month’s NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Easton, which will be held from February 17-19 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.

For more information on the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament, please visit:
80 total players from the NA3HL will be spread amongst four teams, who will play in three games each during the event. The number of players each NA3HL team can to send to the tournament, in which four teams from the four NA3HL divisions: Central, East, South and West was based on each team’s winning percentage within their division as of January 20, 2014. Each team consists of a 20-man roster (12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies) as chosen by the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament Selection Committee and as nominated by the league's 21 head coaches. All junior eligible NA3HL players were eligible to participate in the Top Prospects Tournament. 

The NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament is played in conjunction with the North American Hockey League's (NAHL) Top Prospects Tournament, along with the North American Prospects Hockey League's (NAPHL) Championship Series. The event has quickly become one of the most highly-scouted events of its kind, with hundreds of junior, NCAA and NHL expected in attendance this season. Combined with the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament and NAPHL Championship series, it will make for an exciting week of hockey and provides a great opportunity for every scout and coach to get a close look the talent in the three leagues.

2014 NA3HL Top Prospects schedule:
Monday, February 17th: East vs. Central, 2:45pm; West vs. South, 4:00pm
Tuesday, February 18th: South vs. Central, 10:00am; West vs. East, 12:30pm
Wednesday, February 19th: Central vs. West, 10:00am; East vs. South, 11:00am

About Easton
Easton Hockey continues to rank atop the industry in sticks and gloves and is growing faster in skates than any other company. It also offers a comprehensive collection of protective gear including helmets and pants. To learn more, go to

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Saints forward commits to University of Vermont

Press Release

The Dubuque Fighting Saints announced that forward Jarrid Privitera has committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of Vermont following his USHL career.

Privitera has appeared in all 35 games for the Saints this season and recorded 23 points (7g, 16a), ranking fifth on the team in scoring.  He has registered multi-goal games on three occasions this season and has posted a plus-six rating during the team’s current seven-game winning streak.  The 19-year-old is playing his second full season in the USHL after helping Dubuque capture the Anderson Cup and Clark Cup during the 2012-13 campaign.  He scored 26 points (15g, 11a) and posted a plus-19 rating over 56 regular season contests before adding six points (2g, 4a) in 11 playoff games.

The Old Tappan, New Jersey first appeared in the USHL for the Saints during the 2011-12 season and recorded one assist over three games.  He was also part of the Dubuque team that represented the United States in the 2013 Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia and helped win a bronze medal.

Privitera is joined by Saints teammate Robby Darrar who is also committed to the University of Vermont.  Four other current USHL players are committed to the school; Drew Best (Green Bay Gamblers), Kevin Irwin (Green Bay Gamblers), and Haralds Egle (Muskegon Lumberjacks).

The University of Vermont is a member of Hockey East and has 10 USHL alumni on the Catamounts roster this season; Mario Puskarich (Tri-City/Waterloo), Michael Paliotta (Team USA), Jake Fallon (Indiana Ice), Connor Brickley (Des Moines Buccaneers), H.T. Lenz (Des Moines Buccaneers), Colin Markison (Omaha Lancers), Matt White (Des Moines Buccaneers), Thomas Forgione (Sioux Falls/Cedar Rapids), Nick Luukko (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and Anthony DeCenzo (Tri-City Storm).

Additionally, Vermont assistant coaches Kevin Patrick (Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2010-12) and Kyle Wallack (Indiana Ice, 2011-12) were both head coaches in the USHL.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Cents netminder Kero commits to hometown NCAA program

Press Release 

The Merritt Centennials are pleased to announce the commitment of goaltender Devin Kero to the Michigan Tech Huskies for the 14/15 or 15/16 season.

Kero is a native of Hancock, Michigan, very close to the MTU campus.

Head Coach and General Manager Luke Pierce, "We are very excited for Devin and the opportunity he has been given to continue his hockey career at Michigan Tech."

"Playing for the Huskies has been a dream for Devin for a long time and to see a young man achieve a dream like that is very gratifying. He has earned this opportunity with tremendous hard work and dedication not only with our hockey club but in all aspects of his life. Devin is a tremendous student and understands the value of a quality education, which he will receive at Michigan Tech."

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound backstop has posted a 2.37 GAA and currently holds a .921 Save % in his first season in the BCHL.

Devin was named the BCHL's Player of the Week this past week, for a pair of victories over divisional rivals Penticton and Vernon.

"We look forward to continued success this year with Devin and once again congratulate him on this special achievement." Pierce concluded.

Kero is the third member of the 2013/14 Centennials to have earned an NCAA scholarshipp, joining Jeff Wight and Dane Birks.

(Nathan can be reached at

Thursday, January 30, 2014

London 2014 playoff tickets: first round on sale saturday

Press Release

LONDON, ONTARIO: Tickets for the first round of the 2014 playoffs will go on sale Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 10am.  All four potential home games will be made available for purchase at this time.

Tickets can be purchased on Saturday, February 1st from 10am -2pm in person at the Aluminum Associates London Knights Armoury located off of Talbot Street or the OMAC Mortgages London Knights Box Office located inside Jack Astor’s Gate 4 off of Dundas Street.  Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling 519-681-0800 ext 1 or by clicking here.

After February 1st, tickets can be purchased in person at the Aluminum Associates London Knights Armoury or over the phone at 519-681-0800 ext 1.  Tickets will be available to purchase Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm and Saturday’s from 10am-2pm.  Tickets can also be purchased online at any time.  A limit of 6 tickets will apply for online ticket sales.  However, there will be no limit for tickets purchased in person or over the phone.

Fans can pay using VISA, MasterCard, debit and cash in person.  Over the phone, only VISA and MasterCard will be accepted.  Unfortunately, we are not able to process American Express or VISA debit cards.

The price for all first round tickets will be $21.25, with additional service charges for tickets purchased over the phone and online.  Dates and times of all these games will be announced at a later date.

(Nathan can be reached at

Musketeers acquire defenseman in trade with Indiana

Press Release 

 Sioux City, Iowa – The Sioux City Musketeers have acquired defenseman Jake Cass
from the Indiana Ice in exchange for defenseman Ryan Mantha along with future considerations.

Cass comes to Sioux City with two years of USHL experience under his belt joining the Ice mid-season a year ago.  The 6’ 195 pound Stillwater MN native has 1 goal and 4 assists on the season along with a +3 rating for Indiana this season.

Cass was drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 USHL Futures draft by the Omaha Lancers. He was traded as an affiliate to Indiana by the Lancers in December of 2012. The Ice called him up full time in the second half of the 2012-13 season.

“We felt making a change on the back end during the second half of the season would be important.  Jake has offensive abilities along with a good feel for the entire game.  We look forward to his addition to our Defensive Core.” stated General Manager Luke Strand in reference to the newly acquired defenseman.

Mantha heads East with 2 goals and 11 assists in his 89 games as a Musketeer.  “Ryan has a bright future in this game.  He is in the infant stages of his career.  We wish him all the best in the future.”

 (Nathan can be reached at

NAPHL announces Franklin Peak Performers from event in Troy

Press Release

The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) announced its Franklin Virtual High School Peak Performers from the NAPHL Showcase in Troy, MI. The players were selected based upon their performance at the sixth NAPHL event of the season, which was the NAPHL Showcase held at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, MI from January 17-20.

18U Franklin Peak Performer (Offense) – Nathan Medeiros, forward, Omaha AAA

Omaha AAA Hockey Club 18U forward Nathan Medeiros finished as the second leading scorer in the 18U Division during the regular season. The native of Montreal, Quebec bookended the NAPHL regular season by winning the 18U offensive peak performer award during the first regular season event of the season and now the final regular season event of the season. Omaha went 5-0 at the final event of the season earlier in January in Troy and Medeiros (5’11/180) recorded 15 points in the five wins. Medeiros, 17, who tendered earlier in the year with the NAHL’s Topeka RoadRunners, had four multi-point games at the event and finished the NAPHL season with 43 points. He recorded a five-point game in a 11-1 win over Detroit, a four-point game in a 9-1 win over Cleveland, three assists in a 9-0 win over Atlanta and a two-point effort in a 5-1 win over California. His 18 goals and 25 assists both ranked 3rd in the 18U Division.

“Nathan is a very good player with great offensive skills.  Most importantly however, he is consistent every time he touches the ice,” said Omaha head coach David Wilkie. He has high-end skill and thinks the game very well. He has a very good future in front of him and has the ability to be an impact player at the next level.”

#2 Star: Tyler Benson, forward, Pursuit of Excellence

#3 Star: Zach Andrusiak, forward, Pursuit of Excellence

18U Franklin Peak Performer (Defense) – Brian Baker, goaltender, Esmark Stars

Esmark 18U goaltender parlayed his recent performance into signing an NAHL tender with the Lone Star Brahmas and now he has been honored as the 18U Defensive Peak Performer. The 18-year-old native of McMurray, Pennsylvania, was statistically the top goaltender in the NAPHL’s 18U Division during the 2013-14 regular season.  Baker’s 1.00 goals against average, his 94.9% save percentage and his six shutouts led the 18U Division this season. Baker (5’10/155) finished the season with a 10-1-1 record in 12 appearances and allowed just 12 goals in NAPHL action all season long. Baker was also on top of his game this past weekend as he allowed just one goal in three starts to help the 18U Stars finished in 3rd place in the 18U Division with a 19-3-2 record. His shutouts came against St. Louis and Atlanta and he allowed just a single goal in a win over New Jersey.

“We have great depth in goal and it is one of the strengths of the team,” said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick. “Brian spends a lot of time studying the goaltending position and he is a better goalie for it. When he combines that with his physical ability, it makes him a really effective goaltender and one that will be successful at the next level.”

#2 Star: Alan Feld, goaltender, New Jersey Jr. Titans

#3 Star: Jacob Gwillim, goaltender, Lansing Capitals

16U Franklin Peak Performer (Offense) – Van Barr, forward, Omaha AAA

Of the many offensive weapons that the Omaha AAA 16U team has, none were more effective at the last event than Van Barr. The 16-year-old Kansas City, Missouri native registered 12 points in five games at the last NAPHL event as Omaha captured the 16U regular season crown. Barr (5’10/165) recorded an eye-popping nine goals at the event, which included two game-winning goals. He scored in all five games at the event and recorded at least a point in every NAPHL game he played this season, but one. Barr had hat-tricks in wins over Pikes Peak and Anaheim and also had a multi-point game in a win over Cleveland. His 47 points in the NAPHL this season ranked 2nd on the Omaha 16U roster and 4th overall in the NAPHL 16U Division. His 28 goals led the team and was one behind the NAPHL 16U leader.

“I think Van has improved each week and each event as the season has gone along,” said Omaha 16U head coach David Wilkie. “His performance in Troy really put him on map. He has remained consistent all season long and has proven he can put the puck in the net. There is a lot of interest from NCAA and junior teams so he will have a lot of options to continue his career.”

#2 Star: Ryan Walker, forward, New Jersey Jr. Titans

#3 Star: Matthew Kidney, forward, New Jersey Jr. Titans

16U Franklin Peak Performer (Defense) – Michael Cernero, goaltender, New Jersey Jr. Titans

As much offense as the New Jersey 16U team has generated this season, their hidden strength and overall success in the playoffs may rely on their team defense, specifically in goal. That’s where Jr. Titans goaltender Michael Cernero, 16, was at his best during the last event in Troy. The native of Wall, New Jersey allowed just two goals in almost three complete games of action as New Jersey captured the #2 seed for the upcoming playoffs. In his first game, he posted a shutout of Cleveland. In his second outing he came in relief and sparked a New Jersey comeback in which he made 28 saves and allowed just a single goal in two periods of action. In his final game, he allowed just a single goal in a 4-1 win over Anaheim. For the season, Cernero (5’8/160) ranked in the Top 10 in almost every single 16U goaltending category including: wins (9, 2nd), shutouts (3, 4th), goals against average (1.85, 7th) and save percentage (90.2%, 9th).

“Michael has been playing really well.  He is a long-time member of the organization and has really put in the hard work to become a better player,” said New Jersey head coach George Haviland. “He has developed to the point where he is now because he has worked hard. You are only as good as your goalies and both of ours have been solid for us and we will need them to best at their best in order to have success in the 16U playoffs.”

#2 Star: Joseph Freeman, defenseman, California Titans

#3 Star: Bradley Becker, defenseman, New Jersey Jr. Titans

The NAPHL is comprised of six regular-season events leading up to its Championship Tournament Series in which the top teams at each level compete for a league championship. The NAPHL Championship Series, which will take place from February 14-18 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan. It will feature all 32 NAPHL teams playing in their final league competition of the 2013-14 season.

 (Nathan can be reached at

EHL Announces 1993 Prospects Game

Press Release

 BOSTON, Mass. -- The Eastern Hockey League would like to announce its inaugural 1993 Prospects Game, to be held February 6, 2014 (Noon start) at The Edge Sports Center in Bedford, Mass.

The game will consist solely of 1993 birth year players, who are in their final year of Junior hockey eligibility, and undecided about their NCAA hockey plans.  Rosters for the squads will be announced later in the week.

EHL coaches for the event will be Chris Cerrella (Hartford Jr. Wolfpack), Mario Martiniello (Boston Jr. Rangers), Todd Stirling (Boston Bandits) and Jerry Domish (Philadelphia Jr. Flyers).

The Eastern Hockey League was formed in 2013 when the 12 former Atlantic Junior Hockey League teams joined forces with six former Eastern Junior Hockey League teams.  The EHL's main purpose is to help Junior hockey players advance to NCAA college hockey and beyond.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Team USA forward picks Michigan State

Press Release

 Team USA forward Dylan Pavelek has committed to play collegiate hockey at Michigan State University following his USHL career.

Pavelek has put up nine points (6g, 3a) and posted a plus-seven rating over 16 USHL games this season for Team USA’s Under-18 squad.  Three of his six goals have been game-winners, tying for the team lead.  His first USHL career goal was the game-winner in the 9-3 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms on September 20th and his most recent goal was the game-winner in Saturday’s 7-0 victory against the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  The recently turned 18-year-old has recorded an even-or-better plus/minus rating in all 16 USHL games he has played this season.  The native of Marysville, Michigan first played in the USHL last season for Team USA’s Under-17 squad and dished out three assists over nine games.

Pavelek is joined by Team USA goaltender Ed Minney who is also committed to Michigan State University.  Two other current USHL players will play hockey at the school – Indiana Ice defenseman Joshua Jacobs and Tri-City Storm forward Cody Milan.

Michigan State University is a member of the newly-formed Big Ten Conference for hockey and has 18 USHL alumni on the Spartans roster this season; Travis Walsh (Muskegon/Sioux City), R.J. Boyd (Indiana/Chicago), Mackenzie MacEachern (Chicago Steel), Dean Chelios (Chicago Steel), J.T. Stenglein (Waterloo/Sioux City/Youngstown), Matt DeBlouw (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Michael Ferrantino (Omaha Lancers), Joe Cox (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Brent Darnell (Sioux Falls Stampede), Matt Berry (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Thomas Ebbing (Chicago Steel), Villiam Haag (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Jake Hildebrand (Cedar Rapids/Sioux City), Will Yanakeff (Waterloo/Sioux City), Jake Chelios (Chicago Steel), Greg Wolfe (Omaha/Chicago), Ryan Keller (Sioux Falls Stampede), and David Bondra (Chicago Steel).

 (Nathan can be reached at

USHL taking a look at video review

Press Release

 The United States Hockey League is taking another step to improve game operations as the use of video review will be introduced in select buildings.  The Waterloo Black Hawks are the first team to be approved by the USHL Hockey Operations to implement video review for the purpose of disputed goals, and their home game on Friday, January 31st against the Muskegon Lumberjacks will be the first USHL regular season game to have the video resource available to the on-ice officials.

USHL referees determine whether a goal has been scored, but multiple camera angles, including overhead, will give officials another vantage point to help clarify situations where the original call on the ice may be disputed.

“Ultimately, the officials on the ice want to make the proper decisions on whether goals are scored legally, but the ability to use replay when they feel it necessary is an excellent tool to make sure they arrive at the correct decision,” said Scott Zelkin, Manager of Junior Officiating Development Program for USA Hockey and the USHL Referee-in-Chief.

The USHL first experimented with video review for disputed goals during the Fall Classic West, hosted by the Sioux City Musketeers at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, paving the way for future use in regular season contests.

After a significant financial commitment this summer by the Waterloo Black Hawks, the City of Waterloo, and Black Hawk County Gaming Association, improvements to the scoreboard and video technology at Young Arena have made it possible for the implementation of the video review.

“At this level, skill development is the most important thing we can provide to players, coaches, and officials, and the new technology available at Young Arena helps that cause for all,” said Waterloo Black Hawks Vice President Mike Falk.  “From the time the USHL indicated that they were interested in making video review part of the game, we wanted to be at the forefront of this innovation.”

The USHL has researched and discussed introducing video review of goals for the past few seasons, but varying logistics, technology, and resources in each USHL arena has not yet allowed for League-wide implementation.  The efforts made by the Waterloo Black Hawks will give the USHL an opportunity to further examine the process and determine future use of video review in the League.

In the event of a disputed goal or scoring play that needs further review, on-ice officials will be able to look at video replay through a monitor stationed at ice level to help determine the proper call.  Reviewable plays include determining whether a puck completely crosses the goal line, a puck crossing the line prior to the net being dislodged, a puck being directed into the net by attacking player with anything besides a stick, a puck that has been kicked in or directed in with a kicking motion, a puck being deflected in by a high stick, or a puck entering the net off an official.

(Nathan can be reached at

CHL Announces BMO CHL Top 10 Rankings

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the nineteenth edition of the BMO CHL Top 10 Rankings for the 2013-14 regular season.  The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey League’s Top 10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

BMO CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 19

Last Week Rank:
Number of Weeks Ranked:
Kelowna Rockets (40-7-0-2)
Guelph Storm (37-8-2-1)
Erie Otters (37-9-2-0)
Baie-Comeau Drakkar (33-12-1-3)
Portland Winterhawks (33-12-2-3)
Edmonton Oil Kings (35-13-0-1)
Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (29-10-4-5)
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (33-11-1-4)
Halifax Mooseheads (33-16-0-1)
London Knights (31-11-1-4)
  Honourable Mention:
  Calgary Hitmen (31-12-3-3)
  Quebec Remparts (29-12-3-5)
  Victoria Royals (33-16-0-2)

 (Nathan can be reached at

Lansing 18U forward Brandstetter signs NAHL tender

Press Release

The Lansing Capitals of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U forward Jack Brandstetter, 18, has signed an NAHL tender agreement with the Minnesota Wilderness. The Wilderness compete in the NAHL’s Midwest Division.
The native of Minnetrista, Minnesota joined the Capitals in January and played in the team’s five games at the most recent event in Troy. Brandstetter (6’5/195) made an immediate impact as he recorded six points in the five games, which included three goals and three assists.
Brandstetter has played in nine games with the Wilderness this season as an affiliate player. He has recorded two assists in those nine contests.
Last season, Brandstetter played high school hockey in Minnesota for Mound-Westonka. During the regular season, he had 39 points in 25 games played.
Brandstetter is the fourth Lansing 18U player to sign an NAHL tender this season. He joins Ronnie Hein (Aberdeen), Trent Kulczyk (Aberdeen) and Jacob Gwillim (Johnstown).

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Storm at Attack Game Postponed

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that the regular season game scheduled to be played tonight, Wednesday January 29, 2014, between the Guelph Storm hockey club and the host Owen Sound Attack hockey club, has been postponed due to inclement weather and travel conditions.

The game has been rescheduled for Monday February 24, 2014, at 7:00 pm in Owen Sound.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Source Embroidery SJHL power rankings

Press Release

1-BATTLEFORDS NORTH STARS (28-16-0-2) … 2nd last week
Winning streak hits eleven and counting.

2-YORKTON TERRIERS (26-11-2-4) … 3rd last week
Defending champs won both games last week to start a new run.

3-MELVILLE MILLIONAIRES (29-11-2-2) … 4th last week
They also won both games after a rough hiccup the week before.

4-KINDERSLEY KLIPPERS (27-12-3-2) … 1st last week
Long fall from the top as they lose to both the Terriers and Mils.

5-ESTEVAN BRUINS (22-15-2-4) … 6th last week
They are 12-and-5 since December 1st.  Time to take them seriously.

6-HUMBOLDT BRONCOS (24-16-1-3) … 5th last week
A tough stretch of seven losses in nine games.

7-MELFORT MUSTANGS (18-18-1-5) … 8th last week
Three straight wins and they’ve gained five points in the last ten on Nipawin.

8-WEYBURN RED WINGS (16-21-3-4) … 10th last week
The weak sister nobody wants to play right now as they’ve ripped off four straight.

9-NIPAWIN HAWKS (19-19-1-3) … 7th last week
You are what your record says you are.  A great week followed by three consecutive losses.

10-NOTRE DAME HOUNDS (17-20-1-4) … 12th last week
They didn’t like being ranked twelvth last week as they responded with two wins.

11-LA RONGE ICE WOLVES (18-23-3-0) … 9th last week
Just 3-6-and-1 in their last ten and losing ground in the Sherwood Division.

12-FLIN FLON BOMBERS (16-24-0-2) … 11th last week
Fragile, not scoring enough.  Almost pulled off an upset of the Stars Saturday.

WHO’S HOT (top players on each team since Christmas)

Jake McMillen, Battlefords (10-5-5-10)

Luke McColgan, Battlefords (10-1-8-9)

Austin Daae, Estevan (10-5-11-16)

Tanner Froese, Estevan (10-4-6-10)

Zach Douglas, Estevan (10-0-10-10)

Austin Calladine, Flin Flon (8-7-2-9)

Danys Chartrand, Flin Flon (8-2-4-6)

Parker Evans-Campbell, Flin Flon (8-1-5-6)

Logan Sproule, Humboldt (9-1-5-6)

Justin Lund, Humboldt (6-4-0-4)

Devin Case, Kindersley (8-5-1-6)

Austin Yano, Kindersley (6-1-5-6)

Sebastien Beauregard, La Ronge (11-5-8-13)

Owen LaClare, La Ronge (11-6-4-10)

Adam Fauchoux, Melfort (9-5-6-11)

Anthony Pickering, Melfort (9-3-6-9)

Kelvin Walz, Melville (12-5-8-13)

Colin Mospanchuk, Melville (12-6-5-11)

Kris Spriggs, Nipawin (11-5-5-10)

Tayler Balog, Nipawin (12-3-7-10)

Tad Kozun, Nipawin (12-3-7-10)

Sam Aulie, Notre Dame (11-8-2-10)

Dillon Schwartzenberger, Notre Dame (10-4-6-10)

Ty McLean, Weyburn (8-6-5-11)

Brendan MacKay, Weyburn (11-5-5-10)

Brian Farkas, Weyburn (11-1-9-10)

Brett Boehm, Yorkton (11-7-7-14)

Tayler Thompson, Yorkton (9-4-5-9)

 (Nathan can be reached at

Abramson commits to Boston University

Press Release

Wayne, NJ - The Jersey Hitmen is proud to announce that defenseman, Ori Abramson, has committed to Boston University for the fall of 2014. An imposing 6’5 figure, Abramson, is a USPHL all-star and the sixth leading defensive scorer in the league. Known for being a physical presence and a tremendous skater for his size, Abramson has grown into a top USPHL all around defender.

“Perseverance its the word that comes to mind when I think of Ori,” commented coach Toby Harris. “Ori is one of the most strong willed players that has ever donned the Hitmen blue. Fighting through sickness as a freshman at Providence, deciding to take another year of junior to get back to hockey east, Abramson transformed his game and approach and it has truly paid off.” Harris continued, “Our staff and locker room is so excited for Ori’s accomplishments and we know he will be a great success at BU. Coach Quinn, Powers and Greely are getting a warrior in Abramson.”

Abramson becomes the 3rd defenseman off the 13-14 roster to commit to a hockey east school joining assistant captains, John Furgele (UNH ‘14) and Trevor Owens (Northeastern ‘14). He also becomes the 9th Hitmen Premier division one commitment since September 1st.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Remparts’ Anthony Duclair named CHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that New York Rangers prospect Anthony Duclair is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 26 after scoring five goals and three assists for eight points in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Duclair led the Remparts to three victories on the road last week giving the club nine wins in their past 10 games including a season-high six game winning-streak that has helped boost them into fourth place in the QMJHL standings with 66 points.  He opened the week on Thursday night with a four-point performance that included a hat-trick capped off with his 40th goal of the season claiming first star honours in a 6-2 win over the Gatineau Olympiques.  On Saturday night he scored twice including the game-winner for the second straight game and also added an assist in an 8-5 win over the Val’d’Or Foreurs.  His week wrapped up on Sunday with an assist in the Remparts’ 3-0 win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

Duclair, an 18-year-old from Montreal, QC, is playing in his third QMJHL season with the Remparts.  Selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft, Duclair is currently second in QMJHL scoring with 75 points in 47 games played.

Also considered for the award this week was Nashville Predators prospect Brendan Leipsic of the Portland Winterhawks who scored three times with six assists for nine points in three games, while 2014 NHL Draft prospect Josh Ho-Sang of the Windsor Spitfires scored three goals and four assists for seven points in two games.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Rebels’ Patrik Bartosak named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Los Angeles Kings prospect Patrik Bartosak of the Red Deer Rebels is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending January 26 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record with two shutout victories along with a goals-against-average of 0.67 and save percentage of .984.

Bartosak backstopped the Rebels to three straight road victories allowing just two goals on 123 shots claiming first star honours in all three contests.  Last Wednesday night he stopped all 38 shots he faced in a 5-0 shutout win over the Prince Albert Raiders, then made 42 saves in a 3-2 win over the Saskatoon Blades on Friday night.  His finished the week with a 41-save performance on Saturday to earn his fifth shutout of the season and 11th of his WHL career blanking the Regina Pats 4-0.

Bartosak, a 20-year-old from Koprivnice, Czech Republic, is playing in his third WHL season.  Selected by the Kings in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft, Bartosak was the 2012-13 CHL Goaltender of the Year and currently holds a 24-17-0-2 record with a goals-against-average of 2.75 and save percentage of .925 but leads the WHL with 1409 saves this season.

Also considered for the award this week was Philippe Cadorette of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar who picked up three wins including a shutout victory posting a goals-against-average of 0.98 and save percentage of .951, while London Knights’ netminder Jake Patterson earned two wins in two starts posting a goals-against-average of 1.00 with a save percentage of .968.

(Nathan can be reached at

NAHL announces 2014 Top Prospects rosters

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the rosters for next month’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Easton, which will be held from February 17-18 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.
For more information on the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, visit
The number of players each NAHL team is sending to the event, in which four teams from the four NAHL divisions: Central, Midwest, North and South and a special fifth NAHL 18U Selects team, will each play in two game games, was based on each team’s winning percentage within their group as of January 20, 2014. Only those NAHL players without an NCAA commitment are eligible to participate in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, with the exception of those who will be playing on the NAHL 18U Selects team.  Each of the teams consists of a 20-man roster (12 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goaltenders).
In a very short period of time, the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament has become one of the most highly-scouted events of its kind.  Last season, over 170 scouts attended the event, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school.  Over a third of the players that competed in last year’s event ended up with an NCAA Division I opportunity. Combined with the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament and NAPHL Championship series, it will make for an exciting week of hockey and provides a great opportunity for every scout and coach to get a close look the talent in the three leagues.
2014 NAHL Top Prospects schedule:
Monday, February 17th: North vs. South, 1pm – Central vs. Midwest, 3:30pm – NAHL 18U Selects vs. TBA, 6pm
Tuesday, February 18th: Central vs. South, 1pm – Midwest vs. North, 3:30pm – NAHL 18U Selects vs. USNTDP 17-Team, 6pm
While the four NAHL divisional teams will play amongst each other at the event, the NAHL 18U Selects Team will face a yet to be named opponent on Monday, February 17th and then will face USA Hockey's National Team Development Program (NTDP) U17 Team on Tuesday, February 18th. This offers a unique opportunity for the NAHL and the NTDP to participate in a high-profile event in cooperation with one another. The NAHL and the NTDP have a rich and productive 12-year history together, as the NTDP was a full-time member of the NAHL from 1997-2009. The U.S. National Under-17 Team is coached by Don Granato and is coming off winning the World U17 Challenge title back in January 4th in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
In conjunction with the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, all North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) teams - Midget Major and Midget Minor will compete in the NAPHL Championship Tournament Series for the right to be crowned league champions. That event runs from February 14-18, also at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) will also play their Top Prospects Tournament during the week, as all 21 teams will be represented amongst teams in the four divisions of the NA3HL.  Each divisional Top Prospects team will play in three games from February 17-19 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Lakers’ Debenedet earns Pizza Hut player of the week award

Press Release

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Monday that Fort Frances Lakers forward Lucas Debenedet has be selected Pizza Hut player of the week for the period concluding Jan. 26.

Taking to the ice three times during the week that was the 18-year-old Debenedet, who hails from International Falls, Minn., registered seven points helping league-leading Fort Frances skate to a trio of victories.

He began with an assist Wednesday in Day 1 play at the SIJHL Showcase in Spooner, Wis., as the Lakers defeated English River 5-2.

The next night at the Showcase in Spooner Debenedet was stellar scoring four consecutive goals of the impressive variety, including a natural hat-trick in the second period, as Fort Frances stormed back from an early deficit to beat the rival Dryden Ice Dogs 5-2.

He then topped on his award-winning week by adding another goal and setting up another to help his side skate past the second place Thunder Bay North Stars 6-4 Saturday at the Fort William Gardens.

On the season Debenedet leads the SIJHL in goals, assists and points with 37, 45 and 82 respectively.

Also earning consideration for Pizza Hut player of the week was Tim Cavar, (D) Thunder Bay North Stars; Matt Audet, (F) Minnesota Iron Rangers; John Morales, (F) English River Miners; Sawyer Jacobson, (F) Wisconsin Wilderness and Dane Feeney, (F) Dryden Ice Dogs.

At the conclusion of the regular season the SIJHL’s most valuable player will be presented the Pizza Hut player of the year award and will also go on to be the league’s representative for the national Canadian Junior Hockey League player of the year trophy.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Steelers’ Gingera named MJHL Recycle Everywhere Player of the Week

Press Release

Shane Gingera, a member of the high-flying Selkirk Steelers has been named this week’s MJHL Recycle Everywhere Player of the Week award ending January 26th.

 Gingera, 20, scored four goals in two games last week for the Steelers, who are currently riding an unbelievable 18-game winning streak. The native of Winnipeg is enjoying a strong season, reflected in 17 goals and 29 points in 45 games for the Addison Division leading Steelers.

The runners up are 20 year old forward Artsiom Kalashnikov of the Virden Oil Capitals and 16 year old forward Tyler Jeanson of the Portage Terriers.

 (Nathan can be reached at

EHL Players Of The Week

Press Release

BOSTON, Mass. -- The Eastern Hockey League has announced its Players of the Week for January 20-26, 2014.  Left to Right: Frank Sherding, Tommy Bay and Christian Elsborg.

Christian Elsborg, Valley Jr. Warriors
The 1993 birth-year forward from Frisco, Texas, helped Valley claim a pair of big North Division wins last week.  In the 5-0 victory over the Junior Rangers he scored the game winner and added an assist.  In Valley’s 5-2 win over the Bandits he provided three assist, including a helper on the game-winning goal, for a five-point week.

Tommy Bay, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers
The 1994 birth-year netminder from Duluth, Ga., backstopped the Junior Flyers to three victories this week by stopping 94.6 percent of the shots he faced.  The victories included a shutout over Washington and an overtime triumph over the South Division-leading Little Flyers.

Frank Sherding, New York Applecore
The 1994 birth-year defenseman from Eastchester, N.Y., anchored Applecore’s blue line last week as New York won a pair of Central Division games, holding Hartford to one goal and the division-leading Oilers to two tallies.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Stampede acquire leading scorer from Tri-City, Christian Horn

Press Release

Sioux Falls, SD—The Sioux Falls Stampede announced today they have acquired forward Christian Horn from the Tri-City Storm in exchange for a draft pick in the 2014 USHL Phase 2 Draft and a swap of future players.

Horn was the Storm’s leading scorer this season with 25 points (12, 13a) and a plus-5 rating in 28 games. He has five power play goals and five game-winning goals on the season.  The 5-foot-11, 180-pound left-handed shot also served as an assistant captain on the team. He registered the eventual game-winning goal against the Stampede last Saturday in the Storm’s 4-3 victory. The Plymouth, Minn. native spent last season at the University of Minnesota.

Prior to joining the Gophers, Horn skated for Benilde-St.Margaret’s where he captained the Red Knights to a 2012 state Class AA title with six points in tournament play. He finished his high school career holding school records for career points (207) and assists (127) and became the first player in school history to reach the 200-point and 100-assist plateaus. He also won two state championships with the Red Knights in lacrosse.

(Nathan can be reached at

Royals announce Pink in the Rink details

Press Release

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Royals are pleased to announce details for the club’s third annual Pink in the Rink game to be held on Saturday, February 1st when the Royals host the Vancouver Giants in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.

In the Royals’ first two seasons on Vancouver Island, the annual Pink in the Rink game has sold out each year and raised over $71,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation! Proceeds from the raffles, Chuck-A-Puck, 50/50, jersey auctions, ticket options and more will all go towards the BC Cancer Foundation again this year! All funds raised during the Pink in the Rink game will support local research at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Island Centre.

The Royals are offering three ticket options for fans wishing to attend the game and support the BC Cancer Foundation.

 - The Pink in the Rink Family Pack is $55 and includes four tickets plus a coupon for two giveaway items with $10from each package donated to the BC Cancer Foundation!

 -          Individual tickets in corner and end sections can be bought for $16 with $3 from each ticket donated to the BC Cancer Foundation.

 -          Groups of 10 or more can also purchase tickets for just $12 each while $2 from every ticket benefits the BC Cancer Foundation!

These three special offers must be purchased on or before January 30th.

Fans can also donate to the BC Cancer Foundation, right now in support of their favourite player online through the BC Cancer Foundation’s website. Please visit for more details.

Sponsors for the Royals’ 2014 Pink in the Rink game include CHEK News, the Times Colonist, 103.1 JACK FM, Ocean 98.5, TELUS, RBC, Seafirst Insurance, Uptown, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and CML Healthcare.

The festivities kick off on Saturday night prior to puck drop! Foldable pink megaphones will be available for a suggested donation of $3 to the BC Cancer Foundation to help fans make some noise for the cause! The Torquay Elementary Choir will also sing our national anthem before a special ceremonial puck drop! The fun and excitement will continue throughout the game and fans are encouraged to show their support for this great cause by wearing pink at Saturday’s game!

During the game, fans can bid on the game-worn special edition Pink in the Rink jerseys of Steven Hodges, Jack Walker and Austin Carroll at Guest Services by way of silent auction. Immediately following the game, fans are encouraged to participate in a live jersey auction where Keegan Kanzig, Jordan Fransoo, Joe Hicketts and the evening’s starting goalie will raffle their special edition jerseys right off their backs! Fans can look for the Royals’ promotional staff during the live auction in order to place their bids. Full jersey auction details are available at All proceeds from the auctions will support the BC Cancer Foundation.

(Nathan can be reached at

Ouellette to Holy Cross

Press Release

The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs proudly announce that Erik Ouellette has committed to the College of the Holy Cross and will play his college hockey for the Crusaders.  Ouellette was a major contributor to this years team and the early success that they have enjoyed in the Eastern Hockey League. He is a big blue-liner with great offensive ability, a cool calm demeanor on and off of the ice, and he has great ability to run a very effective power play.

Coach Frew had this to say about his most recent Division I player headed off to college, “Erik is an exceptional player.  He has finesse and offensive ability that you don't see in too many defenders of his size and stature.  When we lost him to injury, it took a big piece out of us on the power-play because he can do some things out there that other guys just don't do as easily.  He finds shooting lanes to the net through traffic, moves well, rarely gets shots blocked and he has a great stick.  He also defends very well with his long reach, he is a great containment guy.  I am very impressed with him as a young man, he is well spoken and is a great teammate.  He's very well liked in our room.  We have a great culture here in this organization, Eric embraced that and excelled in it.”

Ouellette had this to say about his commitment, “Both of my parents, as well as my grandfather and great grandfather, attended Holy Cross...I realized what Holy Cross could offer me both academically and as a Division I hockey program. When I heard from Coach Pearl that they had interest in me playing for them, I knew right away that it would be the perfect place for me to end up. This definitely ranks right up there as one of my best life accomplishments. It's been my goal for several years now to be able to earn an opportunity at playing Division 1 hockey, and being able to make that happen feels pretty stellar.”

Erik had kind words about the Jr. Monarchs program that helped deliver him to Holy Cross, “The Monarchs have done a very good job of preparing me for college hockey both on and off the ice. The coaches are great at teaching team and game concepts while also still working on individual skill development. They definitely help us, as players, understand exactly what it will take to succeed not only at the Junior level but also at the collegiate level. The special aspect of the Monarchs is the family environment. Whether its the players on any of the teams, the coaches, or the 'Narchs alumni that come out to practice with us, everyone just seems to create a great program atmosphere. It really makes it easy for anyone to come in and thrive within the program.”

Coach Frew added, “Erik came in here as an impact guy right away.  Coach Golden and I agreed early on that this kid was a Division I player and, and Frank did a great job tweaking his game to make him a more effective player.  When you say that a kid has earned his chance...this is one of those kids.  He worked hard for this, he will excel both in the classroom and on the rink, we know he is going to make us proud. He is prepared and ready for this next step and its a great fit.”

The soft spoken kid from Colorado spoke highly of his staff, “Playing for Coach Golden has been great for my personal development. Coach Golden is a wizard when it comes to explaining and understanding game systems and he has a lot to teach in that aspect of the game. He also knows his personnel well, and played me in situations that he had confidence I could succeed in, which was great for my game. He can be hard and demanding on his players at times, but it's only because he expects the best from his players.  As a Head Coach, Coach Frew does a great job of knowing when to be real hard or relaxed with his team. He always expects maximum effort and focus, but he understands that sometimes the key to good hockey is making sure the teams mood is light and relaxed at times. This makes it easy for us as players to enjoy playing the game, and that translates to on-ice success. The best part about playing for these coaches is the effort they put into contacting and talking with coaches and scouts at the collegiate level. These guys are always working to ensure every player has the best opportunities possible to play hockey in the future. When you see this type of dedication out of your coaches, it gives you just another reason to perform your very best for them and their program.”

He continued with the ultimate compliment to any program, “I think sometimes at the junior level players become too focused on individual promotion, and the team aspect falters. But with this team, the guys have really bought into what the coaches are teaching and the team has gelled well, which has translated into a lot of success on the ice. And in the end, team success is the best thing for individual promotion anyways.”

Erik is the son of Tom and Clare, and has a brother Andrew all of whom the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs would like to say congratulations to, and a job well done.  Its hard to do anything very well in life without the support of friends and especially your family.

Erik said it was very important to point that out, ”I obviously have to thank my parents the most, because without their support, I never would have been able to chase my dream like this. None of this would have been possible, and I can't thank them enough for what they've put into this for me throughout the years.”

The list is growing for college placements on this years Eastern Hockey League team. The commits are piling up not only at the Division I level, but at some exceptional D-III programs as well.  Each placement is just as special as the last, and the next one will be equally as special.  These players put in a lot of time, effort and energy to realize their dreams and it is rewarding for everyone involved when they finally do.  This is a special place to play. It always has been and always will be...yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Monday, January 27, 2014

Oil Barons Take Over Top Spot in CJHL Top 20 Rankings

Press Release

 CALGARY, Alberta – The Fort McMurray Oil Barons return to the top of the CJHL Rankings this week following successful outings, and a few slips by the Spruce Grove Saints. The AJHL’s South Division continues to tighten as more teams move closer to the Brooks Bandits.  Meanwhile in the BCHL, the Langley Rivermen – who were the first BCHL team to clinch a playoff spot several weeks ago - have moved into top spot overall and have seen some slippage by Powell River and Victoria as the games become even more important for all teams in the BCHL playoff hunt.

In the SJHL, the Melville Millionaires are rolling again, while the Kindersley Klippers had a rough week. The Battlefords North Stars remain on a hot streak and will be a force to be reckoned with in the SJHL playoffs. In the MJHL, the Selkirk Steelers 18-game winning streak has them firmly atop the overall standings in Manitoba.

The Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL are on a staggering 19-game winning streak, while the Fort Frances Lakers of the SIJHL skipped past their closest team in the standings, the Thunder Bay North Stars, on Saturday night.

The Kingston Voyageurs of the OJHL remain atop the standings in the OJHL, but wicked winter weather played havoc this past week with the OJHL schedule. The Carleton Place Canadians continue to dominate in the CCHL, but the Smiths Falls Bears are remaining ahead of the Pembroke Lumber Kings and Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators for second spot overall in the CCHL.

Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome and their current 15-game winning streak have them running away with the top spot in the LHJAAAQ.  In the Maritimes, an epic battle is shaping up as the Truro Bearcats and the Dieppe Commandos now sit atop the Eastlink Division and the Roger Meek Division respectively in the MHL.  Six teams are within five points of each other for the overall league lead.

Top 20 Rankings

1.      Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (2)

2.      Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (3)

3.      Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) (4)

4.      Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (5)

5.      Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (1)

6.      Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (7)

7.      Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL) (9)

8.      Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (6)

9.      Melville Millionaires (SJHL) (14)

10.   Langley Rivermen (BCHL) (18)

11.   Penticton Vees (BCHL) (NR)

12.   Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (16)

13.   Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (11)

14.   Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (13)

15.   Powell River Kings (BCHL) (8)

16.   Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) (12)

17.   Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome (LHJAAAQ) (19)            

18.   Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (15)

19.   Truro Bearcats (MHL) (17)

20.   Dieppe Commandos (MHL) (NR)

Honourable Mention: West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL), Battlefords North Stars  (SJHL), Dauphin Kings (MJHL),  Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL), Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL)

 (Nathan can be reached at

Stampede acquire veteran defenseman Nolan Gluchowski from Tri-City

Press Release

Sioux Falls, SD—The Sioux Falls Stampede announced today they have acquired defenseman Nolan Gluchowski (glue-COW-ski) from the Tri-City Storm in exchange for defenseman Daniel Fritz, forward Cody Milan (My-lynn) and a futures pick in the 2014 USHL Phase 1 Draft. It marks the second trade in a week the Herd have made with Tri-City. Last Monday, Sioux Falls acquired defenseman Garrett Cecere from the Storm.

Gluchowski was the Storm’s top scoring defenseman with 16 points (1g, 15a) in 35 games in 2013-14. The Wixom, Mich. native was in his third season with the Storm and also served as team captain. The 6-foot, 192-pound right-handed defenseman plays on the power play and penalty kill. 10 of his 15 assists this year have come with the man advantage. Last year, Gluchowski tallied 19 points (8g, 11a), 68 penalty minutes and 104 shots on goal in 48 games. He has already committed to play collegiate hockey at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.

Fritz was in his first season with the Stampede and posted two assists in 26 games. The Harwood, Maryland native was a fifth round selection of the Stampede’s during the 2013 USHL Draft. Milan was in his second year with the Stampede and posted 2 points (1g, 1a) in 25 games this season. Last year, he recorded 10 points (4g, 6a) in 34 games.

(Nathan can be reached at

Cotton big on Warriors road trip, earns BCHL POW

Press Release

 West Kelowna Warriors forward Jason Cotton has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 26, the league announced Monday.

Cotton led the Warriors to an undefeated road trip and piled up seven points in the three games. The Plano, Texas native had the double-overtime winner as part of a two-point night in a 5-4 win over Victoria, he then had one goal in a victory in Alberni Valley and wrapped up with a four-point game that included two assists in the final minute in a 7-7 draw in Chilliwack.

Honourable mentions this week:

Langley Rivermen F Jakob Reichert: 2G, 1A, two 3rd Stars, GWG

Chilliwack Chiefs F Tanner Cochrane: 3G, 1A, hat trick, 1st Star

Nanaimo Clippers F Brendan Taylor: 2G, OT GWG, 2OT GWG, 1st Star, 3rd Star

Alberni Valley Bulldogs F Justin Georgeson: 2G, 4A, 2nd, 3rd

Penticton Vees F Erik Benoit: 1G, 3A, 2nd Star, 3rd Star

 (Nathan can be reached at

NAHL announces Easton Divisional Stars of the Week

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton for the week ending January 26, 2014.  The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2013-14 regular season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions. Only players that are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the Divisional Players of the Week award.

Central Division Star of the Week: Luke Dietsch, forward, Austin Bruins

It was two more wins and a weekend home-and-home sweep for the Austin Bruins this past weekend against the Brookings Blizzard and forward Luke Dietsch, 19, was at the forefront. The native of St. Paul, Minnesota had four points in the two wins as the Bruins increased their Central Division lead to five points. On Friday, Dietsch (6’1/200) had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 5-4 win. On Saturday, he assisted on the game-tying goal as Austin came from behind in a 3-2 win. For the season, Deitsch is 4th in team scoring with 26 points in 38 games played. “Luke has found a home in the front of the net and he has had success there,” said Bruins head coach Chris Tok. It is not an easy job and not many players are willing to pay the price and make the sacrifices that Luke has to stand in front and take the punishment in order to make sure the team succeeds.

2nd Star: Scott Dornbrock, defenseman, Minot Minotauros

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Chris Diver, defenseman, Bismarck Bobcats – Stanislav Dzakhov, forward, Bismark Bobcats – Jared Goudreau, forward, Brookings Blizzard – Jake Horton, defenseman, Aberdeen Wings – Merrick Madsen, goaltender, Minot Minotauros – Brandon Parker, defenseman, Brookings Blizzard

 Midwest Division Star of the Week: Frank Oplinger, goaltender, Minnesota Wilderness

Wilderness goalie Frank Oplinger, 19, has filled in remarkably for injured goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo. The native of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, showed this past week that he can handle the rigors of being a starting goalie in the NAHL by going 3-0 for the Wilderness in their three wins over the Minnesota Magicians. Oplinger (5’10/170) allowed just four goals in the three wins and stopped 75 of a combined 79 shots. On Wednesday, he made 29 saves in a 4-3 win. On Friday, he stopped all 23 shots that came his way for his third shutout of the season in a 3-0 win and on Saturday he made 23 saves in a 4-1 win. “Frank really stepped it up for us and played very well,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen. “At this point in time, he gave us the ability to win games each and every night and that’s all we can ask.”

2nd Star: Brett Gervais, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Lonnie Clary, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Thomas Lindstrom, forward, Minnesota Wilderness – Matt Nuttle, defenseman, Wenatchee Wild – Chase Perry, goaltender, Wenatchee Wild

North Division Star of the Week: Colin Larkin, forward, Michigan Warriors

The Michigan Warriors moved into sole possession of 2nd place in the North Division with three wins on the road this past week. Out of the three wins, veteran forward Colin Larkin, 20, scored two of the three game-winners to help the Warriors win in Port Huron and in Johnstown. On Wednesday, Larkin (6’3/192) had the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win in Port Huron. On Saturday, the native of Waterford, Michigan had two goals in a 4-2 win in Johnstown against the Tomahawks. For the season, Larkin is 1st on the Warriors roster in goal with 16 and 2nd in points with 26. “Colin scored some big goals at big times for us, but he has been doing that all year,” said Warriors head coach Moe Mantha. “He has always been very talented offensively, but lately he has been doing a great job in the defensive end, which has translated into even more chances for him on the offensive end and made him a more complete player.”

2nd Star: Stefanos Lekkas, goaltender, Springfield Jr. Blues

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Max Kalter, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues – TJ Stuntz, forward, Michigan Warriors

South Division Star of the Week: Brendan Vetter, defenseman, Amarillo Bulls

Amarillo Bulls defenseman Brendan Vetter, 20, played a big role in helping the Bulls win two of three games against the Odessa Jackalopes this past weekend and had a hand in scoring in all three of the games, totaling five points and a +5 rating in the games. On Friday, Vetter (6’1/190) had an assist in a 3-2 loss. On Saturday, the native of North Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, had a goal and two assists in an 8-0 shuout. On Sunday, Vetter assisted on Amarillo’s first goal in a 4-1 win. With 25 points to date, Vetter is 2nd in the Bulls line-up in points for all defensemen. “Brendan is a solid veteran player and he has come in and shown great leadership,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “He has improved every game and logs a lot of ice time for us. He has played well at both ends of the ice and on special teams and is the kind of player that will be successful at the next level.”

2nd Star: Ben Myers, goaltender, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kevin Antipov, forward, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Kyle Bauman, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Collin Delia, goaltender, Amarillo Bulls – Kyle Froese, defenseman, Corpus Christi IceRays – Jake Kamrass, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Yoshihiro Kuroiwa, goaltender, Odessa Jackalopes – Tyler Ledford, forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Tyler Poulsen, forward, Topeka RoadRunners – Nick Schmit, goaltender, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

 (Nathan can be reached at

USHL Honors - Week 19

Press Release

 The United States Hockey League today announced the CCM and Reebok player awards for the 19th week of the 2013-14 USHL regular season.

Winners include Chris Wilkie of the Tri-City Storm, recognized as CCM Forward of the Week; Brandon Montour of the Waterloo Black Hawks and Zach Frye of the Lincoln Stars, chosen as co-recipients of CCM Defenseman of the Week; and Jared Rutledge of the Green Bay Gamblers and Ed Minney of Team USA, tabbed as co-recipients of Reebok Goaltender of the Week.

Chris Wilkie, F, Tri-City Storm: The 17-year-old recorded four points (3g, 1a) and a plus-two rating as he led the Storm to three wins during the week.  He first dished out an assist in Tuesday’s 4-3 shootout win against the Lincoln Stars.  Wilkie then registered his first USHL multi-goal game as he netted two goals, plus converted his shootout attempt, in Friday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede.  The Omaha, Nebraska native completed his week by scoring a goal in the third period on Saturday, which began a three-goal period for the Storm to earn a 4-3 win against Sioux Falls.  The goal by the University of North Dakota commit extended his point streak to eight games (5g, 6a), and he is now second on the Storm in scoring with 23 points (12g, 11a) in 35 games.

Brandon Montour, D, Waterloo Black Hawks: The defenseman scored three points (1g, 2a) and posted a plus-four rating over two contests to help the Black Hawks extend their win streak to a team record 13 games.  The Oshweken, Ontario native netted the game-winning goal in Friday’s 3-1 victory over the Fargo Force.  He then dished out a pair of assists in Saturday’s 6-2 win against Fargo.  The 19-year-old has at least one point (4g, 14a) in each of the 13 consecutive victories for the Hawks, tying for the second longest point streak in the USHL this season.  The University of Massachusetts commit is tied for the scoring lead among USHL defensemen with 31 points (9g, 22a) in 35 games.

Zach Frye, D, Lincoln Stars: The 19-year-old netted a pair of goals for the Stars during a two-game week.  His two tallies came in the second period of Tuesday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Tri-City Storm.  It was the first multi-goal game of his USHL career.  The Spokane, Washington native also helped the Stars go a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill over their two games.  Frye, who leads the League with 137 penalty minutes, did not commit a penalty in either game for the Stars during the week.  Playing in his fourth USHL season, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks commit has already established USHL career highs in goals (4) and points (12) through 21 games this season.

Jared Rutledge, G, Green Bay Gamblers: The goaltender allowed just one goal over two appearances for the Gamblers during the weekend, posting a 0.54 goals-against-average and .979 save percentage in two victories.  He stopped all 19 shots he faced before being relieved in the third period of Friday’s 6-0 win against the Chicago Steel.  The 19-year-old followed up with a 27-save performance in the 2-1 overtime win over Team USA on Saturday.  It was the 18th win of the season for the Skokie, Illinois native, third most among League goaltenders.  Rutledge has played more minutes than any USHL netminder this season (1,804).

Ed Minney, G, Team USA: The 17-year-old posted his first USHL career shutout when he stopped all 38 shots in Saturday’s 7-0 win against the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  He made 21 of his season high 38 saves in the third period alone.  The Wind Gap, Pennsylvania native has accumulated a 7-1-1 record over 10 USHL contests this season to go along with a 2.38 GAA and .923 SV%.  Minney, a Michigan State University commit, was recently tabbed as the second highest rated North American goaltender in the midterm rankings by NHL Central Scouting for the 2014 NHL Draft.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Spitfires’ Ho-Sang is OHL Player of Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2014 NHL Draft prospect Josh Ho-Sang of the Windsor Spitfires is the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 26 after leading the league in scoring with seven points in two games recording three goals and four assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Ho-Sang helped the Spitfires earn a pair of victories last week highlighted by a four-point game as part of an 8-7 shootout win over the Sarnia Sting on Sunday afternoon to extend the club’s winning-streak to four games.  Ho-Sang earned first star honours in that contest recording his first career hat-trick including his 23rd goal of the season to tie the score in the third period plus an assist in regulation before netting the shootout winner.  Earlier in the week, Ho-Sang collected three assists and was named third star of the Spitfires’ 5-2 road win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Ho-Sang, a Thornhill, ON, native who recently turned 18-years-old, is playing in his second OHL season with the Spitfires after being chosen fifth overall in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection.  This season he has 62 points in 47 games and is listed 18th by NHL Central Scouting in their Midterm Draft Rankings.  Ho-Sang, who is the second member of the Spitfires to claim the award this season, participated in the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game earlier this month recording a goal and an assist for Team Orr in the 4-3 victory.

Click here for video highlights of Ho-Sang and the Spitfires against the Sting
Click here for video highlights of Ho-Sang and the Spitfires against the Greyhounds

For the second straight week Hunter Garlent of the Peterborough Petes was considered for the award after scoring three goals and three assists for six points in three games, while two-time award winner and OHL top scorer Connor Brown of the Erie Otters scored four goals with two assists for six points in two games.  In goal, Jake Patterson of the London Knights won two games posting a goals-against-average of 1.00 with a save percentage of .968.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Leipsic Denny's WHL player of the week

Press Release

The Western Hockey League announced today that Portland Winterhawks’ forward Brendan Leipsic is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 26, 2014.

Leipsic scored three goals and six assists for nine points along with a +9 rating in three games over the past week, helping the Winterhawks post a perfect 3-0-0-0 record in that span.

On Monday, January 20th, Leipsic tallied a goal and three assists while posting a +4 rating and earning 1st Star honors in a 5-2 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants.  On Friday, January 24th, he also notched a goal and three assists and a +4 rating while being named the game’s 3rd Star in a 5-1 win over the visiting Everett Silvertips.  On Sunday, January 26th, Leipsic scored for a fifth straight game as the Winterhawks managed a 6-2 win in Everett.

Leipsic, a 19-year-old from Winnipeg, MB, is in his fourth season in the WHL with the Winterhawks.  The 2012-13 WHL scoring co-champion has amassed 29 goals and 63 points in just 38 games this season for the U.S. Division-leading Winterhawks.  A sixth-round pick, 112th overall, in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Leipsic has scored 122 goals and 274 points in 239 career WHL regular-season games.  Leipsic was chosen in the third round, 89th overall, by the Nashville Predators in the 2012 NHL Draft.

The WHL has also nominated Patrik Bartosak of the Red Deer Rebels for the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week award.  A 20-year-old from Koprivnice, CZE, Bartosak posted a 3-0-0-0 record with two shutouts in three road appearances over the past week, allowing just two goals on 123 shots for a 0.67 goals-against average and a .984 save percentage in that span.  On Wednesday, January 22nd, Bartosak stopped all 38 shots he faced to record a shutout while taking 1st Star honors in a 5-0 win in Prince Albert.  On Friday, January 24th, he turned aside 42 of 44 shots and was named the game’s 1st Star in a 3-2 triumph over the Blades in Saskatoon.  On Saturday, January 25th, he made 41 saves for his second shutout of the week and 11th of his WHL career while earning 1st Star honors in a 4-0 victory in Regina.  Bartosak, the 2012-13 WHL and CHL Goaltender of the Year, is in his third campaign with the Rebels.  He has posted a 71-41-5-3 record in 124 career WHL regular-season games for Red Deer.  Bartosak was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the fifth round, 146th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.

 (Nathan can be reached at

MJHL postponed games

Press Release

 The following games today have been postponed due to poor weather and road travel conditions.

Dauphin at OCN Blizzard

Waywayseecappo at Neepawa Natives

Swan Valley at Virden

Each of the games postponed today will be re-scheduled as soon as possible.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Kamloops roster moves and injury update

Press Release

Kamloops, BC – The Kamloops Blazers are set to play four games in five nights this week starting on Tuesday night when they host the Spokane Chiefs. The hockey club has been forced to make a few roster moves as two players suffered long-term injuries over the weekend.

The Blazers have called up forward Deven Sideroff from the Okanagan Midget Prep team for the week. The 16-year-old has played 33 games this season and compiled 26 goals and 55 points. The Summerland, BC native has played one game with the Blazers earlier this season in Prince George. Sideroff will wear #34.

The hockey club will be without the services of 18-year-old forward Luke Harrison and 20-year-old forward Tyson Ness long-term. Ness suffered his injury on Friday night, while Harrison was injured on Saturday night.

Goaltender Cole Kehler was added to the roster last week and will remain with the Blazers for the time being due to an injury to Justin Myles. In 23 games with the Okanagan Midget Prep team, the 6’3” and 190lb native of Altona, MB has a 19-4 record. The 16-year-old has appeared in six games with the Blazers this season.

On Wednesday in Vancouver, the Blazers will have 15-year-old forward Quinn Benjafield in the line-up as he makes his WHL debut in his hometown. Benjafield was the Blazers first round pick, 19th overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Benjafield will wear #39.

The 6’1” and 165lb forward is playing for the Vancouver North West Giants of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. In 27 games this season, Benjafield has 14 goals and 34 points. The Vancouver NW Giants sit second in the 11-team BCMML with a 24-5-1 record. 

Injury Update:

Eric Krienke, Upper Body, 1-2 weeks
Matt Needham, Lower Body, week-to-week
Luke Harrison, Upper Body, indefinite
Tyson Ness, Upper Body, indefinite
Justin Myles, Upper Body, indefinite

(Nathan can be reached at

Sea Dogs recall Gaudet; Porter reassigned

Press Release

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs have recalled goaltender Chase Gaudet from the Yarmouth Mariners of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.

The 19-year-old native of Summerside, P.E.I., is an affiliate player with the Sea Dogs.

Gaudet is in his third season with the Mariners, compiling a record of 12-7 with a 3.42 goals-against average and a .884 save percentage in 21 games.

He also played nine games last season with Shawinigan as a free-agent signee of the Cataractes, posting a record of 0-5 with a 6.17 goals-against average and a .819 save percentage.

Gaudet will join the team for its upcoming road trip through Quebec.

In a corresponding move, affiliate player and goaltender Kyle Porter has been reassigned to the Saint John Vito's of the NB-PEI Midget AAA Hockey League.

Porter dressed for five games with the Sea Dogs over the past two weeks, but did not appear in a game.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Duclair, Cadorette and Cüpper named the TELUS three stars of the week

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Monday January 27, 2014 - Anthony Duclair, Philippe Cadorette and Marvin Cüpper were named today the TELUS three stars of the week for January 20 to 26, 2014.

The first star of the week is the Quebec Remparts’ forward, Anthony Duclair. In 3 games, he collected eight points, including five goals. Thursday in Gatineau, Duclair became the first 40-goal scorer of this QMJHL season, in a 6-2 win. Saturday, in an offensive battle against the Val-d’Or Foreurs, Duclair tallied another 3 points, including the game winner for the second straight game. The New York Rangers' third round pick, is the currently the second point getter with 75 points, 10 behind the current leader, Anthony Mantha.

The Baie-Comeau Drakkar goaltender, Philippe Cadorette, is the second star of the week. With 3 wins, all of them on the road, Cadorette maintained an average of 0.98 and a save percentage of .951. He did not allow any goals at even strength. Thursday, he began his week with his fifth shutout of the season against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, with a 1-0 win. Sunday  against the Moncton Wildcats, Cadorette made 18 saves in a 3-2 win, which brought his personal winning streak to 6.

Marvin Cüpper, the Shawinigan Cataractes goal keeper, is the third star of the week. In two games, he maintained an average of 1.05 and a save percentage of .961. During Saturday’s important game for the last playoff spot, Cüpper blocked 23 out of 24 shots in a 2-1 win against the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

 (Nathan can be reached at