Friday, February 28, 2014

Jackalopes announce coaching change

Press Release

The Odessa Jackalopes, members of the North American Hockey League, announce that first year Head Coach Matt Cressman has been dismissed from the team. Cressman was in his 13th season in the organization (6th as a player, 7th as a coach) before he learned last night that he had been removed from his position.
The Jacks have hired Cressman’s former teammate, Greg Gatto to take over the reins for the final 10 games.
Gatto spent the last nine seasons in his native Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada with the University of Lethbridge where he compiled a record of 80-143-20.
This is not Gatto’s first tenure as coach of the Jacks. In 2003-04, Gatto was an assistant to legendary Jackalopes bench boss Don McKee. Gatto also notched 19 goals and 18 assists along with 143 penalty minutes in 2002-03 as a player with the Jacks. 

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CHL Friday Night Hockey Returns to Sportsnet February 28

Press Release

Sportsnet today announced the remaining regular season broadcast schedule for Friday Night Hockey, featuring three hard-hitting Canadian Hockey League match-ups as teams gear up for the 2014 CHL Playoffs and 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup (Please see full broadcast schedule below).

Sportsnet’s Friday Night Hockey resumes tonight with an OHL showdown as the London Knights host the Owen Sound Attack at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific. Host Rob Faulds will be joined in-studio by analyst Damien Cox , while play-by-play commentator RJ Broadhead and analyst Sam Cosentino will call the game from Budweiser Gardens in London, ON.

On Friday, March 7, the Oshawa Generals take on the Kingston Frontenacs at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Sportsnet East, Ontario and Pacific. Faulds and Cox will host and provide analysis, respectively, while Broadhead and Cosentino hit the broadcast booth in Kingston to call the game.

Sportsnet wraps up its 2013-14 regular season Friday Night Hockey schedule on Friday, March 14 with a WHL match-up featuring the first place Kelowna Rockets taking on the Vancouver Giants at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet ONE. Broadhead and Cosentino will call the game, while HOCKEY CENTRAL provides pre-game, intermission and post-game analysis, scores, interviews and features.

Home to the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup, Sportsnet will broadcast a Friday Night Hockey game every Friday night during the 2013-14 regular season and playoffs. Sportsnet will announce its 2014 Friday Night Hockey playoff schedule in the coming weeks.

Sportsnet’s Remaining 2013-14 CHL Regular Season Broadcast Schedule

Friday, Feb. 28

    Owen Sound @ London, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)

Friday, March 7

    Oshawa @ Kingston, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario and Pacific)

Friday, March 14

    Kelowna @ Vancouver, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet ONE)

 Last week the Canadian Hockey League and Sportsnet announced a 12-year partnership extension through the 2025-26 CHL season, continuing Sportsnet’s tradition as the exclusive broadcaster of the CHL and MasterCard Memorial Cup in Canada.

The new agreement, which begins with the 2014/15 season, features a comprehensive suite of multimedia rights including television, online and mobile, delivering more than 50 CHL games each year, including CHL playoff games and the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Sportsnet has been broadcasting CHL games since the network’s inception in 1998.

In addition, Sportsnet announced a 12-year sub-licensing agreement with TVA Sports for exclusive French-language multiplatform rights for CHL games, beginning with the 2014/15 season.

The announcement strengthens Sportsnet’s hockey leadership in Canada and complements Rogers’s 12-year partnership with the NHL, which also begins with the 2014-15 season. Beginning in 2014-15, Sportsnet is the official national broadcast partner of the CHL and NHL, and is also the regional broadcaster of the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Vancouver Canucks.

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Capitols announce radio partnership with The Zone

Press Release 

Madison, WI – The Madison Capitols announced Wednesday that they reached an agreement with Midwest Family Broadcasting and 106.7 FM, The Zone, on a broadcast deal for the 2014-15 season.

The Zone, which also has an AM stream (1670), will be the home for all Capitols game broadcasts in the 2014-15 season, as well as other related Capitols programming. Ryan Smith will serve as the Capitols broadcaster in the inaugural year.

“When we heard the Capitols were coming, we knew that we wanted to have them,” said WOZN operations manager Randy Hawke. “(Hockey) is an important element to the station, and we knew it would be a perfect fit.”

“We are extremely excited to be partners with The Zone,” said Capitols President Ed Chamberlain. “This is a great opportunity for both our fans and our partners to follow the team during the season.”

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Tonge named OJHL NE player of month

Press Release

The OJHL announced today that Kingston Voyageurs forward Alex Tonge (photo credit - Tim Bates/OJHL Images) has been named the Gongshow Gear North-East Conference Player-of-the-Month for February after recording 19 points in 8 games played. 

The Voyageurs leading scorer in 2013-14 finished the season on a tear with an 11 game points streak, dating back to January 16, and including all eight February contests.  During the streak, Tonge registered 26 points to help the Vees capture their first OJHL regular season title since 2009.  Recording 7 goals and 19 points in February, he had multiple points in seven of eight games, highlighted by a two goal, two assist performance in a 6-5 victory over the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.  During the point streak, Kingston went 10-1 and Tonge vaulted up the scoring charts, finishing sixth overall in league scoring with 72 points in 53 games played.

"It is an honour to be named the North-East Conference Player-of-the-Month," said Tonge.  "It belongs to our whole team as I could not have achieved this without my teammates, coaches and organization's support.  We are looking forward to a great playoff run and giving our fantastic fans something to cheer about.  Our fans support us all year long and we want to bring home the hardware for them."

"Very proud of Alex," said Vees Head Coach Colin Birkas.  "He's put the work in and is seeing the results.   In the off-season he asked for the opportunity to lead offensively and once he received it, never looked back.  He has legitimately improved every month and I assume he commits NCAA here shorty.  He epitomizes what we do here in Kingston and are very proud of his growth as a player and subsequent recognition."

Robert Angiolella of the Aurora Tigers was runner-up to Tonge as the North-East Conference Player-of-the-Month.  Angiolella recorded 14 points in 7 games played down the stretch as the Tigers finished first in the North Division for the second consecutive season.

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QMJHL welcomes the Memorandum of Understanding announcing the Gatineau multi-purpose centre

Press Release

Boucherville, February 27, 2014 - The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) welcomes the announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Olympiques and the City of Gatineau that will allow for the construction of a multi-purpose centre in Gatineau. The QMJHL would also like to acknowledge the leadership of the Quebec Government and the Premier of Quebec that makes today’s announcement of this important project possible.

"These quality sports facilities will provide a better product for hockey fans," said the League’s Commissioner, Gilles Courteau. "Thanks to its leadership in this project, the Government of Quebec allows Gatineau to develop quality infrastructure and the necessary tools to meet the challenges of the future. This upcoming multi-purpose centre will meet the growing needs of the Gatineau Olympiques and allow the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to hold events in the city that contribute to the exposure of Gatineau and significant economic benefits for the city and its surroundings . "

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s mission is to develop players for professional hockey while supporting them throughout their academic endeavors in order to mold them into responsible and educated citizens. It must offer high entertainment value in order to ensure the continued success of its activities.

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MJHL Survivor series dates announced

Press Release

Mar 04
Winkler Flyers
Winnipeg Blues
7:30 pm
Mar 06
Winnipeg Blues
Winkler Flyers (Altona, MB)
7:30 pm
Mar 07
Winkler Flyers
Winnipeg Blues (if necessary)
7:30 pm

Mar 04
OCN Blizzard
7:00 pm
Mar 06
OCN Blizzard
7:30 pm
Mar 07
OCN Blizzard (if necessary)
7:00 pm

 (Nathan can be reached at

East Coast Wizards join EHL for 2014-15

Press Release

BOSTON, Mass. – The Eastern Hockey League announced today that the East Coast Wizards, led by former Olympian Scott Fusco and former professional player and NCAA coach Bobby Jay, will be joining the league for the 2014-15 season.  The Wizards will be based at of The Edge Sports Center in Bedford, Mass.

“Our league is very careful about expansion and bringing in new ownership groups,” said EHL Director of Hockey Operations Mark Kumpel, who played on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team with Fusco.  “Everything we do is geared toward providing a quality player environment, and we think the Wizards, Scott Fusco and Bobby Jay will not only make our league better, but add a franchise membership that will provide numerous players the chance to advance to college hockey each season.  They run a class program and there is no doubt they will enter the Junior landscape with the same amount of professionalism.”

The East Coast Wizards hockey program was established in the 2005 season as a girls select program with an initial slate of eight teams. Since that time, under the direction of Paul Kennedy, Bobby Jay, and Scott Fusco, the program has grown to 40 teams for boys and girls from ages 5-18.  The focus of the program is to provide a competitive AAA-level schedule and a fun and challenging environment for players and teams to develop their skills and reach their potential as players.

“We are excited to be members of the Eastern Hockey League,” said Fusco.  “We were attracted by the style of play and competitiveness of the league and feel that it is a great development environment for players of Junior age. We are also excited to become partners with the strong operators of the EHL franchises.”

Bobby Jay will serve as the team’s Director of Hockey Operations and a nationwide search is underway for a head coach.  

 (Nathan can be reached at

Thursday, February 27, 2014

James Anderson to Mercyhurst University

Press Release

Hauppauge, N.Y.—The P.A.L. Jr. Islanders and head coach Ed Galiani are proud to announce the commitment of James Anderson to Mercyhurst University class of 2016.

A native of Kings Park, N.Y., Anderson is one of the youngest members of the P.A.L. Premier squad.

“James is having a tremendous year,” said Galiani. “He is one of the youngest players on the team but is one of our top three forwards in points this season.”

In 2016 Anderson will reunite with current teammates Chris Makowski and Tommaso Bucci.
All three players will join the Lakers in the Atlantic conference of NCAA division I.

“It’s great to know that there will be guys I’m familiar with on the team.,” said Anderson. “Mercyhurst looks likes an awesome opportunity and I’m proud to have made the commitment.”

Born in 1996, Anderson will continue to develop before joining the Lakers in 2016. “We wish James and his family the best of luck and congratulations in his collegiate career,” said Galiani.

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Wings defenseman Horton makes NCAA DI commitment

Press Release

The Aberdeen Wings organization of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) announced today that team captain defenseman Jake Horton has made his NCAA Division I college commitment to join the University of Massachusetts Minutemen hockey team in the 2014-2015 season.

UMass is a member of the powerhouse Hockey East Association, a league of collegiate programs featuring some of the most historic college hockey teams like Boston College, Boston University, Connecticut, Maine, UMass-Lowell, Merrimack, New Hampshire, Northeastern, Notre Dame, Providence, and Vermont.

“Jake’s commitment to U-Mass is a great example of what this league is all about, being the league of opportunity,” stated Wings head coach Travis Winter. “Jake came to Aberdeen and spent two years working hard and improving his game. For that he is awarded a tremendous opportunity to play in one of the best college hockey conferences and at great school in U-Mass.”

Horton's commitment comes one week after playing in the 2014 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, as he was a part of Team Central, which won the event with a 2-0 record.

Horton becomes the 16th current/former player for the Wings to commit to a D-I hockey program. He is the 10th Aberdeen Wings player to commit to a Division I hockey program since February of 2013.

The Plymouth, Minnesota native has led the NAHL the entire season in goals scored by defensemen, currently with 18 goals and 14 assists (32 pts) in 49 games. Last season, his rookie campaign, Horton compiled 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 pts. This season, Horton was named team captain.

“Jake has been great for us all year,” added Coach Winter. “He’s our leader and we look forward to him leading us the rest of this season.”

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Phantoms Forward Commits to Miami University

Press Release

 The Youngstown Phantoms announced that forward Conor Lemirande will play collegiate hockey beginning next season at Miami University.

"Miami is a great place," said Lemirande. "The guys there are unbelievable, they have great facilities, and, their staff is first class."

Lemirande has scored 14 points (5g, 9a) while racking up 119 penalty minutes for the Phantoms this season.  He has netted four of his five goals this season over the last 10 games, and the Phantoms have won each of the last three games in which he scored a goal.  The 20-year-old was selected by Youngstown in Phase Two of the 2013 USHL Draft.  He had appeared in two games last season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

The Janesville, Wisconsin native is one of the biggest players in the USHL, standing at 6-5 and weighing 235 pounds.  He played youth hockey for the Madison Capitols AAA organization before spending the last two seasons in the NAHL with his hometown Janesville Jets.

"Of any of the commitments that guys have been able to achieve since our staff has been here, this is probably one of the ones that we're most proud of," said Phantoms Head Coach and General Manager Anthony Noreen. "It was getting pretty late in the game for Conor as a 20-year-old. I give huge credit to Miami for recognizing, respecting, and coveting what he is as a player, but probably even more so as a person."

Lemirande is joined by Phantoms teammate Kiefer Sherwood who is also committed to Miami University.  Four other current USHL players will attend the school; Ryan Siroky (Green Bay Gamblers), Chaz Switzer (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Louis Belpedio (Team USA), and Jack Roslovic (Team USA).

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CJHL appoints Rick Morocco as Executive Director

Press Release

CALGARY, Alberta – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) is pleased to announce the hiring of Rick Morocco as its new Executive Director.  The newly-created position is an expansion of the league’s current administration and will be instrumental in the continued growth of the CJHL.

 "I am excited and look forward to begin my work with the CJHL,” said Rick Morocco.“I believe that my experiences and expertise will be a positive addition to the organization; a great league that provides amazing opportunities and learning experiences for fine young hockey players across the country."

 CJHL President and Chairman Kirk Lamb is confident that this latest expansion of the CJHL office will significantly contribute to the growth of the league.“Rick's work experience and hockey background are a valuable addition to the CJHL, and will assist in the continued success and evolution of the league.”

“Rick Morocco is exceptionally suited for the CJHL and the Executive Director position as he brings a wealth of experience in the sports industry and as a player,” added Lamb.    Rick most recently served as the Managing Director of the Niagara Falls International Marathon, and previously held the positions as Executive Director at Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Director of Player Relations for the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA). 

Rick Morocco (Niagara, ON) has an extensive playing background including one season in the CJHL, three seasons in the CIAU (now CIS), and professional hockey in Italy for six years.  

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Washkurak named OJHL goalie of month

Press Release

The OJHL announced today that Mississauga Chargers netminder Austin Washkurak (photo credit - Gary Keys/OJHL Images) has been named the Gongshow Gear Goaltender-of-the-Month after posting a 5-1-0 record in February with a league high .941 save percentage. 

Washkurak was instrumental in leading the Chargers to their first OJHL playoff berth since the 2006-07 season, posting a 2.50 goals against average.  His five wins in February included key victories down the stretch against East Division powerhouses Whitby, Cobourg and Wellington.  Four times he would make 40+ saves, highlighted by a 46 save, 3-1 victory, over the Cougars on February 15.  Topping the save percentage chart in February after stopping 238 shots in only six games played, Washkurak boosted his season total to .911 to finish among the top 10 overall in the league.

"I want to thank the OJHL for selecting me for this award," said the Chargers goalie upon hearing of the honour.  "I appreciate the recognition, but we worked hard as a team to make the playoffs.  My focus was simple; stop pucks.  I am glad I could do this, but we scored when we needed to, to win games."

"Making the playoffs was our goal as a team," continued Washkurak, "but now we want to continue this play into the playoffs and go as far as we can.  I would like to thank the coaches, and my teammates most of all, for helping me win this award."

"I am very excited to learn that Ozzy (Austin Washkurak) has won Player-of-the-Month for February," said Chargers Head Coach Joe Washkurak.  "Being Ozzy's coach and his father, it's very gratifying that the OJHL has recognized his play this month.  I also believe this is a team award as we have beaten some very good teams down the stretch and our players deserve a lot of credit for playing very well in front of him."

"Ozzy has worked very hard over the summer," said the club's bench boss, "and I know had very high expectations of himself and our team.  Making the playoffs for the first time in seven years was his and our goal."

Sam Tanguay of the Kingston Voyageurs was runner-up to Washkurak as the OJHL Goaltender-of-the-Month.  Tanguay posted a 6-0-0 record with a 1.81 goals against average and a .938 save percentage.

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CHL Announces BMO CHL Top 10 Rankings

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the twenty-third 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 23

Last Week Rank:
Number of Weeks Ranked:
Kelowna Rockets (49-9-0-4)
Guelph Storm (46-10-2-1)
Portland Winterhawks (46-12-2-3)
Baie-Comeau Drakkar (42-15-1-3)
Erie Otters (44-13-2-0)
London Knights (42-12-1-4)
Edmonton Oil Kings (44-15-1-1)
Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (37-14-4-5)
Victoria Royals (43-17-1-3)
Rimouski Oceanic (37-15-3-4)
  Honourable Mention:
  Calgary Hitmen (41-15-3-4)
  Oshawa Generals (39-16-0-5)
  Halifax Mooseheads (39-18-0-3)

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Petes Unveil New Jersey Designs and Colours

Press Release to see the jerseys

The Peterborough Petes are extremely excited to unveil new jersey designs for the 2014-2015 season. The Petes will wear three different jersey designs next season. The light jerseys will feature cream colouring with black and maroon accents, the dark jerseys will feature black colouring with cream and maroon accents, and the traditional jerseys will replicate the current maroon and white jerseys worn by the team.

In a press conference held today that was open to the public, Vice President of the Petes Board of Directors Dave Pogue noted that “the new design is a fresh look that also incorporates the proud history of this franchise and important aspects of our past.”

“This new jersey style and colour scheme that was unveiled today is fresh and exciting, but also incorporates the Petes’ heritage and tradition,” added Petes General Manager Michael Oke. “The Peterborough Petes will continue to boast one of the most recognizable jerseys and logos in all of hockey – if not in all of sport.”

A very limited number of new jerseys will be available at the beginning of the 2014-2015 season. Fans in attendance at the press conference were able to place a deposit and secure one of the first jerseys. A few jerseys are still available to be pre-ordered by calling or visiting the Petes Store inside the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

Why change the jersey design and colours?

The Peterborough Petes changed their jerseys for the 50th anniversary season in 2006, unveiling a new design and colours for the special occasion. Fans and media, as well as players, coaches, and staff members had a very positive reaction to the style, which is one of the inspirations for the new jersey design. The updated modern look of the new jerseys is a way for the Petes organization to be progressive while also recognizing and incorporating our past and tradition.

Why announce this now?

The process for designing and producing new jerseys is a long process, and our goal is to share the news with our fans before they encounter jersey designs in manufacturer sales materials for the upcoming season. The Petes also have a longstanding and successful partnership with the Peterborough Minor Hockey Association. The Petes don’t expect all minor hockey teams to change to the new jersey design, but those that wish to change need to know with enough lead time to order new jerseys. The Petes fully support teams that choose to wear the traditional maroon and white jerseys.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Vees winners at 27th annual Penticton Business Excellence Awards

Press Release sent to the World of Junior Hockey

PENTICTON, BC – The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club took home some hardware at the 27th Annual Penticton Business Excellence Awards Saturday at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

 The Vees, first time nominees, won the 2014 Family Friendly Excellence Award. An award given out to Penticton and area businesses that provide a family friendly environment, maintains employment practices that support working families and or promotes community efforts to support healthy families.

“We have placed a high level of importance on creating an atmosphere that can be enjoyed by all ages,” Said Vees President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson. “Our number one mandate was to make Vees hockey affordable to all families.”

Prior to this season, the Vees reduced the price of their season tickets significantly with the goal in mind to make watching Vees hockey accessible to everyone in Penticton and the South Okanagan. The team introduced three pricing levels, with fans having the option to buy season tickets starting from as little as $149.

The team also introduced a season ticket incentive geared towards getting younger fans turned onto the Vees. Children and youth in the South Okanagan between the ages of 4 and 17 received a free season’s pass if their parent/ guardian bought season tickets.

 The entire Vees organization would like to congratulate their fellow nominees and all the business that were winners at the 27th Penticton Business Excellence Awards. Most importantly, the Vees would like to thank their fans for the tremendous support they’ve received during the 2013-2014 season.

 (Nathan can be reached at

BCHL and Courage Canada announce partnership

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League is proud to announce a partnership with Courage Canada Hockey for the Blind and has stepped up to support their mission with a cheque presentation which was made at Friday's Langley Rivermen – Chilliwack Chiefs game at Langley Events Centre.

Courage Canada is a national registered charity that leads the development of Blind Hockey and provides youth with the opportunity to learn to skate and try Blind Hockey.

This season, several BCHL teams have hosted Courage Canada’s youth programs with players and coaches taking youngsters on the ice, many of them for the first time, to experience Canada’s winter sport.

The BCHL’s contribution will help Courage Canada with the facility rentals, transportation, meals and other costs their programs require.

“B.C. is our biggest province in terms of programs and this ensures we can meet the growing demand,” said Courage Canada executive director Matt Morrow. “What’s special about the BCHL is it’s a developing partnership. A few teams have stepped up already and kids really benefit.”

In blind hockey, players use an oversized disc that makes noise and moves more slowly than a standard hockey puck. The skill of players at the highest level makes the game look little different than a normal game of hockey.

“We are so pleased to be able to partner with Courage Canada,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “Hockey has the ability to affect positive change across all levels of Canadian society so we feel like this is an ideal fit for everyone.”

Based on the programs hosted in the league already, there is room for growth to more BCHL communities.

“I think it’s huge for a kid that has a disability going out on the ice,” said Morrow. “That’s why it’s been great to have an expert mentor like a BCHL player.”

(Nathan can be reached at

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

California 18U forward Pelone signs NAHL tender

Press Release

The California Titans of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U forward Corey Pelone has signed an NAHL tender agreement with the Springfield Jr. Blues. The Jr. Blues compete in the NAHL’s North Division.

Pelone, 18, just completed his third NAPHL season with the Titans. In 24 regular season games this season, the native of Simi Valley, California had 18 points, which ranked 4th in team scoring. Pelone (5’9/165) also tied for the team lead in game-winning goals with three.

Pelone’s best stretch of hockey came in October and November this past season when he rattled off a seven-game point streak. He also played well in the recent NAPHL Championship Series as the #8-seeded Titans made it all the way to the 18U Semi-Finals in the Gold Division. Pelone scored twice in the four games.

In 46 career NAPHL regular season games with the Titans the past two seasos, Pelone has 24 career points.

Pelone is the second player for the Titans 18U team to sign an NAHL tender this season joining defenseman Austin Wilk (Austin Bruins).

 (Nathan can be reached at

Omaha 16U forward Allison makes NCAA DI commitment

Press Release

The Omaha AAA Hockey Club, proud members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), are pleased to announce that 16U forward Wade Allison has committed to play NCAA Division I Hockey at Western Michigan University starting in the fall of 2016.

Western Michigan is a member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).

Allison  is a native of Mirtle, Manitoba and is in his first season with the Omaha AAA Hockey Club. So far this year, the 6'1 200lbs Allison has amassed an impressive 62 goals and 71 assists for 131 points in 68 games overall for the Omaha AAA 16U team that is ranked #2 in the country.

In NAPHL league play, the 16-year-old has 19 goals and 9 assists for 28 points in 15 games for the Omaha team which went 19-0-1 in the regular season, finishing in 1st place and winning the 16U regular season crown.

Allison was second on the team in playoff scoring with nine points in five games as Omaha advanced to the NAPHL Championship game for the second straight season.

Allison now becomes the fourth member of this years 16U team in Omaha to receive an NCAA Division 1 Hockey Scholarship joining Tarek Baker (Minnesota) , August von Ungern-Sternberg (Brown) and Matt Pulver (Air Force).

 (Nathan can be reached at

OHL Cup Minor Midget Top-10 Rankings

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the sixteenth edition of the weekly minor midget rankings for the 2014 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament hosted by the Greater Toronto Hockey League.

The weekly rankings are determined by a panel of OHL Central Scouting Staff and represent the top teams that are competing to play in the annual year-end championship tournament which takes place March 11-16, 2014, at Buckingham Arena in Toronto, ON.

Minor Midget Rankings for the 2014 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament – Week 16

Toronto Jr. Canadiens
Toronto Marlies
Detroit Honeybaked
Mississauga Senators
Waterloo Wolves
Vaughan Kings
Whitby Wildcats
Ottawa Jr. 67's
Ottawa Valley Titans
Southern Tier Admirals
  Honourable Mention
  Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
  Don Mills Flyers
  Halton Hurricanes

Seven teams have now officially qualified for the 2014 OHL Cup most recently including the Ottawa Jr. 67’s who reached the OEMHL Finals.  The 67’s join the Ottawa Valley Titans who they will play for the Championship title, along with the Waterloo Wolves who last week qualified by reaching the ALLIANCE Championship Final.  Those three teams join four GTHL teams who were among the first to qualify including the Toronto Jr. Canadiens and the Toronto Marlies who are currently competing for the league title, along with Semi-Finalists the Mississauga Senators, and the Vaughan Kings.

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Oceanic’s Michael Joly named CHL Player of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Michael Joly of the Rimouski Oceanic is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 23 after recording 10 points in four games with three goals and seven assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-7.

Joly helped lead the Oceanic to four straight wins last week extending the club’s winning-streak to eight games moving them into a tie for third place in the QMJHL’s overall standings with 81 points.  His week was highlighted by a career-high seven point performance tying a franchise record last Wednesday night scoring once with six assists to earn second star honours in a 9-3 win over the Sherbrooke Phoenix.  Last Monday night he also scored a shorthanded goal as part of a 5-0 win over the Victoriaville Tigres, and later picked up an assist in a 4-1 win over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Friday.  His week wrapped up with a single goal, his 39th of the season, in a 6-3 win over the Phoenix on Saturday.

Joly, an 18-year-old from Gatineau, QC, is playing in his second QMJHL season with the Oceanic.  He currently ranks 15th in league scoring with 68 points in 59 games.

Also considered for the award this week was Calgary Flames prospect Morgan Klimchuk of the Regina Pats who scored six goals with three assists for nine points in four games, and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Scott Laughton of the Oshawa Generals who scored four goals and three assists for seven points in four games.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Oceanic’s Philippe Desrosiers named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Dallas Stars prospect Philippe Desrosiers of the Rimouski Oceanic is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending February 23 after posting a 3-0-0-0 record including one shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.33 and save percentage of .952.

Desrosiers set a new QMJHL record for the longest shutout streak at 243 minutes and 35 seconds breaking the previous record set earlier this season by Francois Brassard of the Quebec Remparts.  Desrosiers set the record last Monday with a 31-save performance to claim first star honours in a 5-0 victory over the Victoriaville Tigres for his fifth shutout of the season.  The streak ended on Wednesday when he allowed a goal against the Sherbrook Phoenix however he still earned the victory and third star honours with 23 saves in the 9-3 decision.  Desrosiers finished his week earning first star honours against one of the QMJHL’s top teams the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada making 25 saves in the 4-1 victory helping the Oceanic win their seventh straight game.

Desrosiers, an 18-year-old from St-Hyacinthe, QC, is playing in his second full QMJHL season with the Oceanic.  Selected by the Stars in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft, he currently ranks fifth in the league with a 2.76 goals-against-average and has a save percentage of .901 while holding a 24-13-3-4 record for the Oceanic who are currently tied for third place in the QMJHL overall standings with 81 points.

Also considered for the award this week was Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Tristan Jarry of the Edmonton Oil Kings who posted a 3-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.57 and a save percentage of .974.  In the OHL, 2014 NHL Draft prospect Alex Nedeljkovic of the Plymouth Whalers went 2-1-0-0 with a 2.35 goals-against-average and a .945 save percentage.

 (Nathan can be reached at

OJHL All-Star teams announced

Press Release

The Ontario Junior Hockey League today announced the OJHL First and Second All-Star Teams.

1st Team All-Star
G – Kevin Entmaa (Aurora Tigers)
D – Nick Desimone (Buffalo Jr. Sabres)
D – Michael Prapavessis (Toronto Lakeshore Patriots)
F – Taylor Best (Whitby Fury)
F – Steve Hladin (Georgetown Raiders)
F – Liam Kerins (North York Rangers)

2nd Team All-Star
G – Nathan Perry (Cobourg Cougars)
D – Alex D'Oliveira (Cobourg Cougars)
D – Tyler Mayea (Trenton Golden Hawks)
F – Shane Bennett (Milton Icehawks)
F – Pat Egan (Buffalo Jr. Sabres)
F – Mike Panowyk (Whitby Fury)
F - Brett Seney (Kingston Voyageurs)

Goaltender – Kevin Entmaa (Aurora Tigers)

Recently named the OJHL Top Goaltender Award winner after leading the OJHL with a 2.16 goals against average, Kevin Entmaa turned in a dominant performance throughout the 2013-14 season.  Also leading the league with a .925 save percentage, 28 victories and 5 shutouts, the Milton, Ontario native teamed with Andy Munroe in backstopping the Aurora Tigers to a league-low 122 goals against, 14 fewer than their closest competition.  Seemingly getting stronger as the season progressed, Entmaa would be named the Gongshow Gear Goaltender-of-the-Month runner-up in November and won the award in both December and January, turning in a stretch that saw him go 13-1-0.  His play vaulted the club to the top ranking among OJHL clubs in the CJHL down the stretch, currently ranked ninth in the country, and finish as runner-up for the regular season league title to the Kingston Voyageurs.

Defence – Nick Desimone (Buffalo Jr. Sabres)

Playing his first season in the OJHL, the 19-year old rearguard was a pillar on the back-end for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, anchoring the club’s power play while providing a steadying presence in the defensive end.  The native of East Amherst, New York finished fourth on the Sabres and second overall among OJHL defenders with 51 points in 52 games played this season, helping the club capture a second consecutive West Division title, while earning Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month runner-up honours in October.  He fired home 13 goals, also second best in the league, and his 38 assists were tied for third among rearguards and 19th overall among all skaters.  Desimone would be named to the OJHL South-West Conference All-Star Team and would help them finish as runner-up at the 2013 Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge as the only defenceman to record two goals in the tournament.  He is committed to join Union College next season.

Defence – Michael Prapavessis (Toronto Lakeshore Patriots)

Toronto Lakeshore Patriots defenceman Michael Prapavessis becomes the first player since Luke Juha of the Burlington Cougars in 2010-11 to be named both 1st Team All-Prospect and 1st Team All-Star in the same season.  The second year Oakville, Ontario native led all OJHL defencemen with 49 assists, also tied for second best in the entire OJHL, and 54 points.  The second leading scorer on his club, Prapavessis helped the Patriots capture the first regular season Division title in franchise history, also earning the number one seed in the South-West Conference standings.  Anchoring the league’s second best power play unit, the 6’1”, 180 lbs. blueliner notched 25 power play assists, second highest among all players.  A member of Team Canada East at the 2013 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, Prapavessis would also lead all OJHL defencemen in scoring with four points while helping the South-West Conference All-Stars finish as runner-up at the Central Canada Cup.  Ranked 137th overall among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Term rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft, he is committed to join RPI next season.

Forward – Taylor Best (Whitby Fury)

Playing for his hometown Whitby Fury, Taylor Best was dominant from start to finish throughout the 2013-14 OJHL season.  After being named runner-up as OJHL Gongshow Gear North-East Conference Player-of-the-Month in September, he would win the award with 21 points in October and again be named runner-up in January.  Standing at only 5’10”, 168 lbs., Best led the OJHL with 53 assists and 90 points to capture the Top Scorer Award, a first in franchise history, while also finishing tied for third in the league with 37 goals.  The backbone of the league’s third best power play unit, he also led the OJHL with 29 power play assists and 40 power play points, factoring in on more than half of the club’s goals with the extra man.  Best was a member of Team Canada East at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, as well as the OJHL North-East Conference All-Star Team at the Central Canada Cup, finishing second on the team in scoring with three points.  He is committed to join Mercyhurst University in 2015.

Forward – Steve Hladin (Georgetown Raiders)

Georgetown Raiders captain Steve Hladin was the epitome of consistency all season long, setting an example to his club both on and off the ice.  The Mississauga, Ontario native got off to a great start in his third OJHL season, taking home OJHL Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month honours in October and would continue the stellar play to season’s end, failing to record a point in back-to-back games only once all year.  Hladin finished the season as runner-up in the scoring race to Best with 83 points, while also finishing runner-up to David Italiano of St. Michael’s in the goal scoring derby, notching 38 goals in 53 games played.  Scoring at critical times for the Raiders, Hladin also finished second in the OJHL with seven game-winning goals as Georgetown finished second in the West Division for the second consecutive season.

Forward – Liam Kerins (North York Rangers)

Continuing his steady progression over three years in the OJHL, Liam Kerins set career-highs in all offensive statistical categories this season, while leading the North York Rangers to a second place finish in the South Division standings.  Kerins registered 37 goals to finish tied for third overall in the OJHL, while also recording 74 points to finish fifth in the scoring race.  The 6’1”, 170 lbs. Caledon, Ontario native also led the Rangers with 13 power play goals, 2 shorthanded goals and 5 game-winning goals and would record 20 points in 11 November contests to be named runner-up as the OJHL Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month.  The 19-year old was named a member of the OJHL South-West Conference All-Star Team that finished as runner-up at the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge and he is committed to join RIT next season.

2nd Team All-Stars (*tie in voting for final forward position)

Cobourg Cougars netminder Nathan Perry is a native of Kingston, Ontario.  He posted a 26-10-2 record with a 2.28 goals against average, third best in the OJHL, and a .923 save percentage, while being named to the OJHL North-East Conference All-Star Team that competed at the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge in Terrebonne, Quebec.

Cobourg Cougars defenceman Alex D'Oliveira is a native of Georgetown, Ontario.  He becomes an OJHL 2nd Team All-Star for the second consecutive season after finishing second among all rearguards with 40 assists, the 14th best total among all players and tops on the Cougars, while also finishing fourth in overall scoring among defenceman with 48 points in 53 games played.  D'Oliveira is committed to SUNY Oswego for next season.

Trenton Golden Hawks defenceman Tyler Mayea is a native of Burlington, Ontario.  The Golden Hawks captain led the club with 19 power play points, while finishing tied for fourth among defenders with 11 goals and third with 49 points in 52 games played.  Mayea joined Perry on the OJHL North-East Conference All-Star Team that competed at the Central Canada Cup.

Milton Icehawks forward Shane Bennett is a native of Grand Island, New York.  Named a 1st Team All-Star in 2012-13, Bennett finished fifth with 36 goals and fourth with 77 points in 51 games played while being named the OJHL Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month in November.  Bennett was a member of the OJHL South-West Conference All-Star Team that finished as runner-up at the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge to the QJAAAHL.

Buffalo Jr. Sabres forward Pat Egan is a native of Rochester, New York.  Leading the club in scoring, he finished third among all scorers with 78 points and 13 power play goals, while finishing fourth overall with 47 assists in 51 games played.  Egan was Bennett's teammate on the South-West Conference All-Star Team at the Central Canada Cup.

Whitby Fury forward Mike Panowyk is a native of Whitby, Ontario.  Another key member of the Fury's high-powered offensive attack, he finished the season with 45 assists and 68 points in 46 games played, while also recording 33 power play points.  Panowyk was a member of Team Canada East at the World Junior 'A' Challenge, the OJHL North-East Conference All-Star Team at the Central Canada Cup and is committed to Colgate University for 2015.

Kingston Voyageurs forward Brett Seney is a native of London, Ontario.  He joins Prapavessis as the only two players to be named both an All-Star and All-Prospect this season after notching 69 points in 49 games played.  Seney was a member of Team East at the CJHL Prospects Game series, the OJHL North-East Conference All-Star Team at the Central Canada Cup and is committed to Merrimack College for 2015.

The Ontario Junior Hockey League will begin announcing its OJHL Year-End Awards beginning next week.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Alberta Junior Hockey League Announces 2014 League Award Winners

Press Release

 The Alberta Junior Hockey League, in partnership with The RBC Play Hockey Project, today announced the recipients of the 2013-2014 League Awards.  The award recipients will be presented with their respective trophies on home ice throughout the final week of the regular season and the 2014 AJHL Gas Drive Playoffs.

Most Valuable Player- Alberta Old Time Hockey Players Trophy / Outstanding Defenceman- W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy
Defenceman Trey Phillips of the Canmore Eagles is the 2013-2014 AJHL MVP and recipient of the W.G. (Bill) Scott Memorial Trophy as the Outstanding Defenceman.

Phillips enters the final week of the regular season amongst the Top 10 in the AJHL Scoring Race and leads all AJHL defencemen in scoring with 60 points.   The 20 year-old has averaged 1.1 points per game to lead the Eagles in scoring, including 11 powerplay goals and 4 game winning goals.  This is his fourth and final season with the Canmore Eagles, during which time he has scored 114 points in 198 regular season games.

Trey Phillips was the Alberta Dodge Dealers AJHL Player of the Month and the Canadian Junior Hockey League 1st Star of the Month for January 2014.   He was also selected as the Pro Hockey Life Player of the Game 12 times in the regular season.

Trey Phillips (Okotoks, AB) is committed to the University of Vermont for the 2014-2015 season.

• 2013-2014 AJHL MVP Award Finalists: Tanner Jaillet, Fort McMurray Oil Barons; Nicholas Jones, Sherwood Park Crusaders; Spencer Dorowicz, Olds Grizzlys
• 2012-2013 AJHL MVP Award Winner: Cam Maclise, Brooks Bandits

The Outstanding Defenceman award is given annually to the defensive player who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position throughout the season.   Trey Phillips is the first Canmore Eagles defenceman to win the AJHL Outstanding Defenceman Award.

• 2013-2014 Outstanding Defenceman Award Finalists: Grant Baker, Lloydminster Bobcats; Corey Chorneyko, Spruce Grove Saints; Tariq Hammond, Okotoks Oilers
• 2012-2013 Outstanding Defenceman Award Winner: Josh Healey, Sherwood Park Crusaders

Top Goaltender - Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey League Trophy
Tanner Jaillet of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons is the winner of the 2013-2014 Top Goaltender Award and recipient of the Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey League Trophy.  The Top Goaltender Award is awarded to the goalie who demonstrated the greatest ability in his position throughout the season as voted on by the league’s General Managers and Coaches.

Tanner Jaillet opened the 2013-2014 season with 10 consecutive wins, and 13 games without a regulation loss.  He is tied for 1st overall with a .933 save percentage and 2nd amongst all league goaltenders with a 2.01 GAA.  Jaillet has recorded a league leading 6 shutouts and is 29-9-3 in the regular season.

Jaillet (Red Deer, AB) was selected as the Pro Hockey Life Player of the Game nine times in the regular season.  Jaillet also received the honour of Alberta Dodge Dealers AJHL Player of the Month and the Canalta Hotels AJHL Player of the Week in September 2013.  The Canadian Junior Hockey League selected Jaillet as the 1st Star of the Month for September 2013 in recognition of the goaltender’s remarkable start to the season.  Tanner was also a finalist for the 2013-2014 AJHL MVP Award.

The 20 year old goaltender is in his third season with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and has committed to the University of Denver.  Jaillet becomes the fifth Oil Barons goaltender to receive the Top Goaltender Award.

• 2013-2014 Award Finalists: Kenny Cameron, Spruce Grove Saints; Ryan Ferguson, Canmore Eagles; Jared D'Amico, Okotoks Oilers
• 2012-2013 Award Winner: Nick Kulmanovsky, Grande Prairie Storm

Rookie of the Year - Dick White Trophy, Presented by Canalta Hotels
Forward Chris Gerrie of the Olds Grizzlys is the 2013-2014 AJHL Rookie of the Year.   Gerrie leads all AJHL rookies in goals, assists and points (18G, 25A, 53 PTS) and is second in team scoring with an average of 0.9 points per game.  He is currently tied for 18th overall in the AJHL Scoring Race.  His 19 powerplay assists place him among the Top 3 AJHL Scorers.

During the opening months of his rookie campaign, the 17 year-old committed to Michigan Tech University for the 2016-2017 season.  Gerrie made an immediate impact to the line-up with 27 points in his first 28 AJHL games.

Chris Gerrie (Red Deer, AB) has been selected as the Pro Hockey Life Player of the Game five times in his rookie season.  He becomes the fourth player in franchise history to earn the AJHL Rookie of the Year Award

• 2013-2014 Award Finalists: Mitch Vanderlaan, Fort McMurray Oil Barons; Tyler Busch, Spruce Grove Saints; Ryan Ferguson, Canmore Eagles
• 2012-2013 Award Winner: Tanner MacMaster, Camrose Kodiaks

Most Dedicated Player - Don McNabb Memorial Trophy
The Most Dedicated Player in the AJHL and winner of the Don McNabb Memorial Trophy is Brooks Bandits forward Anthony Paskaruk.  The Don McNabb Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the player judged the most dedicated to his team.

The Bandits Team Captain is tied for third in team scoring with 38 points, and leads the team in assists with 28.  The 20 year-old forward received the Pro Hockey Life Player of the Game Award and the Canalta Hotel AJHL Player of the Week Award in January 2014. 

Paskaruk won a Bronze medal as a member of Team Canada West at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Nova Scotia.

Anthony Paskaruk (Airdrie, AB) is committed to Clarkson University for the 2014-2015 season.  He is in his fourth season with the Brooks Bandits, during which time he has played in 225 regular season games and scored 146 AJHL points.  Paskaruk has tied the franchise record for Most Games Played in a Single Season (225GP).  Paskaruk is the first Bandits player to win the Don McNabb Memorial Trophy.

• 2013-2014 Award Finalists: Austin McDonald, Lloydminster Bobcats; Joel Herbert, Whitecourt Wolverines; Cam Gotaas, Camrose Kodiaks
• 2012-2013 Award Winner: Dylan Hubbs, Olds Grizzlys

Coach of the Year
The 2013-2014 AJHL Coach of the Year is Jason McKee of the Spruce Grove Saints.  McKee and the Saints have held a spot at the top of the AJHL Standings all season, and currently hold onto first place with 93 points and just two regular season games remaining.  The Saints lead the league with 288 goals for, and a goal differential of +98 (Goals For / Goals Against).

The Spruce Grove Saints were ranked as #1 in the CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings multiple times throughout the final months of the regular season.

Jason McKee has held the position of Saints Head Coach and General Manager for the past four seasons, guiding the team to the AJHL final in 2011 and 2013, and capturing the League Title in 2011.    McKee made his second appearance with Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in November 2013.  McKee led Canada West to a bronze medal as Head Coach, following a silver medal performance as an Assistant Coach in 2012.  McKee was previously Head Coach of Team West at the 2011 CJHL Prospects Games.

Four members of the 2013-2014 Spruce Grove Saints were finalists for AJHL League Awards, including McKee’s nomination.  Four current players on the Saints roster have accepted NCAA scholarships for the 2014-2015 season and beyond.

McKee was also a finalist for the Alberta Junior Hockey League Coach of the Year Award in 2012-2013.

• 2013-2014 Award Finalists: Garry VanHereweghe, Lloydminster Bobcats; Andrew Milne, Canmore Eagles; Brian Curran, Drumheller Dragons
• 2012-2013 Award Winner: Ryan Papaioannou, Brooks Bandits

 The following League Awards will also be presented at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 AJHL Regular Season.

• Regular Season Champion - Dave Duchak Trophy
• Scoring Champion - Ernie Love Trophy
• Top Team Goaltenders - Reebok / CCM Top Team Goaltenders Award
• Stewy Stewart Memorial - Stewy Stewart Memorial Trophy
• Pro Hockey Life Cup

The 2014 AJHL Gas Drive Playoffs will begin on Thursday, March 6th with a best-of-five series in each divisional match-up.

(Nathan can be reached at

Latest CJHL rankings keep Lakers 5th, North Stars 15th

Press Release

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Fort Frances Lakers and Thunder Bay North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League remained status quo this week in the latest installment of the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s top 20 rankings, which were announced Tuesday.

Sitting in first place in the SIJHL standings, the Lakers have been tabbed as the No. 5 club in the entire 128-team CJHL for another week while the North Stars were once again slotted in the No. 15 position in the weekly rankings, which are formulated in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting.

Fort Frances holds down top spot in the SIJHL with 86 points on their 41-6-2-2 overall record.

Thunder Bay meanwhile sits second in the league at 36-10-1-4, nine points in arrears.

The Lakers magic number to clinch the SIJHL’s regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming playoffs stands at two with any points gained by them, or lost by the North Stars, totalling two will give Fort Frances the crown.

They can wrap up first place tonight on home ice as they host the Wisconsin Wilderness in a 7:30 p.m. start at Ice for Kids Arena.

There was no changed this week among the four clubs currently ahead of the Lakers in the CJHL top 20.

The Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) were ranked No. 1 for a fourth consecutive week followed by the Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL), Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) and Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL), who sit second through fourth respectively.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Canalta Hotels AJHL Player of the Week - Devin McDonald

Press Release

 Camrose Kodiaks goaltender Devin McDonald is the Canalta Hotels AJHL Player of the Week.  McDonald posted a perfect 2-0 record with two consecutive shutouts during the week of February 17th -23rd.  He was awarded the Pro Hockey Life Player of the Game for his shutout performance on Family Day.

Devin McDonald (Calgary, AB) has won four consecutive games and sits 5th overall with a 2.28 GAA and .921 save percentage.  He has a regular season record of 21-10-7 with 4 shutouts.

The 19 year-old is in his second season with the Camrose Kodiaks.  McDonald and the Kodiaks are in the midst of a heated South Division playoff race, with 66 points and three regular season games remaining.

The Alberta Junior Hockey League is proud to partner with Canalta Hotels to continue recognition of the AJHL Player of the Week for the 2013-2014 AJHL Season.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Murray backstops undermanned PG to undefeated road swing, takes POW nod

Press Release

Prince George Spruce Kings goalie Alex Murray has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 23, the league announced on Monday.

Murray was in net for all three games in an undefeated road trip for the Spruce Kings. He was named 1st Star and the FortisBC Energy Player of the Game in a 4-1 win in Coquitlam where he made 32 stops and came off the bench to help PG to a come-from-behind 5-4 double-overtime victory in Chilliwack. He capped his week with a 36-save performance for an shortstaffed PG squad in a 3-3 draw with rival Langley.

The Burlington, Ont. native made 88 saves on 94 shots in the three games, good enough for a 0.936 save percentage. He also posted a 1.97 goals-against average.

Honourable mentions this week:

Powell River Kings F Jarid Lukosevicius: 4G, 3A, two 1st Stars

West Kelowna Warriors D Braden Pears: 4A, 1st Star, FortisBC Energy Player of the Game

Langley Rivermen F Evan Anderson: 4G, 2A, hat trick, two 1st Stars, 3rd Star, GWG

Vernon Vipers D Josh Bryan: 2G, 1A, two 2nd Stars

Vernon Vipers F TJ Dumonceaux: 2G, 1st Star, OT GWG, GWG, FortisBC Energy Player of the Game

Penticton Vees D Brett Beauvais: 2G, 2A, 1st Star, GWG

(Nathan can be reached at

Piazza commits to the University of Michigan

Press Release

WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Wildcats defenseman Sam Piazza has announced his commitment to play college hockey as a member of the University of Michigan Wolverines beginning in the fall of 2014.

“I am extremely proud to commit to play hockey at Michigan,” Piazza said. “I want to thank my family and the entire Wildcats organization for their support, particularly the coaching staff.”

Piazza had previously been in contact with the Michigan coaching staff, but his strong performance at the recent North American Hockey League Top Prospects Tournament solidified his credentials as a Division I-prospect.

“Michigan had called me about two weeks before the Top Prospects Tournament, so I knew they would be watching,” the defenseman said. “After Top Prospects, they invited me to tour the campus. I was not expecting much, but they wound up offering right there.”

For Piazza, there was no hesitation once Michigan offered him a spot.

“I accepted immediately,” he said. “Growing up in the Midwest, everyone knows the Big Ten and Michigan, so it was an easy decision for me. It’s a great hockey program, with a great rink in a great town.”

Wildcats head coach and general manager Paul Baxter believes that Piazza has the skillset needed to succeed at Michigan, and reached out to the Wolverines’ coaching staff earlier this season to discuss the second-year defenseman.

“Sam is a powerful skater with great on-ice vision and stick skills. In the years I have been coaching junior hockey, I have not seen anyone with his vision on defense. When you couple that vision with his high-end stick skills, that is a tremendous combination for a hockey player,” Baxter said.

He also praised Piazza’s abilities and qualities away from the ice, saying “Sam has developed tremendous leadership qualities, to the point where it was no surprise to our coaching staff when he was voted team captain by his teammates.”

Piazza’s commitment to one of the nation’s top academic institutions exemplifies the Wildcats’ goal of recruiting and developing well-rounded individuals, in addition to high-level hockey players. To that end, players on the 2013-14 Wildcats roster who took the ACT received an average score of 25.

“Sam is a great example of the type of person we try to bring into Wichita Falls, both academically and athletically,” Baxter said. “He is an intelligent young man who works hard both on and off the ice, and is always striving to improve, both as a person and in hockey.”

Piazza becomes the first player in team history to commit to Michigan, and the sixth current-Wildcat to commit to play Division I hockey. He joins teammates Tyler Ledford, Will Vosejpka, Ben Kucera, Matt Koch and Evan Okeley, who are all committed to the United States Air Force Academy.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Jets forward Hoglund makes NCAA DI commitment

Press Release

The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that forward Robin Hoglund has made a commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey for University of Minnesota of the Big Ten Conference

Hoglund (6’3/205), is 19-years-old and calls Moindal, Sweden home.  This season, he appeared in 45 games and has scored 18 goals and had 17 assists for 35 points for the Jets.

“We are very proud of Robin  because this commitment is a result of all the hard work he put in on and off of the ice. Robin pushes himself on and off the ice become a better player everyday,” said Janesville head coach Joe Dibble. “Also to have him commit to  a hockey institution like the University of Minnesota makes this a great achievement for him.'

Hoglund played as a part of the North team at last week's NAHL Top Prospects Tournament and the University of Minnesota was one of dozens of NCAA Division I schools in attendance.

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity I’ve been given to play hockey for the gophers” says Hoglund. “ I believe that they have the best program out there and I really believe I can excel as a hockey player to my full potential in a school like that.” “I came to the U.S. with one goal and that was to play college hockey at the highest level possible and I absolutely found it” according to Hoglund.

“I would like to thank the people that have made this possible” stated Hoglund. The Janesville Jets and all the coaches I’ve played been playing for, my situation in Janesville has been really great with my billet family and roommate.” “But obviously this would not even be possible without my family home in Sweden” says Hoglund. “I cannot thank them enough for everything they have done for me, Thank You.”

Hoglund is the Seventh player on the current 2013-14 Jets roster to have secured an NCAA Division I commitment, joining Kyle Patava (Army), Nick Petrella (Holy Cross) , Jesse Junttila (Northern Michigan), and Austin Priebe (Air Force), Mike Louria (U-Mass Lowell), and Jordan Himley(Air Force).

 (Nathan can be reached at

Source Embroidery SJHL power rankings

Press Release

 1-YORKTON TERRIERS (34-12-2-5) ... 1st last week
Pulling away from the pack and appear to be very clear playoff favorites to repeat.

2-KINDERSLEY KLIPPERS (34-14-3-2) ... 2nd last week
On a four game win streak and clinching first place in the Kramer appears academic.

3-BATTLEFORDS NORTH STARS (34-17-0-3) ... 3rd last week
Also winners of four straight and hoping this weekend’s home and home with the Klippers will be for the division crown.

4-MELVILLE MILLIONAIRES (33-16-2-5) ... 4th last week
Limping to the finish line despite five game homestand, they’ve fallen off the pace of the top three teams.

5-HUMBOLDT BRONCOS (29-20-1-3) ... 5th last week
They should never be written off as non-contenders.  They just need a bit of confidence.

6-ESTEVAN BRUINS (26-19-3-5) ... 6th last week
Every time they get close to that sixth seed, they fall back.

7-MELFORT MUSTANGS (24-21-1-6) ... 7th last week
Their record is actually a little deceiving.  They will not be easy fodder for the 6th seed in the quarters.

8-NOTRE DAME HOUNDS (21-25-2-5) ... 8th last week
They’ve dropped four straight to stall clinching a playoff spot.

9-WEYBURN RED WINGS (20-27-3-4) ... 9th last week
They’ve also lost four in a row and have a tough schedule this week to close out the regular season.  Playoffs are not a gimme.

10-NIPAWIN HAWKS (23-26-1-3) ... 10th last week
They, maybe, should be ranked as high as 8th, but an 11-1 loss on Saturday doesn’t install any confidence.

11-FLIN FLON BOMBERS (22-29-0-2) ... 11th last week
Running out of time to chase down a playoff berth.

12-LA RONGE ICE WOLVES (19-31-3-0) ... 12th last week
What happened to these guys?  They looked so good out of the gate.


Tayler Thompson, Yorkton (5-6-4-10) ... He’s, quietly, had a great year and might be the best two way player in the league.

Brett Boehm, Yorkton (7-8-6-14) ... Amazing what a happy Boehm can do as far as offensive damage.  Since the trade, he’s been the best player in the SJHL.

Simon Genereux, Melville (4-3-4-7) ... He’s adapting nicely and becoming one of the top lethal threats on the back end that this league has to offer.

Anthony Pickering, Melfort (7-5-5-10) ... Perhaps not as flashy as Yorkton’s Thompson, but he’s right there in that he does everything well and is having a strong finish.

Cam Blair, Battlefords (7-5-4-9) ... Looking more and more like that game breaking player the Stars lacked before being acquired.  He also seldom loses faceoffs.

Dayton Reinboldt, La Ronge (7-6-2-8) ... A bright light at the end of a dim tunnel for the Ice Wolves as they finish the regular season on a down note.

Tyrell King, Kindersley (4-1, 1.40, .954, 2SO) ... He’s ready for the playoffs.

Darren Martin, Battlefords (4-0, 1.25, .964, 1SO) ... Almost impossible to be better than what Gudmandson has been, but Martin is lights out since Christmas.

 (Nathan can be reached at

EHL first round playoffs set

Press Release

BOSTON, Mass. -- The Eastern Hockey League regular season, which was marked by hundreds competitive games each weekend since September, concluded today in a flurry today as the final nine seeds for the playoffs were decided.

There is no rest for any of the teams, however, as EHL playoff action kicks off Wednesday with the EHL play-in game featuring the Washington Junior Nationals at the New Jersey Titans.  The winner of the play-in game earns the rigth to face the EHL regular season champion New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs in a best-of-three series at Tri-Town Arena in Hooksett, N.H.  All first round EHL playoff series are best-of-three.

The other seven first-round match-ups are listed below.  All three games are at the home rink of the higher seed unless otherwise indicated.

Game dates and times are being finalized tonight and tomorrow and will be added to the EHL Playoff Schedule when confirmed so bookmark that page and check back often.  The EHL playoff format can be viewed by clicking here.  The EHL playoff brackets can be viewed by clicking here.

No. 15 Walpole Express at
No. 2 Philadelphia Little Flyers

No. 14 Valley Jr. Warriors at
No. 3 Connecticut Oilers

No. 13 Philadelphia Revolution at
No. 4 Northern Cyclones

No. 12 Boston Jr. Rangers at
No. 5 New York Bobcats

No. 11 New York Applecore at
No. 6 Boston Bandits

No. 10 New Jersey Rockets vs.
No. 7 Hartford Jr. Wolfpack
(Games 1 and 3 at Hartford -- Game 2 at Rockets)

No. 9 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers vs.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
(Games 1 and 3 at Wilkes-Barre -- Game 2 at Junior Flyers)

 (Nathan can be reached at

Monday, February 24, 2014

USHL Honors - Week 23

Press Release

 The United States Hockey League today announced the CCM and Reebok player awards for the 23rd week of the 2013-14 USHL regular season.

Winners include Jack Eichel of Team USA, recognized as CCM Forward of the Week; Jared Kolquist of the Lincoln Stars, chosen as CCM Defenseman of the Week; and Hayden Hawkey of the Omaha Lancers, tabbed as Reebok Goaltender of the Week.

Jack Eichel, F, Team USA: The North Chelmsford, Massachusetts native had a stellar week for Team USA’s Under-18 squad, recording six points (3g, 3a) and a plus-four on-ice rating over two games.  Saturday night, the 17-year-old potted a goal and handed out a pair of assists in the 4-1 win over the Indiana Ice.  He also tied a game high with a plus-three rating.  The next night, he was a staple on the scoresheet again, tallying a pair of goals and dishing out an assist in a 5-4 loss to the Ice.  His second goal was the 30th of his USHL career.  Committed to Boston University, Eichel is on a four-game point streak in USHL play, totaling 10 points (4g, 6a) and a plus-eight rating over that span.  He leads Team USA in scoring with 33 points (17g, 16a) in just 16 USHL games this season.  He has points in 13 of those 16 contests, including multi-point efforts in 12 games.

Jared Kolquist, D, Lincoln Stars: Skating in his second USHL season, the 20-year-old registered four assists and a plus-five rating to help the Stars win two of three games during the week.  Tuesday night against the Dubuque Fighting Saints, the Hermantown, Minnesota native dished out three assists and tied a game high plus-three rating in a 6-3 win.  It was the 100th game of his USHL career.  He added another assist on Friday night in a 4-2 loss to the Tri-City Storm.  The defenseman rounded out the weekend with a game high plus-two rating in Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Storm.  He was also instrumental on special teams as the Stars finished the three-game stretch converting 4-of-12 power plays and killing off 9-of-11 shorthanded situations.  Headed to Merrimack College following his USHL career, Kolquist has 18 points (1g, 17a) in 45 games this season.

Hayden Hawkey, G, Omaha Lancers: The first-year backstop was near perfect over the weekend, stopping 68-of-69 shots over three games to help the Lancers earn five of six points in the standings and clinch a USHL playoff berth.  Friday night, he stopped all 22 shots he faced in a 1-0 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints.  He was perfect again on Saturday, turning aside all 30 shots in a 5-0 win over the Waterloo Black Hawks to post his third shutout of the season.  His lone blemish came on Sunday as he stopped 16 of 17 shots in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Des Moines Buccaneers.  Hawkey, who celebrates his 19th birthday later this week, leads all USHL goaltenders in both goals-against average (1.66) and save percentage (.937) while compiling a stellar 17-2-1 record.  The Parker, Colorado native has won five of his last six starts, posting a 0.98 GAA and .962 SV% over that span. 

 (Nathan can be reached at

Klimchuk penny's WHL player of the week

Press Release

The Western Hockey League announced today that Regina Pats’ forward Morgan Klimchuk is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 23, 2014. 

Klimchuk scored six goals and three assists for 9 points with a +4 rating in four games over the past week to lead the Pats to four straight victories in that span.

On Monday, February 17th, Klimchuk notched a goal and an assist as the Pats posted a 4-0 shutout win over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings.  On Wednesday, February 19th, he tallied three goals and was named the game’s 3rd Star in a 4-2 road victory over the Saskatoon Blades.  On Friday, February 21st, Klimchuk recorded an assist on the game-winning goal as the Pats skated to a 3-2 win over the visiting Victoria Royals.  Klimchuk finished the week with two goals and an assist to go with 1st Star honors in a 5-4 shootout victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen on Saturday, February 22nd.

Klimchuk, an 18-year-old from Calgary, AB, is in his third WHL season with the Regina Pats, and currently sits tied for third in team scoring with 61 points, including 25 goals, in 48 games.  Selected by the Pats with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, the 5’11”, 185-lb left winger has accumulated 79 goals and 174 points in 192 career regular-season contests.  Klimchuk was chosen in the first round, 28th overall, by his hometown Calgary Flames in the 2013 NHL Draft.

The WHL has also nominated Tristan Jarry of the Edmonton Oil Kings for the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week award.  The 18-year-old from Delta, B.C., posted a 3-0-0-0 record with a shutout in four appearances over the past week for the Oil Kings.  On Monday, February 17th, Jarry stopped all 25 shots he faced for his franchise-record seventh shutout of the season while also earning 3rd Star honors in a 12-0 win over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes.  On Wednesday, February 19th, he made 14 saves on 15 shots in a 4-1 road win over the Red Deer Rebels.  On Friday, February 21st, Jarry stopped 25 of 26 shots and was named the game’s 2nd Star in a 4-1 triumph over the visiting Swift Current Broncos.  On Saturday, February 22nd, Jarry stopped all 12 shots he faced in 30:47 of relief work in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Vancouver Giants.  Jarry is in his third WHL season with the Oil Kings, and currently leads all WHL netminders with 38 wins and a 2.18 goals-against average.  The Oil Kings’ third-round pick, 48th overall, in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, Jarry has posted a 64-21-2-1 record with 13 shutouts in 95 career regular-season games.  He was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, 44th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Generals' Laughton is OHL Player of Week

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Philadelphia Flyers prospect Scott Laughton of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 23 after scoring four goals and three assists for seven points in four games with a plus-minus rating of plus-2.

A runner-up for the award last week, Laughton claims the weekly award for a second time this season helping the Eastern Conference leading Generals to three wins in four games.  Laughton’s week was highlighted by a four-point performance on Sunday night against the Kingston Frontenacs in a battle between the top two East Division clubs.  In that contest Laughton scored his third hat-trick of the season and added an assist as first star of the 7-2 triumph.  His week also included two assists on Monday despite a 6-3 loss to the London Knights, followed by a goal on Friday night in a 3-2 road win over the Frontenacs, and was held scoreless on Saturday night as the Generals prevailed with a 4-1 win over the Belleville Bulls.

Laughton, a 19-year-old from Oakville, ON, is playing in his fourth OHL season with the Generals.  Canada’s captain at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship was selected by the Flyers in the first round, 20th overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft.  He is currently tied for tenth in OHL scoring with a career-high 80 points including 37 goals and 43 assists in 48 games.

Also considered for the award this week was New Jersey Devils prospect Ben Johnson of the Windsor Spitfires with one goal and six assists for seven points in four games, and Zack Mitchell who scored twice with four assists for six points in three games tying the Guelph Storm all-time career games played record with 313.  In goal, 2014 NHL Draft prospect Alex Nedeljkovic went 2-1-0-0 for the Plymouth Whalers with a goals-against-average of 2.35 and save percentage of .945.

(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 February 23, 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: Conor Andrle, forward, Brookings Blizzard

In what can be described as a ‘must-win’ situation Conor Andrle and the Brookings Blizzard captured a pair of weekend games from the Bismarck Bobcats in a home-and-home series. The 20-year-old forward from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, had three goals and an assist and had a +2 rating in the two weekend wins as the Blizzard maintained their playoff hopes. On Friday, Andrle (5’9/175) had two goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-2 home win over the Bobcats. The next night, Andrle scored the game-tying goal and assisted on another in a 4-3 win in Bismarck. For the season, Andrle is second on the team in scoring with 31 points in 46 games. He also played in last week’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for Team Central. “It was a short week with Top Prospects, but Conor played well there and took that momentum into Bismarck series,” said Blizzard head coach Cory Laylin. “He scored some big goals in the series and he played hard in defensive zone that translated into offense.”

2nd Star: Nick Lehr, G, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Connor Girard, G, Brookings Blizzard – Kyle Haak, F, Aberdeen Wings – Niko Hildenbrand, F, Austin Bruins – Jadin Martin, F, Minot Minotauros – TJ Roo, F, Aberdeen Wings – Brandon Wildung, G, Minot Minotauros

 Midwest Division Star of the Week: Parker Tuomie, forward, Wenatchee Wild

If the playoffs started today, the Wenatchee Wild would be in the mix in the Midwest Division. This past weekend, the Wild split their weekend series in Johnstown against the Tomahawks, but 18-year-old forward Parker Tuomie was a factor all weekend. The native of Biemerhaven, Germany had five points on the weekend, which included scoring four of Wenatchee’s six goals in the two game series and adding an assist. On Friday, Tuomie (5’9/178) had two goals and an assist and was +2 in a close 4-3 loss. On Saturday, Tuomie scored two more goals in a 3-2 win. For the season, Tuomie is second on the Wild roster in scoring with 42 points in 40 games played. Tuomie played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament last week as a part of the NAHL 18U Selects team. “Parker has been one of our better players consistently and you need those type of players when you are playing in Johnstown,” said Wild head coach Bliss Littler.

2nd Star: Thomas Lindstrom, F, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alec Butcher, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Nick Hinz, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Kyle Lee, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Troy Loggins, F, Wenatchee Wild – Vincent Stefan, D, Kenai River Brown Bears

 North Division Star of the Week: Bryan Yim, forward, Port Huron Fighting Falcons

Just a few weeks ago, the Port Huron lead in the North was down to just two points. However, after a four-game winning streak, which included a weekend sweep of the Janesville Jets, the Fighting Falcons lead is back to up eight points. 19-year-old captain Bryan Yim led the way this weekend with two goals and two assists in the two wins. Yim (5’8/172), who is the Fighting Falcons leading scorer this season with 38 points in 46 games, began his weekend with a goal and an assist in a 4-0 shutout on Saturday against the Jets. On Sunday, the Farmington, Michigan native scored the game-winning goal and had another assist in a 3-1 win. Yim also spent last week playing the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for Team North. “I thought Bryan was one of our best forwards this weekend. His play, his hockey sense and his ability to lead really stood out,” said Port Huron head coach Michael Gershon. “We got off to a slow start on Sunday and Bryan really gave us some momentum.”

2nd Star: Dakoda Menslage, D, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brendan Jacques, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Max Kalter, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jonathan Kopacka, D, Port Huron Fighting Falcons – Colin Larkin, F, Michigan Warriors – Jordan Watt, F, Johnstown Tomahawks

South Division Star of the Week: Kyle Gattelaro, forward, Amarillo Bulls

The Amarillo Bulls crept closer to another South title with two wins past weekend in Corpus Christ and veteran NAHL forward Kyle Gatterlaro had a very productive weekend. The native of Delray Beach, Florida had four points in the two wins, which included three goals and an assist. Gattelaro, 20, started the weekend with two goals in a 3-0 shutout of the IceRays on Saturday. He continued on Sunday with another goal and an assist in a 6-1 win. For the season Gattelaro (6’0/185) has 36 points in 46 games played. He also participated in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament last week as a member of the South team. “I thought Kyle skated really well, tracked the puck at both ends of the ice and made things happen with his speed,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “Kyle used that speed to win puck battles and get to the puck first. His entire line played well last week.”

2nd Star: Kyle Bauman, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): PJ Bridges, G, Topeka RoadRunners – Yu Hikosaka, F, Topeka RoadRunners – Eric Purcell, F, Amarillo Bulls – David Zevnik, G, Wichita Falls Wildcats

(Nathan can be reached at

Ice goaltender commits to Cornell University

Press Release

 Indiana Ice goaltender Hayden Stewart has committed to play college hockey at Cornell University following his USHL career.

The 19-year-old has been stellar for the Ice since being acquired in January, posting a perfect 6-0-0 record which included back-to-back shutouts against the Youngstown Phantoms on February 8th and 9th.  He has not allowed more than one goal in any of his six starts with the Ice, posting a 0.67 GAA and .971 SV% over that span.  Stewart began the season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints and compiled a 6-6-1 record over 13 appearances with the club.  His overall 2.30 goals-against-average in 19 games this season is the third best mark among USHL goaltenders.

The native of Rockford, Illinois first broke into the USHL during the 2011-12 season and totaled a 4-7-1 record with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  He played one more game with the Lumberjacks last season, stopping 23 shots to earn the victory.  Over 32 games in the USHL, he has compiled a 17-13-2 record with three shutouts.

Stewart is joined by Ice teammate Dwyer Tschantz who is also committed to Cornell.  Five other current USHL players have intentions to play college hockey at the school; Cam Hackett (Green Bay Gamblers), Gavin Stoick (Green Bay Gamblers), Anthony Angello (Omaha Lancers), Jared Fiegl (Team USA), and Ryan Bliss (Team USA).

Cornell University is a member of the ECAC and has 12 USHL alumni on the roster this season; Joakim Ryan (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Christian Hilbrich (Indiana Ice), Eric Freschi (Dubuque Fighting Saints), John McCarron (Lincoln Stars), Brian Ferlin (Indiana Ice), Armand de Swardt (Chicago Steel), Teemu Titinen (Lincoln Stars), Clint Lewis (Team USA), Cole Bardreau (Team USA), Jacob MacDonald (Waterloo Black Hawks), Jeff Kubiak(Muskegon/Chicago), and Andy Iles (Team USA).

(Nathan can be reached at