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Friday, June 24, 2011

Spruce Grove PAC Saints to host Bantam Westerns!

Courtesy of the Grove Examiner

Please see poll questions after reading on the left side.
It doesn't matter how good you're going to be, it's the thought of how good you could be when a team decides to bid on hosting a major sport championship. That scenario in the truest sense is the case for the Pac Bantam Triple A Saints, who have decided to accept the hosting responsibility for the 2011-12 Western Canadian Bantam Hockey Championships next spring at the Glenn Hall Centennial Arena in Stony Plain.

PAC (Parkland Athletic Club) president Graeme Dawes said the local organization was somewhat surprised to get the nod to host the tournament considering the opposition they faced, but they're delighted with the outcome.

"It was quite the battle. To be quite honest, we submitted our bid knowing Calgary was making a bid and Red Deer as well," Dawes said. "With politics the way they are and Hockey Alberta being in Red Deer, we thought we'd give it a shot and see what happens.

"It came down to two, us and Calgary, and again we looked at it on the premise they'd be using the new Hockey Canada facility there, so we thought "probably not." But when they announced it at the Hockey Alberta AGM we were pretty pumped."

Dawes figures the outstanding history this area has developed in supporting big hockey events was a key factor in the final decision. He pointed to such events as Stony playing host to three Allan Cup championships (1995, 1999 and 2007) and the work PAC did this past winter in saving the final playoff weekend for the north division of the Triple A U15 Minor Midget league.

"We did a very good job with that; no one would take it so we stepped up and did a great job with it. Plus, having the (junior A) Saints here and being a very good hockey centre with lots of support and a good volunteer base played key roles.

"Our experience in hosting major events was a bit of a foot in the door, that's for sure."

The tournament will be a five-team event and include clubs from Manitoba to B.C. as well as the host.

While many teams won't bid on hosting such events without a strong returning group of players, that's a difficult thing to do in minor hockey where turnover each year is a fact of life. This year's PAC Saints may find themselves tossed into the deep end of the pool and forced to learn how to swim. With only Nathan Bizeau from Stony as the lone returnee from last year's squad, this season and the Western's could be a challenge, the coach agreed.

"The opportunity to host presented itself so the executive went ahead not really knowing this is going to be a year where we're going to be doing a lot of rebuilding," Goebel pointed out. "I knew they were going to put in a bid but Red Deer was also bidding and they usually get these sort of things. My thought process was to rebuild this year and go for something next year. So, the plan is moved up a little bit. We'll pick the best team possible and go from there."

Dawes noted the executive didn't put their bid forward based on a supposed strong PAC team surfacing this year.

"To be quite honest, that issue didn't even come up at our meetings," he said. "It's just the opportunity to host a major event in our house and bring more hockey to town."

Dawes said he feels hosting this event is "critical" for the growth of PAC and to show they are not to be overlooked amongst the big players in the provincial minor hockey scene.

Goebel was on the same page in regard to PAC playing host to the event, which is a major competition that plays well into the young skaters' futures in the game. He attended the Westerns as a co-coach with the local squad when they played in Winnipeg a few years back when Dwayne Inglehart was the head coach.

"It's a big event especially for the kids that are there. This is their last chance to showcase their talents. We're always shooting to get to the Westerns because that's where you can showcase the most.

"It's big for the community, too. You're going to have the best 13- and 14-year-old hockey players in Western Canada here."

Something else that plays into all this, Dawes agreed, is that it again shows the Parkland area is ready, willing and able to play home to a Midget Triple A team, a level they've been unable to skate down for a number of years.

"Definitely. We had more debate again with Hockey Alberta over the Midget Triple A situation. They keep going back to the ADM (Alberta Development Model) and over the many years of history every time we achieve what they want us to achieve they just make it something else we have to achieve. That's a frustration that's 10 years old.

"Realistically what we have to do is just leave that behind, keep looking at what's best for the development of the kids in our area. If we can keep doing that and adding good resumé pieces to what we do, and what we host as an athletic club, I think it's critical we just keep forging ahead keep doing a good job for the kids and coaches."

Goebel also feels this is something to show the powers-that-be that the area is ready for the one missing piece in the local minor hockey ladder.

"We've done some real good things and the ultimate goal for this area is to get a Midget Triple A team and if PAC can put on a good show, and the team has a little big of success whether by winning or competing hard, it might turn some heads and people might think a little bit harder on this whole thing about getting that team here."

One overriding factor in all of this is the barn where all the games will be played. The Glenn Hall Centennial Arena holds an allure for hockey nuts of all ages simply because they realize one of the greatest goaltenders of all time will likely be in the house at some point and time. As well, for the kids and their parents it's a thrill to be associated with an NHL icon in any way, shape or form.

"We are in the process of approaching Glenn to see if he'll be an honourary chairman for us. Having an NHL Hall of Famer like Glenn, who is still active in minor hockey, is a thrill for the kids.

"This is exciting all around."

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 22, 2011 newsletter is now ready!

First off, sorry for the delay today in getting this newsletter out. I was going over the notes from the Winnipeg North American Hockey Classic and it took me quite a bit longer to go through them that I first thought.

In this edition of the newsletter, we update the Top 145 list for 97 born, the now top 70 list for 98 born and big updates for the top 50 western american 97 born players.

I had a chance to speak with one of the top 97 born defenseman in western Canada from Alberta. I also spoke with a Canadian player playing his hockey south of the border and once aspired and came close to breaking Gretzky's peewee record. I speak with a top 5 ranked american player for the bantam draft who has the complete package and is already making major noise. Finally, I speak with a defenseman who has it all and says he'll choose the WHL route, ready his story.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

North American Hockey Classic - Final Day

The North American Hockey Classic has come to a close now for the 1997 age group this morning with both the "A" Gold medal and bronze medal games taking place.  As well, the "B" has wrapped up. 

"B" Final
Team Pepsi 7 - BC Jr. Heat 5
Team Pepsi would come back for a 5-2 deficit late in the 2nd and score the games final 5 goals in a 7-5 "B" Final victory.  Team Pepsi would get scorers from 7 different players including Ethan Price with the games final goal to put a punctuation mark on a tremendous tournament for the Lincoln, Nebraska player.  Price would finish the game with 1-2-3, giving him a team leading 9-3-12 in the tournament.   First round ranked prospect Ethan Bear was the only other multiple point producer for Team Pepsi with 1-1-2.  Bear would finish with just 4 points but was very solid.  Of note, Colt Conrad was held off the score-sheet for the first time this tournament.  For the Jr. Heat, Chris Seto scored 2 goals and Cole Plotnikoff would pick up two asssists.  Seto would lead the Jr. Heat with 5 goals in the tournament. 

"A" Bronze Medal Game
Minnesota Machine 3 - Saskatoon Jr. Blades 2
In somewhat of an upset the Minnesota Machine knock off a very good Saskatoon Jr. Blades team who go home empty handed.  Matthew Campese and Terrell Draude would score for Saskatoon while for Minnesota it was star forward Alec Baer with 2-1-3 including the GWG. 

"A" Gold Medal Game
Vancouver Selects 7 - Minnesota Blades 3
The Vancouver Selects once again defeat the Blades, this time when it counted the most - in the Gold Medal game.  The Selects who had a could disappointing semi-final losses this spring end the spring off with a championship.  Jacob Stukel was the star of the game with 3 goals.  The Selects also got goals from; Ty Ronning, Musil and Woolfenden.  John Wesley added 3 helpers.  The big guns on the Minnesota Blades were held off as Frytag, Pitlick and Novak all went goal-less. 


In the 98 age group, the finals are set after a pair of games this morning.

Jr. Steelers 5 - Saskatoon Jr. Blades 4
The Jr. Steelers defeat the Blades for the 2nd time in the tournament and advance to the final as a result with a highly contested 5-4 victory.  The Jr. Steelers spread out the scoring with 5 different scorers, with Kaspick, Loschaivo and Howden amongst the scorers.  Ty Lewis and Dylan Thiessen both picked up 2 assists.  Dylan Thiessen is the team scoring leader thus far with 5-7-12 while Kaspick leads in goals at 6-0-6.  Ryan Kubic has been outstanding in goal for the Jr. Steelers having played every minute of action and sporting a 1.58 GAA thus far.  For the Jr. Blades, Jordan Borstmayer had 3 assists.  Jordan is the younger borther of Regina Pats defenseman Tyler Borstmayer.  Garrett Pilon scored for Saskatoon and he leads the team with 3-4-7.

Vancouver Vipers 9 - Vancouver Selects 4
In an all Vancouver semi, it was the Vipers proving way to powerful for the Selects in this one.  The Vipers are without a loss so far in the tournament.  Scoring phenom Jaeger White scored 3 goals to pace the attack for the Vipers while Dante Hannoun had another huge game with 2-3-5.  Hannoun (9-4-13-) and White (7-6-13) are far and away the team scoring leaders so far.  Jake Kryski and Kyle Uy have 5 goals each so far.  The Selects got 1-1-2 from Yamamoto and Regush in this one.  Yamomoto leads with 4-7-11 so far while Regush at 5-4-9 is 2nd on the team. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

North American Hockey Classic (A/B Playoffs 97, 98 born)

97 born B Side
Team Pepsi 7 - Manitoba Crunch 4
Team Pepsi have punched their tickets to the "B" Finals with a win this morning over the Manitoba Crunch.  Ethan Price was once again story, scoring 3 more times.   Colt Conrad continued his strong play in the tournament will surely rise up our rankings after his performance here as he had another 2-3-5.  Colt leads team Pepsi so far in scoring with 3-7-10 while Price has 8 goals to lead the team and tournament.  For the Crunch, it was, Keegan Kolesar with 2-1-3 and Braden Purtill along with Zach Court scoring 1-1-2.

BC Jr. Heat 5 - Vancouver Island Stars 1
The Jr. Heat will meet Team Pepsi in the "B"side final with a convincing win over the team from Vancouver Island.  Blake Hollowaty led the way for the Heat with 3 goals and Brice Sharp had 4 assists in the game.  Jacbo Kranabetter had a strong game as well with 3 assists. 

97 born "A" Side
Minnesota Blades 5 - Saskatoon Jr. Blades3
In the North American Hockey Classic version of the "Battle of the Blades", it was the Blades from the south who beat the Blades  of the North to advance to the "A" Final.  Matthew Frytag led the way for the Minnesota Blades with 2 goals in this one.  Frytag and Tommy Novak are both tied for the team lead in points with 7 thus far.  For the Jr. Blades, it was once again all different goal scorers as has been the theme with this team as Hebig, Patterson and Campese all scored.  Campese added an assist for the only multiple point game on the team.  Every single player on the Jr. Blades roster minus the goalies have scored atleast a point.

Vancouver Selects 7 - Minnesota Machine 2
The Vancouver Selects remain undefeated in the tournament with an easy 7-2 victory to move on to the final against the Minnesota Blades.  The Selects beat the Blades in the first game of the tournament 5-3 already  so the Blades will look for some revenge.  Jordan Kawaguchi would once again score 2 more goals to really put a stamp on his all-star performance in Winnipeg.  Top ranked defenseman Tanner Browne scored 2 goals and 1 assist.  Ty Ronning had 2 more assists and Darien Craighead had 3 more.  Jordan Kawaguchi has 7-3-10, Darien Craighead 1-9-10 and Ty Ronning 2-6-8  have been the offensive stars thus far for Vancouver. 

98 born Scoring Leaders "AAA Super Elite"
Alberta Wolverines  Sam Steel 3 8 11

Minnesota Blades  Joey Anderson 5 5 10
Jr Steelers  Dylan Thiessen 5 4 9
Alberta Wolverines  Jordan Taupert 3 6 9
Vancouver Vipers  Jaeger White 3 6 9
Jr Steelers  Vince Loschiavo 4 4 8
Vancouver Vipers  Dante Hannoun 6 1 7
Alberta Wolverines  Nolan Volcan 5 2 7
Minnesota Blades  Kieffer Bellows 4 3 7
Alberta Wolverines  Ryan Jevne 4 3 7
Vancouver Selects  Michael Regush 4 3 7

It should be pointed out that Dallas Miller has 21 points with his Mallard Stars  team who are playing in the AAA division, not the top division mind you.  However, he has been in on 21 of his teams 31 goals so far.

Friday, June 17, 2011

North American Hockey Classic Day 2 (97 born)

Saskatoon Jr. Blades 4 - Minnesota Machine 2
The Saskatoon Jr. Blades prove once again they are a force in this tournament with a 4-2 victory over the no 1-1-0 Minnesota Machine.  The Saskatoon Jr. Blades got goals from four different players in this one with Jimmy Lambert, Matthew Campese, Wyatt Sloboshan and Rylee Zimmer all scoring.  Michael Eskra had a pair of helpers from the point in this one.  Jungels and Muehlhauser replied for the Minnesota Machine.

Manitoba Crunch 4 - BC Jr. Heat 4
Both the Manitoba Crunch and Jr. Heat pick up their first points of the tournament in the saw-off.  The Crunch held a 3-1 lead after the 2nd period on goals by Kolesar, Oliver and Purtill.  However, the Jr. Heat would score 3 goals in the 3rd on goals by, Bryce Sharp with a pair, Liam Finlay with the other.  Chris Seto scored in the first for the Jr. Heat.  Jacob Kranabetter added 2 assists for the Jr. Heat.  Thomas Lenchyson and Zach Court each had a pair of helpers for the Crunch.  Court now has 4 helpers.

Vancouver Selects 9 - Island Stars 0
The Vancouver Selects have punched their ticket to a date in the semi-finals tomorrow morning with another convincing victory.  The Selects would score 5 first period goals and cruise from there.  Jordan Kawaguchi would add 2 more goals to his total and Ty Ronning would score 2-2-4 in the victory.  Darien Craighead also had a big game with 1-3-4. 

Minnesota Blades 11 - Team Pepsi 3
The Minnesota Blades took on Team Pepsi with the winner placing 2nd in the pool and earning themselves a spot in the semi-finals as well.  It would was thought to be a hard fought game, turned out nothing more than a blow-out victory for the Blades.  Max Zimmer and Alec Broetzman each scored twice in the game.  Matthew Frytag dished out 4 assists and Tommy Novak had 1-3-4 in the huge win.  Blaisdell, Price and Lycar scored for Team Pepsi with Colt Conrad picking up 2 assists.

Saskatoon Jr. Blades 5 - Manitoba Crunch 2
The Saskatoon Jr. Blades continue what was a very successful tournament with a 5-2 win over the Crunch.  The Jr. Blades went 3-0-0 outscoring their oppenents 15-7.  The Jr.Blades once again spread the scoring around with 5 different scorers.  Cameron Hebig, Terrell Draude and Rylee Zimmer all scored while defenseman Lochlan Morrison from Prince Albert and Saskatoon's Dustin Perillat scored their first goals of the tournament.  Hebig, Perillat and Draude also added assists.  Top defensive prospect Thomas Lenchyshyn scored for the Crunch.

NAHC Tier 2 Division highlights (97 born)

Dallas Miller scored 3-2-5, DJ Crane 0-3-3 and Shane Roulette had 1-1-2 as the Mallard Stars defeated the Southern Alberta Battle 5-4.  Bryce Deboer had 2 goals for the Battle.  It is clear that Dallas Miller will dominate this caliber of play.

The Manitoba Falcons got 1-2-3 from Matthew Gunhouse who as a team got goals from 6 different scorers.  Devon Skoleski and Keaton Ostir each had 1-1-2 in a 6-3 victory over the Edmonton Jr. Oilkings.  Quinn Greenly would reply with 2 goals for the Jr. Oilkings.

Finally from day 1, the Manitoba Spartans walked all over the OTS Flyers 9-1.  Derien Emes and Mathew Halchaker each scored twice for the Spartans.

Day 2
The Edmonton Jr. Oilkings evened their record at 1-1-0 with a 6-1 win over the Southern Alberta Battle who are now 0-2-0.  For the Jr. Oilkings, Josh Heyward had 2-1-3 and Justin Young 1-2-3 in the win.  Nic Bjere also had a pair of goals for the Edmonton team. 

The Mallard Stars took it to the OTS Flyers 10-3 this morning.  Dallas Miller had 8 points!!!! He managed to score 3-5-8, Miller now has 6-7-13 in 2 games.  DJ Crane followed up his 3 assist !  Tyler Derkatch had 2 goals and Shane Roulette 3 assists.

The Manitoba Falcons hammered the Manitoba Spartans 17-0!  The Falcons are now 2-0-0, having scored 23 goals.  Matthew Gunhouse scored 4 goals in this one, giving him 5 now.  Mason Metcalfe had 3-2-5, Brandon Bartley had an 8 point night with 3-5-8!!! 

North American Hockey Classic Day 2 (98 born)

Calgary Jr. Hitmen 8 - Minnesota Machine 5
After falling to the very powerful Alberta Wolverines yesterday 9-0, the Jr. Hitmen were able to get past the over-matched team from Minnesota.  Minnesota also lost their first game by a lopsided score of 8-0 to the Vancouver Vipers.  For the Jr. Hitmen, one of our top 50 1998 born prospect Joren Petenaude scored 3 times and added an assist.  Parker Aucoin with 2-1-3, Dillon Dube 1-2-3 and Jake Ashton also scored for the Jr. Hitmen.  So all four of our top forwards on that team scored in this one.  Minnesota got 1-1-2 from Taylor Schneider.

Vancouver Vipers 5 - Alberta Wolverines 2
So the Vancouver Vipers win the showdown of two of the more elite spring 98 teams in western Canada this morning.  The Vipers move in to first place at 2-0-0 while the Wolverines fall to 1-1-0.  Dante Hannoun conintued his strong tournament with 2 more goals, giving him a tournament leading 5 now.  Jaeger White once again added 1-2-3, giving him 6 points.  Kyle Uy scored once again and Trevor Ayre scored his first of the tournament.  For the Wolverines, Skyler Mckenzie scored both goals.  Star forwards Sam Steel and Jordan Taupert were held off the score-sheet in this one.

Alberta Wolverines 12 - Minnesota Machine 2
The Wolverines hand the Machine their 3 straight loss, while the Wolverines win their 2nd in 3 tries with a 12-2 drubbing.  Nolan Volcan was the star of the game scoring 4-2-6 in this one, Ryan Jevne had another good game with 2-2-4 and star forward Sam Steel played Mr. Playmaker with 1-5-6. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

North American Hockey Classic Day 1 (97 born)

Vancouver Selects 5 - Minnesota Blades 3
In a highly contested game between two very strong teams, the Vancouver Selects prevailed in this one.  The Vancouver Selects would enter the 3rd period tied at 3-3 before scoring twice in the 3rd to win it.  Darien Craighead had 2 assits for the selects who got singles from John Wesley, Tanner Browne and Jordan Kawaguchi.  Adam Musil was the star of the game with 2-1-3.  Atleast I'm pretty sure that was him.  The Minnesota Blades got a goal from top ranked Rem Pitlick, another of their top prospects Matthew Frytag had a goal.

Team Pepsi 5 - Vancouver Island Stars 4
In a game where you would figure this should be one-sided, it wasn't as Team Pepsi got a scare from up-start Vancouver Island Stars today.  The Island Stars best players were there star players as Brody Smith scored twice and Haydn Hopkins added 1-1-2.  Kurtis Gamble, another top player had 1 assist in the game.  For Team Pepsi who were without one of the better 97 born players in Jesse Gabrielle should've still had enough fire power to win this one a bit more easily.  They got 2 goals from Nebraska star Ethan Price who is really, really starting to turn heads.  Dexter Kuczek, Ethan Williams and Colt Conrad each scored singles for Team Pepsi. 

Minnesota Machine 6 - Manitoba Crunch 1
Mitchell Dolter had 2 goals for Minnesota and Matt Pulver had 1-2-3 as they walked all over the Manitoba Crunch today.  Also of note for Minnesota, highly touted Alec Baer would also score.  The Manitoba Crunch who really are not pushoevers with the likes of Zach Court, Thomas  Lenchyson, Keegan Kolesar and Braden Purtill were really held in this one.  The lone goal scorer was Brady Valiquette from Zach Court.

Saskatoon Jr. Blades 6 - BC Jr. Heat 3
In a battle of two very good spring teams, the Saskatoon Jr. Blades jumped out to a 4-1 first period lead and cruised to a convincing 6-3 victory.  Regan Nagy scored twice with singles coming from Hebig, Draude 1-1-2, Zimmer and Campese.  The Heat got markers from Plotnikoff, Van Schaak and Will Lawrence.  Logan Flodell and Alex Pongracz were the goalies in this one.

Vancouver Selects 8 - Team Pepsi 5
In a battle of a pair of 1-0-0 teams, the Vancouver Selects would prevail in a high scoring affair.  The game broke wide open in the 3rd as the Selects would out-score Team Pepsi 4-3 in that frame.  American born defenseman from Seattle Daniel Woolfenden who impressed so much at the American prospects camp for the WHL would score 2 goals.  Also adding  a pair of markers was Jordan Kawaguchi who now has 3 goals.  He also added 2 assists for a four point game.  Jordan, as most of you know is the cousin of San Jose Sharks sniper Devin Setoguchi.  With a pair as well was Tyler Soy.  Soy has been great this spring.  Ty Ronning, the son of Cliff Ronning had 2 assists.  For Team Pepsi, the 2 Ethan's once again were the story with Ethan Price scoring 2 goals for the 2nd straight contest and Ethan Williams scoring twice as well.  Colt Conrad and Detroit Little Ceasars star in the making defensman Douglas Blaisdell added a pair of helpers.  Taypotat was the goalie for Team Pepsi while American Evan Sarthou was in net for the Selects.

Minnesota Blades 6 - Vancouver Island Stars 1
After losing a hard fought matchup against the Vancouver Selects earlier in the day, the talent laden Minnesota Blades walked on the Vancouver Island Stars in this one.  Tommy Novak would lead the way for the Blades with 1-2-3, Brock Boeser scored 2 goals while Rem Pitlick once again found the score-sheet for the 1-1-0 Blades.  The Vancouver Island Stars lone marker was Brandon Tutte.


North American Hockey Classic - Day 1 (98 age group)

Jr. Steelers 11 - Minnesota Icemen 2
One of the pre-tournament favourites, the Jr. Steelers out of Manitoba thumped the team from Minnesota in the first game of the tournament today.  Our top 5 ranked prospect, Nolan Patrick lit it up as what was somewhat expected with 4 goals in the game.  Tanner Kaspick who has had a very strong summer and is vaulting up the rankings had 2 goals as did Dawson Martin. 

Other notables in our top 50 prospects in the 98 group:
Ty Lewis:  1 assists
Brett Howden:  0 points
Vince Loschiavio: 1-1-2
Dylan Thiessen:  1-1-2
Dman, Garrett Kuklica: 0 points

Saskatoon Jr. Blades 6 - Manitoba Lightning Extreme 4
In what seems to be a bit of an off year for the Saskatoon Jr. Blades program, they were able to sneak away with a 6-4 win over the Manitoba Lightning Extreme squad.  The Lightning Extreme actually held a 4-3 advantage after the 2nd period of play.  The Lightning Extreme had goals from four different players; Turnbull, Sinclair, Touchette and Goethels.  The Saskatoon Jr. Blades got a big game from possible top 10 talent Garrett Pilon with 2-1-3, Dawson Davidson who lit up the ssbhl peewee league last year had a pair of goals while his linemate Cale Fleury chipped in with 2 assists.  Kaden Elder and Brayden Camrud who are both from the gshl had 1-1-2.

Southern Alberta Selects 6 - Manitoba Predators 5
Brandon Schuldhaus had a big first game of the tournament for the SA Selects with 2-2-4.  For those of you wondering who Schuldhaus is becuase he wasn't in our top 50 98 born rankings, he played with Bow Valley last year in the peewee scahl league and had 32-39-71 which placed him 6th in the league scoring race.  He was team-mates with highly touted Noah Philp and Dillon Dube.  Lucas Fraulin had 2 goals in the game and Michael Clarke who is someone to really watch had 1-2-3 and Kadrien Klimchuk 1-1-2.  For the Predators, it was Michael Skoloski (who we really like) with 1-1-2, Josh Curtis and William Koop also had 1-1-2. 

Vancouver Selects 7 - Minnesota Blades 5
Another of the pre-tournament favorites, the Vancouver Selects were able to sneak by the Minnesota Blades 7-5 this morning.  Michael Regush was quite easily the star of the game looking dangerous with 3 goals.  Owen Seidel who should make noise as a first year in BWC next year had 1-2-3, Kenny Kylyshbek had a nice game with 1-2-3.  Highly touted players Ryan Bowen and Beck Melenstyn also scored for Vancouver.  For the Minnesota Blades of note, Kiefer Bellows, the son of former NHL star Brian Bellows, scored 2-1-3.  Joey Anderson had a multiple point effort with 1-3-4 and Grady Hauswirth 1-2-3.

Vancouver Vipers 8 - Minnesota Machine 0
To nobodies surprised the powerhouse Vancouver Vipers defeated the Minnesota Machine by a rather lopsided score.  Dante Hannoun picked up a natural hat-trick in the 3rd period to really put this one away.  BWC forward Kyle Uy scored a pair of goals, while top five 98 born prospect Jaeger White had 1-2-3.  Also with a huge game was Luke Gingras with 1-3-4, figuring in on the Vipers first 4 goals scored.  The Vipers will be the odds on favorite along with the Wolverines in this tournament.

Alberta Wolverines 9 - Calgary Jr. Hitmen 0
The Wolverines who are one of the favourites to win the tournament got their first chance to flex their muscles in the tournament and they did just that with a 9-0 victory.  Top 10 wehp 98 born prospect Sam Steel scored 2-3-5 with a huge game!  Jordan Taupert another one of our top 50 prospects for the 2013 WHL draft had 2-4-6!  Ryan Jevne also scored twice for the Wolverines who look to be tough to stop in this tournament. 

Saskatoon Jr. Blades 6 - Minnesota Icemen 1
The Saskatoon Jr. Blades run their record to 2-0-0 with a big win over the over-matched Minnesota Iceman.  The Icemen have now been out-scored 17-3 in their first pair of games.  Zach Andrusiak from the Yorkton area led the way with 2-1-3, Kolby Johnson also scored twice for the Jr. Blades.  Garrett Pilon continued his good tournament with a pair of helpers.  Kaden Elder once again had a multiple point game as well with 1-1-2.  Justin Close was the goalie for the Jr. Blades.

Jr. Steelers 9 - Manitoba Lightning Extreme 0
The Jr. Steelers have run their record to 2-0-0 having out-scored the opposition now 20-2 in the process with a big win over the Extreme.  Vince Loschiavo scored 3 goals in this way to lead the way on the goal sheet, he now has 4.  Dylan Thiessen had a break-out game with 2-3-5, Brett Howden scored 2, Tanner Kaspick had a pair.  Keaten Thornton and Ty Lewis each had 3 helpers while Nolan Patrick was held to just 1 assist.

Vancouver Selects 10 - Manitoba Predators 2
The Selects are now also 2-0-0, while the Predators are done to 0-2-0 after a big 10-2 Vancouver Selects win.  Davis Koch had 2-2-4 to lead the way for the Selects.  Other multiple point getters were:  Kailer Yamamoto 2-2-4, Beck Melenstyn with another 2 goals, giving him 3 now, Michael Regush with 1-2-3.  The Predators markers were, Brakel and Ferrairo.

North American Hockey Challenge Underway this morning

The North American Hockey Challenge gets underway this morning in Winnipeg, MB.  This will be the last of  the major spring tournaments for players we focus on in the 97 and 98 age group.  That is not to say though that after this that the work is done, we will continue compile the scouting notes, interview players and coaches and alike.

The teams who will take part today in the 97 and 98 age groups are as follows:

97 Age Group:
Team Pepsi - A strong team that will see how they can compete for the first time this summer in a major tournament against some of the other top summer squads.

Vancouver Selects - Have made the semi-finals in both major tournaments already, falling short each time.

Saskatoon Jr. Blades - Most of the top players from Saskatchewan make up this team.  Coming off a sub-par Vancouver Challenge Cup but a very dangerous team loaded with talent all over the place.

BC Jr. Heat - A team some good top players from interior BC and a few from the coast.  They've been up and down all spring but have proven to be one of the top squads.

Other teams:
Vancouver Island Stars
Manitoba Crunch
Minnesota Machine
Minnesota Blades

We will have updates and thoughts through-out the weekend.

98 born teams:
There will be 12 teams taking part in this age group and each province will be represented with its top teams here.  The Favorites would have to be the Vancouver Selects, Alberta Wolverines and the Calgary Jr. Hitmen.  The Jr. Steelers and Vancouver Vipers should be right there as well.

Other teams:
Minnesota Blades
Manitoba Predators
SA Selects Fusion
Saskatoon Jr. Blades
Minnesota Icemen
Manitoba Lightning Extreme
Minnesota Machine

Sunday, June 12, 2011

NAA Rebels Tournament

There was a tournament in the province of Alberta this weekend that kind of flew under the radar a bit.  Sherwood Park, AB was the location of a 4 team tournament featuring some of the better 97 born players in the province.  The Edmonton Rangers, NAA Rebels, Red Deer and the Calgary Selects took part.  The Calgary featured a combination of the two best Calgary summer teams with the Jr. Flames and the Calgary Nationals forming.

The Nels Eklund Calgary team was understandably dominant throughout the weekend with the likes of AMBHL rookie of the year in Mason McCarty, scoring star in the making Merkley and Braylan Shmyr who played AA last year.  All told, there were 6 players on the Calgary Selects team that played AAA and there could've been more if the likes of Elynuik, Tristan Thompson, Riley Morris, Mason Burr and Rohl played.  However, some were out due to injury or just chose not to play.  In the end it was Whitby, Merkley and Shmyr who were standouts along with McCarty and Xavier.  Oliver Lester was a complete stand-out on defense as expected by our early 2nd round ranking for him currently.

Other players who were exceptionally strong through the tournament were Dylan Stewart from the Edmonton Rangers squad and Jesse Freeborn from the Red Deer Rustlers.    Dylan Stewart was proud of his tournament success,  "I thought I played pretty well but I could've scored more goals, I did win the MVP twice in this tournament though, so that was good.  However, on a team level, going 1-3 was very disappointing".

The captain of the Red Deer Rustlers Jesse Freeborn was not only a physical force through the tournament but he also chipped in offensively with 2-5-7.  His team left early before the tournament was over due to some shaky play and he walked away very impressed with the NAA Rebels and a few players specifically caught his eye, "I thought the Rebels were a very strong team and players like Andrew Perry, Jordan Xavier and Chase Olson really stood out in the tournament."

The team from the Edmonton area could've been stronger as well if key players such as defenseman Cameron Reagan, star forward Giorgio Estephan, Brayden Burke and Matteo Gennaro would've played.

Next up, we shift our focus to the North American Hockey Classic that will take place in Winnipeg beginning on June 16.  However, there will be no Alberta teams taking part in the tournament.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Team Pepsi victorious despite missing Jesse Gabrielle

He was awarded with some points on the score  sheet in the tournament but I guess one game Rykr Cole forgot his jersey and wore the Jesse Gabrielle jersey and Gabrielle got awarded with the points.  One of our top prospects from rural Manitoba - Kirklan Lycar has been battling a ear, throat, sinus infection and admitted his performance was a bit off as a result.  Lycar went on to praise defenseman Ethan Bear on his offence and thunderous hits and says he is the best defenseman he has seen in the spring. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 8, 2011 newsletter is now ready

The June 8, 2011 newsletter is now ready. In this edition of the newsletter, we make several new additions to the Top 140 1997 born list, update the player statistics from the 2011-2012 season where available. The 98 and Western USA lists start to take more shape as summer hockey progresses.

I had a chance to speak with a very talented Alberta born player whose season was cut short by injury but still averaged over a point per game. I spoke with a sure fire top 10 prospects from Alberta who really seems to have the complete package every team would want. Finally, I spoke with a Manitoba born prospect who really has a nose for the net and loves to skate and score.

Finally, I break down the players to watch at the up-coming North American Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg coming up. The top 10 forwards, 5 defenseman and goalies are looked at as well as the top teams.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Team Pepsi wins Manitoba Lightning Tournament 4-2

Route 90 Rebels gave the powerful Team Pepsi squad all they could handle in this one and actually held 2-1 lead after the first period on goals by Ryan Gardiner and Travis Kilbrei.  However, Team Pepsi on goals by Colt Conrad and Rykr Cole just 1:40 apart in the 2nd period would give Pepsi a lead that they wouldn't relingquish.  Ethan Price salted it away with a late 3rd period goal for the 4-2 tournament winning victory.  Cole, Conrad and Ethan Bear all had 2 point games.

Tournament Scoring Leaders
Ethan Price 9 6 15

Dallas Miller 8 5 13
Colt Conrad 5 7 12
Brennan Cochrane 5 6 11
Douglas Blaisdell 4 5 9
Jayden Catcheway 4 5 9
Colton Veloso 4 5 9
Devon Skoleski 6 2 8
Chase Fincaryk 5 3 8
Meyer Nell 3 5 8

Sunday - Manitoba Lightning Tournament

It will be Team Pepsi vs. the Route 90 Rebels in the final.  Team Pepsi once again rolled through another tournament going 4-0-0 while out-scoring the opposition 39-7 in the process.  Their opponent, Route 90 Rebels went 2-1-1 while only out-scoring the opposition 15-13.  Included in that record is a 5-0 loss to Team Pepsi in the round robin portion.

Route 90 Rebels 4 - Manitoba Mustangs 4
The Manitoba Mustangs trailing 4-1 late in the 2nd period, rallied with 3 unanswered goals to tie the Route 90 Rebels 4-4.  Dylan Reinheimer and Brenden Samsome each had 1-1-2 and Austin Hesselbart assisted on the games final two goals for the Stangs.  Samsome and Hesselbart led the team in tournament scoring, each with 6 points.  For Route 90 Rebels, Travis Kilbrei once again faced the attack with 2 goals, Julien Uhryniuk scored just his second of the tournament.  Kilbrei led the team in tournament scoring with 3-2-5.

Manitoba Falcons 11 - Manitoba Bulldogs 0
Meyer Nell and Mason Metcalf each scored twice in the Falcons rout of the Bulldogs this morning.  Nell also added two assists for a 4 point game.  Devon Skoleski had 1-2-3 and finished strong in the tournament with 6-2-8.  Meyer Nell also finished with 8 points (3-5-8).

Team Pepsi 13 - Manitoba Stars 0
Team Pepsi put a big punctuation mark on the tournament this morning with a huge 13-0 win over the Stars.  Defenseman and first round bantam draft prospect Ethan Bear scored 3 times to pace the attack.  Rykr Cole scored 1-3-4.  Omaha, Nebraska player Ethan Price had another nice game with 1-2-3.  He is rated in the top 15 for WHL American eligable players.  Ethan Williams picked up a pair of goals, Colt Conrad and Kirklan Lycar each had 3 point games.  Ethan Price ended up leading the tournament in scoring to this point with 8-6-14 in 4 games. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Manitoba Lightning Tournament

The Manitoba Lightning AAA summer classic is underway  now in Winnipeg.  We will focus on the 97 and 98 age group this weekend.  First, taking a look at the 97 age group.

Manitoba Falcons 3 - Manitoba Mustangs 1
For the Falcons it was Devon Skoleski with 2 goals and Meyer Nell picking up 3 assists.  The lone goal for the Mustangs was Dale Goodbrandson.

Route 90 Rebels 7 - Manitoba Stars 2
The Manitoba Stars got 2 goals from top 10 pick Dallas Miller.  The Route 90 Rebels are led defensively by top 10 overall prospect Ryan Gardiner who scored a goal.  Offensively, Shane Roulette scored twice for the Rebels.

Team Pepsi (1-0-0) 10 - Manitoba Falcons (1-1-0) 4
The powerfull and undefeated Team Pepsi squad was led by Douglas Blaisdell who scored 2-3-5 and Kirklan Lycar with a pair of goals.  Colton Veloso also had a huge game with 1-2-3.  For the Falcons, it was Ivanyhsyn with a pair of goals as well Skoleski scored his 3rd of the tournament and Meyer Nell scored a goal.

Manitoba Stars (1-1-0) 9 - Manitoba Mustangs (0-1-0) 6
The Stars were led with a huge game from Dallas Miller who scored 4 goals, giving him 6 in the tournament and he also added 2 assists in the victory.  Brayden Cochrane and Jayden Catchaway scored 2 goals each for the Stars.  The Mustangs attack was led by Brenden Sansome and Jordan Martin each picking up 2 goals.

Saturday Action
Team Pepsi (2-0-0) 11 - Manitoba Mustangs (0-2-0) 3
Ethan Price scored 4 goals for Team Pepsi who now has as a team have scored 20 in games.  Colton Veloso added 2 goals and a helper.  Other multiple point producers were Colt Conrad with 1-2-3, Jaden Ackegan 1-1-2, Jesse Gabrielle 1-1-2.  For the Mustangs, it was Tyler Slobogian with 1-1-2 and Dale Goodbrandson also scored again for the Mustangs.

Manitoba Stars (2-1-0) 11 - Manitoba Bulldogs 1 (0-1-0) 1
Dallas Miller scored 2-2-4 before being ejected late in the 2nd period of this one.  He now has 8-4-12 in 3 games so far at the tournament.  Darcy Mcleod had two goals and DJ Crane 3 goals for the Stars.

Route 90 Rebels (2-0-0) 4 - Manitoba Falcons (1-2-0) 2
Ryan Gardiner scored two more goals, giving him 3 in the tournament and Travis Killbrei had 1-1-2.  Devon Skoleski continues to have a great tournament for the Falcons scoring both goals, giving him 5 in 3 games so far.

Manitoba Stars (3-1-0) 8 - Manitoba Falcons (2-2-0) 4
DJ Crane scored 3 goals, giving him 6 in his past two games.  Dallas Miller was held to just one goal as he wsa once again ejected in the 2nd period of this game.  Brennan Cochrae scored 3 more goals, he now has 5 in his past couple games.  For the Falcons, it was four different scorers.

Team Pepsi (3-0-0) 5 - Route 90 Rebels (2-1-0) 0
Ethan Price once again paced the attack with 1-2-3.  Veloso, Conrad, Blaisdell and Bear with his first of the tournament also scored for Team Pepsi who can simply roll their lines all game long. 

Scoring Leaders
Dallas Miller 8 5 13

Brennan Cochrane 5 6 11
Ethan Price 6 3 9
Jayden Catcheway 4 5 9
DJ Crane 7 0 7
Colton Veloso 4 3 7
Colt Conrad 3 4 7
Darcy Mcleod 2 4 6
Devon Skoleski 5 0 5
Douglas Blaisdell 3 2 5
Donovan Neuls 1 4 5

Poll Question - Response

I've noticed by looking at the poll that there are many votes for "other" as to who will be the top team in Western Canada for the 2011-2012 season.  I would like to get some feedback as to who you all think "other" may be? 

Thank you for your feedback and reasons why.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday, June 3rd WMHA news/Summer team Standings

The WMHA have announced their coaches for the up coming 2011-2012 bantam season.  They are as follows:

Winnipeg Sharks
Bantam 1 - John Fehr
Bantam 2 - Brad Vatrt

Winnipeg Monarchs
Bantam 1 - Jason Bauer
Bantam 2 - Rob Smith

Winnipeg Hawks
Bantam 1 - Rob Reimer
Bantam 2 - Neil Chow

Winnipeg Warriors
Bantam 1 - Glenn Burke
Bantam 2 - Dan Kaye

Something a bit different now.  With the final major summer tournament on the horizon, I thought I'd take a look at how some of the top summer teams are doing thus far.  I will take in to account just the Calgary/Edmonton Champions Cup and the Vancouver Challenge Cup since most of the teams took place in both teams in the 97 and 98 age groups.  The Mainland Tournament and the Notre Dame tournament will not be included due to competition levels.

1997 Bantam Minor
Vancouver Giants 6-0-0 34-17
Vancouver Selects Blue  9-2-1  70-29
Saskatoon Jr. Blades  8-2-2  57-21
NAA Rangers 4-2-0 26-16
BC Jr. Heat  6-4-1  38-36
Calgary Jr. Flames 5-6-0 41-30
Calgary Nationals  4-7-0  31-51
Island Stars 3-7-0 29-48

Vancouver Challenge Cup Final:
Vancouver Giants defeated the BC Jr. Heat

Champions Cup Final:
Saskatoon Jr. Blades defeated the NAA Rangers

-The Vancouver Selects only two losses have both come in the semi-finals of each tournament.

Bantam Minor teams taking part at the North American Hockey Challenge are:
Team Pepsi
Vancouver Selects
BC Jr. Heat
Saskatoon Jr. Blades
Manitoba Crunch
Vancouver Island Stars
2 teams from Minnesota

1998 Pee wee Major
Vancouver Millionaires 6-0-0 40-4
Calgary Jr. Hitmen  6-0-0  38-17
Wolverines 4-0-0 50-11
Okanagan Hockey Academy 6-4-0 37-36
Saskatoon Jr. Blades  6-5-0  32-36
Vancouver Selects Blue 3-2-0 16-10
NAA Outlaws 2-3-0 13-22
BC Interior Selects  2-5-1  19-41

Challenge Cup Final:
Vancouver Millionairs defeated the Wolverines

Champions Cup Final:
Calgary Jr. Hitmen defeated the Saskatoon Jr. Blades

- A number of the teams competed in just one of the tournaments.  The Calgary Jr. Hitmen were absent from the Challenge Cup.  While, the Wolverines, Millionaires and Selects Blue did not take part in the Champions Cup in Calgary.

Pee Wee Major 98 born teams taking part in the North American Hockey Challenge are:
Saskatoon Jr. Blades
Vancouver Selects
Calgary Jr. Hitmen
Vancouver Vipers
Jr. Steelers
Manitoba Predators
SA Selects
Manitoba Lightning
3 teams from Minnesota