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Michigan Hockey michiganhockeyonline.com V.20:I.06 | October 12, 2009 FIRST CLASS


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The 2009-2010 LCAHL Face-Off meeting, held September 26 at Detroit’s Motor City Casino, officially starts the league’s 31st season and was a big day for LCAHL coaches, managers, administrators and vendors. Thank you to everyone who made it a great day and have a great season.

2009-2010 LCAHL Operating Rules and Bylaws The updated LCAHL Operating Rules and Bylaws, as approved by the LCAHL Operations Board and the corporate legal department, have been posted on the LCAHL website at lcahl.org. These rules were updated by the LCAHL Operating Rules Committee chaired by Dale Stauffer and composed of members: Joe Lafata, Liz Sullivan, Jim Sheridan and Todd Lynn. This committee will continue to review the rules and update them annually. If your team should come upon situations where the rules are not applicable or are conflicting, please document the issue and refer it in writing to any member of the Operating Rules Committee. Information can be found on the league website under “Contacts”.

GENERAL REVISIONS

Every team in the league is responsible for reading and adhering to all rules in this document. Below are some highlights of the changes. * Improved readability and clarity of the entire document, including Guiding Principles and Definitions * Improved document structure and organization end to end

* Removed content that clearly overlaps with MAHA or USA Hockey Rules and Regulations

* Period Length information has been updated. The home team will determine the length of the periods. (Section 12.10)

* Removed sections that no longer pertain to LCAHL charter [i.e. JV section]

* Forfeits are not allowed in this league. All games must be played. Any team attempting to forfeit a game should immediately be referred to the Division Director. (Section 14.5)

* Added new sections for Boundary Rules, the Annual Face-off Meeting, etc. * Restructured critical sections: League Play, Game Rules, Scoring, Competitive Divisions, Division Winners & Playoffs

* House team rules have been updated to reflect current practices. (Section 18)

RULES UPDATES

* Boundary rules have been added. (Section 19)

The following are some of the updates that were made to the rules. Teams should be sure to note this information and check the rules throughout the season.

* Competitive Divisions section has been updated. (Section 20)

* The annual Face-off meeting is a mandatory league meeting that must be attended by a rostered coach or team manager. Teams not attending or sending someone other than a team official are subject to referral to the Discipline Committee (Section 8)

* Division Winners and Playoffs documentation has been changed to reflect current practices. Divisions may have cochampions. (Section 21)

* To participate in League Playoffs, players must be rostered with the team by December 31. (Section 11.2)

Any questions regarding Operating Rules should be referred to any LCAHL official.

* Playoff rules have been added. (Sections 22 and 23)


MICHIGAN HOCKEY

FROM THE EDITOR

FROM THE EDITOR

Back in the rinks

While I spend time inside arenas over the summer, there is something different about walking into a rink this time of year. There are definitely more people in the building now than in August, no question, but it’s more than that. It’s the buzz of the season starting. Players, coaches and even parents feel it. After weeks of practicing passing, shooting and stickhandling and working on breakouts, defensive zone coverage and moving the puck on the powerplay, the first game of the season is when everything finally matters. And I like the smell of fresh popcorn and coffee brewing and I love watching how hard the players work and the look of exhilarated exhaustion on their faces when they come off the ice. I even like the sounds at the rink – the puck hitting the boards, the players calling for the puck on a 2-on-1 and the crowd cheering a great play. So sit back and watch your player having some fun with his or her friends and enjoy the season. This issue of MH features the third installment of our Navigating the Frozen Waters educational series with a look at the Tier III Junior A Central States Hockey League (p. 14). Also inside is a preview of the 11 Midget Major teams in the state (p.19). Our College Preview starts with how the Wayne State women’s squad is working to overcome the graduation of their top three all-time leading scorers (p. 20) and the prospects of all the CCHA teams and the WCHA’s Michigan Tech Huskies (p. 21-25). As always, thanks for your feedback on our recent issues. If you have any ideas for future stories, things you liked (or didn’t like) in Michigan Hockey or just want to talk hockey, send me an e-mail (phil@michiganhockeyonline.com) or give me call (248-479-1136).

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October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com


INSIDE 10.12.09 6 MH BEAT

Editor-in-Chief Philip D. Colvin

• Macomb Mavericks ‘96s collect food for Samaritan House • MDHL Green squad wins Motor City Cup • Compuware/Honeybaked tournaments gets teams going (p.7)

Advertising

8 GET BETTER

Lucia Zuzga

• Coaching drills and how Herb Brooks’ motivated players Design Editor Chuck Stevens

10 STATE OF THE GAME

• A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lyle Phair

12 REEBOK TOURNAMENT CALENDAR

STAFF Contributing Editor ........................... Kevin Allen Advertising ......................................Lucia Zuzga ................................................... Philip D. Colvin ................................................... Lauren Kovacs Subscriptions/Distribution ...............Lucia Zuzga Administrative Director ............. Peggy A. Griffin Controller .................................. David J. Klavon Administrative Assistant ...................Amy Jones

14 NAVIGATING THE FROZEN WATERS

• The third installment of our new educational series takes a look at the Tier III Junior A Central States Hockey League (CSHL)

17 MH BEAT

Circulation: Weekly press run of 8,000-10,000 with an estimated readership of 24,000-30,000.

• LCAHL gets season going with Face-Off meeting

EDITORIAL BOARD: Bob Despirt, Christine Szarek, Derek Blair, Don Dales, Julie Pardoski, Kirk Vickers, Linda Holland, Lisa Zarzycki, Lori Yarnell, Mark Vansaw,

DEPARTMENTS

Randy Paquette, Susan Bottrell, Tim Wilson, Todd Krygier LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: MICHIGAN HOCKEY® welcomes Letters to the Editor. They must be signed and include the writer's full home address and day and evening telephone numbers. MICHIGAN HOCKEY is published by SUBURBAN SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS, a division of Suburban Sports Group, 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2829. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MICHIGAN HOCKEY®, 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2829. ©2004 by Suburban Sports Communications. All Rights Reserved. The opinions and views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of MICHIGAN HOCKEY or its advertisers. All editorial copy, photographs and advertising materials remain the property of MICHIGAN HOCKEY.

MICHIGAN HOCKEY 23995 Freeway Park Drive • Suite 200 Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2829 (248) 478-2500 • FAX: (248) 478-1601 EMAIL: mh@michiganhockeyonline.com WEBSITE: www.michiganhockeyonline.com Cover: Michigan’s Louie Caporusso by Dave Reginek/DIG Photo. This page (from top): Jiri Fischer, former Red Wings defenseman and current director of player development, addresses coaches and managers at the LCAHL Face-Off meeting at Motor City Casino on Sept. 26 by Bob Beguelin/LCAHL; Midget Major Soo Indians defenseman Jeremy Gravedoni of Petoskey by Randy Ritari/Marquette Electricians; Northern Michigan senior goaltender Brian Stewart by NMU Sports Information and Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin by Dave Reginek/DRW.

Cover reprints available: email mh@michiganhockeyonline.com

MAJOR PREVIEW 19 MIDGET • State’s 11 Midget AAA teams building for state tournament

20

COLLEGE PREVIEW ‘09 • Veteran D will drive Wayne State women • WSU recruits come from all over • CCHA previews, polls, all-league teams and more (p. 21-25) • Michigan Tech plans to move up in WCHA (p.25)

INSIDERS 30 •NHL Waddell: Red Wings renew commitment to defense • Allen: Top reasons why Penguins will repeat

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Macomb Mavericks collect food donations for Samaritan House The 1996 Macomb Mavericks, who play out of the Suburban Ice – Macomb arena in Macomb Township, collected over 175 bags of nonperishable food donations for the Samaritan House in Washington Township. Samaritan House is a non-profit community organization that helps families in need in the Romeo, Washington, Macomb, Shelby, Bruce and Ray Townships and Armada areas. The team distributed flyers in the Macomb and Rochester

communities asking for donations. They collected from family, friends and neighborhoods. The 1996 Macomb Mavericks include: Jason Recchia, Alex Fischer, Brendan Pahlow, Ryan McLean, Andrew Carroll, Nolan Arbour, Justin Huber, Michael DeAngelis, Brenden Szpont, Matthew Walny, Nickolas Santi, Max Weide, Hayden Richardson, Johnny Kochanski, Alex Blaska, Evan Ketner and Erik Gadzinski.

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October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com

MDHL White squad goes undefeated to take Motor City Cup Two Under-18 teams from the Michigan Developmental Hockey League met in the final of the Motor City Cup tournament at Detroit’s City Sports Arena on September 13. Team White took the tournament championship with a 7-4 win over Team Green in the final. After opening with a 2-2 against the Pittsburgh Hornets, Team White beat the Soo Indians (3-1), the Wheatfield Blades (6-1), Victory Honda (5-4) and Belle Tire (4-3) to make the final. Team Green beat Little Caesars, 6-3, in their opening game, then tied Dallas Alliance, 2-2, before beating California (7-1), Compuware (4-3)

and Honeybaked (3-1) to make the final. Team White included: Pat Brown, Jake Downing, Ken Babinski, Zak Thompson, Mike Woynick, Scott Dornbrock, Martin Gruse, David Middleton, Kody Polin, Kevin Lander, Matt Lucchese, Bill Coole, Dan Milan, Austin Hervey, Reid Sturos, Evan Moore, Jake Goldberg and Kevin Killian. Team Green included: Cole Rochowiak, Chris Hughes, Pat Riedy, Chris Waterstreet, Shane Totten, Eric Rizzio, Mike Hickson, Brad Wilhelm, Andrew DeBrincat, Matt Ragains, Kyle Hicks, Steve Hibbard, Ryan Obuchowski, Cody King, Anthony Stempin, Jon Kello, Joe Van Antwerp and Kevin Collon.


AMATEUR HOCKEY REPORT

MICHIGAN HOCKEY

Compuware/Honeybaked Invitational helps teams get ready for the season

PHOTO BY ERIK WESTFALL/MICHIGAN HOCKEY

BY ERIK WESTFALL As the weather changes, teams start preparing with workouts and early season tournaments. At the fourth annual Compuware/Honeybaked AAA Invitational tournament, held at four metro-Detroit arenas September 17-20, both in-state and out-of-state teams got a jump on figuring out where they stand as the new season ramps up. With 64 teams competing in four divisions, 1998, 1997, 1996 and 1995s, at Compuware Arena, Viking Arena, Suburban Ice – Farmington Hills, the Arctic Pond and the DISC, the rinks were buzzing with spectators, coaches and players warming up, stretching and getting ready to play. “We came into this tournament with some confidence because this is a brand new team,” said Tom Miller, the new coach for the Compuware Bantam Major team. “This is my first year coaching this team. There are only four [returning players] from last year. For a team that has basically started over, I’m very encouraged with the way they’re playing.” As he’s done with his past teams, Miller worked over the summer to help his players to develop some chemistry before the season got going. “We had a team building camp to get them together, and from the team chemistry perspective, this is one of the better teams I’ve coached,” said Miller. “Now we’re just trying to get them to be the same way on the ice.” Teams came from as far west as San Jose, California to participate in the tournament. Some teams flew while others, like the Colorado Thunderbirds Bantam Major AAA squad, hit the highway to get to Detroit. “We travel in vans, so we have two vans with the players and one van with the equipment,” said Kris Kostolansky, head coach of the Thunderbirds. “It’s sort of the first time that the guys are on their own and responsible for all the things associated with that. It’s a good learning experience and it gets us off and running as a team.” Things were not easy for the Thunderbirds, however. Where most teams in the tournament had anywhere from four to eight new players, Kostolansky’s team had all new players.

throughout the season.” Local teams also used the tournament to get some early season experience together. For the Victory Honda Bantam Major team, this was an opportunity to figure out what to work on. “We haven’t had many practices and there are lots of things we haven’t worked on, so you’re just hoping you’re good enough to overcome the things you haven’t worked on,” said Victory Honda head coach Mike Humitz. “We haven’t had a lot of time to work on faceoff responsibilities and things like that, and in a one goal game, those are things that are important. You get away with them in six goal games, but not one goal games.” Many of the coaches stressed what they gained from a preseason tournament such as this. “It’s good to play a bunch of games in a row and figure out what things you really need to work more on and less on,” said Humitz. “You get to bring up your weaknesses and accentuate your strengths.”

The Compuware 1997 AAA team gets ready in between periods at the 2009 Compuware/Honeybaked AAA Invitational tournament. “I think we’ve got a fair amount of improvement to bring, in part just because we’ve got 18 guys who are playing at this level for the first time,” said Kostolansky. “So it’s going to take a while to come together. No one on the team played Bantam AAA last year.” Regardless of how his team performed, Kostolansky was excited about being involved with the tournament for the third year in a row. His hope was to gain some new memories that this team could build around like their trip to quarterfinals in last year’s Invitational. “It’s very, very helpful from a pre-season standpoint,” said Kostolansky. “Last year, when we lost to Compuware that was a real rallying point for us. You might think ‘Oh God, that’s the end of the world,’ but that was something we continued to focus on

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MICHIGAN HOCKEY

GET BETTER

GET BETTER

Olympians remember Brooks as ahead of his time

To recognize and promote the commitment of youth coaches in the state, Michigan Hockey would like youth coaches to tell us a few things about yourself and why you coach youth hockey.

SUBMIT TO WIN COACHES, SEND US THE FOLLOWING INFO FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COACH MATE BOARD AND BE FEATURED IN AN UPCOMING ISSUE OF MICHIGAN HOCKEY IN THE BEHIND THE BENCH SECTION.

Almost 30 years after making history in Lake Placid, the coach look at them he may have taken something out of the evaluations of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, Herb Brooks, is still remembered as that allowed him to learn how best to communicate with each a trend setter. player, how best to motivate each player,� explained O’Callahan. Brooks’ now famous coaching style relied on “Now that is a very common occurrence at the higher toughness, strict discipline, and little positive levels of the game.� reinforcement, and in many ways is a sharp contrast His players believe Brooks used the information to the coaching style that is encouraged today. gleaned from the tests to better communicate with “I think coaching certainly has changed a lot since his players. them, and that was the old school of coaching,� said “Herbie was always very straight with me, ‘Look U.S. Olympic team member John Harrington, who now Jack this is what I want you to do and you’re not coaches in a pro league in Italy. “I don’t remember him doing it’, or ‘Jack you did this tonight and I need you saying really a lot of positive things to me.� to keep doing it’,� O’Callahan explained. “Maybe he Jack O’Callahan agreed with his teammate on the learned that for me anyway, if you talk straight to me fact that Brooks was tough on all the team’s players. I get it, I understand it. Whereas other guys maybe “I thought they taught coaches to be positive with he had to push different ways.� their players, but we never saw too much of that,� Brooks implemented a European puck possession said O’Callahan. style of play and a rigorous off-ice conditioning And it was all in accordance with Brooks’ coaching program that the players finally warmed up to after Herb Brooks strategy. Mark Johnson, now coach of the Wisconsin seeing the results. women’s squad and the head of the 2010 U.S. Women’s Olympic team, The Olympians agreed that Brooks coaching legacy lives on with explained that before the team selection and training sessions Brooks them – including the importance of coaches working to increase decided not to be friendly, or create close personal relationships, their knowledge of the game. with his players. “There’s experience to be gained from coaching, and there’s

Brooks was acutely aware of how to motivate each player on his team.

Please include: YOUR NAME WHERE DO YOU LIVE THE LEVEL, TEAM AND ASSOCIATION WHERE YOU COACH NUMBER OF YEARS COACHING WHY DO YOU COACH MOST MEMORABLE COACHING MOMENT COACHING PHILOSOPHY/STYLE FAVORITE DRILL COACH YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY ONE THING YOU’D CHANGE ABOUT YOUTH HOCKEY PLEASE ATTACH A DIGITAL PHOTO OF YOURSELF WITH YOUR ANSWERS AND EMAIL EVERYTHING TO: MH@MICHIGANHOCKEYONLINE.COM

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But that’s not to say that he didn’t know his players well. Brooks was acutely aware of how to motivate each player on his team. “Herb treated everyone differently and I think he knew how far he could take each guy down the road, before they said I’m not gonna do this anymore,� said Harrington. Brooks even administered psychological tests to help gain an understanding of each of his players. “I don’t know what he took out of them. For all I know he just gave them to us as an exercise in fear factor or something, but if he did

also experience and knowledge to be gained being under coaches, and working with other coaches and exchanging ideas,� stated Harrington. “You can slice and dice these ideas, and tape them together and delete stuff and put them back together.� In the end Brooks, who died in a car accident in 2003, is remembered for his innovative methods of pushing his teams to have success. “When it came to hockey, he was ahead of his time,� said Olympian Ken Morrow of Flint. “All of his teams overachieved because Herbie understood how to get the best out of each player.�

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FIGURE 8 AGILITY SHOOTING PURPOSE: To develop scoring skills and shooting technique while moving backward through the slot area (as you would in trying to get open in a game situation). SET-UP: Half-ice drill with players in corners at the goal line. First player begins by skating backward through the slot area where he receives a pass from the coach in that corner. After shooting quickly, he continues to skate around the circle always facing the net (and the coaches with the pucks) for three more shots (two from each side in total).

October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com


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MICHIGAN HOCKEY

STATE OF THE GAME

State Game

A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

of the

by LYLE PHAIR

One of the most easily recognized species in the everentertaining and always educational youth sports habitat is the goalie parent. Take a quick glance around the outside of the playing surface at any hockey or soccer game and chances are you will be able to pick them out quite quickly. Look past the over-caffeinated, bellowing, blow-hard whose hands and mouth are in constant motion spewing venom at every call or perceived non-call by the officials. Try to ignore the shrieking lady who really doesn’t know much about the sport at all and reinforces that point incessantly with everyone within earshot with every misguided rant that leaves her lips. Search for quiet. Look for the nervous one, the fidgety one that seems to live and die with every shot taken in the direction of the goal. Sometimes they will have even broken a slight sweat, brought on as they gyrate and contort their bodies to make the very same saves that their goalie offspring is making on the ice. Sometimes they will be still, head down, muttering to themselves about the one that just went past, the shutout that won’t be. When the action is at the other end of the ice they will often pace nervously from side to side like a caged tiger at the zoo. Years ago, their ancestors were able to calm themselves by chain-smoking right at rinkside. Today’s version has to get by without the nicotine fix during the action, but will often scurry for the nearest exit between periods for some hurried puffs to calm their nerves.

THE LAST LINE OF DEFENSE

No doubt about it, the goaltender plays the most lonesome position in the sport. You are on the team. You are behind the team. You are there for the team. But when you fail, there is no one behind you to cover for you. Nothing but a net to capture your mistakes for everyone to see. And for those who might have missed it, there can be a flashing red light to bring it to their attention.

10

At least the forwards have each other for support when they make a mistake. Not to mention the defensemen, ready, willing, able and properly positioned to back them up when that does happen. The defensemen have each other, not to mention the backchecking forward who can definitely make their role much less difficult. Then there is the goalie, who backs it all up, like the data back-up server in an information technology system. There can be breakdowns everywhere else, but when that last component fails you know there is trouble. Definitely not a position for the faint of heart. Talk about pressure. No wonder goalies are often like they are portrayed to be. Different. And that can be described in a variety of character traits, from goofy to cocky, from carefree to confident. I often wonder what comes first. Do those types convert to the position or does the position convert to those types? All of that being said, I still contend, and always will contend, that the most important position in sports is not the goaltender. No disrespect to goalies, because they are very important. But the defense has much more influence on the game. They very much impact the offense and very much control how many and how dangerous the shots are that a goaltender will face. In fact, if your defense does a great job, the dependence on the goaltender is greatly reduced.

NOT ALL THEIR FAULT

In today’s youth hockey world there is a real shortage of goaltenders. Maybe it is because of the specialization and commitment that needs to be made, the cost of the equipment and the importance of being at every game or practice because there is nobody else who can substitute. Maybe it is because of the pressure and isolation of the position. But it shouldn’t be that way. More often than not goals against are not the fault of the goaltender. Rather, they are more than likely a series of unfortunate events that occurred that eventually resulted in the puck going in the net. Most people only see the end result. What they fail to see is what led up to that result and very much contributed to that outcome. In that respect it really isn’t much different than an airline or automobile crash. Although I am in no way comparing the tragedy or magnitude of either of those events with what goes on when a goal is given up in a hockey game. What is similar is how we look at it. Often we just focus on what happened immediately before the

October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com

crash, or goal, occurred. The puck was shot, the goalie missed it and a goal was scored. The driver didn’t see the oncoming car and pulled into the intersection. The pilot misjudged the approach and the plane crashed short of the runway. More often than not we chalk these outcomes up to operator error. The goalie, the driver, the pilot are the ones who initially get the blame. But was it their fault? And if they were to blame, was it completely their fault? Probably not. So what exactly were those events that led up to the outcome? In the driving and piloting instances there could be many contributing factors that happened long before the actual crash occurred. They might have been tired because something entirely out of their control disturbed their sleep the night before. There could have been a distraction created by a passenger in the car or crew member on the plane. There could have been a physical problem with the equipment. They could have been rushing to make up for lost time in an attempt to get back on schedule. There could have been any number of combinations of any of those circumstances that contributed just slightly or very significantly to the outcome.

ANATOMY OF A GOAL

And it’s no different in sports. A lazy forward or missed forechecking assignment allows an opposing defenseman to make a nice first pass which results in the puck entering the neutral zone. One of the defensive forwards falls down and now it is a three-on-two. But one of the defenseman, not watching the play, decides to change and his substitute off of the bench can’t make it into the play in time to make a difference so it is now a three-on-one. The lone defenseman does a great job of forcing the puck to the outside and taking away the middle, but the puck carrier makes a very nice pass to the trailer on the play who gets a shot from the high slot. Unfortunately for him, and more unfortunate for the goalie, he doesn’t get a good piece of the puck so it trickles slowly toward the net. The goalie, expecting a much harder shot and somewhat distracted by the third opposing forward driving to the net whiffs on it and the puck makes its way over the goal line. On the surface it looks like a very weak goal allowed by the goaltender. In reality, it was a sequence of actions, some preventable, some not, that happened to the defending team and for the offensive team. Is it the goalie’s fault? Partly. But no more so than the other players who allowed the puck to get to the area where the shot was taken. For the defensive team, a series of unfortunate events.


MICHIGAN HOCKEY

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TOURNAMENT CALENDAR Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI October 9-11, 2009 Pee Wee House, Pee Wee AA, Midget Major/ HS Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Motown Cup Tournament Series DETROIT, MI October 9-11, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216) 325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com K-Zoo Cup Tournament Series KALAMAZOO, MI October 9-11, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216) 325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Girls K-Zoo Cup Tournament Series KALAMAZOO, MI October 9-11, 2009 U10, U12, U14, U16 & U19 (A,AA, AAA, B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216) 325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Big Bear - The Victory Honda Inv. Detroit, MI October 10 - 12, 2009 Mite Major – 2001 Birth year www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI October 16-18, 2009 Squirt House, Squirt A, Bantam House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Motown Cup Tournament Series DETROIT, MI October 16-18, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216)325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI October 23-25, 2009 Squirt AA, Pee Wee House, Midget House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Motown Cup Tournament Series DETROIT, MI October 23-25, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216)325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI October 30-November 1, 2009 Pee Wee A, Bantam House, Midget Major/HS Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Big Bear - The Fall Colours Ann Arbor, MI October 30 – Nov. 1, 2009 Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget, High School & J.V., B - BB - A - AA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI November 6-8, 2009 Mite House, Mite A, Bantam A Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com

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Motown Cup Tournament Series DETROIT, MI November 6-8, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216) 325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Big Bear - The Ursa Major Detroit, MI November 6 - 8, 2009 Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget, High School & J.V. ¨ B - BB - A - AA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 Big Bear - Cold Fusion Grand Rapids, MI November 6 - 8, 2009 Miter Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget, High School & J.V. - B - BB - A - AA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 Manon Rheaume Tournament Farmington Hills, MI November 12-15, 2009 Girls 19&/21U, 16U, 14U & 12U 248-479-1139

Turkey Day @ the Shores Saint Clair Shores, MI November 27-29, 2009 01, 00, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, U16 & U18 248-670-5742 director@greatlakeshockey.com www.greatlakeshockey.com Great Lakes Thanksgiving Classic Holland, MI November 27-29, 2009 Holland, MI Great Lakes Thanksgiving Classic Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Wolverine Cup Tournament Series BRIGHTON/NOVI (Western Detroit Suburbs), MI November 27-29, 2009 Mite thru Midget/JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216)325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com

Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI November 13-15, 2009 Squirt House, Mite AA, Midget House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com

K-Zoo Cup Tournament Series KALAMAZOO, MI November 27-29, 2009 Mite thru Midget/JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216)325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com

Big Rapids Area Junior Hockey Association November 13-15, 2009 Big Rapids, MI Squirt tournament www.ferris.edu/icearena www.bigrapidshockey.org Tournament Hotline: (231) 591-2881

Big Bear - The S2 Invitational Kalamazoo, MI November 27 - 29, 2009 Bantam Minor & Bantam Major only Tier 1 AAA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694

Motown Cup Tournament Series DETROIT, MI November 13-15, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216) 325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com

Big Bear - The Wild Turkey Tournament Detroit, MI November 27 - 29, 2009 Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget. B - BB - A – AA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694

Great Lakes Tournaments Series Holland, MI November 20-22, 2009 Mite House, Pee Wee House, Bantam House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Motown Cup Tournament Series DETROIT, MI November 20-22, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216) 325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Eddie Edgar Thanksgiving Challenge November 27-29, 2009 Mini-Mites B, Mite B, Squirt B Peewee B, Bantam B Midget B, Midget BB Ph: 734-422-5172 jfeldman@livoniahockey.org Thanksgiving Hockey Tournament November 27-29, 2009 (no Thanksgiving day games) Macomb, MI Mite B, Squirt - Midget B, Squirt - Midget A, Squirt & Pee Wee AA 586-992-8600 www.suburbanice.com Michigan Thanksgiving Classic Monroe, Michigan November 27 – 29, 2009 Youth 2003-1990 BOYS - (Travel B, Select, AE), A, AA, AAA 1-888-422-6526 Email: tournaments@icesports.com www.canlanclassictournaments.com Girls Michigan Thanksgiving Classic Monroe, Michigan November 27–29, 2009 Youth 2001-1990 GIRLS - Tier II (C, B,BB) and Tier I (A, AA) 1-888-422-6526 Email: tournaments@icesports.com www.canlanclassictournaments.com

Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI December 4-6, 2009 Squirt House, Pee Wee A, Midget Minor Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Motown Cup Tournament Series DETROIT, MI December 4-6, 2009 Mite thru Midget/JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216)325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Big Bear - The FireBolt Ann Arbor, MI December 4 - 6, 2009 Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget B - BB - A - AA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 Big Bear - The Urban Legends Detroit, MI December 4 - 6, 2009 Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget. High School & J.V. ♦ B - BB - A – AA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 Big Bear - The 40th Annual Trenton Invitational Detroit, MI December 11 - 13, 2009 Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget, High School & J.V. ♦ B - BB - A – AA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI December 9-11, 2009 Pee Wee House, Pee Wee AA, Bantam House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com

October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com

COMPLETE TOURNAMENT LISTING ON WEBSITE

www.michiganhockeyonline.com

Weekend Hockey Tournaments Nov 13-15, 2009 Philadelphia, PA 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments Nov 20-22, 2009 Montreal, QC 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments Jan 1 - 3, 2010 New Years Tournament Burlington, ON 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments Feb 19 - 21, 2010 Brampton, ON 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments March 12 - 14, 2010 Niagara Falls, ON 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments March 19 – March 21, 2010 Tampa, FL 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments April 2 - 3, 2010 Philadelphia, PA 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments April 9 - 11, 2010 Pittsburgh, PA 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments April 23-25, 2010 Montreal, PQ 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments Apr 30 – May 2, 2010 Niagara Falls, ON 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com

Weekend Hockey Tournaments May 14 – 16, 2010 Niagara Falls, ON 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com Weekend Hockey Tournaments June 4 - 6, 2010 Atlantic City, NJ 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+ A, B, C, D, E Levels Mens/ Womens 1-877-702-5701 james@weekendhockey.com www.weekendhockey.com INDY CUP Tournament Series: The Indy Cup Indianapolis, IN October 9-11, 2009 Mite through Midget: A, and AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Rock ‘N Roll Cup Tournament Series CLEVELAND, OH October 9-11, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216)325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Three Rivers Cup Tournament Series PITTSBURGH, PA October 9-11, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216)325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Queen City Cup Tournament Series CINCINNATI, OH October 9-11, 2009 Mite thru Midget/, JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216)325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Niagara Falls Columbus Day Early Bird Niagara Falls, NY October 10-12, 2009 Mite – Midget A, AA & AAA Email: gcarella17@cs.com Big Bear - The Eye of the Storm Tampa, FL October 10 - 12, 2009 Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget A – AA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 Big Bear - The Fall Prep Showcase Nashville, TN October 10 - 12, 2009 High School & J.V. www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694

CHICAGO CUP Tournament Series: Chicago Fall Classic Chicago, IL October 23-25, 2009 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Fall Classic Pittsburgh, PA October 23-25, 2009 Mite through Midget: B, A, AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Music City Tournament Series: Nashville Fall Classic Nashville, TN October 23-25, 2009 Mite through Midget: B, A, and AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Empire State Tournament Series: Empire State Showdown Rochester, NY October 23-25, 2009 Mite through Midget: B, A, AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Golden State Tournament Series: Golden State Showdown Riverside, CA October 23-25, 2009 Mite through Midget: B, A, AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Rock ‘N Roll Cup Tournament Series CLEVELAND, OH October 23-25, 2009 Mite thru Midget/JV & High School (AA,A,B,House Select,House) Tony Prpic (216)325-0567, tony@ itshockeytime.com www.itshockeytime.com Big Bear - Fire on the Water Cleveland, OH October 23 - 25, 2009 Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget B - A - AA www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 Las Vegas Youth Blast Las Vegas, Nevada November 5 – 8, 2009 Youth 2003-1990 (Travel B,Select, AE), A, AA, AAA 1-888-422-6526 Email: tournaments@icesports.com www.canlanclassictournaments.com

Big Bear - Pond Rockets St. Louis, MO October 10 - 12, 2009 Mite B, Mite A & Bantam A only www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694

Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Veterans Cup Pittsburgh, PA November 6-8, 2009 Mite through Midget: B, A, AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com

October Classic Oshawa, Ontario October 16 – 18, 2009 Adult Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 Email: tournaments@icesports.com www.canlanclassictournaments.com

INDY CUP Tournament Series: The Indy Fall Classic Indianapolis, IN November 6-8, 2009 Mite through Midget: A, and AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com

Las Vegas Old-Timers Classic Las Vegas, Nevada October 23 – 25, 2009 Adult Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 Email: tournaments@icesports.com www.canlanclassictournaments.com

“Escape the Blues” AA Tournament Toronto, Canada February 5-7, 2010 Atom – Minor Midget 905-854-3435 www.torontocityblues.com


TOURNAMENTS

MICHIGAN HOCKEY

Grand Traverse Hockey Association

TOURNAMENT SERIES

Advanced

Tournaments

Holland, MI Great Value

Period Length

Entry Fee

Mites Squirts/Pee Wees Bantams Midgets

13 minutes 13 minutes 13 minutes 14 minutes

$695 $750 $795 $895

All Tournaments Four Game Minimum Oct 30-Nov 1. 2009

January 22-24, 2010

Pee wee A, Bantam B, Midget AA

Squirt AA, Pee Wee B, Bantam A

November 6-8, 2009

January 29-31, 2010

Mite B, Mite A, Bantam A

Mite B, Squirt B, Bantam B

November 13-15, 2009

February 5-7, 2010

Mite AA, Squirt B, Midget B

Mite A, Pee Wee B, Midget B

November 20-22, 2009

February 12-14, 2010

Mite B, Pee Wee B ,Bantam B

Squirt B, Pee Wee AA, Bantam AA

December 4-6, 2009

February 19-21, 2010

Squirt B, Pee Wee A, Midget A

Mite B, Pee Wee B, Bantam B

December 11-13, 2009

February 26-28, 2010

Pee Wee B, Pee Wee AA, Bantam B

Squirt B, Squirt A, Midget B

January 8-10, 2010

March 5-7, 2010

Mite B, Squirt A, Midget B

Mite B, Pee Wee B, Bantam B

January 15-17, 2010

March 12-14, 2010

Mite AA, Squirt B, Bantam AA

Squirt B, Squirt AA, Midget B

Chicago, IL

HOUSE TOURNAMENTS SQUIRT - $650 (Jan 8-10, 2010) MAHA Sanction #MIT100073 PEE WEE - $725 (Dec. 11-13 , 2009) MAHA Sanction #MIT100072 BANTAM - $775 (Nov. 20-22, 2009) MAHA Sanction # MIT100071 MITE HOUSE - $575 (Nov 20- 22, 2009) MAHA Sanction #MIT100071 (Feb 26 - 28, 2010) MAHA Sanction # MIT100074 Contact: Rich Noffsinger 231.463.6681 or gthatournaments@yahoo.com

TRAVEL TOURNAMENTS TC Squirt A & AA Fall Color Tournament (Oct. 16- 18, 2009) - $775 12-minute periods MAHA Sanction #MIT100066

TC Pee Wee A & AA Fall Color Tournament (Oct.23 - 25 2009) - $895 15- minute periods 4-game guarantee - 5 game max

MAHA Sanction #MIT100067

Traverse City Challenge Cup Tournament Bantam A & AA (Nov. 6 – 8 2009) - $895 15 – minute periods 4–game guarantee – 5 game max MAHA Sanction #MIT100068

Ice Breaker Tournament Midget A & AA /JV (Jan. 15-17, 2010) - $925 15-minute periods 4-game guarantee - 5 game max

MAHA Sanction #MIT100069

Traverse City North Stars Cherry Chill Tournament - (Jan. 29 – 31, 2010) - $895 Girls U-19 Elite & Girls U19/U16 & Girls U14 MAHA Sanction #MIT100070 15-minute periods 4-game guarantee - 5 game max

Thanksgiving Classic

Chicago Showdown

Games

Nov 27-29, 2009

Mar 5-7, 2010

Midwinter Classic

Spring Classic

• Three games guaranteed. With semifinal and final games.

Jan 16-18, 2010

Apr 23-25, 2010

Presidents Cup

Spring Classic II

Feb 13-15, 2010

May 21-23, 2010

Pittsburgh, PA

Thanksgiving Classic

Presidents Cup

Nov 27-29, 2009

Feb 13-15, 2010

Midwinter Classic

Spring Classic

Jan 16-18, 2010

Mar 12-14, 2010

Nashville, TN

Music City Cup

Jan 16-18, 2010

Presidents Cup

Feb 13-15, 2010

Additional Tournament Locations in: Rochester, NY - Riverside, CA For More Information: www.advancedtournaments.com 847-277-7343

• Three 10 minute stop periods for Mites. • Three 12 minute stop periods for House Squirt and Squirt AA and Peewee A. • Three 15 minute stop periods for House Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget and all other Travel Tournaments. • If two competing teams have the same or similar jerseys the home teams will wear the off-color jerseys. Each team should attempt to bring two sets of jerseys.

Awards • Tournament trophy to finalist and runner up • Medals for all players in tournament finals • Game MVP Awards for house tournaments

Team Selection • Team application, official signed & stamped roster and fee must be received one month prior to tournament date. • Teams will be notified one month prior by the Tournament Committee of the teams selected for the tournament.

Refunds • Any team wishing to withdraw must do so in writing to the Director. • Refunds will only be granted up to one month prior to tournament.

GTHA • PO Box 5713 • Traverse City, MI 49696 Fax 231-933-0070 Contact: Todd Spaulding 231-649-1226 or todd_spaulding@yahoo.com

michiganhockeyonline.com | October 12, 2009

13


MICHIGAN HOCKEY

Navigating the Frozen Waters

Central States Hockey League is part of Tier III Junior A system Editor’s Note: The following article is the third installment of our new “Navigating the Frozen Waters” educational series aimed at helping both new and veteran players and parents understand the different levels and pathways of hockey available in Michigan and across the United States. Michigan Hockey will explore other junior leagues, along with high school and youth hockey in future issues. We invite you to share your questions and concerns regarding Navigating the Waters by e-mailing us at: mh@ michiganhockeyonline.com. BY TIM WILSON After a player has completed midget hockey or graduated from high school hockey, a number of options still exist to continue playing. In the United States, USA Hockey sanctions a number of junior leagues for players age 16-20. Junior hockey is essentially broken down into five classifications: Tier I Junior A, Tier II Junior A, Tier III Junior A, Tier III Junior B and Tier III Junior C. After covering the Tier I Junior A USHL (Sept.14 MH) and the Tier II Junior A NAHL (Sept. 28 MH) in previous issues, this time we will look at Tier III Junior A, the third highest level of junior hockey available in the U.S. There are six Tier III Junior A leagues operating across the country, including the Midwest based Central States Hockey League (CSHL) and Northern Pacific Hockey League (NORPAC) in the Northwest U.S. Both of these leagues serve as a stepping stone for players looking to move on from midget or high school to Tier II Junior A or Division III or college club hockey.

MICHIGAN WELL REPRESENTED

With four franchises located in Michigan, the 13-team CSHL plays a 48-game regular season schedule, plus playoffs. Geographically, the league spans from Pittsburgh in the east to Dubuque, Iowa and St. Louis in the west. Franchises in Michigan include the Flint Junior Generals, Motor City Chiefs, Metro Jets and Grand Rapids Owls as well as the nearby Toledo Cherokee. While Tier I and Tier II teams consistently move players on to Division I college programs, the CSHL operates differently. “We do have kids in this league that do go directly to college, just not Division I,” said Flint Junior Generals head coach, George Dristas. And while the USHL and NAHL are heavily scouted by college and professional scouts, the CSHL is an option that is not nearly as well known. “I am on the phone with Michigan kids all the time that don’t know about our league and what it is we do and what we look to accomplish,” said Waterfordbased Metro Jets assistant coach Ryan Skop. “We get young kids looking to move on to the USHL or NAHL and some of our older guys looking to play Division III. About half will move on to play college club hockey while the other half will either play Division III or in the NAHL.” Although Tier III is a step below the

14

NAHL, Dristas sees a number of talented players come through the CSHL. “I think the top two or three teams in our league could compete in the NAHL,” he said. With so many junior leagues throughout the U.S., the battle for players has become increasingly competitive. A player that does not make a USHL or NAHL team now has the option of playing junior hockey in a number of different leagues that were not around 10-15 years ago. “When I call a kid I’m trying to sell exposure,” said Skop. “Last year at our showcase we had 10-12 Division III schools and five or six NAHL teams in attendance. A lot of our guys get noticed there. Last year Cleveland moved up 12 kids and we moved up two.”

MAKING THE ROSTER

A player looking to make a CSHL roster needs to be drafted or attend a team’s open tryout camp. The league does not have a tendering system in place. “We look at top-end midget AA kids,” said Skop. “We have a tough time drawing some of the AAA players. We’ll look at the better high school players or draft from some other junior leagues. We’ll also attend exposure camps and see who is there.” Open camps can consist of anywhere from 40-80 players with about half coming from high school and the rest from midget travel or other junior leagues, according to Skop. Similar to many junior circuits, CSHL rosters are dotted with players from throughout the country. “We have a head scout that has been all around,” said Dristas. “We have kids on our team from California, Washington, New Jersey and Wisconsin. That’s how you have to get your kids now. You have to have good connections.” It also helps that nearly every NAHL team has a camp in Michigan that CSHL teams can attend, said Dristas. Teams can then go after players that have been cut from the NAHL camps. Flint also has the advantage of being affiliated with the NAHL’s Motor City Metal Jackets which opens the possibility of a player moving up during the season. While the CSHL operates in markets that often have other levels of hockey available for fans, many NORPAC teams play in cities where Tier III is the highest caliber of play in the market. That’s the case in Cody, Wyoming where former Oakland University coach Sean Hogan took over the Yellowstone Quake this past season. “We are the closest thing to a professional sport here in Wyoming,” he said. Along with the Quake, the NORPAC has teams in Montana, Washington and Oregon. In Cody, the Quake regularly draw crowds of around 1,000 people and enjoy regular coverage in the local paper. Like the CSHL, the NORPAC plays a 48-game regular season which is highlighted by the league’s showcase that will be held this January in Billings, Montana. “The league mandates that each team in the league pay for at least one scout to attend the showcase. That way we’re guaranteed of having a minimum of 12 scouts,” said Hogan. Scouts invited can be chosen by the team and can be from Tier I, Tier II, college or major junior organizations. Hogan’s roster contains players from throughout the country including several from Michigan. Most of the Quake players came from midget AA or high school programs, although both goaltenders came from AAA. With more than 20 kids needing a

October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com

place to live, Yellowstone has a dedicated billet coordinator to handle the team’s housing needs. Unlike the CSHL, the NORPAC does not have a league draft. Teams are given 10 tenders to secure rights to players of their choosing. Each team also has open camps during the summer. One of the major differences between Tier III and the higher junior leagues is that Tier III is a pay-to-play league. On average a player can expect to spend somewhere between $5,000 - $6,000 per season, which includes travel and lodging in addition to ice time. Players that move away from home and stay with a billet family can expect to pay an additional $250 per month for room and board. The average attendance for CSHL teams is normally between 100-200 with the exception of Dubuque where the Thunderbirds sometimes see crowds of nearly 2,000. Dubuque is one of the rare organizations in Tier III where gate receipts are significant in operating the team, according to head coach Joe Coombs. “In most Tier III organizations, the money that the kids pay to play is the heartbeat of the organization,” said Coombs. “That’s not the case in Dubuque.”

DEVELOPMENT IS THE GOAL

And while winning is definitely a priority for every team, development is still the key goal for Tier III organizations. “Do I want to win every game?” asked Dristas. “Yes. But if I move five kids on at the end of the year then I’ve done my job. When a player moves up it helps our organization. I have a couple of kids this year that may be able to move up to Motor City this season.” As the CSHL continues to evolve, Coombs says that players owe it to themselves to take a look and see what the league has to offer. “The CSHL is a fantastic league,” said Coombs. “Kids that don’t make this an option are making a mistake. Tier III is much better than many people think it is.”

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MICHIGAN HOCKEY

PHOTOS BY BOB BEGUELIN/LCAHL

Meeting helps coaches and managers get ready for the new season

LCAHL Executive Board Member Brian Vella and Squirt A Director Kathy Gawronski (back left) meet with Squirt A team representatives to plan the upcoming new LCAHL Squirt A Festival.

Former Detroit Red Wings defenseman and current Director of Player Development Jiri Fischer spoke to the LCAHL coaches and signed autographs at the Face-Off meeting.

At the Face-Off meeting every LCAHL team representative received an orange binder full of information for the upcoming season.

Former NHL goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck spoke to one of the group of coaches and managers at the Face-Off meeting.

LCAHL Operations Board (from left-to-right): Gordon Leitz, Laurie Golden-Birchler, Brian Vella, Carrie Gamrat, Joe Emery, Lisa Zarzycki and Robert Beguelin.

Mickey Redmond and Lisa Ilitch-Murray each spoke to the LCAHL coaches and managers at the Face-Off meeting.

michiganhockeyonline.com | October 12, 2009

17


MIDGET MAJOR PREVIEW

Midget Major teams build toward March run BY MATT MACKINDER Michigan’s Midget Major division always has an exciting group of players and this season is no different. With five teams in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League, four in the Northern Lakes Hockey League and two in the new North American Prospects Hockey League, there is definitely no shortage of talent.

BELLE TIRE With a solid mix of speed and skill, Belle Tire once again appears to be a top team in the league. “It’s always the same goal - to win the Michigan state tournament,” said head coach Chris Coury. “I think that’s the toughest tournament to win. Our team this year has a lot of goal-scoring ability and a couple of very good goaltenders.” Kyle Laslo is back in net from last season and Tyler Green is new from Indianapolis. Josef Pontasch is a third-year player and also Belle Tire’s captain. “Josef leads by example,” added Coury. “He’s a good presence for our team.”

PHOTO BY RANDY RITARI/MARQUETTE ELECTRICIANS

COMPUWARE Compuware has high expectations this year with a team full of 1993 birthdates from their midget minor national championship team of a year ago, leadership from their 1992s and character from their 1991s. Easton Powers, Josh Dangel, Brock Labelle and A.J. White lead the team up front, while Josh Malecki and Andrew Mills are a dominant combination in net. “We feel that we have as good a chance as anyone to win the state tournament,” head coach George Daniel said. “We’ve had a pretty good start and are much improved over last season. We’re rebounding for sure.”

CAPITAL CENTRE PRIDE

After not having a team last year, head coach Ron Gay has the Pride looking to bounce back. Goaltender Nathan Phillips should carry most of the load in net, but backup Sean McClure will also see starts. Defenseman Travis Walsh is attracting college attention and forward Jacob McDowell has already committed to Michigan State. “As junior and college scouts come to see Walsh, that also helps out our team as a whole as a lot of our kids are under the radar,” Gay said. “We have some fresh faces, so moving as many guys on as we can to college and juniors is definitely our priority here.”

MARQUETTE ELECTRICIANS

After going 0-4 at the Marquette Fall Classic, head coach Mike Dagenais vented to the Marquette Mining Journal. “It’s a wake-up call for these guys to realize where they have to get at, what level they need to get at, what level they have to play at,” Dagenais said. The Electricians brought aboard 15 new players, including former Austrian U-17 national team forward Raphael Gobald. “It’s going to take him a while to get used to the physical play,” Dagenais added to the Mining Journal. “But with all these guys, it’s going to be a work in progress.” Marquette also competes in the NAPHL.

OJIBWA EAGLES

With eight returning players, head coach Dan Giachino has big hopes this year. “We returned eight of 11 eligible players, which is a great percentage at the AAA level,” Giachino said in the Daily Mining Gazette. “It tells me that our organization is doing something right. We need our second-year players to be leaders on and off the ice. They need to set the expectations high and make the younger players want to improve.” Alex Roy, Robbie Payne, Josh Borgen, Bryant Froberg and Mike Gullan will be leaned on for offense, while third-year player Justin Reilley is a key cog on the back end. Josh Hendrickson has the ability to steal games in goal.

HONEYBAKED

After five years of success, this may be a down year for Honeybaked. Head coach Rob Krohl said SOO INDIANS this season will be an “interesting year.” After five years as assistant coach, Jerry “We only have three returning guys,” said Harwood takes over as head coach of the Krohl. “This team is going to have to learn how Negaunee’s Tyler Desjardins will be a to win and how to put teams away. That being fixture on the Midget Major Marquette Indians. ”Jerry is very smart about hockey systems said, we all know the regular season means Electricians blueline this season. and coaching,” Soo GM Mike Kaunisto said. nothing once March rolls around. It’s all about “He has proven himself.” who gets hot in March.” Harwood has a young team and one that has had trouble getting Captain Alex Sandora, Kaleb Shannon and Alex Frere will be looked going out of the gates. to for offense, while goaltenders Brandon Hope, a 1994 birthdate who “They are a very talented group of players that have to get used to Krohl said “will be a good one” and “is in the same category as Jack playing high caliber AAA hockey,” added Kaunisto. “These kids aren’t Campbell,” and Josh Forrester are the biggest strengths of the team. used to winning, but they have a strong, solid base to work with.”

LITTLE CAESARS Last year’s state and national champions think they have enough talent to do it again, but are off to a 1-3-1 start this season. In goal, Jeremy Shur makes the move up from the Little Caesars midget minor team and Evan Plassman is new from Trenton High School. Talented forward Zach Badalamenti is off to a fast start with seven points in five games, while defenseman Michael LaFrenier, from the Chicago area, leads all blueliners with two goals and an assist.

VICTORY HONDA Just call Victory Honda the farm team for the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit, as three Saginaw prospects will play for head coach Sean Ortiz this year. Goaltender Colin Greeley is back with the organization after playing Junior A last season with the Metro Jets, defenseman Frank Schumacher has already signed with the Spirit, and forward Jay Llewellyn is the third Saginaw prospect. Greeley recorded Victory Honda’s first two wins of the season. Forward Tom Mitchell has five points, including four goals, to lead the team. From last year’s team Victory Honda sent 12 players on to juniors, including Andy Ryan, who is now with the NTDP.

MICHIGAN HOCKEY

LANSING CAPITALS

Head coach Dean Dixon calls this year’s team “the most complete team from top to bottom that we have had.” And that’s without stud forward Reid Boucher, who played in Lansing a year ago, committed to Michigan State, and is now with the NTDP. “A player like Reid Boucher is almost irreplaceable,” Dixon said. “The positive for us will be depth and more balanced scoring.” Dixon didn’t want to single out any individual players he’ll lean on this season, instead taking a philosophical approach. “We will promote a team concept and encourage them to be competitive and have fun,” said Dixon. “We are excited about the new league and the teams we will be competing against.”

S2 HOCKEY

It’s been a tough start for S2, as the team started out 1-4 in the NAPHL. First-year head coach Mark Lawrence, who came over from the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association, played 12 years of pro hockey, including 142 games in the NHL with Dallas and the New York Islanders. He also played two seasons in the OHL with the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors (now Plymouth Whalers). Forwards Brandon Morganroth, Mac Rushing and Michael Lawrence look to lead the S2 offense. Brandon Haase earned the team’s lone win in goal.

24th Annual “B” THANKSGIVING HOCKEY TOURNAMENT November 27-29, 2009

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michiganhockeyonline.com | October 12, 2009

19


MICHIGAN HOCKEY

COLLEGE PREVIEW

Veteran D will lead Wayne State women’s squad Recruiting is ‘a 12-month position’ BY MATT MACKINDER

Take a look at the Wayne State roster and a few things stand out right away. Yes, the Warriors are a young team and yes, WSU is the only women’s Division I team in the state. But look at the players’ hometowns? Westbank, British Columbia? Chelmsford, Ontario? Lafayette, Louisiana? How does the Wayne State coaching staff, Jim Fetter (from Alberta), Nicolette Franck and Allison Rutledge (both from Ontario) find out about players who play hundreds, even thousands, of miles away? “Recruiting is really a 12-month position,” said Wayne State head coach Jim Fetter, the 2008 national coach of the year. “Once we see a kid play that we like, we stay in touch by phone and by email and put them in our database. We have probably 2,000 players in our database right now and start tracking them from when they’re sophomores in high school.” To see these players compete means logging many, many hours in cars, planes, and in rinks all across North America. “ We go to a lot of tournaments,” said Fetter. “We build our contacts and maybe one tournament we go to see a girl we heard about and maybe at another one, we see someone whose name was passed along to us. At tournaments, too, sometimes there are 40 teams there and there have been many times I’ve been WSU Coach Jim Fetter in the rink from 7:00 in the morning until after 10:00 at night Friday, Saturday and Sunday and in that time, you can get a lot done. Just getting out and seeing players is the biggest thing and then selling them on our program.” WSU’s roster has just four players from Michigan – sophomore goalie Brittany Zeches (Westland), sophomore forward Lauren Ragen (Mercyhurst transfer from Grosse Ile), junior forward Adrianna Pfeffer (Farmington Hills) and sophomore defenseman Jill Szandzik (Warren). In past years, some before Fetter came to Wayne State in 2003, Wayne State’s roster was chock-full of in-state talent. “Getting every player to come here is a challenge, even with the Michigan kids,” Fetter said. “A lot of these players have never experienced living in the big city and some, even those from here in Michigan, have never been to Detroit before. But then they come down here and see what the Ilitches have done with the city and they see Ford Field and Comerica Park and then get to campus, they just fall in love with it. Once they’re on campus, too, I’ve had a number of players and their parents tell me that it doesn’t even feel like they’re in a big city.” Fetter also noted that while a good number of in-state players either go out of state to play Division III hockey or stay here to play club hockey, there’s no denying the talent that Michigan has. “We do a lot of our recruiting in Michigan, but like anything, sometimes you have to look outside to see if you can find better players,” said Fetter. ”Back (before 2003), this program had a lot of top-end players from Michigan, but now, I think the bottomend players from Michigan are improving and there’s not as big a gap as there once was between the top-end players and the bottom-end players. The players are getting better ice times and better coaching where before, it seemed like a lot of the coaches were a player’s father and you’re just not seeing that as much any more.” By Matt Mackinder

20

for a three-game series versus Canada’s National Women’s Team in Calgary in late August and will be again for the 2010 MLP Cup The top three all-time leading scorers in the Wayne State women’s in Ravensburg, Germany in early January. program graduated last spring, leaving a huge question mark for Brian’s competition in net will come from senior Lindsey Park and this season. sophomore Brittany Zeches (Westland). Rather, three question marks. On defense, WSU returns five players in senior captain Christine How does one replace Melissa Boal, Sam Poyton and Lindsay Jefferson, senior Chelsea Burnett, an All-CHA Preseason Team DiPietro, a trio that combined for 600 points from 2005-09? selection with 53 career points, and sophomores Marlee Fisher, Jill “It’s going to be tough,” WSU head coach Jim Fetter said. “I don’t Szandzik (Warren) and Ciara Lee. The two newcomers are Jenaya think you replace three players like that Townsend and Lauren Lovold. with one class. The good thing now, Jefferson has already shown the though, is that we seem to have more meaning of being a captain in a touching depth. We have three lines that all have story recapped by Fetter. the ability to do great things, and not just “Her brother passed away recently one line. Teams will have to concentrate and that’s never an easy thing to go on all three lines instead of one.” through,” said Fetter. “Right before we The Warriors came within one win started practice this year, I talked to her of their first College Hockey America briefly and all she said was to tell the championship last season, ultimately girls to work hard. She’s a great leader, losing to perennial national powerhouse kind of quiet, but the girls really respond Mercyhurst College in the CHA final on well to her. She gets the job done. Mercyhurst’s home ice in Erie, Pa. “We’ve had some pretty vocal Next March, however, WSU will captains here, but with Christine, I think have home-ice advantage as the CHA it will be good to have a change in the tournament will be played at the City type of leadership we have.” Sports Center. Townsend and Lovold, two Canadians, “Having home ice will be huge for us,” should fit right in on Jefferson’s defense said Fetter, now in his seventh season as corps. the Warriors’ head coach. “We’ll know “Jenaya is a big, strong defenseman the bounces and hopefully, we’ll have a who can move the puck well and has decent turnout. It always seems like our great vision on the ice. She is a confident tournament is during Spring Break, so player,” said Fetter. “Lauren is a smart people have either gone home or gone defenseman who also moves the puck south. We’ll be able to sleep in our own well. She has good instincts and likes to beds, eat home-cooked meals and not jump into the play. She has good size and have to eat hotel food. Being at home The Wayne State women’s squad will have a veteran comes with a great work ethic. Lauren will be to our benefit with no travel and defensive unit led by senior captain Christine will be a good addition to the back end.” no packing up and things like that.” Up front, assistant captain and Jefferson (above) and senior Chelsea Burnett, an But the regular season has to be All-CHA Preseason Team selection. sophomore Veronique Laramee-Paquette played, as the tournament is still five leads the way along with classmates months away. Getting through the Micheline Frappier, Alyssa Baldin and season without the graduated superstar Mercyhurst transfer Lauren Ragen line may be tough, as Fetter explained, (Grosse Ile). Senior Katrina Protopapas but he’s nowhere near panic mode. and junior Adrianna Pfeffer (Farmington “Before our exhibition game (Sept. 26 Hills) join freshmen Gina Buquet, Julie against York University), we had only Ingratta, Julie Hebert, Lauren Coxon and had a few practices and pretty much Jaclyn Stapleton. only worked on the basics like defensive The five freshmen come to the Motor zone coverage, forecheck, things like City with some pretty high praise. that,” said Fetter. “I was excited after “We are happy with this class as the game (which WSU won, 3-2). We we feel we are going to be much faster really controlled the play and I think we this year,” said Fetter. “I love Gina’s doubled them in shots.” feistiness, her speed and tenacity, The weekend following that, it was and her competitive drive. She has back to reality as the Warriors lost and good hands and is very athletic. Julie played to a scoreless tie at Rensselaer (Hebert) possesses great size, but can (N.Y.). Still, Fetter is optimistic about skate as well. She is a strong player what WSU can accomplish this season. who competes hard, battles, and can “Our ‘D’ has shown signs and I finish. She also has a great work ethic. think we’re capable of great things Jaclyn possesses good speed and plays back there,” said Fetter, who won his tough. She is a hard worker who is not 100th career game last year by beating afraid to get involved and makes things Robert Morris in overtime of the CHA happen. I believe that both Lauren and semifinals (the longest game in WSU Julie (Ingratta) are excellent athletes and and CHA history) last March. “All three will give our team a tremendous boost. of our goalies are playing well and as a I appreciate their work ethic and skill.” coaching staff, that’s going to make our job tough. Delayne (Brian) The returning forwards scored just 23 total goals last season, had a great freshman season last year, but we’ve told all three of as compared to the 73 goals that Boal, Poyton and DiPietro scored. our goaltenders to make our job tough in deciding who plays, and “We will be a hard working team that is going to out-work our so far, they’ve all done that.” opponents,” said Fetter. “It is going to be a different look having Brian, starting her sophomore season, went 15-6-0 last year and lost Lindsay, Sam and Mel, so although we are going to be very was invited to Hockey Canada’s Under-22 national team camp over young, we are excited about who we have coming in along with the summer. Fetter was also an assistant coach for Team Canada our returning players.”

October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com


CCHA PREVIEW

MICHIGAN HOCKEY

Ferris State hopes to rebound offensively

Ferris State needs senior captain Cody Chupp of Big Rapids to have a big season. BY JOHN RAFFEL Ferris State didn’t live up to expectations last season, but veteran coach Bob Daniels is confident 2009-10 will be different. The Bulldogs didn’t get a lot of offensive production and finished 9-14-5-2 in the CCHA. “Last season with three weekends to go in the regular season, we still had a chance to finish in the top four,” said Daniels, who is starting his 18th season in Big Rapids. “But then we lost five

out of our last six league games. We had an awful lot of offensive Returning in net for FSU are sophomore Taylor Nelson, who firepower returning and we feel we do again this year.” had a .912 save percentage last year and junior Pat Nagle, who Big Rapids native Cody Chupp, who had seven goals and 12 had a .909 save percentage last season. points last season, is the Bulldogs captain and will lead a veteran “We split the two of them last year,” Daniels said. “I’m not group returning up front. looking necessarily to split them this year. It wouldn’t bother “Cody is a terrific student,” Daniels said. “He’s very mature off me to see one take off. We’ll go with the one who gives us the the ice and is a hard worker on the ice and in the weight room.” opportunity to win each night.” Senior Aaron Lewicki is the team’s top Another key returning senior will be forward returning scorer (10-10-20) and Daniels hopes Casey Haines, who had six goals and 10 assists HEAD COACH: that his forwards can rebound to the form of two last season. Bob Daniels seasons ago. “We’re definitely going to be a competitive (18th season) “If you look at Blair Riley, Cody Chupp, Mike team,” Haines said. “I wouldn’t say we had a Fillinger and Justin Menke, they accounted for bad attitude last year. We just were expecting KEY PLAYER: 42 goals for us (2007-08),” Daniels said. “Last a lot last year and more production from certain Junior defenseman year, they slipped to 20. The good news is that guys. This year, we seem to have a better team Zach Redmond they’re all returning this season. The answer to attitude and more of a team atmosphere. Everyone our offensive difficulties from a year ago is still is sticking together. Workouts are going great. THE SKINNY: in our locker room.” “I feel that we’re a two-way team. At the same Bulldogs need Incoming freshmen forwards include right time I also feel our strongest point is definitely forwards to produce wing Eric Alexander (Kentwood) and center-right our defensive team and not just our defensemen. to be successful wing Travis Ouellette (Tecumseh, Ontario). If we play our systems well, there’s no way we “From what I have seen of them I’m very should be giving up three or four goals a game.” excited,” said Daniels. “I think they’ll contribute. In the CCHA this season “it changes year-to“But again, we have a lot of good returning forwards. If they year on who has the best team,” Haines said. “There’s always return to form of previous seasons, the offensive difficulties can Michigan. Michigan State fell down last year but they’re always be put behind us.” tough. We play a lot of non-conference game- and I feel the 12th Last year four freshmen saw big minutes on the blueline, so place team in our league can be tougher than some of these other the Bulldogs defensive corps, led by junior pre-season all-CCHA teams. We’re definitely a strong league.” second team member Zach Redmond and senior Matt Case, is The Bulldogs will again play in the Badger Showdown, Jan. experienced. 2-3, in Madison (WI) and opens the tournament against Yale of “This season we have all veteran defensemen,” said Daniels. the ECAC. “Probably one of my biggest difficulties is determining which six to play each night.”

Lake Superior State to count on upperclassmen MacVoy (Livonia). MacVoy led the Lakers in goals last season with 14 and trailed only Schwab in total points (26). Sophomore Fred Cassiani (11-10-21), the Lakers’ freshman of the year last No team knows more about the slim margin for error in the season, and junior Rick Schofield (9-12-21) will be counted on to CCHA than Lake Superior State. The Lakers, who finished 7-15-6-1 produce even bigger numbers. in the league last season, played in 20 games that either ended Freshman forward Domenic Monardo, who scored at a dizzying in a tie or with a one-goal difference. rate for the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League Fifth-year Lake Superior State head coach Jim Roque believes last season, could also contribute. Monardo tallied a goal a game the Lakers haven’t played up to their potential in for Aurora, finding the net 39 times in 39 games HEAD COACH: recent seasons and hopes his squad can end up on and adding 40 assists the other side of more of those games this season. On the defensive side, the Lakers will count on Jim Roque ”Like every team, we have very high hopes to a pair of seniors to log significant minutes. Steve (5th season) start the season,” he said. “The last few years Kaunisto will supply leadership and steady play KEY PLAYER: have been rather disappointing for us. We felt while fellow Simon Gysbers, at 6-4, 200 pounds, is that a few years ago, when we got to Joe Louis an imposing force with good offensive potential. Senior forward Arena (for the CCHA Championship), we had Juniors Dillin Stonehouse and Tyson Hobbins, Zac MacVoy turned a corner. I think we’ve underachieved the along with sophomore Kyle Haines, will provide last couple of seasons. We’ve had to look hard at THE SKINNY: blue line depth. what we’ve done here and where we can change Another 6-4, 220 pounder expected to make Goaltending duo of and get better.” a difference on defense is Zach Troutman, a Pat Inglis and Brian The Lakers will have to overcome the loss of freshmen who played last season with Wichita Mahoney-Wilson three of their top four scorers from last season. Falls of the North American Hockey League. need to come up big Troy Schwab, team captain and the team’s leading In goal Lake Superior State returns two veterans point man, graduated. Second leading scorer Josh that should share minutes again. Sim graduated. Nathan Perkovich, second leading goal scorer Junior Brian Mahoney-Wilson (2.67 GAA) won seven games and fourth in overall points, chose to pursue a pro hockey career. and had taken steps to capture the number one goaltending role Roque will be counting on depth, experience and improved before being sidelined with a mid-season injury. Senior Pat Inglis conditioning as his “X factor” in changing the Lakers’ fortunes (3.01 GAA, .901 save percentage) is also back. for the 2009-10 season. Roque will get early feedback on his expectations when the “Our guys have done a very, very good job in terms of Lakers open the season with a string of quality opponents. The conditioning,” said Roque. “I think it’s the strongest team we’ve Superior Cup, a four-team tourney including fellow CCHA foe ever had since I’ve been here. We only have four freshmen and I Northern Michigan and WCHA regulars Michigan Tech and think three will play. So, we have very big junior and senior classes. Minnesota-Duluth serves as the team’s season opener on Oct. What we need is better play from the middle of our lineup.” 10. The Lakers follow that with home series against Ohio State Much of the offensive burden will fall to senior forward Zac and Michigan to start the CCHA regular season. BY BOB MILLER

Lake Superior State’s Zac MacVoy of Livonia returns for his senior season after leading the Lakers in goals last season (14).

michiganhockeyonline.com | October 12, 2009

21


MICHIGAN HOCKEY

CCHA PREVIEW

Young Michigan State squad expects to be better

Farmington Hills junior defenseman Jeff Petry will play a big role with the Michigan State Spartans this season. BY NEIL KOEPKE Coming off its worst season in 31 years, Michigan State will have a new look in goal, up front and on defense. And Spartans coach Rick Comley is confident his team will be better this season. “We’re bigger, we’re stronger and we’ll be much more competitive. How many wins that translates into, time will tell,” said Comley, entering his eighth season at MSU.

The Spartans, who finished tied for 10th in the CCHA with a freshman year but struggled last season, and sophomores Tim 7-17-4-3 record and was 10-23-5 overall – the worst record since Buttery and either Matt Crandall or Brock Shelgren. Senior Justin 1977-78, will rely heavily on a nine-player freshmen class and Johnston and junior A.J. Sturges are also in the mix on defense. 10 sophomores to improve an offense that scored only 62 goals “We’ve tweaked our style of play somewhat,” Comley said. in 38 games last season. “Everybody copies what works and obviously the Red Wings work “Our freshmen will contribute and our sophomores learned very well. So we’ve tried to incorporate some of their systems into some hard lessons,” said Comley. “They’ve gone through a our game. We’re adding attacking situations and forechecking spring and summer of weightlifting and they have a chance and neutral zone situations to our game.’’ to make an impact.” For the first time in four seasons, Jeff Lerg won’t be standing in MSU does have a potentially-solid group of front of the MSU goal, frustrating opponents with upperclassmen that includes senior forwards stellar saves and high-level play. The standout HEAD COACH: Nick Sucharski, a co-captain, and Jay Sprague, goaltender, who won a slew of awards during Rick Comley junior forwards Corey Tropp, Andrew Rowe his brilliant career and was the shining star last (8th season) and Dustin Gazley and junior defenseman Jeff year during a miserable season, has graduated. Petry, also a co-captain. Sophomore center Drew Palmisano, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound KEY PLAYER: Daultan Leveille is the team’s top returning sophomore from Ann Arbor, takes over the Junior defenseman scorer. He had nine goals and 18 points in starting goaltending duties after backing up Lerg Jeff Petry 38 games. last season. Palmisano played in seven games, The freshmen class includes six forwards compiling a 1-3-1 record and a 3.33 goals-against THE SKINNY: and three defensemen. Four rookies are from average. Looking to rebound the British Columbia Junior Hockey League – Bobby Jarosz, a senior who was MSU’s No. 3 after disappointing left wings Derek Grant and Kevin Walrod and goalie last season and did not see any action, is season defensemen Matt Grassi and Zach Josepher. The expected to play in several games. other five are products of the USHL – forwards “We’ll be very good in goal. Drew Palmisano Zack Golembiewski of St. Clair, Anthony Hayes of is an excellent goaltender and Bobby Jarosz is Canton, Chris Forfar, Dean Chelios of Bloomfield and defenseman going to play,’’ Comley said. “Palmisano looks like he’ll play more Torey Krug of Livonia. often but Jarosz has worked hard.’’ “The freshmen are looking good and helping us push the team Said Palmisano, “It’s always been a dream of mine to be the to the next level,” said Sucharski, who’s back for a fifth season starting goalie at MSU. Growing up in Ann Arbor, I saw a lot of of eligibility after sitting out most of last season with a shoulder Michigan-Michigan State games. injury. “Grant and Walrod are skilled players and can score. The “Ryan Miller was one of my favorites. I learned a lot from freshmen have fit in better than any freshmen class that I’ve seen.” watching Jeff Lerg. It really means a lot. I hope I can represent Grassi, Joseph and Krug are expected to among MSU’s top the program well.” six defensemen. They’ll be joined by Petry, who had a strong

Michigan re-loads for another title run BY BOB MILLER

Brown’s size, Kevin Lynch’s grittiness and A.J. Treais’ nifty puckhandling will make them candidates for regular ice time. Both the CCHA coaches and media agree that Michigan’s cup Last season, Mark Mitera’s early season knee injury gave board is well stocked. Both voted the Wolverines into the top spot the team’s young defensemen an opportunity to play more and of each of their respective pre-season polls. elevated Summers to a leadership role. Expect Summers to have And it’s easy to see why. The Wolverines return 19 players, a big season, and the Wolverines’ deep blueline corps, that also including nine of their top 12 scorers, a large group of veteran includes senior Steve Kampfer, juniors Chad Langlais and Tristin defensemen and their top goaltender, from a Llewellyn and sophomore Brandon Burlon, to be team that finished second in CCHA last season. a strength. HEAD COACH: Junior forward Louie Caporusso is the top In addition, sophomore Greg Pateryn and Red Berenson returning scorer, senior captain Chris Summers incoming freshman Lee Moffie should push the (26th season)) is a force on the blueline and junior goaltender upper classmen for ice time Brian Hogan is back after taking over the number The Wolverines’ goaltending is a potential KEY PLAYER: one spot and having a big sophomore season. strength and a possible potential problem area Junior center “We are a little more settled in goal with Hogan at the same time. Louie Caporusso and a little deeper on defense,” said Wolverines Hogan stepped up last season, backstopping coach Red Berenson, who is entering his 26th 24 of the Wolverines’ 29 wins and posting a 1.97 THE SKINNY: season behind the Michigan bench. “The key goals against average and a .914 save percentage. Talented team poised will be chemistry and leadership.” “We brought Hogan here to be a number one for run at CCHA title Caporusso established himself as one of the goaltender,” said Berenson. “I think he had a lot nation’s elite scorers last year (24-25-49) with a of growth last year and gained a lot of confidence sophomore season that ended in a Hobey Baker finalist nomination and experience. He got a feel for college hockey when he played and first team All-American selection. in the CCHA playoffs and in the NCAA tournament.” Despite the loss of last season’s top scorer Aaron Palushaj, to Michigan fans, however, will undoubtedly be hoping for Hogan’s the professional ranks, Michigan still has a solid group of returning health and safety, since only untested walk-on goaltenders forwards that includes juniors Carl Hagelin and Matt Rust, and Shawn Hunwick and Patrick Summers grace the depth chart as sophomore David Wohlberg, who was the CCHA’s Rookie of the back-up support. Year last season. In a chance to prepare for a December, 2010, outdoor matchup Speedy second-year forward Robbie Czarnik will be better and against Michigan State at Michigan Stadium, the Wolverines senior Brian Lebler supplies a physical component to the lineup. will make a road trip this season to Wisconsin’s Camp Randall “We really need Caporusso to have another strong year up Stadium in Madison for an outdoor non-conference tilt against front, but he will have a lot of help.” the Badgers on February 6, 2010. Michigan also adds a trio of freshmen forwards from the U.S. “I think any time a Division 1 team can play an outdoor game in National Team Development Program Under-18 squad. Chris a big stadium, it is great for the game and certainly great for the

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October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com

Michigan senior captain Chris Summers of Milan is ready for a breakout season with the Wolverines.

participants,” Berenson said. “We were fortunate enough to play in the game at Spartan Stadium in 2001 and that was a tremendous experience and a tremendous success. I am looking forward to it, being an outdoor person. It’s what I grew up playing on.”


CCHA PREVIEW

Michigan at the top of both pre-season polls

Notre Dame and Miami again the class of the CCHA’s ‘Other Six’ BY DEREK BERRY Last year Notre Dame finished at the top of the CCHA standings and was bounced in the first round of the NCAA tournament by Bemidji State. Miami finished in third place and came within 17 seconds of winning the national title before giving up a late goal and then losing in overtime to Boston University. This year both the Fighting Irish and RedHawks are stacked again and should compete for a top three spot in the league, while Ohio State is poised to build on last season’s strong performance. Here is a look at the CCHA’s “Other Six” schools not in Michigan:

NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH

MICHIGAN HOCKEY

with sophomore Zac Dalpe, supply the punch up front. Junior Shane Sims and sophomore Matt Bartkowski anchor the blueline. Freshman defenseman Devon Krogh (Penticton/BCHL) has lots of offensive ability and knows how to run the powerplay. Former walk on junior goaltender Dusty Carlson earned the number one position and won 21 games last year. The Buckeyes are a year older and experienced, and have enough talent to finish in the top of the league standings. “It was a great learning experience for us last season getting back to the NCAA Tournament and having the success we did in turning things around,” said Ohio State coach John Markell. “We are still a relatively young team and we’re excited about taking the next step.”

The Irish have a deep group of veteran forwards led by senior NEBRASKA-OMAHA MAVERICKS Ryan Thang, juniors Calle Ridderwall and Ben Ryan (Brighton) New coach Dean Blais takes over the Mavericks and will and sophomore Billy Maday. count on junior forwards co But the strength R Rich Purslow and Joey of the Fighting Martin, along with M Irish could be its sophomore John Kemp, so defensive corps to provide offense on a that includes team that was in led te junior Ian Cole in scoring last season (Ann Arbor), by defenseman Eddie senior Kyle Lawson DelGrosso. De (South Lyon), senior A senior this year, Brett Blatchford DelGrosso will again log De (Temperance) and a to ton of ice time for UNO, junior Teddy Ruth, bot both at even strength who is poised for a and on special teams. breakout season. A trio t of defensemen, T h e o n l y sen senior Mark Bernier, uncertainty is in goall junior Nick Von Bokern juni where junior Brad d and sophomore Matt Phillips takes overr Smit Smith will also play large for graduated Jordan n roles. roles Pierce. The athletic ic Senior goaltender Phillips saw action as Jeremie Dupont a freshman but missed ed (2.67 GAA/.910 save most of last season with th percentage) won six games Two of the top teams in the CCHA have two of the top a knee injury, so expect Notre players in the league in Miami junior forward Carter Camper last season. Dame to play shutdown defense (right) and Notre Dame junior defenseman Ian Cole. as he gains experience. ALASKA NANOOKS “We are returning a pretty good group of players and have some With CCHA Player of the Year Chad Johnson graduated, good incoming freshman so we are excited about the prospects for sophomore Scott Greenham has big skates to fill in the Nanooks’ this coming season,” said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson. “I net. But Alaska coach Dallas Ferguson isn’t worried. know the biggest thing for us will be the replacement of our captain “Greenham is going to be our goaltender and log a lot of Eric Condra, along with Christian Hanson and our goaltender Jordan minutes,” said Ferguson. “I feel really good about where he is Pearce. We are excited about the prospect of Phillips, who we expect at and being our starting goaltender from day one.” to be the guy that will start for us on opening night in goal. Our Senior defenseman Dustin Molle and sophomore Joe Sovo speed and our skill has improved quiet a bit and I am excited about could have breakout years on the blueline. us playing an up tempo game.” “They were put in a lot of situations last season,” said Ferguson. “So I think there was some growth there and I think MIAMI REDHAWKS that experience should benefit them coming into this season.” With experienced, talented players at every position, Miami is Senior forward Dion Knelsen and juniors Kevin Petovello and poised for another postseason run. And the fact the RedHawks made Ryan Hohl (Northville) need big seasons up front to help the it to the National Title game and lost gives them something to prove. Nanooks build on last season’s fourth place finish. “We learned from what happened last season, but last year was “The big emphasis for us will be on working hard and getting last year,” said Miami coach Enrico Blasi. “This is a whole new team. lots of pucks and bodies to the net,” said Ferguson. “I don’t think Different leaders and different team dynamics.” there is any fancy way to create scoring chances other than The RedHawks return 17 players from that team, including five working hard and being smart with the puck.” of their top seven scorers in junior forwards Pat Cannone, Andy Miele (Grosse Pointe Woods), Tommy Wingels and All-American, BOWLING GREEN FALCONS do-everything Carter Camper, along with sophomore defenseman Former assistant coach Dennis Williams takes over a young Chris Wideman. Bowling Green squad that could struggle with inexperience on Senior power forward Gary Steffes (Grand Blanc) and sophomore defense and with limited offensive firepower. defenseman Will Weber (Gaylord) will also play big roles on the Howell native Nick Eno, a junior, will compete with freshman RedHawks. Andrew Hammond for time in net. Senior defenseman Kyle Page Miami is solid in goal with standout sophomores Connor Knapp (Wixom) is the Falcons leader in the locker room and on defense. and Cody Reichard returning to split time. Seniors Josh Boyd, Tommy Dee, Kai Kantola and James Perkin, along with junior leading scorer David Solway (12-12-24) need OHIO STATE BUCKEYES big years at forward. Expectations are high as the Buckeyes return 20 players from a We’re a young team but the excitement is there and the guys 23-win team that made the NCAA tournament. have been working their tails off in conditioning,” said Williams. Junior forwards John Albert, Peter Boyd and Hunter Bishop, along

For the first time in four years, the coaches and media agree on who holds down the No. 1 position in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s annual preseason polls. In two close races, Michigan received enough points from the conference’s 12 head coaches and 66 media members to be named the preseason favorite in both polls. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season will end. The media members ranked the 12 CCHA teams in projected order of finish for the regular season. Points were awarded on a 12-11-10-9, etc., basis. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season will end. First-place votes are in ( ).

COACHES POLL 1. Michigan (5) 2. Notre Dame (4) 3. Miami (2) 4. Ohio State 5. Northern Michigan (1) 6. Nebraska-Omaha 7. Alaska 8. Ferris State 9. Michigan State 10. Lake Superior State 11. Western Michigan 12. Bowling Green

PTS. 114 111 104 90 85 63 61 50 46 29 28 11

MEDIA POLL 1. Michigan (24) 2. Notre Dame (20) 3. Miami (20) 4. Ohio State (1) 5. Northern Michigan 6. Alaska 7. Nebraska-Omaha 8. Michigan State (1) 9. Ferris State 10. Western Michigan 11. Lake Superior 12. Bowling Green

731 712 707 547 502 386 377 332 314 256 189 95

CCHA PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS Voting was conducted among the 12 head coaches in the CCHA. Coaches could not vote for their own players.

FIRST TEAM Pos F F F D D G

Name, Year, School Carter Camper, JR, Miami Louie Caporusso, JR, Michigan Mark Olver, JR, Northern Michigan

F F F D D G

John Albert, JR, Ohio State Billy Maday, SO, Notre Dame Calle Ridderwall, JR, Notre Dame

Erik Gustafsson, JR, Northern Michigan

Ian Cole, JR, Notre Dame Brian Stewart, SR, Northern Michigan

1ST 11 11 5 8 8 5

Total 55 55 39 49 46 36

5 1 1 4 1 5

37 19 19 28 17 30

SECOND TEAM

Eddie DelGrosso, SR, Nebraska-Omaha

Kyle Lawson, SR, Notre Dame Bryan Hogan, JR, Michigan

Honorable Mention (next six point totals, regardless of position with first-team votes in parentheses): Ryan Thang, SR, F, Notre Dame, (1) 15; Zach Redmond, JR, D, Ferris State, (1) 15; Chris Summers, SR, D, Michigan, (1) 15; Greger Hanson, JR, F, Northern Michigan, 14; Tyler Ludwig, SR, D, Western Michigan, 14; Chris Wideman, SO, D, Miami, 14. Vote Values: 1st team = 5, 2nd team = 3, 3rd team = 1

michiganhockeyonline.com | October 12, 2009

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MICHIGAN HOCKEY

CCHA PREVIEW

CCHA teams to get three points for a win, two points for a SO win and one for SO loss The Central Collegiate Hockey Association BOWLING GREEN GETS (CCHA) starts this season with a new point COMMITMENT AND LAUNCHES system in place: a regulation time or overtime FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN victory will now be worth three points in the After months of uncertainty, Bowling league standings, while a shootout win is Green State University officials worth two points and a loss in a shootout announced on Sept. 11 that the hockey earns a team a point. program would continue and a $5 million “We feel that this is a fairer system,” said CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos. “Now, all fundraising campaign would begin to teams will have access to the same number help strengthen the program and the of points throughout the regular season and BGSU Ice Arena. every game is worth three points whether After budget cuts put the future of it is decided in regulation time, overtime the hockey program in jeopardy in early or a shootout. spring, and head coach Scott Paluch “We also feel this will give teams an resigned and was replaced by Dennis added incentive to win a game in regulation time or overtime because they will gain the Williams, a fundraising feasibility study maximum number of points for doing so.” presented to BGSU president Carol This season any game that goes to a Cartwright in early September showed shootout will see the victor credited with strong support for the hockey program. a tie and a shootout win in the conference In addition to the $5 million fundraising standings, while the loser will receive credit campaign for the program and the BGSU for a tie. Ice Arena, the program also received a This differs from the system utilized in 2008-09, where a regulation/overtime victory $4 million commitment this summer from and a shootout win meant two points, a Notre Dame senior Kyle Lawson (New Hudson) the state and the school to provide ice shootout loss gave a team one point, and and the Fighting Irish will be on TV at least 11 arena renovations. a regulation/overtime loss was awarded times this season. “We are committed to hockey at no points. BGSU,” Cartwright said. “It is apparent However, like last year, CCHA league games that are decided that the hockey program is a treasured part of our history, and we have in a shootout will go down as a tie in the overall national rankings assured our former and current hockey players and the community and have no bearing on a team’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) come NCAA Tournament time. Additionally, a shootout will again that the program will continue.” not be used to decide games during the CCHA Tournament, with The multi-phase campaign has begun and hopes to raise $2 million the exception of the third-place game at Joe Louis Arena. over the next 18 months for hockey scholarships. Last season, the shootout proved to be both exciting for the fans “The fundraising effort for hockey will need to be a group effort, and pivotal in the CCHA standings. from alumni, Falcon supporters and the local community,” Cartwright “I think it’s a good move because we are playing with the shootout said. “We hope the community will be eager to join the effort.” and I think it is fair,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson.

FIFTY CCHA GAMES TO BE TELEVISED THIS SEASON

Entering its 39th season the CCHA continues to increase its presence on TV. This year, all 12 league teams will be on TV at least twice on the FOX Sports Detroit, Comcast Television (CTV), CBS College Sports (CBSC) and Big Ten Network (BTN) schedules. Altogether, 50 games involving CCHA teams will be televised, including 46 conference regular-season and playoff games. FOX Sports Detroit starts its 13th season of televising CCHA hockey with a schedule of 10 regular-season games, a campus-site playoff contest and the CCHA Championship at Joe Louis Arena on March 19-20. The first game on Nov. 13 will feature arch rivals Michigan and Michigan State facing off in Ann Arbor. Eleven of the CCHA’s 12 teams will appear in regular-season action on FOX Sports Detroit, including four during the fourth annual ‘Hockey Day in Michigan’ on Saturday, Jan. 30. Western Michigan will visit Miami in the first game at 5:05 p.m., followed by Michigan and Michigan State playing at Joe Louis Arena at 7:35 p.m. Twenty conference games will also be featured as part of Comcast Television’s weekly CCHA package that begins with Michigan State’s first regular-season home game against Clarkson University on Oct. 9. CBS College Sports has committed to an eight-game package, including three Notre Dame home contests. The defending CCHA champions will kick off CBSC’s CCHA coverage on Jan. 15 when they host Michigan State. CBSC will return to the Joyce Center two weeks later for a two-game series between the Fighting Irish and Nebraska-Omaha. Coverage will also include a home-and-home series between Michigan and Ferris State on Jan. 22-23, and the Wolverines’ two-game visit to Nebraska-Omaha on Feb. 12-13. The final game on Feb. 26 will feature Ohio State visiting Miami. The Big Ten Network will televise the second CCHA Championship semifinal on March 19 from Joe Louis Arena and will air four all-CCHA matchups and Michigan’s trip to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers in the Camp Randall Hockey Classic on Feb. 6. Three other Wolverine games will be shown including a Jan. 23 contest against Ohio State and road trips to Michigan State and Notre Dame on Jan. 29 and Feb. 27, respectively. The other game will feature Alaska visiting Columbus to take on the Buckeyes on Feb. 12.

Talented Northern Michigan has high expectations BY JOHN RAFFEL

On the back end, the Wildcats have juniors T.J. Miller and All-American Erik Gustafsson (4-30-34), who is one of the most After previous years marked by slow starts and strong finishes, talented players in the league. Northern Michigan is prepared to put together full season. “He is one of the best players that I have had the privilege of Last year the Wildcats were young and struggled out of the coaching,” Kyle said. “He is a very good two-way defenseman and gate before making the CCHA Championships at contributes offensively. He is our captain and has HEAD COACH: Joe Louis Arena. been nothing but an exceptional leader.” “We’re excited about the year,” said Wildcats Another Wildcats standout is junior forward Walt Kyle head coach Walt Kyle. “The last couple of years, Mark Olver, who led Northern Michigan in scoring (8th season) we’ve had slow starts, but we’ve had young teams. last year (16-19-35) despite an ice cold start. We’ve had good second halves and we’ve played KEY PLAYER: “He’s led our team in scoring the past couple of well in the playoffs. years,” Kyle said. “He’s a real dynamic guy. But he Junior forward “This year we’re older and the class that has did not have a point his first 10 or 11 games last Mark Olver led us are the guys that were sophomores a year year. He didn’t come out of the gate well at all. ago. Some of them weren’t ready to be impact If he can come out of the gate, we’re expecting THE SKINNY: players, but I think they are now. In my opinion, big things from him.” Strong finish last all of our seniors are very solid players and with Junior forwards Greger Hanson (13-21-34) and year bodes well for them being healthy, I think those guys will be able Jared Brown (12-13-25), along with sophomore this season to get us off to a good start, but we have a very forward and Marquette native Justin Florek difficult schedule to start.” (9-8-17), are also expected to carry much of the After opening with just three wins in their first 18 games, offensive load for the Wildcats. Northern Michigan finished with 16 wins and two ties in their “Hanson has big offensive skills and we look for him, Brown last 23 games. and Florek to contribute on the scoresheet,” Kyle said. “I hope that we can carry over the momentum that was The Wildcats lost 140 games to injuries last season, including picked up late last year and in the playoffs,” Kyle said. “We feel several key players who were out more extended periods of real comfortable with the guys we have here that they’re much time. Those players are back in the lineup and will be needed more prepared to come out of the gate and have success early.” as Northern Michigan again has a rough early season schedule Senior goalie Brian Stewart had a 2.37 goals against average that includes Notre Dame, Ohio State and Miami right off the bat. and a .927 save percentage and has shown flashes of brilliance. “Every year we seem to open the gate with some of the “He is our go-to guy,” said Kyle. “He has put together some toughest teams in our league and it’s no different this year,” good numbers and held us in a number of games. If Brian can put said Kyle. “We’ll get a real test and a real tell on where we are together the consistency that we hope he can, we’ll obviously in those game. be a better team with that type of goaltending.” “We know how challenging it is. Night-in-and night-out, it’s going to be a test for us. We’re excited to get started.”

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October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com

Northern Michigan needs senior goaltender Brian Stewart to be consistently good all season.


COLLEGE PREVIEW

MICHIGAN HOCKEY

Michigan Tech squad looking to move up in WCHA

Michigan Tech expects a strong season from sixth-year senior captain Malcolm Gwilliam. BY JOHN RAFFEL After winning just two games last season in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Michigan Tech is hoping for a big improvement. The Huskies have 75% of their scoring back, but will be younger with 17 of their 27 players freshmen or sophomores. “Although we will be a young team, we expect our returning

players to improve and develop,” said Huskies head coach said. “I like to give our players a lot of freedom offensively to be Jamie Russell. “We have challenged our team to collectively creative. We’re hardworking and we’re tough to play against. take a big step.” We’re a physical team. We���ve got a reputation that we’re a strong Senior captain Malcolm Gwilliam is his sixth year with the team defensively. We’ve always had great goaltending. We need program after missing the 2005-06 and 2008-09 seasons with to create more offense, score more goals and be stronger on the injuries. He has tallied 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) in 117 special teams.” career games. Last year he sustained a stroke nine games into Defensively, senior Drew Dobson will probably start the season the season that ended his year. He also missed the 2005-06 at forward but should also see time on the blueline. He had five season with a knee injury. goals and 19 points last year to rank third in scoring on the team. “We have a lot of younger guys making the Another offensive-minded defenseman is junior transition from juniors to college hockey,” Deron Cousens (5-11-16). Senior Eli Vlaisavljevich HEAD COACH: said senior captain Malcolm Gwilliam. “But will also see regular time. Jamie Russell we feel we can be competitive. We want to The Huskies also return two physical (7th season) make our own rink a tough place to play at defensemen and Michigan natives with seniors and make it hard for teams to get goals and John Kivisto of Brighton and Mike VanWagner KEY PLAYER: win at our rink.” of Traverse City. Junior forward “We get along very well. “Some guys In net, sophomore Josh Robinson of Frankenmuth Jordan Baker stayed here over the summer so we had the is back after having a 4-8-2 mark as a freshman opportunity to build some team chemistry when he recorded a 3.09 goals against average THE SKINNY: with everyone.” and an .889 save percentage. Young team working Junior Jordan Baker and sophomore Brett “We graduated a senior goaltender (Rob to compete in tough Olson were each selected as assistant captains. Nolan), but Josh got a lot of experience in net,” WCHA Baker was named the team’s MVP last season Russell said. after leading the team in scoring (16-11-27). Olson Milos Gordic leads a group of four freshman was named the Norbert Matovich Memorial Award forwards. The 6-4, 210 pound center averaged winner as the team’s outstanding freshman last season after over a point a game last season for the Langley Chiefs, finishing having 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 38 games. with 58 points (29 goals, 29 assists) in 50 games. In addition, a Another standout on the power play, sophomore Alex MacLeod, pair of freshmen forwards from Michigan join the Huskies. Aaron had six goals and four assists last season. Junior forward Eric Pietila of Brighton scored 91 points (35 goals and 56 assists) in Kattelus, the team’s freshman of the year two years ago, returns 85 games over the past two seasons for the Marquette Rangers. after missing the final 15 games last season due to an injury. Anthony Schooley of Gaylord played in the North American Senior Ryan Bunger has 19 career points (seven goals, 12 assists) Hockey League with the St. Louis Bandits, who won their third in 93 games. consecutive Robertson Cup Championship. “We’ve very structured in terms of our systems,” Russell

Senior leadership key for Western Michigan BY JOHN RAFFEL

Campbell, who had 16 goals as a sophomore. “He’s developed in our program and we like his game right now,” said Culhane. Despite being picked to finish towards the bottom of the CCHA “Senior forward Chris Clackson is really a big faceoff guy for us in preseason polls, Western Michigan has higher expectations. and has a tremendous work ethic. They’re joined by Cam Watson “I liked the second half of last season and we would like to and Jared Katz.” build off of those successes. We know the challenges within the Clackson had seven goals last season in 30 league but I’m really excited about this group,” games. Watson had a career high 40 games and HEAD COACH: said Broncos coach Jim Culhane. career-high eight assists last season. Katz played Western Michigan improved in the second half Jim Culhane in 31 games for the Broncos last season after to finish in seventh place last season, and the (11th season) transferring from Wayne State University, which Broncos return a veteran core of defensemen and dropped its hockey program. KEY PLAYER: their top goalie and are confident they can prove Culhane is also high on three sophomore skeptics wrong. Senior goalie forwards, Greg Squires, J.J. Crew and Kyle O’Kane, “I think we have a tremendous senior leader Riley Gill that saw a lot of ice time as freshmen. in defenseman Tyler Ludwig,” said Culhane. “He “They had the baptism last season about THE SKINNY: is perhaps an underrated player in the CCHA, the competitiveness of our league and I was but he logs a ton of minutes for us and is also Needs big seasons really pleased the way in which they finished a great ambassador for our hockey program. from a lot of players the season,” Culhane said. “They also spent the Jordan Collins, another senior defenseman, is a summer here and worked extremely hard with solid leader.” our strength and conditioning coach throughout the spring and Ludwig last season was one of four Broncos to play in all 41 summer months. We look for the numbers of each of those three games and became the first Bronco defenseman to collect 20to be improved upon from last season.” plus points since the 2002-03 season, Squires played in 41 games and was one of four Broncos to “Maybe he wasn’t a big name, blue-chip recruit coming in, but play in every game. He was named CCHA rookie of the month Tyler is just one of those players that has continued to improve for January with two goals, six assists and eight points and in and elevate his game each season,” Culhane said. “He has February with two goals, seven assists and nine points. He was dedicated himself, on and off the ice, and has just continued to named to the CCHA all-rookie team honorable mention. develop. Tyler’s hockey sense is exceptional. His competitive Culhane is also upbeat about his freshman class, which includes spirit is along the same lines. He is a great leader with aspirations forwards Ben Miller (Waterloo/USHL), Trevor Elias (Langley/BCHL) to move to the next level and is one of those players who has and Brett Beebe (Waterloo/USHL, along with defensemen Ross really been allowed to develop because of the college game.” Henry (Lincoln/USHL), Matt Tennyson (Cedar Rapids/USHL) and Culhane also feels secure in his goaltending as Gill is starting Luke Witkowski (Columbus/USHL), a NHL draft pick of Tampa Bay. his fourth season in the Broncos’ net and is a proven commodity. “A key for us is to get those guys comfortable with the level of “He has our career shutout record,” said Culhane. play in the CCHA,” said Culhane. Up front the Broncos return New York Rangers draft pick Max

Western Michigan needs consistent goaltending from senior Riley Gill this season.

IN THE NEXT ISSUE:

TOP COLLEGE PROSPECTS AND PREVIEW DIVISION III ADRIAN COLLEGE MEN AND WOMEN’S TEAM COMING IN THE OCTOBER 26th ISSUE OF MICHIGAN HOCKEY

michiganhockeyonline.com | October 12, 2009

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MICHIGAN HOCKEY

ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE

Plymouth rookie Meurs finding his legs; captains still to be named

PHOTO BY WALT DMOCH/PLYMOUTH WHALERS

BY MATT MACKINDER

“Yeah, for sure,” laughed Meurs. “Garrett’s getting better every game,” Vellucci said. “I think he’ll learn to calm down his celebrations when it’s 7-2, but it was a big weight off his shoulders and the guys were excited to see him score. He’s a good kid.” Vellucci also said that he sees a lot of Tyler Seguin in Meurs in that last season Seguin also took a while to get up to speed. “Seguin didn’t take off last year until after Christmas,” said Vellucci. “Usually, a 16-year-old kid takes some time, but Garrett’s got all the tools. He’s so skilled and so fast with great hands. He’s going to be a great player. I can put my finger on who he reminds me of, though. Maybe a David Bolland who played for London (and now with the Chicago Blackhawks) is who Garrett plays like – fast, skilled, can really fly.” Meurs and Seguin also have a bond and not just because both were Plymouth’s firstround picks in consecutive years. Meurs sought out Seguin once he signed on May

When the Plymouth Whalers won their first Ontario Hockey League title in 1995, Garrett Meurs was just two years old. The Whalers, then known as the Detroit Jr. Red Wings, wouldn’t win another championship until 2007, but are hoping Meurs can be an offensive catalyst to hoist another Robertson Cup in his time with Plymouth. Meurs was drafted 13th overall back in May by the Whalers and came highly-touted. Plymouth head coach and general manager Mike Vellucci said on draft day that Meurs’ skill “is secondto-none, his speed is dynamic and he’s got phenomenal hands.” Meurs had the numbers to back up the hype with 95 points in 67 games a year ago with the Huron-Perth Lakers midgets. That was then and this is now. Several weeks into the OHL season, Meurs looks to still be adjusting to the speed of major junior hockey. “I’m definitely still getting used to it (the OHL),” said Meurs, a Ripley, Ont., native who patterns his play after New Jersey Devils star Zach Parise. “It’s something I expected, though.” Meurs’ first OHL goal, in a 7-2 win over London on Sept. 26 at home, was Plymouth 16-year old rookie forward Garrett Meurs scored his quite a production. Late in the game, first OHL goal in a 7-2 win over London on Sept. 26. Meurs poked the puck away from Knights’ defenseman Matt Ashman, went in untouched on London goalie Michael Hutchinson and scored 18 for some insider information. a goal that touched off a celebration where Meurs lost an edge, spun “When I was drafted here, I knew nothing about the Plymouth around on all fours on the ice and was mobbed by his teammates organization – absolutely nothing,” Meurs said. “I talked to Seguin on the ice and on the bench. a couple times and it sounded like a good team to come to. I think It’s assumed when he scores his second OHL goal, though, that I’m fitting in so far. the celebration might be a tad calmer. “Being a first-round pick, there is some added pressure, I think,

but you get used to it and just keep doing what you’re doing.” If the scoring keeps coming on a consistent basis, even if it’s not this year, Meurs looks like a sure bet to be part of a bright future in Plymouth.

NO CAPTAINS – YET

While both overage forward Joe Gaynor and Wolverine Lake native AJ Jenks have worn the ‘C’ during this season, nothing has been made official as Vellucci is waiting for a full, healthy roster. “We’ve got a lot of guys out and we’re going to rotate it for a while,” Vellucci said. “The biggest thing I’m trying to teach all of the guys is how to be a leader and how to be a captain and that it doesn’t matter if you have the ‘C’ or the ‘A,’ you still have to work as a unit. We’re going to wait until we get guys like (overage forward Ryan) Hayes (shoulder surgery) and (defenseman Michal) Jordan (injured at Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect camp) are back.” Seguin, RJ Mahalak (Monroe), Beau Schmitz (Howell), Josh Bemis (Clarkston) and Leo Jenner have also been alternate captains at one point or another this season.

MARSDEN COMES OVER IN TRADE

The Whalers acquired Kingston forward James Marsden on Sept. 30 to add to the team’s depth with five forwards out injured. Marsden was originally selected by Kingston in the seventh round (134th overall) of the 2006 OHL draft. In three seasons with the Frontenacs, Marsden scored 13 goals with 10 assists for 23 points and 100 penalty minutes in 129 games. Hayes, Jamie Devane, Stefan Noesen, Austin Mattson (Livonia) and Mahalak are all currently out of the lineup with various injuries.

WHALERS NOTEBOOK

Daniel Catenacci, the first overall pick in last May’s draft by Sault Ste. Marie, scored his first goal of the season Oct. 3 in Sault Ste. Marie against the Whalers. Sault Ste. Marie won the game, 4-1 … Plymouth trailed, 5-1, in Sudbury on Oct. 2, but rallied to win, 6-5, in a shootout. Schmitz scored the shootout winner and Matt Hackett stopped all five Sudbury shooters … Jenks played in his 200th OHL game Sept. 26 against London … Seguin sat atop the OHL scoring race with 18 points, one ahead of Windsor’s Taylor Hall, as of Oct. 4. Hall is expected to be the top pick in next summer’s NHL Draft with Seguin not far behind.

Saginaw names Watson GM and extends his contract; Spirit off to good start SPIRIT NOTEBOOK

PHOTO BY BILL SHATTUCK/SAGINAW SPIRIT

BY CARL CHIMENTI After two years on the job, Saginaw has officially added general manager to the title of head coach Todd Watson and his five-year deal brings stability to the Spirit’s hockey operations, especially when it comes to convincing parents and draft prospects what’s best for their future. “He has proven to us with a work ethic and the type of players he has been bringing in here that he certainly deserves the title,” said Spirit managing partner Craig Goslin. Saginaw has divided front office duties and Watson makes it work. “This does not change the structure much because he has hired good people to help him,” explains Goslin. “He has divided the general manager duties between himself and (director of scouting) Jim Paliafito, Adam Mattson, who handles day to day work with the league office and assistant coach John Kisil.” “The credit goes to my staff who have been with me everywhere I have coached as well as all of our coaches,” said Watson. “My family and I couldn’t be happier. We’re happy to be here and we’re thankful to Dick and Craig for the continuing opportunity to be a part of the Saginaw Spirit family. We’ve been very successful on and off the ice thanks in no small part of the work ethic and devotion of our players and hockey staff.” Spirit owner Dick Garber said the promotion was just a matter of time. “Todd has done an outstanding job building and representing our community and franchise,” stated Garber. “I have complete confidence that with Todd and the staff he has assembled around him that we will accomplish the goal of competing for championships.” Garber is impressed by Watson’s player development efforts, including how the Spirit conduct themselves off the ice. “What I respect most about Todd is that he cares more about the players, program and our community then he does about himself or career and that is a sign of a great leader,” said Garber.

26

After ending September with a split at home that included a 6-1 win over Plymouth on Sept. 26 and a 6-4 loss to Erie on Sept. 26, Saginaw went out on the road to start October. The Spirit suffered their first road loss, 4-3, in Brampton on Oct. 1. Saginaw got goals from Ivan Telegin, Vince Trocheck and Cody Sol and rallied from two goals down in the second period only to see Scott Tanski score the game winner early in the third period for the Battalion. Edward Pasquale made his first start in net but was replaced by Anthony Peters after allowing three goals on six shots. Peters stopped 23 of 24 shots the rest of the way… The next night in Kitchener, Saginaw secured a point with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Rangers. Jason Akeson scored the winner 47 seconds into overtime after the Rangers tied it in the final minute of regulation. Nick Crawford scored two goals and an assist to lead the Spirit. Jordan Skellett, Josh Shalla and Telegin, who ran his goal streak to four games and point streak to five games, provided the offense. Peters recorded 43 saves… Back home the Spirit got back on the winning track beating the Sarnia Sting 3-1 on Oct. 3. Shalla paced the attack with a pair of goals and T. J. Brodie had two assists. Skellett had a goal and an assist. Peters and Pasquale stopped 19 shots. Forward Tyler Murovich has been released from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL and is returning to the Spirit while Ryan Schnell is leaving after he inked a one-way deal with the AHL Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins… Import center Ivan Telegin, nicknamed the “Russian Bull” has scored five goals in his first seven games with the Spirit.

Saginaw rookie center Ivan Telegin has five goals and seven points in his first seven games.

October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com

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2009-10 NAHL Standings (as of October 5) GP 7 8 7 8 8

W 4 4 3 2 1

L 2 4 3 6 5

OTL PTS 1 9 0 8 1 7 0 4 2 4

PCT 0.643 0.500 0.500 0.250 0.250

GF 24 21 16 20 20

GA 24 33 22 33 31

PIM 145 141 107 195 165

NORTH Marquette Traverse City Motor City Janesville Alpena

GP 8 9 7 9 9

W 7 6 3 4 2

L 1 3 1 5 7

OTL PTS 0 14 0 12 3 9 0 8 0 4

PCT 0.875 0.667 0.643 0.444 0.222

GF 26 36 21 26 30

GA 15 27 16 32 36

PIM 210 178 149 225 302

SOUTH St. Louis Topeka Springfield Wichita Falls Texas

GP 6 8 9 8 8

W 6 5 4 3 3

L 0 2 3 3 3

OTL 0 1 2 2 2

PTS 12 11 10 8 8

PCT 1.00 0.688 0.556 0.500 0.500

GF 31 25 38 26 20

GA 19 19 28 30 28

PIM 116 222 134 194 180

WEST Wenatchee Alaska Fairbanks Kenai River

GP W L 14 12 2 11 8 2 10 5 4 12 2 9

OTL 0 1 1 1

PTS 24 17 11 5

PCT 0.857 0.773 0.550 0.208

GF 51 42 40 29

GA 29 27 33 52

PIM 387 283 346 315

TOP SCORERS Jubinville, Jeff Juola, Michael Pustin, Mark Pauly, Shawn Curry, Nick Smith, Zach Larson, Jared Ladd, Garrett Brodie, Kyle Mingo, Dajon Haider, Robb Rickord, Jared Taurence, Nick Sliwinski, Nathan Nagtzaam, Nardo Prince, Jack Pichler, Kyle Thorson, Cory Schaber, Mike Kolb, Andrew Di Puma, Michael

TEAM POS WNE F FBX F FBX F WNE F SPR F ALK F FBX F MAR F WNE D KRB F ALK F SPR F ALP F WNE F ALK F TEX F ALK F OWA F SPR F MAR F WNE F

TOP GOALIES Kissaw, Kevin Robertson, Kale Willis, Randy Jaeger, Brandon Carruth, Mac Karambelas, Evan Strandberg, Drew Tadazak, Robert Shibrowski, Mike Sullivan, Dan Graveline, Phillip Bartus, Garrett Sadjadi, Geoff Groh, CJ Peterson, Landon Taffe, Mike Hamby, Jimmy Bruggeman, Tyler Waalkens, Ben Holmes, Nick Wichorek, Matt

TEAM MAR ALK MCM WNE WNE TPK TNS ALX OWA TEX WIC STL JNE SPR ALK FBX KRB FBX ALB ALP JNE

GP 7 5 5 6 10 8 7 4 5 7 7 4 5 7 4 4 7 6 4 4 6

GP 14 10 10 13 9 9 10 8 12 12 11 9 9 13 11 8 11 7 9 8 12

G 8 5 8 7 4 8 7 5 3 6 5 5 5 6 6 5 2 7 6 6 5

MIN 424:59 270:17 315:00 312:03 534:46 488:13 423:41 183:42 312:09 406:28 409:35 210:00 299:47 423:01 213:10 234:11 377:11 366:45 200:00 197:03 335:50

A PTS 10 18 12 17 8 16 9 16 10 14 5 13 6 13 8 13 10 13 6 12 7 12 7 12 7 12 5 11 5 11 6 11 9 11 3 10 4 10 4 10 5 10 SO 2 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

GA 11 7 10 10 18 18 16 7 12 16 17 9 13 19 10 11 20 20 11 11 19

PIM PPG SHG 10 3 0 7 1 0 13 4 0 10 4 0 12 1 0 45 3 0 8 3 1 22 2 0 23 2 0 20 3 2 30 1 0 0 2 0 8 3 0 10 1 0 14 0 2 6 1 1 8 2 0 2 0 0 9 1 0 10 1 0 20 1 0 GAA 1.55 1.55 1.90 1.92 2.02 2.21 2.27 2.29 2.31 2.36 2.49 2.57 2.60 2.69 2.81 2.82 3.18 3.27 3.30 3.35 3.39

SV 259 114 173 127 212 134 172 80 153 200 206 82 126 233 95 101 201 188 125 88 148

SV% 0.959 0.942 0.945 0.927 0.922 0.882 0.915 0.920 0.927 0.926 0.924 0.901 0.906 0.925 0.905 0.902 0.910 0.904 0.919 0.889 0.886

NAHL Showcase once again a success The North American Hockey League staged their annual “It’s great to be able to evaluate junior players and midget major September Showcase Tournament and once again showed that and midget minor players all at the same venue,” said Notre Dame the league is pretty solid on talent. assistant coach Andy Slaggert. “It saves us a lot of time and money.” Held at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn., for the seventh Los Angeles Kings scout Tony Gasparini, whose team selected straight year, the event set new highs for attendance and scout Wenatchee forward Nic Dowd in last summer’s NHL draft, agreed. presence while ushering in a record number of participating teams. “It’s an outstanding opportunity for these young men to showcase “I can’t think of another showcase of their talents in front of scouts from all this magnitude that matches the kind across the country,” said Gasparini. of exposure we deliver for our student“Having an event like this at this time athletes,” said NAHL commissioner of year allows every team to get a Mark Frankenfeld. “All the feedback I first look and feel for the league and received, from fans to parents to scouts the players, which is beneficial for to coaches, was nothing but positive.” everybody.” All 19 NAHL teams and the U.S. “It’s a good opportunity for us to National Under-17 Team played four assess the talent in one of the prime games at the tournament, which was junior leagues in the country,” added won by the Wenatchee Wild. Florida Panthers scout Fred Bandel. “It’s great that we started out the “The league continues to develop season strong,” said Wild assistant players for the college level and coach Ryan McKelvie. “Now it’s the associated midget tournament important that we continue to work provides a great opportunity to hard to improve every day so that we assess up-and-coming prospects.” can be a championship-caliber team Greg Vanover, head coach of late in the season.” the Pikes Peak Miners’ U-18 team, Wenatchee goaltender Mac Carruth, which was crowned champions of a Minnesota-Duluth recruit, was named its division with a 5-0 record to open the tournament’s MVP after going 3-0 the NAPHL season (the Carolina Jr. and stopping 74 of 76 shots. Hurricanes won the U-16 division), “We’re very happy and proud of Mac was wowed by the overwhelming for receiving this award and I think scouting presence. this early-season accomplishment is Wenatchee goaltender Mac Carruth, a Minnesota“It was unparalleled as far as a direct result of the hard work he put Duluth recruit, was named the NAHL Showcase MVP midget hockey goes and what we’re in this summer,” said McKelvie. “As after going 3-0 and stopping 74 of 76 shots. used to seeing when we travel,” said one of our returning players, Mac has Vanover. “It was excellent.” mentally matured and has evolved into one of our team leaders. In addition to the abundance of talent, scouts were also impressed I’m excited to see him improve throughout this season.” with how well the tournament was run. The week also included the first tournament of the North “I’ve been here the last three years and once again I was very American Prospects Hockey League season, where more than 30 impressed with the level of organization,” said Gasparini. “I thought Under-18 and Under-16 midget teams, including three each from they were well organized and very scout-friendly.” Michigan, competed. And for many of the participating players, the experience will In addition 28 teams also made up the at-large field of the NAHL pay off. Future Prospects Tournament, which included teams at the U-18, “Our goal, first and foremost, is to maximize the exposure of our U-16 and Under-14 levels. student-athletes to colleges and NHL teams and that’s what makes In all, close to 1,700 players from 82 teams played 184 games the Showcase so special,” said Frankenfeld. “The opportunities throughout the five days. at an event like this are endless.”

SHERWOOD PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (FOR WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 4)

NORTH Janesville defenseman Cam Severson connected for a goal and four assists as the Jets fashioned a 2-1 record against Springfield. Oct. 2, the Seattle native tallied a goal in a 9-3 loss. The next night, the 20-year-old recorded two assists, including one on Rui Encarnarcao’s game-winning marker, as the Jets downed the Jr. Blues, 3-1. Severson wrapped up the series with two more assists in Janesville’s 5-4 overtime victory on Sunday. He was also a plus-2 on the weekend. Honorable Mention: Alpena forward Andy Yarber; Marquette forward Tanner Kero; Motor City forward Billy Balent SOUTH St. Louis forward Brad Smith recorded three goals and an assist in his first two games with the team as the

CHECK IT OUT

Bandits skated to a two-game sweep over Wichita Falls. On Oct. 2, the Trenton native potted a goal in regulation in a 3-2 shootout victory. The next night, the 18-year-old put home two more goals, including the game-winner, and an assist as the Bandits outlasted the Wildcats, 9-7. He was also a plus-4 on the weekend. Honorable Mention: Topeka forwards Nate Milam and Cole Schneider; Wichita Falls forward J.T. Osborn

CENTRAL Owatonna forward Dan Cecka tallied two goals and an assist as the Express downed the North Iowa Outlaws on Oct. 3, 5-1. The 20-year-old from Woodbury, Minn., was also a plus-2. WEST Fairbanks forward Jared Larson struck for four goals

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and two assists as the Ice Dogs celebrated a two-game sweep over Alpena. On Oct. 1, the Apple Valley, Minn., native scored the game-winning goal and an assist in a 5-4 triumph. The next night, the 20-year-old rang up a natural hat trick and an assist as the Ice Dogs bested the IceDiggers, 6-5. He was also a plus-4 on the weekend. Honorable Mention: Kenai River forward Dajon Mingo GDI/NAHL GOALIE Marquette goaltender Kevin Kissaw backstopped the Rangers to a two-game sweep over Motor City, turning aside 62 of 65 shots. On Oct. 2, the Goodrich, native made 29 saves in regulation and overtime and three of five in the shootout in a 4-3 victory. The next night, the 19-year-old stopped all 33 shots as the Rangers blanked the Metal Jackets, 2-0. Honorable Mention: Janesville’s Geoff Sadjadi

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MICHIGAN HOCKEY

RED WINGS

Better defense is Red Wings’ goal

PHOTO BY DAVE REGINEK/DRW

BY DAVE WADDELL

Wings captain Nick Lidstrom added if the Wings can get back to playing tighter at the back end, One of these years the critics expecting the the loss of some firepower won’t matter as much. Detroit Red Wings to take a tumble down the “That was an uncharacteristic regular season standings are going to be right. for us with all the goals we let in,” Lidstrom said. Despite losing four forwards that accounted for “Our team defense wasn’t as strong as in the past. 88 goals last season, the Wings just don’t think it’s We lost 80 some goals, it’s hard to replace but if going be this year. you play better team defense you don’t have to “We’ve been in the final four the last three years,” score as many goals.’ Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “The final After being amongst the league’s most stingy two of the last two years. We’ve won 213 games, units, the Wings were puzzled last season by more than anyone in hockey. I like where we’re at. what went wrong. Then just as quickly as they “When I came here four years ago they said lost their defensive prowess, they found it again we’re on the way down. ‘After the lockout Detroit’s in time for the playoffs. in trouble.’ They’re saying the same thing again That development only seems to back up this year. We’ll see.’’ Babcock’s theory about the secret of playing What has the experts predicting Detroit’s good defense. demise is the loss of forwards Marian Hossa and “You can talk about systems all you want, Tomas Kopecky to Chicago, Mikael Samuelsson to (but) a big part of it is just deciding you want to Vancouver and Jiri Hudler to a $10-million payday do it,” Babcock said. “Last year we scored goals in the Russian league. so easy the first half of the year that it wasn’t a The Wings are clearly not the offensive force that big deal when we gave them up. The bottom line led in the NHL in goals last season, but Babcock is the best two regular seasons we’ve had since hardly sees them as a spent force either. I’ve been here, not last year but the two previous “We’ve done a good job of maintaining it year years, we didn’t give up many goals.” after year since the lockout,” Babcock said. “That’s Goalie Chris Osgood admits Babcock is spot on in his analysis. With less of a margin for error this season, Osgood expects the team to be better prepared to tend to the details of defensive hockey. “We just got lackadaisical and took things for granted in the regular season.” Osgood said. “This year will be different. We’ll be ready from the onset. “We were a little bit too easy to play against some nights in the regular season. We definitely played like we’re capable of in the playoffs.” However, those words are going to be harder to back up than to utter. In dropping their first two games of the season in Sweden to the St. Louis Blues, the Wings displayed a lot of the same problems as last year. Only this time, there wasn’t enough firepower to bail themselves out. The Wings blew two-goal leads in both games, showed lapses of concentration in their own zone, their penalty killing was inconsistent and they simply didn’t get NHL-caliber goaltending in either contest. Osgood gets a bit of pass on his effort in the season opener as he had Henrik Zetterberg and the Red Wings have a renewed focus been suffering with some sort of bug that had left him weakened. on defensive play this season. More disconcerting had to be the our focus and our plan this year. I don’t think we’re horrible performance of back-up Jimmy Howard. going away.” Howard let in a pair of dreadful goals 13 seconds Though no one can replace a talent of Hossa’s apart in the second period to turn a 3-2 lead into capacity, the likes of Todd Bertuzzi, Jason Williams, the Blues’ winning margin of 4-3. On the Blues Patrick Eaves and Ville Leino would only have to opening goal on the power play he was also guilty average 15 goals apiece to replace about twoof not hugging his post and allowing a puck to slip thirds of that total. in from a bad angle. Darren Helm will also be a regular for the first Still two games in a foreign land hardly make time and his offensive capability is yet to be for a definitive picture of the future. determined. However, it can serve as a reminder of what the Where the Wings feel they can really make hay Wings need to do once they’re back home. is at the other end of the rink. “Details and working hard,” said Henrik Defensively Detroit had its worst season since Zetterberg, who clearly isn’t quite up to speed Babcock arrived. after missing most of training camp with a sore “The bottom line is, after the lockout, we gave groin. “Our system kind of demands that we do up 206 goals the first year,” Babcock said. “The everything 100 percent. Last year we didn’t have next year we gave up 191 and the following year the focus all the way, still we found a way to do we gave up 179. pretty deep. If we take care of defense, it will be “Last year we gave up 240. One of those things a little easier for us.’’ is not like the other. We’ve got to get that fixed.”

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October 12, 2009 | michiganhockeyonline.com

Kevin Allen covers pro and college hockey for USA Today

Ten reasons Pens could win Cup again T Picking the defending Stanley Cup champion tto repeat is akin to putting all of your chips on 13 rred and spinning the roulette wheel. The odds are against you. It’s probably a fool’s b bet. Just ask the Detroit Red Wings. They thought tthey had beaten the odds last spring, pulling within o one win of back-to-back titles and then their last ttwo spins ended on black. No NHL squad has won back-to-back titles ssince Detroit accomplished that feat in 1997 and 1 1998, and many of the championship teams have llooked bewitched, befuddled or bewildered the ffollowing season. Again, the Red Wings are a prime example. A Although they came close to repeating, no one o on that team would say the team came close to p playing in the regular-season as they had in the 2 2007-08 regular-season. Goaltender Chris Osgood’s struggles were well d documented. Penalty killers forgot how to kill p penalties. There wasn’t the same level of efficiency. The Wings still clicked off wins and they got to w where they needed to be at the end of the regularsseason. In the post-season, younger players J Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm and Ville Leino a arrived to help them bet the odds. But in the end it was the Pittsburgh Penguins

3. Alex Ovechkin is in the same conference. Don’t kid yourself: there is a Crosby vs. Ovechkin rivalry and there’s a Malkin vs. Ovechkin rivalry. There’s some thought that the Malkin vs. Ovechkin is more real than the Crosby vs. Ovechkin rivalry. Ovechkin helps motivate Pittsburgh’s dynamic duo. 4. The arrival of intimidating presence Chris Pronger in Philadelphia spices the regular-season for Pittsburgh. The heat will be turned up on the Flyers vs. Penguins rivalry. 5. Penguins veteran Bill Guerin is like the staff sergeant who can keep squad members on high alert at all times. He can make jokes, give pep talks and kick behinds. He is the remedy for complacency. 6. General manager Ray Shero did a good job of freshening up his lineup with the addition of role player Michael Rupp and defensemen Jay McKee and Martin Skoula. If McKee can restore his roar, he could offset the loss of shot blocker Rob Scuderi. Hal Gill and Scuderi were the team’s only important player losses this summer. 7. Coach Dan Bylsma, a Michigan native, came in late in the regular-season. His message hasn’t

It was the Penguins who had the Cup and the Red Wings were simply another former champion that couldn’t repeat. w who had the Cup and the Red Wings were simply a another former champion that couldn’t repeat. When Anaheim general manager Brian Burke w was searching for a plan to prevent his champion D Ducks from suffering the Stanley Cup hangover a after they won in 2007, he turned to 2006 champion g general manager Jim Rutherford whose Carolina tteam had missed the playoffs the following season. “Your players have just climbed Mount Everest,” R Rutherford told him. “Don’t ask them to do it again a any time soon.” A short summer. Mental exhaustion. Physical w weariness. A target squarely on your back. There a are many theories about why teams can’t repeat. And yet despite what I’ve just penned, I believe tthe Penguins have a better chance to repeat than tthe Red Wings had. Here are my ten reasons why the Penguins c can repeat: 1. The Penguins won their first title before their ttop players reached the prime of their careers. C Center Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan S Staal are all 23 and under, and goaltender MarcA Andre Fleury is 24 and Maxime Talbot is 25. None o of these athletes have come close to reaching ttheir prime. 2. Crosby and Malkin push each other because tthey both want to be the best. The scoring title and H Hart Trophy are going to be in play for both players tthis season, and that’s just one more reason to p push themselves to the highest level every night.

grown stale with players. This is his first full season with the team. 8. The Pens have been an eyewitness to the Red Wings two-year run of 31 playoff wins. That’s as close as any team has gotten over the past decade. They can learn by Detroit’s successes and failures. They should know where Detroit went right and where Detroit went wrong in its attempt to repeat. 9. The Penguins have two of the top three players in the world today. No other team can match that boast. 10. Everyone is saying the Penguins can’t do it. They keep hearing the odds are against them. People tell them they are going to suffer from the Stanley Cup hangover. My hunch is that if you tell guys like Crosby or Malkin that they won’t be able to climb this mountain twice, they are going to prove you wrong. “Who expects us to repeat? Probably no one,” Crosby says. “But how many people thought Detroit and Pittsburgh were going to get back to the Finals last year. Probably no one.” Not many are saying that it could be a Detroit vs. Pittsburgh Stanley Cup Finals for the third consecutive time. It does seem like they have unfinished business. Anyone who watched the Red Wings play the first two games in Sweden would say a third Pittsburgh vs. Detroit Stanley Cup Finals is even more unlikely than a Penguins’ repeat. But it would be grand for hockey if it did occur.


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