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V.23 : I.13 | MARCH 11, 2013

FIRST CLASS

ONE MORE TIME THE LAST BATTLE FOR THE CCHA’S MASON CUP BEGINS


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

MARCH 11, 2013 VOLUME 23: ISSUE 13 6 THE LOCKER ROOM Talking hockey on social media

8 SLIDESHOW Photos from across the Mitten

10 GET BETTER Proper angling for checking

12 YOU SHOULD KNOW Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Frederik Tiffels

14 YOUTH HOCKEY

GRAHA and Little Caesars team up

15 MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS Manny Legace takes over as goalie coach

18 NAHL

The latest from the NAHL

20 COLLEGE HOCKEY

The CCHA’s final playoffs begin

40 PLYMOUTH WHALERS

Whalers preparing for OHL Draft, OHL Playoffs

20–21

ONE MORE TIME The last battle for the CCHA’s Mason Cup begins

42 GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS

Brett Skinner’s journey now brings him to Michigan

44 RED WINGS INSIDER

Brian Lashoff establishing himself on the Wings’ blue line

46 LAST LINE

Darren Eliot shares his favorites of the CCHA season

26

YOUTH TRYOUTS

Check out more than 13 pages of youth hockey tryouts throughout this issue

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44

RED WINGS INSIDER

Brian Lashoff proves hard work can pay off

46

LOOK FOR OUR NEXT ISSUE LAST LINE

CCHA Iimpressively young as it ages out at 42; DE’s All-Eyeball Team

MiHockeyNow.com

MARCH 25, 2013

To advertise in MiHockey please contact Lucia Zuzga at (248) 479-1134 or lucia@mihockeynow.com, or Michael Caples at mcaples@mihockeynow.com

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


FROM THE EDITOR MIHOCKEYMAG EDITOR Michael Caples

mcaples@mihockeynow.com

ADVERTISING & DISTRIBUTION Lucia Zuzga lucia@mihockeynow.com

DESIGN Emily Huston Chuck Stevens CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Darren Eliot Pat Evans Brian Kalisher Stefan Kubus Kyle Kujawa Matt Mackinder Dave Waddell ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTORS Amy Jones Anne Ellis

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: MICHIGAN HOCKEY® welcomes Letters to the Editor. E-mail mcaples@mihockeynow.com

MICHIGAN HOCKEY is published by SUBURBAN SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS, LLC 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 483352829.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MICHIGAN HOCKEY®, 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2829. ©2011 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 E-MAIL: mh@mihockeynow.com WEBSITE: mihockeynow.com

PHOTOS AT LEFT: Michael Whaley with his father, David; Henrik Zetterberg (Tom Turrill/MiHockey) COVER: Design by Emily Huston and Chuck Stevens/ MiHockey

Cover reprints available e-mail: mcaples@mihockeynow.com

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

@michaelcaples

BY MICHAEL CAPLES

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR… While the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s final playoffs serve as the cover feature for this issue of MiHockeyMag, I’m starting to wonder if we should have just put in big block letters ‘The Calm Before the Storm’. While this hockey season, like all hockey seasons, has been a complete whirlwind, it’s about to get that much more…what’s the right word for it…crazy. Between the time that this issue of MiHockeyMag arrives in your local rink and the next issue shows up, all of the following would have taken place: • Twenty-three youth state final games • Three state final games for boys high school hockey • Two state final games for girls high school hockey • The first two rounds of the CCHA playoffs • The conclusion of the Ontario Hockey League regular season • Seven Grand Rapids Griffins games • Seven Detroit Red Wings games I hope you realize that we are in no way complaining – spring break is best spent at a hockey rink. It’s also a time to keep your perspective in check, especially for those involved in the first three bullet points above. It is exhilarating to win, and it is heartbreaking to lose. But I can promise you this – the hockey success of a young player is not determined by wins or losses. Experiencing a loss can teach as many

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lessons (if not more) to a player than a win. And, while this really isn’t what youth hockey should be about for 99 percent of us, truly exceptional players will be discovered by scouts and teams whether they win or lose. This should be a time to celebrate hockey. Yeah, I know, we’ve been using that word a lot lately, especially with Hockey Day in Michigan just taking place last month. But it’s true. This is the time of year where the best teams gather at rinks across the state, not only to compete, but to create lifelong memories and meet new hockey friends. Spend a little less time looking at the bracket in the main lobby of the rink, and a little bit more time soaking in the experience. Watch other games. Spend time with the other families on the team. Have fun. Let’s also hope that nobody gets sick during their state final games, like what happened last year. Yikes. Anyway, I hope you can enjoy the craziness that March can bring. And if you are in the midst of it, keep us posted on how it’s going for you and your team via our Twitter (@MiHockeyNow) and Facebook (Facebook.com/MiHockeyNow) accounts. We love to hear how it’s going for you, no matter what level of hockey you’re involved in. See you around the rink, k,

MiHockeyMag

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THE LOCKER ROOM

THE

LOCKERROOM

ON THE FLY

TWO FOR TWEETING

It’s that time of year – state finals are here. We love to see your pictures, like the one above, via social media. Did you win states? Tell us!

Whenever we can get our hands on some Red Wings tickets, we’re giving them to our readers. Make sure you’re following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/MiHockeyNow) and on Twitter (@MiHockeyNow) so that you don’t miss out on your chance to see Henrik Zetterberg and the Wings, or other contests we throw your way from time to time.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM: @MIHOCKEYNOW We posted this photo of Jonas Gustavsson after he made his first start – and picked up his first win – as a member of the Red Wings. Follow all the hockey action across Michigan with our social media platforms.

This picture of Senior Night at Michigan State made it onto Sportscenter, thanks to John Buccigross. The ESPN personality always does a great job of supporting hockey, and we enjoy it even more when it has to do with hockey in Michigan.

Keep us informed on what’s going on with your own hockey action.

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March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


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MiHockeyMag

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SLIDESHOW

MICHIGAN HOCKEY IN PICTURES: PHOTOS FROM AROUND THE MITTEN FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM: @MIHOCKEYNOW

Western Michigan goaltender Frank Slubowski before the Broncos’ game with the Michigan State Spartans on Mar. 2. (Michael Caples/MiHockey)

Tomas Tatar celebrates his third-period goal against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 3. (Tom Turrill/MiHockey)

Found on the Ferris State bench before their game with the Michigan Wolverines on March 2. (Andrew Knapik/MiHockey)

The Wolverines celebrate one of their four goals against the Bulldogs on March 1. (Andrew Knapik/MiHockey)

The five Michigan State seniors salute the crowd during their Senior Night ceremony on March 2. (Michael Caples/MiHockey)

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Corey Crawford’s glove save on Pavel Datsyuk from the third period of the Blackhawks’ game with the Red Wings – a save that allowed the ‘Hawks to keep their streak alive. (Tom Turrill/MiHockey)

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


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Good drills and ice utilization to put some bumping into your spring season! ORGANIZATION:

1ST STATION: Depending on the number of coaches available on the ice, position them accordingly. At one end, two players are positioned at the blueline along the wall with pucks. The other player just off the puck carrier’s shoulder is about 10 feet away. On the whistle the player with the puck skates down the boards. The inside player now angles the puck-carrying player, keeping them to the outside, taking away time and space, with stick on the ice – protecting against a cutback to the middle of the ice. Eventually the player will close him off against the wall with stickon-stick, shoulder-on-shoulder, hitting and pinning. AT THE CENTER ICE STATION: Two players are positioned next to each other along the boards, skating towards the other side of the rink; one player is skating and changing his speed

with the other player having to make adjustments with his positioning, mirroring across the ice. 3RD STATION: The offensive player is positioned along the wall with the puck. The defender or defensive player is positioned along the blueline but skating backwards. On the whistle the player with the puck skates down the wall with the defensive player taking away time and space with good backward skating and positioning – angling to protect against a cutback and closing him off the wall.

VARIATION:

March 24

STAR WARS NIGHT

Depending on the number of coaches on the ice this drill can be run with six stations.

GOALIE: Working in the net with a coach or the goalies can be working on transitional skating on their own.

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MiHockeyMag

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YOU SHOULD KNOW

you should know FAVORITE SPORTING EVENT: NHL games

MUST-SEE TV:

NHL Network

FAVORITE BREAKFAST FOOD:

Three eggs, bacon, and two pieces of toast with butter plus chocolate milk

FAVORITE MOVIES:

Miracle and The Hangover

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE: Be able to fly

NICKNAME: Freddy

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE WISH GRANTED, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT: I would wish to play in the NHL

THREE PEOPLE YOU WOULD WANT TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Cristiano Ronaldo, Peter Forsberg, and Shakira

PRE-GAME ROUTINE:

Taking a nap and watch highlight videos of Pavel Datsyuk

IF YOU WERE GIVEN $1 MILLION, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT:

Buy a big house and a Ferrari, then save the rest

FIRST CONCERT: AC/DC

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY:

Play with my brother and Leon Draisaitl almost every day in street hockey

WHO WAS MOST INFLUENTIAL ON YOUR HOCKEY CAREER:

My parents and my first coach Peter Kaczmarek

Frederik Tiffels

Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Frederik Tiffels may be from Germany, but he’s a name worth getting to know. Tiffels recently committed to coach Andy Murray and the Western Michigan Broncos, which means he will be staying on the west side of the state for the foreseeable future. In a press release from the Lumberjacks, Tiffels said that Murray’s ability to speak German was one of the reasons he picked the Broncos – not a recruiting pitch that you hear about in college hockey often. Tiffels has 20 points in 36 USHL games this season, along with a +12 rating.

Photos courtesy of: nhl.com (NHL logo), fanpop.com (The Hangover), shakira.com (Shakira), Tom Turrill/MiHockey (Pavel Datsyuk), ticketmaster.com (AC/DC),

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March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


FUTURE PRO GOAL

A D V E R T I S I N G F E A T U R E Jeff Lerg is the head director of Future Pro USA Goaltending. Visit Future Pro on the web at futurepro.com

BATTLING THROUGH TRAFFIC

B

eing a goaltender is one of the most difficult positions to play in all of sports. Think about the facts: the puck is only 1 inch wide, 3 inches in diameter and travels at speeds over 100 mph. It is BY JEFF LERG very difficult to guard a net that is 6 feet wide and 4 feet high, with players skating and passing the puck at high rates of speed. Now, add the fact that opposing teams purposely try to “screen” goalies, and the black puck has to travel through an array of optical distractions (moving players, dark team jerseys, black hockey skates, etc...) and you have an extremely difficult situation for goalies. It takes an enormous amount of precision and focus to find the puck through traffic. When a goaltender is playing a great game, you will hear every opposing coach tell his team to get more traffic in front of the net for tips, screens, and rebounds. Every young player is taught to go to the net if he wants to score

goals. As goaltenders, we need to counteract the goal scorers’ tactics by stressing the importance of developing this skill. The higher the level of play, the bigger the bodies, and the tougher it becomes to find pucks through traffic. It is obviously a hard skill to master, as we have all seen NHL goaltenders lift their arms up in surprise when a goal has been scored against them without them being able to find it. A simple type of screen occurs when an opposing team has a rush down the ice and your defensemen are playing their positions in front of you. Many times, players will use the defense as a screen and either shoot through or around their legs. The quicker the release, the tougher it is to pick up through the small screen. My advice for this play is to be extremely focused and anticipate that the players will use this play to their advantage. Line up to the shooters stick and not to the shooters body to ensure that you have a good angle on the puck. Goals are scored on these plays mostly due to the element of surprise. The most common type of screen occurs when a team has possession in your zone, either even strength or powerplay. First, you need to find the puck on the

opposing players’ stick and know that it will constantly be moving. Taller goalies are able to peak above the shoulders or around the players’ bodies in front of them. I am usually the smallest person on my team, so I constantly crouch low and look around the players and through their legs. You want to make sure that you don’t lean or move so far in one direction that you leave yourself vulnerable to a lot of net opening up on the other side. If you can’t find it in one or two seconds, immediately move your head to the other side or look above or below the players. You can’t get caught too long using one method to find the puck. Also, be sure not to back away from the screening players too much, as it will create more open net and it will also leave more room for a tipped puck to get past. Reminder: Make sure to check out www.futurepro.com for all of the latest information on upcoming clinics and summer camps! We also have added a new element to Future Pro having a Player’s Development Camp. NHLer Erik Condra and AHL player Bryan Lerg will be directing this camp and it is a great opportunity to truly learn from the pros.

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13


YOUTH HOCKEY

NOVI MIDGET BB WINS THREE RIVERS LITTLE CAESARS PARTNERS WITH CUP IN PITTSBURGH GRAHA FOR A TIER 1 WEST TEAM The Midget BB Novi Predators traveled out to Pittsburgh to partake in the Three Rivers Cup, and returned home with a tournament title. The Predators were shut out in their first game, falling to the Roanoke Express by a score of 4-0. But the Novi squad would battle back to save the trip. In their second game, a penalty-filled affair – Novi played to a 2-2 tie with the Crawford County Flames. The Predators picked up their first win of the tournament in the next contest,

topping the Armstrong Arrows 5-0. Because of the plus-minus differential tiebreaker, Novi was able to reach the championship game, for a rematch with Roanoke. The Express took a 2-0 lead, but Novi answered with three goals at the midway point of the second period for a big momentum swing. The Predators ended up prevailing 4-3 for the tournament title, and the MVP award went to the entire squad.

Little Caesars AAA is coming to the west side of the state. One of the top youth programs in the state will join forces with the Grand Rapids Amateur Hockey Association for a 2002 team, in a new partnership designed to keep homegrown players within the GRAHA association, while also giving them the opportunity to play Tier 1 hockey. The 2002 Griffins team has been competing against elite Detroit teams, as well as AAA teams from across the country; now,

they will be able to play Tier 1 competition without as much travel. Mark Beaufait will serve as head coach for the new 2002 Little Caesars West team, which will operate as an independent team at the Tier 1 level. They will have the ability to play in AAA tournaments and showcases in Michigan, Illinois and other states. The team will participate in several spring tournaments, a High Performance Hockey League event in April and possibly a second in Chicago in May.

OUTDOOR YOUTH HOCKEY IN ST. IGNACE A week after the Labatt U.P. Pond Hockey Championships in St. Ignace, youth hockey teams invaded the same outdoor rinks for a tournament of their own. Here are a few photos, courtesy of Paul Dunbar.

GRAHA TO OFFER A TIER 1 INDEPENDENT TEAM AT THE 1999 LEVEL The Grand Rapids Amateur Hockey Association will offer a Tier 1 AAA program for 1999 birth-year players for the 2013-14 season. The new Griffins AAA team, much like the Little Caesars’ partnership at the 2002 level, is designed to offer elite competition and development without making kids leave home or travel a great deal. A release about the new team says that they will utilize an elite development program that mimics the European model from a practice-to-game ratio. The ’99 Griffins team has been ranked No. 2 nationally at Tier 2 this season, and

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will increase their amount of practice in the move to Tier 1. The club will have a corporate sponsor for their game jerseys, along with private sponsors, to help manage the increased ice costs, but also construct a locker room with video capabilities and a new weight room at their home rink – the Patterson Ice Center. Robert Nilsson will be the head coach for the new Tier 1 squad that will compete independently at the Tier 1 level, but have the opportunity to play in AAA tournaments and showcases.

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YETIFEST IN SUTTONS BAY Congrats to (from left-right) Joe Rotondo, Corey DeCamillo, Tucker Penning, and Brendan O’Malley for winning the inaugural Yetifest 4 on 4 Pond Hockey Tournament in Sutton’s Bay during Hockey Day in Michigan.

Note: The articles and photos on this page are reader submissions from a parent, coach, or player. Have your team highlighted on MiHockeyNow.com and in MiHockeyMag by e-mailing editor Michael Caples at mcaples@mihockeynow.com.

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


LUMBERJACKS

FORMER RED WING MANNY LEGACE MAKING IMPACT IN NEW COACHING ROLE WITH LUMBERJACKS

BY BRYAN FONGERS

Every young man growing up in life needs a mentor to rely upon when things get into dire straits; someone who can pick them up when they’re down but also provide a little bit of “tough love” when the occasion arises. Like Mr. Miyagi was to Daniel LaRusso in “The Karate Kid” movie series, the relationship between Lumberjacks goaltending coach Manny Legace and his goaltending duo of Kevin Lindskoug and Jordan Uhelski has featured a father-son type of bond that stresses one important factor - keeping everyone’s best interests in mind. Legace was hired into the Muskegon Lumberjacks organization just before Thanksgiving and had the opportunity to meet both goaltenders personally along with critiquing their technical aspects. As Legace explains, the relationship between him and his two “students” grew immensely as they were willing to take in as much information from him as possible. “I was fortunate to come into a situation where both guys are very coachable and willing to listen to anything that I needed to talk to them about,” Legace said. “Both guys have no attitude problems and express a will to get better (in practice) every day of the week, and that’s the best possible coaching situation to be in.” Kevin Lindskoug, a native of Trelleborg, Sweden, came over to the Lumberjacks this season after playing four years in the Rögle BK organization that included playing the last three seasons in the Swedish SuperElit league, the top junior league in Sweden. Lindskoug says that the addition of Legace to the coaching staff made him excited in the sense that he has someone who can relate to him in terms of being a smaller-sized netminder. “It was an awesome feeling when I heard that Manny (Legace) was going to be our new goaltending coach because he could relate to playing the position at my size,” said Lindskoug. “Coach Legace is an inspiration to me because he played big for his size and had a great

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

career in the NHL that included winning the Stanley Cup. That’s where I want to be someday down the road.” Legace says that Lindskoug presents a cool, calm, and collected customer that has the mental toughness of a warrior when playing on game nights, but is still trying to adjust to playing on a smaller American rink when comparing it to the bigger Olympic-sized rinks in Europe. “Kevin (Lindskoug) and I have been working hard on getting rid of the tendencies he had when playing on the bigger rinks overseas in terms of getting to the pucks quicker in the corners and getting your head up to see where you are going with the puck next,” said Legace. “Kevin possesses good hand-eye coordination and plays very big for his size. He is an absolute ‘gamer’ that continues to play well excluding the fact that he has already played in more games during one season than he had played in Sweden his entire junior career.” Lindskoug echoed the sentiments of his coach as he explained that while he continues to work on the faster pace of the game around him, the adjustment from the bigger European rink to the smaller American rink has been smooth. “I have been working hard on turning my head quicker when I go for the puck (behind the net) along with being more controlled in terms of not giving up easy rebounds to the opposition,” said Lindskoug. “The adjustment to the smaller rink has been a good one as I continue work on my movement side-to-side in the crease to try and adjust to the faster pace around the net with screen shots being fired at every direction constantly. Jordan Uhelski, a Flint, Michigan native, arrived in Muskegon after spending the previous two seasons with the Belle Tire Under-18 Midget Major hockey team. Being a Michigan-born product, Uhelski was very familiar with the former Red Wings’ netminder. “I was very excited when I heard the news of Manny

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(Legace) being hired as our new goaltending coach as he was someone I looked up to growing up watching him play for the Red Wings,” said Uhelski. “It was a surreal experience getting to meet him for the first time as he is very personable and down-to-earth with both Kevin and I.” Legace says that Uhelski has come a long way in his development in the sense that he has been able to slow down his thought process and become more relaxed when positioned between the pipes during game situations. “When I first got to see Jordan play, I loved his energy, but he was approaching the game way too fast as he was going over 100 miles an hour while trying to stop a 10 mile-per-hour puck,” said Legace. “However, he has been able to reduce the amount of energy put into the games and has been able to use his size to his advantage. Jordan (Uhelski) is a big goaltender that uses his athleticism and agility well and competes with the best of them. His game has evolved at an astounding rate from four months ago.” Uhelski admits that he sometimes gets too amped up when he gets the nod between the pipes on game nights, but explains that he has toned it down a bit from the beginning of the season. Uhelski also gives credit to Legace for helping him stay looser and not putting so much pressure on himself when things don’t go his way. “I have learned to control and harness my speed while staying relaxed throughout the game,” said Uhelski. “Manny has informed me to just be myself through any game situation because things do change throughout the course of the game. He’s also told me to stay comfortable with what I do best and continue to get better every time I take to the ice.”

Visit MiHockeyNow.com for an extended look at Legace’s new coaching assignment. Photo from the MiHockey archives.

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OUT OF STATE

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APRIL 2013 Canadian Hockey Enterprises April 4-7, 2013 Banff Cup Banff, Alberta Over 19, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 divisions Canadian Hockey Enterprises...1-800-461-2161 chehockey.com goals@chehockey.com

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Canadian Hockey Enterprises April 12 – 14, 2013 Montreal Adult & Old-timer Tournament Montreal, Quebec Over 19, 25, 30, 35, 40 divisions Canadian Hockey Enterprises…1-800-461-2161 chehockey.com goals@chehockey.com

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March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

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17


NAHL

NAHL COMMITMENTS, NA3HL PLAYOFFS, NAPHL CHAMPIONS BY MATT MACKINDER Justin Greenberg scored the Robertson Cup-winning overtime goal last season for the Texas Tornado and basked in the glory all summer of being a North American Hockey League champion before returning to the Tornado this season. Recently, the Plano, Tex., native committed to Miami and will start playing for the RedHawks this fall as they leave the CCHA for the new National Collegiate Athletic Conference. “Justin has been a great kid to coach over the last two seasons,” Tornado coach and general manager Tony Curtale said. “He had offers from nine different schools, including one in every league. We’re thrilled to see him move on to a great program like Miami. ”He’s a hometown success story. He had the opportunity to go to the USHL, but he stuck around and made his mark with his hometown team. Now, he’s being rewarded with a Division I scholarship to a highly-regarded program in Miami University.” Greenberg skated at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament last month in Troy where he tied for the event lead for assists with five. He also played in the 2012 event, also held in Troy. Greenberg noted that he’s going to Miami for more than just the hockey. “Miami has the No. 2 business school in the country,” Greenberg said. “Obviously, I’m excited from a hockey standpoint, but the academics there are really great, too. “I had talked to their coaches before Top Prospects and they told me they’d be watching me there. I didn’t want to be overconfident going in and I had talked to a few other schools, but when they made an offer after Top Prospects, I was thrilled and happy to sign.” In other commitment news, Levi Erkkila of the Michigan Warriors chose Northern Michigan and Soo Eagles captain Jared VanWormer is off to Ferris State.

PLAYOFF FORMAT ANNOUNCED FOR NA3HL

Justin Greenberg, Miami Redhawks commit

where teams will be seeded according to their finish in the regular-season standings. A round-robin format will be used with the top team in each pool after roundrobin competition advancing on to play for the NA3HL championship. The winner of the Silver Cup will then advance to play in the USA Hockey Tier III Junior National Championship in Rochester, Minn., from April 4-8.

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MORE NAPHL PLAYERS ON WAY TO NAHL And the beat goes on for NAHL teams taking note of talented players in the NAPHL. Lansing Capitals 18U forward Tyler Durgan has signed an NAHL tender with the Michigan Warriors. Durgan was named as the NAPHL’s Pointstreak Peak Performer for the Month of January where his performance led Lansing to capture the 18U regular-season title. Durgan is the second Lansing 18U player to sign an NAHL tender, joining Ryan Polin, who previously tendered with the Topeka RoadRunners. West Michigan Hounds 18U forward Brandon Wolfe has also signed a tender with the Michigan Warriors, while his Hounds’ teammate, forward Collin Finkhouse, has signed with the Johnstown (Pa.) Tomahawks.

All photos courtesy of the NAHL

NAPHL CHAMPIONS CROWNED IN TROY As part of the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Troy, the North American Prospects Hockey League crowned its 18U and 16U league champions at the event. In the 18U championship game, the Indiana Jr. Ice topped the Lansing Capitals by a 4-1 count. Drew Doyon, who helped guide the Indiana 16U team to the NAPHL championship last season, had two goals

2013 16U & 18U NAPHL League Champions

The North American 3 Hockey League has announced its schedule and format for the league playoffs and Silver Cup championship. For the playoffs, the teams are seeded within their own division based upon their finish in the regular-season standings. The top four clubs from each division qualify for the playoffs with a 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 first round bestof-five series. The two clubs in each division that win that series will advance on to the Silver Cup championship, which will be played in suburban Chicago from March 2730. The Silver Cup will feature six teams at the Fox Valley Ice Arena, Geneva, Ill. The six divisional semifinal playoff series winners will be placed in two three-team pools

18

in the game. Chase Monroe made 27 saves for the win in goal and was also the goalie of record in the 16U title game last year, where he recorded a shutout. The Omaha AAA Hockey Club earned the 16U crown in a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Viper Stars. Omaha posted a 26-1 record in the NAPHL regular season and playoffs.

Tyler Durgan, Brandon Wolfe, and Collin Finkhouse

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March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


U O Y ARE

? TRYOUT CAMPS T X NE /tryo m o c . l h a www.n

uts

the league of opportunity nahl.com


COLLEGE HOCKEY

ONE MORE TIME

CCHA REGULAR SEASON ENDS… THE LAST PUSH FOR THE MASON CUP BEGINS BY MICHAEL CAPLES “There’s always next year.” It’s a saying used season after season, sport after sport. It’s a reminder that even if your team disappoints, in a few short (or long) months, you can forget about it and start all over. But for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and its member schools, that saying doesn’t really hold true. When the Mason Cup is awarded to a team at Joe Louis Arena on March 24, it will be for the final time. Each of the 11 schools will either prepare for the NCAA Tournament, or prepare for final exams. But there won’t be any preparing for another CCHA season. The teams will go their separate ways – some to the Big Ten, some to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, and some to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. There won’t ever be another shot at the Mason Cup. So the question arises – who will win it for the final time? The Miami RedHawks, led by Michigan natives Austin Czarnik and Riley Barber, captured the regular-season title last weekend. Notre Dame finished just three points behind, while Michigan’s top collegiate team this season, the Western Michigan Broncos, were only five points off the pace. Yet the beautiful thing about the CCHA playoffs is that everybody gets a chance. Just ask Bowling Green, who finished last in the regular season last year but made it all the way to the final game at Joe Louis Arena. It’s a story that Michigan State could take a peek at while they wait for their flight to Alaska for the first round. On that note, here’s a look at the Michigan schools as they prepare for their final CCHA playoff appearances.

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MiHockeyMag

NO. 3 WESTERN MICHIGAN

NO. 5 FERRIS STATE

The Broncos entered the final weekend of the regular season with a realistic chance of moving past Miami and Notre Dame for the top seed. Instead, they split with Michigan State, but they are still a team to beat come playoff time. Western Michigan is the only Michiganbased school to lock up home ice for their first playoff match-up, which will occur on the weekend of March 1517. Broncos bench boss Andy Murray said that if his team didn’t have a bye, he would say it was a disadvantage, but that it’s great for his team to rest and work on the details before welcoming a team to Lawson. It’s been a scoring-by-committee situation for the Broncos this season, and while sometimes they’ve been left hoping for more offense, it’s gotten the job done. Senior captain Dane Walters and Nashville prospect Chase Balisy tied for the team lead with 24 points apiece this season, while ten different Broncos picked up at least 10 points. Goaltender Frank Slubowski has continued to serve as the Broncos’ backbone, tending to the pipes for 95.6 percent of the WMU hockey action this season. He holds a 19-9-8 record with a .922 save percentage and 1.85 goals-against. Meanwhile, a defense with the likes of Danny DeKeyser, Kenney Morrison, Luke Witowski and Garrett Haar means that Slubowski is getting highquality support night after night. The Broncos stand the best chance of being the Michigan school that keeps the Mason Cup in our state for many years to come.

The Bulldogs don’t have to play in the opening weekend of the CCHA playoffs, but when they do begin, they will be on the road. Ferris State pulled their goalie in the closing moments of a tie game with Michigan last Saturday in a desperate attempt to gain extra points; their inability score a goal in that time frame means they weren’t able to gain the fourth and final home-ice seed for the playoffs. Last year’s Cinderella Story of the NCAA Tournament can’t get bounced early from the CCHA Tournament again (they lost to Bowling Green in the quarterfinals last year) if they want another shot at the national title. Garrett Thompson leads the Bulldogs in scoring this season, with a line of 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points. Kyle Bonis is one behind, with 24 points, but leads the team in goals, with 17. Jason Binkley has been FSU’s points leader on the blue line, posting two goals and 17 assists in 34 games. C.J. Motte continues to be their anchor in goal, playing in 32 of the Bulldogs’ 34 games this season. He holds a 14-13-5 record, with a .927 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against average. The Bulldogs start the playoffs in Buckeye country; Ohio State and Ferris State make up the No. 4 vs. No. 5 second-round match-up.

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NO. 7 MICHIGAN While their season results are far lower than expected, the Michigan Wolverines might just be figuring things out at the right time. After struggling through the majority of the season, the Wolverines swept the No. 4 Buckeyes in Columbus two weekends ago, then last weekend topped

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


COLLEGE HOCKEY

Photos by MiHockey’s Andrew Knapik and Michael Caples, LSSU photo courtesy of the CCHA

the No. 5 Bulldogs in regulation Friday, and in a shootout on Saturday. Their late surge secured home ice in the first round for the Wolverines, something that wasn’t looking like a sure bet in the heading into the final stretch of the regular season. A strong showing down the stretch has put Alex Guptill into a tie for the team lead with scoring; his 26 points matches him with rookie Cristoval ‘Boo’ Nieves. Phil Di Giuseppe checks in at No. 3 on the team scoring chart, having recorded 24 points in 34 games. Rookie Jacob Trouba led the Wolverines in scoring from the backend – he might just be our vote for offensive defenseman of the year – with nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points. The Wolverines welcome the Northern Michigan Wildcats to Yost for a first-round series. In November, Michigan traveled to Marquette to win a shootout on Friday, and lose in regulation on Saturday.

NO. 8 LAKE SUPERIOR The Lakers set a school record with three shorthanded goals in their Saturday win over Northern Michigan last weekend – a win that secured them home ice in the first round of the CCHA playoffs. It was an important win for the Lakers, who had been swept by regular-season champion Miami the previous weekend. Senior captain Domenic Monardo has lead the Lakers’ offense the entire season, recording 19 goals and 11 assists for 30 points in 36 games this year. Fellow senior Nick McParland is second in team scoring with 21 points; they are the only two Lakers to eclipse the 20-point mark. A low-scoring team means lots of work for the goaltenders, but LSSU has two junior netminders that have proven to

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

get the job done. Junior Kevin Murdock has appeared in 22 games this season, and holds 10-11-0 record with a .935 save percentage and a 2.34 goals-against average. Meanwhile, Kevin Kapalka has appeared in 18, and posted a 6-8-1 record with a .916 save percentage and 2.89 goalsagainst average. The Lakers welcome Bowling Green to the Soo this weekend, hoping to prevent the Falcons from making another improbable run to the CCHA championship weekend like they did last year. Bowling Green won both meetings between the two schools during the regular season, though.

NO. 10 NORTHERN MICHIGAN It’s been a bit of a down year for Northern Michigan, but with the beginning of the playoffs comes new life for the Wildcats. They will start the playoffs on the road in Ann Arbor though – probably not high on the list of destinations for starting the postseason for many NCAA coaches. The Wildcats will be hoping that strong season from Matt Thurber continues into the first round of the playoffs. The senior forward has 32 points on the season – six goals but a CCHA-leading 26 assists. Sophomore Reed Seckel has 25 points, while Erik Higby and Stephan Vigier also passed the 20-point plateau during the season. Senior captain Scott Macaulay led the way on the blue line, with 16 points in 36 games. It has not been a ‘goaltending by committee’ season; junior Jared Coreau has appeared in all 36 games the Wildcats have played. He holds a 15-174 record with a .921 save percentage and a 2.59 goalsagainst average on the season.

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The Wildcats will need a strong series from Coreau to keep the Wolverines’ offense at bay during their firstround match-up.

NO. 11 MICHIGAN STATE It’s a familiar story for the Michigan State Spartans – they’re heading to Alaska. Just two weeks after completing the trek out west for their regular-season match-up, this time the Spartans head to Alaska for their first-round playoff match-up with the Nanooks. They split last time, but you can’t have any series ties in the playoffs. The Spartans have been searching for an identity on offense all season; sophomore forward Matt Berry is the only MSU player to crack the 20-point mark (he has 25). Brent Darnell checks in at the No. 2 spot on the scoring list, with 19 points, while junior captain Greg Wolfe has caught fire of late, and is third with 18 points. The Spartans also didn’t get much help on the scoresheet from their blueliners; R.J. Boyd’s 10 points – good for 10th on the scoring list – lead the defense. Michigan State is strong in goal, however, as freshman Jake Hildebrand has emerged as top-tier goaltender in the CCHA. His 7-15-2 record is less than impressive, but Hildebrand didn’t have much scoring to work with most nights, and still posted a .930 save percentage, and a 2.30 goals-against average. Junior Will Yanakeff holds a 4-7-1 record with a .896 save percentage and 3.24 goals-against. The Spartans won their final regular-season game 2-1 over Western Michigan. If they can find any momentum from the win, it could be a fun series out in Alaska this weekend.

MiHockeyMag

21


+,*+6&+22/+2&.(</($*8( TM

52999 Dequindre Rochester, MI 48307 Phone: (248) 601-6699 Fax: (248) 601-0102 onyxicearena.com

Varsity & Junior Varsity teams Welcome!

There will be three separate divisions of the Suburban Showdown Spring High School League – 6,/9(5 (recommended for junior varsity teams or current 8th, 9th, and 10th graders), *2/'(recommended for varsity teams or current 9th, 10th and 11th graders) and 1(:3/$7,180 - (current 12th graders).

‡(/(9(1*$0(*8$5$17(( ‡*5($76&+('8/( ‡5(*,675$7,21)(( ‡),1$/5267(56 Due no later than Monday, April 16 ‡12+,''(1)((6

S E M A G E U G A LE PLAYED at S N O I T A C O L H BOT <287+7($0+2&.(</($*8( 648,57‡3((:((‡%$17$0‡0,'*(7 B, A, and AA Players 54755 Broughton Macomb, MI 48042 Phone: (586) 992-8600 Fax: (586) 992-8666 suburbanice.com

The intent in this league is to allow coaches to select their players and for players to play with friends. Therefore, each team may roster B, A and AA players as long as the “Sliding Scale” requirement for second year players is met. No AAA players allowed. Teams may register in Squirt through Midget age classifications.

‡(/(9(1*$0(*8$5$17(( ‡*5($76&+('8/( ‡5(*,675$7,21)(( ‡),1$/5267(56 Due no later than Monday, April 22 ‡12+,''(1)((6


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TM

MIDGET AA 96/95 COACH PAUL MARCUS E-mail for official tryout dates pjm1home@yahoo.com

THURSDAY SUNDAY TUESDAY THURSDAY SUNDAY

21-MAR 24-MAR 26-MAR 28-MAR 31-MAR

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BANTAM AA 99 COACH TED MARCOLA ted.marcola@hp.com

MIDGET A 98/97 COACH RICHARD HUTCHINSON coachhutch@hotmail.com 586-524-6385

GIRLS 16U COACH JEFF JOHNSON E-mail for official tryout dates

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TUESDAY SUNDAY *TUESDAY

19-MAR 7:00 PM 24-MAR 4:00 PM 26-MAR 7:00 PM INVITE ONLY

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CONDITIONING SKATE $10

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SPRING ADULT LEAGUE 2013 Team Registrations

Begins in early April and runs through June.

PEE WEE AA 01 COACH DEREK BURKHART

SQUIRT A 04 COACH BRIAN LAVOIE

MONDAY SATURDAY

MON WED SAT

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SQUIRT AA 03 COACH DAN BERRY danberry@me.com

2004Rattlers@gmail.com

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ANDREW STEWART, HOCKEY DIRECTOR ASTEWART@SUBURBANICE.COM RYAN PARDOSKI, GENERAL MANAGER RPARDOSKI@SUBURBANICE.COM PEG GRIFFIN-WATSON, PROGRAM ADMINIS. PGRIFFIN@SUBURBANICE.COM

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for more information on our adult leagues check our website â&#x20AC;&#x201C; onyxicearena.com â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or call or email Tom Zagacki at 248-601-6699


2013 SPRING TRYOUTS PEE WEE 01 AA

SCAN FOR WEBSITE

(NORTHSTARS) COACH STEVE PETRUNO / MIKE RETFORD steve.petruno@hp.com Saturday, 16-Mar 3:30 - 5:00 PM Monday, 18-Mar 5:30 - 7:00 PM

MIDGET 98/97 A COACH SEAN COFFMAN

scoffman@suburbanice.com Saturday, 23-Mar 1:30 - 3:30 PM Wednesday, 27-Mar 8:30 - 10:00 PM

BANTAM 99 AA COACH STEVE BETTLEY milford5@comcast.net

Monday, 18-Mar 8:30 - 10:00 PM Wednesday, 20-Mar 8:30 - 10:00 PM Saturday, 23-Mar 3:00 - 4:30 PM

BANTAM 00 A COACH ROGER GRAFF rgraff19@gmail.com

PEE WEE 02 A

COACH DAN CESARZ cmcgowan@suburbanice.com

Saturday, 16-Mar 6:30 - 8:00 PM Saturday, 23-Mar 6:30 PM- 8:00 PM

Tuesday, 19-Mar 7:30 - 9:00 PM Saturday, 23-Mar 12:30 - 2:00 PM

PEE WEE 01 AA

SQUIRT 03 AA

Wednesday, 20-Mar 7:00 -8:30 PM Saturday, 23-Mar 3:30 - 5:00 PM

Saturday, 23-Mar 2:00 - 3:30 PM Monday, 25-Mar 7:00 - 8:30 PM Wednesday, 27-Mar 5:00 - 6:00 PM

COACH CAL MCGOWAN cmcgowan@suburbanice.com

COACH MATT WEST mattlwest@charter.net

SQUIRT 04 A

COACH DAVE MCCALLUM lmiles@suburbanice.com Wednesday, 20-Mar 6:00 - 7:00 PM Saturday, 23-Mar 5:00 - 6:30 PM

MITE 05 AA

TO BE DETERMINED

MITE 06 A

COACH LOWERY DAY 248-885-0198 lday88@comcast.net Sunday, 17-Mar 12:30 - 1:30 PM Sunday, 24-Mar 3:30 - 4:30 PM

248-888-1400 suburbanice.com

GIRLS 2013 SPRING TRYOUTS 10U ICEBREAKERS

COACH: JESSE HUBBENSCHMIDT & DAVE SCOTT jjhuby@yahoo.com

26-Mar 28-Mar

7:30 - 8:30 PM 6:30 - 8:00 PM

12U ICEBREAKERS COACH: GEOFF BENNETTS

gbennetts@suburbanice.com

14U ICEBREAKERS

20-Mar 6:30 - 7:20 PM 24-Mar 9:30 - 10:30 AM 27-Mar 6:00 - 7:00 PM

joejones969799@gmail.com

COACH: JOE JONES

SCAN FOR WEBSITE

)UHHZD\3DUN'ULYH‡)DUPLQJWRQ+LOOV

16U ICEBREAKERS AND 19U ICEBREAKERS CONTACT: CAL MCGOWAN

cmcgowan@suburbanice.com


Macomb Hockey Club

SPRING 2013

TM

TRAVEL TRYOUTS posted at

macombhockeyclub.com Mite AA Squirt A Squirt AA

STANGS U M B M O C A M NEW! EY TRAVEL HOCK A (2002) E E W E E P | ) 3 0 SQUIRT AA (20 01) PEE WEE AA (20

(2005) (2004) (2003)

Pee Wee A Pee Wee AA Bantam A Bantam AA

(2002) (2001) (2000) (1999)

g resume in h c a o c d n e s e s TO APPLY Plea to and application banice.com sperkins@subur

NOW accepting Head Coach Applications for the NEW! GIRLS’ HOCKEY PROGRAM U14, U12 & U10 LADY MAVERICKS TRYOUTS Saturday, March 9

9:00-10:05am (1.15 hour)

Saturday, March 16

8:15 – 10:05am (2 hours)

Saturday, March 23

6:00-7:20pm (1.5 hour)

Saturday, March 30

8:45 – 10:05am (1.15 hour)

!,\Y_QR^YX<Nã7KMYWL73" ]_L_\LKXSMOWKMYWLMYWã" ##" 


(2001’s)

DATES: 3/19 - 7:40PM, GLSC, FRASER; 3/21 - 6:45PM, MCCANN ARENA, GROSSE POINTE WOODS; 3/24 - 12:45PM, MCCANN ARENA, GROSSE POINTE WOODS *NO TRYOUT FEES*

HEAD COACH: MICHAEL LUCCHESE – Non-parent professional coach with coaching experience from Squirt to High School. Well known skills instructor for over nine years. Player on national championship college team. Assistant Coach: Michael Rourke.

*SUBSTANTIAL CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP* *PAID HEAD COACH* *REASONABLE ICE BILLS* *POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT* *TALENTED CORE OF RETURNING PLAYERS* *COMMITMENT TO PLAYER DEVELOPMENT* *GREAT HOME RINK FACILITIES (MCCANN)* For more information, please contact Scott at 01miicehawks@gmail.com. Team website: www.michiganicehawks.org/01.


March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

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33


2013 TRYOUTS GO TO HONEYBAKEDHOCKEY.COM FOR DATES AND TIMES

HEAD COACH Steve Dickinson

2000

16U

HEAD COACH Rob Krohl

1999

SCAN FOR WEBSITE

HEAD COACH Jeff Mitchell

2003

2002

HEAD COACH Trevor Edwards

HEAD COACH Mark Vellucci

2001

2002 EAST

HEAD COACH Brandon Kaleniecki

HEAD COACH Sean Kolodge

HEAD COACH Tomas Holmstrรถm

TIER 2

18U

2004

HEAD COACH Todd Waldo

2005

HEAD COACH Manon Rheaume

Girls 19U, 16U, 14U and 12U tryouts posted 3/11/13 @ honeybakedhockey.com

2013 Spring Tryouts

2003 Novi IceCats Squirt AA Spring Tryouts

for

Honeybaked

Pee Wee Major Tier II Saturday, March 16th Sunday, March 17th Tuesday, March 19th

11:30 am 10:30 am 6:30 pm

$OOVNDWHVDW+D]HO3DUNย‡$OOVNDWHV Please email head coach Rob Flannery for more information: VODSVKRW#FRPFDVWQHW

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Tuesday March 19 Friday March 22 Thursday March 28 (invite only)

7:00-8:20pm 7:00-8:20pm 5:00-6:20pm

$15 per session. All tryouts at Novi Ice Arena. Coach Todd Martin 03IceCats@comcast.net / phone 248-417-7974

MiHockeyNow.com

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


Lansing Capitals AAA TIER 1 Hockey

Midget Major Midget Minor ELITE BRIGADE AAA HOCKEY The Elite Brigade U18 Spring High School/AAA all-star program is designed to offer top HS players an opportunity to compete at the AAA level during the spring season before going back to their respective HS teams in the fall. This is the 3rd season the Brigade have operated in the Metro Detroit area. We are looking for players (95,96,97 birth dates) who want to use the spring season to develop their game and get scouted by Junior teams. Teams will practice 1-2 times per week; play in 3 tournaments including the North American Select Prospects Showcase May 15-17th. (3 goalies: 6 Defensemen: 12 Forwards).

2013 Spring

         !"#

Bantam Minor

TRYOUTS

MIDGET U16 March 25, 27, 28 6:30 PM $60 MIDGET U18 March 25, 27, 28 4:30 PM $60 Midget Tryouts at Suburban Ice-East Lansing

    

    

     

BANTAMS AAA March 25 @ 8:30 & 27 @ 7:30 PM $35 Bantam Tryouts at The Summit-Dimondale

As an added feature this season we will be bringing in scouts/ coaches from the BCHL, NAHL, EJHL, and the NCAA to run various practices.

KENSINGTON VALLEY ELITE BRIGADE

Skating out of Kensington Valley Ice House in Brighton, Michigan and Novi Ice Arena in Novi, Michigan.

FARMINGTON HILLS ELITE BRIGADE

Skating out of Farmington Hills Ice Arena in Farmington Hills, Michigan and Novi Ice Arena in Novi, Michigan.

NORTH MICHIGAN ELITE BRIGADE

Skating out of Flint, Michigan; Lapeer, Michigan, and Saginaw, Michigan.

    $!! %   $!! #&  $!!%   $!$ # %   $!$   %   $!# %  

DOWNRIVER ELITE BRIGADE Skating out of Melvindale Ice Arena.

www.icefithockey.com Contact Coach & Program Director: Chris Slater at 269-598-2197 or chris@icefithockey.com for further info.

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

  

       !

MiHockeyNow.com

www.naphl.com

Director Dean Dixon Midget AAA Head Coach Dixon ddixon16@yahoo.com Bantam AAA Head Coach John Bowkus hb84@aol.com schedule at www.glaha.org Greater Lansing Amateur Hockey Association

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35


ANNOUNCES avel Tr yo r T I r uts e i T 2013-2014 PEEWEE MINOR 02 TRYOUTS April 8 – PIC/NHL 6:00 – 7:20 pm PW Minor April 9 – PIC/NHL 6:00 – 7:20 pm PW Minor April 11 – PIC/NHL 6:00 – 7:20 pm PW Minor (invite only) Head Coach: Mark Beaufait beuf19@aol.com 616-843-1491

BANTAM MAJOR 99 TRYOUTS April 8 – PIC/NHL 7:30 – 8:50 pm Bantam Major April 9 – PIC/NHL 7:30 – 8:50 pm Bantam Major April 11 – PIC/NHL 7:30 – 8:50 pm Bantam Major (invite only) Head coach: Robert Nilsson rbnilsson@gmail.com 616-240-3243 Tryouts are held at Patterson Ice Center 2550 Patterson Avenue Grand Rapids, MI 49546 $30 per player fee per team tryout.

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March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


Spring 2013 Youth Hockey Tryouts at The Summit Sports and Ice Complex

x Midget A- Rich Kopitsch:

o Monday, March 25th 6:00pm o Tuesday, March 26th 9:30pm

x

Bantam A- Ray Kibzey: o Monday, March 25th 7:10pm o Tuesday, March 26th 7:00pm

x

PeeWee AA- Doug Collins: o Monday, March 25th 7:20pm o Tuesday, March 26th 8:10pm

x

PeeWee A- Frankie Dunn: o Wednesday, March 27th 6:10pm o Thursday, March 28th 7:30pm

x

Squirt AA- Jason Whitten: o Monday, March 25th 6:00pm o Tuesday, March 26th 7:00pm

x

Squirt A- Karri Hobbs: o Wednesday, March 27th 6:00pm o Thursday, March 28th 6:30pm

Cost: $10 per tryout session

INTRODUCING… Superior Skill Skates x x x x x

Monday Nights from 7:10-8:20pm March 4th – May 20th All ages are welcome! Cost: $10 per session Work on stickhandling, shooting, edge work, conditioning and more!

Contact John Bowkus for more information: 517-319-1000 senators@thesummitsportsandice.com

9410 Davis Hwy Dimondale, MI 48821 Ph: 517-319-1000 Fax: 517-319-1004 www.thesummitsportsandice.com

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

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37


JOHN LINDELL

ROYAL OAK ICE ARENA

SPRING

IN COOPERATION WITH

INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION LEAGUE

SPRING SEASON TRYOUTS!

For the Novi SnowCats Tier 2 Girls Hockey Team

MARCH 25 - MAY 23 Mite ( Full-ice) Squirt ‡ Pee Wee Bantam ‡ Midget

The Novi SnowCats Girls Hockey Team is looking for experienced skaters for the Spring season. Combined tryouts for 12U/14U/16U will be held at the Novi Ice Arena on:

March 23 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm March 26 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm March 27 from 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm

HOUSE B PLAYERS ONLY FOURTEEN SKATES MAHA District 3 Finalist Howe 1 Division

GREAT SCHEDULE PLAY WITH FRIENDS

Two Dates SCAN FOR BROCHURE

1403 Lexington Blvd. Royal Oak, MI 48073 248-246-3950 royaloakicearena.com

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

Cost is $15 per skate. Goalies skate for free. Goalies will receive training from a professional goalie school. The Novi SnowCats offer a fun environment for growing your hockey skills in one of the nicest rinks in Oakland County.

Friday, March 15th 6:00-7:30PM

Sunday, March 17th 10:15-11:30AM

$15.00 Per Skate, Goalies Skate FREE

Grosse Pointe Community Rink 4831 Canyon St. Grosse Pointe, MI 48236 Contact: Dan Paolucci, Head Coach danpaolucci3@yahoo.com

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FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Phil Coleman at pcoleman@noviyouthhockey.org 42400 Nick Lidstrom Drive, Novi, Michigan 48375 www.noviyouthhockey.org s (248) 735-0393

MiHockeyMag

39


PLYMOUTH WHALERS

WHALERS PREPARING FOR DRAMA OF OHL PLAYOFFS, OHL DRAFT BY MATT MACKINDER It seems like the spring of 2007 was ages ago. In one sense, it was. That May, the Plymouth Whalers won their second Ontario Hockey League J. Ross Robertson Cup championship by defeating the Sudbury Wolves in a thrilling six-game series on an overtime goal by current Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward James Neal in Game 6 up in Sudbury. Since then, the OHL playoffs have been heartbreak after heartbreak for the Whalers. In 2007-08, Plymouth went with a youth movement and was swept in the opening round by the Kitchener Rangers. The following spring, the Whalers dropped the Sarnia Sting in the first round in five games before bowing out to the eventual OHL and Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires in a six-game series. Windsor would again end Plymouth’s playoff run in 2010, downing the Whalers in a four-game sweep after Plymouth knocked out the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in five games to open the postseason. The Spitfires took home the OHL and Memorial Cup championships again in 2010 Two years ago, the Whalers beat Kitchener in a sevengame thriller in the opening round, but then fell flat against the Owen Sound Attack, the team that eventually won the OHL crown in 2011, in a four-game sweep. Last year, Plymouth toppled the Guelph Storm in six games and then faced the Rangers yet again. Optimism was high, but Kitchener bounced the Whalers in a Game 7 played at Compuware Arena. What does this season have in store? “I think we have a great team that can go far in the playoffs,” Plymouth forward Vince Trocheck, among the OHL’s top scorers, said. “We have a lot of firepower and I believe we can make a run.” “I think that the team will come together and take care of business come playoffs,” added Whalers’ forward Danny Vanderwiel. The OHL regular season concludes Sunday, March

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17 and the playoffs begin the following weekend. The Whalers will be in the playoffs for an OHL-record 22nd straight season, but as of right now, their first-round opponent is still to be determined.

OHL DRAFT ON TAP FOR APRIL 6

Call it what you will. The OHL draft. The OHL priority selection. A roll of the dice. All of the above apply for the online event scheduled for Saturday, April 6 when all 20 OHL teams will look to the future with the league’s annual draft. Beginning in 2001, the draft has been exclusively held online. Prior to that, it was held in OHL arenas a la the NHL draft, with first-round picks on stage with team jersey, hat, the whole shebang. The Whalers have had major success in the draft, even if it hasn’t been in the first round. The lone exception is obviously Tyler Seguin, now honing his skills in the NHL with the Boston Bruins, after the Whalers nabbed him in the first round back in 2008. In 2005, Plymouth selected defenseman Nick Petrecki and the New York native instead went to the United States Hockey League and then to Boston College, winning a national championship his freshman season in 2007-08. In the years since, a handful of Plymouth’s first-round picks haven’t panned out or were traded for veterans as the Whalers loaded up for the playoffs – Vern Cooper (2006), Max Iafrate (2010), Mitchell Dempsey (2011) and Zach Bratina (2012). Reliable defenseman and two-year captain Beau Schmitz went in the first round in 2007 and current forward Garrett Meurs was tabbed in 2009 and had solid careers with the Whalers. On the flip side, picks outside of the first round have definitely panned. Take Chris Terry, the team’s third all-time leading scorer, in the second round in 2005, current captain and one of the OHL’s most underated defensemen Colin MacDonald in the 14th round in 2008, veteran pro AJ Jenks in the seventh round in 2006, current defenseman Austin Levi in the sixth round in 2008, goalie Scott Wedgewood one

MiHockeyNow.com

Tyler Seguin Photo by Walt Dmoch/Plymouth Whalers (Above photo by Rena Laverty/Plymouth Whalers)

round after Levi, solid power forward Jamie Devane in the seventh round in 2007 and sparkplug Kaine Geldart in the 12th round of 2005 as perfect examples. In looking at recent drafts as well, seeing names on some lists that chose to go the NCAA route, including Petrecki, brings to mind the Little Texas country ballad, “What Might Have Been.” Torey Krug (2007), Zach Golembiewski (2007) and Trevor Nill (2005) all went to Michigan State after being drafted by Plymouth. C.J. Severyn (2005) went to Ohio State, Kevin Lynch (2007) went to Michigan and Sean Kuraly (2009) went to Miami as other players once selected by the Whalers on OHL draft day. The 2013 draft starts at 9 a.m. on April 6 on www.ontariohockeyleague.com.

WHALERS NOTEBOOK

Plymouth forward Rickard Rakell of the Plymouth Whalers was named the OHL Player of the Week with six goals and three assists for nine points in four games along with a plus-6 for the week ending Feb. 24 … The Whalers were on the road last weekend, but are back at Compuware for the final two regular-season home games on Sunday, March 10 for a 2 p.m. start against the Saginaw Spirit and then on Saturday, March 16 at 7:05 p.m. versus Windsor.

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


“A Tradition of Excellence” BEST OF LUCK

to all Michigan State Playoff Participants!!! We are Proud to Announce Our Compuware Coaches for 2013-2014 TIER 1

TIER 2

M. Mj. Todd Krygier CompuwareU18@yahoo.com

99’s

Matt Mitchell cw99t2@comcast.net

M. Mn. Derek Langlois langlois1974@gmail.com

00’s

Rod Porter 2000compuware@gmail.com

99’s

Todd Jenkins toddjenkins@tds.net

01’s

Ron Simons ron.simons@comcast.net

00’s

Todd Krygier Compuware2000s@yahoo.com

02’s

Gordie Lietz gordiehockey99@yahoo.com

01’s

Jim Duhart duey19@comcast.net

03’s

John Miller 03compuwarehockey@gmail.com

02’s

Jeff Garcia 2002detroitcompuwareaaa@gmail.com

04’s

view at: www.compuwarehockeyaaa.com

GU19 John Damrath jd@damrath.com

05’s

Dominic Nieto dominic.nieto@ubs.com

GU16 Tom Byrne ThomasKByrne@aol.com

06’s

Tim Osburn tim@osburnind.com

GU14 Chris Cirino chris_cirino@yahoo.com G12U Patrick Floyd treeb117@gmail.com

>>> Please contact our Coaches directly for Tryout details<<<

Tryout information will be posted at: compuwarehockeyaaa.com

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

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MiHockeyMag

41


GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS

LONG ROAD LEADS SKINNER TO

Photo by Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins

GRAND RAPIDS

BY KYLE KUJAWA

Y

ou could say that Brett Skinner’s journey to his current place on the Grand Rapids Griffins’ blueline has been longer than most. He’s in the eighth year of his professional career. He’s suited up for 15 different teams, spanning six countries, 10 states (and one province) and three trades between seven different NHL organizations. “I could write a book if you wanted me to,” said Skinner, who joined state No. 10 and organization No. 7 when he signed with the Griffins in February. At 29, Skinner is in the same boat as a lot of AHL veterans. He’s a few years past “prospect” status, but his long resume shows that he’s been useful at every level, and that he’s an asset for a young team hoping to make a long playoff drive, like the Griffins. But how does one player find two or three different addresses nearly every season? “It’s just one of those things where I moved a couple of

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times early, so it’s not as daunting, I guess,” he explained. “With some of the moves, I made a decision through either free agency in the summer; other times it’s just been part of the game.” A third-round choice (68th overall) by Vancouver in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Skinner was considered a top prospect at a young age. He was a member of a University of Denver program that won the NCAA National Championship in his sophomore and junior seasons, paving the way for him to skip his senior season for an AHL job with the Manitoba Moose. “I was probably a little anxious when I was younger to get to the next level,” said Skinner. “I probably should have let the process play out and be a little more patient.” After five AHL stops, and one stint in the ECHL, Skinner worked his way up to the big leagues with the New York Islanders – his fourth NHL organization – during the 200809 season. It was a quick experience for Skinner, playing 11 games on Long Island, but one that left an everlasting memory. “I thought I made the team out of camp, but then they picked one of my buddies from Providence off waivers, so I got sent down,” said Skinner, who played with his replacement, current Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nate Thompson, in Providence during the 2007-08 season. “I got called up a few weeks later. You always remember making your NHL debut. Beyond that, my parents were able to fly out and see a couple games. I played in some cool places, like Madison Square Garden. You cherish every day you spend there. Especially because I had spent a few years in the minors, I really enjoyed my time up there.” Following a season and a half with no more NHL action, Skinner decided to take his game overseas. His experience there was as mixed as the cities he’s played in. He spent the entire 2010-11 season with Amur in the KHL, a team that plays out of Khaborovsk, which is about 20 miles from China. Last season saw three stops – Iserlohn (Germany), Tappara (Finland) and MODO (Sweden). “Each one was a different scenario,” said Skinner, who battled injuries in both of his seasons in Europe. “Germany was okay, but I had the chance to go to Finland. I thought the opportunity was really good, at the time, so I took it and ended up getting injured.” For veteran North American players like Skinner, playing in Europe isn’t quite as easy as flying over and finding a team. Similar to the AHL with its limit of veteran players, European teams have caps on the amount of North Americans teams can have to promote the development of the country’s own players. That can range from just one

MiHockeyNow.com

or two (Sweden) to nearly half of a roster (Germany). “I don’t know the reason, but in Sweden, [MODO] had their import defenseman get hurt,” said Skinner. “We weren’t going to make the playoffs in Finland, so I ended up getting loaned to Sweden. It was a good league, but I was injured most of the time so it affected the amount I could contribute. I enjoyed all three leagues. All three organizations treated me well. It was a fun way to see the world.” And as Skinner learned, the import limits can have a major effect on how easily it is to adapt to a new country. “In Germany, you have 10 other imports on the team,” said Skinner. “The coach spoke English most of the time. Finland was interesting because I was the only North American import on the team, the other import was Swedish. The coach spoke Finnish the whole time, so did most of the guys in the dressing room. That was a little more isolated – I was going out for a lot of meals by myself.” With Markus Naslund as the general manager, Peter Forsberg as his assistant, and former Red Wing Ulf Samulesson as the head coach, he found that his club in Sweden was run more like a typical North American team. “Everything was done in English in the dressing room,” he said. “Most of them had been over to North America to play, so they were familiar with English. We had a really good group of guys, we went out to eat together a lot. I really enjoyed the country, too.” However, Skinner admitted that playing for three different teams “didn’t set [himself] up well for this year,” as many potential European jobs were taken by NHLers looking for work during the lockout. So he started the season in Texas, joining the Allen Americans in the Central Hockey League. “I got lucky to go to a great spot,” he said of Allen, which is managed by an ownership group that includes Mike Modano, Ed Belfour, Steve Duchesne and Craig Ludwig. “They have a really good coaching staff and really good owners. It was a lower level than I was used to, but I felt like I was getting better. It gave me the opportunity to be patient and find [an AHL] job that I got to pick a little more.” So when Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff found longterm NHL employment, the Griffins needed a veteran who could log minutes in all situations, like Skinner. “You want to have the opportunity to go somewhere where they have a good team,” said Skinner. “I feel like it’s a good atmosphere. I heard a lot of good things about how they run things here, so it seemed like a good situation for me.”

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


ROYAL OAK EAGLES

TRAVEL HOCKEY TRYOUTS

2005

For tryout dates, times & locations contact head coach Steve Chapman 248-917-7052 steven.chapman99@sbcglobal.net

2004

March 24 @ 3:30 pm March 25 @ 6:00 pm March 27 @ 6:00 pm

WEST REGIONAL MARCH 29-30

Bill Murdock Bill@royaloakhockey.com 248-760-0250

2003

VAN ANDEL ARENA

March 16 @ 4:00 pm March 19 @ 6:00 pm March 23 @ 4:00pm

PURCHASE TICKETS AT THE BOX OFFICE, 800/745-3000 OR NCAA.COM/FROZENFOUR.

Scott McNeil scott@royaloakhockey.com 248-224-0878

GROUPS OF 10+ CALL 616/742-6185.

DEADLINE TO ENTER: MARCH 24

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13

NCAA and Men's Frozen Four are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

ENTER TO WIN FOUR TICKETS BY TEXTING MIHOCKEY TO 40491

2002

March 7 @ 6:00 pm March 10 @ 11:00 am March 14 @ 6:00 pm

2001

March 23 @ 5:15 pm Tom Ricketts tom@troybio.com 248-866-0761

2000

March 16 @ 5:15 pm March 19 @ 7:15 pm March 23 @ 5:15 pm Bill Bowen bill@octanedesign.com 313-300-1660

1999

For tryout dates, times & locations contact head coach Chris Temple ctemple@teclausa.com 248-672-0211

GIRLS 14U

For tryout dates, times & locations contact head coach Scott Graham Grahams_hockey@yahoo.com 586-201-7502

Dave Dunscombe dpd_223@yahoo.com 248-797-8083

ROYALOAKHOCKEY.COM

MiHockeyNow.com

1403 Lexington Blvd. Royal Oak, MI 48073 248-246-3950

royaloakicearena.com

MiHockeyMag

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RED WINGS INSIDER

LASHOFF PROVES THAT

HARD WORK CAN PAY OFF Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

BY DAVE WADDELL nwanted and undrafted in the 2008 NHL draft, Detroit Red Wings’ defenseman Brian Lashoff is a testament to there’s more than just one way to work your way into the National Hockey League. The Albany, N.Y. native slipped through seven rounds of the draft that June, but Wings’ general manager Ken Holland wasn’t going to let him slip away this summer. Not part of the Wings’ plans when the season started, injuries and Lashoff ’s ability to take advantage of the opportunity said injuries presented prompted Holland to sign the 22-year-old to a three-year deal worth $725,000 per season Feb. 25. “We like to reward young people when they play well,” Holland said. “The reward is a one-way deal.” In his 18 games, Lashoff has a goal and three points and is minus-four. However, the tale of Lashoff ’s worth isn’t told in statistics. His is a game best measure by what scouts call the ‘eyeball test.’ The six-foot-three, 212 pound Lashoff reminds many of the previous holder of the No. 23 jersey in Detroit – Brad Stuart. Lashoff is a gritty defenseman, who leads the Wings in hits and is among their leaders in blocked shots. He’s become a pivotal piece on the penalty kill and he’s gone from unwanted to one of the first names called by coach Mike Babcock. “He’s played on the top pairing with (Niklas) Kronwall, played against the best players, also played on the penalty kill,” Holland said. “He makes a good outlet pass. He competes hard. He’s got a good reach. And he’s only 22. “We think he’ll get better and better.” While others may have had questions about his ability

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to develop into an NHL regular, Lashoff ’s faith never wavered. These are heady times for the youngster nicknamed ‘Smash’, yet he refuses to be sucked into the vortex of good vibes. “When I came here I was never going to get too high or too low, just kind of stay the same way throughout my time here and work hard every day,” Lashoff said. “It never changes for me, whether it’s a game day, a practice or if I’m playing. “I’m going to be ready whatever opportunity is given to me.” That quiet self-confidence was one of the characteristics the Wings noticed when they offered Lashoff a tryout in September, 2008. Detroit was just coming off a Stanley Cup season and still had the likes of Nick Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall along with a young Jonathan Ericsson, who had played so well in the previous spring’s playoffs. It hardly seemed a logical choice to try and work yourself up from the dregs of the minor leagues with that formidable blue-line looking set for the next few seasons. However, Lashoff was playing the long game. He pleasantly surprised Wings’ general manager Ken Holland that fall. Holland saw enough in the rugged defenseman to offer him a contract. Lashoff signed and went back to the Ontario Hockey League to continue to polish his craft. The Wings’ foresight was rewarded when Lashoff made the U.S. national junior squad that would go on to win the world title in 2009-10. He enjoyed his first full season at the AHL last year in Grand Rapids. The plan was for him to remain there for another year. However, the NHL lockout bought him another half

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season of AHL action and he was ready when injuries ravaged the Detroit defensive corps. Lashoff has played in 18 of Detroit’s 22 games to date. The irony of it all must have struck Lashoff as he signed his new deal. In inking the one-way pact, Lashoff has cemented himself in the Wings’ NHL plans while none of the six draft picks Detroit made in 2008, which included firstround pick Thomas McCollum and fourth-round selection Gustav Nyquist, have been able to stick with the big club permanently to date. Though he still makes the occasional rookie mistake, Lashoff has become instrumental in helping the Wings find some answers on a defense, which had been the biggest question mark coming into the season. With Detroit leading the NHL in man-games lost to injury, the fact that the Wings remain solidly in the playoff race while watching their defensive numbers steadily improve bodes well for the Wings when they get healthy. Detroit has only conceded seven goals in its last five games following a 2-1 shootout loss to Chicago March 3 and now the questions are more about Detroit’s depth at forward. Retired Wings’ captain Nick Lidstrom feels Detroit will reap the rewards of surviving thanks to the help of youngsters such as Lashoff and fellow rookies Damien Brunner, Tomas Tatar and Joaquin Anderson. “Guys are getting an opportunity to play more,” Lidstrom said. “I think it’s just the maturity of getting experience to play and play every day, against the top players and knowing that small mistakes can end up with the puck in your net. “It’s a learning experience for the kids and it’s a great way to get a chance to play with so many guys out.”

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


JUNIORS PREVIEW THE LAST LINE

M

y impressions of the final CCHA season were varied and wide ranging. Here’s what impressed me the most:

YOST ICE ARENA: I love when universities opt to spruce up older facilities instead of razing them. Yost is brighter, with natural daylight streaming in during the afternoon. The video board is spectacular without being a distraction and overall, the new amenities don’t overwhelm the charm and history of yesteryear. LAWSON LUNATICS: The Western Michigan Broncos fans are hysterical. I enjoyed visiting several of the campuses this season, but the lovingly self-labeled Lunatics are the most engaged and raucous rooters in the state. Plus, they travel well, continuing their chants and antics as if they were home at Lawson. Truly, they have become part of the college hockey experience in Kalamazoo. MASCOT ANTICS: So, while the Lawson Lunatics collectively grabbed and held my attention, my first trip to Ferris State had me laughing out loud the first time I witnessed the mascot sled down the stairs after the Bulldogs scored. It isn’t a long run top to bottom in the comfy confines of Ewigleben Ice Arena, but it looked terribly uncomfortable – like something only a college kid would do – making the celebration all the more amusing. SPARTAN SUPPORT: After experiencing the exhilaration of a surprise season and a trip to the NCAA tournament a year ago, the Spartans struggled to score goals this season, finishing last in the 11-team CCHA league in goals-for. It meant an 11th place finish in the standings as well, even though the team finished middle of the pack defensively. Impressively, the Spartan faithful turned up regularly and in large numbers, finishing first in attendance despite the growing pains and less than favorable results on the ice. Speaking of on the ice, there were numerous stellar performances turned in this campaign, but what stood out to me was the contribution of the freshman class. Miami RedHawks forward Riley Barber led the league in overall scoring and teammate and classmate Ryan McKay led the loop in overall goals-against. Meanwhile, over in Ann Arbor, first-year Wolverine Jacob Trouba led all defensemen in scoring. That’s a clean sweep for the frosh! Unprecedented, I’m sure (my dedicated research team was still working on the details as we went to press). The league leaders weren’t the only freshmen to impress this season in the CCHA. Trouba’s teammate Boo Nieves was Rookie of the Month in February, garnering the most points of any freshman in the nation. Nieves catches your eye most every game and looks to be a solid third round selection by the N.Y. Rangers. Taking Miami’s season a step further, coach Enrico Blasi’s tandem was all-frosh, with Jay Williams splitting time with McKay. No matter. The RedHawks led the CCHA with 59 points, positioning Blasi as Coach of the Year favorite, as he guided them to their fourth-ever CCHA regular season title. And in case you think all of the fantastic freshmen played in only Oxford, Ohio, or Ann Arbor, think again. MSU’s rookie goaltender Jake Hildebrand was fourth in overall save percentage and WMU’s Kenney Morrison trailed only Trouba in defenseman scoring amongst firstyear players. In goal - aside from the RedHawks’ duo and besides Hildebrand - Alaska, Lake State and Bowling

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CCHA IMPRESSIVELY YOUNG AS IT AGES OUT AT 42 BY DARREN ELIOT Green all saw first-timers get plenty of playing time and acquit themselves nicely. Most notably, John Keeney for the Nanooks stood out when taking over the reins. He backstopped his team to a 6-0 record in the month of January, securing home ice in round one in the process. Which brings us to the “eyeball test”. You know, the players that just look like they belong. Here are the players that caught my eye this year. I guess you could call it…

DE’S ALL-EYEBALL TEAM

GOALIE C.J. MOTTE, FERRIS STATE: I really like his competitiveness, ability to make saves in traffic and puck handling acumen – the best in the CCHA. DEFENSE JACOB TROUBA, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: A phenomenal talent who has such presence on the ice that it is easy to see why the Winnipeg Jets called his name with the ninth overall pick in last summer’s NHL Entry Draft. He looked to me to be the best NHL prospect in the entire CCHA this season.

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@Darren_Eliot SIMON DENIS, FERRIS STATE: Not big, or particularly fast, but always a factor when on the ice. I just love his sense and feel for the game. He’s just a hockey player – and I mean that as the highest form of flattery. FORWARDS ANDERS LEE, NOTRE DAME: Big power forward was a consistent threat all season long. He, like Trouba, appears to have the “it” factor to play at the next level. DOMENIC MONARDO, LAKE SUPERIOR STATE: He just epitomized what a senior is supposed to do to help his team win: anything he possibly can. That’s the quality I saw in Monardo. (Ditto for Andy Taranto for the Nanooks) RILEY BARBER, MIAMI: Took the CCHA by storm as a scorer, but what I liked most about his season thus far is how the Livonia native filled a checking role for Team USA in winning gold at the World Junior Championship in January. So, that is my look back on the regular season, as we all get primed for the post-season – in which the 42nd and final CCHA champion will be crowned.

March 11, 2013 V.23 : I.13


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MiHockeyMag - March 11, 2013  
MiHockeyMag - March 11, 2013  

CCHA Mason Cup, Youth Tryouts, Red Wings

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