Paradise Valley talent Spillum Jr. Coyotes make waves, reach picks NCAA D-I Colorado College 15U USA Hockey national semis By Matt Mackinder
By Matt Mackinder
ake that three Arizona natives off to NCAA Division I schools this fall. After Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale, Jr. Coyotes, Colorado College) and Nathan Burke (Scottsdale, Jr. Coyotes, St. Cloud State University) committed earlier in the 2017-18 season, Paradise Valley native and Arizona Bobcats alum Keenan Spillum chose Colorado College late last month. Spillum is in his second season with the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings and fourth season of NAHL hockey overall. Before playing in Aberdeen, Spillum spent two-plus seasons with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays and has played more than 200 games at the NAHL level. During the current 2017-18 season, Spillum has recorded a career-high 17 points in 54 games. He was also selected to play in the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Central Division team back in February at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. “Keenan is one of the highest character players I have ever coached,” said Aberdeen head coach Scott Langer. “He is a player that’s committed to doing things the right way each and every day. Keenan’s ability to think the game at a very high level will make him an exceptional college hockey player.” “I am extremely humbled and blessed to announce my commitment to Colorado College,” added Spillum. “Colorado College is an excellent school with great opportunities allowing me to excel in the classroom and on the ice. With that being said, I would like to thank my family, the Wings organization, the Odde family (Wings ownership), Coach Langer, (assistant) Coach (Anthony) Bohn and all of my past and present teammates for guiding me and pushing me to where I am now.” Colorado College finished the 2017-18 season with a 15-17-5 overall record, including an 8-12-4 mark in the ultra-competitive NCHC. The Tigers are coached by Mike Haviland, who just finished his fourth season with CC and recently signed a contract extension. He won a Stanley Cup in 2010 as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks.
he Jr. Coyotes’ 15U AAA team made an amazing run at the USA Hockey Youth Nationals 15 Only Tier I tournament over the first weekend in April, reaching the semifinals on April 9, where they bowed out 3-1 to the Buffalo Jr. Sabres at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. Timmy Treadway scored a power-play goal for the Jr. Coyotes in the semifinal loss, while Jake Hall was solid in net for Shane Doan’s club. Over the course of the event, the Jr. Coyotes opened with a 6-5 win over CCYHA, then suffered a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues before rebounding with a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Blue Ox to finish the round robin portion of the event. In the quarterfinals, an offensive battle saw the Jr. Coyotes knock off the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 7-5 as Riley Stuart went for two goals and two assists and Josh Doan added a goal and two helpers for the Jr. Coyotes. Other Arizona teams competed in national competition across the country during various national tournaments. Pinnacle High School – The AHSHA Division 1 state champs went to Plymouth, Minn., last month and downed JSerra (Calif.) 3-1 before falling in the next two games, 2-1 to the Rushmore Thunder (S.D.) and 3-2 to Jesuit (Fla.). AZ Lady Coyotes – District champs, the Lady Coyotes’ 19U team went to the girls Tier II tournament in Marlborough, Mass., losing to the St. Lawrence Steel, eventual champion East Coast Wizards and the Concord Capitals. DYHA Jr. Sun Devils – Three teams from DYHA (14U, 16U, 18U) went to Nationals – the 14U club to Amherst, N.Y., the 16U team to Wayne, N.J., and the 18U squad to Green Bay, Wis. More coverage on the Jr. Sun Devils run at Nationals is on Page 10. Arizona Hockey Union – The AHU 16U Silver team traveled to Wayne, N.J., and played well, but suffered close defeats to the Atlanta Fire (2-1) and NH Avalanche (2-0) before defeating the Everett Jr. Silvertips 2-0 to close the event as Guy Blessing notched the shutout. AZRubberHockey.com
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