Friday, April 28, 2006

USHL Draft-High School Seniors

What Wisconsin high school Seniors will be taken in the USHL draft Thursday, May 4th? Well, if I had to guess I would say Cole Holmes, Derrick LaPoint and Brent Gwidt will all be drafted. Tyler Ambroziak may also have a chance as well, but I have a pretty difficult time figuring out where Wisconsin goaltenders fit in the grand scheme of goaltenders available. I'm also pulling for Brandon Busse from Stevens Point as I was really impressed with his play at the State Tournament.

WIAA Winter Team Tournament Sportsmanship Awards

Congrats to the Wisconsin Rapids boys hockey team and their fans and the Fond du Lac/Waupun girls hockey team and their fans for receiving the Sportsmanship Awards at this year's State Tournament. The Eau Claire North boys hockey team and their fans received honorable mention. Apparently no Sportsmanship Awards were awarded last year for boys or girls hockey, but Antigo and Fond du Lac recieved Honorable Mention in boys hockey.

The selection process is very thorough, and includes contributions and evaluations from contest officials, tournament management, police and security personnel, crowd control and ushers, WIAA staff members, area hotels and restaurants.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Players with Wisconsin Ties Currently in the USHL

With the USHL draft coming up one week from today, I thought I'd post a recap of Wisconsin players that were in the USHL this season.

Forward JJ Koehler played for Lincoln this season and accepted a scholarship at Nebraska-Omaha
Forward Eric Lampe played for Chicago this season and accepted a scholarship at Quinnipiac
Forward John Mitchell played for several USHL teams and eventually gray-shirted the second half of the season with the Wisconsin Badgers
Defenseman Jeremy Dehner played for Green Bay this season and accepted a scholarship at UMass-Lowell (they have 15 recruits coming in this year...5 of which are defensemen....what the hell is going on there, did they kick the entire team out of school?)
Defenseman Garrett Suter played for Waterloo this season (after a short stint with Salmon Arm in the BCHL) and will be on scholarship with Wisconsin beginning next season
Forward Andy Bohmbach played for Waterloo and is an '87 birthdate
Forward Matt Thurber played for Omaha and is an '89 birthdate
Forward Justin Cseter played for Sioux City and is an '88 birthdate
Forward Jacob Drewiske played for Sioux Falls and is an '87 birthdate
Forward Patrick Tiesling played for Sioux Falls and is an '88 birthdate
Defenseman Ryan Little played for Green Bay and is an '88 birthdate
Forward Kyle Lundey played for Indiana and is an '88 birthdate
Forward Sean Wiles played for Tri-City and is an '87 birthdate
Forward Nathan Lawrence played for Indiana and is an '87 birthdate

Hockey and Freedom

Check out this story about a hockey player and great American. It has nothing to do with Wisconsin, except that Wisconsinites and the residents of the other 49 states should feel fortunate for all that we have, and the people that protect our freedom.

A Green Bay Gambler

The latest buzz on former Fondy Cardinal Defenseman Ryan Little, who currently plays for the Green Bay Gamblers, is that he has made a visit to Notre Dame, who apparently has some interest in him. I would imagine the interest will be for 2008. Little apparently would love a shot to play for Wisconsin, but that will be a tall order based on the caliber of defensemen that have committed to UW all the way out until the 2009 season.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Another WIAA Girls Hockey Team on the Way?

I just learned that although there are 8 new girls WIAA hockey teams joining as coops next year, there is a ninth that is joining on it's own. As such, there are apparently different deadlines for paperwork, with the non-coops being approved later than the coops. Be on the lookout for a team from a town that starts and ends with an "R" to join the WIAA Girls Hockey ranks for 2006-2007. Still don't know who it is? There is a "hinelande" in the middle of the "R"'s......very good......Rhinelander.

That totally shoots my hypothetical Sectional pairings as I had not included them. Oh well, I guess I'll have to re-address that issue again this offseason.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Badger Men Get Commitments from Two Forwards

Chris Hickey, a Junior forward at Cretin Derham Hall and Josh Turnbull, a Junior forward at Duluth East have given verbal commitments to the Wisconsin Badgers for the 2008 season. Chris Hickey's teammate Ryan McDonagh, who is also a Junior, also is committed to the Badgers for 2008 earlier this year. Turnbull is from the Hayward area from what I gather. I actually watched his sister play in the WAHA girls festival this weekend, so he must have moved away from his family to play for Duluth East.

If the need arises, it is good to know that either Turnbull or Hickey could be moved into the class of 2007. It will be interesting to see if both players stay with their high school teams next year or make the jump into the Junior ranks.

WAHA Girls Festival

With catching parts of many games over the first day I was able to put together a list of players I liked from the WAHA Girls Festival. This wasn't easy as they didn't even hand out rosters of their players, and the online rosters didn't have numbers and had lots of kids that were replaced as they were at the Chicago Showcase.

Team Green Bay did not have a lot of offensive prowess, and only defenseman Maxine Blohowiak stood out for them.

Team Naga-Waukee was loaded with talent. Forwards Karissa Anderson, Kayte Holtz, Kim Tess-Wanat and Brianna Decker all looked very good. Decker was probably my favorite player on offense at the tournament. Ashley Hietpas and Nikki Maier anchored the blue line for Team Naga-Waukee.

Team Onalaska really struggled when I saw them play. Kellie Dineen and Devon Ellena were their best forwards while Tanis Klinger, Kate Moorhouse and Amanda Robinson had lots of chances to look good stopping other teams' attacks.

Team Eau Claire had the tournaments' best goaltender, Lea Jondal. Erin Stenseth played well at forward, and Hannah Turnbull, sister to new U of Wisconsin recruit Josh Turnbull, looked good at defense. Arika Krinke from Hudson played on this team and solidified her position in my mind as the forward least likely to contribute anything to a team defensively.

Lidsey Noffke and Brittany Bauknecht stood out offensively for Team DC Everest. I felt they had four good defensemen in Kelly Jaminski, Joan Schumitsch, Michelle Wanserski and Stephanie Wolf who was very offensive minded and vocal.

Team Verona had many good players including defensemen Emily Groth, Cori Imobersteg, Laura Seefeldt and Alexandera Ehlert Vaness. Offensively Trisha Lloyd looked good as did Kristen Selbach, although Selbach plays almost no defense. Stephanie Slinde also showed flashes. I'm assuming she's the sister of former Badger Jeff Slinde.

WAHA Boys Bantam Festival

The WAHA Boys Bantam Festival took place this weekend in Green Bay at the Cornerstone Arena. The rosters for the eight teams from around the state can be found here.

I spent time watching every team, in varying lengths and at varying times. I was also spending time watching the girls WAHA Festival on the second rink, so I really only had a chance to see which kids "jumped out" at me from each team. It shouldn't be a surprise that most of the kids that stood out were 1991 birthdates, and I'll identify any that were 1992 birthdates.

Team Spooner finished last in the tournament, but had some players that stood out including defensemen Nick LaRue and Josh Wineinger. Forwards Rob Dorrance looked good and I felt Cody Johnson really stood out for them.

Zachary Downing for Team Beloit was solid at defense, and I thought Michael Valentine showed flashes at times. Up front Tyler Lundey and 1992 birthdate Noah Nelson created the most opportunities for Team Beloit.

Team Waukesha Maroon dominated in the games I saw them play. The fact that they had only three 1992 players on their roster probably helped them greatly. At forward Joe Bertram, Sean Little, Kord Miller and Jonathan Roessler looked very good. None of their D stood out as they weren't tested much (Waukesha Maroon beat Beloit 9-1).

Eight 1992 birthdates played for Team Schofield Gray. Among them forwards Ryan Belonger looked good and Max McCormick showed flashes of putting it all together. Kyle Borrell is a 1991 forward that also stood out. On defense Eric Johnson had quite the presence. From what I hear, he has scouts taking a look at him already.

A trio of forwards had a chance to showcase their talents for Team Schofield White. They are Brandon Free, Calvin Richardson and Parker Tomczyk.

Team Waukesha Red was anchored by defensemen Brian Kemp and Reimer Tucker. Up front Brian Berger and Andrew Schmitt did the heavy lifting.

Team Eau Claire really had a lot of weapons on offense, but just could not capitalize on their talent during the weekend. Derrick Dillion, Jordan Guth, Matt Johnson and Nick Widing all played well at forward, as did Ross Anderson on defense.

Finally, Team Appleton did well on the weekend winning 2 out of 3 games but really didn't have a lot of players stand out. This was likely due in part to the fact they had eight 1992 birthdates on the roster. Their goaltenders Kyle Miller and 1992 birthdate Eric Smith both played well helping this team quite a bit. On offense I liked Wesley Wauters and Ben Verbeten, while none of their D stood out.

While I had limited viewing time and I wasn't able to provide a lot of specifics on players, it will be interesting down the road to look back at this and see how these kids fare.

Chicago Showcase Wrapup

Congratulations to everyone that participated in the Chicago Showcase. The Wisconsin Boys ended up making the playoff bracket after every team in their pool finished 1-1-1. Wisconsin's loss in pool play was to North Dakota, who also beat them in the playoffs. From what I hear Cole Holmes and Derrick LaPoint looked very good. I also heard second hand that Holmes has a 3.8 gpa and scored a 31 on his ACT, meaning he is a kid that has the grades to play anywhere including the Ivy League.

The Wisconsin Girls team was beaten in the semi-finals by a loaded Team Minnesota. It's too bad Minnesota decided to bring all their kids with Division 1 commitments rather than let other kids get exposure. What's the point of your team winning if they all already have scholarship offers? Barb Bilko, the goaltender who plays for Shattuck had a great tournament for Team Wisconsin.

Team Central District finished the Showcase 1-3 but the 9 Wisconsin girls on the team are undoubtedly better players from the experience.

One of the players for the Girls Team Wisconsin described the experience as "amazing" and it's great that so many players had the chance to play in a tournament of this caliber.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Day Two of the Chicago Showcase

The Boys Team Wisconsin tied Michigan yesterday 2-2 bringing their overall record to 1-0-1. Goals were scored by Chad Johnson from Wisconsin Dells and Cole Holmes from University School who recorded his second of the tournament. Bryan Dalbec from Superior saved 16 of 18 shots. Up next for the boys is Team North Dakota which lost 4-3 to Michigan on the opening day of the Showcase.

The Girls Team Wisconsin beat Team Rocky Mountain 6-2 and are now 1-0-1 at the Showcase. Goals were scored by five different players, with Sarah Lichtie netting two. Team Wisconsin outshot Team Rocky Mountain 27-14, and Anna Donlan played the entire game in the net. That means Barb Bilko will get the start Friday for Team Wisconsin, and she will have to be sharp against 2-0 Team Illinois. Despite being outshot by a 2-1 margin yesterday versus Team Minnesota, Team Illinois took the win 3-1.

The Team Central District girls were shut out yesterday by Team Michigan. The shots were nearly even, but nobody managed to find the netting. The loss drops Team Central District to 1 and 1. Next up for Team Central District is undefeated Team North Dakota.

Chicago Showcase-Day 1

The Boys Team Wisconsin won their first game of the Showcase 3-2 over Team New Jersey. Tyler Ambroziak was in the net today for Team Wisconsin. Goals came from Derrick LaPoint, Cody Litvinoff and Cole Holmes.

The Girls Team Wisconsin played a tough game yesterday which ended up in a tie. Wisconsin was leading when a goal by Team Michigan with just :24 seconds remaining in the game tied the score at 2 a piece. Barb Bilko pitched a shutout for the first half of the game, while Anna Donlan ended up saving just 3 of 5 shots. Goals were scored by Emily Jo Brienzo and Autumn Stuntz.

The Girls Team Central District defeated Team South Dakota by a score of 7-2 after being down 2-0 in the game. Lindsey Legree, a Freshman from Iowa, had three goals and two assists and currently leads the Showcase in scoring. The Wisconsin players with goals were Julie Scott, Heather Noble and Sara Eisenhauer.

Today (Thursday, April 20th) the Girls Team Wisconsin will play Team Rocky Mountain while Team Central District will play Team Michigan. The Boys Team Wisconsin faces Team Michigan today.

Click here for a link to the Showcase site.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Prospects Tournament Update

The Madison Capitols team at the Prospects Tournament ended up losing Pat Johnson, Matt Thurber and Ian Slater from their original roster that I posted. In their place they picked up Nick Roscoe, Honorable Mention All-State Junior Defenseman from Eau Claire North, Jeff Schmudlach, Honorable Mention Senior All-State Forward for Middleton, Devin Schmitt, a defenseman for the Madison Capitols from Beaver Dam and George Batcha, a forward from Fredonia that also plays with the Capitols.

In four games the team finished 2-1-1 and just missed advancing to the playoff bracket. Logan Maly had 1-4=5 in four games to lead the team. Mike Sislo had three goals, David Ellis two, and several other players each scored a goal.

At last check the Minnesota Blades Black team had advanced to the semi-finals. In eight games Blake Kessel, who is a defenseman for the Madison Capitols had 2-3=5.

Josh Turnbull, whom the University of Wisconsin has been rumored to have interest in, played in the Prospects Tournament on the Minnesota Blades White team. They played five games with Josh tied for the lead on his team in points with 3-3=6. Josh is a forward who plays at Duluth East and used to live in Wisconsin.

Sectional Alignment for Girls Hockey 2006-2007

With eight new teams joining the WIAA for girls hockey next year, the teams in each sectional are likely to change radically from this past season. I was wondering how the heck the WIAA decided which teams to place in which sectional, so I spent some time reading through their site. Unfortunately, I was not able to find an answer to my question.

My assumption is that when deciding which teams will play in each sectional they attempt to pair teams so that travel is kept to a minimum. Using this assumption I took some time to try to figure out what teams might fall into each sectional. Thanks to Yahoo maps I could get some quick calculations of distance and driving time from each pairing of cities to help set up the sectionals. Here's how I believe they would best be set up to minimize travel:

Section 1

New Richmond

Section 2

Eagle River
Chippewa Falls
Eau Claire
Wisconsin Rapids

Section 3

River Falls

Section 4

Fond du Lac
Milwaukee NS

Not knowing anything about the new teams other than Altoona and Appleton, here's my thoughts:

If this is how the sectionals lay out, Superior would be the clear favorite in Section 1 in my mind. Section 2 would be wide open with so many new teams, and maybe Eau Claire is the favorite if indeed Altoona has back many of the players from this year's club team that was very good. In Section 3 River Falls and possibly Baraboo could provide a test for Onalaska, but Onalaska is clearly the favorite to return to the State Tournament. Section 4 could be a real battle. Reigning State Champions Fondy/Waupun and Milwaukee North Shore would be the favorites to advance, with Madison and Appleton as dark horse candidates to advance.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Showcase Rules

I found out tonight that the Chicago Showcase allows only girls who are Sophomores or above, thus explaining my earlier pondering about why Brianna Decker was not on Team Wisconsin's entry.

New Teams for 2006-2007 Girls Hockey Season

Applications for teams playing in 2006-2007 were due April 1st. Here are the results...eight teams, which I mentioned was probably the most we could hope for in my fifth post during the month of march (if I could figure out how to link directly to that post I would!):

New teams for 2006-2007:

Appleton East/North/West
Chippewa Falls/McDonell
Eau Claire North/Altoona/Eau Claire Memorial
Northland Pines
Reedsburg Area/Hillsboro/Mauston/Wisconsin Dells
Wisconsin Rapids/Assumption/Pacelli/Stevens Point

I have just a couple of thoughts on the new teams. The first is that Altoona was very good this year beating Onalaska twice. I'm not exactly sure if all the girls on their team this past year were actually from Altoona, but they might be the best first-year team to enter WIAA Girls Hockey yet. It's also interesting to note that a lot of the coops are between teams/schools that are rivals in boys hockey and other sports. That is also the case with some of the existing coops as well, as you can see below. One other coop note, Baraboo, whose Coach Jim Cabaj has been negative about the existence of coops since they joined the WIAA finds himself starting a coop to have enough players. Baraboo will coop with River Valley, Sauk Prairie and Wisconsin Heights next year. The existing teams are listed below.

Existing Teams:

Baraboo/River Valley/Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights
Fond du Lac/Waupun
Madison Memorial/Madison East/Madison LaFollette/Madison West/Middleton/Monona Grove/Waunakee
Mosinee/D. C Everest/Wausau East/Wausau West
New Richmond/Amery/Osceola/Somerset
River Falls/Baldwin-Woodville/Elmwood/Saint Croix Central
University School of Milwaukee/Brown Deer/Homestead/Nicolet
Viroqua/Westby/Youth Initiative

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Wisconsin Boys Players at the Prospects Tournament

A few of the boys from the Wisconsin High School and Midget scene have made their way to Toronto for the Toronto Prospects Tournament. This tournament is heavily scouted by Junior teams in both the US & Canada, NCAA teams as well as the NHL.

Only one group of Wisconsin boys has formed an entire team, while a few others joined teams or were placed with teams. The team name is the Madison Capitols, and they are competing in the 1987-1990 birthdate tournament. Rosters were due about a month ago and I noticed that one of the players on their roster is still in the midst of the USHL playoffs. Ian Slater plays for the Cedar Rapids and they are locked in a semi-final series with Des Moines. Here's the list of players including guys from the USHL, Midgets and High School teams:

Madison Capitols U18
GB Gamblers (USHL)
Madison Capitols U18
Madison Capitols U18
Eau Claire HS
Madison Capitols U18
Madison Capitols U18
Indy Jr. Ice U18
Memorial HS
Memorial HS
Cedar Rapids (USHL)
Indy Jr. Ice U18
GB Gamblers (USHL)
Omaha (USHL)
Madison Capitols U18

Slater is from Florida but played at Culver and with the Capitols I believe. Matt Thurber is from Beaver Dam, while Ryan Little is from Fond du Lac, and his teammate from the Green Bay Gamblers, Mike Sislo, is from Superior.

Much like Phil Kessel, Blake Kessel is spending his summers playing hockey with guys from Minnesota. Blake is on a team made up of Minnesota players at the Prospects Tournament.

UW's Contingency Plan to Replace Earl

What is Wisconsin's contingency plan now that Robbie Earl has gone pro? Win the recruiting battle for Patrick Kane who is accelerating his studies a year!! See the Wisconsin State Journal article here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Boys WAHA Bantam Festival

Here's a link to the WAHA Bantam Festival information:

I don't know most of these kids as most have not started playing for their high schools yet, but two that are an exception are Joe Bertram and Sean Little who played for Fond du Lac on their second and first lines respectively. They are both on the Waukesha team, which should add quite a punch to their offense. I also noticed on the roster that there is a forward on the Spooner team named Patrick Dalbec, I'm surmising that he is the brother of Superior's starting goaltender this year, Brian Dalbec. Another name that jumps out is Brandon Gwidt who is playing goaltender on the Schofield team. Brent Gwidt is a forward who played for Lakeland this year and is a player many feel could have success in Juniors and at a Division 1 College.

Fortunately I will be able to check out some of the WAHA Bantam Festival so I'll be able to post some thoughts following that event.

Girls WAHA Festival

Here is the link to the Girls WAHA Festival participants:

It appears that many of the girls playing in the Chicago Showcase are also on rosters for the Festival. Since the dates could overlap should Team Wisconsin and/or Team Central District do well in Chicago, I'm assuming their WAHA festival teams will just have to do without them.

I'll be able to take in some of the WAHA Festival and will try to report back with some player information.

More Girls Chicago Showcase

Emily Meier, a defenseman who played for the Madison Metro Lynx, is the final player that has been added to Team Wisconsin's roster, which is now 20 strong.

Team Central District is composed of 18 players from Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. It bodes well for Wisconsin that half of those slots (nine) are filled by players from the Badger State. There are 4 players from Missouri, three from Illinois, and two from Iowa.

Kristina Westmark is a defenseman from Appleton that is a pretty good player and should do well for this team. Also on D from Wisconsin is Megan Murphy who was not only the second leading point getter on her team, but the most prolific scoring defenseman in Wisconsin girls high school hockey this season. Catherine Morrow is another D that attends West Allis High School and played for the Capitols scoring 0 pts. and racking up 20 penalty minutes in 14 MWEHL games. Finally, also listed as a defenseman is Sara Eisenhauer who apparently attends Indian Trail Academy in Kenosha.

On offense, Kelsea Martlock attended Culver Academy and appears to have played the majority of her games with the JV team. She also played with their Varsity team for 8 games this season. Heather Noble is a Capitols player that is listed as a forward/defenseman although I'd guess she'll play forward as there are 6 players listed as strictly defensemen. She's from Oak Creek High School and was the Capitols second leading point scorer in MWEHL play with 1-6=7 in 17 league games. Julie Scott played for Onalaska this season and was third in points for the Hilltoppers. Alisha Eilertson was second in points for the St. Croix Valley Fusion this season and is another forward for Team Central District.

The final Wisconsin player on the Team Central District Roster is Katelyn Herron who is a goaltender and attends Lynwood Christian Academy. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any info on her.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Center of the Hockey World

Madison is the center of the hockey world until next season with both the Badger Men & Women as reigning National Champions. Congrats to both teams!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Girls Chicago Showcase Team

The team representing Wisconsin for the girls Chicago Showcase is an interesting mix of kids. Since yesterday, the roster has even grown by 3 girls! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had heard the before and after Team Wisconsin was going to be well represented on this team, and they are, with 8 players of the 19 listed (at this time). The Team Wisconsin players are Jaime Athens (F), Amber Cmejla (F), Anna Donlan (G), Amanda Finstad (D), Hicole Hanson (D), Sarah Luberda (F), Abbey Olejniczak (F) and Amanda Ryder (F).

The rest of the girls are an interesting mix. Lindsay Athens is Jaime's sister. She played forward at Gilmour Academy in Ohio this year. Barb Bilko's parents, or at least her father, lives in the Fox Valley, but she plays for Shattuck St. Mary's U19 team which won the National Championship this year. She is one of two goaltenders for the SSM U19 team. I've seen her play many times over the past 2-3 years and she's a heck of a goaltender, and just a Sophmore. Emily Jo Brienzo (D) from Whitnall High School is a mystery to me, and I'm not quite sure how Brittany Carlson (D), who plays for Cretin Derham Hall in Minnesota fits into the Wisconsin Showcase Team either.

Ashley Chase (F) is from Sun Prairie and played for the Capitols this year. As Sun Prairie may coop with another community to add Girls High School Hockey maybe that is why she is in the mix. Autumn Stuntz (F) is from Amery played with the Minnesota Thoroughbreds this season. Alison Wright (D) from Pewaukee is a player I have not been able to dig up any information on.

The 3 new additions to the team since yesterday are Sarah Lichtie (F) from Onalaska who played on their State Runner-up team. She finished fifth on that team in scoring and wasn't a player that stood out to me, so her addition surprises me. Also added was Kelly Auner (D) from Antigo who I'm not familiar with and Dawson Bancroft-Short (F) who is from Sauk Prairie and was the leading scorer for the Madison Capitols. I have heard Sauk Prairie is going to coop with Baraboo next year, so maybe she will be a high school player in the future. One thing I noticed about Bancroft-Short is that she didn't do much scoring in the Caps' close games which makes me wonder how she'll perform in Chicago.

There's one player I can think of immediately that would make this team better-Brianna Decker. She played this season with Barb Bilko on the Shattuck St. Mary's National Championship Team and is a heck of a forward. She is from Dousman, Wisconsin, and is only a 1991 birthdate, so I doubt she has committed to a college at this point. As I have not seen any other 1991 birthdates on any team's rosters for the Showcase, I'm wondering if she may not be eligible due to age.

Speaking of birthdates, Wisconsin's Showcase team only has 4 seniors on the roster (L. Athens, Finstad, Stuntz & Wright). That probably doesn't bode well for this season, but maybe it is a good sign for coming years.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Boys & Girls Chicago Showcase

I posted earlier that boys from Minnesota with firm Division 1 commitments are left off of their Showcase Roster. Here's a list of kids that are not "eligible":

Here is the list of rosters for both boys and girls Showcase teams:

Badgers Advance to NCAA Title Game

Congratulations to the Wisconsin Badgers for advancing to the NCAA Title game on Saturday. Their win over Maine certainly was not mistake-free, but pretty impressive considering the errors they did make.

The Wisconsin defensemen did not do a good job breaking the puck out of their own zone, especially in the second period which gave Maine several quality scoring chances. Also, Wisconsin's fourth line got out-hit which is very unusual, and took 3 or 4 penalties that gave Maine power play opportunities that could have been avoided.

Junior Ross Carlson came up huge for the Badgers and really stood out. His line, which includes Freshman Center Ben Street and Freshman Winger Jack Skille dominated every time they were on the ice.

One other note. I thought the officiating in this game was bad. I didn't agree with many of the calls, I thought others were missed on both the Badgers and Black Bears, and I thought Maine dove quite a bit.

Best of luck to Bucky in the Championship game tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Recruiting Great Players...With Younger Brothers

I think I've figured out one of Mike Eaves' secret recruiting practices he feels will pay off big down the road. Recruit great players....with younger brothers! If he can get a bunch of familes with great hockey bloodlines to send all their kids to UW, much like the Suters, he can't help but be successful!

I was thinking about this as I noticed that there is an Alex Bearson playing for the Chicago Mission Midget Major team the other day. With a little digging, I found he was from Naperville, IL, which is where incoming UW recruit Zach Bearson is from. I also had noticed that Blake Geoffrion has a brother Sebastian playing for the Varsity A team at Culver, and a brother Brice playing for the Junior Varsity team at Culver. That's a nice pool of 3 potential high-caliber players who will have ties to UW...not a bad thing to have!

I'll have to see if I can find any apparent siblings among the rest of the UW recruits for next year.....

Monday, April 03, 2006

Report on Kyle Turris-Badger Recruit for 2007

Interesting to see how sought after Kyle Turris is. Makes me wonder how long he may be a Badger...This is from the BCHL website and can be found here:

Burnaby rookie Kyle Turris, a 16-year-old phenom, reportedly had nine National Hockey League scouts watching him in action this weekend. The six-footer, who has 14 points in 11 playoff games, already has a scholarship commitment to the University of Wisconsin for 2007/08.

I have heard reports that he is not the most physical guy, but at age 16 he's probably one of, if not the youngest guys in that league. Maybe he'll end up spending a little more time at UW to develop size-wise more than anything as it sounds like he has the prerequisite NHL skill set.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Wiscsonsin Girls Chicago Showcase Team

I haven't been able to dig up any information on the roster for the Wisconsin Girls Showcase Team yet. I have heard that many of the players from the Team Wisconsin Before and After are playing in the showcase.

I have heard "buzz" that both Wisconsin and Minnesota were asked to leave off of their team any girls who have firm Division 1 commitments (and possibly even girls with firm Division 3 plans) as both teams have been head and shoulders above the other teams at the Showcase event, and because the event is meant for scouts to see and recruit high-level players without commitments. Supposedly Wisconsin has, for the most part, followed this request while there are rumblings out of Minnesota that they may not honor this request. Until the rosters are out we won't know what each team is doing for sure, but that is one of the storylines I intend to keep an eye on. For Wisconsin, girls such as Emily Kranz (Wisconsin), Sam Turner (North Dakota), and Ashley Paulsen (North Dakota) along with others will have to be left off the team to comply with this request.

Wisconsin Boys Chicago Showcase Team

Here's a link to the Wisconsin Boys Chicago Showcase Team:

The list of the kids invited to tryout is found here:

There really aren't too many surprises on that list to me. It is interesting to note that Ben Jurken from University School of Milwaukee was beaten out by Derek Dahl of Appleton, Brian Dalbec from Superior and Tyler Ambroziak of Wisconsin Rapids. This pretty much is in line with the fact that the Badgerland All-Conference Teams had Randy Willis of Fond du Lac on the first team, Derek Dahl on the second team, and Jurken as honorable mention. Dalbec and Ambroziak were both very impressive at the state tournament. The reason I find the fact that Jurken was left off the team of interest is that it was difficult to judge how good he was in the few games I saw him play, as the team in front of him was so much better than everyone USM faced.

I found an article indicating that the three First Team All-Conference forwards from the Badgerland are actually practicing together on the same line for the Chicago Showcase. Those forwards are Cole Holmes and Ryan McEnerney from University School and Andy Kuechler from Fond du Lac.

One last tidbit I find interesting about this event on the Boys side of the field. Apparently Minnesota voluntarily leaves any players with a firm Division 1 commitment off of their team so their team is not superior to the other teams, and probably also because the showcase is about getting kids exposure who do not have their future hockey plans lined up yet.