Saturday, June 27, 2009

Corban Knight

Thanks to "starstruck" for pointing out this bit of information to me. It is much appreciated!

Who is Corban Knight? Read about Corban here, here, here, and here.

Briefly, Corban Knight is a '90 forward from High River, Alberta who played for the Okotoks Oilers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League last season. Knight scored 34 goals, and 38 assists in 61 games for the Oilers. Knight is 6'1", 180 pounds. He will attend the University of North Dakota in the fall of 2010. Knight was drafted in the fifth round (135th overall) by the Florida Panthers in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

It appears that Corban is on the 2009-10 Lincoln Stars protected roster, according to this article. If accurate, Knight would be a welcome addition to the Stars roster. I do not know why Knight was not at the Stars tryout camp, but it certainly appears he is part of the team now.

Sounds like this kid can really play, from what I have read about him. Getting picked in the fifth round of the NHL draft is a big deal. Getting a scholarship to UND is a big deal. Sounds like another classic Jimmy McGroarty "coup" to me. McGroarty has shown time, and time again that he can go after Canadian talent, and get them to come to Lincoln, NE.

Note: Congrats to former Stars defenseman Michael Sdao for being picked by the Ottawa Senators in the seventh round (191st overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Articles here, here, and here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chris Kreider NHL Draft & Stars Roster Update

With it being very quiet lately on the Stars front, I thought I'd update my readers on Lincoln Stars draft pick, Chris Kreider.

Chris was drafted in the first round (19th overall) by the New York Rangers this evening at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal, Canada.

All things continue to point towards Kreider finishing up high school early over the summer, so he can enroll a year early at Boston College. I suppose there is still a very small chance Kreider will not be allowed to finish school early, and play for the Stars next season...but the chances of that happening at this point are slim to none.

Note: Hopefully we'll hear about the Stars 25-man protected roster very soon. USHL teams have until 7/1 to make public their protected 25 players. There have been some USHL teams that have already posted their 25 man rosters. The Stars will then take the 25 players to the USHL Fall Classic in Sioux City, Iowa in September. After the Fall Classic, the coaches will whittle the roster down to 23 players. Those 23 players will play for the Stars when the USHL regular season starts in October.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - All Star Game

Click here for All-Star Roster

With some luck, I was able to make my way up to Omaha this morning to catch the final day of the Lincoln Stars tryout camp, which concluded with the All-Star game. The 40 players who made it to this point were split up into Team Black and Team Red. Not too many names surprised me on the roster. There were a few that made me go, "huh?", but overall I think it was well represented. Conversely, there were a few names left off the all-star roster that was a bit surprising. Overall though, I think the talent level at this year's camp compared to last year was a bit down. Just my opinion, but I thought with five teams at camp(there were four teams last year at tryouts), the talent level was a bit watered down. Last year there were about 7 or 8 players that REALLY stood out. This year, not so much. Just one spectator's opinion.

All Star Game: Team Black vs. Team Red

Team Black beat Team Red, 5-2. Scoring goals for Team Black was Kyle Gibbons ('91), David Gerths ('90), David Goodwin ('92), Jarrod Mermis ('90), and Tyler Underhill ('91). Scoring goals for Team Red was John Doherty ('93), and Rui Encarcanao ('90). Team Red goaltender Matt Green ('90) gave up all five goals against, while Ryan Massa ('90) stopped all of the Team Black shots he saw. Team Black goaltenders Steven Racine ('91) and Jared Coreau ('91) each gave up one goal in the winning effort. It appears that there will be three goaltenders (Massa, Racine, Coreau) battling it out to make the final two spots for the Stars. In my opinion, I believe Racine and Coreau are most deserving from what I saw this weekend.

Some other players who impressed me this morning were Ryan Dzingel (Black-'92), Dax Lauwers (Black-'91), Dakota Mermis (Black-'94), Jared Hanson (Red-'93), Joey Holka (Red-'90), and Jon Puskar (Red-'89).

There were a total of six fights in this game, with most not amounting to much. Seemed like a lot of kids wanted to prove to the coaches they had the walnuts to make the team.

Brian Tate vs. Jack Callahan - Draw
Matt Bruneteau vs. Dax Lauwers - Draw
Joey Holka vs. Kyle Gibbons - Draw
Matt Bruneteau vs. Tyler Underhill - Unanimous win for Bruneteau
Dominic Shine vs. Jared Hanson - Draw
Chris Delmauro vs. Cory Hibbeler - Draw; both players landed huge shots though

The amount of young talent participating in this game was VERY impressive. You look at how many players born in '92 and '93 that made the roster, as well as one player (Dakota Mermis) born in '94. I'm still a bit concerned with the overall talent level compared to last season's camp, but there is hope. I think Kyle Gibbons was one of the best overall players at camp, and in my opinion is a lock to make the final roster.

If I recall correctly, the next step for the Lincoln coaches is to whittle the players down to a 25 player protected roster before July 1. I could be incorrect with that, and if I am, please feel free to correct me. I've already heard some rumors of some VERY interesting cuts, so we'll have to wait until we hear something official. I don't want to expand on the rumored cuts, so I'll just leave that alone.

Note: I had the opportunity today to again meet with some very nice parents of a tryout player who was familiar with my blog. I can't explain how nice it has been this past weekend chatting with various parents. It makes all the work I do with this blog that much worth it. I didn't expect that so many folks would go out of there way to say 'hi' and tell me how much they like this blog, so it was a bit overwhelming at times. I'd just like to say how much I appreciate the kind words. If any of the folks I talked to this weekend would like to get in touch with me privately, please email me at:

-Yeti (Tim)

Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - Day 3

It's time for me to catch up a bit with all that has happened the past few days in Omaha. In the article before this, I posted the All-Star rosters from the final tryout scrimmage this morning, as well as a quick recap. I'm going to blog about Day 3 of the camp now, and then blog about the All-Star game after that. I just want to again say 'thanks' to the readers who have contributed recaps of games I was not able to attend. The help is very much appreciated.

Game 7: Team Yellow vs. Team White

Team White beat Team Yellow, 5-1. I did not attend, nor do I have any more information about this game other than the score. Team Yellow did not look that good at all to me the few times I did see them play, so the score is not surprising. Team defense for Yellow was lacking big time. Team White, along with Team Blue, were one of the top teams put together, in my opinion.

Game 8: Team Blue vs. Team Red

Team Blue beat Team Red, 5-0. As I just mentioned, Team Blue was one of the best put-together teams at the tryouts. I'm not exactly sure how they lost their first game, but they certainly played well after that. In fact, 12 players from Team Blue made the final All-Star roster. Very impressive. Like Game 7, I do not have any more specific information about this game other than the score.

I was in attendance for Games 9 and 10.

Game 9: Team Red vs. Team Black

Team Black beat Team Red, 3-2 in OT Shootout. Coming into this game, Team Black had only scored three goals in three games. Scoring goals in regulation for Team Black was #33 Max Reavis ('91) and #18 Garrett Peterson ('91). Scoring goals in regulation for Team Red was #10 David Gerths ('90) and #14 Jarrod Mermis ('90). Goaltender Steven Racine ('91) gave up one goal in regulation, and stopped all three shootout attempts in OT. #15 Will Suter (Black) was the only player on either team to score in the shootout. #33 Matt White (Red) impressed me with his physical play and hustle.

My MVP of this game: #33 Steven Racine (goaltender)

Game 10: Team Blue vs. Team White

How fitting that the two best teams at tryouts faced off against each other for the last scrimmage before the All-Star game. Team Blue and Team White were both 2-1 going into this game, and were considered by many in attendance the two best teams at tryouts. This was a game the fans were really excited to watch.

Team White beat Team Blue, 4-3 in OT Shootout. Scoring goals in regulation for Team White was #10 Joey Holka ('90), #16 Tyler Underhill ('91), and #11 Dan Fazekas ('90). Scoring goals in regulation for Team Blue was #19 Dominick Bellavia ('91), #13 David Goodwin ('92), and #5 Colton Saucerman ('92). Team White goaltender #33 Ryan Faragher ('90) gave up two goals, while #1 Blake Mendenhall ('92) gave up one goal for Team White. Team Blue goaltender #33 Corey Morbeck ('91) gave up two goals, while #1 Ryan Massa gave up one goal for Team Blue. Blake Mendenhall stopped all three shooters in OT for Team White, while Ryan Massa gave up one goal for Team Blue. #16 Tyler Underhill scored the only goal in the shootout for either team to secure the win for Team White.

There were two fights in this game. Team Blue #2 Nate Baumbick ('91) won a decision over Team White #15 Brent Tate ('91). In the other fight, Team Blue #6 Brad Treml ('89) fought to a draw with Team White #7 Cory Hibbeler ('89)

My MVP of this game: #16 Tyler Underhill

Much better action today compared to the level of hockey I saw Friday and Saturday evening. Steven Racine continues to impress me with his steady play in net. I thought he looked looked calm and composed. Newcomers like Joey Holka, Jared Hanson, Kyle Gibbons, and Rui Encarnacao played very well, and stood out in my opinion. Team Blue played defense so well at times, it was hard to really evaluate the two goaltenders (Massa, Morbeck) for that squad.

Quick Note: I chatted briefly with the father of Joey Holka, who played for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL last year. Holka is from the Phoenix, AZ area. Lincoln's first pick of the USHL Entry Draft last month was forward Brodie Reid, who also played for the Pentitcton Vees last season. I asked Mr. Holka about the status of Reid, since he wasn't at camp, and I was told that Reid had said that he was planning on attending the Stars camp, but at the last minute decided to cancel. I'm not sure why he decided not to show up, but I thought it was an interesting bit of news. Kind of a flaky move if you ask me, but that's just my opinion.

Tryout Camp Update and All-Star Roster

Just wanted to let folks out there know that I will be attending the All-Star game Monday morning. In fact, I'm just about ready to head out the door. I attended the two scrimmages Sunday night, so later today I will give a full update, and hopefully have time to post the all-star rosters. Stay tuned.

Edit: Here is the All-Star roster. I have a LOT to blog about, but I wanted to post these immediately.

Team Red:
G - Matt Green ('90)
G - Ryan Massa ('90)

D - Matt Bruneteau ('90)
D - Dan Weissenhofer ('91)
D - Colton Saucerman ('92)
D - Jack Callahan ('90)
D - Taylor Kuypers ('90)
D - Michael Szuma ('91)

F - Chris Delmauro ('91)
F - Jeff McMinimy ('92)
F - Joey Holka ('90)
F - Adrean Copeland ('92)
F - Jared Hanson ('93)
F - Rui Encarcanao ('90)
F - John Doherty ('93)
F - Michael Ambrosia ('92)
F - Garrett Peterson ('92)
F - Jon Puskar ('89)
F - JT Stenglein ('93)
F - Matt White ('91)

Team Black:
G - Jared Coreau ('91)
G - Steven Racine ('91)

D - Cory Hibbeler ('89)
D - Dax Lauwers ('91)
D - Nate Baumbick ('91)
D - Will Rayner ('90)
D - Pete Stoykewych ('92)
D - Dakota Mermis ('94)

F - John McCarron ('92)
F - William Brockett ('90)
F - Kyle Gibbons ('91)
F - Jarrod Mermis ('90)
F - David Gerths ('90)
F - Ryan Dzingel ('92)
F - Andrew Ammon ('90)
F - Brent Tate ('91)
F - David Goodwin ('92)
F - Tyler Underhill ('91)
F - Austin Wuthrich ('93)
F - Dominic Shine ('93)

Team Black beat Team Red, 5-2.

Scoring goals for Team Black was Kyle Gibbons, David Gerths, David Goodwin, Jarrod Mermis, and Tyler Underhill.

Scoring goals for Team Red was John Doherty and Rui Encarcanao.

Team Red goaltenders: Matt Green gave up five goals; Ryan Massa gave up zero goals.

Team Black goaltenders: Steve Racine gave up one goal, Jared Coreau gave up one goal.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - Day 2

Once again, the Moylan IcePlex in Omaha was the site of the Lincoln Stars tryouts, Day 2 edition. I was not able to attend the two morning scrimmages, but a very kind anonymous poster who attended was nice enough to give their opinions on what they saw. Just want to say 'thanks' to the person who wrote this recap. It is very much appreciated.

"Went to the Saturday morning tryout session.

Team Yellow (2-0) defeated Team Red (1-1), 4-2.

Jared Coreau (6'4", 200) had his second straight shutout in net for the Yellow team. Matt Green did not give up any goals in the 2nd half of the game for Team Red.

Players that stood out positively to me for Red: (D) #2 Evan Accetura (goal), (D) #3 Ryan Cole, (D) #6 Taylor Kuypers; (F) #8 Dominic Chiapelli (an 89, but did some good things around the net), #10 Gerths, (F) #15 Kyle Sharkey (goal on a very nice shot)

Players that stood out positively for the Yellow: (G) #1 Coreau, (D) #3 Bruneteau, (F) #9 Cody Boyle, (F) #13 Mike Montagna (goal), (F) #18 Andrew Ammon (very fast and physical)

Team Blue defeated Team Black, 5-3 I think, in the second game. It was the Blue Team's first time on the ice and they had some good forwards. Corey Morbeck gave up 0 goals for the Blue team in his time in net. He's 6'2" and from Team Illinois.

Players that stood out positively for Team Black: (D) #3 Jack Callahan (don't know why he is at our tryout camp, did the Phantoms cut him? He played ok)(D) #5 Kevin Zugech, (D) #6 Peter Stoykewych, (F) #12 Ryan Dzingel, (F) #14 Austin Wuthrich, (F) #18 Petey

Players that stood out positively for Team Blue: (G) #33 Corey Morbeck, (D) #4 Will Rayner, (D) #5 Colton Saucerman (great name, very quick and elusive skating the puck up ice), (F) #8 Michael Ambrosia, (F) #10 Rui Encarnacao, (F) #11 Kyle Gibbons, (F) #15 John McCarron, (F) #16 Blake Matejcek, (F) #17 Dominic Shine

Overall, Dominic Shine, Kyle Gibbons and Michael Ambrosia were some of the best players I saw this morning. The Ambrosia-Gibbons-McCarron line was very good and controlled the puck most of the time they were in. I was surprised to see Jack Callahan trying out, and not as surprised to see that Chris Volonnino wasn't trying out. That should create a spot for Puskar to fill an '89 spot. I thought he was a good USHL player."

As for the two scrimmages in the evening, I was able to make it to the later one, Team Blue vs. Team Yellow. I was not able to attend the Team White vs. Team Black game which was held at 7pm. From what I heard, Team White (1-1) beat Team Black (1-2). I did not find out what the final score was. I did hear that goaltender Steve Racine (Black) did play very well again. I was told he only gave up one goal in his 30 minutes between the pipes. There was some fights in this game also, as Cory Hibbeler (White) slugged it out with Cody Dion (Black). From what I heard, Hibbs connected quite a few times and won the fight. I also heard that Jon Puskar (White) and Garrett Peterson (Black) also fought. If anyone out there has more info about this particular game, please feel free to comment.

Game 6: Team Blue vs. Team Yellow

The second scrimmage saw Team Blue (1-1) stomp all over Team Yellow (2-1) by a score of 6-1. I was VERY impressed with how well the players on Team Blue played as a unit. I don't know if Team Yellow was fatigued, but they sure played like they were. Goaltender Ryan Walsh (Yellow) surrendered four goals during his 30 minutes in net, and Jared Coreau gave up two goals during his 30 minutes. I thought Coreau played well, despite giving up the two goals. He had previously held two teams scoreless, so this was the first scrimmage he gave up any goals. His defense in front of him really hung him out to dry at times. Team Yellow did not test the two goaltenders for Team Blue. There was one fight in this game, as John McCarron (Blue) dropped the mitts with Chris Delmauro (Yellow). Both players landed few if any punches, but Delmauro gets the win with the takedown at the end.

Players on Team Blue that stood out positively to me: #17 Dominic Shine ('93-F) two goals, #8 Michael Ambrosia ('92-F), #11 Kyle Gibbons ('91-F) one goal, #5 Colton Saucerman ('92-D) one goal, #9 William Brockett ('90-F), #2 Nate Baumbick ('91-D) very physical play.

Players on Team Yellow that stood out positively to me: #12 Jeff McMinimy ('92-F), #13 Mike Montagna ('92-F), #18 Andrew Ammon ('90-F), #1 Jared Coreau ('91-G)

My MVP of this game: #17 Dominic Shine ('93-F)

Very interesting that quite a number of the same players on Team Blue that the anonymous poster mentioned (Ambrosia, Gibbons, Shine, Saucerman) were players that I also mentioned. Dominic Shine really impressed me with his all around play, especially considering that he is one of the youngest players participating in these tryouts. Very impressive. I know Gibbons would impress, but he looked very solid. Ambrosia was all over the ice Saturday night, and Saucerman has some very impressive offensive talents as a defenseman.

I will not be able to attend the Sunday morning tryouts, so again...I really hope one of my readers can give us a quick recap. I will be in attendance for the Sunday evening games, so I'll be looking forward to that.

In case you missed it, an anonymous poster here hosted the rosters. Here they are:

Team Black roster here

Team Blue roster here

Team Red roster here

Team White Roster here

Team Yellow roster here

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - Day 1

Day 1 of the 2009-10 Lincoln Stars tryouts was held Friday night at the Moylan IcePlex in Omaha. Two scrimmages were held, with the first scrimmage beginning at 7pm. I have the rosters of all the teams, which I hope to scan and put online as soon as I can. Missing from the tryouts was Corey Chakeen, Brett Chartier, and Jimmy Siers. All three are injured, from what I understand. Other notable players missing from the tryouts were Chris Kreider (F), Luke Curadi (D), Steve West (D) and Brodie Reed (F). West and Reed were the first two players selected by the Stars in the most recent USHL Entry Draft. Full roster links posted at the end of this article.

Game 1: Team Red vs. Team White

Notable Players on Team Red: Taylor Kuypers (D), David Gerths (F), Jarrod Mermis (F) - played for Sioux City last season, Matt White (F) - played for Des Moines last season, and was acquired by Lincoln in a trade.

Notable players on Team White: Cory Hibbeler (D), Jon Puskar (F) - played 30 games for the Stars last season.

Team Red won the scrimmage over Team White, 4-3. Overall it was a decent scrimmage. With these first games, I expect a lot of sloppy play, and I saw a lot of it. Nerves have a lot to do with that. The talent is there, but you can tell the players are uptight. No fights. To be honest, not a lot of hitting either. Not the amount you would expect, I suppose.

Players on Team Red that stood out positively to me: #3 Ryan Cole ('90-D), #33 Matt White ('91-F), #17 Guan Wang ('92-F), #16 Maxwell Vallis ('90-F), #8 Dominic Chiapelli ('89-F), #1 Bryan Jones ('92-G)

Players on Team White that stood out positively to me: #15 Brent Tate ('91-F), #4 Dax Lauwers ('91-D), #14 Jon Puskar ('89-F), #7 Cory Hibbeler ('89-D), #8 Adrean Copeland ('92-F), #19 Bradley Duwe ('92-F)

My MVP of this game: Brent Tate (F)

Game 2: Team Black vs. Team Yellow

Notable Players on Team Black: Garrett Peterson (F), Steve Racine (G) - Stars draft pick, Kevin Zugec ('93-D) - Stars draft pick

Notable Players on Team Yellow: Matt Bruneteau (D), Mike Montagna (F) - Stars draft pick, Andrew Ammon (F) - Stars draft pick

Team Yellow won the scrimmage over Team Black, 3-1. Team Black scored the first goal of the game, and Team Yellow score three unanswered goals after that. This scrimmage was very similar to the earlier one. I thought the players were more conscious defensively in this game, compared to the first game. Goaltenders Steve Racine (Black) and Jared Coreau (Yellow) played very well, as both netminders did not give up a goal during their 30 minutes between the pipes. Again, no fights in this game. This game was a bit more physical, but again it was very sloppy at times.

Players on Team Black that stood out positively to me: #6 Peter Stoykewych ('92-D), #9 Cody Dion ('90-F), #12 Ryan Dzingel ('92-F), #14 Austin Wuthrich ('93-F), #18 Garrett Peterson ('91-F), #33 Steve Racine ('91-G)

Players on Team Yellow that stood out positively to me: #3 Matt Bruneteau ('90-D), #8 Jake Diamond ('91-F), #9 Cody Boyle ('91-F), #12 Jeff McMinimy ('92-F), #18 Andrew Ammon ('90-F), #1 Jared Coreau ('91-G)

My MVP of this game: Goaltender Jared Coreau

Does it get any better than watching hockey in June? The weather was hot outside, but it was the usual frigid environment inside Moylan IcePlex. Overall, the scrimmages were to be expected. No one player stood out a lot, unlike last year when Garrett Peterson was by far the best player on the ice. The play was sloppy at times, but I figured it would be. I was expecting a bit more scoring, but I'm sure we'll see more goals scored as the players become more comfortable with their surroundings and relax a bit. The highlight of the night for me was having two different fathers of players trying out come up to me and say 'Hi.' Both read the blog, and had some very nice things to say about my work here. It really made my night. Both gentlemen were very gracious, and it was a pleasure chatting with them both.

It appears that I might not be able to make it up to Omaha at all on Saturday, so I hope one of my readers can give a quick synopsis if they attend. It would be appreciated.

Here are the team rosters. Much thanks to the anonymous poster who took the time to upload these. It is much appreciated.

Team Black roster here

Team Blue roster here

Team Red roster here

Team White Roster here

Team Yellow roster here

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lincoln Tryouts

Just another update regarding the upcoming Stars tryout camp being held in Omaha this weekend. The scrimmages will be played at Moylan Tranquility Ice Plex at 12550 Maple Road in Omaha. Here is the schedule:

Friday 6/5
Game 1 7:00-8:30pm
Game 2 8:30-10:00pm

Saturday 6/6
Game 3 10:00-11:30am
Game 4 11:30am-1:00pm
Game 5 7:00-8:30pm
Game 6 8:30-10:00pm

Sunday 6/7
Game 7 10-11:30am
Game 8 11:30-1:00pm
Game 9 7:00-8:30pm
Game 10 8:30-10:00pm

Monday 6/8
All-star game 9:30-11:00am

I really hope to see a lot of Lincoln fans there. I was at Tranquility last year, and was impressed at how many Stars fans made the trek up from Lincoln to watch the scrimmages. Myself, I am planning on going to the Fri, Sat, and Sun evening scrimmages. I might make it to the Sun morning scrimmage, but I'm not sure. I really wish I could make it to the "All-Star game" on Monday morning, but I have other plans.

A reminder for those who have not been to the Moylan Ice Plex before. Dress warm. Don't wear shorts, or sandals. Don't wear short sleeve shirts. It is really cold inside, so dress appropriately. Even though the temp outside may be in the 90's, you'll probably need a coat inside. Also, if you plan on sitting on the cold, metal bleachers...bring a blanket to sit on.

I hope to see you guys there! I'd really like to meet some of my readers in person. I will be my normal spot: up high on the tall bleachers, taking notes. Please introduce yourself if you see me. I'm a tall, skinny guy in my 30's. Beard. Glasses. Taking notes probably. Most likely wearing my gray "North Face" jacket. Love to meet the other die hard fans! See you there!