Thursday, June 9, 2011

2011 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - Day One

It's been a long day, and it's late, but I want to get a quick article out before I go to bed and get up early for day two of the tryout camp.  I was told today that there are 105 total players at the Stars camp in Minneapolis this year, which is quite a bit.  I have all the rosters of each team, and I am going to try to scan them tomorrow during the afternoon break so I can post them on the blog tomorrow evening.  I have to say, I really like the fact that just about every draft pick reported to camp.  Of the 15 players selected by the Stars in the most recent USHL Entry Draft, all but one player (Liam Stewart - F) is here.  Of the 6 players selected by the Stars in the most recent USHL Futures Draft, all but one player (Stuart Pomeroy - D) is here.  Very, very good turnout by the draft picks.

Before I recap the three scrimmage games that were played tonight, I want to highlight a few surprises on the camp roster.  First of all, former Stars defenseman Dax Lauwers is here.  Lauwers played for Lincoln during the 2009-10 season, and last season he played for the Army Black Knights.  I'm not sure why Lauwers has decided to walk away from Army, but it was nice to see him on the ice.  Dax is a '91, so he would count as an overager on the Stars roster this next season if he makes the team.  

The most surprising name on the tryout roster is defenseman Mike McKee.  McKee is a 2010 draft pick of the Stars who was not at the tryout camp last season.  McKee is a monster (6'5", 230 pounds) and is still very young ('93 birth year).  I've blogged about McKee before, but he's a guy that a lot of NHL scouts are looking at.  He will most likely be selected by a NHL team this Spring in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  I was shocked to see his name on the roster.  McKee has a scholarship lined up for Northeastern University (set to enroll in 2012), and has been playing prep hockey in Connecticut for the past couple of years.  McKee is originally from New Market, Ontario, Canada.  Click here to read an ESPN article about McKee.  Like many others, I figured McKee would stay at Kent prep school in Connecticut for his senior season before heading to Northeastern next year.  I have to wonder if the coaches at Northeastern told McKee he needs to step up his game and prove himself at the USHL level before coming to college.

The one notable Stars player from last season missing from the roster was forward Dominik Shine.  I was told that Shine is not here due to an offseason injury, but he will be playing for the Stars next season.  I chatted briefly with Brent Tate tonight, who was also not listed on the tryout roster.  Brent recently had hernia surgery, so the coaches kept him out of the lineup.  He assured me he will be ready to play come September.  Really looking forward to watching Tate again next season.

Okay, on to the scrimmage recaps.  Before I start, I want to emphasize that I'm just a fan, and in all actuality, my opinions mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.  I observe, take notes, and that's about it.  I'm not a coach, and I'm not affiliated in any way with the Lincoln Stars.  I'm just a hockey nut who loves the game.

Scrimmage #1:  Team Blue vs. Team White
Team Blue won the first scrimmage of the tryout camp with a 4-3 victory over Team White.  Scoring goals for Blue was (F) Jonathan Grebosky (2 goals), (F) Max Humitz, and (F) Mac Olson.  Scoring goals for White was (F) Roman Uchyyn, unknown player wearing #19 (not on roster, so I have no idea who he is), and (F) Ivo Crhak.  All goals were scored in the first half of the scrimmage (each scrimmage is two 30 minute halves).  Blue goaltender Lukas Hafner played the first half of the scrimmage and surrendered three goals.  Blue goaltender Chris Funkey started the second half and pitched a shutout.  White goaltender Ty Marble played the first half of the scrimmage and gave up four goals.  White goaltender Tim Shaughnessy played the second half and also pitched a shutout.  There were no fights in this scrimmage.  

Players on Team Blue who stood out to me were (F) Jonathan Grebosky, (F) Ryan Parker, (F) Jared Hanson, and (D) Chris Knudson.  Players on Team White who stood out were (F) Logan Smith, (F) Brad Hawkinson, (D) Brandon Carlson (had the hit of the game), and (D) Lucas Nokelby.  Team MVP of Blue was Jonathan Grebosky, who scored two goals and one assist in the first half of the scrimmage.  Team MVP of White was Logan Smith, who seemed to be around the puck quite a bit.

Scrimmage #2:  Team Grey vs. Team Red
Team Grey won this one by a scored of 4-1 over Team Red.  Scoring goals for Grey was (F) Max Coatta (two goals), (F) Austin Hervey, and (F) Vinni Lettieri.  The lone Red goal came from forward Kevin Roy, who was the Stars' first round draft pick in the most recent entry draft.  Grey goaltender Joakim Jutras played the first half and did not give up any goals.  Grey goaltender Jim Kruger played the second half and only gave up one goal.  Red goaltender Charles Williams played the first half and pitched a shutout.  Red goaltender Trevor Gutierrez played the second half and gave up three goals.  The last goal scored by Team Grey came in an empty net (scored by Coatta).  There were not fights.

Players from Grey who stood out to me were (D) Richard Coyne, (F) Max Coatta, and both goaltenders (Jutras and Kruger).  Players from Red who stood out to me were (D) Colten Saucerman, (D) Mike McKee, (F) Matt Friese, and (F) Kevin Roy.  Team MVP of Grey was Max Coatta.  Team MVP from Red was Matt Friese.  Both Coatta and Friese generated a lot of offensive chances for their team.  Defensemen Mike McKee and Dax Lauwers from Team Red were both very imposing, and very physical.  Having both of those big guys on the same team is almost not fair.

Scrimmage #3:  Team Black vs. Team Yellow
This one went to a shootout after a 3-3 tied after regulation, and it was team Yellow who won by a score of 4-3.  Scoring goals for Black was (F) Max Birkinbine (two goals), and (F) Jordan Aamot.  Scoring goals for Yellow was (F) Kevin Loppatto, (F) Johno May, and (F) Joey Gannett.  Johno May also scored the game winning shootout goal to give his team a win.  Black goaltender Adam Aikens started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up one goal.  Black goaltender Michael Taffe started the second half and gave up two regulation goals, and the game winning shootout goal.  Yellow goaltender Pheonix Copley started the first half and surrendered two goals.  Yellow goaltender Alex Glockner started the second half and gave up one regulation goal.  There was one fight in this game, which saw Yellow defenseman Cole Martin drop the gloves with Black defenseman Paul Ladue.  In my opinion, it was a draw.

Players from Black who stood out to me were (F) Max Birkinbine, (F) Bob Kinne, (F) Brent Wold, (D) Paul Ladue, and (D) Zach Frye.  Players from Yellow who stood out to me were (F) Garrett Cox, (F) Johno May, (D) Cole Martin, and (G) Alex Glockner.  Team MVP from Black was Max Birkinbine, who could have easily had a hat trick in this game.  Team MVP from Yellow was goaltender Alex Glockner, who played extremely well in the second half of the game.  There were two players from Team Yellow (#18, #19) who were not listed on the roster, so I don't know who they were.

That's about it!  I could ramble on some more, but I need to get some sleep before getting up early again tomorrow for the first scrimmage at 8:30am.  I hope to update the blog with recaps from the morning session tomorrow afternoon during the mid-day break.  I'll post updates also on Twitter, so make sure you follow us there as well.  Thanks for reading.

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