Thursday, June 30, 2011

Predicting the Stars' 25-player protected roster and affiliate list

I've done this the past two seasons, so I figured I'd do it again this year.  It's fun to compare the predictions against what the official roster looks like once it is released.  A reminder, each USHL team has until 7/1 to submit their protected roster to the league.  Somewhere around that 7/1 date, the Stars will release their 25 player protected roster, and the 14 player affiliate list.  From what I have been told, the affiliate list this season must contain two players born in 1993, six players born in 1994, and six players born in 1995.  I also believe that players protected on the affiliate roster can only be former draft picks of that particular team, and not "free agents."

Anyway, here are my predictions.  I'm just a fan who follows the team, so this is just my educated guess.  I'm in no way affiliated with the Stars.  I'm just a fan who runs a blog.  I have received some insider info on some of the players, and others are just wild guesses on my part.  The players listed below are in no particular order.

Edit:  When I put this list together earlier in the week, I had no idea the Stars would make a trade for goaltender Jackson Teichroeb.  From what I saw at tryouts, I think Lukas Hafner and Charles Williams are both deserving, so I'm going to add Teichroeb to my list and make it 26 players.  The main protected roster the Stars turn into the league will be 25 players, however.

25 26 player protected roster:
G - Lukas Hafner ('92)
G - Charles Williams (92)
G - Jackson Teichroeb ('92)
D - Dax Lauwers ('91 - overager)
D - Richie Coyne ('91 - overager)
D - Cole Martin ('94)
D - Zach Frye ('94)
D - Brandon Carlson ('92)
D - Colten Saucerman ('92)
D - Paul Ladue ('92)
D - Mike McKee ('93)
D - Vincent Muto ('93)
F - Brent Tate ('91 - overager)
F - Dominik Shine ('93)
F - Jared Hanson ('93)
F - Teemu Tiitinen ('92)
F - Austin Hervey ('92)
F - Zach Aston-Reese ('94)
F - Brad Hawkinson ('94)
F - Kevin Roy ('92)
F - Matt Friese ('92)
F - Will Suter ('92)
F - Bob Kinne ('92)
F - Max Coatta ('94)
F - Ryan Cole ('92)
F - Logan Smith ('92)

14 player affiliate list:
F - Tommy Schutt ('93)
F - Brent Wold ('93)
F - David Parrottino ('94)
D - Matt Purmal ('94)
D - Justin Woods ('94)
D - Derek O'Flynn ('94)
F - Luke Johnson ('94)
F - Trevor Cope ('94)
F - Alex Schoenborn ('95)
F - Sean Malone ('95)
F - Max Humitz ('95)
D - Parker Reno ('95)
F - Vinni Lettieri ('95)
D - Stuart Pomeroy ('95)

As we've seen in seasons past, the Stars will more than likely bring players from both the main 25 protected roster and the affiliate list to the USHL Fall Classic in September.  After the Fall Classic, the Stars will have to cut down to 23 total players, and that group will start the 2011-12 regular season.  I've stated this before, but a lot can happen to the roster between the 7/1 deadline and opening night of the regular season.  This is just a very small step towards that final cut of 25.

A reminder, each USHL team can only roster four "overagers."  For this upcoming season, any player born in 1991 is considered an overager.  As you can see above, the Stars might only have three players on the roster born in 1991, so that would leave the door open for Lincoln to recruit an overager defenseman or forward to protect on their roster.  The Stars have previously had good luck with acquiring overagers from the WHL with players such as Lyon Messier, David Reekie, and Kirt Hill, so that's a possibility again this season.

Regarding defenseman Mike McKee, who I listed above, I recently heard from a very good source that he may decide to go the OHL route, and not the NCAA route....meaning he would not play for the Stars next season.  I've heard that a few NHL teams are interested in him (despite not being drafted last weekend), and he would play for a OHL team next year.  McKee has previously committed to Northeastern University, but the head coach there (Greg Cronin) recently quit to take a coaching position in the NHL.  Northeastern has lost some recruits due to Cronin's departure, and McKee might be influenced to go the major junior route because of that.  We'll have to wait and see how that develops.  Fingers crosssed he's wearing a Stars uniform in 2011-12.

Again, these are just my opinions...and in the grand scheme of things, my opinions don't mean much at all.  They are just one fan's observations.  I'd appreciate any feedback!  Leave a comment, or email me at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.  Thanks.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stars make a trade...and it's a surprising one

Thanks to blog reader "Crazy Carl" for bringing this news to my attention.

According to this article, the Lincoln Stars have traded a first round pick, and a conditional fifth round pick in the 2012 USHL Entry Draft to the Dubuque Fighting Saints for goaltender Jackson Teichroeb.  

Teichroeb ('92) is 6'2", 192 pounds and is from London, Ontario, Canada.  Last season for the Fighting Saints, Teichroeb had a record of 14-6-5, a 2.49 goals against average, and a .905 save percentage.  Click here to view his stats.


I am very, very surprised at this trade.  I was at tryouts, and I was impressed by a LOT of the goaltenders there.  Considering how well netminders Lukas Hafner, Charles Williams, Joakim Jutras and Jim Kruger all played at camp, I thought for sure that the Stars would pick from that bunch.  I had recently heard through the grapevine that the Stars might go with Hafner and Williams next season, but this trade completely shakes up the goaltending depth chart.  Seems a bit of a steep price to pay also for a goaltender who was a backup for the Fighting Saints last year, and will likely only play one season for the Stars.  

As I get more information about this trade, I will post it here.  If you have any further information please leave a comment, or email me at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.  Thanks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fargo Force head coach Jason Herter to UMD

The twitter world was buzzing this morning with the speculation that Fargo Force head coach Jason Herter will be leaving to take an assistant coaching position with the University of Minnesota-Duluth.  What does this have to do with the Lincoln Stars, you say?

Click here to read more about this story from Ryan S. Clark, reporter from the Fargo-Moorhead Forum.  Here's a snippet of the article:
There has been speculation as to who would be considered for the job. A name that has continued to pop up has been Lincoln head coach Chad Johnson. Johnson, a former Force assistant, was rumored as far back as April to take the job.
Johnson, who was at the Force’s last home playoff game against Dubuque, told The Forum (in April) that he hasn’t been offered the job and he would continue as the Stars’ head coach for the upcoming season.

All signs point to Herter taking the UMD job, so it will be interesting to see if the Force management try to come after Stars head coach Chad Johnson.  The next couple of weeks could get very, very interesting.  Stay tuned for the latest info as I receive it.

Edit:  It's official.  Click here to read the official press release from UMD.  Click here to read the USHL press release.

6/29 Edit:  Click here to read a new article from reporter Ryan S. Clark of the Fargo-Moorhead Forum.   From the article:

Johnson and Stars president Jim Pflug both said there hasn’t been any contact from the Force about Johnson.

“I would have to get out of my contract for that to happen,” Johnson said about being the Force’s next head coach. “I can’t really go any further than that right now. I have a three-year contract with the team.”

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Congrats to Ryan Dzingel!

A big congratulations go out to former Lincoln Stars forward Ryan Dzingel on being drafted by the Ottawa Senators at the 2011 NHL Entry draft this past Saturday.  Ryan was selected in the seventh round, 204th overall.  Click here and here to read more.  Ottawa Senators scout Bob Janecyk stated after the draft that , "He (Dzingel) has smart hockey sense, and he's a skilled guy," Janecyk said. "He could be a home run."

A number of former Stars have played for the Sens over the past few years including Josh Langfeld, Brandon Bochenski, Brian Lee, and Erik Condra.

Ryan will begin his freshman season this fall for the Ohio State University Buckeyes hockey program.

Congrats once again to Ryan Dzingel!  Well deserved!


Edit:  Here's a video of Ottawa Senators amateur scout Bob Janecyk talking about Dzingel:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lincoln Stars in 2011 NHL Entry Draft

I thought I'd touch on this topic briefly since there is a chance that a former, and a prospective Lincoln Stars player might be selected this weekend at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  The draft will take place from June 24-25, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.  Round one of the draft will take place Friday night, starting at 6:00pm CST, and will be televised on Versus.  Rounds two through seven will take place on Saturday, starting at 10:00am CST, and will be televised on the NHL Network.




Former Stars forward Ryan Dzingel is a '92 birth date, and was eligible to be drafted last year at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but he was not selected.  Coming into the draft last year, Dzingel was more of an unknown, after playing only part of the 2009-10 season in Lincoln, scoring 26 points in 36 games and was -18.  This past season with the Stars, Dzingel established himself as one of the top point-getters in the entire USHL, scoring 67 points (23g, 44a) in 54 games and was +19.  Ryan will begin his freshman season at the Ohio State University this fall.  I've come across some articles online which state Dzingel has a shot at being drafted this weekend, so we'll have to wait and see if a NHL team picks the Wheaton, IL native.  In my opinion, Dzingel is certainly deserving of being selected by a NHL team.


A name that might not be that familiar with Stars fans is defenseman Mike McKee.  McKee, the "Man Child" from New Market, Ontario, Canada, is a physical specimen standing at 6'5", 235 pounds, and is only 17 years old (8/17/93 DOB).  Because of his size and skill, McKee has been getting a lot of attention by hockey scouts around the world.  The last few years, McKee has been playing prep hockey in Connecticut at Kent School.  McKee has already committed to play collegiate hockey for Northeastern University in Boston, and will enroll there starting the fall of 2012.  Click here to read more about McKee.

McKee was drafted two years ago by the Stars, and was a surprise attendee at the Stars' 2011 tryout camp a few weeks ago in Minneapolis.  McKee could stay at Kent next season, as he still has a year left of high school.  The fact that he was at the Stars' tryout camp is a good indication that he is interested in playing in Lincoln next season.  I think the coaches at Northeastern may have told McKee to step up his game against much better opponents in the USHL compared to what he was playing against in Connecticut.  

So if you are watching the draft this weekend, hopefully you'll hear the names of Dzingel and McKee both be called.  It would be nice to see both in a NHL uniform someday.

*******
Speaking of the NHL, I ran across this article online today about former Stars forward Jason Gregoire.  Gregoire just completed his junior season at the University of North Dakota, but decided recently to go pro.  Gregs was originally drafted in 2007 by the New York Islanders, but due to a new rule which you can read more about in the article I linked, he now has the opportunity to sign with whatever NHL team is interested in him.  Because Gregoire is a native of Winnipeg, there is some talk that he might sign with the new Winnipeg NHL team will which begin play in 2011-12.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - Shootout Goals

Much thanks go out once again to blog reader "Starstruck" for putting together this video of some of the shootout goals from the tryout camp last weekend.  Very well done!  As you can see from many of the highlight reel goals scored in the video, there were a lot of talented shooters at camp.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Photos from Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp All-Star Game (Second)

Once again, thanks to blog reader "Starstruck" for these pictures from the second camp all-star game this past Sunday.  Click the "Read More" link underneath the photo below to view all of the pictures in this series.

Head Coach Chad Johnson addressed the players before the second camp all-star game

Photos from Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp All-Star Game (First)

Much thanks go out to blog reader "Starstruck" for these pictures from the first camp all-star game this past Sunday.  Click the "Read More" link underneath the photo below to view all of the pictures in this series.

Stars Head Coach Chad Johnson addresses the players before the first camp all-star game

2011 Tryout Camp Review and other notes

Before I start with this review, I want to mention that I will be posting a bunch of pictures from the two tryout all-star games later this evening, thanks to a friend of the blog.  So stay tuned for that.

First of all, I want to thank the Lincoln Stars organization for a very successful camp, and for making roster sheets available for everyone.  From my perspective, I thought the camp was run extremely well, and I heard from a number of player parents there who said the same thing.  I know the majority of our fans will not like this, but I really hope the Stars host the 2012 tryout camp again at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.  There is no doubt in my mind that the high turnout of invited players was due to the fact that the camp was held in Minneapolis, on the campus of the University of Minnesota.  Just about every player parent I talked to at camp stated that they thought it was a great idea to hold the camp at Ridder Arena, and the facilities there on campus were top-notch.  

A few parents even said that they might not have brought their sons to a camp in Omaha, NE because it was further away, or just not as easy to drive/fly into compared to Minneapolis.  In my opinion, the camp was a home run.  All of the parents I talked to were very impressed the amount of talent on the ice, and as one parent told me, "You could fill two, maybe three USHL teams with the talent that is here at this camp."  That says a lot about how successful the camp was, in my opinion.  I'm not sure what the Stars' plans are for the tryout camp next year, but I really hope they consider going back to Minneapolis and Ridder Arena.

So what's next?  Well, the Lincoln Stars (and every other USHL team) have until July 1st to firm up their 25-player protected roster, and send it in to the league.  The Stars will have a 25-player protected list, and also a list of 10-15 players on their affiliate list.  Players on the affiliate list can be called up to play for the Stars at any point in the regular season.  To understand it a little better, click here to view the protected roster the Stars released after the 2010 camp last year.  I'm not 100% sure, but I believe any player protected on the affiliate list has to have been previously drafted by the Stars (i.e., no free agents).  As you can see from the link above, the Stars protected a group of 25 players, along with 13 players on their affiliate list in 2010.

While some other USHL teams will release their protected roster before the 7/1 deadline (I believe the Cedar Rapids Roughriders released theirs recently), I doubt we'll see anything released from the Stars until late June, or early July.  I've already heard of a few players who made the roster, but until the Stars put out an official release, I won't be posting any rumors here.  As soon as the Stars make it official, I will post it here.

The Stars will take those 25 protected players, along with some of the affiliate players, to the USHL Fall Classic tournament, which is held in Sioux City, Iowa from September 21st-24th.  After the Fall Classic, the Stars will have to cut down to 23 players, and those players will be on the roster on opening night of the 2011-12 USHL regular season.  So between now and early October, there could still be a lot of roster-shuffling done.

Speaking of early July, at that time the USHL should release the 2011-12 regular season schedule.  It's always interesting to look over the new schedule when that's released.  I guess I should note that it's usually in early July when the schedule is released.  Last year, because the league decided to split into three divisions, yet continue to use two conferences (very confusing), there were a lot of problems with getting teams to agree to the final schedule.  So because of that, it wasn't until late July before it was officially released.  Hopefully that process goes a bit smoother this year.  Also in July, the USHL will release the game schedule for the 2011 Fall Classic tournament in Sioux City.

If I missed anything, or I got anything wrong, please leave a blog comment or send me an email at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.

Edit:  By the way, we set a new blog record for website hits in one day with 1,027 on Sunday, June 12th.  The 1,027 total beat the old record of 955 which was set last year during the 2010 tryout camp.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to the new record!  I appreciate your patronage on this blog!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Video from tryout camp: Dax Lauwers vs. Mike McKee

I originally posted the crappy video I took from my iPod, but a friend of the blog was able to get a much better video recording of this heavyweight tilt.  Thanks to the person who uploaded this to youtube, I appreciate it.  This fight occurred right after the opening faceoff of the second camp all-star game this past Sunday.  Dax Lauwers (white jersey) is 6'2", 200 pounds, and Mike McKee (black jersey) is 6'5", 235 pounds.  I don't blame the refs for not wanting to get between these two big boys.

2011 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - All-Star Game (Second)

<----Click the picture to the left to view the roster from the second all-star game today.  If you have any problems viewing the picture, send me a note at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com, and I can email you the roster sheet.

You can see that there are some names hand-written (my sloppy chicken scratch) on the roster sheet to the left.  The coaches left open two forwards slots on Team White, and three forward slots on Team Black.  The coaches filled these slots with players from the first all-star game.  I can only assume that these players impressed the coaches enough that they wanted to get another look at them.  The difficult part was that only the coaches knew who these selected players were.  Only numbers on the jerseys, no names.  It was difficult to guess who the five players were.  I'm confident that White #20 was Alex Schoenborn, and Black #26 was Will Suter.


I believe White #19 was Brent Wold, and Black #27 was Tommy Schutt, but I'm not 100% sure about that.  I have no clue who Black #28 was.  I received an email that Black #28 was forward Sean Malone.  If anyone out there knows for sure who these players were, please leave a comment or email me at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.  Thanks.

This final all-star game showcased a lot of the older players from the tryout camp, and many more draft picks and returning Stars players from last season.  If the first all-star game was the up and coming young guns, this second all-star game was the experienced vets and some of the players we could see on the Stars roster in the next few seasons.  This final all-star game was split up into three, 18 minute periods.  Each team had two goaltenders, six defensemen, and twelve forwards.

Final:  Team Black 3, Team White 1

Team Black got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period of this game thanks to goals from forward Will Suter, and forward Kevin Roy.  Black goaltender Pheonix Copley did not give up any goals in the first period.  White goaltender Lukas Hafner gave up two goals in the first period.  The pace of this game was a little quicker than the first all-star game, and the physical play was much more apparent.

The second period saw both teams exchange a number of quality offensive chances, but neither team could find the back of the net.  Team Black goaltender Charles Williams played the second period and did not give up any goals.  Team White goaltender Lukas Halfner played the first half of the second period and did not give up any goals.  White goaltender Jim Kruger played the second half of the second period and did not give up any goals either.

In the third period, Team White would finally get on the scoreboard when forward Brad Hawkinson received a very nice pass from White defenseman Kyle Halladay and buried a shot past Black goaltender Phoenix Copley to bring White to within one goal at 2-1.  Hawkinson's goal came on the powerplay.  Team Black finished out the scoring in the third period when forward Kevin Roy scored his second goal of the game to put his team up by a score of 3-1.  Roy picked up a loose puck and deked out a few players before wristing the puck past White goaltender Jim Kruger.  It was a very nice goal.

Team White put a lot of pressure on Black goaltender Charles Williams, but Williams (who played the second half of the third period) stood tall.  In my opinion, Williams was the best goaltender at camp.  In over 150 minutes between the pipes at the tryout camp, Williams only gave up one goal.

There were two fights in this game.  Right off the opening first period faceoff, White defenseman Dax Lauwers (6'2, 200 pounds) dropped the mitts with Black defenseman Mike McKee (6'5", 235 pounds).  These two giants battled it out for awhile, and I would give Dax the eventual decision, although both players landed some big bombs.  I was able to get video of the fight, so I hope to post that here on the blog in the next couple of days.  The second fight involved Black defenseman Richard Coyne and White goaltender Colten Saucerman.  Despite giving up 5 inches and 30 pounds to Coyne, I thought Saucerman did pretty well.  I'd call that tussle a draw.

My team MVP from Black went to defenseman Richard Coyne.  I thought Coyne had a extremely good camp, and he finished strong today with a quality effort in the all-star game.  Coyne is big, fast, and physical.  Very good first pass out of the defensive zone, also.  My team MVP from White went to forward Matt Friese.  I don't believe Friese had any points, but he generated a lot of offensive opportunities on his own.  Very fast player, with or without the puck.  

Well, that's it.  It's late, and it's been a long day, so I'm signing off.  In the next few days I hope to include some photos from the two all-star games, maybe a video of the Lauwers-McKee tilt, and talk about what is next in terms of the protected roster that the Lincoln coaches will have to decide on in the upcoming weeks.

Thanks again for reading.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - All-Star Game (First)

<----Click the picture to the left to view the roster from the first all-star game today.  If you have any problems viewing the picture, send me a note at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com, and I can email you the roster sheet.  

The last day of the 2011 Lincoln Stars tryout camp started with the first of two all-star games at Ridder Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.  This first all-star roster was mainly a lot of the younger players whom the coaches wanted to see even more of.  There were a lot of 93's, 94's, and 95's, and a few 92's and one '91. 

 Each squad (Black and White) had two goaltenders, five defensemen, and ten forwards.  This particular scrimmage was broken down into two, 25 minute halves.


Final:  Team White 7, Team Black 5

In the first half of this all-star scrimmage game, the Black squad got out to a 4-2 lead thanks to goals from (F) Alex Schoenborn, (F) Johan Sjoden, (F) Will Clark, and (F) Tyler Drevitch.  The two goals from the White squad in the first half came from (F) Max Birkinbine, and (D) Travis Maxwell.  

White goaltender Joakim Jutras played the first half of the scrimmage and gave up four goals.  After giving up only one goal in his previous 125 minutes between the pipes in the tryout camp, Jutras struggled a bit this morning.  Black goaltender Michael Taffe gave up two goals in the first half of the scrimmage.

In the second half of the all-star scrimmage, the White squad came out and dominated play for the majority of the half.  Down 4-2 at half, White stormed back and outscored the Black squad 5-1 to win the game by a score of 7-5.  Scoring goals for White in the second half was (F) Jesse Neher, (F) Kevin Loppatto, (F) Sean Malone, (F) Trevor Cope, and (F) Will Suter.  The long goal from the Black squad in the second half came from (F) Garrett Cox.

White goaltender Ty Marble played the second half of the scrimmage and gave up only one goal.  I thought Marble was key for the White squad in their comeback.  He made a number of big saves to keep his team in the game.  Black goaltender Chris Funkey surrendered five goals in the second half.  There were no fights in this game.

My MVP from Team White went to forward Will Suter.  In my opinion, Suter was easily the best player on the ice in the first all-star game.  He hustled every shift, created a bunch of offensive chances, and did a very good job with distributing the puck to his linemates.  My MVP from Team Black went to forward Alex Schoenborn.  Considering Schoenborn was the youngest player invited to any of the two all-star games this morning, I thought he showed very good poise and the kid has a bomb of a shot.

I was very impressed with the young talent out on the ice with this first all-star game.  Just about every player on the roster stood out to me at times.  Speed, size, skill....all of the youngsters who made this all-star game certainly have it.  

2011 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - Day Three (Evening)

The last three scrimmages of the tryout camp before the all-star games wrapped up late Saturday night at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.  I apologize for not getting this up last night.  By the time I got back to my hotel around 11:00pm, I had a massive headache and was super tired, so I went right to bed.  The camp will conclude today with two all-star games. The players were told last night if they made one of the two all-star games.  I'm not exactly sure how the coaches will roster the two games, but I heard through the grapevine last night that the first all-star game might be the younger players who are on the bubble, while the later all-star game will be the older players, and those who have a better shot at making the roster next season.

Scrimmage #13:  Team Red (1-3) vs. Team Black (0-4)
This game ended abruptly after each team was tied up at 3-3 after regulation.  The teams went back and forth in a shootout, but the game was called because the coaches wanted to talk to all of the players on the ice.  So I suppose we'll call this scrimmage a tie.  Red finished the camp with a 1-3-1 record, while Black finished 0-4-1.  When you look at the rosters, Team Black has more draft picks and returning Stars than any other team at camp, yet they finished without a win.  I thought that was interesting.  Anyway, scoring goals for red was (F) Matt Friese, (F) Ryan Cole, and (F) David Parrontino.  Team Black had goals in regulation from (F) Max Birkinbine, (F) Bob Kinne, and (F) Matt Serratore.  In the shootout, Red had goals from (F) Ryan Cole, and (F) Jordan Bocher-Gould, while Black had goals from (F) Jordan Aamot, and (F) Tommy Schutt.

Red goaltender Trevor Gutierrez started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up one goal.  Blue goaltender Chris Funkey played the second half for Team Red and gave up two goals.  Black goaltender Adam Aikens started the first half and gave up one goal.  Black goaltender Michael Taffe started the second half and gave up two goals.  Both Funkey and Taffe gave up two shootout goals against seven shooters.  There were no fights in this scrimmage.

Players from Red who impressed me were (F) Ryan Cole, (D) Mike McKee, (F) Jared Hanson, (F) Matt Friese, and (F) Logan Lemirande.  Players from Black who stood out to me were (F) Brent Wold, (F) Luke Johnson, (F) Bob Kinne, and (F) Matt Volonnino.  My team MVP from Red goes to forward Matt Friese.  Friese worked really well with linemates Jared Hanson and Ryan Cole.  In fact, you could give the MVP from Red to either one of those three players.  They all played extremely well together.  My team MVP from Black goes to (F) Bob Kinne.  Kinne is one of those players who always seems to end up around the puck.  I thought he worked really well with working the puck along the boards.

Scrimmage #14:  Team Royal (4-0) vs. Team Yellow (1-3)
Royal finished the tryout camp undefeated with a 1-0 shutout win over Yellow.  Royal finished with a 5-0 record, while Yellow finished 1-4.  The only goal scored in this game came from Blue forward Tyler Drevitch from a very nice pass from forward Sean Malone.  Royal goaltenders Lukas Hafner and Chris Funkey combined to pitch the shutout.  Yellow goaltender Alex Glockner started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up one goal.  Red goaltender Charles Williams came in and played the second half for Team Yellow, and he did not give up any goals.  Williams played a total of 125 minutes during the tryout camp, and only gave up one goal.  He's another goaltender here who has looked very, very good.

Players from Royal who stood out to me were (F) Mac Olson, (F) Max Humitz, (D) Chris Knudson, (F) Brent Lafayette, (D) Justin Woods, and (D) Ji Young Li.  Players from Yellow who impressed me were (D) Derek O'Flynn, (F) Johno May, (D) Dan Sakalian, and (F) Joe Gannett.  My team MVP from Royal goes to forward Mac Olson.  Olson is a smaller, shifty forward who has a motor that won't quit.  Very impressed with his play the past couple of days.  My team MVP from Yellow went to goaltender Charles Williams.  Technically, Williams is on the Red team but he played in the second half of this particular scrimmage and looked very good.  Williams had a heck of a season last year in the NAHL, and I think he has a very good shot at making this team.

Scrimmage #15:  Team Grey (3-1) vs. Team White (3-1)
In the final scrimmage before the all-star game, it was Team Grey who took this game in a shootout by a score of 4-3 over Team White.  Grey finished the camp with a 4-1 record, while White fell to 3-2.  Scoring goals in regulation from Grey was (F) Will Suter (two goals-one was a penalty shot), and (F) Michael Crowley (another penalty shot).  Scoring regulation goals from White was (F) Ivo Crhak, (D) Geoffrey Fortman (penalty shot), and (F) Chris Wilkie.  The referee's in this game had the players take penalty shots if there was a penalty severe enough for them to call.  Throughout these scrimmages, the refs have let the players get away with a lot more than they could in a typical USHL game setting.  When a penalty is severe enough in their opinion, some refs would put a team on the powerplay, while others gave out penalty shots.  It all depended on who was reffing the game.

Grey goaltender Joakim Jutras started the first half of the scrimmage, and gave up one goal.  Jutras, like Charles Williams, played 125 minutes of the camp and only surrendered one regulation goal.  Grey goaltender Jim Kruger started the second half of the game and gave up two goals.  White goaltender Ty Marble started the first half of the game and gave up one goal.  White goaltender Tim Shaughnessy started the second half and gave up two goals.  In the shootout, Grey had goals from (F) Eric Purcell, (F) Will Suter (amazing spinorama shootout goal that had the crowd cheering), and (F) Trevor Cope.  White had shootout goals from (D) Brandon Carlson, and (D) Geoffrey Fortman.

Players from Grey who stood out to me were (F) Austin Hervey, (F) Eric Purcell, (F) Will Suter, and (F) #18 (not listed on roster).  Players from White who impressed me were (F) Brandon Bistodeau, (D) Brandon Carlson, (F) Ivo Crhak, and (F) Michael Cimba.  My team MVP from Grey goes to forward Will Suter who had two regulation goals, and a beautiful shootout goal.  Suter is a name some Stars fans might be familiar with.  The native of Omaha, NE played two games for the Stars in the 2009-10 season.  Last year, Suter played 10 games with the Sioux City Musketeers before being sent down to the Wichita Falls Wildcats of the NAHL.  My team MVP from White goes to defenseman Brandon Carlson.  Carlson is a guy who plays with an edge, and is an all-around steady d-man.  In my opinion, I think he's a lock to make the roster next season.

Well, time to get ready for the two all-star games today.  Immediately after the last all-star game, I will be driving back to Lincoln, so it won't be until late, late tonight before I can update the blog with the results of the two all-star games.  I will try to update the B³ Twitter page during the two games, so you can follow me there.    If there are any roster surprises with the all-star game, I'll note them on the Twitter page also.  Thanks again for reading!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - Day Three (Morning)

It was a beautiful, sunny Minneapolis morning which welcomed day three of the 2011 Lincoln Stars tryout camp.  As usual, the folks in attendance at Ridder Arena this morning were treated to some very good hockey.  Compared to the last couple of days, there were a LOT more college coaches and scouts in attendance today.  In fact, there were just as many scout and coaches watching the scrimmages this morning than there were fans and player parents.  I forgot to mention this previously, but all of the Lincoln coaches (Chad Johnson, Jimmy McGroarty, Andy Schneider) are here.  Former player Josh Berge is also here helping out.

Scrimmage #10:  Team Yellow (1-2) vs. Team Red (0-3)
After only scoring two goals in their previous three scrimmages, Team Red finally woke up offensively with a big 6-3 win over Team Yellow.  Team Red improved to 1-3, while Yellow fell to 1-3.  Scoring goals for Red was (F) Jessse Neher (two goals), (F) Logan Lemirande, (F) Jared Hanson, (F) Kevin Roy, and (D) Colten Saucerman (empty netter).  Scoring goals for Yellow was (F) Ian McGilvrey, (F) Kevin Loppatto, and (D) Derek O'Flynn.  Red goaltender Charles Williams started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up one goal.  The goal against by Williams was his first in four games.  Red goaltender Trevor Gutierrez started the second half and gave up two goals.  Yellow goaltender Pheonix Copley started the first half and surrendered two goals.  Yellow netminder Alex Glockner started the second half and gave up three goals.  There were no fights in this game.

Players from Red who stood out to me were (F) Jared Hanson, (F) Jordan Bocher-Gould, (F) David Parrontino, (D) Colten Saucerman, (F) Matt Friese, and (D) Parker Reno.  Players from Yellow who impressed me were (F) Ian McGilvrey, (D) Derek O'Flynn, and (F) Garrett Cox.  My team MVP from Red was forward Jared Hanson.  With a year of USHL experience under his belt, Jared looks very comfortable and confident on the ice.  He's always moving his feet, and was involved in a bunch of offensive chances.  Team MVP from Yellow went to forward Ian McGilvrey.  McGilvrey tried out for the Stars last season, but didn't make the team.  He's under-sized at 5'9", 170 pounds, but he plays a lot bigger than his size.  Very quick feet also.

Scrimmage #11:  Team Royal (3-0) vs. Team Grey (3-0)
This turned out to be the game of the tryouts so far, as both undefeated teams battled back and forth until Team Royal won it in a shootout by a score of 2-1.  Royal's lone regulation goal came from (F) Teemu Tiitinen.  Grey's lone regulation goal came from (F) Eric Purcell.  In the shootout, Team Grey got a goal from (F) Eric Purcell, while Team Royal had goals from (F) Mac Olson, and (D) Vincent Muto (game winning shootout goal).  Royal goaltender Lukas Hafner started the first half of the scrimmage and did not give up any goals.  Blue goaltender Chris Funkey was not on the ice this morning (not sure why), so Yellow goaltender Alex Glockner took his place and played the second half of the scrimmage for Team Royal.  Glockner gave up one goal in the second half.  Grey goaltender Jim Kruger started the first half and gave up one goal.  Grey goaltender Joakim Jutras started the second half and gave up zero goals in regulation, but surrendered two goals against five attempts in the shootout.  In 100 regulation minutes, Jutras has not given up any goals.  There were no fights in this game.

Players from Royal who stood out in my opinion were (D) Chris Knudson, (F) Teemu Tiitinen, (F) Brent Lafayette, (G) Lukas Hafner, (D) Vincent Muto, and (2) Justin Woods.  Players from Grey who impressed me were (F) Trevor Cope, (F) Matt Sanford, (D) Matt Purmal, (F) Eric Purcell, and (F) Austin Hervey.  My team MVP from Royal was goaltender Lukas Hafner who gets better each time I have seen him in the tryouts.  Team MVP from Grey goes to another goaltender, Joakim Jutras.  I love watching this kid play.  He's very, very small, but he very steady between the pipes and made even more highlight reel saves this morning.  The coaches are going to have a hard time picking goaltenders from this camp, as I have seen a TON of quality play from guys like Lukas Hafner, Joakim Jutras, Jim Kruger, and Charles Williams.

Scrimmage #12:  Team White (2-1) vs. Team Black (0-3)
Team Black tried to break out of their winless streak, but it was Team White who won this game in a shootout by a score of 3-2.  White improved to 3-1, while Black fell to 0-4.  Scoring goals in regulation for White was (F) Ivo Crhak, and (F) Roman Uchyyn.  Scoring goals in regulation for Black was (F) Luke Johnson, and (F) Alex Schoenborn (great top shelf snipe).  In fact, I was sitting in front of a number of college coaches and scouts, and they all ooohed and aaahed when Schoenborn ripped a glove high wrister into the net.  In the shootout, the only player to score for either team was White forward #19 (not on roster-have no idea who he is).  White goaltender Tim Shaughnessy started the first half of the game and gave up one goal.  White goaltender Ty Marble started the second half and gave up two goals.  Marble did not give up any goals against three shootout attempts.  Black goaltender Michael Taffe started the first half and surrendered one goal.  Black goaltender Adam Aikens started the second half and gave up one goal also.  Aikens faced three shootout attempts and saved two of them.  There were no fights in this game.

Players from White who stood out in my opinion were (F) Roman Uchyyn, (F) Scott Howe, (F) Ivo Crhak, (D) Brandon Carlson, and (D) Geoffrey Fortman.  Players from Black who impressed me this morning were (D) Paul Ladue, (D) Justin Lutsch, (F) Matt Volonnino, and (D) Alexey Solovyev.  My team MVP from White goes to forward Roman Uchyyn.  Uchyyn and linemate Ivo Crhak (have fun pronouncing those two names) seemed to work really well with one another.  My team MVP from Black goes to defesnseman Paul Ladue.  A good defenseman can get his job done quietly, and that's what Ladue does.  He has a very good first pass out of the defensive zone also.

The evening session today starts at 6:30pm tonight, so I will be there once again to follow the last three scrimmages of the tryouts before the two all-star games tomorrow.  The last scrimmage tonight is scheduled to last until 10:15pm, so it will be very late tonight before I have that recap up on the blog.  Thanks again for reading my rambling thoughts!  

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - Day Two (Afternoon)

The afternoon session of day two of the 2011 Lincoln Stars tryout camp started promptly at 3:00pm today.  I will again recap the three scrimmages below.  I know I sound like a broken record, but I have been really impressed with what I have seen so far from a lot of the players at camp.  I can't imagine the incredibly hard decisions the coaches will have to make here in a few days.  I chatted with a few player parents this afternoon about how many talented kids are here, all fighting for a few spots on the roster.  These parents were amazed at the quality of hockey on display.  I think the Stars really hit a home run this year with holding the camp in Minneapolis, which is much more convenient for players and their parents to travel to.  Heard that today from a number of parents.

I did notice that the scrimmages today had a little bit of a quicker pace compared to yesterday.  I think a lot of the players are getting their legs back, and adjusting to the speed of the game.  With these tryouts, you see some selfish hockey, which is somewhat understandable considering that these players think they have to do it all themselves to impress the coaches.  You see a lot of contested shots on goal when the player could have easily passed it to a wide open teammate.  You see some forwards not back-checking after making a rush up the ice, as they float back into the neutral zone.  I notice that kind of lazy play, so I know the coaches and scouts in attendance notice it also.  Having said that, you do see a lot of hustle from most of the kids.  Considering the amount of games packed into three-four days, these players are putting their bodies through a lot.  Okay, enough of my rambling.  On to the recaps.

Scrimmage #7:  Team Black (0-3) vs. Team Grey (2-0)
Team Grey came into this game with a 2-0 record, and they kept that winning streak intact with an impressive 4-0 shutout win over Team Black.  With the loss, Black fell to 0-3.  It was the second straight shutout win for Grey.  Through three scrimmage games, Team Grey has only surrendered one goal.  Scoring goals for Grey was (F) Michael Crowley (2 goals), (D) Beau Browning, and (F) Eric Purcell.  I'm not 100% that Browning scored his goal, as it may have deflected off of Crowley, and if that happened, Crowley would have the hat trick.  Black goaltender Adam Aikens started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up 2 goals.  Black netminder Michael Taffe started the second half and also surrendered 2 goals.  Grey goaltenders Joakim Jutras and Jim Kruger combined for the shutout.  Through three games, Jutras has not given up any goals, and Kruger has only given up one goal.  I know this is only tryouts, but these two goaltenders on Team Grey have looked very, very good.  There were no fights in this scrimmage.

Players from Team Black who stood out in my opinion were (F) Jordan Aamot, (F) #17 (not listed on roster), (D) Alexey Solovyev, (F) Shane Omdahl, and (F) Bob Kinne.  Players from Team Grey who impressed me (F) Vinnie Lettieri, (F) Max Coatta, (D) Ben Maenner, (F) CJ Geeza, and (F) Austin Hervey.  My team MVP from Black was forward Jordan Aamot, who forechecked very well and created numerous offensive chances.  My team MVP of Team Grey was goaltender Joakim Jutrus.  The undersized (5'8", 145 pounds) native of Quebec, Canada made a number of highlight reel saves to keep Grey's shutout streak intact.

Scrimmage #8:  Team Royal (2-0) vs. Team Red (0-2)
Like Team Grey, the Team Royal squad came into this game undefeated with a 2-0 record, and they also continued their win streak with a 2-0 shutout win over Team Red.  Through three games, Team Red has only scored two goals, as they fell to 0-3.  Scoring for Royal was (F) Johan Sjoden, and (F) Brent Lafayette.  I'm not 100% that Lafayette scoring the second Royal goal, due to some confusion on the ice.  Royal forward Sean Malone might have scored that second goal as he was right in the mix also.  Royal goaltenders Lukas Hafner (started the first half) and Chris Funkey combined to pitch the shutout.  Red goaltender Charles Williams started the first half and did not give up any goals.  Red goaltender Trevor Gutierrez started the second half and gave up two goals.  An interested stat from Team Red:  goaltender Charles Williams has not given up any goals in three games, and yet Red is winless at 0-3.  There was one fight in this scrimmage as Red forward Jared Hanson traded punches with Royal defenseman Justin Woods.  Hanson won the decision as Woods left the ice with a bloody nose and did not return to the game.

Players from Royal who impressed me were (D) Chris Knudson, (D) Bryce Hutton, (F) Mac Olson, and (F) Johan Sjoden.  Players from Red who stood out to me were (D) #7 (not on roster), (D) Dax Lauwers, (4) Mike McKee, (F) Jordan Bocher-Gould, (F) Jared Hanson, and (F) Ryan Cole.  I'm going to give my team MVP for Team Royal to the two goaltenders, Chris Funkey and Lukas Hafner.  Both netminders played extremely well.  Team MVP from Red  was forward Jared Hanson.  Like many of us know, Hanson does it all.  He hustles, creates offensive chances, backchecks and plays defense, and also can drop the mitts and bang if he needs to.  

I do have to say again how physical defenseman Dax Lauwers plays, which is putting it mildly.  Watching him today, it appeared like he was a man among boys.  

Scrimmage #9:  Team Yellow (1-1) vs. Team White (1-1)
In the battle of .500 squads, it was Team White who prevailed with a 5-3 win over Team Yellow.  Scoring goals for White was (F) #19 (not listed on roster), (D) Brandon Carlson, (D) Travis Maxwell, (F) Roman Uchyyn, and (F) Scott Howe.  Scoring goals for Yellow was (F) Garrett Cox, (F) Will Clark, and (F) Johno May.  White goaltender Ty Marble started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up one goal.  White goaltender Tim Shaughnessy started the second half and also surrendered one goal.  Yellow goaltender Alex Glockner started the first half and gave up three goals.  Yellow netminder Pheonix Copley started the second half of the scrimmage and gave up two goals.  There was one fight in this game as White forward Kyle Gattelaro dropped the mitts with Yellow defenseman Dan Sakalian.  This one was a draw, in my opinion.

Players from Team Yellow who impressed me this afternoon was (F) Ian McGilvrey, (F) Garrett Cox, (F) Austin Parle, and (D) Cole Martin.  Players from Team White who stood out were (F) Logan Smith, (R) Roman Uchyyn, (F) Ivo Crhak, (D) Lucas Nokelby, and goaltenders Tim Shaughnessy and Ty Marble.  My team MVP from Yellow goes to defenseman Cole Martin who played a quiet, but steady game on the blueline.  My team MVP from Blue goes to forward Ivo Crhak who was a very strong skater and created multiple offensive opportunities for his team.

Whew!  You can't beat a full day of hockey.  I'm beat, so I'm going to get some sleep and do it all over again tomorrow!  I will post a recap article from the Saturday morning session sometime during the afternoon tomorrow.  Thanks again for reading, everyone!  I appreciate it!  If you have any questions about the camp, feel free to leave a comment, or you can email me privately at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.

2011 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp - Day Two (Morning)

Bright and early this morning at 8:30am, the Lincoln Stars kicked off day two of their 2011 tryout camp at Ridder Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.  A total of three scrimmage games were played, and I will recap each one below.  It's very early, but I have been very much impressed with the talent on the ice.  I've heard from a few other fans who had the same kind of comments.  With over 100 players here, there has been some very good hockey so far.  I don't envy the coaches at all when it comes to shortening this group down to two all-star games, and then down to a protected roster.  I mentioned this on the B³ Twitter page, but I found out this morning that Dominik Shine is not at camp due to an injury.  As far as I know, he'll be back in Lincoln next season.  Okay, let's get to the recaps.

Scrimmage #4:  Team Grey (1-0) vs. Team Yellow (1-0)
The first game of the morning saw Team Grey shutout Team Yellow by a score of 4-0.  Team Grey is now 2-0, while Yellow drops to 1-1.  Scoring goals for Grey was (F) Max Coatta, (F) Vinni Lettieri, (D) Richard Coyne, and (F) Trevor Cope.  Grey goaltenders Jim Kruger (played first half) and Joakim Jutras (second half) combined for the shutout.  In two scrimmage games thus far, Team Grey has only surrendered one goal. Kruger has given up one goal in two games, and Jutras has not been scored on in two games.  Both are very different in size.  Kruger is 6'4", 195 pounds, while Jutras is only 5'8" and 145 pounds.  Yellow goaltender Pheonix Copley played the first half and gave up one goal.  Alex Glockner started the second half of the scrimmage and gave up three goals.  There were no fights.

Players from Grey who stood out in my opinion were (D) Matt Purmal, (F) Will Suter, (F) Max Coatta, (F) Vinni Lettieri, (F) Matt Sanford, and (D) Richard Coyne.  Players from Team Yellow who stood out were (F) Garrett Cox, (D) Erlend Lesund, (D) Cole Martin, and (F) Brandon Berkley.  Team MVP from Grey was forward Max Coatta, who continues to impress with his playmaking abilities.  Coatta and camp linemate Vinni Lettieri are teammates at Minnetonka High School, and it's evident here as both work very well together on the same line.  Team MVP from Yellow was forward Garrett Cox who was always around the puck. 

Scrimmage #5:  Team Black (0-1) vs. Team Royal (1-0)
Team Royal took this game over Team Black by a score of 3-2.  Team Royal is now 2-0, while Team Black dropped to 0-2.  Scoring both goals for Team Black this morning was forward Shane Omdahl.  Scoring for Team Royal was (F) Mac Olson, (F) Shaunak Pal, and (F) Max Humitz.  Black goaltender Michael Taffe started the first half of the scrimmage and surrendered one goal.  Black goaltender Adam Aikens started the second half and gave up two goals.  Royal goaltender Chris Funkey started the first half and gave up two goals.  Royal goaltender Lukas Hafner started the second half of the scrimmage and pitched a shutout.

Players from Black who stood out to me were (F) Shane Omdahl, (D) Justin Lutsch, (F) Tommy Schutt, and a forward wearing #17 who is not on the roster.  Players from Royal who impressed me were (D) Justin Woods, (D) Vincent Muto, (F) Teemu Tiitinen, and (G) Lukas Hafner.  Team MVP from Black was forward Shane Omdahl, who was involved in a number of scoring chances and showed good presence around the net..  Even though he didn't score any goals, my MVP from Royal was defenseman Justin Woods, who played a very good shutdown role on the blueline.

Scrimmage #6:  Team White (0-1) vs. Team Red (0-1)
In the battle of winless squads, it was Team White who took this game by a score of 2-1.  White improves to 1-1, while Red drops to 0-2.  Scoring goals for White was (F) Kyle Gattelaro, and (D) Travis Maxwell.  The lone goal for Team Red came from (F) Jordan Bocher-Gould on a penalty shot.  In two games so far, Team Red has only scored a total of two goals.  Team  White goaltender Tim Shaughnessy started the first half and did not give up any goals.  White goaltender Ty Marble started the second half and gave up only one goal.  Red goaltender Trevor Gutierrez started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up two goals.  Red goaltender Charles Williams started the second half and did not give up any goals.  Williams and Grey goaltender Joakim Jutras are the only two goaltenders thus far who have not surrendered any goals.  There was one fight as Red (F) Logan Lemirande dropped the mitts with White (F) #19 (not listed on the roster).  Lemirande took this fight in a close decision.

Players from White who stood out to me were (F) Logan Smith, (D) Brandon Carlson, and both goaltenders (Shaughnessy and Marble). Red players who impressed me were (D) Dax Lauwers, a defenseman wearing #7 who is not on the roster, (F) Jared Hanson, (D) Colten Saucerman, and (D) Mike McKee.  For the Team White MVP I am going to pick the goaltender duo of Tim Shaughnessy and Ty Marble who both looked very good.  Team Red MVP goes to Dax Lauwers who had a ton of huge hits.  I had to chuckle a bit when Lauwers (6'2, 200 pounds) and McKee (6'5", 230 pounds) were both on the ice at the same time....hitting anything that moved.  Lauwers especially looks very good, and should be a lock for the final roster if he chooses to leave Army and return to the Lincoln Stars.

That's it for the morning session!  Thanks for reading.  I'll recap the afternoon session later tonight when I get back to my hotel room.

2011 Tryout Camp Rosters

I got up early this morning and found a FedEx office where I could scan and upload the camp roster sheets to the blog.  Each page contains two teams.  Click each image to enlarge it.  After watching the teams yesterday, there are a few errors with these rosters.  There is a #18 on Team White, but there is no player listed on the roster.  Team Red has a defensemen wearing #7, but I don't know who that is either.  Team Yellow has two forwards (#18, #19) who aren't listed on the roster either.  If I find out who those players are, I'll post them here.