Thursday, June 7, 2012

2012 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: Day One

Ridder Arena - Univ. of Minnesota
It's been a long day, and it's late, but I want to get a quick article up before I go to bed and get up early for day two of the tryout camp.  A total of 119 players are here, which is up from 105 players last year.  Thanks to BT for posting the rosters earlier today.  I used my iPod to take pictures of each roster sheet, so I hope they turned out ok and are easy enough to read.  Thanks also to BT for helping out by posting some of my twitter updates here on the blog as the scrimmages were being held.

Of the 30 players that I highlighted in this article, 26 of them are here, which is damn good, in my opinion.  Of the 6 players selected by the Stars in the most recent USHL Futures Draft, all are here.  Very, very good turnout by the draft picks.  As BT mentioned earlier tonight, the Stars' draft picks that did not report to camp are: Mike McCarron (2012 Entry/5th round), Brandon Morely (2012 Entry/17th round), Zach Pochiro (2012 Entry/19th round), Trevor Cope (2011 Entry/17th round) and Sean Malone (2011 Futures/4th round).

No big surprises there.  McCarron will play for Team USA U-18 next season, so there's no reason for him to be here.  Morely played the last two seasons in the BCHL, so maybe he decided the USHL isn't for him.  Pochiro recently signed a commitment to play in the WHL, while Cope signed to play in the BCHL.  I have been told that Sean Malone would have been here but recently came down with an illness that will keep him out of the entire camp.  So all in all, great turnout by all of the former draft picks of Lincoln.

As far as returning veterans from last season, the two big names that aren't on the camp roster are defenseman Brandon Carlson and Markus McCrea.  I can only assume that the Stars did not protect either player.  Both Carlson and McCrea were born in 1992, so they would count as an "overager" next season in the USHL.  Each USHL team can roster only four players born in 1992 next season.  This sort of thing happens every season.  Good kids find themselves on the outside looking in mainly due to the numbers game.  Good luck to both of those two in the future, wherever they end up.

Otherwise, every returning player I expected to be here is present at camp.  Those returning vets are: Jackson Teichroeb, Paul LaDue, Logan Smith, Mike McKee, Zach Frye, Dominik Shine, Luke Johnson, Zach Aston-Reese, Will Suter, Brad Hawkinson, Vinni Lettieri, Bob Kinne, Tommy Schutt, Jonathan Grebosky, and Eric Scheid.  Luke Johnson was not in attendance today, but I was told he will be here tomorrow.

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, I'm not a scout, 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 Royal vs. Team White
Team Royal won the first scrimmage of the 2012 tryout camp with a dominating 5-2 win over Team White.  Scoring goals for Team Royal was Jake Larson, Craig Skudalski, Vinni Lettieri, Tyler Nanne, and Johnathan Lekossiotis.  For the most part, I will only keep track of goal scorers, but in some situations I will note the primary assist if it was a good play.  Scoring goals for Team White was Matt Alexander and Bob Kinne.  Each scrimmage consists of two 25-minute halves (running clock).

Royal goaltender Tim Shaughnessy started the first half of the game and gave up only one goal.  Royal goaltender Michael Santaguida started the second half and also gave up only one goal.  White goaltender Joey Staely started the first half of the scrimmage and surrendered four goals.  White netminder Chris Funkey started the second half and gave up one goal.  There was one fight in the scrimmage which pitted Royal's Jake Clifford vs. White's Mitchell Snyder.  I called it a draw.

Players from Team Royal who stood out to me were Craig Skudalski, Vinni Lettieri, Philip Middleton, Justin Woods, Louie Nanne, Max Coatta, and Jack Walker.  To be honest, there were a lot of players on Royal who performed very well.  Players from Team White who stood out to me were Colin Staub, Bob Kinne, Mike Preston, Mitchell Snyder, Carl Hesler (nice assist on Alexander's goal) Johno May, and Zach Frye.  My MVP of Team Royal goes to forward Craig Skudalski, who had a goal and a number of other scoring opportunities.  For being 6'6", 215 pounds, I thought Skudalski moved very well.  My MVP of Team White goes to Bob Kinne who was easily White's best forward.

Scrimmage #2:  Team Columbia (light blue) vs. Team Red
Team Columbia won this scrimmage in a shootout by a score of 3-2.  Scoring for Columbia was Jack Suter (little brother of Stars forward Will Suter), Logan Smith, and Will Suter (shootout winner).  Scoring for Red was Michael Neville (very pretty goal), and Max Humitz (bad angle wrister-great shot).

Columbia goaltender Michael Bitzer started the first half of the game and gave up only one goal.  Columbia netminder Robert Goor started the second half and gave up just one goal.  Red goaltender Jackson Teichroeb started the first half and also gave up only one goal.  Red goaltender Jake Ireland started the second half of the scrimmage and surrendered one regulation goal, and one shootout goal.  All of the goaltenders in this particular scrimmage performed quite well.  There were no fights in this scrimmage.

Players from Team Columbia who stood out to me were Michael Bitzer, Will Suter, Ryan Collins, Logan Smith, and Brad Hawkinson.  Players from Team Red who stood out in my opinion were Michael Neville, Mike McKee, Max Humitz, Aidan Muir, Parker Reno, and Zach Aston-Reese.  My MVP from Columbia goes to Will Suter who scored the shootout winner and hustled every shift.  Will has an extra gear that many other players just don't seem to have.  My MVP from Red was hard to pick.  I considered McKee, Humitz, and Neville but in the end I went with Michael Neville who had a great open-ice hit in the first half of the game and added a goal later.  I really like what this kid brings to the table.

Scrimmage #3:  Team Black vs. Team Yellow
Team Yellow cruised to a 5-3 victory in this scrimmage over Team Black.  Scoring for Yellow was Tyler Coulter, Ross Olsson, Michael Bunn (two goals), and Cooper Rush (who happens to be 6'8", 230 pounds).  Scoring for Black was Dylan Durham, Zach Zech, and Bryan Yim.  Even with Luke Johnson missing from the lineup today, I thought Team Yellow was the best team I saw this evening.

Yellow goaltender Brandon Wildung started the first half of the game and gave up only one goal.  Yellow netminder Sean Healy started the second half and gave up two goals.  Black goaltender Cam Johnson started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up one goal.  Black netminder Jordan Severo started the second half and gave up four goals.  There was one fight in the scrimmage which pitted Yellow's Cooper Rush  vs. Black's Charlie Donlin.  I gave the nod to Donlin in the scrap.

Players from Team Yellow who stood out to me were Ben Masella (played with former Stars standout Kevin Roy at Deerfield Academy two seasons ago), Brent Wold (very nice assist on Coulter's goal), Austin Yano (undersized d-man, but very composed), Ross Olsson, Michael Bunn, and Paul LaDue.  Players from Team Black who stood out in my opinion were Charlie Donlin, Dominik Shine (who played defense the entire game), Derek O'Flynn, David Parrottino, and Dan Sakalian.  My MVP of Team Yellow goes to Michael Bunn who used his incredible speed to score two goals.  I was really impressed with Bunn's play in this scrimmage.  My MVP of Team Black goes to Charlie Donlin who played a smart, physical game on the blueline.  Donlin definitely has a nasty streak, but he has skills with the puck as well.

That's about it!  Time for me to get some sleep and start this all over again in the morning.  If you have any specific questions you'd like to ask, please email me at or leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading.  -Yeti (Tim)

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