Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brandon Bollig becomes first alumni of Lincoln Stars to win Stanley Cup

Just a quick article to congratulate former Lincoln Stars fan favorite, and current Chicago Blackhawks forward, Brandon Bollig and his teammates for winning the NHL's Stanley Cup!  The Blackhawks came back in dramatic fashion last night in game six of the finals to win 3-2 over the Boston Bruins, and win the series 4-2.

Bollig becomes the first former Stars player to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.  It doesn't seem that long ago that I was watching Bollig create havoc at the IceBox against the Stars' opponents.  Crazy to think he's a Stanley Cup winner now.

Brandon played three seasons with the Stars from 2005-2008.  In 173 games for the Stars, Bollig racked up 73 points and 593 penalty minutes, which is a franchise record.

Congrats again to Brandon!  Hopefully he'll bring the Stanley Cup back to Lincoln and the IceBox very soon!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yeti's All-B³ Tryout Camp Team - Goal Stats From Camp

One last article about the 2013 Lincoln Stars tryout camp....I promise.  I'm sure some of you are already sick of all the camp updates and are ready to drop the puck already.  I'm right there with you.  September can't come soon enough.

I thought I'd highlight some of the non-returning players who impressed me the most at camp and continue an annual B³ tryout camp team.  Nothing against our returning veteran players, because ALL of them looked great at camp.  The vets are definitely the top of the food chain, so to speak.  I just thought it might be nice to highlight some of the lesser known players at tryout camp who impressed me the most.  Here they are!

All-B³ Team
Forward: Luke Voltin
Forward: Hunter Anderson
Forward: Ludvig Hoff
Defense: Luke Shiplo
Defense: Scott Dornbrock
Goalie: Nick Schmit

Honorable mention: August Von Ungern-Sternberg (F), Dominick Sacco (F), John Simonson, (F), Magnus Hoff (F), Ken Citron (D), Jared Kolquist (D).

There's a good chance you'll see most of the players mentioned above in a Lincoln Stars uniform at some point next season.

Also, here's a list of the top goal-scorers from camp.  A total of 54 different players scored at least one goal at camp, which is an amazingly high number considering there were 115 total players who participated.  I'm only going to post the players who scored two or more goals.  Thanks to BellTolls for putting this list together.

Goal Leaders:
Garrett Brossart - 4
Ludvig Hoff - 4
Nicholas Monfils - 4
Blake Brazil - 3
Connor Chambers - 3
Magnus Hoff - 3
Casey Linkenheld - 3
Michael McNicholas - 3
Dominick Sacco - 3
John Simonson - 3
Brandon Smith - 3
August Von Ungern-Sternberg - 3
Hunter Anderson - 2
Brenden Dunning - 2
Miguel Fidler - 2
Max Freeman - 2
Zach Grzelewski - 2
Gordie Helmuth - 2
Max Humitz - 2
Todd Koritzinsky - 2
Daniel Kucerovy - 2
Dominic Lutz - 2
Miles Manson - 2
David Parrottino - 2
William Scherer - 2
Luke Voltin - 2

Photos from the 2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp

Stars defenseman Zack Pittman
Courtesy of Shooting Star Photos
I'm going to post a couple of links below for people to check out at their own convenience.  I thought about posting a number of photos in this article, but it would take up too much room.

Click here to view photos from the first camp all-star game, courtesy of Shooting Star Photos.

Click here to view photos from the second camp all-star game, courtesy of Shooting Star Photos.

Click here to view photos from camp courtesy of Brandon Anderson, who is the official Stars team photographer.

Thanks to both Starstruck and BA for allowing me to share their photos on this blog.  It is much appreciated!  Make sure you follow both of them on Facebook so you can be updated throughout the season.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2013 Tryout Camp Review and other notes

First of all, I want to thank the Lincoln Stars organization for a very successful camp, and for making me feel welcome.  Special thanks to Stars Vice President Steve Zoucha for providing me with roster sheets for the main camp.  

Just like the last few years, I thought the 2013 camp was run extremely well and I heard from a number of player parents there who said the same thing.  Just about every player parent I talked to at tryouts 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. 

I know most of the fans in Lincoln wish the camp was still held in Omaha, but I'm convinced that hosting the tryouts in Minneapolis has attracted a number of players who might not have reported to Omaha.  Like last year, I talked to a few parents this past weekend who stated exactly that.  They brought their son to Minneapolis because it was easier to fly/drive into.  Also, there's no doubt that the players are exposed to more college and pro scouts in Minnesota than they would be in Omaha.  So I really hope the Stars organization continues to host this camp in Minneapolis.  It's a winner, without a doubt.

I'm planning on putting together a B³ camp all-star team of drafted, and free-agent players.  I'll post that in the next few days.  All of our returning vets played very well at camp, so I thought I'd highlight some of the top incoming players who the fans might not be familiar with.

So what's next?  Well, the Lincoln Stars (and every other USHL team) have until July 10th to firm up their 30-player protected roster and send it into the league.  On September 1st, that list of 30 players has to be cut down to 25.  At that time, the Stars will have a 25-player protected list, and also a list of up to 18 players on their affiliate list.  To understand it a little better, click here to view the protected roster the Stars released after the 2012 camp last year.  I believe any player protected on the affiliate list has to have been previously drafted by the Stars (i.e., no undrafted free agents).  Starting this season, the affiliate roster increased from 14 to 18 players.

I believe the 18-player affiliate list next season will consist of ten players born in 1997, six players born in 1996, and two players born in 1995.  Players on the affiliate list can be brought up during the regular season by the Stars at any time.

The Stars will take those 25 protected players, along with some of the affiliate players, to the "USHL Fall Classic West" tournament which will be held in Sioux City, Iowa on September 11th and 12th.  After the mini Fall Classic tourney, the Stars will have to cut down to 23 players and those players will be on the roster on opening night of the 2013-14 USHL regular season.  So the cuts are basically, 30-25-23.  Between now and early October there could still be a lot of roster-shuffling done.

While some other USHL teams will release their protected roster before the 7/10 deadline, I doubt we'll see anything released from the Stars until early July.  Some teams will post their protected roster before the 7/10 deadline.  I've already heard of a few players who made the Lincoln roster (via Twitter), 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.  Like every year, I'll also post my predictions on which players I think make the roster.  I'll do that before the 7/10 deadline.

Speaking of early July, sometime that month the USHL should release the 2013-14 regular season schedule.  It's always interesting to look over the new schedule when that's released.  Also in July, the USHL will release the game schedule for the 2013 Fall Classic tournament in Sioux City.

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

Monday, June 10, 2013

2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: All-Star Game (Second)

Stars goalie Michael Bitzer
Courtesy of Shooting Star Photos
The 2013 Lincoln Stars tryout camp concluded Sunday afternoon with the second all-star game held at Ridder Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

Click here to see the roster sheet from this game.  A total of six players who participated in the first all-star game were asked to play in the second all-star game.  Those players were:  Wayland Williams (D), William Scherer (D), Kyle Fargesen (F), Eric Brenk (F), Connor Chambers (D), and Ken Citron (D).

Each team had two goaltenders, six defensemen, and 11 forwards for a total of 19 players per squad.  23 of the 38 players who participated in this last camp all-star game were protected by the Stars coming into the tryout camp.  So 15 players in this final all-star game were undrafted free agents, a much higher number that you would normally see at a Stars tryout camp.  At the 2012 camp, only 5 of the 39 players on the final all-star roster were undrafted free-agents.


Final:  Team Royal 5, Team White 4  Overtime
This game consisted of three, 17 minutes periods with the clock stopping at every whistle.  Each of the four goaltenders who participated in this game played 1.5 periods a piece.

Both Royal and White traded a goal a piece in the opening period of this game.  Norway native Ludvig Hoff got White on the scoreboard first with a nice deflection goal past goaltender Jacob Nehama, with an assist going to defenseman Tony DeVito (little brother of former Stars forward Jimmy DeVito).  Royal answered shortly after the Hoff goal with a tally from 15-year old phenom August Von Ungern-Sternberg.  "Auggie" jammed the puck past White goaltender Michael Bitzer to even the score at 1-1 going into the first intermission.

White outscored Royal 2-1 in the second period thanks to goals from David Parrottino and Hunter Anderson.  Parrottino fired the puck past Nehama on a goal-mouth scramble, while Anderson's goal came on an odd-man rush with a very nice assist going to Nicholas Monfils.  Royal's lone second period goal was scored by Brandon Smith, with an assist going to Thomas Carey.

In the third period, Royal turned the tables on White and outscored them 2-1.  Defenseman William Scherer and forward Michael McNicholas both potted goals for Royal in the final stanza to give Royal a 4-3 lead at one point.  Scherer's goal was snapshot just outside the slot area in front of White goaltender Nick Schmit.  McNicholas' goal was set up nicely by forward Max Humitz who centered the puck to McNicholas from behind the net.  White got the equalizer and forced overtime when Nicholas Monfils scored a very nice one-timer goal on an odd man rush with assists going to Ludvid and Magnus Hoff.

Towards the end of regulation in the third period, White defenseman Zach Frye, and forward Ludvig Hoff were both called for hooking minor penalties.  Royal started the overtime period on a 5-on-3 powerplay, and capitalized about a minute in.  Royal forward Eric Brenk fired a shot on net that was saved by White goaltender Nick Schmit, but the rebound came right to defenseman Connor Chambers who fired the puck into the open net past Schmit's outstretched arms.  Chambers scored both game-winning goals in the two camp all-star games on Sunday.

Royal goaltenders Jacob Nehama and Brandon Wildung both played 1.5 periods worth of hockey and gave up two goals a piece.  White goaltender Michael Bitzer gave up 1 goal, while his teammate Nick Schmit gave up four goals, which included the OT GWG.

Another fantastic paced game with a lot of end-to-end action.  You could tell these players left it all on the ice with their effort.  It was definitely the hightlight of camp.  Very fun to watch from the stands.

My MVP of Team Royal goes to defenseman Luke Shiplo, who had a great overall game and a terrific camp.  This kid really impressed me with his play over the weekend.  He's on the small side, but is fantastic with the puck and seems more than capable of being Lincoln's powerplay quarterback next season.  A side note, I thought Royal forward Brandon Smith also played very well in this game and is deserving of some attention.  My MVP of Team White goes to forward Nicholis Monfils (1g, 1a), who like defesenman Connor Chambers, came out of nowhere as an undrafted free agent to have a very good camp.  Despite being on the 0-5 Royal squad during the first three days of camp, Monfils played extremely well without a whole lot of help.  I'm not sure if the Stars have him on their radar, but Monfils definitely helped his cause this past weekend with his play.

That's it for the camp recaps!  I'm hoping to post a few more articles related to the camp in the next couple of days. First off, I want to post a quick overall review of the camp tomorrow.  I will post photos from the two-all-star games courtesy of Shooting Star Photos in the next couple of days as well.  You can also view photos from camp courtesy of Brandon Anderson, who is the Stars' official photographer.  Also, I will post some goal stats and a B³ first-team from camp as well as a honorable mention team.

Thanks to all of you who followed the blog this past weekend.  I really appreciate the support.  Special thanks to my friend BellTolls for helping out back in Lincoln by posting all of the rosters on the blog, as well as updates from the two all-star games.  Without his help, I would have had to work a lot harder.

-Yeti (Tim)

2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: All-Star Game (First)

Courtesy of Shooting Star Photos
I will be getting caught up with the all-star game recaps this morning, so bear with me as I get them posted.  The first camp all-star game featured some of the younger drafted players by the Stars, and also a number of non-drafted "free agents" who impressed the coaches during the prior camp games.

This game consisted of three, 20 minute periods (running clock).  Click here to view the roster sheet from the first all-star game.  The Royal squad had one goaltender, six defensemen, and 12 forwards.  The White squad had two goaltenders, six defenseman, and 11 forwards.  The three goaltenders who participated in this game each played two periods.  Jacob Dittmer played one period for Team Royal, and one period for Team White.  The other two goaltenders played two periods for their respective teams.

Six players who started this first all-star game were pulled out early so that they could prepare for the second all-star game.  Those players were: Wayland Williams (D), William Scherer (D), Kyle Fargesen (F), Eric Brenk (F), Connor Chambers (D), and Ken Citron (D).

Final:  Team White 4, Team Royal 2
Both teams came out very strong and played to a scoreless tie at the first intermission.  Goaltender Jacob Dittmer played the first period for Team White and did not give up any goals.  Netminder Joey Staely started the first period for Team Royal and also did not give up any goals.

In the second period, Team White outscored Team Royal 2-1. White opening the scoring in the second period with a goal from forward Matt Christian, with an assist going to defenseman Ryan Rowell.  Rowell worked hard to keep the puck from exiting the offensive zone, and fired a shot on goal that was deflected by Christian and into the back of the net past goaltender Joey Staely.  Royal knotted the game up at 1-1 when defenseman William Scherer wristed the puck past White goaltender Joshua Stone from the slot area just in front of the net.  White finished out the scoring in the middle stanza with a goal from defenseman Connor Chambers.  Unfortunately, I did not get a good look at this goal so I did not see how it developed.

In the third period, White outscored Royal 2-1 again to wrap up a 4-2 victory in the first camp all-star game.  Royal knotted the game up at 2-2 with a goal from forward Miguel Fidler.  White answered right back to take 3-2 lead with another goal from defenseman Connor Chambers.  The eventual game-winning goal for White came on an odd-man rush with a nice assist going to forward Conner Thie.  Royal put a lot of pressure on White at the end of the third to tie the game, but they could not get a puck past Joshua Stone.  Conner Thie wrapped put the nail in the coffin with an empty-net goal with less than one minute remaining to seal the victory for Team White.

White goaltender Joshua Stone played the second and third periods for Team White and gave up two goals.  Jacob Dittmer started the first period for White, and the third period for Royal and gave up only one goal.  Joey Staely started the first and second periods for Royal and gave up two goals.

For these two all-star games, I'm not going list certain players who impressed me because they all looked great.  These players wouldn't have been selected for the all-star games if they hadn't had a great camp.  

I will, however, name a MVP from each team.  My MVP of Team White goes to a pretty obvious choice, defenseman Connor Chambers.  I think Chambers really opened some eyes yesterday with his two goals, and his one goal later in the second camp all-star game.  For an undrafted, free agent, Chambers had a very good camp.  For Team Royal, I'm also going to give some love to a defenseman, this time it's Nicholas Rutigliano.  This kid has great size (6'2", 195 pounds) for a '96, and plays a quiet, but solid shutdown role.  I hope this is a player the Stars can bring to Lincoln this year, or next.

Great first all-star game!  Congrats to all of the players who made it this far.  It was fun to watch you all participate at camp.  Best of luck going forward!

-Yeti (Tim)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: All-Star Game Rosters and Results

Here are the 2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp All-Star Game rosters and results.

All-Star Game #1
Team White beat Team Royal, 4-2, in the first all-star game. Scoring for White were Matt Christian, Connor Chambers (two goals) and Conner Thie. Scoring for Royal were William Scherer and Miguel Fidler.

Players who played in the first all-star game and also made the rosters for the second all-star game were D-men Connor Chambers, William Scherer, Ken Citron and Wayland Williams, as well as forwards Eric Brenk and Kyle Fargesen.



All-Star Game #2
Team Royal beat Team White, 5-4, in overtime to win the second all-star game to conclude the 2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp. Scoring for Royal were August von Ungern-Sternberg, Brandon Smith, William Scherer, Michael McNicholas and Connor Chambers. Chambers, a defenseman, had the game-winning goal in overtime on a 5-on-3 power play. He also had two goals in the morning all-star game. Scoring for White were Ludvig Hoff, David Parrottino, Hunter Anderson and Nicholas Monfils.


Returning vets Daniel Willett and Zach Aston-Reese are not on the all-star game rosters, but it's because they were unable to participate on Sunday. Both should be members of the Stars this fall barring something unexpected.

And that wraps up the 2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp. A complete review of the camp, the all-star games and camp statistics will be posted in a recap article sometime by Monday, so be on the lookout for that. Lots of good talent on display at this year's camp, and more than any other year, a lot of "free agents" who weren't drafted by the Stars showed up to play to try and earn their way onto the team. Take for example the all-star games on Sunday: 10 of the 15 goals were scored by "free agents." There will be a lot of tough decisions the coaches will have to make in the coming days. Glad I am not in their shoes.

Thanks for following along all weekend, everybody. Go Stars!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: Day Three (Evening)

Can you overdose on live hockey?  I have certainly tried this weekend.  I'm up early to bust out this article recapping the evening session from day three.  The tryout camp will conclude this morning (Sunday) with two all-star games.  If the two games are like last year, the first game will include some of the younger players at camp, and also some of the undrafted players who have impressed the coaches.  The second all-star game will include most if not all of the returning vets, a lot of the draft picks, and "free agents" who the coaches feel have a good shot at making the team.  I'm really looking forward to that.

As soon as I have the all-star rosters I am going to email them to BellTolls who will put them on the blog, so keep an eye out for those sometime after 10:00am CST on Sunday.  I will not be able to post a recap article of the two all-star games until I get back to Lincoln late Sunday evening.  As soon as the last all-star game concludes, I'm going to hop in my car and drive the 7 hours back to Lincoln.

Game #13:  Team Red (4-0 vs. Team Black (3-1)
In the battle of the top two teams at camp, Team Red used a strong second half to finish the camp undefeated (5-0) with a 6-4 win over Team Black.  Scoring for Red was Brandon Parker, Gordie Helmuth, Max Freeman, Garrett Hehir, and David Parrottino (nice bar down wrister).  Scoring for Black was Brandon Smith (nice snipe), Dominick Sacco (2 goals), and Magnus Hoff.  Black fell to 3-2 after the loss.

Red goaltender Jacob Nehama started the first half of the game and gave up two goals.  Red netminder Michael Tilford started the second half and also gave up two goal.  Black goaltender Dylan Parker started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up two goals.  White netminder Sean Healy started the second half of the game for Team Black and gave up 4 goals.  There was one fight in this game which saw Red defenseman Zack Pittman win a close decision over Black forward John Simonson.

Players from Team Red who stood out in my opinion were David Parrottino, Gordie Helmuth, Taylor Maruya, Max Freeman, Max Humitz, and Brandon Parker.  Players from Team Black who impressed me were Michael McNicholas, Jared Bethune, Ludvig and Magnus Hoff, Luke Shiplo, Ken Citron (Dax Lauwers clone), Dominick Sacco (great combo of speed and skill), and Brandon Smith (good combo of size and skill).  My MVP of Team Red goes to forward David Parrottino.  "Tino" is a smaller dynamic player with very good stick handling abilities.  I think he's a lock to make Lincoln's roster again next season.  My MVP of Team Black goes to defenseman Luke Shiplo, who the Stars acquired from the Des Moines Bucs last month.  Very polished d-man, who is a bit on the small size, but he has boatloads of skill.  I can see why Western Michigan wants him for their hockey program.  I hope he can be the guy to quarterback Lincoln's PP next season.

Game #14:  Team Royal (0-4) vs. Team Yellow (2-2)
Team Yellow finished camp with a 3-0 shutout win over Team Royal, who finished with an 0-5 record this week.  Scoring for Yellow was Garrett Brossart (two goals), and Jared Kolquist.  Yellow improved to 3-2 after the win.

Yellow goaltender Nick Schmit started the first half of the game and did not give up any goals.  Yellow netminder Jacob Dittmer started the second half and also pitched a shutout.  Neither goaltender on Yellow was tested that much in this game.  Having said that, apart from Michael Bitzer, I think Schmit and Dittmer are the two best goaltender at this camp.  Royal goaltender Ashton Good started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up two goals.  Royal netminder Joey Staely started the second half and gave two goals.  There were no fights during this game.

Players from Team Yellow who impressed me were Connor Chambers, Jared Kolquist, Nate Repensky, Eric Brenk, Grant Loven, Hunter Anderson, Garrett Brossart, Thomas Carey, and Jake Larson.  Players from Team Royal who stood out to mere were Wayland Williams, Lucas Little, Nicholas Monfils, Miles Manson, and Chris Cobham.  My MVP for Team Yellow goes to Stars forward Garrett Brossart who had his best camp of camp.  He's looked progressively better as these games have gone along.  My MVP of Team Royal goes to forward Miles Manson who has played very well as a free agent on a team without any draft picks.

Game #15:  Team Columbia (2-2) vs. Team White (1-3)
The last scrimmage of the camp before the two all-star games saw Team Columbia squeak out a 4-3 shutout win over Team White.  Scoring in regulation for Columbia was David Powlowski, Daniel Willett, and Daniel Kucerovy.  Scoring in regulation in White was Anthony Song, Scott Dornbrock (penalty shot), and Blake Brazil.  In the shootout, Columbia players Zach Zech and Kyle Berry both scored.  White forward Black Brazil had the lone shootout goal for his team.

Columbia goaltender Brandon Wildung started the first half of the game and gave up two goals.  Columbia netminder Joshua Stone started the second half and gave up one goal.  White goaltender Sean Healy started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up one goal.  White netminder Michael Bitzer started the second half and gave up two goals.

There were two fights in this game.  White forward Christian Howard earned a decision over Columbia forward Drew Doyon.  15-year old White forward August Von Ungern-Sternberg got a clear win over Columbia forward Carter Reid.

Players from Team Columbia who impressed me were Daniel Willett, Nicholas Rutigliano, Zach Zech, Brenden Dunning, Todd Koritzinsky, and Daniel Ducerovy.  Players from Team White who stood out in my opinion were Kyle Williams, Jalen Chatfield, Scott Dornbrock, August Von Ungern-Sternberg, and Blake Brazil..  My MVP of Team Columbia goes to defenseman Daniel Willett who had a busy Saturday.  Willett played in a total of four games on Saturday due to injuries on other teams.  We all know about his size, but his skating, stick-handling, and passing skills are very good.  He's had a terrific camp.  My MVP from Team White goes to the youngster August Von Ungern-Sternberg.  "Auggie" is one of the more skilled 15-year olds I've ever seen.  He could put some weight on his frame, but there's plenty of time going forward to do that.  Very talented kid, and I hope the Stars can find a spot on the roster for him next season.

Back at it this morning for the two camp all-star games.  Thanks for reading. - Tim

2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: Day Three (Morning)

It's a beautiful day here in Minneapolis for day three of the Lincoln Stars 2013 tryout camp.  Thankfully the sun came out a bit early this morning and warmed things up a bit.  It was cloudy and cool the past couple of days so the sun was a welcome sight.  The morning session started at 9:00am and ran until after 1:00pm.

The games are progressively getting better and more fun to watch.  I think the players are feeling much more comfortable out there, and are getting used to their teammates.  A bit more hitting this morning than previously, which is good.

Game #10:  Team Yellow (2-1) vs. Team Red (3-0)
Team Red stayed undefeated with a 3-2 shootout win over Team Yellow in the first game this morning.  Red is now 4-0, while Yellow dropped to 2-2.  Scoring for Red in regulation was Jonathan Desbiens (penalty shot), and Gordie Helmuth (nice clapper top shelf).  Scoring for Yellow in regulation was Thomas Carey (nice assist from Hunter Anderson), and Garrett Brossart (nice deflection off a Daniel Willett point shot).

In the shootout, all three shooters for Red scored:  Taylor Maruya (nice Pavel Datsyuk move), Angus Scott, and Max Humitz.  Two of three shooters scored for White:  Jake Larson, and Conner Thie.

Red goaltender Michael Tilford started the first half of the game and gave up only one goal.  Red netminder Jacob Nehama started the second half and also gave up one goal.  Nehama stopped one of three shooters in the shootout.  Yellow goaltender Jacob Dittmer started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up one goal.  Yellow netminder Nick Schmit started the second half and also surrendered one goal.  Schmit was 0-for-3 in the shootout.  There were no fights in this scrimmage.

Players from Team Red who impressed me were the goaltending duo of Tilford and Nehama, Zack Pittman, Gordie Helmuth, Angus Scott, and Taylor Maruya.  Players from Team Yellow who stood out to me were Thomas Carey, Eric Brenk, Connor Chambers, Garrett Brossart, Jared Kolquist, and Nate Repensky.  My MVP of Team Red goes to forward Gordie Helmuth who has a nice goal and seemed to be all over the ice.  He's a gritty kid, and isn't afraid to get his nose dirty.  My MVP of Yellow goes forward Eric Brenk who is a big kid, but has soft hands around the net and a heavy shot.

Three players from Team Red were missing from the lineup this morning:  Cal Walker, Brandon Parker, and Tommy Marchin.  Derek Olmschenk and Thomas Stoxen were missing from the Yellow lineup.

Game #11:  Team Royal (0-3) vs. Team Columbia (1-2)
Team Columbia earned a 6-2 victory over the winless Team Royal squad to improve to 2-2.  Royal fell to 0-4 after the loss.  Scoring for Columbia was Kyle Fargesen, Brenden Dunning (two goals), Paul Heger, and Daniel Kucerovy.  Scoring for Royal was Kevin Fitzgerald (nice top shelf snipe), and Nicholas Monfils.

Columbia goaltender Brandon Wildung started the first half of the game and gave up only one goal.  Columbia netminder Joshua Stone started the second half and also gave up one goal.  Royal goaltender Joey Staely started the first half of the game and gave up three goals.  Royal netminder Ashton Good started the second half and also gave up three goals.  There were no fights in this scrimmage.

Players from Team Columbia who stood out in my opinion were Kyle Fargesen, Patrick Condon, Todd Koritzinsky, Daniel Kucerovy, Brenden Dunning, and Zach Zech.  Players from Team Royal who impressed me were Miles Manson, Lucas Little, William Scherer, Nicholas Monfils, and Kevin Fitzgerals.  My MVP for Team Columbia goes to forward Brenden Dunning who had his best game of the camp so far with two goals, and was very close to getting one or two more  Very nice individual effort on his first goal.  My MVP for Team Royal goes to forward Nicholas Monfils who had one goal and has been Royal's most consistent forward in this camp.

Game #12:  Team White (1-2) vs. Team Black (2-1)
Team Black continued their hot streak with a 8-2 blowout win over Team White in the last game of the morning session.  Scoring for Black was Magnus Hoff (two goals), Casey Linkenheld (two goals), John Simonson (two goals), Luke Voltin (goal of the camp so far; faked out two defenders before firing a laser top glove side), and Ludvig Hoff.  Scoring for White was Blake Brazil and Luke Miller.  Black improved to 3-1, while White fell to 1-3.  Team Black has scored 20 goals in their last three games.

Black goaltender Dylan Parker started the first half of the game and gave up only one goal.  Columbia goaltender Brandon Wildung started the second half of the game for Team Black and also gave up one goal.  White goaltender Michael Bitzer started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up three goals.  White netminder Sean Healy started the second half and gave up five goals.

There was one fight in this game which saw White defenseman Zach Frye drop the mitts with Black forward Brandon Smith.  I called it a draw.

Players from Team Black who stood out in my opinion were Jared Bethune, Ken Citron, Luke Shiplo, Brandon Smith, the Hoff brothers from Norway, John Simonson, and Luke Voltin.  Honestly, the entire Black team looked great in this game.  Players from Team White who impressed me were August Von Ungern-Sternberg, Blake Brazil, David Min, Zach Frye, and Kyle Williams.  My MVP of Team White goes to forward Blake Brazil who scored a goal and had a number of other offensive chances.

Stars forward Zach Aston-Reese and defenseman Beau Browning were missing from the Team White lineup in this game.

That's it for the morning session.  The evening session starts at 5:00pm and runs until 8:45pm.  The first game this evening will be a good one....pitting the undefeated (4-0) Team Red against the offensive juggernaut Team Black (3-1).  The top two teams of the camp will battle it out.  Can't wait for that one.

Most of these games have been running late, so I doubt I'll get out of Ridder Arena until after 9:00pm this evening.  I will post an evening recap article later tonight after I get back to my hotel room.  Thanks again for reading.  -Yeti (Tim)

Friday, June 7, 2013

2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: Day Two (Afternoon)

Michael Bitzer warms up for Team White
Back at it with another recap from the Lincoln Stars' 2013 tryout camp at Ridder Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.  It was a full day of hockey, which is pretty much heaven for a hockey dork like myself.

The overall quality of hockey at camp is getting better, which is good to see.  I thought the games yesterday were very sloppy.  I can't say I've seen anyone here that has completely blown me away, but I've been impressed with the depth of quality players at camp.  I can't imagine having to pare this roster down to 25-30 players.  I guess that's why the coaches make the big bucks.

Game #7:  Team Black (1-1) vs. Team Columbia (1-1)
Team Black improved to 2-1 with a convincing 4-1 win over Team Columbia.  Scoring for Black was Luke Voltin, John Simonson, Casey Linkenheld, and Ludvig Hoff (nice assist from Tony DeVito).  The lone goal for Team Columbia, who fell to 1-2, was scored by Todd Koritzinsky (nice assist from Kyle Fargesen).

Black goaltender Dylan Parker surprisingly played this entire game, and gave up only one goal.  Not taking anything away from Parker, because he played well, but he was not tested as much compared to the Columbia goaltenders.  In my opinion, Team Black is probably one of the top two teams here, and they were swarming in this particular game.  Columbia netminder Joshua Stone started the first half and gave up two goals.  Columbia netminder Brandon Wildung started the second half of the game and also gave up two goals.

There were two fights in this game:  Columbia forward Justin Loepker vs. Black forward Keegan Ward, and Columbia forward Zach Zech vs. Black defenseman Tony DeVito (who happens to be the little brother of former Stars forward Jimmy DeVito).  Both fights were draws, in my opinion.

Players from Team Black who stood out to me (and there were many) were Luke Voltin, Magnus Hoff, Ludvig Hoff, John Simonson, Jared Bethune, Casey Lindenheld, Michael McNicholas, Ken Citron, and Dominick Sacco.  Players from Team Columbia who stood out were Todd Koritzinsky, Kyle Fargesen, Nicholas Rutigliano, Daniel Kucerovy, Paul Heger, Zach Zech, and Kyle Berry.  My MVP of Team Black goes to Casey Linkenheld who has his best game of the camp thus far. My co-MVP's of Team Columbia go to forwards Kyle Fargesen and Todd Koritzinsky.  Both created a lot of offensive opportunities for Columbia in this game, and worked well together.

Game #8:  Team Royal (0-2) vs. Team Red (2-0)
Team Red squeaked by Team Royal, and remained undefeated at 3-0, with a 4-3 shootout win in the second game of the afternoon session.  Scoring for Red in regulation was Joey Molinaro (very nice assist from Dominic Lutz), Max Humitz (highlight reel assist from Taylor Maruya while falling down), and Max Freeman.  Scoring for Royal in regulation was Nicholas Monfils (2 goals), and Miles Manson.  Team Royal fell to 0-3 after the close loss.

In the shootout, Red forwards Garrett Hehir and Tommy Marchin both scored, while the two Royal shooters were held scoreless.

Red goaltender Jacob Nehama started the first half of the game and gave up one goal.  Red netminder Michael Tilford started the second half and gave up two regulation goals, and stopped both White shooters in the shootout.  Royal goaltender Ashton Good started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up two goals.  Royal netminder Joey Staely started the second half and gave up two regulation goals, along with two goals against in the shootout.  There were no fights in this game.

Players from Team Red who stood out in my opinion were the Angus Acott, Joey Molinaro, Max Humitz, Taylor Maruya, Garrett Hehir, David Parrottino, and Zack Pittman.  Players from Team Royal who impressed me were the Nicholas Monfils, Matt Beranek, William Scherer, Sven Jung, and Wayland Williams.  My MVP for Team Red goes to forward Max Humitz (again).  In my opinion, Max might very well be the best forward here from what I've seen.  Oodles of speed and skill.  My MVP of Team Royal goes to forward Nicholas Monfils who scored two goals and was Royal's best forward.

Game #9:  Team Yellow (1-1) vs. Team White (1-1)
In the battle of 1-1 teams, Yellow got a hard-fought (literally) 4-3 win over White and improved to 2-1.  Scoring for Yellow was Hunter Anderson (beauty assist from Conner Thie), Miguel Fidler, Nate Repensky (good work by Jake Larson on the assist), and Eric Brenk.  Scoring for White was August Von Ungern-Sternberg (two goals), and Blake Brazil (fantastic individual effort on his goal).  White fell to 1-2 after the loss.

Yellow goaltender Nick Schmit started the first half of the game and gave up one goal.  Yellow netminder Jacob Dittmer started the second half and gave up two goals.  White goaltender Michael Bitzer (yes, he's here!) started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up two goals.  White netminder Sean Healy started the second half and also gave up two.  It's gave me warm fuzzies to see Bitz back in the net.  He's going to be a huge part of the team this next season.

This game was a bit of a gong-show with a total of three fights.  First it was White forward Zach Aston-Reese earning a decision over Yellow defenseman Connor Chambers.  Next it was Yellow forward Hunter Anderson and White defenseman Scott Dornbrock dropping the mitts in a long tilt that ended in a draw.  Lastly, it was White defenseman Zach Frye KO'ing Yellow defenseman Derek Olmschenk.  Frye caught Olmschenk cleanly with a right hand, and added another as Olmschenk was falling down.  It appeared that Derek was hurt badly in the fight and he did not return to the ice.  I very much hope he is ok.  I'm not a big fight fan, so I especially hate to see kids get injured at camp because of a fight.  Sending good vibes his way.

Players from Team Yellow who stood out to me were Hunter Anderson, Jake Larson, Eric Brenk, Conner Thie, and Nate Repensky.  Players from Team White who impressed me were Scott Dornbrock, August Von Ungern-Sternberg, Craig Skudalski, Kenny Hausinger, Beau Browning, and Blake Brazil.  My MVP from Team Yellow goes to forward Jake Larson, who has really come out of nowhere to have a terrific camp as a free agent.  He hasn't had a bad game yet.  My MVP of Team White goes to forward August Von Ungern-Sternberg who had two goals and is getting better in each tryout game.  Bright future with this kid.

That's about it for day two of camp.  Who knew that watching hockey all day and blogging about it would be exhausting.  Time to get some much needed sleep and do it all over again tomorrow morning.  Thanks again for reading.  -Yeti (Tim)

2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: Day Two (Morning)

I thought I'd take advantage of the long lunch break today to post my thoughts of the three games held this morning at Ridder Arena.  It's very early, but the majority of the games have been a bit sloppy and without a whole lot of flow.  It's expected since it's still early, but I hope to see better play as the games progress.

There are a few teams here that are loaded with prior draft picks of the Stars, and then there are other teams that have few or no draft picks on them.  I'm not sure if that was planned by the coaches or not.


This is no surprise, but you can really spot the kids here who have prior USHL, or even NAHL experience.  They stand out in a good way.  Although the Stars don't return a lot of players from last season, there is a plethora of players here with either USHL or NAHL experience, which is a good thing.  Speaking of that, all of the Stars returners from last season look great thus far.

Also, the four overager (OA) spots (players born in '93) up for grabs will make for an interesting race.  For sure, Stars goaltender Michael Bitzer has one of those OA spots locked up.  Who will be there other three?  I wouldn't want to make that decision, so I don't envy the coaches.  There are a number of very good OA's here at camp.  It's going to bed a dogfight for sure for those remaining three OA spots.

Game #4:  Team Columbia (0-1) vs. Team Yellow (1-0)
In another low scoring affair, Team Columbia proved victorious with a 1-0 shutout win over Team Yellow.  The only goal scored in this game came from Columbia forward Zach Zech, who was at Lincoln's tryout camp last year as well.  Columbia and Yellow both have 1-1 records after this game.

Columbia goaltender Brandon Wildung started the first half of the game and gave up no goals.  Columbia netminder Joshua Stone started the second half and also pitched a shutout.  Yellow goaltender Jacob Dittmer started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up no goals.  Yellow netminder Nick Schmit started the second half and gave up one goal.  Yellow defenseman Nate Repensky dropped the mitts with Columbia defenseman Carter Reid.  I called it a draw.

Players from Team Columbia who impressed me were goaltenders Brandon Wildung/Joshua Stone, Kyle Fargesen, Daniel Willett, David Powlowski, Nicholas Rutigliano, and Patrick Condon.  Players from Team Yellow who stood out in my opinion were Derek Olmschenk, Hunter Anderson, Jake Larson, and goaltenders Nick Schmit and Jacob Dittmer.  My MVP of Team Columbia goes to Stars defenseman Daniel Willett.  What he lacks in size, Daniel makes up with hockey sense.  He always has his head up, and makes crisp, pinpoint passes commonplace.  My MVP of Yellow goes to forward Hunter Anderson.  Hunter is a big kid at 6'4", 212 pounds, but he has good hands around the net.  He has a mean streak also, which is fun to watch.  I really like this kid and hope he continues to play well.

Game #5:  Team Black (0-1) vs. Team Royal (0-1)
Team Black used a dominating second half to beat Team Royal by a score of 8-1.  This was a 2-1 Black lead at "halftime," but Black outscored Royal 6-0 in the second half.  Scoring for Black was Zach Grzelewski (2 goals), Michael McNicholas (2 goals), Dominick Sacco, Ludvig Hoff, Brandon Smith, and Luke Shiplo.  The lone Royal goal was scored by Miles Manson.  Black improved to 1-1 after this game, while Royal fell to 0-2.

Black goaltender Dylan Park started the first half of the game and gave up one goal.  Yellow netminder Nick Schmit started the second half for Team Black and pitched a shutout.  Royal goaltender Joey Staely started the first half of the scrimmage and gave up two goals.  Royal netminder Ashton Good started the second half and gave up six goals.  I felt sorry for Good because he wasn't getting a lot of help out there from his teammates.  There was one fight which saw Black's Keegan Ward earn a decision over Royal's Jeremy Biscoe.

Players from Team Black that impressed me were Zach Grzelewski, Michael McNicholas, Brandon Smith, John Simonson, Jared Bethune, Luke Shiplo, Keegan Ward, Ken Citron, and Luke Voltin.  Players from Team Royal that stood out in my opinion were Kevin Fitzgerald, William Scherer, Ivan Good, Matt Beranek, and Chris Cobham.  My MVP of Team Black was hard to pick since so many of them looked good in this game.  I went with Michael McNicholas who scored two goals, had one assist, and was causing havoc in the Royal defensive zone.  My MVP of Team Royal goes to defenseman William Scherer, who reminds me a lot of former Stars defenseman Cory Hibbeler.  Scherer isn't particularly big, but he's solid in his own zone and has good hands with the puck.  He also had a very good first pass out of the defensive zone.

Game #6:  Team White (1-0) vs. Team Red (1-0)
In the battle of undefeated squads, Team Red beat Team White in a shootout by a score of 2-1.  The lone goal from Team Red in regulation came from Dominic Lutz.  The lone White goal in regulation was scored by Craig Skudalski (nice assist from Kenny Hausinger).  The only shootout goals scored came from Team Red with forward Jonathan Desbiens, and defenseman Blake Waldersen finding twine.  Red remained undefeated at 2-0, while White dropped to 1-1.

Red goaltender Michael Tilford started the first half of the game and did not give up any goals.  Red netminder Jacob Nehama started the second half and also gave up one goal.  Nehama saved two White players in the shootout.  White goaltender Sean Healy started the first half of the scrimmage and did not give up any goals.  Royal netminder Joey Staely started the second half for Team White and gave up one goal.  Staely gave up two goals against two Red players in the shootout.  There were no fights in this game.

Players from Team Red who stood out to me were Michael Tilford, Gordie Helmuth, David Parrottino, Jacob Nehama, and Max Freeman.  Players from Team White who stood out to me were Steven Mather, Zach Aston-Reese, Beau Browning, Kenny Hausinger, and Blake Brazil.  My MVP of Team Red goes to David Parrottino.  David seemed like he had the puck around the White net all game long.  He has quick feet, and is a good faceoff specialist.  My MVP of Team White goes to Zach Aston-Reese who is the prototypical power forward.  Honestly, ZAR should be playing college hockey this fall..  He's a man among boys out there on the ice.  When he has the puck along the boards, it's impossible to knock him off the puck.

The afternoon session begins at 3:00pm and will run until 6:45pm tonight.  I will post another blog article highlighting the afternoon session later tonight.  Thanks for reading.  -Yeti (Tim)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp: Day One

Ridder Arena - Minneapolis, MN
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 115 players are here, which is about the same from last year.  A huge thanks goes out to BellTolls for posting the rosters earlier today.  I used the camera on my phone to take pictures of each roster sheet, so I hope they turned out ok and are easy enough to read.

One change I'm aware of is that Matthew Ho (defenseman) is wearing #7 for Team Black.  Matthew was mistakenly listed as a forward for Team White, so he was moved to Team Black.

I agree 100% with what BellTolls posted earlier today in regards to the players drafted by Lincoln that aren't here.  No big surprises, in my opinion.  Sure, it would have been nice for all drafted players to report, but that never happens.  It is what it is.  The players who are here are going to be busting their asses the next four days to make this team, so I'd rather concentrate on them than wonder why a certain player isn't here.

First of all, I want to thank the Stars organization for making me feel welcome and providing me with rosters and a camp t-shirt.  I may be the unofficial blogger, but the Stars have always treated me very, very well.  I thank them for that.

Okay, enough rambling.  Let's get to the 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.

Game #1:  Team Royal vs. Team White
Team White won the first scrimmage of the 2013 tryout camp with a 2-1 shootout win over Team Royal.  The lone White goal in regulation was scored by Colton Fletcher, with the assist coming from August Von Ungern-Sternberg.  The lone Royal goal in regulation was scored by Ethan Solat.  The only player in the shootout to score was Team White forward Steven Mather.  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.  Each games consists of two 25-minute halves (running clock).  There is not overtime, so if a game ends in a tie, it goes straight to a shootout.  In this case, each team had three shooters.

White goaltender Sean Healy started the first half of the game and did not give up any goals.  Goaltender Brandon Wildung, who wears #1 for Team Columbia, started the second half of the game for Team White and gave up only one goal.  Wildung stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout.  Royal goaltender Ashton Good started the first half and did not give up any goals.  Royal goaltender Joey Staely started the second half of the game and gave up only one goal.  Staely stopped two of three Team White shooters in the shootout.

Players from Team White who stood out to me were Zach Aston-Reese, Jalen Chatfield, Scott Dornbrock, Luke Miller, Colton Fletcher, and Zach Frye.  In his first shift, ZAR put three players on Team Royal right on their backside.  He's a man among boys.  Players from Team Royal who stood out to me were Chris Cobham, Ethan Solat, Jeremy Solat, Nicholas Monfils, Wayland Williams, and Sven Jung.  My MVP of Team White goes to defenseman Scott Dornbrock, who had a very solid, steady game on the blueline.  You can tell he has some USHL and NAHL experience.  My MVP of Team Royal goes to twins Ethan and Jeremy Solat.  They are both on the small size, but man do these kids fly up and down the ice.  Lots of hustle from those two, which was good to see.

Game #2:  Team Columbia (light blue) vs. Team Red
Team Red defeated Team Columbia by a score of 3-1  Scoring for Red was Joshua Owings (point shot), Max Humitz (rebound goal), and Blake Waldersen.  The lone Team Columbia goal was scored by Todd Koritzinsky, with a nice assist coming from Kyle Fargesen on a 2-on-1.  Team Red was probably the best overall squad I saw today.

Red goaltender Jacob Nehama started the first half of the game and did not give up any goals.  Red netminder Michael Tilford started the second half and gave up just one goal.  Columbia goaltender Joshua Stone started the first half and gave up only one goal.  Columbia goaltender Brandon Wildung started the second half of the game and gave up two goals.

Players from Team Red who stood out to me were Tommy Marchin, Taylor Maruya (kid throws his body around like crazy), Max Humitz, David Parrontino, Zack Pittman, and Brandon Parker.  Players from Team Columbia who stood out in my opinion were Todd Koritzinsky, Daniel Willett, Kyle Fargesen, Joshua Stone, and Brenden Dunning.  My MVP from Red goes to Max Humitz who scored the game-winning goal and seemed to always be around the puck.  My MVP from Columbia goes to Todd Koritzinsky who had the lone goal for his team and generated a lot of other scoring chances.  Koritzinsky is a '93 (overager), so he's battling the other '93's in camp for only a few spots on the roster.  He definitely helped himself tonight with his effort.

Game #3:  Team Black vs. Team Yellow
Team Yellow cruised to a 3-1 victory over Team Black in the last game of the night.  Scoring for Yellow was Jake Larson (nice assist from Hunter Anderson), Reid Brown, and Garrett Brossart.  The lone goal by Team Black was scored by Matthew Ho.

Yellow goaltender Nick Schmit started the first half of the game and did not give up any goals.  Yellow netminder Jacob Dittmer started the second half and gave up only one goal.  Red goaltender Michael Tilford started the first half of the scrimmage for Team Black and did not give up any goals.  Black netminder Dylan Parker started the second half and gave up three goals.  There was one fight in the game which pitted Yellow's Hunter Anderson  vs. Black's John Simonson.  It was pretty much a draw.

Players from Team Yellow who stood out to me were Jake Larson, Jared Kolquist, Nate Repensky, Miguel Fidler, and goaltending duo of Nick Schmit/Jacob Dittmer.  Players from Team Black who stood out in my opinion were Luke Voltin, Jared Bethune, Ken Citron (reminds me of former Stars d-man Dax Lauwers), John Simonson, and Dominick Sacco (oodles of speed and skill).  My MVP of Team Yellow goes to the goaltending pair of Nick Schmit and Jacob Dittmer.  Both netminders stood on their head against a very good Black squad.  My MVP of Team Black goes to forward Luke Voltin who generated a good amount of offensive chances, and looked cool, calm, and composed out there.

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 lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com or leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading.  -Yeti (Tim)

2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp Rosters

Without further adieu, here are the 2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp Rosters. Like last year, there are six teams. 115 kids are listed on the rosters. Last year, a couple rostered players didn't show and a couple showed up that weren't on the initial rosters, so take that number with a grain of salt. I will let you know of any roster additions/subtractions when I hear about them.

Stars' Entry Draft picks that did not report to camp are: (D) Cody Pettapiece (8th round), (F) Brett Boehm (10th round), (F) Miles Gendron (13th round), (F) Conor O'Neil (17th round), (G) Dawson MacAuley (22nd round), (D) Joe Grabowski (28th round) and (F) Kevin Fiala (29th round).

Stars' Futures Draft picks that did not report to camp are: (D) Tyler Jutting and (F) Michael Floodstrand. (D) Tye Ausmus, the Stars' top futures draft pick, is unable to participate at camp because of a broken wrist. Otherwise he would be out here playing as well.


21 of the Stars' 28 Entry Draft picks are here, which is great to see. Five of the eight Futures Draft picks are playing this weekend, which is also a good turnout from the young guys. No real surprise no-shows. Pettapiece and Boehm are both Canadians who already have scholarships lined up for 2014, so neither must have felt the need to come play in the United States this season. Not sure about Gendron and O'Neil, but MacAuley is a Canadian goalie who has played major juniors, so he isn't even eligible for collegiate hockey. Long story short, the odds were slim to none he would be at tryouts. Grabowski failed to make Dubuque and Fargo last year, but he has a scholarship locked up to Princeton in 2014. Finally, Fiala was a late-round flyer pick from Switzerland that was never likely to show up. 


There are seven returning Stars at camp: (F) Zach Aston-Reese, (F) Garrett Brossart, (F) Max Humitz, (D) Zach Frye, (D) Zack Pittman, (D) Daniel Willett and (G) Michael Bitzer.


No real surprises here. Having Bitzer back is obviously huge. (F) David Parrottino is also here. He made the Stars last year but had injury issues and eventually wound up in the NAHL after a short time playing for Lincoln. (F) Luke Voltin, (D) Luke Shiplo and (D) Jared Kolquist were all acquired from other USHL teams via trades, and draft picks Eric Brenk and Dominick Sacco have USHL experience. So the Stars actually do have a good number of current USHL players at camp (overage forward Todd Koritzinsky played for Youngstown last year). Another is overage defenseman Brandon Parker, who played 20 games for Sioux Falls last season. Each USHL team can only roster four players born in 1993 on opening day, so the 12 players born in 1993 at camp will be competing tenaciously for those spots, especially since Bitzer has one locked up. 


There are some previous draft picks here as well, like (D) Michael Prapavessis, (F) Gordie Helmuth and (F) Craig Skudalski. (D) William Scherer was also protected by the Stars just prior to last season. 


The youngest player at camp award goes to: (F) Grant Loven, taken by the Stars in the 26th round of the Entry Draft this year. Born Dec. 21, 1997, Loven is 15 years old. He was a freshman on East Grand Forks last year (teammate of Tye Ausmus) and put up 10g and 14a. Obviously one to keep an eye on for the future.


Stay tuned to the blog later tonight. Full Day 1 recap coming after the scrimmages.


Below are the rosters. Click on the image to enlarge it. Go Stars!

   Team Columbia and Team Black

   Team Royal and Team Red

    Team White and Team Yellow


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Last article before camp....

This will be my last article before I leave Thursday morning for Minneapolis and begin blogging from the tryout camp.  My next article should be posted late Thursday evening, after the first session.  Click here to view the tryout camp schedule.  There is free wifi available inside Ridder Arena, so I may try to do some updates during the day, but most of my camp recap articles will come later at night after the scrimmages are complete.  I am also going to utilize the Black and Blue Twitter account quite often throughout the camp with quick bits of information during each day.  I'll include that link below.  It might be a good idea to bookmark the Twitter link in order to follow along.  Better yet, if you're on Twitter already, give the B³ a follow.

B³ Twitter Page:  Click Here

Looking at the Ridder Arena seating chart (pictured below-click to enlarge), I will most likely camp out at the top of section 12 or 13, so if you see me sitting there taking notes, please feel free to introduce yourself.  I always enjoy meeting the folks who read this blog.  If you want to spot me, I'm in my late 30's, about 6'3", 190 pounds, glasses, beard, and I will probably be wearing a black "Bauer" jacket.  I'll also be lugging around my laptop backpack. 


If there are any specific questions you have about the camp, or about certain players, feel free to leave a comment on any of the articles posted in the next four days.  If you'd rather stay anonymous, you can send me an email at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.  Thanks.  -Yeti (Tim)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

B³ Preview: 2013 Lincoln Stars Tryout Camp

Ridder Arena - Minneapolis, MN
With the Lincoln Stars' 2013 tryout camp just a few days away, I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick preview for those interested.  Last year at the 2012 tryout camp, 119 players were in attendance, all divided into six teams.  The 2013 camp will also have six teams, so I am assuming another group of 110+ players will be competing.  Click here to view the camp schedule.

Let's first look briefly at the Lincoln players from last season who *could* be in attendance:

From 2012-13 season:
F - Zach Aston-Reese
F - Garrett Brossart
F - Max Humitz
D - Zach Frye 
D - Zack Pittman
D - Daniel Willett 

As you can plainly see, there are not a lot of players returning from last season, which makes this tryout camp so important.  There will be a LOT of roster spots up for grabs.  Last year, there were 15 returning Stars players at the 2012 tryout camp.  I'm not sure I can remember a camp where so few players (six) are returning from the season before.   

There are some rumors floating around that goaltender Michael Bitzer ('93 - Bemidji State commit) could return next season, but I'm not going to post his name above until I see him at Lincoln's tryout camp.  Stating the obvious here, but having Bitzer return would be HUGE for the Stars.  He would be considered by many as the top goaltender in the entire USHL if he does decide to return.  

Just because a player spent last season with the Stars doesn't mean that they automatically have a spot on the roster for next season.  We have seen veteran players in the past get cut after the tryout camp, so nothing is guaranteed.  Everyone has to earn a spot.

Per the USHL, the Stars and every other team in the league must cut down to 30 players on its main roster and another 18 on its affiliate roster by July 10.  Then just before the 2013-14 regular season starts, the coaches will cut down to 23 players on the main roster.  Players protected on the affiliate list, to my knowledge, had to have been previously drafted by the Stars, and not "free agents." 

Once the 2013-14 USHL regular season begins, the Stars and every other team in the league will have to cut down to 23 rostered players.   For the majority of the 2012-13 regular season, the Stars rostered a total of 14 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders (23 total).  So when you consider the number of veteran players coming back, all of the former draft picks, and then all of the free agent invites, there will be a lot of competition for a good number of spots on the roster.  

Tryout camp can definitely be an intimidating atmosphere for a new player.  If a player shows up and has a bad couple of days, there's good reason to believe that they might not make it on the roster, or even worse, not get protected by the Stars..  It doesn't mean that player is bad, or isn't deserving, but the camp can be a pressure cooker.  If you don't impress the coaches in those couple of days at camp, you can easily find yourself on the outside looking in.

One of the things I enjoy most about the tryout camp every year is watching the invited non-drafted players who come out of nowhere and perform very well.  Last year, it was forward Michael Neville from Canada.  Two years ago it was forward Will Suter and goaltender Charles Williams.  Suter and Williams were undrafted by Lincoln coming into 2011 camp and were considered "free agents," so to speak.  Suter was easily the best forward at camp while Williams was the best goaltender.  Both used their strong efforts at camp to make the team and eventually contribute a lot to the 2011-12 Lincoln Stars.  Suter went on to have a great 2012-13 season with Lincoln and was named alternate captain.  

Three years ago it was an unknown defenseman by the name of Matt Prapavessis who impressed a lot of folks at the 2010 camp and eventually made the team.  Each year it seems like a few players appear at camp as relative unknowns to make the team.  Can't wait to see those players in action.  It is definitely a lot harder for a non-drafted player to make the team, and I enjoy rooting for those "underdog" players.

I don't want to get too wordy with this, so I'll just end it here.  The above is just one fan's opinion.  I'll post a quick article on Tuesday before I leave for Minnesota on Thursday morning.