Friday, November 20, 2009

Wildcats sign local boy Seckel, six more

Northern Michigan Press Release

Northern Michigan University has announced that seven student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend NMU and play hockey for the Wildcats beginning next year.

Four of the signees are either a captain or assistant captain currently with their respective teams. Five of the signees are forwards with a defenseman and a goaltender.

“This is a big recruiting class with the bulk of them having been committed for two years,” said NMU head coach Walt Kyle. “We have big holes to fill beginning next year and they will have the opportunity to fill the holes which will be created. I am extremely happy with these guys.”

NMU signed the following forwards: Ryan Daugherty (6-2, 195), Sam Muchalla (5-8, 155), Reed Seckel (5-10, 175), Stephen Vigier (5-9, 160) and Dylan Walchuk (5-9, 170). CJ Ludwig (6-0, 175) is the lone defenseman, while Jared Coreau (6-4, 200) is the goaltender in the group.

Daugherty currently is playing for Omaha in the United States Hockey League. Originally from Allen, Tex., he currently has five goals and five assists for 10 points in 12 games. For the 2008-09 season, he recorded 16 points on six goals and 10 assists in 46 games.

“He is a big, strong power forward,” said Kyle. “Ryan is putting up good numbers this year.”

Muchalla, currently skating for Prince George in the British Columbia Hockey League, is the captain of the team. Hailing from Prince George, B.C., he currently has seen action in 25 games with 12 goals, 21 assists for 33 points. Last year, he had 53 points on 21 goals and 32 assists.

“He is a small forward with good offensive skills,” said Kyle. “Sam is a gritty competitor.”

Currently an assistant captain with Green Bay of the USHL, Seckel, also a Michigan native from Melvin, has skated in 12 games for the Gamblers this season. He has recorded four goals, six assists for 10 points. For the 2008-09 season, he had 11 goals, 41 assists in 60 games. Green Bay won the USHL Anderson Cup in 2008-09 as the regular season champions.

“Reed is a solid two-way player a very physical checker,” said Kyle. “He will remind longtime hockey fans of Joe West.”

Vigier, from Notre Dame, Manitoba, is the cousin of former NMU player J.P. Vigier who played for the Wildcats from 1996-00. A captain of Sioux City of the USHL, he currently has nine points on five goals and four assists in 14 games. He tallied 48 points for the 2008-09 season on 15 goals and 33 assists in 51 games.

“Stephen is a very slick offensive player. He has great vision and intelligence,” said Kyle. “He comes from a great family.”

Walchuk’s hometown is McBride, B.C. and he is currently skating for Vernon of the BCHL. After 20 games this season he has 12 goals, 21 assists for 33 points.

“Dylan is a great young talent. He is one of the top players and scorers currently in the BCHL,” said Kyle. “We are very fortunate to get this kid.”

Ludwig hails from Little Elm, Tex., and is the youngest son of former NHLer Craig Ludwig, who played in the NHL from 1982-99 for Montreal, New York Islanders, Minnesota (North Stars) and Dallas. He was on two Stanley Cup-winning teams during his NHL career (Montreal and Dallas). CJ is currently playing for Omaha of the USHL as is the team captain. He has four points all on assists after 15 games. Last year he had eight points on a goal, seven assists in 54 games.

“CJ is a solid two-way defenseman. He is an excellent open ice checker,” said Kyle. “He has great leadership qualities.”

Coreau, from Perth, Ont., is currently between the pipes for Lincoln of the USHL. He has appeared in 13 games so far this season and is 5-8-0 with a 3.22 goals-against average, with a .890 save percentage and a shutout.

“Jared is a big, good sized athlete,” said Kyle. “He will remind fans of Brian Stewart and Tuomas Tarkki.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wayne State inks talented quartet

Wayne State Press Release

Wayne State University announced yesterday that four prospective student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to enroll at WSU and join the program in the fall of 2010.

“I am excited about this class, as I feel these players all bring quickness along with hockey sense,” said WSU head coach Jim Fetter. “We have again addressed our speed as a part of the game which we need to improve. They are all leaders on their current teams so we feel we have brought in some players that can help guide Wayne State hockey in the future.”

Cari Coen, a native of Torrance, Calif., is a forward and defenseman, as well as the team captain of the L.A. Selects for the 2009-10 season. She has been in the Selects program since 2007, playing in the Southern California Amateur Hockey Association, and helped the team win two regional titles in 2007-08 and 2008-09. In her earlier years of amateur hockey, Coen was a goaltender, including a season with the West Valley Wolves in 2005-06. A three-sport athlete at Rolling Hills Prep, Coen has been a standout on the volleyball, soccer, and softball teams since 2007.

Katie Gaskin is a defenseman from Pickering, Ont., and is one of two captains for the Durham Jr. Lightning in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League this season. In 2008-09, she accumulated 21 points including 18 assists with the Whitby Jr. Wolves. Gaskin is an honor roll student at Pineridge Secondary, where she was a third baseman on the softball team in 2007-08.

A pair of teammates on the Little Caesars U19 squad, forward Rachel Hardwick and goaltender Lisa Marshall, have also signed with Wayne State.

Hardwick, a native of Algonac, averaged a point per game in 2008-09 with Little Caesars, totaling 10 goals and nine assists in 19 games, and is an assistant captain. She also plays basketball and softball at Cardinal Mooney Prep, earning all-league status in softball as an infielder. Hardwick is also a National Honor Society member.

Marshall is in her first season with Little Caesars and her third at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. The Powhatan, Va., native had a .920 save percentage and seven shutouts for Exeter in 2008-09 and is a two-time MVP. She played with the Montgomery Blue Devils in 2006-07, posting a .924 save percentage. Marshall was also selected to attend the USA Hockey National Select 17 Camp in 2008. She helped her Little Caesars team win the NAHA Tournament in September and was named MVP in the championship game.

Wayne State has four seniors – Chelsea Burnett, Christine Jefferson, Katrina Protopapas and Lindsey Park – who will exhaust their eligibility at the end of the 2009-10 season.

Michigan names alternate captains

Michigan Press Release

The University of Michigan announced this week that junior forward Carl Hagelin and sophomore forward Luke Glendening have been chosen as alternate captains for the rest of the 2009-10 season.

Hagelin (pictured) and Glendening will assist senior defenseman Chris Summers, who was tabbed as the U-M captain prior to the season's start.

"Our players had a vote after the first 10 games to choose alternate captains and it was a clear that the consensus choices were Carl Hagelin and Luke Glendening," Michigan head coach Red Berenson said.

Hagelin is off to a good start in his junior campaign, having earned four goals and four assists in the first 10 games of the season to rank second on the team in points (8). In addition to his regular forward shifts, Hagelin sees time on both the power-play and penalty-kill units. As a sophomore in 2008-09, the Swedish import had a breakout season with 13 goals and 18 points for 31 points, which ranked third on the team. He posted a +19 plus/minus rating and was U-M's representative on the 2008-09 CCHA Scholar-Athlete Team. He also earned Academic All-Big Ten distinction.

A former walk-on, Glendening is the first sophomore to wear a letter since 1990-91, when David Harlock was a sophomore co-captain. Through 10 games this season, Glendening has one goal and two assists. He skated in 35 of 41 games as a freshman, accumulating six goals, including three game-winners, and four assists to go with a +11 rating and earned U-M's Alton D. Simms Award as the team's most improved player.

Photo courtesy UM Photo Services

MSU adds Reimer, Yanakeff for '10-11

Michigan State Press Release

Michigan State has announced that Lee Reimer (Landmark, Manitoba) and Willie Yanakeff (Jerome, Mich.) have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Spartans beginning in the fall of 2010.

“We are excited to add Lee and Willie to the Spartan hockey program,” noted MSU head coach Rick Comley. “Recruiting is not only about finding good players, but also about filling needs on your roster for coming years. We think that both players will bring positive attributes to our program. We currently have a young team, and are excited about adding promising young players to that mix for the coming seasons.”

Reimer (RYE-mer) is a centerman who is playing for the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and is that team’s leading scorer. Through games of Nov. 16, he has an 18-21-39 scoring line with four power-play goals and three shorthanded strikes, which ranks seventh in the AJHL overall. He also ranks fourth in goals and 10th in the league in assists. Reimer, (6-foot, 170 pounds) is a strong skater who moves the puck well, and the coaching staff views him as a complete player who will contribute once he adjusts to the speed and strength in the college game.

Yanakeff (YAN-a-keff) spent last year primarily in the U.S. National Team Development Program, and is now playing in Sioux City of the United States Hockey League. In five games, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Yanakeff owns a 2.81 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. Yanakeff is a bigger body than most MSU fans are used to patrolling the crease, but he is technically sound and an excellent athlete. It’s expected that he’ll not only provide depth behind current sophomore Drew Palmisano, but also challenge to continue MSU’s line of excellent goaltenders who rank among the conference’s and nation’s best.

Michigan State will lose four seniors at the end of the 2009-10 season.

Michigan Tech signs Kero, two others

Michigan Tech Press Release

Three players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Michigan Tech Huskies.

Tanner Kero, a native of Hancock, has played 18 games for the Marquette Rangers of the North American Hockey League this season. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound forward, has scored eight goals this season, tied for the team lead. His sister, Jordana, is a member of the Michigan Tech volleyball team.

“We always like to have quality local talent on our team,” said MTU head coach Jamie Russell. “Tanner has proven in the last couple years that he can compete against the top players in the US at the US Select Festivals and continues to gain strength which will be a key for his development.”

Dennis Rix, a high-scoring forward, has tallied 176 points (61 goals, 115 assists) in 200 games for the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The Grande Prairie, Alberta, native is currently leading the AJHL in scoring this season with 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) in 24 games. He also led the team in scoring during the 2007-08 season with 54 points (24 goals, 30 assists) in 61 games and was named the team’s most improved player. He helped the team to the Enerflex Cup league championship the following season.

“Dennis is a player with great offensive skills and we are very excited to sign a player of his skill level so late in the recruiting process,” said Russell.

Dan Sova, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound defenseman, is starting his second season for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. Last season he tallied 28 points (two goals, 26 assists) and 102 penalty minutes in 58 games. The Cottage Grove, Minn., native recorded 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists) in his senior year of high school to lead the Pioneers to the Minnesota State championship.

“Dan is another big, strong player who will add depth to our defense," Russell said. "Another attribute that we appreciate is his leadership serving as a team captain at both the high school and junior level.”

The trio joins two other players that have already committed to the team.

Brad Stebner, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman, is starting his third season with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the AJHL. He currently has 64 points (11 goals and 53 assists) and 278 penalty minutes in 135 career games. The Fort McMurray, Alberta, native is the top defenseman on the team with 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) this season in 26 games.

Jacob Johnstone, a 5-foot-10, 182-pound forward from Grand Ledge, currently ranks third on the team in points with 10 (five goals, five assists) in eight games this season for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. He spent the previous two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers, where he finished with 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) for 20 points in 101 games.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MiCHO Power Poll 11.18.09

This week's MiCHO Power Poll has the Michigan State Spartans still at the top after sweeping the struggling Michigan Wolverines in a home-and-home series last weekend, including a shutout Saturday night.

Michigan drops down to No. 3, while Ferris State takes the second spot after taking national No. 1 to a shootout twice last weekend.

Northern Michigan jumps to No. 4, leapfrogging Western Michigan, who drop to No. 5. Lake Superior State moves down to No. 6, while Michigan Tech stays at the bottom of the rankings.

1) Michigan State (swept Michigan)
2) Ferris State (tied Miami twice)
3) Michigan (swept by Michigan State)
4) Northern Michigan (beat, tied Notre Dame)
5) Western Michigan (swept by Ohio State)
6) Lake Superior State (split with Nebraska-Omaha)
7) Michigan Tech (split with Minnesota Duluth)

Each week, staffers will compile the MiCHO Power Poll. The poll will comprise the seven Division I teams in the state of Michigan.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Michigan State disposes of Wolverines

By Matt Mackinder/Michigan & Michigan State Beat Writer

Not since the 1997-1998 season has Michigan State taken both ends of a weekend set with Michigan, but with a home-and-home sweep last weekend, the 14th-ranked Spartans pulled off that feat and now lead the country with nine wins.

The Spartans took a 3-2 win Friday night in Ann Arbor and then blanked the No. 6 Wolverines, 2-0, Saturday night in East Lansing.

"We have a long way to go," MSU head coach Rick Comley said. "But this is a good step."

Chris Forfar and Andrew Rowe scored Saturday night to back Drew Palmisano's 31 saves as part of his second career shutout.

Friday night, Matt Crandell handed out two assists for his first career multi-point game and Rowe, Daultan Leveille and Corey Tropp scored for MSU.

Palmisano finished with 17 saves.

For the Wolverines, Lee Moffie (first NCAA goal) and Carl Hagelin scored and Bryan Hogan made 21 stops in net. Hogan kicked out 17 Saturday night.

"There are some times where your defense isn't playing well and they're turning the puck over; you saw that tonight with two costly goals," UM head coach Red Berenson said. "And there are times where your forwards can't score and you saw that again tonight. We're in that dilemma. It's easy to pinpoint why we're losing. What you want to do is get to the point where you're talking about why you're winning because they're [giving you] good goalkeeping, good defense. This is a team thing and we've all got to work hard to get out of it."

The Spartans, in first place in the CCHA with a 6-1-1 league mark (9-2-1 overall), are back in action on Thursday evening when they host Notre Dame in the first half of a delayed home-and-home at Munn Ice Arena. The teams will complete the series on Sunday in Fort Wayne.

Michigan, now 4-6-0 overall and 2-3-0 in the CCHA, has a home-and-home of its own with Bowling Green beginning Friday night at Yost Ice Arena and concluding the next night on the road.

Lakers earn split with No. 11 UNO

By Tom Balog / LSSU Beat Writer

After a strong start to the season, the Lake Superior State Lakers have been a wreck over the last few weekends.

LSSU roared into the year with a solid 4-1 record, but trying to figure out a 0-4-1 record in their last five games as they prepared to take on the No. 11 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.

Unfortunately the Lakers continued the winless streak in Friday’s opener, falling 4-0 to the Mavs at the Qwest Center.

Rich Purslow led the Mavs with a pair of goals and Brandon Richardson and Joey Martin also scored.

Brian Mahoney-Wilson made 27 saves in the losing effort and Jeremie Dupont stopped 24 shots on the other end for the shutout.

Friday’s drubbing marked the Lakers’ sixth straight CCHA loss, including a heartbreaking shootout loss at Western Michigan last weekend. It was also the Lakers first shutout loss since Feb. 14, 2009, against Miami.

The Lakers finally broke out of their funk and earned their first road victory since October 11 with a 3-1 on Saturday night.

Rick Schofield (pictured) scored just 59 seconds into the game and Will Acton and Domenic Monardo also lit the lamp to post LSSU to a 3-0 lead by the 19:01 mark of the second period.

Terry Broadhurst broke up Mahoney-Wilson’s shutout bid at 2:13 of the third period, but the junior netminder finished the night with 30 saves.

Dupont steered away 23 for UNO.

After a four-game road trip, the Lakers (5-6-1, 2-5-1 CCHA) will return home to host Alaska in a pair of games this weekend.

Picture courtesy LSSU Athletics

WMU falls in both games to Buckeyes

By Karl Henkel/Western Michigan Beat Writer

Western Michigan may have outplayed host Ohio State for most of its weekend series, but it was the Buckeyes who came away with a two-game sweep.

OSU won both contests, 4-2.

In the first game, Jared Katz gave Western Michigan a first-period lead. The Broncos remained up one through the beginning of the third period, but Ohio State rattled off three goals in a 49-second span.

Luke Witkowski’s power-play goal brought WMU back within one, but a late OSU goal ended any comeback hopes.

Riley Gill made 34 stops for the Broncos. Dustin Carlson stopped 19 for the Buckeyes.

In the second game, after Ohio State took a 2-0 lead, Greg Squires scored a power-play goal late in the first period to pull the Broncos to within a goal. Then, with OSU up 3-1, Patrick Nagorsen made it 3-2. For the second straight night, a late Ohio State goal — this time an empty-net goal from Peter Boyd — ended it.

Gill had 26 saves for WMU, while Cal Heeter made 36 for OSU.

The Broncos (5-4-1, 1-4-1-1 CCHA) are set to host No. 1 Miami next weekend. Both games begin at 7:35 p.m.

Michigan Tech manages split on the road

By Andy Bourdeau / MTU Beat Writer

Michigan Tech traveled to the DECC to face nationally-ranked Minnesota Duluth for a two-game series this past weekend. The Huskies were battling the flu, but managed a split with a 3-2 victory Friday and 8-1 loss on Saturday.

UMD carried the play all weekend, but the Huskies had excellent goaltending from Kevin Genoe and a couple nice bounces Friday to steal the win. Goals came off the sticks of captain Malcolm Gwilliam, Steven Siego and Eli Vlaisavljevich.

Genoe stopped 48 of 50 shots and started both games for the Huskies (3-7-0 overall, 2-6-0 WCHA).

Saturday was all Bulldogs, as they scored eight goals before Brett Olson scored the lone Husky goal in the third.

Genoe and Josh Robinson combined for 30 saves on the night.

“Give Duluth credit, they played well,” said MTU head coach Jamie Russell. “Our goalies weren’t as steady tonight. Duluth just really played well"

Michigan Tech has next weekend off, then travels to Mankato, Minn., for a series with Minnesota State Thanksgiving weekend.

Wildcats take three points from Irish

By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer

Despite being outshot 38-18 on Saturday night, Northern Michigan (3-5-2, 2-3-1-0 CCHA)managed to get the goals it needed to upset No. 8 Notre Dame, 3-2. The next afternoon, the Wildcats appeared poised to repeat their performance, but the Irish (5-5-2, 2-2-2-1 CCHA) surged back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game, then win in the shootout by the same 3-2 count.

Jared Brown and Ray Kaunisto each scored in the first period of Saturday's game to give the Wildcats the early lead. The Irish got within a goal by the end of the period, but goalie Brian Stewart's steadfast play in the net allowed the Wildcats to keep their lead through the second period.

Matt Butcher netted his first goal of the season to widen the 'Cats lead early in the third period. Northern stayed defensively strong, even managing to stifle a two-man advantage for the Irish. Though Notre Dame got within one and Irish goalie Mike Johnson left the net with 30 seconds remaining, the 'Cats held on for the win.

Stewart finished with 36 saves.

On Sunday afternoon, Northern controlled the offensive energy in the first period, allowing the Irish only three shots. In the second, period, Brown and Kaunisto each scored again to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Alan Dorich got his first points of the season by assisting on both goals, and Justin Florek helped out on Kaunisto's goal as well.

Notre Dame's Billy Maday scored midway through the second and early in the third to knot up the game. Northern outshot the Irish 14-9 in the final period, but couldn't get past goalie Brad Phillips. The game stayed deadlocked to the final horn and through the overtime period.

In the shootout, Maday and Calle Ridderwall each netted goals for the Irish, but only Gregor Hanson could convert for Northern.

Stewart finished with 25 saves in Sunday's game.

NMU returns to Marquette to face Nebraska-Omaha next Friday and Saturday. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bulldogs take Miami to the limit

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Over the weekend, Ferris State achieved the impossible – grab two shootout wins over No.1 ranked Miami.

Though both games will be recorded as ties in the NCAA record-books, the sudden-death heroics by the Bulldogs earn them four points under the CCHA point system.

Defenseman Zach Redmond helped give Ferris State the lead in the second period of Friday’s game by intercepting the RedHawks' pass inside the neutral zone before sending the puck over to winger Blair Riley for the finish.

The Bulldogs held onto their lead until late in the second period, when Miami’s Joe Hartman blasted a slap shot past goaltender Taylor Nelson from the blueline.

With less than five minutes remaining in regulation, the RedHawks pulled ahead thanks to a Curtis McKenzie goal outside of the crease area.

Needing a miracle in the final minute of the game, Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels pulled Nelson in favor of an extra skater. Riley answered the call with 23 seconds left for his second marker of the contest. Helping set-up the play was captain Cody Chupp, which marked his seventh assist of the campaign.

An uneventful overtime forced a shootout to decide the winner, where Redmond was the only player from either team to light the lamp.

Nelson held the advantage over counterpart Cody Reichard in saves, 30-19.

The final game of the series was also a low-scoring affair, as no points were scored until midway through the second period.

With Miele in the penalty box on a tripping call, freshmen forwards Travis Ouellette and Kyle Bonis helped move the Bulldogs’ power play attack through the Miami defense. Looking for options, Bonis skated behind the net before finding senior Aaron Lewicki just outside the crease for the tip-in.

At the 5:28 mark of the following period, Miele would clear his name by blasting a vicious slap shot past netminder Pat Nagle from the right faceoff circle.

There was plenty of drama to go around in the shootout, as 22 skaters participated in the event, setting a CCHA record.

Brandon Smith scored on the initial try for the RedHawks before Riley found the back of the net on Ferris State’s second attempt.

After a successful effort by Bulldogs’ defenseman Chad Billins, Miami’s bid to stay in the game ended off of a failed opportunity by Chris Wideman.

Nagle finished 39 stops, compared to Connor Knapp’s 32.

Ferris State (7-3-2 overall, 2-2-2-2 CCHA) travels back to Big Rapids this weekend, where they will face Ohio State in a two-game set.