Thursday, September 29, 2011

UNH Recruits Make USHL Rosters

Now that the United States Hockey League preseason has ended and the regular season is set to begin on Friday, Sept. 30th, the teams are announcing their 23-man Active Rosters. The 7 UNH Recruits who survived the tryout camps in June and have been battling for one of the roster spots during training camp will find out if they will start the season in the USHL. This table shows the player statistics for the preseason games which culminated in last weekend's USHL Fall Classic.


Jordan MastersMuskegonUSHL412321
Michael McNicholasMuskegonUSHL50110
Maxim GaudreaultSioux CityUSHL21010
Dylan MallerTri-CityUSHL00000
Mike VecchioneTri-CityUSHL51122
Matias ClelandWaterlooUSHL60110
Jamie HillWaterlooUSHL62242

As of post-time, the only team, with UNH recruits, to announce the active roster was the Sioux City Musketeers. As expected, 2012 recruit Maxim Gaudreault will be playing his second season for the Musketeers. As the other active rosters are announced, I will update this post.
Notes: ~ Defenseman Dylan Maller, a 2013 Recruit, did not play in any of the Tri-City Storms' preseason games due to a hip injury. If he makes the squad, he will be a rookie in the USHL.
~ 2014 Recruit Tyler Kelleher and the US U-17 NTDP will play their first USHL game on Friday against the Youngstown Phantoms.
The Tri-City Storm have announced that 2012 Recruit Mike Vecchione and 2013 Recruit Dylan Maller have made the roster. Maller was added as the 24th member and is on the injured reserve list.
The Waterloo Black Hawks 23-man active roster includes 2012 Recruit Jamie Hill and 2013 Recruit Matias Cleland.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Hockey Monday!

"Then came October, full of merry glee."

Tis the season, Wildcat Nation. Welcome back!

Your University of New Hampshire Men's Hockey Team will face the CIS champion, University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, in an exhibition game... THIS SATURDAY!

Bring on October!

The last time our Wildcats faced UNB was 2007. The team got off to a rough start. Falling behind 3-0 before then young freshmen, now blossoming NHL power forward, James van Riemsdyk got our 'Cats going with his first goal in the Blue and White with just under five minutes to play in the second. Then it was Thomas Fortney, of Wildcat Legend for his last fraction of a second goal in the Northeast Regional versus North Dakota, figuring a shorthanded goal with the third period well underway. van Riemsdyk would tally once more but it was too little, too late as the Varsity Reds had scored once more themselves just after Fortney's goal. A 4-3 loss in the exhibition game.

Those Wildcats have all moved on now.

New faces will take to the ice, though one of those new faces will be sporting a familiar name to Wildcat fans. And we'll see a new, but familiar, face behind the bench in Associate Head Coach, Jim Tortorella.

Always such an exciting time of year!

Looking forward to seeing you all at the game!

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

UNH Recruit Profile: Collin MacDonald

"Collin MacDonald has a lot of the same skills as James van Riemsdyk, however not as polished at this time."
Toby Harris,
Head Coach & General Manager, Jersey Hitmen

On August 25th, Collin MacDonald, a 19-year-old, 6'2", 200 lb, forward from the Jersey Hitmen organization, committed to play for the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 2012. Soon after, I had an opportunity to ask Coach Harris to describe MacDonald's skills and compare him to a current or former UNH player.
"I recruited James van Riemsdyk when he was a sophomore at Christian Brothers Academy in (Middletown) NJ. I saw a lot of GOD given talent and skill. Although James was a sophomore and Collin a postgraduate, there is an uncanny resemblance. He skates extremely well, has incredible hands, an excellent scoring touch/release, and great size. With the UNH system, rink and off ice training program he will excel."
A favorable comparison with JvR - 2nd overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft; Hockey East All-Rookie Team; 21-goal scorer with the Philadelphia Flyers - is impressive. So who is this talented young player? In recent weeks, Collin MacDonald has burst onto the scene of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) with the Jersey Hitmen. In the EJHL preseason games, MacDonald has scored at a blistering pace - which should not come as a surprise. Last season, as the captain for the Hitmen of the Empire Hockey League (Junior B Division), MacDonald was the league's leading scorer. In 39 regular season games, he scored 29 goals and 53 assists, including 6 powerplay and 4 shorthanded goals. For his efforts, he received the Empire League's "Best Forward Award." The Hitmen advanced to the USA Hockey Junior B National Championships and MacDonald lead the team in goals scored with 4 in four games. The Hitmen lost in the quarterfinals of the tournament to the eventual champions, the Boston Jr Bruins.

MacDonald's first opportunity to don an EJHL uniform came at the preseason, Summer Classic in July. The round-robin tournament between EJHL teams was won by the Hitmen. MacDonald scored 6 goals in six games which tied him for leading goal scorer. In early September, the Jersey Hitmen won all three of their games in the Woodchuck Classic, a round-robin tournament with teams from the EJHL, Ontario Junior Hockey League, and Canadian AAA Provincial Hockey League. MacDonald scored three goals over the weekend including the game-winning, shootout goal on Friday.

Yesterday, I caught MacDonald's first regular season game in the EJHL at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, MA. The Hitmen defeated the Boston Bandits 6-1 and MacDonald had three assists. When you first see MacDonald skate, the resemblance to JvR is apparent. He's a big left-winger with a wide gait and stride. His acceleration may be a bit quicker than JvR's was at UNH. On one back-checking play, MacDonald quickly caught up with a streaking Bandit forward in three strides. His playmaking and passing abilities were evident in his three assists. Another skill which stood out was his ability to instantly change the direction of the puck while in full stride. For example, on one rush into the offensive zone, he quickly shifted the puck from his backhand to forehand as he cut from the rightside of the blueline to the top of the left circle, leading to a low wristshot on goal. In this season opener, MacDonald was on the third line and also got some powerplay time. It will be interesting to see if he moves up to the top line as the season progresses.

Off the ice, Collin MacDonald has excelled in two other areas essential to a developing student athlete. Coach Harris told me that "Collin is a tremendous student with a 3.9 GPA, which put him in the top 20 in his graduating class (at West Milford High School). This year he will continue his studies at Passaic (County Community College) to stay ahead of the tough UNH course load." In addition to his academic pursuits, MacDonald reportedly had a successful summer of conditioning at the Rockland Peak Performance Fitness Center.

UNH fans interested in seeing Collin MacDonald play this season have a few opportunities as the Jersey Hitmen come to the Tri-Town Arena in Hooksett, NH and the Rinks at Exeter in late October.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jason Kalinowski: Third 16-year-old Commits to UNH

The Beantown Bullies have announced that forward Jason Kalinowski from Stamford CT has committed to play for UNH. Chris Heisenberg has reported that Kalinowski is committed for the fall of 2015. Kalinowski (DOB: 7-2-1995) joins Tyler Kelleher (US NTDP U-17) and Shane Eiserman (Cushing Academy) as the third player born in 1995 to commit to UNH. Kalinowski is currently playing his fall season with the Mid Fairfield Blues, a midget minor team based in Darien, CT., which plays other AAA Tier 1 teams from throughout the northeast. Mid Fairfield recently won the Tier 1 Labor Day Face-Off by beating the Boston Junior Bruins. Kalinowski was reportedly injured early in the tournament.

Jason Kalinowski, a 5'11", 170 lb., right-shot forward, plays prep hockey with Salisbury Prep School near Canaan, CT. Last season, Salisbury lost in the semifinals of the New England Prep School Championship after defeating a strong Cushing Academy team in the quarterfinals. As a sophomore, Kalinowski scored 4 goals and 10 assists in 25 games. Before enrolling in Salisbury, Kalinowski played two seasons of bantam hockey with the Mid Fairfield Youth Hockey Program in the Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League. As a 14-year-old bantam major player, he scored 42 goals and 35 assists in 28 games. In the 2008-09 bantam minor season, the 13-year-old Kalinowski had 41 goals and 37 assists in 78 games.

For the last two summers, Kalinowski has been invited by USA Hockey to participate in their Select Player Development Camps. In July, 2010, he was the 4th leading scorer in the Select 15 camp with 2 goals and 8 assists in 5 games. The leading scorer for that camp was 2014 Recruit Tyler Kelleher. Last July, Kalinowski participated in the USA Hockey Select 16 Camp and scored 2 goals and 2 assists in 6 games. He tied for 7th place in scoring with fellow UNH commit Shane Eiserman.

Friday, September 16, 2011

UNH Recruits Prepare for USHL: Part II

Part I of this series chronicled the efforts of 5 UNH Recruits to make the roster of two USHL teams. All five - Casey Thrush, Jordan Masters, Michael McNicholas (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Mike Vecchione, and Dylan Maller (Tri-City Storm) - made the teams' 25-player active roster coming out of the tryout camps in June. This summer, an additional 6 UNH Recruits also pursued their dream to play in the USHL. These are their stories.

Waterloo Black Hawks

Jamie Hill - Both Jamie Hill and current UNH sophomore, Nick Sorkin, were drafted by the Waterloo Black Hawks in the 4th Round of the 2009 USHL Entry Draft. The 17-year-old Hill and 18-year-old Sorkin made the Black Hawks roster for the 2009-10 season. Over his first two seasons in Waterloo, Hill posted 23 and 26 points, respectively. His total penalty minutes increased from 69 to 119 (an average of 2 penalty minutes per game). As expected, Jamie Hill made the 25-man active roster coming out of the Black Hawk's tryout camp and will be a third-year veteran this season. Hill is committed to UNH for the fall of 2012.

Matias Cleland - Every spring, the USHL conducts its " Futures Draft" for prospects who will be 16 years old during that calendar year. The teams attempt to identify young players who have the most potential to make the active roster within a 3-year window. Players selected in the Futures Draft are often placed on the team's "Affiliate List" - a group of 14 players (in addition to the active roster) that the team protects. An affiliated player can not play for any other USHL team unless he is traded. In the 2010 Futures Draft, the Black Hawks selected defenseman Matias Cleland in the third round and he was placed on their affiliate list. Last season, Cleland played for the Colorado Thunderbirds, an Under-18 Tier 1 team. In 38 regular season games, he scored 5 goals and 26 assists and was the 3rd leading scorer among defensemen in the Tier 1 Elite League. The Thunderbirds advanced to the 2011 USA National Championship series in April and lost in the semifinals. Overall, Cleland had a goal and no assists in the 5 playoff games. In June, he had a successful tryout with the Black Hawks and made the 25-man active roster. On Sept. 14, 2011, Matias Cleland played his first game in a Black Hawk uniform in a preseason game against Cedar Rapids. He has committed to UNH for the fall of 2013.

Sioux City Musketeers

Maxim Gaudreault - In May 2010, the Musketeers selected Maxim Gaudreault in the 2nd round of the 2010 USHL Entry Draft (19th overall selection). A month later, Gaudreault earned a slot on the Musketeers' roster just prior to his 18th birthday. In his rookie season in the USHL, he scored 6 goals and 18 assists in 45 games, including 2 short-handed goals. Not surprisingly, Gaudreault has made the Musketeers' roster for the upcoming season. He is scheduled to join UNH in the fall of 2012. He will join his former teammates from Team Maryland - Nick Sorkin and Casey Thrush.

Kyle Smith - Over the last two seasons, forward Kyle Smith has put up solid numbers with the Boston Junior Bruins of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. He was the 8th leading scorer in the EJHL last year with 15 goals and 38 assists in 45 games. In May 2011, Smith was drafted by the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) in the 15th round of the Entry Draft. Arrangements were made for Smith to try out for the Sioux City Musketeers instead of the Saints. In a few intrasquad games at the Musketeers' tryout camp in June, Kyle Smith scored a goal and an assist. However, he did not make either the 25-man Active Roster or 14-player Affiliate List. Smith rejoined the EJHL as a member of the All-Star team that played in the Junior World Cup Tournament in Omsk, Russia over the last week of August. Kyle Smith will be a third-year veteran on the Junior Bruins this season. He is committed to UNH for the fall of 2012.

Andrew Poturalski - During the 2010 USHL Futures Draft, center Andrew Poturalski was selected 87th overall by the Sioux City Musketeers. At the time, Poturalski was 16 years old and had just completed his sophomore season at the Nichols Prep School in Buffalo, NY. Nichols plays in the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) with 5 Canadian prep schools in the Toronto/Lake Ontario region. In his junior year last season, Poturalski led the CISAA in scoring with 13 goals and 10 assists in 14 regular season games and scored a remarkable 5 goals (including the overtime, game-winning goal) in the CISAA Championship game. In June, Poturalski had a strong performance at the Musketeers' Tryout Camp. He scored some goals in intrasquad games and made one of the all-star teams for the final day of camp. However, Poturalski did not make the Musketeers' 25-man active roster. In mid-July, arrangements were made for him to try out with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (see below).

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Andrew Poturalski - The middle of June is the time for all USHL teams to run their tryout camps. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders held an additional tryout camp in mid-July and Andrew Poturalski was there. Poturalski impressed Head Coach and General Manager Mark Carlson and his staff and he earned a spot on the RoughRiders' protected, affiliate list. In a correspondence, Coach Carlson provided me with this assessment of Andrew Poturalski:
"We feel Andrew could join us at anytime. He has great hockey sense, vision, shooting. Like all young players he will continue to work on his strength and conditioning."
As an affiliate player of the RoughRiders, Andrew Poturalski is eligible to be called up for one or more games during the upcoming USHL season.

I have just learned from Coach Jamie Printz of the Nichols School that Andrew is playing for the Buffalo Junior Sabres of the Ontario Junior Hockey League this season and he will complete his senior year of studies at the Nichols School. He is committed to UNH for the Fall of 2013.

US Under-17 National Team Development Program

Tyler Kelleher - USA Hockey operates two prestigious, intense development programs in Ann Arbor, MI - one for players under 17 years of age and another for the under-18 group. The U-17 team plays 36 games against USHL teams throughout the season as well as three international tournaments. Last season, as a freshman for the Deerfield Academy hockey team, Tyler Kelleher was one of 40 players invited to try out for the U-17 team. Although the tryout camp was held at the end of March, 2011, the final roster was not announced until the middle of August. Tyler Kelleher earned a spot on the Under-17 NTDP roster and has already begun training with the team. Chris Peters, former Communications Director with USA Hockey and current editor of "The United States of Hockey" offered this assessment of Kelleher:
"While most of his counterparts are huge forwards, Tyler Kelleher is one of two diminutive scorers the U.S. has picked. At just 5-6, 147, Kelleher needs to be dynamic to be a factor, and by most accounts he is. US Hockey Reports had glowing reviews for the small forward. Additionally, size wasn’t an issue for the University of New Hampshire, which earned a commitment from Kelleher. The NTDP has had luck in the past with small scorers before with Rocco Grimaldi and Nathan Gerbe being the most notable."
Tyler Kelleher is committed to UNH for the 2014-15 season.

Friday, September 09, 2011

UNH 2013 & 2014 Recruits At A Glance

2013 Recruits

Matias Cleland
Waterloo Black Hawks
United States Hockey League
DOB: 1-28-1994 Hometown: Longmont, CO
Defense, 5'11", 160 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 3-18-2011

Dylan Maller
Tri-City Storm
United States Hockey League
DOB: 4-15-94 Hometown: Parkland, FL
Defense, 6'1", 163 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 10-22-2010

Brett Pesce
Jersey Hitmen
Eastern Junior Hockey League
DOB: 11-15-1994 Hometown: Tarrytown, NY
Defense, 6'3", 175 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 1-5-2011

Andrew Poturalski
Buffalo Junior Sabres
Ontario Junior Hockey League
DOB: 1-14-1994 Hometown: Williamsville, NY
Forward, 5'11", 160 lbs, Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 2-8-2011

2013 or 2014 Recruit

Michael McNicholas
Muskegon Lumberjacks
United States Hockey League
DOB: 3-23-94 Hometown: El Segunda, CA
Forward, 5'10", 175 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 2-13-2011

2014 Recruits

Shane Eiserman
Cushing Academy
New England Prep Hockey Conference
DOB: 10-10-1995 Hometown: West Newbury, MA
Forward, 6'1", 180 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 8-27-2011

Tyler Kelleher
U.S. NTDP U-17 Team
United States Hockey League
DOB: 1-2-1995 Hometown: Longmeadow, MA
Forward, 5'6", 147 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 12-28-2010

For a link to an article announcing the player's commitment to UNH, click on the date next to "Commit to UNH:"

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

UNH 2012 Recruits At A Glance

2012 Recruits

Dan Correale
Grande Prairie Storm
Alberta Junior Hockey League
DOB: 8-21-1991 Hometown: Prince George, BC
Forward, 5'11", 195 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 10-19-2010

Maxim Gaudreault
Sioux City Musketeers
United States Hockey League
DOB: 7-16-1992 Hometown: Annapolis, MD
Forward, 6'0", 193 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 5-13-2010

Jamie Hill
Waterloo Black Hawks
United States Hockey League
DOB: 2-3-1992 Hometown: Glassboro, NJ
Forward, 5'9", 174 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 3-10-2009

Collin MacDonald
Jersey Hitmen
Eastern Junior Hockey League
DOB: 6-21-1992 Hometown: West Milford, NJ
Forward, 6'2", 200 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 8-26-2011

Kyle Smith
Boston Junior Bruins
Eastern Junior Hockey League
DOB: 2-14-1992 Hometown: Lumberton, NJ
Forward, 6'1", 180 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 1-28-2009

Mike Vecchione
Tri-City Storm
United States Hockey League
DOB: 2-25-93 Hometown: Saugus, MA
Forward, 5'10", 210 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 4-1-2010
2012 or 2013 Recruit

Jordan Masters
Muskegon Lumberjacks
United States Hockey League
DOB: 4-30-1994 Hometown: Rochester, NY
Forward, 5'11", 160 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 8-29-2011
For a link to an article announcing the player's commitment to UNH, click on the date next to "Commit to UNH:"
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