Friday, October 23, 2015

UNH Recruits Update: Oct-23-2015

2016 Commit Liam Blackburn
West Kelowna Warriors
2016 Commit Justin Fregona
Langley Rivermen

Player Spotlight - Liam Blackburn

Liam Blackburn, who has already signed a National Letter of Intent to come to UNH next fall, continues to post big numbers for the West Kelowna Warriors. In three games last week, Blackburn scored 3 goals and 4 assists. He has scored at least one point per game in his last 10 games and is currently tied for 7th in BCHL scoring.

Last Saturday, in a 5-2 win over the Prince George Spruce Kings, Blackburn was awarded the #1 Star. He redirected a wrist shot from the top of the circle for the Warriors's first goal. In the second period, Blackburn scored his second short-handed goal of the season, finishing off a 2-on-1 break. These goals - his 6th and 7th of the season - are shown in this highlight video:

By any standard, Liam Blackburn is off to an outstanding start to the 2015-16 season. In addition to being tied for 7th in scoring in the BCHL, he is tied for 6th in goal scoring (8) and assists (11) after 14 games. Remarkably, Blackburn had scored 28 points (8G, 20a) after 14 games last season and was the BCHL's leading scorer. By the end of last season, Blackburn tied for 6th in BCHL scoring (73 pts.) and posted the third most assists (51).

Player Spotlight - Justin Fregona

We're one month into the 2015-16 BCHL season and there are just seven players with double-digit goals - and 18-year-old Justin Fregona is one of them. The rookie right-winger for the Langley Rivermen scored 5 goals in three games last week upping his total to 11 goals. Followers of the blog may remember that Fregona also scored 5 goals in the first 4 games of the season. Fregona's 11 goals and 5 assists puts him in a tie for 3rd in BCHL goal-scoring and tied for 9th in total points.

Two nights ago, in a 6-2 win over the Coquitlam Express, Justin Fregona scored the Rivermen's game-winning goal midway through the first period. As this highlight video shows, Fregona swooped down the left wing, around the back of the net, and lifted a backhander under the goalie's glove. In the third period, Fregona scored a power play goal when he gathered a rebound and flipped it into the open-side of the net in one quick motion. It was his third power play goal of the young season.

Fregona graduated from St. Andrew's College, a university preparatory school in Ontario, last spring. The year before, current UNH sophomore Warren Foegele also graduated from St. Andrew's. Fregona's target date for enrollment at UNH is the Fall of 2016.

The statistics for the recruits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2016 Recruits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2016. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ The year the recruit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the recruit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The recruit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2016 Recruits
Liam Blackburn  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 14 8 11 19 18
Justin Fregona  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 14 11 5 16 13
Patrick Grasso  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 7 5 0 5 18
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 6 4 6 10 4
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 15 0 2 2 16
Brendan van Riemsdyk   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 13 7 6 13 4
Mike Robinson  (G) Junior Bruins USPHL - - - - -
2016 or '17 Recruits
Joe Cipollone  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL - - - - -
Vernon Vipers BCHL 12 4 3 7 2
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 6 0 2 2 0
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL - - - - -
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 6 0 1 1 12
Jason O'Neill  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 6 1 2 3 0

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ Last Friday, 2016 Commit Patrick Grasso was awarded the #1 Star as the Des Moines Buccaneers downed the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 3-1. Grasso scored 2 goals including the game-winner. So far, Grasso has netted 5 goals in 7 games and is tied for 3rd in USHL goal-scoring.

~ Joe Cipollone has left the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL and joined the Tri-City Storm in the USHL. Cipollone had been drafted by the Bloomington Thunder in the 7th round of the 2015 USHL Entry Draft. In 12 games with the Vipers, Cipollone posted 4 goals and 3 assists.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2017 or '18 UNH Commit Jason O'Neill scored his first BCHL goal on Wednesday as the Langley Rivermen defeated the Coquitlam Express 6-2. As this video shows, O'Neill was parked in front of the crease and swatted a rebound past the Express goalie.

United States Premiere Hockey League:

~ On Saturday, 2016 UNH Commit Brendan van Riemsdyk scored a hat trick and added an assist as the Islanders Hockey Club downed the Junior Pirates Hockey Club 6-2. BvR is tied for 3rd in USPHL goal-scoring and tied for 1st in power play goals (4).


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