Friday, November 18, 2022

UNH Commits Update 11-18-2022: Spotlight on Ryan Conmy

Ryan Conmy
2023 or '24 UNH Commit

News & Notes

~ Ryan Conmy (DOB: 10/23/04), the 5'10", 188 lbs., right-shot forward from Alexandria, Virginia, has burst on the scene in his first season of junior hockey. In his first 15 games with the Sioux City Musketeers, Conmy has scored 10 goals including 3 power play and 1 short-handed goal, and distributed 3 assists. He's currently tied for 2nd in USHL goal-scoring.

Last week, Conmy was nominated for USHL Forward of the Week honors. On Saturday night, he scored a phenomenal power play goal against the Sioux Falls Stampede. Check out the first goal on the highlight reel shown below. In the waning seconds of the first period, Conmy positioned himself near the faceoff circle, reached across his body and zipped a back-hander into the top corner of the net.

On Sunday against the Des Moines Buccaneers, Conmy added two more goals to his total (see video). He opened the scoring in the first period by stealing the puck, driving to the net on a breakaway, and beating the goalie with a backhand. On a power play early in the second, Conmy rushed to the net and buried a rebound.



~ Sam Court continues to be among the top scorers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 25 games with the first place Brooks Bandits, Court has scored 7 goals and 30 assists, including 19 power play assists. His assist totals are 3rd highest in the league. His 37 points are the most among all AJHL defensemen and 5th overall.

In a recent article in the Winnipeg Press called "Bandits Courting Championship Repeat: Winnipeg blue-liner among Manitobans at core of AJHL powerhouse", Brooks head coach and general manager Ryan Papaionnou said:
“We knew there was potential for him to be a high-end offensive defenseman...he’s gotten started as a rookie real quick. He’s had an opportunity to play on our top power-play group, which is the catalyst for a lot of the offense that he’s created...We like his deception with the puck, we like his shot and then he certainly has the feet to be able to get himself out of trouble."
~ Twin brothers Ryan and Connor MacPherson have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the University of New Hampshire. The 17-year-old forwards are the leading scorers for the Leamington Flyers (Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League). Ryan has scored 13 goals and 12 assists in 21 games and Connor has 8 goals and 18 assists in 16 games. Both are on track to enroll at UNH in Fall, 2024.

2022-23 Statistics

Player NZ Stars** Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
2023 Commits
Jed Baliotti 2/7/02 (G) 3.5 New Hampshire Jr Monarchs NCDC 5 3 2 0 2.14 .921
Springfield Jr Blues NAHL 1 1 0 0 2.00 .909
Brendan Fitzgerald* 10/26/03 (D) 4.0 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 10 2 5 7 29 +4
Nick Ring* 10/26/03 (F) 3.75 Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 15 3 9 12 2 -4
Jason Siedem 10/17/02 (F) 3.75 Blackfalds Bulldogs AJHL 22 7 22 29 8 -
JP Turner* 1/31/03 (F) 3.75 Fargo Force USHL 15 2 2 4 8 -2
Ronan Walsh 5/3/02 (F) 3.5 Aberdeen Wings NAHL 19 5 6 11 32 -6
2023 or '24 Commit
Ryan Conmy* 10/23/04 (F) 3.75 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 15 10 3 13 4 0
Sam Court 1/7/04 (D) 3.75 Brooks Bandits AJHL 25 7 30 37 28 -
2024 Commits
Connor DeTurris 10/8/04 (F) 3.5 Janesville Jets NAHL 12 6 2 8 8 +2
Madison Capitols USHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1
Connor MacPherson* 3/2/05 (F) 3.75 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 16 8 18 26 17 -
Ryan MacPherson* 3/2/05 (F) 3.75 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 21 13 12 25 8 -
Ryan Philbrick* 6/20/04 (F) 3.25 Cushing Academy NE Prep - - - - - -
2024 or '25 Commit
Jack Sadowski 7/29/06 (F) 3.75 Kimball Union Academy NE Prep - - - - - -
Islanders Hockey Club 18U Prep EHF - - - - - -
2025 Commits
Price Grimes 1/28/06 (D) 3.75 Sioux Falls Power 16U 16 AAA 23 3 7 10 - -
T1EHL 3 0 1 1 21 -
Josh Player 5/13/05 (D) 3.5 Bishop Kearney 18U 18U AAA 32 8 21 29 0 -
NEPACK 18U 6 1 2 3 4 -
Niko Tournas 2/17/06 (F) 3.75 New Jersey Rockets 16U THF 16U 9 10 7 17 2 -
NEPACK 16U 5 4 0 4 0 -
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
** = Neutral Zone 5-Star Rating
NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the above table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2023 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2023. I have based these projections on the following factors:
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.
~ Number of incoming transfer players and the position they play.
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Spotlight on Jason Siedem & Sam Court: UNH Commits Update 10-27-2022

Jason Siedem
2023 UNH Commit
Sam Court
2023 or '24 UNH Commit

News & Notes

~ Jason Siedem (DOB: 10/17/02), the 6'0", 185 lbs., right-shot forward from Madison, NJ, committed to the University of New Hampshire on October 17th. A former Boston College commit, Siedem is currently tied for 5th in scoring in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 16 games with the Blackfalds Bulldogs, he's scored 6 goals and 17 assists.

Siedem's 4 power play goals are tied for 4th in the AJHL. Three of them came on consecutive nights. In a 5-3 win over the Lloydminster Bobcats on October 14th, Siedem got the Bulldogs on the board with a first period power play goal. He did the same thing the following night against the Olds Grizzlys. His second power play goal tied the game with a minute left in regulation. This highlight video shows all three:



~ Sam Court (DOB: 1/7/04), the 5'10", 190 lbs., right-shot defenseman from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was named AJHL Defensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. Over his last 8 games with the Brooks Bandits, he has scored 3 goals and 15 assists. Overall, as an AJHL rookie, Court has tallied 4 goals and 19 assists in 16 games. He is tied for 5th in AJHL scoring and tied for 1st among all AJHL defensemen.

The Brooks Bandits have the most potent power play in the AJHL. Court's 2 power play goals and 11 power play assists make him the top scoring defenseman on the Bandits' power play. These video highlights of his power play goals show the high velocity and accuracy of his wrist and slap shots:



~ Ronan Walsh, (DOB: 5/3/02), the 6'4", 210 lbs., right-shot forward from Andover, New Hampshire, has committed to UNH for the 2023-24 season. A former Vermont commit, Walsh has scored 4 goals and 4 assists for the Aberdeen Wings (NAHL).

2022-23 Statistics

Player NZ Stars** Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
2023 Commits
Jed Baliotti 2/7/02 (G) 3.5 New Hampshire Jr Monarchs NCDC 2 2 0 0 1.00 .959
Springfield Jr Blues NAHL 1 1 0 0 2.00 .909
Brendan Fitzgerald* 10/26/03 (D) 4.0 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 7 2 4 6 29 +3
Nick Ring 10/26/03 (F) 3.75 Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 7 1 5 6 2 -4
Jason Siedem 10/17/02 (F) 3.75 Blackfalds Bulldogs AJHL 16 6 17 23 6 -
JP Turner* 1/31/03 (F) 3.75 Fargo Force USHL 7 1 1 2 0 +1
Ronan Walsh 5/3/02 (F) 3.5 Aberdeen Wings NAHL 13 4 4 8 16 -2
2023 or '24 Commit
Sam Court 1/7/04 (D) 3.75 Brooks Bandits AJHL 16 4 17 21 18 -
2024 Commits
Ryan Conmy 10/23/04 (F) 3.75 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 7 3 2 5 2 +1
Connor DeTurris 10/8/04 (F) 3.5 Janesville Jets NAHL 6 4 2 6 6 +3
Madison Capitols USHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1
Connor MacPherson 3/2/05 (F) 3.75 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 11 5 14 19 13 -
Ryan MacPherson 3/2/05 (F) 3.75 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 13 8 8 16 2 -
Ryan Philbrick 6/20/04 (F) 3.25 Cushing Academy NE Prep - - - - - -
2024 or '25 Commit
Jack Sadowski 7/29/06 (F) 3.75 Kimball Union Academy NE Prep - - - - - -
Islanders Hockey Club 18U Prep EHF - - - - - -
2025 Commits
Price Grimes 1/28/06 (D) 3.75 Sioux Falls Power 16U 16 AAA 15 1 4 5 - -
T1EHL 3 0 1 1 21 -
Josh Player 5/13/05 (D) 3.5 Bishop Kearney 18U 18U AAA 26 5 16 21 - -
NEPACK 18U 6 1 2 3 4 -
Niko Tournas 2/17/06 (D) 3.75 New Jersey Rockets 16U THF 16U 8 10 7 17 2 -
NEPACK 16U 5 4 0 4 0 -
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
** = Neutral Zone 5-Star Rating
NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the above table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2023 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2023. I have based these projections on the following factors:
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.
~ Number of incoming transfer players and the position they play.
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

UNH Commit Jack Sadowski: A Gifted Stickhandler & Goal Scorer

Jack Sadowski
2024 or '25 UNH Commit
"Jack Sadowski is a gifted stickhandler and goal scorer" Neutral Zone, May, 2022
Jack Sadowski Forward, 6'0", 179 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Arlington, Massachusetts
DOB: July 29, 2006; 16 years, 3 months
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
Current Teams: Kimball Union Academy (New England Prep)/Islanders Hockey Club 18U Prep (Eastern Hockey Federation)
Committed to UNH on August 9, 2022 at Age 16 years.

2022 Highlight Reel

As a sophmore last season, Jack Sadowski was a top scorer for Arlington High School, the Boston Junior Eagles 16U, and at the USA Hockey Select 16 Development Camp. The first goal in this highlight video is from Massachusetts Division 1 semifinal game. The final two goals are from the Select 16 camp.

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Jack Sadowski, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry: Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose to commit to UNH?

Jack Sadowski: I chose to go to UNH because it has always been a dream of mine to go there. I grew up going to games at the Whit and watching UNH play since both my parents graduated from there. My dad played hockey there so it was something we always did together, watching UNH play. I knew as soon as I toured UNH that I wanted to go there.

Mike Lowry: Your Dad, John Sadowski, played 4 seasons for UNH in the late 1990's, including the 1999 NCAA National Championship game, and he was named the Hockey East "Best Defensive Forward" in his senior year. He and future UNH head coach Mike Souza were teammates throughout their 4-year UNH playing careers. Did those factors enter into your decision to commit to UNH?

Jack Sadowski: Yes. I would definitely say my dad going to UNH was a big reason I wanted to go there. Growing up he was always telling me stories of what UNH had to offer and how much fun he had on and off the ice. After hearing those stories about all the fun he had, I knew it was where I wanted to go.

I was so excited when Coach Souza and Coach Giuliano offered me a spot. I was shocked and I’m really looking forward to being part of the UNH community. I really think it's a great fit for me. .

Mike Lowry: What other college programs did you consider during the recruiting process? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Jack Sadowski: I knew that I wanted to go somewhere close to home and in Hockey East and when UNH gave me a chance, I did not hesitate very long to commit there.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for you to enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Sadowski: I have not really been thinking too much about when I will attend there. I know that I still have a lot of work left to do but I'm looking forward to it, when the coaches feel I’m ready.

Lowry: At this stage in your development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Sadowski: At this stage in my development, I would say my main strengths are my stick skills like passing, stick handling, and creating plays. Some areas of my game that I am trying to improve on are my skating and defense.

Lowry: Last year, as a sophomore at Arlington High School, you helped lead the Spy Ponders to the semifinals of the Massachusetts High School Division 1 Playoffs. Overall, how would you describe your experience playing 2 seasons for your hometown high school?

Sadowski: I don't really think I can describe how awesome it really was. Nothing compares playing for your hometown. It was the best hockey experience of my life. Every day after school heading down to the rink, to practice and getting the opportunity to represent my town was really something special.

Then the playoff run last year, that was unbelievable especially playing with all your buddies. Our whole community would be at our games, cheering us on. As we kept winning more and more people would come watch but unfortunately we fell short of our goal but that final game, the semifinals, it was the best.

Lowry: This year, you plan to play for Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire. What went into your decision to transition from a public high school to prep school?

Sadowski: I knew that eventually I was going to have to leave Arlington if I wanted to take the next step in my hockey career and education. I know I made the right decision.

Lowry: Over the last two seasons, your midget hockey team - the Boston Junior Eagles - played in the USA Hockey National Championships. Last spring, you led the Jr. Eagles 16U team to the semifinals scoring 7 goals and 4 assists in 5 games. In addition, you were one of the top scorers at the 2021 USA Hockey Select 15 Player Development Camp and the 2022 Select 16 Camp. How do you think your skills compare with the other top US forwards born in 2006?

Sadowski: I think my skills compare pretty well although I'm not the greatest skater. I have other parts to my game that are right up there with the top guys in the US.

Lowry: Last May, the Muskegon Lumberjacks selected you in the 6th Round (85th Overall) of the 2022 USHL Phase I (Futures) Draft. Do you anticipate playing for Muskegon before you enroll at UNH?

Sadowski: I would definitely hope to play for Muskegon before I go to UNH. It will not only help me develop on the ice it will also give me time to get older, bigger, faster, and stronger.

Lowry: When do you plan to graduate from high school? What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Sadowski: I plan to graduate high school in 2024 from Kimball Union Academy. I would say my strengths are History, Science and English and my weakness is Math. I have not thought too much about it but I'm hoping to do something in business.

Neutral Zone Scouting Reports

Select 16 USA Hockey Player Development Camp, July, 2022
"Sadowski is a good-sized, balanced skater out of Arlington HS (MA) who has excellent puck control and stickhandling ability. A sixth round pick by Muskegon in the USHL, he had a productive week here offensively with a 3-5-8 line in 5 games. He’s a gamer; of his 3 goals he scored two of them came on empty net goals to seal games and the other was the game winning goal in his final game of the camp on a deke move in tight and strong finish. He also was the secondary assist on two game winning goals, both of which he started the play."
"Sadowski is strong on his edges, he can make quick stick moves around defenders but can also maintain possession through contact. He makes a pass in the neutral zone and immediately accelerates up ice and fills the lane trying to get it back. He showed great zip on his passes and could activate his points from down low in the zone and fired several cross ice pass through the neutral zone that led to clean zone entries. He does try to get too cute at times and over expose the puck when he’d be better off protecting it and making a simpler play but he’s got obvious puck skill and poise. He could improve his overall speed, particularly his explosiveness in his first few steps, because he doesn’t separate through the neutral zone and is always operating with a defender tight on him but it’s hard to deny his production as he was one of the leading point producers in the camp."
Ian Moran, October, 2021
"A 2006 playing u16 Boston Jr. Eagles, left wing, very smart and crafty, can feel pressure and welcomes opponents running at him, reads gaps very well and does an excellent job of slowing his pace to manipulate the gap into his favor, very obvious that he has spent time working on his skating and mechanics, exceptional processing, high level touch, he’s going to have a blast this year with Arlington."

Youth & High School Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Jack Sadowski (F) 2022-23 Kimball Union Academy New England Prep - - - - -
Islanders Hockey Club 18U Prep EHF 16U - - - - -
Team White USA Select 16 5 3 5 8 0
2021-22 Boston Jr. Eagles 16U USA 16U Nationals 5 7 4 11 -
Arlington High School USHS-Mass - - - - -
Team Forest USA Select 15 4 2 2 4 2
2021-22 Boston Jr. Eagles 14U USA 14U Nationals 3 1 0 1 -
Arlington High School USHS-Mass - - - - -
2019-20 Boston Jr. Eagles 13U 13U AAA - - - - -

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

UNH Commits' Statistics Update: Oct. 19, 2022

This updated table shows the scoring statistics, penalty minutes and +/- ratings (where available) for the 2022-23 season for the 15 players committed to play for the University of New Hampshire. It also includes the player's overall rating on the 5 Star scale provided by the scouting service Neutral Zone. The players are grouped according to my projections on when they will enroll at UNH.

2022-23 Statistics

Player NZ Stars** Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
2023 Commits
Jed Baliotti 2/7/02 (G) 3.5 New Hampshire Jr Monarchs NCDC 1 1 0 0 1.00 .966
Springfield Jr Blues NAHL 1 1 0 0 2.00 .909
Brendan Fitzgerald* 10/26/03 (D) 4.0 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 5 2 3 5 17 +1
Nick Ring 10/26/03 (F) 3.75 Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 5 1 3 4 2 -2
Jason Siedem 10/17/02 (F) 3.75 Blackfalds Bulldogs AJHL 14 6 14 20 6 -
JP Turner* 1/31/03 (F) 3.75 Fargo Force USHL 6 1 1 2 0 +1
2023 or '24 Commits
Ryan Conmy 10/23/04 (F) 3.75 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 5 2 1 3 2 0
Sam Court 1/7/04 (D) 3.75 Brooks Bandits AJHL 12 2 11 13 18 -
2024 Commits
Connor DeTurris 10/8/04 (F) 3.5 Janesville Jets NAHL 4 1 1 2 6 +2
Madison Capitols USHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1
Connor MacPherson 3/2/05 (F) 3.75 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 10 5 13 18 13 -
Ryan MacPherson 3/2/05 (F) 3.75 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 11 8 8 16 2 -
Ryan Philbrick 6/20/04 (F) 3.25 Cushing Academy NE Prep - - - - - -
Jack Sadowski 7/29/06 (F) 3.75 Kimball Union Academy NE Prep - - - - - -
Islanders Hockey Club 18U Prep EHF - - - - - -
2025 Commits
Price Grimes 1/28/06 (D) 3.75 Sioux Falls Power 16U T1EHL 15 1 4 5 - -
Josh Player 5/13/05 (D) 3.5 Bishop Kearney 18U 18U AAA 24 5 16 21 - -
NEPACK 18U 6 1 2 3 4 -
Niko Tournas 2/17/06 (D) 3.75 New Jersey Rockets 16U THF 16U 8 10 7 17 2 -
NEPACK 16U 5 4 0 4 0 -
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
** = Neutral Zone 5-Star Rating
NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the above table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2023 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2023. I have based these projections on the following factors:
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.
~ Number of incoming transfer players and the position they play.
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

UNH Freshmen Carfagna & Muszelik Earn Hockey East Honors

Damien Carfagna
Hockey East
Defender of the Week
Tyler Muszelik
Hockey East
Rookie of the Week

It's hard to imagine a better start to the 2022-23 season for the UNH Men's Hockey team. After a 6-hour bus ride to Potsdam in the "North Country" of upstate New York, the Wildcats overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period of last Friday's game against Clarkson University, to win 4-3 in overtime. A quick trip to nearby Canton on Saturday lead to more success with a 4-1 victory over St. Lawrence University.

This season's team is relatively young with 8 freshmen and 9 sophomores. The 6 freshmen who saw action over the two games will, no doubt, remember the excitement and nerves. Freshmen forwards Cy LeClerc (1 goal, 1 assist) and Morgan Winters (1 goal) scored while Stiven Sardarian and Jake Dunlap played regular shifts. The outstanding play of two other UNH freshmen earned them weekly honors from Hockey East.

Damien Carfagna Named Hockey East Defender of the Week

Last weekend, all 11 Hockey East teams were in action for the first time this season. On Monday, the league announced the recipients of the weekly awards. 19-year-old UNH freshman Damien Carfagna was named "Defender of the Week". The 5'11", 168 lbs., left-shot defenseman from Wood Ridge, New Jersey, who was primarily paired with sophomore Colton Huard, blocked one shot and registered a +1 rating against Clarkson. On Saturday, Carfagna cranked up his offensive game firing 8 shots on goal against St. Lawrence and scoring his first NCAA goal. His overall rating for both games was +3.

Here's his goal, which put UNH comfortably ahead early in the third period:

Interview with Damien Carfagna

I had an opportunity to interview Damien Carfagna, via email, about his NCAA debut and the Hockey East weekly honor:

Mike Lowry: Congratulations on earning the Hockey East “Defender of the Week” award for your first NCAA games. Would you describe your experiences leading up to the your first shift, during the early stages of the game, during the final moments, and after the game?

Damien Carfagna: In the weeks leading up to the game everything was about learning the system here at UNH and getting comfortable playing with my teammates. Obviously I had some nerves before my first shift, but my teammates and the coaching staff did a great job making sure that I was comfortable with playing my game at this level. In the second game I was more confident. In the third period I was able to score on a shot from the blue line, so it was good to get my first one out of the way early.

Mike Lowry: How would you self-evaluate your performance?

Damien Carfagna: I feel like I had a very positive start to my college career this past weekend. This past weekend was a good starting point for me that I would like to build off of. Being awarded Hockey East Defender of the Week was something special for me, but I still feel like I have areas of my game that I can improve as I play more games and get more experience at this level.

Lowry: How does the overall level of skill and competition in your first collegiate game compare to what you encountered in the USHL?

Carfagna: The biggest difference that stood out to me was the strength of some of the players. In the USHL, you’re still playing against teenagers, but in college you’re often playing against grown men. Every moment of the game is also more competitive, as a shorter season at the college level allows for fewer mistakes to be made.

Lowry: How would you describe the team’s style of play and it’s strengths?

Carfagna: We have a very fast team, and we used it to our advantage in the opening weekend. We’re hard on our forecheck, and our conditioning and depth allows us to play a hard, fast game for an entire 60 minutes.

Tyler Muszelik Named Hockey East Rookie of the Week

UNH had two freshmen earn a Hockey East honor this week. 18-year-old Tyler Muszelik, a 6'3", 195 lbs. goalie from Long Valley, New Jersey was named "Rookie of the Week". It is the first time a UNH freshman goalie has been named Hockey East rookie of the week since Casey DeSmith earned the honor midway through the 2011-12 season. It may be the first time a UNH freshman goalie earned the award based on his first NCAA game.

In his NCAA debut against St. Lawrence in the second game of the 2022-23 season, Muszelik faced 32 shots on goal and only one got past him. On a St. Lawrence power play late in the first period, a shot ricocheted off a UNH defenseman and Muszelik had no chance to stop the redirection.

With 13 minutes remaining in the game and UNH leading 4-1, junior forward Nick Cafarelli committed a 5-minute major penalty for contact to the head. The door was open for St. Lawrence to stage a comeback. Fortunately, the UNH penalty kill shut the Skating Saints down and Muszelik made 6 key saves.

Here's a few of Muszelik's saves during the St. Lawrence 5-minute power play midway through the third period:

Interview with Tyler Muszelik

I had an opportunity to interview Tyler Muszelik, via email, about his NCAA debut and the Hockey East Rookie of the Week honor:

Mike Lowry: Congratulations on earning the Hockey East “Rookie of the Week” award for your first NCAA game. Would you describe your experiences leading up to the opening face off, during the early stages of the game, during the final moments, and after the game?

Tyler Muszelik: I was eager to play my first official college game so when coach Souza said I was in versus Saint Lawrence I was excited. I felt prepared and felt confident thinking back that I had already played some college opponents last season.
I felt sharp during the game so when it was close I just wanted to keep making saves to give us the opportunity to score a few more and take a bigger lead. When the game was over I was just happy and relieved to have had a good first college game and celebrate with my teammates on a successful weekend as a team.

Mike Lowry: How would you self-evaluate your performance?

Tyler Muszelik: The team made it easier for me by clearing guys out of the net front and not giving up to many grade A chances. I thought I was steady and thanks to my teammates kept Saint Lawrence to just 1 goal.

Lowry: How does the overall level of skill and competition in your first collegiate game compare to what you encountered in the USHL and international competition?

Muszelik: There is definitely a difference between college and USHL/international play. The guys are obviously older and they're bigger and stronger. It was a lot more physical of a game then I was used to. There was a lot more traffic in front of my net and plays were made a little bit faster.

Lowry: How would you describe the team’s style of play and it’s strengths?

Muszelik: I think our team this year is an "in your face" kind of team who can really skate and pride ourself on effort and compete. I think skating is a big strength of ours this year and we can really take advantage offensively because of it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

UNH Commit Niko Tournas: A Tall, Athletic, Skilled Forward

Niko Tournas
2024 UNH Commit
"Tournas scored one of the best goals we saw all week on a snipe top corner from the slot which was not only perfectly placed and had an explosive release but he read the goalie and saw that was the only spot he could have put it. An intriguing prospect with his size, his athleticism, his skating ability and raw tools" Neutral Zone, July, 2022
Niko Tournas Forward, 6'2", 185 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: Redding, Connecticut
DOB: February 17, 2006 16 years, 7 months
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
Current Team: New Jersey Rockets 16U AAA (THF 16U)
Committed to UNH in September, 2022 at Age 16 years, 7 months.

2022 Highlight Reel

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Niko Tournas, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry: Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. How did you first become interested in UNH? What are the main reasons you chose to commit to UNH?

Niko Tournas: I always have been a Hockey East Fan and always wanted to play in that league. I became interested in UNH when I got to meet the coaching staff and see the campus. Loved everything about it and the Coaching Staff just made the whole thing feel right.

I chose UNH because I loved the campus but more importantly Coach Mike, Coach Jeff and Coach Glenn made me feel welcome and I believe they will help me take my hockey to the next level.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs did you consider during the recruiting process? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Niko Tournas: Yes, I considered other schools in Hockey East and yes there were schools talking about offers but Coach Mike and the UNH staff just made me feel welcome. Sometimes you have to go with your gut and my gut told me UNH is my school. I want to be a Wildcat and I wanted to be a part of a true hockey school. I know they love their hockey at UNH and I hope to add to that excitement.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for you to enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Tournas: My goal is to play Juniors in the USHL my Senior Year in high school and see how things go from there. I was drafted by the Omaha Lancers and I am working hard to hopefully play for Coach Wilkie and the Lancers next year.

Lowry: At this stage in your development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Tournas: I have always been known as a goal scorer. I love scoring and I am always working on creative ways to beat a goalie and put the puck in the net.

I am always trying to improve every aspect of my game. I believe the off ice piece is just as important as the on ice piece. I am working hard off ice to get stronger and faster. Hitting the gym has become my main focus now and my new obsession.

Lowry: Last year, as a sophomore at your hometown high school - Joel Barlow HS, Redding, Connecticut - you played for Joel Barlow/Weston/Abbott, a co-op of three high schools in Connecticut's Division III South-West Conference (SWC). You scored 59 goals, 15 assists in 21 games, lead the team to the SWC Championship, and earned D-III SWC Player of the Year. Would you describe what it meant to achieve these accomplishments in your hometown?

Tournas: I was very excited to be able to play for my local high school and take them to their first ever SWC Conference Championship. I had a great coach and would love a shout out to Coach Mike Mallozzi who made that year even more enjoyable. I enjoyed every second playing and had a great bunch of teammates that made hockey fun.

Lowry: This season, you're playing for the New Jersey Rockets 16U AAA team based in Bridgewater, NJ. What went into your decision to make this move? You've already scored 10 goals, 7 assists in 8 games. Do you feel the level of competition is challenging enough?

Tournas: Playing for the NJ Rockets is by far the best hockey decision I have made so far. I was looking for a team that would compete for a National Championship and a Coach that can take them there.

The competition is top notch and playing for Coach Noel Rubin has elevated my game and is making me the hockey player I want to become. He holds me accountable and makes me work harder then I have ever worked. I know that Coach Rubin will get me ready for next year and playing in the USHL. I am surrounded by very talented players and a Coach that knows what to do with them. I look forward to my journey with this team and my teammates.

Lowry: There are a number of indicators you are one of the top US forwards born in 2006. You participated in the 2021 USA Hockey Select 15 Player Development Camp and the 2022 Select 16 Camp. You were invited to compete for a roster position at the 2022 US National Team Development Program's evaluation camp. Also, the Neutral Zone scouting service ranked you the 39th forward on their list of top 300 players born in 2006. How do you think your skills compare with the other top US forwards in your birth year?

Tournas: I believe I can compete with anyone. I work hard everyday. I shoot pucks everyday. I know what I need to do to be one of the best and I try and live my life to accomplish my goals. I know if I take the day off or a week off someone out there is working hard so I choose to keep working every day till I get to the finish line. .

Lowry: Last May, the Omaha Lancers selected you in the 8th Round (113th Overall) of the 2022 USHL Phase I (Futures) Draft. You participated in their training camp this summer. Do you anticipate playing for Omaha this season or next?

Tournas: I will be playing for the NJ Rockets and Coach Noel Rubin this year. I hope to be playing for the Omaha Lancers and Coach Wilkie next season.

Lowry: When do you plan to graduate from high school? What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Tournas: I will be graduating in 2024. My strengths are Math and English. I will be majoring in Finance at UNH.

Neutral Zone Scouting Report

National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp, March, 2022
"Tournas was a bit under the radar last year heading into National Development Camp in Buffalo over the summer but his 4 goals in 4 games and size and skill combination caught our attention. This season he played Connecticut High School hockey so this was quite a jump in competition for Tournas but to his credit he rose to the challenge."
"He’s 6’1” and 181lbs, he has a long and fluid stride, handles the puck well on the rush and can cut inside on defenders. He showed poise with the puck and a slick toe drag and pull before he shoots to change the angle and he can do it at speed. He scored a nice goal with a slight pull and release that snuck in 5-hole against U17’s and scored again on a line rush on a deke and shoot play at speed. He can catch passes on both his forehand and backhand and settle wobbling pucks showing his puck touch. Tournas is still a bit green having not played much high level competition hockey but he has all the raw tools you want in a tall, athletic, skilled forward with high potential."

Youth & High School Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Niko Tournas (F) 2022-23 New Jersey Rockets 16U AAA THF 16U 8 10 7 17 2
Team Columbia USA Select 16 5 1 2 3 0
2021-22 Joel Barlow Weston Abbott High USHS-CT 21 59 15 74 -
Yale Jr. Bulldogs 15U BEAST 15U - - - - -
Team Navy USA Select 15 4 4 0 4 2
2020-21 CT Jr. Whalers 14U AAA AYHL 14U 7 12 4 16 6
2019-20 CT Jr. Whalers 13U AAA AYHL 13U 25 26 23 49 20

Friday, September 23, 2022

UNH Incoming Transfers: Forwards Lovett & Black, Defensemen Babbage & DeVita

Conor Lovett
Forward
Ryan Black
Forward

Jack Babbage
Defenseman
Nico DeVita
Defenseman

CONOR LOVETT
Center/Winger, 5'11", 200 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: Franklin, Massachusetts
DOB: April 7, 2001. 21 years, 5 months
2021-22 Team: Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)
2020-21 Team: Merrimack College (Hockey East)
Committed to UNH: February, 2022 at Age 20 years, 10 months.
NeutralZone Star Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
2021-22 Outstanding Accomplishments:
~ Lead Cedar Rapids in Power Play Goals (9) & Game Winners (4)
Neutral Zone Scouting Report
"The two-way player who can give opposing players fits. He can play in all situations and supports the play well in all three zones. He is a low center-of-gravity skater with good balance but won’t wow you with speed. He has quick, but choppy hands when handling the puck through open ice. He scored Cedar Rapids’ 2nd goal of the game when he picked off a pass up the middle in the offensive zone and then buried it beating the goalie low blocker side." USHL Game Report, December, 2021

2021-22 Highlight Reel



Statistics From Last 2 Seasons
Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
Conor Lovett
4/7/01 (F)
2021-22 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 59 16 16 32 118 -7
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 2 -3
2020-21 Merrimack College Hockey East 15 3 2 5 23 0


RYAN BLACK
Winger, 6'1", 181 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Pomfret, Connecticut
DOB: March 24, 1999. 23 years, 6 months
2021-22 Team: Babson College (NEHC/D-III)
2020-21 Team: Babson College (NEHC/D-III)
Committed to UNH: April, 2022 at Age 23 years, 1 month
NeutralZone Star Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
2021-22 Outstanding Accomplishments:
~ AHCA All-America East First Team
~ AHCA Sid Watson Award Finalist (Division III Player of the Year)
~ NEHC Player of the Year, All-NEHC First Team
~ NEHC Tournament Most Valuable Player & All-Tournament Team
~ Most Game-Winning Goals in Division III (9)
~ Tied 6th Leading Goal Scorer in Division III (18)
Neutral Zone Scouting Report
"Black is a gifted athlete with a lot of tools. He has a long, smooth stride which allows him to carry the puck effectively and buy time for his poise, vision and hockey sense to create scoring chances. He caught a pass here and in one motion received the puck and fired it instantly which is rare at this level. What stands out is his hockey sense; he really knows where everyone is on the ice and utilizes his teammates to their full potential. He has the dual ability to create both off the rush and in-zone as he was able to pull off defenders in the corners and behind the net and go to the scoring areas either with a pass or skating himself." U18 USA Hockey Nationals, April, 2018
2021-22 Statistics
Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
Ryan Black
3/24/99 (F)
Babson College NEHC/D-III 26 18 20 38 0 +28


JACK BABBAGE
Defenseman, 6'1", 185 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Tully, New York
DOB: August 30, 2000. 22 years, 1 month
2021-22 Team: Quinnipiac University (ECAC)
2020-21 Team: Chicago Steel (USHL)
Committed to UNH: April, 2022 at Age 21 years, 8 months.
NeutralZone Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
2020-21 Outstanding Accomplishments:
~ USHL Clark Cup Champion
~ +26 Regular Season Rating, 4th Best among USHL defensemen, 8th Best overall
~ Among All USHL Defensemen in Regular Season, Tied 5th in Goals (8), T-3rd in Game Winners (3), T-8th Assists (21), & T-7th Points (29)
~ +11 Playoff Rating, Best among USHL defensemen, Tied 1st overall
Neutral Zone Scouting Report
"Babbage is a tall, mobile, athletic defenseman who maintains tight gaps and keeps opponents to the outside. He’s gotten stronger this past season and is quick back on retrievals and able to survey the ice and move the puck quickly and efficiently. He works the puck well along the blue line, he can create space and get low shots through and has deceptively soft hands to make subtle plays when pressured. The assistant captain needs to improve his net front defense and be tougher to play against instead of relying on his feet and his stick, but he’s a talented, multi-purpose defender who should be an immediate impact player at Quinnipiac next season." USHL Game Report, March, 2021
Statistics From Last 2 Seasons
Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
Jack Babbage
8/30/00 (D)
2021-22 Quinnipiac University ECAC 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020-21 Chicago Steel USHL 53 8 21 29 40 +26
Playoffs 8 0 2 2 6 +11


NICO DEVITA
Defenseman, 6'2", 200 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Bellevue, Washington
DOB: May 24, 2001. 21 years, 4 months
2021-22 Team: Ferris State University (CCHA)
2020-21 Team: Aberdeen Wings (NAHL)
Committed to UNH: April, 2022 at Age 20 years, 11 months.
NeutralZone Star Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
2020-21 Outstanding Accomplishments:
~ NAHL First All-Star Team
~ NAHL All-Central Division Team
~ +49 Regular Season Rating, Best in NAHL
~ Among All NAHL Defensemen in Regular Season, 2nd Most Assists (31), Power Play Assists (14), & Points (39)
Neutral Zone Scouting Report
"Offensive defenseman who LOVES to shoot the puck! Responsible in his defensive zone as he owns an active stick. Stays low to the ice and breaks up plays by reading the play and using his poke-check. Has his head up in all three zones surveying the ice for his teammates, but also surveys the ice without the puck. In the offensive zone can step into slot areas and hammer one-timers. Has a quick release and his shot has tenacity as well. When his shot gets on the net, it typically causes trouble – either leading to rebounds or beating the goaltender clean. Lots of upsides to his game." NAHL Team Report, June, 2021
Statistics From Last 2 Seasons
Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
Nico DeVita
5/24/01 (D)
2021-22 Ferris State University CCHA 29 1 2 3 10 -2
2020-21 Aberdeen Wings NAHL 54 8 31 39 57 +49
Playoffs 11 1 6 7 0 +1
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