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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sask First Top 40 and Manitoba POE Top 40 announced

The Sask First Top 40 can be seen here:

The Manitoba POE Top 40 can be seen here:

BC CUP - Saturday

Here is a few brief thoughts on some of the key players so far at the BC Cup.

The Good
- Virtanen has 5 points and 3 goals but it isn't Jake but Jared Virtanen!  Jake Virtanen has 3-0-3 in 3 games.  Not exactly lighting it up by any means.
- One of our diamonds in the rough at the end of the year Mike Bell D/F leads the tournament in scoring in the early going with 1-5-6.
- Not surprising that Joe Hicketts is showing well and leading all defenseman in scoring currently with 1-4-5 in 4 games.
- A player who has been on a steady climb and someone who was pointed out not only at the KIBIHT but also in our preview of the BC Cup, Spencer Meyer has 4-1-5.
- Carson Bolduc, Spencer Meyer and Brandon Wagner lead so far with 4 goals.  Meyer, Bolduc have done this in just 2 games.
- Peyton Lee has a pair of shutouts so far and proving he is the top goalie in the province once again.  Should be the 2nd goalie selected on May 5th.

The Not so good
-  Cameron Seto has just 1-0-1 in 3 games played thus far.
-  Ryan Gropp is pointless in 2 games played.  This could drop him in the draft.  Will Kamloops take Jordan Thomson if this continues?
-  Dawydiak has just 1 point in the tournament.
-  Dysin Mayo hasn't found the scoresheet yet either.
-  Dombrovskiy and Conner Logan are both pointless in 4 games.

BC Cup and other

The BC Cup got underway yesterday in Kamloops with 10 games.  Some of the highlights were Spencer Meyer who scored 3 goals for the Maple Leafs in a tournament opening 5-4 victory.  The Maple Leafs and Meyer were one of our favorites entering the tournament.  Meyer continues his rapid scoring pace with which he had at the KIBIHT when he had 17 points there.   The Flyers defeated the Predators  in a high scoring 8-5 game.  Top 3 ranked JakeVirtanen had 2 goals and Liam Lawson as well as Mitch Foyle had a pair in this game.  Virtanen will not fall past the top 3 in the draft and is likely the forward in the 96 born class right now.  Finally, a highlight of the day in what I believe are the two top teams in the tournament with the Leafs and the Bruins playing.  The Leafs beat the Bruins 3-2 with both teams having as many as 8 prospects who forsure will be drafted.   Mitchell Walter scored twice for the Bruins which included the winner with a minute left.  Spencer Meyer scored his 4th of the tournament in 2 games.

The Calgary Champions Cup for 97 born players is taking place this weekend.  I will have some information on that later today hopefully. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bantam teams wrap up at International tournaments

The Notre Dame Hounds Bantam AAA team were over seas competing at the Tretiak Cup in Moscow that wrapped up this weekend.  The Hounds were the only club team at the event competing against the best in that age group from Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia and other countries.  The winner of the tournament was CSKA Moscow who went 7-1-0.  Maxim Lazarev from Ak bars led the tournament in scoring with 10-7-17 in just 6 games. 

For Notre Dame and the WHL bantam prospects, they were led by Ben Duppereault with 3-0-3, Blake Penner 2-1-3 and Haydn Fleury with 1-1-2.  The Hounds finished the tournament at 1-5-0.

Moving on to the 97 born class now and the summer hockey season has started up with a group of 97 born players from Calgary heading to Prague to take part in the 97 World Selects Invite. The Calgary Nationals went 1-4-0 and were led by Braylon Shmyr who had 4-2-6 in the 5 games.  Shmyr could be a first round candidate for 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. 

The 97 summer hockey season will continue this coming weekend when a number of the top teams will converge on Calgary, AB to take part in the Champions Cup.  I hope to have a re-cap of some of the key players in the tournament afterwards.

BC Cup Preview, Kamloops, April 28-May 1

The final provincial tournament camp of the season will take place beginning this weekend in Kamloops as the best bantam draft eligable players will coverge for the BC Cup.  In doing this preview, I will run down each of the rosters and provide some opinion on who to watch, grading of defenseman and forwards and a kingpin for each team to watch.  The opinions on the teams will be players we have ranked in our top 200 lists that was sent out to subsribers.


The Bruins are led by a top 10 talent in Ryan Gropp at forward.  Gropp has helped lead Kamloops to a very successful season winning tournaments as well as the KIBIHT.  Chase Lang, Mitchell Walker and Kolten Kerfoot should all be able to score as well for the Bruins.  Gritty forwards Logan Mick and Ryan Donaldson will add depth.  The defense isn't too shaby either as Dysin Mayo (POE) is one of the better puck movers from the province, while Michael McEachern (Westside) and Paul Savage give the Bruins a defensive top 3 that will be tough to rival.  The only question mark on this squad could be in goal where neither of the goalies (Giesbrect, Matte) are currently ranked in the top 200.  However, these camps are a very good gauge on talent and either one of those goalies could vault themselves up.

Forwards:  A - possibly up to 8 forwards from the Bruins could be drafted
Defense: B+ - There will be atleast 3 defenseman drafted.

On the surface, the Wild appear to be one of the weaker sisters in the tournament.   They will depend heavily on the defensive end with Riley Stadel (Cloverdale).  Stadel, we feel should sneak in to the first round of the bantam draft on May 5th and really has a complete game.  Stadel will get some help from Scott Cullen and Josh Johnston but neither are considered top prospects.  Up front, the Wild will look to Brett Menneaur (Westside), Mitchell Friesen (Surrey) and small Matt Revel (Abbotsford) for the scoring.  Neither goalie on this squad are currently ranked (Huff, Poirier). 

Forwards:  B-, 3 players currently ranked
Defense: B, 2 players ranked

This could be one of the more two-way style and gritty teams in the tournament.  Alec Dillon (Juan de Fuca) is a very capable goalie and could open up some eyes with his play.  The defense doesn't have any top 2-3 ranked players but Ian Bennett (Semiahmoo) and Ryan Gagnon (Quesnel) are capable of playing against top forwards here.  The Forward group has some size and grit with big 6'4 Kyle Raymond (Langley),  and Mason Harding (Kamloops) and scoring talent with Mitchell Skapski (Abbotsford), Carson Bolduc (Kamloops) and Zack Funk (POE).  Strong team who has a chance at winning it all.

Defense: B, 2 players ranked
Forwards:  B+, 5 players ranked

Once again, another team with which neither of the goalies are ranked by us for the bantam draft (Dyment (Abbotsford), Edwards (Clearview).  The defense core really only has one ranked player by us and that is Mitchell Meek (POE).  Up front, Cole Pickup (Juan de Fuca) and Camerson Seto (BWC) will have to do all they can to give the Canucks anything.  This team in total has just 3 players ranked in the top 200 for the bantam draft. 

Forwards:  C-
Defense:  C

Right off the start, the Stars are stable in goal with the provinces top ranked goalie Peyton Lee (POE).  That alone will give the Stars to win each game.  If that isn't enough, how about the provinces top ranked defenseman in Joe Hicketts (Kamloops).  Hicketts has the ability to take over the game with a bit hit, blocked shot or end to end rush.  Hicketts will get help on the blueline from Connor Pasco (BWC) and Garrett Stankhovan (Victoria).  The Forward group doesn't have a huge amount of depth but Chad Butcher (Kamloops) is one of if not the top scorer from the entire province in tier 1 this year and provides just about everything.  Matt Painchaud (Abbotsford) and Sheldon Brett (Poe) will help out up front as well.

Forwards:  C+
Defense: A-

The Leafs will sport a goalie that scouts will be watching fairly closely in Nic Bruyere (Burnaby).  Bruyere didn't make the BWC Bruins Tier 1 team this year and will have a lot to prove at the tournament.  The defense on the Leafs will be the toughest to play against in the tournament.  What they lack in skill, they certainly will make up for in hard hits and good defensive play.  Jonah Boston (Notre Dame), Cole Arcuri (OHA) and one of the hardest hitters in the province Connor Harding (Westside) will all make things tough.  The team is 6 deep up front with Dawdiak (Seafair), Del Grosso (BWC), Meyer (Surrey), Blanchard (Kelowna), Rensby (Langley), Rasovic (BWC).  This group likely has 3 players who will be selected in the top 3 rounds of the draft.  The Leafs will be one of the favorites.

Forwards: A, 6 players ranked currently
Defense:  B+, 3 playes ranked

This team will be led by Mission's Landyn Hickmott on forward and Seafair's Shaun Dosanjh on defense.  They are the only two ranked players in the top 200 for the WHL bantam draft currently.  A couple other players will will look to perhaps vault up in to the rankings will be, Nic Gomerich (Nanaimo) and Sidney Harper (BWC).  Neither of the goalies are currently ranked in the top 200 ( Harringer (comox), Sorenson (kitimat).  Thrashers will be in tough here.

Forwards:  C-
Defense:  B

The strength of the Flyers will be at forward with likely captain Francis Bamford (Abbotsford), Bamford is one of the better leaders for his age group in the province.  The Forward group on the Flyers is actually pretty strong with as many as 6 players who could be drafted on May 5.  The others are:  Mike Bell (Kitimat), Ryan Kelm (POE), Carter Hikichi (Kelowna), Mitchell Barker (Kamloops) and Alex Whitwham (Seafair).  Bell and Kelm are likely top 2-4 round selections.  The defensive group doesn't feature a currently ranked player but Royce Rosignal (Cloverdale) is close and will look to make an impression.  Liam McLeod (Kamloops) is a good one to rely upon for the Flyers.

Forwards:  A
Defense:  C-

Kyle Baron (Abbotsford) and Josh Thrower (POE) give the Sabres two of the better defenseman in the tournament to start with.  Adam Cronier (Seafair) in goal gives them decent goaltending as well.  Up front the Sabres will have to rely upon Conner Logan (Juan de Fuca) for scoring and lunch bucket type players Conner Brown-Maloski (POE), Jake Wozney (Seafair) and Austin Scanks (Cloverdale).  This is a team who could find itself in the middle of the pack at the tournament.

Forwards:  C
Defense:  B

A solid team here.  Starting off in goal, the teams has a couple likely drafted players in Kyle Michalovsky (Kamloops) and Kurt Klimek (Langley).  Michalovsky has proven to be a big game goalie all year.  The Defense has a pair who should go in the top 3 rounds of the draft in Viktor Dombrovkiy (BWC) and Matt Murray (Kamloops).  Up front, the team has Jake Virtanen who will be a top 3 selection for the WHL bantam draft on May 5.  Virtanen is easily the top forward from BC for the draft heading in.  However, he is the only ranked player amongst the forwards here.

Fowards:  C+
Defense:  B

Monday, April 25, 2011

Recap of the WHL U.S. Prospects Camp in Anaheim, CA (April 22-24)

Over 80 of the top 1996- and 1997-born players from the Western U.S. descended on Anaheim, CA this past weekend for the 6th annual WHL U.S. Prospects Camp. The players were divided into four teams for a three game round-robin format. The teams were led by current WHL coaches – Derek Laxdal (Edmonton Oil Kings), Don Hay (Vancouver Giants), Dean Clark (Prince George Cougars), and Bruno Campese (Prince Albert Raiders). Former Kamloops Blazers forward Darcy Tucker, a 14-year NHL veteran, also participated in the camp. Campese’s team (Team Black) won the tournament for the 2nd year in a row. Almost every WHL team sent representatives to the camp – including several GMs.
Derek Laxdal had this to say in an article posted on the Edmonton Oil Kings website prior to the camp, "I'm really looking forward to heading down there and helping the WHL promote our league and facilitate the Prospects Camp," Laxdal said. "More and more, some of the top players in the league are coming from the States, like Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat Tigers) and Tyler Johnson (Spokane Chiefs). This is a great chance for us to keep growing our league, and a chance for those kids to see what kind of coaching they'll get in the WHL."

Tyler Boldt, Manager of Player Development and Recruitment for the WHL, had several tweets throughout the weekend – including one saying that this was the strongest camp in its six years of existence. Boldt also tweeted twice about Taylor Vickerman of the Spokane Jr. Chiefs – naming him as the top forward in the tournament. Vickerman had 2 goals and 2 assists in 3 games – including a game winner with less than 2 minutes to play versus Team White to earn tournament honors for Team Black.

MVPs were named for each team as follows:
Team Black – Scott Albertoni (’96), Carson Vance (’96 - Phoenix Jr. Coyotes), and Scott Eansor (’96 – Colorado Thunderbirds)
Team White – Nathan Churchill (’96 – Chicago Mission), Logan Fauber (’97 – Colorado Thunderbirds), and Brian Williams (’96 – LA Selects)
Team Blue – Danny Mumaugh (’96 – Colorado Thunderbirds), Matt Jones (’96 – Team Arizona), Jeremy Briscoe (’96 - Phoenix Jr. Coyotes)
Team Red – Keoni Texeira (’97 – LA Selects)

Several players that participated in the WHL U.S. Prospects camp will head to Kent, WA this coming weekend for the USA Hockey Pacific District Select-15 Camp.

April 27, 2011 newsletter is now ready!

The final newsletter for the 2010-2011 bantam season is now available.  In this issue the final list for the bantam draft is updated as are the 97 born and the USA prospects lists.

I also review some of the top players from each province and the top player available from the USA.

Awards are also handed out for top skater, hitter, hardest shooter and many other categories.  Finally, the annual mock draft is included with who teams may take from 1-22 in the first round and why!

Friday, April 22, 2011

97 World Selects Tournament

The start to the 97 born coverage this spring has started already.  There is a tournament taking place in Prague Czech Republic that is featuring a group of Western Canadian players from the 97 age group.  There are 16 teams taking part in the tournament from all over Europe and North America like the Czech selects, Moscow CSKA, Slovaki Selects, teams from Quebec and Ontario and many others.

The team we are focusing on though are the Calgary Nationals.  So far they have played 4 games in the tournament and are 1-3-0 against the world's best having been outscored 15-6.  However, they came up with a very impressive 3-1 victory early this morning over CSKA Moscow, handing the Russians their first loss of the tournament.  Leading the way so far for Calgary is Braylon Shmyr who has scored 3-1-4 in 4 games thus far. 

The leader so far are the Czech Selects at 4-0-0 and the tournament scoring leader is Finland's Aleksi Saarela with 7-6-13.  Calgary will finish up their round robin portion against those very Finland Selects at 9:30 Prague time Saturday.


Today is the start of the 2011 USA-WHL Prospects camp taking place in Anaheim.  As the camp progressing this weekend, we'll have interviews with a few of the players and post their comments on the blog this weekend.  There is also a guest blogger who is attending the camp who will give his first hand thoughts and experiences at the camp.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Posters have their say!

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has taken a bit of time out of their day to read the information posted on the blog in our first year.  Without the comments and banter, things certainly wouldn't have worked the way they have.

Secondly, with the bantam season winding down now and not a whole lot to talk about in the coming days, I've decided to let the readers of the blog have some fun in voting a number of different categories in each province.  I would ask though that we keep the votes honest and maybe a brief explanation why you voted as such.  Please only vote on players in your respective provinces or that you have enough viewing of please.  I will combine the votes with my scouts and sources votes and pick winners later.

Manitoba/Saskatchewan/Alberta/BC *Votes can be posted under the comments section.
Top Skater?
Top Defensive Forward?
Hardest Worker?
Best Pure Scorer?
Hardest Hitter?
Diamond in the Rough?
Hardest Shot?
Best Chance of being a Pro?

I'll periodically post on-going results as the votes come in per province.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Votes are in! Provincial All-Star Nominees and Awards

In our inaugural season, Western Elite Hockey Prospects is proud to announce our first ever Provincial All-Star teams and award nominations.  The winners will be posted in the final newsletter of the season on April 27, 2011.  Please note:  Players considered are ones who played bantam hockey this year.

British Columbia
First Team
Forward:  Jake Virtanen - Abbotsford Hawks
Forward:  Ryan Gropp - Kamloops Jardine Blazers
Forward:  Matt Barzal - Burnaby Winter Club Bruins
Defense:   Joe Hicketts - Kamloops Jardine Blazers
Defense:   Riley Stadel - Cloverdale Colts
Goalie:  Peyton Lee - Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy

Second Team
Forward:  Chad Butcher - Kamloops Jardine Blazers
Forward:  Tyler Sandhu - Seafair Islanders
Forward:  Spencer Meyer - Surrey Thunder
Defense:  Victor Dombrovskiy - Burnaby Winter Club Bruins
Defense:  Josh Thrower:  Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy
Goalie:  Cole Forbes - Cloverdale Colts

MVP:  Jake Virtanen - Abbotsford Hawks
Top Forward:  Ryan Gropp - Kamloops Jardine Blazers
Top Defenseman:  Joe Hicketts - Kamloops Jardine Blazers
Top Goalie:  Peyton Lee - Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy
Top First year 97 born: - Matt Barzal - Burnaby Winter Club Bruins
Diamond in the rough:  - Michael Bell - Kitimat

First Team
Forward:  Brayden Point - Calgary Bisons
*Forward:  Ty Mappin - Red Deer Rebels White
Forward:  Reid Duke - Calgary Royals
*Defense:  Brycen Martin - Calgary Bisons
Defense:  Aaron Irving - SSAC Southgate Lions
*Goalie:  Jordan Papirny - SSAC Southgate Lions

Second Team
Forward:  John Quennville - SSAC Southgate Lions
Forward:  Tyler Wong - Airdrie Xtreme
Forward:  Tanner Macmaster - Calgary Bisons
Defense:  Zach Gonek - St. Albert
Defense:  Griffin Mumby - Calgary Bronks
Goalie:  Adin Hill - Calgary Bisons

MVP:  Ty Mappin - Red Deer Rebels White
Top Forward:  Brayden Point - Calgary Bisons
*Top Defenseman:  Brycen Martin - Calgary Bisons
*Top Goalie:  Jordan Papirny - SSAC Southgate Lions
Top first year 97 born:  Giorgio Estephan - SSAC Southgate Lions
Diamond in the rough:  Landyn Welykholowa - Calgary Bisons

First Team
*Forward:  Reid Gardiner - Humboldt Broncos
Forward:  Kolten Olynek - Saskatoon Outlaws
Forward:  Blake Penner - Notre Dame Hounds
*Defense:  Jordan Harris - Prince Albert Pirates
*Defense:  Ryan Pilon - Warman Wildcats
*Goalie:  Rylan Paranteau - Saskatoon Maniacs

Second Team
Forward:  Miles Warkentine - Prince Albert Pirates
Forward:  Ryan Duret - Prince Albert Pirates
Forward:  Rhett Gardner - Moose Jaw Warriors
Defense:  Bryton Sayers - Prince Albert Pireates
Defense:  Haydn Fleury - Notre Dame Hounds
Goalie:  Grant Naherniak - Lumsden Lions

MVP:  Ryan Pilon - Warman Wildcats
Top Forward - Reid Gardiner - Humboldt Broncos
Top Defenseman - Ryan Pilon - Warman Wildcats
Top Goalie - Rylan Paranteau - Saskatoon Maniacs
Top first year 97 born:  Terrell Draude - Warman Wildcats
Diamond in the rough:  Wyatt Hinson - Meadow Lake Stampeders

First Team
Forward:  Adam Brooks - Winnipeg Hawks
Forward:  Jayce Hawryluk - Russell Rams "AA"
Forward:  Dallas Starodub - Winnipeg Hawks
Defense:  Taylor Fisher - Winnipeg Warriors
Defense:  Reid Zalitach - Winnipeg Sharks
Goalie:  Ty Edmonds - Winnipeg Warriors

Second Team
Forward:  Clay Tait - Interlake Lightning "AA"
Forward:  Dane Schioler - Winnipeg Hawks
Forward:  Brett Kitt - Brandon Wheat Kings "AA"
Defense:  David Dunn - Russell Rams "AA"
Defense:  Travis Sanheim - Elkhorn "AA"
Goalie:  Conner Shaw - Dauphin "A"

MVP:  Adam Brooks - Winnipeg Hawks
Top Forward:  Adam Brooks - Winnipeg Hawks
Top Defenseman:  Taylor Fisher - Winnipeg Warriors
Top Goalie - Ty Edmonds - Winnipeg Warriors
Top first year 97 born - Dallas Miller - Winnipeg Sharks
Diamond in the rough - Ryley Lindgren - Winnipeg Sharks

Friday, April 15, 2011

Late Thursday Alberta Cup

Game 5
Edmonton South 4 - Central Thrashers 3
Central took a 3-1 lead in to the 3rd period but Edmonton South were able to tie it up on a couple early goals in the 3rd period and got the winner from Aaron Irving with just 1:11 remaining in the game.  Jakubowski, Patterson and Lapointe also scored for Edmonton South.  Zach Patterson had 1-1-2 in the game as did Braden Jakubowski.  McGonigal and Debrusk each had a pair of helpers.  For Central Thrashers, Bobyk had 1-1-2 and Ty Mappin added one assist.  Defenseman Jordan Steenbergan and Matt Fonteyne scored the others.  Ferrus turned aside 21/24 for Edmonton while Desrosiers stopped 19-23.  Interesting to note that John Quennville doesn't have a point yet.

Shots on Goal
Edmonton South 23
Central Thrashers 24

Power Plays
Edmonton South 2/8  (Patterson, Irving)
Central Thrashers 2/8 (Steenbergan, Bobyk)

Game 6
South Senators 8 - Northeast 2
South Senators got out to a 6-0 lead about the midway point of the 2nd period and cruised to the most lopsided win thus far 8-2.  Several players had multiple point games including;  Tyler Wong 2-1-3, Blake Penner 1-2-3, Cavin Leth 1-1-2, Carson Pickett 0-2-2.  The goal scorers for Northeast were; Tyler Robertson and Tyler Busch.  Liam Gregor picked up 2 assists.  Mudryk and Martin played in goal for Northeast and stopped 21/29 shots.  For South Sens, Conrad stopped 17/19.

Shots on Goal
South Senators 29
Northeast 19

Power Plays
South Senators 0/5 Chartier scored SH in the game
Northeast 0/2

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alberta Cup...Northwest 4 - Calgary South 1

Through 2 games at the Alberta Cup, nothing has been all that noteworthy as of yet.

For the Central Thrashers it was Chase Thudium and Jayden Sveinson scoring the goals.  First round ranked Ty Mappin picked up one assist.  Matt Forchuk and Jake Dube scored the goals for the South Senators.  Highly touted prospects Conner Bleackley, Tyler Wong and Blake Penner were all held off the scoresheet.  All three players are expected to be picked in the top 2 rounds.  Jonathon Hogue turned aside 44/46 shots and had to have been the difference in keeping this one close.

Shots on goal
Central Thrashers 46
South Senators 27

Power Plays
Central Thrashers  1/10
South Senators 0/10

Game 2
Edmonton South 3 - Northeast 2
Edmonton South who have to be one of the better squads at the tournament got down 2-0 by the midway part of the 2nd period on goals by Brett Pollock and Bryce Woodward.  However, Edmonton South would score the games final 3 goals via Grayden Smith, Riley Simpton and Riley McGonigal.  No player in this game had a multiple point outing.  Papirny stopped 18/20 for Edmonton South while Trevor Martin turned aside 28/31.

Shots on Goal
Northeast 20
Edmonton South 31

Power plays
Northeast  1/7
Edmonton South 1/7

Game 3
Calgary North 3 - Edmonton North 2
Calgary North got off to a 2-0 lead within the first couple minutes of the 2nd period with goals from Sam Young and Alex Ruel-Garvey.  Ben Campbell and Matthew Benko would tie it up in the early stages of the 3rd period.  The game would stay tied until about 8 minutes left when Shaun Cooke would win it.  Defenseman and top 2 round prospect for the bantam draft Griffin Mumby picked up 2 assists.  Derek Mazil stopped 24/26 shots for Calgary and Dylan France stopped 28/31.

Shots on Goal
Calgary North  31
Edmonton North 26

Power plays
Calgary North 2/3
Edmonton North 1/2

Game 4
Northwest 4 - Calgary South 1
In a bit of a shocker, the talent laden team from Calgary South were held to one goal in an opening loss for themselves.  For Northwest, it was Foster, Smythe, Miller and Diederich scoring for Northwest.  Brayden Point scored the lone goal for Calgary South.  Patrick Gora stopped 43/44 shots for Northwest.

Shots on Goal:
Calgary South 44
Northwest  29

Power plays
Calgary North  0/5
Northwest  2/4

Alberta Cup Underway

The Alberta Cup has started this morning at 8am MST.  I will get everyone afloat and possibly get a few comments from the players as the tournament progresses this weekend.  I won't be in Lethbridge until Friday afternoon likely. 

Here is an article to get you started courtesy of the Lethbridge Herald:

Dylan Purcell


It is quite possibly the busiest day of the 2011 Alberta Cup bantam-aged hockey tournament. The eight teams have been chosen from zone camps throughout the province, the coaches and players are in place, and volunteers have been primed for action.
So on Wednesday morning, why was Bob Bartlett up at 4 a.m.? And why was the Alberta Cup veteran organizer and long-time professional and amateur hockey man pacing the halls of his home?
Because with the first game of the Alberta Cup set for today at 8 a.m. at Nicholas Sheran Arena, there was still a lot of work to do, and Bartlett knows full well the real problems become apparent once the live bullets fly.
"Up until the last couple of days things were rolling along real nicely and not a lot of stress," laughed Bartlett as the gathered Lethbridge media horde descended upon Nicholas Sheran for an introductory press conference.
"I have to say, at four o'clock this morning I was up bright and early and I was down at the rink here at six o'clock and, it's exciting."
The diplomatic choice of words aside, Bartlett and his organizing committee and volunteers were humming along nicely aside from a few minor worries. They certainly got a thumbs up from South Zone Senators captain Blake Penner. Penner said he and his teammates have enjoyed the process so far, and can't wait to take on the Central Thrashers.
"It's been great so far," said Penner, whose brother Cole was first-round pick of the Prince Albert Raiders in the 2006 bantam draft. "We've got a great group in the dressing room and we all get along right away so that helps.
"But it's been good. They do a good job looking after whatever we need and I appreciate that."
Penner, from Medicine Hat, alternate captain Jake Dube of Cochrane and Lethbridge's Johnny Hogue were at the press conference. Each will hope to catch scouts' eyes with their play, but Senators' assistant coach Chad Kletzel said it all depends on the team performance.
"It is an individual showcase on one level, but we try to get the players to understand that if the team does well, the individual does, too."
Each of the three players gave off a very different mood at the reps conference, with Hogue obviously excited to be there, if a little bewildered.
As he sat down in front of the media-filled room, he glanced at the bottled water set out in front of him and asked "Are these for us?"
"I'm nervous," he admitted afterward. "But I like that. That's how I like it. I can feel the pressure and play better with it."
Hogue was bristling with energy while Penner seemed unfazed and Dube just wanted to get the games started.
"I'm ready to play right now," said the defenceman. "I could play right away."
Penner said the whole team felt that way.
"I think we're OK to get out and play."

The South Zone squad boasts an impressive array of forwards and a big defence corps with Michael Conrad of Chestermere and Hogue in net. Kletzel said the hope is the team finds consistency.

"You can't really have a bad game. They're just 14 years old, so that's something you have to remember, but you look for the consistency in execution and hope they get a couple of lucky bounces and maybe we can get pretty far," said Kletzel.

One things for sure, the players aren't the only ones looking forward to the games.
"There's a lot of good teams here and we'll just see who happens to win," said Bartlett. "As I said before, I think there's 8-12 first-round WHL picks here."
Bartlett added WHL fans looking for the next crop of superstars should come out during the games and try to out-scout the scouts.
"I think it's kind of neat if fans want to come out and handicap who they think will be first-round WHL picks because they'll see a lot of these kids in the WHL the next couple of years."


The Burnaby Winter Club under coach John Batchelor have won their 3rd WCBC.  Their last championship was just 4 years ago in.....Winnipeg as well!  The Burnaby Now takes a look back at the championship and road getting there.

Photograph by: Courtesy of Brian Bowman, SELKIRK RECORDNext year's Burnaby Winter Club AAA bantam just couldn't wait for 2012 to get it done.

The winter club Bruins, with six first-year players in its lineup, upset the Manitoba champion Winnipeg Hawks 3-2 in overtime en route to a third Western Canada bantam hockey championship in Winnipeg on Sunday.
Second-year forward Victor Dombrovskiy scored the game-winner with his first goal of the Western championships six minutes into overtime.
"I knew when I picked this team, I thought this team was pretty special," said John Batchelor, who earned his third Western title as head coach of the winter club. "They had the character, they had the attitude and they didn't disappoint."
Winnipeg held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period after Burnaby's Justin Szeto had opened the scoring in the first minute of play in the gold-medal final.
First team all-star Matthew Barzal tied the game midway through the final frame on assists by Dombrovskiy and Szeto.
Dombrovskiy and winter club goalie Nicholas McBride were also named to the all-tournament first team.
The Western banner was the third in 10 seasons for the Burnaby Winter Club. The Canada Way club won previous Western Canada titles in 2002 and 2007.
"It's wonderful to win a Western, but those two were expected to be there," Batchelor said of the two previous winning teams.
"This team was not expected to be there, even by people at the club. The kids wanted their names on a white banner."
Batchelor said the turning point for the team ocurred well before they qualified for Winnipeg.
Losing twice to the Abbotsford Hawks in the playoffs turned the team around, said Batchelor.
"That second loss to Abbotsford taught them that hard work beats talent. We stress all along the will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital," Batchelor said. "They have to be focused. They have to understand that mental preparation is the most important. That's what we stress before the game."

The Bruins appeared to get the message, opening the championship tournament with a 14-1 shellacking of the host Winnipeg Sharks.
The following day, BWC edged Alberta champion Southgate Lions 3-2 and the hometown Hawks 5-3.
In its final round-robin matchup on Saturday, Burnaby Winter Club defeated the Prince Albert Pirates 5-1.
"They just know how to win," Batchelor added. "They play composed. Even the young guys, they've played in so many big games in their lives, they don't get too high or too low.
"If we hadn't lost those two games to Abbotsford, I don't think we would have been here. They learned a valuable lesson in those games with Abbotsford."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WEHP Announce Final Top 15 Team Rankings

1.  Burnaby Winter Club Bruins
2.  Kamloops Jardine Blazers
3.  Winnipeg Hawks
4.  SSAC Southgate Lions
5.  Calgary Bisons
6.  Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy
7.  Leduc Allen's Transport
8.  Abbotsford Hawks
9.  Calgary Royals
10. Notre Dame Hounds
11. Prince Albert Venice House Pirates
12. Spruce Grove PAC Saints
13. Airdrie Xtreme
14. Kelowna Jr. Rockets
15. Winnipeg Sharks

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 13, 2011 newsletter is now ready!

In this edition of the newsletter, there are major adjustments on the drafts lists as the season winds down with just the Alberta Cup and the BC Cup remaining. The KIBIHT and the western canada Bantam Championships are reflected in the rankings.

I had a chance to speak with a bruising defenseman out of Alberta who compares his game to Matt Greene and loves playing that way too. I spoke with one of the top 97 born players in western Canada and he explains why he is moving from rural Alberta to one of the best hockey programs in western Canada next year. I spoke with American power forward who hopes to get noticed despite not being able to attend the WHL prospects US camp. Finally, I spoke with a small, speedy forward who hopes his speed and goal scoring will get him picked on May 5th.

I also re-cap the KIBIHT and the Western Canada Bantam Championships. The All-stars are reviewed and we select our own all-stars for WCBC as well.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

KIBIHT FINAL.....Kamloops 5 - POE 4 FINAL BAZIEN with the Winner!

1-0 KAM - CHAD BUTHER - Gropp skates in, takes a shot wide off the ends boards to the other side of the net to Butcher who slams it home.  7:20

2-0 KAM - MITCHELL BARKER - Barker takes a feed from Bolduc and skates to the top of the circle and fires one top shelf over the glove of Lee.  8:14 

2-1 POE - DYSIN MAYO - Slap shot from the point on the PP after Fidenza for Kamloops go's off.  8:59 PP

2-2 POE - HEWSON - Kamloops turns the puck over in the slot on a sloppy clearing a attempt that go's to Hewson who fires it by Michalovsky.  12:13

3-2 KAM - CARSON BOLDUC - Bolduc takes a lead pass from Hicketts who skates in down the left wing and scores a goal that Peyton Lee would love to have back.  13:05

3-3 POE - LOGAN MICK - Mick just fires the puck from the far boards that eludes Michalovsky on a rather weak goal.  13:44

4-3  KAM - MITCHELL BARKER - This one caught me off guard a bit but I looked up in time to see it was in fact Barker who scored his 2nd of the game.  14:37

Second Period
A bit of a fast start with Hicketts making a nice end to end rush and then right after Meek had a breakaway and both players were turned aside.  A penalty to each team there after and neither team could score on the power play.  Play has really slowed down in the 2nd period with several icings.  I wonder if the players are starting to tire.

4-4 POE - RYAN KELM - Ryan skates in and pokes in a loose puck on a goal mouth scramble between the goalie skate and post. 9:06

Fairly tight checking for the rest of the period.  Ryan Gropp did have a partial breakaway and Koukis showed some great speed on a nice rush but no dice.

3rd period
No goal for POE at 15:58...waved off.
POE really carrying the play with the majority of chances in the 3rd so far in the first 6:15.  Brown-Maloski with 3 great scoring chances.
POE with most of all the chances still 10:39 left
Painfully slow hockey at this point, Kamloops looks gassed and POE is slowing down as well.
Kamloops finally with a flurry of chances and Hewson go's off for POE with 8:00 left.
Chad Butcher robbed from the slot on a Hicketts rebound...even strength. 6:00 left.
Hicketts missed a wrap around. 2:10
Gropp and Butcher press with a couple good chances.  Time Out POE, face-off in the Kamloops zone.
The 3rd line of Kamloops ends it as they looked rested.

Kamloops - Addison Bazien
POE - Christos Koukis

BWC Win Westerns!!! Dombrovskiy OT winner

Adam Brooks was named MVP  (Winnipeg Hawks)

Aaron Irving was named Top Defenseman (SSAC)

I will be taking in the KIBIHT Final this afternoon in about 20 minutes as Kamloops will face POE in what should be a very good game.

KIBIHT All-Star Teams Announced

For those of you who haven't looked, there are the 1st and 2nd all-star teams from the KIBIHT.  Certainly some players really improved their draft stock, while others failed to ramp up their games.

MVP - Spencer Meyer - Hollyburn Huskies
Top Forward - Ryan Gropp - Kamloops Jardine Blazers
Top Defenceman - Joe Hicketts - Kamloops Jardine Blazers
Top Goalie - JT Barlett - Spruce Grove PAC Saints
Top Scorer - Chad Butcher - Kamloops Jardine Blazers


Tournament MVP : Thane Anderson - Dawson Creek Canucks

Top Forward : Liam Blackburn - Dawson Creek Canucks

Top Defenseman : Michael Bell - Prince George Cougars

Top Goaltender : Bailey Depalma - Kamloops Mavericks

Top Scorer : Thane Anderson - Dawson Creek Canucks
Top Coach : Rob McLaughlin - OHA


Forward : Chad Butcher : Kamloops Blazers

Forward : Ryan Gropp : Kamloops Blazers

Forward : Jordan Wittman : Swift Current

Defensemen : Joe Hicketts : Kamloops Blazers

Defensemen : Ryan Pilon : Warman Wildcats

Goaltenders : JT Bartlett : Spruce Grove

Saturday, April 9, 2011

KIBIHT ..Tim Vanstone scores 5 Goals vs. Vernon today

Jordan Wittman had 2-2-4 and Swift Current defeated Vernon 8-1.

Ryan Pilon scored twice for Warman in a 6-5 loss to Westside.

Jashus Pollock had 4 pts for Langley today against NSWC.

Top 10 Scorers at KIBIHT
1 17 MEYER SPENCER Hollyburn Huskies 5 9 5 14 0 0 1 23

2 14 WITTMAN JORDAN Swift Current Raiders 5 7 7 14 0 0 0 14

3 11 SCOTT KIENAN Spokane Jr Chiefs 5 4 10 14 0 0 0 0

4 7 BUTCHER CHAD Kamloops Jardine Blazers 5 4 10 14 0 0 1 9

5 16 VANSTONE TIM Swift Current Raiders 5 9 4 13 0 0 0 9

6 20 MILLER JASON Spruce Grove Saints 5 5 8 13 0 0 1 2

7 91 LOEPKER JUSTIN Spokane Jr Chiefs 5 8 4 12 0 0 1 8

8 19 FOSTER THOMAS Spruce Grove Saints 5 6 6 12 0 0 1 4

9 8 GROPP RYAN Kamloops Jardine Blazers 5 5 7 12 0 0 0 10

10 20 CHISHOLM MONTY Kamloops Jardine Blazers 5 6 5 11 0 0 0 2

Prince Albert 1 - BWC 5....FINAL

First Period
Prince Albert started out fast and strong early with Harris setting the tone on a nice hit on a 1 on 1 play and then Miles Warkentine would take over physically on the cycle once again and dominated setting up plays and working hard.  Then Finally, at the 3:06 mark, his hard work would pay off as he would fly down the wing chip in front to Keegan Kjargaard who scored.  I know the online score sheet says Duret with the lone assist but I think it was Warkentine.  Shortly after, PA would continue to press and pretty much dominate the first 10 minutes of the game and held a 7-2 shot advantage at that point.  With BWC on its heals, Cam Seto would walk in all alone on a his individual effort to beat goalie Toporowski between the legs to tie the game at one.  BWC would start to find their legs and once again they would score as Matt Barzal would have a few chances and then set-up Brandon Del Grosso in the slot for the go ahead goal.  Once again the score sheet says #77 Dombrovskiy but I'm sure it was #97 Barzal.  2-1 after 1.

Second Period
Summary to come after, have to step out for a bit.

Barzal scored on a broken play on the pp

Chris Seto on a nice shot from the top of the circles on the PP

Missed penalty shot by Szeto.

Warkentine was strong again with Kjagaard

Shots on goal  10-6 Prince Albert who are trying to stay alive for a possible bronze medal game.

Third Period
Caught only a portion of the 3rd period.  Barzal scored short-handed.  Didn't need to see anymore, off to take a break.  Prince Albert is now finished.  The Winnipeg Sharks will take on the loser of SSAC/Winnipeg Hawks tomorrow.  Big game at 2pm today between the SSAC Southgate Lions and Winnipeg Hawks to grant themselves a birth in the Gold Medal game tomorrow against BWC.

Prince Albert 1 - BWC 1....5 mins in

PA domination early, BWC turning it up.

Cam Seto nice effort on goal.

Prince Albert 1 - BWC 0 ....5 mins in

SSAC 6 - Sharks 2 Final

First Period
-I joined late-
Paterson, DeBrusk, Rezanzoff

Miller, Viczina

97 born defenseman Ryan Gardiner called up for the Sharks.

2nd Period
This was probably one of the better periods of hockey so far at westerns.  Both  teams played well with chances both ways, tight checking and lots of emotion.  Early on, the Sharks thought they scored as there was a goal mouth scramble but someone from SSAC closed there hand on the puck and the Sharks were awarded a penalty shot.  Rhett Lough took the penalty shot and misssed high and that was the 2nd such chance he missed in the game.  The play would go back and forth for a while as Dallas Miller who has shown huge speed the whole tournament went up the LW side and just missed.  Aaron Irving was a huge force on defense for SSAC as he threw the body, blocked shots and has an end to end rush that resulted in a near goal.  I know this sounds like I'm beating a dead horse here but Ryley Lindgren is really showing himself well in this tournament.  The effort, speed and skill is something that will not go un-noticed by scouts in attendence.  Young 97 born, Ryan Gardiner playing his first game of the tournament looks to have some very good skill and vision from the point, he'll be a high pick next year from Manitoba.  Giorgio Estephan from SSAC has shown himself well and John Quennville continues to play a good two-way game.  He probably projects as a solid 3rd line winger at the next level that will be a can't miss, so he'll be drafted in the top couple rounds in May.  Brock Rezanzoff showed strong again too in that period for SSAC.

Third Period
The Sharks had a chance early to knot the game at 3's off the stick of 97 born defender and AA call-up Ryan Gardiner but was turned aside from the Lions tender.  Shortly there after, Erik Donald took a driving blast from the point.  Much of the credit has to go to Riley Simpson who dug the puck out of the corner and fed it to Zach Paterson who fed Donald for the one-timer.  Then Riley Simpson really put this game out of reach on a nice snap shot from the face-off dot to make it 5-2 and then Giorgio Estephan made it 6-2 on a shot from the slot at around the 5 minute mark.  That would be it for the scoring as SSAC would win it 6-2 and set up a show-down with the Winnipeg Hawks this afternoon to see who will take on BWC in Sunday's final.  The SSAC team really has a big squad with defenseman who can rush the puck and the team as a whole plays with all kinds of structure at this level.  For the Sharks, they could be very dangerous next year with the likes of Dallas Miller and Ryan Gardiner anchoring the team.

Stars of the game
SSAC - Aaron Irving - This was pretty much a no brainer, atleast from the 2.5 periods I was able to take in.  He is a force physically, rushes the puck and plays with confidence.  He just may sneak in to the first round of the WHL bantam draft.  Honorable mention should go to Erik Donald who is similar at rushing the puck and had a strong game.

Winnipeg Sharks - Ryan Gardiner - Was the teams best defenseman, despite being the youngest player on the ice with the least experience at this level.  Good vision, poise and size already for Ryan.

Shots on Goal by period
Edmonton SSAC  17-14-18 =49
Winnipeg Sharks  5-10-6  =21

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spokane 4 - Kamloops 5 .....FINAL

Chisholm with the 3rd on the PP

Gropp assisted on the last two PP goals in the final 5 minutes.

4th goal - Joe Hicketts goal mouth scramble on the PP from Butcher/Barker

5th - Chad Butcher (Gropp)  rebound goal to the trailer Butcher.

Quick KIBIHT Update....Spencer Meyer 2 straight 4 goal games with Hollyburn

13 points in 4 games for Spencer Meyer.

BWC 3 - SSAC 2 FINAL....Going to take a break for a bit from blogging today.

Chris Seto had 3 points.  Barzal was held off.  Quennville scored one of the goals for SSAC.

Mercer had the GWG late in the 3rd for the big 6'3 defender.


Spokane Jr. Chiefs 7 - Westside Warriors 2
Taylor Vickerman scored 3 times and added 1 assist for Spokane.  Keanu Yamamoto, the cousin of San Jose Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi had 3 helpers in the win.  For Westside, Brett Mennear was held off the score sheet.

NSWC 6 - Swift Current 5
Alec Dawydiak scored 4 goals for NSWC in this one and Gavin Gould had 3 assists for NSWC.  Swift Current was led by Jordan Wittman with 1-2-3.

Last night, Hollyburn won 8-4 over Chilliwack and Spencer Meyer scored 4-1-5 and Colton Kerfoot had a pair of goals as well.  Mission forward, Landyn Hickmott with 2 points.  A player who is doing well this year for Chilliwack somewhat under the radar is Sean Longfellow as he had another goal in this one. 

Here is a list of current scoring leaders:

1 11 SCOTT KIENAN Spokane Jr Chiefs 4 4 9 13 0 0 0 0

2 91 LOEPKER JUSTIN Spokane Jr Chiefs 4 6 4 10 0 0 1 6

3 19 YAMAMOTO KEANU Spokane Jr Chiefs 4 3 7 10 0 0 0 2

4 19 BOLDUC CARSON Kamloops Jardine Blazers 3 6 3 9 0 0 0 4

5 8 GROPP RYAN Kamloops Jardine Blazers 3 5 4 9 0 0 0 6

6 93 VICKERMAN TAYLOR Spokane Jr Chiefs 4 3 6 9 0 0 0 2

7 17 MEYER SPENCER Hollyburn Huskies 3 4 4 8 0 0 0 17

8 7 BUTCHER CHAD Kamloops Jardine Blazers 3 3 5 8 0 0 0 6

9 18 DAWYDIAK ALEC North Shore Winter Club 3 5 2 7 0 0 0 0

10 13 LONGFELLOW SEAN Chilliwack Jr Bruins 4 5 2 7 0 0 0 6

11 20 CHISHOLM MONTY Kamloops Jardine Blazers 3 2 5 7 0 0 0 0

12 20 MILLER JASON Spruce Grove Saints 2 1 6 7 0 0 0 2

13 14 WITTMAN JORDAN Swift Current Raiders 3 3 3 6 0 0 0 8

14 9 BAZIAN ADDISON Kamloops Jardine Blazers 3 3 3 6 0 0 0 0

15 53 CRATSENBERG RYLAN Spokane Jr Chiefs 4 3 3 6 0 0 0 3

16 18 HELT RYAN Spruce Grove Saints 2 5 0 5 0 0 0 0

17 14 CARDINAL MICHAEL Spruce Grove Saints 2 4 1 5 0 0 0 2

18 8 RENSBY RYAN Langley Eagles 2 4 1 5 0 0 0 0

19 17 BABYCH CAL North Shore Winter Club 3 4 1 5 0 0 1 4

20 8 HEWSON SPENCER Pursuit of Excellence 3 4 1 5 0 0 0 2

21 7 DRAUDE TERRELL Warman Wildcats 3 3 2 5 0 0 0 4

22 76 MARZEC JONNY Spokane Jr Chiefs 4 3 2 5 0 0 0 5

23 7 KELM RYAN Pursuit of Excellence 3 2 3 5 0 0 0 0

24 3 FLETCHER MARK Hollyburn Huskies 3 2 3 5 0 0 0 6

25 18 RAYMOND KYLE Langley Eagles 2 1 4 5 0 0 0 2

26 2 MARKIN AARON Langley Eagles 2 1 4 5 0 0 0 0

27 3 HAZELWOOD KYLE Chilliwack Jr Bruins 4 0 5 5 0 0 0 0

28 2 MCEACHERN MICHAEL Westside Warriors 4 3 1 4 0 0 0 2

29 9 MENNEAR BRETT Westside Warriors 4 3 1 4 0 0 0 2

30 16 VANSTONE TIM Swift Current Raiders 3 2 2 4 0 0 0 7

Day 2 WCBC...Winnipeg Hawks 14 - Prince Albert 3 FINAL

First Period
The Prince Albert Pirates once again came out strong early and cause a penalty to Eli Batt of Winnipeg and shortly after the Pirates would make it 1-0.  A Bryton Sayers point shot was deflected in front, I couldn't catch who scored it but nonetheless, 1-0 on a nice hard point shot.  Prince Albert would continue to press with a hard forecheck for the first half of the period but Winnipeg would soon find their legs just past the midway point.  Adam Wowryk with some nifty moves in close, taking the puck from the top of the circle down low to beat Morhart up high for a 1-1 tie.  Shortly there after Nico Lisi took a threaded pass from the point from Lucas Skrumeda, just a dandy pass and it was 2-1 Winnipeg.  Pierce would then give Winnipeg a 3-1 lead with just over 2 minutes to play in the first as he blasted a shot from the point that made its way through a screened Logan Morhart.  Then 1:07 after that, at the 19:05 mark Dallas Starodub would score a band angle shot off a neutral zone turnover to make it 4-1.  Finally at the 19:48 mark of the 1st, Sackett would complete a nice 3-way passing play as Adam Brooks found him coming in late for a 5-1 lead after 1.

Second Period
Another game, another blowout at the WCBC.  The Prince Albert Pirates once again come out strong as has been the case in almost every period at westerns as Miles Warkentine converted a nice 2 on 1 play pass from Ryan Duret to make it 5-2 just 24 seconds in.  Nice goal, forehand-backhand in.  Warkentine has easily been Prince Albert's top player today working the cycle hard and seems to be a prototypical WHL 2nd line type player.  That was short lived though as Winnipeg would crash the crease hard and jam a puck by Morhart to make it 6-2.  Then shortly after a give and go with Lucas Skrumeda (who has played very well today, jumping in) give a dish to Starodub whose great 2nd effort made it 7-2.  Then a nice stretch pass from Schioler to Brooks, sent Brooks in all alone and he made no mistake 8-2.  Then 9-2 as Nico Lisi would score his 2nd of the contest at 11:56.  Then Warkentine would once again work hard down low, pass it back to Harris at the point who shot it and Warkentine banged home the rebound, 9-3. 

Dallas Starodub would take a 5 min major for Cross Checking and Prince Albert would have a chance to cut in to the lead but Adam Brooks went in, stole the puck from Bryton Sayers and scored SH, his 2nd of the game  10-3.  Then to wrap things up in the 2nd period, Winnipeg would score yet another SH goal as Schioler would work the fore-check, take the puck from now PA goalie Toporowski, feed it out to Brooks who scored his 3rd of the game.  Brooks now has 7 goals and 12 points in 2 games so far!

Third period
The Thrid period was just basically played out and the Winnipeg Hawks would add a few more goals in the frame playing mostly their "depth" players.  Sackett scored to make it 12-3 with about 5 minutes left in the game and then Winnipeg would add 2 more goals for insult to injury as Harrison and Massey would score to make the final 14-3.

Up next is guaranteed to be a great game and a possible finals preview with BWC vs. SSAC in about 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

KIBIHT...POE 1 - Warman 0 End 1st

First Period
POE started off very quick, putting all kind of pressure on Warman as Ty Keewatin made several big shots early but his bubble was burst at the 2:10 mark of the first as Robinson scored on a tip-in shot from the point from Funk and it was 1-0.  The game would stay that way for the duration of the period as each team would take a couple penalties.  Ashton Clark had the best chance of the period before the midway point of the first as he received a giveaway but couldn't bury it.  Chris Koukis form POE showed some speed, skill a few times during the period as did Brett and Kelm.  Ryan Pilon sometimes looks like a man amongst boys out there but surely can't do it all on his own from the defensive position, although he did have a few end to end rushes.  Warman will take 22 seconds of power-play time in to the 2nd period.

BWC 14 - Winnipeg Sharks 1 FINAL

Winnipeg Sharks top defenseman Reid Zalitach out with a torn ACL.  He'll miss the rest of the tournament.  Big blow for the hosts.

First Period
The first period started out with some thunderous hits from both sides as Del Grosso hit pruden hard, Lumsden for the Sharks layed a hard hit on BWC and then Pruden was planed by the smallest player on the ice, 5'2 120lb Conner Burk.  Just after the flurry of hitting, it was BWC to get on the board first as Chris Seto took a nice feed from his cousin Cam Seto and went in all alone for the 1-0 lead.  BWC would really carry the play, using their speed which was too much for the Winnipeg Sharks all period long.  Matt Barzal was terrific as he could have several points already as he just see's the ice so well.  BWC would increase their lead Short handed on a floating wrist-shot from the point off the stick of captain Conner Pasco to make it 2-0.  The Sharks would then take a couple pentalties very late in the period to give BWC a 5on 3 PP and the BWC would make no mistake working it from the point to Chris Seto who made a nice cross crease pass to Barzal who hammered it in to make it 3-0 after the first period.
For the Winnipeg Sharks, Dallas Miller was skating hard all period, using his size and putting shots to the goal.  A game within a game is two of the better 97 born forwards in western Canada going head to head in Miller vs. Barzal tonight.  Ryley Lindgren continued to skate miles and work hard in the corners.  He may not go high in the draft but a team is going to get a very dependable player who ever drafts him.

Shots on goal unofficial
BWC 17
Winnipeg Sharks 4

Second Period
Well it didn't take long for BWC to continue to roll in this one as Brandon Del Grosso scored and a huge slap-shot from the top of the circle with assists going to Barzal and Szeto to make it 4-0 just 9 seconds in.  The Winnipeg Sharks would have a slight push back shortly after with Ryley Lindgren, by far the best player on the ice for the Sharks tonight getting robbed by Rana.  However, at the 2:29 mark, Matt Barzal would thread just a beautiful pass from the top of the right wing circle to the left wing side of the net to Del Grosso who scored his 2nd of the game.  Just before the midway part of the period, Lynam would go off for roughing for Winnipeg and Del Grosso would complete his hat-trick on a tip-in shot from Dombrovskiy to make it 6-0.  Just under 5 minutes to go in the 2nd, Sidney Harper would one-time a pass from Chris Seto to make it 7-0.  Matt Barzal would then fly in to the zone and take a pass from Justin Szeto as a pair of 97 borns hook up and a nice passing play.  Ahhhh, finally, Rasovice would end the scoring in the period with 29 seconds left on a 2 on 0 play with Matthews to make it 9-0 after 2.
Ryley Lindgren has been the top Shark player tonight as he is not giving up in the least.  Kevin Breen is playing huge minutes in the absence of Reid Zalitach.  That loss really seemed to hurt this team in a big way.  Matt Barzal has vision like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out there, this kid has star written all over him.

Shots on Goal
BWC 34
Winnipeg Sharks 13
End 2nd

Third Period
Once again, the BWC pile it on, on a tired looking Winnipeg Sharks team.  13 seconds in, Matt Barzal receives a chp to the middle from Del Grosso and makes no mistake scoring his 3rd goal of the game.  Then just a minute later, BWC makes it 11-0 on a nice work around on the power-play to Chris Seto as Pasco worked to the top of the circle to Chris.  Then midway through the 3rd period, Justin Szeto would scored on a nice back-hand pass from Barzal to make it a 12-0 game.  The Sharks would break the shut-out minutes later as Purtill sent a goal top shelf on Rana.  The BWC would add a couple more from Schultz on the PP and a Chris/Cam Seto connection with 15 seconds left.  Matt Barzal had 6 points tonight and trails Adam Brooks by a point.

Shots on goal were:
BWC 45
Winnipeg Sharks 16

Stars of the game
BWC - Justin Szeto - but quite honestly his line mate Barzal is what made the line click tonight.  The BWC Bruins are fast, skilled, structured team who will be hard to beat unless the big team from Edmonton can limit their time and space.

Winnipeg Sharks - Ryley Lindgren - Worked hard, used his speed and never gave up.

Prince Albert 1 - SSAC Southgate 4 FINAL

First Period
Prince Albert Pirates came out flying in the opening minute and really carried the play but Papirny was able to stave off the attack.  SSAC had a 2-3 minute span shortly after where Quennville had a couple very good chances but really that is where it ended for SSAC.  Prince Albert turned it up after that and really dominated SSAC much to a few people's surprise I think.  It was really hard to know how Prince Albert would stack up since they didn't take part in any of the major tournaments across western Canada but did go a combined 42-2-1 in provincial play.  Prince Albert's top two lines began to come in waves and finally Zach Hurd was the beneficiary of a dump in from Campese and a nice feed from Yaremchuk out front to Hurd who buried it.  Prince Albert would have a few more chances shortly after but Papirny stood tall.  Late in the first period, Hurd took a penalty and SSAC had a great chance but first round bantam prospect Miles Warkentine made a tremendous block to keep the score 1-0 Prince Albert after the first.  There was no official shots kept but I would venture it to be about 11-6 Prince Albert or so.  Very competitive period though with strong fore-check by both teams and sound defensive play.  Irving and Patterson on SSAC and Harris/Sayers on PA are looking very good so far.  Zach Riauka is using his 6'4 frame well at times for SSAC.

Second Period
As good as Prince Albert was in the first period, SSAC was superior in the 2nd period from the start and seemed to where off any tiredness they had.  SSAC arrived in Winnipeg today via Westjet and it took them a while but are they going now.  Early on, it was evident that SSAC breakout passes where crisper, position play better and it didn't take long to tie it up.  Jake Debrusk, the son of former NHL'er Louis Debrusk scored at the 3:21 mark on an attempted pass out front that went off a skate of PA and past a fooled Morhart.  Shortly after, SSAC took a penatly and PA was working it around but Quennville picked off a Jordan Harris pass and went in all alone and scored a nice goal going fore-hand back-hand and in, 2-1 SSAC.  The score would stay 2-1 for SSAC until the later stages of the 2nd period until Lochlan Morrison took a penalty for PA and Aaron Irving would walk to the middle and fire a goal high over the shoulder of Morhart to take a 3-1 lead into the final period.
Jordan Papirny may have the best stop we'll see all weekend long as Yaremchuk had a wide open net late in the period but Papirny dove and absolutely robbed him.  He made several other big stops in the period and if he isn't one of the first goalies taken at the draft, something is wrong.  Erik Donald was very strong this period for SSAC.  For Prince Albert, not much of note at all as most of their big guns were very quiet except for Yaremchuk who also had a good chance  blocked on a diving play by Donald.

Third Period
SSAC continued where they left off in the 2nd period and continued hard on the cycle and really just clogged up the neutral zone making it very hard for Prince Albert to generate much of anything.  If SSAC gets a lead in any game this series, it will be tough to come back on them.  They are big, play positionally well and take advantage of the few chances they get.  The only goal of the period came just after the midway mark as Brock Rezanzoff came in to just below the right wing circle and put a back-hand shot past Morhart for some extra insurrance.  The game ended with a couple power-plays for Prince Albert and a couple decent scoring chances but Papirny is too sound positionally.  The hit of the period was PA's Jordan Harris on Kyle North setting him flying.

Players of the game:
Prince Albert - Lance Yaremchuk - by far the most dangerous player on the ice for Prince Albert and if it wasn't for Papirny, he could've easily had 2-3 goals.  Used his speed well.  Honorable mention to goalie Logan Morhart who had a strong game as well.

SSAC - They gave it to Giorgio Estephan but there is no doubt in my mind this go's to Papirny.  He wassimply fantastic after letting up the goal early in the first.  Quennville played a strong two-way game and Erik Donald was very good from Defense.

WCBC Game 1 - Winnipeg Hawks 9- Winnipeg Sharks 1 FINAL

First Period
The Hawks came out fast and furious early on as Manitoba bantam leading scorer Adam Brooks was able to control a bouncing puck and swat it by the Sharks goal Thiessen for the 1-0 lead.  The game would stay that way for over 10 minutes as both teams had some chances and were going back and forth.  During that time however, the Sharks received what could be a major blow as their top defenseman Reid Zalitach went down with an injury and was taken off the ice by the trainers, I'll watch to see if he comes back in period 2.  Ingimundson had a huge hit on the Sharks Pruden during that time period as well.  Dallas Starodub would cap off the nicest play of the period as Adam Brooks weaved through traffic high between the circles and fed Starodub with a beauty pass to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.  Dallas Miller would draw a tripping penalty on Maverick Rafter just past the 14:00 mark of the 2nd and would subsequently score on a rifle snap shot from the slot on the power play making the Hawks pay, and cuttin the gap to 2-1 after 1.  The big goalie Thiessen for the Sharks held his team in it with several great saves including one with about 30 seconds left to keep the game close.

Second Period
This was a period where the Winnipeg Hawks totally dominated from start to finish.  The Hawks came out like a team on a mission right away with Adam Brooks scoring his 2nd goal of the game on a bank shot that went off the backboards and out to Brooks making it 3-1.  Adam Brooks would score to make it 4-1 with his 3rd of the game  The Hawks would continue to press very hard on the fore-check and Ingimundson would take a shot that went off the shoulder and on to Starodub's stick who made no mistake for his 3rd goal of the game making it 5-1.  Dallas Starodub would also complete his hat-trick goal with a knuckler type shot that beat Thiessen from the top of the circle to make it 6-1 after 2.  Although Brooks goals may not have been highlight real ones, he has worked hard at both ends of the ice and is clearly the best player on it.  On a positive note for the Sharks, captain Ryley Lindgren has worked hard and been very efficient on the PK and two-way game.  The Sharks best chance of the period came at the 13:00 mark as they went in on a 3 on 1 and thought they scored but the net was off its pegs.

Third Period
The Hawks picked up where they left off in the 2nd by scoring early in the 3rd on a power play.  Pierce was able to wrist a shot through Thiessen from the middle at the blue line making it 7-1.  Shortley after, Dane Schioler won a face-off to Adam Brooks who centered a pass to Nico Lisi who tapped in the goal in to the wide open net for a 8-1 score.  The Hawks capped off the scoring as Adam Brooks scored his 4th goal and 7th point of the game on another beautiful pass from Dane Schioler who deserves a lot of credit as he has great vision out there.  It was a period where there were several penalties and a much slower pace but obvious as to why due to the lopsided score.  Starodub had a chance late looking for his 4th of the game but
was robbed with a kick save from Thiessen.

Players of the game
Hawks - Adam Brooks - Controlled the game when on the ice at all times, he didn't just sit around and wait for the puck, he worked hard at both ends of the ice and has tremendous hockey sence that can't be taught.  He will be a high bantam pick.  Brooks finished the game with 4-3-7.  Honorable mentions have to go to Dane Schioler as well who picked up 6 assists!  Dallas Starodub also had a 3 point night.  Ingimundson was very strong on the point for the Hawks.

Sharks- Dallas Miller was voted player of the game in the arena.  He played well, skated ok but did stand around a bit much at times.  There is no denying his shot, skill though.  Ryley Lindgren the captain for the Sharks played well and Ryan Pruden showed good speed and work ethic.

I'm going to take about an hour break and I'll be back with the Prince Albert Venice House Pirates vs. Edmonton SSAC Southgate Lions.

Swift Current 1 - Kelowna 1 End 1st

Jordan Wittman opened the scoring just before the midway part of the 1st period for Swift Current and Kostiuk replied for Kelowna about 5 minutes later.  Kelowna defenseman Justin Land and Gen Brysun had very good periods.  Tim Vanstone for Swift Current put out good effort in the period but was starting to dive around the ice a little bit on the penalty kill and was put out of position.

Second Period
Swift Current opened the scoring early in the 2nd period, just 1:27 in on a goal mouth scramble.  Kelowna would tie it up at the 8:22 mark on a nice passing play between Hikichi and Blanchard.  Hikici and Blanchard have been darting around all game long.  Then as both goalies were settling in as Kilburn for Kelowna mada couple outstanding saves on Wimman and Adam who went in on a breakaway.  The Kelowna team would score on an unfortunate bounce on a shot from the point from Johnstone that skipped past Janzen through traffic.  Brysun was once again very strong for Kelowna and Forsyth for SC was throwing his weight around all period long.

Busy day ahead

The KIBIHT will resume this morning with four games started at 9:00 or 9:30 PST.  I will be covering the Kelowna Rockets and Swift Current Kubos Raiders.  Swift Current will look to bounce back after a disappointing loss to a very good Spruce Grove team while Kelowna is coming off a nice win vs. NSWC/Seafair.

Following that, I'll be taking in the Winnipeg Hawks vs. Winnipeg Sharks as at 11:00 AM PST.  It works out nice that the KIBIHT will have a break this afternoon to be able to take in a couple games of westerns.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kamloops 10 - Warman 1 Final

First Period
Well if this is any indication how some of the better Saskatchewan teams perform against the better teams from other provinces, I think we got our answer how important AAA hockey next year will be in that provinces.  The scoring started fast and furious at 26 seconds as Joe Hicketts fired a dart of a pass to Ryan Gropp up ice who went in on a breakaway and scored a nice back hand goal.  Just 5 minutes later, Chad Butcher scored on a beauty cross seam pass from Gropp on the power play.  Bolduc scored on a turnover just 43 seconds later and then Monty Chisholm rounded out things from Butcher and Gropp on a nice pass to the slot.

Second Period
Kamloops started off strong once again with a goal from Bolduc, his 2nd of the game on a rebound via a cannon shot from Hicketts that went off the boards and in front to Bolduc who made no mistake.  Warman was able to break the shut-out on the power play on a point shot from Ashton Clark, I missed the goal scorer.  Mason Harding banged home a cross crease pass from Fidenza to made it 6-1 with 5 minutes left in the second.  Bolduc scored his hat-trick goal on a nice 3-way passing play from Barker and Bazien.  That was the exit for Ty Keewatin in net for Warman.  Finally with 45 seconds left, it was Bolduc with his 4th of the night on a nice individual effort to round out the scoring.

Third Period
Chad Butcher scored his 2nd of the game on a breakaway from center ice at 2:16 and Chad Butcher received a nice feed from Ryan Gropp to reach double digits and make the final 10-1.  Chad Buther was player of the game, just flying out there and doing a bit of everything.  Kamloops really looks like an upset team not being in Winnipeg at westerns instead.


POE 10 - Spokane 4
In the first game of the day I took in, it was POE scoring 7 straight goals to defeat Spokane 10-4 in the opening game.  Ryan Kelm was a force throughout the game scoring on a nice one-timer on a cross crease pass from Brett and a beauty 2 on 1 goal from Hewson.  Kelm finished the game with 4 points and was named POE star of the game.  For Spokane, Taylor Vickerman had a goal and 2 assists to pace the Chiefs.  Hicks was named game star for Spokane. 

Kelowna 3 - NSWC 2
The loaded up NSWC squad with several players from the Seafair Islanders including; Sandhu, Dosanjh, Dawdiak and Whitwham fell to Kelowna on opening day.  Kelowna goalie Sam Bobyn was named player of the game for the Rockets and was somewhat tested but not heavily.  Carter Hikichi would be my vote for player of the game as he made things happen all game long and was rewarded with the 2nd Kelowna goal.  Austin Lindsay scored the game winner for Kelowna.  For NSWC, Austin Depourq was the player of the game and scored a goal.  Jason Cohan set up both NSWC goals. 
POE 5 Westside 2
A fair amount of back and forth action in the first period with not alot of shots on goal.  POE opened the scoring up on a goal by Coulter on a three way passing play with Lang/Koukis added helpers, that goal came at the 2:57 mark.  Westside was able to draw even on a beautiful close in goal by captain Brett Mennear as he went back hand top shelf.  Michael McEachern played a couple one on one situations perfectly stopping a few POE rushes.  I will have an update after the 2nd period of play.

2nd Period
A bit more emotion in this period as several big hits were thrown.  Kelm had the biggest hit of the period and has looked strong once again, although he hasn't picked  up a pick yet.  Hewson who has had a strong game scored high glove on the Westside goalie and Tyler Coulter made it 3-1 after the 2nd on a rebound goal off the shot of Koukis.  It was Coulters 2nd of the game.

3rd Period
Had numorous penalties in this period and Dysin Mayo was able to increase the lead to 4-1 on a shot from the top of the circle on the power play on a nice pass from Chase Lang.  Jesse Mills the Westside player of the game scored to cut the gap on a weak dribbler type goal.  POE closed out the scoring  as Brett tipped in a shot from Dysin Mayo who was the POE player of the game.

Other action which I didn't take in:
Spruce Grove 8 - Swift Current 1
Michael Cardinal for Spruce Grove scored 3-1-4 and Jason Miller had 2-3-5 in leading Spruce Grove to an easy win.  The SSBHL leading scorer Tim Vanstone scored the lone goal for the over-matched "AA" Saskatchewan squad. 

Kamloops 8 - Chilliwack 2
In another huge mismatch, it was Kamloops getting 3 goals from 1st round candidate Ryan Gropp and 3 assists from team scoring leader Chad Buther in the win.  Joe Hicketts had a pair of assists in the game.

Warman 6 - Hollyburn 2
No details on the stats from this game but Top 3 overall pick Ryan Pilon will take on Top bantam prospect Ryan Gropp tonight after the opening ceremonies in the feature game.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Western Canada Bantam Preview

I thought I'd put up a bit of a preview of this tournament before I hit the road for Winnipeg later on today.  Once at the tournament, I hope to have re-caps (time permitting) and possible comments from the players as well.

Burnaby Winter Club
Burnaby Winter Club was consistently ranked in our #1 or #2 spot all season long so it really isn't much of a surprise that they are representing the province of British Columbia.  However, they didn't make it easy on themselves to say the least.  After losing the final four to Abbotsford in the PCAHA championships, BWC went in to the B.C. Bantam provincials as "host" team in Abbotsford due to the fact Abbotsford won the tournament.  Once at provincials, Abbotsford again was a thorn in the said of BWC as they defeated them in the round robin.  The BWC had last laugh though advancing to westerns with a 6-3 win over Abbotsford in the B.C. bantam final.  This will be the 2nd consecutive season that BWC has advanced to provincials.  They were hosts last year led by first rounder Anthony Ast.

The BWC have a group of small, speedy forwards and are led by a group of 1997 born forward in Matt Barzal, Justin Szeto, Chris Seto.  Chris's 96 born brother Cam is a bit of a heart and sole player up front for BWC and leads in all areas.  The John Reid Memorial tournament was a bit of a coming out party for the trio of youngsters, playing against some of the top teams in all of western Canada they accumulated 20 goals and 36 points in 6 games.  The whole team scored 29 at the tournament.  Matt Barzal is just one of several 97 born players who lead their teams at westerns.

Victor Dombrovskiy has had a very strong season for BWC.  He leads a very under-rated BWC defense who has a mix of size, mobility and some toughness.  Towering Lucas Mercer who stands 6'3 will be relied upon to contain some of the bigger forwards on the other teams.  Connor Pasco combines offence and a strong defensive game and will be someone to watch.  Also take a look at young 97 born Ty Schultz who should be a fairly high pick in 2012 bantam draft.

BWC will sport two of the biggest goalies in the tournament in 96 Maniel Rana (6'1 165) who to many people's surprise was left off his zone team for the B.C. Cup and 97 born Nick McBride (5'11 140).  McBride and Rana are likely to each get in to some action at westerns with the hotter hand playing the final if they get that far.  Goaltending shouldn't be a problem here.  McBride was named all-star goalie at the John Reid Memorial.

Matt Barzal -  This will be when everyone takes notice of this kid and he puts his name out there big time!

SSAC Southgate Lions

SSAC was at or near the top of the AMBHL standings all season long.  So it really wasn't much of a surprise that they were able to advance to the AMBHL final was the highly talented Calgary Bisons.  The Bisons though proved to be just a stepping stone for SSAC as they got past them 3 games to 1 to advance to westerns. 

SSAC has a nice blend of size, skill and depth up front but are led by a pair of 2nd year forwards John Quennville and Riley Simpson.  Quennville was voted top forward this season in the North of the AMBHL.  Another player to watch will be another 97 born forward in Giorgio Estephan who put up over 60 points as a rookie and won the rookie of the year in the AMBHL.  6'4 Zachary Riauka and 6'1 Briar Ortynski give the Lions some size up front to give defenses fits.

This could very well be the strength of the team with 4 of the 6 defenseman over 6'0 tall.  They are led by a pair of defenders who could be selected in the top 30 of the draft on May 5th.  Aaron Irving and Zach Paterson provide leadership, skating, toughness.  Erik Donald and Ben Sowa cap off a top 4 that will be hard to match and should be able to shutdown some of the smaller forwards from the other teams at westerns.

Jordan Papirny is one of the best goalies, if not, the best goalie in western Canada right now for his age group.  There is a very strong possibility he will be the first one selected and in the top couple rounds.  Backup Daniel Robinson isn't likely to see any action but they may start him in a game if they figure they are in the finals already prior to that game.  Papirny was also named an all-star at the John Reid Memorial tournament.

Kinpin: Jordan Papirny - The hands down top goalie in this tournament and possibly in his age group in western Canada.  Papirny was an all-star at the John Reid tournament and was goalie of the year in the North of the AMBHL.  He could lead them to a championship.

Prince Albert Venice House Pirates

The Saskatchewan rep has traditionally not done very well at westerns but things could change this year.  The Pirates won pretty much every single tournament they entered in Saskatchewan this year and went 23-0-1 in league play scoring 246 goals or about 10 per game.  They won their league losing just once in the playoffs and was also the provincial rep rolling through everyone in the province.  They are the true wildcard in this tournament because they haven't entered any of the AAA tournaments so until they play the top teams from the other provinces atleast once, it is hard to guage where they stand.  They were in the WEHP rankings all season long.

The forward group is led offensively by Ryan Duret.  Duret has tore up the Saskatchewan minor hockey ranks throughout seasons past and this year was no different.  In 24 league games, the 5'9 160lb Duret piled up 53-36-109 in just 24 games played and produced at a similar clip in tournaments.  He had approximetely 180 points in 40 games this season.  6'1 power forward Miles Warkentine will go in the first round of the WHL bantam draft and will provide size and scoring.  Warkentine had 70 points in 21 games this year.  Another 97 forward Matthew Campese, the son of Prince Albert Raiders head coach/GM Bruno Campese finished 6th in his league in scoring with over 60 points.

The defense in Prince Albert is led by a pair of very strong defenders in Jordan Harris and Bryton Sayers.  Both Harris and Sayers are expected to be drafted in the top 2 rounds of the bantam draft in May.  Harris had 34 points in 23 games while Sayers provides a good stay at home rough presence but can also chip in.  A 1997 born defenseman Lochlan Morrison is someone to watch for next years bantam draft and he could be relied upon as well. 

The goaltending has been a bit of a problem with Prince Albert this year.  Both Morhart and Toporowski have blown hot and cold this year and this could very well be the achilles heal of the Pirates heading in to westerns when they face teams with more depth than the Saskatchewan teams have.

Kingpin:  Ryan Duret - the scoring leader on the team and in every tournament will have to produce for Prince Albert to have a chance.  He could be a game breaker.

Winnipeg Hawks

The Hawks were another team who were in the WEHP Top 10 all season long.  They rolled to a 26-2-2 league record and marched all the way to Manitoba provincials winning 15-3 over Brandon in the final.  The closest competition the Hawks had all year were the Winnipeg Sharks who finished 8 points back of the Hawks in the league standings.  In saying that, it is hard to really tell how Winnipeg will perform at westerns because if the John Reid tournament is any indication, they lost to POE (4-1), Calgary Bisons (8-1) and the Calgary Royals.  All three of those teams aren't at westerns.  However at the Medicine Hat tournament, they thumped POE (8-2), Spruce Grove (7-1), tied Airdrie and the Royals. 

The Winnipeg Hawks sertainly have some forwards who can do some damage on their top two lines.  Adam Brooks led the Winnipeg AAA league in scoring with 53-37-90 which was 29 points more than 2nd place finisher and team-mate Dane Schioler 11-52-63.  Dallas Starodub was 3rd in league scoring with 28-28-56.  Adam Wowryk, Nick Matthews and Zach Sackett provide good secondary scoring for Winnipeg.  Nico Lisi provides a spark for Winnipeg as well and could be key in throwing players off their game.

The defense is led by a pair of small 5'7 dmen in Lucas Skrumeda and Ben Ingimundson.  Both are good skaters and Ingimundson has lots of compete in his game.  Eli Batt and Nigel Hoydalo provide a bit of size and strength for Winnipeg but this really could be a problem area against some of the bigger teams in the tournament.

Both goalies, Reid Pennington and Zachary Hoger provided solid goaltending in league play but were a bit up and down at the tournaments against other top teams.  Zach Hoger and Reid Pennington just participated in the Manitoba Under 16 POE and really underwhelmed.  Hoger had a save percentage of .844 which placed him 11th out of 16 goalies.  Pennington had a .717 save percentage, placing him last of the 16 goalies stopping just 33/46 shots.

Kingpin:  Adam Brooks - Coming off a POE in which he had 7 points in 4 games, Brooks has scored all season long and at every tournament.  He, along with Schioler and Starodub will be relied upon heavily.

Winnipeg Sharks

The Sharks had a good, not fantastic season but were able to give the Manitoba rep Winnipeg Hawks all they could handle on a handful of games.  The Sharks have a few players who are really starting to turn it up at the POE and late in the season and should be fairly well rested as they've been off for a while now.  They will come in to westerns as the host team and hope not to be very gracious in that role.  However, they could be in tough here and would probably be a long shot to win.

Another 97 born Dallas Miller is really going to be someone to take note of here.  He is a big, rough, talented player who led the Sharks in goals this year with 32 playing in the AAA as an underage being the youngest player in the league.   It will be interesting to compare Miller with fellow 97's; Barzal, Estephan, Campese, Seto and Szeto.  Also the Sharks have small forward Rhett Lough who is coming off a fantastic POE in which he finished 2nd in scoring with 5-3-8 just 1 point back of Dallas Starodub (Hawks).  Lough was also productive in the regular season, finishing 2nd behind Miller with 46 points in 30 games.  The Sharks are very balanced up front and should be able to roll 2-3 lines pretty consistently. 

The defense is definitely anchored by 5'10 159lb Reid Zalitach.  Zalitach is one of those players who just keeps getting better and better this season.  The POE was one of his coming out parties as he was a pretty dominant force during the tournament.  Tristan Beach-Ducharme will provide some size and help for Zalitach and Kevin Breen is a huge 5'11 217lb defender who will try to keep the front of the net clear.

There is no denying that Kyle McColm will play all the games early at westerns.  McColm, was ok at POE allowing 5 goals on 37 shots. 

Kingpin:  Dallas Miller - This could really be a chance for Dallas Miller to put his face on the map as a future power forward.  Miller is anxious to play Matt Barzal in speaking with him and it should be fun to compare the two very different 97 born players.

Western Elite Hockey Prospects Fearless Guessing


SSAC Southgate Lions -  This will be our guess as to who wins westerns this year.  They have too much size, too much depth, go-to scoring and the best goalie at the tournament.  If defense and goaltending win championships, this will be our pick.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Manitoba POE complete

Dallas Starodub Hamon 3 4 5 9 0.0

Rhett Lough Hamon 3 5 3 8 0.0

Nicholas Mathews Pick 3 3 4 7 4.0

Zachary Sackett Toews 3 6 1 7 4.0

Adam Brooks Boyd 3 4 3 7 0.0

Devin Muir Toews 3 1 5 6 2.0

Scott Gall Pick 3 2 3 5 0.0

Clay Tait Toews 3 3 2 5 2.0

Brett Kitt Toews 3 1 4 5 4.0

Michael Fortin Hamon 3 3 2 5 0.0

Jake Dudar Boyd 3 4 1 5 4.0

Top Goalies
Bennett Thorlakson Hamon 3 90:37 25 24 1 .960

Connor Shaw Pick 3 91:26 45 42 3 .933

Ty Edmonds Boyd 3 93:12 41 38 3 .927

Derek Davies Barker 3 91:44 48 44 4 .917

Matt Gray Boyd 3 89:48 44 40 4 .909

Tyler Gutenberg Hamon 3 89:23 53 48 5 .906

Bronson Ammeter Toews 3 90:00 46 41 5 .891

Zac Robidoux Howden 3 89:30 44 39 5 .886

Top Scorers: