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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring Hockey/Alberta Cup

Calgary Champions Cup
Friday Action

Calgary Jr. Hitmen 8 - Vancouver Selects Black 0
The Calgary Jr. Hitmen were way too much for the Vancouver Selects Black in the opening game of the Champions Cup on Friday.  The Selects Black are basically the "B" team for the Vancouver Selects program as the Select Blue are in Langley taking part in a 4 team super series.  The Jr. Hitmen are made up of mostly all the top Calgary and area top 98 born players, so it gives a bit of a taste as to who will be some of the players to watch for the 2013 bantam draft.  Leading the way for the Jr. Hitmen were Dillon Dube 2-1-3, Steven Lawrence 1-2-3 and Brayden Dunn 0-3-3.  Dube played his rookie bantam season with Airdrie and did quite well with 18 points in 21 games.  Lawrence played with the Calgary Bronks and had 13 points in 24 games while Dunn played with the Calgary Northstar Sabres and had 15 goals and 25 points in 30 games.  Adamu Tanaka of the Airdrie Xtreme and Kyle Yewchuk of the Northstar Sabres were a pair of dmen who had 2 points each.  Kyle Dumba, the brother of possible top 10 NHL pick this summer Mathew Dumba had the shutout.

Saskatoon Jr. Blades 7 - Okotoks Oilers 0
The Saskatoon Jr. Blades who feature many of the top 98 born players from the province of Saskatchewan would storm out to a 7-0 lead after the first period and cruise to the easy victory.  The Jr. Blades would outshoot the Oilers 39-11 in the game.  Leading the way for the Jr. Blades was Balgonie Prairie Storm first round ranked defenseman Nolan Reid with 1-3-4.  Reid had 6-16-22 in 23 games for Balgonie this past season and was 2nd in 98 defenseman scoring behind Dawson Davidson's 43 points.  Davidson isn't playing spring/summer hockey though.  A pair of Saskatoon forwards in Cage Ramsey and Brayden Camrud each had a pair of goals.  Top 2 round ranked Kolby Johnson had a 3 point game. 

Notre Dame Prospects 4 - SaskCan 98's 3
Marial Beny and D - Eric Soar each had 2 points in leading the Notre Dame Prospects to a 4-3 win over SaskCan 98's.  Beny played this past season with Melville and had 12 pts in 22 games, playing mostly 3rd line duty.  D - Soar played with Moose Jaw and had 4 points in 24 games played.  G - Colby Entz stopped 23/26 shots he faced in the win.  The SaskCan team is players from Saskatoon and surrounding area and they got goals from three separate players as Dawson Barilla, Cody Illerbrun and Cole Young all scored.  All three players played in the GSHL last season with Saskatoon based teams.

NSD Raiders 5 - 98 Nationals 4
The NSD Raiders squad are led by 3 of the best 98 born forwards in Alberta and they didn't disappoint in game 1 of the Champions Cup.  Nolan Volcan 2-1-3, Sam Steel and Alex Rotundo each had 1-1-2 in the win.  Rotundo's goal was the eventual game winner.  Steel had 50 points this past season, Rotundo had 40 and Volcan had 31 in 31 games with MLAC.  Volcan led all MLAC scorers as a first year player.  The Nationals got good games from Jared Power and Brayden Juett each with 1-1-2. 

PFO 3 - Vancouver Selects Black 1
Defenseman Connor Deighton had 2 goals and his fellow defenseman Dylan Huot had 2 assists and that was all PFO would need in securing the win.  Both Deighton and Huot had nearly a point per game from defense last year in the ERBHL and could be players to watch next year for St. Albert in the AMBHL.  Sean Richards scored as well.  He played with Spruce Grove this past season.  Ben Brar had the lone Selects goal.  Brar played with Abbotsford in 11-12 season. 

Day 1 Round-Up
NSD Raiders forwards Sam Steel, Alex Rotundo and Nolan Volcan are proving to be far too much in this tournament.  Their biggest challenge is thought to be the Saskatoon Jr. Blades who feature most of Saskatchewan's top 98 born players.  However, NSD rolled over the Jr. Blades 7-0 yesterday.  Nolan Volcan 2-6-8, Sam Steel 4-4-8 and Alex Rotundo 4-3-7 continued to dominate.  Matthew Phillips of the Calgary Jr. Hitmen has taken his late season surge in to the spring hockey tournament with 3-3-6 and '99 born forward Kyle Olsen continues to show why he'll be a player we watch closely for the next two years as he has put up 5 points in 2 games thus far playing against players older than him once again.  D- Ryan Roberts who is playing with the Notre Dame Prospects has 3-2-5 and he played this past season with the stacked Balgonie squad.  Nolan Reid continues to prove why he'll be one to watch this season with Balgonie heading to the '13 bantam draft.  All and all, a pretty good showcase for many of the top 98's in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

99 Born Age Group Round-Up
The 99 age group is represented once again primarily by many of the top players from Alberta with some B.C. and Saskatchewan players as well.  South Delta's Eric Bourhill is playing with the BC Blackhawks and has 4 goals through 2 games so far.  His team-mates Andrew Kemp and Jamie Wallace are tied with Bourhill for the scoring lead early with 6 points each.  The Alberta 99's have played just one game so far but some of the main stars have already started to show that they may be forces in the AMBHL.  Gary Haden who lit up the SCAHL last year had 4 assists and he could be a main player for the Airdrie Xtreme next season.  Daniel Rybarik had 2-3-5 and Riley Romashenko with 1-3-4.  Kamloops peewee star Korbyn Chabot has put up 4 goals already in 2 games.  Nolan Steer picked up a hatrick already for the Alberta 99's.  Steer had 47 goals in 32 games in the SCAHL and was 2nd in goals behind Jeremy Klessens 51.  Klessens is also in this tournament playing with Red Deer.  Connor Tuffs from the SaskCan 99's has been strong with 4 points so far.  Tuffs played with Tisdale of the Centre Four Hockey League last year.  Connor Dewar has 4 goals in 2 games as well for SaskCan 99's. 

World Selects Invitational 98/99 Born
The World Selects Invitational is nearing its completion for both the 98 and 99 age groups.  There were a handful of players in the 99 age group which played its games in Bolzano, Italy that took part in the event.  Top B.C. talents Jordy Bellerive and  Justin Almeida sutied up for the "PRO HOCKEY" team and fared pretty well with Bellerive going 6-0-6 and Almeida going 2-1-3.  Bellerive led his team in goals and points.  The rest of the 99 born western Canada kids played with the Western Canada Selects, with all the players hailing from Alberta.  Brayden Labant turned in an allstar performance in Italy, finishing amongst the tournament scoring leaders and leading his team with 6-4-10.  Dawson Bruneski with 3-1-4, Brayden Nicholetts with 1-3-4 and defenseman Brayden Gorda had a goal and forward Kendall with 1-1-2.

In the 98 age group, the lone participant was Tyler Benson.  Benson of course led all AMBHL rookies in scoring and finished 2nd in AMBHL scoring overall.  Benson has a very good chance at going first overall, at least at this point for the '13 bantam draft.  Benson more than held his own with 3-6-9 in the 6 games played.  He suited up with an Eastern Canada Selects team. 

Alberta Cup
This years Alberta Cup could go down as one of the more competitive showcases in years.  Of the 12 games played so far, 6 of them have ended in a tie.  Even more surprising is some of the teams who are out of contention for the title....Calgary South are out and that has to be considered a surprise as they featured players made up of the Calgary Royals and the Calgary Bisons.  Both the Bisons and Royals were at the top of the standings all year long in the AMBHL South.  Instead the teams that finished 3rd and 4th in that division, the Bronks and Northstar Sabres have moved on to the semi's.  Also, Edmonton South is out which is surprising as they are primarily made up of players from the league champs SSAC Southgate Lions.  So neither one of our top two ranked playes from Alberta in Giorgio Estephan or Nick Merkley will be winning an Alberta Cup this year!

Many of the players who were expected to do well offensively have so far.  Nick Merkley, who we feel will be a top 6 selection in the WHL Bantam Draft, coming up next Thursday, leads the tournament through 3 games in scoring with 3-3-6.  His team-mate Braylon Shmyr who should go in the top couple rounds also has 6 points.  Giorgio Estephan, the other top 6 rated selection has 4 points and elite scorer Mason McCarty who has been buried on a sub-par Okotoks team has shown what he can do playing with elite talent and has 3 goals.  Players that have shown well are Zac Whitby, Mark Rassell, Matt Fonteyne, Brendan Guhle, Carson Franks, Austin Wagner, Xavier Burghardt and Patrick Dea.  Jordan Boulton has also impressed defensively as have Shane Bear and Aaron Kellogg.

Vancouver Selects Super Series
There is a 4 team super series going on in Langley, BC featuring some of the top BC talent the 98 age group has to offer.  As well a team of many of the top 98's in the western states are there as well.

Vancouver Vipers 7 - Pacific Knights 1
D - Matt Barberis led the way with 2-1-3 and Luke Gingras picked up 3 assists in the win.  Big things are expected out of Barberis on the BWC team next season.  Gingras will be a main 98 born to watch in the PCAHA with Langley.  Spencer Berry, Nathan Jackson, Dante Hannoun, Jake Kyrski and Carter Stephenson scored for the Vipers.  Pacific Knights lone goal came from D - Clint Colebourn.

Vancouver Selects Blue 5 - US West Selects 0
Kailer Yamamoto led the way with 2-1-3 for the Selects Blue.  Yamamoto played with the Wenatchee Jr. Wild in 2011-2012.  Owen Seidel, Ryan Bowen, Beck Malenstyn and Davis Koch added singles.  Michael Regush and Cody Paivarinta added 2 assists each.

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