Sunday, December 14, 2008

Much needed Recruit Update

Before I get to the recruits, yesterday at Canada's WJ scrimmage Brendan Smith scored a goal for Team White in a losing effort, as they fell to Team Red. On friday, I thought Smith was w/ Team Red, now I'm confused. The last day of camp is today, and rosters should follow soon after. Already known, Ryan McDonagh will be representing Team USA.

Let's start in the BCHL where Mark Zengerle continues to play exceptional hockey. Last weekend (Dec 5-7), Mark was named 1st Star in a friday win where he notched 2 goals. One 1st star wasn't enough for him on the weekend as he dished out 5 assists on saturday night helping the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to another victory. He added another assist the following sunday in a win. This weekend Mark continued to light up the score board. In a close one friday, he had an assist on the game tying goal. Finally, last night Mark had a goal and two assists and earned another 1st star. Salmon Arm is 5-0 in their last five, and Mark Zengerle has been a huge part of that w/ 3-9-12. Overall Mark is 2nd in the BCHL in scoring, while averaging 2 pts/game, which leads everyone. This commitment is looking better every shift he plays.

Over on the Westside Warriors, Justin Schultz isn't doing so bad either. Last weekend (Dec 5-7), Justin had a goal friday night in a winning effort. This past tuesday he had an assist on a PP goal in another Westside win. While Justin was held off the scoresheet on friday, he made up for it last night w/ two goals (both on the PP) and an assist. A nice stretch for the young dman. He continues to lead the BCHL in scoring for defensemen, and is 24th overall. Justin and Mark were both named to the Interior Conference All-Star squad.

Let us not forget about Derek Lee of the Victoria Grizzles. Last weekend (Dec 5-7) Derek had a goal and two assists friday, and was named 3rd star in a win. Derek went several games following, not cracking the scoresheet, but this afternoon, had two assists, helping his team to victory. Derek is 25th in scoring in the BCHL.

Over at the NTDP, there was a post by Andy Baggot about the commitment of John Ramage that hasn't made it up here yet. Some more information on his decision to come here, he picked UW over Maine, Mich St and CC. So far, I haven't heard anything but positives about this kid, and frankly I'm pretty excited to have him join the Badgers next season. He sounds like a more defensive dman, w/ a booming slapshot. He's a big kid too. Wisconsin needs a player like this, I'm just wondering what he was doing still uncommitted w/ the apparent talent he has.

Over in MN, Tyler Lapic (2010 forward recruit in case you forgot) is back on the ice skating his senior year of hockey after an injury kept him out of the HS Hockey Elite League this fall. He has goals in wins over Lourdes and Mankato West.

In Wisconsin HS action, Dplaya over at HIW went and saw Matt Paape play the other weekend. Cody Strang had two goals and an assist on friday to lead Madison Edgewood over Oregon. I need to find my Edgewood schedule and catch one of his game's this season.

Finally onto the USHL. There was some good news this weekend for Badger fans, Aaron Crandall seems to have turned things around collecting two wins. On friday, Aaron stopped 30 of 33 shots helping Des Moines to a 5-3 victory, and followed that up last night stopping 32 of 33 shots in another win. Sounds like Des Moines' coach gave him a week off awhile back, and upon his return Aaron has been playing well. I know a lot of Badger fans have been concerned about Crandall w/ Shane Connelly's graduation right around the corner, and Scott Gudmandson's stumbles so far this season. To compound that, Mike Johnson (Verona native) is playing w/ Cedar Rapids and having a great season while uncommitted.

The following USHLers have been pretty quiet lately: Tyler Barnes, Chase Drake, Sean Little and Jefferson Dahl.

Gavin Hartzog is starting to put things together w/ the Fargo Force, after a slow start. Last saturday, Gavin had a goal in a Fargo win, while on thursday he had an assist in winning effort. Finally, friday Gavin's was one of the three pucks that future teammate Aaron Crandall let by.

Keegan Meuer is having a good season w/ Waterloo. He's notched assists in three of his last four games.

Finally to wrap everything up, Craig Smith continues to dominate the USHL. Overall, Craig is 8th in the league in scoring w/ 12-14-26, +12, though on a pts/game basis Craig is 3rd. He missed some games due to the Junior A Challenge where he captained Team USA and was an all-tourney selection. Recently, he was named Captain of the Waterloo Black Hawks (though the link eludes me). Craig has a point in each of his last four games, included an assist last friday in a loss to GB, a goal and an assist last saturday in a win over Omaha, a goal friday night in a win over Sioux City and finally a goal and two assists last night in a win over Tri-City. Last night Craig was also named 3rd star. His breakout season is upon him.