Monday, April 28, 2008

Shattuck St. Mary's Recruits Wrap Up

Well I guess by today I meant tuesday. For all of those who read the previously posted Shattuck's article, I turn your attention to Dplaya's thoughts on "character" over on the HIW blog. Its a few posts down the page. He makes some great points, and the Shattuck's article really left me w/ the feeling that Wisconsin couldn't haven't gotten three better young men in Derek Stepan, Jordy Murray and Brock Montpetit. I know that Brock didn't play last season w/ the Prep team, but I'm sure his time at Shattuck's carries w/ him.

If you recall, Shattuck's won their 2nd consecutive National Title this season, here is a recap of Derek and Jordy's numbers from the 2007-2008 campaign.

Derek Stepan: 60 games, 42-62-104 w/ 16 PIM
Jordy Murray: 60 games, 38-57-95 w/ 68 PIM

Derek was 2nd on the team in scoring while Jordy was 3rd.

Looking back to 2006-2007:

Derek Stepan: 63 games, 38-32-70 w/ 22 PIM
Jordy Murray: 63 games, 26-42-68 w/ 71 PIM
Brock Montpetit: 63 games, 32-30-62 w/ 66 PIM

As many of you might recall, these three young gentlemen played on the same line that season, so why not include Brock Montpetit in the discussion. This line averaged over 1.5 goals per game that season, quite impressive! Derek, Jordy and Brock were also 2nd, 3rd and 4th in scoring respectively that season for the team.

Finally, Jordy Murray has been playing in the Shattuck's varsity squad since the 2005-2006 season and this stats that season were: 42 games, 17-21-38 w/ 34 PIM.

I still regret not going over to watch Derek and Jordy play when they were in Madison this winter for the Capitols tournament, but October is only a few short months away and hopefully I'll be able to catch them in their road Red's @ DU in the middle of October, unless the season starts earlier than that at home at the Kohl Center.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Amazing Article on Shattuck St. Mary's

ESPN has an excellent article on the SSM program.

Jordy Murray gets a lot of attention in the article (he has spent the last 7 years there) as does David Toews who'll be skating his freshman season for North Dakota.

I thought they had been a powerhouse for decades, not the case.

I'll have a recap of our Shattuck's recruits season(s) later today.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jeff Henderson Small Business Owner


My mailbox contained the Wisconsin Athletics Badger Update today, and glancing through it, there is a piece on backup goalie Jeff Henderson.

"Before he arrived at Wisconsin, Henderson had a background in business. As a freshman in high school, he started growing pumpkins and selling them to local grocery stores in his hometown of Menomonie, WI. This business has since grown, with his brother now taking care of much of the business while Henderson, a junior, studies economics. They now sell to stores throughout Minneapolis and northwest Wisconsin. Henderson also wears a pumpkin on the back of his goalie mask to honor the businees."

Nice to see some press on a walk-on athlete like Jeff. Jeff and Ryan Jeffery will both be seniors this season and hopefully Coach Eaves will find a way to get them both a little action. Though I'm sure they don't get the one on one time w/ Bill Howard that Shane Connelly, Brian Elliot and Scott Gudmandson have gotten in the past 3 seasons, but they play an important role on the team and deserve some recognition.

Quick Analysis of the Final NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Based on Chuck's earlier post, lets take a quick look at who moved up and down in the final addition of the NHL Central Scouting rankings.

Jake Gardiner -1
Cody Goloubef +14
Justin Schultz +18
Derek Stepan +14
Patrick Wiercioch +42
Tyler Barnes -2
Jordy Murray +18
Brock Montpetit -45

Nick Pryor was not previously ranked and sorry Nick for not knowing you were draft eligible this season.

Aaron Crandall -7.

Now all of these numbers are kinda irrelevant, they are just a placement based on discussions by all of the NHL's scouts, but Patrick Wiercioch's move up the rankings is quite impressive. Having seen him play after his thumb injury, I know why, he has incredible potential as a player.

On saturday I said that I thought Cody Goloubef and Jordy Murray would move up the charts some. I thought Jordy would be ranked higher, and I certainly won't be surprised to see him taken by the St. Louis Blues later in the draft. I wouldn't be surprised to see Cody Goloubef drafted at the end of the 1st round by a team like Detroit. Teams know that Wisconsin prepares some good NHL talent, and he would be ready for a team after a few more seasons.

Overall a GREAT showing for future Badger recrutis, especially on the blue line. I'm really looking forward to the draft. Last year I watched the first round in excitement about KT, McD and Brendan Smith, but I found that I enjoyed learning all of the guys who might someday soon be taking regular shifts in the NHL, even if they are from the CHL. W/ all of this top talent coming in, I expect some great teams in the coming seasons.

Nick Pryor Wrap Up

For those of you that have been following for the past couple of weeks, 2009 Wisconsin recruit Nick Pryor has been checking in with us from Russia while he and Team USA compete in the U-18 World Championships. Team USA won the Bronze Medal beating Sweden in the Third Place game. This will be Nicks last post from Russia.

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/24/2008

Well, we ended up with a bronze medal by beating Sweden 6-3, and got our payback on them from earlier in the tournament when they came from behind to beat us. It was a pretty good experience to win a medal, obviously it wasn't a gold medal but it was going to leave this place with a medal after everything that we went through since we have been here. For the guys that have spent 2 years together in Ann Arbor, it was a pretty emotional day yesterday and that is one day that none of us will ever forget. Now we got one day of sight seeing and touring the city before we head back for the states tomorrow morning, very very early. That two o'clock wake up is going to come fast. Thanks for reading all of this and I hope I helped you out as much as I could. GO USA

Here are the links to Nick's other updates so far:
Nick Pryor #1
Nick Pryor #2
Nick Pryor #3, & #4
Nick Pryor #5
Nick Pryor #6
Nick Pryor #7
Nick Pryor #8
Nick Pryor #9

I know I speak for everyone at the blog and all Wisconsin fans that we cant thank you enough for taking time out of your day to let us into your life while in the most important tournament of your life. I wish you nothing but the best the rest of your time in Ann Arbor and in Des Moines next season before you come to Wisconsin in 2009.

Badgers, and Future Badgers Final NHL Central Scouting Rankings

NHL Central Scouting has released its final draft rankings for this summers NHL draft. Last summer, The University of Wisconsin had one of the most successful drafts for a college hockey program possibly ever. Wisconsin started off by having high octane forward Kyle Turris drafted #3 by the Phoenix Coyotes. (As you all know Kyle is now with the Coyotes) The next Wisconsin player off the board was Ryan McDonagh who went to the Montreal Canadians with the #12 pick. The Detroit Red Wings decided to get in on the Wisconsin band wagon and took defenseman Brendan Smith. Without further ado, here are the final draft rankings for players that are either with Wisconsin or are committed to Wisconsin.

Skaters:

23. Jake Gardiner-Defenseman-Minnetonka HS, Minnesota-2008 Recruit
34. Cody Goloubef-Defenseman-University Of Wisconisn-Current Freshman
38. Justin Schultz-Defenseman-West Side, BCHL-2009 Recruit
58. Derek Stepan-Forward-Shattuck St. Marys Prep-2008 Recruit
77. Patrick Wiercioch-Defenseman-Omaha, USHL-2009 Recruit
114. Tyler Barnes-Forward-Burnsville HS, Minnesota-2009 Recruit
173. Jordy Murray-Forward-Shattuck St. Marys Prep-2008 Recruit
199. Brock Montpetit-Forward-Waterloo, USHL-2009 Recruit
208. Nick Pryor-Defenseman-National Team Development Program-2009 Recruit

Goalies:

24. Aaron Crandall-Goaltender-Green Bay, USHL-2009 Recruit

One other name of mention is Chase Drake. Drake is a defenseman from Mosinee HS who played 10 games for Green Bay in the USHL after his high school season was over. Drake is an offensive defenseman who is going to need a season or 2 in the USHL to work on his play in the defensive zone. He could be a good 2010 recruit for Wisconsin if we can get him at a discount. Drake is ranked #136.

Two other names of note are Seth Soley and Nate Condon. Soley who is from Elk Mound is committed to Michigan Tech for 2008 and is ranked #87. Condon who is from Wausau is committed to Minnesota for 2009 and is ranked #78.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Nick Pryor-On to the Bronze medal game

As you already know, 2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit Nick Pryor has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Russia for the U-18 World Championships. Nick will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Here's Nick's update for us today. Thanks again Nick!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/23/2008

Hi Everybody. As I'm sure you have found out by now we lost to Russia in the semifinals 3-1 with an empty netter. Today we will play Sweden for the Bronze medal. Obviously it is a huge disappointment not to be playing for the Gold tonight, but I guess coming out of here with a medal is better than nothing. The game was back and fourth, and we just couldn't get a bounce. We had one PP to there four and nothing seemed to go there way. Well I guess all this two years comes down to one game today, whether we will have something to remember or not. Thanks for reading...GO USA

Here are the links to Nick's other updates so far:
Nick Pryor #1
Nick Pryor #2
Nick Pryor #3, & #4
Nick Pryor #5
Nick Pryor #6
Nick Pryor #7
Nick Pryor #8

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Huge Night for Badger Recruits in USHL

I wasn't going to update anything on the USHL til the semi-finals ended, but hard not to comment about tonights game between Omaha and Lincoln.

Omaha thumped Lincoln 5-0 and Badger Recruits Matt Thurber and Patrick Wiercioch factoring into each goal.

Matt started the scoring in the 1st w/ a pair of goals, and Patrick added one later in the period. In the 2nd period, Matt added an assist, while Patrick did the same in the 3rd period. Both of Patrick's points were on the Power Play. He is going to be a great PP QB for the Badgers! Travis Erstad was on the losing end of things for Lincoln.

Matt finished 2-1-3, +3, w/ 6 SOG. Patrick finished 1-1-2, +1 w/ 4 SOG. Travis finished -1 for the game.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Putting Together Next Season's Schedule

Icebadger over on the USCHO forum has done a great job of compiling the 2008/2009 schedule as information becames available. I'll take no credit for the following information and give it all to him. Thought it would be good to pass this on to those who don't frequent USCHO. Everything is tentative til UW releases the official schedule, which will hopefully occur next month.

Date Opponent
Oct 3-4 - - - - -
Oct 10-11 at BC, UNH (tentative dates)
Oct 17-18 at DU
Oct 24-25
Oct 31-Nov 1 at UND
Nov 7-8 vs MTU
Nov 14-15 at UMD
Nov 21-22 at SCSU
Nov 28-29 College Hockey Showcase (Mich, Mich St)
Dec 5-6
Dec 12-13 - - - - -
Dec 26-27 Badger Hockey Showdown (tentative dates) (Harvard, AL-Huntsville, LSSU)
Jan 2-3
Jan 9-10 @ UAA
Jan 16-17
Jan 23-24
Jan 30-31 vs UMD
Feb 6-7
Feb 13-14
Feb 20-21 vs DU
Feb 27-28
Mar 6-7 vs UND
Mar 13-15 WCHA 1st Round Playoffs (campus sites)
Mar 19-21 WCHA Final Five (St Paul MN)
Mar 27-29 NCAA Regionals (Manchester, NH, Bridgeport, CT, Minneapolis, MN, Grand Rapids, MI)
Apr 9/11 Frozen Four (Wash DC)

To Be Scheduled: home vs UAA, home vs CC, home/away vs Minny, home vs NMU, away vs MSUM

Tough start is shaping up. I would assume N. Michigan will be the home series on Oct 24/25. Hopefully UW doesn't schedule a series on Jan 2/3, so the WJC doesn't interfere w/ WCHA play again this season.

Team USA loses to Russia, Eaves comments on recruits

Unfortunately today Team USA lost to Russia 3-1 at the World U-18 championships.

Also today, Mike Eaves commented on the 6 recruits who have signed to be part of the 2008-2009 recruiting class for the Wisconsin Badgers. Those 6 are forwards Derek Stepan and Jordy Murray from Shattuck St. Marys, forward Matt Thurber (Pictured) from Omaha in the USHL, defenseman Jake Gardiner from Minnetonka high school, Ryan Little from Green Bay in the USHL, and Eric Springer from Sioux Falls in the USHL. Thurber (Beaver Dam), Little (Fond du Lac), and Springer (Wrightstown) are Wisconsinites.

Eaves comments on Stepan:
“Derek is a very gifted forward with a lot of offensive skill. He’s been a member of Shattuck and its last two national midget championships so he comes from a program that knows what it takes to win. We look for Derek to come in, and even as a freshman, hopefully do some good things for us offensively.”

Eaves comments on Murray: “Jordy also comes from Shattuck-St. Mary’s where he comes from two national championships – the first back-to-back championships they’ve had. Jordy will remind people a lot of Patrick Johnson. He is not very big in stature, but his heart is as big as his chest. He has a real good feel for the game, both with and without the puck. We look for Jordy, because of his competitiveness, to be able to come in and have an affect right away.”

Eaves comments on Thurber:
“Matt left high school as a 15-year old and has played three years in the USHL. He’s a heart and soul guy, and very much like Jordy Murray, he can play very well with and without the puck. He is very competitive and has great leadership qualities. He leads by example and is just a dogged player. Because of his experience in the USHL, which is probably one of the premier leagues in helping a young man get ready for college, we expect Matt to come in and be somewhat of an impact player right away.”

Eaves comments on Gardiner: “Jake is a highly-touted young high school defenseman who has a terrific gift to skate. Because of that skating ability, he will probably be a pretty high pick in the NHL draft. He sees the ice, skates and handles the puck. We are excited that he is coming to learn how to play without the puck and play the defense position. He will have a great mentor in assistant coach Mark Osiecki. We look for Jake to come in and learn quickly. He is going to get some significant ice time.”

Eaves comments on Little:
“Ryan has played the last couple of years with Green Bay in the USHL. He is a pretty steady young defenseman. He is very competitive in nature, makes a good first outlet pass, has a good stick and moves well. Again, we look to Ryan to battle for significant ice time.”

Eaves comments on Springer: “Eric is another Wisconsin lad who has been playing in the USHL. He was part of the power play and was a point-producing defenseman for Sioux Falls. He is very competitive in nature and not the biggest guy, but again one of those guys whose heart is as big as his chest. He sees the ice well with the puck and moves well and we look forward to seeing how he fits in. He is going to round out our defensemen and the biggest thing we’ve got going there is everybody is going to be pushing each other.”

Nick Pryor Update: Semi-Finals vs The Russians

As you already know, 2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit Nick Pryor has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Russia for the U-18 World Championships. Nick will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Here's Nick's update for us today. Thanks again Nick!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/21/2008

Well here we go, USA vs Russia in the semifinals. I don't know how much more we could ask for, especially playing in front of a packed house of about 10,000 Russian fans. We play them tonight at 7, and the other game Sweden vs Canada is at 3 I believe. Today we woke up around 9 and went over to the rink around 10 and got a good stretch in and just did some recovering at the rink from our game last night. Last night vs Germany we played ok, not our best, and we all know in order to get a win tonight were gonna have to be on our A game. We have a game plan in place, the same game plan that everyone uses to beat the Russians. It is gonna be a huge first period of the game to try and take the crowd out of the game and be all over em. I am really confident in all of the guys because we have been working for this for 2 years now in Ann Arbor and everyone wants it so bad that we will do anything to come out on top tonight. Thanks for reading! Hopefully Ill be able to post again soon saying were playing in the Gold Medal game Wednesday night. GO USA!

Here are the links to Nick's other updates so far:
Nick Pryor #1
Nick Pryor #2
Nick Pryor #3, & #4
Nick Pryor #5
Nick Pryor #6
Nick Pryor #7

Nick, I think I speak for the rest of America in saying, "Beat those commie bastards!"

Sunday, April 20, 2008

USHL Badger Recruit Update

The first round of the USHL playoffs are done. Lincoln had previously advanced, but they are joined by the Omaha Lancers, Waterloo Blackhawks and Chicago Steel.

Omaha (Patrick Wiercioch, Matt Thurber) faces off against Lincoln (Travis Erstad) in one semi-final. The other pits the Chicago Steel against the Waterloo Blackhawks (Brock Montpetit, Craig Smith). Good luck to our future Badgers!

There were only two games involving Badger recruits this week, here are the box score links: 4/15, 4/16, 4/17, 4/18.

Stats for this week:

Fowards:

Matt Thurber +1 and 2 SOG
Craig Smith 1A, +1, 3 SOG and 2 PIM
Brock Montpetit 1A, +1, 5 SOG and 6 PIM

Defensemen:

Patrick Wiercioch 1A, Even and 2 SOG

Nick Pryor Update: It's now or never

As you already know, 2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit Nick Pryor has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Russia for the U-18 World Championships. Nick will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Here's Nick's update for us today. Thanks again Nick!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/20/2008

Hey everyone ill give you a quick post here to let you know whats going on. Two nights ago we beat Finland 4-3 in a very close game that basically came right down to the final buzzer. We ended up finishing second in our pool behind Sweden, so now we cross over and play the third seed tonight in the other pool, Germany. We don't know too much about Germany, but what we do know is that the last time a U.S team played a German team at an IIHF junior tournament, the Germans beat the U.S. in the World Juniors two years ago so that just tells us that we have to come even more prepared and focused than any other game that we have played. If we win, we will advance on to the semifinals and play Russia tomorrow night. The other game that will be played today is Canada vs. Finland and the winner of that game will go on to play Sweden tomorrow in the semis. We have just been laying low at the hotel, eating a lot, doing a lot of stretching and recovering and just getting ready for the last games of what most of us have worked for for two years in Ann Arbor. In order to play in the Bronze medal game, or Gold medal game we have to play 3 games in 4 days so all the rest, and recovery is needed as much as we can get it. Thanks again for reading! GO USA

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New WCHA Blog

There is a new WCHA blog in town, well not new since its been going since last month, but I just found it today. Looks pretty good so far, check it out.

Sports Illustrated is a JOKE!!!

SI has given their predictions on next year's Top 10 in college hockey.

Apparently they did do some research but didn't bother to learn how to spell players names.

"8. Wisconsin -- Assuming they return to Madison, Jamie Micatin and Ryan Macedonia will make up one of the nation's most imposing defensive combos. This should help Shane Connell, who will be a senior in net. Blake Efron and Ben Street will be bigger factors up front, complementing a strong recruiting class."

Well at least they got Ben Street's name right. Ryan Macedonia??? Ok I can understand (remotely) missing the Y is Connelly, but McBain, McDonagh and Geoffrion are all NHL draft picks, unless SI doesn't cover the NHL anymore? I was surprised that SI still exists.

We weren't the only victims of SI's lack of journalistic ability, North Dakota has players named Taylor Chorine and Andrew Kopek. They made an error w/ minnesota too, its Alex Wangas.

Looking Toward the NHL Draft


Photo by Nathaniel Greenbaum

Awhile back Andy Baggot gave on update on the recent April Red Line Report (RLR) independent rankings for the 2008 NHL Draft. I did some digging around and found the January NHL Central Scouting rankings as well.

W/ the draft about 2 months away, why not compare the two and see where our recruits and young freshman Dman Cody Goloubef (pictured) rank.

Note: These rankings are for North American skaters only.

Format: Player's Name (NHL Central Scouting, RLR)

D Jake Gardiner (22nd, 29th)

D Cody Goloubef (48th, 81st) D Justin Schultz (56th, 90th)

F Derek Stepan (72nd, 182nd) F Tyler Barnes (112nd, 85th)

D Patrick Wiercioch (119th, 224th) F Brock Montpetit (154th, 166th)

F Jordan Murray (191st, 192nd) F Matt Thurber (NR, 89th)

G Aaron Crandall is Top 20 for goalies in both, just couldn't find the exact ranking.

Looking at the rankings, its legitimate that 10 Badgers could be drafted. Though as my note says, this doesn't include European skaters, and I'm sure a good amount of their top talent will be selected throughout.

Its interesting to see the difference between two different scouting agencies looking at the same players. There are a few things I find odd, like Matt Thurber being projected as a 4th or 5th round pick by RLR, but not ranked in the top 230 by the NHL. There is a large variance in opinion on Derek Stepan and Patrick Wiercioch too. I think those two players will hold closer to their NHL Central Scouting position than RLR's. Jake Gardiner will go late 1st round, early 2nd.

NHL Central Scouting is in the process of producing their final rankings for the 2008 Draft. When they are available, I'll take a look at who moved up and how moved down since January. Wouldn't be surprised to see Cody Goloubef and Jordy Murray move up.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Co-Captains for Next Season

Per Todd at TCT and the UW Press Release, Ben Street and Blake Geoffrion will both wear the Captain's C next season and there will be no Assistant Captains.

Not surprised that either of them were named as part of the Captain group, but surprised that Jamie McBain was not included in someway. Both Ben and Blake are very deserving of the recognition and are leaders on the ice. They will lead the team to great things next season.

Congrats to Ben and Blake!!!

Both pieces also talk about award winners from the end of season banquet. Davis Drewiske was named MVP, "Big" John Mitchell was named Most Improved and Jamie McBain was named Most Consistent. Check out the links for the rest of the awards.

Nick Pryor Pre-Finland

As you already know, 2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit Nick Pryor has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Russia for the U-18 World Championships. Nick will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Here's Nick's update for us today. Thanks again Nick!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/18/2008

Hey everyone, sorry it has taken me a couple days to write but Ill just give a quick update. We lost to Sweden two nights ago in an up and down back and fourth type of game. We went up on them 3-1, but they came back and won 5-4 scoring on a breakaway goal in the last ten seconds of the third period. It was for sure a heartbreaking loss, but now we have to bounce back and play a tough Finland team tonight. We did not win the pool so we don't get the the bye right to the semifinals but we did clinch a spot in the quarterfinals. If we beat Finland we will take second, and if we lose we will obviously get third. We will play either Germany or Canada depending on how we do today. The Quarterfinals will start on Sunday, so after our game tonight we will have a day off to rest and recover before the medal round starts. Thanks for reading and Ill try to give you a quicker update after the game tonight! Thanks for reading! GO USA

Here are the links to Nick's other updates so far:
Nick Pryor #1
Nick Pryor #2
Nick Pryor #3, & #4
Nick Pryor #5
Nick Pryor #6

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blue Line Projection for 2008

On tuesday I posted my initial thoughts on Forwards, based on the recent announcement of the 2008 recruiting class, and today its on to the Defensemen.

3 young men will be stepping in to fill the shoes of our departing seniors.

Jake Gardiner is a highly touted offensive defensemen who has spent most of his hockey life as a forward until recently. He was a big part of Minnetoka HS's success this past season and is projected as a late 1st round NHL draft pick this June. Jake has a lot to learn on the blue line, but has a ton of potential, and should be molded into another NHL regular by the coaching staff in the coming seasons.

Ryan Little and Eric Springer both spent the season in the USHL w/ Green Bay and Sioux Falls respectively. I saw Ryan Little play in one game this season. He doesn't do anything flashy, but he is solid in the defensive end. He does take penalties, but he also wears the Captain's C on his chest, and hopefully he will become a leader for the Badgers. Eric Springer was a surprise player, he kinda came out of nowhere when I thought the Badgers had a pretty full stable of Dmen for the next 2 seasons. Eric had a great season in the USHL, being an All-Star and being named to the All-USHL 2nd Team. I'm looking forward to seeing him play.

Briefly looking at returning players, Jamie McBain will be the key to the team next season IMO. His return gives us a great leader on the blue line who has a legitimate chance at being an All-American. Ryan McDonagh and Cody Goloubef are both at a simlar place to where McB was after his freshman season, and I think they will both be key contributors on the blue line. Brendan Smith battled injury in the 2nd half of the season, and it seemed he battled himself in the 1st half of the season. He has a ton of talent, and needs to learn to have more confidence in himself as a player. When he was having a good game he seemed to take his game to the next level, but when he was having a bad game, his confidence dropped and so did his play on the ice. Craig Johnson had a solid freshman campaign filling in during the WJC and due to injuries. He played within himself, and personally I thought he did a good job when on the ice, and hope he gets some good playing time again this season.

Projecting the Pairings:

McBain-McDonagh
Goloubef-Gardiner
Smith-Springer

Reserves: Craig Johnson and Ryan Little

Though Johnson and Little are listed as reserves, I think everyone will get some decent playing time. McD will definately be on the USA WJC team (I think McB will be too old???) and Smith and/or Goloubef could possibly play for Canada at the same event. I wouldn't be surprised to see a rotation of Springer and Little w/ someone else sitting on occasion and Craig Johnson picking up that playing time.

Though very young, this group has a lot of talent. If Smith and Gardiner develop as the season goes on, Wisconsin could have one of the best Blue Lines in the country by the end of the season.

Though Johnson, Springer and Little might not play a ton this season, they will be key parts of the team in years to come. It is not unlikely that McB and McD could be gone after next season, and that Smith, Goloubef and Gardiner could all be gone the season after, depending upon development. Looking way ahead to 2010, they could likely be our leaders on the blue line.

The Pipeline:

Patrick Wiercioch*
Justin Schultz*
Nick Pryor

*Draft eligible this year

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nick Pryor #6!

As you already know, 2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit Nick Pryor has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Russia for the U-18 World Championships. Nick will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Here's Nick's update for us today. Thanks again Nick!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/15/2008

Hey everybody sorry it took me a while to write again but I just thought I would give you a quick recap of the tournament so far if you haven't heard yet. We opened up the tournament by beating Switzerland 7-2. We got down 1-0 pretty quickly but than rebounded and pretty much dominated the rest of the game. I think we held them to about 14 shots. Then yesterday we played a tough Belarus team, where the final ended up 5-2 (empty net) in our favor. Both games we have played really strong, and both our opponents so far have forced us to really battle which will help us going into tomorrows game vs. Sweden.

Our last two games in our pool are vs Sweden, and then Finland the following night. In the past we have matched up against both teams really well, so we all hope that we can keep that going throughout the tournament. The way the tournament works is the first place team from each pool gets an automatic bye into the semifinals, and then the 2nd and 3rd place teams from each pool play in a quarterfinal round in must win games. The 2nd place team from our pool would play the third place team from the other pool, and the 3rd place team from our pool would play the 2nd place team in the other pool.

Hopefully today we can get some good rest on our day off before these next two days that we have in front of us. Last night we got the chance to watch the Russia vs Germany game on TV and the crowd was going wild the whole game. It was about 8,000 russian fans on there feet the whole game with horns and flags chanting all sorts of different things the whole game not sitting down until intermission.

Well tonight were going to go over to the rink to watch the Finland vs. Sweden game, and then come back to the hotel to get some good rest for our game tomorrow. Thanks again for reading. I hope you enjoy! GO USA


Here are the links to Nick's other updates so far:
Nick Pryor #1
Nick Pryor #2
Nick Pryor #3, & #4
Nick Pryor #5

Looking "Forward" to 2008

With national letters of intent out to 6 young men, why not look toward next season. Dplaya over at HIW had some great thoughts on the 2008 freshman class. I thought I'd add my own starting with what the Forward situation looks like for next season.

There will be 4 new forwards in the Cardinal and White next season. Tom Bardis will be a sophomore after transferring from St. Lawerence and sitting out a year. Derek Stepan, Matt Thurber and Jordy Murray will all be joining us as freshman.

I'm still surprised that Chris Hickey was not part of this class. I thought all along that he would be coming in 2008. Not as surprised about Brock Montpetit since he was 2008 or 2009. I guess Derek Stepan and Jordy Murray's seasons impressed the coaching staff and they decided to bring them in. I have a feeling that Chris Hickey will still be on the team next season, no actual reason to think that, other than a gut feeling.

We'll have a pretty full stable of forwards next season having lost only Kyle Turris and Matt Ford to this point. Hopefully it remains that way over the summer.

Projecting the lines for next season:

Geoffrion/Street/Davies
Murray/Stepan/Ratty Johnson
Mitchell/Dolan/Grotting
Thurber/Bendickson/Turnbull

Reserves: Gorowsky, Bohmbach, Bearson, Bardis

That is a stab in the dark, since I don't know exactly what position (LW, C, RW) the frosh play. I would think it would be wise to keep Murray & Stepan together, and I hope the coaching staff leaves Mitchell/Dolan/Grotting together, actually I implore them to! Looking at the top 12 guys, its going to be tough for the reserves to crack the lineup because who out of the starters are you going to sit? All the freshmen are very talented and can score. Bendickson isn't going to sit, either is Ratty or anyone from the Mitchell/Dolan/Grotting line. I'm sure the freshman "may" sit on occasion. Playing time could be hard to come by again this season, but hopefully it makes everyone work harder to try to get in the lineup each night. The Bomber was getting a lot of playing time toward the end of the season, and I was really enjoyed seeing his progress, could be hard to keep him in street clothes next season.

The Pipeline:

Chris Hickey*
Travis Erstad*
Derek Lee**
Brock Montpetit**
Craig Smith**
Tyler Barnes**
Tyler Lapic

* Already Drafted in 2007
** Draft eligible this year

USHL Badger Recruit Weekly Report

The USHL playoffs are now in full swing. 6 Badger recruits made the playoffs and now 5 remain.

The Omaha Lancers (Patrick Wiercioch & Matt Thurber) are up 2-1 on Sioux City.
The Waterloo Blackhawks (Craig Smith & Brock Montpetit) are up 2-0 on Cedar Rapids
Lincoln (Travis Erstad) swept Sioux Falls (Eric Springer) in 3 games.
Indiana and Chicago are tied at one game apiece.

Links to the games last week can be found here: 4/8, 4/9, 4/10, 4/11, 4/12.

Badger Recruits

Forwards:

Matt Thurber: 1 Assist, +1, 8 shots, 2 PIM
Travis Erstad: 1 Assist, +2, 5 shots, 6 PIM
Craig Smith: 1 Goal, Even, 9 shots, 2 PIM
Brock Montpetit: 1 Assist, Even, 3 shots, 4 PIM

Defensemen:

Patrick Wiercioch: 3 Assists, +1, 11 shots, 6 PIM
Eric Springer: 1 Goal, 1 Assist, -3, 9 shots, 2 PIM

USHL Badger Recruit of the Week: Patrick Wiercioch. When you see this kid play, you'll be very happy that he decided on Wisconsin.

Edit: The Unofficial USHL blog has their 1st annual player awards posted. Patrick Wiercioch was named Most Improved and a member of the All-Rookie team. Matt Thurber was recognized as the runner-up for the top defensive foward. So not only can Matt Thurber be a playmaker, he can play mad D and contribute significantly on the PK, can't wait to see it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Badger Recruit Recap: Aaron Crandall

This spring/summer I plan to do an update on every currently known UW committed recruit. (I'm going to try and do it alphabetically by last name if possible) I have no idea if that will be once a week or once a month, it all depends on my free time. The first recruit we profiled was Tyler Barnes from Burnsville high school in Minnesota. Todays profile is goaltender Aaron Crandall who played this season with Green Bay in the USHL.




Name: Aaron Crandall
Position: Goaltender
Team: Green Bay (USHL)
Commit date: 11/8/2007
Season entering Wisconsin: 2009
Height/Weight/Birth year: 6'/181/1990

Last Seasons Stats
Record: 5-21-2
Goals Against Average: 3.55
Save Percentage: .882

Numbers wise, last season for Aaron Crandall looks like an absolute disaster. And, as a Badger fan, it kind of makes you cringe a bit. Looking at it a little deeper, the Gamblers were the disaster, and Crandall just went along for the ride. Green Bay was the worst team in the USHL last season only registering 13 wins in 60 games. Scoring the least amount of goals in the league and giving up the most is not exactly a recipe for success.

Crandall is only a senior in high school this season. He left St. Thomas Academy after leading them to the State Tournament once again last season. As a Junior, Crandall had a .930 Save Percentage and a 1.513 GAA for the Cadet’s. As a Sophomore he took the Cadet’s all the way to the title and won the Class A Championship.

Crandall also has been recognized on an international level. He was selected last summer to represent the United States U-18 squad in an international competition in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. That team was chosen from the USA Select 17 festival. (NTDP players were not allowed to go)

Wisconsin is on a 2 year rotation for goaltenders which works out very well for goaltending coach Bill Howard’s, “break them down, build them back up” training style. Crandall will be entering for 2009 after Shane Connelly graduates. Wisconsin wasn’t Crandall’s only choice. Niagara had already offered for next season and Dartmouth and Princeton also wanted him for 2008. He had also according to Todd Milewski and Andy Baggot, talked to North Dakota, Minnesota (where he went on a visit), Michigan Tech, Quinnipiac, and Rensselaer.

The USHL did a sweet feature on Aaron this year that you can find here. He talks about what it was like to play high school hockey in Minnesota and the reason why he chose the University of Wisconsin.

While I’m linking things, here is a link to Chris Dilks blog after the 2007 State Hockey tournament. At that time he predicted that Crandall would be the best goaltender in the state of Minnesota in 2008. (Who knows if this would have been true since he went to the USHL)

One thing that Crandall has to look forward to this summer, (besides forgetting about how bad the Gamblers were this season) is the NHL draft. He is ranked as the #17 goaltender in North America. Committed to Wisconsin I wouldn’t be surprised to see an NHL team take a shot at him with the understanding he is going to have 4 years with Bill Howard.

McKeens Hockey had this to say about Crandall last fall before he committed to Wisconsin: Goaltender with quick pads and good flexibility .. has a quick and smooth lateral-pad-slide across the crease .. calculates the positioning of his pads and adjusts the angle to the ice as he reads the play .. easy to tell when he is ready for and anticipating a shot, as he gets into a compact stance, which allows him to butterfly quickly .. is not immune to laying a stick on attackers who interfere with him .. has not committed to a college .. (Fall Classic stats: 2 gp, .974 SvP).

Overall I am very excited about Aaron Crandall and can’t wait to see what he can do for Green Bay next season. Hopefully the Gamblers hire a good coach who can go out and get some quality players for Crandall. (Rumor has it former Gamblers assistant and current Houston Aero’s assistant Luke Strand is in the running) By the time 2009 rolls around Crandall should be a very solid backstop. Throw in a few years with Bill Howard and it will be a seamless transition from Connelly to Gudmandson to Crandall.

Oh yeah...and he can fight!

LINK

Other Badger Recruit Recaps:

Badger Recruit Recap: Tyler Barnes

New NCAA Hockey Site

It appears the NCAA has launched a new site for college hockey.

Looks pretty nice and I don't remember the NCAA having anything like this before, though I could be wrong. Has links to all the conferences, teams and major college hockey websites (this blog was not included, but I understand the oversight, we're new).

I'll have to look this over more in the near future, but definately looks like a nice addition to my College Hockey internet bookmarks.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nick Pryor from Russia, now the tourney begins!

As you already know, 2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit Nick Pryor has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Russia for the U-18 World Championships. Nick will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Nick and Team USA are kicking off the tournament today. Here's Nick's update for us today. Thanks again Nick!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/13/2008

Hey everyone just thought I would give you another update here. Today, Sunday, is the first day of the tournament. This morning we woke up around 8 o'clock, got some breakfast in us, and then headed over to the rink for a 30 minute morning skate. The last couple days we have had a lot of time off to do what we want, so a lot of us either caught up on some sleep, got some studying done for school, or walked around the city a little bit. Yesterday, me and a couple of the guys walked down the street to a grocery store in the city, and it was pretty funny because some locals would come up to us and talk to us, and we obviously have no idea what there saying so we all just stood there and shook our heads and said "Yeah...Yeah...Yeah" not knowing one thing that he was saying or asked us. Well right now its about 11:30 in the morning here, so I'm gonna go do what I can to get ready for our game tonight at 7 vs Switzerland. They got a good team, and they showed that vs the Russians in there exhibition game where the Swiss pretty much took it to them the whole game and beat them 4-1. All of us know what we have to do to come out on top tonight, so hopefully we can execute the game plan. Thanks for reading! GO USA

--------------------------------

Here are the links to Nick's other updates so far:
Nick Pryor #1
Nick Pryor #2
Nick Pryor #3, & #4
Nick Pryor #5

Saturday, April 12, 2008

BC Wins 3rd National Title

Well congrats to BC on the 4-1 win over Notre Dame! They played their best hockey at the right time, like Michigan State did last year, and like our Badgers did two years ago, and took home the National Title after being the runnerup the 2 years previous.

Nathan Gerbe was named Most Outstanding Player, pretty easy choice when a guy gets a hat trick on thursday and adds two more goals tonight, and had 8 points on the weekend. He looked impressive.

Felt bad for both teams having Todd Anderson as the referee, and later to find out that Greg Sheppard was the replay official. The disallowed Notre Dame goal was a tough call, probably the first time any WCHA official has put in an honest effort at reviewing a goal all year.

BC shouldn't get too comfortable w/ the trophy the Badgers will be in Washington DC a year from now claiming #7!

New 2008 Recruit...Alex Trebek

Jeopardy has been at the Kohl Center taping some college episodes, and there was a special presentation by Barry Alvarez to the long time game show host Alex Trebek. Trebek recieved a nice looking Wisconsin Hockey jersey #12 as part of the deal.

If he's as good at scoring goals as asking trivia question to contestants, sign him up for next season.

Frozen Four/Hobey Baker Linkorama

A little late on this one, w/ the game being in 3 hours and all, but here are some links for the championship game and Hobey Baker award.

USCHO: BC Notebook, Notre Dame Notebook

College Hockey News: BC, Notre Dame

I'm boycotting INCH and not making any predictions for tonight's game. I apparently jinxed both the lgm and michigan on thursday. Or prehaps both team's goalies were horrible and they paid the price for it?

No real surprise, Kevin Porter was named the 2008 Hobey Baker winner. He would probably rather being playing for the national title though.

The All-American teams were announced and Richard Bachman was named HCA Rookie of the Year. No Badgers made the All-American teams, but I think that will be different next season. Jamie McBain is on the cusp of greatness and I wouldn't be surprised to see Ben Street or Blake Geoffrion having seasons warranting All-American status. I find it funny that Bachman is 1st team All-American and wins this ROY award, but isn't even in the final 10 for the Hobey. Not to rehash past statements, but the Hobey Baker is a joke.

Todd from TCT wrote a piece about the Skills Competition too.

Gilbert Ca$hes in on Great Rookie Season


Photo from Lowetide's Oilers Blog

Edmonton Oilers Defenseman and Badger Alumni (not to mention my favorite player) Tom Gilbert signed a 6 year, $24 million contract this week, keeping his services in Oil Country for a good long time.

Tom had a great rookie campaign. He finished 10th in the league in rookie scoring and second for defensemen, w/ 33 pts. On top of that, he took two Oilers rookie defensemen records from Paul Coffey in both points and goals (13). Paul Coffey had some nice comments about Tom back when broke the rookie Dman goal record. One thing that impresses me about Tom's stats is his shooting precentage, he ended the season at 13.3%. He isn't wasting his shots from the blue line, he is making them count.

I think this is a good move for Tom. Edmonton has some great young talent on that team (Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky, Andrew Cogliano) and a decent veteran core and in a few years could be a great team as players develop and they add some key people.

Its nice to see so many guys from the 2006 Championship team really getting their footing and a few more just a step away. Adam Burish, Joe Pavelski and Tom have all established themselves this season. Robbie Earl, Jack Skille and Brian Elliot hopefully aren't too far away from joining them, and it would be nice to see Jake Dowell crack the Blackhawks as a regular too.

This extension gives 60min and I a lot of time to get to Edmonton to see him play.

The Freshman Class of 2008

As Andy Baggot reports, Jordy Murray, Derek Stepan, Matt Thurber, Ryan Little, Eric Springer and Jake Gardiner will be joining the Cardinal and White next season!

Look forward to seeing these guys in action in a few short months!

I have more to say about this, but after taking an 8 hour exam yesterday, I'm a little behind on things this morning.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Nick Pryor Updates!

Sorry guys I've been sick I should have posted this Thursday morning. As you already know, 2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit Nick Pryor has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Russia for the U-18 World Championships. Nick will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Here's Nicks update for us today. Thanks again Nick!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/10/2008

Yesterday (Wednesday) we finished up our last day of training camp in preparation for the start of the tournament. Today we woke up around 8 o'clock and went to the rink for about a 30 minute pre game skate, to prepare for our exhibition game tonight vs Denmark. Most of the other teams are getting here either today or tomorrow. We have had some time to walk around the city a little bit, the city is really big, but doesn't seem to be big enough for all of the people they have, as a lot of the streets and roads are very crowded. (I think roughly around 1 million is the population). There is a supermarket down the street a couple blocks where a lot of us have gone to pick up some snacks and Gatorade and stuff like that. The experience here so far has been really good and definitely something different than what we are use to, and were hoping that tonight we can start off on the right foot and get a good win before the tournament starts on Sunday. Again, Thanks for reading!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/11/2008

Last night we ended up beating Denmark by a final of 5-0. It was a good all around game by the team and it was a nice way to give us some confidence for the start of the tournament on Sunday when we play Switzerland. Everyone felt good about the game because it was a nice way to get back at it after we haven't had a game for about three weeks now. It was nice for me to get back into the swing of things and play a game, since i missed the last two weekends of the season with a rib injury. Today and tomorrow we are going to take it easy before things really start to speed up on Sunday with our first game. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

BC/NoDak Frozen Four Semi

Since I'm watching, why not blog between periods.

1st period: BC 4 NoDak 0

JPL does not look good and has already let in 4 goals. Where was this a few sunday's back in Madison? JPL has spent more time diving, anytime a BC player is near him, then worrying about stopping goals.

BC is just faster than NoDak and working harder getting to the loose pucks. Gerbe just blew by Joe Finley for one of the goals shorthanded. NoDak has only really controlled the offensive zone on the PP where they looked pretty good, hit a post, but haven't been able to get one past Muse of BC.

Hakstol stop embrassing the WCHA and get back in the game in the 2nd!

2nd period: BC 6 NoDak 0

Well the game is out of hand. If the lgm come back from this it will be miracle of epic proportions.

As someone commented during the 2nd, BC is certainly finishing on their plays. Though JPL didn't look THIS bad in Madison in the Regional Final, it certainly could have been 7-0 at the end of the 2nd for the Badgers a few weeks back. I counted 4 posts and the missed chance on Davies' breakaway.

Only 5 shots in the 2nd for the Sioux and they never really looked in sync. BC is giving them opportunities by taking penalties and giving PP chances, but nothing's going tonight. Taylor Chorney took a knee to knee hit (should have been a penalty) and hasn't returned. That is huge, since he is the Sioux's best Dman.

Gerbe, BC, has a hat trick w/ an even strength goal, short handed goal and power play goal. He looks impressive, and really BC looks great tonight.

Final: BC 6 North Dakota 1

Not much more to add. Late goal by North Dakota to deny the freshman Muse of BC a shutout. W/ mustaches that bad, did they really expect to win?

The ESPN announcers are pretty good this year. I like Ray Ferraro a lot more than Barry Melrose, even if he just said "south dakota broke up the shut out".

Now we get to listen to everyone say how the WCHA sucks and didn't deserve 6 bids this season, blah blah blah.

The Hockey Gods are Smiling

As many of you already, TCT is changing formats and will be a web-based publication. And I had been concerned about what this might mean for Badger Hockey coverage. My concern had been that Madison Newspapers might eliminate or decrease hockey coverage in TCT and rely on Andy Baggot's coverage in the WSJ. This would have been a mistake, as Baggot's and Milewski's efforts are rarely duplicate. In their columns during the week, they tend to write about different players and approach issues from different angles. Not to mention that I think Todd's coverage is always fantastic. In addition to his outstanding articles in TCT, he also has a lovely blog. (Yes, I'm spinning the wheel of adjectives here.) Plus, this season he had started providing some coverage of the Badger Women.

Anyway, I am pleased to bring you this from TCT:
Todd Milewski will still be tracking Badger men's hockey, where he has built a huge following among hockey fanatics on his blog "The Ice House."
Probably not a bad idea to email TCT letting them know how much you approve of this decision. We don't want them to change their minds!! According to the article, you can email them at ctcomments@madison.com. Or you could email the following people: Paul Fanlund (pfanlund@madison.com), the managing editor, Judy Ettenhofer (jettenhofer@madison.com) or the sports editor, Adam Mertz (amertz2@madison.com).

Update: Badger Women in China

Team USA will be playing Saturday morning (4/12) at 6 am Central for the Gold Medal. The game will be televised live on the NHL Network, and replayed 4/12 at 3:30 pm Central and 4/15 at 7:30 pm Central. (Thanks to Hux on uscho for posting this info.)

Here are the remaining Badger stats from the qualifying games:

FIN 1 - USA 0 (4/8)
Duggan 0G 0A, 4SOG, E
Knight 0G 0A, 2SOG, E
Lawler 0G 0A, 1SOG, E
Engstrom 0G 0A, 1SOG, E
Weiland 0G 0A, 2SOG, E
Vetter 14SAV

CAN 4 - FIN 2 (4/9)
Mikkelson 0G 0A, 1SOG, E
MacLeod 0G 1A, 0SOG, E

USA 4 - CAN 2 (4/10) -- you can rewatch this game on the NHL network!!
Duggan 1G 0A, 2SOG, +2 -- scored the game-winner!!
Knight 0G 0A, 0 SOG, -1
Lawler 0G 1A, 3SOG, +1
Engstrom 0G 0A, 0SOG, -1
Weiland 0G 0A, 0SOG, -1
Vetter 14SAV

Mikkelson 0G 0A, 0SOG, E
MacLeod 0G 1A, 0SOG, +1

(For those of you who read this post before I edited it the first 3 times -- yes, I know I misread the article on uwbadgers.com, and yes, I know I messed up the time of the championship game because I got a little confused. Ooooops!!)

It's not Friday; I'm not in Love

It's only Thursday, and the Badgers aren't playing. However, there is college hockey today, so I felt somewhat obligated to post something. Normally I'd do a game-day linkorama, but Gandalf is on the ball and already did that yesterday. (Yay, Gandalf.)

Instead, I'll direct you to Todd's post that provides Wisconsin connections in this weekend's Frozen Four, and then I'll leave you with this:

Despite it’s name, the wolverine is not related to the wolf. The wolverine is very clever like a wolf, but he is much more resourceful than a wolf.

The wolverine is always on the move and is always trying different ways to get the job done. (Sounds good for a hockey team.)

The wolverine doesn’t eat more than he needs. (Does this mean Michigan won't run up the score?)

Is the wolverine fast?

The wolverine has two speeds, fast and stop. If the wolverine is not “sprinting” it is at a complete stop. Therefore to catch prey, the wolverine must ambush, pounce or find a slower animal. (I haven't been following Michigan hockey much this year, but I'm guessing they're pretty fast.)

What does the wolverine do if he is slower than his prey?

To attack prey, the wolverine will climb to the top of a rock or a tall stump, then when a deer of some other medium to large animal comes along the wolverine will jump squarely on the unfortunate animals back, breaking or severing vital organs. (Hmm, might we have a rough game?)


DROP THE PUCK!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Frozen Four Semis...DROP THE PUCK!

After a weekend off, College Hockey returns to the big stage this weekend at the Pepsi Center in Denver for the Frozen Four. Sure the Badgers aren't there, but why not compile some links about the semifinal games tomorrow evening.

For the record, I'm cheering for North Dakota. Sure I don't like Joe Finley or TJ Oshie much, but they have a great team and w/ all the talent they have they should get over the hump (aka Boston College) this season, and take home the National Championship. On top of that, they are the last WCHA team standing. I'll cheer for anyone from the WCHA except the rodents. The last thing we need is another CCHA team winning the Crown, and talking up their conference like it even compares to the WCHA.

Enough of my blabbering, time for some links.

North Dakota/BC My Pick: NoDak

USHCO Preview
USHCO Wednesday Notebook

CHN: Preview, Defining Moments, Players to Watch - North Dakota
CHN: Preview, Defining Moments, Players to Watch, Live from Denver - Boston College

INCH: Preview, Matchup Breakdown


Michigan/Notre Dame My Pick: Michigan

USCHO Preview
USCHO Wednesday Notebook

CHN: Preview, Defining Moments, Players to Watch, Live from Denver - Michigan
CHN: Preview, Defining Moments, Players to Watch, Live from Denver - Notre Dame

INCH: Preview, Matchup Breakdown


Disclaimer: I didn't want to include any INCH articles after reading...

"The Kohl Center announcer had to remind Wisconsin fans not to throw objects, like coins onto the ice surface. Honestly, it’s something hockey fans shouldn’t have to be told. Please stick to hats in the future, Badger fans."

...following the Midwest Regional Final.

Season not over for Tom Gilbert

Though Edmonton didn't qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Todd Milewski reports that Wisconsin alumni Tom Gilbert has been named to the US Men's National Team for the upcoming World Championships held in Halifax and Quebec City, Canada May 2-18.

Big congrats to the former All-American on his first National Team appearance!

More on Tyler Lapic

Todd from TCT has more on Tyler Lapic as does Andy over at the WSJ.

Sounds like Eaves and company were rather aggresive on this, which is probably a good idea when recruiting in minnesota. Sounds like minnesota and North Dakota were in wait and see mode, and Mankato offered him as well.

Could we have another Mr. Hockey from the Land of 10,000 Lakes (still less than Wisconsin) on our hands?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

USHL Playoffs Begin

The USHL playoffs opened tonight w/ top seeded Omaha blanking Sioux City 3-0.

Badger recruits Matt Thurber and Patrick Wiercioch each assisted on goals for the Lancers.

6 Badgers recruits will be fighting for the Clark Cup. Matt and Patrick w/ the Omaha Lancers, Brock Montpetit and Craig Smith w/ the Waterloo Blackhawks, Eric Springer w/ the Sioux Falls Stampede and Travis Erstad w/ the Lincoln Stars. Here is the 1st round schedule.

Tyler Lapic Commits to UW!

New Prague forward Tyler Lapic has committed to Wisconsin for 2010. Lapic is currently a junior and will presumably play one year in the USHL before entering UW in 2010. Lapic had 71 points last season for New Prague. According to Andy Baggot who broke the STORY, Lapic will be on a full ride at UW.

Chris Dilks at the Western College hockey blog had some good things to say about Lapic in this late 2006 ARTICLE. "Tall forward. Excellent at controlling the puck. Good hands."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune had a nice article back a couple months ago about Lapic and fellow superstar teamate Seth Ambroz HERE.

Here is a LINKto Lapics stats from last season from Max Preps.

Photo from Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

Have Fun in Denver Badger Fans

I know there are a decent amount of Badgers fans heading out to the Front Range for the Frozen Four this weekend. Have a safe trip and enjoy the games!

Next year I hope to make my first Frozen Four when the venue shifts to Washington DC.

Nick Pryor day 2!

2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit Nick Pryor has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Russia for the U-18 World Championships. Nick will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Here's Nicks update for us today. I think I speak for every badger fan that we can't wait to see you in cardinal and white. Thanks again Nick!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/8/2008

Today is pretty similar to yesterday. This morning we woke up around 7:30, as some of us woke up in the middle of the night wide awake still struggling with the time change. All of us are all having trouble with the food but were trying to make it work knowing we still have a little more than two weeks here. All I've been eating is basically noodles, bread, and water for mostly every meal. Its really important for us to stay hydrated since right now were skating twice a day and then once the tournament starts we could play 7 games in 11 days, so were doing as much hydration and recovery as we can do before we start up. Yes, next year I will be playing in Des Moines, because this year I am a Junior, so I will go play there for a year and finish High School there. Thanks for reading!

One-Stop-Shopping

Photo by Neil Ament.

There have been a lot of articles written about KT lately in a lot of different places. And if any of you are like me, you read an article and later wanted to read it again but couldn’t remember where you saw it. So I thought I’d try to consolidate things and post the links here. (Plus, I was looking for an excuse to post one of my favorite KT pictures.)

uwbadgers.com:
Turris signs with Phoenix (3/31)
Signing Season (4/3)

The Ice House:
Turris wastes no time (3/31)
Turris from the tarmac (3/31)
Wrapping it all up (4/1)
The new pros (4/6)

TCT:
Turris signs with NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes (3/31)
Turris’ departure for NHL another tough blow for Badgers (4/1)

Badger Blog:
Turris makes a helpful decision (3/31)

WSJ:
Turris makes leap to NHL (4/1)
Turris lets Badgers know he might leave(4/1)
Turris situation shows what’s right, wrong with UW (4/2)

The Daily Cardinal:
Kyle Turris signs with Phoenix (4/1)

The Badger Herald:
Kyle Turris jumps to NHL after only 1 year as a Badger (4/1)

Burnaby Now:
Kyle Turris in the big leagues (4/2)

Phoenix Coyotes:
Coyotes Sign Top 2007 Draft Pick Kyle Turris (3/31)
Panger's Blog: Talking Turris (4/1)
Kyle Turris’ First Day on the Job (4/1)
Wednesday’s Morning Skate Coverage (4/2)

Interviews with just about everybody. (Seriously, there’s a gazillion, including several with KT, Wayne Gretzky, GM Don Maloney, and various Phoenix players.) – I can’ t figure out how to link Coyotes TV, but just go to the Coyotes Website and click on Multimedia and then Coyotes TV.

New York Times –Slap Shot Blog:
Wisconsin’s Turris Joins the Coyotes (3/31)
Welcome to the NHL (4/3)

Random Musings Blog:
Interviews with KT and Wayne Gretzky (4/2)
Turris' first NHL point and shootout goal (4/6) (Turris’ shootout goal is at about the 4:30 mark of the highlight video. Thanks to sunprairie for the link and the time mark.)

Western College Hockey:
Kyle Turris (4/7)

Sixty Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets.
Kyle Turris Analysis (4/3)
KT Makes NHL Debut (4/4)
Turris' mini NHL debut ends w/assist (4/6)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Shattuck-St. Mary's wins 6th National Title

UW recruit, Derek Stepan led all scorers in the 2008 U18 National Tourney out in Buffalo this past weekend, and helped propel Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep to their 6th National Title. Not far behind Derek's 6-7-13 performance was teammate and fellow UW recruit Jordy Murray who contributed 2-6-8 in the six games over the weekend. Here are the stats for Shattuck's team in the tourney.

I missed my chance to see these guys in action earlier this year when they were in Middleton for a tourney, but hopefully we'll get to see them in Cardinal and White in the very near future.

As I posted previously, Andy Baggot believes that both Derek and Jordy will be part of the 2008 recruiting class coming in the Fall. I believe I saw Chuck had posted on the USCHO forum that one of them is already registered for school at UW in the Fall. It will be interesting indeed to see who Eaves brings in, but it certainly appears that these boys can score, and that is exactly what Wisconsin needs.

Congrats to Derek and Jordy and their team on a fine season!

Badger Recruit Nick Pryor Live from U-18 World Championships!

2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit Nick Pryor has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Russia for the U-18 World Championships. Nick will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Right now the Americans are just getting settled over there. Here's Nicks update for us today. Thanks again Nick!

Nick Pryor, Team USA U-18, U-18 World Championships 4/7/2008


We finally got in today after 2 days worth of travel. We had a flight Saturday night at 10:20 from Detroit to Frankfurt. We Got to Frankfurt in the afternoon and then had a ten hour layover before we left Frankfurt for Kazan at 9:50 at night. We finally got to Kazan at 6 in the morning on Monday and now were basically working on getting settled in here before we start off with an exhibition game vs Denmark on Thursday!

Badger Women in China

















Hey, lookie, it's Meghan Duggan!
Photo from USA Hockey.


As you know, the 2008 IIHF World Women's Championship is currently underway in Harbin, China. Here's how our Badgers have done so far:

April 4:
USA 8 - GER 1
Duggan 2G 0A, 4SOG, +2
Knight 0G 0A, 3SOG, E
Lawler 0G 0A, 0SOG, +2
Engstrom 0G 0A, 2SOG, +5
Weiland 0G 0A, 0 SOG, +2
Vetter 2 SAV (apparently GER only had 3 SOG!)

CAN 8 - RUS 1
Mikkelson 0G 0A, 2SOG, +2
MacLeod 0G 0A, 0SOG, +2

April 6:
USA 7 - SUI 1
Duggan 1G 0A, 8SOG, +1
Knight 0G 1A, 3SOG, +1
Lawler 0G 1A, 4SOG, E
Engstrom 1G 1A, 2SOG, +2
Weiland 0G 0A, 2 SOG, +1
Vetter DNP

CAN 11 - CHN 0
Mikkelson 0G 0A, 3SOG, +5
MacLeod 1G 1A, 1SOG, +5

Upcoming games:
Tues USA - FIN (I guess it's actually 11 PM Central tonight)
Wed CAN - FIN (11 PM Central Tues night)
Thurs USA - CAN (11 PM Central Wed night)

And hey, if you don't mind staying up, you can catch the webcast of the USA games here. Brian Schulz says they'll have a Meghan Duggan interview during the USA-FIN game!

Monday Morning Link-O-Rama

I have a li'l linkorama to brighten your Monday morning. A few new items, but mostly a catch-up of things that I've missed over the past week or two.


New Stuff:

Todd has updates on the Badgers' new pros, including KT, Davis Drewiske, Kyle Klubertanz, and Josh Engel.

Baggot lists the Badgers who are chasing Lord Stanley.

Hockey in Wisconsin has a nice summary of season stats for Badger recruits (and Wisconsin-born players) playing in the USHL. (I can't link the specific post, but it's the Sunday News & Notes post on 4/6/08).


Catch-up:

A very brief non-informative interview, but hey, it's always nice to hear seniors say nice things about their time at Wisconsin, as Josh Engel did in this little interview.

I can't believe I missed it (well, actually, I can, because I wasn't paying much attention to anything online for a several weeks), but about a month ago the Badger Herald had a great article about the seniors.

Hockey's Future has been releasing their Spring 2008 top 20 prospects for each NHL team.
  • Jamie McBain is the Hurricanes' # 2 overall prospect and top defensive prospect.
For the second straight year, McBain has been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for one of college hockey's powerhouses. The sophomore blueliner is tied for fourth on the Badgers with 21 points, netting three goals and 18 assists. He's also a team-best plus-11. Like Sutter, McBain also played at the World Juniors, joining Team USA for the second straight year. While he registered just one assist in six games, his play was considered solid in the tournament. Interestingly, McBain's coach, Mike Eaves, is the father of new Hurricane Patrick Eaves.
  • Brian Elliott is the Senators' #7 overall prospect and top goalie prospect.
In his first pro season, Elliott has developed into a reliable goaltender. He covers a lot of net with his 6’2, 206 lbs frame, but his best asset is his quick reflexes. Competing with Jeff Glass for the starter role for most of the season, Elliott has emerged on top and has earned the bulk of the playing time since February. He has started all but three games in March and has helped put Binghamton within reach of a playoff spot. His save percentage is a sturdy .915, he has a 2.83 GAA overall, and has an 18-19-1 record.

Earlier in the season, when Ray Emery was still recovering from injury, Elliott was given his first NHL start on Oct. 10. He stood tall stopping 29 of 30 shots to earn his first career victory. A former Wisconsin Badger, Elliott signed an entry-level contract in March 2007 after four years of NCAA hockey. He is the top goaltender prospect in the Ottawa system.
In his freshman year for the University of Wisconsin, Turris leads the Badgers in scoring with 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 33 games. It wasn’t really a shock that Turris would gravitate to the top of the scoring, as much as it was that the Badgers as a whole lacked a lot of chemistry. His skill shined through, yet he still looked a bit small when it came to matching up with the competition. He is now ninth in the nation among rookies in points per game at .97. In international play at the 2008 WJC, he lead Team Canada in scoring with eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) in seven games played. The big question is whether the Coyotes 2007 top pick will sign as a pro this summer instead of returning to Madison this fall. Expect Turris to be a factor in either setting.
HF has also been releasing it's Top 50 prospects, and Ryan McDonagh makes his appearance at #30.
McDonagh joined the University of Wisconsin this season and looked good, though his team had a down year. He was paired with senior Jamie McBain (CAR) for the majority of the season and did not look out of place while logging top minutes as a freshman. Noted for his skating and poise under pressure, the solid two-way defenseman was also able to show some glimpses of his offensive capabilities this season. McDonagh probably will not make it through four seasons in Madison before being called upon to join the defensive ranks in Montreal.
Cody Goloubef made an appearance on THN's The Hot List.
3. Cody Goloubef, D – Wisconsin Badgers (WCHA): While many of this week's Hot Listers had an easy route to the playoffs, standout freshman defenseman Goloubef and his fellow Badgers had to simply hold their breaths and pray. An early exit from the WCHA playoffs will do that, so there were a lot of crossed fingers when the Frozen Four brackets were announced.

“After we lost to St. Cloud, we knew there was still hope,” Goloubef said. “We still practiced and Sunday morning we all got together to watch the announcement on TV. When we heard we were in, we practiced that night as well and we've been getting ready ever since.”

Despite being the No. 3 seed in the Midwest regional, the Badgers will get to play their opening match at home at the Kohl Center, a fortuitous stroke of luck not lost on them.

“It's going to be an unbelievable advantage,” Goloubef noted. “Our fans are ridiculous – it's going to be like having a sixth skater on the ice.”

You would think the powerhouse Badgers would have fought for a WCHA title this year, considering the squad boasts Goloubef and NHL draft picks such as Kyle Turris (Phoenix), Jamie McBain (Carolina), Ryan McDonagh (Montreal) and Goloubef's roommate, Brendan Smith (Detroit), but it was not to be. Wisconsin struggled to a .500 record, which Goloubef said will help the team going forward.

“I think it builds character,” he said. “You learn from your mistakes.”

Goloubef, who grew up in the Toronto suburb of Oakville, models his game after Maple Leaf defenseman Tomas Kaberle.

“I like the poise and confidence he has carrying the puck up the ice,” he said. “He's so calm, never rushing, always has his head up – nobody ever seems to get the puck off him.”

That is something Goloubef hopes becomes the word about him, as well. Draft eligible in 2008.