Monday, March 16, 2009

Committed Recruits Update

Lot of recruits in action over the weekend, here are some notes.

Sean Little, a forward for the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) had an assist Friday against the Tri-City Storm and was a +1. After not registering a point for his first 27 games of the season, he has now had 3 points in his last 5 games (1 goal, 2 assists). He was scratched for Saturdays game, lets hope its not a serious injury. Little isn't known for his scoring yet on this level but he has gotten his name on the score sheet in the penalty column quite a bit. He's not afraid to scrap it up and he seems like the consummate Mike Eaves type player.

Craig Smith had a goal Saturday night in a 4-3 Waterloo win over the Fargo Force. The 6', 190 pounder from Madison is currently fourth in the USHL in scoring and is only 2 points out of second place. Smith has played less games than the players in front of him so he is actually second place in points per game. With a strong finish he could potentially pass Chicago's Andrew Miller for first place in points per game. Smith's 37 assists this season are good enough for second in the USHL.

Derek Lee had a goal on Saturday night when his Victoria Grizzlies were defeated 3-1 by the Cowichan Valley Capitals in the BCHL Coastal Conference semi-finals. Thanks to D-playa for pointing out that Lee has been in and out of the lineup for Victoria and didn't play on Friday night. So far in the 4 playoff games that Lee has played for Victoria, he has 2 goals and an assist. During the regular season Lee had 59 points in 58 games for the Grizzlies. Victoria hosts Cowichan for game 7 on Tuesday night.

Mark Zengerle (Salmon Arm) and Justin Schultz (Westside) have been playing each other in the Interior Conference Semi-finals. Both players have been banged up so far in the series. Schultz was hurt in the final game of Westside's first round series against the team with the best name in sports, the Trail Smoke Eaters. “He‘s just pretty sore,” said Mark Howell (Head Coach). Zengerle left game 2 of the current series in the first period when he got elbowed in the head and got several stitches above his left eye. He has not returned to action. Salmon Arm has won the series and will take on Vernon starting Friday. I would assume Zengerle will be back for that. Schultz had an assist in the loss and final game of his storied Westside career. Even the Salmon Arm website had great things to say about his gritty performance, "The Warriors gave everything they had including impressive efforts from injured players like Justin Schultz."

Indiana Ice goaltender Brett Bennett had a very impressive weekend. On Friday night he stopped all 26 shots he faced to backstop the ice to a 1-0 shutout win against the first place Lincoln Stars. Saturday night he stopped 24 shots in a 4-2 win over Omaha. Indiana is fighting for positioning in the East division so every point is huge for the Ice. They are currently 2 points behind division leading Green Bay Gamblers. Green Bay hosts Indiana on Tuesday in what should be an epic USHL battle.

Junior Matt Paape (Appleton) and senior Cody Strang (Madison Edgewood) led Team Wisconsin Majors to a WAHA State Championship this weekend at Capitol Ice in Madison. Team Wisconsin swept the field (Two wins over Madison Capitols and 1 win over the Green Bay Jr. Gamlbers) 3-0. Next weekend they will play at Central Districts in Fond du Lac. They open up the tournament Friday playing a team representing Missouri. D-playa from Hockey In Wisconsin should be in attendance so check there for updates.