Wednesday, April 29, 2009

IIHF Men's World Championship: Pav's to team USA

The local Madison fish wraps have awoken from their slumber to inform us that forever Badger great Joe Pavelski has been added to the United States roster at the IIHF Men's World Championship in Bern, Switzerland.

The United States typically leaves a roster spot or two open during the preliminary round games. When NHL squads are eliminated after the first round, players can then be added to the roster to beef it up for a run at the gold.

This will be Pavelski's second time as a member of Team USA. He also suited up for the stars and stripes during the Viking Cup when he was playing for Waterloo in the USHL. He will take the ice for the first time with this current USA squad during Friday's tilt against France.

I'm sure whoever pieced this article together was extremely busy with all the sports news going on this week in Madison, but it would have been nice of them to let us know Pavelski is not the only former Badger playing in the World Championship.

*Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter is representing the United States and has not recorded a point in the first 3 games of the tournament but is a +1.

*Goaltender Bernd Bruckler is 0-2 with a 4.50 gaa and an 88% save percentage for Team Austria. According to future Hall of Fame USCHO poster ExileOnDaytonStreet, Bernd signed a free agent deal with the KHL club Torpedo Nishny Novgorod. ExileOnDaytonStreet has done a great job keeping everyone updated on the Championships over on the USCHO Wisconsin thread.

*Ottawa Senators forward Dany Heatley is having a nice tournament for Canada. He currently has 2 goals and 3 assists in 3 games for the mounties. He is also a team high +6.

Photo: Jeff Miller

USHL Finals Matchup Set

Brett Bennett and the Indiana Ice defeated Jefferson Dahl, Sean Little, and the Green Bay Gamblers last night by a score of 5-3. Last nights win for the Indiana wrapped up the best of 5 series 3-1 in favor of the Ice.

Bennett had 21 saves on 24 shots and also recorded an assist on the empty net goal. Sean Little was held off the score sheet and Jefferson Dahl was scratched for reasons un-known at this point.

The Indiana Ice will now take on the Fargo Force, who earlier in the week knocked off Lincoln, in the Clark Cup finals (Schedule to be released today). Wisconsin is represented well on the Fargo squad. 2010 forward recruit Gavin Hartzog has been good playoffs so far registering a goal and two assists in 5 playoff games. Hartzog had 10 points in 53 regular season games. Nate Condon, a Wausau native and Minnesota recruit, also plays for the Force.

It's no surprise that Indiana and Fargo are in the finals. Each squad features arguably either the best, or second best goaltender in the league with Mike Lee (Fargo) and Brett Bennett (Indiana). Playoff hockey has always been about containing your end first, and then focusing on transitioning to the offensive side.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bittersweet Week For Arbuckles

You know everyone at Arbuckles in Stevens Point was tuned into the Sharks game last night to watch local hero Joe Pavelski try and stave off elimination by the Ducks.

Unfortunately, they didn't have a lot to cheer about. The one thing I'm sure did get they revved up was the fight that the 5'11 Polish Prince got into with 6'4 Ryan Whitney. Overall it was a pretty close scrap but I'd have to give the win to Pavelski since Whitney skated away with the bloody nose.

As you already know by know, it wasn't enough as the Sharks were defeated and eliminated by the Ducks (Puke).

The sweet news, for Arbuckles, is that they have a new D-1 hockey player to cheer for. Joe's little brother Scott, has committed to the University of New Hampshire. While he doesn't have quite the same pro potential as Joe, Scott has found a niche for himself in the USHL and it will definitely carry over to New Hampshire.

"What Scott did for this club in his two seasons didn't always show up in the stats," said Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O'Handley. "He's a team guy and a leader, the kind of player you hope has an opportunity like this to play for a great program."

Jake Dowell Called up to Blackhawks

According to his hometown news service, Eau Claire native, and former Wisconsin Badger Jake Dowell has been called up by the Chicago Blackhawks.

According to the report, Dowell was on the team plane tonight as it left Chicago for Vancouver where the Hawks will start a best of 7 series against the Canucks soon.

Dowell is not expected to play, he is there just in case of injury but it's an honor regardless. If a situation would happen to arise, I'm sure Dowell would be ready for anything.

Jake had a bit of a weird season in 08/09. He was sent down to Rockford early in training camp and was given the dreaded alternate captain role. The only thing worse than being an alternate captain at the AHL level is to be the captain at the AHL level. True, it says that the team sees your leadership, but they also obviously don't plan on losing you to the NHL any time soon either. Jake was even called up to the Hawks at one point this season as a possible injury replacement, but after he got to Chicago, and participated in the pre-game skate, the Hawks decided he was no longer needed, and he was sent away on a plane back to the AHL.

In 75 games for Rockford this season Dowell put up a line of 6-14-20 with 128 PIM.

Photo: Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Update On Bemidji's WCHA Application

We all knew this was going to be a big week for Bemidji State. With the annual coaches meetings down in Florida this week, obviously Bemidji to the WCHA was going to be a hot topic.

Yesterday, Bemidji gave an hour long presentation to the WCHA. It sounds like it went over pretty well.

“Bemidji State University’s presentation to the league at the annual meeting on April 27 was very professional and well received,” said Bruce McLeod, WCHA Commissioner. “The BSU student body, faculty, alumni, and the entire community should know that the league membership came away impressed with the University’s commitment to the student-athlete, both on and off the ice, the long track record of success their hockey program has achieved, the breaking of ground for the new Bemidji State Regional Events Center, and the degree of excitement throughout the community and northern Minnesota for the future of BSU Hockey.”

There was talk that the leagues member schools might vote today on whether or not to allow Bemidji into the WCHA. Well they didn't. What they did do, was vote to explore the move to a 12 team WCHA.

“The Western Collegiate Hockey Association membership today took a positive step forward in their decision to embrace possible expansion,” said McLeod, “and we will continue to explore we may expand once we have completed further studies and once we have been able to identify potential members that fit the league’s criteria for membership. Obviously, there are numerous issues involved in expansion, just a few of which include the transformation from a 10-team, 28-game conference schedule to an expanded 12-member team format that would still enable us to protect our natural rivalries as best as possible, and to make certain we safeguard our successful flagship event – the WCHA Final Five."

The best possible scenario for all things considered would be to allow either Nebrska-Omaha or Northern Michigan into the WCHA, with Alabama-Huntsville going to the CCHA. It's been talked about a million times so I'm not going to regurgitate that to you again.

Was it a good day for Bemidji? Hard to say, but it certainly could have been worse.

Badgers Alumni Update: NHL Playoffs

Yesterday we did an update for you on Badger recruits in the USHL playoffs. Today it's time to take a peak at forever Badgers who have been gutting it out in the best post season there is in sports, the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Adam Burish had a nice goal last night to help the Hawks advance to the second round. Also last night, Joe Pavelski and Rene Bourque were eliminated like Brad Winchester's Blues were a few days ago. Chris Chelios (who hasn't dressed) and Brian Rafalski's Red Wings disposed the Blue Jackets rather easily to move onto the next round.

Rene BourqueCalgaryEliminated5 gp, 1 goal
Adam BurishChicagoWon Series 4-26 gp, 1 goal
Chris CheliosDetroitWon Series 4-0Has not dressed
Joe PavelskiSan JoseEliminated6 gp, 1 assist
Brian RafalskiDetroitWon Series 4-04 gp, 1 goal, 2 assists
Brad WinchesterSt. LouisEliminated4 gp, no points

Edit: Had to take down the Burish's taking up too much space and slowing this thing down to a crawl. Here is the link to the video.

Monday, April 27, 2009

OHL Draft Saturday

It's a slow time for Badger news and the OHL is always relevant in terms of taking high end talent away from major US College programs so I figured I'd make you all aware that the OHL Priority Selection Draft is being held on Saturday, May 2nd.

The current crop of committed Badger recruits shouldn't be hit at all so that's always a positive. Teammates at the NTDP, Frankie Simonelli and Michael Mersch are already drafted by OHL clubs (Plymouth and Erie respectively) but are safe bets to end up on the UW campus. Jordan Schmaltz, a defenseman with the Chicago Mission could get drafted but that would be more indicative to his early commitment to Wisconsin rather than his play this past season. I wouldn't be worried about him taking the Canadian bait either.

In terms of potential recruits, there will definitely be some activity from the OHL draft. Wisconsin native and Team Illinois forward Trevor Morbeck expects to be picked fairly high. His brother Corey, a goalie for Team Illinois, was drafted in the 2007 OHL draft by the Oshawa Generals . Trevor Morbeck was passed over for the NTDP tryouts this year in large part due to the fairly poor kept secret that he doesn't have much intention on playing college hockey.

Another interesting Wisconsin native is Nolan Kirley. He was already drafted last year in the OHL draft but don't expect him to take that offer. His father is his high school coach and I would expect him to take the college route. He could be a nice filler defensive recruit for the Badgers in a few seasons.

As for other Wisconsin born potential recruits eligible for the first time, I wont be surprised if someone takes a flier Eau Claire Memorial defenseman Jacob McCabe. I'm not 100% sure he's eligible because he's a 93 and only a freshman but if he is eligible, he should be selected. A few other 93's that could go but would be long shots: Max McCormick, Green Bay; Ryan Dau, Hudson; Joey Fiala, Verona; Todd Koritzinsky, Middleton.

Other players who are uncommitted to colleges and have expressed interest in major college hockey programs but are likely to get drafted this weekend: Rocco Grimaldi (committed to NTDP), Colin Suellentrop (big defenseman with compuware minors, originally from Florida), Tyler Biggs (committed to NTDP), and Alexx Privitera (committed to NTDP). Those are just a few of the big names. I would expect the Chicago and Detroit area AAA midget programs to get hit hard as usual.

Recruiting Update: USHL Playoffs

The USHL playoffs are in full swing and there are still some future Badgers competing for the Clark Cup. Here is a list of all the future Badgers who were in the USHL playoffs and how they have fared so far. The Waterloo boys have been eliminated. Green Bay and Indiana are in a tough battle in the semi-finals tied up at 1-1. Gavin Hartzog has really been coming on as of late and his Fargo Force have advanced to the finals to play the winner of Green Bay and Indiana.

Tyler BarnesWaterlooEliminated3 gp, 0 pts
Jefferson DahlGreen BaySeries Tied 1-15 gp, 2 assists
Gavin HartzogFargoUSHL Finals5 gp, 1 goal, 2 assists
Sean LittleGren BaySeries Tied 1-13 gp, 0 pts
Keegan MeuerWaterlooEliminated3 gp, 1 goal
Craig SmithWaterlooEliminated3 gp, 1 goal, 3 assists
Brett BennettIndianaSeries Tied 1-14-3, 2.93, .908

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Badger Women news

A bunch of Badger Women's news to update. If you want to re-live the Badger Women's incredibly successful season, check out this link to the video. Haven't watched it yet, but I assume its awesome and full of countless goals that involve the combination of Knight/Lawler/Keseley.

The Women recently had their awards banquet. From the article the winners were:

Lawler received the Badger Award for being the most inspiring player Vetter was honored with the Jeff Sauer Award for being the most dedicated player. Matthews was named the defensive player of the year, while sophomore Hilary Knight garnered the offensive player of the year award. Freshman Brooke Ammerman was recognized as the rookie of the year.

Lastly, the 2009 recruiting class has been rounded out. Defender Stefanie McKeough from Carlsbad Springs, Ontario and walk-on forward Lauren Unser from West Salem, WI join D Saige Pachlock, F Brianna Decker, F Breann Frykas and G Becca Ruegseggar in the 2009 class.

McKeough has played extensively in International competition w/ Team Canada and was recently teammates w/ Pachlock and Frykas over the Winter. It appears Mark Johnson and company have once again assembled another great class to attempt to replace six young women that won 3 National Championships during their tenure.

Decker and Unser replace Rachel Bible and Jessie Vetter as Wisconsin natives playing for the Badgers.

In case you live under a rock or just discovered television and/or the internet, the Badger Women will be defending their National Championship this upcoming season, and I think they have a decent chance even w/ Mark Johnson, Hilary Knight and possibly Meghan Duggan off at the Olympics.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nick Pryor Can't Get in to Maine Either

The rocky road of Nick Pryor has reared its ugly head once again. I've been informed that Nick as not admitted to the University of Maine where he was scheduled to be on campus next fall.

If you remember correctly, this is the second time that Nick has not been admitted to school. A quick history lesson for those who don't remember: Nick first committed to the Wisconsin Badgers as a 15 year old freshman at Hill Murray, HS. He was to play two seasons at the NTDP in Ann Arbor, a season in the USHL with Des Moines, and join the Badgers as a true freshman in 2009.

All was well and good, he was even drafted over the summer by the Ducks, until he sat down with Wisconsin entrance examiners last fall and realized that there was no way he was going to be allowed in to the University of Wisconsin. I broke the story on September 23rd that due to his low ACT score, he wasn't getting into school. Nick considered his options, and he settled on the University of Maine.

Now according to sources, he can't get in to school at Maine either. I'm not sure where Pryor goes from here. He's still relatively young so your first thought is always the CHL. His father Chris, is the director of hockey operations for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Adam Burish Breaks Stick Over Rene Bourque

Interesting to see two former Badgers and two former Blackhawks teammates getting into it. Video via Goon, via Puckdaddy.

John Ramage Final Wrap Up From U18's

2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit John Ramage has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Fargo, ND for the IIHF U18 World Championships. John has been updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Right now the Americans are on their way home after going 6-1 in the tournament. John was kind enough to check in after the American squad played Russia in the Gold Medal game. Thanks again John!

John Ramage, Team USA U18, IIHF U18 World Championships 4/20/2009

We won the gold medal. We ended up beating the Russians 5-0. I think our team was confident going into the game because we knew what we had to do to be successful. We beat them earlier in the year at a 5 nations tournament. We came out with a bang and were all over them from the start. The crowd was awesome and really gave our team a lot of energy. We just got back to Ann Arbor and we are all pretty happy to get back after being gone for 2 1/2 weeks.-John Ramage

Ramage finished the tournament with 1 point, an assist to go along with 2 PIM and a plus/minus rating of +6.

Other scores from the tournament Sunday:
Finland 5, Canada 4

Monday, April 20, 2009

What do the results from the U18 Tournament say about the NTDP?

I just wanted to point out the success of the United States at the IIHF U18 World Championships. Is the NTDP working? Personally I think it is. What do the results from the recent U18 Championships say to you?

Canada complains that they don't send the best players because they are in the playoffs in their respective junior leagues. I'd argue that we aren't sending our best either. Sure, the NTDP players are talented, and they are all going to play at the next level, but how many kids turned down the NTDP that should have been playing for the red, white, and blue this past week? How would this USA squad have looked with Ben Hanowski, or healthy Zach Budish?

Ramage, USA Win GOLD at U18 World's

Two years. One Dream. Whatever it takes.

That was the theme for Team USA this season. Besides training to move on to the next level, players at the NTDP have one common goal, win the U18 World Championship. This season, 2009 Badger recruit John Ramage and his teammates accomplished their goal last night when they defeated Russia in convincing 5-0 fashion to win the gold.

Haven't gotten a chance to talk with John since the win but I'm sure he and the rest of his USA teammates are getting some much needed rest after the biggest week of their lives.

Over the past week and a half, Team USA went 6-1 with their lone loss coming to Russia in pool play. John Ramage finished the tournament with 1 assist to go along with 2 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of +6.

Photo: Matthew Manor/IIHF-HHOF Images.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

USA To Play Ruskies For GOLD Tonight

2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit John Ramage has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Fargo, ND for the IIHF U18 World Championships. John will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Right now the Americans are 5-1 in the tournament. Late Friday night John was kind enough to check in after the American squad played in a semi final game against Canada. Thanks again John!

John Ramage, Team USA U18, IIHF U18 World Championships 4/17/2009

We beat the Canadians tonight. It was a huge win for us the rink was sold out and it was an unbelievable atmosphere. The guys really battled hard and gave it their all to win this game. We were down 1-0 going into the third period and we really dug deep to get this victory. Sunday we play the Russians for the gold medal. This one means a lot to our team and its our turn to get a little revenge from earlier in the tournament.-John Ramage

In case you were wondering, so far in the tournament Ramage has 1 point, an assist to go along with 2 PIM and a plus/minus rating of +5.

Other scores from the tournament Friday:
Finland 0, Russia 4

Check back in for updates, especially on days after games. Thanks again John for doing this. GO USA!

Team USA's next game: Sunday, 7:00 PM vs Russia

John Ramage Day 2
John Ramage Day 3
John Ramage Day 4
John Ramage Day 5

Photo by Melissa Wade (

Update: The game tonight will be broadcast live on the internet for FREE by at 7 PM

Friday, April 17, 2009

Which recruit had the best season?

Time for a new poll question to whittle away some time in the off season. Most of the Badger recruits are already done for the season, but a few are still alive in the USHL and elsewhere. Several young men had outstanding seasons for their respective junior team or high school. But who was the best?

F Craig Smith - The Madison native totaled 28-48-76 in 54 regular season games. This was good enough for a tie for 2nd in pts and 2nd in assists, and 4th in +/- (+32) league wide. He led his team in most categories and was Captain of those Waterloo Black Hawks most of the season. Smith also was a key part to Team USA's success at the World Junior A Challenge. He was named to USHL 1st Team following the season.

G Brett Bennett - The transfer from Boston U was the backstop to the Indiana Ice's successful regular season. Brett played in 54 games and went 35-17-2 w/ 4 shutouts. He by far logged the most ice time of any goalie in the USHL and led the league in wins. He was 7th in GAA w/ 2.59 and was t-4th in save % at 0.910. He joined Smith as a 1st Team USHL selection.

D Justin Schultz - For the second consecutive season Justin was named the top defensemen in the Interior Conference of the BCHL. He once again led the Westside Warriors to the playoffs totaling 15-35-50 in 49 games from the blue line. For defensemen, that point total was t-4th, though he led all defensemen in pts/game. Justin was drafted last summer by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2nd round.

F Mark Zengerle - 1st Star committed to the Badgers during the season and then proceeded to tear up the BCHL. The 1st Star nickname is fitting as he earned the honor over and over in games for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. He finished the season 2nd in the BCHL in scoring w/ 31-62-93 in 54 games. He led the league in assists and pts/game. 1st Star was named MVP of the Interior Conference for his efforts.

F - Tyler Lapic - The 2010 recruit finished out his MN HS career w/ a spectacular season w/ New Prague HS. In 27 games, Tyler was 25-45-70 and +9. He was named as of the finalist his state's Mr. Hockey award. His stock continues to remain steady on the NHL Central Scouting List as he sits 114 in the final report. Tyler will be playing in the USHL next season, likely for the Omaha Lancers who currently have his rights.

F - Cody Strang - Following an outstanding season at Madison Edgewood, Cody was named WI's Mr. Hockey. In 23 games, he tallied 39-37-76 and led his team to the Regional Final before being upset by Verona. I was able to see him play a few times w/ Team Wisconsin and I look forward to Cody's progression in juniors the next few seasons as he faces stiffer competition and builds up his strength.

Following this poll, we'll take a look at some Badgers who had great seasons, but are making the big $$$ in the NHL doing it. See which alumni had the best pro season.

A few Badger notes

Last year Inside College Hockey (INCH) was accusing Badger fans of throwing coins on the ice at the Midwest Regional, this season they are honoring the Badger's top player from the past season by naming Jamie McBain Defenseman of the Year. Quite the year for McBain: 1st Team WCHA, WCHA POY, Hobey Finalist and 1st Team All American.

In some other (expected) news, Coach Eaves finished off the 2009 recruiting class by adding D John Ramage (as Chuck previously reported) and G Brett Bennett (knew this was coming. They will be joined by forwards Derek Lee, Craig Smith, Keegan Meuer and Tyler Barnes and 2nd round NHL pick defensemen Justin Schultz. While this class won't have the high draft picks of the previous two classes, I think its pretty damn good. Here is what Coach Eaves had to say about Ramage and Bennett:

“Brett will come in as a Badger after a super year in junior hockey,” said Eaves. “We look forward to him bringing his experience to our team. And John, with his experience with the national team development program, he has already played multiple college games and will come in and add that experience to our incoming class.”

W/ the dismissal of Tom Bardis, my math puts the roster at 29 players. 18 forwards, 9 defensemen and 2 goalies. Still a long summer to come, if that doesn't change I'll be surprised.

Ramage: USA To Face Canada In Semi-Finals Friday

2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit John Ramage has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Fargo, ND for the IIHF U18 World Championships. John will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Right now the Americans are 4-1 in the tournament. Late last night John was kind enough to check in after the American squad played in a quarter final game against the Czech Republic. Thanks again John!

John Ramage, Team USA U18, IIHF U18 World Championships 4/16/2009

We won our quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic tonight. The guys really came out and battled hard. We scored pretty early in the game and kept up the pressure all game. We ended up winning 6-2. Tomorrow we play the Canadians in the semi finals. This should be a huge test for our team but we are definitely ready for the challenge.-John Ramage

In case you were wondering, so far in the tournament Ramage has 1 point, an assist to go along with 2 PIM and a plus/minus rating of +5.

Other scores from the tournament Thursday:
Sweden 1, Russia 4
Canda and Finland, auto byes to the semi-finals

Semi Final match ups Friday:
Russia vs Finland, 4:00 PM
USA vs Canada, 7:30 PM

Check back in for updates, especially on days after games. Thanks again John for doing this. GO USA!

Team USA's next game: Friday, 7:30 PM vs Canada

Thursday, April 16, 2009

US Women win World Championships

Photo from

Better late than never w/ this news, but the Mark Johnson coached United States Women's team have successfully defended their World Championship crown beating Canada 4-1 for the championship. W/ their continued success in the tourney, Team USA takes over the World's #1 ranking as well.

Meghan Duggan had a goal in the victory and Jessie Vetter made 39 saves to backstop another successful venture for Team USA.

Congrats to Mark Johnson and all the former and current Badgers (pictured) for another job well done and for representing the Red, White & Blue proudly!

60 might have more on this when she returns from hypernation. Personally, I'm looking forward to watching Women's hockey during the Olympics next Winter. I'm also pretty excited for the Team USA/Wisconsin warm up game in January 2010 at the Kohl Center. As much as I love Spring and Summer, I won't be unhappy when Hockey Season starts up again for the Badger Men and Women.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ramage: USA Against Finland in the Quarter Finals

2009 Wisconsin defensive recruit John Ramage has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Fargo, ND for the IIHF U18 World Championships. John will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Right now the Americans are 3-1 in the tournament and just finished pool play. Late last night John was kind enough to check in after the American squad lost a hear breaker to Russia. Thanks again John!

John Ramage, Team USA U18, IIHF U18 World Championships 4/15/2009

Tonight we played the Russians and lost 6-5. It was a really good game it was tied going into the third period. We got a power play goal to go up 4-3. After that the Russians scored 3 unanswered goals which was a killer. We battled back and scored with little under 2 minutes to go. We ended up finishing second in our pool behind the Fins. Tomorrow we have the day off and then play the Czechs the following day in the quarter finals. That game will be a big game for us cause the lost left a sour taste in our mouths.-John Ramage

In case you were wondering, so far in the tournament Ramage has 1 point, an assist to go along with 2 PIM and a plus/minus rating of +4.

Other scores from the tournament Tuesday:
Switzerland 8, Germany 3
Canada 4, Sweden 2
Slovakia 0, Finland 7
Quarter Final matchups Thursday:
Canada and Finland-Both received byes to the semi finals
Russia vs Sweden, 4:00 PM
USA vs Czech republic, 7:30 PM

Check back in for updates, especially on days after games. Thanks again John for doing this. GO USA!

Team USA's next game: Thursday, 7:30 PM vs Czech Republic

John Ramage Day 2
John Ramage Day 3

Also, in case anyone was wondering, Ramage has signed a LOI for 2009 so he will be on the roster in the fall. Welcome to Wisconsin John.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

4 Badgers make Final NHL Draft List

The NHL released their Final 2009 Central Scouting lists today and one current Badgers and three future Badgers were among the N. American skaters ranked. In numerical order:

D John Ramage - 97th (87th in mid-term)

F Tyler Lapic - 114th (111th)

F Jordy Murray - 175 (191)

F Craig Smith - 177 (Not ranked)

Nice to see Craig Smith crack the list after his stellar year in the USHL. Unless I'm mistaken, this would be his 2nd year of draft eligibility.

The the 2009 NHL Draft will be held on June 26 & 27 in Montreal. The NY Islanders won the draft lottery tonight and their is a good chance John Tavares will be stuck in that desolate organization.

These rankings don't factor in goalies and European players.

Looking forward V1.0

I was glancing at LetsgoDU today and saw that the local beat writer who covers the Pioneers, Mike Chambers, is projecting greatness for DU next season. Even though its not Badgers news its worth a read, if they don’t have any more early departures beyond Tyler Bozak, they should be very good.

Another team that should be very good next season is the Wisconsin Badgers. Its never too early too look ahead is it? If I had to prognosticate the 2009/10 WCHA standings today, I would put DU first, and the Badgers second. DU gets the edge because they have a proven WCHA goalie coming back.

If Wisconsin doesn’t lose anyone else to early departure, the team should be stacked. Derek Stepan should immerge as the go to scorer the team needs, and will be complimented by the best blue line in the NCAA and a group of veteran forwards who can put the puck in the net w/ enough regularity for the team to surpass this past season’s scoring totals. Five senior forwards (Street, Geoffrion, Mitchell, Davies & Bohmbach) scored 10 or more goals in their last full season of play. Sure McBain is gone on the blue line, but that just opens up opportunities for some other gifted young men to show off their PP QB abilities. Another All-American, or two, is likely lurking among that talented group.

Below are some rough line combos I just threw together today for fun. Feel free to leave a comment, never too early to start next season’s discussion.

Andy Bohmbach – Blake Goeffrion – Michael Davies
John Mitchell – Ben Street – Derek Lee
Jordy Murray – Derek Stepan – Craig Smith
Ben Grotting – Matt Thurber – Aaron Bendickson

Reserves: Patrick Johnson, Sean Dolan, Podge Turnbull, Chris Hickey, Tyler Barnes & Keegan Meuer, (maybe even Mark Zengerle)

Johnson & Dolan could easily replace someone in the lineup, though Grotting & Bendickson were playing so well at the end of last season, if they bring that again next season they'll be tough to bump out of the lineup. The Badgers can roll four solid lines each night again next season. Playing time will be tough to come by, and I hope this breeds some great competition and not a transfer or what not. In 2010, everyone left will get boat loads of PT. Wisconsin should dominate in faceoffs w/ that group of centers down the middle. Smith and Lee should be locks to play every night, they both ripped up juniors this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Meuer or Barnes redshirt, assuming they are both still coming in.

The blue line is a little easier.

Ryan McDonagh – Cody Goloubef
Jake Gardiner – Justin Schultz
Brendan Smith – Craig Johnson
Reserves: Ryan Little, Eric Springer and John Ramage

Still not sure how that is going to work w/ nine defensemen currently slated to come in. I guess we’ll know sometime this summer. Johnson was pretty strong toward the end of last season, and might be tough to beat out of 6th spot on the blue line. If John Ramage does come in, I could see him getting significant playing time, and hopefully crushing opponents on a regular basis.

I'm sure we'll revisit this as the off season goes on.

Joe Finley Gets Pounded In First Pro Fight

Well this doesn't surprise me.

Ramage: Team USA Now 3-0, Take On Commies Tonight

2009/2010 Wisconsin defensive recruit John Ramage has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Fargo, ND for the IIHF U18 World Championships. John will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Right now the Americans are 3-0 in the tournament. Late last night John was kind enough to check in after the American squad destroyed Slovakia. Thanks again John!

John Ramage, Team USA U18, IIHF U18 World Championships 4/13/2009

We had another big win against the Slovaks tonight. We won 12-0. They were a really poor team. Tomorrow we have a huge game against the Russians. This game will decide who wins our pool. Hopefully we will come out like we did tonight and take it to the Russians.-John Ramage

In case you were wondering, so far in the tournament Ramage has 1 point, an assist to go along with 4 PIM and a plus/minus rating of +4.

Other scores from the tournament Monday:
Sweden 11, Switzerland 0
Czech Republic 3, Canada 4
Finland 10, Norway 1

Check back in for updates, especially on days after games. Thanks again John for doing this. GO USA!

Team USA's next game: Tuesday, 7:30 PM vs Russia (Beat those commie bastards)

Tom Bardis Released From UW Roster

There have been rumors floating around that Wisconsin and junior forward Tom Bardis have parted ways. Unfortunately I have to report that those rumors are true.

Bardis said, "I was very surprised by the news and also hurt because although hockey hasn’t gone my way the past couple years, it is still the sport that I truly love and will always be passionate about."

Bardis, who transferred from St. Lawrence, only played in three games for the Badgers this season after having to sit out 2008 due to NCAA transfer guidelines might not have gotten a fair shake for playing time. "I played only 3 games and to be honest the first two were quit nerve racking with combination of the year and a half without a game and the Kohl center atmosphere. I believe the one other game that I played in I played well and really started to feel my game again."

Regardless of his playing time, Bardis gave his heart and soul to the Badger program over the last two seasons. "This is The University of Wisconsin and I knew coming in here that it would be a battle everyday to break this lineup. Saying that, I came to the rink everyday and worked as hard as I could on and off the ice to give myself the best opportunity to do just that."

Bardis who says he will finish his degree at the University of Wisconsin also had nothing but great things to say about the staff and his teammates at Wisconsin. "My time at UW has been great so far and I still respect the coaches and my teammates in every aspect. It was an absolute honor to be a part of this team and I will cherish it for the rest of my life. I learned many things and had many wonderful experiences that I wouldn’t trade for the world."

I would personally like to thank Tom for his time as a Badger. He may not be able to wear the Wisconsin sweater any more, but once a Badger, always a Badger. Good luck in your future endeavors Tom.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

John Ramage Checks In Again From Fargo

2009/2010 Wisconsin defensive recruit John Ramage has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Fargo, ND for the IIHF U18 World Championships. John will be updating us as they go through the tournament when he gets some free time. Right now the Americans are 2-0 in the tournament. Late last night John was kind enough to check in after the American squad played against Finland. Thanks again John!

John Ramage, Team USA U18, IIHF U18 World Championships 4/11/2009

Tonight we had a big win against the Fins. The final score was 4-3. The team came out flying again and by the end of the second period we were up 4-0. In the third our team did not play our best period but we battled hard to get the win. Tomorrow we have a relaxing day where we can recharge the batteries. On Mon. we are back at it against the Slovaks who are pretty skilled.-John Ramage

Other scores from the tournament.

Check back in for updates, especially on days after games. Thanks again John for doing this. GO USA!

Team USA's next game: Monday, 7:30 PM vs Slovakia

Saturday, April 11, 2009

McBain named 1st-Team All-American

No surprise here. Jamie McBain was named 1st-Team All-American for the West last night. Congratulations, Jamie!

Other WCHA 1st-Team All-Americans include Alex Stalock (G, UMD) and Ryan Stoa (F, Minn). WCHA 2nd-Team All-Americans include Chay Genoway (D, UND) and Chad Rau (F, CC).

Straylock signs with San Jose

Rather than continuing to cry those big fuzzy mascot tears, Alex Straylock has signed with San Jose. Can't say I blame him; I wouldn't want to be Chump either. He's the 2nd Bulldog and 9th WCHA player to depart early.

I wonder what Vladimir is going to do now?


In a meaningless game to wrap up the qualifying round (both teams were already assured a spot in the Gold Medal game prior to this game), Canada defeated USA yesterday in a matchup that somewhat previews the Gold Medal game. I say "somewhat" because the US didn't go with Vetter in goal yesterday, and I imagine that she'll play on Sunday.

Recaps: usahockey, hockeycanada
Photos: usahockey/IIHF HHOF

No goals by any Badgers, but it sounds like blog favorite Megan Duggan had a really nice scoring opportunity in the 1st period:
In a tightly contested first period, the score remained 0-0 after 20 minutes. Team USA's best opportunity came just after the halfway point when it appeared that Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) scored as she went down in front of the Canadian net, but Charline Labonte got her glove on the puck just before it crossed the goal line.
Here's what USA head coach Mark Johnson had to say about the game:
"We took a few too many penalties," said Team USA Head Coach Mark Johnson, who is also the head women's ice hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin. "When we did have opportunities on the power play, we didn't capitalize. Overall, it was a friendly match and we were able to get our feet wet and see what we are up against. Now we will make some adjustments and play again for a world championship on Sunday."
F Hilary Knight 0-0-0, 3 SOG, -1
F Erika Lawler 0-0-0, 0 SOG, +1
F Meghan Duggan 0-0-0, 3 SOG, E
D Kerri Weiland 0-0-0, 0 SOG, E
D Molly Engstrom 0-0-0, 1 SOG, E
G Jessie Vetter DNP (Molly Schaus got the start)

F Meaghan Mikkelson 0-0-0, 0 SOG, -1
D Carla MacLeod 0-0-0, 6 SOG, E

UP NEXT: The Medal Games
Bronze: FIN v. SWE -- Sunday 4/12 @ 8 AM
Gold: USA v. CAN -- Sunday 4/12 @ 12 PM

IIHF WW 2009 by the numbers: The facts and figures behind Sunday's medal games

Friday, April 10, 2009


Next season the Men's team will feature tri-captains. A lot of "C" will be skating around the ice and I think the team made a good decision w/ the choices. The tri-captains include Ben Street, Blake Geoffrion and Ryan McDonagh.

Awards were given out as well:

MVP: Jamie McBain
Most Competitive: Ryan McDonagh
Most Improved: Craig Johnson
Most Consistent: Craig Johnson
Top Nerd: Tom Gorowsky
7th Man Award: Tom Gorowsky

I think Andy Bohmbach was deserving of most improved. 1 goal in his first two seasons and 10 during his junior campaign? Craig Johnson was playing well late in the season though, certainly deserving.

Is it October yet? I'm excited.


Another big win for USA, another hat-trick for The Bomb, another shutout for Jessie Vetter.

Recaps: IIHF, usahockey
Photos: usahockey/IIHF

F Hilary Knight 3-0-3, 7 SOG, +2
F Erika Lawler 0-2-2, 2 SOG, +2
F Meghan Duggan 0-0-0, 2 SOG, +1
D Kerri Weiland 0-0-0, 0 SOG, +2
D Molly Engstrom 0-0-0, 2 SOG, +1
G Jessie Vetter 16 SVS

"It was a great victory," said Team USA Head Coach Mark Johnson, who is also the head women's ice hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin. "I'm excited for the team and the opportunity to play Canada tomorrow and again on Sunday for a world championship. We talked about what we wanted to do and the players went out and executed."

The US will play Canada for the Gold on Sunday, but first they'll get to play Canada tonight in the final game of the qualifying round (Game Notes).

John Ramage checks in from World U18 Championship

2009/2010 Wisconsin defensive recruit John Ramage has agreed to do a little correspondence piece with us while he is in Fargo, ND for the IIHF U18 World Championships. John 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. Late last night John was kind enough to check in after the American squad played against Norway. Thanks again John!

John Ramage, Team USA U18, IIHF U18 World Championships 4/9/2008

We started off the tourney tonight against Norway. The guys were really pumped up considering we had been on the road for a week and have not played any tournament games. The team started off well, the Norwegians were not the greatest team. We ended up winning 8-0. It was really cool to have the support of American fans since we have not really had any fan support all year. Tomorrow we have an off day and then we are back at it against the Fins who we have had good battles with all year.-John Ramage

Other scores from the tournament:

Czech Republic 0, Sweden 7
Germany 2, Canada 11
Finland 7, Russia 4
Switzerland and Slovakia, Idle

Check back in for updates, especially on days after games. Thanks again John for doing this. GO USA!

Team USA's next game: Saturday, 7:30 PM vs Finland

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A couple odds & ends

  • What to do about Bemidji and the disbanding of the CHA? Bemidji wants to join the WCHA, but that would make the WCHA an 11-team league unless someone else comes with. Well, Andy Baggot says the Badgers should just go ahead and leave the WCHA to make room for Bemidji . . .
  • Baggot says there's no room for Wisconsinite David Solway to transfer in from Bowling Green, because bringing in 1st-Star Zengerle a year early would be a better option. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't Solway have to sit out a year anyway, so this would have nothing to do with bringing in Zengerle early? (Zengerle is slated to come in 2010, but it sure would be nice to bring him in 2009.)
  • I'm not sure if we posted this yet, so I'll go ahead and post it here -- the Waterloo BlackHawks have named Craig Smith their 2008-09 Most Valuable Player.
  • HIW has links for the Chicago Hockey Showcase. Playing for TW are potential Badger recruits Wes Wauters and Andrew Martin.


Yep, another big Canada victory yesterday . . .

Recap: IIHF, hockeycanada

D Carla MacLeod: 0-1-1, 0 SOG, +2
F Meaghan Mikkelson: 0-0-1, 1 SOG, E

Today, USA will get their chance at FIN (game notes), and tomorrow USA and CAN will meet in the final game of this round (and in what will likely be a preview of Sunday's gold medal game).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

2010 Olympics: What if we could only use amateurs?

In 1998, the NHL allowed it's professional hockey players to play in the Olympics for the first time in Nagano, Japan. They followed suit at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, and the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. In Vancouver in the spring of 2010, the NHL will once again send it's best to represent their countries on the biggest stage.

It's been widely debated on if the NHL should continue to send it's players to the Olympics. Never again will there be a moment like we had in the 1980 games with NHL players there. I'm not here to add to the debate on whether or not we should be sending NHL players. What I have done, is put together a roster of Americas best amateur players who could compete at the 2010 Olympics.

Obviously, this list is flawed for a few reasons. Number one, there will be players on my list who will end up turning professional this summer. Since I can't be 100% sure on everyone who is going to go pro, I included everyone who has not signed a pro contract yet that is American born. Also, we don't know who would have kept their amateur status to play in the Olympics. I didn't include any outgoing seniors and many of them would have been considered for this team otherwise.

Any ways, here is the list...let the debate begin:

Forwards (13, alphabetical order) :
Nick Bonino-Boston University-Hockey East
Carter Camper-Miami-CCHA
Blake Geoffrion-Wisconsin-WCHA
Jacques Lamoureux-Air Force-Atlantic Hockey
Ryan Lasch-St. Cloud-WCHA
James Marcou-UMASS-Hockey East
Rhett Rakhshani-Denver-WCHA
Garrett Roe-St. Cloud-WCHA
Tyler Ruegsegger-Denver-WCHA
Jordan Schroeder-Minnesota-WCHA
Eric Tangradi-Belleville-OHL
Mitch Wahl-Spokane-WHL
Colin Wilson-Boston University-Hockey East

Alternates (in order):
Bill Sweatt-Colorado College-WCHA
Anthony Maiani-Denver-WCHA
Chris VandeVelde-North Dakota-WCHA
Mike Hoeffel-Minnesota-WCHA

Defense (7, alphabetical order) :
Jonathon Blum-Vancouver-WHL
Ian Cole-Notre Dame-CCHA
Eddie Del Grosso-Nebraska Omaha-CCHA
Cade Fairchild-Minnesota-WCHA
Ryan McDonagh-Wisconsin-WCHA
Chris Summers-Michigan-CCHA
Kevin Shattenkirk-Boston University-Hockey East

Alternates (In order):
Garrett Raboin-St. Cloud-WCHA
Kurt Davis-Minnesota State-WCHA
Kyle Lawson-Notre Dame-CCHA
Justin Braun-UMASS-Hockey East
Brian Strait-Boston University-Hockey East
Colby Cohen-Boston University-Hockey East
Ted Ruth-Notre Dame-CCHA
Jeff Petry-Michigan State-CCHA

Goaltender (2, alphabetical order) :
Zane Kalemba-Princeton-ECAC
Alex Stalock-Minnesota Duluth-WCHA

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A few random FF notes

  • Todd reminds us that we can catch open team practices on Wednesday and Friday. Maybe I'm easily amused, but I always like to stop by for a couple of the practices. They're usually pretty light-hearted and entertaining. In MKE, I remember Oz goofing around and "slashing" a couple of players as they were skating, Jeff Likens making all sorts of noise, and of course the shootouts. I'm definitely planning on going to Bemidji's practice(s). Here's the practice schedule:

    11 a.m. - noon — Bemidji State
    12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. — Miami
    1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. — Vermont
    2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. — Boston University

    11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. — Winner of Game 1
    12:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. — Winner of Game 2
  • On Saturday, you can skate on the championship ice -- the free open-skate runs from 1pm to 3pm -- not sure what they'll limit the time on ice to.
  • On Saturday, you can also stop by and say "hi" to Badgers Angie Keseley and Tom Gorowsky, as the Skills Competition Participants are signing autographs between 5:45 and 6:45.
  • Those of you who were in GR for the Midwest Regional (ok, I only saw 3 other Badger fans besides me, but whatever) are aware that Bemidji doesn't have a pep band. Luckily, George Mason's pep band is happy to step in. Nice!

IIHF WW: Badgers in the preliminary round

Since both USA and CAN had yesterday off and have today off as well, I thought this morning might be a good time to take a brief look back at the Badgers' performances in the preliminary rounds. Especially since WHKY Blogger has already done the work for me. (Thanks, Blogger!)
After the first round, the current and former Badgers performing well here at Worlds!

Carla MacLeod is leading all scorers with 7pts
Hilary Knight has 3 goals and an assist for the USA
Meaghan Mikkelson has 2 assists for Canada
Meghan Duggan has a goal for the USA
Molly Engstrom has an assist for the USA
Kerry Weiland has had a couple of nice shots and also took a necessary penalty.

The Greatest One has 2 assists, a Penalty for Hooking and 6 SOG while being played by a forward and a defender nearly every time she has a touch. The other teams have been playing her as if her line is unable to score if she can't handle the puck. They seem to be forgetting her linemates include Chu and Darwitz for the most part, not to mention the defenders and the other players she is paired with.
Just to refresh you memories, USA defeated JPN 8-0 and RUS 8-0 in the preliminary round, and CAN defeated CHN 13-1 and SWE 7-0.

Jessie Vetter has yet to play in goal for USA. I'd imagine we'll see her in the next round.

Here's the schedule for the qualifying round:
Wed 4/8 @ 12 PM CT: CAN v. FIN
Thurs 4/9 @ 12 PM CT: USA v. FIN
Fri 4/10 @ 12 PM CT: USA v. CAN

The top 2 teams will play for the gold and the 3rd team will play for the bronze on Sunday.

Here are the event homepages from BTD, IIHF, usahockey, and hockeycanada.

Monday, April 6, 2009

IIHF U18 pre-tourney tune ups

In their 1st of 2 pre-tourney games, USA defeated Germany 9-0 on Saturday. John Ram(p)age had 1 assist and finished +1.


Today, USA defeated Sweden 4-3. Ram(p)age was held off the scoresheet. He had 2 SOG and finished +1.


Usahockey has all of the pre-tourney camp results.

The actually tourney starts on Thursday, with CAN facing GER at 4:30 PM CT and the US facing Norway at 8:00PM CT. Looks like all of the games will be live-streamed by FASTHockey.

Here are usahockey's and IIHF's homepages for the event.

By the way, Nathan from The World of Junior Hockey has previewed the World U18 Championship, and he's picked USA for the gold.

CAN 7 - SWE 0, Canada moves on to qualifying round

CAN 7 - SWE 0
Carla MacLeod had her hand in 5 of Canada's 7 goals (1 goal, 4 assists) and Meaghan Mikkelson added an assist on MacLeod's goal. Canada outshot Sweden 39-18.

Recaps: IIHF, hockeycanada

F Meaghan Mikkelson 0-1-1, 1 SOG, +1
D Carla MacLeod 1-4-5, 2 SOG, +5

Next up: The qualifying round
Wed 4/8 @ 12 PM -v. Finland
Fri 4/10 @ 12 PM -- v. USA

The top 2 teams in this group (USA, CAN, and FIN) at the end of the qualifying round will play for the gold medal on Sunday. The 3rd team will play the top team in the next tier (RUS, SWE, KAZ) for the bronze.


Dahl and Little part of Anderson Cup

From worst to first, that is the story of the Green Bay Gamblers this season. Last season was horrible, but this season they walk away w/ the Anderson Cup as the top team in all of the United States Hockey League. They had to defeat Des Moines yesterday in the last game of the USHL regular season. Badger recruits Jefferson Dahl and Sean Little are both members of the Gamblers.

Time to change gears though as the USHL playoffs are set to begin and its time to fight for the Clark Cup. Only one Badger recruit playing in the USHL did not make it. Chase Drake and Sioux City finished short of the 4th spot in the Western Conference.

Eastern Conference

1 – Green Bay (Dahl & Little) vs
4 – Waterloo (Craig Smith, Tyler Barnes & Keegan Meuer)

2 – Cedar Rapids vs
3 – Indiana (Brett Bennett)

Western Conference

1 – Lincoln vs
4 – Sioux Falls

2 – Omaha vs
3 – Fargo (Gavin Hartzog)

In the Eastern Conference, the gap in the standings between 1st and 4th was not much, so I think that could go any way. If you don’t have much to do this weekend head up to GB to watch up to five Badger recruits on the ice. I’m hoping the series goes five games, so the following weekend I can catch the deciding game in GB after returning from the Frozen Four.

The Fargo Force are in their first season in the USHL and its impressive to see them make it to the playoffs. Lincoln should be the favorite in the West to reach the Clark Cup Finals.

Good luck to all Badger recruits as they begin their quest for the Clark Cup. Last season, Matt Thurber and the Omaha Lancers finished as the league’s champion.

Watch your wallet in DC

If you are headed to DC for the Frozen Four, be careful when using credit cards at resturants around the Verizon Center. Thanks to LetsgoDU for the heads up.

Apparently several former servers at several resturants around the Verizon Center were busted recently for stealing credit card info while making a "2nd swipe" of a credit card when a patron is paying for their meal. Not cool.

Be careful Badger fans, the gov't in the Capital city works hard enough to take your money, now servers at the local resturants are trying to follow suit.

3 Badger Women invited to National Team Goaltender Camp

1 current Badger and 2 future Badgers are among 36 goaltenders invited to the 2009 Warren Strelow National Team Goaltending Camp, May 28-31, in Ann Arbor, MI. The goaltenders chosen represent the top goaltenders eligible for international play in select age groups.

Jessie Vetter, 2009 recruit Becca Ruegsegger, and 2010 recruit Alex Rigsby have been invited to attend.

USA 8 - RUS 0, US moves on to qualifying round

USA 8 - RUS 0
The US outshot Russia 49-13. Duggan scored USA's 1st goal, and Knight and Lawler each got 1 assist. Former Duluth Foreign Legion player Iya Gavrilova was (obviously) held off the score sheet.

Game Notes: usahockey
Recaps: IIHF, usahockey

F Hilary Knight 0-1-1, 3 SOG, +2
F Erika Lawler 0-1-1, 3 SOG, +1
F Meghan Duggan 1-0-1, 4 SOG, +1
D Kerri Weiland 0-0-0, 0 SOG, E
D Molly Engstrom 0-0-0, 0 SOG, +4
G Jessie Vetter DNP (Molly Schaus got the start)

"We ran into some adversities, which is good for the team," said Team USA Head Coach Mark Johnson, who is also the head women's ice hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin. "We passed the test, which helps us in our preparation for our next game on Thursday."

Next up: The qualifying round
Thurs 4/9 @ 12 PM -v. Finland
Fri 4/10 @ 12 PM -- v. Canada

Wake Up With Your Latest Recruit Corbin McGuire

Last week, we alerted you (via USHR) to the fact that the Badgers landed a top flight forward when Taft Prep forward Corbin McGuire gave Mike Eaves his verbal commitment.

McGuire, who is a freshman at Taft, is one of the top recruits not only on the East Coast, but in the entire nation. He was the second leading scorer at last summers Select 15 festival in St. Cloud and recently competed at the National Team Development Tryouts in Ann Arbor Michigan.

60 Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets. was lucky enough to talk with Corbin over the weekend. Very mature kid for his age. Any ways, without further ado, 5 burning questions with your newest Badger commit:

5. Chuck Schwartz-You got to participate in the summer Select 15 festival and more recently the NTDP tryouts. What is the experience like playing against the best players in the nation at your age level and how do you feel you stack up?

Corbin McGuire-The experience I had at both those events was really awesome. It gave me chance to meet all the elite players of my age group and get instruction from the some of the best coaches is the country. Also, I got a chance to see the facilities both St. Cloud State use and what the NTDP gets to use. I also got a chance to play in front of coaches that might not be able to see me play during the season at Taft, such as Wisconsin.I felt that I stacked up pretty well at both events with the best '93 players in the country. I did the things on the ice that I knew I wanted to do going in and I conducted myself in the way I wanted to off the ice.

4. Schwartz-If given an invitation to the NTDP, would you accept, and if you don't accept/should you not get invited, where do you see yourself playing the next 3 years before you become a Badger.

McGuire: I still have no idea if I even made the NTDP, so I still don't know if I would accept of not. As of now there is no choice to be made. And as of today I will be walking down the steps at graduation here at Taft School in May of 2012.

3. Schwartz-The recent trend has been that players have been committing to school earlier and earlier now days. Your the second player that Wisconsin has committed for the 2012 class (Jordan Schmaltz being the other). Did you feel pressure to commit so early because other players are doing so?

McGuire: I did not feel pressure at all to commit early. When I called Coach Eaves and he asked if I would want to be a Badger starting in 2012, how can you turn that down? It's always been a goal of mine. And why wait for something that has been offered to me that I have wanted for my whole life.

2. Schwartz-Players with your talent level always feel the pressure from the Canadian junior leagues. With you being at minimum 3 seasons away from being a Badger, what are the chances that you can be lured away by the guys across the northern border?

McGuire: Zero chance. Education is really important to all the people in my family, that is why I am at Taft. I am for sure never even thinking about playing in the QMJHL.

1. Schwartz-Your parents grew up in Wisconsin, but other than that, what ultimately led you into your commitment to the Wisconsin Badgers and what other schools were you considering?

McGuire: I always wanted to play for Wisconsin, ever since I was little and just started playing. Every kid growing up and wanting to play college hockey would be thankful to get to a chance to play for the Badgers, and when I was given the chance to commit, I took it. I was getting looked at by ECAC schools and Hockey East schools but never had the time to do any visits, and I knew Wisconsin is where I really wanted to be.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

USA 8 - JPN 0 / CAN 13 - CHN 1

Both USA and CAN destroyed their opponents yesterday in their opening games of the IIHF World Women's Championship. Both games were pretty lopsided, with the opponents providing little offensive threat -- it sounds like, for the most part, the forwards for USA/CAN were able to break up the play at the blueline, limiting the ability of JPN/CHN to gain the zone.

USA 8 - JPN 0
USA outshot JPN 74-8, The Bomb had a hat trick, and Lawler and Engstrom each chipped in an assist.

Game Notes: usahockey
Recaps: IIHF, usahockey
Live Blog: BTD

F Hilary Knight 3-0-3, 10 SOG, +1
F Erika Lawler 0-1-1, 3 SOG, +2
F Meghan Duggan 0-0-0, 2 SOG, E
D Kerri Weiland 0-0-0, 3 SOG, +1
D Molly Engstrom 0-1-1, 7 SOG, +3
G Jessie Vetter DNP (Megan Van Beusekom got the start)
"It was a good way to start things off," said Team USA Head Coach Mark Johnson, who is also the head women's ice hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin. "From an offensive standpoint, we generated a lot of scoring opportunities. Everybody got their feet wet and now we can continue to move forward in the tournament."
By the way, Team USA is going with 11 F and 7 D for this tourney, which is why you might see Kerri Weiland listed on one of the forward lines when the lines are given. Don't be confused, she's still playing D.

CAN 13 - CHN 1
CAN outshot CHN 75-5. MacLeod had a goal and an assist, and Mikkelson had an assist.

Recaps: IIHF, hockeycanada
Live Blog: BTD

F Meaghan Mikkelson 0-1-1, 0 SOG, +2
D Carla MacLeod 1-1-2, 3 SOG, +3

Mikkelson is listed as a defensemen on the IIHF roster, but hockeycanada has her listed as a forward, and the game recap specifically mentions that she has moved up to F.

By the way, if you're so inclined, you can send Meaghan or Carla an email, as hockeycanada has an "email your favourite player" feature.

USA - RUS: Monday 4 AM CT -- Game Notes
CAN - SWE: Monday 7:30 AM CT
(Both teams were off today.)

I'd imagine that BTD will be live-blogging both games. (Thanks, BTD!)

Smith, Bennett named RBK First Team All-USHL

The Wisconsin Badgers have been lucky enough to not only have one incoming 2009 recruit on the RBK All-USHL First Team, but two. Madison native, forward Craig Smith (Waterloo), and goaltender Brett Bennett (Indiana Ice), who is a transfer from Boston University, were both named to the first team the USHL announced today.

Smith has had a banner year for the Blackhawks. He finished second in the USHL in scoring during the regular season and has been a leader on and off the ice. Smith, who is in his third season in the USHL (his first season was as a junior in high school), more than trippled his point total from last season. In 54 games this season, Smith has accumulated 28 goals and 48 assists for a total of 76 points.

Bennett, the goaltending transfer from Boston University has been a pleasant surprise for Badger fans. He was outstanding at the NTDP in Ann Arbor but struggled once he got to the Division one level. This season for the Ice, he has an outstanding 35-17-2 record. He currently sports a 2.59 GAA, and a very good .910 save percentage. Bennett, who will be a junior when he enters the Madison campus in the fall, should challenge Scott Gudmandson for playing time immediately.

Mike Johnson Commits To Notre Dame

Badger fans can officially stop speculating about the possibility of Madison native Mike Johnson walking on with the program. I've learned this afternoon that Johnson, currently the starting goaltender for the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders, has committed to the University of Notre Dame.

Johnson, a former Madison Capitols AAA goaltender, is having an outstanding season for the first place (as of 6:45 CST) Rough Riders. Johnson has finished the regular season with a record of 25-12-1 with a minuscule 2.39 era and a .909 save percentage.

The goaltending situation at Wisconsin has been a bit of a guessing game the past few months. With the Chuck Knoblauch esk play of former goaltending recruit Aaron Crandall, and the incoming transfer of Junior Brett Bennett, no one is really sure what is going on in the nets for the Badgers. Mike Eaves has stated publicly that he would like a third goalie to compete with incumbent Scott Gudmandson and transfer Brett Bennett. Now that Johnson is off the board I think you have to look at a guy like Stoughton goaltender Andrew Martin as a walk on.

Long Island Gulls 3 - TW 2 (OT)

Team Wisconsin Minor lost in overtime today in their quarterfinal matchup against the Long Island Gulls. The TW goals were scored by Monona Grove's Russell Blaser (assited by SPASH's Joey Haydock and SPASH's Matt Larson) and Merrill's Alex Racino (assited by GB Notre Dame's and potential UW recruit Max McCormick). DPlaya has a bit more on the game.

Congratulations again to TW Minor for making Nationals this year.

Recruit Ramage to blog from U18 World Championships

The 60 Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets. blog continues to at least make an attempt to be on the cutting edge of college hockey blogging. John Ramage, a Badger defensive recruit who plays for the NTDP U18 squad has agreed to blog for us while he plays with Team USA in the upcoming U18 World Championships in Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota.

If you remember correctly, last season (former) recruit Nick Pryor blogged for us while the USA took home a bronze when the Worlds were in Kazan, Russia.

Right now, Team USA is in the twin cities training for the tournament. They kick off pool play on Thursday when they take on Norway at 8PM at the Urban Plains Center in Fargo. Here is a listing of all the game times and locations.

Check back here frequently for updates once the tournament gets underway.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

2009 IIHF WW begins today

The 2009 IIHF World Women's Championship begins today with Team Canada taking on China (7 AM CT) and Team USA taking on Japan (9 AM CT). You can find the schedule and links to stats here. Also, here are usahockey's and hockeycanada's homepages for the event. It shouldn't come as a surprise to you that Canada and the US are considered favorites to win the championship.

In pre-tournament exhibition play, Team USA defeated Sweden 9-0. Hilary Knight scored 2 goals, Meghan Duggan scored 1 goal, Erika Lawler had 3 assists, and Jessie Vetter combined with Molly Schaus for the shutout. Also representing Team USA are Molly Engstrom and Kerry Weiland, and of course Mark Johnson is the head coach.

Also in pre-tournament exhibition play, Team Canada defeated EHC Red Devil (boys AAA midget) 3-1, Espoo Blues (boys AAA midget) 8-0, and Finland 3-0. Carla MacLeod had an assist v. the Blues, and Meghan Mikkelson had a goal v. the Blues and an assist v. Finland. Just a reminder that Mikkelson is playing forward rather than D with Canada. (If memory serves, she was previously a forward as well but transitioned to D with the Badgers.)

EDITED TO ADD: Beyond the Dashers also has a nice homepage for the event.

A bit of catch-up

Yeah, I've got a lot of catching up to do [hangs head]. So, I'll do my best; sorry if this is stuff you've already seen.
  • I'm fairly horrified that I didn't post this earlier -- For the 3rd time in 4 years, Badger Women's coach Mark Johnson was named AHCA Women's Div I Coach of the Year. Congratulations, Coach!

    A well-deserved honor for Coach Johnson. The Badgers had a pretty good regular season, but they were down-right dominant throughout the post-season.

    By the way, Coach Johnson shared the WCHA Coach of the Year award with Minnesota's Brad Frost. That award was determined before the Final Face-Off, and so it makes since that Frost got a share of that award. Minnesota finished just above Wisconsin in the regular season, and to be honest, before the Badgers stepped up their game for the post-season, it appeared that Minnesota might be the team to beat in the post-season.

  • I'm also fairly horrified that I completely missed Brian Elliott's 1st NHL shutout. Nice work, Brian!!
  • Kevin Pates of the Duluth News Tribune has a couple of posts about the proposed expansion of the WCHA. Apparently Tuesday was the deadline for teams to apply to join the WCHA, and only Bemidj applied. That's a bit of an issue, as MacLeod and presumably current WCHA teams would prefer to have 12 teams rather than 11. UNO has already indicated they're not interested in coming along. NMU had expressed interest but has now decided to stay put in the CCHA as well. I don't know what's going to happen with the CCHA, though -- if they take on UAH, they'll be up to 13 teams, and that's not ideal for them either.

    Pates thinks that things don't look very good for Bemidji right now. He also indicates that MacLeod was in Bemidji today to take a look around and that Bemidji will be pleading their case in Florida later this month, at which time the WCHA may or may vote on the matter, as MacLeod said that the expansion process may be lengthened. Bemidji would need 8 out of 10 votes to join the WCHA.

    I've got to think that Bemidji's performance in the NCAA tourney so far has got to help their chances, though. Certainly can't hurt. Especially since one of the arguments against them has been that they wouldn't be bringing much to the table. I'd argue now that they'll be bringing more to the table than a number of current WCHA teams.
  • Good ol' Chuck, who's always on the ball, already told us that Corbin McGuire has verballed to the Badgers. But now you can read Andy Baggot's article, which tells us a bit more about McGuire and his background. Gotta love a kid who always wanted to be a Badger!

  • Earlier this week, Baggot took a look at the Badgers' NHL prospects.