Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Morning News and Notes

The first bit of info I have for you this morning isn't even actually Badger news. Former Janesville high school star Dan Olszewski has committed to Denver for next season. I searched for a while to find an Internet confirmation on this but couldn't so you'll just have to trust me I guess.

Olszewski may be a familiar name if you follow the WIAA State Tournament. He led Janesville there a few years ago and was absolutely absurd in the playoffs. Had a string of a bunch of hat tricks and almost took Janesville to the title. Olszewski is having a very nice season for St. Louis in the NAHL. His 25 points in 27 games so far this season lead the team.

In an article from early November with the Janesville Gazzette, Olszewski said that he had offers from a few smaller eastern schools but was waiting on something better. I'd say his patience paid off.
Denver had another player commit this week, and this one is a little bit more painful for the Badgers. Canmore (AJHL) Eagles goalie Sam Brittain has committed to the Pioneers for either next season or the year after depending on departures.

Brittain is painful because he's an outstanding goaltender and Wisconsin is in a weird situation in a few years because they currently have two junior goaltenders. Brittain could have been a kid to come in when Bennett and Goody graduate and start as a freshman.

Brittain is having a very nice season up in Canmore. In addition the offer from Denver, and obviously strong interest from Wisconsin, he was also linked to Nebraska-Omaha.

I'm not sure where this puts Wisconsin in terms of looking for goaltenders. I was really hoping things would pan out with Brittain. I don't see another Brett Bennett transfer situation falling into our lap in two seasons and there aren't a ton of goaltenders that are able to come in and star as freshmen. It will be an interesting situation to keep an eye on.
In a bit of sad/disappointing news, Eau Claire native and current Nebraska-Omaha freshman Andrew McCabe has been cut from the team at mid-season.

McCabe is the older brother of recent Badger commit Jake McCabe who is a defenseman with the USA NTDP U17 squad. Jake, who committed to the Badgers for the 2011 season was heavily recruited by current Nebraska-Omaha head coach Dean Blais. The news of Andrews release from the team comes within weeks of his brothers decision to play for his home town Badgers over his brothers Mavericks.

This is a very interesting story because I don't think I've ever heard of a college hockey player being cut at mid season without some sort of off ice infraction leading to the dismissal. As far as I've heard, this was simply based on performance.

In DPlaya's article, he hints at Andrew being released because his younger brother chose not to go to school there. While I would assume had Jake committed, they wouldn't have cut Andrew, but I can't imagine they would cut him because his brother chose to go to school someplace else. Andrew committed when Mike Kemp was still the head coach, and before his brother blew up on the national scene so it's not like he was brought in as a recruiting chip to land Jake.

Andrew played in 5 games this season for the Mav's and did not record a point. He had a very productive junior career in the NAHL when he was healthy. It will be interesting to see where Andrew ends up. I think he's a very good player and should land on his feet somewhere at the division 1 level again.
Derek Stepan, Jake Gardiner, and John Ramage played in an exhibition game last night with the USA Hockey World Junior preliminary roster against North Dakota in Grand Forks. The best under 20 players in the country defeated the Fighting Sioux 4-2.

Stepan was a big contributor for the red/white/and blue with two assists. Ramage and Gardiner were held off the score sheet. The current roster sits at 27 players and USA will take 22 to the World Junior Tournament in Saskatchewan. In my opinion Gardiner and Stepan are locks and thought Ramage was a long shot. but last night they paired Ramage and Gardiner together as the second pairing. Mark Osiecki is an assistant coach on the team and you have to thing that could play a factor in whether or not Ramage makes the final roster.

Here is the lineup from last night.

12 Chris Brown--19 Jordan Schroeder--26 Jeremy Morin
29 Jerry D'Amigo--21 Derek Stepan--8 Danny Kristo
20 Chris Kreider--10 Tyler Johnson--27 Vinny Saponari
16 Jason Zucker--22 A.J. Jenks--9 Philip McRae
25 Kenny Ryan

24 Cam Fowler--18 Brian Lashoff
28 Jake Gardiner--2 John Ramage
7 John Moore--4 Matt Donovan
5 David Warsofsky--3 Max Nicastro

30 Mike Lee
1 Jack Campbell