Thunder Bay a Great Hockey Town (Part 1: Minor Hockey)

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For all of you who don’t know Thunder Bay is located in Northwestern Ontario
at the head of Lake Superior. The Lakehead as it is occasionally called has
a population of approximately 113,000. Cities of note around Thunder Bay is
Winnipeg eight hours to the west, St. Paul eight hours to the South and
Sault Ste. Marie eight hours to the northeast.

Now that you know where this place is it time to hear about what it does
well: Play Hockey! Thunder Bay has a good minor hockey system with two
associations managing hockey from Novice to Minor Pee Wee. Lakehead South
and Port Arthur Minor both have AA teams and house league teams at each age.
Once players get to Bantam and Midget age you go into a city wide draft
organized by Thunder Bay Minor Hockey. At Bantam there is house league,
single A and AA, in Midget there is only single A and AA. These teams are
usually very competitive in out of town tournaments. The Midget AA Fort
William Hurricanes captured the Ontario Winter Games Gold Medal in 1998 in
Peterbourgh.

The pride of the towns hockey program has to be the Thunder Bay Kings AAA
program. It consists of three teams at Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget levels.
The Pee Wee program plays in the Ontario Provincial Championships each year
after playing 28 games in the Bantam AA league. This helps to get the kids
AAA experience and develop their skills for the Bantam program. The Bantam Read more»

USHL – Feature Prospect: Rheese Carlson

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Name: Rheese Carlson
Pos: F
Height: 5-9
Weight: 172 lbs.
Born: 11/26/79
Hometown: Duluth, MN
Last Year’s Team: Rochester Mustangs (USHL)

1999-2000 Stats (USHL): (as of 10-9-99)

GP G A Pts PIM
6 2 2 4 0
(2 ppg, 1 gwg)

1998-1999 Stats (USHL):
GP G A Pts PIM
47 12 18 30 24
(3 ppg, 3 gwg, 2 uag)

JH: How would you describe your style of play? is it comparable to any current NHL player?
- I’m darn aggressive.
JH: Who is your favorite NHL player and why?
- Theo Fleury or Paul Kariya because they are aggressive and the way they move up and down the ice. They are fun to watch.

JH: What are your best skills and what are the skills you feel you need to improve on?
- One of my best skill is my ability to make things happen around the net. I need to work on my defensive play and getting everyone else involved.

JH: At what age did you first start playing hockey?
- I started playing when I was two years old.

JH: What colleges are you looking at, would you like to attend or are looking at you?
- I would like to attend something in the WCHA.

JH: Who has been the most important influence on you in your hockey career up to this point?
- My parents.

JH: Who were some of your inspirations growing up and who do you try to mold your game after? Read more»

USHL – Feature Prospect: Jon Waibel

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Name: Jon Waibel
Pos: F
Height: 5-11
Weight: 180 lbs.
Born: 5/19/82
Hometown: Baudette, MN
Last Year’s Team: NTDP Under-17 Team (NAHL)

1999-2000 Stats (USHL): (as of 10-9-99)

GP G A Pts PIM
9 2 6 8 8

1998-1999 Stats (NAHL):
GP G A Pts PIM
41 15 4 19 20
(6ppg, 1shg)

1998-1999 Stats (USHL):
GP G A Pts PIM
14 1 3 4 10

JH: How would you describe your style of play? is it comparable to any current NHL player?
- hard worker, grinder. sorta like john leclair or eric lindros.

JH: Who is your favorite NHL player and why?
- Mike Modano. He plays hard, fast and scores goals. He’s a leader on and off the ice.

JH: What are your best skills and what are the skills you feel you need to improve on?
- My best is my skating. What I need to work on is stick handling and shooting.

JH: At what age did you first start playing hockey?
- I started at the age of four.

JH: What colleges are you looking at, would you like to attend or are looking at you?
- I’m going to be attending the University of Minnesota next year.

JH: Who has been the most important influence on you in your hockey career up to this point?
- My dad. He always pushed me, never let me be satisfied with mediocre. He always pushed me to do the best I could.
Read more»

USHL – Feature Prospect: Joe Krmpotich

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Name: Joe Krmpotich
Pos: F
Height: 5-10
Weight: 188 lbs.
Born: 3/16/80
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
Last Year’s Team: Rochester Mustangs

1999-2000 Stats (USHL): (as of 10-9-99)

GP G A Pts PIM
1 0 0 0 0

1998-1999 Stats (USHL):
GP G A Pts PIM
51 13 15 28 87
(4 ppg)

JH: How would you describe your style of play? is it comparable to any current NHL player?
- I’m an aggressive forward. I go hard to the corners and work hard. Hopefully get the puck out to the front of the net to score some goals.
JH: Who is your favorite NHL player and why?
- Pavel Bure. He’s a very skilled player.

JH: What are your best skills and what are the skills you feel you need to improve on?
- I’m a hard worker. I need to work on my stick handling and shooting the puck a bit more.

JH: At what age did you first start playing hockey?
- I started when I was three.

JH: What colleges are you looking at, would you like to attend or are looking at you?
- I would like to play in the WCHA and if not there, then out East would be nice.

JH: Who has been the most important influence on you in your hockey career up to this point?
- My father. He’s been very supportive of my choices.

JH: Who were some of your inspirations growing up and who do you try to mold your game after?
- The 1980 Olympic team.
Read more»

USHL: Team by Team Recruits

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Mike Chin-RC Des Moines 6’3 200 9-24-80 NOTRE DAME
Noah Clarke-LC Des Moines 5’9 165 6-11-79 COLORADO
Garrett Stafford-RD Des Moines 5’11 170 1-28-80 U.NEW HAMPSHIRE
Erik Jensen-RW Des Moines 6’2 185 9-4-79 WISCONSIN
Peter Fregoe-RW Des Moines 5’10 180 7-17-78 PROVIDENCE
Jim Jackson-LD Des Moines 5’11 175 4-22-80 NORTHERN MICHIGAN
Nick Field-RC Des Moines 5’10 170 11-6-79 FERRIS ST.
Kevin Caudill-LW Des Moines 6’3 170 4-17-79 FERRIS ST.
Matt Shasby-D Des Moines 6’2 180 7-2-80 ALASKA-ANCHORAGE

Patrick Sharp-RW Thunder Bay 6′ 165 12-27-81 VERMONT(2000-01)
Bryson Busniuk-LW Thunder Bay 6’2 170 11-12-79 VERMONT
Aaron MacKenzie-LD Thunder Bay 6′ 180 3-7-81 DENVER
Cory McEachran-G Thunder Bay 6’2 195 10-13-78 ALASKA-ANCHORAGE

Jesse Unklesbay-LC Fargo/S.City 5’10 170 11-24-78 ALASKA-ANCHORAGE

Drew Otten-RW Lincoln 5’11 180 6-27-78 UNDECIDED
Matt Shasby-LD Lin-DM 6’2 175 7-2-80 ALASKA-ANCHORAGE
Brendon Hodge-RW Lincoln 6’3 200 8-29-78 U-MASS AMHERST
Chris Liechtfield-LC Lincoln 5’10 180 1-28-80 FERRIS ST.
Ed Cassin-RD Lincoln 5’11 187 3-22-78 NEBRASKA-OMA

Morgan Roach-RC Sioux City 6’2 200 6-7-78 ALASKA-ANCHORAGE Read more»