The USHL hopes to take its place beside other leagues in talent production. Few are aware of this league that often comes before college hockey for many players.
The USHL is not like the junior hockey played throughout Canada. The players in this league (ages 16-20) are not allowed to be paid because they are trying to maintain eligibility for US College Hockey which, by NCAA rules, does not allow a player who was paid to play hockey at any other level of play to participate. The USHL is known as Junior A hockey or “Tier II Juniors”. Many of these players do not expect to get drafted immediately by NHL franchises, although some are, and want to continue to develop their hockey skills in this league and eventually in college level hockey.
Besides maintaining eligibility for college hockey, there are many other reasons players choose to come to the USHL. Some are following coaches who may have coached them in high school before moving into the USHL. Others simply prefer to play hockey in the United States instead of moving North to Canada.
Here is a weekly recap the top players and top teams in the great hockey state of Minnesota.
The Roseau Rams, in my opinion the best hockey team in Minnesota, beat arch-rival Warroad 7-1. This is the first time they swept the Warriors since 1990. Roseau started the game off with 6 first period goals and outshot Warroad 28-4. Warroad coach Carry Eades said, “Roseau played like a college team, and they really put on an outstanding display of hockey. And we were five chairs and a goaltender.”
Warroad should rebound and make it to the State Tournament but will have there hands full with section 8 foes East Grand Forks, Thief River Falls, and Lake of the Woods. Roseau also hammered the East Grand Forks Green Wave 6-0. Josh Olson led the attack for the Rams scoring 3 goals and adding 2 assists. Linemates Jesse Modahl and Mike Klema added a combined 2 goals and 4 assists. The Rams outshot the Green Wave 41-14. Josh Olson, the 6-4 217 lb. star winger for Roseau is being recruited by Michigan Tech and North Dakota and some other WCHA schools have showed some interest. Olson is ranked 139th by the Central Scouting Bureau.
Hastings another strong team in Class AA hammered Tartan 12-2. Jeff Taffe and Dan Welch, both Minnesota Recruits combined for 9 points. Taffe and Welch are also ranked by the Central Scouting Bureau with Taffe at number 29 and Welch at 103.
Each week I will recap the top players and top teams in the great hockey state of Minnesota.
Games January 30th
Saturday was a good day of high school hockey in Minnesota as many of the top teams were in action. The top game of the day was Hill-Murray, #1 in Class AA took on the #3 team in Class AA, in Elk River. Elk River started off the scoring but the Hill-Murray Pioneers came right back to tie it up. Elk River’s star defensemen Paul Martin tallied a power play goal early in the 2nd, but Hill-Murray came back to tie it up 3 minutes later. The 3rd period belonged to the Elk River Elks as they scored 3 goals to seal the victory. Paul Martin scored his 2nd goal of the game and played solid defensive hockey to pace the Elks to victory.
Other action in the Twin Cities area included Armstrong upsetting Class AA #9 Edina 5-1. Edina’s only goal came from Jeff Yurecko, who’s ranked 197 by the Central Scouting Bureau. St. Louis Park, ranked #5 in Class A got hammered 4-0 by Wayzata. Holy Angels stayed undefeated as they beat Prior Lake 5-0 and outshot them 44-13. Blake #6 in Class A beat St. Paul Academy 4-1. Warroad, a traditional power in Class A is in a slight slump as they lost to St. Paul Johnson 4-1. Warroad must get it’s game together for the stretch run in the playoffs.
DES MOINES BUCCANEERS-PLAYERS LOST(10) Division I Scholarships- Jason
Basile Ferris State, Peter Cupouch Harvard, Chris Dube Wisconsin-Eau
Claire, Peter Fregoe Lake Superior State, Jason Nightingale Lake
Superior State, Nick Parillo Merrimack, Jake Searles Bemidji State, Erik
Strund Wisconsin-Eau Clarie, Jeremy Vokes Miami of Ohio Pro Hockey- Bob
PLAYERS RETURNING(9)(goals,assits,pionts, PIM) Mark Krueger F 5-8-13 30,
Erie Maksimenko F 27-23-50 8, Josh Flynn D 6-8-14 18, Pete Fregoe F
31-32-63 51, Noah Clarke F 19-30-49 29, Dan Donnette F 5-11-16 48, Erik
Jensen F 12-14-26 90, Bill Birrenkott D 1-3-4 95, Jim Jackson D 2-12-14
37, Garret Stafford D 6-17-23 89
NEW PLAYERS(14) (last years team, stats were available) Nick Stodgell D
Rochester Mustangs 3-4-7 31, Felipe Larranga D Soo Hawks AAA, Peter
Smerk D Martin Slovakia, Josh Roach F Soo Hawks AAA, KC Caudill D Soo
Indians 15-16-31 98, Rob Novak F Hayward HS, Peter Sejna F Liptovsky
Slovakia, Nick Field F Cleveland NAHL 34-28-62 38, Alex Sawruk F Soo
Indians 6-14-20 65, Kelly Miller F Chicago Freeze 24-18-42 132,
Michael Chin F USA Under 18 9-6-15 12, Jerrid Reinholz F Anoka HS,
Mathew Carney G U.N.H, Frank Berenguer G Long Beach Midgets
PREDICTIONS- The Bucs finished first overall last season with forty
wins, this years edition should win the Central Division. With the Read more»
Waterloo Blackhawks–PLAYERS LOST (8) Division I Scholarships- Matt
Chandler Miami of Ohio University, Mike LaRocca Quinnipiac College, Matt
Murray U of Wisconsin, Phil Osaer Ferris State University, Ben Plester U
of Wisconsin-River Falls,Mike Ritter Mankato State University, Steve
Savre U of Wisconsin-Stout, Kris SwinneyIona College
PLAYERS RETURNING(9) (goals,assits,points PIM) Keith Stanich D 2-6-8
47, Jake Tesar D 0-1-1 123, BJ Stephens F 16-15-31 36, Nick Stipech F
3-7-10 10, Chris Welch F 3-1-4 0, Travis Wood F, Nick Boileau F 10-16-26
10, Ryan Hale F 16-25-41 52, Tom Ogee F 13-18-31 50
NEW PLAYERS(20) (last years team, stats were available) Mike Bujdos D
Great Falls Americans 11-39-50 89, Cullen Flaherty D North Iowa Huskies,
Craig Florkowski D Niagra Scenic 5-7-12 35, Tom Glavin D Canterbury Prep
School 6-12-18, Nate Wright D Alexandria HS, Jeff Rose F Rhode Island
Sharks 7-15-22 78, Derek Seal F Great Northern Sno Devils, Ian
Sgambelluri F Thunder Bay Flyers 11-13024 137, Anthony
Switek F National Academy 90 goals in 70 games over two years, Joe Exter
G Erie Otters 0-4-0, Nate Nomeland G Fargo North HS, Mike Walsh G
Kimball Union Academy 26 games 2.94 gaa, Jeff Adduono F Smith Falls
Jr.A, Brain Canady F Vail AAA 65-44-109,Aaron Davis F Chicago Freeze
25-40-65 91, Rick Kisskeys F Centennial HS, Brain Knaeble F Eden Prairie
HS, Jim Murphy F St.Paul Johnson HS, Rob Plester F Osoyoos
Heat Read more»