USHL Preview 98/99–Central Division

By pbadmin

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
return of snipers Erie Maksimeko, Pete Fregoe and Noah Clarke and the
editions of North American league snipers Nick Field and Kelly Miller
the Bucs scoring will be extremely strong. Des Moines also has two
players from Slovakia in the line up this year Peter Smerk and Peter
Sejna. These players will try and put there mark on the league. If Des
Moines lacks anything it is experience in net.With two rookie goalies it
could make the Bucs a little more committed to there own zone rather
than there high flying scoring attack of previous seasons.

Carlson University of Minnesota-Duluth, Rob Kellogg Iona College, Justin
Shaw U of Massachusetts-Amherst, Mike Stuart Colorado College, Jay
Vancik U of Michigan, Dean Weaster St. Cloud State University, Ryan
Wetterberg Bowling Green State University

PLAYERS RETURNING(6) (goals,assits,pionts, PIM) BJ Abel F 10-24-34 77,
Ryan Branham D 0-1-1 59, Aaron Gill F 11-12-23 6, Tanner Martell F
7-11-18 69, Pete Runkel D 1-4-5 50, Tim Turner F 15-15-30 53, Marc
Ranfranz G 8-12-5 2.98gaa

NEW PLAYERS(17)(last years team, stats were available) Tim Branham D
Danville Wings 2-7-9 71, Rheese Carlson F Duluth East HS, Philip Cohen F
Vermont Academy, Jeremy Downs D Alaska All Stars, Josh Heppner F Warroad
HS, Jermiah Johnson F FM Ice Sharks 0-3-3 77, Joe Krmpotich F Eden
Prairie HS, Byrce Lampman D Rochester VFW, Nate Legler F Lakeville HS,
Nate Markus D Rochester Mayo HS, Tommy Prate F
Suffolk Jr.B, Joel Starke F Mankato West HS, Jeff Taffe D Hastings HS,
Ben Tharp F Hastings HS, Reed Whiting D Rochester John Marshall HS, Adam
Coole G Duluth East HS, Mark Wise G Aspen Avalanche

PREDICTIONS– Rochester missed the play-offs last year by five pionts.
This year with only six players returning should be even tough to get
into the post-season. The scoring will be lead by BJ Abel, Aaron Gill
and Tim Turner. Expect Marc Ranfranz to be on of the top goalies in the
league this season. Rochester will finish fourth in the Central

THUNDER BAY FLYERS -PLAYERS LOST (12) Division I Scholarships- Erik
Adams Denver University, Jesse Hereema Colorado College, Chad McIver
Ferris State, Scott Sutton Northeastern University, Greg Zaporzan U of
Alaska-Anchorage Traded Players- Troy Barnard SJHL, Jean-Paul Nault
Portage MJHL, Ian Sgambelluri Waterloo USHL Too Old to Play- Jayme
Adduono, Chris Heino Division III – Jeff Pradal, Jamie
Minor Released Players- Colin Shaw, Colin Heppner, Steve Bailot

PLAYERS RETURNING(8) (goals,assits,pionts,PIM) Chris Schaeffer F 2-6-8
114, Derrick McIver F 16-9-25 51, Kris Bragnalo F 12-20-32 136, Paolo
Campagnalo F 1-1-2 4, Bryson Busniuk F 6-1-7 41, Shawn Perring D 3-3-6
76, Aaron Piccinin D 2-4-6 297, Tyler Williamson D 1-5-6 4

NEW PLAYERS(13)(last years team, stats were available) Mike Tilson D
Belleville Bulls 1-12-13 78, Murray MaGill F Thunder Bay AAA 48-35-83
40, Aaron Mackenzie D Thunder Bay AAA 5-21-26 36, Jesse Baraniuk D
Thunder Bay AAA 3-26-29 70, Clayton Carson F Quinte Hawks Jr. A, Pat
Sharp F Kanata Valley Jr.A, Chris Sharp F Kanata Valley Jr.A, Dwight
Cormier G Smith Falls Jr.A, Jozef Balef F Slovak Under 17 91-44-135 60,
Libor Ustrnul D Czech Republic Under 17 10-18-28 155, Aaron Grynol F
Fort Francis HS, Ken Ritson G Comets AA, Jeff Miles F Pickering Jr.A

PREDICTIONS-After missing the playoffs the last three season the Flyers
made major off season changes. They were bought by Ted Carlson the most
respected owner in the USHL, he also owns Sioux City team. The first
thing Carlson did was hire former OHL assistant coach Gary Wenzel as
head coach and GM. Wenzel quickly signed former OHL
goalie Dwight Cormier and Soo third round pick from the spring OHL draft
Murray MaGill. Other OHL picks signed were Platers forth rounder Aaron
Mackenzie, fifth round pick of North Bay speedy forward Jeff Miles, plus
two players drafted by the Petes in Pat Sharp and Clayton Carson. The
Flyers team should make the playoffs this season though the will start
slow. The defense is lead by former OHLer Mike Tilson, Air Canada Cup
Regional MVP Aaron Mackenzie and USHL PIM record holder Aaron Piccinin.
The scoring is lead by Kris Bragnalo, Derrick McIver and Canadian Jr.A
players Pat Sharp, Chris Sharp and Jeff Miles. Some players who hope to
have big rookie years and go on to the OHL are Kobe Cup Best Forward
Aaron Grynol, Slovak Under 17 stand out Jozef Balef and 6’5 215pound
Czech d-man Libor Ustrunal. The Flyers will finish third in the Central

NORTH IOWA HUSKIES-PLAYERS LOST(14) Division I Scholarship- Erik Lawson
U of Alaska-Anchorage, Tom Nelson U of Minnesota-Duluth, Pat Gunderson U
of Wisconsin-River Falls, B.J. Anderson Mankato State University, Nate
DiCasmirro St.Cloud State University, Say Phrakonkham Bemdiji State,
Kent Sauer U of Minnesota-Duluth, Mark Phenow Bemidji State, Shaun
Winkler Colorado College, Paul Murpahy U of North Dakota, Dave Almquist
U of Wisconsin-River Falls, Shane
Fukushima U of Wisconsin-River Falls, Jon Cullen St. Cloud State

PLAYERS RETURNING(10)(goals,assits,pionts,PIM) Zane Kantaris F 0-4-4
21,Garrett Rogstad F 9-8-17 49, Matt Medvecz D 3-11-14 48, Jeff Crouse D
1-5-6 32, Troy Kleven F 10-6-16 22, Joe Zuccaro F 2-0-2 6, Peter
Matanich F 2-2-4 2, Matt DeMarchi D 1-2-3 66, Marcus Willy F 9-14-23
112, Dirk Menard G 7-3-2 2.65gaa

NEW PLAYERS– Not Available

PREDICTIONS– North Iowa was the surprise team of the league last year.
Coming out of no where to win the North Division. This years edition of
the Huskies will fall back to the pack if not to the bottom of the
standings. The bright spots should be veteran forwards
Troy Kleven and Marcus Willy. The Huskies finish last in the Central

TWIN CITIES VULCANS– PLAYERS LOST(10) Division I Scholarships- Sam
Cornelius U of Notre Dame, David Graham Mankato State University, Cory
Hessler Bemidji State, T.J. Wasley U of Wisconsin-River Falls, Mike
Pudlick St. Cloud State University, Mike Alt Gustaus Adolphus College,
Erik Wendall U of Minnesota, Eric Wenkus Bemidji State University, Matt
Caven St. Thomas University, Nate Anderson U of Minnesota-Duluth, Mike
Possin U of North Dakota, John Pohl U of Minnesota

PLAYERS RETURNING(8) (goals,assits,pionts,PIM) Jeff Dotson G 6-5-2
4.35gaa, Eric Nelson D 2-8-10 82, Drew Otten F15-21-36 165, Justin
Brown D 2-6-8 30, Matt Elsen F 3-4-7 22, Nick Anthony F 18-19-37 16,
Joe Bourne D 4-6-10 24, Mike Walsh F 15-19-34 213, Steve Rodberg D 2-2-4
32, Jason Jensen G, Mark Birmingham G 5-13-1 4.56gaa, Gordy Collins D

NEW PLAYERS-(9) (last year team, stats were available) Kris Birch F,
Chad Damerow F, Nolan Jindra F, Ryan Johnson D, Ryan Lenton D, Bill
Methven F, Tim Olsen F, Shawn Roed F, Matt Schneider F, Brendhan West F

PREDICTIONS– Twin Cities finished last in the North Division last
season. But every year there is a surprise team. This year its the
Vulcans with 15 returning players there one of the most experienced
teams in the league. In goal the Vulcans are strong with three
goalies coming back, expect Jason Jensen to be the starting goalie. The
defense core is strong with five veterans coming back. The forwards are
lead by Drew Otten, Nick Anthony and Mike Walsh. This trio combined for
48 goals last season and will look to become the top gun forwards of the
USHL. Twin Cities has the worst attendance in the league with only 482
fans showing up on average. There for home games will not be a big
advantage for the Vulcans. But even with this disadvantage the Vulcans
will finish second in the Central Division.

USHL NOTES-The USHL will send a Select team to Olso, Norway, Nov. 4-9 to
defend the crown it captured in 1997. The team will play a three game
round robin tournament against World Junior teams from Germany, Norway
and Switzerland. The team is coached by Sioux City Musketeers Head Coach
Dave Hakstof and Des Moines Buccaneers Head Coach Scott Owens. The
roster will be named by the third week of October.