October college prospects notebook

By DJ Powers

The first month of the 2006-07 college hockey season featured a little bit of just about everything. Below is a look at back how current NHL prospects fared. All stats as of Oct. 31.

Prospects shine in early tournaments

The Icebreaker Tournament at Miami (OH) University’s brand new Steve Cady Arena kicked off the first of many tournaments in the month of October. Vermont junior goaltender Joe Fallon (CHI) was sensational in goal, stopping 54 of 55 shots against Colgate and Miami respectively to lead the Catamounts to win this year’s Icebreaker and earn MVP honors on Oct. 7. Joining Fallon on the All-Tournament Team were teammate junior Torrey Mitchell (SJ), Miami junior Ryan Jones (MIN) and Denver sophomore defenseman Chris Butler (BUF).

Up in Anchorage, AK at the Nye Frontier Classic, Nebraska-Omaha senior Scott Parse (LA) earned MVP honors after posting two goals to help the Mavericks tie host Alaska-Anchorage in the championship game back on Oct. 14. The Seawolves won the tournament in a shootout.
In Omaha a week later on Oct. 21, Nashville Predators prospect junior Mike Santorelli netted six points on three goals and three assists to lead Northern Michigan to win the Maverick Stampede Tournament over host Nebraska-Omaha. Santorelli was joined by fellow Wildcats junior Matt Siddall (ATL) and senior defenseman Zach Tarkir (NJ) on the All-Tournament Team.

Down in Tampa, FL, senior David Brown (PIT) was brilliant between the pipes for Notre Dame, backstopping the Fighting Irish to win the inaugural Lightning College Hockey Classic Championship on Oct. 28. Brown posted his seventh career shutout with a 28-save performance over Air Force and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. The shutout, the seventh of Brown’s career, also set a new Notre Dame school record.

Tipping of the hats

Phoenix Coyotes prospect and Michigan junior Chad Kolarik had an October to remember posting not one but two hat tricks. He posted them in back-to-back games, first on Oct. 14 in the Wolverines 8-5 win over UConn and again on Oct. 19 in Michigan’s 4-3 win over Miami. Mike Knuble last achieved the feat over a decade ago back in March 1995. Kolarik’s 1.33 goals per game ranks tied for first in the nation and his eight goals rank second in the nation.

Junior Scott McCulloch (CHI) got off to a red-hot start for Colorado College when he netted four goals, including two on the power play in the Tigers 8-1 win over Alabama-Huntsville back on Oct. 7. His five power play goals currently rank tied for first in the nation.

On the same day, sophomore Jonathan Toews (CHI) notched his first career hat trick in North Dakota’s 4-2 win over Quinnipiac. Toews figured in all four UND goals, posting an assist to go along with his hat trick.

Miami junior Nathan Davis (CHI) posted his second career hat trick on Oct. 20 to help lead the RedHawks to a 4-1 win over Michigan. Davis currently leads all collegiate prospects in scoring with 14 points (five goals, nine assists). He is also tied for first in the nation with two short-handed tallies.

Minnesota freshman Kyle Okposo (NYI) netted his first career hat trick on Oct. 28 in the Golden Gophers 8-1 win over Colorado College. Okposo currently ranks tied for second in the nation in rookie scoring with nine points (seven goals, two assists). His seven goals lead all rookies.

St. Louis prospect giving Maine opponents the blues

Towering sophomore goaltender Ben Bishop has been a huge reason behind the Black Bears phenomenal early success. He has backstopped top-ranked Maine to a perfect 6-0-0 record. Maine is the only non-Ivy League school that is currently undefeated. Bishop ranks fourth in the nation in goals against average (1.40) and fifth in save percentage (.944). His outstanding performance earned him the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honor twice during the month.

Barriball’s early arrival a boon for Minnesota

Originally, San Jose Sharks prospect Jay Barriball was slated to arrive in the twin cities in the fall of 2007, but thanks to the Boston Bruins’ signing of Phil Kessel in August, Barriball arrived a year early and the Gopher Nation couldn’t be happier. Barriball has taken the college hockey world by storm and has been a key cog on the nation’s top offensive team that is averaging 5.14 goals per game. Barriball currently leads the nation in rookie scoring with 11 points (six goals, five assists) and ranks third among rookies in points per game (1.57). Barriball has posted at least one point in all seven games thus far and has goals in five of the games.

What maybe even more telling is the comparison of Barriball’s numbers to that of Kessel’s in his first seven games last season with Minnesota. Through the same number of games, Kessel posted six points (three goals, three assists). Barriball doubled Kessel’s goal-scoring output and nearly doubled the number of assists as well as total points.

Pittsburgh prospect Johnson helping the Nanooks get off to a great start

At 4-1-1, the Alaska Nanooks are off to their best start since the 2001-02 season thanks in large part to the stellar goaltending of sophomore Chad Johnson. The Calgary, AB native currently leads the nation in both goals against average (0.98) and save percentage (.959), while sporting a 3-0-1 record. Johnson posted his first career shutout back on Oct. 13 in Alaska’s 4-0 win over Air Force. Most recently, Johnson’s back-to-back wins over Ferris State earned him the CCHA’s Goaltender of the Week honor.

Perkovich on fire

New Jersey Devils prospect and Lake Superior State freshman Nathan Perkovich isn’t just hot, he’s on fire. The Canton, MI native posted his first collegiate goal back on Oct. 14 in the Lakers’ wild 7-6 win over Ohio State. Since then, he has posted a goal in every game for LSSU. His scoring streak currently stands at five games.

Leaders of the blueline pack

Minnesota junior Alex Goligoski (PIT) currently leads the nation in scoring among defensemen with 11 points (three goals, eight assists). His eight assists are also tied for first among defensemen. His four assists in the series sweep of Colorado College on Oct. 27 and 28 earned the Grand Rapids, MN native his first WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honor this season.

A pair of Los Angeles Kings sophomore prospects in Michigan’s Jack Johnson and Minnesota-Duluth’s Josh Meyers currently co-lead the nation in goal scoring among defensemen with four goals apiece. Johnson, who leads all Wolverines defensemen with seven points (four goals, three assists), has points in five of Michigan’s six games thus far. His performance in Michigan’s opening weekend games versus Alabama-Huntsville and UConn earned Johnson his first CCHA Defensive Player of the Week honor of the season.

Meyers currently ranks second on Bulldogs roster in scoring among defensemen with six points (four goals, two assists) and leads the team in goal scoring. All of Meyers’ goals thus far have come on the power play.

Welcome back

San Jose Sharks prospect and Northeastern senior Mike Morris made his return to the Huskies lineup rather quietly. That was until the weekend trip to Michigan on Oct. 27. The Braintree, MA native was stellar in helping the Huskies earned a split in Ann Arbor, posting four points, including a pair of power-play tallies. Northeastern’s game on Oct. 28 was Morris’ 100th career game.

Florida Panthers prospect and Quinnipiac junior Dan Travis is enjoying a revival of sorts since leaving New Hampshire two years ago. In the Bobcats first six games, Travis has posted six points (two goals and four assists). His power play goal and assist back on Oct. 13 were instrumental in helping to lead Quinnipiac to a 3-1 win over Robert Morris.

It’s a first

Union College junior goaltender Justin Mrazek (WSH) posted his first collegiate shutout in the Dutchmen’s 2-0 win over Ferris State back on Oct. 6. His 41-save performance helped earn him the ECACHL’s Goaltender of the Week honor.

Colgate freshman David McIntyre (DAL) notched his first two collegiate goals on Oct. 15 in the Raiders 5-1 win over Bentley College. Both goals came on the power play. The performance helped earn McIntyre his first ECACHL Rookie of the Week honor.

St. Cloud State freshman goaltender Jase Weslosky (NYI) posted his first collegiate win in his first start on Oct. 20. His 28-save performance helped propel the Huskies to a 4-2 win at Minnesota State-Mankato and earned him his first WCHA Rookie of the Week honor.

On the Shelf

Colorado and Chicago prospects have been particularly hard hit by injuries so far.

Ohio State junior Tom Fritsche (COL) is out until at least January (possibly longer) with Ulcerative Colitis. Boston University sophomore Brandon Yip (COL) is out with indefinitely with a dislocated shoulder. Denver senior J.D. Corbin (COL) sustained a broken leg and ligament damage to his ankle during practice on Oct. 16 and could be lost for the duration of the regular season.

Wisconsin sophomore Jack Skille (CHI) suffered a hyper-extended elbow on Oct. 13 versus North Dakota and is out at least until mid-November. North Dakota sophomore Jonathan Toews (CHI) is missed the Oct. 27 weekend series versus St. Cloud State due to an unspecified injury and his status is unknown. Clarkson senior defenseman Michael Grenzy (CHI) suffered a shoulder injury on Oct. 14 versus UMass and is out indefinitely.

Cornell senior defenseman Dan Glover (NJ) has a hip injury and will be out of the Big Red’s lineup until January.

Northern Michigan junior Andrew Sarauer (VAN) suffered a knee injury on Oct. 7 versus Wisconsin and is out indefinitely.

Dartmouth senior defenseman Grant Lewis (ATL) suffered an ankle injury on Oct. 27 versus Harvard and is listed as day to day.

Copyright 2006 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.