UNH Recruits Update: Dec-16-2014
Player Spotlight - Jason O'Neill & Joey CipolloneThe United States Premiere Hockey League's 18U League is in it's second season of operation. Since the inception of the league, hockey enthusiasts have wondered how the USPHL 18U players and teams would stack up against the Tier I Elite League teams from other parts of the US. Over the December 7-9 weekend, six USPHL 18U and 16U teams travelled to Chicago to compete in the first Tier 1/USPHL Showdown. Two UNH Recruits - Jason O'Neill of the Skipjacks Hockey Club 18U team and Joey Cipollone (pronounced Sip-ih-LOAN) of Selects Hockey Academy 18U - competed in the showdown. Each played in 4 games against teams ranked in the top 50 in the MYHockey USA Midget 18U Tier 1 Rankings.
17-year-old Jason O'Neill (DOB: 3/23/97), a 5'11", 170 lbs., left-shot forward and the Skipjacks defeated the LA Jr Kings (4-3), Dallas Stars Elite 18U (4-1), and Chicago Fury (4-3), but lost in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 18U (3-2). O'Neill scored the game-winning goal in the Dallas and Chicago games. Overall, Jason posted 2 goals and an assist over the four games. The Skipjacks' successful play moved them up to #52 in the US 18U rankings.
Joey Cipollone (DOB: 3/29/97) is just 6 days younger than Jason O'Neill and also a left-shot forward (5'10", 165 lbs.). He and the Selects Academy at South Kent School 18U team also won three games in the Showdown defeating the Colorado Thunderbirds (10-1), LA Jr Kings (4-0), and Dallas Stars Elite 18U (3-1). They lost to the St. Louis Blues 18U team (0-3) who were ranked #14 in the country. Cipollone scored a goal and added 3 assists at the Showdown. The Selects Academy moved up to the 11th-ranked 18U team in the country.
The Skipjacks were on the road again this past weekend while the Selects Academy returned home to South Kent, CT. Jason O'Neill and his teammates traveled from Chicago down to Huntsville, Alabama to play the Thunder AAA midget teams. O'Neill missed the Saturday game due to illness but he came up big for the Skipjacks 18U in their victory on Sunday. O'Neill scored two goals during regulation including the game-tying goal with less the 2 seconds remaining. Then he scored in the shootout as the Skipjacks downed the Thunder.
Joey Cipollone and the Selects Academy teams played a pair of home games against the Northwood School from Lake Placid, NY. The match-ups were played at the brand-new Admiral James and Sybil Stockdale Arena on the campus of the South Kent School. The Selects Academy 18U team downed the Northwood School Junior Hockey team 4-0 on Saturday and Cipollone posted an assist. In the 2-2 game on Sunday, Cipollone scored one of the Cardinals' goals.
Both O'Neill and Cipollone are among the top scorers in the USPHL 18U League. Jason O'Neill's 20 points in 15 games makes him the 5th leading scorer in the league. Joey Cipollone has 4 goals and 10 assists in only 8 games. Though he has played in several fewer games than other USPHL 18U players, he is still tied for 7th in assists.
The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the year the player and UNH coaches have targeted for enrollment in UNH. For example, the "2015 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2015 to begin playing for UNH.
|Jason Kalinowski (F)||Bloomington Thunder||USHL||13||0||2||2||12|
|Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||USHL||5||0||0||0||4|
|Joseph Masonius (D)||USA U18 Team||NCAA||11||3||4||7||4|
|Christopher Miller (F)||Junior Bruins||USPHL||13||3||4||7||6|
|Danny Tirone (G)||Junior Bruins||USPHL||18||13W||6L||2.31||.925|
|2015 or '16 Recruits|
|Liam Blackburn (F)||West Kelowna Warriors||BCHL||32||14||35||49||18|
|Liam Darcy (D)||Berwick Academy||NEPSHC||6||1||3||4||-|
|Islanders Hockey Club 18U||USPHL 18U||4||0||0||0||0|
|Patrick Grasso (F)||Des Moines Bucs||USHL||24||5||10||15||8|
|Ara Nazarian (F)||Des Moines Bucs||USHL||24||3||6||9||8|
|Nick Nonis (D)||Powell River Kings||BCHL||31||0||2||2||24|
|Brendan van Riemsdyk (F)||Islanders Hockey Club||USPHL||27||18||6||24||44|
|Marcus Vela (F)||Langley Rivermen||BCHL||28||5||19||24||32|
|Joey Cipollone (F)||Selects Academy 18U||USPHL 18U||8||4||10||14||0|
|Justin Fregona (F)||St. Andrews College||CISAA||5||4||1||5||4|
|Charlie Kelleher (F)||Junior Bruins||USPHL||18||8||13||21||8|
|Aaron O'Neill (F)||Green Bay Gamblers||USHL||10||0||0||0||4|
|Jake Ryczek (D)||Sioux City Musketeers||USHL||23||2||2||4||6|
|Mike Robinson (G)||Boston Jr Rangers||EHL||8||4W||4L||2.35||.937|
|2017 or '18 Recruits|
|Eric Esposito (F)||CT Wolfpack U16 Split||CT HC||34||17||15||32||44|
|Jason O'Neill (F)||Skipjacks Hockey Club 18U||USPHL 18U||15||10||10||20||21|
News & NotesBritish Columbia Hockey League:
~ Marcus Vela and Canada West played their first game in the 2014 World Junior A Challenge last Sunday night. Canada West lost a close game with Denmark 3-2. Vela was the starting right wing and played substantial minutes on Canada West's penalty kill and power play. In a preview of the WJAC, the NHL Central Scouting Service selected 3 "Players to Watch" from each of the 6 international teams. This is what they said about Marcus Vela:
"Key on the power play and penalty kill … plays a responsible two-way game … very strong on the puck … solid on face-offs … brings a physical element … plays with a purpose … good vision … high compete level."~ 2015 or '16 UNH recruit Liam Blackburn competed for, but did not make the Canada West squad for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge. Since returning to the West Kelowna Warriors' lineup, Blackburn has added a goal and 2 assists to his scoring totals. He is still the second leading scorer in the BCHL and his 35 assists are 7 more than the BCHL player with the second most assists.
United States Premiere Hockey League:
~ Both Charlie Kelleher and Christopher Miller have been out of the Junior Bruins' lineup for an extended period. Kelleher had mononucleosis and has not played since November 11th. He was cleared to play on December 8th. Miller was out of the lineup from October 24th until last Thursday with a mild concussion.
Prep School Hockey:
~ 2017 or '18 recruit Eric Esposito, a sophomore at Loomis-Chaffee, is putting up impressive numbers in the 2014-15 New England Prep School season. Esposito has 4 goals and 3 assists in 5 games. As a freshman last season, he scored 5 goals and 6 assists in 28 games. Loomis-Chaffee is undefeated and Eric Esposito is tied for second in scoring on the team.
~ Goalie Mike Robinson, a 2017 recruit, won his first ever New England Prep School game last Wednesday. Robinson faced 35 shots on goal and made 33 saves as Lawrence Academy downed Milton Academy 4-2. According to US Hockey Report, the 6'5", 200 lbs., Robinson is being watched by NHL scouts.