Tuesday, April 08, 2014

UNH Recruits Update: April-8-2014

2014 Commit Dylan Chanter
2015 Recruit Danny Tirone


Co-Players of the Week - Dylan Chanter & Danny Tirone

It's playoff time for two of the top amateur, junior hockey leagues in North America - the United States Hockey League and British Columbia Hockey League. The BCHL just completed the round-robin semifinal series and the first round of the USHL Playoffs begins on Friday. The "Co-Players of the Week", among all UNH Recruits, have been chosen for the key roles they played in their team's success. Dylan Chanter helped the Vernon Vipers advance to the BCHL Championship Round and Danny Tirone backstopped the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders' return to the USHL Playoffs.

Dylan Chanter

For 18-year-old defenseman Dylan Chanter, it's been a long season of ups and downs. It began with optimism as he left the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL to play for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL. In July, he told the blog that:
"The primary reasons behind my decision were development, change, and continuing to push the envelope. I felt that Dubuque was going to be a good place to further develop myself as a hockey player with NHL caliber coaching with Matt Shaw as well as a winning attitude."
Then, in just the fifth game of the season, Chanter was the prime figure in a frightening incident that sparked a national debate on the role of fighting in junior hockey. In the midst of a fight with Corey Petrash of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Chanter's helmet came off, he fell backward, hit the back of his head on the ice, and had a seizure lasting two minutes.

To the great relief of the Chanter family and fans of junior hockey, Dylan did not suffer long-term effects from the head trauma. He returned to the Dubuque lineup four weeks later and played 13 more games. Over the holiday break, Chanter decided to return to his native British Columbia to finish out the season in the BCHL. He joined the Vernon Vipers who will host the prestigious RBC Cup in May. The Vipers qualified for the BCHL Playoffs, won the first two rounds against opponents from the Interior Division, and advanced to the semifinals.

In the first game of the round-robin series, the Vipers faced the Victoria Grizzlies, winners of the Island Division Playoffs. Vernon scored 5 goals in the second period and hung on to win 5-4. Chanter helped set up the game-winning goal. Next up was the Mainland Division champs Coquitlam Express. In the first period, Chanter scored what turned out to be the game-winner with an assist from fellow UNH recruit Michael McNicholas. Despite the loss to Vernon, Coquitlam advanced to the BCHL Championship Round by defeating Victoria twice.

As the Vipers prepare for the Championship series against the Express, which begins on Friday, Dylan Chanter received some good news. The NHL Central Scouting Service released its 2014 Final Rankings this morning and Chanter was identified as the #164 North American skater. Dylan had not appeared on any of the CSS's previous lists of NHL prospects. He is eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft this June. Last November, Chanter signed his National Letter of Intent to enroll at UNH next fall and play for the Wildcats.

Danny Tirone

19-year-old goaltender Danny Tirone is having one heck of a rookie season in the USHL. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders just completed the regular season in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and Tirone played in 44 of their 60 games - the third most games of any USHL goalie. With a record of 26 wins and 13 loses, Tirone had the 5th best Save Percentage in the league (.917) and 8th best Goals Against Average (2.63).

Down the stretch, Tirone won 6 of his last 9 games including a 3-1 game against Dubuque which clinched a playoff berth. On the next to last weekend of the regular season, Tirone lead the RoughRiders to 4-3 and 4-1 victories and was named the USHL Goaltender of the Week.

Cedar Rapids entered the final regular season game against Waterloo last Saturday knowing they had already secured home-ice advantage in the playoffs. The Black Hawks, on the other hand, were trying to win the Anderson Cup awarded to the USHL team with the best record. The teams battled to a 2-2 tie in regulation and Tirone made 41 saves. He stopped an additional 10 shots on goal in the overtime period. In the shootout, the first 8 RoughRiders and Black Hawks did not score. Finally, the 9th shootout attempt got past Tirone. In all, he stopped 51 of the 54 shots on goal he faced in the very long game. Danny Tirone is on target to come to UNH in the Fall of 2015.

NOTE
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 "2014 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2014 to begin playing for UNH.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2014 Recruits
Dylan Chanter  (D) Vernon Vipers BCHL 19 0 0 0 16
Playoffs BCHL 15 3 3 6 14
Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 14 1 1 2 21
Adam Clark  (G) Salmon Arm SilverBacks BCHL 30 14W 14L 2.87 .911
Shane Eiserman  (F) Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 53 16 24 40 71
Warren Foegele  (F) St. Andrews College CISAA 14 17 6 23 15
Playoffs CISAA 5 5 4 9 10
St. Andrews College MPHL 13 12 17 29 14
Playoffs MPHL 3 6 5 11 2
John Furgele  (D) Jersey Hitmen USPHL 44 8 29 37 16
Playoffs USPHL 6 0 5 5 0
Cameron Marks  (D) Coquitlam Express BCHL 57 4 24 28 12
Playoffs BCHL 15 0 5 5 4
Michael McNicholas  (F) Vernon Vipers BCHL 56 23 46 69 20
Playoffs BCHL 15 5 10 15 6
Andrew Poturalski  (F) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 60 27 37 64 28
Jason Salvaggio  (F) Indiana Ice USHL 52 15 11 26 39
2015 Recruits
Rich Boyd  (D) Cushing Academy NEPSHC 31 10 30 40 -
Elite 8 NEPSHC 1 0 0 0 -
Jason Kalinowski  (F) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 57 8 23 31 64
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins 18U USPHL 18U 22 4 11 15 2
Playoffs USPHL 18U 2 1 2 3 0
Junior Bruins Premiere USPHL Premiere 2 2 2 4 0
Joseph Masonius  (D) USA U17 Team USHL 22 0 2 2 32
Chris Miller  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 31 5 10 15 10
Playoffs USPHL 6 1 0 1 2
Nationals USA 5 3 1 4 2
Danny Tirone  (G) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 44 26W 13L 2.63 .917
Marcus Vela  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 54 11 11 22 41
Playoffs BCHL 12 1 4 5 6
2015 or '16 Recruits
Liam Darcy  (D) Berwick Academy NEPSHC 19 6 17 23 -
Patrick Grasso  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 59 9 15 24 11
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 32 1 1 2 4
Ara Nazarian  (F) Malden Catholic Mass HS 20 20 27 47 -
Super 8 Mass HS 4 1 8 9 -
Nick Nonis  (D) Governor's Academy NEPSHC 26 6 1 7 -
Brendan van Riemsdyk   (F) Jersey Hitmen 18U USPHL 18U 8 5 8 13 2
Playoffs USPHL 18U 3 0 1 1 12
Christian Brothers Jersey Prep 12 17 13 30 -
Playoffs Jersey Prep 3 2 5 7 -
2016 Recruits
Joey Cipollone  (F) Selects Academy 16U USPHL 16U 27 14 25 39 38
Playoffs USPHL 16U 3 3 3 6 0
Nationals USA 3 2 2 4 2
Justin Fregona  (F) St. Andrews College CISAA 15 7 6 13 24
Playoffs CISAA 5 4 1 5 8
St. Andrews College MPHL 13 9 12 21 16
Playoffs MPHL 3 3 4 7 6

News & Notes

2014 NHL Draft:

~ The NHL Central Scouting Service just released its Final Rankings of prospects for the NHL Draft this June in Philadelphia. Three of the 2014 UNH Recruits were on the list of 210 top North American skaters.

Shane Eiserman - #45 (#39 on Midterm Rankings)
Warren Foegele - #66 (#62 on Midterm Rankings)
Dylan Chanter - #164 (Not on Midterm Rankings)

United States Hockey League:

~ As mentioned above, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders finished in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and will have home-ice advantage in the first round of the USHL Playoffs. Over the final 9 games of the regular season, 2014 UNH recruit Andrew Poturalski, scored 10 goals and 6 assists. For the season, Poturalski was the team's leading scorer with 27 goals and 37 assists. His 64 points placed him in a tie for 6th in USHL scoring and he was the 6th leading goal scorer. The last UNH players to score at this level in the USHL were Jacob Micflikier in the 2002-03 season (31 goals, 67 points) and Phil DeSimone in 2006-07 (26 goals, 73 points). The final game of the regular season - the loss to Waterloo in which fellow UNH recruit Danny Tirone made 51 saves - was Poturalski's 115th USHL game. Andrew's goal in the second period was the 100th point of his USHL career.

~ 2014 commit Shane Eiserman and the Dubuque Fighting Saints finished 3rd in the Eastern Conference and will play Cedar Rapids in the best-of-5 opening round of the playoffs. Eiserman was the 4th leading scorer on the Dubuque squad with 16 goals and 24 assists. Two of his goals were game-winners and he had the best +/- rating on the team (+18). Eiserman signed his National Letter of Intent last November.

~ 2014 recruit Jason Salvaggio and the Indiana Ice finished in first place in the Eastern Conference. In his first full season in the USHL, Salvaggio scored 15 goals, including 4 game-winners, and added 11 assists. The Ice will face UNH recruit Aaron O'Neill and the Green Bay Gamblers in the first round of the playoffs.

~ 2015 or '16 recruit Patrick Grasso came up big in the next to last game of the Des Moines Buccaneers' season. Grasso fired 5 shots on goal, scored the game-winning goal, and earned the #2 Star. In his first full season in the USHL, the 17-year-old Grasso posted 9 goals and 15 assists and was the Bucs' 5th leading scorer. Des Moines did not make the USHL Playoffs.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ As I described above, the Vernon Vipers defeated the Victoria Grizzlies and Coquitlam Express in the BCHL Semifinal round. In the 6-1 victory over Coquitlam, 2014 recruit Michael McNicholas scored the Vipers' 4th goal and assisted on the game-winner. So far in the playoffs, McNicholas is tied for 6th in scoring (15 points) and tied for 4th in assists (10).

~ 2014 recruit Cameron Marks and the Coquitlam Express will face the Vernon Vipers in the best-of-7 Championship Round beginning this Friday. Marks, who turns 19 tomorrow, is in his second BCHL season. The defenseman has 5 assists so far in the playoffs.

USA Hockey National Championships:

~ Joey Cipollone - UNH's newest recruit - and the Selects Hockey Academy/South Kent School U16 team travelled to Green Bay, Wisconsin for the U16 National Championship last week. The team, also called the Central Connecticut Capitals, split the first two games in the opening round, pool play. In the all-important third game against the Buffalo Regals, Cipollone set up the go-ahead goal midway through the third period with a pretty cross-slot pass to Alexandre Limoges. The Regals tied the score with less than 3 minutes in regulation. Neither team scored in the overtime period. Buffalo won the shootout ending the Selects Academy's quest for the National Championship.

~ 2015 recruit Chris Miller and the Junior Bruins Premiere team travelled to Simsbury, CT for the USA Hockey Tier III National Championships. The Jr. Bruins won all 5 games on their way to the Championship and Miller scored 3 goals and an assist.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Joey Cipollone Commits to UNH

17-year-old Forward Joey Cipollone


It's been a month of milestones for Joey Cipollone (pronounced Sip-ih-LOAN) of the South Kent School (Connecticut) and Selects Hockey Academy team. The first came in early March at the United States Premiere Hockey League U16 Playoffs held at Merrimack College. Cipollone, a 5'9", 155 lbs. forward, and his Selects Hockey Academy teammates finished the USPHL U16 regular season in first place with a perfect record of 29-0-0. Cipollone was the team's second leading scorer with 14 goals and 25 assists. He was selected to the USPHL U16 All-Star team in January.

In the USPHL Playoffs, the Cardinals maintained their perfect season, winning all three games including the 5-3 victory over the Jersey Hitmen in the Championship Game. Cipollone scored the Selects' first goal and assisted on the game-winner. Overall, his three goals in three playoff games tied him for the USPHL lead and he was tied for 2nd in scoring with 6 points.

Last Saturday was another memorable day for Joey Cipollone. On his 17th birthday, he accepted a verbal offer from the University of New Hampshire with the goal of enrolling in the Fall of 2016 and playing for the Wildcats in the 2016-17 season. Cipollone becomes the fourth South Kent alum to have committed to UNH. Graduating senior forward Jeff Silengo and former goalie Tyler Scott played at South Kent. Also, 2014 recruit Jason Salvaggio was the Alternate Captain on the 2012-13 Selects Hockey Academy U18 team. Other notable alumni of the South Kent School are Hobey Baker top-10 finalist Shayne Gostisbehere, a junior at Union College and 3rd Round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers and Anthony Florentino, a freshman at Providence College and 5th Round pick of the Buffalo Sabres.

Winning your league championship, having a birthday, and accepting a scholarship offer to play college hockey. That's an impressive list of accomplishments for one month. But Joey Cipollone isn't done yet. He and his Selects U16 teammates have just arrived in Green Bay, Wisconsin to compete in the USA Hockey Tier I National Championships. Last November, the South Kent School's U16 Team earned a berth in the National Championship by winning the New England Regional Championship. They downed the rival Connecticut Wolfpack in overtime.

This is Joey Cipollone's second year playing for the Selects Hockey Academy U16 team. In the 2011-12 season, Cipollone, who is from Purchase, New York, played for the Connecticut Wolfpack Bantam Major team. In 40 regular season games, he scored 35 goals and 36 assists and was selected to the Atlantic Youth Hockey League All-Star Team. Interestingly, 2015 UNH Recruit Joseph Masonius also played in that All-Star Game representing the New Jersey Rockets.

I had an opportunity to interview Joey, via email, about his background, commitment to UNH, and future plans:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?
Joey Cipollone: Thank you, it is definitely an exciting time right now for both my family and me. Deciding to commit to a school is a significant decision, but the University of New Hampshire gave me countless reasons to trust this is the right choice for me and will be a great fit.
The main reason I chose UNH is because it will offer me many opportunities to succeed, not just on the ice, but in the classroom as well. The hockey program, with its countless accomplishments, speaks for itself. And, the style of the UNH hockey team as a whole will fit my game perfectly.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs were you considering?
Joey Cipollone: Over the past year I visited several schools, but my decision ultimately came down to UNH and Providence College. I'm confident this coaching staff and program will take my game to the next level, and know that I will be getting a great education at the same time.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for you to enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?
Cipollone: Yes, right now the plan is for me to play one year of junior hockey after my senior year, and then enroll for the fall of 2016.

Lowry: You just completed a very successful season with the Selects Academy winning the USPHL 16U Championship. At this stage in your hockey development, what are the strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?
Cipollone: I think one of my strong points is my ability to see the ice and create plays. I try to think the game when I'm out there but I also think I play well below the goal line. An area that I put continuous effort and work into is my skating. Being one of the smaller players, I need to have the speed and strength to get around guys bigger than me. This summer I'm planning on making huge strides in this area.

Lowry: Your Selects Academy U16 team won the New England Regional Championship last November and is set to compete for the USA Hockey National Championship in Green Bay, Wisconsin later this week. What does it mean to compete in and possibly win the U16 National Championship?
Cipollone: The last time a moment as big as this occurred for me was when I was playing in the 2010 Nationals in Buffalo as a member of the Westchester Express hockey program. We ended up losing in the semifinal game, which was somewhat disappointing giving the great amount of effort our team put forth.
I am so excited and grateful to have yet another opportunity at winning a national championship. It means a lot to our team to make it to nationals, but we're not satisfied with just that. We're going out strong to win the whole thing, and I know I speak for the whole team when I say that anything less will be a great disappointment.

Lowry: Do you plan on returning to Selects Academy to play next season?
Cipollone: As of right now, I have no future plans of leaving Selects Academy. It is a great place to develop as a player and receive a strong education as well.

Lowry: Do you anticipate playing junior hockey before coming to UNH? If so, what leagues would you consider playing in?
Cipollone: That is the plan for me in the future. One year of junior hockey will be a great way to prepare and develop before I head to UNH. The two leagues that I would consider are the USHL and the BCHL.

Lowry: In your time at the South Kent School, what have been your academic strengths?
Cipollone: My biggest academic strength is my work ethic. Even when an assignment is difficult, I put all of my energy into working hard to complete it well. Throughout my whole life though, math always came easily to me and is the subject I enjoy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

UNH Recruits Update: March-25-2014

2014 UNH Wildcat
Michael McNicholas

Player of the Week - Michael McNicholas

In the just completed 2013-14 UNH season, the four senior forwards - Kevin Goumas, Nick Sorkin, Jeff Silengo, and Dalton Speelman - scored a total of 54 goals and 71 assists. That's a hefty amount of offensive output that will need to be replaced. Fortunately, the 2014 recruiting class includes several high-scoring forwards who could help fill the gap as freshmen next season. 20-year-old Michael McNicholas is one of them.

#11 Michael McNicholas
In his final season with the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL, McNicholas has proven to be a high quantity and high quality scorer. McNicholas was the 5th highest scorer (69 points) in the BCHL regular season and was tied for third in assists (46 assists). Three of his 23 goals were game-winners. In the Vipers' quest to win the Fred Page Cup in the BCHL Playoffs, McNicholas is stepping up again.

Vernon eliminated the West Kelowna Warriors in the opening round of the Playoffs and faced the Penticton Vees in the second round. After the Vipers fell behind the Vees two games to one in the best-of-seven series, McNicholas lead the team to a series win. In Game 4 last Tuesday night, fellow UNH Recruit Dylan Chanter set up McNicholas for the game-winning goal.

The Vipers won a tightly-contested Game 5 last Thursday. McNicholas tied the game 1-1 on a first period goal. After Vernon fell behind 2-1, McNicholas assisted on the game-tying and game-winning goals. The Vees tied the series 3-3 on Friday night setting up an exciting Game 7.

Penticton lead Vernon 3-1 entering the final period of Game 7. McNicholas helped the Vipers draw to within a goal by setting up Colton Sparrow with a precise cross-slot pass:



At the end of regulation, Vernon and Penticton were tied 3-3. Just over two minutes into overtime, Michael McNicholas one-timed an errant clearing effort past the Vees goalie. Scoring a game-winning goal in overtime of a Game 7 is a rare achievement:



For his accomplishments in the playoff series, McNicholas was named the BCHL Player of the Week. It was the second time this season he has earned the honor. With their victory, the Vipers have advanced to the BCHL Semifinals - a Round Robin series with the Coquitlam Express and Victoria Grizzlies.

NOTE
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 "2014 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2014 to begin playing for UNH.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2014 Recruits
Dylan Chanter  (D) Vernon Vipers BCHL 19 0 0 0 16
Playoffs BCHL 13 2 2 4 10
Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 14 1 1 2 21
Adam Clark  (G) Salmon Arm SilverBacks BCHL 30 14W 14L 2.87 .911
Shane Eiserman  (F) Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 48 14 23 37 71
Warren Foegele  (F) St. Andrews College CISAA 14 17 6 23 15
Playoffs CISAA 5 5 4 9 10
St. Andrews College MPHL 13 12 17 29 14
Playoffs MPHL 3 6 5 11 2
John Furgele  (D) Jersey Hitmen USPHL 44 8 29 37 16
Playoffs USPHL 6 0 5 5 0
Cameron Marks  (D) Coquitlam Express BCHL 57 4 24 28 12
Playoffs BCHL 12 0 5 5 2
Michael McNicholas  (F) Vernon Vipers BCHL 56 23 46 69 20
Playoffs BCHL 13 4 9 13 6
Andrew Poturalski  (F) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 56 24 34 58 20
Jason Salvaggio  (F) Indiana Ice USHL 47 14 10 24 33
2015 Recruits
Rich Boyd  (D) Cushing Academy NEPSHC 31 10 30 40 -
Elite 8 NEPSHC 1 0 0 0 -
Jason Kalinowski  (F) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 53 7 22 29 62
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins 18U USPHL 18U 22 4 11 15 2
Playoffs USPHL 18U 2 1 2 3 0
Junior Bruins Premiere USPHL Premiere 2 2 2 4 0
Joseph Masonius  (D) USA U17 Team USHL 19 0 1 1 26
Chris Miller  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 31 5 10 15 10
Playoffs USPHL 6 1 0 1 2
Danny Tirone  (G) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 40 24W 12L 2.64 .916
Marcus Vela  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 54 11 11 22 41
Playoffs BCHL 12 1 4 5 6
2015 or '16 Recruits
Liam Darcy  (D) Berwick Academy NEPSHC 19 6 17 23 -
Patrick Grasso  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 54 8 13 21 9
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 31 1 1 2 4
Ara Nazarian  (F) Malden Catholic Mass HS 20 20 27 47 -
Super 8 Mass HS 4 1 8 9 -
Nick Nonis  (D) Governor's Academy NEPSHC 26 6 1 7 -
Brendan van Riemsdyk   (F) Jersey Hitmen 18U USPHL 18U 8 5 8 13 2
Playoffs USPHL 18U 3 0 1 1 12
Christian Brothers Jersey Prep 12 17 13 30 -
Playoffs Jersey Prep 3 2 5 7 -
2016 Recruits
Justin Fregona  (F) St. Andrews College CISAA 15 7 6 13 24
Playoffs CISAA 5 4 1 5 8
St. Andrews College MPHL 13 9 12 21 16
Playoffs MPHL 3 3 4 7 6

News & Notes

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ As I mentioned above, 2014 recruit Dylan Chanter assisted on Michael McNicholas' game-winning goal in Game 4 of the Vernon-Penticton playoff series. Tyler Lowey of the Vernon Morning Star described it as "a gorgeous Sedin-like slap-pass". Lowey also described one of defenseman Chanter's body-checks from earlier in the period:
"Dylan Chanter delivered the biggest hit of the night. Serratore got caught with his head down in the neutral zone. Chanter stepped up and obliterated him. That crushing blow energized a mellow Viper crowd."
The 6'3", 213 lbs. Chanter has scored 2 goals and 2 assists in the BCHL playoffs so far.

~ 2014 recruit Cameron Marks and the Coquitlam Express eliminated Marcus Vela and the Langley Rivermen from the BCHL Playoffs last Friday night. In the 5-3 victory in Game 6, Marks assisted on two goals including the game-winner. The 6'0", 175 lbs. defenseman has tallied 5 playoff assists.

~ 17-year-old Marcus Vela, a 2015 recruit, finished his first ever BCHL playoffs with a goal and 4 assists in 12 games.

United States Hockey League:

~ Andrew Poturalski is another one of the high-scoring forwards coming to UNH next fall. Last week, he continued his torrid scoring pace and helped the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders clinch a berth in the USHL Playoffs. Over the last 5 games, Poturalski has scored 7 goals and 3 assists.

Last Wednesday, Poturalski scored two goals, including the game-winner, and added an assist in the 7-3 win over the Chicago Steel. On Saturday night, the RoughRiders clinched a playoff berth by downing the Dubuque Fighting Saints 3-1. Poturalski scored Cedar Rapids' 3rd goal and assisted on the game-winning goal. With 4 games remaining in the regular season, Poturalski is tied for 5th in USHL scoring (58 points) and tied for 6th in goals (24).

~ Cedar Rapids goalie Danny Tirone has been a key to the RoughRiders' success. He has won 24 games overall and 4 out of his last 5 games down the stretch run. Tirone is on target to come to UNH in the Fall of 2015.

~ Another productive forward coming to UNH next season is Shane Eiserman. On Sunday night, Eiserman assisted on the Dubuque Fighting Saints' game-winning goal against the Fargo Force. The 2-1 victory clinched a playoff berth for the Saints.

~ 2015 or '16 recruit Aaron O'Neill scored his first USHL goal Saturday night as the Green Bay Gamblers topped the Tri-City Storm 5-2. O'Neill appeared to score a second goal at the end of the first period but the clock had just barely run out. Green Bay is battling the Muskegon Lumberjacks for the 4th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference of the USHL. With 5 games remaining, the two teams are tied.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

UNH Hockey Competes Until the End

Justin Agosta
Kevin Goumas
Eric Knodel
Jeff Silengo
Nick Sorkin
Dalton Speelman
Jeff Wyer


BOSTON, MA - After the seniors left the ice for the last time as UNH Wildcats, Head Coach Dick Umile conveyed what the UNH Hockey community knew to be true:
“I thought our team competed, and played hard. It just didn’t happen. The difficult part is it’s a team with great chemistry. We wanted to keep going. Not only were they winning and playing hard, but we were enjoying it and having fun doing it. It’s tough for the season to end.”
That chemistry and "never say die" compete level were instilled in the 2013-14 UNH team under the leadership of the its 7 seniors. Each raised their on-ice production in their final season to new levels:

Justin Agosta - 6 goals, 20 assists. (Previous Best: 14 points as a Junior)
Kevin Goumas - 19 goals, 33 assists. (Previous Best: 42 points as a Junior)
Eric Knodel - 7 goals, 22 assists. (21 points as a Junior)
Jeff Silengo - 8 goals, 7 assists. (10 pts as Junior)
Nick Sorkin - 20 goals, 20 assists. (35 pts as Sophomore)
Dalton Speelman - 7 goals, 11 assists. (16 pts as Sophomore)
Jeff Wyer - 7 games, 2.80 Goals Against Average, .887 Save%. (Previous Best: 4 games as a Junior)

The stories you may read about UMass-Lowell downing UNH 4-0 and winning their second consecutive Hockey East Championship will highlight the River Hawks' clamp-down defense and superb goal-tending by Connor Hellebuyck. And rightfully so. UNH generated some quality scoring opportunities but could not get one past Hellebuyck.

Here's a couple of UNH's best bids from the first period. The first shows one of Hockey East's top forward lines - Sorkin-Goumas-Willows - generating a couple chances. The second shows freshman Tyler Kelleher and senior Dalton Speelman breaking in on Hellebuyck ahead of the Lowell defenders. In each case, as in all other attempts, the River Hawks smothered the opportunity.





With UMass-Lowell ahead 4-0 after two periods, the energy level among the large pockets of UNH fans in the TD Garden was understandably subdued. To their credit, UNH competed hard in the final stanza, battling for pucks, backchecking, and entering the Lowell zone with speed. All of the seniors, including Jeff Wyer in goal in the final minutes, lead the way, logging major minutes.

In the waning minutes, the Nick Sorkin-Kevin Goumas-Matt Willows line would make one final attempt, but it was not to be.



The 7 UNH seniors, as players and people, will be missed. Replacing their production will be challenging for the 2014-15 team. But hope, at varying levels, springs eternal. Veterans will step up and a talented crop of freshmen will fill in. This season went by in a flash. So will the off-season.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

UNH Outplays Providence 3-1, Advances to Hockey East Championship Game

Kevin Goumas Pots 2 Goals
Justin Agosta Nets Game-Winner


BOSTON, MA - Sometimes "Do or Die" is a good thing. UNH's only chance at qualifying for the 2014 NCAA Playoffs is to win or go home. For a couple weeks now, they've known their overall record would not earn them an invitation to the NCAA's. Either win the Hockey East Championship or the season ends.

Winning the Lamoriello Trophy, and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, has eluded UNH since 2003 when they defeated Boston University on a Tyson Teplitsky goal in overtime. Since then, the Wildcats have played in the Hockey East Championship game twice, in 2005 and 2007, each time losing to Boston College. With their persuasive 3-1 win over Providence College on Friday night, UNH earned the opportunity to win the Championship on Saturday against UMass-Lowell.

It's not that UNH has been unsuccessful since 2003. They have earned an invitation to the NCAA Playoffs 9 out of the last 10 seasons on the strength of their regular season record. Over that stretch, they were nationally ranked anywhere from #3 to #11 when the field for the NCAA's was announced. But this year is different. UNH is currently ranked #18 in the nation and that won't be good enough to get into the 16-team tournament. So, it's been do or die.

The first hurdle was to win the Hockey East Quarterfinal Series against a persistent, pesky Northeastern squad. After winning the first game 1-0 on a goal by freshman Tyler Kelleher and being edged 5-4 in Game 2, UNH played their final game of the season at the Whittemore Center last Sunday. Senior forward Kevin Goumas played one of the most energized games of his successful UNH career scoring a hat trick as UNH won 5-4 and eliminated Northeastern from the Hockey East Tournament. On to the semifinals at TD Garden for the first time since 2011.

In the post-game press conference following UNH's 3-1 victory over Providence, Kevin Goumas said:
“I’m just going out there and trying to make sure it’s not my last game, and leave it all out on the ice. That’s been on my mind the last week or so.”
The Second-Team Hockey East All-Star figured out a way to beat Providence's Jon Gillies, one of the premiere goalies in college hockey. Goumas used his explosive speed and nose for the net to beat Gillies twice on wraparound goals. Senior Justin Agosta, a stalwart on defense all season, scored the game-winning goal on a wrist shot from the point midway through the second period. In the final stanza, only one got past junior goalie Casey DeSmith as the UNH defense clamped down.

Last season, Providence College eliminated UNH from the Hockey East Tournament in the tightly-contested Quarterfinals. A year later, facing elimination and the end of their season, the Wildcats beat the 9th-Ranked Friars. Their playing life goes on.

1st Period

UNH outshoot Providence 9-5 as each team played conservatively.

2nd Period

12:55 - Kevin Goumas Scores Short-Handed Goal - UNH 1, Providence 0
~ With Justin Agosta in the penalty box for a cross-checking penalty, Goumas gathered a loose puck in the top of the slot in the UNH end. He raced through center ice moving to the right wing, skated around a Providence defender then behind the PC net. On a nifty maneuver, Goumas drew the puck to his backhand and beat Gillies on a wraparound shot.



6:29 - Justin Agosta Game-Winning Goal - UNH 2, Providence 0
~ Matt Willows dug the puck off the half-wall to Gillies right and fed a cross-ice pass to Justin Agosta just inside the PC blue line. Agosta's wrist shot through a multi-player screen deflected off the heel of a PC defenders skate and into the net.




00:01 - Kevin Goumas Wraps It Up - UNH 3, Providence 0
~ With the final seconds of the second period winding down, Goumas again carried the puck end-to-end and fired a shot on Gillies. After the save, the puck went behind the net, Nick Sorkin fed it to Goumas, and he scored his second wraparound goal of the game.


3rd Period

16:38 - Providence Scores Lone Goal - UNH 3, PC 1
~ Providence pressed UNH in the final period outshooting them 12-5 but only got one past Casey DeSmith.

Final 2 Minutes - Casey DeSmith Closes the Door - UNH 3, PC 1
~ Needing 2 goals to tie, Providence pulled Gillies with two minutes remaining. With the capable support of UNH defensemen Eric Knodel and Brett Pesce, DeSmith made a number of key saves.



Hockey East Championship Game

In the other Hockey East Semifinal, UMass-Lowell defeated Notre Dame 4-0. UNH will face Lowell in the Hockey East Championship Game at 7:00, Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston. No doubt, the Wildcats will have the loss to Lowell in last season's NCAA Northeast Regional final in the back of their minds. Front and center will be another do or die game.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

UNH's Goumas, Knodel Named Hockey East All-Stars

Kevin Goumas
Eric Knodel


On the eve of UNH's first appearance in the Hockey East Semifinals since 2011, two of it's leaders have been named Hockey East All-Stars. At the Hockey East Annual Banquet, held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, seniors Kevin Goumas and Eric Knodel were honored as Hockey East Second-Team All-Stars. Each season, the Hockey East Head Coaches select the All-Stars.

Kevin Goumas

Last season, as a junior at UNH, Kevin Goumas was named to the Hockey East Honorable Mention All-Star squad. The speedy forward scored 10 goals and 32 assists and helped the Wildcats advance to the Elite Eight of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

This season, Goumas potted 17 goals, dished out 33 assists, and lead UNH in scoring. He was the 5th leading scorer in all of Division I NCAA Hockey and the 3rd leading scorer in Hockey East. Goumas' 33 assists tied him for 4th highest in Division I and he was the 3rd highest in Hockey East. Down the stretch, with UNH battling for a home-ice berth in the Hockey East Quarterfinals, Goumas showed his prowess as a big-game player. Over the final 11 games of the regular season, he scored 4 goals and 14 assists. In a must-win game against Merrimack College on the last night of the regular season, Goumas lead the Wildcats to a 5-2 victory, scoring a goal and 3 assists.

In the just completed Hockey East Quarterfinal Series, UNH held the home-ice advantage in the best-of-three round for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. The Wildcats won the first game 1-0 and Northeastern University forced a third game with a 5-4 win on Saturday night. On Sunday, UNH faced a do or die situation. Win and they would advance to the semifinals, lose and their season was over. Once again, Kevin Goumas came up huge scoring a hat trick and adding an assist as UNH downed Northeastern 5-4.

With at least one game remaining in his UNH career, Kevin Goumas has secured his place as one of the top-scoring Wildcats of all time. He recently became the 14th player in UNH Hockey history to post 100 or more assists. Goumas was the first player to reach this goal since Darren Haydar scored his 102nd assist back in the 2001-02 season. A number of exceptional UNH players such as Sean Collins (2001-2005: 96 assists), Lanny Gare (1999-2003: 94), Jacob Micflikier (2003-2007: 92), Collin Hemingway (1999-2003: 81), and Phil DeSimone (2007-2011: 79) did not reach the 100 assist milestone.

In all, Goumas has scored 42 goals and 102 assists for a total of 144 points. He's the first UNH player to reach this lofty level since Jacob Micflikier (2003-2007) scored his 150th point. Goumas' 144 points puts him ahead of such notables as Lanny Gare (1999-2003: 142 points), Preston Callander (2001-2005: 130), Bobby Butler (2006-2010: 121), Matt Fornataro (2004-2008: 118), and Steve Saviano (2001-2005: 117).

Here's a highlight reel of some of Kevin Goumas' outstanding plays dating back to a game against the University of Michigan in early October of this season:



Eric Knodel

In his third season in the UNH lineup, senior captain Eric Knodel has emerged as one of the premiere defenseman in Hockey East. In retrospect, it's difficult to imagine but Knodel did not suit up for any games as a freshman. The 6'6", 225 lbs. draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs scored 7 goals and 21 assists this season.

As a key point man on UNH's first power play unit, Knodel scored 5 of his 7 goals on the power play. He is tied for 2nd in scoring among all Hockey East defensemen and is first in assists. A defensive stalwart, he is also first in blocked shots with 95. In all, Knodel scored 20 goals and 40 assists in his three seasons.

These video highlights show some of Eric Knodel's power play goals and assists as well as his defensive skills:



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

UNH Recruits Update: March-18-2014

Andrew Poturalski
2014 UNH Commit

Player of the Week - Andrew Poturalski

Last season, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders missed the United States Hockey League playoffs for the first time in over a decade. In his first season with the team, Andrew Poturalski, was the team's third leading scorer with 12 goals and 21 assists. He had originally targeted the Fall of 2013 to move on from Cedar Rapids and enroll at the University of New Hampshire. But just before the final game of the 2012-13 campaign, Poturalski announced his decision to come back to Cedar Rapids for one more season to be part of an improved RoughRider team.

It's now a year later, Cedar Rapids has an excellent chance of returning to the USHL Playoffs, and Poturalski has been a key element of the RoughRiders' success. With 7 games remaining in the regular season, Cedar Rapids is in second place in the Eastern Conference of the USHL, 9 points ahead of the fourth place teams. Since the top 4 teams qualify for the playoffs, the RoughRiders are in a strong position.

Over the weekend, Andrew Poturalski lead Cedar Rapids to two consecutive wins over the Team USA Under-18 squad. In the Friday game, Poturalski scored a hat trick which included the game-winning goal of the 5-2 win. For his efforts, he was awarded the #1 Star of the Game.

On Saturday, Cedar Rapids was trailing Team USA by 2 goals with less than two minutes to play. Coach Carlson pulled his goalie for an extra attacker and Poturalski got the team to within one goal with just 75 seconds remaining in regulation. The RoughRiders went on to win in a shootout. Poturalski is the team's leading scorer with 21 goals and 31 assists. He is currently tied for 8th in USHL scoring and is 7th in assists.

NOTE
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 "2014 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2014 to begin playing for UNH.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2014 Recruits
Dylan Chanter  (D) Vernon Vipers BCHL 19 0 0 0 16
Playoffs BCHL 9 2 1 3 8
Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 14 1 1 2 21
Adam Clark  (G) Salmon Arm SilverBacks BCHL 30 14W 14L 2.87 .911
Shane Eiserman  (F) Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 45 14 21 35 71
Warren Foegele  (F) St. Andrews College CISAA 14 17 6 23 15
Playoffs CISAA 5 5 4 9 10
St. Andrews College MPHL 13 12 17 29 14
Playoffs MPHL 3 6 5 11 2
John Furgele  (D) Jersey Hitmen USPHL 44 8 29 37 16
Playoffs USPHL 6 0 5 5 0
Cameron Marks  (D) Coquitlam Express BCHL 57 4 24 28 12
Playoffs BCHL 9 0 2 2 2
Michael McNicholas  (F) Vernon Vipers BCHL 56 23 46 69 20
Playoffs BCHL 9 1 5 6 6
Andrew Poturalski  (F) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 53 21 31 52 16
Jason Salvaggio  (F) Indiana Ice USHL 45 13 10 23 31
2015 Recruits
Rich Boyd  (D) Cushing Academy NEPSHC 31 10 30 40 -
Elite 8 NEPSHC 1 0 0 0 -
Jason Kalinowski  (F) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 50 6 21 27 60
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins 18U USPHL 18U 22 4 11 15 2
Playoffs USPHL 18U 2 1 2 3 0
Junior Bruins Premiere USPHL Premiere 2 2 2 4 0
Joseph Masonius  (D) USA U17 Team USHL 19 0 1 1 26
Chris Miller  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 31 5 10 15 10
Playoffs USPHL 6 1 0 1 2
Danny Tirone  (G) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 37 22W 11L 2.67 .915
Marcus Vela  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 54 11 11 22 41
Playoffs BCHL 9 1 4 5 6
2015 or '16 Recruits
Liam Darcy  (D) Berwick Academy NEPSHC 19 6 17 23 -
Patrick Grasso  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 52 8 12 20 9
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 29 0 1 1 4
Ara Nazarian  (F) Malden Catholic Mass HS 20 20 27 47 -
Super 8 Mass HS 4 1 8 9 -
Nick Nonis  (D) Governor's Academy NEPSHC 26 6 1 7 -
Brendan van Riemsdyk   (F) Jersey Hitmen 18U USPHL 18U 8 5 8 13 2
Playoffs USPHL 18U 3 0 1 1 12
Christian Brothers Jersey Prep 12 17 13 30 -
Playoffs Jersey Prep 3 2 5 7 -
2016 Recruits
Justin Fregona  (F) St. Andrews College CISAA 15 7 6 13 24
Playoffs CISAA 5 4 1 5 8
St. Andrews College MPHL 13 9 12 21 16
Playoffs MPHL 3 3 4 7 6

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ One of the teams Cedar Rapids is battling with for a USHL Playoff berth is the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Last Wednesday the two teams faced off in Cedar Rapids. 2014 UNH commit Shane Eiserman had a huge game. In the 4-3 Dubuque win, Eiserman fired 8 shots on goal and scored twice. He earned the #1 Star.

British Columbia Hockey League:

The four UNH Recruits participating in the BCHL Playoffs, and their teams, have advanced to the second round:
~ Dylan Chanter, Michael McNicholas and the Vernon Vipers eliminated the West Kelowna Warriors 4 games to 2. The Vipers trail the Penticton Vees 2-1 in the 2nd Round.
~ Cameron Marks and the Coquitlam Express downed Prince George Spruce Kings 4-2. In Round 2, the Express are playing Marcus Vela and the Langley Rivermen. Langley eliminated the Surrey Eagles 4-2. Coquitlam leads Langley 2 games to 1 in the second round.

United States Premiere Hockey League:

~ In the Premiere Division Championship series, Chris Miller and the Junior Bruins defeated John Furgele and the Jersey Hitmen 2 games to none. In the final game, the Jr. Bruins trailed the Hitmen 2-0 early in the first period. Miller, who is committed to UNH for the Fall of 2015, scored the Jr. Bruins' first goal. The Jr. Bruins went on to win 4-2 and claim the first ever USPHL Premiere Division Championship.

Super 8 Massachusetts High School Championship:

~ After eliminating Catholic Memorial in the quarterfinals of the Super 8 Tournament, Ara Nazarian and the Malden Catholic Lancers faced Springfield Catholic in the semifinals. Malden Catholic got on the board first as Nazarian set up UMass-Lowell recruit Tyler Sifferlen with a perfect saucer pass:



Malden Catholic went on to defeat Springfield Cathedral 3-1. In the Championship Game, Malden Catholic defeated Austin Prep 5-3 to capture it's 4th consecutive Super 8 Championship. Ara Nazarian, a junior at Malden Catholic, assisted on the 1st and 5th goals and scored the Lancers' second goal.

Nazarian committed to UNH last April and is on target to enroll in either the Fall of 2015 or 2016. During the off season, he will decide where to play hockey next year as he completes his senior year in high school. Two years ago, Nazarian was drafted by the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL.

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