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8 posts from September 2012

September 28, 2012

Hockey notes (college, Austin Bruins, area players, etc.)

Posted by: Feldman

Who needs the NHL?? (I do, actually, and lots of others, especially with the idea of watching Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in Wild sweaters, but for now, let's pretend like we don't need it...)

It's Friday, the end of the week, so what better time to clean out my notebook? I have a bunch of bullet points just waiting to be put into blog form, so let's get to it.

 

• Here's a link to some high school notes that ran in the P-B print edition on Thursday. One is an update on how Lourdes forwards Jason Samuelson and Alex Funk are doing in the Upper Midwest Elite League this fall (hint, they're doing pretty darn well).
Another note on the link provides info. for disabled high school athletes who may be interested in joining the Rochester Raiders adapted floor hockey team. If you know of any disabled students in grades 7-12 in Rochester or the surrounding area, I strongly encourage you to pass along the info to them. The Raiders welcome all athletes and it's just an awesome thing for them to be a part of.  They practice and play games (the schedule runs from January through March) at Friedell Middle School. Captains practices begin on Monday at 6 p.m. No need to call ahead; just show up. There will be parents of other players there to answer all questions you might have. One more thing: It's open to boys and girls, so, again, I can't urge any disabled students in the area to check out a practice and consider joining the team. 
• The Austin Bruins open their home schedule at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Coulee Region Chill (Onalaska, Wis.) at Riverside Arena. If you live in Austin or Lyle, I'll have a bunch of preview stories and graphics in Saturday's Austin Post-Bulletin. I'll link to as much of that preview stuff here as I can. Whatever gets online, I'll post/link to it here. The Bruins, who play in the Junior A, Tier II NAHL, have two Rochester players on the roster, forwards Zach Johnson (JM) and Drew Anderson (Century). This week, they added former St. Paul Johnson forward Jay Dickman, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound beast who can skate extremely well and has a knack for scoring (he had 45 goals and 68 points for Johnson last year). 
In their home opener, the Bruins (2-2-0) will face Coulee Region. Former Lourdes defenseman Alec Brandrup is in his first season withthe Chill after playing for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs last season.

• Former Lourdes forward Landon Farrell is the leading scorer for the Russell Stover AAA U18 Midget Major team through four games. Farrell has four points (1-3--4), including a game-winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite MM team on Sept. 15.

Another former Lourdes player, defenseman Justin Dewitz, is also on the Russell Stover team. He has one assist in four games.

Russell Stover plays host to the Colorado Rampage this weekend.

• A bunch of Rochester high school players are competing in the Southern Minnesota Elite Development League. Former Lourdes assistant Jim McPeak is helping to coach the team, which includes four players from Mayo (Ryan Martin, Adam Alcott, Max Whitney and Will Holtan); seven from JM (Hunter Heightland, Gavin Sandwick, Sam Broman, Nick Paulson, Garrett Strom, Alex Lovett and goalie Jacob Garvey); two from Century (forward Hayden Ashworth and goalie Eric Rohleder); and one from Lourdes (defenseman Nathan Roth).

• Former Mayo defenseman Bill Norman is a redshirt freshman at the University of Maine this fall. He was named to the Hockey East All-Academic Team last year. Norman is listed at 5-feet-10, 175 pounds. A big reason he redshirted last season was to hit the weight room and add some muscle/weight, which, if his listed weight is accurate, he has accomplished.

 

September 27, 2012

High School Football Picks | Week 5

FELDY: Last Friday was supposed to be separation Friday for us, Phersy. We picked four of seven games differently and ... we both went 5-2. Of course. We're both 22-6 through four weeks, which means maybe we should just quit. Anything over .500 is excellent for us. Here are this week's games:

BIG 9

John Marshall (3-1) at Mankato West (4-0)

Mankato East (0-4) at Rochester Century (1-3)

Rochester Mayo (3-1) at Austin (1-3)

Owatonna (4-0) at Faribault (3-1)

HVL

Cannon Falls (3-1) at Byron (2-2)

Zumbrota-Mazeppa (2-2) at Goodhue (2-2)

THREE RIVERS

Rushford-Peterson (3-1) at Caledonia (4-0)

• • • • •

PHERSY: Feldy, this slate of games isn't exactly outstanding. There are a few gimmies this week, and I like that. Let's roll...

BIG 9

Mankato West 40, John Marshall 28: West proved a lot last week against a very good Faribault club. The Scarlets are still trying to figure things out on defense, though. JM has some talented defensive backs, but West has been nearly impossible to stop.

Rochester Century 21, Mankato East 7: East lost its QB to injury last week and replacements struggled against Austin, which was able to snap a 22-game losing streak. The Cougars won't get back on track as Crawford and the Panthers will do what's needed to get the job done.

Austin 29, Mayo 28: Packers start a new streak ... OK, so this is my homer pick of the week. It will be a major upset, but it's the Packers' homecoming and they're riding high after snapping that skid.

Owatonna 39, Faribault 30: Second tough week for the Falcons. I really do believe they're a good football team, one that will meet K-M in the Section 1AAAA finals. But the Huskies do it all well, and they'll roll.

HVL

Byron 35, Cannon Falls 22: The Bears will bounce back after a tough setback.

Goodhue 13, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 6: Toughest game for me to pick. When in doubt, I go with G-force.

THREE RIVERS

Caledonia 40, Rushford-Peterson 21: The top team in the state continues its run.

* * * *

FELDY: We need some gimmies from time to time, eh? There aren't a lot of must-see matchups this week around the area, but there are a few that could go either way. As usual, I'm sure Phersy and I will find a way to still be tied after this week.

BIG 9

JM 34, West 31: Call it an upset if you want. I'm not convinced West is as dominant as it has been in recent years, though the Scarlets still have a very dangerous offense. Moreso, I like this JM team. Something different about it. A confidence, almost arrogance, in a good way. If we're going by the state rankings, then this is my upset special for the week.

Century 32, East 14: We're past the halfway point, which means it's time for a Jon Vik-coached team to start overachieving -- not by their own standards, but by everyone else's.

Mayo 27, Austin 13: Mayo's defense has been better than good through four weeks. The Spartans are not at all pleased with their offensive effort last week at Winona. My guess is they were reminded about it every day this week and probably will be again on the bus ride to SpamTown today.

Owatonna 42, Faribault 28: The Falcons gave Mankato West a heckuva run last week, but Owatonna is better than West. Faribault could well be the third-best team in the Big Nine, and will likely get back to the Class AAAA state tournament this year. But this Owatonna team is incredible on both sides of the ball.

HVL

Byron 29, Cannon Falls 13: I'm with you on this one, Phersy. The Bears are better than they showed in a bad loss to Stewartville two weeks ago. They'll prove it tonight.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa 19, Goodhue 14: I don't agree on the outcome, but I agree with Phersy that this was the toughest game for me to pick this week. I'll take the Cougars to pull it out on the road.

TRC

Caledonia 31, R-P 8: Sorry, R-P. Caledonia is just in a different class than a lot of teams in our area. The Warriors have allowed a total of 21 points in four games.

September 21, 2012

High school football picks: Week 4

PHERSY: Oh, so now I guess Feldy is perfect. Whatever. Congratulations Mr. Feldman. I guess they were easy games last week. Anyway, the other guy went 7-0, and I was 6-1. That means we are now tied in the overall standings at 17-4. Anyway, let's have at it ...

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Austin (0-3) at Mankato East (0-3)

Mankato West (3-0) at Faribault (3-0)

HIAWATHA VALLEY LEAGUE

Rochester Lourdes (3-0) at Stewartville (3-0)

Goodhue (2-1) at Triton (1-2)

La Crescent (2-1) at Cannon Falls (2-1)

THREE RIVERS CONFERENCE

Chatfield (3-0) at Southland (2-1)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Houston (1-2) at LeRoy-Ostrander (2-1)

* * * *

FELDY: I'll enjoy the 7-0 week while I can get it. Looking around at the schedules in the Big 9, HVL and Three Rivers Conference, it looks like some big-time matchups await us over the final three weeks of the regular season. For now, though, we hit the halfway point of the regular season and I see we have some good games -- including one we'd both like to be at, Phersy, in the HVL.

BIG NINE

Mankato East 26, Austin 24: This sure could go the other way, Phersy, and your Packers could snap their 22-game losing skid tonight. But, East is at home and they have some talented running backs who should help control the ball and the clock. I'll give the Cougars the home-field advantage.

Mankato West 33, Faribault 24: This one could be closer than people might expect. West is still a very good team, but I think Faribault is a better team than people give it credit for. Both teams have young QBs and offenses that can strike quickly. 

HVL

Lourdes 21, Stewartville 18: No. 1 against No. 5 ... who wouldn't want to be at this one? Stewartville has to be a confident team after stomping a very good Byron team by more than three touchdowns. But until someone can stop the Eagles' rushing attack, I'll stick with them.

Goodhue 28, Triton 23: Regardless of Triton's record, it's never an easy place to go for a visiting team. Goodhue has put up 78 points through three games, though, and I think the Wildcats' offense continues to produce.

Cannon Falls 34, La Crescent 19: This is a big week for the Bombers. They fell flat in their biggest test of the season last week, losing by 39 points to Kasson-Mantorville. They'll rebound this week on their home turf and ease some of last week's frustrations.

TRC

Chatfield 28, Southland 17: I've been on the Gophers' bandwagon since Week 1. I see no reason to back off now. Southland has some injury issues, otherwise I'd say this is a one-score tossup game.

SEC

Houston 37, LeRoy-Ostrander 28: Houston might be 1-2, but it has lost to two pretty good teams (Lanesboro and Spring Grove). L-O puts up a good fight on its home field, but the Hurricanes are too much tonight.

* * * *

PHERSY: Feldy, let's call this Separation Friday. These are tough games, and I'm going against you as often as possible. Mostly because I don't like you ...

BIG NINE

Austin 41, Mankato East 30: The Packers offense is much improved. The defense has been very bad, but they have the athletes on that side of the ball to get it done. The state's longest losing streak comes to an end in Mankato tonight.

Faribault 39, Mankato West 35: Faribault's offense is flat-out good. The Falcons are the real deal, and they'll be the team to beat in 1AAAA (sorry, KoMets). West is good, but they're not as good as last year. Call this an upset ... but I'm going with the Falcons.

HVL

Stewartville 24, Lourdes 23: Lourdes has a dangerous offense, Stewartville has a dangerous offense. I don't think the Eagles will lose on their home field this year ... but unfortunately, this game isn't on the turf. I'll take the Tigers at home.

Triton 19, Goodhue 8: I feel like Triton has improved a great deal from Week 1. The Wildcats are still rebuilding. I hate picking against Goodhue, ever, in anything, but I have to go with the Cobras this week.

Cannon Falls 29, La Crescent 19: Feldy gets one right. The Bombers will bounce back this week.

TRC

Chatfield 38, Southland 7: Goergen was such a huge part of Southland's game on both sides of the ball. And yeah, Chatfield is legit. Dear AP voters...you're dumb for not putting the Gophers in the state rankings. Go ahead and let them fly under the radar for now. But they're a state contender.

SEC

Houston 30, LeRoy-Ostrander 28: This game will be better than people think. L-O isn't bad. Houston isn't bad. They're both mid-level teams in the SEC this year, but they're even.

September 13, 2012

H.S. football picks, Week 3

All right, Phersy, you flipped the standings on me with a perfect 7-0 record last week. You're 11-3 through two weeks; I'm 10-4. If I could ever pick a 9-man game right, I might win this thing. Thus, no 9-man games in this week's picks. You're up first. Here are this week's games:

BIG 9
• Owatonna (2-0) at Rochester JM (2-0)
• Albert Lea (0-2) at Rochester Century (0-2)

HVL
• Stewartville (2-0) at Byron (1-1)
• Cannon Falls (2-0) at Kasson-Mantorville (2-0)
• Triton (1-1) at Lake City (1-1)

THREE RIVERS
• Rushford-Peterson (1-1) at Wabasha-Kellogg (0-2)

MISSOTA
• Red Wing (1-1) at Farmington (2-0)

•••

PHERSY: Well Feldy, I'm afraid I will be unable to make picks this week. I've suffered a serious injury, while patting myself on the back for last week's perfect 7-0 record. OK, anyway, some good games on the docket. Let's roll!!!

BIG 9

Owatonna 35, Rochester JM 21: This isn't your mother's Owatonna team. The Huskies like to throw the ball quite a bit this season, and they have a very capable QB and a couple of kids who can catch the ball. Of course, the Huskies are still big. The Rockets have a couple of great DBs, so if anyone can stick with the Huskies, it's them.

Rochester Century 28, Albert Lea 7: The Panthers will struggle with the bigger teams in the Big Nine because they simply don't have the numbers. But Albert Lea doesn't even have enough kids for a JV team, so this is a good week to be a Century fan.

HVL

Byron 29, Stewartville 23: The Bears had Lourdes on the ropes last week. Aaron Quandt is the top thrower in the HVL, but I like the ground game of Jack Nelson and company to grind out this win.

Kasson-Mantorville 40, Cannon Falls 18: All Broc Berge is doing is averaging 14 yards per carry. Oh yeah, and the KoMets welcome back a couple huge linemen this week. If you thought they were good up until now, they'll be even better moving forward.

Lake City 30, Triton 13: Lake City is every bit as good as it was a year ago, and maybe even better. They're a team to watch in Class AAA. I like the Tigers to roll this week.

THREE RIVERS

Rushford-Petasha-Kellogg 7: W-K has struggled to score points and has 51 passing yards through two games. R-P has a balanced attack, led by QB Jonnie Koenen.

MISSOTA

Farmington 35, Red Wing 28: I think this one will be close, but the Tigers already have run through Mayo and Northfield. They're a quality club.

•••

FELDY: I'm not going to make up much ground on you this week, Phersy. I agree on just about every account here.

BIG 9
Owatonna 28, JM 23: I really like this JM team and I think QB Aaron Grad could cause some trouble for the Huskies' D. But, that should tell you how highly we value this Owatonna team. It has big expectations and it gets a big road W tonight.

Century 27, Albert Lea 14: Alex Crawford is just too much for the Tigers' D to handle. Century will control the clock and pick up its first win.

HVL
Stewartville 24, Byron 21: Man, how good is the HVL right now? Lourdes, K-M, Byron, Stewy, Lake City, Cannon Falls .... OK, back to this game. Much like last week's Lourdes-Byron game, this one has the potential to be one of the best games of the season. Gimme the Tigers on a late score.

Kasson-Mantorville 35, Cannon Falls 21: The KoMets close their regular season with games against Byron, Lourdes and Stewartville. No doubt, the K-M players want to go into that stretch with a "0" in the loss column. The Bombers will put up a fight, but K-M won't lose this one at home.

Lake City 27, Triton 18: The Tigers showed how good they are in Week 1, when they played K-M to a one-score game at Kasson. They've been on the road for the first two weeks, and they'll want to give their fans a good show in their home opener.

TRC

Rushford-Peterson 23, Wabasha-Kellogg 7: R-P played a good Lewiston-Altura team tough in Week 1, then put up 52 points against Onalaska Luther last week. The Trojans keep their momentum building this week.

MISSOTA

Farmington 27, Red Wing 8: The Tigers are loaded with seniors and are strong defensively. They have a third-year starting QB who can throw the ball well and a speedy running back/kick returner in Athen Ashton. 

September 11, 2012

Hockey | NAHL Showcase to feature 129 Minnesotans

Posted by: Feldman

The Austin Bruins begin their 2012-13 North American Hockey League season in just more than 24 hours. All 24 NAHL teams will converge on the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine for the annual junior hockey showcase.

The Bruins open their season at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday against Amarillo (Texas). Here's my Bruins/Showcase preview from today's Austin P-B print edition. By the way, Bruins coach Chris Tok had some nice things to say about former Rochester John Marshall forward Zach Johnson. Tok mentioned Johnson as one of three young forwards who have stuck out in camp so far. Tok said Johnson has done a nice job at center, opening up space for his linemates and setting them up for scoring chances.

Here's a link to the Showcase website, where you can find schedules and Internet broadcast information.

According to Let's Play Hockey, this year's Showcase will feature 129 players from Minnesota, including five from Rochester -- Johnson and Drew Anderson (Century) from the Austin Bruins; goalie Brock Kautz (Century) from the Janesville (Wis.) Jets; defenseman Rory Vesel (Lourdes) from the Bismarck Bobcats; and defenseman Alec Brandrup (Lourdes) from the Coulee Region Chill (Onalaska, Wis.). Another former standout Big Nine Conference/Section 1 forward, Eric Carlson of Albert Lea, will play for Janesville this season.

Janesville will face Austin on Saturday, the final day of the Showcase, at 7 p.m. Vesel and Brandrup both play for Central Division teams, so they'll play in and against Austin often during the regular season.

Here's a link to Let's Play Hockey's list of the 129 Minnesotans who will play in the Showcase.

The Showcase is well-attended by college coaches and scouts, and professional scouts. This year's Showcase will feature far more than just the 24 NAHL teams. There will be 36 teams from the North American Prospects Hockey League competing at the Tier I 18U major midget level and 16U midget minor levels. Eight teams from the Upper Midwest High School Elite League will play this weekend, too, as will all six 18U midget major teams from the Tier I High Performance Hockey League (Compuware, CYA, Honeybaked, Little Caesars, Mission and Team Illinois).

September 09, 2012

H.S. Hockey | Funk, Samuelson off to good start in Elite League

Posted by: Feldman

Rochester has boys hockey players skating in the Upper Midwest Elite League this fall, for the first time in four years. The Lourdes trio of forwards Alex Funk and Jason Samuelson, and defensman Karl Krecke are all members of Team Southwest.

Elite League play got underway this weekend, and while Krecke sat out to rest an injury, Funk and Samuelson made a splash. 

Funk had five points in two games, while Samuelson had two points, as Team Southwest won all of its games over the weekend. It beat Team Northeast, 10-6, on Saturday, then beat the Colorado Rampage U18 AAA team, 8-5, on Sunday.

Team Southwest actually went 3-0 on the weekend, including a 5-3 victory against Team North on Saturday morning, though according to the scoresheet from that game, none of the Lourdes players dressed for that game.

Funk had two assists and Samuelson had one in Saturday's victory against Team Northeast.

Funk really stuck out on Sunday, though. He scored twice in an 11-second span early in the third period, then added an assist late in the period as Southwest scored six times in the final 20 minutes to rally for the victory.

Funk was spotlighted by MnHockeyHub.com after his standout day.

Results and standings for all Elite League teams can be found here.

September 07, 2012

High school football picks: Week 2

PHERSY: And, Feldy's off and running. Nice start buddy. I struggled. Can we stop picking tough games for a change??? Well, I'm 4-3 to start the year. Seems standard. Feldy is up one game already at 5-2. Maybe his winning this thing last year for the first time wasn't a fluke. Maybe Feldy really has figured out high school football. Ahhh, who am I kidding? Let's pick 'em ...

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Century (0-1) at Mayo (0-1)

HIAWATHA VALLEY LEAGUE

Byron (1-0) at Rochester Lourdes (1-0)

Cannon Falls (1-0) at Goodhue (1-0)

Kenyon-Wanamingo (0-1) at Triton (0-1)

THREE RIVERS CONFERENCE

Chatfield (1-0) at Plainview-Elgin-Millville (0-1)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lyle/Pacelli (0-1) at Glenville-Emmons (0-1)

Mabel-Canton (0-1) at Houston (0-1)

* * * * * 

FELDY: I thought you asked if we could stop picking tough games? Looking at this list you threw out, Phersy, I could see both of us going 1-6 this week. Now that would feel normal, for us. And two nine-man games? Have either of us ever been over .500 on nine-man games in a year? I guess the good news is, I could go 2-5 this week and still be .500, completely mediocre. 

BIG NINE

Mayo 19, Century 16: Mayo struggled to move the ball on the ground last week and I'm guessing that was mentioned often in practices this week. I liked the way the Spartans defense played against a Farmington team that was full of veterans on offense. Century had a tough way to open the season, facing the now No. 5-ranked JM Rockets. Don't ever worry about how many players Century has on its roster, just worry about the 11 they put on the field. And Jon Vik ALWAYS has those guys ready to go. I honestly have no idea which way this game will go, so I'm giving Mayo the home-field advantage.

HVL

Byron 28, Lourdes 27: Yes, Lourdes won this game, 28-13, last year, but Byron dominanted statistically. The Eagles rode a defensive TD and a special teams TD to victory. It's a new season, but you had better believe the Byron players remember what happened on their home field a year ago.

Cannon Falls 34, Goodhue 28: Both of these teams showed they can put up points last week. The Bombers have a couple dozen letterwinners back, while Goodhue lost 16 seniors to graduation. It's tough to pick against the 'Cats on their home turf, but I think this year' Bombers team will be closer to the 2010 team (7-3) than the 2011 team (4-5).

Triton 27, Kenyon-Wanamingo 19: This isn't the dominant Triton team we're used to, but the Cobras aren't as bad as the 42-0 loss to Byron last week might indicate. K-W has some speed, which could pose some problems for the Cobras, but I'll go with Triton here.

THREE RIVERS

Chatfield 24, P-E-M 19: This is the first big test for a Chatfield team that features two all-conference running backs and a quarterback who has a full year of varsity experience and is just a junior. P-E-M hung with defending state champ Caledonia last week, but couldn't get much going on offense. This could be a big early-season win for the Gophs.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lyle/Pacelli 36, Glenville-Emmons 20: G-E is a young team under a new coach. The Wolverines will be more competitive by the end of the season, but I like the Athletics here. L/P doesn't have a lot of players with experience, but it has five seniors who played a lot last season. 

Houston 29, Mabel-Canton 22: The Hurricanes have more than a dozen players back and a lot of speed. That will be the difference in this one. 

* * * * *

PHERSY: Feldy, you're making it tough to make up ground with these picks. I like your picks this week ... please don't tell anyone that. I'll go a different direction on a few, though, just to be safe. ...

BIG NINE

Mayo 14, Century 7: I think Mayo got a nice wakeup call last week, and the Spartans will be ready to go this week. I would not be suprised if this score was flipped, though.

HVL

Lourdes 27, Byron 20: You're killing me with this pick, Feldy. I wanted to jump on the Bears bandwagon ... especially figuring you'd be Mr. Hometown and go with the Eagles. But, Lourdes is good. So is Byron. This is as good as it gets this early in the season. I'll take the Eagles on the turf at RCTC, but the Bears should be considered the favorites with their talented club.

Cannon Falls 30, Goodhue 14: Ugh, Feldy. I don't like going against my Wildcats. But yes, that Cannon Falls offense is pretty solid. And Goodhue is rebuilding. It never takes them long, though.

Triton 20, Kenyon-Wanamingo 17: This game will be closer than people think. But Triton is just a little better at the skill positions and that will be the difference.

THREE RIVERS

Chatfield 36, P-E-M 20: Again Feldy, you're killing me. I was going to sneak in there and go with the Gophs. They're good people. It's time to recognize it. And PEM is in full rebuilding mode.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Glenville-Emmons 30, Lyle/Pacelli 28: G-E is young, but there's some talent there. It's a chance for one of these teams to get on track

Houston 49, Mabel-Canton 39: I think this has the potential to be the most entertaining game of the week. M-C can run with Houston. It should be high-scoring if the weather cooperates.

September 05, 2012

Local hockey | Emptying my notebook

Posted by: Feldman

Lots of hockey notes that I've let build up that we need to get to here. Now that all of our high school fall sports previews are out of the way, I can get back to some hockey stuff that I've been meaning to get to for, in some cases, months!

Here we go ...

• John Marshall boys coach Jay Ness didn't really celebrate the Fourth of July this summer. He did his celebrating a week or so later, when he spent a few days in Sault Ste Marie, Mich. Ness was there to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Lake Superior State University's 1992 NCAA Division I hockey championship. It marked the school's second national title in four years, and it would go on to win another, in 1994. Ness played on the 1994 team, as well, as a senior. He finished his four-year LSSU career with 24 goals and 38 assists for 62 points. That '92 LSSU team was coached by Jeff Jackson, now the head coach at Notre Dame. Among the star players on that team: Brian Rolston, who has played more than 1,200 games in the NHL, including 241 with the Minnesota Wild. Rolston had 46 points for the '92 Lakers championship team; Ness had 19 that year (nine goals, 10 assists).

• As things change here at the P-B, my duties are expanding to include coverage of the North American Hockey League's Austin Bruins. The coverage of our local and area high schools won't suffer; but you'll probably notice more blog posts and, if you follow me on Twitter (@PBFeldy), more tweets about the Bruins and the NAHL this season. You likely won't see many stories on the Bruins appear in the actual Rochester print edition; my coverage will be mainly for the Austin edition of the P-B (yes, we put out a separate edition each day in Austin). The stories I do write on the Bruins, I'll link to them here, because ...

• Two former Rochester high school players will be playing really close to home this season. John Marshall's Zach Johnson and former Century standout Drew Anderson have made the Austin Bruins' roster. In addition to this blog, you can keep up with the Bruins on their web site.

• Four current Rochester Lourdes players have been selected as featured players in this year's Minnesota Hockey Hub/Breakdown Sports 2012-13 High School Hockey Guide. Defensemen Karl Krecke and Griff Slightam, and forwards Jason Samuelson and Alex Funk will be the first Eagles players to be featured in the book. We'll link to the book here when it becomes available for purchase. Funk, Samuelson and Krecke begin play in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League this weekend.

A bunch of former Lourdes players are still playing and/or are in new places this fall:

• Two of the team's leading scorers from last year, forward Landon Farrell and defenseman Justin Dewitz, will play AAA midgets with Russell Stover this season.

• Former all-state defenseman Rory Vesel is back for his second season with the NAHL's Bismarck (N.D.) Bobcats. Vesel was just starting to play very well last year when he suffered a broken jaw and missed a couple of months. We'll get to watch Vesel a bunch this year, as the Bobcats are in the same division as Austin.

• Former Lourdes defenseman Alec Brandrup is playing close to home, too. He's with the Coulee Region Chill of the NAHL. Coulee Region is based in Onalaska, Wis.

• Another former Eagles d-man, Pete Spratte, will be a freshman at Lake Superior State University this fall. LSSU plays in the CCHA, which will merge into the new-look WCHA after this season. That means Spratte will get to play in Mankato each season, against MSU, Mankato, and former Rochester Mayo standout Charlie Thauwald. Former La Crescent star Eriah Hayes is a senior at MSU, Mankato, this year.

• Ex-Eagles netminder Nick Heimer is a freshman again. Heimer was offered a spot recently at Hamline University and he accepted. I'm going to try to get in touch with Nick in the coming days to find out what he thinks of finally playing college hockey and just how he ended up at Hamline.

• Former Lourdes forward Tyler Voigt will return to Tufts University for his second season of Division III hockey.

• Ex-Lourdes standout F Brandon Bahnemann will be a senior at St. Thomas this year. The 2007 Lourdes grad started his college hockey career at Division I Bentley University, but transferred back closer to home and will close his college career this season.

• Mankato West grad Tyler Bruggeman, the goalie who backstopped the Austin Bruins to the NAHL Central Division championship series last spring, will play college hockey at Division III St. Scholastica in Duluth.

• Former Rochester Century goalie Brock Kautz will play in the NAHL, too, with the Janesville Jets.

• Former Century d-man Connor Faupel will play with the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League again this season. Faupel helped the team win the Turnbull Cup, the league's playoff championship, last season and advance to the Royal Bank Cup, the tournament that crowns Canada's Junior A champion.

• Century's Dalton Travis is on the Rochester Ice Hawks opening-day roster. I'm guessing he's doing a before-and-after deal, where he'll play with the Hawks until the high school season starts, then return to them after the high school season ends. I haven't confirmed that, yet, but I'd bet that's the case.

• Red Wing native Ryan Kesti is entering his third season with Northern Michigan University. Kesti lettered for the first time last year, when he had two points in 34 games.

• Byron's DJ Vold is a key returning forward for the Granite City Lumberjacks of the NA3HL. The 'Jacks won the NA3 title last year, in addition to winning the league's Central Division championship.

That's a fairly comprehensive list of area players who are playing in college, juniors or elsewhere this fall. I haven't scoured all college and junior rosters yet, so this isn't complete, but, if you know of former Rochester or area players who are competing in juniors, college or pro hockey, let me know. I'll start compiling a more comprehensive list soon.