A bundle of hockey notes
Posted by: Feldman
It's been a news-filled week already for hockey fans and we're only at Wednesday afternoon.
Lots of local news with a local player committing to a D-I school, a big win for a Rochester high school team and a career game for an area player last night. Oh yeah, that lockout thing is over in the NHL, too. I know I can't wait to see Parise, Suter, Granlund, Konopka and Mitchell in Wild sweaters for the first time.
Lots to write about today, so here we go:
* P-B writer Paul Christian tracked down Rochester native Mark Stuart on Tuesday, as Stuart traveled from Florida (where he played with an ECHL team) to Winnipeg, where he has started workouts with his Jets teammates in anticipation of training camp starting this weekend at MTS Centre.
* Speaking of Stuart and the Jets, Bob McKenzie of TSN takes a look at the Jets in this preview. He mentions that Winnipeg will be thin on the blue line, and that Stuart will have to be ready to log some heavy ice time.
* Closer to home, Rochester native Tyler Vesel, the leading scorer for Shattuck St. Mary's top team, committed to Nebraska-Omaha yesterday. Vesel called UNO assistant coach Troy Jutting at about 6:30 p.m. yesterday to give him the news. Jutting, coincidentally, was in Rochester watching his sons play for Mankato West against Lourdes.
* Speaking of Lourdes, senior forwards Jason Samuelson and Alex Funk are putting up some numbers that will be tough to top. Samuelson broke the school's all-time scoring record on Saturday, but Funk isn't too far behind.
* Austin High senior forward Marcus Stoulil had a career night in the Packers' 11-0 victory against Waseca. Stoulil opened the game with a natural hat trick in the first period. He finished the night with six goals and two assists. No, Waseca is not the strongest team around, but these are the type of games Austin hasn't won in recent seasons. It's nice to see Stoulil and the Packers (4-6-1) having a bit of success.
* One of the best girls hockey players in the state, Red Wing's Nicole Schammel, committed to play at Minnesota State, Mankato, on Sunday night. Schammel will play for Mavericks head coach Eric Means, a Rochester native.
* Former Lourdes defenseman Pete Spratte has hit more bad luck in his first season at Lake Superior State University. Most recently, Spratte has been sidelined by a wrist injury. He had surgery on it here in Rochester when he was home over Christmas break. I talked to him at the Kiwanis Festival and he said he hoped it only keeps him out three-four weeks. If it's much longer, he'll start talking to the LSSU coaching staff about a medical redshirt.
* Former Rochester Mayo standout defenseman Bill Norman has played in nine of 19 games for the University of Maine this season. He has no points and is a minus-5 with 15 shots on goal. The Black Bears have struggled to a 5-12-2 overall record and just 1-7-2 in Hockey East.
* A new Phersy and Feldy Show is up on this blog. We talk Vikings (wrap-up), Wild/NHL, high school hockey and some Ice Hawks.
* Another former Lourdes defenseman, Rory Vesel, is one of the top d-men for the Bismarck Bobcats of the NAHL. Vesel has three points in the past four games and is Plus-5 in that stretch. For the season, Vesel leads Bobcats' defensemen in shots on goal (53) and, from what I've told by people in the Bobcats organization, leads the team in blocked shots (a stat that isn't officially kept). Bismarck is currently tied for second in the NAHL Central Division.
* Former Century goalie Brock Kautz has seized the No. 1 goaltender job with the NAHL's Janesville (Wis.) Jets. Kautz is 11-11-3 with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. Janesville is in fifth place in the eight-team North Division, six points out of the final playoff spot. Kautz has won three of his last five starts and allowed just two goals in the other two games. After losing seven consecutive starts, Kautz is 5-3-1 in his past eight starts.
* Byron native D.J. Vold is tied for second in scoring on the Granite City Lumberjacks of the NA3HL. Vold, a team captain, has eight goals and 13 assists for the St. Cloud-based 'Jacks. Granite City (23-3-1) is in second place in the NA3HL North Division, three points behind North Iowa. The Jacks have two games in hand, however.
* Red Wing's Ryan Kesti has one goal in 13 games for Northern Michigan University of the CCHA. The Wildcats are 8-10-3 overall and 2-9-3 in the conference.