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3 posts categorized "Maine"

August 18, 2011

Hockey | Playing catch-up, part I

Posted by: Feldman

Amazing what can pile up when you're on vacation for a bit (Phersy should know what this feels like, since he's always on a vacation).

Here are a few notes to toss out there for now, and I'll have a post on the Lourdes boys hockey team's summer practices a little later tonight. I went over and talked to coach Josh Spaniol during their final week of summer workouts in late July. I didn't get around to posting anything, as I was waiting to hear how a couple of their players did in Junior tryout camps (not that any of them anticipated leaving high school, but I was waiting to see how they fared at those camps).

So, for some notes:

• Former Rochester Century standout d-man Connor Faupel will play for Neepawa of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League this coming season. It's a nice move for Faupel, who passed up his senior season at Century to play for the Russell Stover midget program in Kansas City. I'll put in a call to Faupel tonight and hopefully find out more about his decision.

From what I'm told, he had the chance to go to three or four other places, including another team in the MJHL (which is a Tier II league in Canada), and to Helena, which won the USA Hockey Junior A, Tier III, national championship here in Rochester back in April. Faupel leaves for Neepawa on Tuesday. Neepawa is about 45 miles northeast of Brandon, Manitoba, or about 130 miles west of Winnipeg.

• Former Rochester Mayo forward Charlie Thauwald has become the most recent Rochester native to commit to a Division I hockey program. Thauwald made it official with Minnesota State, Mankato, last week. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Thauwald could make an immediate physical impact for the Mavericks. He'll be the biggest player on the team (along with LaCrescent's Eriah Hayes, who goes 6-4, 210) and the second member of his family to play D-I hockey (his brother, Scott, played at Colorado College and now plays professionally in Australia).

Charlie left Mayo before his senior season to play with Chicago of the USHL. After suffering an injury there, he played part of the 2009-10 season with Owatonna of the NAHL. Last season, he was a key member of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs' run to the NAHL (Robertson Cup) championship, along with Lourdes grads Tyler Voigt and Pete Spratte.

• The University of Maine has posted its men's hockey roster, and former Mayo defenseman Bill Norman will wear No. 12 for the Black Bears. Norman is listed at 5-feet-9, 160 pounds, so he'll have to use his speed and hockey sense — like he did at Mayo last season — to have an impact in Hockey East this year. The closest Maine comes to Minnesota this season is a two-game series at North Dakota, Oct. 14 and 15.

• Another former Century standout, goalie Alex Kangas, is officially a free agent. He wasn't signed by the team that drafted him — Winnipeg (actually drafted by Atlanta, of course, in 2006) — by Monday, so he's free to sign with another NHL team, or go overseas, if he chooses.

• Rochester native Colin Stuart re-signed with the Buffalo Sabres organization last month. Stuart reportedly signed a one-year, two-way deal, which will pay him $525,000 if he sticks in the NHL, or less if he plays with Buffalo's AHL affiliate in Portland, Maine. Stuart had 16 goals and 28 assists in 72 regular season games with Portland last season. He added three goals and four assists in 12 playoff games. He also played in three games for the Sabres, with no points and two penalty minutes.

• As Phersy noted in a previous post, the Rochester Ice Hawks are holding their final tryout camp this weekend, beginning tomorrow (Friday) and running through Sunday. They jump right into training camp on Monday.

March 18, 2011

H.S. Hockey | 2010-11 All-Area Team

FELDY: You'll see in the post below this, that for the first time, I decided to name a Player of the Year, to go along with our All-Area Team. Yes, we've also changed our boys hockey All-City team to an All-Area Team, to incorporate Dodge County and Red Wing players; both of those teams are squarely in our coverage area.

As I've mentioned when I've done this the past two years, the All-Area hockey team shows up only on the Faceoff blog for a number of reasons. The main one is, our other writers don't want to choose All-Area basketball teams because they usually end up being more of a headache than they're worth, particularly with moms and dads who feel their sons or daughters were overlooked.

I'm fair game, though. Go ahead and rip away if you don't like the way the A-A Team is put together. For the first time in the three years I've put this team together, I decided to get some input from some area coaches and people who follow hockey closely.

I'll stop rambling now and get to the First Team, Second Team and PUC (Players Under Consideration, a somewhat clever, or not so clever way of saying "honorable mention").

ALL-AREA FIRST TEAM
GOALIE -- Nick Heimer, Sr., Rochester Lourdes (25-5-1, 1.88 GAA, .908 save pct.)
Comments: Heimer led the state in victories (25) and was in the top 10 in goals-against average most of the season. The three-year varsity player set the school record for single-season victories this year, backstopping Lourdes to its third consecutive Class A state tournament appearance. Earned honorable mention All-State honors.

DEFENSE -- Bill Norman, Sr., Rochester Mayo (17-30--47)
Comments: Norman, a foreign exchange student from Sweden, did a lot of everything for the Spartans. The University of Maine recruit ran the power play, played on the penalty kill, skated the puck into the offensive zone and whatever else Mayo needed. His speed and vision are his strongest assets, and he has a deceptively good shot. Earned honorable mention All-State honors.

DEFENSE -- Rory Vesel, Sr., Rochester Lourdes (13-19--32)
** PLAYER OF THE YEAR **
Comments: See the blog post below this for all you need to know about Vesel's season. The four-year varsity player leaves some big skates to fill. Earned Second Team All-State honors.

FORWARD -- Jason Samuelson, So., Rochester Lourdes (27-20--47)
Comments: Just a sophomore, Samuelson was often the most dynamic player on the ice. His speed and vision caued fits for many opponents, and he was often at his best in big games. The honorable mention All-State forward finished the state tournament with seven points, after scoring five goals in the Section 1A tournament.

FORWARD -- Derek McMasters, Sr., Rochester Mayo (23-15--38)
Comments: McMasters gave Mayo the scoring forward they were searching for a year ago. Much of his success came on the power play, and was a result of how well he worked with the two sophomores on his line, Adam Alcott and Ryan Martin. The honorable mention All-State pick was the Spartans top-scoring forward and their second-leading scorer overall.

FORWARD -- Landon Farrell, Jr., Rochester Lourdes (16-19--35)
Comments: Farrell gets the nod here for a couple of reasons. He was arguably the Eagles' best two-way forward and he stepped up his play in big games this season (the late-season meeting with St. Thomas Academy comes to mind). The honorable mention All-Stater had at least one point in 22 of Lourdes' 31 games.

ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
GOALIE -- Alex Van Galder, Sr., Rochester Mayo (11-10-2, 2.87, .897)
Comments: Got stronger as the season went on. Was 7-1-2 in last 10 regular season games.

DEFENSE -- Nick Raehsler, Sr., Rochester Century (7-10--17)
Comments: Great defenseman on both ends of the ice. Created a lot of offensive chances for Panthers. Numbers were down because wasn't playing with the dynamic first-line players Century had a year ago.

DEFENSE -- Alec Brandrup, Sr., Rochester Lourdes (10-17--27)
Comments: Had six points in the postseason and 11 in the final eight regular season games. Key cog in Lourdes power play and penalty kill.

FORWARD -- Chad Mundy, Sr., Dodge County (17-24--41)
Comments: A leader for the Wildcats on both ends. Was a dynamic forward, after previously playing D.

FORWARD -- Eric Mackey, Sr., John Marshall (17-16--33)
Comments: The diminutive forward started season with two hat tricks in first five games. Scored the best goal I saw all year, against Century, coming out of the penalty box, chasing down a sliding puck near the goal line, diving and batting it in from a sharp angle. Named honorable mention All-State.

FORWARD -- Alex Funk, So., Rochester Lourdes (17-24--41)
Comments: Dangerous scorer anytime he was near the puck. Had 10 points in the postseason. Had 12 multiple-point games this season. An honorable mention All-State player.

ALL-AREA PUC (Players Under Consideration)
Goalie -- Sam Amendolar, Red Wing (10-17-0, 3.52, .882).
Defensemen -- Brandon Kautz, Jr., Century (9-12--21); Steve Serratore, Jr., Mayo (9-14--23); Jack Strusz, Jr., Red Wing (6-14--20).
Forwards --Adam Alcott, So., Mayo (10-13--23); Austin Head, Sr., Dodge County (20-10--30); Nick Jacobs, Sr., Century (10-12--22); Zach Johnson, Sr., JM (16-14--30); Sam Orth, Sr., Dodge County (13-19--32); Gavin Sandwick, So., JM (12-17--29); Mike Stegora, Jr., Red Wing (13-14--27); Dillon Stevens, Sr., Dodge County (17-17--34); Drew Wohlfiel, Sr., Dodge County (13-19--32).

March 07, 2011

H.S. Hockey | Mayo's Norman commits to Maine

FELDY: Just got word from Mayo Activities Director Jeff Whitney, that Spartans senior defenseman Bill Norman has verbally committed to Maine.

Norman led the Spartans in scoring this season with 17 goals and 30 assists, for 47 points.

Norman, a foreign exchange student from Sweden, was a jack of all trades for the Spartans. He ran their power play, played on the penalty kill and logged a lot of minutes on the blue line. I'm hopefully going to talk to Bill today or tomorrow to find out his thoughts about playing D-I hockey.

My guess is Maine likes his speed and puck-moving ability. He reminded me a bit of watching Nick Canzanello as a high school player, in that Norman often made it look easy rushing the puck up the ice into the opponents zone.

Maine is 17-10-7 this season and ranked 14th in the country.

Here's a blog post from a couple of weeks ago about the Norman/Maine situation, when I first heard of the Black Bears' interest.