Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Recruit Updates

It wasn't a great few days for future Wolverines. Lindsay Sparks and the Oakville Blades were defeated in the OJHL Championship series 4 games to 2. Sparks ended up fourth on his team in playoff points with an 8-18--26 line in 27 games. He also had 50 PIMs.

Lee Moffie and the Waterloo Blackhawks were swept out of the USHL Playoffs by the regular-season champion Green Bay Gamblers (4-1, 4-3 (ot), 8-2). Moffie didn't have a point and was -3 in the three playoff games.

The USA U-17 team dropped the first game of their second-round series against bastard-souvenir-puck-snaring-goalie Jordan Tibbett* and the Mahoning Valley Phantoms by a 4-1 margin.

Then the USA U-18 team blew 2-0 and 4-3 leads and dropped a 6-5 decision against Russia. Chris Brown had the second goal for the Americans. They outshot Russia 55-26 in the loss.

Due to the loss, the Americans had to take on the Czechs in the quarterfinals, rather than get a bye straight through to the semis. They won 6-2. None of our guys had points, but Jack Campbell played between the pipes and made 21 saves. USA outshot the Czechs by a 58-23 margin.

They'll play the Canadians in the semifinals tomorrow night. It will be realllllly interesting to see who they go with in goal. Since they went with Campbell in an elimination game tonight I have to believe he's the guy the rest of the way. It's quite a story that the U17 goalie is playing for the Americans in the World Under 18 Championships.

Other stuff: Al Montoya and Jack Johnson were named to Team USA for the World Championships in Switzerland. Those games will take place from April 24-May 10.

The new Central Scouting rankings came out. Treais, Moffie, and Mac Bennett rose in the rankings. Kevin Lynch dropped (though I bet the CSS wishes they had a do-over on that one with the way he's played at World U18s) and Brown dropped a slot.

A reader passed along a great article about Brandon Kaleniecki, who is working his butt off in the ECHL. His coach said he thinks he would have made the AHL by now if not for injuries. He was just named an alternate captain for his team in the playoffs.

A commenter pointed out an article that was on the front page of the Fargo newspaper (the U18s are in Fargo) about the NTDP, mainly the guys who are coming to Michigan. Definitely enjoyable if you're a Wolverine fan.

*Tibbett and the rest of his team (I think it was Honeybaked but I don't feel like looking it up) were sitting in front of me at Yost a few years back. A shot came over the glass and was headed directly for me. I've never caught a puck before, I collect hockey pucks, it's something I've always wanted to do (my dad has caught two, including a Bobby Orr slapshot). Anyway, and I swear this is true, Tibbett reached back after the puck was by him and somehow snagged it. I mean that thing was headed right for me. I was pissed. Amazed, because it was a helluva catch. But I was pissed.


Anonymous said...

I watched the USA-Czech Republic game on last night. I thought i'd pass along some thoughts.

1. Jack Campbell. He's simply the real deal. His lateral motion and angle are as good as i've seen on a 17yr old. Has a very good glove hand and doesn't give many second chance rebounds. Windsor/OHL will make a serious run for this kid.

2. Kevin Lynch is so far underrated is sick. Was almost always the first pair out kiling penalties with D'Amigo and played some on PP. Although he didn't get a point last night, he created space for his linemates and hit everything that moved. He competes very very hard. Centering USA's top line. I'm still nervous that Plymouth/OHL will try to get him to reconsider.

3. Chris Brown is a man amongst boys in this tournament physically. His has a special gift for timing his hits so they 'hurt'. He has a wicked shot. One of his one-timers from the face off dot hit the goalie directly between the eyes and put him down. Goalie was seeing stars for quite awhile.

4. AJ Treais. Didn't have is normal jump but moves the puck very very well. He's fast and has tremendous pucks skills. His style of play will fit like a glove at Michigan.

5. Jon Merrill. With another year of development he'll be an absolute rock on "D". Very intelligent, sees the ice better than most. Only thing is i'd like to see him develop a bit of a mean streak in front of the net. Oh, i also saw him parked in front of the net on PP (big body).

Anyway, i'm excited. These kids can flat out play. Can't wait to see them in action this fall.

Brad said...

From the Fargo article:

"Brown came to the NTDP from Flower Mound, Texas, but grew up dreaming of playing for Michigan.

It was a dream that started when Brown was 5 years old, when he said he remembers watching Michigan beat Minnesota 4-3 in the 1996 national tournament."

I was at that game as a college senior. God I feel old.