Sunday, December 03, 2017

UNH Plays of the Game: UNH 1 Providence 0

Rich Boyd
Game-Winning Goal


A week ago, UNH needed a win against the Yale Bulldogs. The Wildcats had lost 3 games in a row and had fallen from #9 to #13 in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll. Senior goalie and Alternate Captain Danny Tirone came up big in a 4-0 shutout down in New Haven. He was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week and UNH held on to #13 in the nation.

Last night, UNH badly needed a win. Providence College, ranked #8 in the nation, handed UNH its fourth consecutive loss in Hockey East competition on Friday night at Schneider Arena. The 2-5 defeat dropped their HE record to 3-4-1 while PC improved to 6-3-1. Another loss on Saturday at the Whittemore Center would have been the fourth consecutive loss at home.

In the latest UNH Captain's Corner, Dylan Chanter mapped out the team's path a return to the NCAA Tournament:
"One of our team goals is to finish as a top-four team in Hockey East this year. By doing so, we would put ourselves in a good spot nationally and have a great shot at making the tournament."
If UNH lost to PC last night, they would have been 4 points behind 4th place Boston University, 7 behind Northeastern, 8 behind Providence, and 11 points behind first-place Boston College. The Wildcats have 15 games remaining against Hockey East teams. So the game against Providence wasn't a do-or-die situation, but it was important. In an exciting, fast-paced contest, UNH scored in the first period and kept PC off the board for a 1-0 victory.

Here's a video review of what I believe were the key plays.

Play, Goal, Assist, and Hit of the Game

Usually, I break down the key plays into distinct items - play of the game, goal of the game, save of the game, etc. But in the UNH shut out of Providence, I think the hit, assist, and goal all came in the same sequence and formed the "Play of the Game". It began with senior defenseman Rich Boyd preventing the puck from leaving the PC zone along the half-wall to the right of goalie Hayden Hawkey and sending it back around the boards. Fellow senior Shane Eiserman poked the puck along the boards behind the goal line.

PC freshman defenseman Jake Ryczek, who originally committed to UNH before changing his mind in favor of Providence, attempted to control the puck behind the net. At that moment, junior Marcus Vela leveled the "Hit of the Game" taking Ryczek into the boards and out of the play.

Ara Nazarian, playing on the first forward line with Eiserman and Vela, jumped on the loose puck and feathered a pass out to the top of the slot to Boyd - the "Assist of the Game".

Rich Boyd, who missed most of last season battling an internal health problem, slung a wrist shot past three players and over the glove of Hawkey. Time of the "Goal of the Game" was 7:12 of the first period. Here's the whole sequence in real time and slow motion:

Saves of the Game: Danny Tirone

En route to his 4th shutout of the 2017-18, Danny Tirone made 24 saves. Three of his best came in the 2nd period, two on the power play.

Defensive Play of the Game: Michael McNicholas & Anthony Wyse

With 1:47 left in regulation, PC head coach Nate Leaman pulled his goalie for an extra attacker. Their best scoring bid came with just under a minute to go. Brandon Duhaime got open in the top of the slot but as he received a pass and attempted a shot, both senior forward Michael McNicholas and sophomore defenseman Anthony Wyse surrounded him and deflected the shot up into the netting behind the goal. As the replay shows, this play was particularly important because Tirone was screened by a single PC player in front of the net.



The Wildcats return to nonconference action on Wednesday at RPI. Next weekend features home games against Army on Saturday and Merrimack College on Sunday.

Friday, December 01, 2017

UNH Commits Update: December-1-2017

Joey Cipollone
2018 UNH Commit
Liam Darcy
2018 Commit


Eric Esposito
2018 UNH Commit
Marek Wazny
2019 or '20 Commit

Player Spotlight - Joey Cipollone

In his third season of junior hockey, 2018 UNH Commit Joey Cipollone (DOB: 3/29/1997) is one of the top scorers in the newly formed National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC). Over his last 5 games with the Boston Junior Bruins, the first-line left winger has been on a goal-scoring tear. He tallied a goal-a-game for 4 games and two goals in the 5th game. This video highlight shows his game-winning goal in the Jr. Bruins' 3-2 victory over the Syracuse Stars on November 12th:



Over the first 23 games of the 2017-18 season, Cipollone scored 10 goals and 16 asssists. He is the 5th leading scorer in the NCDC. He's also tied for 6th in goals and T-5 in assists. The Jr. Bruins have won 9 games in a row and are in second place in the NCDC. For a couple of decades, the Jr. Bruins organization has been a training ground for many UNH players. Current Wildcats Charlie Kelleher, Chris Miller, Danny Tirone, and Mike Robinson all played for the Jr.Bruins during their junior careers.

Joey Cipollone recently signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH during the early signing period. He will enroll at UNH next fall.

Player Spotlight - Liam Darcy

20-year-old Liam Darcy (DOB: 2/26/1997) is another 2018 UNH Commit competing in his third season of junior hockey. The 5'11", 190 lbs., left-shot defenseman from South Berwick, Maine is a starter for the Islanders Hockey Club (IHC) in the NCDC. IHC is currently in first place 4 points ahead of the Jr. Buins.

Over his last 7 games, Darcy has scored 4 goals including this game-winner against the Syracuse Stars on November 12th:



Darcy has tallied 4 goals and 10 assists in 23 games this season. He is the 4th leading scorer among all NCDC defensemen. Liam is on track to enroll at UNH next Fall. He follows current UNH sophomore Brendan van Riemsdyk who played 2 seasons under the tutelage of head coach Sean Tremblay with the Islanders Hockey Club.

Player Spotlight - Eric Esposito

Eric Esposito (DOB: 8/24/98) is the third UNH Commit for next season who is playing in his third year of junior hockey. The 5'11", 181 lbs., right-shot winger is the Alternate Captain with the Youngstown Phantoms in the United States Hockey League.

Esposito has scored 3 goals in the last 3 games and the Phantoms are on a 4-game win streak. Two of his goals came on the power play including this one in the 4-3 win over the Central Illinois Flying Aces:



Esposito posted 9 goals in 52 games last season. He already has 6 goals in the first 17 games of this season. Eric signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH a year ago during the early signing period. He, Joey Cipollone, and Liam Darcy are the final three players who verbally committed to UNH when former UNH associate head coach Scott Borek (now Associate HC at Providence College) was in charge of recruiting. They verbally committed before either Coach Mike Souza or Glenn Stewart had joined the UNH staff.

Player Spotlight - Marek Wazny

Last season, UNH Commit Marek Wazny was the second leading goal-scorer on the 5th-ranked 16U team in the nation - the North Jersey Avalanche. Wazny tallied 21 goals and 11 assists in 32 games. After a brief, unfulfilling stint in Brookings, South Dakato with a North America Hockey League team, Marek has returned to form. In late October, he joined the Burlington Cougars of the Ontario Junior Hockey League near his family's home in Mississauga. Since then, he's been scoring at over a point-a-game clip with 5 goals and 9 assists in 12 games.

Last Friday, Wazny notched the first hat trick of his junior hockey career. In the 5-2 win over the Lindsay Muskies, Wazny tipped in a teammate's shot for what turned out to be the game-winning goal. In the third period, he added these insurance goals:



At this point in his rookie season in the OJHL, the 6'1", 172 lbs., Wazny centers the Cougars' 2nd forward line and the 1st power play unit. He will turn 18 in February and is on a path to enroll at UNH in the Fall of either 2019 or 2020.

2017-18 Statistics

NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2018 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2018. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2018 Commits
Joey Cipollone*  (F) Junior Bruins NCDC 23 10 16 26 12
Angus Crookshank*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 22 14 11 25 16
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 21 4 10 14 4
Eric Esposito*  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 17 6 2 8 58
Corson Green  (D) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 15 1 1 2 18
2018 or '19 Commits
Ryan Verrier*  (D) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 15 2 5 7 12
2019 Commits
Lucas Bahn  (D) Sioux City Musketeers USHL 15 1 4 5 2
Chase Stevenson  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 29 7 11 18 23
2019 or '20 Commits
Jackson Pierson*  (F) Culver Academy Prep 7 4 12 16 -
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 2 0 0 0 0
Connor Sweeney  (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep - - - - -
Marek Wazny  (F) Burlington Cougars AJHL 12 5 9 14 6
Brookings Blizzard NAHL 7 0 0 0 0
* = Signed National Letter of Intent

News & Notes

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2018 Commit Angus Crookshank has potted 14 goals in 22 games with the Langley Rivermen. He is tied for 6th in BCHL goal-scoring and 5th in goals per game (.636). Starting tomorrow, Crookshank will participate in the Team Canada West selection camp for the World Junior A Challenge. The camp runs from Dec. 2-5. If he makes the team, he will play in the WJAC scheduled for Dec. 10-16 in Truro, Nova Scotia. The NHL Central Scouting Service ranked Angus Crookshank as a 'C' prospect on their November "Players to Watch" List. He is a candidate to be drafted in the 4th, 5th, or 6th Round in the 2018 NHL Draft.

~ 2019 Commit Chase Stevenson will also participate in the Team Canada West selection camp for the World Junior A Challenge.

Prep School:

~ 2019 or '20 Commit Jackson Pierson is the second leading scorer for Culver Academy, the #2 18U Tier 1 in the nation. Pierson has scored 4 goals and 12 assists in 7 games. He signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH last month during the early signing period.

~ 2019 or '20 Commit Connor Sweeney and Lawrence Academy begin their season today. Like Angus Crookshank, Sweeney is identified as a 'C' Propsect on the NHL CSS November Players to Watch List.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

UNH Plays of the Game: UNH 4 Yale 0

Danny Tirone
3rd Shutout of Season


UNH needed a win. After starting the 2017-18 season with 5 consecutive wins and moving up to #9 in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll, the Wildcats had lost 3 in a row. The loses came against top Hockey East competitors: 2-1 to UMass-Lowell, 4-0 to Boston University, and 3-2 to Boston College.

In a review of the first third of the season on the most recent "UNH Captain's Corner", Dylan Chanter credited the play of senior goalie Danny Tirone with "giv(ing) us a chance to win every night". Last night at the historic Ingalls Rink on the campus of Yale University, Tirone did it again. He made 34 saves and earned his third shutout of the season and ninth NCAA shutout. Tirone currently has the second best Goals Against Average (2.10) and Save Percentage (.932) of all the Hockey East goalies.

Here's a video review of what I believe were the key plays of the 4-0 shutout of Yale.

Play of the Game: Anthony Wyse

Every hockey game has a key play at a critical moment which shifts the momentum toward the win. I think the key play against the Yale Bulldogs came midway through the third period. Although UNH was ahead 2-0, Yale was pressing to get on the scoreboard and back in the game. With the Bulldogs buzzing around the UNH net, sophomore defenseman Anthony Wyse cleared the puck away from the crease, then blocked a pass and stole the puck. He then cleared the puck up the half-wall which sent UNH off on a 3-on-2 breakout. Michael McNicholas nearly beat Yale goalie Sam Tucker and Marcus Vela rifled home the rebound. Vela's second goal of the season effectively put the game out of reach.

Goal and Assist of the Game: Ara Nazarian and Shane Eiserman

Midway through the first period, senior Shane Eiserman reminded UNH fans why he's such a key ingredient in the team's success. After a faceoff in the Yale end, Eiserman hustled below the goal line, knocked the puck away from a Bulldog, and ladled a centering pass to linemate Ara Nazarian. He snapped it home for the game-winning goal and his fifth goal of the season.

Saves of the Game: Danny Tirone

Of all the 34 saves Danny Tirone made against Yale, these two stood out as extraordinary. Both came when UNH was nursing a 1-0 lead - one late in the first period and the other early in the second.

Hit of the Game: Shane Eiserman

For a game against an ECAC opponent, the Yale game was not particularly physical. Similarly, this hit by Shane Eiserman wasn't particularly heavy. However, it signaled that he was back to his intimidating style after missing 6 games with a knee injury.

Defensive Play of the Game: Anthony Wyse

Less than 2 minutes into the second period and UNH ahead 1-0, Joe Snively, Yale's leading goal scorer (9 goals in 9 games) broke into the UNH Zone. Anthony Wyse caught up with him and steered him away from the slot. Then, Wyse made one of the most heads up defensive plays of the year as he swatted an airborne rebound away from the crease.



UNH improved it's overall record to 7-4-1. The Wildcats return to Hockey East action next weekend in a home-and-home series against Providence College.

Friday, November 24, 2017

UNH Captain's Corner: Reviewing the First Third of the 2017-18 Season

UNH Captain Dylan Chanter


Hard to believe the first third of the 2017-18 regular season is in the books. In the initial 11 games, UNH has won 6, lost 4, and tied 1. The Wildcats are currently ranked #13 in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll. In Hockey East competition, they are 3-3-1 and tied for 4th place. The remainder of the regular season includes 17 Hockey East games and 6 nonconference matchups.

It's an opportune time to reflect on the performance of the 2017-18 team so far and take a look forward with UNH Captain Dylan Chanter. For background, here's my take on some of the accomplishments and areas for improvement.

Pluses

~ UNH won the first 5 games of this season, the most since the 1993-94 team won the first 7 games.

~ For the first time since 2012-13, the year UNH advanced to the Regional Finals of the NCAA Tournament, the team cracked the top 10 national rankings - #9 on November 6th.

~ UNH's scoring offense is 3.09 goals per game, 2nd best in Hockey East and 18th in NCAA Division I. Power play efficiency is 22.7%, 3rd in Hockey East and 14th in the nation.

~ Balanced scoring: 8 players have scored 2 or more goals. Max Gildon has 6 goals. Brendan van Riemsdyk, Liam Blackburn, and Ara Nazarian have 4 goals.

~ 18-year-old freshman Max Gildon is tied for 1st in goal-scoring among all NCAA defensemen and has the highest goals per game (0.55).

~ Freshman Benton Maass, who turns 19 tomorrow, is tied for 4th among all NCAA defensemen in assists (9) and is 4th assists per game (0.82).

~ UNH's overall defense is the best in Hockey East in terms of goals against per game (2.27) and 7th best in the nation. The Wildcats' penalty kill efficiency is 88.2%, second best in Hockey East and 8th in the nation.

~ Senior goalie and alternate captain Danny Tirone's save percentage is .926, second best in Hockey East and tenth among all Division I goalies.

Minuses

~ UNH is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. By comparison, the 2012-13 team, the last to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, never lost more than two games in a row.

~ During the regular season last year, UNH had three forwards who scored goals at a 0.50 pace (one goal for every two games played) or better - Tyler Kelleher (0.65 goals per game), Jason Salvaggio (0.62) and Patrick Grasso (0.50). So far this season, no forwards have reached that level of goal-scoring. Brendan van Riemsdyk has the highest goals per game (0.40) among all UNH forwards.

~ Although UNH's total defense has improved substantially as compared to last season - 2.27 goals against per game vs. 3.47 GA/GP - shots on goal allowed has only showed a small improvement - 30.84 shots on goal against per game vs. 33.26 SOGA/GP.

Captain's Interview

Here's the interview with UNH Captain Dylan Chanter regarding the first third of the 2017-18 season:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): The Wildcats have completed the first third of the regular season. Prior to last weekend, the team was undefeated in Hockey East play (3-0-1) and ranked #9 in the nation. That was followed by three consecutive loses against UMass-Lowell, Boston University and Boston College. What has the team done well over the first 11 games?



Dylan Chanter: There are a lot of things we have done well early on this season. After our great start, teams started to take note to the way we play and took advantage of some costly mistakes on our part. Our overall effort on the defensive side of the puck has been emphasized and I believe that it has been much better so far this year. Goal scoring is another area that has helped us immensely, especially to start off the season. Lastly, I think strong goaltending has given us a chance to win every night thanks to Danny Tirone.



Mike Lowry: What areas have room for improvement?

Dylan Chanter: As far as improvement goes, we are always looking to improve every part of our overall team game. Getting back to consistent 60 minute efforts is a huge aspect in winning hockey games. Everything that comes with a 60 minute effort are areas that we can improve on. Whether it is goal scoring, getting pucks to the net to create scoring chances, preventing grade-A scoring chances, blocking shots, etc., we need to continue to get better in those areas in order to win games.



Lowry: Do you believe UNH is one of the top ten teams in the nation? If so, why?

Chanter: As a team, we try not to listen to the outside noise of national rankings. One of our team goals is to finish as a top-four team in Hockey East this year. By doing so, we would put ourselves in a good spot nationally and have a great shot at making the tournament. At the end of the day, we are mostly concerned with ourselves, our league, and what we can do to best prepare for our next opponent.



UNH returns to action tomorrow night for a nonconference game at Yale University. On the first weekend in December, UNH will play a home-and-home series against Providence College.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

UNH-Boston College Preview With BC Interruption



BC Interruption, the independent blog covering Boston College sports, previews every game for both the men's and women's hockey teams. One of their features is a Question & Answer segment with bloggers who cover the team BC is about to face.

Earlier this week, Peter Caliguri from BC Interruption interviewed me for the article "Men’s Hockey Preview: Q&A with UNH Men’s Hockey Blog". His questions were insightful and fun to answer. The final one asked for my prediction for Friday's game at the Whittemore Center. I'm thinking 4-4 in a wide-open game with very good goaltending.

Next Guy Up

UNH entered last weekend's contests against UMass-Lowell and Boston University ranked #9 in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll. The Wildcats were undefeated in Hockey East (3-0-1) and 6-0-1 overall. However, the UNH team that skated onto the Whittemore Center ice on Friday against UMass-Lowell was without a few key forwards. Second line left winger Shane Eiserman (lower body injury) and center Marcus Vela (appendicitis/appendectomy) and first line right winger Charlie Kelleher (upper body injury) were out of the lineup. Third line left winger Brendan van Riemsdyk left the game midway through the first period with an upper body injury.

In a tightly contested match, Lowell scored the game-winning, second goal with less than 4 minutes remaining in the third period. Here are links to the video highlights and postgame press conference courtesy of UNH Wildcats Productions. Head Coach Dick Umile offered this analysis:
"We had a chance to win it. Injuries or no injuries, you can’t feel sorry and you’ve got to find ways to pull it out. The guys are competing and have that next-guy-up kind of attitude. Overall, the guys did a good job. I’m not disappointed in their effort, just disappointed in the outcome."
The energetic play of the fourth line - Frankie Cefalu (center), Kohei Sato (left wing), and Joe Sacco (right wing) - represents the best of the "next-guy-up" attitude. They generated 4 of UNH's 20 shots on goal against UMass-Lowell. These video highlights show the shots, tenacious forechecking, play-making, and defensive zone play of Cefalu-Sato-Sacco:



On Saturday night at Boston University's Agganis Arena, forwards Kelleher, Eiserman, Vela and van Riemsdyk were out of the lineup again. Cefalu and Sato moved up to UNH's third line with Eric MacAdams at right wing. The final clip in the highlights shows them generating one of the best scoring opportunities against BU. Although the overall shots on goal were relatively even (UNH 29, BU 31), the Terriers handily defeated the Wildcats 4-0.

In the weekly press conference on Wednesday, Coach Umile said Charlie Kelleher and Marcus Vela will likely be back in the lineup on Friday against BC. BvR's playing status for Friday was uncertain but possible. Shane Eiserman is still injured but may start skating next week. Joe Sacco aggravated an injury which kept him out of the lineup earlier this season.

Friday, November 10, 2017

UNH Commits Update: November-10-2017

The Angus Crookshank Show

Player Spotlight - Angus Crookshank

2018 UNH commit Angus Crookshank's goal-scoring barrage just keeps going. Since the last "UNH Commits Update" a week ago, Crookshank has tallied 3 goals in 3 games. On these video highlights, the Langley Rivermen announcer on hockeytv.com said "this 18-year-old has the shot of a professional hockey player" (He just turned 18 on October 2nd):



Crookshank has now buried 12 goals in 14 games this season. He leads the British Columbia Hockey League in goals per game with .86. Although he has played in 5-8 fewer games, only 5 players have scored more total goals. Angus is also tied for 1st in the league in game-winning goals (4) and tied for 3rd in power play goals (4). Finally, he has scored the 7th most points per game (19 pts in 14 games; 1.32 PPG) in the league.

Before the 2017-18 season began, the Neutral Zone scouting service rated Angus Crookshank as a 4 Star prospect on their 5-Star scale. Based on his early season performance, Neutral Zone has upgraded his rating to 4.25 stars. UNH freshman Charlie Kelleher, who plays on the first line and is tied for 3rd in scoring for the Wildcats (1 goal, 6 assists), also had a 4.25 star rating in his final year of junior hockey.

Angus signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH a year ago during the November early signing period. He graduated from high school last spring. He is on track to enroll at UNH next fall.

2017-18 Statistics

NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2018 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2018. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2018 Commits
Joey Cipollone  (F) Junior Bruins NCDC 19 5 13 18 8
Angus Crookshank*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 14 12 7 19 4
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 14 0 6 6 2
Eric Esposito*  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 9 3 2 5 40
Corson Green  (D) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 10 1 0 1 12
2018 or '19 Commits
Ryan Verrier*  (D) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 10 1 2 3 6
2019 Commits
Lucas Bahn  (D) Sioux City Musketeers USHL 9 1 1 2 0
Chase Stevenson  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 21 5 7 12 14
2019 or '20 Commits
Jackson Pierson  (F) Culver Academy Prep 4 2 10 12 -
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 2 0 0 0 0
Connor Sweeney  (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep - - - - -
Marek Wazny  (F) Burlington Cougars AJHL 4 1 3 4 0
Brookings Blizzard NAHL 7 0 0 0 0
* = Signed National Letter of Intent

News & Notes

National Letter of Intent Early Signing Period:

~ The early signing period began on Wednesday November 8th and extends to November 15th. On the first day, Ryan Verrier, a left-shot defenseman from Reading, Massachusetts, signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH. A decision on his enrollment date will be made later this season. In his first season in the USHL, Verrier has scored a goal and 2 assist with the Green Bay Gamblers.

~ I anticipate 2 and possibly 3 current UNH commits will sign a National Letter of Intent before the early signing period is over.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2019 Commit Chase Stevenson, who recently committed to UNH, scored his 5th goal of the BCHL season in the West Kelowna Warriors victory on Wednesday night. Before the 2017-18 season began, the Neutral Zone scouting service rated Stevenson as a 3.75 Star prospect. They have upgraded Stevenson's rating to 4 stars on their 5 Star scale. Here's his most recent goal:



Ontario Junior Hockey League:

~ 2019 or '20 Commit Marek Wazny began this season with the Brookings (South Dakota) Blizzard. They had selected him in the 1st Round of the 2017 North American Hockey League Draft. Over his first 4 NAHL games, he was getting significant playing time including starting at center in 2 games. Wazny's playing time diminished with the Blizzard and he moved to the Burlington Cougars (OJHL) near his family’s home in Mississauga Ontario. He’s become a key player for the Cougars playing center on their second line and wing on their first power play unit and scoring a goal and 3 assists in 4 games. Marek now has the opportunity to finish his senior year of high school near his home. Wazny is also on the affiliate list of the Omaha Lancers in the USHL.

Prep School:

~ After playing two games with the Green Bay Gamblers as an affiliate, 2019 or '20 Commit Jackson Pierson began his senior season with Culver Academy on October 29th. The Eagles have won their first 4 games and Pierson leads the team with 2 goals and 10 assists.

~ 2019 or '20 Commit Connor Sweeney has been preparing for the New England Prep School season by playing in the New England Fall Prep Hockey League. Sweeney and the U19 North team advanced to the playoff finals and he assisted on the game-tying goal. When the New England Prep season begins in early December, Sweeney will play for Lawrence Academy.

Friday, November 03, 2017

UNH Commits Update: November-3-2017

Angus Crookshank
BCHL Goals/Game Leader

Player Spotlight - Angus Crookshank

2018 UNH commit Angus Crookshank continues his torrid goal-scoring. After missing the exhibition season and first 8 games of the BCHL regular season with an injury, he has scored at least one goal in 7 of 11 games. Since the last "UNH Commits Update" two weeks ago, Crookshank has scored a goal-a-game during a 4-game win streak by the Langley Rivermen. Here are the video highlights of his 6th thru 9th goals of the season:



The first two goals shown in the highlights illustrate Crookshank's ability as a pure goal scorer. In each case, he essentially generated the score on his own. The Langley Rivermen announcers described Crookshank's goal against the Cowichan Valley Capitals as a candidate for best of the year.

The top 6 goal scorers in the BCHL have played 5-8 more games than Crookshank. Still, he is tied for 5th in total goals. With 9 goals in 11 games, Crookshank leads the league in goals per game (.82). His 4 game-winning goals are the most in the BCHL and he's tied for 3rd in power play goals (3). The centerman has also distributed 5 assists for a total of 14 points in 11 games (T-9th).

2017-18 Statistics

NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2018 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2018. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2018 Commits
Joey Cipollone  (F) Junior Bruins NCDC 18 4 13 17 6
Angus Crookshank*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 11 9 5 14 4
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 12 0 5 5 2
Eric Esposito*  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 8 2 2 4 40
Corson Green  (D) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 9 1 0 1 12
2018 or '19 Commits
Ryan Verrier  (D) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 8 1 1 2 2
2019 Commits
Lucas Bahn  (D) Sioux City Musketeers USHL 7 1 1 2 0
Chase Stevenson  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 18 3 6 9 10
2019 or '20 Commits
Jackson Pierson  (F) Culver Academy Prep 2 - - - -
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 2 0 0 0 0
Connor Sweeney  (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep - - - - -
Marek Wazny  (F) Brookings Blizzard NAHL 7 0 0 0 0
* = Signed National Letter of Intent

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ 2018 Commit Eric Esposito, an Alternate Captain in his third season with the Youngstown Phantoms, scored his first short-handed goal of his USHL career:



~ 2018 or '19 Commit Ryan Verrier scored his first USHL goal in his 7th game. The Green Bay Gamblers defenseman turns 19 in a couple weeks.



~ 18-year-old defenseman Lucas Bahn scored his first USHL goal in his 5th game with the Sioux City Musketeers.



~ 2019 or '20 Commit Jackson Pierson was called up from the Green Bay Gamblers' affiliate list to play his first two USHL games two weekends ago. He began his senior season with Culver Academy last weekend.

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