September 29, 2006

...And Then There Were Five

USHR is reporting that Riley Nash has narrowed his college choices to five. Riley (6' 1", 175) is currently playing for Salmon Arm in the BCHL and is considered, along with Michael Biega (Salisbury Prep), Brad Malone (Sioux Falls, USHL), and Brett Bruneteau (Omaha, USHL) to be one of the top uncommitted players in North America. U.S. Hockey Report goes on to say that Riley "has size, skating ability, and remarkable quickness for his size. What sets him apart is his playmaking ability -- he can really distribute the puck." In his first 7 games this year, Riley has done nothing to dispel that assessment scoring 6 goals and assisting on 6 others. Riley, who is the brother of Brendon Nash, is a 1989er and could enter college next fall or spend another year in the BCHL. Riley's finalists are the Big Red, Denver, Michigan, New Hampshire, and North Dakota.

September 24, 2006

Nanaimo beats Burnaby

Nanaimo broke open a close game Sunday afternoon by scoring 6 straight goals in the 2nd period and skating out of Burnaby with a 9-4 win over the Express. For Nanaimo it was their 6th straight win to open the season, while Burnaby lost for the first time this year. Joe Devin had a busy afternoon scoring one goal and picking up an assist to go along with 21 penalty minutes, including 17 in a fight at the end of the 2nd period. Mike Devin had a more subtle game going scoreless and staying out of the box.

Nanaimo and Salmon Arm remain the last two undefeated teams in the BCHL. Nanaimo will home for this weekend, hosting Burnaby and Alberni Valley.

September 23, 2006

Nanaimo Wins 5th Straight

After giving up 2 goals in a 32-second span midway through the 3rd period, Nanaimo needed a little extra time to continue their winning streak. Brendan Mason scored the OT winner on a powerplay at 5:45, helping the Clippers to a 5-0 record. Joe Devin scored his first goal of the season, and also as a BCHLer. to give the Clippers a 4-2 lead over Langley early in the 3rd. The Chiefs began their quick game-tying burst on a powerplay at 11:27, and then pulled even at 11:59. Joe's goal was his only point of the night, while brother Mike picked up one penalty in an otherwise quiet night.

Nanaimo is now one of 5 unbeaten teams remaining in the BCHL. Pencticon is 6-0, Salmon Arm joins Nanaimo at 5-0, Victoria is 3-0, and Burnaby is 2-0. Burnaby hosts Victoria tonight, and then hosts Nanaimo on Sunday.

September 21, 2006

A Chance for the Future?

Ithacan Chance Lieb (5' 11", 190) is playing this year in the Eastern Junior Hockey League for the Capital District Selects. Chance, a 1990-born goalie, is by-far the youngest player on the Selects -- the second youngest Selects' player is a full year older than Chance, and most of his teammates were born in 1986-1988. In his first two games, Chance has had 89 saves and a save percentage of .947. Chance reportedly has already drawn interest from several ECACHL and Hockey East schools and his profile will rise considerably now that he's playing in the EJHL. Recently the league had two of its alums named to Inside College Hockey's list of top incoming goalies.

Capital District is coached by Jim Salfi, a former St. Lawrence player, who was the Head Coach at RPI from 1972-79. Recent Selects' players include Clarkson's David Leggio and Shawn Weller.

September 17, 2006

Nanaimo Pulls Out Their Fourth Straight

Nanaimo moved to 4-0 as they swept the Powell River Kings in their two game set this weekend. Mike Devin scored his first goal of the season, and as a BCHLer, 11 minutes into the second period, tying the game at 2 for the Clippers. Cody Danberg scored on a powerplay with 20 seconds left to play to give the Clippers their 4th straight win. Penticton and Salmon Arm also won last night, joining Nanaimo at 4-0 on the season.

Joe Devin appeared on the stat sheet as having played and not picking up any points or penalities. However, on the team's season stat sheet it appears as if Joe did not play last night. We'll try to find out what's what as the day goes on.

Nanaimo will host Langley on Friday and then travel to Burnaby on Sunday to take on the defending Canadian Junior A Champions.

September 16, 2006

Nanaimo Wins Third Straight

Nanaimo is off to a strong start after beating the Powell River Kings 6-3 last night in Nanaimo. The Clippers are now one of three teams off to a perfect start, joining Penticton and Salmon Arm. Joe Devin picked up his first point of the season when he assisted on the Clippers' second goal of the game, a powerplay opportunity that gave the team a 2-0 lead. Mike Devin picked up his 5th assist of the season in the 3rd period on another powerplay, helping to give the Clippers a 5-3 lead.

Tonight Nanaimo is at Powell River.

September 15, 2006

Cornell's Class Ranked #8

Cornell's incoming class for 2006 is ranked at #8 by Inside College Hockey. This class appears to be very strong and it'll be a pleasure watching them develop over the course of their careers. The often mentioned forwards are the strength of the class, as mentioned by INCH as well, but the rest of the class is probably being underrated. Justin Krueger and Brendon Nash should turn out to be two wonderful additions to the blueline. They bring a blend of size, hockey acumen, and even a little offensive flair. Also flying a little under the radar are Troy Davenport and Ben Scrivens. Troy followed a strong season last year with an absolutely brilliant performance in the USHL playoffs. Ben did his part as well, playing very well for Spruce Grove in Alberta. In Ben's only opportunity to shine on a larger stage he played as well as any goalie in last year's Viking Cup. There's a lot to be excited about with this class...let's drop the puck.

The only other ECACHL team to make the list is St. Lawrence, in at #14. The Saints are a bit of a surprise. The thinking here is that Cornell, Harvard, and Quinnipiac had the strongest classes, followed by the Saints. But on paper they each look like pretty good classes.

September 14, 2006

Salmon Arm Notes

One of four teams to begin their BCHL season 2-0 is Salmon Arm. The Silverbacks look to be well-stocked with Division 1 talent this year, with Ben Winnett (Michigan), Brian Volpei (St. Cloud), and Luke Cain (Union) already having made their college choices. Additionally, Kelly Zajac is rumored to wear a North Dakota shirt under his Salmon Arm jersey on game nights (ok, I think I'm making that up). The Zajac family, of course, does have a history of sending their sons to North Dakota, so that seems about as safe a bet as there is. North Dakota also appears to be enamored with Riley Nash. Riley (6' 1", 170) has scored 4 goals and picked up one assist in the Silverbacks' first two games, including a 1st-Star performance in the 'Backs' second game. He is, as most Cornell hockey fans already know, the younger brother of current Big Red freshman, Brendon Nash. Riley is a highly-regarded center, and is currently ranked 4th in Chris Heisenberg's rankings of BCHL players. Riley, also, was a member of last year's U17 Pacific team that competed in the World U17 Challenge. Riley, who could come out in either 2007 or 2008, figures to be at the top of Cornell's very short wish list this year.

Two other Silverback players that will be fun to watch this year are Hank Van Boxmeer and Chris Rawlings. Both players interestingly list the Buffalo Sabres as their favorite NHL team, and how unusual is that for a couple of kids from the western part of the continent? Well, that depends... Van Boxmeer (6' 2", 193) is a defensiveman from Orange, CA, and is the son of former NHLer, John Van Boxmeer. The elder Van Boxmeer spent time with both the Buffalo Sabres and the Rochester Amerks, so western New York is familiar territory to Hank. John Van Boxmeer also was the Head Coach for the LA/Long Beach Ice Dogs in the mid-90s where he had as an assistant by the name of Brian McCutcheon. Rawlings (6' 6", 210), a goalie, has no such known connections to western New York. One can imagine, however, a young goalie growing up to with visions of Dominic Hasek playing in his head. Rawlings, a 1988-born, is currently the 3rd-ranked goalie in the BCHL, according, again, to Heisenberg's site. Rawlings' picked up the 1st-Star in the Silverbacks opening win, when he stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced.

Salmon Arm is back in action this weekend against Merritt.

September 13, 2006

Gallagher Gets Preseason Mention

Chris Heisenberg's blog posted his preseason list of incoming impact players and Blake Gallagher comes in at #3 on the forwards' list. Blake is the only Cornell freshman to make the list.

September 12, 2006

Greening Among Top Incoming Forwards

Inside College Hockey released their list of the top-20 incoming forwards and Colin Greening comes in at #10. Blake Gallagher, Justin Milo, and Tony Romano also receive a brief mention as incoming forwards expected to have an impact this year.

September 10, 2006

BCHL Season Begins

The Junior season got underway this weekend with action across Canada. In British Columbia, the Nanaimo Clippers played a home-and-home set with the Langley Chiefs, sweeping both games by the identical score of 6-4. Mike Devin got his season off to a strong start picking up 2 assists in each of the games this weekend. Twin brother, Joe, had a bit of rough start to his season going scoreless in Saturday's game, after not playing on Friday night. Joe, additionally, picked up 16 penalty minutes on Saturday, including a 5-minute penalty for fighting in the 1st and 3rd periods, as well as a game misconduct in the 3rd period.

Nanaimo is back in action this coming weekend with a home-and-home series with Powell River.