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Montana State University Splits with #6 Williston State

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By Merrick Parnell 


The sixth-ranked Williston State Tetons stood as Montana State University’s  (MSU) first opponents of 2019, and the 10th ranked Bobcats rose to the occasion on Friday and pounced the Tetons 8-5 in front of a home crowd at Ressler Arena in Bozeman.

After the Tetons took an early 1-0 lead in the first period, MSU’s Ryan Padden would answer with a goal, Ryan Perrius following quickly with a second goal, and Connor Stefan would chip in another to give the Bobcats a 3-2 lead at the end of the first frame.

The game would wage back and forth, but MSU would keep the Tetons off the score sheet in the game’s final period and pulled away with an 8-5 win.

On Saturday, both teams would trade scoring opportunities, but Williston State would score three unanswered goals, including the overtime winner to the Bobcats 6-5.

Bing and Ross Hanson would have two goals apiece to lead the Cats in scoring.

“We played a very good Williston team.  They are ranked 6th in the region and have been playing really well of late,” said Coach Dave, Weaver. “Saturday was a learning experience for our team. Giving up a 2 goal lead with under 5 minutes to play is tough, but I believe we will grow as a team as a result,” said Head Coach Dave Weaver.

The Bobcats will look to rebound this week with a huge opportunity against three top 20 opponents.

On Thursday, the University of Providence in Great Falls will come to town followed by the Eastern Washington Eagles on Friday and Saturday.  Thursday and Friday’s games will face off at 7 pm while Saturday will feature a 1:30 pm matinee. All the games will be played at the Ice Arena Gallatin County Fairgrounds. For more info on the upcoming games and MSU hockey, check out our website at msuhockey.com

Cobras Bested by  the Top Ranked Great Falls Americans

cobrasThe Butte Cobras squared up against the first place Great Falls Americans this past weekend for a two-game series.

Friday saw an 8-0 Great Falls victory in Great Falls. Butte Goalie Karl Zodda would stop 64 shots from Great Falls.

“As a team, we need to continue to string together the positives and battle through the adversity,” said Zodda

On Saturday, after a two-goal lead to end the first period, Tyson Stovin would score on a pass from Robin Bagley to bring the game to 2-1. Karl Zodda would have another 64 save the night, but the Americans would win 6-1 at the Butte Community Ice Center.

“We did a lot of good things and we did a lot of bad things this weekend,” said Head Coach Chris Shadow. “When we played hard and physical, we created time and space which we did good things with. We need a good week of practice with a good compete level to prove to ourselves we can do it.”

The Cobras will face the Missoula Bruins at home and then the Bozeman Icedogs on the road next weekend.

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Icedogs Sweep Yellowstone in 2018-2019 Season

By Merrick Parnell

Bozeman won its fifth straight game on Friday night, beating the Yellowstone Quake 4-1 in North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Frontier League action.

The win marked the end of the regular season series between the two clubs, with the Icedogs coming away undefeated against the Quake in the 2018-2019 campaign.

“The team was super proud of accomplishing a season sweep, especially the returning guys from last year’s season,” said forward Duncan McGarrah. “It was a proud moment for everyone. We just got to keep the momentum rolling for the rest of the month and into February.”

The Icedogs offense was relentless, as they blasted 55 shots at the Quake netminder. Sterling Morin led the scoring charge with a two-goal performance. Luke McKay and McGarrah would each drive in a goal, and Nash Pine and Connor Fuchs notched two assists apiece.

Defensively, Bozeman had a solid showing, shutting out Yellowstone scoring for nearly the entire game. The Quake would not score until the last part of the third period. Mikael Levokari Of The Icedogs would have another strong showing in net, making 32 saves on 33 shots.

Bozeman still sits in third place in the standings, but are gaining ground on the second place Helena Bighorns and the first place Great Falls Americans. The Icedogs will look to push their winning streak further next week as they take on the Butte Cobras on home ice next weekend on the 19th.

Buzzer-Beating Bozeman Bests Bruins

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By Merrick Parnell, Northern Hockey News

With under a second left in the final period, Bozeman’s Connor Fuchs took the puck and fired into the Missoula Bruins net, giving the Icedogs a nail-biting 3-2 win on the road this past Friday.

“It was pretty exciting with a lot of luck, Sterling (Morin) was able to rush the puck up in the final seconds and get a whistle with 5 seconds to go. He won the faceoff to  (Brock) Finn, who just threw it on the net, and I was lucky enough to be there for the tap-in,” said Fuchs, who then described the goal as “one of the craziest goals I’ve scored in my life.”

Morin and Finn would also have goals for Bozeman, and Duncan McGarrah would lead the team with two assists. Staring goalie Mikael Levokari earned the win in net for Bozeman, stopping 27 shots.

On Saturday, the Icedogs would complete the sweep over the Bruins with a defining 5-2 win on home ice. Dan Davis would net a hat trick for the Icedogs, his first 3 tallies of the season. Teammate Adam Franklin would chip in Bozeman’s other two goals. Levokari would again pick up the win as the Bozeman goalie, stopping 37 pucks.

 

“I’m very happy with how the boys are battling through adversity,” said Bates We’re stilling putting wins together with our injuries and have multiple guys stepping up!”

On New Years Eve, the Icedogs topped the Yellowstone Quake 4-2. The Icedogs are riding a 4 game winning streak, going 4-0-1 in their last five games. Their one ovetime loss came against the Great Falls Americans. The Icedogs will look to build on their streak on the January 11th against the Quake, at home at the Hayes Pavilion.

Bozeman Splits in Post-holiday Return

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By Merrick Parnell

The Bozeman Icedogs returned from the holiday break by earning a split over the weekend.

On Friday, the Icedogs took the Great Falls Americans, the second place team in the North American 3 Hockey League’s Frontier division, to overtime, but the Americans ultimately won 4-3.

Connor Fuchs, Duncan McGarrah and Brock Fin would have the goals for Bozeman, while Hazen McKay had two assists.  Fin had Bozeman’s tying goal in the third period. Bozeman newcomer Sterling Morin had two assists.

The Icedogs defense shut out the Americans in the third period and Bozeman goalie Mikael Levokari made 70 saves in the game.

The Icedogs rebounded on Saturday night, beating the Yellowstone Quake 4-1. Morin would score two goals for Bozeman, McGarrah added another, and Dalton Heimer scored his first junior hockey goal. In total, Bozeman would launch 48 shots on net. Levokari picked up the win in net for Bozeman, stopping 19 of 20 shots.  

Cobras go 2-0-1 at League Showcase

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The Butte Cobras had a successful trip to the North American 3 Hockey Leagues Showcase in Minnesota, going 2-1. The Cobras opened the event with a 5-3 win over the Evansville Thunderbolts, as Butte’s Tyson Stovin lead the scoring with a hat trick and one assist performance. Joe Erickson and Dan Liner had Butte’s two other goals, and goalie Karl Zoda made 24 saves.

Butte’s next game was a 2-1, overtime loss to the Willmar Warhawks, but Butte would rebound and cruise to a thrilling 6-5 Overtime win against the Niagra Powerhawks. Ben Dirks would score a hat-trick for the Cobras, and Charles Blandin chipped in another two goals.

Butte’s next home games will be the 28th and 29th of December against the Missoula Bruins and Great Falls Americans.

Stingers and Vipers Split Opening Series

By Merrick Parnell

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Photo: Bozeman Stingers Facebook Page

Over the weekend, the Bozeman Stingers split the two-game series with the Breckenridge Vipers at home in Bozeman’s Hayes Pavillion.


After a close 7-6 overtime loss on Friday, the Stingers hit the ice Saturday with determination to even the weekend set.  

The Vipers scored first just 3 minutes into the first period and would end the first frame with a 1-0 lead. However, Breckenridge’s Tom Hilbrich scored the equalizer in the second period and uncorked an onslaught of six unanswered goals across the second and third periods. Theo Campe, Logan Henne, Jason Smith, Ben Henne, and Eli Gillian had a goal each for Bozeman, while Chris Calnan led the Stingers with his a pair of tallies. Johny Banta set up several goals, ultimately notching four assists on the evening.

“On Friday, we were excited to open at home and put on a good show. On Saturday, we were able to tighten up pour play and play a complete game and limit them [Breckenridge] to two goals,” said Bozeman Head Coach Ryan Nyquist. “We’ve played better as the season goes along, and hope to keep improving as we take on Sun Valley on January 25th and 26th.”

Brock Vosburg started both games for the Stingers in goal and picked up the win Saturday on the night. Vosburg faced close to 50 shots over the series.

“I think everyone came in Saturday frustrated, knowing we could beat this team. I know I myself came in with a different attitude and was going to do whatever I had to to make sure we won that game!” said Vosburg. “It was great to finally get that win and play a full 60 minutes.”

The Stingers play in in the four-team Black Diamond Hockey League (BDHL), a league that was founded in 2014 and features teams from famous destination ski towns. Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, and Vail join the Stingers in the league.  At one time, the league also featured teams from Park City, Utah, and Missoula, Montana. For more info on the Stingers and a schedule for their upcoming games, check out: http://www.bozemanstingers.com

Bozeman Takes on Great Falls in Last Game Before Showcase

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After a sweep last weekend over the Missoula Bruins and Yellowstone Quake, the Bozeman Icedogs returned to action for the last time before the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) showcase in Minnesota and then the ensuing holiday break.

On Friday, the Icedogs took on the second-ranked Great Falls Americans on the road in Great Falls.

The Icedogs struck first after Dominic Canic netted the game’s first goal in the opening period. As a result, the Icedogs head into the first intermission up 1-0 on the scoresheet.  Great Falls evened up the score 5 minutes into the 2nd, as both sides traded goals in the middle frame and ended the period tied at 2. However, Great Falls pulled away in the third period with three unanswered goals to take the game 5-2. Mikael Levokari made 51 saves in net for Bozeman, as opposite netminder Drew Scites finished with 33.

The Icedogs will head off to Minnesota for the NA3HL’s annual showcase. The Icedogs play the Skyland Kings, Oswego Stampede and New England Stars in the league’s premier showcase event that will be attended by top scouts from colleges and higher level junior teams.

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#1 Helena Tops Butte in Final Game Before the Showcase


In the last game before the North American 3 Hockey League’s showcase in Minnesota, the Butte Cobras faced off against the Helena Bighorns. Helena entered the contest with a 22-2 record and is currently sitting in first place in the Frontier Division.
“The first period we battled hard, got a lot of shots and played physically, but we gotta stop pucks better and find scoring opportunities,” said Cobras Assistant coach Josh Smith.

Helena would jump to an early lead in the first, but Butte would answer with Tyson Stovin goal. Helena’s offense ignited to score five more goals in the game and take the win 6-1. Karl Zodda, Butte’s starting goalie, would make 57 saves on the night, taking first star honors, while his teammates Tyson Stovin would collect the second star of the game and Charles Blandin earned third.

The Cobra’s next few games will be in Minnesota as part of the NA3HL Showcase. At the Showcase, they will play: Evansville, Niagra, and Willmar. For more info, check out buttecobras.com

Montana State Drops Series to Top Team in the Country

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By Merrick Parnell

The Montana State University Bobcats took on the University of Mary Marauders (UMary), the Number-1 ranked team in the nation, in American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) action this past weekend.

On Friday, after a quick UMary powerplay goal, the Bobcats answered with an equalizer from Luke Bing. The Bobcats hung with the Mauarders for most of the game, until UMary pulled away with increased efforts in both of the second and third period to win 6-1.

On Saturday, Ryan Padden and Jack Qualen scored for Montana State, but the Bobcats would lose 6-2.

“We played a very good team from the University of Mary,” said Head Coach Dave Weaver.  “We learned a lot of where we need to grow and what we need to do to be at the top.”

The Bobcats head into the break with a 10-8 record after playing some of the top teams in the ACHA’s West Region which included the top 10 ranked clubs: Williston State, Dakota College, and Eastern Washington.

“The season is off to a great start. We’ve won nearly every game we were supposed to, and stole a couple we weren’t,” said Montana State Captain Luke Bing. “If we continue this trend, I expect us to make a real run at the regionals.”

Butte Takes on Missoula and Great Falls

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On Friday, the Butte Cobras battled the Great Falls Americans, who sit in second place in the North American 3 Hockey League’s (NA3HL) Frontier Division.

Butte would hold the high powered Americans to just one goal at the end of the first period and would answer with a tying goal of their own early in the second from Tyson Stovin. Butte’s goalie, Karl Zodda would make 42 saves, but the Cobras ultimately fell 9-1.

Zodda would make 42 plus saves in both of the Cobras games over the weekend. On Saturday, Zodda made 49 saves against the Missoula Bruins in a 5-0 loss.

 

“I thought we had some positives come out of the weekend, our special teams were working a little better than the past few games and we played a lot more physical than we have been. We will be working on blocking shots and getting pucks to the net this week in practice,” said Butte Assistant Coach, Josh Smith.

The Cobras next home game is against the division-leading Helena Big Horns at the Butte Community Ice Center on December 13th.  The Cobras then hit the road for the NA3HL’s Showcase in Minnesota.

Bozeman  Icedogs Sweeps in Back to Back Series

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For the second time in two weeks, the Bozeman Icedogs swept their North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Frontier Division opponents. On Friday night, the Icedogs topped the Missoula Bruins 5-2 and the Yellowstone Quake 4-3 on Saturday.

After Hazen McKay’s goal early in the first period, the Icedogs would jump out and go on a 3 un-answered goal-scoring streak against the Bruins as Duncan McGarrah would blast in two goals in the period. McKay would add two more goals in the third period to solidify the 5-2 win

Dominic Canic would lead the club with three assists, bringing his season total to 45 assists.

Mikael Levokari would make 30 saves on the evening in net for the Icedogs. Levokari has a 9-2 record thus far in the 2018-2019 campaign.

On Saturday, the Icedogs would stave off a late-game surge from the Yellowstone Quake that saw a Canic overtime winning goal.

“It was nice to get the overtime win, but we let the game get away from us for a bit due to a few mental lapses,” said Canic. “I thought we did a good job responding after their tying goal.”

The Icedogs sit in third place in the Frontier Division with a 15-7 record. The Icedogs trail the second place Great Falls Americans by just 6 points in the standings, and they will take on the Americans December 14th in Great Falls.

“It was great to pick up another two wins and sweep the weekend. I think as a group we know that it wasn’t our best hockey, and we definitely have lots to work to do,” said Assistant Coach, Rainer Green. But I’m really proud of how far this group has come already this year and I’m looking forward to playing Great Falls and then heading to the NA3HL showcase in Minnesota.

Bozeman’s next home game after the break will be December 28th against the Americans in a huge showdown.

 

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JIMMIES SWEPT BY MINOT STATE IN WEEKEND SERIES

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The University of Jamestown and Minot State University hockey teams added two more chapters to their rivalry Friday and Saturday, with the Beavers sweeping the weekend series 2-0 and 4-1.

Friday night in Minot, the teams remained scoreless for nearly 52 minutes before Shain Scheschuk broke the tie with a goal at 11:33 of the third period.

Down a goal with time running out, Jamestown pulled goaltender Tyson Brouwer (JR/Lethbridge, Alberta) in favor of an extra attacker, but the Beavers tacked on an empty-net goal by Austin Kilian with 34 seconds left to seal the victory.

Brouwer had 41 saves in the loss. Minot State was 0 of 4 on the power play while the Jimmies were 0 for 2.

The teams met in Jamestown Saturday night, with the visitors taking a 3-0 lead after two periods at Wilson Arena.

Scheschuk found the back of the net for the second straight night, making it 1-0 at 5:35 of the first. Dylan Johnson made it 2-0 with a tally just under five minutes later.

Connor Navrot had the only goal of the second period, a power-play tally at 8:54 that increased Minot State’s lead to 3-0.

A minute and 30 seconds into the third was all the time Jamestown needed to get on the board. Trevor Okino (JR/Richmond, British Columbia)’s power play goal from Jason Richter (JR/Cranbrook, British Columbia) made it a two-goal deficit, and the score stayed 3-1 until another power play goal, this time by Justin Metcalf, made it 4-1.

Brouwer had 32 saves in the loss. Breyden Effertz stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced for the Beavers.

Minot State was 2 of 8 on the power play and the Jimmies were 1 of 4.

Jamestown, now 8-9-0-1 on the year, will to travel to Bismarck, N.D., on Thursday, December 13 for their first-ever meeting against University of Mary.

Butte  Cobras Battles Gillette

 

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By Merrick Parnell

The Butte Cobras traveled to Gillette, Wyoming for a two-game set against the Gillette Wild. On Friday, the Cobras would lose 5-0.  Butte goalie, Sean Leonard would make 51 saves in the contest.

On Saturday, Butte would jump out to an early lead, as Charles Blandin would score late in the first period. Butte would go up 2-0 in the second period after Robin Bagley would net another goal.  Gillette would counter with five unanswered goals. Goalie, Karl Zodda would stop 78 shots in the game for the Cobras.

The Cobras will take on the Great Falls Americans at home next weekend, December 7th and then will head to Missoula to play the Bruins on Saturday the 8th.

 

Montana State Splits Road Series with Eastern Washington University

By Merrick Parnell

Montana State University resumed their season after the Thanksgiving break with a two-game series against Eastern Washington University, another top-10 ranked team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association West region.

On Friday in Cheney, Washington, the Bobcats clipped the Eagles 4-2, with four different Bobcat skaters netting goals. Ryan Padden, Ross Hanson, Gavin Gary, and Luke Bing would all light the lamp for Montana State.  Christian Butler would have another solid start in goal for Montana State, as he made 31 saves.

“We battled through a rough stretch in the second period and found a way to close the game out in the third,”  said Butler. “I was happy I made some timely saves and gave our team the opportunity to get an important win on the road.”

On Saturday, the Bobcats fell 4-3 to the Eagles, splitting the series.

“Eastern Washington is a team we are dead even with in the rankings, so we knew coming that these were important games,” said Assistant Coach Brian Engh. “We did what we had to do on Friday night to get a hard fought win, but tonight we just fell short. I’m proud of the way the guys competed. Both games turned into dogfights and the guys stayed in it and battled until the end in two physical games.”

Montana State will return home this weekend to take on the number one ranked University of Mary Marauders on Friday and Saturday. For more info on Montana State University Hockey, check out msuhockey.com

 

Bozeman Upsets First Place Helena

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By Merrick Parnell


The Helena Bighorns came into Saturday Night’s contest with an impressive  20-1 record and sat in first place in the North American 3 Hockey League’s Frontier Division. However, this past Saturday, the Icedogs shocked the Frontier Division with a definitive 5-2 win over the Big Horns on home ice.

Bozeman’s offensive was hot since the opening puck drop, as Duncan Mcgarrah and Connor Fuchs would score the games’ opening goals in the first period and Hazen McKay would net another in the second period.

The Icedogs defense would jump all over the Big Horn offense, stifling the top-ranked team and shutting them down. Helena did not tally on the scoreboard until late in the 3rd period.  

Bozeman’s Isaac Smoldon and Dominic Canic would round out the Bozeman Blitzkrieg Of scoring, with two goals of their own in the third and final frame.

“We wanted to play a full 60 against Helena for the first time this year, and I think from top to bottom every single guy showed great effort last night,” said Canic.  “The special teams battle was huge for us, going 2/3 on the power play and shutting them down on the penalty kill.”

On Friday, the Icedogs smacked the Yellowstone Quake 7-1 in Cody, Wyoming. Seven different Icedogs would score in the game, and Fuchs led the club in assists with 4.

Next weekend the Icedogs will take on the Bruins on Friday and Yellowstone on Saturday. Both games are at 7:30 pm at the Hayes Pavillion

 

Montana State Hockey Radio Show 12/1

Latest Episode of the Montana State Hockey Radio Show with guest, Sam Coulter

 

 

 

JIMMIES NOTCH NINE TO SPLIT WITH TETONS

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The University of Jamestown hockey team scored seven unanswered goals Saturday in a 9-2 win over Williston State College, salvaging a split of the weekend series between the Jimmies and Tetons.

Friday night, the Jimmies fell behind 3-1 on the way to a 4-2 loss.

The Tetons got on the board with a power play goal by Wade Auger at 10:39 of the second period. Bryson Yee (JR/Calgary, Alberta) equalized with a power play goal of his own, assisted by Michael Pruss (JR/Red Deer, Alberta) and Allan Pruss (JR/Red Deer, Alberta), at 14:05.

Garrett Freeman and Ryan Gruszka scored at 5:46 and 10:39 of the third, respectively, to put the home team ahead 3-1. Carter Johnson(FR/Meeteetse, Wyo.), from Cayle Bell (JR/Fort St. John, British Columbia), brought UJ within a goal at 16:03, but Freeman’s empty net goal at 19:45 clinched the victory.

David Anderson (JR/Santa Clarita, Calif.) started and played the first 30:32 in goal, stopping 16 shots. Dylan Ossachuk (FR/Fort Frances, Ontario) played the remaning 29:28 and had 13 saves.

Jamestown was 1 of 5 on the power play while Williston State was 1 of 6.

Tyler Chavez-Leech (SO/Red Deer, Alberta) and Carter Johnson gave Jamestown an early 2-0 lead Saturday, but the Tetons tallied back-to-back goals to draw level at 2:42 of the second period.

UJ responded with five goals in the second and two more in the third to cruise to a 9-2 win.

Dylan Haney (SO/Brandon, Manitoba) scored twice, and Chavez-Leech added another as the Jimmies also got goals from Cole Sonstebo(SR/Fergus Falls, Minn. ),  Bryan Kromm (JR/Stockton, Calif.), Jason Richter (JR/Cranbrook, British Columbia), and Allan Pruss.

Trevor Okino (JR/Richmond, British Columbia), Destin Robinson (JR/Ponoka, Alberta), Michael PrussCole McKechney (JR/Calgary, Alberta), Josh Stephens (FR/Bayreuth, Germany), and Richter all had two assists while Haney, Bryson Yee, and Allan Pruss also tallied helpers.

Tyson Brouwer (JR/Lethbridge, Alberta) had 30 saves on 32 shots. Jamestown was unsuccessful on five power play opportunities while Williston State was 1 of 6.

Jamestown plays a home-and-home series next weekend against Minot State. Friday the teams play in Minot with the return game Saturday in Jamestown.

Jamestown Athletics contributed to this story

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Bozeman Splits Weekend Series

By Merrick Parnell


The Missoula Bruins are the hottest team in the North American Hockey League’s (NA3HL) Frontier Division and, coming into Saturday’s game against the Bozeman Icedogs, the Bruins had won five straight games, including a big upset against the second-place Great Falls Americans.

The Icedogs came within an overtime period goal of completing back to back weekend sweeps in the Frontier Division and ending the Bruins Streak. However, Missoula’s Misha Akatonov scored the overtime winning goal midway through the bonus frame, and the Icedogs would lose 5-4.  

Gage Blatter would have two goals for the Icedogs, while Dominic Canic and Duncan McGarrah chopped in with a goal apiece. Canic would also finish the game with three assists, giving him an impressive 39 for his season total.   Bozeman Goalie AJ Ruskowski would make 42 saves in the game against Missoula.

The Icedogs got 3 out of the four possible points in the standings this weekend to keep them in third place.

On Friday, the Icedogs topped the Butte Cobras 4-0 on home ice. Hazen McKay led the Icedogs with a two-goal, one assist game, and Canic would lead the club in assists with 4.

“I thought we played a pretty good game Friday and generated a lot of offense,” said Canic. “Definitely could’ve prevented some of the shots we gave up, but our goalie did a great job of not letting them get back into the game.”

The Icedogs will take on the Yellowstone Quake next weekend in Cody, Wyoming. The Icedogs have won their last two games against the Quake.

 

 

Masog Makes 37 Saves and Earns Third Star Honors

By Merrick Parnell

Port Moody Panther goalie, Noah Masog made  37 saves and help his team to a 5-4 overtime win over the Ridge Meadows Flames.

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Masog would also earn third-star honors in the game. The 6’2” goalie from Oregon has a .900 save percentage in his first year of Junior Hockey.

Icedogs Complete Weekend Sweep

By Merrick Parnell, Northern Hockey News

The Bozeman Icedogs completed the weekend sweep with wins against the Yellowstone Quake and the Butte Cobras on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, on home ice at the Hayes Pavilion, the Icedogs broke the 0-0 tie after Hayden Groth scored midway through the second period. Hazen McKay would add two more in the game (his second came in the third period) and the Icedogs defense held the Quake to a single goal in the 3-1 win. Yellowstone was limited to just 2 shots in the second period, and starting goalie AJ Ruskowski would stop 22 shots overall.

“I thought the team played well. Our D [defense] core did a good job of limiting Yellowstone’s chances, which made my job a lot easier. Yellowstone is a hardworking team and they really tested us Friday night,” said Ruskowski. “It was not an easy win, and we had to battle for the two points. But in the end, it was a good all-around team win, and it’s was good to come out on top.”

The Icedogs would go on to top the Butte Cobras 8-3 in Butte on Saturday. The Icedogs opened the game with 4 goals in the first period, one in the second and three in the third.

Three different Icedogs had multiple-goal games, as Connor Fuchs, Nash Pine and Isaac Smoldon had two goals apiece. Brock Finn and Groth rounded out the score sheet with a goal each. Duncan Mcgarrah and Fin notched two assists and Groth added another.  

“It feels good to get back in the win column. We still have some things to clean up, but we do have a lot of positives to take from it,” said Bozeman’s Head Coach, Elliot Bates. “We had a number of players step up this weekend which was great to see.”

The Icedogs would launch 60 shots on the Butte Cobra net. Tyson Stovin had two goals for the Cobras, and Bryce Gould would have the third goal for Butte.

After the two wins, Bozeman still remains in third place in the North American 3 Hockey League’s Frontier Division.

 

Cobras Fight Hard Against Missoula and Bozeman

By Merrick Parnell

The Butte Cobras would drop two hard-fought games to top opponents over the weekend.  

On Friday, the Cobras lost 9-2 against the Missoula Bruins. Charles Blandin and Trevor Stokes would score the two goals for Butte, and Karl Zodda made an impressive 59 saves.

Vadim Zubkov would have five goals for the Bruins, and Trevor Price led the team with five assists.

On Saturday, the Cobras then lost 8-3 to Bozeman. Tyson Stovin would lead the Cobras with two goals, and Bryce Gould chipped in one more, while Cobras Goalie Sean Leonard would stop 60 shots.

The Cobras will play in Bozeman this next weekend on November 23rd at the Hayes Pavilion. For more info check out buttecobras.com

Cobras Challenge Wild

By Merrick Parnell, Northern Hockey News

The Butte Cobras gave the Gillette all that they could handle on Saturday night in Butte.

With the sour taste of a 6-1 loss on Friday night, Butte scored the game’s opening goal on at the 13-minute mark after Charles Blandin scored on a Dan Liner pass. The Butte defense would be tenacious in the first period as they shut out the Wild.

Gillette found the score sheet in the second period, and would carry the momentum of their first goal to tack on the tieing marker in the third and final period, sending the game to overtime, where eventually Austin Newson broke the tie with his overtime goal.

Karl Zodda would have another stellar performance in net, stopping 58 shots. Since joining the Cobras, Zodda has 3 straight games with over 50 saves. Butte’s Head Coach Chris Shadow was happy about his team’s perseverance in the tightly contested contest.  

“We are taking a lot of positive steps. Adding in some key players and continuing to get better is our main goal right now,” said Shadow. “We have shown great resilience through some injuries and keep building on our team character. That’s what we need moving forward”

Butte will regroup this week and prepare for two tough matchups this coming weekend against the Missoula Bruins and Bozeman Icedogs.


Bozeman Returns Home from Road Trip against Top Competition

By Merrick Parnell, Northern Hockey News

The Bozeman Icedogs hit the road this past weekend for two tough games against the top teams in the North American 3 Hockey League’s Frontier Division.

On Friday, the Icedogs took on the second place Bighorns, who came into the game with a 15-1 record, and Saturday’s game pitted Bozeman against the top-ranked, Great Falls Americans.

The Icedogs dropped a hotly contested 5-3 game to Helena. The Icedogs would shut the Bighorns out in the first period, which was a large task given Helena’s high powered offense. Hazen McKay would rifle in the first goal of the game in the second period on a Dominic Canic pass. Helena would counter with two goals of their own in the second, and would add three more in the game’s final frame.  Duncan McGarrah scored his first goal of the season since returning to the Icedogs, and McKay would notch one more goal in the final period. The Icedogs peppered 52 shots on the Helena goalie, Alex Rogers, but Rogers ended the game with 49 saves. Ultimately Helena sent three more pucks into the Bozeman net, sealing the 5-3 victory.

Bozeman goalie, AJ Ruskowski made 47 saves in Saturday’s game against the Great Falls Americans, but the Icedogs would lose 5-1. Isaac Smoldon would score Bozeman’s only goal in the first period off an assist from McGarrah.  

Bozeman remains in third place in the Frontier division, one game ahead of the Gillette Wild. The Icedogs’ next game on November 16th will be against the Yellowstone Quake at home at 7:30, and then in Butte on November 17th against the Cobras.  

 

 

Montana State Runs into Williston

By Merrick Parnell, Northern Hockey News

For the third time this season, the Montana State University Hockey team traveled to North Dakota to take on another tough opponent. This past weekend’s series pitted the Bobcats against the Williston State College Tetons.On Friday, the Bobcats would drop a 4-2 decision to the Tetons.

“Williston is a tough team. I mean it’s very evident when we walk in and see the national championship banners that they are a force to be reckoned with,”saidMontana State Assistant Coach, Brian Engh.”We competed well on Friday night, and it was a game that could have gone either way. Unfortunately, an unlucky break in the third period just killed all of our momentum.”

Luke Bing and Ryan Padden score for the Bobcats, while Christian Butler would stop 29 shots for Montana State.

On Saturday Williston State took game two 8-2.The Bobcats return home next weekend to take on Utah Valley University on Friday and Saturday. For more info on Montana State Hockey, check out msuhockey.com.

Icedogs Split Home Series with Wild

By Merrick Parnell, Northern Hockey News

The Bozeman Icedogs split their weekend series against the Gillette Wild at the Hayes Pavilion arena in Bozeman.

The split is the second one in a week for the Icedogs, as Bozeman split with the Wild last weekend in Gillette, and 3 out of the four recent games between the two clubs went to overtime.

Friday’s series opener would see a commanding 6-2 win over the Wild. Hazen McKay ignited the Icedogs offense, burning in 4 goals and racking up 2 assists. The effort earned him first star honors.  Connor Fuchs gashed the Wild with 4 assists and a goal, Dominic Canic added another 4 assists, and Brock Fin would notch his second goal of the year.

“Our game plan was just to keep the energy up and let the chips fall into place,” said Fuchs. “Our team had a full 60-minute effort which showed on the ice and the scoreboard.”

While the Bozeman offense blitzed Gillette with six unanswered goals, the Icedog defense would hold the Wild to just two goals.

Gillete’s first goal would come at the 13:15 mark of the first period, and they then struck again in the third. Mikael Levokari would continue his goaltending performance with 36 saves on 38 shots, on his way to his fourth win of the year.


Motivated by their game one loss on Friday, the Wild would jump out and score their first goal of the game in the first period on a Gage Thompson goal at 11:56. McKay would even the affair with a Bozeman goal early in the second, setting the pace for a back and forth battle that featured hard shots (and even harder hits) as both teams flew around the rink on a mission.  Austin Newson would score the go-ahead goal for Gillette after taking a Nolan Conrad pass and wrisitng a shot from atop the faceoff circle.

Eager to knot things up, Bozeman seized a scoring chance in the third as McKay would take a pass from Canic and bury it in the back of Wild’s net.

The game would go into overtime, but the Icedogs would be down to a 4 on 3 penalty kill after taking a late penalty in the 3rd. Gillette would score the game-winning goal in overtime at just under a minute into the extra frame.


“On Friday’s game we played a full 60 min. The energy on the bench was great and the boys kept building off it,” said Bozeman Head Coach Elliot Bates. “On Saturday we didn’t have the energy like we did. We need to be able to bring it every night.”

The series split puts the Icedogs at 8-5 on the year and in third place in the Frontier Division.  Gillette remains in fourth place with a 5-7 record. Bozeman will take on the Frontier Divison’s top two teams next weekend with games in Helena and Great Falls.  

Butte Takes on Missoula

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11/4/18

By Merrick Parnell, Northern Hockey News

Butte Goalie Karl Zodda would make 59 saves against the Missoula Bruins on Friday, but the Cobras ultimately would lose 7-3 at the Glacier Ice Rink in Missoula, Montana.   

However, the game began in fast fashion as both teams ended at 1-1 at the end of the first period.

Carsten Quam, Alec Sorby, and Joe Erickson would notch the goals for Butte, while Lewallen Newman and Tyson Stovin would have one assist each.

Last weekend’s series against the Yellowstone Quake saw a split, highlighted with an 8-7 win on Friday night.  Bryce Gould recorded a hat trick, while Butte local, Robin Bagley had his third goal of the season and added two assists.

Butte will next face Gillette, who is coming off a series with the Bozeman Icedogs in Butte (see above). Both of those games against the Wild will be in Butte at the Community Ice Center on Friday and Saturday.

Bozeman Splits in Gillette

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Photo: Bozeman Icedogs

By Merrick Parnell

In game one on Friday, the Bozeman Icedogs found themselves on the winning side of a 5-4 overtime game against the Gillette Wild in Gillette, Wyoming.

Brock Finn scored the overtime winner for the Icedogs, and simultaneously recorded his first Junior Hockey career goal with that same marker.

“Scoring my first junior goal felt great! Now I can progress from it and keep putting up points,“ said Finn. “We battled long and hard, made a comeback, and fought all the way till the end.“

The Icedogs would come from behind to rally in the third period after being down 4-2, with goals coming from Dominic Canic at the 9:21 mark and a Gage Blatter tally at 15:09 in the final frame. Canic would finish with two goals on the night which would lead all Bozeman goal scoring.Brady Kellerman and Finn hadtwo assists each, and Bozeman goalie AJ Ruskowski would make 33 saves.

The Icedogs would drop Saturday’s game 2-1 in overtime.Despite the loss, Bozeman sits in third place in the North American 3 Hockey League’s (NA3HL) Frontier Division behind Great Falls and Helena.

“We need to be more consistent,” said Bozeman Head Coach Elliot Bates. “We showed some great promise at times this weekend, but need to put together a full 60 minutes.”

Bozeman will have another shot at Gillette, this time at home this coming weekend. Both games will face off at 7:30 at the Hayes Pavilion.

Montana State Sweeps U. of Providence in Great Falls

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By Merrick Parnell

Montana State University (MSU) Hockey completed a home-and-home series sweep against the University of Providence in Great Falls Argos (Providence) this past weekend.

Game one on Friday in Bozeman saw a thrilling 7-6 overtime win after Ryan Padden ripped a one-timer home past the Providence goalie just 30 seconds into the overtime period.

“We were on the power play working it around, Kody Thomas gave me a great look, I took a one-timer, and fortunately it went in,” Padden said. “This is a great win for the guys, because we need to be a team that finds a way to win hockey games.”

The overtime goal capped off a contest in which Providence stormed back to tie the game after being down 6-2.

Montana State then traveled to Great Falls on Saturday and throttled the Argos 9-1. Kody Thomas, Ross Hanson,and Padden would record two-goal games each, while Mike Truex led the Bobcats with three assists.

“On Saturday night we stuck to our game plan for all three periods,“ said MSU Head Coach Dave Weaver. “We wanted to get the puck below their goal line and pressure their defensemen, and I thought we did a great job executing that game plan for 60 minutes.”

The win gives MSU a 5-3 record on the year. The Bobcats will take on the Williston State College Tetons in North Dakota in a two-game series.The Tetons are coming off three straight losses in games against Providence and Minot State University.

Montana State Hockey Splits in North Dakota Road Trip

By Merrick Parnell

Montana State University’s hockey team split a two-game series on the road against Dakota College at Bottineau in North Dakota. The Bobcats took Friday’s game 6-2, but would fall short and drop a 6-2 decision on Saturday.

“On Friday, we were slow out of the gates but turned it on in the 2nd and 3rd. Charlie Lafferty was fantastic and made some incredible saves to maintain our lead,” said Assistant Coach Brian Engh. “Saturday was a great battle also. Unfortunately, some tough penalties led to our demise. We really just have to find a way to put 60 minutes together. When we can do that, there’s not a team in the country that can stop us.”

The Bobcats will return home this weekend for a two-game series against Providence (Great Falls). Faceoff on Friday, October 26th is at 7 pm in Bozeman, and Saturday’s puck drop will be in Great Falls.

Junior A: Bozeman Gets Back in Win Column

10/24/18

By Merrick Parnell

The Bozeman Icedogs returned to their winning ways after taking both their games this past weekend (the first being  against the Butte Cobras at home, and the second being against the Yellowstone Quake on the road) in Wyoming.

On Friday October 20th, the Icedogs topped the Cobras 5-0 on home ice. Nash Pine opened up the scoring at the 4:58 mark, when he connected on a pass from Isaac Smoldon. Gage Blatter led the way with two goals, and defenseman Connor Fuchs notched three assists.

“Saturday was the closest we’ve been all year to playing a full 60 minute game. The team had a renewed sense of energy leading into the weekend, and I’m excited to see that carry into this week at practice and into Gillette.” Blatter said.

Bozeman goalie Mikael Levokari earned the shutout in net, stopping 22 shots on his way to earning first star honors.

The Ice Dogs would carry their victory into Saturday’s game in Cody, Wyoming, as they would beat the Yellowstone Quake 8-2. Hazen McKay would have a monster of a game for Bozeman, with a hat-trick and 1 assist for 4 points on the night. Dominic Canic would set up 5 goals with his 5 assists, and Gabe Huntley would score his first two goals of the season.

“I thought my first two goals of the season were pretty good and there’s definitely more to come,” said Huntley. “I try and I help my team by getting down low in the dirty areas and grinding it out.”
Jaxson Dodds would score his first junior hockey goal after putting home a Canic pass, and the Icedogs would blast a total of 71 shots on the Yellowstone net in the win.

After the weekend, the Icedogs once again find themselves in third place in the North American 3 Hockey League’s Frontier Division and will look to keep building momentum this weekend against the Gillette Wild.

Butte Cobras Keep Looking to Build

By Merrick Parnell, Northern Hockey News

The Butte Cobras are remaining optimistic despite two losses this weekend. The Cobras dropped a 5-0 decision to the Bozeman Icedogs, and then follow that by losing a 12-1 game to the league-leading Helena Bighorns.

Butte’s goalie Sean Leonard proved to be a bright spot with his 69 saves on Friday night against Bozeman, and Donald Dickens scored his first goal as a Cobra Saturday night against Helena.

“It was a good start to something that is going to be great. We have been playing much better lately and there is much more to come,” said Leonard.

Butte’s General Manager, Bill Lavelle, is excited about the potential that Dickens has.

“Donny [Dickens]  is an aggressive very skilled player with an excellent hockey IQ. His ability to see the play develop adds another level of depth to the team.” Lavelle said.

The Cobras will re-group and build up to this next weekend’s series versus the Yellowstone Quake in Cody, Wyoming, and the Cobras will return home to Butte for two games against Gillette on November 9th and 10th.

Montana State Takes on Undefeated University of Mary

 

Photo: MSU Hockey Facebook Page

By Merrick Parnell

The Montana State University (MSU) Hockey team dropped two games to the University of Mary (UMary) in Bismarck, North Dakota this weekend.  UMary came into the game with a perfect 12-0 record, with impressive wins against the University of Denver (ACHA) and University of North Dakota (ACHA).

On Saturday, the Bobcats fell 6-2. Ryan Padden and Josiah Pilskalns netted both the MSU goals.

“We lost the game in 5-minute sections, periods where we would fall asleep and sit back,” Padden said. “That was one of the best teams in the country, and we set a mark to be right there with them and I think we can achieve that goal.”

On Sunday, in the second game, the Bobcats lead UMary 2-1 after the first period but would fall 5-2.  Kody Thomas and Connor Stefan would have the goals for the Bobcats.

“I thought we competed hard. In the first game, we both had 33 shots.  In the second game, we were leading 2-1 after the first period and we were in the game to the very end, ” said MSU Coach Dave Weaver. “We need to learn to play a full 60-minute game.  We have moments in games where we need to learn to keep up our intensity. “

MSU will return to North Dakota this weekend to take on the Dakota College Jacks. Montana State’s next home series will be on October 26th and 27th against Providence (Great Falls.) For more info, check out msuhockey.com

 

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Butte Picks up First Win of the Season

By The Northern Hockey News

Wyatt Haakenson’s goal at the 1:43 mark in the overtime period sealed the Cobra’s 8-7 win over the Yellowstone Quake and gave the Butte club their first win of the season in front of the home crowd at the Butte Community Ice Center

“I was just in the right spot, my teammate [Alec Sorby] made a beautiful pass and all I had to do was tap it in 2. I think everyone’s performance contributed to that win, we were capitalizing on a lot of our chances and a few guys put up several points” said Haakenson.

Haakenson would finish with two goals and two assists on the night.  

The Cobras kept the Yellowstone Netminder busy as they blasted 69 shots on net. Cobra Tyson Stovin would find the back of the net three times and assisted on another goal from Haakenson. Stovin’s Hat Trick performance would earn him first star honors on the night.

Goalie, Casey Mattfeldt would finish the game with 59 saves in his first win of the season in between the pipes.  Butte’s Head Coach Chris Shadow was happy about the win for the Cobras and the team effort.

“We competed all night. Everyone in the locker is finally competing together as a team instead of individuals. We battled back after every goal and believed in each other.”

Butte will hit the road next week for a 2 game road trip in Bozeman on Friday night (October 19th) and in Helena on the 20th. Check out buttecobras.com for more info.

 

Bozeman Takes Great Falls to the Wire

10/13/18

By Merrick Parnell

The Bozeman Icedogs took the Great Falls Americans on in a classic battle that would go down to the wire on Thursday, October 11th

Great Falls came into the game in first place in the North American 3 Hockey Leagues’ (NA3HL) Frontier Division with a 8-1 record, with their high powered offense having scored 71 goals in just 11 games. Bozeman blazed out of the gates in the first period, getting a quick goal from Devin Hofmann at the 9:05 mark in the first.Both teams would battle throughout the game, as both traded chances and goals.

As the battle waged on, Bozeman found themselves down 4-3 in the 3rd.Bozeman then came within inches of connecting with the equalizing goal after Great Falls took three consecutive penalties.Nonetheless, Great Falls would score on a late game empty-netter to make it 5-3, and ultimately sealed the deal.

Bozeman Goalie AJ Ruskowski would make 51 saves on the Americans, and Devin Hofmann Would earn third-star honors with his two-goal performance.Hazen McKay netted Bozeman’s third goal.

On Friday night, the Icedogs dropped a 5-1 decision to the Helena Bighorns. McKay scored Bozeman’s lone goal on the powerplay from Nash Pine and Brock Finn, and Ruskowski finished the game with a 37 save performance.

The Icedogs will next face the Butte Cobras at home on October 18th. The Icedogs lead the Butte Cobras 2-0 in the season series after 13-0 and 8-1 wins in September.

For more info on that game and all things Icedogs, check outhttps://www.bozemanicedogs.com/

Masog Makes 47 Saves

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10/4/18

By Merrick Parnell

Noah Masog’s 47 saves earned the rookie goalie for the Port Moody Panthers the game’s Third Star after Wednesday’s tilt against the Aldergrove Kodiaks in Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) action. The Panthers dropped the game 4-2 to the Kodiaks after Aldergrove scored two third period goals.

“It felt good, I was feeling good and seeing everything. It was a game of bounces and unfortunately, they weren’t going our way,” said Masog. “That’s how it goes sometimes, but we’ll be ready to play the games this weekend. We’re ready to work.”

Port Moody’s next game is this Saturday at home against the Surrey Knights. The Panthers will be looking for their fifth win of the year.

Montana State University Hockey Show Ep 1

Bozeman Drops Close Road Game

10/8/18

By Merrick Parnell

On Friday, October 5th, the Bozeman Icedogs traveled to Missoula to take on the Junior Bruins for the second time this season. The last time the two clubs met was back in September in the Icedogs second game of the year, a game which Bozeman would take 5-2.

In the rematch, the Icedogs would fall 8-7 in a high scoring back and forth affair. Hazen McKay would have two goals and an assist on the night, while Dan Liner, Nash Pine, and Wyatt Burrell had a goal apiece. Devin Hofmann and Gage Blatter would also contribute a goal each and three assists.  

Missoula’s  Misha Akatnov proved to be a force on Friday, as he skated to a four-goal performance and assisted teammate Ty Dittman in Missoula’s 8th goal. Bozeman Goaltender Mikael Levokari would record 37 saves on the night, while Bruin Goalie Evan Williams would finish with 31 saves.

“We gave up too many quality scoring chances in the D zone and we need to be better in front of our goaltender,”  said Assistant Coach Rainer Green. “Moving forward we need to play a harder and smarter 200-foot game, and good things will happen. Coach Bates and I love the group of guys that we have, and we think we are a very dangerous hockey team when we play a full 3 zone game.”

On Saturday night, the Icedogs would lose 8-2 against the undefeated Helena Bighorns.

The Icedogs return home for a two-game homestand starting this Thursday against the Great Falls Americans, and then this Friday against the Helena Bighorns.  Both of those games will start at 7:30 pm at the Hayes Pavilion in Bozeman.

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NA3HL: Bozeman Rebounds to Beat Yellowstone

10/4/18

By Merrick Parnell

After losing to the top-ranked Helena Bighorns on Friday, the Bozeman Icedogs rebounded to a 6-4 road victory against the Yellowstone Quake in Cody, Wyoming Saturday night. Croatian-born Dominic Canic would finish the game with two goals and two assists, while Bozeman local Hazen McKay would record a goal and three assists.

“I’m glad I could chip in and help the team out, but at the end of the day it’s not about personal numbers, it’s about helping the team get the win,” Canic said. “It felt great to get the win against Yellowstone, and to get back to our winning ways.”

Brady Kellerman, Dan Liner and Nash Pine would contribute a goal apiece, and Wyatt Burrell, Gage Blatter and Devin Hofmann would notch two assists each.

The win moves the Icedogs to 4-1 and into third place in the North American 3 Hockey League’s Frontier Division behind Helena and Great Falls. Bozeman’s next game will be on the road against the Missoula Bruins on October 5th.

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Pine Picks up Fourth Junior Goal

10/4/18

By Merrick Parnell

Nash Pine netted his fourth goal of the year in Bozeman’s fifth game of the season, as his latest goal came late in the third period to ice the Yellowstone Quake, and give the Bozeman Icedogs a 6-4 win on Saturday. Pine also picked up his second assist of the season after helping set up a first period goal by Brady Kellerman. Pine is excelling in his first year of junior hockey and averages over a point per game in the team’s first five contests. With the win, the Icedogs move to third place in the North American 3 Hockey Leagues’ Frontier Division with a 4-1 record.

Montana State University Sweeps in Opener

10/4/18

By: Merrick Parnell

Photo: Elizabeth MacDonald

Montana State University Hockey (MSU) started its season with a two-game sweep over Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham, Washington. Friday saw a 4-3 Bobcat win, and then on Saturday MSU thumped WWU by a final score of 7-3.

Four different Bobcats picked up goals on Friday night, with Ryan Winchester, Kody Thomas, Ryan Padden, and Ross Hanson finding the back of the net. Thomas, a former Great Falls Americans Junior A product, would also finish the night with an assist in his first college hockey game.

“Scoring any time during the season always brings a round of joy, but that feeling is definitely a little stronger when it’s the first game of the season,” Thomas said. “I got a great opportunity from the work our forwards put in down in the corners and was able to take advantage of the situation presented to me.”

On Saturday, Ryan Padden would lead the MSU scorers with two goals coming from Ryan Perius assists. Veteran Luke Bing would also score twice, while Ross Hanson and Josiah Pilskalns rounded out the goal scoring with one apiece.

Montana State University will now re-focus their attention to this coming weekend, where they will take on the Bozeman Stingers on Friday and then play their in-state rival Montana Tech on Saturday. Puck drop for both of those games is at 7PM.

Wirth Scores in Junior Hockey Debut

 

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9/27/18

By Merrick Parnell

Tyler Wirth made his Junior Hockey Debut this weekend with the Strathmore Wheatland Kings in Alberta’s Heritage Junior “B”Hockey League, and the 6’2” 181 pound forward did not disappointed as he netted his first goal of his junior career on Friday in a 4-2 loss to Okotoks.

“It feels good to get the first one out of the way and I can just keep building off that,” said Wirth. “Getting the first goal in the league really boosts my confidence, and I hope to carry that into the upcoming games.”

The Wheatland Kings faced Okotoks again on Saturday and kept with them in regulation, ultimately losing 3-2 in OT. Wirth and the Wheatland Kings will now prepare for their next games against Stettler and Red Deer this coming weekend.

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Icedogs  Top Cobras in Opener



The Bozeman Icedogs got off to an electric start to the 2018-2019 North American 3 Hockey League Season after a 13-0 win against the Butte Cobras on Saturday in Butte Montana.

Issac Smoldon and Nash Pine recorded hat tricks in the contest for Bozeman, while Hazen McKay, Wyatt Burell, and Dominic Canic notched two goals each. Adam Franklin would also add to the goal total with one of his own, while Hayden Groth, Gage Blatter, and Gabe Huntley found the score sheet with a flurry of assists. In total, the Ice Dogs amassed an impressive 94 shots on the Butte goal. Starting goalie AJ Ruskowski made 30 saves en route to a shutout performance.

Elliot Bates
Coach Elliot Bates after the huge win Photo: Icedogs Facebook


Elliot Bates, Bozeman’s new head coach, was happy about the win in his Icedogs coaching debut.

“It was a great way to start the season,” Bates said. “It was a great morale boost for our returners and got the first game jitters out of the way for the rookies. The camaraderie of the team is refreshing to see as a coach, knowing these players have come from all over.”

The Icedogs know that the work is far from over, and they will practice hard this week to gear up for a good test about Missoula.

“Looking forward to the next game against Missoula, we will need to clean up our game in some areas, but the guys are still eager to learn and continue building off our first game success,” Bates said.

The Icedogs will take on the Missoula Bruins next weekend on the road at the Glacier Ice Arena.

Pine Nets Hat-Trick for Icedogs in Debut

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Bozeman Icedog Nash Pine started off his junior hockey career with a solid showing this weekend in Butte against the Cobras.

The North American 3 Hockey League rookie and Bozeman local recorded a hat trick in his debut, providing a constant offensive threat as the Icedogs would top the Cobras 13-0 in their season opener while putting up a colossal 94 shots on the Butte net.

“We played a great game, to put up 13 goals is quite an accomplishment and to have several points on the score sheet has already boosted my confidence,” said Pine, who hopes to continue providing consistent firepower for the Icedogs who feature several top scorers.

Next week, Bozeman will head into Missoula next week to take on the Missoula Bruins.

Masog Backstops Port Moody Win in Junior Debut

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9/9/18

Port Moody, BC -Noah Masog made an impressive 58 saves and earned first star honors in his junior hockey debut with the Port Moody Panthers in the Pacific Junior Hockey League. Masog’s performance in net would backstop a 3-2 Panther win against the Grandview Steelers on Saturday.  

“It was a team effort. The guys were playing great in front of me so I did what I could to steal the win for them. It felt great, and it was a lot of fun winning that game.” said Masog.

With the win, the Panthers improved to 2-0 on the year. They topped the Surrey Knights on the road,  9-1 on Thursday. The Panthers will next take on the Aldergrove Kodiaks at home on September 15th.
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Masog Commits to Port Moody Junior Hockey

Noah Masog

Goaltender Noah Masog has committed to the Port Moody Panthers Junior Hockey club for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. “I’m really excited to sign with the Panthers,” Masog said. “I worked hard this offseason back at home and I’m looking forward to bringing my skill in net, communication, and work ethic to the team this year.”

The ‘99 goalie is native of Scappoose, Oregon and comes to the Panthers in the Pacific Junior Hockey League after playing his minor hockey with the Portland Jr. Winterhawks.

Edson and Hinton Joins WSHL’s Provinces Division

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The Edson Aeros and Hinton Wildcats have joined the Provinces division of the Western States Hockey League (WSHL). Both the Aeros and Wildcats will play their inaugural seasons this year and will join the Cold Lake Wings and Meadow Lake Mustangs in the Division.

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Edson Aeros/aeroshockey.ca

 

The Aeros will play their home games at Repsol Place in Edson, Alberta.  “Repsol Place is a great arena, containing seating for almost 1000 people with good visibility throughout,” said President and General Manager Axel Axmann. “We have a fantastic dressing room, hospitality room, and office arena and we’re very happy to be playing out of this ‘ole barn.’”

“Edson is a town of over 8000 people in West Central Alberta, and our club plans to be a huge force in the community, with community integration being a major focal point of the Edson Aeros. Everything we have done with respect to the club at this point has been with the community in mind. From using local businesses to supply us with products and services, to billet families to volunteers and employees have focused around the community.” Axmann said.

The community will get their first chance to support the new club this fall when their inaugural season kicks off.

Vist their website at https://www.aeroshockey.ca for more info

Repsol Place
Repsol Place/edson.ca
Repsol Place/edson.ca

 

 

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Hinton, Alberta’s Murray Rec Center will be the home rink for the Wildcats. Hinton has a population of over 9,000 residents and is located in West Central Alberta, Canada, sitting 176 miles west of Edmonton.

 

Murray Rec Center/hinton.ca

“We are going to play a huge role in the community. Hopefully, it’s what junior hockey is all about,” said General Manager and Head Coach Geoff Walker. “The support we have there is a real buzz and people have been great, so we are really looking forward to getting started.”

Walker has been hard at work this offseason assembling a roster that will be successful. “Fans can expect a team that is going to play with pace and works hard. Our roster is coming together nicely, so we are excited about that,” Walker said. The Wildcats will play their first exhibition game September 14th and will open their regular season October 12th.

Fans can learn more about the Hinton Wildcats by checking out their webpage at https://www.hintonwildcats.ca

Slapshots: Make it or Break it at Main Camp

By Merrick Parnell, Junior Hockey Scout

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Photo: Sioux City Journal

Your hard work this past season has earned you an invite to a junior team’s main camp. These camps are your time to shine and to show that you can play at the next level.

Main camps are part of the process to play junior hockey (check out the previous article on things you should do to play junior hockey: link here: ) and are essential because it allows teams to bring in their new top prospects to compete with their current personnel.  All through the camp players will be evaluated by the club’s scouting staff, coaching staff, and front office staff.

This article will help identify what those scouts and evaluators will be watching for, and it will give you a good idea on what you need to do to show well at camp and hopefully earn a roster spot.

Most camps will have a similar format of on-ice training sessions and exhibition games. Evaluators will watch you closely, especially during the on-ice games, to see how you do in live in-game scenarios.  Although evaluations can be advanced and sophisticated with a lot of categories, they will mostly boil down to three categories:

– Hockey Skills.
– Skating
– Hockey Sense/IQ

Skating

You can’t play the game if you can’t skate.  Skating is an important aspect because it will often times help to make a play. If a player can use speed and agility to enter into open ice to make a pass or receive a pass, that is something that is noticed.

Another significant factor that is recognized is the ability to recover. The ability to change direction, or catch up to the play, is huge. On the defensive end, scouts will look at how well you can keep position on the puck carrier or how hard you back and forecheck. Skating can make or break your showing at a camp, so focus on it often. Working with a power skating coach is never a bad thing, especially when leading up to camp.

Hockey Skills

Hockey skills encompass passing, shooting and stick work. Scouts will look at how well you can do these things, and it is essential to take the extra second to make sure you make the play. Smooth tape to tape passes, an array of shots with accuracy and velocity, and the ability to control the puck will go a long way in impressing evaluators.

Hockey Sense/IQ

This category is the toughest one to evaluate because it is built upon so much of the intangibles and subjective opinion. In a nutshell, scouts will look at effort and level of compete in this category and also vision. Prospects can score highly in this by demonstrating anticipation, split decision thinking, and being able to read and see plays develop. Hustle is also a considerable part of this category, and believe me, scouts will notice if players “dog it” during shifts, especially if they skate slowly back to the bench during a change. Be willing to work hard and be ready to use your intellect to make smart hockey plays, and you will be fine.

Final Thoughts

Showing well at camps by excelling in these categories will go a long way in helping you prepare for junior hockey. Make sure you take the time to prepare for camps with skating and skills sessions. Another good tip is to arrive a day early to the camp, check out the rink and the facilities, and try and do a skate (or at least dry land workout) so your body can become acclimated to the climate, altitude, time change, and other factors.

Above all, remember to stay humble, work hard, and play smart, and your hockey future will remain full of hope and promise no matter where you play.

PJHL’s 2019 “Winter Classic” to be Held in Richmond, B.C

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The Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) has announced that they will be hosting the third, annual 2019 Winter Classic in Richmond, B.C. at the Minoru Arena.

The  PJHL’s Winter Classic will be played January 4th-6th and will feature all of the PJHL’s member clubs. The Winter Classic will be attended by scouts from Junior A, Major Junior, and University Hockey Programs. The event will give players a chance to exhibit their game and talent in front of scouts and teams at the next level.

Minoru Arena Photo: Richmondsportshosting.ca

 

 

Everett and Swift Current Pull Off Summer Trade

The Western Hockey League’s (WHL), Everett Silvertips and Swift Current Broncos, have pulled off a trade that sent Ethan O’Rourke from Everett to Swift Current in exchange for Sahvan Khaira.

O’Rourke, the 6’5″ Forward had one goal and three assists in 29 games with the Silvertips. Before his stint in  Everett, O’Rourke had five goals and 14 assists with the Prince George Cougars during the first part of the 2017-18 season.

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Ethan O’Rourke with the Prince George Cougars Prior to Arriving in Everett Photo: Doug Wesscott/ Elite Prospects

In exchange for O’Rourke, the Silvertips acquired  6’4″ Defenseman, Sahvan Khaira. Khaira recorded six goals and 20 assists with the Broncos in the  2017-2018 season. Prior to playing in Swift Current, Khaira played in Seattle for the Thunderbirds from 2014 to halfway through the 2016 campaign.

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Sahvan Khaira Photo: Doug Wesscott/ Elite Prospects

 

NA3HL Releases 2018-2019 Schedule

Photo: NA3HL.com

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced their schedule for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. The regular season will open Friday, September, 7th and will conclude in  March. The NA3HL is entering its 10th year as a Junior A, Tier III League. Prior to their Junior A status, the league played at the  Junior B  level from the 1980s-2007.  The NA3HL’s 37 teams span from Maine to Montana and the league includes teams in Texas and the south-east.

You can find the full NA3HL 2018-2019 Schedule at http://na3hl.com/game-center/#/schedule/all-teams/169/all-months?league=2

 

NA3HL Logo NA3HL.com

 

 

Slapshots: How Hockey Became Part of my Lifestyle

A Guest Piece by Derek Harper, Seattle Totems Beat Writer

Portland Winterhawks in action against the Vancouver Giants. Photo by Derek Harper

 

I was never really the type to fit in, that is until I found hockey in sixth grade. Sixth grade was when I knew I wanted to be a sports broadcaster for a career and when I found hockey which made me want to broadcast that sport specifically. Sixth grade was when I attended my first Western Hockey League (WHL) game between the Portland Winterhawks and visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. After taking in that game I was hooked on hockey and have attended Winterhawks games ever since.

Around that same time, I started volunteering for the Fort Vancouver Vipers of the regional Junior-A Tier-3 and now defunct Northern Pacific Hockey League (NPHL). The Vipers ceased operations after six games, three at home, due to lack of players and increase in player injuries. I did play-by-play and color commentary for the three home games the team had. I was devastated when they folded because I loved broadcasting the home games and being part of the organization. Shortly after they folded I got the chance to do color commentary for one game for the West Sound Warriors of the NPHL in a game they won in a shootout over the Bellingham Blazers.

Shortly after the Vipers folded I found out Portland State had a club hockey team, so I got in touch and started volunteering for them. They competed in Division Two of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). The following season I began volunteering for the Vancouver Rangers, a new Junior-A team that competed in the Tier-2 Western States Hockey League (WSHL). Around the time the Rangers hit the ice, I launched WSHL 365 which includes a Facebook page and fan forum, Twitter account (@wshl_365), and website (www.wshl365.wordpress.com). For the Rangers I did various tasks including getting the privilege to do play-play-play with one of the broadcasters for the team.

For the Vikings I did different tasks including joining the broadcaster for the Washington Huskies for a game when they were in town. Soon after I joined UW’s broadcaster for the one game, I started calling games on my own where I really found my passion. The Rangers stayed in Vancouver for two seasons before relocating to Bremerton where they became the West Sound Warriors before ceasing operations after one season. The West Sound Admirals have since replaced them in time for the 2018-19 season.

Around the time the Rangers left, the Vikings ended up not playing another season which left me with nowhere to volunteer which felt a bit odd. However, I had some excitement for a short time. I landed a game day operations internship with the Winterhawks, however after little contact, I never worked a game. For the 2018-19 WSHL season, I’ll be a beat writer for the Seattle Totems.

I’ve attended three Vancouver Canucks games and was very impressed with the experience. I’ll always enjoy attending Winterhawks games, but once I experienced an NHL game I realized that’s what I want to be part of in the future. From player introductions to the pace of the game and everything in between, the NHL is top notch. When you walk around Vancouver you see people in Canucks gear, decorations, advertisements. These are just a few things that show much the team means to the city.

I’ve acquired a great amount of knowledge about the game of hockey. I’ve learned about the game itself and things not directly related to the game such as the saying of how hockey is a family. Not only is hockey a family, but it’s a lifestyle. It doesn’t matter what age you start following hockey, where you discover it, or how you discover it. It doesn’t matter if you’re involved with the game somehow such as volunteering for a team or just attending games. Once hockey becomes part of your lifestyle it’s with you forever.

About the Author:

Derek Harper is a Sophomore at Central Washington University (CWU). He plans to major in communications with a focus on broadcasting in his pursuit of a sports broadcasting career. Starting this season, he’ll be a beat writer for the Seattle Totems of the WSHL. During the summer he works as an office assistant at Harper Houf Peterson Righellis (HHPR) Inc. and as a member of the Hillsboro Hops Game Day Staff.

Slapshots:  Want to Play Junior Hockey? The Steps Prospects Need to Take if They Want to Achieve their playing goals.

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By Merrick Parnell, Junior Hockey Scout

For many, a lot of young hockey players grow up wanting to play Junior Hockey in the United States or Canada. Junior Hockey is an excellent opportunity to continue playing the game at a high level and also earn college scholarships and playing opportunities. Some players from tier 1 in the United States and Canada might get an opportunity to play at the pro level.  The road to playing junior hockey can often be daunting and confusing, with all of the leagues and options out there but many players make one huge mistake, they wait for teams to come to them. If you want to set yourself up with a substantial Junior Hockey opportunities, be proactive, do not wait for teams to come to you. Here are some ways that you can take your destiny into your own hands.

Get to know the game

Junior Hockey is vastly different from minor hockey. The players are older, the speed is faster, and the play is more skilled. Each Junior league has its own identity and style of play. Take the time to watch games from teams you are interested in and reach out to players to ask questions about the teams and league.

Be Realistic

Know your skill set, and don’t be afraid to get feedback from others. Many players miss out on great opportunities because they are trying to jump up to the high levels of junior without having the skill set to do so. Most new and young junior players will try and play a year at the Tier III level of  Junior Hockey in the States or with a Junior B club in Canada. These experiences allow for players to grow, mature and develop at a reasonable rate. After each season, players from these levels will look to move up to a higher league or seek an affiliate opportunity with a team.

 

Attend Showcases

Showcases are typically weekend-long events that are designed to assemble a lot of players into teams that will play exhibition games. These games are often attended by a lot of scouts from a variety of leagues. Scouts like attending these camps because its an excellent way to view a ton of players all at once. Furthermore, scouts will have easy access to players before and after games to introduce themselves and gauge interests. Many motivated scouts will try and arrange a meeting with potential players and their families to establish a report.  There are several Showcases out there, and it is essential to select the one that will best expose you. Take into consideration these factors.

  • Location.  Look for camps held in easy to reach places. Many scouts will go to the showcases that are the easiest for them to go to. Accessible camps are usually held in larger cities with good airports and lots of hotels. Scouts would gladly attend camps in Denver, Las Vegas, Calgary, Alberta Vancouver, B.C over smaller towns in Northern B.C, Alberta or remote united states. Camps in larger cities or ones that are accessible is also beneficial to you because it makes it easier and cheaper for you, the prospect to attend.
  • Who is putting on the camps: It is important to note who is putting on the camp. Is it a large company like CCM that puts on tons of camps, or an independent camp that just focuses on one city for one date. Often times the individual leagues or teams will host their own camps. I would recommend the independent camps over the super camps for a few reasons. The first is cost, the CCM camps usually charge a lot more than the local camps, the second is the number of attendees. At bigger camps its easier to be just another player or number, its way harder to get looks if you are among 500 skaters than if you’re with smaller numbers.
  • Know who is attending?: Do your homework and find out what teams will be participating and if any of those teams are ones you are interested in. Don’t be afraid to reach out to coaches beforehand and mention you will be at the camp. They will appreciate them, and might even plan to watch you more than some of the others that didn’t reach out.

 

After you have attended showcases, the ball is in your court. It is crucial that you do the following.

Create a highlight film and have access to full game film

Make sure you have a highlight film and game tape ready to send. Not every scout and coach has time to see players as much as they want, so the film becomes a way for them to view you and your abilities. With this knowledge, they can begin to assess where you would fit in with their team.  Create a Youtube channel and upload your film to it. This is the best way for coaches and scouts to view you because

Create a player profile

A player profile is like a resume that coaches and scouts will look at. Be sure to include, your height, weight, and stats from the past few years and also a profile picture. Also, list some of your strengths and attributes as a player. This profile becomes like an advertisement for yourself and skills.

Contact coaches

Identify which teams you want to play for and show your interest by contacting them. Give them a call or email and introduce yourself. In the email also include your links to film and a schedule of games so they can watch you. Doing this will help you get some exposure and hopefully move on the team’s priority list.  Make sure you tell the coaches what you can offer them as a player and how you can help the club.

Invest in yourself

Take the time to work with a power skating or skills coach to develop. Many Junior prospects will hire an off ice trainer for workouts to stay in shape and build hockey specific strength.  

Get invites to team camps

After reaching out to the coaches, find out when the camps are and try and earn an invite. Typically, two camps exist in Junior.

1: I.D camps: This is a camp where teams will bring in up to 120 prospects and will attempt to select 40 from this list to bring into the main camp.  These camps occur in the spring and is a great time to check out the team and play at that level while also getting feedback from the coaching staff in exit interviews.  If you are a younger player, these are great to get discovered and put in the team’s database and system. From there, they will be able to track you over the next few years, and possibly have you as an affiliate player.

  1. Main camp: These are where the teams will cut the roster of 40 down to the league’s roster minimum. These are like training camps to learn the team’s systems and become familiar with the organization and the players. Main Camps are competitive as the veterans have to battle at times to keep their sports from the incoming players.

Stay motivated and train hard in the offseason.

The offseason is a great way to stay in shape and train hard. Spend time in the gym building your strength and stamina. Also, take advantage of ice times to sharpen your skills to make sure that you are in the best form when the main camp starts for your junior team.

Final Thoughts

Playing Junior Hockey can be the opportunity of a lifetime.  It is indeed a great chance to grow as a player and a person. It will at times have its struggles but overcoming will be worth it. Take playing seriously and look for ways to get better and you will excel.

 

If you are interested in playing Junior Hockey, contact the Northern Scouting Network. They are a great resource that can help answer questions and advise you on playing Junior Hockey. Email them at northern.scouting@gmail.com

Be sure to like and follow the Northern Hockey News on Twitter at: NorthHockeyNews and on Instagram at northernhockeynews_  

Merrick Parnell can be followed on Twitter at: @Merk8989

 

 

 

Former Great Falls American Kody Thomas Commits to Montana State University

By Merrick Parnell

Kody Thoams

Former Great Falls Americans Defenseman, Kody Thomas has announced his commitment to Montana State University’s (MSU) Hockey team for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. Thomas who played two seasons with the Americans in the North American Tier III Hockey League (NA3HL) put up 15 goals and 24 assists.

“Junior hockey really highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of my game, and really allowed me to use what I’m good at to develop the rest of my game.” said Thomas. My skill set will help the club all across the ice. I played about 60% of my junior games as a Defenseman and 40% as a Forward, so I excel in being able to play a consistent 200-foot game no matter what position I’m playing.”

Thomas’s Junior hockey experience made him a coveted prospect for MSU and his stock increased after a solid showing at the Mountain West College Exposure Camp in Bozeman this spring.

“Montana State University Hockey is very excited about Kody beginning the next chapter of his hockey career at MSU,” said Montana State University Head Coach, Dave Weaver. “Kody is a very smart hockey player who possesses all the necessary skills to make an impact at this level.”

MSU plays in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Mountain West Division. This division hosts some of the region’s top Division 2 teams such as Boise State, Weber State, Brigham Young University and several others.

Slapshots: Scouting Hockey in the Big Sky State

Editorial By Merrick Parnell

 

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In Montana, you never know what you’re going to get weather-wise. One day you might be enjoying the sunniest and warmest of temperatures, only to endure a blizzard the next.

This same unpredictability goes for hockey in the big sky state.

Although Montana is considered part of the northern country, bordering Canada, the game of hockey here is surprisingly still developing, and due to this is often an afterthought to most.

Hockey often gets outshined by the bright Friday night lights of small-town high school football or drowned out by the sounds of a cheering basketball gym.

Those who play the game of hockey here play for the love of the game, often traveling up to 5 hours on end to play in rinks across the state. It is a labor of love and an investment in passion.

Like the players in Montana, I do what I do for the love of the game and to help develop young talent. I’m a hockey scout.

A team in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) gave me my first scouting opportunity, in an industry that I’ve worked hard to reach. For the AJHL my assigned region was the state of Montana, which is where I reside in a small ranching and college town known as Dillon in the Southwest Corner of the State known the world over as Big Sky Country. Since my AJHL job, I have also got the opportunity to work for Montana State University and their ACHA hockey club as a head scout. When I’m not scouting, I am attending the University of Montana Western, working towards acquiring my teaching credentials.

Montana Is an area that sometimes gets passed over by the Hockey world in favor of promising talent from a more traditional hockey market such as Minnesota, as scouts continue on the eternal quest to find the next Gordie Howe or Bobby Orr.

The state has only graduated one Western Hockey League player, Bill Lindsay, who played for the Tri-City Americans and later played in the National Hockey League after being drafted 103rd overall in the 1991 Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, and it’s my goal to find the next one. The next stop for a player with that potential is to play in the AJHL.

When scouting during the at-times unforgiving winter, my weekends consist of traveling across stunning landscapes, with filled views of mountains, prairies, and forests. It’s often a solitary drive, in which Alan Jackson’s country music or hockey podcasts are my only companions.

However, once I get to the rink, it is all worth it. I live to watch the game in its purest form. The world of hockey can be small, but it can also reach pretty far. I’m always running into old friends, contacts, and familiar faces. I love the way that this beautiful game unites people under a shared enjoyment. When I am at the rink, I am with family.  

While the NHL hosts and promotes a few outdoor games every year to showcase their sport, some of the younger teams I watch play outdoors almost every game, as that is the only facility or asset they have to play in.

I enjoy the evaluations, the speculation and the analyzation of prospects. I love speaking with coaches and meeting players and their families. To me, scouting is a dream job that takes me to towns I wouldn’t have otherwise ventured to.

My travels take me away from home a lot, but like they say “Home is where the Heart is” and my heart is anywhere that hockey is.

 

About the Author:

Merrick Parnell is a Junior Hockey Scout in the AJHL and also serves as the Head Scout for Montana State University Hockey.  Aside from scouting Parnell has worked as an advisor, media correspondent and analyst for several junior hockey teams. He also coaches minor hockey in the state of Montana and runs a “Learn to Play” Program with the Dillon Amateur Hockey Association.

Away from hockey he earning his teaching credentials to be a secondary social studies teacher from the University of Montana Western in Dillon.

 

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NHL Seattle Rules Out Eastside for Practice Facility

Photo: Nhlseattle.com

NHL Seattle’s CEO Tod Leiweke stated in a recent interview with King5.com that the practice facility for the future Seattle NHL club will not be on the Eastside (The Eastside is the area east of Lake Washington), Unlike the Seattle Seahawks who have had their practice facility in Renton since 2008 and previously in Kirkland. However, NHL Seattle has selected a few other sites. Leiweke went on to say that he hopes the facility helps grow the game in the area by facilitating community hockey programs.

 

You can listen to the full interview here: https://www.king5.com/article/sports/nhl-seattle-ceo-tod-leiweke-on-deadlines-nicknames-colors/281-573000387

 

da31bdac-87f2-4b6a-8c0a-2d1c6e94b588-large16x9_PKGNHLSEATTLEPRESIDENT_frame_6347.jpgPhoto: KOMO News

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Slapshots: A Love Affair with Little-Town Hockey
by Quinn Donovan, PA Announcer

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George Preston Arena- Troy Landreville Langley

Now, most will ask me what’s up with the title. “Isn’t it ‘Small-Town Hockey’?” They’ll say. Right now, Dear Reader, you’re probably doing the same thing.

Hey, I get it, but when you’re writing about love, about the beauty of hockey in leagues that are below the big time, you choose the words that flow, like a fine wine that just gets better with age. You know, the kind of wine that makes every drop memorable.

So, I admit it fully and proudly…I have a love affair with Little-Town Hockey. From the concession stands to the rabid fans, I love it all. This is where the love of the game flourishes, where the local home team is the team to see, and the rink is the place to be on any given weekday night. Where you know the kids on the team by their first name, and you talk to their parents post-game regardless of the outcome. In some cases, you even get to text the PA Announcer with song requests, or just to find out the title of a Korean Pop track that no one’s heard of in North America yet.

In case you’re wondering, that’s where I come in. I have had the pleasure of being the voice of a number of hockey teams for the past 6 years. I have dealt with 10:15pm start times on weekends, rosters that were either not in numerical order (meat puzzles, I call them) or names that would make the kids in the Scripps Spelling Bee angrily demand that it be used in a sentence, near-riots, penalty box talk that ranged from the expected to the downright bizarre, sound systems that didn’t work, and almost everything else that you can imagine.

And yet, it never gets old. Anything For Hockey, I always say. Just like the players on the ice, the booth has – and always will – deserve your best. So do the fans. In a bad mood? Stow it, it’s game time. Things not working out well? It happens. That’s life. The game doesn’t wait.

You get to know everyone on a Little-Town team, from the coach to the trainers to the arena workers, to the players themselves. If you’re really lucky, you’ll even get to know the volunteers.

There are a lot of them in Little-Town hockey, each with a heart bigger than the arena, and made from solid gold. They do it for the love of the game and the team, to make sure everything runs properly, from the 50-50 to the programs, and everything in-between. These are the same folks that bake Rice Krispy Treats for sale at the concession stands, barbecue hot dogs outside in the middle of December, and always make sure that you get what you need, their smiles wider than their shoulders. While I may say “Anything for Hockey”, they live it every weekday, no excuses, no exceptions.

It was Little-Town Hockey that got me my start being a PA Announcer when I started announcing for the Western Washington University Vikings Hockey Club, a job that I admit I got completely by accident, that I happily did for free, almost every weekend during the season. 10:15pm start times? You betcha. Frozen feet by the end of the 2nd period? Absolutely. Amazing players and people who are still life-long friends? Without question. I watched those boys win a National Title in my first year, and go undefeated at home for the next 2 and a half years after that. The alumni of that team still continue to help the team today, because they understand (like all hockey volunteers do) that the only way that Little-Town Hockey survives, and thrives, is if those who care about it continue to give back.

From there I moved on to Box Lacrosse for the Langley Warriors during the summer. An amazing sport, another great group of players, coaches, GM’s, and volunteers, and sure enough a Provincial Championship in my 2nd year.

But this isn’t about my PA announcing resume. You can find that online. It’s about a love affair with hockey, the way it should be.

Today I’m the PA Announcer for the Langley Trappers of the PJHL and the backup announcer for the Langley Rivermen of the BCHL. Last season, I got the call-up to cover 3 games for the big club. Game 1 almost ended on a near-riot due to a last-second goal, me calling Powell River by the name of Prince George, and an all-out line brawl. Game 2 was much much better.

At the beginning of Game 3, I was told that a house that contained the billet family for 3 players on the other side had burned down. No one was hurt, but the player’s clothes and possessions were lost in the fire, and the team was going to run a fundraiser to collect money to get the players new gear.

I donated, as did a number of others. Anything for hockey. It’s what we do for the game. It’s what we do for each other.

It’s what we do because it’s who we are.

That’s why I fell in love with Little-Town Hockey, and why I continue to do so every single time I’m at the rink.

 

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About the Author:quinnQuinn Donovan is the current Public Address Announcer for the Langley Trappers of the Pacific Junior Hockey League and occasionally announces games for the Langley Rivermen of the British Columbia Hockey League as well.

Goalie Prohibition. What did the CHL Learn from the European Goalie Ban?

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Photo: Timo Savela

In 2013, the body that is the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) banned European goaltenders from taking any roster spots in either the QMJHL, OHL, or WHL, choosing to justify the ban by advising that the league wanted to promote and develop more Canadian goaltending prospects. The decision confused many nations in Europe, especially Finland, which became known over the past 20+ years as a nation that developed amazing goaltender talent for hockey teams in North America.

Now, in 2018, the CHL, admitting that their experiment had largely failed to have the intended outcome, lifted the ban on European goaltenders. While the data collected during the ban period was largely dismissed, what ultimately skewed the results was the emergence of more American goaltenders, as they were not affected by the ban and originally outnumbered European goaltenders before the ban was put in place, a fact that (once the data revealed it to the league) confused them as to why they had ever put the ban in, to begin with.

Once the ban on European goaltenders was officially lifted, the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL wasted no time and selected Finnish goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, a Buffalo Sabres 2nd round draft pick in 2017 (54th overall), whom the Sabres have already signed to an entry-level contract. While most will look at the pick as Sudbury getting a spectacular goaltender for at least the next 2 years, it will also be looked back on by CHL historians as the pick that marked the end of the European Goaltender Prohibition, a ban that ultimately, and unfairly, took away a valuable training ground from a generation of Finnish goaltenders.

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What to know about Maxim Cajkovic: The 1st Overall Pick in the CHL Import Draft.

Maxim Cajkovic – Elite Prospects, 2018

Maxim Čajkovič was selected number one overall in the 2018 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Import Draft by the Saint Johns Sea Dogs in the Quebec Major Junior League. The Forward (2001 birth year) hails from Bratislava, Slovakia and plays for the Malmo Redhawks in the Swedish J20 SuperElit League, where he produced 21 points (10 goals and 11 assists) in 28 games with the team last season. He also split time with the J18 squad where he recorded 17 points (14 goals and 3 assists) in just 10 games. Čajkovič was a member of the U18 IIHF Slovakian team and helped his nation to a quarterfinal bid in the U18 World Championships. In his 5 World Championship games, he logged 4 goals and 7 assists.

At 5’11 and 185 pounds, Čajkovič uses his size well in and around the net. He often plays on the first power play unit and has put up good numbers in man-advantage situations. He scores a lot of second-chance goals on the doorstep, and if he continues to improve his stick handling, he could put up even more numbers in even-strength situations.

At 16, he is in line for another growth spurt, and the added size combined with technical ability could make him closer in comparison to another big-bodied European scorer, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Maxim’s size and offensive potential could help him excel in the QMJHL, while keeping up with the demands of both skill and physicality that Major Junior hockey is known for. Cajkovic will be eligible for the 2019 NHL draft and is currently projected to go in the top 30.

 

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Former NHL Coach Dave Tippett Not Ruling Out Coaching Seattle’s NHL Team

6/28/18

Dave Tippett on the bench (Gene J. Puskar / AP)

Dave Tippett was hired in June by the Oakville Group to serve as a senior hockey adviser for the group that is trying to bring a National Hockey League (NHL) team to Seattle.  However, could Tippet become Seattle’s first NHL coach? Tippett has a solid and experienced resume in the game of Pro Hockey after head coaching 1,000 games in the NHL with the Dallas Stars and the Arizona Coyotes and previously served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Kings. Before his NHL coaching career, he spent time in the International Hockey League with the Houston Aeros.

Prior to coaching, Tippett played in the NHL from 1984-1994 for the Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers before leaving to the Houston Aeros to become a player-coach.

Recently, on June 18, Tippett was on TSN 1040 AM Vancouver and was asked if he might be interested in becoming Seattle’s first head coach. He replied by saying: “Tod Leiweke [NHL Seattle Team President] and I have talked about it, and I am not going to take it off the table.” Tippett did follow that statement up with a remark that he’s trying to advise and help get the infrastructure up first, but would consider being Seattle’s Head Coach once the details were in place. Tippett’s experience in the NHL is valuable and will go a long way in assisting Seattle in securing an NHL franchise. It is exciting to think about, and Tippett could be the man for the job of head coach.

To listen to the full interview with TSN 1040 Vancouver click the link below:

https://www.tsn.ca/radio/vancouver-1040/tippett-drawn-to-challenge-of-building-franchise-in-seattle-1.1123908 

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The Western Hockey League to go with a 68 Game Schedule for the 18-19 Season

6/26/18

Calgary, Alberta – The Western Hockey (WHL) has just announced that the 2018-2019 Season will be shortened to 68 games, four less than any previous WHL season.  The move comes with the attempt to lessen team budgets for arenas and travel while allowing players to focus on training, development and their academic studies.  Players will now be able to spend more time in their classrooms as the league has dramatically reduced the weekday games.  The WHL will play just 98 Wednesday games in 2018-19 as opposed to  128  in 2018-19. The league will also lesson new weekday games to 188 in 2018-19 (49 fewer than in 2017-18)The regular season for the WHL starts September 21st and ends  March 17.

The WHL has been a premier league in the CHL and serves as a Major Junior staple. The association is well known for its professional ran organizations that play in pro-like arenas across the Western United States and Canada. Players from the WHL are drafted annually to the National Hockey League and come well developed to continue on their hockey careers at the professional levels. Only time will tell how the shortened season will affect the WHL, the teams, and players in the long run.

 

whl_2018-19.png

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EA Sports Releases Look at NHL ’19

6/26/18

 

NHL 19 add

EA Sports announced several details about the upcoming NHL 2019 video game. Among the new details is the ability to play with the “Great One” Wayne Gretzky and 200 other hockey legends. The game also has the “Pond to the Pro” feature where players can hone their skills, outdoors in breathtaking settings.  Technically the game has added realistic slating with authentic explosive edge skating that yields for more speed and quickness.

NHL Ledgends Cover

NHL 19 has already stated that Nashville Predator P.K Subban will be on the cover and Wayne Gretzky will adorn the “Legends Edition” Cover. Tha game is slated to be released in September of 2018.

NHL 19 Pod

For a further look at NHL 19, check out the new trailer.

Sources:

EA Sports, 2018

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