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Monday, December 19, 2011


One on One 
Sylvania Northview #25
Well here it is folks.  I am going One on One with Sylvania Northview's #25, Dalton Carter.  
Dalton pictured here with Northview goalie Austin Gryca.

Numerated question by the author, John Holt.  

1. What do you like most about being a hockey player?
Dalton- My favorite thing about being a hockey player is going on the ice and not thinking about a thing and only focusing on the game.

2. What is your pregame ritual?
Dalton- my pre game ritual consists of me getting to the rink an hour and a half before and then getting my workout clothes on then stretching, i get half dressed then tape my stick, then just listen to music and focus on what i have to do. 

3. What is the first thing you do if you have a good shift? Bad shift?
Dalton- if i have a good shift, the first thing i do is let my line mates know it was a good shift and to keep it up. if i have a bad shift, the first thing i do is keep my head up and let my line mates know what we need to do to improve for the next shift.

4. Describe your recent NAHL experience with the Amarillo Bulls? 
Dalton - My recent experience with the Amarillo Bulls was outstanding, it gave me a chance to show the coaches what i have and also to compete with players of the next level.
 Dalton Carter (right) pictured here with Nolan Culver(left)
4b. Did they have any advice for you?
Dalton - they gave me tons of advice on how to improve my game but the most important thing i took from it is, i need to work on my foot speed.

5. What are your favorite subjects? List 2 and explain why you enjoy them.
Dalton- My 2 favorite subjects in school are Math and Chemistry. The reason i like them is because they both involve working out problems to receive your answer.

6. What do you aspire to become as a professional person. Hockey, no hockey please.
Dalton- It is my dream to become a professional hockey player. with that said, if that doesn't work out, I would like to be a pharmacist or an accountant.

7. What is your current GPA, are you taking any honors courses, doing an volunteer work?
Dalton-my current GPA is a 3.11. i am in an organization called BPA which is Business Professionals of America.

8. Assuming you were fortunate enough to earn a college hockey scholarship, and then able to pick which school. Who would be on your top 5. 
Dalton-  Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Dalton -These would be my top 5 because they are also very good educationally.

9. Do you have a game system? 
What is it, what are your 3 favorite games?
Dalton- I do have a game system, a xbox 360. My 3 favorite games are NHL 12, FIFA 12, and Call of Duty MW3.

10. What is your favorite movie?
Dalton-Law Abiding Citizen.

11. Favorite book?
Dalton-Searching for Bobby Orr

12. What do you most enjoy doing with your friends?
Dalton-Sitting around and hanging out watching sports. 

and finally
13. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Dalton- I see myself playing Division 1 college hockey.
Scouting Ohio High School Hockey
I would like to thank Dalton for his time in giving this first One On One with me.  We would also like to thank him and every Ohio High School Hockey player, and parent for their time and commitment to the sport, and betterment of Ohio High School hockey.   Living as closely as we do MI and the numerous options for AAA, in both Ohio and Michigan is high.   The lure for Ohio's elite prospects is high.  Yet the benefits of strong pier system, outstanding coaching and facilities is becoming more and more the tipping point for the High Schools retaining these top prospects, and Ohio once again gaining the much do notice for being the hockey the hot bed, she was in the recent past. 

Best of luck this season Dalton


Sylvania Northview wins Padua Tournement (edited data at conclusion)

What a weekend.  To kick things off on Thursday St. Ignatius was taken to over time, by St. Ed's.  Ignatius, the best and deepest team in the state, and state history won that contest 4-3.
Then on Friday evening.  The Sylvania Northview Wildcats, who are seemingly putting the best team they have had in some time on the ice as well, stumbled?

Entering the Padua tournament at Hoover Arena, the Wildcats tie Lake Catholic 3-3.  Now don't get me wrong Lake is a good team, and consistently so every year.  But Lake was handily beaten by St. Ignatius 7-2 this year and again by 4-2 by University School.  So if a Sylvania squad is be considered a contender, we should assume they win, and show dominance in the process.  They just did not deliver.  In consistency, has been the undoing of the Wildcats for decades.  Both under head coach of record Cooper, and now Jones. Who's Wildcats came out two years ago in his second year as at the controls in the state championship against St. Ignatius were just dominated.

Well this veteran Jones team rebounded.  Taking on tournament host Padua, Saturday morning.  It was a pleasure to be on hand Saturday for all the games.  The Sylvania squad took the ice, and command of the game all three periods.  Wining the game 6-0.

That evening contest  with Ed's would look to be a real test.  Especially when you consider Eds only dressed what looked to be their 3rd and 4th lines for their game against Findlay to end the morning.  Which Ed's won 6-1.

Eds and Sylvania battled the whole game.  I was very impressed by how the officials had charge of the games, and let the boys play.  Sure there were hits with high hands and elbows that were not called, some interference calls not made, but this was all both ways.  A very balanced game by my count and with only two officials on the ice the games were well called as expected.

Now it is my belief, that in first period as my notes read. We may have, potentially seen a Ohio High School first, or as the case may be the first to be reported, in an in game situation.  I will examine my footage of the game, and make some calculations, but I believe that those in attendance saw if not triple digit slap shot, darn near.  This shot came in the first period during the Sylvania power play around 6 min 30 sec remaining in the period.  Sylvania's Dalton Carter #25 got all of a one timer that lazed off the post.  This on the heels of another good hard snap shot,t hat had done the same.  Carter is well known in the state, and is currently being observed by Jr hockey teams and his exceptional shot is no secret.  At any rate if it was not, it was sure close, and was just darn memorable.  Yet there is good reason why he hit the post, it was all a solid Eds goalie was giving him.  Which in turn lead to St. Ed's drawing first blood near the end of the first.

This game was very even.  Eds dominating the physical game, and Sylvania looking more skillful to this point.  These thoughts did however fluctuate, as Eds skills and Sylvania's physicality seemed to ebb and flow like the ocean tides.  At 3:53 to go in the first St Eds players: Norton, Greenacker, Price, Zirneskie and Glover found the twine, striking first blood.  The start of the Second was marked by a Sylvania penalty and an Eds PP goal.  Where it seems the Trio of Crosby, King and Barthalamew where those forwards on the attack.  So there we were early in the 2nd session with the Eagles in a commanding lead 2-0 over the Wildcats.

The Wildcats would however bounce back and score 3 unanswered goals to end a very exciting 2nd period.  For Eagles fans this seemed to bring to life flash backs of Thursdays battle with St. Ignatius.  Again Wildcats, only this time they were Northview Cats.  Mimicking that Thursday game right down to the Eagles pulling their tender and applying a full 6 man attack.  This time however the Cats, Northview cats that is, took the puck drove home an empty net goal to end the contest at 4-2.  What we take away from this contest is what we have always known.  That being when two exceptional teams take the ice, we will be fully entertained for at least 3 periods of play.
Sylvania moved in to their Sunday morning game against University school.  Where the game was a stalemate at the end of 2 periods, but both team having earned enough tournament points, to land them in the championship game.  The teams elected to call the game a draw, and retire to their locker rooms and make ready for the final game.

Now this final game featuring University School and Sylvania Northview likely saw nuance adjustments to game plans, in addition to the goalie changes.  As every team in Padua was working a tandem that was in full rotation, game to game. The final put University School Sr goalie #1 Sam Althans against Sylvania Sr. #30 Austin Gryca.  The final sees something happen.  Not being on hand I will speculate that either or both of the following happens as so ofter does in the "big game".  University surrenders 5 goals in the first period of play.  Pulling Althans and putting in Andrew Mergerian, who surrenders only one goal in 4 periods against Northview (combining game 1 and the final).  U.S. may have just caved under the pressure.  Northview reportedly dominated all three zones, and seemed to reach a new level of ability, not seen any Northview team since the Hirschfeld days.

End of the day, while some what telling.  This is one tournament, on the leading edge of mid-season.  How many times has a Sylvania team looked good mid season, only to choke come playoffs, or peak to early.  How many times has the mid season King of Cleveland not made states either after a dominate season.  Who els is equally frustrated that state still doesn't offer a Varsity A division and B each with their own state titles, and for not taking the best four teams from each district, and having them all play a play off for the state title, ensuring the top two teams in the state meet in the final game.  The only thing we know for sure at this juncture, is that the only way Sylvania, and Ignatius meet, is in the Championship final.  For that to happen perfection needs remain the constant for both squads, where Ignatius has yet face any number of teams in Cleveland that can put them in their grave, and Sylvania faces the same in Toledo.  Enjoy the season, this is a good one.

***I would like to add here, that on January 1st the Scouting Ohio High School Hockey blog will be releasing a public look at the individual player rankings, and reports of the States elite prospects.  These are the same reports as seen by Jr teams in the USA and Canada.  The blog is also adding a new feature, where we will be publishing 1 on 1 interviews with the states elite prospects, and coaches.  Those requested for interview will be receiving or will have received emails over the next several weeks.  They will posted in the order they are returned.
Please note in the above where refernce to the Dalton Carter slap shot is made.   When viewing the footage on the big screen the following determinations have concluded.  
1. The player is not #25 Dalton Carter, but #21 Brady Storer of Sylvania Northview 2. The shot originates from inside the top of the circle 33' feet from the net. 3.  The shot takes 7.5 film frames to reach the post on camera set at 30frames per/second for an elapsed time of .25 seconds 4. The math
(d/5280)/(T/3600)=mph   where d is distance in feet and T is time in seconds
=90.05 MPH
still moving, nice shot Brady Storer.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

St. Ed's battles, but Ignatius remains unbeaten

The Final, 4 goals for Ignatius, 3 for Ed's. 
The Wildcats were nearly upended in this rivalry contest.  A contest which perpetuates the question.  Can any team in Ohio beat St. Ignatius?   Eds had 18 shots on goal.  The most any team has mounted against this Wildcats squad.  3 found the twine.  Wildcats overtime game winer came off the tape of M. Abood, other goals were tallied by L. Geither, H.Smith and C. Riemenschneider.  The Widcats are now 12-0 with 76 goals for and 14 against.

Rocky River upended Shaker in shoot- out final of 5-4.  What is key is the goal-tending for Rocky River.  The dark horse as it may be.   Peppered with 51 shots Jake Nicholson stooped 47.  He cant win games on his own and once this Rocky River team kicks in to high gear, and players start taking some of the shots to their own bodies, the Pirates just could emerge on top.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Frey comits to NAHL South, AMARILLO BULLS

Last years State Champions Toledo St. Francis had some great talent.   Many of those players competed on Team Toledo as well.  The Midget AA 18u National runner up Team ( a team that had  battled Team Cleveland, for 5, 15 min OT sessions. In that record setting semi final contest, which is available for viewing in the archives and for any fan of hockey, is a must see).
Many of those players moved on.  Bryce Connor is playing ACHA D2 Club hockey for Bowling Green State University and having a good season.  Torchia, Oplinger and Frey are all are on the roster with midget major AAA Bell Tire this year.  Torchia is playing his same physical two way game, Oblinger a smart game, and Frey is playing a good defensive game from the blue line.  While maintaining his offensive threat  as points leader, true to the Frey form we have all loved watching.

Frey has signed a letter of Tender for the Amarillo Bulls NAHL South Division.  Committing him to play for them and no other NAHL club.  This tender is prior to the NAHL draft that will be held this spring. Many will remember that last season Nolan Culver, Sylvania Northview and Team Toledo teammate of Frey, was also tendered by Amarillo.  Culver later walked on to the Youngstown Phantom's  team last spring.  Culver was only recently traded back to Amarillo from the Phantoms.  Culver and Frey who first played together in Squirts and from then on more or less at every level are to be reunited in 2012.  Both are very excited about the opportunity to play together again, an opurtunity which grows more and more dificult as players matriculate.

The Amarillo Bulls are currently 23w 3L and 4 OTL and in first place in the NAHL South Division.   Amarillo is a heavy favorite for this years Robertson Cup (the NAHL Championship) and contended  for that title last year, in only their inaugural season.  The Bulls head coach Dennis Williams, is a well recognized figure in Ohio hockey.  Williams is a former BGSU Falcon Icer, who also served as an assistant and as the interim head coach.  It is no mistake Williams is drawing in top Ohio HS talent. Ohio is again developing some great talent and reemerging as a bit of a hotbed.   Coach Williams familiarity with the area is only further complemented by his assistant Rocky Russo who hails from Youngstown Ohio.  Russo served as a coach with the Phantoms in both their NAHL and USHL years as well with the storied St. Louis NAHL program where he was an integral part of winning NAHL championships with both St. Louis and Youngstown.  You may never have considered Ohio to be in the backyard of Amarillo TX, but it is solidly. 

Congratulations to Connor Frey as he works his path and dream to play NCAA D1 hockey.

When Culver and Frey were taking part in this past springs EJHL showcase. They were afforded the rare invitation to visit  Aggains Arena .  This rare opportunity to be shown and allowed to examine one of the best, most storied programs in all of college hockey. The Boston University Terrier's.
Nolan Culver left, Connor Frey right.  

 Nolan Culver left, Kathy Brown center, Connor Frey right
 Connor Frey 2010-2011 18u Midget Minor AA Nationals

Any questions as to who the BEST team in Ohio is?

Are there?  It truly is unquestionable who the best team in the state is.  Who the best team of all time will be known as, yes all time, surpassing even the BGHS power house days.  I would say its the Wildcats, but that would make some of my readers think of the Sylvania Northview Wildcats.  Sorry, good as they are folks.  Your boys based on their efforts to this point and I will include all other "front runners" when I say they lack the speed, skill, determination, discipline and pure athleticism to be part of this conversation.
Cleveland St. Ignatius is KING.  
Housing one recognized NHL prospect in 1993 birth Patric Spellacy.  The formidable, Spellacy towers over his opposition at 6'4" and a solid 210lbs still manning up hefty frame.  The young-man is extremly well balanced for his size.  Nearly impossible to dislodge puck, far more difficult in fact than former Ohio Team USA member Kevin Irwin (Cleveland Barrons AAA, now residing the the USHL DesMoines and property of the Ohio State University NCAA D1).  What makes this beast even more potent is his elusiveness and crafty hands. His shots come from every where, hard on the ice, lasing for the corners and tight holes, with a quick release that is baffling some rather sound goalies.  But Cleveland St. Ignatius is not a one man show.  Spellacy is neither Captain, or Alternate.  Look at this roster which contains 6 other Jr prospects:
Players:                              #           Class Year
Abood, Michael “A”         9              SR
Avdey, Mike                    20              JR
Brogan, Danny                19             SO
DeVilliers, Jacques           23            SR
Fricker, Bobby                 31             SR
Geither, Liam “A”           12             SR
Kovesdy, Matt                 30             SR
Malone, Joey                   15             JR
McNulty, Alex                  2             JR
McQuinn, Miles “C”       17             JR
Riemenschneider, Colton “A”    21       SR
Rimpf, Nick                   14                    JR
Schultz, Beck                 10               SO
Shockley, Zak                24                 SR
Smith, Harry                  3                  SO
Smith, Will “C”              16              SR
Spellacy, Paddy               8                SR
Steed, Andrew                 7                SR
Walsh, Eamonn              4                SR
Wiegandt, Jack            11                 FR
Wolf, Taylor              22                  SR
Zickes, Paul                5                     SR
by class  FR-1, So-3, JR-5, SR-13

Head Coach O’Rourke is looking internally for the level of competition needed to keep his Wildcats sharp.  He does not see any team in the state being able to match their abilities as a team, or individually.  He sees his group with no weakness, and he is right.  Case and point would be 5 shut out wins thus far by goalie Matt Kovesdy.  Who is well on his way for a state shut out title ( which stands at 14).  When you have a goalie as exceptional as Kovesdy you play him in every contest, Kovesdy has surrendered 7 goals in ten contests, a .7 Goal against average. 

Yet it doesn't start and stop with goal tending.  No one can get to him.  DeVilliers, Malone, McNulty, Rimpf, Shockley, Smith, and Steed are keeping teams well outside prime shooting lanes, providing little space and even less time to take shots and establish pressure. Should you get out of your defensive and near theirs your psychically punished, just beaten to a pulp.  The Defense for St. Ignatius starts and ends in their offensive zone,  a full 140 feet away from their goalie.  On this trajectory St. Ignatius will only surrender 18 more goals for the season. Having  surrendered only 25 total as they make their victory laps in Nation Wide Arena, with the State Championship trophy over their heads.
Get out see history in the making.  St. Ignatius will play St. Edward the 15th prior to leaving Ohio and the USA in search of competition in Canada.  I do not see them have any trouble with either St. Eds or the Canadians Dec 19th -20th .  The 2011-2012 state championship game on March 11, (which sadly those semi final games will still not feature the best 4 teams in the state, only the best team from each District),  will be all about which team gets to say they took the ice against Cleveland St. Ignatius, on that historic day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Ohio High School hockey report, as of Dec 7 2011

Examining North West Ohio's Red Division threw the first weekend in December.  Our teams are
Bowling Green, Findlay, Saint John's, Saint Francis and Sylvania Northview.
Our current league standings are
1. Sylvania Northview  2 w 0L 0T for 6 league Points, 8 Goals for, 2 against
2. Findlay HS 2 W 0L 0T for 6 league Points, 6 Goals for and 2 against
3. A tie between defending State Champions St. Francis and St. Johns who each have played only One league game to this point.  St. Francis 0W-1L 0T 0 league points 0 goals for and 3 against
St. Johns is 0W 1L 0T with 0 League Points, 1 goal For and 3 against
4. Bowling Green resides in last place.  0W 2L 0T with 3 goals for and 8 against

Down in the Capital Hockey Conference in Columbus we are seeing Dublin Coffman, Upper Arlington and Olentangy Liberty standing out.  Upper has very good size and better skill than in the past, and while in the White division, I see them going deep this year.  Olentangy has a solid goaltender tandem, and good play in front of them.  In the Red Division, WHile Liberty has yet to play a game  those current rankings are
Dublin Jerome and Coffman Tied for first each with a 1-0-0 record, followed by Cincinnati Moeller and St. Charles each having played 2 games and going 1-1-0. 
It is my beliefe that overall this will be a better than expected year for Capital Confernce

In Cleveland we have the same near usual unpredictable mess.  Which is a good thing.  The only difference this year that Cleveland St. Ignatius is truly the front runner.  The size, speed, skill and depth of this group is the best they have ever had, or at the very least in the past 8 years.  It would is easy to pin them for another State Championship.  That said, this is Cleveland.  It is way to early, far to many rivalry games to play, and a Conference titles to battle for this year.  Speaking of which High School hockey fans should be sure to make out and down to Progressive Field.  The outdoor sheet will be getting played in by numerous  HS contest, as well as other events.  All leading up to the University of Michigan Vs. Ohio State game.  It is or should be of no surprise to Cleveland HS hockey fans that this event is staged in Cleveland.  With St. Ignatius, St. Ed's, Padua, and Rocky River all having talent on the radar's of these and other NCAA programs.  This CCHA Battle may well be one that mirrors the CCHA Championship and with 9 of the 11 CCHA schools in the top 20, it just might a preview of the NCAA Championship.

The Strongest Team in Ohio is likely Cleveland St. Ignatius.  The Top 6 teams in the state, are Cleveland St Ignatius, Cleveland St. Edwards, Rocky River, Toledo St Johns, Sylvania Northview and Shaker Heights, as I see it here in early December.  I will try to maintain a top 6 with each installment this season.

As a final note we know the State is efforting and has voted to make some changes to the state Championships, in various sports.  Some serious competitive balance issues have yet to be addressed in Ice hockey. 

1.  There is more clear than clouded line between the the most competitive programs and those less competitive.  As a result there should be an establishment of 2 levels, and 2 Championship titles.  Each season we see the blow out games in the playoffs.  These games are in actually unsafe.  You would no sooner place a High School team on the ice with a top Jr team or NCAA team and anticipate a win, and while that is an equal assessment of the discrepancy of play it is very different. Add in the level of frustration for those players and its just a recipe for disaster.

2. That playoffs be established where the Top Four teams from each Conference advance.  Conference Champion earns home ice, and plays host to one team from each of the remaining 3 divisions in random draw.  This 4 region play off (sweet sixteen) would then be a round robin.  This round robin now is a direct reflection of the best teams from each district, each with representation in each region ensuring the best 4 teams advance to the Championship. 

3. The Championship should then be address as well.  Nationwide is a great venue.  Do not get me wrong.  But it is not appropriate for these games.  It would be far better to play these games in barns that are better suited for the scale of the event.  As examples, Goggin arena, BGSU, Covelli center, Huntington arena and other sub 9k seat facilities( 9k is still on the large end).  A loud venue, is an exciting venue.  Further the rotation takes advantage of all the state has to offer the hockey fan as well.

Are the above perfect?  I doubt it, but they are fair foundation to begin the conversation.