There have been some Ohio High School hockey games played. The preseason has concluded. Thanksgiving tournaments are upon us and its time draw some conclusions and make some predictions from those results.
The new look in Cleveland is the Great Lakes Hockey League. The league is composed of University School, Walsh, Lake Catholic, Holy Name, Gilmour, St. Ignatius, Padua, and St. Edwards. This league is the strongest and most competitive in the state. Had, Toledo St. Johns, Toledo St. Francis, Sylvania Northview, Bowling Green and Findlay joined the league, to form the proposed Turnpike league, the objective of establishing a AA and A levels would have been mostly established. Why, those institutions elected to opt out makes no sense. Unless it is a timing thing where they still may. At any rate in the Great lakes League
1. University School- based on report and what I have seen US will finish in the top 3 and has good odds on states
2. Walsh. This is a strong team, with sound skill set, good size and they use it well. A top 3 team, if the consistency is there.
3. Lake Catholic showing lots of promise and intensity.
Games to watch
12-15 430 pm Shaker vs US at Thornton Park
1-3 450pm US and Walsh at the Pond
Greater Cleveland HIgh School League
The strongest two not in the Great lakes League are the most familure
Rocky River and Shaker Heights. Poised to make the most noise and one of the two will return to states Game to watch 12-14 445 pm Rocky river and Shaker heights at Thornton Park
I feel Orange will be in the hunt, Jerome and coffman as the top choices. Liberty appears to have some issues that if worked out will be heading them in to the mix, but with the short season its hard to say.
12 13 8pm Olentangy Orange and Dublin Jerome
North West Hockey Conference
1. Toledo Saint Francis
2. Toledo St Johns 2w 1L 2 T BEAT Plymouth 3-1
3. Bowling Green 4w 0L
4. Sylvania Northview 1w 2L 1T
It has not been an easy beginning for defending district champions Sylvania Northview. The State runners up fell Saturday night to the Knights of St. Francis, 3-2. Knights who are proving to have the talent, they were short last season. Biggest surprise this year is set to be the currently undefeated Bowling Green Bobcats, who are going to play every team tight and tough. Calling how they finish and where they are is entirely differnt story. Findlay...its just going to be a long season, some good times, but more pain. Bedford...I get why you play in Ohio, Im pissed a soultion can not be reached that makes you an ohio team. Bowling Green will have one of their best seasons, and alot to cheer and be proud of and some great "upset wins". Northview will figure their defensive issues, and get more pucks to the net. They may even decide that one of Marsh's competitors for the #1 goalie spot, is really the #1. Northview will not be in the district finals this year, falling in the semi finals, is my prediction. The District will come down to St Francis and Toledo St Johns.
Games to watch
DEC 13 630pm Northview St. Johns
DEC 14 7 PM Toledo St Johns and St Francis
JAN 3 7pm BG at Northview
JR Hockey update
Historically Ohio HS has averaged 1 young man going on to play division 1 NCAA hockey every 6 years. It is a bit longer than that, and lots of people are working hard to help our players develop, and get to that point, IN-SPITE of the inhospitable environment the state has uneducated thrust upon hockey families. Today as write this there are THREE former Ohio HS on the fring of making their NCAA D1 commitments. THREE! I dare say had Patrick Spellacy elected to stay in Jr hockey, he too would be added to this list. Further there are six additional players who are making cases for themselves, working the process of playing, developing and getting exposure. Folks the dreams of NCAA can and do happen, as parents it is our responsibility to make sure our children have every opportunity for the best in education and extracurricular's. Hockey is unlike any-other sport where the path to the NCAA is spoken about. Do your part with your son, and make time to go see a USHL game in Youngstown, or to see Team USA in Ann Arbor, or the Indy ice USHL in Indianapolis. Go see an NAHL game, an NA3HL game. Watch on fast hockey the teams this current crop are playing for on fast hockey.
North Iowa Bulls lead the NA3Hl at 17W 0L followed by Flint at 23-1 Granit City at 19-4 and Peoria at 18-5 Toledo is at 11-8-3 amd Cleveland is 13-8-3
New Hampshire 15-4-1 Norther Cyclones 15-4 Philadelphia Little Flyers 10-5
Dalton Carter and Zach Felser remain tied for 18th in scoring in the league. Austin Kelly is again on the move picking up a point this weekend and if its anything like his last streak he will crack the top 25 in short order. Drew Crandal was traded late last week, and is joining up with the Washington Nationals in a move to some much need point production in the South Diviison.
Connor Frey and the Amarillo bulls are leading the NAHL again this season with 19 w and 4 losses and 39 points. The Bulls are followed by
Nolan Culver and the Wilderness just wraped up a 5 game trip to Alaska where they lost one to Fairbanks, and won a shoot out over Fairbanks. Then lost one to Kenai River, won two. Culver managed to win another fight against 6'1" 210 lb enforcer Frankie Spellman ( 23 games played, 5 pts 47 PIM) another nice notch in Culvers energy man belt. Coming in to the bout at 5'10" and 170lbs, Culver is proving to be a real Ian Laperierre type player, not the "small 5'6" 145lb playmaker he was in high school. Culver is now 4-0 on his fight card.
* on Nov 25th Connor Frey was traded from Amarillo Bulls to the Minnesota Magicians. Where Minnesota will hope to take advantage of Freys offensive prowess, and ability to jump in and rush the puck. The magicians are currently in a very tight race for third place in the Midwest division with just 5 points separating 4 teams. It has to be an exciting moment for Frey, as is he being given the opportunity to return to his wide open style of play.
The Wilderness and Magicians square off December 11th. This would be the first time Culver and Frey have played against each other since the 2011 Ohio High School District finals.