Going to try and touch on a lot in a single post, as there is a lot going today and in to this weekend. Lets get the HS season going. Its been months and now the teams are all back on the ice, and off on to another year of High School Hockey. First some Ohio HS dates: 1. Nov 15 HS preview. 2. Nov 22nd Season begins 3. Jan 20 Season Ends. 4. Feb 7 District play off draw 5. Feb 10 District playoffs begin. 6. Mar 8-9 States
Sad Items to continue to point out. At this time Ohio HS will continue to operate under Federation rules. Players are NOT being permitted to double roster between HS teams and travel teams between 11/1 and 3/9. As far as I have seen the state has not established two championship levels, for the two clearly defined levels of play in the state. The state is continuing to misuse district play. In that instead of assigning the top four regular season teams from each district, to play, one each, in each of the four districts. Assuring the top 4 teams in the state, qualify for the state semi finals. Which again, are sadly being played in the rudely operated, grossly over sized, void. Nation Wide Arena. Nation Wide is designed for 19000 hockey fans. Single game HS Championships draw no more than 4000....
So lets see. Bowling Green State University. One of, if not the loudest areana in all Ice hockey holds-5000, Covelli center-5700, Huntington Center 7,300, HObart- an awesome classic barn 3,700. The Cinicinatti Gardens another classic, on the big side at 11,000. Bird Arena at OU 2,000. There are far better options, and these options allow for the champs, to float from district to district.
In glancing at various team schedules I have to say I am excited about what I am seeing in none league play scheduling. I like seeing team reach, push challenge themselves. Im not saying rush out and try and schedule a tier1 MM team. But when I see Toledo St. Johns playing Macomb, and Plymouth HS. Then see Sylvania Northview playing Adams/Marian, St. Joes. Bowling Green heading up to Mi as well as Toronto and Indiana. St Ignatius heading over to Culver for a tourney. Rocky River will back at it as well this year. Losing in the semi finals last year the Pirates will be working to follow the plan that worked for them last season. In all no team is letting up or looking for a soft path.
We are in our third year of tracking the progress of two recent North West Ohio stand outs. They are friends. They have been team mates, Team Toledo- Toledo Cherokee. They have been rivals, Toledo St. Francis and Sylvania Northview. Two similar paths, two different journey's again on a collision course. Conner Frey and Nolan Culver. Frey left Ohio High School with a State Championship and USA hockey Tier2 National Runner up. Culver left with a district runner up, USA hockey Tier 2 national runner up, NAHL tender, and went on to join the USHL Youngstown Phantoms. Frey went to play a year of AAA for Bell Tire. Culver went from Yongstown, to Amarillo, to New Mexico. Frey earned a spot to Amarillo for his first year of JRs. Culver saw New Mexico's team fold, then earned a spot in Kalamazoo, where he joined Dalton Carter and Patric Spellacy. Frey went on that year to play 45 games for the Bulls, put up 28pts and 58 PIM. Culver after 15 games and 8 points moved on Bay State Breakers where he had 3 goals and 2 assist in the EHL semi finals before retiring from overtime with an injury. Frey won the Robertson Cup, but only played one game. Culver quit that summer, exhausted with his battle and road in Jr hockey. Frey returned to Amarillo an NCAA prospect at both D1 and D3 levels. Culver enrolled at BGSU, attended classes for a few weeks, and became reinvigorated, and following the NAHL Blaine Showcase joined the Minnesota Wilderness expansion team. Frey injured his shoulder in Blain and has been in the line up a couple weeks now. Since Joining the Wilderness Culver has been working, carving out his leadership role with the club. Frey has returned to his established leadership role. The Bulls are 13-3-1 with a 794 win%, are First place in the NAHL south division. The Wilderness are 11-2-3 with a 781 win %, are in First place in the NAHL MidWest and have unprecedented 100% penalty kill, 21% PP, Culver has played 9 games 2goals, 2 a and 12 PIM and is 7th in points. Whats interesting here???? Should the clubs keep this up, they are on a collision course in the Robertson Cup. Both men are in their final year of Jr's and both have similar developing NCAA opportunities. Tonight Wilderness are playing the Austin Bruins at 7:05 central time. Austin is ranked first in the central division at 12w 3 L. Amarillo plays south division last place LoneStar tonight at 730 central. Those games are available on fast hockey. Life in Jr hockey takes many shapes, forms and directions. All the player needs to do, is his best. His best with every opurtunity and to all the former Ohio players I wish you the best of luck on your journey's.
in prepost Sylvania 16u is 20-3 148GF 28 GA
Sylvania 18u is in a similar position it looks as if North Star hockey will make noise again at the National levels this year.
In local OHL news the Plymouth Whalers are just 4 and 6 in their last 10 games. 7 and 11 overall. 49 goals for and 68 goals against. Center Ryan Hartman played all 17 games and has 9 goals and 10 assits 30 PIM and is -14 . The Whalers goalie is Alex Nedeljkovic, Parma Ohio native. At just 17 years old he is in his second season with the Whalers. last year Nedeljkovic joined the team and played 26 games and had a studly 923 save percentage. This year in 17 games he is facing more shots pergame and still maintaining a 910 save percentage.
Alden Hirschfeld, Sylvania Ohio Native, Sylvania Northview former player, Youngstown Phantom, and Miami Ohio former Captain and NCAA runner up to Boston University is playing with the Toledo Walleye. Alden has played 7 games and has 3pts and 2 PIM.
Bowling Green State University is in second place in the WCHA. BGSU is 2-0 in league play, after sweeping Alaska Anchorage this past weekend, and the Falcons are 4W2L2T overall and ranked 26th Nationally. Bowling Green is on the road this week for a pair of games at Minnesota State University Mankato. Heading up to Ty Eigners back yard you can count that Falcon taking a look at some Minnesota prospects, in that great hockey state.
In that same national ranking Michigan is ranked 2, Notre Dame 4th, Miami Ohio 7th. There are still ongoing rumblings coming out of the newly establish Big Ten hockey conference, where by the big is working to grossly alter the long standing well established rules for teams entering post season play. Where since its beginnings hockey has had the best and most fair system in play, which has maintained great competitive balance top down in NCAA d1 hockey. The small 6 team confernce desires to have disproportional representation in post season play, by not weighing their most important records. Those being league play, as heavily. Post season play needs to be for league champions, at all times, and then to round out the 16 team field those teams that have second best league records and then of the remaining clubs, the best blending of regular and occ records. Under no circumstance can ever see the big 10 with more than 3 teams in post season play. That would mean a team that went less than 500 in conference play has made the post season, when we know that club is NOT better than the other 2-3 clubs. IT will be interesting to see how this unfolds, as the big ten pour money on the fire. In OCC play BGSU split with Ohio State this season. The big ten have yet play each other, but it sure looks like Minnesota, Michigan and MSU are the best clubs, and I would wager the Minnesota-Mi game has the potential in becoming a very, very,very big rivalry game.
In hockey east I am leaning toward Notre Dame, BC, Mass Lowell and Providence making the most noise. While the Black Bears rebuild and adjust to new coaching along with BU and Jack Parker not on the bench.
keep checking back