U18s Zach Tyson and Brock Rumbaugh participated in the “Do it for Daron” fundraiser game the day after Thanksgiving. The event pulled in $10,000 to benefit the spread of Mental Health Awareness among teens. For Tyson and Rumbaugh this event was about more than raising money for a great cause.
Daron Richardson played with both Tyson and Rumbaugh on the CCYHA Blue Jackets before she moved to Ottawa. “She was one of our best defensemen,” reflected Tyson, “She played a whole entire tournament with a broken hand.” Both boys fondly reminisced about how purple was Daron's favorite color. “She wore purple under armor, had a purple tape ball, I mean purple everything,” said Tyson. Daron was also remembered as the happiest and nicest person both guys had ever met.
So you can imagine how hard it was for Tyson and Rumbaugh when they found out Daron had taken her life 4 years ago.
Rumbaugh was at an Ohio State tailgating party when his mom received the call about Daron's passing. “My mom broke down. I asked her what was wrong and she told me,” reminisced Rumbaugh, “It was terrible. It put a damper on the day that's for sure.”
Tyson was also with his mom when he heard the news. They were shopping at Hockey Stop when Mrs. Tyson received the phone call. “I remember being so shocked. I didn't know what to say or do,” said Tyson, “You should never be forced to do something like that.”
The Do it for Daron Fundraiser
When Tyson and Rumbaugh found out about the fundraiser game they jumped at the chance to play. Timing was perfect as the fundraiser took place during Thanksgiving break when the boys had no school or games. “I thought it was a great idea,” said Rumbaugh, “It was a great way to get the message out about mental health awareness.” Tyson also enjoyed being reunited with his former teammates. “It was great seeing all the guys I played with when I was little,” explained Tyson, “Half of those guys are in college already and I'm a Junior in high school.”
Both Tyson and Rumbaugh were impressed by the amount of people who showed up and supported the cause by donating $10,000 to the “Do it for Daron Foundation”. However, they hope this isn't the last you'll hear people talking about mental health awareness. Tyson and Rumbaugh want others to keep the conversation about mental health going. “There needs to be some form of communication at all times,” explained Rumbaugh, “I think as a kid there is nothing so bad that you have to take your own life because of it.” Tyson also pointed out that spreading mental health awareness is also about walking the walk. “You have to be willing to help anybody. Whether you know them or not, you have to be willing to help anybody,” said Tyson.
Something Good From Something Bad
Zach Tyson once said, “Something good will always come out of every event that occurs.” He is correct. For every negative there is a positive. Sometimes you have to search to find the positive but it's there. Luckily, Tyson and Rumbaugh found their positive and let Daron's death change them for the better. Both guys have modeled their lives around what they learned from Daron. “It made me take a different approach with people, especially my sisters, “ said Rumbaugh, “I know they have been through a lot of hard times. You kind of have to wake them up and say don't say that”. Tyson has taken a very similar approach to life. He's decided to carry on “Daron's tradition of being nice to everyone.” Tyson considers it the best way to honor her memory.
In honor of Daron Richardson and all those who have struggled with mental health let's keep the conversation alive. Don't be afraid for we are here to listen and help.
Coach Cassels Speaks Out About Mental Health Awareness
Coach Andrew Cassels has joined forces with his fellow NHL Blue Jackets Alumni to support the spread of mental health awareness. On Friday, November 28th at 3pm in the Ice Haus Andrew Cassels, Jody Shelley, Chris Clark, Brett Harkins, Jean-Luc Grand Pierre, Fredrick Modin, and Martin Spanhel will take the ice against Daron Richardson’s former teammates. Daron, the daughter of former Blue Jackets captain Luke Richardson, lost her battle with depression when she committed suicide in 2010. From her death a foundation was created called “Do it for Daron”. The focus of “Do it for Daron” is to spread mental health awareness among the community in hopes that less people will suffer the same fate as Daron.
Leading up to the event Coach Cassels and I discussed the importance of mental health awareness and why this cause is important to both of us. The transcript of our conversation is below.
Elaine Shircliff: You guys are doing the fundraiser to support Do it for Daron, right?
Andrew Cassels: Yes and it’s going to be on the Friday after thanksgiving
ES: This is your first fundraiser as an alumni association right?
ES: What made you guys want to do this for your first fundraiser to support this organization? Was it because you played with Luke Richardson?
AC: Yes, Luke actually played with myself, Jody, and Jean-Luc. It was such a big hit last year when Jerome and Coughlin played. I think it’s a great way, especially for high school kids and teenagers to know that there are some issues out there that some people aren’t aware of.
ES: My best friend’s birthday is on the day of the fundraiser. He and I have been friends for about 21 years and he committed suicide in 2013. He was a firefighter and that’s what they are trying to work on with firefighters right now. People kind of skate around it and don’t talk to each other about it. I think it’s great that you’re doing this. It’s hard to talk about with kids and they need to know about this. They need to see it and talk about it.
AC: I totally agree. I think a lot of people don’t realize that it’s ok and it’s not their fault. There’s ways of getting help and to seek that help that you obviously need. Whether it be some kind of support system or whatever it is that the professionals can help with. I think people are either afraid to ask for help or for whatever reason don’t think there is help.
ES: Or they feel like they are the strong one in the group so they don’t say anything.
AC: Right, I totally agree. Maybe that’s part of it too. Obviously it’s an illness and maybe they think it’s normal. I think it’s a great way to show the community we obviously support it and some of us have experienced it firsthand. I was at the funeral and am still in touch with Luke. They have another daughter too. It definitely is something that the more you can get out and show awareness that there is help out there the better. If we can help one person then that would be awesome.
ES: Exactly, if you can help one that’s all that matters. I’m really glad you’re doing this it’s important that adults have a way to talk to their kids about it. Parents don’t always know how to ask their kids “hey are you depressed?”
AC: Right. That’s true. There are so many parents because their kids are teenagers think that they are on their own so to speak. No one pays as close attention as we do when your kids are 5,6, or 7. Once they get a little older they tend to do a lot more on their own. Parents aren’t as close to their children a at that age and they don’t always see the changes. There’s always different things I think parents can look for.
ES: There’s always that struggle to give your kid independence and not smothering them. This event kind of toes the line and gives the chance to open that conversation.
AC: I agree, I totally agree.
ES: Thank you so much for talking to me about this subject.
AC: Hey no problem at all. I’m sorry about your best friend
ES: It’s weird but a lot of good things have happened since then. It’s sad but for our group of friends it put life into perspective for us.
AC: Yea, as sad as it is you’re right. Sometimes something good comes from something bad and helps a lot more people out.
ES: He and I were the strong ones and when he died everyone became my rock. I was like “Oh wait people do that other than us?”
AC: Exactly, there are people who do things for us that we do for them. It’s great it worked out that way. A lot of times it can go the other way and you’re group of friends could have separated a bit. If you come closer together that’s great.
Coach Cassels, the AAA Blue Jackets, and I urge you to come out to this event on Friday. Use it as a time of learning and healing. For more information on the event please visit the Blue Jackets website.
Austin Pooley Commits to The Ohio State University
Photo Credit: Fargo Force
Former AAA Ohio Blue Jacket, Austin Pooley, committed to play hockey at The Ohio State University on October 29th. After leaving the AAA Jackets, Pooley headed to the Omaha Lancers of the USHL where he played 46 games tallying 1 goal and 7 assists. Pooley was traded to the Fargo Force this off-season and it has proved to be a great fit for him. In the 13 games Pooley has played this season he's scored 4 goals and 2 assists giving him two points less than what he finished with last season.
As you can see Pooley is well on his way to being a phenomenal athlete but how did he get to where he is now. Why was it so important that he attend Ohio State? What made him the athlete he is today? He answered many of these questions and more.
Why he chose Ohio State :
A lot of factors came into play for Pooley when it came to committing to Ohio State. The first factor was the type of coaching staff that is currently involved in the Ohio State hockey program. Any hockey player will tell you a coaching staff can make or break a person's desire to play for a team. Luckily for Ohio State, Pooley feels as though he has formed a great relationship with the current coaches. “They really believe in me as hockey player and as a person,” explained Pooley, “They are giving me a great opportunity to come in and succeed.”
The second factor is location to family and friends. For Pooley hometown of Dublin is only 15 minutes away from campus. “I grew up watching and dreaming about playing at OSU,” said Pooley, “It will be great to have most of my family and friends at most of my games.”
The third and final factor is the one that sealed the deal for Pooley. When he sets foot onto the ice wearing an Ohio State sweater for the first time Pooley will be adding to his family's legacy at Ohio State. His uncle and dad played for Ohio State. “It is a great honor to play underneath my uncle's retired jersey hanging in the rafters and to see my dad's pictures hanging all around the rink,”said Pooley. Both his uncle and dad were All-Americans and top collegiate hockey players while they attended Ohio State. While this would make most players nervous Pooley welcomes the challenge. “This pushes me everyday to be great and get better, as I have a lot to prove and live up to,” explained Pooley.
Fondest AAA Memory:
Most AAA Ohio Blue Jackets alumni say there favorite memory revolves around the bus trips they often take to games. Pooley had a different favorite which, yes, included the bus but is not the sole memory. Pooley's favorite memories stem from the Super Showcases that the AAA Jackets often attend. “There is just so much excitement around it,” explained Pooley, “From the 12 hour bus rides with the boys to getting excited to play against some of the best teams in the country and battle for points in the standings” He even acknowledged the fact that the level of play is different at showcases. “It is fun and exciting to play in front of a couple hundred scouts which elevates the play a lot”.
How did the AAA Ohio Blue Jackets prepare him for the USHL
Every hockey player has to start learning somewhere. For Pooley the learning started with the AAA Blue Jackets. He took some valuable intangibles with him from the AAA to the USHL.
The first was the competitive schedule the AAA plays in the Tier 1 Elite system. The 60 game schedule the AAA plays is very similar to intense schedule of the USHL. “In the USHL you play a 60 game year plus playoffs, if you make it,” explained Pooley.
The second way the AAA Jackets prepared Pooley for the USHL was how to be a consistent player no matter how you are feeling. “You learn to play through sore legs and fatigue,” said Pooley, “The USHL is both a mental and physical grind and you have to be ready to play every night to have success.”
What the USHL has taught him :
The best players are always learning new things regardless of their age and their situation. The past few season the USHL has taught Pooley a few things. “It (USHL) teaches a player how to battle through all kind of adversity,” he said, “It helps you develop a lot by playing against the best players in the country everyday in practice and in games.”
Pooley has also learned a lot about the fine art of paying attention to detail. “In the earlier stages of hockey you can get away with avoiding the small things but as you progress to higher and higher levels those little details become huge,” explained Pooley. According to Pooley the attention to detail can not only make or break your career but also you as as person.
What he plans on taking with him from both programs
Everyone takes away something different from the programs they have played for in their career. However, Pooley is taking the same thing from both the AAA and the USHL; a different mindset. “You have to take everyday as a new day and a day to get better,” explained Pooley of the mindset both programs have created within him.“There are a lot of good hockey players and it you are not getting better then you are getting passed. Somebody is getting passed and somebody is passing somebody. I want to make sure I'm in the car in the left lane passing the other cars.”
As you can see, Pooley has allowed both the AAA and the USHL change him completely. He is open to grow into a better hockey player and a better human being.
Advice for current kids in the program
In my eyes, what makes the AAA Blue Jackets so special is the great advice the alumni always leave for the current kids in the program. What Austin Pooley imparts on the youth of program is something to not take with a grain of salt. Read it. Learn it. Live it. Love it.
“My advice to the kids playing AAA right now would be to take everyday as a opportunity to get better. Don't just go through the motions in practice but take practice as a tool to becoming a better player and to transform your game. Put everything you have into your game as you only have one opportunity in life and don't let it go to waste. No regrets and no excuses! Secondly, have fun. If you are not having fun getting better and are not enjoying the process then you are In the wrong sport. Play the game hard and have fun doing it. “
This weekend the 2002 Ohio AAA Blue Jackets played host to division rivals, Cleveland Barons. The boys came off a skills weekend and were ready to use what they learned during a game. Whatever happened during Skills Weekend proved to be successful for the 2002s as they swept the Cleveland Barons. Here's how it all went down.
A lot of shots were being taken in the first two and a half minutes of the period. Nothing was going in or the Baron's goalie was quick to stop the puck. In between 11 and 10 minutes left in the first, Miller made save after save not flinching. He was strong and steady. With 8:59 left in the first, Buss kept attacking the net but nothing was getting through. Zimmerman skated around with puck with no one to pass to so the puck was stolen with a little over 6 to play in the first. Thirty seconds later the Jackets defensemen and goalie combined their powers to stop the Barons from scoring. With 426 left, Buss got in the way of the puck but the whistle was called before his teammate could take off with it. A minute later, Kish raced down the ice with the puck but was triple teamed on the boards. The puck was stolen away and cleared out by the Barons. Burgin proved to be an asset for the team with 2:28 left as he fell to the ground in front of the boards. He managed to win the battle while lying on the ground. With under a minute to play in the first period it appeared the Jackets scored but it was ruled “no goal”. The period would end with both teams tied at zero.
Thirty seconds into the second period Buss broke away from the pack. Kish skated to meet him but couldn't get there in time as he just missed the pass from Buss. With 12:31 left in the second, a shot was fired at Miller but he managed to keep a firm grasp on the puck. A few seconds later the Jackets had a chance to show off their penalty kill skills as Toirov headed to the box. During the penalty kill the Jackets applied a lot of pressure and you could barely tell they were down a man. Hortz fired a shot through the legs of a Baron with 8:02 left in the second but was stopped by their goalie. A little over five minutes left in the second, Headlee fired the puck and it bounced off the goalie's mask sailing out of bounds. Thirty seconds later the Barons would win a faceoff that would lead to a goal in their favor. However, it was not an easy goal for the Barons. There were three shots on Miller before the puck finally went into the net. The second period would end with the Jackets trailing the Barons, 0-1.
The Jackets headed into the third fired up and ready to get a win out of this game. Within the first two and a half minutes Zimmerman scored the equalizer. A minute and a half later Zimmerman almost scored hi second goal of the game on a fast and furious style breakaway. With 5:34 left Walker had a clean breakaway from the pack and shot the puck just above the Barons' goalie's head giving the Jackets the 2-1 lead. Five seconds in the game and the Barons wanted to at the very least tie things up. The Barons head toward the net and one of the Barons fires off a shot. Miller does the splits effectively stopping the goal and saving the game. Jackets would beat the Barons, 2-1.
The Cleveland Barons entered the ice unamused at the fact they lost a 1-0 lead in the first game. They are here and ready to win. However, the 2002s want to prove that the last game wasn’t a fluke and that they can win games.
Thirty seconds into the game Burgin raced down the ice and popped one over the Barons goalie's shoulder. Not even two minutes later Sensky lobbed the puck from below the blue line. It looked like it went wide but that puck sailed right past the Barons goalie. The Jackets quickly took the 3-0 lead when Toirov took a page out of Sensky's book and lobbed the puck from just below the blue line. The puck would bounce in past the Barons goalie. The Barons would change goalies immediately after the third goal. The Barons would spend the rest of the period desperately trying to score a goal. They would be unsuccessful and the Jackets would end the period on top, 3-0.
The Jackets would yet again dominate in the second period. A little under three minutes into the period they took the 4-0 lead. A few minutes later Abusalha showed why he's an asset to the team by managing to clear the puck while falling. Then with 6:25 left in the second period the Jackets extend their lead to 5-0 after attacking the net. Both goalies stay alert for the remainder of the period not allowing anyone to score.
At the start of the third period the Jackets were down a man. They didn't let the lack of man power phase them at all. The Jackets were grinding hard and wanted to win this game. Thirty seconds after returning to even strength Brekke tried to get the puck over the goal line at the corner but was stopped. However, it took the Barons' goalie and two of their defensemen to stop him from scoring. With 11:32 left in the period the Barons managed to catch Hoover off-guard and score a powerplay goal. There would be no shut out but there would be another goal from the Jackets thanks to Sensky. He headed towards the Barons' net with 51 seconds left in the game, falls, and manages to push the puck past the goal line. The clock would wind down without a retaliation score from the Barons. The Jackets would win, 6-1, and sweep the weekend series.
Up next for the 2002 Ohio AAA Blue Jackets is an appearance in the Detroit Super Showcase. This weekends sweep should give them the confidence to do well in the upcoming showcase.
The 2001s came into the weekend flying high after sweeping their rival the Cleveland Barons. They were ready to continue the win streak and show the world why they are the reigning World Champions. The TPH Thunder are one of the better known organizations in the league. Known for pulling their teams from Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee they are a threat to every team they play. TPH proved they are a force to be reckon with this past weekend as they swept the 2001 Jackets, 2-1 and 4-2.
Game 1: Chiller North : 8 am
Within 19 seconds of puck drop Anthony Vidrick raced to TPH's net but was stopped by the goalie. Less than 10 seconds later 28 fried a rocket from the blueline that created traffic in front of the net. Vineyard used this to his benefit. He passed to White who then scored. The Jackets took the early lead, 1-0.With 11:26 left in the period Cox fired through traffic towards the TPH net. A TPH player's leg got in the way and he crawled off the ice. With 2:48 left in the period, Landshof and Miller attacked the net. Just as Landshof was about to push the puck through the goalies leg the whistle was blown. Thirty seconds later Giambrone snuck around the corner of the net trying to get the puck across the goal line. He was stopped but kept trying only to be denied again and again. In the last minute of the period Carper goes to the box for roughing. The period would end with the Jackets up a goal but down a man.
A little over a minute into the second period Carper headed out of the box and the Jackets immediately went on a powerplay. A few minutes later Hall see an opening, launches a missile at the TPH net but is magically stopped. No clue how the goalie saw that puck coming. It looked as though TPH would score with 11:04 left in the second but Fortin made an incredible block that deterred that from happening. A minute and a half later Moronne headed to the box for cross checking. The Jackets would be down a man for 30 seconds before going back to even strength as White was hooked. There was a great brush away save by Andrew Vidrick with 8:49 left in the period. He continued to make great save after great save. Including a puck that was fired above Andrew Vidrick's head that he managed to bat out of the air with 4:10 left in the period. Four seconds later Anthony Vidrick would head to the box for roughing. This penalty would lead to the tying goal scored by TPH. The second period would end with both teams tied at 1.
Within the first two and a half minutes of the third period White attacked the net. He tried so hard to get a goal that he knocked the goal off of it's post. Thirty seconds later, Anthony Vidrick was boarded. The boarding fired him up. Vidrick broke away, headed towards TPH's goal, fired, and was denied all before the refs finally called TPH for boarding him earlier. While on the powerplay Carper would slide the puck in front of the goalie to Scherer who tries to tap it in but the TPH goalie would stop the puck. The powerplay would end without a goal from either side. White broke away with 7:36 left. He would fake right, move across the goalie, and try to stuff the puck in. TPH's goalie was able to get move in time to stop the goal from happening. Carper would block a pass that would lead to Anthony Vidrick getting another scoring chance. He went around the traffic and fired right at the goalie. The puck bounced off the goalie's pads. Vidrick tries to rebound the puck only to be stopped by the goalie with 6:21 left in the period. Giambrone snuck around the back of the net and tried to sneak the puck in with 4:48 left in the period but TPH's goalie was quick to stop the puck. With 3:58 left in the game TPH took the lead. The game would end with TPH topping the Jackets, 2-1
Game 2: Chiller North: Noon
The beginning of the first period was full of attempt after attempt on net. A little over four minutes into the game Anthony Vidrick went around the back of the net and was double teamed. With 8:35 left in the period, it looked like White was able to knock the puck in but TPH's goalie had his stick right on the goal line. Miller passed to Anthony Vidrick who just missed the puck and no goal would be had with 7:40 left in the period. About two minutes later TPH became the first team on the board, 1-0. With 3:55 left Anthony Vidrick and Fleet try to poke the puck past the goal line. TPH's goalie was able to get his pad down in time to stop the Jackets from scoring. Thirty seconds later Hall fires through traffic just missing the net. A little under three to play in the period and Landshof had a nice backhand pass to Carper who got double teamed. Thirty seconds later Carper broke away, fired, and was stopped. The first period would end with TPH leading the Jackets, 1-0.
A little under four minutes into the second period Morrone went around back of the net and passed to Speaks in hope of getting the puck out of the Jackets zone. TPH got the puck but Landshof was there to steal it back and clear it out. Andrew Vidrick made an incredible stop, with 9:31 to play, that would cause his brother, Anthony Vidrick, to breakaway. A little over two minutes later, Barnish scored the equalizer and put the Jackets back in the game. Both teams turned up the heat and the attempts on goal rose. With 2:46 left in the second period, TPH fired a shot at Andrew Vidrick who couldn't get his pads together quick enough. TPH would take the lead, 2-1. Ten seconds later Anthony Vidrick would avenge the TPH goal with a goal of his own. The second period would end with both teams tied at 2.
The third period started with a lot of hard hits and near misses for both teams. With 9:21 left in the period Fortin used his size to his benefit and unsuspectingly knocked a TPH player over and foils his attempt at a shot on goal. Giambrone flew in front of the net in an attempt to score with 8:35 left but was foiled by the goalie. There was a solid seven second battle along the boards with 5:46 left in the game. Daily broke away with the puck and passed to Miller who was stopped. With 3:55 left TPH created a lot of traffic in front of Andrew Vidrick. TPH would take the lead, 3-2. Thirty seconds later TPH broke away, popped the puck over Andrew Vidrick's head, and into the net giving TPH the 4-2 lead. With 1:40 left in the third, White won the faceoff in front of TPH's net but no goal would be had. As the buzzer went off Vidrick attempted a slap shot goal to get within one goal of TPH. It would get stopped and TPH would go on to win 4-2.
The past two weeks have been a roller coaster for some of our teams.
Last weekend the U18s impressive win streak ended at the hands of Culver Military Academy. They dropped both games, 1-3 and 1-7. This weekend the boys headed to Pittsburgh hungry for a win against the Esmark Stars. A new win streak was started as they swept the Stars winning 3-2 and 5-3.
The U16s were also in Culver last weekend and tied the series, 5-4 and 1-2. They traveled with the U18s this past weekend to take on the Pittsburgh Vengeance and Esmark Stars. They beat the Vengeance (5-2) and tied the series with the Esmark Stars. Tying their first game, 3-3, and winning the last, 4-1.
A busy few weekends was had by the 2000s. Last weekend they played at home against the Pens Elite and TPH Thunder. They dropped all three game 3-6, 0-5, and 0-9. This past weekend they played the Tri-State Spartans. They tied the first game, 3-3, and won the final , 3-1.
After sweeping their rivals the Cleveland Barons last weekend the 2001s were flying high as they entered this weekends game against the TPH Thunder. Unfortunately, they weren't flying high enough because TPH swept the 2001s, 1-2 and 2-4.
After being swept by the TPH Thunder last weekend, 1-7 and 1-3, the 2002s headed into skills weekend.
The 2003s also played TPH last weekend. They tied the series losing the first game, 1-5, and winning the last game, 3-1. They had skills weekend this past weekend also.
The newest kids in the bunch, 2004s, played the Pens Elite this weekend. They were swept , 5-10 and 3-7.
Like we said earlier, it was a crazy roller coaster ride these past two weekends. Hopefully, this coming weekend will be full of Ws.
Congratulations to the 2004 Ohio AAA Blue Jackets for winning the Warrior AAA Invitational Tournament. Teams from all over Canada and the United States come out to play in this tournament. The 2004s had a record of 5-0-1 for the weekend. Megahan and Ennis had a combined save percentage of 93.3%, saving 140 of the 150 shots they faced.
Game 1 vs Florida Alliance: Jackets shut out the Alliance, 2-0
Game 2 vs Victory Honda Pond: Jackets tied Victory Honda, 1-1
Game 3 vs Hamburg Hawks: Jackets defeated the Hawks, 4-3
Game 4 vs CT Oil Kings: Jackets topped the Oil Kings, 4-3
Game 5 (Semi-finals) vs Oakville Rangers: Jackets topped the Rangers, 3-2
Game 6 (Championship Game) vs Compuware: Jackets had a comeback win over compuware, 2-1
8- Erik Miller scored a team high of 8 goals during the Warrior AAA Invitational Tournament. He had a hattrick in one of the games and scored the only two goals in the Championship game.
3- Romulus Riego de Rios
1- Thomas Adam, Trevin Ehrie, Gunner garrett, Ryan Gingher, Hayden Stavroff, and Brandon Paluszak
4 - Brandon Paluszak
2- Trevin Ehrie, Nathan McBrayer, Romulus Riego de Dios
1- Grant Babcock, Jackson Dickson, Will Elger, Gunner Garret, John Kneidel, Hayden Stavroff
While most of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets teams were in Detroit and Chicago this weekend the U16 boys hosted the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes. They ended the weekend with a tied series. Here is how it all played out.
Game 1. 4:00pm at the Ice Haus
The first period started out a little rough with missed passes and turn overs from both teams. A faceoff took place in front of the Jackets net with 11:36 left in the period. Richards won the faceoff and Gresock took off with the puck towards the Jr. Hurricanes goal. Unfortunately, Gresock was clipped before he could fire the puck towards the net. With 10:48 left in the first the Jr. Hurricanes cleared the puck but Smith chased it down before the Jr. Hurricanes could catch it. Over nine minutes left in the period and the Jackets turned up the heat by consistently completing hard, clean hits into the boards. Burgin lays a nice hit near the benches with 8:12 left in the period. The Jr. Hurricanes call for a penalty but the refs will not give into their demands. With 7:35 left a shot flies right by the Jackets net as Michaelis and a Jr. Hurricane fly into the post causing it to be reset. A few seconds later, Gresock flies down the ice with the puck but is denied as falls to the ground mid shoot. With 2:40 left it looked as thought he Jr. Hurricanes would score but the Jackets' defensemen skated in the way of the puck .The period would end with both teams tied at zero.
Two minutes into the second period the Jackets go down a man as Richards heads towards the box. The Jackets showed their PK skills and successfully killed the penalty. Crawford takes off with the puck with 12:25 left but takes a hard hit by a Jr. Hurricane causing him to lose possession of the puck. 30 seconds later the Jr. Hurricanes become the first on the board. For the next four minutes the Jackets would go on two separate powerplays. Nothing would come from either of them. With 8:11 left in the period Michaelis saw an opening and fired through traffic. The Jr. Hurricanes goalie saw the puck coming and stopped the it from going any further. There would be no goal. The next few minutes provided attempt after attempt to tie the game up. None of the attempts worked until Pooley popped one into the net and politely saluted his teammates. The Jackets and Jr. Hurricanes tied at 1 with 4:49 left in the second period. A minute later, Richards would feel a lot of pressure along the boards from the Jr. Hurricanes but would manage to clear the puck. Up to this point in the game Richards has proved to be a very persistent goal attacker. His “never give up” attitude paid off with 55.6 seconds left in the period giving the Jackets a 2-1 lead heading into the third.
Almost immediately in the third a Jr. Hurricane was left alone to his own devices. Thankfully, he shot wide of the net. Two minutes later the Jr. Hurricanes tied things up. With 10:06 left in the game the hits and pucks started flying. Everyone wanted to break that tie and each team's goalie began to put on a show. There was a lot of pressure and traffic in front of Dop, with 7:16 left, but he was able to shut down the Jr. Hurricanes. Half a minute later Query went in for a hit but was knocked to the ground. Being the resilient player that Query is he immediately slid towards the boards and battled for the puck. Query was able to pass it along to a teammate who cleared the puck into the Jr. Hurricanes zone. The Jackets were able to keep the puck down there for the next 30 seconds. Dop made a risky yet successful move with 5:41 to go. The puck laid a little over arms length away from Dop. He looked up, saw a Jr. Hurricane headed towards the abandoned puck and quickly left his post to pounce on the puck. A play by Dop that will not be soon forgotten. With 2:33 left in the game the Jr. Hurricanes cause a hot mess of traffic in front of Dop and manage to sneak one past him. The Jackets were able to keep the Jr. Hurricanes from scoring again but would lose, 2-3.
Game 2 . 8:30 am at Chiller North.
The Jackets started the game out strong with two goals within the first 7 minutes. One from Reed and one from Burgin. Gresock gets a nice breakaway with 4:28 to go. He stopped, moved back, and fired a backhand shot towards the goal. There were four Jr. Hurricanes in front of the net to stop the puck. Two minutes later Reed had a few seconds of alone time with the puck before getting slammed into the board. He and Kirby were forced into a battle against the Jr. Hurricanes along the boards. They tried hard to win the battle but the Jr. Hurricanes prevailed. With a minute to go Barber fires off a shot at the goal but the Jr. Hurricanes' goalie is awake enough to stop the puck. The period would end with the Jackets up by two goals.
The second period starts with the Jackets pushing hard to extend the lead by three. Smith stopped a potential deadly breakaway with 12:35 left in the period. With 9:38 left Burgin popped one of the boards. The Jr. Hurricanes' goalie abandons the net to go behind and try to clear the puck. It was a risky move but it worked. Barber headed to the box with 8:54 left and the Jackets go down a man. Gresock used this time to grind hard. He broke away, fired, and was stopped. A minute and a half into Barber's penalty the Jr. Hurricanes score bringing them within one goal of the Jackets. With 5:18 left, Michaelis headed to the box down a man. Thirty five seconds into the penalty, Olschewske joined Michaelis in the box giving the Jr. Hurricanes a two-man advantage. The Jackets would successfully kill both penalties. With 2:40 left in the period the puck is popped into the air. As it began to fall down behind Decoursey and into the goal Smith knocked it out of the air. The second period would end with the Jackets up by one goal, 2-1.
Richards came to the third period ready to play. Twenty seconds into the third he fired one from the blue line but was stopped. Following suit, a minute later, Michaelis fired one from the blue line. He was also stopped. The boys were determined to score that third goal and with 12:59 to go Olschewske would be the man to do it. With 2:13 left to play the Jr. Hurricanes would score with the help of the post. A minute later the Jr. Hurricanes would pull their goalie and Larbes would score on the empty net. The Jackets would pull out the win, 4-2.
Next up for the U16s is a road trip to Culver, Indiana to play Culver Academy.
The U16 girls knew they had their hands full at their first showcase of the season in Cleveland this past weekend, missing 3 players due to injury. They still showed that they could compete with all the teams quite well, though somewhat challenged in putting enough pucks in the net to pull out the desired wins (losing 3 games by 1 goal), 1 tie and 1 win. Scoring goals for the team this weekend were Rogers, Schauer, Hatcher, Brumfield, Heminger, Maley, Miller and another solid weekend by Wickiser "Wicky" with 4 goals.
Next up for the Lady Jackets is hosting two home games this coming weekend versus the St Thomas (Ontario) Panthers. The first game will take place at 6:00p Friday (10/10) at Chiller North, followed by a second game 7:30 am Sunday (10/12) at the Ice Haus.
The Stars Elite have to play against U12 AA boys teams because there aren’t enough girls teams to play in Texas. How would they hold up against another AAA girls team in their own age bracket?
An interference penalty was called right off the opening faceoff. Almond (Jackets) would head to the box. Not long after the Jackets successful penalty kill they would go on the powerplay. Both teams have a strong penalty kill which has proved helpful for both teams. Halfway through the period and it looked as though both teams were going to stay tied at zero. With 7:16 left in the period the Stars Elite scored (Jahnke) and then scored (McIlroy) again 11 seconds later. The Stars Elite kept transplanting in front of the net to create a lot of traffic. As you can see it worked out well for the Stars Elite. A minute and a half later Balazs (Jackets) broke away from the pack and it looked as though she was going to score. Without warning two Stars Elite were on her, pushed her into the boards, and stole the puck. With 4:07 left in the period, Almond (Jackets) had a chance at the net but the Stars Elite turned up the pressure. Almond passed to Monturo (Jackets) who fired one just past the net. A few minutes later the Jackets would head to the penalty kill. A minute into the penalty Hendry (Stars Elite) would score a freaky goal. Luck was on their side. With 20 seconds left in the period it looked as though the Stars Elite would score again. Luckily, Bolyard (Jackets) was awake and the Stars Elite ended up firing a point blank shot into her pads. The first would end with the Jackets trailing the Stars Elite, 0-3.
The start of the second period. The Stars Elite fired a shot at the Jackets net and it slowly glided between Bolyard’s leg. She sits down in time to stop the goal. A Stars Elite broke away with 12:21 to play in the period, went around the back of the net, and was stuffed by Bolyard. With 12:05 left the Stars Elite got their revenge on that block and Yoshida scored. Making it 4-0. A little over 9 to play, Wang (3) battled hard along the boards to try and get the puck out of their zone. With 5:16 left in the second Bolyard thought Jahnke (33 Stars Elite) was shooting down low but the puck was popped over her head. Stars Elite with the 5-0 lead. A minute and a half left in the period and Rittenhouse (Stars Elite) pops the puck over Bolyard's head. The Jackets would end the second down by 6.
Within the first minute of play in the third, the Lady Jackets go on a two man advantage. The penalties would end without a Lady Jackets goal. With 9:22 left Wang (26) broke through the crowd and fired but the Stars' goalie caught it. The Lady Jackets turned up the intensity for the next few minutes but it wasn't enough to slow the Stars Elite down. The Stars' Rittenhouse would score with 3:10 left in the game while on the penalty kill. With 20 seconds left, Almond tries her hardest to make sure the Lady Jackets are not shut out. Unfortunately, no score would be had and the Lady Jackets would lose to the Dallas Stars Elite, 0-7.
U16 Girls Look For a Win Against the Dallas Stars Elite
Right off the bat Cropper makes a nice save. With 8:35 left in the period 21 passes to 15. She shoots but is stopped. A minute later a rocket is fired at Cropper but she redirects it. No goal for the Stars Elite. Cropper begins to put on a show as she does the splits to stop the puck with 6:56 left in the period. With 4:37 left in the period Heminger puts some juice behind the puck but the Jr. Stars goalie was able to stop it from entering the net. Both goalies are, yet again, putting on a show for the crowd. In the final 35 seconds of the period Heminger tries her hardest to keep the puck away from the opposition. Before the buzzer sounds she was able to pass the puck to a teammate who cleared it out of the zone. The first period would end with the Lady Jackets and Stars Elite tied at zero.
It was a rough start to the second period for the Lady Jackets. They weren’t even 20 seconds in when the Stars Elite scored. A few moments later Wickiser tried to knock one in but the Stars Elite goalie deflected the puck. There was a lot of traffic around the Lady Jackets net, with 12:31 to go, but the girls worked as a team effectively shutting down anyone who attacked the net. A few minutes past and Wickiser saw her opening. The Stars Elite goalie was not paying attention. Wackier headed towards the net, shot, and the Stars Elite goalie came alive stopping Wickiser from scoring. Brumfield rebounds the puck off the goalie and shot it just shy of the net. 8:11 left in the second and the Stars Elite still held the lead. The lead wouldn’t be theirs for long though. With 6:44 left in the second, Wickiser scored the equalizer in what felt like slow motion. The puck slowly spun beneath the goalies legs until it broke the goal line. 2:21 officials timeout.
50 seconds into the final period, Bunting won the faceoff in front of the Lady Jackets net. Painter takes off with the puck, passes to Rogers who passes back to Bunting. The Lady Jackets thought they were going to score but the Jr. Stars applied the pressure. There would be no goal. 40 seconds later Cropper would pocket the puck but threw it back. With 11:35 left in the period the Lady Jackets fired off a few shots but the Stars Elite goalie stopped each shot. The Lady Jackets go down a player with 9:35 left in the period. Not even a full minute into the Lady Jackets penalty the Stars Elite take the lead after sneaking one past Cropper. The Stars Elite try to score again with 5:18 left in the period. They would shoot a little on the high side and the puck would bounce off the post. A timeout would be called with a little over a minute to go in the period. Afterwards, the Lady Jackets would pull Cropper, giving the Lady Jackets a man advantage. Time would run out and the Lady Jackets would lose to the Stars Elite, 1-2.
U14 Girls Fight Through Early Morning Game Against Jr. Admirals
Day two of the Cleveland girls Super Showcase started at 7:20 am. Although it was extremely early both teams were amped up and ready to go.
The first period was a battle of the goalies. Both Bolyard (Jackets) and McCoy (Jr. Admirals) were not letting anything get past them. They were seeing through the traffic and catching all the sneaky stick work. The first period would end with both teams tied at zero.
The second period started off with two good shots that McCoy of Milwaukee was able to stop. Bolyard had an incredible sliding kick save with 14:21 left in the second. A few minutes later the Jr. Admirals attacked the net over and over but the Lady Jackets jumped into the thick of it blocking each attempt. There would be no goal and the game would stay tied at zero. Balazs went to battle along the boards with 11:21 left in the period. She managed to win the battle but mere moments later Weaver (Jr. Admiral) deflected her pass to a teammate. 30 seconds later the Jr. Admirals broke the tie. Lady Jackets now trail, 0-1. A minute later Morrissey broke away but was stopped by McCoy. With 3:17 left in the second there was a pile up in front of the Jr. Admirals’ net. The faceoff would take place in front of the Jr. Admirals’ net and they would go on to win the faceoff. The second period would end with the Lady Jackets trailing the Jr. Admirals, 0-1.
A little over three minutes into the third Berger threw her body into the path of the puck and saved the Jackets from falling behind even more. With 10:26 left in the period Smith (Jackets) would rip one at the net only to be denied by McCoy (Admirals). 30 seconds later Bolyard would make a great stop on an unattended Jr. Admiral. After a freaky awkward hit into the boards the Jr Admirals would go on the power play and Jones (Jackets) would be asked to leave the game. About a minute into the penalty, Mueller (Jackets) and Youngblood (Jr. Admirals) would get coincidentals. They both headed towards the box and the Jr. Admirals would have a 3on4 power play. At this point, things started to heat up even more between the two teams. There was a scuffle in front of the Lady Jackets net with 7:05 left. No penalties were assessed. 15 seconds later Morrissey (Jackets) laid it all out on the ice sacrificing her body to prevent the Jr. Admirals from scoring. Morrissey will continue to do this for the rest of the game foiling one goal attempt after another. The period would end with the Lady Jackets falling to the Jr. Admirals, 0-1.
The first period would start with both goalies putting on a show for all those in attendance. With 13:16 left in the first the Lady Jacket’s goalie (Walker) would fall in front of the net while the Jr. Admirals were on the attack. Luckily, Miller (Jackets) was able to shove her stick into the net and stop the Jr. Admirals from scoring. A minute and a half later Schafer (Jackets) became the enforcer when the whistle blew and the Jr. Admirals were still attacking the net. With 10:11 left in the period, Wickiser put the Jackets on the board first. Griffiths (Jr. Admirals) fired back, with 8:59 left in the period, and scored the equalizer. Repins (Jr. Admirals) skates to the box putting the Jackets on the powerplay with 5:51 left in the period. It proved to be an unsuccessful powerplay as the Jr. Admirals goalie (Klein) turned the heat up. For the rest of the period Walker (Jackets) brought her “A” game. No matter how hard the Jr. Admirals tried nothing was going to get past her. The first period would end in a tie.
A minute and a half into the second period Walker made a huge save off of a Jr. Admirals rebound. I don’t know how she got there in time but she did. Painter (Jackets) fired a rocket from the outside but Klein (Jr. Admirals) stuck her hand out to prevent the score with 11:02 left in the period. With 2:49 left in the period Maley (Jackets) passed to Brumfield (Jackets) who fired a shot off towards the net. Klein (Jr. Admirals) denied the pucks entrance to the net. Both goalies were on fire. The second period would end with both teams still tied at one.
Two minutes into the third Crowe (Jr. Admirals) broke the tie. The Jackets trailed the Jr. Admirals, 1-2. With 10:23 left in the game a rocket would be fired at the Jr. Admirals net. Klein (Jr. Admirals) would see the puck out of the corner of her eye and stop the goal from happening. The rest of the period would play out like this on both ends of the ice. The Jackets would end up finishing the game losing to the Jr. Admirals, 1-2.
The Jackets came into the start of their game against the Swords high off of a win. Would they be able to hold onto that energy and pull out another win?
With 12:58 left in the first period, the Swords thought they were going to take off with the puck but Berven stole it and shot it out of our zone. A minute later the Swords had another shot for a goal as one fired the puck at the net. Walz (Jackets) pounced on the puck, effectively stopping an chance of a score for the Swords. With ten minutes to play in the first Berven was able to knock the puck out of our zone again. This proved to be a successful play for the Jackets as the puck stayed on the other end of the ice for a little over a minute. With 8:33 left in the period, Warner (Swords) fired one into the net and the Swords became the first on the board, 1-0. A minute later, the Swords put the pressure on Walz (Jackets) and Tyson (Jackets) was there to save the day. Tyson may be tiny but he will protect his goalie to the death. Tyson and the Jackets continued to apply pressure to the Swords and with 5:21 left in the first it proved successful. Zipser (Jackets) scored off of a nice pass from Holland (Jackets) to tie things up.
Not even 20 seconds into the second period and the Jackets had the upper hand as Maynard (Swords) headed to the box for interference. With 19 seconds left in the Swords penalty, Halsey (Jackets) heads to the box and both teams are at even strength. Thirty seconds later Gunlock (Jackets) would join Halsey (Jackets) in the box. The Swords would have a two man advantage. This gave the Swords the momentum they needed and with 11:17 left in the period MacDonald would score. The Swords broke the tie, 2-1. With 7:45 left in the period the Jackets tied things up thanks to Sullivan banging one in off of the post. A little over a minute later Tonucci (Swords) rebounded the puck off of a Walz stop and poked it into the net. Yet again the Swords broke the tie and would head into the third period leading the Jackets, 3-2.
Two minutes into the third period and the net is knocked out of balance causing the faceoff to take place in front of the Jackets goal. Zipser (Jackets) won the battle and Boytar took off with the puck. He raced down the ice, quickly passed to Holland, and Holland knocked it in the net for the Jackets equalizer. With 12:33 left in the game there was a clock malfunction that allowed both teams a moment to regather and clear their heads. A minute later Fixari (Jackets) would have an unsuccessful break away. The rest of the period would be unsuccessful breakaway after another for both teams. No score would be had and the game would end in a tie, 3-3.
It was an early game time for the Jr. Coyotes and the Ohio Blue Jackets on Saturday. 8:10 am is early enough as it is but in the Coyotes mind it's really 5:10 am. The only thing that kept both teams awake was the fact they were both coming off losses and were hungry for a win.
The period started with a penalty here, a penalty there, a penalty everywhere. When the penalties calmed down the intensity of play went up. With 7:12 left in the first Middendorf (Coyotes) broke away and popped one over Walz' shoulder to tie things up. The Jackets weren't too pleased with that goal and within 30 seconds Sullivan (Jackets) broke the tie with an unassisted goal.The Jackets lead the Jr. Coyotes, 2-1. With 3:54 left in the first, Tyson had the puck stolen at the blue line and the Jr. Coyotes ran it down the ice. Luckily, Walz was awake and able to stop the puck from sailing into the net. A minute later, Gunlock (Jackets) fired from outside and scored. Jackets extended their lead, 3-1. Seconds before the end of the period, Middendorf (Coyotes) had another big breakaway. Except this time Walz saw him coming and managed to stop the puck. The period ended with the Jackets up 3-1.
Within 30 seconds of the start of the second period Holland tried to poke one through the goalies legs but the whistle is blown before anything can happen. Then a 30 sec battle along the boards took place. The Jr. Coyotes won the battle but the Jackets intercepted the puck moments later. With 12:48 left in the period Zipser received a pass, fired it at the net, but Charland (Coyotes) pounced on it like a cat. Gunlock (Jackets) tried to launch one from the blueline with 11:48 left in the period but Charland (coyotes) came up big again. With 10:19 left in the period Boytar (Jackets) slammed one in from the blueline giving the Jackets a 4-1 lead over the Coyotes. A little under four minutes in the period, Sullivan (Jackets) had a breakaway, shot, and it sails to the right of the net. With 2:27 left, Holland (Jackets) knocked the puck out of the air off of a rebound but Charland (Coyotes) pounced on the puck ensuring there would be no goal. A few seconds later Wenerstrom would slide the puck between Charland's pads and into the net. The second period would end with the Jackets leading the Coyotes, 5-1.
By the start of the third period both teams were fired up and ready to finish the game. Within the first few seconds the Jackets pulled Walz to give him a rest. The Jackets take the third period to perfect their fundamentals. The main focus during this time was passing, stick handling, and defense. With no goals being scored and barely any penalties called the period flew by. The Jackets would go on win their first game of the Super Showcase, 5-2.
It's that time of year again! The Columbus Blue Jackets are now accepting nominations for their Marzetti's Youth Hockey Mom of the Year award.
Do you have a special lady in mind who would rather go to her kids hockey game than the Ohio State vs Michigan football game? Does she wear five layers of clothes when it's 90 degrees out because she'll be sitting in an ice cold rink for hours? Does she lug around smelly equipment with pride or spend all day at the rink manning tables for special Ohio AAA Blue Jackets events? Is she just an all around great mom? If you answered yes to any of these questions please consider nominating her for the Marzetti's Youth Hockey Mom of the Year award!
It's no secret that the Ohio Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Pens Elite are rivals. When both teams play each other you can expect to see a lot of action and passion.
Right off the faceoff Kumar (Pens) scored. A minute later, the Pens shoot through heavy traffic in front of the net. Walz (Jackets) somehow was able to get to the puck on time and kept the Pens from scoring. With a a little over 10:35 left in the period, Waltz jumped up and knocked the puck out of air to keep it from going in the night. For the next three minutes the Jackets had failed attempt after failed attempt until Halsey tied things up with 6:43 to go in the period. The rest of the period was spent battling along the boards and the goalies from each team putting on a show for the crowd. The Jackets and Pens Elite headed to the first intermission tied at 1.
There were a lot of hard hits and stolen pucks to start the second period. Both teams were clearly ready to break the 1-1 tie. Fixari (Jackets) had a nice breakaway but was foiled by a Pens Elite with 13:35 left in the second. Jackets went down a man with 12:45 to go as Fixari (Jackets) skated to the box. With 4 seconds left in the Fixari penalty, Kumar (Pens Elite) broke the tie by scoring his second goal of the game. Pens Elite up 2-1. The puck bounced off the post with 8:15 left in the second and then rebounded by Novak(Pens Elite) for a Pens Elite score. Thirty seconds later Polster (Pens Elite) got the puck past Walz (Jackets) and the Pens Elite led the Jackets, 4-1. The Jackets barely had a chance to breathe after that fourth goal when Potochny (Pens Elite) raced down the ice and sauced the puck to Newman to put the Pens Elite up, 5-1. The Jackets quickly called a time out after the 5th goal to asses the situation at hand. Whatever was said in that huddle worked because with 4:43 left in the second Fixari (Jackets) was able to get the Jackets within 3 goals. Jackets still trailed, 2-5. For the rest of the period the Pens Elite stayed in the Jackets zone. They sacrificed their bodies in front of the net trying to keep the puck out. The period ended with the Jackets trailing the Pens Elite, 2-5.
The Jackets were determined to pull out a win at the start of the third. On the other hand, the Pens Elite were determined to hold on to the lead. With 14:09 left Zipser had a nice faceoff win only to have it stolen by a Pens Elite. Boytar had a nice solid hit with 13:23 to go that kept one of the Pens Elite from scoring on the shift. With 8:18 left, Tyson (Jackets) broke away from the pack, fired, and just missed the net. Zipser realized the need for a line change and cleared the puck to make the line change happen. Walz stopped the puck with 45.7 seconds left.The refs didn't blow the whistle so the Jackets took matters into their own hands and protect their goalie. The Jackets end up dropping their second game of the Super Showcase to the Pens Elite, 2-5.
At the end of day one the Jackets were 0-2 in the Super Showcase.
It was a rough start to the day for the Jackets. Within 2 minutes of puck drop the Grizzlies were first on the board. The Jackets tried their hardest to keep the Grizzlies from scoring a second time but with 11:24 left in the first the Grizzlies knocked one in. Twenty seconds after that goal, Tyson took a penalty and the 2000 Jackets went down a man. With thirty seconds left in Tyson’s penalty the Grizzlies created a traffic jam in front of the net. Walz was able to see through it all and made an incredible save that kept the Grizzlies from going up by three. Halfway through the period, Fixari was able to have some alone time with the puck and fired it towards the Grizzlies’ net. Somehow, the goalie saw him coming and was able to stop the puck before it entered the net. A minute later the Grizzlies were able to extend their lead to three. Mere moments after the goal the Jackets went on the powerplay, which proved to be unsuccessful. After being at even strength for a little under a minute, the Grizzlies extended their lead by 4. At the end of the first the Jackets trailed the Grizzlies, 0-4.
The second period started off with attempt after attempt by both teams to score. It was a duel of the goalies. With 12:53 left in the period, Tyson glided over to Walz and showed him love and encouragement. Shortly after that Ross got into a battle on the boards, was able to get it out but the puck came right back in our zone. The Grizzlies have a breakaway with 10:35 left in the second. Walz was hip to their tricks and was able to block the puck. The rebound popped over his head and a teammate managed to get it out through the traffic. The Jackets went on a powerplay with 8:59 left in the second. Halsey tried to monopolize on the man advantage and fired one right into pads of Oakland. With 7:20 left in the second, the Jackets went down a man which led to a Grizzlies’ powerplay goal. Jackets now trail by 5. After a Grizzlies’ cross checking penalty the Jackets head to the powerplay. The Jackets were able to keep the Grizzlies from scoring. A little over 3 left in the second Walz makes a huge save and gets tangled up in the bodies that were surrounding the net. The Grizzlies rebounded the puck but the whistle was blown before the puck broke the plane. In the last 2.5 seconds of the period the Grizzlies were able to see through the traffic around the Jackets net and the puck sailed into the net giving the Grizzlies a 6 goal lead. The period would end with the Jackets trailing the Grizzlies, 6-0.
The third period starts and you could feel the do or die attitude oozing off the Jackets. With 13:49 left in the game Wenerstrom went hard along the boards to win the battle for the puck. After getting the puck out the Grizzlies stole the puck and a minute later scored. Jackets go down by 7. With 7:26 left the Jackets go down a man as Fixari heads to the box. The Jackets successfully kill the penalty only to have the Grizzlies score moments after being at even strength. The Jackets now trail by 8. A little over a minute later the Grizzlies score again. The Jackets fate is sealed and they will finish the game losing 0-9.
Ohio AAA Blue Jackets to Host the Columbus Super Showcase
The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets will be hosting Tier 1's Super Showcase this weekend, September 26-28. 14 teams from all over the country will compete in this showcase being held for players born in the year 2000. Majority of the games will take place at Chiller North, located in Lewis Center. A few games will also be held at the Dublin Chiller, Easton Chiller, and the Ice Haus. We will be updating scores throughout each day on the site as well as twitter. We will also live tweet the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets games.
Earlier today the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that broadcaster Bill Davidge had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Davidge has been a long time supporter of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program and it's time for us to rally around him with positive thoughts and prayers."He has been a personal friend, even before the AAA Blue Jackets started, and we will all be pulling for him to beat this cancer," said Ed Gingher.
If you would like to send our friend, Bill Davidge, an email full of love and encouragement please do so at GetWellBilly@BlueJackets.com
Opening weekend was quite the success around the organization. Check out how we did below:
U18s vs Pittsburgh Pens Elite:
The U18s swept the Pens Elite this weekend, 5-3 and 4-3. The boys start the season with a 2-0 record.
U16s vs Pittsburgh Vengeance and Pittsburgh Pens Elite:
The U16s annihilated the Vengeance ,7-2 ,on Saturday. They tied the series with the Pens Elite, winning 3-1 on Saturday and losing 5-1 on Sunday. They start the season with a 2-1 record.
2000svs Tri-State Spartans:
The second sweep of the weekend came from the 2000s. They won both games, 3-1 and 2-1.
2001s vs Tri-State Spartans:
The reigning world champs started the 14-15 season out on the right foot sweeping the Spartans, 2-1 and 8-2.
2002s at the Hockeytown Challenge:
The boys dropped games to the Sylvania North Stars (3-2), Green Bay (3-2), and Little Caesars West (9-2). They were able to avoid getting swept in the Hockeytown Challenge by tying the Chicago Bruins 5-5. They start the season 0-3-1.
2003s vs Compuware:
The 2003s dropped both games to Compuware, 3-1 and 5-1. They fought hard and never quit.
U16s Girls at Stoney Creek Tournament:
The U16 Girls walked away with a trophy this weekend after winning the Consolation Bracket of the Stoney Creek Tournament! Great job girls!
The U16 OAAABJ Girls finished strong at the Stoney Creek Tournament in Hamilton, Ontario, which featured 64 girls teams. Their big finish included winning 3 straight in the Consolation bracket and then a shoot-out win in the final game to take their division. Kylie Wickiser had a big weekend with 3 goals in regulation, 1 sudden death goal and a Shoot-out goal in the championship game. The 16's are off next to Buffalo for exhibition games with the
Regals and Bisons.
Carson Meyer and Brendan Demler are best friends. They play on the same team, share the same birthday, and after high school they will have 4 more years together. On August 14, Meyer committed to play hockey at Dartmouth College.
He feels extremely lucky to have the opportunity to spend four extra years playing hockey with his best friend. “I used to be a weak player, the 10th forward at times,” said Meyer, “I earned my ice time by working hard on and off the ice.” Meyer even acknowledges his coaches for instilling the value of hardwork within him. “It stuck with me and it always will. I will take that hard work and relentlessness to the higher levels with me,” Meyer explained.
An Ivy league education, a beautiful campus, top of the line facility, and a D1 team that just keeps getting better drew Meyer to the thought of playing hockey at Dartmouth. However, like Demler, the coaches are what hooked him. “They love their players and help them out. I love that,” stated Meyer. Plus, who wouldn't jump at the chance to play hockey with their best friend?
Two years ago Brendan Demler (1997) felt lucky to have even become part of the AAA organization. In the past two years he's grown into an exceptional player. Demler gives the AAA Blue Jackets and Coach Ganchar credit for a lot of his current success stating, “What the AAA program has done for players like myself and others before me is incredible.” Through Coach Ganchar he's learned the importance of warm-ups, unpacking your bag before the game, knowing that the most important shift is the one you are currently on, and to be the best at what you do. Demler plans on taking these lessons with him wherever he goes.
Demler also attributes his success to his parents. They always stressed the importance of having good grades and this summer all that hard work paid off. On July 14th, Demler committed to Dartmouth College. “I wanted to go to the best school I could academically, and Dartmouth definitely provides me with an amazing opportunity on that side of things,” explained Demler, “It's hard to pass up an Ivy League education.” Dartmouth's education is just the tip of the iceberg for Demler. After visiting Dartmouth's campus and meeting coaches Gaudet, Rose, and Lassonde it was apparent that this was the school for Demler. “They have everything I've ever dreamed of,” said Demler, “top of the line facilities, outstanding coaches, and a great supporting staff who is always there for the team.”
Despite green being Demler's least favorite color he's more than excited to pull that Dartmouth sweater over his head and show the coaches he was worth the shot. I have a feeling it won't be long before green becomes Demler's favorite color.
Before Hartnell has even set foot on the ice Columbus is already reaping the benefits of having him on the Blue Jackets. Upon being traded to Columbus, Hartnell's people reached out to the CBJ Foundation. The CBJ Foundation immediately reached out to us about sending players to the #HartnellDown Hockey Camp. “He (Hartnell) has been generous enough to invite 6 of our players to the camp along with 4 from the Columbus Ice Hockey Club,” Ed Gingher explained, “The CBJ Foundation has also stepped up in a big way and arranged for all of their travel as well. It should be a wonderful week for them!.”
The #HartnellDown Hockey Camp allows kids (ages 12 - 18) to train the same exact way that Hartnell himself trains in the off-season. Not only do they get to see how Hartnell trains they get to train with him. This is a great opportunity for Rahul Choudhary (2000), William Hortz (2002), Dominick Evangelisti (2003), Ryan Williams (2003), Bryce Queary (1999), Danielle Bunting (1999) and all the other kids who will be in attendance.
Thank you Scott Hartnell, #HartnellDown Foundation, and the CBJ Foundation for supporting the AAA Blue Jackets.
From the moment little boys lace up their first pair of ice skates their mind wanders to dreams of getting drafted to play in the NHL. They spend late nights on the ice, travel all over the country on weekends, and move away from their families at a young age just so they can get a shot at fulfilling their life-long wish. In the past seven years, four Ohio AAA Blue Jackets alumni have heard their name called on draft weekend.
Columbus hosted the 45th NHL Entry Draft in 2007 and hometown boy, Trent Vogelhuber, was draft eligible. Round after round went without Vogelhuber being called to the stage. It looked as though 2007 was not his year. There were hundreds of hopefuls left and one team left to pick. The team on the board? The Jackets. Would Vogelhuber get drafted by the hometown team? Or would he have to wait another year for his dream to take form? On June 23rd, 2007 Vogelhuber got what every little boy wearing hockey skates dreams of; to be drafted by the hometown team.
After being drafted, Vogelhuber played for the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers. He then went on to play four years of hockey at Miami University (2008-2012). While at Miami, Voglehuber played 149 games, scored 21 goals, and had 30 assists. At the end of the 2011-12 season he headed to Springfield, Mass to play out the rest of the Falcons season. Vogelhuber has been playing in the Jackets system ever since leaving Miami and was resigned in June for one more year.
Connor Murphy and Sean Kuraly had both heard of each other before playing together. Putting two highly talented and well known players on a team could get a little dicey. Luckily, once they became part of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets organization they became fast friends. They pushed each other to be better hockey players. In 2011, their growing talent caught the eye of many NHL scouts. Both Murphy and Kuraly placed in the top 10 of multiple combine tests. They clearly impressed many because both of them were drafted in the 2011 NHL entry draft. Murphy went 20th overall to the Phoenix Coyotes and Kuraly went 133rd overall to the San Jose Sharks.
After being drafted by the Coyotes, Murphy played two seasons in the OHL with the Sarnia Sting. Then during the 2013-14 season he played 66 games between the Portland Pirates (AHL) and the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL). Murphy tallied 1 goal and 20 assists during the 2013-14 season.
Sean Kuraly took a different route after being drafted by the Sharks. He went to the USHL to play for Indiana Ice for a year and then headed to college at Miami University. During the past two seasons (2012-14) at Miami, Kuraly played a total of 78 games and tallied 41 points.
While playing with the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets U16 team (2010-11) Cole Cassels played 37 games, had 11 goals, and 23 assists. During that season he caught the eye of teams in both the USHL and OHL. Cassels was drafted 16th overall by the Oshawa Generals (OHL) and 45th overall by Muskegon (USHL). He opted to sign with the Oshawa Generals that year. Two years later the Vancouver Canucks drafted Cassels 85th overall.
Over the past three season with the Oshawa Generals Cassels has played in 189 games, scored 42 goals, and had 85 assists. He is constantly growing, getting faster, stronger, and his hockey IQ is off the charts. Cassels will be a force to reckon with once he enters the NHL playing field. Which shouldn't be too long from now. He officially signed with the Vancouver Canucks in December of 2013.
Cole Cassels Invited to USA World Junior Team Evaluation Camp
Photo Credit: Oshawa Generals
Cole Cassels will be headed to Lake Placid, New York, August 2-9, to partake in the USA World Junior Team Evaluation Camp. He will join 41 other players from around the US to compete for a spot on the 2015 IIHF World Juniors Championship squad. During evaluation camp they will go toe-to-toe with teams from Sweden, Finland, and the Czech Republic.
The 2015 World Juniors will take place December 26 - January 5 in Toronto and Montreal.
Ben Sward is a Marine Engineer by day and Podcast Creator by night. The 2008 graduate of Dublin Jerome recently created a sports podcast for listeners who crave something real called AgonMinds. The word “agon” means “competition” in Greek. “It also refers to an internal battle or conflict between two characters in play,” Sward explained, “Every guest is competitive and we talk about their internal and external conflicts; struggling with body-image, overcoming injury, etc.” Sward created AgonMinds to show people the other side of athletes and coaches. “So much of what we see everyday is scripted,” said Sward, “I was craving something that I could tune into and hear a professional simply being themselves and talking about what they want.” When you tune in not only will the guests personalities shine through but you will learn a lot about what it takes to be an athlete. From talking about how the hockey draft works to studying bat swings the amount of knowledge you will gain while listening to AgonMinds is incredible.
While there are millions of ideas that float around Sward's head on a daily basis there are only two things he wants to accomplish. To have fun and spread a positive message. “We want to share the message that has worked for us with anybody trying to be successful,” Sward said, “Work hard for what you want, keep a positive mind, and be good to people, then you will find success.” AgonMinds is able to spread this message by the guests they have on the show. Every week there is a different athlete from different walks of life who approach life with a zest for life. “That's why I invite people like Connor Murphy onto the show. The kid has extraordinary talent, but on top of that he has a tremendous personality, he is incredibly genuine, and just an overall enjoyable guy,” Sward said, “It's obvious after talking to him why he has seen success and will continue to see success.”
Connor Murphy isn't the only Ohio AAA Blue Jackets alum that has made an appearance on AgonMinds. Today's guest was Sean Kuraly. Follow the links below to learn what Murphy and Kuraly are up to now.
This past week the Portland Pirates announced their 2013-14 team awards. Defenseman, Connor Murphy won the Jack Button Memorial Award. The award is given out by the organization to their top prospect. You can read more about the award on the Pirates website.
After breezing through the first two rounds of the playoffs the Oshawa Generals playoff run came to an end in the third round on Wednesday. Alternate Captain, Cole Cassels had an outstanding showing in the playoffs. He placed second on the team in playoff goals (6) and playoff assists (11).
After leaving the AAA Blue Jackets organization, Jude Warner, played four years in the NAHL from 2011-2013. This season he played in the EHL for the Philadelphia Little Flyers putting up 15 goals and 23 assists. On April 15th, Warner committed to St. Mary's to play NCAA hockey. You can read more about what Warner has been up to here
On April 14th, the Billingham Stars lost in the semi finals. Andy Finn had 7 assists in the 18 games he was able to play this season.
After a season of success in the Phoenix Coyote's organization Connor Murphy caught the eye of some important people. In a few weeks, he will be headed to Belarus to represent USA in the 2014 Mens Ice Hockey World Championship. Murphy is no stranger to international ice. In 2011, Murphy traveled to Germany with the USA U18 team. In the gold medal game vs Sweden, Murphy injured his knee while blocking a shot. He chose to play through his injury instead of leaving the game to have medical attention. Murphy ended up scoring the game winner in overtime. Murphy won another gold medal in last year's World Juniors Championship held in Russia.
This year's Men's Ice Hockey World Championship begins May 9 and ends May 25. Team USA's first game is against the host country, Belarus, on May 9 at 1:45 pm.
The 2013-2014 season has come to a close. It started with a new coach (Jeff Christian) and a new set of kids entering the AAA program (2003). The season ended with a world trophy (2001) and an appearance at Nationals (U16s Boys). There was heartbreak, revenge matches, and games that will be talked about for years to come. This season was definitely a season to remember.
You've got the memories but do you have the stats? Join me as I break the season down by the numbers.
9 is the number of teams in the organization.
Among the 9 teams 478 games were played.
150 were played in Ohio.
321 were played out of the state.
7 were played out of the country.
The most games were played by the 2001s with 63.
196 games were won.
60 were won at home.
136 were won on the road
The 2001s had the most amount of wins with 41.
66 opposing teams were shut out.
13 of which were by the U16 boys.
1088 goals were scored
The most goals scored this season were by the 2001s with 267.
Both the 2001s and U16 boys lead the organization with most goals scored in a game with 11.
234 teams were played
217 were American teams
17 were from other countries
3 is the number of great speeches I heard this season.
2001s Coach Todd Ehrie gave the speech from “Miracle” changing the word “Soviets” to 'Hershey” during the Quebec City Tournament.
U18s assistant coach Steve Rudy Petures:
“Never get caught telling a hockey player it's just a game. Never get caught trying to explain to him all the things in the world that matter so much more. His mind might well acknowledge the truth to your point, but his soul will be powerless to accept it. Considering the immensity of what he gives to the sport, and the immeasurably of all it offers in return. Nothing ever feels as perfect as a moment of flawlessness on the ice. No bond as strong as one that compels brothers to bleed for one another. Not many leaders are this versed in the craft of motivation. Not many pursuits evoke such visions of brilliance. This is why it hurts so much when skill falls short of what the will desires. This is why it's so unforgettable when absolute passion yields ultimate reward. That's all still just the start of what the game can do to you. While you watch from a distance, remember what was validated up close. Hockey may in fact be just a game, but it's also who we are.”
Two losses by the U16 Boys at Nationals left them out of contention for the finals. They still had one game left to play though. This is what Alex Syring had to say going into the game “We will be playing for everyone. We are going to fight for a win tomorrow and battle for pride.”
Another great interview brought to you by 2001 Spencer Cox.
Nick Hall was one of the lucky kids who had a parent on the Quebec City Tournament trip. Needless to say his dad was quite impressed in how things turned out for the boys. So what did he have to say about the trip?
Trent Vogelhuber and the Springfield Falcons have secured a spot in the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs. The last two games of the regular season are on April 11 (vs Portland Pirates) and April 12 (vs Hershey Bears). In the 27 games Vogelhuber has played in this season he has scored 1 goal and assisted 8 of them.
Austin Pooley and the Omaha Lancers are in the USHL playoffs. They play April 12th against Sioux City.
The Oshawa Generals are one game away from moving onto the third round of the OHL playoffs. In the last three games Cole Cassels has scored 3 goals. Tonight they play against Peterborough.
Connor Murphy was in town on Tuesday when the Coyotes played the Jackets. Many friends and family were in attendance for the game. Even his billets made the trek down from Sarnia to see him.
On April 2, Connor McDonald had an assist in the Chicago Steel's win over the Youngstown Phantoms. In that same game,Kiefer Sherwood scored a goal and tallied an assist.
Jack Roslovic had a goal and an assist on April 4, when USA U17 beat Sioux City 9 to 6. The next night Roslovic had an assist in the 7-4 win over Dubuque.
Andy Finn of the Billingham Stars has played 20 games this season. Even though he spent much of the season battling an injury he was still able to assist 7 goals.
The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets are pleased to announce the coaches for the U16 and U14 Girls teams:
U16 Girls Head Coach - John Markell
U14 Girls Co-Coaches - John Markell and Jeremy Browning
Program Coordinator, Ed Gingher, added, "As we bring the girls teams under our heading, we needed to add quality and experienced coaches who can help our girls continue to develop on and off the ice. John brings over 15 years of head coaching experience to our program at the D1 level with Ohio State. He is a former CCHA Player of the Year as well as Coach of the year. Jeremy is a few years into his coaching career as he assisted Ohio Univ D1 & D2 Club teams. Both are ready to help build the girls side of the program and I am very excited to add both of these coaches to our line up!"
In this week's "What Did They Say Wednesday", Spencer Cox interviews Mr. Carper about his experience in Quebec. Click the link below to find out what Sam Carper's dad had to say about his experience in Quebec City.
Two days after the trip home Mr. Carper headed overseas to Afghanistan. This trip was the last time he'd see his son, Sam, play for awhile. Bringing home the trophy was definitely the cherry on the top of his trip.
On the ride home from Quebec City this past February I let Spencer Cox, Drake Barnish, Foster White, Sean Coonfare, and Sam Carper of the 2001 team run around with my voice recorder. They interviewed parents, teammates, and siblings about the trip. I was impressed with some of their interviews so through out the next couple of weeks I will be posting them in a segment called "What Did They Say Wednesday".
In our first interview Spencer Cox asked fellow teammate, Nick Hall, what he thought of the trip. What did he say? Click the link below to find out
Blake Edwards Named To NESCAC 2nd Team All-Conference
On March 6th, the NESCAC released the Men’s Ice Hockey All-Conference list. AAA Blue Jackets alum and current co-captain of Tufts Hockey, Blake Edwards, was named to the 2nd Team All-Conference. This is a monumental moment for both Blake Edwards and Tufts hockey. Edwards is the first Tufts’ defenseman since they joined the NESCAC league in the 2002-03 season to earn All-Conference honors.
With 11 points this season, Edwards is tied for 12th in points among blue liners throughout the league. He has proven to be an asset on the power play by assisting with five of the 23 power play goals Tufts has this season. Tufts’ 23 power play goals put the team tied for 3rd in the league for extra man goals.
Over the past 3 seasons Edwards has 10 goals and 29 assists.
This weekend the 2002s traveled to Canton, Ohio to partake in the Mid Am Tournament. Thanks to a few upsets the boys were able to jump into the Championship game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pens Elite. They lost the game, 4 to 2, and placed second in the tournament. "They were a tough team and we played hard", said Assistant Coach Jesse Predhomme.
Below is a breakdown of the tournament.
Game 1 vs The Cleveland Barons
Outcome: Won; 5 to 1
Goals: Walker (2), Watts, Sensky, and Trudeau
*Watts goal was his first AAA career goal.
Game 2 vs Sylvania
Outcome: Lost, 4 to 0
Game 3 vs The Cleveland Barons
Outcome: Won; 3 to 1
Goals: Chaykowski, Trudeau, and Kish
Game 4 vs Pittsburgh Pens Elite (Championship Game)
The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets are pleased to announce the boys Head Coaches for the 2014-15 season. Girls coaches will be announced soon.
U18 – Ed Gingher
U16 – Perry Ganchar
2000 – Luke Pavlas
2001 – Andrew Cassels
2002 – Jeff Christian
2003 – Todd Ehrie
2004 – Dale Jordan
Program Coordinator, Ed Gingher, added, “Again, I am very excited and proud of the lineup of coaches we have assembled for next season. This is a great group of coaches who believe in the philosophies and foundations of our program. They will help our players improve as hockey players both on and off the ice.”
Squirt Major – Bantam Major along with Girls U16 & Girls U14 tryouts are scheduled for April 12-14. U18 and U16 Tryouts are scheduled for May 23-25. Click on the Tryout link for all the information. To sign up for tryouts, please click:
2001 Jackets Take Home The Quebec City Peewee Tournament Cup
The boys traveled 18 hours to get to this tournament. Parents and players have taken over a week off of work/school. They are trying to make this trip worth every moment. The Colisee is packed with people we don’t know who are fans of this tournament. Some cheering for us. Some against us. Back home local Columbus bar, R-Bar, located in the heart of the Arena District is streaming the game live. Players, coaches, and parents of the AAA organization are watching the game at R-Bar surrounded by fans of the organization. This game means a lot to many of the players and coaches. This is the last game Sam Carper’s dad will watch before heading to Afghanistan for a few months. Coach Todd Ehrie could become the first Jackets coach to bring home the trophy. Dalton Miller will have double bragging rights over his brother who played on the '97 team. The team will prove that their win yesterday wasn’t just a fluke that they were meant to win this tournament. For the Billets, watching the Jackets play is like watching their own kids play. They have created a quick bond with the boys that will last a lifetime. This team is not the Jackets to them it’s their Jackets. Today is a great day to be a Jackets fan.
As the Jackets take the ice for warm-ups the Nordiques flag is proudly displayed to show support for their billet brothers who didn't make it to the finals. Jackets and Nordiques fans loudly cheer as one.
Straight off the face-off Landshof (17) shoots one at the Swiss goalie but is stopped. Lots of great work coming out of Foster (20) and Giambrone (9) in the first few minutes of the period. Their stick handling and speed has been incredible thus far. With 5:23 left in the 1st Swiss' Hasler (87) puts one in the net. Swiss are now up 1 to 0. Two minutes later White (20) has a breakaway stolen by Swiss' Baumann (11). He rushes down the ice and just like that the Swiss are up 2 to 0. Not even a full minute later Landshof (17) sees an opening in front of the net and passes to Vidrick (21). The Jackets are now within one goal. With 4.8 seconds to go Vidrick (21) makes an attempt to tie the game up but gets shot down by the Swiss goalie. The period ends and the Jackets head to the locker room down a goal.
At the start of the second period Vidrick (27) makes an incredible stop off the face-off. A few minutes later Cox (13) goes hard against the boards and clears the puck out. No one was able to convert that play into a goal. A little over four minutes into the second Carper (44) breaks away and immediately is triple teamed by the Swiss. He was able to shoot the puck down the ice right into the goalie's pads. A penalty is called on Swiss' Pezzulli (7) for holding. The Jackets are getting rebound after rebound but nothing is going in. They are hungry for a win and it clearly shows. Carper fires the puck right between the legs of the goalie with under two minutes left and the Jackets tie the game up. Nineteen seconds later Vineyard (8) passes to Vidrick (21) who launches the puck into the net. Jackets finally get into a flow and the period ends. Jackets head to the locker room up 3 to 2.
A clock malfunction starts out the third. 45 seconds into the first Landshof (17) breaks away from the pack, backhand shoots, and just misses the goal. A minute later the Swiss launch the puck towards Vidrick (27) who gets low to the ice to stop the puck from entering the net. The Swiss rebound, shot, and Vidrick (27) pounces on the puck. At 4:59 Carper (44) goes top shelf and gives the Jacket a two goal lead. The Jackets are now up 4 to 2. The win is so close you can taste it but there is still a lot of time left on the clock. The Jackets continue to pounce all over rebounds for the next few minutes. At 9:01, Miller (10) goes to the box for tripping. The penalty is successfully killed. The game is back to even strength but not for long. At 11:12 there's a lot of traffic around the net. Vidrick (21) works hard to get the puck in but the refs blow the whistle before he gets a chance. The refs end up calling Vidrick (21) for slashing and they are back on the penalty kill. Jackets were once again able to kill the penalty successfully.
As the clock wound down the tears were flowing. The Jackets had just made history as the winners of the 55th annual Quebec City Peewee Hockey Tournament. This moment was very bittersweet for all of us. It was time to take the trophy back to America but that meant leaving behind the family we just gained.
A revenge match for the ages took place between the Hershey Bears and Blue Jackets tonight. The last time the Jackets made it this far in the Quebec City Peewee Hockey Tournament was four years ago when the 97s were in the tournament. They took on the same team, the Hershey Bears, and lost. Current 2001 coach,Todd Ehrie, was assistant coach of the 97s at the time. This game is his shot at redemption. Make it out of this round alive and he makes history as being the first coach to get the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets to the finals of the Quebec City Peewee hockey tournament.Coach Ehrie will also prove that hard work and determination lead to great results. You can’t go back but you can always move forward and get better.
The first period started out a little slow. There were a few collisions along the boards and both teams seemed to be getting their legs under them. Then, halfway through the first period, White (20) breaks away and is stopped by the goalie. This fires up the Jackets and with 4:25 left in the period Vineyard scores. 24 seconds later a crowd of players show up in front of Hershey's net. Cox finds an opening and scores putting the Jackets up 2 to 0. With 2:30 left in the period Hershey had a breakaway and it seemed as though they would score. Daily (11) came out of no where and stole the puck. There was no goal to be had for Hershey. Under 30 seconds left in the period and Vidrick (27) comes under attack. Hershey shoots and Vidrick (27) blocks it. They rebound and shoot again. This time Vidrick (27) pounces on the puck and doesn't let it out of his sight. The first period ends with no penalties and no points on the board.
The second period started with a clock malfunction. The Jackets took this time to clear their minds and focus on what they were going to do next. What they did next was come out guns blazing. Seven seconds after the puck dropped Carper (44) snuck the puck in past the goalie. The Jackets are now up 3 to 0. A few minutes later, Fortin (55) planted himself in front of the goal. A Hersey Bear winds up, shoots, and the puck bounces off of Fortin as if it were a bouncy ball. White (20) sees this happen, swoops in, and passes the puck to Carper (44). He shoots and scores the fourth Jackets goal of the game. Jackets are now up 4 to 0. With a little over two minutes left in the period Raymond (84) heads to the box for holding and the Jackets begin to show off their penalty kill skills. Thirty seconds later Hershey's McDonough (20) heads to the box for holding and the game is back at even strength. With 23 seconds left in the game Vidrick (21) sauces the puck to Landshof (17) who then scores. Jackets are now up 5 to 0. The Jackets ended the period with three unanswered goals. One period stands between them and history. We all know anything can happen.
The Hershey Bears are aiming for a comeback and 1:01 into the 3rd period Hershey's Benchich went top shelf to put the Hershey Bears on the board. After a few shaky minutes of play the Jackets start to get their head back in the game. Then with 4:50 left in the game the clock malfunctioned again. Yet again the Jackets got together and chatted with each other during the impromptu break. This time instead of one team coming out from the break guns blazing someone knocked the puck out of play. Now there was even more time for both teams to collect their thoughts and refocus. It worked out well for Hershey because a few seconds later they scored making it 5 to 2. Jackets still had a three goal lead but like I said anything can happen in a high intensity game. With 2:27 the Jackets go down a man after Landshof (17) heads to the box for slashing. Not even 30 seconds later Vidrick (21) gets slashed by Hershey's Yingling and both teams are back at even strength. The Jackets continue to dump the puck and the game ends with the Jackets winning 5 to 2. Columbus has made history and will enter the finals for the first time in the history of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets.
After the game Coach Todd Ehrie told me that this win was for the 97s.
The Jackets next game will be at 1:30 pm Sunday vs the Swiss Eastern Selects at the Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City. If you are living in Columbus, Ohio there will be a live stream of the game at R-Bar in the Arena District downtown. Come out and support the boys.
The Jackets had two days off in between tournament games. To keep them fresh and focused the coaches set up two friendly exhibition games on Thursday and Friday. These games took place at Galeries de la Capitale in Quebec City. In case you were wondering, Galeries de la Capitale is a mall with an ice rink and a mini amusement park in the middle of all the shops. Behind one goal is a Merry-Go-Round. Behind the other goal is a mechanical balloon ride. Above the rink is a Ferris wheel, a rollercoaster, and a cat walk that you can watch the game from. There are not many places to do off ice warmups so the boys warmed up in the arcade. There are distractions everywhere you turn. Playing at this rink definitely teaches a player how to stay focused and ignore what is happening off the ice.
Since these games were exhibition games I'm not going to get into a full blown wrap up. I will on the other hand give you some key takeaways from each game.
Thursday's game vs North Shore Winter Club from Vancouver, BC. They lost 4 to 2.
Goals for the Jackets were scored by Fleet (24) and Vidrick (21)
Vidrick (21) is one sneaky goal scorer. If a goalie takes their attention off of Vidrick for even a second he will capitalize on the moment, and score.
The pass from Miller (10) to Fleet (24) that lead to the Jackets first score was so beautiful it made me tear up.
Mason Fortin (55) may be one of the smallest guys on the team but boy is he strong. He can toe to toe with some of the biggest opposing players. Moxy like that is hard to find.
One doesn't get as scared when the Jackets pull their goalie because their extra attacker always adds something to the game.
Friday's game vs Shawinigan Cataractes. The Jackets won 4 to 3
Goals for the Jackets were scored byCarper (44), Vidrick (21), and Giambrone (9)
Carper (44) was on fire during this exhibition game with 2 goals, a beauty of an assist from behind the net.
There is no stopping Vidrick (21) when he goes top shelf.
Giambrone (9) knows how to use his small stature to his advantage. Kid can sneak in and pop a puck over the goalie's shoulder with out being seen.
Both teams consistently used the boards to their benefit.
The NBA should bring the Jackets in to teach the players how to rebound a ball since they have been phenomenal at converting rebounded pucks into goals.
After Friday's game many of the parents, billets, and players booked it to the Best Buy in the mall to watch the Canada vs United States men's hockey game. A huge thank you to the Best Buy worker who turned all the televisions to the game. You sir are a good man.
The Jackets play against de Mortagne noir et or on Saturday at 9:15am. This is an elimination round tournament game.
Click the links below for photos from both days of exhibition games:
Third round of the Quebec City Peewee Hockey tournament and it's all or nothing. You win, you move on. You lose, you go home empty handed. This game is do or die.
Two minutes into the first Cox (13) glove and stick get knocked off. He doesn't let this rattle him. He just gets to work on the board to try and make something work for the Jackets. At 4:04 Landshof (17) goes to shoot the puck and gets knocked down. He immediately shakes it off and gets back up. A lot of nice stick handling out of this Landshof thus far. A little under the halfway mark Vidrick (27) senses someone sneaking around the back of the net, glides swiftly to the right of the net, and stops the puck from going into the net. A minute later Fleet (24) is triple teamed and manages to launch the puck towards the de Mortagne net. The puck may have been stopped but Fleet (24) just proved he's a force to be reckoned with. With a little of two minutes left in the first Vidrick (21) goes to the box for slashing. The Jackets do a great job of keeping the puck out of their zone during the penalty kill. This is something they have struggled with throughout this tournament. There's a traffic jam in front of the net, with 30 seconds left, and Vidrick (27) manages to stop the puck from going in. The period ends with no goal on the board for either team.
The second period starts off a little slow. During that slow time you see a lot of nice tape to tape passes between Vidrick (21) and Cox (13). With 9:35 left in the game Miller (10) sails the puck towards the goalie and is stopped. If the puck had gone in it would have been one beautiful goal. A lot of traffic in front of Mortagne’s net with 7:55 left. Unfortunately nothing comes of the traffic because their goalie was like a brick wall. One minute left in the period and Vidrick (27) keeps batting down pucks like cat playing with a string. The period ends with both teams still tied at zero. No matter the outcome of this game it will be a memorable one because both these goalies are putting on a show.
The third period starts off with a bang. 46 seconds into the period Landshof (17) sneaks one past the traffic and puts the Jackets on the board. Almost immediately Mortagne gets their revenge and scores, tying it up. 1-1. Less than a minute later the Jackets go on a powerplay as Fontaine (9) is sent to the box for interference. Before the penalty clock winds down Vidrick (21) set Carper (44) up for a nice goal that puts the Jackets back on top, 2-0. At this point in the game Fortin (55) and Morrone (28) become the Great Wall of China and block shot after shot before they can get to the goalie. At 7:42, a Montargne breakaway gets stuffed by Vidrick (27) but Levesques (16) sneaks a rebound in to tie the game back up at 2. A little over two minutes left in the period and Guay (28) heads to the box for slashing. Jackets are back on the powerplay but are unable to make anything happen. The period ends still tied at 2 and we head to overtime at the Colisee.
Overtime was an intense five minutes and the Jackets put on a show. Fortin (55) continually got into everyone’s business trying to stop the offense from getting anywhere near our goalie. Vidrick (21) pulled out a few spin-o-rama moves in an attempt to throw the opposition off.Landshof (17) used his body as a shield by throwing it in front of any puck that came his way. Overtime ended without a goal from either team. Shootout here we come.
Mortagne's Tremblay (4) shoots first and misses the net. Up next is Landshof (17). He shoots and it bounces off the goalies glove right into the net. Mortagne's Giguere (10) misses and it all comes down to Cox (13). He handles the puck well as he speeds down the ice towards the net. Cox shoots and he scores. The Jackets are headed towards the semi finals.
There they were at the Pepsi Colisee. The boys had been there all day. First doing media interviews and then taking in games at the tournament. Of course trading pins was involved in this scenario. The parents were nervous, the billets were nervous, and one billet brother told me he might puke while thinking about the game. With the exception of a few , the Jackets seemed cool as cucumbers. Laughing, joking, and jamming out to music before they head to the locker room. The team mascot Beck Morrone was dreaming about the cotton candy that Foster White’s sister Libby gave him. He’s a pleasant distraction for all the parents and billets. All they asked is that the boys play their best.
The first period started out with a bang as Vineyard (8) scored 42 seconds after the puck dropped. He was assisted by Vidrick (21) and Landshof (17). For the next few minutes Coonfare (30) puts on a show making beautiful kick and glove saves. Around the four minute mark Vidrick (21) passes to Landshof (17) who immediately passes the puck back to Vidrick (21). He shoots and the puck grazes the post. Mere moments later the Pionniers take two penalties within 19 seconds of each other putting the Jackets on a 5 on 3 power play. The first penalty is killed with out a goal and that's when the Jackets really apply the pressure. With hard work comes great reward. As the power play clock winds down Carper (44) sauces the puck to Barnish (19) and he knocks it in for a goal. The Jackets now lead 2 to 0. At 7:07, Cox (13) heads to the penalty box for a hit to the head. The Jackets play a tight and clean two minutes to kill the penalty. They end the period at even strength and up by 2.
The second period starts with Giambrone (9) fighting hard against the boards to keep the Pionniers from getting a leg up on the team. He won that battle but unfortunately the Pionniers' Beauregard (51) was able to sneak off with the puck and score on a breakaway. Thirty seconds into the second period the score is now 2 to 1 in the Jackets favor. The Jackets begin to apply even more pressure but it's not enough. The Pionniers' Beauregard (51) sails the puck over to Lauzon (59) and he shoots the puck over Coonfare's (30) shoulder. The game is now tied with a little under 10 minutes left to play in the second. 27 seconds later (2:38) the Jackets grab a hold of the lead when Giambrone (9) scores with the help of White (20). Under a minute later the Jackets are down a man as White (20) heads to the box for cross checking. The Jackets successfully killed the penalty. A little under the 7 minute mark Daily (11) wins a battle on the boards and breaks away to score an unassisted goal. The Jackets are now up 4 to 2. With two and a half minutes to play Jackets go on a power play. The Jackets are unsuccessful on the power play but hang onto the lead as they head into intermission.
No goal was to be had in the third period until a little after the 3 minute mark when the Pionniers' Beauregard (51) snuck one in past Coonfare (30). Three minutes later there is a lot of traffic and shuffling in front of the net. The Pionniers' Fortin (42) manages to get his stick right into the thick of it and poke the puck into the net. The score is all tied up at 4 and the Jackets call a time out. During the timeout Vidrick (27) comes in to replace Coonfare (30). Within two minutes of entering the game Vidrick (27) makes two incredible save. He reaches out and catches the pucks like he's playing catch with the other team. At 8:58 Vidrick (21) scores a much needed goal, with help from Landshof (17) and Morrone (28), to put the Jackets ahead 5 to 4. At 11:12 the Pionniers' Savard (54) knocks down Vidrick (21) and goes to the box for holding. The Jackets have a short lived powerplay when Vidrick (21) gets called for hooking 47 seconds later. Both teams successfully kill their penalties and play heats up. The Pionniers pull their goalie so they can gain an extra attacker. With 36 seconds left in the game Vidrick (21) breaks away from the pack. As the Pionniers try to catch Vidrick they trip him and he flies into the net. Rules state that if a player has a clear path to an empty net and is knocked over it's an automatic goal. With that being said the Jackets are now up 6 to 4. The Jackets hold onto the lead for the last 36 seconds and head to the next round of the tournament.
After shaking hands the boys headed over to the corner of the ice in front of section 119. The Jackets raised their sticks high and brought them to the ice to salute their parents and billets. To celebrate the win the boys cheered on one of their billet brothers who plays for the Nordiques. The Nordiques move onto the next round of play after blanking St. Louis.
With this win the Jackets will play on Saturday February 22nd at 9:15am. They will play the winner Friday's de Morteigne Noir Et Or vs Detroit Little Caesers South game.
Tomorrow and Friday the Jackets will play exhibition games to keep them fresh for Saturday's game.
Being a parent is tough work when you are at these types of tournaments. While some may look at the parents taking a little over a week off to come to Canada as a vacation, I can assure you that is not the case. There are games to be watched, hugs to be given, laundry to be done, equipment malfunctions to be fixed, and sick kids to be nursed back to health. It's a whirlwind of activities that leave you longing for your bed at 7pm.
Today the parents had a rare occasion to spend more than a few hours to themselves. Nothing was scheduled until the game at 3:30pm, so what they did until then was up to their discretion. The parents were spread about in three places around Quebec.
A group of dads spent the day at the Colisee with the boys after they had been interviewed by the media. They made sure the boys were well fed and didn't exert any unneeded energy before the game. It was also a great chance for some of the dads to spend some much needed one on one time with their boys.
There were others who stayed at the hotel for the day. Some recovered from the whirlwind of events that they had partaken in over the past few days. It can get taxing to go from extra billet dinners to watching their billets' kids play hockey to watching their own kids play hockey. Some parents spent the day doing work. That’s right, I said work. These parents all have jobs back in Ohio. They took the time off to spend with their kids and to support their kids in the Quebec City Peewee Hockey Tournament. They have made sure their kids are their number one priority but the parents have other obligations that extend beyond the ice rink. I've seen each of these parents check in with their work through out the week. It's a reminder to these kids and to all of us that the work obligations help pay to make the hockey dream a realization.
Another set of parents decided to get out and relax their minds by getting fresh air at Montmorency falls. I opted to go with this group. Montmorency Falls is located in Quebec on the Montmorency River. At 275 ft high and 150 wide, Montmorency Falls is biggest waterfall in Quebec. The scenery was breathtaking and we got a work out in climbing the stairs to the suspension bridge that looks out over the falls. During the winter you can find two people hard at work clearing the icy snow off of the bridge so people can walk across with ease. After taking in the scene on top of Montmorency Falls we made our way back down to the entrance and took a cable car to the bottom of the falls. No matter what angle you saw Montmorency Falls it was beautiful.
Each set of parents spent their free time doing something different but at the end of the day they all sat together at the Colisee, wearing their Jackets colors, cheering on their boys.
You can see pictures of the parents' trip to Montmorency Falls here: https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=72385D981DBDEB31%21473
Sunday night after the team's win over Bratislava, the 2001s had a dinner to thank their Billets. The boys are staying with French speaking families during the course of the Quebec City Tournament. The Billets take the boys to games, practice, and immerse them into their every day life. At dinner the boys showed their appreciation by giving the Billets baskets full of goodies from America.
On behalf of the AAA Blue Jackets, I want to thank Billet Captains Yvone and Benoit for the hard work they put into making this week a success.
The link below will lead you to pictures from the event.
COLUMBUS -- Central Ohio has some of the country's top young hockey players. 18 twelve-year olds make up the AAA Blue Jackets who travel to Quebec in February to face some of the world's top talent.
ABC-6/FOX-28 Sports Director Clay Hall reports.
Connor Murphy has played on some big stages in his young hockey career, but his eyes were never wider when he found himself with more time and space than he ever expected in his NHL debut.
The native of Dublin, Ohio and product of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program had just been called up by the Phoenix Coyotes from the Portland Pirates, and as luck would have it, his parents (father, Gord, is a former Blue Jackets assistant coach) were able to make it to Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz. to see their son’s first NHL game.
Battling injuries on defense, the Coyotes needed help for a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 16 and in many ways, Murphy made certain it was a memorable night.
Murphy, who admitted he was just happy to be in the Coyotes’ lineup, was paired up with All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle in what quickly became his "welcome to the NHL moment." It didn't stop there, though, and Murphy was even more surprised when he found the puck on his stick in the high slot late in the second period.
Time, space, room…the things you’re not supposed to get much of in the NHL, but the Lightning gave him a sizable lane to walk in and tee up a slap shot. Murphy made no mistake in beating Anders Lindback through a screen set by Martin Hanzal to bump Phoenix’s lead to 4-1.
Just like he drew it up, right?
"It was a cross country flight from Portland to Phoenix, so I had plenty of time to think about it," Murphy said, laughing. "Everything I've done since I started playing hockey has been geared toward one day playing in the NHL, and to get that call-up and play in the game was a dream come true. Everything I tried to do in that game, I tried to do it quick and do it simple because everyone says the game is way faster in the NHL.
"When I got the puck, I was shocked at how much room I had. I almost couldn't believe it. The last thing I was going to do was try to walk in and make a move...I just wanted to put a quick shot on the net, and thankfully there was a pretty big screen there."
Lost in the excitement of Murphy's NHL debut and his first NHL goal is that he wasn't just a warm body. Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett put him on the team's top defense pairing with Yandle, played him over 22 minutes in all situations, and showed no hesitation in using a 20-year-old on the blue line of one of the top teams in the Western Conference.
And to think how far the young man has come since his time in Columbus with the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program: Murphy, who without bad luck would have no luck when it comes to injuries, often wondered if he would ever get a chance in the NHL. On many days, he just wanted to feel normal again and be able to play hockey.
He had lingering back problems prior to his draft year and two knee surgeries in two years put his future in doubt and cut his junior hockey career short, but Murphy kept on pushing. He won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2012 World Junior tournament in Ufa, Russia, and anyone you talk to will say Murphy absolutely earned his debut call-up to the Coyotes.
"I had great support from my parents, and great work from doctors, trainers and with my last couple surgeries, I've done my rehab at Ohio Orthopedic Center For Excellence on Sawmill Rd.," Murphy said. "I've been so lucky to have people in my life to help keep me in the right mindset and help me keep pushing when adversity happens. Getting to the NHL really does get you more excited to try and get back there, and now I know what it takes to be a player at that level."
A big part of that support group is Ed Gingher, program director and head coach of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets developmental team based in Columbus. That's where Murphy got his start and got noticed by the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP), and Gingher has seen the highest highs and lowest lows in Murphy's young career.
Through peaks and valleys, there has been one constant with Murphy, Gingher said: his dedication and work ethic. No matter the obstacle, Murphy was willing to do whatever he needed in order to get back on track to his ultimate goal.
"For him to be as mentally tough and resilient as he's been, and continue to work at it and get better, I couldn't be more happy for him," Gingher told BlueJackets.com. "It was a surreal moment seeing him score that goal; from a program perspective, we have our first player who's made it to the NHL. But for it to be Connor was awesome, because it couldn't happen to a better kid. All he's done is put his head down and work.
"(The injury trouble) hasn't derailed him - it's made him stronger. There are a lot of guys who wouldn't have approached that adversity in the same way Connor did, and it's a real credit to his character."
On behalf of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets, we want to congratulate Jack Roslovic as he and the USNTDP U17’s captured the Gold Medal at the Four Nations Tournament. Team USA beat Switzerland, Slovakia and Russia on their way to winning gold.