ICE HAWKS NATIONALS POOL PLAY SCOUTING REPORT
League: Northern Pacific Hockey League (NORPAC), Pacific Division.
Coach: Mike Murphy.
Game time: 4:40 p.m. (Central) Friday.
Record: 46-12-0. Seattle finished second behind Helena in the postseason tournament. The Totems won the Pacific Division during the regular season, going 40-8.
Top players: Chris Beede and Jake Rademacher were top two scoring players in the NORPAC this season. Beede had 112 points on 43 goals and 69 assists in just 45 games. Rademacher scored 103 points on 35 goals and 69 assists. In a late-season trade, the Totems added Stormy Knight, who might be the best player on the team. He scored 70 points during the regular season and then had 17 points in 10 playoff games. In just 34 games played, Gerry Holland had 63 points (37 goals, 26 assists). Branden Vandermoon added 55 points (34 goals, 21 assists).
Goalies: Anthony Chimenti was No. 2 in the league in goals-against average at 1.71. He had an 18-3 record and a .942 saves percentage. He split time with Kevin Maile, who had a 2.25 GAA, a 13-3 record and a .923 SVP.
Coach Fatis’ thoughts: "Obviously Seattle has been one of the premier teams out of that league since they came into existence. They have a great feeder team in their AAA midget program. As far as that division in the NORPAC, Seattle kind of runs shop. Some people may be looking at Seattle and thinking they’re a pushover from the NORPAC, but the NORPAC as a league has gotten head and shoulders better than it was five years ago. A couple years ago at nationals, we underestimated a NORPAC team from Helena. And we lost. We all took them lightly, from coaches to players. They came in and beat us. There is not a chance we’re going to underestimate Seattle. There’s no reason to. We know they’re a good team. They didn’t get to nationals by not being good. They have some great players, some kids who are on WHL watch lists. I’ve heard they’re a physical, tough team, and I know that division they’re in tends to be very physical. So we’re going to have to be ready."
NEW YORK BOBCATS
League: Atlantic Junior Hockey League (AJHL), South Division.
Coach: Ed Galiani.
Game time: 5 p.m. (Central) Saturday.
Record: 40-4-0-2. The Bobcats finished second in the AJHL postseason tournament and won the South Division during the regular season with a 37-3-0-2 record.
Top players: Christian Cangro was the team’s top-scoring player. He had 53 points in 42 games, including 17 goals and 36 assists. Three others players — Steve Sachman, Stephen Castriota and Matthew Zay — all had right around 50 points. Sachman finished with 51 (25 goals, 26 assists), Castriota had 50 (30 goals, 20 assists) and Zay totaled 45 (21 goals, 24 assists). Kevin Antonik was one of the top scoring defenseman in the AJHL with 33 points. He had three goals and 30 assists.
Goalies: Joe Reagan was one of the top goalies in the AJHL. He had a 2.19 goals-against average and a .929 saves percentage. Reagn has been the team’s top goalie the last two seasons. Sal Magliocco also saw action in 20 games. He had a 2.65 GAA and a .916 SVP.
Coach Fatis’ thoughts: "The Bobcats won the AJ regular-season title. They’re a younger, more skilled team. They lost in the championship of the playoffs. But it’s a very good program. It’s another team that has a great feeder program going all the way up. We’ve gotten a few scouting reports on them. It’s going to be a real tough game. The AJ had a down year last year at the national tournament, but two years ago we ran into that team (from Northern Massachusetts), and they were no joke. I think this Bobcats team is real high intensity, very skilled and very fast. They’re not going to be the most physical team we’ve played; they’re definitely not as physical as the Northern Lights. I think what we’ll see is a team as skilled as the Lumberjacks with maybe a little more youthful enthusiasm."
ST. LOUIS JR. BLUES
League: Central States Hockey League.
Coach: Jack Behan.
Game time: 4:40 p.m. (Central) Sunday.
Record: 49-4-0-1. The Blues won the postseason league title and the regular-season league crown.
Top players: The Blues had two of the league’s top players in Nicholas Saracino and Christopher Hutton. Saracino scored 100 points in 46 games on 40 goals and 60 assists. Hutton finished with 91 points, including 41 goals and 50 assists. The Blues had a total of seven players who averaged more than a point per game. Other top players included Ryan McGrath and and Timofey Tankeev. Both scored 72 points. Patrick Gregory added 59 points on 24 goals and 35 assists, while Jean Roux finished with 55 points ona 16 goals and 39 assists.
Goalies: Joshua Hillegas and Denis Chaltsev both had fantastic years in net, splitting time. Hillegas was 25-3 with a 1.68 goals-against average and a .936 saves percentage. He also had a whopping seven shutouts. Chaltsev went 18-1 with four shutouts, a 1.78 GAA and a .932 saves percentage.
Coach Fatis’ thoughts: "Coach Jack Behan is someone I consider a friend, and I have a lot of respect for him and his program. What can you say about that organization that hasn’t already been said. They have an unbelievable track record. They won four straight national titles at one point. Jack does it with teams that are fairly similar each year. It’s not the players all the time, it’s the system. It’s just the way those guys are coached, the style of play and the intensity they bring on every shift. I look back to the notes I took on them 10 years ago when I was watching, and I wrote down that they all looked like robots. Every kid on the team plays the same way. They all play together. It’s not impossible to beat them, but it’s tough because they all do their jobs. Last year’s team was a little different in that they had a few guys who liked to mix it up, to fight and get people wound up. Then they’d let the surgeons go back out and do their thing. I think they have maybe like 18 guys back from last year, and those players are only better. It’s a program that will be tough to beat, and this is a team you’d certainly rather see in the national semifinals or finals."