Boston High School: Kent School

Elite 8 final: Salisbury 4, Kent 1

March, 3, 2013
SALEM, N.H. – If there was a key moment in Sunday's NEPSAC boys hockey game between fourth-seeded Kent School and sixth-seeded Salisbury, it came late in the second period when Salisbury cashed in on a 5-on-3 opportunity.

Senior forward Liam McDermott collected the goal that broke a 1-1 tie with 53 seconds remaining in the period and propelled Salisbury to a 4-1 victory in the championship game of the Stuart/Corkery Tournament, better know as the Elite 8 Tournament.

“Getting that power-play goal settled us down a little bit and gave us the confidence we needed to play with the lead,” Salisbury head coach Andrew Will said. “If we don't score on the 5-on-3 it gives them a boost and gives them a little more energy. You have to score on chances like that to win games like this one.”

Junior forward Mitchell Smith added two third-period goals for Salisbury, which completed its season with a 21-5-3 record. Matt Pugh scored Salisbury’s other goal. Junior defenseman Will Toffey and junior forward Evan Smith each collected two assists in the victory.

It was the third meeting between the teams this season. Salisbury prevailed 4-3 at Kent, and the teams played to a 2-2 tie at Salisbury.

“It was a case where the teams knew each other well,” Will said. “We really stressed staying out of the penalty box because we knew their power play has been deadly lately. Once we got the third goal we were feeling pretty good. At that point you could feel the energy on the bench and that the guys weren't going to be denied.”

Salisbury's path to the title included overtime victories against third-seeded Berkshire (3-2) and seventh-seeded Westminster (4-3). Will said playing those one-goal games benefited his team.

“It allowed us to play with the composure we needed in a game like this,” he said. “Something that really helped us was our depth.”

Senior Connor Mitchell scored for Kent, which ended its season with an 18-7-3 record. Kent advanced by beating fifth-seeded Dexter (7-1) and No. 8 seed The Gunnery School (3-0).

Kent goaltender Charlie Fennell stopped 23 saves. Salisbury goalie Callum Booth also made 23 saves.

Pugh handed Salisbury a 1-0 lead 1:46 into the contest, but Kent pulled even when Mitchell scored at 14:20 of the first. Then Salisbury took the lead for good when McDermott capitalized on the 5-on-3 opportunity.

“I'm just tremendously proud and pleased for these guys,” Will said. “It was a full team effort.”

Locals on NHL Central Scouting watch list

September, 20, 2012
The NHL players might be locked out, but we're peering into the future with the arrival of the NHL Central Scouting's watch list, identifying players to keep an eye on for the 2013 Draft.

Again, New England skaters abound on the list, with high schoolers to collegians with local roots making the grade on the bureau's initial scouting list.

Capping an already excellent week, St. John's Prep senior center Brian Pinho -- who just committed to Providence -- is the lone MIAA skater making the list this year.

Also from the local ponds, former Malden Catholic standout Ryan Fitzgerald, who will play with the EJHL's Valley Junior Warriors along with fellow watch lister Devin Tringale (Lawrence Academy), and Phillips Andover's Eddie Ellis made strong initial marks as each earned a B-grade. Former Billerica standout Ross Olsson, who will skate with the Lincoln Stars of the United State Hockey League this year, also was given a B-grade.

Here's how the locals broke down:

(For the entire list of North American skaters, click here.)


Eddie Ellis (Burlington, Mass. - Harvard), LW, Phillips Andover, 6'1.75, 200

Connor Brassard (Fitchburg, Mass.), D, Cushing Academy, 6'0.25, 176
Alexander Gonye, LW, Deerfield Academy, 6'1, 175
Brian Pinho (North Andover, Mass. - Providence College), C, St. John's Prep, 6'0.25, 171

Brendan McMenimen, G, Governor's Academy, 6'0, 196
Drew Michals, G, Lawrence Academy, 5'11.5, 162


Tyler Hill, LW, Hotchkiss School, 6'5.75, 220

Mitchell Allen, RW, Kent School, 6'2.25, 173
Anthony Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass. - Providence College), D, South Kent School, 6'0.5, 209
Daniel Lafontaine, C, Avon Old Farms, 5'10, 160
Jason Salvaggio, C/LW, South Kent School, 5'11.5, 187
Ryan Segalla, D, Salisbury, 6'0.75, 184
Wiley Sherman (Greenwich, Conn. - Harvard), D, Hotchkiss School, 6'6, 196


Merrick Madsen (Acton, Calif. - Harvard), G, Proctor Academy, 6'4.5, 177

Ryan Fitzgerald, (North Reading, Mass. - Boston College), C, Valley Junior Warriors, 5'9.5, 168

Joshua Couturier (Newbury, Mass. - Northeastern), D, Junior Bruins, 6'1, 166
Devin Tringale (Medford, Mass. - Harvard), LW, Valley Junior Warriors, 5'11.75, 193


Ross Olsson (Billerica, Mass. - Northeastern), RW, Lincoln, 6'3.5, 202


Nicholas Bligh (Milton, Mass - South Shore Kings/Dexter/Milton), C, Dartmouth, 5'11.5, 175


Cameron Darcy, (South Boston, Mass. - U.S. NTDP), C/RW, Northeastern, 6'0, 189
Frank Vatrano, (East Longmeadow, Mass. - U.S. NTDP), LW, Boston College, 5'10, 218

Moses Brown's Edwards learned through hard knocks

September, 6, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Moses Brown School football coach Willie Edwards doesn’t mince words when discussing the role football’s played in his life.

“I don’t know where I would be without football,” said Edwards, who’s in his second year as the head coach and eighth overall on staff at the prestigious private school located on the city’s East Side. “It’s my life. It’s my passion. It’s who I am. It saved me. We weren’t handed anything in life. We had to work for what we wanted.

[+] EnlargeWillie Edwards
Scott Barboza/ESPNBoston.comWillie Edwards embarks on his second season at the helm of Moses Brown football. He's been with the program for eight years.

“I really believe that I’m blessed and that God intended me to be around this sport and for this sport to save me and to influence kids the way I do now.”

The chance that Edwards, who’s also the Director of Johnson & Wales University’s Down City Campus Fitness Center, would be where he is now as a youngster growing up in West Warwick is the equivalent of the distance between the Earth and the moon.

“In ’82, my parents wanted to get us out of Providence and had an opportunity to move to Echo Valley,” recalled Edwards. “But that was a tough area. There was subsidized housing. It wasn’t the easiest neighborhood. There were a lot of single-parent families. The streets raised us. All of those guys, who’re my life-long friends, lived there. We had to look out for each other.

“There were people coming through the neighborhood doing things they weren’t supposed to do. There were some drugs and some violence. There were things we saw at a young age that you thought you wouldn’t see in West Warwick. But they were there.”

One positive that came from Edwards’ years in Echo Valley was that he became interested in sports.

“All of my friends played sports together,” he said. “When it was football season, we played football. When it was basketball season, we played basketball. In baseball season, we played baseball. That’s how I started in athletics.”

Then, as Edwards was entering his sophomore year at West Warwick High, his parents decided to split up.

“We had a violent household just like everyone else in my neighborhood,” he said. “My mother (the since-remarried Dianne Richardson) tried the best she could raising us (Edwards plus his younger sister Diana) by herself. It was very tough. But she got her freedom again by not having my father around.

“She was trying to raise two teenage kids who were finding themselves and were being influenced by other things. It was a tough situation but she did the best she could and I commend her for it.”

Enter Ray and Kathy Dube, who were teachers at Deering Junior High in West Warwick.

“I met them in the seventh grade and Ray recruited me to play football,” said Edwards. “I had Kathy the next year as an English teacher. From there, the relationship flourished. If I got in trouble in her class or elsewhere, Ray would come find me.

“And it didn’t stop there. I had some trouble in high school and they were my life raft. They got me back on track. They propelled me to where I am today.”

Back on track notwithstanding, Edwards’ problems still weren’t exactly in the rear-view mirror.

“In my junior year, at home there were the normal trials and tribulations of a kid who was lost,” he said. “I really messed it up going into my senior year. I was a dropout and went to a group home in Newport and Ray and Kathy found out.

“They set up tutoring for me. Kathy and Lisa Centore tutored me and got me eligible to play football. But I still was lost and still had influences going on. It got to the point there they had to get me out of that environment and under their wing. I moved into their house and lived with them for five years.”

The Dubes weren’t the only people who helped Edwards get his life pointed back in the right direction. That was the case with the late Steve Alves, who was the Wizards’ head coach at the time.

“I played three years for him and they were three of the best years of my life,” said Edwards. “The best way to describe him was tough love. He didn’t give me anything. He was tough on me. But when I did something right, he loved me.

“He let the whole team know, ‘It was my way. We’re not doing it any other way. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to be here.’”

After graduating high school, Edwards spent a year at Connecticut’s Kent School.

Then he played for two years at Rhode Island before transferring to Merrimack College and eventually graduating from Johnson & Wales.

Kent coach Tom Marble and Merrimack coach Tom Caito picked up where the Dubes and Alves left off.

“In prep school, coach Marble played a role in my life and when I went to Merrimack, coach Caito took me under his wing,” said Edwards. “He’s a very passionate person like I am about football. But it was a small college and I was away from everybody.

“Coach Caito would invite me over to his house to eat. He went over and beyond to make me feel as comfortable as possible.”
The lessons Edwards learned while climbing up the ladder of life are among the things he tries to impart to the Quakers.

“The main thing I preach to my kids is getting better every day,” he said. “As each day goes by, you’re either going to get worse or you’re going to get better. There’s no in-between.

“We teach our kids that nothing’s going to be given to you. Everything’s going to be earned. Nobody’s going to hand you a championship. You’re going to have to fight for it. When you get knocked down, it’s how you respond. What are you going to do next?”

Locals taken during Day 2 of NHL Draft

June, 23, 2012
Day 2 of the NHL Draft took place Saturday morning, and while there weren't any locals taken in Friday's first round, a host of New Englanders had their named called in the subsequent rounds.

Here's a rap sheet of those with New England roots who've been taken:

53. Tampa Bay Lightning - Brian Hart, Phillips Exeter, RW
56. St. Louis Blues - Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep, RW
59. New York Rangers - Cristoval "Boo" Nieves, Kent School, C

66. Nashville Predators - Jimmy Vesey, South Shore Kings (Belmont Hill), LW
75. Calgary Flames - Jon Gillies, Indiana Ice (USHL, South Portland, Maine), G
79. Chicago Blackhawks - Chris Calnan, Noble and Greenough, RW
85. Boston Bruins - Matt Grzelcyk, U.S. NTDP (Charlestown, Mass.), D

98. Minnesota Wild - Adam Gilmour, Noble and Greenough, C
106. Ottawa Senators - Tim Boyle, Noble and Greenough, D

125. New York Islanders - Doyle Somerby, Kimball Union (St. Mary's of Lynn), D
136. Ottawa Senators - Robbie Baillargeon, Indiana Ice (USHL, Enfield, Conn. via Cushing Academy), C
138. San Jose Sharks - Danny O'Regan, St. Sebastian's, C

189. Carolina Hurricanes - Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic, LW
The NHL Draft commences tonight in Pittsburgh and there is a host of New England-based high school, prep school and junior league players who hope hear their name called in the next two days.

Sam Kurker
Scott BarbozaMalden Catholic forward and ESPN Boston Mr. Hockey award winner Brendan Collier could be a sleeper in this weekend's NHL draft.
More than 20 local players were represented on the NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings, released in April. So we took the task to the Northeast regional scouts of an Eastern and a Western Conference team to give their evaluations of some of New England’s best and brightest.

The region is moving into somewhat of a renaissance. Folks might like to wax about the good ole days, but there’s plenty of talent to be found around the local ponds right now. That fact was not lost on Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who earlier this week during his annual pre-draft media availability, spoke about this year’s bumper crop.

“It is fairly deep,” Chiarelli said. “It’s the deepest that I’ve seen since I’ve been here and that’s a good sign. It’s a good sign that the registration numbers – usually, it means they’re going up – and obviously the quality of players for the NHL is increasing, too.”

So here’s a look at some of the local skaters to watch out for and their scouting evaluation.

(Players appear by NHL Central Scouting ranking among North American skaters.)

27. Cristoval "Boo" Nieves, Kent School, C
Scout’s take: “He’s an incredible skater, a tall, rangy kid. He’s more of a playmaker than a goal-scorer and finisher, but that’s what his role is, a playmaking-center man. His skating ability is as good or as close to as good as you’ll find in this draft.”

36. Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep, RW
Scout’s take: “He’s got great size, a big strong kid. He’s a great straight-line skater up and down the wing. [He’s got a] big, hard shot and she shows a willingness to play in the hard areas in front of the net, in the corners on the wall.”

54. Brian Hart, Phillips Exeter, RW
Scout’s take: “He’s got a huge shot. He’s real strong on the wall. He’s a very strong skater, in flight, he can really move.

Scout’s take on his soccer prowess as New Hampshire’s reigning Gatorade Player of the Year: “You know that overall athletes usually make the best players in whatever sport they decide on.”

69. Chris Calnan, Noble & Greenough, RW
Scout’s take: “Got better and better as the year went on. He started to play physical and use the body, which I think is everybody was waiting to see. He’s got a bomb of a shot. And he’s got a commitment to BC now, that was nice to see.”

Chiarelli’s take: “I mean there are some good kids in the prep leagues and the Calnan kid’s a good player – a big strong kid – very physically mature, power-forward type.”

76. Danny O'Regan, St. Sebastian's, C
Scout’s take: “He’s a smaller, undersized forward, but plays with a ton of hockey sense. He’s very strong on his skates and plays with a little bit of jam. His intelligence and hockey sense really stick out.”

77. Jimmy Vesey, South Shore Kings/ Belmont Hill, LW
Scout’s take: “The best player in the area. I don’t care where it’s at, 100 points is a 100 points [scored with the Kings last season]. He grew a few inches and he’s just coming into his own. Harvard stole him. BC and BU were sleepwalking on him. He slid through draft last year, but I thought someone would take a shot. Someone’s going to be happy with him this year.”

Chiarelli’s take: “You’ve got in the EJ [Eastern Junior Hockey League], you’ve got the Vesey kid’s a good player. He’s second time through the draft, but very skilled, had a breakout year there, can really make some really good plays with the puck, whether it’s shooting or passing.”

79. Devin Tringale, Lawrence Academy, LW
Scout’s take: “Talk about a vastly underrated player. I think he’s going to go later than he should, but someone’s going to get a steal in this draft. He’s going to be a big asset at Harvard when he gets there.”

88. Frank Vatrano, USA U-18 (East Longmeadow, Mass.), C
Scout’s take: “If you were to put him in the Catholic Conference or prep school hockey, he’s a 50-goal scorer. He’s got an NHL shot right now, he’s got such a quick release. He’s very hard to knock off the puck. He’s become a very good hockey player [with Team USA].”

99. Doyle Somerby, Kimball Union, D
Scout’s take: “He’s got great size, as a forward turned D-man, so he’s a pretty good puck mover. He’s more of a stay-at-home defenseman, but a big, rangy kid. Good smooth stride for a kid his size and good speed in flight.”

101. Adam Gilmour, Noble & Greenough, RW
Scout’s take: “He’s got high skill, sets guys up. He’s going to get stronger. He’s a tall lanky kid. He’ll go to BC and that’s his type of game, playing a type of run-and-gun game, he’ll do fine there.”

143. Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic, LW
Scout’s take: “We hear this about him, he’s just a pure hockey player. Goal line to goal line, he works so hard, got a good compete level. I think he’s going to be a great college player. He’s got some potential because he just works so hard.”

Chiarelli’s take: “A couple of interesting one’s, the Collier kid, [he is] kind of under the radar a little bit, but a real gritty kid.”

177. Matthew Grzelcyk, USA U-18 (Charlestown, Mass.), D
Scout’s take: "I love him. His hockey IQ is up there with kids who are taken in the top 15 in the draft. If had to pick one kid to make the right play getting out of the zone, it’s him. He thinks the game. He finds the seams. He’s a hockey player. I think he’ll be running the PP at BU last year. He’s that David Warsofsky, Matt Hunwick type of player.”

Chiarelli’s take: “You’ve got some kids that kind of went to the U.S. Development Program but are from the area. The Grzelcyk kid’s a very good, mobile defenseman. He’s later on down but he’s got a good head on his shoulders.”

Locals cracking NHL Draft final rankings

April, 9, 2012
The NHL Central Scouting service released its final rankings of North American skaters and goaltenders ahead of the NHL Draft on Monday.

Here's the list of skaters with local ties who made the cut:

(The full list can be found here)
27 Cristoval "Boo" Nieves, Kent School, 6' 2.75" 184, C
36 Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep, 6' 1.5" 198, RW
54 Brian Hart, Phillips Exeter, 6' 2.0" 216, RW
69 Chris Calnan, Noble & Greenough, 6' 1.75" 188, RW
76 Danny O'Regan, St. Sebastian's, 5' 8.75" 162, C
77 Jimmy Vesey, South Shore Kings (North Reading, Mass.), EJHL, 6' 1.0" 200, LW
79 Devin Tringale, Lawrence Academy, 5'11.5" 186, LW
88 Frank Vatrano, USA U-18 (E. Longmeadow, Mass.) 5' 10.0" 218 ,C
99 Doyle Somerby, Kimball Union, 6' 4.5" 232, D
101 Adam Gilmour, Noble & Greenough, 6' 2.25" 193, RW
103 Alexander Gonye, Deerfield Academy, 6'0.5" 166, LW
108 Matthew Beattie, Phillips Exeter, 6' 3.0" 173, LW
127 Nicholas Bligh, South Shore Kings (Milton, Mass.), EJHL, 5' 11.5" 175, C
132 John Stevens, Salisbury, 6' 1.25" 175, C
134 Cam Darcy, USA U-18 (South Boston), 6' 189, C/RW
143 Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic, 5' 9.0" 168, LW
145 Kevin Duane, Brunswick, 6' 4.0" 219, RW
166 Alex Rauter, Choate-Rosemary Hall, 6' 0.0" 174, LW
177 Matthew Grzelcyk, USA U-18 (Charlestown, Mass.), 5' 9.0" 171, D
208 Tim Boyle, Noble & Greenough, 6' 1.75" 185, D
210 Zachary Pryzbek, Salisbury, 6' 2.75" 199, LW

31 Joseph Young, Boston Advantage AAA (Hanover, Mass.), 6' 1.5" 162
33 Dawson Sprigings, The Gunnery, 5' 11.25" 206

Recap: No. 7 St. John's Prep 5, No. 6 CM 1

January, 16, 2012

BOSTON -- Catholic Conference rivals No. 6 Catholic Memorial and No. 7 St. John’s Prep entered Monday’s holiday matinee hungry for a win. Both teams sat at 4-4-0 entering the matchup with the Eagles yet to notch a conference win on the season.

Despite controlling play for the greater part of two periods, it was CM who left Walter Brown Arena with a sub-.500 record. Prep struck for three third-period goals, including senior captain Sam Kurker’s third of game, in a 5-1 victory.

“It was a must-win game,” Kurker said of the Eagles’ mentality leading in.

CM (1-2-0 Catholic) outshot the Eagles, 21-12, through two periods, but trailed 2-1.

Prep goaltender David Letarte (25 saves) was instrumental in keeping the Knights at bay early. Not to mention, Letarte along with the Prep defense, helped limit CM to one goal despite seven power play opportunities, including two 5-on-3 situations during the third period.

“He made some big saves early in the game, to keep things close,” Eagles head coach Kristian Hanson said. “Even after they came back, 2-1, he made a big save after that. If it had gone to 2-2, the game could’ve went either way.”

Prep (1-3-0 Catholic) went to the room with a 1-0 lead after the first intermission.

With the Eagles on the forecheck, Kurker forced a turnover in the Knights’ end. His dish out front found Brian Pinho, who beat CM netminder Shane Starrett with a wristshot for a 1-0 lead at 8:28 of the first.

Starrett denied the Eagles from striking again in the period, stoning Tyler Bird on a 2-on-1 chance, in close, at the goalmouth with five minutes remaining.

The Eagles added to their lead four minuts into the second, with Kurker potting his his first of the game.

Jack O’Hear put CM on the board with a perfectly placed wristshot from the slot. The power play tally, assisted by Liam Coughlin, cut the deficit to one before the second imtermission.

“We were doing alright, we played exceptionally well for two periods,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said. “We were right there with the power play opportunities.”

However, the Knights had the wind kicked out of their sails with Kurker’s second of the game, which came 21 seconds into the third period.

From there, the Eagles dominated what once was a tight game. Prep junior Nick Gianelli netted his first goal of the season on a short-handed breakaway at 1:55. Kurker collected the hat trick with a power-play goal with 6:37 remaining.

“The last couple of games, we’ve have opportunities to score and we haven’t capitalized on them,” Kristian Hanson said. “Today, we had fewer opportunities, but we did a better job with the ones we had.”

As the Knights’ goal-scoring struggles continued, the Eagles bettered their percentage on the penalty kill, which has been among the state’s best in the first half of the season.

Along with top-line stalwarts Kurker and Pinho, the Eagles’ PK has been a well-rounded group, with contributions from players up and down the lines.

“Our PK’s been pretty strong all year,” Kristian Hanson said. “Sam [Kurker] and Brian [Pinho] kind of lead the way with that, but then we’ve had other guys step in there like [Nick] Gianelli and [Derek] Osbahr and [Nick] Bragole, those were guys that were on the JV last year. This year, they’ve been asked to step up and contribute on the PK and play significant minutes.”

Kurker received weighty praise last week when he was ranked 41st among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm draft rankings. As one of only two MIAA skaters (along with MC’s Brendan Collier) included on the list, it speaks volumes that Kurker was the second highest ranked skater with New England roots, following Kent School’s Cristoval Nieves.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound winger was also the second highest ranked high schooler (behind Nieves) on the list.

The BU-commit credited the achievement to the hard work he’s put in the weight room, under the watchful eye of recently named Boston Red Sox strength coach Mike Boyle.

“It’s nice to get recognition, but you have to keep working hard," Kurker said. "That’s so far off [the draft] that you have to keep on working.”

Prep's Kurker leads locals on NHL Midterms

January, 11, 2012
St. John's Prep senior forward Sam Kurker leads the list of locals on the NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings of North American skaters.

Kurker, who has 10 goals for 14 points through seven games with the Eagles, was ranked 41st on the list released Wednesday morning.

Kent School center Cristoval Nieves was the highest ranked player with New England roots, ranked 31st.

Here's the complete list of New England skaters making the grade:
31 Cristoval Nieves, Kent School, 6' 2.75" 184, C
41 Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep, 6' 1.5" 198, RW
60 Brian Hart, Philips Exeter, 6' 2.0" 216, RW
94 Chris Calnan, Noble & Greenough, 6' 1.75" 188, RW
98 Devin Tringale, Lawrence Academy, 5' 11.75" 195, LW
103 Cam Darcy, U.S. U-18, 6' 0.0" 189, C/RW
112 Danny O'Regan, St. Sebastian's, 5' 8.75" 162, C
118 Frank Vatrano, U.S. U-18 (Longmeadow, Mass.), 5' 10.0" 218, C
127 Doyle Somerby, Kimball Union, 6' 5.0" 220, D
131 Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic, 5' 9.0" 168, LW
145 Adam Gilmour, Noble & Greenough 6' 2.5" 194, RW
170 John Stevens, Salisbury, 6' 1.25" 175, C
172 Alex Rauter, Choate-Rosemary Hall, 6' 0.25" 175, LW
180 Zachary Pryzbek, Salisbury, 6' 3.0" 196. LW
194 Alexander Gonye, Deerfield Academy, 6' 0.25" 162, LW
201 Bron Loiselle, Northfield-Mt. Hermon, 6' 0.25" 173, C
202 Tyler Wood, Noble & Greenough, 6' 2.5" 189 D
206 Brendan Silk, U.S. U-18 (Wakefield, Mass.), 6' 2.75" 191, RW

24 Joe Young, Boston Advantage AAA (Hanover, Mass.), 6' 1.5" 160
31 Dawson Sprigings, The Gunnery,, 5' 11.0" 190

2012 NHL Draft futures list out

July, 1, 2011
One week after the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the league's Central Scouting service turned its attention to the 2012 field, presenting its summer prospect futures grades.

Leading the pack of Massachusetts high schoolers were Robert Baillargeon (Cushing Academy) and Devin Tringale (Lawrence Academy) who each received 'A' grades.

Among those receiving 'B' grades were the first MIAA players to be recognized by a pair of wingers: Brendan Collier of Malden Catholic and Sam Kurker of St. John's Prep.

Also receiving 'A' grades were winger Brian Hart of Exeter (N.H.) High and center Cristoval Nieves of the The Kent School (Conn.).

The full list of North American skaters, including high schoolers throughout New England, is located here.

Locals represented in NHL final rankings

April, 12, 2011
A year ago, local hockey fans intently waited to see whether Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin would finish the season atop the NHL Central Scouting's final rankings with the B's holding the second pick. While there might not be quite the level of attention on this year's final rankings, there are plenty of locals in the high school and prep school levels represented in this year's season-ending report.

Choate-Rosemary forward Philippe Hudon, of Quebec, remained the the top-rated local among North American skaters despite falling from the 31st rank on the midterm report. Milton Academy blue liner Rob O'Gara was the first Massachusetts-based skater on the list at No. 107, down from No. 95 on the midterm.

A new-comer to the final report was ESPN Boston's inaugural Mr. Hockey Award winner Colin Blackwell of St. John's Prep. The Eagles center is ranked 173rd after a strong Super Eight tournament showing while leading all scorers.

Mike Vecchione, captain of the Super Eight champion Malden Catholic Lancers, also climbed back onto the final rankings, after being left off the midterm, at No. 209.

Another name to watch out for is Loomis-Chaffee goaltender Stephen Michalek who's ranked fifth overall among North American goaltenders.

Northeastern defenseman Jamieson Oleksiak led the list of names with local college ties at No. 13.

Also, keep an eye on Connor Murphy of the U.S. U-18 National team. The 6-foot-3 blue liner was born in Boston and is the son of former Bruins defenseman Gord Murphy. Despite being left off the midterm rankings, Murphy has catapulted up the boards and is ranked 25th among North American skaters and eighth among defensemen.

Here's a look at the local high and prep schoolers represented on the list by ranking:

74 Philippe Hudon, Right Wing/Center. Choate-Rosemary
75 Colin Sullivan, Defenseman, Avon Old Farms
107 Rob O'Gara, Defenseman, Milton Academy
109 Stephen Miller, Left Wing, Noble and Greenough
112 Craig Wyszomirski, Defenseman, The Gunnery
127 Kevin Morris, Left Wing, Salisbury
144 Michael McKee, Defenseman, Kent School
145 Joseph Manno, Center, South Kent School
150 Jimmy Vesey, Left Wing, Belmont Hill
171 Nicholas Bligh, Center, Dexter School
173 Colin Blackwell, Center, St. John's Prep
189 Matthew Harlow, Left Wing, Noble and Greenough
191 Joe Prescott, Right Wing, St. Sebastian's
203 Jack Barre, Right Wing, Salisbury
209 Mike Vecchione, Right Wing, Malden Catholic

5 Stephen Michalek, Goalie, Loomis-Chaffee

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

January, 12, 2011
What do traffic jams on Route 95 during the rush hour and Division I boys’ hockey have in common?

Right. Congestion.

Rhode IslandEntering the second week in January, you could put a postage stamp over the top four teams after the previous weekend’s results – which, among other things, featured one of the more remarkable comebacks in the storied history of Mount St. Charles.

Mount (6-0-1) and Moses Brown (6-1-1) are tied for first place with 13 points each although the Mounties have one game in hand. Hendricken (5-1-1) and La Salle (5-1-1) are in a dead heat for second.

For the longest time last Saturday when Moses Brown played the Mount, it appeared the Quakers would exit Thayer Arena in sole possession of first place. Moses Brown led, 6-3, with just under five minutes left in regulation. That’s when the Mounties staged their improbable rally. Trevor Plante’s goal with 4:52 left sliced Mount’s deficit to 6-4 and then Mike Magerman scored twice – his second goal coming with all of 8.3 seconds left on the clock to forge a 6-6 tie.

Since neither team scored in overtime, each was awarded one point in the standings.

Ironically, the six goals coughed up by the Mounties were the most they’ve allowed in a regular-season game in longer than coach Bill Belisle would care to remember. Even more ironic was the fact that the other game on the Thayer Arena card, between La Salle and Hendricken, also ended in a tie – 3-3, after the Hawks rallied from a three-goal deficit.

Words are impossible to find when describing the tragedy that occurred on January 6 when former Harvard star, multiple-All State hockey pick and NHL player Tom Cavanagh was found dead in the Providence Place Mall garage.

Cavanagh, 28, went right from Toll Gate High to Harvard and later signed with the San Jose Sharks.

In both his junior and senior years, he led the state in scoring and was voted First Team All-State honors. Cavanagh played on the 2004 Titans team that broke Mount St. Charles’ national-record 26 consecutive state championships.

Johnston’s Noel Acciari will be playing his college hockey at Providence College.

Acciari began his interscholastic career at Hendricken and earned 2009 First Team All-State honors. He then transferred to the Kent School where he was elected a co-captain and was voted Most Valuable Player in the Avon Old Farms Christmas Tournament.


While the Mount St. Charles boys’ hockey team invariably tends to overshadow the girls’ team, there’s no overlooking the fact that the Mount girls are one of the premier female teams in the state.

What’s noteworthy about the 2010-11 team – which was 6-0-0 through January 9 – is its depth. Mount coach Steve Shea lost five players through graduation, including All-Staters Katie Loiselle and goalie Kayla DiLorenzo. But he returned the rest of the team and welcomed a handful of freshmen.

Shea’s current team is led by the first line of senior wings Erin Rouleau and Samantha Smith plus sophomore center Danielle Allain.

Barrington’s St. Andrew’s School over the years has developed a reputation as one of the top basketball prep schools in the nation. But the team out-did itself by upsetting nationally-ranked/traditional power DeMatha Catholic High, 49-46, in the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, West Va.

DeMatha came into the game ranked seventh in the nation with a 12-0 record. But Michael Carter-Williams tipped in a missed shot with 18 seconds left in regulation for a 47-46 lead and clinched the victory by sinking two free throws shortly thereafter.

Carter-Williams finished with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals while Cedric Kuakumensah pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked 6 shots.

Gunnar Bjornson scored 25 points, burying four 3-point shots in the process, as Tiverton beat Portsmouth, 69-47, in the finals of the East Bay Christmas Tournament.

Bridget Hollenbeck and Kelsey Cahill scored 13 points apiece as Cumberland beat Mount St. Charles, 48-35, in the Smithfield Boosters Holiday Tournament championship game.

Smithfield and Westerly invariably aren’t confused with Rhode Island’s traditional boys’ basketball powers like Hendricken, La Salle, St. Raphael and Central. But the Sentinels and Bulldogs may bear watching this season if for no other reason than a pair of front-court players.

Smithfield’s Kyle Morvan is a 6-4, 220-pound center who in the early going was averaging 23.2 points in Division I. He also was voted to the Keene (N.H.) Holiday Tournament All-Tournament Team. Morvan earned Second Team All-State honors last season and, obviously, is on track perhaps to do even better.

Westerly’s Zach Wells is a 6-4, 190-pound power forward who through his first eight games was averaging 16.7 points against Division II competition.

Chariho senior Innocent Jacobs smashed a 22-year-old Rhode Island state record in the boys’ indoor long jump by leaping 23-feet, -inch in a recent dual meet.
The previous record was 22-11 set by Hope’s Dennis Soares.

Jacobs also displayed his versatility in the meet by clearing 6-10 in the high jump.

Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball, football and hockey, plus minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y. he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.