Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Musico To My Ears

The Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League have announced that goaltender P.J. Musico has committed to play at Penn State for the 2011-2012 season.


Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL)
6'2", 185 pounds
Orange, CA

SJHL Player Page

Season   Team                  Lge   GP  Rec      GAA   SV%

2008-09  Jersey Hitmen         EJHL  14  10- 4-0  1.95  0.921
2009-10  Jersey Hitmen         EJHL  26   6- 3-1  2.93  0.871
2009-10  Wichita Fls. Wildcats NAHL  17   6- 6-1  3.81  0.897
2010-11  Flin Flon Bombers     SJHL  50  23-24-0  3.27  0.913

I think I just need to start slotting out three hours a day to bang out a recruiting post, what do you guys think? It's starting to sound like a viable plan because for the third time in two days, Guy Gadowsky and crew have landed a player to be excited about. And for the second time in a row, Gadowsky hit up a place he knows pretty well - the Jr. A leagues in the Canadian plains - to do it. This commit even has the added familiarity of playing the same position and coming from the same program as perhaps Gadowsky's best-known player at Princeton, former Hobey Baker finalist Zane Kalemba.

This time though, it's P.J. Musico, a SoCal kid who ended up playing in northern Manitoba this past season. How's that for culture shock? If there was one, it didn't seem to bother him:
Musico was a workhorse for the Bombers this past season, leading the league in minutes played, (2791), saves (1590), shutouts (3), and was in the top five in wins (23) and save percentage (0.913).
What's pretty impressive about leading the league is that his team really wasn't all that imposing, finishing fifth in the Bauer Division with a 25-31-2 mark. It's often hard to stand out statistically on a losing team, but it didn't seem to affect Musico, who turned 21 on April 14th. At the end of the season, the Bombers thought enough of his work to nominate him for the SJHL Most Outstanding Player award. Furthermore, he was named the SJHL goaltender of the week twice in three weeks, first from November 15-21, and again from November 29-December 5.

Prior to Flin Flon, Musico joined Wichita Falls of the NAHL down the stretch of 2009-2010, and in the middle of a crowded goaltending carousel (which included the departure of current Davenport goalie Phil Graveline), ended up leading the Wildcats in most significant statistics, including win percentage, save percentage and goals against average. Musico added a spark to a team that was down and out, but made a late-season playoff push.

Musico makes a save during his time in Wichita Falls.

The first half of 2009-2010 and all of 2008-2009 were spent in the EJHL with the Jersey Hitmen, which includes the Hitmen's 2009 EJHL title and appearance at the USA Hockey Tier III Jr. A national championships, where they fell in the title game to the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, the team the Hitmen defeated for the EJHL crown. In 2007-2008, he helped the Los Angeles Selects win the USA Hockey Pacific District Tier I U18 championship and competed at the national championships in Buffalo.

In case you're keeping track and/or wondering about PSU's recruiting base, this now makes 2011 commits from NY (2), MI, PA, IL, CO, VA, CT and CA, as well as a 2012 from Canada. There may be a super-secret second one from one of those states too. Traditional areas, non-traditional areas, doesn't really matter to us so far.

There's also a somewhat sticky development coming down the road concerning the familiar faces on the Icers from the past two years. Long story short, we have six departing seniors from last year now that Marek Polidor's coming back. We have nine recruits for this coming season so far, with undoubtedly more on the way. That's not good math if you're an incumbent - just look at goaltending as a quick example. In the course of a couple months, Matt Madrazo's gone from having the 2011-2012 starting job bolted down to possibly not even dressing if he's behind Musico and Tim Carr. I'll get a little more into that when I'm convinced I can go a day and a half without a recruit popping up, maybe over the weekend.

Oh, almost forgot, want to watch Musico do his thing to a nice beat? You got it.

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