Thursday, May 2, 2013

Commit Cycle: May 2 (Men)

With all of Penn State's men's commits now eliminated from their respective playoffs, this will mark the season finale of Commit Cycle. While nobody finished quite like Curtis Loik in winning the RBC Cup with the BCHL's Penticton Vees in 2011-2012, it was still a very successful year. Arguably, the headliners were Chase Berger, who won the Challenge Cup with Saint Louis University High School as well as a silver medal at the USA Hockey Tier I 18U national championships with the St. Louis AAA Blues and Eamon McAdam who, among other things, picked up the Junior Club World Cup's top goaltender award, a gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge, the MVP award at the USHL/NHL Top Prospects game and a lofty final pre-draft ranking from NHL Central Scouting.

There were plenty of highlights across the board though, as 10 of 12 future Penn Staters playing Junior A hockey this season made their league's playoffs, notably including the pair of Spruce Grove Saints - Dylan Richard and Mike Williamson - and their run to the AJHL championship series. Additionally, 2015 entrant Kevin Kerr won an Atlantic District title with Team Comcast to qualify for nationals, and fellow 2015 freshman A.J. Greer was a key part of New England prep hockey's dominant team for most of the season.

Of course, news floating out there during the summer months and outside of the primary hockey season will still be passed along, but through Three Stars (for the small stuff) or a stand-alone entry (for the big stuff).

Chase Berger very nearly won the highest possible championship with both of his teams

Before getting to the last two commits standing, here are the players whose seasons ended prior to the previous Commit Cycle post, and a quick look at how things turned out for them. As always, check M Current Commitments for full stats.
  • 2015 F A.J. Greer (Kimball Union Academy - New England Prep) enjoyed a highly-successful first year in New Hampshire after coming to the states from his native Quebec. The power forward finished sixth in scoring, with 16 goals on a 19 assists, on a stacked team that had ten Division I commitments and went 27-2-0 in the regular season - earning a second-team all-scholastic underclass team nod from Over The Boards. The season, however, ended in disappointment when the top-seeded Wildcats were stunned 4-1 by Gunnery in the opening round of the Stuart/Corkery Tournament, the New England prep championships.
  • 2014 F James Robinson (Langley Rivermen - BCHL), despite a quick ouster from the playoffs at the hands of the Surrey Eagles, had a fantastic rookie season in the BCHL. He helped the Rivermen to a 24-26-6 regular season record with 42 points, good for third on the team in scoring, with his 33 assists rating second best among all first-year players in the league.
  • 2014 D Bo Pellah (Alberni Valley Bulldogs - BCHL), after briefly teaming up with Robinson in Langley, was traded to the Bulldogs early in his second BCHL season. He transitioned seamlessly, leading the Bulldogs' blueliners in scoring with four goals and 29 assists. Alberni Valley qualified for the playoffs with a 29-20-7 record and went on a thrilling run, recovering from an 0-2 best-of-five hole against Nanaimo in the first round and a 1-2 deficit against Victoria in the second round to win both series. Powerful Surrey proved too much in the Coastal Conference finals, however, sweeping the Bulldogs out of contention.
  • 2013 D David Thompson (Chilliwack Chiefs - BCHL) joined Robinson and Pellah in being knocked out of the playoffs by Surrey, with the Chiefs falling via a second-round sweep after taking out Prince George in five games in the opening round. The Pennsylvania native closed his junior career by captaining his team to a 33-21-2 regular season mark and, like Pellah, led his team in blueliner scoring with 27 points while also providing strong positional play and physicality.
  • 2015 F Chase Berger (St. Louis AAA Blues 18U/Saint Louis University HS) very nearly reached the pinnacle with both of his teams, taking the Mid-States Club Hockey Association Challenge Cup title with SLUHS by topping rival Christian Brothers 2-1 in overtime. Berger assisted on the championship-winning goal then, with the AAA Blues, scored the Central District clincher to propel that team to the USA Hockey Tier I 18U national championships. At the tournament, his eight points in six games helped advance the Blues to the title game, but a 4-3 overtime loss to Neponset Valley (after leading 3-2 until eight seconds remained in regulation) forced Berger to settle for a silver medal.
  • 2015 D Kevin Kerr (Team Comcast 18U/Holy Ghost Prep) also did well with both his school and club teams. Comcast took the Atlantic District bid to USA Hockey Tier I 18U nationals, and advanced to the quarterfinals before - in quite a case of foreshadowing, relative to Berger - losing to eventual champion Neponset Valley, 4-3 in overtime. Meanwhile, Holy Ghost enjoyed a typical winning season but succumbed 5-2 to La Salle College High School in the finals of the AAA Flyers Cup, the big-school eastern PA championship.
  • 2013 F David Goodwin (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders - USHL) didn't miss a beat following an early-season trade from Sioux City and posted his typically-robust stat line (13 goals and 30 assists in 64 games when combining totals from both teams) despite the Riders' anemic offense that contributed to a 25-30-9 record and missing the Eastern Conference playoffs by 13 points. The heady center, notably, finished his three-year USHL career with 118 points in 179 games.
  • 2015 F Alec Marsh (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders - USHL) joined Goodwin in an early trip to the golf course but still turned in a great rookie season in the USHL. The New Jersey native, after irregular appearances in the lineup early on, was more or less a fixture in the top 12 by the end of the campaign. Marsh finished with four goals and 11 points in 40 games and even made a cameo on SportsCenter, thanks to his assist on a spectacular goal by linemate Dylan McLaughlin back in October.
  • 2013 F Rick DeRosa (Port Huron Fighting Falcons - NAHL) captained his team to a 32-24-4 record and a North Division playoff bid - a second straight postseason trip for the Falcons after a 6-46-6 record in the franchise's first season of 2010-2011. DeRosa, who led Port Huron in scoring with 42 points and finished his junior career as the team's all-time leader, fueled a third-period comeback in the decisive game three of a first-round series against Johnstown with a goal and an assist to help the Falcons advance. The Soo Eagles, however, subsequently swept the team out of the North Division semifinals.
  • 2013 D Patrick Koudys (Muskegon Lumberjacks - USHL) was an important part of a defense corps that surrendered the second-fewest goals in the USHL during the regular season, 175 in 64 games. The RPI transfer's one goal and 10 assists also helped the Lumberjacks to the playoffs despite the league's reducing the number of playoff teams from 12 to 8 this season, but they were swept in a best-of-five first round by USHL regular-season champion Dubuque.
  • 2013 F Zach Saar (Muskegon Lumberjacks - USHL), following a mid-season trade from Des Moines, contributed to the Lumberjacks' playoff run with his imposing blend of physicality and size down low. He chipped in some offense - five points for Muskegon, 17 overall - but more importantly performed many of the unsung roles vital on a successful hockey team, helping the Jacks finish 31-23-10.
  • 2013 F Dylan Richard (Spruce Grove Saints - AJHL) led the Saints in scoring with 22 goals and 42 points, helping the team to the AJHL North Division regular season and playoff championships and finishing as a finalist for the league's MVP award. Although the Saints ultimately lost in the AJHL finals to the Brooks Bandits, Richard scored seven times in the Saints' 16 playoff games.
  • 2013 D Mike Williamson (Spruce Grove Saints - AJHL) was plagued by injuries for much of the season, but was still able to chip in 11 points in 23 regular season games to help the Saints finish 35-16-9, five points ahead of second-place Grand Prairie. He played in all but one game of Spruce Grove's playoff run to help the team to the Gas Drive Cup finals. Williamson also was the 183rd-best North American skater in the final CSS rankings ahead of next month's NHL Entry Draft.

Eamon McAdam

Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
6'2", 185 pounds
Perkasie, PA
Entering 2013
DOB 9/24/1994

vs. Fargo
L 3-6
at Fargo
L 3-4

Cal Petersen, who started Waterloo's first four playoff games in goal, won ugly to get the Black Hawks out to a 2-1 first-round series lead, but faltered in game four on April 23rd... McAdam mopped up over the second half of the contest, playing well enough to earn a start in the decisive game five, and he did not disappoint in making 45 saves behind a sometimes defense-optional team... Minnesota commit Gabe Guertler, however, ended Waterloo's once-promising season with a second-chance goal 6:38 into overtime after Alex Iafallo forced extra hockey with 3:34 left... McAdam's final regular-season stats included a 17-9-3 record, two shutouts, and a 3.45 goals against average, but his campaign was probably most notable for the litany of accolades earned throughout and mentioned at the top of the post... next up, he'll participate at the NHL Scouting Combine from May 27th through June 1st in Toronto, and on June 30th at the NHL Entry Draft, he'll hope that one franchise shares the opinion of Central Scouting, which tabbed him as their number six North American goalie in the final rankings.

Eric Scheid

Lincoln Stars (USHL)
5'9", 163 pounds
Coon Rapids, MN
Entering 2013
DOB 5/5/1992

at Sioux Falls
L 0-2

The Stars likely regret their missed opportunity to close out Sioux Falls on home ice in game four, as they dropped that game while holding a 2-1 series lead (covered in the last Commit Cycle), then were shut out on the road in the Western Conference semifinal's rubber match to end their season... in all, it was still a successful year for Scheid, who led Lincoln in scoring with 23 goals and 59 points... the Alaska-Anchorage transfer also led the USHL in plus-minus for much of the season, finishing +37 and fifth in the league to help the Stars to a 39-22-3 record and a fourth-place finish.

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