No. 2 Miami RedHawks 6 @ Ohio State Buckeyes 2
F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-2-2, +2, 4 SOG
2012-2013 totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM
Miami opened their season with a commanding win over Ohio State, 6-2. Junior Jimmy Mullin started on the third line and had the primary assists on the goals that gave the RedHawks 3-2 and 4-2 leads.
Vermont Catamounts 3 @ No. 7 North Dakota 5
F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM
Brendan O’Donnell started his junior year with a goal at the end of the second period that enabled UND to enter the second intermission tied with Vermont at 3. O’Donnell was listed on UND’s third line by collegehockeystats.net. Panthers prospect Rocco Grimaldi had a goal and three helpers for North Dakota.
No. 10 Quinnipiac Bobcats 1 @ Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves 2
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM
Tenth-ranked Quinnipiac dropped their first game of the season, losing 2-1 to the Seawolves in the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage, Alaska. Matt Peca, expected to be one of the top players in college hockey this season, was scoreless in the Bobcats’ debut.
Mercyhurst Lakers 0 @ No. 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers 6
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 25 saves on 25 shots, shutout, *Third Star*
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
Sophomore star Adam Wilcox earned a 25-save shutout in his season debut as the Gophers crushed the visiting Lakers, 6-0.
*USCHO poll used
Apologies for the delayed observations but personal circumstances have necessitated a combined summary of impressions from several days I attended.
The bulk of the following observations stem from last Wednesday's 3-on-3 tournament action (I was unable to make it Tuesday) although some does come from the on-ice sessions last Sunday and Monday. Here are some thoughts on a limited number of camp participants, from those I went out of my way to watch and those my eyes kept being drawn to:
On the heels of a national holiday, 32 prospects--most drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning, others signed as free agents and a handful of invitees--gathered on the ice Saturday at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon to begin several days of on-ice and off-ice conditioning as well as instruction in organizational values and the culture of professional hockey for both returning and first-time participants.
"Let's call this what it is: summer hockey," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told assembled media. "Part of what [the players] get out of this camp is the chance to get to know myself, Rob Zettler, the staff. Getting to know expectations and being a pro."
"A lot of these kids are coming from juniors programs, college, all these different walks of life, but here at the Tampa Bay Lightning we've got a certain code of conduct," Cooper noted. "This is where it starts."
Having concluded fitness testing and physicals, players hit the ice and rounded out their day with an hour-long practice spent completing basic drills as well as a forty-five minute power skating session.
"The first day is always kind of a feel out day," Cooper said. "Some of these guys, I'm sure, have been skating and some haven't been."
Keeping in mind that the 3-on-3 tournament scheduled to begin Tuesday and wrap-up on Wednesday, the final day of camp, will provide better opportunities to gauge player abilities and hockey sense, here are some brief and selected observations:
(West-3) Yale Bulldogs 4 vs (East-1) Quinnipiac Bobcats 0
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM
The magical ride of Quinnipiac and Matt Peca was going to end anyway on Saturday, but they would have preferred it end with a win. The top-ranked Bobcats, playing in their first national tournament, were beaten by upstart Yale, 4-0. It was the fourth time the two state and ECAC rivals met this year and the first time Yale won. It just happened to be for the national championship.
There is a chance the Lightning starts Peca on the road to the NHL by signing him and placing him in AHL Syracuse next year, but that doesn’t seem like the normally patient approach by Bolts GM Steve Yzerman. If Peca returns for his junior year he will be one of the early Hobey Baker candidates.
(Midwest-3) St. Cloud State Huskies 1 vs (East-1) Quinnipiac Bobcats 4
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 15-15-30, +17, 36 PIM
Peca and his line with the twins, Conner and Kellen Jones, were flying all night but only scored one goal – a wrist shot by Kellen Moore from the slot. It didn’t matter as QU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and coasted to a 4-1 win and a berth in the national championship game against conference and state rival Yale. That game will be played on Saturday night on ESPN. Peca received constant compliments from the ESPN 2 crew throughout the game as he showed off his speed and stickwork, creating multiple scoring chances. John Buccigross and former Lightning coach Barry Melrose called Peca’s line one of the best in the country this year.