Monday, January 23, 2012

On The Road: TPS Hits the USHL

The Pipeline Show is hitting the road once again. We've made the effort over the years to try an attend as many of the major events as possible that we feature on our show. Whether it was at the World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, the Memorial Cup in Brandon the RBC Cup in Prince George, the NHL Draft in Minnesota or various Hockey Canada camps, Deano has done his fair share.

Now that my kids are a bit older, it's a bit easier for me to get away. I've covered some Hockey Canada stuff, the World Junior A Challenge, the CHL Top Prospects Game and obviously the recent WJC tournament, conveniently located in our back yard, but I want to travel a bit further than I have been able to.

Last April I was able to check out the Frozen Four in Minnesota and that was an awesome experience. It was my first taste of college hockey but it will definitely not be my last.

This week, it's another first for me and for TPS; The USHL.

The United States Hockey League is holding their first ever Top Prospects Game on Tuesday night. We discuss the league on a regular basis on The Pipeline Show and the open letter from USHL Commissioner Skip Prince earlier this year has become one of the most read entries ever on our blog.

So when the USHL extended an invitation to TPS to attend their Top Prospects Game, I decided to see if it would be possible and sure enough, I'll be on my way to Muskegon Michigan when this post hits computer screens on Monday morning.

Tuesday's edition of The Pipeline Show will be a special one indeed. Dean will be back in the studio but I will join him live at the top of the show from the game and then for a couple of segments after it's over. We'll be speaking with Commissioner Prince once again and will try to have the player named as the game's MVP on as well.

The morning of the game I will be speaking with a number of the players and you will here portions of those conversations on our Saturday show this coming weekend. I'll also be blogging away between shows as well.

I am very excited to be headed south of the border once again to experience something new and to see a bunch of players eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. A number of them have already been on TPS this year including the Dubuque Duo of Zemgus Girgensons and Mike Matheson (also blogging with us) but so have Brian Cooper (Fargo) and goalie Jon Gillies (IND). It's always nice to put a face to the name and this will also provide the opportunity to see the players in action, even if it's not a regular season game.

I expect that, like the CHL version, the USHL Top Prospect Game will be fast paced, hard hitting and full of action. These players are looking to impress the scouting horde that will be present so I hope to come away with some lasting memories of the game.

If you have any questions for specific players involved in the game (Here are the rosters), fire them off to me on Twitter (@thepipelineshow) and I'll see what I can do for you.

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