Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Morning Special - April 23rd

Another jam packed show on Saturday as TPS went across Canada and south of the border to bring you the biggest and best in the world of hockey prospect news. We went behind the mic with two play-by-play guys who are now calling semi-final games, we looked at players leaving college teams and some interesting news out of Duluth, we chatted with arguably the top high school player in the Class of 2011 and we discussed an assortment of news and notes too.

Hot on the heels of their first National Championship, Minnesota-Duluth's program has taken a few hits. Justin Faulk and Mike Connolly left early for the pro ranks and now news that head coach Scott Sandelin has interviewed for the high profile job at Penn State. Jess Myers from Inside College Hockey (INCH) gave us the latest there. We also talked about other players in the WCHA who have left and the possibility of a conference featuring Denver, Notre Dame, North Dakota, Miami, Nebrask-Omaha and Colorado College. Finally, we discussed the Minnesota Wild and what the return of the Winnipeg Jets would mean to Minnesotans.

Next up we spoke with Mario Lucia, a key player in the NHL 2011 draft picture. The 6'2 forward put up a ton of points in high school hockey this past season but has yet to declare a NCAA program of his choice. He confirmed for us that he's narrowed it down to three schools: Notre Dame, Colorado College and the Minnesota Golden Gophers where his brother played and his dad still is head coach.

From there we went to the QMJHL semi-final series and chatted with D.J. Abisalih, the voice of the Lewiston Maineiacs. Lewiston blew a late third period 4-2 lead on Friday and lost game 1 to Saint John. D.J. told us how the team was dealing with that and how the constant rumors of the club's relocation to PEI. By the way, D.J. assured us that he feels the team will still be in Lewiston next season and gave us plenty of reasons why. I'm not so sure after hearing for so long that they'll be in Summerside PEI... what do you think?

At the top of the second hour of the show we brought in Jeff Hollick, the voice of the red-hot Kootenay Ice. The Ice won an overtime Game 1 against Medicine Hat on Friday and have got this far thanks to a balanced attack and great goaltending. Jeff gave us his run down on the series against the Tigers and what we should be expecting for the next bunch of games.

Daren Millard was up next and we talked about the NHL playoffs and how goaltenders have been a major story, both good and bad. Tyler Ennis has the Buffalo Sabres on the verge of upsetting the Flyers, pretty good for a guy who was never taken in the WHL Bantam Draft and was deemed too small for the NHL by many people. We also talked about the potential relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes to Winnipeg and what that might mean for realignment in the Western Conference.

Finally, Dean and I discussed the U18's and why the WHL is in California this weekend putting on a 3-day information clinic. The WHL sessions are hot on the heels of College Hockey Inc.'s tour of Canada which made stops in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. We bantered on why these are positive developments for hockey even though feathers seem to be getting ruffled because of it.

It was a solid show with great guests. If you missed any part of it or just want to listen again, Click the Archive... HERE.

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