Sunday, October 7, 2012

2013 Draft Blog: Eamon McAdam Pt.1

We're pleased to have the second member of the NHL draft Class of 2013 contributing the first chapter of his ongoing blog series with us this year. Goaltender Eamon McAdam is top rated goaltender from the USHL according to NHL Central Scouting's preliminary Future Watch release. 

Eamon joins Curtis Lazar as the first two players we have recruited to give us a behind the scenes look at life for a NHL prospect in his draft season.

Without further ado, here is the debut blog entry from Eamon McAdam of the Waterloo Black Hawks.

Photo: Britt Photography

My name is Eamon McAdam and I am in my third year as the goaltender for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL.

I was born in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, which is about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia; home of the Flyers.  Big time athletics ran in my blood with my father playing D1 lacrosse at Bucknell and my mom being the captain of just about any sport she decided to pick up.  During my childhood I was constantly traveling the country following around my sister who won a world championship in her sport; cycling.  My career started as a combination of my mother and father’s athletic backgrounds though.  My dad was a lacrosse goalie his entire life and my mother was the hockey player and fanatic.  She was brought up in a household where her father had one game on the TV and another on the radio because he just couldn’t get enough.

I started playing when I signed up for floor hockey at the local YMCA and moved on to a roller rink the year after that.  After a year there I just couldn’t get enough hockey, and I asked my parents if I could sign up for ice hockey the next year.  I was nine when I played my first year of organized ice hockey with the Hatfield Ice Dogs B team.  I moved up to AA my final two years with the Ice Dogs.  After a tryout for a festival team that I didn’t make, I got a call from the man who would be my coach for the next four years, Rob Badger.

Coach Badger called my dad up and asked him if we were thinking about going out for AAA next year and offered me a tryout with his team, Team Comcast.  My family and I decided to give it a shot and I made the team for my first year at the bantam age group.  After an average couple of seasons, Coach Badger worked some magic and pulled in some very skilled players for our major year to make a push for nationals.  We dominated the league that year and made it to nationals, my first major hockey experience.  We went 1-2 and didn’t advance but it was a great experience for me either way.

Along with playing in Nationals, I also got to play in the OHL Cup when I was younger.  That was one of the most fun and memorable tournaments I have ever skated in.  About half of my Comcast team joined up with the TPH Thunder, the team that had the only American bid to the tournament.  We were underdogs from the start getting no respect from any of the fifteen Canadian teams we were competing against.  We made it through the round robin and advanced to the quarterfinals, which ended up being a day I would never forget.   

We were playing the London Jr. Knights who were expecting to be in the finals with ease and most likely win it all.  We played them tough for all of regulation and it ended in a 1-1 draw.  This tournament had no shootout rule though so we had to play five-on-five overtime until a winner was found.  We ended up playing almost five full ten-minute overtime periods until finally we won in dramatic fashion when Mark Pettaccio, a future OHLer, scored a goal pushing down the right wing.  I ended the game with over 60 shots on goal and only one goal against in over 100 minutes of time played.  We went on to the semifinals the next day and lost but we held our heads high when we walked out of the rink because we knew we gave it our best shot.

Photo: USHL
After my years at home with Comcast I moved away to play for the Waterloo Black Hawks.  I was drafted in the futures draft by them and made the team the next year and decided to go as a third goalie to get used to the whole USHL lifestyle.  I played a few games with the Black Hawks that year and also played a few in the NAHL with the Austin Bruins.  All in all the year was a great learning experience for me on and off the ice and was also a great way for me to transition into living away from home.

My second season with the Black Hawks was a very memorable one.  We had a great group of guys last year and bonded well from the start.  We were close to the top of the standings all year and made it into playoffs as the third seed in our conference.  We played Tri City in the first round and beat them handily two games to none.  Next we faced Omaha who we had trouble with all season long.  After splitting with them in Omaha, we brought the series home where we had been unbeatable the second half of the season.  We ended on a 15 game home win streak including playoffs and made Young Arena a feared place to play.  We beat Omaha two strait at home to close out the series and move on to the semi finals.   

Next up was Lincoln, a big physical team that won games by intimidation and with their offensive weapon, Kevin Roy.  We split with them in Lincoln and once again headed home to Young Arena where we had so much success.  We dominated them in the final two games of their series and we moved on the Clark Cup Finals against the highly touted Green Bay Gamblers.   

Green Bay had been the favorite to win the Clark Cup all season losing only ten games all year and never losing back-to-back games.  We put the pressure on them in game one by pulling out a win in their home arena.  They came back strong in the next game though and shut us out and held strong at home.  Taking the series back to Waterloo at 1-1 sounded like a great thing to us though since we had done it in both of the previous series and finished them out there.  But Green Bay shut down those ideas in game three when they beat us 3-1.  We were in do-or-die territory at home and we pulled together like we had all season and proved everyone wrong when we won game four and forced the series back to Green Bay for game five.  We ended up losing the final game but it was a great learning experience for me that showed me what it really takes to compete deep in the post season and it also gave us the opportunity to take a trip to Russia for the Junior Club World Cup.

Photo: USHL
The Junior Club World Cup was by far my best hockey memory to this point.  It was my first overseas travel and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than with the team.  We started the trip in Moscow, Russia and played two exhibition games just to get our legs under us and to start to get a feel for each other as a team.  After a few days of hockey and sightseeing we were back on another plane and off to Omsk, the home of the tournament.   

We went 2 and 1 in our first three games of the round robin and had a do or die game against the home team, the Omsk Hawks, for the last spot in the semi finals.  The arena was packed with almost 9,000 fans who were all rooting against us, by far the most I had ever played in front of.  We went up early, but halfway through the third Omsk pulled within a goal and the crowd was going crazy.  We ended up putting in four goals in the last five minutes of the game to win 7-3 and to move on to face an unbeaten Swedish team.  We won that game in another close battle and then played the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves in the final game of the tournament.  We suffered a 2-0 loss to Sudbury, but we held our own right up until the final buzzer.   

Photo: USHL
A silver medal wasn’t what we went in looking for, but it was nice to say that we had achieved that much at least.  I also won goaltender of the tournament, which was a tremendous honor with all of the skilled goalies I was playing against including the other goalie on our team; Cal Petersen.  All in all it was an amazing trip with a lot of fun times on and off the ice and it’s something that I will never forget.

Last weekend I participated in the inaugural All-American Prospect Game in Buffalo, New York.  It was a great honor to be selected to participate in this game that was meant to showcase the top 40 American born draft eligible prospects.  It was a hectic weekend because the night before we played a game in Green Bay, and won, but then had to travel that night to Buffalo.  We got in very late and the next day started early with a practice and media time.  We then got to tour the Sabres’ facility and it was amazing.  Mr. Pegula put ten million dollars into making it one of if not the top facilities in the NHL and it was jaw dropping.   

Photo: USA Hockey
The game itself was very fast-paced and flowing for how little any of the players had played together.  I gave up three goals and wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked to be, but overall it was a good experience and I enjoyed playing with all of the skilled players that were there.

That’s about all I have for my first entry.  Thank you very much to The Pipeline Show for the opportunity to write these entries and I look forward to letting people know about my life and the teams ups and downs this season!

Until Next Time,

Eamon McAdam

Eamon McAdam is a goaltender with the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks. He is listed at 6'2 and 180 lbs. The Pennsylvania born netminder is rated as a 'B' prospect by NHL Central Scouting in their Future Watch released in September.     

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