Women’s hockey announces new players for 2017-18

Earlier today, Coach Plumer announced UVM’s incoming women’s hockey class. The group includes one goalie, two defenders, four forwards, and one player that can play both forward and D. Let’s meet them! (Sorry on lack of info about certain players, it’s hard to really find data for girls’ hockey…)

Sierra Natzke – Goaltender – Pine, Colorado – Conifer HS/Lansing Spartans

2016/17 Statistics (w/ Lansing): 50 GP – 23-23-3 – 2.17 GAA – .901 SV% – 12 SO

Twitter: @natzkehockey

The Catamounts seem to be strong in goal going forward, and the team bolstered its depth in the position with Natzke. While attending Conifer High School, she played club hockey on a coed team in her home state. She then joined Lansing Spartans, where she helped lead the team to a CanAm tournament title, defeating the Madison Capitols girls team 2-1 in triple overtime.

Previously, she played for the Boston Shamrocks in 2015/16. That club just keeps producing UVM players.

Here’s a highlight video from Lansing’s 2-1 win over Shattuck St. Mary’s on January 7. There’s a few other videos of her playing on that channel if you want to do some armchair scouting.

Greta Close – Defender – Norwich, Vermont – Kimball Union Academy (NH)

2016/17 Statistics: Unavailable (let me know if anyone can find something!)

Twitter: @gretaclose

Close brings some leadership to the table, having been a two-year captain for the Wildcats in high school and leading them to a 16-6-2 record her senior year. I can’t find any statistics or video of how she plays, but she did earn a spot on the NEPSAC Division II All-Star Team in ice hockey, and was also an All-Star in lacrosse. She did participate in USA Hockey’s Girls U18 Development Camp in 2016, playing five games but not pointing.

Taylor Flaherty – Defender – Lakeville, Minnesota – Lakeville North HS/Univ. of North Dakota

2016/17 Statistics: 15 GP – 1-1-2 – 4 PIM

Twitter: @t_fizz9

Flaherty comes in as a transfer who is immediately eligible after North Dakota shut down their women’s hockey program. In her first two years in Grand Forks, she posted a goal and an assist in 39 games played. Before that, she was a five-year player at Lakeville North, serving as captain in her final year and posting at least 20 points in each of her last three years.

Here is her recruiting video from high school.

Bonus: here’s the video from when she went on Outside the Lines with Bob Ley to discuss the fight to prevent UND from dropping women’s hockey. Her bit starts around the 2:27 mark.

Anna Erickson – Forward/Defense – Stillwater, Minnesota – Minnesota Connections Academy/Madison Capitols

2016/17 Statistics (w/ Madison): 38 GP – 9-5-14 – 14 PIM

According to the UVM Athletics release, Erickson can play forward or defense, and that sort of versatility will really benefit the Catamounts going forward. I’m not sure which she played more in Madison, but based on the lower numbers, I would guess defense (and she was listed as defense on their website). Prior to her time with the Capitols, she spent 2015/16 with the Minnesota Revolution, posting 13 points in 31 games.

Vermont college connection: Her brother Jake helped Norwich win the D-III national title this season.

Valerie Caldwell – Forward – Glenview, Illinois – Loyola Academy/Chicago Mission

2016/17 Statistics (w/ Loyola): Only thing I could find is that she had 27 goals this year. Further info would be appreciated.

Twitter: @valcaldwell14

Caldwell was a three-time All-State player at Loyola Academy (I’m not sure if it was four as I could not find the info for the 2014 All-State game), and graduates as the program’s all-time top scorer with 112 goals over four seasons. From every article I’ve read, she’s electrifying on the ice (with the Daily North Shore’s Kevin Reiterman stating that “the girl can turn scoring into an art form”) and super enthusiastic off it, which is how she was able to juggle both her Academy duties with her Mission responsibilities. Every one of her four high school seasons saw the Ramblers make the state championship, including a victory in 2016 over Barrington. And the roll on leaders continues, as she captained the team this year.

Like Close, she participated in USA Hockey’s Girls U18 Development Camp in 2016, posting three points in four games.

Here’s an article in the Chicago Tribune about her.

Alyssa Holmes – Forward – Burlington, Ontario – Corpus Christi HS/Stoney Creek

2016/17 Statistics (w/ Stoney Creek): 35 GP – 5-9-14 – 6 PIM

The Provincial Women’s Hockey League is the strongest junior hockey league in Canada, so Holmes was playing against some strong competition on about a league-average team (the Sabres finished 8th in the 20-team league). In her first full season in the league, she finished with on the team in scoring. The year before, on the Midget AA Sabres, she led the team in scoring with 19 points in 22 games. She’s not just a good hockey player though – she was also a letterwinner in soccer, field hockey, track and field, volleyball, and badminton. Talk about a Swiss army knife.

Olivia Kilberg – Forward – Edina, Minnesota – Edina HS

2016/17 Statistics (w/ Edina): 30 GP – 14-19-33 – 6 PIM

High school hockey in Minnesota is like high school basketball in Indiana or high school football in Texas. By that, I mean it’s a pretty big deal. And Kilberg has been to the peak of girls’ high school hockey in Minnesota, winning a state championship with the Edina Hornets last season. In the championship game – a 4-0 win over Blaine – Kilberg scored a goal and added an assist. She was an honorable mention on the Lake Conference All-Conference Team, and was named to the All-Tournament team. All this from a player that, two years earlier as a sophomore, posted 5 points in 31 games. That’s a pretty nice rise, and she will hopefully continue her rise at UVM.

Like Caldwell and Close, she was also at USA Hockey’s Girls U18 Development Camp in 2016, posting an assist in 5 games; in fact,  she was actually teammates with Close on Team Purple. Small world.

Kristina Shanahan – Forward – Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec – Pointe-Noire HS/Dawson College

2016/17 Statistics (w/ Dawson): 24 GP – 20-13-33 – 2 PIM

Imagine being a teenager living in suburban Montreal. You have just won a provincial high school championship, and took part in a U18 Team Canada selection camp. You have offers from some of the best academic universities in America – Princeton, Yale, Cornell. And you receive a bursary check from none other than the Montreal Canadiens, and got to accept it from Olympic hockey hero Marie-Philip Poulin. That was Kristina Shanahan’s reality in 2015, and she spent two years at Dawson College before choosing UVM. Last season, she led the Blues in scoring and ranked fifth among players at CEGEPs (pre-university colleges in Quebec; I guess the American equivalent would be junior college), and the top scorer that wasn’t from Cégep Limoilou who had the top four.

Welcome to UVM, everyone! This team is building something special, and we’re glad to have you along.

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Misley gets drafted, Ade turns pro, and other summer news and notes

The dog days of summer suck. It’s the void of the college hockey season where team Twitter accounts tease fans by posting pictures of center ice with the season four months away (I’m looking at you, Providence and Northern Michigan). This is actually my first offseason with this blog, so I’ll have to think of ways to fill the void until the exhibitions start up.

Eventually, I’ll be previewing the season for all of the Hockey East schools, along with my standings predictions.

And I’ll have an alumni update done at some point, I swear. But for now, plenty of news to report over the last few weeks.

WOMEN’S

  • Rachael Ade has become the third former Catamount (after Amanda Pelkey and Meghan Huertas) to join the National Women’s Hockey League, signing with the New Haven-area-based Connecticut Whale on June 20. (Yes, I know Huertas transferred out, but…still counts.)
  • The connections between the Cats and the Whale don’t end there, as on May 25 the team hired Jess Koizumi as associate head coach, replacing Kelly Nash. Koizumi was captain of the Whale during the 2015/16 NWHL season and scored the first goal in league history. She’s no stranger to coaching, either, having been associate head coach Ohio State last season in addition to a few seasons as an assistant at Yale.

MEN’S

  • Bryce Misley was drafted in the fourth round of the NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild with the 116th overall pick. UVM has been addressing him online as an incoming freshman, which means it’s likely he’ll be coming a year ahead of time, which is what I honestly expected.
  • The names of twelve UVM recruits have appeared in the school directory, which means we should have a huge crop of incoming freshman talent. Those names are Tyler Harmon, Matt Beck, Christian Evers, Brian Kelly, Cory Thomas, Owen Grant, Max Kaufman, Alex Esposito, Vlad Dzhioshvili, Martin Fréchette, Ace Cowans, and the aformentioned Misley.
  • The interesting part about that list: Jacob Kamps is not on it. I’ve heard nothing about him decommitting, so it’s very possible he just opted out of the directory, but it’s still something to keep an eye on as he has aged out of junior hockey.
  • Still haven’t heard anything on the Ori Abramson situation, but if Thomas is coming in I would bet towards him getting denied.
  • UVM alumnus Connor Brickley was claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in their Expansion Draft, but you probably already knew that.
  • Another alumnus, Anders Franzon, announced his retirement following the conclusion of his season with Sheffield Steelers. Good luck on your future endeavors, Anders!
  • As for the schedule, there’s only a few games remaining with teams that didn’t already announce their schedules: two each with BC, Merrimack, and Maine, and three with UNH and UConn. Based on years past I would guess: BC is at home, Maine and Mack away, UNH and UConn two away/one home. Notre Dame leaving really gives the schedulemakers a headache, since a large part of why UConn came to Hockey East was to ease scheduling…

AROUND HOCKEY EAST

  • HUGE bombshell dropped on the eve of the draft: Eeli Tolvanen, BC’s top recruit this year, was rejected by admissions. With each of their top 5 scorers from last season either graduating or turning pro, and a recruiting class that isn’t really what you’d expect from a BC side, they could be in for a down year next year. Of course, Jerry Yawk is Jerry Yawk, so they’ll find a way to squeak into the tournament.
  • Only one conference had at least one player picked from each team. Hockey East. (Barely – Lowell’s first pick of the day, Croix Evingston, was taken with pick #211. Thanks, Vegas, for the extra seven picks!)
  • Hockey East is discussing dumping the “octofinals” and replacing them with the 1-8 system from years past. I like it, it would make the regular season more meaningful even if it means UVM’s chances of hosting a playoff series decrease by a lot. Watching the Maine series last year was fun as a fan…but the neutrals were probably like “STOP STOP THEY’RE ALREADY DEAD.”

End-Of-Season Recruitment Update

About time I finally got this up.

I’m also going to include the women’s team recruits. However, I was not able to pull statistics for every player. If you’re able to fill in some of our blanks, please let me know and I will edit accordingly.


WOMEN’S RECRUITS

GOALKEEPERS

Sierra Natzke (’99) – Lansing Spartans – 50 GP, 23-23-3, 2.10 GAA, .901 SV%

DEFENDERS

Anna Erickson (’98) – Minnesota Northern Starzz – Statistics unavailable

Cameron Morrissey (’01) – Detroit Little Caesars U16 – 14 GP, 1-4-5, 4 PIM

Maude Poulin-Labelle (’99) – Stanstead College – 46 GP, 13-23-36, 38 PIM, +56 (!!!) – Okay, I’m confused on her position. HockeyTech has her listed as a forward, Stanstead has her listed as a defender…I’m gonna go with the school’s listing.

FORWARDS

Olivia Kilberg (’99) – Minnesota Jr. Whitecaps Black – Statistics unavailable

Alyssa Holmes (’99) – Stoney Creek Jr. Sabres – 35 GP, 5-9-14, 6 PIM

Lillian Holmes (’99) – Mid-Fairfield – Statistics unavailable

Valerie Caldwell (’99) – Loyola Academy / Chicago Mission U19 – The only thing I can find for her stats is this Chicago Tribune article that says she had 27 goals for Loyola.

Corinne McCool (’99) – Lawrence Academy – 29 GP, 40-26-66

Alexandrea Gray (’00) – Stanstead College – 46 GP, 12-10-22, 14 PIM, +24


MEN’S RECRUITS

GOALKEEPERS

Matthew Beck (’96) – Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (USPHL) – 41 GP, 7-13-0, 4.06 GAA,  .905 SV%

Tyler Harmon (’97) – Jersey Hitmen (USPHL) – 22-7-1, 2.26 GAA, .922 SV%, 2 SO. Named USPHL Goaltender of the Year

DEFENDERS

Christian Evers (’97) – Lincoln Stars (USHL) – 60 GP, 8-10-18, +2, 69 PIM

Brian Kelly (’97) – Connecticut Jr. Rangers (USPHL) – 32 GP, 2-12-14, 6 PIM. Playoffs: 1 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM.

Cory Thomas (’98) – Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL) – 49 GP, 2-8-10, 24 PIM. Playoffs: 15 GP, 0-2-2, 21 PIM. World Junior A Challenge (w/ Canada West): 4 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM.

Owen Grant (’98) – Carleton Place Canadiens (CCHL) – 56 GP, 5-19-24, 24 PIM. Playoffs: 16 GP, 0-1-1, 10 PIM. Fred Page Cup: 5 GP, 0-1-1, 4 PIM. World Junior A Challenge (w/ Canada East): 4 GP, 0-0-0, 6 PIM. Named CCHL Defenseman of the Year

Andrew Petrillo (’98) – Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) – 27 GP, 1-2-3, +2, 4 PIM. Playoffs: 2 GP, 0-0-0, Even, 0 PIM.

Carter Long (’98) – Lincoln Stars (USHL) – 57 GP, 1-3-4, +1, 47 PIM

Andrew Lucas (’99) – Loomis Chaffee School (USHS-CT) – 24 GP, 7-21-28

Conner Hutchison (’00) – Selects Hockey Academy U18 (USPHL U18) – 6 GP, 2-8-10, 6 PIM

FORWARDS

Alex Esposito (’96) – Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) – 59 GP, 18-16-34, +4, 144 PIM

Jacob Kamps (’97) – Penticton Vees (BCHL) / Brooks Bandits (AJHL) / Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL) – Penticton: 12 GP, 1-2-3, Even, 0 PIM – Brooks: 16 GP, 3-1-4, 14 PIM – Pembroke: 22 GP, 8-8-16, 15 PIM

Martin Fréchette (’97) – Cumberland Grads (CCHL) – 59 GP, 20-41-61, 20 PIM

Vladislav Dzhioshvili (’98) – Bloomington Thunder (USHL) – 58 GP, 19-23-42, -9, 86 PIM.

Ace Cowans (’96) – Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) – 27 GP, 5-7-12, -3, 33 PIM.

Max Kaufman (’96) – Langley Rivermen (BCHL) – 47 GP, 31-24-55, 20 PIM. Playoffs: 6 GP, 1-6-7, 2 PIM.

Nick Abruzzese (’99) – North Jersey Avalanche U18 (T1EHL/AYHL)/New Jersey Jr. Titans (NAHL) – North Jersey T1EHL: 32 GP, 18-25-43, 10 PIM – North Jersey AYHL: 17 GP, 11-18-29, 6 PIM – New Jersey: 4 GP, 1-0-1, 0 PIM, -3

Simon Boyko (’99) – Jersey Hitmen (USPHL) – 37 GP, 11-27-38, 12 PIM

Joseph Cipollone (’99) – Loomis Chaffee School (USHS-CT) / Tri-City Storm (USHL) – Loomis Chaffee: 23 GP, 16-16-32 – Tri-City: 3 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM

Bryce Misley (’99) – Oakville Blades (OJHL) – 46 GP, 26-36-62, 14 PIM. Playoffs: 16 GP, 5-9-14, 14 PIM. World Junior A Challenge (w/ Canada East): 4 GP, 1-0-1, 4 PIM. (Note: He played the playoffs on an injured foot.)

Ocean Wiesblatt (’99) – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 14 GP, 3-2-5, 22 PIM

Orca Wiesblatt (’00) – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 30 GP, 6-6-12, 59 PIM. Playoffs: 4 GP, 2-1-3, 0 PIM. Western Canada Cup: 3 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM. RBC Cup: 1 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM.

Mickey Burns (’00) – Jersey Hitmen U16 (USPHL U16) / Don Bosco Prep (USHS-NJ) – Jersey U16: 26 GP, 20-38-58, 28 PIM – Don Bosco Prep: 20 GP, 20-34-54. Named to NJ.com’s 1st Team All-State. Fun side note – Bosco plays in the Gordon Conference in NJ high school hockey, which also includes St. Augustine Prep, a team coached by former Catamount Tim Fingerhut.

Kyle Mandleur (’01) – Mercer Chiefs 16U (AYHL U16) – 23 GP, 14-15-29, 20 PIM

Anthony Cipollone (’02) – Westchester Express Bantam Major (Bantam) – Statistics unavailable