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Top Junior Players Receive End-of-Year Honors

05/29/2014, 3:30pm MDT
By Tom Robinson - Special to

Omaha Lancers defenseman Tucker Poolman received the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year award given by USA Hockey. Poolman led United States Hockey League defensemen with 15 goals — 10 of which came on the power play — and was third among USHL defensemen in scoring with 41 points in 58 games.

Poolman, a 20-year-old from Grand Forks, Minn., also helped the Lancers lead the league in fewest goals allowed and penalty killing percentage.

Cal Petersen of the Waterloo Black Hawks was named as the Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year. Peterson led the league with 27 wins, including 12 straight at one point.

The Waterloo, Iowa, native and University of Notre Dame recruit was a fifth-round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

USHL AWARDS: USHL scoring champion Jake Randolph of the Omaha Lancers was named the league’s Forward of the Year in voting by the league’s coaches and general managers.

Randolph led the scoring race by 12 points with 26 goals and 60 assists in 60 games. The 60 assists set a USHL Tier I era (since 2002) record.

Other awards included: Hayden Hawkey of Omaha as Goaltender of the Year; P.K. O’Handley of the Waterloo Black Hawks as Coach of the Year; Robby Jackson of the Chicago Steel as Rookie of the Year; Jeff Brown of the Indiana Ice as General Manager of the Year; and Brandon Montour of the Waterloo Black Hawks as Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year.

Hawkey led the league with a 1.99 goals-against average, the lowest in the league’s modern era, while going 22-6-3.

Jackson set a modern era record for scoring by a USHL 16-year-old with 42 points on 28 goals and 14 assists.

O’Handley led Waterloo to the Anderson Cup for the best regular-season record of 44-11-5.

Brown guided the Ice to the Eastern Conference title and the Clark Cup as playoff champion.

COACHING MOVES: Luke Strand has been named coach and general manager of the Madison Capitols for the organization’s return to the USHL for the 2014-15 season. Strand was GM of the Sioux City Musketeers last season after coaching the team from 2009-11.

The Odessa Jackalopes have removed the interim label from coach Greg Gatto, who guided the team through the last 10 games of the North American Hockey League season.

The Southern Tier Xpress, which will begin play in the North American 3 Hockey League next season in Jamestown, N.Y., have named Rylan Galiardi coach and Seth Wolfe associate head coach.

Also in the NA3HL, the LaCrosse Freeze will have Ryan Egan as coach and general manager and the Fort Worth Brahma will have Al Rooney as coach for their debut.

USPHL CHANGES: The United States Premier Hockey League will expand its Premier Division to 11 teams next season with the addition of the Rochester Americans and Springfield Pics.

The USPHL is also adding to the Providence Capitals to its Junior Elite and Midget 16U Divisions for next season.

COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Lucas Kohls of the NAHL’s Austin Bruins has committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. The 20-year-old from Forest Lake, Minn. played both forward and defense for Austin. He had 18 goals and 23 assists in 74 games.

SPRING SHOWCASE: The Boston Junior Bruins won the A Division and the Jersey Hitmen won the B Division of the USPHL Spring Showcase.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Sept. 1, 2015 | More than 40,000 spectators, plus a national television audience, watched the Little League World Series this past Sunday on a glorious afternoon in Pennsylvania. There were smiles, cheers, entertainment and the noticeable absence of demand for those 12- and 13-year-olds to pitch from 60 feet, six inches or run 90 feet between the bases like their professional baseball heroes.

Right-sized baseball and softball fields, along with age-appropriate rule modifications, have been accepted wisdom in youth baseball for more than 50 years.

Coincidentally, while Little League was paring to its finalists, U.S. Soccer announced a nationwide initiative to improve youth skill development. The centerpiece was a shift to small-sided game formats and field sizes to be phased in across the country by August 2017. As part of the new plan, American soccer at U6, U7 and U8 will be played 4v4 on a pitch approximately one-eighth the size of an adult soccer field. Nine- and 10-year-olds will play 7v7 on a one-quarter-scale pitch. Not until age 13 will players begin competing 11v11 on a regulation adult-sized pitch.

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Those benefits are at the core of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, which was recently praised by the Sports Business Journal as a “trailblazing program.”

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