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Junior Hockey Roundup

By Craig Peterson, 09/26/17, 10:00AM EDT


Plenty of action in the USHL as preseason play concluded on Sunday, with the regular season slate beginning Friday.

There are more than 100 MI-HS alumni continuing their playing careers post-high school. With the Junior Hockey Roundup, we highlight some of the standout performances in various junior leagues from across North America over the weekend.

Plenty of action in the USHL as preseason play concluded on Sunday, with the regular season slate beginning Friday. Many players are still lobbying for roster spots in the United States’ top junior league, including Logan Jenuwine (Romeo, 2016). The 2016 Mr. Hockey, Jenuwine picked up two assists in Fargo’s 5-2 win over Green Bay on Thursday, bringing his total to four points in three preseason games.

Joined by another Mr. Hockey, the 2017 winner Jake Crespi (Brighton, 2017) built a three-game point streak to conclude his preseason, tallying an assist in each of his last three outings with Tri-City.

Derek Schaedig (Chelsea, 2016) made his debut for the Chicago Steel on Thursday, stopping 20-of-21 shots against and earning a 4-1 win over Waterloo. Hoping to remain in the Steel for the regular season, Schaedig has a career record of 4-0-0 with a 1.74 goals-against average in .942 save percentage in the USHL.

Nick Bowman (Brother Rice, 2016) made his case with assists in back-to-back games over the weekend. The 5-foot-11, 204-pound forward has three points in four preseason games for Sioux Falls.

Final rosters for the USHL are expected later this week and the subsequent moves would have a trickle-down effect on various other leagues like the NAHL and BCHL.

Plenty of standouts from the NAHL as well, including a four-point night from Julian Biondo (Utica Eisenhower, 2015) on Friday. After winning the Robertson Cup with Lone Star last season, Biondo has returned to the Brahmas with a strong campaign in 2017-18, leading the team with eight points in eight games.

Two alums shined for Shreveport, as Jack Clement (Brother Rice, 2017) scored the first goal of his junior career on Friday with Brendan VanSweden (East Kentwood, 2015) picking up the primary assist. VanSweden added a goal of his own later that game and the duo has combined for seven points for the Mudbugs.

Vince Marino (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 2016) picked up the first multi-point game of his 2017-18 season, scoring a power-play goal and recording an assist for Brookings on Friday.

After a slight three-game scoreless drought, Colin Bilek (Brighton, 2015) led Northeast in a comeback effort over New Jersey. The captain scored two goals — one on the man advantage — and sparked four unanswered goals by the Generals to pick up a win on Saturday.

Other notables out of the NAHL include Michael Forman (Flint Powers, 2015) and Evan Rochowiak (Detroit Catholic Central, 2016). Forman picked up his first point of the season for the Austin Bruins, assisting on a shorthanded goal. Rochowiak continues his hot streak with a three-point night on Saturday. He has four goals and leads Odessa with six assists and 10 points.

Connor Smith (Pinckney, 2016) had a productive first season of junior hockey in 2016-17, scoring 24 goals and 38 points as a rookie in the SIJHL. This season, he made the jump to the SJHL with La Ronge, a team that was winless and a player that was without a point until Smith scored his first goal and the Ice Wolves earned their first victory this week.

Circling back to the SIJHL, Alec Daman (Chelsea, 2016) scored his first goal of the season just 1:41 into Thief River Falls’ 5-4 win over Minnesota. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound forward added an assist to his total later in that contest, recording his first multi-point game.

Sam Knoblauch (U-D Jesuit, 2016) continues his tear through the CCHL, picking up four assists in his last four games for Carleton Place. Knoblauch leads the league in goals (six), assists (13) and points (19) through 13 regular season games and has a seven point lead on the rest of the field.

In the NOJHL, Timmins Rock was tied 3-3 with French River on Saturday before Grant McClellan (Trenton, 2016) broke the deadlock with 7:34 left in regulation. The defenseman now has four points in his last four games.

There are more than 30 different junior leagues across North America and these are just some of the more prominent performances over the weekend from our MI-HS alums. Check back next week, as we continue to track these and many more players furthering their hockey careers post-high school.