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Junior Hockey Roundup

By Craig Peterson, 10/07/17, 1:00PM EDT


Plenty of action from the USHL as its season opened up over the weekend.

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.

Of the 11 MI-HS alums originally in training camp, seven made USHL rosters for opening night on Friday. Logan Jenuwine (Romeo, 2016) had a very productive preseason with Fargo and he continued that momentum into the season opener with the Force. Jenuwine had the primary assist on Fargo’s first goal of the 2017-18 season, contributing to the score 17:52 into the first period of Friday’s game against Sioux Falls.

Quinn Preston (Trenton, 2015) opened up his second season with Dubuque in a big way, scoring his first of the year on the power play. After that though, his Saints team would give up four unanswered goals, falling 6-2 on opening night to Chicago.

2017 Mr. Hockey Jake Crespi (Brighton, 2017) assisted on Tri-City’s first goal of the season, as the Storm won their opener 2-1 over Omaha. The 18-year-old is just a few months removed from his senior year with Brighton and already having an impact in the USHL.

Plenty of action in the NAHL as the league approaches Week 4 of the regular season. Some players like Adam Pitters (Grosse Pointe South, 2017) and Nick Bowman (Brother Rice, 2016) were released from their respective USHL team tryouts and reassigned to squads in the NAHL. Both players had immediate impacts, as Pitters picked up an assist in his debut with Aberdeen and Bowman had a goal and an assist for Coulee Region.

Brendan VanSweden (East Kentwood, 2015) had a big night on Friday, scoring consecutive goals in Shreveport’s 4-1 win over Odessa, with his second goal coming on the penalty kill. His Mudbugs teammates also had a productive weekend, as Andrew Lane (Detroit Catholic Central, 2015) assisted on VanSweden’s first goal. Lane picked up another assist in that game, doubling his point total for the season.

In Shreveport’s next game, Jack Clement (Brother Rice, 2017) picked up his fifth point in five games, scoring a power-play goal in the team’s 3-2 shootout win Saturday.

Logan Neaton (Brighton, 2017) got his third start of the season on Saturday; a 3-1 win over Springfield in which the 6-foot-2, 180-pound goalie earned his second victory for the Ice Dogs. Neaton had a smooth night turning away 11-of-12 shots, bringing his goals-against average to 2.33 and .879 save percentage for the season.

Topeka and Lone Star needed overtime Saturday night to break a 1-1 deadlock. However, it took Alex Frye (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 2016) just 12 seconds into the extra frame to break the tie and score the game-winning goal, giving the Roadrunners their fifth win of the season.

Colin Bilek (Brighton, 2015) scored a goal in back-to-back games and added an assist for Northeast. He is currently tied for the league lead with seven goals this season and is one of six Generals averaging a point per game.

Finally, Vince Marino (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 2016) produced his third consecutive multi-point game with a goal and an assist on Friday, leading Brookings to a 6-3 win.

Taking a look at the NCDC for the first time in this series, Hayden Taylor (Detroit Country Day, 2016) scored three goals and five points for the Islanders Hockey Club over the weekend. Taylor has five goals and nine points this season and the Islanders are 5-0-0 when Taylor records a point.

After scoring his first goal of the season last week, Connor Smith (Pinckney, 2016) came back with a three-point performance this week for La Ronge in the SJHL. The Ice Wolves are 1-6-0-1 out of the gate, scoring the fewest goals in the league. So an offensive spark from Smith is coming at a time in which his team needs goal scoring.

Andrew Froese (Traverse City Central, 2016) recorded his second multi-point game of the CCHL season as he picked up a goal and an assist in Nepean’s game on Friday. The right-handed defenseman leads all Raiders blueliners in scoring with four goals and eight points.

Finally, Jake Saxton (Traverse City West, 2015) made his debut for the Soo Eagles, returning for his third season in the NOJHL. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound forward has played more than 100 games in the league and picked up his 79th and 80th career points in his 2017-18 debut on Saturday.

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.