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Junior Hockey Roundup

By Craig Peterson, 10/16/17, 11:00AM EDT


One game over the weekend featured five MI-HS alumni, who came out victorious?

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.

In the USHL, Logan Jenuwine (Romeo, 2016) continues producing for the Fargo Force. The NCAA Western Michigan commit scored a big goal in the third period of Friday’s game against Youngstown, tying the game at 2-2. The Force would go on to claim their first win of the season in overtime thanks in part to Jenuwine’s goal.

The Northeast Generals currently have six of the NAHL’s top seven leading scorers, among them being captain Colin Bilek (Brighton, 2015). The ‘97 forward has been a regular mention in The Roundup, but this week proved to be his most productive, as Bilek tallied three assists on Thursday night and then added a goal and two more assists on Sunday for a six-point weekend.

Griffen Sanom (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. 2018) left MI-HS a year early to compete in the NAHL this season, and after nine games with Brookings, he scored the first goal of his junior career. His mark was the lone goal in Brookings’ 4-1 loss on Saturday, but that won’t deter a Blizzard team that currently sits in first place in the central division.

Julian Biondo (Utica Eisenhower, 2015) willed his Lone Star team to two big wins over the weekend. The 5-foot-10 forward had two assists in the Brahmas’ 4-1 win on Thursday and three more assists in Friday’s 3-1 win. Biondo now leads Lone Star in assists (10) and points (13).

Saturday’s matchup between Amarillo and Topeka featured five MI-HS alums in total. Jon Russell (Traverse City Central, 2016) scored his league-leading 10th goal of the season for Amarillo while teammates Brett Abdelnour (University Liggett, 2016) and Jason Brancheau (Wyandotte Roosevelt, 2017) teamed up to assist on the game-tying goal with 2:19 left in regulation.

It was Alex Frye (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 2015) and Austin McCarthy (Manistee, 2017) coming away victorious for Topeka, however, with McCarthy scoring the deciding goal in a shootout.

Shane Kelly (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 2016) scored his first goal of the BCHL season on Friday, as Vernon topped Nanaimo 4-1. The Vipers played five games in the past seven days with Kelly snapping a three-game scoreless drought with his goal.

In the NCDC, Hayden Taylor (Detroit Country Day, 2016) scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season on Friday, as the Islanders won their fourth straight game and eight of their first nine games. Taylor’s six goals also rank second in the league to the leader who has 11.

Connor Smith (Pinckney, 2016) accounted for one-third of his team’s scoring over the weekend. La Ronge has had a tough time scoring goals in the SJHL, producing six goals in three games and getting swept over the weekend. But Smith continues to be a pioneer in the offense, scoring two goals on Thursday, including one that came on the power play.

He has been the CCHL’s leading scorer for the duration of the season thus far, and Sam Knoblauch (U-D Jesuit, 2016) shows no signs of slowing down. The 6-foot, 190-pound winger produced a 10-game point streak earlier in the season and over the weekend, constructed a three-game multi-point streak with three goals and three assists. Knoblauch now has nine goals and 27 points in 18 games.

Thief River Falls exploded in the first period of its SIJHL game on Saturday, scoring five goals in the first 20 minutes. Alec Daman (Chelsea, 2016) helped lead the charge, picking up a goal and an assist in the opening period. He now has two goals and six points in eight games this season.

William Vanderveen (Brother Rice, 2015) picked up two assists in Mississauga’s 3-0 win on Saturday. That snapped the team’s four-game losing streak in the OJHL and with two more helpers to his total, Vanderveen ranks fourth among defensemen with nine assists in 17 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.