Mr. Tom Desana
Yack Ice Arena
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.
We take our first look at the MJAHL this week, as Campbell Balk (Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 2016) is riding a four-game point streak for Yarmouth. The 5-foot-11 forward has two goals and 11 points for the Mariners who are tied for first place in the EastLink South division.
Another first glance this season, the El Paso Rhinos started the season 27-0-0 in the WSHL thanks in large part to three MI-HS alums. Phil Pugliese (Trenton, 2015), Jake Kopinski (Royal Oak, 2015) and Austin Simpson (Southgate Anderson, 2015) have combined for 32 of the Rhinos’ 167 goals. Simpson and Pugliese rank second and third on the team in scoring with 42 and 41 points respectively, while Kopinski has added 10 points from the blue line.
Over in the NAHL, Logan Neaton (Brighton, 2017) continues to ride a hot streak in net having won six consecutive starts for Fairbanks. He picked up back-to-back wins on Friday and Saturday, allowing four goals on 30 total shots. Neaton now has a .917 save percentage and a 1.67 goals against average that ranks second in the league.
Connor McGinnis (Detroit Country Day, 2017) tallied an assist in Minot’s 6-2 win on Friday, that gives him three points in his last four games. The 6-foot-2 defenseman has two goals and six points in 25 games for the Minotauros.
Shreveport teammates Ryan Burnett (Detroit Catholic Central, 2015) and Andrew Lane (Detroit Catholic Central, 2015) posted monster weekends as the Mudbugs rolled to two dominant wins over Amarillo. Burnett totaled one goal and four assists while Lane added three assists, as the the two were in on eight of Shreveport’s nine goals over the weekend.
Shawn O’Malley (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 2015) posted not one, but two multi-point games in the BCHL last weekend. On Friday, he picked up a goal and an assist in Victoria’s 9-4 win and followed that up with another goal and assist when the team beat Powell River 7-4 on Saturday. O’Malley has four goals and 16 points in 24 games for the Grizzlies.In the USHL, Quinn Preston (Trenton, 2015) had a big weekend for Dubuque, scoring two goals and an assist on Friday, including this one to get things started for the Saints…
With a three-point game against Madison, the NCAA Ohio State commit now has seven goals and 12 points in 18 games for the Saints.
The 2016 Mr. Hockey Award winner, Logan Jenuwine (Romeo, 2016) was heavily involved in the action on Friday as well. The NCAA Western Michigan commit had a goal and an assist for Fargo in its 5-3 win over Waterloo, posting back-to-back multi-point games for the first time this season.
Shifting to the AJHL, Connor Jean (Brother Rice, 2015) assisted on three goals in the Brooks Bandits’ 8-2 win on Friday. With his sixth multi-point game, Jean has surpassed his point total from a season ago, now with 11 goals and 26 points -- two more than he had all of 2016-17.
Nick Blankenburg (Romeo, 2016) has picked up a point in three consecutive games for Okotoks. The rookie forward has eight goals and 20 points in 31 games for the Oilers that sit in first place in the Viterra AJHL South division.
The CCHL has had a wealth of streaky players this season and Joel Frazee (Wyandotte Roosevelt, 2016) is no exception. With a goal and an assist on Sunday, Frazee has mounted a seven-game point streak -- his longest of the season -- and boosted his season totals to 11 goals and 19 points.
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.