Thursday, June 3, 2010

Back on the grid

Of course, there would be some hockey news while PucKato took a well-deserved vacation. Here's a recap ...

It looks like Minnesota State has its third goalie, as Evan Karambelas (pictured) committed to the Mavericks over the weekend. Karambelas, a Fort Saint John, B.C., native, ranked fourth in the North American Hockey League, going 22-4-1 for the Topeka Roadrunners with a 2.27 goals-against average. The 21-year-old is another big goalie, standing 6-foot-2, 205 pounds (Phil Cook and Austin Lee are both 6-3).

Western College Hockey Blog got some good info from the NHL Draft Combine last week, including news from a source "involved in the interview process" who confirmed that MSU's Tyler Pitlick is indeed leaving school and going to the Western Hockey League's Medicine Hat Tigers. No surprise here, of course, but it is the first time we've heard something that sounds definitive about the potential first-round pick. The Pitlick story isn't exactly Watergate, but ... The draft will begin on June 25.

There was a question about the Mavericks bringing in more players for next season. By my count, MSU will have a full 28 players on its roster, including three goalies (Cook, Lee, Karambelas), eight defensemen (Cooper, Youds, Elbrecht, Mosey, Davis, Boe, Nelson, Heath) and 17 forwards (Louwerse, Galiardi, Jokinen, Dorr, Sackrison, Thompson, Mueller, Hayes, Schiller, Peterson, Zuck, Burkemper, Grant, Leitner, Lehrke, Leivermann, McInnis). So it seems unlikely that anyone else is coming in at this time.

Philadelphia made it a series against Chicago in the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night, winning 4-3 in OT. Ex-Mav Jon Kalinski likely was in the press box watching the win. He was called up by the Flyers during the playoffs and is practicing with the team in hopes of getting a sniff. Although it seems unlikely that he will play, stranger things have happened. Remember Ryan Carter? He get called up until the 2007 playoffs and played just 2:45 of Finals time. But that was more than enough time to get his name engraved on the Cup. Anyway, here's a story on Kalinski's experience so far.

In other MSU alumni news, Travis Morin will be playing for the Calder Cup, the American Hockey League championship, starting tonight. Morin plays fro the Texas Stars, who are taking on the Hershey Bears. Morin, a 26-year-old AHL rookie who spent the last two-plus years in the ECHL, had 52 points in 80 games during the regular season and has 13 points in 18 playoff games so far.

In more not-so-surprising news, Wisconsin junior defenseman Brendan Smith signed with the Detroit Red Wings, forgoing his senior season with the Badgers.

Not sure if I had this before but should report that Mankato East standout Dan Billiar will play D-III college hockey at St. Mary's of the MIAC next season.

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