Following a busy holiday season of tournaments, the Great Lakes Hockey League jumps right into the thick of the league schedule with eight games this week. Six of the seven GLHL members are active in league competition this week. Gilmour Academy is the only exception as they host their annual Brother James Memorial Tournament.
Holy Name hosted St. Edward on Tuesday night to kick things off. The Namers were coming off a big win on Saturday night, having beaten the University School Preppers, 3-2, on an overtime goal by sophomore defenseman Brennan Dickey for their first-ever win over US for the Green Wave.
“Two points are huge in this league every game,” said Holy Name head coach Tim Sullivan. “And getting two against University School is like getting three. They are very talented and well coached.”
The came up short at home on Tuesday night, however, losing 5-1 to visiting St. Edward. With the win, the Eagles created a three-way tie for second place in the league standings, although they hold two games in hand on both Holy Name and Gilmour Academy.
It is a busy week for the Eagles, who will also play a home-and-home set with University School that could play a role in shaping the race down the home stretch.
With eight possible league points on the table in a single week, the Eagles have positioned themselves to take a shot at unseating first-place Walsh Jesuit, which they host at Winterhurst on Friday evening. That game will kick off a three-in-three stretch for the Warriors that will give them a shot at solidifying their position atop the league standings.
Lake Catholic won their eighth game of the season on Wednesday, defeating Benedictine 7-2 in a non-league game. The Cougars will go after their first league win Saturday night when they visit Holy Name at Ries Rink.
Senior forward Ethan Whetstone leads US with 25 points (10-15-25)
GILMOUR ACADEMY > Gilmour Academy hosts the Brother James Memorial Tournament this weekend. The Lancers are slated to play Bishop’s College School from Quebec, Bethel Park (PA) and Team Indiana. The event was originally a prep team tournament called the New Year tournament and was started in 2002. “It was renamed the Brother James tournament in honor of long time Holy Cross brother, James Smith who was an avid supporter of all Gilmour sports and enthusiastically took to following hockey which was a new sport at Gilmour in 1997. “With the tournament falling right our long break it gives our team a chance to regain their timing and conditioning against strong non-league competition as we enter the very important month of January,” said Gilmour head coach John Malloy. Toledo St. Francis won the tournament last year and returns to defend their title.
HOLY NAME > The Green Wave went into their home game with St. Edward on Tuesday on a bit of a roll (4-1-1 mark in their last six game), which included three straight one-goal wins. In addition to their OT win over US, they had a pair of 2-1 wins over Gilmour and Meadville (PA). The Namers came up short Tuesday, but it was just their second loss in league play, and they are still in the thick of things this week. Holy Name is part of a three-way tie for second place with St. Edward and Gilmour Academy.
LAKE CATHOLIC > The Lake Catholic Cougars, who have been icing a lineup with 10-11 skaters, made a much-welcomed addition to their lineup over the break adding junior forward Jack Rowell who transferred from Gilmour Academy. “He makes an huge impact for us immediately,” said Lake Catholic head coach Justin Vance. “Any additional skater helps us in terms of depth and rest, but he makes our team better in so many ways at both ends of the ice.” Rowell will is expected to not only make some offensive contributions himself, but facilitate additional production from the existing group. “He is a smart, perceptive player with a lot of skill,” Vance said. “I think he will elevate the guys around him as a natural center”. Two fresh legs could make a big difference for the Cougars, who had some narrow defeats in December. Five of the last seven losses that Lake Catholic has suffered have been by two goals or fewer.
PADUA FRANCISCAN > The 7-1 loss to University School is the only game that Padua played in the two-week period from December 23 to January 5. The Bruins get back at it this weekend, hosting Holy Name Friday evening and visiting Walsh Jesuit Saturday in a rare 11:50 a.m. start...Padua has not scored more than two goals in a game since their last win—a 4-3 overtime victory over Lake Catholic in their December 8 league opener.
ST. EDWARD > St. Edward hosted their annual Eagle Classic this week, posting a 2-0-1 mark with wins over Upper Arlington and New Albany and a 1-1 tie with Shaker Heights. The Eagles are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games and, given that hot stretch, their four league games this week could not have come at a better time.
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL > Two transfers will join the University School forward corps for the second half of the season. Andre Berglund (Gilmour) and Michael Zinamon (Solon) will bolster the US roster and create some competition up front as head coach Andre Lacroix tries to sort out his lines. “I’m going to have to decide between four or five guys who I want to play with them,” Lacroix told the News Herald. “Every year we go through this, and I talk about this all the time. It takes me forever to get the chemistry together, but we’ll get there. We’ll get there.”
WALSH JESUIT > senior forward Steven LeVasseur scored the winning goal in overtime as Walsh Jesuit defeated Rocky River, 2-1, and claimed the trophy at the Greg Shupe Memorial Tournament on December 28. The Warriors went 3-0-1, defeating Rocky River 3-1 in the final game of the round robin and then topping the Pirates again the next day for the championship...LeVasseur has points in 14 of 16 games this season.
It is a pretty rare occurrence to see freshmen lace up the skates at St. Edward—rarer still to see one suit up on defense and have the kind of impact that Tyler Fowles has for the Eagles this season.
Fowles collected three goals and three assists as St. Edward went 2-0-1 at the Eagle Classic over the holidays. For the season, the freshman blue liner has 13 points (7-6-13), playing in all 20 games for the Eagles.
Tyler is a young and extremely tough defenseman who has exceptional ice awareness and instincts,” St. Edward assistant coach Brian Keller said. “Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m watching a freshman.”
After a slow start, St. Edward is on a 11-2-1 run that has seen them climb to #3 in the Ohio High School Hockey coach’s poll as the calendar flips to 2018.
Despite his young age, Fowles has contributed to the turnaround.
“He has brought a scoring touch to our end of the bench that has been fun to watch.” said Keller.
Andrew Tomer, St. Edward (Dec. 8); Andrew Stewart, St. Edward (Dec. 16); Cole Horvath, Lake Catholic (Dec. 20); Jonathan Gabriel, Walsh Jesuit (Dec. 29)
Following a successful playing career that saw him go on to star at Miami (OH) and the National Hockey League, St. Edward graduate Todd Harkins ‘87 turned to player development—a path that has taken him to his current position as general manager of the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League. He was originally hired by the Cougars in 2012 as a regional scout, but was quickly promoted to Head Scout and Director of Player Personnel during the spring of 2013.
Harkins has helped guide the Cougars to three consecutive playoff appearances and in all three seasons the team has experienced major increases in attendance. During Harkins’ third season as GM the Cougars set new records for wins (45), road wins (23) and points (96) en route to their first ever B.C. Division Title.
While attending Miami, Harkins was selected 42nd overall by the Calgary Flames in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. He spent time in the NHL with both the Flames and the Hartford Whalers and also represented the United States three times internationally at the World Championships (1992, 1995 and 1998).
His 11-year professional playing career also included a four-year stint in the German Elite League before retiring in 2001. Following his playing career, Harkins immediately turned his attention to coaching, and found plenty of success with the North Shore Winter Club where he played a key role in developing 11 current NHL players, including Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers), Kyle Turris (Ottawa Senators), Martin Jones (Los Angeles Kings) and Evander Kane (Winnipeg Jets).
Harkins, 49, played the part of Russian hockey legend Valeri Kharlamov in the one-ice scenes in the movie Miracle about the 1980 U. S. Olympic team’s historic win over the Soviet Union at Lake Placid.