Monday, December 29, 2008

USA wins second; U17 Challenge begins

Team USA opened up a 4-1 lead against the Czech Republic, then hung on for 4-3 win at the WJCs in Ottawa. Colin Wilson assisted on Team USA’s first goal, as did Kevin Shattenkirk, who later added a second assist. We have a recap from USA Hockey, along with USA Hockey’s blog and game notes. Tournament results and standings.

The victory was Team USA’s 100th in the history of the WJC tournament. Yesterday’s reported attendance, 19,847, was the largest ever for a WJC game.

► Play begins today in the World U17 Challenge in British Columbia, where 2010 recruit Yasin Cissé will be skating for Quebec against Canada West.

► Future fields for the Great Lakes Invitation Tournament have been announced and BU will be completing with Michigan, Michigan State and Michigan Tech in the 2010 event.

New England Hockey Journal’s profile of longtime Avon Old Farms coach John Gardner looks at his decision to recruit current Terrier sophomore Nick Bonino when others voiced doubts:

Bonino (Unionville, Conn.) was an interesting story, a kid who almost didn’t make the stop at Avon. He was playing Division 2 hockey in Farmington, Conn., the next town over from Avon and not a lot of people saw what Gagnon and Gardner saw in him.

“I watched him play one time when he played Avon High School in our rink,” Gardner said. ”I thought, ‘That kid is really intriguing. He doesn’t skate well, he doesn’t move around much. He’s tall and skinny and he’s got Gretzky-like hands and if you teach him how to skate …”

Bonino signed on. Not everyone was convinced.

“People said, ˜That kid’s not going to play for you. He’s not your
type of player,” Gardner recalled. “Yeah, but he’s got hands. He’s got things you can’t teach.”

Plus, Bonino was willing to work hard and the skating and the leg strength and his game came along.

“I just loved him,” said the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Bonino, who graduated from Avon in 2007. “He was a great guy. Real funny. He’s obviously a great coach and I was fortunate to play for him.”

Now, Bonino is at BU and he’s been drafted by the San Jose Sharks. His future is mighty bright.

“You get a few guys like that and it certainly makes coaching fun,” Gardner said.

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