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Here 'n there in the NAHL - Junior Hockey News

Published: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013
By: Randy Russon

My 2009 Jeep Liberty is parked in the driveway and the tank is full. But there's a winter storm warning for this area so methinks I should remain in the cozy comfort of my second-floor office and take a late January tour of the North American Hockey League from home.
With 19 games to go on their regular-season schedule, the Michigan Warriors remain in contention for the sixth-and-final playoff spot in the eight-team North Division.
The eighth-place Warriors have 34 points from a record of 14-21-6. That puts them seven points back of both the Port Huron Fighting Falcons and Springfield Jr. Blues and six points behind the Janesville Jets with games in hand on all three teams.
The Warriors can make up much-needed ground this weekend when they travel to Springfield for Friday-Saturday games vs. the Jr. Blues at the Nelson Center.
1994 birth year goalie Trevor Gorsuch, who has shrugged off some early-season struggles and brief demotion to the Battle Creek Revolution of the NA3HL, said the Warriors believe in themselves and will leave nothing on the table as they chase a playoff spot.
"We're a young team but we work really hard and we have really good chemistry," Gorsuch told me on the January 29 edition of the Hockey North Show on ESPN 1400 Radio.
Sources are saying that the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Army Black Knights will shortly announce that they have committed to big winger Alexander Taulien of the Soo Eagles.
Taulien, a 6-foot-4, 205 pound, 1992 birth year from Crystal Lake, Illinois, is among the Eagles scoring leaders this season with 32 points, including 13 goals, in 38 games.
As a player in his last season of junior hockey, the skilled, hardworking, very personable Taulien will head to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in the fall and begin his NCAA career with Army. 
Sparked by a run-and-gun offense featuring Robbie Payne, Luc Boby, Taylor Burden, Danny Hamburg and the newly-acquired Kody Polin, the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings have moved into a first-place tie with the Soo Eagles atop the North Division, one point up on the Jamestown Ironmen.
But not only has Kalamazoo played three more games than both the Soo and Jamestown, the Jr. K-Wings are idle this weekend while both the Eagles and Ironmen are in action.
The Soo plays twice at Jamestown before finishing off a three-game road trip at Johnstown against the always-tough Tomahawks.
While the Soo is away for the three games in three days, Jamestown is home for three. The Ironmen have the two home games against the Soo before playing host to Port Huron.
Thursday's Eagles-Ironmen game will be played at 11:00 in the morning at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
The morning match is being billed as a "School Day Game" promotion as the Ironmen try to appeal to the young fans of Jamestown.
With a record of 6-32-2, the 2012-2013 season has been a disaster for the Odessa Jackalopes under crusty coach Paul Gillis.
The Jackalopes, who will miss the South Division playoffs by a country mile, have traded off several high-end players this season including forward Ryan Doucet, defenceman Tyler Minx and goalie Blake Wojtala to Jamestown, forward Pat Thompson to the Soo, defenceman Austin Ho to Springfield and forward Tyler Cayemberg to the Brookings Blizzard.
In all, a whopping 27 players have either been traded or released by Odessa since the start of the season.
Makes one wonder if Gillis ever had a game plan in the first place.
Coulee Region will most likely miss the Central Division playoffs. The Chill is 18 points out of the fourth-and-final playoff spot with 19 games left in the regular season.
The Chill has lost four straight under interim coach A.J. Degenhardt after winning three of its first five with him at the helm.
In all, Coulee Region is 3-6-0 under Degenhardt after going 8-19-5 with the since-fired John Hamre in charge.
The jury, to be sure, is out on Degenhardt, who some say has a high opinion of himself. But it should be noted that the judge in this case, Chill primary owner Michelle Bryant, has had good things to say to me about the job Degenhardt has done since taking over from Hamre. 
It should also be noted that attendance at Chill home games has improved since Degenhardt replaced Hamre, a fact that Bryant has called "very encouraging."


posted Jan. 30th, 2013 - 11:43am
Billy Bonney says:
It would be nice to see 1500 at JSBA for the game tomorrow morning to show support for the Ironmen.
If the Ironmen can take advantadge of their PP opportunities they should win this game imho.
Coach Dan needs to change up the PP and get traffic in front of the Soo goalie like maybe put Mottiqua there or evan move up big Lansilotti from "D" and put him up there. Not to take away from Dakawa he has done a reealy good job with this Team.

posted Jan. 30th, 2013 - 11:54am
Ken Blake says:
I agree that Daikawa has done a good job esp in his G.M. duties as Randy has stated many times. I think that sometimes he relies on Zink and Gerdes too much these are both star players oh well at least he now have Minx and Doucett to take some of the pressure offa Zink and Gerdes .

posted Jan. 30th, 2013 - 4:33pm
Paul Covach says:
Congrats to Alexander Taulien. Have seem him play and a well deserved committ. A do whatever it takes player. When short on D he did a great job filling in and plays a great power forward game. Good Luck the Covach's wish you the best and are thankful for your committment to serving our country.

posted Jan. 30th, 2013 - 5:22pm
Randy Russon says:

Nice post, man.

Your son, Michael Covach, is a good player in his own right.

If young Covach follows the Taulien approach, his Division 1 day will come too.



posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 5:12am
Dan Loridon says:
I would also like to say congradulations to Alexander Taulin. A fine young man for sure along with a great family. We have known the Taulin's since our playing days in Lansing (U18 AAA). It sure has been a pleasure. All the best to Alexander!

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 7:52am
Randy Russon says:

And your son, Kyle, also a good player with a good upside.

Big weekend for Eagles, beginning this morning, 11 a.m., vs. Jamestown.



posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 11:16am
Tony Prito says:
Odessa needs to bring in a Coach-GM who understands the Junior game and has the College connections to go with it.
I would like to see a guy like Frank Anzalone a Brooklyn guy formerly of Lake Superior State University in the NAHL whether its with Odessa, Coulee Region or Jamestown if Daikahwa leaves.
Randy: would you happen to know where Coach Anzalone is these days?

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 12:07pm
Stephen Heisler says:
Bill Warren would make a lot of sense for Odessa as well...would have been smart to bring Bill down there this season.

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 12:30pm
Randy Russon says:
Soo defeats Jamestown 3-2 in shootout in Thursday morning game before School Day crowd of 1,622 at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 12:33pm
Randy Russon says:

Frank Anzalone now works for the Calgary Flames of the NHL as their NCAA scout.



posted Feb. 1st, 2013 - 5:06pm
John Ogard says:
Congratulations to Alex. His work ethic makes him perfectly suited for the way Coaches Riley and Warde play the game. We remember Alex from his playing days with the Prairie Ridge Wolves, though he had a lot less "meat on his bones" then. I also recall how pleasant it was talking with his Dad along the corner glass, as Alex would come barreling down the right wing and fire off a rocket at Greg.

posted Feb. 1st, 2013 - 5:45pm
Randy Russon says:

Good message, man. Good kid, good player, who is moving up on and, Alex Taulien.

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