Linkorama Returns

Linkorama is back for the season. Hopefully there will be weekly updates by the THG staff keeping you informed of the long list of recruits playing throughout North America. Michigan Tech currently has eight committed recruits playing in the USHL, seven future Huskies in the BCHL, one in the OJHL (Ontario) and three players in High School or Midget Major hockey. Some of them are off to spectacular starts and since this is the first linkorama of the season, there is a lot to cover.

Recruits

Dylan Steman has played in three games so far for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL), scoring two points. In the season opener, Steman scored an empty net goal to seal the 6–3 victory over the Lincoln Stars.

Mark Auk, a teammate of Steman, has played in two games thus far with Cedar Rapids (USHL). He hasn't scored any points but he's a combined plus-5 rating in the RoughRiders' two victories. Auk was also on the roster for the Cedar Rapids game versus Dubuque on Saturday which was suspended after Fighting Saints defenseman Dylan Chanter suffered a seizure during a fight with Corey Petrash.

Brett Boeing has dressed in four games for the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) including the suspended game against his future teammates and Cedar Rapids. Thus far, he has two points, both notched in a 4–0 win over Green Bay where Boeing assisted on the second goal and scored the third.

Jake Jackson was traded this off-season from Waterloo Black Hawks to the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) but hasn't seen much ice time thus far, playing in the season opener with a minus-3 rating. Jackson has an undisclosed injury but should be back in the lineup this coming weekend:

Matthew Roy has played in five of six games thus far for the Indiana Ice (USHL) where he's picked up two assists and is even on the plus/minus. 

Tristan Rostagno made the opening day roster for the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) foregoing his senior year of Wisconsin High School hockey at Arrowhead but has been injured and has yet to play a game. He's currently on injured reserve after having shoulder surgery in June and not eligible to play until November but his return is still up in the air. If everything goes well, he'll be playing for Muskegon before Christmas.

Joe Schuldt played in six of seven games for head coach Cary Eades and the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL). Schuldt should be an important part of the Stampede defense core this season, even if he doesn't put up many points. Schuldt has one point so far but it was an important one, the game winning goal in a 5–4 win over Cedar Rapids, good enough to earn him the 3rd star of the game.

Joel L'Esperance has played in all 5 games thus far for the Tri-City Storm (USHL) and is tied for the team lead with two points. Hopefully L'Esperance will find a scoring touch soon because he also leads the team in shots on goal but has yet to put one in the back of the net.

The BCHL is in full swing and most teams have already played at least a dozen games. Many of Michigan Tech's recruits are off to great starts, as five players rank near the top in scoring for their position. Thus far, Michigan Tech's BCHL recruits as a whole are averaging over a point a game with 42 goals and 46 assists in 83 combined games and the Huskies boast four forwards in the top 15 in scoring. No other program can claim more than one.

Dane Birks is ranked 9th in points among defenseman for the Merritt Centennials (BCHL) and is tied for team lead in assists with seven. In his best performance to date, Birks assisted on three of the Cents' four goals in a 4–3 win over Victoria.

With three committed players, Huskies fans have a ton of interest in what happens with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL). Alex Gillies is the team leader with 20 points and 14 goals so far in 13 games. Those numbers are good enough for 1st in goals and 4th in points for the entire BCHL. Gillies has seven multi-point games has been recognized as one of the three stars of the game five times, including 1st star on three different occasions. His hat trick helped the Silverbacks defeat the Vernon Vipers 6–5 back in September.

Evan Anderson has been hot of late, scoring in each of his last five games for the Silverbacks. Anderson is third on the team in points behind Gillies and Denver recruit Landon Smith with 6 goals and 14 points. The Colorado native has been named a star of the game on four occasions this season including a 1st star for his performance in a 5–1 victory over Trail. Anderson is currently tied for 15th in the league for points. It looks like Salmon Arm has been a great fit for him after slow start to last year with Penticton. If he keeps up this pace, he should eclipse his point total from last year before Thanksgiving.

After a fantastic rookie season last year, goaltender Angus Redmond is off to a slow start for the Silverbacks (BCHL). He's splitting time with New Hampshire recruit Adam Clark and Clark has him beat in just about every category. In seven appearances, Redmond has allowed 4 or more goals four times. In his other three appearances, Redmond has allowed 3 goals and stopped over 95% of his shots. He was recognized as the 1st star of the game for his performance against Vernon in September after allowing 1 goal on 34 shots to help Salmon Arm to a 6–1 win over the Vipers.

The Huskies also have a pretty big interest in the Vernon Vipers (BCHL), where they have commitments from two top-ten scorers in the league. Mason Blacklock, who committed to Michigan Tech in August, has been off to an unbelievable start and is currently averaging a goal per game plus has eight assists in 14 games for the league lead, with 14 goals and 22 points. The 19-year-old forward has had six multi-point games including five multi-goal games and has been honored with six star of the game awards including his 1st star performance in a 4–1 win over the Surrey Eagles where Blacklock scored the last two goals including an unassisted shorthanded goal to give the Vipers a two-goal lead.

Blacklock's teammate, Demico Hannoun, is off to a good start too, averaging more than a point per game including five goals, good enough for second on the team and 10th in the BCHL. Hannoun has five multi-point games and earned the 2nd star of the game on three occasions, including sharing star of the game with Blacklock in a 6–3 win over Trail last weekend. Hannoun notched four points including the first goal for Vernon, while Blacklock scored twice including the game winner. Alex Petan's younger cousin was also recognized for a 2nd star in Vernon's 3–1 win over Penticton in his "best performance of the year" after scoring two assists.

Jake Kauppila started off his BCHL career with a bang, scoring a power play goal and adding an assist to earn the 2nd star of the game but his team, the Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL) couldn't stop Langley and lost the game 4–3. The Illinois native is tied for fourth on the team in points with seven through 15 games including two power play goals. It's a good start for Kauppila after making the transition from Coulee Region and the NAHL.

Trevor Cope is the only future Husky currently playing in the OJHL, for Wellington. He made the move out to Ontario after spending last year with the Langley Rivermen (BCHL). The change of scenery has been good for Cope, who is averaging a point per game through his first 11 games for the Dukes. Cope has four goals and seven assists and is fifth on the team in both categories. The Michigan native has been recognized as a star of the game twice. He earned a 2nd star after tallying two points and scoring a goal during the shootout to help lift the Dukes past Whitby, 5–4. Cope also was recognized as the 1st star in a 4–0 win over Stouffville for extending their lead with a huge power play goal.

Jake Gingell committed to Michigan Tech in September after a good showing in Omaha Lancers' USHL camp but he returned to Michigan and has two assists in five games for Victory Honda (Midget AAA).

Mitch Reinke will return to play his senior year for Stillwater (USHS–MN), but currently he is playing for Team Northeast in the Upper Midwest Elite League. In 19 games, the defenseman has 1 goal and 12 assists and Team Northeast is in first place.

Travis Brown will also return to play for his high school team, Rogers (USHS–MN), as a junior. He's also currently on an Elite League roster, playing for Team Northwest. The defenseman has 4 goals and 6 assists with the 3rd place Team Northwest and was nominated for play of the week:

Alumni will have to wait until next week since that was a lot to digest.

Other Items

The Mel Pearson Show is broadcast live every Monday at 10:00 AM on 93.5FM WKMJ and available to download from MichiganTechHuskes.com later in the day. If you would like to listen to this audio and more, subscribe to the Huskies RSS feed by going here and following the instructions. Tech Hockey Guide is no longer able to provide a clean link the entire show but is working hard to remedy this soon and hopefully it will be resolved before November. Check back later.

Michael Bleach (@michaelbleach) is the new Michigan Tech hockey beat writer for The Daily Mining Gazette. Bleach had a column on Tuesday, It's gonna be all right.

Michigan Tech Hockey's weekly video segment called "In The Crease" has returned and here is a link to Episode 1 from October 10.

Polls and Rankings*

Polls: USCHO.com Poll (NR 4) , USA Today Poll (NR) Computers: KRACH Rankings (14), Pairwise Rankings (NA), USHSHO.com (NA)

*Michigan Tech's ranking and their change in ranking from the previous week is in parentheses †Not updated yet; we'll update the link when it becomes available