Chowder Cup
By Valerie Stevens

The TPH Prospects team, put together by former NHL defenseman and German National Team coach Uwe Krupp, will compete in the Jr. Chowder Cup tournament in
Massachusetts. The tournament, which is  held July 6-9 in Foxboro and Walpole, Mass., is heavily scouted by prep schools, junion teams, colleges and the ECHL. The Prospects will have a distinct international flavor, with three of the top 16-year-olds in Germany flying in for the tournament. 

Krupp, who has spent several seasons on the coaching staff of the German National Junior Team, is fresh off a winning run as the head coach of the German National Team at the World Championships (B Pool). Familiar with Germany’s improving talent pool Krupp released 10 players who represented Germany in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, and replaced them with former Junior National Team players. 

With an average age of 22, the revamped German National Team outscored its B pool opponents 34-4 to win a slot against the U.S. and Canada in the A Pool at next year’s IIHF World Championships.

Talented, young German players are now beginning to explore possibilities in North America, something they wouldn’t have considered in the past.
 
“Events like the Chowder Cup give us a chance and a forum to bring over some of the younger German players.  It is a fairly new concept to German hockey, to explore options like juniors and college,” said Krupp.

Rick Boehm, head coach for the German U-17 National Team and a Saskatchewan native, helped coordinate efforts to get the players to the U.S. Two of them play for Boehm in the Deutsche Nachwuchs Liga, the premier German league for players 15 to18 years old. Simon Fishhaber, a center, and Florian Strobl, a wing, both play for Bad Toelz.  Jerome Flaake, a center with Mannheim, is a familiar face to Krupp, having spent two weeks at Krupp’s Atlanta home in 2004.

 

 

 

“All three players were on the U-16 National team and will be returning with the U-17s for a tournament in Rochester (Minnesota or New York?) in August. They played well for Germany in the Five Nations Tournament in March,” said Krupp.

“I think it is very important for young German players to look at their options in North America.  Jerome was here before and skated in a clinic (Washington Capitals assistant coach) Jay Leach put on.

Those types of visits are very important to simply get them familiar to the idea of hockey outside of the traditional German system.” 

Assisting Krupp on and off the ice will be his son, Bjorn, who is returning to the USA Hockey Select 15s. Bjorn, who has dual citizenship, will help the German players communicate with their new teammates.

TPH Prospects figured to be an interesting squad to watch even before the influx of German skaters. The roster includes seven current and former USA Hockey Select Festival attendees and several returning players from the 16U Thunder hockey squad that last year became the first USA Hockey Southeastern District team to advance to the quarterfinals at Tier I Nationals. 

“I am very excited about this team,” said Krupp. “We have so many players returning home from prep school, like Hunter Brown (Avon Old Farms), Wes Ollom and Tyler Wedddington (Culver Academies), Preston Wanamaker (St. Louis Lightning of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League).  It gives me a chance to work with many Southeastern District players that I haven’t had a chance to spend much time with.

“There are a lot of Atlanta area boys, like Zach Sandonato (two time Select Festival invitee) and Kyle Lysaght (attending Kent this fall) that I  wanted to see play together. It really lets us get the area players together with something a little extra.  Events like this are what the summer is made for.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

www.Centericemagazine.com

Copyright © 2006 All Rights Reserved