Delbarton Prep senior Peter McMullen had to be grinning ear-to-ear when he woke up Monday morning.
That because the 6-foot-2, 200-pound center scored two goals, including the decisive tally 4:41 into overtime to bring the Morristown, N.J., school a dramatic 3-2 victory over St. Augustine in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association's Non-Public championship less than 24 hours earlier.
McMullen, who was rated No. 144 on NHL's Central Scouting mid-term rankings, is the grandson of the late John McMullen -- the man responsible for bringing professional hockey to the Garden State in 1982. He finished the season as the leading scorer for the state's No. 1-ranked team, with career-highs in goals (25) and points (45).
A crowd of 7,310 witnessed the thrilling finish.
|Delbarton All-state defenseman Matt Killian|
"To be honest I just let it go," McMullen told Paul Bruno of The Star-Ledger. "I didn't have time to think, so I really just turned and shot and I put it up near his left shoulder. It was really a great play by my teammates."
Delbarton pulled into a 2-2 tie when All-State defenseman Matt Killian, the top-rated (No. 77, CSS) draft-eligible player in New Jersey, converted a three-on-two breakout with just 2:10 remaining in regulation. Killian (6-1, 191), who finished the season with 8 goals and 27 points, will attend Yale in September. The game was the first Non-Public final to go to OT since 2005, when Christian Brothers earned a 2-1 victory over Delbarton on a goal by current Philadelphia Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk.
In the Public A Final on Sunday, Randolph scored a 1-0 victory over Montgomery on Matt Kral's 25th goal of the season with 3:41 left in the third period. The title was Randolph's fourth in the last six seasons and fifth overall.
In the Public B Final, junior forward Danny Casey (38 goals) registered a natural hat trick during a four-goal second period to lead Chatham to a 7-3 victory over Middletown South. The championship was the first for Chatham since 1976.
Less than 24 hours after leading Eden Prairie to its second Minnesota state championship in three seasons on a goal in triple overtime, center Kyle Rau was named the Mr. Hockey Award recipient as the state's finest player on Sunday during a ceremony in the Grand Ballroom at RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minn.
Rau, 18, scored the game-winner at 4:43 of the third OT in Saturday's Class 2A boys' hockey championship game at Xcel Energy Center -- site of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on June 24-25. Rau's head-first dive to poke home a rebound enabled the Eagles to score a 3-2 triumph over Duluth East, marking the first time in 67 years that the state final went to three overtime periods.
Following the game, Duluth East coach Mike Randolph saluted Rau and his dedication.
"(Eden Prairie) has the best player in high school hockey, Mr. Hockey in my mind, (and he) scored the winner," Randolph told the Star Tribune. "I have nothing but respect for that kid. He could go anywhere he wanted, and he stayed in high school hockey. And he got rewarded (in the state final)."
There's a good chance Rau, who was rated No. 176 on NHL Central Scouting's mid-term report of North American skaters, will hear his name called at some point during the second day of this year's Entry Draft in his home state.
It certainly wouldn't surprise NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee.
"When the puck comes to him, he executes," Barzee told NHL.com just last week. "When the game is on the line, he scores the big goal -- he's done it over and over again. In fact, I've only seen him taken out of a game once (against Eagan on Dec. 22 when he had a season-high 4 penalty minutes)."
If Rau, born in Hoffman Estates, Ill., could compare himself to any NHL player, he'd say Philadelphia Flyers forward Daniel Briere. His favorite player, however, is Chicago's Patrick Kane. On his dramatic triple-overtime winner, he dived to get a stick on a rebound of a shot taken by his twin brother, Curt, from the point. The puck got behind goaltender JoJo Jeanetta and Rau won the race before knocking it over the goal line.
"Rau has a sneakiness about him and a dynamic hockey sense where he's able to out-guess and out-think people," Barzee said.
In 25 regular season games, Rau produced 33 goals, 36 assists, 69 points (2.76 point per game) and a plus-24 rating. In three sectional playoff contests, he had 3 goals, 5 points and a plus-3 rating and in three more state tournament matches, notched 5 goals, 7 points (2.33 ppg.) and a plus-3 rating.
The University of Minnesota-bound standout totaled 41 goals, 40 assists, 81 points (2.61 ppg.) and a plus-30 rating in 31 games in 2010-11.
The top scholastic player in the nation, Wayzata's Mario Lucia (No. 30 on Central Scouting), whose team was defeated by Eden Prairie in the sectional championship game, isn't surprised Rau garnered the Mr. Hockey Award.
"He doesn't do the skill moves but he's a hard worker and never stops moving his feet, shooting the puck all the time," Lucia told NHL.com. "He goes to the net. You always need to watch out for him in the slot."
Lucia, who finished with 30 goals, 24 assists, 54 points (2.00 ppg.) and a plus-34 rating in 27 games with Wayzata this season, isn't eligible for the Mr. Hockey Award since he's only a junior. Lucia, the son of University of Minnesota head coach Don Lucia, had 5 goals (2 game-winners), 7 points and a plus-8 rating in three sectional playoff games -- Wayzata lost a 4-3 double-OT decision to Eden Prairie on a Rau goal in the final.
The Mr. Hockey Award is given to the outstanding senior high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota and is selected by a panel of National Hockey League Scouts, Division I coaches and selected media members from around the state.
The top 10 candidates for the 2011 Mr. Hockey Award were Josh Archibald (Brainerd High School), Ben Bahe (Hill-Murray), Jon Brodzinski (Blaine High School), Tony Cameranesi (Wayzata High School), Patrick Daly (Benilde-St. Margaret's), Max Everson (Edina High School), Steven Fogarty (Edina High School), Garrett Hendrickson (Virginia High School), Joe LaBate (Academy of Holy Angels) and Rau.
Rau (Minnesota), Daly (Wisconsin), Everson (Harvard), Fogarty (Notre Dame), Hendrickson (St. Cloud), Archibald (Nebraska-Omaha), Labate (Wisconsin) and Cameranesi (Minnesota-Duluth) all have college commitments. Labate was rated No. 60 by Central Scouting, followed by Everson (No. 81), Fogarty (No. 132), Cameranesi (No. 160) and Rau (No. 176).
Lake of the Woods' Alex Lyon was named the Brimsek Award winner as the state's top goaltender.
Lyon, rated No. 20 by Central Scouting among domestic goalies, finished 17-7-3 with a 1.60 GAA, six shutouts and .945 save percentage in 27 games. He was 1-1-0 with a 3.03 GAA and .943 save percentage in two state sectional tournament games.
Lyon, who will likely play in the USHL with Cedar Rapids in 2011-12, beat out Eden Prairie's Andrew Ford, who was also nominated for the award as the top senior keeper.
Ford finished the regular season 19-4-2 with a 2.27 GAA, four shutouts and a .900 save percentage in 25 contests. In his team's three-game sweep to the state title, Ford went 3-0-0 with a 1.20 GAA, .943 save percentage and one shutout.
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The Ontario Hockey League released the results of its Coaches Poll for the Eastern and Western conferences on Friday.
Among the winners were several 2011 Entry Draft-eligible prospects, including Eastern Conference forward Ryan Strome of the Niagara IceDogs. Strome, is No. 19 among North American skaters in NHL's Central Scouting's mid-term rankings of the top North American skaters available for the draft.
Strome received first-place selections in three categories, including Most Improved Player and Best Playmaker, while tying Boston Bruins prospect Ryan Spooner of the Kingston Frontenacs as the Best Stickhandler. Shane Prince of the Ottawa 67's was second to Strome in the Most Improved Player and Best Playmaker categories. Prince, incidentally, is No. 35 on Central Scouting's list.
Strome's teammate, defenseman Dougie Hamilton, also was honored.
Hamilton, No. 7 on the Central Scouting's list, was named the Best Skater and Best Offensive Defenseman, and placed third in the Best Defensive Defenseman category. Overall, the IceDogs had 12 players represented in the top three in 16 categories, followed by the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors with 10 players.
Over in the West, No. 10 Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers placed in four categories, including a first-place finish as Best Skater. He was second to Nashville Predators prospect Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires as Smartest Player and Best Offensive Defenseman, and finished second to Colorado Avalanche prospect Joey Hishon of the Owen Sound Attack as Best Stickhandler.
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds speedster and No. 43-rated Daniel Catenacci, who won the faster skater competition at the Top Prospects Skills Competition in January, finished third in the Best Skater category.
No. 42-ranked Vincent Trocheck of the Saginaw Spirit finished second in the Best on Face-Offs category and the No. 1-rated North American in the mid-term rankings, Gabriel Landeskog of Kitchener, finished second in the Best Body Checker category.
The Rangers and Attack had nine players represented in the top three of the 16 categories to lead all Western Conference clubs.
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It was like a slap in the face. I just wanted to get a goal and score. Good thing we got the win and the two points. That's all that matters.