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Calumet Hockey Association

Calumet's Ben Johnson signs with Albany

Johnson Auditions for AHL Devils

Calumet High School alum Ben Johnson made his professional debut last weekend after signing an amateur tryout contract with the American Hockey League Albany Devils Thursday.

Johnson made his first appearance with the New Jersey Devils' AHL affiliate wearing No. 36 in a 1-0 overtime loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday night and then played the following night in a 4-3 loss at Adirondack. Johnson was credited with two shots on goal Saturday and six Sunday but recorded no other stats.

Albany has five regular season games remaining over the next two weekends.

If the Devils do not offer him an entry-level professional contract before the 2014-15 season (which would result in their losing his draft rights), Johnson can retain the eligibility to return to Major Junior, where he just finished his third OHL season and has played in 199 career regular season and postseason games, as one of three overage (20-year-old) players.

Johnson had 28 goals and 25 assists in 59 regular season games for Windsor. He had four goals and two assists as the Spitfires were swept out of the playoffs by London in the first round in late March. He was the only Windsor player to score more than once in the series and his six points in four games doubled that of anyone else on the team.

Article Courtesy of the Daily Mining Gazette.

Ben Storm Helps Lead St. Cloud State Into The NCAA Elite 8

It was a day of possibilities for Ben Storm, but he did all he could to not think about potentially being selected in the NHL Draft.

Instead of traveling to New Jersey to attend the 2013 draft or watch it on television for hours with no guarantee his name would be called, Storm decided to hit up a local golf course to help him avoid thinking about the league's annual amateur selection event.

Ben Storm

"I knew I had a chance to get drafted, and I kind of wanted to keep my mind off of it all day," Storm said. "I went golfing with a couple of buddies that day, [to] try and keep my mind off it."

Several hours into the draft and in the sixth round the Colorado Avalanche used its 153rd pick on Storm. Despite being over 1,000 miles away, it didn't take long for Storm to hear the news.

"I got done with my round, and I started to get text messages and calls from all my friends and family," Storm said. "I had no idea until I looked at the TV and saw my name on there. I was pretty pumped."

Prior to the draft Storm had already made a commitment to play college hockey with the St. Cloud State University Huskies for the 2013-14 campaign. In fact, he was already in St. Cloud, Minn., participating in offseason workouts when draft day came on June 30.

The first thing that stands out about Storm, a defenseman, is his size. At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, he is the tallest player on his SCSU squad and is tied for the tallest in the Avalanche organization with Patrick Bordeleau.

When it comes to big hockey players, especially big defensemen, skating ability can sometimes be a bit of a concern. Storm said his skating is an area of his game that he has been specifically working on, doing lateral and footwork drills to help improve it.

"As a big guy, I need to continue to work on my skating," Storm said Jan. 11 after his team lost 5-2 at the University of Denver to close out a weekend series in the Avalanche's backyard.

Storm's skating is something he will continue to work on, but his coaches said they were happy with his progression midway through his freshman season.

"His skating, for his size, is very good," St. Cloud State assistant coach Garrett Raboin said. "He just has to use his quickness to get to the corner, and that's where the confrontation happens and he can use his body."

The 19 year old is more of a defensive defenseman and likely won't be counted on to score a lot of points in his hockey career. He had 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) with Muskegon of the USHL in 2012-13 and only had one assist through 30 games this season with the Huskies. Yet, he did have a respectable minus-6 rating and only 14 penalty minutes in his first college season.

"My role is to be a good penalty killer, play good solid defense, play offense when I can," Storm said, "but most importantly play good defense and keep the puck out of our net."

Storm helped St. Cloud State to a 21-10-5 record this season and the inaugural National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular-season title. However, SCSU stumbled in the playoffs as it lost to Miami (OH) in the first round of the NCHC Tournament.

The Huskies still qualified for an at-large bid to the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament as a No. 3 seed in the West Regional and will begin the national tournament Saturday against No. 2 seed Notre Dame (7 p.m. MT, ESPNU). Despite the lower seed, St. Cloud State may have home-ice advantage with the game being played at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., just 74 miles from the school's campus.

If SCSU can defeat Notre Dame and then pick up a win against either No. 1 overall Minnesota or No. 4 seed Robert Morris in the regional final on Sunday, the Huskies would advance to the Frozen Four in Philadelphia from April 10-12. The Huskies made their first appearance in the national semifinals last year.

The addition of Storm this season has helped head coach Bob Motzko bolster his back end, and Storm's ability to make good passes out of his zone and play smart physically has aided SCSU to its 10th appearance at nationals.

"He has real good hands, and he's got athletic ability. We want him to make some plays with the puck," Motzko said of Storm in January. "We're not going to ask him to throw bombs down the rink, but he can make A-to-B (passes), breaking the puck out, getting us into transition, and he has showed us that. We want him to develop a really solid transition game with the puck, and he has to become a real physical, imposing defensive player because of his size. He needs to get some nastiness to his game, and those are the two main areas we are going to focus with him."

Ben Storm while with the Muskegon Lumberjacks during the 2012-13 season (Credit: USHL).

Rick Pracey, the Avalanche's director of amateur scouting, said after the team selected the big-body defenseman that Storm was a work in progress and that he expected him to play four years of college hockey.

"In conversations with Joe [Sakic] and Patrick [Roy], to get some of these players at the National Hockey League you have to take some chances at the draft day, and this was one of those situations," Pracey said of Storm during a July 1, 2013 news conference at Pepsi Center. "There’s a development curve here as well. We have a four-year time period at the NCAA level… There will be a time component with this player, but we’re curious to see where he goes and size was the major draw.”

Storm has faced the typical ups and downs of a freshman hockey player as he adjusted to the college game this season. After playing at Calumet High School in Michigan and only one season in U.S. junior before coming to St. Cloud, Storm said he knows it is a process to have success at the NCAA level.

"There has been some bumps on the road, but I feel that I'm getting better every day," Storm said. "Each week I try and get better."

This week, he'll try and help his team to two wins and a trip back to college hockey's final four.

Article Courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche

Calumet Colosseum Celebrating Its 100th Anniversary

The Calumet Colosseum is up and running for the 2013-14 season, and those in the rink will notice something a little special: A 100-year anniversary icon.
That’s 100 years of stories, memories and legendary hockey. 
The Colosseum first opened its doors during the 1913-14 season. It is the oldest indoor ice rink that’s still in use in the United States. 
There will be many celebrations of the rink’s century of history this year, check back to www.calumethockey.org throughout the season to find out about any and all activities at the rink. We will also be creating a Centennial Page in the next week or two for all information on the Centennial Celebration.
In the meantime, check out this great article from the USA Hockey Magazine last year titled “100 years young: Calumet Colosseum”.  The article was written by Calumet-native Craig Stancher for USA Hockey Magazine.

Calumet's Ben Storm taken in NHL Draft

Calumet High School alum Ben Storm became just the eighth Copper Country hockey player taken in the National Hockey League draft since 1968 when the Colorado Avalanche selected him Sunday.

Storm, a 6-foot-6, 216-pound defenseman, was selected with the 153rd overall pick, the second of the sixth round.

Storm has committed to play college hockey at St. Cloud (Minn.) State University and played last season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League, where he had two goals and 10 assists in 52 games.

The Laurium native, 19, played in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects game on Jan. 23, where he had an assist. He was not listed on NHL Central Scouting's list of top draft-eligible North American skaters.

Storm played three seasons with CHS and was named to the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association all-class Dream Team in 2012 after a season of 15 goals and 20 assists.

Indicative of his all-around athletic abilities, Storm was the 2011 All-U.P. Class ABC Defensive Player of the Year for the Copper King football team and a Division 5-6 Associated Press All-State punter.

It is the second consecutive year an ex-Copper King has been drafted and fifth time overall. The New Jersey Devils took Ben Johnson in the third round, 90th overall, last year. Two other CHS alumni, Mike Usitalo (Los Angeles, 1972) and Gordie Frantti (Philadelphia, 1988) were sixth-round selections, while Brad Mattson was taken in a supplemental round in 1989 by the New York Islanders.

The Avalanche have picked from the Copper Country before. They drafted Houghton native Jeff Finger in the eighth round in 1999.

Daily Mining Gazette Article
Mile High Hockey (Avalance) Article
Muskegon Lumberjacks Article

Volunteer Sign-Up

Calumet Hockey is using the DIBS system to schedule and manage our volunteer opportunities. To get started, please do the following:

STEP 1:  CLICK HERE to activate your volunteer account.  This activation prepares your TST Account to become a user of the Volunteer Tool.  Concession hours at the Gipp Arena for mites will be scheduled independently. When registering, please do not count the skaters in your family that are mites.

STEP 2: CLICK HERE to start choosing opportunities that Calumet Hockey has available.

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