Blackhawks

Birthday boy lifts Gators to upset

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Birthday boy lifts Gators to upset

Friday, Sept. 9, 2011
Posted: 11:22 p.m.
By Dick Quagliano
YourSeason.com

Crystal Lake Souths Brad Walovitch made it a birthday to remember Friday in Cary.Walovitch, who turned 18 on Friday, blasted a51-yard field goal with 6.1 seconds left to help the Gators edge No. 10Cary-Grove 10-7.It was the best birthday present ever, saidWalovitch, who had shanked a 52-yard field goal just minutes earlierand had not made a field goal this year, missing three last week.I didnt feel any pressure. I knew if we missed,there was still overtime. I really didnt think I hit it good. But itwas straight and just went over.Crystal Lake South coach Chuck Ahsmann never gaveit a second thought about going for a field goal. Even after the Gatorswere penalized for illegal motion just prior to the kick moving it froma 46-yarder to 51-yards.I have a lot of faith in him, Ahsmann said. Thereal issue was that we have a new long snapper and holder. But they dida good job on the one we missed and this one was perfect.Walovitchs play was set up by a fake punt and a 16-yard run for first down Reese Dziedzic with just over a minute to play. We knew the game would come down to turnovers and special teams, Ahsmann said. And we won the battle of special teams.Cary-Grove (2-1, 0-1 Fox Valley Valley) took advantage of a second quarter fumble to take a 7-0 halftime lead.Andrew Sobeski outmuscled two Crystal Lake Southplayers to recover the ball at the Gators 16. On the next play, RyanMahoney scampered around the left end and dove into the end zone to putthe Trojans up 7-0 with 8:18 left in the first half.Crystal Lake South (3-0, 1-0), which struggled offensively in the firsr half, found their stride late in the third quarter.Austin Fowler threw a 9-yard touchdown pass toDziedzic with 11:09 to play to cap a 5-play, 45-yard drive whichincluded a 32-yard pass to Walovitch.Fowler, who was once a fourth-string quarterbackon the freshman team three years ago, got the start on Friday. Ahsmannmoved former starter Brendan Chrystal to help shore uip the defense.It was great to get to start, Fowler said. And even better to get a win.Crystal Lake Souths defense held the Trojans incheck. Led by Brandon Madoni, Brandon Mitchell, Steve Forner, BostonMatthews, Eric Johnson, Joe Coriaci and Chrystal the Gators allowedjust 94 yards of offense.I was really proud of the way we played defensively, Ahsman said. Its tough to stop an option offense like theirs.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 189 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"Kotkaniemi has been a top-six forward for his league team in Finland all season and had a very solid U18 season relative to his historical peers in the league. He has very good hands that are high-end, if not flashing elite. He can make very skilled plays off an entry, but what impresses me is how well he can control the puck and keep plays alive."

NHL player comparable:

Fit for Blackhawks:

There isn't a player that has climbed the rankings in such a short amount of time than Kotkaniemi, who was initially projected to go outside the top 10 but could go as high as No. 3 overall. It's likely because there aren't many high-end centers in this draft, and he's the top one.

If Kotkaniemi happens to slip to No. 8, it may be hard for the Blackhawks to pass up on him. He's versatile, too, which is always a bonus, especially when playing under Joel Quenneville. But if they view him as a center, here's how the Blackhawks would look down the middle: Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Kotkaniemi and Artem Anisimov.

Um, yeah. That'll work.