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Meet The Combatants: Brick Tourney Team Profiles

By  on July 08, 2011

By Adam Dunfee /

The best North American hockey players born in 2001 and after are in Edmonton, July 4 to 10 for the 22nd Annual Brick Invitational Super Novice Hockey Tournament. Get up to speed on all 12 teams competing with Hockey Now’s team reports…


With the tournament being held at the West Edmonton Mall, Team Brick Alberta is essentially the home team and coach Eric Morrissette says that does add extra pressure. In year’s past, though, that pressure hasn’t gotten to Alberta as they’ve won three of the last five Brick tournaments.


With a stronger offence in place, the Montreal Ice Storm are looking for improved results at this year’s Brick tournament. Last year, the Ice Storm went 1-3-1 and failed to make it past the round robin. Leading the offensive charge are forwards Xavier Parent, Jakob Pelletier and Samuel Poulin. Former NHLer Patrick Poulin will be the Ice Storm’s head coach.


The California 2001s have two players from last year’s Brick team in Nicholas Kent and Harrison Schreiber. Behind the bench is long-time coach Igor Nikulin, who is joined by former NHLers Craig Johnson, Nelson Emerson and Scott Niedermayer. The 2001s are not a big team but have a strong skating game, says program director Andrew Cohen. The California 2000s went 2-3 at last year’s Brick tournament.


The Boston Junior Bruins will be making their Brick debut this year. Head coach Chris Masters says the key to success for the Bruins is strong team defence and goaltending. While the Bruins don’t possess an offensive superstar Masters says all three lines can chip in offensively.


The former Vancouver Vipers won the Brick tournament in 2007. Coach Jon Calvano describes the team as well-balanced.


After a second place finish at the 2009 Brick tournament, the Toronto Bulldogs failed to advance past the round robin in 2010 thanks to a 0-4-1 record. Former Toronto Maple Leaf Wayne Primeau’s son Mason is a member of the team.


The Saskatchewan Junior Pats are looking to follow-up a strong performance by Team Saskatchewan, last year. In 2010 Saskatchewan finished second, losing in the final to Toronto Pro Hockey.


The Detroit Red Wings Brick team will be competing at the Brick tournament for the eighth time this year. New head coach Todd Korpi says his team possesses a lot of talent and skill and has good depth at all positions. The Red Wings also have name recognition as Tag Bertuzzi, the son of NHLer Todd Bertuzzi, is on the team. The elder Bertuzzi is serving as an assistant coach. The Red Wings went 3-2 at last year’s tournament.


Lance Pitlick will be back behind the Minnesota Blades bench as they look to improve upon last year’s 1-4 record. Pitlick coached the Blades to a second place finish at the 2007 Brick tournament. In preparation for the tournament, Pitlick had his players focusing on proper hydration due to the West Edmonton Mall’s warm temperature.


This year’s edition of the Toronto Pro Hockey team will look to duplicate what last year’s team did. In the 2010 Brick tournament Toronto Pro Hockey went a perfect 7-0, beating Team Saskatchewan 7-1 in the tournament final.


The Atlantic Canada Junior Selects are the first team from Atlantic Canada to compete in the Brick tournament. Due to the large area that the team draws from their first chance to practice came when they all arrived in Edmonton. Coach Andy Bezeau expects there to be some growing pains but says the team is a hard-working one which he expected to improve as the tournament went along.


The city of Chicago and the Brick tournament have a unique bond. Before helping the Chicago Blackhawks win the 2010 Stanley Cup, Brent Seabrook, Colin Fraser, Troy Brouwer and Andrew Ladd all played together for the Vancouver Vipers at the 1995 Brick tournament. At last year’s tournament, the Junior Blackhawks went 2-3.


The Connecticut Yankees are the only American team to have won the Brick tournament in the last 10 years. Former Edmonton Oiler Doug Weight is one of the team’s coaches. In the 2010 tournament, the Yankees went 2-3.


What would be better than welcoming the NHL back to Winnipeg than with a Brick title? Last year, the Junior Jets finished round robin play with the same record as Team Saskatchewan but Saskatchewan advanced thanks to their 2-1 victory over the Junior Jets in the round robin.

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July 08, 2011
Categories:  Minor Hockey

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