Mar. 28, 2008
Denfeld's best scorer signs up to be a
By Kevin Pates
Senior center Chris Stafne, the best goal-scorer
in a single season in Duluth Denfeld history, says he'd like to
try his hand at scoring with Minnesota Duluth and accepted a scholarship
this week from the men's hockey program. Stafne had 47 goals and
77 points in 2007-08 and plans to join the Bulldogs in 2009-10 after
a season in the U.S. Hockey League.
"I've been going to UMD games since I was
a little kid, and it's always been my dream to play there,'' Stafne
said Thursday. "I talked to some other schools, but UMD was
on the top of my list as my first choice."
UMD also received an oral commitment this week
from Brady Lamb of Calgary, Alberta. He was voted the top defenseman
in the Alberta Junior Hockey League this season, his third year
with the Calgary Royals, and will be with the Bulldogs for the upcoming
Lamb, 19, who is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, was
Calgary's captain and on the South Division team in the Alberta
Junior Hockey League All-Star Game. He had 10 goals and 22 assists
for 32 points in 58 regular-season games, and had 109 penalty minutes.
"UMD has a good hockey reputation. It's known
for moving players on to the next level, and I like the school atmosphere
with a good teacher-to-student ratio,'' Lamb said.
Stafne, 5-11 and 170 pounds, played three seasons
at Denfeld and finished with 175 career points. Linemate Jake Johnson
also had 77 points this season and finished with what's believed
to be a school career record of about 250 points, said Denfeld coach
Kevin Smalley. Both were on the 2008 News Tribune All-Area high
school boys hockey first team.
They followed in the footsteps of top Denfeld
scorers like Mike Vukonich, who had 30 goals and 53 points in 1986-87;
Joe Golcz, who had 34 goals and 63 points in 1993-94; and Mark Gunderson,
who had a then-career record 203 points following his senior season
"Chris has speed and creativity, and is such
a smooth, powerful skater," said Smalley, a UMD center in the
early 1980s. "He's worked hard in learning both ends of the
rink and becoming a two-way player. His scoring touch this season
Stafne, who had recruiting interest from Minnesota
and Quinnipiac, will be part of the Section 5AA team in next week's
Great Eight tournament in South St. Paul. A U.S. Hockey League draft
in May will determine where he'll play in 2008-09.
Lamb was on a Calgary team that went 19-41 this
season and missed the Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs. Yet,
Calgary assistant coach Troy Norcross said Lamb wasn't overlooked.
"He's a solid, very physical defenseman who
has good offensive ability," said Norcross. "He was our
MVP this year and was on the power play, killed penalties and on
the ice 33 to 36 minutes a game. He went from our fourth or fifth
defenseman three years ago, to our No. 1 guy."
Lamb, who will visit UMD for the first time in
May, also talked with Bemidji State and Robert Morris of College
Hockey America. He'll help fill in for departing junior defenseman
Jason Garrison, who expects to sign an NHL free-agent contract with
Florida or Pittsburgh by next week.