The new Twin Cities?
By Kevin Gould
Posted 1 day ago
CORNWALL They could be moving from the Twin Cities to twin city, Canada.
Identical twins Mark and David Rath are being courted by the Cornwall Colts. The Colts, of course, already have the Spink twins (Tylor and Tyson) on the team. "Yeah, we know about the Spink twins here," said Mark Rath, in Cornwall on the weekend with his brother, to meet with the Colts.
"That would be pretty cool, two sets of twins on the same team."
Cool, maybe, but nothing new for the Rath brothers, who are from Eden Prairie, Minnesota (12 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis). "We've been playing with another set of twins our whole life pretty much," said David Rath, referring to Kyle and Curt Rau, twins who have played on the same team as the Rath brothers for most of their hockey careers, most recently last season with the Eden Prairie high school team, which won the State Championship. Kyle Rau was selected in the third round of this year's NHL draft, by the Florida Panthers.
The Raths visited Cornwall on Saturday, meeting with Colts' head coach Ian MacInnis and assistant Kenton Spink. The Colts are trying to convince the Raths to play in Cornwall next season. "I'm recruiting them, not bringing them in for a tryout," said MacInnis. "They can play."
The question is, where do they want to play?
One option is to play close to home, in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), in Austin, Minnesota. The other option would appear to be the CCHL, where Cornwall and Gloucester are vying for their services.
The Raths, who turn 19 in August, were to meet with officials from the Gloucester Rangers organization on Sunday. A teammate of theirs from last year, Joe Kerker, has already signed with Gloucester. "He really wants us to play there with him," said Mark Rath.
So where they will play is still very much undecided, but MacInnis, for one, is certain they can play, and excel in the CCHL. "I think they liked what we had to say," said MacInnis. "I?think they're going to come back later this week and have a skate, meet some of the guys." Asked if he had any inkling as to where the twins might be leaning towards playing, MacInnis offered: "I'll know more in the next few days. If they come back to have another look, then I think we're in good standing."
One factor in Cornwall's favour (and Gloucester's as well) is how heavily the CCHL is scouted by U.S. college teams in the East. "They're very good students. Academically, they can play Ivy League hockey," said MacInnis.
"One thing is, this league is scouted heavily by the East division," said David Rath, who also visited Clarkson and St. Lawrence University while in the area on the weekend. "Our goal is to play Division I hockey in the East."
The two forwards (both play any of the forward positions, though last season Mark spent the majority of his time at centre, David on the wing. And surprisingly, not always together. "We prefer to play together. I think all twins do," said Mark Rath. "We had always played together on the same line, until high school, where they split us up sometimes," added David, "though we always played together on the first power-play."
---The Colts have signed Michael Phillips, who attended the team's hockey camp last weekend. "He's a very good skater. Good sense, handles the puck quite well," said MacInnis of Phillips. "He will contribute offensively. He'll be an exciting player to watch."
---CCHL Twitter says Kemptville traded Mark Hough to Cornwall for Winchester Jr B forward Josh Stubbings and draft picks
Article from the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder entitled, Still in chase for Rath twins indicates that these two players from Minnesota have not yet committed themselves to where they will be playing this upcoming season. The article lists 5 defencemen expected to play with the Colts though the status of Y. Kabbaj is still uncertain. http://www.standard-freeholder.com/A...aspx?e=3225414
CORNWALL-- The Jr. A Colts now have two sets of twins on their roster.
The Central Canadian Hockey League team announced Friday afternoon that skilled forwards David and Mark Rath have committed to play for the club in 2011-2012.
The Rath twins were recruited last season in Toronto by the Colts, but they had a lot of squads tryng to land them, including several teams in the United States Jr. Hockey League and the CCHL's Gloucester Rangers.
The Colts did seem to have the inside track -the Raths, of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in Minnesota, made a second visit this summer to Cornwall last week, spending a couple of days at the Spink household, home of Cornwall's standout offensive twins, Tyson and Tylor.
Jr. A Colts forward Mike Borkowski sounds like a player who's going to be on a mission, in 2011-2012.
"We came so close last year, to within a couple of games (of a championship),'' Borkowski said. "I really want another crack at it - from Day l, (winning a title) is our goal.''
It was an, um, memorable 2010-2011 season for Borkowski, who suffered that mid-season broken ankle injury and was limited to 14 goals in 41 games, all with the Cumberland Grads squad he captained.
Acquired by Cornwall at the January trade deadline and unavailable to play until the first playoff round with Kanata, Borkowski had that collision with goaltender Scott Shackell that became big news in the region.
Borkowski's name was quickly cleared, and he had a solid playoff for the Colts, but his playing rights returned to Cumberland at season's end.
Colts general manager/coach Ian MacInnis finally was able to work out a deal with the Grads just before training camp, a deal that includes Cumberland getting Cornwall's first-round picks in 2014 and 2015.
"I'm happy,'' MacInnis said. "Without a doubt, he's going to be a very key guy for us this year. We're expecting him to be very good.''
Borkowski on the camp roster is the left-winger on a line with Tylor Spink and Tyson Spink.
Nothing against the Grads, but he's thrilled too, that the deal to come back to Cornwall finally got done.
"I had two-and-a-half very good years in Cumberland,'' Borkowski said.
"But in terms of (developing as a player), it's a great situation here. . . it was a great situation here last year - Ian was very supportive (during the ankle injury rehab).''
As for Shackell episode, Borkowski has put it far behind him.
"You move on from stuff like that pretty fast, I know I did,'' Borkowski said. "It was definitely a lot to handle (at the time). But my family, and Cornwall, was very supportive.
"I'm happy it got sorted out as soon as it did. People (in the junior hockey community) found out pretty quickly that I'm not that kind of player.''
This season, Borkowski hopes, he can avoid injury, and focus only on helping the Colts win a title in his final year of junior A play before joining the NCAA Division l Colgate Raiders.
"I'm definitely hoping it'll be a lot less hectic season,'' he said.
there has been alot of speculation about Youssef Kabbaj lately. What is the issue here? is he not wanting to come back to Cornwall, requesting a trade?
please fill me in!
COLTS NOTES: Kabbaj bullish on defensive expectations
CORNWALL - He's their only returning defenceman.
But what a defenceman.
Youssef Kabbaj was voted the Central Canada Hockey League's best blueliner last year, and the Jr. A Colts thought there was a pretty good chance he'd go to the next level for his final junior year and they wouldn't have the Montrealer back in the lineup.
Kabbaj did explore the OHL or QMJHL, but it's tough sledding to secure a spot as an overager, so he's glad to be with the Colts once again.
"Actually I'm really happy to be back and see the boys,'' Kabbaj said on Day 2 of training camp on Tuesday morning at the civic complex.
"Hopefully we'll have another very good season.''
Kabbaj is bullish on the campaign - he says that, potentially, Cornwall could end up icing a squad even better than the one that took the Pembroke Lumber Kings to a Game 6 in the best-of-seven playoff finals last April.
"I honestly believe we can be better than last year,'' said Kabbaj, who had 48 points (eight goals) in 59 games, fourth-highest in points on the squad behind only Jacob Laliberte, Tyson Spink and Tylor Spink.
"There's a lot of young energy here.''
Kabbaj talked about Cornwall's plethora of skilled forwards, its new-look but "impressive'' blueline, and a "battle (for spots) in nets that's pretty good too''.
It adds up to a focused training camp.
"It's more intense than last year,'' Kabbaj opined.
That goalie battle for two spots has had nine contenders and one of the favourites isn't even at camp yet.
Lukas Hafner, 19, of Toledo, Ohio, is one of the favourites to earn a spot in the Cornwall crease, and he'll only arrive here on Friday, associate coach Ian MacInnis said on Tuesday.
Hafner was a backup last season in the United States Junior Hockey League.
He had a 2.90 goals-against-average in 15 games with the Lincoln (Nebraska) Stars.
The Colts have done stellar work the last few years in bringing in top-notch goalies, albeit for short terms in Cornwall. Last year, Pete Karvouniaris set a CCHL record for wins in a season with 40.
The year before, Boston's Doug Carr was superb in the Cornwall net.
Before him, Justin Roethlingshoefer, of Edmonton, starred in the Cornwall goal.
Don't expect to see Cornwall's 2011 protected players - Andrew Ming and Tanner Spink - at the camp.
They've got their own camp to worry about, at the minor midget AAA level.
"It would have been nice to have them here, but we're not going to disturb or distract those boys,'' MacInnis said.
"(Minor midget AAA) is their primary focus (this season).''
The Colts have four teams, and over 50 players at their camp, but the numbers will start to come down soon.
"We'll be making a few (cuts) before the Blue and White (intraquad) game on Thursday,'' MacInnis said.
"We look at all kinds of things (when reassigning), what makes sense for the kid, what's best for the player.''
There was high praise indeed, for Kyle Baun, the Cornwall second-year forward from Scarborough.
In talking about who's guaranteed a spot on this year's team, MacInnis said the 19-year-old grandson of NHL legend Bobby Baun is "my favourite player up front. . . the boy is a machine.
"His consistency last year (was outstanding) - there were games (during which) he outhit both teams we'll need him to be (doing) that again this year.
"Overall, he'll be a better player too, because he's (a second-year player in the league).''
The 6'1, 205-lb. Baun was sixth in Cornwall scoring last season with 42 points (19 goals) in 56 games.