Friday, May 17, 2013
Score one for the small guy.
Former Michigan State defenseman Torey Krug, a 5’9” native of Livonia, Mich., made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut more than memorable by scoring the Bruins’ second goal in Boston’s 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night. His slapper from the left circle beat Henrik Lundqvist in the opener of the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series, the first postseason meeting between the two clubs in four decades, and was also his first goal in NHL play.
It was just Krug’s fourth game overall with the Bruins, following his NHL debut at the tail end of the 2011-12 regular season in which he recorded one assist in two games. He also had one assist in his only appearance in the abbreviated 2013 NHL campaign, while recording 13 goals and 32 assists 45 points in 67 AHL contests with the AHL’s Providence Bruins.
After starring with Indiana (USHL), Krug played three years at Michigan State, from 2009 to 2012, and notched 26 -57—83 points in 114 career outings. His best season with the Spartans came as a junior in 2010-12, when he registered 12-22—34 totals in 38 games and earned both NCAA First Team All-America and CCHA Player of the Year status. He signed as a free agent with Boston shortly after MSU’ 3-1 defeat to Union College in the first round of the 2012 NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
T.J. Oshie (North Dakota), Ryan Carter (Minnesota State), Jacob Trouba (Michigan) and David Moss (Michigan) also scored for the U.S., as did Nate Thompson and Alex Galchenyuk. Carter, Matt Hunwick (Michigan), Tim Stapleton (Minnesota-Duluth) and Chris Butler (Denver) also registered assists, while John Gibson notched 31 saves in net.
The NCAA is also well-represented behind the U.S. bench. The head coach of this year's American squad is Joe Sacco (Boston University), while his assistants include Tim Army (Providence), Danton Cole (Michigan State), and Phil Housley.
Team USA, which is now 6-2 in tournament play, moves on to the semifinals on Saturday in Stockholm, Sweden, against Switzerland, a 2-1 winner over the Czech Republic earlier today. The victor of that contest will then face off against the survivor of Finland, Slovakia, Canada and Sweden on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. for the world title.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Longtime Boston College assistant/associate coach Mike Cavanaugh is now the head man at the University of Connecticut.
He replaces interim coach David Berard, who took over the Huskies last season after 25-year UConn head coach Bruce Marshall stepped down for personal reasons during the campaign.
"I would like to thank President Susan Herbst and Director of Athletics Warde Manuel for showing confidence in my abilities and giving me the opportunity to lead UConn into its era of Hockey East," said Cavanaugh at uconnhuskies.com.
In 18 years at BC, the last nine as associate head coach, Cavanaugh, 44, was part of four NCAA championships (2001, 2008, 2010, 2012). His tenure with the Eagles also produced 27 NHL players, 22 All-American selections, nine Hockey East tournament championships, seven Beanpot Tournament trophies, six Hockey East regular-season titles, and a Hobey Baker Award recipient in Mike Mottau (2000).
A North Andover, Mass. native and a 1990 graduate of Bowdoin College, where he captained the hockey team and also played football for the Polar Bears, Cavanaugh was an assistant to Jerry York at Bowling Green State University in 1992-93 and then spent two years at Dartmouth College before joining York in Chestnut Hill, Mass. in 1995. He helped the Eagles to 14 seasons of 20 or more wins, 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, 10 Frozen Four berths, and more than 400 victories in all.
"Mike has enjoyed an accomplished career at Boston College and has a great knowledge of what it takes to win on a national level," remarked Manuel. "He also brings to UConn an understanding and appreciation for what it means to be a complete student-athlete."
This year, Cavanaugh was named the winner of the 2013 Terry Flanagan Award by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). The award is presented annually to honor an assistant coach's career body of work in the college ranks.
UConn will play one final season in the Atlantic Hockey league before shifting to Hockey East in 2014-15.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Former NCAA players were certainly in the news over the weekend and into Monday in the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs—particularly a plethora of previous Wisconsin Badgers.
Western ConferenceJoe Pavelski (Wisconsin) scored twice in San Jose's 5-2 win over Vancouver on Sunday, which gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead in the series. Pavelski has two goals and four assists for six points so far in three games. Dan Boyle (Miami) has a goal and two assists to date for San Jose, while Tommy Wingels (Miami) has two assists.Cory Schneider (Boston College) returned in net for the Canucks on Sunday following time off for an undisclosed injury, but surrendered five goals on 28 shots to take the loss.
Brian Elliott (Wisconsin) won his first two games for St. Louis in the Blues' series with defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles, stopping 56 of 58 shots. The Kings got back into contention with a 1-0 win on Saturday at home, as 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick (Massachusetts) finished with 30 stops. T.J. Oshie (North Dakota) scored twice for St. Louis in Monday night's 4-3 loss in California, and David Backes (Minnesota State) also lit the lamp for the Blues in a losing effort. Quick made 19 saves as the Kings tied the series at two games apiece.
Justin Abdelkader (Michigan State) scored Detroit's first goal in the Red Wings' 5-4 overtime victory Thursday at Anaheim to tie that series, but was ejected and then suspended for two games for his hit on Tony Lydman in Game Three, which Anaheim won, 4-0, in Michigan on Saturday. Nick Bonino (Boston University) had two goals and an assist through three games for Anaheim, while Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) scored one goal and set up another for the Ducks, who fell by a 3-2 count in overtime on Monday in Detroit. Gustav Nyquist (Maine) had the OT winner for Detroit last week, and assisted on the winner on Monday. Brendan Smith (Wisconsin) scored for Detroit on Monday, as did David Steckel (Ohio State) for Anaheim. Jimmy Howard (Maine) stopped 77 of 87 shots in the first three games for the Wings, and had 31 stops in Game Four at Joe Louis Arena in the win that tied the series again.
Minnesota's Jason Zucker (Denver) made his first career Stanley Cup playoff goal even more memorable when it came in overtime in the Wild's 2-1 win on Sunday against the visiting Blackhawks. Chicago now leads the series, two games to one, as Patrick Sharp (Vermont) has provided two goals and an assist in the three games so far. Duncan Keith (Michigan State) has a goal and two
assists for the Blackhawks.
Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin) unfortunately lifted the puck into the crowd in overtime in Game 2 at Washington on Saturday, resulting in a power play that the Capitals' Mike Green converted for the game's only goal and a 2-0 series lead over the New York Rangers. Carl Hagelin (Michigan) had New York's only goal through the first two games—but Derek Stepan (Wisconsin) tipped home the game-winner late in the third period on Monday night to get New York back into the series with a 4-3 triumph at Madson Square Garden in Game Three. The Rangers' Brian Boyle (Boston College) and the Caps' Jay Beagle (Alaska Anchorage) also scored on Monday.
Phil Kessel (Minnesota) and James van Riemsdyk (New Hampshire) both scored a goal in Toronto's 4-2 win at Boston on Saturday, which enabled the Maple Leafs to knot their series with the Bruins at one win apiece. Boston, however, responded with a 5-2 win at Air Canada Centre on Monday night to regain the lead, as Rich Peverley (St. Lawrence) scored his first goal of the playoffs for the Bruins.
Kyle Okposo (Minnesota) scored the game-winning goal shorthanded for the New York Islanders on Friday in Game Two at Pittsburgh to tie that series. He added another man-down marker on Sunday on Long Island as the Isles fell to the Penguins, 5-4, in sudden death. Chris Kunitz (Ferris State) notched the game-winner in the extra session for Pittsburgh, to go with an earlier goal and assist on the afternoon.
Ottawa downed visiting Montreal, 6-1, on Sunday as the Senators took a 2-1 lead in that series. Rene Bourque (Wisconsin) leads the Canadiens with two goals and an assist so far, while Kyle Turris (Wisconsin) has a goal and an assist to date for the Senators.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Former Lake Superior State University forward Brian Rolston, who led the Lakers to the 1992 NCAA Championship, has retired from the National Hockey League.
Rolston, who played 17 years in the NHL, won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995. The Devils drafted Rolston in the first round, 11th overall, in 1991 from the Compuware junior "A" club in the North American Hockey League.
A native of Flint, Mich., Rolston also played for the Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and New York Islanders in his career, in which he amassed 342 goals and 419 assists for 761 points in 1,256 regular-season games, according to hockeydb.com. A fast skater with a hard shot, he added 20-14—34 points in 77 Stanley Cup playoff outings.
A three-time U.S. Olympian, Rolston won a silver medal in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He was also a member of the American squad that won the first-ever hockey World Cup in 1996, and is now the last player from that team to retire.
“Getting the chance to play the game I love for 17 years has truly been a dream come true,” Rolston said through the NHL Players’ Association in announcing his retirement. “My career has taken me to many great places where I had the privilege to play with some exceptional teammates and in the best league in the world. The memories of all my experiences will certainly stick with me for the rest of my life. I am grateful for the overwhelming support of my friends, family and fans throughout my career.”
Rolston played in a combined 70 games with the Islanders and Boston in 2011-12, his last NHL season, and picked up 7-17—24 points before adding a goal and two assists in seven playoff contests with the Bruins, who were eliminated in the first round last year by the Washington Capitals. He played his final NHL game on April 25, 2012, in Boston's 2-1 overtime loss to Washington at TD Garden in Boston.
He turned pro in 1993-94 with Albany (AHL), and had 5-5—10 points in 17 games after playing for the 1994 U.S National/Olympic Team that season. He then recorded 9-11—20 points in 18 games with Albany the following year during the first NHL lockout to conclude the minor-league league portion of his professional career.
In two seasons at LSSU, Rolston tallied 51-59—110 points in just 80 games. He scored the national championship-winning goal against Wisconsin as a freshman in 1992 at Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, and then scored 33 goals a year later as a sophomore in his final NCAA action.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
... meaning the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the greatest time of the year for hockey fans, that is. (Well, that and the NCAA Tournament—and for others up north, the Memorial Cup and the World Junior Championships.)
There'll be a number of former American college-trained skaters involved before Lord Stanley's silver chalice is raised sometime in June, by at least a few players who last plied their amateur trade in the NCAA, some of whom are now captains and would thus get first crack at taking the Cup hand-off from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Off the top of my head (and with a bit of help from Yahoo), here's one former college player per each of the 16 teams participating in this year's NHL tournament, with position and Division I school (I'm trying to list 16 different schools).
We'll see who's left standing—and celebrating—when all is said and done.
Anaheim Ducks - Dave Steckel, F, Ohio State
Boston Bruins - Jay Pandolfo, F, Boston University
Chicago Blackhawks - Jonathan Toews, F, North Dakota
Detroit Red Wings - Jimmy Howard, G, Maine
Los Angeles Kings - Jonathan Quick, G, Massachusetts
Minnesota Wild - Zach Parise, F, North Dakota
Montreal Canadiens - Brian Gionta, F, Boston College
New York Islanders - Matt Moulson, F, Cornell
New York Rangers - Derek Stepan, F, Wisconsin
Ottawa Senators - Cory Conacher, F, Canisius
Pittsburgh Penguins - Chris Kunitz, F, Ferris State
San Jose Sharks - Dan Boyle, D, Miami (Ohio)
St. Louis Blues - David Backus, F, Minnesota State
Toronto Maple Leafs - Phil Kessel, Minnesota
Vancouver Canucks - Mason Raymond, F, Minn-Duluth
Washington Capitals - Jay Beagle, F, Alaska Anchorage
(Looks a tad weighted towards forwards, doesn't it?)
We'll see who the heroes are in two months time. Drop the puck.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Longtime Yale University men’s hockey head coach Tim Taylor has passed.
Taylor, who had been fighting cancer and was gravely ill, died on Saturday at the age of 71, two weeks to the day that the Bulldogs won their first NCAA men’s hockey title with a 4-0 win over Quinnipiac in Pittsburgh.
A Boston native and a 1963 Harvard graduate, Taylor was head coach at Yale from 1976 to 2006. He bypassed the 1983-84 and 1993-94 seasons while participating with the U.S Olympic Team, including the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway where he served as head coach and led the Americans to an eighth-place finish.
As a player, Taylor skated for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the old semi-pro United States Hockey League. He also played for the Manchester Black Hawks and Framingham Pics, and was a member of the 1964 U.S, National Team, according to hockeydb.com. At Harvard, he won the Donald Angier Hockey Trophy in 1961-62 as the Crimson’s most improved player, and served as captain the following season as the Crimson finished 21-3-2.
He posted 10 winning seasons at Yale, while fashioning a 342-433-55 overall record. His 1997-98 squad was the first Yale team to earn an NCAA tournament berth since 1952, and he is also the school’s all-time leader in victories.
A three-time ECAC Coach of the Year, Taylor also won the Spencer Penrose Award as college hockey’s top Division I coach in 1998. He also mentored the U.S. during the 1991 Canada Cup, leading the Americans to a best-ever second-place finish.
Following his three-decade tenure in New Haven, Taylor served as an amateur scout with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He then worked with the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2007 until his passing.