Wednesday, September 21, 2016

U.S. Eliminated from World Cup


Team USA is done.

The American contingent dropped its second straight game of the 2016 World Cup in Toronto on Tuesday night, 4-2, to host Canada. The loss eliminates the U.S. from semifinal contention, after its second defeat in as many games in Group ‘A’ play.

Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin) and T.J. Oshie (North Dakota) sandwiched goals for the U.S. around four consecutive tallies by Canada that spanned the first and second periods at Air Canada Centre. Jonathan Quick (Massachusetts) had 34 saves for the Americans, three days after he made 14 stops against Team Europe in a 3-0 loss.

The U.S. went 2-1-0 in exhibition play before the start of this year’s tournament, including a split with Canada. Team USA, which won the inaugural World Cup in 1996 in Montreal, will close out this year’s edition on Thursday against the also-eliminated Czech Republic.

ADDENDUM: The U.S. closed out the World Cup by finishing in next-to-last place overall with a 4-3 loss to the Czechs.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

NCHC Staying at Eight Schools


The National Collegiate Hockey Conference will remain at eight member schools for the time being.

According to USCHO.com and other sources, the league will not accept Arizona State and current WCHA member Minnesota State into its ranks at this time. ASU is an NCAA Division I independent, in its second season of varsity competition, while MSU belongs to the Western College Hockey Association.

The NCHC, which began play in the fall of 2013, consists of Colorado College, Denver, Miami (Ohio), Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan. CC, DU, UMD, Omaha, UND and SCSU came to the league from the WCHA, while Miami and WMU are transplants from the now-defunct Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).

North Dakota won the NCHC's first-ever national title in April, defeating Quinnipiac, 5-1, in the
national championship game in Florida.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Remembering Kent State NCAA Hockey


USCHO.com has published the piece I wrote on the demise of the NCAA Division I men's hockey program at Kent (State) 22 years ago. Though the NCAA and CCHA are long gone from the Kent Ice Arena, hockey is still thriving on the Ohio campus in the form of a successful club program.

Saw Kent play several times in Fairbanks, Alaska when I was working at UAF in 1991-92. The Golden Flashes ceased play before I got to Michigan State in the fall of 1994. Hard to believe they've been gone so long.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Vesey Signs with Rangers


Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Jimmy Vesey has finally found an NHL landing spot.

The Harvard graduate, who finished his Crimson career with 80 goals and 66 assists for 144 points in four seasons, according to USCHO.com, inked a free-agent deal on Friday with the New York Rangers, as reported by multiple sources. Full terms were not immediately disclosed.

Originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Vesey ultimately did not sign with them after completing his career at Harvard this spring. He also did not sign with the Buffalo Sabres, who recently traded with Nashville for his rights, before becoming a free agent exactly a week ago.

The son of former Merrimack forward Jim Vesey, he led the ECAC this past season with 20-1737 points in 25 league contests, and finished with 24-2246 points in 33 outings overall. A native of North Reading, Mass., he prepped with the South Shore Kings (EJHL) prior to skating in Cambridge, recording 91 points in 45 games in 2011-12, according to hockeydb.com.

Vesey 23, led the Crimson to the 2015 ECAC Tournament championship, while also earning the Walter Brown Award that season as the top American-born player in New England Division I men's collegiate hockey after tallying 58 points in 37 appearances. He copped All-America accolades as a junior and senior, and was also named ECAC Player of the Year in both those campaigns, while helping Harvard to back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Former BC Forward Janney to Join U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame


Former NHL forward Craig Janney (Boston College) will be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame this year, along with members of the U.S. squad that won the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, according to USCHO.com.

Janney, 48, from Enfield, Conn. played two seasons at BC, notching 41 goals and 69 assists for 110 points in 71 games from 1985 to 1987. His 55 assists and 83 points as a sophomore still stand as single-season school records, and he also earned First Team All-America accolades that year while guiding the Eagles to both the Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles. Born in Hartford, he prepped at Enfield High School and Deerfield Academy before suiting up for the Eagles.

After skating with the American team at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Janney embarked upon a 12-
year NHL career, beginning with the Boston Bruins, who drafted him 13th overall in 1986. As a rookie, he helped Boston to the 1988 Stanley Cup Final after recording 6-10— 16 points in 23 playoff games that spring, He also helped the Bruins to the 1990 Stanley Cup Final, and also went on to play with the St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders before retiring in 1999. In 760 career NHL regular-season outings, Janney tallied 188-563—751 points, along with 24-86—110 points in 120 Stanley Cup Playoff contests, according to hockeydb.com, while never playing a game in the minor leagues. His highest-scoring season came in 1992-93 in St. Louis, when he registered 24-82—106 points in 84 appearances with the Blues.       

Janney joins Bill Guerin (Class of 2013), Brian Leetch (Class of 2008), the late John Cuniff (Class of 2003), Len Ceglarski (Class of 1992) and the late John A. “Snooks” Kelley (Class of 1974) as former Eagles who have been inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, as stated at bceagles.com.

The 1996 U.S World Cup team, which defeated Canada in a best-of-three final-round series to win the inaugural title, featured former NCAA forwards Tony Amonte (Boston University), Bill Guerin (BC), Brett Hull (Minnesota-Duluth), John LeClair (Vermont), Shawn McEachern (BU), Joel Otto (Bemidji State), Brian Rolston (Lake Superior State), BryanSmolinski (Michigan State), Keith Tkachuk (BU), Doug Weight (LSSU) and Scott Young (BU). It also included former NCAA defensemen Shawn Chambers (Alaska Fairbanks), Chris Chelios (Wisconsin), Brian Leetch (BC) and Gary Suter (Wisconsin), plus former NCAA goaltenders Jim Carey (Wisconsin), Guy Hebert (Hamilton) and Mike Richter (Wisconsin). The coaching staff consisted of head coach Ron Wilson (Providence), along with associate coaches John Cunniff (BC), Paul Holmgren (Minnesota) and Keith Allain (Yale). Holmgren will serve assistant general manager of Team USA for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Also slated to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame this year will be Normand “Bill” Belisle, according to usahockey.com. Belisle has served as head coach for over 40 years at Rhode Island schoolboy power Mount Saint Charles Academy, and has sent numerous players on to both the NCAA and NHL ranks. The induction ceremony will be held at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Minn. at a time and date to be announced.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Carle Signs with Nashville



Former Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Matt Carle will continue his NHL career in Music City.

Carle, an Anchorage, Alaska native, has signed with the Nashville Predators for the 2016-17 campaign for $700,000, according to Alaska Dispatch News.

The six-foot, 197-pound Carle played the last four NHL seasons with Tampa Bay, and in 724 career NHL games with the Lightning, San Jose Sharks and Philadelphia Flyers has recorded 45 goals and 237 assists for 282 points, to go with 6-38—44 points in 127 Stanley Cup Playoff contests, as noted at hockeydb.com. He also has two assists in three career minor-league appearances, all in the American Hockey League in 2006-07.


Carle, 31, was named the top player in NCAA Division I men’s college hockey as a junior in 2005-06 after pacing Denver with career-high totals of 11-42—53 points while also leading the nation in assists and all college defensemen in points that winter. He also helped the Pioneers to back-to-back NCAA championships his first two years, and registered 29-94—124 points in 112 career outings before turning pro after three seasons, according to USCHO.com.