Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Vesey Tallies First NHL Goal in Ranger Win

Former Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Jimmy Vesey (Harvard) scored his first NHL goal, and two other Beanpot Tournament veterans added goals of their own as the New York Rangers defeated the San Jose Sharks, 7-4, on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

Chris Kreider (Boston College) had a goal and an assist as the Rangers built a 3-1 lead after two periods. After the Sharks closed to within 3-2 midway through the third period, Kevin Hayes (Boston College) and Vesey, last year's top player in college hockey, struck 21 seconds apart to put New York up by a 5-2 count. Joe Pavelski (Wisconsin) scored for San Jose, which couldn't draw any closer than 5-4 before New York added two late tallies to seal the win.

Kreider, 25, who won two NCAA titles (2010, 2012) in his three seasons at BC, has tallied a goal and an assist in his first three outings this year, giving him six points in three games. The Rangers, who have gone 2-1-0 to start the season, will now host the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday at  8 p.m. at MSG, while the Sharks visit the New York Islanders tonight.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sun Devils Top Air Force for First Ranked Win

NCAA Division I independent Arizona State earned its first-ever victory over a ranked opponent with Sunday's 5-2 triumph over No. 18 Air Force at Gila River Arena.

The Sun Devils, playing in their second varsity season and in their first full NCAA Division I campaign, earned their first win of the season to earn a series split. The visiting Falcons, who earlier this fall won the Icebreaker Classic in Denver with victories over Boston College and Ohio State, had edged ASU, 4-3, on Friday night.

Tyler Busch scored the game-winning goal on a second period power play on Sunday for the Sun Devils, who also got a goal and two assists apiece from from Dylan Hollman and Boston University transfer Robbie Baillargeon, plus 24 saves from Joey Daccord. Sunday's win also marked the first time ASU had beaten a Division I opponent in Arizona, as last year's Division I wins over Alaska (Fairbanks) and Lake Superior State all came on the road or at a neutral site.

ASU (1-3-0 overall) will now visit Northeastern this weekend before hosting Harvard to close out the month.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Division III UCHC to Debut in 2017-18

A new NCAA Division III men's and women’s hockey league will arise starting with the 2017-18 season, in the form of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference.

According to USCHO.com, the UCHC roster will include the men’s and women’s teams from Chatham, Elmira, Hobart, King’s, Lebanon Valley, Manhattanville, Neumann, Stevenson and Utica. It will also feature the Nazareth men’s team, while the Wilkes men’s and women’s teams will join the conference full-time in 2018-19.

“We are pleased to announce the formation of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference,” said Nazareth College president Daan Braveman at d3hockey.com. “We have a tremendous grouping of academic and athletic institutions, and this will be will an exciting time for our student-athletes and member institutions.”

Chuck Mitrano, current commissioner of the Empire 8 Conference, will serve as the UCHC’s inaugural commissioner, as reported in the Utica Observer-Dispatch.

The UCHC announcement sounds the death knell for the eight-school ECAC West men's conference, of which Elmira, Hobart, Lebanon Valley, Manhattanville, Nazareth, Neumann and Utica are currently all members. Elmira, Neumann and Utica are also members of the nine-school ECAC West women's league.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Horcoff Joins Red Wings as Player Development Director

Shawn Horcoff has come back to the state of Michigan full-time.

The former Michigan State University star, who retired earlier this year after a 15-season NHL career, has been named director of player development for the Detroit Red Wings, as reported at mlive.com.

Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft after his sophomore campaign at MSU, Horcoff spent the first 12 years of his professional career with them. He also captained the Oilers, and helped them to within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2006. He joined the Dallas Stars for two seasons beginning in 2013, before finishing up last year with the Anaheim Ducks.

He tallied 186 goals and 325 assists for 511 points in 1,008 NHL regular-season outings, and added 11-19—30 points in 46 Stanley Cup playoff contests, according to hockeydb.com. A native of Castlegar, B.C, Horcoff, 38, played at MSU from 1996 to 2000, and was a member of its NCAA Frozen Four team as a junior. He joined the Spartans after starring with the Chilliwack Chiefs of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League

As a senior at MSU, Horcoff was tabbed as the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s Player of the Year and its Best Defensive Forward while leading the conference in scoring, with 14-51—65 totals in 42 games overall. He was also named to the CCHA All-Academic Team and the league’s first All-Conference Team that spring, and was a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist and first team All-America selection, according to uscho.com.

In 155 games in his tenure in East Lansing, Horcoff recorded 50-102—152 points. He also helped the Spartans to two CCHA regular-season titles, two CCHA Tournament championships, and four NCAA Tournament berths while skating for the late Ron Mason.

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.