Friday, December 12, 2014

College Players Shine as Leafs Edge Wings in Shootout

A plethora of former NCAA players got into the act in Toronto's 2-1 shootout win at Detroit on Wednesday night in NHL play.

Gustav Nyquist (Maine) scored on a spin-around for the host Red Wings with just over two minutes remaining in the second period to break a scoreless tie. Phil Kessel (Minnesota) answered for the Maple Leafs just over five minutes into the third frame off a set-up by James van Riemsdyk (New Hampshire) and Tyler Bozak (Denver).

In the shootout, Bozak and Mike Santorelli (Northern Michigan) both scored to thwart an 18-save effort in regulation by Detroit's Jimmy Howard (Maine).

Detroit remains in second place in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division with a 17-6-6 record, while Toronto stays fourth at 16-9-3.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Union's Kinkaid Makes First NHL Start with New Jersey

Former Union College goaltender Keith Kinkaid made 37 saves on Tuesday night in his first career NHL start, as the New Jersey Devils dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

Kinkaid was named second star of the game after making nine saves in the first period, 16 in the second, and seven in the third, and came within 3:13 of earning the win before Duncan Keith (Michigan State) scored for Chicago. Kinkaid then made five saves in overtime before surrendering shootout goals to Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) and Patrick Kane. Scott Darling (Maine) picked up the win for the Blackhawks, making 22 saves in all as Chicago won its seventh straight contest.

Kinkaid, who prepped with Des Moines (USHL) and St. Louis (NAHL) before enrolling at Union, saw his only previous NHL action during the 2012-13 campaign with the Devils when he allowed one goal in 26 minutes of relief against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He went 24-13-5 with Albany (AHL) last season.

The 6-3, 180-pound native of Farmingville, N.Y. fashioned a 37-18-6 mark with six shutouts in two seasons at Union between 2009 and 2011, registering a 2.18 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. He also backstopped the Dutchmen to an ECAC regular-season title and their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament berth as a sophomore before signing as a free agent with New Jersey.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Seven BC Skaters Chosen for Preliminary U.S. National Junior Roster

Five current Boston College skaters and two future Eagles were named to the 30-man preliminary roster for the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team last week, according to Michigan was second with five players.

Forward Alex Tuch and goaltender Thatcher Demko join defensemen Noah Hanifin, Ian McCoshen and Steve Santini for the preliminary camp that will be held later this month. Along with them will be BC committments Jeremy Bracco and Miles Wood, both forwards.

Tuch, a first-round selection of the Minnesota Wild this summer, has five goals and five assists for 10 points in 16 games so far this season as a freshman, while Demko, taken 36th overall by the Vancouver Canucks this year, is 8-6-1 with a 2.19 goals-against average in 15 appearances.

McCoshen, a 2013 Florida Panthers second-round choice, has a goal and three assists in 15 contests for the Eagles, while Hanifin has two goals and five assists in 16 outings. Santini, a 2013 New Jersey Devils draftee, has missed all but four games so far this year due to injury, notching one goal. Along with Demko, he was a member of last year's U.S. World Junior Team that finished fifth overall in Sweden.

Bracco has four goals and 11 points in eight games so far this season with the U.S. National Development Team (USHL), while Wood, the son of former NHL forward Randy Wood, was drafted 100th overall by the Devils in 2013 and is playing prep hockey at Noble & Greenough in Massachusetts this winter.

The 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship will be contested in Canada from Dec. 26, 2014 to Jan. 5, 2015 in Montreal and Toronto.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Michigan State Gains Split at Princeton

Tanner Sorensen’s first goal of the season stood up as the game-winner as Michigan State earned a split at Princeton with a 4-2 win on Saturday night at Hobey Baker Rink. MSU now leads the all-time series between the two schools, 6-1, following a 3-1 defeat on Friday.

Michael  Ferrantino opened the scoring for the second straight night, putting the Spartans (5-8-0) up by a 1-0 count five minutes into the contest. Matt DeBlouw made it 2-0 at 3:22 of the second stanza, followed 10 minutes later by Sorensen.

Princeton (2-7-1) got goals just over nine minutes apart in the third period from Kyle Rankin and Ryan Siiro to pull the Tigers within a goal, before Matt Berry sealed the win for the Spartans with an empty-net goal with two seconds remaining in regulation. Berry, who also had an assist, now leads MSU with 13 points, and is tied for the team’s goal-scoring lead with Ferrantino with seven tallies.

Jake Hildebrand stopped 20 shots for the Spartans, while Colton Phinney had 29 saves for the Tigers. Both teams went 0-for-4 on the power play. MSU returns home next weekend to host Minnesota in Big Ten play, while Princeton will entertain Harvard and Dartmouth in ECAC competition.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Princeton Tops Michigan State, 3-1

For the first time in six meetings all-time, Princeton got the better of Michigan State.

The Tigers, who were swept at MSU last season, edged the Spartans by a 3-1 count on Friday night at Hobey Baker Rink, as David Hallisey's second-period goal stood up as the game-winner. Colton Phinney finished with 44 saves for Princeton (2-6-1), which was blanked in two ECAC games last weekend at Clarkson and St. Lawrence, and had scored just eight goals total in its first eight outings this season.

"When we score two or more goals we're undefeated this year, so it's nice to see the puck go into the net a couple times," said Tigers head coach Ron Fogarty at "The guys are buying in and they just stayed with it."

Jonathan Liau tied the game for the Tigers off a rebound midway through the second stanza, after Michael Ferrantino had given MSU a 1-0 lead on a power-play one-timer following a scoreless first period.

After Hallisey put Princeton up by a 2-1 count with 5:25 remaining before the second intermission, Ben Foster beat Spartan netminder Jake Hildebrand (23 saves) on the stick side just over three minutes into the third period on a power play. That shot closed out the scoring, despite 20 shots on goal in the final 20 minutes by the Spartans.

"We've had a difficult time trying to score and had some quality chances again tonight and we didn't take advantage of them," said Spartans head coach Tom Anastos at "We just have to keep generating the chances and getting traffic in front of the net and hopefully those pucks will start to go in."

MSU (4-8-0), which split a pair of games at Big Ten rival Ohio State last weekend, outshot Princeton, 45-26, and was 1-for-4 with the man advantage while Princeton finished 1-for-3.The two teams will wrap up the series on Saturday night at Baker Rink.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

BC Women's Hockey Still No.1 in Nation

Boston College continues to be the No. 1 team in NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey. The Eagles are No. 1 in the poll for the fourth consecutive week, and received all 15 first-place votes for the third straight week.

The Eagles, 13-0-1 overall (9-0 Hockey East) to date, play tonight at Yale. BC is coming off a two-step sweep of conference foe Connecticut, in which it outscored the visiting Huskies by a 12-1 count.

Junior forward Alex Carpenter leads both BC and the nation in scoring with 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 12 games. Right behind her on the national scoring scroll is classmate Haley Skarupa, who has notched 11-1425 points.

Junior defender Lexi Bender leads all Division I blueliners with 5-1217 points in 14 outings, and is also among the top 20 overall scorers in the nation. Freshman goaltender Katie Burt is 13-0-1 with a 1.05 goals-against average, a .944 save percentage and five shutouts.

BC ranks first nationally in scoring with an output of 5.64 goals per game, and second in allowing just one goal per contest. The Eagle power play is tied for 10th nationally at 21.4 percent, while the penalty kill is fifth at 90.9 percent, according to's stats page.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Arizona State Moving to NCAA Division I Hockey

Arizona State University is apparently moving up to the big time on ice.

According to a report at Fox Sports Arizona, the Sun Devils will be the latest school to join the NCAA Division I men's ice hockey ranks, thanks to a $32 million donation from private supporters led by Milwaukee businessman and ASU alumnus Don Mullett.

ASU will become the 60th NCAA Division I men's hockey program, and the first in the state since Northern Arizona dropped its Division I team in 1986. ASU will also have to add a women's athletics program to satisfy Title IX issues.

ASU won last year's American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I national championship, its first in school history, finishing the season 38-2-0. The ACHA is comparable in terms of talent to NCAA Division III.

As with Penn State, which began its NCAA Division I program in 2012-13 after years as a national club power, ASU plans to wade slowly into the NCAA waters, playing a mix of ACHA and NCAA schools beginning in the 2015-16 academic year. The plan is to then become an NCAA Division I independent the following season, and then finally join an existing league, most likely the National Collegiate Hockey Conference or the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Current ASU head coach Greg Powers, who has recruited several players from the USHL to Tempe, is expected to remain on as coach. It is not exactly known where the Sun Devils will play their home games once they transfer to NCAA Division I, although it could be the the 40-year-old Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, current home of Sun Devil basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling.