Sunday, June 25, 2017

Over 60 NCAA-Related Players Taken in 2017 NHL Draft


Two current NCAA players were drafted in the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in Chicago, while a host of incoming collegiate freshmen also heard their names called this weekend at the United Center.

St. Cloud State center Ryan Poehling was drafted 25th overall by the Montreal Canadiens, while goaltender Jake Oettinger of Boston University went to the Dallas Stars with the very next selection. Poehling tallied seven goals and 13 points in 35 games for the Huskies last season, while Oettinger went 21-11-3 with a 2.11 goals-against average in 35 appearances with the Terriers, who had a total of seven players drafted.

Cale Makar, who is slated to suit up on defense for the University of Massachusetts this fall, was the highest-rated college-related player to be drafted over weekend, as he went fourth overall to the Colorado Avalanche. Finnish forward Eeli Tolvanen, who went 30th overall to the Nashville Predators, had been committed to Boston College, but was recently reported to have been rejected by BC's admissions office.

Rensselaer blueliner William Reilly of Rensselaer was the final player drafted this year, as he was chosen 217th and last overall by the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. A full list of college-related players taken by NHL teams on Friday and Saturday can be found here.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Former NCAA Players Chosen in Expansion Draft


Several former NCAA players changed teams Wednesday in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, to help stock the new Vegas Golden Knights franchise:

Jon Merill          New Jersey  (Michigan)
Connor Brickley     Florida     (Vermont)
Jason Garrison      Tampa Bay   (Minnesota-Duluth)
Erik Haula          Minnesota   (Minnesota)
Trevor Van Riemsdyk Chicago     (New Hampshire)
Nate Schmidt        Washington  (Minnesota)

* Van Riemsdyk was subsequently traded to Carolina on Thursday.

The Golden Knights will also have 13 selections in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, which gets underway tonight in Chicago (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and continues all day Saturday (10 a.m. ET, NHL Network). It marks the second time in four years that the NHL Entry Draft and the NCAA Frozen Four will be held in the same city in the same year, the last coming in 2014 in Philadelphia.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

AHL's Griffins Claim Second-Ever Calder Cup


The Grand Rapids Griffins won their second-ever Calder Cup, and first-ever at home, with Tuesday night’s 4-3 win over the Syracuse Crunch in Game 6 at Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Griffins claimed their first American Hockey League championship in 2013, by also defeating the Crunch in six games, with the deciding contest that year held in Syracuse. Grand Rapids, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, won 15 of 19 games during the 2017 postseason, ousting Milwaukee, Chicago and San Jose before doing likewise to Syracuse.
Ben Street (Wisconsin) of the Griffins was second on the squad, and fourth in the league, with 21 points during the playoffs. Jared Coureau (Northern Michigan) was in net for all of Grand Rapids’s postseason games, going 15-4-0 with a 2.89 goals-against average in 19 contests.
Syracuse forward Cory Conacher (Canisius) led all scorers during the Calder Cup Playoffs with 12 goals and 28 points. Mike McKenna (St. Lawrence) finished with a 13-9 record and a 2.68 goals-against average in 22 playoff appearances, while Matt Taormina (Providence) paced all league defensemen with 15 assists and 20 points.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

One Year Later


Hard to believe it's been a year since retired Michigan State head coach and college hockey legend Ron Mason passed away.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Penguins Win Second Straight Stanley Cup

The Pittsburgh Penguins have repeated as Stanley Cup champions.

A goal by Patric Hornqvist with 1:35 remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner, and Carl Hagelin (Michigan) added an empty-net goal to lift Pittsburgh to a 2-0 win tonight over the host Nashville Predators. The Penguins, who won the series in six games, become the first repeat NHL champion since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

Other former NCAA players who participated for the Penguins in the Final this spring who will have their names engraved on the Cup include Justin Schultz (Wisconsin), Brian Dumoulin (Boston College), Ron Hainsey (UMass Lowell), Nick Bonino (Boston University), Chris Kunitz (Ferris State), Bryan Rust (Notre Dame), Scott Wilson (UMass Lowell), Ian Cole (Notre Dame), Carter Rowney (North Dakota), Conor Sheary (Massachusetts), Josh Archibald (Nebraska-Omaha), Ryan Guentzel (Nebraska-Omaha) and Phil Kessel (Minnesota). Pittsburgh's staff includes head coach Mike Sullivan (Boston University), goalie coach Mike Bales (Ohio State), and assistant general manager Bill Guerin (Boston College).

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Penguins Take 3-2 Stanley Cup Final Lead


Justin Schultz (Wisconsin), Bryan Rust (Notre Dame), Conor Sheary (Massachusetts), Phil Kessel (Minnesota) and Ron Hainsey (UMass Lowell) all scored goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins dismantled the visiting Nashville Predators, 6-0, on Thursday night in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final.

Kessel also had two assists as the Penguins scored three goals in each of the first two periods, and recorded the first shutout of the series. Pittsburgh, which won Games One and Two at home at PPG Paints Arena last week, rebounded to take a three games-to-two series lead after losing Games Three and Four in Nashville.

The Penguins can clinch their second straight Stanley Cup (and fifth all-time) with a victory on Sunday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC) at Bridgestone Arena in Tennessee. If Nashville wins that evening, the seventh and deciding match will be contested on Wednesday in Pittsburgh to conclude the 2016-17 NHL campaign.
 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Colorado Wins ECHL's Kelly Cup


The Colorado Eagles are the champions of the ECHL.

The Eagles, a transplant from the defunct Central Hockey league, won their first-ever Kelly Cup by completing a four-game sweep of the South Carolina Stingrays with a 2-1 triumph in North Charleston, S.C. on Monday night.

Luke Salazar (Denver) notched the Cup-winning goal just over a minute into the second period, to break a 1-1 tie at the North Charleston Coliseum. Lukas Hafner (Western Michigan) stopped 25 of 26 shots for the Eagles, and ended the postseason with a personal 14-2-0 record. Parker Milner (Boston College) finished with 42 saves Monday for the Stingrays, who got their lone goal from Derek Arnold (UMass Lowell).

Colorado won all four games of the final by one goal apiece, to capture its first playoff title since it won its second of two CHL Ray Miron President's Cups in 2007. South Carolina was seeking its fourth ECHL playoff crown overall, and first since 2009.