Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kreider Does It Again

Chris Kreider is making this look easy.

Three weeks to the day he led Boston College to its fifth-ever NCAA championship in his final game for the Eagles, Kreider struck for his second career game-winning goal in three games in the New York Rangers' 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals in the opener of their Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal series on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Kreider broke a 1-1 tie when he blasted the puck past Capitals netminder and fellow NHL rookie Braden Holtby on a one-man rush exactly seven minutes into the third period. He then worked the side boards deep in the Washington zone a minute-and-a-half later to set up Brad Richards for a point-blank insurance tally through Holtby's pads.

''It's a surreal experience,'' said the 6'3", 225-pound Kreider, who will turn 21 on Monday in time for Game 2 of the series, to the Associated Press. ''I got goose bumps, obviously. I was really tired after the goal, but I didn't feel so tired when they started chanting.''

Kreider, who was drafted 19th overall by New York in 2009, scored his first career NHL goal in a 3-2 win at Ottawa last week to tie that series at three games apiece. He collected 50 goals and 43 assists for 93 points in 114 career games at BC, and won three Hockey East championships, three Beanpot crowns, and two national titles with the Eagles before turning pro in early April.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Former Sioux Combine to Beat BC Alum in Devils OT Win

North Dakota hasn’t really gotten the best of Boston College lately, but a couple of former Fighting Sioux teamed up Tuesday night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against an Eagle alumnus to keep the New Jersey Devils season going. 

Travis Zajac’s wrist shot 5:39 into overtime at the Prudential Center in Newark  lifted the Devils to a 3-2 win over the visiting Florida Panthers and into seventh heaven—or at least a seventh and deciding game on Thursday evening in Sunrise, Fla. Assisting on the goal against former BC goaltender Scott Clemmensen was linemate and former fellow Sioux forward Zach Parise.

Florida, which was seeking to close out New Jersey for its first playoff series victory since 1996, rebounded from a 2-0 deficit in the second period, after Zajac had helped set up one of the Devils’ two goals. The Devils outshot the Panthers, 36-13, in regulation, and then by a 5-2 margin in overtime before the end came.

After Parise backchecked hard to help foil a Florida rush in the extra session, Zajac picked up a rebound off goaltender Martin Brodeur near the Devils' net, skated up the right wing, and sent a pass across the neutral zone to Parise. The puck deflected off Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk and behind Parise, but the Devils' captain managed to turn and bank the puck off the boards to Kovalchuk. 

New Jersey’s top goal-scorer then skated left to right across the Florida blue line, pulling a defenseman towards him, before he slid the puck to a more-or-less open Zajac in the left circle. The former UND star skated straight in and fired a low wrister past former New Jersey teammate Clemmensen (39 saves) to extend the Devils' season for at least one more contest. 

Zajac, a Winnipeg native, played for UND from 2004 to 2006, tallying 35 goals and 48 assists for 83 points in 89 games, and also helped North Dakota to the 2005 NCAA Championship Game. Parise, from Minneapolis, starred with the Sioux from 2002 to 2004, collecting 49-67—116 points in 76 outings. Clemmensen, who was making just his second career NHL playoff start in Game 6, played at BC from 1997 to 2001, accumulating 99 wins, 13 shutouts, and the 2001 NCAA national championship.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quick Outduels Schneider as Kings Oust Canucks

They faced each other in New England high school hockey, and again right after in NCAA play when UMass did battle with Boston College.

They finally faced off in the NHL this past week with even higher stakes, and it was Jonathan Quick getting the best of Cory Schneider as the Los Angeles Kings eliminated the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks, four games to one, in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Quick came out ahead in prep school when his Avon Old Farms team defeated Schneider and Phillips Andover Academy, and did so again in college during the 2006-07 season when his Minutemen took two of three head-to-head meetings with Schneider's Eagles.

Quick completed his trifecta/hat trick on Sunday night as eighth-seeded LA ousted host Vancouver, 2-1, in overtime. Jarrett Stoll's left-circle shot over Schneider's right shoulder put an end to another President's Trophy-winning campaign by the Canucks, and sent LA on to the second round for the first time since 2001 when the Kings defeated Detroit in six contests.

''To close out this series, for me personally, and a few guys in the room, it's something we've never done, so it's a great feeling,'' said Quick, from Milford, Conn., afterwards at

He finished with 165 saves in the five games, allowing just eight goals while also recording one shutout. He went 35-21-3 during the regular season with a 1.95 goals-against average and a club-record 10 shutouts.

Schneider, of Marblehead, Mass., who will be an unrestricted free agent in the off-season, made 43 saves in a 3-1 win in Game Four in LA to keep the Canucks alive for one more game. He had 35 stops on Sunday, while Quick posted 27 saves and shut the door after Henrik Sedin scored just over 14 minutes into Game 5.

"Quick didn't miss on a single puck the whole series," said Schneider, who finished 20-8-1 in the regular season with a 1.96 GAA and three shutouts.

Canucks starter Roberto Luongo took a pair of 4-2 losses in Games 1 and 2 in Vancouver before giving way to Schneider, who made 97 saves on 101 shots in three-plus games, but couldn't extend the Canucks' season in what might have been his final appearance with the club.

The Kings will now face the second-seeded St. Louis Blues, a five-game winner over San Jose, in the second round. The Canucks will go back and try to pick up the pieces, one year after falling one win short of their first Stanley Cup championship.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Connolly to Continue Career in Europe

2012 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Jack Connolly of Minnesota-Duluth will continue his playing career overseas. The Duluth native recently signed a two-year professional contract to play for Färjestads BK in the Swedish Elite League, according to the Duluth News-Tribune.

Connolly, who helped his hometown Bulldogs to their first-ever national title last spring with a 3-2 overtime win over Michigan, finished second in NCAA Division I scoring this past season with 20 goals and 40 assists for 60 points. Never drafted by an NHL club, he tallied 66-131—197 points in 166 career outings with UMD, and never missed a game in his collegiate career.

Connolly was the 32nd recipient of the Hobey Baker Award and the fifth Bulldog, joining Tom Kurvers (1984), Bill Watson (1985), Chris Marinucci (1994) and Junior Lessard (2004). He paced the Bulldogs in points his last three seasons, and was also named a first-team All-WCHA choice all three years. Prior to playing in college, he starred in the United States Hockey League with the Sioux Falls (Iowa) Stampede.

Färjestads BK has had 18 Swedish Championship final appearances in its history, and has won the title nine times.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Clemmensen to Start Game Four for Florida

Former New Jersey Devils goaltender Scott Clemmensen will get the opportunity to improve upon his perfect 5-0 record against his old NHL club when he starts Game Four tonight for the Florida Panthers at his old home of the Prudential Center.

"I'll be ready. Thirty-four years old and (making) my first start in the playoffs," Clemmensen said to The Star-Ledger. "I've felt very much a part of this team all year long. I've played pretty much regularly all year long."

The Iowa native and Boston College product will be making his first career Stanley Cup postseason start after backstopping Florida to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday night in Newark to put the Panthers up two games to one in the first-round series.

He relieved Jose Theodore just over six minutes into the contest, with the host Devils up by a 3-0 count. Clemmensen then shut the door and stopped all 19 shots he faced, while his teammates scored three power-play goals, en route to the goaltender's first-ever NHL playoff win.

More at Bleacher Report

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Clemmensen Earns First NHL Playoff Win

It took a long time—11 years to be exact—but goaltender Scott Clemmensen finally has his first career Stanley Cup playoff victory.

Clemmensen came on in relief of Jose Theodore on Tuesday night, and stopped all 19 shots he faced to lift the visiting Florida Panthers to a  4-3 win over his old NHL team, the New Jersey Devils, at the Prudential Center in Newark.  The Devils took a 3-0 lead just 6:16 into the contest, before Clemmensen came on to blank the host team for the final 43:44 for the win and a 2-1 series lead for the Panthers.

It was his first NHL playoff game since 2006 when he relived former Devils teammate Martin Brodeur in a loss to Carolina, and just his second NHL playoff appearance ever.

A shot by Devils defenseman Marius Zidlicky did go in off Clemmensen, 34, late in the second period last night—but officials ruled that the goalie had been interfered with by Devils forward Steve Bernier, and the tying goal was negated. Clemmensen is now 5-0 all-time against New Jersey,. whom he skated for from 2001-2007, and also in 2008-09.

Drafted in the eighth round by New Jersey in 1997, Clemmensen played four years at Boston College, winning 99 games and recording 13 shutouts. He went 30-7-2 as a senior at BC in 2000-01, and backstopped the Eagles to their first national championship since 1952 with a 3-2 overtime win over North Dakota in the NCAA title game in Albany.

Clemmensen, a 6'3", 205-pound native of Des Moines, Iowa,  is now in his 10th NHL season. Besides the Panthers and Devils, he has also played with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and owns a career regular-season NHL record of 64-45-20 with a 2.64 goals-against average and seven shutouts. His best NHL season came in 2008-09 with New Jersey, when he went 25-13-1 in 40 outings with a 2.39 GAA and two shutouts, and helped the Devils qualify for the postseason as Brodeur was sidelined long-term with a biceps injury.

Clemmensen went 14-6-6 with a 2.57 GAA and one whitewash with Florida in 2011-12, including a 3-1 win at New Jersey on Feb. 11. Game Four of the best-of-seven series is tomorrow night in Newark.

Monday, April 16, 2012

BC's Kreider Makes NHL Debut in Playoffs

The wait is finally over for Chris Kreider.

The 6'3'', 225-pound winger from Boxford, Mass., who just won his second national championship with Boston College only nine days ago, made his NHL debut tonight in the New York Rangers 1-0 playoff victory over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ont.

Kreider skated 13 shifts in all, logging just over 11 minutes of ice time and recording one shot on goal and one hit while wearing jersey No. 20. Brian Boyle, a 2007 BC alumnus, scored the only goal of the game in the third period to give the Rangers a 2-1 first-round series lead.

Kreider is no stranger to skating alongside NHL players. He represented the U.S. at the 2010 and 2011 IIHF World Championships as the lone college player on the American squad.

Drafted 19th overall by the Rangers in 2009 out of Phillips Andover Academy, and long touted to join the Blueshirts' ranks, Kreider, 21, signed with New York shortly after BC beat Ferris State in the NCAA title game in Tampa, Florida on April 7.

He led the Eagles in scoring this past season with 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points, all career high numbers for him. He tallied 50-43—93 points in 114 career college games over three seasons, and also collected 137 penalty minutes.

Kreider also helped BC to the 2008 NCAA title over Wisconsin at Ford Field in Detroit as a freshman, and had a goal in the championship game. He posted a goal and an assist in the Eagles' 6-1 triumph over Minnesota in this year's Frozen Four semifinals for the final points of his college career, and also scored both BC goals in a 2-0 regional semifinal victory over Air Force.

Now he'll be seeking to do the same in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dumoulin Signs with Carolina, Gives Up Last Year at BC

Hours after BC junior forward Chris Kreider signed an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers, classmate Brian Dumoulin did the same with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Both players gave up their fourth and final year of college eligibility after leading the Eagles to the 2012 NCAA championship on Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Ferris State in Tampa, Fla.

Dumoulin, who was drafted in the second round (51st overall) by Carolina in 2009, finished his college career with 11 goals and 72 assists for 83 points, and was also posted a plus-90 rating. He was also a first team All-America selection on defense as both a sophomore and a junior, and one of 10 Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalists as a junior. He signed a three-year deal with the Hurricanes.

A 6'4", 210-pound native of Biddeford, Maine, Dumoulin had a goal and 22 points as a freshman in helping BC to the 2010 NCAA title, and had a three-assist game in a national semifinal victory over Miami (Ohio) in Detroit. As a sophomore, he recorded a career-high 30 assists and 30 points, and as a junior notched a career-high eight goals to go along with 21 assists.

A solid defender and efficient skater with superb puck-moving skills, a deceptive shot and an exceedingly long reach that help him to disarm opposing puck carriers, Dumoulin registered just 48 penalty minutes in his three years with the Eagles. Four of his goals came on the power play, and three were game-winners.

He tallied the final point of his BC career with an assist on Paul Carey's game-winning goal in the national final against Ferris State. In nine career NCAA tournament contests, Dumoulin notched a goal and four assists, with the goal coming in BC's 6-1 Frozen Four semifinal win over Minnesota on Thursday.

Dumoulin, who starred with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs prior to enrolling at BC, also helped the Eagles to three consecutive Beanpot Tournament titles and three straight Hockey East Association tournament crowns. He also skated in the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, helping the U.S. to a bronze medal in Buffalo.

He is expected to join the AHL's Charlotte Checkers for their Friday game at Peoria, and could be with them well into the Calder Cup playoffs.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kreider Leaves BC to Sign with New York Rangers

Boston College junior forward Chris Kreider led the Eagles to a 4-1 win over Ferris State in Saturday night's NCAA championship game in Tampa, Fla. to cap the college campaign.

Now he has has moved on to the next stage of his career, and allegedly signed an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers, who drafted him 19th overall in the first round in 2009. He took part in a rookie development camp with the organization in White Plains, N.Y. two years ago

Kreider, 21, who participated in BC's victory parade today on campus, is expected to practice with the Rangers on Wednesday, and will be eligible for the Stanley Cup Playoffs that New York begins on Thursday at Madison Square Garden against the Ottawa Senators. By reporting now, he shaves one year off his three-year entry level contract, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Kreider, a 6’3”, 225-pound left-shooting winger from Boxford, Mass. who prepped at both Phillips Andover Academy and Masconomet Regional High School before enrolling at BC, led the Eagles in scoring this past season with 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points, which were all career highs for him.

In the NCAA tournament this spring, he scored both of BC’s goals in a 2-0 win over Air Force in a regional semifinal, and contributed another goal and an assist in a 6-1 victory over Minnesota in a national semifinal. In nine career NCAA tournament outings, he posted four goal and three assists

All told, Kreider tallied 50-43—93 points in 114 career college games, while also accumulating 137 penalty minutes. He also recorded 10 power-play goals, 10 game-winning goals, and four short-handed goals. In international play, he represented the U.S. at the 2010 and 2011 IIHF World Championships, and at the 2010 and 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Boston College Claims Third NCAA Title in Five Seasons

For the third time in five seasons, and the fifth time ever, Boston College is the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey National Champion.

The Eagles (33-10-1), who finished the 2011-12 campaign with a 19-game winning streak that dated back to January, earned this year's NCAA title with a 4-1 win over Ferris State on Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla.

BC junior goaltender Parker Milner recorded 27 saves and freshman forward Johnny Gaudreau scored an electrifying goal with three minutes to play to break open a one-goal contest. Junior forward Steven Whitney then iced it with an empty-net tally with just over a minute left that put BC up by three.

Whitney also scored the first goal of the game, as he did in Thursday's 6-1 national semifinal win over Minnesota, while Paul Carey deflected home the game-winning goal on a first-period power play.

It wasn't as easy as it sounded.

Garrett Thompson scored Ferris' only goal of the game just 5:19 into the contest, which pulled the Bulldogs (26-12-5) into a 1-1 tie, before Carey scored midway through the opening stanza to put BC ahead for good.

The score remained unchanged for nearly 40 minutes, although both teams had plenty of offensive chances. Ferris kept pressing for the tying score, forcing Milner to make several tough stops, before Gaudreau's nifty one-man effort put matters to rest. The rookie from Carneys Point, NJ put the puck through the legs of a Ferris defender, and then backhanded in a high shot over the right shoulder of Bulldog net-minder Taylor Nelson (33 saves), who had earlier stopped Barry Almeida on a shorthanded attempt point-blank.

BC, which was playing in its 11th national title game overall, is now 5-6 in NCAA championship contests out-shot. The Eagles outshot first-time finals participant Ferris by a 37-28 margin before 18,818 fans at the Forum, which was hosting its first Frozen Four. The Eagles, who went 10-0 in the gold throwback uniforms they wore this season, inclduing all four NCAA tournament contests, went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Bulldogs were scoreless in four man-advantage attempts.

Milner earned Frozen Four Outstanding Player accolades for his work on the weekend, stopping 57 shots in all and allowing just two goals in four NCAA tournament games this spring. He also posted a pair of shutouts at the NCAA Northeast Regional two weeks ago in Worcester, Mass. against Air Force and Minnesota-Duluth.

Milner also led BC to the 2012 Beanpot title, and both the Hockey East Association regular-season and playoff crowns this season. For the season, the undrafted Pittsburgh native went 29-5-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average, a .937 save percentage, an .853 winning percentage, and three shutouts.

BC head coach Jerry York, who now has 913 career wins, has led the Eagles to national titles in 2001, 2008, 2010, and 2012. He also led Bowling Green to the 1984 national crown.

Perhaps an omen of sorts for the insurance goal by New Jersey native Gaudreau came in New Jersey itself on Saturday afternoon, as former Eagle forward Stephen Gionta scored the game-winning goal in the New Jersey Devils' 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. For Gionta, whose older brother Brian is BC's all-time leading goal scorer, it was his first career NHL goal.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Connolly Wins Hobey Baker Award

Minnesota-Duluth senior forward and Duluth native Jack Connolly is the winner of the 2012 Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in college hockey. He was honored on Friday in Tampa, Fla., the site of this year's NCAA Frozen Four.
Connolly, who helped his hometown Bulldogs to their first-ever national title last spring, was second overall to fellow Hobey Baker finalist Spencer Abbott of Maine with 20 goals and 40 assists for 60 points this winter. Austin Smith of Colgate, the third Hobey Baker finalist this year, led the nation with 36 goals.
“Just to hear my name, it’s a feeling that’s pretty much unexplainable," said Connolly at
Connolly tallied 66-131—197 points in 166 outings with UMD, never missing a game in his collegiate career, and led the Bulldogs in points his last three campaigns while also being named a first-team All-WCHA choice in each of those years.
He is the fifth Bulldog to win the Hobey Baker, joining Tom Kurvers (1984), Bill Watson (1985), Chris Marinucci (1994) and Junior Lessard (2004). UMD now has more Hobey Baker Award winners than any other Division I school.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

One Game to Go

It'll be Bulldogs against Eagles on Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Florida for the 2012 NCAA Division I men's ice hockey championship.

Ferris State (26-11-5) will head to its first-ever national title game after ousting Union, 3-1, on Thursday. The Bulldogs got two goals from Aaron Schmit, including a clinching empty-netter in the final minutes. Kyle Bonis set up Ferris’ first goal, after Daniel Carr had staked Union to a 1-0 lead, and then backhanded home the game-winner with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.

Taylor Nelson had 27 stop for the Bulldogs, who won the Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title, and were ranked No. 1 in the nation earlier in the year.

The current No. 1 team, Boston College (32-10-1), earned its 18th straight victory with a 6-1 blitzing of Minnesota, as the Eagles exploded for three second-period goals to break open a 1-0 game. Paul Carey scored twice for BC, which also got two assists from Johnny Gaudreau and a goal and an assist from Chris Kreider. Parker Milner finished with 30 saves in net.

Kevin Hayes (game-winner) and Brian Dumoulin also scored power-play goals for the Eagles, while Stephen Whitney tallied the game’s first goal. Minnesota's Jake Hansen kept Milner from getting his third shutout in a row with goal early in the final period.

BC and Ferris State have only met twice before, and not since 2005-06. They’ve also never met before in the NCAA Tournament, but that will change when they meet for all the proverbial marbles on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

One game to go.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The NCAA Division I men's ice hockey national champion will be crowned on Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and the only thing certain is that the winner will be adorned in some shade of maroon for the third consecutive spring.

Maroon-and-gold Boston College won it all in 2010, and then maroon-wearing Minnesota-Duluth did the same thing last year. Minnesota and first-timer Ferris State also wear maroon and gold, while other Frozen Four rookie Union is decked out in maroon and black. Other than the similarity in colors, any of the four schools this weekend is capable of skating away with the NCAA championship.

Ferris State and Union, who will play each other in the first game on Thursday, may be new to the national semifinals, but both have had solid clubs this season. So has Minnesota, which has now been to the Frozen Four 23 times and has won five national titles, and BC, which is going for the 20th time and has four NCAA crowns to its credit.

Ferris State (25-11-5 overall) won the 2011-12 Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title, and head coach Bob Daniels just claimed the Spencer Penrose Trophy as the top collegiate hockey coach in Division I. Senior forward Jordie Johnston is the Bulldogs’ top scorer with 20 goals and 16 assists for 36 points, while senior goaltender Taylor Nelson has a record of 20-6-3 to go along with a 2.10 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage, and three shutouts.

Union (26-7-7) swept both the Eastern College Athletic Conference regular-season and postseason crowns, and recorded its first two NCAA Tournament wins two weeks ago at the East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn. The Dutchmen also have one of the top four power plays in the country (24.3 percent), and have also allowed the fewest goals per game in Division I (1.80). Junior forward Jeremy Welsh (27-16—43) is Union’s leading scorer, while the Dutchmen’s top netminder is sophomore Troy Grosenick (22-5-3, 1.64, .936, 5 SO).

Boston College (31-10-1), ranked first in the nation the last several weeks, has won 17 straight games, including the Beanpot Tournament and both the Hockey East Association regular-season and playoff titles. Goaltender Parker Milner (27-5-0, 2.71, .935, 3 SO) then did not allow a goal in the Eagles’ wins over Air Force and Minnesota-Duluth at the NCAA Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass. BC is killing penalties at an 88 percent rate while also scoring a nation-high 11 shorthanded goals. Chris Kreider leads the Eagles in scoring with 23-21—44 points, while freshmen forward Johnny Gaudreau has also hit the 20-goal mark.

Minnesota (28-13-1), which tops the nation with 3.67 goals per contest, is back at the Frozen Four for the first time in seven years. The Golden Gophers rebounded from a loss to North Dakota in the WCHA Final Five three weeks ago with convincing victories over both Boston University and UND at the NCAA West Regional in St. Paul, Minn. Sophomore forward Erick Haula (20-28—48) is Minnesota’s leading point-producer, while in goal the Gophers have relied all season on senior Kent Patterson (28-13-1, 2.23, .911, 7 SO).

Ferris and Union will face-off at 4:30 p.m. ET today on ESPNU, while BC and Minnesota will follow at around 8:00 p.m. tonight on ESPN2 (all games streamed at The winners will meet on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN2 to decide the 2012 Division I NCAA champion.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MSU's Krug Makes NHL Debut with Bruins

Torey Krug became the latest Michigan State Spartan to play in the National Hockey League when he made his pro debut last night at TD Bank Garden in Boston. He fired two shots on goal and also blocked an opposing attempt, while wearing jersey No. 47, in the Bruins’ 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Krug, a 5’9”, 180-pound defenseman from Livonia, Mich., signed with Boston as a free agent on March 25, just two days after MSU was eliminated from the 2012 NCAA Tournament by Union College at the East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn. He assisted on the Spartans’ lone goal in the 3-1 setback for the final point of his collegiate career.

In three seasons in East Lansing, Krug scored 26 goals and added 57 assists for 83 points in 114 appearances. He also tallied 15 power-play goals and seven game-winning goals, and collected a total of 175 penalty minutes.

He led all Central Collegiate Hockey Association defenseman in scoring this season with 12-22—34 points, which also tied him for the overall conference scoring lead, making him the first CCHA blueliner ever to do so and also earning him CCHA Player of the Year accolades.

An All-CCHA Rookie Team selection as a freshman in 2009-10, Krug, 20, was an All-CCHA First Team choice as both a sophomore and a junior, and also served as team captain his final two seasons. As a junior, he was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top college hockey player in the country in leading MSU to a 19-6-4 record (14-11-3 CCHA). He was also tabbed as the CCHA’s Best Offensive Defenseman his last two seasons.

Defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston is 47-29-4 overall (98 points), and has locked up the second seed in the NHL’s Eastern Conference heading into the start of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs next week. Krug will not be eligible for the postseason because of his late signing, according to the Observer & Eccentric’s web site.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The New NCAA Guard

Following are the top players as ranked by NHL Central Scouting (mid-term) who are either currently playing in college, or are committed to a university for next season, with ranking, name, position, last team and college commitment in parentheses, if not currently enrolled in college:

 9. Jacob Trouba, D, U.S. NTDP (Michigan)
12. Zemgus Girgensons, F, Dubuque-USHL (Vermont)
18. Brady Skjei, D, U.S. NTDP (Minnesota)
27. Nicolas Kerdiles, F, U.S. NTDP (Wisconsin)
28. Phillip Giuseppe, F, Michigan-CCHA
29. Michael Matheson, D, Dubuque-USHL (Boston College)
31. Cristoval Nieves, F, Kent School (Michigan)
47. Jake McCabe, D, Wisconsin-WCHA
73. Austin Wuthrich, F, Notre Dame-CCHA
1G. Jon Gillies, G, Indiana-USHL (Northeastern)

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft will be held at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh in June.