Saturday, July 14, 2012

Two Say No to College Ranks

Mark Carlson played hockey in college, but won't be coaching there (again). Zemgus Girgensons (above) didn't even get on the ice.

Carlson, a former UMass Lowell skater and assistant coach who has spent the past 13 seasons as head coach and general manager with Cedar Rapids (USHL), has turned down the opportunity to become head coach at Massachusetts, according to He led the RoughRiders to a Clark Cup title as USHL playoff champions in 2004-05, and Anderson Cups in 2004-05 and 2010-11 as USHL regular-season champions.  He was also named USHL Coach of the Year both of those seasons.

Carlson, a New Jersey native, will remain with the RoughRiders, whom he has guided since the 1999-2000 campaign. He follows head coaches Rand Pecknold of Quinnipiac University and Paul Pearl of the College of the Holy Cross, who also recently turned down the UMass job to remain with their current employers. The Minutemen have been seeking a new mentor since long-time bench boss Don "Toot" Cahoon resigned on June 19.

Girgensons, who was to enroll at the University of Vermont this fall, has instead signed a professional contract with the Buffalo Sabres, who drafted him 14th overall last month in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The Latvian native played with Dubuque (USHL) the past two years, collecting 45 goals and 59 assists for 104 points in 100 games, along with 115 penalty minutes and a plus-24 plus-minus rating. He helped the also Fighting Saints to the 2011 Clark Cup championship, one year after skating for Green Mountain (Vt.) (EJHL).

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