Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nazareth Claims First-Ever ECAC West Win

The wait is finally over for Nazareth College.

The Golden Flyers earned their first-ever ECAC West conference win on Friday night when they defeated visiting Manhattanville, 6-4, at The Sports Centre at MCC in Rochester, N.Y.

In a season of firsts for the nascent Division III program, this may have been one of the best.

Sophomore forward Julius Tamasy scored twice and set up another goal to garner ECAC West Player of the Week accolades.
Entire column can be found at

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nanooks Ranked 20th Nationally After Sixth Straight Win

Who's won six straight conference games and vaulted itself into the thick of the final CCHA race? The University of Alaska (Fairbanks), of course, now ranked 20th in NCAA Division I by

The Nanooks (12-8-4 overall) have opened the calendar year by sweeping Michigan and Notre Dame on the road, and Northern Michigan at home, to improve to 10-7-3-1 in the CCHA, where they currently sit in fourth place with 34 points. They're just two points behind third-place Notre Dame, four points behind second-place Western Michigan, and five points behind league-leading Miami, whom they will visit this Friday and Saturday in Oxford, Ohio.

It’s been a bit of tightrope act this season for Alaska, which has averaged 2.71 goals per game and surrendered 2.58 goals per outing so far. The Nanook penalty kill, though, is ranked eighth in the nation, and has eliminated 100-of-113 opponent power plays (88.5 percent) while also scoring four shorthanded goals.

They're also getting things done by committee, at least scoring-wise. Senior forward Jarrett Granberg leads Alaska with five goals and 12 assists for 17 points, and had a game-winning goal with three seconds left at Notre Dame. Senior classmate Andy Taranto is right behind him with 7-9—16 points, and recently passed the century mark for career points. They're just two of nine Nanooks in double figures this season, with Trevor Campbell the highest-scoring blueliner for the Blue and Gold to date with 1-14—15 points.

In goal it’s been a different story, as freshman John Keeney has firmly taken the reins in the Nanook net, and played in 15 of UAF's 24 games. The California native has gone 8-4-3 with a 2.30 goals-against average and .914 save percentage, and has been in goal for the last six games/wins.

Following the Miami series, coach Dallas Ferguson’s club will host Ohio State at the Carlson Center, visit Lake Superior State, and host Michigan State before concluding the regular season with a home-and-home series with in-state and future WCHA rival Alaska Anchorage for the annual Governor’s Cup.

Following the last-ever CCHA Tournament in Detroit in March, the Nanooks hope to be one of 16 teams in the nation left standing, with their second-ever berth to the NCAA Tournament and second such selection in four years.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Go, Go Gophers - 33 Wins in a Row

The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team improved to 25-0-0 overall this season (19-0-0 WCHA) after defeating rival Wisconsin, 2-0, on Friday night in Madison, Wis. The win also marked the Golden Gopher’s 33rd consecutive victory dating back to last season, when they won the Division I national championship over the Badgers.

Minnesota’s 33 straight wins set a new NCAA record, and the streak was stretched to 34 victories on Sunday after Minnesota posted a 5-1 win at Wisconsin to conclude the two-step sweep.

The Gophers (26-0, 20-0 WCHA) haven’t come up short on the scoresheet since a 2-1 OT loss to North Dakota on Feb. 17, 2012. Minnesota then won its last eight contests of the 2011-12 campaign, including a 4-2 victory over Wisconsin in the national title game at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn. to claim its third NCAA title, and first since 2005.

The Gophers will get back to work and put their streak on the line again on Feb. 1-2 when they host in-state rival Minnesota-Duluth at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Split Between Two States

Michigan State defeated Penn State, 5-3, on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. in the first-ever varsity hockey meeting between the two future Big Ten opponents. Tanner Sorensen scored twice for the host Spartans, including the game-winner, while Jake Hildebrand made 27 saves. My recap can be found here.

The visiting Nittany Lions earned a series split with a 3-2 win Saturday, as Taylor Holstrom notched the winning goal with just over four minutes remaining in regulation. Max Gardiner figured in all three goals as Penn State (10-13 overall) bounced back from a 2-0 deficit after 20 minutes, and finished with 50 shots on goal in all.

MSU (7-16-3 overall) has a home-and-home series with Bowling Green next week, perhaps the final time they will meet as CCHA foes, while PSU will battle longtime club rival Ohio University in a pair of exhibitions in University Park, Pa.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Irish Seek to Bounce Back Against Ferris

Notre Dame has been sailing along pretty smoothly this season in this, the final campaign of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

UND is 15-9-0 overall, ranked No. 7 in the nation, and is tied with Western Michigan for first place in the CCHA with an 11-5-0 league mark.

So what if the Irish are winless in their last four games?

Entire story can be found here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pioneers in Second Place

This week's ECAC West column at looks at Utica College and its rise to second place in the conference. The Pioneers are 14-3-0 overall and ranked eighth in NCAA Division III, and last week beat league frontrunner and No. 3 Hobart, 5-3, to improve to 5-2 in ECAC West play. Story can be found here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Knuble Joins AHL's Griffins

Former University of Michigan forward Mike Knuble, a 16-year NHL veteran, has signed a 25-game professional tryout contract with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins after being recently released by their parent club, the Detroit Red Wings, according to the Grand Rapids Press.

He will be free to sign with any NHL club that may come calling for his services while he is with the Griffins.

Knuble played at Michigan from 1991 to 1995, and scored 103 goals and added 72 assists. He had three 20-goal campaigns and two 30-goal seasons with the Wolverines, while helping them to four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.

Born in Toronto, Knuble, 40, grew up in Michigan in the Grand Rapids suburb of Kentwood, and was a two-time 50-goal scorer at East Kentwood High School. The 6-3, 230-lb. winger began his NHL career in 1996-97 with Detroit, earning a Stanley Cup championship ring with the Red Wings the following year after appearing in 52 regular-season games.

He has also played with the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. In 1,040 NHL regular-season games to date, Knuble has tallied 274 goals and 266 assists for 540 points while collecting 621 penalty minutes. In 65 Stanley Cup Playoff outings, he has recorded 14-16—30 points and 38 PIM.

He spent last season with Washington, collecting six goals and 18 points in 72 contests. His best NHL campaign came in 2005-06 with Philadelphia when he registered 34-31—65 points, all career highs, in 82 appearances.

Knuble is expected to skate on Wednesday when the Griffins take on the Oklahoma City Barons. He previously played two seasons in the AHL with the Adirondack Red Wings, and tallied 50-58—108 points in 148 AHL games from 1995 to 1997.

Monday, January 21, 2013

UConn Rolling Along Following Marshall Resignation

Connecticut has gone 2-2-0 since head coach and alumnus Bruce Marshall announced his resignation due to medical reasons on Jan. 7. Marshall, a 1995 graduate of UConn and the 2002 ECAC Coach of the Year, had been on medical leave since November, and was in his 25th campaign (341-383-70) behind the Huskies bench.

Former Providence goaltender and assistant coach David Berard has been serving as UConn's interim head coach since Marshall went on leave late last year.. He has led the Huskies to splits with Atlantic Hockey conference opponents Robert Morris and Mercyhurst over the last two weekends.

UConn (9-10-12 overall, 6-8-1 Atlantic Hockey) returns to action tomorrow night against No. 4 Quinnipiac, which is atop the ECAC standings and is undefeated in its last 16 outings (14-0-2).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

WCHA Accepts UAH for 2013-14

The University of Alabama-Huntsville finally has a new hockey home.

The Chargers, who have been an independent since College Hockey America disbanded in 2010, and who were nearly reduced to club status last season, accepted an invitation today to join the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for the 2013-14 campaign.

UAH, which made the NCAA Division I Tournament in both 2007 and 2010, will join Alaska Anchorage, Alaska (Fairbanks), Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State and Northern Michigan in the new WCHA starting this fall.

Manhattanville's Swedish Connection

This week's ECAC West column focuses on Manhattanville College and its pipeline from Purchase, N.Y, to Sweden, which has supplied the school with more than a half-dozen skaters over the past several seasons. Story is located here at USCHO.

The now-No. 11 Valiants improved to 11-4-2 overall with a 9-2 shellacking of host Suffolk on Tuesday night, and will visit conference foe Neumann tomorrow evening.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Neumann's Knights on the Rise


Wrote about Neumann University topping No. 1 Norwich last week for and my ECAC West column. The Knights are now 7-4-2 overall on the season, and got two goals from sophomore foward Chris Bournazos in the win over the Cadets in the championship game of the Northfield Bank Tournament in Northfield, Vt., including the game-winner. Story can be found here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Milne Leaves Michigan for OHL

Michigan freshman forward Daniel Milne has left the Wolverines to join the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack, who drafted him in the third round of the 2010 OHL draft.
“Daniel Milne informed us today that he is leaving the Michigan hockey program,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said in a statement posted at “While we are disappointed with his decision, it is important to note that he is leaving in good academic standing.”

Milne had gone scoreless in seven games with Michigan this season. A 5-11, 189-pound winger from Unionville, Ont., he prepped with St. Michael’s of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, with whom he posted 16 goals and 31 assists for 47 points in 38 games last year.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Stolarz Leaving Nebraska-Omaha for OHL

Nebraska-Omaha freshman goaltender Anthony Stolarz is leaving school to join the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, according to sources.

A second-round choice of the Philadelphia Flyers (45th overall) last summer, he was 2-5-0 with a 2.56 goals-against average and an .898 save percentage with one shutout in eight appearances. He follows Denver freshman defenseman Dakota Mermis, who left the Pioneers last week to join London.

A 6'5" native of Jackson, N.J., Stolarz, 18, spent last season with the NAHL's Corpus Christi IceRays, where he went 23-22-4 (2.84, .920) and posted four assists in 50 appearances.

UNO, which is 13-8-1 overall and ranked 13th in NCAA Division I, is in first place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with a 9-4-1 mark in WCHA play. The Mavericks have been led in goal so far by senior John Faulkner (11-3-1, 2.63, .900), who is 49-37-9 in 102 career games dating back to the 2009-10 campaign. He also backstopped UNO to the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

U.S. Wins Gold at WJC

Rocco Grimaldi (North Dakota) scored his first two goals of the tournament, including the game-winner, while John Gibson (Kitchener/OHL) made 26 saves and Vince Trocheck (Saginaw/OHL) added an empty-net goal with 16.7 seconds remaining in regulation today to lift the United States to a 3-1 victory over defending champion Sweden in the gold medal game at the 2013 IIHF World Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Following a scoreless opening period, Florida draft choice Grimaldi tallied twice in the second stanza, first on a wraparound and then on a deflection, after Sweden had taken a 1-0 lead. The goals stood up until Trocheck skated in alone late in the game to seal the win.

It marks the third WJC gold medal for the U.S., with the other two titles coming in 2004 and 2010.

Jacob Trouba (Michigan), who scored a goal in three straight games at one point, was named USA's Top Defenseman, while Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College), who had seven goals in three games leading up to the final, was its Top Forward.

Gibson, an Anaheim draftee, earned recognition as Top Goaltender for both the U.S. and the tournament, and allowed just nine goals in seven games while also pitching two shutouts. His save percentage of .955 is the highest ever for an American in the WJC.

The Americans finished the tournament with a 5-2 record, dropping only a pair of one-goal decisions to Russia and Canada, and will look to defend their WJC title next year in Sweden. Russia defeated Canada in the bronze medal game, 6-5, in overtime, denying Canada a WJC medal of any kind for the first time since 1998.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Johnny (Gaudreau) Be Good

The U.S. faces Sweden tomorrow ( 8 a.m. EST, NHL Network) in Ufa, Russia for this year's IIHF World Junior Championship gold - can Boston College sophomore forward Johnny Gaudreau keep his WJC offensive run going? See story at Bleacher Report.

Rattray Article Up at NYHJ

Story on Clarkson junior forward Jamie Lee Rattray is now up at the NYHJ web site

The Golden Knights are 15-4-0 overall and ranked second in the nation, despite losing to No. 5 Boston College, 5-1, last night in Potsdam. Clarkson is also 7-0-1 in ECAC play.

Rattray has 15 goals and 16 assists for a team-leading 31 points through 18 games, although she has been skating with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team at the 2013 Meco Cup in Germany.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

U.S. to Play for Gold on Saturday

The U.S. National Junior Team will play defending champion Sweden in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal game on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET (NHL Network) in Ufa, Russia.

The U.S. got two goals apiece from Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College) and captain Jake McCabe (Wisconsin) in defeating Canada, 5-1, in a semifinal game on Thursday. Jim Vesey (Harvard) had the other American goal, while John Gibson (Kitchener/OHL) made 33 saves. Gaudreau now has seven goals and two assists in his last three games.

Team USA, which won gold in 2010 in OT against Canada in Saskatchewan, avenged a 2-1 preliminary-round loss to the Canadians from earlier in this tournament. Sweden edged host Russia, 3-2,  in a shootout in the other semifinal today.

The U.S. record now stands at four wins and two losses, with the other loss coming to Russia in the preliminary round by a 2-1 score. The U.S. has also beaten Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, but has not played Sweden since a 3-2 exhibition win just before the tournament began.

Saturday will be a little bit bigger than that.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gaudreau Does It Again, U.S. Blanks Czechs

Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau (pictured) followed up his two-goal performance against Slovakia on Monday with a hat trick this morning as the United States blanked the Czech Republic, 7-0, in its quarterfinal round opener at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Gaudreau opened the scoring in the first period on a power play, and then made it 2-0 in the second stanza, also with a man advantage, according to His five goals now leads the U.S. in the tournament. Jacob Trouba (Michigan) saw his three-game goal-scoring streak come to an end, but still registered four assists against the Czechs.

The U.S., which tallied five power-play goals in all in the victory, advances to an elimination game tomorrow against northern rival Canada at 4 a.m. ET (NHL Network). Canada edged Team USA, 2-1, in the preliminary round last week.

Tomorrow's winner will face the winner of Russia and defending WJC champion Sweden for the title.