Sunday, March 31, 2013

Frozen Four Field Finalized

The other half of the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four in Pittsburgh has been finalized. St. Cloud State and top-ranked Quinnipiac will both head to their first-ever national semifinal in two weeks, following their respective Midwest and East Regional final victories on Sunday.

St. Cloud ousted Miami (Ohio) by a 4-1 count in Toledo, while Quinnipiac routed conference rival Union (NY) by a 5-1 score in Providence. The two will meet in two weeks time at the Consol Energy Center.

They will join Yale and UMass Lowell, which claimed the West and Northeast Regional finals on Saturday, respectively. It will mark the first time since 1958 that four schools will be all seeking their first Division I hockey national title at the same time.

SCSU got two goals apiece on Sunday from Joey Benik and Cory Thorson to punch its ticket to Pittsburgh. The Huskies, who won a share of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title , also got 20 saves from Ryan Faragher, with only Blake Coleman able to put a puck past him.

It was also a new league preview game of sorts, as Miami will move to the nascent National Collegiate Hockey Conference this fall along with SCSU. It was also the last ever game by a Central Collegiate Hockey Association school, which is disbanding after 42 years of play. Miami won the final CCHA regular-season crown, its fourth in team history, and just made its eighth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.
Quinnipiac completed its seasonal hat trick against Eastern College Athletic Conference opponent Union, thanks to a hat trick in just 3:12 by forward Matthew Peca in the first period to break up a scoreless tie. Two backhanders in front in Peca, sandwiched around a wrist shot from the right circle, for the fastest hat trick in NCAA tournament history proved to be all the Bobcats needed to defeat the Dutchmen for the third time this year.

Quinnipiac goaltender and Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist Eric Hartzell finished with 18 saves. Troy Grosenick had 21 stops for the Dutchmen, who fell one game short of their second straight Frozen Four.
SCSU and Quinnipiac will engage each other in the late semifinal on April 11 in Pittsburgh, while UMass Lowell and Yale will face one another in the early semifinal starting at 4:30 p.m. ET. Both games will be televised live on ESPN 2. The semifinal victors will then meet on April 13 to decide this year’s national champion.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Upsets Continue on Second Day of NCAA Tournament

One half of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four is set. Whoever completes the other side of the bracket will also be a first-time national semifinalist, which means there will be a first-ever national champion for the second time in three years, following Minnesota-Duluth’s first-ever national title in 2011.
Yale went further than it has in 61 years by scoring four unanswered third-period goals to oust North Dakota, 4-1, and win the West Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich. as a fourth seed. Jesse Root, the hero in Friday’s overtime win over Minnesota, again collected the game-winning goal, this time with just under five minutes left in the final period, after Josh Balch tied it with his third goal of the campaign at 12:25. Anthony Day had two assists for Yale, while Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist Corban Knight scored North Dakota’s only goal.

The Bulldogs won’t be the only Eastern College Athletic Conference team in Pittsburgh in two weeks time, as either Quinnipiac or Union will also represent the conference in the national semifinals following Sunday’s East Regional final in Providence. (Quinnipiac defeated Union in both of their league meetings this season.)

The top-seeded Bobcats rebounded from a 3-1 third-period deficit to edge Atlantic Hockey champion Canisius by a 4-3 count. Kevin Bui’s goal with 5:32 remaining in regulation proved to be the difference as Quinnipiac recorded its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory. Connor Jones also had a goal and an assist for Quinnipiac, while Matthew Peca and Jordan Samuels-Thomas had third-period goals, and Hobey Baker finalist Eric Hartzell made 20 stops.
Union came within a win of its second straight Frozen Four by mauling defending NCAA champion Boston College, 5-1, in the other Providence semifinal. The Dutchmen tallied three times on the power play, while Josh Jooris notched two goals in all, including the game-winner early in the second stanza, as Union led 4-0 after 40 minutes. Troy Grosenick finished with 29 saves for the Dutchmen, while Hobey Baker finalist Johnny Gaudreau had the only goal for the Eagles.

UMass Lowell punched its tickets to its first-ever Frozen Four with a 2-0 win over Hockey East rival new Hampshire in the Northeast Regional final in Manchester, N.H. Scott Wilson’s wraparound goal with 30 seconds left in the second period put the River Hawks ahead, and Adam Chapie iced it on backhander off a rush with just over six minutes left in the final session. Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves to earn the shutout, his sixth of the season that tied him for the national lead.
St. Cloud State, the fourth seed in the Midwest Regional in Toledo, advanced to the final by upending Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoff champion and regional top seed Notre Dame, 5-1. Joey Benik scored twice for the Huskies, while Ben Hanowski registered a goal and an assist for the last Western Collegiate Hockey Association team now left standing in the tournament. Mike Voran had the sole goal for the Fighting Irish.

SCSU will face the final CCHA team left in the tournament, Miami (Ohio), in the regional final on Sunday. The Redhawks blanked Minnesota State, 4-0, as Ryan Mckay made 20 saves, Austin Czarnik set up two goals, and Max Cook had a goal and an assist. Miami is also the last CCHA team overall, as the league is set to disband following the completion of the NCAAs.

Friday, March 29, 2013

First Day of NCAA Tournament in the Books

They did it again.

Three years after upsetting North Dakota by a 3-2 score in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass., Yale University did the same to Minnesota, this time in overtime in Friday's NCAA West Regional semifinal in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Kenny Agostino had a goal and an assist for Yale, and set up Jesse Root's one-timer in front for the game-winner just nine seconds into the extra session, setting an NCAA Tournament record. Yale was shut out in both games in last week's ECAC Championship in Atlantic City, and made the NCAAs as the 15th overall and final at-large seed only after Michigan was eliminated in the CCHA final.

The Bulldogs will play now North Dakota on Sunday, after UND escaped with a 2-1 victory over Niagara despite 41 saves by Purple Eagle netminder and Hobey Baker Memorial Award Finalist Carsen Chubak. Fellow Hobey Bakey finalist Danny Kristo tallied the game-winning goal on a third-period wraparound to break a 1-1 tie.

At the Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H., Hockey East regular-season and playoff champion UMass Lowell came within a game of the Frozen Four for the second straight campaign by crushing WCHA Tournament champion Wisconsin by a 6-1 count. Connor Hellebucyk made 31 saves for the victorious River Hawks, including one on a penalty shot. UML got goals from six different skaters in all, while racing out to a 3-0 lead in the second period before adding three more goals in the third session.

UML will now face Hockey East rival New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon, following the Wildcats' 5-2 victory over Denver in the second Northeast Regional semifinal. After the Pioneers took a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play, UNH responded with four unanswered scores, with Daltan Speelman notching the deciding marker with 22 seconds left in the second period. Casey Thrush scored UNH's first and fifth goals, the last one into an empty Denver net with 2:20 remaining in regulation.

The East and Midwest Regionals both get underway on Saturday, with their finals to be contested on Sunday. In Providence, No. 1 overall seed Quinnipiac will face Canisius, while ECAC Tournament champion Union will play defending NCAA champion Boston College. In Toledo, CCHA playoff king Notre Dame will take on St. Cloud State, while CCHA regular-season titilist Miami (Ohio) will square off with Minnesota State.

NCAA Players on the Move, NHL-Wise

The NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament is about to commence, and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are still over a month awaybut three college players with National Hockey League ties were recently on the move, at least in the transactions section.

Yale junior forward Kenny Agostino and St. Cloud senior forward Ben Hanowski, a pair of Pittsburgh Penguins draft choices, were both included in the deal that sent longtime Calgary Flames star Jarome Iginla to the Steel City. Also going to Calgary in the deal was Pittsburgh's 2013 first-round draft choice.

Agostino leads Yale with 15 goals, and also has 22 assists for 37 points this season. The Flanders, NJ native has collected 40-5696 points in 97 career games with the Bulldogs, who play Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA West Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Friday.

Hanowksi, who was tabbed 63rd overall by the Penguins in 2009, has 16-1329 totals this season for the Huskies, who face Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional in Toledo on Saturday. In 153 career games, the Little Falls, Minn. native has registered 66-50116 points in 153 appearances.

Elsewhere, Michigan junior defenseman Jon Merrill decided to skip his senior season in Ann Arbor and signed an amateur tryout contract with the New Jersey Devils organization, which drafted him 38th overall in 2010. Merrill, from Brighton, Mich., tallied 11-36--47 points in 82 career outings with the Wolverines, who just fell short of a 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. He will be assigned to Albany (AHL).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

2012-13 USCHO Division III Teams

The 2012-13 NCAA Division III All-USCHO Teams were announced earlier this month at ECAC West players are listed in bold.

First Team
G - David Jacobson, St. Norbert
D- Ollie Koo, Bowdoin
D - Scott Farrell, Neumann
F - Paul Rodrigues, Oswego State
F - Luke Moodie, Oswego State
F - Kyle Stroh, St. Norbert

Second Team
G - Brandon Stephenson, Wisconsin-Eau Claire
D - Shaun Jameson, Wentworth
D - Jack Callahan, Wisconsin-Eau Claire
F - Joe Caveney, Fitchburg State
F - Branden Parkhouse, Becker
F - Zach Graham, Adrian

Third Team
G - Nick Broadwater, Hobart
D- Rob Florentino, Massachusetts-Boston
D - Jesse McConney, Oswego State
F - Keith Buehler, Wesleyan
F - Jordan Singer, Wisconsin-Eau Claire
F - Louie Educate, Utica

All-Rookie Team
G - Saxton Soley, St. John's
D - Donny Olivieri, Utica
D - Marko Brelih, Hamilton
F - Shaquille Merasty, Adrian
F - Peter MacIntyre, Massachusetts-Boston
F - Kevin Emmerling, Plattsburgh State

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Quinn Named New BU Men's Coach

David Quinn was announced today as the new men's hockey head coach at Boston University.

Quinn (BU '88), who is currently serving as an assistant coach with the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, will take over from his former head coach, Jack Parker, who retired following 40 years, 897 wins, three NCAA championships, and a score-plus of Beanpot trophies from 1973 to 2013. Parker coached his last game on Saturday in a 1-0 loss to UMass Lowell in the Hockey East championship game, one night after beating Boston College, 6-3.

A former Terrier defenseman and first-round NHL draft choice (Minnesota/1984) whose college career was cut short by a blood disorder called Christmas Disease, Quinn, 46, still went on to play professionally in the American and International Hockey Leagues thanks to medication, and also spent five years as an assistant to Parker at BU, where he was part of its 2009 national title team.

A native of Cranston, R.I., Quinn went on to coach professionally, first as head coach with Lake Erie (AHL), and then with the parent Avalanche. He has also been an assistant coach with Northeastern University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Perfect Minnesota Wins Second Straight NCAA Women's Title

The University of Minnesota women's hockey team finished off a perfect 41-0 season by defeating Boston University, 6-3, on Sunday at Ritter Arena in Minneapolis in the NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey Championship Game. The Golden Gophers ran their overall winning streak to 49 games, dating back to last season when they also won the national title over WCHA rival Wisconsin.

Minnesota had advanced to this year's title game by beating Boston College, 3-2 in overtime, on Friday, while BU topped Merychurst, 4-1, in the other semifinal. It was the fourth overall NCAA title for the Gophers, while the Terriers (26-8-3) fell for the second time in the national title game, having lost to Wisconsin in 2011.

Amanda Kessel paced the Golden Gophers to the victory with two goals and two assists against the Terriers, and also eclipsed the century mark for points this season, finishing with 101 points in all on 46 goals and 55 assists in 38 outings. Hannah Brandt and Rachel Ramsey scored Minnesota's other goals on Sunday. Noora Räty made 21 saves in the Minnesota net in her collegiate finale, and finished with a 36-0 record and 17 shutouts this season and a 112-15-8 mark in four seasons, including 48 career shutouts.

Sarah Lefort, Marie-Philip Poulin and Jenelle Kohanchuk scored for the Terriers, while Kerrin Sperry made 23 stops for BU. Both teams went 2-for-4 on the power play as Minnesota skated out to 2-0 and 4-2 leads before Kessel ultimately iced matters with an empty-netter with 49 seconds remaining in regulation.

ALSO: Elmira (24-5-1) won the 2013 NCAA Division III Women's National Championship on March 16 with a 1-0 victory over Middlebury on March 16 at Wessman Arena in Superior, Wis. Taylor Steadman scored the game's only goal, and Lauren Sullivan made 30 saves as the Soaring Eagles locked up their third-ever national title.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Field is Set

The opening segment of the road to the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four was revealed tonight on ESPNU. The regionals will be contested this upcoming weekend, April 29-31, in four different cities and venues.

Following are the brackets, courtesy of

Providence, R.I.
Dunkin Donuts Center
Saturday, 5:30 and 9 p.m. (ET), Sunday, 6:30 p.m.
1. Quinnipiac vs. 16. Canisius
6. Boston College vs. 12. Union

Grand Rapids, Mich.
Van Andel Arena
Friday, 2 and 5:30 p.m. (ET), Saturday, 4 p.m.
2. Minnesota vs. 15. Yale
8. North Dakota vs. 10. Niagara

Manchester, N.H.
Verizon Wireless Center
Friday, 4:30 and 8 p.m. (ET), Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
3. Mass.-Lowell vs. 14. Wisconsin
7. New Hampshire vs. 9. Denver

Toledo, Ohio
Huntington Center
Saturday, 1:30 and 5 p.m. (ET), Sunday, 4 p.m.
4. Notre Dame vs. 13. St. Cloud State
5. Miami vs. 11. Minnesota State

Conspicuously absent for the first time since 1990 is Michigan, which had to beat Notre Dame today in the last-ever CCHA Championship to gain the league's autobid, but fell by a 3-1 score. The Wolverines' loss opened the door for Yale to garner the last at-large bid to this year's national tournament.

The regional winners (East vs. Midwest, West vs. Northeast) will meet on Friday, April 11 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, with the championship game to be played two days later.

Michigan One Win Away from Maintaining NCAA Streak

Took a look at Michigan, unbeaten in its last nine outings, following its 6-2 win over Miami in the CCHA semifinals on Saturday. A win today against Notre Dame in the final CCHA title game would boost the Wolverines to their 23rd straight NCAA Tournament, while a loss would end their season.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

One NCAA Tournament Berth to Go

The final berth in the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship will come down to tomorrow's final CCHA Championship.

If Michigan, winner of its last five games, defeats Notre Dame on Sunday in Detroit, the Wolverines will garner the CCHA's automatic bid and advance to their 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament. If the Fighting Irish, who are already in line for an at-large bid, triumph, then Yale will also get in.

Western Michigan looks like it will be sidelined, regardless of whoever wins tomorrow's last-ever CCHA title. That's largely because previously not-under-consideration Canisius won the Atlantic Hockey playoff crown and that league's automatic berth, "stealing" a spot from a higher-ranked team, according to the Pairwise Rankings.

Also earning autobids by winning league postseason titles this weekend were UMass Lowell (Hockey East), Union (ECAC) and Wisconsin (WCHA). Earning at-large bids, according to the Pairwise, should be Quinnipiac, Minnesota, Miami, Boston College, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Denver, Niagara, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State.

The NCAA Selection Show will air on Sunday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2. The NCAA Regionals will be held on March 29-31 in Manchester, Providence, Toledo and Grand Rapids, Minn., while this year's Frozen Four will take place on April 11-13 in Pittsburgh.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hobey Baker Award Finalists Announced

The ten finalists for the 2013 Hobey Baker Memorial Award have been announced.

They include:

Greg Carey – St. Lawrence University
(Junior, Forward, Hamilton, Ont.)

Carsen Chubak – Niagara University
(Junior, Goalie, Prince Albert, Sask.)

Austin Czarnik – Miami University
(Sophomore, Forward, Washington, Mich.)

Kyle Flanagan – St. Lawrence University
(Senior, Forward, Canton, N.Y.)

Johnny Gaudreau – Boston College
(Sophomore, Forward, Carneys Point, N.J.)

Eric Hartzell – Quinnipiac University
(Senior, Goalie, White Bear Lake, Minn.)

Corban Knight – University of North Dakota
(Senior, Forward, High River, Alta.)

Danny Kristo – University of North Dakota
(Senior, Forward, Eden Prairie, Minn.)

Drew LeBlanc – St. Cloud State University
(Senior, Forward, Hermantown, Minn.)

Ryan Walters – University of Nebraska Omaha
(Junior, Forward, Rosemount, Minn.)

There are eight forwards and two goaltenders among the 10 nominees. Four of the Hobey Baker Award finalists hail from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and three from the Eastern College Athletic Conference, respectively. Five of the finalists are seniors, and four of the finalists are natives of Minnesota. 

The Hobey Hat Trick of the last three finalists will be named on April 3. The 2013 award winner will be announced on April 12 at the NCAA Men’s Division I Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, while the award banquet will be held on May 22 in St. Paul, Minn.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

BC's Whitney Wins Walter Brown Award

Boston College senior forward and assistant captain Steven Whitney is the 61st recipient of the Walter Brown Award, annually bestowed upon the top American-born player in New England college hockey.

A member of BC’s 2010 and 2012 NCAA championship teams ,and a four-time winner of the Beanpot Tournament, Whitney leads BC so far this season with 25 goals, and is second on the team scoring scroll with 43 points through 36 games. A 5’7”, 167-pound native of Reading, Mass. and a graduate of Lawrence Academy, the right-shooting Whitney has tallied 54-72—126 points in 158 career contests with the Eagles, including two goals in the 2012 NCAA Championship game in a 4-1 win over Ferris State.

Whitney was preceded at BC by his older brother and former teammate, Joe, a member of BC’s 2008 and 2010 national title teams, and a captain of the 2010-11 Eagles.

Steven Whitney had a goal and an assist on Saturday night in a 4-1 win over Vermont to complete a two-step sweep in the Hockey East quarterfinals, which catapulted BC into the league semifinals on Friday night at TD Garden against rival Boston University. BC currently stands at 22-10-4 overall, and is ranked fourth in NCAA Division I by

Whitney is the Eagles’ second Walter Brown Award winner in three years, following former goaltender John Muse in 2011, and the 23rd Eagle overall. Other BC recipients of the honor include: Chris Collins (2006), Brian Gionta (2001), Mike Mottau (1999, 2000), David Emma (1991), Greg Brown (1990), Brian Leetch (1987), Scott Harlow (1986), Mark Switaj (1981), Bill Army (1980), Joe Mullen (1978), Richie Smith (1976), Tom Mellor (1973), Paul Hurley (1969), Tim Sheehy (1968, 1970), Jerry York (1967), John Cunniff (1966), Bill Hogan (1963), Tom Martin (1961) and Bob Babine (1954).

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blugolds Win NCAA Division III Men's Title

Wisconsin-Eau Claire is the new NCAA Division III men’s ice hockey champion.

The Blugolds defeated Oswego State, 5-3, on Saturday night at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. to win their first national title, in their final campaign in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. Next year they will be moving with the other Wisconsin schools to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Oswego, which took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals just 33 seconds apart, came up one game short for a second straight season, after falling to St. Norbert in last year’s national title contest in Lake Placid.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire (24-5-2) got goals from five different players, including the game-winner from Devin Mantha just over seven minutes into the third period. Forwards Jordan Singer and Andrew Wilcox each scored a goal and set up another, while defensemen Drew Darwitz and David Donnellan had two assists apiece, and Kurt Weston sealed the game and the title with an empty-net goal with 59 seconds left in the third period. The Blugolds also got 27 saves from goaltender Brandon Stephenson.

Oswego (25-5) defenseman Bobby Gertsakis scored two of the Lakers' three goals, including one that brought them within a goal with 10 minutes remaining in regulation, while Chris Muise had a goal and an assist. Oswego got one assist from its high-scoring tandem of Luke Moodie and Paul Rodrigues, and Andrew Hare made 20 saves.

Friday, March 15, 2013

2013 NCAA Women's Hockey Championships to Begin Saturday

The 2013 NCAA Division Women's Ice Hockey Championships get underway on Saturday with four quarterfinal matchups (national rankings and overall records listed):

No. 5 Harvard (24-6-3) @ No. 4 Boston College (26-6-3)
No. 6 Clarkson (28-9-0) @ No. 3 Boston University (26-5-3)
No. 8 Mercyhurst (28-6-1) @ No. 2 Cornell (26-5-1)
No. 7 North Dakota (26-11-1) @ No. 1 Minnesota (38-0-0)

The winners will meet in the semifinals at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis on March 22, with the Division I championship game to be played two days later.
Minnesota, the only previous NCAA champion in this year's field, is seeking its second straight national title, and fourth overall.

UPDATE: Advancing to the Frozen Four next week will be BC (3-1), BU (5-3), Mercyhurst (4-3 OT) and Minnesota (3-2, 3 OT).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Utica One of Four Left for Division III Men's Frozen Four This Weekend

The final weekend of the NCAA Division III men's campaign is here, with just four teams left to compete for the national title.

The semifinals will be held tomorrow in Lake Placid, N.Y., with No. 2 Norwich taking on No. 3 Oswego, and No. 4 Wisconsin Eau Claire facing fellow Frozen Four rookie No. 7 Utica. The championship game will take place on Saturday.

Norwich has won three national titles in its history, while Oswego won it all in 2007 and was runner-up to St. Norbert last year. Eau Claire topped both St. John's (Minn.) and No.1 St. Norbert to open this year's tournament, while ECAC West regular-season champion Utica ousted No. 5 Bowdoin last weekend in its NCAAs debut.

More on Utica and its quest for its first national title can be found here.

ADDENDUM: Utica fell to Wisconsin Eau Claire on Friday by a 5-1 score. The Blugolds will now take on Oswego, a 6-3 winner over Norwich, in the NCAA Division III title game on Saturday. Utica finishes the campaign at 21-6-1 overall.

Monday, March 11, 2013

BU's Parker to Retire at Season's End

Boston University head coach Jack Parker will be hanging up his whistle and clipboard when the 2012-13 college hockey season concludes.

“It’s been a great run,” Parker said at on Monday, his 68th birthday, on publicly announcing his retirement from coaching. “I’ve had a great time doing it.”

A former Terrier letterman and assistant coach, Parker has been at the helm of his alma mater for 40 consecutive seasons. There was a brief flirtation with the NHL’s Boston Bruins in the 1990s; but he ultimately remained behind the Terrier bench, and has led BU to three NCAA national titles (1978, 1995 and 2009), seven Hockey East Tournament championships, 21 Beanpot Tournament crowns, and a record 25 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Parker also coached the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Olympic quartet of Jim Craig, Mike Eruzione, Jack O'Callahan and Dave Silk during their college careers at BU.

A Somerville, Mass. native and Catholic Memorial alumnus, Parker has also been the recipient of the Spencer Penrose Division I Coach of the Year Award three times, while compiling an 894-471-115 career record to date, the most wins by any college hockey coach at a single school. 

Parker also served as an executive athletic director during his tenure with the Terriers, from 2002 to 2012; but was relieved of those duties last season, after a pair of off-ice incidents involving first Corey Trivino and then Max Nicastro.

The Terriers (18-15-2 overall, 15-10-2 HEA) finished third in the conference this season, and will host Merrimack in the first round of the Hockey East Tournament this weekend, in Parker’s final home games at Agannis Arena.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Princeton's 2012-13 Season Ends

The Princeton University men's ice hockey team's 2012-13 campaign came to a close on Saturday night when the Tigers fell, 4-2, to Ivy League rival Cornell in Game Two of a best-of-three ECAC first-round series at Hobey Baker Rink.

Coupled with Cornell's 4-0 win on Friday in Game One, the victory sends the Big Red (14-14-3 overall) on to next weekend's quarterfinals against either Quinnipiac or Rensselaer. The loss ended the collegiate careers of Princeton's senior class of Mike Condon, James Kerr, Ken Kleebaum, Will MacDonald, Eric Meland and Michael Sdao.

Andre Calof set up MacDonald's first-period power-play goal that put Princeton up, 1-0, and then brough the Tigers within a goal with 45 seconds remaining in regulation. Joel Lowry then hit an empty net with 13 seconds left to seal Cornell's sixth win in its last eight games (6-1-1).

Brian Ferlin tallied Cornell's first goal, to tie the game up early in the second stanza, while Nick D'Agostino scored twice in the third period to put the Big Red up by two goals. Leading scorer Greg Miller had three assists for Cornell.

A goal with just under 11 minutes left by defenseman Alec Rush that would have gotten Princeton (10-16-5 overall) to within 3-2 was waived off due to a high stick. Condon made 29 saves in his final Princeton appearance, while Andy Iles posted 20 stops for Cornell.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gophers Record Kazmaier Hat Trick

Someone from the University of Minnesota will win this year’s Patty Kazmaier Award as the nation’s top NCAA Division I collegiate women’s hockey player. That’s because all three finalists – a forward, blueliner and goaltender – play for head coach Brad Frost and the undefeated and No. 1-ranked Golden Gophers (36-0-0 overall, 28-0-0 WCHA).

Junior forward Amanda Kessel, younger sister of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, leads the nation in scoring with 43 goals and 51 assists for 94 points in 33 games, and has 224 points in 109 career appearances. Team captain and senior defender Megan Bozek, an Illinois native, is third on this year’s Gopher scoring scroll with 18-34—52 points in 36 outings, while senior netminder and two-time Finnish Olympian Noora Räty has gone 31-0-0 so far this season with 14 shutouts, and has not allowed goal in her last four games.

Former Minnesota forward and two-time U.S. Olympian Krissy Wendell is the only previous Gopher to have won the Kazmaier Award, back in 2005 when she recorded 43-61—104 points in 40 contests. This year’s award will be presented in Minneapolis on March 23, as part of the NCAA Frozen Four.

The current Minnesota squad has won 44 games dating back to last season, and just completed a two-step sweep of Bemidji State in the first round of the WCHA Tournament. The Gophers will next skate against Ohio State on Friday at home at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis in a league semifinal in the WCHA Final Face-Off. The winner will play the victor of the North Dakota-Wisconsin semifinal on Saturday for the WCHA’s automatic berth in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Union's Kinkaid Makes NHL Debut with New Jersey

Former Union College goaltender Keith Kinkaid made his NHL debut last night, stopping 12 of 13 shots, including a Steven Stamkos breakaway, in relief in the New Jersey Devils 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Kinkaid, who wore No. 35 for the Devils, played the final 25:45 on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, in relief of starter Johan Hedberg, and only allowed a goal by B.J. Crombeen with 1:20 remaining in regulation. The Farmingville, N.Y. stopped Stamkos 1:08 into the third period by extending his left pad to make the save. The Devils have lost six straight games.

Kinkaid, who went 37-18-6 in his two seasons with Union from 2009 to 2011, and backstopped the Dutchmen to the NCAA Tournament as a sophomore, was returned to Albany (AHL) today. Former University of Minnesota netminder Jeff Frazee was brought up to New Jersey in his place.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pioneers Last Team Left in ECAC West This Season

It's up to Utica to carry the ECAC West banner into the 2013 NCAA Tournament, in the Pioneers' first-ever appearance in the nationals.

Team captain Evan Chlanda and company get back to work after winning the league regular-season title, but falling to Manhattanville in the conference semifinals. The Pioneers will face the winner of Mass-Dartmouth and Bowdoin on Saturday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Neumann, which went 14-2-1 overall down the stretch, claimed the 2013 ECAC West Tournament title with a 3-0 victory over visiting Manhattanville on Saturday. The win wasn't enough to get the Knights into the NCAA Tournament, however, as the league does not have an automatic bid for its postseason champion.

Full story can be found here.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Utica Earns NCAA Division III Tournament Berth

Utica, which finished second in the ECAC West this season, has advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time ever. The Pioneers were one of three schools that earned an at-large-bid when the selections were announced tonight, along with Norwich and Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Earning automatic bids to the national tournament were Adrian, Babson, Bowdoin, Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Oswego State, St. John's (Minn.), Wentworth, and two-time defending champion St. Norbert.
No. 9 Utica (20-5-1 overall) fell in the ECAC West semifinals in overtime to No. 14 Manhattanville, which ultimately lost to No. 12 Neumann, 3-0, in the league title game on Saturday night. The ECAC West champion, however, does not receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Eighth-ranked Hobart, which won the ECAC West regular-season title but fell to Neumann in the conference semifinals, was also denied an NCAA bid.

Utica will now host the winner of Bowdoin and Massachusetts-Dartmouth on Saturday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The semifinals and championship game will be held on March 15-16 at Herb Brooks Ice Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.