Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gillam Gets Win, Goal in College Debut for Cornell

Mitch Gillam won his first career start for Cornell on Tuesday night against visiting Niagara, making 24 saves for the 14th-ranked Big Red in its 4-2 victory.

Unlike other freshmen—and most goalies—though, the Peterborough, Ont. also scored an actual, honest-to-gosh goal in his collegiate debut, sending the puck the length of the ice at Lynah Rink into an empty net with nine seconds remaining in regulation to ice Cornell’s seventh win of the season. It was also the first time in 80 games that someone other than Andy Illes started in net for the Big Red (7-3-1 overall).

You can watch Gillam’s historical goal-scoring goalie moment here.

“After I caught the puck, I noticed that most of their team was to one side of the ice,” said Gillam afterwards to the Ithaca Journal. “So I put it down and looked up, and (Joel) Lowry was telling me to get it out. I noticed their D-man was going toward the boards, so I just shot it right up the gut. Right into the net.”

Gillam is now tied with classmate Matt Buckles with one goal apiece, and with three other teammates who each have one assist. He is also ahead of five other teammates on Cornell’s scoring scroll.

According to, Gillam is the eighth goaltender to score a goal at the NCAA level, and just the third to shoot the puck into an empty net. The last one was sophomore Mike Mantua for Western Michigan in Nov. 2002 against visiting Ferris State in a 4-1 victory at Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich,.

As for the first … I was there 15 years ago at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. in Feb. 1998 when old friend Chad Alban, then a senior for Michigan State, made history by hitting the empty net for the Spartans in their 6-3 CCHA win against those same FSU Bulldogs—and on MSU’s Senior Night, to boot.

You surely don’t see that every day—or even every season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gaudreau, Carey Top National Scoring Leaders to Date

Looking at the most recent 2013-14 player statistics at, four of the top 11 scorers in Division I reside in the ECAC, four in Hockey East, two in the NCHC, and one in the Big Ten.

Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau is tied with St. Lawrence's Greg Carey (pictured) for the men's national scoring lead with 24 points, although Gaudreau has 12 goals to Carey's nine, and has done so in 13 games to Carey's 14. Carey, though, is also tied for the Division I lead with 15 assists.

Right behind them is Rensselaer's Ryan Haggerty, the NCAA goal-scoring leader with 15 tallies, who has a total of 20 points. Rounding out the top five are freshman Sam Anas of Quinnipiac with 10-10
20 points, and Sam Warning of top-ranked Minnesota with 5-1419 points.

Making up the rest of the top 12 are Providence's Ross Mauerman (19 points), Miami's Austin Czarnik (19) and Riley Barber (19), BC's Bill Arnold (18) and Kevin Hayes (18), and Quinnipiac's Kellen Jones (18). Arnold is also tied for first place in Division I with 15 assists. As for the rest, 12th place in national points is currently a logjam of five players with 17 points apiece.

In pre-Thanksgiving action tonight, Army visits American International in Atlantic Hockey, while the non-conference slate features Niagara at No. 14 Cornell, and Harvard at No. 20 New Hampshire. Tomorrow night, No. 4 Providence drops in on No. 5 Quinnipiac in a non-conference tilt.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Former Boston U. Blueliner Aucoin Retires

Former Boston University blueliner and 17-year NHL defenseman Adrian Aucoin has called it a career, according to the Windsor Star.

Aucoin, an Ottawa native, played at B.U. during the 1991-92 campaign, registering two goals and 12 points in 33 games in helping the Terriers to the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to Michigan State in the first round in the East Regional. A fifth-round draft choice by the Vancouver Canucks that summer, Aucoin played two seasons with the Canadian National Team, winning a silver medal at the 1994 Olympic Winter games in Norway, and also saw stints in the AHL with Hamilton and Syracuse.

The 6'2", 213-lb. rearguard made his NHL debut in 1994-95, scoring his first goal in his first game with the Canucks. The next year he was in the league for good, and he also went onto play with Tampa Bay, the New York Islanders, Chicago, Calgary and Phoenix in his tenure.

Known for his shot from the point, Aucoin's best offensive campaign came in 2003-04 with the Islanders, when he recorded 13-31—44 points in 81 contests, and was also a plus-29. His last NHL action came last season, when he collected four assists in 36 outings with Columbus.

All told, Aucoin, 40, finished with 121-278—399 points and 793 penalty-minutes in 1,108 NHL regular-season appearances, and added six goals and 21 points in 62 Stanley Cup Playoff skates.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cornell Grad Scrivens Shining in Net for NHL's Kings

It was a tale of two college goaltenders on Friday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. It was also the first time the New Jersey Devils had faced the Los Angeles Kings since Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final in California, in which the Kings won their first-ever NHL title.

The Kings improved to 5-2 in their last seven outings overall versus New Jersey, but it wasn’t former UMass netminder and 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick doing the honors this time. Cornell graduate Ben Scrivens, who came to L.A. earlier this year from Toronto, outdueled former Boston College backstop Cory Schneider in the Kings’ 2-0 victory, making 26 saves to Schneider’s 19 stops while allowing a third-period goal to stand up as the game-winner.

Scrivens, 27, who went 65-37-13 in 117 games for Cornell from 2006 to 2010, led the Big Red to two NCAA Tournament appearances and an ECAC Championship during his tenure in Ithaca. The Spruce Grove, Alta. native also recorded 20 career shutouts, including seven whitewashes apiece during both his junior and senior campaigns.

Scrivens made 37 saves on Sunday in the Kings’ 1-0 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, and is 3-0-0 in the L.A. net since Quick succumbed to a groin injury earlier this month. He is also 4-1-1 so far for the season for the Kings (14-6-1), who will host Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, and was named the NHL's First Star of the Week, according to NBC Sports ProHockeyTalk.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Calof Featured at NYHJ

Princeton senior scorer Andrew Calof is the subject of my latest feature story for New York Hockey Journal, which is now available online or at your local rink.

The Tigers (1-5 overall, 0-4 ECAC) are off to a rough start, while Calof has three assists in his first five games. Career-wise, he now has 40 goals and 65 assists for 105 points in 100 games in black-and-orange.

Princeton hosts UMass Lowell on Tuesday night at Baker Rink before entertaining Ivy league rival Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend. In Tiger alumni news, former defenseman Taylor Fedun tallied his first career NHL goal in his first career NHL game with the Edmonton Oilers, helping them to a 4-3 win at Minnesota on Nov. 5. Footage can be seen here, with the link courtesy of ECAC Hockey.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Golden Gophers Still Atop Both Polls

The University of Minnesota men's and women's Golden Gopher hockey teams have been atop their respective Division I polls for the past two weeks. They'll each try to make it three straight after taking road trips this weekend.

The Minnesota men (5-1-0 overall), in their first season in the new Big Ten Conference, will visit Hockey East newcomer Notre Dame for a pair for the first time since head coach Don Lucia was a Fighting Irish defenseman in 1980. Lucia, who is seeking his 350th career collegiate win, including previous stints with Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado College, will be facing son Mario, a sophomore forward for Notre Dame.

Minnesota's women's team (10-0 overall) will drop in on WCHA opponent St. Cloud State for two contests. The Golden Gophers, two-time defending NCAA women's Division I champs, have won 60 straight games overall dating back to the 2011-12 campaign.

ADDENDUM (11/11/13): Both teams made it three straight weeks atop their respective USCHO polls after the Minnesota men split at No. 4 Notre Dame and the Minnesota women swept host St. Cloud.