Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Sonny Milano broke a scoreless tie late in the second period, and Thatcher Demko (Boston College) made 17 saves as Team USA remained unbeaten with a 3-0 win over Slovakia on Monday at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal.
Dylan Larkin (Michigan) and John Hayden (Yale) added third-period goals as the U.S. outshot Slovakia, 45-17. Larkin, who also assisted on Milano's goal, leads Team USA with three goals and two assists for five points in three games, and is also the second-leading scorer so far in the tournament.
The Americans, who have outscored their three opponents, 10-1, in regulation so far, also improved to 2-1-0 (includes shootout win) and remained a point behind Canada in Group A play. The two North American rivals will close out the round-robin portion of their WJC schedules when they face off at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Bell Centre (NHL Network, NHL.com).
Monday, December 29, 2014
Dylan Larkin (Michigan) scored two goals and set up another as Team USA posted a 6-0 shutout of Germany on Sunday night in Montreal in its second game of the 2015 World Junior Championship.
Auston Matthews, Hudson Fasching (Minnesota), Sonny Milano, and Jack Eichel (Boston University) also scored for the U.S., which got 14 saves from Brandon Halverson in his WJC debut. The U.S., which outshot Germany, 53-14, is in second place in Group A, one point behind Canada.
The Americans will now take on Slovakia today at 4 p.m. at the Bell Centre (NHL Network, NHL.com).
Friday, December 26, 2014
Thatcher Demko (Boston College) stopped two of three attempts in the deciding shootout, and Jack Eichel (Boston University) and Chase DeLeo both scored in the extra session to lift Team USA to a 2-1 victory on Friday in its opener of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal.
Alex Tuch (Boston College) pulled the U.S. into a 1-1 tie in the first period off a set-up by Eichel, after Finland had scored the game's opening goal. The score then remained unchanged through the remainder of regulation and a five-minute overtime period.
After the two teams traded goals to open the shootout, both then missed on their second attempt before DeLeo scored the winner on a backhand. Demko, who finished with 29 saves in regulation, then made a glove save on Finland's third shootout try to end it.
The U.S, which is being led by former Ohio State coach and Wisconsin alumnus Mark Osiecki, will return to action at the WJC against Germany on Sunday night in Montreal at 8 p.m. (NHL Network).
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Former Boston College sniper and 2014 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Johnny Gaudreau put on quite a show last night in Hollywood.
Gaudreau's first career NHL hat trick, including two goals in the last three minutes of play, pulled his visiting Calgary Flames into a tie with the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings before the visitors won it in overtime, 4-3.
Gaudreau, 21, now has 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 36 games with Calgary this season. He got the Flames on the board late in the second period with a power-play tally, pulled them within one on a wraparound attempt with 2:12 remaining in regulation, and then tied the game on a deflected backhand shot with 59 seconds left as Calgary went on to snap an eight-game winless string (0-7-1) before breaking for Christmas.
All of Gaudreau's goals last night can be seen here.
Gaudreau made his NHL debut in the Flames' 2013-14 regular season finale, scoring a goal at Vancouver. A native of Carney's Point, N.J., he tallied 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points with B.C. last winter, the third-highest single-season output in school history, in helping the Eagles to an NCAA Frozen Four berth.
He posted 78-97--175 points in three seasons at the Heights, while assisting B.C. to three Beanpot Tournament titles, two Hockey East regular-season crowns, and the 2012 NCAA national championship.
Friday, December 12, 2014
A plethora of former NCAA players got into the act in Toronto's 2-1 shootout win at Detroit on Wednesday night in NHL play.
Gustav Nyquist (Maine) scored on a spin-around for the host Red Wings with just over two minutes remaining in the second period to break a scoreless tie. Phil Kessel (Minnesota) answered for the Maple Leafs just over five minutes into the third frame off a set-up by James van Riemsdyk (New Hampshire) and Tyler Bozak (Denver).
In the shootout, Bozak and Mike Santorelli (Northern Michigan) both scored to thwart an 18-save effort in regulation by Detroit's Jimmy Howard (Maine).
Detroit remains in second place in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division with a 17-6-6 record, while Toronto stays fourth at 16-9-3.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Former Union College goaltender Keith Kinkaid made 37 saves on Tuesday night in his first career NHL start, as the New Jersey Devils dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
Kinkaid was named second star of the game after making nine saves in the first period, 16 in the second, and seven in the third, and came within 3:13 of earning the win before Duncan Keith (Michigan State) scored for Chicago. Kinkaid then made five saves in overtime before surrendering shootout goals to Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) and Patrick Kane. Scott Darling (Maine) picked up the win for the Blackhawks, making 22 saves in all as Chicago won its seventh straight contest.
Kinkaid, who prepped with Des Moines (USHL) and St. Louis (NAHL) before enrolling at Union, saw his only previous NHL action during the 2012-13 campaign with the Devils when he allowed one goal in 26 minutes of relief against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He went 24-13-5 with Albany (AHL) last season.
The 6-3, 180-pound native of Farmingville, N.Y. fashioned a 37-18-6 mark with six shutouts in two seasons at Union between 2009 and 2011, registering a 2.18 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. He also backstopped the Dutchmen to an ECAC regular-season title and their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament berth as a sophomore before signing as a free agent with New Jersey.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Five current Boston College skaters and two future Eagles were named to the 30-man preliminary roster for the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team last week, according to USCHO.com. Michigan was second with five players.
Forward Alex Tuch and goaltender Thatcher Demko join defensemen Noah Hanifin, Ian McCoshen and Steve Santini for the preliminary camp that will be held later this month. Along with them will be BC committments Jeremy Bracco and Miles Wood, both forwards.
Tuch, a first-round selection of the Minnesota Wild this summer, has five goals and five assists for 10 points in 16 games so far this season as a freshman, while Demko, taken 36th overall by the Vancouver Canucks this year, is 8-6-1 with a 2.19 goals-against average in 15 appearances.
McCoshen, a 2013 Florida Panthers second-round choice, has a goal and three assists in 15 contests for the Eagles, while Hanifin has two goals and five assists in 16 outings. Santini, a 2013 New Jersey Devils draftee, has missed all but four games so far this year due to injury, notching one goal. Along with Demko, he was a member of last year's U.S. World Junior Team that finished fifth overall in Sweden.
Bracco has four goals and 11 points in eight games so far this season with the U.S. National Development Team (USHL), while Wood, the son of former NHL forward Randy Wood, was drafted 100th overall by the Devils in 2013 and is playing prep hockey at Noble & Greenough in Massachusetts this winter.
The 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship will be contested in Canada from Dec. 26, 2014 to Jan. 5, 2015 in Montreal and Toronto.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Tanner Sorensen’s first goal of the season stood up as the game-winner as Michigan State earned a split at Princeton with a 4-2 win on Saturday night at Hobey Baker Rink. MSU now leads the all-time series between the two schools, 6-1, following a 3-1 defeat on Friday.
Michael Ferrantino opened the scoring for the second straight night, putting the Spartans (5-8-0) up by a 1-0 count five minutes into the contest. Matt DeBlouw made it 2-0 at 3:22 of the second stanza, followed 10 minutes later by Sorensen.
Princeton (2-7-1) got goals just over nine minutes apart in the third period from Kyle Rankin and Ryan Siiro to pull the Tigers within a goal, before Matt Berry sealed the win for the Spartans with an empty-net goal with two seconds remaining in regulation. Berry, who also had an assist, now leads MSU with 13 points, and is tied for the team’s goal-scoring lead with Ferrantino with seven tallies.
Jake Hildebrand stopped 20 shots for the Spartans, while Colton Phinney had 29 saves for the Tigers. Both teams went 0-for-4 on the power play. MSU returns home next weekend to host Minnesota in Big Ten play, while Princeton will entertain Harvard and Dartmouth in ECAC competition.
Friday, November 28, 2014
For the first time in six meetings all-time, Princeton got the better of Michigan State.
The Tigers, who were swept at MSU last season, edged the Spartans by a 3-1 count on Friday night at Hobey Baker Rink, as David Hallisey's second-period goal stood up as the game-winner. Colton Phinney finished with 44 saves for Princeton (2-6-1), which was blanked in two ECAC games last weekend at Clarkson and St. Lawrence, and had scored just eight goals total in its first eight outings this season.
"When we score two or more goals we're undefeated this year, so it's nice to see the puck go into the net a couple times," said Tigers head coach Ron Fogarty at goprincetontigers.com. "The guys are buying in and they just stayed with it."
Jonathan Liau tied the game for the Tigers off a rebound midway through the second stanza, after Michael Ferrantino had given MSU a 1-0 lead on a power-play one-timer following a scoreless first period.
After Hallisey put Princeton up by a 2-1 count with 5:25 remaining before the second intermission, Ben Foster beat Spartan netminder Jake Hildebrand (23 saves) on the stick side just over three minutes into the third period on a power play. That shot closed out the scoring, despite 20 shots on goal in the final 20 minutes by the Spartans.
"We've had a difficult time trying to score and had some quality chances again tonight and we didn't take advantage of them," said Spartans head coach Tom Anastos at msuspartans.com. "We just have to keep generating the chances and getting traffic in front of the net and hopefully those pucks will start to go in."
MSU (4-8-0), which split a pair of games at Big Ten rival Ohio State last weekend, outshot Princeton, 45-26, and was 1-for-4 with the man advantage while Princeton finished 1-for-3.The two teams will wrap up the series on Saturday night at Baker Rink.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Boston College continues to be the No. 1 team in NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey. The Eagles are No. 1 in the USCHO.com poll for the fourth consecutive week, and received all 15 first-place votes for the third straight week.
The Eagles, 13-0-1 overall (9-0 Hockey East) to date, play tonight at Yale. BC is coming off a two-step sweep of conference foe Connecticut, in which it outscored the visiting Huskies by a 12-1 count.
Junior forward Alex Carpenter leads both BC and the nation in scoring with 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 12 games. Right behind her on the national scoring scroll is classmate Haley Skarupa, who has notched 11-14—25 points.
Junior defender Lexi Bender leads all Division I blueliners with 5-12—17 points in 14 outings, and is also among the top 20 overall scorers in the nation. Freshman goaltender Katie Burt is 13-0-1 with a 1.05 goals-against average, a .944 save percentage and five shutouts.
BC ranks first nationally in scoring with an output of 5.64 goals per game, and second in allowing just one goal per contest. The Eagle power play is tied for 10th nationally at 21.4 percent, while the penalty kill is fifth at 90.9 percent, according to USCHO.com's stats page.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
According to a report at Fox Sports Arizona, the Sun Devils will be the latest school to join the NCAA Division I men's ice hockey ranks, thanks to a $32 million donation from private supporters led by Milwaukee businessman and ASU alumnus Don Mullett.
ASU will become the 60th NCAA Division I men's hockey program, and the first in the state since Northern Arizona dropped its Division I team in 1986. ASU will also have to add a women's athletics program to satisfy Title IX issues.
ASU won last year's American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I national championship, its first in school history, finishing the season 38-2-0. The ACHA is comparable in terms of talent to NCAA Division III.
As with Penn State, which began its NCAA Division I program in 2012-13 after years as a national club power, ASU plans to wade slowly into the NCAA waters, playing a mix of ACHA and NCAA schools beginning in the 2015-16 academic year. The plan is to then become an NCAA Division I independent the following season, and then finally join an existing league, most likely the National Collegiate Hockey Conference or the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Current ASU head coach Greg Powers, who has recruited several players from the USHL to Tempe, is expected to remain on as coach. It is not exactly known where the Sun Devils will play their home games once they transfer to NCAA Division I, although it could be the the 40-year-old Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, current home of Sun Devil basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling.
Friday, November 14, 2014
For the first time in 24 years —or since I was a college senior at the Heights—Boston College will visit Michigan State tonight at Munn Arena in East Lansing.
The last time my alma mater and the school where I would eventually work met at Munn was on Nov. 16-17, 1990, almost four full years before I first set foot in Michigan. The two schools split their two-game series that year, with MSU winning the first night, 4-2, and the HEM line helping BC to a 5-4 victory the following evening
The last meeting to date came in 2011 when BC won, 5-2, at the Icebreaker in Grand Forks, N.D., the start of BC's run to a third national title in five years. And Spartan fans surely remember 2007 when MSU edged the Eagles on a late Justin Abdelkader goal in St. Louis to win the NCAA championship.
That's all ancient history now—and the current clubs could both use a win tonight. No. 8 BC is 4-5, having dropped four straight games, while MSU is 3-5 after a split at New Hampshire last weekend.
Drop the puck.
UPDATE: Quinn Smith's second-period score holds up as the game-winner. BC, 3-2.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
The situation with the University of Alaska's self-reported violations and the NCAA's ban on postseason play for the Nanooks, among other penalties, has already been well-documented on other sites including USCHO.com, collegehockeynews.com, and The (Fairbanks) Daily News-Miner, so I won't go into extended detail here.
Put simply, Alaska will forfeit its men's hockey victories between 2007 and 2012, including a pair of Governor's Cup titles against in-state rival Alaska Anchorage, and will also lose several scholarships. Four more of Alaska's intercollegiate athletic teams will be taken to task in one way, shape or form, including the dual loss of victories and scholarships.
There have been been academic problems at the former UAF before – the 1991-92 Nanook hockey squad had to sacrifice a total of 12 victories because of academic "violations", including the ludicrous NCAA stipulation that a student-athlete's five-year eligibility clock begins ticking once he or she enrolls at an intercollegiate institution or even a community college. That's even if that institution doesn't field (or ice) their particular sport. The same thing happened with Scotland native Colin Shields, who lost an entire season (2000-01) at Maine that way, although the Black Bears didn't have to forfeit any games because he sat out every contest his freshman year.
The current Alaska players are the ones who will be punished for the transgressions of adults who should have kept a better eye on things. The NCAA also seems to be – wrongly – looking to make an example out of a smaller Division II school where there are transgressions all over the place, some bordering on the outright criminal, at some of its various Division I members.
You can bet this would have never happened with the Florida State football program.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
The University of Connecticut earned its first-ever Hockey East Association victory in its inaugural conference home game on Wednesday night. The Huskies blanked No. 3 Boston College, 1-0, before more than 8,000 fans at the XL Energy Center in Hartford, former home of the NHL's Whalers, in UConn's biggest victory to date over a ranked opponent.
Former BC forward Evan Richardson scored the game's only goal on a power-play midway through the first period, while goaltender Rob Nichols finished with 35 saves for UConn (2-4-2 overall, 1-2-0 HEA), which is in its first campaign in Hockey East. UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh also picked up hist first career victory against the school he helped to four NCAA titles in a personal 18-year stint in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Thatcher Demko made 21 stops for BC (4-3-0, 1-2-0), which has lost two consecutive games and was shut out for the first time in over 100 contests dating back to Jan. 2012.
BC will now host Boston University on Friday night, while UConn will visit BU on Saturday.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Yale and UConn had advanced to the title tilt after posting 2-2 ties with Princeton and Merrimack, respectively, on Halloween. The Bulldogs and Huskies then advanced by winning shootouts.
In the consolation game Sunday (shown above), Merrimack (dark blue) got goals from six different scorers en route to a 6-1 rout of host Princeton. Brett Seney, Brian Christie, Jace Hennig, Dan Kolomatis, Ben Bahe and Mathieu Tibbet had two points apiece for the Warriors, who improved to 5-1-1 on the year.
Monday, October 27, 2014
The Ghost has arrived on Broad Street in time for Halloween.
Former Union College defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who helped the Dutchmen to their first-ever national title last spring, made his NHL debut on Friday evening as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the visiting Detroit Red Wings, 4-2, at the Wells Fargo Center. He was drafted by the Flyers in the third round (78th overall) in 2012.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Margate, Florida product played in three games with Lehigh Valley (AHL) before being recalled to the parent Flyers late last week due to injuries on the Philadelphia blue line. He was a minus-1 with one shot on goal in just over 12 minutes of ice time against Detroit.
Gostisbehere, a Top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the NCAA's top player last season, registered nine goals and 25 assists for 34 points in 42 games as a junior at Union. He also had a goal and two assists, along with a plus-seven rating, in the Dutchmen's 7-4 NCAA championship game win over Minnesota in Philadelphia on April 12. He posted a pair of assists in a 5-4 NCAA semifinal victory over Boston College two days prior.
Gostisbehere, 21, who prepped with the South Kent School prior to enrolling at Union and helping the Dutchmen to multiple ECAC crowns, finished his three-year college career in Schenectady with 22-60—82 points to go with 85 penalty minutes in 118 total collegiate outings. He also played his first two pro games with Adirondack (AHL) last spring, and has two assists in five career AHL contests to date.
He is expected to remain with the Flyers on a day-to-day basis.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
A pair of former Boston College linemates celebrated their first goals of the 2014-15 NHL campaign on Sunday.
2014 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames scored on a wraparound against Winnipeg and also added an assist in a 4-1 win at the MTS Center in Manitoba. He recorded his first career NHL goal in last season's finale against Vancouver just after turning pro.
New York Rangers rookie forward Kevin Hayes followed up his own rebound and wristed it home in a 4-0 victory over visiting San Jose at Madison Square Garden. It was the first goal of his pro career and came in his fourth outing with the Rangers, with whom signed as a free agent in the offseason
Gaudreau left BC a year early after leading all NCAA Division I players in scoring last season as a junior, tallying 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points in 40 games. Hayes posted 27-38—65 points in 40 outings as the duo paired with right wing Bill Arnold to help the Eagles to a Hockey East regular-season title, an NCAA Northeast Regional crown, and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia. All three were also members of BC's 2012 national championship team.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Minnesota is the top-ranked men's team in NCAA Division I ice hockey, while Wisconsin is No. 1 in the women's Division I ranks, according to the most recent USCHO.com polls released on Oct. 13.
Minnesota began its 2014-15 campaign by winning the Icebreaker at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Ind. over the weekend. The Golden Gophers edged former WCHA rival Minnesota-Duluth by a 4-3 count on Friday, before blanking ECAC opponent Rensselaer by a 3-0 score on Sunday. Kyle Rau led the Gophers with a goal and three assists over the two games, while Hudson Fasching and Seth Ambroz contributed game-winning goals, and Adam Wilcox stopped 46 of 49 opposing shots.
Wisconsin swept visiting Ohio State by 6-0 and 3-0 scores in a WCHA series last weekend in Madison, Wisc. Brittany Ammerman scored two goals in each game for the Badgers, while Ann-Renée Desbiens stopped all 46 shots that came her way at La Bahn Arena.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Last week USCHO published my outlook on 10 forwards to watch this season in men's NCAA Division I hockey. From 43-point freshman Sam Anas (Quinnipiac) to 31-goal scorer Cody Wydo, the full list can be found here.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The 2013-14 preseason polls for the NCAA Division I men’s hockey conferences have all been released. Following are the top picks in each of the six leagues:
Providence (Hockey East)
Mercyhurst (Atlantic Hockey)
Minnesota (Big Ten)
North Dakota (NCHC)
Minnesota State (WCHA)
All those schools made last year's NCAA tournament except Mercyhurst. Colgate, North Dakota and Minnesota State also all finished as regular-season runner-up in their respective leagues.
Minnesota won the inaugural Big Ten regular season crown last season, and then edged North Dakota in a national semifinal before falling to Union in the national title game in Philadelphia.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Kinkaid picked up the win in relief, making 12 saves on 14 shots, after starter Clemmensen recorded eight stops on 10 attempts. Michael Ryder scored twice and Adam Henrique notched the game-winning goal with 51.7 seconds remaining in regulation for New Jersey, which has missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs the last two seasons.
Cam Talbot (Alabama-Huntsville) took the loss in relief with 16 saves on 19 shots for New York, and also picked up an assist. The Rangers, who won the Eastern Conference last season, got goals from Carl Hagelin (Michigan), Ryan Malone (St. Cloud) and Chris Kreider (Boston College).
Friday, September 12, 2014
Boston College recently unveiled new men's hockey uniforms for the 2014-15 NCAA campaign, as shown on Twitter. The uniforms are still manufactured by UnderArmour, which took over BC's athletic apparel in 2010.
The new home white version (shown at right) modeled by sophomore forward Ryan Fitzgerald features maroon and gold stripes that now go all the way around the waist. There's also the return of the iconic interlocking BC Eagle logo on the shoulders.
The vertical stripes on the sleeves have been replaced by horizontal maroon and gold stripes at the elbow, with the stripes on both the arm and the waist being separated by the stained glass pattern introduced four years ago. The front of the new jersey also features a traditional lace-up neck, while the Hockey East patch remains in its customary spot below the right shoulder.
BC opens its new season on Oct. 4 with an exhibition game against visiting New Brunswick at Kelley Rink, before delving into the NCAA waters at Hockey East rival UMass Lowell six days later. The home opener will be on Oct. 24 against Colorado College.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Bob Suter, a member of the 1980 Miracle on Ice U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, and a former Wisconsin Badger, died of an apparent heart attack yesterday in Madison, Wisc. He was 57.
Suter, brother of former NHL defensemen Gary Suter and former Badger player John Suter, and father of current Minnesota Wild blueliner Ryan Suter, was a defenseman on the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team that upset Russia and then topped Finland to claim the gold medal in Lake Placid. Bob Suter is also is the first player from that storied squad to pass away, having been preceded by head coach Herb Brooks, who died in a car crash in 2003.
"This is a heart-breaking day," said Wisconsin men's coach and former Badger teammate Mike Eaves at uwbadgers.com. "Bob was the ultimate teammate. He could skate like the wind and was as hard of a competitor that I ever knew. He has passed much too young."
A 1977 draft choice of both the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and the WHA's Birmingham Bulls, Suter played for his hometown University of Wisconsin from 1975 to 1979, helping the Badgers to an NCAA title as a sophomore. In 1978-79, as a senior, he posted 16 goals and 28 assists for 44 points in 40 games, according to hockeydb. He closed out his college career with a total of 27-76—103 points and 377 penalty minutes in 157 appearances.
Suter, who set a Badgers record for most assists in game by a defenseman with five against Denver in 1979, was also a college teammate of current Badger men's coach Mike Eaves and current women's coach Mark Johnson. He also played seven games with the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League after graduation.
After joining the U.S. National Team, Suter won gold with Johnson at Lake Placid despite having broken his ankle during the club's preliminary tour. He played one final pro season in 1981-82 with the CHL's Nashville South Stars, notching 12-21—33 points and 160 PIM in 79 outings.
Suter, who also owned a sporting goods shop in Madison, was aiding the newest incarnation of the Madison Capitals junior team at the time of his passing.
"I think he was in a great place with the new USHL team coming in and they were just getting up and starting to practice and getting ready for some exhibition games," said Johnson on the Badgers web site, "It is unfortunate that this happened at such a young age, and there are a lot of people who are going to miss him."
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
The NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia seems like last month–but in reality, the 2014-15 Division I men's college hockey campaign is just 24 days away.
The festivities face off on Oct. 3 when Western Ontario visits Alaska Fairbanks at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, kicking off the usual slate of exhibition games between American universities and their Canadian counterparts. It's also the second year of the revamped structure of men's college hockey, with the Big Ten, the NCHC, and the revamped WCHA having all replaced the dearly-departed CCHA.No conference upheaval this time out, although UConn will be skating off to Hockey East from Atlantic Hockey.
It's all part of the usual grind to get through the next six months before the 2015 Frozen Four is held at TD Garden in Boston, the first time the championship will be played in Beantown since Denver defeated Maine, 1-0, in 2004. The ECAC will also be seeking its third national men's title in as many years, following NCAA title runs by Yale (2013) and Union (2014) after a two-decade drought.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Former Boston College defenseman and recently-retired professional blueliner J.D. Forrest will be stepping behind the bench.
A member of BC’s 2001 NCAA championship team, Forrest will return to his roots with the U.S National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. this season as he begins his duties as intern assistant coach for the U.S. National Under-18 Team.
A native of Auburn. N.Y., Forrest was an original member of the NTDP (1997-2000), according to USAHockey.com. He ranks first in career games played (208) and is also tied for the lead in career assists (88) with current Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane. He also holds the NTDP record for career points by a defenseman (111).
Forrest, 33, played at BC from 2000 to 2004, helping the Eagles to four combined Hockey East Association regular-season and tournament titles, three NCAA Tournament berths, and two NCAA Frozen Four appearances. He posted 24 goals and 74 assists for 98 points in 145 career games with BC, according to USCHO.com. He registered a career-best 6-25—31 points as a junior, and also earned Second Team All-America accolades that season. He then served as an assistant captain in his final collegiate campaign.
A sixth-round NHL draft choice (181st overall) of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2000, Forrest played professionally the last 10 seasons, mostly in Europe, according to hockeydb.com. He spent five years in Finland, and put up a career-high 5-28—33 points with Karpat in 2008-09. He also had stints with Florida and Elmira in the ECHL, and with Albany and Worcester in the American Hockey League, and also skated one season in Switzerland. He closed out his pro career by playing one year with Malmo (Sweden) and two years with Augsburg (Germany).
The U.S. National Under-18 Team opens its 2014-15 USHL season on Friday against the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The father has helped the son.
Former University of North Dakota forward Brett Hextall will join the Philadelphia Flyers organization, where his dad, Ron, once tended net and now serves as general manger. He has signed a one-year minor-league contract, according to nj.com.
The younger Hextall will be assigned to the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate in Lehigh Valley. He tallied 39 goals and 42 assists for 81 points in 115 career collegiate games with the then-Fighting Sioux from 2008 to 2011, according to his stats page at uscho.com.
A 5’10”, 186-pound California native, Hextall also put up 254 penalties in three seasons while helping UND to three NCAA Tournament berths, two Western Collegiate Hockey Association championships, and two WCHA regular-season crowns. He was chosen in the sixth round by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft after playing junior hockey with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League.
Hextall turned pro in 2011 and has spent the past three years with Portland (AHL), with whom he put up a career-high 11-12—23 points and 83 PIM in 59 appearances last season, as noted at hockeydb.com. In three campaigns with the Pirates, he registered 27-26—53 points and 221 PIM in 197 regular-season outings.
Hextall is a fourth-generation professional player, following his father Ron, his grandfather Bryan Hextall Jr., his great-grandfather Bryan Hextall Sr., and his great uncle Dennis Hextall.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
It was reported last week (while I was on vacation, of course) that Boston College incoming freshman forward Sonny Milano decided to instead sign with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers, as reported at uscho.com. He was the Columbus Blue Jackets first-round draft choice (16th overall) at this year's NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia.
Truthfully, I never believed that Milano, who had originally committed to Notre Dame, was ever going to wind up in Chestnut Hill. He possesses superlative skills, particularly stickhandling, but scouting reports have also said he often overhandles the puck and tries to do too much out on the ice. Maybe BC head coach Jerry York could have weaned him off of that, and also made him a better all-around player.
Though Milano said several times that he was committed to BC, I felt I'd only fully believe it when I saw him suited up in maroon and gold. He could have developed just as well playing at Conte Forum for a year or two instead of jumping right away to major junior—but now we’ll never know.
Honestly, I’m more excited about Milano’s former U.S. National Team Development Program teammate Alex Tuch joining the Eagles this season. They need more big bodies up front to crash the boards and the net, and the Minnesota Wild’s first-round selection (18th overall) this year has good size (6-foot-3, 213 lbs.) and possesses a rocket shot. He should do well in supplementing BC’s usual crop of smaller, skilled forwards.
Mike Vellucci of Plymouth is a good coach and should get a lot out of Milano, who simply may have also just wanted to play hockey and not deal with the academic side of the college hockey equation. While he’s chasing a Memorial Cup, though, Milano may wonder “what if” himself, especially if the Eagles secure another NCAA championship or two over the next few years.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
An old friend of mine, Dean Fedorchuk, will be feted with the ultimate honor from the University of Alaska Fairbanks next month, 20 years after he played his final game for the Blue and Gold.
The Nanooks’ second all-time leading scorer with 215 points and their all-time leading goal scorer with 113 goals, the Winnipeg native will be inducted into the Nanook Hall of Fame in late September along with former UAF head coach Guy Gadowsky, now the head coach at Penn State after a seven-year spell at Princeton.
Fedorchuk, who played professionally in Europe for 14 seasons after North American stints with Kalamazoo (IHL) and Dayton (ECHL), was one of the most exciting players to ever appear in a Nanook uniform. I should know—I was working at UAF and had the privilege of watching him score 29 goals as a sophomore in 1991-92, including a hat trick and then a spectacular buzzer-beating marker against rival Alaska Anchorage at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
The Nanooks’ No. 3 collected a nation-high 42 goals as senior in 1993-94 when he was also a First-Team All-America selection and a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist. No NCAA Division I player has scored 40 goals in a single season since. Fedorchuk also tied for the national scoring lead with teammate Tavis MacMillan that season with 74 points as the Nanooks finished 24-13-1 and boasted one of the top power-plays in the nation. MacMillan, a former Nanook player, assistant coach and head coach, was inducted into the Nanook Hall of Fame in 2009.
Fedorchuk later played seven seasons in Germany, where he tallied 185 goals and 361 points in 298 games. He spent his first five years there with Neuweid EHC where he recorded back-to-back campaigns of 82 and 96 points in his first two campaigns, respectively. He later went on to play seven seasons in Denmark, and has also served as a scout with his hometown Winnipeg Jets.
Fedorchuk also coached for three years in Denmark and another in Sweden, before ultimately taking an assistant coaching position in Croatia with Medvescak Zagreb (KHL), where he remains today. He still summers in Fairbanks, where he runs the annual ALCAN Hockey Camps , and will be the third UAF hockey player to be inducted into the Nanook Hall of Fame along with MacMillan and all-time leading scorer Steve Moria.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Did some work for New England Hockey Journal on the 2014 NHL Entry Draft held last month in Philadelphia, particularly on New England players who were taken in the two-day event at the Wells Fargo Center.
More than 60 current or future college players were tabbed by the 30 NHL clubs that weekend. Future NCAA players who were selected included Ryan Donato (Harvard), Jonathan MacLeod (Boston University), Miles Gendron (UConn) and Beau Starrett (UNH).
The PDF of the article can be accessed here and finished here.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has settled a class-action head injury lawsuit to diagnose college athletes who may have suffered brain trauma while participating in intercollegiate contact sports, including ice hockey. The NCAA is creating a $70 million fund to address the issue.
Former University of Maine forward Kyle Solomon, who had to stop playing due to multiple concussions suffered in junior and college hockey, was part of the lawsuit. A native of Southampton, N.Y. who prepped with the Boston Junior Bruins, Solomon skated with Maine from 2008 to 2010, notching a goal and five assists in 42 appearances with the Black Bears.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Two-for-two this week at USCHO.com - a story I wrote on former Neumann University forward Mike Hedden is now up on the site.
Hedden, who won an NCAA Division III championship with Neumann in 2009, helped the Texas Stars to the Calder Cup title this spring as American Hockey League champions, scoring two goals in the deciding contest at St. John's. He has 56 goals and 127 points in 210 career AHL regular-season appearances.
Hedden, who previously played with Toledo (ECHL), is now off to Croatia for next season, to skate with Medvešcak Zagreb of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
Saturday, July 19, 2014
My latest story for USCHO.com is now up, on new Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty, who spent the past seven seasons building Adrian (Mich.) into an NCAA Division III powerhouse.
A former Colgate forward and ECAC assistant coach, Fogarty will get his first crack as an NCAA Division I head coach starting this fall at Princeton. The Tigers finished last in the league with a 4-18 mark last season in ECAC play, going 6-26 overall with just two wins coming after Jan. 10, and have nowhere to go but up.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Former Boston University Terrier forward Scott Young has returned home as BU's new Director of Hockey Operations, according to USCHO.com.
A native of Clinton, Mass., and an alumnus of St. Mark's School in Southborough, Young earned Hockey East Rookie of the Year accolades in his freshman campaign with the Terriers, tallying 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 points. He then added 15-21—36 points the following season, winning a second straight Beanpot Tournament with BU along with the Hockey East Tournament title. He then left Boston to join the U.S. National Team in the run-up to the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, posting 58 points in 57 preliminary outings.
A first-round NHL draft choice (11th overall) in 1986, Young played for Hartford, Pittsburgh, Quebec, Colorado, Anaheim and St. Louis in an NHL career that spanned from 1988 to 2006 and resulted in 342-414—756 points in 1,181 regular-season appearances. A nine-time 20-goal scorer at the NHL level, he also posted 44-43—87 totals in 141 Stanley Cup playoff contests, and won the Cup in 1991 with the Penguins and in 1996 with the Avalanche.
His highest-scoring NHL season came in 2000-01 with the Blues, where he registered 40-33—73 totals in 81 games, and he had three goals and 15 points in 22 contests in the spring of 1996 in helping Colorado claim its first Stanley Cup. He also played briefly in Germany and in the Central Hockey League in his professional career.
Internationally, Young skated in three world Junior Championships, winning bronze with the U.S. in 1986. He also played in three World Championships and three Winter Olympic Games, winning silver at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. He also helped the U.S. to the 1996 World Cup crown.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Here's a partial listing of former NCAA players (in alphabetical order) who have changed NHL affiliation since free agency kicked off on July 1:
Player, Pos. College New Team-Last Team
Brian Boyle, F Boston College Tampa Bay-Rangers
Dan Boyle, D Miami Rangers-San Jose
Mike Cammalleri, F Michigan New Jersey-Calgary
Carter Camper, F Miami Ottawa-Columbus
Scott Clemmensen, G Boston College New Jersey-Florida
Cory Conacher, F Canisius Islanders-Buffalo
Patrik Eaves, F Boston College Dallas-Nashville
Mark Fayne, D Providence Edmonton-New Jersey
Tom Gilbert,D Wisconsin Montreal-Florida
Brian Gionta, F Boston College Buffalo-Montreal
Tanner Glass, F Dartmouth Rangers-Pittsburgh
Matt Hunwick, F Michigan Rangers-Colorado
Chad Johnson, G Alaska Islanders-Boston
Steven Kampfer, D Michigan Rangers-Minnesota
Ryan Miller, G Michigan St. Vancvr-St. Louis
Willie Mitchell, D Clarkson Florida-Los Angeles
Willie Mitchell, D Clarkson Florida-Los Angeles
Al Montoya, G Michigan Florida-Winnipeg
Mike Moore, D Princeton Washington-Boston
Matt Moulson, F Cornell Buffalo-Minnesota
Brooks Orpik, D Boston Coll. Washington-Pitt
Kevin Porter, F Michigan DetroitBuffalo
Mason Raymond, F MN-Duluth Calgary-Toronto
Jack Skille, F Wisconsin Islanders-Columbus
Paul Stastny, F Denver St. Louis-Colorado
Ben Street, F Wisconsin Colorado-Calgary
Thomas Vanek, F Minnesota Minnesota-Montreal
Joe Vitale, F Northeastern Arizona-Pittsburgh
Jesse Winchester, F Colgate Colorado-Florida
Monday, June 30, 2014
A trio of top players with ties to Boston College were selected over the weekend at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Left wing Sonny Milano and right wing/center Alex Tuch both went in the first round on Friday evening. Milano was taken 16th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Tuch followed two picks later when he was tabbed by the Minnesota Wild. Both will be enrolling at the Heights this fall, and both played for the U.S. Under-18 Team in the United States Hockey League last season. Milano finished with 24 goals and 48 assists for 72 points, while Tuch accumulated 28-32—60 points.
Boston College rising freshman netminder Thatcher Demko, who was ranked the No. 1 North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting, was taken on Saturday by the Vancouver Canucks at 36th overall. The 6-foot-3 Demko finished 16-5-3 overall last season with a 2.16 goals-against average in backstopping the Eagles to the Frozen Four in April, which was also held in Philadelphia. BC fell to eventual national champion Union College, 5-4, in the semifinals.
Also chosen in the sixth round back-to-back, and headed to BC in the fall of 2015, were centers Chris Brown and Joey Dudek, the first two picks in that round. Brown, who posted 23-27—50 totals last year for the Cranbrook-Kingswood School in Michigan, was selected 151st overall by the Buffalo Sabres, while Dudek, who put up 9-35—44 numbers last year for Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, was taken with the very next pick by the New Jersey Devils.
BC and Hockey East rival Boston University tied for the NCAA lead in this year’s draft with five selections apiece.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Michigan State University cleaned up a bit at the 2013-14 NHL Awards on Tuesday night in Las Vegas, particularly regarding the blueline.
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith collected his second career Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman. A Winnipeg native who played a season-and-a-half at MSU (2001-2003), Keith led all NHL blueliners this past season with 55 assists.. A member of the Blackhawks since the 2005-06 NHL campaign, he has 65 goals and 305 assists for 370 points in 686 NHL regular-season games. He has also won two Stanley Cups (2010, 2013) with Chicago, and two Olympic gold medals with Canada (2010, 2014).
Boston Bruins defenseman and former Spartan blueliner Torey Krug made the NHL's 2013-14 All-Rookie Team after playing in his first full season in the league. Krug, from Livonia, Mich., skated three seasons at State (2009-2012), tallied 26-57—83 points in 114 outings with the Spartans, and was also the 2012 CCHA Player of the Year. He burst onto the NHL scene during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring four goals in 15 appearances after playing in a total of just three prior NHL regular-season games . The Bruins won the Eastern Conference title, but fell to Keith's Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final in six games.
Concerning other former NCAA players, New York Rangers center Dominic Moore (Harvard) won this year's Bill Masterton Trophy for "perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey", helping New York to the Stanley Cup Final after taking last season off to care for his wife, Katie, before she passed away due to liver cancer. Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (UMass) won the Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals surrendered by an NHL netminder who played in at least 25 regular-season games. Quick gave up just 100 goals in 49 outings as the Kings ultimately went on to win their second Stanley Cup title in three years.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The Hockey Hall of Fame is adding another NCAA player to its ranks.
Rob Blake (Bowling Green), a 20-year NHL defenseman who won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, will be inducted into the Hall this year along with goaltender Dominik Hasek, center Peter Forsberg, center Mike Modano, coach Pat Burns and referee Bill McCreary, according to NHL.com.
Blake won the Norris Trophy in 1998 as the NHL's top blueliner, and was a six-time NHL All-Star Game participant. He was named to the All-NHL Second Team three times, and to the first team the same year he won the Norris.
Blake scored 240 goals and added 537 assists for 777 points in 1,270 career NHL regular-season games, while also accumulating 1,679 penalty minutes. He also scored 136 power-play goals in his tenure with the Los Angeles Kings, Avalanche and San Jose Sharks, and 41 of his goals were game-winners.
A native of Simcoe, Ontario, Blake also participated in 146 Stanley Cup Playoff contests over 13 seasons, collecting 26-47—73 points and 166 PIM. He posted career playoff highs of 6-13—19 points in 23 games in 2001 in helping Colorado to its second-ever Stanley Cup with a seven-game victory over the defending NHL champion New Jersey Devils in the final.
The Kings drafted him fourth overall in 1988 after his freshman season at BGSU, where Blake put up 39-65—104 points and 368 PIM in 139 career games with the Falcons under head coach Jerry York, including a 59-point junior campaign in 1989-90. He left school a year early to turn pro with the Kings that same season.
Blake was named as the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's Best Offensive Defenseman and to the All-CCHA First team in 1989-90, the same year that he also earned First Team All-America West accolades. He was later named to the CCHA's 1980s All-Decade Team, according to his Wikipedia entry.
Blake, who also participated in five World Championships and three Winter Olympic Games with Canada, won a gold medal at the Salt Lake Olympic Games in 2002. He was also a member of Canada's silver-medal squad at the 1996 World Cup. He played his final NHL game with San Jose in the 2009-10 playoffs, appearing in 15 postseason contests after skating in 70 regular-season outings.
Blake now works with the Kings as their assistant general manager, and will add another Stanley Cup ring to his résumé following last month's Los Angeles victory over the New York Rangers in the final in five games. He was also selected by Hockey Canada to be their General Manager for the 2014 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships in Belarus, where Canada finished fifth overall..
The Hockey Hall of Fame induction for the Class of 2014 will be held in November in Toronto.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Mike Hedden (Neumann University) scored two goals and was named second star of the game as the Texas Stars won their first Calder Cup in last night's 4-3 overtime victory at St. John's. The Stars defeated the Ice Caps in five games to win the American Hockey League's championship, with the last three triumphs all coming in extra time.
Hedden notched the tying goal with 6:34 remaining in regulation, before Patrik Nemeth won the Cup on a backhander 14:30 into the first overtime.Hedden tallied 96 goals and 67 assists for 163 points in 108 games at Neumann between 2005 and 2009, and was a senior on the Knights' 2009 NCAA Division III national championship club.
Blair Riley scored St. John's second goal of the evening in the second period on Tuesday, and Josh Lunden (Alaska Anchorage) later scored the go-ahead goal, assisted by Will O'Neill (Maine) and Zach Redmond (Ferris State). Andrew Gordon (St. Cloud) also had an assist for the IceCaps.
St. John was appearing in its first Calder Cup final after moving from Winnipeg in 2011, where the team was known as the Manitoba Moose. The Icecaps are the primary affiliate of the NHL's Winnipeg Jets, while the Stars are the top farm club of the Dallas Stars.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The Princeton University men's hockey program has found its new head coach.
Former ECAC player and assistant coach Ron Fogarty will be named the Tigers' 17th all-time mentor today after spending the last seven seasons molding Adrian (Mich.) College into an NCAA Division III powerhouse. The Bulldogs went 167-23-10 under Fogarty, the only coach the program has ever known, and earned four NCAA Division III Tournament berths. Adrian was also the national runner-up in 2010-11, when it lost 4-3 to St. Norbert, which also ousted the Bulldogs in this year’s nationals.
“It was an honor to be considered for this position and now a privilege to be named the head coach of the Princeton hockey program,” said at Fogarty at goprincetontigers.com. “With great enthusiasm, I look forward to building a program that will consistently compete for Ivy League and ECAC championships. Our players will be recognized for excellence in the classroom, ambassadors for the University in the community and relentless competitors on the ice.”
A native of Sarnia, Ont., Fogarty, 42, is taking his first head coaching job at the NCAA Division I level. He succeeds Bob Prier, who resigned last month after leading the Tigers the past three seasons. Prier took over from Guy Gadowsky, who left Princeton to mentor Penn State's nascent NCAA Division I program after guiding the Tigers to an ECAC Tournament title and two NCAA Division I Tournament berths. Princeton finished 6-26 overall and was last in the ECAC last year with a 4-18 league mark.
Fogarty played four seasons (1991-1995) at Colgate University, where he scored 51 goals and added 90 assists for 141 points for the Raiders. He played one season of professional hockey with the Memphis Riverkings of the Central Hockey League, and two years in Roller Hockey International before becoming an assistant coach at his alma mater in 1996-97, according to hockeydb.com. He left for Clarkson University in 1999-2000, and later spent four years as an assistant coach at Bowling Green before taking the reins at Adrian in 2007-08. The Bulldogs also won six regular-season titles and five league tournaments in his tenure.
“I am thrilled to have Ron join our distinguished team of coaches at Princeton,” said incoming Ford Family Director of Athletics and former Princeton women's hockey player Mollie Marcoux on the university web site. “Ron is an accomplished coach with a proven track record of success, both as a player, assistant coach and head coach. I am confident that he will provide the knowledge, experience and creative leadership needed for our program to thrive on an Ivy, ECAC and national level.”
Princeton is expected to open its 2014-15 regular season at the Liberty Hockey Invitational at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. in October.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Alec Martinez (Miami) made it Los Angeles’ night one more time—and this time, it won the Kings the Stanley Cup.
Martinez put home a rebound at 14:43 of the second overtime period at the Staples Center to lift Los Angeles to a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. The goal also captured the Kings’ second NHL crown in three years, after they won their previous three series this spring in seven games apiece.
Martinez also got the game-winner in sudden death in the Western Conference final against the Chicago Blackhawks last month. Friday’s victory marked the first time that an NHL team had clinched the Cup in overtime on its home ice since the New York Islanders did so back in 1980.
The Rangers, who trailed 1-0 after one period on Friday night after a score by eventual Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams, got goals from a pair of former Boston College forwards to take a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Chris Kreider tied the game on a power play off a cross-ice pass by Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin), before Brian Boyle scored shorthanded in the final minute of the period after taking a center-ice feed from Carl Hagelin (Michigan) and racing in to wrist a shot past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (UMass).
Former Rangers forward Marian Gaborik tied the game in the third period on a power play, knocking in a rebound for his league-leading 14th goal of the 2014 playoffs. The Kings ultimately outshot New York by a 51-30 margin on the evening, as the home side won for the fourth time in five games in the Final.
Both teams had chances in the extra sessions. McDonagh hit a post in the first overtime, while Kreider was stopped on a breakaway. Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter both hit posts for LA, before Martinez finished off a 3-on-2 rush in the second OT. Other college players who will get a ring from the Kings this year besides Martinez and Quick are defensemen Matt Greene (North Dakota) and Willie Mitchell (Clarkson).
Henrik Lundqvist finished with 48 saves for the Rangers, who lost three games in overtime in this series, the first time they had made the Final since winning their last Cup in 1994. Quick finished with 28 stops in recording his 16th win of the postseason, and his second career Cup with the Kings.