Sunday, January 31, 2016

Scott Stars at NHL All-Star Goings-On in Nashville

John Scott (Michigan Tech) is an NHL All-Star Captain. Deal with it.

Scott was seen on the bench in his black NHL All-Star jersey during Saturday night's NHL All-Star Skills competition in Nashville. Other players were dressed in their NHL team jerseys, but career enforcer Scott right now is a man without an NHL club, and toiling once more in the minor leagues where he has played more than 175 regular-season games.

No matter.

Hockey fans know the recent story of Scott, who skated with the MTU Huskies from 2002 to 2006. Voted into the All-Star Game this year by NHL fans despite having just one point in 11 games with the Arizona Coyotes, and just five goals and 11 points in 289 all-time NHL appearances,  the league asked the eight-year NHL veteran to decline the invitation. He didn't, was subsequently traded to Montreal, and then shipped to the AHL, pregnant wife notwithstanding.

The NHL, however, eventually relented—and Scott, an Edmonton native who holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from MTU and had originally told fans to vote for his Arizona teammates, enjoyed the festivities and media attention this week in preparation for the four division, 3-on-3 competition as captain of the Pacific Division. He took part in the Hardest Shot competition, topping out at just over 95 mph.

His personally-penned tale at The Players' Tribune is well worth reading.  Besides taking a stand, he's just about also made what is normally a meaningless, defense-less exhibition contest must-see TV.

More than a few people in Houghton, Mich. must be happy.

ADDENDUM: Scott scored two goals in a 9-6 win over the Central Division, and was later named All-Star Game MVP, winning a new 2016 Honda Pilot Touring SUV. In addition, he earned his share of $1 million after the Pacific Division outlasted the Atlantic Division, 1-0, in the title game on a Corey Perry goal. The 6-foot-8, 270-pound Scott also got a literal lift from some of his teammates, including Joe Pavelski (Wisconsin).

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Connor, Motte on Scoring Streaks as Michigan Visits MSG

University of Michigan leading scorer Kyle Connor tallied five points in his last game, a 7-4 win at Penn State on Thursday. It was the second time this season the freshman has accomplished that feat, and he'll try to do so again tonight when the Wolverines face the Nittany Lions again in a Big Ten matchup at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Connor, a Shelby Township, Mich. native who prepped with Youngstown (USHL), currently leads Michigan with 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points through 22 NCAA games. He has recorded nine points over his last two contests, and is on an 11-game scoring streak in which he has collected 15-1429 points. He also had two assists in a 5-2 exhibition victory over the U.S. Under-18 Team on Jan. 21 in Ann Arbor.

Michigan junior forward Tyler Motte, who has 20 goals and 33 points so far this season, has five points in each of his last two appearances, including an 8-6 win over Ohio State on Jan. 17. He is on a personal six-game scoring string (9-817 points).

Michigan (15-3-4 overall, 6-1-2-1 Big Ten) ranks sixth overall in the nation, while Penn State (16-6-3, 6-3-0-0) is 15th nationally. The Wolverines last played at MSG in Nov. 2012, when they fell to Cornell, 5-1.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Horcoff Suspended for 20 NHL Games

Some bad news today for former Michigan State forward Shawn Horcoff, who is now with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Horcoff has been suspended by the NHL for 20 games without pay this season, for violating the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

The specifics are at The British Columbia native allegedly took an undisclosed medication to speed up healing from an injury he suffered in the fall.

Horcoff has recorded 186 goals and 320 assists for 506 points in 994 career NHL regular-season games with Edmonton, Dallas and Anaheim since turning pro for the 2000-01 campaign. He has also totaled 11-18—29 points in 41 Stanley Cup playoff contests, and helped Edmonton to within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Horcoff skated for MSU from 1996 to 2000, collecting 50-102—152 points in 155 outings with the Spartans. He also led them to two CCHA regular-season titles, two CCHA Tournament crowns, and four NCAA Tournament berths, including a Frozen Four appearance in 1999. He was also a First Team All-America selection and a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist as a senior when he notched a nation-high 51 assists out of his 65 total points.   

Saturday, January 23, 2016

BC's York Earns 1,000th Career Win

Boston College head coach Jerry York is now a millennium man.

York (BC'67) earned his 1,000th career coaching victory in college hockey on Friday night in BC's 8-0 win at Hockey East opponent Massachusetts. The Eagles got goals from eight different players, and 20 saves from goaltender Thatcher Demko before a crowd of 4,673 at the Mullins Center in Amherst.

York's overall record now stands at 1,000-595-108 in 44 seasons, including his previous head coaching stints at Clarkson and Bowling Green. He can also claim a 533-260-74 mark in 22 campaigns at his alma mater, including four of his five NCAA championships.

The fourth-ranked Eagles (16-4-3 overall, 9-1-3 HEA) return to conference action tonight (weather pending) at home against Connecticut. According to, York will be publicly honored for his 1,000th win prior to BC's home game on Feb. 5 against New Hampshire.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Eagles Top Terriers, 5-3, in Hockey East Play

Junior defenseman Ian McCoshen scored two goals, including the game winner, and set up two others as fourth-ranked Boston College rebounded to edge No. 10 Boston University, 5-3, in a Hockey East matchup on Friday night at a sold-out Kelley Rink in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

A second-round selection by the Florida Panthers in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, McCoshen rocketed a shot from the right point past Terriers netminder Sean Maguire (32 saves) on a power play 17:50 into the third period, after visiting BU had tied the contest just two minutes earlier. McCoshen, a native of Faribault, Minn., then flipped an insurance marker into an empty Terrier cage with 13 seconds remaining in regulation and Maguire having been pulled for an extra attacker.

BU held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes on a power-play tally by Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, who also picked up an assist on the night, before BC’s Austin Cangelosi tied it on a second-period penalty shot. Ahti Oksanen then put the Terriers (11-7-3 overall, 5-4-2 Hockey East) back ahead, 2-1, in a matter of 17 seconds, before Zach Sanford knotted matters exactly three minutes later for the Eagles (15-4-2, 8-1-2).

Colin White made it a 3-2 game for BC late in the second period, before BU’s Bobo Carpenter forged a third-period tie shortly before McCoshen’s late-game heroics. Thatcher Demko finished with 25 stops in his return to the BC net from an injury, as the Eagles outshot the Terriers, 37-28. BU went 3-for-6 on the power play, while BC was 2-for-7 with a man advantage.

The win also marked the 999th victory in the storied career of BC head coach jerry York, the all-time winningest coach in college hockey. York will go for No 1,000 on Saturday night when the Eagles and Terriers face-off cross town at Agannis Arena to complete the home-and-home series.

ADDENDUM: BC skated to a 1-1 tie at BU on Saturday, as Demko made 30 saves and Ryan Fitzgerald scored the tying goal with under three minutes remaining in regulation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Quinnipiac, North Dakota Top Pairwise Rankings

North Dakota, Quinnipiac, Providence, Boston College and St. Cloud State round out the top five teams in this week's Division I men's hockey poll.

The Pairwise Rankings, which mimic the NCAA Tournament selection process, however, paint a slightly different (and perhaps more relevant) picture of the top teams in the country.

The rankings as of Jan. 12, with conference affiliation in parentheses:

1. Quinnipiac (ECAC)
2. North Dakota (NCHC)
3. St. Cloud (NCHC)
4. Harvard (ECAC)
5. Cornell (ECAC)
6. Providence (Hockey East)
7. Omaha (NCHC)
8. Michigan (Big Ten)
9. Boston University (Hockey East)
10. Boston College (Hockey East)
11. Notre Dame (Hockey East)
12. Yale (ECAC)
13. UMass-Lowell (Hockey East)
14. Denver (NCHC)
15. Penn State (Big Ten)
16. Minnesota-Duluth (NCHC)
17. Minnesota State (WCHA)
21. Holy Cross (Atlantic Hockey)

The top 16 teams get in, including the tournament winners of the six NCAA Division I conferences. That means someone on the bubble of 16 could get bumped by a lower-ranked team (or teams) that wins its conference tournament.

We've still got a long way to go between now and late March, when the bids will be announced.

Friday, January 8, 2016

No. 7 BC Tops No. 3 Providence, 7-3

Boston College freshman forward Colin White, fresh off of earning a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Finland, fashioned a hat trick in his return to the Heights as seventh-ranked BC upended third-ranked Providence. 7-3, on Friday evening in a Hockey East match-up in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

White, who scored BC's first, third and sixth goals, also added an assist as the host Eagles (14-4-1 overall, 7-1-1 HEA) snapped a three-game losing string that included a 2-1 loss to Providence in the consolation game of the Florida College Hockey Classic on Dec. 29.

Freshman netminder Ian Milosz, making his first-ever collegiate start, stopped 24 of 27 shots for the Eagles, while Ryan Fitzgerald scored one goal and set up three others for BC. The Eagles also went 3-for-4 on the power play before a sold-out crowd of 7,884 at Kelley Rink..

Nick Ellis took the loss with 13 saves on 18 shots for the Friars (13-3-3, 4-1-2), the defending NCAA champions. John Gilmour notched a goal and an assist for Providence, which has now lost three of its last four games after opening the campaign with a 16-game unbeaten streak.

The two rivals will complete their home-and-home series Saturday night at Schneider Arena.

ADDENDUM: BC rebounded from a 4-1 deficit with three consecutive goals for a 4-4 tie at Providence.

UNH's Thompson to Make NHL Debut Tonight with Devils

Former University of New Hampshire forward Paul Thompson will make his NHL debut tonight when the New Jersey Devils face the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Limited by recent injuries, the Devils have summoned Thompson from Albany (AHL), where he scored a career-high 33 goals last season, according to his bio at The 6-foot-1, 200 lb. native of Methuen, Mass. previously tallied 20 goals in 2012-13 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), and has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 22 AHL games so far this season.

A four-year letterwinner at UNH from 2007 to 2011, he scored 47 of his 57 goals over his last two campaigns. Thompson, 27, was also chosen the Hockey East Player of the Year as a senior after scoring 28 goals in all, while helping the Wildcats to a 10th and final consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.

New Jersey currently sits in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division with a 20-16-5 overall record, while Boston is fourth in the Atlantic Division with a 20-14-4 mark. Both clubs have lost their last two games to date.

ADDENDUM: Thompson, wearing No. 45, had a shot on goal, a hit, and two penalty minutes, and was a plus-one in New Jersey's 4-1 loss, according to

Thursday, January 7, 2016

BC Adds Two Players for 2015-16

Seventh-ranked Boston College has added two players who are expected to be in the lineup this weekend for a home-and-home Hockey East series with No. 3 Providence College.

Goaltender Ian Milosz and defenseman Michael Kim will skate for the Eagles in the second half of the 2016-16 campaign, after playing for the Boston Jr. Bruins of the of the United States Premiere Hockey League (USPHL).

According to, the 6-foot-7 Milosz, who hails from North Grafton, Mass., has played in 17 games this season for the Jr. Bruins, with a 2.20 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. He will wear No. 29 for BC.

Kim, a six-foot, 185-pound defenseman from Toronto, tallied five goals and 22 assists for the Jr. Bruins this winter. He actually made his collegiate debut wearing No. 27 in BC's last game to date, a 2-1 loss to Providence on Dec. 29 in the Florida College Hockey Classic consolation game.

Both players were expected to matriculate with the rest of BC's Class of 2020 this fall, but were added to the roster now to strengthen a lineup that ostensibly features injuries to key players.

BC (13-4-1) hosts Providence (13-1-3) tomorrow night at Kelley Rink at 7 p.m. in Chestnut Hill, before visiting Schneider Arena on Saturday evening for the rematch.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

USA Wins Bronze Medal at World Juniors

The U.S. National Junior Team defeated Sweden today, 8-3, in Helsinki, Finland to finish in third place at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships.

It is the first WJC bronze medal for the U.S. since 2011, and first WJC medal overall since winning gold in Russia in 2013. The U.S. has now claimed three gold, one silver, and four bronze medals in WJC play all-time, according to

Anders Bjork (Notre Dame) and Ryan Donato (Harvard) each scored two goals for Team USA on Tuesday, while Nick Schmaltz (North Dakota) posted three assists. Donato's first goal stood up as the game-winner, after Brock Boeser (North Dakota) put the U.S. ahead, 3-2, for good early in the second period, via

The Americans were relegated to this year's bronze medal game after a 2-1 semifinal-round loss yesterday to Russia, which fell to host Finland, 4-3, in overtime in the gold medal match. The only U.S. loss in the preliminary round this year came against Sweden, 1-0,

The Americans finished with a 3-0-0-1 record in round-robin play, with victories over Canada, Denmark and Switzerland. The U.S. then bested the Czech Republic, 7-0, on Saturday in a quarterfinal-round contest.

According to, the U.S. boasted the top save percentage (.948) and top goals-against average (1.44) in this year's tournament. Next year's WJC will return to Montreal and Toronto, site of the 2015 gathering, where the U.S. finished in fifth place overall as host Canada won the gold medal.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Americans Blank Czech Republic, 5-0, in WJC Quarterfinal

A goal by Nick Schmaltz (North Dakota) just 5:17 into the contest stood up as the game-winner as the U.S. National Junior Team blanked the Czech Republic, 5-0, in a 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship quarterfinal match on Saturday. The U.S. thus improved to 4-0-0-1 overall in this year's tournament in Helsinki, Finland.

Brock Boeser (North Dakota) set up college teammate Schmaltz's goal for Team USA. Auston Matthews scored three goals for the U.S., while Zach Werenski (Michigan) posted an assist. The Americans will now face Russia in a WJC semifinal contest on Monday (1 p.m. ET, NHL Network), with the victor to face the winner of Sweden and Finland on Tuesday.

ADDENDUM: The U.S fell, 2-1, to Russia on Monday and will face Sweden in tomorrow's bronze medal game (9:30 a.m. ET, NHL Network).

Friday, January 1, 2016

Team USA Moves on to WJC Quarterfinals

The U. S National Junior Team completed the round-robin portion of its Group “A” schedule with a 4-1 win over Denmark on Thursday at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
Colin White (Boston College) and Anders Bjork (Notre Dame) scored third-period goals for the Americas, who overcame, a 1-0 first-period deficit.  The U.S. defeated Switzerland, 10-1, in its previous outing the prior day, as white and Zach Werenski (Michigan) tallied three points apiece.
Team USA won three of its four preliminary WJC games and finished second in Group A to Sweden, will now face the Czech Republic of Group “B” on Saturday (NHL Network, 8 a.m. ET) in a quarterfinal elimination match-up.