Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Howard, Talbot Among NHL Goalie Leaders

Two former college goaltenders are currently leading the National Hockey League in at least two netminding categories apiece.

According to NHL.com, Jimmy Howard (Maine) of the Detroit Red Wings is atop the league in both goals-against average (0.50) and save percentage (.984). The Syracuse native, who backstopped the Black Bears to the 2004 NCAA championship game, is nine wins short of 200 regular-season victories for his NHL career.

Cam Talbot (Alabama-Huntsville) of the Edmonton Oilers is pacing the circuit with five wins, two more than any other NHL goaltender at present. He is also tied for the league lead with one shutout, which came in Sunday's Heritage Classic in Winnipeg with a 3-0 blanking of the Jets. The Ontario native needs one victory to reach 60 wins in his NHL tenure.

Detroit hosts Carolina tonight, while Edmonton entertains Washington on Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Vesey Tallies First NHL Goal in Ranger Win

Former Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Jimmy Vesey (Harvard) scored his first NHL goal, and two other Beanpot Tournament veterans added goals of their own as the New York Rangers defeated the San Jose Sharks, 7-4, on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

Chris Kreider (Boston College) had a goal and an assist as the Rangers built a 3-1 lead after two periods. After the Sharks closed to within 3-2 midway through the third period, Kevin Hayes (Boston College) and Vesey, last year's top player in college hockey, struck 21 seconds apart to put New York up by a 5-2 count. Joe Pavelski (Wisconsin) scored for San Jose, which couldn't draw any closer than 5-4 before New York added two late tallies to seal the win.

Kreider, 25, who won two NCAA titles (2010, 2012) in his three seasons at BC, has tallied a goal and an assist in his first three outings this year, giving him six points in three games. The Rangers, who have gone 2-1-0 to start the season, will now host the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday at  8 p.m. at MSG, while the Sharks visit the New York Islanders tonight.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sun Devils Top Air Force for First Ranked Win

NCAA Division I independent Arizona State earned its first-ever victory over a ranked opponent with Sunday's 5-2 triumph over No. 18 Air Force at Gila River Arena.

The Sun Devils, playing in their second varsity season and in their first full NCAA Division I campaign, earned their first win of the season to earn a series split. The visiting Falcons, who earlier this fall won the Icebreaker Classic in Denver with victories over Boston College and Ohio State, had edged ASU, 4-3, on Friday night.

Tyler Busch scored the game-winning goal on a second period power play on Sunday for the Sun Devils, who also got a goal and two assists apiece from from Dylan Hollman and Boston University transfer Robbie Baillargeon, plus 24 saves from Joey Daccord. Sunday's win also marked the first time ASU had beaten a Division I opponent in Arizona, as last year's Division I wins over Alaska (Fairbanks) and Lake Superior State all came on the road or at a neutral site.

ASU (1-3-0 overall) will now visit Northeastern this weekend before hosting Harvard to close out the month.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Division III UCHC to Debut in 2017-18

A new NCAA Division III men's and women’s hockey league will arise starting with the 2017-18 season, in the form of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference.

According to USCHO.com, the UCHC roster will include the men’s and women’s teams from Chatham, Elmira, Hobart, King’s, Lebanon Valley, Manhattanville, Neumann, Stevenson and Utica. It will also feature the Nazareth men’s team, while the Wilkes men’s and women’s teams will join the conference full-time in 2018-19.

“We are pleased to announce the formation of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference,” said Nazareth College president Daan Braveman at d3hockey.com. “We have a tremendous grouping of academic and athletic institutions, and this will be will an exciting time for our student-athletes and member institutions.”

Chuck Mitrano, current commissioner of the Empire 8 Conference, will serve as the UCHC’s inaugural commissioner, as reported in the Utica Observer-Dispatch.

The UCHC announcement sounds the death knell for the eight-school ECAC West men's conference, of which Elmira, Hobart, Lebanon Valley, Manhattanville, Nazareth, Neumann and Utica are currently all members. Elmira, Neumann and Utica are also members of the nine-school ECAC West women's league.