Monday, December 31, 2018

Caggiula, Garrison Dealt to Blackhawks by Oilers

Drake Caggiula (North Dakota) is on the move. 

The former Fighting Hawk forward, who led UND to the 2016 NCAA title, was dealt by the Edmonton Oilers along with defenseman Jason Garrison (Minnesota-Duluth) to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. In return, Edmonton received defensemen Brandon Manning and Robin Norell, according to

Caggiula, 24, who signed with the Oilers as free agent in 2016, has 27 goals and 22 assists for 49 points in 156 career NHL contests, all with Edmonton. He has posted seven goals and 11 points in 29 games so far this season.

In 162 career NCAA appearances with North Dakota from 2012 to 2016, Caggiula amassed a total of 62-65—127 points, including a career-high line of 25-26—51 points as a senior when he earned NCAA Frozen Four MVP honors in spearheading UND's run to its first NCAA title in 16 years. He tallied four goals and an assist in the Fighting Hawks' two Frozen Four wins over Denver and Quinnipiac, and scored twice in the national title game in Tampa.

Garrison, 34, who helped the Tampa Bay Lightning to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final where it fell in six games to Chicago, has posted 49-111—160 points in 555 career NHL regular-season starts with Florida, Vancouver, Tampa Bay, Vegas and Edmonton. He has one goal in 17 NHL contests so far this season, and in three years (2005 to 2008) at UMD accumulated 9-20—29 points in 87 contests for the Bulldogs before he signed with Florida as a free agent in 2008.

It is not yet known if Caggiula and Garrison will skate for Chicago against the Boston Bruins in the 2019 NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind. on Tuesday (1 p.m. ET, NBC TV).

Friday, December 28, 2018

Gaudreau Gets Three as Flames Down Jets

It was Hockey East night in Winnipeg on Thursday. Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College) scored three goals, and Mark Jankowski (Providence) added another as the Calgary Flames topped the host
Jets, 4-1, in NHL action.

Gaudreau's three goals came on just four shots on goal. He now has nine goals and 18 points in his last 13 games against Winnipeg, including two hat tricks. Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) made 25 stops on 28 shots against for the Jets, who fell to 24-11-2 overall.

Calgary improved to 23-12-3, and is now one point behind Winnipeg for the top spot in the NHL's Western Conference.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

U.S. Wins 2019 WJC Opener

Mikey Anderson (Minnesota-Duluth) tied the game in the third period, and Evan Barratt (Penn State) tallied the game-winner shortly afterward as the U.S. National Junior Team opened the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 2-1 win over Slovakia on Wednesday in Victoria, B.C.

Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals stopped 13 shots for Team USA, including a third-period penalty shot with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation, after the Americans had taken
the lead. The U.S. outshot Slovakia, 34-14, overall and finished 1-for-3 on the power play.

The U.S., which is tied for first place in Group 'B' with Sweden, will next face Kazahkstan in WJC action on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network).

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Flyers Release Former UND Coach Hakstol

The Philadelphia Flyers relieved head coach Dave Hakstol of his duties on Monday. The Alberta native was in his fourth season with the club, having moved directly from the

University of North Dakota to the NHL three years ago. He finished with a record of 134-101-42 overall in Philadelphia, according to, with two Stanley Cup Playoff berths.

Prior to joining the Flyers in 2015, Hakstol spent 11 seasons at UND, and led the then-Fighting Sioux to a 289-143-43 (.654) overall mark. UND advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all 11 campaigns, including seven Frozen Four appearances and a national runner-up finish in 2005. Prior to coaching UND, he spent four seasons as the head coach of the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers.

A former defenseman at UND (1989-1992), Hakstol, 50, played professionally with both Indianapolis and Minnesota of the now-defunct International Hockey League, prior to taking over the bench in Sioux City. He was succeeded in Philadelphia by former Lehigh Valley (AHL) head coach Scott Gordon (Boston College), who won his NHL debut Tuesday night with the Flyers' 3-2 victory over visiting Detroit.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Princeton, Penn State Skate to Tie in Philadelphia

Max Veronneau and Ryan Kuffner posted four points apiece, including Kuffner's tying goal with 1:08 remaining in regulation, as Princeton knotted Penn State, 4-4, in the 2018 Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff at the Wells Fargo Center.

Veronneau scored two goals for Princeton, which got the game-opening goal from Josh Teves. Brandon Biro, Chase Berger and Nate Sucese scored in the first period for Penn State (11-5-2 overall), which outshot host Princeton, 13-3 in the first period, and 37-35 on the night. Alec Marsh scored Penn State’s fourth goal 17 seconds into the second period to put the Nittany Lions up, 4-1, at the time.

Peyton Jones finished with 31 saves for Penn State, including a stop on Veronneau in overtime. Veronneau posted two goals and two assists on the night, while Kuffner had a goal and three assists. Austin Smith stopped all 21 shots he faced in the Princeton net, after relieving starter Ryan Ferland (12 saves) following Marsh’s goal.

Princeton (3-8-2) went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Penn State was 0-for-2.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Devils Top Kings, 6-3

The New Jersey Devils snapped a six-game losing streak that stretched back to just after Thanksgiving with a 6-3 win at Los Angeles on Thursday night in NHL action.

Leading the way against the host Kings were former NCAA players Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame), who scored twice for the Devils, and Travis Zajac (North Dakota), Will Butcher (Denver) and Blake Coleman (Miami), who notched single tallies. Zajac and Butcher also recorded assists as the Devils won for the first time since Nov. 21. Keith Kinkaid (Union) made 29 saves in net for New Jersey, which improved to 10-12-5 overall.

New Jersey will continue its western swing on Sunday night at Anaheim.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

2019 U.S. Junior Team Roster Announced

The preliminary roster for the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team has been announced. The group will compete at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships from Dec. 26, 2018 to Jan. 5, 2019, in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.

Five players return from last year's U.S. roster. They include defensemen Mikey Anderson (Minnesota-Duluth), Quinn Hughes (Michigan) and Dylan Samberg (Minnesota-Duluth), plus forwards Josh Norris (Michigan) and Ryan Poehling (St. Cloud State). Nearly a dozen NCAA Division I schools are represented on the preliminary roster, which can be accessed here.

The U.S. finished third overall in last year's WJC in Buffalo, earning America's second bronze medal in the last three tournaments, and third in the last eight competitions. Team USA won gold in 2010, 2013 and 2017.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Quinnipiac Finishes Sweep of Princeton

Ninth-ranked Quinnipiac stretched its winning streak to six games by completing a two-step sweep of No. 19 Princeton on Saturday night at Hobey Baker Memorial Rink in New Jersey.

The Bobcats rebounded from two one-goal deficits by tallying four goals in the second period and two more in the third to top the Tigers, 6-3. Quinnipiac improves to 13-2-0 overall (6-2-0 ECAC Hockey), while Princeton falls to 3-6-1 (2-4-1 ECAC) after suffering its fifth consecutive defeat.

Chase Priskie scored two goals for the Bobcats, the first one on the power play and the second the game-winner, and now has 11 total goals on the season. Craig Martin also notched two goals, and Odeen Tufto posted three assists for Quinnipiac, which finished 2-for-5 on the power play and got 27 saves in all from Keith Petruzzelli.

Jackson Cressey scored twice for Princeton, which got 28 stops from Ryan Ferland and also went 1-for-6 with a man advantage. The Tigers host NCAA independent Arizona State for a pair of games next weekend, while the Bobcats will play a home-and-home series with third-ranked Massachusetts.

Friday, November 30, 2018

BC, MSU Post Wins Against Rivals

Both Boston College and Michigan State men's hockey got back on track Friday nightand both did so against their respective arch-rivals.

BC rebounded from a one-goal deficit to post a 4-1 win at Boston University's Agganis Arena  as Joseph Woll made 38 saves for the Eagles, and Logan Hutsko scored two goals, including the second-period game-winner. BC (4-6-1 overall) will now host BU (4-7-1) at Kelley Rink on Saturday.

At Munn Arena, MSU's Mitchell Lewandowski notched the game-winner halfway through the third period as the Spartans (6-7-0) came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to top Michigan. Drew DeRidder made 43 saves for MSU, which also got three assists from Taro Hirose. U-M (6-6-2) will host the back end of the home-and home series Saturday night at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor.

Friday, November 23, 2018

BC Falls to Bentley, 4-2

Boston College men's hockey's non-conference woes continue.

The Eagles fell behind Bentley University, 3-0, on Friday at Conte Forum in the first-ever meeting between the two Bay State schools, en route to a 4-2 loss to the visiting Falcons. Bentley scored two goals in the second period, and added two more in the third, including an empty-net goal with 67 seconds remaining in regulation after BC (3-6-1 overall) had closed to within 3-2.

Tanner Jago and Will Garin staked Bentley to a two-goal advantage in the middle stanza, both with power-play goals, before Matt Lombardozzi scored early in the third period. David Cotton tallied the first Eagles' goal on a power play, his team-leading 10th goal overall of the campaign, with 11 minutes left in the third. Oliver Wahlstrom, the subject of much scrutiny the previous 24 hours as to whether or not he would stay at the Heights, then pulled BC within a goal with 1:31 left before Jake Kauppila hit the empty net for the Falcons, who got 23 saves from Aidan Pelino.

Bentley (4-7-1), a member of Atlantic Hockey, now has nine wins over the last 11 years against Hockey East opponents, and will play at Holy Cross on Saturday. BC, which got 17 saves from Joseph Woll on Friday, has not won a non-conference NCAA contest since defeating Arizona State at Conte Forum in Nov. 2016. The Eagles will return to Hockey East action next weekend with a home-and-home series against Green Line rival Boston University.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Minnesota's Martin Retires from NHL

Former NCAA defenseman Paul Martin (Minnesota) has retired from professional hockey.

Martin, 37, who played in 870 career regular-season NHL contests with the New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, and San Jose Sharks, finished with 50 goals and 270 assists for 320 points to go with 238 penalty minutes. A second-round draft choice of New Jersey in 2000, he never missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his 14 full NHL seasons, and also helped San Jose to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. He also tallied 6-4046 points and 44 PIM in 122 career NHL postseason appearances.

A native of Minneapolis, Martin played three seasons at the University of Minnesota for head coach Don Lucia. A former multiple-sport star at Elk River (Minn.) High School, Martin collected 20-7797 points and 58 PIM in 127 games overall with the Golden Gophers, including back-to-back 30-assist campaigns. He was also a member of Minnesota's 2002 and 2003 NCAA championship teams.

Martin, who served as an NHL assistant captain with both the Devils and Penguins, also represented the United States on the blueline in the 2001 World Junior Championship, the 2004 World Cup, the 2005 and 2008 World Championships, and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Red Wings Bounce Devils, 4-3

Michigan State and Michigan teamed up to knock down the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night in Detroit.

With the game at Little Caesar's Arena tied at 2-2 in the third period, Detroit Red wings forward Luke Glendening (Michigan) blocked a pass by Devils defenseman Will Butcher (Denver) while the Red Wings were killing off a penalty. Glendening then skated down the left side before letting go with a shot at Devils netminder Cory Schneider (Boston College). Schneider made the save, but the rebound was put home by Justin Abeldelkader (Michigan State) with 7:10 remaining in regulation to give the home team the lead for good in a 4-3 victory, Detroit's third straight triumph overall. New Jersey has lost five of its last six outings after winning its first four games this fall.

Schneider finished with 27 saves in his first NHL start since undergoing off-season hip surgery, which was followed by three rehabilitation appearances with Binghamton (AHL). Travis Zajac (North Dakota) posted two assists for the Devils on Thursday, including one on a second-period goal by Blake Coleman (Miami). Jimmy Howard (Maine) finished with 25 stops for Detroit, while Dylan Larkin (Michigan) set up two goals for the Red Wings.

The two teams will meet again on Nov. 18 in New Jersey.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Eagles Still Winless Headed into November

Boston College men's hockey is off to an 0-4-0 start for the first time in almost 80 years.

The Eagles dropped their fourth straight contest of the nascent 2017-18 NCAA campaign to St. Cloud State, 7-0, in BC's home opener at Conte Forum on Oct. 26. Prior to that, BC recorded losses at Wisconsin (0-3, 5-7) on Oct. 12-13, and at Quinnipiac (0-1) on Oct. 19. An 8-1 exhibition victory against visiting Canadian university New Brunswick on Oct. 6 will not count in the Eagles' official record and statistics.

It is the Eagles' worst start to a hockey season since the 1937-38 squad lost its first five games. BC has also not recorded an out-of-conference victory in NCAA play since besting visiting Arizona State, 3-1, in Nov. 2016.

Junior forward David Cotton leads the Eagles to date with three goals and one assist for four points, with all three of his goals coming in the 7-5 setback at Wisconsin. Junior goaltender Joseph Woll has gone 0-4-0 in net with a 3.71 goals-against average and an .867 save percentage in stopping 85 of 98 shots over 210 minutes played. As a whole, BC currently ranks 56th overall in NCAA Division I scoring (1.25 goals per game), 53rd in team defense (4.50 goals against per game), 42nd on the power play (2-of-13, 15.4 percent) and 21st on the penalty kill (11-of-13, 84.6 percent), according to

BC will try to get on track this weekend with its first Hockey East conference games this year, a home-and-home series with Merrimack on Nov. 2-3.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Arizona State Over .500 After Six Games

Don't look now, but Arizona State is 4-2-0 to begin the 2018-19 NCAA campaign.

The lone men's hockey Division I independent, the Sun Devils started the season with a home sweep of Alaska in which ASU didn't allow a goal. ASU then dropped two close contests to 2018 Frozen Four participant Ohio State (2-3, 1-3), and then swept host Alabama-Huntsville this past weekend by 2-1 and 5-1 scores.

Sophomore forward and Phoenix, Ariz. native Johnny Walker currently leads the Sun Devils with four goals and four assists for eight points through ASU's first six games, which places him among the top 10 players in national scoring. Junior goaltender and Boston native Joey Daccord has played every minute in net so far for ASU, and has gone 4-2-0 with a 1.18 goals-against average and .956 save percentage, while allowing just seven goals in all. He also leads the nation with 357 minutes played to date.

ASU's penalty kill also ranks among the top 10 nationally. The Sun Devils have negated 30-of-32 opposing power plays, and are tied with Sacred Heart for third overall in Division I at 93.7 percent.

Next on tap for the Sun Devils will be the visiting Omaha Mavericks, this Friday and Saturday at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, Ariz. ASU will then visit Omaha in November. Omaha defeated
ASU, 5-1, a year ago in Nebraska before the two schools skated to a 4-4 tie the next night.

ADDENDUM: ASU upped its record to 6-2-0 with a two-step sweep of Omaha, 6-3 and 7-2.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Adrian Edges Princeton in Exhibition

NCAA Division III Adrian (Mich.) topped NCAA Division I host Princeton in an exhibition men's ice hockey contest on Saturday night at Hobey Baker Rink. Individual statistics and team records from the contest will not count in either school’s official totals.

After Ryan Kuffner and Jake Paganelli staked the Tigers to a 2-0 second-period lead, Dino Balsamo got the visiting Bulldogs on the board. Adrian would then tie the contest late in regulation before Austin Bottrell put home a rebound on a power play with 6.2 seconds remaining in overtime for the win.

Kevin Entmaa went the distance in goal for Adrian, and finished with 23 saves. Ryan Ferland, Andrew Shaw and Jay Forget split netminding chores for Princeton in playing one period apiece,
with Forget also playing the overtime, and combined for 30 stops. Save totals were partially skewed by several 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 power play practice situations exchanged by the two teams prior to the start of the second stanza.

Adrian, which finished 24-6-0 overall last season and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament's quarterfinal round, will begin its 2018-19 regular season at Utica on Oct. 26-27.
Princeton, which claimed the 2018 ECAC Hockey Championship, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, went 19-13-4 overall last season and will open its new
campaign at Penn State on Oct. 26.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Devils Roll in 2018-19 Opener

Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) and Travis Zajac (North Dakota) scored two goals apiece as the New Jersey Devils opened their 2018-19 NHL campaign with a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the 2018 NHL Global Series in Gothenburg, Sweden on Saturday.

Miles Wood (Boston College) set up two goals for the Devils, who got 17 saves from Keith Kinkaid (Union). Cam Talbot (Alabama-Huntsville) made 22 stops for Edmonton. The victory marked New Jersey’s third win in its last five season openers, and also makes the Devils  21-9-6 overall in season-opening contests.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

BC's Gionta Retires as NHL Player

Brian Gionta (Boston College) has called it a career after 16 NHL campaigns.

A third-round draft choice of the New Jersey Devils in 1998, Gionta, 39, won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003, and three years later set a still-standing franchise record with a career-high 48 regular-season goals to go along with a personal-best 89 points. The Rochester, N.Y. native went on to serve as captain of both the Montreal Canadiens and the Buffalo Sabres before finishing his career last spring with the Boston Bruins.

In 1,026 NHL regular-season games, Gionta collected 291 goals and 304 assists for 595 points along with 377 penalty minutes, and scored at least 20 goals in one NHL season seven times. In 113 Stanley Cup Playoff contests, he registered 32-36—68 points with 34 PIM. He also recorded 15-23—38 points and 28 PIM in 53 career American Hockey League games with Albany and Rochester.

A four-time All-America selection and a three-time finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in NCAA Division I men’s hockey, Gionta skated for BC from 1997 to 2001, and is the school’s all-time leading goal scorer with 123 goals. He finished his collegiate career with 232 points in 164 games, which still ranks him second on the Heights’ all-time scoring scroll behind David Emma (239 points).

Gionta also helped the Eagles to four NCAA Frozen Fours, including the 2001 NCAA title, its first national championship in 52 years. He is also BC's all-time leader with nine career hat tricks. As a senior, he scored five goals on five shots in the opening period of a 7-2 win against Hockey East rival Maine, and then helped BC to its third Hockey East Tournament championship in four seasons, plus the 2001 Beanpot Tournament crown. He was also named the 2000-01 Hockey East Player of the Year, and shared the Walter Brown Award that same season with UNH goaltender Ty Conklin as the top American-born player(s) in the New England collegiate hockey ranks.

Gionta represented the United States in two Olympic Winter Games, in 2006 in Italy and in 2018 in South Korea. He served as Team USA's captain in the latter competition, and also played for the U.S. in two IIHF World Junior Championships and three IIHF World Championships. He will now serve as a development coach with the NHL’s Sabres.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

BC's Wood Re-Signs with NHL's Devils

Miles Wood (Boston College) is back with the New Jersey Devils. Wood, 23, who sat out the first week of the Devils' 2018-19 training camp, signed a four-year, $11 million contract with New Jersey, according to The contract carries an annual average value of $2.75 million.

A Buffalo native, Wood set professional and NHL career highs last season when he tallied 19 goals and 13 assists for 32 points in 76 regular-season contests for the Devils. He also made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut, and went scoreless in five games as the Devils were eliminated in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Wood prepped at the Noble and Greenough School, and with the Cape Cod Whalers and Salem Ice Dogs, all in Massachusetts, before he spent one season at BC. He tallied 10 goals and 35 points along with 76 penalty minutes in helping the Eagles to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four, and then turned pro, where he made his NHL debut with New Jersey to close out the season.

He spent 15 games with Albany (AHL) during the 2016-17 campaign before joining the parent Devils for good, and collected eight goals and 17 points in 60 NHL appearances that season. The son of former NHL player and Yale University alumnus Randy Wood, the younger Wood has registered 27-22—49 points and 170 penalty minutes in 137 NHL regular-season contests.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Three Tigers Make Preseason 2018-19 ECAC Hockey Team

Three Princeton University seniors were named to the 2018-19 ECAC Hockey All-League Team, as reported on the league website.

Princeton forward Max Véronneau joined longtime linemate Ryan Kuffner up front, while defenseman Josh Teves was chosen on the blueline. Véronneau finished second among all NCAA Division I men's hockey players last season with 55 points, while Kuffner set a new single-season Princeton standard by scoring 29 goals. Teves led all NCAA Division I defensemen last season with 1.06 points per game, notching 33 points in 31 outings, while all three players helped the Tigers to their first ECAC Hockey Championship and automatic NCAA Tournament berth since 2008.

Rounding out the preseason All-League Team was Yale University senior forward Joe Snively, Harvard University junior defenseman Adam Fox, and Cornell University sophomore goaltender Matthew Galajda. Cornell also topped both the preseason ECAC Hockey media and coaches polls as the projected top team in the conference for the upcoming campaign, while Princeton was tabbed for second place in both polls.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Boston College Men's Hockey 2018-19 Schedule

Boston College is always the last school to release it's Division I ice hockey schedules. Here's what the men's team should face this season (subject to change):


Oct.  6       NEW BRUNSWICK (Exhibition)
Oct. 12       @ Wisconsin
Oct. 13       @ Wisconsin
Oct. 19       @ Quinnipiac
Oct. 25       ST. CLOUD STATE

Nov.  2       @ Merrimack *
Nov.  3       MERRIMACK *
Nov.  8       VERMONT *
Nov.  9       VERMONT *
Nov. 16       @ New Hampshire *
Nov. 23       BENTLEY
Nov. 30       @ Boston University *

Dec.  6       @ Connecticut * (Hartford, CT)
Dec.  7       CONNECTICUT *
Dec. 31       @ Notre Dame

Jan.  4       @ Arizona State
Jan.  5       @ Arizona State
Jan. 11       PROVIDENCE * 
Jan. 12       @ New Hampshire *
Jan. 17       MAINE * 
Jan. 19       PROVIDENCE *
Jan. 25       UMASS LOWELL *
Jan. 26       @ UMass Lowell *

Feb.  1       @ Connecticut * (Hartford, CT)
Feb.  4       Harvard $
Feb.  8       @ UMass Lowell *
Feb. 11       BU/Northeastern $
Feb. 15       @ Massachusetts *
Feb. 16       MASSACHUSETTS *
Feb. 22       @ Maine *
Feb. 23       @ Maine *

Mar.  1       NORTHEASTERN *
Mar.  2       @ Northeastern *
Mar.  7       @ Providence *
Mar. 14-16    HEA First Round
Mar. 22       HEA Semifinals (Boston, MA)
Mar. 23       HEA Championship (Boston, MA)
Mar. 29-31    NCAA Regionals #

Apr.  11      NCAA Semifinals (Buffalo, NY)
Apr.  13      NCAA Championship (Buffalo, NY)

Home games at Kelley Rink in CAPS
* Hockey East conference game
$ Beanpot Tournament (Boston, MA)
 Allentown, PA/Fargo, ND/Manchester, NH/Providence

Saturday, August 18, 2018

BC's Santini Re-Signs with Devils

Steven Santini (Boston College) has signed a new three-year contract with the New Jersey Devils. The average annual value of the contract, according to, is just over $1,416,666.

A 6-foot-2 defenseman from Bronxville, N.Y., Santini split last year between New Jersey and Binghamton (AHL). He posted two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 36 games with the parent Devils. In 75 career NHL games, he has notched 4-1317 points, and has also recorded 3-58 points in 47 AHL outings with Binghamton/Albany.

Santini, 23, turned pro after helping BC to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four and also earning Hockey East's Best Defensive Defenseman accolades that year. In three seasons with the Eagles, he registered 5-3035 points and 122 penalty minutes in 98 appearances, and also represented the U.S. at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

Prior to enrolling at BC, Santini played two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team, and after skating with New York Apple Core (EJHL).

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

BU's Tkachuk Signs with Senators

The Ottawa Senators have announced that they have signed forward Brady Tkachuk (Boston University) to a three-year entry-level contract. Tkachuk will thus forgo his final three years at BU.

Tkachuk, 18, a 6-foot-3 native of St. Louis, tallied eight goals and 23 assists for 31 points last season as a freshman as the Terriers won the Hockey East Tournament and advanced to within one game of the NCAA Frozen Four. The Senators then drafted him fourth overall at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas.

The son of retired NHL player Keith Tkachuk, who also played one year at BU, and the younger brother of Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, Brady Tkachuk played two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development program prior to enrolling at BU. He was also a member of the bronze-medal U.S. squad at the 2018 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Larkin Re-Signs, Berenson Earns Latest Honor

Two former University of Michigan players made headlines over the weekendone an up-and-comer, and the other a living legend.

Dylan Larkin, who played one season with the Wolverines before turning pro, has signed a five-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings. A restricted free agent, Larkin, 22, will receive an average of $6.1 million per season, according to Drafted 15th overall by Detroit in 2014, the Waterford, Mich. native has notched 56 goals and 84 assists for 140 points in 242 regular-season appearances over three full NHL campaigns, all with Detroit. He registered 15-3247 points in 35 outings with U-M in 2014-15, his lone year in Ann Arbor and the inaugural season of the current Big Ten Conference.

Longtime Michigan head coach Gordon "Red" Berenson, who manned the Wolverines for 33 seasons and also won two NCAA Division I titles at the U-M helm, will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in December. The Regina, Sask. native starred at Michigan as a forward before going on to play in the NHL from 1962 to 1978. He later coached the St. Louis Blues for three seasons.

Berenson guided his alma mater from 1984 to 2017, and recorded an 848-426-92 overall mark with the Wolverines while winning national titles in both 1996 and 1998. He also led the Maize and Blue to 10 Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular season championships, nine CCHA Tournament crowns, one Big Ten tournament title, and 22 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths from 1991 to 2012.

Also, in late July, Michigan defenseman Quinn Hughes announced he will return to U-M for his sophomore season. Drafted seventh overall by the Vancouver Canucks in June, the Orlando, Fla. native earned 2017-18 Big Ten All-Freshman Team accolades in collecting 5-2429 points in 37 games as a rookie, while also helping the Wolverines to the NCAA Frozen Four.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

BC's Dennehy, Buckley Move On

Two former Boston College players have moved on in the coaching ranks, one professionally and one in college.

Mark Dennehy (BC'91), who led Merrimack College as head coach from 2004 until earlier this year, is the new head coach of the Binghamton (NY) Devils of the American Hockey League, the top minor-league affiliate of the NHL's New Jersey Devils.  Dennehy, 50, who helped BC to three NCAA Tournaments as a defenseman (1989-1990-1991) and has also coached collegiately at Princeton and Massachusetts, had just joined Wheeling (ECHL) as head coach in June.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Wheeling's parent NHL club, gave New Jersey permission to talk to Dennehy, and he leaves Wheeling without ever coaching a game for the ECHL's Nailers. A native of Dorchester, Mass., Dennehy led Merrimack to an NCAA Tournament berth and a No. 1 national ranking in 2011.

Brendan Buckley (BC'99) has returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach after three seasons as an assistant at Hockey East rival Connecticut. A fifth-round selection of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1996, Buckley played on the BC blueline from 1995 to 1999, and helped the Eagles to consecutive NCAA Frozen Fours as a junior and senior while accumulating 39 points and 306 penalty minutes in 158 career games. He went on on to skate in 569 career AHL regular-season contests, and also played in Germany and Italy before retiring as a player in 2011.

A native of Needham, Mass., Buckley, 41, succeeds former Eagles associate coach Greg Brown, who left the Heights last month after 14 years on the BC bench to join the NHL's New York Rangers.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

BC's Hayes Re-Signs with Rangers

Kevin Hayes (Boston College) will be back on Broadway for at least one more season. The 6-foot-5 power forward from Dorchester, Mass., a restricted free agent, recently signed a one-year contract with the New York Rangers, the sole NHL team he has ever played for.

Hayes scored a career-high 25 goals for the Rangers last season, to go along with 19 assists for 44 points in 76 games. In 310 career NHL regular-season outings, all with New York, he has tallied 73 goals and 101 assists for 174 points. He has also notched two goals and 10 points in 34 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests, and was a member of New York's 2014 Eastern Conference champion club.

Hayes, 26, played at BC from 2010 to 2014. He notched 44-88—132 points in 142 career games with the Eagles, including career-best totals of 27-38—65 points as a senior in 2013-14 when he was a Hobey Baker Award finalist and also helped BC to the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four. Originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft before later signing with the Rangers as a free agent, he was a sophomore on BC's 2012 national championship team.

Friday, July 20, 2018

BCs Brown Joins NHL's Rangers

Another Hockey East coach has joined the New York Rangers. Longtime Boston College associate/assistant coach Greg Brown will be joining new Rangers head coach and Boston University alumnus David Quinn on Broadway, as assistant with the Rangers.

Brown, 50, had been with his alma mater as a coach since 2004, and helped the Eagles to NCAA titles in 2008, 2010 and 2012. He played at BC as a defenseman from 1986 to 1987, and from 1998 to 1990, with his tenure broken up by a stint with the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team. A 1990 Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist, he also helped BC to the Frozen Four in Detroit that season, and finished his career with 24 goals and 96 assists for 120 points in three seasons.

A second-round draft choice of the Buffalo Sabres in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, the Southborough, Mass. native played in the NHL with Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg. He also skated with Rochester in the American Hockey League, and with San Diego and Cleveland in the International Hockey League, before finishing out his playing career in Germany from 1996 to 2003.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Largen Takes Over Hometown Nanooks

My latest USCHO feature story, on new Alaska (Fairbanks) head coach and Nanook alumnus Erik Largen, is now online here. Fairbanks native Largen, a former UAF goaltender and assistant coach, is the ninth head coach in modern Nanook Hockey history.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Former Hockey East Players Highlighted

Two former Hockey East players recently re-signed with their respective NHL teams, while another will have his jersey number retired next season.

Former NCAA forward Devin Shore (Maine) and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) have resigned with the Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets, respectively, while Paul Kariya (Maine) will have his number retired by the Anaheim Ducks next season.

Shore played at Maine from 2012 to 2015, where he tallied 34 goals and 70 assists for 104 points for the Black Bears. A native of Ajax, Ont., he was a second-round draft choice of Dallas in 2012, and has compiled 24-41—65 points in all while playing the last two full NHL seasons for the Stars.

Hellebuyck, from Commerce, Mich., played at UML for two years (2013, 2014), and fashioned a 38-12-2 record with a 1.60 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and 12 shutouts in 53 outings. He also backstopped the River Hawks to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Frozen Four berth in 2013, and two Hockey East tournament titles. A finalist for the Vezina Trophy this past season as the NHL's best goaltender after fashioning a 44-11-9 record, he has gone 83-41-14 (2.55, .917) in 149 career appearances over the past three NHL campaigns.

Kariya, from Vancouver, became the first freshman to win the Hobey Baker Memorial award as the NCAA's best player in 1992-93 when he tallied 25-75--100 points and also helped Maine to its first-ever national title that year. After skating for the Canadian National Team in the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, he turned pro and went on to record 402-587—989 points in 989 NHL regular-season contests with Anaheim, Colorado, Nashville and St. Louis over 15 seasons before retiring in 2010.

A five-time 30-goal scorer with the Ducks, including a pair of 100-point seasons, Kariya added 16-23—39 points in 46 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, and helped the Ducks to within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2003. A two-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last year.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ferguson Back in NCAA with Denver

Former University of Alaska (Fairbanks) defenseman, assistant coach, and head coach Dallas Ferguson is returning to the college game as an assistant coach with the University of Denver.
He spent last season as head coach of the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, compiling a 24-37-record.

After beginning his coaching career as an assistant with the North American Hockey League's Fairbanks Ice Dogs in 2002, Ferguson served as an assistant coach with UAF from 2004 to 2008 before being elevated to the rank of head coach. He was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Coach of the Year in his first campaign, and the following year led UAF to its first-ever berth in the NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament, an at-large selection. The Nanooks fell to eventual national champion Boston College, 3-1, in the opening round of the 2010 NCAA Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.

In 10 seasons overseeing the Nanook hockey program, Ferguson, 44, finished with a career record of 139-151-42, according to In five of those seasons, he led the Nanooks to 17 or more victories. UAF also won eight consecutive Governor's Cups against rival Alaska Anchorage in his time behind the bench, although three of those Cups were vacated due to self-reported NCAA violations by the university. 

Ferguson was a four-year letterwinner on defense for the Nanooks from 1992 to 1996, as UAF played its first four campaigns in the CCHA. He tallied a career-high six goals and 31 assists for 37 points as a sophomore, according to, and finished his career with 17-87—104 points and 64 penalty minutes in 138 career collegiate outings.

At DU, Ferguson will join former Nanook forward and head coach Tavis MacMillan, whom Ferguson assisted from 2004 to 2007 at UAF. The Pioneers, 2017 NCAA champions, won the NCHC playoff crown last year, but fell to Ohio State in the NCAA Midwest Regional final in Allentown, Pa.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Former Collegians on the Move in NHL Free Agency

A number of former college players changed NHL teams over the last week, both before and after the league's annual free agent frenzy got underway.

Prior to the beginning of the free agency period on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins dealt forward Connor Sheary (Massachusetts) and Matt Hunwick (Michigan) to the Buffalo Sabres for a conditional 2019 draft choice. Pittsburgh later signed defenseman Jack Johnson (Michigan) of the Columbus Blue Jackets to a five-year contract. Jimmy Hayes (Boston College) and John Muse (Boston College), who both helped BC to its 2010 NCAA title, joined the Penguins from the New Jersey Devils and Reading (ECHL), respectively.

Power forward and 30-goal scorer James van Riemsdyk (New Hampshire) returned to the Philadelphia Flyers after six seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the latter club pulling perhaps the biggest coup in free agency this summer by signing New York Islanders captain and All-Star forward John Tavares.

Paul Stastny (Denver) has jumped from the Winnipeg Jets to the Vegas Golden Knights. Tage Thompson (Connecticut) went from the St. Louis Blues to the Buffalo Sabres as part of a four-player trade, while Tyler Bozak (Denver) has re-upped with the Blues for three years. Jay Beagle (Alaska Anchorage), who helped the Washington Capitals win their first-ever Stanley Cup this spring, has left Washington after decade to join the Vancouver Canucks, while Nic Dowd (St. Cloud State) has signed with the Caps after spending last season with the Canucks.

Brian Gibbons (Boston College), a two-time NCAA champion with the Eagles, parlayed his most successful NHL season to date by leaving New Jersey for the Anaheim Ducks, while Eric Gryba (Boston University) went to the Devils from the Edmonton Oilers. Longtime pro netminder Mike McKenna (St. Lawrence), who backstopped the Dallas Stars' American Hockey League franchise to within one win of the AHL's Calder Cup championship, has signed with the Ottawa Senators, as has former New York Rangers forward Paul Carey (Boston College).

A full list of recent NHL transactions can be found here.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Bowling Green's Reirden Takes Over with NHL's Capitals

Todd Reirden (Bowling Green) is the new head coach of the NHL's Washington Capitals. The Illinois native, who has served four years as an assistant or associate coach with the Capitals, takes over the top job after Barry Trotz resigned earlier this month. Trotz subsequently joined the New York Islanders after leading Washington to the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history this spring.

Reirden began his coaching career at BGSU in 2007-08, before moving on to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League as an assistant the following year. After serving as head coach of the WBS Penguins for the next season-and-a-half, he moved up to the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant in 2010. He stayed there for four seasons before joining the Caps in 2014 as an assistant, before being promoted to associate head coach in 2016.

A defenseman as a player, Reirden skated four NCAA seasons at BGSU (1990-1994), collecting 25 goals and 51 assists for 76 points to go with 160 penalty minutes for the Falcons. A second-round NHL draft choice of New Jersey in 1990, he turned pro with Tallahassee of the ECHL in 1994-95. He would suit up for two more ECHL teams and three International Hockey League teams before making his NHL debut in 1998-99 with the Edmonton Oilers.

Reirden would go on to skate in 183 career NHL regular season contests for Edmonton, St. Louis, Atlanta and Phoenix, tallying 11-35—46 points and 181 PIM. He also played for five different AHL teams before concluding his career in Austria in 2006-07.

Reirden, 47, becomes the second former Central Collegiate Hockey Association player to become an NHL head coach this off-season. He joins Rod Brind'Amour (Michigan State), who is now head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Former NCAA Players Sign with ECHL Clubs

Several former NCAA Division I forwards were recently in the news regarding the ECHL, the primary Tier II or Double-A league for professional hockey, according to the league's website at

Alex Kile (Michigan) became the first-ever player to sign with the new Maine Mariners franchise that will begin play in the fall. He spent last season with Cincinnati (ECHL), recording 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points in 46 games, after tallying 40-40—80 points in 130 games at Michigan from 2013 to 2017.

Joe Cox (Michigan State) re-signed with the Florida Everblades after helping them to within one victory of the ECHL's Kelly Cup playoff title earlier this month. He recorded 22-32—54 points in 70 regular-season games, before adding six goals and 16 points in 21 playoff outings. He collected 28-41—69 points in 143 games at MSU from 2013 to 2017.

Woody Hudson (St. Lawrence) re-signed with the Worcester Railers after posting 10-19—29 points in the team's inaugural campaign in 2017-18. He registered 19 goals and 35 points in 140 games at SLU from 2013 to 2017, and then turned pro with Indy (ECHL) following his senior NCAA season.

Bo Brauer (Notre Dame) has signed with the South Carolina Stingrays after helping the Fighting Irish to within one victory of the NCAA championship in April. He notched a career-high five goals and eight points in 35 appearances last season, and finished his career with 8-5—13 points in 64 games overall.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Hutsko Headlines 2018 Boston College Draftees

Logan Hutsko (Boston College) was the lone current member of the BC men's hockey team to be drafted on Saturday at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas. The Florida native was chosen in the third round, 89th overall, by the Florida Panthers.

A former member of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Hutsko overcame both a neck fracture and a cracked kneecap prior to college to tally 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points as a freshman for the Eagles in 2017-18. He also helped BC to last season's Hockey East regular season title.

Incoming BC freshman Jack McBain, son of retired NHL player Andrew McBain, was the first choice of the third round, and went 63rd overall to the Minnesota Wild. The 6-foot-3 center recorded 21-3758 points in 48 regular-season appearances last year with his hometown Toronto Junior Canadiens in the Ontario Junior Hockey League. On the first day of the draft on Friday, incoming BC forward Oliver Wahlstrom was selected 11th overall by the New York Islanders.

Two former Eagle defensemen were involved in trades over the weekend. On Saturday, Noah Hanifin was traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Calgary Flames, in a deal that also involved former Calgary draft choice Adam Fox (Harvard) going to Carolina. Hanifin played just one year at BC, and helped the Eagles to the 2015 NCAA Tournament by notching five goals and 23 points in 37 outings. He has collected 18-6583 points in three complete NHL seasons, all with the Hurricanes.

On Friday, two-time Stanley Cup champion Brooks Orpik was dealt from the Washington Capitals, whom he helped to their first-ever Cup earlier this month, to the Colorado Avalanche. A member of BC's 2001 NCAA championship team, Orpik notched 41 points and 324 penalty minutes in three seasons at the Heights, and has registered 185 points and 940 PIM in 14 full NHL campaigns.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Four NCAA Skaters Among First 14 Taken in NHL First Round

Current and incoming NCAA players were among the four Americans taken in the top 14 selections in Friday's first round of the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas.

Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk (Boston University) went fourth overall to the Ottawa Senators. The son of former BU and NHL forward Keith Tkachuk, the younger Tkachuk tallied eight goals and 31 points in 40 games this past season with the Terriers, and also helped them to their first Hockey East title since 2015. He also aided the U.S. in winning a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo.

Three picks after Tkachuk, the Vancouver Canucks tabbed defenseman Quinn Hughes (Michigan), who also played for the U.S. in Buffalo, and then helped the Wolverines to the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four in Minnesota after recording 5-24--29 points in 37 contests in his freshman NCAA campaign.

Right wing Oliver Wahlstrom, who is expected to join Boston College this fall after previously committing to Harvard, went at No. 11 overall to the New York Islanders after notching 40-43--83 points in 54 appearances with the U.S. National team Development Program's Under-18 squad. At No. 15, Boston University recruit Joel Farabee was taken by the Philadelphia Flyers, after collecting 27-37--64 points in 54 outings with the USA U-18 team.

Tkachuk and Hughes, like Wahlstrom and Farabee, were also products of the NTDP.

Other players with existing or upcoming NCAA ties who were taken in the first round on Friday included (Selection, NHL Team, Name, Position, Nationality, Team/League, NCAA school):

No. 19, Philadelphia, Jay O' Brien, C, USA, Thayer Academy/USHS (Providence)

No. 22, New York Rangers, K'andre Miller, D, USA, USA-18/NTDP (Wisconsin)

No. 26, Ottawa, Jacob Bernard-Docker, D, Canada, Okotoks/AJHL (North Dakota)

All 2018 NHL Draft selections can be found here.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

BC's Boyle Wins 2018 Masterton Trophy

Brian Boyle (Boston College) is the 2018 winner of the NHL's Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, as awarded in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.

The Masterton Trophy is awarded to the NHL player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey". It was named for the late Minnesota North Star forward who died after suffering a head injury in a game during the 1967-68 NHL campaign.

Boyle, 33, who joined the New Jersey Devils prior to the 2017-18 season, was sidelined until November as he underwent treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. A 6-foot-7 native of Hingham, Mass., he signed with New Jersey as a free agent in the off-season after previously playing for Los Angeles, the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay and Toronto. He skated in both the 2014 and 2015 Stanley Cup finals, for New York and Tampa Bay, respectively.

In 69 regular-season games this past year, Boyle scored 13 goals and added 10 assists for 23 points. He also helped the Devils back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012. In 693 career NHL regular-season outings, Boyle has recorded 106-86—192 points and 533 penalty minutes. He has also put up 15-13—28 points and 92 PIM in 111 Stanley Cup Playoff contests to date.

A two-time All-America selection in college, Boyle skated four seasons at BC (2003-2007) and notched 65-75—140 points in 159 appearances. He also helped the Eagles to five Hockey East regular-season or tournament titles, four NCAA Tournament berths, three NCAA Frozen Fours, and two NCAA title games.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Marlies Win AHL's Calder Cup

The Toronto Marlies are the American Hockey League champion.

The top farm club of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the visiting Texas Stars, 6-1, at Ricoh Coliseum in Game 7 of the Calder Cup Final on Thursday night in Ontario to clinch the club's first-ever AHL crown, and first by any pro hockey team from Toronto in 51 years.

Toronto captain Ben Smith (Boston College), who won two NCAA titles with the Eagles and also has a 2013 Stanley Cup ring from the Chicago Blackhawks, tallied an empty-net goal in Game 7. He led a contingent of former NCAA players on the Marlies' roster that included the likes of Chris Mueller (Michigan State), Trevor Moore (Denver), Colin Greening (Cornell), Justin Holl (Minnesota) and Vincent LoVerde (Miami).

Loverde had two assists for Toronto in the clinching contest, while Moore posted one. Mike McKenna (St. Lawrence) made 40 stops for the Stars in defeat, while Brian Flynn (Maine) and Matt Mangene (Maine) assisted on Texas' lone goal.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Stars Stay Alive in 2018 Calder Cup Final

Mike McKenna (St. Lawrence) made 43 saves and the Texas Stars stayed alive in the AHL's Calder Cup Final with a 5-2 victory at Toronto in Game 6 on Tuesday night.

Curtis McKenzie (Miami) was one of five different goal scorers for the Stars, along with Sheldon Dries (Western Michigan). Texas, which trailed the best-of-seven series, 3-2, following a 6-2 loss at home in Game 5 on Saturday, broke open a scoreless Game 6 with three second-period tallies.

Justin Holl (Minnesota) scored one of the host Marlies' two goals on Tuesday. The Marlies, who went 0-for-4 on the power play, outshot the Stars, 45-24, overall on the night.

The American Hockey League's playoff championship series will be decided on Thursday night (7 p.m. ET, NHL Network) at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Simon New Head Coach of Grand Rapids (AHL)

Ben Simon (Notre Dame) is the new head coach of the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins. Simon, 39, a native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, succeeds Todd Nelson, who left Michigan last month to join the NHL's Dallas Stars as an assistant.

Simon spent the last three seasons as Nelson's assistant in Grand Rapids, helping the Griffins to the 2017 Calder Cup trophy as AHL champions. He previously served as an assistant with Rockford and Toronto of the AHL, along with one year as head coach of Cincinnati (ECHL). He began his coaching career as head coach of the British League's Sheffield Steelers in 2010-11, the same season that he finished his playing career.

Simon tallied 38 goals and 71 points in 45 games with Cleveland (NAHL) in his final year of junior "A" hockey in 1995-96, and also earned NAHL Rookie of the Year accolades. A fifth-round draft choice by the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks in 1997 following his freshman campaign at Notre Dame, he registered 44 goals and 86 assists in four NCAA seasons with the Fighting Irish. He lead UND in both overall and league scoring as a junior, and helped the Irish to the CCHA semifinals as a senior.

Simon, who went on to play in 81 NHL contests with Atlanta and Columbus, spent the majority of his career in the AHL and now-defunct IHL, recording a total of 86 career goals while also helping the Chicago Wolves to the 2002 Calder Cup title. He also played one year in Germany and one in the ECHL before turning to coaching.

Grand Rapids went 42-25-2 overall during the 2017-18 AHL season, and finished second in the Central Division, before falling to Manitoba in five games in the first round of the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Colorado Wins Second Straight ECHL Crown

The Colorado Eagles are the two-time ECHL champions. The Eagles defeated the host Florida Everblades, 3-2, on Saturday night in Game 7 of the Kelly Cup Final in Estero, Fla. to win their second straight league title. They join the Allen Americans (2015-2016), Toledo Storm (1993-1994) and Hampton Roads Admirals (1991-1992) as back-to-back ECHL playoff champions.

Former NCAA players on the Eagles roster this spring included Matt Garbowsky (RIT), Jake Marto (North Dakota), Chase Norrish (RIT), Brady Shaw (Vermont), Cliff Watson (Michigan Tech), Sam Brittain (Denver), Joe Cannata (Merrimack) and Lukas Hafner (Western Michigan), plus head coach Aaron Schneekloth (North Dakota) and goalie coach Ryan Bach (Colorado College).

The Eagles' franchise got its start in the now-defunct Central Hockey League in 2003, winning two league playoff championships there before moving on to the ECHL in 2011. Beginning this fall, Colorado will move up one level to the American Hockey League (AHL) as an expansion franchise, to compete for the Calder Cup as the primary/Triple-A affiliate of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Capitals Win First-Ever Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup was awarded in Las Vegas on Thursday night—but not to the host Golden Knights.

That honor instead went to the Washington Capitals, who won the NHL title for the first time in their 44 seasons after a five-game triumph over expansion upstart Vegas, by virtue of a 4-3 victory in Game Five at T-Mobile Arena.

Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik (Boston College) assisted on the tying goal midway through the third period, after Vegas had taken a 3-2 lead after two periods of play. Lars Eller then tallied the game-winning goal with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation, and the Capitals held on for their first Stanley Cup crown since entering the league in 1974, in their second-ever finals appearance. Washington was swept by Detroit in four games in 1998.

Reilly Smith (Miami) notched a goal and an assist in the series finale for Pacific Division and Western Conference champion Vegas, which went 12-3 over the first three rounds of the NHL postseason. The Golden Knights then won Game One of the final, before dropping four straight contests to the Eastern Conference champion Capitals. Alex Tuch (Boston College) assisted on Smith's goal.

Washington team captain Alex Ovechkin, who scored the Caps' second goal on the night and thus established a new franchise record with 15 goals this postseason, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player in the playoffs. This season marked the first time Washington had advanced past the second round of the playoffs in his 13-year NHL career.

Former NCAA players besides Orpik who lifted the Cup as champions with the Caps this year , Jay Beagle (Alaska Anchorage), Travis Boyd (Minnesota), Alex Chiasson (Boston University), Pheonix Copley (Michigan Tech), Aaron Ness (Minnesota), Matt Niskanen (Minnesota-Duluth) and T.J. Oshie (North Dakota).

Orpik had been the only player on the Caps' roster to have previously won the Stanley Cup (Pittsburgh, 2009). His second career Cup triumph pushed BC's all-time total to 19 Cups, tops among NCAA schools along with Wisconsin.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

O'Connell in Charge at BU

Former Boston University player and recent associate coach Albie O’Connell is the new head coach of the Terriers. He succeeds David Quinn, who left BU last month to take the head coaching job with the NHL’s New York Rangers.

A fifth-round draft choice of the New York islanders in 1994, O'Connell skated at forward for BU from 1995 to 199, and tallied 42 goals and 108 points. As a sophomore, he was part of the Terriers’ squad that advanced to the 1997 NCAA title game. After playing two seasons in the ECHL, sandwiched around two seasons in the British League, he turned to coaching, and first served as an assistant at Colby College in 2003-04.

O'Connell, 42, then spent time as an NCAA Division I assistant at Niagara, Holy Cross, Merrimack, Northeastern and Harvard, before returning to his alma mater in 2014 and helping the Terriers to the 2015 NCAA championship contest in Boston. He served the last three years an associate at BU, and aided BU’s run to a Hockey East Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth this past season.

O’Connell becomes the sixth-ever head coach in BU men's hockey history, and the fifth alumnus.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Washington One Win from Stanley Cup

T.J. Oshie (North Dakota) opened the scoring in a three-goal first period on Monday night, and later added two assists as the Washington Capitals moved to within one victory of their first-ever NHL championship.

The Capitals opened the week with a 6-2 rout of the visiting Vegas Golden Knights at Capital One Arena in Game Four of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Washington now leads the best-of-seven series, three games to one, while having won the last three contests, including both played in Washington, D.C.

Reilly Smith (Miami) had one goal for Vegas, which hit several goal posts early on and then trailed, 4-0, after 40 minutes. The expansion Golden Knights, who have lost three straight games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 28-Dec. 1, then pulled within two goals in the final period before Washington tacked on two more scores in the final seven minutes of play.

The Capitals finished 3-for-5 on the power play despite being outshot, 30-23, overall for the evening. Washington also blocked 24 opposing shots in all, and killed off all four Vegas power plays.

The Caps will look to sew up the seriesand the Stanley Cupon Thursday night in Game Five at Vegas (8 p.m. ET; NBC TV, CBC TV).

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Caps Take 2-1 Cup Final Lead

Jay Beagle (Alaska Anchorage) assisted on two of his team's three goals Saturday night as the Washington Capitals took the lead in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Vegas Golden Knights at Capital One Arena.

Washington now leads the best-of-seven NHL title series, two games to one. It was the first-ever home victory for the Caps in the Stanley Cup Final in franchise history.

T.J. Oshie (North Dakota) combined with Beagle on Washington's second goal, by Evgeny Kuznetsov, to make it 2-0 in the second period. After Vegas pulled within one early in the third period, Beagle fed Devante Smith-Pelly in front of the Golden Knights net with just over six minutes remaining in regulation for a score that regained Washington's two-goal advantage.

Game Four is Monday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC TV, CBC TV) in Washington, D.C.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Dennehy in Charge with Wheeling (ECHL)

Mark Dennehy is back in the coaching game.

Dennehy, 50, who spent the last 13 seasons as head coach at Merrimack College, has been named the new Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations with the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers. It marks his first foray into the professional coaching ranks, as he becomes the 17th head coach in Nailers history.

Dennehy went 156-222-56 overall in 13 seasons at Merrimack. His overall career record is 159-250-59 in 14 collegiate campaigns, with the other one coming with the now-defunct NCAA Division I men's program at Fairfield University in 1999-2000. He served as an assistant coach at Princeton University before going on to Fairfield, and then worked as an assistant at the University of Massachusetts before taking the reins at Merrimack in 2005-06.

Dennehy's tenure in North Andover with the Warriors included a No. 1 national ranking, plus the first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament berth in school history in 2011 after they notched 25 overall victories and played in the Hockey East Championship game that season. He also guided them to six seasons of 15 or more total wins. Merrimack went 12-21-4 in 2017-18, winning at defending NCAA champion Denver during the regular season before falling to Boston College in the first round of the Hockey East postseason tournament.

A native of Dorchester, Mass. and a four-year letterman on the BC blueline as a player (1987-1991), Dennehy helped the Eagles to three NCAA Tournament appearances, the 1990 NCAA Frozen Four, and the 1990 Hockey East championship. He then skated one season with the Ayr Raiders in Scotland (1991-92) before turning to coaching.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Orpik Goal Boosts Caps to Game Two Win

A pair of former Boston College Eagles combined on the winning goal in Game Two of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday—even though they play for different teams.

Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik, who helped BC to the 2001 NCAA title over North Dakota, scored the winning goal in the second period at T-Mobile Arena when his wrist shot from the right side went in off 2016 BC Beanpot Tournament hero Alex Tuch of the Vegas Golden Knights. The score stood up as the game-winner as the Caps defeated host Vegas, 3-2, to tie the best-of-seven NHL championship series at one game apiece. 

For Orpik, it was his first NHL goal since the 2015-16 NHL regular season, and his first Stanley Cup Playoff goal since 2014 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a member of Pittsburgh's 2009 NHL championship team along with Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 23 saves on Wednesday.

Tuch, who tallied the game-winning goal in overtime in BC's Beanpot championship game triumph two years ago against Boston University, had a chance to tie the game for Vegas on a point-blank shot with two minutes remaining in the third period, but was denied by Washington netminder Braden Holtby. Reilly Smith (Miami), who tallied goal and an assist in Vegas' 6-4 triumph on Monday, had one assist in Game Two.

Wednesday was also the first-ever victory in the Stanley Cup Final for Washington in six games all-time. The Caps were swept by Detroit in four contests in 1998.

Game Three will be held Saturday night in Washington, D.C. (8 p.m. ET; TV: NBCSN, CBC).