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).

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Vegas Takes Game One of 2018 Cup Final


Reilly Smith (Miami) scored one goal and set up another as the Vegas Golden Knights took a one game-to-none lead in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final with a 6-4 victory over the visiting Washington Capitals on Monday night at T-Mobile Arena.

The goal by Smith, who helped Miami to the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four, broke a 2-2 tie early in the second period, after he had previously set up Vegas' second goal of the game. Erik Haula (Minnesota) drew the only assist on the Golden Knights' game-opening goal in the first period.

T. J. Oshie (North Dakota) had two assists for the Capitals, who squandered 2-1 and 4-3 leads en route to surrendering three third-period goals, including an empty-net tally with three seconds remaining in regulation.Washington outshot Vegas, 28-24 on the evening, and will try to even the best-of-seven NHL championship series in Game Two on Wednesday night.

Monday, May 28, 2018

At Last it Begins ...


The 2018 Stanley Cup Final begins tonight in Las Vegas, and both the cinderella Vegas Golden Knights and the upstart Washington Capitals feature several former NCAA players on their rosters.

For Vegas, the college roll call includes Ryan Carpenter (Bowling Green), Erik Haula (Minnesota), Jason Garrison (Minnesota-Duluth), Brad Hunt (Bemidji State), John Merrill (Michigan), Brandon Pirri (Rensselaer), Nate Schmidt (Minnesota), Reilly Smith (Miami), Alex Tuch (Boston College) and Zach Whitecloud (Bemidji State), according to hockeydb.com.

For Washington, its NCAA alumni include Jay Beagle (Alaska Anchorage), Travis Boyd (Minnesota), Alex Chiasson (Boston University), Pheonix Copley (Michigan Tech), Aaron Ness (Minnesota) Matt Niskanen (Minnesota-Duluth), Brooks Orpik (Boston College) and T.J. Oshie (North Dakota). 

Game Two of the NHL's championship tilt will be held Wednesday in Nevada, before the best-of-seven series shifts to Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Carle Takes Reins at Denver


David Carle is the new men's hockey head coach at the University of Denver. The longtime DU assistant succeeds former head coach Jim Montgomery, who joined the NHL's Dallas Stars earlier this month.

Carle, 28, has served as an assistant with the Pioneers for eight of the last nine seasons, spending the 2013-14 campaign as an assistant with Green Bay (USHL) before rejoining DU as a full-time assistant in 2014. He has helped DU to eight NCAA Tournament berths in his overall tenure, including the 2017 NCAA title.

The past four seasons, according to denverpioneers.com, Carle has helped Denver to a 115-51-23 overall record, a 66-32-14-8 mark in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, one NCHC regular-season title, two NCHC Frozen Faceoff titles, and four NCAA Tournament appearances with one national championship. He becomes the youngest current head coach in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey with this hiring.

A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Carle was offered the head coach position at UAA earlier this year, but turned it down. His college playing career came to a premature end as a freshman in 2008 when he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, after which he joined Denver’s coaching staff as a student assistant under former head coach George Gwozdecky. A product of Shattuck- St. Mary's in Minnesota, Carle was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the seventh round of the 2008 NHL Draft.

Carle, who has served as DU’s primary recruiter, is expected to retain former fellow assistant coach Tavis MacMillan.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

BU's Quinn Takes Over New York Rangers


Another NCAA head coach has gone directly to the NHL.

Nearly three weeks after Denver's Jim Montgomery was hired by the Dallas Stars, Boston University's David Quinn has been chosen to lead the New York Rangers.

A former BU defenseman ('89), Quinn took over his alma mater in 2013, succeeding his mentor, the legendary Jack Parker. In five seasons at the helm, Quinn guided the Terriers to a 105-68-21 overall record, including four NCAA Tournament berths, two Hockey East Association regular season titles, two HEA tournament crowns, one Beanpot Tournament title, and the 2015 NCAA Championship Game in Boston.

Quinn, 51, led the Terriers to the Hockey East championship this past season and the NCAA Northeast Regional final, where they fell to Michigan.

As a player, Quinn was a first-round draft choice of the NHL's old Minnesota North stars in 1984. He then skated three seasons for BU (1984-1987), while battling a blood disorder known as Christmas Disease. He later went on to play two years professionally with Binghamton (AHL) and Cleveland (IHL) before getting into coaching.

Quinn served as a college assistant at Northeastern and Nebraska-Omaha, and then spent five years as an associate at BU, helping the Terriers to the 2009 NCAA title in his final year there. He then coached Lake Erie (AHL) for three seasons and then spent one season as an assistant with the NHL's Colorado Avalanche before taking the top job at BU.

The Rangers, who advanced to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final and the 2015 Eastern Conference Final, did not qualify for the playoffs this season, the first time they had missed the postseason since 2010.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Oshie, Capitals Force Game Seven Versus Lightning


T.J. Oshie (North Dakota) scored two goals, including the game-winner, on Monday night to keep the Washington Capitals season alive.

Two days after the Caps were pushed to the brink of Stanley Cup Playoff elimination, Washington responded with a 3-0 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. The deciding seventh game will be played Wednesday night in Florida, where the Caps have already won two of three games in this series.

Oshie opened the scoring on Monday with a power-play goal late in the second period, the Caps' only power play of the game. After Washington made it 2-0 midway through the third stanza, with Jay Beagle (Alaska Anchorage) drawing an assist, Oshie closed out matters with an empty-net goal with 50 seconds remaining in regulation. Washington outshot Tampa Bay on the evening, 34-24.

Wednesday's winner will face the Western Conference champion Vegas Golden Knights in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. The expansion Golden Knights advanced to the NHL championship with a 2-1 win at Winnipeg on Sunday that wrapped up that series in five games.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

U.S. Claims Bronze at 2018 World Championship


The United States earned its second bronze medal in four years at the IIHF World Championship with a 4-1 victory over Canada on Sunday in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Chris Kreider (Boston College) of the New York Rangers scored two goals for the Americans, including the game-opening goal in the second period, while Nick Bonino (Boston University) of the Nashville Predators tallied the game-winning goal with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation to break a 1-1 tie. Anders Lee (Notre Dame) of the New York Islanders then scored an insurance goal into an empty Canadian net for the U.S., followed by one from Kreider.

Keith Kincaid (Union) of the New Jersey Devils made 24 stops to garner the victory for Team USA, which earned bronze for the third time in the last six World Championships, and for the eighth time overall.

Sweden, which defeated Canada in a shootout in last year's World Championship gold medal game in Germany, won it all again today in a shootout. The Swedes bested Switzerland this time, by a 3-2 count, to claim their second straight World Championship title, and 11th overall.

Next year's tournament will be held in May 2019 in Slovakia.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sweden, Switzerland to Play for IIHF Gold in Denmark


It'll be Switzerland against defending champion Sweden on Sunday for the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark.

In Saturday's semifinals, Switzerland edged Canada, 3-2, while Sweden blitzed the United States, 6-0, despite 41 shots on goal by the Americans. Colton Paryako (Alaska Fairbanks) of the St. Louis Blues scored Canada's second goal, late in the third period. Keith Kinkaid (Union) of the New Jersey Devils took the loss for the U.S., making 14 saves as Sweden also scored two empty-net goals.

In the quarterfinal round, Sweden edged Latvia, Canada outlasted Russia, Switzerland upset Finland, and the U.S. topped the Czech Republic, all one-goal decisions.

The U.S. and Canada will play for the bronze medal tomorrow afternoon before Sweden and Switzerland meet for gold.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Killorn Boosts Lightning Over Capitals to Tie Series


Alex Killorn (Harvard) broke a 2-2 tie with a goal midway through the third period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning held on for a 4-2 victory over the host Washington Capitals on Thursday night. The win, Tampa Bay's second in a row, ties the Eastern Conference final at two games apiece.

Killorn scored on a backhand shot in front of the Washington net in the 12th minute of the final stanza for his fifth goal of this NHL postseason, before Tampa Bay added an empty-net goal in the final seconds for insurance. The home team has now won all four games in this Stanley Cup Playoff series, which resumes on Saturday night in Florida (7:15 p.m ET, NBC, CBC).

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tuch Goal Boosts Vegas to Game Three Victory



A goal by Alex Tuch (Boston College) in the ninth minute of the second period stood up as the game-winner as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the visiting Winnipeg Jets, 3-2, in Game Three of their 2018 Stanley Cup Playoff Western Conference semifinal series. Vegas now leads the best-of-seven NHL postseason series, two games to one.

Tuch's goal, his fifth of these playoffs, gave Vegas a 3-1 lead at the time, after Erik Haula (Minnesota) had assisted on the Golden Knights' second goal. Blake Wheeler (Minnesota) set up both Winnipeg goals, while Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) made 27 saves for the Jets.

Game Four will be held Friday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Winnipeg Advances to NHL's Western Conference Final


Paul Stastny (Denver) scored two goals, including the game-winner, and Blake Wheeler (Minnesota) set up another score as the Winnipeg Jets advanced to the first Western Conference final in team history with a 5-1 win at Nashville in Game 7 of the conference semifinals on Thursday.

Stastny's goal gave him five for the seven-game series, while Wheeler's assist was his ninth of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, both of which are team highs. Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) stopped 36 shots in all as the Jets eliminated the host Predators, the defending Western Conference champions and the team with the best record in the NHL this season. Winnipeg took a 2-0 first-period lead on Thursday, surrendered a Nashville power-play goal late in the opening stanza, and then scored three times over the final two periods to continue the Jets' best postseason run since relocating from Atlanta in 2011.

Winnipeg will begin a best-of-seven series against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night (7 p.m. ET, NBC TV). The winner of that matchup will then face the winner of the Eastern Conference final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals for the Stanley Cup itself.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

U.S. Wins First Two at World Championship


The United States is off to a good start at the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark, winning its first two games in Group “B” round-robin play.

The Americans opened the tournament on Friday by besting rival Canada, 5-4, in a shootout. Cam Atkinson (Boston College) of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets scored twice in the extra session, including the deciding shootout goal.

Dylan Larkin (Michigan) of the Detroit Red Wings recorded two goals in regulation for the U.S. against the Canadians, with Chris Kreider (Boston College) of the New York Rangers setting up both of Larkin’s tallies. Anders Lee (Notre Dame) of the New York Islanders and Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College) of the Calgary Flames also scored for Team USA in regulation. Keith Kinkaid (Union) of the New Jersey Devils stopped 40 shots in net, and then made five saves on six shootout attempts for the win. Colton Parayko (Alaska Fairbanks) of the St. Louis Blues scored for Canada in regulation.

The U.S. then blanked host Denmark, 4-0, on Saturday. Will Butcher (Denver) of the New Jersey Devils collected the game-winning goal in the first period, before Kreider and Atkinson connected in the second stanza. Nick Jensen (St. Cloud State) of the Detroit Red Wings then closed out the scoring in the third period, and also joined Kreider and Gaudreau in recording an assist on the day. Kinkaid finished with 20 stops for the shutout.

Team USA will face Germany on Monday in its next outing, before taking on Latvia on May 10 and Korea on May 11.

Friday, May 4, 2018

DU's Montgomery Goes to NHL's Dallas


Jim Montgomery is now the head coach of the NHL's Dallas Stars. Montgomery, who led the Pioneers to the NCAA Division I men's hockey national title in 2017, joins Dallas after compiling a 125-57-26 record at DU over the past five seasons, including five NCAA Tournament berths and two Frozen Four appearances.

A native of Montreal, Montgomery, 48, tallied 34 points in 122 career NHL games with St. Louis, Montreal, Philadelphia, San Jose and Dallas, amidst a 12-year professional career. A four-year letterman at the University of Maine, he recorded 32-63--95 points in 45 outings as a senior as the Black Bears won the 1993 NCAA title, the first in school history. He also recorded a hat trick in the national title game victory over Lake Superior State.

After retiring as a player following the 2004-05 season, Montgomery served as an assistant coach at both Notre Dame and Rensselaer. He then spent a three-year stint as head coach of Dubuque (USHL) that culminated in two league championships before he took the reins at DU in 2013.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Jets Take 2-1 Series Lead over Nashville



The Winnipeg Jets just keep rocketing along in the NHL postseason, thanks to several former NCAA stars.

The Jets took a 2-1 series lead in their Stanley Cup Playoff Western Conference semifinal series against defending conference champion Nashville with a 7-4 victory over the visiting Predators on Tuesday night. The Jets fell behind, 3-0, after one period, rebounded for a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes, and then broke a 4-4 tie in the third period with three unanswered tallies, including two empty-net goals.

Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler (Minnesota) paced the home team with two goals and an assist, including the game-winning goal with 4:59 remaining in regulation before he scored an insurance marker into an empty-net just over four minutes later. Paul Stastny (Denver) notched a goal and two assists for the Jets, while Jacob Trouba (Michigan) provided a goal and an assist for Winnipeg from the blueline. Brandon Tanev (Providence) provided the final margin with his own empty-netter with 31 seconds left, while also boosting his goal-scoring streak to four games.

Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) overcame a rocky start to finish with 26 saves on 30 shots for Winnipeg, which will next host Nashville on Thursday night for Game Four.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Spotlighting NHL's Anders Lee


My latest feature story for USCHO.com, on former Notre Dame scoring star and current New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee, is now online and can be found here.

A native of Minnesota, Lee scored 61 goals in three NCAA campaigns with the Fighting Irish before turning pro in 2013. He has led the Islanders in goals the last two seasons, and hit the 40-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career in New York's season finale on April 7 in Detroit.

Lee will next play for Team USA at the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark starting Friday.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Largen Chosen as New Alaska (Fairbanks) Head Coach


The University of Alaska (Fairbanks) finally settled on a new head coach—and it's now-former assistant coach Erik Largen.

A Fairbanks native, Largen, 31, becomes the youngest head men’s ice hockey coach in NCAA Division I ranks, following Matt Curley, 35, who was tabbed as the new head coach at in-state rival Alaska Anchorage earlier this month.

Largen, who was an assistant coach at UAF over the past two seasons, is also a former backup goaltender for the Nanooks (2006-2008). According to eliteprospects.com, he entered the coaching ranks in 2009 and spent two seasons as the goaltending coach for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL). He then moved on to the Twin Cities (Minn.) Northern Lights (MNJHL) for two years as head coach, before splitting the 2013-14 campaign between Janesville (NAHL) and Tri-City (USHL) as an assistant coach.

Largen then served one season as head coach at NCAA Division III Marian (Wisc.) University, before he returned to his alma mater as an assistant in 2016. His hiring completes a process that was heavily botched by UAF administrators, one that came to a head earlier this month when first choice Brent Brekke, a former associate head coach at Miami, was chosen as the new Nanook head coach but could not come to an agreement with the university on a contract.

Lance West, the other finalist for the position, withdrew from consideration after Brekke was originally selected. West served as an interim head coach of the Nanooks last season after longtime head coach and UAF alumnus Dallas Ferguson took the head coaching job with Calgary (WHL) last summer. West, a former player for Alabama-Huntsville, had served as an assistant coach with UAF for nine years prior to his one year as head coach. Since he was labeled as an interim coach, the position had to be re-opened for applications this year.

Largen becomes the ninth head coach in the modern history of Nanook Hockey, which got its start as an independent NCAA Division II varsity program in 1979. The Nanooks, now a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, moved up to the Division I ranks in the 1980s and made their only NCAA Division I Tournament appearance in 2010 as a member of the now-defunct Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

U.S. Finishes Second at 2018 World Under-18s

The United States took the silver medal at the recently-completed 2018 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Russia.

The defending champion Americans fell to Finland, 3-2, on Sunday in the gold medal game in Chelyabinsk. Patrick Giles, who is committed to Boston College, and Trevor Janicke (Notre Dame) scored for the U.S., while Spencer Knight (Boston College) made 25 saves.

Jack Hughes of the U.S. was named both the tournament's top forward and its Most Valuable Player, and was also named to the All-Tournament Team. Hughes led all tournament scorers with seven assists and 12 points over seven games.

Team USA defenseman Cameron York (Boston College), and forward Oliver Wahlstrom (Harvard), were also named to the All-Tournament Team. York tied for second overall with six assists, while Wahlstrom finished second among all scorers with seven goals.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bruins Oust Maple Leafs in Seven Games



Torey Krug (Michigan State) tied the game early in the third period, and his teammates then deposited three more goals into the opposing net as the Boston Bruins outlasted the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs, 7-4, on Wednesday in the deciding Game 7 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series. 

The Bruins won the series, four games to three, after Toronto had claimed the previous two contests to force a tie, including a 4-3 win in Game 5 at Boston's TD Garden. Boston won three of its four home games in the series, en route to forging 2-0 and 3-1 series leads.

Krug's slapshot from the blueline brought the Bruins back from a 4-3 deficit and also started a run of four consecutive Boston third-period goals. Danton Heinen (Denver) also scored for Boston, his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal, while Kevan Miller (Vermont) set up two Bruins goals and David Backes (Minnesota State) recorded an assist.

The Bruins now advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a five-game winner over the New Jersey Devils in the first round. The Bruins-Lightning best-of-seven series will begin Saturday at 3 p.m. ET (NBC TV) in Florida.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Devils, Flyers Eliminated From 2018 NHL Postseason


The New Jersey Devils’ 2017-18 NHL campaign came to a close on Saturday in Tampa, Florida. The Devils dropped a 3-1 decision to the host Tampa Bay Lightning, who won the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, four games to one. It was New Jersey’s first playoff series appearance since 2012.
Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) assisted on the Devils’ only goal of the afternoon, while Cory Schneider (Boston College) stopped 35 of 37 shots in the loss. Tampa Bay advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals against either the Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston currently leads that series, three games to two.
The Philadelphia Flyers’ 2017-18 season ended Sunday as the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins scored five unanswered goals en route to an 8-5 victory. Pittsburgh, which won its ninth consecutive NHL playoff series dating back to 2016, closed out the Flyers in six games.
Jake Guentzel (Nebraska-Omaha) paced the Penguins with four goals and also added an assist, while Phil Kessel (Minnesota) set up two goals. Pittsburgh will next face the winner of the series between the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets, which Washington currently leads by a three-to-two count.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Jets Advance to NHL's Second Round

A second straight shutout by Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) has boosted the the Winnipeg Jets to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Jets, who relocated to Manitoba from Atlanta in 2011, earned their first Stanley Cup Playoff series victory with a 5-0 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild on Friday night. Winnipeg won the best-of-seven series in five games.

Hellebuyck, a finalist this season for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender, made 30 stops in the Game 5 victory. Jacob Trouba (Michigan) scored the winning goal just 31 seconds into the game, while Paul Stastny (Denver) had two assists on the night.

Winnipeg will now face the winner of Colorado and Nashville in the Western Conference semifinals.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Devils Win Game Three Versus Tampa Bay


The New Jersey Devils aren't dead just yet, thanks to several former NCAA standouts.

A third-period goal by rookie defenseman Will Butcher (Denver), his first ever in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, tied the contest at two goals apiece as the Devils ultimately clawed their way back into their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night at the Prudential Center. Tampa Bay still leads the best-of-seven series, two games to one, with Game Four coming up on Wednesday in Newark, N.J.

Butcher's goal forged a 2-2 tie and was part of a four-goal third period outburst by the Devils. Team captain Andy Greene (Miami) assisted on the game-winning goal by Stefan Noesen, before Blake Coleman (Miami) and Ben Lovejoy (Dartmouth) scored unassisted empty-net goals in the final minutes of regulation, with Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy having been pulled both times for an extra attacker.

Cory Schneider (Boston College), making his first start in the NHL postseason since 2013 when he was with Vancouver, stopped 34 shots to earn the win for New Jersey. Alex Killorn (Harvard) notched a goal and an assist for the Lightning, which was outshot, 41-36, by the Devils.

ADDENDUM: Tampa Bay ultimately won the series in five games.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

2018 NHL Playoffs Underway


The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs have commenced. The ultimate winner from the field of 16 will be crowned sometime in June.

On Friday, Shayne Gostisbehere (Union) opened the scoring for Philadelphia as the Flyers rebounded from a Game One debacle to even their quarterfinal series with a 5-1 victory at two-time defending champion Pittsburgh. Farther north, Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) made 16 saves as the Winnipeg Jets took a two games to none series lead with a 4-1 victory over Minnesota.

Lastly, Alex Tuch (Boston College) scored the game's first goal and Erik Haula (Minnesota) connected in the second overtime to lift the Vegas Golden Knights to a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles. Vegas now leads that series, two games to none.

In the other five series (all one game to none as of Friday night): Nashville leads Colorado, San Jose leads Anaheim, Tampa Bay leads New Jersey, Boston leads Toronto, and Columbus leads Washington.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Princeton's Véronneau, Kuffner Earn 2018 All-America Accolades


Princeton University rising junior forwards and Ottawa natives Max Véronneau and Ryan Kuffner have been named as Second Team CCM/AHCA Hockey All-Americans by the American Hockey Coaches Association, as announced over the weekend at the NCAA Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn.

Véronneau (No. 15 in photo) finished second in the nation with 55 points, on 17 goals and 38 assists, in 2017-18, five points behind Hobey Baker Award winner Adam Gaudette of Northeastern. Véronneau also established a new Princeton single-season superlative for total points, while Kuffner (No. 21) set a new school standard with 29 goals. Kuffner also registered 23 assists and was tied for fourth in NCAA Division I with 52 points with former University of Denver forward Henrik Borgström.

Véronneau and Kuffner, who played junior hockey together with Gloucester (CCHL) before enrolling at Princeton, are both undrafted and expected to return to the Tigers in the fall for their senior seasons. Each also recorded his 100th career collegiate point in 2017-18.

Véronneau and Kuffner led the Tigers to a 19-13-4 overall mark, including Princeton's first ECAC Hockey championship since 2008 and its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2009. The Tigers won six straight playoff games to earn their league’s title, before ultimately bowing out with a 4-2 loss to Ohio State University in an NCAA Midwest regional semifinal.

UML's Hellebuyck, Hutton Top NHL Goalie Stats



Two former UMass-Lowell goaltenders were atop the NHL statistical charts as hockey's top league finished its 2017-18 regular season on Sunday.

Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets led all NHL goaltenders with 44 victories, setting a new league standard for American-born netminders, while Carter Hutton of the St. Louis Blues paced the circuit in both goals-against average (2.09) and save percentage (.931). Hellebuyck finished 44-11-9 in 67 games this season, while Hutton went 17-7-3 in 32 contests.

Hellebuyck, a 2012 Jets' draft choice, from Commerce, Mich., played at UML from 2012 to 2014. He backstopped the River Hawks to both the 2013 Hockey East championship and the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four as a freshman, and went 38-12-2 (1.60, .946) in 53 career appearances. Hutton, a free agent from Thunder Bay, Ont., went 32-41-10 (2.33, .913) in 85 outings at UML from 2006 to 2010.

Winnipeg will face the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, while St. Louis was eliminated from postseason contention by the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Minnesota-Duluth Wins 2018 NCAA Men's Hockey Title

The last team into the tournament was the last team left standing.

For the first time since 2011, the University of Minnesota-Duluth is the NCAA Division I men's ice hockey national champion. The Bulldogs outlasted Notre Dame, 2-1, on Saturday before a sold-out crowd of 18,303 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. The national title is the second in UMD men's hockey history, while the Fighting Irish was seeking its first NCAA championship.

UMD (25-16-3 overall) took a 1-0 lead on a goal by senior captain Karson Kuhlman just over nine minutes into the first period, then assisted on the game-winning goal by Jared Thomas just over nine-and-a-half minutes later. Big Ten champion Notre Dame (28-10-2) got back within one on a score by Andrew Oglevie 7:40 into the second period, but was shut down by the Bulldogs the rest of the way.
Cale Morris, who won the 2018 Mike Richter Award as college hockey's top goaltender, finished with 33 saves for the Irish, while Hunter Shepard made 19 stops for the Bulldogs. UMD also outshot the Irish, 35-20, and went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Notre Dame was 1-for-2 with a man advantage.

UMD finished as national runner-up to Denver last year, dropping a 3-2 decision in last year's championship game in Chicago, after Notre Dame had fallen to DU in the semifinals. The Bulldogs edged Michigan, 3-2, in overtime in the 2011 NCAA championship game, also in St. Paul, after first ousting the Irish in a semifinal match, while Notre Dame dropped a 4-1 decision to Boston College in the 2008 national title tilt in Denver. The Bulldogs and Irish both advanced to this year’s championship contest with Frzoen Four national semifinal triumphs on Thursday, with UMD topping Ohio State, 2-1, and Notre Dame outlasting Michigan, 4-3.

The Bulldogs received the last at-large bid into this year's 16-team NCAA Tournament by .0001 percentage point over in-state rival Minnesota, according to the Pairwise Rankings that mimic the NCAA's selection process. UMD's victory Saturday also marked three consecutive NCAA titles for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, following Denver last year and North Dakota in 2016.

#PrayforHumboldt


No other words.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Northeastern's Gaudette Wins 2018 Hobey Baker Award



Adam Gaudette of Northeastern University was named Friday as the 2018 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner in St. Paul, Minn. The award, which has been presented since 1981 to the top player in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey, is named for the former Princeton University hockey star of a century ago.

Gaudette, a 6-foot-1, 184-pound junior forward from Braintree, Mass, is the first Hobey Baker winner to hail from Northeastern. He led the Huskies this season with 30 goals and 30 assists for 60 points in 38 games, and paced the nation in both total goals and total points. He also helped NU to its first Beanpot Tournament title in 30 years, notching three goals in a 5-2 championship contest victory over Boston University on Feb. 12.

Gaudette, 21, tallied 68-74—142 points in three seasons at NU, and also helped the Huskies to two NCAA Tournament appearances, plus the 2016 Hockey East tournament championship, its first league title since 1988. He played his final collegiate game in a 3-2 loss to Michigan in an NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal on March 24.

A fifth-round draft choice of the Vancouver Canucks in 2015, Gaudette had played in his first four career NHL games as of Friday. The Canucks close out their 2017-18 campaign on Saturday at Edmonton, while the 2017-18 NCAA season also ends the same night, with Minnesota-Duluth facing Notre Dame for the men’s Division I national title.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

2018 National Hockey Title Game Matchup Set


Louie Roehl and Jared Thomas scored 1:11 apart in the the first four minutes of play, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs held on for a 2-1 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the early NCAA Frozen Four men's hockey semifinal on Thursday in St. Paul, Minn.

Tanner Laczynski finally got the Buckeyes on the board on a power play with 10:33 remaining in regulation, but that was as close as OSU would get in its first Frozen Four appearance in 20 years. Hunter Shepard made 19 saves for UMD as the Bulldogs advanced to the national title game for the second straight season, and also eliminated OSU in the NCAAs for the second consecutive year.

Sean Romeo finished with 26 saves for the Buckeyes, who were outshot, 28-20, overall, including 17-4 over the opening 20 minutes.

In the nightcap at the XCel Energy Center, Notre Dame outlasted Michigan as Jake Evans drove to the net and scored with 5.2 seconds left on the clock for a 4-3 win for the Fighting Irish.

Evans scored two goals and set up another as Notre Dame rallied from a 2-0 first-period deficit to take a 3-2 third-period lead. After Michael Pastujov scored for the Wolverines with just over five minutes remaining in regulation to tie the contest, the game appeared headed to overtime until Evan's last-second heroics.

Tony Calderone and Dexter Dancs had a goal and an assist apiece for Michigan, while Andrew Oglevie (power-play goal) and Cal Burke tallied the Irish's other goals. Notre Dame outshot Michigan, 29-28, and also got 25 saves from Cale Morris, while Hayden Lavigne made 25 stops for the Wolverines.

The Bulldogs and Fighting Irish will meet on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN) to decide the 2018 national championship. UMD won its first NCAA crown in 2011, when it defeated Michigan in OT in St. Paul. Big Ten champion Notre Dame is seeking its first-ever national hockey title, having last appeared in the NCAA championship tilt in 2008 when it fell to Boston College in Denver.

Last Weekend of the Season


The 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four is finally here. 

The action faces off from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. starting at 6 p.m. ET today with Minnesota-Duluth taking on Ohio State, followed by Michigan vs. Notre Dame. Both games are televised by ESPN2. 

UMD was national champion in 2011 and national runner-up last season, while Michigan last won it all in 1998. OSU and UND are both seeking their first-ever NCAA hockey title.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Clarkson's Rempal Signs with Kings


Clarkson University sophomore forward Sheldon Rempal won't be returning to the Golden Knights. The undrafted native of Calgary signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the NHL's Los Angeles Kings on Friday, forgoing his last two years of NCAA eligibility.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Rempal led Clarkson in scoring this season with 23 goals and 23 assists for 46 points, all personal college career highs. He notched his final career point on an assist in Clarkson's 2-1 overtime loss to Princeton in the ECAC Hockey Championship game on March 17, and then played his final game in the Golden Knights’ 1-0 loss to Providence in an NCAA East Regional semifinal on March 23.

As a freshman in 2016-17, Rempal recorded 11-12—23 points in 39 outings. He finishes his two-year Clarkson career with 34-35—69 points in 78 appearances, including eight power-play goals and six game-winners in all. 

Rempal, 22, who prepped three seasons with Nanaimo (BCHL) before enrolling at Clarkson, tallied 110 goals and 213 points over those three junior campaigns. He did not dress in the Kings' 2-1 overtime loss at Anaheim on Friday night.

2018 Hobey Hat Trick Announced

The 2018 Hobey Hat Trick is set.

The three finalists have been selected for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, named for the former Princeton University hockey and football star, and annually awarded since 1981 to the top player in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey.

University of Denver sophomore forward Henrik Borgström, from Helsinki, Finland, led the Pioneers in scoring this season with 23 goals and 29 assists for 52 points in 40 games. He helped DU to the 2018 NCHC Championship, and played his final game in a 5-1 loss to Ohio State in the NCAA Midwest Regional final on March 25 before signing with the NHL's Florida Panthers.

Harvard University junior forward Ryan Donato led the Crimson with 26-17—43 points despite taking time out to play for the United States in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he led the Americans with five goals and six points. The Boston native signed with the Boston Bruins after Harvard was eliminated in the ECAC semifinals by Clarkson on March 16, and responded with three points in his first NHL game. 

Northeastern University junior forward Adam Gaudette paced the Huskies with 30-30—60 points in 38 outings, including Northeastern's first Beanpot Tournament crown in 30 years. The Braintree, Mass. native signed with the Vancouver Canucks after the Huskies were eliminated by Michigan in an NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal on March 24.

The 2018 Hobey Baker Award will be presented on April 6 in St. Paul, Minn. (NHL Network, 6 p.m. ET). Last year's winner was Denver defenseman Will Butcher, who then led the Pioneers to the 2017 NCAA title and is now a member of the New Jersey Devils.

Friday, March 30, 2018

WMU's Foster Shines in Emergency NHL Debut


Emergency goaltender Scott Foster (Western Michigan) made his NHL debut on Thursday night, stopping all seven shots he faced in the final 14 minutes of play as his Chicago Blackhawks defeated the visiting Winnipeg Jets, 6-2.

Foster, 36, an accountant who played in 55 NCAA games at WMU from 2002 to 2006 and currently skates in a Chicago-area senior league, was pressed into service after starting goaltender Collin Delia (Merrimack), who also made his NHL debut in the same game, could not finish the contest due to cramps. Foster actually wore his WMU mask in his first professional appearance, and ultimately earned First Star of the Game accolades.

The Blackhawks' other goaltender on the night, Anton Forsberg, sustained a lower-body injury in pre-game warm-ups and was unable to play. Chicago forward Dylan Sikura (Northeastern), who signed with the Blackhawks earlier this week, registered his first two career assists on Thursday in his own inaugural NHL appearance.

The Blackhawks, who most recently won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015, have been eliminated from playoff contention for this season.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Ohio State's Regional Road to the Frozen Four


My take on Ohio State's dominance at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Allentown, Pa. last weekend.

The top-seeded Buckeyes handily defeated both ECAC champion Princeton and defending NCAA champion Denver, and are now headed to their first Frozen Four since 1998, along with two other Big Ten teams.

Full story can be found here.


More NCAA Players Sign with NHL Clubs


The annual pre-Frozen Four exodus of NCAA players to the professional ranks has begun. Below are some of the players who have signed with NHL clubs since March 25, the final day of this year’s NCAA regionals:

Player            Yr. Pos. School         NHL Club

Henrik Borgström* So. F    Denver         Florida

Daniel Brickley   Jr. D    Minnesota St.  L.A.

Mikey Eyssimont   Jr. F    St. Cloud      L.A.

Erik Foley        Jr. F    Providence     St. Louis

Dylan Gambrel     Jr. F    Denver         San Jose

Adam Gaudette     Jr. F    Northeastern   Vancouver

Jordan Greenway   Jr. F    Boston U.      Minnesota

Blake Hillman     Jr. D    Denver         Chicago

Cam Johnson       Sr. G    North Dakota   New Jersey

Eric Robinson     Sr. F    Princeton      Columbus

Dylan Sikura*     Sr. F    Northeastern   Chicago

Andrew Sturtz     Jr. F    Penn State     Ottawa

Troy Terry*       Jr. F    Denver         Anaheim

*Has made NHL playing debut

Source: USCHO.com

Denver's Butcher Sets Devils Record


New Jersey Devils rookie defenseman Will Butcher (Denver) set a franchise record with his first assist in a 4-3 win over Carolina on March 27. It was his 35th assist of the season, which established a new single-season superlative for Devils' rookie defensemen.

Butcher currently has 37 assists on the year, after adding another against Carolina, plus one more in a 4-3 overtime loss to Pittsburgh on March 29. He has also scored three goals so far this season, giving him a total of 40 points in 76 appearances in his inaugural NHL campaign.

A native of Sun Prairie, Wis., Butcher, 23, posted seven goals and 30 assists for 37 points in 43 games a year ago in leading Denver to the NCAA title, while also winning the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in U.S. college hockey. He finished his four-year career with the Pioneers with 28-75103 points in 158 outings before signing with the Devils as a free agent.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Motzko Moves on to Minnesota


A week after Don Lucia stepped down after 19 years at the helm, the University of Minnesota has a new men’s hockey head coach.

Long-time St. Cloud State University mentor Bob Motzko, a former Minnesota assistant, will be the next head coach of the Golden Gophers, according to multiple sources. 

Motzko, 57, coached at SCSU from 2005 to 2018, registering a 276-192-49 (.581) overall record. He led the Huskies to three regular-season titles, the 2015-16 NCHC championship, and eight NCAA Tournament berths. The Austin, Minn. native’s best campaign came in 2012-13, when he led SCSU to a 25-16-1 overall mark, the WCHA regular-season crown, and its first NCAA Division I Frozen
Four ever. SCSU senior forward Drew LeBlanc also won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award that year, as the nation’s top player.

A 1987 SCSU graduate and a two-year letterwinner with the Huskies, Motzko first served one year as an assistant coach at his alma mater before embarking upon a five-year stay as general manager and head coach of the USHL’s North Iowa Huskies. He spent the next six years as an NCAA Division I associate/assistant coach, five with Miami (Ohio) and one with Denver, before a two-year stay as general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede.

Motzko then worked as an assistant coach at Minnesota from 2001 to 2005, and helped the Golden Gophers to two NCAA national championships (2002, 2003) before he took the reins at SCSU.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Princeton's Robinson Joins NHL's Bluejackets


Princeton senior forward Eric Robinson has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the NHL's Columbus Bluejackets, according to the team website.

Robinson, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Bellmawr. N.J., concluded his college career with Princeton's 4-2 loss to Ohio State in an NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal on Saturday in Allentown, Pa. A team co-captain, he finished sixth in team scoring this season with 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points, all career highs, including the game-winning goal in the Tigers' 4-1 ECAC Championship semifinal win over Cornell in Lake Placid. Princeton completed a seven-game winning streak the next night by besting Clarkson, 2-1 in overtime, to win the league title and also earn the ECAC's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

In 128 career games at Princeton, Robinson tallied 39-28--67 points, including five game-winning goals, to go along with 67 penalty minutes. A high school alumnus of  Gloucester Catholic (N.J.) and a junior "A" product of Dubuque (USHL), Robinson is expected to join Columbus in Edmonton in time for the Bluejackets' Tuesday night game against the Oilers. Columbus currently stands third in the NHL's Metropolitan Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 42-29-5 record.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Ohio State, Michigan Off to 2018 Frozen Four


The 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four picture is now complete.

Ohio State advanced to its first Frozen Four in 20 years with a 5-1 victory over defending national champion Denver on Sunday in the title game of the NCAA Midwest Regional in Allentown, Pa. The Buckeyes got two goals from Kevin Miller, and 30 saves from Regional Most Outstanding Player Sean Romeo.

Michigan punched its ticket to its first Frozen Four since 2011 with a 6-3 win over Boston University on Sunday in the NCAA Northeast Regional final in Worcester, Mass. The Wolverines broke a 3-3 tie with three unanswered third-period goals, led by Jake Slaker's game-winning tally in the seventh minute of the final frame.

The Buckeyes and Wolverines will join fellow Big Ten Conference member Notre Dame at the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn. next month. along with Minnesota-Duluth of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). OSU and UMD will face off in the early semifinal on April 5 (6 p.m. ET, ESPN2), while Michigan will meet Notre Dame in the nightcap (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The two winners will then advance to the national title game on April 7 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Notre Dame, UMD Punch Tickets to 2018 Frozen Four


Two of the four spots in the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four have been claimed.

Notre Dame won the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn. on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Providence, while Minnesota-Duluth outlasted Air Force by the same score in the West Regional final in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The other two national semifinal berths will be decided on Sunday. The Northeast Regional final in Worcester, Mass. will feature Boston University against Michigan (4 p.m. ET, ESPN2), while the Midwest Regional final in Allentown, Pa. will match Ohio State against defending national champion Denver (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU).

BU defeated Cornell, 3-1, on Saturday, while Michigan edged Northeastern, 3-2. Ohio State beat Princeton, 4-2, for its first NCAA tournament victory in 20 years, while Denver dropped Penn State, 5-1, in a rematch from last year.

The NCAA Frozen Four will be held on March 5 and 7 in St. Paul, Minn. The BU/Michigan winner will meet Notre Dame in one semifinal, while the Ohio State/Denver winner will face UMD in the other.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Air Force Emerges on First Day of 2018 NCAA Tournament


The first day of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship is in the books.

At the West Regional in Sioux Falls, S.D., 16th-seeded Air Force pulled off another national tournament shocker by besting top-seeded St. Cloud State, 4-1. It’s only the second time ever in Division I men’s hockey that the 16th seed defeated the No. 1 seed in the nationals. In the other West semifinal, Minnesota-Duluth edged Minnesota State, 3-2, in overtime, and will meet Air Force in the regional final on Saturday (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

At the East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn., Notre Dame outlasted upstart Michigan Tech, 4-3, in overtime, while Providence made a first-period power play goal stand up in a 1-0 victory over Clarkson. The Fighting Irish and the Friars will face off Saturday (6 p.m. ET, ESPNU) for the right to go to the Frozen Four.

The other two regionals get underway on Saturday. At the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass., Boston University will face Cornell (1 p.m. ET, ESPNews) before Michigan encounters Northeastern (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPNews). At the Midwest Regional in Allentown, Pa., Princeton will meet Ohio State (3:30 p.m. ESPNU) before defending national champion Denver takes on host school Penn State (7 p.m., ESPN3).