Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Lucia Steps Down at Minnesota

The University of Minnesota will have a new men’s hockey head coach next season. Don Lucia stepped down Tuesday after 19 years at the helm of the Golden Gophers.

Lucia, 59, who previously coached at Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado College, had one year remaining on  a two-year contract, and will served as special assistant to the athletic director in 2018-19, according to published reports. 

A 1981 Notre Dame graduate, Lucia went 457-248-73 overall from 1999 to 2018 in the Twin Cities, and is 736-403-102 in 31 seasons as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level. He previously served as an assistant coach at both Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage before taking the top job at UAF in 1987, and moved on to CC in 1993.

Lucia coached Minnesota to eight regular-season titles, four in the old WCHA and four in the Big Ten. He also guided the Golden Gophers to four conference tournament championships and 13 NCAA Tournament berths, including five Frozen Four appearances. Minnesota won national championships under Lucia's watch in 2002 and 2003, making it the first Division I school to win back-to-back men's NCAA hockey titles since 1971-72, and also advanced to the 2014 national title contest.

The Golden Gophers finished 19-17-2 overall during the 2017-18 season, and were swept in the best-of-three first round of the Big Ten Tournament by Penn State. Minnesota closed the campaign with four consecutive losses to the Nittany Lions, which made a 2-1 win over Ohio State on Feb. 16 the final victory of the Lucia era. He also served as head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team.

Minnesota will conduct a national search for the successor to Lucia, whose sons Tony (Minnesota 2010) and Mario (Notre Dame 2016) both played Division I college hockey. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Harvard's Donato Turns Pro with Boston

Harvard University junior forward Ryan Donato has gone pro.

The son of Harvard head coach and retired NHL player Ted Donato, the younger Donato signed an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins on Sunday, according to multiple outlets. His signing came after three seasons with the Crimson, plus a memorable two weeks with the U.S. Olympic Team in February.

A product of Boston's Dexter School, and a second-round draft choice of the Bruins in 2014, Ryan Donato led Harvard in scoring this season with both a career-high 26 goals and 43 points. That was one year after he paced the Crimson with 21 goals and 19 assists for 40 points, en route to a pair of ECAC championships and an appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four in Chicago.

In 98 career collegiate games, Donato posted 60-44—104 points, including 13 power-play tallies. At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games last month, he led the U.S. in scoring with five goals and six points as the Americans finished seventh overall in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The 2018 ECAC Hockey Player of the Year, a Hobey Baker Memorial Award Top 10 finalist, and an All-ECAC Hockey First Team and All-Ivy First Team selection this season, Donato played his final game for the Crimson on Friday night. He recorded two assists in a 5-4 overtime loss to Clarkson in an ECAC Tournament semifinal contest in Lake Placid.

Donato made his NHL debut on Monday night, when the Bruins visited Columbus. Wearing No. 17, he led Boston with a goal and two assists for his first three career NHL points to go along with a team-high six shots on goal as the Bruins fell, 5-4, in overtime to the Bluejackets.

Clarkson Wins Women's D-I National Title

For the second straight season, and the third time in five years, Clarkson University is the NCAA Division I women's ice hockey champion.

The Golden Knights got an unassisted goal 7:55 into overtime from freshman forward Elizabeth Giguère to edge ECAC rival Colgate, 2-1, before nearly 3,000 fans at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis on Sunday. Clarkson had earlier defeated Colgate, 3-0, for the ECAC Championship on March 4.

Cassidy Vinkle opened the scoring for Clarkson late in the first period, before Malia Schneider tied it early in the second stanza for the Raiders. The game remained deadlocked until Giguère's sudden-death heroics, when she shook off a Colgate defender, fell to one knee, and then regained her skates before tucking a backhander past Raiders goaltender Julia Vandyk (35 saves). Shea Tiley made 27 stops for Clarkson, which remains the only eastern-based team to win a Division I women's ice hockey national title since the NCAA championship was inaugurated in 2001.

The Golden Knights advanced to this year's national title contest with a 1-0 overtime victory over Ohio State in a semifinal on Friday. First-time NCAA Tournament participant Colgate qualified for its first-ever national title game with a 4-3 double overtime win over Wisconsin.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

BC's Watts Wins Kazmaier Award

Boston College freshman forward Darryl Watts is the winner of the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award as the top player in U.S. women's college hockey. She is the first underclassmen to earn the honor in its 21-year history.

Watts led all NCAA Division I skaters with 42 goals and 82 points, which came in just 38 games. The Toronto native and Mississauga Jr. Chiefs alumnus was also tied for tops in the nation with 10 power-play goals in leading the Eagles to a 30-5-3 overall record, a Hockey East regular-season title, and an NCAA Tournament berth.

Watts join Alex Carpenter, who won the award in 2016, as the only Eagles to claim the Kazmaier, which is named for former Princeton University forward Patty Kazmaier.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Projected 2018 NCAA Hockey Tournament Bracket

My projection for the field for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship, which will be announced on Sunday (Noon ET, ESPNU):

March 23-24

East Regional (Bridgeport, Conn.)
Boston University vs. Cornell {3}
Providence vs. Clarkson

West Regional (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Air Force vs. St. Cloud State {1}
Minnesota-Duluth vs. Minnesota State

March 24-25

Midwest Regional (Allentown, Penn.)
Michigan Tech vs. Notre Dame {2}
Penn State* vs. Denver

Northeast Regional (Worcester, Mass.)
Princeton vs. Ohio State {4}
Michigan vs. Northeastern

Overall seed numbers in { }
* Regional host institution

Of course, as always, the selection committee may decide on other match-ups, to maximize attendance and such. Other prognosticators have said Boston University will be headed to Worcester, due to proximity. The Terriers used to be the host team there, before Holy Cross took overbut hey, Northeastern is from Boston, too.

The winners of the four regionals will advance to the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four on April 5-7 in St. Paul, Minn., to decide the 2018 Division I men's national champion. Denver is the defending champion, having defeated Notre Dame and Minnesota-Duluth last year in Chicago.

ADDENDUM: The actual bracket can be found here. Both BU and Northeastern are headed to Worcester. along with Michigan,. Princeton and Ohio State will face off in Allentown, while Notre Dame and Michigan Tech will play in Bridgeport.

Princeton Wins 2018 ECAC Men's Hockey Championship

Every year that ends in a number eight is a good one for the Princeton Tigers. At least it’s been that way the last 20 seasons.

Now 2018 has joined 1998 and 2008 as years in which Princeton won the Whitelaw Cup as ECAC Hockey champions. The Tigers outlasted Clarkson, 2-1, in overtime at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid on Saturday evening to win their seventh straight game, and their first league title in a decade.

Max Becker, who wears No. 8 for Princeton, scored just in front of the Clarkson net in the third minute of the extra session to send the Tigers to their fourth NCAA Tournament ever, and their first since 2009. Princeton had held a 1-0 lead since the first period on a goal by Josh Teves, and made it stand up until Josh Dickinson deflected home a screened shot with seven seconds remaining in regulation to tie it for the Golden Knights, who had pulled goaltender Jake Kielly (21 saves) for an extra attacker.

Ryan Ferland, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, finished with 31 stops for Princeton, which was outshot, 32-23. The two teams combined to go 0-for-3 on the power play, while Clarkson won 28 of the game's 51 faceoffs.

Princeton need the victory on Saturday to qualify for the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Tournament, as its only road to the nationals was with the automatic NCAA bid awarded to the ECAC Tournament champion. Clarkson had already virtually locked up one of the 16 spots in the field due to its higher standing in the Pairwise Rankings (PWR), which mimics the NCAA selection process.

The 2018 NCAA Tournament bracket will be announced at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday on ESPNU.

Conference Championships Decided on Saturday

The conference championship game match-ups in NCAA Division I Men's Hockey are set for Saturday.

Atlantic Hockey
Robert Morris vs. Air Force

Big Ten
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame

Princeton vs. Clarkson

Hockey East
Boston University vs. Providence

Denver vs. St. Cloud State

Michigan Tech vs. Northern Michigan

The 16 bids to the NCAA Tournament will be announced on Sunday (12 p.m. ET, ESPN3). The five Saturday winners will all receive automatic berths. Teams such as Boston College, Minnesota and
North Dakota are on the bubble for at-large bids. North Dakota will face Minnesota-Duluth in Saturday's NCHC consolation game.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Devils Roll in Vegas, 8-3

Ten days after a one-goal defeat to Vegas in Newark, the New Jersey Devils handed the expansion Golden Knights their biggest home defeat to date in the latter's inagural NHL season. The Devils roared out to a 4-0 lead on Wednesday, en route to an 8-3 win at T-Mobile Arena in Nevada.

Blake Coleman (Miami) led the visitors with two goals, including a game-opening shorthanded tally. Travis Zajac (North Dakota) and Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) also scored for New Jersey, while Brian Gibbons (Boston College) set up two goals. Brian Boyle (Boston College), Andy Greene (Miami) and Will Butcher (Denver) had one assist apiece, and Keith Kincaid (Union) finished with 39 saves for his 18th win of the campaign.

Erik Haula (Minnesota) scored twice for the Golden Knights, with Nate Schmidt (Minnesota) picking up an assist in the second and final regular-season meeting between the two teams this year.

Monday, March 12, 2018

2018 NCAA Division I Men's Quarterfinals Complete

A total of eight NCAA Division I men’s hockey quarterfinal series went to deciding third games on Sunday: Air Force/Army and American International/Canisius in Atlantic

Hockey; Dartmouth at Harvard and Colgate/Clarkson in the ECAC; Colorado College/Denver and Miami/St. Cloud in the NCHC, and; Bowling Green/Northern Michigan and Michigan
Tech/Minnesota State in the WCHA. Winners ultimately included Air Force, Canisius, Clarkson, Harvard, Denver, St. Cloud, Northern Michigan, and Michigan Tech.

All other quarterfinal series wrapped up Saturday, in two games each. Robert Morris and Mercyhurst advanced in Atlantic Hockey; Notre Dame and Ohio State were winners in the Big Ten; Cornell and Princeton moved on in the ECAC; Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern and Providence were all victorious in Hockey East; and Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota emerged from the NCHC.

Semifinal and final games in each of the five conferences will be contested on March 16-17, with the 16 berths in the 2018 NCAA Tournament to be announced on March 18.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018 NCAA Women's Frozen Four Filled

The field for the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Hockey Frozen Four is set, following Saturday's quarterfinal results:

CLARKSON 2, Mercyhurst 1 (OT)
WISCONSIN 4, Minnesota 0
COLGATE 3, Northeastern 1
Ohio State 2, BOSTON COLLEGE 0

(Home Team in CAPS)

Minnesota had qualified for the past six Frozen Fours, while Boston College had appeared in the last three.

In this year's semifinals, to be held on March 16 at Minnesota's Ridder Arena, defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Clarkson will face sixth-seeded Ohio State, while No. 2 Wisconsin will take on No. 3 Colgate. 

Clarkson won its first national title in 2013-14 before defeating Wisconsin last year, while Wisconsin has claimed four NCAA crowns in all, the last one in 2010-11. Colgate and Ohio State, which both made their NCAA tournament debuts on Saturday, will each be skating in the Frozen Four for the first time ever.

The 2018 NCAA championship game will be held on March 18 at Ridder Arena.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Men's Division I Hockey Quarterfinal Playoff Series Begin

Friday night's winners each took a 1-0 lead in their respective best-of-three quartefinal series in five of the six NCAA Division I men's hockey conferences:

Atlantic Hockey
Air Force 5, ARMY 3
MERCYHURST 4, Sacred Heart 2
Robert Morris 4, HOLY CROSS 1
CANISIUS 8, American Intl. 1

Princeton 5, UNION 3
CORNELL 9, Quinnipiac 1
Dartmouth 4, HARVARD 1
Colgate 2, CLARKSON 1

Hockey East
BOSTON COLLEGE 1, Merrimack 0

MINN-DULUTH 5, Western Michigan 0
Colorado College 2, DENVER 0
ST. CLOUD 5, Miami (Ohio) 2
North Dakota 4, OMAHA 0

NORTHERN MICHIGAN 6, Bowling Green 1
MINNESOTA STATE 2, Michigan Tech 1

(Home Teams in CAPS)

Each of the above series will resume on Saturday at the same campus sites. The Big Ten Conference will contest single-elimination semifinal games on Saturday, with Penn State visiting Notre Dame and Michigan playing at Ohio State.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Princeton Ousts Brown in ECAC Men's First Round

Princeton University has advanced to the quarterfinals of the ECAC Tournament for the second straight year. The Tigers completed a two-step sweep of visiting Brown University with a 7-1 win on Saturday night at Hobey Baker Rink, one night after an 8-2 victory over the Bears in the opener of the best-of-three series.
The Tigers got goals from seven different players on the evening, and 27 saves from Ryan Ferland, after breaking open a 1-0 game with four goals in the middle period. Ryan Kuffner’s second-period score, his 28th goal of the season, stood up as the game-winner. It also tied a 20-year-old Princeton single-season record, set by retired NHL player Jeff Halpern in 1998 when the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever.
Kuffner finished the night with a goal and two assists, as did linemate Max Veronneau, who recorded his 100th career point on Kuffner’s goal. Reid Yochim and Eric Robinson also posted two assists apiece for Princeton, which finished 2-for-6 on the power play.
The Tigers ended the game with six seniors on the ice, including relief goaltender Ben Halford, in their final appearance as a class at Baker Rink. Senior defenseman Matt Nelson closed out the scoring with a power-play goal with 34 seconds remaining in regulation, assisted by classmates Robinson and Joe Grabowski. Also on ice were seniors Max Becker and David Hallisey. Princeton outshot Brown, 44-30, over three periods.
Brown (8-19-4), which defeated both Dartmouth and Harvard last week in its regular-season finale, got its lone goal Saturday from Zach Giuttari, on a power play early in the third period. The Bears also received 37 saves overall from Luke Kania in Brown’s final game of the 2017-18 campaign.
Princeton (15-12-2), which now is assured of its first winning record since 2010-11, will play on the road next week in a best-of-three series at an opponent yet to be determined. The winner of that series will advance to the ECAC Tournament semifinals on March 16 in Lake Placid.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Thomas Let Go at UAA

The University of Alaska Anchorage announced on Wednesday that it will not renew the contract of head coach Matt Thomas. The former RIT skater and minor-league coach led the Seawolves to a 48-105-21 overall mark in five seasons, including a 39-92-27 record in WCHA play, as the fifth-ever head coach in the UAA hockey program’s history.

Thomas' first campaign in Anchorage was his best, as he guided UAA to an 18-16-4 overall finish in 2013-14, plus a berth in the WCHA Final Five. His worst was his last this past season, as the Seawolves went 4-26-4 overall and finished last in the WCHA at 4-21-3, with the last two wins coming in the last two games of the year at archrival Alaska Fairbanks.

The UAA program began in 1979-80 at the NCAA Division II level, and became a Division I independent in 1984-85. The Seawolves earned three consecutive independent berths to the NCAA Tournament from 1990 to 1992, but have not returned to the nationals since that time. UAA joined the WCHA as an affiliate in 1992-93 and became a full member the following season, but has only registered one winning overall record since joining the conference, and has not qualified for the WCHA Tournament since 2014.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Former College Players Dealt at NHL Deadline

A number of NCAA-trained players were dealt at the NHL trading deadline on Feb. 26:

PLAYER        SCHOOL      FROM        TO       
Ian Cole      Notre Dame  Ottawa      Columbus
Erik Foley    Providence  Winnipeg    St. Louis
Josh Jooris   Union       Carolina    Pittsburgh
Ryan McDonagh Wisconsin   NY Rangers  Tampa Bay
Tyler Motte   Michigan    Columbus    Vancouver
Dan O'Regan   Boston U.   Buffalo     San Jose
John Ramage   Wisconsin   Arizona     Nashville
Mike Reilly   Minnesota   Minnesota   Montreal
Nick Shore    Denver      Ottawa      Calgary
Paul Statsny  Denver      St. Louis   Winnipeg
Thomas Vanek  Minnesota   Vancouver   Columbus
Chris Wagner  Colgate     Anaheim     NY Islanders
Tommy Wingels Miami       Chicago     Boston

Sunday, February 25, 2018

BC's Gionta Joins Bruins After Olympics

U.S. Olympic 2018 men's hockey team captain Brian Gionta (Boston College) will be returning to the National Hockey League. The former Boston College All-America selection has signed with the Boston Bruins after leading the U.S. to a quarterfinal appearance in Pyeongchang, South Korea. According to NHL.com, the one-year contract is for $700,000 and makes Gionta eligible for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 5-foot-7 native of Rochester, N.Y. went scoreless during the Olympics, recording a team-high 16 shots on goals as the U.S. fell to Slovenia and Russia and also defeated Slovakia twice before falling to the Czech Republic in a shootout to finish seventh overall.

Gionta, 39, has registered 289-299--588 points in 1,006 NHL regular season contests with the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres, and served as team captain of both the Canadiens and Sabres. He also has notched 32-36--68 points in 112 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Canadiens and Devils. A third-round draft choice (82nd overall) of New Jersey in 1998, he won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003, and still holds the franchise's single-season record with a 48-goal campaign in 2005-06.

Gionta played four years at BC (1997-2001), where he recorded a school record 123 goals and eight hat tricks in 164 games. He stands third all-time in school annals with 232 career points, and led the Eagles to a total of four Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles combined, along with four NCAA Frozen Four appearances and the 2001 national title.

A four-time All-Hockey East selection and a three-time All-America choice, Gionta was also a three-time finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's best player. He also won both the Walter Brown Award and the Hockey East Player of the Year Award as a senior in 2000-01, after scoring 33 goals for a second consecutive season.

Gionta last played in the NHL in 2016-17 with Buffalo, where he tallied 15-20—35 points in 81 games. He played one game with Rochester (AHL) prior to this year's Olympics, scoring one goal in his first minor-league appearance since the 2004-05 NHL lockout.

Gionta, who has been assigned his customary jersey No. 12 by the Bruins, may appear in Boston's lineup in its next game, on Tuesday at home against Carolina at TD Garden.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Boston College Clinches 2018 Hockey East Men's Title

Boston College clinched its 16th-ever Hockey East men's regular-season title with a 6-3 victory Maine on Friday night at Conte Forum.

Logan Hutsko, Michael Kim and Kevin Lohan recorded three points apiece, and Joseph Woll made 32 saves as the 20th-ranked Eagles recorded their second straight victory over the Black Bears. The two teams will close out the series on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The Eagles (17-13-3 overall, 17-6-0 HEA) will have a first-round bye next week in the Hockey East Tournament before hosting the lowest remaining seed the following weekend.

The No. 3 Boston College women's hockey team, which had earlier clinched its own Hockey East regular-season crown, defeated visiting Vermont, 3-1, earlier on Friday. Makenna Newkirk and Caitrin Lonergan  posted two points each for BC, which also got 32 stops from NCAA career victories leader Katie Burt. The Eagles (29-9-3, 19-2-3), who have won 11 of their last 12 outings, will close out their series with the Catamounts on Saturday at Conte Forum at 2 p.m. ET.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

U.S. Women's Hockey Wins 2018 Olympic Gold

Exactly 38 years to the day that the Miracle on Ice occurred in Lake Placid, the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team won their first Olympic gold medal in 20 years with a 3-2 shootout victory over archrival Canada at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Maddie Rooney (Minnesota Duluth) finished with 29 saves through regulation and a 20-minute overtime, and then stopped four of six attempts in the shootout to lock up America’s first women’s hockey gold medal since 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Canada had won the last four gold medals since then, including three via a championship game victory against the Americans. Canada had also defeated the U.S., 2-1, in a preliminary-round contest last week.

Hilary Knight (Wisconsin) opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period, but Canada took the lead on second-period scores by Haley Irwin (Minnesota-Duluth) and Marie-Philip Poulin (Boston University). The Americans then tied the game on a third-period breakaway tally by Monique Lamoureux-Morando (North Dakota), before the two teams played a scoreless 4-on-4 overtime.  The U.S. outshot Canada, 42-31, through 80 minutes of play.

In the shootout, Canada got goals from Meghan Agosta (Mercyhurst) and Melodie Daoust (McGill), while Gigi Marvin (Minnesota), Amanda Kessel (Minnesota) and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (North Dakota) connected for Team USA.  Rooney then stopped Agosta on her second attempt to ice gold for the Americans.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

U.S. Men Eliminated by Czech Republic

The U.S. Olympic Men's Hockey team will not play for a medal in South Korea. The Americans were eliminated from the XXIII Olympic Winter Games with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Czech Republic in Pyeongchang in the quarterfinal round.

Ryan Donato (Harvard) and Jim Slater (Michigan State) scored for Team USA in regulation, with Donato giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes and Slater tying the game at two with a shorthanded tally in the second stanza. After a scoreless third period and sudden-death 10-minute overtime, the Czechs tallied the only goal of the shootout to advance to the semifinals against either Norway or the Olympic Athletes of Russia. Team USA finished 0-for-5 on the night on the power play.

Ryan Zapolski (Mercyhurst) stopped a total of 26 shots in regulation/overtime, and four of five attempts in the shootout, for the U.S. Donato finished with a team-high five goals in five games, while Troy Terry (Denver), who assisted on Donato's goal against the Czechs, led Team USA with five assists in the tournament.

The U.S. men, which was seeking a third straight appearance in the Olympic semifinals, last medaled by earning silver in Vancouver in 2010. The U.S. women will go for gold Wednesday against Canada at 11 p.m. ET (NBCSN).

U.S. Men Top Slovakia, Stay Alive at Olympics

The U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey team has survived to play another day after besting Slovakia, 5-1, in an elimination game at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Troy Terry (Denver) set up three goals, including two by Ryan Donato (Harvard), as the U.S. jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second period. Marc Arcobello (Yale), Garrett Roe (St. Cloud State) and James Wisniewski also scored for the Americans, who connected on two power plays and also got 22 saves from goaltender Ryan Zapolski (Mercyhurst). The Slovaks, who fell 2-1 to Team USA in the preliminary round last week, have been eliminated from medal contention.

The U.S. will play Tuesday night (10 p.m. ET, CNBC) in a quarterfinal-round elimination contest against the undefeated Czech Republic.

Monday, February 19, 2018

U.S. Women Advance to 2018 Olympic Hockey Final

Dani Cameranesi (Minnesota) scored two goals and Maddie Rooney (Minnesota-Duluth) made 14 saves as the U.S. Olympic Women's Hockey Team blanked Finland, 5-0, in a semifinal match at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Gigi Marvin (Minnesota), Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (North Dakota) and Hilary Knight (Wisconsin) also scored for the Americans, who bested Finland, 3-1, in their Olympic opener last week. For Knight, it was also her 100th career goal in a USA uniform. Noora Räty (Minnesota) made 33 saves for Finland, which had advanced to the semifinals by routing rival Sweden, 7-2.

The U.S. will now take on archrival Canada (Wed., 11:10 p.m. ET, NBCSN) for the gold medal, the fifth time in the last six Olympics that the two neighboring nations will meet with gold on the line. Canada has won the last four golds after the U.S. claimed the inaugural women's gold in 1998, and also edged the U.S., 2-1, in a preliminary round game last week despite being outshot almost two-to-one.

The U.S. men's team will face Slovakia in an elimination game tonight at 10:10 p.m. ET (NBCSN).

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Union Tops Tigers, 4-1, on Princeton Senior/ECAC Remembrance Night

On a night when Princeton University honored its outgoing seniors along with members of two of its former league champion squads, Union College spoiled the party with a 4-1 victory before 2,271 onlookers at Hobey Baker Rink.

Union (20-13-1 overall, 15-5-0 ECAC Hockey) started off with a goal in-close that was credited to Liam Morgan nine minutes into the game. The Dutchmen were also outshooting the Tigers by a 15-3 margin with six minutes left in the first period, and made it a 2-0 game when Ryan Walker scored off a scramble in front of the Princeton net with 2:46 left.

The Dutchmen increased their advantage just 2:41 into the second stanza when Jack Adams followed up own rebound to give the Dutchmen a 3-0 lead. Just under six minutes later, the Tigers responded when Ryan Kuffner curled out to the left point with the puck, then wristed it home to the far side to put Princeton (12-12-3, 9-10-1) on the board with his 23rd goal this year, and fourth of the weekend.

As snow fell steadily outside Baker Rink, the third period saw no penalties committed by either team, a time-out called by Princeton in the final two minutes of play, and then an empty-net goal by Union's Brett Supinski with 35 seconds remaining in regulation to close out the scoring. Union outshot Princeton, 43-29, on the evening, as Jake Kupsky made 28 stops for the Dutchmen. Ryan Ferland had 39 saves for the Tigers.

Princeton celebrated the eight seniors on this year's roster on Saturday, and also honored members of the 1998 and 2008 Tiger teams that won their respective ECAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Princeton and NHL alumni George Parros and Kevin Westgarth, who were members of separate Stanley Cup championship teams, dropped pucks for the ceremonial opening face-off.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

U.S. Men Edge Slovakia, U.S. Women Fall to Canada

Ryan Donato (Harvard) scored both American goals on power plays as the U.S. Men's Olympic Team earned its first victory of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, a 2-1 decision over Slovakia on Thursday in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The goals were the first-ever in Olympic competition by Donato, who gave the U.S. a 1-0 first-period lead before tacking on the game-winner early in the third period. He still ranks second among NCAA Division I players with 21 goals in 23 games so far this season. His father, Harvard head coach and retired NHL player Ted Donato, skated for the U.S. Olympic squad that finished fourth in Albertville, France in 1992.

The U.S. also got two assists Thursday from Chris Bourque (Boston University) and 21 saves from Ryan Zapolski (Mercyhurst) in rebounding from a 3-2 overtime loss to Slovenia in its first game of the tournament. Miloš Bubela (Rensselaer) had three shots and two penalty minutes for Slovakia.

Team USA will now take on the Olympic Athletes of Russia, which had earlier lost to Slovakia, on Saturday at 7:10 a.m. ET (NBCSN), also at Gangneung Hockey Centre.

The U.S. Women's Olympic Team, which fell to Canada, 2-1, on Wednesday despite outshooting its archrival, 45-23, awaits its semifinal opponent for a Monday meeting at Gangneung Hockey Centre. Kendall Coyne scored the lone goal for the Americans, while Canada got goals from Meghan Agosta (Mercyhurst) and Sarah Nurse (Wisconsin). Geneviève Lacasse (Providence) earned the win with 44 saves.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

U.S. Men to Open Games Against Slovenia

The 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team will begin its quest for a gold medal in Pyeongchang, South Korea when the Americans take on Slovenia on Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m. ET at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in their opening game.

Later that night at the same venue, the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Team will face archrival Canada at 10:10 p.m. ET. The U.S. women are 2-0-0 following their last game, a 5-0 win over the Olympic Athletes of Russia on Tuesday.

Northeastern Wins First Beanpot in 30 Years

Adam Gaudette scored three goals and Jeremy Davies tallied three assists as the Northeastern University Huskies won their first Beanpot Tournament in 30 years with a 5-2 victory over the Boston University Terriers on Monday night at TD Garden in Boston.

Northeastern head coach and alumnus Jim Madigan has now been a part of four of Northeastern's five all-time Beanpot titlestwo as a player, one as an assistant coach, and one as a head coach. Huskies goaltender Cayden Primeau, son of retired NHL player Keith Primeau, made it possible with 38 saves, inclduing 29 stops over the final two periods, as NU recorded three power-play goals on the night and claimed the Beanpot for the first time since 1988.

After spotting BU a 1-0 lead early on, the Huskies responded with four unanswered scores to lead, 4-1, after 40 minutes. BU got within 4-2 with 2:40 remaining in regulation, before Gaudette sealed his hat trick and the game with an empty-net goal in the final minute of play. Jake Oettinger made 22 saves for the Terriers, who also got a goal and an assist from Logan Cockerill.

Harvard University, which won the Beanpot last year for the first time since 1993, defeated Boston College, 5-4 in overtime, in the consolation game.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

U.S. Women Win 2018 Olympic Opener

The U.S. Women's Olympic Hockey Team is off to a good start following a 3-1 victory over Finland on Sunday in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It was the opening game for both teams at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games.

After Finland took a 1-0 lead with less than six seconds remaining in the first period, the U.S. would tie the game early in the second stanza on a rebound goal by Monique Lamoureux-Morando (North Dakota). The Americans then took the lead for good when Hilary Knight (Wisconsin) set up Kendall Coyne (Northeastern) for a one-timer from the right side.

Dani Cameranesi (Minnesota) closed out the scoring with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.  Maddie Rooney (Minnesota-Duluth) made 23 saves for the U.S. in her Olympic debut, while Olympic veteran and two-time NCAA champion Noora Räty (Minnesota) had 39 stops for the Finns.

Team USA will now face the Olympic Athletes From Russia in a Group A match on Tuesday at 7:10 a.m. ET at Kwandong Hockey Centre.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Notre Dame's Lucia Joins Devils from Wild

Mario Lucia (Notre Dame) has been dealt from the NHL’s Minnesota Wild to the New Jersey Devils. He is expected to be assigned to the Binghamton Devils of the American Hockey League, per NHL.com

A 6-foot-3 native of Fairbanks, Alaska who grew up in Minnesota, Lucia, 24, was drafted by the Wild in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft. He has spent his first two-plus professional campaigns with Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Iowa, where he has collected 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points in 93 regular-season outings, according to hockeydb.com. He has six goals and 15 points in 40 AHL games so far this season.

Lucia, who is the son of University of Minnesota head coach Don Lucia, and also the younger brother of former Minnesota forward Tony Lucia, tallied 61-49—110 points in 151 games with Notre Dame from 2012 to 2016. He also helped the Fighting Irish to three NCAA Tournament berths, plus the final Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament title.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Princeton Outlasts No. 3 Clarkson, 4-3

Princeton University won its fourth straight game, all in ECAC play, with a 4-3 come-from-behind win Saturday night at Hobey Baker Rink over third-ranked Clarkson University. Reid Yochim's third-period power-play goal broke a three-all tie and stood up as the game-winner. Full recap can be found here.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Devils Top Flyers, 4-3

In the end, it was Union College outdueling Yale University in a meeting of former ECAC/NCAA netminders.

The New Jersey Devils edged the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-3, on Thursday night in Newark, as Keith Kinkaid (Union) made 25 saves for the home team. Alex Lyon (Yale), making his first-ever NHL start, had 18 stops for the Flyers in the loss.

Ben Lovejoy (Dartmouth) assisted on Nico Hischier's game-winning goal in the third period to break a 3-3 tie. Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) scored New Jersey's first goal of the game on a power play, and also added an assist. Drew Stafford (North Dakota) also scored for the Devils, while Travis Zajac (North Dakota) earned nine minutes in penalties, including a first-period fight where he got the better of Philadelphia's Radko Gudas.

Shayne Gostisbehere (Union) tallied a goal and an assist for the Flyers.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

NCAA Skaters Shine in 2018 NHL Skills Competition

Several former NCAA skaters shined on Saturday night at the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition, part of the 2018 NHL All-Star Weekend at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Brock Boeser (North Dakota) of the Vancouver Canucks finished first overall in the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting event. Boeser, who helped UND to a national title in 2016, hit all five light-up targets in a time of 11.136 seconds. Finishing second was Brian Boyle (Boston College) of the New Jersey Devils, who clocked in at 11.626 seconds.

Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College) of the Calgary Flames won the Gatorade NHL Puck Control Relay in a time of 24.650 seconds. Gaudreau, the 2014 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner with BC, stickhandled a puck through two separate obstacle courses, one a straight line of pucks and the other a slalom of bottles, before shooting his puck successively through the light-up rungs of three separate open gate mechanisms.

Jack Eichel (Boston University) of the Buffalo Sabres finished third in the Enterprise NHL Fastest Skater competition with a time of 13.828 seconds. Zach Werenski (Michigan) of the Columbus Bluejackets was sixth in 14.250 seconds, while Noah Hanifin (Boston College) of the Carolina Hurricanes was seventh at 14.317 seconds.

Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) of the Winnipeg Jets stopped six of 10 shots in the GEICO NHL Save Streak goaltending competition, and made three saves in a row at one point.

The NHL All-Star games begin on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET (NBC TV).

ADDENDUM: Boeser became the first rookie in 33 years to earn NHL All-Star Game honors, tallying two goals and an assist in two games as his Pacific Division won this year's 3-on-3 game competition with wins over the Central and Atlantic divisions.

Jim Johannson 1964 – 2018

USA Hockey Assistant Executive Director Jim Johannson (Wisconsin) was memorialized Thursday in Colorado Springs. The general manager of the 2018 U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team, he passed away in his sleep on Jan. 21. He was 53.

A native of Rochester, Minn., Johannson played for the University of Wisconsin from 1982 to 1986, helping the Badgers to the NCAA title as a freshman. Drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the seventh round of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, he played one year in Germany before going on to seven seasons in the International Hockey League with Salt Lake, Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

Johannson’s best professional scoring season came with Salt Lake in 1988-89, when he tallied a career-high 35 goals and 75 points. He also earned the IHL's Ironman Award in 1990, according to HockeyDB.com. A center, he was also a member of the U.S. National Team that finished seventh at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, plus the American squad that finished fourth at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, according to sports-reference.com. He also skated for the U.S. at the 1992 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Czechoslovakia.

Johannson joined USA Hockey in 2000 after spending five years as general manager with the Twin Cities (Minn.) Vulcans of the USHL, leading them to a national Junior "A" championship in his final campaign. According to USAHockey.com, during his watch with the national governing hockey body, American teams garnered 64 medals in major international competition, including 34 gold, 19 silver and 11 bronze. He also served as general manager for the gold-medal-winning U.S. National Junior men’s teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will begin competition at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Feb. 14.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

North Dakota's Hoff to Skate for Norway at Olympics

Sophomore forward Ludvig Hoff (North Dakota) is going to the Olympics.

Hoff, who has two goals and six points in 19 games with the Fighting Hawks this season, will represent his native Norway at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, beginning Feb. 14. He has put up 6-16—22 points in 55 career appearances with UND, after playing three seasons of junior hockey with Lincoln (USHL).

Hoff, from Oslo, is the son of former Michigan State forward Geir Hoff, who represented Norway at three previous Winter Olympics (1988, 1992, 1994).

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Minnesota Edges Michigan State at MSG

Brent Gates set up Minnesota's first goal Saturday night, then tallied thee game-winner himself with less than four minutes remaining in regulation as the University of Minnesota topped Michigan State University, 2-1, in a Big Ten contest at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The game was part of the third annual "Big Ten Super Saturday" at MSG.

No. 13 Minnesota (15-12-1 overall, 6-9-1-1 Big Ten) swept the two-game conference series that began Thursday night with a 5-4 win by the visiting Golden Gophers in East Lansing, Mich. It was the second straight one-goal defeat for MSU (9-16-1, 3-12-1-1), and just the second one-goal setback all season for the Spartans, who were the designated home team at MSG.

A pass by Gates from the left wing was tipped home by Casey Mittelstadt 11:23 into the first period to give Minnesota 1-0 lead that stood up into the final frame. MSU lost right wing Mitchell Lewandowski just 4:12 into the game for a major penalty and automatic game misconduct for contact to the head of Minnesota defenseman Tommy Novak, although the Spartans killed off the ensuing five-minute power play.

After left wing Taro Hirose was later lost due to an undisclosed injury, the Spartans shuffled their lineup, with Jake Smith and Cody Milan joining Patrick Khodorenko on MSU's top line. The move paid off when Milan tipped in a shot from the left point by Jerad Rosburg 8:22 into the third period to knot the contest at one.

The teams then traded chances until there was 3:29 left, when a bouncing pass from Jack Ramsey along the left wing boards in the MSU defensive zone found Gates in the slot, and he slapped the puck past Spartan netminder John Lethemon (20 saves). MSU replaced Lethemon with an extra attacker with 26 seconds left, but couldn't gain the equalizer

Mat Robson made 19 stops for the Gophers, who finished 0-for-4 on the power play. The Spartans, who were outshot, 21-20, overall on the night, went 0-for-3 with the man advantage. No penalties were called on either side in the third period.

Both teams return to Big Ten action in the near future, with Minnesota hosting No. 1 Notre Dame next weekend and MSU visiting Ohio State in early February.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Providence Pastes BC, 4-1

Eight seconds in all spelled doom for Boston College on Friday night.

The Eagles led 11th-ranked Providence on a Logan Hutsko power-play goal after one period of play in a Hockey East men's game at Conte Forum, before the visiting Friars connected for two goals to take the lead for good. Providence also won the regular-season series between the two schools, two games to one.

Kasper Björkqvist roofed home a rebound on a Providence power play to tie the game 12:29 into the second stanza. On the ensuing rush, BC goaltender Joe Woll was pick-pocketed of the puck behind the Eagle net, and Brandon Duhaime subsequently put home a shot from along the goal line to give the Friars the lead for good. Providence also outshot BC, 22-6, in the middle 20 minutes

Brian Pinho and Josh Wilkins both scored empty-net goals for Providence in the final minute of regulation for the final margin. Woll finished with 29 saves for BC, while Hayden Hawkey made 19 stops for the Friars, who finished 1-for-5 on the power play compared to BC’s 1-for-3 success rate with the man advantage.

Providence (15-7-1 overall, 8-4-1 HEA) will visit Boston University on Saturday, while BC (10-9-3, 10-4-0) hosts New Hampshire on Sunday. The Eagles, who are 1-3-1 in their last five contests overall, still remain in first place in Hockey East, one point ahead of Northeastern and two ahead of Providence, both of whom have one conference game in hand on BC.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 NHL All-Star Game Rosters Released

A handful of former NCAA players will skate in this year's NHL All-Star Game in Tampa Bay on Jan. 28, as announced this week at NHL.com.

Atlantic Division
Jack Eichel, F, Buffalo (Boston U.)

Central Division
Blake Wheeler, F, Winnipeg (Minnesota)
Connor Hellebuyck, G, Winnipeg (UMass Lowell)

Metropolitan Division
Noah Hanifin, D, Carolina (Boston College)

Pacific Division
Brock Boeser, F, Vancouver (North Dakota)
Johnny Gaudreau, F, Calgary (Boston College)
Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles (Massachusetts)

Friday, January 5, 2018

U.S. Wins 2018 World Juniors Bronze Medal

The United States earned its third medal in three years at the IIHF Under-20 World Junior Championship on Friday, as the Americans routed the Czech Republic, 9-3, in Buffalo to win the bronze medal. It is the seventh WJC bronze medal ever for Team USA, and its second in three years.

Trent Frederic (Wisconsin) tallied four goals for the U.S, which also got two goals from Kiefer Bellows (Boston University/Portland-WHL). Bellows’ two scores gave him a tournament-leading nine goals, which also set a new record for an American player. Jake Oettinger (Boston University) finished with 28 stops for the U.S., before giving way in the final few minutes to WJC newcomer Jeremy Swayman (Maine). The U.S. led, 1-0, after one period on a Frederic goal, and then added five more scores in the second period to lead, 6-0, after 40 minutes of play. Team USA also outshot the Czechs, 39-32, overall.

Bellows was named a tournament all-star, as was U.S. forward Casey Mittelstadt (Minnesota), who led all scorers with four goals and seven assists for a tournament-high 11 points. Mittelstadt was also named this year’s WJC Top Forward, and its Most Valuable Player.

Canada defeated Sweden, 3-1, in the gold medal game on Friday night to win its second goal in four years. Dante Fabbro (Boston University), Cale Makar (Massachusetts) and Colton Point (Colgate) were the lone NCAA players on this year’s Canadian squad. The U.S. defeated Canada in a shootout in Montreal last year to win the gold, while next year’s WJC will be held in the Vancouver area.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

U.S. Falls to Sweden in WJC Semifinal

The United States will again not win gold medals in back-to-back years at the IIHF World Junior Championship. The U.S. fell to Sweden, 4-2, on Thursday in the first WJC semifinal in Buffalo.

The U.S trailed, 1-0, after two periods of play, and then surrendered three more goals in the third period before Kiefer Bellows (Boston University) and Brady Tkachuk (Boston University) scored for the Americans. Joe Woll (Boston College) took the loss in net, surrendering all four Swedish goals, before being replaced by Jake Oettinger (Boston University) with 11:35 remaining in regulation. The U.S. outshot Sweden, 31-20, on the afternoon.

The U.S. will attempt to salvage its 2018 WJC tournament run with a bronze medal on Friday at 4 p.m. ET (NHL Network) in the third-place game against the Czech Republic, which dropped the late semifinal game Thursday to Canada by a 7-2 count. Cale Makar (Massachusetts) set up two goals for the Canadians.

A win on Friday would garner the sixth WJC bronze medal ever for the U.S., which defeated host Canada in a shootout last year to win gold.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

U.S. Ousts Russia in WJC Quarterfinal

The U.S. National Junior Team will move on at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo. Team USA eliminated Russia, 4-2, on Tuesday in a quarterfinal match at Key Bank Center

Kieffer Bellows (Boston University) scored two goals, including the game-winner in the third period, to break a 2-2 tie. Dylan Samberg (Minnesota-Duluth) had two assists, including the lone one on Bellows' deciding score.

Joey Anderson (Minnesota-Duluth) sealed the contest with an empty-net goal in the final minute of regulation, while Kailer Yamamato tallied the other U.S. goal. Joe Woll (Boston College) finished with 27 saves for the Americans, who will now take on Sweden in a WJC semifinal game on Thursday.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 U.S. Olympic Rosters Announced

The preliminary rosters for this year's U.S. men's and women's ice hockey teams that will compete next month in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, have been announced.

The men's side, which will not feature current NHL players for the first time since 1994, still boasts 15 players with NHL experience, according to USA Hockey. The lineup includes four current collegians in forwards Ryan Donato (Harvard), Jordan Greenway (Boston University) and Troy Terry (Denver), and defenseman Will Borgen (St. Cloud State), along with 16 players who previously played NCAA hockey.

Captaining the American men’s squad in February will be Brian Gionta (Boston College), who has not skated so far this season, but has over 1,000 games of NHL regular-season experience, and has also won both NCAA national and Stanley Cup championship rings. The U.S. head coach will be former NHL/NCAA player and U.S. Olympian Tony Granato (Wisconsin).

The full men’s roster is available here.

The U.S. women’s team features eight current collegians, including three from Boston College. The squad boasts 10 returning Olympians and six two-time Olympians, per USA Hockey, led by team captain Meghan Duggan (Wisconsin). All 23 players on the roster have played or are playing NCAA hockey.

The U.S., which has won the last four women’s hockey World Championships, will be guided in South Korea by head coach Robb Stauber (Minnesota), who was the first-ever goaltender to win the NCAA’s Hobey Baker Memorial Award.

The full women’s roster is available here.

The American women, who claimed the silver medal in three of the last four Olympics, last won gold in 1988 in Japan, in the inaugural year of Olympic women’s hockey. The U.S. men last medaled in 2010, earning silver in Vancouver, and last claimed a gold medal at Lake Placid in 1980.