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 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 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, 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

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.