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


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).

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.