Saturday, March 30, 2019

Shutouts and Surprises on Day Two of 2019 NCAA Regionals

Down to six teams after Saturday ...

East Regional Semifinals (Providence, R.I.)
Providence 6, Minnesota State 3
Cornell 5, Northeastern 1

Midwest Regional Semifinals (Allentown, PA)
Minnesota-Duluth 2, Bowling Green 1 (OT)
Quinnipiac 2, Arizona State 1

Northeast Regional Final (Manchester, N.H.)
Massachusetts 4, Notre Dame 0

West Regional Final  (Fargo, N.D.)
Denver 3, AIC 0

Sunday's Games

East Regional Final: Cornell vs. Providence, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Midwest Regional Final: Minnesota-Duluth vs. Quinnipiac, 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Friday, March 29, 2019

2019 NCAA Hockey Regionals Begin

The first day of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Regionals is in the books.

Northeast Regional (Manchester, N.H.)
Massachusetts 4, Harvard 0
Notre Dame 3, Clarkson 2 (OT)

West Regional (Fargo, N.D.)
Denver 2, Ohio State 0
AIC 2, St. Cloud State 1

Saturday's Games:

East Regional (Providence, R.I.)
Providence vs. Minnesota State, 1 p.m. ET
Cornell vs. Northeastern, 4;30 p.m. ET

Midwest Regional (Allentown, PA)
Bowling Green vs. Minnesota-Duluth, 4 p.m. ET
Arizona State vs. Quinnipiac, 7:30 p.m. ET

Northeast Regional (Manchester, N.H.)
Notre Dame vs. Massachusetts, 6:30 p.m. ET

West Regional (Fargo, N.D.)
AIC vs. Denver, 9 p.m. ET

Full TV schedule can be found here.

Saints Starting Over, Morris Let Go

St. Lawrence University is starting over again with its men's hockey program. According to multiple published sources, the Saints will not retain head coach Mark Morris, nor assistant coaches Mike Hurlbut and Matt Deschamps.

Morris, shown above at right, who previously coached at Clarkson University and in the professional minor leagues, took the job at SLU in 2016. In three seasons at the helm in Canton, N.Y., he guided the Saints to an overall record of 31-69-11, including a 17-13-7 mark in his first season in 2016-17 when they placed fourth overall in the ECAC Hockey League with a 12-6-4 conference finish.

His career NCAA record now stands at 337-225-53, including a 6-29-2 overall mark with SLU this past season when the Saints finished 12th and last in ECAC Hockey by going 3-17-2.

Monday, March 25, 2019

BC's Woll Signs with Maple Leafs

Boston College will need a new starting goaltender next season, as junior netminder Joseph Woll has signed a three-year, entry-level professional contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program in Michigan, he was selected in the third round (62nd overall) by Toronto in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Woll, 20, from Dardenne Prairie, Mo., completed his college career with 23 saves on Saturday night as the Eagles fell to Northeastern, 3-2, in the 2019 Hockey East championship game at TD Garden in Boston. BC (14-22-3 overall) needed a win to earn the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, which it has now missed three years in a row.

The 6-foot-4 Woll fashioned a record of 13-21-3 in 37 games this past season with three shutouts, while also recording a 2.41 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. He finished his three-year career on the Heights with a 47-45-8 overall record and six shutouts in 101 contests (2.51, .916), and backstopped BC to three Hockey East semifinals and two league championship tilts. He also participated in two World Junior Championships for the United States, and helped the U.S. to a bronze medal in 2018

BC returns one goaltender next season in rising junior Ryan Edquist, who played in three games this past season and is 8-6-2 in 20 appearances over three years. Senior netminder Ian Milosz will graduate this spring after going 1-0-1 in three games in his career, including a win over Providence in his first-ever NCAA appearance. It remains to be seen if incoming freshman Spencer Knight from the U.S. NTDP will enroll at BC this fall or will play a season in the Junior "A" ranks.

Woll is not the only Hockey East player to leave school before his eligibility has expired. Further up Commonwealth Avenue, rival Boston University recently lost junior goaltender Jake Oettinger (Dallas Stars), junior defenseman Chad Krys (Chicago Blackhawks), and freshman forward and leading scorer Joel Farabee (Philadelphia Flyers) to the NHL.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Wisconsin 2019 NCAA Women's Hockey Champion

Wisconsin added to its women's hockey title collection by blanking rival Minnesota, 2-0, in the 2019 NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey championship game on Sunday afternoon in Hamden, Conn.
The Badgers had bested the Golden Gophers earlier this month for the WCHA championship.

Sophia Shaver notched the game-winning goal midway through the opening period, and senior team captain Annie Pankowski added a shorthanded insurance goal in the second session in her final game as a Badger. Kristen Campbell earned Most Valuable Player accolades, making 27 saves for Wisconsin (35-4-2 overall) in continuing her shutout string that stretched back to March 10, while Alex Gulstene stopped 30 shots for the Golden Gophers (32-6-1), who were seeking their first NCAA crown since 2016.

It was the first national title for Wisconsin since 2012, and the fifth all-time for the Badgers, all won under the tutelage of head coach Mark Johnson, retired NHL player and former goal-scoring star of the 1980 U.S. "Miracle on Ice".

Projected 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Bracket

The field for the 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship will be revealed tonight at 7 p.m. (ESPNU):


1 St. Cloud State
2 Minnesota-Duluth*
3 Minnesota State*
4 Massachusetts

5 Clarkson*
6 Northeastern*
7 Quinnipiac
8 Denver

9 Ohio State
10 Arizona State
11 Cornell
12 Notre Dame*

13 Harvard
14 Providence
15 Bowling Green
16 American Int'l*

*Earned automatic bid by winning conference championship

Projected Bracket:

1 St. Cloud State-American Int'l
Denver-Ohio State

2 MN-Duluth-Bowling Green
Quinnipiac-Arizona State

3 Minnesota State-Providence

4 Massachusetts-Harvard 
Clarkson-Notre Dame 

Overall tournament seed listed by number

We'll see what the committee chooses this year ...

ADDENDUM: ... and the committee chose as above, sticking to bracket integrity. The full bracket with times and television coverage can be found here.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Devils Edge Coyotes in Shootout

The New Jersey Devils put a damper on the Arizona Coyotes' playoff hopes on Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center.

Drew Stafford (North Dakota) scored the Devils' only goal in regulation, assisted by Miles Wood (Boston College), and Blake Coleman (Miami) added a shootout goal as New Jersey outlasted Arizona, 2-1, in a shootout in Newark, N.J.

The Coyotes (36-32-7) dropped one point out of the second wild-card spot in the NHL's Western Conference with the loss, their fourth straight setback. The Devils (28-39-9) have already been eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff consideration.

Friday, March 22, 2019

NCAA Men's Hockey Conference Championships Saturday

The 2019 conference championship contests in NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey are set for Saturday:

Atlantic Hockey: Niagara vs. AIC !
Big Ten: Penn State at Notre Dame
ECAC Hockey: Clarkson vs. Cornell #
Hockey East: Boston College vs. Northeastern $
NCHC: Minnesota-Duluth vs. St. Cloud State !
WCHA: Bowling Green at Minnesota State

! Buffalo, N.Y.
# Lake Placid, N.Y.
$ Boston, Mass.
! St. Paul, Minn.

The winners will receive automatic bids to the 2019 NCAA Ice Hockey Championship. The selections will be televised on Sunday at 7 p.m. EST (ESPNU).

Minnesota to Face Wisconsin for 2019 NCAA Women's Title

The 2019 NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey national championship game is set, and it'll be an all-Western affair for the first time in seven seasons.

Minnesota advanced to the national final with a 2-0 win over Cornell on Friday in Hamden, Conn., while Wisconsin made it back to the NCAA championship game with a 5-0 victory over two-time
defending national champion Clarkson. The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is now 3-0 in this tournament against Eastern College Athletic Conference teams.

Nicole Schammel connected on the power play for Minnesota (32-5-1) midway through the middle period  for the game-winning goal. Sarah Potomak scored into an empty Cornell net with 33 seconds
remaining in regulation for the Golden Gophers , who got 15 saves from goaltender Alex Gulstene. Cornell netminder Marlene Boissonnault stopped 25 shots for the Big Red (24-6-6).

Wisconsin's Abby Roque scored the game-winner against Clarkson halfway through the second period following a scoreless opening session. Annie Pankowski scored twice for the Badgers (34-4-2), who got 14 saves from Kristen Campbell in net, while Sam Cogna tallied a goal and two assists. Kassidy Sauvé made 35 stops for the Golden Knights (30-8-2), who were seeking their third straight NCAA crown and fourth in school history.

As with the semifinals, the NCAA title game will be conducted at the Frank Perrotti, Jr. Arena on the Quinnipac University. Game time will be 2:30 p.m. on Sunday (Big Ten Network). It will
mark the first time that Minnesota and Wisconsin will meet with the women's national title on the line since 2012, when the Golden Gophers topped the Badgers in Duluth, Minn. Six years
prior, Wisconsin beat Minnesota in Minneapolis for the Badgers' first-ever NCAA championship.

Wisconsin defeated Minnesota, 3-1, on March 10 in the 2019 WCHA championship game in Minneapolis in the two teams' most recent meeting.

Princeton's Veronneau Scores First NHL Goal

Former Princeton University All-America forward Max Veronneau has arrived in the National Hockey League. The Ottawa native scored his first career NHL goal in the Ottawa Senators' 5-4 loss at Vancouver on Wednesday, his third career NHL game. He made his league debut on March 14 in a 2-0 win over St. Louis, and picked up his first professional point with an assist in a 6-2 win against Toronto on March 16. He was held scoreless in last night's 5-1 loss at Calgary.

Veronneau signed with an Ottawa as a free agent after Princeton was eliminated from the ECAC  Hockey tournament by Brown University on March 16. He was one of the top scorers in the nation in 2017-18, when he finished with 55 points in helping the Tigers to the ECAC Hockey title plus the school's first NCAA Tournament berth in 10 years. He left Princeton as one of the Tigers' top all-time scorers with 52 goals and 91 assists for 143 points in 130 appearances, after notching 13-23—36 points in 31 games as a senior.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Blasi Let Go at Miami After 20 Years

The axe finally fell on longtime Miami University (Ohio) head coach Enrico Blasi. The Weston, Ont. native, who had coached his alma mater for the past 20 seasons, was relieved of his duties on Tuesday after the Red Hawks recorded their fourth consecutive campaign below the .500 mark.

Blasi, 47, finished his two decades at the helm in Miami with an overall record of 398-311-76 (.555). He led the RedHawks to 10 NCAA Tournament berths, including eight straight appearances from 2006 to 2013. Included in that run was a national runner-up finish in 2009, plus another Frozen Four berth the following season.

He also guided Miami to three Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season titles and one CCHA tournament crown, plus a tournament championship in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in 2015. Among his other accomplishments was a dozen seasons of 20 or more wins, including a school record 33 victories in 2007-08. He was named as national coach of the year in 2005-06 by the  American Hockey Coaches Association.

As a player, Blasi skated at center for Miami from 1990 to 1994, where he tallied double-digit goals in each season. He finished his college career with 55 goals and 68 assists for 123 points in 151 outings. He also helped the then-Redskins to both a CCHA regular-season title and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 1992-93 as a junior.

Following his graduation, Blasi entered the coaching field as an assistant coach with the Junior “A” Wexford Raiders in 1994-95. He then spent four seasons as an assistant with the University of Denver before taking the top job at Miami in 1999-2000.

The RedHawks are expected to conduct a national search for Blasi's successor.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Boston College Advances to HEA Semifinals

Boston College men's hockey's season is still alive.

Sophomore forward Logan Hutsko's goal midway through the third period on Sunday boosted BC to a 2-1 win in the third and deciding game of the Eagles' first-round Hockey East tournament series at Providence College. Hutsko also scored the game-winner 23 seconds into overtime on Saturday in a 4-3 victory at Schneider Arena that tied the series at one game apiece.

Providence had won the opener, 5-4, in overtime on Friday. BC junior goaltender Joseph Woll stopped 105 of 114 shots by the opposing Friars over the weekend, and made at least 34 saves each

BC will now take on Hockey East's No. 1 seed in Massachusetts, which eliminated New Hampshire in two games, on Friday at 7 p.m. The early conference semifinal, at 4 p.m., will pit second-seeded Northeastern against Boston University. Both semifinals will be played at TD Garden in Boston, with the championship game to be contested on Saturday. The winner will receive Hockey East's automatic berth into the 2019 NCAA Division I Tournament.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Feature on Penn State's Marsh Now Up

My story on Penn State University senior forward and Bridgewater, N.J. native Alec Marsh is now up at

Marsh currently has six goals and seven assists for 13 points in 32 games so far this season. The Nittany Lions travel to top-seeded Ohio State for a Big Ten conference semifinal contest on Saturday in Columbus.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Red Wings Sign Kuffner, Hirose

The Detroit Red Wings picked up a couple of players on Tuesday in signing a pair of free agent NCAA skaters to two-year entry-level contracts each.

Left wing Ryan Kuffner (Princeton) just completed his fourth and final season with the Tigers. An All-America choice in 2017-18 when he set a new Princeton school record with a 29-goal campaign, he completed his NCAA career on Saturday with two goals and two assists in a 6-5 triple-overtime ECAC Hockey tournament loss at Brown. The Ottawa native finished his college career with a school-record 75 goals in four seasons, and 152 points in 132 career games that leaves him second all-time in school scoring. Kuffner also paced Princeton with 44 points in 31 outings as a senior this season.

Detroit then delved within the state to sign junior forward Taro Hirose (Michigan State), who currently holds the NCAA Division I scoring lead with both 35 assists and 50 points. Hirose also completed his college season/career on Saturday, as the Spartans fell to Notre Dame in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. Part of MSU's renowned "KHL" line the last two seasons with Patrick Khodorenko and Mitchell Lewandowski, the Calgary native finished his three years in Green and White with 33 goals and 83 assists for 116 points in 106 career outings. Hirose also led the Big Ten in scoring this season, with 10-24--34 points in 24 conference contests.

Other NCAA players who left school early to sign NHL/professional contracts this week included defenseman Quinn Hughes (Michigan) with the Vancouver Canucks, defenseman Joseph Duszak
(Mercyhurst) with the Toronto Maple Leafs, defenseman Cooper Zech (Ferris State) with the Providnce (AHL) Bruins, and goaltender Ryan Huska (Connecticut) with the New York Rangers.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Princeton's 2018-19 Season Ends in ECAC First Round

Princeton University's 2018-19 men's ice hockey season came to an an end tonight in Providence. Alex Brink scored 3:30 into the third overtime session to boost host Brown University to a
6-5 victory in Game 2 of its best-of-three ECAC Hockey first-round series with the Tigers at Meehan Auditorium. At a total time of 103:30, it was the longest game in the history of both schools.

Coupled with Brown's 3-0 win on Friday, Princeton has been eliminated from the conference tournament, while the Bears will travel to either Quinnipiac or Cornell next weekend for a best-of-three quarterfinal series. Princeton eliminated Brown in two games in the first round of the ECACs last spring in New Jersey, en route to the league title.

The two Ivy League rivals played to a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes on Saturday, before Brown scored three times in the first 14:12 of the third stanza to take a 5-2 lead. Princeton pulled within 5-3 just a minute later on Alex Riche's second goal of the night, before Ryan Kuffner scored his second goal of the evening and team-leading 22nd goal of the campaign at 17:41. Kuffner then assisted on Jackson Cressey's tying marker with 49 seconds remaining in regulation. All three goals were scored in a span of 2:47, and all with Princeton's goaltender pulled for an extra attacker.

The teams then played through two scoreless 20-minute overtime periods before Brink ended it. Ryan Ferland took the loss in goal for the Tigers (10-18-3 overall, 8-12-2 ECAC) despite stopping 31 shots. Gavin Nieto earned the win for the Bears (13-13-5, 8-9-5) in making 35 stops.

Kuffner, ECAC Hockey's Player of the Month for February 2019, finished his college career with a school record 75 goals in four seasons, among his 152 points in 132 career games that leave him second all-time in school scoring behind John Messuri's 178 points. Kuffner also paced Princeton with 44 points in 31 outings as a senior this season.

Longtime linemate Max Veronneau was kept off the scoresheet on Friday and Saturday, but scored two goals in a 3-2 regular-season finale victory at Brown on March 2. He completed his college career with 52-91—143 points in 130 appearances, which ranks hims fourth all-time in Princeton points, and finished second to Kuffner on this year's Tiger scoring scroll with 13-23—36 points in 31 games.

Riche posted two goals and two assists in his Tigers swansong Saturday, and placed third among all Princeton scorers this season with 11-15—26 points in 31 games, plus 26-49—75 points in 122 career contests. Finishing in fourth place was senior defenseman Josh Teves with 3-17—20 points in 31 games, and 16-69—85 points in 126 career appearances. Together the foursome led Princeton to the ECAC Hockey tournament championship last year in Lake Placid, plus a berth in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Allentown, Pa. where the Tigers fell to eventual Frozen Four participant Ohio State. Also finishing their Princeton careers on Saturday were senior forward Spencer Kryczka (19 GP, 1-1—2) and senior goaltender Austin Shaw (9 GP, 2-1-1, 2.93, .904).

Other NCAA Division I men's schools that saw their seasons end on Saturday included Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska Fairbanks, Bemidji State, Colgate, Holy Cross, Mercyhurst, Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech, and Rensselaer.

Friday, March 8, 2019

QU's Priskie Suspended Two Games for Kicking Incident

Quinnipiac University senior defenseman and team captain Chase Priskie won't be in the lineup for his team's first two games of the ECAC Hockey tournament this season.

The Pembroke Pines, Fla. native was suspended by ECAC Hockey for kicking an opposing player in a 4-1 win at Yale in Quinnipiac's regular-season finale on March 2. He was charged with a five-minute major penalty for kicking that evening, the first major penalty of his NCAA career, and also earned a game disqualification penalty before the league tacked on another game's suspension.

The six-foot, 192-pound Priskie has tallied a team-high 17 goals to go with 22 assists for 39 points in 34 games so far this season. He also leads the Bobcats with 10 power-play goals this year. A product of Salmon Arm (BCHL), Priskie has registered 39-77116 points in 152 career games with QU, along with 55 penalty minutes, and was a member of its national runner-up squad as a freshman in 2015-16. He was then selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals.

The fifth-ranked Bobcats (25-17-2 overall, 14-6-2 ECACH), who have gone 9-2-1 in their last 12 outings, earned a first-round bye in the ECACs by finishing among the league's top four teams,
and finished first in the standings via tiebreakers over Cornell. They will thus host the lowest-remaining seed in a best-of-three series in Hamden, Conn. on March 15-17. Priskie would be
eligible to return in a deciding third game of that series, if necessary, or in the ECACH semifinals in Lake Placid on March 22 should QU advance that far.

ADDENDUM: Arizona State defenseman Jacob Wilson was also suspended for his team's next two games for a high hit against Minnesota on March 2.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

NCAA Regular Season Champions Determined

The regular-season champions have been crowned in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey for the 2018-19 campaign:

Atlantic Hockey: American International
Big Ten: Ohio State
ECAC Hockey: Quinnipiac *
Hockey East: Massachusetts
NCHC: St. Cloud State
WCHA: Minnesota State

* Won tiebreaker with Cornell

Postseason tournaments begin this weekend in all six leagues, except Hockey East. Conference championships will all be decided by March 23, with selections to the 2019 NCAA Tournament to be announced on March 24.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Talbot Wins First Game as Flyers' Eighth Goalie

Cam Talbot (Alabama-Huntsville) helped make NHL history on Friday night in New Jersey. He became the eighth netminder to play a game this season for the Philadelphia Flyers, setting a new league single-team standard, and made 30 saves in his Flyers debut as his new team defeated the host Devils, 6-3.

Talbot, 31, was acquired by Philadelphia last month from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Anthony Stolarz (Nebraska-Omaha). The former UAH netminder had posted a record of 137-110-24 and a 2.59 goals-against average in 284 career NHL regular-season appearances with the New York Rangers and the Oilers prior to the trade.

A native of Caledonia, Ont., Talbot turned pro in 2009-10 as a free agent with Hartford (AHL), where he played for most of the next three seasons. He played three years at UAH (2007-2010), where he went 15-44-6 in 70 games with a 3.03 GAA and also helped the Chargers to the 2010 NCAA Tournament his final collegiate campaign.