Saturday, May 21, 2022

Augustana to Join CCHA in 2023-24

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association has granted membership to Augustana University's nascent NCAA Division I men's hockey program. The Vikings will both begin play and join the CCHA for the 2023-24 season.

Augustana, which is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will enter the CCHA as its ninth member, joining Bemidi State, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Minnesota State, Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan and St. Thomas. MSU was the 2022 national runner-up after winning both the CCHA regular-season and postseason titles last season.

Augustana will begin playing a full CCHA schedule beginning with the 2025-26 season. The Vikings' new home, the 3,000-seat Midco Arena, is currently under construction on campus.

The "new" CCHA begins its second season with the 2022-23 campaign.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

St. Cyr, Underwood, Krygiers to Play for 2022-23 Spartans

Michigan State is bringing in two NCAA-experienced recruits—four if you count a pair of returnees to East Lansing and the Big Ten conference.

Dylan St. Cyr (Quinnipiac) and Mike Underwood (Clarkson) will both join MSU for the 2022-33 season as graduate transfers. Both are Michigan natives, St. Cyr from Northville and Underwood from Bloomfield Hills, and are taking advantage of the NCAA's fifth year of eligibility provided by the shortening of the 2019-20 season due to COVID-19.

St. Cyr, the son of former professional and Olympic goaltender Manon Rheaume, spent last season at Quinnipiac after three years at Notre Dame. He has posted a 37-27-4 record in 46 career NCAA appearances in net with a 2.08 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. He went 10-2-1 (1.16, .936) in 13 games with the Bobcats last season.

Underwood has tallied five goals and 13 assists for 18 points and 98 penalty minutes in 130 NCAA outings while playing the past four seasons at Clarkson. He notched a career-best 2-5--7 points to go with 26 PIM in 36 games last season with the Golden Knights.

Returning to the Green and White next season on the blueline will be twins Christian and Cole Krygier, who had tested the waters of the transfer portal before deciding to play one more season at Munn Arena. Christian Krygier has notched 3-13—16 points and 183 PIM in 130 career games with the Spartans, while Cole Krygier has registered 10-15—25 points and 117 PIM in 122 career outings for MSU. Both hail from Novi, Mich., and are the sons of former UConn and NHL forward Todd Krygier.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Gaudreau Lifts Flames over Oettinger, Stars in OT

In the end, it was Boston College beating Boston University.

Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College) sent the Calgary Flames to the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs when his shot from a sharp angle beat Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (Boston University) just over 15 minutes into overtime in Game 7 on Sunday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The goal gave the Flames a 3-2 win in the contest, and a four games-to-three victory in the series.

Gaudreau, 28, who also set up the tying goal for Calgary in regulation, finished with two goals and six assists for eight points in the series. Oettinger, 23, made 60 saves in the seventh-game defeat, and finished with 272 saves on 285 shots against in the series, while also notching one shutout.

Gaudreau helped BC to the 2012 NCAA title as a freshman, and then won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award two years later with the Eagles as the top player in men's Division I college hockey. Oettinger won 58 games over three seasons (2017-2019) at BU, and also helped the Terriers to two NCAA tournament berths.

Calgary will now take on the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL's first postseason "Battle of Alberta" since 1991.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Hockey East Alums Star in 2022 NHL Playoffs

Three Hockey East alums figured prominently in tonight's NHL action. Two of them not only kept their respective teams alive in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but also forced deciding seventh games on Sunday, while the third saw his squad advance to the second round.

Chris Kreider (Boston College) scored two goals, including the game-winner late in the third period, as the visiting New York Rangers staved off elimination with a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kreider, a 52-goal scorer during the 2021-22 NHL regular season, won two NCAA titles while at BC (2010, 2012) while tallying 49 goals and 92 points over three seasons with the Eagles.

Jake Oettinger (Boston University) stopped 34 of 36 shots, earning him First Star of the Game honors, as the Dallas Stars rebounded to outlast the Calgary Flames, 4-2. Oettinger, 23, went 58-40-11 in three NCAA seasons with the Terriers, posting a 2.34 goals-against average and 13 shutouts, while also leading BU to two NCAA tournament berths.

In addition, Brandon Montour (Massachusetts) had three hits and two shots on goal, and also blocked one opposing shot, as the visiting Florida Panthers ousted the Washington Capitals, 4-3, in overtime in Game 6 of their first-round series. The Panthers, who had the top record in the NHL during the 2021-22 regular season, will face the winner of the Tampa Bay-Toronto series, which is headed to a seventh game tomorrow. Montour, 28, recorded three goals and 20 points in his lone NCAA campaign with UMass in 2014-15.

Friday, May 6, 2022

BC Brings Back Brown as Head Coach

A day after crosstown rival Boston University announced an alumnus as its new men's hockey head coach, Boston College did the same. 

Former BC defenseman Greg Brown will guide the Eagles starting with the 2022-23 season. He succeeds the legendary Jerry York, who recently retired after 28 years at the BC helm, and 50 years in all as a collegiate head coach.

Brown, 54, who grew up in Southboro, Mass., spent last season as head coach of Dubuque (USHL). Prior to that, he served three seasons as an assistant coach with the NHL's New York Rangers, after a 14-year stint as an assistant/associate coach at his alma mater that included three national championships (2008, 2010, 2012).

A product of the St. Mark's School in his hometown, Brown played three seasons at BC, not including one year off to skate with the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team. In those three seasons on the Heights, he tallied 24 goals and 96 assists for 110 points in 119 games. As a junior, he captained the Eagles to the 1990 NCAA Frozen Four in Detroit, and was a two-time First Time All-America selection and a two-time Hockey East Player of the Year honoree. His brother, Doug, preceded him at BC as a player, while Brown later coached his nephews, Chris and Patrick, with the Eagles.

Drafted 26th overall by Buffalo in 1986, Brown collected four goals and 18 points in 94 career NHL games with the Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets, and also skated for the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team. He also played with Rochester (AHL) and Cleveland (IHL), before finishing his professional career with eight seasons in Europe, including stops in Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Germany.

Brown's hiring continues the tradition of having a BC alumnus at the helm of the BC men's hockey program, one that dates back to at least the 1932-33 campaign with the venerable John "Snooks" Kelley.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

BU Tabs Pandolfo as New Head Coach

Former Terriers forward and 1995 NCAA champion Jay Pandolfo is the new men's ice hockey head coach at Boston University.

Pandolfo, 47, who served last season as an associate head coach with his alma mater, succeeds Albie O'Connell, who was not retained by BU after four seasons at the helm.

Pandolfo began his coaching career in 2014 the NHL's Boston Bruins, where he remained for eight seasons in various roles before returning to BU last year. He was also a part of Boston's 2019 Eastern Conference championship squad.

A native of Winchester, Mass., Pandolfo was a junior on BU's 1995 national title team that also won the Hockey East championship. As a senior in 1995-96, he scored a career-high 38 goals, earning him First Team All-America accolades, and finished his four year-career with 79 goals and 90 assists for 169 points.

Drafted 32nd overall by the New Jersey Devils in 1993, Pandolfo went on to play in 15 NHL campaigns with the Devils, New York Islanders, and Bruins before retiring in 2013. He finished with 100-126—226 points in 899 NHL regular-season outings, and added 11-22—33 points in 131 Stanley Cup Playoff contests, while winning the Cup with New Jersey in both 2000 and 2003.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Michigan State Chooses Nightingale as New Head Coach

Michigan State University went the alumni route a third straight time in selecting its newest head coach. Former Spartan forward Adam Nightingale has been tabbed as the next mentor of the MSU hockey program, according to multiple sources.

A Cheboygan, Mich. native, Nightingale has spent the past two seasons as a head coach with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor. Prior to that, he had served as an video/assistant coach with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings for three years. His previous coaching stops included MSU, Shattuck St. Mary's in Minnesota, and the Buffalo Sabres.

Nightingale, 42, played two years at Lake Superior State (2000-2002) before transferring to MSU, following a successful junior career with the Soo Indians (NAHL). In 118 NCAA games over four seasons, he tallied 18 goals and 19 assists for 37 points, to go along with 160 penalty minutes, between the Lakers and the Spartans. He then played four professional campaigns in the ECHL before entering the coaching ranks in 2010.

Nightingale is expected to be formally introduced at a press conference next week in East Lansing. He recently led the United States to a silver-medal finish at the 2022 IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship in Germany. 

In other Big Ten ice hockey news, the University of Illinois announced yesterday that it will not move forward with plans to add men's hockey as a varsity sport, after more than five years of exploration.