• More weekend reading: Jaden Schwartz; No cuts for Air Force hockey; ECHL playoffs

    Fri, April 18, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Schwartz celebrationFormer Tiger Jaden Schwartz scored the tying goal in regulation in a 3OT thriller against Chicago.

    Air Force announced its athletic department cuts, which did not affect revenue sports, including hockey.

    The ECHL playoffs are underway with former Tiger William Rapuzzi ( No. 4 seed Idaho) hosting the No. 5 Colorado Eagles (Arthur Bidwill). No. 6 Bakersfield (Joe Marciano) plays at No. 3 Utah. Here is a league preview.

    Here are the incoming freshmen for Minnesota State in Mankato. Here is a look at how North Dakota has fared in the national rankings this past decade.

    Not surprisingly, Union’s Rick Bennett was the USCHO Coach of the Year.

  • Weekend reading: Tom Serratore; LaLeggia; coach salaries; AFA, North Dakota schedules

    Thu, April 17, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    The first piece of steel for the new Nebraska-Omaha arena for hockey, hoops and volleyball was pout in place Thursday morning.

    The first piece of steel for the new Nebraska-Omaha arena for hockey, hoops and volleyball was put in place Thursday morning.

    Colorado Springs native Tom Serratore  picked up his first pro goal, fight and penalty in a 5-4 win at Syracuse on Wednesday for the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms.

    All but Rocco Grimaldi have announced they will be back for North Dakota next season. Denver defenseman Joey LaLeggia is returning for his senior year.

    The final NCHC players of the month of the season were named with North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg and Nebraska-Omaha’s Jake Guentzel honored.

    Under the terms of the three-year contract extension reached between Nebraska-Omaha and coach Dean Blais, he will make a total of just less than $1.3 million over the next four seasons, putting him among the five highest-compensated coaches in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

    According to the Omaha World Herald, Blais’ base salary for 2014-15 is the same as it was for this past season, $250,000. It climbs to $260,000 the following season, followed by raises to $265,000 in 2016-17 and $270,000 in 2017-18. A $250,000 longevity bonus from his original contract (originally due as a lump sum next summer) will be paid out concurrently, at $62,500 annually — so Blais will be paid $312,500 in 2014-15 and will top out at $332,500 in the final year of the contract.

    This should give CC fans a good idea of what the new Tigers coach may be paid if he is a candidate with head coaching experience.

    The Air Force Falcons travel to play Western Collegiate Hockey Association members Alaska-Anchorage and host Alaska-Fairbanks in the Brice Gold Rush tournament Oct. 17-18.  North Dakota will host Air Force Nov.  1 in the annual college hockey Hall of Fame Game at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The single contest will serve as a homecoming for Air Force’s Chad Demers, who is from nearby Grafton, N.D.

    The complete Air Force schedule will be announced later this summer.  Here is the North Dakota schedule.

  • NCHC schedule release; CC slate nearly full

    Thu, April 17, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    cc celebration gold

    Colorado College will play on the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Opening Night for the second season in a row.

    The Tigers begin conference play hosting national semifinalist North Dakota on Oct. 17-18. The Friday game comes after the 2014-15 league opener between Nebraska-Omaha at Western Michigan earlier that night.

    Last season, the first two league games – which included Minnesota –Duluth at CC in Game 2 — were part of a national TV doubleheader on CBS Sports Network. The NCHC’s broadcast schedule will be announced later.

    The NCHC released its league composite schedule on Thursday, also confirming that Colorado College and NCAA Tournament participant Denver will play their four-game home-and-home series the weekends of Nov. 14-15 and Feb. 20-21, 2015 to determine ownership of the Gold Pan Trophy. CC downed Denver in the series (2-1-1) last season to take back the rivalry hardware.

    CC will host Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan in February. The Tigers will travel to Oxford, Ohio to take on the RedHawks for the first time there on Nov. 7-8. Previous meetings were at World Arena and at a neutral tournament site.

    CC associate athletic director Scott Lowenberg said he hopes the new league rivalries will take root after World Arena fans see these new opponents more often.

    “We will work hard to educate the fans about those program’s long hockey histories,” he has said.

    The complete Tigers schedule, which will include 10 as of yet unconfirmed nonconference including area rival Air Force and one or two more exhibition game dates, will be released later this month. Other TV broadcasts will be announced later this offseason.

    Like last year, all eight NCHC teams will play five league foes, including their protected rival (CC and Denver, for example), in both home and away series, while facing the other two teams for just one series (one home and one away) for a total of 24 league games.

    In CC’s case, that means the Tigers only travel to Duluth Dec. 5-6 and host defending NCHC regular-season champion St. Cloud State on Jan. 30-31 this upcoming season, which begins Saturday, Oct. 4.

    First-round series winners advance to the Target Center in Minneapolis for the second annual NCHC Frozen Faceoff with the semifinals Friday, March 20 and the third-place game and championship on Saturday, March 21. The Frozen Faceoff champion receives an automatic NCAA berth.

    In this blog post, I also added some of the nonconference and exhibition games I have heard about through other media or during interviews. They remain unconfirmed.

    CC 2014-15 schedule

    Subject to change

    September

    Sept. 30 annual Faceoff Luncheon

    October

    Oct. 5, McGill University (exhibition)

    Oct. 10-11, Alabama-Huntsville (Homecoming)

    Oct. 17-18 North Dakota

    Oct. 23-26, at Boston College, at New Hampshire (block break weekend)

    Oct. 31-Nov. 1 OPEN

    November

    Nov. 7-8, at Miami

    Nov. 14, at Denver

    Nov. 15,  Denver

    Nov. 21, Wisconsin

    Nov. 22, at Air Force

    Nov. 28-29, OPEN

    December

    Dec. 5-6, at Minnesota-Duluth

    Dec. 12-13, at Western Michigan

    WINTER BREAK

    January

    Jan. 3-4, at Providence

    Jan. 6, at UConn

    Jan. 16-17, Nebraska-Omaha

    Jan. 23-24, at North Dakota

    Jan. 30-31, St. Cloud State

    February

    Feb. 6-7, OPEN

    Feb. 13-14, Miami

    Feb. 20, Denver

    Feb. 21, at Denver

    Feb. 27-28, Western Michigan

    March

    March 6-7, at Nebraska-Omaha

    March 13-15, NCHC quarterfinals

    March 20-21, NCHC Frozen Faceoff (Target Center, Minneapolis)

  • AHL Iowa signs Howe for tonight’s home finale

    Wed, April 16, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Howe road saveIowa Wild General Manager Jim Mill announced on Wednesday that the American Hockey League  club signed goaltender Joe Howe to a Professional Tryout Agreement and released goaltender Cody Reichard from a PTO.

    Expect the former Tiger netminder to get the start for Iowa against the Chicago Wolves at 6:05 MT Wednesday night in the Wild’s regular season home finale. Iowa did not qualify for the playoffs. The season ends Friday at Oklahoma City where Howe could face former Tigers goalie Richard Bachman.

    Howe, 23,  spent the bulk of his rookie season with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. In 18 games, Howe went 10-3-4 with a 2.78 GAA and a .907  save percentage. The Plymouth, Minn. native also played in seven games for the Missouri Mavericks of the Central Hockey League (CHL). He was 3-2-1 with the Mavericks, posting a  2.52 GAA and a .915  saves percentage. In 119 CC appearances, Howe was 65-48-8 with a 2.91 goals and .900 saves percentage.

  • A look at the incoming Tiger freshmen

    Wed, April 16, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Chase Perry

    Chase Perry

    The NCAA signing period began this morning with goalie Chase Perry and forward Mason Bergh expected to sign soon. Here are the six played joining the Tigers this summer and scheduled for the 2014-15 season.

    This box was included with the print article but was not included with the online article about the CC assistants’ continued recruiting efforts this spring while the head coach search continues:

    Incoming Tiger freshmen

    Stats through Monday

    Jordan Berger, 17, Meridian, Idaho, 5-foot-9, 168 pounds  – The Notre Dame Argos center recorded 42 points (27 goals) in 38 Saskatchewan Midget AAA league games.

    Garrett Cecere, 19, West Des Moines, Iowa, 5-8, 168  – He is the top-scoring defenseman (22 points, 20 assists, 24 games) for the U.S. Hockey League’s Sioux Falls Stampede after being traded from the Tri-City Storm (15 points, 14 assists in 30 games).

    Teemu Kivilhalme, 18, Savage, Minn., 6-0, 157  – The Fargo Force defenseman (12 points, nine assists, 47 games) was a fifth-round draft pick of Nashville in 2013 (140th overall).

    Daniel Labosky, 18, Edina, Minn., 5-7, 155  –  The forward is third in points (32, 22 assists) in 59 games for the USHL’s Tri-City Storm.

    Duggie Lagrone, 19, Plano, Texas, 5-9, 170  – The Fairbanks Ice Dogs defenseman has 27 points (17 assists) in 56 North American Hockey League games.

    Chase Perry, 18, Andover, Minn., 6-2, 191  – The Wenatchee Wild goalie (15-12-2, 2.24 goals, .905 saves percentage) led his team into the second round of the NAHL playoffs against Fairbanks. His size is complimented by his speed and hands, making him the No. 8-ranked North American goalie for this June’s NHL draft according to NHL Central Scouting.

  • Wednesday reading: Final polls; pre-preseason Top 10; World Arena

    Wed, April 16, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    sakic presserHere is the final top 20 from USCHO.com and the final top 15 from USA Hockey.

    College Hockey News tweeted its early Top 10 for the 2014-15 season: 1. Minnesota; 2. North Dakota, 3. Michigan, 4. BC; 5. Miami; 6. Providence; 7. Union;  8. Minnesota State; 9. Colgate and 10. Maine.

    World Arena was ranked No. 5 out of the 57 college hockey arenas rated by this web site. There was other big news for the facility.

  • Bonnett, Rud survive initial cuts

    Tue, April 15, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Bonnett MUGRud2010-11gb31The list of potential Colorado College coaches is down to 10, including current assistants Joe Bonnett and Eric Rud.  A nine-member advisory committee whittled down an initial list of 60 applicants on Monday.

    The group will spend the next week or so vetting the second round’s 10 down to a more-workable number of two up to eight finalists for more in-depth interviews, athletic director Ken Ralph said on Tuesday.

    “We are really happy with the 10 candidates. Any of them would make an excellent head coach,” said Ralph, who confirmed Bonnett and Rud are among those 10. “They have both done an excellent job over the past nine days keeping the program moving forward.”

    Neither assistant will comment during the hiring process.

  • Natives make area pro hockey history

    Tue, April 15, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    For the first time, three Colorado Springs natives played in an American Hockey League game Monday night with Tom Serratore, a former Minnesota wing, and Ben Holmstrom (UMass-Lowell) with the Adirondack Phantoms, an affiliate of the Flyers, and former Lowell forward Josh Holmstrom on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders).

    Ben Holmstrom picked up an assist on the winning goal in a 4-2 victory for the Phantoms in Serratore’s pro debut. Josh Holmstrom has no points in five pro games.

    They play each other again to end their season on Friday since neither will make the playoffs. All three played club hockey for the Colorado Rampage in Monument.

  • Former Tiger Rapuzzi is ECHL Rookie of the Year

    Mon, April 14, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Rapuzzi ActionFormer Colorado College captain William Rapuzzi is the ECHL Rookie of the Year.

    The Idaho Steelheads forward led ECHL rookies with 42 assists and was tied for second with 58 points. He also led all first-year players with 15 power-play assists and 21 power-play points and was tied for fifth among rookies with four-game winning goals.

    Prior to turning pro, he played four seasons at Colorado College where he tallied 87 points (48 assists) in 151 games.

    The No. 4 seed Steelheads host the Colorado Eagles, which include Colorado Springs native Luke Fulghum and former Tiger Arthur Bidwill, in the first round of the ECHL’s Western Conference playoffs. Games 1-2 are Friday and Saturday in Boise and Games 3-4 in Loveland Tuesday and Thursday. All games are at 7:05 p.m.

  • Serratore signs with AHL Adirondack

    Mon, April 14, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Minnesota senior Tom Serratore signed an amateur tryout contract with the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League and will join the organization immediately.

    “Tom has definitely earned this opportunity, and we are thrilled he is going to be able to go on and play at the professional level,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “Like all of our seniors, Tom has been a great program guy for us. He has worked hard since the day he arrived on campus, and he has done everything we have asked of him during his time here. We want to wish him the absolute best as he continues his playing career.”  

    Serratore Tom 066The Colorado Springs, Colo., native played in 140 career games with 22 points (15 goals) and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia.

    The forward played in 35 games this season with seven points, three goals and four assists including the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Penn State on March 1, 2014 — Serratore’s final game at Mariucci Arena.

    One of five seniors, Serratore was part of the first class in Minnesota’s 93-year history to win three conference titles and the first group in program history to win three-straight league titles. Serratore also helped the Gophers to three-straight NCAA tournament appearances (2012-14) including two Frozen Four berths (2012, 2014) after missing the tournament as a freshman.

    Serratore is the son of Air Force head coach Frank Serratore, the nephew of Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore and the cousin of former Gopher goaltender, 1988 Hobey Baker Award winner and NHL veteran Robb Stauber.

    The forward joins fellow Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom, formerly of UMass-Lowell.