2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Weekend reading

    Thu, June 30, 2011 by admin with 1 comment

    I’m off the next few days (wedding anniversary) so here’s the weekend reading a day early.

    Scott Winkler and former Tiger Stephen Schultz are headed to the Dallas Stars development camp July 1-7.

    Ben Holmstrom and former Tiger captain Mike Testwuide continue to get a lot of praise from Flyers officials. They’re both scheduled to attend the Flyers’ prospects camp next week.

    Vancouver’s camp starts July 5 and expect Billy Sweatt to be there.

    A possible Minnesota state government shutdown may delay $28.8 million in renovations to St. Cloud’s National Hockey Center by a month.

    One of college hockey’s greats, Paul Kariya, has retired.

    Here’s a list of the 61 current and future college players drafted last weekend by the NHL.

    Denver will have only three Canadians on its 2011-12 roster according to the Post. They added a Finn goalie as well. CC will have six Canadians and a Norwegian judging from their listed hometowns.

    Here’s an interview with Paul Kelly of College Hockey Inc.

    Paranoia rears its ugly head in the Sioux nickname situation. The state’s governor plans to lead a delegation to the NCAA in late July. More nickname supporters wave the white flag including this student blogger and a past president of the UND alumni association.

    In better news for UND fans, they have a chance at getting their highest NHL draft pick ever in this way-too-early look at the 2012 selections. Here’s NHL.com’s look ahead.

    Former Minnesota-Duluth goalie Alex Stalock has signed with the Sharks. The Bulldogs add a commit.

    Here’s the updated USA U-18 team roster including their college commitments.

    Au revoir to one Lake Superior State assistant.

    Here’s some Mankato news including a 2012 commit and the 2011-12 roster.

    According to the Tech Hockey Guide’s Twitter feed, Michigan Tech will not change the look of its jerseys under new coach Mel Pearson for the 2011-12 campaign.

  • In the pros: Former Tigers on the NHL free agent market

    Thu, June 30, 2011 by admin with no comments

    After reading that former Tiger Lee Sweatt is now an unrestricted free agent, I realized I needed to compile a list of CC alums who enter the market this Friday.

    Here’s that list as of 11 a.m. Mountain on Thursday:

    Restricted free agents– Jack Hillen, Islanders.

    Unrestricted free agents – Joey Crabb, Toronto; Trevor Frischmon, Columbus; Curtis McElhinney, Ottawa; Richard Petiot, Edmonton; Brett Sterling, Pittsburgh; Colin Stuart, Buffalo; and Lee Sweatt, Vancouver.

    Also, Colorado Springs’ David Hale is an unrestricted free agent for Ottawa.

    Some free agents have already been re-signed by their NHL organization.

    Re-signed – Richard Bachman, Dallas, one year; Mark Cullen, Florida, one year; Nate Prosser, Minnesota, one year. Here’s a feature on Prosser.

  • Denver signs third goalie

    Wed, June 29, 2011 by admin with no comments

    The Post’s Mike Chambers reports that the Pioneers will bring in Finnish netminder Juho Olkinuora from the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede.

    Here’s more from the press release: The Helsinki native went 14-13-0 with a 2.78 GAA and a .900 save percentage in 27 games this season. He helped the Stampede advance to the Western Conference Finals, going 2-3 with a 2.70 GAA and a .911 save percentage in the playoffs.

  • In the pros: Bach, Elfring, Lampl

    Wed, June 29, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Here’s an update on three former Tigers who visited Colorado Springs for the team’s alumni weekend earlier this month …

    Former Colorado College defenseman Calvin Elfring, is looking to finish up the two remaining years on his contract with Germany’s Straubing Tigers before he retires, he said recently.

    “As long as my body holds up,” the 35-year-old said during June’s team alumni weekend. “I’ve been very lucky.”

    Part of the reason the 1998 CC graduate has played 10 years in Germany, the last seven with Straubing, after three years in the North American minors is his durability. He has played 51 or 52 games each of the past six seasons, which is excellent since there are only 52 games scheduled.

    “The games are Friday and Sunday nights so the wear and tear is a lot like college,” he said. “It’s better money and a lot less taxing on the body. Europe is a good middle ground to make a good go at (a career).”

    His family stays with him in Germany during the season. They summer in Phoenix.

    Goalie Ryan Bach has kept connected to hockey, working as a volunteer goaltending coach with ECHL expansion franchise Colorado Eagles in Broomfield.

    The Eagles, a power in the Central Hockey League, announced its move up to the ECHL this offseason.

    Bach, who works in real estate and has lived in northern Colorado the past eight years, is happy to be associated with the Eagles, where he finished his playing career in 2003-04. He played three NHL games with the Kings during the 1998-99 season (4.44 goals against).

    “It really is first class,” the former Red Wings minor leaguer said. “It’s the best experience I’ve had in hockey since CC.”

    Defenseman Cody Lampl was back as well from his continuing stint with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads. He was honored recently with the city’s “Friend of Education” award for his work two to three days a week at a Boise alternative high school.

    The Steelheads have donated more than 1,000 tickets over the past two seasons as rewards for good attendance, behavior and grades.

    With his help, the school improved its attendance to 90 percent.

    “That was a big improvement,” Lampl said.

  • In the pros: L. Sweatt hitting free agent market

    Tue, June 28, 2011 by admin with no comments

    According to his agent Scott Norton, Canucks prospect Lee Sweatt, also a restricted free agent, did not receive a qualifying offer and will become unrestricted according to the The Province.

    Here’s video of his first NHL goal. He played three games (one goal, one assist) for the Canucks and was plus-4 before suffering a broken foot in practice.

    Fellow CC alumnus Jack Hillen is a restricted free agent while Joey Crabb and Richard Petiot are unrestricted. NHL teams can sign free agents starting July 1.

    Trevor Frischmon said recently he will be a free agent too.

  • Tuesday reading: Moross feature, Sweatts, etc.

    Tue, June 28, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Here’s a feature I wrote about CC SID Dave Moross, pictured at left, who received his 25-year award from the College Sports Information Directors of America Tuesday.

    It’s the full version of the feature that was cut down to fit the Dead Trees edition and includes one of my favorite parts, even though it wasn’t relevant to the question. I think it showed some of Dave’s personality — and one of the reasons I enjoy working with him — though so I’m pointing it out here:

    Question: List a few of your favorite memories in the past 25 years related to CC sports.

    Answer:Going to the women’s soccer Final Four my first season as SID was really a thrill. I remember being in the stands at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and being sought out by Sen. Tim Wirth, who wanted to wish our team the best of luck. The Tigers beat UMass, 1-0 in a shootout, to advance to the national championship game against North Carolina. We also saw Steve Winwood (musician with Traffic, Blind Faith among others) in the lobby of our hotel during that trip.”

    Dave loves music from that era and he’s filled the press box with tunes on quite a few occasions before a home game.  I was also happy to give some of his colleagues a chance to say what they think of his work over the years toward the end of the feature. 

    Here’s some more that didn’t make the online version either that I liked from his longtime friend Doug Spencer:

    “A couple of personal thoughts on Dave …

    Dave is passionate about his job, his family, his friends and his ‘hobbies’. Away from work, he loves the outdoors and living in Colorado has been great for him. He has made a personal goal of climbing as many of the 14,000-foot Colorado peaks as possible and I believe so far he has conquered something like 20 of them. That is an amazing feat. I believe he has also brought CC hockey coach Scott Owens and and CC athletic director Ken Ralph into his hiking and climbing circles.

    Dave is also one of the world’s biggest fans of the rock group the ‘Who’. I think he knows the words to every song they ever recorded and I believe has seen them live in concert more than a dozen times and met several of the band members in person. He is also pretty talented musically.”

    I hope you enjoy reading the feature as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    Now back to some college and pros news …

    Billy Sweatt may be back near his hometown of Ellburn, Ill, with the Canucks signing an AHL affiliation agreement with the Chicago Wolves. Hopefully, he won’t spend too much time there before moving up to Vancouver.

    According to Chris Heisenberg’s 2012 signees list, former Tiger defenseman Doug Leaverton is headed to Bentley of the Atlantic Hockey Association. Too bad Penn State didn’t work out.

    Former Sioux goalie Ed Belfour is headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

    Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves shot down rumors that the Devils are considering him for the head coach position.

    Michigan Tech adds an in-state defenseman.

    Minnesota-Duluth will have a new assistant with Fargo Force coach and former Sioux player Jason Herter joining the fold.

    Denver has added a former Navy standout to its volunteer coaching staff.

    Here’s Without A Peer’s take on how the Big Ten will affect the WCHA.

    And the Western College Hockey Blog’s take on the NHL Draft as does Hockey’s Future in this piece.

  • Monday reading: M. Guentzel, Harstad, Big 10

    Mon, June 27, 2011 by admin with 3 comments

    UNO assistant  Mike Guentzel, father of Gabe and a former CC assistant,  appears to be headed back to the Gophers. Nothing official announced yet.

    Here’s more on Aaron Harstad being drafted on Saturday.

    Here’s a column with good details about the effect Big Ten hockey will have on the sport, including word of an eight-game nonconference scheduling agreement with the WCHA.

  • NHL Draft: Harstad is a Jets fan now

    Sat, June 25, 2011 by admin with 5 comments

    Incoming Colorado College freshman defenseman Aaron Harstad, pictured left,  took it all in stride, unlike his family and friends, who could still be heard in the background of a telephone interview.

    Harstad was the 187th pick of Winnipeg, officially named the Jets on Friday, in the seventh and final round for the 2011 NHL Draft Saturday afternoon.

    “They were really excited, maybe too excited,” Harstad said from his home in Stevens Point, Wis. “I’ve had a dream come true, but I also know that I can’t be too excited because there is a lot of hard work ahead of me.”

    Harstad admitted to being a little nervous as the seventh and final round continued without his name being called.

    Harstad, who was contacted by Winnipeg after the pick was announced, didn’t grow up with a favorite NHL team; listing Chicago, Minnesota and San Jose as teams he follows. Are the Jets his favorite now?

    “I’d say so,” said Harstad, who is excited to arrive at CC this summer.

    Tigers 2012 defenseman signee Michael King of Prince George, B.C., who was rated a few spots ahead of Harstad by NHL Central Scouting, was not drafted. He said recently that not being drafted would serve as added motivation during his final year in juniors.

    The Wild traded two late-round picks to Vancouver to move up and draft Wayzata (Minn.) forward Mario Lucia, a possible CC recruit, as the 60th pick near the end of the second round.

    Lucia, the son of Gophers coach Don, will play junior hockey next season. The high school junior has narrowed his college choices to Minnesota, CC, where his father coached, and Notre Dame, where Don played.

    Another possible CC recruit, Burnsville, Minn. defenseman Edward Wittchow was chosen 154th overall (sixth round) by Florida. Wittchow is reportedly considering CC, Ohio State and Wisconsin after the Badgers were unable to provide scholarship money, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

    The top WCHA signee drafted was North Dakota’s J.T. Miller, who went 15th to the Rangers Friday night. In all, 21 WCHA signees were drafted including four each for Denver and Minnesota.

    2011 WCHA DRAFT PICKS

    (includes signees and current players)

    First round — 15. J.T. Miller, center, North Dakota, Rangers.

    Second round — 33. Rocco Grimaldi, center, North Dakota, Florida; 34. Scott Mayfield, defenseman, Denver, Islanders.

    Third round — 82. Nick Shore, current Denver center, L.A.; 83. Andy Welinski, Minnesota-Duluth, defenseman, Anaheim.

    Fourth round — 92. Dillon Simpson, current North Dakota defenseman, Edmonton; 97. Josiah Didier, Denver, defenseman, Montreal; 98. Mike Reilly, Minnesota, defenseman, Columbus; 101. Joseph Labate, Wisconsin, center, Vancouver; 110. Michael Mersch, Wisconsin, left wing, L.A.

    Fifth round — 128. Seth Ambroz, Minnesota, right wing, Columbus; 129. Blake Pietila, Michigan Tech, New Jersey; left wing, 130. Tony Cameranesi, Minnesota-Duluth, center, Toronto; 131. Nick Seeler, Nebraska-Omaha, defenseman, Minnesota;

    Sixth round — 174. Josh Archibald, Nebraska-Omaha, wing, Pittsburgh; 177. Travis Boyd, Minnesota, center, Washington; 178. Adam Wilcox, Minnesota, goalie, Tampa Bay.

    Seventh round — 187. Aaron Harstad, Colorado College, defenseman, Winnipeg; 189. Patrick Daly, Wisconsin, defenseman, New Jersey; 196. Zac Larraza, Denver, left wing, Phoenix; 199. Alex Broadhurst, Nebraska-Omaha, center, Chicago.

  • NHL Draft: Another pick considering CC

    Sat, June 25, 2011 by admin with no comments

    COURTESY MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

    Burnsville, Minn. defenseman Edward Wittchow was chosen as the third pick of the sixth round (154th overall) by the Panthers.

    Wittchow, listed at 6-foot-4, had committed to Wisconsin but is now considering CC, the Badgers and Ohio State after Madison was unable to provide much scholarship money, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

    Here’s is a pre-draft feature by the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Minnesota Hockey Hub web site about the late-blooming defenseman who has also drawn the attention of Bemidji State and North Dakota.

  • NHL Draft: Lucia back considering Tigers

    Sat, June 25, 2011 by admin with no comments

    The Minnesota Wild chose uncommitted forward Mario Lucia with the 60th pick of the second round of the NHL draft Saturday morning.

    Lucia, who had backed off from considering CC according to some sources, did mention the Tigers as a college consideration during his NHL Network interview along with the Gophers, where his father Don coaches, and Notre Dame. He likely will head to juniors (Penticton, B.C. or Des Moines) for a year and could sign for the 2012-13 season.

    North Dakota signee J.T. Miller was chosen as the No. 15 pick by the Rangers on Friday. The next WCHA player chosen, UND’s Rocco Grimaldi, joked about taking his talents to South Beach when Florida took him with the 33rd pick to start the second round.