• Wednesday reading: Tigers arriving, Leaverton lands

    Wed, August 31, 2011 by admin with no comments

    The season is more than a month away but some of the Tigers are already in Colorado Springs preparing for the start of class and the season.

    The Tiger hockey players are returning one by one with classes scheduled to begin on Monday, Sept. 5.

    Three stayed in Colorado Springs over the summer — captain Nick Dineen, defenseman Ted Behrend and wing Scott Winkler — while Arthur Bidwill has been back since Aug. 1.

    “There’s a couple guys here and there showing up,” Dineen said.

    They all used the team’s offseason training program. The ones staying here took advantage of two sessions a week at the Honnen rink. The ones headed home made ice time arrangements themselves.

    “It’s never a problem finding ice time here,” Jaden Schwartz said earlier this summer from his home in Saskatchewan.

    According to Dineen, three incoming freshmen — Jordan DiGiando, Scott Wamsganz and Ian Young — visited over the summer to work out and meet their new teammates.

    This is new student week at CC so the incoming freshmen are here with the older students scheduled to arrive sometime this weekend when the dorms open for them.

    I caught up with former CC defenseman Doug Leaverton earlier this week. He has transferred to Bentley where the well-regarded business school and the Atlantic Hockey Association program look to be a good fit for the junior.

    “I’m not sure what they have in mind for me but I will go in there and fill any role they want,” he said. “The academics and the opportunity to continue playing hockey were the draws.”

    Classes begin Sept. 6 and he is headed to Waltham, Mass. this weekend.

    Here’s some links …

    Mike Guentzel says the Gophers will make the NCAAs.

    Check out this Inside College Hockey feature on Union sophomore forward Josh Jooris, who skates on the top line. CC hosts the Dutchmen on Dec. 31.

    The RPI fan blog weighs in the the current conference alignment game of wait and see.

    Omaha lost its director of hockey operations to the U.S. NTDP.

    Jim Tortorella is the new assistant at New Hampshire.

    Here’s Penn State’s latest commits.

  • NCHC begins commish search

    Wed, August 31, 2011 by admin with no comments

    The National Collegiate Hockey Conference announced Wednesday that it has started its search for its first commissioner in a process it hopes to finish by the end of the year.

    The search is led by the conference’s consultants, The Goldwater Group, of Bethesda, Md., and Stafford Sports, of Medford, N.J.

     “We are looking for an outstanding executive who has the experience, leadership qualities and enthusiasm to work with the participating schools and help make the National Collegiate Hockey Conference the premier league in all of college hockey,” said Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph, a member of the search committee.

    The other members of the search committee are Denver senior associate athletic director Ron Grahame and Carl Hirsh, the managing partner of Stafford Sports.

    Persons interested in applying for the position should send their information to carlhirsh@staffordsports.com.

  • Online chat set for noon Wednesday

    Tue, August 30, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Go to gazette.com to find a link to The Gazette’s weekly online sports chat about Air Force football and CC hockey starting at noon Wednesday.

    The chat will feature beat writers Frank Schwab and Joe Paisley.

  • Lowery heads to Oilers rookie camp

    Tue, August 30, 2011 by admin with 1 comment

    Former Colorado College defenseman and captain Ryan Lowery signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Edmonton Oilers recently. He will get to show what he can do during the organization’s rookie camp starting Sept. 11 in Penticton, B.C.

    “I feel good and know this is a great opportunity,” Lowery said. “I plan to go there and surprise some people.”

    Lowery hopes a strong performance as a member of one of the five teams playing three games  in the camp will lead to an invite to the Oilers’ training camp and an AHL or two-way contract.

    Lowery’s right wrist is healed. He said has spent the most time ever this summer on the ice preparing himself.

    “I’m excited about the chance,” he said.

  • Reserve your seat for the annual luncheon

    Tue, August 30, 2011 by admin with no comments

    The Colorado Springs Sports Corp. will hold its annual Ice Hockey Face Off Luncheon at noon, Wednesday, Sept. 28  at the Colorado Springs Doubletree Hotel with keynote speakers Colorado College coach Scott Owens and Air Force coach Frank Serratore.

    Tickets are $250 for a 10-seat table for Sports Corp members and family, as well as AFA and CC hockey booster club members, or $300 for all others. Individual seats are $25 or $30 for same.

    For reservations, contact Aubrey McCoy at aubrey@thesportscorp.org  or at 719-634-7333, ext. 1007.

  • Tuesday reading

    Tue, August 30, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Alabama-Huntsville center Cody Dion, left, from Colorado Springs, battled CC right wing Scott Winkler for the puck last season.

    Alabama-Huntsville looks to be in trouble. It appears the administration is considering dropping the program.

    An online chat involving myself and Air Force beat writer Frank Schwab is scheduled for noon Wednesday at gazette.com. I will post the link on Wednesday morning.

    Three Colorado players, including Colorado Springs’ Matt Tabrum were named to the 2011-12 Denver roster, the school announced Monday afternoon. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound forward tallied eight points (six assists) in 33 games for Omaha of the USHL. He also tallied 12 points (10 goals) in 24 games for Sioux Falls of the USHL. He is the son of Mark Tabrum and Mary Strada.

    Here’s a detailed look at St. Cloud State’s incoming freshmen.

    Former Tiger Brian Connelly has a good chance of making the Blackhawks’ NHL roster after two strong seasons in the AHL.

    Radoslav Illo of Bemidji State is profiled by Inside College Hockey.

    The Stars will need Toby Petersen to stay healthy this coming season.

    Colorado Springs native and former Pikes Peak Miner Jeff Dimmen signed with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals earlier this summer.

  • In the pros: DeBoer sets Aussie league scoring record

    Mon, August 29, 2011 by admin with no comments

    The regular season is over in the Australian Ice Hockey League and former CC player Addison DeBoer, pictured at left, led the league with 85 points (53 assists) in 28 games.

    He set the league’s all-time scoring record and is one of five MVP candidates, the league announced.

    That was in no doubt helped by his 11 points (eight assists) in a 14-4 win over Newcastle on July 2

    The Knights (8-20-0-0) placed seventh in the eight-team league and did not qualify for the playoffs.

    Former Tiger Scott Thauwald is No. 13 in scoring with 47 points (37 assists) for the No. 2 seed Newcastle North Stars (18-6-1-3).

  • Monday reading

    Mon, August 29, 2011 by admin with 2 comments

    Nic Polaski, brother of former CC standout Scott Polaski, has signed with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles. The Colorado Springs native played for Wisconsin-Stevens Point registered 28 points (16 goals) and 104 penalty minutes in 93 games. He served as captain his senior year.

    This may prove handy: USCHO’s list of the 2013-14 conference alignments as of Sunday night. Yeah, this list will be updated.

    Western Michigan should not join the new-look WCHA even if Notre Dame continues to drag its feet on a decision between the NCHA and Hockey East. The Kalamazoo Gazette beat writer/columnist also says St. Cloud State is rumored, which I have heard as well, to be in the mix as a possible eighth NCHC team if WMU joins and Notre Dame does not.

    Here’s St. Cloud’s roster. Nebraska-Omaha’s Brent Gwidt is profiled by Inside College Hockey.

    The Denver Post interviews the latest assistant hire. Interesting stuff and worth a read.

    The LA Times opinion page weighs in on the Sioux nickname issue.

    And a good question is asked by this USCHO columnist: How much is too much outdoor college hockey?

  • Weekend reading: Knowlton comes home; adios CCHA; WMU gets impatient

    Fri, August 26, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Colorado Springs native Patrick Knowlton, a Sacred Heart graduate pictured at left, signed to play with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles earlier this week. Training camp starts Sept. 30 in Broomfield.

    Alaska-Fairbanks and Lake Superior State wasted no time in accepting the WCHA’s invitation to join the league in fall 2013. Ferris State soon followed.

    Here’s some LSSU fan reaction, a blog reaction,  and an interesting detail from Puckato, notably the importance of having a full D-1 school in your conference for NCAA voting purposes.

    The demise of the CCHA — Bowling Green and Western Michigan have not responded yet  — would take away an automatic NCAA berth which could help the NCHC and Big Ten land another at-large opening.

    WMU administrators now say they will not wait on Notre Dame to decide first to join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, Hockey East or become an independent.

    The NCHC, which includes Colorado College, has never formally invited WMU, Broncos athletic director Kathy Beauregard told the Kalamazoo Gazette.

    The Falcons are certainly headed to the WCHA judging from this quote from the Toledo Blade’s Falcon Fodder:

     ”Things are tracking in that direction. I think Chris and I are very comfortable with this new league, and we think this could be very positive for the program. [University president] Dr. [Mary Ellen] Mazey has been very supportive throughout the process. I’ve had short conversations with our trustees, and she has had more in-depth conversations with them, and I can say the entire institution is behind the move.”

    Ferris State and Lake Superior State will need to upgrade their arenas, according to one report. It will be the first time sicne 1983-94 season that all three Upper Peninsula D-1 programs will be in the same league.

    The outdoor game doubleheader at Fenway Park aka. “Frozen Fenway 2012″ will have these college games – Vermont vs UMass (2 p.m. MT), New Hampshire vs Maine (5:30 p.m. MT) on Jan. 7. FYI, the Maine mascot passed out from the heat at the press conference on Friday.

    Former Tiger Scott Thauwald led Australia to the gold medal at the New Zealand Winter Games. Thanks to Roger for keeping track of this tourney.

    Michigan Tech is busy preparing for the upcoming season.

    Here’s the 2010-11 final USCHO poll for those curious to see whether the 2011-12 preseason polls reflect that or not.

    Indications point to Brian Swanson playing next season (toward bottom of article) for his hometown Alaska Aces.

    Here is an update on the UMass-Lowell River Hawks where former CC assistants Norm Bazin and Jason Lammers now call home.

  • WCHA offers spots to five CCHA schools, including W. Michigan

    Thu, August 25, 2011 by admin with 3 comments

    Bowling Green fans will likely be cheering on the Falcons in a new-look WCHA in October 2013.

    It looks like those Tuesday meetings were as productive as Bruce McLeod hinted.

    The WCHA invited five Central Collegiate Hockey Association schools to join the league beginning with the 2013-14 season. They are: Alaska-Fairbanks, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State  and Western Michigan.

    The WCHA set a 30-day response deadline for acceptance.

    Expect four to sign on pretty quickly while Western Michigan may wait to see what Notre Dame decides.

    College Hockey News broke the story earlier today, forcing the WCHA and CCHA to release a joint statement at 2:10 p.m. Mountain.

    As of now, the WCHA following the 2012-13 season will be Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State-Mankato, St. Cloud State and Northern Michigan, which accepted an offer to join the WCHA beginning in 2013-14 back on July 20.

    Adding the five schools would make an 11-team league. If Western Michigan joins the NCHC as often reported, that would drop the new WCHA to a manageable 10 teams.

    Since the WCHA said it is still considering adding members beyond the five CCHA schools left (besides Notre Dame) the four Atlantic Hockey Association schools the CCHA talked to last month — Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara, Robert Morris — remain a possibility as well. And lest we forget, what about Alabama-Huntsville?

    Here’s more from the press release …

    “On behalf of those presidents who remain committed to the WCHA in 2013-14 and beyond, I am excited to announce that we have unanimously voted to invite these five CCHA members to join our conference,” said MSU-Mankato president Richard Davenport. “These schools bring a proud history and tradition with them from the CCHA that will only serve to enhance the already strong reputation of the WCHA.

    “We are committed to creating stability for the conference and believe by inviting these institutions we will create one of the strongest conferences in the nation,” he added. “This is one of the main reasons presidents voted today to invite CCHA member institutions to join our conference. Also, as presidents, we are committed to providing the best college hockey opportunities in the country for our student-athletes.”

    “This is truly a significant and quite remarkable twist in what has been a period of great consternation and transition in the college hockey world,” said WCHA Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod. “On behalf of the WCHA, we couldn’t be more excited and pleased to extend these invitations to Alaska-Fairbanks, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State and Western Michigan.”

    The WCHA and CCHA held a joint meeting in Chicago earlier this week, working from an agenda that included the sharing of institutional and hockey program information (including financial, facilities, community support, staffing and travel), scheduling and championship scenarios, and membership and league affiliation (including league size, automatic qualifiers, etc).

    “During what were very informative and productive meetings in Chicago, and as we worked our way through the agenda, it became clear that all of these great institutions share a commonality in that every one of them is 100% committed to the sport of collegiate ice hockey,” said McLeod, “and that they also share a great deal philosophically both athletically and academically. From there, the idea of coming together was a natural progression.”

    “This invitation represents a tremendous opportunity for the remaining members of both leagues,” said CCHA Commissioner Fred Pletsch. “Their collective commitment to Division I hockey was evident in Chicago and the synergy created by last Tuesday’s meeting will help all involved chart a course that is right for their respective program and provide further stability to college hockey’s evolving landscape.”

     The WCHA and CCHA have also agreed to continue to hold regular talks to address such topics as by-laws, scheduling, tournament scenarios, finances and additional membership.