2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • In the pros: McMillin leads Allen into CHL finals

    Tue, April 30, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments


    Allen, Texas will take on Wichita in the Central Hockey League Finals Tuesday night in Allen, led by former Tiger Brian McMillin, who leads the Americans with eight playoff goals, and is tied with Todd Robinson for the points (14) lead.

    “It’s pretty cool to be here,”  Americans forward Darryl Bootland, who is still looking for his first championship, said in a press release. “It’s been the goal in the room since day one to be in this position. We earned it and we deserve to be here.”

    The Americans are 8-4 this postseason, eliminating the Denver Cutthroats in five games (4-1), and then winning an emotional Game 7 against the Missouri Mavericks in Round 2 to advance to the Central Hockey League Finals.

    The Wichita Thunder are 8-0 this post-season eliminating the Arizona Sundogs 4-0 in Round 1, and then sweeping through the Fort Worth Brahmas in Round 2.

    The Americans won the regular season series by a 5-4 count, winning all but one game on their home ice, while Wichita did the same in their building.
    2013 Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals Schedule
    Allen Americans vs. Wichita Thunder
    Game 1 – Tue., Apr. 30 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05 PM
    Game 2 – Thu., May 2 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05 PM
    Game 3 – Sat., May 4 – Allen at Wichita, 7:05 PM
    Game 4 – Sun., May 5 – Allen at Wichita, 5:05 PM
    *Game 5 – Tue., May 7 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05 PM
    *Game 6 – Fri., May 10 – Allen at Wichita, 7:05 PM
    *Game 7 – Sat., May 11 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05 PM
  • Midweek reading: Opening luncheon, NCHC meeting, coaches convention, Minnesota State, NHL draft

    Tue, April 30, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bigger NCHC logo

    One of the tidbits of news from the CC team award brunch dealt with the strong  likelihood the annual Colorado Springs Sports Corp. Face-off Luncheon will be held during the NCHC meetings Sept. 12-13 with all eight league coaches in attendance.

    Also, Wisconsin will be coming to World Arena during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

    The first official National Collegiate Hockey Conference meeting is in Naples, Florida Tuesday and Wednesday with full representation (coach, AD, faculty representative) from all eight member schools for the first time.

    The league will discuss the officiating pool, communication between the league and coaches, operations manuals, and setting gameday standards to be met by each school and other procedural loose ends.

    CC athletic director Ken Ralph said the coaches will have a lot of say in which officials are brought into the league.

    The annual coaches convention at Marco Island, Fla. follows Thursday through Monday. Nothing binding will come out, but the coaches will weigh in on changing the NCAA regional format to go with home sites for top seeds, according to CC coach Scott Owens.  Other topics include honoring verbal commitments and tweaking the Pairwise rankings formula, he added.



    The final WCHA banquet for CC and the other five schools leaving will be Sunday.

    “There will be a little bit of awkwardness but its’ important to recognize and honor our 61 years together,” Owens said. “I think most people have moved on.”

    Hobey Baker Award winner Drew LeBlanc of St. Cloud State is in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd feature this week. he was added to the U.S. men’s national team earlier this week.

    WCHA’s Minnesota State announced its team awards.

    USCHO compiled a list of the 80 current and future NCAA players ranked by NHL Central Scouting for the June 30 draft.

    College Hockey News is reporting that UConn will fill the vacant women’s job in the next few weeks before focusing on the men’s position.

  • In the pros: Elfring will wrap up career soon

    Tue, April 30, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments


    Former Tiger Calvin Elfring, the last of the 1995-96 Colorado College hockey team still playing professionally, said this weekend that he is looking to finish out his career  in the Elite Ice Hockey League in Great Britain, where Noah Clarke was a standout for the Belfast Giants and Alex Kim (Sheffield) played two seasons ago.

    He was in Colorado Springs for the CC Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday night at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort when the NCAA runner-up team was recognized as one of the program’s best.

    In addition to a stipend, accommodations and vehicle, import players also receive a free education, Elfring said. He plans to study for his masters in business administration while he wraps up his career.

    “It’s not the big paycheck you get in Germany but it’s a good way to start the transition (to retirement),” he said.

    He spent the past nine years playing for the Straubing Tigers in Germany, where he served as captain this past season. His children, ages 5 and 6. are fluent in German and English, he is proud to say. The family spends the summers in Phoenix.

    He played the past 12 years in Germany after spending three seasons bouncing between the AHL and ECHL after CC (127 points in four years).

    “I didn’t expect I would be 37 and still playing,” the defenseman said. “I just never wanted to give it up. I still love coming to the rink.”

    Elfring was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques (now Colorado Avalanche) in the seventh round (165th overall) in the 1996 NHL Draft.

  • Monday reading: CC, Walters, UAA, Taylor, Eaves

    Mon, April 29, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UNO Ryan Walters actionHere is an article on the new CC captains and the team awards.

    Junior Ryan Walters hauled in three Nebraska-Omaha team awards.

    He also told coach Dean Blais he will be back for his senior season, setting himself up as a Hobey Baker hopeful.

    The Alaska-Anchorage chancellor praised his embattled athletic director after two no-confidence votes from state and alumni hockey associations.

    The remaining two coach interviews are Monday and Wednesday of this week.

    Longtime Yale and U.S. coach Tim Taylor died over the weekend.

    Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves’ five-year contract was extended through  June 30, 2018.

    SCSU’s Garrett Milan is featured by his hometown newspaper.

  • CC Hall of Fame inducts 1995-96 team, five individuals

    Sun, April 28, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC HOF 004Colorado College honored some it best-ever athletes, including the 1995-96 Tigers hockey team that lost to Michigan in the 1996 NCAA championship game, at its 14th Hall of Fame banquet Saturday night at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

    “Sixteen years have passed and when we saw each other last night we picked up right where we left off,” captain Eric Rud said. “The reason we had such success because we were CC Tigers. We had a will and goal and we played like proud Tigers that season, we still are proud Tigers and we always will be.”

    They were inducted along with Colorado all-time winningest preps basketball coach Guy Gibbs, All-American and academic All-American football player Ryan Haygood, now a prominent civil rights attorney, men’s lacrosse all-time leading scorer Ted Nusbaum, women’s lacrosse and basketball pioneer Michelle Giarrantano Secor and Cheddy Thompson, coach of the 1950 NCAA championship hockey team. Click for more on Haygood and the other inductees here.

    “To be included among these athletes as a team is such an honor,” goalie Ryan Bach said.

    Coach Don Lucia, now with Minnesota, credited the players for saving the program. There was talk of dissolving the team after the old Broadmoor World Arena was torn down. The team played the next three seasons, including 1995-96, at the Air Force Academy.

    “Without them, the World Arena would never have been built,” Lucia said. “My best move was talking coach Scott Owens into staying on for a couple years. In a few years he will be up here being inducted.”

    The mood was festive as the Tigers watched the videotape of the loss to Michigan in overtime.

    “It’s such an honor to say I played in that game,” said defenseman Paul Johnson, who scored the first goal at the current World Arena. “This night is such a special moment for me and for all of us.”

    The 15th Hall of Fame class will be inducted in April 2015.

  • Weekend reading: Incoming freshmen; Frozen Fenway outdoor doubleheaders; 2013 Icebreaker tournament

    Fri, April 26, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    BSU teamThe WCHA’s Bemidji State is bringing in eight freshmen this fall, including the program’s first Russian. Tracy Dill is BSU’s new athletic director after 27 years at St. Cloud State, where he has served as associate director since 1999.

    Here is a Q&A with new Denver coach Jim Montgomery.

    Big 10 Wisconsin is bringing in a BCHL player a year early.

    According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Gophers has the top two USHL scorers coming in this fall; Taylor Cammarata and Justin Kloos. Minnetonka’s Vinnie Lettieri of Lincoln is expected to play for Minnesota next fall. Plans are for Louie Nanne, a top scorer for Penticton, to spend another year in junior hockey.

    North Dakota announced its team award winners.

    Hockey East announced it will host outdoor doubleheaders over two weekends at Boston’s Fenway Park in 2014.   Frozen Fenway will include doubleheaders on Jan. 4 and Jan. 11 and two free public skating days for residents.

    On Jan. 4, Merrimack will play Providence, followed by Notre Dame against Boston College.

    The following Saturday, Massachusetts-Lowell will face Northeastern and then Maine plays Boston University.

    HansenThe 2013 Icebreaker Tournament will be hosted by Minnesota and  will take place Oct. 11-12 at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minn., and feature Clarkson, Mercyhurst and New Hampshire.

    College Hockey Inc., which manages the event on behalf of the Hockey Commissioners Association, will partner with the Minnesota to host the event, which is in its 17th year in 2013.

    “Next year will be the beginning of a new era for the Gopher hockey program, and we’re excited to open the season at Mariucci Arena with the Ice Breaker Tournament,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “It’s a great event for college hockey as a whole, and considering we haven’t seen these teams for a few years, I think it will be an exciting weekend for our program as well as our fans.”

    “Mariucci Arena is one of the best venues in college hockey and a terrific location to celebrate the start of the 2013-14 season,” College Hockey Inc. Executive Director Mike Snee said. “The four participating programs have storied histories, outstanding coaches and talented student-athletes who will showcase our sport in the Ice Breaker.”

    The four schools in the 2013 field have combined for 89 NCAA Tournament appearances, with both Minnesota and New Hampshire coming off trips to the national tournament. The field will feature representatives from the Big Ten, Atlantic Hockey, ECAC Hockey and Hockey East.

    Ice Breaker Tournament tickets will be included in season-ticket packages for Minnesota season-ticket holders. Single-day and standing-room tickets will be available at a date to be determined.

    Minnesota is hosting the Ice Breaker Tournament for the third time and appearing in the event for the third time. In 1998, the second year of the tournament, Boston College won the title at Mariucci Arena. In 2007 the event took place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, with the host Golden Gophers winning the tournament.

    Clarkson and New Hampshire are each making their third Ice Breaker appearances, with UNH capturing championships in both previous appearances (2000 at Michigan, 2004 at UNH). Clarkson was part of the first Ice Breaker Tournament, in 1997, and in 2001 at Maine. Mercyhurst will be making its first Ice Breaker appearance.

  • CC HOF inductees turned hockey program around

    Thu, April 25, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    cc bannersThe team that turned the hockey program around and made the NCAA championship game will be recognized as part of the 17th class inducted into the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame this Saturday night at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

    Eric Rud, who captained the 1995-96 team and now serves as a CC assistant, appreciates what the team did more now, especially considering the Tigers played afternoon games at Air Force while the current World Arena was built.

    “It is so tough to make the NCAA Tournament and to reach the championship is even harder,” he said. “I don’t think any team has done that especially when they didn’t even have home ice. When you look back now, you realize it was a pretty big accomplishment.”

    In coach Don Lucia’s first year, the team went from worst to best, winning the first of a school-record three Western Collegiate Hockey Association titles in a row.

    Rud said the 1996 NCAA runner-up was built in stages, first by winning the regular-season title during the 1993-94 season and losing in the league playoffs. They did not qualify for the NCAAs.

    The 1994-95 Tigers went one step further, winning a second MacNaughton Cup and making the NCAAs before falling to Minnesota.

    The 1995-96 team was ready to make its run to the NCAA championship game after those growing experiences

    “It was really a three-year progression,” Rud, a 1997 graduate, said. “My sophomore year we needed to get to the NCAAs after not making it the year before. By my junior year, we were ready and eager to get there.”

    That championship appearance, when Michigan won 4-3 in overtime, proved to be a program turnaround. The Tigers went from eight wins under former coach Brad Buetow to a school-record 33 that season including a 15-0-3 start with Lucia in charge.

    The 1993-94 season started a non-losing record streak that ended this past campaign.

    “Everyone says CC is a longtime power,” All-American forward Peter Geronazzo said. “It wasn’t before that run.”

    That perspective only takes some of the sting away. The OT loss is the closest CC came to winning its first NCAA championship since 1957.

    “You don’t get over it completely,” Rud said. “I can never root for Michigan, even now when watching basketball. I just can’t do it.”

  • Another North Dakota party leads to scholarship cuts

    Thu, April 25, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    2012-13_Winkler_UND1Two of the four underage North Dakota players cited for drinking at a postseason party were punished for doing the same at a well-known preseason gathering that led to some in-house discipline.

    Now, there will be more serious repercussions for three freshmen — Zane Gothberg, 20, Colten St. Clair, 20, and Bryn Chyzyk, 20 — who were cited for underage drinking, and sophomore Stephane Pattyn, 22, for noise.

    “This is going to cost some people significant scholarship dollars and trigger other internal actions,” coach Dave Hakstol told the Grand Forks Herald.

    Because of privacy laws, Hakstol couldn’t divulge the exact dollar amounts or percentages of scholarships that would be lost.


  • Two future Tigers ranked high for upcoming NHL draft

    Wed, April 24, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Gustav OlofssonIncoming CC freshman defenseman Gustav Olofsson, 6-foot-2, 189 pounds, of Broomfield was rated as the 51st North American skater by NHL Central Scouting in its final rankings before the June 30 NHL Draft.

    Tigers commit Teemu Kivilhalme, a Burnsville (Minn.) HS defenseman, is rated at No. 64. He is listed at 5-foot-11, 162 pounds.

    Jake Guentzel, younger brother of former Tiger Gabe, is rated at No. 80. He is headed to Nebraska-Omaha while Paul Stoykewych, younger brother to current Tiger Peter, is 204th. He will play for Western Michigan.

  • Midweek reading: OSU, DU, Bazin, UAA, Hobey hopes

    Wed, April 24, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments


    Ohio State filled its vacant head coach position.

    New Denver coach Jim Montgomery is featured by USCHO.

    The CCHA media guides and memorabilia are now on sale if fans are looking for collectibles.

    Former CC assistant Norm Bazin is the USCHO Coach of the Year for the second season in a row.

    The Anchorage hockey community continues to criticize Alaska-Anchorage athletic director Steve Cobb. The UAA hockey alumni association, made up of 300 former Seawolf players,  issued a vote of no confidence. It has raised $100,000 for the athletic department in the past.

    Cobb has been criticized for not having a member of the local hockey community on the head coach search committee, which picked Air Force associate coach Mike Corbett as one of four finalists.

    Here is a look back at this season and a gander at next year’s Hobey Baker Award contenders. Please comment with anyone you think is missing.

    Retired Boston University coach Jack Parker is honored by the school.

    Well-regarded former Northern Michigan athletic director Ken Godfrey is remembered in this obituary article.

    Western Michigan announced its team awards.