2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Three Things: CC at Western Michigan

    Thu, October 31, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC uniforms, Herb Brooks 047Here are three things Colorado College hockey will need to do to be successful this weekend at National Collegiate Hockey Conference foe Western Michigan (1-2-1, 0-0 league); 5:06 p.m. MT Friday-Saturday, Kalamazoo, Mich.:

    Make strides in improving offensive play

    There are a lot of things that can be improved  – sustaining pressure, battling to the net, producing second-chance shots and more shots on goal — and would bolster a struggling offense (1.25 goals), which is better than only Alabama-Huntsville (one) in Division I hockey, and only 19 shots, tied for 57th with Connecticut out of the 59 teams.

    “It’s the whole gambit,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “We need more pucks on net instead of making the extra pass. Then we have to get to the front of the net for second-effort chances.”

    Move more quickly into transition

    The Tigers have good overall team speed. They must take advantage of that by transitioning from defense to offense more quickly in order to find channels through the neutral zone and enter the Broncos zone before most of the WMU players get back.

    Improve a struggling power play

    The Tigers need to enter the Western Michigan zone in a more organized fashion than they did in Clarkson, who stopped the puckhandler as he entered their zone and forced him to send the puck into the boards, where the Tigers had trouble winning the 50/50 battles. Avoiding giving up possession would allow CC (1-3, 1-1 NCHC) to set up the power play, rotate the puck and get shots on net. Not doing so has led to a 1-for-18 start with the man advantage (.056 percent), 56th in the nation.

  • Air Force’s Cole Gunner, Jason Torf earn monthly Atlantic Hockey honors

    Thu, October 31, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    AFAlogo2012Air Force’s Cole Gunner and Jason Torf earned Atlantic Hockey Association honors for the month for October. Gunner was named the Player of the Month while Torf was selected as the Goalie of the Month.

    Gunner scored eight points in six games on five goals and three assists. Gunner’s two game-winners are tied for the second most in the nation. He was named to the all-tournament team at the Kendall Classic in Anchorage to open the season. He followed that up being named AHA Player of the Week, Oct. 21, as he helped lead Air Force to a sweep of Penn State, Oct. 18-19.

    The Richfield, Minn., native recorded four points (2-2-4) in the Penn State series. He tied his career high with a three-point game, in the first Penn State game, and he won 54-percent of his draws in the series. This past weekend, he recorded three points to help lead Air Force to a pair of conference wins over Canisius and Niagara. He scored the game-winner in the 3-2 win over Canisius on Oct. 25. The next day, he had two points (1-1-2) in the win over Niagara. Gunner leads Atlantic Hockey in goals (5) and is second in points (8).

     Torf was named the AHA Goalie of the Week, Oct. 21, as he helped lead Air Force to a sweep of Penn State, Oct. 18-19. The Hermosa Beach, Calif. native stopped 59-of-62 shots for a 1.50 goals against and a saves percentage of .952, in the series. He allowed only one even-strength goal against Penn State. Then, Torf led Air Force to a pair of conference wins over Niagara and Canisius allowing just two goals, one even-strength, in a 3-2 win over Canisius while making 20 saves. He followed that up with a season-high 34 saves in the win over Niagara. In the two games, allowed just four even-strength goals. Torf is now No. 7 on the Air Force career saves list with 2,359 stops.

     Air Force (4-2, 2-0 AHA), plays a pair of conference games this weekend at RIT on Friday and at Mercyhurst, Saturday.

  • Getting to know: Western Michigan Broncos

    Wed, October 30, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    BusterrbroncoHere are some interesting facts about Western Michigan:

    Founded: 1903

    Location: Kalamazoo, Mich.

    Enrollment: 25,806

    Team nickname: Broncos

    Colors: Brown and Gold

    Mascot: Buster Bronco, pictured in basketball uniform

    Opening hockey season: 1973-74

    Series: CC leads 2-0 all-time; last meeting, CC won 8-4, 3-1, on Dec. 20-21, 2002, in Colorado Springs

    Facility: Lawson Arena (capacity 3,667), NHL sheet (85 by 200 feet), opened 1974

    Some famous alumni:  actors Tim Allen and Bruce Campbell;  Tigers president, CEO and general manager Dave Dombrowski; Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh; actress Loretta Long (Susan Robinson on Sesame Street); Blackhawks wing Jamal Myers; ESPN personality John Saunders; NHL GM Neil Smith (first WMU NHL Draft pick); and musician Luther Vandross.

    dennis brownThe skinny: The Broncos program underwent a revival when former coach Jeff Blashill took a team that won eight games in 2009-10 to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament championship game the next season. Hiring former NHL coach Andy Murray represented a serious commitment to the program by the athletic department, which made the school attractive to the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

    Quotable: “Being a freshman under coach Blashill and being under those seniors and the leadership they showed was a big step forward for this program,”said senior defenseman Dennis Brown, pictured. “Taking in what coach Blashill taught us and now coach Murray, our group of seniors has the leadership it takes to get the job done.”

  • Wednesday reading: UNO legal resolution; Duluth road stretch; Target Center

    Wed, October 30, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    The players kicked off the Nebraska-Omaha team this summer for a street fight had their charges dropped.

    Minnesota-Duluth has a tough four-game road stretch ahead of them.

    Target Center, home of the inaugural National Collegiate Hockey Conference postseason championship March 21-22 this season and for at least the next five years, will undergo a $97-million renovation beginning in 2014 it was announced by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak recently.

    The renovations include a redesign of the exterior, as well as increased seating capacity, improved pedestrian traffic flow in and out of the building and more club seats for fans to enjoy. In addition, there will be locker room upgrades.

    “The NCHC is excited to hear about this development for Target Center and the city of Minneapolis, as both are important partners for the NCHC,” said commissioner Josh Fenton. “We are excited to host our inaugural championship this coming March and will look forward to an enhanced fan and student-athlete experience in the future with the facility renovations.”

    The renovations to Target Center are expected to take between 18-24 months to complete but will not affect the inaugural NCHC championship, the league said.

    Atlantic Hockey suspended Army freshman Kyle Plageman for one game under the leagues supplemental discipline policy. He was given a major penalty for contact to the head and a game misconduct at the 19:58 mark of the first period in a non-conference game against Merrimack.

    Upon further review, it was determined that Plageman targeted the head of the Merrimack player and he will now sit out the  next contest on Friday against Connecticut.

  • Air Force’s Chad Demers garners league honor

    Tue, October 29, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    AFAlogo2012Air Force junior forward Chad Demers was named as the Atlantic Hockey Association player of the week after he recorded a team-high four points to help the Falcons to a pair of conference wins over Canisius and Niagara.

    He assisted on the game-winning goal in the 3-2 win over Canisius. He tallied three points (two assists) in a 7-4 victory over Niagara. Demers has tallied a team-high nine points (seven assists) in six games.

    Canisius sophomore Keegan Asmundson was named as goaltender of the week after making a career-high 36 saves in an upset of Denver. Mercyhurst freshman Kyle Dutra was named as rookie of the week.

  • Tuesday reading: UNO’s struggles; NCHC’s mediocre record; Providence, WCHA

    Tue, October 29, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UNO vs. SCSUNebraska-Omaha’s penalty kill was woeful in two home losses to Cornell.

    After a strong start, the NCHC is 14-13-5 in nonconference play, including 2-4 against the ECAC and 1-1 against Atlantic Hockey last weekend. Here is a deeper look at it by the Grand Forks Herald.

    Minnesota was the first unanimous No. 1 in October in the USCHO D1 men’s poll since North Dakota, Oct. 6-20, 1997.

    According to USCHO, of the 12 NCAA D1 men’s regional games this season, 8 will be broadcast on ESPNU, 2 on ESPN2, 2 on ESPN3 online. From the UMD radio guy: NCAA hockey regional ticket prices: Bridgeport $65, St. Paul $90, Worcester $85, Cincinnati $43.

    Future CC foe and No. 3 Providence looks more than ready to enter Hockey East play.

    This week’s WCHA schedule

    Tuesday: Bowling Green at Ohio State (NC), 7:05 pm ET; Laurentian University at Lake Superior State (EX), 7:37 pm ET.

    Friday: Alaska Anchorage at Bowling Green (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Michigan Tech at Michigan (NC), 7:35 pm ET; Ferris State at Alabama Huntsville (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Lake Superior State at Wisconsin (NC), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota State at Bemidji State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Northern Michigan at Alaska (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.

    Saturday: Michigan Tech at Michigan (NC), 7:00 pm ET; Alaska Anchorage at Bowling Green (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Minnesota State at Bemidji State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Ferris State at Alabama Huntsville (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Lake Superior State at Wisconsin (NC), 7:07 pm CT; Northern Michigan at Alaska (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.

  • Colorado College goalie Josh Thorimbert garners weekly NCHC award

    Mon, October 28, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Thorimbert2013-14Colorado College goalie Josh Thorimbert was named as The National Collegiate Hockey Conference goaltender of the week. The senior from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan stopped 70 of 73 shots faced (.959 saves percentage) in two road losses at ECAC Clarkson this past weekend.

    The other league honorees were Miami junior forward Austin Czarnik as offensive player and St. Cloud State sophomore Ethan Prow as defenseman of the week.

    Here is part of the league’s write-up:


    Josh Thorimbert, Colorado College

    Senior Goaltender, Saskatoon, Sask.

    Despite getting little offensive support, Thorimbert was very strong in net for Colorado College over the weekend at Clarkson. He allowed just three goals in two games while stopping 70 of the 73 shots he faced for an impressive .959 save percentage. On Friday, he compiled 28 saves in a 2-1 loss, allowing just one even-strength goal. The next night he was even better, nearly pitching his fourth career shutout as he saved the first 42 shots he faced before Clarkson snuck one past him with 9.9 seconds left in overtime for a 1-0 win. The senior posted a 1.45 goals-against average in nearly 125 minutes of action while helping kill six of seven Clarkson power plays.

  • Colorado College falls out of polls consideration; Air Force garners a few votes

    Mon, October 28, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    A road sweep at Clarkson dropped Colorado College out of the USCHO.com national poll with the Tigers receiving no votes. The Golden Knights moved up to No. 17, replacing Denver which received some votes but did not crack the top 20.

    A split between No. 2 Notre Dame and Minnesota-Duluth pushed the Bulldogs back to No. 20 and cemented Minnesota’s No. 1 ranking with all 50 possible first-place votes.

    Three NCHC teams are in the top 10: No. 5 North Dakota, No. 6 Miami and No. 9 St. Cloud State.

    Air Force also picked up some votes. Here is the USCHO poll.

    The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings (team, votes, 1st-place votes, previous rank, record, weeks in poll) follow:

    1 University of Minnesota, 510 (34)
    2 University of Notre Dame, 438
    3 Providence College, 391
    4 University of Michigan, 388
    5 Miami University, 355
    6 University of North Dakota, 335
    7 Boston College, 312
    8 St. Cloud State University, 283
    9 Quinnipiac University, 275
    10 Rensselaer, 166
    11 Yale University, 160
    12 University of Wisconsin, 137
    13 Lake Superior State University, 81
    14 University of Massachusetts-Lowell, 65
    15 Cornell University, 54

    Others receiving votes: Northeastern University, 24; Boston University, 23; Clarkson University, 19; University of New Hampshire, 18; Minnesota State University, 12; Brown University, 8; University of Denver, 7; University of Alaska, 4; University of Minnesota Duluth, 4; Union College, 2.

  • Monday reading: CC injury update; NCHC announces contest; Taylor Gross

    Mon, October 28, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Hansen2013-14Colorado College freshman wing Matt Hansen missed Saturday’s game with a sprained right ankle, he confirmed afterward. He wore a protective boot that night and may do so for an undetermined amount of time.

    The other lineup changes Saturday were to give more Tigers a chance to play in a non-conference series and give CC some fresh legs on the second night.

    “They did give us some freshness,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. The team brought 25 players but will be limited to 22 for the conference road trip to Western Michigan Nov. 1-2.

    Three Tigers stayed home due to injury this weekend. Freshmen Tyler Marble and Gustav Olofsson both stayed behind due to upper-body injuries while sophomore Michael King (hip) continues to recover from offseason surgery.

    After about 50 suggestions from fans, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference whittled down the choices for the name of its postseason tournament at the Target Center in Minneapolis in March 2014 to the top four.

    Here is the link to a ballot, which continues until Sunday, Nov. 10. You will need to register with your first and last name and email address in order to vote. The fan who suggested the winning name will receive two free, all-session tickets to the NCHC Championship Weekend in Minneapolis

    Gross PSU womenFans are limited to one vote per valid email address.

    The four choices are:

    NCHC Frozen Faceoff

    NCHC Final Faceoff

    National Collegiate Hockey Championship

    NCHC Fabulous Four

    Also Pine Creek HS graduate Taylor Gross, pictured, scored the tying goal for the Penn State women before New Hampshire pulled away.

  • Weekend roundup: SCSU sweeps; Duluth knocks off No. 2 Notre Dame

    Sun, October 27, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bigger NCHC logoCompiled from a NCHC press release …

    Minnesota-Duluth 4, No. 2 Notre Dame 1

    DULUTH, Minn. – After suffering a tough loss Friday, Minnesota Duluth jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back en route to a convincing 4-1 win over No. 2/2 Notre Dame Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena. The Bulldogs (3-2-1, 1-1) came up just short Friday, falling to the Fighting Irish (5-1), 3-2, but handed Notre Dame its first loss of the season Saturday.

    Senior netminder Aaron Crandall tallied 20 saves to earn the win. Duluth heads to Ohio State next weekend, Nov. 1-2, for a pair of non-conference games.

    No. 10 St. Cloud State 4, Colgate 3 

    HAMILTON, N.Y. – No. 10 St. Cloud State scored four first-period goals and held on to defeat ECAC member Colgate, 4-3, Saturday night at Starr Arena, as the Huskies completed a weekend sweep of the Raiders to remain unbeaten. SCSU (3-0-1) beat Colgate (2-4-1), 4-2, on Friday night.

    No. 3 Miami 3, No. 8 Providence 4 OT 

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. - For the second straight night, No. 3 Miami dug itself a two-goal deficit and for the second straight night, the RedHawks managed to tie the game with Saturday’s contest at No. 8 Providence ending in a 4-4 overtime tie at Schneider Arena. On Friday, Miami (3-2-1, 1-1 NCHC) erased a 2-0 lead to force overtime but the RedHawks fell to the Friars (4-0-1) Friday, 3-2, in the extra session.

    Canisius 4, No. 17 Denver 1

    DENVER – Despite outshooting Canisius 37-21, No. 17 Denver lost 4-1 loss Saturday night at Magness Arena. The Pioneers (3-3) defeated Niagara Friday, 5-1, but couldn’t complete the Atlantic Hockey weekend sweep after facing Canisius (1-2, 0-2) for the first time in program history.

    Denver senior goalie Sam Brittain made 17 saves while Keegan Asmundson tallied a career-high 36 stops for Canisius (1-2). The Pioneers open NCHC play at home next weekend against Nebraska-Omaha.

    No. 19 Cornell 4, Nebraska-Omaha 3

    OMAHA, Neb. – No. 19 Cornell scored four power play goals to take a 4-3 win over the Mavericks at CenturyLink Center. UNO (2-4), which outshot the Big Red, 40-13, Saturday, suffered a sweep after Cornell (2-0) won the first ever meeting between the teams on Friday, 5-3.

    Cornell’s Andy Iles made 37 saves, including 30 over the final two periods. UNO junior Ryan Massa made nine.

    No. 6 North Dakota 4, U.S. U-18 1 (exhib.)

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. – North Dakota’s Drake Caggiula avoided serious injury despite a head-first fall into the ice No. 6 UND’s 4-1 exhibition win over the U.S. Under-18 team.

    During the second period, Caggiula got tangled up with a Team USA player and ended up going up and over the fallen player and landing head-first. The forward lay motionless on the ice for several minutes and was taken on a stretcher.

    Caggiula was sent to the hospital, but was released after tests came back negative and he had feeling in all of his extremities. Caggiula’s father, Sal, tweeted “Drake seems to be doing ok. He was able to watch the 3rd in some discomfort but appears ok,” according to the Grand Forks Herald.

    North Dakota hosts No. 10 St. Cloud State Nov. 1-2 in UND’s first home NCHC series.