2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • NCHC roundup: Duluth wins on road again

    Fri, January 31, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UMD No. 25Minnesota-Duluth 5,
    No. 20 Western Michigan 2

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Life on the road has suited Minnesota-Duluth just fine over the last couple of months. The surging Bulldogs haven’t lost a game away from home since Nov. 22 and Friday night  in Kalamazoo, Mich., they extended their road unbeaten streak to six games by reeling off three unanswered third-period goals en route to a 5-2 National Collegiate Hockey Conference victory over 20th-ranked Western Michigan.

    Rookie wingers Justin Crandall and Kyle Osterberg each scored twice and assisted on two other goals for the Bulldogs (11-9-3, 6-6-1-1). The win puts them in a tie for fifth place with Western Michigan, which fell for the first time in it last seven games (5-1-1) while dropping to 12-9-4 on the year. UMD never trailed.

    The Bulldogs were without the services of injured sophomore left winger Austin Farley and senior defenseman Tim Smith; both with upper-body injuries.

    No. 5 St. Cloud State 5, Nebraska-Omaha 3

    OMAHA — St. Cloud State downed Nebraska-Omaha on Friday with a 5-3 decision over the Mavericks at the CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha, Neb.
    Senior defender Kevin Gravel stepped into the spotlight with the game winning goal at 16:38 of the third period with assists from Tim Daly and David Morley, which broke a 3-3 tie. The Huskies then iced the decision at 19:53 with an empty net goal by junior forward Brooks Bertsch for the final margin.

    The other four NCHC teams are idle this weekend.

  • UConn power play, goaltending sink Falcons

    Fri, January 31, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    AFAlogo2012Connecticut’s good special-teams play and superior goaltending proved too much for host Air Force to overcome in a 5-3 loss.

    The Atlantic Hockey Association game turned in UConn’s favor over a span of only 133 seconds with two power-play goals and an even-strength tally early in the second period before the 1,259 fans at Cadet Ice Arena on a snowy Friday night.

    “They out special teamed and out-goaltended us,” Falcons coach Frank Serratore said. “We didn’t make a big save and their four good shots all went into the net. Down the stretch and in the playoffs you have to be better in those.”

    UConn’s Patrick Kirtland split two defenders for a breakaway, and beatjunior goalie Paul Moberg with a backhander for the eventual game-winner with 15:24 left.

    The score made it 4-2 but the Falcons were not done. Serratore pulled Moberg with 3:30 left and five seconds later, AFA freshman Ryan Doucet drew a slashing penalty for a 6-on-4 advantage. It took only 28 seconds for Scott Holm to knock in a rebound with 2:57 remaining.

    Air Force pulled Moberg again with 1:56 remaining and the Falcons sustained pressure on UConn freshman goalie Robby Nichols (40 saves) but to no avail. The rematch is at 5:05 p.m. Saturday.

    “There goalie was very good,” Serratore said. “I liked our effort and determination.”

    Air Force got a big-time goal late in the second period when defenseman Dan Weissenhofer chased down a loose puck along the far boards and then skated behind the UConn net, beating two Huskies to the opposite side. The junior attempted a wraparound shot that went off Nichols’s leg pad straight out to forward Ben Persian, who was skating hard at the net. His one-timer made it 3-2 with 1:46 remaining.

    “It was good to see our third and fourth lines guys getting going,” Holm said. “We did a good job putting pressure on them late but it didn’t work out.”

    Connecticut came into the game with Division’s I’s No. 11 power play (21.8 percent) and it certainly looked it. The Huskies power play scored twice in 42 seconds, taking advantage of a 5-on-3 advantage to make it 2-1 with 11:53 left in the second period.

    UConn, despite being out shot by a 16-7 margin at that point, added a third goal during even strength play about 90 seconds later.

    That ended Air Force freshman goalie Chris Truehl’s night since UConn tallied three goals on four shots. Moberg, who took the loss, replaced Truehl with 10:22 left in the second period and finished with 10 saves.

    Air Force took a 1-0 lead when Doucet tracked down the puck after it deflected high into the air and scored on the wraparound with 17:18 left in the second. It was the San Jose, Calif. native’s first goal as a Falcon, coming in his 12th game.

    Air Force out shot UConn 11-3 in the opening period and had some good scoring chances, especially with Nichols giving up some juicy rebounds. Those rebounds were nowhere to be found in the third period, stymieing Air Force’s hopes of a rally.

    Conversely, UConn threatened to score more than the three shots suggest with four unforced Falcon turnovers setting up the Huskies. But the Air Force defense recovered well enough to neutralize the threat.

    UConn 5, Air Force 3

    UConn             0          3          2          –5

    Air Force         0          2          1          — 3

    First period – No scoring. Penalties – none.

    Second period – 1. AFA, Doucet (Fabian, Torrel) 2:42; 2. UConn, Koonas (Norris, Segalla) 7:25 (PP); 3. UConn, Latta (Harris, Pauly) 8:07 (PP); 4, UConn, Gaffney (Bouchard, Segalla) 9:38; 5. AFA, Persian 9Weissenhoifer) 18:14. Penalties –  AFA, Demers, holding, 5:34; AFA, Timar, hooking, 6:58; UConn, Neumann (interference) 10:01; AFA, Reid, hooking, 19:36.

    Third period – 6. UConn, Kirtland (Segalla, Huson) 4:36; 7. AFA, Holm (Gunner, Demers) 17:03 (PP); 8. UConn, Harris (Tyson, Pauly) 19:47 (EN). Penalties – UConn, Huson, tripping, 13:06; UConn, Kirtland, slashing, 16:35.

    Power play – UConn 2-3, AFA 1-3. Shots on goal – UConn 3-10-7 – 20; AFA 11-10-22—43. Saves-minutes – UConn, Nichols 11-8-21 – 60:00; AFA, Truehl 3-2 – 29:38; Moberg 5-5 – x27:53. Referees – Barnard, Ernst. Linesmen – McAfee Jr., Blackburn. Attendance – 1,259 (2,470 capacity).

  • Friday’s lines: UConn at Air Force

    Fri, January 31, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Air Force coach Frank Serratore discusses a play with Cole Gunner.

    Air Force coach Frank Serratore discusses a play with Cole Gunner.

    Hello are Friday’s lines for Atlantic Hockey Association foes UConn (12-7-4, 10-4-3, third) at fourth-place Air Force (14-8-4, 9-5-3).  UConn sophomore defenseman Kyle Huson of Parker (three points, two assists) is expected to start.

    UConn

    LW-C-RW

    Norris-Pauly-Latta

    Gerling-Sims-Harris

    Kirtland-Tyson-Ferriss

    Skibba-Gaffney-Bouchard

    LD-RD

    Huson-Cooke

    Segalla-Kunnas

    Neumann-Poe

    Goalies – Nichols, Grogan, Comunale.

    Air Force

    Truehl thumbnailLW-C-RW

    Holm-Demers-Gunner

    Thomas-Carey-Reid

    Timar-Fabian-Torrel

    Doucet-Birkinbine-Persian

    LD-RD

    McKenzie-Weissenhofer

    Hrabovsky-Musselman

    Hartner-Halloran

    Goalies – Truehl, Moberg, Dyslewski

  • Friday reading: CC, AFA, previews, picks

    Fri, January 31, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    fredrik Olofsson MUGCC commit Fredrik Olofsson was traded to the USHL’s  Chicago Steel by the Green Bay Gamblers recently. 

    The Broomfield forward has played in 28 games this season for Green Bay and has scored two goals and added four assists.  He suited up for the Gamblers in eight games last season after the Colorado Thunderbirds club season ended.

    Olofsson is a 1996 birth year and was a fifth round pick of the Gamblers in the 2012 United States Hockey League Futures Draft.  He played for Sweden in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

    SCSU road celebrationFourth-place Air Force cannot afford to be outworked again in the Falcons’ home series against third-place UConn. Friday’s game is at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday starts at 5:05 p.m. to allow UConn to catch a late-night flight from Denver to Boston.

    There are only two NCHC series this weekend with CC, Denver, Miami and North Dakota enjoying their final bye weekend.

    No. 5 St. Cloud State at Nebraska-Omaha:

    Here is a feature on UNO freshman forward Austin Ortega who has been a steady contributor this season.  SCSU defenseman Ethan Prow has found his footing as part of the Huskies’ top defensive pairing in his sophomore season. Forward Joey Benik will play Friday at Omaha. Benik had missed the last five  games with an upper-body injury.

    The Huskies are focusing on tightening up their defense along with other NCHC notes

    WMU celebration 2Minnesota-Duluth at No. 20 Western Michigan:

    Western Michigan’s Mike Cichy has elevated his game so far this second half. Here is a video interview with Duluth senior Max Tardy.

    Things are wide open in the WCHA due to a poor nonconference mark overall. Here is more on the WCHA.

    Five teams are in the hunt for first place in the NCHC. Here are this weekend’s predictions for the AHA and NCHC.

    Injuries and suspensions means No. 1 Minnesota is thin on defense while senior forward Tom Serratore is out with an injury.

  • Five area athletes playing in D3 ranks

    Thu, January 30, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    finlandiaFive area players, including three women, are playing in the NCAA Division III ranks this season.

    Monument defenseman Daniel Hildebrandt has an assist in 14 games and a team-high 37 penalty minutes for the Augsberg Augies (9-5-3, 2-3-3 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).

    Sophomore blue-liner Sean Van Eysden of Colorado Springs has one assist in 16 games for the Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders (4-14-1, 3-9 .Northern Collegiate Hockey Association).

    Among the Colorado Springs women,. freshman forward Jena Kosley is tied for fifth in points (four, three assists) for Finlandia (0-16, 0-10 NCHA). Freshman goalie Casey Schwartz (0-2, 7.04 goals against, .865 saves) has appeared in four games for those Lions (mascot pictured).

    Senior goalie Jordan Lee is 2-11 (4.17 goals, .900 saves) for the Buffalo State Bengals (2-15, 2-8 ECAC West).

  • Thursday reading: NCHC notes

    Thu, January 30, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bigger-NCHC-logo-300x300Here are some notes on the NCHC provided by the league:

    •  Only four NCHC teams are in action this weekend with all four playing a conference series. The other four squads have their final bye of the regular season. Following this weekend, all eight will have 10 conference games remaining. 

    •  The NCHC finished 37-31-16 (.536) in non-conference play.

    •  Coming off a bye, No. 20 Western Michigan looks to extend its six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) when it hosts Minnesota-Duluth, CC’s road foe next weekend.. During the unbeaten streak, WMU has two wins over then No. 13 Miami, a win over then No. 3 Michigan and a win and a tie against then No. 3 St. Cloud State. UMD was the last team to beat WMU back on Dec. 14 in Duluth.

    •  Denver, idle this week, is one of just three NCAA teams (Minn. State, Quinnipiac) to rank in the top 10 nationally in both special teams categories. The Pioneers are fifth on the power play at 22.9 percent and sixth on the penalty kill at 87.9 percent. Two St. Cloud State ranks fourth on the power play at 23.4 percent.

    •  Denver senior goalie Sam Brittain ranks third (.936) and WMU sophomore Lukas Hafner fifth (.935). in saves percentage while Hafner leads the NCAA with a 1.61 goals against mark.

    •   Nebraska-Omaha junior forward Josh Archibald is tied for third nationally with 17 goals (first in the NCHC) while Miami sophomore forward Riley Barber is tied for sixth with 16 tallies. Barber is also tied for sixth in the NCAA in points with 35, tops in the NCHC.

  • Midweek reading: More ECAC suspensions; AFA

    Wed, January 29, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Union coach Rick Bennett, left, and RPI coach Seth Appert had to be separated after Saturday night’s game. (John Carl D’Annibale / Times Union)

    Union coach Rick Bennett, left, and RPI coach Seth Appert had to be separated after Saturday night’s game. (John Carl D’Annibale / Times Union)

    From the ECAC …

    ECAC Hockey announced additional supplemental discipline of Union coach Rick Bennett and Rensselaer coach Seth Appert as a result of a post-game incident last Saturday at the Times Union Center.

    The league assessed an additional two-game suspension to Bennett, and one game to Appert. The additional games prohibit Bennett from being behind the Dutchmen bench for a total of four games. Bennett was assessed a two-game suspension by Union on Sunday.

    The Union administration announced the ban Sunday after consulting and receiving approval from the league staff. Appert was not previously disciplined.

    Here is Bennett’s reaction to the news from the Union/RPI beat writer.

    “ECAC Hockey has continued to review the entire situation that occurred Saturday,” commissioner Steve Hagwell said. “After additional review and consideration, and discussions with league administrators, additional sanctions have been assessed.

    “The league members pride themselves on adhering to the highest level of sportsmanship. Those objectives were not attained Saturday.”

    The additional action prohibits Appert from being behind the bench Friday at St. Lawrence; Bennett is prohibited from coaching the Dutchmen in games versus Brown and Yale Feb. 7-8, in addition to this weekend’s contests at Clarkson and St. Lawrence.

    In happier news, Jordan Himley (NAHL Janesville Jets) committed to Air Force for 2014-2015 season while Matt Burchill (EJHL Bay State Breakers) is scheduled to join the AHA program for 2016-2017.

  • NCHC suspends Tigers’ Hanson for one game

    Tue, January 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Hanson home whitesThe National Collegiate Hockey Conference  suspended Colorado College sophomore forward Jared Hanson for one game, in accordance with the conference’s supplemental discipline policy, the NCHC announced Tuesday.

    The suspension stems from an illegal hit during the Tigers’ game against Miami this past Saturday

    Action was taken by the conference after a review of the play in which Hanson hit a Miami player from behind after the whistle at 16:34 of the second period. Hanson was assessed a five-minute checking from behind major and a game misconduct penalty on the play.

    Hanson will serve the suspension during Colorado College’s next game at Minnesota-Duluth on Friday, Feb. 7. He is eligible to return to competition Feb. 8.

    It is the first suspension handed down by the league under its supplemental discipline policy.

     

  • Tuesday reading: Union-RPI suspensions; North Star College Cup criticism

    Tue, January 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    The ECAC chose not to further punish the coaches while handing out some suspensions to the players involved in Saturday night’s postgame fight. Here is the USCHO article.

    Some fans think there are some changes that need to be made for the North Star College Cup, especially how it handles ties.

  • Monday reading: CC bye, AHA, NCHC, polls

    Mon, January 27, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UMD locker roomWith a bye week, Colorado College will have a light practice schedule with three sessions while the coaches spend most of the week hitting the phones/road/email inboxes to wage the never-ending recruiting battle. 

    Some of the eight injured Tigers should be able to return to action by next weekend’s road series at Minnesota-Duluth, which got some polls respect after placing second at the North Star College Cup this past weekend, falling to No. 1 Minnesota in a shootout. The Bulldogs are playing solid hockey and promise to be a serious road test for the Tigers.

    USCHO looks back the weekend in the AHA and NCHC.

    Here is this week’s USCHO poll:

    1 Minnesota (44) 18- 2-4 994 1
    2 Boston College ( 6) 18- 4-3 955 2
    3 Quinnipiac   18- 4-5 877 4
    4 Union   16- 5-3 847 3
    5 St. Cloud State   13- 5-4 767 5
    6 Ferris State   18- 6-3 737 6
    7 Providence   15- 6-5 706 7
    8 Massachusetts-Lowell   16- 7-2 660 8
    9 Wisconsin   14- 7-1 536 9
    10 Northeastern   15- 8-3 505 11
    11 Cornell   10- 4-5 495 12
    12 Michigan   12- 6-2 459 14
    13 Yale   10- 5-4 426 10
    14 Notre Dame   15- 9-1 361 15
    15 Clarkson   15- 9-2 275 13
    16 Denver   13- 8-5 224 16
    17 North Dakota   13- 8-3 178 18
    18 Colgate   13- 9-3 147 NR
    19 Vermont   13- 9-3 138 17
    20 Western Michigan   12- 8-4 104 19
    Others receiving votes: Maine 43, Minnesota-Duluth 38, Bentley 7, New Hampshire 7, Bowling Green 6, Air Force 3, Mercyhurst 2, Minnesota State 1, Nebraska-Omaha 1, Ohio State 1.

     USA Hockey poll:

    Rank, team (1st-place votes) Prev.

    1. Minnesota, 508 (32) 1
    2. Boston College, 475 (2) 2
    3. Quinnipiac, 433 4
    4. Union, 390 3
    5. St. Cloud State, 364 5
    6. Ferris State, 346 6
    7. Providence, 303 7
    8. UMass Lowell, 296 8
    9. Wisconsin, 216 9
    10. Northeastern, 190 11
    11. Cornell, 171 12
    12. Michigan, 135 14
    13. Yale, 125 10
    14. Notre Dame, 75 15
    15. Clarkson, 26 13

    Others receiving votes: Colgate, 17; Denver, 13; North Dakota, 12; Minnesota Duluth, 9; Bentley, 1; Vermont, 1; Western Michigan, 1.