2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Mavericks’ fast start dooms Tigers; stats, notes

    Fri, February 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Montpetit shortyOMAHA, Neb. – Colorado College’s momentum came to a sudden halt against a red-hot Nebraska-Omaha squad on Friday.

    Mavericks freshman Austin Ortega scored 11 seconds into the National Collegiate Hockey Conference game, a school record, and the hosts never looked back en route to a 6-0 victory over the Tigers.

    “They were really good tonight,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “Their forwards gave us a lot of trouble. We were slow to react and were flat-footed to start the game.”

    The third-place Mavericks (14-15-2, 11-8-2-1 NCHC) took a three-goal lead early including when Brock Montpetit scored a shorthanded goal only 2:15 into the contest.

    It was the first shorty allowed by the seventh-place Tigers (6-19-6, 6-10-5-1) this season.

    Almost three minutes later, UNO made it 3-0 when Dominic Zombo forced a turnover behind the Colorado College net and passed out front to freshman Jake Guentzel, younger brother for former Tiger Gabe Guentzel, for the score with 14:32 left before 6,541 fans at CenturyLink Center

    The third goal on four shots ended senior goalie Josh Thorimbert’s night. Junior Courtney Lockwood came on and recorded 23 saves in 55 minutes.

    Colorado College had its opportunities to battle back, with Nebraska-Omaha picking up two penalties on junior Jaycob Megna in the first period. But the UNO power play, rated 46th at 79.7 percent, continued its torrid pace since Christmas (91 percent). The CC power play was able to generate only five shots over four power plays.

    UNO pulled away when league-leading scorer Josh Archibald scored in the second period and again in the third period for his 27th and 28th goals this season, setting a school record. Zombo picked up his third assist of the night on the fifth goal with 15:56 left in the third.

    “We’re a good hockey team and we are playing well right now,” Zombo said. “But we cannot worry about home playoff ice. We just need to focus on the first period Saturday against CC.”

    Nebraska-Omaha moved within three points of second-place SCSU in the standings with three games remaining in the regular season. North Dakota pulled ahead of everyone with a 5-2 road win over St. Cloud State to improve to 15-2-1 in its last 18 games.

    Less than a week after the high point of the season so far – winning the Gold Pan Trophy over rival Denver – the Tigers will try for s road split on Saturday. 

    “We’ll see,” said Owens, who coached his 600th game (323-223-54) at his alma mater. “We are playing a good team. They are a third-place team which is on a bit of a roll right now.”

    CC remains seven points ahead of last-place Miami, 5-4 losers at home to fifth-place Minnesota-Duluth, with three games (maximum nine points) remaining.

    Nebraska-Omaha 6, Colorado College 0

    Colorado College         0          0          0          –0

    Nebraska-Omaha         3          1          2          –6

    First period – 1. UNO, Ortega (unassisted) :11; 2. UNO, Montpetit (Zombo) 2:15 (SH); 3. UNO, Guentzel (Zombo, Archibald) 5:28. Penalties – UNO, Youso, roughing, 1:55; UNO, Megna, holding, 9:59; CC, Krushelnyski, hooking, 11:36; UNO, Megna, hooking, 16:28.

    Second period – 4, UNO, Archibald (Montpetit, Young) 3:07 (PP). Penalties – CC, Rothstein, boarding, 5:38; CC, Bradley, high-sticking, 8:47; CC, Roos, high-sticking, 15:38; CC, Young, holding, 19:09.

    Third period – 5. UNO, Archibald (Guentzel, Zombo) 4:04; 6. UNO, Polk (Seeler, Pearce) 11:56 (PP). Penalties – UNO, Zombo, slashing, 6:45; CC, Harstad, hooking, 10:56.

    Power play – CC 0-4, UNO 2-6. Shots on goal – CC 6-7-7 – X20 UNO 12-7-11 – 30. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 1-5:28; Lockwood 8-6-9 – 54:32; UNO, Massa 6-7-7 – 59:39. Referees – Dreger, B. Shepherd. Linesmen – Fitzpatrick, Stanton. Attendance – 6,541 (16,680 capacity).

    CC’s all-time team slanted toward recent players

    Earlier this season, Tiger fans voted for their all-time CC hockey greats. Most of the first-team spots going to players from the modern era. Four forwards were chosen for the first and second teams with two defensemen and a goalie apiece.

    The first-team forwards are: Bill “Red” Hay (1956-58); Jaden Schwartz (2010-12); Peter Sejna (2000-3); and Brett Sterling (2002-6). Defensemen Tom Preissing (1999-2003) and Mark Stuart (2002-5) made the list as did goalie Curtis McElhinney (2001-5).

    The second-team forwards are: Dave Delich (1975-79); Doug Palazzari (1970-74), Marty Sertich (2002-6) and Brian Swanson (1995-99). The defensemen honorees are Doug Lidster (1979-83) and Scott Swanson (1995-99). Ryan Bach (1992-96) is the netminder.

    The eight forwards combined for 673 goals and 941 assists for 1,614 career points and an average of 201.8. Delich, Palazzari and Brian Swanson are Nos. 1-3 on CC’s all-time points list.

    Eight of the 14 honorees played on teams that reached the NCAA national semifinals while two, Sejna (2003) and Sertich (2005) won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s best player. Both goalies, Hay, Sterling and Brian Swanson are two-time All-Americans.

    Ice chips

    CC senior captain Eamonn McDermott played for UNO coach Dean Blais at Fargo of the junior U.S. Hockey League. … The dorm fire that left six freshman Mavericks players homeless on Wednesday was linked to a burning cigarette left behind on a second-floor balcony. … Air Force senior Jason Torf and three NCHC goalies — Denver’s Sam Brittain, Minnesota-Duluth’s Aaron Crandall and Ryan Faragher of St. Cloud State — are up for the inaugural Mike Richter Award. Candidates were determined by nominations from all 59 Division I coaches. The finalists and winner will be selected by a committee of coaches, scouts and media. … Five former NCAA players claimed Olympic gold medals, with Duncan Keith (Michigan State) and Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) becoming the first former college players to win gold twice. Vermont, with Patrick Sharp and Martin St. Louis, produced two gold medalists. 

     

  • Friday’s lines: CC at Nebraska-Omaha

    Fri, February 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    SCSU 2nd goalColorado College

    LW-C-RW

    Krushelnyski-Rothstein-Roos

    Skalbeck-Collett-Hanson

    Gerdes-Bradley-Taft

    Morin-Heil-Wamsganz

    LD-RD

    Stoykewych-Olofsson

    Harstad-Slavin

    Young-McDermott

    Goalies – Thorimbert, Lockwood

    Nebraska-Omaha

    LW-C-RW

    Guentzel-Zombo-Archibald

    Walters-Montpetit-Ortega

    Searfoss-Lane-Davis

    Polk-Pearce-Simonson

    LD-RD

    Megna-Seeler

    Cooper-O’Rourke

    Young-Youso

    Goalies – Mass, Peters, Thompson

  • Air Force’s Torf up for goalie award

    Fri, February 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    afa vs uaaAir Force senior Jason Torf and three NCHC goalies — Denver’s Sam Brittain, Minnesota-Duluth’s Aaron Crandall and Ryan Faragher of St. Cloud State — are up for the inaugural Mike Richter Award.

    The award is presented by the Let’s Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation and will be presented at the 2014 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four in Philadelphia.

    Candidates for the Mike Richter Award were determined by nominations from all 59 NCAA Division I men’s hockey head coaches. The finalists and winner will be selected by a committee of coaches, scouts and members of the media.

    Criteria to be considered include: display outstanding skills on the ice, be in good academic standing at an NCAA college or university, consideration should be given to academic achievement and sportsmanship, candidates must comply with all NCAA rules; be full-time students at an NCAA college or university; and complete 50 percent or more of the season and community service.

    2014 Mike Richter Award candidates:

    Sam Brittain, Denver                       

    Aaron Crandall, Minnesota-Duluth                                     

    Thatcher Demko, Boston College                                      

    Ryan Faragher, St. Cloud State                                         

    Jon Gillies, Providence                                                    

    Connor Hellebuyck, UMass Lowell                                     

    Jake Hildebrand, Michigan State                                       

    Andy Iles, Cornell                                     

    C.J. Motte, Ferris State                             

    Zach Nagelvoort, Michigan                                              

    Martin Oullette, Maine                                                     

    Joel Rumpel, Wisconsin                                                   

    Jimmy Sarjeant, Mercyhurst                                             

    Colin Stevens, Union                                                      

    Steve Summerhays, Notre Dame                                      

    Jason Torf, Air Force                                

    Adam Wilcox, Minnesota                                                 

    Clay Witt, Northeastern    

  • Friday reading: CC’s focus, NCHC previews

    Fri, February 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Heil goldsCC hopes to avoid a letdown after last weekend’s emotional sweep of rival Denver.

    “The kids stayed positive and worked hard and it paid off,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said. “There is confidence now and a little positive momentum. We did stress on Monday that we have to maintain our focus and energy. It will be interesting how the kids react to that.”

    Here is a feature on Archie Skalbeck and how his recent surge has coincided with the improvement of others on the Tigers.

    Nebraska-Omaha hopes its team identity is associated with grit. The UNO seniors may be playing their last games in Omaha this weekend.

    Defenseman Michael King and wing Matt Hansen all took extra time practicing following the morning skate, suggesting they will be health scratches tonight. Forwards Zach Aman (healthy), Jordan DiGiando (lower body), Hunter Fejes (lower body) and Peter Maric (upper body) stayed behind in Colorado Springs.

    St. Cloud State goalie Ryan Faragher is profiled by the SC Times. He is also a candidate for the Mike Richter Award as D1′s best goaltender. They host North Dakota in a series likely to determine ownership of the regular-season title and the Penrose Cup.

    Sixth-place Minnesota-Duluth hopes to get back on track this weekend against Miami in Oxford, Ohio.

    Fourth-place Western Michigan hopes to keep home ice in the playoffs at the expense of fifth-place Denver in Kalamazoo this weekend.

     

  • Thursday reading: Notes, Air Force, Hillen

    Thu, February 27, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CCUND picHere are preview notes for Colorado College and Nebraska-Omaha.

    For those of you driving to Nebraska-Omaha, this feature on Alabama-Huntsville’s travel travails should make you feel better.

    And if you  are sleepy after that long drive, here is away to stay awake all weekend.

     Former Tiger Jack Hillen takes time out to help some D.C. area kids.

    Air Force junior Cole Gunner has 98 career points entering the final AHA regular-season weekend. Here is a video interview with senior Tony Thomas on this weekend’s road series at Niagara.

    CURRENT NCHC STANDINGS

    Conference Overall
    Team Pts GP W L T SW Win% GF GA GP W L T Win% GF GA
    North Dakota 39 20 13 7 0 0 0.650 67 56 30 18 9 3 0.650 95 79
    St. Cloud State 39 20 12 5 3 0 0.675 71 53 30 18 7 5 0.683 109 80
    Nebraska Omaha 33 20 10 8 2 1 0.550 68 59 30 13 15 2 0.467 98 100
    Western Michigan 31 20 9 9 2 2 0.500 59 61 32 15 12 5 0.547 86 84
    Denver 29 20 8 9 3 2 0.475 49 49 32 14 12 6 0.531 81 72
    Minnesota Duluth 28 20 8 10 2 2 0.450 54 60 30 13 13 4 0.500 84 87
    Colorado College 24 20 6 9 5 1 0.425 46 56 30 6 18 6 0.300 60 92
    Miami 17 20 5 14 1 1 0.275 48 68 30 11 16 3 0.417 88 92
  • Three Things to Watch at Nebraska-Omaha

    Thu, February 27, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UNO archibaldHere are three things Colorado College will need to be aware of headed into this weekend’s National Collegiate Hockey Conference series at Nebraska-Omaha, 6:37 p.m. Friday, 6:07 Saturday, CenturyLink Center:

    1. Keep track of Hobey Baker contender Josh Archibald

    While Boston College sophomore Johnny Gaudreau remains the odds-on Hobey favorite, Mavericks junior Josh Archibald is having a tremendous season with 26 goals, second only to Gaudreau (29), who has an eye-popping 63 points (34 assists) in 33 games.

    The three-time NCHC offensive player of the week honoree, who leads Division I in third-period (12) and overtime (two) scoring, is strong in front of the net and has good speed in open space.

    “The puck just seems to find it way in,” UNO coach Dean Blais said. “He is fast and has good hands and because of his speed he keeps getting scoring opportunities. Dominic Zombo gives him the pass at center ice and he (Archibald) blows right past the defender. There aren’t too many prolific scorers like him one-on-one in the NCAA.”

    2. Do not let down following an emotional home weekend

    The Tigers are riding a three-game win streak that culminated with a Saturday win that took back the Gold Pan Trophy from rival Denver. CC must guard against a letdown against a third-place Mavericks squad jockeying for playoff position.

    Senior Alexander Krushelnyski was not concerned.

    “I’m not too worried about that,” he said after the game. “This win was more about our boosting our confidence more than anything else.”

    3. Dictate the pace of the game

    Nebraska-Omaha has a potent offense with five players with 25 or more points, including 2013 Hobey Top 10 finalist and senior Ryan Walters (28, 22 assists) and league Rookie of the Year hopeful Jake Guentzel (25, 21 assists), younger brother of former CC defenseman Gabe.

    The Mavs (13-15-2, 10-8-2-1 NCHC) are at their best when they play a run-and-gun style that takes advantage of their skill and speed.

    “We have to continue playing within our system because Omaha will try to get us going up and down the ice,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said. “They have some firepower on offense.”

  • Wild trades Connelly to Chicago affiliate

    Wed, February 26, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    connelly action rockfordThe Chicago Blackhawks announced Wednesday that they have acquired former CC defenseman Brian Connelly from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Brad Winchester. Connelly will report directly to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

    In addition, defenseman Zach Miskovic has been traded by Rockford to Iowa for future considerations and Rockford has recalled rookie defenseman Bobby Shea from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

    Connelly, 27, has appeared in 50 games this season with the AHL’s Iowa Wild, leading the team in points (32) and assists (27). He also ranks second among team defensemen in goals (5) and power play goals (3).

    He previously spent parts of four seasons with the IceHogs from 2009 to 2012. The Bloomington, Minn., native has tallied 212 points (32g-181a) in 342 career AHL games with Rockford, Abbotsford, Houston and Iowa. He has played in the AHL All-Star Game twice (2010-11, 2011-12) and was named to the AHL’s Second All-Star Team following the 2011-12 campaign.

    The blueliner currently ranks sixth on Rockford’s all-time games played list (211) and second on the career assist list (100). Connelly is the IceHogs all-time leading point producer among defenseman (126).

    Prior to his professional career, Connelly appeared in 114 career games with Colorado College from 2006 to 2009, posting 63 points (8g, 55a) during that span.

    Winchester, 32, has recorded 30 points (16g, 14a) in 55 games this season with Rockford. He was signed by the Blackhawks as a free agent on July 24, 2013.

  • Midweek notes: Injuries; tickets; CC season

    Wed, February 26, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Zahn injuryUNO senior Zahn Raubenheimer’s college career is over after he was helped after he broke his foot Saturday blocking a shot. (Photo by @LSchellhardt)

    From the article:Foot broken, Raubenheimer got up and tried to block another shot, and just missed with his right foot.

    St. Cloud defenseman Andrew Prochno won’t play this weekend against UND because of a lower-body injury, according to the SCSU beat writer.

    SCSU coach Bob Motzko on Prochno’s  injury: “He’s going to be out a couple weeks.”

    Not surprisingly, tickets are getting scarce for the North Dakota at SCSU series that may determine the first winner of the Penrose Cup. North Dakota home playoff tickets go on sale Wednesday.

    The Colorado College win streak has moved them down a dubious list.

     

  • Blais impressed by Tigers’ sweep of Denver

    Tue, February 25, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Blais picI listened in on the weekly radio show for Nebraska-Omaha coach  Dean Blais, who was impressed by Colorado College’s sweep of rival Denver last weekend.

    “That was not an accident,” he said during his weekly radio show. “They went into Denver and got their first road win. You’d think Denver would come out and get some revenge in Colorado Springs the next night and CC was the better team. We are going to have to play at the top of our game to beat them. Guys are confident we can win with the guys we have in there.”

    Blais also spoke highly of senior goalie Josh Thorimbert.

    “He’s played every game and obviously done a great job,” Blais said. “He had four saves each night (against Denver) that were the difference in the game.”

  • Tuesday reading: Air Force streak; AHA rewind; NCHC review, Demi Lovato edition

    Tue, February 25, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    afa vs uaaAir Force coach Frank Serratore is rightfully more concerned about how his team plays this weekend at Niagara after losing junior defensemen Dan Weissenhofer (lower-body) and Alex Halloran (groin) to injury.

    But he doesn’t have to worry about one notable accomplishment since the Falcons will finish no worse than fifth in the 12-team Atlantic Hockey Association for their eighth-straight finish in the top half of the league.

    Only six in Division I have a comparable streak. No. 10 North Dakota clinched its 12th consecutive top-half league finish this past weekend. The others are No. 20 Denver (10), Boston University (nine), Miami (eight) and No. 15 Yale (six).

    That six-team list will soon drop to four since both BU and Miami are assured of finishing toward the bottom of their respective leagues.

    It could be only two by season’s end: Yale is in fifth in the 12-team ECAC while Denver fifth in eight-team National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

    Halloran is day to day and may be held out until the playoffs. Weissenhofer will not play this weekend.

    DemiLovatoUSCHO looks back on the weekend that was in the Atlantic Hockey Association, focusing on playoff scenarios and NCHC, which focuses on next weekend’s UND-SCSU series, the Gold Pan and a Demi Lovato concert that will force a NCHC home quarterfinals series to be played Thursday-Saturday, if necessary.

    Someone at the Omaha arena forgot to check their calendar.