2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Midweek reading: Grimaldi decision; coach search

    Wed, April 30, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UND Grimaldi actionNorth Dakota standout and Florida draft pick Rocco Grimaldi will announce before the end of the school year (2 1/2 weeks) if he will return to UND. If he decides to stay, it would be the first offseason since 2010 that no UND player left school early for the pros.

    Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph had little to add about the ongoing Tigers coach search with the interview process continuing for the 10 candidates, including current CC assistants Joe Bonnett and Eric Rud.

    Ralph spent the past five days in league and coaches association meetings and no doubt spent some time talking to coaches who are candidates or could talk about them.

  • UND freshmen cited for underage drinking

    Wed, April 30, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    From the Grand Forks Herald

    Three North Dakota freshmen were cited for underage drinking last weekend. Wade Murphy, Luke Johnson and Keaton Thompson were all ticketed according to court records. Murphy is 20, Johnson is 19 and Thompson is 18. Murphy and Thompson also were cited for failure to halt. Both are Class B misdemeanors.

    Murphy played 19 games last season, registering three points. Johnson played in all 42 games, tallying 21 points. Thompson played in 26 games, tallying eight points.

    “We are aware of the situation and it has been dealt with internally,” UND athletic director Brian Faison told the Grand Forks Herald.

    What does that mean? Judging from past incidents, that could include game suspensions — probably one or two — by the program. Do not expect any further comment from the coach or school.

  • In the pros: Three former Tigers part of historic ECHL playoff marathon

    Tue, April 29, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    David deKastrozza’s goal with 2 minutes, 42 seconds remaining in the fourth overtime lifted Idaho to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Eagles in the longest game in ECHL history late Monday night in Boise. Game length was 137 minutes, 18 seconds or 5 hours, 34 minutes in real time.

    The win clinched the Western Conference quarterfinal series for fourth-seeded Idaho, 4-2, and ended the season for the Eagles, which include former CC defenseman Arthur Bidwill and Colorado Springs native Luke Fulghum, a past Denver standout.

    Idaho, which includes former Tigers Eamonn McDermott and William Rapuzzi, advances to the conference semifinals against No. 1 seed Alaska.

  • Corbett’s return one highlight of AFA nonconference schedule

    Tue, April 29, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    afa vs uaaA familiar face will be back twice next season.

    Second-year Alabama-Huntsville coach Mike Corbett will leads his Chargers into Colorado Springs for two nonconference series; Oct. 10-11 at Colorado College and Nov. 7-8 at Air Force, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association member school announced.

    Corbett, a former Denver captain, coached as an assistant and later as an associate coach under AFA’s Frank Serratore for 10 years before taking the Huntsville job last summer.

    The Chargers went 2-35-1 last season.

    Other confirmed AFA games are:

    Oct. 17 at Alaska-Fairbanks (Brice Gold Rush, Fairbanks), 6:07 p.m. MT

    Oct. 18 vs. Alaska-Anchorage Fairbanks (Brice Gold Rush, Fairbanks), 2:07 p.m.

    Nov. 21 at Denver, TBA

    As of yet unconfirmed is an Air Force home game against CC on Nov. 22

  • Monday reading: NCHC meetings, LSSU hire, SCSU anniversary

    Mon, April 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Former Alaska-Anchorage and Michigan Tech assistant Damon Whitten was hired as the new Lake Superior State coach, leaving CC as the only head coach opening right now.

    St. Cloud State secured its Division I membership by joining the WCHA 25 years ago this week.

    The NCHC league meetings are underway today. Here are six topics, including a possible playoff format change, that are likely to be discussed.

  • CC coach search enters next stage

    Fri, April 25, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    cc gold celebrationAll 10 candidates passed the vetting process and now the interview portion is getting underway in the Colorado College hockey coach search.

    CC athletic director Ken Ralph said the advisory committee is now contacting the employer of each of the 10 candidates – except Tigers assistants Joe Bonnett and Eric Rud – to ask for permission to interview the coach directly. Once they get it, they contact the coach, usually by phone.

    “We want to do this in a professional manner,” Ralph said. “You rarely have any problem getting permission as long as you contact their department first.”

    Ralph also said some coaches may be willing to talk now that their junior and professional teams are eliminated from the postseason.  He stressed that there has been no contact with former Denver coach George Gwozdecky. The Tampa Bay assistant’s season ended earlier this week in the NHL playoffs.

    The job opening came about after longtime coach Scott Owens resigned after 15 seasons at the helm of his alma mater earlier this month. All 10 candidates, whittled down from a list of 60,  passed the vetting process easily.

    “With the Internet now, the vetting process and reference checks are much easier,” Ralph said. “They all got through that portion easily. That makes it even tougher to decide because we love all 10 even more now.”

    Ralph will be in Florida this weekend for the American Hockey Coaches Association convention and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference meetings to follow. That means the list of 10 will not be whittled down to the finalists, anywhere from two to eight, before the middle of next week. The NCHC will also consider changes to its postseason format.

    One name Tiger fans can cut from their list of hopefuls – besides Gwozdecky and Air Force coach Frank Serratore – is Providence coach Nate Leaman.

    “I am very happy to be at Providence and I am not involved with the CC coaching position,” he said earlier this week.

  • Weekend reading: CC candidates, signings; NCHC; Ralph renovations; WCHA women

    Thu, April 24, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC assistants picYou can now count out Providence coach Nate Leaman as one of the many candidates’ names floating around for the open Colorado College coaching job: ” I am very happy to be at Providence and I am not involved with the CC coaching position. “

    Others who have publicly said they are not interested include former Denver coach George Gwozdecky and Air Force coach Frank Serratore.

    The only confirmed candidates out of the 10 being vetted this week and next are current CC assistants Joe Bonnett and Eric Rud, both pictured.

    Goalie Chase Perry and forward Mason Bergh signed  last week and are scheduled to join the Tigers this fall. Here is more on on the incoming freshman class.

    Here is an article on William Rapuzzi and other former Tigers playing in the minors and overseas. The NCHC will consider changes to its postseason bracket at next week’s league meetings.

    The Ralph Engelstad Arena is undergoing some renovations behind the scenes. It did not take long for a former Denver assistant to get a new job back East.

    Aaron Kemp, the senior associate athletic director at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., was named the new commissioner of the women’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He accepted a four-year agreement with the WCHA.  Kemp, 38, succeeds Sara Martin, who has served as the guiding force of the women’s WCHA since its founding in 1999. Martin will retire on June 30.

  • McDermott making adjustment to pros

    Wed, April 23, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    McDermott2013-14The move from the college ranks to professional hockey has not been without its speed bumps for former CC defenseman Eamonn McDermott, who is in Loveland taking on the Colorado Eagles in the ECHL playoffs.

    The Idaho Steelheads defenseman has two assists through seven games. His first point came on a pretty move against the Eagles during the regular season. He looped around two forwards to create space and laced a long pass up ice for an Idaho winger.

    “It’s definitely different but the guys have been very welcoming,” said McDermott, who is now roommates with former Tigers captain William Rapuzzi. McDermott also expressed surprise at the news of former CC coach Scott Owens’ resignation.

  • Tuesday reading: Miami adds size; NHL-college numbers; Andy Gambucci

    Tue, April 22, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Gambucci in actionMiami is remedying its problem with a lack of size in the defensemen corps judging from its incoming freshmen for 2014-15.

    A record 305 college hockey alumni played in the NHL this past regular season. Thirty-one with ties to the programs in the NCHC are now competing in the NHL playoffs.

    Tigers great Andy Gambucci, pictured, was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night. Here is a feature I did on Gambucci when the honor was announced.

  • More weekend reading: Jaden Schwartz; No cuts for Air Force hockey; ECHL playoffs

    Fri, April 18, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Schwartz celebrationFormer Tiger Jaden Schwartz scored the tying goal in regulation in a 3OT thriller against Chicago.

    Air Force announced its athletic department cuts, which did not affect revenue sports, including hockey.

    The ECHL playoffs are underway with former Tiger William Rapuzzi ( No. 4 seed Idaho) hosting the No. 5 Colorado Eagles (Arthur Bidwill). No. 6 Bakersfield (Joe Marciano) plays at No. 3 Utah. Here is a league preview.

    Here are the incoming freshmen for Minnesota State in Mankato. Here is a look at how North Dakota has fared in the national rankings this past decade.

    Not surprisingly, Union’s Rick Bennett was the USCHO Coach of the Year.