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  • AFA hockey bringing in 12 freshmen

    Mon, June 30, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    AFAlogo2012Below is an edited version of the AFA press release. I will have an article with more on the kids with state and local connections later today.

    Here it is:

    The Air Force hockey program will add 12 freshmen this fall. The class of 2018, which began basic cadet training on June 26, includes six forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders.

    No. 23, Dylan Abood, D, 5-8, 155, Fr., Centennial, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (NAHL)

    Played in 176 games over three seasons in the NAHL … Spent the first two seasons with the Wenatchee Wild … In 2011-12, played 60 games, had 20 points (3-17-20) and was a +19 … In 2012-13, had 10 points (2-8-10) in 58 games and was a +14 … Spent the 2013-14 season with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and played in 58 games … Had 16 points (0-16-16) and led all defensemen with a +23 … His 16 points were second on the team among the blueliners and his 16 assists were fifth on the team among all players … Selected to the NAHL All-South Division Team.

    No. 27, Erik Baskin, F, 6-3, 210, Fr., Minnetonka, Minn., Aberdeen Wings (NAHL)

    Played 113 games over two seasons with Aberdeen … In 2012-13, had 25 points (15-10-25) … In 2013-14,  had 37 points on 21 goals and 16 assists … His 21 goals were tied for second on the team while his 37 points were seventh … Tied for the team lead with five game-winners and tied for second on the team with nine power-play goals.

    No. 4, Phil Boje, D, 5-11, 190, Fr., Shoreview, Minn., Brookings Blizzard (NAHL)

    Played 96 games over two seasons with Dubuque. … In 2012-13, played in 42 games and had four points … In 2013-14, had 12 points (9-3-12) in 56 games).

    No. 31 Connor Girard, G, 6-2, 200, Fr., Edina, Minn., Brookings

    Played in 92 games over three seasons in both the NAHL and the USHL … In 2011-12, played 16 games for the Springfield Jr. Blues and had a 3.38 GAA with a .900 saves percentage and a 4-11-0 record … Also played 11 games for USHL Dubuque (5-1-1, 2.78 goals, .901 saves) … In 2012-13, played 21 games with the Saints (14-3-2, 2.11 goals, .910 saves) … Played 12 games with USHL Sioux City (4-7-1, 3.09 goals, .898 saves in 2012-13. … In 2013-14, played four games with Sioux City (2-2, 2.26 goals, .917 saves) and played final 28 games with Brookings (10-16-1, 3.12 goals, .909 saves).

    No. 10, Jordan Himley, F, 5-7, 160, Fr., Mundelein, Ill., Janesville Jets (NAHL)

    Spent three seasons with Janesville and played in 120 games … Played in four games and had two assists in 2011-12 … In 2012-13, played in 57 games and had 26 points (15-11-26) … In 2013-14, led the team with 25 goals and 49 points in 59 games … Tied for second on the team with 24 assists … Led the team with three short-handed goals and eight game-winners … Had one assist in three playoff games.

     No. 52, Jonathan Kopacka, D, 6-1, 185, Fr., Metamora, Mich, Port Huron Fighting Falcons (NAHL)

    Played in 113 games in three seasons with the Port Huron … Played in three games in 2011-12 with one assist and was a +4 … In the 2012-13, had 12 points (2-10-12) and was a +7 … Played in six playoff games and had an assist … In 2013-14, played in 55 games and had 32 points (11-21-32) and was a +8 … Led all defensemen on the team in goals and points … Second on the team with seven power-play goals … Selected to the NAHL All-North Division team … Had three assists in eight playoff games.

    No. 14, Ben Kucera, F, 5-8, 165, Fr., Leawood, Kan., Wichita Falls Wildcats (NAHL)

    Played 108 games in three seasons for the Wichita Falls… Played four games and had two points in 2011-12 … In 2012-13, had 20 points (8-12-20) in 53 games … Had 31 points (12-19-31) in 51 games in 2013-14 … Tied for fifth on the team in points and fourth in assists … Tied for third on the team in power play goals with four … Also had three points in three playoff games in 2013-14.

    No. 13 Tyler Ledford, F, 5-9, 160, Fr., Colorado Springs, Wichita Falls

    Played in 118 games over two seasons in Wichita Falls … In 2012-13, had 35 points (9-26-35) in 58 games … Had 40 points (9-31-40) in 60 games in 2013-14 … Led the team with 31 assists and was second on the team with 40 points … Had two assists in three playoff games in 2013-14.

    No. 2 Kyle Mackey, D, 6-1, 175, Fr., Derby, N.Y., Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)

    Played in 99 games over two seasons for Youngstown … In 2012-13, had six assists in 38 games and was a plus-8 … Scored 16 points (15 assists) last season to lead defensemen in points and assists.

    No. 7 Matthew Meier, F, 6-1, 185, Fr., Highlands Ranch, Johnstown Tomahawks (NAHL)

    Played in six games (five points, three assists) in 2012-13 with the Kenai River Brown Bears of NAHL … Recorded 43 points (21 goals) in 56 games last season with Johnstown … Led the team with a plus-16 rating and four game-winning goals … Second on the team in goals and points.

    No. 41 Austin Priebe, G, 6-2, 210, Fr., Wausau, Wisc., Wenatchee Wild (NAHL)

    Played 63 games over three seasons … In 2011-12, played 18 games for Sioux City (4-8-0, 3.72 goals, .872 saves) … In 2012-13, played 25 games for Janesville (6-8-3, 2.93 goals, .913 saves) … Played in 16 games last season with Brookings (4-10-1, 2.99 goals, .909 saves) … Closed out season with Wenatchee (2-2-0, 3.19 goals, .876 saves).

    No. 20 Will Vosejpka, F, 6-0, 175, Fr., Midland, Mich., Wichita Falls

    Played 115 games over two seasons in Wichita Falls with 26 points (18 assists) in 55 games in 2012-13 … Played 60 games last season (38 points, 19 goals) with a plus-6 rating, good for second on the team in goals and assists and third in points.

  • Incoming Tigers goalie pleasantly surprised by Red Wings’ selection

    Sat, June 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Chase Perry

    Chase Perry

    Colorado College freshman Chase Perry had other pressing issues on his mind before he became the latest member of the Detroit Red Wings organization.

    He was readying for a cousin’s wedding on Saturday when he received a text from his uncle, Chad Perry.

    “He said ‘Dude you just got drafted by Detroit,’” said Perry, who was selected with the 136th overall pick in the fifth round.

    The news was a relief for Perry, who was pleased to join one of the Original Six franchises.

    “It is an amazing feeling I have right now,” he said. “They hadn’t talked to me at all but I am very pleased to be part of such a storied franchise that develops great players.”

    Perry was the 15th goalie selected, consistent with his pre-draft rankings as the No. 8 North American goalie. The 18-year-old enjoyed a strong 2013-14 regular season (12-2-4, 2.34 goals against, .905 saves percentage) with the Wenatchee Wild of the North American Hockey League. He stepped up in the playoffs (5-5, 1.83 goals, .933 saves)

    The Andover, Minn. native said he will head to the Red Wings development camp next month. The 6-foot-2, 189-pounder will arrive in Colorado Springs in August to start school and begin his CC career, he said.

    Perry’s selection means the Tigers are expected to have six draft picks on the roster, including four defensemen. Incoming rookie blue-liner Teemu Kivihalme was picked in the fifth round by Nashville last June.

    Former CC commit Fredrik Olofsson, the younger brother of former defenseman Gustav Olofsson, was picked by the Blackhawks at No. 98 overall in the fourth round. The forward backed out of his commit last season.

    The highest draft pick in program history is St. Louis Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz (14th, 2010).



  • Four college signees picked in NHL first round; second now underway

    Sat, June 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    From College Hockey Inc. …

    Four incoming college freshmen were selected in Friday night’s first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center:

    Pick NHL Team Player Pos. NCAA Team
    15. DET Dylan Larkin C Michigan
    16. CBJ Sonny Milano LW Boston College
    18. MIN Alex Tuch RW Boston College
    20. CHI Nick Schmaltz C North Dakota

    Chase Perry

    Chase Perry

    The four selections mark a sharp increase from last season, when none of the 30 first-round selections went on to play college hockey. Larkin, at No. 15, is the highest NCAA selection since another Michigan player, Jacob Trouba, went to Winnipeg at No. 9 two years ago.
    Larkin, Milano and Tuch were all teammates this past season with the U.S. National Team Development Program, which competes in the United States Hockey League (USHL). Schmaltz, who will join his brother Jordan at North Dakota in the fall, played for the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers.
    The draft continues Saturday with rounds two through seven, with roughly 60 more current or future NCAA players expected to be selected. At least 60 college players have been selected in each of the last 12 NHL drafts.

    UPDATE: The second goalie chosen in the draft was Boston College’s Thatcher Demko with pick No. 36 by Vancouver in Round 2. Incoming CC freshman Chase Perry is likely to be selected later today

  • Weekend reading: CC-Providence times; NHL Draft; Wisconsin schedule in flux

    Fri, June 27, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC at WMU Friday 002It promises to be a quick turnaround for the Tigers when they play at Hockey East’s Providence in early January 2015. They play at 5 p.m. MT on Saturday, Jan. 3 and at 2 p.m. the next day.

    The road trip concludes with Tuesday, Jan. 6 game at new HEA member UConn. Here is a link to the Providence schedule announced earlier this week.

    Incoming Tigers freshman Chase Perry is likely to be drafted on Saturday.

    Wisconsin is scrambling to flesh out its 2014-15 schedule.

  • Sterling signs with Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg

    Thu, June 26, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Sterling EuropeFormer Tiger wing Brett Sterling signed a one-year contract with Red Bull Salzburg of the Austria-based Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, which includes teams in the Czech Republic, Hungary, northern Italy, and Slovenia.

    Sterling most recently played one season with Sweden’s HV71 (43 games, 11 goals, 9 assists) before being traded to Örebro and then Kvalserien (combined 10 games, five points, two goals) for that league’s playoffs.

    michael_boivin_salzburgHe joins recent Tigers defenseman Michael Boivin, who recorded 21 points (15 assists) in his first professional season with Salzburg. He signed a one-year contract extension on April 16.

    Sterling, a former Hobey Baker finalist, made 30 NHL appearances (Thrashers, Penguins and Blues).

    The Los Angeles native has extensive amateur and professional experience. He won the world junior championships with both the U.S. U-18 and U-20 teams (2002 and 2004) and went on to pick up several personal awards in the American Hockey League (AHL), including 2006-07 Rookie of the Year. He won the AHL championship, the Calder Cup, with the Chicago Wolves the following season.

    He went on to record 459 points in 492 AHL games before heading to Europe last season.   Sterling is excited about the prospect of the Champions Hockey League this summer, which pairs the various league champions, including when the Red Bulls play HV71 in pool play.

    “It is kind of funny that coming to EC Red Bull Salzburg means I get to play against my former team,” he said in a press release. “It’s always fun to play versus friends and ex-teammates. They have a great team and it should make for very exciting hockey games. More importantly I cannot wait to arrive in Salzburg and for the season to start. Last year with HV71 we played versus Vienna and I found out how the EBEL is great hockey with good atmospheres. After talking with several current and past EBEL players, they had nothing but great things to say about all aspects of the league. I look for forward to energetic games and passionate rivalries.”

  • Midweek reading: UNO roster shuffle; LSSU completes staff; UND freshmen

    Tue, June 24, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Jaden picFormer Tiger Jaden Schwartz is a keeper and the Blues are looking to build around him and Vladimir Tarasenko.

    Nebraska-Omaha signed forward Grant Gallo for this fall, replacing freshman defenseman Shane Poulsen, who chose to not attend UNO.

    Gallo, a San Diego native,  played two seasons for the Northern Cyclones of the junior Eastern Hockey League where he was twice an all-league selection and member of the all-star Team.  In 2013-14, the 6-4, 215-pound blue liner led all EHL defensemen and finished second in team scoring with 15 goals and 27 assists for 42 points in 44 games. He was the EHL Defenseman of the Year and recorded122 penalty minutes. Gallo served as team captain, leading the Cyclones to the league championship.

    Lake Superior State coach Damon Whitten completed the staff of his Western Collegiate Hockey Association team by hiring Peter Aubry as an assistant coach. Aubry, who spent the past three seasons as a Mercyhurst assistant is a former goalie who will lead the Laker defence.  The hire follows the recent return of Rich Metro as a Laker assistant.

    For the first time in 11 years, North Dakota has no Canadians in its incoming freshman class.  Here is a look at the RIT incoming freshman class, which makes up for that.

  • McElhinney signs one-year extension with Columbus Blue Jackets

    Mon, June 23, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    McElhinney Columbus actionThe Columbus Blue Jackets signed former Colorado College goaltender Curtis McElhinney to a one-year contract extension through next season.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed. McElhinney, 31, posted a 10-11-1 record with a 2.78 goals-against-average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts in a career-high 28 games during the 2013-14 season, his first with Columbus.

    110329_mcelhinneyHe was acquired in a trade with the Coyotes on February 22, 2012 and signed a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract with the Jackets on July 1, 2012. The 6-3, 205-pound netminder spent the 2012-13 campaign with the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons, setting franchise records for highest SV% (.923) and most shutouts (9) in a single season. He earned the Ross Lowe Memorial Award as Falcons MVP and was a Second Team AHL All-Star selection. He signed a one-year contract with the Blue Jackets on May 24, 2013.

    The London, Ontario native has a career 2.97 goals against mark, .902 save percentage, 29 wins and four shutouts in 97 career NHL games with Columbus, Phoenix, Ottawa, Anaheim and Calgary. He was originally selected by the Flames in the sixth round, 176th overall, of the 2002 NHL Draft. In 205 career AHL appearances with Springfield, Portland and Quad City/Omaha, McElhinney has posted a 119-78-8 record in addition to a 2.37 GAA, .918 SV% and 22 shutouts.

    Prior to his professional career, McElhinney spent four seasons at Colorado College (WCHA), registering a 62-16-8 record, 2.32 GAA and nine shutouts in 91 career games from 2001-05. He was named a First Team All-American (NCAA West) as a senior in 2004-05 after backstopping the Tigers to a MacNaughton Cup title and an appearance in the Frozen Four.

  • Monday reading: Coach hires; North Dakota freshmen; RIT arena

    Mon, June 23, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UND MacMillanFormer Denver associate coach Steve Miller is a new assistant at Providence, the Hockey East school announced on Monday.

    In October 2013, Miller became the first general manager and coach of the U.S.  Hockey League’s expansion franchise in Madison, Wis., but resigned in May 2014 to be closer to his family in Denver.

    Former interim UConn coach David Berard will be announced as the new Holy Cross coach later today. The former Providence assistant (1994-96, 1998-2011) also spent two seasons  at Lake Superior State.

    North Dakota announced its six incoming freshmen (four forward, one defenseman and one goalie) for the upcoming season.

    Here is an article and photos on the new RIT arena.

  • Weekend reading: Petersen goes out on top; Murray staying at Western Michigan

    Fri, June 20, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Petersen imageFormer Tiger forward Toby Petersen announced his retirement after the Texas Stars won the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup. The Stars won the series 4-1 against fellow Tigers Kris Fredheim and Cody Lampl of the St. John’s IceCaps.

    The center, who played professionally for 14 seasons,  was drafted  in 1998 by Pittsburgh (244th overall) and played 398 NHL games with the Dallas Stars, Penguins and Edmonton.

    The injured forward hinted he would make this decision when interviewed recently.

    “I’ve known for months that it was the right decision,” Petersen told the Texas Stars fan blog after the Calder Cup rally Thursday night in Cedar Park. “I’d love to have been out there skating it around. It’s a great feeling to say I went out on top.”

    TSN reported that Western Michigan coach Andy Murray was courted by Toronto to become an NHL assistant but will stay in the college ranks.

  • CC season ticket sales surging

    Thu, June 19, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Colorado College hockeyThe recent hire of a new coach is behind a recent surge in Colorado College hockey season ticket sales, said Scott Lowenberg, associate athletic director, external operations.

    “The 100 sold over the last three to four weeks and the volume of recent inquires is not the norm for this time of year,” Lowenberg said, adding that lower prices are also a factor. “People are very excited about Coach Mike Haviland. They are also excited to see what he will do with our outstanding freshman class returning as sophomores and the incoming big-time goalies.”

    Most available season tickets are in the upper bowl sides and ends and corners. Prices go up $5-30 after June 27. Here are more details.