2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • 13 Falcons make AHA all-academic team

    Mon, July 7, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    mckenzie-gazetteThe Atlantic Hockey Association announced its 2013-14 all-academic team and a school record 13 Air Force players were recognized, including four-time honoree Adam McKenzie, pictured.

    The first-time honorees were: Max Birkinbine (Fr.; F; White Bear Lake, Minn.); Ryan Dau (Fr.; F; Hudson, Wisc.); Chad Demers (Jr.; F; Grafton, N.D.); Mike McDonald (Jr.; D; Mahtomedi, Minn.); George Michalke (Jr.; F; Parma, Ohio); Chris Truehl (Fr.; G; Stoughton, Wisc.); Dan Weissenhofer (Jr.; D; Naperville, Ill.).

    Two-time honorees were: Chris Dylewski, (So.; G; Colorado Springs, Colo.); Jason Fabian (Sr.; F; Roseau, Minn.); Tony Thomas (Sr.; F; South Lyon, Mich.);

    Three-time honorees: Ben Persian (Jr.; F; Orono, Minn.); Jason Torf (Sr.; G; Hermosa Beach, Calif.).

    Four-time honoree: Adam McKenzie (Sr.; D;  Petaluma, Calif.).

  • AFA’s McKenzie is two-time academic All-American

    Fri, June 6, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    mckenzie-gazetteAir Force defenseman Adam McKenzie was named to the Capital One Academic All-America at-large second team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). McKenzie, a third-team Capital One Academic All-America selection in 2013, becomes the first Air Force hockey player to become a two-time Academic All-American.

    McKenzie, from Petaluma, Calif., graduated from the Academy with a 3.89 GPA as an aeronautical engineering major. A second-team all-conference defenseman and team captain as a senior, McKenzie played in all 39 games and tied for the team lead in scoring among defensemen with 18 points. His seven goals were tied for seventh on the team among all players. In conference games only, McKenzie was sixth in Atlantic Hockey with 16 points in 27 games.

    Off the ice, McKenzie ranked 12th in the class of 2014 (1,018 cadets) in overall GPA, ranked 20th in overall Order of Merit and third in his major of aeronautical engineering in overall GPA. A three-time Atlantic Hockey all-academic selection, McKenzie was a first-team Capital One Academic All-District selection in 2013 and 2014.

  • McKenzie garners AFA excellence award

    Tue, May 27, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    mckenzie-gazetteAir Force athletics recognized several at the academy’s annual awards ceremony recently, including senior hockey player Adam McKenzie, who won the athletic excellence award.

    Senior track and field star Annette Eichenberger and senior golfer Kyle Westmoreland were named female and male athlete of the year, respectively.

    Senior diver Rachel Kennedy earned the scholar-athlete award while senior wrestler Devin Hightower won the athletic leadership award lacrosse’s Erik Smith, the athletic achievement award.   

    Here is the academy’s write-up on McKenzie:

    McKenzie MUGATHLETIC EXCELLENCE: Adam McKenzie became one of the most decorated Falcon hockey players, both on and off the ice, in school history. A three-time all-Atlantic Hockey Association selection, he was also a three-time academic all-conference selection, a two-time academic all-district honoree and a 2013 Academic All-American. McKenzie carries a 3.89 GPA as an aeronautical engineering major and was the No. 1 cadet in the aeronautical engineering major. A second-team all-conference defenseman and team captain as a senior, he helped lead the Falcons to a regular-season conference championship, two conference tournament titles and two NCAA tournament appearances. He concluded his career ranked 12th in school history in points by a defenseman.

  • Former CC players drew new coach to program

    Fri, May 9, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    havilandHavilandaction2New Tigers hockey coach Mike Haviland liked what he saw while coaching former Colorado College players in the pros.

    It convinced him the private school could be a good fit. Fans, alumni and players hope the Stanley Cup-winning assistant coach’s hopes are proven right after the hire was announced on Friday.

    Haviland coached former Tigers defenseman Gabe Guentzel in Norfolk during the 2012-13 season and worked with Capitals blue-liner Jack Hillen during a rehab stint with Washington’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, Pa. this past season.

    Former CC center Mark Cullen was one of his assistant captains in Norfolk during the 2005-6 season.

    “Meeting those three showed me the kind of players and men CC produces,” Haviland said. “When the job came open, I reached out quickly. CC is one of the top Division I programs in the country and I thought it would be a great fit.”

    Haviland, whose 15 years in the pro coaching ranks include serving an assistant with the 2010 NHL champion Chicago Blackhawks, is the 14th coach in the 75-year-old program’s history on Friday.

    Hershey Bears HockeyThe 46-year-old replaced former longtime coach Scott Owens, who resigned after 15 seasons at his alma mater following a 7-24-6 campaign. Haviland beat out current CC assistants Joe Bonnett and Eric Rud, among others, for the job, which came open in early April.

    The new coach signed a multi-year deal with CC late Thursday and declined to disclose financial details, as per college policy, when interviewed Friday morning.

    “They certainly took care of me and my family,” he said. He and his fiancée Kristin have a blended family with six children.

    The likely pay range is $200,000 to $275,000 a year, judging from the top five reported salaries in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

    Haviland has coaching experience at the Division III level. As an assistant with small, liberal arts-oriented Elmira (N.Y.) College, he helped his alma mater to a 51-12-2 record and two ECAC Division III championships from 1996-1998. He recorded 51 points (27 goals) in 23 games during his final season with the Soaring Eagles.

    He said that experience taught him how to keep the student part of student-athlete at the forefront.

    “I want to help develop them on and off the ice,” he said.

    It was one reason school president Jill Tiefenthaler signed off on the hire.

    “We are very fortunate to find a candidate who is both a teacher and mentor, as well as someone who will take our program in exciting new directions,” she said. “Mike is dedicated to his players and excited about being part of our community. He will be a transformational motivator and leader for our student athletes.”

    Administrators also hope for considerable success on the ice.

    “We have aspirations of winning national championships, and I am confident we have found the right coach to turn our vision into reality,” athletic director Ken Ralph said.

    “My intention is to win a national championship and I believe we will,” Haviland said.

    havilandThis past season, Haviland led the Hershey Bears to ninth place in the Eastern Conference, just two points shy of the playoffs despite a 39-27-5-5 record in his first year at the helm. A Manhattan native who grew up in Middletown, N.J., Haviland served as assistant in charge of forwards in Norfolk the previous season (37-34-4-1).

    Before then, he was a Blackhawks assistant in charge of special teams from 2008-12. The Original Six franchise went 187-101-40 over those four years and hoisted the 2010 Stanley Cup. In 2012, following his dismissal from Chicago, he was a finalist for the vacant Capitals job that went to the now-fired Adam Oates.

    “Mike has won championships at multiple levels and has always produced winning programs,” Ralph said.

    Haviland spent four seasons coaching (172-81-325) the ECHL’s Trenton Titans (2004-05) and Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies (2001-04) and won two league titles (2003, 2005).

    He moved up to AHL Norfolk (93-51-10-6) for two seasons (2005-7). The then-Blackhawks affiliate broke single-season wins and points records, which earned him the 2007 Coach of the Year award.

    He moved on to Rockford (Ill.) when the Blackhawks affiliated with that team. The IceHogs went 44-26-4-6 and advanced through two playoff rounds that season before he joined Chicago as an assistant.

    As a player, Haviland was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the 1990 NHL draft. His experience includes AHL Binghamton (1989-90) and the ECHL (1990-91) with Richmond and Winston-Salem.


  • Slavin leads team award honorees

    Sun, April 6, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    SlavinWith the announcement of Tigers coach Scott Owens’ resignation, Colorado College did not name its captains for next season.

    But it did take time to recognize freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin, who garnered three awards: top scorer, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player.

    “They have a great attitude in this program that helped me a lot,” Slavin said.

    Senior Eamonn McDermott also garnered multiple awards, sharing the scholar-athlete award with senior Alexander Krushelnyski and the sportsmanship honor with senior center Jeff Collett.

    “It’s bittersweet because you don’t want to leave,” Collett said.

    Senior wing Michael Morin took home the inaugural Scott Winkler Award for his “humility, optimism and support,” that reflected the personality of the former player who died of an undiagnosed heart condition last June.

    The banquet ended a tough season for the Tigers (7-24-6) but senior goalie Josh Thorimbert said the team had reason to hold their heads high.

     “We played with heart the entire year and we should be proud of that,” he said.

    Colorado College team award-winners

    Thayer Tutt Award (MVP) — Freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin, STATS

    Paul Markovich Award (top scholar-athlete) – Senior defenseman Eamonn McDermott; senior wing Alexander Krushelnyski

    Bob Johnson Award (top freshman) – Slavin

    Dave Peterson Award (most improved) – Junior wing Scott Wamsganz

    M.B. Hopper Award (top scorer) – Slavin

    Rodman Award (sportsmanship) – McDermott; senior center Jeff Collett

    Scott Winkler Award (humility, optimism, support) – Senior wing Michael Morin

    Steve Ebert Award (dedication, desire, ability and sportsmanship) – Senior goalie Josh Thorimbert

    Joni Brandner Memorial Award (dedication to Tiger hockey) – student statistician Victoria Thomas.

  • Fabian garners AHA sportsmanship award

    Fri, March 21, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    FabianAir Force senior Jason Fabian is the co-recipient of the Atlantic Hockey Association Individual Sportsmanship award as voted on by the league’s coaches. Mercyhurst defenseman Nick Jones shares the award with Fabian.

    Fabian, who played in nearly every situation including power play, penalty kill and extra-attacker offense and defense, played in all 39 games and was called for just two penalties for four minutes all season. He finished the season fifth on the team in scoring with 19 points (11 assists).

    He was Air Force’s top faceoff man, winning 380 faceoffs this season, No. 22 in the nation. His 54.8 faceoff percentage was the ninth best in the nation among players who won more than 375 draws. The Roseau, Minn., center blocked 27 shots, the best among the AFA forwards.

    Fabian is the first Falcon to ever win the AHA Individual Sportsmanship Award.

    Mercyhurst goalie Jimmy Sarjeant was named the AHA Player of the Year, while his coach Rick Gotkin earned Coach of the Year honors. Mercyhurst’s Dan O’Donoghue was named the AHA’s Best Defensive Forward, Laker Nick Jones was named the Best Defenseman. Sacred Heart’s Justin Danforth was named the AHA Rookie of the Year.

  • 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    

  • Tuesday reading: Denver mascot candidates, WMU academic issues, WCHA

    Tue, July 2, 2013 by Joe Paisley with 2 comments

    DU mascotsThe three finalists for the new Denver mascot were announced late last week. What do you think?

    One of the best returning defensemen for Western Michigan is academically ineligible for the first half of the season (fall semester).

    “At this point, he’s not going to be playing until at least Christmas,” coach Andy Murray, who did not go into detail about Garrett Haar’s situation, told Mlive.com. “He did not live up to Bronco Hockey athletic and academic standards.”

    The 6-foot, 202-pound Haar played in 22 games last season with nine points (6 assists) and a minus-3 rating.

    Three WCHA commits/players were selected in the NHL Draft.