• AHL Iowa signs Howe for tonight’s home finale

    Wed, April 16, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Howe road saveIowa Wild General Manager Jim Mill announced on Wednesday that the American Hockey League  club signed goaltender Joe Howe to a Professional Tryout Agreement and released goaltender Cody Reichard from a PTO.

    Expect the former Tiger netminder to get the start for Iowa against the Chicago Wolves at 6:05 MT Wednesday night in the Wild’s regular season home finale. Iowa did not qualify for the playoffs. The season ends Friday at Oklahoma City where Howe could face former Tigers goalie Richard Bachman.

    Howe, 23,  spent the bulk of his rookie season with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. In 18 games, Howe went 10-3-4 with a 2.78 GAA and a .907  save percentage. The Plymouth, Minn. native also played in seven games for the Missouri Mavericks of the Central Hockey League (CHL). He was 3-2-1 with the Mavericks, posting a  2.52 GAA and a .915  saves percentage. In 119 CC appearances, Howe was 65-48-8 with a 2.91 goals and .900 saves percentage.

  • Natives make area pro hockey history

    Tue, April 15, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    For the first time, three Colorado Springs natives played in an American Hockey League game Monday night with Tom Serratore, a former Minnesota wing, and Ben Holmstrom (UMass-Lowell) with the Adirondack Phantoms, an affiliate of the Flyers, and former Lowell forward Josh Holmstrom on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders).

    Ben Holmstrom picked up an assist on the winning goal in a 4-2 victory for the Phantoms in Serratore’s pro debut. Josh Holmstrom has no points in five pro games.

    They play each other again to end their season on Friday since neither will make the playoffs. All three played club hockey for the Colorado Rampage in Monument.

  • Serratore signs with AHL Adirondack

    Mon, April 14, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Minnesota senior Tom Serratore signed an amateur tryout contract with the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League and will join the organization immediately.

    “Tom has definitely earned this opportunity, and we are thrilled he is going to be able to go on and play at the professional level,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “Like all of our seniors, Tom has been a great program guy for us. He has worked hard since the day he arrived on campus, and he has done everything we have asked of him during his time here. We want to wish him the absolute best as he continues his playing career.”  

    Serratore Tom 066The Colorado Springs, Colo., native played in 140 career games with 22 points (15 goals) and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia.

    The forward played in 35 games this season with seven points, three goals and four assists including the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Penn State on March 1, 2014 — Serratore’s final game at Mariucci Arena.

    One of five seniors, Serratore was part of the first class in Minnesota’s 93-year history to win three conference titles and the first group in program history to win three-straight league titles. Serratore also helped the Gophers to three-straight NCAA tournament appearances (2012-14) including two Frozen Four berths (2012, 2014) after missing the tournament as a freshman.

    Serratore is the son of Air Force head coach Frank Serratore, the nephew of Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore and the cousin of former Gopher goaltender, 1988 Hobey Baker Award winner and NHL veteran Robb Stauber.

    The forward joins fellow Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom, formerly of UMass-Lowell.

  • Area native starts pro career

    Wed, April 9, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Josh Holmstrom actionColorado Springs native Josh Holmstrom’s professional career is underway.

    The former UMass-Lowell captain signed an amateur tryout for the remainder of this season late last week with the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Tigers, an affiliate of the N.Y. Islanders. He has no points in two games so far.

    The 6-foot, 175-pound forward played in 154 games over four years are UMass Lowell notching 31 goals and 43 assists for 74 points. His best season came in 2012-13 when he had 12 goals and 13 assists in 41 games, leading the River Hawks to their first ever Hockey East regular season title and tournament Championship.

    His older brother Ben Holmstrom is a third-year center and captain for the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms, a Flyers affiliate, who has 30 points (18 assists) in 69 games this season. He is the last area native to play in the NHL with five games in 2012.

  • Midweek reading: Sioux nickname lucrative; color barrier pioneer; HEA suspension

    Tue, April 1, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    rylan-und5The Fighting Sioux nickname remains a profitable one for the University of North Dakota and other businesses.

    The first black man to play college hockey in the United States passed away last month.

    Hockey East suspended Northeastern coach Jim Madigan for the first game next season after he criticized game officials following a March 16 quarterfinal playoff game at New Hampshire.

    “Using the media to criticize an official’s decision is contrary to league policy and is inherently unfair to the officials who work hard for college hockey each and every night,” Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said. “Hockey East and Northeastern University expect better from our head coaches and Jim has acknowledged his error in this situation.”

    Here is a Canadian Press article that points out that Canadians going to NCAA colleges can make the NHL. See Schwartz, Jaden for a recent  example.

    Alaska-Anchorage standout Matt Bailey signed with the Anaheim organization.

  • NCHC Player of the Year leaves early

    Mon, March 24, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Archibald vs ColgateHobey Baker Top 10 finalist Josh Archibald of Nebraska-Omaha skipped his final season to sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, the school announced Sunday evening.

    The junior, who set a school record with 29 goals (43 points, 37 games) this season compiled 94 points (58 goals) in 112 games. The Penguins’ 2011 sixth-round pick (174th overall) signed an amateur tryout agreement with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday. He was the NCHC’s Player of the Year and Forward of the Year honoree.

    Here is a link to the confirmed early departures (rumors abound as usual).

  • 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.

  • In the pros: Chad Rau traded to AHL’s Sharks

    Fri, February 7, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Philip Larsen, Chad RauThe Minnesota Wild sent 27-year-old former Tiger Chad Rau to the San Jose Sharks organization in exchange for Curt Gogol, a 22-year-old winger, earlier this week.

    Gogol has four points (three goals) in 40 games with the American Hockey League Worcester Sharks this season. His 149 penalty minutes rank seventh in the AHL.

    Rau was drafted by the Wild in the seventh round of the 2005 NHL draft and played nine games in the NHL during the 2011-12 season. He joins former CC center Rylan Schwartz, who has nine points (six assists) in 44 AHL games this season for Worcester.

  • New Years reading: Bachman, rankings

    Tue, December 31, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    The Oklahoman

    The Oklahoman

    Happy New Year everyone.

    The Oklahoma City Barons are hopeful former Tigers goalie Richard Bachman can be the foundation for a second-half surge into the AHL playoffs.

    USCHO put out its weekly poll on Monday — USA Hockey takes the holidays off due to the world junior championships — with little change with most teams idle. Minnesota remains No. 1 followed by WCHA leader Ferris State.

    Michigan suffered the most with two losses at the Great Lakes Invitational to drop from N o. 3 to No. 7.

    St. Cloud State moved up one spot to No, 3 as did Providence to No. 4. 

    Miami stayed at No. 12 and Wisconsin moved up one to No. 13, switching spots with Notre Dame.

    Denver creeped up one to No. 16 while Nebraska-Omaha stayed at No. 19.

    North Dakota, CC’s opponent next weekend, and Western Michigan (GLI champs) both received votes but remain unranked. Providence and Miami are the other January opponents for the Tigers.

  • In the pros: Bachman sets OKC saves record

    Sat, December 21, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    The Oklahoman

    The Oklahoman

    Oklahoma City goaltender Richard Bachman turned away 39 shots to blank the Texas Stars 2-0 and post the first shutout of the season for the Barons (11-14-5).

    “He was outstanding today,” Barons’ defenseman David Musil said of Bachman. “He was our best player.”

    Bachman’s 39 saves were the most ever by a Baron in a shutout.

    “If you do rating from one to five with one being the poorest, he’s definitely a five tonight,” AHL Barons coach Todd Nelson told the Daily Oklahoman. “He shut the door.”

    Bachman started three games in the net for Edmonton this season before a groin injury sidelined him. He just rejoined Oklahoma City on the Barons recent six-game road trip.

    “It was definitely a lot of shots,” Bachman said. “But it wasn’t too surprising. We knew going into the game they are a team that likes to throw a lot of pucks on net from anywhere on the ice. We were kind of prepared for that.”