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.).

  • Moross retires from CC SID position

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

    Dave-Moross-croppedAfter almost 28 years, Colorado College sports information director Dave Moross has retired effective immediately.

    Moross said he will miss sharing in the emotional highs and lows of college sports with the athletes most.

    “Words can’t express how much of a privilege I consider my time here to have been,” he said.

    Moross won numerous national awards for his hockey media guides in a CC career that started in 1986. Three years ago, he received a 25-Year award from the College Sports Information Directors of America.

    Prior to CC, he worked as a writer and assistant sports editor at the Colorado Springs Sun newspaper.

    A nationwide search for his replacement will start soon, said Jane Turnis, CC vice president of communications.

  • 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.

  • Weekend reading: Grimaldi reaction, Denver assistant, humanitarian recognition

    Thu, May 8, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    DU BRittain road saveDenver landed a very experienced assistant coach to replace the departed David Lassonde.

    The North Dakota beat writer analyzes what the early departure of leading scorer Rocco Grimaldi will mean for the UND offense next season.

    NBC ran a feature on college hockey’s humantarian award winner. Video of the report is included via the link.

    There was much discussion over the “gentleman’s agreement” concerning college commitments but no official change.  Hockey East now has a 12-team playoff format.

  • CC signee garners NAHL first team honor

    Wed, May 7, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Chase Perry

    Chase Perry

    Incoming Colorado College goalie Chase Perry was named to the North American Hockey League’s first team earlier this week

    Perry elevated his game with a 1.83 goals against mark in 10 playoff games (5-5 record) with a .933 saves percentage.He recorded three shutouts.

    He went 15-12-2-4 during the regular season with a 2.34 gaa, a .905 saves percentage and two shutouts.

  • 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.

  • Former Tiger Rapuzzi is ECHL Rookie of the Year

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

    Rapuzzi ActionFormer Colorado College captain William Rapuzzi is the ECHL Rookie of the Year.

    The Idaho Steelheads forward led ECHL rookies with 42 assists and was tied for second with 58 points. He also led all first-year players with 15 power-play assists and 21 power-play points and was tied for fifth among rookies with four-game winning goals.

    Prior to turning pro, he played four seasons at Colorado College where he tallied 87 points (48 assists) in 151 games.

    The No. 4 seed Steelheads host the Colorado Eagles, which include Colorado Springs native Luke Fulghum and former Tiger Arthur Bidwill, in the first round of the ECHL’s Western Conference playoffs. Games 1-2 are Friday and Saturday in Boise and Games 3-4 in Loveland Tuesday and Thursday. All games are at 7:05 p.m.

  • Saturday reading: Championship preview; Five NCHC players earn All-America honors

    Sat, April 12, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bigger-NCHC-logo-300x300Here is a preview of tonight’s national championship game between Minnesota and Union.

    Five National Collegiate Hockey Conference players were named by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) as Men’s Division I All-Americans.

    Earning First-Team West All-American was Omaha junior forward Josh Archibald, Denver senior goaltender Sam Brittain and St. Cloud State senior forward Nic Dowd. Garnering Second-Team West All-American was Miami junior forward Austin Czarnik and Denver junior defenseman Joey LaLeggia.

    A total of 14 different schools were represented between the East and West All-American Teams, including four NCHC schools, with Denver the lone NCHC school to have multiple representatives. Six All-Americans each hailed from the Big Ten, the ECAC and Hockey East, with five came from the NCHC and two from the WCHA. Among the West All-American First Team, three played in the NCHC while the other half played in the Big Ten. All five NCHC student-athletes named All-Americans were also tabbed First-Team All-Conference.

  • No surprise: Gaudreau win 2014 Hobey Baker

    Fri, April 11, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Hobey clippingsThe 2014 winner of the Hobey Baker Memorial award, college hockey’s top individual prize, is Johnny Gaudreau from Boston College. The announcement came during the NCAA Frozen Four championship in a live ceremony held at the Loews Hotel, Center City in Philadelphia and aired internationally on NHL Network.

    Gaudreau had a sensational season, posting 80 points to lead the nation in scoring while recording the highest point total in the last 11 seasons of college hockey. He averaged two points per game and recently tied a Hockey East conference record tallying points in 31 consecutive games (Paul Kariya, Maine).

    Hobey Baker, born and buried in Philadelphia, was the legendary Princeton (1914) hockey player known as America’s greatest amateur athlete one hundred years ago. He redefined how the game was played with his coast-to-coast dashes in an era when hockey was contested with seven players and no forward passes. Baker, a member of the U.S. Army’s Air Corp, died testing a repaired aircraft at the end of World War I after he had completed his military service.

    Gaudreau was selected from a group of ten finalists by a 27-member selection committee and online fan balloting. For two straight years, he has been top three finalist.

  • Friday reading: Blais contract extension; Walsky injury; Frozen Four; Hobey Baker

    Fri, April 11, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UNO coach Dean Blais has plenty of reasons to smile today.

    UNO coach Dean Blais has plenty of reasons to smile today.

    Nebraska-Omaha athletics director Trev Alberts announced that hockey coach Dean Blais signed a contract extension through the 2017-18 season.

    “Dean has done an exceptional job leading our team through a period of great transition during the last four years,” Alberts said.  “In that time, he led the team into two new leagues, the WCHA and the NCHC, and his experience and knowledge of the leagues and the Division I hockey landscape was critical to our success.   Next year, he will guide us through additional transition as we move into the new arena. This extension will allow us to ensure the continuity of our coaching staff and the recent positive momentum we’ve had recruiting quality student-athletes to our program.”

    “When I came to Omaha, Trev and I had a goal of building an on-campus arena, and I’m excited that this extension will allow me to see UNO athletics reach that goal,” Blais said.  “We’ve got a very good core of returning players and what is perceived to be a great recruiting class coming in.  As a coach, you want to work with great players with strong community support behind your team, and we have that here.”

    Blais is 91-86-18 in five years as the Mavericks’ coach, including two 20-win seasons and an NCAA tournament berth in 2011, the second in school history.   The 1973 graduate of Minnesota has posted a 15-year career record of 353-201-51 including   10 years at North Dakota.  He is a two-time Spencer Penrose Memorial Award winner as the Division I coach of the year and a four-time winner of the WCHA’s Coach of the Year Award.  He led North Dakota to national championships in 1997 and 2000.

    Locally, this may affect the CC coach search somewhat with Blais putting off retirement for a couple more years. This makes the Tigers’ job all the more attractive since Omaha would have been  favorite for some next offseason when Blais’ old deal ended.

    Swiss head coach Sean Simpson will have to do without HC Lugano’s Eric Walsky, a former CC standout, at the IIHF world championships in Minsk May 9-25.  The forward is suffering from an upper-leg injury and is out for the next five to six weeks.

    Here are game articles on the Minnesota-North Dakota instant classic (I don’t say this lightly) form last night’s national semifinal. Here is the Pioneer Press’ take and the Grand Forks Herald’s postmortem. College Hockey News focused on the heartache for UND. It was the fifth Frozen Four trip in a row that UND has lost in the  semifinals.

    The Hobey Baker winner will be announced tonight.