2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Johnson enters NAHL coaching ranks

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

    johnson3Former Colorado College wing Tyler Johnson has retired after three years playing professional hockey overseas to work as an assistant coach with his hometown Minnesota Wilderness of the junior North American Hockey League.

    During Johnson’s three-year career, he won the Champions Hockey League (Norway) championship with the Stavanger Oilers in April 2012.  

    Before turning pro, Johnson played four years at Colorado College, where he served as the assistant captain his senior year.  During his time with the Tigers, he was a part of two teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament (2007-08 and 2010-11) and during his freshman season, the Tigers won the WCHA regular season title.  
     
    Tyler was a standout player at Cloquet-Esko-Carlton and was a Mr. Hockey finalist in 2007, while also represent United States in the Czech Republic for the U-18 Cup in August of 2006.
     
    “We are very excited to add another person with the playing experience of Tyler as he will be a great addition to our staff,” said Dave Boitz, General Manager.  “To have all three of our coaches from the small hockey town of Cloquet is exciting and shows how much this town supports their development of players and coaches.”

     

  • Toby Petersen named as new AHL Springfield Falcons assistant coach

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

    petersen_white250Former Colorado College hockey player Toby Petersen was hired as an assistant coach by the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons, the top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    Petersen, 35, retired last month as a player after a 14-year career that culminated with the AHL championship with the Texas Stars, where new Vancouver assistant Doug Lidster worked as an assistant.

    Petersen played 550 games in the AHL with Texas, the Iowa Stars, the Edmonton Road Runners and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, totaling 374 points (226 assists) He competed in two all-star games (2001, 2008) and made the league’s all-rookie team in 2001.

    In addition, Petersen skated in 398 games in the National Hockey League with Dallas, Edmonton and Pittsburgh for 81 points (48 assists).

    The Minneapolis native represented the United States at the 2007 IIHF World Championships, tallying 2-1-3 in seven tournament appearances. He was also a member of Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championships in both 1997 (silver) and 1998.

    Selected by Pittsburgh out of Colorado College in the ninth round, 244th overall, at the 1998 NHL Draft, Petersen registered 128 points (69 assists) in 138 NCAA games from 1996-2000. He was named to the WCHA’s All-Rookie Team and helped the Tigers reach the Frozen Four as a freshman in 1997.

  • Colorado College alum Kawano is program’s first director of hockey operations

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

    Kawano actionIt is another homecoming for the Colorado College staff with former goalie Chris Kawano named as the program’s first director of hockey operations and video coordinator.

    New coach Mike Haviland said Kawano’s experience as a student and player at CC along with his relationship with the private school’s faculty and fellow alumni all played a role in making him the best hire. He was one of three finalists, all former CC players.

    “All three finalists fit that bill,” Haviland said after the school announced the hire on Friday. “But the more people I talked to around campus about him the more obvious it became that he was such a well-regarded young man in his time here. He is a great choice. He has a tremendous attention to detail.”

    During his junior season, Kawano was named to the all-Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s all-academic team and received the program’s annual Dave Peterson team award as most improved player. 

    After graduating in 2007 with a sociology degree, Kawano, now 29, spent two years as a graduate assistant with the Bemidji State women’s hockey team, which was coached by former Tiger Steve Sertich. Kawano worked with the goaltenders and handled video analysis.

    His main duty will be video analysis while he will also serve as a faculty liason and keep track of the players’ academic progress.

    Haviland hope the alum can also help bring former players back to support the program.

    The Aurora, Colo. native played for the Tigers from 2003-07, recording a 2-2 record in eight appearances, including six games as a junior (.902 saves percentage). As a sophomore, he served as a backup on the team that reached the 2005 NCAA Frozen Four national semifinals.

    Kawano wants to relive that experience and improve on it now as part of the coaching staff.

    “CC should be a top-10 team every year and I believe a national championship is not too far away,” Kawano said in a press release.

    Kawano spent the past three years with Planet Hockey, which holds youth camps across the nation. His final camp was at Sertich Ice Center this week.

    “Working at Colorado College is the perfect job for me at this point in my life,” Kawano said. “It really combines the interests that I have as well as the goals I want to achieve. Coach Haviland is a guy you want to work for and learn from.”

    Haviland, who is spending the next three weeks recruiting along with recently hired assistants RJ Enga and Gene Reilly, will begin a search for a volunteer goalie coach once he and his family settle in Colorado Springs this August.

  • Tigers add assistant with 25 years pro, college and junior coach experience

    Wed, July 2, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Courtesy Springfield (Mass.) Republican

    Courtesy Springfield (Mass.) Republican

    Colorado College’s Mike Haviland delved into his past to hire an assistant with 25 years of coaching experience.
    Gene Reilly, who graduated from Elmira (N.Y.) College a year before Haviland played there, is the final assistant to join the program under the new hockey coach.
    Reilly has won 14 professional, college and junior titles as either an assistant or head coach. He has eight years of college assistant experience including the 1999 NCAA championship with Maine.
    “He has won at all levels,” Haviland said. “Gene is a guy with an attention to detail and passion that is second to none.”
    Reilly worked the past two seasons as a professional scout for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes but left for the chance to work with Haviland.
    “The most important thing for me is to be with quality people and Mike is a quality person with a winning track record,” Reilly said in a press release. “I really enjoyed my time in Carolina and the wonderful people who I worked with in the pro scouting staff.”
    He spent 2008-12 as an assistant coach/director of player development with Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg, where he was involved in four titles.
    His college experience includes serving as an assistant with Maine (1998-2001), Harvard (2003-4) and Northeastern (2004-8).
    While at Maine, the Springfield, Mass. native, 52, took over as interim coach at the start of the 1999-2000 season when the late Shawn Walsh was battling cancer.
    Reilly left to be an assistant with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins for the 2000-01 season and Binghamton the next.
    “There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes with practices, scouting, and watching tapes; Gene stepped in and did a tremendous job,” then-Griffins coach Bruce Cassidy said after being named the 2002 AHL coach of the year.
    He returned to the college ranks at Harvard for one season and spent the next four rebuilding the Northeastern program.
    His experience prepares him well for CC, Haviland said.
    “He has developed guys and understands how academics work at CC,” he said. “He understands the college game’s ins and outs very well.”
    Reilly coached from 1988-98 in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, winning three championships. He played two seasons in Sweden, including one as player-coach.
    Some of the future professionals who played for him include Bill Guerin, Scott Lachance, Ron Hainsey, and Chris Clark.
    “I think he is a great fit for the college and the staff,” Haviland said.
    The new director of hockey operations position is filled with a July 15 announcement identifying the recent former CC player scheduled. All three finalists for that job are former Tigers, Haviland said.
    Former CC standout RJ Enga, 42, was hired as an assistant two weeks ago. Haviland, 46, was hired in May after longtime coach Scott Owens resigned on April 6 following a 7-24-6 season.

  • 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.

  • Midweek reading: WMU opening; NCHC; Bidwill, Lampl, McDermott, Rapuzzi

    Wed, June 18, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Bonnett MUGWestern Michigan associate head coach Rob Facca left for a scouting job with the Chicago Blackhawks.  Former CC assistant Joe Bonnett, a WMU alum, would be a great fit there.

    The NCHC announced some board leadership changes.

    The Idaho Steelheads named Eamonn McDermott to the ECHL franchise’s season-ending roster, suggesting the Boise-based franchise wants to sign him for next season.

    The Colorado Eagles did the same for Arthur Bidwill as did the Toledo Walleye for both Cody Lampl and William Rapuzzi.

    CC_Rapuzzi_CU1The Toledo Walleye acquired the rights to Rapuzzi from Idaho to complete the trade made on Feb. 24.  Rapuzzi was recently named ECHL Rookie of the Year, following the 2013-14 season where he collected 16 goals, 42 assists in 60 games with Idaho. His 42 helpers led all first year players while his 58 points was good for second. The power play specialist posted 21 points (6G, 15A) while his team was on the man advantage. The 24-year-old played his college hockey at Colorado College, where he had 87 points (39G, 48A) in 151 games over four years.

    Each team is entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than July 1. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2013-14 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 1.

    The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until Aug. 1 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

  • CC hires former Tigers standout as assistant

    Mon, June 16, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    RJENGAMUGFormer Tiger right wing R.J. Enga is back home.

    The school announced on Monday that the former Colorado College standout will serve as an assistant under new hockey coach Mike Haviland.

    This homecoming is a long time in the works for Enga, whose parents live in Monument and his children, Kaelin 11, and Makenna, 9, reside in the Briargate area.

    “I am honored, humbled and excited by this opportunity at my alma mater and the chance to be back in Colorado Springs with my family,” Enga said.

    After serving as a volunteer assistant at CC during the 2008-09 season, Enga knew he needed experience in the junior hockey ranks before he could return to his alma mater. He spent two years as an assistant at Topeka of the North American Hockey League and the past three with the Chicago Steel of the U.S. Hockey League.

     While with the Steel, Enga, 42, coached incoming Tigers Chris Dodero and Mason Bergh and current players Christian Heil, Alex Roos, and Jaccob Slavin.

    “I loved playing for him down in Chicago and I know the rest of the guys did as well,” Bergh said. “He puts in so much effort to make everyone better. He’s very good at passing along his knowledge about the game to players and I can’t wait to play for him again in the future.”

    His knowledge of college hockey’s main recruiting pools impressed Haviland.

    “The players he coached said they really liked playing for him,” Haviland said. “He is very familiar with the talent in both leagues and in B.C. (British Columbia).”

    Haviland said Enga will be out recruiting most often, but he expects himself and the other assistant, who will be named in the next two weeks, to be out scouting often.

    The Air Force brat was born in Germany. He spent his formative years in Colorado Springs after his father, longtime AFA tight ends coach Dick Enga, joined the staff. Enga played area youth hockey until leaving for Indiana’s Culver Military Academy at age 15. He was drafted by the N.Y. Islanders in the 10th round of the 1990 NHL Draft while at Culver before playing for Colorado College (1991-95).

    Enga recorded 142 career points (61 goals), good for a tie for 37th all-time, at the now-National Collegiate Hockey Conference school.

    That success and love of his alma mater makes him a good fit, Haviland said.

    “He is very passionate about Colorado College,” Haviland said. “We need the high-end players to come here and he can really sell the school. He knows the school and the block plan. He will be a very effective recruiter.”

    “It’s a great set-up for a student-athlete,” Enga said, referring to the block plan. “It works and Colorado Springs and the area, well, all that sells itself.”

    Enga played minor league pro hockey for 10 seasons, including four with the WCHL’s Colorado Gold Kings. Afterwards, he worked for the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association.

  • First assistant hire early next week; latest rumor involves former Tiger standout

    Wed, June 11, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC coach Mike Haviland said he expects to be able to announce the hiring of one of his two assistants early next week, perhaps on Monday after the private school completes background checks and other paperwork.

    That delay has slowed the hiring process somewhat, said Haviland, who cannot confirm any rumored candidates. He did say he has offered a job to his top two candidates.

    One of those rumored candidates is former Tiger right wing RJ Enga. The Germany native with longtime Colorado Springs ties recorded 142 career points (61 goals), good for a tie for 37th all time at CC.

    RJENGAMUGHe spent a year as a volunteer CC assistant (2008-09 season) and has served as an assistant in NAHL Topeka and with the USHL Chicago (three seasons) since. He coached incoming Tigers Chris Dodero and  Mason Bergh and current CC players Christian Heil, Alex Roos, and Jaccob Slavin while with the Steel.

    Enga, 42, played minor league hockey for 10 seasons, including four with the former Colorado Gold Kings of the WCHL. That team played at World Arena.

    Enga was drafted by the New York Islanders in the 10th round of the 1990 draft and played a few preseason games for Tampa Bay. He was a director at the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association in addition coaching of Pikes Pike Minors U18 AAA team for six years.

  • CC assistant search down to six finalists

    Tue, June 3, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Colorado College hockeyThe search for the new Colorado College hockey assistants is almost over with six finalists contending for the two openings.

    New Tigers coach Mike Haviland said he hopes to make the decision soon.

    “I would like to get this completed by the end of this week if we can,” he said. “We’re close to getting it done.”

    Haviland would not release any names but said some of the dozens of applicants have extensive college backgrounds while others may have coached in the college and professional ranks.

    “Some of the guys have a lot of college experience because I need someone like that,” the longtime pro coach said. “Most importantly, I need someone who fits CC and me so we can do our bets to help our student-athletes succeed. Some of the guys I know personally and others really had strong interviews and resumes. I think the road I’m going down is a good one.”

    One name making the rounds of the rumor mill is former Denver associate coach Steve Miller.

    Former CC assistant Eric Rud recently took the head women’s job at St. Cloud State while Joe Bonnett, whose name was removed from outside his former office, has not spoken publicly on his future.

    The offseason changes came after longtime coach Scott Owens resigned in early April following a 7-24-6 season. Haviland’s hire was announced on May 9.

    Haviland credited athletic trainer Jason Bushie and equipment manager Spud Hamilton for working with athletic director Ken Ralph to schedule the team’s travel for next season while he conducts the assistant search.

    After the assistants are in place, Haviland will focus on hiring someone for the new director of hockey operations position, which handles team travel and video work. Haviland said the team’s captains will be named after the assistants are in place.

  • Bonnett in contention for Princeton job

    Thu, May 29, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Bonnett MUGMultiple sources say  CC assistant Joe Bonnett is one of several in the running for the open Princeton head coaching position.

    Bonnett will not speak publicly about any job opportunities. He remains employed by CC.

    College Hockey News has a story listing most of the candidates and the likely frontrunners. You also have to believe some of the Holy Cross candidates may also be considering Princeton.