2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Weekend reading: Miami rink, UNO exhibition, Chase Perry

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

    Miami locker roomMiami completed $2 million in renovations to its ice hockey venue recently.

    Nebraska-Omaha hockey added an exhibition game against the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to its 2014-15 schedule. The two teams will meet on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:07 p.m. CT at the CenturyLink Center.

    The game will be the second meeting between the two schools.  The Mavericks won the first game, 6-1, at the beginning of last season.  The Mavericks have begun nearly every season against a Canadian university and are 16-2-0 all-time in those games.

    The NAHL wrote an article about incoming Tigers goalie Chase Perry.

  • 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).



  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Weekend reading: SCSU schedule, top recruit; NCHC referees

    Fri, June 13, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    scsu celebrationSt. Cloud State announced a strong 2014-15 schedule and picked up a commit from the USHL Rookie of the Year, who is featured in this video. Nice assist from future Tiger Mason Bergh on second goal.

    Two NCHC referees worked the IIHF world championships in Belarus last month.

    The national junior team evaluation camp roster will be announced next week.

  • Monday reading: CC commit wins NAHL championship; Rud hire; UND; Bazin

    Mon, June 2, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Lagrone trophyIncoming CC defenseman Duggie Lagrone won the NAHL championship as the No. 2 offensive blue-liner (27 points) for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The linked article details how he made considerable strides on the offensive end and improved his plus/minus from plus-7 to plus-35 on the season.

    New SCSU women’s coach Eric Rud talks about his approach to jump-starting his new program.

    North Dakota has not allowed early defections/decommits to the pros/major juniors hurt its annual NCAA prospects.

    United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley announced that UMass-Lowell coach Norm Bazin and his team will be the 2014 honoree at the organization’s annual “Martini Spring Fling” fundraising event, which benefits United Way’s Summer Experiences in Greater Lowell (SEGL) initiative.

    More than 100 community leaders from the Greater Lowell area are expected for the celebration on June 12.

    “Our team has really enjoyed giving back to the community,” Bazin said. “We’re honored that United Way is taking the time to acknowledge our participation and we look forward to continuing that support in the future.”

  • Weekend reading: NCHC, UND, Ohio State, Hockey East captains, Bemidji State

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

    bigger-NCHC-logo-300x300The NCHC is recapping its Top 10 moments from its inaugural season.

    North Dakota commit Ryan Mantha is waffling a little about his commitment to UND. To be fair, he also may just be the type who wonders out loud and forgot he was around media.

    Ohio State lost one of its better forwards to the pros.

    Providence, a January 2015 opponent for the Tigers, named its captains as did October road foes Boston College and New Hampshire.

    Bemidji State brought back a former player as a new assistant coach.


  • Midweek reading: Western Michigan adds size; No Minnesota early departures

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

    Goff action WMUWestern Michigan is going big in its recruiting with the addition of 6-foot-5, 220-pound defenseman Neal Goff to its incoming seven-player freshmen class. The smallest rookie is 5-11, 175-pound forward John Carpino so the Broncos are looking to take advantage of the NHL sheet.

    This is no accident under coach Andy Murray. Junior forward J.T. Osborn is the shortest skater at 5-8, 180 pounds while sophomore forward Sheldon Dries is 5-9, 179. Here is the WMU roster. Among the incoming Broncos freshmen is Paul Stoykewych, younger brother of CC’s Peter Stoykewych.

    Surprisingly, no Gophers have left early for the pro ranks at this point, which is a bit unusual. Any departures are expected to happen this week or next.  There is also a post-NHL Draft period when some players reconsider their commitments.

    USCHO keeps a list of all the early departures in D1 hockey.

  • Midweek reading: Nebraska-Omaha, sled hockey, Holy Cross, Minnesota State

    Wed, May 21, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    uno arena constructionPlaying catch-up after some vacation …

    Nebraska-Omaha is bringing in 11 freshmen this fall to bolster the roster. The Mavericks announced five new signees, all Canadians, recently.

    The picture above from the UNO Facebook page shows the progress of the new on-campus arena construction.

    The USA Hockey cycling team is trying to raise $10,000 for disabled hockey. Consider donating here:

    Holy Cross can cast a wide net in search of a new head coach. Canisius named two new assistants.

    Minnesota State will get its long-awaited arena improvements in 2015.