• Weekend reading: CHN honorees, OSU departure, Frozen 4, Miami returnees

    Fri, April 4, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    miamiThe College Hockey News recognized Union coach Rick Bennett as its Coach of the Year despite an ugly post-game incident against RPI that led to his suspension. CHN also announced its Rookie of the Year.

    Matt Perry (Bismarck Bobcats) committed to Air Force for 2015-2016.

    Ohio State’s best forward left school a year early.  As previously reported, WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod will retire after next weekend’s Frozen Four.

    Here is a look at what the Frozen Four teams consider the turning point of their seasons that sparked their march to the national semifinals and a feature on ECAC champion Union.

    Miami’s top-three scorers will return next season and the RedHawks are scheduled in to bring some serious size for their blue-line corps. Preseason NCHC predictions will be a crap shoot once again.

    icehockey_m-DIWhile last year’s Frozen Four featured three first-time appearancess, this year’s field is full of familiar faces. North Dakota had a two-year Frozen Four absence, which qualifies as the longest among this group. Boston College, Minnesota and Union were all in the Frozen Four in 2012 in Tampa, Fla.

    Union will be making its second Frozen Four appearance. Each team has players with Frozen Four experience, as 39 players are in their second Frozen Four (Union-14, BC-12, Minnesota-11, North Dakota-2).

    Most Frozen Fours (Last appearance)
    24 – Boston College (2012)
    24 – Michigan (2011)
    21 – Boston University (2009)
    21 – Minnesota (2012)
    20 – North Dakota (2011)

    Three teams in the field were No. 1 seeds in their NCAA regional: Boston College, Minnesota and Union. It’s the fourth time in the 16-team tournament (which began in 2003) that three No. 1 seeds have reached the Frozen Four, and the first since 2010 in Detroit.

    North Dakota made the Frozen Four as a No. 4 seed, the seventh No. 4 seed in the past seven years to get this far. From 2003-07, no No. 4 seeds reached the Frozen Four.

  • Poll, WMU early departure, Denver’s future

    Mon, March 31, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    DU BRittain road save Here is the USA Hockey weekly poll with Minnesota at No. 1 followed by Union, Boston College, UMass-Lowell and No. 5 North Dakota, who moved up from No. 13 before the tourney. USCHO.com did not release one this week.

    Western Michigan junior defenseman Jordan Oesterle left school early to sign with Edmonton.

    The Denver administration was pleased by Pioneers coach Jim Montgomery’s first season.

     

  • Monday reading: NCAA Tournament update

    Mon, March 31, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    icehockey_m-DIThe Big 10, ECAC, Hockey East and NCHC all have a team in the Frozen Four April 10-12 after Minnesota routed St. Cloud State and Boston College edged league rival UMass-Lowell.

    Interestingly enough, in a tournament usually marked by big upsets, three of the top four seeds advanced with only North Dakota in as a lower seed (No. 4, Midwest regional).

    NCAA Tournament

    East Regional — No. 3 Union 5, Vermont 2; Providence 4, Quinnipiac 0; Union 3, Providence 1

    Midwest Regional — Ferris State 1, Colgate 0; North Dakota 5, No. 4 Wisconsin 2[ North Dakota 2, Ferris State 1 2OT

    West Regional — No. 1 overall seed Minnesota 7,  Robert Morris 3; St. Cloud State 4, Notre Dame 3 OT; Minnesota 4, SCSU 0

    Northeast Regional — No. 2 Boston College 6, Denver 2; UMass-Lowell 2, Minnesota State 1; Boston College 4, UMass-Lowell 3

    Frozen Four, Philadelphia

    All times MT

    Semifinals, April 10, both ESPN2

    Boston College vs. Union, 3 p.m.; North Dakota vs. Minnesota, 6:30 p.m.

    National championship, April 12, ESPN

    Semifinal winners, 5:30 p.m.

  • Sunday reading: North Dakota advances to 20th Frozen 4; SCSU faces Minnesota today

    Sun, March 30, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Thorimbert vs UND road unisNorth Dakota’s Connor Gaarder scored 1:28 into the second overtime to push UND, the last at-large team to make the NCAA field,  to a 2-1 win over WCHA regular-season champion Ferris State and earn the NCHC program’s 20th trip to the Frozen Four.

    Last season, the last team to make the field was eventual champion Yale, which also won the Midwest regional.

    NCHC regular-season champion St. Cloud State’s Nic Dowd scored in overtime to knock off Notre Dame and set up a rematch with No. 1 overall seed Minnesota on Sunday.

    Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau scored three goals and added three assists in a 6-2 win over NCHC postseason champion Denver to end the Pioneers season.

    UMass-Lowell defeated WCHA playoff champ Minnesota State 2-1 to set up an all-Hockey East regional final against the Eagles.

    ECAC champion Union downed Providence 3-1 to advance out of the East regional to Philadelphia.

    NCAA Tournament

    All times MT

    East Regional

    Bridgeport, Conn.

    Friday

    No. 3 Union 5, Vermont 2

    Providence 4, Quinnipiac 0

    Saturday

    Union 3, Providence 1

    Midwest Regional

    Cincinnati

    Friday

    Ferris State 1, Colgate 0

    North Dakota 5, No. 4 Wisconsin 2

    Saturday

    North Dakota 2, Ferris State 1 2OT

    West Regional

    St. Paul, Minn.

    Saturday

    No. 1 overall seed Minnesota 7,  Robert Morris 3

    St. Cloud State 4, Notre Dame 3 OT

    Sunday

    Regional final, 5:30 p.m. ESPNU

    Northeast Regional

    Worcester, Mass.

    Saturday

    No. 2 Boston College 6, Denver 2

    UMass-Lowell 2, Minnesota State 1

    Sunday

    Regional final, 3 p.m. ESPNU

    Frozen Four

    Philadelphia

    Semifinals, April 10

    Both ESPN2, Times TBA

    BC/Lowell winner vs. Union

    North Dakota vs. Minn./SCSU

    National championship. April 12

    Semifinal winners, ESPN, 5:30 p.m.

     

  • Saturday reading: Updated NCAA schedule

    Sat, March 29, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    und vs ccSophomore forward Rocco Grimaldi recorded his first career hat trick and junior forward Mark MacMillan scored the game-winner with less than two minutes to play to lead No. 13 North Dakota to a 5-2 win over No. 4 Wisconsin Friday night in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals at U.S. Bank Arena.

    With the victory, fourth-seeded UND (24-13-3) advanced to Saturday’s regional championship against Ferris State, 1-0 winners over Colgate earlier, with a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four on the line. The season for Wisconsin (24-11-2), the top seed in the region, is over.

    Grimaldi’s final two goals both came with an empty net to seal the win for his first multi-goal game at North Dakota. MacMillan also finished with a three-point night, adding two assists to go along with his game-winning goal, while junior forward Michael Parks had a two-point outing with a goal and an assist on the game-winner.

    NCAA Tournament schedule

    All times MT

    East Regional

    Bridgeport, Conn.

    Friday

    No. 3 Union 5, Vermont 2

    Providence 4, Quinnipiac 0

    Saturday

    Regional final, 1 p.m. ESPN2

    Midwest Regional

    Cincinnati

    Friday

    Ferris State 1, Colgate 0

    North Dakota 5, No. 4 Wisconsin 2

    Saturday

    Regional final, 4:30 p.m. ESPNU

    West Regional

    St. Paul, Minn.

    Saturday

    No. 1 overall seed Minnesota vs. Robert Morris, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2

    St. Cloud State vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m., ESPN2

    Sunday

    Regional final, 5:30 p.m. ESPNU

    Northeast Regional

    Worcester, Mass.

    Saturday

    No. 2 Boston College vs. Denver, 2 p.m. ESPNU

    UMass-Lowell vs. Minnesota State, 5:30 p.m., ESPN3 (online only)

    Sunday

    Regional final, 3 p.m. ESPNU

    Frozen Four

    Philadelphia

    Semifinals, April 10

    Both ESPN2, Times TBA

    Northeast winner vs. East winner

    Midwest winner vs. West winner

    National championship. April 12

    Semifinal winners, ESPN, 5:30 p.m.

  • Friday reading: Denver’s chances; CS native feature; Owens; NCAA previews, schedule

    Fri, March 28, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Fulghum home whitesDenver graduate Luke Fulghum, who scored two power-play goals against CC in the 2005 national semifinals, practices with current and former Pioneers often and is confident they can make some noise in the NCAA Tournament:

    “It feels just like the team during my junior season (2004 NCAA titlist),” he said. “We snuck up on a lot of teams and beat some real high-quality teams. I think they have a real solid chance and if they can get past (Boston College) and their confidence will really grow.”

    Fulghum, a Colorado Springs native, is the subject my feature in Friday’s Gazette.

    Gazette columnist David Ramsey suggests CC coach Scott Owens give his program a good long look.

    Ferris State is healthy and ready to make some noise for the oft-underrated WCHA against Colgate. UMass-Lowell, coached by former CC assistants Norm Bazin and Jason Lammers, takes on Minnesota State this weekend.

    New coach Jim Montgomery happy to add to Denver’s NCAA streak.

    North Dakota’s coach and players were fans of the Badgers for less than a day.UND had its troubles when they arrived in Cincinnati.

    CCUND picWisconsin has covered for its goalie’s struggles so far this postseason. Here is a plethora of UND-Wisconsin links from the Grand Forks beat writer. Here is a Midwest regional preview and one for the West regional which involves Minnesota and St. Cloud State.

    From College Hockey Inc: Despite the rise in early departures for the NHL in recent years, college hockey remains a game that rewards experienced teams.  The top five scorers in the NCAA tournament field and 11 of the top 14 are juniors or seniors.

    A number of players in the field turned down opportunities to sign pro contracts last summer to pursue an NCAA championship, including Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau (Flames), St. Cloud State’s Nic Dowd (Kings) and Wisconsin’s  Michael Mersch (Kings). Most seniors: Notre Dame, 11; Wisconsin, nine and Vermont, UMass-Lowell, both seven.

    NCAA Tournament schedule

    All times MT

    East Regional

    Bridgeport, Conn.

    Friday

    No. 3 Union vs. Vermont, noon ESPNU

    Providence vs. Quinnipiac, 3:30 p.m. ESPNU

    Saturday

    Regional final, 1 p.m. ESPN2

    Midwest Regional

    Cincinnati

    Friday

    Ferris State vs. Colgate, 2:30 p.m. ESPN3 (online only)

    No. 4 Wisconsin vs. North Dakota, 6 p.m. ESPNU

    Saturday

    Regional final, 4:30 p.m. ESPNU

    West Regional

    St. Paul, Minn.

    Saturday

    No. 1 overall seed Minnesota vs. Robert Morris, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2

    St. Cloud State vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m., ESPN2

    Sunday

    Regional final, 5:30 p.m. ESPNU

    Northeast Regional

    Worcester, Mass.

    Saturday

    No. 2 Boston College vs. Denver, 2 p.m. ESPNU

    UMass-Lowell vs. Minnesota State, 5:30 p.m., ESPN3 (online only)

    Sunday

    Regional final, 3 p.m. ESPNU

    Frozen Four

    Philadelphia

    Semifinals, April 10

    Both ESPN2, Times TBA

    Northeast winner vs. East winner

    Midwest winner vs. West winner

    National championship. April 12

    Semifinal winners, ESPN, 5:30 p.m.

  • Union reaches No. 1 for first time

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

    Union was ranked No. 1 in the weekly USCHO.com poll for the first time in program history after securing its third ECAC championship in a row.

    The Dutchmen received 31-of-50 first-place votes and earned 969 points. Minnesota fell from first to second after losing 4-1 to Ohio State in the Big Ten semifinals on Friday. The Gophers picked up 18 first-place votes and 955 points.
    The remaining first-place vote went to No. 5 Massachusetts-Lowell.

    St. Cloud State stayed at No. 8 while North Dakota dropped to No. 13. Denver moved up to No. 17 after receiving some votes last week.

    Western Michigan and Miami received some votes while Minnesota-Duluth picked up a single point.

  • Three NCHC finalists for national awards

    Thu, March 20, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Hobey clippingsThree NCHC players are finalists for two major national awards. Josh Archibald of Nebraska-Omaha and Nic Dowd of St. Cloud State are among the top 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker award, which is all but assured of going to Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau.

    Denver senior Sam Brittain is up for the inaugural Mike Richter Award, which goes to Division’s I’s top goaltender.

    Here are more details:

    The Hobey Baker Memorial Award  Top 10 finalists for 2014 are: Josh Archibald, Nebraska-Omaha, Greg Carey, St. Lawrence, Nic Dowd, St. Cloud State, Ryan Dzingel, Ohio State, Johnny Gaudreau, Boston College, Shayne Gostisbehere, Union, Kevin Hayes, Boston College, CJ Motte, Ferris State, Joel Rumpel, Wisconsin and Adam Wilcox, Minnesota.

    The 10 finalists were selected by voting from all 59 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting. The 27-member selection committee and an additional round of fan balloting at hobeybakeraward.com from March 20-30 will determine the winner.

    The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on April 2 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 11 during the NCAA Frozen Four. The award announcement will be televised live on NHL Network or live on the Hobey Baker website at 4 p.m. MT.

    Also, the top goaltender honor, the inaugural Mike Richter Award, announced its finalists:

    Sam Brittain, Sr., Denver; Connor Hellebuyck , Soph., UMass-Lowell; Joel Rumpel, Jr., Wisconsin; Adam Wilcox, Soph., Minnesota; and Caly Witt, Jr., Northeastern.

  • At last, the league playoffs are here

    Fri, March 14, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC uniforms, Herb Brooks 047This is a great time of year for college hockey fans. Here are various links to previews and features from around the West-oriented college hockey conferences.

    Tigers senior goalie Josh Thorimbert, pictured, does not get enough credit for the workload he has shouldered this season. Hopefully this feature rectifies that somewhat. Here are Three Things to Watch.

    North Dakota needs to win the playoff series or the perennial power may miss out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002.

    The return of Blake Coleman from injury has made No. 8 seed Miami a more dangerous first-round NCHC opponent for top seed St. Cloud State. Here is more from the more confident RedHawks.

    An 11-year-old battling cancer is inspired by the Huskies, who were reminded how good they have it when they met last weekend.

    ““It’s tough after you lose any time, but his coming into the locker room … it just shows you how precious and how good we really have it,” Jimmy Murray said. “It touched everyone.“After talking with the family, he’s a pretty amazing kid. He was smiling and laughing. We really enjoyed it. Anyone on our team would have done that. I’d like to think that.”

    Here is the rest of the article.

    CCUND picFreshman Kyle Osterberg is on a roll for No. 4 seed Minnesota-Duluth, which hosts Western Michigan.

    Here are some UND-oriented NCHC predictions and picks by USCHO and the Grand Forks Herald (UND in three).

    USCHO previews the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals, WCHA quarters and the final regular-season weekend for the Big 10. Here is a WCHA linkorama and the Gazette’s Air Force preview.

    RPI’s best forward bolted for the N.Y. Rangers. Here are the latest Pairwise rankings.

  • 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