• 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.

  • Tigers battle back, but fall 4-3 in season finale

    Sun, March 16, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC at WMU Friday 002GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The finale for Colorado College proved to be an example of the Tigers’ entire season.

    CC battled to the very end but fell short in a 4-3 loss at No. 10 North Dakota in the decisive Game 3 of a best-of-three playoff series.

    “It’s hard to swallow right now but it did sum up this season,” freshman Alex Roos said. “We battled each game and never quit, but we came up short.”

    The Tigers (7-24-6) came oh so close to pulling off the upset. Roos redirected a shot on net by rookie defenseman Jaccob Slavin with 1:29 remaining and senior goalie Josh Thorimbert (26 saves) pulled for the extra attacker before 10,054 suddenly nervous fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena. CC was unable to battle through a packed-in UND zone for another shot and a challenging season came to an end.

    “We hung in it together like brothers the entire year and never gave up,” Thorimbert said.

    The win sends No. 2 seed North Dakota on to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Frozen Faceoff to take on No. 8 seed Miami this Friday while No. 5 seed Western Michigan will face No. 6 Denver.

    UND pulled away after a CC turnover led to a goal for Brendan O’Donnell with 17:31 left and a 4-2 lead.

    That goal proved decisive after CC battled back with a strong second period.

    Tigers senior wing Michael Morin forced a turnover in the UND zone when he harassed a UND defenseman into clearing the puck toward senior Jeff Collett.

    The Tigers center stopped the rubber and quickly passed back to Morin for the tip-in to make it 3-2 with 2:43 remaining in the second period.

    “He got some payoff for that,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “Our seniors played well tonight.”

    North Dakota seized control early when junior defenseman Nick Mattson knocked in a rebound off a leg pad save against Stephane Pattyn on a 2-on-1 breakaway with 16:19 left for a 1-0 lead.

    “Their defensemen did a good job activating and stepping forward on offense,” Owens said.

    But the Tigers would answer when senior wing Alexander Krushelnyski pounced on a loose puck in front to lift a hard rising shot past UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg’s glove three minutes later to tie the game.

    But it proved to be only be a hiccup for an otherwise dominant opening period for North Dakota (22-12-3). Soon after, UND went ahead 3-1 with 7:38 left on goals by freshman defenseman Troy Stecher and Pattyn.

    “We knew they would come out hard but we came back with an excellent second period and in the third period it could have gone either way,” Owens said. “We gave a good account of ourselves for nine periods. It’s too bad we couldn’t have kept this going in Minneapolis. I am proud of how the team played hard and never quit.”

    STATS

    No. 10 North Dakota 4, Colorado College 3

    Colorado College         1          1          1          –3

    North Dakota               3          0          1          –4

    First period – 1. UND, Mattson (Pattyn, Rodwell) 3:41; 2. CC, Krushelnyski (Bradley, Slavin) 6:41; 3. UND, Stecher (Thompson, Grimaldi) 10:06; 4, UND, Pattyn (Gaarder, Rodwell) 12:22. Penalties – UND, Johnson, checking from behind, 15:58.

    Second period – 5. CC, Morin (Collett) 17:17. Penalties – UND, MacMillan, hooking, 14:04.

    Third period – 6. UND, O’Donnell (Grimaldi) 2:29; 7. CC, Roos (Slavin, Skalbeck) 18:31 (EX). Penalties – CC, Olofsson, holding, 3:20;  CC, Olofsson, cross-checking, 15:28.

    Power play – CC 0-2, UND 0-2. Shots on goals – CC 8-12-10 –30; UND 13-9-8 –30. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 10-9-7 –59:04; ND, Gothberg 7-11-9–600. Referees – Sterns, Walsh. Linesmen – Eslinger, Schmitt. Attendance – 10,054 (11,634 capacity).

    NOTES

    CC lands high-end goalie commit

    Wenatchee Wild goalie Chase Perry, 18, of Andover, Minn., will join the Tigers this fall, he announced via Twitter on Sunday afternoon. 

    The 6-foot-21/2, 189-pounder is ranked No. 4 among North American goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting’s midterm draft rankings. The high school senior is 14-12-4 for the North American Hockey League squad with a 2.32 goals against mark and .907 saves percentage. The NHL Draft is June 27-28 in Philadelphia.

    Coaches cannot comment on players until they sign their NCAA letters of intent. The next signing period is April 16-Aug. 1.

    UND avoids third-straight slow start

    As expected North Dakota came out playing hard to seize control early and recorded its first shot on goal only 44 seconds into Game 3.

    It was considerably faster than the previous two games when UND took 6:30 to record its first shot on Friday 12:52 on Saturday. UND matched its Saturday first period total of five shots on Sunday’s opening goal with 16:19 remaining.

    CC awards banquet is April 6

    The annual team awards banquet starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 6 for registration followed by the brunch buffet and awards at 11:30 a.m. at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel, 5580 Tech Center Drive. Reservations by 5 p.m. Friday, March 28 by emailing Jessica Bennett at jessica.bennett@coloradocollege.edu or by calling (719) 389-6336 are required. The cost is $35 per person.

    Silver lining for Penrose Cup champ

    Despite its first-round playoff series loss to last-place Miami, regular-season champion St. Cloud State (21-10-5) is still projected to qualify for the NCAA Tournament based on the Pairwise rankings, a mathematical formula that mimics the selection committee’s process to determine the 16-team field.

    While such a setback stings, the No. 4 Huskies will have two weeks to rest and heal up after playing the entire second half of the season without a bye weekend due to the new Minnesota North Star Cup tournament.

  • CC stuns North Dakota in OT; stats, notes

    Sat, March 15, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC uniforms, Herb Brooks 047GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Colorado College goalie Josh Thorimbert has kept the Tigers in most every game all season long.

    He will have one more chance to do so again on Sunday.

    The senior made 44 saves Saturday and freshman wing Alex Roos backhanded in a rebound seven minutes into overtime to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 playoff win over No. 10 North Dakota before a stunned crowd of 10,738 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

    “We battled like we have all season long,” Thorimbert said. “There is no quit in this team.”

    Game 3 of the now tied best-of-three National Collegiate Hockey Conference quarterfinal series is 6:08 p.m. Sunday. A win then would send the No. 7 seed Tigers on to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff semifinals where they would not even be the low seed.

    Saturday continued a weekend of upsets. Last-place Miami knocked off regular-season champion St. Cloud State 4-3 to sweep its series while No. 5 seed Western Michigan eliminated host Minnesota-Duluth by the same margin. Sixth-seeded Denver beat host Nebraska-Omaha 2-0 in Game 3 to send three of the bottom four seeds on.

    CCUND pic“Josh competed and battled and sent a message with those two early (glove) saves that he was on tonight.” Owens said. “We have a good defensive corps and they held up pretty well against their dangerous forwards. We played like a team that wanted to keep this season going despite our record. I am proud of them.”

    The Tigers did a better job clearing the puck out of their zone and keeping it away from the middle where UND’s forwards wreaked havoc in Game 1.

    They still weathered a storm of shots when UND out shot CC 20-9 in the second period, including 12-4 over the final 10 minutes. Thorimbert made save after save.

    “I felt good,” he said. “When I have my glove going, I feel like I am clicking.”

    UND’s barrage eventually broke through. North Dakota (21-12-3) tied the game when sophomore defenseman Jordan Schmaltz scored on a 3-on-2 rush with 3:56 remaining to force overtime.

    A shot by CC junior defenseman Peter Stoykewych bounced twice before getting past UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg (26 saves) to stake the Tigers to a 1-0 lead with 3:17 left in the opening period. CC junior Scott Wamsganz had a huge night, scoring early in the second period for a 2-0 Tigers lead and passing to Sam Rothstein for the initial shot in overtime that Roos knocked in to end it.

    “Not too many people expected us to give them much of a fight but in our (locker) room we were confident we could beat them,” Roos said. “We’ll see if we can make it to Minneapolis.”

    STATS

    Colorado College 3, No. 10 North Dakota 2 OT

    Colorado College         1          1          0          1          –3

    North Dakota               0          1          1          0          –2

    First period – 1. CC, Stoykewych (unassisted) 16:43. Penalties –  CC, Olofsson, checking from behind, 18:48.

    Second period – 2. CC, Wamsganz (Stoykewych) 1:17; 3. UND, Caggiula (Mattson) 3:45. Penalties – UND, Rodwell, four-minute roughing, 9:52; CC, Fejes, roughing, 9:52; CC, Heil, roughing, 9:52.

    Third period – 4. UND, Schmaltz (Caggiula, Ma. MacMillan) 16:04. Penalties – none.

    Overtime – 5. CC, Roos (Rothstein, Wamsganz) 7:00. Penalties – none.

    Power play – CC 0-0, UND 0-1. Shots on goal – CC 5-9-10-5 –29; UND 5-20-13-8 –46. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 5-19-12-8 –67:00; UND, Gothberg 4-8-10-4 — 67:00. Referees – Sterns, Walsh. Linesmen – Eslinger, Schmitt. Attendance – 10,738 (11,634 capacity).

    CC picks up two forward commits

    Two forwards committed to play at Colorado College earlier this week with one likely to join the team this fall.

    Meridian, Idaho, native Jordan Berger, 17, is scheduled to bring his considerable speed and quickness to Colorado Springs in 2014. The 5-foot-10 forward has four goals in nine games with the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League after 116 games in that program. He recorded 42 points (38 games) for the Triple-A midget squad this season.

    Previous CC players from that program include Kris Fredheim, Curtis McElhinney and the Schwartz brothers (Jaden and Rylan). The left-shooting center would be the second Idaho player to join the Tigers. The first was defenseman Cody Lampl of Ketchum.

    The other commit is Mason Bergh, 19, who has enjoyed a strong second half of his debut season for the junior U.S. Hockey League’s Chicago Steel (21, 12 assists, 48 games).

    The Eden Prairie, Minn., native is scheduled to join the Tigers in 2015, allowing him another year to fill out his 6-foot, 165-pound frame.

    “When I arrived on campus, I had the immediate feeling that this was the right place for me,” he said. “To get a good education is very important and CC will provide that for me.”

    Coaches cannot comment on players until they sign their NCAA letters of intent. The next signing period is April 16-Aug. 1.

    Ice chips

    Entering Saturday’s game, the CC rookie have accounted for 41 percent (27) of the team’s 68 goals and almost 40 percent of the Tigers’ 183 points.  Freshman Jaccob Slavin, who is a league finalist for Offensive Defenseman of the Year, moved into a tie for the team points lead (23) with senior wing Alexander Krushelnyski. … Seven of UND sophomore Drake Caggiula’s 19 career goals have come in nine games against CC. … The NCHC’s postseason championship trophy does not have a name yet. The trophy may be named at a later date.

  • Tigers cannot sustain start; stats, notes

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

    Thorimbert vs UND road unisGRAND FORKS, N.D. – The start was a good one but the second period proved all too familiar for Colorado College. And now, the Tigers face playoff elimination.

    The No. 7 seed Tigers could not sustain a strong start, eventually falling 4-2 to the hosts in Game 1 of their National Collegiate Hockey Conference quarterfinal series. CC pulled senior goalie Josh Thorimbert (18 saves) with 1:46 left but could not mount a rally.

    “We got away from what we were doing and started making turnovers and failing to get the puck out of the zone,” freshman Sam Rothstein (one goal, one assist) said. “We had our chances on the power play and on odd-man rushes.”

    “We had a chance to put the game away in the first period and we didn’t,” junior Peter Stoykewych said referring to the five Grade A scoring chances generated by the Tigers.

    Game 2 of the best-of-three series is at 6:08 p.m. MT Saturday.

    North Dakota dominated the second period and scored twice to take a 3-2 lead before 10, 217 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

    “They worked their way back into the game,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “I am disappointed we could not build off the positive start we had with a third goal.”

    North Dakota tied the game at 2-2 on when junior Mark MacMillan made a crossing pass to a wide-open Michael Parks, who skated in and shot the puck in under the crossbar.

    The goal continued a strong second period for the hosts, capped by an a poor pass by CC’s Jaccob Slavin that led to an unassisted goal for UND center Bryn Chyzyk with 1:23 left for a 3-2 North Dakota lead.

    The eventual game-winning goal was the sophomore’s first score since Jan. 10 against the Tigers.

    “It was a gift and I’ll take it,” he said.

    The defensemen jump-started the Tigers offense when Stoykewych fired a shot that Rothstein redirected between UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg’s leg pads for a 1-0 lead. The goal came only 72 seconds into the contest. About five minutes later, Aaron Harstad fired a shot that made its way past Gothberg with 12:55 remaining.

    North Dakota got back in the game when Drake Caggiula scored to make it 2-1 with 7:49 remaining and blunt the start by the Tigers (6-23-6).

    “We were down 2-0 and shocked a little bit,” Chyzyk said. “That was a huge goal. That is a much better team than their record this season. They will be hungry tomorrow.”

    North Dakota was the only higher seed to win Friday after No. 8 Miami upended St. Cloud State 5-4 in overtime, No. 5 Western Michigan edged Minnesota Duluth 3-2 and Denver tied its best-of-three series at a game apiece with a 5-1 road win over No. 3 seed Nebraska-Omaha.

     STATS

    No. 10 North Dakota 4, Colorado College 2

    Colorado College         2          0          0          –2

    North Dakota               1          2          1          –4

    First period – 1. CC, Rothstein (Stoykewych, Olofsson) 1:12; 2. CC, Harstad (Slavin, Rothstein) 7:05; 3, UND, Caggiula (Ma. MacMillan, LaDue) 12:11. Penalties – UND, Rodwell, interference, 9:39.

    Second period – 4. UNDS, Parks (Ma. MacMillan, Caggiula) 7:14 (PP); 5. UND, Chyzyk (unassisted) 18:07. Penalties – CC, Krushelnyski, hooking, 2:10; CC,McDermott, interference, 6:51; UND, Pattyn, roughing, 7:22.

    Third period – 6, UND, O’Donnell (Schmaltz, Rodwell) 8:08. Penalties – UND, Ma. MacMillan, cross-checking, 10:47.

    Power play – CC 0-3, UND 1-2. Shots on goal – CC 11-5-6 –22; UND 7-10-5 –22. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 6-8-4 –58:14; UND, Gothberg 9-5-6 –59:34.  Referees – Sterens, Walsh. Linesmen – Eslinger, Schmitt. Attendance – 10, 217 (11,634 capacity).

    NOTES

    Krushelnyski completing strong Tigers career

    Colorado College senior Alexander Krushelnyski has been a strong all-around forward throughout his four years in a Tigers uniform.

    This season he added another duty; mentor, said CC assistant Eric Rud.

    “He’s a senior who has filled whatever role given him,” Rud said, adding that his work with freshmen Alex Roos and Sam Rothstein showed his willingness to help the rookies.

    It was a different role than before and one that Krushelnyski took on as a learning experience after a career year (43 points, 28 assists) his junior season.

    “Every team is different and every season is a learning experience,” he said. “Life is a learning experience.”

    The senior from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., cracked the program’s Century Club with his 100th career point (41 goals) on an empty-netter that clinched the Gold Pan series win over Denver.

    His ability to freelance draws a lot of attention whenever he touches the puck; you can hear the CC fans go abuzz when he does. That creativity generates chances for himself and his linemates.

    “Communication has been important,” Roos said. “He was always willing to listen to whatever ideas we had. He didn’t dismiss it because we are new. With his ability to create, you have to make sure to get open and be ready.”

    Krushenyski’s efforts on the defensive end were recognized by the National Collegiate Hockey Conference coaches when he was named as one of three finalists for Defensive Forward of the Year. He is on the league’s scholar-athlete team and one of eight finalists for that individual award.

    “He’s a student of the game and plays important minutes,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said. “He’s an efficient penalty-killer who makes smart decisions with the puck. He has played well on both ends his entire career. He has earned respect around the league.”

    Thorimbert climbs up career saves list

    With 17:28 left in the second period, CC senior goalie Josh Thorimbert made career save No. 2,070, which moved him past NHL netminder Curtis McElhinney (2,069, 2001-5) into ninth place all-time at CC. Jeff Sanger (2,161, 1998-2002) is in eighth. The record is 3,630 by Marty Wakelyn (1982-86).

  • SCSU win sends Tigers on to North Dakota; notes and stats

    Sat, March 8, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Skalbeck celebrationBy the third period, the only question was which team Colorado College would face in the playoffs.

    No. 4 St. Cloud State cruised to a 4-1 win over the Tigers on Saturday to spoil Senior Night at World Arena.

    As a result, CC will travel to No. 9 North Dakota for their best-of-three playoff series at 6:37 p.m. Friday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

    Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) are at 6:07 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. UND enters the postseason as the No. 2 seed after falling 2-1 at home to Western Michigan

    “It will be a tough, rugged and hard-fought series,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “I am sure they are unhappy about losing at home to Western Michigan.”

    More importantly for the visitors, the victory propelled SCSU to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference championship and possession of the inaugural Penrose Cup. They received the trophy in their locker room after the game.

    CC spoiled Huskies goalie Ryan Faragher’s shutout bid when Archie Skalbeck lifted in a power-play rebound following a shot by Jaccob Slavin with 18:57 left in the third period. The Tigers played determined hockey over the final 20 minutes for the announced crowd of 6,742.

    “We did not play on our heels like we did the first two periods,” Owens said. “We were more determined and that gave us something to build on going into the postseason.”

    Western Michigan’s win gave the Huskies (21-8-5, 14-6-3 NCHC) the chance they needed to seize the title. St. Cloud State made sure there would be no doubt.

    Sophomore Kalle Kossila took advantage of a CC turnover only 3:53 into the game when he one-timed the puck past junior goalie Courtney Lockwood (20 saves), who made his first career start for the Tigers (6-22-6, 6-13-5-1).

    Lockwood had his moments including a stop on a two-on-none breakaway when he stopped a shot by SCSU wing Jimmy Murray, who scored in the first period for the 2-0 lead.

    Courtney was pretty decent especially after he settled in,” Owens said.

    Penrose cupThe visitors pulled away with two scores in 2:16 for a 4-0 command with 10:19 left in the second period, including one by Tigers killer Jonny Brodzinski, who now has 14 points (11 goals) in eight games against CC. 

    The sophomore’s goal came after a CC defender’s stick broke, leaving the puck laying there in the Tigers zone for the score and a four-goal lead.

    Here are the other playoff match-ups:

    No. 8 seed Miami at St. Cloud State; No. 6 seed Denver at Nebraska-Omaha and No. 5 Western Michigan at No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth. All games are Friday-Sunday (times to be announced) except for UNO, which plays Thursday-Saturday because of a scheduling conflict with a Demi Lovato concert in Omaha.

    NOTES

    CC shuffles lines, rests some players

    With no chance to move up to sixth place, Colorado College rested some players – notably freshman defenseman Gustav Olofsson and senior goalie Josh Thorimbert – to prepare for next week’s National Collegiate Hockey Conference playoffs.

    Thorimbert made 33 consecutive starts before Saturday’s night off. He is now No. 10 on the all-time career saves list with 2,062 saves behind NHL netminder Curtis McElhinney (2,069) and Wisconsin goalie coach Jeff Sanger (2,161). Thorimbert passed Dan Griffin (1971-75, 2,047) on Friday.

    “(Thorimbert) has carried the load this year,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said. “It’s a good game for him to catch his breath. (Junior) Courtney (Lockwood) has worked hard and earned his (first college) start.”

    Olofsson played 15 games in a row since the world junior championships in early January.

    “It will be good for him to take a step back and see things from a different angle,” Bonnett said. “He needs to get his second wind for the playoffs.”

    The Tiger coaches also shuffled the lines to see if new combinations may click, notably putting freshman center Christian Heil between senior Alexander Krushelnyski and rookie right wing Alex Roos and moving freshman Sam Rothstein to another line between senior Michael Morin and rookie Matt Hansen.

    The move was to make four balanced lines with equitable offensive potential for a team averaging 1.97 goals, up from 1.91 before Friday’s four scores.

    “We wanted to shake thing sup a little bit,” Bonnett said. “We wanted more balanced lines that make all four better and make them a tougher matchup.”

    Sophomore Hunter Fejes played for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury against Western Michigan on Feb. 14.

    Ice chips

    CC finished 5-4-3 at home in league play. … The three second-period goals in 7:29 by Scott Wamsganz, Cody Bradley and Jaccob Slavin was the quickest three of the season and marked the third time the Tigers tallied three in one period. CC fell to 2-1 in games when they scored three in a single period. … CC ended the regular season at 4-7-5 on Fridays and 2-14-1 on Saturdays.

    No. 4 St. Cloud State 4, Colorado College 1

    St. Cloud State 2          2          0          –4

    Colorado College         0          0          1          –1

    First period – 1. SCSU, Kossila (unassisted) 3:53; 2. SCSU, Murray (Rabey) 9:17. Penalties – SCSU, Nevalainen, tripping, 1:31; CC, Krushelnyski, holding, 9:38.

    Second period – 3. SCSU, Dowd (Daly) 7:25; 4. SCSU, Brodzinski (Papa) 9:41. Penalties – SCSU, Nevalainen (interference), 2:02; CC, McDermott, interference, 6:00; SCSU, Brodzinski, tripping, 6:40.

    Third period – 5. CC, Skalbeck (Slavin, Rothstein) 1:03 (PP). Penalties – SCSU, Dowd, hookig, :42’ CC. Taft, tripping, 3:09.

    Power play – SCSU 0-3, CC 1-4. Shots on goal – SCSU 8-7-9 –24; CC 6-8-7—21. Saves-minutes – SCSU, Faragher 6-8-6 –20; CC, Lockwood 6-5-9 –20.  Referees – Patafie, Sterns, Linesmen – Keltie, Shaw. Attendance – 6,742 (7,380 capacity).

  • Huskies prevail in wide-open game, 7-4

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

    SCSU BrodzinskiColorado College showed plenty of fight and some offense of its own. But the Tigers could not contain the offensive firepower of No. 4 St. Cloud State.

    The Huskies prevailed in a wild National Collegiate Hockey Conference game, 7-4, to keep pace with No. 9 North Dakota, 2-0 winners over Western Michigan earlier Friday, for the regular-season title with one game remaining.

    “We battled back and we battled back,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “It was a tough night for us all around. We weren’t tight enough defensively against that good of an offensive team.”

    The SCSU fireworks were sparked by sophomore Jonny Brodzinski, who scored twice in 1:40 to jump start the Huskies in the second period. He recorded his first college hat trick in the third to help the Penrose Cup contenders pull away.

    “”I love playing in this rink, even though the elevation sucks,” Brodzinski said. “They’re a transition team and that’s what me, (linemates Kalle) Kossila (four assists) and (Ryan) Papa base our game off of.”

    Brodzinski now has 13 points (eight goals) in seven games against the Tigers (6-21-6, 6-12-5-1 NCHC).

    “He has killed us the last two years,” Owens said. “You have to be on you’re ‘A’ game against a team like St. Cloud.”

    A back-and-forth second period saw CC rally to tie the game 4-4 after falling behind 4-1 early.  

    The Tigers, averaging 1.91 goals, recorded three goals in less than eight minutes on scores by junior Scott Wamsganz, sophomore Cody Bradley and freshman Jaccob Slavin. That outburst would negate a three-goal SCSU splurge in the first 6:03 of the second.

    Unfortunately for the Tigers, the wide-open affair favored SCSU’s deep and talented forwards. The Huskies (20-8-5, 14-6-3) got the eventual game-winner with 10.4 seconds left on a power-play score by Ethan Prow for a 5-4 lead and added two more in the third at World Arena.

    “There was a lot of room to make plays in both zones,” Wamsganz said. “We were not good enough defensively tonight.”

     “They are the No. 4 team in the country for a reason,” Bradley said.

    Wamsganz sparked the CC rally when he redirected a pass between junior goalie Ryan Faragher’s leg pads to make it 4-2 with 12:23 left. Bradley’s found the net four minutes later.

    A five-minute call on Huskies wing Daniel Tedesco led to a power-play tally by Slavin 56 seconds into the man advantage to tie it at 4-4.

    CC played sound defensively in the first period and scored the opening goal when Wamsganz led a 2-on-1 breakaway for Bradley’s first goal with 17:07 left. But only 39 seconds later, Joey Benik, who finished with five points (two goals), tied the game at 1-1 with 16:28 remaining. It proved to be a hint of the second period to come.

    No. 4 St. Cloud State 7, Colorado College 4

    St. Cloud State 1          4          2          –7

    Colorado College         1          3          0          –4

    First period – 1. CC, Bradley (Wamsganz, Young) 2:53; 2. SCSU, Benik (Dowd, Murray) 3:32. Penalties – CC, Stoykewych, roughing, 19:58.

    Second period – 3, SCSU, Brodzinski (Kossila, Benik) 1:19 (PP);4, SCSU, Brodzinski (Papa, Kossila) 2:59; 4. SCSU, Gravel (Murray) 6:03; 6. CC, Wamsganz (Slavin, Skalbeck) 7:37; 8. CC, Bradley (Taft, Gerdes) 11:45; 9. CC, Slavin (Rothstein, Skalbeck) 15:06; 9. SCSU, Prow (Kossila) 19:49 (PP). Penalties – CC, McDermott, illegal equipment (using broken stick), 12:30; SCSU, Tedesco, 5-minute contact to the head, 10-minute game misconduct, 14:09; CC, Wamsganz, tripping, 19:16.

    Third period – 10, SCSU, Murray (Benik) 2:48; 11, SCSU, Brodzinski (Kossila, Benik) 4:39 (PP). Penalties – CC, Olofsson, interference, 3:21.

    Power play – SCSU 3-4, CC 1-2. Shots on goal – SCSU 6-11-11 – 28; CC 11-7-16 –34. Saves-minutes – SCSU, Faragher 10-4-16 – 60:00; CC, Thorimbert 5-7-9 –60:00. Referees – Patafie, Sterns. Linesmen – Keltie, Shaw. Attendance – 6,365 (7,380 capacity).

  • Tigers fall 2-1 in overtime at Omaha

    Sat, March 1, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Massa picOMAHA, Neb. – The Tigers can leave Omaha knowing they bounced back and played better hockey.

    But they left without a win and as the seventh seed in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference playoffs.

    Colorado College fell short in a 2-1 overtime loss at Nebraska-Omaha Saturday, one night after a 6-0 loss. The setback in the series finale was especially tough since CC could not score over the final 60:20 of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference game.

    “We have had a lot of games like that this year,” said Tigers coach Scott Owens, referring to a 1-8-6 record in one-goal games. “We competed and we battled. But it never should have reached that point (overtime). But scoring is tough for us.”

    UNO senior defenseman Michael Young scored from a few feet away for the game-winner 55 seconds into the extra frame. A rebound bounced over to Young, who scored his first goal of the season, for the third-place Mavericks (15-15-2, 12-8-2-1 NCHC).

    The loss means the Tigers (6-20-6, 6-11-5-1, 24 points) are unable to overtake sixth-place Denver (15-13-6, 9-10-3-2) and its 32 league points with two games remaining. Minnesota-Duluth downed Miami 1-0 on Saturday to send the RedHawks (17 points) into the playoffs as the low seed.

    No. 5 St. Cloud State downed No. 10 North Dakota 3-1 to forge a tie atop the standings (42 points apiece) with UNO in third with 39. Any of the three could finish as the No. 2 seed and be CC’s playoff road opponent.

    Tigers senior Charlie Taft scored only 35 seconds in to stake CC to a 1-0 lead early. The wrist shot was made from a tough angle to beat UNO junior goalie Ryan Massa (26 saves). The score set the tone for a better game by CC.

    “We knew we had to put forth a better effort,” Taft said. “We played tough but couldn’t we couldn’t find the back of the net.”

    Nebraska-Omaha tied it at 1-1 when Jake Guentzel scored on a power play with 8:20 left in the opening period.

    Senior goalie Josh Thorimbert bounced back from a tough Friday (one save) and kept CC in the game with two big-time stops in the final 1:45 of regulation and 35 saves overall.

    He kicked away a shot by Ryan Walters on a breakaway with 1:45 left and then recovered to stop a rebound attempt by Dominic Zombo with 54 seconds remaining to force overtime.

    Now, Thorimbert and his teammates must wait to see who they will play in the postseason, which may be next week’s home foe, SCSU.

    “With the exception of when we were on the PK (penalty kill) we played them (UNO) pretty evenly,” he said. “We need to keep playing hard and working to get better for the playoffs.”

    Nebraska-Omaha 2, Colorado College 1 OT

    Colorado College         1          0          0          0          –1

    Nebraska-Omaha         1          0          0          1          –2

    First period – 1. CC, Taft (unassisted):35; 2, UNO, Guentzel (Young, Montpetit) 11:40 (PP). Penalties – CC, Olofsson, cross-checking, 5:17; CC, Stoykewych, boarding, 10:04.

    Second period – No scoring. Penalties – UNO, Seeler, cross-checking, 4:28; CC, Rothstein, holding, 10:10; CC, Krushelnyski, unsportsmanlike conduct, 10:10; UNO, Cooper, slashing, 15:30; CC, McDermott, tripping, 17:44; CC, Stoykewych, checking from behind, 10-minute misconduct, 18:47.

    Third period – No scoring. Penalties – UNO, Searfoss, slashing, 7:25.

    Overtime – 3. UNO, Young (Walters, Montpetit) :55. Penalties – none.

    Power play – CC 0-3, UNO 1-6. Shots on goal – CC 11-11-5-0 – 27; UNO 8-13-14-2 –37. Saves-minute – CC, Thorimbert 7-13-14-1 – 60:55; UNO, Massa, 10-11-5-0 – 60:52. Referees – Dreger, B. Shepherd. Linesmen – Fitzpatrick, Stanton. Attendance – 8,744 (16,680 capacity).

    STANDINGS

    Conference Overall
    Team Pts GP W L T SW Win% GF GA GP W L T Win% GF GA
    North Dakota 42 22 14 8 0 0 0.636 73 61 32 19 10 3 0.641 101 84
    St. Cloud State 42 22 13 6 3 0 0.659 76 59 32 19 8 5 0.672 114 86
    Nebraska Omaha 39 22 12 8 2 1 0.591 76 60 32 15 15 2 0.500 106 101
    Minnesota Duluth 34 22 10 10 2 2 0.500 60 64 32 15 13 4 0.531 90 91
    Western Michigan 34 22 10 10 2 2 0.500 64 66 34 16 13 5 0.544 91 89
    Denver 32 22 9 10 3 2 0.477 54 54 34 15 13 6 0.529 86 77
    Colorado College 24 22 6 11 5 1 0.386 47 64 32 6 20 6 0.281 61 100
    Miami 17 22 5 16 1 1 0.250 52 74 32 11 18 3 0.391 92 98
  • Three Things to Watch at Nebraska-Omaha

    Thu, February 27, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UNO archibaldHere are three things Colorado College will need to be aware of headed into this weekend’s National Collegiate Hockey Conference series at Nebraska-Omaha, 6:37 p.m. Friday, 6:07 Saturday, CenturyLink Center:

    1. Keep track of Hobey Baker contender Josh Archibald

    While Boston College sophomore Johnny Gaudreau remains the odds-on Hobey favorite, Mavericks junior Josh Archibald is having a tremendous season with 26 goals, second only to Gaudreau (29), who has an eye-popping 63 points (34 assists) in 33 games.

    The three-time NCHC offensive player of the week honoree, who leads Division I in third-period (12) and overtime (two) scoring, is strong in front of the net and has good speed in open space.

    “The puck just seems to find it way in,” UNO coach Dean Blais said. “He is fast and has good hands and because of his speed he keeps getting scoring opportunities. Dominic Zombo gives him the pass at center ice and he (Archibald) blows right past the defender. There aren’t too many prolific scorers like him one-on-one in the NCAA.”

    2. Do not let down following an emotional home weekend

    The Tigers are riding a three-game win streak that culminated with a Saturday win that took back the Gold Pan Trophy from rival Denver. CC must guard against a letdown against a third-place Mavericks squad jockeying for playoff position.

    Senior Alexander Krushelnyski was not concerned.

    “I’m not too worried about that,” he said after the game. “This win was more about our boosting our confidence more than anything else.”

    3. Dictate the pace of the game

    Nebraska-Omaha has a potent offense with five players with 25 or more points, including 2013 Hobey Top 10 finalist and senior Ryan Walters (28, 22 assists) and league Rookie of the Year hopeful Jake Guentzel (25, 21 assists), younger brother of former CC defenseman Gabe.

    The Mavs (13-15-2, 10-8-2-1 NCHC) are at their best when they play a run-and-gun style that takes advantage of their skill and speed.

    “We have to continue playing within our system because Omaha will try to get us going up and down the ice,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said. “They have some firepower on offense.”

  • CC wins Gold Pan for Winkler

    Sat, February 22, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Harstad goalThis one was for Winks.

    Saturday night’s 3-1 win over Denver was all the sweeter for the Tigers, who dedicated the victory to former Colorado College standout Scott Winkler, who passed away this summer of an undiagnosed heart condition.

    It would have been the Norwegian’s 24th birthday.

    “This one was for Scott,” said senior Alexander Krushelnyski, who recorded an empty-netter with 45.5 seconds left to seal the victory and give CC, which has doubled its season win total in the span of eight days, possession of the Gold Pan Trophy over the Front Range rival. “We know he’s up there smiling looking down on us tonight.”

    “It makes it even more special,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “It is quite a feat to sweep a team as good as Denver. They were much better tonight but we matched their effort.”

    This National Collegiate Hockey Conference sweep – also CC’s third win in a row —  will be cherished by the Tigers (6-18-6, 6-9-5-1) and their fans for some time.

    Colorado College scored the winning goal on a goalmouth scramble that left senior defenseman Eamonn McDermott sprawled on top of Denver goalie Sam Brittain (33 saves)..

    A Denver defenseman leveled McDermott after she attempt a short-range shot and the CC captain landed on Brittain, opening up the top half of the net for freshman Alex Roos’ backhander with 6:06 remaining before a standing-room-only crowd of 7,641 fans at World Arena.

    “Getting that trophy back means a lot to us,” Roos said. “I never really knew Scott but I imagine he’s smiling down on us now.”

    The empty-netter was sweet for Krushelnyski, who recorded his 100th career point (41 goals) as a Tiger. He is the 74th CC player to record 100 or more and first to do so since Bill Sweatt in 2010 and Rylan Schwartz in 2012.

    “It was a special night,” Krushelnyski said. “It’s all smiles now.”

    Earlier, junior defenseman Aaron Harstad rifled a shot that blew past Brittain’s glove attempt with 3:54 left in the first period for a 1-0 lead.

    Freshman Jaccob Slavin passed over the Harstad, who fired from just inside the blue line.

    About two minutes later, Coronado High School graduate Matt Tabrum scored to knot the game at 1-1 with 1:40 remaining.

    Both teams did a good job denying shots with Denver getting 14 blocks while CC had 22, led by Harstad with five and McDermott with four. The CC defense were strong in front of their net, keeping Denver from a shot in front of senior goalie Josh Thorimbert (25 saves) for the entire second period.

    “Josh was good and Brittain was outstanding,” Owens said.

    Colorado College’s defense frustrated the Pioneers, holding the visitors without a shot on goal in the third period until 9:27 remained.

    Colorado College 3, No. 18 Denver 1

    Denver             1          0          0          –1

    Colorado College         1          0          2          –3

    First period – 1. CC, Harstad (Slavin, Collett) 16:06; 2, DU, Tabrum (Arnold) 18:20. Penalties – DU, Doremus, holding, 3:24; CC, Krushelnyski, holding, 5:27; CC, Morin, slashing, 9:10; CC, Stoykewych, holding, 18:57.

    Second period – No scoring. Penalties – CC, Skalbeck, roughing, 8:07; DU, Didier, four-minute roughing, 8:07.

    Third period – 3. CC, Roos (McDermott, Bradley) 13:54; 4. CC, Krushelnyski (unassisted) 19:14 (EN). Penalties – DU, Doremus, roughing, 19:14; CC, Harstad, holding, 19:58..

    Power play – DU 0-3, CC 0-3. Shots on goal – Denver 7-13-6 –26; CC 14-10-12 – 36. Saves-minutes – DU, Brittain 13-10-10 –59:24; CC, Thorimbert 6-13-6 –60:00. Referees – Krebsbach, Dreger. Linesmen – Pedigo, Keltie. Attendance  — 7,461 (standing room only).

     

     

  • Heil scores game-winner over Denver

    Fri, February 21, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    HeilDENVER – Colorado College freshman Christian Heil picked a great time to record his first goal as a Tiger.

    The Westminster native scored with 12:23 left in the third period for what proved to be the eventual game-winning goal in a 3-2 road win over No. 18 Denver at Magness Arena.

     “It was special for me to do it here in Denver,” Heil said. “I grew up 20 minuets north of here and I had a bunch of family in town. It is pretty surreal to get my first one as a Tiger against Denver.”

    Not only was it a memorable night for the rookie, who also played his first NCAA game at center, but possession of the Gold Pan Trophy remains very much in doubt after CC (5-18-6, 5-9-5-1 league) posted the breakthrough victory.

    It was the Tigers first road win (1-11-2) and first victory in a one-goal contest (1-7-6) this season. CC also recorded its second win in a row, also a season high.

    The Tigers can take back the coveted trophy with a win Saturday night at World Arena. Less than 100 hundred tickets remain.

    Colorado College scored the eventual winning goal when senior Alexander Krushelnyski tracked down the puck after a Denver player blocked his shot and passed over toward Heil.

    Denver senior goalie Sam Brittain (26 saves) stuck out his stick to stop the puck but Heil forced both the puck and stick across the goal lone with 12:23 left in the third for a 3-1 lead. The score came moments after a five-minute power play expired.

    “I was just praying he would put it in,” Krushelnyski said. “(This win gives) us the confidence we have been looking for. It’s a good step in the process of getting ready for the playoffs.”

    Denver trimmed the CC lead to 3-2 with 7:05 remaining when senior defenseman David Makowski ripped a power-play shot past Tigers goalie Josh Thorimbert (26 saves)

    Denver had a late power play and pulled Brittain with 1:10 left but could not tally the tying goal.

     “Our slow process of improving on the power play generated two goals because the third one came just after the power play,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “Overall, I am happy with this good team win.”

    Tigers sophomore Cody Bradley banged in a pass in off Britttain’s right leg pad to put the Tigers ahead 2-1 with 1:27 left in the second period earlier in the same five-minute man advantage that concluded just before the game-winner. The power-play goal came during a five-minute man advantage after Denver’s Zac Larraza was called for contact to the head and ejected for the rest of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference game for a hit on CC freshman defenseman Gustav Olofsson..

    The power-play goal was set up by freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin, who controlled the puck in the corner and passed to the front of the net where Bradley scored.

    CC sophomore Jared Hanson scored with 9:54 left in the first period for a 1-0 lead. The score was set up by a good diagonal pass across the Denver zone by senior Eamonn McDermott to senior Archie Skalbeck in the slot.

    Skalbeck immediately passed over to Hanson, who was skating toward the net from the other faceoff circle. It caught Brittain moving to his right toward the Tigers senior wing and Hanson one-timed the puck in behind the netminder for the early 1-0 lead.

    “I thought it was a pretty good road game,” Owens said. “We got the early goal and our penalty kill was good.”

    Denver tied the game at 1-1 on a fluky goal by sophomore Quentin Shore with 15:51 left in the second period.

    The game would be close the rest of the way until the five-minute power play gave CC the chance to pull away.

    They seized it. Now it remains to be seen if the Tigers can take the trophy as well.

    “This is personal,” Krushelnyski said. “We want the Gold Pan back.”

    Colorado College 3, No. 18 Denver 2

    Colorado College         1          1          1          –3

    Denver             0          1          1          –2

    First period – 1. CC, Hanson (Skalbeck, McDermott) 10:06. Penalties – DU, Larraza, tripping, 1:22; CC, Bradley, slashing, 12:14; CC, Collett, hooking, 16:48; CC, Olofsson, hooking, 19:49.

    Second period – 2. DU, Shore (Levin) 4:09; 3, CC, Bradley (Slavin) 18:33 (PP). Penalties – DU, Doremus, hooking, 13:15; DU, Larazza, five-minute contact to the head, game misconduct, 17:47.

    Third period – 4. CC, Heil (Krushelnyski) 7:37; 5. DU, Makowski (Shore,Zajac ) 12:55 (PP). Penalties – DU, Didier, hooking, 5:31; CC, Hanson, kneeing, 12:22; CC, Stoykewych, roughing, 12:22; DU, Tabrum, roughing, 12:22; CC, McDermott, holding, 16:07.

    Power play – CC 1-5, DU 1-5. Shots on goal – CC 8-14-7 –29, DU 7-9-12 – 28. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 7-8-11 – 60:00; DU, Brittain 7-13-6 –59:00. Referees –Krebsbach, Dreger. Linesmen – Pedigo, Keltie. Attendance – 6,026 (sellout).