2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom signs 1-year deal with Carolina

    Mon, July 7, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey DevilsColorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom signed a one-year, two-way contract with Carolina over the weekend. The deal will pay Holmstrom $600,000 in the NHL or $200,000 in the American Hockey League (AHL) for the 2014-15 season.

    “Ben has served as Adirondack’s team captain and brings more veteran leadership to our system,” GM Ron Francis said of the former UMass-Lowell captain.

    Holmstrom, 27, completed his fifth professional season in 2013-14, appearing in 75 games with the Adirondack Phantoms. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound center totaled 32 points (19 assists) and 146 penalty minutes, ranking fourth among Phantoms skaters in points and fifth in goals and penalty minutes. Holmstrom was recalled by the Philadelphia Flyers on April 23 and served as a practice squad player during the team’s opening-round playoff series against the New York Rangers.

    The former college free agent signee made his NHL debut on March 3, 2011, and has appeared in seven career NHL games. He has served as Adirondack’s captain for the past three seasons, and ranks third in Phantoms history in games played (256), second in goals (49) and fourth in assists (73) and points (122).

  • 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.

  • Weekend reading: CC-Providence times; NHL Draft; Wisconsin schedule in flux

    Fri, June 27, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC at WMU Friday 002It promises to be a quick turnaround for the Tigers when they play at Hockey East’s Providence in early January 2015. They play at 5 p.m. MT on Saturday, Jan. 3 and at 2 p.m. the next day.

    The road trip concludes with Tuesday, Jan. 6 game at new HEA member UConn. Here is a link to the Providence schedule announced earlier this week.

    Incoming Tigers freshman Chase Perry is likely to be drafted on Saturday.

    Wisconsin is scrambling to flesh out its 2014-15 schedule.

  • 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.

  • 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.

     

  • CC announces schedule; lower season ticket prices

    Tue, May 6, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    SlavinThe upcoming Colorado College schedule is out and it will be cheaper for some to see the 18 home games next season.

    The price reduction for season tickets was made since CC had a difficult time scheduling home games because of previous agreements and other schools’ availability.

    “We were light on home games and we wanted to be fair to our fans,” CC athletic director Ken Ralph said.

    The National Collegiate Hockey Conference member lowered its season ticket prices from 10 to 18 percent depending on the seat’s location if purchased before June 27, CC associate athletic director Scott Lowenberg said. Season ticket renewal forms will be mailed out May 19-23.

    The light schedule prompted CC to book the USA U-18 national team for Dec. 27-28 with the second contest counting as one of the allowed 34 regular-season games under NCAA rules. None of the three home exhibitions this season count in the team’s record or in the Pairwise rankings.

    A scheduling conflict with The Broadmoor World Arena affected the Gold Pan rivalry series. Instead of playing a home-and-home series against Denver in November, the foes will play a single game on Nov. 14 at Denver with three games in 14 days (Feb. 7, 20 and 21). The CC hosts DU for its only game that weekend on Feb. 7 and again on Feb. 20.

    Skalbeck celebrationThe Trans-Siberian Orchestra is scheduled for CC’s home venue that November weekend. Both schools had Feb. 6-7 open and preferred a single game, Ralph said.

    CC travels to Air Force on Nov. 22 to determine ownership of the annual Pikes Peak Trophy after hosting Big Ten Wisconsin the night before.

    The USA U-18 exhibitions are followed by the second of two tough road trips to the East Coast. CC plays two games at Providence Jan. 3-4 and a single game on Tuesday, Jan. 6 at new Hockey East member UConn. The first trip is Oct. 24-25 against Boston College on Friday and New Hampshire on Saturday.

    The Tigers open play with an exhibition against Canada’s McGill University on Sunday, Oct. 5 followed by the season and home opener against Alabama Huntsville Oct. 10-11.  CC opens NCHC play at home against North Dakota Oct. 17-18.

    Individual ticket prices remain the same except for rows A-D in the upper bowl. Those went up to $18 from $16.50. Season tickets for the lower bowl center and sides between the goal lines are sold out as are the upper bowl rows A-D seats.

    The upcoming season features games against six NCAA Tournament teams. The Tigers will face foes from five of the six leagues, including four games against Hockey East schools.

    CC 2014-15 schedule

    Subject to change, all times MT

    Home games bolded

    Oct. 5, McGill University (exhibition), 6:07 p.m.

    Oct. 10-11, Alabama-Huntsville (Homecoming), 7:37, 7:07 p.m.

    Oct. 17-18, North Dakota, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.

    Oct. 24, at Boston College, 5 p.m.

    Oct. 25, at New Hampshire, 5 p.m.

    Oct. 31-Nov. 1, OPEN

    November

    Nov. 7-8, at Miami, both 5:07 p.m.

    Nov. 14, at Denver, 7:37 p.m.

    Nov. 21, Wisconsin, 7:37 p.m.

    Nov. 22, at Air Force, 7:05 p.m.

    Nov. 28-29, OPEN

    December

    Dec. 5-6, at Minnesota-Duluth, both 6:07 p.m.

    Dec. 12-13, at Western Michigan, both 5:07 p.m.

    WINTER BREAK

    Dec. 27, USA U-18 (exhibition), 7:07 p.m.

    Dec. 28, USA U-18 (exhibition), 6:07 p.m.

    January

    Jan. 3-4, at Providence, 5 p.m.

    Jan. 6, at UConn, 5:05 p.m.

    Jan. 16-17, Nebraska-Omaha, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.

    Jan. 23-24, at North Dakota, 6:37, 6:07 p.m.

    Jan. 30-31, St. Cloud State, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.

    February

    Feb. 7, Denver, 7:07 p.m.

    Feb. 13-14, Miami, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.

    Feb. 20, Denver, 7:37 p.m.

    Feb. 21, at Denver, 7:07 p.m.

    Feb. 27-28, Western Michigan, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.

    March

    March 6-7, at Nebraska-Omaha, 6:37, 6:07 p.m.

    March 13-15, NCHC quarterfinals TBA

    March 20-21, NCHC Frozen Faceoff (Target Center, Minneapolis) TBA

     

  • Natives make area pro hockey history

    Tue, April 15, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    For the first time, three Colorado Springs natives played in an American Hockey League game Monday night with Tom Serratore, a former Minnesota wing, and Ben Holmstrom (UMass-Lowell) with the Adirondack Phantoms, an affiliate of the Flyers, and former Lowell forward Josh Holmstrom on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders).

    Ben Holmstrom picked up an assist on the winning goal in a 4-2 victory for the Phantoms in Serratore’s pro debut. Josh Holmstrom has no points in five pro games.

    They play each other again to end their season on Friday since neither will make the playoffs. All three played club hockey for the Colorado Rampage in Monument.

  • Area native starts pro career

    Wed, April 9, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Josh Holmstrom actionColorado Springs native Josh Holmstrom’s professional career is underway.

    The former UMass-Lowell captain signed an amateur tryout for the remainder of this season late last week with the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Tigers, an affiliate of the N.Y. Islanders. He has no points in two games so far.

    The 6-foot, 175-pound forward played in 154 games over four years are UMass Lowell notching 31 goals and 43 assists for 74 points. His best season came in 2012-13 when he had 12 goals and 13 assists in 41 games, leading the River Hawks to their first ever Hockey East regular season title and tournament Championship.

    His older brother Ben Holmstrom is a third-year center and captain for the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms, a Flyers affiliate, who has 30 points (18 assists) in 69 games this season. He is the last area native to play in the NHL with five games in 2012.

  • Updated: CC 2014-15 schedule takes shape

    Tue, April 8, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Thorimbert2While the search for a new coach gets underway, information about the 2014-15 schedule continues to trickle in and it will be a tough one as usual.

    CC fans should expect home and road series against both Miami and Western Michigan this season under the league’s schedule rotation.

    Minnesota-Duluth will not travel to Colorado Springs during the regular season, just like Miami did not last season.

    CC has 24 league games, leaving 10 nonconference dates, in a 34-game regular-season schedule.

    Eight nonleague spots are filled by single road games against Boston College, New Hampshire, UConn, a road series at Providence and home contests against Wisconsin (1) and Alabama-Huntsville (2).

    Air Force may fill one or two of those open spots.

    Here is a very INCOMPLETE, TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (in other words, do not book any flights just yet) based on past interviews and other media.

    CC 2014-15 schedule

    Subject to change

    September

    Sept. 30 annual Faceoff Luncheon

    October

    Oct. 3, McGill University (exhibition)

    Oct. 10-11, Alabama-Huntsville (Homecoming)

    Oct. 17-18 North Dakota

    Oct. 24-25, at Boston College, New Hampshire (block break weekend)

    November

    Nov. 14 at Denver

    Nov. 15   Denver

    Nov. 21  Wisconsin

    Nov. 22 at Air Force

    December

    Dec. 5-6, at Minnesota-Duluth

    January

    Jan. 3-4, at Providence

    Jan. 6, at UConn

    February

    Feb. 20 Denver

    Feb. 21 at Denver