2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Petersen considering retirement

    Tue, June 10, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Petersen imageAn injury-shortened season has given former Tiger forward Toby Petersen a lot of time to consider retirement.

    He hasn’t made his decision yet but is leaning toward ending his 14-year professional career after his Texas Stars battle the St. John’s Ice Caps for the Calder Cup championship in the American Hockey League.

    Injuries limited him to 33 regular-season games (11 points, six assists) and a broken foot sustained while blocking a power-play shot ended his playoff run at seven games (one assist).

    Now, he is watching the Stars, which are tied 1-1 with St. John’s headed into Game 3 on Wednesday in Newfoundland.

    “My friends are asking me when I plan to hang it up,” he said. “With the NHL in the rearview mirror it is something you have to consider.”

    He last played a single game with the Dallas Stars during the 2012-13 season and 39 the season before. His best NHL season was 18 points (10 assists) in 2001-02 in 79 games with Pittsburgh. His NHL career totals are 81 points (48 assists) on 398 games. He played three seasons in a row (2008-11) with Dallas.

    This marks the final year of his contract with the Stars organization, which used him as a mentor in Austin for the team’s prospects. It’s a role he was happy to embrace.

    ‘This is the world’s best developmental league so it is important to help the younger guys adjust and get them ready for the NHL,” Petersen said.

    Former Tiger defenseman Kris Fredheim and Cody Lampl are on the St. John’s roster but neither has played in the Calder Cup Finals. Fredheim suffered a shoulder separation and broken sternum in January that limited him to nine playoff game (one assist) since. His contract is up after this season as well and he is unsure where he may end up next season. He made his NHL debut during the 2011-12 season with the Wild, playing three games (no points).

  • Falcons defensemen on the mend

    Mon, March 10, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Air Force coach Frank Serratore discusses a play with Cole Gunner.

    Air Force coach Frank Serratore discusses a play with junior forward Cole Gunner.

    Air Force hockey’s injury situation is better after a bye week but whether junior defensemen Dan Weissenhofer (right leg fracture) and Alex Halloran (groin) are available for this weekend’s home playoff games against No. 6 seed Niagara is uncertain.

    Weissenhofer is questionable for the Friday through Sunday best-of-three Atlantic Hockey Association series since he skated for the first time without a boot on Monday afternoon. How he holds up this week will determine his availability.

    Halloran is probable. Both have been out for almost three weeks.

    “We have a chance at getting some of the guys back,” Falcons coach Frank Serratore said. “Halloran is an explosive skater but if he doesn’t have that it may not make sense to play him. If anyone can play with a broken leg, Weissenhofer can. I guess I should have said lower-body injury, oh well. (Junior forward) George Michalke (illness) will be back.”

    Niagara swept No. 11 American International College this past weekend to advance.  The Falcons (20-12-4, 15-9-3) are 2-1 against the Purple Eagles (13-18-5, 11-11-5) this season.

    “It’s not like Niagara is 100 percent either,” Serratore said. “The strong survive. I love this time of year.”

  • Air Force taking advantage of bye week

    Mon, March 3, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    AFAlogo2012Air Force needed to win Saturday and get a little help to record its Atlantic Hockey Association record eighth top-four finish.

    The Falcons (20-12-4, 15-9-3 AHA) got the victory and those breaks – both Connecticut and Robert Morris lost — which proved even bigger than usual.

    “To be able to re-rack each year and get that bye is impressive but it has never been more important than this year,” coach Frank Serratore said. “We are just not the same team without (junior defensemen Dan) Weissenhofer and (Alex) Halloran back there.”

    Weissenhofer, who has a stress fracture in his lower right leg, can walk without a boot.  Halloran (groin pull) was able to practice last week.

    Junior forward George Michalke sat out the regular-season series finale to build up his strength after losing about 15 pounds during a bout with pneumonia.

    “He’s just coming around to where he can eats solid food,” Serratore said. “The extra week makes the difference between us being shorthanded or at full strength.”

    All three players are likely to be available when third seed Air Force hosts a team to be determined during the AHA quarterfinals March 14-16. If seeding holds, it would be No. 6 Niagara.

    “Hopefully we can heal up a bit and the other teams will beat up on each other a bit in the first round,” sophomore Ben Carey said. “It all adds up over a season.”

  • Midweek notes: Injuries; tickets; CC season

    Wed, February 26, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Zahn injuryUNO senior Zahn Raubenheimer’s college career is over after he was helped after he broke his foot Saturday blocking a shot. (Photo by @LSchellhardt)

    From the article:Foot broken, Raubenheimer got up and tried to block another shot, and just missed with his right foot.

    St. Cloud defenseman Andrew Prochno won’t play this weekend against UND because of a lower-body injury, according to the SCSU beat writer.

    SCSU coach Bob Motzko on Prochno’s  injury: “He’s going to be out a couple weeks.”

    Not surprisingly, tickets are getting scarce for the North Dakota at SCSU series that may determine the first winner of the Penrose Cup. North Dakota home playoff tickets go on sale Wednesday.

    The Colorado College win streak has moved them down a dubious list.

     

  • Friday’s lines: CC at No. 18 Denver

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

    Heil goldsThe Tigers changed up their fourth line with junior center Jordan DiGiando unavailable due to illness. Freshman Christian Heil will get his first playing time as a college center with junior Scott Wamsganz playing his first at right wing.

    Hunter Fejes (lower body injury), Matt Hansen (suspension), Peter Maric and Zach Aman, both upper body are unavailable as well.

     “Archie is a center but we didn’t want to change up that line (Skalbeck-Collett-Hanson),” CC coach Scott Owens said. “We are playing every forward available. Heil played center a good bit in juniors.”

    For Denver, Joey LaLeggia is out with an upper-body injury while Ty Loney is ill, making him a game-time decision.

    Colorado College

    LW-C-RW

    Krushelnyski-Rothstein-Roos

    Skalbeck-Collett-Hanson

    Gerdes-Bradley-Taft

    Morin-Heil-Wamsganz

    LD-RD

    Stoykewych-Olofsson

    Harstad-Slavin

    Young-McDermott

    Goalies – Thorimbert, Lockwood

    Denver

    LW-C-RW

    Moore-Doremus-Loney (Ritt)

    Levin-Shore-Larraza

    Jacobson-Tabrum-SArnold

    Janssen-Marcinew-Romig

    LD-RD

    Butcher-Makowski

    Zajac-Didier

    VanVoorhis-Neville

    Goalies -- Brittain, Cowley, Ogard

  • Expect DU’s LaLeggia to play this weekend

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

    LaLeggia actionPioneers sophomore Joey LaLeggia (undisclosed injury) practiced with the team on Wednesday and coach Jim Montgomery expects the standout to play this weekend against Colorado College. The defenseman (19, 10 assists)  did not play on Saturday at Nebraska-Omaha.

    “He is day-to-day,” Montgomery said. “If it was any other player I would say he would not play this weekend, but knowing the kind of hockey player he is, I would not rule him out. (Forward) Garrett Allen is healthy. Other than them, everyone else just has the bumps and bruises you expect by this time of year, especially in the NCHC.”

  • Tigers healing up this week

    Tue, February 11, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Fejes 2The Tigers continue to heal headed into this weekend’s league home series against Western Michigan.

    Sophomore Hunter Fejes and freshman Matt Hansen are expected to be available this weekend along with junior goalie Courtney Lockwood.

    Senior wing Alexander Krushelnyski is expected to play as well. He blocked a shot with his glove during Friday’s overtime at Minnesota-Duluth, which affected his ability to grip the stick.

    As a result, he was held out of that night’s shootout but played on Saturday. He skated with a no-contact jersey during Tuesday’s practice.

    Wings Zach Aman and Peter Maric will be unavailable this weekend.

  • Torf may return for Air Force this weekend

    Mon, February 3, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Torf saveSenior goalie Jason Torf is optimistic he may be able to return to action as soon as this weekend’s home series against Atlantic Hockey Association-leading Mercyhurst if his return to practice goes well. He took to the ice for a full practice with the Falcons on Monday.

    Coach Frank Serratore said that the senior from Hermosa Beach, Calif. may play in one game this weekend and is likely to be available for next weekend’s road trip to Canisius in Buffalo, N.Y. barring any setbacks.

    “If it doesn’t happen this weekend, it’s not the end of the world but I would be disappointed if I am not back next weekend,” Torf said. “I can tell you that if I am ready to play this weekend the coaches will know about it. I am itching to get back out there between the pipes.”

    The goalie has been out since injuring his right groin muscle Dec. 30. Freshman Chris Truehl has gone 6-2 in his absence.

  • Emptying the notebook: Eight Tigers injured by game’s end; new NCAA recruiting rules

    Sat, January 25, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    FejesCC senior Alexander Krushelnyski (upper body) and junior defenseman Ian Young (lower body) both sustained injuries in Friday’s win over Miami and were out Saturday along with four other Tigers.

    Krushelnyski had a goal and an assist in each of the past four games. He played in 131 straight games since missing one in early December of his freshman year.

    “With the bye week, next week he should be fine,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said.

    The others are juniors Courtney Lockwood and Jordan DiGiando, both lower body injuries sustained last weekend, and freshmen Matt Hansen (middle) and Tyler Marble (shoulder).

    Sophomores Hunter Fejes (lower body) and Peter Maric (upper body) were both injured during Saturday’s game.

    New NCAA rules may benefit programs

    The NCAA tweaked its recruiting rules for college hockey recently, now allowing coaches to contact prospective players after Jan. 1 of their sophomore year in high school. That is 5 1/2 months earlier than the previous rule, when coaches had to wait until June 15. The change is effective immediately.

    The change was made so college coaches could start recruiting players prior to the Ontario and Quebec major junior hockey league drafts in June. Prior to that, college coaches could not talk to them beforehand to promote the NCAA alternative.

    The ruling removes limits on the number of telephone calls, emails, direct messages via social media and texts that coaches may send to prospects beginning Jan. 1 of their sophomore season.

    “That’s all good stuff,” Owens said. “It allows us to get the message out about the benefits of college hockey at an earlier age. The way recruiting is now, it is important to develop a rapport with players early.”

    A player forgoes his NCAA eligibility if he signs a professional contract or plays for any of the three Canadian major junior leagues.

    Coaches remain limited in the number of face-to-face contacts they may make and they cannot make their first off-campus contact with a prospect until June 15 of their grade 10 year.

    Ice chips

    The NCHC Fan Fest will run from 3-7:30 p.m. in conjunction with the Frozen Faceoff postseason tournament on March 21-22 on the Target Field Plaza, adjacent to Target Center in Minneapolis. The Target Center will allow re-entry for those wanting to attend the free, family-friendly event before and between games.  … The Miami roster is made up entirely of Americans. … Junior Charlie Taft entered Saturday’s game with two goals in his last three games. … Former U.S. and Olympic speedskater Joey Cheek held the ceremonial puck drop.

  • Torf hopeful he may return early

    Tue, January 21, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Torf saveAir Force senior goalie Jason Torf continues to slowly but steadily heal from a torn right groin muscle suffered on Dec. 30.

    He took to the ice before Monday’s practice to skate around without pads and moved pretty well. He also spent a short time moving side to side which was not as smooth.

    Torf said he will continue to work on getting stronger over the next couple weeks, knowing that a big test ahead will be his ability to go down on the ice and get back up on his skates quickly, along with extending his legs to make saves.

    “I think I can heal more quickly than the doctors’ timeline,” he said. “Just getting back on the ice has made me happy. It’s where I belong.”

    He is recovering faster than his sophomore season when he missed 14 games and was on crutches for a short time after he tore his left groin muscle. Torf returned to lead the Falcons to the NCAA Tournament.

    The coaches are not sure when Torf may return but mentioned mid to late February as a possibility when the injury was first announced six games ago. Freshman goalie Chris Truehl (5-0) has served ably in his place.

    “We’re not going to put him back in early,” Air Force coach Frank Serratore said. “We shouldn’t. The way Chris has played means we do not need to.”