2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Toby Petersen named as new AHL Springfield Falcons assistant coach

    Mon, July 14, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    petersen_white250Former Colorado College hockey player Toby Petersen was hired as an assistant coach by the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons, the top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    Petersen, 35, retired last month as a player after a 14-year career that culminated with the AHL championship with the Texas Stars, where new Vancouver assistant Doug Lidster worked as an assistant.

    Petersen played 550 games in the AHL with Texas, the Iowa Stars, the Edmonton Road Runners and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, totaling 374 points (226 assists) He competed in two all-star games (2001, 2008) and made the league’s all-rookie team in 2001.

    In addition, Petersen skated in 398 games in the National Hockey League with Dallas, Edmonton and Pittsburgh for 81 points (48 assists).

    The Minneapolis native represented the United States at the 2007 IIHF World Championships, tallying 2-1-3 in seven tournament appearances. He was also a member of Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championships in both 1997 (silver) and 1998.

    Selected by Pittsburgh out of Colorado College in the ninth round, 244th overall, at the 1998 NHL Draft, Petersen registered 128 points (69 assists) in 138 NCAA games from 1996-2000. He was named to the WCHA’s All-Rookie Team and helped the Tigers reach the Frozen Four as a freshman in 1997.

  • Weekend reading: Miami rink, UNO exhibition, Chase Perry

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

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

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

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

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

  • Weekend reading: AFA schedule, Hlinka commits, WMU hire, NHL draft picks

    Thu, July 3, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Burnett actionHoly Cross and RIT announced its schedule as did exhibition foe McGill University of Montreal, allowing me to piece together the Air Force hockey schedule some more.

    The program will announce its schedule later this month.

    Here are the confirmed Falcon games as of July 2 (Home games in CAPS):

    Oct. 6, McGILL UNIVERSITY (exhibition)

    Oct. 17, at Alaska-Fairbanks (Brice Gold Rush)

    Oct. 18, vs. Alaska-Anchorage (Brice Gold Rush)

    Oct. 24-25 RIT

    Nov. 1, at North Dakota (Hall of Fame Game)


    Nov. 14-15 at Robert Morris

    Nov. 21 at Denver


    Dec. 5-6 at Bentley

    Jan. 2-3 at Holy Cross

    Jan. 16-17, 2014 ARMY

    Jan. 30-31 ROBERT MORRIS

    Thirteen of the 22 players selected for the u18 Ivan Hlinka tournament are college commits. Three remain uncommitted.

    Denver commit commit Troy Terry of Highlands Ranch is one of the players headed to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

    Western Michigan filled its associate head coach vacancy with a Providence assistant. That leaves one opening after former Denver assistant Steve Miller was hired last week.

    Here is a list of all the college and college commits selected in the recent NHL Draft.

  • 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.

  • McElhinney signs one-year extension with Columbus Blue Jackets

    Mon, June 23, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    McElhinney Columbus actionThe Columbus Blue Jackets signed former Colorado College goaltender Curtis McElhinney to a one-year contract extension through next season.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed. McElhinney, 31, posted a 10-11-1 record with a 2.78 goals-against-average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts in a career-high 28 games during the 2013-14 season, his first with Columbus.

    110329_mcelhinneyHe was acquired in a trade with the Coyotes on February 22, 2012 and signed a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract with the Jackets on July 1, 2012. The 6-3, 205-pound netminder spent the 2012-13 campaign with the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons, setting franchise records for highest SV% (.923) and most shutouts (9) in a single season. He earned the Ross Lowe Memorial Award as Falcons MVP and was a Second Team AHL All-Star selection. He signed a one-year contract with the Blue Jackets on May 24, 2013.

    The London, Ontario native has a career 2.97 goals against mark, .902 save percentage, 29 wins and four shutouts in 97 career NHL games with Columbus, Phoenix, Ottawa, Anaheim and Calgary. He was originally selected by the Flames in the sixth round, 176th overall, of the 2002 NHL Draft. In 205 career AHL appearances with Springfield, Portland and Quad City/Omaha, McElhinney has posted a 119-78-8 record in addition to a 2.37 GAA, .918 SV% and 22 shutouts.

    Prior to his professional career, McElhinney spent four seasons at Colorado College (WCHA), registering a 62-16-8 record, 2.32 GAA and nine shutouts in 91 career games from 2001-05. He was named a First Team All-American (NCAA West) as a senior in 2004-05 after backstopping the Tigers to a MacNaughton Cup title and an appearance in the Frozen Four.

  • CC hires former Tigers standout as assistant

    Mon, June 16, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    RJENGAMUGFormer Tiger right wing R.J. Enga is back home.

    The school announced on Monday that the former Colorado College standout will serve as an assistant under new hockey coach Mike Haviland.

    This homecoming is a long time in the works for Enga, whose parents live in Monument and his children, Kaelin 11, and Makenna, 9, reside in the Briargate area.

    “I am honored, humbled and excited by this opportunity at my alma mater and the chance to be back in Colorado Springs with my family,” Enga said.

    After serving as a volunteer assistant at CC during the 2008-09 season, Enga knew he needed experience in the junior hockey ranks before he could return to his alma mater. He spent two years as an assistant at Topeka of the North American Hockey League and the past three with the Chicago Steel of the U.S. Hockey League.

     While with the Steel, Enga, 42, coached incoming Tigers Chris Dodero and Mason Bergh and current players Christian Heil, Alex Roos, and Jaccob Slavin.

    “I loved playing for him down in Chicago and I know the rest of the guys did as well,” Bergh said. “He puts in so much effort to make everyone better. He’s very good at passing along his knowledge about the game to players and I can’t wait to play for him again in the future.”

    His knowledge of college hockey’s main recruiting pools impressed Haviland.

    “The players he coached said they really liked playing for him,” Haviland said. “He is very familiar with the talent in both leagues and in B.C. (British Columbia).”

    Haviland said Enga will be out recruiting most often, but he expects himself and the other assistant, who will be named in the next two weeks, to be out scouting often.

    The Air Force brat was born in Germany. He spent his formative years in Colorado Springs after his father, longtime AFA tight ends coach Dick Enga, joined the staff. Enga played area youth hockey until leaving for Indiana’s Culver Military Academy at age 15. He was drafted by the N.Y. Islanders in the 10th round of the 1990 NHL Draft while at Culver before playing for Colorado College (1991-95).

    Enga recorded 142 career points (61 goals), good for a tie for 37th all-time, at the now-National Collegiate Hockey Conference school.

    That success and love of his alma mater makes him a good fit, Haviland said.

    “He is very passionate about Colorado College,” Haviland said. “We need the high-end players to come here and he can really sell the school. He knows the school and the block plan. He will be a very effective recruiter.”

    “It’s a great set-up for a student-athlete,” Enga said, referring to the block plan. “It works and Colorado Springs and the area, well, all that sells itself.”

    Enga played minor league pro hockey for 10 seasons, including four with the WCHL’s Colorado Gold Kings. Afterwards, he worked for the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Stanley Cup connection excites current, future and past Tigers

    Fri, May 9, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Haviland Stanley CupTwo words, Stanley Cup, were on the lips of the current, former and future Tiger hockey players when asked about new coach Mike Haviland.

    “It will be awesome to play for a guy who won the Stanley Cup and did it recently,” said incoming freshman Garrett Cecere, who finished this season as the No. 5 scoring defenseman (37 points, 34 assists) in the U.S. Hockey League. “I am looking forward to talking to him and finding out what he wants me to do to help the team win. I am very excited about coming this fall and playing for four years as a Tiger.”

    Haviland, whose 15 years of pro coaching experience (20 overall) includes winning the 2010 Stanley Cup as a Blackhawks assistant, was announced as the 14th coach in program history on Friday morning.

    “He has a reputation as a really good coach, a players coach and as a proven winner,” said 2014 CC graduate Dakota Eveland, who served as a student assistant the past two seasons. “We’ll see if he can deliver but all the alumni and players should be excited.”

    The new coach’s experience includes two ECHL championships and an American Hockey League Coach of the Year Award in 2007. That success and an attention-grabbing Stanley Cup ring should prove to be a recruiting boon.

    “After meeting Coach Haviland it was obvious that his character and personality are a perfect fit for our program,” said junior defenseman Peter Stoykewych, who served on the search committee. “He is a proven winner who has experienced great success with multiple organizations.”

    Freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin, last year’s leading scorer with 25 points, was impressed by Haviland when they met. Slavin also served on the search committee, which included alumni, faculty, staff.

    “I think everyone will be happy on and off the ice,” the rookie said. “He’s a hard guy not to like. He emphasized education during the interviews. I think he will be able to handle that side of things.”

    All-time leading scorer Dave Delich expressed what many alumni hope, even if they were not familiar with Haviland.

    “I hope he has success,” he said.

    Former Tigers defenseman Gabe Guentzel expects he will. He played for Haviland in Norfolk of the American Hockey League and almost did again in Hershey this past season.

    “I loved him as a coach,” said Guentzel, who played this past season in northern Italy. “After he moved on, he was trying to get me to try out for Hershey. He would have been the only reason I would have stayed in North America. Wherever he has been, he’s succeeded.”

    Players are relieved the month-long search to replace former coach Scott Owens concluded. Owens resigned on April 6 after 15 years leading his alma mater.

     “Just talking about hockey with him (Haviland) got me excited for next season,” Stoykewych said. “I can’t wait to get on the ice with him.”

  • Monday reading: NHL draft rankings; weekend review; heart testing; polls

    Mon, January 13, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC bradley new home unisNHL Central Scouting released its midterm 2014 draft rankings and several college players, signees and commits made the listing.

    No future Tigers made the listing but uncommitted goalies Blake Weyrick and Chase Perry are among the top North Americans noted. No. 1 was Boston College’s Thatcher Demko followed by Michigan State commit Edwin Minney.

    The top skaters are:  No. 16. Sonny Milano, Boston College;  No. 17. Dylan Larkin, Michigan;  No. 19 Nick Schmaltz, North Dakota; No. 21 Alex Tuch, BC; No. 27, Jack Glover, Minnesota; No. 29 Jack Dougherty, No.; 32 Ryan Collins, Minnesota.

    North Dakota’s seven-game win streak and favorable schedule — if there is such a thing in the NCHC — puts UND in position to make a run at the Penrose Cup. Minnesota-Duluth is looking good right now as well.

    New Denver assistant David Carle advocates more heart testing for athletes.

    Minnesota remains No. 1 in the USCHO weekly poll but a road split drops St. Cloud State to No. 3. Miami fell out of the top 20 while North Dakota is back in at No. 20.

    USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine weekly poll

    Last Week’s Ranking
    Weeks in
    Top 15
    1 University of Minnesota, 509 (33)
    2 Ferris State University, 464 (1)
    3 Boston College, 423
    4 St. Cloud State University, 420
    5 Quinnipiac University, 377
    6 Union College, 342
    7 Providence College, 259
    8 Yale University, 240
    9 University of Wisconsin, 208
    10 UMass Lowell, 197
    11 Northeastern University, 156
    12 Cornell University, 135
    13 University of Michigan, 132
    14 Clarkson University, 86
    15 University of Notre Dame, 84

    Others receiving votes: University of Denver, 19; University of New Hampshire, 13; Miami University, 5; Bowling Green State University, 3; University of North Dakota, 3; University of Vermont, 3; Colgate University, 1; University of Minnesota Duluth, 1.