• NCHC schedule release; CC slate nearly full

    Thu, April 17, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    cc celebration gold

    Colorado College will play on the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Opening Night for the second season in a row.

    The Tigers begin conference play hosting national semifinalist North Dakota on Oct. 17-18. The Friday game comes after the 2014-15 league opener between Nebraska-Omaha at Western Michigan earlier that night.

    Last season, the first two league games – which included Minnesota –Duluth at CC in Game 2 — were part of a national TV doubleheader on CBS Sports Network. The NCHC’s broadcast schedule will be announced later.

    The NCHC released its league composite schedule on Thursday, also confirming that Colorado College and NCAA Tournament participant Denver will play their four-game home-and-home series the weekends of Nov. 14-15 and Feb. 20-21, 2015 to determine ownership of the Gold Pan Trophy. CC downed Denver in the series (2-1-1) last season to take back the rivalry hardware.

    CC will host Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan in February. The Tigers will travel to Oxford, Ohio to take on the RedHawks for the first time there on Nov. 7-8. Previous meetings were at World Arena and at a neutral tournament site.

    CC associate athletic director Scott Lowenberg said he hopes the new league rivalries will take root after World Arena fans see these new opponents more often.

    “We will work hard to educate the fans about those program’s long hockey histories,” he has said.

    The complete Tigers schedule, which will include 10 as of yet unconfirmed nonconference including area rival Air Force and one or two more exhibition game dates, will be released later this month. Other TV broadcasts will be announced later this offseason.

    Like last year, all eight NCHC teams will play five league foes, including their protected rival (CC and Denver, for example), in both home and away series, while facing the other two teams for just one series (one home and one away) for a total of 24 league games.

    In CC’s case, that means the Tigers only travel to Duluth Dec. 5-6 and host defending NCHC regular-season champion St. Cloud State on Jan. 30-31 this upcoming season, which begins Saturday, Oct. 4.

    First-round series winners advance to the Target Center in Minneapolis for the second annual NCHC Frozen Faceoff with the semifinals Friday, March 20 and the third-place game and championship on Saturday, March 21. The Frozen Faceoff champion receives an automatic NCAA berth.

    In this blog post, I also added some of the nonconference and exhibition games I have heard about through other media or during interviews. They remain unconfirmed.

    CC 2014-15 schedule

    Subject to change

    September

    Sept. 30 annual Faceoff Luncheon

    October

    Oct. 5, McGill University (exhibition)

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

    Oct. 17-18 North Dakota

    Oct. 23-26, at Boston College, at New Hampshire (block break weekend)

    Oct. 31-Nov. 1 OPEN

    November

    Nov. 7-8, at Miami

    Nov. 14, at Denver

    Nov. 15,  Denver

    Nov. 21, Wisconsin

    Nov. 22, at Air Force

    Nov. 28-29, OPEN

    December

    Dec. 5-6, at Minnesota-Duluth

    Dec. 12-13, at Western Michigan

    WINTER BREAK

    January

    Jan. 3-4, at Providence

    Jan. 6, at UConn

    Jan. 16-17, Nebraska-Omaha

    Jan. 23-24, at North Dakota

    Jan. 30-31, St. Cloud State

    February

    Feb. 6-7, OPEN

    Feb. 13-14, Miami

    Feb. 20, Denver

    Feb. 21, at Denver

    Feb. 27-28, Western Michigan

    March

    March 6-7, at Nebraska-Omaha

    March 13-15, NCHC quarterfinals

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

  • 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

  • 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.

     

  • Updated league tournament brackets

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

    du undHere are the updated “western” tourney brackets with TV coverage included:

    All times MT

    NCHC Tournament

    Target Center, Minneapolis

    TV: CBS Sports Network

    Friday

    3:08 p.m., No. 6 Denver vs. No. 5 Western Michigan

    6:38 p.m., No. 8 Miami vs. No. 2 North Dakota

    Saturday

    2:38 p.m., third-place game (NCHC video stream only)

    6:38 p.m., championship

    Atlantic Hockey

    Rochester, N.Y.

    TV:  None

    Friday semifinals

    2:05 p.m., No. 7 Canisius vs. No. 1 Mercyhurst

    1 hour later, No. 6 Niagara vs. No. 5 Robert Morris

    Championship

    5:50 p.m., semifinal winners

    Big Ten Tournament

    Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.

    Thursday’s results

    No. 6 Penn State 2,  No. 3 Michigan 1 2OT

    No. 4 Ohio State 2, No. 5 Michigan State 1 OT

    Friday

    1 p.m.,  Penn State vs. No. 2 Wisconsin

    6 p.m.,  Ohio State vs. No. 1 Minnesota

    Saturday (no third-place game)

    6 p.m., semifinal winners

    WCHA Final Five

    Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.

    TV: FS North

    Friday

    12:07 p.m., No. 3 Bowling Green State vs. No. 2 Minnesota State

    5:07 p.m., No. 4 Alaska-Anchorage vs. No. 1 Ferris State

    Saturday

    5:07 p.m., semifinal winners

  • Friday reading: Penrose Cup race; regular-season finales; WCHA race; women’s hockey

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

    SCSU road celebrationCC fans can point to this stat to buoy their hopes this weekend: No. 4 St. Cloud State started the season at 11-1-2 but is  8-7-3 since Dec. 7.

    The Huskies remain confident coming into this weekend because they faced a similar scenario last year when they shared the WCHA title with Minnesota. Friday’s game starts at 7:08 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

    Here is The Gazette’s feature on CC captain Eamonn McDermott and the learning experience this season has been.

    Three teams can lay claim to the inaugural Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champion. No. 9 North Dakota and No. 4 St. Cloud State are tied atop the standings, three points ahead of Nebraska-Omaha. A sweep by either UND vs. Western Michigan or SCSU at Colorado College guarantees them at least a share of the Penrose Cup, if not the outright title.

    For seeding purposes, UND currently holds the tiebreaker with more conference wins but that could change this weekend. Omaha would need both teams to falter in order to have a shot at the title.

    The top four teams receive home ice for next weekend’s NCHC best-of-three quarterfinal series. North Dakota and St. Cloud State have already clinched home ice, while UNO needs just one point at Duluth or UND to earn one point vs. Western Michigan to secure home ice.

    The final home ice spot(s) will go to WMU, Minnesota-Duluth or Denver. Colorado College is locked in as the No. 7 seed and will face the No. 2 seed, which could be UND, SCSU or UNO. Miami is last and will travel to face the No. 1.

    The NCHC race leads off a national roundup. Western Michigan hopes to grab a couple road points at No. 9 North Dakota and secure home playoff ice. Here is more on UND and the beat writer’s predictions.

    Family ties will be tested when Nebraska-Omaha plays at  Minnesota-Duluth with home playoff ice on the line.  Here are UNO’s preview notes.

    Here are some predictions for this week’s regular-season finales. 

    Penrose cupHere is this week’s USCHO column which talks about commissioner Josh Fenton’s uncertain travel itinerary this weekend; CC’s offensive woes and Nebraska-Omaha’s emotional week.

    Here is a look at some of the great hockey games played at the Target Center, the site for the NCHC’s Frozen Faceoff.

    Minnesota State has a chance to win its first MacNaughton Cup this weekend and other WCHA links.

    In women’s hockey, sophomore forward Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn./Minnesota), senior forward Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ontario/Clarkson) and junior forward Jillian Saulnier (Halifax, Nova Scotia/Cornell) have been named top-three finalists for the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. The honor will be presented on March 22, as part of the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four weekend hosted by Quinnipiac. The award, which is in its 17th year, is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.

  • NCHC roundup, playoff scenarios, tiebreakers, current standings

    Sun, March 2, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bigger NCHC logoRemember when the coaches said before the season began how tight the National Collegiate Hockey Conference would be?

    Give them credit for being dead-on.

    St. Cloud State’s 3-1 Senior Night home win on Saturday resulted in a series split and a tie atop the NCHC standings headed into the final regular-season weekend.

    Both teams secured home ice for the quarterfinals while next weekend’s games will decide the regular-season champion.

    St. Cloud State travels to seventh seed Colorado College while North Dakota hosts Western Michigan. If both teams finish with the same amount of points, they would be co-champion.

    The Mavs can secure home ice for the quarterfinals when they close the regular season at Minnesota-Duluth next weekend, needing one point to clinch it (or can clinch with a North Dakota win/tie over Western Michigan.

    Third-place UNO is still alive for the regular-season title, though they need SCSU and UND to both lose at least once.

    Western Michigan, tied for fourth place with Duluth, and sixth-place Denver both remain alive for a top-four finish and home playoff ice. DU hosts Miami, which is guaranteed the low seed while CC is No. 7.

    Here is the NCHC’s tiebreaking procedure for playoff seeding (with the league’s exact wording):

    If two or more teams have the same number of points in the final standings, they tie will be broken based on the below formula.

    In the case of ties among three or more schools, the criteria will be used in order until a team, or teams, is separated from the pack. At that point, the process will begin anew to break the “new” tie. In other words, when a four-way tie becomes a three-way tie, the three-way tie is treated as a “new” tie and the process begins with the first criterion.

    1. The team with the greater number of NCHC regular-season wins shall be the higher seed.

    2. Head-to-head competition. Among the teams tied in the standings, the team with the highest winning percentage will be the higher seed.

    3. Goal differential: Total goals for and against in contests between the teams tied in the standings.

    4. Winning percentage of the teams tied in the standings against the remaining NCHC teams, starting at the top of the standings and working toward the bottom until the tie is broken.

    5. Coin flip.

    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
  • Roundup: Sweeps help SCSU, UND pull away

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

    bigger-NCHC-logo-300x300No. 18 Denver 4, Nebraska-Omaha 1

    OMAHA — Denver snapped a three-game winless streak to avoid the season sweep by the Mavericks.

    And in what is typical in the NCHC, the win moved DU up from sixth into fourth place headed into this week’s battle for the Gold Pan against seventh-place Colorado College.

    Freshman goalie Evan Cowley made 33 saves in his second start. UNO dropped into third place.

    No. 6 St. Cloud State 4, No. 16 Minnesota-Duluth 3

    ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Sophomore Jonny Brodzinski scored with 1:49 left to lead the Huskies to the season-series sweep. The win kept SCSU atop the NCHC by three points.

    “It’s just a great win for us,” Huskies coach Bob Motzko told the St. Cloud Times. “The building was electric. It was the best crowd of the year and we needed to get the roof off the building (with noise) and treat our fans to that game.”

    No. 17 North Dakota 9, Miami 2

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. – North Dakota set a new NCHC record by pumping in nine goals against a Miami team that has surprisingly struggled on defense all season.

    The weekend sweep put UND in sole possession of second place in the league.

    Rocco Grimaldi recorded four points and Nick Mattson three.

    The score could have been worse. UND had two goals disallowed in the first eight minutes of the game, both by a resurgent Mark MacMillan.

    North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg returned from injury to make 27 saves, 14 in the third period. It was Miami’s fourth-straight loss since garnering a road split at CC.

    STANDINGS

    Conference Overall
    Team Pts GP W L T SW Win% GF GA GP W L T Win% GF GA
    St. Cloud State 36 18 11 4 3 0 0.694 65 49 28 17 6 5 0.696 103 76
    North Dakota 33 18 11 7 0 0 0.611 58 54 28 16 9 3 0.625 86 77
    Nebraska Omaha 30 18 9 7 2 1 0.556 60 53 28 12 14 2 0.464 90 94
    Denver 29 18 8 7 3 2 0.528 46 43 30 14 10 6 0.567 78 66
    Minnesota Duluth 28 18 8 8 2 2 0.500 52 51 28 13 11 4 0.536 82 78
    Western Michigan 28 18 8 8 2 2 0.500 53 53 30 14 11 5 0.550 80 76
    Colorado College 18 18 4 9 5 1 0.361 40 53 28 4 18 6 0.250 54 89
    Miami 14 18 4 13 1 1 0.250 44 62 28 10 15 3 0.411 84 86
  • NCHC roundup: Huskies pad league lead

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

    bigger-NCHC-logo-300x300For the time being, St. Cloud State picked up some breathing room with a full three-point lead (33-30) over No. 17 North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha, tied for second, after all three won at home on Friday.

    Western Michigan’s two points moved the Broncos up from fifth to a tie for fourth with Minnesota-Duluth.

    Denver fell to sixth and CC moved up to a distant seventh behind the Pioneers (26-15) and one point ahead of Miami.

    No. 6 St. Cloud State 5, No. 16 Minnesota-Duluth 3

    ST. CLOUD, Minn. –A poor opening period for the visiting Bulldogs  kpet a match-up of the NCHC’s top two teams form devleoping into the game most expected. SCSU took a 4-0 lead through one period and was never threatened.

    Here is the Duluth paper’s article and the game story from the Huskies beat writer.

    Nebraska-Omaha 4, No. 18 Denver 2

    OMAHA — Nebraska Omaha scored two goals in the second period and twice in the third for a 4-2 victory over the Pioneers before 6,281 fans at the CenturyLink Center.

    Josh Archibald scored twice, including the game-winner that  broke the 2-2 tie in the third. UNO improved to 12-13-2 and 9-6-3.

    Daniel Doremus and Will Butcher scored for the Pioneers (13-10-6, 7-7-5).  DU senior goaltender Sam Brittain finished with 27 saves.

    No. 17 North Dakota 3, Miami 2

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Sean Kuraly’s goal with 29.5 seconds remaining in the third brought Miami within a goal, but North Dakota held off a late charge to defeat the RedHawks 3-2 on Friday night.

    Miami fell to 10-14-3 (4-12-1-1 NCHC) with the setback. UND is 11-2-1 in its last 14 games, including five wins by a 3-2 margin. Here are CBS-SN’s video highlights.

    Here is more from the Grand Forks Herald.

    STANDINGS

    Conference Overall
    Team Pts GP W L T SW Win% GF GA GP W L T Win% GF GA
    St. Cloud State 33 17 10 4 3 0 0.676 61 46 27 16 6 5 0.685 99 73
    North Dakota 30 17 10 7 0 0 0.588 49 52 27 15 9 3 0.611 77 75
    Nebraska Omaha 30 17 9 6 2 1 0.588 59 49 27 12 13 2 0.481 89 90
    Minnesota Duluth 28 17 8 7 2 2 0.529 49 47 27 13 10 4 0.556 79 74
    Western Michigan 28 17 8 7 2 2 0.529 53 50 29 14 10 5 0.569 80 73
    Denver 26 17 7 7 3 2 0.500 42 42 29 13 10 6 0.552 74 65
    Colorado College 15 17 3 9 5 1 0.324 37 53 27 3 18 6 0.222 51 89
    Miami 14 17 4 12 1 1 0.265 42 53 27 10 14 3 0.426 82 77
  • Thursday reading: NCHC notes

    Thu, January 30, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bigger-NCHC-logo-300x300Here are some notes on the NCHC provided by the league:

    •  Only four NCHC teams are in action this weekend with all four playing a conference series. The other four squads have their final bye of the regular season. Following this weekend, all eight will have 10 conference games remaining. 

    •  The NCHC finished 37-31-16 (.536) in non-conference play.

    •  Coming off a bye, No. 20 Western Michigan looks to extend its six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) when it hosts Minnesota-Duluth, CC’s road foe next weekend.. During the unbeaten streak, WMU has two wins over then No. 13 Miami, a win over then No. 3 Michigan and a win and a tie against then No. 3 St. Cloud State. UMD was the last team to beat WMU back on Dec. 14 in Duluth.

    •  Denver, idle this week, is one of just three NCAA teams (Minn. State, Quinnipiac) to rank in the top 10 nationally in both special teams categories. The Pioneers are fifth on the power play at 22.9 percent and sixth on the penalty kill at 87.9 percent. Two St. Cloud State ranks fourth on the power play at 23.4 percent.

    •  Denver senior goalie Sam Brittain ranks third (.936) and WMU sophomore Lukas Hafner fifth (.935). in saves percentage while Hafner leads the NCAA with a 1.61 goals against mark.

    •   Nebraska-Omaha junior forward Josh Archibald is tied for third nationally with 17 goals (first in the NCHC) while Miami sophomore forward Riley Barber is tied for sixth with 16 tallies. Barber is also tied for sixth in the NCAA in points with 35, tops in the NCHC.

  • Monday reading: CC bye, AHA, NCHC, polls

    Mon, January 27, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    UMD locker roomWith a bye week, Colorado College will have a light practice schedule with three sessions while the coaches spend most of the week hitting the phones/road/email inboxes to wage the never-ending recruiting battle. 

    Some of the eight injured Tigers should be able to return to action by next weekend’s road series at Minnesota-Duluth, which got some polls respect after placing second at the North Star College Cup this past weekend, falling to No. 1 Minnesota in a shootout. The Bulldogs are playing solid hockey and promise to be a serious road test for the Tigers.

    USCHO looks back the weekend in the AHA and NCHC.

    Here is this week’s USCHO poll:

    1 Minnesota (44) 18- 2-4 994 1
    2 Boston College ( 6) 18- 4-3 955 2
    3 Quinnipiac   18- 4-5 877 4
    4 Union   16- 5-3 847 3
    5 St. Cloud State   13- 5-4 767 5
    6 Ferris State   18- 6-3 737 6
    7 Providence   15- 6-5 706 7
    8 Massachusetts-Lowell   16- 7-2 660 8
    9 Wisconsin   14- 7-1 536 9
    10 Northeastern   15- 8-3 505 11
    11 Cornell   10- 4-5 495 12
    12 Michigan   12- 6-2 459 14
    13 Yale   10- 5-4 426 10
    14 Notre Dame   15- 9-1 361 15
    15 Clarkson   15- 9-2 275 13
    16 Denver   13- 8-5 224 16
    17 North Dakota   13- 8-3 178 18
    18 Colgate   13- 9-3 147 NR
    19 Vermont   13- 9-3 138 17
    20 Western Michigan   12- 8-4 104 19
    Others receiving votes: Maine 43, Minnesota-Duluth 38, Bentley 7, New Hampshire 7, Bowling Green 6, Air Force 3, Mercyhurst 2, Minnesota State 1, Nebraska-Omaha 1, Ohio State 1.

     USA Hockey poll:

    Rank, team (1st-place votes) Prev.

    1. Minnesota, 508 (32) 1
    2. Boston College, 475 (2) 2
    3. Quinnipiac, 433 4
    4. Union, 390 3
    5. St. Cloud State, 364 5
    6. Ferris State, 346 6
    7. Providence, 303 7
    8. UMass Lowell, 296 8
    9. Wisconsin, 216 9
    10. Northeastern, 190 11
    11. Cornell, 171 12
    12. Michigan, 135 14
    13. Yale, 125 10
    14. Notre Dame, 75 15
    15. Clarkson, 26 13

    Others receiving votes: Colgate, 17; Denver, 13; North Dakota, 12; Minnesota Duluth, 9; Bentley, 1; Vermont, 1; Western Michigan, 1.