• Owens resignation surprises most

    Sun, April 6, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Scott Owens Photo #3The news of longtime coach Scott Owens’ resignation surprised fans, players and coaches alike.

    “We were all a little bit surprised,” CC junior defenseman Peter Stoykewych said. “We loved playing for him as a coach and had the utmost respect for him. He gave us all an opportunity.”

    Owens told CC athletic director Ken Ralph of his decision to resign after 15 seasons (324-228-54, .579) following his worst as a coach (7-24-6, .270) this past campaign; the Tigers’ first in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Both agreed it was time for him to step down following his annual review.

    “I was surprised by the decision,” Tigers assistant Eric Rud said. “I am very, very thankful that Scott had the confidence in me to bring me in as an assistant coach at my alma mater.”

    “We had a lot of success over the past 14 years,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said. “I am proud of the work we’ve done with kids graduating, players reaching the NHL and the commits we have coming in.”

    The longtime coach was out of town and did not attend Sunday’s team awards banquet.  Ralph said Owens was absent to avoid overshadowing the event.

    “I can’t say I was shocked but it upsets me,” longtime fan Ken Rownd said. “I especially enjoyed the kind of players he brought in. That is a tough act to follow.”

    It did not take long for speculation on Owens’ replacement to start. There will be no shortage of interested coaching candidates for one of only two available in the 59-team Division I ranks. The other is the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Lake Superior State.

    Names already making the speculation rounds in social media include: Bonnett, Rud, former Denver coach George Gwozdecky, Minnesota assistant Mike Guentzel, former North Dakota associate coach Cary Eades and former DU assistant Derek Lalonde. Gwozdecky recently told the Gazette he was not interested in an opening if it were to arise. Both Bonnett and Rud expressed interest.

    “I think this is a great place to coach and play,” Rud said. “It’s a place I believe in. There are enough positives in place that this could be turned around quickly.”

    Ralph will be busy during a hiring process expected to last a few weeks.

    “We do not want to rush this,” he said. “We want to make the right choice.”

  • Incoming Tiger garners USHL award

    Tue, March 25, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Cecere MUGThe United States Hockey League announced its weekly award winners and they include future Tiger defenseman Garrett Cecere of the Sioux Falls Stampede. Cecere is scheduled to join the team this fall.

    The other honorees were C.J. Franklin (Minnesota State commit) of the Sioux Falls Stampede and Brian Pinho (Providence) of the Indiana Ice, recognized as co-recipients of CCM Forward of the Week;  and Cornell commit Hayden Stewart of the Indiana Ice, named Reebok Goaltender of the Week.

    Here is the USHL’s write-up:

    Garrett Cecere, D, Sioux Falls Stampede:  The 19-year-old defenseman dished out six assists to help the Stampede capture a pair of weekend victories.  He recorded three assists in Friday’s 7-1 win against the Sioux City Musketeers, setting a USHL career high for points in one game.  The West Des Moines, Iowa native then matched that effort with three more assists in Sunday’s 5-0 win against the Lincoln Stars. 

    He was also part of a defensive unit that allowed just one goal over the weekend and successfully killed off all eight power play chances by the opposition.  The Colorado College commit has recorded 20 points (2g, 18a) and a plus-16 rating in 20 games since being acquired by the Stampede in January.  His 35 total points (3g, 32a) are the fifth most among USHL defensemen.

  • CC commit traded to USHL contender

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

    cecere1_largeThe Sioux Falls Stampede acquired Tigers commit and defenseman Garrett Cecere (pronounced SIS-ear) from the Tri-City Storm in exchange for forward Conner Valesano. Additional items to complete the trade, including a swap of draft picks and future players will be announced soon. The Stampeded are in fourth place in the USHL’s Western Conference, well ahead of seventh-place Tri-City.

    Cecere, in his second season with the Storm, registered 15 points (14 assists) in 30 games. The 5-foot-8, 160-pound, left-handed defenseman recorded 16 points (13 assists) in 58 games last season with Tri-City. The West Des Moines native was a 5th round draft choice of the Storm in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft. 

    Cecere was the top defenseman for the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League and was named to the first team All-Rookie Team for 2011-12 after tallying 30 points in 52 games.

  • Midweek reading: NCHC’s Pairwise troubles; Hobey fan ballot; W. Michigan, SCSU injuries

    Tue, January 14, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Roos celebrationDenver, North Dakota, Western Michigan, Minnesota-Duluth and Miami all find themselves out of the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today according to the latest Pairwise rankings

    North Dakota is sitting at 19th, but the other three have a lot of work to do. Fortunately, there are also a lot of games left. CC is No. 52 and Air Force No. 32. Obviously, both area teams will need to win their league’s automatic berth to qualify for the NCAAs.

    Here is a strong article about the recent travel troubles for the western college teams.

    The Hobey Baker fan balloting is underway and only one player from a Front Range team is on the ballot: Denver goalie Sam Brittain. No Air Force or CC players made the initial cut for the first time in recent memory

    WHL Portland snapped up a Minnesota-Duluth defenseman commit. Peter Stoykewych’s younger brother Paul signed with Western Michigan for next season He was one of seven signees.

    Here are three players Wisconsin is targeting in the recruiting battles and an injury update for St. Cloud State.

    The 2014 and 2015 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Games will be held at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y. on Sept. 25, 2014 and sometime in September 2015.

  • 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.

  • Thursday reading: Signees; AFA-CC tickets; NCHC video; flu-ravaged North Dakota

    Thu, November 14, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    teemu picThe early signing period is underway and Colorado College expects Teemu Kivihalme, pictured, and Trey Bradley, younger brother of sophomore center Cody, will hand in their paperwork before the period ends next Wednesday.

    Tickets remain available for Tuesday’s Air Force at Colorado game. Go to CCTigers.com/Tickets or the WA box office for the $5 ticket deal on Nebraska-Omaha Dec. 7.

    Here is a link to the weekly Top Five goals in the NCHC. Tigers senior Alexander Krushelnyski’s score is No.3 in the highlights video.

    Fourteen North Dakota players missed Tuesday’s practice because of the flu, which hit the team hard during and after Sunday’s game at Nebraska-Omaha. UND junior defenseman Nick Mattson told the Grand Forks Herald that “it got a little messy” on the bus ride home with multiple players vomiting.

    Forward Sebastien Fuchs (Kenai River Brown Bears, NAHL) has committed to Denver for 2015-2016.

    Providence announced that freshman forward Niko Rufo will miss the rest of the season with a lower-body injury suffered during the Friars’ 1-0 win at Merrimack on Nov. 8. He recorded three points (two goals) in eight games, including the game-winner over Miami.

  • Kivihalme heads to World Jr. A Challenge

    Thu, October 17, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Kivihalme jerseyTeemu Kivihalme, a 2014 Colorado College commit and Fargo Force defenseman, will represent Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge tournament in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Nov. 4-10. The 2013 Nashville Predators draft pick and 21 other players were picked by USA Hockey. Tryouts were this summer.

    Kivihalme has three assists in four USHL games so far, good for second on the Force (3-2). The full roster is here.

    World Junior A Challenge schedule

    November 2nd vs. Canada West (exhibition)

    November 5th vs. Russia

    November 6th vs. Canada East

    November 7th – Quarterfinals

    November 8th – Semifinals

    November 9th – 3rd place and 5th place games

    November 10th – Championship

  • Monday reading: Bulldogs lean on top line; radio show; Providence; USHL goalie

    Mon, October 14, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Cameranesi8163Colorado College’s opponent this weekend –Minnesota-Duluth — leans heavily on sophomores Tony Cameranesi, Austin Farley and Joe Basaraba, who spent a lot of time together on the Bulldogs’ first line last season and will be expected to pick up where they left off this season.

    “We’ve had those guys together so far,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “They had some chemistry last year, so I think it’s a good way to start. I like having that chemistry early, and those guys did some good things together. So we’ll see if they can start the year doing the same thing.”

    Here is the rest of the article.

    The first Scott Owens Radio Show is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Tony’s Bar on Tejon in downtown Colorado Springs. Tony’s is not a big venue so fans may want to show up a little early. It will be broadcast on KRDO 1240 AM and 105.5 FM.

    Future foe and Providence goalie Jon Gillies was named as the Hockey East co-defensive player of the week with Notre Dame goalie Steve Summerhays. The Flames prospect stopped 63 of 64 shots by Minnesota State for the home sweep, which garnered the Friars league team of the week honors.

    Uncommitted goalie Cole Bruns set a USHL record with five shutouts to open the season for the USHL’s Omaha Lancers.

  • Midweek reading: Denver commit skips to OHL; NCHC web site; Western Michigan; Anchorage, Huntsville coach introductions

    Wed, July 10, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bigger NCHC logoDenver forward commit Connor Chatham signed with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, forgoing his commitment to d the Pioneers.

    The Belleville, Ill. native played for the Omaha Lancers in the USHL this past season and the U.S. National Development team in 2011-12.

    The new NCHC web site will be launched Aug. 1, not July 15 to avoid any technical problems.

    The top-drafted college player (No. 25), Western Michigan commit Michael McCarron has not decided yet on whether to go to the OHL or the Broncos, despite media reports out of Canada. He signed with Montreal Thursday morning.

    Here is a review of the USA Select 17 Festival players, including college commits.

    The new Alaska-Anchorage coach has lofty goals.

    New Alabama-Huntsville coach Mike Corbett wisely invoked Nick Saban’s name in his first interview with the Huntsville beat writer.

  • Kivihalme, Olofsson soaking up every moment of NHL draft experience

    Sun, June 30, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Olofsson draft pickIncoming Colorado College freshman Gustav Olofsson and commit Teemu Kivihalme may still be catching their breath this morning. There’s little doubt they’re still smiling from the night before.

    Both defensemen were selected during the 2013 NHL draft with Olofsson picked 46th (second round, No. 16) by Minnesota and Kivihalme 140th (fifth round, 19th pick) by Nashville.

    Olofsson was the Wild’s first selection at the Prudential Center in New Jersey Sunday night.

    “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Olofsson said early Monday morning Manhattan time after running a gauntlet of interviews and pictures with Wild coaches, staff, family, friends and media. “It probably will overnight.”

    Kivihalme had a similar experience after hearing his name called.

    “It was definitely a heart-stopper,” he said.

    Both said their NHL organizations support them playing for Colorado College.

    “They said they like CC because they tend to develop good NHL defensemen,” Kivihalme said.

    “No doubt,” Olofsson said. “It’s all good with them as long as I develop.”

    Both are headed to NHL prospect camps next month. Olofsson will move to Colorado Springs in August.

    Many draft prognosticators predicted Olofsson, listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, would go as late as the third round.  But the U.S. Hockey League all-rookie team honoree (23 points, 21 assists) did better than expected because he showed considerable offensive potential for a defenseman.

    “Gustav is a big mobile defenseman that really jumped up our draft rankings,” Wild assistant general manager Brent Flahr said. “He’s an intelligent player with quality natural instincts for the game. We feel like his game will continue to improve as he gets stronger and gains experience.”

    His younger brother Fredrick, a forward, is a CC commit scheduled for 2014.

    Olofsson, 18, was the sixth college player chosen. He became a San Jose Sharks fan while a youth player in northern California. The minute his name was called, he became a die-hard Wild fan.

    “It’s funny how that changes in instant,” the Broomfield High School graduate said. “Even my younger brother has a new favorite.”

    Kivihalme, a 5-foot-11, 161-pounder, is named after NHL star Teemu Selanne.

    The 2014 commit has dual citizenship with Finland and the USA, competed at the 2012 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka tournament for the Americans. He led Burnsville, coached by his father Janne, who played at Division III Wisconsin-Superior, to a Minnesota high school section final. He recorded 73 points (53 assists) in 77 high school games in three years.

    kivihalme pic“I see him more as a two-way defenseman, and I hope that’s what he can be,” Predators North American amateur scout David Westby said. “He has decent size, skates really well and has terrific hockey sense. He’s a son of a coach. He knows how to play the game. He makes good puck decisions, first passes, skating out of trouble if needed, and can carry or jump into the play. He can run the power play. He has a good shot from the point. He defends very well. His gaps are good. He eliminates and takes away space. We think he has a big upside. We’re excited about him. “

    The high school senior said he will play for the Fargo Force of the USHL next season before signing with CC.

    Olofsson will be among five draft picks on CC’s roster next season, joining fellow freshman Jaccob Slavin (Carolina 2012), sophomore Hunter Fejes (Phoenix 2012), and juniors Aaron Harstad (Winnipeg 2011) and Peter Stoykewych (Winnipeg, then Atlanta 2010) in that distinction. All except Fejes, who played left wing for the Tigers last season, are defensemen.

    The top pick who ever played for CC was St. Louis wing Jaden Schwartz who was the 14th pick in 2010. Former Tiger and Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart went 21st in 2003 to Boston.

    Incoming Western Michigan forward Mike McCarron was the first college player picked (Montreal, No. 25) and was the only one in the first round.

    National Collegiate Hockey Conference programs had 20 current, incoming players or commits selected, led by six picks for North Dakota and three for Denver. CC, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan had two apiece and Miami one.

    In all, 63 players with current of future ties to 29 of the 59 Division I programs were selected. Former college hockey players made up 30 percent of the NHL in 2012-13, including 12 members of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.