2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Weekend reading: CC assistants; cancer fundraiser, Union coach extension, Lampl

    Fri, May 23, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Former Denver associate coach Steve Miller resigned from his coach/GM role with the USHL expansion Madison Capitols after he ““decided to return to Colorado and pursue other interests at this time.”

    His family lives in Denver so he may be interested in commuting to Colorado Springs for work at CC as an assistant.  The Madison Capitols announced Luke Strand was hired to replace him.

    Strand, 41, spent this past season as the general manager for the Sioux City Musketeers where he helped lead the team to a 38-19-3 record, equaling the team record for victories in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present).  He was previously the coach of the Musketeers for two seasons (2009-11) and compiled an overall 58-47-15 record which included a playoff berth in 2011.

    Two college hockey hockey players were diagnosed recently with cancer. Here is a link to a fundraiser for Alaska-Fairbanks player Justin Woods with more details on his fight here. Here is an  article on Providence junior Drew Brown.

    In today’s no-surprise news, Union coach Rick Bennett received a contract extension after winning the NCAA title.

    Former Tiger Cody Lampl is enjoying his part-time minutes in the AHL.

    Three National Collegiate Hockey Conference  players were recognized for their academic performance this past season.

    St. Cloud State senior forward Nic Dowd, Denver sophomore forward Gabe Levin and North Dakota junior defenseman Nick Mattson garnered Capital One Academic All-District honors, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced. The trio was named to the academic all-district men’s at-large team.

     

  • Rud one of six finalists for SCSU women’s job

    Thu, May 22, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Rud2010-11gb31CC assistant Eric Rud is one of six finalists for the open St. Cloud State women’s hockey head coaching position.

    On-campus interviews concluded on Wednesday. An announcement is expected soon.

    Rud was a St. Cloud State men’s assistant (2005-10) and at CC since June 2011. The former Tigers All-American defenseman spent the 2010-11 season leading the Green Bay Gamblers of the junior U.S. Hockey League.

    Other SCSU finalists include current Huskies women’s assistant Jim Fetter, 1980 Miracle on Ice player and former SCSU men’s assistant John Harrington, current Wisconsin women’s assistant Daniel Koch, four-time Olympian Jenny Potter and high school coach Tracy Cassano, a former Minnesota women’s standout.

    The Western Collegiate Hockey Association program has three winning seasons since it started in 1998. Its league has won 14 of 16 NCAA championships since its founding in 1999.

  • Midweek reading: Princeton opening, North Dakota captains, USHL commissioner

    Tue, May 13, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bigger NCHC logoHere is a roundup of other college and junior hockey news.

    There is a new college hockey head job opening after Princeton’s  coach resigned.

    North Dakota announced its 2014-15 player leadership with Stephane Pattyn as captain. Connor Gaarder, Mark MacMillan and Michael Parks will serve as assistant/alternate captains.

    Bob Fallen is the new president/commissioner of the USHL, replacing Skip Prince. Fallen begins his new job on June 1.

  • 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

     

  • 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.