• Tuesday reading: Miami adds size; NHL-college numbers; Andy Gambucci

    Tue, April 22, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Gambucci in actionMiami is remedying its problem with a lack of size in the defensemen corps judging from its incoming freshmen for 2014-15.

    A record 305 college hockey alumni played in the NHL this past regular season. Thirty-one with ties to the programs in the NCHC are now competing in the NHL playoffs.

    Tigers great Andy Gambucci, pictured, was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night. Here is a feature I did on Gambucci when the honor was announced.

  • More weekend reading: Jaden Schwartz; No cuts for Air Force hockey; ECHL playoffs

    Fri, April 18, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Schwartz celebrationFormer Tiger Jaden Schwartz scored the tying goal in regulation in a 3OT thriller against Chicago.

    Air Force announced its athletic department cuts, which did not affect revenue sports, including hockey.

    The ECHL playoffs are underway with former Tiger William Rapuzzi ( No. 4 seed Idaho) hosting the No. 5 Colorado Eagles (Arthur Bidwill). No. 6 Bakersfield (Joe Marciano) plays at No. 3 Utah. Here is a league preview.

    Here are the incoming freshmen for Minnesota State in Mankato. Here is a look at how North Dakota has fared in the national rankings this past decade.

    Not surprisingly, Union’s Rick Bennett was the USCHO Coach of the Year.

  • Weekend reading: Tom Serratore; LaLeggia; coach salaries; AFA, North Dakota schedules

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

    The first piece of steel for the new Nebraska-Omaha arena for hockey, hoops and volleyball was pout in place Thursday morning.

    The first piece of steel for the new Nebraska-Omaha arena for hockey, hoops and volleyball was put in place Thursday morning.

    Colorado Springs native Tom Serratore  picked up his first pro goal, fight and penalty in a 5-4 win at Syracuse on Wednesday for the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms.

    All but Rocco Grimaldi have announced they will be back for North Dakota next season. Denver defenseman Joey LaLeggia is returning for his senior year.

    The final NCHC players of the month of the season were named with North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg and Nebraska-Omaha’s Jake Guentzel honored.

    Under the terms of the three-year contract extension reached between Nebraska-Omaha and coach Dean Blais, he will make a total of just less than $1.3 million over the next four seasons, putting him among the five highest-compensated coaches in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

    According to the Omaha World Herald, Blais’ base salary for 2014-15 is the same as it was for this past season, $250,000. It climbs to $260,000 the following season, followed by raises to $265,000 in 2016-17 and $270,000 in 2017-18. A $250,000 longevity bonus from his original contract (originally due as a lump sum next summer) will be paid out concurrently, at $62,500 annually — so Blais will be paid $312,500 in 2014-15 and will top out at $332,500 in the final year of the contract.

    This should give CC fans a good idea of what the new Tigers coach may be paid if he is a candidate with head coaching experience.

    The Air Force Falcons travel to play Western Collegiate Hockey Association members Alaska-Anchorage and host Alaska-Fairbanks in the Brice Gold Rush tournament Oct. 17-18.  North Dakota will host Air Force Nov.  1 in the annual college hockey Hall of Fame Game at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The single contest will serve as a homecoming for Air Force’s Chad Demers, who is from nearby Grafton, N.D.

    The complete Air Force schedule will be announced later this summer.  Here is the North Dakota schedule.

  • AHL Iowa signs Howe for tonight’s home finale

    Wed, April 16, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Howe road saveIowa Wild General Manager Jim Mill announced on Wednesday that the American Hockey League  club signed goaltender Joe Howe to a Professional Tryout Agreement and released goaltender Cody Reichard from a PTO.

    Expect the former Tiger netminder to get the start for Iowa against the Chicago Wolves at 6:05 MT Wednesday night in the Wild’s regular season home finale. Iowa did not qualify for the playoffs. The season ends Friday at Oklahoma City where Howe could face former Tigers goalie Richard Bachman.

    Howe, 23,  spent the bulk of his rookie season with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. In 18 games, Howe went 10-3-4 with a 2.78 GAA and a .907  save percentage. The Plymouth, Minn. native also played in seven games for the Missouri Mavericks of the Central Hockey League (CHL). He was 3-2-1 with the Mavericks, posting a  2.52 GAA and a .915  saves percentage. In 119 CC appearances, Howe was 65-48-8 with a 2.91 goals and .900 saves percentage.

  • Carle memorial service is Thursday

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

    Courtesy CC Athletics

    Courtesy CC Athletics

    Longtime Colorado College sports icon Jerry Carle passed away at age 90 on Saturday.

    The college where he worked for parts of six decades will hold a memorial service at 2 p.m. Thursday at Shove Chapel on the CC campus. A reception at the El Pomar Sports Center will immediately follow.

    Here is an article on Jerry Carle’s legacy at Colorado College.

  • CC sports icon Jerry Carle passes away

    Sun, April 13, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Longtime CC football coach and athletic director Jerry Carle, right, is congratulated when he is inducted into the CC Sports Hall of Fame.

    Longtime CC football coach and athletic director Jerry Carle, right, is congratulated when he is inducted into the CC Sports Hall of Fame.

    The effect Colorado College sports icon Jerry Carle had on his beloved school will live on long after his passing.

    Carle, who played a central role in CC athletics for decades, passed away Saturday night at age 90.

     “When I think of Colorado College athletics, he is the first person I think of,” said current CC athletic director Ken Ralph. “He loved the place and what it did for the students he worked with. He was so positive and upbeat about the community and the college.”

    The Marine Corps veteran served as CC athletic director from 1957-82 and posted a 137-150-5 record as football coach from 1957-89 before his retirement in 1990. Including a 1948-51 stint as a football assistant, he worked at CC for parts of six decades.

    “I was part of a fledgling sport and Jerry gave us and lacrosse the support we needed,” said men’s soccer coach Horst Richardson, who heads into his 50th season coaching the program this fall. “He gave me an opportunity. I will be forever grateful for that.”

    “He was part of the old guard but he saw Title IX and women’s sports coming and he adjusted,” Richardson added. “He supported all the students.”

    Carle enjoyed considerable success in the early to mid-1970s, when he brought back the single-wing offense. From 1971-76, the Tigers went 46-7-2 (.855 winning percentage) and earned a 1975 NCAA Division III football playoff berth.

    Standouts under his tutelage include the late NFL Films mogul Steve Sabol and fellow school Hall of Famers Scott Driggers, Pat Geonetta and Tom Southall, along with All-Americans Ray Bridges (1976), Daryl Crawford (1974), Terry Hoadley (1976), Scott Robertson (1988), Ed Smith (1972) and Don Soukup (1957).

    “The greatest tribute to Jerry Carle is all of the players who grew up to be the kind of men Jerry wanted to create,” said longtime friend and former faculty athletic representative Ray Werner.

    “He was a coach, mentor and father figure for so many students,” Ralph said. “He made a difference in a lot of people’s lives.”

    The North St. Paul, Minn. native also coached the Tigers men’s basketball and golf teams. He was inducted into the CC’s athletics Hall of Fame in 1996. He became a member of the St. Paul Old-timers Football Hall of Fame in 2002, and received a distinguished alumni award from his high school. He was inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

    The 1948 Northwestern graduate earned notoriety as a blocking back for NFL Hall of Famer Otto Graham. He had originally played at Minnesota for Gophers coaching legend Bernie Bierman and famed assistants Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma) and Dal Ward (Colorado).

    During his time as CC athletic director, Carle received the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Distinguished Service Award and spent 12 years as league director of officials.

    Funeral services are pending.

  • Wednesday reading: NHL Draft rankings, Team USA, WCHA commissioner, Frozen 4

    Wed, April 9, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    bruceandbill415Incoming CC goalie Chase Perry dropped from No. 4 to No. 8 in the most recent NHL Central Scouting rankings. The NHL draft is in June.

    Former Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki will serve as head coach of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team, USA Hockey announced today. A three-time assistant for the U.S. National Junior Team, Osiecki helped Team USA capture gold medals in 2010 and 2013, plus a bronze medal in 2011. He replaces Minnesota coach Don Lucia.

    Bill Robertson is the new commissioner of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.  He was vice president of communications and broadcasting for the Minnesota Wild from 1999-2011. He also has worked for the Anaheim Angels, the Ducks and the Timberwolves.

    Robertson, 53, succeeds longtime leader Bruce McLeod, who retired after 20 seasons with the league.

    “I am excited about this wonderful opportunity to help lead and guide the WCHA for many years to come,” Robetson said. “It is truly an honor to serve this iconic sports and collegiate hockey conference, while showcasing some of the top student-athletes and institutions in the country.”

    Here is a preview on Minnesota vs. North Dakota and a look at the semifinals. Here are analysis pieces on UM vs. UND and BC vs. Union.

    Thirty-nine players in the Frozen Four have been drafted by NHL teams, up from 15 in last season’s Frozen Four. Minnesota and North Dakota (14 each) are the top two teams nationally in NHL draft picks, while Boston College (10) ranks fourth. Gostisbehere is the lone draft pick on Union’s roster. 

    Minnesota and North Dakota have met 283 times in the past, third-most of any college hockey rivalry (Michigan-Michigan State and Colorado College-Denver the only two with more). The former WCHA rivals aren’t on each other’s regular-season schedules until 2016-17. Boston College and Union have played just once in the past, though the stakes were high: the Dutchmen ended BC’s season a year ago in the East Regional in Providence.

    Top Rivalries by Games Played
    299 – Michigan vs. Michigan State
    294 – Colorado College vs. Denver
    283 – Minnesota vs. North Dakota

  • 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.”

  • UPDATED: Owens resigns from program

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

    Owens2013An era in Colorado College hockey came to an end on Sunday morning.

    Longtime coach Scott Owens, 58, resigned from a position he held for 15 seasons at his alma mater.

    The all-time winningest coach in CC history’s career at the private school ends with a 324-228-54 record. Other highlights include a 2005 Frozen Four appearance, seven NCAA Tournament berths (most recently in 2011) and three Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season titles.

    Owens, who did not attend Sunday’s team awards banquet and was unavailable for comment, contacted athletic director Ken Ralph of his decision a few hours before the National Collegiate Hockey Conference program’s annual team awards banquet. Ralph notified the players and athletic department staff members as they arrived for the luncheon at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel that afternoon.

    “I have been fortunate to have had the best job in college hockey for the past 15 seasons. It is time for a new coach to enjoy working with our players,” Owens said. “I appreciate the support and encouragement I have received during my tenure and I hope the new leader of the team will be treated with the same respect. This is a tremendous institution and I am proud of what we accomplished here. I will always be a Tiger.”

    Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler expressed her gratitude for CC hockey players’ success in the classroom as well as on the ice.

    “The academic achievement of our student athletes always comes first, and under Coach Owens our players were consistently honored for their performance as students,” Tiefenthaler said. “I am grateful to Scott for keeping academics a top priority and supporting our players in their studies.”

    During Owens’ tenure, 15 players earned WCHA Scholar-Athlete distinction a total of 27 times from 2005-2013. This year, the first for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, 17 players were named to the NCHC’s inaugural Academic All-Conference Team.
    “We are thankful to Coach Owens for his years of dedicated service as our head hockey coach,” Ralph said. “His accomplishments during this time behind the bench for the Tigers speak for themselves.”

    The Tigers’ inaugural season in the NCHC did not go well, with the team placing seventh out of eight teams with an Owens career-low 7-24-6 record. The campaign ended in Game 3 of the first round of the league playoffs last month at eventual Frozen Four qualifier North Dakota.

    There were two years left on the 1979 CC graduate’s contract after signing an extension in 2011.

    A nationwide search for a replacement will begin shortly. This leaves two head coaching jobs open in Division I college hockey; CC and Lake Superior State of the WCHA.

  • 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.


    No. 3 Union 5, Vermont 2

    Providence 4, Quinnipiac 0


    Union 3, Providence 1

    Midwest Regional



    Ferris State 1, Colgate 0

    North Dakota 5, No. 4 Wisconsin 2


    North Dakota 2, Ferris State 1 2OT

    West Regional

    St. Paul, Minn.


    No. 1 overall seed Minnesota 7,  Robert Morris 3

    St. Cloud State 4, Notre Dame 3 OT


    Regional final, 5:30 p.m. ESPNU

    Northeast Regional

    Worcester, Mass.


    No. 2 Boston College 6, Denver 2

    UMass-Lowell 2, Minnesota State 1


    Regional final, 3 p.m. ESPNU

    Frozen Four


    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.