• 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

  • Union reaches No. 1 for first time

    Mon, March 24, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Union was ranked No. 1 in the weekly USCHO.com poll for the first time in program history after securing its third ECAC championship in a row.

    The Dutchmen received 31-of-50 first-place votes and earned 969 points. Minnesota fell from first to second after losing 4-1 to Ohio State in the Big Ten semifinals on Friday. The Gophers picked up 18 first-place votes and 955 points.
    The remaining first-place vote went to No. 5 Massachusetts-Lowell.

    St. Cloud State stayed at No. 8 while North Dakota dropped to No. 13. Denver moved up to No. 17 after receiving some votes last week.

    Western Michigan and Miami received some votes while Minnesota-Duluth picked up a single point.

  • Championship Saturday: UND’s NCAA hopes

    Sat, March 22, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    miamiNorth Dakota’s run of 12-straight NCAA Tournament berths is in trouble but it can be done if this scenario happens. Here are details of Miami’s 3-0 NCHC semifinal win.

    Ohio State’s 3-1 upset of Minnesota in one Big Ten semifinal last night further complicates things.  They take on No. 2 seed Wisconsin.

    Championships for OSU, Denver or Miami and the Atlantic Hockey winner eat up the bottom three seeds, meaning the first at-large berth goes to the No. 13 team. UND is tied for 14th with idle Michigan.

    No. 8 seed Miami continues to play well of late and takes on No. 6 seed Denver in the NCHC postseason championship.

    Minnesota-Duluth’s Caleb Herbert is leaving UMD early for the Capitals organization.

    Ferris State plays Minnesota State for the WCHA championship.

    Both Atlantic Hockey semifinals were decided in overtime:  No. 7 seed Canisius 5, No. 1 Mercyhurst 4 2OT; No. 5 Robert Morris 5, No. 6 Niagara 4 OT.

    Updated tournament brackets

    All times MT

    NCHC Tournament

    Target Center, Minneapolis

    TV: CBS Sports Network

    Friday’s results

    No. 6 Denver 4, No. 5 Western Michigan 3

    No. 8 Miami 3,  No. 2 North Dakota 0

    Saturday

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

    6:38 p.m., championship, Miami vs. Denver

    Atlantic Hockey

    Rochester, N.Y.

    TV:  None

    Friday’s results

    No. 7 Canisius 5, No. 1 Mercyhurst 4 2OT

    No. 5 Robert Morris 5, No. 6 Niagara 4 OT

    Championship

    5:05 p.m., Robert Morris vs. Canisius

    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’s results

    No. 2 Wisconsin 2, Penn State 1

    Ohio State 3, No. 1 Minnesota 1

    Saturday

    6 p.m., championship, Ohio State vs. Wisconsin

    WCHA Final Five

    Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.

    TV: FS North

    Friday’s results

    No. 2 Minnesota State 4, No. 3 Bowling Green State 0

    No. 1 Ferris State 5, No. 4 Alaska-Anchorage 4 OT

    Saturday

    5:07 p.m.,  Minnesota State vs. Ferris State

  • 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: NCHC, Big 10, WCHA, women

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

    Miami vs SCSUDenver is focused on the NCHC Frozen Four, knowing they have a very good chance at making the NCAAs. Here is a preview of the Frozen Faceoffand another and another.

    The UND beat writer focuses on the Miami-North Dakota match-up, naturally.

    Wisconsin enters the Big Ten tourney with some confidence. The Big 10 says its inaugural year was a rousing success.

    Penn State knocked off Michigan while Ohio State edged Michigan State. Both games went to overtime though it appears no one saw it live, judging from the dismal crowds.

    Here is some basic info on the WCHA Final Five. Alaska-Anchorage has benefited from the new-look WCHA, which is previewed by Puckato.

    The women’s Frozen Four begins this weekend. Here is a look at that tourney’s scheduling.

    Key Dates:
    Sat., March 22: Conference championship games
    Sun., March 23: NCAA Selection Show (ESPNU, noon ET)
    March 28-30: NCAA Regionals
    April 2: Hobey Hat Trick (3 finalists) announced
    April 10-12: NCAA Frozen Four, Philadelphia

    Michigan Tech goalie Pheonix Copley has left school early to join the AHL Hershey Bears as part of the Washington Capitals organization.  Here is a list of the college hockey players who signed with the pros recently.

  • Thursday reading: NCHC, WCHA, Big 10

    Thu, March 20, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    miamiCan Miami make it to the NCAAs? This columnist asks, Why not? The RedHawks’ Riley Barber has upped his game of late.

    Better goaltending has lifted Western Michigan on the to the NCHC semifinals.

    NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton talks about the so-called rivalry between the NCHC and Big 10. Here is a look at the Frozen Faceoff.

    The WCHA Final Five’s name now makes little sense but that is the least of college hockey’s worries this weekend, according to the Minnesota State beat writer.

    Wisconsin’s top three scorers will give the Badgers a chance to unseat Minnesota i the Big 10 this weekend.

    The search for the new Lake Superior State coach is underway. Here is the Air Force season wrap-up.

  • Midweek reading: UND, tourney brackets

    Tue, March 18, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    und vs cc

    This UND fan blogger talks about how North Dakota travels and yes, that series win was huge for the financial viability of the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

    North Dakota may need to win the Frozen Faceoff in order to advance to the NCAAs for the 12th straight season.

    The Big 10 tournament is this weekend and I will be curious to see how much attention the NCHC gets outside the four school’s beat writers/local TV stations with Minnesota in the other tourney.

    This is a good weekend for Colorado-based college hockey fans with good cable TV packages with Thursday Big 10 games and a lot to watch on Friday and Saturday. Enjoy it. Here are the western leagues’ brackets:

    NCHC Tournament

    Target Center, Minneapolis

    All time MT

    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

    Big Ten Tournament

    Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.

    All times MT

    Thursday

    1 p.m., No. 6 Penn State vs. No. 3 Michigan

    6 p.m., No. 5 Michigan State vs. No. 4 Ohio State

    Friday

    1 p.m., Michigan/PSU winner vs. No. 2 Wisconsin

    6 p.m., OSU/MSU winner vs. No. 1 Minnesota

    Saturday (no third-place game)

    6 p.m., semifinal winners

    WCHA Final Five

    Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.

    All times MT

    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

  • CC stuns North Dakota in OT; stats, notes

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

    CC uniforms, Herb Brooks 047GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Colorado College goalie Josh Thorimbert has kept the Tigers in most every game all season long.

    He will have one more chance to do so again on Sunday.

    The senior made 44 saves Saturday and freshman wing Alex Roos backhanded in a rebound seven minutes into overtime to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 playoff win over No. 10 North Dakota before a stunned crowd of 10,738 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

    “We battled like we have all season long,” Thorimbert said. “There is no quit in this team.”

    Game 3 of the now tied best-of-three National Collegiate Hockey Conference quarterfinal series is 6:08 p.m. Sunday. A win then would send the No. 7 seed Tigers on to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff semifinals where they would not even be the low seed.

    Saturday continued a weekend of upsets. Last-place Miami knocked off regular-season champion St. Cloud State 4-3 to sweep its series while No. 5 seed Western Michigan eliminated host Minnesota-Duluth by the same margin. Sixth-seeded Denver beat host Nebraska-Omaha 2-0 in Game 3 to send three of the bottom four seeds on.

    CCUND pic“Josh competed and battled and sent a message with those two early (glove) saves that he was on tonight.” Owens said. “We have a good defensive corps and they held up pretty well against their dangerous forwards. We played like a team that wanted to keep this season going despite our record. I am proud of them.”

    The Tigers did a better job clearing the puck out of their zone and keeping it away from the middle where UND’s forwards wreaked havoc in Game 1.

    They still weathered a storm of shots when UND out shot CC 20-9 in the second period, including 12-4 over the final 10 minutes. Thorimbert made save after save.

    “I felt good,” he said. “When I have my glove going, I feel like I am clicking.”

    UND’s barrage eventually broke through. North Dakota (21-12-3) tied the game when sophomore defenseman Jordan Schmaltz scored on a 3-on-2 rush with 3:56 remaining to force overtime.

    A shot by CC junior defenseman Peter Stoykewych bounced twice before getting past UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg (26 saves) to stake the Tigers to a 1-0 lead with 3:17 left in the opening period. CC junior Scott Wamsganz had a huge night, scoring early in the second period for a 2-0 Tigers lead and passing to Sam Rothstein for the initial shot in overtime that Roos knocked in to end it.

    “Not too many people expected us to give them much of a fight but in our (locker) room we were confident we could beat them,” Roos said. “We’ll see if we can make it to Minneapolis.”

    STATS

    Colorado College 3, No. 10 North Dakota 2 OT

    Colorado College         1          1          0          1          –3

    North Dakota               0          1          1          0          –2

    First period – 1. CC, Stoykewych (unassisted) 16:43. Penalties –  CC, Olofsson, checking from behind, 18:48.

    Second period – 2. CC, Wamsganz (Stoykewych) 1:17; 3. UND, Caggiula (Mattson) 3:45. Penalties – UND, Rodwell, four-minute roughing, 9:52; CC, Fejes, roughing, 9:52; CC, Heil, roughing, 9:52.

    Third period – 4. UND, Schmaltz (Caggiula, Ma. MacMillan) 16:04. Penalties – none.

    Overtime – 5. CC, Roos (Rothstein, Wamsganz) 7:00. Penalties – none.

    Power play – CC 0-0, UND 0-1. Shots on goal – CC 5-9-10-5 –29; UND 5-20-13-8 –46. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 5-19-12-8 –67:00; UND, Gothberg 4-8-10-4 — 67:00. Referees – Sterns, Walsh. Linesmen – Eslinger, Schmitt. Attendance – 10,738 (11,634 capacity).

    CC picks up two forward commits

    Two forwards committed to play at Colorado College earlier this week with one likely to join the team this fall.

    Meridian, Idaho, native Jordan Berger, 17, is scheduled to bring his considerable speed and quickness to Colorado Springs in 2014. The 5-foot-10 forward has four goals in nine games with the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League after 116 games in that program. He recorded 42 points (38 games) for the Triple-A midget squad this season.

    Previous CC players from that program include Kris Fredheim, Curtis McElhinney and the Schwartz brothers (Jaden and Rylan). The left-shooting center would be the second Idaho player to join the Tigers. The first was defenseman Cody Lampl of Ketchum.

    The other commit is Mason Bergh, 19, who has enjoyed a strong second half of his debut season for the junior U.S. Hockey League’s Chicago Steel (21, 12 assists, 48 games).

    The Eden Prairie, Minn., native is scheduled to join the Tigers in 2015, allowing him another year to fill out his 6-foot, 165-pound frame.

    “When I arrived on campus, I had the immediate feeling that this was the right place for me,” he said. “To get a good education is very important and CC will provide that for me.”

    Coaches cannot comment on players until they sign their NCAA letters of intent. The next signing period is April 16-Aug. 1.

    Ice chips

    Entering Saturday’s game, the CC rookie have accounted for 41 percent (27) of the team’s 68 goals and almost 40 percent of the Tigers’ 183 points.  Freshman Jaccob Slavin, who is a league finalist for Offensive Defenseman of the Year, moved into a tie for the team points lead (23) with senior wing Alexander Krushelnyski. … Seven of UND sophomore Drake Caggiula’s 19 career goals have come in nine games against CC. … The NCHC’s postseason championship trophy does not have a name yet. The trophy may be named at a later date.

  • Tigers cannot sustain start; stats, notes

    Fri, March 14, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Thorimbert vs UND road unisGRAND FORKS, N.D. – The start was a good one but the second period proved all too familiar for Colorado College. And now, the Tigers face playoff elimination.

    The No. 7 seed Tigers could not sustain a strong start, eventually falling 4-2 to the hosts in Game 1 of their National Collegiate Hockey Conference quarterfinal series. CC pulled senior goalie Josh Thorimbert (18 saves) with 1:46 left but could not mount a rally.

    “We got away from what we were doing and started making turnovers and failing to get the puck out of the zone,” freshman Sam Rothstein (one goal, one assist) said. “We had our chances on the power play and on odd-man rushes.”

    “We had a chance to put the game away in the first period and we didn’t,” junior Peter Stoykewych said referring to the five Grade A scoring chances generated by the Tigers.

    Game 2 of the best-of-three series is at 6:08 p.m. MT Saturday.

    North Dakota dominated the second period and scored twice to take a 3-2 lead before 10, 217 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

    “They worked their way back into the game,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “I am disappointed we could not build off the positive start we had with a third goal.”

    North Dakota tied the game at 2-2 on when junior Mark MacMillan made a crossing pass to a wide-open Michael Parks, who skated in and shot the puck in under the crossbar.

    The goal continued a strong second period for the hosts, capped by an a poor pass by CC’s Jaccob Slavin that led to an unassisted goal for UND center Bryn Chyzyk with 1:23 left for a 3-2 North Dakota lead.

    The eventual game-winning goal was the sophomore’s first score since Jan. 10 against the Tigers.

    “It was a gift and I’ll take it,” he said.

    The defensemen jump-started the Tigers offense when Stoykewych fired a shot that Rothstein redirected between UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg’s leg pads for a 1-0 lead. The goal came only 72 seconds into the contest. About five minutes later, Aaron Harstad fired a shot that made its way past Gothberg with 12:55 remaining.

    North Dakota got back in the game when Drake Caggiula scored to make it 2-1 with 7:49 remaining and blunt the start by the Tigers (6-23-6).

    “We were down 2-0 and shocked a little bit,” Chyzyk said. “That was a huge goal. That is a much better team than their record this season. They will be hungry tomorrow.”

    North Dakota was the only higher seed to win Friday after No. 8 Miami upended St. Cloud State 5-4 in overtime, No. 5 Western Michigan edged Minnesota Duluth 3-2 and Denver tied its best-of-three series at a game apiece with a 5-1 road win over No. 3 seed Nebraska-Omaha.

     STATS

    No. 10 North Dakota 4, Colorado College 2

    Colorado College         2          0          0          –2

    North Dakota               1          2          1          –4

    First period – 1. CC, Rothstein (Stoykewych, Olofsson) 1:12; 2. CC, Harstad (Slavin, Rothstein) 7:05; 3, UND, Caggiula (Ma. MacMillan, LaDue) 12:11. Penalties – UND, Rodwell, interference, 9:39.

    Second period – 4. UNDS, Parks (Ma. MacMillan, Caggiula) 7:14 (PP); 5. UND, Chyzyk (unassisted) 18:07. Penalties – CC, Krushelnyski, hooking, 2:10; CC,McDermott, interference, 6:51; UND, Pattyn, roughing, 7:22.

    Third period – 6, UND, O’Donnell (Schmaltz, Rodwell) 8:08. Penalties – UND, Ma. MacMillan, cross-checking, 10:47.

    Power play – CC 0-3, UND 1-2. Shots on goal – CC 11-5-6 –22; UND 7-10-5 –22. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 6-8-4 –58:14; UND, Gothberg 9-5-6 –59:34.  Referees – Sterens, Walsh. Linesmen – Eslinger, Schmitt. Attendance – 10, 217 (11,634 capacity).

    NOTES

    Krushelnyski completing strong Tigers career

    Colorado College senior Alexander Krushelnyski has been a strong all-around forward throughout his four years in a Tigers uniform.

    This season he added another duty; mentor, said CC assistant Eric Rud.

    “He’s a senior who has filled whatever role given him,” Rud said, adding that his work with freshmen Alex Roos and Sam Rothstein showed his willingness to help the rookies.

    It was a different role than before and one that Krushelnyski took on as a learning experience after a career year (43 points, 28 assists) his junior season.

    “Every team is different and every season is a learning experience,” he said. “Life is a learning experience.”

    The senior from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., cracked the program’s Century Club with his 100th career point (41 goals) on an empty-netter that clinched the Gold Pan series win over Denver.

    His ability to freelance draws a lot of attention whenever he touches the puck; you can hear the CC fans go abuzz when he does. That creativity generates chances for himself and his linemates.

    “Communication has been important,” Roos said. “He was always willing to listen to whatever ideas we had. He didn’t dismiss it because we are new. With his ability to create, you have to make sure to get open and be ready.”

    Krushenyski’s efforts on the defensive end were recognized by the National Collegiate Hockey Conference coaches when he was named as one of three finalists for Defensive Forward of the Year. He is on the league’s scholar-athlete team and one of eight finalists for that individual award.

    “He’s a student of the game and plays important minutes,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said. “He’s an efficient penalty-killer who makes smart decisions with the puck. He has played well on both ends his entire career. He has earned respect around the league.”

    Thorimbert climbs up career saves list

    With 17:28 left in the second period, CC senior goalie Josh Thorimbert made career save No. 2,070, which moved him past NHL netminder Curtis McElhinney (2,069, 2001-5) into ninth place all-time at CC. Jeff Sanger (2,161, 1998-2002) is in eighth. The record is 3,630 by Marty Wakelyn (1982-86).

  • At last, the league playoffs are here

    Fri, March 14, 2014 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    CC uniforms, Herb Brooks 047This is a great time of year for college hockey fans. Here are various links to previews and features from around the West-oriented college hockey conferences.

    Tigers senior goalie Josh Thorimbert, pictured, does not get enough credit for the workload he has shouldered this season. Hopefully this feature rectifies that somewhat. Here are Three Things to Watch.

    North Dakota needs to win the playoff series or the perennial power may miss out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002.

    The return of Blake Coleman from injury has made No. 8 seed Miami a more dangerous first-round NCHC opponent for top seed St. Cloud State. Here is more from the more confident RedHawks.

    An 11-year-old battling cancer is inspired by the Huskies, who were reminded how good they have it when they met last weekend.

    ““It’s tough after you lose any time, but his coming into the locker room … it just shows you how precious and how good we really have it,” Jimmy Murray said. “It touched everyone.“After talking with the family, he’s a pretty amazing kid. He was smiling and laughing. We really enjoyed it. Anyone on our team would have done that. I’d like to think that.”

    Here is the rest of the article.

    CCUND picFreshman Kyle Osterberg is on a roll for No. 4 seed Minnesota-Duluth, which hosts Western Michigan.

    Here are some UND-oriented NCHC predictions and picks by USCHO and the Grand Forks Herald (UND in three).

    USCHO previews the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals, WCHA quarters and the final regular-season weekend for the Big 10. Here is a WCHA linkorama and the Gazette’s Air Force preview.

    RPI’s best forward bolted for the N.Y. Rangers. Here are the latest Pairwise rankings.