NCHC signs multi-year TV deal with CBS SN

Here’s the press release …

CBS Sports Network has agreed to a multi-year agreement with the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, beginning in the 2013-2014 season. 

CBS Sports Network will be the exclusive national television partner for the conference, which will feature eight of the nation’s top college hockey programs.  The announcement was made today by Dan Weinberg, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports Network, and Jim Scherr, Commissioner of the National.

The agreement calls for a minimum of 18 conference games, including the National’s semifinal and championship contests. Currently six teams that will be in the new conference are ranked in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll. 

“With top teams and passionate fan bases, the National is poised to be an elite college hockey conference, and we’re thrilled to be the national television partner,” said Weinberg.  “College hockey has been a staple of our programming and we’re pleased to expand our coverage and further serve fans with compelling and competitive conference action.” 

“We are delighted to be associated with the preeminent national broadcaster of college hockey,” said Scherr.  “It is our goal to be the premier single-sport conference in intercollegiate athletics and the unmatched exposure and production quality that will be provided by CBS Sports Network will contribute significantly to realizing that vision.”

Currently, CBS Sports Network’s comprehensive college hockey coverage includes action from Hockey East, ECAC, CCHA, WCHA and Atlantic Hockey.

Tuesday reading: NHL call-ups, pro and league updates

San Antonio Rampage center, Jon Matsumoto, fights for the puck while Houston Aeros goalie Darcy Kuemper and former CC defenseman Kris Fredheim, left, guard the net during the second period of an AHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. Photo: Josh Huskin/pressphotointl.com / SA

Former Tiger Chad Rau was called up to Minnesota as was Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom by the Flyers.

Nate Prosser stayed on the Wild roster over the All-Star break, giving him some time to recover from that blocked shot against the Avs. He talked about it in this CC video with smem current Tigers who made the trip to Denver during CC’s bye week.

Brian Connelly won the fastest skater competition at the AHL All-Stars Skills Competition.

Bill Sweatt talks about his hockey and college background in this Chicago Wolves profile video.

The Gazette sets the stage for this week’s Gold Pan rivalry against Denver and has an update on former Tiger goalie Chris Kawano’s reality TV debut.

Wisconsin’s inexperienced players need to bear down and convert their scoring opportunities if the Badgers are to make a run at home playoff ice.

Here’s a feature on Nebraska-Omaha recruit Zack Randolph of Duluth.

Monday reading: Weekend reviews, Pairwise, polls and pros

Former CC captain Mike Testwuide, left, defends during an AHL game against the Albany Devils on Saturday.

Minnesota-Duluth remains No. 1 in the USCHO poll, but Minnesota moved up to No. 2 and gained considerable ground in the rankings. Idle Colorado College moved up from No. 12 to No. 11 while this weekend’s foe, Denver, went from No. 15 to No. 13.

CC dropped from No. 10 to No. 11 in the USA Today/ USA Hockey rankings. Denver went from No. 15 to No. 13 while the Gophers are the new No. 1 just ahead of Duluth.

The Tigers remained at No. 11 in the Inside College Hockey power rankings while Denver moved up to No. 9. Duluth is No. 1 and Minnesota second.

More importantly, the Tigers are No. 17 in the latest Pairwise rankings, meaning they would fall two spots shy of the making the NCAAs (No. 16 goes to Atlantic playoff champ).

Suddenly No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth is a bit more anxious about heading to face Alaska Anchorage, which has lost seven in a row since a road win at CC in December.

Here’s a look back at Minnesota’s home-and-home sweep of St. Cloud State.

Former Bemidji State standout Matt Read, a rookie of the year candidate, and Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom have ties dating back to childhood with the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association and now with the Flyers.

Former Tiger Joey Crabb gets some love from his hometown newspaper.

Here’s why Brian Connelly was traded by Chicago to the Calgary organization. His chances of making his NHL debut look much improved.

MSU Mankato goalie Phil Cook has a .945 saves percentage in his last six starts. The purple Mavs could be a tough out by playoff time if he stays hot.

Future NCHC rivals Miami and Western Michigan are tied for second in the CCHA behind surprising Ferris State.

Sunday reading: Tech ends Duluth’s home win streak

Josh Robinson made 29 saves en route to becoming the first goaltender to blank UMD since the University of North Dakota's Jean-Philippe Lamoureux recorded a 2-0 triumph on March 1, 2008 in Duluth.

Compiled from wcha.com and school web sites

Michigan Tech 5, No. 1 Minnesota Duluth 0

DULUTH, Minn. – Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson told the Houghton Mining Gazette earlier this week that the Huskies were looking to “shock the world, at least the college hockey world.”

Mission accomplished. The visiting Huskies scored nine unanswered over the final four periods of the weekend road series to walk out of Duluth with a stunnng three points.

After striking for the game’s final four goals to force a tie in Friday’s Western Collegiate Hockey series opener, Michigan Tech did all the scoring in a 5-0 victory over top-ranked Minnesota Duluth Saturday night. A sellout crowd of 6,776 was on hand at AMSOIL Arena as the Huskies (12-12-2 overall and 9-7-2 in the WCHA) handed the Bulldogs (17-5-4; 11-4-3) their first shutout loss in 105 league games.

In a complete reversal of the first period Friday night, Michigan Tech jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the defending NCAA champions. UMD was unable to sustain pressure on offense and came up empty on both of its power play chances while having its a nine-game home unbeaten streak snapped.

Senior goaltender Kenny Reiter made his 21st consecutive WCHA start in goal – dating back to last season – but was lifted prior to the start of the second period after stopping 10 of 14 shots. Sophomore Aaron Crandall made 17 saves and allowed just one goal (by Tanner Kero 40 seconds into the third period) in relief of Reiter.

“When you don’t put forth the effort and get outworked for 60 minutes, that’s unacceptable,” Bulldog head coach Scott Sandelin said. “They were hungrier, they won every battle and we didn’t put up the fight.”

Michigan Tech, which also got first-period goals from Brett Olson, Blake Pietala, David Johnstone and Jacob Johnstone, went 2-for-4 on the power play while UMD had just two opportunities with the man advantage. The Huskies came into the night having gone unbeaten against the Bulldogs in their last eight matchups (0-7-1).

UMD will hit the road for a two-game WCHA set next weekend at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

No. 15 Denver 6, Alaska Anchorage 3

ANCHORAGE — Freshman defenseman Joey LaLeggia scored one of four first-period goals for Denver as the Pioneers earned a weekend sweep at Alaska Anchorage with a 6-3 win on Saturday night at Sullivan Arena. Making his season debut in net for the Pioneers was All-WCHA Rookie Team goalie Sam Brittain, who missed 25 games with a knee injury. Brittain (1-0-0) furnished the win with 24 saves,

No. 3 Minnesota 3, St. Cloud State 2

ST. CLOUD — Minnesota gained the victory with a late third period goal by Sam Warning with 1:19 left. In his 21st appearance of the season, SCSU goalie Ryan Faragher helped the Huskies stay in the battle to the end with 43 saves to his credit. This total included 17 saves in the third period. The 43 saves was Faragher’s second best effort of the year for saves in a game.

On the night, Minnesota outshot the Huskies 46-12. On the power play, SCSU was 0-of-3 and Minnesota was 2-of-4. The Huskies continue their 2011-12 season with a road trip to Madison, Wis. for a pair of WCHA games against Wisconsin on Feb. 3-4.

No. 18 North Dakota 4, Wisconsin 2

GRAND FORKS — Junior forward Danny Kristo and sophomore forward Brock Nelson tallied a goal and an assist each to help North Dakota earn a weekend sweep of Wisconsin with a 4-2 victory on Saturday at Engelstad Arena.

Minnesota State 5, Bemidji State 2

BEMIDJI — Michael Dorr had two goals and an assist while Zach Lehrke and Eriah Hayes added a goal and an assist each to lead Minnesota State to a 5-2 win against Bemidji State on Saturday at Sanford Center. Goalie Andrew Walsh, who was inserted into Saturday’s line up due to an injury to senior Dan Bakala, was tagged with the loss surrendering four Maverick markers in 59:27. He was credited with 20 saves. He is 6-4-1 on the season.

BSU continues to hold a 46-37-13 advantage over Minnesota State in the all-time series and are 30-14-5 when hosting the Mavericks. However, MSU has won eight of the last 10 meetings between the teams. Bemidji State (12-12-2; 6-10-2 WCHA) returns to the road next weekend (Feb. 3-4) to battle Nebraska-Omaha, which along with Colorado College, was idle this weekend..

CURRENT STANDINGS

WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
Minnesota
20
15
5
0
30
66
38
19
9
1
108
59
Minnesota Duluth
18
11
4
3
25
70
46
17
5
4
99
65
Denver
18
10
5
3
23
66
55
15
8
3
95
72
Colorado College
18
11
7
0
22
69
57
14
9
1
84
68
North Dakota
20
11
9
0
22
56
54
15
10
2
82
75
Nebraska Omaha
18
9
6
3
21
57
56
12
10
4
79
76
Michigan Tech
18
9
7
2
20
62
53
12
12
2
79
75
St. Cloud State
20
7
10
3
17
57
57
10
14
4
83
82
Wisconsin
20
7
11
2
16
56
64
12
12
2
81
77
Bemidji State
18
6
10
2
14
45
61
12
12
2
70
73
Minnesota State
20
5
14
1
11
52
74
9
18
1
76
94
Alaska Anchorage
20
3
16
1
7
42
83
6
16
2
59
92

Saturday reading: WCHA roundup, features

Michigan Tech's Jordan Baker recorded a goal and an assist to spark the visiting Huskies to a four-goal third period in a 4-4 tie at No. 1 Minnesota Duluth.

Here’s an update on the progress NCHC commissioner Jim Scherr has made in the first three weeks of his tenure. He’s really hit the ground running.

CC’s Chad Rau was one of four former Tigers playing in an NHL last Saturday. Here’s a feature on him, Nate Prosser and a list of how former CC players are doing in the AHL and NHL.

Air Force standout Jacques Lamoureux is the 13th former Falcon to play part-time pro hockey. He’s teammates with former Tigers Drew O’Connell and Brian Swanson for the ECHL’s Alaska Aces.

Brian Connelly was traded to Calgary on Friday. Hopefully he’ll get a better shot at making his NHL debut with the Flames organization.

Compiled from WCHA.com and school web sites …

Michigan Tech 4, No. 1 Minnesota Duluth 4

DULUTH — It took 10 shots and a 10-minute span for the University of Minnesota Duluth to build what appeared to be a comfortable 4-0 first-period lead Friday in its Western Collegiate Hockey Association series opener with Michigan Tech University.

Maybe a bit too comfortable of lead.

After freshman left winger Caleb Herbert potted his second goal of the night to put UMD up by four with 4:47 to go before the first intermission, the top-ranked Bulldogs (17-4-4 overall and 11-3-3 WCHA) looked like they were well on their way to a ninth straight home win and an eighth consecutive victory over their long-time rivals. But that’s when the UMD scoring burst stopped and the Michigan Tech rally began.

The Huskies (11-12-2 ; 8-7-2) struck for four unanswered goals, including three in the third period – a period UMD has more or less owned this season – to gain a 4-4 overtime tie with the defending NCAA champions before a near-capacity crowd of 6,670 at AMSOIL Arena.

“It’s tough to come out of tonight with just a tie,” said Herbert, who also picked up one assist. “We have to come together tomorrow night and outwork them because they are going to be hungry for a win.”

Herbert’s two scores and goals by senior right winger David Grun (just under six minutes after the opening faceoff) and defenseman Brady Lamb (at 10:58 of the first) came on the first 10 shots the Bulldogs put on Michigan Tech goaltender Josh Robinson. He stopped the last 27 shots he faced to finish with 33 saves while helping hold the Bulldogs scoreless on all four of their power play chances. He and the Huskies also did something no team has been able to do in 23 games – keep two-time All-American center and the nation’s number one point getter Jack Connolly off the scoresheet.

No. 15 Denver 4, Alaska Anchorage 2

ANCHORAGE — Playing their first home game in almost two months, the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves could not overcome an early deficit as they fell 4-2 to the 15th-ranked Denver Pioneers in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game at Sullivan Arena.

The Seawolves (6-15-2, 3-15-1 WCHA) got goals from first- and second-line centers Matt Bailey and Eric Scheid, while winger Daniel Naslund tied for the team lead with his seventh assist of the season.

The Pioneers (14-8-3, 9-5-3) received goals from four different players as they improved their season-best winning streak to four games.

DU struck first when freshman winger Ty Loney scored even-strength at 8:13 of the first period. Sophomore center Nick Shore gave the visitors a 2-0 advantage at the 16:16 mark, slamming home a power-play tally.

Bailey quickly cut the deficit in half, however, as the sophomore from Winnipeg scored his fourth goal of the season just 96 seconds later, corralling a centering pass from Naslund and beating DU goalie Adam Murray (30 saves).

Pioneers leading scorer Drew Shore would pick up his 16th goal only 89 seconds into the second period for the eventual game-winner and to extend the visitors’ lead to 3-1, and the junior added his 37th point on linemate Luke Salazar’s goal with seven minutes left in the second.

The Seawolves outshot the Pioneers 32-26 overall, including 10-6 in the third period, breaking through for the game’s finally score on Scheid’s goal with 3:47 on the clock on a goal by Scheid.

No. 3 Minnesota 2, St. Cloud State 1

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – For the first time since Dec. 30, the third-ranked Minnesota men’s hockey team won on a Friday night, topping in-state rival St. Cloud State 2-1 in the first game of a home-and-home series at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers received goals from senior Jake Hansen and sophomore Nick Bjugstad and held the Huskies to a season-low 13 shots on goal on the night, proving that the Gophers’ defense is as tough as CC coach Scott Owens said it was last weekend. It was the third 2-1 game in a row for the Gophers.

No. 18 North Dakota 5, Wisconsin 3

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Freshman Stephane Pattyn picked a fine time to score the first goal of his college career at the University of North Dakota.

His tally with just under two minutes left in the third period not only proved to be the game-winner in an important WCHA contest with Wisconsin, but it also came on his 21st birthday.

“It’s probably my best present, for sure,” a smiling Pattyn said. “It’s definitely a good feeling to get that one out of the way. Hopefully they keep coming.”

UND’s 5-3 victory before 11,769 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena improved the team to 14-10-2 overall and 10-9-0 in league play. The Badgers fell to 12-11-2 overall and 7-10-2 in the WCHA, four points behind UND in the battle for home ice during the playoffs.

Sophomore defenseman Dillon Simpson, who notched his first goal since last February, also felt a sense of relief.

“Hopefully the floodgates open a little bit here for me scoring-wise,” he said. “It was great to get that goal and just get the confidence to shoot the puck.”

UND coach Dave Hakstol noted the importance of the team getting scoring contributions across the lineup.

“We need contributions at different times from different people,” he explained. “For Steph Pattyn to step up tonight with his linemates and come up with game-winning goal, that was the separation in a real close hockey game tonight. It’s very important for us.”

Bemidji State 2, Minnesota State Mankato 1

BEMIDJI  — On a night when Bemidji State was out shot 40-26, senior goaltender Dan Bakala stood tall turning aside 39  Mankato shots to open the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with a 2-1 victory Friday at Sanford Center.

Tied 1-1 midway through the third period, Jordan George potted his team-leading 13th goal of the season to provide BSU with the offense it needed to break the stalemate, gain two points in the league standings and improve to 12-11-2 overall and 6-9-2 in WCHA play.

Minnesota State took the first lead of the game at 8:58 of the opening period when Max Gaede buried his own rebound. Bemidji State clawed its way back into the game before a back-and-fourth second period came to an end.

With 4:40 to play in the period, Jake Areshenko found Danny Mattson  at center ice with an outlet pass. Mattson skated into the zone and capped the play a wrist shot placed just over the glove hand of the MSU goaltender Phil Cook from the right face off circle. The goal was the second of the season for Mattson and stretched his current scoring streak to a career-best five games.

No. 10/12 Colorado College and Nebraska Omaha were idle.

Updated Friday reading: Weekend previews and features

No. 15 Denver at Alaska Anchorage: Sophomore goalie Sam Brittain may start one of the games Up North this weekend, which could give DU depth at a key position. Colorado Springs’ John Ryder will play Friday, giving a defense tied for 30th in Division I a serious boost down the stretch. Here’s a Q&A with Brittain, pictured at left, and a link to FREE live video of tonight’s game. The Seawolves’ penalty killers will need to slow down the league’s best power play.

Wisconsin at No. 18 North Dakota: Both teams rely heavily on their top players to overcome a lack of offensive depth for both squads. Here’s a look at North Dakota’s top point-producers and the Badgers’ leaders. Here’s a ton of links concerning this great rivalry.

Michigan Tech at No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth: Hobey Baker hopeful Jack Connolly has become larger than life for the Bulldogs, who hope to start up another winning streak. The Huskies hope to ‘shock the world’ this weekend.

St. Cloud State vs. No. 3 Minnesota (home and home series): Both teams are focusing on their defensemen with Jarrod Rabey being pressed into service as a forward while UM relies on Jake Parenteau to be a consistent blueliner in what has become his breakout season.

Minnesota State Mankato at Bemidji State: With a 7-1 record against the Beavers of late, the 11th-place Mavs could make a move up the standings, starting this weekend. MSU’s Johnny McInnis, who scored the OT gamewinner last weekend, is the only Boston-area player in the WCHA. Here’s some preview notes.

Here are predictions about this weekend’s series from the Star Tribune and Goon’s World.

No. 10/12 Colorado College and Nebraska Omaha are idle. CC plays rival Denver in a home and home series next week while Omaha hosts Bemidji State.

Thursday reading: In the pros, WCHA series previews

Chad Rau, pictured celebrating a goal for AHL Houston, will play two games for the Aeros this weekend while the NHL enters its all-star break. Hopes are high he'll get a return trip to St. Paul next week when NHL play resumes.

Former Tiger Chad Rau, who played in his first two NHL games in the past couple days, was sent down to the AHL because of the NHL All-Star Break. His longtime teammate Nate Prosser has spent half the season with the Wild and the other in Houston in large part because he is the only Wild defenseman with a two-way deal, meaning he can be sent down without clearing waivers (and giving other teams a chance to claim his rights).

“Upper management says it is not about my play,” he said. “It’s just business.”

Bill Sweatt (one goal and an assist) and the rest of his AHL Wolves teammates took it up a notch in Abbotsford, B.C. with Canucks brass in the stands.

Minnesota coach Don Lucia wants road points at St. Cloud State but knows he’ll need to overcome a strong defensive team to do so. He takes on a Huskies team expected to play two defensemen as forwards due to a rash of injuries. The WCHA-leading Gophers are also looking for a way to avoid their Friday struggles. Here’s UM’s weekly preview notes.

Here’s a video preview of the series put together by St. Cloud State. The Huskies picked up a commit from a well-regarded Duluth high school player.

Michigan Tech travels to No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth. Here’s the Huskies’ preview notes and more from the Bulldogs, including NHL alumnus notes  and the weekly preview notes. The Bulldogs have a chance to add some breathing room in the standings between themselves and third-place CC, which is idle.

Here’s the latest update on the injuries at North Dakota, including some amusing comments. Nice to see some humor instead of bile over the situation. North Dakota hosts Wisconsin. Here’s video and the transcript of UW coach Mikes Eaves’ Monday press conference.

Wisconsin’s Justin Schultz is good as this blog post from Goon’s World shows with a video.

MSU- Mankato travels to Bemidji State this weekend. Here’s some preview notes from Mankato and a video interview with BSU coach Tom Serratore.

Alaska Anchorage hosts No 15 Denver. Here are the Pios notes.

Western Michigan will have its leading scorer back this weekend.

MSU-Moorhead continues to raise money for the $30-some million it will need to start up Division I hockey, bumping its deadline from the end of this month to Feb. 29.

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