Colorado Springs woman is first Penn State varsity captain

Taylor Gross led the Huskies in scoring as a freshman but was one of many standouts to leave the UConn program at the end of the fall semester in 2011.

Pine Creek High School graduate Taylor Gross, who transferred to Penn State after garnering team rookie honors at UConn, was named as the Nittany Lions’ first varsity captain, the program announced on Wednesday night.

She led the Huskies in scoring as a freshman in 2010-2011 with 23 points (12g, 11a), and was Hockey East’s rookie of the week on Feb. 7, 2011.

Despite playing only half a season at PSU after leaving UConn after the fall semester, the now-junior forward finished second on the club team in scoring last season with 27 points and assisted both Nittany Lions’ goals in the school’s first win over a Division I program — Sacred Heart.

Gross continues a string of success for area women in ice hockey. Of the 12 Colorado women on Division I rosters this past season, four were from Colorado Springs, including Minnesota’s Emily West who scored the game-winners in the WCHA tournament and NCAA championships games.

Thursday reading: Schultz, WMU, MTU jersey, schedules, video, NHL

Justin Schultz scored 18 goals for Wisconsin. ASSOCIATED PRESS

TSN’s Bob McKenzie says that Justin Schultz, who turns 22 in July, may be one of the three top free agents on the market this summer, along with Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter (Wisconsin) and New Jersey captain Zach Parise (North Dakota).

Unlike the Badgers, Western Michigan keeps an important part of its defensive corps.

Michigan Tech will sport a new look this upcoming season with three new jerseys.

The Alaska Fairbanks athletic director is taking the same job at Northern Michigan.

Penn State announced its 2012-13 schedule as did the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles and Western Michigan.

Duluth’s Jack Connolly is the USA Hockey college player of the year.

SCSU’s Nic Dowd and Ben Hanowski  are ready for the 2012-13 season judging from this video.

Here is a short update on the former Gophers playing in the NHL and a list of former college players who have had their names etched on the Stanley Cup.

CHL Denver holding open tryouts

From the Cutthroats …

The Denver Cutthroats announced today the team will hold an open tryout camp for local talent interested in trying to earn an invite to the club’s training camp in October before they begin their inaugural season in the Central Hockey League.

The open tryout is scheduled for August 10-12 at Edge Ice Arena in Littleton. Players participating in the tryout must be 18 years of age or older. The deadline for signing up is midnight, Aug. 3 and there is a $150 fee included in the sign-up.

“The state of Colorado’s produced some great hockey talent over the years,” said head coach Derek Armstrong. “This is a chance to for us to reach out locally to find some of that talent as we build our team for the upcoming season.  Players should be conditioned and ready to compete at a high level for our August tryout.”

Camp participants will be broken up into teams and Friday’s session will start with a 9 a.m. practice followed by a scrimmage. Saturday, teams will compete in schedule games. The camp concludes on Sunday with an All-Star Game.

68 total spots are available for the open camp, 60 spots for skaters and eight slots for goaltenders. The fee for participating in the camp is $150. Interested players can currently download an application from the Cutthroats’ Facebook page at facebook.com/denvercutthroats – applications will be available for download from the team’s official website once it goes live later this summer.

Players are required to bring full gear and abide with CHL regulations by wearing a helmet with a half-visor. Full-cage helmets will not be allowed. Practice jerseys and socks will be provided.

For more information, players can e-mail info@denvercutthroats.com or call (303) 295-FISH (3474).

Camp will be open for the public to watch.

Wednesday reading

Good to see all of the honorees on the USHL rookie team are headed to college.

Alaska-Anchorage signs up three recruits.

North Dakota added two big transfers: Mitch MacMillan and Clarke Saunders.

Here is a good feature on Wisconsin alumnus John Byce, who was the first and only NCAA player to win a national title and play in the Stanley Cup Finals.

A former Denver and Avs player could be the captain of the CHL’s Denver Cutthroats.

CC lands another USHL champion

Green Bay Gamblers forward Peter Maric will play hockey at Colorado College following his USHL career.

Although the following USHL press release does not specify if the 5-foot-10, 184-pounder will come to CC this fall, I think it is quite likely he will to fill the spot vacated by Dakota Eveland while he recovers from neck surgery.

Here is a video highlight of Maric (No. 13) in action and another. The 19-year-old appears to have a knack for knocking in rebounds.

Here is the rest of the release …

Maric put up 17 points (4g, 13a) and posted a plus-10 rating in 40 games for the Gamblers after being acquired early in the season from the Sioux City Musketeers.  The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native returned to his home state and was part of the Gamblers Anderson Cup squad that finished with a 47-9-4 record in the regular season.

He added two points (1g, 1a) while playing in all 12 postseason games to help the Gamblers capture the Clark Cup.  He recorded an assist on the game-winning goal in the series-clinching 5-2 Game Five victory over Waterloo on May 23rd.

Maric first broke into the USHL during the 2010-11 season and scored 17 points (5g, 12a) in 55 games for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.  He is one of eight players to play in the USHL this season that is committed to Colorado College, joining Christian Heil (Chicago Steel), Alex Roos (Chicago Steel), Jaccob Slavin (Chicago Steel), Matt Hansen (Des Moines Buccaneers), Duggie Lagrone (Des Moines Buccaneers), Cody Bradley (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and Jared Hanson (Lincoln Stars).

Colorado College is a member of the WCHA and recently completed their season with an 18-16-2 record.  A total of 17 USHL alumni were on the roster for the Tigers this season; Nick Dineen (Sioux Falls Stampede), Dakota Eveland (Omaha Lancers), Gabe Guentzel (Sioux Falls Stampede), Tim Hall (Ohio Junior Blue Jackets), Joe Howe (Waterloo Black Hawks), Alex Krushelnyski (Sioux City/Chicago), Joe Marciano (Omaha Lancers), Eamonn McDermott (Fargo Force), William Rapuzzi (Green Bay Gamblers), Jaden Schwartz (Tri-City Storm), Scott Winkler (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Aaron Harstad (Green Bay Gamblers), Peter Stoykewych (Des Moines Buccaneers), Jordan DiGiando (Dubuque/Cedar Rapids), Charlie Taft (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Scott Wamsganz (Dubuque/Waterloo), and Ian Young (Fargo/Chicago).

Updated weekend reading: AHA preview, INCH Preseason Top 10, Schultz reportedly leaves school, Chad Rau, Prosser

New England Hockey Journal takes a look at Holy Cross and the rest of the Atlantic Hockey Association for the upcoming season including Air Force and Hockey East’s latest suitor: Connecticut (pictured).

Inside College Hockey got a jump on things with its preseason Top 10, led by Minnesota, Michigan and North Dakota.

With Cornell, Wisconsin and UMass-Lowell also on the list, Colorado College will play five of this top 10 this coming season, which is more than four months away.

Of course, summer defections to the pro ranks may affect this prediction quite a bit after July 1.

Speaking of which, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Friday that Wisconsin’s Justin Schultz filed paperwork to leave school, though that remains unconfirmed as of 10 p.m. Mountain. Anaheim still has until July 1 to sign Schultz before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

This blogger put in a good effort trying to figure out which NHL organization may be most interested in the offensive defenseman.

Minnesota finds its No. 3 goalie. Pennsylvania continues to develop into good hockey country with Penn State starting up this fall as a varsity program. Now a NAHL program will likely attract area players.

Hockey East is creating a full-time position to supervise its officials.

Michigan adds another USNTDP recruit.

Defending The Blue Line announced that Chad Rau will join Nate Prosser for its annual NHL charity game on June 20 on the Minnesota campus.

Image borrowed from Let’s Go DU blog, but it could have been a pic from the Dayton to Cleveland leg of my return trip. I am not really joking.

FYI, I am headed into another long weekend away from the blog while I travel back to the land of my birth (Piqua, Ohio) to visit relatives and celebrate my Uncle Dale’s 85th.

No doubt there will be some quality family time at a Bob Evan’s or two or three between now and Wednesday May 30, when I will resume blogging.

In the interim, check USCHO, CCTigers.com, Duluth’s Rink and Run or the University of North Dakota Hockey blogs for any news that may break while I am unavailable.

Friday reading: Hastings, Sioux nickname ad and TV debate

New Minnesota State Mankato coach Mike Hastings talks about why he jumped at the chance to coach the purple Mavs.

Here is the latest TV spot urging North Dakota voters about the Sioux nickname debate which goes to the ballot on June 12. Here is a short TV debate between both sides.

Mark Stuart’s father, Dr. Michael Stuart of the Mayo Clinic, is interviewed in this Boston Globe story on youth hockey concussions.

Michigan Tech officially announced its 2012-13 schedule as did Northern Michigan. Here are some details about Michigan Tech’s approach to scheduling.

Wisconsin announced its schedule. With a lot returning (13 forwards, six defensemen, including Justin Schultz at this point, and two goaltenders), the Badgers are hopeful they will to contend in their final season in the WCHA. They open at home against CC on Nov. 2-3.

No word yet on the long-rumored NCHC postseason venue. The recent Minnesota bill signed to keep the Vikings in Minneapolis also included about $100 million of renovations for the Target Center. Hopefully that can address some of the hockey fans’ concerns about the facility before March 2014.

Miami picked up a 20-year-old NAHL defenseman.

St. Lawrence filled one of the few vacant assistant jobs out there with a former Union goalie standout.

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