Future nonconference schedules taking shape

DC 3As heard during Ken Ralph radio interview last night: CC’s 2013-14 nonconference schedule includes games against Air Force, Clarkson, New Hampshire, Providence and Wisconsin.

The Clarkson games are on the road in return for the Golden Knights’ trip to Colorado Springs earlier this season. No further specifics were mentioned.

Future dates including Boston College and Boston University and “a couple Big 10 teams” are also in the works.

Future dates could include a couple East Coast trips when CC would play one Hockey East or ECAC team one night and another the next, Ralph said.

The Tigers have four more nonleague dates to schedule since the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which begins play in October, uses a 24-game format.

CC will continue to coordinate with Denver as well as it has in the past. An example would be the New Hampshire and Yale games this past Thanksgiving weekend when Yale played at DU on Friday and visited CC on Saturday.

Ralph also said CC is working to schedule nonconference games with Alaska-Anchorage including road contests. As play-by-play man Ken Landau pointed out, it is easier to fly to Anchorage than Houghton, Mich., which usually involves a flight to Duluth followed by a lengthy bus ride.

Saturday reading: AFA, upsets, WCHA recaps, CCHA, M. Schwartz

SCSU_KossilaThe Falcons’ special teams came up big as Air Force moved from fourth to a tie for second place in the AHA with a 2-0 home win Friday over Robert Morris. Goalie Jason Torf (30 saves) is why Falcons fans can again hope for an NCAA Tournament bid.

Around college hockey, it was a tough night to be a top 5 team. Only idle No. 2 Quinnipiac did not lose. Here are recaps from the WCHA and about those upsets.

No. 15/16 St. Cloud State 3, No. 5 North Dakota 1

GRAND FORKS —  No. 15/16 St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team (15-10-0, 12-5-0 WCHA) took advantage of a dominant defensive performance to score a 3-1 victory at No. 5 North Dakota (13-8-4, 8-5-4 WHCA) on Jan. 25 in Grand Forks, N.D.

The victory helped the Huskies move into sole possession of first place in the WCHA with 24 league points thanks to a 2-1 victory by No. 14 Minnesota State at No. 1 Minnesota on Jan. 25.  The Gophers fell into second place tie along with Nebraska Omaha at 22 points.

SCSU outshot UND 33-16 in the contest and also held it scoreless until a third period power play goal broke the shutout for the Huskies.  In the first period, SCSU set the tempo by giving up only three shots on goal and followed with five shots allowed in the second period.

SCSU freshman Jonny Brodzinski opened the offense with a goal at 4:15 of the first period while senior captain Ben Hanowski added the game winner with his ninth goal of the season at 16:36 of the first period. Freshman Kalle Kossilla assisted for his 11th of the season.

No. 14 Minnesota State 2, No. 1 Minnesota 1

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota’s 10-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt end on Friday night after No. 14 Minnesota State’s Brett Knowles tallied the 2-1 game winner with 44 seconds left in regulation.

For the first time in Minnesota’s last 10 games, the Gophers failed to reach the four-goal plateau although freshman goalie Adam Wilcox did his best to try and pick up the win regardless of the offensive production. The rookie netminder (16-3-4) made 31 saves – one off his career high – for his first loss of 2013. MSU goalie Stephon Williams recorded 37 saves to move to 13-6-2 this season.

Despite Minnesota State’s third period goal, the Gophers held a 38-33 shot advantage and rallied from what would have been only the third time this season an opponent outshot the squad with 20 shots in the third period (the Mavericks had nine in the final stanza).

Minnesota returns to action on Saturday in Mankato for the series finale against Minnesota State. Game time is set for 7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North PLUS.

No. 13/14 Nebraska Omaha 5, Bemidji State 3

BEMIDJI –  Nebraska-Omaha got two goals and an assist from Matt White while Johnnie Searfoss and Jaycob Megna each pitched in a goal and helped on another to help the Mavericks hold off a late charge by Bemidji State and earn a 5-3 WCHA victory at Sanford Center Friday.

No. 20 Wisconsin 5, Alaska-Anchorage 2

MADISON — Junior forward Michael Mersch posts two goals and an assist while Mark Zengerle and Nic Kerdiles scored a goal and an assist each to lead Wisconsin to a 5-2 victory against Alaska Anchorage on Friday night at Kohl Center.

Maine 4, No. 3 Boston College 1

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — On paper, it was a mismatch – Hockey East’s top team against the league’s cellar-dweller.

Maine flipped that mismatch on its head, however, in defeating third-ranked Boston College 4-1.

In pulling off the upset, Maine spoiled the return of BC coach Jerry York to the bench after missing four games while recuperating from surgery for a detached retina.

Martin Ouellette stopped 34 of 35 shots including all 20 in the second period when BC threatened on three power plays. He also benefited from a goaltender’s best friend, the pipes behind him, as the Eagles twice clanged iron.

The Black Bears, who hadn’t scored more than two goals in 20 of 23 games this year, took a 2-0 first-period lead, expanded it to 3-0 in the second, and after BC closed the gap to 3-1 in the third, added an empty-netter for the final margin.

“Frankly, we got some puck luck, which we perhaps haven’t had a lot of,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said. “It could have been very different if we hadn’t had some of those bounces.

“Marty [Ouellette] was fabulous. A lot of guys made some key blocks. Any time we didn’t make the block, Marty was able to bail us out.”

Here is the rest of the article.

Merrimack 3, No. 4 New Hampshire 2

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — After taking a brief 2-1 lead in the second, UNH allowed two unanswered Merrimack goals. The game-winner came from freshman Brian Christie, who started the third period by winning the opening faceoff, driving the middle and netting a marker through a defender’s legs just seven seconds into the final frame from captain Jordan Heywood and junior Mike Collins.

Collins and Christie both finished with three points on the night and Merrimack held the Wildcats scoreless for the remaining 19:53, winning 3-2.

“I didn’t even see it go in,” Christie said. “Fortunately, it did.”

Here is the rest of that article.

Of note from the CCHA: No. 9 Western Michigan defeated Michigan to take sole possession of first place and Miami beat Bowling Green to give RedHawks’ head coach Enrico Blasi his 300th career win. The RedHawks are now in second place while Notre Dame, losers in its last five, fell to third.

Also, this columnist tells us why Mandi Schwartz still matters to her teammates, loved ones and Yale.

Tigers back in USCHO poll at No. 19

A road sweep at Wisconsin, which included a Saturday shutout by senior goalie Joe Howe, pictured,  moved Colorado College back into the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll at No. 19, matching its preseason ranking.

The Tigers (5-3, 2-0 WCHA) host Bemidji State this weekend.

With 36 teams receiving votes, the parity in college hockey has never been greater in the poll voters’ estimation.

From USCHO …     

The top three teams remain the same as last week, including top-ranked Boston College as the Eagles received 48 of 50 first-place votes and further solidified its hold on No. 1 with two wins while many other top teams split their weekend series..

Minnesota is still No. 2 and Denver stays No. 3. The Pioneers received a first-place vote this week as well.  Cornell jumps two spots to No. 4 and Miami drops one to sit fifth.

North Dakota is also down one place to No. 6, while Notre Dame remains seventh, Union moves from 10th to eighth and tallied the other first-place vote, New Hampshire is again ninth and Western Michigan moves from No. 11 to No. 10.

Boston University climbs one to go to No. 11, Michigan falls four spots to No. 12, St. Lawrence jumps three places to No. 13, Harvard drops one spot to sit 14th and St. Cloud State gets into the top 15 with a three-spot jump from No. 18 last week.

At No. 16, Northern Michigan rises four, Massachusetts-Lowell falls three places to No. 17, Ferris State climbs one to No. 18, Colorado College gets back into the rankings at No. 19 and idle Minnesota-Duluth drops three places to No. 20 this week.

Additionally, 16 other teams received votes.  The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.

Road sweep drops CC out of Top 20

No big surprises this week. Three losses in a row dropped Colorado College out of the top 20 while a home sweep moves Denver up to No. 3. An anemic weekend for Minnesota (tie, win) helped Boston College solidify its hold on No. 1 in this week’s USCHO poll.

From USCHO ….

Miami drops from No. 3 to No. 4 and North Dakota falls one to round out the top five.

Cornell jumps one notch to sit sixth, Notre Dame is up two to No. 7, Michigan falls a pair to the No. 8 rank, New Hampshire climbs three to No. 9, earning two first-place votes this week, and Union, even falling two places to No. 10, took home a first-place vote.

Western Michigan falls one to No. 11, Boston University rises one to No. 12, Harvard jumps four places to now sit 13th, Massachusetts-Lowell tumbles three notches to No. 14 and Northeastern holds steady at No. 15. At No. 16, St. Lawrence enters the rankings this week, followed by Minnesota-Duluth at No. 17, down from No. 14 last week, previously-unranked St. Cloud State at No. 18, Ferris State down one to No. 19 and Northern Michigan dropping four to No. 20 this week.

In addition, 15 other schools received votes, including Colorado College.

The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.

CC back in USCHO poll at No. 19

Colorado College, which debuted at No. 20 in the preseason poll and fell out after its exhibition game, is back in the weekly USCHO poll at No. 19 following a home sweep (5-4, 5-4) of ECAC Member Clarkson.

Air Force, CC’s Friday road foe, received votes.  UMass-Lowell, which plays at No. 7 Denver Friday before coming to Colorado Springs World Arena on Saturday, fell from No. 6 to No. 10 after tying Vermont in its only game last weekend.

Not surprisingly, new No. 1 Minnesota received 46 out of the possible 50 first-place votes.

From USCHO …

Four teams received first-place votes in this week’s USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll, but with 46 of 50 No. 1 votes, Minnesota is the new top team in the weekly poll.

Minnesota jumps from No. 2 to the top spot, while last week’s No. 1 team, Boston College, falls to No. 3, but did receive two first-place votes.

North Dakota, up two places to No. 2, had a first-place vote, while No. 8 Union garnered the other first-place vote on the voter’s ballots.

Michigan drops to No. 5 this week, followed by Cornell at No. 6, Denver staying in seventh, Union, Notre Dame up five to No. 9 and Massachusetts-Lowell falling four to sit tenth this week.

At No. 11, Boston University rises one notch, Western Michigan falls three spots to No. 12, Minnesota-Duluth remains 13th, Northeastern enters the poll at No. 14, as does New Hampshire in the 15th slot.

Ferris State drops five to No. 16, while Harvard and Northern Michigan sit tied for 17th. NMU enters the rankings after being unranked last week.

Quinnipiac falls from No. 18 to No. 20 this week.

The USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country.

Sunday reading: WCHA, Behrend, Howe, BC, North Dakota, schedule

The WCHA, not just CC, needed William Rapuzzi‘s goal on Saturday night. The league went 3-4-2 on Saturday and 9-6-2 on the weekend, not counting the two exhibition games.

Former Tiger Ted Behrend did not make the opening night roster for the CHL Denver Cutthroats.

Joe Howe picked up his first win since the 4-3 OT home win on Dec. 2, 2011 against Denver (Alexander Krushelnyski penalty shot) with a scoreless third period. Here is hoping he and Josh Thorimbert can build off the opening weekend. Giving up eight goals (certainly not entirely the goalies’ fault; CC’s unforced turnovers set Clarkson up well) and getting two wins will not happen often, especially in WCHA play.

There was yet another opening weekend surprise: Three freshmen scored goals as Northeastern beat Boston College 3-1 in a Hockey East game. Ryan Belanger, Kevin Roy and Colorado Springs native Colton Saucerman scored goals for Northeastern, which had been 0-1-8 against the Eagles in the past nine games.

Here is how Saucerman’s goal developed according to Hockey East: Boston College attempted to clear the puck, but the disc bounced off of Darcy’s skate and Saucerman collected it in the neutral zone, just a few feet before the blue line. Milner was out of position and Saucerman knuckled a slap shot to the right side of the net to give Northeastern the two-goal cushion, 3-1.

The Eagles won their last 19 games last season. Their last loss was on Jan. 21 to Maine 7-4.

Here is North Dakota’s TV schedule and this weekend’s league schedule:

Thu
10/18/12
Minnesota Duluth
at Notre Dame
7:35 p.m. ET
Fri
10/19/12
Minnesota
at Michigan Tech
7:07 p.m. ET
Fri
10/19/12
Minnesota Duluth
at Notre Dame
7:35 p.m. ET
Fri
10/19/12
Lake Superior
at Bemidji State
7:37 p.m. CT
Fri
10/19/12
Rensselaer
at Minnesota State
7:37 p.m. CT
Fri
10/19/12
Alab-Huntsville
at St. Cloud State
7:37 p.m. CT
Fri
10/19/12
Northern Michigan
at Nebraska Omaha
7:37 p.m. CT
Fri
10/19/12
Colorado College
at Air Force
7:05 p.m. MT
Fri
10/19/12
North Dakota
vs Alaska Anchorage
5:05 p.m. AT
Fri
10/19/12
UMass Lowell
at Denver
7:37 p.m. MT
Sat
10/20/12
Minnesota
at Michigan Tech
7:07 p.m. ET
Sat
10/20/12
Merrimack
vs Alaska Anchorage
4:05 p.m. AT
Sat
10/20/12
Lake Superior
at Bemidji State
7:07 p.m. CT
Sat
10/20/12
Rensselaer
at Minnesota State
7:07 p.m. CT
Sat
10/20/12
Alab-Huntsville
at St. Cloud State
7:07 p.m. CT
Sat
10/20/12
Northern Michigan
at Nebraska Omaha
7:07 p.m. CT
Sat
10/20/12
UMass Lowell
at Colorado College
7:07 p.m. MT
Sat
10/20/12
Air Force
at Denver
7:07 p.m. MT
Sat
10/20/12
North Dakota
at Alaska
7:05 p.m. AT

Wednesday reading: Clarkson, ECAC, Cornell, Miami, CCHA

Allan McPherson scored 11 goals as a junior for Clarkson (photo: Shelley M. Szwast).

Clarkson is looking to decide its goalie situation early in the season. Here is an excerpt from USCHO:

“First and foremost, the cavity left by St. Louis Blues prospect and Clarkson’s all-time saves leader Paul Karpowich is crying out for attention. Senior (and Islanders draft pick) Cody Rosen is the lone returning netminder for Clarkson, and he will have a battle on his hands if he hopes to hold down the No. 1 spot this year.

“Our philosophy is that the best goalie will play; there is no entitlement in the position,” Jones said. “We have two newcomers with Cody that will battle for playing time, but with that experience we’re a vastly different team than last year. Last year we were vastly inexperienced on the blue line and we had a better goaltender in net. It kind of flips around this year. We’ll be a little more veteran in front of the nets.”

The rookie backstops are Surrey, British Columbia,-bred Andrew Hunt and Mars, Pa., product Greg Lewis. All three goalies play similar styles, according to Jones, filling a lot of vertical space but complementing their height with butterfly-method technique.”

Here is the ECAC season preview and a look at Cornell, CC’s road foe later this month.

Mankato’s Mike Hastings received a warm welcome from the other WCHA coaches during the annual media conference call on Tuesday. Notre Dame’s Mario Lucia may be back earlier than expected from his broken leg.

The Miami athletic director has accepted a similar position at Boston College.

Here is the USCHO’s CCHA season preview with links to future National Collegiate Hockey Conference members Miami and Western Michigan. The other school previews are available as links besides the main preview.

Here’s more on North Dakota’s exhibition opener.

Air Force No. 19, CC 20 in USCHO preseason poll

USCHO announced its preseason poll with Atlantic Hockey Association favorite Air Force ranked at No. 19, well ahead of No. 20 Colorado College in the points that determine the rankings.

This is the first time AFA is ranked ahead of CC in a preseason poll since the Falcons were 19th and CC received votes in the 2009-10 preseason poll.

Boston College garnered 35 first-place votes followed by WCHA favorite Minnesota (12), CCHA preseason pick Michigan (3), North Dakota and ECAC media and coaches’ pick Union.

USCHO then points out that being a preseason No. 1 is not always a good thing for a team’s NCAA championship hopes.

CC garners votes in USA Hockey preseason poll

USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today released its preseason poll on Monday with Colorado College coming in at what would be tied for 19th if the rankings went that far. Air Force garnered a few votes as well. All the WCHA teams listed in the poll are bolded.

National Collegiate Hockey Conference fans will note that Miami (No. 9) and Western Michigan (11) also got some love.

 

Men’s Poll – Week 1: Sept. 24, 2012 

  Team

Points
(First Place Votes)

2011-12
Record

1 Boston College

476 (20)

33-10-1

2 Minnesota

476 (12)

28-14-1

3 Michigan

408 (2)

24-13-4

4 North Dakota

407

26-13-3

5 Union College

295

26-8-7

6 Cornell

233

19-9-7

7 UMass-Lowell

221

24-13-1

8 Denver

220

25-14-4

9 Miami

203

24-15-2

10 Notre Dame

186

19-18-3

11 Western Michigan

182

21-14-6

12 Minnesota Duluth

176

25-10-6

13 Boston University

158

23-15-1

14 Ferris State

123

26-12-5

15 Wisconsin

99

17-18-2

Others receiving votes: Harvard University, 58; University of Maine, 24; Quinnipiac University, 24; Michigan State University, 19; Colorado College, 19; University of New Hampshire, 17; Ohio State University, 17; St. Cloud (Minn.) State University, 15; Merrimack College, 7; Providence College, 6; Yale University, 6; United States Air Force Academy, 3; Northern Michigan University, 1; Michigan Tech University, 1.

 

Monday reading: CC at Wisconsin, Minnesota, NHL, USHL

The CC at Wisconsin series during the 2013-14 season was confirmed along with some practice notes.

Boston College was picked to win Hockey East this season by league media.

This longtime Minnesota season ticket holder got the runaround due to a new program.

The New York Times put together a guide to the top European leagues to aid fans wondering where their favorite NHL player is headed during the lockout.

The USHL plans to amp up its focus on player safety, falling in line with recent college hockey rule tweaks and changes.

Pine Creek High School graduate Taylor Gross led the Penn State women’s first practice.

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