Notebook: Winkler shines, line changes pay dividends

forsaleThis weekend’s unsung hero: Scott Winkler

The Colorado College senior may not have registered a point on Saturday’s scoresheet but coach Scott Owens rightly credited the Dallas draft pick for his efforts in the 5-1 home win.

“(Scott Winkler) didn’t register a point but his line was up against the (UMD freshman Tony) Cameranesi line all weekend,” Owens said referring to the Bullddog’s top-scoring line. “His line (including wings Archie Skalbeck, Jared Hanson) did a good job defensively tonight. We had nine blocks in the second period and Winkler made a big one during that span. That was huge”

Winkler and senior captain William Rapuzzi both created screens for defenseman Mike Boivin when he skated over a step and snapped off a wrister that beat UMD goalie Matt McNeely high glove side for the 1-0 lead.

Lines change-up pays dividends

After Friday’s 3-2 loss, the CC coaches shifted around the Tiger lines and, at least for now, looked like a good move.

Charlie Taft added more speed at right wing on the Rylan Schwartz line, which includes left wing Alexander Krushelnyski.  Those three recorded six points with Krushelnyski (two assists) ad Schwartz (three assists) generating three apiece

Moving Rapuzzi to the third line with freshmen Hunter Fejes and center Cody Bradley added more offensive potential with the senior providing some savvy and an ability to create offense off redirects. That gave CC three lines with considerable offensive ability.

It paid off. Rapuzzi’s goal early in the third period off assists from Bradley and Fejes clinched the win.

Saturday’s lines: Major changes for Tigers

CC Collett_CU1

The top line gets changed up with Charlie Taft (10 points) taking captain William Rapuzzi’s spot at right wing while Rapuzzi (29 points) goes to the third line with Cody Bradley and Hunter Fejes.

Jeff Collett, pictured, centers the fourth line while Michael Morin is in at left wing with him and Hamburg.

Senior Joe Howe gets the start. Defensive pairings remain the same with freshman Michael King (seventh blue-liner dinged up).

Minnesota Duluth made one change at left defenseman with Matt McNeely starting again in net.

Minnesota Duluth

LW-C-RW

Farley-Cameranesi-Seidel

Crandall-Herbert-Krause

Sampair-Hendrickson-Basaraba

Danberg-Tardy-Flaherty

LD-RD

Olson-Welinski

Bergman-Casto

McManus-Johnson

Goalies – McNeely, Fons

Colorado College

LW-C-RW

Krushelnyski-Schwartz-Taft

Skalbeck-Winkler-Hanson

Fejes-Bradley-Rapuzzi

Morin-Collett-Hamburg

LD-RD

Stoykewych-Boivin

Harstad-McDermott

Young-Marciano

Goalies – Howe, Thorimbert, Lockwood

In the pros: J. Schwartz makes Blues roster

225px-Jaden_Schwartz_WJC12_press_conferenceRookie Jaden Schwartz has wrapped up an impressive camp and figures to be on the Blues’ 23-man roster when final rosters are due at 4 p.m. (St. Louis time) Friday.

“He’s available for our selection,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said Friday morning.

Schwartz, who is playing on the left wing after lining up at center in Peoria, is expected to suit up for Saturday’s season opener on a line with Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Friday reading: CC, previews, UND video, UAH, outdoor hockey

CC Rylan Schwartz vs UNHThe Gazette’s David Ramsey talks about CC goalie Josh Thorimbert’s season. Both the Tigers and the visiting Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs know how big this series is for home playoff ice.

The buzz about the No. 6 North Dakota at No. 1 Minnesota series is reaching a fever pitch. Here are links to everything you need to know from the Grand Forks Herald.

The Mankato Free Press provides plenty of links about the other series.

Two future CC players were among the 19 future NCHC student-athletes who made the NHL Draft midterm rankings. Here are short previews on the future NCHC schools in action this weekend.

Here is the Air Force preview for its Saturday-Sunday road series at last-place Sacred Heart.

This news made my Thursday:  Here is more on the Alabama-Huntsville joining the WCHA from the Huntsville paper and details from USCHO which broke the news. There were some concerns that the travel subsidy and the fact that this means one less trip to Alaska each season apparently eased.

It was also a good night for me personally since I got to cover an outdoor club hockey game. Cold but a lot of fun. It was a good reminder what makes hockey such a great sport to be around.

In the pros: O’Connell starts career off 2-0

DSCF0396Anchorage-based goalie Drew O’Connell, a former Tiger, picked up a win against his hometown ECHL Aces when the Ontario Reign needed an emergency fill-in netminder. He stopped a penalty shot  in a 3-1 win.

That so impressed the Reign, who took O’Connell on the plane back for a home game against Las Vegas (19 saves including one penalty shot) and a 4-1 victory.

The wins were first reported by the Anchorage Daily News who first reported on their hometown goalie and noted he had filled in as a backup for the Aces a few times last season. As of Wednesday night, O’Connell’s pro stats are 2-0-0, 1.00 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and 44 saves, including two penalty shots, in 65 minutes (5:00 scoreless relief on Jan. 11).

Here is a good game story featuring O’Connell’s exploits against the Aces and how former Air Force player Jacques Lamoureux passed on word through his brother (and North Dakota alumnus) Mario about O’Connell being available. That is reason No. 2,349 why I love college hockey.

Rothstein earns USHL weekly award

rothsteinThe United States Hockey League announced Monday that St. Cloud State signee Charlie Lindgren was named Reebok Goaltender of the Week while 2013 Colorado College commit Sam Rothstein, pictured, is the CCM Co-Forward of the Week. T

This is the third time this season Lindgren has won the award and second time for Rothstein. Both players have been instrumental in leading the Sioux Falls Stampede on their current nine-game winning streak.

Rothstein recorded five points (2g, 3a) and was a +5 in the three wins over the weekend. On Wednesday, Rothstein recorded a power-play goal and an assist in the win over Waterloo. On Friday, he set up two goals in the Stampede’s win in Des Moines and on Saturday, he posted a goal in a win at Sioux City. He has points in nine straight games, which is tied for the third longest streak in the league this season.

The Minnetonka, Minn. native leads the team in scoring with 32 points (12g, 20a) in 28 games and is third on the club in +/- with a +15 rating.  He has 9 power-play assists on the year and just 8 penalty minutes.

Monday reading: Preissing, radio show, weekend reviews, Hobey

preissing_1Former Tiger Tom Preissing, who played for EHCB  last season, signed with Biel and went through a tryout with the German league team last weekend. I will update his status when I stumble across it. Thanks to Tim Matthewson for finding this article and to Google translate.

The monthly Scott Owens radio show is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at McCabe’s Tavern, downtown Colorado Springs.

Here are three observations on this weekend in the WCHA, including a note on CC.

Hockey East’s standings are tightening up. The CCHA goaltending was quite good while the Hobey Baker race is underway.

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