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.

In the pros: Bidwill, Connelly, Crabb, Fredheim, Hall, Lamoureux, Rau, Schultz

Former Tiger Kris Fredheim is in AHL Houston’s training camp, along with Brian Connelly and Chad Rau, pictured.

The ECHL Alaska Aces just got a whole lot better with the addition of three NHL regulars — Anchorage residents Joey Crabb, Scott Gomez and Nate Thompson. Aces fans should send thank you cards to Gary Bettman.

Tim Hall and former Air Force Falcon Jacques Lamoureux are also on the Aces’ training camp roster.

Stephen Schultz is on the Trenton Titans roster while Arthur Bidwill is on the Colorado Eagles camp. Most ECHL camps started Friday.

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.

 

Tuesday reading: Dell leaves UND, Quinnipiac, OHL sanctions

Courtesy UND Athletics

North Dakota starting goalie Aaron Dell, pictured, dropped his final year of eligibility to play for the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles., which includes CC’s Arthur Bidwill. The link includes a list of the early departures from the WCHA. Here are more details including an interview with Dell.

Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold signed a contract extension that will keep him behind the Bobcat bench through the 2016-17 season.

The college hockey community is wisely staying quiet on the Windsor Spitfires’ recruiting violations punishment. Later in that column, the lawyer representing the student Michigan Daily newspaper against Kitchener is suggesting he may put the whole OHL under the microscope if he must.

This Canadian columnist says the Windsor situation is just the tip of the iceberg.

Weekend reading: MacDonald, Sioux nickname, profiles, Bidwill

From CC sports information …

Tiger Hockey lost one of its all-time greats late last week when Bill MacDonald, a 1952 graduate of Colorado College, passed away at the age of 82.

As a sophomore in 1949-50, MacDonald was instrumental in helping CC skate to the first of its two national championships. He was inducted, along with his entire team, into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.

Elsewhere in the WCHA, supporters have until Aug. 8 to get enough signatures to get the Sioux nickname onto the November ballot.

Inside College Hockey started up its summer A-Z mini-profiles recently. Here are the future CC foes posted so far: Cornell’s Cole Bardreau; Yale’s Clinton Bourbonais; and Denver’s Josh Didier.

Future Air Force foes include: Bentley’s Justin Breton; Robert Morris’ Adam BraceGrant Blakey of Mercyhurst;  Alaska-Fairbanks’ Colton Beck and Ben Danford of Canisius.

The Colorado Eagles announced they have signed DU’s Kyle Ostrow and former CC defenseman Arthur Bidwill.

The Hockey East commissioner gets a contract extension.

A Bowling Green freshman from Latvia is suspended 33 games for playing a pro league by the NCAA.

The NCAA opens the door to admitting Canadian universities.

In the pros: Bidwill signs with Colorado Eagles

Arthur Bidwill saw a chance to move up a level in pro hockey and return to Colorado. He gladly took it.

The former Colorado College defenseman said he signed a one-year contract recently with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles.

“After last season (in the Central Hockey League) ended I was looking for the best fit,” he said Friday. “It is great that I get to stay in Colorado. I really enjoyed my four years at CC. I know the Eagles have a really good fan base. It will be fun.”

Bidwill played four postseason games with the CHL’s Allen (Texas) Americans, with former teammate Brian McMillin, who recently re-signed with the franchise. Bidwill’s season ended early with a knee injury in the playoffs. He he fully recovered by the team awards brunch in May.

Bidwill did well in his short time in the CHL, finishing plus-7 thanks in part to the slower, more controlled pace on the NHL-sized sheets of the CHL, especially when compared to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He knows the ECHL (which used to be an acronym for East Coast Hockey League) will be a step up in speed and skill.

“I do not know really what to expect,” he said. “I hope I can contribute. I know I will go in, work hard and then we will see what happens.”

The preseason starts Oct. 5 with the Eagles hosting the expansion franchise San Francisco Bulls with the regular-season opener at home against Alaska, which has Tim Hall on its protected list, on Oct. 12 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.

Friday reading: NCAA Tournament schedule, previews

Air Force's Mitch Torrel and his teammates face a Boston College squad still smarting from last year's first round exit. The Eagles, playing in the Northeast region, should come out ready to play hard this time.

The format may be familiar but this blog post has new links to previews including news that all the injured Denver players took part in this morning’s pregame skate, according to Denver Athletics.

ALL TIMES MOUNTAIN

East Regional (Friday, March 23-Saturday, March 24) Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Conn.
No. 1 Union (24-7-7) vs. No. 4 Michigan State (19-15-4), 1 p.m. Friday, ESPNU

No. 2 Miami (24-12-2) vs. No. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell (23-12-1), 4:30 p.m. Friday, ESPNU.

Here’s a preview of the regional and a scouting report on Michigan State and Michigan. The RiverHawks are hoeful they can continue their big turnaround.

• Semifinal winners, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU.

Midwest Regional (Friday, March 23-Saturday, March 24)
Resch Center, Green Bay, Wis.

No. 2 Ferris State (23-11-5) vs. No. 3 Denver (25-13-4), 3:30 p.m. Friday, live on Altitude (tape delay ESPNU, 10:30 p.m. Friday). DU’s Dustin Jackson is profiled by his hometown newspaper. There are plenty of questions that the Pios need to answer to be successful today. FSU senior goalie Taylor Nelson could be the difference.

No. 1 Michigan (24-12-4) vs. No. 4 Cornell (18-8-7), 6 p.m. Friday, ESPNU. The Wolverines will look to avoid its past top seed troubles. Don’t be shocked is this is the upset of the first round (I do not count No. 3s over No. 2s as an upset).

• Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU

West Regional (Saturday, March 24-Sunday, March 25)
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.

No. 1 North Dakota (25-12-3) vs. No. 4 Western Michigan (21-13-6), 11:30 a.m. Saturday, FS North (tape delay ESPNU, 11:30 a.m. Sunday). Note that the UND beat writer contradicts the FS North availablity.  Here’s a preview of both games.

No. 2 Minnesota (26-13-1) vs. No. 3 Boston University (23-14-1), 3 p.m. Saturday, FS North plus, NESN (tape delay ESPNU, 2 p.m. Sunday). Here’s a Q&A with UM sophomore defenseman Nate Schmidt. The BU fan blog previews the game.

• Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.Sunday, ESPNU

Northeast Regional (Saturday, March 24-Sunday, March 25)
DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.

No. 1 Boston College (29-10-1) vs. No. 4 Air Force (21-10-7), 2 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU, 1300 AM in Colorado Springs.  There’s plenty of good stuff on BC and Air Force in this preview.

No. 2 Minnesota Duluth (24-9-6) vs. No. 3 Maine (23-13-3), 5:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN3.com, FS North-plus (tape delay ESPNU, 9:30 p.m. Saturday). Here are some preview notes from the UMD radio guy.

• Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. Sunday, ESPNU

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