In the pros: Bachman gets first win, Schwartz first goal, of season

jaden draft imageDallas Stars backup goalie Richard Bachman eked out a win over Vancouver. The former Tiger may get more starts after an injury to Kari Lehtonen forced his entry into the game.

Jaden Schwartz scored his first of the year and assisted the next goal to stake St. Louis to a 2-0 lead in a 5-2 win at struggling Calgary.

In the pros: Bachman called up by NHL’s Stars; may play Tuesday

bachmanpracticeIt looks like former Tiger Richard Bachman may be with the big club for awhile and could see some playing time.

The Dallas Stars blogger, who usually has a good feel for his team, thinks Bachman could make his first start of the season in Detroit on Tuesday. Lehtonen was reportedly dealing with a “tweak” of his own, leading to Nilstorp’s start on Saturday, so it’s unlikely the Stars push him with back-to-back starts this early in the season.

Bachman was originally sent to the Texas Stars to get some game action after not playing during the lockout.

He replaces the Swedish backup who was put on injured reserve after a groin injury suffered during Saturday’s 4-3 loss to St. Louis.

Here is the press release …

FRISCO, Texas – The Dallas Stars announced today that they have recalled goaltender Richard Bachman from the Texas Stars, Dallas’ development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). The team also placed goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp on Injured Reserve.

Bachman, 25, has played in four games for Texas this season, earning a 3-1-0 record with a .916 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.46 goals against average (GAA). The Salt Lake City native has appeared in 19 career NHL contests, posting an 8-5-1 record with a .911 SV%, a 2.75 GAA and one shutout. He was Dallas’ fourth-round selection (120th overall) in 2006.

Nilstorp, 28, has appeared in two NHL contests for Dallas this season, posting a 0-2-0 record with a .918 SV% and a 2.70 GAA. He’s also appeared in 28 contests for the Texas Stars this season, where he earned a 16-10- 4 record with a .916 SV% and a 2.13 GAA. Prior to his North American career, the Malmo, Sweden native played for Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League (SEL), where he helped the team capture the 2011 Le Mat Trophy, which is earned annually by the victors of the SEL. Nilstorp was undrafted and signed by Dallas as a free agent on June 5, 2012.

The Dallas Stars face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Monday night at 6 p.m. Central  (TV: FOX Sports Southwest).

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.

In the pros: J. Schwartz, Prosser, Crabb, Sterling, Testwuide fight video

ProsserFormer Tiger Jaden Schwartz is making a good impression on Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.

He is one of a number of young stars according to NHL.com who may benefit from their  time in the AHL while veterans played in the ECHL, overseas or tried to stay in game shape on their own.

Nate Prosser and Justin Falk look ready to be the Wild’s third defensive pair. Brian Connelly is injured.

Joey Crabb took part in this Q&A.

Brett Sterling scored a natural hat trick in just over eight minutes during the first period of a 3-1 win for AHL Chicago on Friday night.

Friday reading: CC, UND video, J. Schwartz, Rothstein, AFA, WCHA

jaden schwartzGazette columnist David Ramsey opines on the state of the CC team this season. Here are preview notes on the Tigers and on North Dakota.

Here is the Grand Forks Herald video preview concerning this weekend’s home series against CC.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz is back in the Blues training camp.

CC commit Sam Rothstein is a big reason (4g, 6a) the Sioux Falls Stampede have won nine of its last 10 in the USHL.

An Air Force player is out for the season with a concussion.

Sophomore goalie Ryan Massa is back for Nebraska Omaha. Western Michigan picked up a commit as did UNO.

Here is a look at the Anchorage at Minnesota series. Minnesota Duluth will be shorthanded for this weekend’s home series against Michigan Tech.

Boston College coach Jerry York will miss the New Hampshire series this weekend to recover from eye surgery.

A little-used Michigan freshman heads to the OHL.

Wednesday reading: Stuart, Schwartz, Gophers, Yale

stuart celebrationFormer Tiger Mark Stuart has signed with the ECHL Florida Everblades.

Jaden Schwartz improved to No. 20 in scoring among the AHL’s rookies (14 points, eight goals).

A little-used Minnesota defenseman has left the Gophers.

No. 15 Yale 4, Massachusetts 2

Bulldogs goalie Jeff Malcolm made 27 saves to lift Yale to the nonconference win.

Holmstrom brothers travel far, work hard for shot at college, pro hockey

Ben Holmstrom, shown playing for the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League, is only the second Colorado Springs native to play in the NHL.   COURTESY ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS

Here is my feature that appeared in Friday’s issue of the Woodmen Edition newspaper …

It may be across the country from their family, but Woodmen Edition area natives Ben and Josh Holmstrom are happy they chose to play NCAA Division I men’s hockey for UMass Lowell.

Ben took advantage of his four years to develop a promising professional career which young brother Josh hopes to emulate.

After fielding some offers from other schools, a season-ending knee injury left only the River Hawks interested in offering Ben a full-ride athletic scholarship.

“That made it an easy choice,” he said.

It proved to be the right one for Ben, 25, who served as a three-year captain for the River Hawks, before graduating and moving on to the professional ranks. That journey paid off with seven games with the Philadelphia Flyers spread out over the last two seasons, making him only the second Colorado Springs native to reach the NHL.

Former North Dakota standout defenseman David Hale was the first from the Springs to reach the bigs but has since retired. Ben and Hale played in what is now the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association and its club team, the Pikes Peak Miners, while Josh, 23, played with the Colorado Rampage and Denver-area Colorado Thunderbirds. The brothers went on to play for the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Stampede of the Junior A United States Hockey League before moving up to Lowell.

“He’s a guy I was always looking up to,” Ben said. “I got to play against him in his final year in (American Hockey League) Binghamton. To be only the second player from Colorado Springs to make (the NHL) is something I take a lot of pride in.”

“We’re all very proud of what he accomplished,” said Josh, a 2008 Doherty High School graduate, who followed his brother out to Lowell, after finding the school to be the right fit.  “It’s a great hockey program and a phenomenal school.”

Both players continue to work hard and improve as much as they can, taking advantage of playing in what they consider the toughest hockey leagues in Division I; Hockey East, which includes Boston College, winners of three of the last five national championships, and Boston University, which won in 2009.

“Certainly one of the selling points for Lowell is being in Hockey East,” Ben said. “It is a high level and I had a lot of opportunity to play as a freshman and sophomore. It definitely prepared me while I got bigger and stronger (in four years).”

But little prepared him for the day he got the call from the Flyers the morning of March 3, 2011 and had to travel from upstate New York to Philadelphia for a game that night after two players were too sick to play.

“That was a whirlwind, driving five hours to play in front of 17,000 fans that night,” he said. “I had a lot of excitement and nerves.  The captain took aside me and told me to make sure to enjoy it because playing your first NHL game can never be duplicated. I did enjoy it.”

He got in two NHL games during the 2010-11 campaign and another five last season.

“I played with a little more confidence and with more comfort being around the guys,” he said. “It’s still a learning process.”

UMass Lowell junior forward Josh Holmstrom celebrated his goal against Miami (Ohio) during last spring’s NCAA tournament. COURTESY UMASS LOWELL ATHLETICS

Josh is on his way to a professional career as well, serving as an assistant captain as a junior, garnering all-league academic honors (3.6 grade point average) and recording the primary assist on the game-winning goal at No. 19 Colorado College last weekend.

“Josh Holmstrom brings an intensity to each and every game whether we’re playing at home or on the road,” said River Hawks head coach Norm Bazin, who spent several years as an assistant at CC. “He is someone who continues to improve and develop his skills and he will be counted upon to contribute offensively.”

Josh is enjoying being part of the proud program’s resurgence. The River Hawks surprised most of the experts by making the NCAA Tournament last spring in Bazin’s first season. They are a preseason pick to place second this season behind BC.

“It’s very exciting,” he said. “The key for us will be to keep working harder and getting better each day.”

It’s that kind of attitude that helped Ben go from a junior player with a knee injury to the NHL and his second year as captain for the American Hockey League’s Adirondack Phantoms, only a step below the Flyers. If the NHL lockout ends, the 2009-10 Hockey East Best Defensive Forward Award-winner will likely be a quick call-up to Philadelphia.

“I will never be a 40-goal scorer in the NHL,” Ben said. “I need to play my game, which is being good on faceoffs, on defense and finishing my checks. If I can do that and be consistent, I could have a good career.”

It’s an example Josh plans to follow to the pros just as he did when he took up ice hockey as a youngster  watching his older brother play in Colorado Springs.

“It’s great motivation for me,” Josh said. “He’s always pushing me and I am always pushing him. He has had a great hockey career. I just need to keep working and improving and hope mine goes as well.”

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