WCHA Final Five tickets on sale now

CC Alexander Krushelnyski roadI assume the time announced is Central Time, meaning 9 a.m. Mountain, when the press release arrived.

From the WCHA …

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Xcel Energy Center and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) announced today that all tournament packages for the 2013 Red Baron WCHA Final Five, to be held March 21-23 at Xcel Energy Center, go on sale at 10 a.m. today, Monday, Dec. 10. All tournament packages are $165 and $80 and can be purchased at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone using Ticketmaster TDD/TTY, call 800-359-2525. Groups (10+) call 651-312-3486.
Fans can celebrate college hockey with music, interactive games, food, beverages and more at the WCHA Fan Fest Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Bud Light Blue Line Bar and Grill (Xcel Energy Center – Gate 4). Cheerleaders, mascots and WCHA pep bands will also be present at this event with live music from Uncle Chunk on Friday and Playback on Saturday. The WCHA Fan Fest is free and open to the public.
College hockey fans will once again have the opportunity to get in on the tournament action with the return of the “Pick Your Final Five Sweepstakes.” Fans who enter will have a chance to win a prize of four (4) ticket packages to the 2014 WCHA Final Five.
Here’s how the sweepstakes works:
  • Visit www.xcelenergycenter.com/WCHA starting at 12:01 a.m. CT on Monday, Dec. 10.
  • Choose the six (6) WCHA teams you predict will make it to the 2013 Red Baron WCHA Final Five.
  • Choose the two (2) teams you predict will make the Championship game.
  • Choose the 2013 Red Baron WCHA Championship winning team.
  • Guess how many total goals will be scored during the 2013 Red Baron WCHA Final Five.
  • If more than one (1) person correctly answers all four (4) questions, all contestants with correct answers will be entered into a random drawing to determine the prize winner. If no one correctly answers all four (4) questions, those persons that answer the most number of questions correctly will be entered into a random drawing to determine the winner. The contest begins at 12:01 a.m. CT on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, and ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on Friday, March 8, 2013. The winner will be announced by noon CT on Sunday, March 24, 2013.
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  The “Pick Your Final Five Sweepstakes” is subject in all respects to the complete Official Rules available at www.xcelenergycenter.com or by sending a S.A.S.E. to “Pick Your Final Five Sweepstakes – Rules Request”, c/o Saint Paul Arena Company, LLC, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., Ste. 501, St. Paul, Minnesota  55102.  Open only to entrants who, as of the entry date, are permanent legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years old.  Void outside the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and where prohibited or restricted by law.  Sweepstakes entry period begins at 12:01 a.m. Central Time (“CT”) on Dec. 10, 2012 and ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on March 8, 2013.  LIMIT: One (1) entry per person (regardless of method of entry) or address (physical or email).  Entry methods, limits, restrictions and instructions, and prize information and restrictions are set forth in the Official Rules.  Sponsor: Saint Paul Arena Company, LLC, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., Ste. 501, St. Paul, Minnesota  55102. Click here to view complete Official Rules.

Wednesday reading: North Dakota, BSU, SCSU, Mankato

Two North Dakota players will be punished for minor in possession arrests. Former UND captain Mario Lamoureux signed with ECHL Ontario (Calif.).

The UND athletic department student employees produce a very good video about the past season for its fans that also serves as a teaser for the upcoming season.

Hockey East will expand its playoffs format starting in 2013-14.

Bemidji State held its Select A Seat promotion Tuesday night.

St. Cloud State rookie Joey Benik is expected to be an impact player for the Huskies.

MSU-Mankato continues to struggle to get state funding for much needed arena improvements.

Here’s my previous post with the NBC Sports Network’s college hockey broadcast scheduled, including a Jan. 4 date at Nebraska Omaha for Colorado College. Here is hoping CBS SN announces its schedule soon.

Friday reading: Connelly, Lampl, NHL Draft, UND, WCHA, UConn

Former Tiger Brian Connelly, pictured, talks about the 2011-12 season in this video. Cody Lampl was traded to Toledo of the ECHL recently.

Here is a look at past USHL players in the NHL Draft. Here is a Denver perspective and more on eligible college players.

I posted this earlier this week but here is my article on Hunter Fejes, Jaccob Slavin and Josh Thorimbert’s chances. Fejes gets some love from College Hockey News.

Inside College Hockey rates current college players’ chances of being selected and has some mock drafts for the first two rounds. UND recruit Jordan Schmaltz is profiled.

Here are some links about North Dakota players including that Rocco Grimaldi will be in the Panthers evaluation camp this summer. UND’s Danny Kristo plans to turn pro after his senior season is over.

The WCHA’s Alaska Plan continues to create anxiety for the 2013-14 league members.

UConn’s move to Hockey East was confirmed Thursday afternoon.

The new Minnesota athletic director will not have to spend much time worrying about the hockey program.

Here is a look at the early frontrunners for the vacant UMass head coaching gig.

DU’s Rhett Rakshani is headed to Sweden despite a good AHL career. The Pioneers will be the fourth team in the 2013 GLI this December.

Anchorage got a commitment from a local player.

Thursday reading: Fundraisers, Anchorage defections, Bachman, Rau, Defending The Blue Line, Alaska Plan reaction, St. Cloud State profile

The Hockey and Hearts Celebrity Golf Tournament was held at the Lynbrook Golf Course in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on Monday with 12 various sports celebrities, including (L-R) Mike Blaisdell, Logan Pyett, Garth Murray, Brandon Gromley, Luke Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Keith Aulie, Tyler Bozak, Mark McMorris, Don McMorris, Roger Aldag and Bob Poley. The event raised $150,000.

Three Alaska-Anchorage players have left the program this offseason.

Dallas has made an offer to restricted free agent and former Tiger Richard Bachman. Chad Rau has signed a two-way deal (terms not disclosed) with the Wild organization as has UND’s Chay Genoway.

Here is a feature on the Defending the Blue Line organizer. Here is a recap of the event.

Here is a blog opinion on the WCHA’s Alaska Plan which is looking more and more temporary with each story published on it.

Here is a detailed look at St. Cloud State by the RPI fan blog.

Two Division III powerhouses are changing conferences.

Wednesday reading: Adam, Testwuide, Holmstrom, UND, UMass job

Louisville Police Officer Don Adam is also a WCHA hockey referee. Adam was photographed at work Tuesday afternoon, June 12, 2012. Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

Here is a well-done feature on WCHA referee Don Adam, pictured, whose day job is as a City of Louisville police officer.

The Flyers extended a contract offer to Ben Holmstrom but not former Tiger Mike Testwuide. It looks like the former CC captain will be a free agent after July 1.

UND nickname supporters file another appeal.

The Mankato beat writer talks about the WCHA’s Alaska Plan for the 2014 playoffs.

Suddenly the UMass head coaching job is open.

The incoming Wisconsin freshmen are coming in this week to start summer school.

Monday reading: Playoffs, Bachman, Lagrone, Mexico, Eaves

WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod said the Alaska Plan for the 2014 playoffs may change. It had been reported that Anchorage and Fairbanks would play in the first round every season, but that would change if one is the top seed and gets a bye to the Final Five tournament, wherever that may be held.

The Alaska-Anchorage athletic director was the only one who voted against the Alaska Plan.

Here are more details about the possible Final Five venues from the Mining Gazette in Houghton, Mich.

Here is some more reaction.

It looks like former Tiger Richard Bachman will have some very tough competition for the Stars backup job.

Future Tiger Duggie Lagrone advanced to the Des Moines training camp roster.

A Mexico-born player, pictured, tries to make USHL Sioux City roster.

Here is some analysis on the retiring Minnesota athletic director.

Miami announced its schedule for its final season in the CCHA.

This Canadian hockey writer thinks Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves should get a hard look from the Capitals.

The Gazette weighs in on the Sioux nickname vote.

From the Thunder Bay. Ont. newspaper …

During Thursday’s dinner, Dr. George Gwozdecky was named the recipient of the Chris Ferguson Sr. Memorial Award for his service as a Thunder Bay sports builder. Gwozdecky, the father of University of Denver men’s hockey head coach George Jr., was director and doctor of sports organizations in soccer, tennis, hockey, football, running and water skiing.
Dr. Gwozdecky, who was inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, is a member of the Canadian Council of Sports Medicine and was the Chief Medical Officer for Team Canada at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

Weekend reading: Interesting 2014 WCHA playoff format, North Dakota nickname, Jaden and Mandi Schwartz, Parise, Big 10

The WCHA announced its nine-team playoff format which includes Anchorage and Fairbanks playing in a best-of-three first-round series every time unless one is the No. 1 seed.

It is clearly a cost-cutting measure so the league does not have to pay for two teams’ round trips to or from Alaska, but could make for some weird playoff scenarios in March 2014.

Here are more details from the Mankato beat writer and a reaction from the UND reporter.

Also, there was no word about any move toward adding Alabama Huntsville. Too bad. There is a lot of unfinished business ahead for the new-look WCHA. There was no word on the postseason venue either.

The state Board of Higher Education has directed the University of North Dakota to retire its Fighting Sioux nickname. State residents voted overwhelmingly earlier this week to uphold the Legislature’s repeal of a state law requiring the school to use the nickname. The moniker that the NCAA finds offensive had been brought out of retirement for a second time while the measure was decided.

Board President Grant Shaft, of Grand Forks, says there’s not much more that can be said about the issue that hasn’t been said already. UND will be asked to report its progress at a later date.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz will get to see the CHL’s Memorial Cup firsthand this week.

One of Mandi Schwartz‘s former teammates is a finalist for a league award in her honor.

The Minnesota Wild keep being mentioned as the possible new homes for free agents Ryan Sutter and Zach Parise. This may be a case of wishful thinking judging from this NHL.com interview by Parise.

Here is a feature on UNO recruit Brian Cooper of Anchorage.

The Big Ten paid out $24,6 million to its member schools.

The Fargo arena is in financial trouble. The Dartmouth women add an assistant.

Division III New England ran afoul of the NCAA’s financial aid rules. UMass has lost its radio home.

The dream is one step closer to fruition: the Penn State club hockey web site shut down voluntarily since the varsity program is handled by the university. Follow TYT for PSU updates.

Here is a look at the Mercyhurst program.

Saturday reading: NCHC venue, games of the decade, Gomez leaves

The Grand Forks Herald reported that the contract between the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and the Target Center in Minneapolis is for six years with an opt-out clause. UND player Andrew MacWilliam had shoulder surgery.

This CHN article also has some more background on the venue.

No doubt the WCHA will stay in the X and alternate with the Big 10 in Detroit as well. That contract will probably be announced soon.

College Hockey Weekly compiled its best games of the previous decade (1999-2000 to 2008-09 seasons) with two CC results making the honorable mention and one, the 2005 regional final versus Michigan,  making the top 10.

Which Tiger games are in your top 10?  Please include your real name by messaging me on Paisley Hockey on Facebook. I will pitch the story idea to CC sports information about this if there is enough fan interest shown. Thanks.

The NCAA rules committee managed to put off a decision concerning face shields and make some minor change recommendations.

Former Tiger Cody Lampl is training the next generation of college players to come out of Idaho’s Wood River Valley, where he grew up. I lived in that area and having that “hockey garage” is a step up for the area.

Finally, Gazette college hockey/Olympics/Sky Sox reporter Brian Gomez announced that his final day at the newspaper will be June 15 as he moves home to Phoenix to work for the Red Cross. Good luck to him (not that he will need it). He did a good job handling a heavy workload and I will miss him in the press box.

NCHC postseason announcement set for Monday

It looks like the long wait is over for some NCHC news.

Goal Gophers is reporting that the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and the Target Center have scheduled a press conference for the main lobby of the arena at 12:30 p.m. Mountain on Monday.

According to Gophers beat writer Roman Augustovitz, here are the folks expected to attend: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak; NCHC Commissioner Jim Scherr; Target Center Vice President and General Manager Steve Mattson; Minnesota-Duluth Athletic Director Bob Nielsen; North Dakota Athletic Director Brian Faison; Representatives from some of the other member institutions in the new conference: Colorado College,  Denver, Miami,  Nebraska Omaha, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan.

There will be a live video stream of the event on the Internet at nchcmedia.ngin.com.

NCHC commissioner Jim Scherr said last month that a site for the conference tournament was “very, very close to having an agreement.”

The Big Ten Conference men’s hockey tournament will alternate between Xcel Energy Center (2014 and 2016) and Detroit (2015 and 2017) for at least four seasons.

Monday reading: Tigers in the playoffs, Zaba video, J. Schwartz honor

Former Tigers Trevor Frischmon (No. 28) and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders' top affiliate, saw their season end on Sunday night with a 4-3 OT loss to Connecticut. The Whale swept the best of five AHL playoff series, 3-0.

Colin Stuart, captain of the Rochester Americans, will try to stave off elimination when his team hosts the Toronto Marlies on Monday night in the league’s only game.

Nate Prosser returned from an unspecified injury and the Houston Aeros defense held together for a 1-0 win Sunday at Oklahoma City to keep the best-of-five series going. The West top seed Barons still lead 2-1 in games.

Brian Connelly recorded an assist in Abbotsford’s 4-2 win Sunday night at Milwaukee. The Heat lead the series 2-0 and head back to B.C. for Game 3 on Wednesday.

The Foxes celebrate their championships in Italy's top pro hockey league.

Here are highlights of the Bolzano Foxes’ perfect (12 wins in 12 games) run to the franchise’s record 19th Italia Serie A championship as shown in this highlights video that features goalie Matt Zaba (No. 1, black headgear). The Foxes wear red and white.

Top hockey prospect website HockeysFuture.com selected Jaden Schwartz, drafted 14th overall in 2010, as an honorable mention after  his sophomore performance with Colorado College and as captain of the bronze medalist Canadian world juniors team.

The USA U18 team brought home yet another gold medal.

In the ECHL playoffs, Alaska will host Las Vegas, probably on Friday, to open the Western Conference finals. Brian Swanson and Tim Hall play for the top seed Aces. No former Tigers play for the Wranglers.

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