In the pros: Lowery signs with South Carolina

Former CC captain Ryan Lowery signed a contract with ECHL South Carolina, joining former college teammate Tyler Johnson.

From the press release …

Lowery, 24, heads into his second professional campaign after splitting last season between the Stockton Thunder and the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.

The Inverness, Ill. native appeared in 22 games with the Thunder picking up seven points (1g-6a) and 28 contests with the Barons adding seven points (1g-6a).

In 2011, he appeared with the Edmonton Oilers in the YoungStars Tournament.

Before going pro, Lowery completed a four-year collegiate career at Colorado College totaling seven goals and 39 assists for 46 points in 152 games and served as captain his senior season.

In the pros: ECHL, AHL playoffs update

San Antonio's Mark Cullen had a big game against Chicago in the AHL playoffs on Saturday night.

In the AHL, Mark Cullen picked up two assists, including the first assist on the game-winner in San Antonio’s 4-3 win over Chicago, which plays Bill Sweatt.

Gabe Guentzel played his second playoff game for Syracuse and finished plus-2. David Civitarese has yet to appear for Hershey in the postseason.

Today is a busy day for former Tigers with Bridgeport’s Trevor Frischmon trying to avoid elimination in the best-of-five series against Connecticut while Houston hopes to do the same at OKC. Abbotsford, which features Brian Connelly, will try to take a 2-0 lead at Milwaukee this afternoon.

Former Tiger Brian Swanson assisted the opening goal as the Alaska Aces defeated Stockton 4-1 in Game 5 of their ECHL second-round playoff series and advanced to the Western Conference finals for the sixth time in the franchise’s nine years. They Aces will face the winner of the Las Vegas-Idaho series (LV leads 3-1).

Tim Hall played for Alaska. The loss ends Ryan Lowery’s stay in Stockton He may now be called up to AHL Oklahoma City, which holds a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five series against Houston, which has Kris Fredheim, Nate Prosser and Chad Rau on its roster.

Monday reading: Zaba, J. Schwartz, Kirby, Dineen, Holmstrom, Testwuide, Prosser, Civitarese, Guentzel, ECHL playoffs, Mankato

Elmira Jackals' Nick Dineen tries to redirect the puck in front of Florida Everblades' goalie John Muse during the first period at First Arena in Elmira on Friday.

Former Tiger Matt Zaba won his second Italia Serie A (top Italian pro league) championship on Friday night as starting goalie for the Bolzano Foxes of northern Italy.

“Our goaltender and first line were the key to our victory,” said the club’s President Dieter Knoll.

Bolzano has now won a record 19 league titles.

Jaden Schwartz was named as a second team All-America forward by Inside College Hockey which has Air Force’s Tim Kirby as a third-team defenseman.

Here is INCH’s freshman All-America first and second teams. Do not expect many of these guys to stay four years after such strong rookie seasons.

Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom and Vail’s Mike Testwuide both scored in a costly Friday loss for AHL Adirondack, which fell short of the final playoff berth in the East.

Nate Prosser’s arrival in Houston helped the Aeros secure the West’s No. 8 seed in the AHL playoffs, which begin on Thursday. Hershey (David Civitarese) and Syracuse  (Gabe Guentzel) both qualified for the postseason.

In the ECHL playoffs, Nick Dineen and the Elmira Jackals resume their playoff series (tied 1-1) against Florida at 5:30 Mountain tonight. Stockton, which includes Ryan Lowery, and Alaska (Brian Swanson and Tim Hall) will both try to break their 1-1 series tie on Wednesday.

If Richard Bachman (restricted free agent) re-signs with Dallas, he can expect a stern challenge from Texas Stars starter Jack Campbell, who impressed his coaches with a strong first pro season.

Hobey Baker Award winner Jack Connolly was named as the USCHO Player of the Year.

Here is more on Mike Hastings’ hire at MSU Mankato this Saturday. The purple Mavs also released their home schedule, which is a smart way to build up the fans’ excitement in southern Minnesota.

Air Force freshman Scott Holm was named the Atlantic Hockey Association Rookie of the Month for March/April.

Holm, a forward from Plymouth, Minn., was AFA’s top freshman scorer with three goals and four points in six games as Air Force won its fifth league champion­ship in six years. He scored a goal in all three games versus UConn as the Falcons won the AHA quarterfinal series. Holm finished the season with 10 points (6g, 4a) and was named the team’s most improved player.

Saturday reading: Frozen 4, Kirby, game attendance, Huntsville, Johnson, Lowery, Hall, Slattengren, Swanson, Prosser suspension

Here is College Hockey News’ preview of tonight’s championship game.

It’s Boston College’s potent offense versus Ferris State’s suffocating defense according to this preview.

One of Ferris State’s notable alums may be one of the Beach Boys, but the Bulldogs wasted no time on the sand on Friday.

The rigors of the Hockey East schedule best prepared Boston College for tonight’s game at 5 p.m. Mountain (ESPN2).

Air Force defenseman Tim Kirby garnered All-America East honors. He is the fourth Falcon all-time and fourth in the past six years to be so honored.

Attendance has never been an issue for either Air Force or Colorado College in recent years.

Alabama-Huntsville is using its chance to host the Frozen Four as a chance to ingratiate (ie. free scotch and steaks) themselves with the member schools of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Good thing former Tiger Tyler Johnson bolted for Europe. His former ECHL team has folded, but the CHL’s Fort Wayne expected move up the ECHL along with expansion franchises in San Francisco and Orlando mean there will be some minor-league pro jobs out there for other former college players.

Ryan Lowery’s Stockton Thunder eliminated the Colorado Eagles, which included Aaron Slattengren, on Friday in the first round of the ECHL playoffs. The Thunder head north to take on the Alaska Aces, which feature Tim Hall and Brian Swanson.

Nate Prosser was suspended for one game for head-butting Jamal Mayers recently. Here is Brendan Shanahan’s video explanation of the suspension. With Prosser out tonight, former Sioux defenseman Chay Genoway will make his NHL debut tonight against Phoenix.

UMD goalie Kenny Reiter has signed with AHL Bridgeport, an affiliate of the Islanders. North Dakota defenseman Ben Blood (all-league player with an all-world name) signed with Ottawa.

Tuesday reading: J. Schwartz, Hall, Lowery, Jutting, Frozen 4

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz, pictured at left, finished in the top five in voting for the 2012 Premier College Hockey Player of the Year award. Minnesota Duluth’s Jack Connolly won.

Tim Hall (two assists in eight road games) has played well enough to make the Alaska Aces’ roster  for the ECHL playoffs. He is praised in this story from the Anchorage Daily News.

Ryan Lowery, currently on the roster for AHL Western Conference No. 1 seed Oklahoma City, was also on the Stockton roster under playoff-eligible. It is a new ECHL rule that allows its team to designate possible replacements as the AHL teams are eliminated.

Here is a link to the three Mankato Free Press stories about Troy Jutting’s re-assignment at MSU Mankato.

Follow Union beat writer Ken Schott’s good work from Tampa. College Hockey News looks at the Union-Ferris State semifinal match-up. Here are CHN’s fearless predictions.

Frozen Four Schedule: Thursday’s semifinals, Union College versus Ferris State at 2:30 p.m. Mountain (ESPNU); Boston College versus Minnesota, 6 p.m. (ESPN2).

Coach Don Lucia scouts Boston College. It looks like he hopes a good forecheck will work well.

Here is a link to the Tampa paper’s’ coverage with some good stories, including a look at Alabama Huntsville. Now we know why the Frozen Four is in Tampa in the first place. Thanks to Duluth’s Kevin Pates for finding that.

More Monday reading: Tigers in the pros, Mankato, USA U18 roster

I wrote a feature on Richard Bachman, pictured at left, for CC sports information and an update on the other former Tigers under AHL and NHL contracts.

The coaching change at Minnesota State Mankato continues to be the big news around the league for the time being (I suspect the Gophers will be the focus again within 24 hours). Here are more Frozen Four links.

Here’s more from the Monday morning press conference where Troy Jutting shows why he is the respected man he is around the WCHA.

Now it is time for people to guess about possible replacements, which mentions current CC assistant Eric Rud as a possibility. In my opinion, both he and Joe Bonnett are more than qualified.

Here is the USA U-18 national team roster for the upcoming world championships in Europe. There are plenty of college commits on the list.

Tuesday reading: Owens, Lowery, honors, MTU, commits

Tigers coach Scott Owens talked with Gazette columnist David Ramsey about this past season.

Former Tiger captain Ryan Lowery, pictured at left,was called up from ECHL Stockton to AHL Oklahoma City. Lowery had seven points in 22 games since being sent down to the Thunder from the Barons in February.

College Hockey News announced its national player honorees. No one from CC was honored.

Former CC assistant Norm Bazin was named as Coach of the Year by the New England Hockey Writers Association. He has already garnered the same honor from College Hockey News and Hockey East.

Michigan Tech is developing a good talent pipeline with the BCHL.

Here’s a copy of the latest list from Chris Heisenberg on CC’s commits. He does a good job of keeping track of every team.

COLORADO COLLEGE  Name  Commit date  Likely start at school  Previous team  Height, weight  Notes
. Jared Hanson-RW 3/12/12 Lincoln (USHL) 6′ 190 1-24-93
. Hunter Fejes-C 3/5/12 Shattuck St.Mary’s 6′ 165 5-31-94
. Alex Roos-RW 2/8/12 2013 or 2014 Team Illinois U18 5’8 150 12-5-94
. Daniel Labosky-LW 12/29/11 2013 or 2014 Benilde St.Margaret 5’6 150 5-24-95 2011 USA U17 Team
. Duggie Lagrone-RD 10/24/11 2013 Des Moines (USHL) 5’10 185 6-23-94
. Garrett Cecere-LD 8/18/11 2013 or 2014 Janesville (NAHL) 5’9 155 1-5-95 2011 USA U17 Team
. Gustav Olofsson-LD 3/11/11 2013 or 2014 Colorado Thunderbirds 6’1 170 12-1-94
. Jaccob Slavin-D 12/17/10 2013 Chicago (USHL) 6’2 167 5-1-94 2011 USA U18 Team
. Christian Heil-C 12/16/10 2013 Chicago (USHL) 5’11 150 3-25-94
. Michael King-D 12/7/10 Westside (BCHL) 6’4 200 1-22-93 48-5-18-23-22
. Matt Hansen-RW 10/5/10 Austin (NAHL) 5’10 163 5-11-93 44-5-5-10-4
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