Monday reading: Recaps and reactions, updated WCHA standings

action_ffsemi2_bc_cross_2Here are recaps of Sunday’s notable games. The rankings will change later today.

No. 18 Wisconsin 3, No. 2 Minnesota 2

CHICAGO — Sophomore goaltender Joel Rumpel made 36 saves while sophomore forward Brendan Woods had two assists to lead Wisconsin to a 3-2 victory against Minnesota on Sunday in the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

“Joel was given the game puck by the team,” Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. “His performance in the first period allowed us to get or feet underneath us.”

No. 12 Notre Dame 2, No. 3 Miami 1

CHICAGO — Notre Dame clinched a first-round CCHA playoff bye with a 2-1 win over Miami at the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field, its first win over the RedHawks since Dec. 3, 2010.

Notre Dame freshman forward Mario Lucia opened the scoring midway through the second period. Junior forward Jeff Costello increased the Irish’s lead, finding the back of the net at the 8:33 mark of the third period.

Miami freshman forward Kevin Morris cut Notre Dame’s lead in half, but that was the only goal the RedHawks would score as Notre Dame held on for the win. Junior goaltender Steven Summerhays made 22 saves for Notre Dame, while Miami freshman goaltender Ryan McKay turned aside 26 shots.

Also, it was a tough week to be a top team as the Gophers beat writer points out.

No. 9 Minnesota State, the only top 10 team to sweep an opponent, is in third place in the WCHA entering a bye week.

2012-2013 WCHA STANDINGS
WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
1
St. Cloud State
22
15
6
1
31
74
47
18
11
1
99
72
2
Nebraska Omaha
24
14
8
2
30
83
70
18
12
2
112
88
3
Minnesota State
24
14
9
1
29
77
57
20
9
3
104
71
4
Minnesota
22
12
6
4
28
73
53
20
6
4
110
59
North Dakota
22
11
5
6
28
72
56
16
8
6
96
74
6
Wisconsin
24
10
7
7
27
54
53
13
10
7
68
62
7
Denver
22
10
7
5
25
70
64
15
9
5
98
77
8
Colorado College
22
8
10
4
20
72
77
11
14
5
100
105
Minnesota Duluth
24
8
12
4
20
59
72
10
16
4
73
89
10
Bemidji State
24
5
13
6
16
50
72
6
17
7
62
89
Michigan Tech
24
6
14
4
16
62
82
10
16
4
89
94
12
Alaska Anchorage
26
2
18
6
10
50
93
4
19
7
61
104

Three Tigers among top western college free agents

CC Rylan Schwartz actionThe Western College Hockey Blog announced its top 15 college free agents from the CCHA and WCHA and that list included three Tigers. Here are the list’s write ups on each with my take on the other seniors at the bottom.

8. Alex Krushelnyski, Junior, Forward, Colorado College

Krushelnyski was a player barely on the radar heading into this season, but has had an incredible year. Krushelnyski has 32 points through 30 games this year, including 28 points at even strength. He’s the nation’s third best scorer at even strength behind Walters and Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau. There’s nothing flashy about his game, but he’s the type of player that wins battles and rarely makes a mistake. He has the type of tools to be an effective bottom line player in the NHL.

11. Rylan Schwartz, Senior, Forward, Colorado College

While never quite as dynamic as younger brother Jaden, Schwartz has always been a dangerous offensive player in his own right. He’s having a very strong final campaign, with 35 points through 30 games this year, and his playmaking abilities could be valuable for some NHL club.

15. Mike Boivin, Senior, Defense, Colorado College

Boivin is an offensive defenseman that has been a rock on the power play for the Tigers this year. Colorado College has a long history of getting offensive defensemen into the NHL including players like Mark Stuart, Jack Hillen, Nate Prosser and Tom Preissing.

The other three senior free agents (Scott Winkler is a Dallas draft pick) are Andrew Hamburg, Joe Marciano and William Rapuzzi. I expect all three to garner some attention as well, especially Rapuzzi (33 points, 19 assists).

CC commit among Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey finalists

LaboskyHere are the 10 finalists as provided by Mr. Hockey via Twitter. I included the schools they have committed too via Minnesota Hockey Hub’s listings:

Grant Besse (Wisconsin), Jake Bischoff (Minnesota), Zack Glienke, Jake Jackson (Michigan Tech), Adam Johnson (Duluth), Dan Labosky (CC, 2013 or 2014), Zach Lavalle, Parker Reno (RPI), TJ Roo, and  Tommy Vannelli (Minnesota).

The 2013 Frank Brimsek Finalists for best senior goaltender: John Dugas (Hill-Murray) and David Zevnik (St Thomas Academy).

Future nonconference schedules taking shape

DC 3As heard during Ken Ralph radio interview last night: CC’s 2013-14 nonconference schedule includes games against Air Force, Clarkson, New Hampshire, Providence and Wisconsin.

The Clarkson games are on the road in return for the Golden Knights’ trip to Colorado Springs earlier this season. No further specifics were mentioned.

Future dates including Boston College and Boston University and “a couple Big 10 teams” are also in the works.

Future dates could include a couple East Coast trips when CC would play one Hockey East or ECAC team one night and another the next, Ralph said.

The Tigers have four more nonleague dates to schedule since the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which begins play in October, uses a 24-game format.

CC will continue to coordinate with Denver as well as it has in the past. An example would be the New Hampshire and Yale games this past Thanksgiving weekend when Yale played at DU on Friday and visited CC on Saturday.

Ralph also said CC is working to schedule nonconference games with Alaska-Anchorage including road contests. As play-by-play man Ken Landau pointed out, it is easier to fly to Anchorage than Houghton, Mich., which usually involves a flight to Duluth followed by a lengthy bus ride.

In the pros: Dineen leads Finnish team with video

Dineen FinlandFormer Tiger captain Nick Dineen‘s pro career has taken off in Mestis, the second-tier Finnish league.

He centers his team’s top line with Aatu Hämäläinen and Pasi Salonen and leads KooKoo with 32 points (15 goals) in 43 games after a slow start.

Dineen has clearly adjusted well to the Finnish league even if the language proves more challenging, judging from the team’s YouTube channel.

Looks like Nick is having fun.

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: Sterling all-star honor, injury

sterling all starChicago Wolves left wing Brett Sterling was selected to the Western Conference Team for the 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts American Hockey League All-Star Classic, which takes place on Jan. 27-28 in Providence, R.I.

He will miss the game due to an unspecified injury suffered last Friday.

The 28-year-old forward ranks first on Chicago and shares 15th in the AHL with 15 goals and leads the Wolves with 28 points in 31 games this season. He also paces the club with a +10 plus/minus rating and holds third on the squad with 13 assists.

The Los Angeles native has notched 8 points (6G, 2A) in his last four games and his two-goal performance moved him into second place on Chicago’s all-time goal registry with 158 career markers in 285 career games in a Wolves sweater.

Sterling has tallied 5 goals and 7 points in his previous three trips to the AHL All-Star Game and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 event in Toronto.

The 2006-07 AHL Rookie of the Year has amassed 215 goals, 191 assists, and 406 points in 423 career AHL games with Chicago, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Peoria, and Portland spanning seven seasons (2006-present). He also has skated in 30 National Hockey League tilts with Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, collecting 5 goals and 9 points.

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.

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