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.

Tuesday reading: Johnson, CC practice, Wisconsin, Elite League

Former Tiger Tyler Johnson, pictured scoring while playing in Norway, confirmed via Facebook that he will be headed to the ECHL this season to play for the South Carolina Stingrays after playing with Jimmy Kilpatrick on the Norway league champion Stavanger Oilers last season.

Here is the Gazette’s story on the first CC captain’s practice.

Wisconsin landed a commitment from the son of a former Badger, beating out North Dakota and Ohio State.

Here is a recap of Week 1 of the Minnesota High School Elite League, which includes many of the state’ top prospects.

Notre Dame’s Robbie Russo is profiled by INCH.

Friday reading: Tigers in AHL, ECHL playoffs; Johnson, Kilpatrick win Norway title; Bidwill injury; Canzanello in German playoffs; NCHC postseason venue; Hakstol deal; Bjugstad ponders future

Houston defenseman Kris Fredheim defends a San Antonio player earlier this season.

Former Tiger Bill Sweatt scored the opening goal for Chicago and Mark Cullen assisted the next San Antonio goal in the Rampage’s 5-4 OT win in game 1 of their AHL Western Conference playoff series.

Bridgeport’s Trevor Frischmon, Rochester’s Colin Stuart and Houston’s Kris Fredheim and Chad Rau all lost their openers on Thursday night. Nate Prosser (unknown reason) did not play for Houston, which could really use his help on defense.

Click this link for a full list of former Tigers in the AHL playoffs and the Calder Cup postseason schedule.

Alaska, which has Tim Hall and Brian Swanson on its roster, travels to Stockton, which includes former CC captain Ryan Lowery, travels to California for two games Friday and Saturday.

No. 5 East seed Florida could eliminate No. 1 Elmira, which includes former CC captain Nick Dineen, tonight.

The Stavanger Oilers won the top Norwegian league championship on April 13, beating Lorenskog on the road 2-1 to win the final series, 4-3. Jimmy Kilpatrick and Tyler Johnson both played for the Oilers.

Kilpatrick, pictured at left, recorded 42 points (16g,26a) in 33 regular season games and 17 points (5g,12a) in 12 playoff games, including a goal and assist in the finals.

Johnson recorded 10 points (8g,2a) in eight regular season games, and added nine points (4g,5a) in 14 playoff games including two assists in the finals. Johnson joined the Oilers after being traded from the now-defunct Chicago Express of the ECHL.

Arthur Bidwill suffered an undisclosed injury during the CHL playoffs. It was suffered in Game 5 last week and he did not return for Game 6 when the Allen Americans were eliminated by their crosstown rivals, the Texas Brahmas. He had been playing in the No. 2 defenseman pairing.

Andy Canzanello takes a shot for the Straubing Tigers. Canzanello, who lives in Vail during the summer, has spent five years playing for a professional hockey league in Germany. This year, the Tigers have enjoyed their most successful season in recent years and made the league playoff semifinals

Andy Canzanello, shown in green to the left, is in the middle of the top German league playoffs. This feature from the Vail newspaper talks about life in Germany for the former Tiger.

The Big Ten announced its plans for its postseason tournaments and the long-rumored plan to have the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference alternate with them has been contradicted by another report from the “new” WCHA sources, according to Puckato, the Mankato beat writers’ blog:

“Last month, it was reported that the Big Ten was working with the WCHA to have the latter’s tournament in those buildings in opposite years (2014, ’16 at the Joe; ’15, ’17 at the X), and that the NCHC was in negotiations with the Target Center in Minneapolis for its championship weekend.

“According to Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman, the “new” WCHA is still looking into its championship, but he didn’t expect anything to be decided until a June meeting. Buisman said representatives of the future league will not have much time together at next week’s coaches convention in Florida despite regular conference calls.”

Ultimately, it may not matter a ton, although the Target Center is considered by many to be a second-tier hockey venue, because wherever North Dakota goes, a large fan contingent will follow in force.

Here is CBS analyst Dave Starman‘s reaction to North Dakota coach Dave Hasktol’s new six-year contract deal announced on Thursday. There is a new college prospects blog that looks pretty solid so far.

Minnesota’s leading scorer Nick Bjugstad (25 goals) will wait until semester’s end before deciding on returning or heading to the pros.

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.

In the pros: Johnson, Kilpatrick excelling in Norway

Tyler Johnson

Former Tiger Tyler Johnson started off his European playing career with a bang, recording a natural hat trick over a seven-minute span during the third period of the Stavanger Oilers’ 6-0 win over the Storhamar Dragons on Jan. 29. It was his debut for GET-Ligaen, Norway’s top pro hockey league, which was delayed while his work visa was cleared, Johnson said via a Facebook message.

He earlier assisted former Tiger Jimmy Kilpatrick on a shorthanded score in the first period. Johnson now has eight points (seven goals) in six games and is plus-5. Kilpatrick is fifth in scoring for the Oilers, a team founded in 2001, with 39 points (23 assists) and a plus-28 rating. The Oilers are dominating their league with a 21-point lead over the second-place team. The regular season ends March 1.

In the pros: Johnson joins Kilpatrick in Norway

Thanks to a tip from a reader (Thank you) a Norwegian blog confirmed that former Tiger Tyler Johnson has signed with the Stavanger Oilers, joining former Tiger Jimmy Kilpatrick.

Here’s the Norwegian reporter’s original article. Basically it says the team has had good luck signing former American college players, Johnson had a good senior year,  and the reporter had not had a chance to talk with Kilpatrick about Johnson.

 

In the pros: Bachman, Johnson, Lowery, O’Connell, Prosser, Testwuide

Tyler Johnson

Former Tiger Tyler Johnson (six points in 20 games) has left the ECHL following a trade from Chicago to South Carolina and headed to play in Europe. I left him a message  and hope to hear back soon.

Drew O’Connell was signed as a backup goalie recently for the injury-depleted Alaska Aces of the ECHL. The Anchorage native remains on the roster, judging from the league transactions list, but has yet to play.

I caught up with former CC captain Mike Testwuide, who along with Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom, will play in the AHL’s outdoor game Friday night. The game will be rebroadcast at 2 p.m. Mountain on Saturday

Nate Prosser was sent down to the AHL on Thursday.

Here’s a pretty thorough scouting report on former CC captain Ryan Lowery, who is injured.

Kari Lehtonen’s continued struggles may give goalie Richard Bachman a chance to start more often for the Stars.

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