Thursday reading: Alaska connections, Gadowsky, Providence

cc road jrseysFour Tigers are anxious to head back home to Alaska to take on the Seawolves.

Penn State, coached by former Tiger Guy Gadowsky, is 10-13 and is 3-3 against the “big leagues.” The Nittany Lions are enjoying their debut.

Providence is pumping some money into its 40-year-old arena.

Here is a look at this weekend in the CCHA, focusing on Western Michigan.

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.

Tuesday reading: North Dakota charges, Colgate cancer

North Dakota Kristo crowd celebrationThe North Dakota preseason team party that led to some suspensions has led to some charges:

Five North Dakota players – captains Andrew MacWilliam, Danny Kristo, Carter Rowney and Corban Knight and senior Joe Gleason – were charged in Grand Forks District Court Monday with “unlawful delivery to certain persons” for providing alcohol at a team party last September, a Class A misdemeanor, according to a report Tuesday in the Grand Forks Herald.

For the rest of the USCHO article, click here.
And to remind us what is actually important: A Colgate sophomore has left the team to receive chemotherapy.

 

Monday reading: Badgers, MacNaughton race, Bachman, AHA, polls

bachman maskThe 19th-ranked Badgers play North Dakota for the last time this weekend in WCHA action, but their nonconference play will resume during the 2014-15 season.

Wisconsin’s Derek Lee suffered a concussion in Saturday’s win over Anchorage. His status for this weekend’s road series at No. 7/8 North Dakota road series is unclear judging from this quote from coach Mike Eaves:

‘Well, talked to Mr. Hrodey this morning, and he passed his cognitive test. That’s step one. He still has some residual headaches, so those have to dissipate before he can get on the bike.

At this point, we’re hopeful. The fact that he passed the cognitive was a good step. He won’t go on the ice today, and tomorrow we’ll come back and see where he’s at.”

The Gophers beat writer says SCSU, Minnesota and Omaha have the best chance at the MacNaughton Cup regular-season title.

Former Tiger Richard Bachman’s “The Shining” mask, pictured, continues to draw rave reviews.

Here is a brief look at the Atlantic Hockey Association race with an eye on the Niagara at Air Force regular-season finale.

The latest USCHO.com poll is in as is the WCHA web media poll.

AFA’s Torf earns league goalie of the week honor

From Air Force sports information …

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo.  – Air Force junior goaltender Jason Torf was named the Travel Team USA Atlantic Hockey Association Goalie of the Week as he helped lead Air Force to sweep of Robert Morris, Jan. 25-26.

Torf led Air Force to its first home sweep of the season as he allowed just one goal in two games, posting a .983 saves percentage and a 0.50 GAA. The native of Hermosa Beach, Calif., recorded his second shutout of the season, and ninth of his career, as he blanked the Colonials on Friday. His 30 saves in Friday’s win marked the 12th time in 25 games this season that he has had 29 or more saves. Torf made 11 saves in the third period on Friday to preserve the 2-0 win. On Saturday, he stopped 28 of 29 Colonial shots to lead the Falcons to a 4-1 victory. In the first 15 minutes of Saturday’s game, Torf made 13 saves as the Colonials had outshot the Falcons, 14-4. Torf’s play in the first period kept the game tied at 1-1 as the Falcons went on to win, 4-1.

Air Force, 11-9-5 and 9-5-3 for second place in the AHA, hosts a two-game league series against the AIC Yellow Jackets, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 1-2, at 7:05 p.m. each night at Cadet Ice Arena.

This week’s WCHA schedule

2012-13_Winkler_UND1Courtesy WCHA …
 
Games for Friday, Feb. 1: Denver at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Michigan Tech at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; St. Cloud State at Bemidji State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Wisconsin at North Dakota (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Colorado College at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.
 
Games for Saturday, Feb. 2: Denver at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Michigan Tech at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; St. Cloud State at Bemidji State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Wisconsin at North Dakota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Colorado College at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.

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).

WCHA roundup: Tie keeps SCSU atop league

rp_primary_Hanowski2013MSUYNo. 5 North Dakota 2, No. 15/16 SCSU 2 OT

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senior forward Ben Hanowski’s’s goal at 1:59 of the second period proved to be the tying goal as St. CLoud State skated to a 2-2 tie with North Dakota on Saturday night at Engelstad Arena. The three league points keep the Huskies atop the WCHA.

No. 13/14 Nebraska Omaha 2, Bemidji State 1

BEMIDJI —  Sophomore forward Dominic Zombo scored his eighth goal of the season at 1:56 of the second period and it held up as the game-winning goal as Nebraska Omaha earned a 2-1 win against Bemidji State on Saturday at Sanford Center.

It was UNO’s fifth sweep this season and put the Mavs in a tie for second with No. 1 Minnesota.

No. 1 Minnesota 4, No. 14 Minnesota State 1

MANKATO — Junior forwards Zach Budish and Erik Haula each had a goal and an assist to help Minnesota earn a split of a weekend series against Minnesota State with a 4-1 win on Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Center.

The purple Mavs are tied for fourth place but have played two more WCHA games than North Dakota and Wisconsin.

No. 20 Wisconsin 2, Alaska-Anchorage 1

MADISON — Junior forward Jefferson Dahl recorded a goal and an assist to help Wisconsin skate to a 2-1 win and earn a weekend sweep against Alaska Anchorage on Saturday night at Kohl Center.

Minnesota Duluth 3, USA U-18 1 (exhibition)

DULUTH — Mike Seidel, Justin Crandall and Caleb Herbert each scored a goal as Minnesota Duluth skated to a 3-1 exhibition win against the US Under-18 Team on Saturday afternoon at AMSOIL Arena.

Saturday reading: AFA, upsets, WCHA recaps, CCHA, M. Schwartz

SCSU_KossilaThe Falcons’ special teams came up big as Air Force moved from fourth to a tie for second place in the AHA with a 2-0 home win Friday over Robert Morris. Goalie Jason Torf (30 saves) is why Falcons fans can again hope for an NCAA Tournament bid.

Around college hockey, it was a tough night to be a top 5 team. Only idle No. 2 Quinnipiac did not lose. Here are recaps from the WCHA and about those upsets.

No. 15/16 St. Cloud State 3, No. 5 North Dakota 1

GRAND FORKS —  No. 15/16 St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team (15-10-0, 12-5-0 WCHA) took advantage of a dominant defensive performance to score a 3-1 victory at No. 5 North Dakota (13-8-4, 8-5-4 WHCA) on Jan. 25 in Grand Forks, N.D.

The victory helped the Huskies move into sole possession of first place in the WCHA with 24 league points thanks to a 2-1 victory by No. 14 Minnesota State at No. 1 Minnesota on Jan. 25.  The Gophers fell into second place tie along with Nebraska Omaha at 22 points.

SCSU outshot UND 33-16 in the contest and also held it scoreless until a third period power play goal broke the shutout for the Huskies.  In the first period, SCSU set the tempo by giving up only three shots on goal and followed with five shots allowed in the second period.

SCSU freshman Jonny Brodzinski opened the offense with a goal at 4:15 of the first period while senior captain Ben Hanowski added the game winner with his ninth goal of the season at 16:36 of the first period. Freshman Kalle Kossilla assisted for his 11th of the season.

No. 14 Minnesota State 2, No. 1 Minnesota 1

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota’s 10-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt end on Friday night after No. 14 Minnesota State’s Brett Knowles tallied the 2-1 game winner with 44 seconds left in regulation.

For the first time in Minnesota’s last 10 games, the Gophers failed to reach the four-goal plateau although freshman goalie Adam Wilcox did his best to try and pick up the win regardless of the offensive production. The rookie netminder (16-3-4) made 31 saves – one off his career high – for his first loss of 2013. MSU goalie Stephon Williams recorded 37 saves to move to 13-6-2 this season.

Despite Minnesota State’s third period goal, the Gophers held a 38-33 shot advantage and rallied from what would have been only the third time this season an opponent outshot the squad with 20 shots in the third period (the Mavericks had nine in the final stanza).

Minnesota returns to action on Saturday in Mankato for the series finale against Minnesota State. Game time is set for 7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North PLUS.

No. 13/14 Nebraska Omaha 5, Bemidji State 3

BEMIDJI —  Nebraska-Omaha got two goals and an assist from Matt White while Johnnie Searfoss and Jaycob Megna each pitched in a goal and helped on another to help the Mavericks hold off a late charge by Bemidji State and earn a 5-3 WCHA victory at Sanford Center Friday.

No. 20 Wisconsin 5, Alaska-Anchorage 2

MADISON — Junior forward Michael Mersch posts two goals and an assist while Mark Zengerle and Nic Kerdiles scored a goal and an assist each to lead Wisconsin to a 5-2 victory against Alaska Anchorage on Friday night at Kohl Center.

Maine 4, No. 3 Boston College 1

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — On paper, it was a mismatch – Hockey East’s top team against the league’s cellar-dweller.

Maine flipped that mismatch on its head, however, in defeating third-ranked Boston College 4-1.

In pulling off the upset, Maine spoiled the return of BC coach Jerry York to the bench after missing four games while recuperating from surgery for a detached retina.

Martin Ouellette stopped 34 of 35 shots including all 20 in the second period when BC threatened on three power plays. He also benefited from a goaltender’s best friend, the pipes behind him, as the Eagles twice clanged iron.

The Black Bears, who hadn’t scored more than two goals in 20 of 23 games this year, took a 2-0 first-period lead, expanded it to 3-0 in the second, and after BC closed the gap to 3-1 in the third, added an empty-netter for the final margin.

“Frankly, we got some puck luck, which we perhaps haven’t had a lot of,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said. “It could have been very different if we hadn’t had some of those bounces.

“Marty [Ouellette] was fabulous. A lot of guys made some key blocks. Any time we didn’t make the block, Marty was able to bail us out.”

Here is the rest of the article.

Merrimack 3, No. 4 New Hampshire 2

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — After taking a brief 2-1 lead in the second, UNH allowed two unanswered Merrimack goals. The game-winner came from freshman Brian Christie, who started the third period by winning the opening faceoff, driving the middle and netting a marker through a defender’s legs just seven seconds into the final frame from captain Jordan Heywood and junior Mike Collins.

Collins and Christie both finished with three points on the night and Merrimack held the Wildcats scoreless for the remaining 19:53, winning 3-2.

“I didn’t even see it go in,” Christie said. “Fortunately, it did.”

Here is the rest of that article.

Of note from the CCHA: No. 9 Western Michigan defeated Michigan to take sole possession of first place and Miami beat Bowling Green to give RedHawks’ head coach Enrico Blasi his 300th career win. The RedHawks are now in second place while Notre Dame, losers in its last five, fell to third.

Also, this columnist tells us why Mandi Schwartz still matters to her teammates, loved ones and Yale.

In the pros: Crabb scores for Capitals

Here is the game story and video highlight.