Colorado College junior Nick Halloran named to all-NCHC preseason team

preseason team nchcColorado College junior forward Nick Halloran and Minnesota Duluth sophomore defenseman Scott Perunovich led the way with 24 votes apiece out of a possible 26 to make the National Collegiate Hockey Conference preseason all-league team.

Duluth and St. Cloud State each placed two players on the six-man squad, which was selected by beat and national media. The honorees were announced Tuesday in a media release as a precursor to the media day events at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Western Michigan junior Wade Allison and SCSU senior Robby Jackson were the other forwards while Perunovich was joined along the blue line by SCSU senior Jimmy Schuldt.  UMD junior goaltender Hunter Shepard was also named.

Last season, Halloran (Draper, Utah) ranked third in the NCHC with 45 points (26 assists) in 37 league games on his way to first-team All-NCHC and second-team All-America honors. In conference play, Halloran finished second in scoring with 31 points (18 assists) and is the top returning scorer in the NCHC.

Allison (Myrtle, Manitoba) garnered honorable mention All-NCHC honors a season ago, despite missing half the season due to injury. The Flyers draft pick recorded 30 points in only 22 games, while still leading the Broncos with 15 goals.

Jackson (Alameda, Calif.) was also an honorable mention in 2017-18 after finishing fifth in the conference in scoring with 42 points (27 assists) in 40 games.

Perunovich (Hibbing, Minn.) was the NCHC Rookie of the Year and Offensive Defenseman of the Year last season, while also picking up the AHCA’s Tim Taylor Award as the National Rookie of the Year, first-team All-NCHC and first-team All-America accolades. The Blues draft pick helped lead UMD to the national title last year, tallying 36 points (25 assists) in 42 games to rank second among NCHC defensemen in scoring. Perunovich led all NCHC blue liners in conference scoring with 24 points (16 assists).

Schuldt (Minnetonka, Minn.) was the top-scoring defenseman in the NCHC last year with 38 points (28 assists) in 40 games on his way to All-NCHC and All-America first-team honors. The 2018 Hobey Baker Award finalist chipped in 23 points (20 assists) in conference play last season, tying for second among blue liners.

In goal, Shepard (Cohasset, Minn.) was a second-team All-NCHC honoree last season after posting a 25-14-1 record overall, while ranking second in the NCHC with both a .925 save percentage and a 1.91 goals-against average. He also set the NCHC and UMD single-season shutouts record with eight, which tied for second nationally.

Media members voted for three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender on their ballot with each vote worth one point. The top three vote-getters at forward, top two defensemen and highest vote-getting goaltender made up the preseason all-conference team.

2018-19 NCHC Preseason All-Conference Team
F: Nick Halloran, Jr., Colorado College – 24 votes
F: Wade Allison, Jr., Western Michigan – 22
F: Robby Jackson, Sr., St. Cloud State – 13
D: Scott Perunovich, So., Minnesota Duluth – 24
D: *Jimmy Schuldt, Sr., St. Cloud State – 20
G: Hunter Shepard, Jr., Minnesota Duluth – 21

* 2017-18 Preseason All-Conference Team selection 

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Colorado College hockey picked sixth in NCHC preseason poll

cc nchc preseason pollThe NCHC preseason poll was announced earlier today. I combined the Twitter announcements with some basic info provided by the league, adding a bit more to CC and Denver, for the entry below.

No. 1 Minnesota Duluth (209, 20 first-place votes)

The defending NCAA champions garnered 20 out of a possible 27 first-place votes. The Bulldogs (25-16-3, 13-11 NCHC) bring back 18 players from last year’s NCHC third-place team that barely qualified for the NCAAs before making a memorable run.

No. 2 St. Cloud State (182, six)

The Huskies captured their second Penrose Cup last season as league regular-season champions (16-4-4-1, 25-9-6 overall. New coach Brett Larson welcomes back 21 lettermen.

No. 3 North Dakota (150)

The Fightin’ Hawks (17-13-10, 8-10-6-3) will look to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish behind 19 returning lettermen and eight NHL draft picks dotting the roster.

No. 4 Western Michigan (121)

The Broncos return 17 lettermen from a team that tied for fifth (10-13-1 NCHC) with CC and Omaha.

No. 5 Denver (115, 1)

It’s been an offseason of change with numerous players and coaches moving on. Several NHL Draft picks in the freshmen class and some continuity with the promotion of former assistant David Carle give the Pioneers (23-10-8, 12-6-6-4, second in NCHC) hopes of reloading instead of rebuilding behind 15 returning lettermen.

No. 6 Colorado College (98)

The Tigers tied for fifth last season with a 8-12-4-3 league record (15-17-5 overall). It was the program’s best finish in NCHC play. The team, which fielded no seniors last season, return 24 lettermen, including the top 6 forwards (points) defensemen (minutes) and goalie (percentage played).

No. 7 Omaha (61)

The Mavericks tied for fifth place last year with a 10-13 league mark (17-17-2 overall). Eighteen lettermen return. The program added a new assistant in Paul Jerrard.

No. 8 Miami (36)

The RedHawks (12-20-5) finished in last place last season with a 6-14-4-2 record and return 13 lettermen from that team. Miami added two new assistant coaches this offseason.

Air Force, CC receive votes in USCHO preseason poll

serratore benchAir Force would be No. 21 and CC No. 27 if the USCHO preseason poll extended past its Top 20. The preseason rankings, which listed defending NCAA champion Minnesota Duluth at No. 1, were announced Monday morning. The Bulldogs received 44 of 50 first-place votes.

AFA received 94 points with CC garnering 23.

The NCHC had all eight teams at least receive votes or be ranked: No. 1 Duluth, No. 6 St. Cloud State, No. 9 Denver, No. 11 North Dakota, No. 19 Western Michigan, CC, Omaha (17), and Miami (2).

That means CC will play eight teams ranked or receiving votes in the preseason poll, including Hockey East foe Maine (18 points), this season.

Air Force will play Denver, Canisius (14 points) and Mercyhurst (11) as well. They may play either WMU or UConn (one) during the second night of the Ice Vegas Invitational depending on semifinal results.CC Hockey vs Wisconsin

Former Air Force goalie Shane Starrett sent down to AHL Bakersfield

starrett Oilers camp imageThe Edmonton Oilers trimmed their preseason goalies roster down to three on Saturday by sending former Air Force netminder Shane Starrett to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.

Starrett appeared in one preseason game, recording five saves on six shots in one period’s work. Starrett made it past the first round of cuts for the first time but his demotion was not unexpected.

The remaining goalies in Edmonton’s camp include likely No. 1 Cam Talbot with KHL signee Mikko Koskinen and veteran Al Montoya battling for No. 2.

Starrett spent most of last season with ECHL Wichita after starting the campaign in Bakersfield.

Two Colorado College-Denver hockey games to be broadcast by Altitude TV

CC vs Denver 2 actionEleven Denver games will be broadcast on Altitude or Altitude2 TV networks this upcoming season, including the Jan. 19 and March 8 games at Magness Arena, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference program announced on Friday.

Both CC games are scheduled for Altitude2. Click here for the full schedule.

 

Former Falcons netminder Shane Starrett performs well in NHL preseason debut

starrett training campFormer Air Force goalie Shane Starrett stopped fix of the six shots he faced in the Edmonton Oilers’ 7-4 preseason win over Calgary on Monday night. He replaced recent KHL signee Mikko Koskinen for the third period.

Starrett is inactive for tonight’s preseason game at Vancouver. He spent most of his first pro season with the ECHL’s Wichita Thunder, which lost in the playoffs by the Colorado Eagles. Most reports suggest Starrett is vying for a spot on the AHL’s Bakersfield Thunder roster.

Schedule set for Air Force hockey at Ice Vegas Invitational

Ice Vegas BracketAir Force will play ECAC member St. Lawrence in the second semifinal of the second-annual Ice Vegas Invitational at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.

The four-team tournament, featuring UConn, AFA, Western Michigan and St. Lawrence, will be played Jan. 4-5, 2019. Hockey East’s UConn takes on National Collegiate Hockey Conference member Western Michigan at 5 p.m. Pacific (6 p.m. Mountain) followed the Falcons vs. the Saints at about 8:30 Pacific (9:30 Mountain).

The championship and consolation games will be played at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Pacific (6 and 9:30 Mountain) on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the home of the NHL’s Golden Knights.

Win or lose on Friday, Air Force, the defending Atlantic Hockey playoffs champion, will take on a familiar foe on Saturday. The Falcons knocked off the Broncos in the NCAAs two springs ago and played UConn regularly when the Huskies were members of the AHA.

Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. Mountain this Friday (Sept. 21) at AXS.com or by calling 888-9AXSTIX. Ticket information and hotel room information for fans can be found at icevegasinvitational.com.