In the pros: Dimmen, Holmstrom, J. Schwartz, Testwuide

Colorado Springs hockey fans have three good reasons to follow the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms– natives Jeff Dimmen (Maine) and Ben Holmstrom (UMass-Lowell) and former CC captain Mike Testwuide are all on the Opening Night roster.

Dimmen signed an AHL contract after entering training camp with a tryout deal. Holmstrom enters his second season as the Phantoms’ captain.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz is on AHL Peoria’s second line as left wing with center Phil McRae and right wing Jay Barriball.

Ted Behrend is on CHL Denver’s roster while Arthur Bidwill made the ECHL Colorado Eagles..

In the pros: Bidwill notches exhibition hat trick

From the Colorado Eagles …

In their first ever meeting against the expansion San Francisco Bulls, the ECHL Colorado Eagles built a 5-0 lead, only to see the Bulls score six unanswered in an exhibition home game Friday that Colorado eventually won in a shootout, 7-6.

The Eagles out-scored the Bulls 4-0 in the opening period.  Rookie defenseman Arthur Bidwill notched both of Colorado’s power-play goals after not scoring a single goal in four seasons at Colorado College (51 games).

Bidwill got the scoring started at 2:02 with a one-timer from the right dot off a feed from Gabe Gauthier (a rival University of Denver alumnus) behind the net on the Eagles’ first power play of the period.

Bidwill picked up his second power-play tally of the first period with a bomb from the right point to make it 4-0. San Francisco picked up their play after that, aided by receiving both of their first period power plays in the final three and a half minutes of the frame.

Colorado scored on a fluky goal in the second period to go ahead 5-0 before San Francisco reeled off six goals to go ahead 6-5 in the third. But just 21 seconds later, Bidwill capped off his strong night with his third goal of the game, knotting the score back up at 6.

In the shootout, three of the five Eagles shooters beat Chris Venti, while Eagles goalie Aaron Dell stopped three of the four San Francisco shooters.  Daavettila was credited with the game-winner.

The Eagles open the season Oct. 12-13 with a pair of home games against the Alaska Aces.

In the pros: Bidwill, Connelly, Crabb, Fredheim, Hall, Lamoureux, Rau, Schultz

Former Tiger Kris Fredheim is in AHL Houston’s training camp, along with Brian Connelly and Chad Rau, pictured.

The ECHL Alaska Aces just got a whole lot better with the addition of three NHL regulars — Anchorage residents Joey Crabb, Scott Gomez and Nate Thompson. Aces fans should send thank you cards to Gary Bettman.

Tim Hall and former Air Force Falcon Jacques Lamoureux are also on the Aces’ training camp roster.

Stephen Schultz is on the Trenton Titans roster while Arthur Bidwill is on the Colorado Eagles camp. Most ECHL camps started Friday.

Saturday reading: Slavin, more North Dakota suspensions, UND-Omaha outdoor game, Michigan Tech rookie, ECHL tickets

Photo from Slavin’s Twitter account.

The Carolina Hurricanes blog profiles 2012 draft pick Jaccob Slavin, a 2013 CC commit.  Plenty of good news for Tigers fans.

The Grand Forks Herald praises North Dakota for handing out those one-game suspensions. Later, more punishment to more players was handed out.

North Dakota fans are not pleased by the NCHC’s choice of Don Adam as director of officials. Oh well. He is well qualified.

Tickets for the Nebraska-Omaha vs. North Dakota outdoor game go on sale at 9 a.m. Mountain on Monday.

Alex Petain will be an important rookie forward for Michigan Tech this coming season.

Here is a WCHA season preview.

Tickets for the ECHL Colorado Eagles, which include former Tiger Arthur Bidwill, go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at ComcastTix.com or by calling 1-877-544-TIXX (8499) or 970-686-SHOT (7468).

Thursday reading: CC ice is in, ECAC tournament, Colorado Eagles

From CC sports information …

The World Arena finished installing new ice this week as preparations for the 2012-13 season get underway. Captain’s practices without coaches will start Sept. 10.   CC’s exhibition opener against British Columbia is 6:07 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. The team can hold its first official practice the day before.

In other news, this College Hockey News columnist is pleased the ECAC chose to hold its postseason tournament at historic Lake Placid.

The ECHL’s Colorado Eagles, which includes former Tiger Arthur Bidwill, signed an affiliation agreement with the Winnipeg Jets organzation.

Tuesday reading: Dell leaves UND, Quinnipiac, OHL sanctions

Courtesy UND Athletics

North Dakota starting goalie Aaron Dell, pictured, dropped his final year of eligibility to play for the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles., which includes CC’s Arthur Bidwill. The link includes a list of the early departures from the WCHA. Here are more details including an interview with Dell.

Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold signed a contract extension that will keep him behind the Bobcat bench through the 2016-17 season.

The college hockey community is wisely staying quiet on the Windsor Spitfires’ recruiting violations punishment. Later in that column, the lawyer representing the student Michigan Daily newspaper against Kitchener is suggesting he may put the whole OHL under the microscope if he must.

This Canadian columnist says the Windsor situation is just the tip of the iceberg.

Weekend reading: MacDonald, Sioux nickname, profiles, Bidwill

From CC sports information …

Tiger Hockey lost one of its all-time greats late last week when Bill MacDonald, a 1952 graduate of Colorado College, passed away at the age of 82.

As a sophomore in 1949-50, MacDonald was instrumental in helping CC skate to the first of its two national championships. He was inducted, along with his entire team, into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.

Elsewhere in the WCHA, supporters have until Aug. 8 to get enough signatures to get the Sioux nickname onto the November ballot.

Inside College Hockey started up its summer A-Z mini-profiles recently. Here are the future CC foes posted so far: Cornell’s Cole Bardreau; Yale’s Clinton Bourbonais; and Denver’s Josh Didier.

Future Air Force foes include: Bentley’s Justin Breton; Robert Morris’ Adam BraceGrant Blakey of Mercyhurst;  Alaska-Fairbanks’ Colton Beck and Ben Danford of Canisius.

The Colorado Eagles announced they have signed DU’s Kyle Ostrow and former CC defenseman Arthur Bidwill.

The Hockey East commissioner gets a contract extension.

A Bowling Green freshman from Latvia is suspended 33 games for playing a pro league by the NCAA.

The NCAA opens the door to admitting Canadian universities.

In the pros: Bidwill signs with Colorado Eagles

Arthur Bidwill saw a chance to move up a level in pro hockey and return to Colorado. He gladly took it.

The former Colorado College defenseman said he signed a one-year contract recently with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles.

“After last season (in the Central Hockey League) ended I was looking for the best fit,” he said Friday. “It is great that I get to stay in Colorado. I really enjoyed my four years at CC. I know the Eagles have a really good fan base. It will be fun.”

Bidwill played four postseason games with the CHL’s Allen (Texas) Americans, with former teammate Brian McMillin, who recently re-signed with the franchise. Bidwill’s season ended early with a knee injury in the playoffs. He he fully recovered by the team awards brunch in May.

Bidwill did well in his short time in the CHL, finishing plus-7 thanks in part to the slower, more controlled pace on the NHL-sized sheets of the CHL, especially when compared to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He knows the ECHL (which used to be an acronym for East Coast Hockey League) will be a step up in speed and skill.

“I do not know really what to expect,” he said. “I hope I can contribute. I know I will go in, work hard and then we will see what happens.”

The preseason starts Oct. 5 with the Eagles hosting the expansion franchise San Francisco Bulls with the regular-season opener at home against Alaska, which has Tim Hall on its protected list, on Oct. 12 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.

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.

Bidwill joins McMillin on CHL’s Allen Americans

Former Tiger defenseman Arthur Bidwill, pictured at right, is headed to Allen, Texas this weekend to join the Central Hockey League’s Allen Americans franchise, where former teammate and center Brian McMillin is tied for sixth on the team with 40 points (26 assists) in 61 games.

“There were one of the teams that approached me after the season,” Bidwill said Thursday afternoon.”‘It was a pretty easy decision. It was kind of a bonus to see McMillin on the roster and know someone already on the team.”

The Americans’ regular season concludes this weekend so Bidwill will head there now, sign a contract for the rest of the season and get in a couple practices before potentially making his debut during the CHL playoffs. Berry Conference No. 2 seed Allen (36-18-9) hosts the third-place Texas Brahmas (33-23-8) next weekend.

The CHL teams have a 19-man playoff roster paired with a rotating list of players available to fill in as needed. Bidwill expects to be in that grouping.

He is confident and hopeful he can do well and garner an invitation to next season’s training camp and perhaps a contract for the following season. There is some upward mobility possible with the Americans’ affiliation agreements with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars, where Stephen Schultz is on the Austin team’s roster, and the Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland.

“Hopefully I can get in for a couple games and start building my pro (experience),” he said. “College definitely helped prepare me for the pace of the game.”

Bidwill said he will get his mathematical economics degree. He is finishing his thesis over the next couple weeks. All his classwork is completed.

In the meantime, he hopes to keep playing the game he loves for as long as he is able, acknowledging that no one plays in the CHL to get rich.

“Definitely,” he said with a chuckle. “Right now I am just looking to build on my college experience in a new career in the pro ranks.”