In the pros: Crabb, Sterling, Sweatt

Former Tiger Joey Crabb broke a three-game pointless streak with the game-winning shorthanded goal in a 1-0 road win at ECHL Las Vegas Wednesday night.

Both Brett Sterling and Bill Sweatt scored for AHL Chicago in a recent win over Rockford.

Thursday reading: Tigers in the pros, WMU, WCHA schedule

NHL.com interviewed former Tiger Jaden Schwartz for its regular 10 Questions feature. He has four points (two goals) in seven games with AHL Peoria.

Defenseman Brian Connelly has eight points (six assists) in six games for AHL Houston while teammate Chad Rau has three (two assists) in seven games. Kris Fredheim has appeared in two games for the Aeros.

For AHL Chicago, Brett Sterling has five points (four assists) in six games while Bill Sweatt has three (two goals) in seven games.

Mike Testwuide has one goal in two games so far this season for AHL Adirondack. Gabe Guentzel has appeared in two games for AHL Norfolk.

Here is a column focusing on Western Michigan.

This weekend’s schedule in the WCHA …

Games for Friday, November 2: Nebraska Omaha at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Colorado College at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota State at Minnesota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Boston University at North Dakota (NC), 7:37 pm CT; St. Cloud State at Denver (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT.

Games for Saturday, November 3: Nebraska Omaha at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Boston University at North Dakota (NC), 7:07 pm CT; Colorado College at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; St. Cloud State at Denver (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT.

Tuesday reading: CC season preview, Rylan Schwartz, Jaden Schwartz, Connelly, Rau, Sweatt, Testwuide, Bachman, Hockey East

Incoming CC freshman Hunter Fejes, shown in red during the Coyotes prospect camp,  will be one of the six newcomers the Tigers will look to for big results this coming season.

Colorado College sports information posted its season preview.

Senior assistant captain Rylan Schwartz is one of the top players returning in Division I judging from national statistics. His 0.66 goals per game trails only Maine’s Joey Diamond, who he is tied with at 11 power-play goals last season.

RPI’s Without a Peer blog compiled the stats (ECAC first followed by national) in this post.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz was assigned to AHL Peoria so he may continue to develop during the NHL lockout. Brian Connelly and Chad Rau were sent to AHL Houston. Bill Sweatt is headed to the Chicago Wolves as is Mike Testwuide to AHL Adirondack.

Here are five storylines to watch in Hockey East.

There are high hopes for Richard Bachman among the Dallas Stars leadership.

Former Badger Justin Schultz (remember him?) will benefit from the NHL lockout with some time spent with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons.

Sterling heads to AHL Wolves; remaining Tiger free agents

Chicago Wolves TV play-by-play announcer Jason Shavers (@theshaves) tweeted Thursday morning that former Tiger Brett Sterling is back with the AHL club: “Wolves 3rd all-time goal scorer (143g) Brett Sterling is back after a 2yr hiatus. He is 14 goals behind Rob Brown for 2nd in team history. fitting that Sterling would be back w/ Haydar…both sit in top 6 all-time scoring leaders. Good combo 1 likes 2 pass other likes 2 shoot.”

Here is the official announcement concerning the AHL-only deal. The Wolves are affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks, meaning Sterling will join former Tiger Bill Sweatt (assuming both do not make the NHL club out of training camp) in Chicago.

Here are the remaining available free agents (all unrestricted except Bachman) as of 11 a.m. Mountain on Thursday: They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman, pictured, (Dallas): Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

Tuesday reading: Sweatt, Slavin interview, NCHC and WCHA news

Craig MacTavish (left), then coach of the American Hockey League affiliate Chicago Wolves, gives Vancouver Canucks prospect Bill Sweatt (right) some advice at team practice in Penticton September 10, 2011. MacTavish is now the head of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers.

Slavin

2013 signee defenseman Jaccob Slavin of Erie, Colo, is headed to USHL Chicago’s training camp this week to start another year preparing for college hockey, along with teammate and 2013 CC forward signee Christian Heil, 6-foot-1, 178 pounds, of Westminster.

Heil recorded 19 points (8g,11a) in 55 games this past season.

Slavin, 6-2, 170,  plans to focus on improving his skating, backwards and forwards, while looking to assume a larger leadership role on the Steel.

Heil

“It really depends on what our captain decides on college,” he said last week. “If he leaves, I would like to think I would be considered for a role.”

Slavin, an alumnus of the Denver-area Colorado Thunderbirds club program along with Heil,  played his first full season with Chicago this past season, recording 30 points (3g,27a) in 60 games and a plus-6 rating. That was a huge step up compared to the one point (1g) and minus-15 in 17 games the season before.

The improvement has made him a possible late-round draft pick later this month at the 50th NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.

“The Thunderbirds did a good job preparing me for juniors but it was a big step up,” Slavin said. “They run a good program.”

Both Colorado residents are part of the first Tigers freshman class to join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which begins play in October 2013.

Here is the Associated Press’ story on the NCHC inking a 5-year contract with the Target Center in Minneapolis. The WCHA league meetings start today when a postseason home will be discussed.

In the pros: Lampl, Rau, Sweatt

Former Tiger Cody Lampl is now a fan favorite for the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies after recovering from two elbow surgeries this season.

The Minnesota Wild announced Friday that it has reassigned goalie Matt Hackett and center Chad Rau, sending the pair of young players to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. Rau, a 25-year-old Eden Prairie native, has produced a pair of game-winning goals in seven games with the Wild this winter. The 5-foot-11, 184-pound forward — the brother of Minnesota Gophers standout freshman Kyle Rau — has tallied 21 points in 47 games with Houston this season.

Bill Sweatt scored, but it wasn’t enough to keep the AHL Wolves’s win streak alive.

Tuesday reading: NHL call-ups, pro and league updates

San Antonio Rampage center, Jon Matsumoto, fights for the puck while Houston Aeros goalie Darcy Kuemper and former CC defenseman Kris Fredheim, left, guard the net during the second period of an AHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. Photo: Josh Huskin/pressphotointl.com / SA

Former Tiger Chad Rau was called up to Minnesota as was Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom by the Flyers.

Nate Prosser stayed on the Wild roster over the All-Star break, giving him some time to recover from that blocked shot against the Avs. He talked about it in this CC video with smem current Tigers who made the trip to Denver during CC’s bye week.

Brian Connelly won the fastest skater competition at the AHL All-Stars Skills Competition.

Bill Sweatt talks about his hockey and college background in this Chicago Wolves profile video.

The Gazette sets the stage for this week’s Gold Pan rivalry against Denver and has an update on former Tiger goalie Chris Kawano’s reality TV debut.

Wisconsin’s inexperienced players need to bear down and convert their scoring opportunities if the Badgers are to make a run at home playoff ice.

Here’s a feature on Nebraska-Omaha recruit Zack Randolph of Duluth.

Thursday reading: In the pros, WCHA series previews

Chad Rau, pictured celebrating a goal for AHL Houston, will play two games for the Aeros this weekend while the NHL enters its all-star break. Hopes are high he'll get a return trip to St. Paul next week when NHL play resumes.

Former Tiger Chad Rau, who played in his first two NHL games in the past couple days, was sent down to the AHL because of the NHL All-Star Break. His longtime teammate Nate Prosser has spent half the season with the Wild and the other in Houston in large part because he is the only Wild defenseman with a two-way deal, meaning he can be sent down without clearing waivers (and giving other teams a chance to claim his rights).

“Upper management says it is not about my play,” he said. “It’s just business.”

Bill Sweatt (one goal and an assist) and the rest of his AHL Wolves teammates took it up a notch in Abbotsford, B.C. with Canucks brass in the stands.

Minnesota coach Don Lucia wants road points at St. Cloud State but knows he’ll need to overcome a strong defensive team to do so. He takes on a Huskies team expected to play two defensemen as forwards due to a rash of injuries. The WCHA-leading Gophers are also looking for a way to avoid their Friday struggles. Here’s UM’s weekly preview notes.

Here’s a video preview of the series put together by St. Cloud State. The Huskies picked up a commit from a well-regarded Duluth high school player.

Michigan Tech travels to No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth. Here’s the Huskies’ preview notes and more from the Bulldogs, including NHL alumnus notes  and the weekly preview notes. The Bulldogs have a chance to add some breathing room in the standings between themselves and third-place CC, which is idle.

Here’s the latest update on the injuries at North Dakota, including some amusing comments. Nice to see some humor instead of bile over the situation. North Dakota hosts Wisconsin. Here’s video and the transcript of UW coach Mikes Eaves’ Monday press conference.

Wisconsin’s Justin Schultz is good as this blog post from Goon’s World shows with a video.

MSU- Mankato travels to Bemidji State this weekend. Here’s some preview notes from Mankato and a video interview with BSU coach Tom Serratore.

Alaska Anchorage hosts No 15 Denver. Here are the Pios notes.

Western Michigan will have its leading scorer back this weekend.

MSU-Moorhead continues to raise money for the $30-some million it will need to start up Division I hockey, bumping its deadline from the end of this month to Feb. 29.

Friday reading: WCHA previews; Prosser, Rau called up

CC will need big weekends from players like David Civitarese to offset No. 4 Minnesota's depth.

Here’s a capsule preview for the No. 11 CC at No. 4 Minnesota series. The game will be televised  live on ROOT at 6:07 Mountain tonight and FSN North at 4:07 Saturday (tape delay 6:07 p.m. ROOT). Gophers assistant Mike Guentzel has his game face on for this weekend’s series against his son, CC senior defenseman Gabe Guentzel and his assessment that his son may be trying to do too much is accurate.

Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year Rocco Grimaldi will sit out the rest of the season at injury-riddled North Dakota, which plays at St. Cloud State this weekend.

SCSU’s Jordy Christian, who broke the Tigers hearts last Saturday, has significant hockey history flowing in his veins. Here’s a preview capsule on a series that could determine home ice for both teams.

Nebraska Omaha travels to MSU-Mankato. Both schools have dreams of better facilities including this one for the red Mavericks, which would include an on-campus hockey practice facility.

The purple Mavs need more out of their seniors.

No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth, led by star J.T. Brown,  plays Alabama-Huntsville for the first time. Here is a preview capsule. The Chargers’ boosters will need to come up with more than 50 percent of the team budget next season. Yikes.

Two Wisconsin freshmen have made the jump from high school to the WCHA. The Badgers host Alaska-Anchorage this weekend. Michigan tech is idle this weekend.

Former Tiger Bill Sweatt is the subject of this profile. Chad Rau and Nate Prosser were both called up by the Wild Friday.

Here’s NHL.com’s preview of the NBC Sports Network game; Michigan at Notre Dame at 5 p.m. Mountain.

NHL.com also gives some love to longtime Mercyhurst coach Rich Gotkin, who is known for some good quotes over the years including this one included in the article:

Before the start of 2001 NCAA regional game against Michigan, Gotkin looked across the rink and thought: “Wow, that’s Red Berenson, coach of Michigan. I wonder if he’s looking over here and saying, ‘Wow, that’s Rick Gotkin, coach of Mercyhurst.'”

Saturday reading: Friday followups; CC No. 9 Pairwise; In the pros

Former Tiger Joey Crabb is quietly having a career NHL season.

Wisconsin’s Mike Eaves is intrigued by outdoor game idea at Soldier Field. Here’s the game story of UW’s 4-0 road win at Minnesota State in Mankato. Here’s the Free Press’ take on the loss before a rare large home crowd.

UMD radio man and blogger Bruce Ciskie ruminates on Duluth’s blistering play of late (school record 14-0-3) and North Dakota’s Danny Kristo checking from behind penalty with video. Here’s footage of the three goals.

Here’s plenty on North Dakota’s 2-1 home win over No. 5 Minnesota here and Denver’s 6-3 home win over Bemidji State.

Academic issues kept Alaska Anchorage’s top goalie and leading remaining goal scorer back in Alaska and not in Houghton during Friday’s 6-2 road loss.

CC junior William Rapuzzi is trying to jump start his season. The Tigers’ 3-1 home win over SCSU pushed CC up to ninth in the Pairwise rankings.

Former Tiger Joey Crabb has matched his career NHL goal totals already this season. Bill Sweatt scored for the red-hot AHL Wolves.