Friday reading: Gross, Fejes, Duluth, UND, WMU, Tech

Pine Creek HS graduate Taylor Gross, far left, models the new Penn State hockey home uniform. The captain of the women’s hockey team is joined by former CC standout Guy Gadowsky, the men’s head coach, third from left.

Incoming Tigers freshman Hunter Fejes is one of the rookies to watch this season according to this North Dakota blogger.

Senior forward Mike Seidel will need to have a good year producing those hard-work points to help Minnesota-Duluth remain a league contender after losing Hobey Baker winner Jack Connolly to graduation.

Here is the 2012-13 schedule for the CHL expansion franchise Denver Cutthroats, which includes a couple former Denver Pioneers. While checking out the home games, keep in mind that former Tiger Brian McMillin plays for the Allen Americans.

Western Michigan added a goalie for this season.

North Dakota’s beat writer explains the team’s TV broadcast deals for this season and next.

Freshman forward Blake Tatchell will need to step in and step up to replace the offense lost to graduation for Alaska-Anchorage.

The Mining Gazette offers a detailed first look at the Michigan Tech Huskies, who have high hopes after reaching the WCHA Final Five last season at the expense of the Tigers. Junior defenseman Daniel Sova will be a big reason (excuse the pun) why Tech fans have such high expectations.

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.

In the pros: McMillin re-signs with CHL Allen Americans

The Allen Americans announced on Tuesday the team and former CC forward Brian McMillin agreed on a deal for the 2012-2013 season.

McMillin will be back for a third term with the Americans, playing in 32 games in 2010-2011, and 64 games in 2011-2012. He had his best year as a pro last season, scoring 16 goals with 27 assists for 43 points.

Prior to his time in Allen, the Roseau, Minn., native played a portion of two seasons in the ECHL for the Kalamazoo Wings and 2006-10 with Colorado College.

“I’m excited to be back,” said McMillin. “Allen seems like home to me now, playing here for a third year in a row. I was excited to hear about the positive changes this off-season with the former NHL players joining the team. I know this will have a positive influence on the boys in the room who looked up to these guys as kids.”

Craig Ludwig, along with Mike Modano, Ed Belfour and Richard Matvichuk, are part of the new ownership of the Allen Americans. Matvichuk will also assume the role of Assistant General Manager and coach the defensemen. They join the team of owner Doug Miller and President Matt Canavan.

McMillin has been very active in the community since joining the Americans, spending a lot of time visiting schools, as well as taking part in charity events in the area.

The Allen Americans will begin their fourthseason in the Central Hockey League this October. Season tickets are on sale now by calling the Americans office at 972-912-1000.

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.”

More Wednesday reading: In the pros, Wisconsin news

Former Tiger Trevor Frischmon got into a fight (video) over the weekend. Here’s a feature on Nate Prosser. Congrats to him and his wife Brittani, who are expecting their first child this August.

Brian McMillin picked up an assist in a big win for the CHL’s Allen Americans.

Air Force is relying on balanced scoring during its eight-game unbeaten streak.

These two brothers have garnered CC’s attention.

Here’s a followup on Wisconsin goalie Kirk Daubenspeck and his return from an accident that nearly killed him a year ago.

Here’s more on the Big 10, WCHA and National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s search for a postseason tournament home, the third big task new commissioner Jim Scherr is handling.

Wisconsin bids farewell to its Bob Johnson practice facility. I’d suggest they name the new practice facility replacing it in Badger Bob’s honor soon.

The WCHA announced its players of the week.

Tuesday reading: Gophers update; Bachman starts tonight

Here’s highlights from Don Lucia’s Monday radio show about this weekend’s hoem series against CC.

The first major injury of the year for Minnesota takes out one of its better penalty killers.

Here’s the first big event for the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, an outdoor game in 2013 between North Dakota and host Nebraska Omaha in the College World Series baseball stadium in downtown Omaha.

Former Tiger Richard Bachman, pictured at left, will start in goal Tuesday night against Detroit.

Brian McMillin scored for the CHL ‘s Allen Americans.

This Week in the WCHA … 

Bemidji State is idle.

Games for Friday, January 20: Alaska Anchorage at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Alabama-Huntsville at Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; Colorado College at Minnesota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; North Dakota at St. Cloud State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Nebraska Omaha at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT.

Games for Saturday, January 21: Colorado College at Minnesota (WCHA), 5:07 pm CT; Northern Michigan at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Alaska Anchorage at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Alabama-Huntsville at Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; North Dakotaat St. Cloud State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Nebraska Omaha at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT.