Another Slavin set to enter Colorado College fold

slavin lincolnLincoln Stars forward Josiah Slavin has committed to Colorado College, where his older brother and NHL defenseman Jaccob Slavin (Carolina Hurricanes) played for two seasons, the U.S. Hockey League franchise announced on Thursday.

He is scheduled to join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference program starting with the 2019-20 season.

“The coaching staff there is awesome,” Slavin said in a media release. “When I went to visit there this summer, it just felt right. It wasn’t the time to commit then, but we stayed in touch. Now, it felt like the perfect time to do it. It’s a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. I’m just excited to start the next part of my life.”

The Erie, Colo. native, 19, has played 53 games with the Stars in his second USHL season, tallying 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points with 23 penalty minutes and a +26 rating.

The 6-foot-2, 182-pounder recorded his first career hat-trick on Dec. 16, 2017 against Des Moines. Through 102 games, he has 24 goals and 26 assists for 50 points with four game-winning goals and three shorthanded goals.

The NCHC is regarded as one of the best conferences in college hockey, and the competition every night provides a unique challenge, according to Slavin.

“Family played a huge part [in my decision],” he said. “I always loved Colorado growing up in the state. I’m a homebody, so when I’m out of Colorado I miss it. I just love it there.”

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Nick Halloran, Mike Haviland and Alex Leclerc up for annual league awards

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Nick Halloran scored twice in the opening period for his 12th and 13th goals this season.

Colorado College sophomore Nick Halloran is one of three finalists for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Forward of the Year award and one of three for the league Three Stars Award, while coach Mike Haviland received his first nomination as bench boss.

Tigers sophomore goalie Alex Leclerc is also up for the Three Stars award.

The finalists and nominees for 11 league awards were announced on Thursday.

The winners will be announced and honores on March 15 at the annual NCHC Awards Celebration at the Science Museum of Minnesota in Saint Paul on the eve of the fifth annual NCHC Frozen Faceoff, and first at Xcel Energy Center.

For most of the awards, finalists were determined based on voting by the conference’s eight head coaches with the top three vote-getters for each award (plus ties) being finalists. The Senior Scholar-Athlete Award nominees were submitted by and then voted upon by the conference’s Faculty Athletics Representatives (FARs). Athletic Directors at each NCHC institution had a vote on Herb Brooks Coach of the Year, as well, along with the coaches.

Full list of finalists and nominees follows:

CC Hockey vs Wisconsin

Colorado College vs Wisconsin, Broadmoor World Arena, Nov. 25, 2016

Player of the Year Finalists Henrik Borgström, So., F, Denver; David Pope, Sr., F, Omaha; Jimmy Schuldt, Jr., D, SCSU

Herb Brooks Coach of the Year Finalists — Mike Haviland, CC; Bob Motzko, SCSU; Scott Sandelin, UMD

Senior Scholar-Athlete Award Nominees — Scott Moldenhauer, D, WMU; Johnny Simonson, F, UND; Tyler Vesel, F, Omaha

Rookie of the Year Finalists — Dávid Hrenák, G, SCSU; Ian Mitchell, D, Denver; Scott Perunovich, D, UMD

Goaltender of the Year Finalists — Dávid Hrenák, Fr., SCSU; Tanner Jaillet, Sr., Denver; Hunter Shepard, So., UMD

Forward of the Year Finalists —Henrik Borgström, So., Denver; Nick Halloran, So., CC; David Pope, Sr., Omaha

Defensive Defenseman of the Year Finalists — Will Borgen, Jr., SCSU; Joel Messner, Sr., Omaha; Colton Poolman, So., UND; Nick Wolff, So., UMD

Offensive Defenseman of the Year Finalists —Scott Perunovich, Fr., UMD; Jimmy Schuldt, Jr., SCSU; Christian Wolanin, Jr., UND

Defensive Forward of the Year Finalists — Rhett Gardner, Jr., UND; Karson Kuhlman, Sr., UMD; Tyler Vesel, Sr., Omaha

NCHC Three Stars Award Finalists — Dylan Gambrell, Jr., F, Denver; Nick Halloran, So., F, CC; Alex Leclerc, So., G, CC; David Pope, Sr., F, Omaha

Sportsmanship Award Nominees — Karson Kuhlman, Sr., F, UMD; Judd Peterson, Sr., F, SCSU; Austin Poganski, Sr., F, UND; Tyler Vesel, Sr., F, Omaha

Rookie of the Year Finalists — Dávid Hrenák, G, SCSU; Ian Mitchell, D, Denver; Scott Perunovich, D, UMD

Goaltender of the Year Finalists — Dávid Hrenák, Fr., SCSU; Tanner Jaillet, Sr., Denver; Hunter Shepard, So., UMD

Forward of the Year Finalists —Henrik Borgström, So., Denver; Nick Halloran, So., CC; David Pope, Sr., Omaha

Defensive Defenseman of the Year Finalists — Will Borgen, Jr., SCSU; Joel Messner, Sr., Omaha; Colton Poolman, So., UND; Nick Wolff, So., UMD

Offensive Defenseman of the Year Finalists —Scott Perunovich, Fr., UMD; Jimmy Schuldt, Jr., SCSU; Christian Wolanin, Jr., UND

Defensive Forward of the Year Finalists — Rhett Gardner, Jr., UND; Karson Kuhlman, Sr., UMD; Tyler Vesel, Sr., Omaha

NCHC Three Stars Award Finalists — Dylan Gambrell, Jr., F, Denver; Nick Halloran, So., F, CC; Alex Leclerc, So., G, CC; David Pope, Sr., F, Omaha

Sportsmanship Award Nominees — Karson Kuhlman, Sr., F, UMD; Judd Peterson, Sr., F, SCSU; Austin Poganski, Sr., F, UND; Tyler Vesel, Sr., F, Omaha

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Tigers knock off No. 2 Denver, end 17-game winless streak against Pioneers

CC Hockey vs WisconsinColorado College bounced back from an embarrassing home loss to end a 17-game winless streak against No. 2 Denver behind a 40-save shutout by sophomore goalie Alex Leclerc at Magness Arena on Saturday.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Leclerc said on 1240 AM. “We felt we let our fans and teammates down (in a 5-1 Friday loss) and we needed to bounce back. Guys were sacrificing their bodies to block shots (19) and make my life easier even though I am the one with the equipment.”

“We told ourselves that we needed to win against them,” he added. “We only had one thing on our minds and that was to come out of here with a win. We need to savor this moment of success and take that into practice and next weekend (against No. 13 Omaha).”

The win in Denver pushed CC (13-13-4, 7-10-3-2 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) into sixth place ahead of Omaha (15-14-1, 8-12-0) and only two points behind No. 15 and fifth-place Western Michigan (14-14-2, 9-10-1).

Tonight really helped us put ourselves in position to get home ice,” coach Mike Haviland said.

Colorado College played better as the game went on to put further pressure on the Pioneers as the early 1-0 lead held.

“It was a factor of us not being hard enough offensively,” Denver coach Jim Montgomery said in a media release. “Our effort was great. I thought we skated well, we protected pucks well…but I thought they played with more desperation.”

DU pulled goalie Tanner Jaillet with about 80 seconds left but shot blocks by Westin Michaud (:20 left) and Troy Conzo (:08 remaining) helped the Tigers hold for their first win over Denver since Feb. 22, 2014 – a span of 1,424 days —  and the Tigers’ first under Haviland. The victory ended a 17-game winless streak (0-15-2).

“Tonight was a big step for us,” CC junior co-captain Andrew Farny said. “We had guys selling out all game long.”

“These guys don’t like to lose and they take it personal,” Haviland said. “We didn’t play hard enough last night but we certainly did tonight. Going 1-1-2 against the defending national champs shows the progress this program has made.”

Denver kept the puck in the CC end for most of the opening period, but it was the Tigers that entered first intermission with their initial lead of the weekend. Few at the time guessed it would prove to be the game-winner.

Conference-leading scorer Nick Halloran (41 points) scored his 18th goal of the season on the power play with 29 seconds remaining for a 1-0 lead. The power-play tally ended on 0 for 14 skid over three games.

halloran road unisIn other NCHC action, No. 11 Minnesota-Duluth downed last-place Miami 3-0 for its second shutout of the weekend against the reeling RedHawks. It is the first time in program history that Miami has been shut out for three-straight games. The scoring drought is now at 212 minutes, 1 second dating back to the second period on Friday, Feb. 9 (5-2 loss to No. 3 St. Cloud State.

No. 9 North Dakota bounced back for a road split by downing No. 13 Omaha, 3-0, and end the Mavericks’ seven-game home win streak. Cam Johnson returned to action after two games off to make his 11th career shutout (26 saves); second all-time at UND behind 15 for Karl Goehring.

League-leading St. Cloud State, ranked third in the USCHO poll but tops in the Pairwise rankings, defeated No. 15 Western Michigan 4-2 for the road sweep. The Broncos fell into in fifth place.

SCSU, which clinched home playoff ice on Friday, now has 45 standings points to second-place Denver’s 40, setting up a huge weekend series in Minnesota that will determine ownership of the Penrose Cup regular-season championship. UMD and North Dakota are tied for third with 30 points.