Where Are They Now? Former Tigers competing in the pros

731d5940-91a4-4f25-8b3f-cb70da1daf8f-stanley-cup-16While there is talk and/or hope of a resumption of the NHL schedule, it is the offseason for many former Colorado College Tigers now plying their skills in the professional ranks in North America or overseas.
I listed everyone I could track down who was under contract this past season with whatever information I dug up on websites and databases (IHDB.com, Eliteprospects.com). I did not include any players who did not play. I include some links to past articles where relevant.
The list is organized by where the former Tiger played the majority of his games or where he was when that league’s season was suspended or canceled. I included some links to past articles if you want to read more.
Former Tigers currently in the pros
NHL
Curtis McElhinney, G — The Ontario native, 36, went 8-7-0-3 in 18 appearances (2.89 goals against, .906 saves percentage) in a backup role for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is now 90-89-0-18 in 237 NHL games (.909. 2.82 goals).
Jaden Schwartz, F — The 27-year-old winger was on a tear, recording 57 points (22 goals) in 71 games for St. Louis this season. He was second in the NHL with tip-in goals (seven) behind San Jose’s Evander Kane (eight). He led the Blues with 12 playoff goals during the 2018-19 playoffs, which culminated in hoisting the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Now in his eighth full NHL season, the Saskatchewan native, 27, has 364 points (146 goals) in 520 appearances.
slavin

Jaccob Slavin, D — The Erie, Colo. native, 25, recorded 36 points (30 assists) in 68 games for the Carolina Hurricanes this season. He is now at 151 points (122 assists) in 377 NHL career game since his debut on Nov. 18, 2015. And he continues to improve. He was named to the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, where he won the accuracy shooting competition. His time of 9.505 seconds was the best since the NHL expanded to five targets. He is under contract with Carolina through the 2024-25 season.

AHL
Teemu Kivihalme, D — Recorded 18 points (14 assists) in 55 games for Toronto Marlies before receiving a short call-up by the Maple Leafs (DNP). The 24-year-old spent the previous two seasons playing for Karpat in his father’s native Finland.
Gustav Olofsson, D — The native of Sweden recorded 16 points (15 assists) in his first season with the Laval Rocket. The 25-year-old has 11 assists in 59 NHL appearances, including three Canadiens games (no points) this season. His contract with the Montreal organization was extended on March 21 and lasts through the 2020-21 season.
Nate Prosser, D — Recorded 10 points (nine assists) in 59 games (his first full AHL season) for Lehigh Valley after signing a one-year deal with the Flyers organization. The Phantoms assistant captain, 33, spent his previous nine pro seasons with the Minnesota Wild. He has recorded 47 points in 354 NHL contests (one game, no points, 2017-18 Blues).
Peter Stoykewych, D — Manitoba Moose captain’s season was cut short by injury (12 games, one assist). The Winnipeg native, 27, has 72 points in 267 games for his hometown AHL team.

ECHL
l4yj7OTVMason Bergh, F — Started the 2019-20 season with AHL Ontario Reign (three points, 25 games) before being sent down to Fort Wayne, where the 25-year-old recorded 19 points (10 goals) in 29 contests.
Trey Bradley, F — The 23-year-old winger recorded 34 points (14 goals) in 48 games for the defending champion Newfoundland Growlers.
Trevor Gooch, F — The New Jersey native, 25, put together a solid first full pro season with 22 points (12 goals), 22 penalty minutes and a plus-10 rating in 40 games for the Reading Royals.
Alex Krushelnyski, F — The 29-year-old fought through injuries to record 30 points (11 goals) in 28 games for the Indy Fuel.
Overseas
Richard Bachman, G — The 32-year-old started the season with AHL Utica before being loaned by the Canucks organization on Feb. 12 to last-place Oskarhamn of the top Swedish league. His season ended with three appearances overseas.
Nick Dineen, F — The former Pikes Peak Miner, 31, is under contract for his 10th pro season (2020-21) in Europe. He served as captain in his third year with Norway’s Lillehammer (site of the 1994 Winter Olympics), recording 50 points (22 goals) in 45 games.
Hunter Fejes, F — We should only hope for his frequent flyer miles. The 25-year-old forward finished this season with his 10th pro team, LInz of the Austrian league, where he tallied 21 points (13 goals) in 24 games. He also played this season with ECHL Orlando Solar Bears (10 points, 15 games) and the AHL Manitoba Moose (one assist, seven games).

Cody Lampl, D — The 33-year-old fan favorite recorded six assists in 45 games in his third season for the Mannheim Eagles. The 13-year pro has 92 points (69 assists) in 228 games in German league after playing in 276 ECHL games (87 points, 71 assists) earlier in his career. He is under contract for his 14th season (fourth in Mannheim) in 2020-21.
Alex Leclerc, Dundee Stars,Alex Leclerc, G — The Quebec native, 25, appeared in 56 games, winning 23, while stopping a Elite Ice Hockey League high 1,773 shots for the Dundee (Scotland) Stars, which named him as the franchise’s player of the year.
William Rapuzzi, F — The 30-year-old Anchorage native recorded 27 points (15 goals) in 39 games for Austria’s Dornbin.
Rylan Schwartz, F — The center ended the season with the Stavanger OIlers of Norway, recording seven points (three goals) in eight games. During his seventh full pro season, the 30-year-old left the Nurnberg Ice Tigers of Germany on Feb. 11 after tallying 10 points (five goals) in 31 games.
Mike Testwuide, F — He played his second season with the Daemyung Killer Whales (21 points, 35 games). He has 283 points in 267 games over seven seasons in the Asia League. The Vail native, 33, is a dual citizen of the U.S. and South Korea, allowing him to play for the host team in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 

 

Colorado College Tigers cannot match Minnesota-Duluth’s play in decisive second, fall in series-clinching rout

cc vs wmu2Fifth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth showed why it’s the two-time defending NCAA champions with a 6-1 rout of last-place Colorado College Saturday night.

The Bulldogs dominated the second period, potting four goals, including the game-winner just 59 seconds into the middle frame.

This weekend’s series sweep mirrored the one in Duluth in November — a close game won by the Bulldogs on Friday (4-3) followed by a rout on Saturday (5-0).

“We talked about that (Saturday) morning,” Tigers coach Mike Haviland said, referring to the team’s morning meetings. “This team across the hall elevates their game. You need to elevate our game and I think we did for the first 20 (minutes). But the game is 60.”

It’s a familiar pattern for the Tigers against the National Collegiate Hockey Conference powerhouse.

“In the last couple years against these guys we are really good against them on Fridays and on Saturdays they go to another level,” Haviland said. “We need to find that level. That’s the reason they’re two-time defending champs. They know how to go to that level and keep pushing you.”

The stats show it. With the win, Minnesota-Duluth improved to 91-2-3 (18-1 this season) since March 13, 2015 when taking a lead into the third period.

One of the few Colorado College highlights was when the Tigers spoiled UMD goalie Hunter Shepard’s shutout bid. A hard shot by Grant Cruikshank forced its way under the senior’s right arm and landed behind him. CC senior Nick Halloran tapped in his 11th of the season to make it 5-1 midway through the third. That excited the home crowd, but UMD scored about a minute later for the final margin.

Vernon stood tall against several quality scoring chances for the Bulldogs, making 11 of his 15 saves and allowing just the opening goal late in the closely-contested first period.

But the second was all Bulldogs (20-10-2, 15-5-2-0 NCHC).

An inauspicious start put UMD ahead 2-0 when Nick Swaney lifted in a wraparound attempt over Vernon’s left leg pad after seemingly surprising the freshman netminder. The tally came just 59 seconds into the middle frame.

That goal deflated the Tigers, who could not match UMD’s intensity and skill the rest of the second.

“The second goal is the one that really took the wind out of our sails,” Haviland said. “Verny (Vernon) needs to make that save. From there, they get all the confidence and we were on our heels. I didn’t see us with much bite there in the second. There were a couple easy goals our guys could have prevented, not meaning our goalie.”

A prime example came less than five minutes later when Luke Lohei split two flat-footed CC defenders and lifted the puck over Vernon’s shoulder by the near post. That ended Vernon’s night as Haviland tried to jump start the Tigers (11-19-2, 4-16-2-1) by putting in Ryan Ruck (23 saves).

But Ruck was rusty, having not played since Jan. 10 and not practiced much either.

UMD added two goals about four minutes apart. Noah Cates scored off a breakaway set up by a long pass by Scott Perunovich (31 assists) with 6:35 left. Quinn Olson and Cates then played back-and-forth with Olson burying the chance with 2:39 left for a 5-0 advantage.

CC almost got the break the Broadmoor World Arena crowd (3,043 announced) desired. When his penalty expired, Jack Gates jumped out of the box, but he over skated the pass and was unable to get off a quality shot during the final seconds of the period.  That summed up the second for CC.

Looking ahead to next weekend, postseason

Miami’s sweep of Omaha (3-0, 4-0) relegated CC to last place in the eight-team NCHC and set up an all-but-assured trip to top-ranked North Dakota for the first round of the playoffs on March 13-15.

CC plays No. 6 Denver in a home-and-home series next weekend with the Tigers needing a sweep to retain the Gold Pan Trophy. DU downed St. Cloud State 5-2 on Saturday to garner a road series split and keep its sights on garnering home playoff ice.

Ruck performed well at times, prompting Haviland to keep the door open on the transfer starting on Friday.

“We’ll reevaluate on Monday, but I certainly will think about it,” Haviland said.

First Leap Day loss

The Tigers are now 3-1-1 on Feb. 29th starting with a 5-5 tie against Michigan State in 1964. CC later won at Denver, 4-2, in 1980, at UMD, 5-1, in 1992 and downed visiting Minnesota State, 5-2, in 2008.

 

Notebook: Air Force upperclassmen lead second-half surge

Ledford_3065-1Senior Tyler Ledford (above) scored the OT goal that lifted Air Force to the Atlantic Hockey semifinals, and he is one of five juniors and seniors leading the team offensively.

The Falcons won the tournament last year and six of the past 11 years. Their veteran presence will certainly help entering Friday’s semifinal vs. Canisius, as it has in the second half – Air Force is 12-4-2 since it started the season 8-10-3. They face Dylan McLaughlin, who is the league’s Hobey Baker Top 10 finalist.

The Atlantic Hockey scoring champion and First Team all-conference playmaker has vaulted to sixth in the national scoring charts. He got off to a fast start, collecting points in 15 of his first 16 games. His 31 assists in 36 games ranks him sixth in the nation. He has 17 goals, 31 assists for 48 points in 36 games – only five minor penalties all season.

Robert Morris (17-19-3) is the only team under .500 in action this weekend, but the Colonials are 4-1-1 in their last six … Regular-season champion Mercyhurst is seeking its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2005.

Largest Senior Classes
11 – Mercyhurst
9 – Connecticut, Robert Morris
8 – Air Force, Canisius, five other teams
Note that the four AHC semifinalists are listed.
Fewest Even-Strength Goals Against per Game
0.81 – Cornell
1.19 – Clarkson
1.38 – Minnesota State
1.39 – Minnesota Duluth
1.47 – Northeastern
1.49 – Air Force
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is slated for 10 a.m. MT on Sunday, March 18 (ESPNU, TSNGO)
This marks the third straight season that the top four seeds advanced to the NCHC’s Frozen Faceoff … No team has swept the NCHC regular-season and playoff titles in the same year entering this, the fifth year of the conference.

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.

CC 4, UAA 3 Stats

No. 6 Colorado College 4, Alaska-Anchorage 3

Alaska-Anchorage           2              1              0              –3

Colorado College              1              2              1              — 4

First period – 1, UAA, Scheid (Coldwell) 7:45; 2. UAA, Cameron (Spencer) 15:30; 3. CC, Boivin (Collett) 16:22. Penalties – UAA, Sproule, holding, 5:33; UAA, Bruijsten, elbowing, 9:25; UAA, Coldwell, cross checking, 11:28; UAA, Leinweber, holding, 18:43.

Second period – 4, UAA, Cameron (Leinweber, Kwas) 2:00; 5. CC, R. Schwartz (unassisted) 4:04 (PP);  6. CC, Civitarese (unassisted) 11:13 (SH). Penalties – UAA, Scheid, interference, 3:36; CC, Harstad, elbowing, 9:44; CC, Winkler, interference, 15:16.

Third period – 7. CC, Boivin (Winkler, Eveland) 19:57.  Penalties – CC, Dineen, elbowing, 16:23.

Power play – Alaska-Anchorage 0-3; Colorado College 1-5. Shots on goal – UAA 8-7-11 – 26; CC, 20-11-9 – 40. Saves-minutes – UAA, Gunderson 19-9-8-60:00; CC, Thorimbert 6-6-11 – 60:00. Attendance – 6,552.

UAA 6, CC 3 Stats

Alaska-Anchorage 6, Colorado College 3

Alaska-Anchorage           1              3              2              –6

Colorado College              2              1              0              –3

First period – 1, CC, Rapuzzi (R. Schwartz, J. Schwartz) 6:42; 2. CC, Krushelnyski (Winkler, Marciano) 8:23; 3. UAA, Bruijsten (unassisted) 17:37 (SH).  Penalties – CC, Dineen, interference, 4:00;  UAA, Crowell, checking from behind, 16:40; UAA, Cameron, slashing, 18:21; CC, McDermott, holding the stick, 18:21.

Second period – 4. UAA, Bruijsten (Leinweber, Docken) 3:00 (PP); 5. CC, Dineen (Krushelnyski, McDermott) 3:16; 6. UAA, Leinweber (Roy, Currier) 5:14; 7. UAA, Coldwell (Allen, Kwas) 11:17 (PP). Penalties – CC, Marciano, cross checking, 1:37; CC, Guentzel, interference, 6:35; UAA. Gorham, holding, 8:14; CC, Dineen, tripping, 8:27; CC, McDermott, hooking, 10:59; CC, Taft, 5-minute checking from behind, 10-minute game misconduct, 19:59.

Third period – 8. UAA, Gorham (Leinweber) 1:09 (PP); 9. UAA, Bruijsten (Scheid, Cameron) 3:55. Penalties – CC, Eveland, high sticking, 7:51; CC, R. Schwartz, 5-minute slew foot, 10-minute game misconduct, 14:56.

Power play – UAA 4-11; CC 0-1. Shots on goal – UAA 7-15-8 – 30; CC  12-9-8 — 29. Saves-minutes – UAA Gunderson 10-8-8 – 60:00; CC Howe 6-12-2 – 43:55; Lockwood 4-16:05. Attendance – 6,587.