17 Tigers receive NCHC all-academic accolades

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Seventeen Colorado College players, second-most in the league, were among the 111 who earned National Collegiate Hockey Conference all-academic team (3.0 cumulative grade point average) with four Tigers listed among the 38 NCHC distinguished scholar-athletes (3.5 or better) for their exceptional academic accomplishments.

Of the 38 distinguished scholar-athletes, 21 of them posted a GPA better than 3.7, including five with a 3.9 GPA or higher. Omaha led all NCHC schools with 10 while North Dakota had eight and Western Michigan seven. Omaha led the way with 20 all-academic (3.0 GPA) followed by CC with 17, Western Michigan, 16; North Dakota, 15 and Miami 14.

Freshmen become eligible for academic honors this offseason.

The 2017-18 NCHC Senior Scholar-Athlete Award will be announced at the NCHC Awards Celebration on March 15 in St. Paul, Minn. before the Frozen Faceoff.  

Those earning NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete recognition in bold.

Colorado College — Mason Bergh, Kristian Blumenschein, Trey Bradley, Andrew Farny, Trevor Gooch, Nick Halloran, Ben Israel, Cole Josefchak, Kade Kehoe, Nate Kwiecinski, Alex Leclerc, Branden Makara, Cole McCaskill, Tanner Ockey, Alex Pernitsky, Max St. Pierre and Bryce VanHorn.

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CC’s Troy Conzo garners first NCHC weekly award

conzoColorado College freshman Troy Conzo earned his first National Collegiate Hockey Conference offensive player of the week award on Monday.

The forward from Nesconset, N.Y. increased his career totals from three to five goals with his first NCAA multi-goal game in Friday’s 4-2 road upset of then-No. 8 North Dakota.

It was CC’s first win in Grand Forks since 2014. His second goal was an unassisted shorthanded tally for his first career shorty and the Tigers’ first this season. He finished a career-best plus-3 in the win.

The next night, Conzo had the primary assist on CC’s only goal in a 5-1 defeat, stretching his point streak to a career-long three games. He finished the series with two goals, an assist, a +1 plus/minus, three shots on goal and three blocked shots. He was also 25-25 in the faceoff circle. On the season, Conzo now has five goals and 13 points in 26 games.

CC’s Halloran named NCHC co-offensive player of the week

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Colorado College sophomore Nick Halloran and Omaha senior Tyler Vesel were both named as co-offensive players of the week by the National Collegiate Hockey Conference after recording five points apiece this past weekend.

This is Halloran’s third career NCHC weekly honor and second offensive in his career. 

Halloran led CC to a five-point weekend against Miami with a five points of his own. On Friday, he matched his career high with three assists by setting up the Tigers’ first three goals in a 6-3 victory.

He scored Saturday’s first two goals in the opening three minutes to put CC ahead in an eventual 4-4 overtime tie. The Draper, Utah native recorded two goals on six shots in the series. Halloran leads the NCHC and is tied for the NCAA lead with 39 points (23 assists) in 26 games.

Christopoulos garners first Atlantic Hockey weekly goalie award

AFA_v_Lethbridge_Billy-Save-042s_pkAir Force junior Billy Christopoulos was named the Atlantic Hockey Conference goalie of the week after stopping 55 of 56 shots in a road sweep of league rival The Rochester Institute of Technology this past weekend.

He was also selected as one of NCAA Hockey’s Three Stars of the Week.

In his last four games, Christopoulos stopped 101 of the 104 shots for a .971 saves percentage. His 11 wins lead all Atlantic Hockey goalies.

The weekly award is the first of his career and the fifth by a Falcon this season. Christopoulos was also named the AHC Goalie of the Month for October.

Air Force (11-10-3, 6-8-2 AHC) hosts Sacred Heart Friday-Saturday at Cadet Ice Arena.

FINAL: No. 15 Minnesota Duluth blows past Tigers for NCHC series sweep

UMD Roth action

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Minnesota-Duluth dominated the final two periods by repeatedly punching holes in the Colorado  College defense during a 5-1 road victory that clinched a National Collegiate Hockey Conference series sweep.

The Tigers were out shot by a 45-19 margin after leading 10-9 after the first period with the game tied at 1-1.

The game at The Broadmoor World Arena turned against the hosts after CC’s players opted for individual rushes toward the Duluth net instead of dumping the puck deep to set up in the Bulldogs zone. UMD usually disrupted those forays and led to a number of UMD scoring chances in transition.

That tilted the ice in the Bulldogs’ favor with the visitors outshooting the hosts 36-9 over the final 40 minutes.

“We tried to make too many one-on-one moves and it doesn’t work against that team,” Tigers coach Mike Haviland said. “We turned it over instead of putting the pucks behind them and playing to our identity. We played OK in the first. In the second we did not play a smart hockey game and it cost us late in the period there when they get a huge goal late. We cannot do that. We cannot give up that goal that late with juniors on the ice. It’s unacceptable.”

UMD out shot the Tigers by a 15-4 margin in the second to go ahead for good on a tally by Kobe Roth with 1:32 left in the frame. It was Roth’s second goal this weekend and his second as a Bulldog. It came after a CC timeout that allowed Haviland to rest his players and put his better juniors — Mason Bergh, Trey Bradley, Andrew Farny, Nick Halloran and Ben Israel —  out on the ice.

“It was a crucial part of the period there and it kind of backfired,” Haviland said. “We put our top guys on the ice and we turn it over and they score. Big part of the game.”

The barrage continued in the third against CC sophomore goalie Alex Leclerc (18 saves), who stepped in for freshman Alec Calvaruso (22 saves), who suffered a lower-body injury late in the second period but stayed in until intermission with CC trailing 2-1.

In the third period, Duluth pumped in two goals in 40 seconds against Leclerc. Duluth went ahead 3-1 after a shot by Parker Mackay was inadvertently deflected in by a CC defenseman with 15:07 left. UMD pressed forward and Billy Exell scored off a scramble in front with 14:27 left for a 4-1 edge. The BUlldogs enjoyed a 38-15 edge in shots with that score.

Roth scored his third NCAA goal and third this weekend late in the third for the final margin in a rare blowout between the schools. The previous six games were one-goal games or ties.

“I was not happy with our last 40 (minutes),” Haviland said. “We did not play to our identity. That is not who we need to be to win a hockey game. We need to play a smart, simple game.”

In the first period, CC jumped out to the early lead when Westin Michaud scored on a one-timer off a pass by mason Bergh to convert the Tigers’ first power-play opportunity 7:27 into the game,

Duluth tied the game up when defenseman Nick Wolff fired a shot from the point past Calvaruso, who was screened by 6-foot-6 UMD forward Riley Tufte. The tally came with about three seconds left on the Bulldogs’ first power play and with only 5:37 left in the frame.

Gameday reading from around NCHC

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Hello all:

After about four years hiatus, the Paisley Hockey blog will make a temporary (TBD) return this weekend with No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth traveling to Colorado College.

I am now a part-time freelance writer for various sites and publications, notably USCHO, Colorado College athletics and communications along with a little USA Hockey Magazine thrown in.

My day job is with a local library branch but I am able to find some time to follow the sport I enjoy so much. I hope that shows in this blog.

USCHO predictions blog post.

No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth at CC: The Bulldogs are almost at full strength entering this weekend. Here is the weekend preview and capsule from Duluth as well. Here is the Gazette’s preview.

No. 7 North Dakota vs Bemidji State: The Hawks must keep an eye and a body on Beavers defenseman Zach Whitecloud. Here is a nonconference series Tale of the Tape.

No. 12 Western Michigan at No. 2 St. Cloud State: Here is a video preview interview from the SCSU beat writer. USCHO focuses on this series in its weekly NCHC column. Also, here is the Broncos notes package.

No. 20 Miami at No. 17 Omaha: The Mavericks are deeper in net entering the second half. Here is a recent column on the RedHawks.

No. 5 Denver, bye.

Enjoy the games.

Canisius takes 2-1 lead into third

Air Force is outshooting Canisius but losing the all-important special teams battle.

Canisius scored on its first two power plays to take a 2-0 lead before Air Force rallied midway through the second period.

Ben Persian redirected a slap shot by defenseman Mike McDonald with 10:18 left to make it 2-1 and spark the Falcons, who barraged Canisius goalie Tony Capobianco with six quality shots over the next three minutes. But Air Force could not take advantage of a couple rebounds and the Golden Griffins held a 2-1 edge headed into the third.

Canisius defenseman Chris Rumble scored on a shot from the point that deflected off a player in front of AFA goalie Jason Torf and past the junior to make it 2-0 with 13:27 left.

Earlier, Canisius left wing Doug Beck tipped in a rebound with 5:32 left in the first period after Mitch McCrank one-timed a crossing pass from Kyle Gibbons for a power-play goal and a 1-0 lead.

Air Force out shot the Golden Griffins 15-8 in the period but goalie Tony Capobianco started well and di not allow many rebounds.

Canisius has a couple other good chances thanks to turnovers in the Air Force zone to keep Torf busier that his seven saves suggest.