Tigers announce 2018-19 hockey schedule

cc vs wmu2The 2018-19 schedule for Colorado College hockey was announced Wednesday with 12 games against the past three NCAA champions due to membership in the always challenging National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

“Once again, we are excited to play the top teams in the country,” CC coach Mike Haviland said in a media release. “To face the last three NCAA champions, Minnesota Duluth, Denver and North Dakota, four times each makes for a tough schedule, but we look forward to the challenge.”

Start times and TV coverage will be announced later.

CC hosts Air Force on the second night of its home-opening weekend with the home-opener against WCHA foe Alabama-Huntsville.

Air Force, which has not announced its schedule, presumably plays Denver on Friday, Oct. 12.  The Chargers play at DU the next night.

The homestand continues with a nonconference series against Hockey East’s New Hampshire Oct. 19-20.

CC opens the season at Alaska-Anchorage on Saturday, Oct. 6 and concludes the nonconference road series on Sunday, Oct. 7. The Tigers open NCHC play against St. Cloud State Nov. 2-3.

December and early January feature six nonconference games with Vermont visiting the Broadmoor World Arena Dec. 7-8.  After that break, there are four nonleague road games with a series at Arizona State Dec. 14-15 followed by road contests at Hockey East members Merrimack on Dec. 31 and Maine Jan. 2.

CC plays eight league series during the second half of the season, beginning with 2016 NCAA champ North Dakota in Grand Forks, Jan. 11-12. UND visits Colorado Springs March 1-2.

The Tigers are coming off a 15-17-5 season with a tie for fifth place in the league standings.

Home games in ALL CAPS.

Oct. 6-7 –  at Alaska-Anchorage

Oct. 12 –  ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE

Oct. 13 — AIR FORCE

Oct. 19-20 – NEW HAMPSHIRE

Oct. 26-27 – BYE

Nov. 2-3 – ST. CLOUD STATE (NCHC opener)

Nov. 9-10 – at Minnesota Duluth (2018 NCAA champion)

Nov. 16-17 – MIAMI

Nov. 23-24 — BYE (Thanksgiving weekend)

Nov. 30-Dec. 1 – at Omaha

Dec. 7-8 – VERMONT

Dec. 14-15 –  at Arizona State

HOLIDAY BREAK

Dec. 31 — at Merrimack

Jan. 2 — Maine

Jan. 11-12 — at North Dakota (2016 NCAA champs)

Jan. 18 – DENVER (2017 NCAA champs)

Jan. 19 – at Denver

Jan. 25-26 – at Miami

Feb. 1-2 – MINNESOTA DULUTH

Feb. 8-9 – at St. Cloud State

Feb, 15-16 – BYE

Feb. 22-23 – WESTERN MICHIGAN

March 1-2 — NORTH DAKOTA

March 8 – at Denver

March 9 — DENVER (Senior Night)

March 15-17 — NCHC first-round series

March 22-23 — NCHC Frozen Faceoff (Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul)

March 29-31 — NCAA regionals (Fargo, Allentown, Pa., Manchester, N.H., Providence, R.I.)

April 11-13 — NCAA Frozen Four (Buffalo, N.Y.)

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CC hockey schedule coming into focus

CC Hockey vs Wisconsin

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

Here is my updated draft of the Colorado College hockey 2018-19 schedule after the WCHA announced its composite schedule on Wednesday.

CC opens the season at Alaska-Anchorage on Saturday, Oct. 6 and concludes the nonconference road series on Sunday, Oct. 7.

The home-opener features a WCHA foe, Alabama-Huntsville, on Oct. 12. The Chargers play at Denver the next night. It is unknown who CC’s foe will be on Oct. 13.

The nonconference road series at Arizona State Dec. 14-15 was confirmed by the independent earlier Wednesday.

The Tigers are coming off a 15-17-5 season with a tie for fifth place in the league standings.

I put XXX where nonconference weekends, including Air Force, or byes are likely. I would expect one weekend in October to be a bye with nonleague games expected that month.

Home games in ALL CAPS.

Sept. 30 – Exhibition???

Oct. 6-7 –  at Alaska-Anchorage

Oct. 12 –  ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE

Oct. 13 — xxxxx

Oct. 19-20 – xxxxxxxx

Oct. 26-27 – xxxxxx

Nov. 2-3 – ST. CLOUD STATE (NCHC opener)

Nov. 9-10 – at Minnesota Duluth (2018 NCAA champion)

Nov. 16-17 – MIAMI

Nov. 23-24 — xxxxx

Nov. 30-Dec. 1 – at Omaha

Dec. 7-8 – xxxxxx

Dec. 14-15 –  at Arizona State

HOLIDAY BREAK

Jan. 4-5, 2019 — xxxxxx

Jan. 11-12 — at North Dakota (2016 NCAA champs)

Jan. 18 – DENVER (2017 NCAA champs)

Jan. 19 – at Denver

Jan. 25-26 – at Miami

Feb. 1-2 – MINNESOTA DULUTH

Feb. 8-9 – at St. Cloud State

Feb, 15-16 – Bye week

Feb. 22-23 – WESTERN MICHIGAN

March 1-2 — NORTH DAKOTA

March 8 – at Denver

March 9 — DENVER (Senior Night)

March 15-17 — NCHC first-round series

March 22-23 — NCHC Frozen Faceoff (Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul)

March 29-31 — NCAA regionals (Fargo, Allentown, Pa., Manchester, N.H., Providence, R.I.)

April 11-13 — NCAA Frozen Four (Buffalo, N.Y.)

Frank Serratore extends contract at Air Force through 2023

serratore benchAir Force hockey coach Frank Serratore has signed a new five-year contract through 2023, according to an announcement today by academy athletic director Col. Jennifer Block.

“Frank has built Air Force hockey into a nationally-recognized program both on and off the ice,” Block said in a media release. “Air Force hockey players are some of our best and brightest and we are thrilled to have Frank continue to lead our program and these young men as they become leaders or character for our Air Force.”

Serratore just completed his 21st season at AFA (379-335-81). He has led the Falcons to seven Atlantic Hockey Conference playoff championships and resulting NCAA appearances, three NCAA Elite Eights and two AHC regular-season titles.

This past season, he led an injury-laden team to its second straight AHC tournament championship and an NCAA berth.

At the West Regional, Air Force defeated top-seeded St. Cloud State, marking the academy’s first ever win over the overall No. 1 seed. The season ended with a 2-1 loss to eventual national champion Minnesota Duluth, but not before the Falcons won 20 games (23-15-5) for the third straight season, a new school record.

“I will always be indebted to the Academy for the opportunity they provided me with over 20 years ago,” Serratore said. “I am both pleased and honored they want me to continue as their head hockey coach. I am proud of all we have accomplished and look forward to the challenge of taking the program to even greater heights.”

Former CC goalie Curtis McElhinney picks up shutout at IIHF world championships

curtis-mcelhinneyColorado Avalanche forward Tyson Jost scored twice, and former Colorado College goalie Curtis McElhinney turned away all 25 shots as Canada whipped South Korea during a 10-0 shutout win in Game 2 of preliminary play at the 2018 IIHF World Championships in Herning, Denmark.

“He was good, he was solid,” Canadian coach Bill Peters told the Canadian Press. “It was good that we were able to get him in and he got some work, especially as the game wore on. I thought he got settled in and he handled pucks well. Something to build on for Mac, for sure.”

Canada plays host Denmark (1-0-0-1) on Monday and it will likely be a goaltending matchup between McElhinney and his Toronto Maple Leafs teammate, Frederik Andersen, who is a superstar in his hometown of Herning.

“He’s a big-time goaltender, so we’re going to have to make sure we’re in his eyes,”  Peters said. “We’re going to have to make sure we score on seconds and thirds and it should be a real good atmosphere. We’re excited for the opportunity to play here in front of their fanbase.”

Canada out shot the South Koreans, 8-1 losers to Finland earlier this week, by a 50-25 margin. McElhinney was sharp against some point blank chances.

Canada struck midway through the first; scoring the only goal it would need at 8:41 in the opening frame. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins found his own rebound and tucked it past Korean goaltender Matt Dalton off a pass from former Tigers forward Jaden Schwartz.

Former CC captain and South Korean Olympian Mike Testwuide is missing the tournament due to injury.

 

Tigers commit Sam Renlund makes NAHL all-rookie first team

renlund-web_2

Colorado College commit Sam Renlund, an Omaha Lancers alum, was named to the North American Hockey League’s all-rookie first team on Tuesday, the Tier 2 junior league announced.

Renlund, 18, leads the NAHL in playoff points with 11 (seven goals) in six games for the Janesville Jets.

Renlund recorded four goals and three assists last weekend, including two unassisted goals in 2 minutes, 19 seconds during the third period to force overtime in an eventual  3-2 OT win in Game 3 at Fairbanks on Sunday.

He recorded one goal and three assists in a  6-4 series-opening win last Friday and added a goal in a 3-2 Game 2 loss on Saturday to the Ice Dogs.

The Jets lead the best-of-five series 2-1 heading into Game 4 on Friday in Wisconsin.

The Verona, Wisc. native was fourth on the Jets with 38 points (26 assists) in 44 regular-season games.

Tigers in the pros: Few former CC players still battling for minor-league championships

stoyks

With the last players with Colorado College ties out of the NHL playoffs, this is a good time to check in on how other former Tigers are doing in the AHL and ECHL postseason.

The Manitoba Moose battle the Grand Rapids Griffins in a decisive Game 5 at 5 p.m. Mountain on Monday with defenseman Peter Stoykewych having played in the previous four games (no points) and in 70 regular-season games (27 points, 18 assists) for the Winnipeg-based team and Jets affiliate.

Goalie Richard Bachman’s season came to an end on Sunday when the Toronto Marlies eliminated the Utica Comets with a 4-0 win in the decisive Game 5 of the best-of-five playoff series. Bachman appeared in 31 regular-season games, splitting time with former Boston College standout Thatcher Demko.

Forward Alex Krushelnyski’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms advanced to the second round. They start a best-of-seven series against the Charlotte Checkers on Friday. Krushelnyski split time between Lehigh (42 games, 10 points) and the ECHL’s Reading Royals (24 games, 27 points). He had one assist in four first-round AHL playoff games.

JustSports Photography

Former CC standout Brett Sterling recorded 25 points (15 goals) during 45 regular-season games for the Chicago Wolves, which were swept in three by Rockford earlier this month. Sterling played in two of the three playoff games (no points). He announced earlier that he will retire this offseason.

sterling wolvesIn the ECHL, Hunter Fejes is having a strong season with four points (three goals) in six playoff games after the Orlando Solar Bears swept the South Carolina Stingrays and fell behind 2-0 to the Florida Everblades in their best-of-seven second round series.

He recorded 27 points (16 goals) in 32 games with the Wheeling Nailers before a midseason trade sent him to Florida, where he had 32 points (18 assists) in 35 regular-season games.  He also played four games (no points) with the AHL’s Marlies.

Defenseman Aaron Harstad recorded an assist in a 4-2 road loss in Game 2 of a second-round series versus the Colorado Eagles on Sunday night.

He recorded 13 points (11 assists) in 48-regular-season games for the Idaho Steelheads and now five points (three assists) in nine playoff games entering Wednesday’s Game 3.

Aaron-Harstad

Offseason linkorama: Soviets visit Colorado, NCHC moves & honors, Hockey East, Anchorage hire

letterThe above picture is a photo that made the rounds on Twitter on Thursday.

It is an old Maine Mariners press release from the desk of Doc Emrick on 12/10/1978 announcing the Soviet team was visiting the US to face a variety of American foes, including Colorado College and Denver. The USSR defeated the Tigers, 6-4, on Dec. 30, 1978.

Also, Omaha hockey coach Mike Gabinet announced Thursday that Brian Kaufman has joined the staff as the Director of Hockey Operations.

“We are very fortunate to be able to add somebody with Brian’s character and hockey background to our staff,” said Gabinet.  “He brings a wealth of experience that will be a big asset to our program as we move into the next season.”

Kaufman  spent five seasons with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL, first serving as an assistant for the 2012-13 season before taking over as head coach for the next four seasons.  He led the Lancers to a record of 121-91-28 and two playoff appearances.

The five athletes who signed national letters of intent for Denver includes a Red Wings draft pick at goalie.

Hockey East changed its playoff format for the upcoming season. Future Hall of Famer Joe Mullen’s son Mike is starting his career as an ECAC referee.

The NCHC honored the two athletic directors who led the push to create the league now that they are retiring.

Here is a review of a book about college hockey (mostly in the Northeast) if you’re already jonesing in late April.

Here is an article on the new Alaska-Anchorage coach. Both Wisconsin coaches had their contracts renewed through the 2022-23 season.