Monday reading: CC complex renovations, UND, Hastings, Fairbanks

The new athletic department office/classroom addition along Cache La Poudre Street opened on Aug. 6 and the new facility at the El Pomar Sports Complex looks sharp. Pictured above (image courtesy CC sports information)  is a display outside the three hockey offices showing all the former Tigers who have played in the NHL.

And yes, the display is set up so more players may be added over time.

The addition has three classrooms that may also serve as team meeting rooms — fittingly the 8-seat Ray Werner classroom could be the freshmen study table — and a formal meeting room.

Here is a view of the entrance to the athletic department offices on the second floor of the El Pomar Sports Complex.

All in all, the addition is a huge improvement over the former office space with more room for a more centralized department instead of having offices spread out all over the facility and campus.

The varsity weight rooms, locker rooms and hockey shooting room (synthetic ice) — as part of Phase 2 renovations of the existing building — are scheduled to open by Sept. 3 when classes start.

That phase also includes extensive improvements to Reid Gym. Phase 3, which includes the much-anticipated student/faculty/staff fitness center addition to the north, is scheduled to open in late spring 2013.

In other news, the Grand Forks Herald continues to give Division I hockey its due by sending its beat writer to all road contests. I was glad to read that. There is also an update of sorts about goalie Aaron Dell who will not be back but has yet to sign a pro deal. No doubt there will be more later.

ECAC postseason tournament is headed back to Lake Placid in 2014.

Here is a short profile on Minnesota State Mankato coach Mike Hastings and UConn’s Brant Harris, a future Air Force opponent.

A former Nanook is back as an assistant for Alaska-Fairbanks.

It’s official: Jutting is new Omaha assistant

From UNO sports information …

University of Nebraska Omaha head hockey coach Dean Blais announced today that Troy Jutting has been named the team’s new assistant coach.  Jutting takes over for Brian Renfrew who left Omaha after one year to take a position with the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League.

Jutting is well known to fans of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, having served as the head coach of Minnesota State for the last 12 years.

“We are fortunate that we have been able to add someone of Troy’s experience to our staff,” said Blais.  “After so many games coaching against us, he knows our program and our players.  Just as important, he knows the WCHA and what it takes to be successful there.  I think he can help us as we compete for league and national championships.”

For more, click here.

Monday reading: WCHA schedule, J. Schwartz, Heil, Slavin, Roos

The WCHA announced its composite schedule last week. Here is the press release.

Some think former Tiger Jaden Schwartz will have a breakout year this coming season for St. Louis. Sportsnet.ca predicts the same.

CC fans will want to follow the Chicago Steel of the USHL. Three future Tigers — Christian Heil, Jaccob Slavin and Alex Roos — are on the junior team’s 2012-13 roster.

New SCSU assistant Garrett Raboin chose to leave his playing days behind with the arrival of his and his wife’s first child.

The first goalie to win the Hobey Baker is inducted into his hometown Hall of Fame.

The RPI fan blog put out a well-written and thoughtful take on the the Sandusky scandal and how it may affect Penn State and college hockey.

Stars hire former Tiger Lidster as AHL assistant

Former Tigers standout Doug Lidster, pictured, is back in the coaching ranks.

From theahl.com …

Texas Stars general manager Scott White announced Friday that the club has hired Doug Lidster as assistant coach of Dallas’ primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Lidster, 51, was the hockey director for the Victory Honda AAA youth program in suburban Detroit the last five years. He also served a stint as the assistant coach for Canada’s women’s national hockey team in 2009-10, where he helped guide the team to the Four Nations Cup Championship, as well as an Olympic Gold Medal and an MLP Cup Championship.

Prior to his time with Victory Honda and Team Canada, he was the head coach of the Saginaw Spirit in the Ontario Hockey League.

Lidster was an assistant coach with Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League in 2002-03, the first season during which new Texas Stars head coach Willie Desjardins was the Tigers’ bench boss. With Medicine Hat, he helped guide the team to the second round of the WHL Playoffs.

“We are pleased to add Doug Lidster to our coaching staff,” said White. “He and Willie Desjardins have a history of working well together, and he clearly has fantastic experience as a player and as a coach. We feel he’ll be an outstanding asset to the club and we welcome him to the Texas Stars family.”

The native of Kamloops, B.C., played in the NHL from 1984-1999 with the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars. In 897 career games, he recorded 343 points (68 goals, 268 assists) and 679 penalty minutes. He played in a total of 80 Stanley Cup playoff games and was a member of Stanley Cup championship teams in New York (1994) and Dallas (1999).

The All-American had an impressive CC career as well with 174 points in 143 games as a Tiger, the third-best among defensemen in school history.

Thursday reading: Red and purple Mavs updates, UND, WCHA scholarships

MSU Mankato coach Mike Hastings garnered his first commits.

Nebraska Omaha announced its six-member freshman class, including three forwards, two defensemen and a goalie.

Brad Berry, pictured, was officially hired as an assistant at North Dakota. He spent two years coaching the Columbus defensemen.

WCHA announced its post-graduate scholarships which includes goalie Brad Eidsness.

As expected, it looks like the WCHA will alternate with the Big 10 though league officials refuse to confirm.

UNO announces assistant coach hire

From Nebraska-Omaha sports info …

OMAHA, Neb. – University of Nebraska Omaha head hockey coach Dean Blais announced today that Steve Johnson has been named the team’s new assistant coach.  He replaces Mike Hastings who left UNO following the 2011-12 season to take the head coach position at Minnesota State.

“I’m very pleased to have a coach of Steve’s caliber fill the void left by Mike Hastings’ departure,” said Blais.  “Steve has the ability to be a great recruiter for us, and his on-ice skills as a coach are very strong as shown by his work in both the United States Hockey League and at the college level.  His knowledge and experience will make our team stronger. ”

Johnson spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at WCHA rival school St. Cloud State.  Prior to that, he succeeded Blais as the head coach of the Fargo Force of the USHL where he coached for one season, leading the Force to the 2010 Clark Cup Finals.

For more, click this link. The search to replace Johnson at St. Cloud State is already underway judging from this job posting.

Monday reading: UMass-Lowell lookahead, North Dakota news, NCHC recruits, Alaska youth hockey upgrade, CC graduation rate, Civitarese

Coach Norm Bazin, center, runs through drills with the UMass Lowell hockey team at the Tsongas Center last season. Bazin, hired last spring, wasted no time turning the program around. SUN / TORY GERMANN

Here’s a good look at the 2011-12 season in Hockey East with some good 2012-13 info on UMass-Lowell, coached by former Tiger assistants Norm Bazin and Jason Lammers, which returns its top three scorers and starting goalie for the game in Colorado Springs in October.

That looks to be a very challenging game to play a night after playing at Air Force. That promises to be a big weekend for Pairwise, even though it will only be the third weekend.

Brad Berry is the lead contender for the open North Dakota assistant’s job.

North Dakota forward Rocco Grimaldi skated for the first time on Friday as he recovers from his season-ending knee surgery

A SCSU recruit scored the game-winner to claim the RBC Cup (junior A national championship) in Canada.

A good offensive defenseman and Duluth recruit was named as the USHL Defenseman of the Year. Former Tiger Tom Preissing garnered the same award for the 1998-99 season.

UMD sent out a corrected 2012-13 hockey schedule that works around the BYU-Notre Dame football game, among other scheduling demands.

The formation of the Alaska Jr. Aces should help youth hockey development in Anchorage. Why should a Tiger fan care? Consider that CC has four Alaskans — Hunter Fejes, Jared Hanson, William Rapuzzi, and Scott Wamsganz — on its roster for 2012-13 and have had a few great Alaskan players (Brian Swanson, Joey Crabb spring to mind) over the years.

Regardless of who is on the roster, the Tigers take care of academics when you consider this story about the entire department’s student-athletes. Former Tiger David Civitarese is a great example of that.

The USHL championships series will go to a decisive Game 5 on Wednesday. There are no current CC commits playing at Waterloo or Green Bay.

Alaska-Fairbanks announced its 2012-13 schedule which includes it season opener against Air Force in the Anchorage tournament.

The AHL conference final series resume on Monday. Norfolk, which includes Colorado Springs’ Jeff Dimmen (one assist, two games) has a 2-0 lead over St. John’s while Oklahoma City and Toronto are tied at 1-1 in the West finals.