Friday reading: Gross, Fejes, Duluth, UND, WMU, Tech

Pine Creek HS graduate Taylor Gross, far left, models the new Penn State hockey home uniform. The captain of the women’s hockey team is joined by former CC standout Guy Gadowsky, the men’s head coach, third from left.

Incoming Tigers freshman Hunter Fejes is one of the rookies to watch this season according to this North Dakota blogger.

Senior forward Mike Seidel will need to have a good year producing those hard-work points to help Minnesota-Duluth remain a league contender after losing Hobey Baker winner Jack Connolly to graduation.

Here is the 2012-13 schedule for the CHL expansion franchise Denver Cutthroats, which includes a couple former Denver Pioneers. While checking out the home games, keep in mind that former Tiger Brian McMillin plays for the Allen Americans.

Western Michigan added a goalie for this season.

North Dakota’s beat writer explains the team’s TV broadcast deals for this season and next.

Freshman forward Blake Tatchell will need to step in and step up to replace the offense lost to graduation for Alaska-Anchorage.

The Mining Gazette offers a detailed first look at the Michigan Tech Huskies, who have high hopes after reaching the WCHA Final Five last season at the expense of the Tigers. Junior defenseman Daniel Sova will be a big reason (excuse the pun) why Tech fans have such high expectations.

In the pros: Bidwill, Dineen, McMillin, Sterling

Former Tiger defenseman Arthur Bidwill was plus-2 in his professional debut on Friday night.

Former Tiger defenseman Arthur Bidwill made his professional debut during the Allen Americans’ 5-0 win over the Texas Brahmas in the first round of the Central Hockey League playoffs Friday night.

Allen teammate and former Tiger forward Brian McMillin scored a goal for the Western Conference second-seeded Americans.

Nick Dineen made his pro debut with the ECHL Elmira (N.Y.) Jackals against the Reading Royals on Friday in the team’s second-to-last regular-season game, committing a tripping penalty.

Brett Sterling scored an empty-netter in AHL Portland’s 5-3 win over Worcester.

Bidwill joins McMillin on CHL’s Allen Americans

Former Tiger defenseman Arthur Bidwill, pictured at right, is headed to Allen, Texas this weekend to join the Central Hockey League’s Allen Americans franchise, where former teammate and center Brian McMillin is tied for sixth on the team with 40 points (26 assists) in 61 games.

“There were one of the teams that approached me after the season,” Bidwill said Thursday afternoon.”‘It was a pretty easy decision. It was kind of a bonus to see McMillin on the roster and know someone already on the team.”

The Americans’ regular season concludes this weekend so Bidwill will head there now, sign a contract for the rest of the season and get in a couple practices before potentially making his debut during the CHL playoffs. Berry Conference No. 2 seed Allen (36-18-9) hosts the third-place Texas Brahmas (33-23-8) next weekend.

The CHL teams have a 19-man playoff roster paired with a rotating list of players available to fill in as needed. Bidwill expects to be in that grouping.

He is confident and hopeful he can do well and garner an invitation to next season’s training camp and perhaps a contract for the following season. There is some upward mobility possible with the Americans’ affiliation agreements with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars, where Stephen Schultz is on the Austin team’s roster, and the Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland.

“Hopefully I can get in for a couple games and start building my pro (experience),” he said. “College definitely helped prepare me for the pace of the game.”

Bidwill said he will get his mathematical economics degree. He is finishing his thesis over the next couple weeks. All his classwork is completed.

In the meantime, he hopes to keep playing the game he loves for as long as he is able, acknowledging that no one plays in the CHL to get rich.

“Definitely,” he said with a chuckle. “Right now I am just looking to build on my college experience in a new career in the pro ranks.”

Thursday reading: League honors, playoff notes, pros and women updates

CC sophomore goalie Josh Thorimbert shared co-defensive player of the week honors from the WCHA. He gets a rematch in this weekend’s playoff series. Here’s preview notes from the fifth seeded Tigers and Huskies.

North Dakota climbed from 11th to fourth by season’s end, giving them home ice against Bemidji State this weekend. Beavers coach Tom Serratore talks UND in this video.

The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, seeded second in the WCHA playoffs, dyed their hair blonde last seaosn and won a national title. They hope Mohawks do the trick this seasonHere are notes for the playoff series preview against MSU Mankato.

Top seed Minnesota hosts last-place Alaska Anchorage a year after the Seawolves upset the Gophers. No. 3 Denver hosts No. 10 Wisconsin while sixth seeded SCSU hosts Nebraska Omaha.

Former Tiger Brian McMillin played his 100th pro game last Friday. Nate Prosser reminisces about the Minnesota state hockey tournament.

Here’s Bruce Ciskie’s look at the WCHA playoffs with predictions and the Merrimack beat writer’s predictions for the Hockey East quarterfinals. Tiger fans should hope he was wrong about Merrimack advancing.

The Grand Forks Herald provides only a smidgen of information since injury updates are forbidden during playoff time.Here’s the latest on the Sioux nickname mess. Here’s Goon’s World All-WCHA blogger ballot.

Pine Creek graduate Emily West cracked the women’s top 10 in all-time points at Minnesota with 153 career points last weekend.

From the WCHA:

Playoffs, First Round – Best-of-Three

Games for Friday, March 9: (12) Alaska Anchorage at (1) Minnesota (NC), 7:07 pm CT; (11) Minnesota State at (2) Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; (10) Wisconsin at (3) Denver (NC), 7:37 pm MT; (9) Bemidji State at (4) North Dakota (NC), 7:37 pm CT; (8) Michigan Tech at (5) Colorado College (NC), 7:37 pm MT; (7) Nebraska Omaha at (6) St. Cloud State (NC), 7:37 pm CT.

Games for Saturday, March 10: (12) Alaska Anchorage at (1) Minnesota (NC), 7:07 pm CT; (11) Minnesota State at (2) Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; (10) Wisconsin at (3) Denver (NC), 7:07 pm MT; (9) Bemidji State at (4) North Dakota (NC), 7:07 pm CT; (8) Michigan Tech at (5) Colorado College (NC), 7:07 pm MT; (7) Nebraska Omaha at (6) St. Cloud State (NC), 7:07 pm CT.

Games for Sunday, March 11 (if necessary): (12) Alaska Anchorage at (1) Minnesota (NC), 7:07 pm CT; (11) Minnesota State at (2) Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; (10) Wisconsin at (3) Denver (NC), 7:07 pm MT; (9) Bemidji State at (4) North Dakota (NC), 7:07 pm CT; (8) Michigan Tech at (5) Colorado College (NC), 7:07 pm MT; (7) Nebraska Omaha at (6) St. Cloud State (NC), 7:07 pm CT.

More Wednesday reading: In the pros, Wisconsin news

Former Tiger Trevor Frischmon got into a fight (video) over the weekend. Here’s a feature on Nate Prosser. Congrats to him and his wife Brittani, who are expecting their first child this August.

Brian McMillin picked up an assist in a big win for the CHL’s Allen Americans.

Air Force is relying on balanced scoring during its eight-game unbeaten streak.

These two brothers have garnered CC’s attention.

Here’s a followup on Wisconsin goalie Kirk Daubenspeck and his return from an accident that nearly killed him a year ago.

Here’s more on the Big 10, WCHA and National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s search for a postseason tournament home, the third big task new commissioner Jim Scherr is handling.

Wisconsin bids farewell to its Bob Johnson practice facility. I’d suggest they name the new practice facility replacing it in Badger Bob’s honor soon.

The WCHA announced its players of the week.

Tuesday reading: Gophers update; Bachman starts tonight

Here’s highlights from Don Lucia’s Monday radio show about this weekend’s hoem series against CC.

The first major injury of the year for Minnesota takes out one of its better penalty killers.

Here’s the first big event for the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, an outdoor game in 2013 between North Dakota and host Nebraska Omaha in the College World Series baseball stadium in downtown Omaha.

Former Tiger Richard Bachman, pictured at left, will start in goal Tuesday night against Detroit.

Brian McMillin scored for the CHL ‘s Allen Americans.

This Week in the WCHA … 

Bemidji State is idle.

Games for Friday, January 20: Alaska Anchorage at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Alabama-Huntsville at Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; Colorado College at Minnesota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; North Dakota at St. Cloud State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Nebraska Omaha at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT.

Games for Saturday, January 21: Colorado College at Minnesota (WCHA), 5:07 pm CT; Northern Michigan at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Alaska Anchorage at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Alabama-Huntsville at Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; North Dakotaat St. Cloud State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Nebraska Omaha at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT.