In the pros: Sterling goes Gangnam style

Okay, I am too old to get caught up in this year’s version of the Macarena (remember that huge one-hit wonder?) but former Tiger Brett Sterling is not.

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.

In the pros: J. Schwartz leads Rivermen past Sweatt, AHL Wolves

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz scored two third-period goals to lead the Peoria Rivermen to 4-2 win over the Chicago Wolves in preseason action on Friday in Illinois.

The 14th overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft broke a 2-2 tie at 12:24 of the third after forcing a turnover in the offensive zone with the teams playing four-on-four. He added a second unassisted goal, this one on the power play, with just 1:28 left. He stole the puck from Darren Haydar just inside the blue line and then beat goalie Matt Climie between the legs as he was being pulled to the ice.

Chicago’s Bill Sweatt scored a power-play goal against Mike McKenna at 6:14 of the first period.

Here is an NHLPA video you may enjoy:

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.

Monday reading: Mankato, UND, Air Force, pro decisions

In college hockey news, here is a roundup of recent Mankato program news.

UND’s Joe Gleason did well at the Chicago development camp.

The Gazette’s Frank Schwab continues to work his butt off. Here is an update on the three Air Force players in NHL camps this summer.

Some college players talk about the challenge of deciding when to turn professional. Former Badgers defenseman Justin Schultz, pictured, knows that all too well.

Sterling heads to AHL Wolves; remaining Tiger free agents

Chicago Wolves TV play-by-play announcer Jason Shavers (@theshaves) tweeted Thursday morning that former Tiger Brett Sterling is back with the AHL club: “Wolves 3rd all-time goal scorer (143g) Brett Sterling is back after a 2yr hiatus. He is 14 goals behind Rob Brown for 2nd in team history. fitting that Sterling would be back w/ Haydar…both sit in top 6 all-time scoring leaders. Good combo 1 likes 2 pass other likes 2 shoot.”

Here is the official announcement concerning the AHL-only deal. The Wolves are affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks, meaning Sterling will join former Tiger Bill Sweatt (assuming both do not make the NHL club out of training camp) in Chicago.

Here are the remaining available free agents (all unrestricted except Bachman) as of 11 a.m. Mountain on Thursday: They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman, pictured, (Dallas): Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

Outdoor games set for Soldier Field

The official press conference announcing the outdoor hockey doubleheader Feb. 17 at Soldier Field in Chicago is at 1 p.m. Mountain Wednesday at the stadium.

The Hockey City Classic pairings are the CCHA’s Miami of Ohio vs. league foe Notre Dame and the WCHA’s Minnesota vs. conference rival Wisconsin. Details about activities taking place in the two weeks prior will be revealed at the press conference.

In the pros: ECHL, AHL playoffs update

San Antonio's Mark Cullen had a big game against Chicago in the AHL playoffs on Saturday night.

In the AHL, Mark Cullen picked up two assists, including the first assist on the game-winner in San Antonio’s 4-3 win over Chicago, which plays Bill Sweatt.

Gabe Guentzel played his second playoff game for Syracuse and finished plus-2. David Civitarese has yet to appear for Hershey in the postseason.

Today is a busy day for former Tigers with Bridgeport’s Trevor Frischmon trying to avoid elimination in the best-of-five series against Connecticut while Houston hopes to do the same at OKC. Abbotsford, which features Brian Connelly, will try to take a 2-0 lead at Milwaukee this afternoon.

Former Tiger Brian Swanson assisted the opening goal as the Alaska Aces defeated Stockton 4-1 in Game 5 of their ECHL second-round playoff series and advanced to the Western Conference finals for the sixth time in the franchise’s nine years. They Aces will face the winner of the Las Vegas-Idaho series (LV leads 3-1).

Tim Hall played for Alaska. The loss ends Ryan Lowery’s stay in Stockton He may now be called up to AHL Oklahoma City, which holds a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five series against Houston, which has Kris Fredheim, Nate Prosser and Chad Rau on its roster.

Saturday reading: Frozen 4, Kirby, game attendance, Huntsville, Johnson, Lowery, Hall, Slattengren, Swanson, Prosser suspension

Here is College Hockey News’ preview of tonight’s championship game.

It’s Boston College’s potent offense versus Ferris State’s suffocating defense according to this preview.

One of Ferris State’s notable alums may be one of the Beach Boys, but the Bulldogs wasted no time on the sand on Friday.

The rigors of the Hockey East schedule best prepared Boston College for tonight’s game at 5 p.m. Mountain (ESPN2).

Air Force defenseman Tim Kirby garnered All-America East honors. He is the fourth Falcon all-time and fourth in the past six years to be so honored.

Attendance has never been an issue for either Air Force or Colorado College in recent years.

Alabama-Huntsville is using its chance to host the Frozen Four as a chance to ingratiate (ie. free scotch and steaks) themselves with the member schools of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Good thing former Tiger Tyler Johnson bolted for Europe. His former ECHL team has folded, but the CHL’s Fort Wayne expected move up the ECHL along with expansion franchises in San Francisco and Orlando mean there will be some minor-league pro jobs out there for other former college players.

Ryan Lowery’s Stockton Thunder eliminated the Colorado Eagles, which included Aaron Slattengren, on Friday in the first round of the ECHL playoffs. The Thunder head north to take on the Alaska Aces, which feature Tim Hall and Brian Swanson.

Nate Prosser was suspended for one game for head-butting Jamal Mayers recently. Here is Brendan Shanahan’s video explanation of the suspension. With Prosser out tonight, former Sioux defenseman Chay Genoway will make his NHL debut tonight against Phoenix.

UMD goalie Kenny Reiter has signed with AHL Bridgeport, an affiliate of the Islanders. North Dakota defenseman Ben Blood (all-league player with an all-world name) signed with Ottawa.

Guentzel headed to AHL Syracuse

Former Tiger defenseman Gabe Guentzel will likely make his pro debut this weekend for AHL Syracuse. COURTESY TIM BRULE/USCHO

Former Tiger defenseman Gabe Guentzel is flying to Syracuse, N.Y. on Friday to sign an AHL-only contract with the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch for the remainder of this season and the next, he said Thursday night.

“They really wanted to get me out there playing and learning their system,” he said. “That is one of the reasons I chose them.”

The Crunch are affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks organization, in which the puck-moving defenseman hopes he can find a niche and develop his game for the NHL.

Guentzel said he is unsure when he will make his professional debut. He is healthy and able to play when needed, he said.

“They really want to see me get some games under my belt this season,” he said.

The Crunch (27-27-4-4) host the Rochester Americans, which include former Tiger Colin Stuart, on Friday and the Adirondack Phantoms, which include former CC captain Mike Testwuide and Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom, on Saturday.

The college free agent said five other organizations – Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Edmonton and Minnesota – approached him about signing with them toward the end of his senior season, which ended March 10.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. He is the second  of the six Tiger seniors to sign a pro deal after his college career concluded. Tim Hall signed with the Alaska Aces late Thursday night.

Guentzel recorded 26 points (4g, 22a) his senior season and 94 points (16g, 78a) in 156 games for his career, missing only three games his freshman year out of a possible 159 contests played his his four years  a Tiger.