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.

Tuesday reading: Guentzel, Civitarese, Labosky, CC radio show, MSU Mankato, Western Michigan preview, national TV schedule

Former Tiger Gabe Guentzel will be playing for the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL after the Anaheim organization switched affiliates. He signed an AHL contract on Sept. 21.

David Civitarese will get some extra coaching with Capitals coach Adam Oates working for AHL Hershey during the NHL lockout.

CC commit Daniel Labosky (2013 or 2014) is tied for fifth in points (15) in 11 games in the Upper Midwest Elite League.

The monthly Coach Scott Owens Show will be broadcast live from McCabe’s Tavern, 520 S. Tejon St., from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays on Oct. 9, Nov. 15, Dec. 4, Jan. 15, Feb. 5 and March 12. Schedule is subject to change, of course.

Western Michigan has the Mason Cup on display in Andy Murray’s office and the Broncos are not about to let it leave.

Minnesota State Mankato single-game tickets went on sale on Monday.

Here is the national and regional TV schedule. The first game broadcast will be the Manitoba at North Dakota exhibition (really) on Saturday night.

Thursday reading: Michigan, Jablonski, NCHC, Civitarese, Guentzel

Former Tiger David Civitarese made quite an impression at the recent prospects camp. Thanks to CC statistician Victoria Thomas for providing this image.

Here is a list of Michigan college players who signed pro contracts so far this offseason including Michigan Tech’s Jordan Baker going to ECHL Colorado.

Injured high school hockey player Jack Jablonski is making considerable progress.

Here is an update on CC’s $27 million in renovations at its El Pomar athletic complex, which will include a new varsity weight room and synthetic ice shooting room for the hockey program.

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference added two to its league office staff.

And from the How Did I Miss This? story department, here are two older articles on former Tigers. David Civitarese was happy to miss the Calgary Stampede last month. Gabe Guentzel made a good first impression during his first partial pro season.

Anyone traveling to Omaha later this month may want to check out this hockey game fundraiser that features former Nebraska Omaha players and current NHLers.

Thursday reading: Harstad, Stoykewych, Guentzel, Bazin, MacInnes

The Winnipeg Jets renewed their affiliation agreement with the expansion St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL. Relevance to CC fans you ask? Seventh-round draft picks Aaron Harstad and Peter Stoykewych will likely start their pro careers in Newfoundland someday.

The Syracuse Crunch signed an arena lease agreement to keeps the AHL franchise, where former Tiger Gabe Guentzel is under contract, in that town through 2024.

According to Chris Heisenberg, Jake Guentzel, Gabe’s younger brother, has committed to Nebraska-Omaha for 2013 or 2014.

Duluth goalie Kenny Reiter has signed with AHL Bridgeport.

Former CC assistant Norm Bazin signed a four-year contract extension with UMass-Lowell.

Michigan Tech’s John MacInnes Student Ice Arena will open after considerable renovations later this month.

Tuesday reading: Cecere, NHL free agency, Guentzel, Bjugstad, AFA

Future Tiger Garrett Cecere (2013 commit) is getting some attention from NHL scouts.

Seven former Tigers remain NHL/AHL free agents  (as of 10 a.m. MT) after Joey Crabb (Capitals), Curtis McElhinney (Columbus) and Toby Petersen (Dallas) signed on Sunday and Monday.

Jack Hillen joined Crabb on the Caps on Tuesday morning.

Here are some details about Crabb’s deal and the $200,000 pay raise from the Anchorage Daily News.

They are (name, 2011-12 team):

Richard Bachman (Dallas): Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, pictured, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay); Brett Sterling (Blues), Colin Stuart (Buffalo), and Mike Testwuide (Flyers).

Colorado Springs’ Ben Holmstrom (Flyers) is also available.

Jake Guentzel, younger brother of former Tiger Gabe, is considering Colorado College. Nice kid. I met him during his visit while he was watching a practice last November. He is forgoing his senior year of high school to go to the USHL which means he could develop more quickly.

Former Badger Justin Schultz hates how Lebronesque his decision became.

Minnesota’s Nick Bjugstad will decide after the Panthers’ development camp if he will return to the Gophers.

UMass fans lick their wounds after being turned down by the Quinnipiac coach.

From  the academy …

The Air Force hockey team is proud to announce the five members of the Class of 2016, as announced Monday by head coach Frank Serratore. The class of 2016 includes two forwards and three defensemen.

26, Ben Carey, F, 5-11, 160, Centennial, CO / Wenatchee Wild (NAHL)

Played two years of junior hockey for the Wenatchee Wild of the NAHL … Led the Wild in scoring in 2011-12 with 57  points (27-30-57) in 60 games … led the team with 14 ppg and was second with a +16 … tied for 11th in the league in goals and 16th in points … third in the league in power-play goals … scored six points (2-4-6) in eight playoff games … in 2010-11, was fifth on the Wild with 43 points (19-24-43) in 57 games … fourth on the team in goals and fifth in points in 2010-11.

44, Max Edson, F, 5-8, 170, Hermosa Beach, CA / Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL)

Played two years of junior hockey for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL … Played 33 games in 2011-12 at forward and scored 15 points (6-9-15) … In 2010-11, played 54 games at forward and scored 19 points (10-9-19).

8, Max Hartner, D, 6-0, 195, Greenwood Village, CO / Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)

Played three years of junior hockey for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL … Played in 38 games in 2011-12 on defense and scored 10 points (1-9-10) … Played in 44 games on defense in 2010-11 and had 12 points (6-6-12) in 44 games … team captain in 2011-12 and 2010-11 … helped lead the Gamblers to the USHL regular-season and playoff championships twice … In 2009-10, scored three points (1-2-3) in 24 games.

10, Jesse Ramsey, D, 5-11, 175, Rogers, MN / Kenai River Brown Bears (NAHL)

Played three years of junior hockey with the Kenai River Brown Bears of the NAHL .. the top scoring defenseman, and third overall on the team,  with 38 points (11-27-38) in 60 games in 2011-12  … ranked fifth in the league in points by a defenseman … 11 goals tied as the second most in the league by any blueliner … played 57 games at forward for the Brown Bears in 2010-11 and had 21 points (5-16-21) … began his junior career in 2009-10 with the Wenatchee Wild of the NAHL and played 16 games, scoring four points (3-1-4) … played the final 38 games of the 2009-10 season with the Brown Bears at forward and scored 19 points (3-16-19) in 38 games.

77, Trevor Waldoch, D, 6-2, 175, Forest Lake, MN / Austin Bruins (NAHL)

Played two years of junior hockey for the Austin Bruins of the NAHL … Played in 60 games on defense in 2011-12 and scored 27 points (9-18-27) in 60 to rank third on team among defenseman … Played 48 games in 2010-11 on defense and scored 25 points (5-20-25) in 48 games.

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: AHL and ECHL playoffs, Crabb, coaches meetings, Air Force schedule, Penn State arena, Knight injury, DU captains

Former Tiger captain Nick Dineen showed off what he can do, especially on face-offs and down low, during his short amateur tryout with the ECHL's Elmira Jackals.

Former Tiger Nick Dineen’s first pro season is over. The Eastern No. 1 seed Elmira Jackals lost to No. 5 Florida 2-1  Friday night and the best-of-seven ECHL playoff series 4-1.

Elmira had led the series 1-0 on Dineen’s game-winner in Game 1. Dineen is now a free agent. I would expect him sign an AHL contract this summer.

Alaska, which includes Tim Hall and Brian Swanson, now leads Stockton, which plays Ryan Lowery, 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is Saturday night in California.

Gabe Guentzel played in his first pro playoff game, a 3-2 loss for Syracuse. David Civitarese was a scratch for Hershey in its 3-1 loss. Kris Fredheim and Chad Rau’s No. 8 seed Aeros are down 2-0 in their series against Oklahoma City while Abbotsford, led by Brian Connelly, cruised past Milwaukee.

Colorado Springs’ Jeff Dimmen, a former Maine standout defenseman, is playing for the powerful Norfolk Admirals squad, which won its pro-hockey record 29th game in a row on Friday, a mark that is 11 games longer than any other winning streak ever recorded in any league since hockey was professionalized in 1904. CC fans may remember him for scoring the game-winner against the Tigers in the Florida College Classic during December 2008.

Joey Crabb received a respectable grade from the Toronto beat writer for his best NHL season.

This week’s national coaches’ meeting will have plenty of issues to discuss, including half-shields and the new conference alignments.

Construction on the new ice hockey arena for Penn State, which begins play as a Division I independent this October, began officially on Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony. Coach Guy Gadowsky, a CC alumnus, and two PSU players are interviewed in these videos.

Alaska-Anchorage announced its 2012-13 schedule which will include a game against Air Force in the Kendall Classic in Anchorage Oct. 13. The Falcons take on Alaska-Fairbanks at 3:07 p.m. Mountain on Oct. 12.

North Dakota’s Corban Knight played the last three months of the season with a broken hand.

Denver announced that junior defenseman Paul Phillips, who was an assistant this past season, will be the captain of the 2012-13 Pioneers.  Colorado Springs’ Chris Knowlton won the most improved award and will be an assistant captain along with Shawn Ostrow and Nick Shore.

Thursday reading: Aikens, AFA software training, Big 10 tourney, Dineen fight video, CC-AFA series, ECHL and AHL playoffs, WCHA

Former Tiger Bruce Aikens was named to his hometown Rochester, Minn, QB Hall of Fame.

I wrote an article for USCHO about Air Force using “video-game” software to further develop players’ mental acuity, the all-important, hard-to-quantify “hockey sense.”

The Big Ten announced it will hold its postseason tournament in Detroit and St. Paul every other year, setting the stage for a National Collegiate Hockey Conference announcement that has the new league playing in St. Paul when the Big 10 is in Detroit and vice versa.

Former Tiger Nick Dineen had his first pro fight (video) on Wednesday night.

All indications point to a home-and-home series between CC and Air Force starting with the 2014-15 season.

Here is an ECHL roundup from Wednesday.

The AHL playoffs start Thursday night. I listed all the series and have former Tigers listed by their team so fans may follow their efforts.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
1-Norfolk Admirals (Richard Petiot, injured) vs. 8-Manchester Monarchs
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – Manchester at Norfolk, 7:30
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Manchester at Norfolk, 7:15
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Norfolk at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 27 – Norfolk at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Norfolk at Manchester, 7:00

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
2-St. John’s IceCaps vs. 7-Syracuse Crunch
(Gabe Guentzel)
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – St. John’s at Syracuse, 7:30
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – St. John’s at Syracuse, 7:30
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Syracuse at St. John’s, 6:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 27 – Syracuse at St. John’s, 6:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Syracuse at St. John’s, 6:00

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “C” (best-of-5)
3-Bridgeport Sound Tigers
(Trevor Frischmon) vs. 6-Connecticut Whale
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 19 – Connecticut at Bridgeport, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Connecticut at Bridgeport, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 22 – Bridgeport at Connecticut, 5:00
*Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Bridgeport at Connecticut, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Connecticut at Bridgeport, 7:00

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “D” (best-of-5)
4-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. 5-Hershey Bears
(David Civitarese)
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 25 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 27 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
1-Oklahoma City Barons vs. 8-Houston Aeros
(Kris Fredheim, Nate Prosser, Chad Rau)
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 19 – Oklahoma City at Houston, 8:05
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 20 – Oklahoma City at Houston, 8:35
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 22 – Houston at Oklahoma City, 8:00
*Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 24 – Houston at Oklahoma City, 8:00
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Houston at Oklahoma City, 8:00

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
2-Toronto Marlies vs. 7-Rochester Americans
(Colin Stuart)
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 19 – Rochester at Toronto, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Rochester at Toronto, 3:00
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 23 – Toronto at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Toronto at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Rochester at Toronto, 3:00

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “G” (best-of-5)
3-Chicago Wolves
(Bill Sweatt) vs. 6-San Antonio Rampage (Mark Cullen)
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 19 – Chicago at San Antonio, 8:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Chicago at San Antonio, 8:00
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 24 – San Antonio at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 25 – San Antonio at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 27 – San Antonio at Chicago, 8:30

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “H” (best-of-5)
4-Abbotsford Heat
(Brian Connelly) vs. 5-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – Abbotsford at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 22 – Abbotsford at Milwaukee, 6:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Milwaukee at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 27 – Milwaukee at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Milwaukee at Abbotsford, 10:00

Here are Bemidj State’s five signees and their 2012-13 schedule.

The Gopher defensemen were the most productive in Division I.

Monday reading: Zaba, J. Schwartz, Kirby, Dineen, Holmstrom, Testwuide, Prosser, Civitarese, Guentzel, ECHL playoffs, Mankato

Elmira Jackals' Nick Dineen tries to redirect the puck in front of Florida Everblades' goalie John Muse during the first period at First Arena in Elmira on Friday.

Former Tiger Matt Zaba won his second Italia Serie A (top Italian pro league) championship on Friday night as starting goalie for the Bolzano Foxes of northern Italy.

“Our goaltender and first line were the key to our victory,” said the club’s President Dieter Knoll.

Bolzano has now won a record 19 league titles.

Jaden Schwartz was named as a second team All-America forward by Inside College Hockey which has Air Force’s Tim Kirby as a third-team defenseman.

Here is INCH’s freshman All-America first and second teams. Do not expect many of these guys to stay four years after such strong rookie seasons.

Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom and Vail’s Mike Testwuide both scored in a costly Friday loss for AHL Adirondack, which fell short of the final playoff berth in the East.

Nate Prosser’s arrival in Houston helped the Aeros secure the West’s No. 8 seed in the AHL playoffs, which begin on Thursday. Hershey (David Civitarese) and Syracuse  (Gabe Guentzel) both qualified for the postseason.

In the ECHL playoffs, Nick Dineen and the Elmira Jackals resume their playoff series (tied 1-1) against Florida at 5:30 Mountain tonight. Stockton, which includes Ryan Lowery, and Alaska (Brian Swanson and Tim Hall) will both try to break their 1-1 series tie on Wednesday.

If Richard Bachman (restricted free agent) re-signs with Dallas, he can expect a stern challenge from Texas Stars starter Jack Campbell, who impressed his coaches with a strong first pro season.

Hobey Baker Award winner Jack Connolly was named as the USCHO Player of the Year.

Here is more on Mike Hastings’ hire at MSU Mankato this Saturday. The purple Mavs also released their home schedule, which is a smart way to build up the fans’ excitement in southern Minnesota.

Air Force freshman Scott Holm was named the Atlantic Hockey Association Rookie of the Month for March/April.

Holm, a forward from Plymouth, Minn., was AFA’s top freshman scorer with three goals and four points in six games as Air Force won its fifth league champion­ship in six years. He scored a goal in all three games versus UConn as the Falcons won the AHA quarterfinal series. Holm finished the season with 10 points (6g, 4a) and was named the team’s most improved player.

More Monday reading: Tigers in the pros, Mankato, USA U18 roster

I wrote a feature on Richard Bachman, pictured at left, for CC sports information and an update on the other former Tigers under AHL and NHL contracts.

The coaching change at Minnesota State Mankato continues to be the big news around the league for the time being (I suspect the Gophers will be the focus again within 24 hours). Here are more Frozen Four links.

Here’s more from the Monday morning press conference where Troy Jutting shows why he is the respected man he is around the WCHA.

Now it is time for people to guess about possible replacements, which mentions current CC assistant Eric Rud as a possibility. In my opinion, both he and Joe Bonnett are more than qualified.

Here is the USA U-18 national team roster for the upcoming world championships in Europe. There are plenty of college commits on the list.