Friday reading: WCHA features and previews, military appreciation

No. 19 Colorado College takes on a strong No. 7 Cornell team in its first road trip of the season (No, Air Force does not count).

Minnesota State readies for its final campaign in the old WCHA. They travel to St. Cloud State.

Here is a look at the Wisconsin at No. 14 Minnesota Duluth series from a Bulldogs perspective. Wisconsin senior Derek Lee, UW’s power play quarterback, is out this weekend after a scooter-car collision.

Nebraska Omaha goalie John Faulkner is playing well so far. UNO hosts Bemidji State.

Hockey brought in big money to the Denver economy last weekend. Look for goalie Sam Brittain to start Friday against visiting Michigan Tech with Juho Olkinuora. Here is a preview focusing on Michigan Tech.

Here is all you need to know about Alaska Anchorage at No. 4 North Dakota.

Minnesota plays the USA U-18 team tonight and Canisius, which tied Air Force 1-1 on Thursday,  on Sunday. The Gophers will rest a few dinged up players.

In pro hockey, the ECHL Colorado Eagles are asking fans to nominate their family members or friends who they feel qualify as “Hometown Heroes” as part of Military Appreciation Night.

If you know of someone who deserves to be honored and recognized for their incredible efforts of military service, please fill out the attached form and return it for consideration to the Colorado Eagles by the end of business on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Three nominees will be chosen from the forms received, and honored (one per period) during our annual Military Appreciation Night on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the Budweiser Events Center.  The honorees will receive free tickets to that night’s game, along with admittance for select family/friends.

Wednesday reading: Preseason teams, AFA, Gophers, Mavs, Tech

The WCHA was sprinkled throughout the College Hockey News’ preseason first and second team honorees.

Air Force’s Adam McKenzie is one of the top 10 preseason defensemen according to USCHO.

Here is Wild beat writer Michael Russo’s first impressions of the Gophers.

Nebraska Omaha coach Dean Blais, pictured,announced that senior forward Brent Gwidt will serve as captain of the 2012-13 team, and junior forward Matt White and senior goaltender John Faulkner will be alternate captains.

“All three players have experience as captains for our team last year, and they are natural choices by their fellow players to again lead our team,” Blais said in a press release.  “We expect our captains to set good examples for their teammates both on the ice and off, and these three players have the ability to do that.”

Getting the ‘A’ certainly suggests Faukner has an edge in the battle for the No. 1 goalie job.

Tyler Elbrecht and Eriah Hayes are the Mankato captains.

Former Tigers Joey Crabb and Tim Hall were joined by Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky on the ECHL Alaska Aces’ training camp roster.

Here is a look back at the formation of Hockey East. There are some familiar themes in there for WCHA fans.

Michigan Tech added its third defenseman commit in two weeks.

Here is the Western College Hockey Blog’s look at St. Cloud State.

Minnesota-Duluth will continue to reload, not rebuild. Here is a fan’s take on the Alaska-Fairbanks scrimmage.

UNO goalie sits out upcoming season

OMAHA, Neb. – University of Nebraska Omaha head hockey coach Dean Blais announced today that sophomore goaltender Ryan Massa will be taking a year off for personal reasons and will not compete again for the Mavericks until the 2013-14 season.

“We respect Ryan’s decision and wish him the best in the upcoming year,” said Blais.  “Per NCAA rules, he has five years in which to complete four years of competition, and we’ll look forward to his return in 2013-14.

“We are fortunate to have John Faulkner and Dayn Belfour returning as well as incoming freshman Anthony Stolarz joining our roster, and we think all three will do a very good job for us.”

Massa shared the top job with Faulkner but had superior stats. The native of Littleton, Colo. also authored UNO’s only shutout of the season, turning aside 35 shots in a 4-0 win at Michigan Tech on Feb. 11.

Massa finished 7-8-2 with a .914 saves percentage and 2.60 goals against mark but it was Faulkner (5-9-2, .886, 2.93) who started in Saturday’s elimination game during the WCHA playoffs when St. Cloud State ended the Mavs’ season.

Stolarz is well regarded and could end up being the new No. 1 while incoming sophomore Belfour, son of former NHLer Ed, posted good numbers in six games: 2-1-2, .902 saves, 2.55 gaa.

Regardless, the news loosens up a logjam at that position. Colorado College plays a WCHA series at Omaha Jan. 4-5, 2013 in their only scheduled games this upcoming season before both joining the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.