Saturday reading: Friday recaps, Enga, Heil, Roos, Slavin

Here is The Gazette’s game story on No. 2 Denver’s 6-5 road win over No. 14 Colorado College from Friday night and the Denver Post’s take.

Not surprisingly, all four WCHA games were very tight, decided by a total of two goals in two wins with two ties.

From the WCHA …

No. 3 Minnesota 2, Wisconsin 2

MINNEAPOLIS – Junior forward Michael Mersch scored his second goal of the game at 5:06 of the second period to lift Wisconsin into a 2-2 tie with Minnesota on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.

Minnesota Duluth 4, No. 5/6 North Dakota 4

GRAND FORKS — Senior defenseman Drew Olson scored at 14:08 of the third period to propel Minnesota Duluth into a 4-4 tie with North Dakota on Friday night at Engelstad Arena.

Michigan Tech 5, Bemidji State 4 OT

BEMIDJI — Freshman forward Alex Petan scored 2:12 into overtime as Michigan Tech scored the final four goals of the game to emerge with a 5-4 victory against Bemidji State on Friday night at Sanford Center.

This may cheer up a few CC fans. The USHL Chicago Steel are enjoying an 8-3-1 start entering  league play this weekend and three future Tigers are a big reason why.  CC signee Alex Roos leads the team in scoring with 13 points (7 goals) in 12 games, while Christian Heil leads the team in goals with 10 (12 points).

Both Roos, a 17-year-old Prairie Grove, Illinois native, and Heil, an 18-year-old who hails from Westminster, Colo, are joined by former Tiger and Steel assistant coach R.J. Enga and Carolina draft pick Jaccob Slavin, of Erie, Colo., also a Tigers signee. Enga and Slavin, a defenseman, missed games to win gold for Team USA at the the recent World Junior A Challenge.

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CC moves up to No. 14, Denver now No. 2 in USCHO poll

Colorado College enjoyed the biggest improvement of any WCHA team in the weekly USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll, jumping five spots from No. 19 to No. 14 this week.

Denver improved from No. 3 to No. 2, passing Minnesota. North Dakota remained at No. 6.

St. Cloud State remained at No. 15 while Nebraska Omaha re-entered the rankings at No. 18. Minnesota Duluth fell out of the poll.

Thanks to an eight-game win streak, Boston College received all 50 first-place votes and retained the No. 1 ranking. Previously unranked Dartmouth (5-0-1) of the ECAC made its poll debut at No. 12.

Friday morning reading: Previews, videos and features

Here are the weekly USCHO predictions.

No. 2 Minnesota (5-2, 2-2 WCHA) at Alaska-Anchorage (2-2-2, 0-1-1)

The Gophers hope the long plane trip will help them focus on better play. UAA’s Scott Allen and his offensive contributions are featured.

No. 3 Denver (5-1, 3-1) at Minnesota State (3-3-2, 1-3)

Denver junior forward Nick Shore is enjoying a good start and is featured here. There are a couple MSU stories available through links at Puckato, the MSU beat writer’s blog.

No. 6 North Dakota (3-2-1, 1-0-1) at No. 15 St. Cloud State (5-3, 3-1)

Here is video of the weekly UND press conference with head coach Dave Hakstol and players Corban Knight, Dillon Simpson and Andrew MacWilliam.

SCSU’s Garrett Milan is featured by his hometown newspaper. Nic Dowd is benefiting from hard work this summer. You can see he has grown out his hair for the Locks of Love charity in the picture with the St. Cloud Times article. Here is a radio interview of coach Bob Motzko about the upcoming series.

Bemidji State (2-1-1, 1-0-1) at No. 19 Colorado College (5-3, 2-0)

Here is CCTigers.com’s weekly preview. The BSU players hope to rengain momentum after a bye week following a four-point weekend at Nebraska-Omaha in late October. This link goes to Thursday reading, which has a video interview with BSU coach Tom Serratore, a CC preview and a feature on Eamonn McDermott.

No.  20 Minnesota-Duluth (2-3-1, 0-1-1) at Nebraska-Omaha (4-3-1, 2-1-1), Saturday-Sunday

Here is the Duluth News-Tribune’s preview and the UMD preview notes. Here is College Hockey News’ praise for Nebraska-Omaha. The Omaha World Herald examines the strong UNO penalty kill. The Mavs’ Matt White, who sat out last week due to academic issues, will be available this weekend.

Michigan Tech and Wisconsin are idle

Tigers back in USCHO poll at No. 19

A road sweep at Wisconsin, which included a Saturday shutout by senior goalie Joe Howe, pictured,  moved Colorado College back into the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll at No. 19, matching its preseason ranking.

The Tigers (5-3, 2-0 WCHA) host Bemidji State this weekend.

With 36 teams receiving votes, the parity in college hockey has never been greater in the poll voters’ estimation.

From USCHO …     

The top three teams remain the same as last week, including top-ranked Boston College as the Eagles received 48 of 50 first-place votes and further solidified its hold on No. 1 with two wins while many other top teams split their weekend series..

Minnesota is still No. 2 and Denver stays No. 3. The Pioneers received a first-place vote this week as well.  Cornell jumps two spots to No. 4 and Miami drops one to sit fifth.

North Dakota is also down one place to No. 6, while Notre Dame remains seventh, Union moves from 10th to eighth and tallied the other first-place vote, New Hampshire is again ninth and Western Michigan moves from No. 11 to No. 10.

Boston University climbs one to go to No. 11, Michigan falls four spots to No. 12, St. Lawrence jumps three places to No. 13, Harvard drops one spot to sit 14th and St. Cloud State gets into the top 15 with a three-spot jump from No. 18 last week.

At No. 16, Northern Michigan rises four, Massachusetts-Lowell falls three places to No. 17, Ferris State climbs one to No. 18, Colorado College gets back into the rankings at No. 19 and idle Minnesota-Duluth drops three places to No. 20 this week.

Additionally, 16 other teams received votes.  The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.

Sunday reading: UMD, CC, Zengerle injury, Denver, Air Force, USHL

Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin hopes his Bulldogs will use their off week to develop more consistency (video).

The Wisconsin State Journal does a postmortem about Saturday’s 3-0 home loss to Colorado College and an injury to leading scorer Mark Zengerle.

Here is the Post’s story on Denver’s 6-1 win over St. Cloud State, including a hat trick for Colorado Springs’ Chris Knowlton.

From Air Force sports information …

Air Force 7, Holy Cross 0

Jason Torf recorded his first shutout of the season and eighth of his career as he made 23 saves in a 7-0 win over Holy Cross in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday, Nov. 3, at Academy’s Cadet Ice Arena. The two teams split the weekend series as the Falcons improved to 2-3-3 overall and 2-1-1 in the league. Holy Cross fell to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the AHA.

Seven different Falcons scored goals as AFA scored two in the first, two in the second and three in the third. Air Force scored a power-play goal, a short-handed goal, a penalty shot goal and three even-strength goals.

Torf made 23 saves in the game, including 21 in the final two periods, and stopped 63 of the 66 shots he faced in the series. The shutout was his first since a 4-0 win over RIT in last season’s AHA championship game. Kump made 25 saves for the Crusaders. AFA was 2-for-6 on the power play while Holy Cross was 0-for-3. AFA outshot Holy Cross, 32-23, in the game.

Air Force is on the road next weekend for a two-game non-conference series at Penn State, Friday-Saturday, Nov. 9-10, in University Park, Pa. Faceoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET each night.

Also, the schedule for the Air Force-UConn hockey series, Nov. 23-24, in Connecticut has changed. The first game of the series will be Friday, Nov. 23, at 4 p.m. ET at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum on the UConn campus in Storrs, Conn. The game was previously scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The teams will conclude the two-game Atlantic Hockey series on Saturday, Nov. 24, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn, at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be the first of a doubleheader at the XL Center as the Connecticut Whale (American Hockey League) hosts the Norfolk Admirals at 7 p.m. The Nov. 24th game was originally scheduled for 7:05 p.m. in Storrs, Conn.  The 15,635-seat XL Center is the home of the AHL’s Connecticut Whale and the part-time home of the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams.

From the USHL …

The United States Hockey League announced that the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, presented by League equipment partner CCM, will take place on Jan. 23, 2013, returning to Muskegon, Mich. for the second consecutive year.

The game features the top NHL Draft-eligible players from the USHL competing in front of a full battery of NHL scouts and front office personnel at the L.C. Walker Arena, home of the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  Forty players will be chosen for the event based on a selection process that includes input of the 16 USHL General Managers, NHL Central Scouting, and NHL team scouts and decision makers.

“We’re excited to have the Prospects Game return to Muskegon, one of the proudest and longest-standing hockey markets in the United States,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince.  “These are America’s best, gathered together for a special night with the Muskegon Lumberjacks as host and all of hockey as spectators.”

The 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game takes place just after NHL Central Scouting releases its midterm rankings of players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft.  Prior to the season, a total of 39 players skating in the USHL were designated as “Players to Watch” by NHL Central Scouting.  Five of those players were ranked as “A” skaters, meaning they are first-round pick consideration, including defensemen Ian McCoshen (Waterloo Black Hawks) and Michael Downing (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and forwards Luke Johnson (Lincoln Stars), J.T. Compher (Team USA), and Hudson Fasching (Team USA).

“We are proud that our organization and city can host this event and showcase this community to NHL personnel,” said Josh Mervis, Owner and CEO of the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  “It will be the highlight event of ‘Hockey Week in Muskegon’ and fans will be treated to an event featuring young talent that will be playing professional hockey in the very near future.”

Last June, a total of 28 players who spent the 2011-12 season in the USHL were selected in the 2012 NHL Draft, including a record six players chosen in the first round.  Additionally, 11 USHL alumni were drafted by NHL teams.

The inaugural USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January 2012 saw Team East earn a 5-3 win over Team West.   Forward Robbie Baillargeon (Indiana Ice) scored a pair of goals for Team East to capture his team’s MVP of the game and then went on to be selected by the Ottawa Senators in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Draft.  More than 100 NHL scouts and personnel attended the inaugural event for the USHL.

Friday reading: Harstad homecoming, WCHA previews, videos

Tigers sophomore defenseman Aaron Harstad will get a chance to play before family and friends when the Stevens Point, Wis, resident plays in the Kohl Center for the first time when CC travels to Wisconsin to open WCHA play this weekend.

“It’s exciting to get to play in place like the Kohl Center,” said Harstad, who played a state tournament game in the smaller UW women’s arena during his high school days. “A lot of my family will be there.”

CC practiced Thursday night at UW’s new practice rink because of a basketball game at the Kohl Center that night.

Also, Wisconsin’s Derek Lee is reportedly ready to play this weekend after missing last weekend due to injuries from a car-scooter accident.

Here are the preview notes for Colorado College at Wisconsin; No. 12 Boston University at No. 5 North Dakota; No. 18 St. Cloud State at No. 3 Denver; unranked Minnesota State vs. No. 2 Minnesota; and Nebraska-Omaha at Michigan Tech.

Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State and No. 17 Minnesota-Duluth are idle.

Here is a look at SCSU’s Nic Dowd. North Dakota received a commit from the son of its longtime athletic trainer.

Videos are becoming more commonplace for sports information departments. Here is North Dakota’s latest Through These Doors episode:

Michigan Tech’s latest In The Crease episode concerns the recent home split against Minnesota:

Road sweep drops CC out of Top 20

No big surprises this week. Three losses in a row dropped Colorado College out of the top 20 while a home sweep moves Denver up to No. 3. An anemic weekend for Minnesota (tie, win) helped Boston College solidify its hold on No. 1 in this week’s USCHO poll.

From USCHO ….

Miami drops from No. 3 to No. 4 and North Dakota falls one to round out the top five.

Cornell jumps one notch to sit sixth, Notre Dame is up two to No. 7, Michigan falls a pair to the No. 8 rank, New Hampshire climbs three to No. 9, earning two first-place votes this week, and Union, even falling two places to No. 10, took home a first-place vote.

Western Michigan falls one to No. 11, Boston University rises one to No. 12, Harvard jumps four places to now sit 13th, Massachusetts-Lowell tumbles three notches to No. 14 and Northeastern holds steady at No. 15. At No. 16, St. Lawrence enters the rankings this week, followed by Minnesota-Duluth at No. 17, down from No. 14 last week, previously-unranked St. Cloud State at No. 18, Ferris State down one to No. 19 and Northern Michigan dropping four to No. 20 this week.

In addition, 15 other schools received votes, including Colorado College.

The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.