Tuesday reading: CCHA, WCHA lookahead, web media poll

Here are notes of interest from the CCHA’s weekly Need to Know press release …

Miami- Miami split its CCHA opening-weekend series at Michigan, falling 4-2 Friday before rebounding for a 4-3 win Saturday. The RedHawks’ win was just their sixth victory in 53 tries at Yost Ice Arena. Miami is 6-46-1 all-time at Michigan.  On Saturday, U-M held a 2-1 lead entering the third period only to surrender three straight goals in a 4-3 loss to the RedHawks.

Notre Dame- Notre Dame’s 5-1-0 start this season equals the best start for the Irish since going 5-1-0 to start the 2010-11 season.  The last time that Notre Dame had a better start than that was in 2006-07 when the Irish started that year 6-1-0 on the way to a 9-1-1 start and a 32-7-3 final record.

Western Michigan- After a weekend off, the Broncos travel to Compton Family Ice Arena to take on Notre Dame. Sophomore goalie Frank Slubowski made all four starts against the Fighting Irish last season, posting a 2-1-1 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

From the WCHA …

The month of November launches later this week with four, two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series on the docket for Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd as Michigan Tech hosts Nebraska Omaha, Colorado College travels to Wisconsin, Minnesota State visits Minnesota and Denver hosts St. Cloud State.

There will also be one non-conference set contested over the weekend as North Dakota entertains Hockey East Association-member Boston University.

At John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Michigan Tech (2-4-0, 1-3-0 WCHA) will take on Nebraska Omaha (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) in a pair of 7:07 pm ET face-offs on Friday and Saturday. The two teams will then conclude their four-game series on Feb. 1-2 in Omaha.

At the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin will play its first regular season home games of 2012-13 as the Badgers (1-2-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) go up against visiting Colorado College (3-3-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) in back-to-back 7:07 pm CT puck drops. These will be the only two regular season meetings of the two clubs and will also be the Tigers’ first two league games this season.

Defending conference champion and pre-season favorite Minnesota (4-1-0, 1-1-0 WCHA) will play a home-and-home WCHA set against Minnesota State (2-2-2, 0-2-0 WCHA), with Friday’s contest at 7:07 pm CT at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis and Saturday’s match up at Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato at 7:07 pm CT. The No. 2-ranked Golden Gophers and Mavericks will then meet again on Jan. 25 in Minneapolis and Jan. 26 in Mankato.

And in the west, unbeaten and No. 3-ranked Denver (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) will entertain No. 18-ranked St. Cloud State (4-2-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) for a pair of league contests at Magness Arena, with game times at 7:37 pm MT on Friday evening and 7:07 pm MT on Saturday night. The Pioneers and Huskies will then meet again in St. Cloud on Jan. 18-19.

Outside the WCHA this coming weekend, No. 5-ranked North Dakota (2-1-1) will play host to No. 12-ranked Boston University (3-1-0) of the Hockey East Association. Face-offs at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks are 7:37 pm CT on Nov. 2 and 7:07 pm CT on Nov. 3.  Through 37 non-conference games so far this season, WCHA member teams stand 20-14-3 (.583) against other Div. 1 teams. Against each of the other leagues, the WCHA is 5-0-1 vs Atlantic Hockey, 7-9-0 vs the CCHA, 3-2-1 vs ECAC Hockey, 2-3-0 vs Hockey East, and 3-0-1 vs independents.

Three teams – Alaska Anchorage (2-2-2, 0-1-1 WCHA), Bemidji State (2-1-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) and No. 17-ranked Minnesota Duluth (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) – are idle this week.

Looking ahead to the conference schedule for the weekend of Nov. 9-11, North Dakota will play at St. Cloud State (Friday/Saturday), Denver heads to Minnesota State (Friday/Saturday), Alaska Anchorage hosts Minnesota (Friday/Saturday), Colorado College entertains Bemidji State (Friday/Saturday), and Minnesota Duluth visits Nebraska Omaha (Saturday/Sunday). Both Michigan Tech and Wisconsin will be idle.

Here are more details from the Tech Hockey Guide WCHA Web Media Poll for Week 3:

Team Pts Previous Record High Low
1) Denver (7) 138 2 4-0-0 1 3
2) Minnesota (5) 136 1 4-1-0 1 3
3) North Dakota 120 3 2-1-1 2 4
4) St. Cloud State 109 7 4-2-0 2 5
5) Colorado College 74 6 3-3-0 4 10
6) Wisconsin 72 10 1-2-1 5 11
7) Michigan Tech 69 5 2-4-0 6 10
8) Minnesota Duluth 64 4 2-3-1 5 11
9) Bemidji State 55 11 2-1-1 5 11
10) Nebraska Omaha 52 8 2-3-1 6 10
11) Alaska Anchorage 29 12 2-2-2 6 12
12) Minnesota State 18 9 2-2-2 10 12
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Tuesday reading: Crabb, UND injury, Mankato, Tech, Hockey East

Former Tiger Joey Crabb will be in Colorado to take on the ECHL Eagles this weekend. Tim Hall should be making the trip as well. The Eagles include Arthur Bidwill.

No update available yet on Michael Parks‘ injury on North Dakota’s exhibition game on Saturday.

A new line centered by freshman Bryce Gervais has Mankato coach Mike Hastings talking about considerable depth. Here are more details.

This might be a good idea from Michigan Tech for CC to consider at Honnen Ice Arena: a short intrasquad scrimmage that serves as a fundraiser for a charity.

Here is more on the Nic Kerdliessuspension.

Here are capsule previews on Hockey East which includes future CC foes UMass-Lowell and New Hampshire.

From the CCHA …

Miami- Sophomore forward Austin Czarnik scored twice and four other RedHawks added single goals in a 6-2 exhibition win over Western Ontario on Sunday. Miami opens the regular season on Friday against Colgate at Steve Cady Arena.

Western Michigan- The Broncos fired 46 shots on goal and freshman forward Nolan LaPorte and senior forward Dane Walters scored in a 2-2 exhibition tie against Western Ontario on Saturday. Western Michigan opens the regular season by hosting St. Lawrence in non-conference action this weekend.

This Week in the WCHA …

Games for Thursday, October 11: Michigan Tech at Lake Superior (NC), 7:35 pm ET.

Games for Friday, October 12: Michigan State at Minnesota (NC), 6:07 pm CT; St. Cloud State at New Hampshire (NC), 7:30 pm ET; Minnesota State at Alabama-Huntsville (NC), 7:00 pm CT; * Wisconsin vs Northern Michigan (NC), 7:05 pm CT; Ohio State at Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; USA Under-18 Team at North Dakota (EX), 7:37 pm CT; Clarkson at Colorado College (NC), 7:37 pm MT; # Army vs Nebraska Omaha (NC), 9:00 pm CT; & Canisius at Alaska Anchorage (NC), 8:07 pm AT.
* Resch Center (Green Bay, WI); # IceBreaker (Kansas City, MO); & Kendall Hockey Classic (Anchorage, AK)

Games for Saturday, October 13: * Notre Dame/Maine vs Nebraska Omaha (NC), 3:30/6:30 pm CT; St. Cloud State at New Hampshire (NC), 7:00 pm ET; # Lake Superior at Michigan Tech (NC), 7:07 pm ET; Minnesota State at Alabama-Huntsville (NC), 7:00 pm CT; & Wisconsin vs Northern Michigan (NC), 7:05 pm CT; Ohio State at Minnesota Duluth (NC), 7:07 pm CT; USA Under-18 Team at Bemidji State (EX), 7:07 pm CT; Clarkson at Colorado College (NC), 7:07 pm MT; Michigan State at Minnesota (NC), 8:07 pm CT; % Air Force at Alaska Anchorage (NC), 7:07 pm AT.
*IceBreaker (Kansas City, MO); # Hall of Fame Day; & – Resch Center (Green Bay, WI); % Kendall Hockey Classic

Here is a college hockey teaser for NBC Sports Network that may get your blood pumping.

Monday reading: Kerdiles, Schwartz, Air Force, BGSU, Mankato

Here is the possible cause for Wisconsin freshman Nic Kerdiles problems with the NCAA. Here is another blogger with more details.

This Gophers blog made its WCHA preseason picks, straying from previous polls by picking CC 6th and Mankato 7th. Rylan Schwartz was named as a second team forward.

Unlike the other hockey conferences, Atlantic Hockey is enjoying some stability, for now, with Air Force favored as usual. Here is a season preview on the Falcons.

The Bowling Green coach received a two-year contract extension today.

Here is more info on Mankato’s 7-1 exhibition win ahgainst Lethbridge Sunday night. UL travels to Nebraska Omaha for the final exhibition game tonight.

Thursday reading: Mason Cup, Michigan, Denver, WCHA schedule

The Associated Press

The CCHA is wondering what will become of its league championship trophy, the Mason Cup.

Michigan’s No. 1 goalie may miss time for eye surgery.

Denver icon Daniel Ritchie is honored in this article about the presidential debate.

Here is a season preview for the WCHA women and for the Northern Michigan men.

Lake Superior State’s season gets underway this weekend.

This weekend’s WCHA exhibition schedule:

Games for Saturday, October 6: Brock University (ON) at Michigan Tech (EX), 7:07 pm ET; University of Lethbridge at Minnesota (EX), 7:07 pm CT; University of Manitoba at North Dakota (EX), 7:07 pm CT; * University of British Columbia at Denver (EX), 7:07 pm MT; USA Under-18 Team at Wisconsin (EX), 8:07 pm CT; # University of Regina at Alaska Anchorage (EX), 7:07 pm AT. * at Pepsi Center, Denver; # at McDonald Center, Eagle River, AK

Games for Sunday, October 7: University of Manitoba at Bemidji State (EX), 5:07 pm CT; University of Lethbridge at Minnesota State (EX), 5:07 pm CT; University of British Columbia at Colorado College (EX), 6:07 pm MT.

Games for Monday, October 8: University of Lethbridge at Nebraska Omaha (EX), 7:07 pm CT.

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.

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.

CC picked 7th, Thorimbert shares goalie honor in WCHA media poll

Compiled and written by Bruce Ciskie, KZIO Radio/Bulldog Radio Network …

A year after surprising many by winning the WCHA’s MacNaughton Cup Championship, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are a nearly-unanimous pick of WCHA media to win the league. The annual 94X WCHA Preseason Media Poll, released Wednesday, shows the Gophers easily outdistancing the rest of the league.

A panel of 25 members of the WCHA media voted on a predicted order of finish, along with a handful of individual honors.

Minnesota received a whopping 24 of 25 first-place votes. Defending WCHA playoff champion North Dakota had the other first-place vote and finished a distant second. Denver came in third, followed by Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth. St. Cloud State claimed the final “home-ice” position in the preseason balloting.

Minnesota junior forward Nick Bjugstad, pictured, was a runaway choice for the Preseason Player of the Year. He also anchors the media’s second annual Preseason All-WCHA Team, where he is joined at forward by Wisconsin junior Mark Zengerle and St. Cloud State senior Ben Hanowski. The defensemen on the team are Denver’s Joey LaLeggia and Nick Jensen of St. Cloud State. Sam Brittain of Denver and Josh Thorimbert of Colorado College tied for the goaltending nod.

For the second straight year, the media chose North Dakota’s Rocco Grimaldi as Preseason Rookie of the Year. Grimaldi took a redshirt after an injury-ravaged season, and he is again eligible for rookie honors.

Teams were scored under a standard system of 12 points for a first-place vote, 11 for second, and so on. The number listed with each team is the number of points that team averaged per vote.

94X WCHA PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Minnesota (24 first place votes) … 11.92 poll average

2. North Dakota (1) … 10.76

3. Denver … 9.92

4. Wisconsin … 7.8

5. Minnesota Duluth … 6.88

6. St. Cloud State … 6.84

7. Colorado College … 6.08

8. Nebraska Omaha … 5.48

9. Michigan Tech … 5.2

10. Minnesota State … 3.6

11. Bemidji State … 2.48

12. Alaska Anchorage … 1.04

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Nick Bjugstad, forward, Minnesota (16 votes)

Others receiving more than one vote: Erik Haula, forward, Minnesota (4); Mark Zengerle, forward, Wisconsin (3)

PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Rocco Grimaldi, forward, North Dakota (8 1/2 votes)

Others receiving more than one vote: Nic Kerdiles, forward, Wisconsin (5); Jordan Schmaltz, defenseman, North Dakota (2 1/2); Brady Skjei, defenseman, Minnesota (2); Andy Welinski, defenseman, Minnesota Duluth (2)

PRESEASON ALL-WCHA TEAM

Forwards

Nick Bjugstad, Minnesota (20 votes); Mark Zengerle, Wisconsin (17); Ben Hanowski, St. Cloud State (8)

Others receiving more than one vote: Danny Kristo, North Dakota (7); Erik Haula, Minnesota (6); Rylan Schwartz, Colorado College (5); Corban Knight, North Dakota (3)

Defensemen

Joey LaLeggia, Denver (20 votes); Nick Jensen, St. Cloud State (9)

Others receiving more than one vote: Nate Schmidt, Minnesota (7); Wade Bergman, Minnesota Duluth (3)

Goalie

Sam Brittain, Denver and Josh Thorimbert, Colorado College (7 1/2 votes each)

Others receiving more than one vote: Juho Olkinuora, Denver (3), Joel Rumpel, Wisconsin (2)

The following media members took part in the 94X Preseason Media Poll:  David Ahlers, KKAR Radio/University of Nebraska-Omaha; Stephen Anderson, Daily Mining Gazette; Andy Baggot, Wisconsin State Journal; Tyler Buckentine, USCHO.com; Mike Chambers, Denver Post; Bruce Ciskie, KZIO Radio/Bulldog Radio Network; Chris Dilks, Western College Hockey; Shane Frederick, Mankato Free Press; John Gilbert, WCHA.com; Kurt Haider, KENI Radio; Mick Hatten, St. Cloud Times; Dirk Hembroff, WKMJ Radio; Jack Hittinger, Bemidji Pioneer; Ken Landau, 103.9 FM The Eagle Radio; Don Lyons, Leighton Broadcasting/St. Cloud; Todd Milewski, USCHO.com; Dan Myers, Minnesota Hockey Magazine; Jess Myers, 1500ESPN.com; Joe Paisley, Colorado Springs/Colorado College; Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune; Chris Peters, United States of Hockey; Brian Posick, WIBA Radio/Badger Radio Network; Chad Purcell, Omaha World Herald; Brad Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald; Jay Stickney, 102.3 ESPN Radio.