In the pros: Dineen leads Finnish team with video

Dineen FinlandFormer Tiger captain Nick Dineen‘s pro career has taken off in Mestis, the second-tier Finnish league.

He centers his team’s top line with Aatu Hämäläinen and Pasi Salonen and leads KooKoo with 32 points (15 goals) in 43 games after a slow start.

Dineen has clearly adjusted well to the Finnish league even if the language proves more challenging, judging from the team’s YouTube channel.

Looks like Nick is having fun.

In the pros: Dineen receives league’s monthly award

Dineen FinlandThe article is in Finnish but based on what his father Dick Dineen told me and what I could glean from an online translator, former Tigers captain Nick Dineen was named as player of the month for the Mestis League in Finland for the month of November.

He is tied for the KooKoo team lead with 19 points (nine goals) in 26 games, which puts him in 10th in the league.

Here is the article and a recent video interview:

In the pros: Connelly, Dineen, McElhinney

Former Tiger Brian Connelly, pictured making a crossing pass last season,  is fifth among AHL defensemen in scoring with 10 points (two goals) in nine games for Houston.

Former captain Nick Dineen found his scoring touch again for KooKoo of the second-tier Finnish pro league with two goals Friday and another pair on Saturday.

Curtis McElhinney is fifth among AHL goalies with a 1.61 goals against, .945 saves percentage  and a 6-1-1 mark in eight games for Springfield.  No doubt, he should be rated higher because those listed ahead of him have as few as two games.

 

In the pros: Dineen sparks KooKoo to win

Former Tigers captain Nick Dineen scored twice in a 3-1 win by KooKoo in its Finnish pro league. Here is the boxscore.

Friday reading: Gross, Fejes, Duluth, UND, WMU, Tech

Pine Creek HS graduate Taylor Gross, far left, models the new Penn State hockey home uniform. The captain of the women’s hockey team is joined by former CC standout Guy Gadowsky, the men’s head coach, third from left.

Incoming Tigers freshman Hunter Fejes is one of the rookies to watch this season according to this North Dakota blogger.

Senior forward Mike Seidel will need to have a good year producing those hard-work points to help Minnesota-Duluth remain a league contender after losing Hobey Baker winner Jack Connolly to graduation.

Here is the 2012-13 schedule for the CHL expansion franchise Denver Cutthroats, which includes a couple former Denver Pioneers. While checking out the home games, keep in mind that former Tiger Brian McMillin plays for the Allen Americans.

Western Michigan added a goalie for this season.

North Dakota’s beat writer explains the team’s TV broadcast deals for this season and next.

Freshman forward Blake Tatchell will need to step in and step up to replace the offense lost to graduation for Alaska-Anchorage.

The Mining Gazette offers a detailed first look at the Michigan Tech Huskies, who have high hopes after reaching the WCHA Final Five last season at the expense of the Tigers. Junior defenseman Daniel Sova will be a big reason (excuse the pun) why Tech fans have such high expectations.

Thursday reading: Dineen, CC-DU TV, Dimmen, Ryder, Johnson

Former Tiger captain Nick Dineen assisted the opening goal and scored the other in a 3-2 shootout loss for KooKoo of the second-tier Mestis league of Finland against Tulospalvelu (Tuto) in the teams’ season-opener. He also recorded a score during the shootout. The only North American on the team’s roster started as the first-line center.

Here is the DU hockey home game broadcast schedule for ROOT Sports (Thanks to the Let’s Go DU! blog for the info).

2012-13 University of Denver Hockey Telecast Schedule
All times listed are Mountain and subject to change
Sat., Nov. 17 –  Colorado College 7 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 29 – Boston University 7 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 4 – Cornell 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 12 – Nebraska Omaha 7 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 8 –  Colorado College 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 23 – North Dakota 7 p.m.

Here is a longer piece on MSU-Mankato’s commitment to its hockey program.

College Hockey News debuts its recruiting section with a look at the WCHA.

Colorado Springs native and former Maine defenseman Jeff Dimmen has signed with ECHL Florida. The likely NHL lockout means a lot of ECHL players will stay in their league as opposed to trying to move up to the AHL.

This is old news (not sure how it slipped by me) but former Denver defenseman John Ryder, also a Colorado Springs native, signed a deal with AHL Texas.

Here is the press release confirming that former Tiger Tyler Johnson  signed with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays.

2012 ECHL Preseason Schedule

Wednesday, October 3
Stockton at San Francisco 7 p.m. PT

Thursday, October 4
Ontario at Las Vegas 7:05 p.m. PT

Friday, October 5
Reading at Trenton 7 p.m. ET (Flyers Skate Zone in Vorhees, N.J.)
Gwinnett at Greenville 7 p.m. ET
Toledo at Kalamazoo 7:30 p.m. ET
Orlando at Florida 7:30 p.m. ET
Wheeling at Cincinnati 7:35 p.m. ET
Idaho at Utah 7 p.m. MT (Eccles Ice Center in Logan, Utah)
San Francisco at Colorado 7:05 p.m. MT
Stockton at Bakersfield 7 p.m. PT
Las Vegas at Ontario 7 p.m. PT

Saturday, October 6
Orlando at Florida 7 p.m. ET
Trenton at Reading 7:05 p.m. ET
Evansville at Fort Wayne 7:30 p.m. ET
Kalamazoo at Toledo 9 p.m. ET
Utah at Idaho 7:10 p.m. MT
Bakersfield at Stockton 7:30 p.m. PT

Sunday, October 7
Cincinnati at Wheeling 2 p.m. ET
South Carolina at Gwinnett 4 p.m. ET (Duluth Ice Forum in Duluth, Ga.)
Evansville at Fort Wayne 5 p.m. ET

Monday, October 8
Greenville at South Carolina 6 p.m. ET (Carolina Ice Palace in Charleston, S.C.)
Las Vegas at Alaska 7:15 p.m. AKT

Tuesday, October 9
Las Vegas at Alaska 7:15 p.m. AKT

Tuesday reading: Dineen playing in Finland, Lucia, Duluth, Merrimack

Nick Dineen is pictured playing for ECHL Elmira last season.

Former Tigers captain Nick Dineen signed a one-year contract with KooKoo of the 12-team Mestis league in Finland in late July, according to a Facebook message from his father (Thank you). Kouvolan Edustuskiekko (full club name) plays in a 6,000-seat arena in Kouvola, Finland. The club was established in 1965.

Judging from a Facebook post by the club on August 8, Dineen will be centering the third line:

Antti Roppo – Jan-Mikael Juutilainen – Aatu Hämäläinen
Mikko Alikoski – Ville-Matti Koponen – Timo-Pekka Heikkinen
Tomi Tuomisto – Nick Dineen – Olli Julkunen
Niklas Appelgren – Mikko Virtanen – Jere Espo

Miihkali Teppo – Marko Kiprusoff
Jarno Lippojoki – Julius Nyqvist
Markus Västilä – Matt Nickerson

Jaakko Lehtonen   Miro Hämynen (Ville Husso)
Since I cannot read Finnish, this could be a lineup for a preseason scrimmage (season starts on Sept. 14, guessing from web site headline). I hope to get more information in English from the club later via a Facebook message. Regardless, congrats to Nick on the move overseas.

In other news, Notre Dame freshman Mario Lucia suffered a broken leg and left ankle ligament damage during an offseason practice drill. He may miss up to three months.

The Merrimack athletic director who was put under paid administrative leave for a personnel matter has resigned.

AIC’s Steve Mele will be relied on to deliver a big season for the Atlantic Hockey Association school. Three other hockey subjects are profiled by Inside College Hockey as well.

Alaska-Fairbanks hired Gary Gray from Montana State-Billings as its new athletic director.

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.