Thursday reading: WCHA column, Winkler, Heil, Rothstein, Enga, Slavvin

I started new irregular features in the weekly WCHA column on USCHO, one focusing on an “unsung hero” for Bemidji State who has a young daughter and wife and still manages to find time to be a league academic honoree and log a lot of quality ice time for the Beavers. The Series Spotlight segment, naturally, deals with CC and Denver this weekend starting the annual battle for the Gold Pan Trophy, pictured.

CC senior Scott Winkler has the best numbers of any NCAA prospect for the Stars, especially in plus/minus.

Chicago Steel forward and CC commit Christian Heil scored two goals in 34 seconds during the third period of Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Indiana.  It gives the 18-year-old five goals over his last four games and pushed him into a tie for third in the USHL with 10 goals this season.

Future Tiger Sam Rothstein scored two goals for the Sioux Falls Stampede Saturday in the team’s USHL-leading eighth home win.

Former Tiger RJ Enga and CC commit Jaccob Slavin played key roles in Team USA’s World Junior A challenge championship. Enga served at an assistant coach while Slavin was an assistant captain.

Former Penn State club coach Joe Battista penned this column praising Air Force coach Frank Serratore and hockey people in general.

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Air Force wins ugly at Penn State

From AFA sports information …

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.  –  Five different Falcons scored and Jason Torf made 34 saves as Air Force beat Penn State, 5-1, in a non-conference college hockey game at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion in University Park, Pa. Air Force improved to 3-3-3 overall this season while Penn State fell to 5-3-0.

Air Force opened the scoring at the 7:57 mark of the first period as Casey Kleisinger scored from freshman defenseman Max Hartner. Hartner collected his first collegiate point as Kleisinger’s wrister beat P.J. Musico.

Kyle De Laurell’s second goal of the season gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead at 7:50 of the second period. Hartner started the play in his own end as Cole Gunner and Ben Carey picked up assists on the play. The Falcons took a 3-0 lead when Tony Thomas created a turnover in the Nittany Lions’ end. His shot was wide of the net, but Chad Demers collected the rebound and scored his fourth of the season at 14:57 of the second. John Kruse added an assist on the play.

“I can never remember playing so badly and winning a game 5-1,” Falcons head coach Frank Serratore said. “We were awful. We won tonight because we got luck and because Jason Torf was outstanding. We had too many turnovers, missed clears and bad changes. Torf masked all of our mistakes.  He was an All-American tonight. We got an early Christmas present tonight. If we play like that tomorrow, we will get pounded.”

In the middle of a penalty-filled third period, Penn State got on the board with a short-handed goal. Justin Kirchhevel intercepted a pass, skated in uncontested and scored at the 8:25 mark of the third period to cut the AFA lead to 3-1. Fifty-eight seconds later, the Falcons answered and re-gained the three-goal advantage. Carey fed Stephen Carew for his fourth of the season on the power play at the 9:23 mark for a 4-1 Falcon lead. With just over five minutes remaining, the Nittany Lions pulled their goalie in favor of the extra attacker. The Falcons took advantage as Tony Thomas scored an empty-netter from Demers and Alex Halloran at 16:32.

Penn State outshot Air Force, 35-24, in the game. Jason Torf made 34 saves in the game for the Falcons while Musico made 19 for the Nittany Lions.  AFA was 1-for-4 on the power play and the Falcons killed all six PSU power plays.

Air Force and Penn State conclude the two-game series on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. ET in University Park, Pa.

More Monday reading: AFA honoree, WCHA schedule, web media poll

Air Force freshman center Ben Carey was named the Travel Team USA Atlantic Hockey Association Rookie of the Week for Nov. 5.

An Aurora, Colo., native, Carey scored his first career goal against Holy Cross on Nov. 2 in the 3-2 loss. His goal came 37 seconds into the game and gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead. The next night, he scored his second career goal and his first career short-handed goal in the 7-0 win over the Crusaders. In the two-game series, Carey was a +2.

Air Force, 2-3-3 overall and 2-1-1 in the AHA, is on the road this 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.

This weekend’s schedule in the WCHA …
Games for Friday, November 9:
 Denver at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; North Dakota at St. Cloud State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Bemidji State at Colorado College (WCHA), 7:37 pm MT; Minnesota at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.

Games for Saturday, November 10: Denver at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota Duluth at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; North Dakota at St. Cloud State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Bemidji State at Colorado College (WCHA), 7:07 pm MT; Minnesota at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.

Games for Sunday, November 11: Minnesota Duluth at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 2:07 pm CT.

Michigan Tech and Wisconsin, idle

Minnesota’s problems are pushing the Gophers, pictured, down in the web media’s estimation with Denver still  rated as the top team this week. St. Cloud State certainly turned some heads while folks do not seem to know where to put CC, either in first place or on the road for the league playoffs according to the Tech Hockey Guide WCHA Web Media Poll.

Team Pts Previous Record High Low
1) Denver (6) 134 1 5-1-0 1 5
2) St. Cloud State (3) 124 4 5-3-0 1 5
3) North Dakota (2) 122 3 3-2-1 1 5
4) Minnesota 118 2 5-2-0 2 4
5) Colorado College (1) 96 5 5-3-0 1 7
6) Nebraska Omaha 80 10 4-3-1 5 8
7) Minnesota Duluth 66 8 2-3-1 5 10
8) Bemidji State 47 9 2-1-1 6 11
9) Minnesota State 46 12 3-3-2 6 11
10) Michigan Tech 45 7 2-6-0 7 12
11) Wisconsin 41 6 1-4-1 6 12
12) Alaska Anchorage 17 11 2-2-2 9 12

 

http://www.techhockeyguide.com/2012/11/wcha-web-media-poll-week-4/

 

Monday reading: INCH shuts down, PCHS’ Gross scores, 3 Things

Inside College Hockey, one of three national web sites covering college hockey, announced it is ceasing operations.

This is sad news though not surprising. Having three national sites devoted to only college hockey seemed like too much for what remains a niche sport in much of the country.

That said, I will miss it. I enjoyed their humorous approach to the game (I and others often take it far too seriously). Hopefully their writers will stay around the game as they promised and find opportunities to write for USCHO or the College Hockey News when they find the time.

Pine Creek High School graduate Taylor Gross, pictured, scored her first goal of the year for the Penn State women.

Here are Three Things Learned in the WCHA from this weekend.

Tuesday reading: Colorado College, North Dakota, poll, Wisconsin, Clarkson, AHA, Notre Dame, Northeastern, Penn State, Merrimack


Penn State’s Taylor Gross, a Pine Creek HS graduate, and Syracuse’s Kallie Goodnough fight for the puck during a 6-0 loss to the Orange Sunday at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion. The Nittany Lions are 1-3 this season. Abby Drey — Centre Daily Times Photo

Here is a fan’s take on CC and Wisconsin.

North Dakota junior goalie Clarke Saunders is profiled.

UND is No. 2 behind Minnesota in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll.

Here is my 3 Things blog about last weekend in the WCHA for USCHO.

Clarkson can take heart in its good showing on the road in Colorado Springs according to this ECAC weekend review.

Atlantic Hockey enjoyed a strong opening weekend.

Notre Dame’s goalie had a .962 saves percentage this past weekend, among other CCHA notes.

Here is more reaction to Northeastern’s big opening week.

Penn State got its first Division I men’s win on Saturday.

A former Merrimack coach succumbed to throat cancer recently.

Friday reading: Bloggers preseason poll, USCHO rankings, Lagrone, Face Off Luncheon, Mankato, Michigan Tech, Wisconsin, Gross

Eighteen bloggers, including yours truly and gmf1a of the CC fan forum, made their preseason picks and ranked CC eighth in the 3rd Annual Web Site and Bloggers Preseason Poll compiled by Tradition of Excellence. Give it a look.

USCHO announced its preseason Top 10 forwards, led by Minnesota’s Nick Bjugstad, who is pictured.

CC 2013/14 defenseman commit Duggie Lagrone of Dallas will play for NAHL Fairbanks this season.

Both Air Force coach Frank Serratore and CC coach Scott Owens are feeding off the enthusiasm of their players as the season nears.

There is a definite buzz around the Minnesota State program this preseason.

Six second-year coaches are discussed, including Michigan Tech’s Mel Pearson.

Here is a season preview about Miami.

Wisconsin really needed its new on-campus hockey facility. There is a lot for the Badgers to celebrate this season.

Pine Creek High School graduate Taylor Gross leads the Penn State women into the 2012-13 season.

Monday reading: Goalies, outdoor game, Duluth, Penn State, women

Jason Torf shut out Rochester Institute of Technology for the Atlantic Hockey playoff title last season (photo: Omar Phillips).

Air Force’s  Jason Torf and Denver’s Sam Brittain are both considered “Goalies to Watch” this season.

Sophomore goalie Frank Slubowski (17-11-4, 2.03 GAA, .911 saves) led Western Michigan to its first CCHA postseason championship so his inclusion was no surprise. But I did raise an eyebrow since CC’s Josh Thorimbert did not make that top 10 considering he tied for preseason honors with Brittain in the WCHA media poll.

The USCHO preseason poll is scheduled to come out on Monday. Here is last season’s final poll so you may compare the two later.

Tickets for the North Dakota at Nebraska Omaha outdoor game went on sale at 10 a.m. CT today.

A former Minnesota-Duluth forward succumbed to brain cancer.

Penn State will play its first game at Pegula Ice Arena against Army.

Here is a look ahead at this season in Hockey East play and another perspective.

The women’s Division I schedule got underway this weekend.