Monday reading: CC at Wisconsin, Minnesota, NHL, USHL

The CC at Wisconsin series during the 2013-14 season was confirmed along with some practice notes.

Boston College was picked to win Hockey East this season by league media.

This longtime Minnesota season ticket holder got the runaround due to a new program.

The New York Times put together a guide to the top European leagues to aid fans wondering where their favorite NHL player is headed during the lockout.

The USHL plans to amp up its focus on player safety, falling in line with recent college hockey rule tweaks and changes.

Pine Creek High School graduate Taylor Gross led the Penn State women’s first practice.

Thursday reading: UNO, CC, UND, Duluth, Hockey East, Mankato

Incoming Nebraska Omaha freshman goalie Anthony Stolarz, a 2012 second round draft pick of the Flyers, pictured, may be the key to the Mavericks’ success this coming season. Here is some more background on how far the NAHL standout has come.

NHL Central Scouting announced its preliminary 2013 draft watch list and CC 2013/14 defenseman commit Gustav Oloffson of the Colorado Thunderbirds and 2014 defenseman Teemu Kivilhalme were both rated. Kivilhalme is considered as a C-level prospect while Oloffson is  B-level.

Peter Stoykewych’s younger brother Paul was rated as was Jake Guentzel.

Former Merrimack commit and BCHL standout Wade Murphy visited North Dakota on Monday and soon committed.

The Karson Kuhlman commit continues a trend of northern Minnesota talent heading to Minnesota-Duluth.

As usual, there are plenty of impact freshmen joining Hockey East this coming season.

Former MSU-Mankato captain David Backes and North Dakota standout Jonathan Toews are featured in the NHLPA video concerning the lockout.

Ticket sales have been slow for Penn State’s first season of Division I hockey so far. A few wins will change that quickly.

Union received their 2011-12 ECAC championship rings.

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.

Wednesday reading: Huntsville, Gophers, PSU, Niagara

Alabama-Huntsville announced its 2012-13 schedule and it is very thin after Jan. 1 because everyone else is playing conference games.

Minnesota defensive defenseman Seth Helgeson, pictured, is profiled here as is Penn State’s Taylor Holmstrom, a former AHA Rookie of the Year for Mercyhurst who spent last season on the Nittany Lions’ club team. Air Force foe Niagara also has a player featured.

Friday reading: Hall contract,Tech jerseys, Army obit, PSU arena

Former Tiger Tim Hall, pictured, performed well enough late last season to get another contract with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces, who travel to Colorado to face Arthur Bidwill‘s Eagles Oct. 12-13. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, CC opens against Clarkson that weekend. Colorado hosts Alaska Wednesday, March 20 and Friday-Saturday March 22-23, which is the WCHA Final Five weekend.

Hall, 22, will enter his first full pro season after joining the Aces as an amateur last year. A week after his CC career ended, Hall made his pro debut in mid-March. He appeared in eight games for Alaska and registered a pair of assists. He also played in five postseason games for Alaska. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Pennsylvania native and defensive forward finished with 40 points (16g, 24a) in 135 college games. As a senior, Hall recorded five goals and three assists in 34 games. Four of his five goals came in the final 12 games of the year. Hall was a mathematical economics major who twice made the WCHA All-Academic team. His best offensive production came as a sophomore when Hall had 18 points (5g, 13a) in 38 games and received the team’s Most Improved Player Award.

Michigan Tech has announced its three new jerseys for the coming season. Here are links to the home white, the road black and gold alternate pictures.

From Tech sports information: “This design is a throwback to the 70s, when Tech played in three straight NCAA Championship games,” said head coach Mel Pearson, who lettered for the Huskies from 1977-81. “As I said when we released the black jersey, we want to honor the tradition and long-standing history of the Michigan Tech hockey program.”

The Army hockey program is mourning the death of former player and officer representative Tom Kennedy, who was killed in Afghanistan. He was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado after leaving West Point.

The first seating section for Penn State’s Pegula Ice Arena was installed Tuesday night.

Wednesday reading: L. Sweatt, UNO, PSU, Sioux, DU, Niagara

Here is a solid USHL feature on former Tiger Lee Sweatt and his decision to retire from hockey at age 26.

Talk about a new hockey arena for Nebraska-Omaha has quieted down despite reportedly having the funding lined up.

The Penn State fan blog outlines its coverage plans including the Air Force games.

A lawsuit concerning the Sioux nickname is thrown out of court.

A famed DU hangout with a colorful, if not exactly safe, history is up for sale.  The Niagara coach received a contract extension.

Hockey East hired a longtime NHL linesman to be director of officials.  A former BU player pleads guilty.

Thursday reading: NCHC, Gophers, UND, rules, expansion, UAH

Here is the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference web site. Here is a Denver Post profile of commissioner Jim Scherr.

Zach Budish will serve as Minnesota’s captain next season.

The NCAA announced rule changes for next season. Puckato explains here.

The roster for the 2012 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 29 was announced. No future Tigers made the list (several players remain uncommitted) but a number of WCHA and future National Collegiate Hockey Conference players did.

Goon’s World ran across a graphic that shows the number of championships won by Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. UND fans will enjoy it.

Former UNO player Jayson Megna signed with Pittsburgh. He announced he would leave Omaha last  Friday.

Bleacher Report’s Al Daniels put some thought into this blog post, although it is all wishful thinking or conjecture. He names Cincinnati, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, and Syracuse as five schools that would be good expansion sites for college hockey.

Illinois and Indiana have been mentioned as possible Big 10 additions by others but remember, for every men’s program, a women’s team must be added, with the exception of Syracuse (CHA). I suspect the next expansion will have to follow the Penn State model —  hockey-loving booster willing to donate $90-100 million to fund both genders’ programs and build an arena.

Other programs I have read or heard mentioned include Arizona State, Stanford, Vanderbilt and St. Louis. Anyone heard of others?

Regardless, it looks like Division I will lose a program soon after it gains Penn State. There was talk before Paul Kelly left College Hockey Inc. about a travel exemption for road games at Alabama-Huntsville (like the two Alaska schools) to give that program a fighting chance at drawing opponents for home games. Even that may not be enough.

The 2012-13 schedule remains unannounced but sources indicate only Minnesota State-Mankato, USA U-18 and two Division III schools are scheduled to play in Huntsville so far. Without some home ticket revenue, the Chargers will lose too much money to survive. The new-look WCHA, which had some members criticize the NCHC for leaving because of money and ignoring ” the good of the sport,” should move forward on admitting the program as soon as possible.