Friday reading: Clarkson, predictions, lockout, Serratore, Nanooks

Here is the Know Your Enemy post on Clarkson by the RPI fan blog, who covers the ECAC quite well. Plenty of good information in this season preview as well.

The North Dakota beat writer picks CC to finish 10th in the WCHA. His season preview supplement is also available. Information how to get it without a Herald subscription is here. It costs $4 and it is definitely worth it. Brad Schlossman puts a lot of work into this every year.

The new Bemidji State beat writer (welcome Jack Hittinger) makes his picks as does Duluth vet Kevin Pates here. College Hockey Weekly also weighs in.

The College Hockey News announced its preseason Top 10 with Minnesota No. 1.

This freshman could fill Minnesota’s hole at goalie if former CC backup Michael Shibrowski cannot.

Former Tiger Mark Stuart is optimistic the NHL lockout may end soon.

New Minnesota State Mankato coach Mike Hastings runs intense practices.

Air Force coach Frank Serratore hands out some sound advice to parents about whether their child should leave high school early for junior hockey.

Per Matthew Semisch via Twitter: Just confirmed that, despite Omaha radio reshuffle, Dave Ahlers and Terry Leahy will still be doing the UNO hockey broadcasts this season.

Minnesota is also picked to win the WCHA women’s title by its coaches.

There is a three-way battle for the starting goaltender job at Alaska-Fairbanks after years of stability. Here is the 2011-12 introduction video which was a departure from the previous years where CCHA opponents were blown up seemingly at random.

Here is the 2010-11 intro which includes the destruction of the CCHA opponents and the Earth as well. Please comment below which you prefer. Keep in mind both intros are played at ear-splitting volume levels.

Tigers stay sharp in practice as Jaden Schwartz looks on

CC captain William Rapuzzi is happy with the sustained intensity shown by the Tigers during their informal captain’s practices this September.

“I am really pleased with the tempo of the practices,” Rapuzzi said. “Sometimes things drop off toward the end. But this year, there has been no dip. The guys are focused.”

The six freshmen continue to impress and some of the returning players – especially sophomore wing  Charlie Taft, who skated with aggression, confidence and showed off an accurate shot – look stronger and sharper as well. Taft converted a beautiful one-timer by the left post on a pass from behind the net from Rylan Schwartz during one drill. Scott Winkler snapped off a memorable tough-angle shot to score high glove side and Andrew Hamburg skated well and created opportunities for his linemates during drills.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz is visiting his former teammates and his brother Rylan this week due to the NHL lockout and the resulting gap in his schedule until AHL training camp starts Sept. 28. He watched Thursday’s practice.

“Once the season started I knew it would be hard to find the time to visit,” Schwartz said. “It’s great to see the guys on the team.”

Schwartz is looking forward to playing for the Peoria Rivermen where he can continue to play and improve his game against top professionals.

“A lot of superstars played in the AHL,” Schwartz said. “You can get a lot better playing in that league.”

Tuesday reading: Johnson, CC practice, Wisconsin, Elite League

Former Tiger Tyler Johnson, pictured scoring while playing in Norway, confirmed via Facebook that he will be headed to the ECHL this season to play for the South Carolina Stingrays after playing with Jimmy Kilpatrick on the Norway league champion Stavanger Oilers last season.

Here is the Gazette’s story on the first CC captain’s practice.

Wisconsin landed a commitment from the son of a former Badger, beating out North Dakota and Ohio State.

Here is a recap of Week 1 of the Minnesota High School Elite League, which includes many of the state’ top prospects.

Notre Dame’s Robbie Russo is profiled by INCH.

Tigers start off strong during first captain’s practice

CC captain William Rapuzzi, standing, sets up the next drill during the Tigers’ first captain’s practice on Monday at Honnen Ice Arena.

The Colorado College hockey team knocked off the offseason rust pretty quickly during the first of 11 scheduled captain’s practices on Monday night.

“It was pretty good,” said senior captain and wing William Rapuzzi. “We did a lot of passing to get the rust off and had a 5 to 7-minute scrimmage with a real fast pace.”

A lot of that had to do with the usual excitement of being back in school after a long offseason.

“Guys are excited to get on the ice,” said junior wing Alexander Krushelnyski. “The tempo was good. Everyone is going hard and setting high expectations for themselves.”

The Tigers looked good despite putting in a hard weight room session before the 75-minute practice away from the team’s coaching staff per NCAA rules. No one looked to be skating with heavy legs.

“Everyone came in in good shape,” junior defenseman Eamonn McDermott said. “(Fitness) testing (last week) went real well.”

A lot of roles need to be filled this season with a lot of contributors lost to graduation, Jaden Schwartz’s early departure for the NHL and Dakota Eveland’s neck injury. Eveland said he will find out more about his future after new X-rays in a couple weeks.

“Everything’s up in the air,” Rapuzzi said. “Guys are working real hard at taking up the slack and move into new roles.”

CC captain William Rapuzzi, center, leads the Tigers through their usual end-of-practice stretching.

The six freshmen (listed by roster number) – defensemen Russell Finch (No. 2) and Michael King (3), and forwards Cody Bradley (10), Hunter Fejes (11),  Peter Maric (22), and Jared Hanson (24) – did not stand out, which is a good thing as they learn the CC drills. Most looked good with smooth skating ability.

“They fit right in with us,” senior Rylan Schwartz said. ”They asked a few questions (about drills) and caught on real quick.”

“They have been working hard on and off the ice,” Kruselnyski said. “They are quick learners and work hard.”

That means listening to the upperclassmen, who are eager to teach them how things are done in the Tigers program.

“They’re not talking, just doing,” McDermott said.

That is critical since only one official practice led by the coaches is allowed before Sunday, Oct. 7’s exhibition game against British Columbia followed by the season-opening series against Clarkson Oct. 12-13.

“These aren’t throw-away practices,” Rapuzzi said. “You get right into games so these are just as important as normal practices and you have to treat them like that. Just because coaches aren’t here doesn’t mean you can slack off. We only have a month before the games count.”

Thursday reading: CC ice is in, ECAC tournament, Colorado Eagles

From CC sports information …

The World Arena finished installing new ice this week as preparations for the 2012-13 season get underway. Captain’s practices without coaches will start Sept. 10.   CC’s exhibition opener against British Columbia is 6:07 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. The team can hold its first official practice the day before.

In other news, this College Hockey News columnist is pleased the ECAC chose to hold its postseason tournament at historic Lake Placid.

The ECHL’s Colorado Eagles, which includes former Tiger Arthur Bidwill, signed an affiliation agreement with the Winnipeg Jets organzation.