Meet the CC freshmen: Cody Bradley, Hunter Fejes

Cody Bradley, the program’s first Florida native. knows a lot of hard work is ahead of him during his college career.

“The biggest adjustment is getting used to the tempo of college hockey,” he said. “As a freshman you just keep your head down and work hard and contribute however you can.”

His father, former NHL standout Brian Bradley, who played 14 years before retiring in 1998 with 503 career points (182 goals, 321 assists), two All-Star selections and seven assists for Canada in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games,  and Cody knew he needed to move on to ready for NCAA hockey.

“Youth hockey in Florida is good up to a point then you need to leave for the north and play juniors,” said the 5-foot-10, center who picked up some valuable experience this summer at the Tampa Bay prospects camp.

Rookie Hunter Fejes, a sixth round draft pick of the Phoenix Coyotes, did his best to make sure he would be ready to contribute as a freshman this season.

He spent the summer working out with fellow Anchorage natives Joey Crabb, Scott Gomez and Tim Wallace, all NHL regulars.

“Crabb showed me the ropes and told me what to expect and look out for,” Fejes said. “He was a great help.”

The center will likely be one of the freshmen getting the chance to contribute right away. He was identified by NHL bloggers as the top Coyotes’ NCAA prospect to watch this season.

The former Shattuck St. Mary’s leading scorer (38 goals) was second in points (78) in 55 games en route to leading the Sabres to their second USA Hockey Tier I Under-18 national championship in a row. They went 50-5-2 in 2011-12. The Sabres also won the national title his junior year.

“I will just work hard and work to earn everything,” he said. “I won’t get anything without earning it first. Hopefully I can contribute right away.”

Friday reading: NHL free agency, BC should leave Hockey East?

CC captain William Rapuzzi celebrated his goal against Boston College during the 2011 NCAA Tournament West regional in St. Louis.

Four of the top 10 NHL free agent defensemen are WCHA alumni. Thanks to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald for tweeting the article.

This BC fan blog thinks the Eagles should leave Hockey East to create a stronger six-team league of the top-tier teams.

Mandi Schwartz continues to inspire her former Yale teammates.

Several WCHA players have done well at summer prospects camps. Others are headed to them now.

A Denver recruit is considering the Windsor Spitfires.

Here are more North Dakota links. A former UND defenseman re-signs with Tampa Bay.

Monday reading: Tigers in the playoffs, Zaba video, J. Schwartz honor

Former Tigers Trevor Frischmon (No. 28) and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders' top affiliate, saw their season end on Sunday night with a 4-3 OT loss to Connecticut. The Whale swept the best of five AHL playoff series, 3-0.

Colin Stuart, captain of the Rochester Americans, will try to stave off elimination when his team hosts the Toronto Marlies on Monday night in the league’s only game.

Nate Prosser returned from an unspecified injury and the Houston Aeros defense held together for a 1-0 win Sunday at Oklahoma City to keep the best-of-five series going. The West top seed Barons still lead 2-1 in games.

Brian Connelly recorded an assist in Abbotsford’s 4-2 win Sunday night at Milwaukee. The Heat lead the series 2-0 and head back to B.C. for Game 3 on Wednesday.

The Foxes celebrate their championships in Italy's top pro hockey league.

Here are highlights of the Bolzano Foxes’ perfect (12 wins in 12 games) run to the franchise’s record 19th Italia Serie A championship as shown in this highlights video that features goalie Matt Zaba (No. 1, black headgear). The Foxes wear red and white.

Top hockey prospect website HockeysFuture.com selected Jaden Schwartz, drafted 14th overall in 2010, as an honorable mention after  his sophomore performance with Colorado College and as captain of the bronze medalist Canadian world juniors team.

The USA U18 team brought home yet another gold medal.

In the ECHL playoffs, Alaska will host Las Vegas, probably on Friday, to open the Western Conference finals. Brian Swanson and Tim Hall play for the top seed Aces. No former Tigers play for the Wranglers.

Monday reading: CC-UMD home dates, Jutting reassignment reaction, season reviews, Frozen 4, NHL draft prospects, commits news

Colorado College hosts Minnesota Duluth Jan. 18-19, 2013, according to UMD’s tentative 2012-13 schedule. Here are some of the incoming freshmen that may make that trip.

As posted earlier, CC will play North Dakota four times next season according to a tentative schedule compiled by the Grand Forks Herald. The dates are UND at CC Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and the Tigers in Grand Forks Jan. 11-12, 2013.

UMD at home followed by a road trip to Grand Forks? There’s an early taste of the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference for Tiger fans.

Here is a review of North Dakota’s season and a look back at a special Minnesota Duluth senior class that vaulted the Bulldogs into elite status.

Here’s a reaction to Mankato reassigning head coach Troy Jutting, who is indeed one of the good guys in the WCHA in my experience. Here is the beat writer’s take with additional info and more reaction.

Inside College Hockey breaks down each Frozen Four semifinal: Boston College-Minnesota at 6 p.m. Mountain on Thursday (ESPN2) and Union-Ferris State at 2:30 Mountain (ESPNU).

Here is a Q&A with Union captain Nolan Julseth-White and one for Avs draft pick Paul Carey of BC.

College Hockey News named Colgate’s Austin Smith as its Player of the Year.

NHL Central Scouting announced its top 10 prospects in each junior/high school league in North America.

Minnesota Duluth brings in an NAHL goalie commit. UMD’s J.T. Brown made his NHL debut on Saturday and talked about an off-ice incident with Duluth police.

Former Bemidji State standout Drew Fisher has landed in the CHL.

The famed North Star J.P. Parise is profiled here. It is a good history piece hockey fans will enjoy.

Wednesday reading: Weekly honors, UNO rink, J. Schwartz, WCHA women, AFA honor

Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) and defenseman Jack Hillen stop a Kings shot during the first period Monday. / Sanford Myers / The Tennessean

Two Gophers were honored by the WCHA this week.

UNO coach Dean Blais is trying to jump start the school’s effort to get its own 8,000-seat arena on campus. No doubt, such a move would be huge for the program, especially from a financial viewpoint (concessions, parking revenue, etc.).

Here’s a look at Wisconsin’s road playoff possibilities.

CC assistant Eric Rud was checking out the NAHL’s top prospects recently.

From stltoday.com: Blues GM Doug Armstrong believes Colorado College forward Jaden Schwartz is close to NHL-ready, and why not? He was captain of Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. He has scored 12 goals and added 24 assists in 26 college games this season.

Colorado College has won just one of its last six games. At 16-14-2 overall and 13-12-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Schwartz’s team is on the outside of the NCAA’s 16-team national tourney bracket looking in.

Perhaps Colorado College can win the WCHA tourney and the automatic berth that goes with it. Or perhaps Jaden will have to decide whether to turn pro earlier than he expected.

Schwartz is a skilled player, but his character is what sets him apart. He appears to be a natural leader. “When you play, you want to make the players around you better,” he told the Colorado Springs Gazette earlier this season. “Whether teams are on you more or not, that’s something you’ve got to battle through. Every player has been through that at different levels.”

Pine Creek graduate Emily West’s play will be critical for the Minnesota women in the WCHA Frozen Faceoff (league semifinals and championship) this weekend in Duluth.

This sick little boy has been inspired by the Brown Bears and they have been motivated by him.

From AFA sports information:

Air Force sophomore Jason Torf was named the Atlantic Hockey Association Goalie of the Month for February as he helped lead Air Force to a 5-2-1 record and the AHA regular-season championship.

Torf, from Hermosa Beach, Calif., posted a 1.11 goals-against average and a .956 saves percentage in the month. He recorded four shutouts in eight starts as he blanked RIT (3-0 on Feb. 3), Niagara (2-0 on Feb. 10), Mercyhurst (8-0 on Feb. 17) and Robert Morris (3-0 on Feb. 25). Three of his four shutouts came against teams ranked in the top four in the league. Torf led AFA to the league title by stopping all 25 shots he faced in the final regular-season game at Robert Morris, Feb. 25. The night before, he made a season high 35 saves against the Colonials.

After missing almost three months and 14 games with a groin injury, Torf has come back to be among the national leaders in every goaltending category. In all games, he ranks third in the nation in goals-against average (1.65), seventh in shutouts (4) and eighth in saves percentage (.931)

The Atlantic Hockey monthly honor was his first of the season and second of his career. Air Force, 17-9-7 overall and 15-6-6 in the league, earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The Falcons will host an AHA quarterfinal series, March 9-11, at the Cadet Ice Arena.