Notebook: Winkler shines, line changes pay dividends

forsaleThis weekend’s unsung hero: Scott Winkler

The Colorado College senior may not have registered a point on Saturday’s scoresheet but coach Scott Owens rightly credited the Dallas draft pick for his efforts in the 5-1 home win.

“(Scott Winkler) didn’t register a point but his line was up against the (UMD freshman Tony) Cameranesi line all weekend,” Owens said referring to the Bullddog’s top-scoring line. “His line (including wings Archie Skalbeck, Jared Hanson) did a good job defensively tonight. We had nine blocks in the second period and Winkler made a big one during that span. That was huge”

Winkler and senior captain William Rapuzzi both created screens for defenseman Mike Boivin when he skated over a step and snapped off a wrister that beat UMD goalie Matt McNeely high glove side for the 1-0 lead.

Lines change-up pays dividends

After Friday’s 3-2 loss, the CC coaches shifted around the Tiger lines and, at least for now, looked like a good move.

Charlie Taft added more speed at right wing on the Rylan Schwartz line, which includes left wing Alexander Krushelnyski.  Those three recorded six points with Krushelnyski (two assists) ad Schwartz (three assists) generating three apiece

Moving Rapuzzi to the third line with freshmen Hunter Fejes and center Cody Bradley added more offensive potential with the senior providing some savvy and an ability to create offense off redirects. That gave CC three lines with considerable offensive ability.

It paid off. Rapuzzi’s goal early in the third period off assists from Bradley and Fejes clinched the win.

Monday reading: Preissing, radio show, weekend reviews, Hobey

preissing_1Former Tiger Tom Preissing, who played for EHCB  last season, signed with Biel and went through a tryout with the German league team last weekend. I will update his status when I stumble across it. Thanks to Tim Matthewson for finding this article and to Google translate.

The monthly Scott Owens radio show is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at McCabe’s Tavern, downtown Colorado Springs.

Here are three observations on this weekend in the WCHA, including a note on CC.

Hockey East’s standings are tightening up. The CCHA goaltending was quite good while the Hobey Baker race is underway.

CC at St. Cloud State preview

CC Alexander Krushelnyski roadHere is part of a preview I wrote earlier this week.

Colorado College (8-8-2, 5-4-1 WCHA) at No. 17 St. Cloud State (9-7-0, 7-5-0) 7:37 p.m. Central Friday, 7:07 p.m. Saturday

The Tigers’ run of five weekends in a row against ranked opponents continues this Friday through Saturday in Minnesota. The league’s 11th-rated scoring defense (3.50 goals) is balanced out by CC’s potent offense (league-best 3.61 goals), although the Tigers start out slow with 51 of the team’s 65 goals coming in the second and third period.

“We just need to keep getting better,” said Tigers head coach Scott Owens. “Our 5-on-5 scoring has been good which is better than it has been the past three years.”

CC senior Rylan Schwartz is tied for the WCHA scoring lead with 24 points while senior captain William Rapuzzi is tied for third with 22 points (13 assists). Tigers senior Scott Winkler has 20 points and is tied with Schwartz and two others with a league-high 10 goals.  Junior Alexander Krushelnyski now has 19 points (11 assists), good for a tie for eighth on the WCHA point scoring list with two others.

They face a team that is every bit as good as the higher-ranked opponents CC has faced, Owens said.

“And it is at their home which only makes it tougher,” Owens added. “They have two top lines that are as strong as anyone’s. You knew they would be good coming into the season with (Drew) LeBlanc back. Their defensive corps is underrated, led by one of the league’s best in Nick Jensen, and they have had good goaltending. They are going to be good as always.”

SCSU Nick JensenThe Huskies are paced by senior LeBlanc’s 21 points (team-high 16 assists) and 20 points (12 assists) from junior Nic Dowd. Freshman Kalle Kossila has 13 points (eight goals) while junior defenseman Jensen has 12 points, with his first goal of the season last weekend.

Senior Ben Hanowski has 11 points (seven assists) while freshman David Morley has 10 points (four goals, including his first hat trick last Friday). Sophomore goalie Ryan Faragher is 8-6-0 with a 2.44 goals against mark and a .912 saves percentage.

Owens, Sejna selected for USHL team Hall of Fame

Colorado College coach Scott Owens, pictured, and former Tiger Peter Sejna will be inducted into the Des Moines Buccaneers’ Hall of Fame next March.

Owens was the Bucs’ head coach from 1995-1999 and guided the team to 146 regular season wins, two Anderson Cups, a Clark Cup and a Gold Cup.

After winning the Gold Cup in 1999, he accepted the position of head coach at Colorado College.

From 1998-2000, Sejna was a scoring machine for the Bucs.  He collected 96 goals and 87 assists in 133 games.  He was named the USHL Forward of the Year in 2000.

S.F. Stampede forward commits to CC

From the USHL …

The Sioux Falls Stampede announced that forward Sam Rothstein has committed to play hockey at Colorado College following his USHL career.

Rothstein has put up eight points (4g, 4a) in eight games this season for the Stampede, including a USHL career high five-point game (2g, 3a) in the 6-5 victory over Fargo on Oct. 13.

That performance came one night after he scored the game-winning goal in the 4-2 victory against Indiana.

He went on to share honors as the CCM Forward of the Week for his efforts.

The 19-year-old from Minnetonka, Minnesota played 14 games for the Stampede last season, collecting seven points (3g, 4a). His bio follows.

#9 Sam Rothstein
Born: 8/31/1993
Position: Forward
Height: 5’10
Weight: 165
Hometown: Minnetonka
Previous Team: Minnetonka HS/Stampede
Previous Stats: GP:12 G:3 A:4 PTS:7
Nicknames: Sammy, Slammy
Favorite Hockey Player: Patrick Kane
Favorite Hockey Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Hobbies: Volleyball, raquet sports
Greatest Influence on career: Dad
If I were forced to give up all my possessions but one, I’d keep: Phone
Favorite TV Show: White Collar

Seven other current USHL players are also committed to Colorado College – Christian Heil (Chicago Steel), Alex Roos (Chicago Steel), Jaccob Slavin (Chicago Steel), Gustav Olofsson (Green Bay Gamblers), Zach Aman (Indiana Ice), Matt Hansen (Omaha Lancers), and Garrett Cecere (Tri-City Storm).

Colorado College is a member of the WCHA and has 15 USHL alumni on the Tigers roster this season; Joe Marciano (Omaha Lancers), Aaron Harstad (Green Bay Gamblers), Peter Stoykewych (Des Moines Buccaneers), Eamonn McDermott (Fargo Force), Cody Bradley (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Jordan DiGiando (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Alex Krushelnyski (Sioux City Musketeers), Charlie Taft (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Scott Wamsganz (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Ian Young (Fargo Force), Peter Maric (Green Bay Gamblers), Jared Hanson (Lincoln Stars), Scott Winkler (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), William Rapuzzi (Green Bay Gamblers), and Joe Howe (Waterloo Black Hawks).

Additionally, Tigers head coach Scott Owens and assistant coach Eric Rud have both had coaching stints in the USHL.

CC penalty kill performs well in exhibition victory

Colorado College certainly got some needed extra work on its penalty kill during its 3-1 exhibition win over visiting British Columbia on Sunday night.

With only penalty-kill regular Alexander Krushelnyski back this season, the Tigers performed well, killing 5-of-6 penalties. Some of the ”new faces” on the units included junior Michael Morin, freshman Jared Hanson, and seniors Rylan Schwartz and William Rapuzzi, all forwards.

“Hats off to the penalty kill guys,” said junior wing Archie Skalbeck, who scored the eventual game-winner during the second period. “It looked good. They only gave up one goal and that was a 5-on-3.”

“It was good for us to kill penalties but not that good,” said coach Scott Owens. “We should have put the game away early in the third. Instead we let them hang around. We took some ill-advised penalties and were on our heels a bit.”

“It was a mixed bag. It is pretty unusual for us to draw more penalties than what we draw.”

Skalbeck banged in his own rebound with 8:41 left in the second period for an important even-strength insurance goal minutes after the Thunderbirds nearly tied the game.

Courtney Lockwood made a nice glove save with 12:52 left in the second on a hard shot by Cole Wilson to preserve the 1-0 lead. Later, Tigers defenseman Joe Marciano swatted a rebound out of the air in front of the CC net moments after a Thunderbird shot caromed off the post.

That bang-bang sequence drew a slashing penalty on Mike Boivin, but CC killed the subsequent power play, even generating a shorthanded chance that went off the post.

About two minutes later, Skalbeck’s eventual game-winning goal came after a rush into the UBC zone by Charlie Taft, whose crossing pass to the junior wing set up his initial shot. Goalie Steven Stanford could not handle the shot and it came out for Skalbeck’s second chance.

Scott Winkler ripped a hard shot high glove side past UBC backup Jordan White with 1:48 left in the second to make it 3-0. That prompted some hard feelings which led to retaliation penalties that put CC down 5-on-3 for 28 seconds. UBC’s Scott MacDonald took advantage of a rebound to make it 3-1 headed into the final period.

CC recorded an even-strength score, a shorthanded goal and a power-play marker which bodes well. Joe Howe recorded 10 saves in a scoreless third, Lockwood made four stops in the second and Josh Thorimbert six in the first.

“It was a good game for us,” Owens said. “No one looked poor. We played 24 guys and all three goalies, who played well. We saw some things we need to work on.”

Winkler looked sharp while freshman Cody Bradley, who scored the opening goal on the power play, generated a couple good scoring chances. All three sophomore defensemen – Aaron Harstad, Peter Stoykewych and Young – looked improved and accounted for two assists (Stoykewych, Young).

“Overall, we are happy with how we played,” Rapuzzi said. “The younger guys played well which is good because we will need them to play a good bit. They definitely stepped in and played a big role.”

Still there remains plenty of work ahead as the Tigers tweak lien combinations to see which threesome clicks on the ice.

“We really haven’t had time to develop any chemistry,” Skalbeck said. “We have all been on different lines. None of the lines are cemented.”

MSU Mankato 7, Lethbridge 1

MANKATO — Minnesota State’s Bryce Gervais scored twice and added an assist while Eriah Hayes recorded three assists in the 7-1 exhibition win over Lethbridge.

Bemidji State 3, Manitoba 3 OT

BEMIDJI — Jeff Paradis scored an unassisted goal with about 7 minutes left to force overtime. Manitoba led 2-1 until Bemidji State’s Cory Ward and Danny Mattson scored six minutes apart for a 3-2 lead midway through the third.

Meet the CC freshmen: Michael King, Pete Maric

It won’t be hard to notice freshman defenseman Michael King, listed at 6-foot-4 without skates, when he takes the ice for the Tigers. His skating ability looked smooth and his reach gives him an advantage, covering a lot of the ice with his stick.

“Michael will take a little time to get used to the speed but he has a lot of upside,” coach Scott Owens said. “He is a very-skilled big man.”

“I am just trying to soak up as much as I can,” the 227-pounder from British Columbia said. “I have been working on playing more physical.”

Chances are if the Tigers need a particular role filled, freshman Pete Maric can handle it.

“Maric is a very versatile and well-rounded,” coach Scott Owens said. “He can fill many roles.  He also played on two different championship teams in two years.”

“You learn to give yourself a clean page the next day (after a loss),” he said. “That is part of the winning mentality. It gives you a lot of confidence.”

Maric said his success is from being willing to do whatever the team needed.

“You feed off that,” he said. “You work hard all the time. You defend, do a hell of a job forechecking to create opportunities and then capitalize. You do whatever you can.”

The previous installments of Meet The Freshmen: Cody Bradley and Hunter Fejes; Russell Finch and Jared Hanson are available by clicking the link in their names.