Sunday, December 30, 2007

Game day: No. 4 CC 4, No. 9 Massachusetts 5 (OT)

CC dropped to 1-3 in nonconference games, with only one series versus a 'team under consideration' (TUC) -- that's PairWise speak for a team that stands a decent chance to make the NCAA Tournament -- left this season: No. 8 Clarkson on Feb. 1-2. All three of those losses come against the Hockey East. And a little explanation for those of you who are new to this whole college hockey thing: the PairWise rankings mimic the process used to select the NCAA Tournament field. A major criteria is record against TUC's... My take? The Tigers could really use a sweep over Clarkson; they need to finish in the top three of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association; and they need to advance to the WCHA Final Five to ensure a spot in the NCAA tournament. CC also can't tank against Bemidji State and Air Force in January.

Here's how it unfolded tonight:
First period
1. Colorado College 1, UMass 0: Jack Hillen 3 (Tyler Johnson 3), 4:33. Hillen wove through a couple of UMass players and bounced the puck off of goaltender Paul Dainton's shoulder and into the net.

2. Colorado College 2, UMass 0: Eric Walsky 7 (Nate Prosser 8), 16:19. Walsky took the puck from the defensive blue line, through four UMass players and tucked it inside the right post for the score.

Second period
3. Colorado College 2, UMass 1: Alex Berry 3 (Martin Nolet 2, Chris Davis 10), 2:41. Just as CC killed its second 5-on-3 of the game, UMass left wing Alex Berry tossed a shot from the blue line on net and beat goaltender Drew O'Connell between his blocker and leg guard.

4. Colorado College 2, UMass 2: Michael Lecomte 5 (Justin Braun 8, James Marcou 12), 14:53. On a 4-on-4, O'Connell rebounded Braun's shot off to his glove side and Lecomte was there to bang it in.

5. Colorado College 2, UMass 3: P.J. Fenton 3 (James Marcou 13, Michael Kostka 6), 16:33, pp. Fenton's shot from the left circle beat O'Connell glove side.

6. Colorado College 3, UMass 3: Chad Rau 11 (Scott Thauwald 6), 16:47, sh. Rau answers Fenton's goal as the announcer reads out the scoring line with a top-shelf shot. It was Rau's third short-handed goal of the season.

Third period
7. Colorado College 3, UMass 4: Cory Quirk 6 (Chris Davis 10, Michael Kostka 6), 0:48. With left wing Scott Thauwald and defenseman Jake Gannon following, Quirk slammed in a cross-crease pass from Davis.

8. Colorado College 4, UMass 4: Chad Rau 12 (Jimmy Kilpatrick 5, Ryan Lowery 1), 7:09, pp. Kilpatrick slid a pass behind UMass's penalty kill to Rau at the left circle. Rau paused for a moment before finishing in the upper right corner.

9. Colorado College 4, UMass 5: Matt Burto 4 (James Marcou 14, Michael Lecomte 3), 1:55. Burto skates from the bench straight to the left side of the crease and redirects Marcou's pass into the open net for the game-winner.

Game day: No. 4 CC vs. No. 9 Massachusetts

Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
26 McCulloch--19 Vlassopoulos--5 DeBoer
28 Schultz--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
18 Overman--9 McMillin--25 Testwuide

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
27 Wysopal--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--24 Lowery

31 O'Connell
30 Bachman
1 O'Brien

14 Fenton--12 Quirk--11 Davis
17 Langeraap--25 LeComte--19 Marcou
24 Berry--26 Watson--10 Ortiz
67 Burto--15 Keane--16 Crowder

2 Nolet--28 Kostka
7 Leaderer--27 Braun
5 Bevis--18 Kublin

31 Dainton
33 Meyers
30 Gedman

Tiger Tracks:
--Colin Stuart turned heads in his NHL debut with the Atlanta Thrashers, picking up an assist in a 5-0 win over brother Mark's Boston Bruins.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Game day: No. 4 CC vs. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Pregame notes:
1. Junior Eric Walsky will play tonight, despite injuring his right wrist Wednesday. Walsky skated briefly in a noncontact jersey toward the end of Thursday's practice with heavy tape on his wrist. Walsky will center the fourth line, so he'll only play about 12 minutes at most. But Walsky's presence means the Tigers will have a full lineup. I would have to guess that with center Chad Rau available Sunday against either UMass or No. 6 Notre Dame - UMass knocked off the Fighting Irish 4-3 in the first game - coach Scott Owens will give Walsky a rest.

2. Who is going to replace Cody Lampl? Owens liked to say that Lampl never had to score a point or dish an assist to make a contribution to the Tigers. Lampl's high-energy, big-hitting style of play reminded his teammates to finish their checks. But with Lampl suspended until January 2009 unless his appeal is successful, CC will have to find another way (or ways) to generate that same spark. Most are looking to left wing Scott McCulloch, but right wing Jimmy Kilpatrick said Thursday that it will have to be a collective effort.

3. Goalies tend to be a superstitious bunch, but goaltender Richard Bachman is excited to debut a new set of pads tonight. Instead of a metallic gold, these leg pads have a yellow gold that matches more closely that of the Tigers' uniform. Bachman said the equipment company rep delivered his pads to his house in Highlands Ranch just before Christmas and he started breaking them in during his week off. He prefers stiffer pads, so he said he's happy to have a new set midseason. As for the glove, Bachman has been working extra hard to break that in. "It's still a little stiff," he said.

4. CC practiced this morning at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, Fla., about 15 minutes from the team hotel.

Colorado College
10 Thauwald--17 Johnson--23 Kilpatrick
26 McCulloch--19 Vlassopoulos--5 DeBoer
28 Schultz--9 McMillin--25 Testwuide
12 Quilico--22 Walsky--18 Overman

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
27 Wysopal--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--24 Lowery

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell
1 O'Brien

23 Colling--17 Lord--16 Klerer
15 Helfrich--8 Morissette--26 Contini
27 Uryadov--11 Kerins--21 Polacek
9 Ornelas--22 Angers-Goulet--10 Halpern

6 Merth--7 Foss
4 Brutlag--3 Jensen
12 Vassel--2 Burgdoerfer

31 Lange
1 Alford
25 Neubert

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Morning Practice Update

Defenseman Kris Fredheim, who left Wednesday night's practice to get X-rays after a hard check from roommate Mike Testwuide, has a sprained right shoulder, he said Thursday. With his arm in a sling, Fredheim said he expects to be back on the ice "soon" but has no set timeline.

Forward Eric Walsky, who also went for X-rays Wednesday, was not at practice and his prognosis is unknown.

Here's how the Tigers are lining up:

*As reported in today's paper, the Tigers' top scorer, Chad Rau, will serve a one-game, team-imposed suspension Saturday against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, leaving CC with 11 forwards if Walsky remains out of the lineup.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Go Figure soon as I'm home in North Carolina on vacation, all havoc breaks loose in the college hockey world.

--Minnesota's offensive woes are likely continue now that sophomore Kyle Okposo has decided to join the New York Islanders after World Junior Championships, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and first reported by Minneapolis radio station KFAN.

--Follow World Juniors via podcasts and videos here. Also, the medal round of World Juniors will be broadcast by NHL Network, which is available on Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network and other major distribution channels. The schedule is here:

IIHF World Junior Championship Schedule
NHL Network U.S. Coverage

Date Event Time (EST)
Jan. 2 Quarterfinal #1 10:00 a.m.
Quarterfinal #2 2:00 p.m.
Jan. 3 Quarterfinal #1 re-air 3:00 a.m.
Quarterfinal #2 re-air 12:00 p.m.
Jan. 4 Semifinal #1 10:00 a.m.
Semifinal #2 2:00 p.m.
Semifinal #1 re-air 5:30 p.m.
Semifinal #2 re-air 10:00 p.m.
Jan. 5 Bronze Medal Game 10:00 a.m.
Gold Medal Game 2:00 p.m.
Jan. 6 Gold Medal Game re-air 3:00 a.m.
Bronze Medal Game re-air 5:00 p.m.
Gold Medal Game re-air 7:00 p.m.

Recruiting news:

--Colorado College picked up a recruit for 2009 in defenseman John Moore of Winnetka, Ill. Moore, who attends New Trier High School and plays for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League. Moore will be brought in to replace Jake Gannon, another Illinois native, and join Ryan Lowery and Brett Wysopal, also Illinois natives, on the defensive corps. Moore was also recruited by Dartmouth. More on Moore when I return from vacation. Updated recruit stats are here.

--Colorado Springs native Corson Cramer, a former Pikes Peak Miners goaltender, committed to Michigan Tech of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Cramer's dad, Scott, was a World Professional Figure Skating champion from The Broadmoor Skating Club and attended Colorado College. Cramer plays for the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets (USHL) with CC recruit Tim Hall.

Colorado College roundup:
The Tigers head into break ranked fourth nationally, behind rival No. 3 Denver and tied with the Pioneers for first place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. On Tuesday, defenseman Jack Hillen was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week, the third time this season a Tiger has won the award (goaltender Richard Bachman won twice).

CC's individual honors stack up like this:
WCHA Offensive Player of the Week: Chad Rau (11/20, 11/27)
WCHA Defensive Player of the Week: Bachman (10/23, 11/27), Hillen (12/18)
WCHA Rookie of the Week: Bachman (11/13)
Commissioner's Choice Rookie of the Month: Bachman (November)

Tiger Tracks:
--Aaron Slattengren was a named an ECHL All-Star and a starter for the American Conference team.
--The Grand Rapids Press' Griffins beat writer implores fans to fill out AHL All-Star ballots and suggests they include Mark Cullen, who is second on the team with 23 points.
--This is pretty cool. Former CC defenseman Lee Sweatt has been hard to track since I can't read Finnish. But his girlfriend, a CC alumna, has been keeping a blog on what I assume is the local newspaper's Web site. Check it out.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Game day: No. 3 CC 2, St. Cloud State 4

Aside from about four too many penalties, Colorado College did a great job executing the game plan last night. Tonight, the Tigers won't have to contend with Garrett Roe, who is out because of a bruised hip. But CC will need to continue its diligent defense on top threats Andreas Nodl and Ryan Lasch. The keys for the game:
1. Richard Bachman in net. Friday, the freshman kept the Tigers in the game during the second period and late penalty kills.
2. Assertive play by the defensemen. CC's defensemen came out hitting early and set the tone with their physical play. The result was St. Cloud State turnovers and offensive opportunities for the Tigers.
3. Go hard to the net. Both Nate Prosser and Ryan Lowery said their Friday night goals resulted when they saw forwards going hard to the net. Each threw a hard shot on net with the hopes of creating a rebound for the forward, but they beat St. Cloud State's goalie instead.

Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--5 DeBoer
26 McCulloch--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
2 Lampl--9 McMillin--25 Testwuide

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--27 Wysopal

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell

Healthy scratches: D Ryan Lowery, RW Steve Schultz

St. Cloud State
12 Nodl--10 Hartman--18 Volpei
27 Mosey--13 Dey--19 Lasch
22 Borgen--17 Marvin--15 Oslund
21 Brocklehurst--8 Olson--20 Peckskamp

26 Swanson--24 Stephenson
4 Anderson--7 Raboin
6 Barta--2 Ammerman

33 Weslosky
30 O'Brien
41 Dunn

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gameday: No. 3 CC 3, St. Cloud State 1 (final)

Final thoughts:

1. If you didn't catch Friday's article on CC's penalty kill, it might be worth a read ("Treads realign CC's play"). The Tigers' penalty kill was phenomenal tonight, holding St. Cloud State to just one goal on 10 shots in eight power plays. The Huskies entered the game clicking at 22.8 percent (21 of 92), but that dropped to 22 percent (22 of 100) after Friday.Of course, goaltender Richard Bachman deserves a lot of credit, but the forwards -- especially Scott Thauwald, Chad Rau and Scott McCulloch -- did a stand-out job possessing the puck when they took it away from the Huskies' power play. All of the defensemen kept St. Cloud State off of Bachman's pads and combined for several takeaways in the slot. Impressive.

2. Speaking of McCulloch, it was good to see him score for the first time since Nov. 3 against North Dakota. The senior left wing and alternate captain has been doing so many positive things while playing on the third line, but scoring hasn't been one of them. Coach Scott Owens has repeatedly praised McCulloch's defensive efforts and leadership this season. In three of the Tigers' four losses -- all of which came on the road -- that third goal proved elusive. It was a big goal.

"I've been focusing on getting chances," McCulloch said. "When the chances stop coming, that's when you have to start worrying. I think just focusing on that and helping the team win in other ways is what has kept me going and just kept me in a positive mind-frame. I don't think being negative around the guys would help me any or help us win."

3. As I said below after the first period, the defensemen really established themselves early. St. Cloud State only scored once and did not score on even strength for a reason.

"They have a few high-end skill guys that we had in mind," defenseman Ryan Lowery said. "Our goal was to knock them around and knock them in. Collectively, as a D-corps, I think we did that pretty well. I would say it was a goal coming into the weekend."

When asked if the defensemen contributing two of the Tigers' three goals was a result of aggression or luck, Lowery grinned as he threw out some fighting words: "Actually, this week in practice, the D-corps was winning all of the small games, so it carried over into tonight."

Lowery is referring to competitions throughout practice that pit the defensemen against the forwards. And, yes, the defensemen were cleaning up this week.

After a period:
1. Defensemen making the difference. Nate Prosser and Ryan Lowery each had first-period goals. In their defensive zone, the Tigers are forcing St. Cloud State to take outside shots and the defensemen established a physical presence early.
2. So much for least penalized team. St. Cloud State took three first-period penalties. Perhaps coach Bob Motzko thought the Huskies weren't playing aggressive enough during their five-game losing streak.
3. Strong start. Any worries of rust after the bye week looked misplaced during the first-period effort from CC. The Tigers outshot St. Cloud State 13-6, converted on one of their three power plays and generated plenty of short-handed offense out of their penalty kill.

Three thoughts:
1. Crash the net. Last season, the Huskies had proven goaltender Bobby Goepfert in net. Tonight, St. Cloud State has freshman B.J. O'Brien, who has played in just one game this season. Because St. Cloud State is the least penalized team in the nation, averaging just 9.4 penalty minutes per game, the Tigers can't expect to get many power-play opportunities and will need to do their damage in even-strength situations.
2. Stop the Viennese twins. One is from Vienna, Austria, the other is from Vienna, Va., but sophomore Andreas Nodl and freshman Garrett Roe both have the offensive skill to change a game. Look for the Vlassopoulos line to be given the task of neutralizing Roe's line.
3. Rusty? CC players and coaches alike felt good about their preparation for tonight's game during the past two weeks. Will the Tigers pick up where they left off after Alaska-Anchorage? Or will they take a period or more to get back into the rhythm of WCHA play?

Ice chips:
**CC alum and former radio color commentator Jim Paradise will be joining Ken Landau on the call tonight on 103.9 FM.
**Scouts from Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils are in attendance.

Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--5 DeBoer
26 McCulloch--22 Walsky--25 Testwuide
2 Lampl--17 Johnson--28 Schultz

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--24 Lowery

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell

Healthy scratches: Brett Wysopal and Brian McMillin
Did not travel: Derek Patrosso (ankle), Dan Quilico, Matt Overman, Tyler O'Brien

St. Cloud State
27 Mosey--13 Dey--19 Lasch
12 Nodl--9 Roe--10 Hartman
21 Brocklehurst--17 Marvin--18 Volpei
22 Borgen--8 Olson--15 Oslund

26 Swanson--24 Stephenson
28 Carlisle--7 Raboin
6 Barta--2 Ammerman

30 O'Brien
33 Weslosky
41 Dunn

Referees: Derek Shepherd and Marco Hunt
Linesmen: Jonathon Morrison, Tony Czech

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tiger Tracks

Updated alumni statistics can be found here. Some highlights:

Iowa Stars captain and former Colorado College captain Toby Petersen is third in the American Hockey League scoring standings (13 goals, 14 assists). Mark Cullen, who played with Petersen for two seasons at CC, also leads his team, the Grand Rapids Griffins in scoring (six goals, 15 assists).

In his second AHL season since he left CC after his junior year, Brian Salcido is the top-scoring defenseman with 23 points (six goals, 17 assists).

In just 14 games, Brett Sterling is fourth on the Chicago Wolves' scoring list with 20 points (13 goals, 7 assists).

In the ECHL, Aaron Slattengren of the Augusta Lynx is second in league scoring with 17 goals and 10 assists (27 points) and was named player of the week. Read here.

Finally, the latest on CC recruits can be found in this updated spreadsheet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sweatt Expected To Make U.S. National Junior team

All signs point to sophomore Bill Sweatt making his second U.S. national junior team, which will be announced tonight on Versus during the intermission of the Detroit Red Wings - Montreal Canadiens game at 5:30 MT. Forwards (Sweatt is a left wing) will be announced in the first intermission and defensemen and goaltenders will be announced during the second intermission.

The 2008 U.S. national junior team will travel to the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship on Dec. 26 - Jan. 5 in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic, meaning Sweatt would miss the Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Fla., and provided the U.S. makes the medal rounds, the Wisconsin series in Madison.

Sweatt helped the U.S. national junior team to a bronze medal in 2007.

Speaking of Sweatt: According to The Hockey News, his little blunder at the NHL draft combine is included in a new book Future Greats and Heartbreaks: A year undercover in the secret world of NHL scouts. Sweatt wasn't able to participate in the combine because of a hurt wrist. The author couldn't figure out why Sweatt didn't lie about his wrist being cut at a frat party.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Game day: No. 4 CC 4, Alaska-Anchorage 1 (final)

Three thoughts:
1. The Tigers must be more determined about getting shots on net. Last night's total of 16 simply isn't enough. CC was outshot 46-36 overall with the breakdown like this:
--Shots blocked by defense: CC 10, UAA 12
--Shots off target: CC 9, UAA 6
--Pipes: CC 1, UAA 0
--Shots on target: CC 16, UAA 28
How CC fared Saturday: The Tigers were outshot 25-23. Early in the game, Anchorage was doing a great job of blocking shots, especially from CC's defensemen. But the game opened up once the Seawolves scored and the defensemen started to change the shooting angle. CC ended up taking 52 shots total to Anchorage's 42.
The breakdown:
--Shots blocked by defense: CC 17, UAA 10
--Shots off target: CC 10, UAA, 7
--Pipes: CC 2, UAA 0
--Shots on target: CC 23, UAA 25

2. Anchorage came off of a bye week. CC is heading into one. Who wants it more?
How CC fared: The Tigers got great goaltending from Drew O'Connell Friday and Richard Bachman Saturday. The pair combined to hold Anchorage by saving 52 of 53 shots. CC allowed its first power-play goal since Nov. 2, but has killed 34 of the last 35 penalties. The power play, thanks to opportunistic play from the Kilpatrick-Rau-McCulloch-Connelly-Lampl group, regained its somewhat shaky footing with two goals Saturday. All in all, CC gained some confidence heading into its next road series at St. Cloud State, but could stand to up the ante on offense after scoring just four power-play goals in the last three games.

3. Can the Tigers earn a road sweep? North Dakota beat Denver 3-1, meaning CC could pull six points ahead of the Pioneers, who have two games in hand, in Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings.
How CC fared: The Tigers proved they could get gritty on the road and rose to the occasion over the last 30 minutes of Saturday's game. With Denver's loss, the two points proved to be quite important. As right wing Jimmy Kilpatrick pointed out after the game, Anchorage hadn't been swept by any team home or away this season. Even though the Seawolves are in last place in the WCHA, they are much more disciplined than in years past and if they can get a few more goals, could be a dangerous team. Could be interesting in mid-January when the teams meet again.

--There was a brief moment with two minutes left -- after left wing Cody Lampl was checked from behind by Anchorage's Chris Tarkir and defenseman Kris Fredheim went for retaliation -- where it looked as if the series might end with a brawl as it did last December at World Arena.
"I must say I had a little flashback," coach Scott Owens said. "But (coach) Dave (Shyiak) did a good job of getting everyone settled down."

--Best fashion statement: Defenseman Ryan Lowery, inspired by classmate Brett Wysopal, was sporting some moccasins he bought Saturday in Anchorage with his CC windsuit.

Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--25 Testwuide
26 McCulloch--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
2 Lampl--9 McMillin-18 Overman

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--27 Wysopal

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell

21 Lunden--20 Crowder--9 Clark
24 Tassone--37 Cartwright--18 Tarkir
8 Selby--17 Parkinson--7 DayChief
28 Haddad--34 McCabe--16 Grant

4 LaFranchise--33 Robinson
13 Backstrom--23 Vidmar
10 Lovdahl--22 Tuton

30 Olthuis
39 Gordon
21 Mayo

Friday, November 30, 2007

Game day: No. 4 CC 1, Alaska-Anchorage 0 (final)

Postgame thoughts:
--The Elusive Second Goal. Coach Scott Owens was somewhat exasperated by the Tigers' inability to put road games out of reach and that the Tigers had a season-low 16 shots. CC failed to notch a second goal (when it mattered-- sorry, Eric Walsky) for the second game in a row, but still got the win. Missed opportunities, such as a 2-on-1 by Bill Sweatt and Scott Thauwald with about five minutes left, were again an issue.
--Panicked Veterans. Some of CC's veterans looked like deer in the headlights in the final five minutes when the Seawolves brought it hard, but lucky for them, goaltender Drew O'Connell was in the zone.
--Power in the penalty kill. CC, which killed all six Anchorage penalties, has killed 30 penalties in a row dating back to Nov. 2. Very impressive.
--Lastly, the Seawolves kept CC's top three lines off the scoring sheet, aside from center Chad Rau's assist on Matt Overman's goal.

(My recorder died, or else I'd have extra quotes for you. AAA batteries will make that possible tomorrow.)

Third period notes:
The Tigers started the period with :35 left on the power play, but failed to generate much...On CC's second power play of the game, two minutes into the third, right wing Jimmy Kilpatrick hit the left post...After saving a power-play shot from Anchorage right wing Tommy Grant, Drew O'Connell stuffed center Peter Cartwright as he cut across the crease.

Second period notes:
Anchorage played grittier in the second period, holding CC to just three shots (ties a season-low)...The Tigers' penalty kill played with aplomb, generating two quality short-handed chances...CC ended the period with a power play in which defenseman Brian Connelly did a nice job keeping the puck in play.

First period notes:
Right wing Matt Overman scored his first career goal at 6:01...Anchorage native Drew O'Connell held the Seawolves scoreless on 11 shots, including a sprawling save on Anchorage left wing Blair Tassone, who wheeled into the slot unguarded for a one-on-one chance at 15:47.

Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--5 DeBoer
26 McCulloch--22 Walsky--25 Testwuide
2 Lampl--9 McMillin--18 Overman

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--24 Lowery

31 O'Connell
30 Bachman

Notes: RW Derek Patrosso suffered an ankle injury in Tuesday's practice and did not travel...C Tyler Johnson and D Brett Wysopal were healthy scratches...RW Stephen Schultz (unknown) also did not travel and did not practice Tuesday...Arena was more than halfway empty at the start of the first period.

21 Lunden--20 Crowder--9 Clark
24 Tassone--37 Cartwright--18 Tarkir
14 Waldrop--17Parkinson--7 DayChief
28 Haddad--24 McCabe--16 Grant

4 LaFranchise--33 Robinson
13 Backstrom--23 Vidmar
10 Lovdahl--22 Tuton

30 Olthuis
39 Gordon
31 Mayo

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

CC's Rau and Bachman honored by WCHA

Center Chad Rau was named offensive player of the week by the WCHA for the second week in a row. Rau earned his first collegiate hat-trick Friday against Denver, which included his league-best fourth game-winning goal of the season. The Tigers' top scorer, Rau ranks third in the conference in overall scoring with 15 points (9 goals and 6 assists).

Freshman goaltender Richard Bachman picked up rookie of the week honors for the second time this season, his third overall honor from the WCHA. Bachman, who lost his first WCHA game Saturday, stopped 52 of 56 shots in the series. Bachman's 8-2 overall record leads WCHA goaltenders.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Game day: No. 4 CC at No. 3 Denver

Three keys to the game:
1. Get Physical
. The Tigers need to assert themselves early by finishing checks and playing the body. It's a small sheet, so the more aggressive CC plays, the more turnovers it can cause.
2. Take the puck wide. CC has been scoring oodles of even-strength goals by taking the puck wide and spreading the defense. No reason that should change tonight.
3. Score first. CC is 7-1 when it scores first, the one loss coming at New Hampshire and I think that lesson has been learned. The Tigers need to start their nine-game road stretch on the right foot.


Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--16 Patrosso
26 McCulloch--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
28 Schultz--9 McMillin--2 Lampl

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--27 Wysopal

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell

Scratches: F Mike Testwuide, F Matt Overman, F Addison DeBoer, F Dan Quilico, D Ryan Lowery, G Tyler O'Brien

39 Trotter--21 Bozak--8 Jackson
9 Rakhshani--15 Ruegsegger--22 Gifford
19 Ostrow--12 Martin--16 Maiani
17 Glasser--27 Vossberg--14 May

4 Butler--7 Mullen
24 Ryder--5 Thomas
11 Testwuide--25 Brookwell

29 Mannino
1 Cheverie
30 Guinn

Friday, November 23, 2007

Game day: No. 4 CC 5, No. 3 Denver 1

Ice chips:

  • CC scored its first power-play goal since Nov. 9 against Minnesota-Duluth. The Tigers went scoreless on 12 power-play chances in a row before defenseman Nate Prosser scored with six seconds left in Friday's third power-play.
  • The Tigers won the faceoff battle, edging Denver 37-35. Center Chad Rau led CC, winning 14 of 26 faceoffs.
  • What a turnaround. Denver entered the game ranked second in the nation and first in the WCHA with a 1.30 goals against average. The Pioneers scored seven goals last Saturday, but were held scoreless for the final 49 minutes, in which CC scored four goals.
  • CC recruit Colten St. Clair attended the game.

Quick quips:
Goaltender Richard Bachman on Fredheim's second-period defensive save
"I had no idea (where the puck was). I saw it afterwards. I saw him hit him in the chest, and then he hit it out of mid-air, and then it hit me. That's the only time I saw it when I was down there. I was like, 'Please hit me.'"
Bachman on making saves
"I felt like I was on my back a little bit and scrambling around a bit tonight. For the most part, with the first shot, I felt really confident. As the game went on, I started getting a lot more confidence and started settling things down a little bit."
Bachman on when he started to have fun
"I try to have fun the whole time, but definitely after they scored their first goal. It was like, 'All right, that one's over with. You don't have to worry about anything, just play.' That's kind of when I started having fun with it."
Denver coach George Gwozdecky
"That was my bad. I take full responsibility for that loss. Our team was not ready to go."

From the notebook:

Third period:
End of the third ... Goaltender Richard Bachman goes nuts and continues to make death-defying saves.
9:29 -- Denver center Tyler Ruegsegger gets a game misconduct and has to leave the game after checking defenseman Brian Connelly from behind into the boards by CC's bench.
9:06 -- It was bound to happen sooner or later. Two scuffles broke out in CC's end of the ice, with Denver's Rhett Rakhshani and CC's Cody Lampl squaring off and CC defenseman Ryan Lowery sitting on Denver's Patrick Mullen. Lowery raises the roof on the way into the penalty box, causing forwards Addison DeBoer and Matt Overman to crack up in the press box.
8:59 -- Colorado College 5, Denver 1, pp. With six seconds left in the power play, Denver defenseman Cody Brookwell blocked a shot by defenseman Jack Hillen. Goaltender Peter Mannino was caught splitting and recovered just in time to see the puck, shot by defenseman Nate Prosser, sail into the open net.
Around seven minutes -- Denver right wing Dustin Jackson's backhanded shot from between the hashes is kicked away by Bachman.
5:42 -- Colorado College 4, Denver 1. Left wing Scott Thauwald feeds center Chad Rau, this time from the left circle, and Rau finishes into the net, past goaltender Peter Mannino's left skate. A few hats hit the ice.
1:56 -- Goaltender Richard Bachman's left skate -- possibly the blade only -- saves a tough shot from Denver left wing Rhett Rakhshani.
1:30 -- With goaltender Peter Mannino clear out of the goal, right wing Derek Patrosso bobbles a pass from center Andreas Vlassopoulos, creating one of the bigger collective gasps of the night.

Second period:
19:40 -- Colorado College 3, Denver 1. Left wing Scott Thauwald passes from the top of the right circle into the slot, where center Chad Rau meets the puck and finishes with a wrist shot that beats splitting goaltender Peter Mannino over his right leg-pad.
19:01 -- A furious Denver line rush comes up short when a combination of center Chad Rau, defenseman Jack Hillen and goaltender Richard Bachman create a wall in front of CC's net.
18:13 -- Denver right wing Tom May and left wing Matt Glasser each put shots on Richard Bachman's pads, but center Andreas Vlassopoulos swoops in to clear it out.
14:47 -- With goaltender Richard Bachman laying face-down in the crease, defenseman Kris Fredheim blocks a shot from Denver center Jesse Martin with his chest and, as the puck is sailing towards the net, bats it away.
12:24 -- Defenseman Jake Gannon lays out Denver's Anthony Mainani along the back wall for one of the hardest checks of the night.
9:53 -- Right wing Jimmy Kilpatrick slams his stick on the ice after he deflects left wing Scott Thauwald's pass from the corner into goaltender Peter Mannino.
8:07 -- Goaltender Richard Bachman saves Denver defenseman Chris Nutini's shot from the point, then center Tyler Ruegsegger's rebound attempt is wide right.
4:53 -- On Denver's first power play, goaltender Richard Bachman gloves defenseman Chris Butler's shot from the point. Butler's one-timer from the slot sails wide-right. Bachman makes a full layout, right leg-pad save on center Tyler Ruegsegger's doorstep one-timer.
2:14 -- CC defenseman Jack Hillen has two good shots on a generally dismal power play in which Denver creates three short-handed scoring chances. Lots of CC passes were hitting skates, rather than tape-to-tape.
0:45 -- Denver defenseman Patrick Mullen nearly scored on a no-angle baseline shot like left wing Cody Lampl's first-period goal, but goaltender Richard Bachman saved it.

First period:
19:45 - Denver right wing Anthony Maiani makes a cross-ice pass to center Tyler Ruegsegger, whose one-time attempt flew to the right of the goal.
16:16 -- Colorado College 2, Denver 1. Defenseman Jack Hillen made a heads-up pass to right wing Jimmy Kilpatrick, who slid behind defensemen J.P Testwuide and Cody Brookwell at the blue line. Kilpatrack drove hard to the net, but his shot went high and bounced off of the glass into the slot. Rau skated on and finished into the net.
11:00 -- Colorado College 1, Denver 1. Matched up against center Andreas Vlassopoulos, Denver center Brock Trotter has two shots blocked before a third gets under Vlassopoulos' stick and under goaltender Richard Bachman for the score.
10:33 -- Center Chad Rau gets a great chance off of a faceoff, but it sails wide. A follow-up attempt is smothered by goaltender Peter Mannino.
6:28 -- CC goes on its first power play, but Denver center Tyler Ruegsegger generates more offense playing short-handed than the Tigers.
6:28 -- Center Jesse Martin gets Denver's first shot on net, a wraparound attempt stopped by Bachman.
5:33 -- Colorado College 1, Denver 0. Fourth-line left wing Cody Lampl scores on an no-angle shot from the right side of the net, created when right wing Mike Testwuide (assist for first point of 2007-08 season) created at turnover at the blueline.
-- defense creating turnovers before the puck crosses the blue line
Around the 2:00 mark -- Testwuide comes flying in for his first shift since Oct. 27 and lays a big hit on defenseman Chris Butler, but also takes a big bite of the glass.
1:31 -- Center Tyler Johnson wheels in for the first shot of the game, from the right circle.


Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--16 Patrosso
26 McCulloch--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
2 Lampl--9 McMillin--25 Testwuide

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--24 Lowery

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell
1 O'Brien

39 Trotter--21 Bozak--8 Jackson
9 Rakhshani--12 Martin--22 Gifford
19 Ostrow--15 Ruegsegger--16 Maiani
17 Glasser--27 Vossberg--14 May

4 Butler--7 Mullen
5 Thomas--6 Nutini
11 Testwuide--25 Brookwell

29 Mannino
1 Cheverie

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Does CC have another rival? Not really.

One of you asked if CC considered any teams, other than Denver, to be rivals. So I asked some players what they thought.

Defenseman Jack Hillen said: "I think you could throw Air Force in there maybe a little bit, because it's always an intense series. It doesn't matter what the records are for CC-Air Force. You know that that's going to be a tough game. For me, I'd say, personally, Minnesota is right up there with Denver because I'm from Minnesota and you have fun playing those types of teams. Rivalries come and go, but right now, I'd pretty much say it's just Denver."

Left wing Bill Sweatt concurred.

"I guess you could say Minnesota because we've got a lot of guys from Minnesota and they want to beat their hometown team," Sweatt said. "They are always big games. DU's the biggest one. Minnesota's up there, too. Wisconsin and North Dakota. Those are just big games."

Was there any truth to the notion that Alaska-Anchorage could be sort of a rival after last season's bench-clearing brawl?

"I don't know what (the melee) was from," Sweatt said. "I think that was just hot-heads in one game. It didn't have anything to do with a rivalry. Over a 40-game season, things are going to happen like that. That's just two teams wanting to compete and battle and win a game."

As far as the other questions, I'm still working on the answers and I will get back to you soon. Keep 'em coming!

Three Players Sign Letters of Intent

As you'll read in The Gazette on Wednesday, CC secured letters of intent from Tim Hall, Andrew Hamburg and Rylan Schwartz. Those are in addition to the letters of intent from Nick Dineen and David Civitarese, signed last fall and earlier this year, respectively.

The recruits that are definitely coming in 2008, barring injury or some unforeseen circumstance, are Dineen, Hall, Civitarese and Joe Marciano. Possible additions to that class--resulting from early departures and other roster changes--include Hamburg and Schwartz. If either of those two makes a rapid skill development this season, then that would also earn them consideration for 2008 matriculation.

Coach Scott Owens discusses some of the players below:

F Nick Dineen, Omaha, Neb.
Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
5-foot-9, 190 pounds, 2/28/89
Shoots: Right
Fun fact: Dineen played for the AAA Pikes Peak Miners in 2004-05 and attended Liberty
Owens: "Dineen is really excelling right now. He's in his third year in the league. He's a tremendous locker-room guy. He's a great leader. He can play gritty, he can score. He's really having a great year. He was one of their top three guys in that (World Junior A) tournament up at Trail (B.C.). He's all about team. ...We knew that he had tremendous character. In midgets he scored a fair amount. His first two years in the USHL, he just scored OK, but now he's settling down and he's still pretty young."

C Tim Hall, Sewickley, Pa.
Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets (USHL)
5-foot-8, 160 pounds, 2/2/90
Shoots: Left
Fun fact: Hall is the second player from the Pittsburgh area in CC history. John Mooney, who played for CC from 1989-91.
Owens: "Tim Hall had 17 goals and 14 assists as a '90 (birthdate) last year in the USHL. He's off to a little bit of a slow start this year, but he played well overseas this summer and he also really played well up at Trail (at the World Junior A tournament). He's a tenacious, hard-working left-handed forward with some scoring touch. He's a smart hockey player and he'll be an asset to us. He needs to get things rolling a little bit now, but no matter what we're bringing him in next year."

2008 or 2009

C Rylan Schwartz, Wilcox, Saskatchewan
Notre Dame Hounds (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League)
5-foot-10, 180 pounds, 1/8/1990
Fun fact: Plays for the same team that produced sophomore defenseman Kris Fredheim and assistant coach Norm Bazin.
"He's been doing well. He's only played two, three months of junior hockey. He did very well in midgets. Our original discussion on him was for '09. We just wanted him to mature and that's where we thought he'd fit in nicely for us."

RW Andrew Hamburg, Phoenix
St. Louis Bandits (North American Hockey League)
6-foot-2, 175 pounds, 6/17/1989
Fun fact: Nicknamed "Hammer"
Hamburg landed with the Bandits after a two-game stint with the NAHL's Texas Tornado. Originally thought would be playing for Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL, but was one of the final cuts.
"He was a late cut. It's tough for high school. It's a learning experience. He ended up in St. Louis, which has a very good North American team and he's doing pretty well."

I'll catch Owens about Civitarese and Marciano later this week.

CC-DU Week In Motion

For those who missed it, CC is back up to No. 4 in the polls, tying the highest poll position the Tigers have held this season.

Third-ranked Denver, this weekend's opponent, will be the sixth ranked opponent in a row for CC.

This is how CC's schedule thus far stacks up according to this week's polls (with USA Today rank listed first, then rank):
No. 15/No. 13 Minnesota (10/19-20) W, W
No. 8/No. 8 New Hampshire (10/26-27) L, L
No. 5/No. 6 North Dakota (11/2-3) L, W
No. 12/No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth (11/9-10) W, W
No. 14/No. 12 Wisconsin (11/16-17) W, W
No. 3/No. 3 Denver (11/23-24)

And because everything this week is about how CC compares to Denver, here's how the Pioneers' schedule looks:
NR Maine (10/12-13) W, W
No. 9/No. 9 Notre Dame (10/18-19) L, W
No. 12/No.15 Minnesota-Duluth (10/26-27) W, L
No. 15/No. 13 Minnesota (11/2-3) W, W
NR Minnesota State (11/16-17) W, W
No. 4/No.4 CC (11/23-24)

First-place CC, with two games in hand, holds a four-point advantage over second-place Denver in the conference rankings.

What do you think about Denver's strength of schedule so far, as compared with CC's? Does it even matter with a rivalry like this?

Tiger Tracks:
  • The Calgary Flames (NHL) recalled former CC goaltender Curtis McElhinney Monday
  • Thanks to Matt for this link to an interview with Brett Sterling on Hockey's Future. Sterling says he learned he could play at the NHL level during his brief stint with the Atlanta Thrashers, he's just refining his skills with the Chicago Wolves (AHL) and hoping for another chances.
  • Trevor Frischmon made his stay with the Charlotte Checkers (ECHL) brief. Frischmon was called up to the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) Monday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Game day: No. 7 Colorado College 6, No. 9 Wisconsin 1

From the notebook
Third period:
13:26-- Wisconsin defenseman Brendan Smith gets his own rebound and wraps around the net, only to be denied again by Bachman.
12:01-- Bachman saves a doorstep attempt from center Blake Geoffrion
10:04-- Bachman displays the full split to save center Andy Bohmbach's shot.
3:42-- Defenseman Jack Hillen drives the net and picks up his second goal of the season. (CC 6, Wisconsin 1)
0:45-- Wisconsin left wing Josh Engel's shot from the slot is rebounded out to Patrick Johnson, who slaps the puck from the right circle faceoff dot past Bachman. (CC 5, Wisconsin 1)

Second period:
17:46-- Vlassopoulos' pass from the bottom of the right circle sets up a one-time goal for Patrosso. (CC 5, Wisconsin 0)
14:34-- Patrosso comes out of the penalty box and has a one-on-one opportunity scooped up by Connelly.
About 13:45-- Kyle Turris' shot from the slot was gloved by Bachman.
Midway through the second-- On CC's first of four power plays, Bill Sweatt's pass that seems to skip across the goal line eludes Eric Walsky, who was waiting for it on Connelly's doorstep.
5:34--Sweatt makes a pass from the outside of the right circle, which Vlassopoulos finishes backdoor on Connelly. Wisconsin asks for video review of goaltender interference, but the goal stands. (CC 4, Wisconsin 0)

First period:
19:15-- Patrosso's pass from the top of the left circle meets Vlassopoulos in stride. Vlassopoulos faked with his body as if he were going to shoot right and then finished to the left of Connelly. (CC 3, Wisconsin 0)
Less than four minutes to go-- Bill Sweatt makes a huge defensive save with Bachman sprawling to cover a shot by Wisconsin's John Mitchell.
12:38-- Wisconsin's Patrick Johnson tries to make a cross-ice pass, but Chad Rau steps into the passing lane and goes hard to the net, pulling left and the finishing on his forehand for his second short-handed score in as many nights. (CC 2, Wisconsin 0)
12:15-- With CC on the penalty kill, Bachman makes a punch save, knocking the puck out of dangerous traffic.
9:02-- CC cycles the puck and defenseman Jack Hillen shoots from the top of the left circle. Goaltender Shane Connelly thinks he has the puck smothered, but right wing Derek Patrosso is there to tap it across the line. (CC 1, Wisconsin 0)
8:55-- Bill Sweatt gets to a loose puck and spins, sending a pass toward the crease. Center Andreas Vlassopoulos knocks the puck just wide of the net.
7:45-- Richard Bachman saves Blake Geoffrion's shot from the wing and a follow from Ben Street.

With a career-high four points, Derek Patrosso says:
“Any time you get a chance to sweep Wisconsin, I think you get excited for that opportunity and you try to take advantage of it. We got a couple of bounces in the first period, but we made the most of them and that’s what good teams do. …It was nice to see the offense kind of explode a little bit and everybody contributing.”


Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--16 Patrosso
26 McCulloch--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
28 Schultz--9 McMillin--2 Lampl

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--27 Wysopal

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell
1 O'Brien

Scratches: Healthy--Addison DeBoer, Matt Overman, and Ryan Lowery. Injured--Mike Testwuide (ankle), Dan Quilico (ankle).

22 Street--19 Turris--9 Davies
6 Engel--5 Geoffrion--10 Johnson
24 Mitchell--16 Dolan--14 Grotting
15 Gorowsky--11 Bohmbach--8 Turnbull

7 Smith--20 Klubertanz
4 Drewiske--27 Goloubef
17 McDonagh--2 McBain

35 Connelly
1 Gudmandson

US NTDP defenseman Joe Marciano commits to CC

Joe Marciano, a 17-year-old defenseman from Alta Loma, Calif., committed to join CC for the 2008-09 season last week, he said Saturday.

A 6-foot-1, 194-pound defenseman playing for the U.S. national under-18 team in residence in Ann Arbor, Mich., Marciano will fill out next season's defensive corps, which only loses current senior Jack Hillen to graduation. Marciano's decision came down to CC and Harvard, but he also visited Wisconsin within the last year.

The first CC recruit from the U.S. National Team Development program since sophomore Bill Sweatt, Marciano had a goal in CC's exhibition with the U.S. under-18 team earlier this season, his only goal in 18 games. Marciano played for Shattuck-St. Mary's, an elite hockey prep school located in Faribault, Minn., in 2006-07, totaling 8 goals and 15 assists in 45 games. Marciano also played for Shattuck's under-16 team in 2005-06.

Staying with freshman Stephen Schultz on his official visit, Marciano was in attendance for Saturday's game against No. 9 Wisconsin and watched with freshman defenseman Ryan Lowery.

Marciano joins four forwards in the 2008-09 recruiting class. Coach Scott Owens said he has received four of five letters of intent from the group. NCAA rules prohibit coaches from discussing recruits until they have received a letter of intent.

A quick Q&A with Marciano:

On choosing CC:
"Being from California, it's a good fit for me and Colorado is close to home. That had a big influence on it. It's a good school and the WCHA is a good league to play in."

The California connection:
"I don't know them (CC's Californians Andreas Vlassopoulos and Dan Quilico) personally yet, but I know of them. It's a great program, great hockey."

How the commitment came about:
"We've been communicating back and forth for a while. For the past month or so, me and coach Owens have been talking on the phone a lot and he told me that they were ready to give me an offer. I was actually looking at Harvard at the time and was waiting on my ACT score. But in my heart, I knew I was going to come here anyway, I fit in here well and it was close to home. Anyway, last week I called coach Owens and told him I was ready to commit. He said, 'It's good to have you,' and stuff like that."

How Marciano describes himself:
"I'd say I'm like an all-around defenseman. I'm pretty good defensively. I can move the puck well and get that first pass up to the guys."

With just one defenseman graduating, where Marciano see himself fitting in:
"Coming in as a freshman, you've got to work to get your ice. I think I have a good chance, but I've got to work for it."

Why, in light of the early commitments among U.S. NTDP players, Marciano hasn't committed earlier:
"I just recently started getting offers. Last year, I always talked to colleges, but this year, I've just been starting to get offers. I wasn't really in a hurry anyways. Being from California, I'm new to the college process and everything."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Game day: No. 7 Colorado College vs. No. 9 Wisconsin

--Wisconsin forwards Aaron Bendickson (leg) and Matthew Ford (apparent shoulder) left the game in the first period and second period, respectively. Neither will play Saturday.

First period:
Colorado College 1, Wisconsin 0: Jimmy Kilpatrick 3 (Chad Rau 5, Jake Gannon 2), 12:53.
Boy, was right wing Jimmy Kilpatrick hungry for a goal. Kilpatrick had tipped a shot from Ryan Lowery past goaltender Shane Connelly about three minutes earlier, but the puck hit the left post. Then, 14 seconds before Kilpatrick scored, he missed a sneaky cross from Chad Rau. The line regained the puck and Rau found Kilpatrick in the left circle. Kilpatrick took a couple of touches and wristed a shot through traffic, beating Connelly (screened by Kyle Klubertanz) five-hole.

Second period:
Colorado College 2, Wisconsin 0: Chad Rau 4 (Jimmy Kilpatrick 3), 1:43.
Rau sliced into the slot from the left circle and put a hard wrist shot on net, about chest-height on Connelly, who was in his butterfly stance. Connelly couldn't handle the puck and it flipped over his right shoulder into the goal.

Colorado College 2, Wisconsin 1: Michael Davies (Ben Grotting, Kyle Turris), 3:26.
On a face-off in CC's offensive zone, Kyle Turris got enough of the puck to win the draw against Brian McMillin and right wing Ben Grotting took off with it down the ice. Grotting found Michael Davies, who beat Richard Bachman to the left post for the score.

Colorado College 2, Wisconsin 2: John Mitchell (Ryan McDonagh, Jamie McBain), 19:02.
John Mitchell got his own rebound off of the shin pads of defenseman Jack Hillen, who had blocked Mitchell's first shot. Mitchell put the puck on net and caught Bachman scrambling.

Third period:
Colorado College 2, Wisconsin 3: Blake Geoffrion (Josh Engel), 0:24.
On the first shift of the period, Josh Engel ripped a shot from the slot, which Bachman kicked away with his right leg pad--right onto the stick of Blake Geoffrion, who was crashing the net.

Colorado College 3, Wisconsin 3: Chad Rau 5 (Nate Prosser 2), 3:21, sh.
On CC's third penalty kill of the game, defenseman Nate Prosser caused a turnover along the boards and skated a couple of steps before he saw Rau sliding behind two Wisconsin defensemen. Rau's low shot from the slot beat Connelly five-hole. It was the Tigers' third short-handed goal of the season and third in four games. Rau joins Scott Thauwald and Brian McMillin in the short-handed goal-scorers club.

Colorado College 4, Wisconsin 3: Jimmy Kilpatrick 4 (Nate Prosser 3), 12:11.
Prosser finds Kilpatrick at the outer part of the left circle. Kilpatrick's wrist shot beat Connelly over his left shoulder, hitting the far top corner of the net for the senior's second game-winning goal of the season.

Inside the stats:
  • CC won the face-off battle against Wisconsin, securing 62 percent of the face-offs. It was by far the Tigers' best mark of the season and only the second time in nine games they have won more than 50 percent of the face-offs.
  • The numbers (won/total): Vlassopoulos 11/19, Rau 7/14, McMillin 6/7, Johnson 5/1, Patrosso 4/1, Walsky 3/5, Thauwald 1/2, Kilpatrick 0/1, Fredheim 0/1.
  • Here are the game-by-game stats for percent of face-offs won: Minnesota Game 1: 45 percent; Minnesota Game 2; 38 percent; New Hampshire Game 1: 36 percent; New Hampshire Game 2: 42 percent; North Dakota Game 1: 45 percent; North Dakota Game 2, 52 percent; Minnesota-Duluth Game 1, 45 percent; Minnesota-Duluth Game 2, 48 percent.


Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--16 Patrosso
26 McCulloch--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
28 Schultz--9 McMillin--2 Lampl

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--24 Lowery

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell
1 O'Brien

22 Street--19 Turris--18 Ford
6 Engel--5 Geoffrion--10 Johnson
24 Mitchell--16 Dolan--8 Turnbull
9 Davies--13 Bendickson--14 Grotting

7 Smith--20 Klubertanz
4 Drewiske--27 Goloubef
17 McDonagh--2 McBain

35 Connelly
1 Gudmandson

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lampl Will Play Friday

Junior forward Cody Lampl will play Friday against Wisconsin, he said after practicing Thursday.

Lampl, who suffered a hip bruise after a collision with the goalpost on Oct. 29, missed the Nov. 2 game at North Dakota. He returned to the lineup with limited success Nov. 3 and did not practice all of last week leading into the series with Minnesota-Duluth, in which he did not play. Lampl played in a non-contact jersey Wednesday and was able to participate fully in Thursday's practice. Lampl said he did not know if he would play both nights against Wisconsin, but that it would be a coaches' decision.

Projected lines for Friday are:
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--16 Patrosso
26 McCulloch--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
2 Lampl--9 McMillin--28 Schultz

Center Brian McMillin's high school team, the Roseau Rams, will be featured throughout the season in The Hockey News. Check out the first installment here. Turns out Roseau, a town of 2,700 people about 2.5 hours northeast of Grand Forks, N.D., and not far from the Canadian border, has three hockey rinks buzzing with activity. I'll have to see what Brian thinks of this media buzz.

The Lowdown on Sterling

For those of you who have been wondering why former Colorado College standout Brett Sterling, 23, was demoted by the Atlanta Thrashers, part of it might have to do with the pressure of going from the AHL to the NHL and another part of it might be the move from left to right wing. One thing's for sure, Sterling says he is not "feeling sorry" for himself with the Chicago Wolves. Read here. Thanks to Matt for the link.

Also, some of you might follow Air Force hockey a little more closely after the Falcons made the NCAA tournament last season. also wrote a great profile on Eric Ehn, who may have post-Academy hockey aspirations. The article includes some the best quotes from two of the best talkers in the college game (coach Frank Serratore is no. 1 and Ehn is up there). Read here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Johnson Listed By NHL Central Scouting

Colorado College center Tyler Johnson, 18, is listed among the NHL Central Scouting's NCAA players to watch released today. Denoted as "Limited Viewing," Johnson (2 assists) is on the scouts' radar, but they just haven't seen enough of him to make a judgment call.

Johnson's high school teammate, goaltender Reid Ellingson, who now plays for Northern Michigan, is also on the list as a 'C' goaltender. That's pretty amazing: two players from Cloquet, Minn., a town of 11,500.

Other WCHA players on the list include Wisconsin defenseman Cody Goloubef (1 goal, 4 assists) and Alaska-Anchorage forward Brad McCabe (1 goal, 2 assists).

See the rest of the list here.

Wednesday Practice Notes

  • After a day's rest (Tuesday's practice was optional), the Tigers resumed practice today and turned in a good 1-hour, 35-minute effort with lots of five-on-five offensive-zone drills.
  • Mike Testwuide (high ankle sprain) was on the ice before practice, skating for trainer Jason Bushie and begging to be allowed to join the rest of the team for practice. Testwuide's pleas paid off and he was able to skate in a noncontact jersey for 35 minutes.
  • Cody Lampl (hip bruise) was also back in practice in a noncontact jersey and was able to skate in most drills. Whenever he was not allowed to participate, he stayed involved by cheering on his teammates in typical Cody fashion. Lampl in a noncontact jersey is a little ironic, don't you think? A couple of times, Lampl's instincts got the best of him.
  • The Tigers started working on their penalty kill for this weekend's series against Wisconsin, whose power play is clicking at 30.2 percent (13-for-43). The Badgers' power play accounts for 39.4 percent of their scoring.
    • Another fun fact on this year's Wisconsin team: in just eight games, it has scored 33 goals -- that's 35.5 percent of last year's goal-scoring total. In the first eight games last season, the Badgers had only scored 17 goals.

National Letter of Intent Early Signing Period Begins Today

Thanks to Nick Dineen's parents for this photo, which shows the Omaha, Neb., native's reaction after one of his goals in the World Junior A Challenge.

Dineen is one of at least four recruits expected to join CC next fall and he already signed a National Letter of Intent in 2006.

The early signing period begins today and lasts through Nov. 21. Forwards Tim Hall, David Civitarese, and Andrew Hamburg are expected to sign letters of intent this week. Once they have received the letters, CC's coaches will be able to comment specifically on the recruits.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Submit Your Questions

Post or email ( your questions on CC hockey, WCHA hockey or anything hockey-related, and I'll do my best to answer them by Sunday (seems like a good Sunday activity).

(I'm shamelessly ripping off this idea from Shane Frederick, who covers Minnesota State-Mankato for The Free Press in Mankato and hosts the Puckato blog. Check it out, he's doing a great job. Thanks, Shane!)

Bachman Named Rookie of the Week

Freshman goaltender Richard Bachman was named rookie of the week by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Bachman saved 58 of 61 shots in the sweep of Minnesota-Duluth and picked up his first career shutout in Saturday's 3-0 win. Bachman ranks first among WCHA goalies overall in both winning percentage (5-1-0, .833) and saves percentage (.950), and is second with a 1.49 goals-against average. Bachman has already received defensive player of the week from the WCHA this season (Oct. 23).

Wisconsin goaltender Shane Connelly earned defensive player of the week honors for last weekend's performance in a split against North Dakota, in which he saved 74 of 77 shots.

Bachman vs. Connelly could be one of the better goaltending showdowns of the season.

For those who were curious, the WCHA did not hand down any additional penalties in the wake of Saturday's melee between North Dakota and Wisconsin, The Capital Times' Todd Milewski reports. No game disqualifications were given, meaning the Badgers will be at full-strength this weekend.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Cedar Rapids Rundown

I'll be exploring this topic in further detail this week, but I just wanted to get the ball rolling.

Freshman goaltender Richard Bachman has five wins in his first five Western Collegiate Hockey Association starts. He got his fourth and fifth wins against Minnesota-Duluth goaltender Alex Stalock, who was Bachman's predecessor in net for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders (United States Hockey League).

Turns out Cedar Rapids has been a bit of a WCHA goaltender factory. I decided to compare Bachman's statistics in his first five starts to those of other Cedar Rapids goaltenders who have ended up in the WCHA, including Stalock, Minnesota State-Mankato's Dan Tormey and St. Cloud State's Bobby Goepfert.

First five WCHA starts
Bachman: .962 save percentage, 1.19 goals against average, 5-0 record
Stalock: .880 save percentage, 3.00 goals against average, 1-3-1
Tormey: .910 save percentage, 2.20 goals against average, 2-1-2
Goepfert*: .910 save percentage, 2.80 goals against average, 1-3-1

*first five WCHA starts came as a junior, played for two seasons at Providence before transferring to SCSU

Anyway, I know it's a little strange to be digging around in these stats, but I just wanted to prove to myself that what Bachman has done so far isn't normal. Sure, he's a 20-year-old freshman (three days older than Stalock, actually), but adjusting to the league is a tough task. No question Wisconsin will be a test with Kyle Turris up front. It'll be exciting to see how Bachman squares off against Shane Connelly, who stood on his head last Friday to shut out North Dakota.


Recruiting Roundup:
  • Andrew Hamburg (2008) seems to have hit his stride in St. Louis, chipping in five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in two games this weekend. The Bandits have a 16-3 record in the North American Hockey League and will face the U.S. under-18 team this weekend.
  • Nick Dineen (2008) scored two third-period goals to lead the U.S. Junior Select team to a 9-6 victory over Russia in the bronze-medal game. Dineen also had an assist and future CC teammate Tim Hall (2008) chipped in a goal. Summary here.
  • In an interview with Illegal Curve blog, Weyburn Red Wings (another Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team) color commentator Brad McNeil had some high praise for Rylan Schwartz (2009), calling his offensive abilities "unreal."
  • Updated recruits' stats here.
Tiger Tracks:
  • Former CC goaltender Matt Zaba picked up his second professional win Saturday. Zaba made 26 saves in the 6-5 Charlotte Checkers win over the Mississippi Sea Wolves, who return to the ECHL after a two-season hiatus following Hurricane Katrina.
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Atlanta Thrashers beat writer is still surprised that Brett Sterling couldn't score in his first stint on the NHL level. Sterling, who has four goals in four games for the Chicago Wolves since his demotion from the Thrashers, led the American Hockey League in scoring as a rookie last season.
  • Updated alumni stats here.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Game day: No. 9 CC vs. No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth

Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt-19 Vlassopoulos--28 Schultz
26 McCulloch--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
5 DeBoer--9 McMillin--18 Overman

8 Hillen--15 Prosser
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--27 Wysopal

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell
1 O'Brien

Scratches: F Mike Testwuide (high ankle sprain), D Ryan Lowery (healthy), F Cody Lampl (hip bruise), F Dan Quilico (ankle), RW Derek Patrosso (WCHA-imposed suspension)

10 Gergen--18 Sharp--19 Kemp
23 Fulton--13 McKnight--37 Fontaine
21 Danberg--20 Carroll--16 Greer
11 Schmidt--15 Bordson--24 Montgomery

17 Meyers--22 Gawryletz
7 Garrison--5 Palm
14 Cascalenda--3 Ryan

32 Stalock
34 Ziegelmann

Patrosso Suspended For Tonight's Game

I asked about this after Friday's game, but apparently the decision was made today.

See the WCHA's release below:

MADISON, Wisc. – The Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Saturday that senior forward Derek Patrosso of Colorado College has been suspended for one game as the result of a checking-from-behind incident that occurred in a game against Minnesota-Duluth on Friday.
The supplemental disciplinary action was taken by WCHA Supervisor of Officials Greg Shepherd after a review of the incident that occurred at 3:35 of the third period and resulted in the player receiving a major penalty for checking from behind and a 10-minute game misconduct.
Patrosso will be required to serve this suspension during Colorado College’s game against Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Game day: No. 9 CC 5, No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth 3 (final)

Second period

3. Colorado College 2, Minnesota-Duluth 1: Steve Schultz 1 (Jack Hillen 6, Andreas Vlassopoulos 4), 5:28, pp.
After turning over the puck and allowing some shorthanded shots, the Tigers regained possession in their offensive zone. Center Andreas Vlassopoulos passed to Jack Hillen, who was in the high slot, not more than five feet in front of the blue line. In his first stint on the power play this season, freshman Steve Schultz tipped Hillen's wrist shot past goaltender Alex Stalock for his first career goal. Hillen went to retrieve the puck for Schultz after the play, which was reviewed for a possible high-sticking call on Schultz. The goal was upheld (clearly).

4. Colorado College 3, Minnesota-Duluth 1: Derek Patrosso 1 (Andreas Vlassopoulos 5, Bill Sweatt 5), 8:52.
Vlassopoulos took a pass from Bill Sweatt off the back wall and fed Derek Patrosso, who was trailing in the slot. The trio nearly scored a minute later, but Sweatt's pass was just behind Patrosso.

5. Colorado College 3, Minnesota-Duluth 2: Jordan Fulton (unassisted), 9:57.
Fulton got an isolated moment with goaltender Richard Bachman who was protecting the left post. Fulton stuffed the puck five-hole just as the announcer listed off CC's scorers.

6. Colorado College 4, Minnesota-Duluth 2: Chad Rau 3 (Jack Hillen 6, Richard Bachman 2), 10:19.
After Bachman made a save, Hillen retrieved the rebound and sent a long pass up the middle of the ice to Chad Rau, who had snuck behind Duluth's defense and was idling at center ice. Rau converted the one-on-Stalock by first pulling the puck to his left foot -- prompting Stalock to shift -- and then with one flick of the stick, finishing inside the right post.

7. Colorado College 5, Minnesota-Duluth 2: Brian McMillin 1 (unassisted), 19:06, sh.
Another great play by center Brian McMillin on the penalty kill... McMillin, who had an assist on Scott Thauwald's shorthanded goal against North Dakota last Saturday, created yet another penalty-kill turnover. McMillin's shot sailed wide of the left post and banged off the boards. Not deterred, McMillin hammered his own rebound past Stalock for the score.
  • CC's highest one-period output of the season
  • Responded promptly to a quick goal by Duluth
  • Second line has seven points (two goals and five assists) and both goals are even-strength
  • Two shorthanded goals in two games...the penalty kill is back
Third period

8. Colorado College 5, Minnesota-Duluth 3: Justin Fontaine (Jordan Fulton, Matt McKnight), 2:14.
  • Patrosso took a checking from behind/game misconduct five-minute major penalty at 3:35, but the Tigers got quality penalty killing with saves from Bachman and blocked shots by Scott McCulloch. Thanks to a high-sticking penalty by Trent Palm, CC went back to even strength (4v4) with 1:12 to go in the five-minute major.
  • With 1:02 left in Palm's penalty, Duluth's Josh Meyers picked up a checking from behind/game misconduct five-minute major at 8:21 for checking McCulloch into the boards. But CC had just two quality scoring chances despite the 5-on-3 (1:02) and 5-on-4 (3:58).
  • CC killed all four of Duluth's power plays.
Quick Quips:

Coach Scott Owens on the time-out before the five-minute power play:
We were trying to set up what we were going to do on the 5-on-3 and hopefully, (the play) was going to go into the 5-on-4. But we never really got it set up. That was probably one of the things that disappointed me the most tonight was the fact that it was a little bit scrambled in the beginning and we never really settled down and had composure. We were turning the puck over and making behind-the-back blind passes and it was a situation where we could have put the game away and we didn't. ...We're still waiting on that a little bit.

Asked if the back-and-forth, wide-open game might cause him to juggle lines tomorrow, Owens said:
Part of it was our defensive mindset. It wasn’t just all of the forwards. I would guess that Prosser will play tomorrow and maybe that will help a little bit getting an older guy in there. We tightened it up a little in the third. We didn't run and gun so much. We're in a pretty good rhythm with our forward lines, so I think we'll just make some minimal changes.

Center Andreas Vlassopoulos on his line's momentum:
We've just got to concentrate on keeping it simple and working hard and things will fall for us.

Vlassopoulos on the power play:
We have it, we're going to create chances, it just seemed like -- whether somebody fell or the puck went off somebody's heel -- I think we just need to bear down a little bit more and things will happen for us.

Right wing Derek Patrosso on his line:
I think our line talks pretty well on the ice and that helps us out a lot. We were just having fun. That's the main thing.

Patrosso on keeping things relaxed, even when the line wasn't scoring goals (the trio combined for one goal against Minnesota on Oct. 19):
I think when you're getting those chances, it's when you shouldn't be gripping your stick. When you don't get those chances, that's when you start gripping your stick a little tight. We've been happy with the way we've been playing as a whole. I think the last three teams we've played have prepared us pretty well and we're developing chemistry as we go along.

Left wing Bill Sweatt on the line:
We've been sticking with our line for almost a month now. I think like Dre said, we're just feeding off of each other and we have a lot of chemistry going right now. Say if Dre chips the puck, Derek and I know that we've got to bust a seam and go get the puck and one of us is going to the net. We just sort of feel each other out there.

Sweatt on developing consistent five-on-five scoring:
It was good that our power play was clicking so we could survive in (the first six) games, but maybe tonight will take momentum into the rest of the season for getting five-on-five goals. We can't just be a one-sided team, where we just score on the power play. We've got to be very diverse and score on the power-play and five-on-five. Hopefully, we took a good step toward that tonight.

Game day: CC 1, Minnesota-Duluth 1 (end of 1st)


1. Colorado College 1, Minnesota-Duluth 0: Andreas Vlassopoulos 1 (Derek Patrosso 1, Bill Sweatt 4), 14:07.
Bill Sweatt took the puck full-speed toward the wall and made a spinning pass to Derek Patrosso. Patrosso passed the puck behind Duluth goaltender Alex Stalock and Andreas Vlassopoulos knocked it into the upper left corner of the net for his first goal of the season.

2. Colorado College 1, Minnesota-Duluth 1: Matt McKnight 1 (Nick Kemp 3), 17:28, sh.
On the only power play of the period for either team, CC right wing Jimmy Kilpatrick turned the puck over at the left circle, sending Nick Kemp off to the races. In a 2-on-1 against defenseman Brian Connelly, Kemp made a cross-slot pass onto the stick of Matt McKnight, who finished inside the right post for the shorthanded score.
  • Bachman has 10 saves, while Stalock has 11

  • CC outshot UMD 12-11 for the period, but the Bulldogs had several second-chance shots. Stalock is not giving up rebounds.

Game day: No. 9 CC vs. No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth


Colorado College
10 Thauwald--14 Rau--23 Kilpatrick
21 Sweatt--19 Vlassopoulos--16 Patrosso
26 McCulloch--17 Johnson--22 Walsky
28 Schultz--9 McMillin--18 Overman

8 Hillen--24 Lowery
7 Fredheim--4 Gannon
11 Connelly--27 Wysopal

30 Bachman
31 O'Connell
1 O'Brien

Scratches: F Cody Lampl (hip bruise); D Nate Prosser (neck); F Addison DeBoer (healthy); F Dan Quilico (ankle); F Mike Testwuide (high ankle sprain)

10 Gergen--18 Sharp--19 Kemp
23 Fulton--13 McKnight--37 Fontaine
21 Danberg--20 Carroll--16 Greer
11 Schmidt--15 Bordson--24 Montgomery

17 Meyers--22 Gawryletz
7 Garrison--5 Palm
14 Cascalenda--3 Ryan

32 Stalock
34 Ziegelmann

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sweatt Picks Up Assist in U.S. win over Germany

Former Colorado College defenseman Lee Sweatt picked up an assist in the U.S. Men's Select team's 3-2 win over Germany in their first Deutschland Cup game today.

Read the release here.

Scouting No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth

Three keys to this weekend's series:

1. Duluth is not a come-from-behind team. UMD is 1-45-2 the last 48 games it has trailed heading into the final period of play. The lone win came at the expense of Michigan Tech on Jan. 6, 2007 (5-3 at the DECC). Also, UMD has scored first in four of its six games, outscoring its opponent 6-1 in the opening period of play.
What this means for the Tigers: Start must be completely opposite of last Friday's first period against North Dakota (3 goals allowed in 10:30). There's a chance Duluth could be rusty after a bye week. If so, the Tigers need to capitalize.

2. Protect home ice. CC opened the season with a sweep against Minnesota and will kick off a five-game home-stand against Duluth, which has compiled a 4-1-1 record in its last three series at World Arena. Starting with the Nov. 24 game at Denver, the second of the home-and-home series, the Tigers won't have a home game until Jan. 11 against Anchorage.
What this means for the Tigers: CC needs to dominate the next five games, starting with Duluth, because four back-to-back road trips will make it tough to pick up wins.

3. Score at least two even-strength goals per night. Duluth has allowed only three power-play goals this season and its penalty kill is ranked second in the the WCHA. In the Bulldogs' only loss this season, Denver scored four even-strength goals in the 5-1 win.
What this means for the Tigers: This series will be the Bulldogs’ first on an Olympic-sized ice sheet this season. CC must use its speed and the space to wear down Duluth and to create odd-man rushes for quality scoring opportunities. While special teams play is key, the Tigers can't expect to win consistently without five-on-five scoring.

View CC's season stats here.
View Duluth's season stats here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Canzanello nets goal in 4-2 exhibition loss

USA Hockey's official release:

U.S. Men's Select Team Falls to Germany, 4-2, in Exhibition Game
Canzanello and Helminen Score in Tune-up for 2007 Deutschland Cup

COLOGNE, Germany – Former Colorado College defenseman Andrew Canzanello (Rochester, Minn.) and Dwight Helminen (Hancock, Mich.) each tallied a goal as the U.S. Men’s Select Team fell to Germany, 4-2, here tonight in its lone exhibition game before the 2007 Deutschland Cup.
“It was a good effort all around,” said Ben Smith, head coach of Team USA. “We got a chance to get everyone involved and I thought we got better as the game went on. We’re looking forward to starting the tournament tomorrow.”
Germany struck early in the opening stanza as Alexander Barta followed his own rebound and flipped it over the outstretched glove of netminder John Curry (Shorewood, Minn.) at 3:26. Felix Schutz scored just 1:27 later and Germany held its 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes.
Team USA scored the lone goal of the second period when Canzanello broke away from defenders and fired a wrist shot over the glove of goaltender Youri Ziffzer at 15:29.

Read the rest and see the box score here.

For Statistics Lovers

You can access a Google spreadsheet with CC recruits' statistics here. (If anyone knows where AAA major statistics can be found, let me know.) I'll update them as often as I can.

CC "alumni" statistics are here. If I missed somebody, please email me at

I'd been looking for a way to keep tabs on those with Tiger ties, but hadn't considered Google Spreadsheets before. I borrowed this idea from The Capital Times Wisconsin beat writer Todd Milewski's "The Ice House" blog. Thanks, Todd!

Hall, Dineen help U.S. to 7-6 win over Belarus

CC recruits Tim Hall and Nick Dineen, both tabbed to join the Tigers next fall, each picked up goal and an assist in a come-from-behind 7-6 overtime victory over Belarus in the World Junior A Challenge.

The win pits the U.S. against Canada East in a sell-out game tonight in Nelson, B.C.

Trailing 4-1 in the second period, the U.S. drew within two goals thanks to Hall's power-play goal, assisted by Blake Kessel (New Hampshire commit). Hall picked up an assist on Kessel's 4-on-3 score with two minutes left in the period to cut Belarus' lead to 4-3.

At 4:20 of the third, Belarus ahead 5-3, Dineen scored to keep the U.S. within a goal. Just 24 seconds later, Dineen assisted a game-tying goal by Ben Blood (North Dakota commit).

Read the box score and Hockey Canada's recap here.

Is anyone reading this blog? If so, post a comment (for example, what do you think of CC's incoming recruits? Or, what do you want to see more of on the blog?). I know some of you don't have Google accounts, but you can post a comment without a Google email address.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Get to know Colten St. Clair

The Tigers' latest commitment, Colten St. Clair, talks to the Arizona Republic about choosing Colorado College. Apparently, Scott Owens has former CC defenseman Mark Stuart, now of the Boston Bruins, to thank.

"Q: Why make a commitment so early?
A: I wanted to go there since I was 10. I knew Mark Stuart. He went there, and I met him. I didn't want to go to a really big school."

St. Clair is 14 years old and will be a sophomore in high school by Christmas. According to the blurb leading into the interview, St. Clair could join USNTDP, further following in Stuart's footsteps.

Monday, November 5, 2007

L. Sweatt, Canzanello Named To Men's Select Team

Tiger Tracks:

Defenseman Lee Sweatt. who is playing professional hockey this year in Finland, was named to the 20-player roster for the 2007 Deutschland Cup, which will take place Nov. 8-11 in Hannover, Germany. He'll be joined on the defensive corps by former Tiger Andrew Canzanello, who is currently playing with the Straubing Tigers in Germany.

It's back to Chi-town for Brett Sterling, who had one goal and two assists in 10 games with the Atlanta Thrashers. Sounds like it could be for the best, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution beat writer.

Also, it looks like Curtis McElhinney will be spending a lot of the season with the Calgary Flames' AHL affiliate. The article atop the note does a great job of explaining why players are shuffled back and forth between the NHL and AHL.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Sundries

Taking stock of North Dakota's talent and musings on Grand Forks:
Talking about the Hobey Baker Award in early November is about as absurd as Christmas music playing at the mall already. That being said, the four North Dakota players in the top 10 of's Hobey Watch were as advertised. I would put T.J. Oshie at the top of the group. As nasty (and legal) as that hit was on defenseman Nate Prosser, it showed Oshie's well-roundedness. At 6 feet, 192 pounds, Oshie had chalked up a goal and an assist before unleashing his fury on Prosser--and that was all in the first eight minutes of Friday's game. He's fast, he's physical and, as CC goaltender Richard Bachman and I discussed on the plane at 5 a.m. this morning (before passing out), he's scary good. The Tigers should be thanking their lucky stars they don't have to face North Dakota in the regular season again. The two teams would be a sweet matchup in the Final Five, but there's a lot of season left to go. I don't want to get ahead of myself and end up on a flight back to Grand Forks in March. I can only handle one Grand Forks trip per year.

Recruiting Roundup:

  • Forward Rylan Schwartz, who leads Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League rookies in point-scoring and is seventh in overall standings, was named SJHL Rookie of the Month for October. Schwartz will join the Tigers in 2008 or 2009.

  • In his first United States Hockey League season, forward Dakota Eveland has contributed to the Omaha Lancers' 8-2 start with a goal and an assist in seven games. Eveland is tabbed for the 2010 incoming class.
Tiger Tracks:
  • Looks like Peter Sejna made his debut with Zurich of the Swiss-A league.

  • Mark Stuart's overtime play helps the Boston Bruins top the Buffalo Sabres.

  • Matt Zaba continues to follow my well-beaten path between Connecticut and North Carolina. After a brief stint in Hartford, Conn., with the American Hockey League's Wolf Pack, Zaba returned Friday to the Charlotte (N.C.) Checkers of the East Coast Hockey League.

Game day: CC 4, North Dakota 1 (final)


5. Colorado College 4, North Dakota 1: Bill Sweatt (Jake Gannon), 19:49, en.
After CC killed a 6-on-4 advantage by the Sioux, defenseman Jake Gannon created a neutral-zone turnover and found Bill Sweatt for the breakout. Sweatt slung a wrist shot from the blue line to help the Tigers hit for the cycle (Can that term be applied here? Goals on power play, even strength, short-handed and empty net? It works for me).

Looking at the three (and one late add) keys:

1. Limit North Dakota to two goals or less. PASS.
In the Tigers' three wins, they have held their opponent to a goal.
2. Score two even-strength goals. One short.
It's hard to knock CC on this one since Scott Thauwald turned in the short-handed score. But even-strength offense has to continue to improve: 22 shots (only 17 from five-on-five) is simply not enough. The Tigers averaged 23.5 shots in the series and have managed 25 shots or fewer in three of the past four games.
3. Score first. PASS.
Thauwald's goal was a straight hustle play, generated from CC's aggression on the penalty kill. Thauwald got his first goal of the season while fighting the flu.
4. Score first in the third period/no third-period letdown. PASS.
Well, an empty-net goal wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but CC played an even third period with North Dakota and was outshot 9-8.

Quick quips:

Scott Thauwald on playing hard versus playing smart:
Whether it was getting the puck in, dumping it in, making a safe play, no turnovers on the blue line, we played a lot smarter tonight. I think we played harder tonight than last night. Last night we did play hard but tonight we finished our checks and we battled hard. Wall play was better tonight. That combined, we do that every night, we can be a scary team.

Scott Thauwald on Richard Bachman's performance, especially in the first period:
It was unreal knowing that if we did make a mistake he had our backs. That’s not the typical first period. We don’t want to give up 18 shots with us having four. But that was huge. He’s been playing great.

Richard Bachman on added pressure Saturday:
I’d say there was a little bit. Just going on a three-game skid there and you want to stop that. Then, you’re away at a full-house in a big place. It’s a little bit of pressure, but I just tried to tune it all out again. It was definitely on the back of my mind a little bit.

Richard Bachman on what he learned from watching Friday's game from the bench:
They pass a lot and they’re more patient when they have a shot. They also have that guy driving backdoor every time. Those little things and the things we covered on video helped me prepare, watching two games on video and stuff. That definitely helped....I wouldn’t be quite as aggressive, knowing there could be a guy backdoor. I tried to watch out for that, I knew they had some quick guys going right to that far post.

Richard Bachman on seeing the puck with North Dakota forwards like Chris VandeVelde parked in the crease:
Most of the time I could see it, I was just trying to look around him and stuff. A couple of them, I was just like, ‘Hit me, please.’ I just tried to stay big out there.

Jack Hillen on how the Tigers regained their focus after Friday's shellacking:We dissected last night’s game, we watched some film. Some guys, especially the seniors and myself, we got talked to a little bit and got challenged to play better because we needed to be a little bit grittier, win some more puck battles, move our feet a little bit more. It wasn’t really the X’s and O’s that killed us last game. It was not winning the little battles and not being tough enough and gritty enough.

Saturday by the numbers:

4 -- North Dakota and CC have split the last four series. The last sweep for either team occurred Jan. 14-15, 2005, when the Tigers swept UND at World Arena.

38-21--The Fighting Sioux's faceoff advantage.

3-3--CC's record after facing then-No. 3 Minnesota, then-No. 6 New Hampshire and No. 3 North Dakota.

37--Percent of shots that came from the Scott McCulloch--Tyler Johnson--Eric Walsky line.

1-3--Record against Minnesota and North Dakota the last time CC played only one regular-series against each team and faced the Gophers at home and the Fighting Sioux on the road (2003-04).

21--Number of saves Richard Bachman made before giving up a goal.

0--The amount of power-play goals North Dakota scored. The Fighting Sioux have been held scoreless on the power play in each of their losses and in the tie to Boston College.