Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stuart Named to U.S. National Team

Former Colorado College defenseman Mark Stuart, who played all 89 games this season for the Boston Bruins, was named to the U.S. national team roster for the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, USA Hockey announced Thursday. The tournament takes place May 2-18 in Nova Scotia and Quebec City, Quebec.

Stuart, a product of the U.S. national team development program (2000-02), captained to the U.S. under-18 national team to its first-ever gold at the IIHF World under-18 Championship in 2002 and repeated the success as captain in the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Also, New York Islanders pro scout Toby O'Brien said newly signed defenseman Jack Hillen went from "level 1 to level 9" while at Colorado College.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Former Teammates Reunite At Frozen Four Skills Challenge

DENVER -- Colorado College's Jimmy Kilpatrick and Air Force's Eric Ehn played together with the Green Bay Gamblers (United States Hockey League) and on Friday helped the West Men's squad to a 13-6 victory over the East squad at the 2008 Frozen Four Skills Challenge.

In the first event, the Puck Control Relay, Ehn's three-skater team lost their first heat, but Kilpatrick's team (he was joined by Nino Musitelli of Miami (Ohio) and Lake Forest's Courtney DeHoey). After winning the heat, Kilpatrick was interviewed on ESPNU by former Colorado College player Jim Paradise.

In the fastest skater competition, Kilpatrick edged out Musitelli with a time of 4.67 (from goal line to offensive blue line), but finished third behind Denver's Andrew Thomas (4.61) and Providence's Jon Rheault (4.65). Ehn faced off against Thomas and it was clear he is still coming back from his left fibula injury.

Thomas was edged out by Rheault, but Denver coach George Gwozdecky protested the false start. WCHA head referee Greg Shepherd jokingly came over to the West bench to quiet Gwozdecky and Thomas couldn't beat Rheault the second time around.

Neither Kilpatrick or Ehn competed in the hardest shot competition.

Kilpatrick tapped Denver goaltender Peter Mannino's pads -- Mannino saved seven of eight shots --before facing off against East goaltender Justin Mrazek of Union in the rapid shot competition, which involves pass from the goal line and tests the goalie. Kilpatrick scored on two of eight shots.

Kilpatrick faced Mrazek again in the penalty shot competition (one point for each made), as did Ehn, and wowed the crowd with a move that involved bouncing the puck on his stick and shooting it as it hit the ice.

Bachman, Hillen, Rau Named to AHCA All-American West teams

DENVER -- Colorado College goaltender Richard Bachman and defenseman Jack Hillen were named first-team West All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association. The teams were announced Friday at the NCAA Frozen Four in Denver.

Chad Rau, a junior who led the Tigers and finished fifth in the WCHA in scoring, was named to the second team.

It is the most All-American mentions for CC since 2005 when Curtis McElhinney, Marty Sertich, Brett Sterling and Mark Stuart were selected. It is the third time in the past five seasons that CC has had three or more players on All-American teams.

Only New Hampshire had more players on All-American teams (four on the East squads).

First Team All-American
Goalie Richard Bachman, FR, Colorado College
Defense Tyler Eckford, JR, Alaska
Defense Jack Hillen, SR, Colorado College
Forward Ryan Jones, SR, Miami (Ohio)
Forward T.J. Oshie, JR, North Dakota
Forward Kevin Porter, SR, Michigan

Goalie Kevin Regan, SR, New Hampshire
Defense Matt Gilroy, JR, Boston University
Defense Mike Moore, SR, Princeton
Nathan Gerbe, JR, Boston College
Lee Jubinville, JR, Princeton
Mike Radja, SR, New Hampshire

Second Team All-American
Goalie Jeff Lerg, JR, Michigan State
Defense Chris Butler, JR, Denver
Defense Alec Martinez, JR, Miami
Forward Chad Kolarik, SR, Michigan
Forward Ryan Lasch, St. Cloud State
Forward Chad Rau, Colorado College

Goalie Josh Kassel, JR, Army
Defense Grant Clitsome, SR, Clarkson
Defense Brad Flaishans, SR, New Hampshire
Forward Bryan Ewing, SR, Boston University
Forward Matt Fornataro, SR, New Hampshire
Forward Peter MacArthur, SR, Boston University

The only repeat selection is Matt Gilroy (Boston University), who was on the second team last year.

Friday Night at the Frozen Four

DENVER -- No surprise here. Michigan's Kevin Porter won the Hobey Baker Award, the first non-WCHA player in seven seasons to win the award. Boston College left wing Nathan Gerbe, who had a hat trick last night to surpass Porter in national scoring statistics, congratulated his fellow Michigan native and former U.S. national development teammate. Miami's Ryan Jones displayed his new look after shedding his locks for cancer patients' hairpieces.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thauwald Signs With Colorado Eagles

Want to see Colorado College captain Scott Thauwald play again? Here's your chance. The fifth-year senior signed to play with the Colorado Eagles for the rest of the Central Hockey League playoffs. Head coach Chris Stewart was interested in Thauwald "for a while," he said.

CC goaltender Richard Bachman continues to rack up the awards. This time it's Inside College Hockey. The website named Bachman to its Freshmen All-American team and Rookie of the Year.

Tiger Tracks:
Three years removed from CC, defenseman Mark Stuart was one of three Boston Bruins to play in all 82 regular-season games.

A newly minted professional, defenseman Jack Hillen recorded 15:39 of ice time in his debut last Thursday and an assist Friday.

Left wing Aaron Slattengren's player tryout agreement ended with the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League), but the ECHL's Augusta Lynx were happy to welcome him back for their playoff run.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Salcido, Sterling Named to AHL 2nd All-Star Team

CC alums Brett Sterling and Brian Salcido were named to the American Hockey League second All-Star team Thursday.

Sterling had 19 goals in his first 22 games with the Chicago Wolves after being sent down from the Atlanta Thrashers. The left wing ranks third in the league with 34 goals in 64 games this season.

is second among all AHL defensemen in assists (40) and points (50) in 66 games for the Portland Pirates and tied Portland’s franchise record for points by a defenseman in a single season.

See the two AHL All-Star teams here.

Hillen Expected To Play Tonight vs. Rangers

Jack Hillen and the New York Islanders will square off against the rival New York Rangers in the Isles' final home game at Nassau Coliseum at 5 p.m. MT tonight.

Islanders coach Ted Nolan told Newsday that he'll pair Hillen with the team's most experienced defenseman, Radek Martinek.

CC Picks Up Another Defenseman

Arthur Bidwill, a 20-year-old defenseman from Fontana, Wis., committed to CC Tuesday.

In his third NAHL season, Bidwill finished with 10 goal and 29 points in 39 games for the Fairbanks (Alaska) Ice Dogs. He was also plus-27.

Bidwell played for the Southern Minnesota Express and the Traverse City (Mich.) North Stars before being traded to the Ice Dogs midway through last season.

Read more here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hillen, Rau, Bachman Named to All-CHN Teams

Defenseman Jack Hillen received first-team honors, while center Chad Rau was named second team by College Hockey News. Goaltender Richard Bachman was named to the all-rookie team.

F Kevin Porter Michigan Sr.
F Nathan Gerbe Boston College Jr.
F Ryan Jones Miami Sr.
D Alec Martinez Miami Jr.
D Jack Hillen Colorado College Sr.
G Jean-Philippe Lamoureux North Dakota Jr.

F Chad Kolarik Michigan Sr.
F Chad Rau Colorado College Jr.
F Pete MacArthur Boston University Sr.
D Chay Genoway North Dakota So.
D Grant Clitsome Clarkson Sr.
G Jeff Zatkoff Miami Jr.

F Colin Wilson Boston University
F Max Pacioretty Michigan
F Riley Nash Cornell
D Ryan McDonagh Wisconsin
D Chad Langlais Michigan
G Richard Bachman Colorado College

See College Hockey News' story here.

Hobey Baker Top 3 Announced

Hobey Baker Top 3:
--Michigan forward Kevin Porter: Nation's leading scorer with 33 goals and 29 assists.
--Boston College forward Nathan Gerbe: 2nd nationally in scoring with 30 goals and 30 assists.
--Miami (Ohio) forward Ryan Jones: 31 goals rank first nationally, also has 18 assists

I'm not as shocked as I was when Colorado College goaltender Richard Bachman and center Chad Rau (and for that matter, defenseman Jack Hillen) were left off of the Hobey Baker Award top 10 list. But to not have North Dakota goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux in the top three is simply absurd.

I think Michigan's Kevin Porter is the runaway winner and Boston College's Nathan Gerbe has been impressive, especially in the second half. Both Porter and Gerbe's numbers are gaudy enough to merit top-3 mention. While Miami's Ryan Jones is a fantastic player and his goals rank second nationally, I think Lamoureux has put together a resume worthy of top-3 consideration, especially in such a low-scoring year in college hockey and with his team's success in reaching the Frozen Four (again).

UPDATE: And after the nice things Lamoureux said about Bachman to Inside College Hockey, I would imagine some of you CC fans would agree with me (just kidding...but nice things, nonetheless).

This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 11, 2008 from Pepsi Center during the Frozen Four. The announcement will be aired live on ESPNU at 5:30 pm MT.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hillen Signs With the New York Islanders

Colorado College senior defenseman Jack Hillen signed a two-year contract with the New York Islanders Tuesday.
Hillen, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association defensive player of the year, is expected make his NHL debut Thursday and Friday in the Islanders’ final two games, a home-and-home series with the New York Rangers.
“I’m pretty excited and nervous,” said Hillen, who took a red-eye flight to New York Monday and was in New York to watch the Islanders take on the New Jersey Devils Tuesday. “I don’t quite know what to expect. But I’m just really happy with my decision to be part of the Islanders organization and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun in this next week getting used to some things and doing whatever I need to do next year to get back to the highest level. Who knows what’s going to happen, but I’m just happy to be here right now.”
As the nation’s top-scoring defenseman, Hillen finished second among all Tigers’ scorers with six goals and 31 assists. Hillen was also named first-team All-WCHA.
“Our whole staff is very excited for him,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “It’s nice to see a player be rewarded for doing it the right way. In four years, he put in his time. He improved, he developed, he had a great senior year and then he had the opportunity to sign a pro contract. ...We’re thrilled.”
Hillen will see a familiar face when he skates for the first time with the Islanders today. Former Minnesota forward Kyle Okposo made headlines when he gave up his final two-and-a-half seasons of eligibility in December to sign with the Islanders.
"We are very proud that Jack made the decision to join the Islanders," general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. "He was one of the prized college free agents for good reason. He is an excellent puck-moving defenseman and our scouting staff is really impressed by his competitive spirit.”

Dineen Makes Mark

Just a quick note to brighten your day...

I know it's tough to adjust to life without hockey.

To ease that transition, it always helps to look forward to next season.

One member of CC's recruiting class for 2008 is Nick Dineen, a player who has paid his dues by spending three years in the United States Hockey League. This article should make you excited about what's coming around the bend for the Tigers.