Showing posts with label United States Hockey League. Show all posts
Showing posts with label United States Hockey League. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Arena Impressions - Cedar Rapids - RW77

Ok, Part II so far.

The Cedar Rapids Ice Arena -- Cedar Rapids, IA

Cedar Rapids Ice Arena, home of the USHL's Cedar Rapids Roughriders, is a modern arena opened in 2000.  It seats 4,000 people and has two sheets of ice, as well as a small store that sells Roughtriders merchandise and a decent sized open area that could be used for many different kinds of events.

Though this arena only holds about 600 more than Des Moines, the age of the building isn't the only stark difference between it and Buccaneer's Arena.  This arena is adorned with modern seating, projector screens behind both goals, great lighting, and a great feel around the upper walkway.

The walls were festooned with Cedar Rapids alumni like UND forward Michael Parks and LA Kings hero Alec Martinez.

The facility looked very well cared for.  Aside for a few random dents in the steel siding (most probably from VERY stray pucks), this arena looked new despite its 14 year old age.

If I were to build a USHL facility on a limited budget, I'd start in Cedar Rapids, IA (knowing full well what palaces Ralston Arena is and what the new rink in Sioux Falls seems to suggest).

Facility Grade:  A-.  Would be an A+ with an updated scoreboard.

Ice:

Not unlike the facilities, the ice was great.  The boards seemed not to be as lively as Des Moines.  I think this helped Omaha because the boards seemed to react very similarly to Ralston Arena.

Grade:  A

Entertainment

They had a VERY interesting way of doing things pre-game.  Even at UND, there wasn't that much to do between the end of warm ups and the opening lineup ceremony.  Not at Cedar Rapids.  From the minute the last player left the ice until roundabout 3 minutes prior to them stepping onto the ice, there was a nonstop series of montage videos featuring different songs.  Some featured highlights from last season.  Some featured behind the scenes stuff.  Others the history of the franchise.  All in all, I was VERY impressed.

Pregame Grade:  A

Intermission Entertainment:  They had a chuck a puck competition, and a slingshot bowling thing.  The chuck a puck was pretty straight forward except the prizes were a bit lame.  We did not participate.

The slingshot bowling is always a crowd favorite.  And it was done right.  Good on them.

Intermission Grade:  B+

PA:  We met this guy but really, all he had to do (like I said before) was to know the player's names and numbers and pronounce them correctly.  He did.

Grade:  A

PS:  He's a nice guy.

Fanbase:

A LOT more people came to the game in Cedar Rapids than in Des Moines, but I do not recall them announcing it during the game.  I'm fairly sure that it was between 2,000 and 3,000 people from the looks of it.  Still, there were some empty seats.  A lot in our section.

Though we had rumors that Des Moines fans were less than fun, we had no such preconcieved notions about Cedar Rapids.  For the most part, we were left alone, just like in Des Moines.

Two exceptions:  One fan came and talked to us as a fan of a former Lancer player (Gage Hough, now of UMass Lowell).  She was nice.  As for the other, these three nagging older ladies did not take too kindly to my razzing the goaltender (The old UND standard (Goalie's Name x3, you suck) and made a rather crude reference of a more homophobic nature.  Hey, I'm not sensitive, but if you are going to mock me, at least be original or creative.  She wasn't.  Sad for her.

Cowbell/Vuvuzela Factor:  This arena really pushed cowbells and they were everywhere.  Naturally, this concerned me.  I shouldn't have been concerned.  They knew when to ring the cowbells and when not to and responded to prompts accordingly.  There was no gratuitous noise.  No one rang them in anyone's ears intentionally or otherwise.  It was very well orchestrated.  That speaks a lot to a strong, loyal, and well-informed fan base.

Fanbase Grade:  A-

Overall Impression:

Omaha's fanbase doesn't travel...especially with the year Omaha's having.  However, this was an easy 4 hour drive from Omaha and one that every loyal Omaha fan should make.  I would not hesitate in the slightest to return to Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.  BTW, even the Roughrider website is cool.

Overall Grade:  A-

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Omaha.COM: Blais believes the Mavs are close to contending



Interesting article about coach Dean Blais and his UNO hockey program.
Tony Boone, Omaha.com -- NO, entering its 18th season, still needs to establish itself as a program relevant on the national level, Blais said. Becoming a perennial NCAA tourney team is an important part of that.

The coach recalled his days at North Dakota, where he was the head coach from 1994 to 2004, when he could drive to Winnipeg, then fly to British Columbia or Saskatchewan and have immediate credibility when he visited a recruit because his program had name recognition.

“Everyone knows about North Dakota. They have that tradition,” he said. “We have to build that tradition. We have to be known as a team that’s going to be there at the end of the year. We’ll get there.”

Omaha has a recruiting advantage, Blais said, by being located within driving distance of a number of teams from the United States Hockey League, the top junior league in America. But he expects the biggest boost to come when the new on-campus arena at UNO opens next October.

Players, for the first time in the program’s history, will be able to go to practices or games without driving across the city. And they’ll have their own space they don’t have to share with another team.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Face it, Ryan Mantha isn't coming to UND.

If I was a betting man, and I am. I would say that this kid is OHL bound, and is not heading to UND next fall. No mention what-so-ever about UND. As I wrote in May, since 2011, UND has had five high-end recruits decommit and go the Major Junior route. Mantha would make six.

Update: Brad E. Schlossman from the Grand Forks Herald is reporting that Mantha is an  academic causality.
SNYRangersblogspot.com --On what is next, “we will see soon, Niagra has my rights and it will come down to what the Rangers want me to do.”

Who did you root for growing up, “I didn’t have one but during the Cup I was rooting for the Rangers so this is an awesome feeling.”

From the Rangers: “With the first of the two fourth round selections, New York drafted defenseman Ryan Mantha. The Clarkson, Michigan native split this past season between the Sioux City Musketeers and the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL), registering a total of three goals and 12 assists for 15 points, along with 71 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating in 53 games. Mantha added three assists in 10 playoff games with Indiana.”


Monday, June 23, 2014

UND Hockey: Semi-Committed recruits (Ryan Mantha)

Semi-committed recruits, I am going to give a s/t to my buddy Mafia Man for this one. If I was the coaching staff, obviously I am not, I would consider pulling this kids scholarship offer. Frankly I am bored reading his various quotes about how he's going to wait and see.

Does this kid not realize that 31 percent of the NHL is a former college hockey player, that's only going to increase in the future. If this doesn't think he's going to develop at UND, he's crazy. Dave Hakstol and his staff are highly regarded by the NHL coaches and General Managers.

Nate Sager, Buzzing the Net -- (Ryan) Mantha's next port of call could be contingent on which NHL organization takes a chance on him at the NHL draft this weekend in Philadelphia. The big defender is uncommitted to a NCAA school for this season. The Muskegon Lumberjacks have his USHL rights, while the Ontario Hockey League's Niagara IceDogs recently traded two priority selection picks for his rights."

"North Dakota has eight D returning," Mantha says. "I don't want to sit, I want to continue to develop. I'm keeping my options open right now. They haven't told me to go back. That's something I have to decide over the summer.

"I think they're going to decide," he says of a NHL franchise having influence on the decision of where to play as an 18-year-old. "Some teams say they won't but I think if someone has input on what is best for me, I'll really consider it."
If you don't believe me, all you have to do is watch some of the great UND hockey players currently playing in the NHL. The last three Stanley Cups have a former UND hockey players' name on it. After watching what happened with Adam Tambellini last season, I would walk away from anyone that isn't 100 percent all in. Playing time at the University of North Dakota is earned. I have watched enough practices to know that.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

UND recruit Ryan Mantha on the Pipeline show



UND recruit defensmen Ryan Mantha, at least for now, was on the Pipeline show with Guy Flamming. You can listen to the show by clicking on this link. Doesn't sound like he's all in, at least when it comes to going to UND. Where's Mantha going (UND or OHL), it will depend on what team drafts him. He'll decide where he's going after the 2014 NHL Entry Level Draft.




Monday, June 02, 2014

Ryan Mantha, traded from the Soo to Niagara

If I was a betting man, and I am. It would appear that UND is about to lose their 7th recruit to the CHL since 2011. It looks a lot like the some of the other CHL defections. The other day, I wrote a blog post breaking down the previous six defections at the Hockey Writers.




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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

UND could end up losing recruit Ryan Mantha, depending on who drafts him

As a fan of the University of North Dakota, none of us are shocked by these revelations. We have seen it numerous times. We will see it again, probably sooner rather than later. 

[From the Hockey WritersRyan Mantha, Sioux City USHL, University of North Dakota, Elite Prospects Page


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Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Early, Basic, Brief, and Very Amateur look at the incoming Freshmen for next year (Redwing77)

Ok, one thing I have been able to do even with grad school, is to keep up with the local USHL scene in Omaha, Nebraska.  I've gotten to see a few of UND's future recruits in action, but I'm going to limit this article to ONLY those I've seen AND those who are listed per Heisenberg and Schlossman's blog as being 2014 recruits.  I want to be VERY VERY clear:  I'm only speaking of these players from a fan/viewer point of view.  If you want a coach's perspective or one more like a scout, then read no further.  This report is VERY amateur.

Right now, per Heisenberg, the following players are incoming:

Goaltenders:
Cam Johnson - Fargo/Waterloo (USHL)

Defensemen:
Hayden Shaw - Waterloo (USHL)
Tucker Poolman - Omaha (USHL)

Forwards:
Nick Schmaltz - Green Bay (USHL)
Trevor Olson - Sioux City (USHL)
John Simonson - Lincoln (USHL)

First, those I've only seen in limited capacity:

Hayden Shaw and Nick Schmaltz.  I'm no scout.  I've seen Waterloo play, but Shaw did not stand out.  That's fine, as he's a defenseman.  From what little I've seen of him thus far, he looks to be a shut down defenseman.  What he actually turns out to be is unknown.  Truthfully, he's a 1996 birthday.  With only four slots opening, and assuming no one bolts, I'm curious to know if Hakstol asks Shaw to wait a year.  Then again, I do not know how Coach Hakstol will work it.

Nick Schmaltz is the most limited of viewership of the list.  I've only seen him play once and it was on a lousy webcast game between Green Bay and Omaha.  He seemed fast but he didn't stand out much.  The commentators certainly raved a lot about him, though.

Trevor Olson -  He's done alright this year for Sioux City.  He wears the 'C' for Sioux City.  Likes to hang out in front of the net.  However, at least tonight, he did quite a bit of whining to the refs (though I can't really blame them.  We had two of the worst officials I've ever witnessed).  He's a pretty tall dude at 6'1" tall.  I think at the NCAA level he'll be another Rodwell or perhaps a Gaarder type.

Most Viewership:

John Simonson -  He was Lincoln's leading scorer and scholarship winner.  He wore the 'A' for Lincoln this year (future Alaska Nanook hack Zach Frye wore the C).  He played for a rather poor team racked with disappointing defensive performances, suspensions, injuries, and tragedy this year.  He has a lot of pep to his game and loves to rush the net.  I think he reminds me of a Mark McMillan type player.... Maybe O'Donnell even.

Cam Johnson - Ok, most of my viewership came before he was traded to Waterloo.  He started the year as Fargo's starting goaltender and was traded while still in that capacity.  In my opinion, he really was the ONLY veteran player on Fargo that was playing well consistently, but it was never enough.  Fargo has the worst team D in the USHL and their record shows it.  That being said, Johnson had his fair share of consistency issues.  I'm not too concerned about Johnson at UND unless he's expected to jump right in and start right off the bat (say, if Gothberg bolts).  He can steal games, but he's not as talented as Gothberg yet.  He does have tremendous potential though.

Tucker Poolman - This is the fellow I have the MOST exposure to.  I'm not sure if it is the coach's strategy or not, but he's the most aggressive defenseman in the offensive zone I've ever seen.  He's OFTEN deep in the zone and many of his USHL leading goals (among defensemen) came from below the faceoff circles.  He's on the ice in every situation and logs a ton of minutes.  He's NOT physical at all.  Don't look for him to make any really big hits.  He has fought at least once this year in the USHL but even the fans were wondering what the heck was going on to force him to fight.  If I were to describe Poolman, he'd be a combination between Mattson and perhaps LaDue.  I do NOT project him to continue this style of play at UND and I likewise do not expect him to be a world beater offensively at the NCAA level.  However, what he COULD be is the next Dillon Simpson in terms of on and off ice leadership.  He is far and away the best defenseman on Omaha and, imo, one of the top 3 defenseman in the USHL this year.

Who knows how it is going to turn out.  Who knows if who I compared these players to (if I did at all) is even close.  Maybe I'll be wrong and Olson will light it up.  Maybe there's another Trevor Hammer or Wes Dorey in this mix.  I don't know.  All I do know is that there's a LOT of good coming our way in the next few years (Christian Evers is going to grow into a stud, imo).
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Indiana Ice forward Aidan Muir scores a nice goal from his knees....



Indiana Ice forward Aidan Muir scores a nice goal on the a backhand while he's falling down. Simply an amazing goal. I would have to say that this is one of the top goals of the year, so far.


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

UND Hockey: Chad Johnson: 1970-2013

There’s some sad news coming out of Fargo, ND today.  Our thoughts and prayers are going out to Former Fighting Sioux forward Chad Johnson and his family. Johnson was found dead in Fargo, ND on Monday.

Johnson is the Uncle of current UND hockey players Luke Johnson and Paul LaDue. Johnson played for UND from 1990-1993 scoring (6g-15a—pts).  Johnson was the coach for the Lincoln Star until resigning in September, to come home to deal with health issues.  Johnson was only 43 years old.  
Official press Release--- The University of North Dakota Athletics Department and its men's hockey program is saddened by the passing of former UND hockey player Chad Johnson.

Johnson, a native of Grand Forks, lettered at UND from 1990-91 to 1992-93, appearing in 95 games for the Fighting Sioux.


"The UND hockey family has lost a great member," said UND head coach Dave Hakstol, who was a collegiate teammate of Johnson's. "Chad had such a positive impact on everyone who knew him, including myself, his UND teammates, and the hundreds of kids who loved playing for him.


"We are all better for knowing him and we will miss his quick wit and genuine friendship. We will have Chad and his family in our thoughts and prayers."


After his collegiate playing career, Johnson played professionally for three seasons before embarking upon a coaching career in the United States Hockey League.


Johnson's brother, Steve, also played at UND from 1984-88 and his nephews, Luke Johnson and Paul LaDue, are both freshmen on this year's hockey team.


UND Athletics would like to extended its deepest sympathies to Johnson's family and friends.


A press release from the USHL team, the Lincoln Stars dated Sept. 18 said:










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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dubuque Fighting Saints: Defenseman Dylan Chanter hurt in fight (Video)



My thought and prayers are with Dylan Chanter. Sounded like an ugly incident, no one wants to see this happen in a hockey game. Thank God the kid is okay and if we get an update of his status I will pass it along.

The United States Hockey League has suspended Saturday night's Dubuque Fighting Saints and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders game following an injury to Dubuque defenseman Dylan Chanter. The RoughRiders held a 2-0 lead over the Fighting Saints when the injury occurred midway through the second period at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
Chanter was injured when he fell to the ice following a fight. He was attended to by trainers and medical staff on site, and was transported to a local hospital shortly following. Chanter was conscious following the injury and when he was removed from the arena.
The Fighting Saints will provide an update on Chanter when one becomes available. Additional information about the resumption of Saturday night's game will come at a later date.
The United States Hockey League announced that the game between the Dubuque Fighting Saints and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Saturday, October 12th has been suspended. Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Dylan Chanter was injured after falling to the ice at the 11:58 mark of the second period during the game, played at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
He was immediately attended to at the arena by medical personnel before being transported to a local hospital for further care. While all parties are awaiting further information, Chanter was conscious as he was transported from the arena.
The Office of the Commissioner and general management of both the Fighting Saints and the RoughRiders concurred that it was in the best interest of the players not to continue the contest.
Further details as to the player’s condition, as well as a rescheduling of the game, will be issued by the Commissioner's Office as soon as they are available.



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Monday, April 22, 2013

UND Recruit: Paul Ladue's goal against Sioux Falls



The Lincoln Stars and the Sioux Falls Stampede are currently tied 2-2 in their USHL quarterfinal series. Lincoln is the team that future UND defenseman Paul Ladue currently plays for, and this past season, Paul became the highest scoring defenseman in Lincoln Stars history.

In the loss on Saturday night, Paul scored the only Stars goal and they face the Stampede in a deciding game five tomorrow night in Sioux Falls. The Stampede are coached by former Fighting Sioux associate head coach Carey Eades.

You can see the Ladue goal on the video include, it's the third goal on the video at about the 1:20 mark of the video.



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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Just Because I can... (RW77)



And enjoy taking flak, I'd like to post (hopefully) a short video I took of the boys coming out of the chute at TD Ameritrade Park. Unfortunately I was unable to get to the proper side of the walkway and my batteries ran out when they were coming off the ice after the victory.  So, best I could do but it was fun to be so close to the action.

In a bit of fun news:  Todd Anderson gave me a glare when I yelled out "Hey Todd, have a good game."  Another fan asked him for a puck and he said he didn't have one (and obviously he didn't but it didn't stop that fan) but it was interesting to note that he considered the request despite the fact.

I also found it interesting to see Hakstol in a UND letterman's jacket.  I've worn those things and with the wind and rain and cold, he HAD to be freezing his backside off by the end of the 2nd period if not sooner.

Oh and one last thing:  Biggest gaff not made on the ice goes to the guy who runs the jumbotron and sound.  During the USHL game, the powers that be decided to try to get everyone to sing "Take me out to the ballgame."  Uh, really?  I mean... do you know what's going on right now?  It wasn't necessarily a bad thing but it registered on the WTF scale.
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The Outdoor Games (RW77)

Feb 9 Battle on Ice Opener - Omaha Lancers won. (Photo: Dan Levitt)
I'd like to say "EPIC FAIL" when it comes to them but, alas...... the games were played and around 13,000 tickets were sold.  I was told by a stadium official that the "break even" point was about 15,000 (the stadium holds 24,000), but I'm not certain.  In any case, the weather started out to be a great day at the ballpark.  The temps were such that, dressed warmly, it wasn't uncomfortable at all.  There wasn't a lot of people at the opener, many preferring to use their Saturday for other things.  Nevertheless, there were plenty of police in the area as they were expecting a lot of traffic (there was a major Home and Garden Show at the Convention Center and a Creighton basketball game later that evening at the CenturyLink so it was a busy afternoon and evening Downtown).

The fans that did show up were very nice and seemed to try to carve out a little unique flavor to the environment.  I noticed people standing around or sitting around talking between games, tailgating, playing games in the parking lots, and just going up to random folks and chatting.  There was never any animosity shown before, during, or after the UND game but there was a Lincoln Stars fan who was dragged from the stands by security shortly after the USHL game concluded.  I'm not certain what happened.

In any case the most prominent things I noticed in an outdoor game were also the lessons to be learned from attending a gimmick game such as this:

Lesson #1:  The more pricey ticket isn't always the best in the house.  I paid over $80 for my lower bowl seat and the folks who spent $30 or so in the upper deck had better seats.  Farther away, yes, but they could see the ice.  If you look at my photo above closely, you can notice that almost 60% of the ice surface is hidden from my view.

Lesson #2:  Outdoor hockey games are garbage hockey thanks to the problems of putting ice where ice isn't normally meant to be placed.  We aren't talking pond hockey here folks.  Water on lakes and ponds freezes in the winter and, thus, ice can be expected.  NOT on a baseball diamond.  NOT on a football field.  Those of us who want the nuances and strategy of the game to be the prime factors above talent and individual performances in a game's outcome will obviously NOT like these games.  I am one of those people.  All game long (especially in the USHL game) players were falling down with no one within 20 feet of them.  There was one point (right on the blue line adjacent to the HOME team's bench) that was a problem all game long.  Many times, distance from the location and camera angles cannot accurately display the issue.  They showed the area on the jumbotron and it was PLAINLY OBVIOUS.  THAT's how bad the ice was.  The coolant leak in the UNO game was impressive.  A hole, as an official showed Anderson, looked to be about 2 inches in diameter.  So, I can use EPIC FAIL to describe the ice.

I can also use EPIC FAIL to describe the delays.  No one knows how awful life is when the USHL game is over at 3:30 and you have to wait 3 hours instead of 1.5 hours to see the whole reason why you came.  I do not blame the Omaha Sports Commission, UNO, TD Ameritrade Park officials, etc. for this, but this is something that very well could have been predicted WELL before it happened.  It was like "What?  You mean, the sun has an effect on the ice?"  Really, people.

I also can use EPIC FAIL to describe the food.  It was traditionally overpriced, but that's not why.  I sunk my teeth into quite possibly the worst hamburger I've ever had in my life.  I couldn't hide the awful taste.  It made McDonald's Big Macs look like Steakhouse quality steakburgers.  I choked down half of it before giving up.  I woke up this morning surprised I wasn't sick.

THE UND GAME

Zane Gothberg leading UND out of the "chute"
Once the game finally started, I noticed as the night went on something rather, well, sad if you live in Omaha:  UND fans showed up in force and stayed.  As the night wore on, less and less UNO fans were in attendance to the point where the third period started and I could count easily how much red I saw in the four sections including my own (right around 20).  UND fans turned this into a UND Home game and, quite honestly, I'm proud of it.  However, it became readily apparent to me just how ignorant Omaha is to what they've got.  If it isn't the Huskers football team and perhaps the Creighton basketball team (only when they are ranked apparently), no one seems to care.  That's the definition of SAD.

I have to admit that I was a bit shocked at how well UND played.  Sure, I knew they were capable of such things but 3 goals in 5 shots to start the first 10 minutes of play was quite impressive.  Sitting next to (one of the only) a UNO fan was quite enlightening.  This UNO fan, to rave a bit, was one of the most impressive fans I met at the game.  EXTREMELY knowledgeable.  VERY respectful.  Had some interesting views on WCHA teams' fanbases (we both weren't impressed with DU and UMN fans, bemoan the corporate atmosphere at Mariucci, and respect traditional history of college hockey.  However, what surprised me is that he said of all of the WCHA teams fans he's met, the fans that treated him the worst were Bemidji fans.  All of the BSU fans I've met were extremely nice and respectful.  Quite interesting).  In any case, he said he loved what Blais brought to UNO and the team but he said, and I quote, "UND will win tonight.  UNO is starting [John] Faulkner.  He's not very good.  Cannot track the puck.  Huge five hole and no peripheral vision.  They should start Belfour instead."
Dayn Belfour in action

Well, he got his wish partially as Mitch MacMillan, Nick Mattson, and Jordan Schmaltz chased Faulkner and Belfour came in and, in my opinion, played pretty well.  I will not comment much on UND players that stood out because I didn't get much of a view of any player with my seats being where they were.  It appeared as though Gothberg and Kristo had great games though.

In the end, the lessons I learned above and the sight lines I "enjoyed" made me issue the following statement:

I will never regret going to see UND play, as I am a UND fan.  However, this is the first and last outdoor hockey game I will spend money to see.  It truly is a ONCE in a lifetime experience.





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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

(Video) Tucker Tucker Poolman



This is UND Hockey recruit  and Omaha Lancers defenseman Tucker Poolman and his thoughts on the USHL/NHL Top Prospects game interview. I thought it was interesting that Poolman has 10 goals on the season, and all 10 are on the power play.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Scott Purpur named to the Buccaneers hall of fame

Grand Forks, North Dakota native Scott Purpur has been named to the Des Monies Buccaneers hall of fame. Also named to the Des Monies Buccaneers hall of fame were Peter Fregoe, Trevor Lewis, Scott Owens, Scott Purpur, Peter Sejna
Scott Montesano, Des Moines Buccaneers --- The Des Moines Buccaneers are proud to announce the franchise’s newest inductees into the team’s Hall of Fame as selected by a volunteer committee of fans.

Former head coach Scott Owens will join players Peter Fregoe, Trevor Lewis, Scott Purpur, and Peter Sejna in the team’s Hall of Fame during a special ceremony held during Hall of Fame Reunion weekend March 8-9 at Buccaneer Arena.

The 2013 Class is the team’s first since the Hall of Fame was brought back from a long dormancy this last summer.

Scott Purpur – A standout player in 1983-1984, he scored 51 goals and had 60 assists for 111 points in 48 games. Purpur was named to the All-USHL First Team following the season and went onto play college hockey at Northern Michigan.
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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

HOCKEY EAST HIRES DAN SCHACHTE AS COORDINATOR OF OFFICIALS

If my favorite team wasn’t leaving the WCHA I would say – I wish the WCHA was watching. There are now two leagues that have ex-NHL officials as head of their leagues officials (Paul Stewart, ECAC).

By hiring an ex-NHL official the Hockey East shows that they would rather have a competent professional leading their ranks – instead of the status quo and a bunch of good ole boys.

[Official Press Release]

Wakefield, Mass. - Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna announced the hiring of Dan Schachte on Tuesday afternoon, as the league's first Coordinator of Officials.

Schachte, who will handle all the day-to-day operations of the league's officiating program, just finished a 30-year career as an National Hockey League linesman. He worked 2,009 regular-season games in the NHL dating back to 1982, which ranks fifth all-time and first all-time among American-born NHL officials. He also worked 221 Stanley Cup playoff games, which ranks eighth all-time among NHL linesman. He worked five Stanley Cup Finals ('97, '98, '00, '01, '02) and worked Game 7 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals. He also served as a linesman in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, which included the Bronze Medal Game.

We are fortunate to have attracted someone with Dan's experience to this new position," said Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna. "Dana Hennigar, Brendan Sheehy and, more recently, Dick DeCaprio all contributed greatly in finding and mentoring top on-ice officials. I look forward to working with Dan as he puts his own stamp on our officiating program."

Schachte also served on the NHLOA Discipline Committee from 2002 to 2010, as well as the NHLOA Executive Board (1991-1992) and the NHL Injury Analysis Panel in 2002.

"My family and I are excited to take on this position with Hockey East, said Schachte. "The conference is arguably one of the top amateur hockey leagues in the world, and I am going put every ounce of my energy into making the league the best."

He has also served as an Officiating Supervisor for USA Hockey since 2011, mentoring many of the top young officials in the United States with instruction and training at camps around the country. Schachte, who was a former Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and United States Hockey League (USHL) referee from for two years (1980-1982), co-founded of the Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) back in 2006.

Schachte studied Mechanical Enginering at the University of Wisconsin. He resides in Verona, Wis. with his wife Kim and children, Danny, Ian, Lauren and Maddy.

FOR TRANSACTIONS: HOCKEY EAST: Hockey East Association announced the hiring of Dan Schachte, as Coordinator of Officials.
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Schmaltz drafted 25th and LaDue 181

Two future Fighting Sioux defensemen Jordan Schmaltz 25th over all St Louis and Paul Ladue 181st Los Angeles Kings were drafted in the 2012 Entry Draft.

This is what Jordan Schmaltz had to say in his post draft interview - notice when he is asked where he is going to play next season, Schmaltz said that, "North Dakota is the best path for me and it's going to help me develop."





This is what the Los Angeles Kings official web page had to say about Paul Ladue.
With the 181st pick in the sixth round the Kings selected defenseman Paul Ladue. Ladue, who will turn 20 on Sept. 6, played the 2011-12 season with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, recording 34 points (9-25=34), 27 penalty minutes and a plus-36 rating in 56 games. The 6-1, 186-pound native of Bemidji, Minn. led all USHL defensemen in plus-minus (second overall), while ranking tied for sixth among league defensemen in points.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Roco Grimaldi and Jordan Schmaltz make the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp Roster

Here is the Roster for the 2012 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp Participants. As expected, Fighting Sioux freshman Rocco Grimaldi and Jordan Schmaltz are on the roster.

GOALIES (4)

John Gibson, Pittsburgh, Pa. Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Jon Gillies, Concord, N.H. Indiana Ice (USHL)
Garret Sparks, Elmhurst, Ill. Guelph Storm (OHL)
Anthony Stolarz, Edison, N.J. Corpus Christi (NAHL)

DEFENSEMEN (17)

Connor Carrick, Orland Park, Ill. U.S. National Under-18 Team
Brian Cooper, Anchorage, Alaska Fargo Force (USHL)
Shayne Gostisbehere, Margate, Fla. Union College (ECACH)
Matt Grzelcyk, Charlestown, Mass. U.S. National Under-18 Team
Garrett Haar, Huntington Beach, Calif. Western Michigan Univ. (CCHA)
Seth Jones, Plano, Texas U.S. National Under-18 Team
Jake McCabe, Eau Claire, Wis. Univ. of Wisconsin (WCHA)
Connor Murphy, Boston, Mass. Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Mike Paliotta, Westport, Conn. Univ. of Vermont (HEA)
Mike Reilly, Chanhassen, Minn. Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Robbie Russo, Westmount, Ill. Univ. of Notre Dame (CCHA)
Joakim Ryan, Rumson, N.J. Cornell Univ. (ECACH)
Jordan Schmaltz, Verona, Wis. Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
Patrick Sieloff, Ann Arbor, Mich. U.S. National Under-18 Team
Brady Skjei, Lakeville, Minn. U.S. National Under-18 Team
Jacob Trouba, Rochester, Mich. U.S. National Under-18 Team
Andrew Welinski, Duluth, Minn. Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)

FORWARDS (25)

Cole Bardreau, Fairport, N.Y. Cornell Univ. (ECACH)
Tyler Biggs, Binghamton, N.Y. Miami Univ. (CCHA)
Colin Blackwell, North Andover, Mass. Harvard Univ. (ECACH)
Reid Boucher, Grand Ledge, Mich. Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Travis Boyd, Hopkins, Minn. Uiv. of Minnesota (WCHA)
Alex Broadhurst, Orland Park, Ill. Geen Bay Gamblers (USHL)
Thomas DiPauli, Woodbridge, Ill. U.S. National Under-18 Team
Steve Fogarty, Chambersburg, Pa. Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Alex Galchenyuk, Milwaukee, Wis. Srnia Sting (OHL)
John Gaudreau, Carneys Point, N.J. Bston College (HEA)
Rocco Grimaldi, Rossmoor, Calif. Univ. of North Dakota (WCHA)
Brian Hart, Cumberland, Maine Phillips-Exeter (HS)
Ryan Hartman, West Dundee, Ill. U.S. National Under-18 Team
Nicolas Kerdiles, Irvine, Calif. U.S. National Under-18 Team
Sean Kuraly, Dublin, Ohio Indiana Ice (USHL)
Mario Lucia, Plymouth, Minn. Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Stefan Matteau Chicago, Ill. U.S. National Under-18 Team
J.T. Miller, East Palestine, Ohio Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Logan Nelson, Coon Rapids, Minn. Victoria Royals
Stefan Noesen, Plano, Texas Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Blake Pietila, Brighton, Mich. Michigan Tech Univ. (WCHA)
Adam Reid, Chino Hills, Calif. Northeastern Univ. (HEA)
Henrik Samuelsson, Scottsdale, Ariz. Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Vince Trocheck, Pittsburgh, Pa. Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Jim Vesey, North Reading, Mass. South Shore Kings (EJHL)
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Friday, June 08, 2012

Ice Hockey Rules Committee to examine three-quarter face shields

English: National Collegiate Athletic Associat...
Official Press Release
By Greg Johnson
NCAA.org

The NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee plans to establish a collaborative process with the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports to collect data and fully explore the possibility of allowing men’s players to wear three-quarter visors.

Current rules require a full face shield to be worn.

The ice hockey committee did not make a formal proposal but focused more on continuing the process of a full review and data collection effort in the review of current technology. Committee representatives will meet with the competitive-safeguards committee next week to review a wider package of potential enhancements that can be made to enhance student-athlete safety. The committee hopes that a partnership with the competitive-safeguards committee and other hockey organizations (for example, National Hockey League, USA Hockey, United States Hockey League) will lead to the use of visors.

A recent survey of 1,000 student-athletes showed that 83 percent would prefer to utilize a three-quarter shield if given the opportunity. The overwhelming majority of men’s coaches favor three-quarter visor use.
Ice hockey rules committee members, who met Wednesday and Thursday in Indianapolis, believe that such support of the concept mandates a thorough review.

The development of newer, better facial shields that are more protective than traditional half-shields is one driving factor for the committee’s reconsideration of appropriate equipment. In its review, the committee believes that other aspects of equipment must be considered in conjunction with visor technology. For example, representatives of the NHL recently discussed working with manufacturers to develop softer padding, and the NCAA will engage in that discussion.

The NCAA has had an injury surveillance program in all sports for decades. Data will be compared to injury information that other entities, such as the United States Hockey League, collect after players completed their first seasons with the new visors. Over the past year, the USHL collected information on the number of facial injuries and concussions that occurred and has offered to partner with the NCAA on data collection.
Committee members understand the challenge of explaining how removing a piece of protective equipment may have a positive impact on student-athlete safety.

“Our coaches and student-athletes feel the game will be played with more respect, and players will play with less of a sense of invincibility,” said Ed McLaughlin, the chair of the Ice Hockey Rules Committee and director of athletics at Niagara. “We’ve talked about the visors, but also about softer padding in general as another important part of this.”

McLaughlin will meet with the competitive-safeguards committee next week to request engagement and partnership on those issues.

Since 1978, NCAA hockey players have worn full cages. The rule was implemented to protect the eyes of the players. At the time, there wasn’t talk of other injuries such as concussions or facial injuries.

Times have changed, especially in regard to head and brain injuries.

“That is why we want to take a measured approach to this,” McLaughlin said. “We look at how some of the technology has evolved, and the three-quarter visors may be able to address the same needs as when the full cages were put in.”

McLaughlin also noted that student-athletes are coming from playing with these visors before and after NCAA competition.

“All of this factors in as to why this is a passionate issue,” McLaughlin said. “We know our coaches and student-athletes are strongly in favor of this. We want to be sure the broader community has the opportunity to review this and fully understand the potential benefit as one part of a larger improvement to the sport.”
A more detailed communication will be distributed to hockey institutions regarding the committee’s plan in the near future.

The committee did propose several changes to current rules. All rules changes must be approved the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to meet in July via conference call. The main proposals are listed below. All changes will be sent to the membership for comment next week and all feedback will be shared with the hockey committee and the oversight panel.

Overtime option

After a thorough discussion, the committee recommended giving conferences and institutions the option of playing four-on-four, five-minute overtime periods in the regular season beginning with the 2012-13 season. That is the system used in the NHL.

The goalies would still be required to switch ends of the ice, which causes teams to make long line changes, leading to additional scoring opportunities.

The proposed rule is not a mandate. If teams playing in a nonconference game can’t agree on which way overtime will be played, it will default to a five-on-five, five-minute extra period where the goalies will switch ends of the ice.

The format for NCAA tournament games has not changed (five-on-five until a winner is decided).

“There was some support in the membership for four-on-four overtime, and it is an exciting brand of hockey,” McLaughlin said. “We also wanted to respect the membership views that it might not be the best for all levels of hockey right now. Providing an option for everyone is the right step for us.”

The committee will monitor the overtime formats for the next two years to see if any other changes should be made.

“When we made the change two years ago for the goalies to change ends going into overtime, it lessened the number of ties in the sport,” McLaughlin said. “We think making another option available will allow for more data to be collected and to review the impact on our game.”

Hand passes made illegal

Committee members proposed that all hand passes be made illegal, including in the defensive zone.
The referee will stop play on any hand pass, and the faceoff will be in the offending team’s defensive zone. Additionally, if the team commits the violation in its defensive zone, that team will not be able to change its players before the ensuing faceoff.

 “This is a way to promote scoring and create more chances on offense,” McLaughlin said. “Not being able to make a line change can have a pretty big impact, and this takes away a rule that gave the defensive team an advantage.”

Net dislodgement change

The committee also adjusted its rules dealing with the goal cage becoming dislodged. The committee essentially moved to the NHL rule in this area, which allows some displacement of the goal as long as the posts remain in contact with the pegs or pins.

“Our rules currently don’t allow for much leeway, and we believe we have disallowed too many goals that really should count,” McLaughlin said. “The NHL rules have been used effectively, and we believe this is a positive change.”

To award a goal in these situations, the goal post must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player. To award a goal, the referee must determine that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts.

Distinct kicking motion

Another proposed change by the committee is intended to enhance scoring and also make its rules more consistent. The committee approved a change that will allow most goals off of attacking player’s skates, with the exception of a distinct kicking motion. In recent years, the committee has attempted a variety of interpretations in this area.

“We ultimately believe bringing some clarity to this rule is important and allowing goals that are directed into the goal with a skate will be a positive move,” McLaughlin said. “It seems like the hockey community is comfortable with the concept of a distinct kicking motion, so we hope this brings some clarity to this rule as well.”

Officiating system

Effective with the 2013-14 season, the committee voted to make the two-referee, two-linesman system mandatory for men’s ice hockey. Feedback from the women’s ice hockey community indicated that the two-referee, one-linesman system should remain as an option for the foreseeable future. All four NCAA championships used the two-referee, two-linesman system in 2012.

Additionally, goal judges are no longer required for NCAA games and will only be recommended.
“Our rules truly require two referees, and the committee strongly believes the four-person system is the best overall,” McLaughlin said. “We believe providing a grace period will allow institutions time to adjust and plan.”

The NCAA adjusted officiating fees in the 2012 Division III championships (men’s and women’s) to make the change immediately and reduced travel costs by not using a back-up official.

Postgame review of disqualifications

The committee voted to allow a postgame review of disqualification penalties by the on-ice officials. The group requested conference feedback on how best to implement a procedure and guidelines for the concept, but the belief is a disqualification penalty, with the help of video evidence, is an important determination and should be reviewed. The calling official will have the final decision on any review.

New chair

The committee approved the appointment of Tom Anastos, head men’s coach at Michigan State, as the chair of the committee, effective Sept. 1.
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