A week from the Frozen Four

The 2011 NCAA Frozen Four opens a week from Thursday with a 4 p.m. semifinal game between Minnesota Duluth and Notre Dame, followed by a 7:30 p.m. game between North Dakota and Michigan at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.

Two WCHA schools recognized most for hockey — UMD and North Dakota — against two CCHA schools recognized most for football — Notre Dame and Michigan.

U.S. College Hockey Online features Notre Dame goalie Mike Johnson in a story here.

College Hockey News anointed Notre Dame forward T.J. Tynan as Division I rookie of the year in a story here.

USCHO takes a look back at last week’s Regionals and the Frozen Four entrants. A review of Notre Dame‘s Northeast Regional success is here. One USCHO writer projects a North Dakota versus UMD NCAA title game match up. That story is here.

The Western College Hockey blog also looks at the Frozen Four finalists here.

Earlier this week the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune gave their Notre Dame fan readers a primer on UMD here.

The South Bend Tribune also looks at the future of the CCHA in light of the formation of the Big Ten hockey conference, and how popular the Fighting Irish may be in any Division I realignment here.

The three finalists for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award were named Wednesday, a day earlier than scheduled, which included North Dakota senior forward Matt Frattin. The Grand Forks Herald story is here.

U.S. College Hockey Online takes a look at the Hobey Hat Trick finalists choices here.

The Denver Post has an update on Denver sophomore defenseman Matt Donovan signing with the New York Islanders here.

UMD Recruits

The 11th listing of 2010-11 of Minnesota Duluth recruits in junior and high school leagues. Any corrections, additions, deletions email kpates@duluthnews.com

High School, U.S. Hockey League, USNTDP, Canadian Junior

Tony Cameranesi, F, Wayzata H.S., 28 GP, 17-46-63

Chris Casto, D, Lincoln (Neb.), 53 GP, 6-19-25

Willie Corrin, D, Fargo (N.D.), 47 GP, 1-9-10

Justin Crandall, F, Omaha, 53 GP, 7-13-20

Cal Decowski, F, Des Moines (Iowa), 54 GP, 8-16-24

Caleb Herbert, F, Sioux City (Iowa), 46 GP, 21-23-44

Adam Johnson, F, Hibbing H.S., 31 GP, 42-43-85

Derik Johnson, D, Penticton, British Columbia, 57 GP, 2-7-9; playoffs 9 GP, 0-2-2

Adam Krause, F, Sioux City, 19 GP, 6-4-10; Chicago, 36 GP, 5-6-11

Matt McNeely, G, USA U18 Program, 25 GP, 9-12, 3.82, .893

Kyle Osterberg, F, USA U17 Program, 48 GP, 7-13-20

Tim Smith, D, Indiana, 56 GP, 5-14-19

Andy Welinski, D, Green Bay, 48 GP, 6-7-13

Austyn Young, F, Sioux Falls (S.D.), 50 GP, 10-20-30

Northland Connection

The 11h Northland Connection for 2010-11 for professional players connected to Northeastern Minnesota, northwest Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth. Additions, corrections and deletions can be sent to kpates@duluthnews.com

NHL

Jason Garrison, D, Florida, 68 GP, 4-13-17

Alex Goligoski, D, Dallas, 16 GP, 4-7-11; Pittsburgh, 60 GP, 9-22-31

Jamie Langenbrunner, W, Dallas, 31 GP, 4-10-14; New Jersey, 31 GP, 4-10-14

Matt Niskanen, D, Pittsburgh, 14 GP, 1-1-2; Dallas, 45 GP, 0-6-6

Jay Rosehill, F, Toronto Maple Leafs, 21 GP, 1-2-3; Toronto Marlies, 32 GP, 7-6-13

Mason Raymond, W, Vancouver, 65 GP, 13-24-37

Tim Stapleton, C, Atlanta, 39 GP, 4-1-5; Chicago Wolves, 4 GP, 1-3-4; San Antonio, 20 GP, 4-3-7

Clay Wilson, D, Florida, 10 GP, 2-1-3; Rochester (N.Y.), 65 GP, 10-36-46

AHL

Rob Bordson, F, Adirondack (N.Y.), 54 GP, 6-11-17; Syracuse, 15 GP, 1-2-3

Zach FitzGerald, D, Charlotte (N.C.), 72 GP, 0-8-8

Travis Gawryletz, D, Lake Erie, 69 GP, 4-14-18

Josh Meyers, D, Abbotsford, 43 GP, 3-8-11

Evan Oberg, D, Rochester, N.Y., 5 GP, 1-1-2; Manitoba, 38 GP, 6-5-11

Dylan Olsen, D, Rockford, Ill., 36 GP, 0-4-4

Neil Petruic, D, Hamilton, 47 GP, 1-2-3

MacGregor Sharp, C, Manitoba, 0 GP 0-0-0; Abbotsford, 11 GP, 0-0-0; Syracuse, 47 GP, 6-7-13

Joe Stejskal, D, Hamilton, Ontario, 3 GP, 0-0-0

Steve Wagner, D, Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, 69 GP, 5-23-28

ECHL

Ross Carlson, F, Florida, 49 GP, 11-26-37

Andrew Carroll, F, Hersey, 20 GP, 1-1-2; Peoria, 14 GP, 1-2-3; Abbotsford, 13 GP, 1-1-2

Jay Cascalenda, D, Bakersfield, 58 GP, 2-12-14

Jon Francisco, F, Ontario (Calif.), 12 GP, 4-1-5

Michael Gergen, F, Bakersfield, 40 GP, 8-13-21; Utah, 19 GP, 1-6-7

Jordan Fulton, F, Stockton, 40 GP, 12-13-25; Kalamazoo, 27 GP, 5-10-15

Ben Gordon, F, Binghamton, 3 GP, 1-0-1; Reading, 55 GP, 23-34-57; Rochester, 6 GP, 0-2-2

Junior Lessard, F, Idaho, 22 GP, 10-10-20

Matt McKnight, F, Idaho, 16 GP, 3-6-9

Weston Tardy, D, Idaho, 49 GP, 2-18-20

GOALIES

AHL

Alex Stalock, Worcester (Mass.), 39 GP (19-17), 2.63, .907; San Jose, 1 GP (1-0), 0.00; 1.000

INTERNATIONAL

Nick Anderson, F, Landsberg, Germany, 42 GP, 24-18-42

Nick Angell, D, Avangard, Omsk, Russia, 17 GP, 1-1-2; Novokuznetsk, Russia, 51 GP, 8-10-18

T.J. Caig, F, HYS The Hague, Netherlands, 41 GP, 29-79-108

Gino Guyer, F, Lillehammer, Norway, 45 GP, 22-40–62

Tim Hambly, D, Ingolstadt, Germany, 52 GP, 1-12-13

Andy Sertich, D, Zagreb, Austria, 54 GP, 10-21-31

Evan Schwabe, F, Olofstroms, Sweden, 9 GP, 4-2-6

Aaron Slattengren, F, Heilbronn, Germany, 48 GP, 11-14-25

Craig Weller, F, Cardiff, England, 41 GP, 16-36-52

Hobey Baker finalists: Frattin, Miele, Atkinson

This Wednesday release from the WCHA on three finalists for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Minnesota Duluth junior center Jack Connolly was among 10 finalists, but did not make the cut to three:

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation on Wednesday announced the three Hobey Hat Trick finalists for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, honoring college hockey’s top player.

Alphabetically, they are: Cam Atkinson, junior forward from Boston College; Matt Frattin, senior forward from the Univ. of North Dakota; and Andy Miele, senior forward from Miami Univ. of Ohio.

The three finalists were selected from the initial list of Top Ten candidates by the 23-member Selection Committee and an additional round of online fan balloting to determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner.  Criteria for the award includes: strength of character on and off the ice, displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.

This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 8, 2011 from the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, MN during the NCAA Frozen Four.  The 31st annual announcement will be aired live on ESPNU at 6:00 p.m., CT.  Here is more on this year’s three finalists:

Cam Atkinson – Boston College, Junior, Forward, Greenwich, Connecticut
The Boston College Eagles have been flying high the past four seasons and this year was no different.  The defending national champs won the Hockey East regular season title and the playoff championship and were led in scoring for the second straight year by Cam Atkinson. Named a First Team all-star in Hockey East, Cam finished second in conference scoring with 38 points in 27 games and led the circuit with 24 goals. Overall, Atkinson posted 31 goals and 21 assists for 52 points in 39 games and had 16 multiple point contests.  He ranks second in the nation in goals and has tallied 61 in the past two seasons.  The Communications major recently signed a pro contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  He has been active in the community volunteering with youth hockey, hospital visits and several projects with elementary schools.

Matt Frattin – University of North Dakota, Senior, Forward, Edmonton, Alberta
Sometimes you need a second chance in life.  Suspended by his team for the first half of last season, Matt Frattin earned an opportunity to rejoin the squad for the second half, then passed up pro hockey to return for his senior season.  And what a year.  Named the WCHA Player of the Year and a First Team all-star, Frattin helped North Dakota to a number one national ranking plus the WCHA regular season and playoff titles and a berth in next week’s NCAA Frozen Four championship.  He led the conference in scoring bagging 22 goals and 40 points in 28 league games. Entering the Frozen Four, his 36 goals and 24 assists for 60 points, places him first in the nation in goals by a lofty 5-goal margin and second in points.  The prototypical power forward is a Recreation and Tourism Studies major and two-time All Academic student-athlete.  He has been active with a Grand Forks, ND Rescue Mission, the Grand Forks Parks District and with the Sioux Kids Club.  He is a draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Andy Miele – Miami University of Ohio, Senior, Forward, Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan
Despite all the great scorers in college hockey this season, no one could keep pace with Andy Miele.  He not only tops the nation with 71 points in 39 games, but has a whopping 11-point cushion over second place Matt Frattin.  He won the CCHA conference scoring title with 16 goals and 40 assists for 56 points in 28 games, the most points in 19 years in conference play.  His 40 assists were more than the second place player had points, a first in league history.  His sensational scoring stats and smart playmaking abilities led him to CCHA Player of the Year honors and a First Team all-star berth.  Overall, Miele has 24 goals and 47 assists for 71 points and had 22 multiple point games.  His 47 assists also top the nation.  The assistant captain for the RedHawks is an American Studies major with a Coaching minor.  He is active in the community helping build a house for Habitat for Humanity, a volunteer with a Children’s Home and visits to a retirement home and local elementary schools.  He is a pro hockey free agent.

Hobey Baker Award countdown

A list of 10 finalists for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award will be cut to three and announced Thursday. The winner will be announced April 8 in St. Paul.

Minnesota Duluth junior center Jack Connolly, third in Division I scoring, is among the 10 and, according to a projection by U.S. College Hockey Online, has a decent chance to be among the final three.

That USCHO commentary is here.

News Tribune sports editor Rick Lubbers took a look at UMD’s East Regional run here.

USCHO has a similar view of the Bulldogs here.

Updates on a couple of former UMD players:

Jason Garrison of the Florida Panthers is featured in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel HERE

Travis Gawryletz named Specialty Mann of the Year for the Lake Erie Monsters here.

Sandelin among 2011 Coach of the Year candidates

This release Tuesday from the WCHA:

Eight coaches have been named finalists for the 2011 Spencer Penrose Award, given to the NCAA Division I men’s coach of the year.

The nominees represent any coach who won or shared Coach of the Year honors in his conference, along with coaches whose teams have advanced to the NCAA Division I semifinals.

Of this year’s finalists, five were past recipients and one, Jeff Jackson of Notre Dame, is both an NCAA semifinalists and a conference Coach of the Year (CCHA) this season.

The Spencer Penrose Award is named in memory of the Colorado Springs benefactor who built the Broadmoor Hotel Complex, site of the first ten NCAA championship hockey tournaments. It will be presented at the AHCA Coach of the Year Banquet in Naples, Florida, on Saturday evening, April 30. The winner will be announced following the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship scheduled for April 7 and 9 in St. Paul, MN.

2011 AHCA Men’s Ice Hockey Spencer Penrose Award Candidates

Red Berenson, Michigan— NCAA Semifinalist*
Dean Blais, Nebraska Omaha—WCHA Coach of the Year*
Dave Hakstol, North Dakota— NCAA Semifinalist
Jeff Jackson, Notre Dame—CCHA Coach of the Year and NCAA Semifinalist*
Nate Leaman, Union—ECAC Coach of the Year
Paul Pearl, Holy Cross—AHA Coach of the Year
Scott Sandelin, Minnesota Duluth— NCAA Semifinalist*
Jerry York, Boston College—HE Coach of the Year*
* Past Spencer Penrose Award Winner

Chewing on one moment

If you have a lot of time and want to relive one moment in Minnesota Duluth’s win over No. 1 Yale last Saturday, you can go to the U.S. College Hockey Online commentary on the game — centering not around a goal or a save, but a penalty. I would recommend this only to true puck heads, a term used in a good way here, because it offers about a bazillion opinions, really almost too many for a typical hockey fan to digest.

Enjoy.

The link is here.

Oh, and this just in from the nation’s oldest college student newspaper, the Yale Daily News here.

UMD goes to No. 3

Not exactly sure what to make of the USA Today-USA Hockey Magazine poll released Monday. Minnesota Duluth had been No. 12, won two games at the East Regional and rocketed to No. 3 in the poll, conducted by the American Hockey Coaches Association. A jump of nine spots.

That may be the biggest late-season rise by a team in poll history.

U.S. College Hockey Online had UMD at No. 11 last week and doesn’t have another poll until after the Frozen Four. The final Pairwise Rankings had UMD at No. 9.

USA Today-USA Hockey Magazine Poll

Total points, first-place votes in parentheses, last week’s ranking and record

1 North Dakota, 510 (34)
1
32-8-3
2 Michigan, 462
6
28-10-4
3 Minnesota Duluth, 418
12
24-10-6
4 Notre Dame, 394
9
25-13-5
5 Boston College, 378
2
30-8-1
6 Yale University, 330
3
28-7-1
7 Denver, 302
5
25-12-5
8 Miami of Ohio, 282
4
23-10-6
9 New Hampshire, 230
11
22-11-6
10 Merrimack College, 200
7
25-10-4
11 Colorado College, 186
13
23-19-3
12 Union College, 134
8
26-10-4
13 Western Michigan, 128
10
19-13-10
14 Nebraska Omaha, 94
14
21-16-2
15 Rensselaer, 16
15
20-13-5

Others receiving votes: Dartmouth, 10; Boston University, 4; Rochester Institute of Technology, 1; Air Force Academy, 1.

Frozen Four tickets through UMD

The information below is posted on the Minnesota Duluth athletic website concerning Frozen Four ticket availability through the school. It appears UMD season ticket holders have priority in requesting tickets. The link to the school website is here.

From UMD’s ticket office:

As a participating school UMD has a limited number of tournament packages to sell. Tournament packages are $195/EACH (plus $5 per order mail fee) and contain two tickets – one ticket for Thursday’s two semifinal games April 7 (no re-entry) and one ticket for Saturday’s championship game April 9.  No single day tickets are available for sale.

Due to an overwhelming response the UMD ticket office will be taking names of season ticket holders ONLY to be placed on a waiting list for tickets. Call or e-mail the ticket office with your name (as it appears on your season account), the number of tickets you need (as many as you own season tickets – up to 4 packages maximum) and your daytime phone number – you will be called in the next few days ONLY if tickets are available to you.  Tickets will be granted in Priority Points order. If you receive tickets you will be called and asked for your credit card information and the tickets will be mailed to you.

Monday in the NCAA

After going 13-17-8 last season, Notre Dame will make its second NCAA Division I Frozen Four appearance in program history April 7 against Minnesota Duluth at 4 p.m. at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.

No. 11-ranked Notre Dame (25-13-5) advanced by beating host school New Hampshire 2-1 Sunday in the Northeast Regional final in Manchester, N.H., in front of a crowd of 5,906. Notre Dame finished second in the CCHA during the regular season, 2 points behind Michigan. In the CCHA playoffs, Miami of Ohio beat Notre Dame 6-2 in the semifinals, then Michigan beat Notre Dame 4-2 in the third-place game. The Fighting Irish, who were in the 2008 Frozen Four, are 4-4 the last eight games overall.

A News Tribune update on the Bulldogs, including a hit to the head on Jake Hendrickson, is here.

News Tribune photos provided from the East Regional here.

UMD had been in three previous Frozen Fours, the most recent in 2004 in Boston. The Bulldogs are 4-1 the last five games overall.

No. 9 UMD (24-10-6) advanced by defeating Union College 2-0 and Yale 5-3 in the East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn.

In a second WCHA-CCHA Frozen four semifinal, at 7:30 p.m., No. 2 North Dakota (32-8-3) plays No. 5 Michigan (28-10-4). Games are on ESPN2.

On Sunday, North Dakota eliminated Denver 6-1 in the Midwest Regional final in Green Bay, Wis., in front of 3,956 fans.

U.S. College Hockey Online has already started some Frozen Four chatter here.

At Green Bay’s Resch Center, the game was 1-1 after one period on goals by North Dakota’s Mario Lamoureux and Denver’s Jason Zucker (23). The rest of the way, Brett Hextall and Jake Marto had power-play goals, and Brad Malone had an empty-net goal. Goalie Aaron Dell set a North Dakota single-season record with a 30th win. Defenseman Chay Genoway had three assists. North Dakota led in shots 32-27.

Recaps from the Grand Forks Herald here, the Denver Post here, U.S. College Hockey Online here and Inside College Hockey here.

At Manchester’s Verizon Wireless Arena, Notre Dame led 1-0 after one period on a Stephen Johns goal and 2-0 after two periods as Billy Mayday scored with 5 seconds left, and New Hampshire captain Mike Sislo (15) of Superior scored with 6:23 remaining in the game. Shots were 38-38. Notre Dame goalie Mike Johnson (20-9-4) had 37 saves.

Recaps from the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune here, the Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald here, U.S. College Hockey Online here and Inside College Hockey here.

Said Sislo: “(Notre Dame’s defense) were great the whole weekend. Their whole team made it tough getting one on net.”