More heat, more hockey stuff

Have you had enough of the heat index? Here are more college hockey links:

The Marquette (Mich.) Mining Journal reports that Northern Michigan’s admittance to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for 2013-14 will become official Wednesday. That story is here.

The Soo Evening News of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., takes a look at the future of Lake Superior State hockey in a story here.

The Fargo (N.D.) Forum has a trio of stories:

John Marks has signed a three-year contract to follow Jason Herter as coach of the U.S. Hockey League’s Fargo Force here.

Minnesota State Moorhead has paid a consultant to look at its Division I potential here.

The WCHA’s Bruce McLeod talks about Minnesota State Moorhead’s future here.

The Wisconsin State Journal looks at the top-ranked incoming freshman classes for 2011-12, according to the Red Line Report, starting with North Dakota. That story is here.

College Hockey News reports that the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and Atlantic Hockey will meet in the next two weeks to talk about….survival. That story is here.

And from DU Hockey there’s a report on Denver coach George Gwozdecky, saying he fractured his right elbow Friday at the school’s hockey camp and had surgery Saturday.

USA Hockey has some scheduling information on the 2012 Women’s World Championships, April 7-14, in Burlington, Vt., in a press release here.

Hot weather = hockey talk

As Minnesota melts in the midst of a July heat wave, there continues to be no shortage of hockey talk, especially college hockey talk.

Here are a bunch of links:

The University of Denver has a promotional video for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference here.

The New York Times takes a look at college hockey following the NCHC announcement here.

Nebraska-Omaha and coach Dean Blais look at what’s head in moving to the NCHC in an Omaha World Herald story here.

Bemidji State of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association has a statement on the school’s hockey future here.

Ferris State of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association has a statement on the school’s hockey future here.

The Fargo (N.D.) Force has hired John Marks as head coach and general manager of the U.S. Hockey League team to replace Jason Herter, now with Minnesota Duluth. The Fargo Forum has an update here.

U.S. College Hockey Online discusses realignment with recent postings here.

Brian Renfrew, a former Michigan State assistant who interviewed for the recent open Minnesota Duluth assistant job, apparently has caught on at Quinnipiac in a New Haven (Conn.) Register story here.

The Penticton (British Columbia) Western News has a story on the Penticton Vees, of the British Columbia Hockey League, coached by Fred Harbinson, and the number of Minnesotans heading to the team, including Garrett Hendrickson of Virginia. That is here.

Minnesota Wild development camp stuff

While Rink and Run is in the office this weekend in Duluth, a bit of hockey is happening at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center. The first of two scrimmages at the Minnesota Wild development camp took place Saturday in front of a few thousand fans and another is scheduled for Sunday.

From the Wild team web site are a few items, Minnesota Duluth related:

Glen Andresen writes about UMD’s connection this week with prospects Justin Fontaine, Jack Connolly, J.T. Brown and Derik Johnson in a story here.

There’s a unique video interview with Fontaine here.

And correspondent Dan Myers writes about Saturday’s scrimmage which went to a shootout. See if Jack Connolly scored in the shootout. That story is here

Northern Michigan, officially, headed back to WCHA

The Marquette (Mich.) Mining Journal story is here.

The Friday release from the WCHA:

The CEO’s (chief executive officers) of the five member teams that will make-up the men’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) as of the 2013-14 season are supportive of Northern Michigan University’s entrance into the conference. WCHA men’s membership in 2013-14 will include University of Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji State University, Michigan Technological University, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and St. Cloud State University.

The decision came during a Friday league meeting in St. Paul.

Formal approval of Northern Michigan’s application for membership in the WCHA will occur next week.

Northern Michigan, a member of the CCHA, was in the WCHA from 1984-85 through 1996-97, and was league champion in 1990-91.

The Wildcats, coached by Walt Kyle, were 15-19-5 last season and in 2009-10 were 20-13-8 and advanced to the NCAA playoffs.

Northern Michigan, MS-Moorhead, St. Cloud State, Miller, Forbort

The 2010-11 college hockey season has really never ended. Since the April 9 Division I title game there’s been steady news in Northeastern Minnesota: Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin interviewing at Penn State, staying at UMD and getting a new contract, losing assistant Brett Larson, hiring assistant Jason Herter and joining a new league, not to mention losing a couple of high-profile players early to the NHL.

At mid-July college hockey news keeps coming.

Northern Michigan of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, could return as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in 2013-14. A decision could be made as soon as Friday according to a story in the Marquette (Mich.) Mining Journal here.

It is no secret the WCHA is looking to add members in two seasons and Minnesota State-Moorhead may be getting in line. The Fargo (Minn.) Forum is reporting that the school has set a Friday 1 p.m. press conference to talk about creating a Division I program, something Moorhead has been investigating for some time. That story is here.

Also, St. Cloud State made it clear it was never invited to join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The school has a statement here.

In other news, North Dakota has lost high-profile recruit J.T. Miller to Canadian Major Junior hockey according to a Grand Forks Herald story here.

Wisconsin is losing leading goal-scorer Craig Smith to the NHL in a press release from the school here.

North Dakota defenseman Derek Forbort of Duluth was featured this week in the Los Angeles Times as he attends a development camp for the Los Angeles Kings as a 2010 No. 1 draft pick.  That story is here.

The Minnesota Wild development camp has been going on this week and there are public scrimmages at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. UMD-connected players taking part are Justin Fontaine, Jack Connolly and J.T. Brown, and incoming freshman Derik Johnson, son of former UMD star Jim Johnson. Camp information from the Wild is available here.

And in the Run half of Rink and Run: St. Scholastica graduate Jennifer Houck has accepted a USA entry for the women’s marathon at XVI PanAm Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Race is Oct. 30. The Pan-American Games web site is here.

Super League: The next day

The 2010-11 college season may have officially come to an end Wednesday with a press conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., announcing a new league for 2013-14.

Links to some stories on the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (aka Super League) are below.

First, the News Tribune has some off-ice court-related news on Frozen Four MVP J.T. Brown in a story here.

And a Monday report that Northern Michigan is headed back to the WCHA seems to be playing out according to a Marquette Mining Journal story here.

The News Tribune NCHC story is here.

The Grand Forks Herald has stories here and here.

The Denver Post here.

Colorado Springs Gazette here.

The Omaha World Herald here.

The Oxford (Ohio) Press here.

The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, ummm, no story.

The Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette here.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune here.

St. Cloud Times stories here and here.

The Mankato Free Press here.

The Bemidji Pioneer here.

The Anchorage Daily News here.

Inside College Hockey here.

U.S. College Hockey Online here.

College Hockey News here.

New League: National Collegiate Hockey Conference

A new Division I men’s hockey conference, officially announced Saturday, officially got a name Wednesday at a joint press conference with six new member schools that will open play in 2013-14.

Five members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association — Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College and Nebraska-Omaha — will join Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

The announcement was made at Penrose House hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. Athletic directors and coaches of the six schools attended the press conference.
It is still likely that Notre Dame of South Bend, Ind., also of the CCHA, will join the conference at a later date.

UMD athletic director Bob Nielson said the Bulldogs had been in discussions about a new league “for months” but said it was just the last two months that the pace quickened. He said it was a “collaborative” effort and didn’t specify if there was any school or individual making invitations to join the new league.

Staying the on same recruiting level as the new Big Ten Conference hockey league was of consideration in forming the the NCHC, said Sandelin.

“Hopefully this will open more doors for us and open talent pools that we weren’t part of,” said Sandelin.

Former UMD coach Mike Sertich, on the sweeping changes in the WCHA, told Rink and Run:

“It is so hard to see a piece of history changed. I have very mixed emotions over all of this. I undeerstand the reasons, but feel for the ones left behind. We asked so, so much of these programs before admitting them to the WCHA and now it seems as though we have abandoned them. While I am happy for UMD, I feel sad for Bemidji State, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Michigan Tech. Life goes on and change happens.”

From the press conference: league will be a non-profit organization, no commissioner yet, no home base yet, no official media outlet (TV) yet. No Notre Dame yet. Other schools may be courted to join or may apply.

Helping direct the formation of the league are two public relations-sports entertainment firms: the Goldwater Group of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Stafford Sports of Medford, N.J.

The 12-team WCHA will continue play for two more seasons.
Minnesota and Wisconsin had announced in March that they would leave the WCHA for the newly-formed Big Ten Conference hockey league, also starting in 2013-14.

Notre Dame: Still on the fence

The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune has a brief Wednesday story that Notre Dame still has not decided on a hockey conference affiliation for 2013-14.

Notre Dame will not be part of today’s Super League press conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., but the Irish are not ruling out joining the league at a later date.

That story is here.