WCHA expansion? More to consider

According to the Bowling Green (Ohio) Sentinel-Tribune, Bowling Green State of the CCHA has been given a two-week extension to Oct. 7 to respond to a membership invitation from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for 2013-14. Bowling Green’s deadline was to be Friday.

The Sentinel is also reporting that four Atlantic Hockey schools may be interested in joining the WCHA — Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara and Robert Morris.

The story is here.

Niskanen goal; WMU and St. Cloud State in NCHC; CHN Top 10

Former Minnesota Duluth denfenseman Matt Niskanen scored a power-play goal Wednesday night as Pittsburgh defeated Detroit 3-2 in Pittsburgh.

Video of the goal is here.

The Penguins web site also has reaction from Niskanen as he looks to make the Pittsburgh roster here.

Western Michigan officially announced joining the National Collegiate Hockey Conference on Thursday morning in a release here.

The release states that St. Cloud State is also joining the NCHC and the Huskies confirmed that in a 1 p.m. press conference Thursday.

A St. Cloud Times reaction story is here.

College Hockey News weighs in with a 2011-12 preseason Division I Top 10 with Miami of Ohio leading the way. The poll is here.

UMD is listed as a Team to Watch.

And Bruce Ciskie posts his view of the Top 10 here.

Carroll scores for Capitals in preseason game

Former Minnesota Duluth forward Andrew Carroll scored for the NHL’s Washington Capitals in a 4-3 overtime preseason loss to Columbus on Wednesday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Carroll, 26, from Shoreview, Minn., scored in the third period with 2:26 left in regulation play. He was a UMD captain as a senior in 2008-09 and has played professionally the last two years, primarily in the American Hockey League.

TSN has a Washington-Columbus game story here.

NCHC: Invitations have been extended

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference release put out Wednesday confirms membership invitations have been extended to St. Cloud State and Western Michigan. The release is here.

A St. Cloud Times story is here.

St. Cloud State has a 1 p.m. Thursday press conference scheduled to address the subject. Western Michigan will have a 9 a.m. press conference.

The NCHC 8: St. Cloud State and Western Michigan expected to join

While the fledgling National Collegiate Hockey Conference has awaited a word from Notre Dame about joining for the league’s debut in 2013-14, it appears the conference has two new additions — St. Cloud State and Western Michigan of Kalamazoo, Mich.

The Kalamazoo Gazette is reporting Wednesday that Western Michigan of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association will officially announce intentions to join Thursday with St. Cloud State of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to follow. That would bring league membership to eight along with Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College, Nebraska-Omaha and Miami of Ohio.

The Kalamazoo Gazette story is here here.

A Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald story is here.

Also, reports from U.S. College Hockey Online here and from College Hockey News here.

The Gazette notes that Western Michigan’s move to join the NCHCA has been confirmed by multiple sources. The school, as part of the CCHA, had been invited to join the WCHA for 2013-14, but declined that offer, said the Gazette. St. Cloud State is also expected to join the NCHC, said the Gazette.

The NCHC has made no secret that it has been recruiting other programs as specified recently by Bobby Goldwater, from the consulting firm the Goldwater Group, which is directing the new league’s start up.

Western Michigan was among the early candidates to join the NCHC but held off a decision, at first, waiting to see what fellow CCHA member Notre Dame would do. Because the Fighting Irish have been dragging their feet, Western Michigan has moved on. St. Cloud State is new to the discussion.

The NCHC officially announced its formation on July 9 and will be based in Colorado Springs, Colo.

UMD women picked third in WCHA; freshman Lacquette honored

This WCHA coaches preseason poll, released Tuesday, places the Minnesota Duluth women third in the league behind Wisconsin and Minnesota. Bulldog freshman defenseman Brigette Lacquette is among three chosen as preseason rookie of the year.

2011-12 WCHA Coaches Pre-Season Poll     
First-place votes in parentheses
1.    Wisconsin (6)    47
2.     Minnesota (2)    44
3.    Minnesota Duluth    35
4.    North Dakota    34
5.    Ohio State    24
6.     Bemidji State    20
7.     Minnesota State    13
8.    St. Cloud State    7
(Note: coaches could not vote for their own teams in the poll and points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system.)

WCHA Pre-Season Player of the Year (votes): Hilary Knight, F, Wisconsin (6); Brianna Decker, F, Wisconsin (2).

WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year:  Michelle Karvinen, F, North Dakota; Brigette Lacquette, D, Minnesota Duluth (2); Meghan Lorence,  (2); Rachel Ramsey, D, Minnesota (1) Jenna McParland, F, Minnesota Duluth (1).

UMD women to open practice

The Minnesota Duluth women’s team opens practice Tuesday and ranked No. 6 in the U.S. College Hockey Online preseason poll.

A News Tribune season preview is here.

The USCHO poll is here and a story here.

Former Wisconsin and Colorado College men’s coach Jeff Sauer and current Wisconsin women’s coach Mark Johnson honored by NHL, along with Toni Rossi and Bob Pulford, as recipients of the 2011 Lester Patrick Award. USA Hockey has a release here.

Former UMD forward Nick Anderson of Duluth has signed as a defenseman with Aquile FVG in Pontebba, Italy. He played the last four years in Germany. A team web site story is here.

Grand Rapids native John Heitzman of Superior won Sunday’s Thunder Bay (Ontario) Half Marathon in 1:09:19 to lead a field of 419. His wife, Ariel, was second in the women’s division in 1:25:52.

A Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal story, which focuses primarily on the accompanying marathon, is here.

Adam Goucher qualifies for 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Adam Goucher of Portland, Ore., qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the men’s marathon by finishing Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 52 seconds. He placed 22nd.

A half-marathon time of 1:05:00 or faster was needed to gain an entry to the Olympic Trials on Jan. 14 in Houston. Kara Goucher, Adam’s wife, has already qualified for the Olympic Trials in the women’s marathon. Adam Goucher, 36, was a 2000 U.S. Olympian at 5,000 meters on the track.

Kenya’s Matthew Kisorio, 22, won a second straight Philadelphia Half-Marathon title with the fourth-fastest time in history, and a course record, 58:46.