Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Neil Koepke of NCAA.com,
The national championship game features a classic David vs. Goliath matchup.
Ferris State, the decided underdog, will try to knock off the giant, Boston College, and claim its first NCAA championship on Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
A Bulldogs victory against the Eagles could rank as one of the greatest upsets in an NCAA title game.
Boston College is 32-10-1 overall, has won 18 consecutive games, outscored its opponents 78-21 during that stretch and has been ranked No. 1 since late February. The Eagles are seeking their third Frozen Four championship in five seasons.
FSU is 26-11-5, went 15 games (11-0-4) without a loss from early January to late February, is 4-3 in its last seven contests and has won three in a row.
Bob Daniels, Ferris State’s head coach, is fine with being the underdog and believes his team has a better chance of winning than most followers give the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s regular-season champion.
“I’m sure we’ll field questions on how it feels to be underdogs and I can tell you that we’re fine with that. If we’re the decided underdog, so be it,’’ Daniels said.
continued and ESPN2 coverage begins tonight at 7:00pm ET tonight.
from Kevin Pates of the Duluth News Tribune,
After receiving the award today, Connolly thanked his family, teammates, coaches and the Duluth community.
“I share this with all of you. It was a spectacular time to be playing hockey in my hometown,” he said.
Making the selection was a 23-member panel of coaches, media members and professional hockey management representatives. The other finalists were Maine University senior winger Spencer Abbott of Hamilton, Ontario, and Colgate University senior winger Austin Smith of Dallas, Texas.
Connolly thanked his family, teammates, coaches and the Duluth community.
“I share this with all of you. It was a spectacular time to be playing hockey in my hometown,” he said.
more and watch some of his highlights in the video below…
via Danny DeKeyser tweet,
Prouder than hell to be a bronco for hte next year Atleast #broncoforlife #WMU babay!!
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Earlier in the day (Monday), Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said the club was awaiting DeKeyser’s decision.
“I talked to his representatives over the weekend,’’ Nill said Monday afternoon. “They’ll sit down with him over the next few days and decide what direction they’re going.
“Probably every team is talking to him, asking him to turn pro. … It’s a tough decision. He’s only played two years of college. I know education is important to him. Whatever decision he makes will be the right one.’‘
from Nate Ewell at Slap Shot,
In each of the last two seasons, HBO’s “24/7: Road to the N.H.L. Winter Classic” series has brought new viewers to the N.H.L., thanks to its storytelling, production values and access.
Like many successful endeavors in the pro ranks — from the two-referee system to the left-wing lock — the ripple effect of “24/7” is now being felt in amateur hockey.
At least a dozen of the 58 Division I men’s hockey programs, including several that will begin play in the N.C.A.A. tournament this weekend, have featured some sort of all-access broadcast this season. Some have been produced in-house, like North Dakota’s weekly Web feature “Through These Doors,” while others have welcomed outsiders into their locker room, like Miami University’s “College Hockey Confidential” on CBS Sports Network.
In each case, for college programs, these initiatives are about more than attracting new fans — they also serve as a recruiting tool.
from Corey Masisak of NHL.com,
Boston College has earned the No. 1 overall seed and will get to open the 2012 NCAA men’s hockey tournament near home in Worcester, Mass., but a date with the defending champions could stand in the way of a trip to Tampa, Fla., and the Frozen Four for the Eagles.
Michigan, Union and North Dakota also secured top seeds in the tournament, which begins with first round games Friday and Saturday, while quarterfinal matchups to determine who will play in the Frozen Four at Tampa Bay Times Forum are set for Saturday and Sun., March 25.
Boston College won the Hockey East regular season and conference titles, and boast an NCAA-best 29-10-1 record. The Eagles top scorer is Chris Kreider, who is the top prospect of the New York Rangers and earned plenty of recognition when GM Glen Sather reportedly would not include him in a package for Columbus captain Rick Nash. He has 21 goals and a team-leading 42 points this season.
The Eagles, who have won this tournament twice in the previous four seasons, will face fourth-seeded Air Force in the opening round Saturday at 4 p.m. in Worcester. The Falcons won the regular season and conference championships in Atlantic Hockey this season, and they have allowed the third-fewest goals in the country at 2.13 per contest. That will be tested by the high-scoring Eagles, who average 3.52 per game.
from Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal,
Glen Sather had already spent more than two and a half years waiting for Chris Kreider, and as Sather pressed a phone to his ear and prepared to speak to a national television audience, Kreider made him wait a few minutes more.
The Rangers’ president and general manager was poised for an interview during the CBS Sports Network broadcast of a recent men’s ice hockey game between Boston College and Vermont. But the interview couldn’t begin at its scheduled moment—six minutes into the second period—because Kreider had just put the puck into the Vermont net for his 20th goal of the season.
Once play resumed, Sather again failed to answer a familiar question: Will Kreider, the Rangers’ first-round draft pick in 2009, join the team in time for this year’s playoffs? “Whether he’s going to play immediately,” Sather said, “is going to be up to him.”
A 6-feet-3-inch, 225-pound junior forward, Kreider has become the J.D. Salinger of college hockey since enrolling at Boston College, eschewing the opportunity to enter the NHL immediately to instead sequester himself on this campus a few miles west of downtown Boston. After each of Kreider’s previous seasons with the Eagles, the Rangers recommended that he turn pro. He declined. Now, with the Rangers atop the Eastern Conference, Kreider has an entire NHL organization and its fan base wondering whether he’ll begin his career with the Rangers this spring or return to BC for his senior season.
from DJ Powers of Hockey’s Future,
Each year, the NHL dips into the pool of undrafted collegiate players to bolster their systems. This season’s list comprises of six forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender. These players have, to varying degrees, attracted considerable NHL interest and could be coming to an NHL organization near you this off-season. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of February 27.
Dan DeKeyser, D Sophomore, Western Michigan University
With 30 NHL teams pursuing him, Dan DeKeyser has become the hottest commodity on the collegiate free agent market this season. And it’s not hard to see why. Two NHL teams that have shown some of the greatest interest in the Broncos rearguard are the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Clay Township, MI native began making a name for himself with Western Michigan last season as an excellent mobile, puck-moving defenseman. This season, he has taken his development to a whole new level and that has had NHL teams clamoring to get glimpses of him.
DeKeyser’s combination of size (6’3, 190 lbs), great feet and terrific shot has made NHL teams take notice. His skating is very good, but it is his footwork that separates DeKeyser from many collegiate defensemen and it’s really something to marvel at. He moves exceedingly well both in the defensive and offensive zones. The 10 or so pounds that he added over the summer has simply enhanced that attribute, making DeKeyser not only a stronger skater, but also heightening his fundamentally sound positional play as well.
via Ken Schott of the Daily Gazette,
In a stunning move, Paul Kelly has resigned as the Executive Director of College Hockey Inc.
“The HCA would like to thank Paul for his service to CHI and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” HCA president and ECAC Hockey commissioner Steve Hagwell.
The news is surprising in that Kelly, who was on the job since Nov. 2009, has been traveling around the country attending games. In fact, he was just at the Union-Princeton game on Friday.
The release from the anticipates discussions to chart a different course for the position, including the option of appointing an interim executive director.
added 8:10pm, via Craig Custance of ESPN,
“Time to move on. I told them I’d give them two-three years to get the entity established and operational,” Kelly wrote in a text to ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun. “It’s been 28 months and it’s time for a new challenge. Although I did enjoy being of service to the college; great group of coaches, media and other personnel.”
from Chris Brown (Michigan player) at Slap Shot,
This Sunday at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, the Wolverines of Michigan will be capping a weekend series with the Buckeyes of Ohio State in the Frozen Diamond Faceoff. With all the pressures of this series (the first game is Friday in Columbus), I’m here to provide some comic relief about our team and past experiences of playing outdoors.
As some of you may know I’m from Flower Mound, Tex., the new hockey hotbed of the United States, but I’m not the only “Texan” on the team this year. The assistant coach Brian Wiseman is our newest addition to the team and has brought a little piece of Houston, Tex., with him. He is the former assistant of the Houston Aeros as well as a graduate from the University of Michigan in 1994.
We have acquired nine freshmen this season, mostly hailing from Ontario and Michigan, with the odd ball, Mike Chiasson, from Las Vegas. A couple of the Canadian boys are pretty stereotypical. Alex Guptil has the heavy accent, and Phil Di Giuseppe can’t stop taping his stick. The outdoor game should bring back some old memories of growing up playing on the pond.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Paul Kelly, executive director of Newton-based College Hockey Inc., noted that the NCAA has begun to explore whether to scale back face and head protection to half-visors, at the option of individual players. Among those making presentations at a recent meeting on the issue were Boston University’s Jack Parker, Michigan’s Red Berenson, Notre Dame’s Jeff Jackson, and Kelly. “The main thrust of the argument by the proponents,’’ said Kelly, “is that the game will be safer once the full cage is removed. Players will play with less recklessness and with improved visibility to help see and avoid hits.’’ The downside is that the risk of eye injury with a full cage is zero, and half-visors, though effective, are not risk-free.
continue for a few more hockey notes…
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