Monday, August 1, 2011

Three Stars: July 25-31

3. New Penn State hockey program lures Mercyhurst's Holstrom, Jensen

Penn State last played Mercyhurst's varsity (then in Division II) in January of 1996, and the Lakers won 13-4. I suppose we can now call it even. Although I'm not yet ready to wash away the 1989 Nittany Lion Invitational - that one will cost a couple more players.
"It's terrible. We were totally blindsided by this," [coach Rick] Gotkin told
It's not quite as terrible from where I sit.

2. 2011-12 USHL Regular Season Schedule Announced

As of right now, Mark Yanis (Muskegon), Kenny Brooks (Tri-City), Connor Varley (Des Moines) and Eamon McAdam (Waterloo) are the PSU recruits who will be playing in the USHL this season, with surely more to follow.

1. Penn State Men's Hockey Update

What else?

PS. Is it me, or does YouTube always manage to find the least flattering frame of the video to display?

Best of the Rest

Lions land key transfer
(Lions 247)

Notably, Taylor Holstrom joins Nate Jensen in his criticism of Mercyhurst on his way out the door.
“Playing at Mercyhurst really wasn’t what I expected going into a college program. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, the hockey was good, but the environment wasn’t what I expected. The fan base, the school, it all just didn’t mesh well with what I was looking for.”
Here's what Jensen said:
“I wanted to go to a school that was bigger with more of a tradition in sports, more support for the athletic teams."
I think this may be the best of the Andrew Dzurita recruiting articles to date, yet I relegated it to also-ran status. Why? Basically, I had an extra Holstrom picture I wanted to use (yes, that's completely true).

Wait, what's that Coach Gotkin?

Lions nab local goalie
(Lions 247)

Eamon McAdam is going to be a personal favorite if he keeps giving interviews like this.

NCAA has to fight perceptions

It didn't take me too long to figure out that Brad Elliott Schlossman is one of the best writers out there, and this effort doesn't disappoint. I feel like the college side of the NCAA vs. CHL debate tends to be more diplomatic in their arguments, along the lines of "there are pros and cons to both routes, it depends on the player," versus the CHL's "college hockey is a joke." Since the effectiveness of that technique is debatable, it's nice to see someone fire a couple of pointed shots back at major junior generally, and the Plymouth Whalers specifically (the piece was in response to North Dakota recruit J.T. Miller's defection to Pete Karmanos' half-assed tribute to the NHL franchise he ruined).

Schlossman also alludes to the coming TV deals for college hockey. Put that together with continued growth in the U.S. (remember, thanks to the large population disparity, Canada needs to "like" hockey ten times more to keep things equal), and it's not hard to see how things could look up for NCAA hockey in the future. It certainly can't get too much worse than the usual offseason northbound march of top players we see today, highlighted this week by John Gibson (Michigan to Kitchener), Jamie Oleksiak (Northeastern to Saginaw) and Connor Murphy (Miami to Sarnia).


John Gaudreau is a hot commodity, apparently enough so that former UNH player James van Riemsdyk is willing to risk an NCAA violation for his school.

No decisions made after CCHA meeting with Atlantic Hockey schools

We got a nice little break from the conference madness this week, just some more talk. First up, according to USCHO sources:
The CCHA has given its remaining schools a Sept. 30 deadline to declare their intention to leave the conference in 2013, a source told USCHO.

The four Atlantic Hockey schools involved in Tuesday’s meeting will reassess the makeup of the CCHA after Sept. 30 before making decisions on whether to join the league, the source said.
WMU hockey program may have a new conference within weeks
(Kalamazoo Gazette)

Western Michigan thinks that Notre Dame will decide on its future conference affiliation in the first two weeks of August. That comes off a little like me talking about what Without a Peer - a fantastic RPI blog, by the way - is going to post in a couple weeks, but there you go. WMU, in the meantime, will prove that they're a major program by waiting around, then going (or at least asking nicely) wherever the Irish say they should. Wait, what?

Also, memo to athletic director Kathy Beauregard: floral prints are not your friend.

WCHA leader set to visit Nanooks’ den

Continuing the theme of nothing happening, WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod is going to visit Fairbanks at some poi...zzzzzzz....

Wake me up if Nanook breaks in and eats McLeod.

Former PU Hockey Star Sproat Retires From Pros, Earning Service Award on the Way to Grad School
(Town Topics)

Hagel Heading to St. Louis Blues Organization As PU Hockey Alum Fights for Spot in NHL
(Town Topics)

Updates on a couple of former Princeton players, one (Dustin Sproat) leaving the game on his terms and one (Kyle Hagel) looking to break into the NHL and break faces on behalf of the St. Louis Blues. Both of them had some nice words about their former coach.

“Guy was absolutely outstanding. His charisma, his grit and his determination to win was just outstanding. We started together since we had the same freshman year. He never doubted us and he never doubted himself.”
“Things changed in that first year [Gadowsky was coach]. We didn’t win a ton of games, but you could just tell the whole atmosphere was changing. I left there knowing something awesome was going to take place at Princeton with Guy Gadowsky around.”
Alabama-Huntsville hockey program seeks funds; AD says search for a Division I conference continues

It sounds like things are getting pretty bad for DI's only independent, to the point where Chargers legend Jared Ross is sending dire-sounding e-mails to program boosters.
To break it down fairly short, the University of Alabama Systems is currently dealing with major budget cuts on the Huntsville campus and are very seriously looking at the possibility of completely demolishing Charger Hockey...what we are asking for are pledges. Basically, we need to raise as much money as possible to be able to present this to the UA Systems.
Adding to the apparent financial issues is the fact that UAH hasn't even been rumored to be a serious candidate for any of the conferences looking to add teams - their lack of a league is the problem that started all of this - which was my fear throughout. They were too much of a geographic outlier for the CCHA when the conference had the muscle of Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Miami. Why would that have changed now, when smaller-budget schools are the new reality? Like I've said before, Huntsville needs a league whose very survival depends on their membership, or they might not find one at all.

Carvel Named Assistant Men's Hockey Coach

The former Head Coach Candidate landed on his feet at his alma mater after being fired by the Ottawa Senators.

Sens' new scoreboard not a done deal
(Ottawa Sun)

Anthony James Partners, the company behind the Pegula Ice Arena scoreboard (as well as several others at PSU), gets busted for leaking a scoreboard that wasn't a done deal yet.

Terry Pegula is apparently unaware that DI programs are allowed to use rinks that look like this as their home ice. Shhhh....

Canisius, Niagara to meet with CCHA tomorrow
(It's Always Game Seven)

Linked mostly for its confirmation (through a statement released by Canisius AD Bill Maher) that The Namesake is working with the Griffs on a facility:
“We have had discussions with the Buffalo Sabres front office concerning a practice site for the Sabres on the Canisius campus, and we are very excited about the possibility of developing a partnership. The partnership being discussed would not only benefit the Sabres and our NCAA Division I hockey program, it would also have a significant impact on amateur hockey in Western New York. Canisius College is carefully studying this opportunity with the goal of putting together a plan that benefits both organizations.”

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