Monday, June 20, 2011

Three Stars: June 13-19

3. Penn State Hockey Lands Defenseman
(Fight On State)

I know I'm cheating a little with this one, since I've already linked the official release in the usual place. But I wanted to underscore the Mark Yanis commitment, because he's received more attention across the internet than any of our other recruits. I'm guessing it's because he's pretty good.

Fight On State gets the nod for link attention here over numerous others because they linked the TYT recruiting page (and gave it a sticky) on their hockey message board.

2. Billy's Back
(View From The Booth)

One friend of TYT likes to say that "it's not official until Steve Penstone's interview." Well, feel free to call the Bill Downey hire official.

Between Downey and guys like Josh Brandwene, it's extremely telling and a testament to the program Joe Battista and others built that alumni seem to be gravitating back to PSU now that the paid jobs that are part of an NCAA program are available.

1. The long road to UAA
(Anchorage Daily News)

This article was linked in the post about new Penn Stater Justin Kirchhevel, but in case you missed it, it's a must-read if you want to fully appreciate the road Kirchhevel's traveled from Brookings, SD to NCAA Division I hockey.

He's also trying to pave that road for future players from The Mount Rushmore State by holding a camp in his hometown during the last weekend in July.

Best of the Rest

U-M Regents OK $14M for Yost Ice Arena renovations
(Detroit News)

Welcome to the facility arms race, UofM.

The house that Jim Thome built may see outdoor hockey in January.

Outdoor hockey at Progressive Field?

Speaking of Michigan, they appear set to participate in their 58th outdoor game this coming January at the home of the Cleveland Indians against host Ohio State. If everything goes through as planned (a scheduled announcement Friday was postponed, so it's not a lock just yet), it will be the first significant NCAA hockey event in my home metropolitan area since Kent State dropped their NCAA program in 1994 ever.

The Stanley Cup Effect: When The Local Team Wins, So Does Amateur Hockey
(United States of Hockey)

In the nine months since starting our NCAA programs, I've had the following conversation with fans of more established NCAA hockey schools several times.

Me: I think Penn State will have a very good program eventually. Pennsylvania's an underrated hockey state.
Other guy: Why? Because you have Sidney Crosby on your side? Hahahahahaha.
Me: Well, yeah, kinda. What do you think gets people into a sport in the first place?
Other guy: You're an idiot.

This post, which includes data showing that USA Hockey memberships jumped 20 percent in western PA immediately after the Penguins' two recent finals appearances, proves me right. Now if only eastern PA had some motivation to pick up the slack. I'm looking at you, Ilya Bryzgalov. Sign the deal.

Curley To Receive National Football Foundation's John L. Toner Award

Tim Curley could be the athletic director for the next 8,000 years and not top the last two months of his tenure. Obviously, there were great hires in men's and women's hockey. He also landed a basketball coach who is the subject of quite a large collective mancrush, scheduled Pitt in football and helped get two of my favorite coaches in sports on the same stage at the same time today. I may have forgotten something, but that's sort of my point. And now he's taking home an award for "an athletics director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football." Well earned, sir.

Maroon and gold vs. black and red
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Just in case you thought Curley's job was easy, here's a school with Big Ten television money and a revenue-producing non-Big Ten (for now) hockey program that's perpetually walking the tightrope.

AJHL Announces 2011-2012 League Schedule

2012 recruit Reed Linaker and the St. Albert Steel kick off the regular season on September 9th.

Lammers and Ellsworth Named Assistant Hockey Coaches

New UMass-Lowell assistant coach Jason Lammers worked for Guy Gadowsky at Alaska in 2003-2004, then followed him to Princeton in 2004-2005.

Cronin Leaves Northeastern for NHL
(College Hockey News)

Speaking of the coaching carousel, it's not done spinning on the head coach side just yet either, as Northeastern's Greg Cronin took a job assisting Ron Wilson with the Maple Leafs. The late move left the Huskies without the ability to conduct a full search for a replacement - Sebastian Laplante will take over duties on an interim basis.

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