Thursday, May 31, 2007

College Hockey Blog Round-Up (May 31st)

I guess this begins what I hope will be a weekly-to-monthly recurring feature of this blog – the College Hockey Blog Round-Up. For now, this will probably be a monthly occurrence as not too many blogs are frequently updated during the off-season aside from the excitement of schedule announcements, but the frequency of this feature should pick up as we get closer to the season. Regardless, let’s give this a shot, shall we?

We start in North Dakota, as Sioux fans might be feeling some Déjà Vu in the near future…

- According to Brad Elliott Schlossman, Sioux fans are anxiously awaiting the decision of Brian Lee, NoDak’s sophomore defenseman, as he is mulling over a decision to turn pro and fully enter the Ottawa Senators organization. Lee was the 9th overall selection in the 2005 Draft. Meanwhile, the now-pro Jonathan Toews was introduced to Chicago media on Tuesday (May 29th) as the newest Blackhawk, and will wear #19.

And of course, what would the off-season be without the general craziness of coaching hires and recruit commitments?

- Aside from hitting the tees, The Western Michigan hockey community and the BHAPA is celebrating alongside with incoming recruit Max Campbell. Why you ask? Campbell was named as the Ontario Hockey Association’s Junior “B” Player of The Year, and, in addition, will likely be officially named as one of six top prospects in the OHA for 2007. According to the blog, Campbell, as a center, scored 46 goals and 95 points in the ’07 season with the Strathroy Rockets.

- A minor fervor has been generating in the Golden Knight’s camp as of late, as the Clarkson Hockey Fans Blog reports two fairly acclaimed recruits have committed for the 2008 season – the OPJHL’s Michael Kosziwka (62 points, 28 goals, and 34 assists) and Finland’s Lauri Tuohimaa.

- The Tech Still Sucks Blog (note: their name, not my opinion) reports Northern Michigan has added incoming Minnesota prep standout goaltender Reid Ellingson to a roster already featuring three players at that position. In addition, NMU apparently isn’t in a hurry finding a replacement for the now-departed assistant coach John Olver, who is leaving his position for a front office job with the AHL’s Iowa Stars.

- Lake Superior State appears to have completed its 2007 recruiting class, adding goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson and the much coveted defenseman Matt Cowie to a list totaling five incoming forwards, two incoming defensemen and one incoming goaltender, according to lssuhockey.com. LSSU coach Jim Roque states “(Mahoney-Wilson) is a lot like Jeff Jakaitis was… he played behind some really good goaltenders and just needed a chance…”, and that “(Mahoney-Wilson) is an athletic goaltender.”

While Lake Superior State is essentially replacing a graduating senior goaltender in Jeff Jakaitis, roughly 2,700 miles away, Alaska-Anchorage is replacing a goaltender leaving early…

- At UAA, an expected announcement was finally made. According to the UAA Hockey Blog, Alaska-Anchorage made official at a press conference on Tuesday (May 29th) that goaltender Nathan Lawson would forgo his senior year of eligibility. Sensing the likely departure, in addition to walk-on goalie Mike Rosett transferring (leaving the Seawolves with one goaltender in Jon Olthuis), UAA picked up 19 y.o. Matthew Gordon from the BCHL’s Burnaby Express. The Fan Blog’s Donald comments on Lawson’s future potential:

“Nathan's an ambitious hockey player and I think overall respected well enough for his play to get a decent shot with a good AHL team. I won't underestimate his chances to move up but crease monkey is always the toughest road to the NHL. He's very talented and I don't think he'll have a problem catching on somewhere.”

While UAA completes its search for a netminder, up the road in Fairbanks, U. of Alaska continues its search for a head coach…

- Eric Carlson at the Nanook Hockey Blog reports that an Alaska-Fairbanks search committee is looking at 12 candidates for the job vacated by Tavis MacMillin, who shockingly resigned from the position after receiving, according to the outgoing coach, “an opportunity that (his) family is very excited about, but (is) not at liberty to discuss yet.” Alaska-Fairbanks’ athletics website elaborates further, stating that the finalists for the job include: “Eric Rud of St. Cloud, Minnesota, Doc DelCastillo of Omaha, Nebraska, Kevin Patrick of Madison, Wisconsin, and Wade Klippenstein of Fairbanks, Alaska.”

The process of narrowing down coaching applicants is not only happening at Northern Michigan and in Fairbanks. Let’s shine the spotlight on Merrimack for a second…

- Mike McMahon of the Warrior Rink Rat blog reports that the final two candidates have surfaced in Merrimack’s search for an assistant coach. Those two candidates, according to the blog, are Holy Cross Assistant Coach Albie O’ Connell and Jason Smith, an assistant from Div III Babson. UPDATE: Mike McMahon at the Warrior Rink Rat blog has posted an update stating that Albie O’ Connell will be named as the new assistant coach at Merrimack.

And finally, let’s completely shift gears now, as we turn the spotlight on the rather busy Let's Go DU blog, as two mascots FIGHT TO THE DEATH!

- Ehh... perhaps that was a bit too much hyperbole. According to the Let's Go DU blog, Denver University administrators have left the decision up to the students regarding the possible resurrection of former mascot “Boone” in place of current mascot “Ruckus.” An online survey of Denver students will decide the no-holds-barred, winner-take-all free-for-all for fame, fortune, and mascot supremacy. In addition, also at the Let’s Go DU blog, a nice tribute has been posted from the University of Denver Magazine regarding Denver’s 1969 national championship run.

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