Ruegsegger Scores Game Winner Against Finland

From: USA Hockey Website

(left) Tyler Ruegsegger

LIBEREC, Czech Republic – DU player Tyler Ruegsegger scored what turned out to be the game winner against Finland today. The U.S. National Junior Team built a 5-0 lead through two periods and finished with a 5-3 victory over Finland in the final preliminary-round game for both teams at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship here tonight.

The USA finished 4-0 in the preliminary round and earned a bye to Friday's (Jan. 4) semifinals, where it will face the winner of Wednesday's (Jan. 2) Canada-Finland quarterfinal contest.

"I liked the way we played early in the game," said U.S. Head Coach John Hynes. "We got sloppy at times, especially in the third period, and we have to learn from that."

Team USA scored the two goals in the opening period and three in the 2nd period.

Tyler Ruegsegger's goal was wristed from the left faceoff circle that found the far side of the net. Kyle Okposo (NY Islanders) and Jamie McBain (University of Wisconsin) each gained assists on the goal.

Finland scored the only three goals of the third period, including a pair of power-play markers. Smith (15 saves) and Palmer (8 saves) combined in goal to gain the win for Team USA, while Helenius and Sateri totaled 24 stops in the losing effort for Finland.

NOTES: Team USA won its first four games in the World Junior Championship for only the second time. The United States also won its first four contests in 2004, a year in which it captured its only gold medal in the event ... Team USA will play the winner of the Canada-Finland quarterfinal game on Friday (Jan. 4) in the semifinals of the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship ... All Team USA games in the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship are audiocast live on ... In addition, all games of the medal round will be televised live by the NHL Network in the United States.

This Week's Polls & Rankings

DU is #1 in College Hockey News' Pairwise Rankings.

DU is #2 in College Hockey News' KRACH Rankings.

DU remains at #1 in the LetsGoDU SuperPoll® (below)

DU is #2 in the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings.

DU is #3 in the Poll

The USA Today Polls should be out at 3 PM.

LetsGoDU Top 10 SuperPoll®

1). Denver - The Denver Cup[cake] Champions are on a roll
2). Miami - St. Cloud gave these guys a scare this weekend
3). Michigan
- Michigan Tech gave them all they could handle

4). UMass - Big win over Colorado College this weekend
5). Northeastern - Nice season so far
6). Notre Dame - Feasting on CCHA Plankton
7). North Dakota
- These guys know how to split a weekend series

8). Air Force - Proved that they are on equal footing with Minnesota
9). New Hampshire -
Nice split against North Dakota

Michigan State - Dropping faster than a rock in the polls
Last). Colorado College - CC leads the nation in suspensions. CC has suspended 7 players this season, matching DU's 7 National Championships.

Colorado College Loses In Overtime To UMass

(above) UMass players celebrate thei victory over Colorado College on Sunday night


TAMPA, Fla. - Massachusetts fourth-line forward Matt Burto beelined toward the net and redirected a pass from right wing James Marcou to beat Colorado College 5-4 less than two minutes into overtime.

Stung by losing a game they led 2-0 after a period, the No. 4 Tigers silently sulked into their locker room Sunday.

Winners of the Lightning College Hockey Classic at St. Pete Forum, the ninth-ranked Minutemen strutted into theirs: whooping, hollering and toting their first regular-season tournament trophy.

“That was a winnable game,” CC captain Scott Thauwald said. “We all feel like that kind of got away from us. The mood is not too good.”

The Tigers dropped to 12-6 and are 0-3 against Hockey East teams. UMass extended its unbeaten streak to six games and improved to 9-3-5.

Burto earned tournament MVP honors, while CC center Chad Rau, right wing Jimmy Kilpatrick and defenseman Nate Prosser were named to the six-player All-Tournament team.

After outshooting UMass 7-1 in the first five minutes, CC scored when defenseman Jack Hillen flipped the puck off goaltender Paul Dainton’s left shoulder. Right wing Eric Walsky gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead heading into the break.

Then came the penalties. CC took four in the second period and nine total.

Coach Scott Owens cited different officiating.

“The only time we got ourselves in trouble penalty-wise was when we didn’t move our feet and started reaching,” he said.

Just as CC killed its second 5-on-3 of the game at 2:41 of the second period, UMass left wing Alex Berry’s shot from the blue line snuck under goaltender Drew O’Connell’s blocker.

“I picked it up late and I just mishandled it,” said O’Connell, who Owens decided to start for only the fourth time this season because the Tigers are playing four games in eight days, rounding up a nine-game road trip at Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday.

UMass’s Michael Lecomte scored on a 4-on-4 situation and teammate P.J. Fenton capitalized on a 5-on-3 100 seconds later to put the Minutemen ahead 3-2.

Rau — who was scratched Saturday for the first time in his career for violating a team rule — answered 14 seconds later with his third short-handed goal of the season.

UMass center Cory Quirk knocked a pass from Chris Davis past O’Connell 48 seconds into the third period to give the Minutemen a 4-3 lead.

On CC’s sixth power play, less than seven minutes later, Rau rocketed a shot from the left circle over Dainton’s glove to tie the score.

O’Connell, who posted a career-high 39 saves, made a 1-on-1 save on Burto and a point-blank stop on Lecomte as UMass’ seventh and final power play expired to help preserve the deadlock. But what proved to be the Tigers’ final line rush resulted in nothing more than a scrum in front of the goal.

DU Wins Denver Cup Over Dartmouth

DU's Brock Trotter was named Wells Fargo Denver Cup Tournament MVP - Photo by Candace Horgan

by Candace Horgan

It wasn’t always a pretty game, but the No. 3 Denver Pioneers ultimately prevailed over the Dartmouth Big Green, 5-3, in the championship game of the Wells Fargo Denver Cup. Sophomore forward Brock Trotter, who was named the tournament MVP, had another three point night to help Denver defend their title.

I think a lot of guys kind of stepped up this weekend,” said Trotter. “Everyone played really well.”

Both teams came out with a lot of quickness, and the play moved from end to end with surprising rapidity. Pioneers’ goalie Peter Mannino absolute robbed Matt Reber on Reber’s quick snap shot from the left circle, making a diving glove save that left Reber shaking his head.

Trotter continued his hot play and got the Pioneers on the board first. Tyler Bozak blocked a Dartmouth pass in his defensive zone and spied Trotter breaking behind the ‘D’ and flipped it out to him. Trotter broke in alone on netminder Mike Devine, got Devine to commit, then cut to his right and slid the puck along the ice behind Devine’s left pad at 12:17.

“I didn’t really have anything planned out,” said Trotter. “I didn’t know I was getting a breakaway right then and there, but Bozak ended up making a hell of play. He dove at it and passed it up to me. I just made a quick move to my forehand.”

Trotter had another near-breakaway chance moments later, speeding down the left side boards, but his shot went high.

As the Pioneers took control of the play, the Big Green took a couple of penalties, but the Pioneers couldn’t convert the opportunities. Devine made several strong saves, including one of Bozak from in close, and another late in the period on Dustin Jackson, who had an open net to shoot at from the left circle, only to see Devine slide over and make the save with his right pad.

Dartmouth really picked up their play in the second period, helped by a series of Pioneers’ penalties. Denver took four straight penalties, setting up two five-on-three power plays for the Big Green.

Dartmouth capitalized on the first five-on-three early in the period. Evan Stephens took a shot from the right point. Mannino made the initial save, but the puck came back out to Rob Pritchard in the crease, and he backhanded it along the ice past Mannino’s oustretched left pad at 3:23.

Dartmouth continued to pepper Mannino with shots, outshooting the Pioneers 17-4 in the period, but Mannino held down the fort, making several spectacular saves from down low.

“We had a couple of tough periods in that game, and one of them was that 10-minute period in the second, but we were able to weather the storm for the most part,” said Pioneers’ coach George Gwozdecky.

The Pioneers responded with a power play goal of their own to take back the lead. Kyle Ostrow, stationed down low on the right post, took a pass from Brock Trotter and fired the puck high past a diving Devine at 9:27.

“I think we tried to kill them off as best we can,” said Trotter. “Pete had a good game and kind of bailed us out a couple of times.”

Early in the third period, the Pioneers had a golden chance to take command of the game when Dartmouth’s Peter Boldt was called for holding at 3:16. Instead, it was the Big Green who seized the momentum back on a comedy of errors by the Pioneers.

As they carried the puck up ice, Trotter and Bozak collided near the red line, and the puck squirted free. Dartmouth’s J.T. Wyman knocked the puck over the blue line, got behind Chris Butler and raced after it. Mannino attempted to beat Wyman to the puck, but Wyman easily got to it, stepped to his left around Mannino and slide the puck into the empty net, tying the score at 3:57.

“I think the momentum switched hugely in the game, but we just stuck to our game plan,” said Trotter. “Good things happen and we scored a couple more.”

The Pioneers didn’t panic however, and got the lead back at 9:13 when Jesse Martin picked the puck up and started to skate behind the Dartmouth goal, then slid the puck out front where it hit a Dartmouth skate and rebounded inside the right post.

“We set up a play that we’ve been working on that we copied from the Buffalo Sabres,” laughed Anthony Maiani, who assisted on the go-ahead goal and the game winner. “I go to the side boards and give it to strong point, who shot it. It went behind the net to Martin and he sent it out and it went in off a skate.”

Chris Butler scored what proved to be the game-winner on a power play at 14:13. Maiani, stationed in the right circle, slid a pass to Butler as he skated down the middle, and Butler fired it high glove side to give the Pioneers a cushion.

Bozak added an empty net tally at 18:50 to make it 5-2, but Pritchard made it a two-goal game again at 19:20, firing a shot low stick side from the middle of the right circle that handcuffed Mannino. The Pioneers tightened up for the rest of the game, preventing Dartmouth from getting any closer.

“I was pleased with the way our guys battled,” said Big Green coach Bob Gaudet. “It’s a really good learning experience for us. We’ve got a young team that plays really hard, but we’re disappointed to lose. I thought our guys played hard and got better and better as the game progressed. I’m not disappointed with the effort; I’m not really disappointed with the execution either. We battled right down to the end.”

Trotter and Wyman, along with Northern Michigan’s Phil Fox were named to the all-tournament team as forwards, while Butler and captain Andrew Thomas were named as defenseman. Mannino took home the all-tournament goaltender honors.

“I think what you’re starting to see in our team, a big part of our identity, is our ability to respond to some very difficult challenges,” said Gwozdecky. “There wasn’t a lot of momentum we had coming into the third period, and obviously any momentum we had was sucked out of the building when we gave up that shorthanded goal, and yet, this team has a very unique ability to respond to challenges. That’s a very powerful weapon we have.”

USA Defeats Russia 3-2 - Ruegsegger Scores

(left) Rhett Rakhshani at WJC Tourney against Russia

From USA Hockey
December 29, 2007

LIBEREC, Czech Republic – The U.S. National Junior Team fired 49 shots on goal in helping it to a 3-2 win over Russia in its third preliminary-round game at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship here tonight.

"Our guys played with deep belief in themselves," said U.S. Head Coach John Hynes.

"Our commitment to team play was evident and I thought as the game wore on, we showed good survival skills when we needed to. We definitely took another step forward."

Team USA forced five straight Russia penalties to start the game and eventually capitalized on a five-on-three power play at 11:31 when Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood, Colo./University of Denver) put home the rebound of a shot from the center point by Jordan Schroeder. Kyle Okposo also drew an assist on the play.

The United States, which outshot Russia 18-7 in the period, had several other golden opportunities in the stanza, but was held at bay by Russian netminder Sergei Bobrovsky.

The only goal of the second period came at 8:36 when Alexei Cherepanov put the puck past a helpless Jeremy Smith off the rebound of Nikita Filatov's initial shot from near the bottom of the left circle. Rhett Rakhshani (Huntington Beach, Calif./University of Denver) nearly put the United States back in the lead with under eight minutes to go in the period, but his shot from the low slot rang off the post. Two minutes later, Mike Carman (Apple Valley, Minn./University of Minnesota), who was foiled at least twice in the first period, had a good chance from point blank range but was stopped by Bobrovsky.

Team USA recorded a pair of goals in the first half of the third period to open up a two-goal lead. James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J./University of New Hampshire) recorded the first on the power play at 3:01 when he sent an innocent-looking shot toward the net that Bobrovsky got a piece of, but then had deflect off his pad and into the net. Then at 7:44 Carman grabbed a loose puck at the side of the net, came out in front, and found the back of the net. Blake Geoffrion (Brentwood, Tenn./University of Wisconsin) and Chris Summers (Milan, Mich./University of Michigan) also gained assists on the play. Russia made it interesting when Viktor Tikhonov beat Smith at 14:36, but Team USA played strong down the stretch and gained the victory.

Smith made 28 saves to pick up the win, while Bobrovskky had 46 stops in a losing effort.

Team USA will finish preliminary-round play Monday (Dec. 31) against Finland at 12 p.m. EST in Liberec. Regardless of the outcome, Team USA has earned a bye into the semifinals of the tournament and will play a yet to-be-determined opponent on Friday (Jan. 4).

NOTES: Defenseman Chris Summers was named Team USA's Player of the Game ...Team USA did not allow Russia a shot on goal through the first 14 minutes of the game ... All Team USA games in the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship are audiocast live on with Jack Swanson and Jeff Sauer calling the action. In addition, all games of the medal round will be televised live by the NHL Network in the United States ... Brian Strait (Waltham, Mass./Boston University) is Team USA's captain, while Chris Summers (Milan, Mich./University of Michigan), Blake Geoffrion (Brentwood, Tenn./University of Wisconsin) and Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood, Colo./University of Denver) are alternate captains.

USA Defeats Swiss, Rakhshani Records Assist

LIBEREC, Czech Republic (Dec. 28) — The U.S. National Junior Team used four power-play goals on the way to a convincing 4-2 victory over Switzerland in the preliminary round of the of the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship here tonight.

“We played with good conviction and did it for 60 minutes,” said U.S. Head Coach John Hynes. “We took another step forward and that’s a positive sign.”
DU forward Rhett Rakhshani recorded an assist on the second US goal.

RMN Covers Mannino's Record Tying Night

(above) Chris Nutini is checked in an awkward position against the boards on Friday night

by Pat Rooney

It was not the victory itself that made the night one certain to be remembered in University of Denver hockey lore, though Pioneers fans surely were pleased to see the team return from its holiday hiatus with a strong all- around effort while playing without two of its top offensive standouts.

Facing an unheralded Sacred Heart team in the first round of the 16th Denver Cup did not generate the sort of electricity within Magness Arena that usually marks Western Collegiate Hockey Association games, yet those in attendance Friday can brag they saw Peter Mannino make history.

The senior goaltender recorded 26 saves in DU's 5-0 victory, notching the 13th shutout of his career to tie the program's all- time mark held by Gerry Powers. Mannino reached his lucky No. 13 in his 83rd game, matching a mark Powers achieved in 96 games.

Mannino likely will have an opportunity take sole possession of the record when the Pioneers aim for their 13th Denver Cup title tonight, against Dartmouth (7, FSN Rocky Mountain), though coach George Gwozdecky indicated freshman Marc Cheverie could make his first start, saying, "We haven't made a decision yet."

Dartmouth started the tournament with a 4-1 win against Northern Michigan.

"I've really gotten to talk to Gerry more this year," Mannino said. "He's a great guy with a lot of insight. He's still around and shows his support. Any record, you have top guys that have accomplished that. To be anywhere in that type of class is an honor."

Mannino needed to make only 11 saves while breezing through the first two periods, but Sacred Heart, also nicknamed the Pioneers, forced Mannino to earn his record by firing 15 shots in the final frame.

It was Mannino's fourth shutout this season, leaving him half a season to make a run at the single-season mark of seven that is shared by Powers and Adam Berkhoel.

"(The record) talks to longevity, it talks to consistency, it talks to effort," said Gwozdecky, whose team has won five consecutive games. "I think Peter would be the first one to give credit to his teammates for making the game easy for him. There is no question since his freshman year, Peter has continually shown that he is a factor in games for us."

Playing without Tyler Ruegsegger and Rhett Rakhshani, who have helped the United States win its first two games at the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic, third-ranked DU received one goal and two assists from Brock Trotter and one goal and one assist apiece from Patrick Mullen and senior captain Andrew Thomas. Freshman John Ryder scored his first career goal at DU.

It was the second consecutive three-point effort for Trotter, who has scored eight points in the past three games. Mullen, who spent his first two seasons at DU as a forward, was moved back to right wing to help offset the absence of Ruegsegger and Rakhshani, and he responded with his second two-point performance in the past three games.

DU (15-4-0) also had to deal with travel delays for four regulars who did not reach campus until a few hours before the puck dropped.

"It's never fun losing those two guys, but the nice thing is, now we know we can just fill in for them," Thomas said. "We've always known that, but we actually proved it to ourselves."

Denver Cup Game 2 - Denver 5 Sacred Heart 0 Mannino Ties Powers For DU Shutout Record

Photo by Candace Horgan

From DU Website
Senior netminder Peter Mannino (Farmington Hills, Mich.) stopped 26 shots to record his 13th career shutout, tying him with Gerry Powers for first place on DU’s career shutout list, as the No. 3 Denver Pioneers (15-4-0) posted a 5-0 victory over Sacred Heart University (6-7-2) Friday night before 6,031 fans at Magness Arena.

Brock Trotter (Brandon, Manitoba) tallied a goal and two assists and Patrick Mullen (Pittsburgh, Pa.) added a goal and one helper as DU extended its winning streak to five games and advanced to the title game of the 2007 Wells Fargo Denver Cup. Denver will face Dartmouth College tomorrow in the championship game after the Big Green defeated Northern Michigan University by a 4-1 count in the tournament opener.

“Peter Mannino was very sharp tonight. He gave us the chance to take the lead and build on it,” Denver head coach George Gwozdecky said. “In the second period we played really well and were very opportunistic.”

Freshman defenseman John Ryder (Colorado Springs, Colo.) opened the game’s scoring with his first collegiate goal. Ryder put a low shot from the point past Sacred Heart goaltender Stefan Drew (25 saves) at the 14:57 mark of the opening frame.

Senior forward Tom May (Eagan, Minn.) then gave Denver a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission when he notched his fourth goal of the season at 17:30.

DU added a trio of goals in the middle stanza, as Trotter scored on a wrist shot 57 seconds into the period, Mullen one-timed a touch pass from Brandon Vossberg (St. Paul, Minn.) at 14:37 and Andrew Thomas (Bow, N.H.) added a power-play tally at 19:40.

DU outshot Sacred Heart by a 30-26 margin and went 1-for-5 on the power play while holding the visitors scoreless in six chances.

In earlier action at Magness Arena, Dartmouth and Northern Michigan battled to a 1-1 stalemate after 20 minutes of play, but Dartmouth rallied off three unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 victory in the opening game of the 2007 Wells Fargo Denver Cup.

Dartmouth senior netminder Mike Devine stopped 37-of-38 shots to lead the Big Green, while Joe Gaudet, J.T. Wyman, Matt Reber and Nick Johnson recorded a goal apiece.

Notes: Sophomore forward Matt Glasser (Calgary, Alberta) earned his first collegiate point when he assisted on Ryder’s first period tally...DU played the game without Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood, Colorado) and Rhett Rakhshani (Huntington Beach, Calif.), both of whom are representing Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic...Rakhshani was the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Wells Fargo Denver Cup...The Pioneers scored two first-period goals tonight after failing to score during the opening frame in six of their previous seven games.

The following link is Candace Horgan's recap at USCHO

Rocky Mountain News Recap by Pat Rooney

Denver Cup Game 1 - Dartmouth 4 NMU 1

Dartmouth defeats Northern Michigan University 4-1 in the opening game of the Wells Fargo Denver Cup. NMU will play in the consolation game tomorrow and Dartmouth will be in the championship.

Candace Horgan of USCHO has written a recap of the game.

Denver Cup Preview has a nice preview on the Denver Cup and the participating teams. However, its a little long and quite frankly DU can score two goals on Sacred Heart in less time than it would take you to read the article. So instead take the handy-dandy quiz below and if you answer four or five of the questions correctly you can skip the article. (Colorado College players please don't cheat when taking the quiz).

1). Sacred Heart is
a). The name of a hospital
b). A church in Italy
c). Located in New England
d). Something that Colorado College players lack

2). Northern Michigan is located in
a). Eastern Michigan
b). Western Michigan
c). Southern Michigan
d). Northern Michigan

3). Dartmouth College is
a). Snooty eastern Ivy League school for rich kids
b). Bastion of anti-apartheid demonstrations
c). Always involved in pithy intellectual debates about some meaningless cause or another
d). Fodder for college hockey powerhouses

4). Colorado College hockey players should not
a). Cheat on tests, papers, projects or homework
b). Wear their uni's to class as its a tipoff to the profs
c). Send text messages, emails or use cell phone ringtones during exams
d). Catch mono during the season

5). Cupcakes
a). Are named because the ingredients for them were measured in cups instead of weighed
b). Were occasionally made in teacups
c). Cream filled cupcakes were introduced by Hostess in the 1950's
d). Are designed to boost DU's record by two wins during the holiday season.

Suspensions Throw CC Hockey Program Into Chaos

by Kate Crandall
Eyebrows were raised throughout Colorado this past Fall when the Colorado College hockey team was able to keep up with DU in the WCHA standings despite sub-par recruiting classes for the past four years. Whispers that CC must have been "cheetahing" were finally confirmed on Thursday when CC suspended three players.

Colorado College president Richard Celeste cited privacy laws in declining comment Thursday on the school suspensions of three hockey players.

Forward Cody Lampl was suspended from school until January 2009. Forward Derek Patrosso was suspended from school until March 12. "DU Reject" Chad Rau also copped a short term suspension.

“When we get involved with a student conduct matter, we need to respect the privacy of everybody involved,” Celeste said.

A message left on Dean of Student Life Mike Edmonds’ voice mail was not returned.

Lampl, a junior, said he plans to appeal the ruling but declined to provide further information about the incident in question. Patrosso could not be reached for comment.

“He is welcome back to the team at the end of the sixth block,” which is March 12, coach Scott Owens said of Patrosso, meaning the senior will miss the rest of the regular season but can return for the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.

With CC officials and students on holiday break until Jan. 7, an appeals process is unlikely to begin before that date.

In an expected move Colorado College President, Dick Celeste, announced today that Colorado College was changing its Nickname and Logo to the Cheetahs.
"We wanted a nickname that better reflected our nationally famous hockey program. Everyone knows that there aren't any Tigers in Colorado, but there are plenty of Cheetahs at Colorado College."

He mentioned than CC planned on petitioning the Colorado Springs City Council to change the road signs around Colorado College to, "Welcome to Cheetah Country."

DU Players Help Lead USA Over Kazakhstan 5-1

(above) Rhett Rakhshani scores the game winner in the second period
Photo Credit: Melissa Wade

(left) Tyler Ruegsegger (#15) is congratulated by teammates for winning the faceoff which led to Kyle Okposo's goal

Link: Game Photos

Final USA 5 - Kazakhstan 1

USA Goals

Van Riemsdyk - UNH
Rakhshani - DU (GWG)
Carman - MN
Wilson - BU
Okposo - Minne... err ...New York Islanders

USA player of the game - James Van Riemsdyk

Three of the five goals were scored by current or former WCHA players and DU's Rhett Rakhshani scored the game winner in the 2nd period. The Okposo-Ruegsegger-Rakhshani line led the way with 5 points - Ruegsegger (0g, 2a, +2), Rakhshani (1g, 0a, +2) Okposo (1g, 1a, +2)

Rakhshani led Team USA with 8 shots on goal, Okposo had 5 SOG and Ruegs had 4 SOG

Rhett Rakhshani's goal was originally credited to Tyler Ruegsegger but was changed by the official scorekeeper.

Ruegsegger Named Asst. Captain of Team USA

From: USA Hockey Website

DU Forward Tyler Ruegsegger has been named as an assistant captain of Team USA for the World Junior Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic.

Brian Strait was named the captain and Ruegsegger, Blake Geoffrion and Chris Summers are the alternates.

Strait already has captain experience on the international stage (2006 Under-18 World Championship) and brought home gold. Ruegsegger, Geoffrion and Summers bring strong international experience to these leadership positions as well. Summers was with Strait on that 2006 squad while Geoffrion was on last year's junior team and saw heated battle with Canada. Ruegsegger helped Team USA to a silver medal in 2003-04 at the Five Nations Tournament.

Ruegsegger is currently an Assistant Captain for University of Denver as a Sophomore.

Colborne Named To Mid-Season All-Star Game

(above) This has been a common sight in the AJHL this season

DU recruit Joe Colborne was named a unanimous All-Star selection for the mid-season Alberta Junior Hockey League All-Star game. He will play for the AJHL South Division Team during the 2008 Rogers AJHL All-Star Weekend, January 25th - 27th in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Colborne is third in the AJHL in scoring with 24 goals and 34 assists in just 32 games. His team, the Camrose Kodiaks, have the best record in the league.

Three Pioneers Recognized By Denver Post

From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

The NCAA Tournament West Regional will return to Colorado Springs in March, and two weeks later Denver will host the Frozen Four for the first time since 1976.

So naturally, this season began as a big one for Front Range college hockey.

At the midway point, however, it has grown bigger — given that all three of Colorado's Division I teams appear to be NCAA Tournament contenders.

Air Force, the University of Denver and Colorado College are a combined 34-13-3 and each sits atop its league standings. Never before have the Falcons, Pioneers and Tigers made the NCAA Tournament field in the same year. But this could be that year.

Air Force (9-4-3), the defending Atlantic Hockey Association tournament champion, leads the AHA with 17 points, and DU (14-4) and CC (11-5) are tied for first in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with 22 points — nine ahead of third-place Minnesota-Duluth.

The Falcons, because of a weaker schedule, likely would have to win the AHA tournament — same as last season — to get into the 16-team national field.

The Pioneers and Tigers have thrived while playing two of the country's three most difficult schedules, and both likely will be among the top five in the all-important Pairwise Rankings when that poll — which mimics the formula of the NCAA selection committee — makes its annual debut in a few weeks.

Each Front Range team returns from the Christmas break with holiday tournaments this weekend. Air Force goes to Minneapolis, CC to Tampa, Fla., and DU hosts the Denver Cup.

Heading into the season's second half, The Post offers its all-Front Range first team for the first half:

F Brock Trotter, DU, So. — Leads the Pioneers in goals (10), assists (11) points (21) and game-winning goals (three). He has 66 points in 63 career games and will only get better.

F Eric Ehn, AFA, Sr. — Has amassed a modest team-leading 21 points (six goals) despite playing without injured linemate Mike Phillipich for all but four games.

F Chad Rau, CC, Jr. — Has team-highs in goals (10), points (19), game-winning goals (four) and short-handed goals (two). He had a hat trick in a win over DU on Nov. 23.

D Chris Butler, DU, Jr. — He surprisingly hasn't scored a goal this season after producing a combined 17 in his first two seasons, but has otherwise been the best two-way defenseman in the WCHA.

D Nate Prosser, CC, So. — Has two power-play goals and leads the team with a plus-10. He's been the best among the Tigers' four underclassmen on the back line.

G Peter Mannino, DU, Sr. — CC freshman Richard Bachman has slightly better numbers, but Mannino (14-4, 1.80 GAA, 93.2 saves percentage) has a huge edge in experience and size.

WCHA Is Best Place To Develop Future NHL Players

(above) Kyle Okposo’s departure from the Gophers brought dismay from Don Lucia, whose coaching ability was called into question by New York's GM Garth Snow

From: Star Tribune
by Patrick Reusse

Kyle Okposo, a 19-year-old sophomore who played at Shattuck and then in the USHL junior league, gave into the urge that he seems to have been carrying for weeks. He left the Gophers at midseason in order to start his pro career with the New York Islanders organization.

Gophers coach Don Lucia expressed dismay in a written statement. This caused Garth Snow, the Islanders general manager, to contact the Star Tribune's Brian Stensaas on Thursday and bluntly question the merits of Lucia's program.

Key complaint: Lucia wasn't properly "developing" Okposo as a future NHLer.

And there's a derivative of the word -- Development with a big D -- that has become revered among hockey organizers, prospects and their parents, and has become the curse of big-time college hockey.

"When did 'my development' become the goal rather than being on a good team and trying to win?" said Tom Kurvers, the player personnel director for the Phoenix Coyotes. "There's something off-kilter here -- when individual development is more important than winning a state high school championship or an NCAA title, but that's what we're seeing.

"The mantra of 'development' is preached to these kids from ages 12 through 17. And now they get to college and we're surprised that it's still the biggest concern for them?

"We shouldn't be."

Kurvers played four seasons for Minnesota Duluth, won the 1984 Hobey Baker Award & played 11 seasons in the NHL. Now, he sees hundreds of games per year.

"The best league in this country is the NHL, obviously, but do you know what's the second-best league?" Kurvers said. "It's the WCHA.

"There are more people in the arenas than you find anywhere except the NHL. There are only two games a week, and that makes the games more intense than in the American League.

"The WCHA is the second-greatest place to play hockey in the United States."

Kurvers paused, then offered this example: "Look at Jack Skille. He scored the winning goal in the national championship game for Wisconsin. He still could be playing for the Badgers, twice a weekend in front of 11-, 12,000 cheering, fired-up fans in Kohl Center.

"Instead, he's 60 miles down the road in Rockford [Ill.] in the AHL, playing three times in four nights in front of a few thousand people ... all in the name of development."

There has been much conversation among college hockey fans that a new collective bargaining agreement (signed after the 2004-05 lockout) between NHL management and the players union has provided the incentive for high draft choices to leave after their first or second college seasons.

"I hear that, too, and I can't figure it out," said Tom Lynn, the Wild assistant general manager. "Financially, there was a lot more incentive to go early with the previous CBA than there is now. The maximum signing bonus today is $87,500, compared to $725,000 [in the prior CBA].

"It's not big money. It has to be something else."

It is. It's the "D" word that has become the mantra of USA Hockey and other organizations, of obsessed parents and of pampered prospects who no longer are afraid to say:

"You keep talking about the team, Coach, but what about my development?"

Doug Woog has been gone from coaching the Gophers for nine seasons. He watches the WCHA as a TV analyst and sees star recruits depart after a season or two (or maybe 1½).

"I'm glad I coached when I did," Woog said. "Most of the players were in it for fun."

Islanders GM Rips Minnesota Hockey Program

(above) It appears that New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow thinks that University of Minnesota head coach Don Lucia would be better served coaching PeeWee players in the Twin Cities

From: College Hockey News & Pioneer Press

With people searching for answers for why Kyle Okposo left Minnesota for the NHL in mid-season, New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow provided some incendiary reasons.

In a phone interview conducted by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Snow, a former four-year goaltender for the University of Maine, placed the blame entirely upon the coaching ability of the Gophers' Don Lucia.

"Quite frankly, we weren't happy with the program there," Snow told the paper. "They have a responsibility to coach, to make Kyle a better player, and they were not doing that."

He continued, "[Okposo] just wasn't getting better — bottom line. And to me, that's the frustrating part. We entrusted the coach there to turn him into a better hockey player, and it wasn't happening. We feel more comfortable in him developing right under our watch."

When pushed, Snow continued to criticize Lucia.

"Whether it was Kyle or another player, until things change in that program we'd probably make the same decision," Snow told the Star-Tribune. "There should be a coach there that looks in the mirror. ... I don't think we'd be at this point if he was being coached properly."

Minnesota coach Don Lucia said reading Snow's comments in the paper one day after Okposo's decision to quit the program stung.

"It has not been the most enjoyable week of coaching," he said.

Lucia also declined to attack Snow, whose name he did not mention in the interview.

"You try to stay above the fray and take the high road," he said. "I think I've been doing this a long time and had pretty good success with our kids on and off the ice and moving them on to the pro level, so where that came from is shocking, surprising, disappointing."

Snow is a former goaltender at the University of Maine who was a teammate of Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Carney at Maine and in high school at Woonsockett, R.I.

Carney said he wasn't aware of the debate but asserted that Snow is a good guy and a hard worker.

"He's one of those guys that's going to be honest with you, but tell it like it is," Carney said. "He doesn't hold too much back."

Lucia, who's in his 21st season as a head coach and ninth at Minnesota, has an overall coaching record of 508-260-59 at Alaska Fairbanks, Colorado College and Minnesota. The Gophers have averaged 28.6 wins a season over the past six seasons and "I think our record speaks for itself," he said.

That said, he understands that criticism "goes with the territory."

He smiled.

"This, too, shall pass," he said.

Steve Miller Profiled In USA Hockey

Special to
By Mike Scandura

(left) Steve Miller begins his 14th year at Denver and his 17th season as a member of George Gwozdecky’s staff. He serves as the recruiting coordinator in addition to on-ice coaching, video breakdown and game analysis.

DENVER - When University of Denver assistant coach Steve Miller was growing up in Sun Prairie, Wis., he had two dreams.

“One of my dreams was to be an NFL quarterback,” said Miller, who coached at USA Hockey festivals from 1994 through 2003 and who coached Team Rocky Mountain to a silver medal at the 2000 Select 17 Festival. “I also was interested in coaching. I loved the breakdown of games. The coaching aspect just intrigued me.”

But there was one small problem with Miller’s dream about becoming an NFL quarterback. He was small - in the literal sense.

“My sophomore year in high school I was 5-5 and 115 pounds,” said Miller. “I was about the same when I graduated high school. Football was my love growing up. But my dad (Tom) said I might want to take a look at some other things because 5-5 and 115 isn’t going to cut it.”

So much for the second coming of Fran Tarkenton or even Doug Flutie.

But fortunately for Miller, he also grew up following University of Wisconsin hockey.

“We were season-ticket holders for the Badgers,” said Miller. “Mark Johnson (think Miracle on Ice) was one of my favorite players while I was growing up, plus all the teams (current Denver head coach) George Gwozdecky played on.

“Going to those Badgers games gave us a great love for the sport of hockey.”

But because Sun Prairie lacked an indoor rink until Miller reached the seventh grade, his hockey was confined to various outdoor rinks as well the rink his father built in the back yard.

Miller also was fortunate in that he got an opportunity to play college hockey for St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minn., under the venerable Don Olson, where he helped lead the team to its first MIAC championship in 23 years.

Moreover, Olson and his late assistant, Tom Farren, fostered Miller’s interest in coaching.

“When I graduated (in 1988), Tom said ‘Do what you want to do and I’m here to help you,’” said Miller. “Don had an opening and he welcomed me onto his coaching staff (Miller handled the junior varsity team). I did that for three years and recruited.

“Without question, Tom and Don helped me grow.”

Miller’s next break came when he gained an opportunity to work on his master’s degree as a graduate assistant at Miami, where the head coach just happened to be Gwozdecky.

“When I got there, coach Gwozdecky welcomed me with open arms and said ‘You’re part of the team,’” related Miller. “To be part of that program he was building in the right direction was great. We went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time (in 1992-93). George and the people at Miami game me an opportunity to be part of something special and I was appreciative of that opportunity.”

Ditto when he was hired by Gwozdecky at Denver.

The rest, of course, is history, because the Pioneers won back-to-back NCAA championships in 2004 and 2005. And much of what Miller stresses at Denver harkens back to his days with USA Hockey.

“Like we tell our kids at Denver, you’ve got to play the game for each other,” said Miller. “You can’t play this game selfishly. You’ve got to play hard. You’ve got to be able to block shots and play smart. We can all work hard, but if I work hard and take five penalties, maybe I’m not playing smart.

“You can say play disciplined. But we want these guys to play for each other and play smart. It’s a great way to get guys back if they’re off kilter. You say ‘That’s not very smart’ or ‘You’re not playing intense or you’re not playing for your teammates.’

“Those are great statements to bring players back to common ground if they’re struggling.”

Miller has worked festivals for 15s, 16s and 17s and has noticed a distinct difference from one age group to another.

“The thing that strikes you as different is the kid who at 15 was OK, but now at 17 is a great player,” said Miller. “And we’ve all seen plenty of 15s who are great players because they’re physically dominant. But that 17 who dominated at 15 doesn’t have the brain to figure out how to get it done.

“He’s done it with physical strength for his entire career.”

Miller still has fond memories of the 2000 Team Rocky Mountain that featured, among others, current Pioneer Zach Blom (Englewood, Colo.).

“We got beat 8-4 by Team New England in the finals after beating Minnesota the day before,” he said. “It was a fun week. I was proud of the boys and the way they played for each other.”

Just like Miller preached at festivals and still does with the Pioneers.

Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Mannino's PeeWee Hockey Coach Checks In

Every so often people leave comments on older articles and the messages might get lost for perpetuity. Luckily we caught this cool little message from Mr. Haberland aka "Mr. Habs."

Best of luck and success Peter! I knew you were a special talent way back then!

Your first Goalie coach when you were 10-11 yrs old.

Mr Haberland

P.S. - Tell your Mom and Dad I said hello for me.

LetsGoDU Goes Over 100,000 Visitors in 2007

Yesterday LetsGoDU attracted our 100,000th visitor since Jan. 1, 2007. Its been a fun ride going from 30 visitors a day back in 2005 to averaging 400-500 these days.

As always, thanks to all the college hockey fans who send us article links about the DU hockey program. Thanks especially to all the readers and people who leave comments on the Blog.

This Week In Mike Chambers' Blog

The hardest working man on the Denver Pioneers hockey beat examines Ruegsegger & Rakhshani's departure and who will fill in during the Denver Cup.

Ron Jeremy Auctions "Bleacher Creature" Shirt

(above) This extremely rare "1986 Bleacher Creature" sweatshirt has been appraised at $250,000 by independent memorabilia experts. The masterpiece features an "old school" DU hockey player clutching the throat of the Colorado College Tiger.

Ron Jeremy Entertains DU Alums In Houston

(above) Event co-chairs and USCHO posters dggoddard & ScottA pose with Ron Jeremy

When the Houston Area DU Alumni Association held its annual gala last night there was a murmur from the assembled masses when surprise guest speaker Ron Jeremy walked out on stage. Naturally the crowd thought that Colorado College hockey coach Scott Owens (photo left) had ambushed the event.

Luckily order was quickly restored when Mr. Jeremy introduced himself. He impressed the pro-Pioneer crowd with a few snappy one-liners and stories about his rise to fame.

Several thousand dollars was raised at the benefit and Ron signed DU hockey jerseys and posed for photos with the DU Alums long into the evening.

Movie Star Stormy Daniels Is On DU Bandwagon

The annual meeting of the Houston Area DU Alumni Association hosted a special guest on Wednesday night as movie star Stormy Daniels entertained the group with several numbers including Shania Twain's, "Man! I Feel Like A Woman."

Daniels appears in the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin as Steve Carell's character watches her in the video Space Nuts: Episode 69—Unholy Union. She also recently played a Las Vegas lap dancer in the hit movie Knocked Up.

Later in the evening she greeted audience members and even donned a "CC Sucks" T-shirt much to the delight of the alums.

Rakhshani Registers Assist In USA Exhibition Win

(above) Rhett Rakhshani was credited with an assist on Tuesday night

From: USA Hockey Website

VIDEO LINK: YouTube Highlights (9 minutes)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The 2008 U.S. National Junior Team netted two power-play goals and recorded a 37-14 shots advantage to secure a 4-2 win over Western Michigan University in an exhibition game Tuesday night at Lawson Arena. DU's Rhett Rakhshani registered an assist while Tyler Ruegsegger was held pointless while playing on the first line.

Tonight was a very good test for us," said John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "Western Michigan challenged us physically, and several of our breakdowns cost us. The reason we play these games is to learn lessons that will help us to be prepared to win the World Junior Championship."

Mike Carman (Minnesota) provided Team USA with a two-goal cushion with 2:58 left in the game. Rhett Rakhshani (DU) took a shot from the right circle that handcuffed Kuhn. Carman was able to slip the rebound into the back of the net.

The U.S. National Junior Team will play one more exhibition game -- on Saturday, Dec. 22 against the Czech Republic in Ceska Trebova, Czech Republic -- prior to the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic, Dec. 26, 2007 - Jan. 5, 2008.

Colborne Remains At 29th on ISS' NHL Draft List

The December 18th International Scouting Services' ranking of top draft-eligible prospects for the NHL's 2008 Entry Draft, listed DU recruit Joe Colborne as the 29th top prospect for the second straight month.

In Novemeber McKeen's Hockey Website listed Colborne as the 12th best prospect in North America.

Colborne has 20 goals and 32 assists in just 29 games for the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He is the only player from Canada's amatuer junior leagues to appear on the list and is slated to arrive at DU next season.

The 2008 NHL draft will be held in June in Ottawa, Canada.

DU Athletic Director Inks Five Year Contract

(above) DU AD Peg Bradley-Doppes on left

From: DU Athletics Website

DENVERUniversity of Denver Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations Peg Bradley-Doppes has signed a five-year contract extension, announced today. Bradley-Doppes will remain with the Pioneers through the 2012-13 season. Per University of Denver policy, terms of the five-year extension were not disclosed.

The Pioneers have captured two NCAA national championships and have made 11 NCAA tournament appearances under Bradley-Doppes’ leadership since March of 2005. DU has also made 11 tournament appearances, and garnered five individual national championships and seven conference titles during Bradley-Doppes’ tenure. The Pioneers also captured the Sun Belt Conference Graduation Award for the seventh consecutive year in 2007. Bradley-Doppes recently hired Joe Scott to guide the men’s basketball program. Scott led the Air Force Falcons to the NCAA Tournament in 2004.

“I consider it a privilege to remain a Pioneer for the next five years,” Bradley-Doppes said.

“The University of Denver stands for everything that is right about collegiate athletics. DU is poised for excellence with its continued commitment to strong academics, superior facilities and nationally-competitive sport programs. We’re really excited about the next phase of Pioneer athletics.”

Trotter & Bozak Pick Up WCHA Hardware

From: DU Athletic Department

(left) Brock Trotter

University of Denver sophomore Brock Trotter (Brandon, Manitoba) and freshman forward Tyler Bozak (Regina, Saskatchewan) have earned Red Baron WCHA Offensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively, for Dec 18. The Denver duo was honored for their efforts during last weekend’s two-game sweep (4-3, 6-2) at Alaska Anchorage.

Trotter netted three goals, including both game-winners, and two assists to lead the Pioneers into a share of first place in the WCHA. Trotter, who leads Denver in scoring this season and is third overall in the WCHA with 21 points (10g, 11a) in 18 games played, had the game-winner and one assist in the 4-3 win on Friday, Dec. 14. Trotter tallied two goals, including the game-winner, and one assist on Saturday, Dec. 15. In addition to his five scoring points on the weekend, Trotter also had five shots on goal and earned a +5 plus-minus rating. Trotter has averaged better than a point per game with 29-37–-66 in 63 career games played.

Bozak netted four scoring points and earned a +5 plus-minus rating in the series against the Seawolves. Bozak had a career-high three assists in the 4-3 win and added the game-tying goal in the 6-2 win. In addition to his four points and +5 plus-minus rating in the series, Bozak also had three shots on goal, four hits and two blocked shots. Bozak is third in WCHA rookie scoring with 17 points (9g, 8a) in 18 games played.

DU Duo Begin Final Team USA Preparation

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

(left) Tyler Ruegsegger

Video Link: Team USA's First Practice

DU sophomore forwards Rhett Rakhshani and Tyler Ruegsegger will not have an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate, not that they are complaining.

The duo flew to Detroit after Saturday's game to begin training with the United States Junior National team for the World Junior Championship.

The team is training in Ann Arbor, Mich., and will play an exhibition against Western Michigan before going to the Czech Republic for the tournament opener against Kazakhstan.

"Any time you get to wear that USA crest, it's really special," Rakhshani said. "It's an exciting experience. It's such a bigger stage and we're really excited."

Ruegsegger and Rakhshani will miss the Pioneers' Denver Cup games but should be back in the lineup when DU resumes WCHA play Jan. 11 against Wisconsin.

Colorado Teams Look To Play At Home In April

From: Rocky Mountain News
by Pat Rooney

(left) Denver's Pepsi center will host the Frozen Four in April

At the halfway mark of the college hockey season, all that is certain is there will be a thrilling second half along the Front Range.

Colorado will take center stage in the college hockey universe when the NCAA West Regional in Colorado Springs is followed by the Frozen Four at the Pepsi Center.

The local college hockey powers, the University of Denver and Colorado College, are doing their part to make sure every weekend will feature huge implications on the national stage and within the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

And Air Force has shown signs of being able to repeat the Cinderella run it made into the NCAA tournament last season.

By recording a sweep at Alaska Anchorage on Friday and Saturday, DU enters its holiday lull with 10 wins in its past 12 games and likely will move into the No. 3 slot when the updated national polls are released today.

CC, despite losing at St. Cloud State on Saturday and slipping into a first-place tie with the Pioneers in the WCHA, has received a tremendous boost from freshman goaltender Richard Bachman and likely will battle its state rival for WCHA supremacy and positioning in the NCAA tournament.

DU will be idle until it begins its annual Denver Cup tournament against Sacred Heart on Dec. 28. The Pioneers were released after their 6-2 win Saturday and will reconvene on Christmas to begin preparations for what should be a wild second half of the season.

"The coaches really emphasize all the guys bringing their gear home and trying to do some sort of physical activity," senior captain Andrew Thomas said. "We're really trying to emphasize that even more to the freshmen this year. It's a tough time, but it's a good time. It lets us get a little more rejuvenated and get a little life back in our legs."

Chuck Mindenhall Writes About Gabe Gauthier

(left) Chuck Mindenhall wrote this essay about former Pioneer player Gabe Gauthier. Gauthier scored the biggest goal in DU hockey history against the University of Maine in the 2004 National Championship game.

From: Inland Empire Weekly
by Chuck Mindenhall

Temecula’s (California) own Gabe Gauthier (GO-chay) was called up for the proverbial cup of coffee this past week with the Los Angeles Kings, an 8-2 drubbing of the Buffalo Sabres. This matched the largest margin of victory for the last place Crowns since that aberrational 6-0 beat down of the Preds in October, and it’s really no coincidence. Gabe’s impact was obviously why—he was the thunderclap which shifted the herd. That of the possible 24 dispensible points—eight goals, eight assists, eight moochers—Gabe scored none is particularly irrelevant information. His presence was enough. As an attorney friend of mine who attended the game said afterwards while pretending to hold two imaginary grocery bags, “Man, Gabe’s stout.” Stout, well, yes—forty-two-solid-inches of diametric J-Lo-type rump roast is enough to make opposing skater’s knees creak louder than toilet seats under his pressure. In the Saturday night game against Phoenix, Los Angeles inexplicably (unless losing face-offs can be deemed explicable) skated the stoutwinger nine measly shifts for 5:45 of ice time in a rather familiar-looking 4-2 loss before hurling him back to the AHL affiliate in Manchester, New Hampshire. That’s an awful lot of mojo to ship across the country, I know, but the move ensures the Kings will retain their throne as the ultimate practioners of mediocrity. Until next cameo, Gooch!

"Tuesday At The Rink" Chat announced that U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 Team Head Coach John Hynes will be the featured guest for this week’s “Tuesday @ the Rink” chats, presented by CSTV and US College Hockey Online.

DU players Rhett Rakhshani & Tyler Ruegsegger will play for Team USA. Hynes, who will coach Team USA at the 2008 World Junior Championship, will chat at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

The chat room are open now, so fans can submit questions in advance.

Polls & Rankings

DU is #2 in College Hockey News' Pairwise Rankings. More good news, CC drops into a tie for 5th place.

DU is #2 in College Hockey News' KRACH Rankings.

DU remains at #1 in the LetsGoDU SuperPoll®

DU remains at #2 in the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings. CC is still at #6 and Air Force is #20.

DU moved up one spot to #3 in the Poll.

DU moved up to #3 in the USA Today Poll.

LetsGoDU Top 10 SuperPoll®

1). Denver - Swept UAA & a well deserved Xmas Break for the Boyz
2). Miami - Enrico 2 - Seth 0
3). Michigan
- King of the CCHA minnows

4). Notre Dame - Obviously doing better than the football team
5). Michigan State - Still feasting on CCHA plankton
6). North Dakota - These guys know how to split a weekend series
7). Northeastern - Nice season so far
8). New Hampshire - Still love the fact they swept CC
9). Air Force - We like these guys
Last). Colorado College - We'd drop them further in the polls after a split with St. Cloud, but you can't get lower than "Last"