Archive for NCAA College Hockey

NHL Draft Picks Around On Campus


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University of Minnesota defenseman BRADY SKJEI (2), the 19-year-old sophomore from Lakeville who was the first round selection (# 28 overall) of the New York Rangers at the 2012 National Hockey League Draft as well as a member of the United States squad that recently traveled to Sweden for the 2014 World Junior Championships in Malmo, uses his skate to control the puck “soccer-style” during the NCAA non-conference clash with intra-state rival Minnesota State University at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato.
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Freshman Canadian legionnaire ADAM TAMBELLINI abruptly left the University of North Dakota just after the New Year and will finish this season skating in the Canadian junior system with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League. The 19-year-old left wing from Edmonton, Alberta, registered two goals and two assists in 16 games for North Dakota this term. The sudden departure of the New York Islanders’ third round selection (# 65 overall) at the 2013 National Hockey League Draft last summer from the former Fighting Sioux means that the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and its former fierce rival in the old Western Collegiate Hockey Association are now tied for the honor of having the most NHL prospects on campus out of all 59 teams in NCAA Division I collegiate ice hockey :

15 ……… North Dakota
14 ……… MINNESOTA
12 ……… MICHIGAN
11 ……… Notre Dame
10 ……… Boston College

9 ……… Harvard, WISCONSIN
8 ……… Boston Univ
7 ……… Cornell, Denver Univ, Minnesota – Duluth
6 ……… Nebraska – Omaha, OHIO STATE
5 ……… Colorado College, Miami (Ohio), MICHIGAN STATE, Providence, St. Cloud State, Yale
4 ……… Maine, Minnesota State, Northeastern, Quinnipiac, PENN STATE, Western Michigan
3 ……… Clarkson, Michigan Tech, UMass – Lowell, Vermont
2 ……… New Hampshire
1 ……… Alaska – Fairbanks, Bemidji State, Brown, Colgate, Merrimack, R.I.T., R.P.I., UConn, UMass – Amherst, Union College

(Please note that North Dakota and Ohio State have each lost one NHL draft pick as this season has progressed)

Of course, the number of National Hockey League prospects on any given roster does not necessarily guarantee results at the NCAA level. Penn State, for example, have already this term failed to defeat several schools (Air Force, R.I.T., Vermont, UMass – Lowell and Union College) with fewer NHL draft picks on its present roster than the four confirmed NHL prospects that the Nittany Lions, themselves, currently have. Conversely, the traditionally unheralded Ferris State Bulldogs have a grand total of zero NHL draft picks on their 2013/14 roster but, nevertheless, have managed a fabulous start to this current campaign by compiling the impressive record of sixteen wins against just three losses with three ties.

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University of Minnesota defenseman BEN MARSHALL (10), the 21-year-old junior from Mahtomedi who was tabbed by the Detroit Red Wings in the seventh round (# 201 overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft and has totaled 12 goals and 32 points in 81 NCAA games over the course of his first two collegiate campaigns, sports the lowest ‘draft status’ out of any of the six Golden Gophers rearguards whose rights have already been reserved by National Hockey League clubs.
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It is also a fact that the leading scorer so far this season for the # 1 ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers is none other than undrafted left wing SAM WARNING (18 ga, 5 go, 21 pts), the 21-year-old junior from Chesterfield, Missouri, while the third-leading scorer is another skater whom all National Hockey League clubs have decided to pass on — 20-year-old center JUSTIN KLOOS (18 ga, 7 go, 18 pts) from Lakeville.

Many undrafted collegiate players will ultimately sign free agent contracts with National Hockey League teams and some will acutally appear in the crack NHL, itself, long before their competitive days are through. One of current Penn State head coach GUY GADOWSKY’s former standout players back at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks, defenseman JORDAN HENRY, later signed as a free agent with the Chicago Black Hawks and went on to skate in 131 NHL games (4 go, 13 pts) over the course of his continuing career which has already included the celebration of a Stanley Cup championship in the spring of 2010. One of the more prominent players under Gadowsky’s charge at Princeton University, left wing DARROLL POWE, was never chosen in the annual NHL Draft but did eventually ink an entry level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers in the spring of 2008 and has since participated in 329 NHL games (28 go, 56 pts), to date.

Still, there are logical reasons why the National Hockey League has formally held an annual “Draft” every year since 1963 in order to systematically disperse the negotiating rights of amateur players …

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University of Minnesota defenseman JUSTIN HOLL (12), the highly experienced senior from Tonka Bay who was chosen by the Chicago Black Hawks in the second round (# 54 overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, controls the puck ahead of Boston College left wing CHRIS KREIDER (19), the 19th overall player taken at the 2009 NHL Draft who now skates regularly for the New York Rangers in the elite National Hockey League this season, during the 2012 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament semifinal match at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in west central Florida.

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Looking At Collegiate Goaltenders Through The Professional Prism


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It should never be forgotten that the Montreal Canadiens’ legendary Hall of Fame goaltender KEN DRYDEN was actually a third round choice (# 14 overall) at the 1964 National Hockey League Draft of the Boston Bruins before going on to be honored an NCAA (East) First Team All-America on three consecutive occasions from 1967 until 1969 while tending the nets for Cornell University.

At the beginning of this 2013/14 NCAA collegiate ice hockey season there were exactly fifteen goaltenders on the rosters of the 59 Division I schools who have already been drafted by the various National Hockey League clubs :

3rd rd (# 70 overall) ….. 2013 … NYI …… Eamon MCADAM, Penn State
3rd rd (# 75 overall) ….. 2012 … CGY …. Jon GILLIES, Providence
4th rd (# 92 overall) ….. 2010 … FLA ….. Sam BRITTAIN, Denver Univ
4th rd (# 92 overall) ….. 2013 … FLA ….. Evan COWLEY, Denver Univ
4th rd (# 106 overall) … 2013 … NYI …… Stephon WILLIAMS, Minnesota State
4th rd (# 113 overall) … 2012 … PITT …. Sean MCGUIRE, Boston Univ
5th rd (# 130 overall) … 2012 … WPG … Connor HELLEBUYCK, UMass-Lowell
6th rd (# 159 overall) … 2012 … CAR …. Collin OLSON, Ohio State *
6th rd (# 161 overall) … 2011 … MIN ….. Steve MICHALEK, Harvard
6th rd (# 165 overall) … 2010 … BOS …. Zane GOTHBERG, North Dakota
6th rd (# 167 overall) … 2011 … WPG … Jason KASDORF, R.P.I.
6th rd (# 178 overall) … 2011 … TB ……. Adam WILCOX, Minnesota
7th rd (# 184 overall) … 2010 … CMB …. Martin OUELLETTE, Maine
7th rd (# 190 overall) … 2012 … WPG … Jamie PHILLIPS, Michigan Tech
7th rd (# 199 overall) … 2012 … CHI …… Matt TOMKINS, Ohio State

Providence College goaltender JON GILLIES, the first choice for the United States junior national team at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Sweden this winter, enjoyed a standout campaign while appearing in 35 games (2.08 avg, .931 svpct) for the Friars as an 18-year-old freshman last season and has continued to improve upon his numbers even further this term …… Gillies, to review, was not only named the Hockey East Rookie of the Year on top of his Hockey East First Team All-Star status but was also selected as an NCAA (East) Second Team All-America in 2013, as well.

Penn State netminder EAMON MCADAM, the 19-year-old homegrown freshman from Perkasie, has not necessarily made quite a rapid transition to the elite collegiate game that some in State College might have preferred. McAdam certainly fought the puck a bit over the first half of this 2013/14 season and was a little shaky at times while allowing five goals in in three of his first four starts at the NCAA Division I level. Nevertheless, hopes remain high that the Nittany Lions number two will show more of the form that enabled the New York Islanders prospect to stop 41 out of 44 shots against the highly ranked University of Massachusetts – Lowell in middle of November.

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University of Denver goaltender SAM BRITTAIN (1), the senior Canadian legionnaire from Calgary, Alberta, who was named to the WCHA’s All-Rookie Team after appearing in 33 games (2.28 average, .921 save percentage) for the Pioneers as a freshman, makes a save during the NCAA non-conference “Ghost Game” against the University of Massachusetts that was witnessed by the minuscule crowd of 428 spectators at the Mullins Center in snowy Amherst only eight days before the arrival of Christmas.
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2013/14 NCAA season
Goaltending statistics (as of 01/09/14)
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1.75 avg, .941 svpct, 19 ga … sr – Sam BRITTAIN, Denver Univ
1.75 avg, .945 svpct, 11 ga … so – Connor HELLEBUYCK, UMass-Lowell
1.85 avg, .941 svpct, 16 ga … so – Jon GILLIES, Providence
1.88 avg, .936 svpct, 18 ga … sr – Martin OUELLETTE, Maine
2.14 avg, .923 svpct, 17 ga … so – Adam WILCOX, Minnesota
2.36 avg, .917 svpct, 14 ga … so – Zane GOTHBERG, North Dakota
2.63 avg, .899 svpct, 6 ga ….. so – Jamie PHILLIPS, Michigan Tech
2.64 avg, .923 svpct, 6 ga ….. so – Sean MCGUIRE, Boston Univ
2.76 avg, .910 svpct, 9 ga …… fr – Matt TOMKINS, Ohio State
2.83 avg, .917 svpct, 1 ga …… fr – Evan CROWLEY, Denver Univ
3.15 avg, .875 svpct, 9 ga ….. so – Stephon WILLIAMS, Minnesota State
3.17 avg, .908 svpct, 5 ga …… fr – Steve MICHALEK, Harvard
3.49 avg, .786 svpct, 2 ga ….. so – Jason KASDORF, R.P.I.
4.56 avg, .878 svpct, 4 ga …… fr – Eamon MCADAM, Penn State
7.64 avg, .805 svpct, 2 ga ….. so – Collin OLSON, Ohio State *

Note — COLLIN OLSON, the 19-year-old native of Apple Valley, Minnesota, departed the Ohio State Buckeyes program at the start of November

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Ohio State goaltender MATT TOMKINS (31), the 19-year-old freshman imported from Sherwood Park, Alberta, in western Canada, had established himself as the Buckeyes’ number one netminder until succumbing to a leg injury in a non-conference meeting with Niagara University in early November.

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Ivy League In The NHL


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LORD STANLEY’s CHAMPION DEFENSE CORPS, CIRCA 1929 — the blueliners on the BOSTON BRUINS’ very first Stanley Cup title-winning squad, from left to right, are the reliable veteran LIONEL HITCHMAN, the rookies MYLES LANE (Dartmouth College) and GEORGE OWEN (Harvard University) as well as the irrepressible future Hall of Famer EDDIE SHORE.
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Although to this very day the sight of an IVY LEAGUE player performing in the vaunted NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE is still a relatively rare occurrence, the fact of the matter is that Ivy Leaguers have been skating in the storied NHL since the puck was dropped for the very first time back in December of 1917.

Indeed, 21-year-old forward GERRY GERAN had left the picturesque DARTMOUTH COLLEGE campus in New England behind and signed a professional contract with the ill-fated Montreal Wanderers, a club that had already lifted the Stanley Cup four times in the trophy’s then-brief history. The native of Holyoke, Massachusetts, went on to participate in four of the Wanderers’ first six games before a fire completely destroyed the Montreal Arena and led directly to the folding of the team. Nevertheless, it was Geran, then, who became the very first American to ever skate in the fledgling NHL.

Following a seven-year hiatus, Geran returned to contest the 1925/26 campaign with the expansion Boston Bruins club. Late that same season, the second American to ever compete in the crack NHL also appeared when the New York Americans added forward BOB HALL from the New York Athletic Association. Hall, who had skated three varsity seasons at Dartmouth College from 1920 until 1922, had been a teammate of the American pioneer Geran on the Boston Athletic Association Unicorns in the United States Amateur Hockey Association for two seasons before relocating to the Big Apple.

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HAT TRICK OF DARTMOUTH HEROES, CIRCA 1928 (left to right) — the remarkable MYLES LANE, the All-America halfback who led the Indians the national collegiate football championship as a sophomore in 1925 and piled up 50 goals in only 17 career games while skating on defense for the varsity ice hockey squad, the versatile EDDIE JEREMIAH, who, after his professional playing career was over, returned to Dartmouth and successfully held the position of varsity ice hockey coach for three decades, along with teammate ED ARMSTRONG.
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The Boston Bruins made hockey history a few seasons later and still another pair of Ivy Leaguers were right of the middle of it all, then. Boston defensemen MYLES LANE and GEORGE OWEN had both been star halfbacks on the college football gridiron for Dartmouth College and Harvard University, respectively, before embarking on their travels as professional ice hockey players. It was this unique pair who both became the very first pucksters born in the United States to celebrate a Stanley Cup championship after skating in all five playoff games for the Bruins in the spring of 1929.

Lane had actually made hockey history all by himself earlier that fall. The native of Melrose, Massachusetts, signed a professional contract with the New York Americans one day shy of his 23rd birthday and soon became the very first player to graduate straight from a U.S. college hockey program to a regular place the NHL without skating so much as one game in the minor leagues. After appearing in all but one of New York’s first 25 contests on the 1928/29 schedule, Lane was sold by the Americans to the Boston Bruins for the price of $ 7,500 dollars in early February.

Yet one more Dartmouth College product briefly joined the proud ranks of the NHL professionals during the 1931/32 season when EDDIE JEREMIAH, a versatile sort who could be deployed in the defense or up on the right wing with equal effect, was promoted by the New York Americans from the New Haven Eagles of the old Canadian-American League.

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Cornell University goaltender KEN DRYDEN backstopped the Big Red to the coveted NCAA national championship title as a sophomore in 1967 and, two seasons later, appeared in two games for the national team of Canada at the 1969 IIHF World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.
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After the Second World War ended, the National Hockey League entered into a long era during which time the elite, six-team circuit was almost completely devoid of American-born and / or U.S. college-trained players. Things began to change in earnest when the NHL implemented its ambitious expansion program prior to the beginning of the 1967/68 campaign. With the number of NHL teams having been doubled to twelve, more than twice as many job openings for players had instantly been created and the subsequent emergence of the rival World Hockey Association five years later opened still more new opportunities, particularly for those at the top of the American collegiate talent pool.

A wave of would-be All-Star Game participants hailing from a whole new set of Ivy League institutions of higher learning suddenly appeared on the NHL scene at the start of the 1970s. Cornell University’s Canadian legionnaire KEN DRYDEN had been honored as the First Team (East) All-America goaltender three times in as many terms before going on to amass six Stanley Cup titles in only eight seasons guarding the cage for the fabled Montreal Canadiens. CURT BENNETT, who later skated for the United States at the inaugural Canada Cup international ice hockey tournament in 1976, starred for Brown University and was named First Team (East) All-America in 1970 as a defenseman before being shifted to center after turning professional with the St. Louis Blues organization.

IVY LEAGUE TRAILBLAZERS (first NHL season)
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DARTMOUTH …… 1917/18 … Gerry GERAN, Montreal Wanderers
HARVARD ……….. 1928/29 … George OWEN, Boston Bruins
PRINCETON …….. 1970/71 … Syl APPS, JR., New York Rangers
CORNELL ……….. 1970/71 … Ken DRYDEN, Montreal Canadiens
BROWN ………….. 1970/71 … Curt BENNETT, St. Louis Blues
PENN * ……………. 1979/80 … Paul STEWART, Quebec Nordiques
YALE ……………… 1983/84 … Bob BROOKE, New York Rangers

Note — the University of Pennsylvania Quakers had a long history of playing ice hockey and also competed in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association from 1966 until 1978 before scrapping its NCAA varsity program entirely; the one other Ivy League school, Columbia University in New York City, has never had the requisite courage to send a varsity squad out onto NCAA ice.

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Brown University defenseman CURT BENNETT, who was born in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan but moved to the United States as a youngster and played high school hockey in Cranston, Rhode Island, before going off to college, twice topped the 30-goal mark and appeared in the annual NHL All-Star Game on two occasions while skating as a center for the Atlanta Flames in the mid-1970s.

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Ivy League At The NCAA Tournament


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Minnesota left wing KYLE RAU (7), the homegrown sophomore from Eden Prairie who was tabbed by the Florida Panthers in the third round (# 91 overall) of the 2011 National Hockey League Draft, focuses on the rolling puck with hustling Yale left wing KENNY AGOSTINO (18), the high-scoring junior from Flanders, New Jersey, who was taken by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round (# 140 overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, in pursuit close behind during the riveting overtime contest at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that served as the first West Regional Semifinal of the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament.
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Ivy League school’s have been sending representatives to compete for collegiate supremacy with the little piece of vulcanized rubber ever since the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament was initially staged sixty-five years ago back in 1948. Despite falling short of the national championship title, itself, DARTMOUTH, BROWN and YALE all reached the Frozen Four in the first five years of the NCAA tournament’s existence. Traditionally speaking, though, it is CORNELL and HARVARD who have been the most successful skating in college hockey’s national arena.

IVY LEAGUE AT NCAA TOURNAMENT
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HARVARD ………. 21 appearances (2006) …. won 14 … lost 29
CORNELL ………. 19 appearances (2012) …. won 18 … lost 20
YALE ……………… 6 appearances (2013) …… won 7 ….. lost 5
DARTMOUTH ……. 4 appearances (1980) …… won 4 ….. lost 4
BROWN …………… 4 appearances (1993) …… won 2 ….. lost 5
PRINCETON ……… 3 appearances (2009) …… won 0 ….. lost 3

(most recent appearance in parenthesis)

Buoyed by the outstanding play of KEN DRYDEN, the future Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens who was chosen as First Team (East) All-America that year, it was CORNELL in 1967 that was the first Ivy League school to celebrate a national championship title. Even without the likes of Dryden, the powerful Big Red still went on to capture a second NCAA crown a few years later in 1970. Led by United States Olympic veteran LANE MCDONALD, the winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s top collegiate hockey player that season, the HARVARD Crimson followed suit a little more than two decades later and surprisingly won the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament in 1989.

Indeed, the YALE Bulldogs have now earned their full membership in a very exclusive Ivy League club …

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Harvard right wing ED KRAYER (11), the homegrown senior from Acton, Massachusetts, who was selected in the eighth round (# 158 overall) of the 1985 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils but never did skate in the crack National Hockey League, slips a rebound backhander underneath Minnesota netminder ROBB STAUBER (1), the sixth round pick (# 107 overall) of the Los Angeles Kings at the 1986 NHL Draft who had been selected as First Team (West) All-America as well as honored as the winner of the prestigious Hobey Baker Award in 1988, and scores the deciding goal in overtime at the old Civic Center in St. Paul as the Crimson dramatically upend the heavily-favored Gophers 4-3 in the memorable championship match of the 1989 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament.

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2013 Sweet Sixteen On Ice


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Minnesota center NICK BJUGSTAD (27), the homegrown junior from Blaine who led the Gophers in goal-scoring for a second consecutive season by finding the back of the net 21 times this term, skates the puck as Wisconsin right wing SEAN LITTLE (18) prepares to confront the first round pick (# 19 overall) of the Florida Panthers at the 2010 National Hockey League Draft during the neutral site clash of Big Ten rivals earlier this winter on the outdoor rink at venerable Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.
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2013 NCAA SWEET SIXTEEN ON ICE
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Qunnipiac ………….. 2nd app (2003) …… 0 wins ….. 1 loss
Minnesota ………… 34th app (2012) ….. 52 wins … 36 losses … 5 NCAA titles
UMass – Lowell ……. 5th app (2012) …… 3 wins ….. 4 losses
Notre Dame ………… 6th app (2011) …… 6 wins ….. 5 losses
Miami (Ohio) ……… 11th app (2012) …… 7 wins … 10 losses
Boston College …… 32nd app (2012) … 45 wins … 38 losses … 5 NCAA titles
New Hampshire …… 22nd app (2011) … 15 wins … 25 losses
North Dakota ……… 28th app (2012) …. 43 wins … 22 losses … 7 NCAA titles
Denver Univ ……….. 23rd app (2012) … 26 wins … 18 losses … 7 NCAA titles
Niagara ……………… 4th app (2008) …… 1 win …. 3 losses
Minnesota State ……. 2nd app (2003) ….. 0 wins ….. 1 loss
Union College ………. 3rd app (2012) ….. 2 wins ….. 2 losses
St. Cloud State ……… 9th app (2010) ….. 1 win …… 9 losses
Wisconsin ………….. 24th app (2010) … 37 wins … 20 losses … 6 NCAA titles
Yale …………………… 6th app (2011) ….. 3 wins ….. 5 losses
Canisius ……………… 1st app

(last appearance at the annual NCAA tournament in parenthesis)

NOTES — the all-time records for the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament, which has seen the format change a few times over the years, include two ties for Wisconsin as well as one draw for UMass – Lowell … the tournament records of Denver University in 1973 and Wisconsin in 1992 were officially invalidated as a result of NCAA rules infractions – the Pioneers and the Badgers both reached the NCAA tournament final before losing in the years that were voided.

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Final Pairwise Ratings Match NCAA Selections Perfectly


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Penn State left wing CASEY BAILEY (18), the 20-year-old freshman from Anchorage, Alaska, who scored 14 goals while pacing the Nittany Lions with 27 points in 27 NCAA games this season, jockeys for position in front of the net with Union College junior winger COLE IKKALA, the undrafted native of Philadelphia who has scored exactly five goals in three seasons skating with the Dutchmen, during the non-conference match-up earlier this past fall at the Frank L. Messa Rink in Schenectady, New York.
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The final “PAIRWISE COMPARISON RATINGS” proved to be amazingly accurate this season in forecasting which teams would be invited to the annual NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament which decides the national champion.

CANISIUS COLLEGE, the little school from Buffalo, New York, that was founded by German Jesuits in the late nineteenth century and checked in with the # 37 ranking on the Pairwise chart, earned its place among the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen On Ice this year by capturing the Atlantic Hockey Association post-season playoff title. The Ivy Leaguers from YALE UNIVERSITY, who had entered the semifinal round of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference playoffs sporting the # 5 ranking on the Pairwise chart, almost skated its way right out of the NCAA tournament by being shutout by both UNION COLLEGE and then QUINNIPIAC in Atlantic City. The Bulldogs were only saved when nine-time national champion MICHIGAN, whose record streak of 22 consecutive appearances at the annual NCAA tournament was abruptly halted in the process, failed to defeat NOTRE DAME in the last-ever Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoff final.

WESTERN MICHIGAN might have qualified for the NCAA tournament for a third consecutive season had the Broncos been able to negotiate the intra-state rival Wolverines at the quarterfinal stage of the CCHA post-season playoffs; five-time NCAA champion BOSTON UNIVERSITY would have secured its spot among the Sweet Sixteen On Ice had the Terriers been able to conquer the UNIVERSITY of MASSACHUSETTS – LOWELL in the 2013 Hockey East Final.

1. Quinnipiac ………………………. (27-7-5)
2. Minnesota ……………………….. (26-8-5)
3. UMass – Lowell …………………. (26-10-5)
4. Notre Dame ……………………… (25-12-3)
5. Miami (Ohio) …………………….. (24-11-5)
6. Boston College ………………….. (22-11-4)
7. New Hampshire ………………….. (19-11-7)
8. North Dakota …………………….. (21-12-7)
9. Denver University ……………….. (20-13-5)
10. Niagara …………………………. (23-9-5)
11. Minnesota State ……………….. (24-13-3)
12. Union College ………………….. (21-12-5)
13. St. Cloud State …………………. (23-15-1)
14. Wisconsin ………………………. (22-12-7)
15. Yale ……………………………… (18-12-3)
16. Western Michigan ……………… (19-11-8)
17. Robert Morris …………………… (20-14-4)
18. Boston University ………………. (21-16-2)
19. R.P.I. …………………………….. (18-14-5)
20. Brown ……………………………. (16-14-6)

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Canadian legionnaire DEREK LEE (23), the undrafted senior from North Vancouver, British Columbia, and the Wisconsin Badgers overcame a late-season 3-2 overtime loss on home ice in Madison at the hands of the upstart Penn State Nittany Lions to win the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s post-season playoff tournament this spring and lift the prestigous Broadmoor Trophy one last time before formally starting Big Ten competition next season; it is highly unlikely that Wisconsin would have climbed high enough in any of the various polls, Pairwise notwithstanding, for the selection committee to justifiably award an NCAA tournament berth had the six-time national champion Badgers not been so successful at the Frozen Five in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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21. Alaska – Fairbanks ……………. (17-16-4)
22. Providence ……………………… (17-14-7)
23. Dartmouth ………………………. (15-14-5)
24. Cornell ………………………….. (15-16-3)
25. Colorado College ……………… (18-19-5)
26. St. Lawrence …………………… (18-16-4)
27. Ferris State …………………….. (16-16-5)
28. Michigan ………………………… (18-19-3)
29. Ohio State ……………………… (16-17-7)
30. Nebraska – Omaha ……………. (19-18-2)
31. Holy Cross ……………………… (20-14-3)
32. Connecticut …………………….. (19-14-4)
33. Air Force ………………………… (17-13-7)
34. Merrimack ………………………. (15-17-6)
35. Mercyhurst ……………………… (19-17-5)
36. Northern Michigan …………….. (15-19-4)
37. Canisius ………………………… (19-18-5)
38. Bowling Green …………………. (15-21-5)
39. Colgate …………………………. (14-18-4)
40. Lake Superior State …………… (17-21-1)

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A pair of undrafted freshmen from Canada — Robert Morris University center DAVID FRIEDMANN (9), the 19-year-old from Toronto, Ontario, and Penn State pivot DAVID GLEN (11), the 21-year-old from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, who led the Nittany Lions with 16 goals this season, are anxious for the linesman to drop the puck during the holiday Three Rivers Classic tournament contest at the Consol Energy Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania … the Colonials defeated the intra-state rival Nittany Lions twice this term (3-2 in Happy Valley and then 6-0 in Pittsburgh) but two losses to the underdog University of Connecticut in the Atlantic Hockey Association post-season tournament cost Robert Morris University dearly as far as a possible first-ever appearance by the school in the annual NCAA tournament.
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41. Minnesota – Duluth ……………. (14-19-5)
42. PENN STATE ………………….. * (13-14)
43. UMass – Amherst ………………. (12-19-3)
44. Maine …………………………….. (11-19-8)
45. Princeton ………………………… (10-16-5)
46. Vermont ………………………….. (11-19-6)
47. Michigan Tech …………………… (13-20-4)
48. Michigan State ………………….. (14-25-3)
49. R.I.T. ……………………………… (15-18-5)
50. Clarkson …………………………… (9-20-7)
51. Harvard …………………………… (10-19-3)
52. American International Univ …… (12-17-6)
53. Northeastern ……………………… (9-21-4)
54. Bentley …………………………… (12-20-3)
55. Bemidji State ……………………… (6-22-8)
56. Alaska – Anchorage ……………… (4-25-7)
57. Army ………………………………… (7-22-5)
58. Sacred Heart ………………………. (2-30-4)
59. Alabama – Huntsville ……………… (1-20-1)

NOTE — PENN STATE’s rookie varsity on ice compiled a record of eleven wins and twelve losses in contests against NCAA Division I opponents this season; the Nittany Lions split the other four games against Division III opposition.

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Penn State’s productive freshman left wing CASEY BAILEY (18) challenges Ohio State goaltender BRADY HJELLE, the senior transfer from International Falls, Minnesota, who appeared in 34 games (2.00 avg, .935 save percentage) for the Buckeyes and was ultimately selected as the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s Best Goaltender for this 2012/13 campaign, at the side of the net during the holiday Three Rivers Classic tournament at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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NCAA Pairwise Rankings


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Penn State defenseman JOSEPH LORDO (20), the freshman from St. Louis, Missouri, who recorded six assists in 25 games and had the second best plus/minus rating among all Nittany Lions rearguards, delivers a blow to Union College left wing COLE IKKALA (23), the 22-year-old native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the NCAA contest at the Frank L. Messa Rink in Schenectady, New York, earlier this season.
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A review, then, of the so-called “PAIRWISE COMPARISON RATINGS” chart prior to the start of this weekend’s college hockey playoff competition, which began with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s “Final Five” on Thursday night … the results will be critical with the selection committee prepared to announce on March 24th which sixteen schools will be invited this year to the annual NCAA tournament deciding the national champion :

# 1 ….. Qunnipiac ………………………. (26-6-5)
# 2 ….. Minnesota ………………………. (26-7-5)
# 3 ….. Miami Univ (Ohio)………………. (24-10-5)
# 4 ….. Boston College ………………… (22-10-4)
# 5 ….. Yale ……………………………… (18-10-3)
# 6 ….. UMass – Lowell ………………… (24-10-2)
# 7 ….. North Dakota …………………… (21-11-7)
# 8 ….. New Hampshire ………………… (19-11-7)
# 9 ….. Notre Dame …………………….. (23-12-3)
# 10 … Niagara …………………………. (23-8-5)

# 11 … St. Cloud State ………………… (23-14-1)
# 12 … Minnesota State ……………….. (24-12-3)
# 13 … Denver Univ ……………………. (20-13-5)
# 14 … Western Michigan …………….. (19-11-8)
# 15 … Union College ………………….. (19-12-5)
# 16 … Wisconsin ………………………. (19-12-7)
# 17 … Alaska – Fairbanks ……………. (17-16-4)
# 18 … Providence ……………………… (17-13-7)
# 19 … Boston Univ …………………….. (20-15-4)
# 20 … R.P.I. …………………………….. (18-14-5)

# 21 … Brown ……………………………. (15-13-6)
# 22 … Dartmouth ………………………. (15-14-5)
# 23 … Cornell …………………………… (15-16-3)
# 24 … Colorado College ………………. (16-18-5)
# 25 … Robert Morris …………………… (20-14-4)
# 26 … Ohio State ………………………. (16-16-7)
# 27 … Ferris State ……………………… (16-16-5)
# 28 … St. Lawrence ……………………. (18-16-4)
# 29 … Connecticut ……………………… (19-13-4)
# 30 … Nebraska – Omaha …………….. (19-18-2)

# 31 … Michigan …………………………. (17-18-3)
# 32 … Holy Cross ………………………. (20-14-3)
# 33 … Air Force ………………………… (17-13-10)
# 34 … Merrimack ……………………….. (15-17-6)
# 35 … Mercyhurst ………………………. (18-16-5)
# 36 … Northern Michigan ……………… (15-19-4)
# 37 … Bowling Green ………………….. (15-21-5)
# 38 … Colgate ………………………….. (14-18-4)
# 39 … Lake Superior State ……………. (17-21-1)
# 40 … Canisius ………………………….. (17-18-5)

# 41 … Minnesota – Duluth ……………… (14-19-5)
# 42 … UMass – Amherst ………………… (12-19-3)
# 43 … PENN STATE …………………… * (13-14)
# 44 … Maine ……………………………… (11-19-8)
# 45 … Vermont …………………………… (11-19-6)
# 46 … Princeton …………………………. (10-16-5)
# 47 … Michigan Tech …………………… (13-20-4)
# 48 … Michigan State …………………… (14-25-3)
# 49 … R.I.T. ………………………………. (15-18-5)
# 50 … Harvard ……………………………. (10-19-3)

# 51 … Clarkson ……………………………. (9-20-7)
# 52 … American International Univ ……. (12-17-6)
# 53 … Northeastern ………………………. (9-21-6)
# 54 … Bentley ……………………………. (12-20-3)
# 55 … Bemidji State ………………………. (6-22-8)
# 56 … Alaska – Anchorage ……………… (4-25-7)
# 57 … Army ………………………………… (7-22-5)
# 58 … Sacred Heart ………………………. (2-30-4)
# 59 … Alabama – Huntsville ……………… (1-20-1)

NOTE — Penn State compiled a record of eleven wins and twelve losses in contests against NCAA Division I opponents this season; the Nittany Lions split the other four games against Division III schools.

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Penn State Moves Up Via Playoff Results


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Penn State center TAYLOR HOLSTROM (28), the junior transfer from Mercyhurst University who tallied six of his nine goals on this historic 2012/13 NCAA season in contests featuring Big Ten opposition, advances the puck up ice against Ohio State defenseman CLARK CRISTOFOLI (6), the homegrown sophomore from Lewis Center, during the Nittany Lions’ 5-4 triumph over the neighboring Buckeyes in the Three Rivers Classic at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh just after Christmas.
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It is unfortunate that head coach GUY GADOWSKY’s skaters have no conference tournament to participate in this season but, thanks to results in last weekend’s round of playoff games in the various different conferences, the NCAA rookies from PENN STATE still managed to move up two places and now occupy the # 43 ranking in the so-called “PAIRWISE COMPARISON RATINGS” put out by the good people at www.collegehockeynews.com.

It is interesting to note that the Catamounts of Vermont University, finally dropped down below Penn State to # 45 in the computer rankings after losing to defending national champion Boston College in the Hockey East quarterfinals; the Nittany Lions, to review, already defeated Vermont 4-2 at the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff two months ago in January.

A quick rundown of the results from March 15-17 in the NCAA post-season conference tournaments :

HOCKEY EAST
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# 42 Maine lost to # 4 UMass – Lowell (2-4, 1-2)
# 41 VERMONT lost to # 7 Boston College (2-4, 1-4)
# 21 Providence College defeated # 8 New Hampshire (3-2, 1-4, 3-2)
# 17 Boston University defeated # 32 Merrimack (3-0, 5-3)

ECAC
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# 1 Quinnipiac defeated # 23 Cornell (2-3, 10-0, 3-2)
# 11 Yale University defeated # 24 St. Lawrence (6-1, 3-0)
# 14 Renssaler Poly Inst lost to # 27 Brown University (1-3, 6-2, 2-3)
# 16 UNION COLLEGE defeated # 19 Dartmouth (4-1, 5-2)

AHA
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# 20 ROBERT MORRIS lost to # 33 CONNECTICUT (1-4, 3-4)
# 25 AIR FORCE lost to # 48 Cainius (3-4, 3-4)
# 28 HOLY CROSS lost to # 39 Mercyhurst (2-3, 3-2, 0-1)
# 43 R.I.T. lost to # 13 Niagara (2-3, 1-2)

CCHA
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# 10 Western Michigan lost to # 34 Michigan (3-4, 1-5)
# 15 Notre Dame defeated # 35 Bowling Green (1-0, 4-3)
# 29 OHIO STATE defeated # 26 Ferris State (2-4, 3-1, 3-2)
# 49 MICHIGAN STATE lost to # 3 Miami – Ohio (3-0, 1-4, 1-4)

WCHA
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# 2 Minnesota defeated # 54 Bemidji State (2-1, 4-3)
# 5 North Dakota defeated # 47 Michigan Tech (5-3, 1-2, 6-0)
# 6 Denver University lost to # 31 Colorado College (3-5, 2-1, 4-3)
# 9 Minnesota State defeated # 30 Nebraska – Omaha (4-3, 1-2, 3-1)
# 12 St. Cloud State defeated # 56 Alaska – Anchorage (6-1, 5-1)
# 18 WISCONSIN defeated # 38 Minnesota – Duluth (3-1, 4-1)

Note — PENN STATE’s opponents during this 2012/13 NCAA campaign in all capitals)

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Penn State defenseman MARK YANIS (5), the 18-year-old freshman from Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, whose four goals this term tied for tops among all Nittany Lions’ blueliners, shakes hands with Vermont defenseman NICK LUUKO (25), the sophomore from West Chester, Pennsylvania, who was the sixth round pick (# 179 overall) of the in-state Philadelphia Flyers at the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, following the NCAA clash at the Wells Fargo Center in the City of Brotherly Love.

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Analyzing Penn State Via NCAA Post Season


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Wisconsin center MARK ZENGERLE (9), the undrafted junior from Rochester, New York, who is the second leading scorer for the six-time NCAA national champion Badgers (32 ga, 9 go, 30 pts) this season, buzzes the net as standout Nittany Lions freshman netminder MATT SKOFF (31) makes a save at the near post during upstart Penn State’s monumental 3-2 triumph at the Kohl Center in Madison a few short weeks ago.
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Because the Big Ten does not officially drop the puck until next season, the NCAA rookies from PENN STATE will not have the opportunity to skate in a conference tournament this year. However, now that the NITTANY LIONS have already collected the scalps of higher-ranked and more experienced Divison I programs such as Wisconsin, Air Force and Ohio State, it will be interesting to note the results coming out of post-season. In all, ten opponents of Penn State from this historic 2012/13 NCAA ice hockey campaign have qualified for the knockout competitions of the five different conferences (Hockey East, AHA, ECAC, CCHA, WCHA).

Four of Penn State’s opponents finished the regular season ranked in the Top 25 by the good people at USCHO.COM — (# 14 – Wisconsin, # 19 – Union College, # 24 – Air Force, # 25 – Robert Morris University).

The following would be a listing of all 59 NCAA Division I schools playing college hockey as ranked by the influential “PAIRWISE COMPARISON RATINGS” found at www.collegehockeynews.com PRIOR to the start of this weekend’s playoff games (won-lost-tied record in parenthesis) :

# 1 ….. Quinnipiac …………………… (24-5-5)
# 2 ….. Minnesota …………………… (24-7-5)
# 3 ….. Miami Univ (Ohio) …………… (22-9-5)
# 4 ….. UMass – Lowell ……………… (22-10-2)
# 5 ….. North Dakota ………………… (19-10-7)
# 6 ….. Denver Univ …………………. (19-11-5)
# 7 ….. Boston College ……………… (20-10-4)
# 8 ….. New Hampshire ……………… (18-9-7)
# 9 ….. Minnesota State …………….. (22-11-3)
# 10 … Western Michigan …………… (19-9-8)

# 11 … Yale …………………………… (16-10-3)
# 12 … St. Cloud State ………………. (21-14-1)
# 13 … Niagara ……………………….. (21-8-5)
# 14 … R.P.I. ………………………….. (17-12-5)
# 15 … Notre Dame ………………….. (21-12-3)
# 16 … Union College ……………….. (17-12-5)
# 17 … Boston University ……………. (18-15-2)
# 18 … Wisconsin …………………….. (17-12-7)
# 19 … Dartmouth …………………….. (15-12-5)
# 20 … Robert Morris …………………. (20-12-4)

# 21 … Providence …………………….. (15-12-7)
# 22 … Alaska – Fairbanks …………… (17-16-4)
# 23 … Cornell ………………………….. (14-14-3)
# 24 … St. Lawrence …………………… (18-14-4)
# 25 … Air Force ……………………….. (17-11-7)
# 26 … Ferris State …………………….. (15-14-5)
# 27 … Brown ……………………………. (13-12-6)
# 28 … Holy Cross ……………………… (19-12-3)
# 29 … Ohio State ……………………… (14-15-7)
# 30 … Nebraska – Omaha ……………. (18-16-2)

# 31 … Colorado College ……………… (14-17-5)
# 32 … Merrimack ………………………. (15-15-6)
# 33 … Connecticut …………………….. (17-13-4)
# 34 … Michigan …………………………. (15-18-3)
# 35 … Bowling Green ………………….. (15-19-5)
# 36 … Northern Michigan ……………… (15-19-4)
# 37 … Colgate ………………………….. (14-18-4)
# 38 … Minnesota – Duluth …………….. (14-17-5)
# 39 … Mercyhurst ………………………. (16-15-5)
# 40 … Lake Superior State ……………. (17-21-1)

# 41 … Vermont ………………………….. (11-17-6)
# 42 … Maine …………………………….. (11-17-8)
# 43 … R.I.T. ……………………………… (15-16-5)
# 44 … UMass – Amherst ……………….. (12-19-3)
# 45 … PENN STATE …………………… * (13-14)
# 46 … Princeton …………………………. (10-16-5)
# 47 … Michigan Tech …………………… (12-18-4)
# 48 … Canisius ………………………….. (15-18-5)
# 49 … Michigan State …………………… (13-23-3)
# 50 … Harvard …………………………… (10-19-3)

# 51 … Clarkson …………………………… (9-20-7)
# 52 … American International Univ ……. (12-17-6)
# 53 … Northeastern ………………………. (9-21-4)
# 54 … Bemidji State ………………………. (6-20-8)
# 55 … Bentley ……………………………. (12-20-3)
# 56 … Alaska – Anchorage ………………. (4-23-7)
# 57 … Army ………………………………… (7-22-5)
# 58 … Sacred Heart ………………………. (2-30-4)
# 59 … Alabama – Huntsville ……………… (1-20-1)

NOTE — Penn State compiled a record of eleven wins and twelve losses in contests against NCAA Division I opponents this term; the Nittany Lions split four games against Division III opposition in its first season as an official varsity program after transitioning from “club hockey” status under head coach GUY GADOWSKY, the former Colorado College player who was previously in charge at both Alaska – Fairbanks and Princeton.

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Sophomore Canadian legionnaire DANIEL CIAMPINI (17) of Union College is thwarted by Penn State goaltender MATT SKOFF (31) during the first-ever meeting between the Dutchman, who not only qualified for the 2012 NCAA tournament but also skated their way to the prestigious Frozen Four last spring, and the rookie Nittany Lions earlier this past fall at the Frank L. Messa Rink in Schenectady, New York.

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Hobey Baker Memorial Award


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Sixty-three years after the former Princeton University superstar’s World War I fighter plane crashed down into a French field near a little town named Touls, a private athletic club thousands of miles across an entire ocean away decided to commission a great trophy to be presented annually to the most outstanding college hockey player in the United States to properly honor the memory of the legendary HOBEY BAKER.

Ice hockey was not part of the Olympic program until first introduced at the 1920 Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium. But there can be little question that the famous victory of the United States ice hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid in upstate New York helped inspire the Decathalon Athletic Club of Bloomington, Minnesota, to present the first-ever HOBEY BAKER MEMORIAL AWARD at the conclusion of the 1980/81 National Collegiate Athletic Association ice hockey campaign. The Minneapolis suburb and its since-demolished Bloomington Metropolitan Center arena had served as the home base of former University of Minnesota HERB BROOKS’ U.S. national team, which boasted a baker’s dozen players from the state of Minnesota at Lake Placid, during the five-month exhibition schedule contested in preparation for the would-be famous Olympic tournament.

The model for the bronze sculpture that comprised the actual Hobey Baker Memorial Award trophy, itself, was none other than University of Minnesota sophomore center NEAL BROTEN — a member of the unforgettable Miracle On Ice squad that shocked the all-powerful Soviet Union and secured the always highly sought after set of Olympic gold medals for ice hockey. Fittingly, the 21-year-old out of Roseau on the Iron Range upstate was also the very first college player ever to be presented with the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, as well. Unlike the trophy’s namesake, however, Broten had no problem signing a professional contract and, to this day, is still the only ice hockey player in history to have earned a championship title at the NCAA college tournament, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Winter Olympic Games.

Baker would, in all likelihood, be very proud to be represented so well.

HOBEY BAKER MEMORIAL AWARD winners
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1981 … Neal BROTEN ………….. Minnesota Univ …………….. USA
1982 … George MCPHEE ……… Bowling Green State Univ … CAN
1983 … Mark FUSCO …………… Harvard Univ ……………….. USA
1984 … Tom KURVERS ………… Minnesota-Duluth Univ ……. USA
1985 … Bill WATSON …………… Minnesota-Duluth Univ ……. CAN
1986 … Scott FUSCO …………… Harvard Univ ……………….. USA
1987 … no award presented
1988 … Robb STAUBER ……….. Minnesota Univ …………….. USA
1989 … Lane MACDONALD …… Harvard Univ ……………….. USA
1990 … Kip MILLER …………….. Michigan State Univ ……….. USA
1991 … David EMMA …………… Boston College …………….. USA
1992 … Scott PELLERIN ……….. Maine Univ ………………….. CAN
1993 … Paul KARIYA …………… Maine Univ ………………….. CAN
1994 … Chris MARINUCCI ……… Minnesota-Duluth Univ ……. USA
1995 … Brian HOLZINGER …….. Bowling Green State Univ … USA
1996 … Brian BONIN ……………. Minnesota Univ …………….. USA
1997 … Brendan MORRISON ….. Michigan Univ ……………… CAN
1998 … Chris DRURY …………… Harvard Univ ……………….. USA
1999 … Jason KROG ……………. New Hampshire Univ ……… CAN
2000 … Mike MOTTAU ………….. Boston College ……………. USA
2001 … Ryan MILLER …………… Michigan State Univ ………. USA
2002 … Jordan LEOPOLD ……… Minnesota Univ ……………. USA
2003 … Peter SEJNA ……………. Colorado College …………. SVK
2004 … Junior LESSARD ……….. Minnesota-Duluth Univ …… CAN
2005 … Marty SERTICH ………… Colorado College ………….. USA
2006 … Matt CARLE …………….. Denver Univ ………………… USA
2007 … Ryan DUNCAN ………….. North Dakota Univ ………… CAN
2008 … Kevin PORTER …………. Michigan Univ ……………… USA
2009 … Matt GILROY ……………. Boston Univ ………………… USA
2010 … Blake GEOFFRION …….. Wisconsin Univ …………….. USA
2011 … Andy MIELE ……………… Miami Univ (Ohio) …………. USA
2012 … Jack CONNOLLY ……….. Minnesota-Duluth Univ ……. USA

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Drafted in the third round (# 42 overall) by the home-state Minnesota North Stars in the 1979 National Hockey League Draft, University of Minnesota center NEAL BROTEN collected his historic Hobey Baker Memorial Award trophy and then quickly went off to skate with the big boys in the NHL … Broten scored two goals in three games to close out the regular season and then appeared in all 19 playoff contests at center (1 go, 8 pts) for the North Stars as Minnesota reached the Stanley Cup Finals but fell to the defending champion New York Islanders in five games.

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