Named to World Championship Team
North Dakota forward Drew Stafford is among
the first 15 players named to represent the United States
at the 2006 IIHF World Championship, USA Hockey announced
Stafford is the lone collegian in the group,
which will be coached by Wisconsin's Mike Eaves at the event.
The final roster, which will begin World Championship play
on May 5, will be announced in the days leading up to the
Ten former collegians join Stafford on the
preliminary roster: defensemen Andrew Alberts (Boston College),
Joe Corvo (Wsetern Michigan), Hal Gill (Providence) and
Brooks Orpik (Boston College) and forwards Mark Cullen (Colorado
College), Andy Hilbert (Michigan), Ryan Kesler (Ohio State),
Ryan Malone (St. Cloud State), Marty Reasoner (Boston College)
and Jim Slater (Michigan State).
Chucko Signs with Calgary
sophomore forward Kris Chucko agreed to a three-year contract
with the Calgary Flames. He becomes the third Gopher forward
to leave the team this off-season prior to completing their
college eligibility, joining Danny Irmen (who signed with
the Minnesota Wild) and Ryan Potulny (who signed with Philadelphia).
"The money is great, but the decision
was made by me and my family even before the offer was made,"
Chucko told Dean Spiros of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"The greatest thing about the money is that it shows
the commitment Calgary is making."
According to the Star Tribune, Chucko
– the Flames' first-round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry
Draft – received a three-year contract worth $900,000
annually. He's expected to start his professional career
with Calgary's American Hockey League affiliate, the Omaha
Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, next season.
Chucko, a 6-foot-2, 198-pound native of Burnaby,
B.C., scored four goals and nine assists in 33 games for
the Gophers last season. As a freshman, he amassed 10 goals
and 11 assists in 44 contests.
Agrees to Four-Year Extension
Mike Kemp, the only head coach since the program's launch
back in 1997, signed a four-year extension that will keep
him behind the Maverick bench through the 2009-2010 season.
Kemp has piloted UNO to a 144-171-37 record,
two trips to the CCHA playoff semifinals and the school's
first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006.
"I am thrilled with the opportunity to
continue the growth and development of this program that
we started with its inception in 1996,” Kemp said.
“We have experienced tremendous development in a short
amount of time and I look forward to guiding the program
to greater heights."
Signs Extension Through 2011
Morris head coach Derek Schooley has signed a
contract extension that will keep him with the Colonials
through May 2011. Schooley, who signed a four-year contract
with RMU when he was named the inaugural head coach of the
program in May 2003, adds four years to his current contract,
which was set to expire in May 2007.
"I am excited about the extension and
I'm grateful to [Athletic Director Dr. Craig] Coleman and
Robert Morris University President Dr. Greg Dell'Omo for
their support," Schooley said. "Our program has
made great strides in its first two seasons, and that is
a direct result of the dedication that the university, athletic
department, staff and players have shown. I believe that
we developed a solid foundation for the future of Robert
Morris hockey and I'm honored the university wants me to
be its men's ice hockey coach for years to come."
Schooley was named the program's first head
coach August 22, 2003, with the responsibility of building
a program that began play during the 2004-05 season. He
opened that season with a roster made up of 20 freshmen,
three sophomores and one junior, leading the squad to an
8-21-4 overall record. Robert Morris made strides in 2005-06,
improving its overall record to 12-20-3 while advancing
to the semifinals of the CHA Tournament.
"We are thrilled to have coach Schooley
committed to us for the next five years," Coleman said.
"He's running a first-class program and has already
taken great strides in making our men's ice hockey team
Signs Three-Year Extension
coach Red Berenson received a three-year contract extension,
the school announced Monday. The new deal takes effect July
1 and runs through the 2008-09 season.
Regina, Saskatchewan native has been behind the bench of
his alma mater for 22 seasons, guiding the Wolverines to
a 585-278-63 career record. Berenson, who has led Michigan
to 16 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, ranks eighth
all-time and fourth among active coaches in victories.
defenseman Matt Hunwick was announced as team captain for
the 2006-07 season at the Wolverines' year-end banquet Saturday.
Hunwick, who will be a senior next season, reached career
highs in goals (11) and points (30) for Michigan last year.
Cross's Pearl Agrees to Contract Extension
Cross head coach Paul Pearl, who led the Crusaders to their
best season in history, agreed to a three-year contract
extension through the 2008-09 campaign.
winningest coach in the school's 36-year hockey history,
Pearl has guided his alma mater to a 181-148-31 record and
two NCAA Tournament appearances in 11 seasons
behind the Holy Cross bench. The 2005-06 season was
the Crusaders ' best ever, as the team posted a 27-10-2
mark, won the Atlantic Hockey regular-season and playoff
championships, and upset top-seed Minnesota in the first
round of the NCAA West Regional.
Four MVP Earl, Toronto Reach Contract Agreement
junior forward Robbie Earl, who last week was named most
outstanding player at the 2006 NCAA Frozen Four, signed
a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday. The Leafs
selected the Los Angeles native in the sixth round of the
2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Earl lead the national champions with 24 goals
this season, and his 50 points ranked second among Badger
skaters to linemate Joe Pavelski. The 6-foot, 195-pound
wing, who scored 121 points during three seasons in Madison,
will likely report to Leafs' American Hockey League affiliate,
the Toronto Marlies, this weekend and could be in the lineup
when they host Syracuse in Sunday's regular season finale.
"It is kind of a double-edged sword,"
Earl said at a press conference in Madison. "I am happy
to be in this position to sign, but then again it is tough
coming off the national championship, you’d like to
be with your guys and celebrate a bit.”
Earl will likely play for the Marlies when
the AHL playoffs get underway next week. Toronto, which
finished fourth in the Western Conference's North Division,
meets division champ Grand Rapids in a best-of-seven, first-round
series that begins April 21.
Smaby, Zajac Sign Pro Deals
North Dakota defenseman Matt Smaby and forward
Travis Zajac will both forego the remainder of their college
eligibility after signing contracts with the organizations
that chose them in the NHL Entry Draft.
Smaby, a junior who captained the Fighting
Sioux this past season, reached an agreement with the Tampa
Bay Lightning. According to an athletic department news
release, the Minneapolis native will complete his spring
semester classes at UND and report to the Lightning, which
picked him in 2003, over the summer.
Zajac signed with the New Jersey Devils, the
team that chose him in the first round of the 2004 NHL Draft.
The sophomore from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was the Fighting
Sioux's second-leading scorer with with 18 goals and a team-best
29 assists in 46 games for the WCHA's playoff champion and
winner of the NCAA's West Regional. Zajac will report to
the Devils' American Hockey League team in Albany, N.Y.,
to Lead U.S. in World Championship
Just days after leading Wisconsin to its first
national championship since 1990, Mike Eaves has been named
the head coach of the U.S. National Team that will participate
in the World Championship in Riga, Latvia, in May.
“Mike is one of the outstanding young
coaches in our game today,” said Paul Holmgren, general
manager of Team USA and also assistant general manager of
the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.
“He’s an excellent teacher of the game and has
worked successfully with players at all levels of hockey.”
Eaves returns behind a U.S. bench for the
first time since leading the U.S. National Junior Team to
its first-ever gold medal at the 2004 IIHF World Junior
Championship. In 2002, Eaves also served as the head coach
of the first U.S. National Under-18 Team to win a gold medal
at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship. He spent two years
(2000-02) as a head coach at USA Hockey’s National
Team Development Program, a training program for the top
16- and 17-year-old players in the United States. Eaves
has also served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the
1991 Canada Cup and the 1991 IIHF World Championship.
“It’s truly a thrill to be asked
to coach the U.S. Men’s National Team,” said
Eaves. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Eaves' assistant coach at Wisconsin, Mark
Osiecki, will be the video coordinator for Team USA.
Leaves Gophers for Wild
Danny Irmen joins his former linemate, Ryan
Potulny, in leaving Minnesota for the pro ranks this offseason,
signing a multi-year contract with the Minnesota Wild Wednesday.
Irmen collected 38 points (16-22—38)
in 30 games as a junior with the Gophers. The 6-foot, 190-pound
forward had five power play goals, two game-winning tallies
and was +15 this season. Irmen finished third on the team
in goals and fourth in scoring despite missing 11 games
due to injury.
Irmen was a third-round pick of the Wild in
the 2003 NHL Draft and is expected to sign an amateur tryout
contract with the team's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros,
to close out this season.
Greene Signs with New Jersey
Miami defenseman Andy Greene signed with the
New Jersey Devils Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Greene, who was named the CCHA Defenseman
of the Year and earned Inside College Hockey first team
All-American honors this season, scored nine goals and added
22 assists in 39 games while leading the RedHawks to their
second conference regular-season title in school history.
In 159 games at Miami, the Trenton, Mich., native scored
27 goals and added 87 assists for 114 career points.
In addition to garnering league defenseman
of the year status, Greene was named to the All-CCHA first
team for the third straight time this season and also gained
his second nod as the conference's top offensive defenseman.
Sign Pair of Free Agent Underclassmen
The Washington Capitals have lured two free
agents out of college hockey with two-year contracts, signing
Mercyhurst defenseman Jamie Hunt and Ferris State forward
Hunt, 21, is the first Atlantic Hockey player
to ever leave school early to sign an NHL contract. A junior
this past season, he led all NCAA defensemen with 1.36 points
per game (45 points in 33 games played). He had 12 goals
and 33 assists, finishing fourth on the Lakers in scoring.
The 6’2”, 195-pound Calgary, Alberta, native
was a first-team all-conference selection in Atlantic Hockey
and was named to the league’s All-Tournament Team.
Stefanishion, played two years at Ferris State.
He was limited to 23 games this season, posting nine goals
and four assists (13 points), with six goals coming on the
power play. A native of Daysland, Alberta, he had 21 goals
and 13 assists in his collegiate career and was an Honorable
Mention CCHA All-Rookie Team selection in 2004-05.
As free agent signees, Hunt and Stefanishion
will join the Capitals, rather than their AHL affiliate,
for the rest of the season.
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