May 23, 2007
Maine's Plaszcz to Transfer

Maine defenseman Bryan Plaszcz has told coach Tim Whitehead he intends to transfer, the Bangor Daily News reported Wednesday. Plaszcz has two years of eligibility remaining.

"He wanted to have more of an impact on the team, but I couldn’t guarantee him how much playing time he would receive next season," Whitehead told the News' Larry Mahoney.

Plaszcz scored one goal in 29 games with the Black Bears last season. As a freshman, he scored one goal in six games. According to Whitehead, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound blueliner is considering transferring to Bemidji State or a Division III program closer to his hometown of Apple Valley, Minn.

May 23, 2007
Dartmouth's Jones Signs With Colorado

The Colorado Avalanche and Dartmouth forward David Jones agreed to terms on a two-year contract Tuesday.

Jones, who was chosen by the Avs in the eighth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, leaves Hanover after three seasons with the Big Green. The Guelph, Ontario, native was a finalist for the 2007 Hobey Baker Award and also was named to the American Hockey Coaches Association East All-American first team and the All-ECAC Hockey League first team after leading Dartmouth with 18-26—44 in 33 games during his junior season.

In 100 career games at Dartmouth, the 6-foot-1, 218-pound forward scored 44 goals and added 48 assists for 92 points. He's the 24th underclassman to sign an NHL contract since March 8.

May 16, 2007
North Dakota's Toews Signs With Blackhawks

North Dakota forward Jonathan Toews agreed to a three-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, finally bringing to reality what most hockey observers expected to happen prior to the start of the 2007-08 season.

Toews scored 18-28—46 in 34 games for the Fighting Sioux last season. In two seasons in Grand Forks, the Winnipeg, Manitoba native scored 40 goals and added 45 assists in 76 career games and helped North Dakota to consecutive Frozen Four appearances.

In international play, Toews was part of the Canadian teams that won gold medals at the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2006 and 2007. He also earned a gold medal as the lone collegian on a Canada squad comprised completely of NHLers, save one skater from the European ranks, at the recently completed IIHF World Championships in Moscow.

Chicago selected Toews with the third overall pick in last year's NHL Entry Draft.

May 16, 2007
Superior Cup College Hockey's Newest Regional Trophy

Starting in October, college hockey fans can add another piece of hardware to the
list of regional trophies currently up for grabs. While it's not the Beanpot or even
the DQ Cup just yet, the four colleges playing hockey near the world's largest
inland body of water are hoping the Superior Cup will grow the rivalry between four
members of the CCHA and WCHA.

The inaugural quest for the Cup begins Oct. 12 when Northern Michigan visits Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State plays at Minnesota Duluth. The weekend
concludes with the Lakers visiting Houghton and the Wildcats traveling to Duluth. In 2008, the two WCHA teams are scheduled to visit their CCHA counterparts. Details are still being worked out as to who gets the trophy if two teams finish 2-0-0 on the weekend.

While Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech play every year for a trophy already,
organizers hope this new trophy will expand the regional rivalries between the four

"We are still ironing out a few things with the Superior Cup, but it should be an excellent partnership between the four schools involved,” said Huskies coach Jamie Russell Wednesday when the team's 2007-08 schedule was released. “Not only does this give us a little something extra to play for, it gives us a chance to add a game with NMU and with an old rival like Lake Superior State.”

Minnesota Duluth and Lake Superior State last faced off in the 1993 NCAA quarterfinals in Detroit, with the Lakers prevailing en route to a runner-up finish
at the Frozen Four.

— Jess Myers

May 12, 2007
Alaska Fairbanks Names Finalists For Coaching Vacancy

The list of candidates for the coaching vacancy at Alaska Fairbanks has been narrowed to four current Division I assistant coaches.

The school's seven-member search committee Friday announced the four finalists are Nebraska-Omaha assistant coach Doc DelCastillo, UAF assistant Wade Klippenstein, Wisconsin assistant Kevin Patrick, and St. Cloud State assistant Eric Rud. DelCastillo was also a finalist for the head coaching opening at Alabama-Huntsville, which was eventually offered to Bowling Green assistant Danton Cole.

Each of the finalists will take part in on-campus interviews during the next two weeks. In addition to meeting with the search committee, candidates will also meet with the school's Intercollegiate Athletics Council, university administrators, athletic department staff and coaches, community members and current players.

The four are vying to fill the vacancy left by former head coach Tavis MacMillan, who resigned last month for family reasons.

May 12, 2007
Colorado College's Brannigan Will Not Return

Colorado College right wing James Branningan will not return to the Tigers' program for his senior season.

Brannigan, a Brooklyn, New York, native, this week told the Colorado Springs Gazette that he plans to pursue a professional hocker career. In 30 games with the Tigers in 2006-07, Brannigan recorded four assists and 29 penalty minutes. During his career at CC, he scored eight goals and added 10 assists in 97 games.

According to the article, Brannigan said he spoke to head coach Scott Owens about the matter last month and left on good terms.

May 3, 2007
CHA Schedule; Membership Issues Remain Same

College Hockey America held its league meeting in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association in Naples, Fla. last week and the news is that not much has changed.

The only announced business was the league approving a 20-game conference schedule. Like last season, each team will play a third conference series against the same two teams they played in 2006-07, but in the reverse location.

For example, Alabama-Huntsville played an extra series last season home against Robert Morris and at Bemidji State. In 2007-08, the opponents remain the same, but in 2007-08 the Chargers will host the extra series with Bemidji and travel to Moon Township for the third set.

There was discussion about what direction the league will pursue with the possible departure of Bemidji State and/or Wayne State at the end of the upcoming campaign, but no resolution. The NCAA Board of Directors did approve automatic qualification for the CHA Men effective immediately.

"That's about it," said CHA Commissioner R.H. Peters by phone. "We continue to work on the issues."

Bemidji State was dealt a blow when the WCHA made official their decision about potential expansion, but left the door open just a crack.

According to a press release on the WCHA website, "Although sensitive to the issue of expansion and the plight of other collegiate hockey programs, the league's current moratorium will remain in effect," and said it has not "closed the door on this issue permanently and will continue to address what is in the best interests of the Association while maintaining its tradition of assisting in the continuing growth and development of college hockey."

With Wayne State and their effort to join CCHA after the coming campaign, Warriors head coach Bill Wilkinson said, "the CCHA will be having an Executive Committee meeting around August to set up parameters for what they would need for a team to come in and we'll go from there."

The only other news is cosmetic. Niagara University will begin a $1 million enhancement project at the Dwyer Arena will begin in mid-June. The project will include new boards and glass, and premium chair-back seating behind the west goal that will increase the seating capacity to 2,100. The party deck on the west end of the arena will be enclosed to create a private suite area. A new sound system and concessions area will also be added.

Commissioner Peters also confirmed that there have been two bids to host the 2008 CHA Tournament. Both are neutral sites with one in Ohio and one in New York.

— Warren Kozireski

May 2, 2007
Michigan's Cogliano Signs With Edmonton

Michigan forward Andrew Cogliano agreed to terms on the three-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday, forgoing the final two seasons of his college career.

Cogliano, the Oilers’ first round draft choice (25th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, recorded career highs in goals (24), assists (26), and points (50) in 38 games with the Wolverines last season. The Woodbridge, Ontario, native ranked seventh nationally in goals and eighth in the nation in points.

"We are extremely pleased with Andrew’s decision to turn pro and we feel he’s ready to move up to the next level," Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe said in a statement. "Our scouting staff has watched Andrew closely since we drafted him ... and we believe he has the ability to become a great player."

Cogliano becomes the 22nd underclassman to sign with an NHL club within the last two months.

May 1, 2007
WCHA: No Expansion

The WCHA announced Tuesday it willl remain a 10-team league for the time being, a decision that will have repercussions throughout college hockey.

According to a press release issued by the league, the WCHA structure committee recommended to the full membership that a moratorium on expansion remain in place. The recommendation was approved by the league's 10 members at the WCHA's annual meeting last week in Florida.

The announcement is an apparent blow to the future of the Bemidji State hockey program. BSU president Jon Quistgaard in February said that the sustainability of the Beavers’ men’s hockey program hinges on, among other things, gaining membership in the WCHA. The team is currently one of five members of College Hockey America, a conference whose continued viability is also in question. Another CHA program, Wayne State, has applied for admission to the CCHA.

May 1, 2007
Notre Dame's Jackson Gets Contract Extension

Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson agreed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him behind the Fighting Irish bench through the 2012-13 season.

Jackson, the winner of the 2007 Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I hockey coach of the year, led the Irish to their best-ever showing with a 32-7-3 overall record and a 21-4-3 mark in the CCHA and the program's first-ever regular season title and tournament championship. They were the top-ranked team in the nation from Feb. 5-March 19.

The 2007 CCHA Coach of the Year, Jackson guided the Irish to their second NCAA tournament appearance in school history and the top seed in the Midwest Regional. The Fighting Irish earned their first-ever NCAA tourney, win, a 3-2 double-overtime victory against Alabama-Huntsville in the first round, but lost to eventual NCAA champion Michigan State in the regional final.

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