Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Quinnipiac announces recruiting class

There will be six recruits, three forwards and three defenseman, enrolling at Quinnipiac this fall. Nelson Gadoury could be the seventh, but that has yet to be decided. Here's the story I wrote in today's Register detailing the new class.

Quick future scheduling note for Quinnipiac: in addition to a game with Arizona State at High Point Solutions Arena on Oct. 15, the Sun Devils will return to Hamden in 2016-17 for a two-game set. Quinnipiac travels to Tempe, Ariz. for two games the following season.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Yale bringing in seven recruits

While Yale's roster featured seven seniors this past winter, only three, Tommy Fallen, Matt Killian and Trent Ruffolo, were regulars in the lineup. A broken fibula sidelined Anthony Day until the ECAC playoffs. Nico Weberg and Alex Ward combined to play just 11 games before injuries ended their seasons. Goaltender Connor Wilson saw no action, stuck behind the best goaltender in the country.

The Bulldogs will replenish with seven recruits. Four forwards, two defensemen and a goalie will fill the holes left by the departed (Killian arrived as a defensemen, but transitioned to forward.)

Here's the new class.

FORWARDS

Andrew Gaus, Wexford, Pa., 2/23/95 (age 20), 6-1, 180, RW, Cedar Rapids (USHL): Has 14 goals and 18 assists in 58 games for Cedar Rapids, now competing in the USHL playoffs. Prepped at Taft and led the team in scoring twice. Chose Yale over Harvard.

Joe Snively, Herndon, Va., 1/1/96 (age 19), 5-8, 160, C/LW, Sioux City (USHL): His 27 goals, 37 assists and 64 points was tied for fourth in the USHL this season. Extensive international experience. Won gold at the Under-19 Junior-A Challenge in Saskatoon in December; bronze at the Junior Club World Cup in Ufa, Russia last summer. Made the U.S. Under-18 Selects team that played in the Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2013. Team MVP at South Kent in 2012. Chose Yale over Harvard, Providence, Boston College and New Hampshire.

Ted Hart, Cumberland, Maine, 2/20/96 (age 19), 5-11, 172, C/RW, Phillips Exeter Academy: All-New England pick after scoring 24 goals and 24 assists this season. Exeter went 24-4-2 and were the top-seed heading into the playoffs before being upset. Older brother Brian played at Harvard this season and was a second-round pick of Tampa Bay. Another brother, Kevin, played at Providence and is currently in the ECHL. Ted was originally committed to Providence. Maine and New Hampshire had also shown interest.

J.M. Piotrowski, Naperville, Ill., 5/1/95 (age 20), 6-2, 180, Sioux Falls (USHL): Well-traveled Junior career includes stops with the Chicago Fury, Dallas Junior Stars, Wichita Wildcats and Fargo Force prior to this winter. Began the season in Bismarck. Combined for 14 goals, 10 assists in 58 games, with 120 penalty minutes.

DEFENSEMEN

Anthony Walsh, Burr Ridge, Ill., 9/21/95 (age 20), 5-10, 180, Sioux City (USHL): Two goals and nine assists between Green Bay and Sioux City this season.

Charlie Curti, Mound, Minn., 5/24/95 (age 20), 5-11, 192, Cedar Rapids (USHL): Five goals, 19 assists this season. Won gold at Under-19 World Junior-A Challenge in Saskatoon in December.

GOALTENDER

Sam Tucker, Wilton, Conn., 4/16/96 (age 19), 6-2, 175, Choate: Four year starter put up impressive numbers during his prep school career. Named all-league. Led Choate in wins and trip to New England semifinals. Won USA Hockey U-18 national championship with Hartford Junior Wolfpack earlier this month in Buffalo, a team coached by ex-Quinnipiac skater Scott Robson and Doug Messier, father of Mark Messier.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Alex Lyon, Rob O'Gara to return next season

The Bruins wanted Rob O'Gara now. Alex Lyon is still receiving interest. Both will be back in New Haven next season. The story:

NEW HAVEN >> Alex Lyon’s numbers were second to none, yet he lost out on the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top goaltender earlier Friday. But Yale’s rising star would get his due later in the afternoon, named an All-American along with teammate Rob O’Gara.


Perhaps the best news of the day for Yale? Their coach, Keith Allain, confirmed both will put off the NHL and return to school in the fall.


Lyon, a sophomore, and O’Gara, a junior defenseman, were named first-team All-Americans by the American Hockey Coaches Association. The announcement came during a ceremony at Matthews Arena in Boston, part of the Frozen Four weekend’s festivities.

Lyon is Yale’s first first-team All-American goalie since Mike O’Neill in 1989. Alex Westlund was the last Yale goalie to be so honored, as a second-team pick in 1998. O’Gara is the first Bulldog All-American defenseman since Ray Giroux was selected to the first team in 1998.


North Dakota goaltender Zane McIntyre won the Richter Award, and was also a first-team All-American, despite Lyon leading the country in goals-against average (1.62), save percentage (.939) and shutouts (7). That wasn’t surprising, if only because McIntyre was the lone goaltender named Hobey Baker finalist last month.


Still, it’s hard to argue another goalie more valuable to their team than Lyon, who’d already won the Ken Dryden Award winner as the ECAC’s most outstanding goalie.


“The big thing was his consistency,” Allain said. “You knew what you were going to get every day at practice, every weekend going into games. He has the right combination of physical ability, mental toughness and hockey sense. To me, that’s why he’s a really good goalie.”


O’Gara, the ECAC’s top defensive defenseman, was also Yale’s second-leading scorer with 21 points. He entered the year with 18 career points over two seasons.


“Rob epitomizes what we want to be about as a program, and that’s growth,” Allain said. “He was a contributor as a freshman, was much better as a sophomore, and during the last half of this year was a dominant player. He was better in every aspect of the game.”


Both players opened the eyes of NHL suitors this winter. O’Gara, a fifth-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 2011, certainly appeared ready for the next level, something Allain sensed by Christmas break.


“We sat down and I just wanted to get him ready for the fact that Boston would probably try to sign him,” Allain said. “We talked about a lot of things. He wants to get his degree; his parents want him to get his degree. I said that’s good, put you have to be in position to say no to something you want, so you have to get your mind ready for that. Boston was good about it. They approached him. But they like the situation he’s in; he’s getting better. The opportunity was there if he wanted to leave, but there was never any pressure put on him to do so.”


Lyon, an undrafted free agent, has received interest from multiple clubs. He’s committed to Yale next season, but may face a difficult choice at this time next year.


Allain spent the week conducting year-end individual meetings and evaluations with his team. Yale returns nearly its entire roster from a team that led the country in scoring defense and nearly beat Boston University in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.


With O’Gara and Lyon in tow, the Bulldogs should be early favorites to win the ECAC and in the conversation for national championship honors.


“I’m really pleased for both of those guys,” Allain said. “They’re great players and great people who work extremely hard at their sport. They’ve earned the right to be All-Americans. It’s fantastic.”




Thursday, April 2, 2015

Quinnipiac twins Jonah and Nathan Renouf to transfer

Jonah and Nathan Renouf, freshman forwards at Quinnipiac, will transfer to Alaska-Anchorage this fall, the Register has confirmed. Over the Boards first reported the news via Twitter.

The identical twin brothers, listed at 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, were productive in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League last winter and the Ontario Junior Hockey League before that, but neither cracked the lineup for the Bobcats this season.

Quinnipiac, which had planned to bring in six freshmen next season, will likely expand its recruiting class to fill the two additional full scholarship roster spots.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Looking ahead: Yale schedule for next season

Yale hasn't finalized its seven non-league games for next season, but there will be a few changes on tap.

First, the Rivalry on Ice game at Madison Square Garden has been put on hold. Yale is still interested in playing Harvard at the Garden in a third regular season game, just not annually. The Bulldogs would like to hold the event every other season or perhaps every third season.

Also gone is the post-Christmas exhibition game with the Russian Red Stars, who won't be making a U.S. tour this year for the first time in six years.

Yale will once again open with Princeton, a non-league game, as part of the tournament formerly known as the Liberty Hockey Invitational. But that event has a new sponsor and a new location. Trenton's Sun National Bank Center, with its hockey capacity of 7,605. The first two installments of the tournament had been at Newark's Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils.

Here's the non-league schedule to date:

Exhibition with the University of New Brunswick at Ingalls Rink, date to be determined between Oct. 23-25.
Oct. 30: vs. Princeton at Trenton, N.J.
Oct. 31: vs. Maine or Vermont at Trenton, N.J.
Nov. 28: at Providence
Dec. 11: Boston University
Jan. 5: at UMass

Yale is also close to finalizing a two-year, four-game deal with Arizona State that would include a two-game set in Tempe, Ariz. on Jan. 8-9 and two games in New Haven in 2016-17. The contract is expected to be completed by next week.

Arizona State, one of the nation's best club teams, will begin its elevation to Division I status in the fall by playing a mix of club and Division I competition. By 2016-17, the Sun Devils will play as a D-I independent, expected to join a conference by the following season.

Yale had planned on participating in a tournament in Las Vegas that also included Arizona State. Organizers were forced to postpone the event, leaving the Bulldogs with two open dates, kick-starting talks with Arizona State.

The Bulldogs are also working on filling the void left by the Russians with a second exhibition (classified as a scrimmage, per NCAA rules.)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Quinnipiac: a look ahead to 2015-16

Quinnipiac schedule for next fall will once again include a heavy dose of Hockey East opponents. There was a time when Rand Pecknold would take his team anywhere to play anyone. Now that the Bobcats have established themselves as a perennial NCAA contender, he's content to keep his non-conference slate contained to the New England, with an occasional trip to the Midwest.

Here's are the 12 non-conference games on tap for next season. Dates won't be announced until a later date.

HOME GAMES
St. Cloud State (2)
Boston University
Bentley
Maine
Holy Cross
UMass

AWAY GAMES
Holy Cross
Northeastern
UMass
Maine

NEUTRAL SITE GAMES
UConn at Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport

Notes: The series with St. Cloud State will be in October. ... Holy Cross and UMass are two game, home-and-away weekends. ... The UMass series will be on Thanksgiving weekend. ... The game against UConn at Webster Bank Arena, played on a Tuesday night last season, will be held on a Saturday. ... Boston University will spend a weekend in New Haven, playing one night at Quinnipiac and one night at Yale. ... Quinnipiac has never played Boston University before. It returns the game at BU's Agganis Arena in 2016-17 season. ... The Maine games are single games, one home, one away.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sam Anas out for ECAC Championships

Sam Anas, Quinnipiac's leading scorer, is out indefinitely with a leg injury suffered on Sunday against Union. He'll miss Friday's semifinal game with Harvard and, should the Bobcats advance, the championship game on Saturday.

It's an injury that is expected to take several weeks for recovery, meaning Anas is unlikely to play in the first round of the NCAA tournament, though Quinnipiac is holding out hope for the slim chance he may be ready by next weekend.

Anas, the national rookie of the year as a freshman, has scored 23 of Quinnipiac's 103 goals this season.