Alexander Tertyshny: Learning, growing, and leading

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy- Patrick Garriepy Photography

Alexander Tertyshny has been on a unique path in his hockey life. The son of Flyers defenseman Dmitri, he never got to know him as Dmitri passed away in a tragic boating accident shortly before Alexander was born, following a breakout rookie season in the league, but still has left a legacy Tertyshny is following on. Like his father, Alexander is a puck moving defender with an ability to make others around him better. One thing that stands out about his father’s ascent to the NHL was his persistence. Dmitri took a spot on the Flyers with his play and earned a full season in the biggest league in the world.

Initially, Alexander did not want to play hockey, the first day his family put skates on him he cried. That did not last long, as he soon wanted to skate around with his friends. Before too long, he, like Dmitri ended up at defense. He enjoys the cerebral aspect to being a defender, and having the versatility to impact so many parts of the game. For inspiration and guidance, he still watches Dmitri’s games and to this day continues to learn from his father. He has spent most of his life in America, summering in Chelabyinsk, as his mom soon had help from his grandmother to raise Alexander after his father’s accident.

In his time in Pennsylvania, Alexander always knew that he would play hockey. He saw his first college hockey game in the 2013 National Championship between Yale and Quinnipiac in Pittsburgh. He remembered the speed and environment. As for his family, well they always wanted him to go the college route. As Alexander said “the deciding factor was… my mom said that Dmitri wanted to raise him in the states, get a college education, and be set for life beyond college hockey.” In addition he added that, “I kind of want to inspire more Russian players to get over here.”

After his high school career ended at Choate Rosemary Hall, he went back to his father’s hometown and put together two superb years (one full season, and one partial season) for the MHL team in his family’s hometown Belye Medvedi. They are the developmental juniors team associated with Traktor Chelabyinsk in the KHL, the program that produced current Washington center, Evgeni Kuznetsov. There, he drew the attention of many teams in the college game, but chief among them was American International College. He praised the work of former Associate Head Coach, Stephen Wiedler in building the needed trust over multiple seasons, starting after his time at Choate Rosemary Hall was finishing during his time in the MHL.

The best example of this is in how they communicated. Wiedler did not know the popular social media app, Whatsapp was the best way to communicate with Alexander, and after some time downloaded it in and learned a new app to communicate with a recruit for a school he is not still at . He now is an assistant at Vermont.

As to why he is joining AIC, Alexander noted a lot of reasons, but they centered around the ascendancy of the program, combined with its strong international background. He noted that alumnae Patrik Demel reached out to him on joining AIC, among others. As Alexander said ” AIC is just full of really good guys.” He also noted similar paths to play in the KHL that alum Janis Jaks took, combined with the feel of the campus. It all fit for him, so he decided to become a Yellow Jacket.

Like his father, Alexander likes to control the pace of the game, and set the tone for his team on the ice. During his time with the Northeast Generals, he has done that, playing a leadership role for the group since he got to the team in a trade deadline deal with Corpus Christi. While he can play the forward position, his home, as the Generals realized, is on the blue line. The assistant captain will not always fill the net with goals, but can score a highlight reel goal when needed, and often provides a good breakout pass to get his team going towards the net. He will have to work to earn a spot in the top six next year, but is more than ready for the challenge. His ascent up the prep ranks, junior ranks, and his journey in life have all prepared him for this next step.

Of Alexander, Generals Head Coach Bryan Erikson said many great things, including

” Alexander is one of the best kids I have ever coached. Just a happy kid that makes those around him excited to play. He is obviously a very talented player but it’s his energy and positivity that is so valuable and why he is such a great leader. On the ice his skating and vision are elite. He sees the ice so well and puts his teammates in a good position at all time’s. He has a great stick and gaps and it allows him to transition up the ice so quickly. Really proud of the kid he is and the player he is turning into. I think Coach Lang has a great one coming his way in the fall!”

Erikson went on to discuss his off ice background

” [Alexander is] just an amazing kid that I will forever have in my life. He is just a wonderful person that I care so much about. His life hasn’t been the easiest and he’s still the happiest kid in the room. And it isn’t an act. He lets me scream at him at time’s always knowing I have his back. It’s the best thing a coach can have, the trust of a player to coach them and know you are looking out for them as a player and a person.”

Alexander said this of the Generals, and Erikson

” I absolutely love Bryan Eriskon.. cannot thank him enough for everything he’s done for me as a player and as a person.. he is definitely someone I am proud to play for. I owe a lot to Brian.. and definitely want to maintain a great relationship.”

For the rest of the year, the goal of Alexander and Erikson is the same, to get the Generals on the right track to head to the NAHL playoffs. When the year is over, the two will stay in touch and Tertyshny will prepare for the next step in his life of joining the Yellow Jackets. In a year, he will be joined by his goaltender, Hugo Haas. The two are best friends and often spend time together outside of the rink. While on the ice, their battles are often a split decision. Off the ice, all in good fun, the story is the same. Tertyshny thinks he is better in NHL and FIFA games, while Haas has the edge in Rocket League (this part about video games was Alexander’s recollection).

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

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Opinion: Send the NHL back to school, end puck over the glass penalties

Photo Credit:Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

The Men’s College Hockey game is not perfect, and there are some things it can learn from the NHL. With that said, this rule being in the NHL, where in college hockey it is treated like an icing is a clear example of a rule that needs to change.

Why?

Well, what is the point of this penalty at the NHL level, to punish players for shooting the puck out of their own end and over the glass.

What does icing itself do to the defending team?

Punish the defending team for clearing the puck out of their own end. They cannot change skaters, and are often tired on the ensuing faceoff.

What does the delay of game penalty do?

Give the other team a two minute power play where, ironically enough, four fresh players come on to the ice to kill a penalty (we know five is often better than four, but would you rather have your best penalty kill on the ice or your bottom three forwards on a minute plus long shift? Different opinions may result here, your thoughts may very). The point of the rule is well intentioned, but often times lends itself to a grey area in this sport’s highest level that, is not ideal, to say the least.

If you treat this like an icing, we would posit that the percentage of goals scored in the next shift would actually end up being equal to, or higher than power play goals scored on the power play .College hockey, both men’s and women’s, needs to change some rules to mirror the National Hockey League, this is one area where the NHL is clearly in the wrong for having this as a penalty. It allows fresh skaters on the ice to kill the penalty, does nothing to speed the game up, and is not in line with rules players have in other leagues. In a league that makes a lot of money, like the NHL, it seems mildly absurd that we would potentially allow a game seven of the Stanley Cup to be decided because a puck meant to go high off the glass and out of the zone goes one millimeter above the glass and into the stands. Hockey at all levels needs less grey areas in its rules.

Why now

This seems like an easy one that already has some backing from the many fans that give the NHL their ever increasing sums of money on a yearly basis. If you want a goal scored in a playoff overtime, when this is often the only penalty called, would you rather force five tired skaters to stay on the ice, or allow four fresh ones on it? That is the crux of the issue.

The league has tended to prioritize offense, while a power play sounds great, plenty of goals are scored after an icing on a long shift, and this would also simplify things for everyone. This is an idea worthy of its time, and one that would save millions of fans around the world the need to break out a magnifying glass, or elementary knowledge of hockey puck physics in determining if their team gets the power play or not.

Removing the puck over the glass penalty for delay of game, and making the consequence be keeping every skater on the ice seems a more apt punishment. In addition, it forces shorthanded teams to clear the puck properly without relying on reaming the puck around the boards and risking sitting in the box in the process.

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Projecting the future for the 8 UND Men’s Hockey Seniors plus one junior

Photo Credit Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

Now comes the least favorite time for every Men’s college hockey team at the Division One level, immediately upon your season ending, some of your players have to make the decision whether or not to go to the next level to play professional hockey. This decision now applies to all of UND’s seniors, as every student-athlete at this level has been afforded an extra year of eligibility for playing in this pandemic-marred season. With that in mind, let’s look at each of UND’s seniors with options of what we think will happen, not what we want to happen. We will list each as signing a pro contract, returning to UND, or entering the transfer portal to play their extra year elsewhere. We are interested to track this and see where we are right, and where we are not. This will be an offseason unlike any other in this sport.

Jordan Kawaguchi-Signing a contract

Like Odeen Tufto of Quinnipiac, he is a play making forward with a penchant for elevating his team. Last night, his goal with an extra attacker is what sent us to overtime. He elevates his play in big games, and has some of the best vision of any forward at this level. Because of that, and his improved defensive ability over the past four years, look for him to head to the National Hockey League. He will play top AHL minutes this year right away for some teams, and for others could easily slot into their bottom six forward group and play on the power play. Kawaguchi’s biggest improvements in our mind is his defensive ability. He has become one of the tougher defensive forwards to play against with this group, and should fit right in with the next level.

Jasper Weatherby-Signing a contract

As the game went on last night, the Sharks’ draft pick got better as the game went on, similar to his college career. A healthy scratch for more than a few games in his rookie season, he worked his way up the lineup playing a defense first game for the Fighting Hawks. He finished last night with 13 shot attempts, two blocks, and 26 faceoff wins on the 38 he took. Weatherby is ready to play NHL hockey now, based on the strong play he showed in his last two years for UND, and his versatility. If the Sharks are unable to sign him, he will find a home in the NHL.

Weatherby is a junior, but has shown that he is ready to play NHL hockey now.

Peter Thome- Transfer Portal*

If Adam Scheel leaves early and signs an NHL deal, Thome would be the incumbent at UND and have every incentive to play a final year as a Fighting Hawk. He has shown his ability to start consistently at this level, and given the strong goaltending pipeline at Columbus, there is no guarantee the Blue Jackets would sign him, and any other team would probably want him to play more. If Scheel comes back, Thome would immediately be the favorite to start at any school that he were to go to should he decide to go elsewhere.

Gabe BastStaying at UND

To see what he could do as the leader of a group likely to lose at least one first round draft pick (Jacob Bernard Docker), and may lose more (Jake Sanderson if he chooses to leave, as of now he is expected to stay) it would give him a chance to get more top two minutes consistently and show his year over year growth, similar to what Weatherby did in the forward group.

Grant MismashSign a contract

Given that he left the game early with an injury, and was unable to finish it, the first thing is making sure he is ok. Whenever that is, the Predators will want him if they need another scorer in their system that can play a two way game. In nearly half the games of a full season, Mismash put together his most complete campaign for the Fighting Hawks, scoring 10 goals in 20 games. He is ready to play at the next level now, and could compete for a spot out of camp with his former and perhaps future teammate, Cole Smith, next fall.

Matt Kiersted-Sign a contract

He turned down many offers last summer, and went and had another superb year as a two way player playing in key minutes for the Fighting hawks this year. NHL teams wanted him last year, he wanted to come back and work to get UND into the tournament, and further than they finished, but he is ready as he was last year. He is a strong distributor of the puck who shuts down the top players he faces pretty routinely. His play reminds us of Tucker Poolman, a defensive defender who can jump into the rush when needed.

Josh Rieger, Jackson Keane- Transfer portal,return, or graduate

Both of these players have been depth stalwarts for this group. They have improved in their times at UND, and are both key reasons why this program is where it is. If UND has some underclassmen leave early, they may come back, but assuming all underclassmen return, and depending on where they see themselves it will come down to what they want. If they want to be a part of the program in similar roles, they will stay, if they think that they can take their extra years and show what they’ve learned elsewhere, they will do that like what Michael Corson did when he left Denver to go play at Niagara. If the two want to work their way up in the minor leagues, or pursue careers outside of hockey, they will graduate. They each have a tough decision ahead of them.

Collin Adams-Sign a contract or return

Adams really can do what he wants from these two choices. We do not expect him to go through the transfer portal as he would play a key role in UND’s group next year if they will have him back, and if he wants to come back. He put up 34 points in 29 games, and has nothing left to prove at the NCAA level. If he does not want to sign with the Islanders, he will be a free agent, and will most likely go where he thinks he can make the jump to the next level.

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MIDWEST REGIONAL FINAL PHOTOS: UMD 3-UND 2

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

Check out photos from Kelsey of the five overtime thriller. For more photos click the link below.

Gallery

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

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Three Thoughts on UMD-UND: More on history from last night

Photo Credit:Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

Those who attended the Midwest Regional Final at Scheels Arena last night ended up leaving early this morning in a 3-2 Minnesota Duluth win that took a grueling 142:13 to conclude. Luke Mylymok blocked a Jasper Weatherby shot, then took the puck the other way and got a shot on UND netminder Adam Scheel that went five hole and in. Beyond the immediate joy and despair on full display when the puck went in the net last night, there is more from this game that deserves further noting.

Perspectives on pauses

Minnesota Duluth ended up playing over two games in Fargo this weekend given their first round match against Michigan being declared a no contest. To everyone’s credit the extra rest the Bulldogs had did not in anyway give them an advantage against UND. While it makes you wonder what would have happened should the Bulldogs played Michigan, the reality is you will not ever find that answer out. North Dakota’s first round opponent, AIC, had 49 days between the end of their regular season and the start of their postseason. Despite winning their tournament they had to battle back through similar slumps that they faced against UND that proved insurmountable. Head Eric Lang wished he could have played more games towards the end of the season, and tried to even schedule Clarkson before their season was canceled.

How does this relate to last night’s (this morning’s?) result?

Simply to note that having a pause, whether it be 49 days with AIC, or one extra day with Minnesota Duluth’s case, is not the advantage some could make it out to be. AIC had to battle back in both of their games just to make it to Fargo. North Dakota nearly won the game several times in overtime, with the most notable coming on Jasper Weatherby shooting the puck on to the top of the net, where it sat. The Fighting Hawks looked as fresh as the Bulldogs all night, and outside of an 80 second stretch in the third where the Bulldogs potted the first two goals of the night, UND played arguably their best all around game all year. They only took three penalties on the night, had 154 shot attempts, and played a complete game against a great team in Minnesota Duluth. Sometimes, especially in this sport, you lose those games, where you are the better team on the shot clock.

On Minnesota Duluth

Credit Head Coach Scott Sandelin and his staff for this season. The Bulldogs do not really rebuild under Sandelin, they seem to plug in players to his system and have all of their details refined down to their finest point. This team is one of the most disciplined at keeping to their system in this sport, and last night and this morning it showed. When the Bulldogs looked to have won on an earlier rush that was offsides on the same side of the ice and near the same spot that Mylymok gained the zone, they did not stop. UND threw wave upon wave of chances towards them and the Bulldogs never stopped doing what they did to get them their first lead. They clogged lanes, took away grade a chances, and blocked shots. They had to change goaltenders in the fourth overtime and Ryan Fanti came in relief of Zach Stejskal and while not tested nearly as much as the starter, still had to make a few tough saves to even set up the overtime winner. Scott Sandelin’s system and his attention to detail in every aspect of his program set this historic game up. To beat North Dakota this year, teams had to play their best and make less mistakes than them. The Bulldogs did that.

On North Dakota

For some perspective on this, let’s look at what Army West Point Head Coach Brian Riley said after his group had their season ended in the Atlantic Hockey Semifinals by Canisius in overtime “if this is the worst thing that happens in our lives… then life’s going to be pretty good.” This quote comes from the leader of a service academy school that will not have the extra year of eligibility as an option for any of their players due to the requirements of the service academies.

For the Fighting Hawks, they were the best team in the country for the majority of the season, as St. Cloud State will tell you, that does not always win championships. They will have an elite roster of players signing professional contracts this offseason, and could have some seniors choose to come back as well. This program continuously will have some of the most talented recruits coming through its doors, and while the standard is always high at North Dakota, last night showed why. The Fighting Hawks have a strong program, fan base, and professional legacy of alums playing hockey at the highest levels around the world. None of that changes with the result of last night. Over the coming months, seeing who is coming back for them will go a long way to determining for what next season’s team will look like, as will any transfer portal additions (by the time this season ends, there easily could be over 200 players in the transfer portal). Adam Scheel played the game of his life last night, and showed his improvement from last season, and along the way this year to get to where he is now.

He is ready to sign a professional contract and work his way to the NHL, as are many of the players on this team. Their choice for their next steps is up to them. With all of that said, when you look at things in perspective, last night was a supreme exhibition of skill from both teams, playing in an event we did not get to have last season, where one team had to win and one had to lose. The final score takes away nothing from the effort of the Fighting Hawks, and their efforts in defeat only show how tough of a path the Bulldogs had to travel to win.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

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Survive and advance: Minnesota Duluth earns 3-2 quintuple overtime win over North Dakota-Quick recap

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

“There are 15 good teams in this tournament and there’s North Dakota.” AIC Head Coach Eric Lang talked about playing to a script to beat the Fighting Hawks of the University of North Dakota. While his team did not defeat the Fighting Hawks Friday, they played the last two periods against them showing what it took to hang with them on the national stage. Enter the Bulldogs of Minnesota Duluth, who took the three period script, and added five chapters worth of overtimes to it to author a 3-2 overtime win over the Fighting Hawks.

His team played close to that ideal script for the night tonight, but did so in a tumultuous way. They earned a 3-2 overtime win in five overtimes on a Luke Mylymok shot that went through the five hole of Adam Scheel. The goal came on a rush where he walked down the left side of the ice and just squeaked a puck through the five hole of Scheel to win the game. Along the way Duluth had to change goaltenders in an overtime period, and had a goal disallowed in another. In addition to that, they dealt with a UND team that came mere inches from ending their season at any time along the way. Ryan Fanti got the win with six saves, and Zach Stejskal finished with 57 saves on 59 shots.

Minnesota Duluth played a sensational 58 minutes and 41 seconds of it in regulation, and then the Fighting Hawks quickly erased their hopes of winning in regulation.

At that point, with the net empty and an extra attacker on the ice, Collin Adams banked the puck off freshman goaltender Zach Stejskal and in to give UND some needed hope. 43 seconds later, Jordan Kawaguchi put home a wide open shot off a Shane Pinto rebound that came right to him. He made no mistake, and the game went to overtime. This all happened after an 80 second span earlier in the third where the Bulldogs went ahead 2-0. Jackson Cates made a falling down pass to Hunter Lellig at the blue line, then a few moments later Lellig fired the shot that went off Cates and past Adam Scheel.

The first two periods of this game had all of the intensity of the third, but none of the goal scoring

The first overtime had what looked to be the winner from Jackson Cates, but it was called off for the entry being ruled offsides, it was close, but ultimately the correct call. The second overtime had the Fighting Hawks getting a few more looks but to no avail. In the third overtime, the Fighting Hawks continued to run things, but despite getting a puck on top of the goal, they did not get the winner then. This pattern continued into the fifth overtime as just before Mylmok’s goal sent everyone home. Now the Bulldogs move on to Pittsburgh to face the University of Massachusetts Minutemen.

More from this game will come later today, including some thoughts on this historic evening of men’s college hockey.

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PHOTOS: UND vs. AIC

Photo Credit:Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

Check out some more photos from UND’s 5-1 win last night over AIC, all photos belong to Kelsey Lee of Violet Turtle Photography. For the full gallery click the link below.

Full gallery

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

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What to watch for: Fighting Hawks vs UMD for a trip to the Frozen Four

Photo Credit-Kelsey Lee Violet Turtle Photography

Tonight, the Bulldogs of Minnesota Duluth take on the Fighting Hawks of the University of North Dakota for a Frozen Four spot. Here are three things to watch for as a guide to how the game might progress.

Update: Tonight’s game will be officiated by an ECAC crew.

Who scores first

Well, as everyone watching the Fighting Hawks saw last night, this team is unbeaten when scoring first, so far. North Dakota plays a relentless forecheck and has goal scorers on all of its lines to compliment it. If the Bulldogs score first, then the Fighting Hawks will have to answer back, and show their resolve as they have all season. If the Fighting Hawks score first, then the system-driven Bulldogs will have to open their game up a bit, while staying responsible in their own end. As AIC Head Coach Eric Lang said “in this tournament there are 15 good teams, then there’s North Dakota.” The reality of this point could very well be the difference in the evening for the Bulldogs. As we said of them back in September of the Bulldogs:

“The Bulldogs under coach Scott Sandelin play a consistent game while rolling four quality lines, and their depth players have proven to be nearly as valuable as the stars. Although Minnesota-Duluth can deliver a reserved brand of hockey before transitioning to its counterattacking style, there are several notable prospects on the roster who are legitimate scoring threats no matter the situation or strength on the ice”

Trips to the box

UND outplayed AIC enough in an eight minute stretch to make the other 52 minutes not as impactful, they got quality goaltending and were superb on their penalty kill all night. With that said, UND gave AIC five power play chances, of which they converted on one. In a four goal game, that is not something that will resonate with people, however, in a game against a depth-heavy team like Minnesota Duluth, the chances that one of those penalties could prove costly to the season of the Fighting Hawks rises. The Bulldogs need to play clean as well, given the strength that both of these teams have on the power play.

Duluth sticking to their system vs. UND getting to theirs

In interviews over the season, Sandelin has noted how his group,at times, while still talented and skilled at playing a similar game to North Dakota, has strayed from what has won them the last two national championships. If the Bulldogs, a strong even strength team, can bottle up the Fighting Hawks in their own end and get to what makes them a challenge to play against then in a one game scenario the margin for error in UND gets even smaller. If the Fighting Hawks can get to their game first, and force UMD to defend all night, then the amount of goals they scored against AIC could be the low mark for goals they put home in a single game in Fargo this year.

Regardless of result, the NCHC will get another team in the Frozen Four, and could have as many as three representing it in Pittsburgh this year. This conference is always tough, and while UND is expected to win, and has all the tools to do so, Scott Sandelin’s group will not make their lives easy. Both teams will represent their conference well to a national audience tonight in what promises to be compelling hockey from Fargo, no matter who wins.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded journalism that can truly be free for all at this link:paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

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Undrafted Free Agents to Watch: Albany Regional

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

In this regional, after Notre Dame had to withdraw due to being in Covid 19 protocols, we have three teams that will compete for a trip to Pittsburgh and a Frozen Four spot. Each team, St Cloud State, Boston University, and Boston College all have a chance to make the Frozen Four, and each team has undrafted free agents that have helped them progress and get to the NCAA Tournament. Like in each of the other three regions, we will look at one undrafted player to watch today.

Previous Articles in this series.

Fargo Region

Bridgeport Region

Loveland Region

St Cloud State Huskies

Easton Brodzinski

The physical power forward helps the Huskies fast group of forwards create offense. One constant force he has brought to this team for the past four years is his ability to create offense using his frame and ability to battle in the corners. From our earlier preview of the NCHC, we said of him. Among NCHC forwards, his game and ability to agitate to create turnovers is similar to the Fighting Hawks’ Jasper Weatherby. If St. Cloud State can knock off Boston University and advance, it is probable that Easton will have a big part in that.

” A power winger from a hockey family, Brodzinski is a senior who expected to be one of the Huskies’ top scoring threats after he led them in goals (12) and points (27) a season ago. He plays a tough and physical style that increases in ferocity during battles in the corners and along the boards.”

For the Huskies to advance past the Terriers, Brodzinski has to be one of their best players today, when the puck drops in about an hour.

Boston University Terriers

Wilmer Skoog

On a team stacked with top-level draft picks, Skoog has made a name for himself in his first full season of playing the men’s game at the Division one level. He plays a game similar to Brodzinski and uses his size to generate offense for his line. Given how well he played at the North American Hockey League level for Minot and Maryland, it is reasonable to think that he has a lot of upside to his game that Terrier fans have not seen yet. While he looks to come back for another season, in a couple of years if he continues on the positive path he is on, it is not unreasonable to expect him to get looks from the next level. The NHL is filled with physical power forwards with upside, and based on Skoog’s ability to carve out a spot in a talented lineup in one and a half seasons of playing the college game, he is an undrafted prospect well worth watching over the next few years.

Boston College Eagles

Marc McLaughlin

The second line forward for the Eagles has been one of their better players this season. Like the Terriers, the Eagles have a lot of top end drafted talent on their team, that has arguably been made even better by the depth that McLaughlin provides. He has 24 points in 23 games, and is plus 16 on the season. On a team that provides high-end skill every night, McLaughlin’s line and Marc himself provide it with a lot of defense, and round out the team a bit better. What is impressive about his work at this level that can translate to the next one is how he plays the game. Teams want discipline in their players, he has taken three minor penalties for six minutes all year. The NHL wants efficient scorers, well 10 goals on 48 shots is a pretty respectable 20.8 percent clip. Finally, they want leaders. McLaughlin is part of a leadership group that helped the Eagles to a number one seed in Hockey East, one of the toughest conferences in this game.

No Moral Victories: AIC program on the rise loses 5-1 to a complete North Dakota team

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

Tonight, the American International College (AIC) Yellow Jackets hung with the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota for all but an eight minute stretch in the first period. For Eric Lang’s team, the problem was those eight minutes where UND controlled everything, and scored four goals that proved to be the difference on the evening. Jasper Weatherby scored the first two of those goals . Tobias Fladeby put home a nice goal in the slot on a turnover in the third period to briefly make it a three goal difference before Colin Adams put home the final goal of the night. The Fighting Hawks advance to play the Bulldogs of Minnesota Duluth who practiced again today after their first round game against Michigan was declared a no contest due to the Wolverines having positive tier one individuals which precluded them from playing their game. The Bulldogs will try to win their second Fargo Regional and make the Frozen Four this season tomorrow.

With that said, here are three things that stood out to us tonight.

There’s 15 good teams and then there’s North Dakota

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

Head Coach for AIC, Eric Lang, is always one of the more honest people in this game about where things are. The Fighting Hawks are the most complete team he has seen in the past ten seasons, and tonight they showed it in every aspect. While AIC had their moments after their initial push in the first, none of them went in the net behind Adam Scheel until the game was out of hand late in the third period. The Fighting Hawks took the worst segment of even strength hockey that AIC played all year, and put the puck in the back of their net four times. Not many teams, in any part of this level of the sport would recover from that. That does not mean AIC did not battle, far from it. They fought the entire game. This Fighting Hawks team took the inch AIC gave them in the first period, and got a full mile’s worth of results out of it. When AIC fought back, UND had the superb goaltending of Adam Scheel, and the ability to limit zone time to stifle most long attacks from Lang’s group.

Kucharski shows out

Freshman goaltender Jake Kucharski came in to start the second and try and give his team a chance to get back in the game. AIC had some of their best moments with him fighting in net. His hockey sense is good to see, and he did earn five wins for Lang’s team this year. He Called tonight a “coming out party” for Kucharski, and given the 19 saves he mae against the Fighting Hawks, we would tend to agree. Next season, Lang will have four goaltenders who are all capable of playing on the bright stage of the NCAA Tournament. Who gets the net each night will be up to overall goaltender development and how well they battle for the job over the offseason. Kuchrski showed quick skis tonight, including possesion thte abiity to told th

No Moral Victories

In 2019, the media staff of AIC said to us at this regional ” if we win don’t call it an upset” and we would not have called this win, should the result have been different than the final score an upset. AIC has proven that they belong on the national stage with their consistency of effort, and tonight was another chapter in that truth of how far this program has come, and a harbinger of the good to come from it going forward.

Why?

Well Lang is beyond trying to read big conclusions about his program, out of any one isolated event. With that being said, he did not the delayed affect of being in Covid-19 protocol for 42 days before last week. With that said, Lang did not use that as an excuse, noting instead that every single team had to figure things out each day, and he is right about that. Given all of this, as we noted, Lang is welcoming back with open arms all of his seven person senior class, of which he only expects to lose two to the professional ranks (Brennan Kapcheck and Tobias Fladeby). AIC Hockey has again proven with their response how they can and do compete at the highest level of this game, and their continued success in the national tournament, combined with the history of Atlantic Hockey suggests that this conference , like Lang’s team, is on the way up. Had Lang’s group been able to win a few more games (AIC had 7 weeks worth of games canceled due to others, or them dealing with Covid-19 protocol) they may have drawn a different opponent. He does not think that is an excuse for those eight minutes. In addition, despite the loss Lang is immensely proud with the effort displayed by his group as well, and how they did not pack anything in for the last 40 minutes.

No one with the Yellow Jackets wanted the result of tonight, what they got was a bad eight minutes, a confident 52 minutes, and a hope that Lang’s group can go ever further one day. His consistent goal is to get out of regionals every shingle season. Moral victories and shot totals do not matter when your team has more goals. Lang’s group also had better results than some NCHC teams did against the Fighting Hawks. For UND to win, they need to keep their pressure up, and reprise those eight minutes in the Regional Final.

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