Jake Stella: How AIC has helped him grow

Photo Credit:AIC Athletics

For Jake Stella, a junior forward at AIC who is having the best year of his college career so far, hockey was always a part of his his life growing up in Sweden.

“I started at a young age, it was always soccer and hockey for me.” He went with hockey at the age of 15 and didn’t look back. Stella has gone on this year to have a career year passing his totals in goals , assists, and points with half a season left to play.

He came to AIC because “I just think it was the right fit for me as a player and a person. It’s been a great experience for me and I’m glad I choose AIC.”

Before that, Stella came over to play junior hockey, working his way up from the South Shore Kings of the NCDC before playing for the Corpus Christi Icerays in the NAHL.

“I didn’t really think about taking the college path until my senior year in high school.” He started exploring his options during his senior year in high school. South Shore’s NCDC team is where he went first. “I’m glad I took that chance.”

While with the Kings, he took some time to adjust to the North American game. He said “It definitely took me some time ( to adjust to the North American sheet of ice) but once I settled in I felt comfortable.”

He talked to former assistant coach Mike Towns at the Top Prospects game ans that sealed the deal. That was the first time he talked with any one from AIC

On playing with freshman Evan Stella, his brother, “ it’s a very cool experience. For me personally I look forward to seeing him develop as a player and a person.”

He let Evan know about his AIC experience without pushing him to come.”I just tried to share my experience with him.”

Stella wants to stay around the game of hockey long after his time as a player for as long as possible. Hockey is his life, and he wants to be involved with the game for as long as it will have him.

On Head Coach Eric Lang “He’s one of the best coaches I’ve had in my career so far, it’s very easy to play for him.” He praised how Lang has built the culture and the team over time. “There’s a lot of things you could say about him.. just the culture he brings into the locker room… it’s very special.”

On Lang’ and his staff staff, Stella credits them for “having the trust and belief they put in me.”

On his career year he is having on the ice “it’s been a fun year so far.. the offense hasn’t shown in previous years but I always know that I’m capable of it. I just try to take advantage of every chance I’ve got. It’s been a fun year so far. Obviously I couldn’t have done it without my l, Chris Theodore and Justin Young.”

Army West Point Learns a Lesson in 4-2 loss to Sacred Heart: Read more

Photo Credit: Mady Salvani-Army West Point

Tonight, the Black Knights of Army West Point learned from their battle against Sacred Heart. Despite losing 4-2 they took some lessons away that could help them later this season. As Coach Brian Riley said “we put ourselves in a tough spot down three goals , the third period was our best period.. we were kind of chasing the game from the start … I just thought we made it hard for ourselves tonight. We didn’t manage the game very well.”

Riley praised Joey Baez’s ascendancy “ we’ve said all along that he’s got the ability to score, we are going to need guys like him to get on the scoresheet.” Riley also praised Michael Sacco for his work in the dot. “He’s a real good skater, and plays a lot bigger than his size, every game that he can play and get more experience, I thought he had a very good game tonight. He has the ability to play center or the wing. I think he has a lot of confidence playing in the middle. We knew that he’d be an option for us to play in the middle if we needed to do that. He’s filled in and done a good job.”Army lead the way in the faceoff dot tonight and Sacco was a big part of that. Riley also was blunt about the sucess of Gavin Abric in net for his team tonight. “We left him our to dry a couple of times.” Riley praised Gavin Abric for keeping his team in the game.

Riley was looking for more from his leadership group to have a better game and help the rest of his team. As he said, “that’s a responsibility that our guys enjoy having.”

Moving forward Riley described what happened and what’s next in saying “You either teach or get taught a lesson. We got taught a lesson tonight that we need to be a lot better and you can’t make a mental mistake. We will look at the film tomorrow and have a good video session. After that video session our focus will be completely on Holy Cross.

On how the game went and the message he wants his group to take away from this as future leaders of the Army he added.

“We kind of became individualistic out there. We wanted to have so much success out there that guys kind of went on their own. Every game is an opportunity to develop as a leader for every single one of our guys, when you get knocked down you have to get back up. I think our leadership group will respond and be better on Friday. That’s why I talk about the rink as a leadership laboratory. The lessons they learn will help to develop and shape our players to be the leaders when they graduate to lead this nations sons and daughters.”

Finally on their next challenge of Holy Cross Riley added “They are going to challenge you to outwork them. Bill Riga has gone in and got them working really hard again. These are going to be physical games. Ice is going to be hard to get. You’re going to have to earn every inch of it. I’m looking forward to I’m sure what will be a blue collar hard nosed hockey weekend for sure.”

Brian Riley on Army’s West Point’s preparations for Sacred Heart and more

Photo Credit:Mady Salvani-Army West Point

With their exhibition against Royal Military College canceled, Armt West Point had to adjust. As Head Coach Brian Riley said “We practiced Friday in like a simulated game situation.” Eric Butte and Colin Bilek were the two standouts from each team that had two forward likes on it.

This time of year, Army also can’t benefit from partial scholarships with depth. That is they can’t take on extra players like most teams teams can. Riley can’t simply offer walk on spots to extra players to provide more depth as he’s limited by what the allowances he is given is. Army has held strong as he said, “We’ve been fortunate that the numbers have worked for us.”

As Riley said of this game against Sacred Heart “Tuesday games are kind of rare.” He is proud of his team for “ just seeing the team come together and believing that they can win and come together as a team, my hope is that you’re playing your best coming down the stretch.”

On the Pioneers Riley said , “I think the biggest challenge Sacred Heart presents is its skill level, when you play these skilled teams you have to be really good without the puck.”

On their coach , C. J. Marottolo Riley added a lot, he said “ first of all, C.J. is just a great person. I’ve gotten to know him over the years now. Most importantly I just think he’s an outstanding human being. I just enjoy every time we play getting to spend time with him.”

This year Sacred Heart has added a wealth of graduate transfers that “make them really really good.” Riley also said “ sometimes it’s not who you’re playing but when you’re playing them. They have talent in every position. At goal they have depth, they have a defense corps that can defend and put up offense and up front it’s Sacred Heart.”

Away from the challenge Army faces , Riley did take the time to praise AIC and their work this year for themselves and for Atlantic Hockey. He said regarding what his pupil Eric Lang and what his AIC team is doing this season, elevating themselves and Atlantic Hockey at large. “ There they go again… right on cue.. a lot of people may have been thinking that they were down right at the start… right now they are proving that if you want to get to the top of this league you’re going to have to go them.”

AIC earns 6-3 sweep over Mercyhurst: Now what?

Photo Credit-Kelsey Lee: Violet Turtle Photography

For AIC, their 6-3 sweep of Mercyhurst again featured quality up and down the lineup. Head Coach Eric Lang was positive about his team and singled out two players. He said of Austen Long “ Long is the heartbeat of our hockey program. I have the utmost belief and respect for him.” Of his linemate, Darwin Lakoduk , and Long again Lang added “ Darwin keeps getting better and better. Quite honestly I could probably play with Austen Long right now. 44 is everything that’s right about our program. Our backcheck continues to be the best part of our program. It’s hard to play against. Longs backcheck late in the 3rd period was inspiring.” The strength of this group is in its depth. Lang doesn’t look to label his fourth line on paper as a “fourth line” and with that tries to deploy players closer .

As for Mercyhurst, Head Coach Rick Gotkin was clear in takeaways from the series.

He said “We like to think we can and are learning to get better every day and this weekend was no different. I guess the big take away is you battle back from 4-1 and get it to 4-3 with 7:30 left in the third period and you are starting to really get going. Then you take a very bad penalty and it seals your fate.
I thought we showed once agin that we are never out of a game, and I really liked our effort and determination.”

For AIC, they now get ready to face a veteran laden Sacred Heart team fighting for a first round bye. The Pioneers do not have as much skill as the Lakers but right now have a more well rounded team. AIC has to keep this play going on their eight game winning streak up to have a chance. This AIC team is one of the deepest that Eric Lang has had, and they will have to be at their best to face a Sacred Heart team with a similar level of experience. That back check has to continue for Lang’s group to have a chance of earning six points against Sacred Heart.

For Mercyhurst, they head home to face an Air Force Group that had AIC on their heels two weeks ago before earning a sweep at home over Niagara. If the Lakers can strike first against a punchy but inexperienced Falcons team and get them out of sorts, then they could work towards six needed conference points at home.

Gary Wright: A Pillar for AIC and the underdog in College Hockey

Photo Credit: RJB Sports

For AIC Hockey, the first thing nearly everyone outside of the program talks about is its culture. Eric Lang has taken this team to three Atlantic Hockey Championships in a row and multiple NCAA Tournmaments in a row in part because he has players that love the culture he has helped establish. Well, Lang, as the second division one head coach in this program had decades of help from its first coach at this level, his friend, former coach, and mentor for life, Gary Wright. Lang, and Coordinator of Communications Seth Dussault both would not be where they are with AIC without Grary Wright. With Wright receiving the John “Snooks” Kelley Founders Award from the AHCA, both have a lot to say about their mentor, and their friend on what he means to them, and all he has done. The award “honors those people in the coaching profession who have contributed to the overall growth and development of the sport of ice hockey in the United States.”

First, as to what Wright did with what he had at AIC , Eric Lang put emphasis on this

” Gary had some outstanding teams, some of the best in AIC history. He did this with one hand tied behind his back. He was never afforded the resources we have to date. He is an all time coach in every sense of the word. He could coach swimming, hockey, wrestling, you name the sport he would have been a great coach. Everything he taught us as players and for me later as a coach is about doing things the right way. It’s hard for me to quantify the impact he has had on my life. One thing is for certain. I’m not here answering these questions without him.

Coach Wright’s story goes far and above wins and losses. It’s way deeper than that. Get 3-4 AIC hockey players in a room and we can’t get a sentence out without talking about him and the impact he has made on all of our lives.Get 3-4 coaches (there are a lot of us in this business because of him) and we can’t not bring up a Coach Wright story. In terms of AIC historically being an underdog. There is certainly some truth to that but we never believed it. He never ever made an excuse.” Lang never backs down from challenging schedules, and that is one of the many things he shares in common with Gary Wright. While AIC may always be considered an underdog by those outside of its walls, this program has always viewed itself as able to compete with anyone. That common belief started with Wright.

Lang felt that Wright took chance on him as he talked about after AIC played Uconn yesterday , he said “Gary is one of the most important people in my life. He gave a very below-average hockey player an opportunity to play college hockey and the same below-average hockey player with zero coaching experience an opportunity there. He’s as special a person as there is. Any time you spend over 30 years at one institution, affecting the lives that he has, it’s pretty neat. It’s an award well-deserved and warranted. A lot of things we do are things I learned from Gary.”

Dussault noted that as to his involvement with AIC Hockey, that would not have happened without Wright.

He said “Coach Wright made it a point of ensuring that I could be a part of things. The opportunities I had – traveling with the team, being around practices, being involved in general – it wasn’t that he tolerated my presence, but that he actively wanted me to be part of the team. He made sure I got to travel with the team, and that came out of the team’s budget, but it was worth it to him. The extra experience and opportunities to hone my craft made me better at my job, and I also got to go to incredible places – Penn State, Michigan, Air Force, Maine, you name it – and be part of some amazing moments, like beating PSU in overtime in the first varsity game for the Nittany Lions. I’ll never forget Jon Puskar tipping that shot in with under 30 seconds left in OT after 61 saves by Ben Meisner, nor will I forget Coach quipping as he sat down to do the postgame presser in front of dozens of reporters that he wasn’t used to such large numbers of media.”

Both Lang and Dussault talked about Wright’s building of what AIC Hockey is and what the culture of it is. Lang said it best as he discussed what defines AIC Hockey, traits that Wrifhr has ensured are to be at the center of all the players and staff that are fortunate enough to be a part of the family that AIC is , family that Wright helped grow “Integrity,honor, honesty and accountability. If every NCAA hockey coach conducted himself like Coach Wright did their would be no need for an NCAA rule book. Coach never worked in the grey area. He cared about developing people and was never in the excuse business. The word culture has become a buzz word the last 5 years. Gary was hard-lined on bringing in great people. He measured twice and cut once in that area.”

From Lang, apart from Wright being a strong competitor, he took the time to discuss how detail oriented everything Wright did was, and how ahead of his time he was in teaching aspects of the game. As Lang describes “Their are so many. The one thing as a player is nothing superseded sportsmanship and playing the right way. He was no nonsense in this area. His teams were always the most disciplined in the country. I have always said this; Coach Wright was so far ahead of his time in terms of skill development, creativity, allowing your players to make plays. Til this day nobody ran a better practice. Never a puck out of place or any disorganization. Puck possession, going backwards with puck, puck support, getting your defenseman involved in the offense. Coach was doing this in the mid 80’s. It’s one of our pillars as a program today. The right way. It’s my Gary Wright pillar.”

As to stories, Dussault had three he wanted to highlight involving Wright.

They are as follows “ We were at Bentley University back in the days of the old JAR, before their new rink. A pass comes across from the left point to the right, ramps up off a stick, and hits Coach square across the face, pretty sure it was along his right cheekbone. He’s bleeding pretty badly. And all he does is grab a towel from our athletic trainer, stuff it up against his face, and finish coaching the game. Nothing mattered more to him than his team.

( second) When Coach was closing in on his 300th win, the league reached out to me asking to do a story about it, which necessitated a quote from him. We were on the road to a game at the time, and so I walked to the front of the bus to ask him for one. He wasn’t thrilled about it – not that I was asking, so much as he just didn’t want the story to be about him, because that meant taking away from the guys. Ultimately, of course, he relented.
(Finally) This last one, grab some Kleenex before you start reading. You’ll need it.

Back in 2012, we had a young student named Emily come to our campus. Emily loved hockey more than anything in the world. And her decision to come to AIC was based solely on seeing us play Sacred Heart near her home in southern Connecticut. She wanted to be involved. And like he did with me, Coach found a way. He had her helping out in the office, helping with gear, anything that he could think of to get her around the team.
Emily had epilepsy. It had a significant impact on her life, and in 2013 she had a surgery to attempt to correct the issue leading to it. I’ll never forget getting the phone call after she woke up. She wanted to talk to me a bit, and wanted to talk to Coach Wright. We were at Bentley, and it was maybe 90 minutes before game time. I brought Coach the phone, which of course normally you’d never want to bother him as he’s getting ready for a game, but as soon as I said it was her, he dropped everything and went to talk to her.
Emily unfortunately passed away in 2014. I still don’t know what happened, beyond that she went to sleep and didn’t wake up. It was devastating. And I remember being the one to tell Coach. Might be the only time I’ve come close to hearing him cry. Suffice it to say, our entire team went to the memorial service they had for her in her hometown in Connecticut. Coach Wright’s compassion made such an impact on Emily and on her family. Her dad reached out to me today actually when he saw he won the award from the AHCA to express his continued gratitude.”

To wrap this up, both of these men who are now pillars in the AIC community would not be where they are without the help of Wright. Lang summed it up best in saying something we think Seth would agree with, and many of those who have gone on from AIC to do great things with the game of hockey or in another field would agree with “It’s hard for me to quantify the impact he has had on my life. One thing is for certain. I’m not here answering these questions without him.”

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

Your donation will help expand what content we can offer and how many stories we can tell.

AIC earns 3-1 win over UConn: read more

Photo Credit Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

AIC earned a 3-1 win over the UConn Huskies tonight. In the process they got their first non conference win of the season and did so against a team that has a lot of similarities to their next opponent, Mercyhurst. AIC won this game on goals from Chris Van Os-Shaw, Chris Theodore, and Luis Lindner. Jake Kucharski played another sound game in net keeping AIC in things even during the few minutes in the second period where the Huskies out played them.

Lindner provided the insurance goal, he said “ I don’t really remember just how I started I just had the opportunity to skate and beat my guy up the ice then Eric Otto hit me with a great pass and it was a great team goal. We adjusted our game throughout and got on the board and everything kept rolling for us.”

For him, he is a rookie defender that has played beyond his years in the second half , winning multiple Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week awards. He said “ I have to thank my coaches for giving me their trust and throwing me on the ice in every situation.”

On how AIC worked together to beat UConn and win more puck battles he said ,”It’s not all the time the bigger teams win the hockey game. It’s how the teams work together and how the teams compete. That’s what makes us so good competing against bigger and stronger teams. We have to work together as a group and stay tight.”

On the night, Jake Kucharski played well and made 24 saves on the evening. Kucharski said “ I thought we started well and didn’t look back. Everyone contributed tonight and it was the definition of a team win.”

On playing through big sequences in the second and keeping his team in it he said, “Once you’re having fun and genuinely enjoying the game it doesn’t seem like a chore out there. I was just having fun.”

One reason Kucharski has played so well is AIC’s goalie coach, Patrick Tabb. He praised goalie coach Patrick Tabb for his availability, “ I think that’s an important thing to have in a goalie coach.” Tabb is a great coach that focuses on personal instruction which Jake also praised.

Head Coach Eric Lang was quite happy with things, saying “ I thought our collective group was really really strong tonight. That’s as skilled and as talented of a team as we’ve seen in a long time tonight. We had to do a good job taking care of pucks and making a muddy track in the neutral zone. I’m happy for ( UConn transfer) Brian Rigali, our guys were playing for Rigs tonight.”

On potentially playing the other game against UConn if the chance arises he said that “I think in this Covid Era that we are playing games in .. if there’s an opportunity to play games that’s what we want to do.”

Lang does not and will not back down for the schedule his group plays every year. He said “We don’t back off of who we play in our non league schedule.. every non league opponent we’ve played this year could be a tournament team. There isn’t a team in the country that we don’t think we could go up and down the ice with.” Lang also praised the work of Kucharski in net saying “We wouldn’t trade Kuch for anyone right now.. he’s got another gear too. That’s his upside.”

Lang praised the growth of Austen Long as a team player. He said “Longer’s in the best shape of his life right now. He’s one of the most courageous players I’ve ever coached. He’s a guy that’s fully bought in to anything we’ve asked of him. It’s all about the team (for him).. it’s all about the team.”Long’s fourth line had a big part in the win tonight.

Lang echoed Lindner’s sentiments on the won puck battles as a sign of what playing AIC Hockey is, saying, “That’s kind of what we do here .. we preach that it’s not how big you are it’s how big you play.”

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

Your donation will help expand what content we can offer and how many stories we can tell.

Northeast Generals Week in Review

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

This week saw both the NAHL and NA3HL teams play a total of five games. Both teams had positives to talk about. For the NAHL team, who won two of three games against Danbury, Head Coach Bryan Erikson said.

“It was huge to get 4 out of 6 this weekend. Especially after the turd we laid on Friday. Friday was such a poor game for us that we just said you know what, we aren’t talking about it. No video, no meetings, let’s just pretend it didn’t happen.Told the boys they knew what to do on Saturday and they played a solid 60 minutes. And then today with us only having 1 healthy sub all weekend we were able to play hard and battle again for a complete game. Great job by Cullen DeYoung who played a bit on Friday and then both Saturday and Sunday. Other standouts were Matt Boczar, Kyle Schroeder and Joe Schubert. All 3 played relentless all weekend. It was great to see them just compete every shift in all zones. And we got scoring contributions from other parts on the lineup which was great like Schubert, Joey McGraw, Doug Friberg, Ryan Corcoran. Real team win this weekend. Now we have to go down there and they will want revenge so we need a really good week of practice and focus to be ready for 4 crucial points in Danbury.”

For the NA3HL team, lead by Head Coach Daryl Locke he noted the following on his team’s sweep in their first two games of 2022.

“I thought in Friday’s game the boys had good energy from the drop of the puck. We were attacking with pace and I think when we do that we have success. It was nice to see Tommy Lubin and Viktor Solokhin score. Viktor is a 2004 from Russia who is starting to show his skill. It’s nice to get that secondary scoring to help boost your team. Braeden Kennedy and Matt Nuzzolilo showed why they’re two of the best forwards in The NA3HL. Just consistently good night after night. Eddie Mulligan was excellent on the back end. His passing skills and defense are elite. Mason Joseph coming back from injury was solid in net. Overall, a good start to the second half of the season.”

“Today’s game we started fast. Our forecheck was solid and I think we put the Titans on their heels a bit. They always play us tough and we knew going in we needed that fast start. I was really happy for Jackson Schouten, a recent call up from our U16 Generals Team. He had a nice goal and added two assists for a three point game. Again, secondary scoring was key in the game. Tyler Ramm, a recent call up to our NAHL Team, was a major force again for us. His three goals , assist, and fight showed why he is a player to be reckoned with down the stretch. We suffered some injuries today including Cedric Savoie, who was injured during an altercation in the second period. I’m happy to report that he is doing fine and wants everyone to know he appreciates everyone’s well wishes. Our medical team will be very busy this week as we have six regulars out with injuries. Overall, happy gaining four points in the stands this weekend.”

Erikson added on the NA3HL team, where he is the assistant coach and general manager “ The thing I think was the key is they realized they can beat anyone out in Blaine but forgot that the way they do that is by out working our opponents not out skill them. And these games this weekend we did just that. Nice workman like win where we played hard in all 3 zones, finished hits and competed for 60 minutes. That was something we did in the first 2 games in MN but failed to do in the 3rd game and will be key to our success moving forward.”

Box Scores

NAHL results

Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks 5 at Northeast Generals 2 – Status: Final
Friday, January 7, 2022 – New England Sports Village

Danbury 1 1 3 – 5
Northeast 1 0 1 – 2

1st Period-1, Northeast, Friberg 4 (Andreychuk, Schroeder), 0:45. 2, Danbury, Dombrowski 12 (Burke, Salandra), 16:38 (PP). Penalties-Ardagna Nte (holding-minor), 15:25.

2nd Period-3, Danbury, Johnson 2 (Howard), 3:11. Penalties-Krivtsov Dht (holding-minor), 6:56.

3rd Period-4, Danbury, Johnson 3 (Sukovic, Burke), 6:02. 5, Northeast, Schubert 5 (Boczar, Woll), 7:03. 6, Danbury, Krivtsov 11 (Nickerson, Harrington), 9:26. 7, Danbury, Skalos 7 (Howard), 17:58 (EN). Penalties-Cooper Nte (slashing-minor), 19:50.

Shots on Goal-Danbury 12-8-17-37. Northeast 13-6-8-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Danbury 1 / 2; Northeast 0 / 1.
Goalies-Danbury, Johnson 3-7-1-0 (27 shots-25 saves). Northeast, Drum 2-4-0-0 (22 shots-18 saves); DeYoung 9-5-0-1 (14 shots-14 saves).
A-
Referees-Cameron Giancarlo.
Linesmen-Ben Eisenhunt, Nicholas Gutekunst.

Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks 1 at Northeast Generals 4 – Status: Final
Saturday, January 8, 2022 – New England Sports Village

Danbury 0 1 0 – 1
Northeast 1 1 2 – 4

1st Period-1, Northeast, Boczar 4 (Schroeder, Andreychuk), 6:02 (SH). Penalties-Gordon Nte (high sticking-minor), 3:02; Lajoy Dht (slashing-minor), 12:11; Mccurdy Dht (tripping-minor), 18:49.

2nd Period-2, Northeast, DesRochers 3 (Andreychuk, Keefer), 0:39 (PP). 3, Danbury, Dombrowski 13 (Haborak, Burke), 5:18 (PP). Penalties-Friberg Nte (interference-minor), 4:12; Davis Dht (checking from behind-minor), 5:54; Minnehan Nte (tripping-minor), 11:25; Lajoy Dht (hooking-minor), 14:16.

3rd Period-4, Northeast, Corcoran 4 (Ardagna, Andreychuk), 10:09 (SH). 5, Northeast, Friberg 5 (Boczar, DeYoung), 19:03 (EN). Penalties-Gordon Nte (roughing-minor), 2:11; Kaminski Nte (tripping-minor), 5:41; Tolan Nte (cross checking-minor), 8:45; Jennersjö Nte (slashing-minor), 12:25.

Shots on Goal-Danbury 10-11-9-30. Northeast 14-12-5-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Danbury 1 / 7; Northeast 1 / 4.
Goalies-Danbury, Seeley 5-13-2-0 (30 shots-27 saves). Northeast, DeYoung 9-5-0-1 (30 shots-29 saves).
A-122
Referees-Cameron Giancarlo.
Linesmen-Ben Eisenhunt, Nicholas Gutekunst

Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks 1 at Northeast Generals 4 – Status: Final
Sunday, January 9, 2022 – New England Sports Village

Danbury 1 0 0 – 1
Northeast 1 1 2 – 4

1st Period-1, Northeast, Cooper 1 (McCarthy, Jennersjö), 14:46. 2, Danbury, Sukovic 5   15:10. Penalties-Nickerson Dht (high sticking-minor), 11:02.

2nd Period-3, Northeast, Keefer 14 (Andreychuk, Boczar), 8:27. Penalties-McCarthy Nte (hooking-minor), 4:59; Gordon Nte (holding-minor), 9:19; Johnson Dht (high sticking-double minor), 13:35; McCarthy Nte (slashing-minor), 17:12.

3rd Period-4, Northeast, Keefer 15 (Gordon, Minnehan), 0:58. 5, Northeast, Corcoran 5 (McCarthy, Ardagna), 15:52 (PP). Penalties-Danziger Dht (tripping-minor), 7:41; Dombrowski Dht (head contact-major, head butting-gm), 14:12; Schroeder Nte (kneeing-minor), 18:44.

Shots on Goal-Danbury 13-8-19-40. Northeast 13-12-6-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Danbury 0 / 2; Northeast 1 / 4.
Goalies-Danbury, Seeley 5-14-2-0 (31 shots-27 saves). Northeast, DeYoung 10-5-0-1 (40 shots-39 saves).
A-124
Referees-Robert Esposito.
Linesmen-Ben Eisenhunt, Nicholas Gutekunst.

NA3HL Box Scores

Bay State Bobcats 0 at Northeast Generals 5 – Status: Final
Friday, January 7, 2022 – New England Sports Village

Bay State 0 0 0 – 0
Northeast 0 2 3 – 5

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-served by Penning Bsb (too many men-minor), 7:40; Demoura Net (roughing-minor), 17:56.

2nd Period-1, Northeast, Kennedy 11 (Nuzzolilo, Sinople), 2:05. 2, Northeast, Solokhin 4 (Kennedy, Lamphear), 8:26. Penalties-Savoie Net (cross checking-minor), 5:53; Penning Bsb (roughing-minor), 8:12; Woak Bsb (roughing-minor), 8:12; Gorman Net (roughing-minor), 8:12; Lambert Net (roughing-minor), 8:12; Sinople Net (fighting-major), 15:31; Sinople Net (fighting (secondary)-gm), 15:32.

3rd Period-3, Northeast, Gorman 14 (Demoura), 3:01. 4, Northeast, Lubin 2 (Kennedy, Nuzzolilo), 4:38. 5, Northeast, Nuzzolilo 11 (Mulligan, Schouten), 10:23. Penalties-Demoura Net (interference-minor), 5:51; Desmarais Bsb (roughing-minor), 9:41; Frolik Net (roughing-minor), 9:41.

Shots on Goal-Bay State 4-11-7-22. Northeast 18-15-17-50.
Power Play Opportunities-Bay State 0 / 5; Northeast 0 / 2.
Goalies-Bay State, Schnopp 2-4-0-0 (50 shots-45 saves). Northeast, Joseph 11-0-0-0 (22 shots-22 saves).
A-219
Referees-Z. Hakim.
Linesmen-Cameron Antonellis, Patrick Gardner.

New Jersey Titans 3 at Northeast Generals 8 – Status: Final
Sunday, January 9, 2022 – New England Sports Village

New Jersey 0 0 3 – 3
Northeast 5 1 2 – 8

1st Period-1, Northeast, Wracker 1 (Schouten, Mulligan), 2:27. 2, Northeast, Schouten 1 (Hess, Mulligan), 4:26. 3, Northeast, Hess 10 (Mulligan, Schouten), 16:33. 4, Northeast, Nuzzolilo 12 (Solokhin, Kennedy), 17:26. 5, Northeast, Ramm 10 (Wracker, Mulligan), 18:59 (PP). Penalties-Mirelli Njt (interference-minor), 2:21; Frolik Net (roughing-minor), 2:21; Lambert Net (charging-minor), 7:08; Demoura Net (tripping-minor), 9:04; Miller Njt (roughing-minor), 12:22; Wracker Net (roughing-minor), 12:22; Mataviesko Njt (roughing-minor), 13:15; Lupo Njt (slashing-minor), 18:03.

2nd Period-6, Northeast, Ramm 11 (Schouten, McCoy), 6:31 (PP). Penalties-Demoura Net (interference-minor), 4:09; Mataviesko Njt (unsportsmanlike conduct-minor, fighting-major, fighting-ej, spitting- gross misc), 5:37; Savoie Net (fighting-major, fighting-ej), 5:37; Nuzzolilo Net (slashing-minor), 8:10; Cook Njt (cross checking-minor, fighting-major, fighting-ej), 11:26; Hess Net (unsportsmanlike conduct-minor, fighting-major, fighting-ej), 11:26; Lupo Njt (fighting-major, fighting-ej), 12:05; Lambert Net (fighting-major, fighting-ej), 12:05; Demoura Net (charging-minor), 13:12; Wracker Net (interference-minor), 13:12.

3rd Period-7, New Jersey, Renbarger 2 (Ponechal), 1:06. 8, Northeast, Ramm 12   1:42. 9, New Jersey, Ponechal 12 (Burns), 9:54 (PP). 10, Northeast, Nuzzolilo 13 (Ramm), 14:05 (SH). 11, New Jersey, King 2 (Renbarger, Ponechal), 18:36 (PP). Penalties-Schouten Net (roughing-minor), 0:31; Scherff Njt (tripping-minor), 0:42; Freitas Njt (tripping-minor), 2:35; Gorman Net (cross checking-minor), 2:35; Demoura Net (spearing-major, spearing-ej), 4:58; Ramm Net (boarding-minor), 7:23; Kennedy Net (interference-minor), 12:58; Lincoln Njt (roughing-minor, unsportsmanlike conduct – 10 minute), 15:10; Mulligan Net (fighting-major, fighting under 5 minutes-gm), 15:10; Ramm Net (fighting-major, fighting under 5 minutes-gm), 15:10.

Shots on Goal-New Jersey 6-6-16-28. Northeast 33-23-14-70.
Power Play Opportunities-New Jersey 2 / 16; Northeast 2 / 8.
Goalies-New Jersey, Freitas 3-5-0-0 (70 shots-62 saves). Northeast, McCoy 13-2-0-0 (28 shots-25 saves).
A-119
Referees-Anthony Luciano.
Linesmen-Graem Delong, Zach Luczyk.

Canisius 5 Army West Point 3: what has to change for the finale

Photo Credit: Mady Salvani-Army West Point Athletics

There were some positives tonight for Army West Point and it’s Head Coach had good things to say about them. With that said, Brian Riley let this outlet and his team know that he expects a different effort from them in the series finale. He expects more from all of his team throughout the game as they played the third period well, and tomorrow is a new day.

As he said .”it was a sleepy first period, a bad second period, and we played with a sense of urgency because we were down.”Riley’s group ran the third period but couldn’t convert. He said “we put ourselves in a bad spot, we really had one good period of hokcey. We weren’t good enough to win tonight.”

As for positives Riley talked about his roomies. Tonight The plebes lead the way. Josh Bohlin “ he is one of the guys that works his tail off.” Joey Baez “ has a lit bit of Bilek , when he shoots pucks he’s a threat to score. It’s great to have freshmen scoring but we need some of the older guys to score.”

Riley though the line of Eric Butte, Colin Bilek and Mitch Machlitt had a good game. Butte won most of the faceoffs. “They played a lot and were our best line, I thought they were pretty consistent with their effort.”

“It would have been amazing if we won considering how we played.” Riley was consistent and finished with saying “We owe it to each other to just play better.. we never gained any traction tonight. We’re going to have to make better plays and get consistency through our lineup and manage the game together. Hopefully this is a little bit of a wake up call. Any time you lose on Friday your back is to the wall. I would like to think we’ll respond with good effort.” The Black Knights had some good things happen, but they need to be a more consistent team.

Matt Shasby is building the next frontier of UAA Hockey and more: Read why

Alaska Anchorage Head Coach Mart Shasby knows what a new or remodeled rink on campus means. Sometime in the next two weeks an engineer will walk the current on campus building, the Seawolf Sports Complex , and present the reborn Alaska Anchorage Hockey program two choices. Remodel what is there to make it even better and put a rink in it , or build a new on campus rink for, ideally the 23-24 college hockey season .

Of course building a rink is one part of the equation. Shasby has already secured nine total commitments for next year featuring two transfers and seven freshmen. All of these players, as Shasby said “ every guy has a chip on their shoulder and is looking to prove people wrong.”

Of roster composition, Shasby wants to spread his distribution of classes out pretty evenly to ensure scholarship funds are available for years two and on. He is excited, and said of his work in getting almost ten comitts signed so far that “the roster building could not be going better at this point.” The plan is to get to twelve commits before the transfer portal season opens up, be active recruiting transfers to the beautiful town and environment that Alaska offers, and depending on spots left, add more players after that transfer recruitment.

Shasby added that he’s not seeing issues with convincing players to come to Anchorage and credits that in part to how players communicate. He said “as long as they have their cellphones they could be in Antarctica and they will be fine.” Part of Shasby’s work is in building a network of players from the area with outdoors backgrounds to show players from the lower 48 and around the world the natural beauty of Alaska. Shasby wrapped up his recruiting chat with saying that , “one of my biggest pitches is that you get to spend four years living in Alaska.” Shasby as an alum talks about living there and enjoying the full environment of Alaska. “We’re going to make this the best college experience that we can.”

Moving to the conference discussion folks are having, Shasby gave a bifurcated answer. first he said “obviously there’s concerns not being in a conference.. but I’ve actually enjoyed the experience of building a schedule.” The unique trips are almost a feature of the system for Shasby. He does see the concerns of not having a conference for the short run.

The second part of his answer was more forward thinking. He said “ further down the line, my goal is to help the Western teams that might be considering making the jump to Division One Hockey. The three year goal is to play those guys and help them as much as possible to convince their Athletic Departments to get convinced to make that jump.” He mentioned working to schedule games with the Oregon Ducks, more games with UNLV, and he’s had talks with Simon Fraser as well. For a western college hockey conference to form, the two Alaska schools need Arizona State and three more teams. Shasby’s advocacy for more programs to come up to the Division One Level could have an exponentially positive effect on this sport.

“We have had that conversation with Fairbanks to host two teams at Climate Pledge.” The Kraken brought it up to begin with. Starting a few years from now, Shasby has had discussions with the Seattle Kraken about hosting a tournament of some sorts where they co host with Alaska Fairbanks and invite two teams to play at Climate Pledge Arena.

As for going forward, Shasby proclaimed why he thinks this program is set for the long term because of the roots being laid down by the supporters of UAA Hockey.

“I think you just have to let people know that I think losing the program for the time period that it was gone woke a lot of people up. I think that’s happened with Seawolves Hockey. It’s a significantly different position.”

As for the immediate future Shasby said of their schedule over the first few years that it “will be incredibly competitive.”

The team opens against Colorado College on the road then sees UNLV at home. Following that they play against Fairbanks ( all Fairbanks series will be home and homes) , then head to UNLV to play the Rebels and Liberty each one time in Las Vegas. They then play Fairbanks followed by playing UMASS Lowell in Lowell for New Years. they play Long Island and UConn, and then Arizona State and Fairbanks.

They have 24 qualifying games Division One games right now , and are negotiating for more. The minimum to be tournament eligible is 20. He is offering hefty game guarantees to get more programs to come to Anchorage to play. Both Alaska schools have the game exemption which allows teams that travel there to not have their games in Alaska count towards the 34 game limit the NCAA allows of games to be played. Year two the schedule will get even better. He said that, “ I put our strength of schedule up against anyoke. They have games against UConn and Air Force already on the docket and are adding more top opponents. The team has an agreement to play the Pioneers of Denver in years three and four already set.

If you want this to be a story of a program happy to be back you certainly have it. This program while being happy to be back and grateful for the support it has is looking for more. From giving overlooked players another chance at Division One Hockey, to building a remodeled or new arena on campus, and putting the University of Alaska Anchorage back on the Division One map, this program lead by Shasby is building fast. Day by day and step by step, they are building a new frontier for the sport of College Hockey that will not only help them, but hopefully serve as a success story for other administrations to invite more schools into this wonderful game. This sport has too many great players wanting to play at its highest level, and not enough spots for it. With Shasby’s and the University of Alaska Anchorage’s help, that will be changing, starting next season. The Last Frontier is what the state of Alaska is called. A New Frontier for College Hockey to grow is what Shasby wants his program to be, and has the support of a university, and an international group of fans, businesses , and an NHL team ready to lead the way towards that superb goal.

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A good tie: Army Battles all day to earn 3-3 tie vs RPI

Photo Credit: Mady Salvani- Army West Point Athletics

One of Army West Point Hockey Head Coach Brian Riley’s most common quotes is that “there’s good ties and there’s bad ties.”

Today, the Black Knights battled for a good tie. They overcame two two goal deficits and used a determined Daniel Haider tally to provide the equalizer. Despite having a power play in overtime against the Engineers they could not find paydirt to get the game winner.

Riley had a lot to like about the game today and his team’s effort. As he said “there was just a lot of belief.”

Riley was also proud of a lot, saying that “the thing that I’m most proud of is .. coming into today’s game in the third period not sure if we’d have the legs to do whatever we need to do today and the third period was our best period all weekend, huge credit to our guys.”

Going forward Riley would absolutely schedule non conference games with less than 24 hours in between start times, especially to give his group another experience in a packed Tate Rink. Riley said, “we would do this 100 times again if we had the chance to.” Riley and his group are always up for the challenge this presents. “I’m just really proud of the guys.”

Riley praised Marshall Plunkett’s near power play goal saying “ Plunks has great offensive skills” as he pinched down to put the puck home. The senior defender is showing all phases of his game this season as in 16 less games than in his plebe year he already has two more points than his career high. He is providing depth scoring from the blue line that makes teams pay for matching up against Anthony Firriolo’s pair.

Riley also praised Colin Bilek as a “ lead by example guy.” Bileks goal put Army within one and his energy and example drives the entire team forward to better things on a daily basis.

Going back into conference play, Riley was succinct as non conference games are done. He said “Every game is a big game now” in terms of standings points. With AIC’s sweep of Air Force , Army now stays home to face a Canisius group that ended their season early last year with a lot of the principles in that game coming back this year. This series could flesh out who will be battling with Bentley and AIC for Atlantic Hockey supremacy

On Canisius style wise, Riley sees Trevor Large’s group as having elements of Penn State and RPI. He said “ I think Penn State was a transition and fast team , RPI is a structured and heavy team, I think Canisius has a little bit of both. Trevor has spent time with me but he’s also spent a lot of time with Dave Smith.” Smith was Large’s former boss at Canisius before Large became the leader there. The two games Army just played will help give them good teachable things on video to adjust for to face a top team in this conference in less than a week.