Generals continue to reload defense with tender of Douglas Friberg

The Northeast Generals are slowly building their team for the 2021-2022 season through a consistent recruiting campaign. That campaign has taken them overseas to Sweden, where today they announced the tender of Douglas Friberg for next season. The 2002 birth year, right shot defender brings his six-foot-three frame to Attleboro and will slot into top four time right away, helping to make up for the loss of veteran Alexander Tertyshny providing a presence right away.

As General Manager Matt Dibble said of what he and Head Coach Bryan Erikson think of Douglas ” Bryan and I both agreed that Douglas was a priority for us heading into next year. He is a player we both wanted and think can be a huge part of what we want to do here moving forward. We are confident in our current D-Core but the additions of Geary, Kaminski, Sulonen, and now Friberg give us stability all the way through. Douglas is a big player who can compete on the walls/in front of the net and play very good defense. We are really excited about what he can bring offensively with his skating ability and vision moving up the ice and distributing pucks. He has shown a natural ability to get pucks through tight areas and on net as well. Bryan and I are both stoked about having Douglas join us next year, we feel he adds to an already competitive blue line and have big expectations for him.”

His profile is one of a sound two way defender with the ability to chip in on the offensive side of the game. He profiles as a potential late round NHL draft pick for a team willing to let him develop at his own pace. Regardless, if he can add to the Generals what Dibble and Erikson both see in him, he will soon have plenty of college offers to think about for future years. For now, he will come to America, and hopefully play nearly double the games that he ever has in one season in Sweden, and show the rest of the NAHL what Dibble and Erikson see in him.

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Niagara University Men’s Hockey Head Coach Jason Lammers on his team’s Uncommon season, future, and more

Photo Credit: Niagara University Athletics

To operate a Division One program, you have to have some uncommon traits. One of those traits is realizing what your goal is, your primary goal in leading it. For Niagara Purple Eagles Head Coach Jason Lammers, the idea of being uncommon drives his program, and is how he operates. Lammers views leading a group in this way ” I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to teach the next generation about what it means to be a man.. we get a chance to influence more people in a year than most people do in a life time.. I’ve been blessed that I’ve never had a real job. To him, uncommon is the concept of being above average, and doing things that others are not. It is this mentality, combined with the small school atmosphere he enjoys being a part of building the success of his Purple Eagles. He leads a team that prides itself on effort, accountability, and its approachability. As Lammers said of the perception of the game on his campus, some people say to him that “I’d much rather come watch a college hockey game vs. a Sabres game because you guys play hard all the time. ”

That same effort helped a team beset by multiple Covid-19 pauses come together in the postseason to defeat Mercyhurst on the road in the opening round, then proceed to knock off Western Pod Champion of Atlantic Hockey, Robert Morris, in three games. Two of those games went to overtime. All of them were one goal affairs. Lammers is incredibly proud of how his group finished the year. He remembers of his group “just the unity and the love our team felt” where two driving forces in helping his group get to the final four of Atlantic Hockey where they forced AIC to earn a tough-fought comeback win. On the ice, he praised his netminder saying ” to have Chad Veltri back and ready to rock and roll.. I felt he was a huge difference in that series.”

At the end of the day, Lammers is honest about the goal of his program “Our mission is to grow men.. it certainly makes it easier if they’re good humans,”

To build his program, Lammers looks for those uncommon traits in his recruits. He values bringing in players from all over the world with the willingness to help others, be key players in the classroom, and able to be a part of the culture he has built. His team is one of the most academically astute in the league, and one that excels in helping others through their community service work.

The mantra for Lammers’ program on the ice is simple. He said that they want to be “regionally dominant and nationally prominent.” That comes from playing well in their conference, where in the past two seasons that we have had Conference Tournament Championships given out, his team has been in the final four. It also comes from playing the top teams around the country. That is part of the reason why his Purple Eagles will be flying to take on the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota in Grand Forks to open up their 2021-2022 campaign. Lammers credits the staff of the Fighting Hawks for working with him to schedule this series. Dialogue around it started shortly after Lammers was hired in the spring of 2017, that was initiated by North Dakota after Lammers came on as Head Coach.

This series is four years in the making, and one that will give another Atlantic Hockey team a chance to showcase themselves to the Men’s College Hockey landscape this fall. The Purple Eagles will get a financial guarantee for the series, and Lammers also noted that his administration is broadly more supportive of his group playing in more non conference games where possible in future seasons. Lammers, speaking only for himself is supportive of expanding Atlantic Hockey, and understands that the league needs to play better against other conferences. With that said, of the conference itself he added “I believe our conference gets the short end of the stick… I just think this league is really good.. I think there’s a partnership among the schools and a camaraderie among the coaches.”

Lammers also wants the game he coaches in to grow, noting the large amount of Division One talent out there. He said, broadly speaking of expansion that, ” I think there should be 100 teams.”

Lammers is incredibly proud of his group’s effort to finish given the fact that they only really had a few weeks of normal operations this season as the Purple Eagles had multiple Covid-19 induced pauses. As he said “The way that we finished with only having couple of weeks to practice and prepare … is pretty awesome.” While he is waiting to see the final composition of his roster, he is already working towards building to the fall.

He also took time to talk a little bit about the Battle of the Bridge between his school and Canisius, or as he said of the rivalry, “There’s a lot of people in town who don’t care about your record.. just that you beat the team south of the bridge.” While Lammers knows this rivalry is not Ohio State-Michigan, he sees its growth between the two area schools.

Going forward, Lammers accepts the new reality of the one time allowance of players to play right away under the new transfer rule leading to the ubiquity of it. As he said “we think its going to really help solidify our roster.” In addition, he expects the uncommon culture he is building to help him retain players as well. As he said “being uncommon is going to help us retain our student athletes.. we out love other programs.” Further understanding the positive impact of the portal, he said “its the world we are living in, student athletes have a lot more rights than they used to… its not going away, and we need to find out how we can use it to our benefit.”

The same positive outlook and uncommon desire to build a unique culture at Niagara is what will drive the Purple Eagles to the top of Atlantic Hockey. Lammers’ group has a big test to open up the 2021-2022 campaign against UND. The uncommon nature of everything Lammers teaches, and his staff does from recruiting to mentorship to preparation, and so much more will ensure his group is ready to produce an uncommon result against the Fighting Hawks.

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Liam McCanney: Humility and growth on and off the ice

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Current Northeast Generals’ forward Liam McCanney did not know much about junior hokey before Bryan Erikson (current head coach of the Generals, and at that time was also the general manager too) offered him a spot on his NAHL team. As Liam said ” I was pretty shocked.” when Erikson offered him a spot on the team’s camp roster via a tender with a chance to earn a main roster spot that fall . From there, as Liam said of the journey which has him on the verge of earning a scholarship to play Division One College hockey, of his time in juniors “I never really knew what juniors were… I really didn’t think I was going to go play juniors…. Here we are now. “

On the ice, McCanney has consistently developed year-over-year for the Generals, contributing in previous seasons 12 points, 32 points, and then this year 33 points. He models his game after a center on his favorite team, the Philadelphia Flyers. He tries to bring the same traits to Attleboro that Travis Konecny brings to the Flyers. As Liam said, him and Konecny each provide some defensive chops, and know how to throw checks around. On his own abilities Liam said ” “I’ve got a little grittiness to myself as well.”

On his game, Erikson the following of Liam’s journey

“This is Liam’s third year with us. He had grown so much as a player and a person. He has always had excellent speed and has worked hard. But he was able to improve how to use his speed, create deception and more separation from defenders. Each year he has developed his scoring ability. First year he was more of a hard forechecker who blocked shots and finished every hit. Since then he has kept those traits and improved them while also learning to drive to the back post more in order to generate goals. He is now a threat to score a goal on every shift. Just a great kid who does everything we ask, kills penalties better than most kids in the league, understands what it takes to be successful and puts the work in to reach his goals. Liam is a world class kid and hockey player that will make some team look very smart for grabbing him.”

Personifying the “world class kid” Liam is, we asked what people should know about him. He could have said anything he wanted, but chose arguably the most humble answer, simply saying ” I don’t even know what to say about myself.” The mere fact that he choose to adress that question in that fashion speaks volumes to his humility and willingness to play for others on the Generals more than play with them.

Going forward, Liam is not yet sure what he wants to study in college, but knows business and criminal justice are at the top of the potential majors list under consideration. He could change his mind from that, as he is open to more career choices as well.

Of the type of home he wants to go to, he wants one with a similar loyalty to what Erikson has showed him for the past three seasons. Liam said that of an ideal coaching staff that he is looking for ” “one that takes the time to help each player get better as a player and as a person.”

Like his roommate, Jonathan Young, McCanney is focusing on the day-to-day of helping his team get to the playoffs more than obsessing over which schools will and will not talk to him. The list of teams interested is growing, and McCanney’s desire to earn a playoffs matchup similar to his first year in juniors remains. He wants to earn the right to face Johnstown in the first round and to get a chance to experience the electric atmosphere at Johnstown’s games in the playoffs one more time. To get there, they will have to win the vast majority of their remaining games against the Black Bears of Maryland. As he said of the team’s approach, starting this weekend, “we’re going to play every game like it is our first round.”

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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Generals grow into 6-1 win over Jr. Hat Tricks: Now what

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Tonight, the Northeast Generals were the better team against the Danbury Junior Hat Tricks. With the amount of games in hand Maryland and Danbury have, the Generals have to get as many points as they can down the stretch to have a chance to make the NAHL playoffs.

Initially, the Junior Hat Tricks came out with a strong push. Hugo Haas made one of his 44 saves early on a breakaway that would have altered the course of the game a mere 1:17 into the the game. From that point, despite getting outshot, the Generals slowly and methodically took control of the game.

As Head Coach Bryan Erikson said of Haas and his team ” Hugo bailed us out early but the boys turned it on and Gordon came up huge with a goal on a great play from Matt Yeager and Kyle Schroeder. Sign of a team getting better is leading after one after being out played…Hugo is just so good and calm in net. Such a luxury to have him back there and not worry about those types of breakdowns in front of him. He was just great in net but that save in the first set a tone for our guys that they could be aggressive and he would have their backs.”

Tonight, the fourth line was the catalyst for the Generals. They model their game on Erikson’s style of playing a tough, physical brand of hockey that moves the puck forward with a purpose. Ryan Gordon’s two goals to open the scoring ledger for the Generals proved decisive, and the fourth line, for Erikson were the first standouts tonight as he said ” That line was our best line by a lot. Matt Yeager was so good on the forecheck tonight and on the wall in the D zone. He made a ton of good plays. Kyle Schroeder was a beast as usual, going a million miles an hour, finishing hits all over the ice. And Ryan Gordon just keeps getting better. He has earned everything he has gotten. He has simplified his game, which has a ton of skill in it, to become a more 200 foot guy. And he is good in tight. Real happy for him and the rest of that line. A huge reason we have been on a little bit of a roll.”

In addition to the fourth line, Erikson took the time to praise some of his other skaters who still brought a lot to the group, even if they did not put up the gaudy numbers of some of their teammates. As he said, again giving his team all of the credit for their work ” Kyle Schroeder of course. But Matt Sutter made some huge hits, and took some huge hits and just keeps going. I thought some of our 00’s weren’t as good as usual but they got pretty dirty tonight. Tyler Cooper is a good example of a guy that didn’t have his A game but kept his feet moving and created offense. Jonathan Young wasn’t at his best but was still a monster on the forecheck and PK. He did some real good and simple things. When the hands aren’t working or are off you can still affect the game with your legs and your stick. Same goes for Liam McCanney and Hunter Olson who were hard to play against tonight.” All of those players had a hand in limiting quality looks for Danbury. Despite outshooting the Generals, the Junior Hat Tricks had less high quality looks than Erikson’s group did.

Finally, while Erikson noted the value of the team’s work in practice on improving transitions through the neutral zone, and finished with one thing to build on in the series finale against the Jr. Hat Tricks tomorrow night. As he said, the team did a good job with their flow through the neutral zone and drawing defenders out of position. That territorial advantage contributed to Gordon’s Goals, Adam Smith’s two goals, and a lot more of the success of the team tonight. For them to repeat this result tomorrow, or improve on it, Erikson noted that ” We need to be better through the neutral zone and harder on our sticks. We also have to limit the odd man rushes. They do a great job of pushing guys behind our D and we need to have a much better F3 on the forecheck and D that are more aware of when to pinch and when to back off.” Throughout Danbury’s early push, the Generals were giving them too much opportunity to waltz into the zone, and get good looks. For the finale tomorrow night, keep an eye on how the Generals limit their turnovers, and create flowing hockey the other way.

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.

Jonathan Young- A dependable Northeast General looking for his NCAA home

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Family, honesty, and growth. If you could string together three words that describe the most important things to North East Generals’ forward Jonathan Young, those three sum up the values of one of the most consistent players on the Generals. Young is so humble about his NAHL career, he did not even realize that he was about to hit the 100 point milestone until his mom Karen told him a few days before he did it against the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks.

Young enjoys being only an hour away from his family in New Hampshire. They attend his games whenever possible. Young’s singular most favorite food is Karen’s chicken parmesan (it would be his last meal, if he could eat anything). As homemade chicken parmesan is considered to be reliably a source of strength and comfort for those who enjoy it, Young’s consistency this year has been a source of comfort to Generals Head Coach Bryan Erikson. Under his tutelage Young has turned himself into a reliable, and dependable two way forward who models himself on the game of his favorite player on his favorite team, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. Now he is in the final stretch of figuring out where he will play next year. As of now, all of the schools interested in him are Atlantic Hockey schools, which all play a rugged game chock full of players with the upside, potential, skill and talent like Young’s. On choosing his school, Young said it best on where he wants to go saying he would like to be “somewhere I’ll play… and somewhere where I can set myself up for the rest of my life.” He is undecided on a major but has interest in being an entrepreneur following his hockey career, and plans on taking business classes as part of his academic journey in college.

On how Erikson has helped him grow, Young said “I’ve probably never played for a coach like him before.” Young will forever cherish his experience with the Generals program as great. He is looking to join a college with a similar feel to the Generals. He wants to play for whichever school will give him the best chance to thrive, and an atmosphere that feels like home to him, similar to what Erikson and the Generals have done for him. He praised the #CommitJYoung campaign started by current General Manager Matt Dibble. Every time Young dazzles on the ice, the team highlights it with the hashtag. In most any other year, most players with Young’s pedigree would have some sort of scholarship offer in hand and a commitment made. He acknowledged how tough the extra year of eligibility for all players who played the college game this year has made things for players with a 2000 birth year. With that said, he and the Generals are undeterred in helping him find his next home. When he was also the general manager Erikson saw the future potential in Young that colleges are seeing now. In addition, Erikson was effusive and detailed of his growth saying the following

“Jonathan was always a player I coveted. Big, can skate and can rip the puck. The one knock on him was that he was just a goal scorer. That he didn’t use his size. And I felt with the way we emphasize the forecheck he could thrive in those areas of his game that needed work. But I think as he matured so did his game. I also believe that the relationship he has with the organization has helped him. He trusts us. We asked him to change his game a little and he bought in completely. He is now very very physical, has learned to be a great penalty killer, is a weapon on the Power Play and is a guy I rely on in the defensive zone. Those are parts of his game that he maybe wasn’t forced to do before. But he has come here and worked so incredibly hard both on and off the ice to improve. I am so proud of him as a person. Just a wonderful kid that craves knowledge. Always reading, always wanting to get more knowledgeable about whatever the topic is, space, science, history, habit building you name it. Just a curious kid that works hard at everything and you are seeing that hard work pay off with his production on the ice. He is not only going to be a very successful division 1 hockey player he is going to be an extremely successful person.”

As for what Young wants to accomplish with the Generals in his final games of junior hockey. He still sees potential in a group looking to extend its win streak to five this weekend in their two game road trip to Danbury. As he said of this group, featuring a team that has spent most of its year on the road “I think we could do something special this year.”

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.

Here come the Generals: Northeast earns home sweep with 5-1 win over Danbury

Photo Credit-Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography

Every coach we have interviewed has articulated a version of what Northeast Generals Head Coach Bryan Erikson came right out and said tonight, of his general coaching philosophy.

“All of the blame should go to me and all the credit should go to the players.”

Tonight, there was plenty of credit to go around for all as Erikson’s group, the Northeast Generals look to be trending in the right direction. They earned a 5-1 win tonight over the Junior Hat Tricks of Danbury in a needed win to get back into the playoff hunt. AIC recruit Hugo Haas finished with 34 saves on 35 shots faced. He kept his group in the game, even making 16 saves in a sterling third period to secure the win. As Erikson said about Hugo’s play,” there’s the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings in the building and hopefully they like what they saw. “Haas was, as his head coach said ” in control” all night, and the only goal he conceded came on a net-front deflection on the power play. After that, the Junior Hat Tricks could not solve the Opava, Czech Republic native’s abilities in net.

As to the players in front of Haas, tonight’s result kind of dovetailed with Erikson, and his staff’s mission to help get players on their last year of junior hockey a commitment in the college ranks. The staff is currently working to get its scoring leader Jonathan Young a Division One scholarship, and is running the #CommitJYoug hashtag on Twitter to highlight his achievements. Tonight, he had his 14th goal of the campaign, and was plus two, as the Generals did not give up a goal at even strength. He plays a defensively responsible game, and brings some physical power to his game that will play well initially on a bottom six role next season at the next level. His path in junior hockey, including winning the Dineen Cup with the Islanders Hockey Club at the NCDC level of the USPHL, has been a long and winding one. His resolve to keep focusing, as Erikson likes to do ” on the next game.” is a reason why Young stands on the cusp of playing at the next level.

Multiple other uncommitted players scored tonight. Ricky Boysen put home his third goal in two games, and has steadily provided the Generals another two way presence that focuses on consistent development. The Generals had five different goal scorers tonight, and Boysen’s line was one of the more noticeable groups on the ice tonight.

Quietly, from the back end, Alexander Tertyshny put up two assists and played the brand of hockey AIC will soon see. He played an intelligent game, and helped Haas by leading his defense in limiting shot quality, if not the volume of them.

Going forward, Erikson credits the hire of Matt Dibble as the General Manager for the suceess of the Generals as of late. Dibble’s additions to the team, combined with the striaght forward philosophy of his group, and the buy in of the players for the recent sucess of the team. While they have a way to go in order to make the playoffs, Erikson sees the bigger picture. He runs a program built around good people. As Erikson said, his” focus is on us getting better everyday…. my job is to get kids to be really good college hockey players and really good people.. I want them to be impact people.”

The impact people in this program, that have finally had a home weekend after playing their last 32 games on the road, combined with its leadership are how this group will progress the rest of the season. If the Generals stick to what works for them, playing a relentless puck-hunting style of offense with a sound system on the back end, they still have time to make things interesting in their division. The next chance to do so comes on the road April 9 against the same Danbury team.

Opinion: Expand the NCAA Tournament to 20 teams

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

Fans of the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks Men’s Hockey team will remember the old WCHA, the fanbase waxes poetically about it often then moving on to needle the attendance and postseason problems that the members of the current Big 10 Hockey Conference have (these problems have some grounding in truth are sometimes exaggerated). One thing in that Final Five is the chance for a team to win three games in three days to make the NCAA Tournament. If you won your first round series, and had either of the worst two remaining regular season records, you had to play an extra game to advance. Teams that were able to win those three games then got the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, regardless of their regular season success, or lack thereof. No one questioned the win of the five seed on the few times it did happen.

This past, pairwise free (it existed, but was not used as we know it due to a lack of significant interconference play) hockey and subjective selection proceedings have left fans of many eastern hockey teams, and a few western powerhouses like Denver, feeling left out.

Now, none of the teams left out did enough to make the 16 team tournament.

With that argument noted, what we are proposing is this.

In future years, when the next cycle of regionals are awarded, standardize the starting dates, and expand the tournament by four teams.

On Friday, you have opening round games between the four and five seed in each regional with the winner earning the right to face one of the four best teams in the country.

On Saturday, you have the first round staggered across the country (for maximum TV ratings of course) play out and make an already great day even better. Instead of six games (two finals, four first round games) we would have eight games take place on one day, and then play the championships on Sunday.

Why?

Well we have a few reasons.

First, for this game to grow, and get more programs in it, expanding the tournament by four teams makes attaining it slightly more reasonable, without having to dilute the value of the regular season. If the tournament expands, more fans and schools can get involved in the greatest part of this game, its postseason.

Second, after hearing arguments about top seeds getting rested enough or not, we would like to note the value of the top seed playing a team that had played the previous day. The coaching staff gets to watch that team play in person, and that team could very well be tired, and in theory should give the top seed an easier path to the regional final.

Third, it adds value to the full season for everyone. Now, teams play to move up or down in the pairwise (all of this is being written for a normal non pandemic-marred season), but the reality is, the top 12 or 13 teams are usually safe every year, while the last two or three worry about conference tournament champions stealing their spot.

This eliminates some of that concern.

If teams 1-13 are locks, the proposal ensures that teams 14-16 all will make it. It would require five teams outside of the top 20 to win their conference championship to hurt the top 16, and ensure that the bottom eight teams would all have to play in the first game. This provides more meaning to what teams 10-12 are doing as the season ends, and ensures every game has more of an impact. If you are playing to get an opening round bye, that adds stakes to your late season play.

Use 2012-2013 as an example, when Niagara finished at the number 10 spot in the pairwise, and Canisius won their postseason tournament, that meant Atlantic Hockey would earn two bids to the tournament. What it also meant was that a 19 win Western Michigan team would miss the tournament. In this system, the only team that would have missed the tournament is number 20 ranked Brown. Atlantic Hockey would have had three teams representing it, and three more programs would have had the chance to compete for a national championship.

We understand that this change would have to wait until the next round of regionals are awarded, and there needs to be buy-ins from coaches, hosts, athletics departments and more all around the country.

Our argument comes down to this.

If this sport is to add more programs over time, something we all want to see, expanding the tournament by four teams now is a way to encourage more schools to potentially join. In addition, for all of those teams just wishing they could have made the tournament this year, this would have let them in. In the future, it will also allow Atlantic Hockey to get at least two deserving representatives into the tournament without harming another team’s chances. Finally, it ensures that the top seeds in each region get to play an opponent who could be tired. If the game is to grow, its tournament needs to do so as well.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Loveland Regional: Undrafted Free Agents to watch

Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography

Out in beautiful Loveland, Colorado the West Regional of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament will take place tomorrow. Four superb teams are taking part. We will work to highlight one undrafted free agent (UDFA) from each team here, and what to watch for from them to help their team advance.

Click the highlighted text below to see some undrafted free agents to watch from the other regionals .We will post the Albany regional’s UDFA’s to watch for tomorrow’s games later tonight or tomorrow morning.

UDFA’s to watch: Fargo, Bridgeport

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Jaxon Nelson

On a team of many drafted players, he is one of their more physical forwards, who often plays with physicality and brings a strong defensive presence to Bob Motzko’s lineup. For him to provide scoring off the third line of the Golden Gophers and to bring some physical presence to give this team depth then an already great team has more options, which will be needed against a fast Omaha team. One thing about Nelson is worth noting, he is only a sophomore. He has three more years to develop in Motzko’s system, and given the fact that his point totals increased every year that he played in the USHL, it would not be shocking to see him take on a bigger role next season. In terms of how he plays the game, he reminds us a bit of Jasper Weatherby of the Fighting Hawks, an imposing physical two-way center that knows how to provide offense when needed.

Minnesota State

Dryden McKay

The Mavericks have the best goaltender in the country that plays for them. McKay is a 5’10” tall goaltender that is also arguably the most athletic in the country. In three seasons, he has not had a save percentage lower than .927 in his time as a Maverick, and has started the majority of games since coming to campus. Given how fast the Mavericks can score, sometimes McKay’s work can get overshadowed when they win games by big margins, as they have a few times this season. For any team to beat him this weekend, they have to earn rebound looks. The goaltenders in the WCHA are some of the hardest collectively to beat clean off the rush, and McKay is no exception. His athletic prowess, combined with his hockey sense will help him earn an NHL contract whenever he is ready to go to the next level.

Quinnipiac

Odeen Tufto

The national assists leader has some of the best hands in the game of college hockey, and is one of its better defenders from the forward position. Watching him play, one could think of how Nicklas Backstrom plays the game for the Washington Capitals, and Tufto has similar skills. His on-ice intelligence for setting up his team is near unrivaled at this level. His hands and ability to find space for plays in razor thin areas is impressive. For his Bobcats to advance, he needs to be the best skater on the ice, as well as he does, Quinnipiac will do. After the season is over, he will have his pick of NHL suitors to sign with, and deservedly so.

Omaha

Taylor Ward

From our NCHC preview back in September

“A 6-foot-2 forward with good size and versatility, Ward can play anywhere on the top line while serving as a key cog on Omaha’s offense. He finished with 27 points in each of his first two seasons, although his team-best 16 goals were nearly double from the nine he scored the season prior. Ward is a big-bodied goal scorer with soft hands and a nice touch around the net, where he likes to set up and cause havoc near the top of the crease.”

All of that has proven to be true, as the junior has 20 points in 25 games, and has again played a role around the net for Omaha. His ability to disrupt the eyes of goaltenders will be critical for Omaha as they look to take on Minnesota tomorrow. If Ward can play his role and add some points to that total then this team could show people how good they can be outside of the NCHC.

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.