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Hell yes.

I couldn't pass up re-posting this article from ESPN.com. With all of the hype regarding a possible "Pens vs Wings" Stanley Cup Final, here are a few things ESPN.com felt could help promote the NHL back to the top.

He is "Peter Puck" ------------------------------------------>

"Travel back with us to the year in sports that was 1994, when hockey was at its zenith of popularity.Mark Messier led the New York Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. Wayne Gretzky made pucks fashionable in Hollywood. NHL '94 was one of the coolest sports video games available. Michael Jordan was out of basketball, and Sports Illustrated even hinted that the NHL could be poised to eclipse the NBA.

We all know what happened. The first lockout. The neutral-zone trap. Overexpansion. Some fans started paying less attention. Then the second lockout wiped out an entire season, and more fans tuned out entirely.

But with a potential sexy Stanley Cup finals matchup pitting the Penguins and Red Wings, hockey has a unique opportunity to squeeze its foot back into the sporting forefront … and Page 2 is here with a list of things the NHL should do to reclaim its fair share of the spotlight.

• The "glow puck" returns and is joined with "glow sticks," "glow skates," "glow beards" and "glow blood!"

• Encourage players to start showing more raw emotion.

• Foster the return of real rivalries.

• Have players get into the public eye more often by hanging out with Hollywood types.

• For the same reason, have Elisha Cuthbert date every North American-born player … and have Anna Kournikova date every Russian-born player.

Dudes without helmets.

Goalies without helmets.

• Mandatory dress code, enforced by Don Cherry.

• Relocate the teams with the three lowest attendance figures in 2008-09 -- to Winnipeg, Quebec City and Hartford in 2009-10.

• Bring back colorful nicknames like "Rocket," "Boom Boom," "Grim Reaper" and the "Golden Jet."

• Four words: Bring back Peter Puck.

• Reprise an ultra-successful marketing vehicle in conjunction with the NBA and NFL by having Sidney Crosby star in a cartoon with LeBron James and LaDainian Tomlinson.

• Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya should wear this jersey at all Sunday home games.

• Generate more fan interactivity, like what we saw at Panthers games in 1996.

• More flaming mascots.

• Every cold-weather team should play host to one outdoor game each season.

• Make Rick Tocchet CFO.

• Ask Mr. Hockey to return to play in his seventh decade.

DJ Gallo, Paul Lukas and Thomas Neumann are being held accountable for this article."

ESPN.com Page 2: Time for an NHL Renaissance

USA Today: Versus might take shot at puck tracking for NHL telecasts

(I konw I try to stick to college hockey, but this makes me upset, so I had to write about it)

So apparently Versus is taking the attitude "Hey, it isn't broke, so let's go ahead and try to fix it." From that impeding Versus Interview Towel, to the soon to be re-introduction of the "Glow Puck." If you don't recall, the glow puck was introduced to the hockey world in the NHL during the 1996-1998 seasons, only there was on major difference from then and today...YOU COULDN'T SEE THE GAME AS WELL!!!!

With the introduction to High Definition to the NHL, hockey has become much better for new viewers to grasp and begin to learn about. In the 90s and prior, the difficulty of following the puck (not only for the camera operators) was immense, so obviously putting a puck on the ice with a transmitter in it was an ok idea, but as for today, WHY?

"We're looking to track the evolution of a play," says Ehrlich (Versus Executive Producer). While puck tracking is on his "wish list," he admits it's still a "sore subject" with hockey purists. "There's people who looked at it as a great success at Fox. A lot looked at it as a dismal failure."

-EXACTLY, "dismal failure" lets go with that for a minute shall we...Who in their right mind, in the production of a once struggling television corporation, that has somehow pulled the magical rabbit out of their ... would go the route of putting the reputation of the NHL and their new-found representation that goes along with it, back into this once failed idea.

Let me put it to you this way: If you like hockey, and watch the games, go to the games...when you turn the television on, you don't have a problem following the play (you don't, it is not a question, I know you don't). Point being, YES, we do want more people to watch hockey and grow to like the sport, but you cannot put an impedance on your current viewers. For the people who want to become hockey fans and grow to love the game, this will only be achieved in two fashions:
1) Going to a live game - there is nothing like it out there for a live sporting event
2) Being around other people who love hockey so much that they will be willing to sit through endless games until you understand the concept of "Icing."

Here is what I hope they stick to, which is what it sounds like they might, and that would be doing a Instant Replay, where they show the play with glow lines on the ice tracking the passing of the play to go into the shot and goal. ESPN does something like this with the NFL and Monday Night Football. But I still have my fears.

"any update on the schedule? Who are the teams in the Lefty McFadden this year with RMU..."

There has not been an update yet regarding the Lefty McFadden tournament, if I find the information myself, I will make sure I pass it along, but I do not know when it will become available.

Since I've been fortunate enough to have so many comments here on the blog on different posts, we got a little update about Rob Cowan from a fan in the latest post about the Utah Grizzles and Ryan Cruthers:

"I have an update for the IHL, where Rob Cowan is playing for Port Huron, they will play game 7 of the league championship series on Monday @ 7:30. There are a few cool pics of Rob in the photo gallery located under the fanzone tab on the IHL website. Here is the website address: http://www.ihl-hockey.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 I do believe you can watch it on the B2 network, details are on the IHL website. Good luck Rob!

Also good luck to Ryan out in Utah!!"

IHL Hockey Website


I have been pretty busy with my internship with the Pittsburgh Penguins, so keeping up with everything is a challenge sometimes, so thanks a TON for putting up the info everyone!

You do the work, you get the credit, thanks whomever posted the info! (you published it under anonymous)

Story: Echl.com

Grizzbee Hitchhiking To Vegas May 11, 2008


WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies announced that team mascot Grizzbee is going to hitchhike to Las Vegas to watch Games 1 and 2 of the Kelly Cup Playoffs National Conference Finals on Monday and Tuesday at the Orleans Arena.

Carrying a sign that says “Vegas or Bust,” Grizzbee is scheduled to begin his 423-mile journey at 5 p.m. on Friday.

The Grizzlies are the ECHL affiliate of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.

The ECHL Playoffs are down to the semi-finals, and guess who's team is still in the hunt, that's right, Ryan Cruthers and the Utah Grizzles. Ryan has appeared in all 11 playoff games, posting 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists).

The Grizzles (32-30-10) will go against the no.1 seeded Las Vegas Wranglers (47-13-12). Game One is this Monday at 7:05pm.

As more and more information comes out regarding the recent NCAA meetings in College Hockey, this by far is the coolest talks I have heard so far: "The WCHA is the latest college conference to explore getting into the television business."

An entire channel, devoted to hockey?!?!?! YES! Granted, this does not include our beloved Colonials, but still, this is the start of an important step in College Hockey. The WCHA is exploring the idea of creating a similar system to what the Big Ten Network developed about a year ago. The article in Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, sites that WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod is not going to be "a Big Ten thing," adding, "we are approaching it very differently."

Well, it will be different, it won't include football or basketball. Honestly, I don't see how they can be different, I do not currently subsribe to the Big Ten Network (thanks Comcast, jerks) but from what I hear, it is a 24 hour sports channel devoted to the Big Ten. If I am wrong, so what.

Whether the channel is different or follows a new trend (that has been created by the Big Ten), this is only besides the point; MORE EXPOSURE. If you are pissed or being selfish because this isn't "your conference," just hold onto your hat before you throw it down in digust, because this IS a great thing, IF it happens. As college hockey continues to grow, there needs to be more exposure for teams, not just an individual team that has the ability to sign a contract with their local FSN affiliate (Minnesota Gophers), but the whole sport.

With the NHL's exsposure growing this season, and attendence going up, college hockey will to begin to see a trick-down affect. A start up hockey network station will only lead to more networks being created around the country.

So, if you have spent time in reading this, start sending mass emails to your CHA reprsentative to get a CHA Network going...I'm serious.

You can read that article here

Here are two articles from the Bemidji Pioneer, that sum up what is/is not happening in the CHA right now, as well as information regarding Bob Peters:

The most promising quote out of both articles: "A straw poll was held during the coaches meetings, according to CHA commissioner R.H. “Bob” Peters, asking those in attendance if the CHA AQ should be retained. There was a favorable response nearly across the board to do so, Peters reported."

As you read, we basically find out that we must wait until the meetings in June, a decision is expected to be made on the fate of the CHA's auto-bid for next season. Current expectation (from article number 2) "The hunch here is the committee will approve retaining the CHA AQ for one season only. It will then be up to those in power of the men’s college hockey world to decide the fate of the CHA and its four remaining schools — Bemidji State, Niagara, Robert Morris and Alabama-Huntsville."

Keeping the Auto-bid alive, brings great promise and hope to the CHA community of teams, as well as its fans. Everyone is well aware of the difficulty that would be brought if the Auto-bid is lost, not for good, but for at least the season in which it involves.

I personally believe that the structure that is currently in place, level of coaching and teams, will bring a positive resolution to the four teams of the CHA. The most positive effect currently happening, is that of the four teams still in the conference, none of them are making an attempt to jump out. Four strong teams working together leads to great hope for expansion in the CHA.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Peters steps down as CHA commissioner
John J. McRae
Bemidji Pioneer - 05/02/2008
DETROIT — R.H. “Bob” Peters, who has served as College Hockey America Commissioner for the past seven years, has announced his retirement effective June 30.

“I’m at that age,” Peters said. “There was 41 years as a coach, then seven as a commissioner. It’s been a delightful experience — the toughest jobs I’ve ever loved. I’m now ready to gracefully hang up my skates for the last time.”

His time as commissioner of the fledgling league was full of activity as some teams terminated their programs (Findlay, Wayne State), others started up (Robert Morris and Syracuse on the women’s side). In addition it was a long process for the CHA to obtain the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament, Peters said. In addition, the league hosted the 2007 Frozen Four with the St. Louis Sports Commission.

Over the years the league has seen several players move on to the professional hockey ranks and the teams as a whole have become very competitive against the best teams in the nation.

“That’s a real tribute the coaches and the players they’ve been able to recruit,” Peters said. “Across the board all the other conferences have respect for the CHA and the quality of the teams. Again that’s a real tribute to the CHA coaches.”

Future of the CHA

Now down to four teams, the CHA has been working on plans for assimilation into one of the established conferences to ensure future stability.

“We’re thinking there may be some movement in that direction by the latter part of June,” Peters reported. “That’s the target date.

“The CHA will operate next year with four teams (Bemidji State, Niagara, Robert Morris and Alabama-Huntsville) on an 18-game schedule. Each of the teams will play each other six times.”

Will the automatic qualifier (AQ) to the NCAA Tournament be retained?

“The AQ will be decided in a June meeting of the NCAA Championships Committee,” Peters reported. “They have the ultimate authority to award the AQ — it’s a process they go through every year.”

A straw poll was held among those attending the annual spring college hockey coaches meetings in Florida, asking if the AQ should be retained by the CHA. Peters said the result of the informal vote among the coaches — representing the other five conferences in college hockey — was “favorable to the CHA retaining the AQ.”

Having a four-team conference receive an automatic qualifier would not be the optimal situation.

However, Peters said such a plan could be acceptable for one year with assimilation or expansion of some sort taking place the following year. “That way six AQ’s could be retained,” he said.

“It’s critical that the CHA stay in existence,” Peters reported. “Any new teams starting programs need a place to go. In the other five conferences there are three with 10 teams and two with 12 teams, with 10 being seen as the best situation with which to work.

“The ECAC, with 12, makes it work because the teams are within relatively close proximity and they use a system with travel partners. The CCHA has made it work with 12, with some challenges, but I don’t believe people want to go beyond that.”

As an “emerging” sport, college hockey can’t put itself into a position to lose any more teams, according to Peters.

“Over the last 20 to 25 years men’s college hockey has lost 11 teams with two others being close to being terminated,” Peters said.

“We don’t want to go in that direction — we need to have a place for everybody.”

Peters pointed to burgeoning numbers of registered youth hockey players across the country as a major factor in having a conference where growth could occur.

“There are players from 29 states on college hockey rosters now,” Peters said. “The challenge in the future will be to provide an opportunity to play for the large number of American-born players coming up through the ranks.”

If no assimilation of the CHA takes place and no new teams are added, having the four remaining CHA teams play as independents would be “a humungous task,” Peters reported. “Teams could do for one, two or even three years if there was a solution in sight. If not, it would be extremely difficult.

‘We have to do everything possible to avoid any further loss of teams.

“I truly believe in my heart there’s so much more growth that can take place. We have to have the foresight to consider what things will look like in 15 or 20 years.”

For the upcoming 2008-09 season, Ed McLaughlin, Niagara University Director of Athletics, will serve as CHA interim commissioner.

“Coach Peters is one of the pillars of college hockey and a hall of fame human being,” said McLaughlin, chair of the CHA Men’s Executive Committee. “I feel blessed to have worked with him over the last two years and we owe him a debt of gratitude, within our conference and across the sport.

“This season will be one of transition for the CHA,” added McLaughlin. “We will continue the hard work we have done throughout the last two years to stabilize ourselves while maintaining our commitment to the student-athlete experience. I am excited about the challenge.”

The CHA Women’s Conference recently completed its sixth year and will have five member schools competing in 2008-09 with the recent addition of Syracuse University. Mercyhurst College Director of Athletics Craig Barnett, chair of the CHA Women’s Executive Committee, will serve as interim commissioner.

Niagara is a charter member of the women’s league along with Mercyhurst and Wayne State. Robert Morris joined the conference for the 2005-06 campaign with Syracuse becoming the fifth member this fall."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Column: Serratore believes answers coming
John J. McRae
Bemidji Pioneer - 05/02/2008
The way things look now, the future of the College Hockey America and its four remaining teams is solid through the 2008-09 season.

As expected there was no earth shattering news coming out of the annual college hockey coaches meetings recently completed in Florida. No news concerning assimilation of the CHA into one of the other five major college hockey conferences or the addition of any new teams was forthcoming.

Not that any major news was expected, it’s just not the way things work. Anytime a major initiative faces any program that has its roots in the world of university academia, wheels turn slowly.

It may not be the optimal situation for people who are used to solving problems quickly — like those involved in the business world. But again, that’s simply the way things are when colleges and universities are involved.

In the meantime, it appears a solid effort is being made for the four-team CHA to retain its automatic qualifier (AQ) into the NCAA Tournament. A straw poll was held during the coaches meetings, according to CHA commissioner R.H. “Bob” Peters, asking those in attendance if the CHA AQ should be retained. There was a favorable response nearly across the board to do so, Peters reported.

But it must be stressed the vote was a straw poll only.

The AQ status for the upcoming season is ultimately up to the NCAA Championships Committee – made up of coaches and athletic directors — which will meet in early June.

The hunch here is the committee will approve retaining the CHA AQ for one season only. It will then be up to those in power of the men’s college hockey world to decide the fate of the CHA and its four remaining schools — Bemidji State, Niagara, Robert Morris and Alabama-Huntsville.

No AQ means the four CHA teams would have virtually no chance to advance to the NCAA Tournament, a factor that would make an already difficult situation to attract top players even more difficult. No viable conference would also force the four teams to play an independent schedule, a nearly impossible situation.

BSU head coach Tom Serratore said that two teams — BSU and Niagara — have expressed interest in holding the CHA Tournament next season a decision should come within the next two weeks. With that decision made focus will center on the future of the CHA beyond 2008-09.

“I believe the wheels will really start spinning, now that the situation has reached a crisis mode,” Serratore said. “There will be a lot of action in the next six months, I believe. People realize there’s a dilemma and there’s a lot of concern across the board — not just for Bemidji State, but the other three teams as well.

“I am confident the commissioners (of the six men’s hockey conferences) will come up with a workable solution.”

Serratore said he fielded many questions during the coaches meetings concerning the new Bemidji Regional Events Center. “If we do things right,” he said, “this could end up being one of the top five rinks in the country. The BREC could very well end up being a major asset not just for Bemidji and the region, but the entire state.

“All of college hockey is very excited to see what the final product will be.”

RMU has added another recruit to next year's roster, defensemen James Lyle out of the COJHL. Last year Lyle played for Smith Falls where he finished with 53 points (9 goals - 44 assists) in 60 games.

Robert Morris has brought in two of the top scoring defensemen from the COJHL with Lyle and 1st team all-star Josh Jones who scored 58 points (13 goals - 45 assists) and was brought in back in October of last year.

Tomorrow from 3pm-5pm will be the last broadcast (EVER!, as they are graduating) for my friends Andrew and Dan in their self titled sports show on RMU Radio.

I am scheduled to come on and talk a little college/nhl hockey at 4PM. It should be a great show, I know they will be re-capping the RMU vs Team USA game from tonight, as well as some soccer talk with Gary Smith.

Check it out at rmuradio.com

Inside College Hockey has released their top 10 players that are projected to be in the running for next year's Hobey Baker Award: INCH Article.

One player of note that is not listed in their top 10, is RMU's Senior Forward Chris Margott. Not to be a homer or state that just because Ryan Cruthers was nominated last year, that this should automatically give us a look, but Chris Margott has played consistenly strong the last two seasons. Margott was only second to Cruthers in scoring, this past season with 44 points (18 goals - 26 assists). Margott was also ranked as high as 9th in scoring in the national rankings this season as well.

I understand the picks of Boston College's Nathan Gerbe and Colorado College's Richard Bachman (their phenominal freshman goaltender) or even Ryan Lasch of St. Cloud State, who scored 53 points as a sophomore....yea, that's right a sophomore (Don't worry Bobby Mo' fans, you will get to see Mr. Lasch this season, as we take on the Huskies yet again).

So, why no love? Margs is just going to have to show them why you don't leave a Colonial out of the top 10.

This just in: USCHO.com

Bob Peters has retired from his post as CHA Commissioner. Mercyhurst's Craig Barnett and Niagara's Ed McLaughlin will serve as the interim commissioners.

Craig Barnett has been serving as the chairman to the Women's Executive Committee, and Ed McLaughlin has been serving as the chairman to the Men's Executive Committee.

If you are looking to follow some of the Colonial updates (non-hockey related) check out Colonial's Corner. From Football to Basketball to even a little Softball, catch it there.

The most recent update, and most exciting news to come to us from Colonial's Corner came a little earlier today:

"Got an update from Mike Niklos, who now has a workout with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday. With so many defensive backs sliding in the late rounds in the draft, Niklos had to wait a little bit to get a chance. He'll work out for the Steelers - who could use some DB depth - and then we'll see what happens.

If the NFL doesn't work out, there will be several other options - Canada's calling pretty frequently - but it looks like Niklos really would prefer to stay in the States.

We'll see what happens on Friday."

So stay tuned to see where Mike Niklos ends up!

Thought I would steal an update from Andrew over at Colonials Corner:

"Don't forget, RMU Radio will be broadcasting the US National Team versus the Robert Morris Colonials softball game live from Consol Energy Park in Washington, PA on Thursday at 7pm. You can listen to the broadcast featuring myself and Dan Yost on rmuradio.com"

So, 7pm on Thursday: RMUradio.com Check it out!

I felt it was appropriate to pass along the unfortunate news of former RMU Student Athlete Josh O'Bannon's passing this morning. This article was written on Colonial's Corner by Andrew Chiappazzi. Andrew followed the RMU Football team for the past few seasons and knew most of the players well, I felt that I could share what Andrew wrote:

"The Robert Morris family is hurting today. Former Colonials defensive back Josh O'Bannon passed away early this morning. His family has posted information regarding his passing on his Facebook Page. If you are a student at Robert Morris, you can look up his page by searching for "Josh OB" in Facebook.

If you are not a student, here is some of what his sister posted early this morning:

"For those of you that dont know, Josh "OB" Obannon passed away this morning. He was surrounded by his family, friends, and military family. He had been working so hard to join the National Guard. While he was at drill this past weekend, he collapsed on the obstacle course. They brought him to Riverside Hospital. The doctors told us that his muscles were breaking down and that he was serverly dehydrated. When we first saw him arounn 1230pm he was alert, talking and on his way for more treatment in ICU. Everyone rushed to his bedside. Almost 15 hours later, his body couldnt handle all the things that were happening to him. He passed away around 4am this morning."
As you can imagine, there has already been an outpouring of support and well-wishes from friends of "OB". He was a tremendous presence on the football field, if not for his talent then definitely for his personality. He was definitely a guy that you got the impression enjoyed every minute of life with a wide smile on his face.

If his family or Robert Morris gives anything out about arrangements or anything and I find out, I'll pass it along."

I read this piece on "Goon's World," a blog dedicated to the Northa Dakota Sioux, on the recent NCAA Coaches meetings on the topic of the concerns of players leaving early to go professional. I think some great points are brought up, it is definitely well worth the read.
Here is the article:

"Here is an on going debate that is proving to be pretty interesting and is worth taking a look at, however, the NCAA coaches should tread lightly and proceed very carefully with this issue. The college coaches do not have a lot to bargin with and could do more damage than good. Honestly, I would rather see my team have a player like Toews or Oshie play two to three year than not have them at all. By having these types of blue chip hockey players might be enough to give my team a chance to win a national title. There also doesn't need to be any new rules made by the NCAA, unless the NHL is going to compensate the NCAA team they have just taken the player from.
4/24/2008
NCAA coaches are meeting this week in Naples, Florida and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly are there to listen to their concerns, among them, the increased numbers of underclassmen leaving the college ranks to turn pro.

Prior to the start of the 2006-2007 NHL season, 33 players with college eligibility signed NHL contracts, up from 19 prior to the lockout.

So far this season, 16 players have agreed to NHL deals; the most noteworthy being Kyle Turris, who finished his freshman season in Wisconsin before agreeing to a contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Unlike Turris, New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo made his decision to leave the Minnesota Golden Gophers in December, a move that is still regarded as highly unusual.

The manner in which some NHL teams deal with colleges and college players is also a huge area of concern, specific to unsigned or undrafted unrestricted free agent sophomores who in some cases are hounded to distraction by NHL teams hoping to sign him.

The league and Players' Association agreed a protocol to discourage this needs to be considered.

Unlike the CHL and the IIHF, the NCAA doesn't receive financial compensation from the NHL, primarily because the NCAA won't allow it. However, there was discussion with college coaches on implementing a development fee whereby NHL teams would have to provide compensation to college teams if they pull a player out early.

Because of the salary cap, NHL teams are using young players to keep costs down, while there is also incentive for these players to get into the NHL as quickly as possible to burn through the financial restrictions of the entry-level contract.

It's unlikely any changes will take effect by next season."

Source: Goon's World

I am a little behind in keeping up with the ECHL Playoffs, and our RMU Players who are involved, but here is the current update; Ryan Cruthers and the Utah Grizzles have advanced to the second round.

The 6 seeded Utah Grizzles defeated the 3rd seeded Fresno Falcons in Round 1, 4-2 in a best of 7 series.

Round 2 has Utah matched up against the 2nd seeded Victoria Salmon Kings. The series is currently tied 1-1. Game one went to Utah in a 6-0 win, only to be routed in game two after leading early 1-0, to fall 6-1.

Ryan Cruthers has played in all 8 games, scoring 3 points (1 goal/2 assists) and he is even in +/-.

Game 3 is this Thursday (May 1st) in Utah at 7:05pm.

Right now the CHA coaches and conference members are in NCAA meetings, no word has come out yet online or from anyone affiliated with the CHA Conference, but we sure do hope to hear some news soon.

I expect further information to become available as early as this coming weekend.

Here are the Team Awards for the 2007-2008 Men's Team:

MVP- Ryan Cruthers
Defensive Player of the Year- Chris Kaufman ***
Offensive Player of the Year- Ryan Cruthers
Freshman of the Year- Nathan Longpre & Denny Urban
Most Inspirational Player- Joel Gasper***
Student AThlete of the Year- Joel Gasper**
Most Improved Player- Branden Gay

* number of years winning award


Plus Gasper will won the scholar athlete award from the athletic department as well as named the Cubic (Sp) award winner as outstanding senior

Change of plans from what I earlier posted about being a guest on "andrew and dan in the afternoon"...Dan is out sick, so I get to guest host. 3pm-5pm...you better listen.

Listen Live: Rmuradio.com

We've discussed the non-conference schedule for next season briefly, but let's go ahead and take a more in depth look at the games Robert Morris will be playing outside of the CHA next year:

Ferris State (CCHA) @ Island Sports Center (2 games)
-This will be the first time these two teams will have met
-'07-'08 Overall Record: 18-16-5
-Non-Conf Record: 6-4-1
-Away Record: 2-4-0
-Leading Scorer: Jr #8 Cody Chupp - 30pts - 11g-19a
-Powerplay: 19%
-Penalty Kill: 85%

Quinnipiac (ECAC) on the road (2 games)
-Record of 6-1-1, lifetime against RMU
-Defeated RMU last season on Dec 7 & 8 with scores of 4-2, 5-1.
-'07-'08 Overall Record: 20-15-4
-10 Seniors graduated from last year's squad (two of their top three leading scorers,
Nelson and Bates)

Lake Superior State (CCHA) on the road (2 games)
-Record of 2-0 Lifetime against RMU, both wins came in November of 2005 (3-0, 4-3)
-Overall Record: 10-20-7
-Non-Conf Record: 3-5-1
-4 of their top 5 scores return to this year's team, but non went over 30 points on the season.

American International (Atlantic) @ Island Sports Center (2 games)
-Record of 0-2 Lifetime against RMU, losses came this season (2-10, 3-6)
-Overall Record: 8-23-5
-Non-Conf Record: 0-6-2
-7 seniors graduated from last year's roster

Ohio State (CCHA) home and home, Includes Showcase at Mellon Arena (2 games)
-Record of 0-1-1 Lifetime against RMU, both games played last season (t-5-5, l-4-3)
-Overall Record:10-25-4
-Non-Conf Record: 5-7-1
-Last year's roster was made up of 16 underclassmen, 8 seniors graduated
-Second Leading Scorer: #26 Peter Boyd returns as a Sophomore (24 points in 41 games)

Princeton (Ivy) on the road (1 game)
-Record of 2-1 Lifetime against RMU, won last season's match 5-2
-Overall Record: 21-14-0, an 11 win increase since '05-'06
-Non Conf Record: 7-6-0
-Top 3 Leading Scores return: #6 Lee Junbinville, #16 Brett Wilson, #27 Cam MacIntyre
-Top Goaltender returns: #32 Zane Kalemba: S% of .916 and GAA of 2.38-
19 wins in 30 starts - 5 shutouts

St Cloud State (WCHA) on the road (2 games)
-Record of 2-0 Lifetime against RMU, both games played in '05-'06 (7-0,6-2...former Penguin Prospect Joe Jensen was the dagger against RMU in both games)
-Overall Record: 19-16-5
-Non-Conf Record: 7-4-1
-Top 3 Leading Scores return (all underclassmen): #19 Ryan Lasch - 53pts in 40 games,
#9 Garrett Roe-45pts in 39 games,#12 Andreas Nodl-44pts in 40 games
(draft rights owned by Philadelphia Flyers)
last meeting didn't turn out well, this one might not either

Lefty McFadden Tournament (Dayton, OH)
Opponents not scheduled yet, will most likely open the season
Last Year's tournament:
Friday, Oct. 12
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin - 5:05 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Mercyhurst - 8:05 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13
Consolation Game - 4:35 p.m.
Championship Game - 7:35 p.m.
E.J. Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio

Ryerson @ Island Sports Center (exhibition)
-RMU won last year's meeting 8-5 for the season opener
-Outshot 47-17
-RMU saw 13 powerplays, but only converterd on 3

Team USA 18 Development Team (exhibition) on the road (1 game)
-Record of 1-2-1 Lifetime against RMU
-A great game is always played, gives RMU a chance to play against excellent talent, as well as a great chance for the RMU Coaching Staff a chance to build a relationship with the development team, where one day RMU could be pulling directly from this group of young prospects.

Rumors were swirling for awhile, but I don't like to post information regarding players that may not yet be true. A fan on a message board had posted the official link to transfers to Division III schools, Kyle Frieday has been officially added to that list.

Frieday appeared in 13 games this past season for the Colonials, putting up 6 points (1 goal and 5 assists). He appeared in 35 career games, with 17 total points (4 goals and 13 assists).

Here is the link that shows his transfer status: Adrian

As for an update on the College Hockey America Conference and the automatic bid situation, no word has come out yet. One thing is certain, the CHA will continue to exist no matter what.

Speculation about Bemidji State's future regarding their hockey program, was boiling down to the construction of a new arena...well, that has ended...with GOOD NEWS! According to Inside College Hockey, an article came out on their site, regarding the situation with Bemidji State, on the potential of a new arena being constructed in the future.

The latest we had heard, was the bill went to the table to be passed and it has gone through. "Portions of the $716 million bill that became law on Monday (April 7) will mean new D-I arenas for Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State, and a new multiple ice sheet facility that will house the D-III program at Minnesota Crookston. Also included in the bill was $6.5 million for upgrades and improvements at the 19-year-old National Hockey Center at St. Cloud State."

This is the first step for the Bemidji State program to staying afloat. Everyone is well aware that the University's ultimate goal is to get into the WCHA conference (the first step towards this was their scheduling of non-conference games agreement). The overall goal is to keep the program alive and strong, no matter where the Beavers play.

This is great news for the College Hockey America Conference as it will help gain more attraction to the conference as current teams are structuring themselves for higher levels of competition.

Here is the Article

Tomorrow afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium, the RMU Men's Lacrosse team will face off against the Villanova Wildcats. I know it isn't hockey, but we have to show some support for our spring time programs.

RMU and MCA-TV will be covering the event, on a tape-delay basis (the game will air Wednesday on MCA-TV, RMU-TV's airing time will be announced soon). So come out and enjoy some Colonial Lacrosse!

After a great senior season at Robert Morris, the honors keep coming in for Ryan Cruthers. Inside College Hockey has placed Ryan on their NCAA 3rd Team All-American.

In case you forgot, Ryan put up outstanding numbers this season for the Colonials, in 34 games Ryan had 49 points, 22 goals and 27 assists.

Here are the other players who made the 3rd Team spot:

INSIDE COLLEGE HOCKEY
2007-08 ALL-AMERICA THIRD TEAM
Pos. Player School Year Statistics
G Richard Bachman Colorado College Fr. 25-9-1, 1.85 GAA, .931 sv%
D Taylor Chorney North Dakota Jr. 42 GP, 3-21—24
D Grant Clitsome Clarkson Sr. 39 GP, 5-19—22
F Ryan Cruthers Robert Morris Sr. 34 GP, 22-27—49
F Ryan Lasch St. Cloud State So. 40 GP, 25-28—53
F Mike Radja New Hampshire Sr. 36 GP, 19-24—43

For more on Inside College Hockey's All-American Teams: Go Here

This came out a few days ago, but I just caught it...so I'm a little behind. I figure even though this isn't our team, that it is still worth presenting to the people, for the fact that this is a "PRO" contract that has been signed.

Niagara's Matt Caruana has signed a one year deal with the 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks. This is a great accomplishment not only for Niagara, but the College Hockey America Conference as well. Matt finished at Niagara with ranking of fifth in career assists with 78, tied for sixth in career points with 129 and ranks ninth in career goals with 51.


Read more here: Niagara Purple Eagles

Don't forget to watch the 2008 Frozen Four Semi-Final games on April 10th:

The first game starts at 6pm and the second at 9pm, both games will be broadcasted on ESPN2
Boston College vs North Dakota
Michigan vs Notre Dame

Check out the Skills Challenge on Friday April 11th, at 7pm on ESPNU

The Frozen Four Championship is Saturday April 12th, at 7pm on ESPN

Trevor Lewis, who will be coming to RMU next season, has been named the Player of the Year in the EJHL. Lewis finished the season with 67 points (31g - 36a) in 45 games, his club finished the season 30-9-1 overall.

Lewis may have a chance to join the list of players who have come out of the Syracuse Stars in th EJHL who have made the NHL, players such as:
Tim Connelly, Brian Gionta and Robert Esche to name a few.

Congratulations Trevor in being named the Player of the Year.


Source: EJHL




The Video was created by RMU Senior, Kelly Burke.

So far all of the RMU players who have signed pro contracts have been American citizens. From what I have been told, there will be more signings in the coming weeks, but some of our boys from up north (Canadian) have had some issues with getting sign due to "work-Visa" problems.

Obviously, if you are not an American born citizen, when you apply to work in the United States, you have to apply for a work-Visa, their student Visa's do not allow them to play professional hockey, since they would be getting a pay check.

It sounds like this issue will be resolved soon enough, these type of things happen all the time.

(Rob Cowan is technically an American Citizen since he has applied for citizenship with his wife to stay in the states)

"WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies announced that the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League have reassigned goaltender Michael Mole and rookie defenseman Andrew MacDonald from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League to Utah.

It was also announced that rookie forward Ryan Cruthers has been returned to the Grizzlies from Bridgeport.

The Grizzlies are the ECHL affiliate of the Islanders of the NHL and the Sound Tigers of the AHL."

Source: ECHL.com

Ryan did not dress in Friday's game with the Sound Tigers when they played against the Philadelphia Phantoms. No word as to why Ryan has been sent back down, my guess would be that his chances of playing this late in the season would be minimal and based on his prior stint in Utah, he has shown that he should get some playing time to make a case for himself with the AHL club next year.

The new kid on the block in the Women's CHA, the Syracuse Orange, have found their first Head Coach, Paul Flanagan, formerly of St. Lawrence University. In Paul's 10 years at St. Lawrence, he posted a record of 230-80-24, as well as 5 Frozen Four Appearances. His winning percentage ranks 3rd nationally among active Division I coaches, he is also ranked 6th in career victories and his 5 Frozen Four appearances are tied for 1st in the nation.

You can read more information about their coaching hire here: Syracuse Athletics

Tom Biondich, who recently signed with the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL, has been let go. There is some speculation as to why Tom is no longer with the team, some believe that it may have been a choice made by Tom himself.

No official word has be made to the reason for his departure from the team.

Listen to "Andrew and Dan in the Afternoon" at 3:20pm today, I will be on to talk RMU Hockey as well as some Penguins/NHL talk

Listen Live: Here

Rob Cowan played in his first game last night in the IHL with Port Huron, he had an assist on the game winner and was even, but more importantly, well, just watch and see:

Ryan Cruthers has been officially called up to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to play in the AHL. He will be in the lineup this Friday night.

You can watch Ryan's first game here on the B2networks, it will cost about $6 to view the game.

Here is Ryan's player stat page that has been created for him, you can track his stats: theahl.com

The Sound Tigers Home Page

If it wasn't already official enough for you, here is the latest article on rmucolonials.com about our recent pro contracts:

http://www.rmucolonials.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=13900&ATCLID=1431311

*Note: this is not an April fools joke since it is the 1st of the month*

RMU has signed Stefan Lachapelle today out of the Hawkesbury Hawks in the COJHL. Stefan is a centre and was the captain of his team, and his numbers from the past two years look like this:

2007/2008:
60 games played, 94 points (41g & 53a), 60 penalty minutes, 19 power play goals, 20 power play assists, 8 short handed goals, 4 short handed assists and 6 game winning goals.

2006/2007:
55 games played, 44 points (18g & 26a), 91 penalty minutes, 4 power play goals, 8 power play assists and 2 short handed goals.

Obviously the number that stands out the most is the improvement of 50 total points from one season to the next.

Lachapelle was also named to the COJHL Second Team, as well as the Most Outstanding Graduate. Source: Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Here are some updates statistically on the guys who just recently signed from this year's team:

Each of these players currently competes in the ECHL, except for Rob Cowan who is in the IHL.

#17 Tom Biondich - Gwinnett Gladiators: 3 games, 0 points, +/- of 0, 2 penalty minutes. Tom is currently not listed on their roster.

#22 Sean Berkstresser - Wheeling Nailers: 5 games, 1 Goal (1 point), +/- of 1, 9 penalty minutes

#27 Ryan Cruthers - Utah Grizzles: 3 games, 1 assist (1point), +/- of 0, 2 penalty minutes. Ryan also scored in a shootout to win the game for the Grizzles as well.

#27 Joel Gasper - Johnstown Chiefs: 6 games, 1 assist (1point), +/- of -3, 4 penalty minutes

#34 Chris Kaufman - Bakersfield Condors: 6 games, 0 points, +/- of 3, 2 penalty minutes

Rob Cowan - Port Huron Icehawks: information unavailable at this time

Other notable players who have signed in recent years playing in professional hockey:
#17 Joey Olson - Johnstown Chiefs: 36 games, 28 points (14g & 14a), +/- of 17, 16 penalty minutes

#8 Aaron Clarke - Wheeling Nailers: 57 games, 36 points (19a & 17a), +/- of -7, 38 penalty minutes

As the NCAA Hockey season is winding down, I will go back and take a look at the previous RMU Men's and Women's seasons to generate a preview from everything involving current players to new ones, season match ups and a look at possible outcomes for the season.

My goal is to have something formulated in the coming weeks, barring time and unrelated events to the Centre Ice blog, this should be very possible.

As always, keep checking in for other updates and thank you for checking out the blog for the last few months as I had began to follow the team more closely.

UPDATE: Ryan has an assist and is +1 on the 3rd PD goal: Game Stats

Direct from my email to you my friends:

"Ryan Cruthers has agreed to an AHL/ECHL contract with the New York Islanders. Cruthers will play for the ECHL Utah Grizzlies on Wednesday against Las Vegas before being recalled to the AHL within the week. The Islanders AHL team is in Bridgeport, Ct."


This brings the total number of RMU players who are currently playing professionally (from this year's roster) to 6....yes, 6..AWESOME (8 players are currently playing professionally from the RMU program).


From the Utah Grizzlies website:

"West Valley City, Utah – Utah Grizzlies Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Jason Christie announced today that forward Olivier Labelle has been reassigned from the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers to Utah and that Keith Johnson has been recalled to Bridgeport for the second time this year. In addition, Christie also announced the signing of forward Ryan Cruthers out of Robert Morris University.

The Grizzlies are a proud affiliate of the Sound Tigers and the NHL’s New York Islanders.

Recalled to Bridgeport two weeks ago, Labelle scored his first AHL goal of the season in his recent time with the Sound Tigers. In 43 games with Utah, Labelle has 23 goals, 20 assists and 135 penalty minutes. Utah is 25-11-5-1 this year when Labelle is in the lineup.

Johnson, a 2008 ECHL All-Star and the Grizzlies current leading goal scorer (26) returns to Bridgeport for the second time this year. He played three games with the Sound Tigers in December.

Cruthers recently completed four years of college hockey, the final two with Robert Morris University where he finished this year as the team’s leading scorer with 17 goals and 20 assists in 34 games.

The Grizzlies return home tonight to host Las Vegas at 7:05 p.m."

You can listen to the game live here on the ECHL home page, just go down to "Live Scores" and click the link for the Grizzles game: here

The Wheeling Nailers found some new scoring from Sean Berkstresser, who tallied his first professional goal in the 2nd period of TONITE'S game against the Dayton Bombers.

The goal came a the 0:33 second mark in the 2nd period.

Check it out here: http://echl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=4565

Rob Cowan has signed with Port Huron in the International Hockey league and reported there on Tuesday.

Tom Biondich is in Fort Myers, Flordia going to play for Gwinnett Gladiators of ECHL TONIGHT against the Florida Everblades.

From USCHO: Kevin, Ryan and The Joe


"Now for Cruthers. Let’s take his being an Apple Core alumnus out of this for a minute and get rid of that notion that he has all those points because he plays in a “mid-major,” College Hockey America. Cruthers was dominant this season and he plays on a team that has less depth than some of the players on teams in the “Big Four” conferences. Also, the majority of his games in conference were against Bemidji State and Niagara, and those teams are among the best defensively in the nation. Look at their goals against out-of-conference opponents and you can see Cruthers had no easy time getting his points.

He had 7-9—16 in 15 games that I’d classify as “big” games. That includes points against Ohio State, BU, Princeton, Colgate, and CHA rivals Bemidji State and Niagara. In 18 games away from home he put up 26 points and that’s impressive. Of those teams, Niagara is a conference champ and everyone except Bemidji is still playing in their conference tourney’s final four.

He had 17 multipoint games and point streaks of seven and eight games, when he scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. His 1.44 points per game was among the best in the country.

I won’t disrespect the student-athletes in the top 10 by saying these two should bump two out; that isn’t fair. But I will say that these two deserved a place in that top 10 and because they are not, they should be recognized for the elite players that they are."

Vote for the Hobey...200,000 times

It's nice to see people take advantage of a vote that only accounts for 1%.

From: Jim Connelly of USCHO.com

"I’m told that the T in RIT stands for technology, which is quite apparent if you look at this year’s fan balloting site for the Hobey Baker award.

Those enterprising RIT fans were able to figure out an automated way to stuff the ballot box at http://www.hobeybaker.com/voting. As of this morning, RIT’s Simon Lambert has 262,000-plus votes compared to say the 3,994 vote that current favorite Kevin Porter from Michigan has received.

And RIT isn’t the only technologically-saavy fan base. Miami’s Ryan Jones has received a solid 203,500 votes and counting as of this morning.

I’m told by those in the know (of computers and technology, that is) that the Hobey Baker voiting site is so basic that writing a computer script to stuff the box likely took about five minutes.

Thankfully this fan ballot aacount for only 1% of the overall vote (or as the site says, “the fans’ vote accounts for a full 1% of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year’s award recipient.

Let’s just hope that the 99% of the balloting that is comprised of human voting isn’t replaced by cyborgs in the near future."






A friend of mine (Andrew Chiappazzi) over at "Colonials Corner" offered up a little cross-promotion the other day for Centre Ice, so in turn, let me off up some information on what you can find over at Andrew's site.

His site includes coverage of:
-Men's Basketball
-Women's Basketball
-Football
-as well as highlights on other major sports at Robert Morris University

You can currently find updates to the Men's and Women's successes in their recent seasons, information regarding Mario Hines, the senior wideout for RMU's football team who is looking to take his talent to the next level.

Keep yourself linked to Andrew's "Colonials Corner" for upcoming football recruiting information and reviews, as well as previews to summer seasons and workouts for all Robert Morris Sports.

Defenseman Ben Finney out of the Port Hope Predators of the OPJHL has committed to Robert Morris for next season. In 35 games this season, Finney posted 1 goal and 15 assists and 52 penalty minutes, by far his best season in his three years at Port Hope.

This brings the count of recruits to 11 for next season.

You can look at Finney's stats page here: pointstreak.com

You can also check out Port Hope's team page here: Predators

On Friday March 28th at 4pm, the CHA Champion Niagara Purple Eagles will take on the #1 Team in the Nation, the Michigan Wolverines, in the first round of the Frozen Four Tournament in Albany New York. The winner of this game could potentially play either Clarkson, or St. Cloud State in the Regional Final on March 29th at 7pm.

It looks like ESPN is more concerned with airing the McDonald's High School Basketball All-Star game, as well as a pointless episode of NFL Live during the 4pm time slot when the first round of the Frozen Four begins. I don't want to get into a huge argument about how ridiculous ESPN is with their bias on which sports they will air, but honestly, it's the Frozen Four, why aren't you airing it?

Sean Berkstresser played in Wheeling tonight: http://echl.leaguestat.com/stats/player.php?id=1913
http://echl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=5220

I am also getting word that information regarding Ryan Cruther's will become available soon, as he is working on a deal for a pro contract as we speak.

Robert Morris Senior Ryan Cruthers, who finished 5th in the nation in scoring this season, was left off the final 10 for the Hobey Baker Award voting. Inside College Hockey had Ryan positioned at no. 8.

Congratulations to Ryan for making it this far in the Hobey Baker voting and even making the top 10 for INCH's preview.

Here is the rest of the remaining 10: USCHO.com

RMU's Joel Gasper has signed with the Johnstown Chiefs this week and has already reached the box score with an assist, +2 and 3 shots on goal.

http://echl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=4536

As some of you may already know (I was a little behind on the news) RMU defenseman Chris Kaufman has signed with the Bakersfield Condors on Tuesday night. Kaufman will hit the ice on Friday night.

Here is an article on the Condors, as well as Kaufman: Bakersfield.com

"Defenseman Chris Kaufman, who just finished his junior year of play at Robert Morris University, is expected to arrive tonight and will play on Friday. Kaufman played one year in the North American Hockey League (juniors) in Helena, Mont., where former Bakersfield Fog General Manager Mike Butters is president and assistant coach. Kaufman (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) was captain at Robert Morris where he had 16 points in 34 games this season."

As everyone has been speculating and pondering what may happen to the CHA Conference as well as what could happen to Robert Morris, some good news is arriving in a hurry. Nothing is confirmed yet, but the non-conference schedule for Robert Morris seems to be shaping up. I had some help getting the information together, but here is what the Non-Conference Schedule is shaping up to be for next season:

Ferris State (CCHA) Home--2 games
Quinnipiac (ECAC) Away--2 games
Lake Superior (CCHA) Away--2 games
AIC (AHA) Home--2 games
Ohio State (CCHA) Mellon Arena--1 game
Ohio State Away--1 game
Princeton (ECAC) Away--1 game
ST Cloud (WCHA) Away--2 games
Lefty Macfadden Tournament Dayton, Ohio--2 games
Ryerson (Ex) Home
Team USA (Ex) Away

Just as Bemidji State is putting together their non-conference schedule for the coming years against the WCHA, it looks to be that Robert Morris is positioning the program to be ready for whatever may coming conference wise. With the CHA pushing to add to their conference to improve the level of competition as well as making the conference potentially grow, the idea of keeping the 4 team conference together (since Wayne State is disbanding) is no longer a far fetched thought.

No matter the outcome of what happens, the Athletic Department is willing to assure their fans of their Men's Hockey Program that their is absolutely no chance that Robert Morris Hockey would no longer exist. The Non-Conference schedule is proving major points to this, as well as the 10 recruits and 3 transfer students coming to the Colonials next season.

The program that Coach Schooley and his staff have created has garnered major attention in the last 4 years in the College Hockey world. From the integrity and character that Coach Schooley and his staff have created amongst their players to the continuing improved level of play to come out of such a young program has helped tremendously (as it obviously would) in recruiting efforts for this team. When a conference looses one of it's teams and the fear of loosing that conference occurs, it is easy to go ahead and assume the worst; however, this all changes when you see 13 new players and a great Non-Conference Schedule appearing on the horizon.

UPDATE: Tuesday 3/18
News for Cruthers is expected to come sometime tomorrow afternoon, regarding the speculation of his potential signing with an NHL organization.

I just received an email that was forwarded from the RMU Athletic department, a member of the San Jose Sharks has requested footage of RMU Hockey from this season, other than the coaches camera look.

It seems to be that RMU has garnered some attention in the national ranks, possibly Senior and CHA POTY, Ryan Cruthers will be getting a look from the Sharks.

CSTV: It's Just Reality

"Now that we're heading into the next round of the playoffs, take a minute with me to salute a great group of coaches that we at CSTV get a chance to spend one weekend a year with, and that is the bench bosses of College Hockey America.


The AHA and the CHA do not get the ink that the big four do, but as Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley said Wednesday, "25 percent of college hockey is in Atlantic Hockey or the CHA. To ignore them isn't good for the industry as a whole."


He's absolutely right.


The CHA has some quality wins this season, and thanks to my play-by-play partner at CSTV, Matt McConnell, for doing the research. UAH beat Yale. Bemidji State knocked off Minn-Duluth and traditionally plays North Dakota pretty tough. Niagara beat CCHA teams in Bowling Green and Western Michigan twice, and also swept Quinnipiac. Robert Morris made news early with a win over BU and also beat Ohio State Wayne State had four wins in beating Lake Superior, St. Lawrence, and Northern Michigan twice. The CHA title game is on CSTV Sunday afternoon at 2 PM ET. That game is usually a good one."

Check out more of the article, it is a good one.

For those die hard hockey fans and CHA fans, you can catch the CHA Championship on CSTV (Comcast channel 274 in Pittsburgh). Bemidji State and Niagara will be battling out for what seems potentially be the final game in CHA history.

Game time is 2pm.

Unlike last season, the Colonials run in the CHA Tournament has come to an abrupt end. Final Score: 6-3 Purple Eagles. Unfortunatley, I got screwed by the B2 Networks and Niagara, they didn't carry a feed from the game, "Broadcast Canceled" appeared when I tried to view the game. So needless to say, I was unable to watch the game to give any decent in depth analysis.

Update to the B2 issue:
I was able to get a response from the CHA, it looks like Niagara ran into some problems with their encoder for the game. These things happen with these types of systems, they are great to have, but is just unfortunate that it happened during the CHA Tournament. This did not just happen for the RMU game, but to the early games as well.

From what I can tell, RMU out shot Niagara 37-28, they also held them to only converting on 1 of 7 power play opportunities. Chris Margott picked up a hat trick, scoring goals 16-18.

This game is a tough loss for RMU, after finishing the regular season at 15-14-4, their best season in school history so far, it seemed like this team had the poise to get it done. Let's not take anything away from Niagara, they are a great team, but the game was also a close one going into the third period, as the game was tied 2-2.

It was a great effort by Robert Morris, this team has a ton of potential for the future, from the current roster, to the recruits that Coach Schooley is bringing in next season.

Great Job this year fellas, good luck to the 14 seniors in their endeavors in life, whether they are hockey or not, and good luck to the returning team next season.

Hopefully sometime next week, or in the coming weeks, there will be some more light shed on the conference situation of what will happen next year, but I will also be previewing and reviewing the roster from this year, as well as looking into what next year's team will look like.


For More check out rmucolonials.com

The RMU Men's Ice Hockey team will face-off against the Niagara Purple Eagles tonight in the first round of the CHA playoffs at 7pm. Here are a few things to keep in mind for tonite's game:

Let's talk Hockey
RMU advanced to the CHA Final last year for the first time in school history, but fell 5-4 in an overtime loss to the Alabama Huntsville Chargers. RMU has an all-time record of 2-3 in CHA playoff action, but in the programs first two year, Niagara put a quick end to the Colonials' tournament run, knocking them off in both meetings.

RMU has an all-time record of 7-13-2 against Niagara, but in their last two games they have gone 0-2, with an overall record of 2-4-0 this season. The Colonials are 1-3-0 away from home against Niagara, and the Colonials have played against the Purple Eagles twice in the CHA Tournament and lost both games. Overall, RMU has an all-time record of 22-43-5 on the road, a record of 7-8-2 this season, putting them in the Finals, but only to fall short of the title.

Predictions
College Hockey News had this to say about their preview of tonite's match up:
"The Scoop: Robert Morris has been an inconsistent team this season, often scoring a lot of goals but then also giving up many as well. Case in point: the Colonials defeated Niagara 7-2 earlier this season but also lost to the Purple Eagles by scores of 7-2, 6-3, and 7-1. The defense for Robert Morris improved on the final weekend of the regular season, but Niagara may simply be too much for them to handle.

Prediction: Niagara wins"

USCHO.com had this to say:

"No. 2 Niagara vs. No. 3 Robert Morris

The marquee game of the weekend no question. NU won the six-game season series with a sweep two weeks ago. RMU may not have lived up to expectations this year, but the tournament is a different animal. This game will come down to a battle of special teams and goaltending. The Purple Eagles have had success with both, but so have the Colonials. This game is hard to call, but the Purps end the careers of the 14 RMU seniors.

Pick: Niagara squeaks by."


My Views on the Game
Robert Morris has played strong in their final 10 games of the season, going 5-4-1 over that strecth (one loss came in an exhibition). This mark was much better than last season, as the Colonials went into the CHA Tournament on 4-5-1 record in their final 10 games, but only to catch fire against Bemidji State in the first round of the tournament, winning that game 7-5.

To do this right, the Colonials only have to improve on a few things, staying out of the penalty box, converting early on their power play opportunities, getting to the net more often then Niagara in the first period and consistent defense in front of Christan Boucher for the game. Clearing the puck on a PK, or on a strong offensive attack will be the key to this game for the Colonials.

Don't forget to watch the game LIVE on the B2 Networks. The game is about $6-$8, I will be tuning in, and I will have a full wrap up of the game once the final buzzer sounds.

LET'S GO COLONIALS!

I will post later with a CHA preview, time is everything right now, but don't forget to watch the games on the B2 Networks online!

Here is the link to B2: http://www.b2livetv.com/?v=Hockey

Adding to the list of top players in their conferences (Tony Lee and Sade Logan in the NEC) Ryan Cruthers has been awarded the top honor in the CHA, Player of the Year. His teammate Joel Gasper took home the CHA Student-Athlete of the Year as well. Congrats guys!

From rmucolonials.com

"Moon Township, Pa. - March 13, 2008 - Senior Ryan Cruthers
(Farmingdale, N.Y. / Army) of the Robert Morris University men’s ice
hockey team was selected as the College Hockey America Player of the
Year Thursday afternoon, marking the first time in the programs
four-year history a Colonial has been named the player of the year. Also
garnering a major individual award was senior Joel Gasper (Crookston,
Minn. / Billings Bulls). Gasper becomes the first Colonial to garner
student-athlete of the year honors.

Cruthers earns his honor after rewriting the RMU single-season record
book for the second straight season. RMU’s first Hobey Baker nominee,
set single-season marks for points (48), goals (22), assists (26),
points per game (1.45), shorthanded goals (4) and shots on goal (139).
He also is currently a plus-7, which ties the single-season mark.

He currently ranks first in the CHA in points and goals, while ranking
second in assists. Cruthers ranks in the top-10 in five different
categories nationally. He ranks second with 1.45 points per game, tied
for third with 48 points and four shorthanded goals, eighth with 0.67
goals per game and tied for eighth with 0.79 assists per game.

Gasper, a manufacturing engineering major, was named student-athlete of
the year having maintained a 3.92 cumulative grade point average through
three plus years at Robert Morris. On the ice, Gasper was promoted to
captain this season after serving as an alternate captain last season,
while being named RMU’s most inspirational player and student-athlete
of the year the past two seasons. Gasper missed a portion of the 2007-08
season but has tallied seven points, all assists, in 22 games while
playing a significant role in RMU’s defensive zone.

Gasper has been named to seven consecutive dean’s lists and is a two
time Dean’s Scholar Award Winner. He has been named to three-straight
CHA All-Academic squads and in 2007 was named ESPN The Magazine Academic
All-District At-Large First Team.

The player of the year award is selected by a poll of league coaches,
while the student-athlete of the year award is decided upon by the
leagues athletic directors.

After being named to the All-CHA First Team, Cruthers is now eligible
for All-American status."

RMU adds a centreman to next season's roster. Tom Brooks of the NAHL plays for the St. Louis Bandits, where he has played 30 games and has 15 points with 8 goals and 7 assists. Last season Brooks played in Texas where he appeared in 49 games, with 29 points on 11 goals and 18 assists.

Brooks reportedly committed on March 11th, but the news did not come out until earlier today.

Here is a page on Brooks: STL Bandits

His stats: Pointstreak

From rmucolonials.com

" Cruthers, Margott Selected to All-CHA Teams
Duo is the only two teammates that rank in the top-10 in the nation in
scoring

Moon Township, Pa. - March 12, 2008 - Senior forward Ryan Cruthers
(Farmingdale, N.Y. / Army) and junior forward Chris Margott (Thousand
Oaks, Calif. / Bay State Breakers) of the Robert Morris University
men’s ice hockey team were selected to the All-CHA First and Second
team respectively Wednesday afternoon.

Cruthers, unanimously selected to the first team, leads the Colonials
with 48 points, 22 goals and 26 assists, all of which set new RMU
single-season highs. He also has a team high plus-7 rating and 139
shots. His 48 points, 22 goals and four shorthanded goals lead the CHA,
while his 26 assists rank second in the conference. Nationally he ranks
in the top-10 in five categories, he ranks second with 1.45 points per
game, tied for third with 48 points and four shorthanded goals, eighth
with 0.67 goals per game and tied for eighth with 0.79 assists per game.


Margott is the all-time leading scorer in RMU history, having played
almost three full seasons. This season Margott tallied 41 points,
scoring 15 goals and dishing out a team high and single-season record 26
assists. He ranks second on the team in both points and goals scored.
Margott also ranks in the top-10 in the nation in points per game with
1.24 and is tied for eighth with 0.79 assists per game. Margott ranks
first in the CHA with 18 power-play points, second with points,
power-play points and assists, while his 15 goals put him third in the
conference.

The CHA All-League squads were selected by a poll of the leagues head
and assistant coaches, with no coach being able to vote for their own
student athletes. College Hockey America will announce the last of its
post-season awards tomorrow as it will announce its individual awards
including player of the year, coach of the year, rookie of the year and
student athlete of the year."

EJHL Baystate's Brooks Ostergard, has committed to Robert Morris for next season. From an inside source (source is not related to Robert Morris), the official news came yesterday.

Ostergard went 21-14 this season, with a .91% Save Percentage and a 2.72 GAA. It will be assumed that Ostergard will compete for a potential starting spot, but most likely will compete for the back-up role, either behind Patterson or Russell next season.

This brings Coach Schooley's recruiting total to 12 for next season. I will have more information on all of the transfer students and incoming freshmen after the CHA Tournament (and potentially the NCAA Tournament).

Here are the rest of his stats: http://www.easternjunior.com/goalieleaders.php

From rmucolonials.com

" Longpre, Urban Unanimously Selected to the CHA All-Rookie Team
RMU leads way on CHA All-Rookie Team with two members

Moon Township, Pa. - March 11, 2008 - Forward Nathan Longpre
(Peterborough, Ontario / Mahoning Valley Phantoms) and defenseman Denny
Urban (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Ohio Blue Jackets) of the Robert Morris
University men’s ice hockey team were unanimously selected to the
College Hockey America All-Rookie Team Tuesday afternoon.

Longpre finished the regular-season ranking second in the CHA rookie
scoring race with 23 points and 12th in overall league scoring. His 16
assists rank 11th and his seven goals rank 23rd in the CHA. He also
ranks fifth on the team with 23 points and third with 16 assists. He
finished the season a +1 (+/-) rating and scored one power-play goal.

Urban ranks third in the CHA in defensive and rookie scoring with 21
points. His 15 assists rank 12 and his 21 points rank 18th in the
conference. He finished second on the team with a plus/minus rating of
plus-6, while his 21 points rank sixth on the team and first among
defenseman.

The CHA All-Rookie Team is selected by a poll of league coaches and any
player selected for the all-rookie team is eligible for the CHA Rookie
of the Year award which will be announced on Thursday."

Congratulations to 12 of this year's Colonials for making the CHA All-Academic Team

Name-Year-Hometown-Major
Tom Biondich* -Senior, International Falls, Minnesota Environmental Science
Logan Bittle** Senior, Peoria, Illinois Sports Management
David Boguslawski*** Senior, Cottage Grove, Minnesota Management
Andrew Bonello* Senior, Brampton, Ontario Environmental Science
Christian Boucher*** Senior, Orleans, Ontario Management
Rob Cowan*** Senior, Calgary, Alberta Sports Management
Ryan Cruthers* Senior, Farmingdale, New York Sports Management
Joel Gasper*** Senior, Crookston, Minnesota Manufacturing Engineering
Chris Kaufman*** Senior, Gig Harbor, Washington Marketing
Jake Sparks*** Senior, Evergreen, Colorado Sports Management
Eric Trax *** Senior, Finleyville, Pennsylvania Management
Tyler Webb* Sophomore, Austin, Texas Environmental Science

*number of years on All Academic Team

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