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:

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

"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 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
-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:

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:

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:

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.

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:

"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

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.

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" 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.


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:

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!


"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


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

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

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:


" 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

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

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

Adding to the list of transfer student/athletes, Robert Morris will have a third player coming from Wayne State next fall, Freshman forward Chris Kushneriuk. He will be joining Freshman defenseman Brock Meadows and Junior defenseman Matt Krug, who added themselves to the RMU transfer list back in January of this year. Kushneriuk officially transfered to the Colonials on March 4th.

Kushneriuk played in 35 games this season, registering 2 goals for the season. Meadows appeared in 28 games scoring 3 goals and 6 assists. Krug has played in 107 games in his career at Wayne State, this year he appeared in 35 registering 13 points (5 goals and 8 assists).

All three of these players will be eligible to play immediately next season.

Last season Robert Morris had three transfers from Niagara, Doug Connely, Aaron Clarke and Bryan Mills. Clarke is currently playing for the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL, where he has 22 points in 46 games.

BSU Update

This all but says it for the stability of the CHA's future and all the rumors about why BSU wants a new arena.


"In a letter to the editor of the International Falls (Minn.) Daily Journal, the following was posted this week regarding the new arena and events center in Bemidji. It’s an interesting read to say the least, and written by a member of the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce.

We all know how important hockey is to the fabric of our state. Yet the state of hockey could soon be tarnished. Bemidji State University is at risk of loosing its 51-year tradition of hockey excellence, including 13 national titles and the highest winning percentage in all of college hockey, most of it under well-known head coach R.H. “Bob” Peters.

Playing Division 1 hockey for the past eight years in the College Hockey America, Bemidji State has to change leagues soon as the CHA is losing teams. It has worked out a scheduling agreement with the Women’s College Hockey America (he obviously meant WCHA) for 2010 and is in hopes of joining the WCHA. In order to join the league, they must build a new facility with 4,000-seat capacity. The city of Bemidji, in cooperation with BSU, has purchased 127 acres along Lake Bemidji for an extensive multi- use development including a 4,000-seat event/convention center.

The city’s contribution to this is $66 million and the project needs $22 million in bonding money (in addition to $3 million received last year) from the state to become reality.

Governor Pawlenty has previously supported this project, but with transportation issues it did not make this year’s bonding list. Without the arena, there is no entry to the WCHA and Division 1 hockey ends very soon at BSU.

The city of Bemidji, BSU and the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce have come together for an intensive lobbying effort to influence the state powers to save one of the most revered hockey programs in the state of hockey. Please support efforts to get bonding money for this regional multi-use project. Without it, there is no Division 1 hockey at Bemidji State University.

Michael J. Beard
Bemidji Chamber of Commerce
Bemidji, MN"


I stumbled onto some information, conflicting information about the Wayne State Hockey program, almost ironic to find it now. Apparently WSU's $500,000 a year budget for the hockey program, is the largest of all of the school's 17 NCAA programs. According to WSU's AD, Rob Fournier, the claim that the folding of the Wayne State Men's Hockey Program is due to budget cuts, doesn't nessisarily seem like that is entirely true, but also may not actually happen after all, good news right? Well, not really.

Wayne State was promised, by who; no idea (probably the University, that only makes sense), that when the Men's and Women's Hockey Programs were introduced that a new arena would be built on campus, but apparently there isn't any money for that yet. Fournier has been in talks with Detroit Red Wing owners, Mike and Marian Ilitch, about a deal that would build a brand new arena on the WSU campus to make it the official practice facility of the Red Wings. But here is the interesting part, from a quote in the Detroit Free Press:
"Every time the electric bill comes, I'm not sending it to" the Ilitches, he said. "Or that security guy they have to hire? Not your cost. You want a legacy? I'll name a building after you. I'm looking at it from a different window, but I only see upsides. I can only make that offer. It's up to others to see the shared value in it."

So, money doesn't seem to be an issue then, right? If you are saying that you can afford to pay all of the bills without asking for anything from the Redwings, then why is it a problem to play at an off campus site for your Men's Program? Is it about money or about ego?

It may not even be about either of those as well, check this out:
Detroit Free Press:

The addition of a campus rink, Fournier believes, also would make WSU an attractive addition to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

"It would be a strong statement," CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos said. "Building a rink or securing a suitable facility is a huge step in demonstrating commitment" to college hockey.

Could a campus rink help Wayne State get into the CCHA?

"I'd never say never," Anastos said. "I always had the position that I'd like to see Wayne State have tremendous success, but it takes a level of commitment to make that happen."

Bemidji is moving towards the WCHA, Wayne State is talking about joining the CCHA, things don't look so good for the CHA. I wonder how a hockey program can even get accepted into a better conference when they keep threatening to no longer exist.

Read the Article yourself here in the Detroit Free Press

Colonial Hockey history was made in the final regular season game Saturday night against Alabama-Huntsville, as Robert Morris achieved it's first winning season under Head Coach Derek Schooley and the Men's Hockey Program, in just the 4th season. The Colonials finished the regular season with a 2-2 tie against the UAH Chargers, bringing their season record to 15-14-4 and a 10-7-3 record in the CHA. The Colonials finished the season with a 5-4-1 record in their last 10 games (one game being an exhibition against the US U-18 National Team).

Last season, the Colonials finished their last 10 games with a record of 4-5-1, but found themselves with a 7-5 victory over Bemidji State in the first round of the CHA Tournament to put them in the CHA Championship game against Alabama-Huntsville, but only to fall short in that game in overtime, 4-5.

Saturday's Game
RMU won Friday night 5-3 at the Island Sports Center and on Senior Night, as Coach Derek Schooley saw 15 seniors skate in their last regular season game, the Colonials looked to repeat their winning formula once again. The Colonials got off to a hot start in the middle of the first period scoring two goals, one from Freshman Nathan Longpre (7) and from Senior Ryan Cruthers (22), giving the Colonials an early lead in the First Period. Late in the First Period, Alabama-Huntsville grabbed a goal of their own off the stick of Kyle Goodchild (1).

The Colonials continued to pour on the shots in this game, out shooting UAH 38-29 in the game, but to no avail, the Colonials and Chargers skated to extra hockey in the overtime period. With stellar defensive play by both teams, on only 3 shots on goal in the entire period (all by RMU), the game ended in a 2-2 at the end of overtime.

Alabama-Huntsville fell to 6-20-4 overall on the season, as well as 3-13-4 in the CHA Conference.

Here is what things will look like for the CHA Tournament:
#5 Alab-Hunts vs #4 Wayne State - 7pm March 14th
#1 Bemidji State vs #4/#5 Winner - 2pm March 15th
#3 Robert Morris vs #2 Niagara - 7pm March 15th
CHA CHAMPIONSHIP - 2pm March 16th - LIVE ON CSTV (Comcast Channel 274)

*All games can be seen live via the B2 Networks
The B2 Networks allows you to watch each game live online via internet streaming. I believe that the cost of the CHA games will range from $6-$8 a game. I will be checking out the quality of these games, so hopefully you will too! CATCH THE COLONIALS IN NIAGARA!

RMU's Ryan Cruthers currently ranks 3rd in the National Scoring Race with 47 points on the season (21g-26a). He is 7 points behind the leader, Kevin Porter (Sr) from Michigan who has 54 points on the season (27g-27a) but only one point back of 2nd place, Simon Lambert (Sr) of RIT, who has 48 points on the season (21g-27a). Ryan's teammate, Chris Margott (Jr) is 9th in the Nation in scoring with 41 points on the season (15g-26a).

More National Stats
-Cruthers is ranked 10th in Goal Scoring in the Nation
-Margott & Cruthers are tied 9th in Assists in the Nation, with 5 other players
-Margott is tied at 22nd in the Nation in Power Play Goals (7)
-Cruthers is tied for 3rd in the Nation in Short-Handed Goals (4)

National Statistics

CHA Conference Stats
Cruthers and Margott are sitting 1st & 2nd respectively in Points Scoring in the CHA this year. Teammates, Sean Berkstresser and Jason Towsley are both tied for 10th in the conference with 24 points on the season (both with 9g-15a). Freshman Nathan Longpre is tied for 13th with 22 points on the season (6g-16a). Freshman defenseman, Denny Urban is 16th with 21 points (6g-15a).

Those are just a few stats in conference play, you can see more here:

My guess would be that going along with current NEC Baskeball Players of the Year, both from Robert Morris, Tony Lee and Sade Logan, we may see a possible CHA Player of the Year coming from Robert Morris. Ryan Cruthers and Chris Margott have positioned themselves to be candidates for the top honor this year.

The Lady Colonials faced off against the Wayne State Warriors this past afternoon at 3pm in Niagara in the first round of CHA Tournament.

Looking at the Box Score
If you didn't get a chance to be at the game and you get a chance to look at the box score, the Lady Colonials matched up well once again with Wayne State. They were out shot only 22-15, the largest period being the 1st period (7-3). They obviously picked up their game in the 2nd period as they came out heavy on defense, limiting Wayne State's shots to 9 and pumping their shots up to 7 on goal.

Penalties were not a problem for the Colonials this game, as they were only in the box for a total of 4:00. On the flip side, the Colonials had 6 chances on 12:00 minutes, but were unable to convert on any of their power play chances.

The Lady Colonials finished their season 12-22-1 on the season and going 2-10-0 in CHA Conference play.

Game Notes

Check back in the coming weeks to see the season wrap up on both the Men's and Women's teams, as I will give the 3 Stars of the year for MVP, Most Improved Player and Player to Watch for the Upcoming Season.

Obviously being at the game makes a world of a difference when you go to recap the game, so needless to say, I was at this game this past evening. The Colonials didn't look great, but they looked more energized for a season ending series and rather meaningless game, more than they have for the past few weeks of the season.

First Things First
The officiating, horrid - for both teams, no one sided calling in this game (just wanted to get that out of the way). I don't know what Coach Schooley (of RMU) said to his team in the locker room in the 1st Intermission (well, I'm pretty sure I know how the conversation went) but it obviously got through to his guys that there isn't much time left in the season to get some momentum, against a team they may face in the CHA Tourney at some point (like last year in the Championship) and get the puck bouncing.

2nd Period Onslaught
Christian Boucher had an easy period in the 2nd, only facing 6 shots on goal, but he gave up one goal, while his teammates put 5 in UAH's net by way of 21 shots on goal....21 shots! In one period! This is the type of Robert Morris Hockey I can get used to and exactly what the Colonials need right now. This was definitley the turning point in the game for the Colonials, especially getting right into the game as Brandon Gay scored his 2nd goal on the season 1:02 minutes into the period and at the 2:02 mark Jason Towsley put his 9th in goal. Denny Urban, Logan Bittle as well as Ryan Cruthers also tallied goals in the period.

A Few Thoughts
Tomorrow night's Senior Night will see 15 seniors being recognized on the ice for Coach Schooley's team. This night can also be a huge night in history for Robert Morris and Coach Schooley, as the Colonials have a chance to have their first winning season in their short 4 year history. After tonight's win, the Colonials are 15-14-3 on the season and 10-7-2 in the CHA Conference. So Let's get one more win tomorrow night!

On a side note: Wayne State beat Niagara in Overtime 3-2.

Check out the box score here

"The Bemidji Events Center made it into the House Bonding Bill at $20 million with a vote of 99-33. Off to Committee it goes to iron out the difference between the Senate's Bill of $22 million and the House's $20 million. Then it has to get the governor's stamp of approval."

From an Inside Source at BSU. I will have updates once I find some links to the information.

Official Link to Press Release:

The Syracuse Women's program was inaugurated this past October into NCAA hockey and this coming season will be their first play in an NCAA Conference.

Check out the new member to the CHA here:
SU Women's Hockey Home Page

Orignial Story
This came in from an inside source, but will be up on the CHA website in the next few hours:

CHA Press Release
UNIVERSITY, N.Y. -- College Hockey America Commissioner R.H. “Bob” Peters announced this evening during the annual year-end awards ceremony for the CHA women’s conference that Syracuse University will become the fifth member of the league.

“College Hockey America Women’s Conference is pleased and proud to welcome Syracuse University as a conference member effective immediately,” stated Commissioner Peters. “Syracuse University has a storied history of athletic excellence and therefore will add further to the competitive strength of the College Hockey America Women’s Conference.”

“We are excited to start our journey to becoming extraordinary in women’s ice hockey,” remarked Syracuse Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. “We are grateful to College Hockey America for recognizing the commitment we’ve made to be competitive in the sport. We believe we will enhance the conference and will do our best to represent it in the most amazing fashion.”

The CHA Women’s Conference is in its sixth year and currently has two teams (Mercyhurst and Wayne State) ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Niagara was a charter member of the league along with Mercyhurst and Wayne State. Robert Morris joined the conference for the 2005-06 campaign."

I was able to get this statement from Brad Folkestad, the Sports Information Contact from Bemidji State University:
" The stance of the President of Bemidji State University, Jon E. Quistgaard, is that if the funding does not go through this year, then the University has to take a step back figure out which direction it would like to go and then pursue the proper channels to move in that direction. There is no indication at this time that dropping Ice Hockey is the solution BSU administration is leaning towards. Getting the funding for the new facility only cemented the Ice Hockey program’s presence here. It is not the only way it will be surviving."

I asked Mr. Folkestad if there was any information about any news with the CHA Conference, only he had no more information than you and I at this time.

Here is a look at the "Bemidji Reginal Events Center," which is what this $22 million is all about.
Bemidji State Beavers Ice Rink
Bemidji Reginal Events Center Information


Here is an article from the Bemidji Pioneer that talks about this $22 million in bonding that is said to be "95%" approved.
Bemidji Pioneer: "We're 95% There"

Here is the article if you can't get the link to load in:
Bethany Wesley: Bemidji Pioneer
"The Bemidji events center took another step toward reality as the House Capital Investment Bill was released on Monday, including $20 million in bonding funds for the project.

The events center also was in the bonding bill approved last week by the Senate Capital Investment Committee, which allotted the full $22 million toward the events center as requested.

“We got $22 million in the Senate and $20 million in the House,” said Rep. Frank Moe, DFL-Bemidji. “We’re so close. This is huge.”

The House committee announced its $1 billion bonding bill on Monday.

“We’re 95 percent there,” Moe said. “Who would have guessed that we’d be here just a few months ago?”

While Moe and Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, have been promoting the project to their colleagues throughout the legislative session, Moe said the support of the community has been invaluable.

“We couldn’t have done it without that support,” he said.

Area residents and project supporters have made multiple trips to the Capitol in the last few weeks to show their support, Moe said.

“And then a group of (Bemidji State University) students made a timely delivery last week of thousands of letters written by students,” he said.

The House and Senate bonding bills will now go before both their respective legislative bodies for an up-or-down vote and will then be debated in a conference committee before getting another vote by the Senate and House.

Eventually, one legislative bonding bill will be sent to face its final hurdle: Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He could choose to approve the bonding bill, veto it in its entirely, or line-item veto certain projects in it.

Olson told the Pioneer on Friday that Pawlenty is against funding the project at this time – and also is not in favor of extending the half-cent sales tax that would fund the local portion of the facility’s cost.

“I think it’s important for the community to reach out to the governor’s office and remind him of his prior support,” Moe said.

Pawlenty previously has voiced support of the Bemidji events center, Moe noted, and was in favor of the $3 million that was given to the city last year for preliminary work and design plans.

Moe said no one but Pawlenty knows for sure what he thinks of the project at this time.

“I still have to take him at his original word,” Moe said.

Funding for other local projects in the House bonding bill include:

-- Funds to complete the paving of the Paul Bunyan Trail from Walker to Guthrie.

-- $8.9 million for the Sattgast Building addition and renovation at Bemidji State University.

-- Funding for the science lab renovations at Bemidji State Nursing School.

-- Funding to help with the purchase of the former Bemidji High School site by BSU."

Original Story
This story has not been fully credited yet as true, but this quote has popped up on a few message boards online this morning:

"From Charlie Walters column in Pioneer Press on March 5th.

"Word is the Division I Bemidji State men's hockey team, which plays in the College Hockey America Conference and has hoped to get into the WCHA, will fold after this season if the state Legislature doesn't approve $22 million in bonding and renew a half-cent city sales tax for Bemidji to build a new 4,000-seat hockey facility."

Charlie Walters is a credited columnist for the Pioneer Press, and can be found at:

I will repost this news once there is more credible confirmation.

Some news in College Hockey nationally, this story came up on College Hockey today:

New 'Rule' That Would Exclude Minnesota-Duluth, is a Mirage Says Committee Chair

by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
The Internet was abuzz Tuesday as word began to spread that the latest revision to the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championships Handbook contained a new provision.

Now, there have been a lot of changes, tweaks, etc... to the selection criteria and process over the years, and we've religiously followed them all. But this one was new to us.

Tipped off by CHN reporters Brett Gobe and Ron Ayers, it seems that the handbook contained the following new line: "To be considered during the at-large selection process, a team must have an overall won-lost record of .500 or better."

Notwithstanding the merits and wisdom of such an idea, this was brand new to men's ice hockey. And this would be particularly relevant this year.

There are numerous teams sitting on the bubble who are teetering around the .500 mark, but thanks to outstanding strengths of schedule, are on the verge of making the NCAA tournament nonetheless. Most prominently is Minnesota-Duluth, currently tied for 13th in the Pairwise with a 12-14-6 record.

Others around there are Minnesota (14-13-9) — which happens to be the school that employs committee chair Joel Maturi, the school's athletic director — Boston University (15-15-4), Wisconsin (15-14-7), and Providence (14-13-5), home to another committee member, AD Bob Driscoll.

The question ... would the committee disregard the raw numbers, and indeed implement this supposed new rule and throw out the bid of Minnesota-Duluth?

More than likely, this will shake itself out in the conference tournament playoffs, and not be a factor. Despite the incredible strength of schedule disparity this year that currently plants eight WCHA teams in the tournament, it's not likely to wind up that way in the end.

But here's the rub ... the rule doesn't really exist.

As word spread around the Internet on Tuesday, we called the actual chair of the committee, Joel Maturi. He said he hadn't heard of this provision. Taken somewhat aback, we asked where it came from, and he promised to check on it and get back to us.

We were waiting until Maturi's final confirmation until we ran this story, but given the prominence this supposed "fact" had achieved, it seemed now was the time to get this out there.

Though still waiting for Maturi's final word, as of Tuesday night, Maturi told CHN that it appears that wording is "boilerplate" NCAA language, and was inserted into the February 2008 revision of the handbook by mistake (UPDATE: This mistake has now been confirmed by Marc Bedics at the NCAA, who said that an updated handbook, eliminating the sentence in question, will be distributed shortly). Odd that this happened, and that it wasn't in the 2007 handbook, but you have to assume the committee chair would've known had this rule passed.

We'll update the story as more information comes in Wednesday from the NCAA and Maturi.

Again, there may be merits to such a rule. Most other NCAA sports have such a thing. But at this time, there is no such rule for NCAA men's ice hockey. And as it stands right now, Minnesota-Duluth would make the NCAA tournament — though again, that's likely to change anyway as the conference tournaments get in gear, making this, perhaps, much ado about nothing.


Listen to today from 3-5pm for "Andrew and Dan in the Afternoon." I will be on the show at 3:40 to talk RMU Hockey from the past weekend, as well as a preview to the upcoming week.

Here is a lineup from Colonials Corner for the show today:
"This is the final week of "Andrew and Dan In The Afternoon" before we step out for Spring Break, so naturally we're jamming our show to the rafters.

Here's what you can expect for Monday's show on RMU Radio.

- Highlights from the weekly press conference with Mike Rice and the #1 Colonials.
- Seth Rorabaugh of the Post-Gazette's Empty Netters at 3:20 to talk Penguins
- Dave Weldon, RMU Sports hockey analyst, to talk Colonials hockey
- Christian Miranda, RMU Sports basketball analyst, to preview the NEC tournaments

As always, your internet radio station should always be tuned to RMU Radio. Andrew and Dan in the Afternoon airs live from 3-5pm every Monday and Friday on RMU Radio."

Source: Colonials Corner

Unfortunatley, both of our Colonial teams did not fair well in their weekend sets of games, dropping their respective 2 games a piece.

Colonial Men
The Men dropped their second game in Niagara 7-1, putting them at 14-14-3 on the season and in 3rd place in the CHA conference. I was not able to hear nor see the game on Saturday, and according to the box score, RMU did fair well against the Purple Eagles. RMU matched well in shots on goal (33 to 37) and managed to stay out of the penalty box much longer than the Purple Eagles (RMU had 10 Pen Mins, compared to 27 for Niagara). The one score that stands out over the rest, is the 3 goals in the first period. When the Colonials get off to a slow start and allow the opposing team to score first, good things have not ensued. It is difficult to fight back into the game when you are down 3 after the first intermission. RMU takes on Alabama-Huntsville this coming Friday and Saturday at the Neville Island Sports Center.

Box Score

Lady Colonials
The Lady Colonials however managed to fight back from a 2 goal deficiet in the 3rd period to take the Lady Lakers of Mercyhurst into Overtime, but fell short as Meghan Agosta put the game winning goal in the net at the 3:10 mark. The Lady Colonials were badly out shot in this game 49-22, but the Colonials were able to keep themselves out of the penalty box and limit the Lakers shots on goal during their powerplays, giving them a chance to fight back in the third period.
*Team Captain Kristen Miles again missed this game, making it 5 missed games in a row for her.

The Lady Colonials have finished in 4th place in the CHA Conference this season, with an overall record of 12-21-1. On Friday March 7th, the Lady Colonials are set to take on the Wayne State Warriors in Niagara at 3pm.

Box Score

*Listen to "Andrew and Dan in the Afternoon" on at 3:40pm tomorrow (Monday) as I will discuss the upcoming CHA Women's Tournament, as well as the upcoming weekend series here at home for the Men's team.

Check back later in the week for the weekend previews

The RMU Men's team lost tonight 6-3 in the first game of their weekend series at Niagara. The Colonials out shot Niagara 37-31 through 3 periods, however, what may have seemed to be the problem was their penalty killing. Niagara was able to score 3 times on 9 power play attempts, thus making a huge difference in the game. There was also an empty net goal against the Colonials, so if you subtract those 4 goals, this game would have been a lot closer.

Ryan Cruthers scored his 20th goal of the season and Chris Margott was able to grab 2 assists in the game. With those two assists Margott has passed former teammate Doug Connelly, for most assists in a career, giving Margott 50. You can read the box score here:
RMU vs Niagara

The RMU Women's team fell to Mercyhurst 5-2 tonight out in Erie. The Lady Colonials were badly out shot 58-20 and the Lady Lakers were able to convert 3 goals on 8 power play chances. RMU Goaltender Brianne McLaughlin made 53 saves on 57 shots faced (1 empty net goal) making 21 saves in the first period alone. Team Captain Kristen Miles was once again scratched from the lineup, making this the fourth game she has missed, her last being the win at Wayne State. You can read the box score here:
RMU vs Mercyhurst

Remember that you can catch both games on Yahoo radio, the Men play at 7:05 and the Ladies play at 7:35.

Live Starting at 7:00pm
RMU Men's game on Yahoo

Live Starting at 7:30pm
RMU Women's game on Yahoo

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