Home Blog

Youngstown, NY Native Cecconi Signs With Stars


Cecconi Signs Professional Contract with NHL’s Dallas Stars

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan ice hockey senior defenseman Joseph Cecconi has signed an entry-level contract with the NHL’s Dallas Stars, the club announced today (Tuesday, March 19). Cecconi will report to the Texas Stars, Dallas’ AHL affiliate in Cedar Park, Texas.

“I am extremely excited to sign my first NHL contract with the Dallas Stars,” said Cecconi. “I cannot wait to get to Texas and get started on my next journey. I want to give a special thank you to the coaching staff, my teammates over the past four years, and the Children of Yost for an amazing four years at Michigan.”

Cecconi, Michigan’s captain, was selected by the Stars in the fifth round (133rd overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. He decided to return for his senior season last summer. He appeared in all 36 contests this season, recording 20 points (three goals, 17 assists). He ranked second on the team in assists and second in blocked shots (66) while also seeing significant time on the team’s power-play and penalty-kill units throughout the season.

Cecconi finished his Michigan career with 62 points (nine goals and 53 assists). The Youngstown, New York, native was a part of teams that won one Big Ten Tournament title and made two NCAA Tournament appearances. He helped lead Michigan to a 2018 Frozen Four appearance after a breakout junior season in which he set career highs in points (27), goals (five) and assists (22).

Internationally, Cecconi earned a gold medal as a member of Team USA’s World Junior Championship squad in 2017.

Cecconi becomes the 11th Wolverine to join the Stars organization and joins former teammate and Michigan captain Tony Calderone, who signed a two-way entry level contract with Dallas last spring (2018).

(Michigan Hockey Photo)

Chris Drury Named GM of 2019 US Men’s National Team

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 15: CHRIS DRURY - 2010 Winter Olympic Games. (Photo by Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Chris Drury, currently in his third year as assistant general manager of the NHL’s New York Rangers and general manager of the Rangers’ AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack, will serve as general manager of the 2019 U.S. Men’s National Team it was announced today by USA Hockey.Drury will be assisted by the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group, led by John Vanbiesbrouck, assistant executive director of USA Hockey, and including NHL general managers David PoileDon WaddellRay SheroDale TallonStan BowmanJeff Gorton and Paul Fenton.“We’re really happy to have Chris serving as general manager of our team,” said Vanbiesbrouck. “He knows what it takes to succeed at the international level, and working with our men’s national team advisory group, which brings vast experience, success and passion to the table, we have a tremendous group in place to build our team.”“I’m honored to be asked and am excited about the challenge ahead,” said Drury, who is in his fourth season with the Rangers, including his first year as director of player development. “Our player pool continues to get deeper in the U.S. and I look forward to working with the men’s national team advisory group in putting together a roster that can compete for a gold medal.”Drury, who served as part of the management group for U.S. Men’s National Teams in both 2016 and 2017, was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015 after a 12-year NHL career that included a Stanley Cup championship with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.He competed in eight international events for Team USA during his playing career, including three Olympic Winter Games (2002-silver, 2006, 2010-silver), three IIHF Men’s World Championships (1997, 1998, 2004-bronze), one World Cup of Hockey (2004) and one IIHF World Junior Championship (1996).Additionally, Drury spent four seasons playing at Boston University (1994-98), where he helped lead the Terriers to the 1995 NCAA national championship. Drury captured college hockey’s ultimate individual honor his senior season as the recipient of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and is also a two-time recipient of USA Hockey’s College Player of the Year Award (1997, 1998).The U.S. Men’s National Team will compete in the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship, May 10-26, in Kosice and Bratislava, Slovakia.NOTES: For complete coverage of the U.S. Men’s National Team, click here … The official online home of the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship is 2019.IIHFWorlds.com … USA Hockey expects to name the head coach and initial players part of the roster in the coming weeks … The U.S. has finished in the top four of the world championship in four of the last six years, with three bronze medals during that stretch, including last year … USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.

Six New York State Teams Alive In College Playoffs


By Warren Kozireski–

Approaching the third week in March, most college hockey teams have ended their seasons and coaches have already held their exit interviews with everyone on the roster. But for six New York State college teams, the dream of a national championship continues this weekend.

At the Division I level, Cornell and Clarkson both head to Lake Placid for the ECAC final four while RIT and Niagara do the same for the last two days of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs at HarborCenter in Buffalo.

Cornell is 19-9-4 after defeating Union in three games during their quarterfinal series. Nationally ranked tenth in the nation, the Big Red take ECAC Defensive Defenseman of the Year Matt Nuttle of Marilla plus New York Rangers prospect and the team’s third forward to earn First Team All-Conference honors in 32 years in sophomore Morgan Barron to a 4pm semi-final tilt with Brown.

The other semi-final pits the ninth ranked and 24-10-2 Golden Knights against Harvard. Clarkson is led by top-line forwards Nico Sturm (ECAC Hockey’s Best Defensive Forward and First Team All-Conference) and Haralds Egle with junior goaltender Jake Kielly’s sub 2.00 goals against average.

RIT survived a three-game quarterfinal victory at Sacred Heart to earn their way into the AHA final four where they will battle Niagara in the second semi-final game.

The Tigers, trying for their third conference championship in the past five year, are led by senior forwards Abbott Girduckis (Second Team pick) with Erik Brown and junior defenseman Adam Brubacher (both Third Team). They are 2-1-1 against the Purple Eagles this season with both wins coming on the road.

Niagara, winners of five of their last six games including a three-game first round playoff win over rival Canisius and a two-game sweep at Air Force in the quarterfinals, is led by Third Team All-Conference picks Noah Delmas on defense and Ludwig Stenlund up front. The latter led the nation’s freshman in scoring with 22 goals and 41 points in 39 games.

In Division III, 24-1-2 and second ranked nationally Geneseo won the SUNYAC regular season crown before overwhelming Manhattanville in the NCAA quarterfinals 8-2 last weekend. Led by the nation’s top two scorers in Andrew Romano and Conlan Keenan (Penfield) along with national shutout record setter Devin McDonald (12) in net, the Knights will battle Northeast Hockey Conference playoff champ Norwich in the first national semi-final Friday night at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

The other semifinal pits 21-7-2 and at-large bid recipient Hobart against top-ranked and undefeated host Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The Statesmen lost 2-1 to Norwich in the conference championship game—their only loss over the last 12 games—before defeating Plymouth State at home and Oswego State on the road in one-goal wins. Freshman goaltender Liam Lascelle took over the net late in the season for the Statesmen while top-liners Jonas Toupal and Zach Sternbach are among a balanced scoring attack that featured nine players with 15 or more points.

Devils Sign Union’s Walker To Amateur Tryout



Walker spent the past four seasons at Union College

BINGHAMTON – The Binghamton Devils announced today that the club has signed forward Ryan Walker to an amateur tryout. The announcement came from Binghamton’s general manager, Tom Fitzgerald.

Walker, 21, played the past four seasons at Union College where he totaled 68 points (32 goals, 36 assists) in 142 games played. Walker finished 21st in all-time games played for the Dutchmen. Prior to his collegiate career, the New Jersey native recorded 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists) in 60 games with the United States Hockey League’s Sioux City Musketeers.

The Devils return home next Friday against Springfield and Saturday against Rochester. Friday, the Devils have a special guest appearance from WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry. Fans can get a special VIP meet-and-greet package to hang out with the former World Heavyweight Champion. Then, Saturday is Superhero Night where fans can get a special Superhero Pack that comes with a FREE Devils Superhero Cape. Also, it’s the final FREE postgame skate with the players. Call or text “TICKETS” to 607-722-7367. 

Crunch Weekly Report


Presented by Penske Truck Rental


Wed., March 13 – Crunch at Laval – W, 4-2
Fri., March 15 – Crunch vs. Hartford – W, 3-2
Sat., March 16 – Crunch vs. Binghamton – W, 4-1


Tue., March 19 – Crunch at Charlotte – 7 p.m.
Wed., March 20 – Crunch at Charlotte – 7 p.m.
Sat., March 23 – Crunch vs. Utica – 7 p.m.
Sun., March 14 – Crunch at Bridgeport – 5 p.m.


The Crunch swept a three-game week and extended their points streak to seven games (6-0-1-0) to open up a season-high three-point lead in the North Division. The Crunch (40-17-4-2) also reached 40 wins for the second straight season; it’s the seventh time in franchise history and the 63 games needed to hit 40 wins are the fewest in franchise history.

Syracuse opened the week Wednesday in Laval with a 4-2 win over the Rocket, the Crunch’s fourth win in five games head-to-head. The Crunch collected two home wins to wrap up the week, fending off a late comeback bid by the Hartford Wolf Pack in a 3-2 win and then thumping Binghamton, 4-1, Saturday night to end the season series 9-1-0-0 against the Devils.

The Crunch have their sights set on the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy—awarded to the team with the best record in the AHL. No Syracuse-based AHL team has ever finished the regular season with the best record, but the Crunch enter the week three points behind the Charlotte Checkers with a two-game set in Charlotte to open the week.


Andy Andreoff extended his scoring streak to a season and career-high seven games with four points (2g, 2a) in three games last week. Skating on a line with rookies Ross Colton and Taylor Raddysh, the veteran had an assist Wednesday in Laval, scored a goal Friday against Hartford then recorded his 12th multi-point game of the season (1g, 1a) in Saturday’s win over Binghamton.

In his first season with the organization, Andreoff has established new career-highs in points (48), goals (24) and power-play goals (9), while his 24 assists have matched a career-high. His 48 points ranks fourth on the team, while his 24 goals rank third on the Crunch and are tied for 17th in the AHL.

Carter Verhaeghe snapped a three-game scoring drought with his 21st multi-point performance of the season Saturday against the Devils. He set up the game’s first goal with a power-play assist—his 20th—then scored a highlight-reel goal on a partial breakaway later in the game.

With 69 points, the 23-year-old has established a new single-season record for most points during the Lightning affiliation, now in its seventh season. That also ranks tied for 10th in a single season in franchise history; the Crunch record is 79 points, set by Lonny Bohonos in 1994-95 and matched by Bill Bowler in 2000-01.

He paces the Crunch with 21 multi-point outings in 63 games; Verhaeghe entered the season with 22 career multi-point games in 135 AHL contests.

Goaltender Eddie Pasquale won both of his starts last week to extend his personal winning streak to four games, his second such streak of the season. In his first full season with the organization, Pasquale has matched his career-high with 23 wins, which he set in 2011-12 with the St. John’s IceCaps; he finished 23-12-1 in 38 games that season and is 23-10-5 in 38 games this season. He also collected his third assist of the season, establishing a new career high.

Since Jan. 18, the 28-year-old has posted an 11-2-1 record with a 1.74 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. He has a league-high four shutouts in that span.


Week 25 opens with a showdown between the teams with the best two records in the AHL as Syracuse visits Charlotte Tuesday and Wednesday. They are the final two games of the season series; two of the Crunch’s six regulation home losses are against the Checkers, but they both came in October during the Crunch’s 2-5-0-0 start. Charlotte leads Syracuse by three points for the top overall record in the AHL. Neither team has ever finished first overall in the regular season.

The Crunch’s lone home game is Saturday against the slumping Utica Comets, who have dropped out of a playoff position with seven straight losses (0-6-1-0). The Crunch lead the Galaxy Cup series with five wins in nine games.

Syracuse has a quick turnaround with a Sunday finale in Bridgeport against the Sound Tigers. They are one of five teams, including the Crunch, with at least 80 points this season. The Crunch defeated the Sound Tigers, 3-1, in their only previous meeting Jan. 4 in Syracuse.


Wednesday, March 13 | Game 61 at Laval | W, 4-2
Syracuse 1 1 2 – 4 Shots: 8-5-8-21 PP: 1/3
Laval 1 0 1 – 2 Shots: 9-7-16-32 PP: 1/5
1st Period-Foote 8 (Andreoff), 14:28. 2nd Period-Raddysh 16 (Colton, Stephens), 18:37 (PP). 3rd Period-Dumont 10 (Unassisted), 1:14. Barré-Boulet 29 (Pasquale), 19:14 (EN). . . . Pasquale 22-10-5 (32 shots-30 saves). A-4,354

Friday, March 15 | Game 62 vs. Hartford | W, 3-2
Hartford 0 0 2 – 2 Shots: 7-7-12-26 PP: 1/7
Syracuse 1 1 1 – 3 Shots: 9-13-2-24 PP: 0/3
1st Period-Volkov 14 (Dumont, Conacher), 1:07. 2nd Period-Andreoff 23 (Raddysh, Colton), 19:27. 3rd Period-Stephens 10 (Katchouk, Brassart), 1:56. . . . Pasquale 23-10-5 (26 shots-24 saves). A-5,371

Saturday, March 16 | Game 63 vs. Binghamton | W, 4-1
Binghamton 0 1 0 – 1 Shots: 6-6-6-18 PP: 1/5
Syracuse 1 2 1 – 4 Shots: 3-11-9-23 PP: 1/3
1st Period-Andreoff 24 (Barré-Boulet, Verhaeghe), 4:02 (PP). 2nd Period-Volkov 15 (Dumont, Tammela), 1:59. Verhaeghe 28 (Stephens, Labrie), 11:42. 3rd Period-Volkov 16 (Andreoff, Thomas), 19:02 (EN). . . . Ouellette 3-0-1 (18 shots-17 saves). A-6,033

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 21.2% (57-for-569) 5th (6th)
Penalty Kill 84.8% (256-for-302) 4th (4th)
Goals For 3.54 GFA (223) 3rd (3rd)
Goals Against 2.46 GAA (155) 1st (1st)
Shots For 28.38 SF/G (1788) 23rd (22nd)
Shots Against 28.54 SA/G (1798) 11th (11th)
Penalty Minutes 13.92 PIM/G (877) 6th (8th)
Category Leader
Points 69 Verhaeghe
Goals 29 Barré-Boulet
Assists 41 Verhaeghe
PIM 125 Andreoff
Plus/Minus +25 Masin
Wins 23 Pasquale
GAA 2.26 Ingram
Save % 0.922 Ingram

Amerks Weekly Report


**This Week’s Storylines**


The Amerks sit just three points behind the Syracuse Crunch for the AHL’s North Division lead after dropping both ends of a two-game set to the league-leading Charlotte Checkers this past weekend. The Amerks were held to just a single goal in each contest with Rasmus Asplund provided the scoring in Friday’s 4-1 loss before Kevin Porter found the back of the net in Saturday’s rematch. Coming into the week, Rochester currently sits five points ahead of third-place Toronto and have a 11-point lead on Belleville, who sit four points ahead of Cleveland for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. The Amerks have collected 37 out of a possible 54 points in their last 27 games. Among all AHL teams, only the Charlotte Checkers (41) and Syracuse Crunch (40) have more wins than the Amerks (39), who are third overall in the AHL with a .648 points percentage.


By way of last Wednesday’s 5-0 victory over the Utica Comets, Rochester picked up its 39th win of the season to surpass last season’s win total (37) by two victories in 14 fewer games. Second-year head coach Chris Taylor is also approaching his first 40-win campaign as head coach, and by doing so, will become the first Amerks bench boss to lead his team to 40 or more wins in a season since Benoit Groulx(44) during the 2009-10 campaign. Early this season, Taylor reached the 30-win mark for the second straight year, becoming the first Amerks head coach to lead his team to 30 or more wins in each of his first two seasons behind the bench since Hall of Famer Randy Cunneyworth, the all-time winningest coach in franchise history. 


After failing to produce a 20-goal scorer last season for just the second time in franchise history, the Amerks could potentially have five or more by the season’s end. Zach Redmond, Victor Olofsson and C.J. Smith all completed the feat earlier this season while both Taylor Leier and Wayne Simpson each have scored 19. Danny O’Regan, who reached the 40-point mark for the second time in his career on Saturday, has 18 coming into the week. The last time the Amerks had five 20-goal scorers in the same season was in 2000-01, which also included current Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. The Amerks are one of just five AHL teams this season (Hartford, Springfield, Syracuse and Utica) to have three different players with 20 or more goals.


With his team-leading 14th multi-point (1+1) effort this past Wednesday against Utica, forward Victor Olofsson continues tolead the club in goals (24) and points (53) while his 29 assists are tied for the team lead in 61 games this season. Olofsson is just one of just four Rochester skaters to surpass the 40-point mark. A year after pacing the SHL with 27 goals, Olofsson became the first Amerk to reach the 50-point mark since Cole Schneider during the 2016-17 campaign with his second of two goals in Binghamton earlier this month. Olofsson, who earned CCM/AHL Player of the Month honors for October, is also tied for 21st in the AHL in power-play assists (15) while ranking 20th among the league’s top point-getters in overall scoring. His eight game-winning goals, two of which have come in his last nine games, are second-most in the AHL behind only teammate Zach Redmond.


With 19 points (5+14) over his last 16 games, which includes six multi-point efforts during that span, Redmond has scored a career-high 21 goals through 52 games, including 10 on the power-play, good enough for 11th in the league in that category. Redmond, who is currently averaging just under a point-per-game and had an AHL-best nine-game point streak to end the month of October, ranks second among all AHL defensemen with 49 points while his 21 goals and 186 shots are the most by an AHL blueliner this season. In addition to nearing the first 50-point season of his career, his nine game-winning goals are tops in the AHL.


C.J. Smith has been piling up the points on an absolute torrid pace. With three more points (1+2) last week, which included his 22nd goal of the season, the second-year pro has amassed a whopping 34 points (16+18) over his last 30 games dating back to Dec. 5, having been held scoreless just seven times over that span. He also posted a season-long nine-game point streak in that time. Smith reached the 50-point plateau for the first time in his career and he has already established career-highs in both goals (22) and points (51) while setting a personal-best 29 assists.


Scott Wedgewood,who has won seven of his last 10 and 15 of his last 22 games, owns a career-best 25-12-2 record in 41 games this season with the Amerks. In addition to his 25 wins, which are four off the league lead coming into the week, the sixth-netminder has a personal-high five shutouts, tying him for second-most in the AHL. Wedgewood, who previously won a season-long five straight to close out the month of October, has allowed one goal-against or less in eight of his last 15 starts, stopping 370 of 394 shots he faced. Over that span, he’s earned an 8-6-1 record with a 1.81 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. He also ranks fourth in saves (1,046), tied for 10th with a 2.51 goals-against average and 13th with a .914 save percentage coming into the second to last week of March.


At 19-8-3-1, Rochester has the third-best road record in the AHL and have the second-most regulation wins away from home with 19 behind only Charlotte. The Amerks also have the fewest regulation road losses in the AHL this season with eight, having collected at least one point in 23 of their 31 contests away from The Blue Cross Arena. Coming into the week, the Amerks have won 13 of their last 21 road contests and five of the last seven.


Coming into this week, Rochester’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot for the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs is 10. Of the remaining 12 games, seven are outside the Flower City, while six will be played as part of two different stretches of three games in three nights. Rochester will play 11 contests against North Division opponents, which includes three more against Syracuse and two with Binghamton.  

Regals/Jr. Sabres Alum Rutherford Making Impact at Dartmouth



By Warren Kozireski—

The Buffalo Regals and Jr. Sabres have sent dozens of players on to play various levels college hockey.  Dartmouth sophomore Collin Rutherford (Tonawanda) is one of them.

Rutherford got off to a slow start offensively this season after his six goal, eight assist freshman campaign. But he was getting his points when it mattered most, with all but one coming against conference opponents.

Rutherford played midget-minor hockey with the Regals before two full seasons in the Jr. Sabres organization followed by two more with as USHL Clark Cup champions with Tri-City and one year later helping Des Moines earn a playoff berth for the first time in a decade before heading to Dartmouth.

Hockey is in his family blood as well as his father played at Buffalo State.

“I started off (this season) pretty well, had a couple of points at the beginning and there’s been a switch in lines so it’s nice to get some chemistry with Matt Baker and Alex Jasiek. We’re jelling pretty well. We’re a smaller line, so we like to use our speed to our advantage.

“I’m trying to play to my strengths a little more, trying to get some more confidence.”

When he first made the decision to head to the USHL from the Jr. Sabres, he first was in Cedar Rapids where he was in the line-up sporadically.

“(In) Cedar Rapids I played one game out of eight, so they traded me to Tri-City and I got in the line-up a little more and tried to make a name for myself.”

A U-18 state championship with the Jr. Sabres, a USHL league championship and helping Dartmouth to the ECAC quarterfinals last season as a freshman.

The Harvard men’s hockey team dueled familiar Ivy League foe, Dartmouth, last weekend for a spot in the ECAC’s annual mid-March pilgrimage to Lake Placid, NY.

Harvard followed its 3-1 victory on Friday with an emotional 4-3 OT clincher on Saturday, knocking out Dartmouth (13-17-4, 10-9-3) in the 13th meeting in the past four campaigns with its Hanover, NH counterpart.

(Dartmouth photo)

RPI’s Owen Savory Named To All-Rookie Team


TROY, N.Y. – ECAC Hockey has announced its 2018-19 All-Rookie Team and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athlete Owen Savory has been selected. The goaltender is also a finalist for Rookie of the Year, which will be announced at the championship banquet this weekend.

A freshman goaltender out of Cambridge, Ont., Savory played in 25 games this season, including 23 as a starter. He posted a 5-15-3 overall record, with a 2.46 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. Stopping 739 shots in 1438:00 minutes, he had one shutout – a 43-save performance against then-No. 18 Union College in the Mayor’s Cup on January 29.

Savory made 16 appearances in ECAC Hockey play, starting 15. He went 3-10-2 with a 2.56 goals against average and a .920 save percentage, stopping 459 shots in 937:50 minutes. For the year, the former St. Catharines Falcons standout made 30 or more saves 13 times and 40-plus four times.

Ranking 10th nationally in save percentage, Savory is second among rookie netminders. He sixth among freshmen in goals against average, including first in ECAC Hockey.

The ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week on February 4, Savory led the nation in saves, stopping 111 of the 113 shots he faced in three starts. Posting a 1-0-2 record, with a 0.63 goals against average and a .982 save percentage, he opened the week by shutting out Union at the Times Union Center. He then notched 28 stops in 3-1 victory over Colgate on Friday, before turning away another 40 in a 1-1 tie against No. 13 Cornell on Saturday.

Savory earned Rookie of the Week on January 21, turning away 31 of the 33 shots he faced, including all 10 in the first period, to help the Engineers to a 5-2 victory at UConn. He then stopped 10 of 11 in the second and 10 of 11 in the third to help secure the win. RPI was a perfect 3 for 3 on the penalty kill, with Savory registering five saves.

Rensselaer went 10-23-3 overall this season, including a 7-13-2 mark in ECAC Hockey play.

Beauts Fall In OT To Whitecaps In Isobel Cup Final


ST. PAUL, Minn. (March 17, 2019) – The Buffalo Beauts fell to the Minnesota Whitecaps in the 2019 Isobel Cup Final in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday afternoon in Minnesota. Buffalo was defeated 2-1 in overtime by the top seed in the NWHL Isobel Cup playoffs, coming up short in the championship game for the second year in a row.

The Beauts made their fourth consecutive Isobel Cup appearance on Sunday afternoon, which no other NWHL team has done. For Minnesota, it won its first Isobel Cup Championship in the team’s inaugural season.

Nicole Hensley got the start in goal for the Beauts after it was announced that Shannon Szabados would not dress for the game due to a lower-body injury.

Despite getting the late nod, Hensley took the ball and ran with it, turning in an impressive 28-save performance in a losing effort.

The Beauts and Whitecaps played evenly for the majority of the first period. Buffalo did a good job matching Minnesota’s speed and outshot the Whitecaps 8-5 in the opening frame.

There were not a lot of scoring chances in the first period despite the fast-paced, back-and-forth play. A few minutes after the Beauts killed-off a two-minute slashing penalty to Kelly BabstockEmily Pfalzer scored from the top of the faceoff circle to the left of Whitecaps goaltender Amanda Leveille to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead with three minutes to go in the period.Annika Zalewski and Blake Bolden picked up assists on Pfalzer’s third goal of the season.

Minnesota would answer Pfalzer’s goal less than 90 seconds later when Amy Menke came in all alone and beat Hensley short-side with a shot just over her glove to even the game 1-1 before the first intermission.

Much of the second period looked a lot like the first. Both sides continued to play at a quick pace but scoring chances were held to a minimum.

Buffalo killed off two more penalties in the middle frame, although one kill was only 30 seconds long after Minnesota’s Amanda Boulier was called for tripping. Buffalo failed to capitalize on its 30-second advantage after 4-on-4 play ended. The Beauts would get their first full power play of the afternoon with 3:15 to go in the period but failed to score on that advantage as well.

Hensley was unbeatable in goal in the second and third periods. After seeing just five shots in the first period, she stopped all 24 shots the Whitecaps put on net in the final 40 minutes of regulation.

One of Hensley’s biggest saves came with 8:15 to go in the second period when she stuck out her left pad to stop a backhand shot from Menke after the forward split the Buffalo defense and found a prime chance to give Minnesota the lead on a breakaway.

Hensley made a few more highlight-reel stops down the stretch in the third period as well. Babstock was called for tripping and would head to the penalty box with 3:41 to play in the third period, a costly time for the Beauts to go down a skater in a tied game.

Minnesota had one of its best chances to take the lead with 18 seconds left in the power play and two minutes left in regulation when Boulier ripped a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle, but Hensley stretched out and flashed the leather to make a big glove stop. The Beauts would kill off the rest of the penalty to Babstock and force ovetime.

Minnesota’s Lee Stecklein scored the game-winning goal just 49 seconds into the overtime period. Katie McGovern won an offensive-zone faceoff back to Stecklein, who took one step in and let a shot go from the point that got deflected and made its way through Hensley’s five hole and into the back of the net.

(NWHL Photo)

Jr. Sabres Alum Evancho Making College Hockey Impact With Army


By Warren Kozireski–

The Buffalo Jr. Sabres have sent dozens of players on to play various levels college hockey. One of them was Army junior Zach Evancho (Derby).

Evancho, through the first 21 games of the season, was tied atop the Black Knights scoring chart with 18 points and was seeing probably too much ice time on both the power play and penalty kill.

 “He’s scored goals for us all year; little guy that plays big and can really shoot the puck and sees the ice really well,” Army head coach Brian Riley said.

At 5’8” and 165 lb. Evancho often gives up four to six inches and 20 pounds on some opponent forwards, but he often takes the hit to make a breakout pass or is feathering a pass tape to tape to an open teammate.

“I try to play as big as I can,” Evancho said. “I don’t want to rely so much on skill because with the guys we play against it’s hard too, so I try to lay a little grittier, a little harder just because people don’t expect it from someone who is five-eight on a really good day.

“It’s the reason I’ve gotten this far in hockey, so I take ride in it.”

Evancho started his junior hockey career with the Jr. Sabres, jumped to the USHL in Youngstown for two years and came back to the Jr. Sabres for two more, the second where he served as team captain.

“When I left the Jr. Sabres I thought it was a good opportunity to play against top competition and it was a great organization and they treated me well. But I wasn’t getting the playing time…so I went back home and it really helped my career a lot just getting to play a lot and being a top guy on a team.

“Both organizations helped me to get where I am, but Jr. Sabres let me develop my game more and get more offensively skilled.”

His older brother Gavin played club hockey at the University of Buffalo.

“He’s the reason I got into hockey. We had a rink every winter; being in Buffalo it’s kind of natural and we would go out and skate as soon as we got home from school and then get the skates off, get in the car and go to hockey. The whole neighborhood played. It’s really been in our blood for years.

“I think it has to be the second born. We just have that drive that we want to be better than our big brother. It’s definitely pushed me to want to push past what he does, not out of jealousy, but because I want to be able to tell him I was better than him I guess.”

(Photo by Janet Schultz)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of our followers from the staff of NY Hockey OnLine.

“Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.”

4 Cardinals Named To AHCA DIII All-America Teams


ST. PAUL, Minn. – Senior goaltender Kassi Abbott (Medford, Mass./Boston Shamrocks Elite), sophomore forward Annie Katonka (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite), senior forward Courtney Moriarty (Estero, Fla./Northfield Mount Hermon) and junior defenseman Hannah Kiraly (Glendale, Ariz./Northern Cyclones) of the Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team were named to the 2018-19 CCM/American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Women’s Division III All-America teams, as announced Thursday at the NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship banquet on the campus of the University of St. Thomas.

Abbott and Katonka earned First-Team selection, while Moriarty and Kiraly merited Second-Team distinction. It marks the second All-America honor for both Moriarty and Kiraly and the inaugural All-America selection for Abbott and Katonka.

Plattsburgh State’s four honorees were the most among all Division III schools this season.

Abbott, the 2019 Northeast Women’s Hockey League (NEWHL) Co-Goaltender of the Year and a two-time All-NEWHL selection, has been a reliable backstop for the Cardinals’ defense all season, leading Division III in goals-against average (0.81) and winning percentage (.931) while holding a share of the national lead in shutouts (13). She also ranks third in Division III in save percentage (.954). For her career, she currently owns the program’s all-time record in goals-against average (0.96) and holds a share of the all-time record in save percentage (.949) with Camille Leonard (2013-17). In addition, Abbott holds the program’s single-game record in saves with 47, which she set during the NCAA Tournament third-place game against Hamline University on March 17, 2018.

Katonka, who was also a First-Team All-NEWHL honoree in 2018-19, has enjoyed a breakout season for the Cardinals. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native currently leads Division III in power-play goals (11) and holds a share of the national lead in goals (30). Katonka also ranks second in Division III in points per game (1.72) and goals per game (1.03). She has recorded two hat tricks this year and has scored multiple goals in nine games. Perhaps Katonka’s most memorable game of her career so far came in the NCAA Tournament first round last week, as she scored two goals—including the game-winner—in a 3-2 overtime victory over Endicott College. For her career, she has 73 points on 42 goals and 31 assists.

Moriarty, Plattsburgh State’s captain, earned 2019 NEWHL Player of the Year honors, as she ranks 15th in Division III in points per game (1.34). She has 39 points total this season on 17 goals and 22 assists, and she ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in game-winning goals (second, 22), goals (fifth, 78), points (sixth, 146), power-play goals (sixth, 21) and shorthanded goals (tied for sixth, 5). Moriarty also was a First-Team All-NEWHL selection for the second time in as many years this season and earned NEWHL Tournament MVP honors after recording three points on a goal and two assists against SUNY Cortland in the NEWHL Tournament championship game.

Kiraly, who earned First-Team All-NEWHL recognition for the second time in as many years, has once again proved herself as one of the top blueliners in Division III, as she is tied for 15th in Division III in points per game among defensemen (0.72). She has started on defense for a Cardinal team that leads Division III in scoring defense (0.79 goals allowed per game). Kiraly has five games this season with multiple points, and she owns a +31 rating for the season. For her career, she has 59 points on eight goals and 51 assists.

Atlantic Hockey Names All-Conference Teams



The Atlantic Hockey Association today announced the 2018-19 All-Conference teams. The three teams are made up of 19 players from ten of the 11 league institutions, with Bentley leading the way with four members.

All-Conference First Team

Forward – Blake Christensen, Junior, AIC
Forward – Dylan McLaughlin, Senior, Canisius
Forward – Derek Barach, Senior, Mercyhurst
Defense – Joseph Duszak, Junior, Mercyhurst
Defense – Brennan Kapcheck, Sophomore, AIC
Goalie – Billy Christopoulos, Senior, Air Force

Christensen has gotten better and better as the season has gone along for the Yellow Jackets, entering the quarterfinal round with team-highs of 29 assists and 42 points. The assist total is a program record and tied for fifth in Division I while his 42 points is second in the conference. He has also posted 13 goals which was second on the team, six coming on the power play.

McLaughlin, a top-ten Hobey Baker finalist a year ago, had another outstanding season for the Golden Griffins, leading the team with 19 goals, which tied for the most in the league during the regular season, along with 21 assists. He was also second in the nation with 151 shots on goal. He ends his career with 147 points, tied with NHL player Cory Conacher for the most in school history. He has signed a two-year deal with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks).

Barach finished second on the Lakers in goals with 15 and assists with 22, and his four power play goals was tied for third. His 144 career points is second on the school’s all-time list, scoring 49 goals and 95 assists. He has signed a professional tryout with the Cleveland Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets).

Duszak finished ahead of Barach in each team scoring category, registering 16 goals and 31 assists while tied for the team-lead with a plus-8 rating. He is third in Division I in both assists and points, and had a point in 11 straight games from December 28 to February 1, notching 22 points during it, vaulting him into the national scoring race. He has signed an entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Kapcheck followed up last year’s AHA Rookie of the Year campaign with another solid season, anchoring the blue-line of the top-seeded Yellow Jackets. His 19 assists is second on the team and his plus-8 rating is tied for second. He and Christensen are two main parts of the highest scoring offense in the league at 3.29 goals per game, and in program history, at 112 goals total.

Christopoulos has had another huge year in net for the Falcons, leading the league in both GAA at 2.13 and save percentage at .919 while posting 14 wins and three shutouts. He has also backboned the team to the best penalty killing efficiency in Division I at 89.7-percent, as the team has allowed just 15 power play goals all season.  

All-Conference Second Team

Forward – Luke Santerno, Sophomore, Bentley
Forward – Alex Tonge, Senior, Robert Morris
Forward – Abbott Girduckis, Senior, RIT
Defense – Dalton MacAfee, Senior, Army West Point
Defense – Tanner Jago, Senior, Bentley
Goalie – Aidan Pelino, Junior, Bentley

Santerno leads the Falcons with 24 assists and 35 points, and is second on the team with 11 goals. During the team’s 12-game unbeaten streak to begin 2019 and help them earn the number-two seed in the conference tournament, he posted five goals and 10 assists. The sophomore already has 65 career points.

Tonge is the only double-digit goal scorer for the Colonials, as he’s put up 18 along with eight on the power play. His 35 points also paces the team, while his 17 assists is second. He has 134 career points on 55 goals and 79 assists.

Girduckis leads the Tigers with 24 assists and 34 points, while also scoring 10 goals, four on the power play. He has played in all 34 games this season and has only been whistled for two minor penalties.

MacAfee tops the Black Knights with 25 assists and 33 points, but is a beast with the man-advantage. Of those 33 points, a league-high 20 have come on the power play, 16 of them being assists. He has been the anchor of the nation’s fifth-best power play, with the team converting at 26.1-percent, scoring 37 times.

Jago is Bentley’s leading scorer among defensemen, with nine goals and 19 assists, and tops all conference skaters with a plus-18 rating. Over his entire four-year career, he has missed only two games, both last year, playing in 148 total.

Pelino is second in time on ice at a little more than 1,950 minutes, and his 2.58 GAA is fourth. He has played in all but one game this season. During the Falcons’ 12-game unbeaten streak to begin 2019, he allowed just 23 goals.

All-Conference Third Team

Forward – Ludwig Stenlund, Freshman, Niagara
Forward – Erik Brown, Senior, RIT
Forward – Jonathan Desbiens, Junior, Bentley (tie)
Forward – Austin Magera, Freshman, Sacred Heart (tie)
Defense – Noah Delmas, Junior, Niagara
Defense – Adam Brubacher, Junior, RIT
Goalie – Francis Marotte, Junior, Robert Morris

Stenlund has played in all 37 games so far and is having a terrific season regardless of class, as his 19 regular season goals tied for the overall league-lead as a freshman. He enters the quarterfinal round with 20 markers, ten of which have come on the power play, tied for the most in all of Division I. His 36 points is four more than any other freshman in the nation and just two behind the team-lead.

Brown is having another great season for the Tigers, leading the team with 17 goals. Nine of those have been on the power play, which is tied for sixth in Division I. He currently has 69 goals in his career, 14 more than second place in the school’s Division I era.

Desbiens tops the Falcons goal chart with 15 on the season and is third with 29 points. During the team’s 12-game unbeaten streak to begin 2019, he posted 11 goals and 16 points. He also leads the team with four game-winning tallies and has a plus-13 rating.

Magera, as of the start of the quarterfinal round, is leading the Pioneers with 13 goals and 25 points as a freshman. He’s been their clutch scorer, as six of his tallies have gone as game-winners, tied for the most in Division I. He entered the quarterfinal round with a plus-4 rating.

Delmas is having a great season for the Purple Eagles, topping them with 24 assists and 38 points. He also has 14 goals and five power play goals, both second-most on the team. His 20 power play points is tied for the most in the conference and his 38 points as a defenseman is second.

Brubacher entered the quarterfinal round second on the team with 22 assists and 28 points. In three seasons, the junior has yet to miss a game, playing in all 108 possible games for the Tigers, posting 21 goals and 54 assists.

Marotte has backstopped a young Colonials team to 14 wins this season and has made 970 saves for a .906 save percentage. The junior’s next start will be the 100th of his career, and he has already set the career win mark for a goalie at the school, currently with 48 victories, eight of which has been via shutout.

The Atlantic Hockey best-of-three quarterfinals began Wednesday night and conclude on Sunday, if necessary. The semifinals are set for Friday, March 22 at 4:30pm and 7:30pm ET at HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York, with the championship game at 7:30pm ET the following evening.

Scibetta Named AHCA All-American


William Smith College junior forward Gina Scibetta was named an American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-American, earning a spot on the East second team. Scibetta is William Smith ice hockey’s first All-American.

“Gina is very deserving of her All-America honor,” Head Coach Jaime Totten said. “I am proud of her and I am very happy for William Smith ice hockey to have its first ever All-American. Gina is one of those rare student-athletes who can magically create time and space with the puck or just fire a shot top shelf on the rush. I enjoy watching her play and often catch myself saying wow on the bench.”

Scibetta played in all 28 games for the Herons this season. She led the team with 22 goals, and 40 points and was third on the team with 18 assists. All three totals were career highs for the Brewerton, N.Y., native. Scibetta shattered William Smith’s single-season goals and points records on her way to earning second team All-UCHC honors. Krista Federow ’18 held the previous records at 12 and 34, respectively. Scibetta finished the season eighth in the nation in points per game (1.43) and ninth in goals per game (0.79). Her five power-play goals are tied for 15th in the nation. Scibetta’s 40 points were second in the UCHC behind only Elmira’s Katie Granato, the UCHC Player of the Year.

Scibetta logged a career-high four points twice this season. She recorded her first career hat trick and added an assist against King’s on Jan. 13, and had two goals and two assists in William Smith’s season-opening win over Salve Regina. Scibetta became the first Heron to hit the 20-goal plateau with a goal in William Smith’s 2-2 tie at Nazareth on Feb. 16. She had four points (2g, 2a) during the UCHC tournament, earning a spot on the UCHC All-Tournament team. William Smith was 16-3-2 this season when Scibetta recorded at least one point.

In 79 career games, Scibetta compiled 36 goals, 38 assists and 74 points. She is second on William Smith’s all-time list in goals, third in points and fourth in assists.

William Smith finished the season with an 18-8-2 overall record. The Herons won their first two playoff games in program history before falling to Elmira in the UCHC Championship game. William Smith compiled a program record 117 goals, 191 assists and 308 points this season. The Herons were one of nine teams in Division III to score 100 goals this season.