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Two NYS Natives Among 2018 USA Hockey Award Winners


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey will host its 2018 Annual Congress June 6-9 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The four-day event provides USA Hockey’s various councils, sections and committees the opportunity to conduct the business of the national governing body and celebrate notable accomplishments.

USA Hockey will honor its service award recipients and various other players of the year on June 6 at its annual Night of Tribute Awards Dinner, while the other top awards will be presented during the President’s Awards Dinner on June 8.

Wednesday’s award recipients include Excellence in Safety Award winners Jaime Campbell (Vacaville, Calif.) and Steve Laing (Long Beach, Calif.); Adult Player of the Year Kevin Barnas (Manistique, Mich.); Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.); Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla.); Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year Zach Driscoll (Apple Valley, Minn.); College Player of the Year Adam Gaudette (Braintree, Mass.); and Disabled Athlete of the Year Mike Barnhart (Hagerstown, Md.).

Honorees for the President’s Awards Dinner on June 8 include Chet Stewart Award winner Dick Haney (Duluth, Minn.); Adult Member of the Year Kevin Universal (Raleigh, N.C.); Walter Yaciuk Award recipient Larry Bruyere (Norwood, N.Y.); Bob Johnson Award winners Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (Grand Forks, N.D.), Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) and Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.); Distinguished Achievement Award recipient Dean Blais (International Falls, Minn.); and Wm. Thayer Tutt Award winner Fred Hudson (Huntsville, Ala.). Brian Fishman Intern Laurel Young (Petoskey, Mich.) and Brendan Burke Intern Matt Williams (Rochester, Mich.) will also be recognized. In addition, the celebration will include tributes to Willie O’Ree (Fredericton, New Brunswick) on the 60th anniversary of his breaking the NHL’s color barrier, and to the gold medal-winning 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey and U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Teams.

Hockey’s Ford and Hughson Collect Elmira College Athlete of the Year Awards


ELMIRA, N.Y. — On the eve of Monday, May 21, the Elmira College Department of Athletics recognized a multitude of student-athletes, teams, and staff members for their successes both on the field and in the classroom at the 2017-18 Athletics Awards Reception. For the 48th consecutive year, members from each of the College’s 20 varsity teams, as well as the Sports Medicine Department, were honored for their outstanding achievement with end-of-year accolades, including the designation of the 2017-18 EC Athlete of the Year Awards to Nick Ford ’20 and Sarah Hughson ’18.

Ford becomes the first EC men’s ice hockey player to collect an EC Athlete of the Year Award since former All-American Kevin Willer ’12 did so as a senior in 2012. The left-winger on Elmira’s lethal top line compiled one of the greatest seasons by a Soaring Eagle in the past three decades, all while leading the team to the inaugural United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Tournament title game. In his sophomore season, Ford ranked second in all of NCAA Division III in points (50), points per game (1.79), goals (25), and goals per game (0.89). His 50 points are the most by a Soaring Eagle since Dave Evans ’97 accumulated 54 in 1996-97. At the year’s end, Ford was elected to the All-UCHC First Team and the CCM/American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-America Second Team, the 20th All-American in the program’s storied history.

A second-year forward from New Lenox, Illinois, Ford tallied at least one point in 23 of Elmira’s 28 games, which included 14 multi-point performances. He registered five points on two occasions, including an early-season win over King’s College (Pa.) (4g-1a) and in a 5-3 victory over Stevenson University in the UCHC semifinal round (2g-3a). Not only did he help guide the Soaring Eagles to the conference final, he posted multiple points in all three games, as fifth-seeded EC earned to upset wins over higher seeds in the first two rounds.

Like her counterpart, Hughson broke out in a big way in 2017-18 and led the nationally-ranked women’s ice hockey team in scoring. The senior skater paced the Purple and Gold with 49 points and 28 goals, and was just one assist shy of the team lead with 21. Among national leaders, she was fifth in goals per game (0.93) and tied for eighth in points per game (1.63), while ranking second in power-play goals (9) and fifth in game-winning goals (5). Hughson was crowned the inaugural UCHC Player of the Year, in addition to UCHC All-Conference First Team, UCHC All-Tournament Team, tournament MVP honors. Furthermore, her breakout season culminated with CCM/AHCA All-America First Team accolades, while her work in the classroom garnered a spot on the Google Cloud Academic All-District® Women’s At-Large Team.

Hughson’s 49 points as a senior rank eighth on the program’s single-season leaderboard and her 28 goals are tied for fourth place. Her first-career hat trick in a season-opening victory on the road against Oswego State was just a glimpse of the success the East Haddam, Connecticut, native would find; she recorded 14 multi-point games and concluded her career on a 10-game point streak. Her third hat trick came in a season-high-tying four-point outing in the UCHC title game against Stevenson University (3g-1a), and Hughson was credited with the game-winner in a 2-0 home win over Adrian College in the NCAA quarterfinals.

Syracuse Crunch and Galaxy Media Announce 10-Year Partnership Extension


SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch and Galaxy Media have announced a 10-year partnership extension through the 2027-28 season to continue broadcasting all Crunch games during the regular season and Calder Cup Playoffs on ESPN Radio 97.7 FM/1200 AM.

The Crunch and Galaxy Media originally partnered prior to the 2013-14 season when ESPN Radio became the flagship station for all Crunch broadcasts. Over the past five seasons, ESPN Radio has carried some of the team’s most historic games, including the 2014 Toyota Frozen Dome Classic and the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic. ESPN Radio also broadcasts “Crunch Weekly,” the team’s live radio talk show with voice of the Crunch Lukas Favale at Tully’s Good Times, throughout the hockey season and “The Shootout Show” live from the War Memorial Arena following all home games.

“We are extremely proud to extend our partnership with Ed Levine and Galaxy Media,” Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon said. “Ed has clearly established himself as the leading broadcaster in the region and one of the finest in the country. Our partnership goes far beyond game broadcasts and integrates the strengths of our two organizations. This is a very good day for the Crunch and all of our fans.”

“The partnership with the Syracuse Crunch is a cornerstone of what makes ESPN Radio such a successful radio station,” Galaxy Media President and CEO Ed Levine said. “Howard Dolgon, Jim Sarosy and Vance Lederman have been tremendous to work with and we look forward to continuing this relationship for many years to come.”

In addition to broadcasts, the Crunch, Galaxy Media and its stations work closely throughout the season to host theme nights at the Crunch and outside events, including Parties on the Plaza. The media group is also the presenting sponsor of the Galaxy Cup, awarded to the winner of the regular season series between the Crunch and the Utica Comets. Syracuse has claimed the Galaxy Cup the last two consecutive seasons.

Galaxy Media is a premiere privately owned independent media groups in the country. With eight stations in Syracuse and five in Utica, we’re a dominant presence in the market. Though radio will always remain at the heart of who we are, as the media landscape has changed drastically, we’ve evolved with it to meet the needs of both our listeners and our clients. Galaxy Media also encompasses robust events planning, sports marketing, and digital media divisions, making it easy for businesses of all sizes to get their messaging out to a highly targeted client base.

Amerks Broadcaster Don Stevens Named Winner of 2018 Gary Smith & George Beahon Sports Media Excellence Award


(Rochester, NY) – Rochester Americans Hall of Fame broadcaster Don Stevens has been named the winner of the 2018 Gary Smith & George Beahon Sports Media Excellence Award. Stevens will be honored among several other winners at the upcoming 69th annual Rochester Press-Radio Club Day of Champions Children’s Charities Dinner on Monday, June 18 at the Joseph A. Floreano Riverside Convention Center. The event will be headlined by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Thome.
“It’s such a tremendous honor, especially to receive an award named after Rochester media icons like Smith and Beahon,” said Stevens, who recently closed the books on his remarkable 32nd season as the radio and TV voice of the Amerks. “To be categorized in that group, and the group of media people in Rochester is an incredible honor. I’m truly humbled by it.”
Stevens has seen many changes in the AHL since he first put on the headphones and called his first Amerks game at the old Rochester War Memorial for the start of the 1986-87 season. Known as the “Dean of AHL Broadcasters,” Stevens has witnessed the overall expansion of the League, which will see an all-time high 31 teams beginning with the 2018-19 season, as well as the explosion of media coverage of the AHL in general.
The “Voice of the Amerks” calls games on the new radio home of the Amerks, 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester, in addition to calling select home games live on the MSG Network. He currently teams up with color analyst and former Buffalo Sabre Ric Seiling to bring AHL games to the City of Rochester and around the country. Stevens also had the distinction of covering the Amerks on multiple occasions over the NHL Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, introducing Amerks hockey on both a national and international level.
Following the 2012-13 season, Stevens’ 27th as the Amerks play-by-play man, he was awarded with the AHL’s prestigious James H. Ellery Memorial Award for excellence in radio coverage for the second time in his career.
In 2009-10, Stevens called Rochester’s historic 2,000th franchise win as the Amerks joined an elite club, becoming just the second team in the American Hockey League and eighth overall in North American hockey history to achieve the feat. He was also behind the microphone for five of the 11 goals scored by an AHL goaltender, most recently in 2010-11 when Binghamton’s Chris Holt became the 10th netminder in league history to a score a goal with his empty-netter against Rochester.
Stevens’ most memorable season with the organization came during the 2010-11 campaign, his 25th with the red, white and blue. Stevens’ years of dedicated service to the club was acknowledged with his enshrinement in the team’s prestigious Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2011. As the 50th member of the Hall, and just the second broadcaster inducted, Stevens joined an elite group of individuals whose tireless contributions and commitment to the franchise matches those of the original 1956 Rochester Americans.
From 1996-2009, Stevens maintained a dual role while also serving as the broadcaster for the Rochester Rhinos (United Soccer League). With the Rhinos, Stevens was part of back-to-back regular season championships (1998-99), three A-League championships in four years (1998, 1999 and 2001), the 1999 U.S. Open Cup and 14 consecutive playoff runs during his tenure. In 1998, he even covered an Amerks hockey game and the Rhinos’ championship game on the same day. Stevens was inducted into the Rhinos Hall of Fame on Sept. 24, 2016 during halftime of the club’s final regular-season home matchup, becoming the first broadcaster in Rhinos team history to earn the honors.
Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards for his work on radio and television. In 1993-94, he won his first AHL James H. Ellery Award, given to the person that has made outstanding contributions to the progress of the AHL for his work on the former Amerks Radio Network. Stevens has also won a national ACE Award for Cable Excellence as the host of the weekly television show, “Amerks Report,” and received the Rochester Press-Radio Club’s Louis MacMillan Award for sportscasting excellence. In 2003, he was inducted into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame in the media category. The Walk of Fame is located inside Frontier Field and features the names of fans, players, contributors and local media throughout Rochester’s sports history.
With the Amerks, Stevens has broadcast seven Calder Cup Finals and the Spengler Cup in Switzerland, winning a pair of Calder Cup championships in the process. Stevens has taken the AHL to its highest level during the course of his career and has shown his true professionalism by working with younger broadcasters throughout the league. Each season he has made it a point to “promote the Rochester Americans and the American Hockey League,” from his seat in the radio booth to the podium at numerous charity events.
The Amerks’ broadcaster has also served the team in numerous capacities during his tenure, including public relations director, TV host, radio talk show host, and TV and radio play-by-play broadcaster. In addition, Stevens founded the AHL Broadcasters/Writers Association and served as its president.
During his career, broadcasting has taken the Wainwright, Alberta, native all over the United States, Canada and Europe. He has worked in such markets as Seattle, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Rochester.

(Photo: Amerks.com)

New Jersey Signs Defenseman Egor Yakovlev To Entry-Level Deal


BINGHAMTON, NY – The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Egor Yakovlev to a one-year, entry-level contract. The announcement was made by Devils’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero.

Yakovlev, 26, has spent the past six seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League and recorded five goals and four assists for nine points and 14 penalty minutes in 35 games with SKA St. Petersburg

In 2016-17, Yakovlev set career highs in assists (15) points (21) and plus/minus (+30), while helping St. Petersburg win the Gagarin Cup. Through 301 career KHL games, Yakovlev has 68 points (26 goals, 42 assists) and a +29 rating.

The Magnitogorsk, Russia defenseman won a Gold Medal with the Olympic Athletes from Russia at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and has also represented Russia at three World Championships and captured a gold medal in 2014 and a silver medal in 2015.

The Devils will open up the 2018-19 season at home on Saturday, October 6 at 7:05 p.m.

Adirondack Thunder Season Ends With Loss To Florida In Game 5


Glens Falls, NY – The Adirondack Thunder fell 3-2 to the Florida Everblades in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday evening Cool Insuring Arena. With the defeat, Adirondack’s record-setting season comes to a close while Florida advances to the 2018 Kelly Cup Finals.

Forward Mike Szmatula and defenseman Colton White found the back of the net in the loss. Goaltender Drew Fielding made 18 saves as he moved to 5-5 in the 2018 postseason.

The Everblades opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game as defenseman Matt Mackenzie collected his first goal of the 2018 playoffs. After forward Sam Warning fed Mackenzie at the left point, the Florida blueliner weaved through the slot and, after his first shot was kicked aside by Fielding, he snagged the rebound and tapped it in for the game-opening goal. Warning and forward David Dziurzynski collected the assists on the play, Warning’s seventh of the postseason.

Florida tacked on two more goals to take a 3-0 lead into the intermission. First, 7:37 into the game, forward Michael Kirkpatrick collected his league-leading tenth tally of the 2018 playoffs as he took a feed through traffic from defenseman Gus Young and beat Fielding on the glove side for the goal. The visitors struck again with 5:52 remaining in the opening period as forward Mitchell Heard took a feed from Dziurzynski in front and went forehand-to-backhand for his sixth goal of the postseason, which came on the man advantage.

Adirondack came back to score twice in the third period to move to within a goal. First, 2:39 into the third period, forward Ryan Schmelzer sent a spin-o-rama pass to Szmatula at the back post for a tap-in goal, his fifth of the postseason. The Thunder pulled to within a goal with 7:57 remaining in regulation as White scored his third of the 2018 playoffs. With Adirondack on the man advantage, Henry fed White at the center point and he walked to his left and fired over the glove of Florida netminder Martin Ouelette for the goal.

Despite several opportunities by Adirondack in the closing minutes of the game, Florida netminder Martin Ouelette stood tall to preserve the victory. With the defeat, the Thunder season comes to a close. Adirondack is back in action in October to kick off the 2018-19 season. Visit ECHLThunder.com or call 518-480-3355 for all of the information on Round 3.

Patrick Kane Named MVP of 2018 IIHF Men’s World Championship


HERNING, DENMARK — U.S. captain Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.) was named Tournament MVP of the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship here in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the first-ever U.S. player to earn Tournament MVP honors. In addition, Kane was named to the Media All-Star Team.

In 10 tournament games, Kane set U.S. single tournament records in both points (20) and assists (12) as he finished the tournament as the leading point scorer and tied for the tournament lead in assists. In addition, Kane led the U.S. in goals with eight, which finished tied for second most among all skaters.

Kane and the U.S. Men’s National Team (6-2-0-2/W-OTW-OTL-L) won the bronze medal earlier today with a 4-1 win over Canada in the bronze medal game. Team USA’s eight tournament wins tied the U.S. record for most wins in a single tournament (2015) while the bronze medal was its third bronze medal (2013, 2015, 2018) and fourth top-four finish in six IIHF Men’s World Championships, a feat the country has not accomplished since medaling in three of the five tournaments it competed in from 1939-1950.

US Takes Bronze At 2018 Men’s Worlds By Defeating Canada

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - MAY 20: USA's Keith Kinkaid #1 walks to the ice surface for bronze medal game action against Canada at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass.) scored twice and Keith Kinkaid (Farmingville, N.Y.) made 24 saves as the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Canada, 4-1, to win the bronze medal at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.

“I said all tournament, even when the games didn’t go our way, that our effort was there and I’m proud our group was rewarded here tonight,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team. “Medals are important for our country and for USA Hockey. We have volunteers, coaches and staff all throughout the country that have played a role in helping our players and staff get to this level and this bronze medal is for them. It wasn’t the medal we had hoped for, but we’ve pushed USA Hockey further and it’s only a matter of time before we win gold.”

The win gives the United States (6-2-0-2/W-OTW-OTL-L) its third bronze medal (2013, 2015, 2018) and fourth top-four finish in six IIHF Men’s World Championships, its best stretch since winning three medals in five tournaments it competed in from 1939-1950.

(IIHF Photo)

US Falls To Sweden In 2018 MWC Semifinals; Will Face Canada For Bronze Tomorrow


COPENHAGEN, Denmark – The 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team outshot Sweden, 41-20, but fell in its semifinal game, 6-0, at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.

“Today’s outcome is disappointing, especially with how pleased we were of our play in the first and third periods,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team. “I thought our effort was there but Sweden was able to capitalize on special teams and that was the difference. Our guys know there’s still a medal at stake tomorrow so now it’s time to pick ourselves up and find a way to win a hockey game.”

The United States (5-2-0-2/W-OTW-OTL-L) will play in tomorrow’s (May 20) bronze medal game against the loser of tonight’s Canada-Switzerland semifinal. Puck drop is set for 3:45 p.m. local time (9:45 a.m. ET) in Copenhagen at Royal Arena and will be televised live on NHL Network.

Sabres and Blue Jackets To Play The Kraft Hockeyville Contest in Clinton, NY


NEW YORK / TORONTO – Clinton, New York, the winner of Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2018, will host the Buffalo Sabres® and Columbus Blue Jackets® NHL preseason game on September 25, 2018, Kraft Heinz, the National Hockey League (NHL®) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today. The central New York historic village earned its designation as this year’s most spirited hockey community in America, $150,000 in rink upgrades and the opportunity to host the NHL matchup after amassing the most votes in the online Kraft Hockeyville USA™ 2018 contest.

“The Buffalo Sabres are excited to participate in this year’s Kraft Hockeyville™ USA game,” Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill said. “Playing in front of Clinton’s passionate hockey community in a rink like the ones many of our players grew up skating in will be a great experience for our players. We look forward to putting on a great show for the NHL fans of Central New York.”

“Our game is built on the foundation of local communities and its continued growth is a testament to the individuals and families who love and support hockey in those communities,” said Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson. “Kraft Hockeyville™ USA is a wonderful celebration of hockey’s grass roots and our club is thrilled to be going to Clinton, New York to play the Buffalo Sabres this September.”

Clinton Arena is a staple of the local hockey community in Clinton, N.Y. After suffering a fire in 1949 and rebuilding from scratch six years later, this beloved gem has served generations of young hockey players for nearly 70 years. Cementing its history, Clinton Arena was proudly listed on the National Historic Register in 2010. While the venue still has many of its original fixtures intact today, the prize money from Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2018 will go toward improvements to several features.

Since launching in 2006, Kraft Hockeyville™ has positively impacted more than 80 communities with over $4 million in rink upgrades across the U.S. and Canada.

Tickets to the preseason game are free and awarded to the winning community. Details on how to get tickets will be announced in the coming months. For more information, visit www.KraftHockeyville.com. Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2018 can also be found on Facebook (KraftHockeyvilleUSA), Twitter (@HockeyvilleUSA), and Instagram (KraftHockeyvilleUSA). Fans can join the conversation using #HockeyvilleUSA.

Brent Seidel Named Manager of Coaching Education For USA Hockey


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey has announced the hiring of Brent Seidel (Spokane, Wash.) as manager for its Coaching Education Program.

Seidel comes to USA Hockey from the Seattle Thunderbirds where he served as a hockey operations assistant. He worked previously as director for the West Sound Hockey Club in Bremerton, Washington, and also as a goaltending coach for the Kent Valley Youth Hockey Association, the Sno-King Junior Thunderbirds and the Western Washington Female Hockey Association.

Additionally, Seidel served as assistant general manager of the West Side Warriors Tier III Junior A team in the Northern Pacific Hockey League.

The Washington native holds a Level 4 USA Hockey coaching certification and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University where he played ACHA club hockey.

In 2014, he earned a master’s degree in sport and athletic administration from Gonzaga University.

Kane Scores Twice To Lead US Past Czech Republic To Advance To MWC Semifinals


HERNING, Denmark – Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.) scored twice and Keith Kinkaid (Farmingville, N.Y.) made 24 saves to lead the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team past the Czech Republic, 3-2, in its quarterfinal game of the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.

“That was a great hockey game that could’ve gone either way and we’re thrilled to be moving on,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team. “I liked our composure tonight and thought we had a number of guys rise to the occasions. We’ll enjoy this tonight before traveling to Copenhagen tomorrow and turning our attention to what we expect will be a hard-fought semifinal game.”

The United States (5-2-0-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) will meet the winner of the Sweden-Latvia quarterfinal in the semifinal round on Saturday (May 19) at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen. The game, which will either take place at 3:15 p.m. local time (9:15 a.m. ET) or 7:15 p.m. local time (1:15 p.m.), will be televised live on NHL Network.

Canucks Sign Tanner MacMaster and Jagger Dirk


Utica, N.Y. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has signed forward Tanner MacMaster and defenseman Jagger Dirk to one-year contracts.

MacMaster, 22, appeared in 13 games with the Comets last season, recording seven points (2-5-7). He made his AHL debut on March 17 at Belleville after signing an ATO on March 16. In addition, the forward notched four points (1-3-4) in five playoff games with Utica.

Prior to joining the Comets, the 6-0, 185-pound forward appeared in 38 games for Quinnipiac University, registering 33 points (13-20-33). In 150 games in the NCAA over the last four seasons, the Calgary, Alberta native collected 84 points (30-54-84).

Dirk, 25, signed an ATO with the Binghamton Devils on March 21, 2018, playing in seven games and registering one point (0-1-1).

Before signing with Binghamton, the 6-0, 199-pound defenseman dressed in 30 games at St. Francis Xavier University, amassing 28 points (6-22-28). Dirk also helped the X-Men advance all the way to the University Cup and was named to the Championship All-Star Team. The Penticton, BC native spent the last four seasons at St. Francis Xavier University, totaling 73 points (15-58-73) in 114 games.

Coaching Staff Named For US U18 Women’s National Team For 2018-19


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today that Maura Crowell (Mansfield, Mass.), head coach of the University of Minnesota Duluth women’s ice hockey team, has been named head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team for the 2018-19 season. Joining her as assistant coaches will be Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich.), head women’s ice hockey coach at Union College, and Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.), member of the gold medal-winning 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team.

“We are excited for Maura to lead the charge and are confident that our U18 team will benefit from the expertise of this uniquely qualified coaching staff in the coming season,” said Reagan Carey, director of women’s hockey at USA Hockey.

Crowell will lead the U.S. Under-18 Women’s Select Team at the 2018 Under-18 Women’s Series against Canada from Aug. 14-19 in Calgary, Alberta, and guide the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship that is anticipated to take place in early 2019.

Crowell will also serve on the staff at the upcoming Under-18 Girls Select Player Development Camp June 23-29 in Biddeford, Maine, as well as during the 2018 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival Aug. 6-13 in Lake Placid, New York.


Crowell is serving as head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team for the first time in her career, after having served as associate coach in 2017-18 and assistant coach in 2015-16. In both previous seasons, Team USA has taken home gold medals from the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship. Crowell has additional experience with USA Hockey, having also coached at a pair of USA Hockey Women’s National Festivals, and during the 2017 and 2015 Under-18 Series against Canada.

“It’s such an honor to have been called to lead this year’s under-18 women,” said Crowell. “I’m continually impressed with the level of talent and focus in each of these young players, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to help this year’s group reach its full potential.”

Crowell completed her third season as head coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2017-18. She led the Bulldogs back into the NCAA playoffs during the 2016-17 season, its first tournament appearance since 2011. For her efforts that season, Crowell was recognized as the USCHO Division I Women’s Coach of the Year, CCM/AHCA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Coach of the Year and WCHA Coach of the Year.

Prior to joining the University of Minnesota Duluth, Crowell spent five seasons as part of the Harvard University women’s hockey team coaching staff. During her time with the Crimson, Harvard reached the NCAA tournament three consecutive seasons (2013-15). Crowell also led the University of Massachusetts-Boston women’s hockey team for five years from 2005-10, finishing her time there as UMass Boston’s all-time winningest coach. For her efforts during the 2009-10 season, Crowell was named ECAC Coach of the Year. She also served two seasons as assistant coach at Connecticut College, where she began her coaching career in 2003. As a player, Crowell was a member of the Colgate University women’s ice hockey team.


Sciba will be serving as assistant coach for the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team for the first time. He has been a coach annually at USA Hockey Under-18 Girls Player Development Camps for the past 10 years, and recently served as a coach during the 2017 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival in Lake Placid, New York. Sciba is currently the head coach of the Union College women’s hockey team, a position he has held since 2016. Under his guidance, the Dutchwoman hockey program has shown steady growth. He was named a top-three finalist for the ECAC Coach of the Year in 2017-18. Prior to joining the Union staff, Sciba served as an assistant women’s hockey coach at Colgate University from 2012-2016. In his final season with the Raiders, Sciba helped the team to a program-best 22 wins. He also spent four years on the Niagara University women’s hockey coaching staff, including three seasons as an assistant coach and one campaign as head coach. Sciba is a 2007 graduate of the University of Notre Dame where he spent four seasons (2003-07) as a member of the Fighting Irish men’s hockey program.


Decker will be making her debut as a member of the coaching staff for the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team, having recently helped the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team to a gold medal at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games in February. Decker has previous coaching experience with USA Hockey having served as a coach at various Central District camps since 2012 and during USA Hockey Girls Under-18 Select Player Development Camps. Additionally, Decker has served as an assistant coach with the Madison Capitals and at various other camps since graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 2014. A two-time Olympian (2018-gold, 2014-silver), five-time International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship gold medalist (2013-17, 2011) and two-time Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year Award recipient (2017, 2015), Decker will focus on player mentoring and development as coach while remaining an active player in the USA Hockey women’s program.

NOTES: Approximately 30 players will be invited to the USA Hockey Women’s National Festival Aug. 6-13, in Lake Placid, New York. The camp will culminate with the selection of a 22-player roster that will represent the U.S. in a three-game series against Canada from Aug. 14-19 in Calgary, Alberta … The IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship is scheduled to be played for the 12th time and will include teams from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. The dates and location of the tournament will be announced in the near future. Team USA, the four-time reigning world champion, captured gold in each of the first two years of the tournament (2008, 2009) and again in 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The team has taken home the silver medal in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 … Reagan Carey (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey’s director of women’s hockey, is the general manager of the 2018-19 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team.