The US jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but ended up losing 6-5 in OT to the Swedes. John Michael Liles (Michigan State) and Jack Johnson (Michigan) scored for the US, and a trio of former Sioux (TJ Oshie, Jason Blake and Drew Stafford) each had an assist.
Although they lost, the US won the group with 6 points, while Sweden had just 5. The US takes on France (?!) on May Day. Is that some sort of April Fools joke?
Bemidji State officials were recently in Florida making their pitch to the WCHA about being let into the conference, and the result was…….a lot of nothing. The WCHA did vote to expand to 12 teams, but without a 12th team in sight, Bemidji’s chances may be slim. Now for the Beavers the job is convincing a 12th team to join the league. The names most tossed about are Nebraska-Omaha and Northern Michigan.
Northern Michigan, in my mind, makes no sense. Yes they were a member of the WCHA, but Anchorage, Denver and CC aren’t voting them in. No chance. Also, if you’re Northern Michigan, why would you leave Michigan and Michigan State, two natural rivals, not to mention Lake Superior State and Ferris State?
Nebraska-Omaha would be a much better fit. They are closer to Colorado College and Denver, but are they better at hockey than Northern? Probably not. Also, Frozen Four run aside, Bemidji isn’t exactly a Division One powerhouse. With the lowering frequency at which we see rivalry series in the WCHA already, a 12 team league will only lower it. For the WCHA’s sake I hope they stay at 10, otherwise the competition pool will be diluted.
The US moved to 2-0 at the World Championships as they blasted Austria 6-1. Robert Esche had 25 saves for the US. Drew Stafford (North Dakota) scored in his second consecutive game. Jason Blake (North Dakota), Matt Niskanen (Minnesota-Duluth) and Lee Stempniak (Dartmouth) were the other former collegians to score. The Kings Dustin Brown was named the player of the game, with a goal and two assists. Colin Wilson (Boston U) had his first point of the tournament, an assist on Stempniak’s goal, and John Michael Liles (Michigan State) also had an assist.
The United States takes on Sweden in their next game, Wednesday night.
The United States struggled, but rallied to defeat Latvia 4-2 in the opener at the World Championships. Maybe we just can’t play them well. If you remember, the US tied Latvia in their opening game of the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. Jack Johnson (LA Kings,Michigan) scored two goals and Drew Stafford (Buffalo Sabres, North Dakota) put one in. Patrick O’Sullivan also scored for the Americans, who obviously struggled to find a rhythm early in the game. They next will take on Austria in another tuneup. Austria got blasted 7-1 by Olympic champion Sweden in their first game.
I did a post over at Major League Jerk that will be going up at 1 pm tomorrow where I went over my picks for the awards in the NHL. So if you don’t want to read all that and just want a cheat sheet here are my picks:
Calder: Bobby Ryan, Anaheim
Vezina: Tim Thomas, Boston
Norris: Zedeno Chara, Boston
Hart: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
I only did the main four, but if I had expanded it to other awards I’m not positive who I would have picked for a lot of these. I don’t know if I would have necessarily given it to him, but I would have thought long and hard about giving the Selke to Jordan Staal. That he can play so well defensively, while not being a checking forward is amazing. The guy is a goal scorer and has tons of offensive talent but is still one of the best defenders in the league. Even though he is costly, and it’s tough to pay him, Crosby and Malkin all at once, as a Penguins fan I hope they don’t trade him.
At the U18 championships in Fargo, the United States won the gold medal tonight by a score of 5-0 over Russia. The Americans outshot Russia 43-17. Cam Fowler (Notre Dame) , Matt Nieto, William Wrenn (Denver), Chris Brown (Michigan) and Ryan Bourque (New Hampshire) scored for the United States. Drew Shore (Denver) added three assists. This was the United States’s first gold medal since 2006, and it extended their medal streak to 6 years. Congrats, boys.
BU’s Colin Wilson and Matt Gilroy will be taking their show to the pros next season. Wilson signed a three year entry level deal with the Preds. Terms were not disclosed according to The Tennesseean, but it is likely that Wilson got the max allowed to an entry level player. Wilson will also play for Team USA in the World Championships, and he’ll probably need very little AHL seasoning, if any, before heading to the NHL.
Gilroy, the 2009 Hobey winner, signed a 2 year deal with the New York Rangers worth $3.5 million. Gilroy is not eligible to play in this year’s postseason, but will be in the NHL next season for the Rangers. This seems like a good situation to go into. The Rangers are a competitive NHL team and Gilroy will probably be the Rangers 1st or 2nd best offensive defenseman next season.