A day and a week after his team was eliminated from the NCAA West Regional by American International, former St. Cloud State forward Ryan Poehling made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadians. 04/06/19

By Eric Burton

“First impressions are the most lasting,”  Proverbs.

A day and a week after his team was eliminated from the NCAA West Regional by American International, former St. Cloud State forward Ryan Poehling made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadians.

Let’s just say, Poehling had a fabulous night.

The Habs had to be impressed. Poehling would score a hat trick and the game-winning goal in the shootout to lead the Canadians to a 6-5 victory.

Maybe it’s only fitting that Poehling would make his NHL debut during Bob Cole’s final Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.

“What an unbelievable start to a career,” Cole said.

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So, on Saturday night, we welcomed a new player to the NHL and said good bye to a Hall of Fame hockey play-by-play announcer.

“You have to feel the game – breathe it – the timing, the sounds you’re creating,” Cole said in the night’s taped opening. ”When you get 20,000 (fans) roaring after a play, it’s perfect.”

“The great players are special people,” he added. ”I’ve enjoyed that over the years. It’s a great privilege.”

The Ryan Poehling File

Poehling’s debut with the Bleu Blanc Rouge may be a preview of things to come next season. According to the Globe and Mail, Poehling, became the fifth Canadiens player in franchise history to score at least two goals in his NHL debut.

The Lakeville, MN native was drafted 25th overall by the Canadiens in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. In three season with the Huskies, Poehling scored (29g-46a—75pts), he was also a plus-eight.

Next season, the Huskies lose five of their top-six scorers (Patrick Newell, Blake Lizotte, Robby Jackson, Jimmy Schuldt and Poehling)

This weekend, the NCAA kicks off the Division I men’s hockey playoffs 03/28/19

By Eric Burton

This weekend, the NCAA kicks off the Division I men’s hockey playoffs. Even though the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team isn’t in the NCAA playoffs this season, I will be headed to Fargo, ND, to cover the West Regional Championship.

Last week at the Frozen Faceoff, I told a friend, I feel a void (yes, UND has missed the NCAA tourney two years in a row). While our favorite team may not be there, let’s stop and enjoy the moment. It is what it is.

Moving forward, I do predict that next season, UND will again make the NCAA tourney. Moreover, I predict that Canisius College will be on the wrong side of two lopsided losses next October. Just two years ago, UND bounced SCSU in the first round of the NCHC playoffs. Look at them today.

This is what we know. There can be at best, two National Collegiate Hockey Conference teams in the Frozen Four. I will save you the conspiracy theory. There’s no black helicopter landing in Fargo.

Here are some of the themes and stats surrounding this regional. In the West Regional, we have St. Cloud State 30-5-3, Ohio State 20-10-5, Denver 22-11-5 and American International 22-16-1. The biggest question, can SCSU finally advance to the Frozen Four. Last season, the Huskies were unceremoniously bounced by the Air Force Academy Falcons.

With that in mind, this season, I am picking Ohio State University to advance from the West Regional. I look forward to hearing how wrong I am at the end of the weekend.












SCSU Forward Patrick Newell. (Photo Credit: Eric J. Burton Sin Bin Photography)

Huskies Favored?

This afternoon, I took look at the statistics and on paper, the Huskies should run American International right out of the building. Yes, see last season’s, Air Force team that shocked SCSU 4-1 in the first round of the West Regional.

Obviously, the games aren’t played on paper, but this could end up being a really onesided affair. However, with that said, no one will complain if I am able to pen the title “Yellow Jackets Sting Huskies”. If the Huskies have a weakness, it’s their goaltending.

The game between the Buckeyes and the Pioneers could end up being a goaltending battle. Both teams feature outstanding goalies. For DU, it doesn’t matter which one plays. Both are very capable.

Last weekend, Pioneers head coach David Carle said something that was very profound.

“The great part about going to the national tournament, we don’t have to play anyone from the NCHC in the first round,” Carle said. “We all play each other all year long, beat each other up. We played at a different pace in this league, and that’s why we all do so well in the first round. So we’re looking forward to playing someone out of our conference.”

Points Per Game
8 Patrick Newell St. Cloud State SR F 38 21-26-47 1.24
13 Blake Christensen American Int’l JR F 39 16-30-46 1.18
6 Blake Lizotte St. Cloud State SO F 36 14-27-41 1.14
19 Robby Jackson St. Cloud State SR F 36 19-21-40 1.11
30 Mason Jobst Ohio State SR F 35 17-19-36 1.03
57 Liam Finlay Denver JR F 38 15-20-35 0.92
63 Jimmy Schuldt St. Cloud State SR D 38 10-24-34 0.89
Jack Ahcan St. Cloud State JR D 38 6-28-34 0.89
66 Ryan Poehling (MTL) St. Cloud State JR F 35 8-23-31 0.89

Goalie GAA
4 Devin Cooley Denver SO 1169:27 36 1.85
12 Filip Larsson (DET) Denver FR 1097:10 38 2.08
16 Dávid Hrenák (LOS) St. Cloud State SO 1756:26 64 2.19
39 Sean Romeo Ohio State SR 975:49 42 2.58
43 Zackarias Skog American Int’l JR 1941:05 89 2.75

Goalie Save Percentage
3 Devin Cooley Denver SO 512 36 .934
4 Tommy Nappier Ohio State SO 495 35 .934
9 Filip Larsson (DET) Denver FR 498 38 .929
45 Dávid Hrenák (LOS) St. Cloud State SO 628 64 .908
55 Sean Romeo Ohio State SR 388 42 .902
65 Zackarias Skog American Int’l JR 765 89 .896

Scoring Offense: Games Goals G/GM
2 St. Cloud State 38 155 4.08
9 American Int’l 39 127 3.26
17 Ohio State 35 108 3.09
29 Denver 38 107 2.82

Scoring Defense: Games Goals G/GM Shutouts
9 Denver 38 79 2.08 6
11 St. Cloud State 38 83 2.18 6
14 Ohio State 35 81 2.31 7
37 American Int’l 39 115 2.95 5

Power Play: Totals SHA PCT
7 St. Cloud State 35/146 2 24.0
17 Ohio State 33/154 6 21.4
25 American Int’l 34/175 7 19.4
46 Denver 24/154 2 15.6

Penalty Kill: Totals SHF PCT
6 St. Cloud State 109/126 2 86.5
25 Denver 115/140 1 82.1
30 Ohio State 105/129 4 81.4
35 American Int’l 117/145 1 80.7

(Link to NCAA Hockey Stats)

(AIC Stats)

(DU Stats)

(OSU Stats)

(SCSU Stats)

Links to the West Regional

Bid years in advance, UND plays role of host for 2019 NCAA West Regional (The Rink Live)

North Dakotans hope to make it four years in a row on NCAA title team (Grand Forks Herald)

Huskies All-American forward Ryan Poehling was back on the ice after a scary moment last weekend (The Rink Live)

Papa’s Looking A-Head (College Hockey News)

AIC’s Lang Named CHN Coach of the Year (College Hockey News)

West Regional preview: St. Cloud State, Denver, Ohio State, American International (USCHO.COM) Apparently, the writers at USCHO are also addressing the elephant in the room.

Why they will not advance to Buffalo: St. Cloud has bowed out in the first round of the NCAA tournament each of the last two years. Last time, it was as the No. 1 overall seed against the Atlantic Hockey champion.

For as good as St. Cloud State has been all season in putting together 30 wins, four of the Huskies’ five losses have happened since New Year’s.

Now would be a bad time to pick up No. 6, and SCSU isn’t taking any chances.

AIC hockey attempting to add to historic season in NCAA Tournament vs. No. 1 St. Cloud State (Mass Live)

“It’s a fine line. We can embrace being the underdog to a certain degree but we also want our guys to be confident in our ability. There’s a reason why we are here. We’re earned out way in and played out way in. We’re battle tested,” Lang said. “We deserve to be right where we are. It’ll be nice to hunt vs. being the hunted. … The longer this thing goes and the score stays tight, the pressure then shifts. We’ll have to weather some storms. We know that.”

Only 59 teams Left for their Quest for the 2019 RBC Cup in Brooks

from Junior Hockey Network

In September 2018, 133 Canadian Junior Hockey League franchises stepped on the ice for their quest to Brooks, Alberta in May 2019 for the chance to hoist the Royal Bank Cup national championship trophy.

On March 18th, 81 teams were remaining in the hunt for their league championships for the chance to represent their respective league in the nation’s regional championships this spring across Canada to join the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits.  As of March 25th there are 59 teams that are still remaining in their quest of the junior ‘A’ national championship.

ROAD TO THE NATIONAL JUNIOR A CHAMPIONSHIP 
Total Teams – 133 
*Teams Temaining – 60   

CENTRAL REGION

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE 
*Blind River Beavers
Cochrane Crunch
Elliot Lake Wildcats
Espanola Express (missed playoffs)
French River Rapids (missed playoffs)
*Hearst Lumberjacks
Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 
*Powassan Voodoos
*Rayside-Balfour Canadians
*Soo Eagles
*Soo Thunderbirds 
*Timmins Rock

ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE 
Aurora Tigers 
Brampton Admirals 
Brantford 99ers (missed playoffs)
Buffalo Jr. Sabres 
Burlington Cougars 
Cobourg Cougars 
Georgetown Raiders 
Kingston Voyageurs (missed playoffs)
Lindsay Muskies (missed playoffs)
*Markham Royals
Mississauga Chargers (missed playoffs)
*Newmarket Hurricanes 
*North York Rangers 
*Oakville Blades 
Pickering Panthers (missed playoffs)
St. Michael’s Buzzers 
Stouffville Spirit (missed playoffs)
Toronto Jr. Canadiens 
Toronto Patriots 
Trenton Golden Hawks 
*Wellington Dukes 
*Whitby Fury

SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE 
*Dryden Ice Dogs 
Fort Frances Lakers 
Minnesota Iron Rangers
*Red Lake Miners
*Thief River Falls Norskies 
*Thunder Bay North Stars 

EAST REGION

CENTRAL CANADA HOCKEY LEAGUE 
*Brockville Braves 
*Carleton Place Canadians 
Cornwall Colts 
*Hawkesbury Hawks 
*Kanata Lasers 
Kemptville 73’s 
Navan Grads
Nepean Raiders 
*Ottawa Jr. Senators 
Pembroke Lumber Kings 
*Rockland Nationals 
*Smiths Falls Bears

LIGUE DE HOCKEY JUNIOR AAA DU QUÉBEC 
Forts de Chambly
L’Everest de la Côte-du-Sud (missed playoffs)
Flames de Gatineau (missed playoffs)
*Inouk de Granby 
Revolution du Lac St-Louis (missed playoffs)
*Collège Français de Longueuil 
Rangers de Montréal-Est (missed playoffs)
Arctic de Montréal-Nord (missed playoffs)
*Titan de Princeville 
Prédateurs de Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon 
*Panthères de Saint-Jérôme
*Cobras de Terrebonne
Braves de Valleyfield

MARITIME HOCKEY LEAGUE 
*Amherst Ramblers 
*Campbellton Tigers 
Edmundston Blizzard 
Grand Falls Rapids 
Miramichi Timberwolves 
Pictou County Crushers
St. Stephen Aces 
*South Shore Lumberjacks 
*Summerside Western Capitals 
Truro Bearcats 
Valley Wildcats 
*Yarmouth Mariners

PACIFIC REGION

ALBERTA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE 
Bonnyville Pontiacs 
*Brooks Bandits 
Calgary Canucks 
Calgary Mustangs 
Camrose Kodiaks 
Canmore Eagles 
Drayton Valley Thunder 
Drumheller Dragons 
*Fort McMurray Oil Barons 
Grande Prairie Storm 
Lloydminster Bobcats (missed playoffs)
*Okotoks Oilers 
Olds Grizzlys (missed playoffs)
Sherwood Park Crusaders 
*Spruce Grove Saints 
Whitecourt Wolverines

BRITISH COLUMBIA HOCKEY LEAGUE 
Alberni Valley Bulldogs 
Chilliwack Chiefs 
Coquitlam Express 
Cowichan Valley Capitals 
Langley Rivermen 
Merritt Centennials 
Nanaimo Clippers 
Penticton Vees 
*Powell River Kings 
*Prince George Spruce Kings 
Salmon Arm Silverbacks 
Surrey Eagles (missed playoffs)
*Trail Smoke Eaters 
*Vernon Vipers 
*Victoria Grizzlies
*Wenatchee Wild 
West Kelowna Warriors

WEST REGION

MANITOBA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE 
Dauphin Kings 
Neepawa Natives (missed playoffs)
OCN Blizzard (missed playoffs)
*Portage Terriers 
Selkirk Steelers 
*Steinbach Pistons 
Swan Valley Stampeders 
*Virden Oil Capitals 
Waywayseecappo Wolverines 
Winkler Flyers (missed playoffs)
Winnipeg Blues

SASKATCHEWAN JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE 
*Battlefords North Stars 
*Estevan Bruins
*Flin Flon Bombers 
*Humboldt Broncos 
Kindersley Klippers 
La Ronge Ice Wolves (missed playoffs)
*Melfort Mustangs 
Melville Millionaires (missed playoffs)
*Nipawin Hawks 
Notre Dame Hounds 
Weyburn Red Wings 
*Yorkton Terriers