Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mavs add one recruit

After inking a sizable recruiting class during the early signing period in November, Minnesota State has signed just one in the April period, which began Wednesday. MSU announced on Saturday that defenseman Ian Scheid has signed his letter of intent. 

Scheid is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound defenseman from Coon Rapids. He played at Sioux City of the USHL this season where he had five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 47 games. He started the year in Fargo but was traded after five games. He spent 2014-15 in Austin of the NHL where he had 12 goals and 23 assists for 35 points in 55 games. 

A high school player at Blaine, Scheid, was a finalist for the Reed Larson Award as the state's top defenseman as a senior. His father, Jim, played at Wisconsin from 1976 to 1980, and his brother, Eric, just wrapped up his college career at Penn State.

According to MSU's release, the Mavericks will have eight rookies next season, as Scheid joins forwards Charlie Gerard, Josh French, Marc Michaelis, Nicholas Rivera and Parker Tuomie; and defensemen Michael Bigelbach and Edwin Hookenson. The release does not mention forward Jake Jaremko, who signed last November, which may mean he is remaining in the USHL for a second season.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Season's over

The Associated Press
North Dakota defeated Quinnipiac 5-1 on Saturday night in Tampa, Fla., in the national championship game, winning its first title since 2000 and eighth overall. It's also the team's first title as the Fighting Hawks, the school's new nickname — although you wouldn't know that it had changed by all of the Sioux jersey shown on TV and the chants by the UND faithful during and after the game.

Senior Drake Caggiula scored twice in the third period and freshman Brock Boeser had a goal and three assists. Sophomore goalie Cam Johnson had 32 saves. Caggiula had four goals in the Frozen Four and was named Frozen Four MVP.

Read The Associated Press story here.

That will wrap up the 2015-16 college hockey season.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fighting Hawks vs. Bobcats

The Associated Press
The national championship game is all set. North Dakota beat NCHC-rival Denver 4-2 last night in the Frozen Four semifinal games in Tampa, Fla., after Quinnipiac topped Boston College 3-2.

You can read The Associated Press accounts of the games on the Free Press website by going here and here.

The championship game will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Margonari signs with Hershey

Minnesota State senior forward Dylan Margonari is the latest Mavericks player to turn pro, agreeing to an amateur tryout contract with the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears this week. The Bears' next game is Friday.

Margonari, 24, finished his four-year career at MSU with 66 points in 143 games, including 12 points in 30 games this season. He missed his first 10 games of his final season after undergoing surgery to correct a stress fracture in his ankle.

The Greensburg, Pa., native, was also a three-time WCHA scholar-athlete and all-academic honoree.

Margonari joins fellow seniors Teddy Blueger (NHL-Pittsburgh Penguins/AHL-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins), Bryce Gervais (AHL-Chicago Wolves) and Jon Jutzi (AHL-Manitoba Moose) and junior Casey Nelson (NHL-Buffalo Sabres) as players who turned pro following the season.

The WCHA also put out a release of league players who have begun pro careers this spring.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Jutzi inks AHL deal

With his college career wrapped up, Minnesota State defenseman Jon Jutzi signed a professional deal to finish the season with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

The Moose are an affiliate of the NHL's Winnipeg Jets.

Jutzi had nine goals and 35 assists for 44 points in 144 games during his Mavericks career. He also blocked 166 shots and was plus-26 in his four seasons. He was also a three-time WCHA scholar-athlete and all-academic selection. Jutzi was an assistant captain this season and finished his senior campaign with five goals and 15 assists.

Jutzi is the fourth MSU player to turn pro following the season, joining junior defensmeman Casey Nelson and fellow seniors Teddy Blueger and Bryce Gervais.

Nelson has four points in three games for the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. Blueger and Gervais are also in the AHL, although Blueger has a deal with the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins starting next season.

Jutting out at Omaha

Omaha went to the Frozen Four last season and was 14-3-1 at Christmas break this year. However, the Mavericks lost 14 of their next 18 games, including their final eight, and didn't make the NCAA tournament.

That prompted on Wednesday coach Dean Blais' announcement that he was making changes to his coaching staff, firing both of his assistants. One of those was former Minnesota State coach Troy Jutting. Jutting was on the Omaha for the last four seasons, following his 12-year head-coaching stint (and 22 years total on the coaching staff) at MSU. Alex Todd, who was part of the UNO staff for the last three years, was also let go.

“Given the difficult end to our season, we took a hard look at our team and how we support the players as a staff,” Blais said in the press release linked above.“In the end, I decided that this was one area where we needed to improve to stay competitive in the NCHC.

“I want to thank Troy and Alex for their work on behalf of Maverick hockey. We’ll immediately begin to look for the best candidates to fill the assistant coach positions.”

It will be interesting to see where Jutting ends up in the hockey world after this.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Nelson starts strong

The Associated Press
Got a chance to check out Casey Nelson (34 in the photo) playing on national television last night as his Buffalo Sabres played at the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit won 3-2 and was up 3-0 before a furious rally by Buffalo. Nelson was involved in much of that rally, assisting on both goals one of the goals (he was originally awarded an assist on the first goal) and being put on the ice in the Sabres' attempt to tie the game in the final minute. He looked comfortable and poised (especially on the pass that set up Buffalo's second goal) and ended up playing nearly 14 minutes and was plus-2.

For more on Nelson, read my column in today's Free Press.

The rule of thumb for players leaving college early is: Are they ready to play in the NHL, as opposed to the minor leagues. If so, go. If you're AHL-bound then stay in school. Two games is a small sample size, but Nelson appears to have made the right choice.