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On Campus

NCAA PRO-file with Dwayne Roloson

Thursday, 01.06.2011 / 9:00 AM / On Campus

Bob Snow - Correspondent

The current box-office hit, "The Fighter," stars Mark Wahlberg as pugilist Micky Ward, who made an indelible mark in Lowell, Massachusetts, and boxing history.

If Wahlberg attempts a sequel such as "The Goaltender" featuring the Lowell standout in NHL history, Dwayne Roloson -- traded last Saturday by the New York Islanders to the Tampa Bay Lightning -- will be the leading name.

"Roli" etched his mark in the former mill city on the Merrimack River 40 miles north of Boston in calendar sync with Ward, arriving at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in the fall of 1990, and leading the then Lowell Chiefs to within one goal of reaching the Frozen Four in the 1994 NCAA Tournament.


Merrimack No. 1 surprise at the break

Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 12:19 PM / On Campus

Bob Snow - Correspondent

No longer the league doormat, the Merrimack College Warriors have cracked the hallowed hall of Hockey East -- breaking into the top four historically reserved for Boston University, Boston College, New Hampshire and Maine.

Currently fifth in the 10-team league -- a first in team history this deep into any season -- Merrimack began December with a short stint in fourth, behind New Hampshire, BC and BU.

"It's an incredible league," said senior captain and Calgary native Chris Barton, who became the team's career scoring leader this season. "We've been trying to rebuild the program. We haven't missed a step or (been) jumping ahead of ourselves."

Shore shows he's ready to reach next level

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 5:41 PM / On Campus

James Murphy - Correspondent

"We think he has the potential to be a great two-way center in the NHL.  We obviously like his size and the fact he will get even bigger. He put a strong emphasis on strength and conditioning and that impressed us and I know the coaching staff at Denver has done a great job with him."
-- Panthers pro scout Mike Yandle

Denver Pioneers sophomore center Drew Shore knew exactly what he needed to do in the offseason to become the player everyone expected he could be.

At 6-3, 195 pounds, Shore, drafted No. 44 by the Florida Panthers in the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, has the potential to be physical two-way forward and if he wanted to start realizing that potential, it was time to hit the gym. Not that the Denver native -- who grew up wanting to play like former Avalanche great Peter Forsberg -- had a bad freshman season with 5 goals and 14 assists in 41 games, but he and those around him knew he could be better.

"I really wanted to get stronger because with my height and reach I felt if I was stronger I could be more effective," Shore said. "I spent a lot of time in the gym and just conditioning and I think that's helped me a lot. I think being stronger helps me demonstrate and use my skill level more because I can battle for pucks harder and win those battles. I wanted to be a presence both in front of the net and in the corners. It helps in the forecheck and really, all aspects."

Long-time coach Wright has AIC on the right track

Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 11:00 AM / On Campus

Bob Snow - Correspondent

The coach is tied for second place with legendary Michigan coach Red Berenson at 27 consecutive years behind their respective bench, trailing only Boston University's Jack Parker.

The team's four wins in Atlantic League play surpass perennial powers Cornell, Vermont and St. Cloud in their respective leagues.

The program, however, is without a .500-plus season since joining an NCAA Division I conference in 1998, and never has advanced in postseason play in its 60-year history.  

Sit down with American International College coach Gary Wright in his non-descript office in the western Massachusetts city of Springfield --with Ebbie, his black lab, by his side -- and you have a blend of the Berenson/Parker dedication to a program, and a strong sense of purpose about the future of his Yellow Jackets.


Record crowd watches Michigan win "Big Chill"

Saturday, 12.11.2010 / 8:22 PM / On Campus

The "Big Chill in the Big House" was a big win for the home side.

A world-record hockey crowd of 113,411 packed Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday to watch the Wolverines roll to a 5-0 victory against archrival Michigan State.

The turnout smashed the previous hockey record of 77,803 set at last the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships in Germany this spring. It's the largest crowd in the history of the venerable stadium, which routinely draws more than 100,000 fans for football.

"Any time you looked away from the game and look at the environment and the surroundings, it was definitely surreal," Michigan coach Red Berenson said.

Michigan 'Cold War' special to Blackhawks' Keith

Friday, 12.10.2010 / 11:47 AM / On Campus

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

"It was kind of a crazy way to start your college career. It was exciting, but I was just a young guy going in there. You better believe I was nervous."
-- Duncan Keith

Duncan Keith usually gets nervous before he plays, but probably not like the butterflies he felt nine years ago in East Lansing, Mich.
That's because on Oct. 6, 2001, Keith began his college career at Michigan State. It was more than that for Keith, though. Before going on to win a Norris Trophy, Olympic gold medal and Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks defenseman had another big reason to be nervous.
His first game for Michigan State University came against arch-rival Michigan in a game dubbed "The Cold War," played in front of 75,000 people at Michigan State's Spartan Stadium. It was also an unseasonably cold night with temperatures in the low 30s, but Keith was feeling cold sweats before the game regardless.

Wolverines, Spartans ready to head back outdoors

Thursday, 12.09.2010 / 9:00 AM / On Campus

James Murphy - Correspondent

Following his team's 3-3 tie with Michigan State in "The Cold War" at Spartan Stadium at East Lansing, Mich., on Oct. 6, 2001, Michigan head coach Red Berenson forecasted the future of outdoor hockey over the last nine years:

"I thought I'd seen everything in hockey," Berenson said. "This couldn't have turned out better. I think it's pretty obvious that (playing outdoors) is something people are going to look at in the future for their big games."

Boy, was Berenson right! Since then, he has participated in another outdoor game and the hockey world has seen seven major outdoor hockey games, including three Winter Classics and then the World Championship in Germany when the USA played Germany in front of 77,803 fans at Veltins Arena last May.

NCAA PRO-file with Marty Reasoner

Thursday, 12.02.2010 / 9:00 AM / On Campus

Bob Snow - Correspondent

The Boston College Eagles played for the national championship in 1949, taking out Dartmouth, 4-3, for the school's first-ever title.

It would be three decades later before a second opportunity, a 5-3 loss to archrival Boston University in 1978.

Since 1998, however, no program except Michigan in the '40s and '50s comes remotely close to Eagle supremacy in Frozen Four and championship-game appearances.

Last April, the Eagles won their fourth title and third since 2001 in a remarkable seven title-game appearances since the gut-wrenching 3-2 overtime loss to -- ironically -- Michigan at the TD Garden in Boston in 1998.


Top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth hoping to make history

Thursday, 11.25.2010 / 9:00 AM / On Campus

James Murphy - Correspondent

Minnesota-Duluth last played for an NCAA championship in 1984, losing a 5-4 four-overtime heartbreaker in what remains the longest championship game in NCAA history. The following season, the Bulldogs lost in overtime in the Frozen Four semifinals to RPI, and since then has made the Frozen Four just once, losing to Denver in 2004.

Despite sending numerous players to the NHL and having nine seasons of at least 20 wins, Minnesota-Duluth has yet to win an NCAA title.

But with the Bulldogs entering Thanksgiving break as the NCAA's top-ranked team for the second-straight week, there is a growing buzz surrounding the program that maybe this could be the season.


NCAA tournament chase is on at RPI

Thursday, 11.18.2010 / 9:00 AM / On Campus

Bob Snow - Correspondent

In terms of history and tradition, not just any men's hockey program can compete with that of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers.

Only 13 other colleges are charter members of the NCAA since 1948.

"We're one of those programs to win multiple titles," said fifth-year coach Seth Appert about RPI's national championships in 1954 over Minnesota, 5-4 in OT, and in 1985 over Providence, 2-1.

"What drew me here [from assistant coach in Denver, which won the 2004 and 2005 national championships] was not only the great education but also the hockey history. We brought back the '85 team last year to connect with this team."

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Quote of the Day

I'll be happy, believe me, if we win our last playoff game. Not taking anything away, but we've had a fairly good lead for a while now. It would be more surprising if we didn't get the division. Business as usual.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau after clinching their third straight Pacific Division title