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(Page 2 of 15)
On Campus

Versatility has taken Golden Gophers' Fasching far

Monday, 01.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

University of Minnesota freshman forward Hudson Fasching is no stranger to any tempo or style on the ice.

He can play fast or a physically demanding role as a top-line playmaker or third-line grinder. That's precisely why the versatile Fasching was an attractive option as an energy-type forward for the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Golden Gophers coach Don Lucia, who also coached the U.S. at the WJC, likes the pace and aggressiveness with which Fasching competes.

"He's a point-a-game guy [with Minnesota] and they're all 5-on-5, so he's had his success 5-on-5," Lucia said.

At 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds, the 2013 fourth-round pick (No. 118) of the Los Angeles Kings has the size to get to the front of the net along with the skill to score from anywhere. Both traits were on display during an exhibition game against Minnesota State University in Mankato just 10 days before the start of the WJC in Malmo, Sweden.

Fasching scored a sensational overtime goal after taking a pass in stride through the neutral zone, breaking to the net and bulling his way in at 3:14 to give the U.S. a 3-2 victory.

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St. Cloud's Dowd stretching his roots

Monday, 01.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

Across the state of Minnesota, pond hockey is big.

Real big.

At St. Cloud State University, senior captain Nic Dowd, who hails from the southern-most NCAA setting of Huntsville, Ala., has hockey roots defined in relation to the biggest "pond."

"Both my parents were born in England," Dowd said. "My dad's from London, my mom's from Birmingham. I was born in Huntsville."

Why did the Dowd family cross the big "pond" that provided the rare opportunity for a southern kid with English roots to ascend to the pinnacle of NCAA hockey in the hotbed of Minnesota, and maybe beyond?

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Harvard's Donato hopes for return to NCAA tourney

Monday, 01.13.2014 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Harvard University coach Ted Donato already had a storybook career by the time he retired as a player in 2004. A Massachusetts native, he won a national championship at Harvard before playing 13 seasons in the NHL, the first seven with his hometown Boston Bruins.

After spending most of his final season back with the Bruins, Donato was offered a unique opportunity to come back where it all began. Now in his 10th season as the coach at Harvard, the 1992 Olympian has seen some highs and lows in molding the Crimson into a hardworking, competitive squad.

Donato couldn't imagine being anywhere else, even if coming back to campus wasn't initially part of the plan.

"It certainly wasn't a designed plan," said Donato, who took over the Crimson in 2004 after Mark Mazzoleni stepped down to take a job coaching the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League. "But I'm glad it worked out that way."


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Jets prospect Copp proving mature beyond years

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 12:15 PM / On Campus

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

Speaking with Andrew Copp, you would be forgiven for assuming he's a grizzled NHL veteran or at the very least a longtime coach. He speaks with a confidence and assuredness well beyond his 19 years, tossing out hard-won aphorisms -- "Consistency will come if your effort where it needs to be" -- as if they were afterthoughts.

With this maturity in mind, it's easy to see why University of Michigan coach Red Berenson named Copp, a sophomore, an alternate captain over the summer. Berenson described his sophomore center as a "gamer," a "team player" and, appropriately, someone with a "coach-type mentality."

Copp (6-foot-1, 201 pounds) has spent the fall earning his 'A' with nine goals and five assists on a Wolverines team that is 10-4-2 and ranked third in the nation. Copp also has two overtime winners, and his leadership has helped Michigan prevail in seven of nine one-goal games despite playing eight freshmen on a regular basis.

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Providence goalie Gillies ready for WJC exposure

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Providence College goalie Jon Gillies is a huge fan of Johnny Manziel.

Not so much because the Texas A&M quarterback seems to dominate the college football headlines on a regular basis, but because he marches to the beat of his own drum.

"He's a one-man show; things that go on in his life off the field don't affect him on the field and I respect that," Gillies said. "He just exudes confidence. From what I've read he seems to be an amazing guy."

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Gillies also is a pretty amazing guy. Not to mention a one-man show on occasion for the Friars. He's big, confident, energetic and passionate about getting better. Those traits have transformed him into one of college hockey's most respected goalies in a short period of time.

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Pure scorer Barber building off freshman heroics

Monday, 12.09.2013 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

After becoming the first player in the storied history of the men's ice hockey program at Miami University to earn league rookie of the year honors, forward Riley Barber knew nothing would come easy as a sophomore.

"Nobody really knew who I was as a freshman so it was easy for me to go out there and play against certain guys, but this year it's definitely changed," Barber told NHL.com. "I'm usually out there against the best defensive pairing of every team and the best shutdown line."

Barber's game has improved as a result.

"It's helped me become a better player because you always have to give it 100 percent; I'm more confident in my ability to make plays and am not in panic mode," Barber said.

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Simpson sheds shadow at North Dakota

Monday, 11.25.2013 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

If University of North Dakota senior defenseman Dillon Simpson were born three years earlier, the family photo album would likely have him sitting in Lord Stanley's Cup.

Simpson's dad, Craig, also an NCAA standout at Michigan State, was etched into Cup lore when the Edmonton Oilers won the championship in 1988 and 1990.

Currently a broadcaster for Hockey Night in Canada, Craig Simpson's two college seasons from 1983-85 included 141 points in 88 games, which led to becoming the No. 2 pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 1985 NHL Draft.

His NHL career from 1985-95 would begin immediately in the Steel City for almost three seasons, but it ended prematurely with the Buffalo Sabres after a serious back injury.

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Gostisbehere's brilliant season suggests bright future

Monday, 11.18.2013 / 11:17 AM / On Campus

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Last season went about as well as possible for Union College defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.

It started not long after he was picked by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft (No. 78). He won a gold medal with the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, and had eight goals and 18 assists in 36 games as Union won a second consecutive ECAC title and advanced to the NCAA East Regional final. Gostisbehere was named to the NCAA East Second All-American Team.

While the history major appreciates where he's been, the junior is focused solely on the present. And that present has looked about as successful as his past.

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Don Lucia coaches against son in return to alma mater

Monday, 11.11.2013 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Don Lucia was given a rare treat this past weekend when he led his charges at the University of Minnesota into South Bend to face the University of Notre Dame for a set of games at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Not only did Lucia return to his alma mater for the first time as a collegiate coach, but he also had the task of shutting down his son, Mario Lucia, a sophomore left wing for The Irish.

The Golden Gophers entered the weekend set as the top-ranked team in the nation and one of only two unbeaten teams in the country. In the end they could only manage a split against fourth-ranked Notre Dame (7-3-0).

Don Lucia said prior to the games that the best scenario for his wife, Joyce, would be a split. Mission accomplished.

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Cornell's Bardreau returns from neck injury

Monday, 10.28.2013 / 10:22 AM / On Campus

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

Cornell forward Cole Bardreau proudly draped a gold medal around his neck on Jan. 5 after Team USA's victory against Sweden in the World Junior Championship game in Ufa, Russia.

Exactly two weeks later, Big Red played Rensselaer. Little did Bardreau know he would soon have a plastic brace mounted around his neck to begin one of the most incredible comebacks in NCAA history.

"I fractured my C-7 vertebrae in both the front and back [of my neck], and both were compression fractures," Bardreau told NHL.com about the result of an illegal check. "You're flirting with being paralyzed when it's three of them."

Incredibly, and with luck on his side, Cole flirted with disaster by finishing that game.

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Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential