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NCAA Update

Jets prospect Copp proving mature beyond years

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 12:15 PM / NCAA Update

Davis Harper - 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.

Providence goalie Gillies ready for WJC exposure

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 3:00 AM / NCAA Update

Mike G. Morreale - 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.

Pure scorer Barber building off freshman heroics

Monday, 12.09.2013 / 3:00 AM / NCAA Update

Mike G. Morreale - 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 "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.

Simpson sheds shadow at North Dakota

Monday, 11.25.2013 / 3:00 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - 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.

Gostisbehere's brilliant season suggests bright future

Monday, 11.18.2013 / 11:17 AM / NCAA Update

Adam Kimelman - 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.

Don Lucia coaches against son in return to alma mater

Monday, 11.11.2013 / 3:00 AM / NCAA Update

Mike G. Morreale - 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.

Cornell's Bardreau returns from neck injury

Monday, 10.28.2013 / 10:22 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - 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 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.

New era begins at Boston University

Monday, 10.21.2013 / 3:00 AM / NCAA Update

Bob Snow - Correspondent

A new era in one of the most storied college hockey programs began on Oct. 11 when David Quinn stepped behind the bench for Boston University for his first NCAA game against the University of Massachusetts.

Quinn has the unenviable task of replacing a legend. He took over from Jack Parker, who in 40 years with the Terriers set the NCAA record for career wins at one school with 894, won national championships in 1978, 1995 and 2009, and left his successor with some huge shoes to fill.

How does the 11th coach in BU history pick up where Parker left off?

Penn State readies for first game at Pegula Ice Arena

Friday, 10.11.2013 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

When Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula made an initial $88 million contribution to Penn State University in 2011, the campus-wide anticipation for the first game of the 2013-14 college hockey season began in earnest. The hefty donation was made so the school could establish two NCAA Division I hockey programs, both of which would play in a new, state-of-the-art arena.

Two years after Pegula's game-changing contribution to Penn State, the day finally is here.

The Nittany Lions open their second season as a Division I program Friday against Army. In the process, they'll open the doors of Pegula Ice Arena, a 6,000-seat, multi-purpose facility that is the talk of college hockey.

Ten candidates who could win Hobey Baker Award

Monday, 10.07.2013 / 9:00 AM / NCAA Update

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Johnny Gaudreau had about as fine a season as a hockey player could ask for in 2012-13.

A sophomore forward at Boston College, Gaudreau led all NCAA hockey players with 1.46 points per game. His 51 points tied him for fourth among all players, and his 21 goals and 30 assists each ranked in the top 10. His six game-winning goals were tied for second, and his plus-19 rating was second on his team.

Perhaps most impressively, only 13 of his points came on the power play, meaning the 5-foot-9, 150-pound New Jersey native was at his best at even-strength play.

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