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(Page 6 of 15)
On Campus

Minnesota-Duluth's Connolly wins Hobey Baker Award

Friday, 04.06.2012 / 7:13 PM / On Campus

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation selected Minnesota-Duluth senior forward and Duluth native Jack Connolly for the 2012 Hobey Baker Award, college hockey’s highest annual award for its top player.

The Hobey Hat Trick finalists also included senior forwards Spencer Abbott from the University of Maine and Austin Smith from Colgate University. The 23-member Selection Committee and an additional round of online fan balloting determine the annual winner. The criteria include outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.

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Yale’s Hughes honored with Humanitarian Award

Friday, 04.06.2012 / 5:30 PM / On Campus

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- The 2012 Hockey Humanitarian Award for college hockey's finest citizen, sponsored by BNY Mellon Wealth Management, was presented Friday afternoon to Yale senior captain Aleca Hughes, a native of Westwood, Mass.

Since its inception in 1996, the Humanitarian Award recognizes the college hockey student-athlete, Division I, II or III, male or female, who gives back to their communities in the true humanitarian spirit.

Hughes' compassion, tenacity and leadership inspired by teammate Mandi Schwartz's courageous battle with leukemia forged the committee's decision-making in selecting her.

"If you do what you do with heart and passion, it becomes infectious and motivates others."
-- Yale senior captain Aleca Hughes

Hughes, who skated on the same line with Schwartz to begin her freshman season in 2008-09, became immediately involved with her junior teammate's challenges when diagnosed that December; Schwartz would not rejoin the team until the following season.

That dedicated return and will to fight the disease inspired Hughes to create initiatives toward a cure for her teammate.

For the past two years, Hughes organized the "White Out for Mandi" fundraisers at Yale's Ingalls Rink. The first event raised over $20,000 to assist the Schwartz family in medical expenses.

Unfortunately, Schwartz lost her battle with cancer in April 2011.

She was the sister of former Wisconsin star Jaden Schwartz, who recently signed an entry-level contract with St. Louis and scored the game-winning goal in his NHL debut March 17 against the Lightning.

This past year, Hughes led her teammates for a second White Out, raising over $30,000 to establish the Mandi Schwartz Foundation dedicated to both helping current cancer and to fund cancer research.

Raising money, however, was only one of Hughes' efforts to assist Mandi and the Schwartz family. She also took time-intensive research to find a bone-marrow match for Mandi. While unsuccessful at the time, it led to increased awareness for a national bone-marrow registry. Taking the next step, Hughes and teammates hosted three "Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drives" in New Haven, Conn.

These increased the national registrants by more than 2500 additional names. Six matches resulted to save six lives.

Hughes' compassion, tenacity and leadership inspired by teammate Mandi Schwartz's battle with leukemia forged the committee's decision-making in selecting her. (Photo: Yale University)

Chuck Long, a senior director at BNY Mellon Wealth Management, said: "BNY Mellon encourages all of its employees to work for the common good, and we are proud to support an award honoring the community service of athletes like Aleca."

"What signifies true greatness lives within Aleca," said Mandi's mother, Carol Schwartz. "Our family will forever be grateful for the tremendous efforts she put forth to save Mandi's life. What better attribute can define the quality of a human being?"

Hughes' fight against cancer goes deeper still. She spearheaded many other charitable initiatives, including the Bulldog Buddies program, which has connected Yale athletic teams with young brain tumor patients.

One is 10-year-old Giana with whom the Lady Bulldogs continue to spend time as their adopted teammate after her recent brain cancer surgery.

"Aleca has really been there for me," Giana said. "It's awesome to have her take the time to hang with me, especially when I'm feeling sick, scared or sad."

"Losing Mandi was devastating," Hughes said. "Yet the magnitude of her life has been larger than life. I think she would be humbled by the profound impact her story continues to have through fundraising and marrow drives."

What are Hughes' hopes for these efforts and the Humanitarian Award?

"If you do what you do with heart and passion, it becomes infectious and motivates others," she said.

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BC rolls over Minnesota to make NCAA final

Friday, 04.06.2012 / 12:11 AM / On Campus

Peter Pupello - NHL.com Correspondent

The top-ranked Boston College Eagles rolled into the NCAA championship game by routing Minnesota 6-1 Thursday night in the Frozen Four at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Paul Carey scored twice as the Eagles (32-10-1) won their 18th straight game. BC will try for its fifth NCAA championship when it faces Ferris State in the championship game. The Bulldogs beat Union 3-1 in the first semifinal.
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Ferris State beats Union, advances to NCAA title game

Thursday, 04.05.2012 / 7:32 PM / On Campus

Peter Pupello - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Kyle Bonis and the Ferris State Bulldogs had their day at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Thursday.

Come Saturday, they'll get another one.

Bonis scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and senior goaltender Taylor Nelson made 27 saves as Ferris State earned its first trip to the NCAA championship game by beating Union College 3-1 in the first Frozen Four matchup.

The Bulldogs, making their first appearance in the Frozen Four after winning the regular season championship in the CCHA, will meet the winner of the second semifinal between Boston College and the Minnesota in Saturday's national championship game.
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Abbott, Connolly, Smith named Hobey finalists

Thursday, 03.29.2012 / 4:29 PM / On Campus

NHL.com

Spencer Abbott, Jack Connolly and Austin Smith were named Thursday as the three finalists for the 2012 Hobey Baker Memorial Award.

The winner of the award, given to the top player in NCAA hockey, will be announced Friday, April 6 at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., which is also the host city for the 2012 Frozen Four. The announcement will be broadcast at 6 p.m. on NHL Network.

Abbott, a forward from Maine, led the nation with 41 assists and 62 points. He was the player of the year in Hockey East. A senior who began his career as a recruited walk-on, Abbott signed Wednesday with the Toronto Maple Leafs and is expected to finish this season with the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League.

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Davids and Goliaths balance Frozen Four

Thursday, 03.29.2012 / 11:48 AM / On Campus

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

 
It's a first in the modern era of Frozen Four play, with two teams making a first-ever appearance with Union College and Ferris State, and two historic programs back in their customary position, looking to win another national title, in Boston College and the University of Minnesota.

Not since 1988 has a team won the NCAA title in its first Frozen Four; either Union or Ferris will have a shot at accomplishing that, with one guaranteed to play in the championship game Saturday.

And no rookie coach ever has won it all, but Union's Rick Bennett has a shot.

Making history won't be easy for Union and Ferris State. Boston College last won an NCAA title in 2010, while coach Don Lucia led Minnesota to back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003.
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Sixteen NCAA teams vie for four tickets to Tampa

Wednesday, 03.21.2012 / 10:46 AM / On Campus

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

His alma mater, North Dakota, is used to being pegged for a slot in the 16-team NCAA Tournament entering each March.

This season, however, New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise's former NCAA team put on a power surge into the WCHA Final Five Tournament last weekend that propelled them from a bubble team to one bubbling with momentum toward a possible eighth national championship.

Only Michigan has more with nine; North Dakota and Denver are tied with seven.

After winning their play-in game Thursday against St. Cloud, North Dakota put on a show Friday in the semifinal, coming back from 3-0 down against Minnesota en route to a 6-3 victory. Then on Saturday they blanked Denver 4-0 to assure the automatic NCAA bid that comes for each league's tournament champion.

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BC, Michigan headline NCAA tourney field

Sunday, 03.18.2012 / 1:50 PM / On Campus

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Boston College has earned the No. 1 overall seed and will get to open the 2012 NCAA men's hockey tournament near home in Worcester, Mass., but a date with the defending champions could stand in the way of a trip to Tampa, Fla., and the Frozen Four for the Eagles.

Michigan, Union and North Dakota also secured top seeds in the tournament, which begins with first round games Friday and Saturday, while quarterfinal matchups to determine who will play in the Frozen Four at Tampa Bay Times Forum are set for Saturday and Sun., March 25.

Boston College won the Hockey East regular season and conference titles, and boast an NCAA-best 29-10-1 record. The Eagles top scorer is Chris Kreider, who is the top prospect of the New York Rangers and earned plenty of recognition when GM Glen Sather reportedly would not include him in a package for Columbus captain Rick Nash. He has 21 goals and a team-leading 42 points this season.


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10 finalists announced for Hobey Baker Award

Thursday, 03.15.2012 / 8:22 PM / On Campus

NHL.com

Two goaltenders, four defensemen and four forwards are among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top player in NCAA Division I hockey.

The finalists were selected in balloting by the nation's 58 Division I coaches and by online fan balloting.

The two goaltenders are Troy Grosenick of Union College and Shawn Hunwick from the University of Michigan.

The defensemen include Tim Kirby of Air Force, Torey Krug from Michigan State, Brian Dumoulin of Boston College and Wisconsin's Justin Schultz. It's the fourth straight year in which the Badgers have had a finalist, the longest current streak by any school. 
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NCAA PRO-file with Mike Mottau

Wednesday, 03.14.2012 / 1:12 PM / On Campus

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

Mike Mottau's NCAA career saw him score 157 points in 163 games. (Photo: Boston College)
A few Saturdays back as a healthy scratch, Boston Bruins defenseman Mike Mottau peered down on the same ice surface where a date and event catapulted his four-year NCAA career into the record books, while creating a path to an NHL career.

For Mottau, the view and the path add up to a neatly packaged 360 degrees. 

"I went to high school at (nearby) Thayer Academy and was then recruited by a bunch of the Hockey East schools," Mottau said. "Very interested in Boston University at the time, and it came down to them and Boston College. BC just felt more comfortable and an easier transition from Thayer."

That transition worked for Mottau and BC.

"It all started there with Marty (Reasoner), he was the key recruit that really started the whole winning process there," Mottau said. "My freshman year we were still under .500 with a young team; sophomore year it happened quick going to the national final game here in Boston. It was quite a thrill to be a part of that turnaround and to see what has happened since."

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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players