Frozen Four: Weekly look at local and national college teams
TEAM TO WATCH
Ranked No. 16 in USCHO.com and No. 15 USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls; split pair of games with Robert Morris last weekend, with the loss coming in overtime. Niagara had lost only once in regulation in its previous nine games heading into this weekend.
Key players: Senior center Giancarlo Iuorio returned from injury to record a hat trick against the Colonials on Feb. 16 and a goal and three assists the following day. He entered this weekend leading the team with 16 goals in 20 games.
Notes: Clinched first regular-season Atlantic Hockey championship and first conference title since 2006-07.
THE TOP 5 (according to USCHO.com; records through Thursday)
1. Quinnipiac 22-4-4
Retained top spot despite 21-game unbeaten streak ending on Feb. 15
2. Minnesota 20-6-4
Nation's top power play at 26.3 percent
3. Miami 19-8-5
Entered weekend clinging to two-point lead in Central Collegiate Hockey Association
4. Boston College 17-8-3
Won Beanpot tournament but only three other wins since Dec. 29 for former No. 1
5. New Hampshire 16-8-4
One of five teams within three points of Hockey East lead heading into weekend
U.S. college hockey is producing more NHL players than ever. And that trend figures to continue.
According to College Hockey Inc., 301 players from college hockey backgrounds played in the NHL during the 2011-12 season. That meant college hockey produced more NHL talent than all of Europe, and another 19 have made their debuts this season. The ratio of NHL players with experience in U.S. college hockey has grown by 34 percent since 2000.
On Friday, as an example, not only were there 15 former college players on the rosters when the Penguins played the Florida Panthers, there also were two sets of former college teammates. The Penguins' Brooks Orpik and the Panthers' Scott Clemmensen closed out their Boston College careers with an overtime win against North Dakota in the 2001 national championship game.
Also, Beau Bennett and the Panthers' Drew Shore played together for the University of Denver from 2010-12.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins boast several good blueliners with point-producing skills
- Penguins notebook: Crosby gets early work
- Red Wings beat Penguins, 2-1, in preseason opener
- Penguins’ Rutherford hopes to raise Cup again
- Rossi: At start, are Pens already finished?
- Penguins notebook: Martin not concerned about expiring contract
- Crosby, Malkin to miss start of Penguins camp
- Penguins’ new 3rd jersey similar to early 1990s version
- Inside the glass: Penguins’ Martin, Ehrhoff look comfortable together
- Penguins notebook: Carcillo hopes to give team physical edge