Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Morning Link Central

-No surprise former Badger Joe Pavelski is once again having himself a big NHL Playoffs with 3 goals in 4 games. More impressive then that is the respect the polish prince has been receiving off the ice.

Pavelski has been nominated as the Sharks representative by the local hockey writers for the Bill Masterton Memorial Award which is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

Monday, The Big Pavelski was nominated by his own teammates for The King Clancy Trophy which is an annual award given to the player in the league that best exemplifies leadership qualities both on-and off-the-ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.

The link I included above lists his vast array of charitable moments which include: Contributing a large portion of the cost of the street hockey court at Franklin Elementary School; Serving as the team spokesperson for “Hockey For Huggies,” which helped collect over 19,000 diapers for families in need through direct and monetary donation; And participated in “Favorite Things” Basket Auction which raised money for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. He also runs an annual golf tournament in Stevens Point (June 24th) with all proceeds going to benefit local youth hockey leagues in the area.

-The Wisconsin Men's Hockey facebook page has a couple of updated pictures from the site where the new LaBahn arena will sit when completed. LaBahn arena is the future game arena for the UW Women's hockey team and will also serve as a practice facility for the men's program. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the fall of 2012.

-It looks like Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Shuchuk wasn't in Canada this week only for recruiting but for the College Hockey Inc. summit in Edmonton and Vancouver. College Hockey Inc. is a group headed by former NHLPA head man Paul Kelly in an effort to keep the best players in North America playing college hockey. Kelly and College Hockey Inc. have been holding "summit's" in larger metropolitan areas of Canada to help inform potential Canadian NCAA players on the postivies of the college game.

-Looks like Michigan Tech took a swing at Michigan assistant coach Mel Pearson and whiffed. If the rumors are true they have been turned down by Pearson and Nebraska-Omaha head man Dean Blais. The latest reprorts out of Houghton are that they are interested in Omaha assistant Mike Hastings who also assisted Don Lucia at Minnesota.

-There is a lot of realignment talk right now with the formation of the Big 10 hockey conference and what that is going to mean for everyone else. The latest rumors involve North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College and Nebraska-Omaha out of the WCHA joining Miami and Notre Dame to form a new conference. It sounds like a lot of this is just message board talk that leaked into the main stream media. I'll believe it when I see it.

-Haven't heard about any more WCHA early departures this week but a number of players have either announced or implied their intentions to return to school. Denver Post beat writer Mike Chambers indicates star freshman forward Jason Zucker will return for the Pioneers. With Drew Shore already making his intentions of staying known, that could be a scary lineup once again.

-Out in North Dakota, Grand Forks Herald writer Brad Elliott Schlossman notes that Dany Kristo, Ben Blood, and Aaron Dell all have announced their intentions to return to school. The Fighting Sioux are still waiting to hear from junior forwards Jason Gregoire and Brett Hextall.

-The other big opening of interest to Wisconsin college hockey fans is the Penn State job that UW Women's coach Mark Johnson has been linked to. Jess Myers from Inside College Hockey tweeted today that Minnesota-Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin is in Happy Valley to interview for the position. Sandelin's wife is a Penn State alumni, they met while he was playing minor league hockey in Hershey.

-Team Canada beat Germany at the U18 World Championships setting up a US/Canada semi-final match up on Saturday. Future Badgers Jake McCabe (2011) and Nic Kerdiles (2012) are prominent members of the United States squad that is 4-0 so far in the tournament.

-The United States Women's hockey team competing in the Women's World Championships over in Switzerland have also advanced to the semi-finals. Badgers are playing big roles for the red, white and blue squad. Hilary Knight (4g, 7a), Meghan Duggan (4g, 3a), and Brianna Decker (2g, 5a) are Team USA's top 3 scorers and also the top 3 scorers in the tournament. Jessie Vetter stopped 16 of 17 shots in her only game played and Molly Engstrom has 2 assists. USA will play the winner of Switzerland and Russia on Saturday.

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