College Hockey Roundup: Let the Season Begin!

by Kevin LeBlanc on October 11, 2017

 

With the college hockey season getting underway earlier this month, it's once again time for the college hockey roundup. Over the course of the season, we will bring you college hockey talk from across the USA, with the season culminating at the 2018 Frozen Four in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

 

USCHO Top 20 – As of Oct. 9th 

1. Denver (45) – 0-0-0

2. Boston University (5) - 2-0-0

3. Harvard - 0-0-0

4. Notre Dame – 2-0-0

5. Minnesota Duluth – 1-1-0

6. St. Cloud State – 1-0-0

7. Minnesota – 1-1-0

8. North Dakota – 1-0-1

9. Providence – 2-0-0

10. Wisconsin – 2-1-0

11. Penn State – 1-1-0

12. UMass Lowell – 0-2-0

13. Boston College – 0-0-1

14. Northeastern – 2-0-0

t15. Clarkson – 2-0-0

t15. Michigan Tech – 2-1-0

17. Quinnipiac – 0-1-1

18. Cornell – 0-0-0

19. Air Force – 1-0-1

20. New Hampshire – 2-0-0

Read more: http://www.uscho.com/rankings/d-i-mens-poll/

 

Michigan Tech wins the 2017 Ice Breaker

Since 1997, the Ice Breaker has been a four-team, location rotating season opening tournament that has signaled the beginning of the college hockey season. This year, the tournament was held at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minnesota and featured four of college hockey's top teams with the hometown Bulldogs, Michigan Tech, Union College and the University of Minnesota participating. The tournament was won by Michigan Tech, who upended host Minnesota Duluth 4-3 in come from behind fashion after being down 2-0 to start the game. Despite being outshot 36-17 by Minnesota Duluth, the Huskies made the most of their opportunities with the man advantage, scoring three goals on the power play. Former first rounder Riley Tufte (DAL) scored the opener for the Bulldogs. The third place game was won by Minnesota, who defeated Union 2-0 behind Casey Mittelstadt's first collegiate goal, and a marker from sophomore Rem Pitlick. 

 

Five Teams to Watch in 2017-18

Denver - The defending champs enter the 2017-18 season as favorites to repeat again. Although Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher is now playing at the NHL level with the New Jersey Devils, the Pioneers return offensive dynamo Henrik Borgstrom (FLA), Forwards Troy Terry (ANA )and Dylan Gambrell as well as a senior group led by goaltender Tanner Jaillet. 

Boston University - It will be interesting to see how the Terriers cope with losing superstars Clayton Keller and Charlie McAvoy, but BU may be even a better team then they were a year ago despite their defections. Patrick Harper (NAS) will be a player to watch all year, and their defense features seven NHL draftees. Keep an eye on freshmen Shane Bowers (OTT), Brady Tkachuk and Ty Amonte. 

St. Cloud State - If there is a team to watch who may take a step forward from their production a year ago, it's the Huskies, who return a large amount of their players from a team who didn't make the NCAA tournament a year ago. The conference schedule is not easy, with the defending champions Denver, North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth making up nearly half of their games, but the program should take a step forward from 2016-17. Ryan Poehling (MTL) is the headliner for the Huskies. 

Minnesota - Despite a couple down seasons in recent years, the Gophers look back in full force this season. Casey Mittelstadt (BUF) will be the player everyone watches across college hockey, as his talent can be memorizing at times (check out the full sequence from his exhibition goal that has the prospect world buzzing here), but Minnesota has an incredibly strong forward group as a whole. 

Northeastern - Certainly the dark horse of this group, but I believe a team who can surprise some people heading into the 217-18 season. The Huskies finished just above .500 a year ago, but return upperclassmen Dylan Sikura (CHI)and Adam Gaudette (VAN) and get another year of development from Matt Filipe. Goaltender Ryan Ruck is back for another campaign but he will be pushed by freshman and Montreal prospect Cayden Primeau.

 

Give Kevin a follow @kleblanchockey for prospect talk and happenings.