NCAA college prospects notebook for December, 2012

By DJ Powers

Corban Knight - University of North Dakota

Photo: University of North Dakota forward and Florida Panthers prospect Corban Knight had the hot scoring hand in the NCAA during the month of December (courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon SMI)

With the first half of the 2012-13 season drawing to a close and the second half getting underway, there were plenty of prospect stories making the rounds in college hockey in December. Hockey’s Future takes a look back at the final month of the 2012 calendar year. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of Dec. 31.

College hockey well represented at World Junior Championship

14 players, nearly all of whom have been drafted, represented both their respective countries and NCAA teams at this year’s World Junior Championship (WJC) in Ufa, Russia. 13 of the 14 players are represented on the gold medal-winning United States, and all but one have been drafted by NHL teams.

Defenseman Jacob Trouba (WPG) was arguably Team USA’s best player at the WJC. He scored four goals in the tournament, and led all Team USA defensemen in scoring.

A pair of Miami RedHawks teammates in Riley Barber (WSH) and Sean Kuraly (SJS) were significant contributors for Team USA, as well, with the two players posting six and three points, respectively. While Barber and Kuraly play on separate lines at Miami, the two had been paired on the same line with success for Team USA, particularly in the early part of the tournament.

After a rather slow start to the WJC, Boston College sophomore phenom Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) finally found his groove. For the tournament, Gaudreau posted nine points (seven goals, two assists) for Team USA.

Michigan Tech sophomore Blake Pietila (NJD) was quietly one of Team USA’s unsung heroes at this WJC. While he has been an offensive threat for the Huskies since arriving in Houghton last fall, Pietila has taken to and played remarkably well in more of a defensive role with Team USA. The strides that he has made on the defensive side with Michigan Tech in the first half paid dividends for the Americans at the WJC, making him a valuable cog in Team USA’s medal win.

The lone non-American collegian that played in this year’s WJC is Teddy Blueger (PIT), who is represented Team Latvia. The Riga native has gotten off to a terrific start to his collegiate career at Minnesota State-Mankato, leading the team in rookie scoring with 12 points (two goals, ten assists) in 18 games. Blueger’s lone goal of the WJC, a power-play tally, came against Germany on Dec. 29, and he added one assist to his total for the tournament.

Holiday tournament roundup

Seven holiday tournaments highlighted the start of the second half of the season.

The 13th annual Florida College Classic and the inaugural Three Rivers Classic kicked things off on Dec. 28.

After struggling through the first half of the season, Maine got things back on track and successfully defended their Florida College Hockey Classic crown. The Black Bears defeated Minnesota-Duluth 1-0 in the semi-final behind the stellar goaltending of junior Martin Ouellette (CBJ), who stopped all 31 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season. Maine would go on to face Cornell in the championship game the following night, downing the Big Red 6-4 in their come-from-behind victory. Freshman Devin Shore (DAL) earned a spot on the All-Tournament team, chipping in a goal for the Black Bears. Bruising sophomore John McCarron (EDM) posted three points (two goals, one assist) and senior defenseman Nick D’Agostino (PIT) chipped in four assists in the tournament for Cornell.

In the third place game, reigning national champion runner-up Ferris State downed Minnesota-Duluth 6-2 in the “Battle of the Bulldogs”. Top scoring senior Kyle Bonis led Ferris State with a goal and an assist in the contest.

Meanwhile, up in Pittsburgh, PA, the inaugural Three Rivers Classic was taking place at the Consol Energy Center, the site of the 2013 Frozen Four in April. Host Robert Morris won the tournament decisively thanks to back-to-back shutouts by senior and tournament MVP, Eric Levine. The Colonials took down intrastate rival Penn State 6-0 in the opening game before shutting out a depleted Miami RedHawks team, 1-0. Levine was sensational between the pipes for Robert Morris, stopping all 99 combined shots that he faced in the tournament.

In the thrilling third place game, Penn State edged Ohio State 5-4 in a game that was highlighted by an excellent performance from Buckeyes sophomore Ryan Dzingel (OTT). The Wheaton, IL native posted his first career hat trick (a natural hat trick) in the losing cause for Ohio State. The Nittany Lions’ outstanding line of freshman Casey Bailey and sophomores Max Gardiner (STL) and Taylor Holstrom combined for nine points (four goals, five assists) to lead Penn State.

In Detroit, the 48th annual Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) led off the next four tournaments to get underway Dec. 29. This year, it was an all-State of Michigan affair and was one of this year’s best tournaments, as well. Invitee Western Michigan joined tri-hosts Michigan, Michigan State and Michigan Tech.

Michigan Tech claimed their first GLI title since 1980 in stunning fashion, shutting out Michigan 4-0 in the semi-final game before doing the same to Western Michigan in the championship game. And the Huskies didn’t miss a beat without top goal scorer Blake Pietila (NJD) either. This year also marked the first time since 1980 that the title game did not feature either Michigan or Michigan State. Freshman Phoenix Copley was brilliant between the pipes for Michigan Tech, stopping all 70 combined shots he faced to earn the tournament’s MVP honor. Teammate Jujhar Khaira (EDM) joined Copley on the All-Tournament team after his best weekend outing of the season so far. The Surrey, BC native posted three points (a power-play goal and two assists) in the opener versus Michigan and his strong net presence wreaked havoc on both the Wolverines and the Broncos throughout the tournament.

Michigan tallied four unanswered goals in the third period en route to defeating arch rival Michigan State 5-2 in the third place game on Dec. 30. Sophomore Phil DiGiuseppe (CAR) posted a goal and assisted on senior Kevin Lynch’s (CBJ) game-winning power-play goal to guide Michigan. And there was more good news for not only the Wolverines faithful but for New Jersey Devils fans as well. After a bit of a setback earlier, junior defenseman Jon Merrill (NJD) has begun skating again and could potentially return to the Michigan lineup sometime in January.

Further east in Burlington, VT, the 17th annual Catamount Cup was taking place. Host Vermont capped a strong December, winning the tournament championship 6-3 over Princeton on Dec. 30. Sophomore (and former Michigan Wolverine) Jacob Fallon posted a power-play goal and added an assist to earn the tournament’s MVP in guiding the Catamounts. Vermont finishes December with a 3-1-2 mark.

Union College bounced back from their heartbreaking 2-1 semi-final loss to Vermont to take third place, defeating Merrimack 4-1. The Dutchmen, playing without top defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI), tallied all their goals in the third period. Merrimack senior defenseman Kyle Bigos (EDM), who was named to the All-Tournament team, assisted on the Warriors’ lone goal in the losing cause.

Meanwhile, in Storrs, CT, the 20th annual UConn Hockey Classic was taking place. Surging Minnesota State-Mankato emerged victorious after posting 3-1 wins over Brown in the semi-final game on Dec. 29 and host UConn in the title game the following night. The Mavericks, who were without Teddy Blueger (PIT), continue to get great contributions throughout their lineup. Junior Johnny McInnis was named the tournament MVP after posting two goals, including the game-winner to guide Minnesota State-Mankato. Junior Brant Harris, who has struggled to find the back of the net this season for UConn, tallied a pair of goals in the Huskies’ 7-2 semi-final win over Atlantic Hockey foe American International (AIC) and was solid in the championship game. His tournament performance also earned him a spot on the All-Tournament team.

After suffering a 3-1 loss at the hands of Minnesota State-Mankato in their semi-final game, Brown bounced back with a resounding 7-2 victory over AIC in the third place game. Top scoring sophomore Matt Lorito netted the game-winner on the power-play and top defenseman Dennis Robertson (TOR) chipped in an assist to lead the Bears.

Out west in Minneapolis, the 22nd annual Mariucci Classic also got underway on Dec. 29.

In the first semi-final game, reigning national champion Boston College downed Alabama-Huntsville, 5-2. While the victory earned the Eagles a date with host Minnesota the following night, it held an even greater significance for head coach Jerry York, who became the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Men’s Division I Hockey history. York’s 925th win surpassed the mark of 924 set by the legendary former Michigan State head coach, Ron Mason.

The second semi-final game saw the Golden Gophers down Air Force 4-0. Freshman Adam Wilcox (TBL) continues to shine in goal for Minnesota, picking up his third shutout of the season. Top scoring junior Erik Haula (MIN) netted the game-winner and added an assist to lead the Golden Gophers.

The title game was a rematch of last spring’s Frozen Four semi-final game. And if revenge is a dish best served cold, then Minnesota handed Boston College a quite chilling 8-1 defeat. The Eagles, who were without the services of top scorer Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) and two of the their top six defensemen in junior Isaac MacLeod (SJS) and senior Patch Alber due to injuries, haven’t given up eight goals in nearly two years. But a depleted lineup wasn’t the only thing that led to Boston College’s demise. The Eagles allowed an uncharacteristic four power-play goals in the game, as well. Senior Steven Whitney spoiled Wilcox’s fourth shutout bid with a power-play tally at the 13:40 mark of the third period.

Florida Panthers prospects Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau each netted a pair of goals to lead Minnesota. In the tournament overall, the duo combined for a whopping 10 points (five goals, five assists). While the win was a satisfying one for the Golden Gophers, it may have come at a high cost after losing Haula in the third period with an injury. While the extent and severity of his injury is still unknown, the loss of Haula for an extended period of time will be a substantial loss for Minnesota.

The final holiday tournament to get underway was the 34th annual Ledyard Bank Classic in Hanover, NH. Invitee UMass won the tournament, defeating Bemidji State 4-3 in their semi-final game on Dec. 30 before edging host Dartmouth 3-2 in the hard-fought championship game on New Year’s Eve. Top scoring junior Branden Gracel was named the tournament MVP after netting the game winner and adding an assist to lead the Minutemen. Dustin Walsh (MTL) continues his strong senior campaign, posting his fifth goal on the season for the Big Green in the losing cause.

Sophomore defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk scored the game-winner at the 2:08 mark of overtime to give New Hampshire a thrilling 3-2 victory over Bemidji State in the third-place game. Van Riemsdyk, who leads the Wildcats in defensive scoring, also added an assist in the contest.

In addition to the tournaments, the annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame game also took place during the final weekend of December as Denver and Boston University met in this year’s game on Dec. 29. Sophomore Juho Olkinuora turned in a stellar performance, stopping all 29 shots that he faced in Denver’s 6-0 blanking of Boston University. The shutout was also Olkinuora’s first of the season. Fellow sophomore Zac Larraza (PHX) had one of his best outings on the season so far, chipping in a goal for his career-high sixth point. Sophomore defenseman Josiah Didier (MTL) returned to the Pioneers lineup after missing eight games due to injury and posted an assist in the contest, as well.

The game was an ugly affair in which the two teams combined for 91 penalty minutes and saw three players ejected, including a game-disqualification handed to Boston University sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera for kicking a Denver player.

Pens prospects find their groove

No NHL team got more production collectively from their entire group of collegiate prospects in the month of December than the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team’s nine NCAA prospects combined for 42 points (nine goals, 33 assists), averaging nearly five points per game. Boston University freshman goaltender Sean Maguire also posted a shutout over Maine back on Dec. 8 in his lone start during the month.

Nebraska-Omaha sophomore Josh Archibald, Minnesota State-Mankato freshman Teddy Blueger and Cornell senior defenseman Nick D’Agostino led the way with seven points apiece.

But the most impressive Penguins prospect during the month was Notre Dame junior Bryan Rust. The Novi, MI native posted five points (two goals, three assists) in the Fighting Irish’s four games in December. Rust’s renewed confidence and vastly improved skating have been keys to not only his success this season, but also to his team’s success. One notable area where Rust has made his mark so far is in scoring timely goals. All five of his goals to date have been on the power-play and/or were game-winners. His most memorable game came back on Dec. 1 versus Lake Superior State. In that contest, Rust tallied a goal and two assists to lead the Fighting Irish to a convincing 6-1 win.

Oilers prospects have strong performances in December

Another NHL team who got a lot of mileage out of their collegiate prospects in December was the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers’ six NCAA prospects combined for 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) and averaged four points per game. And all but one of them posted at least one goal during the month.

Leading the way was Michigan Tech freshman Jujhar Khaira, who finished the month with seven points (two goals, five assists) in the Huskies’ eight games. Khaira has been one of Michigan Tech’s most consistent players so far and has begun showing how effectively he can use his powerful yet still developing 6’3” frame, especially around the net. This was particularly evident in his excellent play during the recent Great Lakes Invitational Tournament.

Another Oilers WCHA prospect that was outstanding in December was Denver sophomore defenseman Joey LaLeggia. After capturing the national Rookie of the Year honor last season, LaLeggia is making a strong push for the national scoring title among defensemen this season. He currently leads the nation in that category with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) playing in all of the Pioneers’ 19 games to date. In December, LaLeggia racked up four points (two goals, two assists) in Denver’s six games. While the Burnaby, BC native is noted for his superb offensive prowess, it has been his steadily improving defensive side that has been most notable. This has been evident in his stronger positional play and smarter decisions in the defensive zone.

NHL prospects key components to Quinnipiac’s first half success

The Quinnipiac Bobcats were the hottest team in the NCAA heading into the month of January. The Bobcats are currently riding a 12-game unbeaten streak (11-0-1) and are getting it done with a combination of excellent goaltending, a stingy defense and tremendously balanced scoring. While Quinnipiac only has three NHL prospects on its roster, all of them have been key contributors to the team’s success so far.

Red-shirted sophomore Jordan Samuels-Thomas (WPG) leads the trio with 10 points (five goals, five assists) playing in all of the Bobcats’ 19 games so far. His most memorable game in December came on Dec. 29 versus Nebraska-Omaha. In that contest, Samuels-Thomas netted a pair of goals, including the game winner, and added an assist to lead Quinnipiac to a 5-4 victory. One notable area in Samuels-Thomas’ development this season has been in the maturity of his play. While he continues to inject a great deal of grit into his game, Samuels-Thomas has been able to balance that with smarter and more disciplined play.

The team’s other two prospects, junior Kellen Jones (EDM) and sophomore Matthew Peca (TBL) comprise two-thirds of Quinnipiac’s exciting (and now healthy) top line that also includes junior Connor Jones. In December, the line combined to post 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the Bobcats’ five games.

Of the line’s 11 points during the month, four came from Kellen Jones. The Montrose, BC native posted a goal and three assists during that span. What has been most impressive about Jones so far this season has been in the way he has been able to simplify his game. While his dazzling skills are still quite evident, he has tempered it a bit and that has made him a more effective and productive contributor. This has been particularly noticeable in his improving defensive game and patience with the puck.

Jones’ linemate Peca also tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in December. Overall, the Petawawa, ON native has posted eight points (five goals, three assists) in 16 games for the Bobcats so far. Despite missing three games, Peca hasn’t missed a beat. And where he has been particularly dangerous for Quinnipiac this season has been on the penalty kill. His two shorthanded tallies currently co-lead all collegiate NHL prospects in that category. The strong defensive side that he showed glimpses of last season has become more evident this season, which has been further enhanced by his added strength. And as good as Peca’s defensive side has become, it hasn’t come at the expense of his superb offense-generating ability.

Who’s hot

No NHL collegiate prospect was hotter in December than North Dakota senior Corban Knight (FLA). The High River, AB native tallied an impressive 11 points (six goals, five assists) in North Dakota’s five games during the month. His most memorable game came on Dec. 14 versus Michigan Tech. In that contest, he posted four points (two goals, two assists) including the game-winner to lead North Dakota to a 6-1 victory. Although Knight is known more for his outstanding playmaking ability, this season he has emerged as a bonafide goal scorer and currently co-leads the team with eight goals. His 23 overall points currently ranks tied for seventh nationally, while his 1.35 points per game ranks tied for ninth.

Few collegians have been as consistent this season as Minnesota junior Erik Haula (MIN) and he has continued that trend in December. The Pori, Finland native amassed 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the Golden Gophers’ five games during the month. But it all came (temporarily) crashing down after Haula suffered an injury in the Mariucci Classic Tournament versus Boston College on Dec. 30. Overall to date, Haula has posted 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 19 games. His 26 points currently leads Minnesota as well as all NHL prospects in the NCAA.

Another Golden Gopher that finished December with a strong performance was junior Nick Bjugstad (FLA). The Blaine, MN native finished the month with eight points (three goals, five assists) and was a dominant force for Minnesota in the Mariucci Classic tournament. Bjugstad has played in all 19 games for the Golden Gophers so far, posting 19 points (10 goals, nine assists). His 10 goals currently lead Minnesota and his four power-play goals are tied for the team lead.

After a somewhat quiet first two months, Notre Dame junior T.J. Tynan (CBJ) busted out with a nine-point (three goals, six assists) performance in December. His most memorable game came on Dec. 7 versus Michigan State. In that contest, he netted the game-winning power-play goal and chipped in an assist to lead Notre Dame to a 3-2 victory. Overall, Tynan has posted 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) playing in all 18 of the Fighting Irish’s games to date. He also co-leads Notre Dame with three game-winning goals.

One of the most impressive rookie defensemen to emerge from the NCAA this season has been Minnesota-Duluth freshman Andy Welinski (ANA). The Duluth, MN native was outstanding in the month of December, despite being held pointless in the recent Florida College Classic tournament. He finished the month with five points (one goal, four assists) in the Bulldogs’ seven games. His most memorable game came on Dec. 1 versus Michigan Tech. In that contest, Welinski chipped in three assists in the team’s 4-4 tie with the Huskies. In 20 games overall for Minnesota-Duluth, he has amassed 11 points (two goals, nine assists). Welinski’s excellent puck-moving skills have made him a key cog on the Bulldogs’ power-play, where both of his goals have been scored.

Who’s not

After a strong October to open the season, Michigan sophomore Alex Guptill (DAL) has struggled mightily to carry that momentum into the following two months. He spent some time in head coach Red Berenson’s doghouse earlier this month before returning to the Wolverines lineup in mid-December. And while Guptill has stepped up his play since then, he’s had nothing to show for it for the remainder of the month. He posted his last point (an assist) back on Nov. 21 versus Bowling Green. Guptill finished the first half with 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 17 games.

To say that it’s been a difficult first half of the season for Harvard senior defenseman Danny Biega (CAR) is probably an understatement. And with the Crimson having recently lost four players, it has been even more challenging. Biega has yet to post his first goal of the season and has just three points in Harvard’s 10 games to date. His most recent point came back on Nov. 16 versus Cornell. But Biega’s offensive struggles aren’t for a lack of trying and he has been a calming influence for a now-severely depleted Crimson team.

After leading his team in scoring last season, Ohio State junior Chris Crane (SJS) has found points really hard to come by so far this season. He has played in 19 games to date, posting five points (three goals, two assists). His last point, an empty-net goal, came back on Nov. 23 versus Lake Superior State. Although he has moved down Ohio State’s depth chart, Crane continues to be an outstanding contributor in other ways, most notably as a strong, physical presence that can open up space for his teammates.

That took awhile

For some players, points come readily and easily, while for others they don’t. The latter was the case for a number of prospects who finally managed to get on the score sheet in December either for the first time or in a very long time.

It took Michigan sophomore defenseman Brennan Serville (WPG) 50 games to net his first collegiate goal. And he made it count. The goal, which held up as the game-winner, was scored on Dec. 15 in the Wolverines’ 2-0 win over Western Michigan.

After posting five total goals in his freshman season two years ago, North Dakota junior Derek Rodwell (NJD) has found goals hard to come by since then. But in December, he finally got his first tally of the season. The goal came on Dec. 14 versus Michigan Tech. His previous goal (and the only goal of his sophomore campaign) came back on Nov. 26, 2011 versus Colorado College.

UMass-Lowell freshman goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) posted his first collegiate shutout on Dec. 8 versus Northeastern. He followed that up with another shutout two days later versus Harvard. In the two games, Hellebuyck stopped all 55 shots that he faced.

Michigan Tech freshman goaltender Jamie Phillips (WPG) made his first collegiate start on Dec. 4 versus Northern Michigan, stopping 23 of the Wildcats’ 25 shots in the loss.

It took nearly half the season for Nebraska-Omaha freshman winger Tanner Lane (WPG) and Boston College freshman defenseman Colin Sullivan (MTL) to tally their first collegiate points. Both were assists. Lane, who has seen primarily third- and fourth-line duty with the Mavericks so far, posted his first point on Dec. 29 versus Quinnipiac. Sullivan, who has played in all of the Eagles’ 16 games to date, posted his first point on Dec. 30 versus Alabama-Huntsville in the Mariucci Classic.

Goings and comings

While December marks the midway point of the season, it unfortunately also marks the time for some player departures as well.

The lone NHL prospect to leave the collegiate ranks for the Canadian Major Juniors was Boston University sophomore Yassin Cisse (WPG), who has since moved on to join the Blaineville-Boisbriand Armada. This marks the second consecutive year that the Terriers have lost a player to the QMJHL after Charlie Coyle (MIN) left the team to join the Saint John Sea Dogs last season.

Harvard has dropped four players from their roster that, according to the school’s newspaper The Crimson, stemmed from an academic scandal. It is not clear if the players can or will return to the team next season. Three of the four players dropped, all sophomores, were NHL prospects – goaltender Stephen Michalek (MIN) and defensemen Patrick McNally (VAN) and Max Everson (TOR). Michalek and Everson have since joined the USHL’s Cedar Rapids Roughriders. As of the end of December, McNally has not joined another team. Not surprisingly, the losses have had its greatest impact on the Crimson’s defense. Harvard is down to just six rearguards on its current roster. And unless the team can bring in new defenders before season’s end, the remaining defensemen will see a lot of ice time, hoping to also avoid the injury bug the rest of the way.

In addition to the departure of the four aforementioned prospects, a trio of 2013 draft-eligible players in Northeastern freshman forward Cam Darcy, Denver freshman defenseman Dakota Mermis and Brown sophomore defenseman Taki Pantziris have also left their respective collegiate programs. Darcy, a promising young center that played in nine games for the Huskies, has moved on to the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks.

Mermis and Pantziris have both moved on to the OHL, joining the London Knights and the Sarnia Sting, respectively. Mermis’ departure comes as a bit of a surprise considering that he saw regular time on Denver’s blueline. Prior to his departure, Mermis played in all of the Pioneers’ 19 games to date, finishing with four points (one goal, three assists).

While Mermis saw regular time with his team, Pantziris did not. The Toronto, ON native struggled to earn a top-six spot in the defensive rotation in his year-and-a-half with the Bears. He appeared in just four games as a freshman last season and seven of the team’s 14 games so far this season. The two points (a goal and an assist) that he has amassed with Brown came this season.

While four NHL prospects have left their respective collegiate teams, four others are coming in as either transfers or as recent new commitments.

Defensive prospects Ben Gallacher (FLA) and Patrick Koudys (WSH) will return to the collegiate ranks next season as transfers.

Gallacher, who left Ohio State at the end of last season, will join the UMass Minutemen this fall. There had been some speculation that Gallacher would be moving on to join his father and the Portland Winterhawks (WHL). But the Calgary, AB native instead opted to retain his collegiate eligibility and is playing with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers this season.

Like Gallacher, Koudys also left at the end of last season. Prior to his departure, Koudys spent two seasons with RPI. After a successful freshman campaign in 2010-11, the Hamilton, ON native struggled to find that same magic as a sophomore which, in part, led to diminished ice time. Koudys, who is currently playing with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, will suit up for Penn State this fall.

At the time of the 2012 NHL Draft, all collegiate selections (incoming or otherwise) were either already playing NCAA hockey or had previously made commitments – except for two of them. Now, those two players have made their college commitments.

The last and most recent was Matt Benning (BOS). The rearguard from Edmonton, AB is currently playing in the USHL with the Dubuque Fighting Saints and has committed to Northeastern. He is expected to arrive on Huntington Avenue this fall.

The other commitment was center Alex Kerfoot (NJD), who actually committed to Harvard in early November. The West Vancouver, BC native will suit up for the Crimson this fall. Kerfoot is currently in his third season with the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express.

On the shelf

Vermont junior Connor Brickley (FLA) continues to be sidelined with the arm injury he suffered in November. This is the second consecutive season that Brickley has missed extensive time due to injury. He has played in just seven games with the Catamounts so far this season.

Colorado College sophomore defenseman Aaron Harstad (WPG) suffered an upper body injury versus Minnesota back on Dec. 7 and has been out of the lineup ever since. Harstad could potentially return to action when the Tigers open the second half of their season on Jan. 4 at Nebraska-Omaha.

Providence College freshman Mark Jankowski (CGY) suffered a hip injury earlier in the month and has been out of the lineup since. Jankowski could potentially return to action when the Friars open the second half of their season on Jan. 4 at Minnesota State-Mankato.

Ohio State freshman defenseman Sam Jardine (CHI) could potentially be lost for the season due to the severely lacerated wrist that he suffered last month. The Lacombe, AB native was off to a good start with the Buckeyes prior to the injury, playing in eight games and posting an assist.