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A Good Day for College Hockey at NHL Draft

When the National Hockey League's Entry Draft was held on June 26, the name's of 59 college hockey players (including incoming freshmen) were announced from the stage of Boston's FleetCenter. Five different NCAA hockey conferences had players chosen, with Hockey East leading the way with 19 selections.

The ECAC had 14 players chosen, followed by the WCHA with 13, the CCHA with 12, and the new College Hockey America conference with one (Brian Gornick of Air Force).

The first collegian chosen in the draft was Michigan defenseman Jeff Jillson who was chosen at #14 by the San Jose Sharks. San Jose, with former UNH defenseman Tim Burke speaking for the club, would lead all NHL clubs with five collegians chosen.

Also taken in the first round were Wisconsin defenseman David Tanabe (#16 by Carolina) and Maine forward Barrett Heisten (#20 by Buffalo). Twelve college players went in the first two rounds, compared to 20 Europeans, and 34 Canadian junior players.

After San Jose, the most interest in college players was shown by Calgary, Carolina, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, all of whom chose four college players.

While attention in recent years has been focused on collegians in the NHL or collegians take in the draft, what has gone relatively unpublicized has been the growth of college hockey alumni in management positions. When the first six NHL teams went to the podium (covering the first ten selections) during Saturday's first round, the following people either spoke at the podium or played a key decision-making role at that team's table: #1 pick, Atlanta, GM Don Waddell (Northern Michigan alum); #2 and #3 picks, Vancouver, GM Brian Burke (Providence alum); #4 and #9 picks, N.Y. Rangers, GM Neil Smith (Western Michigan); #5, #8 and #10 picks, N.Y. Islanders, GM Mike Milbury (Colgate alum); #6 pick, Nashville, GM Dave Poile (Northeastern alum); and #7 pick, Washington, GM George McPhee (Bowling Green alum).

Special praise must go to Sherry Skalko of the CCHA who put out a terrific Draft-day guide to collegians eligible for the draft. It was paid for by the AHCA.

NCAA Rules Committee Points of Emphasis for 1999-2000

The NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee has declared war on the interference that has plagued the college game in recent years. Reducing its "Points of Emphasis" to just four items for the coming season, the committee put the control of interference at the top of the list. The Points of Emphasis for the 1999-2000 hockey season, as issued by the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee, are:

  1. Interference Rule 6-25: A strict standard of interference must be adhered to in all areas of the rink. Players who impede or seek to impede the progress of opponents by hooking with the stick or holding the stick or any piece of equipment or clothing with the hand or arm must be penalized.
  2. Contact with the Goaltender: It is the responsibility of the attacking player to avoid contact with the goaltender in the privileged area, particularly in the crease.
  3. Cross Checking/Slashing Rules 6-8 and 6-42: Officials and coaches must continue to emphasize these violations with zero tolerance, stick fouls (e.g., high-sticking, cross-checking, and slashing) have become pervasive and must be eliminated from the game.
  4. Hitting From Behind Rule 6-20: Officials must continue to penalize this violation with zero tolerance. The Rules Committee is steadfast in its effort to eliminate hitting from behind from the game.

Among other action taken by the committee:

  • A 10-minute penalty for "diving" was added to the Rule Book.
  • After a high stick on the puck, the ensuing face-off will be in the offending team's defensive zone (as used to be done).
  • Eliminated the "puck travelling through the goal crease" waiver on icings.
  • Granted the CCHA permission to experiment with an NHL -style 4-man crew
  • Allowed a shootout option to advance teams at in-season tournaments only. To exercise this option, a 5-minute overtime would be played first. It the game remains tied, each team is credited with a tie for NCAA purposes. Shootout would only decide advancement (or trophy) in the tournament. No "W" or "L" would be awarded via the shootout.

In addition to committee chair Mike Sertich, Head Hockey Coach at the Universityot Minnesota-Duluth, other voting members of the committee are Joe Bertagna, Commissioner, Hockey East Association; Zatir Bludevich, Assistant Director of Athletics, St. Michael's College; Steve Cady, Assistant Director of Athletics, Miami University; Tim Coghlin, Head Hockey Coach, St. Norbert College; Glenn Thomaris, Head Hockey Coach, Elmira College; and Don Vaughn, Head Hockey Coach, Colgate University

New Conferences Set To Debut in 1999-2000

Two new Division I conferences are set to open up in the fall of 1999, one for men and one for women. The sixth NCAA men's Division I hockey conference will be known as College Hockey America (CHA). The seven charter members are Air Force, Alabama-Huntsville, Army, Bemidji State, Findlay, Niagara and Wayne State. Six of the seven institutions will open league play in 1999-2000, with Wayne State formally beginning conference play in 2000-2001.

"Hockey at all levels is experiencing unprecedented growth and popularity," said Bob Peters, the second winningest coach in college hockey History (728 wins) and Director of Athletics and Head Hockey Coach at Bemidji State. "The advent of College Hockey America is a monumental and historic event evidencing the growth at the collegiate level. To quote the late Bob Johnson, 'It's a great day for hockey!"

College Hockey America, which will host its first post-season tournament at Alabama-Huntsville on March 10-11, 2000, will make application to the NCAA for Division I status and subsequently will apply for an automatic bid for the 2002 NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Championships.

The other new conference opening shop next year will be the Women's WCHA, the nation's second Division I conference for women. Members include Bemidji State University, Minnesota State-Mankato, the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Ohio State University, St. Cloud University, and the University of Wisconsin. On June 29, Sara Martin was named WCHA Associate Commissioner with primary duties in the new league.

"This is indeed a significant development for the WCHA," said Darrel Smith, Chair of the Association and Faculty Representative from Michigan Tech University. "We are all looking forward to playing a major role in the continuing evolution and development of women's ice hockey at all levels and the opportunity to build on, and add to the great history and tradition of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association."

Plans call for a 24-game conference schedule and a post-season tournament. Special credit for the formation of both of these leagues must go to WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod, who has worked hard to put the conferences together.

Middlebury Women Dominate First Division III All American Teams

Four players from Middlebury College earned First Team status on the first ever Division Ill Women's Hockey All American Teams chosen by the American Women's Hockey Coaches Association (AWHCA). The ECAC champs placed two defensemen and two forwards on the six-player First Team. Augsburg College had three Second Team selections. In all, eight schools were represented among the 13 players honored.

1998-99 AWHCA Division III All Americans

First Team

Player School Class Position Hometown
Sue Bernard Bowdoin SR Goalie Goffstown, NH
Catherine Elkins Middlebury FR Defense Bernardsville, NJ
Catherine Pullins Middlebury JR Defense New Canaan, CT
Susie Belizzi Wesleyan SR Forward So. Egremont, MA
Michelle Labbe Middlebury SO Forward Pointe Claire, QUE
Sylvia Ryan Middlebury JR Forward Stellarton, NS

Second Team

Player School Class Position Hometown
Meg Schmidt Augsburg JR Goalie West St. Paul, MN
Bridget LaNoir RPI SR Defense Glen's Falls, NY
Emily Miller Augsburg JR Defense Blaine, MN
Cindy Acropolis RPI JR Forward Brick, NJ
Heather Murphy Colgate FR Forward St. Paul, MN
Angie Rieger Augsburg SO Forward Courtland, MN
Cara Shortsleeve Williams JR Forward Belmont, MA

CCHA Gets Go-Ahead For Four-Man System

The NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee has approved a request from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) to allow the conference limited use of a two-referee, two-linesmen system during the 1999-2000 season. The CCHA will employ this system in a maximum of 25 games, including some non-league contests (possibly in the Great Lakes Invitational Tournament.)

"We are looking forward to the opportunity to try this system that has already been established by the National Hockey League:" said CCHA Director of Officials Brian Hart. "Our coaching staff has always been receptive to new ideas in officiating as they pertain to the improvement of college hockey. We are proud to be the league that will conduct the experiment and share the information with the other conferences."

The system will use the same mechanics as seen in the NHL this past year. During the regular season, the NHL tried this four-man system in 62 pre-season and 270 regular season-games. The system was also used during the post-season.

"The CCHA will provide the NCAA an avenue to gather infor-mation on this experiment," said Frank Cole, NCAA Coordinator of Officials. "The reports that will be compiled, along with those from the NHL, will be helpful in determining what the advantages are in using the system. It would definitely extend the careers of our top officials and could also be helpful in the training of young officials."

Under the four-man system, both referees may make calls over the entire ice surface. One referee covers deep into the end zone while the "back" referee remains outside the zone, watching play away from the puck. The "deep" referee's focus is the play itself or the "action area." Linesmen will not call penalties as assistant referees do under the current three-man system.

First Female Coaches of Men's Hockey Teams Are Honored By Hockey Hall of Fame

The two female coaches of the University of Washington's men's ice hockey club program were recently honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Cindy Dayley and Zoe Harris were "entered" into the Hall for being the first women to coach a men's intercollegiate program.

"We were both shocked to hear the news:" said Dayley, who works for Washington Mutual as a loan underwriter. A Seattle native, she previously played Canadian women's AAA hockey.

The squad compiled a record of 11-6 in the women's first year as coaches, winning the final ten games of the season. Funding, not coaching, appears to be the biggest problem for these coaching pioneers. "The players are responsible for 95% of the costs," said Harris, a native of Barrington, RI, who previously helped out with the University of Maine's women's program in its club days.

Buttafuocco Named First President Of New Ice Hockey Collegiate Commissioners Group

Five individuals who share the title of commissioner have formed the Ice Hockey Collegiate Commissioners Association (IHCCA). The organization has been created to promote all aspects of NCAA Division I Hockey, including sportsmanship, in-season and post-season marketing, public relations and broadcasting opportunities. The Association will also work to develop and adopt NCAA policies beneficial to Division I Hockey.

ECAC Commissioner Phil Buttafuocco has been named the IHCCA's first president. CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos will serve as Vice-President and MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor will be treasurer. Other charter members are Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna and WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod. It is expected that a representative from the newly formed sixth Division I conference, College Hockey America, will be added to the group at the appropriate time.

College Alumni Shine In NHL Post-Season

Former college hockey standouts made plenty of post-season headlines as the National Hockey League season came to a close. Former Cornell University great, Joe Nieuwendyk, was presented the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup MVP for leading the Dal-las Stars to their first Cup. And while Nieuwendyk had six game-winning goals in the playoffs, his teammate, former North Dakota star Ed Belfour, compiled a stingy 1.67 goals against average in the playoffs.

When regular season hardware was handed out on June 24, the Calder Trophy for NHL Rookie of the Year went to former Bos-ton University standout-and 1998 Hobey Baker Award winner- Chris Drury. Drury and college teammate Tom Poti (now an Edmonton detenseman) were named to The Hockey News All-Rookie Team.

Minor league honors also came to former collegians. Mark Mowers, a 1998 New Hampshire graduate playing this year for the Milwaukee Admirals, was named U.S-Born Rookie of the Year in the IHL, while former Maine forward Peter Ferraro was chosen MVP of the AHL Playoffs for leading the Providence Bruins to the Calder Cup.

USA Hockey Tabs Doug Palazzari To Succeed Dave Ogrean At Top Spot

Doug Palazzari, Senior Director for USA Hockey's Youth & Education Programs for the past eight years, has been hired to replace Dave Ogrean as Executive Director of USA Hockey. Ogrean had resigned on April 26 to become Deputy Director of Marketing for the United States Olympic Committee. The 46-year old Palazzari brings a new look to the top spot in Colorado Springs, having been an outstanding player himself.

A two-time All-American, Palazzari graduated from Colorado College in 1974 and played on U.S. National teams in 1973 and 1974. He also played for Team USA in the inaugural Canada Cup (1976).

The Minnesota native spent eight years in the St. Louis Blues organization (1974-82) and also served his alma mater as an assistant coach from 1985-91.

In other USA Hockey news, Assistant Executive Director Brian Petrovek has been elevated to the newly created positions of Deputy Executive Director of USA Hockey, Inc. and Executive Director of the USA Hockey Foundation. Among Petrovek's duties with the USA Hockey Foundation will be to oversee the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award and the Dave Peterson Memorial Fund.


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