Haven’t done one of these in a while with the end-of-season push, but there’s a bit to catch up on.
- It’s been a pretty busy week in the ECHL with the end of the season. Lots of end-of-season awards to hand out. Toledo’s Derek Lalonde – a familiar face to Indy fans from his days in the USHL – was named the Coach of the Year. The Walleye’s Tyler Barnes is Rookie of the Year. Allen’s Chad Costello won the scoring title and the Sportsmanship Award. Toledo won the Brabham Cup.
- The league also announced its All-Rookie Team as well as its first and second all-star teams.
- Brampton’s Cal Wild won the league’s Community Service Award. Mike Duco was the Fuel’s nominee.
- While the Fuel’s incredible late-season push fell just short, 16 teams are beginning the playoffs. Here’s a preview from the ECHL. Toledo goes in as the Brabham Cup (regular season) champion. Defending ECHL champion Alaska will not have the opportunity to defend its title, but one reigning champion is looking to go back-to-back, as Allen won the title in the now-defunct Central Hockey League last season.
- Two former Ice players are national champions, helping lead Providence to the NCAA championship and its 4-3 win over Boston University in the title game. Jon Gillies, a 2010-12 Ice player and Providence junior, stopped 49 shots in the title game, while Brian Pinho – last year’s Clark Cup Game 5 playoff hero – won championships in back-to-back years. Gillies was named a Second Team All-American, the second straight year he’s received that honor.
- The Frozen Four saw former Ice players on all four teams – Robbie Baillargeon of Boston University, Austin Ortega of Nebraska-Omaha and Nick Mattson of North Dakota.
- Torey Krug, who helped lead the Ice to the 2008-09 Clark Cup title, will represent the United States in the World Championships this May in the Czech Republic.
- Another member of the 2009 title team, Stanislav Galiev, made his NHL debut last week for the Washington Capitals against Krug’s Boston Bruins. Galiev becomes the third former Ice player to suit up for the Caps, joining John Carlson and Cameron Schilling.
- Former Ice coach Jeff Brown is leading the Ottawa 67s this season, and wrote a letter to fans after the year ended.
- Zach Trotman, who hails from Carmel, stepped into the Bruins’ top-6 after Dougie Hamilton’s injury and he impressed, getting a lot of top-pairing minutes alongside Zdeno Chara.
- Really interesting piece here from the college hockey regionals – a breakdown of how all of the goals are scored. Moral of the story – when you get the puck on your stick in the defensive zone, clear it or there’s a decent chance you’ll be fishing it out of the net.
- Sad news in hockey – Ottawa Senators assistant coach Mark Reeds succumbed to his battle with cancer earlier this week.