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U.S. Players Highlight NCAA Men's Frozen Four Rosters

By USAHockey.com, 04/07/15, 2:30PM MDT

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84 of 107 players developed their game within the United States

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four will have a distinct American presence again with 84 of the 107 players on the rosters of Boston University, Providence College, the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the University of North Dakota having developed their game within the United States.

Fifty-nine players competing in the tournament have roots in the United States Hockey League, including all four of the likely starting goaltenders in the event. The USHL is the only Tier I junior league in the United States and includes the two teams that make up USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. 

The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four begins Thursday (April 9) at TD Garden in Boston, with Providence taking on Nebraska-Omaha followed by Boston University facing North Dakota. Thursday's semifinals will air live on ESPN2, while Saturday's title game will be televised live on ESPN.

Among the Frozen Four participants, 11 have skated for a U.S. National Team – including the U.S. National Junior Team and the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team – and have combined to win 11 medals in International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship play.

There are 10 players with connections to USA Hockey’s Tier II North American Hockey League. Additionally, 13 players have a background in USA Hockey’s Tier III leagues, including the Eastern Junior Hockey League, Eastern Hockey League, and United States Premier Hockey League.

Collectively, 21 states and the District of Columbia will be represented by players in the Frozen Four, including Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin.

Twenty-seven American players competing in the Frozen Four have been drafted by National Hockey League teams.

NOTES: Tucker Poolman (North Dakota) received USA Hockey’s Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year award in 2013 … Brian O’Rourke (Nebraska-Omaha) helped Green Bay win the 2010 USHL Clark Cup, significant of the league’s playoff championship. North Dakota teammates Trevor Olson, Jordan Schmaltz, and Nick Schmaltz helped Green Bay win the 2012 Clark Cup. Brian Pinho (Providence) helped Indiana win the 2014 Clark Cup. Kyle McKenzie (Providence) helped Dubuque win the Clark Cup twice (2011, 2013). Providence teammates Tom Parisi and Conor MacPhee helped New Hampshire win the 2012 NAHL Gary Dineen Cup, significant of the league’s playoff championship.  … All three of the 2015 Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists are American-born players with developmental roots in the U.S., including Jack Eichel (Boston University/USHL), Zane McIntyre (North Dakota/USHL), and Jimmy Vesey (Harvard/EJHL) … Dean Blais, head coach of Nebraska-Omaha, has served in a variety of coaching roles for USA Hockey, including head coach of the gold medal-winning 2010 U.S. National Junior Team. A five-time member of the U.S. National Junior Team coaching staff (head coach: 1993, 2010, 2012; assistant coach: 1988, 1989), he was also an assistant coach on the 2000 U.S. Men’s National Team. Additionally, he served as head coach of the USHL’s Fargo Force from 2007-09 … Dave Hakstol, head coach of North Dakota, served as head coach of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers from 1996-2000 … Nate Leaman, head coach of Providence, served as an assistant coach on the 2007 and 2009 U.S. Junior National Teams. In 2007, he helped lead the team to a bronze medal … David Quinn, head coach of Boston University, worked in that same role for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program from 2002-04. He also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team at four IIHF World Championships – two with the men’s team (2007, 2012) and two with the women’s squad (1999, 2000). Quinn helped the women earn the silver medal at both tournaments. He also skated for the 1986 U.S. National Junior Team that captured bronze at the 1986 IIHF World Junior Championship … Steve Greeley, associate head coach at Boston University, served as Eastern Regional Scout for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program from 2009-12 … Mike Geragosian, assistant coach at Boston University, also serves as the director of development for goaltenders for USA Hockey in Massachusetts … Troy Jutting, assistant coach at Nebraska-Omaha, served as head coach for the U.S. Under-18 Team that claimed its first-ever championship at the 2003 Under-18 World Cup … Scott Young, director of hockey operations at Boston University, skated on three U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Teams, including the 2002 squad that earned a silver medal. A member of the U.S. team that claimed gold at the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996, he also represented Team USA in two World Championships (1987, 1994) and three World Junior Championships (1986, 1986, 1987).

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USA Hockey's NTDP Alumni (9)

Name School Year(s)
Gage Ausmus North Dakota 2011-13
Jack Eichel Boston Univ. 2012-14
Brandon Fortunato Boston Univ. 2012-14
Matt Grzelcyk Boston Univ. 2010-12
Matt Lane Boston Univ. 2010-12
John MacLeod Boston Univ. 2012-14
Nick Mattson North Dakota 2007-09
Nikolas Olsson Boston Univ. 2010-12
Keaton Thompson North Dakota 2011-13

U.S. National Junior Team Alumni (5)

Name School Year
Jack Eichel Boston Univ. 2015
2014
Jon Gillies Providence 2014
2013-gold
Matt Grzelcyk Boston Univ. 2014
Danny O'Regan Boston Univ. 2014
Nick Schmaltz North Dakota 2015

U.S. Men's National U18 Team Alumni (9)

Name School Year(s)
Gage Ausmus North Dakota 2013-silver
Jack Eichel Boston Univ. 2014-gold
2013-silver
Brandon Fortunato Boston Univ. 2014-gold
Matt Grzelcyk Boston Univ. 2012-gold
Matt Lane Boston Univ. 2012-gold
John MacLeod Boston Univ. 2014-gold
Nick Mattson North Dakota 2009-gold
Danny O'Regan Boston Univ. 2012-gold
Keaton Thompson North Dakota 2013-silver

CCM/USAH All-American Prospects Game Alumni (6)

Name School Year
Gage Ausmus North Dakota 2012
Jack Eichel Boston Univ. 2014
Luke Johnson North Dakota 2012
Matt Lane Boston Univ. 2012
Nick Schmaltz North Dakota 2013
Keaton Thompson North Dakota 2012

U.S. Junior Select Team Alumni (12)

Name School Year(s)
Robbie Baillargeon Boston Univ. 2012-1st Place
Ian Brady Nebraska-Omaha 2012-1st Place
Brian Cooper Nebraska-Omaha 2011-3rd Place
2010-1st Place
Cason Hohmann Boston Univ. 2010-1st Place
Luke Johnson North Dakota 2012-1st Place
Nick Mattson North Dakota 2010-1st Place
2009-1st Place
Zane McIntyre North Dakota 2011-3rd Place
2010-1st Place
Michael Parks North Dakota 2010-1st Place
2009-1st Place
Austin Poganski North Dakota 2013-1st Place
Jordan Schmaltz North Dakota 2011-3rd Place
2010-1st Place
Nick Schmaltz North Dakota 2013-1st Place
Colten St. Clair North Dakota 2010-1st Place
2009-1st Place

U.S. U18 Select Team Alumni (12)

Name School Year
Ian Brady Nebraska-Omaha 2011
Brian Cooper Nebraska-Omaha 2010-2nd Place
Jon Gillies Providence 2011
Cason Hohmann Boston Univ. 2010-2nd Place
Luke Johnson North Dakota 2011
Zane McIntyre North Dakota 2009
Danny O'Regan Boston Univ. 2011
Michael Parks North Dakota 2009
Chase Phelps Boston Univ. 2013-2nd Place
Austin Poganski North Dakota 2013-2nd Place
Nick Schmaltz North Dakota 2013-2nd Place
Colten St. Clair North Dakota 2009

U.S. U17 Select Team Alumni (6)

Name School Year
Brian Cooper Nebraska-Omaha 2009-3rd Place
Brandon Fortunato Boston Univ. 2012-1st Place
Cason Hohmann Boston Univ. 2009-3rd Place
Michael Parks North Dakota 2008-2nd Place
Austin Poganski North Dakota 2012-1st Place
Jordan Schmaltz North Dakota 2009-3rd Place

NAHL Alumni (10)

Name School Team(s)
Brooks Behling Providence Amarillo
Jono Davis Nebraska-Omaha Wenatchee
Connor Gaarder North Dakota Coulee Region
North Iowa
Paul LaDue North Dakota Alexandria
Ryan Massa Nebraska-Omaha Bismarck
Ross Mauermann Providence Janesville
Justin Parizek Nebraska-Omaha Aberdeen
Tucker Poolman North Dakota Wichita Falls
Johnny Simonson North Dakota Austin
Matt Youso Nebraska-Omaha Alexandria
Brookings
Owatonna

USA Hockey Junior Tier III League Alumni (13)

Name School Team (League)
Mark Adams Providence Boston (EJHL)
J.D. Carrabino Boston Univ. Springfield (EJHL)
Kevin Duane Boston Univ. Boston (EJHL)
Brendan Leahy Providence Boston (EJHL)
Valley (EJHL)
P.A.L. (USPHL)
Conor MacPhee Providence Middlesex (EJHL)
New Hampshire (EJHL)
Mike Moran Boston Univ. Bay State (EJHL)
Kyle Mountain Nebraska-Omaha New Hampshire (EJHL)
Tom Parisi Providence New Hampshire (EJHL)
Niko Rufo Providence Boston (EJHL)
T.J. Ryan Boston Univ. South Shore (EJHL)
Logan Day Providence South Shore (USPHL)
Brien Diffley Boston Univ. Boston (USPHL)
Grant Gallo Nebraska-Omaha Northern (EHL)

USHL Alumni

Name School USHL Team(s)
Mark Adams Providence Chicago
Robbie Baillargeon Boston Univ. Omaha
Indiana
Ian Brady Nebraska-Omaha Cedar Rapids
Drake Caggiula North Dakota Des Moines
Bryn Chyzyk North Dakota Fargo
Brian Cooper Nebraska-Omaha Fargo
Jono Davis Nebraska-Omaha Dubuque
Cedar Rapids
Stefan Demopoulos Providence Omaha
Kevin Duane Boston Univ. Waterloo
Nick Ellis Providence Des Moines
Jon Gillies Providence Indiana
John Gilmour Providence Cedar Rapids
A.J. Greer Boston Univ. Des Moines
Jake Guentzel Nebraska-Omaha Sioux City
Cason Hohmann Boston Univ. Cedar Rapids
Cam Johnson North Dakota Waterloo
Fargo
Luke Johnson North Dakota Lincoln
Paul LaDue North Dakota Lincoln
Tanner Lane Nebraska-Omaha Omaha
Fargo
Ryan Massa Nebraska-Omaha Fargo
Nick Mattson North Dakota Indiana
Zane McIntyre North Dakota Fargo
Kyle McKenzie Providence Dubuque
Jake Montgomery Nebraska-Omaha Sioux City
Trevor Mingoia Providence Tri-City
Matt O'Connor Boston Univ. Youngstown
Danny O'Regan Boston Univ. U.S. Under-18 Team
Brian O'Rourke Nebraska-Omaha Green Bay
Trevor Olson North Dakota Sioux City
Green Bay
Nikolas Olsson Boston Univ. Sioux City
Austin Ortega Nebraska-Omaha Fargo
Indiana
Cedar Rapids
Andrew Panzarella North Dakota Waterloo
Tri-City
Des Moines
Tom Parisi Providence U.S. Under-18 Team
Michael Parks North Dakota Cedar Rapids
Aaron Pearce Nebraska-Omaha Waterloo
Avery Peterson Nebraska-Omaha Sioux City
J.J. Piccinich Boston Univ. Youngstown
Brian Pinho Providence Indiana
Austin Poganski North Dakota Tri-City
Tucker Poolman North Dakota Omaha
Jake Randolph Nebraska-Omaha Omaha
Truman Reed Providence Youngstown
Nick Saracino Providence Cedar Rapids
Jordan Schmaltz North Dakota Green Bay
Sioux City
Nick Schmaltz North Dakota Green Bay
Johnny Simonson North Dakota Lincoln
Luc Snuggerud Nebraska-Omaha Omaha
Muskegon
Doyle Somerby Boston Univ. Muskegon
Colten St. Clair North Dakota Fargo
Keaton Thompson North Dakota Fargo
Tyler Vesel Nebraska-Omaha Omaha
Matt Youso Nebraska-Omaha Dubuque
Dominic Zombo Nebraska-Omaha Sioux Falls

NHL Entry Draft Selections (27)

Name School Draft Year NHL Team Round Pick
Mark Adams Providence 2009 BUF 5 134
Gage Ausmus North Dakota 2013 SJ 5 151
Robbie Baillargeon Boston Univ. 2012 OTT 5 136
Brian Cooper Nebraska-Omaha 2012 ANA 5 127
Anthony Florentino Providence 2013 BUF 5 143
Jon Gillies Providence 2012 CGY 3 75
Matt Grzelcyk Boston Univ. 2012 BOS 3 85
Jake Guentzel Nebraska-Omaha 2013 PIT 3 77
Luke Johnson North Dakota 2013 CHI 5 134
Paul LaDue North Dakota 2012 LA 6 191
Tanner Lane Nebraska-Omaha 2010 ATL/WPG 6 160
John MacLeod Boston Univ. 2014 TB 2 57
Nick Mattson North Dakota 2010 CHI 6 180
Zane McIntyre North Dakota 2010 BOS 6 165
Danny O'Regan Boston Univ. 2012 SJ 5 138
Michael Parks North Dakota 2010 PHI 5 149
Avery Peterson Nebraska-Omaha 2013 MIN 6 167
J.J. Piccinich Boston Univ. 2014 TOR 4 103
Brian Pinho Providence 2013 WSH 6 174
Austin Poganski North Dakota 2014 STL 4 110
Tucker Poolman North Dakota 2013 WPG 5 127
Jordan Schmaltz North Dakota 2012 STL 1 25
Nick Schmaltz North Dakota 2014 CHI 1 20
Luc Snuggerud Nebraska-Omaha 2014 CHI 5 141
Doyle Somerby Boston Univ. 2012 NYI 5 125
Keaton Thompson North Dakota 2013 ANA 3 87
Tyler Vesel Nebraska-Omaha 2014 EDM 6 153

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Adult hockey not only promotes a healthy and active lifestyle, it requires it. As adults get older, they increasingly need to emphasize regular exercise and a nutritious diet. There’s no easy way to go about it—but there is a fun, challenging and rewarding option that sticks with you for life:

Hockey.

That’s right. Hockey is part of the perfect prescription for an adults’ health regiment. Just ask Olympian and former NHL player Steve Jensen.

“Physical fitness is something we should all be thinking about as we get older,” says Jensen, a longtime certified USA Hockey coach/official. “There’s no better activity than hockey to stay in shape.”

Dr. Michael Stuart, chief medical officer for USA Hockey, says the positives of playing hockey are contagious.

“Participation in ice hockey provides all the benefits of exercise while building friendships and ensuring a fun time,” says Stuart, who is also the vice-chair of Orthopedic Surgery and the co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Stuart and colleague Dr. Edward Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center sketch out specific benefits for hockey players:

  • Prevents excess weight gain and/or maintain weight loss.
  • Boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides, a cominbination that lowers your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.
  • Improves muscle strength and boosts your endurance.
  • Relieves stress by helping you have fun and unwind, connect with friends and family, and be part of a team.
  • Involves physical activity that can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep.

“Playing adult hockey is a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun,” says Stuart, who also emphasizes maintaining a balanced diet. As for safety concerns, he adds: “The risk of injury is small in no-check, adult hockey games, but players should wear high-quality, well-fitting equipment, including a helmet and facial protection.”

The Minnesota-based Adult Hockey Association is starting to see employers embrace hockey as a health and performance benefit for its workforce. Some businesses are beginning to subsidize hockey registration fees for employees because they feel the activity fits the policy of their wellness programs.

“It’s not a lot, but we’re starting to see more and more trickle in,” says Dave Swenson, the AHA’s secretary treasurer who also serves on USA Hockey’s Adult Council and Minnesota Hockey’s Board of Directors.

Swenson wants this trend to continue growing, not just to see the number of players rise, but to reward players for committing to a healthy lifestyle.

“I’m hoping employers think about that a little more,” Swenson adds. “It’s not just softball leagues anymore. There are recreational hockey opportunities out there for adults.”

Hilary McNeish, a longtime player, ambassador, and current executive director of the Women’s Association of Colorado Hockey, says she sees the positive results in women’s hockey every day.

“There are so many benefits,” says McNeish, “but the quote I hear most from ladies is: ‘It’s like working out a lot, but it’s so fun, it doesn’t feel like working out!’”

Aside from the physical health gains, there’s also a mental side to the story that’s special to hockey players.

“There are so many positive experiences that come with it,” adds McNeish. “Being able to play a sport that so many deem difficult is also great for the mind and wonderful for your personal attitude.

“It’s great to see the looks from people when you can say, ‘I play hockey’”