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

By, 04/07/16, 11:00AM MDT


89 of 109 players in Frozen Four have developed their game within the U.S.

The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four will have a distinct American presence again with 89 of the 109 players on the rosters of Boston College, Quinnipiac University, University of Denver and University of North Dakota having developed their game within the United States.

Sixty-four players competing in the tournament have roots in the United States Hockey League, including 17 alumni of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. The USHL is the only Tier I junior league in the United States and includes the two teams that make up USA Hockey's NTDP. 

The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four begins today (April 7) at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, Florida, with Boston College taking on Quinnipiac followed by Denver 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, 16 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 16medals in International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship play.

There are 21 players with connections to USA Hockey’s Tier II North American Hockey League. Additionally, 18 players have a background in USA Hockey’s Tier III leagues, including the Eastern Junior Hockey League and United States Premier Hockey League.

Collectively, 19 states will be represented by players in the Frozen Four, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Thirty-one players competing in the Frozen Four have been drafted by National Hockey League teams, including 28 Americans.

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COVID-19 and the 2020-21 Season

By Matt Leaf 04/02/2020, 11:30am MDT

Even with almost 50 years of involvement in hockey, you can’t plan for the current state of the world and the impact coronavirus has had on our game. I think it is safe to say that nothing prepares you for the changes that have taken place in our daily lives and the uncertainty of when things might return to normal. Or in this case, what will become the new “normal.”

Our expertise is hockey, so what we’ll address in this piece: the impact of the global pandemic on our game and how likely it will affect our game in the immediate future. 

USA Hockey continues to post information on COVID-19 on the main website. These updates keep our membership informed of specific programs and the changing safety recommendations that will be in place when hockey returns. Be sure to check back regularly for updates and other hockey information.

On the officiating front, much of what we are able to do from a program standpoint is connected to player events like national tournaments and player development camps. As you know, the national tournaments (along with the March, April and May IIHF World Championship events) were cancelled. The Officiating Program then canceled our two instructor training programs that were planned for late April and early May in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Colorado Springs, Colo. 

At this time, details for any potential summer development camps are still being determined. On the player side, several camps we are connected to were cancelled, and the few camps that are still in planning have been dramatically downsized. The Officiating Program continues to monitor the decisions made for players and will take advantage of any opportunity we have to salvage our summer camp program and maximize participation.

The good news is, we are confident we will have a 2020-21 season. All indications show no reason to delay registration. It will open as scheduled on or around May 26, followed by the open book exams and online seminar curriculum on June 1. 

SafeSport Training (required for anyone born in the year 2003 or earlier) and background screening (learn about the new national level screening program in the Q & A section) will also be available to complete at that time. If COVID-19 still has things slowed down in early June, it would be an ideal time to get these requirements completed.

The biggest unknown will be the timing in which we will be able to conduct seminars. The vast majority of rinks are currently closed, and many of them took this opportunity to remove ice to save operating costs and do maintenance. There is now doubt they will be prepared to quickly ramp up once they are allowed to do so, but as with most everything right now, the timing is uncertain. As a result, some of the earlier seminars may be pushed back a few weeks. The District Referees-in-Chief will secure ice times and facilities so we can provide seminar dates and locations as quickly as possible. We are also encouraging our instructors to think outside the box by providing some weeknight seminar options, and to look at other ways to best meet the needs of our members.

The Advanced Officiating Symposium, scheduled for Providence, R.I. in late July, is still going to plan. We will continue to monitor the situation, including local restrictions and travel advisories in the coming weeks, and we will announce any changes in advance to allow for alterations to travel arrangements. Click here for up-to-date information or to reserve your seat at the 2020 Advanced Officiating Symposium.

These are difficult times for everyone, and although our hockey family is important to us, it is a small fraction of the big picture that is impacting our daily lives. To quote Andy Dufresne in his letter for Red that he left under the big oak tree in The Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We hope the coronavirus is conquered with minimal loss of lives and a return to a prosperous normal as soon as possible. We hope your passion for the game of hockey will only grow as a result of its absence. We hope we are back on the ice in the coming months and that the 2020-21 season will be our best yet.

Thank you for your continued support of USA Hockey and don’t hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do to make your hockey experience a better one. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy and be prepared to be back on the ice soon.

Q&A: What Young Players Can Learn From Watching Games

By Tom Robinson 04/08/2020, 8:45am MDT

Director of youth hockey Kenny Rausch on what can be learned while watching

USA Hockey Announces National Background Screening Program

By USA Hockey 04/02/2020, 12:00pm MDT

In order to comply with new requirements from the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), USA Hockey will be implementing a national level background screening program. This program will replace all USAH Affiliate coordinated background screen programs.

Why must officials be screened?
Per USA Hockey and USOPC policy, all coaches, officials, board members, employees, volunteers, billets and anyone else who will have regular contact with, or authority over, minor athletes are required to submit a background screen before any contact with minor athletes.

Who is required to be screened?
Officials who are 18 years-old (or older) prior to June 1 of the current year.

Any official, 18 years-old (or older) without a completed valid background screen (national or USAH Affiliate coordinated) after April 1, 2019.

All national background screens are valid for two seasons, and starting on June 1, 2020 a national background screen must be completed and in good standing before receiving an officiating card and crest.

What are the timelines for launching the national background screen program?
Beginning on April 1, 2020, background screening will be conducted by our national background screen vendor, National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI), and information on background screening will be included following your registration.

As of March 22, 2020, applicants will no longer be able to submit new USA Hockey background screens through USAH Affiliate vendors, and will not be able to submit new screens through NCSI until April 1, 2020.

If you were screened after April 1, 2019 for the 2019-20 season, your screen is valid for the 2020-21 season, and you will not need to be screened under the new system until prior to the 2021-22 season. If your most recent screen is from prior to April 1, 2019, you will need to be screened under the new system, after April 1, 2020, in order to participate in the upcoming season.

All new screens submitted through the new NCSI national screening program after April 1, 2020 will be valid for two seasons.  For example, a screen submitted and approved on April 15, 2020 will be valid through the end of the 2021-22 season, which is August 31, 2022.

How can members complete their required background screen?
A link to submit for screening will be included in your membership registration confirmation email and posted in the drop-down menu under the OFFICIALS tab at

Background screens through NCSI under the national program will cost $30 for all domestic screens. For international screens (members who have lived outside of the U.S. for six consecutive months in any one county during the past 7 years) the flat rate fee is $150. If that country is solely Canada, the flat rate fee is $75.

Where can members go with questions about the national background screen program?
Please refer to the USA Hockey Background Screen webpage at

PLAYER NOTES: Tucker Poolman (North Dakota) received USA Hockey’s Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year award in 2013 … Nine players won the USHL Anderson Cup, significant of the league’s regular season champion, including Boston College's Chris Birdsall (Youngstown-2015) and Zach Sanford (Waterloo-2014); Denver's Grant Arnold (Green Bay-2010), Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids-2011), Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque-2013), Evan Janssen (Dubuque-2013), Trevor Olson (Green Bay-2012) and Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay-2012); and North Dakota's Hayden Shaw (Waterloo-2014) … Seven players helped their USHL teams win the Clark Cup, significant of the league’s playoff champion, including Denver's Grant Arnold (Green Bay-2010), Will Butcher (Dubuque-2011), Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque-2013), Evan Janssen (Dubuque-2013) and Logan O'Connor (Sioux Falls-2015); and North Dakota's Trevor Olson (2012-Green Bay) and Nick Schmaltz (2012-Green Bay). University of Denver head coach Jim Montgomery led Butcher to the 2011 Clark Cup, and Gambrell's and Janssen's 2013 Anderson and Clark Cup championships were under Montgomery ... Three players won the NAHL Robertson Cup, significant of the league’s playoff champion, including Denver's Gabe Levin (Fairbanks-2011); and Quinnipiac's Soren Jonzzon (St. Louis-2009) and Alex Miner-Barron (Bismarck-2010) ... Tim Clifton (Quinnipiac) helped the Jersey Hitmen claim the 2013 EJHL Dineen Cup, significant of the league’s playoff champion … Quinnipiac teammates Sean Lawrence and Kevin McKernan helped the Boston Jr. Bruins earn the 2014 USPHL Dineen Cup, significant of the league’s playoff champion and 2014 USPHL Founders Cup, significant of the league’s regular season champion … All four Frozen Four captains are American-born players with developmental roots in the U.S., including Boston College’s Teddy Doherty (Hopkinton, Mass./USHL), Denver’s Grant Arnold (Centennial, Colo./USHL), North Dakota Gage Ausmus (East Grand Forks, N.D./USHL) and Quinnipiac’s Soren Jonzzon (Mountain View, Calif./USHL) … All three of the 2016 Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists are American-born players with developmental roots in the U.S., including Kyle Connor (University of Michigan/USHL), Thatcher Demko (Boston College/USHL) and Jimmy Vesey (Harvard University/EJHL).

STAFF NOTES: Jerry York, head coach at Boston College, served as head coach of the 1995 U.S. Select Team that competed in the Kitimat Cup. Additionally, the all-time winningest men’s college hockey coach was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy, presented for outstanding service to hockey in the United States, in October 2010 … Jim Montgomery, head coach at the University of Denver, served as general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints for three seasons. An Anderson Cup Champion (2013) and two-time Clark Cup Champion (2011, 2013), Montgomery was twice named USHL General Manger of the Year (2011, 2013) … Mike Ayers, assistant coach at Boston College, previously served as goaltending coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (2011-13) where he helped the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team claim a gold medal in 2012 and a silver medal in 2013. Additionally, he served as an assistant coach on the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team and earned USA Hockey College Player of the Year honors in 2003 … Greg Brown, associate head coach at Boston College, skated on two U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Teams (1988, 1992) and served as an assistant coach for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team … Marty McInnis, assistant coach at Boston College, was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and a three-time member of the U.S. Men’s National Team (1991, 1996, 1997) … David Tenzer, director of hockey operations at University of Denver, previously served as USA Hockey Coaching Coordinator for the State of Colorado from 1999-2001 … Matt Shaw, assistant coach at University of North Dakota, served as general manager and head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints for two seasons (2013-15). In addition to coaching Frozen Four and former Fighting Saints players JD Dudek (Boston College), Dylan Gambrell (Denver), Blake Hillman (Denver), he also coached his son Hayden Shaw, who skates for North Dakota … Bill Riga, associate head coach at Quinnipiac, previously served as head coach of the EJHL’s Boston Jr. Bruins from 1996-2003.