By Ray Biggs
D3hockey.com Managing Editor
|Since the season ended, a large portion of the exterior wall pictured here has been cut out to make way for remodeling. Look, a caption just taught you something for once.
Photo: Jon Chane for D3hockey.com
Ah, mid-July.... About this time every year is where I begin to really miss constantly going to the rink. Of course, it's easy to think about the opposite extreme when you're enduring another, that being the personally oppressive summer heat, but rather than bore you about how i'll never be able to relate to those who enjoy hot weather, we have more items to catch up on that I think you should know about. Who knows, maybe you'll get a chill of cold, crisp rink air just thinking about the upcoming season.
The List is Coming
We know how excited all of you are for the commitment list to come out, and I can tell you that the familiar gentleman who is building that list is nearing completion on it. He actually told me that there's more data than there's ever been out there, which has taken a bit longer to verify and input than in past years. While that is the case, the end goal will still be reached, as you'll all know who to reasonably expect on each campus before they arrive for the fall semester.
With that cleared through the air, we have some absolutely terrific stuff that has hit my desk in the past few weeks about our players who are planning to play at the next level this fall. We've tweeted about much of it already, but consider this an inventory of the bigger moves most fans would want to know about.
- Right off the top I believe some congratulations are in order for three members of the women's national runners up at Adrian. Forwards Kaylyn Schroka, Sarah Shureb, and Kristin Lewicki have all been signed by the NWHL's Buffalo Beauts for the upcoming season. It's challenging for our women's players to be afforded a professional opportunity as an individual in either the CWHL or NWHL, let alone an entire line's worth off the same team, but this was a rather outstanding case that Buffalo recognized after the trio attended free agent camp. The three of them combined to put up 86 goals and 101 assists this season on their way to the NCAA Division III national championship game on home ice, and all three were at 100 points or higher for their careers.
“At the Beauts’ free agent camp, I thought we showcased ourselves very well and was hoping they would take the three of us because it would be such an awesome experience for us to play together again – especially in the NWHL," Lewicki said in the NWHL's release."I think we click so well as a line because we have different styles that allow us to feed off each other. Playing together for four years and having the bond we have helps us click on the ice and just have fun with each shift."
The trio join Potsdam grad Jordan Ott as members of the Beauts for the upcoming season. The Beauts play their home games at Harborcenter, which will fly the Division III banner itself in 2020 as the men's championship site.
- Development camps have again been a hot landing spot for some men's players. As we reported earlier, Geneseo's Stephen Collins was hooked up with an invitee spot for the Washington Capitals development camp as he readies for a professional debut this fall. He now has some distinguished company with Norwich forward William Pelletier re-signing with AHL Rockford and scoring an invite to the Chicago Blackhawks development camp. That's not all, either. Two other players from Cortland, goaltender Nick Modica and forward Dougie Elgstam, were seen skating with the Flyers despite not being on a formal invitee list.
- Babson grad and 2016 Sid Watson Award winner Jamie Murray has announced his next step as a professional goaltender. Murray, who spent the past season in the Sharks organization with their ECHL affiliate in Allen, Texas, will now move eastbound and join the Norfolk Admirals. Murray played 37 games in Allen to follow up on a brief spring break stint with Steve Martinson's hockey club the season before.
The latest batch of assistant coach moves brings two men closer to familiar ground.
- Middlebury announced the hiring of alumnus Brian Phinney as the team's new assistant coach under Neil Sinclair. Phinney played four seasons of ice hockey and lacrosse for Middlebury from 2001 to 2005, and was an All-American and Joe Concannon Award finalist. Phinney returns to the collegiate ranks after spending several years working as a financial aid director and assistant coach at Salisbury School.
“I am thrilled about, and grateful for this opportunity,” Phinney said in the school's release. “I have an enthusiasm for Middlebury hockey that was ignited when I was a young local fan watching the Alcindor brothers, Kent Hughes, Brent Truchon and all the other greats at The Duke. The support from the town, and all the great people within the community who make Middlebury Athletics such a unique experience is truly a great thing. Coach Sinclair has always been one of my mentors, so I am excited to work closely with him for the upcoming years.”
Middlebury finished a difficult second campaign in the post-Bill Beaney era at 3-19-2.
- Former Buffalo State forward Mike Zannella will leave his assistant post at Skidmore for an opportunity closer to his hometown of Ithaca, New York. Elmira College announced on Monday that Zannella has been hired as the new men's assistant coach under Aaron Saul. Zannella replaces Tim Crowley, who was appointed as interim women's coach last season and was later given a permanent appointment in that role.
"I am extremely excited to join the Elmira College family," Zannella stated in the school's release. "It is a great privilege to serve and represent an institution with such strong history and tradition as Elmira College. My biggest priority this year is to do everything in my power to help assist the current and incoming student-athletes maximize their potential while enjoying the sports they love."
Zannella spent the previous season at Skidmore under Rob Hutchison, and the team achieved a fifth place playoff seeding while doubling their win total from the season prior. As a player, Zannella put up 73 points in 88 games at Buffalo State under Nick Carriere, and later won a Federal Hockey League crown with the Watertown Wolves.
- Also, a tip of the cap to Division III guys doing well on the international stage. Endicott's Carter Horwitz, Babson's Josh Beck, Tufts's Chad Goldberg, Middlebury's Ethan Cohen, Oswego's David Jacobson, Potsdam's Jake Rivera, Fredonia's Max Blitz, Lake Forest's Zach Feldman and Fredonia's Luke Rivera represented the United States as some of the nation's top Jewish hockey players at the Maccabiah games in Israel. The Maccabiah games are an Olympic-style festival celebrated in the Jewish tradition that has been held since 1932, and it is the third largest international sporting event worldwide in terms of participation. The United States squad finished with a silver medal, falling to a Canadian team that had Babson's Billy Seligman and Lake Forest's Ryan Kruss on it. Congratulations to all of our Division III competitors on a job well done. A blog on the experience written by Carter Horwitz can be found here.
That's it for now. As always, if you have a story for us, feel free to tweet it or email it to us and we'll try to take care of it in a timely fashion. May your offseason, and your air conditioner, continue to be good to you.