Husky Hockey Update for the Week of October 26

Seamus Donohue looks on during a team practice on October 23rd (Photo Prout)

St. Cloud, MN – Here’s some quick St. Cloud State University updates as we head into the last week of October:

Get a Peek at SCSU Men’s Hockey in Practice this Friday 

The fans have an opportunity to take a peek at the 2020-21 edition of SCSU men’s hockey during an open practice session on Friday, October 30th. Due to COVID rules, fans will be limited to 250 and if attending remember to do your required visitor self assessment that can be found here:

https://www.stcloudstate.edu/emergency/covid19/self-assessment/default.aspx

If you do attend the practice, keep an eye on #3 Seamus Donohue on defense and #21 Jared Cockrell at forward. Donahue is a graduate transfer from Michigan Tech and Cockrell from Colgate. Both will be impact players this season at their respective positions.  Donohue is highly mobile and loves to jump into the offense. I highly doubt coach Larson will place any brakes on Donohue to inject himself into the offense. He has the speed to recover quickly after joining the play up ice. Cockrell has that low center of balance skating style we witnessed with Blake Lizotte and also has tremendous quickness and the ability to turn on a dime. He’s one of those players that has that ability to create space for himself and earn opportunities in the offensive zone.

Jared Cockrell (L) and Seamus Donohue (R) are senior transfers counted on to bolster the SCSU Huskies in 2020-21

Huskies Return to Action on December 1

As many of you know, the NCHC announced recently that the conference season will begin on December 1st utilizing a “Pod” format in Omaha at Baxter Arena. According to a release by the National Collegiate Hockey Conference:

“The Conference will commence the pursuit of the Penrose Cup on Tuesday, Dec. 1 in the Pod, which will take place in Omaha, Nebraska, where the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Baxter Arena will host all eight NCHC teams. Competition in the Pod will include 10 games per team (40 games total) and run through the first three weeks of December, with games held throughout each week. In addition to the cross-division games at Baxter Arena, each team will also play two games against one divisional foe in the Pod.”

The complete schedule will be released in the coming weeks and no details have been indicated concerning the inclusion of fans at this event.

Effective Oct. 21 in Nebraska, all counties are in phase 3.1 of the state’s reopening plan. Bars and restaurants can operate at 100 percent capacity, but parties are limited to eight people and patrons must remain seated except in limited circumstances, such as when placing an order or using the restroom. Gatherings at theaters, arenas, stadiums, auctions and similar establishments are limited to 50 percent capacity if indoors and 100 percent capacity if outdoors, but not to exceed 10,000 people in any setting.

NCHC FAQs on the 2020-21 Season 

Men’s Hockey to Announce Captains this Week

It is expected that SCSU men’s hockey will announce their selection of captains the week of October 26th and possibly as early as October 27th. The 2019-20 captains were Jack Ahcan, Clark Kuster and Nick and Jack Poehling who were seniors so the team will have a new set of leaders for the upcoming season.

Update 10/28/2020: St. Cloud State Unversity Men’s Hockey announced the following players as captains for the 2020-21 season:

C: Spencer Meier (Junior | Sartell, MN)

A: Luke Jaycox (Senior | Warroad, MN)

A: Kevin Fitzgerald (Senior | Hinsdale, IL)

A: Seamus Donohue (Senior | North Oaks, MN)

Miettinen Expected to Join the Team Soon 

Highly coveted first-year forward Veeti Miettinen, a recent 6th round draft choice of the Toronto Maple Leafs has been unable to get his VISA issued due to COVID and the back-up in processing in Finland. However, it apears that may be worked out this week and the team should be welcoming him to the squad very soon. In the meantime, he’s been enrolled as a full-time student and taking classes online.

A prolific scorer for Kiekko-Espoo U20 in the SM-Ligga juniors, he registered 42 goals and 31 assists for 73 points last season. This set an all-time league record for goals and led the league in poi ts in 2019-20. A true sniper, Miettinen has a quick release and very good speed. Expect Miettinen to be an impact player for the Huskies this season.

NCAA Division I Council Offers Eligibility Relief 

The NCAA’s Division I Council voted to give eligibility relief to winter-sport athletes regardless of how many games they play during the 2020-21 academic year. Athletes now have the opportunity to play five seasons within a six-year span rather than the typical four seasons in five years.

For players like graduate transfers Seamus Donohue and Jared Cockrell who made the bold move to transfer only to see their senior season shortened, this is a great opportunity to extend their collegiate career one more season in 2021-22. Other current Huskies that could benefit are Luke Jaycox, Will Hammer, Kevin Fitzgerald, David Hrenak and Easton Brodzinski.

NCAA Announces Future Frozen Four Sites

The NCAA recently announced the sites for the Frozen Four for 2022-26. They are as follows including the hosts at each respective site:

2022

Regionals:
Times Union Center, Albany, N.Y. (ECAC Hockey)
PPL Center, Allentown, Pa. (Penn State)
Budweiser Events Center, Loveland, Colo. (Denver)
DCU Center, Worcester, Mass. (Holy Cross)
Frozen Four: TD Garden, Boston

2023

Regionals:
PPL Center, Allentown, Pa. (Penn State)
Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Conn. (Yale)
Scheels Arena, Fargo, N.D. (North Dakota)
SNHU Arena, Manchester, N.H. (New Hampshire)
Frozen Four: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla.

2024

Regionals:
Centene Community Ice Center, Maryland Heights, Mo. (Lindenwood)
Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, R.I. (Brown)
Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, S.D. (Omaha)
MassMutual Center, Springfield, Mass. (Massachusetts)
Frozen Four: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.

2025

Regionals:
PPL Center, Allentown, Pa. (Penn State)
Scheels Arena, Fargo, N.D. (North Dakota)
SNHU Arena, Manchester, N.H. (New Hampshire)
Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio (Bowling Green)
Frozen Four: Enterprise Center, St. Louis

2026

Regionals:
Times Union Center, Albany, N.Y. (Union)
Budweiser Events Center, Loveland, Colo. (Denver)
Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, S.D. (Omaha)
DCU Center, Worcester, Mass. (Holy Cross)
Frozen Four: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

The 2021 Men’s Frozen Four is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh at PPG Paints Arena.

Future Huskies Shining at Defense

Keep an eye on future Huskies Jack Peart and Josh Luedtke who are expected to join the Huskies for the 2021-22 season. Both defenseman, they are currently logging lots of minutes as the top defensemen for their respective teams Fargo Force (Peart) and Des Moines Buccaneers (Luedtke) of the United States Hockey League.

I had an opportunity to watch both in exhibitions this past weekend and was thoroughly impressed with the skill and skating ability of both. Luedtke, a 5’9″ 175 pound right-shooting defenseman was a commit to Denver University but in May changed his mind and committed to the Huskies (story here). Very quick with great on-ice awareness, Luedtke can jump into the play but recover quickly with his speed. In style, he reminds me of former UMD defenseman, Scott Perunovich. Luedtke was a teammate of current first-year Husky Joe Molenaar at State Champion Minnetonka High School.

The left-shooting Peart, who committed to the Huskies in 2018 (story here) is another undersized defenseman at 5’11” and 175 pounds but doesn’t shy away from the physical play and is adept along the boards. He reminds me of outstanding former Husky Jack Ahcan in style of play. A very heady player, he’ll lead the charge out of the defensive zone and connects precisely with passes in transition. Peart is a product of Grand Rapids HS where current SCSU junior forward Micah Miller skated in high school.

Both players are highly skilled on the man-advantage and will certainly be future power play specialists for the Huskies.

 

 

 

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