Hoof Beats: Talbot traded, joins Woodcroft in Edmonton

Cam Talbot

Cam Talbot has been traded to the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by David Washburn)

Moving from the Big Apple to the City of Champions, Cam Talbot will get his chance to be a No. 1 starter in the NHL.

The former charger goaltender was traded by the New York Rangers to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, during the second round of the NHL Draft. The Rangers, which also sent Edmonton the 209th selection (28th pick of the seventh round), received three picks from the Oilers: No. 57 (second round), No. 79 (third), and No. 184 (seventh).

Talbot played in 36 regular-season games for the Rangers last season, but really showed his worth as New York’s top goaltender while filling in for the injured Henrik Lundqvist in February and March. Talbot posted a 2.21 goals against average and a .926 save percent, both ranking fourth in the NHL. He did not see any playoff action while Lundqvist and the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference final.

The Oilers are rebuilding as the finished with the second-worst record in the Western Conference last season. Talbot should help between the pipes after Edmonton finished last in the NHL with an .888 save percentage and 3.37 goals allowed per game.

Talbot will be reunited with another UAH alumnus in Edmonton. Jay Woodcroft (’00), a member of the 1998 NCAA Division II national champions and who recently was on the San Jose Sharks’ coaching staff, was named an assistant coach with the Oilers on Thursday.

Talbot tweeted about the trade on Sunday:

Briere joining Leafs’ staff: Steve Briere, who was a goaltender for the Chargers from 1997-2000, was named the goaltending coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 45 games for UAH, Briere posted a 2.81 goals against average, fourth on the Chargers’ all-time list. His .900 save percentage is seventh all-time. Briere was named second-team All-College Hockey America in the 1999-2000 season, and as a backup played 12 games for the 1998 NCAA Division II national champions.

Briere was an assistant on the UAH staff when the Chargers won the 2007 CHA championship. He is the owner and head instructor of Canadian Professional Goalie Schools.

New play-by-play announcer: Zachary Bryan will be the voice of the hockey Chargers on WCHA.tv this coming season.

Bryan was the play-by-play announcer for Vanderbilt’s club team for the last two seasons in coordination with Penalty Box Radio. He is the news director at WAKM-AM radio in Franklin, Tenn.

Danton Cole to coach U.S. juniors: USA Hockey on June 17 announced that former UAH coach Danton Cole is on the coaching staff for the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2016 World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. Cole, Chris Chelios, and Kevin Reiter will assist head coach Ron Wilson.

Cole was the Chargers’ head coach from 2007-10, leading UAH to the College Hockey America tournament title and an NCAA tournament berth in 2010. He has been with USA Hockey for five years, leading the U.S. Under-18 Team to gold medals in the U-18 World Championships in 2012 and 2014.

Hoof Beats: Brears named WCHA’s outstanding scholar-athlete

Chad Brears

Photo by Jazzmine Jordan

UAH forward Chad Brears was named the WCHA Outstanding Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Wednesday.

Brears, a sophomore from Cold Lake, Alberta, had a 4.0 grade point average while majoring in mechanical engineering and balancing hockey, travel, and school. He was second on the team in goals with six and scored 10 points on the season.

The award is voted on by the conference’s faculty athletics representatives.

Several other Chargers excelled in the classroom this season and were named to the WCHA All-Academic Team. They are: Joakim Broberg, Brandon Carlson, Alexander Carpenter, Brandon Clowes, Brent Fletcher, Brice Geoffrion, Mat Hagen, Jamie Kendra, Matt Larose, Cody Marooney, Frank Misuraca, Craig Pierce, Doug Reid, Ben Reinhardt, Matt Salhany, Wade Schools, Regan Soquila, Jeff Vanderlugt, and Anderson White. To make the All-Acdemic Team, athletes must have spent a year of residency at the university and maintain a 3.0 grade point average or above over the past two semesters.

Here are the complete WCHA postseason awards.

Boomer talks Chargers: UAH hockey was the subject of a recent CBS Sports Minute on CBS Sports Radio. Here is the audio with former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason talking about the Chargers:

[audio:http://uahhockey.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/boomer_UAH.mp3]

Talbot and Russell: Cameron Talbot is the backup goaltender on the New York Rangers. Wyatt Russell is an actor who is slated to play Bobby Orr in the upcoming movie “Turk.” In Huntsville, both were vying for the Chargers’ starting goalie job. The two competitors and friends are the subject of an article Wednesday in nhl.com.

Around the WCHA: It’s playoff time! The action starts late tonight with Game 1 between Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska in Fairbanks. The other three best-of-3 quarterfinal series start Friday.

Here is the schedule (all times Central):

No. 8 Bemidji State at No. 1 Ferris State
Game 1 Friday, 6:07 p.m.; Game 2 Saturday, 6:07 p.m.; Game 3 Sunday (if necessary), 4:07 p.m.

No. 7 Northern Michigan at No. 2 Minnesota State
Game 1 Friday, 7:07 p.m.; Game 2 Saturday, 7:07 p.m.; Game 3 Sunday (if necessary), 7:07 p.m.

No. 6 Alaska-Anchorage at No. 3 Alaska
Game 1 Thursday, 10:07 p.m.; Game 2 Friday, 10:07 p.m.; Game 3 Saturday (if necessary), 10:07 p.m.

No. 5 Michigan Tech at No. 4 Bowling Green
Game 1 Friday, 6:07 p.m.; Game 2 Saturday, 6:07 p.m.; Game 3 Sunday (if necessary), 6:07 p.m.

All first round games are available on a subscription basis on America One. The four winners will meet at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. for the WCHA Final Five. The semifinals are March 21 and the Broadmoor Trophy championship is March 22. The Final Five can be seen on Fox College Sports Central.

Hoof Beats: Dressing up for the party

Photo by Gemini Athletic Wear

Photo by Gemini Athletic Wear

Two days until the boys face Northeastern in Boston. When you watch the games this weekend, this is what they’ll be wearing. Gemini Athletic, which designs many uniforms in Division I, unveiled the away blues on Tuesday.

There are some differences from the away jerseys worn during the second half of last season. The shoulders are no longer black, and the interlocking UAH has been replaced with a horseshoe. The font on the front has changed and the player number is on the front for the first time. And, of course, we have the WCHA logo.

Coaches show: TONIGHT at Drake’s (4800 Whitesburg Drive, Suite 14), UAH hockey will be hosting a live call-in show on 97.7 The Zone from 7-8 p.m. Coaches Mike Corbett and Gavin Morgan will be there to take your questions and talk about the upcoming season. Free handouts will be available, as well as chances to win FlexTix packages. If you can’t make it, tune to 97.7 FM or listen online.

Conversations: Corbett and Jeff Vanderlugt discuss preparations for the new season:

Corbett and Ben Reinhardt also went on WAAY Channel 31 to talk Charger hockey (about one minute in after the Huntsville Stars story):

Commitment: Max McHugh, a forward for Dubuque of the United States Hockey League, announced his verbal commitment to UAH on Tuesday. McHugh will join the Chargers in 2014. “It’s an up-and-coming team that has a potential to make history and become something big,” McHugh told Mike McMahon in an interview for College Hockey News.

Community: C.J. Groh, Craig Pierce, Matt Salhany, and Stephen McKenna visited Huntsville Hospital on Tuesday for their Chargers Crew program. The kids were recognized as part of the team off the ice.

Hoof Beats: Corbett and identity

  • Coach Mike Corbett continues to make the media rounds in his first weeks as head coach. He was featured on USCHO.com, with the main theme of establishing UAH’s identity as a hockey program. Corbett also touched on this in his recent interview on Penalty Box Radio in Nashville.
  • The Bemidji Pioneer takes a look at UAH as it begins its series on the teams in the reconstructed WCHA. We plan to post a retrospective of the 20-year UAH-Bemidji rivalry in time for the home opener on October 25.
  • The WCHA on Wednesday released its full 2013-14 composite schedule.