BY: COLLIN SCHUCK – GoIceRays.com
OCT. 13, 2015
Most of the alumni database is still dormant, but the main action in the second weekend of October came in the official opening of the NCAA Division I hockey season, and that’s our focus in the second edition of the IceRays Alumni Report, Volume II. Nine of the 11 teams hosting alumni skaters opened their 2015-16 campaigns, one continued with its second weekend, while another still waits until later this month. NCAA Division III hockey picks up later this month, so we’ll step around them until they begin, however moves made in the United States Hockey League (USHL) have grabbed some attention.
With three of the four professional alumni skaters still waiting for their first minutes of the year, we’ll jump right into NCAA Division I play, and one of the newest skaters joining the collegiate ranks, left-winger Tanner Lomsnes (’14-’15) at Niagara University, is already making a large impact despite being a newcomer to the team. The Purple Eagles struggled last season with a 7-28-4 record, and despite dropping their first two games of the year to 19th-ranked St. Lawrence and Clarkson, optimism shines for the freshman. The Red Deer, Alb., native started both games for Niagara, showing his favor to start his collegiate career.
There isn’t a much better way to start your final season of collegiate play than getting points in your first two games, and for defenseman Frank Misuraca (’11-’12) he’s on his way to another career-high season at the University of Alabama Huntsville. Despite the Chargers splitting their weekend against UConn, the senior notched primary assists in each of the two games at home. Last season, Misuraca recorded 12 points through 38 games as one of the team’s top defensemen.
Opening weekend also wasn’t bad for forward Emil Romig (’12-’13) in his junior season at the University of Denver. The Pioneers earned three of a possible four points with an overtime loss and a regulation win against the Air Force, and in their opening night loss at Air Force he scored his first goal of the season, becoming one of six players to find the net in their first weekend. The Austrian recorded seven points last season after 10 in his first year of Division I play and hopes to rebound in his third year.
Northeastern University only played one game last weekend, but their first was an exciting home opener against 20th-ranked Colgate, a 2-1 win on Saturday night. A pair of brothers led the scoring for the Huskies to help edge out Colgate, and defenseman Colton Saucerman (’10-’11) kicked off his senior campaign by setting up the game-winning goal in the third period. Last season, the Colorado Springs, Colo., native scored a career-high seven goals to go along with 15 points through 32 games. He notched a career-high 17 assists and 23 points in his sophomore season.
The weekend wasn’t all blossoms and sunflowers for one young forward. Freshman Wes Michaud (’14-’15) hoped to make his collegiate debut this weekend following a two-goal output in the Tigers’ 6-2 exhibition win over the University of Calgary, however his premiere in the gold and black will have to wait until next season. News broke out that the Cloquet, Minn., native suffered a torn ACL, and thus derailing his freshman season before it even began. It is likely Michaud could earn a redshirt designation, preserving his full four seasons of athletic participation despite continuing academically.
In a surprising move in the USHL, forward Jake Durflinger (’13-’14) was traded yesterday to the Bloomington Thunder for a 2016 Phase I USHL Draft Pick. The second-year man did not play over the weekend in the Sioux City Musketeers’ series against the Thunder, during which Bloomington swept Sioux City. The 18-year-old was named alternate captain prior to this season and scored two goals in his first three games of the season. He’ll join former Amarillo Bulls head coach Denis Williams with the second-year franchise for this weekend’s series against the Fargo Force.
Read the IceRays Alumni Report every Tuesday on www.GoIceRays.com and hear the audio version on the IceRays Broadcast Network.
Collin Schuck is the Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the Corpus Christi IceRays. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter at @CollinDSchuck.