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USHL Alumni in 2016 Frozen Four

04/06/2016, 3:45pm CDT
By USHL

62 total alumni will play in the Frozen Four seeking a NCAA championship, with 24 NHL Draft picks from the USHL on rosters.

FROZEN FOUR NOTES:

USHL alumni breakdown by team

 

University of North Dakota – 20/27

Boston College – 19/25

University of Denver – 14/27

Quinnipiac University – 9/30

TOTAL– 62/109

 

  • 57% of the players in the Frozen Four played in the USHL
  • 62 of the Frozen Four participants are USHL alumni
  • Each school playing in the Frozen Four has at least nine USHL alumni on their roster.
  • 15 of 17 current USHL teams are represented in the Frozen Four.
  • Among USHL teams, Team USA leads the way with 18 alumni in the Frozen Four, followed by Dubuque (8), Waterloo (8), Green Bay (6) and Lincoln (6).
  • Among the NCAA teams, North Dakota features the most USHL alumni (20), followed by Boston College (19), Denver (14), and Quinnipiac (9).
  • Thatcher Demko (Omaha Lancers/Team USA) and Cam Johnson (Fargo Force/Waterloo Black Hawks) are the two awards finalists remaining in the tournament who are USHL alumni. Both players are Mike Richter Award nominees, and Demko is Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist with Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms).
  • University of Denver head coach Jim Montgomery was general manager and head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints from 2010 to 2013. He was the architect and bench boss for two Clark Cup Champion teams – 2011 and 2013.
  • Two USHL award winners remain in the tournament – North Dakota’s Paul LaDue (Lincoln Stars), the 2012-13 USHL Defenseman of the Year, and Boston College’s Alex Tuch (Team USA), who received the 2013-14 Scholar-Athlete Award.
  • Eight players in this year’s Frozen Four are Clark Cup Champions: Denver features the most Clark Cup Champions with six, and the Pioneers also feature the only two-time champion remaining in the tournament in Grant Arnold (Green Bay Gamblers). Arnold is the only 2010 Clark Cup Champion in this year’s Frozen Four, but he was a 2012 Clark Cup Champion with the Gamblers along with North Dakota forwards Nick Schmaltz and Trevor Olson. Arnold and the Pioneers will meet Schmaltz, Olson, and the Fighting Hawks in the second semifinal on Thursday, April 7 at Amalie Arena.

 

HOW’D THEY GET THERE:

 

Northeast Regional – Boston College

The Eagles were able to advance to the Frozen Four for the seventh time in 10 seasons thanks to a 4-1 win over Massachusetts rival Harvard in the opening round and a 3-2 victory over Minnesota-Duluth in the regional final. The Bulldogs had dispatched of the defending national champion Providence Friars 2-1 in double overtime in their opening round matchup. Demko was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Northeast Regional. Demko was also named to the All-Regional team along with fellow USHL alumni Teddy Doherty (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Casey Fitzgerald (Team USA), Alex Tuch (Team USA), Andy Welinski (Green Bay Gamblers), and Tony Cameranesi (Waterloo Black Hawks).

 

West Regional – Denver

For the Pioneers, their 6-3 regional final victory over the Ferris State Bulldogs, who upset the St. Cloud State Huskies in overtime in their opening round game, marks the school’s first Frozen Four trip since 2005, where former Tri-City storm goaltender and current Chicago Steel assistant coach Peter Mannino backstopped DU to back-to-back national titles and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as a freshman. They earned the meeting with the Bulldogs by way of a 7-2 dominating win over Boston University on Saturday. Blake Hillman (Waterloo Black Hawks) had a goal in each of the games, including the game-winner against Ferris State on Sunday. He was named the West Regional’s Most Outstanding Player, and he was also named to the All-Regional Team along with Darren Smith (Madison Capitols), Will Butcher (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and Gerald Mayhew (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders).

 

Midwest Regional – North Dakota

It’s back-to-back Frozen Fours for the Fighting Hawks, who dominated both Northeastern and Michigan to advance to Tampa Bay. North Dakota dominated from start to finish in a 6-2 victory over the Huskies on Friday, thanks in part to a strong performance from the CBS line – all three of whom are USHL alumni - Drake Caggiula (Des Moines Buccaneers), Brock Boeser (Waterloo Black Hawks) and Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay Gamblers), as well as Cam Johnson (Fargo Force) between the pipes. That set up a regional final matchup with the Michigan Wolverines, a team that knocked off the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in overtime in the opening round, and a team that boasted arguably the top line in college hockey with scoring champion Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms) and former Team USA teammates J.T. Compher and Tyler Motte. North Dakota toppled Michigan 5-2, thanks in part to third period goals from Rhett Gardner (Green Bay Gamblers) and Paul LaDue (Lincoln Stars), to send them to their second Frozen Four in as many years. Johnson stopped 23 of 25 shots in the game and was named the Midwest Regional’s Most Outstanding Player. He, along with Caggiula, Compher, Tucker Poolman (Omaha Lancers), Zach Werenski (Team USA), and Luke Johnson (Lincoln Stars) were named to the All-Regional team.

 

 

East Regional – Quinnipiac

The Bobcats, the tournament’s top overall seed, made easy work of RIT (4-0) and UMass-Lowell (4-1) to advance to their second Frozen Four in four seasons. Soren Jonzzon (Tri-City Storm) scored twice against RIT and Sam Anas (Youngstown Phantoms) and Landon Smith (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) scored one goal each over University of Massachusetts-Lowell to earn the Bobcats berth in Tampa. Anas was named to the All-Regional Team along with Joe Gambardella (Des Moines Buccaneers).

 

 

NHL DRAFT PICKS FROM USHL IN FROZEN FOUR:

Round, Overall (Year) | Name | USHL Team | College | NHL Team

 

1, 18 (2014) | Alex Tuch | Team USA | Boston College | Minnesota Wild

1, 20 (2014) | Nick Schmaltz | Green Bay Gamblers | Chicago Blackhawks

1, 21 (2015) | Colin White | Team USA | Boston College | Ottawa Senators

1, 23 (2015) | Brock Boeser | Waterloo Black Hawks | North Dakota | Vancouver Canucks

2, 31 (2013) | Ian McCoshen | Waterloo Black Hawks | Boston College | Florida Panthers

2, 36 (2014) | Thatcher Demko | Team USA | Boston College | Vancouver Canucks

2, 42 (2013) | Steve Santini | Team USA | Boston College | New Jersey Devils

2, 61 (2013) | Zach Sanford | Waterloo Black Hawks | Boston College | Washington Capitals

3, 87 (2013) | Keaton Thompson | Team USA | North Dakota | Anaheim Ducks

4, 98 (2012) | Adam Gilmour | Muskegon Lumberjacks | Boston College | Minnesota Wild

4, 107 (2015) | Christian Wolanin | Muskegon Lumberjacks | North Dakota | Ottawa Senators

4, 110 (2014) | Austin Poganski | Tri-City Storm | North Dakota | St. Louis Blues

5, 123 (2013) | Will Butcher | Dubuque Fighting Saints | Denver | Colorado Avalanche

5, 127 (2013) | Tucker Poolman | Omaha Lancers | North Dakota | Winnipeg Jets

5, 133 (2013) | Connor Clifton | Team USA | Quinnipiac | Arizona Coyotes

5, 134 (2014) | Shane Gersich | Omaha Lancers | North Dakota | Washington Capitals

5, 134 (2013) | Luke Johnson | Lincoln Stars | North Dakota | Chicago Blackhawks

5, 148 (2015) | Troy Terry | Team USA | Denver | Anaheim Ducks

5, 151 (2013) | Gage Ausmus | Team USA | North Dakota | San Jose Sharks

6, 151 (2014) | Chris Brown | Tri-City Storm | Boston College | Buffalo Sabres

6, 152 (2014) | JD Dudek | Chicago Steel | Boston College | New Jersey Devils

6, 162 (2015) | Chris Wilkie | Tri-City Storm | North Dakota | Florida Panthers

6, 168 (2013) | Quentin Shore | Team USA | Denver | Ottawa Senators

6, 181 (2012) | Paul LaDue | Lincoln Stars | North Dakota | Los Angeles Kings

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16.  A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

USHL.com

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