Sidney Crosby to spend part of summer running his own hockey school in Atlantic Canada hometown

Adam Proteau
Sidney Crosby  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Remember when Penguins star center Sidney Crosby was accused of selfishness for not appearing at the 2015 NHL All-Star Game? That was a bogus accusation at the time – anybody who’s had a glimpse at one of Crosby’s daily itineraries can tell you what he happily gives to the league and the game – but news that the Pens captain would spend a portion of his off-season this summer running his own hockey school in his hometown of Cole Harbour, N.S., is another indication of his devotion to the sport and his Atlantic Canadian heritage. Read more

Florida’s ‘Goal of a Lifetime’ ends in tie, both goaltenders win practice spot with Panthers

Jared Clinton
Bill Ruggiero makes a save on Radek Dvorak. (via Florida Panthers/NHL)

The Florida Panthers “Goal of a Lifetime” contest was supposed to land them an extra practice goalie for March 18. Instead, it landed them two.

After stopping Florida Panthers alumni Radek Dvorak and Marco Sturm three times each, Bill Ruggiero and Dustin Smith have both landed spots to skate with the Panthers in practice. The competition, which began Monday and ended during a first intermission shootout Tuesday, crowned two winners after the shootout ended in a tie.

A big first round – one in which he stopped both Dvorak and Sturm – put Ruggiero ahead early, but the second round was Smith’s time to shine as he brought the score back even with a pair of stops. You can check out the full competition here: Read more

Ohio State women’s hockey coach resigns following sexual harassment complaints

Adam Proteau
Members of the Ohio State University marching band. (David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

The head coach of Ohio State University’s women’s hockey team resigned on Monday after the university cited inappropriate and unprofessional conduct that included allegations of sexual harassment, intimidation and retaliation.

After finishing his fourth season behind the Buckeyes’ bench, 37-year-old coach Nate Handrahan tendered his resignation in the wake of the school’s findings. The university’s review of his behavior – presented Monday to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith – concluded Handrahan “engaged in a pattern of verbal conduct of a sexual nature that unreasonably interfered with the athletic experience of many students” on the women’s team. It also claimed to have sufficient evidence the university’s policies on sexual harassment, inappropriate conduct and retaliation were violated by the Niagara Falls, Ont., native, and that he made sexually explicit comments to many members of the team. Read more

Brampton Beast give fans new hope with ‘Star Wars Night’

Jared Clinton
ECHL's Brampton Beast will wear these jerseys for 'Star Wars Night' (via Brampton Beast/YouTube)

Friday night in Brampton, get ready to be taken to a galaxy far, far away.

To get the weekend started right, the ECHL’s Beast are hosting a ‘Star Wars Night’ which will feature their players skating around in custom jerseys that feature prominent characters from the original trilogy. Not only will the jerseys pay tribute to the sci-fi series, so will the names on the back of each sweater.

From Luke Skywalker all the way down to Emperor Palpatine, the Beast players held a character draft in order to decide which player would get to wear the name of their favorite character from Star Wars on their jersey. You have to respect Brampton winger Chad Painchaud for selecting Jar Jar Binks without being forced. Taking one for the team with that choice.

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Minnesota high school player scores while flying through the air

Jared Clinton
Jon Kopacek scores while flying through the air. (via YouTube)

There has been great diving, sprawling goals in the last decade. But from Alex Ovechkin’s famous falling tally against the Coyotes to one this season in the EIHL, it’s hard to match the effort on this goal by Jon Kopacek.

Kopacek, a senior at New Ulm High School in New Ulm, Minn., scored what can’t even be considered a video game goal. After skating in over the opposition blueline, Kopacek fired a shot on goal, which left a big rebound.

When it was clear that he wasn’t going to beat the second defender to the puck, Kopacek dove for the loose puck, connected with his backhand and knocked it in past the outstretched pad of Mahtomedi netminder Will Swanson. See it for yourself: Read more

Eight-year-old Russian kids involved in brawl during post-game handshake

Adam Proteau
Two teams of eight-year-old Russian kids fight on the ice. (image via Youtube user tatpressa)

On Valentine’s Day in Kazan, Russia, two teams of eight-year-old kids got together to play a hockey game. After it was over, the teams formed queues for the handshake line – and that’s where things quickly disintegrated into a brawl.

The squads – “Ak Bars 2″ and “Wave” – squared off at the Vatan Sports Complex. And although there was no immediate tensions before the handshake line formed, something set off one young player from each side almost immediately, and within thirty seconds of the first fight breaking out, the melee had spread throughout the ice and involved many, if not most members of each team: (video via Youtube user tatpressa) Read more

The 10 best names for high school hockey teams in the USA

Ryan Kennedy
Vintage Thief River Falls High School jersey (photo courtesy of The Ryan Kennedy Collection)

High school hockey is still popular in traditional American markets and is beginning to take hold in other states. The Anaheim Ducks, for example, have grown a great league in California in a very short amount of time. Those teams should be applauded for their efforts, but they do have some catching up to do. Not just in producing college players and NHLers, but also in their names (no offense to all the Eagles and Wildcats out there). Check out the best high school hockey names I’ve come across, mining admittedly from traditional hotbeds:

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Minnesota high school teams fighting to keep top talent

Ryan Kennedy
Paul Bittner (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey Award goes to the state’s most outstanding senior in high school hockey and a perusal of the past winners churns up some pretty impressive names. Ryan McDonagh, Nick Leddy and Nick Bjugstad all earned the honor and each one of them was then taken in the first round of the NHL draft. For years, a Minnesota high schooler always went in the top 30, but those days are gone. Since 2011, the first names called have been second-rounders, but sometimes fifth-rounders. In 2014, a Wisconsin high schooler (Matt Berkovitz, Anaheim) was actually taken before any Minnesota kids, which, traditionally speaking, is insane.

The “State of Hockey” is still producing lots of talent, but those kids are no longer sticking with their schools. Team USA, the United States League, the Western League and prep school Shattuck-St. Mary’s have all taken chunks out of the high school circuit, which still holds its vaunted state tournament at the Minnesota Wild’s XCel Energy Center and packs the house. It’s getting to the point where some scouts are less than enthusiastic about watching the games and a fierce protectionism has frayed relationships at the local level.

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