Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beyond the Dashers to Chat with College Coaches!

As summer continues to roll on and teams begin gearing up for the coming season, Beyond the Dashers is proud to open up the new year with a series of live chat question and answer sessions using both Twitter and CoveritLive.

Our chat schedule kicks off on Monday June 18th at high noon eastern time as we will chat on Twitter with University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, Head Coach Brian Idalski. On Monday evening we will welcome Jim Ingman, Head Coach of the NCAA Division III, Concordia University Falcons for a 7:00pm eastern time live chat.

On Tuesday, June 19th our chat schedule continues at noon eastern time as St. Lawrence University Saints Head Coach, Chris Wells joins us for a Twitter chat. On Tuesday afternoon we will welcome St. Catherine University Head Coach, Brad Marshall for a live chat at 3:00pm eastern time. Finally, on Wednesday we welcome Western Ontario Head Coach Chris Higgins for a chat at noon eastern time.

Additional chats planned for the remainder of next week and beyond will be announced once times are finalized with the respective coaches based on their availability.

All chats can be followed online by visiting our live event coverage page or by clicking here.

Fans are invited to submit questions in advance via email.

Edit: Just confirmed for Thursday June 21st. We will chat live via Twitter with St. Norbert College Head Coach Rob Morgan at noon eastern time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Stevenson University looking to field a DIII program!

With all the focus going towards new national collegiate programs that have sprung up at Lindenwood University and Penn State University, one new D3 offering has been overlooked by many it appears.

After seeing a job posting for Steveson University on the NCAA and AHCA job boards and having no knowledge of them or the fact they were planning to field an NCAA Division III entry, I contract the school. A helpful lady in the athletics office confirmed their intent to recruit and field a team for the 2011-2012 season. She pointed me to there website were perspective student athletes can signup to join the inaugural squad. There intention is to hire a coach, and begin play in early December. She was unaware of who they had under contract to face in their first season or what league they would plan on joining in the future.

Reisterstown Sportsplex in Baltimore County, Maryland is the intended home rink for the program that will be the 21st sport in the Division III university's list of offerings. The program will be the first south of the Mason-Dixon line and has other programs in the area looking to field teams of their own.

In a time where so many schools are evaluating their offerings it's our pleasure to say welcome aboard to Stevenson University!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wayne State Officially Discontinues Women's Hockey Program

As discussed yesterday, Wayne State made the heartrenching news official last night, ending their offering of Women's Hockey in a roughly three paragraph release. No comments from former players or coaches were given, only a brief quote from Director of Athletics, Rob Fournier stating:

“With all the successes we have enjoyed recently with championships, high academic achievement and graduation rates this action leaves an empty feeling and is a disappointment for our women’s hockey student-athletes, our alumni and the department,” stated WSU Director of Athletics Rob Fournier. “This last resort consequence only underscores the economic reality that confronts higher education in the State of Michigan today. In the end, the cost and expenditures of our most expensive operating program determined this difficult decision. Importantly however, the educational objectives of our women’s hockey student-athletes will be protected.”

The school also stated that all current student-athlete scholarships will be honored, provided they meet satisfactory progress standards under NCAA guidelines. Releases will be offered to those who wish to transfer to other schools this summer, where they will be eligible to participate immediately as the normal residency requirements of the NCAA are waived.

The timing of this announcement is especially troubling from a player's standpoint. With schools already out for the summer and most programs already focusing on the 2012-2013 recruiting class finding a new home for the 20+ current and formerly incoming recruits will be a huge challenge.

In addition with most coaching openings filled or candidate lists being narrowed finding new coaching gigs for the upcoming season could also be a large undertaking on the staff from WSU. In eight seasons at WSU Head Coach, Jim Fetter compiled a 117-123-24 record with the school in addition coaching Hockey Canada programs on multiple occasions.

During nine seasons in the CHA and twelve as an NCAA program WSU complied a 138-209-29 record overall and a 48-59-7 mark in conference play. The Warriors tied for the CHA regular-season title in 2007-08.

The void left by Wayne State will be felt across the nation as conference schedules will have to be redrawn, travel arrangements changed, and for the athletes the wounds of having your make shift family ripped apart and spread across the nations landscape.

While the school states that this was a decision made purely for economic reasons the timing of this decison could have easily been handled in a better manner and shows that Wayne State has a long way to go if they ever strive to be a well respected NCAA institution.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wayne State rumors appear to be fact

Rumors circulating the past few days surrounding the Wayne State Women's Hockey program appear to be fact. In an effort to seek financial savings the school will end it's program. WSU eliminated it's men’s hockey program after the 2008 season and as of this April hoped that further program cuts would not be necessary.

Several current and graduating WSU student athletes have voiced their displeasure on social media outlets over this shocking revelation. As we await any official announcement from the school one has to question the timing of this news. The school less than a month ago named captains for the 2011-2012 season signaling that at that time there was no plan to eliminate the program from the school's offerings.

In an April story by The South End, WSU athletics director Rob Fournier noted that team schedules and travel costs are already set for 2011-2012 season and those cannot change. However in terms of cuts, everything is on the table, as far as cutting sport programs.

With most other NCAA programs already firm on next seasons rosters this news, if truly fact comes at one of the worst possible times I can think of. Further what options would other NCAA programs have as far as filling the scheduling gaps left by this void?

more to follow

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ohio State tabs RMU's Handrahan as their Head Coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State has hired Nate Handrahan as the head coach of the women's hockey team, Chris Schneider, associate athletics director and women's hockey administrator, announced Monday. Handrahan is the second women's hockey coach in the 12-year history of the women's hockey program.

"My family and I are grateful for the opportunity athletics director Gene Smith and the hiring committee has given me to be the head coach of the Ohio State women's hockey team," Handrahan said. "This program has great people and players and we are going to put together a recipe of success that will result in winning on and off the ice."

"We are excited to have Nate Handrahan join the Ohio State family," Schneider said. "He has a great work ethic and philosophy about developing the entire student-athlete; not only has hockey players but as people.

"Coach Jackie Barto did an outstanding job in building this program from the start and I look forward to working with Coach Handrahan as he works to continue the growth of Ohio State Women's Ice Hockey," Schneider added.

Handrahan joins Ohio State after serving five years as head coach of the Robert Morris women's hockey program. Taking over the team following its inaugural season in 2005-06, Handrahan's coaching style has established a young program that has shown great strides of growth each year.

Under his direction, the Colonials contended with some of the top teams in the nation as the squad has picked up key victories over nationally-ranked opponents. During the 2009-10 season, Robert Morris knocked off the eventual national champion Minnesota-Duluth, 4-1, on the road. The Colonials followed with a 3-1 upset over defending national champion Wisconsin.

Several student-athletes have reached exceptional levels during their careers under Handrahan's guidance. Among those was goaltender Brianne McLaughlin who became the NCAA Division I all-time career saves leader in 2009. She also earned a spot on the U.S. National Team and competed for the U.S. Olympic team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, winning a silver medal.

During his time at Robert Morris, Handrahan has produced two All-CHA First Team, three Second Team and three All-Rookie Team selections. The Colonials have also had success in the classroom as Handrahan's teams have earned 46 CHA All-Academic team honors.

Before taking the helm of the women's program, Handrahan served as an assistant coach to the RMU men's hockey team for two seasons under head coach Derek Schooley. He assisted in the day-to-day operations of the team as well as instructing on and off the ice.

A 2000 graduate of Niagara University, Handrahan assisted his alma mater in 2001 under Dave Burkholder and served as assistant coach for three seasons. His duties included recruiting, producing game strategy and practice plans, skill development, scouting, equipment management and strength and conditioning. While at Niagara, the team earned an automatic berth to the 2004 NCAA Tournament after capturing the CHA tournament title. While with the Purple Eagles, Handrahan recruited and coached four players who would see action in the NHL.

A standout defenseman for the Niagara, Handrahan was a two-time All-ECAC West selection for the Purple Eagles. He played in every game during his four-year career and led the team to a No. 6 seed in the 2000 NCAA Tournament. He finished his collegiate career with 13 goal and 68 assists for 81 points, ranking 10th on Niagara's all-time assist list.

At the conclusion of the 1999-2000 season, Handrahan was signed by the Roanoke Express of the ECHL. He played the remainder of the 2000 season as well as the 2000-2001 season with the Express.

Handrahan and his wife, Nicole, have three daughters, Haylee, Mara and Lila.

Coaching Experience
2006-2011 - Robert Morris head women's hockey coach
2004-2006 - Robert Morris assistant men's hockey coach
2001-2004 - Niagara assistant men's hockey coach

Playing Experience
1999-2001 - Roanoke Express (ECHL)
1996-2000 - Niagara University

Release Courtesy of

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ottawa to host 2013 IIHF World Women's Championship

OTTAWA, Ont. – Hockey Canada announced Wednesday that Ottawa will host the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship. Canada’s capital city last hosted the IIHF World Women’s Championship in 1990, the inaugural event.

The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, in partnership with Senators Sports and Entertainment, was one of three groups to submit bids to host the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship and made a formal presentation to Hockey Canada’s site selection committee Wednesday, April 6 in Calgary, Alta.

The site selection committee consisted of Bob Nicholson (president/CEO, Hockey Canada), Ken Corbett (chair of the board, Hockey Canada), Scott Smith (chief operating officer, Hockey Canada) and Scott Farley (vice-president of marketing services and events, Hockey Canada). Following the presentation, the site selection committee recommended Ottawa as host of the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship to Hockey Canada’s board of directors, which has approved that recommendation.

"We’re excited to have this elite women’s hockey event come back not just to Canada, but to Ottawa, the city where it all started," Nicholson said. "Our organization looks forward to working with the Province of Ontario, the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association and Senators Sports and Entertainment to make the 15th IIHF World Women’s Championship a complete success."

"Today’s announcement reaffirms my continued commitment to bring world class events to Ottawa," said Eugene Melnyk, owner and chairman of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. "We have been strong supporters of women’s hockey for the past decade. The opportunity to host the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship is a culmination of that decade long commitment. Women’s hockey is one of the most exciting and fastest growing dimensions to the game and we look forward to using this world-class event to inspire young Canadian girls right across the country to play the game and dream big."

The 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship will take place at SBP Arena and the Nepean Sportsplex in April 2013, with more details to be announced at later dates. The last time SBP Arena hosted the National Women’s Team was January 1, 2010, when 16,347 fans filled the arena, breaking a women’s hockey game attendance record, and watched Canada edge the United States 3-2 in a shootout.

Beginning today, fans are invited to create an account with Hockey Canada to get all the ticketing news and information for the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship. By registering immediately, fans will receive priority access to purchase ticket packages when they become available. Only 3,000 tickets will be available in the 100 Level of SBP Arena, so fans are encouraged to register as soon as possible to ensure the best chance at the best seats.

This will be the final world championship prior to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, with many of the players who will represent their countries in Sochi, Russia expected to be on the ice in Ottawa. It will also mark the sixth time that Canada has hosted the tournament, joining 1990 in Ottawa, 1997 in Kitchener, Ont., 2000 in Mississauga, Ont., 2004 in Halifax, N.S., and 2007 in Winnipeg, Man., where a world championship attendance record of 122,152 fans was set.

"Women’s hockey has come a long way since Team Canada wore pink jerseys to attract attention to the inaugural world championship held in Ottawa," said Fran Rider, president of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association. "The 2013 tournament will feature a stronger, faster female game that will showcase just how much the sport has grown."

The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association will host its provincial championships in conjunction with the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship, bringing more than 500 girls’ teams of all ages and from all skill levels to the Ottawa area.

It is estimated the world championship will have an economic impact of $20 million, with a guaranteed minimum of $500,000 in profit to be invested in minor hockey programs across the country. In addition, the OWHA provincials will have an estimated economic impact of $15 million, meaning the two events will exceed $35 million in economic impact.

"Ottawa showed its enthusiasm for international hockey by successfully hosting the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship," City of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said. "We can’t wait to put our civic pride and hockey passion on display again when we welcome the best female players in the world back to Canada’s capital for the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship."

"Ontario welcomes the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship to Ottawa," said Michael Chan, Ontario minister of tourism and culture. "Ottawa is a real hockey town, and with 21 games over eight days, this is a first-class sports event that will generate local economic activity and boost tourism, while showing the world what a great place Ontario is to live, visit and do business."

Canada’s National Women’s Team has appeared in every gold medal game at the IIHF World Women’s Championship, winning gold nine times (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2007) and silver four times (2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011).

Release courtesy of Hockey Canada

Monday, April 25, 2011

BTD World Womens Championship All Tournament Honors

2011 Beyond the Dashers All Tournament Honors. here

2011 WWC - Medal Round MVPs

Here are the Games Most valuable players for the final day of the 2011 IIHF World Women's Championship.

Game #20
Finland [W]
IIHF: F-Minnamari Tuominen
BTD: F-Minnamari Tuominen

Russia [L]
IIHF: D-Inna Dyubanok
BTD: F-Marina Sergina

Game #22
United States [W]
IIHF: F-Kelli Stack
BTD: F-Hilary Knight

Canada [L]
IIHF: F-Gillian Apps
BTD: F-Jayna Hefford

USA completes the three-peat with a 3-2 overtime win over Canada!

Another world championship event ended with the top two teams in the world squaring off in the championship game. After cruising to victory in their first four games here in Zurich the United States entered the championship game looking to strike back at Canada after their Olympic defeat last year and continue their streak of consecutive World Championship's.

In the first period of the 17th meeting all time in World Championships the Canadians gave the USA an early edge with Jen Wakefield going to the box for tripping. However the Americans were unable to gain the upper hand on the advantage and as the period progressed each team had their share of chances to capitalize. However the United States broke through at the 16:56 mark when Jocelyne Lamoureux used a give and go from her sister on a Canadian breakdown in their own end. The goal gave the USA an edge that would carry them for the remainder of the frame. With eight seconds left however Gillian Apps took advantage of two defenders in front of USA goaltender Jessie Vetter with a top shelf shot tying the game with eight seconds left in the period.

In what was ultimately a low key second period that saw two USA Power Plays and an abbreviated Canadian power play the United States was able to retake the lead in the game. With Canada looking to hold the USA zone defender Angela Ruggiero took the puck up ice and feed teammate Jenny Potter who spit the Canadian defense beating goaltender Shannon Szabados with a top shelf backhand goal. Despite giving up the lead Canada out shot the USA 15-14 in the middle period.

In the third period the pace of the game started quick as each team tried to capitalize on every attempt. However as the period reached its final five minutes Canada turned up the pressure on the USA as they searched for the tying goal. Following a Josephine Pucci penalty for tripping Canada had the edge they needed. Wasting little time, Rebecca Johnston took a feed in front from Jayna Hefford who was in the low corner to tie the game. The goal not only tied the game but forced each team to clamp down further on defense sending the game to overtime. In the third period Canada out shot the USA 23-12 taking an edge of 47-42 for the contest further highlighting the solid goaltending performances.

In the extra session the Americans nearly faltered early on allowing Canada to gain the early upper hand. When the USA failed to capitalize on a Jocelyne Larocque tripping call the odds that were turning in their favor seemed to be slipping back to Canada. However nearing the midway point of the extra session Hilary Knight continuing her dominating performance at this event took a sliding puck and guided in the open corner of the net just before Shannon Szabados could slide over and cover it. The game winning goal for the USA gives them their third straight World Championship gold medal victory over Canada.

Box Score (IIHF)

Finland takes Bronze with 3-2 OT win over Russia

Finnish captain Karolina Rantamaki's goal at 2:49 of overtime sends Finland home from the 2011 World's with a bronze medal. The Overtime win comes at the expense of another valiant third period comeback by Russia.

Minnamari Tuominen gave Finland a 1-0 lead at the 14:15 mark of the first with an unassisted goal. just 1:18 into the second Tuominen added her second goal of the game extending the Fins lead to 2-0. Despite being down 2-0 Russia out shot Finland in the second period 14-11. In the third Period Inna Dyubanok cut the Finnish lead to a single goal midway through the final frame. Russia capitalized just under three minutes later on the power play as Marina Sergina knocked in a feed from Alexandra Kapustina tying the game at two a piece. As the last six minutes of the game wore down neither team was able to grab an advantage setting up the overtime frame.

With the win Finland equals their Bronze Medal finish at the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2009 World's while Russia improves on a sixth place Olympic finish and fifth place 2009 World's ranking.

Box Score (IIHF)