UMass Athletics:

Recently in NHL Players Category

Former UMass hockey defenseman, free agent Matt Irwin signed with the Boston Bruins on Friday morning. Irwin, who played 153 career NHL games over the past three seasons with the San Jose Sharks, scored a career high eight goals in 2014-15, contributing to a total of 19 points and a +3 rating.

Official release from the Boston Bruins
ProHockeyTalk: B's sign former Sharks d-man Irwin: one year, $800,000 Bruins Sign Defenseman Matt Irwin To One-Year, $800K Contract

Here's a look at the coverage of the signings of three UMass hockey alumni--Conor Sheary, Joel Hanley and Mike Kostka--who all inked NHL deals on the opening day of NHL free agency on Wednesday.

Quick Inducted Into Avon Old Farms Hall of Fame

| 8 Comments | No TrackBacks
Congrats to former Minuteman Jonathan Quick on his recent induction into the Hall of Fame at Avon Old Farms. The Kings 101 blog had coverage of the induction.

Read: Jonathan Quick Inducted into the Avon Old Farms Hall of Fame

On, Sam Page has a lengthy piece on former UMass hockey netminder Jonathan Quick, analyzing the former Minuteman's status as an "elite" NHL goaltender.

Read: Does Jonathan Quick pass the Eye Test as an elite goalie?

Today has a piece on former UMass hockey netminder Jonathan Quick and how he's excelled thus far this season, despite the Los Angeles Kings roster being depleted by injuries.

Read: Quick still excelling despite depleted Kings roster

Blueshirts United: Going One-on-One with Kostka

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks
Over the weekend, New York Rangers' blog, Blueshirts United, had this video interview with UMass hockey alum Mike Kostka:

New York Rangers Call Up @UMassHockey's Allen

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The New York Rangers announced on Sunday that the squad has called up former Minuteman Conor Allen. Allen joins fellow UMass hockey alum Mike Kostka, who is also currently with the Rangers.

Allen, who was originally called up to play in the NHL with the Rangers last season, made his NHL debut on Dec. 29, 2013, against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Allen becomes the fifth former Minuteman active in the NHL this season, joining Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles), Justin Braun (San Jose), Matt Irwin (San Jose) and Kostka.

Read: Rangers Recall McIlrath and Allen From Hartford

Congratulations to former UMass netminder Jonathan Quick who tied Rogie Vachon's L.A. Kings franchise record with his 32nd career shutout last night, making 43 saves and stopping all three St. Louis shootout attempts. Quick makes 43 saves to help Kings edge Blues

Former UMass defenseman had a two-goal night last night to help the San Jose Sharks to a 6-5 overtime win over the Washington Capitals to improve their record to 3-0 to start the year.

Irwin became just the second former Minuteman to post a multi-goal effort in the NHL, joining Greg Mauldin who had four points (2g, 2a) against Minnesota on Nov. 27, 2010, while playing for the Colorado Avalanche.

Check out the video of Irwin's goals below:

USA Today had this post yesterday (with video) on For The Win about former Minuteman Jonathan Quick Jonathan Quick making a young fan's day by slipping him a secret autograph while he was on the bench during a preseason game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Read: Jonathan Quick signs secret autograph for fan from the bench

UMass hockey great and two-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick was back in his hometown this weekend where he used his time with the Stanley Cup to help raise funds for his youth hockey coach Jason Pagni who passed away earlier this year. The money will go to the Gabriella & Madelyn Education Fund to help Pagni's daughters go to college one day. The event raised over $5,000.

Quick Awarded Jennings Trophy Tuesday

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Congratulations again to former UMass hockey netminder Jonathan Quick, who was officially presented with the William M. Jennings Trophy on Tuesday evening at the 2014 NHL Awards, though he was not in attendance to receive it after recently undergoing wrist surgery.

Quick and the Los Angeles Kings were announced as the winners of the Jennings Trophy back in mid-April upon the conclusion of the NHL's regular season schedule. The William M. Jennings Trophy is presented annually to the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it. Quick is the first in franchise history for the L.A. Kings to win the trophy.

On the heels of the Los Angeles Kings winning their second Stanley Cup in the past three seasons over the weekend, Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times takes a look at what has made former UMass netminder, current King, Jonathan Quick so successful.

Read: Los Angeles Times: Kings' Jonathan Quick sets new standard in goal

Congratulations to former UMass hockey goaltender Jonathan Quick who backstopped the Los Angeles Kings to their second Stanley Cup with a 3-2 double overtime win in Game Five to clinch the series against the New York Rangers.

A sampling of the coverage:

CBS Connecticut: Hamden's Quick, Kings Beat Rangers In 2OT, Win Stanley Cup
Orange County Register: Quick closes uneven season on a high for Kings
AP: Kings win Stanley Cup on goal in second overtime
Toronto Sun: Kings edge Rangers in unforgettable Cup finale

Quick, Kings, In Action For Game Five Tonight

| 22 Comments | No TrackBacks
One win away from his second title, former UMass hockey All-American Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings will be looking to raise the Stanley Cup on home ice tonight (8 p.m., Eastern - NBC).

In 2012 Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP and Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun makes a case for Quick being one of five Kings worthy of the honor this season:

Read: Five Kings are worthy of Conn Smythe Trophy

The NHL posted this cool video as the Net Cam caught one of Jonathan Quick's saves against Mats Zuccarello of the Rangers during the Stanley Cup Finals.

Today we have tons more coverage of former UMass All-American Jonathan Quick as he has helped put the L.A. Kings on the verge of a second Stanley Cup championships during his career out west. Quick was nothing short of spectacular on Monday in a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers giving the Kings a 3-0 lead in the series which resumes tonight at 8 PM in Madison Square Garden. 

Rich Hammond and Eric Stephens had a piece on former UMass goaltender Jonathan Quick and his timely saves for the Kings in Wednesday's 3-2 win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Game 2 is tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

Read: Quick stops come when needed most for Kings

The Los Angeles Kings, backstopped by former UMass goaltender Jonathan Quick, begin their quest for a second Stanley Cup in the past three seasons with Game 1 of the final tonight. Lance Pugmire has this piece on Quick in today's Los Angeles Times:

Read: Jonathan Quick is there for the Kings when it counts Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley has been evaluating the 2013-14 performance of each player on the Caps roster and today has his evaluation of former Minuteman Casey Wellman:

Read: Capitals' final report cards: Casey Wellman

In advance of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, several media outlets had coverage of former Minuteman, current Los Angeles Kings' netminder Jonathan Quick:

New York Post: The kid from Connecticut who'll try to shut down the Rangers

Quick Leads Los Angeles Kings Into Second Round

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Former UMass netminder Jonathan Quick was named the Second Star of the Game last night as he helped the Los Angeles Kings take game seven and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Quick stopped 39 of 40 shots last night including this one to rob Patrick Marleau:

Over the past four games, Quick is 4-0 with a .963 save percentage and one shutout. The Kings open second round action against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, May 3, at 8 p.m.

Another former Minuteman, Matt Irwin, scored his first career postseason goal, San Jose's only goal of the night:

Irwin played 20:52 in the contest and had two shots. Teammate and fellow UMass hockey alum Justin Braun saw 17:36 of ice time.

Former Minutemen Set For Game 7 Tonight

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
At least one UMass hockey alum will advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight as former Minuteman Jonathan Quick's Los Angeles Kings will square off against the San Jose Sharks and two more former Minutemen, Justin Braun and Matt Irwin. 

Braun has appeared in all six games for the Sharks and has a goal and an assist and is +3 in the series. Braun scored the game winner in game two for his first career playoff goal (video below). His assist came on the Sharks' lone game six tally. Irwin made his 2014 postseason debut in game six as well and played 18:43 with two shots.

Quick has been a key part of the Kings' comeback in the series as he stopped 91 of the 95 shots he faced in the squad's three victories, including all 30 game five for his eighth career postseason shutout. Here's video of Quick stopping a shot by Irwin in game six.

 Justin Braun (UMass Years: 2006-10) & Matt Irwin (UMass Years: 2008-10) - San Jose Sharks
Jonathan Quick (UMass Years: 2005-07 ) - Los Angeles Kings
Regular Season Statistics:
 Braun: 82 GP, 4 G, 13 A, 17 Pts, 20 PIM, +20  |  Irwin: 62 GP, 2 G, 18 A, 20 Pts, 35 PIM, +5
 Quick: 49 GP, 2 A, 2.07 GAA, 6 SO, 27 W, 17 L, 0.915 PCT
First Round Playoff Schedule
DateOpponents Time (ET) | TV / Result
Thusday, April 17
 LAK at SJS San Jose 6, Los Angeles 3
 Sunday, April 20
 LAK at SJS San Jose 7, Los Angeles 2
 Tuesday, April 22 SJS at LAK San Jose 4, Los Angeles 3 (OT)
 Thursday, April 24 SJS at LAK Los Angeles 6, San Jose 3
 Saturday, April 26 LAK at SJS Los Angeles 3, San Jose 0
 Monday, April 28 SJS at LAK Los Angeles 4, San Jose 1
 Wednesday, April 30 LAK at SJS 10:00 p.m. | NBCSN, CSN-CA

Allen Among New York Rangers' Black Aces

Former UMass defenseman Conor Allen's season with the Hartford Wolf Pack is over, but Allen is still active, practicing as one of the "black aces" for Hartford's parent club, the New York Rangers.

For those who might not know, the term "black ace" refers to a playoff extra, a "taxi squad" guy who is on hand for NHL playoff depth. An NHL team's black aces will only get a chance to play in a Stanley Cup playoff game if the big club gets hit by a run of injuries, but they practice throughout the postseason run in case they are needed.

Read more: "Black Aces Support Rangers Playoff Run"

Former UMass defenseman Mike Kostka, who made an appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year as a rookie with the Toronto Maple Leafs, returns to the postseason for the second time in his career with his new club, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning open up their first round action against the Montreal Canadiens tonight at 7 p.m. on CNBC. The entire first round playoff schedule for Tampa Bay vs. Montreal is listed below.

 Mike Kostka (UMass Years: 2004-08) - Tampa Bay Lightning
Regular Season Statistics:
 28 GP, 4 G, 7 A,11 Pts, 8 PIM, +10
First Round Playoff Schedule
DateOpponents Time (ET) | TV
 Wednesday, April 16
 MTL at TBL 7 p.m. | CNBC, SUN
 Friday, April 18
 MTL at TBL 7 p.m. | CNBC, FS-F
 Sunday, April 20 TBL at MTL 7 p.m. | CNBC, SUN
 Tuesday, April 22 TBL at MTL 7 p.m. | NHLN, FS-F
 Thursday, April 24 MTL at TBL (If Nec.) 7 p.m. | TBD
 Sunday, April 27 TBL at MTL (If Nec.) TBD
 Tuesday, April 29 MTL at TBL (If Nec.) TBD


Quick Headlines NHL's Top 10 Saves Of The Season

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks
The NHL posted its "Top 10 Saves of the Season" video on YouTube this afternoon. Spoiler alert: former UMass netminder Jonathan Quick holds the No. 1 spot.

Quick, Kings, Win NHL's Jennings Trophy

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Congratulations to former UMass goaltender Jonathan Quick who won the NHL's Jennings Trophy with the Los Angeles Kings upon the conclusion of the 2013-14 regular season on Sunday. The Jennings award goes to "the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it."

Quick is the first member of the Kings to capture the Jennings Trophy and won it outright when the Boston Bruins allowed three goals Sunday in their final game of the season, bringing their total to 177. Los Angeles allowed 174 goals this season.

Read more: Los Angeles Times - Kings' Jonathan Quick wins NHL's Jennings Trophy

Jonathan Quick Surprises Big Fan On "Ellen" TV Show

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Check out this awesome clip from "Ellen" where UMass' own Jonathan Quick surprises young fan Daniel Clarke Bouchard, a 12-year-old Montreal native and piano prodigy who already has played Carnegie Hall.

Quick Named ECHL Alumnus of the Month

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Congratulations to former UMass hockey goaltender and current Los Angeles King Jonathan Quick who has been named the MeiGray Group ECHL Alumnus of the Month for March.

Quick appeared in 38 games for the Reading Royals in the 2007-08 season going 23-11-3 with one shutout, a 2.79 goals-against average and a save percentage of .905. He became the ninth goaltender in ECHL history to score a goal on Oct. 24, 2007 against Pensacola.

Read the ECHL's full release here.

Freelance writer Dave Cunning has an in-depth Q&A with former Minuteman, current San Jose Sharks' defenseman, Matt Irwin on The Score:

"He may not be a household name just yet, but San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin may work his way into your mental NHL player directory yet. Now in his second NHL season, the 26 year old British Columbian is continuing a trend from his amateur career that has seen his point totals, ice-time, and contributions to his team's success dynamically increase every year.

Irwin spoke with me at length about his long road to the NHL and what he'll have to do to stay there, the tough decisions he was required to make and small window of opportunity he had to live out his dream, past teammates that helped get him where he is now, current ones that help make him better, what the San Jose Sharks will have to do to win their first Stanley Cup, what it takes to be consistently inserted into a lineup full of Olympians, All-Stars, and Stanley Cup champions, and more.

Read more: Getting to know San Jose Sharks' defenseman Matt Irwin

Former Minutemen Kostka, Carzo Thriving With New Teams

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UMass hockey alums Mike Kostka and Rocco Carzo have both been good fits for their new clubs in the recent weeks. Kostka, who was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Lightning from the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 23, has two goals and three assists for five points and is a +5 over his 10 games with the Lightning. Tampa Bay, winners of five straight, currently sits second in the Atlantic Division and boasts the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Carzo, in his first full season of pro hockey in the ECHL, was traded from the Florida Everblades to the Ontario Reign back on Feb. 24. Since joining the Reign, Carzo has logged seven assists in seven games and currently has an active four-game point streak. In Ontario's most recent contest, Carzo was named the second star of the game after helping the Reign defeat the Idaho Steelheads, 6-2.
Congratulations to former UMass goaltender Jonathan Quick who stopped two of three Washington Capitals' attempts in the shootout last night to tie Rogie Vachon for the Los Angeles franchise record with his 171st career win. Quick is now 171-115 over 326 games with the Kings.

Read more here: Kings top Capitals in shootout for Sutter's 500th win
Los Angeles Times: Kings grind out historic milestones in 2-1 shootout win over Capitals

LA Kings Insider: Rogie and Quick

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Jon Rosen from LA Kings Insider has this piece on, talking with former Kings' goaltender Rogie Vachon about UMass hockey alum, current King, Jonathan Quick. Vachon won a franchise record 171 games with the Kings between 1971 and 1978 and Quick is on the verge of breaking Vachon's record, currently with 170 victories.

Read: Rogie and Quick

Former UMass standout Casey Wellman has once again been called up to the NHL's Washington Capitals this season from the Hershey Bears - the AHL affiliate.

Wellman has 2 goals and an assist in 10 games with the Caps this season. In 46 games with the Bears, he has 29 points on 15 goals and 14 assists.

Former UMass All-American Justin Braun played in his 200th NHL game on Saturday as San Jose defeated Montreal 4-0. Braun has been a regular with the Sharks since the 2010-11 and is on pace to log a career high in games played this season. He had 66 total appearances in 2011-12 and has 65 this season.

Quick On 5-Game Win Streak For L.A. Kings Since Olympic Games

A recent study has shown that goal scoring for players in the NHL declines after participation in the Winter Olympics. Whether it's that or just that Jonathan Quick is in a groove, the former UMass standout has now won five consecutive games for the L.A. Kings giving up an average of 1.0 goals per game.

He has a six-game win streak in hand having won a game before the Olympic games and is 21-13 overall this season. His 2.02 GAA is 2nd among goalies in the NHL this year.

Nick Forrester of the International Business Times has former UMass All-American and current L.A. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick as the 4th best player in the NHL this season. Forrester composed a list of the top 50 NHL players for the 2013-14 campaign.

Mike Kostka Claimed Off Waivers By Tampa Bay

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The Tampa Bay Lightning have claimed former UMass defenseman Mike Kostka off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks, Lightning vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced on Sunday.

Lightning Claim Defenseman Mike Kostka Off Waivers
Tampa Bay Times: Defenseman Mike Kostka claimed off waivers

The puck went in, T.J. Oshie turned and skated back toward the American bench, and before he could cement himself as the early favorite for America's Olympic hero, he stopped and pointed a big gloved finger in the air back towards his own goal, where Jonathan Quick came charging forth.

"We don't get the win without Quickie shutting the door there," Oshie told NBC Saturday, just moments after he went 4-for-6 in the shootout, including five turns in a row, en route to a 3-2 win over the hometown Russians in Sochi.

Yet as Oshie was receiving all the acclaim, his first response was to credit Quick, the Los Angeles Kings netminder who stopped Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Evgeni Malkin, not just in the shootout but in the hard-fought 65 minutes prior, and gave the first week of games its defining moment.

Read more: US counting on Quick in net entering medal rounds

Jonathan Quick, former UMass netminder, has been selected to start in goal for the U.S. men's Olympic team Thursdayin its opener against Slovakia, it was announced on Wednesday morning.

Several news outlets had coverage:

USA Today: Jonathan Quick starting first game for USA
Los Angeles Times: Kings' Jonathan Quick to start U.S. men's Olympic hockey opener
ABC News: Goalie Jonathan Quick to Start Sochi Opener for US

Casey Wellman missed two chances to score on Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, but in the same rapid-fire sequence there was another rebound. He finished the job.

The former University of Massachusetts star, who has been traded by three teams, has learned that to be successful in the NHL it sometimes takes a few tries.

Wellman has scored twice for the Washington Capitals since his Jan. 25 callup. Both times, he was on the receiving end of passes from superstar Alex Ovechkin. Wellman's next goal is to prove he should stay.

"I would love for this to be my last stop," Wellman, 26, said after stepping off the ice Tuesday at the Capitals' practice facility. "I'd love to make a spot for myself on this team."

Read More: Former UMass star Casey Wellman carving a niche for himself with Washington Capitals

Nick Canelas had this piece in today's Daily Collegian on former UMass defenseman Conor Allen in his first full season of professional hockey:

It was just an ordinary Friday night.

Conor Allen was sitting on the couch in his Hartford, Conn., home, playing cards with a group of friends, when he received a phone call from an unfamiliar number around 10:30 p.m.

He answered suspiciously. Initially, he thought it was a prank call because he didn't recognize the voice on the other end. That mystery voice actually belonged to Ken Gernander, Allen's coach for the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack.

Gernander wasn't just looking to chat, however. He had with him the most exciting news of the 23-year-old's hockey career: Allen was being called up to the New York Rangers.

Next thing he knew, he was on a flight to Washington, D.C., where the Rangers played the Capitals that night, to meet his new teammates.

"It was a weird feeling knowing I was getting called up," Allen said. "You try not to think about it. Everyone just tells you to take care of business in the AHL and if you do that the NHL will figure itself out.

Read more: Former UMass hockey player Conor Allen embraces NHL opportunity

The Los Angeles Times had this update today on former UMass goaltender Jonathan Quick who has been out of the L.A. Kings' lineup for the past six weeks with a groin injury:

It is not a 100% return to health -- not that any NHL team is ever completely without issues -- but the Kings are inching toward that elusive goal.

On hand Friday in practice for Saturday's game at Nashville were defenseman Willie Mitchell and goalie Jonathan Quick. It is the first trip Quick has taken with his teammates since he suffered a strained groin at Buffalo on Nov. 12. Mitchell suffered an upper-body injury at Ottawa on the Kings' last trip.

Quick's presence is a definite sign of progress, considering Coach Darryl Sutter had indicated recently he did not think Quick would make this trip. General Manager Dean Lombardi said before the holiday break that Quick might be able to return the first week of January.

Read more: Jonathan Quick, Willie Mitchell return to Kings practice

Los Angeles Times: Kings won't rush Jonathan Quick's return

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks
Here's an update on former Minuteman Jonathan Quick and the status of his return to the ice from the Los Angeles Times:

From star goaltender Jonathan Quick to goalie coach Bill Ranford to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, the message has been consistent about Quick's recovery from a strained groin.

The Kings are not going to rush the process.

Quick suffered the injury Nov. 12 at Buffalo, a grade two strain. Lombardi said Wednesday afternoon that Quick's return might come during the first week of January.

After Christmas, the Kings leave on a four-game trip that starts Dec. 28 in Nashville and concludes Jan. 2 at St. Louis. Although Quick has been on the ice since last week, and worked with Ranford the last two days, Coach Darryl Sutter did not sound as if the goalie would be accompanying the team on the trip.

"No, until he's full practice ... I thought he'd be closer than he was and we'll just keep going," Sutter said. "... He's got a long ways to go."

Read More: Kings won't rush Jonathan Quick's return

Former Minuteman Casey Wellman Recalled By Capitals

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Former UMass hockey standout Casey Wellman has returned to the NHL after being recalled by the Washington Capitals yesterday from Hershey.

Wellman joins former Minutemen Justin Braun, Matt Irwin, Michael Kostka and Jonathan Quick as the fifth UMass hockey alum currently on NHL rosters.

The Washington Post had coverage of the transaction.

After missing 24 games with a foot injury, former Minuteman Michael Kostka was back in action for the Blackhawks on Tuesday night and helped Chicago to a 6-2 victory on the road against the Dallas Stars with his first multi-point game of his NHL career, tallying a goal and an assist in the contest. Kostka has three points (2g, 1a) in just three games with the Blackhawks and scored his first NHL goal back on Oct. 19.

Here's video of Kostka's goal last night from

The Chicago Tribune had coverage of Kostka's return: Kostka returns to Hawks, makes presence felt

The Province, out of British Columbia, had this piece chronicling former UMass and current San Jose Sharks' defenseman Matt Irwin's development throughout his hockey career:

"Bill Bestwick marvels at Matt Irwin being paired with Dan Boyle and manning the point on the San Jose Sharks' power play.

He can't help but think of the kid from Brentwood Bay, near Victoria, who showed up in Nanaimo with high BCHL hopes and little meat on his 16-year-old frame.

"He couldn't do a pushup," recalled the former Clippers coach and general manager.

"When he played for me at 16, as an affiliate player, I think he was probably scared to death. At 17, he got his feet wet, and at 18, he started to figure out, 'Hey, I'm not bad.' He was 6-foot-2, but still a skinny runt with no strength in his body. Then at 19, his coordination and dexterity came to the forefront."

Read more: Continuing education behind Matt Irwin's ascent with San Jose Sharks

Former UMass hockey netminder Jonathan Quick is 4-0 in shootouts this year for the Los Angeles Kings, stopping 10 of 11 shots, and led the league with 10 shootout wins in 2010-11, going 10-0.

Check out Lisa Dillman's notebook from the Los Angeles Times: Kings and Jonathan Quick are all-in with the shootout

Former UMass hockey captain Mike Kostka, coming off a stellar rookie campaign with the Toronto last season, is currently in preseason camp with the Chicago Blackhawks and looking to earn a roster spot for the upcoming 2013-14 season after signing with the organization this past summer.

Mark Lazerus had this piece in today's Chicago Sun-Times:

When he's out on the ice, Michael Kostka isn't wondering if one bad pass, one wrong stride or one lost opponent is going to be the one that costs him a spot in the NHL this season. He's not constantly looking over his shoulder to see if Joel Quenneville's glare has found him. He's not sweating every little detail. He's just out there playing hockey.

But when he's sitting around the hotel with nothing to keep his mind occupied? That's a different story.

"I've gotten to a point where I feel I can relax out there and just play my game," Kostka said. "If anything, I'm more stressed when I have free time, and you're sitting there, and you've got friends texting you, 'Are you [on the team]?' Man, shut up! I don't know! I'm trying not to think about that right now!"

There are only four days left before the Blackhawks open the 2013-14 season against Washington on Tuesday night, and the final roster likely will be set shortly after Saturday night's preseason finale against the same Capitals.

And while five forwards are jockeying for three spots, on defense, it's a one-on-one matchup. Joel Quenneville said he will be keeping an eighth defenseman out of camp, so it's Kostka, the veteran, against Ryan Stanton, the rookie. One of those two will be a member of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. One of them will be a Rockford IceHog.

Read more of Kostka, Stanton -- friends and rivals -- battle for Blackhawks' last defenseman spot

Jonathan Quick Attends Team USA Orientation Camp

| 78 Comments | No TrackBacks
USA Hockey wrapped up its U.S. Men's National Team Orientation Camp in Arlington, Va., at which former UMass goaltender Jonathan Quick was in attendance. Many members of the media have dubbed Quick the favorite to be the starting netminder for Team USA at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Feb. 7-23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Quick was mentioned by several media outlets in their coverage of the camp, including the Associated Press. had this video interview with Quick from camp:

Quick was also mentioned by Nate Ewell in this piece on the College Hockey Inc. website: Seven Thoughts from U.S. Olympic Camp

Irwin And Wellman Both Recalled To NHL

| 3 Comments | No TrackBacks
Former UMass hockey players Matt Irwin and Casey Wellman were both recalled by their respective NHL clubs today. Irwin will rejoin the San Jose Sharks after playing nine games with the Sharks at the start of the season.

Wellman, who was acquired by the Washington Capitals from the Florida Panthers last month, will make his debut with the Capitals wearing No. 48. In his 11 games since the trade, he has tallied 11 points in 11 contests with the Hershey Bears.

Wellman previously played 41 games in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild from 2009-2012.

Sporting News covered Matt Anderson's NHL debut, and also mentions fellow UMass hockey alum Mike Kostka:

Patrick Bordeleau and Mike Kostka have company.

Bordeleau's circuitous trip to the NHL--he played for five teams in 2008-09--has been an interesting side story of the early season. At 26, he's playing on the Colorado Avalanche's first line. The 27-year-old Kostka has emerged as an everyday defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs and currently is playing alongside captain Dion Phaneuf.

New Jersey Devils winger Matt Anderson has them beat.

Anderson, set to play in his first NHL game tonight, is 30--that's too old to qualify for rookie status at all. He got the callup from AHL Albany over the weekend.

"It was pretty surreal," Anderson told the Bergen Record (where there's much more of his story). "It's a phone call you always hope that you get. You think about it and you think how it would happen and I always said to myself, I'd never expect it. It would be at the least expected time."

He's in Boston, where the Devils play the Bruins on Tuesday.

After an injury-filled college career ended in 2007, Anderson signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Wolves. Then came an AHL deal with Albany in 2010, a strong 2010-11 season in which he had 23 goals and 32 assists, and then a two-way NHL contract with the Devils. Now, it's 2013, and he's finally getting his chance.

Read on the Sporting News website

Andy Merritt also had coverage of Matt Anderson's NHL debut for the New England Hockey journal and also mentions the other four former UMass hockey players in the NHL this season:

When you're a rookie, they tell you to act like you've been there before.

Matt Anderson's not exactly a rookie, and he has been here before, although it's been a long time.

The 30-year-old West Islip, N.Y., native made his NHL debut Tuesday with the New Jersey Devils, who fell in a shootout to the Boston Bruins. It was the culmination of a very long journey for Anderson, coming more than six years after he began his pro career.

Since graduating from UMass in 2007, Anderson played with three different pro teams - the AHL's Chicago Wolves, the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL, and for the last two-and-a-half years back in the AHL with the Albany Devils. He has had his greatest success as a pro in Albany, racking up 40 goals and 106 points in 171 games, and in 2010-11 had a career best 23 goals and 32 assists in 76 games.

Still, a nice minor league career isn't really what a player dreams of when he becomes a professional. It's all about getting the call - or in Anderson's case, the text message. That text came Monday. While Anderson was enjoying the AHL All-Star break in Southern Vermont with some friends, he was having some trouble keeping his cell phone charged.

"There was one charger, one of those Bose docks, at the house where we were staying, and I stuck it on there," he said. "Me and my buddies were about to leave the house, and it came on, and there was a text from [Albany GM] Chris Lamoriello, saying to call him as soon as possible."

Lamoriello, the son of New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello (Providence, R.I.), had good news: The big club was calling Anderson up, and just in time for the UMass grad to come back to Boston.

Read more: Former Minuteman Anderson makes long-awaited NHL debut

VIDEO: Matt Anderson Interview On MSG+

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks
MSG plus had this video of former Minuteman Matt Anderson speaking with the media following his first NHL game on Tuesday night:

The USA Today had this piece on UMass hockey alum Matt Anderson making his NHL debut for the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night:

Proving that good things eventually will come to those who wait, winger Matt Anderson made his NHL debut at 30 on Tuesday night.

The forward was called up by the New Jersey Devils on Monday after he had spent his entire pro career in the minors.

"The longer you wait, the more you appreciate it," he said during the between-periods interview on MSG Plus.

Anderson went undrafted out the University of Massachusetts after a college career in which he missed the 2003-04 season with a shoulder injury and was limited to 18 games the following season by a broken ankle.

He had signed minor league deals with the Chicago Wolves and the Albany (N.Y.) Devils. But after scoring 55 points in 2010-11, New Jersey signed him to a two-year, two-way deal last season.

Anderson had 20 points in 39 games this season with Albany. He played Tuesday night on the Devils' fourth line. One of his shifts was cut short because a fight broke out between the Devils' Krys Barch and the Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton, but he finished with 11 shifts, 6 minutes, 57 seconds of ice time and one blocked shot.

Read more: Matt Anderson makes NHL debut at age 30 for Devils

Here's another piece of former Minuteman Matt Irwin and his early season success in the NHL with the San Jose Sharks:

Matt Irwin is too young to remember Larry Robinson. But he knows "big bird." Big yellow fella from Sesame Street.

"My uncle is a Montreal Canadiens fan, so he's a big Larry Robinson fan," Irwin, the 25-year-old San Jose Sharks' rookie, said before facing the Vancouver Canucks here Sunday. "I haven't had to ask for an autograph yet (for my uncle), but that might be coming up soon."

Irwin is already signing autographs for himself. The defenceman from Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island has been a revelation to the Sharks' coaching staff, which includes Robinson, known as "Big Bird" when he played and merely one of the greatest blueliners of his generation.

Robinson and Irwin are getting to know each other.

Undrafted after three Junior-A seasons with the Nanaimo Clippers, Irwin entered the University of Massachusetts as a 20-year-old freshman and played two seasons in Amherst. He earned a free-agent contract from the Sharks, then spent another 2 ½ seasons in the American Hockey League before injuries to San Jose defencemen Brent Burns and Jason Demers helped Irwin make the lineup for the start of the lockout-shortened National Hockey League season.

Until two weeks ago, Irwin's entire NHL experience was one pre-season game.

But through four games this month, the 6-2, 210-pound Irwin was averaging 22:48 of ice time and playing with Dan Boyle in the defence's top four.

Read more: Undrafted Matt Irwin 'looks like he fits' with Sharks

THE PROVINCE: Irwin Fitting In Nicely With Sharks

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UMass hockey alum Matt Irwin, who logged his first NHL points over the weekend, was featured in his hometown paper:

In a star-studded lockerroom, Matt Irwin could have been mistaken for a fan Sunday morning.

After all, the Brentwood Bay, B.C. native talked enthusiastically about idolizing Trevor Linden while playing for the Nanaimo Clippers. But the talk among teammates was how the undrafted San Jose Sharks defenceman has made a seamless rookie transition to the NHL. He even unloaded a heavy slapshot for his first career goal Saturday.

The effort was posted in a hurry to YouTube and there was a flurry of calls from his minor-league teammates in Worcester, Mass., and likely a few from old college teammates at UMass-Amherst, too.

"I don't know if I ever pictured one goal and it doesn't matter -- it's kind of been a whirlwind and kind of exciting," he said before a 4-1 victory Sunday over the Vancouver Canucks. "We've all had that moment on the driveway and stuff like that. I don't think I even scored too many of those goals then. I was just trying to play."

Irwin doesn't look like and certainly doesn't sound like a rookie. A pairing with veteran Dan Boyle and the tutelage of assistant coach Larry Robinson have the 25-year-old blueliner poised for a brighter future after signing a two-year, two-way free agent contract that expires after this season.

"He's played great -- better than great," said Boyle, who was also undrafted. "He's not only doing what he needs to do, he's doing more and not just eating up minutes. He's a big factor in all the games. Veterans sometimes do the mistake of giving a young guy too much information and then it's overload.

Read more: Island's Irwin fitting in nicely with Sharks

Irwin Scores First NHL Goal

| 10 Comments | No TrackBacks
Congratulations to former Minuteman Matt Irwin who scored his first NHL goal last night to help the San Jose Sharks down the Colorado Avalanche, 4-0. Irwin saw 22:48 of ice time, blocked six shots and was named the game's No. 2 star.

Here's the video of Irwin's goal:

The Sharks also had this nice tribute to Irwin on Twitter Friday after he tallied his first NHL point, an assist vs. the Phoenix Coyotes:

Kostka Featured In National Post Article

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks
Bruce Arthur's Toronto Maple Leafs' article from the National Post includes a sizeable section that features former Minuteman, current Maple Leaf, Mike Kostka:

Which is why it's such a pleasure to see a guy like Mike Kostka in the lineup, because he is like found money. Kostka grew up in Ajax, a Leafs fan from the jump, and was a defenceman whose feet grew to size 13 when he was still 5-foot-6 and 140 pounds in the ninth grade, which didn't help his skating. He wasn't drafted by the OHL, and he wasn't drafted by the NHL, and he went to school at UMass-Amherst, and he eventually bounced around the AHL until he was let go by Buffalo in 2010. He was one day from signing a deal in Germany.

"One of my friends, Marco Rosa, who plays in Finland now, he just happened to come over, and I was going to sign the next day, and he came over and he was chatting, and it was like, you can't go now," said Kostka, 27, the morning of the home opener. "And I was like, what do you mean? I'm going to sign tomorrow. And he said if you feel like you even have a one per cent change of playing in the NHL, you can't leave here. Europe will be there."

Three weeks later, in a striking stroke of luck, Rochester called.

"My sister was doing grad certificate at Durham College, and the second part was an internship, and she got an internship with the Nashville Predators," Kostka said. "That was a couple years before, and she had worked for the Nashville Predators, and so then I get a call, and Mike Santos, who was the assistant GM in Florida now, had just left Nashville, and was trying to start to build the Rochester team, calls, and says, I knew your sister from the office, I know you came from a good family, we've seen you play, and we'd like to offer you a contract."

He signed for the minimum, US$37,500, and kept working. He got better. Tampa let him go, Toronto signed him, he played 34 games with the Marlies during the lockout -- and managed 34 points -- and he played the first regular-season NHL game of his life Saturday night in Montreal. He played 23 minutes with Dion Phaneuf that night, and played top-pair minutes again Monday, with 27:02. He was fine, passable, and saved a goal on a second-period penalty kill, clearing it from the crease. He doesn't give up.

"The hope is what drives you and what pulls you, but at the same time you've got to keep your mindset of where you're at," Kostka said Monday. "It's tough at times, obviously, you know, you hope and you want to be there, but I've learned throughout my career that it's not going to work if your mind is somewhere else, in the future or the past."

Sounds like a true Leafs fan. He never gave up, even when it appeared hopeless. He never left, even when hockey was tough. When asked what he would have done if hockey hadn't worked out, Kostka smiled. "It was gonna work out," he said.

Leafs fans have been conditioned to be a little more fatalistic about their chances. But they never give up, either. Maybe one day, it'll all work out.

Irwin Appears In Sharks' Opener, His First NHL Game

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks
Former Minuteman Matt Irwin joined Mike Kostka as the second UMass hockey alum to make his NHL debut this weekend. A member of the San Jose Sharks, Irwin was on the ice for 19:06 in his first NHL game, including 51 seconds on the power play. He also registered two shots and two hits as the Sharks defeated the Calgary Flames, 4-1.

Kostka Shines In NHL Debut

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks
Former UMass hockey captain Mike Kostka garnered much attention and praise for his play during his NHL debut on Saturday night, helping the Toronto Maple Leafs down the Montreal Canadiens, 2-1, in the teams' season opener on Hockey Night In Canada. Kostka saw 23 minutes of ice time in the contest, the second-most of any player for Toronto, and picked up an assist just four minutes, 51 seconds into his NHL career.

Kostka was called the "best defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs" by hockey icon Don Cherry on Coach's Corner:

Toronto Star - Maple Leafs: Journeyman blueliner Mike Kostka no overnight sensation
TSN - Masters: Leafs' Late-Bloomer Kostka Revels In 'Special' Debut - Leafs' opening win owes a lot to AHL grads

The Unlikeliest Leaf: Mike Kostka Finally Makes The NHL

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Here's a great piece on former Minuteman captain Mike Kostka from today's Globe and Mail out of Toronto. Kostka will be one of four UMass hockey alumni on NHL rosters as the season opens this afternoon.

No member of the Toronto Maple Leafs had a bigger smile on his face when the dressing room opened on Friday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre.

Mike Kostka was still there, still a Leaf and, presumably given he had been lining up alongside captain Dion Phaneuf throughout much of training camp, one day away from playing in his first NHL game at age 27.

That's not something you see all that often.

Kostka, who grew up a Leafs fan 45 minutes east of the Air Canada Centre in Ajax, Ont., has bounced around the minors for years after four seasons with the UMass Minutemen in the NCAA.

He graduated in 2008 at age 22 and stepped right into the AHL, playing two seasons with the Portland Pirates before considering going over to Europe, as many players do when they sense they're beginning a long, low-paying career in the North American minor leagues in their mid-20s.

Close friend, Marco Rosa, another minor leaguer looking for a break (and now playing in Finland), convinced him otherwise.

"After my first two years in the AHL, I didn't get qualified by Buffalo and I had an opportunity in Germany and I didn't have a job here," Kostka said. "I was about to sign that night to go over to Germany, and Marco told me 'if you think you have a 1 per cent chance of making the NHL, you can't leave now.' For whatever reason, that just made sense.

Read more of The unlikeliest Leaf: Mike Kostka finally makes the NHL

Former Minutemen In NHL Training Camps

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
With the start of the NHL season just days away, teams have been providing coverage of their training camps on their web sites. Video updates from the LA Kings and the San Jose Sharks featured former Minutemen Jonathan Quick and Justin Braun.

Jonathan Quick Speaks To The Media On Day 1 Of Training Camp:

Sharks Second-Year Players Are Expected To Raise Performance Level (Braun at 2:27 mark):

Two more former UMass hockey players are also currently at NHL training camps as Matt Irwin is with the Sharks and Mike Kostka (pictured, middle) is with Toronto.

Toronto Maple Leafs players Mike Komisarek Mike Kostka and Mike Mottau skate sprints on the first day of training camp in Toronto.

LA Times: Kings Goalie Quick Ready For Action

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks
With the return of the NHL less than two weeks away, the Los Angeles Times has this piece on former UMass goaltender, Los Angeles Kings' star, Jonathan Quick and his recovery from surgery on a herniated disk. Quick received medical clearance to play on Monday.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick never complained while he carried the Kings on his back and became the most valuable player of their Stanley Cup championship run, but he paid a steep price for toting that heavy burden.

A herniated disc that doctors didn't immediately diagnose began pinching his sciatic nerve in March, while the team was making its playoff push, but Quick played through it stoically and superbly. Game after game he kept the low-scoring Kings competitive, boosting them into the final playoff spot in the West and then repelling shot after shot as they rampaged through the playoffs and to a six-game victory over the New Jersey Devils in the Cup final.

Never did he hint at the ache that accompanied him almost everywhere.

"If you'd sit on a plane, get in a car, driving to the rink, driving home, sitting down for dinner, whatever," he said of when he felt discomfort. "But when I was playing, that's when I'd get the least amount of pain. It was manageable on the ice."

Rehabilitation, the preferred option, failed to remedy the problem. When the disc developed a cyst he had no choice but to undergo a microdiscectomy in August. The procedure removed herniated disc material, cleaned up an inflammation and left him facing a tedious recovery.

Read more of: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick ready for action on the ice

Today has a great story about Jonathan Quick and former UMass goaltending coach Jim Stewart:

Following an All-America playing career at Holy Cross that resulted in a single game with the Boston Bruins and more than 20 years mentoring college goaltenders, 2006 was going to be Jim Stewart's farewell to hockey.

Stewart earned a 1985 national championship coaching Darren Puppa and Adam Oates at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before spending five years as a volunteer assistant at the University of Massachusetts. He was leaving the game to focus more on his family. But all of a sudden, a young goaltending prospect named Jonathan Quick compelled Stewart to stick around for one final season.

"My wife gave me the blessing for one more year and I said, 'You know what? Jon's going to be a sophomore, he's going to play a lot. We'll certainly be better,'" said Stewart, who simultaneously worked for the state's Department of Recreation and Conservation managing Massachusetts' hockey rinks and swimming pools. "It was hard to juggle all these things. We managed to do it for some time, but I was getting run down. I basically said I would do one more year because I thought Jon was going to have a pretty good year, and he did. Then I wrapped it up."

Under Stewart and UMass head coach Don "Toot" Cahoon, Quick didn't just have a pretty good year in 2006-07. He had a historic season for a program that was shelved in 1979 before returning to Division I in 1993. As a sophomore, the star goaltender from Milford, Conn., took the team to the NCAA tournament for the first time, earning All-America honors and setting single-season records for wins, appearances, saves and minutes, as well as career marks for save percentage, goals-against average and saves per game.

Stewart's final season became one of his most memorable.

Read more of Quick gave goalie coach a perfect parting gift

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on the success of Jonathan Quick and Victor Cruz and their meteoric rise to sports fame this year.

On Friday, Victor Cruz wore a maroon tie on his trip to the White House, a silent nod to the prominent color of his college (University of Massachusetts) and high school (Paterson Catholic) alma maters. Three days later, shortly after hoisting the Conn Smythe Trophy, Jonathan Quick thanked UMass coach Toot Cahoon and the Minuteman program during a televised interview.  

It's continued to be a good year for the UMass athletic department. Even after the Minuteman baseball team was eliminated from the Atlantic 10 tournament, ending the 2011-12 athletic season, its prominent former players are keeping the school's name in the news in good ways.

UMass has had alumni shine in the ranks of the four major professional sports before. Mike Flanagan won a Cy Young Award. Jeff Reardon was, at one point, baseball's all-time leader in saves. Marcus Camby was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.  

But none of them captured the attention of their fan bases like Quick and Cruz. In the nation's two largest media markets, the two former Minutemen not only found the spotlight, but have shined in its glare.

Jonathan Quick Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Coverage

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Congratulations UMass' Jonathan Quick not only on becoming the first Minuteman to win the Stanley Cup, but also for being honored with the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

Here are some select pieces from the media today that highlight Quick:

Sports Illustrated - Quick's breakthrough year, playoffs conclude with Conn Smythe Trophy
ESPN - Jonathan Quick wins Conn Smythe
Fox News - Quick is the newest star in LA - Kings goalie Jonathan Quick is playoff MVP
Daily Hampshire Gazette - Former Minuteman Jonathan Quick joins elite company

Jonathan Quick Stanley Cup Finals Coverage

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Former UMass netminder Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings came up just short of the New Jersey Devils in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals last night. Quick had 21 saves in the 3-1 setback. The teams will head back to New Jersey for Game Five on Saturday with the Kings up 3-1 in the series.

Here are several pieces from the past few days that have focused on Quick:

New York Times - Quick Goes from Street Games to Cup Finals
Hartford Courant - Hamden Showing Plenty Of Pride For Hometown Hero Jon Quick - American Quick leads Kings' Stanley Cup run
The Canadian Press - Simply the best: Jonathan Quick authoring historic post-season for Kings

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has a story on Justin Braun's play helping San Jose to a 3-2 overtime win against Detroit on Saturday night. Wellman A Long Way From California Roots

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Former UMass hockey standout Casey Wellman, who was traded by the Minnesota Wild last Thursday to the New York Rangers, is featured today by his new team, the Connecticut Whale, on the squad's web site,

Casey Wellman played several sports growing up in Brentwood, Calif., hardly a hotbed for hockey.

But Wellman got hooked on the game played on ice after his father, Brad, met several New Jersey Devils players who asked him to skate with them in Boston.

"Dad didn't know how to skate, so he was pretty upset about that," Wellman said with a smile.

But Brad, an infielder for 441 games for three major league teams over eight seasons who later managed in the Houston Astros organization, introduced Casey and his brother, Logan, to hockey, and 31/2-year-old Casey fell in love with his new endeavor.

"I have some vague memories (of his dad playing), but I was pretty young," said Wellman, whose uncle, Tom Candiotti, is a former major league pitcher known for his knuckleball. "Having pictures of a father-son game is pretty cool, but I haven't played baseball for a while. It's a great sport, but at the time, it was just a little slow, a little boring, so I stuck with hockey."

Despite his West Coast upbringing, Wellman is now surprisingly playing professionally with the Connecticut Whale, who are about 70 miles from where he competed collegiately on the East Coast. When Wellman was on his way to practice with the Houston Aeros last Thursday, he got "a pretty big surprise," a call that the Minnesota Wild had traded him to the New York Rangers.

"It was definitely pretty crazy, a bit of a shock," said Wellman, 24, acquired for center Erik Christensen, who had a two-week conditioning assignment with the Whale in mid-January, and a conditional seventh-round pick in 2013. "It was tough to say goodbye because I had some good friends (in Houston), but that's the business and that's what can happen and probably won't be the last time."

Wellman quickly returned home, packed and headed for Hershey, Pa., where he met his new teammates. Whale coach Ken Gernander put Wellman on a line with All-Star Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and rugged Andre Deveaux, and the trio helped produce a 4-1 victory over one of the AHL's top teams, including going 5-for-5 on the penalty kill against the league's top power play.

In his home debut Tuesday night, Wellman again helped on the penalty kill, played the power play and assisted on Blake Parlett's winning goal in a 3-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch as the Whale won their third in a row after an 11-game winless streak (0-6-3-2) in January to reclaim first place in the Northeast Division from the idle Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Continue reading on

NHL All-Star Weekend Interviews With Jonathan Quick

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Over the weekend, several in-depth and behind-the-scenes interviews with Jonathan Quick were produced surrounding the NHL All-Star Weekend. Included are Quick's thoughts on his time at UMass.

Is there anything better than a goalie race in hockey? Greg Wyshynski breaks down Jonathan Quick's win over Jimmy Howard at the 2012 NHL All-Star Skills Competition.

Rich Hammond of the L.A. Kings has a feature on Jonathan Quick as he prepares to play in his first career All-Star game which is this Sunday. Coverage of the All-Star weekend begins tonight at 5 PM on the NHL Network. Sunday's All-Star Game will be televised at 4 PM on the NBC Sports Network (formerly VS).

Jon Rosen of Fox Sports West looks at Jonathan Quicks season in 2011-12 and his chances at being a finalist for the Vezina Award thanks to his stellar play in goal this season for the L.A. Kings.

With an NHL-leading six shutouts -- as well as five straight starts and 14 overall in which he yielded no more than one goal -- Quick is in the midst of posting the best season by a goaltender in Kings franchise history. His results would suggest serious consideration for the Vezina Trophy.

Quick Becomes UMass First NHL All-Star

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
In his blog, Criag Custance of looks at the potential goalies for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. UMass alum and current L.A. King netminder was a member of the 2010 team and is among the top-five players who could currently make the roster.

NHL: Quick Named Third Star Of The Week

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
On Monday, former UMass All-American and current L.A. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was named the NHL's Third-Star Of The Week after winning all three starts last week and is now 5-0-1 over his last six starts.

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has an update on three former Minutemen now in the NHL ranks: Jonathan Quick (L.A. Kings), Justin Braun (San Jose Sharks), and Casey Wellman (Minnesota Wild).

Republican: UMass Hockey In The Pros Update

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has an update on Justin Braun (San Jose Sharks, NHL), Matt Irwin (Worcester Sharks, AHL) and Casey Wellman (Minnesota Wild, NHL).

Braun played a season-high 21 minutes in a 3-2 win over Edmonton, while Irwin was reassigned to Worcester. After being called up from Houston, Wellman has been sidelined with the an injury for the Wild.

Quick's Kings Face Bruins In Boston Tonight

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Be sure to check out the Boston Bruins hosting the L.A. Kings tonight at 7 PM as Jonathan Quick makes a return trip to New England. You can watch the game on NESN or listen on 98.5 FM The Sports Hub.
Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the coaching change with the L.A. Kings who have named John Stevens as the interim head coach.

Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a feature on Casey Wellman that was picked up nationally. The story centers on the development of Wellman who is a rare Californian playing in the top professional ranks between the NHL's Minnesota Wild and the AHL's Houston Aeros - whom he helped nearly win the Calder Cup last season.

San Jose Calls Up Matt Irwin From Worcester

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The San Jose Sharks of the NHL called up Matt Irwin on Sunday from the AHL Worcester Sharks. That gives the Sharks a pair of UMass blueliners as Irwin will join former teammate Justin Braun.

Braun has played in 14 games this season with a 1 goal, 2 assists and a +5 rating.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette ran a piece on former UMass All-American hockey goalie Jonathan Quick and his current hot streak with the L.A. Kings. Quick is arguably one of the most talked about NHL players currently as he has a string of three straight shutouts and recently won his 100th career game for the Kings.

Former hockey All-American Justin Braun was called up from the Worcester Sharks to the NHL's San Jose Sharks on Saturday helping the club defeat the Boston Bruins 4-2.

HOCKEY: Jonathan Quick Earns 100th Career NHL Win

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

NBC Sports: L.A. Kings Goaltending Looks Solid With Quick

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
NBC Sports has a look the the L.A.. Kings goaltending situation, led by former UMass All-American Jonathan Quick, as the NHL Preseason has begun.

Former UMass standout Paul Dainton was sharp last night in a split-squad preseason game between his Columbus Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets. Dainton saved 17-of-18 shots in 40 minutes of action as the Jackets won 5-1.

Check Out Jonathan Quick's New Goalie Mask For 2011-12

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Jonathan Quick will sport some new artwork on his goalie mask as he continues to man the pipes for the L.A. Kings. Check out his new mask here.

Greg Mauldin, Colorado Avalanche Renew Contract

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The Colorado Avalanche and Greg Mauldin agreed to terms last week renewing the forward with a one year deal. Mauldin played in 29 games with Colorado last season where he had 5 goals, including 2 shorthanded and 1 game-winner, and 5 assists.

Coverage Of Michael Pereira And The NHL Draft

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Speculation abounded last week about the possibility of UMass rising sophomore Michael Pereira being selected in the NHL Draft last Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass despite Pereira being one of the top rated college draft-eligible players and having been ranked by the Central Scouting Services agency over the last two years.

Of the 92 draft picks by the L.A. Kings over the last decade, UMass' Jonathan Quick is listed among several of the top draftees. 

"Jonathan Quick (third round, 2005): Quick was USA's third goalie at last year's Olympics, and he has done well as the Kings' starting goaltender. He has back-to-back 30-win seasons, and this year he went 35-22-3 with six shutouts to go with a 2.24 GAA and .918 save percentage. He was ninth in wins, sixth in GAA and sixth in shutouts."

The NHL Draft begins tonight and will finish up on Saturday. Mike Pereira has continued to gain attention as one of the top NCAA Players likely to be taken. Last week he was listed as one of the top-10 NCAA Players eligible for the Draft. Today he is listed as one of the top New England talents - a region that has seen several notable players taken in the first round.

"I think (NHL teams) would be smart to take him. He's a very noticeable offensive player whose skating is obviously better than a lot of the players on the ice. He has very good balance agility and a real good stick." -- Central Scouting's New England Regional Scout Gary Eggleston

Mike Yeo is expected to be named the new head coach of the Minnesota Wild at a news conference today at 11 AM. Yeo has been the coach of the AHL Houston Aeros which made it to the Calder Cup Finals before falling to the Binghamton Senators.

This could bode well for Casey Wellman as he spent most of the past season in Houston with Yeo.

Fox Sports North and the Minneapolis Star Tribune both have stories today.

Jonathan Quick Joins Twitter

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
According to Rich Hammond of the L.A. Kings Insider, Jonathan Quick has now joined Twitter. Quick can be found @JonathanQuick32.
Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has a nice piece on the alumni turnout at the UMass Hockey Pond Club Golf Tournament this past Monday. He focuses on Greg Mauldin and Justin Braun looking at their NHL experiences this past season.

The Bleacher Report looks ahead to next year's NHL season to figure out the top 10 teams who are in a position to compete for the Stanley Cup.

No. 10 on that list is Jonathan Quick and the L.A. Kings.

As a relatively young team, the Kings can only improve upon last season's performance, which saw them put up a good fight against San Jose in the quarterfinals, despite having to deal with injury problems. Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Jack Johnson and Dustin Brown are all entering their prime, so if goaltender Jonathan Quick can play with more consistency, Los Angeles will be a dangerous team next year.

The NHL signing deadline is approaching and The Hockey Writers has a piece covering the free agent status of the Colorado Avalanche including UMass' Greg Mauldin. Mauldin is an unrestricted free agent this year after producing the best AHL/NHL season of his pro career.

According to author Mike Verminski, "There is, of course, no way of knowing who the organization plans on re-signing by July 1st, but Tomas Fleischmann, Greg Mauldin, David Van Der Gulik, David Liffiton, and Bacashihua are guys that should be signed to new contracts before the July first deadline."

The Binghamton Senators scored two unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the Houston Aeros 3-2 to win the American Hockey League's Calder Cup championship four games to two.

Former UMass hockey standout Casey Wellman did not register a point in this game, but scored six goals and added five assists in 21 post-season games for the Aeros. In the regular season with Houston, Wellman was 14-21-35 in 42 games.