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Mick Hatten of the St. Cloud Times reported that Nebraska-Omaha has contacted St. Cloud State assistant Steve Johnson about filling the vacancy left by Mike Hastings when he took the head coaching gig at Minnesota State. Johnson's connections to UNO head coach Dean Blais are pretty extensive, and that job probably comes with a bit of a pay raise, and the added gravitas of working for an NCHC "charter member".

The Big Ten pulled a pretty major coup yesterday when they announced that Steve Piotrowski would serve as the league's director of officials. Piotrowski's qualifications include the numerous NCAA championships he's officiated, helping lead the men's ice hockey rules committee, and never cursing out an umpire at a kid's baseball game. On the downside, people will complain about the quality of officiating in the CCHA over the past few years. These people watch very little college hockey outside the CCHA.

SB Nation site Bucky's 5th Quarter took in the Central District's tryout process for the Select 15 and 16 age groups. The Central District has to be the most competitive in the country in that it includes the very deep Chicagoland-area, while also including pretty talent rich areas in Wisconsin and St. Louis. There's lots of really good players there, including a few already with college commitments in hand, and it's worth a read.

Colorado College has consistently struggled in the second half of the season in the Scott Owens era. It's a tough thing to explain, though I wonder if the smaller lineups the Tigers tend to rely on get a little worn down in the tough grind of the second half of the WCHA season.

Mariucci Arena will be getting their own mega-videoboard, that looks pretty similar to the one Michigan installed in Yost Arena last summer. With the larger arena and higher roof, it likely won't look as out of place as Yost's. They will also try to improve the acoustics in the building, which is a much needed improvement.

Meanwhile in Gopherland, Anthony LaPanta, who has handled play-by-play for Fox Sports North the past two years, was named the new play-by-play voice for the Minnesota Wild. I've always like LaPanta as a play-by-play guy, although he got off to a difficult start with the Gophers, in part because of the circumstances of him getting the job, and because he got paired with a rotating cast of color guys, some of whom were not very comfortable in the booth.

TSN's Craig Button has his Top 60 players for this year's NHL Draft. Jacob Trouba is ranked 13th, but only 8th among defensemen. Providence recruit Mark Jankowski continues to rise, and is listed at 14th overall here.

Fascinating research on the correlation between a team having top prospects/NHL draft picks and success in the NCAA tournament. Also, the impact of winning on attendance.

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