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POSTED ON Monday, 12.17.2012 / 5:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Prior to the opening of USA Hockey's national junior team training camp this week in Tarrytown, N.Y., head coach and American hockey legend Phil Housley spoke to reporters about his expectations for camp and the tournament.

Special thanks to our friends at USAHockey.com for supplying the video footage.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.17.2012 / 2:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Many people around the game of hockey truly believe the World Junior Hockey Championship is the finest international competition in the sport.

They feel that way for good reason, too; the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has done well in making this an annual tournament that brings the best hockey players in the world under the age of 20 into one place.

Some players have already been drafted by NHL clubs and others are hoping to have their name called in June, but for two winter weeks, they all have one goal: to bring a gold medal home to their country. Hockey Canada began its World Junior preparation last week in Calgary when the team's final roster was announced after a brief camp, and this week in Tarrytown, N.Y. and Finland, the United States team will start to take shape.

While no cuts will be made following practices this week in New York, the plan is for USA Hockey to begin paring down to the final 23 players once things get settled in Finland. Among those considered "on the bubble" for the United States is Blue Jackets prospect Mike Reilly, a freshman defenseman at the University of Minnesota.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.17.2012 / 11:00 AM
By Bill Davidge - Television Color Analyst / CBJ Today




Photo Courtesy: Eamon Queeney, Dispatch

NOTE: Blue Jackets TV analyst Bill Davidge is one of the most plugged-in sources for information on college hockey, and he breaks down the action from Ohio's CCHA teams in this blog.

Friday night: No. 5 Miami gets shootout win over host Buckeyes

As I entered the Schottenstein Center Friday night, it was apparent there was going to be a solid crowd to cheer on the Ohio teams. A crowd of 4,400 watched two teams battle to a 1-1 tie with Miami winning the shootout, as sophomore Austin Czarnik scored to give the No. 5 RedHawks the extra CCHA point.

Strong defense and goaltending led the way for both teams as freshman goaltender Jay Williams stopped 22 shots for Miami and all three shootout attempts. Ohio State goalie Brady Hjelle made 28 saves while the RedHawks finished with a 29-23 edge in shots.

“Coaches hate shootouts because it is a false sense if you win and if you lose, it is a false sense,” Ohio State coach Mark Oseicki said. “Would you like to gain that point? Yes, but it was a well-played hockey game. There were chances both ways and some great scoring opportunities. Both teams competed hard. It had to be fun to watch.”

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POSTED ON Sunday, 12.16.2012 / 12:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Action Shot


Ryan Johansen
's clutch third-period goal may be just the spark Springfield needs to get itself righted this afternoon in Manchester.

Despite the eventual overtime loss -- and the extra sessions have been brutally unkind to the Falcons this season -- there was such a burst of energy from the goal and how it seemingly reversed a frustrating third period in one fell swoop.

Of course, the positives were temporarily erased on a sloppy game-winner, but my read on things was that the Falcons checked another item off their list. They've led a lot of games in the late stages and have engineered some thrilling comebacks in the third period (a couple of them from two goals down or more), but never really scored that big goal with the goaltender on the bench and the fans up out of their seats.

They got it last night, at a time when they desperately needed it.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 12.15.2012 / 12:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Action Shot

There's really no way around it: last night wasn't the Falcons' finest effort of the season, nor was it a performance indicative of how well Curtis McElhinney has played to this point.

And in total fairness, I'd say (and I mentioned it on Twitter) that McElhinney is owed a few steak dinners and/or goals in support after all of the occasions in which he's saved his club's collective bacon. See that? Steak and bacon in the same sentence. Now I'm hungry.

Sorry...moving along.

Springfield never really got things going at the Dunkin Donuts Center last night, and it's hard to figure out why. They have played well in that building this season, including an earlier 3-0 shutout of the Bruins which was in the Falcons' complete control all the way through the final buzzer.

But this one was different -- very much so -- and I'll be keenly interested to see how they respond tonight at home.

The St. John's IceCaps are in town for tonight's game at the MassMutual Center, and they have to be sick of seeing the Falcons. In the three-game season series, Springfield is 3-0-0 and swept a two-game set last weekend in Newfoundland Labrador.

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POSTED ON Friday, 12.14.2012 / 11:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Cam Atkinson scoring goals isn’t the news item du jour – he’s a regular at lighting the lamp. But it’s his proclivity for doing so at just the right time that has folks excited.

His timeliness has benefited his team, too: the Springfield Falcons hold the Northeast Division lead just beyond the first quarter of the regular season, and have sustained their momentum by sustaining their pace.

They haven't flinched if the ice tilts in the opponents' favor; they instead get back to their system in attempt to take advantage of the next available opportunity. Atkinson has seemed to follow that mold, but that's not surprising to anyone who has followed his career.

He scored goals in buckets at Boston College and has a truckload of important goals to his credit, and he's continued doing so in Springfield.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 12.13.2012 / 12:30 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


National junior team selection camps can be the ultimate pressurizer, but John Davidson doesn't think Boone Jenner has much to sweat over.

Hockey Canada is in the process of finalizing its roster for the 2013 World Junior tournament in Russia, and this week, the stakes are raised as the governing body of Canadian hockey makes its first round of cuts. Five players were cut, including Pittsburgh Penguins first-round pick (2012) Derrick Pouliot, leaving the camp roster at 31 players.

Twenty-three players in total (13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders) will travel with Team Canada to Ufa, Russia for the tournament, and Jenner is almost certain to be among that group.

It would be his second consecutive year representing Canada at the World Junior, and he proved last year that he can be an impactful player on the world's stage.

"He's a real key ingredient -- a big time ingredient -- for Team Canada, no question," Davidson told BlueJackets.com today. "I think his role will be somewhat similar to what he's played this year with Oshawa. He's a mature player for his age, he's got the experience of having played in this tournament last winter."

"He provides a lot of energy, and which you start to package that all together and look at a short-term tournament, you have to like that."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.11.2012 / 11:11 AM
By Jack Lyttle - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today



Welcome all to Trivia Tuesday! We hope you are enjoying your week.

We want to take a walk down memory lane. Blue Jackets history buffs listen up!

Same rules apply. Fill out the form below with the correct answer and hit "submit" -- simple as that! You're then entered to win an awesome Blue Jackets prize. Good luck!

QUESTION: May 4, 2000. The Columbus Blue Jackets sign the first player in the history of the organization. What was his name? 

Click here for YOUR chance to win!

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.10.2012 / 11:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Mike Reilly had quite the week, beginning with his selection to USA Hockey's preliminary roster for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

The 19-year-old defenseman has people around college hockey talking, stepping right into the action for the University of Minnesota as a freshman. He's played both defense and the wing for head coach Don Lucia's club, which has been been one of the best in college hockey so far this season.

Reilly has two goals and eight assists in 17 games for Minnesota while carrying a +5 rating. He scored his first collegiate goal on Nov. 23 against Vermont in a 5-1 win, but his latest tally is worthy of a video highlight.

Though it wasn't the most desirable of results for the Gophers on Saturday night -- Reilly's goal gave them a 4-1 lead that would evaporate into a 4-4 tie -- they took three of four points on the weekend to keep pace in the WCHA.

And before we get to the highlight, let's talk about ties. Why can't we have a final outcome? I saw a tie this weekend between Ohio State and Robert Morris at 84 Lumber Arena in Pittsburgh, and it's such an empty feeling leaving the rink (probably more empty than a loss). *end rant*

Maybe it's just me being too dramatic, which is quite possible. Anyway, enjoy the clip and if you loathe ties as much as I do, let me know in the comments section or send me a tweet @RobMixer.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.10.2012 / 9:00 AM
By Bill Davidge - Television Color Analyst / CBJ Today

Photo courtesy: Miami (Ohio) athletics

NOTE: Blue Jackets TV analyst Bill Davidge is one of the most plugged-in sources for information on college hockey, and he breaks down the action from Ohio's CCHA teams in this blog.

Friday: Complete effort ensures eight straight for Miami

Miami extended its unbeaten streak to eight games by defeating Lake Superior State 3-2. Lakers junior forward Kellan Lain opened the scoring on the power play, but the RedHawks answered with three straight goals from freshmen forwards Kevin Morris, Sean Kuraly and Riley Barber. Miami freshman goaltender Jay Williams stopped 23-of-25.

"It was one of those nights where you have to find a way to score and the best way to do it is to crash the net for those two goals and then Barber made it 3-1," Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said.

Friday: Early goal not fruitful for Buckeyes in non-conference loss

Ohio State held two leads in the game, but eventually fell to Robert Morris 3-2 in non-conference action. Sophomore forwards Matt Johnson and Max McCormick scored for the Buckeyes, with McCormick’s tally coming on the power play. Ohio State senior goaltender Brady Hjelle made 24 saves in the loss.

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