HOUGHTON - Laurium's Ben Storm is on a championship team in his first season of college hockey, as Storm and St. Cloud State won the inaugural National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular-season title and the accompanying Penrose Cup.
Storm, a freshman, played in 28 games for the Huskies and had one assist.
The Huskies finished the regular season 21-8-5 and 15-6-3 in NCHC play. They'll open the playoffs in a best-of-three series with Miami starting Friday.
Calumet alumna Allie Patrick came almost as close with the St. Norbert College women's team, which lost 3-2 in overtime to Lake Forest Saturday for the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association's Slaats Cup championship game.
Patrick, a freshman defenseman, played in 24 games and had a goal and three assists. The Green Knights finished 19-7-2.
Calumet's Brendan Jacques netted his fourth goal of the season for the Springfield (Ill.) Jr. Blues of the North American Hockey League Feb. 22 in a 4-2 win over Michigan.
Jacques has 12 points in 52 games for Springfield, which has seven games left in its regular season. The Jr. Blues are 22-24-7 on the season and in sixth place in their division, but are not out of hope yet, as the bottom four teams in the NAHL North are separated by just five points with the two of them landing playoff places.
Jesse Junttila (Calumet) and the Janesville Jets are in that last North playoff spot. Junttila had an assist in a 2-0 win over Springfield Feb. 28 to bring the defenseman's total to one goal and five assists in 41 appearances.
Both teams are at home this weekend, Janesville against Michigan and
Springfield against Johnstown.
The season ended for Hancock's Devin Kero and the Merritt Centennials Sunday night as Penticton swept their British Columbia Hockey League Interior Division semifinal four games to none. Kero played in all four games, making 112 saves on 132 shots.
The regular season went better, though, as he finished with a 19-15-4 record in 40 appearances, posting a goals-against average of 2.48, a .918 save percentage (the fourth-best figure in the league) and three shutouts.
Kero was also named to the BCHL All-Rookie Team.
Ben Johnson of Calumet has reached career highs in goals, assists and points with the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires.
Johnson now has 25 goals and 25 assists in 56 games and is a career-best plus-18.
Johnson's most recent goal came in a 6-1 loss to Erie (Pa.) Friday night. Though injuries have caught up with the Spitfires, leading to a 2-7-1 record in their last 10, Windsor is safely into the OHL Playoffs, which begin next week. The Spitfires are fifth in the OHL's Western Conference.
Shifting gears to track and field, Travis Ambuehl of Lake Linden-Hubbell claimed a conference championship for the College of St. Scholastica in the pole vault at the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Indoor meet Feb. 22 at Duluth.
Ambuehl, a senior, cleared 14 feet, 10 3/4 inches.
Dollar Bay's Tim Dunstan, competing for CSS, was part of a third-place team in the distance medley relay at the same meet.
CSS won the conference championship.
Houghton alumna Taylor Dillinger finished her sophomore season on the women's basketball team at Minnesota Duluth. She averaged 4.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in an average of 14.8 minutes per game.
Dillinger's season high was 12 points, six rebounds and three assists in a Feb. 8 game at Minnesota State Moorhead.
The Bulldogs won their last four games of the season to get above .500, but lost to Concordia (St. Paul) in the first round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament. Their final record was 14-13.