Two more Colorado College Tigers are reportedly in the transfer portal, leaving several fans and casual observers scratching their heads. Increasingly in college hockey, players are on the move during the spring and even in the middle of the season.
The desire for more ice time is a recurring theme, and large incoming classes have likely forced decisions. Academic issues are occasionally referenced. The transfer year is seemingly a tolerable price for a fresh start, and for graduate students, relocating and playing immediately is even more appealing. (Some conferences want to make it even easier.) The option to return to juniors, develop further and repeat the selection process is one several former Tigers have used.
CC benefited from an incoming transfer of its own this season. Chris Wilkie came from North Dakota and led the league in goals.
Is the grass greener on the other side? The destinations have varied during Mike Haviland’s six years as coach. The list does not include career-ending injuries, or turning pro.
Middendorf’s departure came as a surprise to nearly all because he appeared in every game his freshman season. But he wasn’t satisfied in a fourth-line role and left early in his sophomore season to join the Chicago Steel. He had 12 goals and 12 assists in 34 games as the Steel clinched a first-round playoff bye before the rest of the season was canceled due to the coronavirus.
Calvaruso left as a sophomore goalie after seeing limited time as Alex Leclerc’s backup. He went back to juniors and had a hand in the Sioux Falls Stampede’s run to the Clark Cup. He appeared in five games for RPI this season.
Pochipinski scored once but was gone by the start of the second half. He went back to juniors, then saw more playing time across town at Air Force, appearing in all 36 games this season. He drew praise for his utilitarian play and contributed six assists. He waited until the postseason to score his first Air Force goal in what turned out to be the Falcons’ final game of the season, a 6-2 win over Mercyhurst.
In one of the more successful transfers in recent CC history, graduate student Michaud took his extra year of eligibility to conference foe North Dakota. There he tied for the team lead in goals and won a Penrose Cup. The Fighting Hawks were national title contenders before coronavirus wiped out the postseason.
The most interesting reason for departure might go to Olczyk, who appeared in 17 games over two seasons for CC before leaving to pursue a broadcasting career. He’s served as a color commentator for the ECHL’s Indy Fuel.
The physical forward left before his junior year after registering two points in 31 games with a team-high 72 penalty minutes. He’s stayed in the game since.
Bryce Van Horn, Branden Makara and Max St. Pierre also opted to depart between seasons. Van Horne played two more seasons at DIII Adrian College.
Radke appeared in 10 games for CC over two seasons and finished out his career at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
The forward went to DIII Utica College after two seasons at CC and captained the team. He’s played six games in the ECHL and spent most of 2019-20 in the Southern Professional Hockey League.
Lagrone also went the DIII route after his playing times dropped. He played two seasons for SUNY-Geneseo, dabbled in the ECHL and played in France this season.
At the time it was reported Roos chose to focus on his degree after playing times dropped. He wound up playing 13 more games at Michigan (3 goals, 3 assists) and spent 2018-19 with the Reading Royals of the ECHL.
After 40 games over two seasons, goaltender Marble left the program to be closer to family.
The defenseman played a full season for CC, then reportedly opted to focus on his studies.
Cecere left four games into his second season at CC to return to the Stampede. He wound up back in the college ranks at Northeastern and has played in the ECHL the past two seasons.
Perry did the same, heading back to his most recent junior team, the Wenatchee (Wash.) Wild of the BCHL. He then played three seasons for Div. I RPI. He spent most of last season in the Southern Professional Hockey League.
After just two games at CC, he went back to the Tri-City Storm, then wound up at Wisconsin.