ITHACA, N.Y. – The Cornell men’s ice hockey program has announced eight additions to the program for the 2014-15 season. Mike Schafer, who will return for his 20th season as the Jay R. Bloom ’77 Head Coach of Men’s Hockey, announced the additions on Monday as the team attempts to make the NCAA tournament field for the eighth time in the last 13 years.
In addition to the seven freshmen, Gavin Stoick will rejoin the Big Red after spending the 2013-14 season back in the junior ranks while making the transition from defenseman to forward. The team’s 2014-15 schedule will be released in the coming weeks.
Class of 2018 Player Biographies
Defenseman — 6-foot-1, 200 pounds — Raleigh, N.C. — U.S. National Team Development Program
Bliss’ arrival (along with that of Jared Fiegl) marks the fifth straight season the Big Red has added a player directly from the esteemed U.S. National Team Development Program, following in the footsteps of Andy Iles, Cole Bardreau, Gavin Stoick and Clint Lewis. Bliss played in 49 games for the USNTDP, scoring one goal and adding eight assists for nine point and a plus-7 rating. He helped the squad capture the Four Nations title as a member of the Under-17 team in 2012-13, then was part of the Five Nations championship team with the Under-18s in February 2014. He served as the captain on the U.S. squad at the 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Bliss’ mother, Kelly (Clark) Bliss ’89, played lacrosse and field hockey at Cornell.
Forward — 6-foot-1, 212 pounds — Parker, Colo. — U.S. National Team Development Program
Fiegl played in 45 games for the USNTDP, scoring two goals to go with four assists for six points and plus-1 rating. He helped the U.S. win the IIHF Under-18 world championship in 2014, and the Four Nations U-17 title in 2013. He also represented the U.S. squad at the 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Fiegl was ranked 142nd among North American skaters in the final rankings for the NHL Central Scouting Service’s 2014 draft watch list. He was tabbed 100th in the mid-term rankings and a “C” prospect in the preliminary rankings.
Forward — 6-feet, 190 pounds — Chatham, N.J. — Wenatchee Wild (NAHL)
Rauter joins the Big Red after splitting last season among three teams, totaling two goals and six assists for eight points in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers and Youngstown Phantoms. He finished the season with the NAHL’s Wenatchee Wild, where he had six goals and six assists for 12 points in 21 regular-season games and two goals and two assists for four points in 10 playoff games. Prior to his time in the USHL and NAHL, Rauter played with a decorated North Jersey Avalanche team. The squad twice appeared in the USA Hockey National championship tournament, including a runner-up finish in 2010. Rauter also helped lead Chatham HS to the New Jersey state title in 2011.
Goalie — 6-foot-3, 210 pounds — Rockford, Ill. — Indiana Ice (USHL)
Stewart started last season with the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, but his year really took off when he was picked up by the Indiana Ice. Stewart posted stellar numbers en route to capturing a Clark Cup title with the Ice, going 13-1 with a 1.29 goals-against average and .945 save percentage in 14 regular-season games. He was once named the USHL Goaltender of the Week, and he was a 2013 NAHL Top Prospects selection while he was playing with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays.
Forward — 6-foot-5, 225 pounds — Wilmington, Del. — Indiana Ice (USHL)
Tschantz won a Clark Cup title with the Indiana Ice, ranking third on the team in scoring with 24 goals and 20 assists for 44 points in 52 games during the regular season. For the two years prior, Tschantz played for the Team Comcast Under-18 team in the Tier 1 Elite League. In 2012-13, he was the circuit’s second-leading scorer with 20 goals and 32 assists for 52 points in 40 games. Tschantz was tabbed as a “C” prospect in the preliminary rankings for the NHL Central Scouting Service’s 2013 draft watch list.
Defenseman — 6-foot-5, 205 pounds — Edmonton, Alberta — Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL)
Wedman has spent the last two seasons with the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, posting six goals and 26 assists for 32 points over 95 games. A product of Edmonton’s South Side Athletic Club, Wedman was tabbed as a “C” prospect in the preliminary rankings for the NHL Central Scouting Service’s 2013 draft watch list and was invited to try out for the Team Canada West team for the Junior A World Championships. In March 2014, Wedman became the first winner of The Evolution Hockey Award for Perseverance and Dedication, which was developed to promote post-secondary education by assisting students playing in the AJHL.
Forward — 6-foot-2, 205 pounds — Beaconsfield, Quebec — Deerfield Academy
Yates had 104 career points over three seasons at Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts. He had 25 goals and 23 assists for 48 points while serving as an assistant captain as a senior, one season after leading the squad in scoring with 18 goals and 13 assists for 31 points. He also won a Tier I Under 18 national championship with the Neponset Valley River Rats at the AAA level, scoring the title-clinching goal in overtime against the St. Louis AAA Blues. Yates is the son of Ross Yates, a former head coach of the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and current head coach of the Saint John SeaDogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.