Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Evening Post

  • As a result of Saturday night's handshake altercation, UND defenseman Ben Blood has been stripped of his assistant captaincy, and head coach Dave Hakstol said the possibility remains that additional disciplinary measures could be handed out. Blood said he "understands and respects the punishment." Corban Knight and Andrew MacWilliam will continue to serve as North Dakota's assistant captains. Danny Kristo, meanwhile, apologized for his Friday night actions via Twitter.
  • In another blow to UND's depth, freshman forward Brendan O'Donnell's upper-body injury appears to be significant and he will be re-evaluated within the next couple of days. Michael Parks was also injured in last weekend's series against Minnesota and will be evaluated later this week. Derek Rodwell is already out for the season, Rocco Grimaldi and Derek Forbort were held out of the lineup last weekend, while Corban Knight and Mario Lamoureux played despite being banged-up.
  • Freshman Connor Gaarder was recently featured in this UND Sports Profile:
  • Recruit Zane Gothberg was named the USHL's Goaltender of the Week for his stellar play with the Fargo Force over the weekend. Gothberg won both of his starts and is currently riding a 6-0-0 streak during which he has posted a 1.65 GAA and .937 Save %. 
  • In more USHL news, the league announced today that its Top Prospects Game will be webcast live and free on Fast Hockey. Sioux recruits Jordan Schmaltz and Luke Johnson are scheduled to participate in the event that takes place January 24 in Muskegon, MI.
  • After notching two assists in Friday's 5-3 win over Chicago, Jordan Schmaltz sat out Green Bay's Saturday game due to the flu, while Stouffville Spirit forward Drake Caggiula suffered a lower-body injury in yesterday's contest and is listed as day-to-day.
Nick Schmaltz Battles Against Canada's Eric Cornel - Getty Images
  • Recruit Nick Schmaltz (above) and Team USA had the day off today following yesterday's 5-1 loss to Canada at the Youth Olympic Games. The loss dropped the Americans to 1-1-0 in preliminary play, which they will wrap up by taking on Finland tomorrow and Russia on Wednesday. Schmaltz has two assists thus far during the tournament.
  • Anaheim Duck forward Jason Blake continues to impress since returning from his lacerated wrist tendon injury, scoring twice and adding an assist in last night's 4-2 win over Vancouver. Blake has been playing on the Ducks' third as he works his way back into game condition, and last night that line gave the Canucks fits.
  • Jonathan Toews had a strong weekend, helping Chicago earn three out of a possible four points. He had a goal in Saturday's OT loss to Detroit, while his goal and assist led the Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory over San Jose last night. 
  • Battling it out with Chicago and Detroit for Central Division supremecy is resurgent St. Louis, and Blues' star TJ Oshie's career-best year is a big reason why.
  • Matt Greene scored the game-winning goal Saturday night in the Los Angeles Kings' 4-1 victory over Calgary. It was the third goal of the season for the big defenseman, who had never scored more than two in a season prior to Saturday. The Mayor's Manor touched on Greene's accomplishment in its The Good, The Bad, and The Something feature.
  • Zach Parise could become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and that prospect already has a number of teams drooling over the New Jersey star. One of the things that makes Parise such a coveted player is his ability to play in all situations, and those abilities have been on full display this season as he and the Devils have been the league's best penalty killers. New Jersey is the only team in the league with a kill percentage greater than 90%, and both Parise and Devils' rookie Adam Henrique have more shorthanded points than they do on the power play.
  • Joe Finley received his third call up of the season when Buffalo summoned the big blue liner for Saturday's tilt with the New York Islanders. The Sabres dropped a 4-2 decision.
  • Former Sioux All-American Brandon Bochenski was recently named to the KHL All-Star Game. He will play for the East All-Stars, whose forward group also includes one of the all-time great Russians in Sergei Federov, along with recent World Junior Championship standout Evgeny Kuznetsov. Bochenski currently plays for Barys Astana, for whom he has recorded 40 points (18G, 22A) in 36 games.
  • Former Sioux goaltender Anthony Grieco and HC Asiago recently wrapped up play in the 2012 Continental Cup Super Finals in Rouen, France. Asiago had a rough go of it, dropping all three of its Super Finals contests, including both of Grieco's starts.

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