Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday Morning Coffee

  • The Fighting Sioux earned a thrilling 2-1 victory over arch-rival Minnesota last night. North Dakota welcomed Corban Knight back to the lineup, Andrew MacWilliam scored his first career goal, and smooth operator Brock Nelson potted the game-winner in what was an outstanding hockey game. Outside of Danny Kristo's major and game misconduct for checking Ben Marshall from behind, a young Sioux lineup played with an awful lot of poise and control in a very tense game. The atmosphere in The Ralph was electric last night as head coach Dave Hakstol picked up victory number 199. Tonight he looks to join Gino Gasparini (392) and Dean Blais (262) as the only coaches in school history to earn 200 wins. More thoughts on the series forthcoming in the Series Recap.
  • North Dakota picked up a verbal commitment yesterday from Omaha AAA Under-16 star Chris Wilkie. Wilkie is an Omaha native who currently leads the North American Prospect Hockey League (NAPHL) in scoring, goals, assists, power-play goals, and power-play assists. He is a high school sophomore who at this point would be scheduled to join UND in 2014. In 16 games he has recorded 38 points (17G, 21A) in leading the Lancers to a 12-3-1 record. He is an Omaha teammate of Minot's Alex Schoenborn and Williston's Austin Hingtgen. There is a recruit profile in the works that should hopefully be posted later today or tomorrow.
  • Recruit Nick Schmaltz and Team USA opened the 2012 Youth Winter Olympic Games with a 7-2 victory over host country Austria early this morning. Schmaltz pitched in with two assists while winning 75% (9 of 12) of his face-offs. The American Under-16ers will take on Canada tomorrow.
  • Sioux recruits playing in the USHL performed well last night. Paul LaDue had two goals and an assist while teammate Luke Johnson added two assists in Lincoln's 6-2 victory over Sioux City. Jordan Schmaltz contributed two assists to Green Bay's 5-3 win against Chicago, Jack Rowe recorded an assist in Cedar Rapids' 6-5 loss to Waterloo, and Miles Koules scored a goal as the Team USA Under-18ers lost to Indiana 4-3. Zane Gothberg continued his recent stretch of outstanding play by stopping 23 of 24 shots in Fargo's 8-1 thrashing of Tri-City. Over his last five games Gothberg has a 1.57 GAA and a save percentage of .943 in leading the Force to a 5-0-0 record.
  • Speaking of the USHL, Matt Greene recently discussed what playing in the league meant to his development as a hockey player.
  • Matt Frattin was the overtime hero last night for the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
  • Jason Blake scored his first goal of the season in Anaheim's 5-0 win in Edmonton last night.
  • Zach Parise says he understands the frustration Travis Zajac is currently going through in dealing with his Achilles tendon injury.

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