Friday, November 30, 2012

North Dakota vs. Colorado College: Notes & Links

  • North Dakota: 6-4-2 Overall (3-1-2 WCHA)
  • Colorado College: 7-6-1 Overall (4-2-0 WCHA)
  • Gametime: Friday 8:37 CST/Saturday 8:07 CST
  • Both games will be broadcast across the UND Radio Network, and as always, here's the standard broadcast information. While neither game of this series will be on TV, both games will be available for viewing via CC's Tiger Vision webcast. Cost is $6.95 per game, or you can buy a monthly pass for $10.95 and get both games at a discount.
  • Series Notes (PDF): North Dakota and Colorado College
  • For all of the GF Herald stories, check out Brad Schlossman's Friday Morning Reading.
  • Colorado Springs Gazette: CC Needs to Snap Out of Funk vs. #7 North Dakota
  • The Catalyst: CC-DU Hockey Fight Raises Questions, Issues Off the Ice
  • The Catalyst: Ice of the Tiger
  • UND Sports: Men's Hockey Travel Blog
  • Paisley Hockey: Friday Reading
  • Series Numbers: North Dakota leads the all-time series 137-76-10, with Colorado College holding a 47-56-4 edge at home. However, in the last 10 meetings in Colorado Springs, UND has a 6-4-0 advantage. The Tigers have won just one time in the last eight meetings, with North Dakota holding a 7-1-0 advantage over that stretch. Their last meeting came just over one year ago (Thanksgiving weekend of 2011), with North Dakota earning a sweep in what was a wildly entertaining series at Engelstad Arena.  All-time, UND has recorded 137 victories at the Tiger's expense, second-most in program history to its 145 wins over Michigan Tech, and the Fighting Sioux have scored more goals (1,045) against CC than any other team.
  • North Dakota forward Danny Kristo is averaging 1.40 points per game, good for ninth nationally and third in the conference, while goaltender Clarke Saunders is T-12th in the nation with his WCHA-leading .934 save percentage. 
  • This is the last weekend for Team USA World Junior Championship candidates to make an impression on USA Hockey staff, as the preliminary roster is set to be released next week. Rocco Grimaldi would seem to be a virtual lock, but Jordan Schmaltz is a fringe player who could could tip the scale in his favor with a strong weekend in Colorado Springs, which is the home of USA Hockey headquarters.
  • Special teams effectiveness could very well be a difference-maker this weekend. CC boasts the WCHA's top power play, converting at a 24.4% clip, but they've killed off just 73.5% of short-handed situations, second-worst in the conference and third-worst in the nation. UND, on the other hand, has been effective on the kill (85.7%, 3rd in WCHA), while cashing in on just 15.2% of its power plays, third worst in the WCHA.
  • The defense and goaltending of Colorado College has been very porous this season. The Tigers allow 3.50 goals per game, second worst in the conference to Michigan Tech's 3.60 GPG and 54th out of the nation's 59 teams. Their goaltenders, Josh Thorimbert (3.38) and Joe Howe (3.48), rank 16th and 18th respectively in GAA among the 19 WCHA netminders who qualify statistically, and they've really struggled at home. In games played in Colorado Springs, Howe has a 3.66 GAA to go along with his .894 Save % while Thorimbert has a 4.00 GAA and .854 Save %.
  • At the other end of the ice, Colorado College boasts a potent offensive attack, scoring 3.71 goals per game (3rd most in the WCHA, 5th most in the nation). They have seven of the top 22 point producers in the WCHA, with senior forwards Rylan Schwartz and William Rapuzzi tied for the league lead with 17 points each. Schwartz in particular has been a thorn in North Dakota's side. In his last three games against UND, Schwartz has scored eight of CC's twelve goals, including two hat tricks last year in Grand Forks.
  • UND forward Michael Parks will not play this weekend. Two weeks ago against Minnesota-Duluth he aggravated the lower body injury he suffered in the exhibition game against Manitoba and he has not played since. His status is considered to be week-to-week. 
  • Four Colorado College Tigers are NHL draft picks, while 14 North Dakota players have heard their names called by NHL clubs.
  • USCHO's This Week in the WCHA
  • USCHO's Three WCHA Observations
  • USCHO's Weekend Picks
  • CHN's Tale of the Tape
  • CHN's WCHA Power Rankings
  • WCHB Weekly WCHA Preview
  • WCHA Weekly Press Release
  • The Hockey Writer's Combine: UND vs. Colorado College Series Notes
  • Sioux Sports Series Preview

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Morning Coffee

I haven't had much time to get any former Sioux and/or recruit "update" posts up over the past couple of weeks, so some of this stuff may be old news to many of you, but regardless...
  • Monique Lamoureux earned WCHA weekly honors for the second consecutive week after a strong weekend against Minnesota-Duluth.
  • Jonathan Toews is still undecided about heading overseas as the NHL lockout threatens the 2012-13 season. Toews, who has only recently begun feeling 100% healthy after the concussion he suffered last season, was ranked as one of the top 10 players in the NHL by CBS's Eye on Hockey blog. Zach Parise, meanwhile, came in at number 30.
  • The Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) signed veteran defenseman Mike Commodore to a professional tryout contract. Commodore, who has yet to suit up for the Bulldogs, feels his NHL career would be over if he were to sit out the entire season due to the lockout.
  • UND recruit Adam Tambellini has been on a hot streak lately, including picking up a rare six pack. One of the contributing factors to his streak may have been his World Junior A Challenge snub. He is currently sixth in the BCHL in scoring with 31 points (16G, 15A), trailing league-leader and fellow North Dakota recruit Wade Murphy (13G, 20A) by just two points.
  • NHL Central Scouting released its preliminary rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft, and recruits Keaton Thompson (No. 5) and Luke Johnson (No. 8) are among the top-ranked USHLers on the list. Thompson is ranked no. 22 overall by International Scouting Service and he was featured by scout Craig Button in TSN's scouting report video series. Meanwhile, Tambellini and Murphy are among a group of BCHLers to receive mention from Central Scouting. Tambellini is listed as a B-skater and Murphy jumped up to a C-skater after not appearing on the preliminary watch list.
  • Darcy Zajac recently took part in a Q&A as the Albany Devils (AHL) prepared to play the first of its four regular season tilts in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.
  • Evan Trupp scored a beary big goal last weekend.
  • Brock Nelson and Nino Neiderreiter have developed some nice chemistry for the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. They were both first round draft picks of the New York Islanders in 2010, and Lighthouse Hockey recently took a look at Nelson's emergence as a force in the AHL. Nelson currently has 14 points (7G, 7A) in 17 games.
  • Matt Frattin has returned to the Toronto Marlies' lineup with a vengeance, scoring five goals in five games since returning from knee surgery...Michael Forney (Colorado Eagles) continues to lead the ECHL with 16 goals. He is also third in the league with 29 points (16G, 13A) in 19 games...Mario Lamoureux (Ontario Reign) is T-6th in ECHL rookie scoring with 14 points (6G, 8A) in 16 games...Aaron Dell (Allen Americans) leads the CHL in both GAA (1.89) and Save Percentage (.936)...Aaron Schneekloth (Colorado Eagles) is T-3rd among ECHL defensemen with 16 points (2G, 14A) in 19 games...Andrew Kozek (Dornbirner) leads the Austrian elite league with 18 goals...Curtis Murphy (Linz) is T-4th among Austrian elite league defensemen with 21 points (5G, 16A) in 25 games...Defenseman Travis Roche (Bern) is expected to be out until mid-December with a broken hand. He has 10 points (1G, 9A) in 10 Swiss elite league games this season...UND recruit Paul LaDue leads all USHL defensemen in points (3G, 13A) and assists (13)...

Friday, November 23, 2012

North Dakota vs. Notre Dame: Notes & Links

  • North Dakota: 5-3-2 Overall (3-1-2 WCHA)
  • Notre Dame: 8-3-0 Overall (5-1-0 CCHA)
  • Gametime: Friday 6:35 CST/Saturday 4:05 CST
  • Both games will be broadcast across the UND Radio Network, and as always, here's the standard broadcast information. While neither game of this series will be on TV, Notre Dame is one of just a few schools out there to provide free webcasts of their games. Use the Live Video link on the Notre Dame hockey scoreboard page to access the live stream.
  • Series Notes (PDF): North Dakota and Notre Dame
  • For all of the GF Herald stories, check out Brad Schlossman's Friday Morning Reading.
  • South Bend Tribune: Notre Dame's Bryan Rust on Verge of Breakout Campaign
  • The Observer: Irish Face North Dakota in Top 10 Matchup
  • College Hockey News: Notre Dame, Team of the Week
  • UND Sports: Men's Hockey Travel Blog
  • Series Numbers: The all-time series is tied at 16-16-3, with Notre Dame holding a 6-9-1 edge in South Bend. Notre Dame has won just one time in the last 15 meetings, with North Dakota holding an 11-1-3 advantage over that stretch. Their last meeting came in 2010 over Thanksgiving weekend, with North Dakota earning a win and a tie at Engelstad Arena. The bulk of the matchups between the Irish and UND came while the two schools were members of the WCHA (1971-72 through 1980-81). In their 35 game history, they have met just five times as non-conference foes. 
  • North Dakota's Danny Kristo is the reigning WCHA Offensive Player of the Week, while defenseman Robbie Russo and goaltender Steven Summerhays earned weekly CCHA honors for Notre Dame.
  • Scoring will not come easily this weekend against Notre Dame. The Irish rank second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 1.64 goals per game, while Summerhays' 1.51 GAA is the fourth best in the nation. Notre Dame has also killed 90.9% of its opponent's power play opportunities, good for fifth nationally.
  • Offensively, Notre Dame is led by Anders Lee (11 gms - 5G, 4A) and Bryan Rust (11gms - 3G, 5A) while defensemen Stephen Johns (11gms - 0G, 7A) and Robbie Russo (11 gms - 3G, 4A) are regular contributors to the offensive attack of the Irish. Star forward TJ Tynan (11 gms - 2G, 3A) is off to a slow start this season, but the dynamic center remains a threat. 
  • Because Notre Dame's webcasts are free (combined with the fact that they've appeared on national TV a few times), I've had the opportunity to watch them play several times. Lee has been consistently impressive upfront for the Irish. His combination of size, strength, and the ability to finish makes him very hard to handle. Tynan's play, as indicated by his dip in production this season, has been inconsistent. While he still displays the flashy skills that have made him a point-per-game player during his career (95 games, 100 points), there have also been significant stretches during which he is far too uninvolved in the play. Defensively, Johns has impressed the most. Both he and Russo are good offensively, but Johns has been more sound in his own zone. As for the goaltending, it usually takes a special play to get one by Summerhays. He has been very good all season for the Irish.
  • Last week, forward Michael Parks returned to the UND lineup for the first time since suffering a lower body injury in the exhibition game against Manitoba, but he left Friday's game after apparently aggravating the injury. He will not play this weekend against Notre Dame and his status is considered to be week-to-week. Notre Dame freshman forward Mario Lucia made his collegiate debut during last weekend's sweep at Michigan. Lucia suffered a broken leg in the preseason, and he is expected to see increased ice-time this weekend against North Dakota. Mario, of course, is the son of Minnesota head coach Don Lucia, who is a Notre Dame alum himself.
  • Twelve members of this season's Notre Dame squad are NHL draft picks, while 14 North Dakota players have heard their names called by NHL clubs.
  • USCHO's This Week in the WCHA
  • USCHO's Weekend Picks
  • CHN's Tale of the Tape
  • CHN's WCHA Power Rankings
  • CHN's WCHA 3 Up, 2 Down
  • CHN's Three Things
  • WCHB Weekly WCHA Preview
  • WCHA Weekly Press Release
  • The Hockey Writer's Combine: UND vs. Notre Dame Series Notes
  • Sioux Sports Series Preview

Friday, November 16, 2012

North Dakota vs. Minnesota-Duluth: Notes & Links

  • North Dakota: 4-3-1 Overall (2-1-1 WCHA)
  • Minnesota-Duluth: 2-5-1 Overall (0-3-1 WCHA)
  • Gametime: Friday 7:37 CST/Saturday 7:07 CST
  • Both games will be broadcast across the region on a variety of media outlets and as always, here's the standard broadcast information. Fox College Sports will also carry both games of the series. Friday's game can be found on DirecTV channel 623 while Saturday's will air on DirecTV channel 608.
  • Series Notes (PDF): North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth
  • For all of the GF Herald stories, check out Brad Schlossman's Friday Morning Reading.
  • Duluth News-Tribune: Bulldogs Take WCHA Winless Skid to North Dakota
  • Duluth News-Tribune: Bulldogs Looking For Right Chemistry
  • The Ciskie Blog: UMD Returns to Grand Forks, Trying to Stop Slide
  • Bulldog Country: Series Preview
  • Series Numbers: North Dakota leads the all-time series 135-75-8, including a 75-31-2 record in Grand Forks. Dating back to the 2003-04 season, UND sports a 23-7-2 mark against the Bulldogs, including a 12-2-1 advantage at Engelstad Arena. UMD is one of just five programs North Dakota has faced at least 200 times, with Minnesota, Michigan Tech, Denver, and Colorado College being the others. 
  • UND goaltender Clarke Saunders is second among WCHA goaltenders in both GAA (1.98) and Save Percentage (.931).
  • UND has the second best penalty kill in the WCHA, having killed off 87.5% of shorthanded situations.
  • UMD senior forward Mike Seidel leads all WCHA skaters with four power play goals and Tony Cameranesi is third among WCHA freshmen with seven points (4G, 3A), while Austin Farley is tied for fourth with six (2G, 4A).
  • UMD is averaging the third fewest goals per game (2.38) among WCHA teams while allowing the fourth most (2.88). They are also the most penalized team in the country, taking an average of 19.0 penalty minutes per game.
  • UMD's head coach is former Sioux player and assistant coach Scott Sandelin and one of his assistants, Jason Herter, is also a former Sioux player.
  • Bulldog defenseman Willie Corrin is the nephew of former Sioux head coach Dean Blais, and his full name is William Blais Corrin.
  • Michael Parks could return to the UND lineup for the first time since suffering a lower body injury in the exhibition game against Manitoba. He was a full participant in Thursday's practice, playing on a line with freshmen Rocco Grimaldi and Drake Caggiula. On the Minnesota-Duluth injury front, defenseman Chris Casto is expected to return to the lineup while defenseman Luke McManus is questionable (UMD injury news courtesy of Rink & Run).
  • Seven members of this season's UMD squad are NHL draft picks, while 14 North Dakota players have heard their names called by NHL brass.
  • USCHO's This Week in the WCHA
  • USCHO Weekend Review: UMD is in Trouble
  • USCHO's Weekend Picks
  • CHN's Tale of the Tape
  • CHN's WCHA Power Rankings
  • CHN's WCHA 3 Up, 2 Down
  • CHN's Three Things
  • WCHB Weekly WCHA Preview
  • WCHA Weekly Press Release
  • The Hockey Writer's Combine: UND vs. UMD Series Notes
  • Sioux Sports Series Preview
  • Episode 2.07 of Through These Doors:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Evening Post

Here's some news from the North Dakota hockey world, beginning with a wrap on the recently concluded international break:
  • USA Hockey had an historically successful fall international break. For the first time ever, Team USA swept the four tournaments that make up the break. Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux were part of the gold-medal winning US Women's national team at the Women's Four Nations Tournament. Team USA shutout Canada 3-0 in the championship game. In the Under-18 Four Nations Tournament, Keaton Thompson and Team USA won its fifth consecutive championship while Chris Wilkie and the Under-17ers did the same at their Four Nations Tournament. At the World Junior A Challenge, Luke Johnson and Team USA defeated Canada West and Wade Murphy to win its fourth title in the past five years. Johnson finished the tournament with four assists in four games while Murphy was named to the tournament All-Star Team after producing six points (3G, 3A) in four games.
  • Josefine Jakobsen and the Danish women's national team advanced to the final round of Olympic qualification by winning their most recent round of pre-qualification play. Denmark swept their three pre-qualification games this past weekend and will play in February for the right to advance to the Sochi games. Jakobsen led the tournament with a +4 rating and was named Denmark's Player of the Game following their first game of the tournament.
  • UND women's recruit Halli Krzyzaniak led Team Manitoba to a silver medal at the Canadian Women's Under-18 National Championships last weekend. Kryzyaniak. who captained the Manitoba squad, finished the tournament with a goal and an assist and was named the tournament's MVP and Top Defenseman.
  • The Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey blog says Chris VandeVelde's strong play in Oklahoma City is bolstering his NHL dreams.
  • Robbie Bina has signed a two-year extension with Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg of the German elite league. This is Bina's third year in Wolfsburg.
  • Aaron Dell of the Allen Americans leads the Central Hockey League (CHL) in both GAA (1.79) and Save Percentage (.935). After losing his first professional start Dell has rattled off three consecutive victories, including last night's 5-4 shootout victory over Bloomington. Dell entered the game in a relief role after the Americans had given up three goals in the game's first eight minutes. He stopped 26 of 27 shots the rest of the way and stoned five out of five shootout attempts to lead Allen to the win.
  • Jonathan Toews expects to make a decision on playing in Europe in the near future.

Friday, November 9, 2012

North Dakota vs. St. Cloud State: Notes & Links

  • North Dakota: 3-2-1 Overall (1-0-1 WCHA)
  • St. Cloud State: 5-3-0 Overall (3-1-0 WCHA)
  • Gametime: Friday 7:37 CST/Saturday 7:07 CST
  • Both games will be broadcast across the UND Radio Network and as always, here's the standard broadcast information. You can purchase the webstream of both games via America One Sports ($8.00/game) and NESN will carry the Saturday night game (DirecTV 628/Dish Network 434).
  • Series Notes (PDF): North Dakota and St. Cloud State
  • For all of the GF Herald stories, check out Brad Schlossman's Friday Morning Reading.
  • St. Cloud Times: SCSU Hoping To Build On Start Against North Dakota
  • St. Cloud Times: Proud Dowds To Be In Stands Versus North Dakota
  • St. Cloud Times: Summer Work Has Nic Dowd Playing Hot For SCSU
  • Series Numbers: North Dakota leads the all-time series 59-39-11, including a 23-17-6 record in St. Cloud. In the last eleven meetings, UND sports an 8-2-1 mark against the Huskies, having outscored SCSU 39-23 over that span. Also of note, North Dakota's .639 winning percentage against SCSU is the highest among teams they've faced 100 or more times. North Dakota's first ever official collegiate game was against SCSU (then known as St. Cloud State Teachers College) on January 6th of 1947. UND dropped an 8-1 decision, and it would be nearly 43 years before the two teams would play again.
  • Corban Knight joined the UND Century Club after picking up an assist last Saturday night against Boston University. He is the 84th player to score 100 or more points during his UND career.
  • Danny Kristo is averaging 1.50 points per game, which is tied for second in the WCHA. Goaltender Clarke Saunders is fourth in the conference with a 1.73 GAA.
  • SCSU has four former Fargo Force (USHL) players on its roster, while North Dakota has three.
  • Both UND and SCSU rank in the bottom half of the WCHA in power play efficiency. The Huskies are seventh (17.1%, 31st nationally) while North Dakota ranks ninth (14.8%, 41st nationally). SCSU has also been mediocre on the penalty kill, ranking seventh in the conference with an 83.8% kill rate, while North Dakota is fourth at 88.2%.
  • North Dakota got off to a slow start in the face-off circle this season, winning just 45.2% of its draws over the first three games of the year. UND has turned it around, however, winning 57.3% of its faceoffs in the last three games. On the season North Dakota has won 51.6% of its draws, compared to SCSU's 48.6% clip. Knight leads UND with a 63.0% success rate, and he has taken 36.0% of the team's draws despite having sat out the season opener.
  • SCSU goaltender Ryan Faragher's play has been either maniacal or depressive this season. Faragher has a 4-3 record, and in his four victories he has a 0.50 GAA and .981 Save Percentage. In the three losses, however, he possesses a 5.23 GAA and .854%. He was very good against North Dakota last season, posting a 1.77 GAA and .953% in four games while sporting a 2.98 GAA and .905% against all other opponents. Faragher is also the only Husky goaltender to beat North Dakota in their last 11 meetings.
  • SCSU, which boasts the nation's fifth most prolific offense (3.88 GPG), has plenty of firepower this season, both upfront and on the blueline. Nic Dowd is the WCHA's leading goal scorer (6), while Drew LeBlanc and defenseman Nick Jensen are tied for the conference lead in assists (8). Dowd's 12 points lead the conference, LeBlanc's 11 are tied for second, and Jensen and freshman forward Kalle Kossila are part of a logjam of players tied for fourth with eight. A total of four SCSU defensemen have recorded four or more points.
  • UND junior forward Mitch MacMillan, who transferred from SCSU at semester break last season, is ineligible to play against his former team due to NCAA transfer rules. He will, however, be eligible to play when the Huskies travel to Grand Forks in January.
  • Michael Parks is out again this weekend due to the lower body injury he suffered in the exhibition game against Manitoba. At the weekly press conference North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol said Parks is still at least a couple of weeks away from returning to action. On the St. Cloud State injury front, Husky sniper and senior co-captain Ben Hanowski is out with an upper-body injury, while freshman forward Joey Benik is still recovering from a broken leg suffered in the preseason. Redshirt freshman forward David Morley returned to practice this week and is considered day-to-day with a lower body injury. SCSU injury news courtesy of the St. Cloud Times.
  • Five members of this season's SCSU squad are NHL draft picks, while 14 North Dakota players have heard their names called by NHL brass.
  • USCHO's This Week in the WCHA
  • USCHO: WCHA Column
  • USCHO's Weekend Picks
  • CHN's Tale of the Tape
  • CHN's WCHA Power Rankings
  • CHN's WCHA 3 Up, 2 Down
  • CHN's Three Things
  • WCHB Weekly WCHA Preview
  • WCHA Weekly Press Release
  • The Hockey Writer's Combine: UND vs. SCSU Series Notes
  • Sioux Sports Series Preview
  • Episode 2.06 of Through These Doors:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Evening Post

  • According to Hockeybuzz, North Dakota defenseman Dillon Simpson ranks 16th among the Edmonton Oilers' Top 20 Prospects.
  • Michael Forney was named the ECHL Player of the Week after a weekend that saw him score three goals and chip in four assists in just two Colorado Eagle games. There was no resting on his laurels, however, as Forney had a goal and two assists last night in the Eagles' 10-1 demolition of Utah. Forney currently leads the ECHL with 10 goals, and he's accomplished that, rather remarkably, by registering only 26 shots on goal.
  • Mario Lamoureux is on a nice run with the ECHL's Ontario Reign. Over his last seven games the former Sioux has eight points (2G, 6A) and is a +6. His eight points are fourth most on the Reign roster.
  • Brock Nelson is acclimating quickly to professional hockey. He is second on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers with nine points (5G, 4A), and he is 5th in points among all AHL rookies. Over his last three games he has recorded five points (3G, 2A), and he has become an all-around force for the Sound Tigers.
  • Matt Frattin appears to be about one week away from returning to the Toronto Marlies' lineup. Frattin has been recovering from surgery following the knee injury he suffered in last season's AHL playoffs.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Brian Lee has been practicing with the USHL's Fargo Force as he waits for a resolution to the NHL lockout.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Recruit Roundup

Here's a bit of committed recruit news & notes, including a rundown of how some of UND's recruits have been performing thus far this season:
  • North Dakota lost a recruit last weekend when 1996-born forward Brendan Lemieux opted to leave the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) for Canadian major juniors. Lemieux will sign with the OHL's Barrie Colts, thereby giving up his NCAA eligibility. He had struggled early on this season in Green Bay, who used one of their tender signings to bring Lemieux into the fold. In 11 USHL games, he registered one goal and one assist.
  • Adam Tambellini has been fantastic the past two weekends for the BCHL's Vernon Vipers. Over his last four games Tambellini has put up 10 points (5G, 5A) in leading Vernon to a 3-0-1 record. In two games last weekend he recorded three goals and three assists en route to being named the BCHL Player of the Week. For the season Tambellini leads the Vipers in goals (11), assists (11), and points (22), and he is among the BCHL leaders in both goals (T-7th) and points (T-8th). The 2013 NHL Draft-eligible forward appeared on The Pipeline Show last Saturday, and during his interview he recalled his recruiting trip to North Dakota. It's definitely worth a listen.
  • As detailed in this post several UND recruits are involved in a variety of national and international tournaments. Off to fast starts at the World Junior A Challenge are Wade Murphy (Canada West) and Luke Johnson (Team USA), whose teams both finished group play 2-0 and thus earned byes to the semifinal round. Johnson has registered three assists (tied for the tournament lead) in two games and he was named the 2nd Star on day one of the tournament. Murphy, meanwhile, was named the 3rd Star on day two and through two games has produced two goals and three assists. His five points are tied for the tournament lead. Both Canada West and Team USA will enjoy a day off before semifinal play starts Friday.
  • Johnson's Lincoln Stars teammate Paul LaDue has picked up right where he left off last season. He is tied for the league lead among defensemen with 11 points (1G, 10A), and his ten assists are tops among league blueliners. He is a +9 this season (T-6th among all players) and is an eye-popping +45 in 67 career USHL games.
  • Jack Rowe is T-4th among Cedar Rapids RoughRiders with seven points (3G, 4A) in 10 games...Tucker Poolman is T-4th among Omaha Lancers with six points (3G, 3A) in 13 games. His point total also has him T-7th among all league defensemen...Nick Schmaltz leads Green Bay with eight assists and is fourth on the team with nine points...Ryan Mantha leads Sioux City with a +5 rating...Chris Wilkie is third on the NTDP U-17 team with nine points (4G, 5A) in 12 games...Heading into the 4 Nations Tournament, Keaton Thompson was second on the NTDP U-18 team with six assists...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

International Break, etc.

The first international break for USA Hockey began this weekend, and North Dakota hockey connections abound. USA Hockey has put together a nice composite detailing all the action, and here are the specifics for the North Dakota contingent:
  • Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux and the rest of the US Women's National Team will be taking part in the 2012 Women's Four Nations Cup November 5-10 in Kerava, Finland. The Four Nations field is comprised of the national teams from the USA, Canada, Finland, and Sweden, and in the 16 year history of the event only Canada (12) and the USA (4) have won gold. Team USA is the defending champion. North Dakota's Michelle Karvinen (Finland) and Johanna Fallman (Sweden) are also regular members of their respective national teams, but they have both been battling injuries this season and I do not believe they will be participating in the Four Nations.
  • Also traveling abroad will be North Dakota recruit Chris Wilkie. Wilkie and the NTDP Under-17 team will be competing in the 2012 U-17 Four Nations Tournament in Monthey, Switzerland November 7-11. Team USA is the four-time defending champion, and the Americans are currently riding a 12 game winning streak at this event. The action gets underway Wednesday with a pre-tournament game against Switzerland, with their first tournament game coming Friday against Slovakia. 
  • Keaton Thompson and the NTDP Under-18 team will be hosting the 2012 U-18 Four Nations Tournament November 6-10 in Ann Arbor, MI. Team USA is the four-time defending champion, having won 14 straight tournament games at the event. Their last loss came against Switzerland in 2007. The Americans begin play Tuesday against Finland, and all tournament games can be streamed via Fast Hockey (pay-per-view). 
  • The 2012 World Junior A Challenge started up this weekend with a trio of exhibition games. The tournament officially starts tomorrow in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and runs through the gold medal game on Sunday, November 11. UND recruit Wade Murphy will be playing with Canada West while Luke Johnson is on the Team USA roster. Team USA will see its first action tomorrow against Canada East while Canada West opens its play Tuesday against the Czech Republic. Team USA placed third last season after winning the event three consecutive years from 2008 to 2010. All WJAC tournament games can be streamed free-of-charge at Fast Hockey. This tournament provides very high-quality action, so the free streaming should help scratch that mid-week hockey itch brought on by the NHL lockout.
  • UND recruit Halli Krzyzaniak will serve as team captain for Manitoba at Canada's 2012 National Women's Under-18 Championship in Dawson Creek, BC. The tournament begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday, November 11.

Friday, November 2, 2012

North Dakota vs. Boston University: Notes & Links

North Dakota vs. Boston University- Notes & Links
  • North Dakota: 2-1-1 Overall (1-0-1 WCHA)
  • Boston University: 3-1-0 Overall (3-1-0 HEA)
  • Gametime: Friday 7:37 CDT/Saturday 7:07 CDT
  • Both games will be broadcast across the region on a variety of media outlets and as always, here's the standard broadcast information. For the satellite folks, both games will be aired on DirecTV channel 623 and DISH channel 434. NESN will also carry the games (DirecTV 628).
  • Series Notes (PDF): North Dakota and Boston University
  • For all of the GF Herald stories, check out Brad Schlossman's Friday Morning Reading.
  • The Daily Free Press: No. 12 BU Travels West to Take on No. 5 UND
  • The Daily Free Press: Jack Parker to Return to Bench at North Dakota
  • Terriers Visit North Dakota For Weekend Series
  • The BU Hockey Blog: Series Preview
  • Terrier Hockey Fan Blog: Series Preview
  • Series Numbers: North Dakota leads the all-time series 11-7-1, including a 5-0-1 mark in Grand Forks. In the last ten meetings, BU holds the edge with a 6-3-1 record, with two of UND's three wins over that span coming in the NCAA tournament, including the 1997 Frozen Four championship game victory. From the 1984-85 season through 1989-90, UND & BU played at least once every season (WCHA-HEA matchups counted in the conference standings from 84-85 to 88-89). UND held a 7-3 advantage during that stretch. This weekend's matchup will be the first time these two storied programs have met since BU defeated North Dakota 5-1 in the 2008 IceBreaker Tournament.
  • Senior Danny Kristo made his regular season debut last weekend with a four assist series against Alaska-Anchorage, and he is the lone active member of the UND Century Club with 113 career points. Corban Knight remains on the Century Club doorstep with 99 career points after scoring two goals last weekend. Carter Rowney, by the way, is third on the active point list with 48.
  • Michael Parks is not expected to play again this weekend due to the lower body injury he suffered in the exhibition game against Manitoba. The time frame for his return to the lineup is still undetermined.
  • Nine members of this season's BU squad are NHL draft picks, while 14 North Dakota players have heard their names called by NHL brass.
  • USCHO's This Week in the WCHA
  • USCHO's Weekend Picks
  • CHN's Tale of the Tape
  • CHN's WCHA Power Rankings
  • CHN's WCHA 3 Up, 3 Down
  • WCHB Weekly WCHA Preview
  • WCHA Weekly Press Release
  • The Hockey Writer's Combine: UND vs. BU Game Notes
  • Sioux Sports Series Preview
  • Episode 2.05 of Through These Doors:

Friday Morning Coffee

Here are a few items for a morning read. The UND - BU series notes and links will be posted later this morning.
  • The North Dakota men received a commitment from Tucker Poolman yesterday, and if you haven't done so already you can check out his Recruit Profile to see what type of player UND is getting. Poolman plays for the USHL's Omaha Lancers, and his commitment adds another UND connection to the Mutual of Omaha Battles on Ice. Poolman and the Lancers will be taking on Luke Johnson, Paul LaDue and the Lincoln Stars prior to the UND-UNO game at TD Ameritrade Park February 9 in Omaha. It will be fun watching the local Grand Forks kids battle it out in a big event atmosphere.
  • As mentioned earlier this week, former Sioux captain Adam Calder suffered a fractured hip Sunday night in an English Premier League game. Calder underwent surgery Monday, spent three days in the hospital, and reportedly will be off his feet for three months. MK Lightning GM Vito Rausa called it the worst injury he's ever seen in hockey. Thoughts are certainly with Calder and his family.
  • As the NHL labor impasse drags on, former Sioux defenseman and Moorhead native Brian Lee has taken to skating with the USHL's Fargo Force as a way to stay sharp.
  • Get to know Buffalo Sabre winger and former Sioux sniper Drew Stafford in this nice NHLPA player profile video:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Recruit Profile: Tucker Poolman
Current Team:  Omaha Lancers (USHL)
Potential Arrival at UND:  2014
Position:  Defense
Birthday:  June 8th, 1993
Hometown:  East Grand Forks, MN
Height:  6'3"
Weight:  200
Shoots:  Right

Profiles & Press Clippings:
  • USHL 2013-14 Profile/Stat Page
  • Elite Prospects Profile/Stat Page
  • Brad Schlossman Blog Committment Post
  • A synopsis of his game, via the Omaha World Herald: Poolman is a reliable, steady player who also brings a solid offensive game. With his size and strength, Aikens expects Poolman to play in all situations. “Coming out of the Fall Classic, Tucker is one of the hotter guys in the league as far as college attention,” Aikens said. “He gained valuable experience last year and is kind of a late bloomer. He’s only scratching the surface of what he could be eventually.”
  • Son of former Fighting Sioux football player and current UND men's hockey strength and conditioning coordinator Mark Poolman.
  • 2013 NHL Draft Prospect Profile
  • He was selected in the 5th Round (127th Overall) by the Winnipeg Jets at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
  • He is playing for Omaha of the USHL.
  • Playing for the Omaha Lancers (USHL), he recorded 28 points (14G, 14A) in 64 games.
  • His 12 power play goals led the USHL in 2012-13.
  • In January he participated in the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, which featured 40 of the USHL's top NHL draft eligible players. He was a teammate of fellow UND recruits Luke Voltin and Luke Johnson on the victorious Team West.
  • Played for the Wichita Falls Wildcats (NAHL), where he registered 29 points (7G, 22A) and a +5 rating in 59 games.
  • Was selected to represent Team Midwest at the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects tournament.
  • Following his strong NAHL rookie season, the Omaha Lancers selected him in the 3rd round (38th overall) of the USHL Entry Draft.
  • He produced 22 points (5G, 17A) in 23 games while playing for East Grand Forks (HS-Minnesota).
  • He played for Team Great Plains in the Upper Midwest Elite League, producing five points (2G, 3A) in 16 games.
  • Playing in 25 games for East Grand Forks, he registered 10 points (3G, 7A).

Thursday Morning Coffee

  • Following this season, it looks like there will be at least a four-year hiatus in the Minnesota-North Dakota men's hockey rivalry (unless, of course, they were to meet in postseason play). Minnesota currently has four-year scheduling agreements with the in-state schools, Notre Dame, Boston College, and Northeastern beginning next season, its first in the Big 10 Conference. Per school policy, Minnesota was not allowed to schedule non-conference games with North Dakota while the Fighting Sioux nickname was in use, and the scheduling agreements with the aforementioned schools filled the U of M's non-conference schedule while the scheduling ban was in effect. Thus it appears as though the earliest North Dakota could face Minnesota in regular season play would be the 2017-18 season. 
  • On Tuesday Brad Malone was named an alternate captain for the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL). Malone is the third former Sioux to wear an AHL letter this season, joining Chris VandeVelde (alternate captain, Oklahoma City) and Taylor Chorney (alternate captain, Peoria). Aaron Schneekloth is an alternate captain with Colorado (ECHL), while Jonathan Toews (C, Chicago), Drew Stafford (A, Buffalo), Matt Greene (A, Los Angeles), and Zach Parise (A, Minnesota) all wear NHL letters.
  • The Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey blog says VandeVelde is making a hard push for the Edmonton Oiler fourth line center job.
  • North Dakota women's hockey recruit Halli Krzyzaniak was named captain of the Team Manitoba Under-18 team.
  • UND recruit Chris Wilkie and the US NTDP Under-17 team will soon be off to Monthey, Switzerland, where they will be competing in the 2012 U-17 Four Nations Cup November 6-11. Keaton Thompson and the Under-18ers, meanwhile, will be hosting the U-18 Four Nations Tournament November 6-10 in Ann Arbor, MI.
  • The Canada West World Junior A Challenge Selection Camp wrapped up last night, and it was a good night for UND recruits, with Wade Murphy (two goals) and Adam Tambellini (one goal) helping lead Team Blue to a 5-1 win over Team White. The final Canada West roster is expected to be announced today, with an exhibition game against Luke Johnson and Team USA scheduled for Saturday night in Nova Scotia.