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UND enters the week three points behind third-place Denver.
MHKY Notes: Sioux chase WCHA home ice, NCAA berth
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Updated: Wednesday 02/22/2012 16:50:39 (ET)
by Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
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#14 North Dakota
(17-11-3, 13-10-1 WCHA)
at
#9 Denver
(18-10-4, 13-7-4 WCHA)

 

Feb. 24-25, 2012 • 9:10/8:07 pm CT • Magness Arena (6,026) • Denver, Colo.
RADIO: 96.1 The Fox (KQHT-FM) • WEBCAST: None
TV Friday: NBC Sports Network (Gord Miller, Kerry Fraser)
TV Saturday: Root Sports Rocky Mountain (Jay Stickney, Charlie Host, Marc Stout)

THIS WEEK: North Dakota, 5-1-1 in its last seven games, embarks on its final road trip of the regular season with a WCHA series at Denver on Friday and Saturday.

The 14th-ranked Fighting Sioux enter the week tied with Colorado College and Nebraska Omaha for fourth place in the WCHA, three points behind third-place Denver.

UND, CC and UNO have a 3-point cushion on seventh-place Michigan Tech heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

MEDIA COVERAGE: All UND men's hockey games, home and away, can be heard on 96.1 FM (The Fox) and on stations across the UND Radio Network. Veteran broadcaster Tim Hennessy is in his 33rd season as the voice of the men's hockey program. Free audio is available at www.fightingsioux.com.

Friday's game can be seen on NBC Sports Network, with Gord Miller and Kerry Fraser calling the action. Saturday's game will be broadcast on Root Sports Rocky Mountain, with Jay Stickney, Charlie Host and Marc Stout as the announce team. Consult your local listings for availability.

Video webcasts will not be available for either game due to television exclusivity rights.

Free live stats are available at www.denverpioneers.com.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive real-time updates during all UND men's hockey games by following
@UNDMHockey. Additional coverage can be found at @UNDathletics and @UNDSID.

Fans can also follow the action via live chat at FightingSioux.com, hosted by Grand Forks Herald hockey writer Brad Schlossman and UND media relations director Jayson Hajdu during every home and road game.

TICKET INFORMATION: For ticket information, visit www.denverpioneers.com.

ABOUT THE PIONEERS: Denver is 8-2-1 in its last 11 games following a split last weekend at Wisconsin. The Pioneers won Friday's opener 3-0 before falling 5-2 in Saturday's finale.

Freshman defenseman Joey LaLeggia leads all NCAA rookies in points (33) and assists (23), and leads NCAA rookie blueliners in goals (10), assists and points.

Sophomore Sam Brittain has started the last four games in net after missing the first 25 games with a knee injury. He is 4-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in six games.

The Pioneers boast the WCHA's top-ranked power play at 23.3 percent.
DU COACHING STAFF: George Gwozdecky (Wisconsin ‘78) is 416-249-59 (.615) in 18 seasons at Denver, and is 566-373-80 (.595) in 26 seasons as a collegiate head coach.

Gwozdecky's staff includes associate head coach Steve Miller (St. Mary's ‘88), assistant coaches David Lassonde (Providence ‘84) and David Tenzer (New York University ‘84), volunteer assistant coach Matt Thomas (Navy ‘05) and student assistant coach David Carle (Denver ‘12).

SERIES HISTORY: The Sioux lead the all-time series with the Pioneers by a 133-115-8 (.535) margin and have won four of the last five meetings.

Last season, the two teams split their October series in Grand Forks before the Sioux claimed victories in the WCHA Final Five championship game and the NCAA Midwest Region final.

Junior forward Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) leads all active Sioux with seven points (2g, 5a) in nine career games against DU.

Senior Brad Eidsness has appeared in eight career games (seven starts) against the Pioneers and is 2-4-1 with a 2.37 goals against average and .915 save percentage. Teammate Aaron Dell (Jr., Airdrie, Alberta) is 3-1-0 with a 2.14 goals against average and a .918 save percentage in four career appearances (all starts).

UND is 11-14-1 (.442) against Denver during head coach Dave Hakstol's tenure.

UND'S LAST ACTION: UND took three of four points last weekend from Michigan Tech, winning 4-2 on Friday and battling to a 1-1 overtime tie on Saturday.

Junior centers Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) and Carter Rowney (Sexsmith, Alberta) each scored twice in Friday's win, while sophomore forward Brock Nelson (Warroad, Minn.) chipped in with a career-high three assists.

Knight scored UND's lone tally in Saturdays' overtime tie, while senior netminder Brad Eidsness (Chestermere, Alberta) turned aside 23 of 24 shots.

Eidsness stopped 42 of 45 shots in the series and helped UND go a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.

POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 11 in the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings, No. 12 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and No. 14 in the USCHO.com poll.

The Sioux are 14th in both the PairWise Rankings and the KRACH rankings.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: UND is attempting to secure home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs for the 10th consecutive season.

UND's streak of nine straight years of hosting the first round is the longest active streak in the league.

UND's streak of nine straight appearances at the WCHA Final Five is also the league's longest active streak.

WE'RE GOING STREAKING!: After a win and a tie last weekend against Michigan Tech, UND has just four losses in the last 19 games (13-4-2), a stretch that began Thanksgiving weekend against Colorado College.

IT'S HOW YOU FINISH: With just three losses in 13 games since the Christmas break, UND has continued its trend of playing its best hockey after Christmas under eighth-year head coach Dave Hakstol:

Year Before After
2004-05 13-7-2 (.636) 12-8-3 (.587)
2005-06 12-7-1 (.625) 17-9-0 (.654)
2006-07 7-10-1 (.417) 17-4-4 (.760)
2007-08 8-6-1 (.567) 20-5-3 (.768)
2008-09 9-8-1 (.528) 15-7-3 (.660)
2009-10 9-6-3 (.583) 16-7-2 (.680)
2010-11 13-5-2 (.700) 19-4-1 (.813)
2011-12 9-8-1 (.528) 8-3-2 (.692)
Totals 80-57-12 (.577) 123-47-18 (.702)

UND has been particularly effective once the calendar turns to February. Over the previous three seasons, the Sioux have gone 27-5-2 (.824) from February to April, and 78-24-13 (.735) overall in those months during Hakstol's entire tenure.

OH WHAT A KNIGHT: Junior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday for his performance last weekend against Michigan Tech.

Knight registered three goals and four points while winning more than 62 percent of his faceoffs as the Sioux took three of four WCHA points from the Huskies. Knight had two goals and an assist in UND's 4-2 win on Friday, then scored the lone Sioux goal in Saturday's 1-1 overtime tie.

It was the first 3-goal series of Knight's career.

The 6-foot-2, 193-pound Knight won 15 of 24 (62.5 percent) faceoffs on Friday and 18 of 29 (62.1 percent) on Saturday. A key member of UND's special teams units, Knight helped the Sioux go 3-for-7 (42.9 percent) on the power play and a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.

In 28 games this season, Knight has 30 points and is tied for the team lead with 19 assists.

CARTER WOW-NEY: Knight isn't the only junior center from Alberta enjoying a hot streak.

Classmate Carter Rowney (Sexsmith, Alberta) scored twice in last Friday's 4-2 win over Michigan Tech. It was the third straight 2-goal game for Rowney, who became the first Sioux with three straight multi-goal games since All-American Lee Goren did it during the 2000 WCHA playoffs.
After scoring just four goals in 67 career games over his first two seasons, Rowney is tied for second on the team with 14 goals, including eight power-play tallies and three game-winners.

Despite being held off the scoresheet in Saturday's 1-1 tie, Rowney has six goals and seven points in his last four games.

Rowney, who is on pace to play in his 99th and 100th career games this weekend, has been held without a point in consecutive games just once (Jan. 13-14 vs. Minnesota) since UND's Nov. 19-20 series at Bemidji State.

EIDS WIDE SHUT: With Aaron Dell (Jr., Airdrie, Alberta) out with an undisclosed injury, senior goalie Brad Eidsness (Chestermere, Alberta) started both games last week against Michigan Tech, his first back-to-back starts since the 2009-10 NCAA postseason.

The two-time All-WCHA performer (2008-09, 2009-10) responded by stopping 42 of 45 shots (.933 save percentage) in the series and reaching a pair of significant milestones.

Friday's win was the 55th of Eidsness' career, tying him with Jordan Parise (2003-06) as the third-winningest goalie in UND history:
Saturday's game was Eidsness' 100th career appearance, making him only the fifth goalie in UND history to reach that plateau:


Eidsness also ranks fifth all-time at UND in goals against average (2.40), sixth in save percentage (.906), eighth in saves (2,187), tied for eighth in shutouts (four) and is 10th in winning percentage (.659).

His 1.92 goals against average and .926 save percentage both represent the best marks of his career. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his seven starts this season.

 


DAN THE MAN: Junior forward Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) is just three points away from becoming the 83rd UND player to score 100 career points, and the first active Sioux to do so.

Kristo enters the week with 97 points (37g, 60a) in 106 career games.

In 31 games this season, Kristo ranks second on the team with 33 points (14g, 19a) and is three points from matching the career-high 36 he recorded as a freshman in 2009-10.

BROCK ‘N' ROLL: With 20 goals on the season, sophomore forward Brock Nelson (Warroad, Minn.) is UND's youngest 20-goal scorer since an 18-year old Jonathan Toews scored 22 as a freshman in 2005-06.

Nelson trails only Minnesota's Nick Bjugstad (22 goals) in the WCHA goal-scoring race, and Nelson's 17 goals and nine power-play goals in 24 WCHA games lead the league.

KNIGHTLINE'S WINNING RATINGS: UND's top line of Corban Knight (Jr., High River, Alberta), Danny Kristo (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Brock Nelson (So., Warroad, Minn.) combined for seven points in last Friday's 4-2 win over Michigan Tech.

The trio has now combined for 66 points (30 goals, 36 assists) in the 13 wins in which it has played together, an average of 5.1 points per game.

The line has just nine points (6g, 4a) in eight losses, which equates to only 1.1 points per game.

Nelson (20-15-35), Kristo (14-19-33) and Knight (11-19-30) are UND's top three scorers and have scored 47.9 percent of the team's goals (45 of 94) this season.

PARKS AND REC: Freshman forward Michael Parks (St., Louis, Mo.) has been UND's most productive freshman as of late, having reached the scoresheet in seven of his last 10 games.

Parks has scored four goals and four assists during that 10-game stretch. He leads all UND freshmen with seven goals and has added five assists through 31 games.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD: Senior defenseman Ben Blood (Plymouth, Minn.) enters the week having appeared in 131 consecutive games, the longest active streak on the team.

The school record for consecutive games played is 175 -- also an NCAA record -- and is shared by Ryan Duncan (2005-09) and Chris Porter (2003-07). Porter currently plays with the NHL's St. Louis Blues and Duncan with the AHL's Portland Pirates (Phoenix Coyotes).
Blood, who will play in his 150th career game on Friday, has matched his career high with 14 points and both of his goals have been game-winners.

LINEUP LIMITATIONS: With injured forwards Rocco Grimaldi (Fr., Rossmoor, Calif.), Brendan O'Donnell (Fr., Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Derek Rodwell (So., Taber, Alberta) all out for the season, UND will not have the luxury of playing with a healthy scratch (among skaters) for the remainder of the season.

Six players have combined to miss 64 games due to injury so far this season:

Rocco Grimaldi, 27
Brendan O'Donnell, 14
Derek Rodwell, 12
Derek Forbort, 5
Corban Knight, 3
Mario Lamoureux, 3

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE: Despite splitting time between forward and his natural defense position due to injuries, junior Joe Gleason (Edina, Minn.) is tied for fourth on the team with a career-high 13 assists.

Gleason has played 18 games at forward and 12 on the blueline.

CROWDED HOUSE: UND has played in front of capacity crowds in each of its last six home games.

Last Saturday's announced attendance of 12,065 against Michigan Tech was the fourth-largest crowd in program history.

UND is averaging 11,335 fans per game this season, down slightly from last season's school-record 11, 756 average attendance, and has sold out seven of 16 home games.

HEAD OF THE CLASS: Senior Brad Eidsness (Chestermere, Alberta) and sophomores Taylor Dickin (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Dillon Simpson (Edmonton, Alberta) were named WCHA Scholar-Athletes earlier this month.

It was the third straight year in which Eidsness was honored, while both Dickin and Simpson were first-time honorees.

FOLLOWING THE "GENERAL": Freshman forward Stephane Pattyn (Ste. Anne, Manitoba) made his first career goal one to remember.

Pattyn scored with 1:54 remaining in the third period to break a 3-3 tie in an eventual 5-3 win over Wisconsin on Jan. 27. To top it off, the goal came on Pattyn's 21st birthday.

SUPER DAVE: UND's 3-2 win at SCSU on Jan. 21 was the 200th victory for Dave Hakstol, enabling him to join John "Gino" Gasparini (392 wins, 1978-94) and Dean Blais (262 wins, 1994-2004) as the only UND coaches to reach that milestone.

Hakstol, Gasparini and Blais each won their 200th game in their eighth season. Hakstol played under Gasparini at UND, and was brought to the UND coaching staff as an assistant coach by Blais.

With 32 wins last season, UND has reached the 20-win plateau in each of Hakstol's first seven seasons behind the bench. It was also the 3rd-highest win total in program history.

Hakstol's streak of seven straight 20-win seasons is the second-longest in UND history, behind only Gasparini's 13 in a row (1978-79 to 1990-91).

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: UND's win over Clarkson at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Jan. 7 drew 7,075 fans, out-drawing all but three NCAA Division I men's hockey games that night.

Only New Hampshire vs. Maine (38,456 at Fenway Park), RIT at Wisconsin (12,453) and Notre Dame at Minnesota (10,242) drew more.

Dubbed the ‘U.S. College Hockey Classic,' the game was UND's first on Canadian soil in 59 years. The last time UND played a men's hockey game in Canada was Dec. 29-30, 1953, when UND lost a pair of games to host Fort Frances (Ontario).

The last time UND played outside of the United States was Dec. 26-29, 1982, when the team competed in the Spengler Cup in Switzerland.

VOTE FOR HOBEY: Senior defenseman Ben Blood (Plymouth, Minn.) and junior forward Danny Kristio (Eden Prairie, Minn.) are among the 77 players on the ballot for the Hobey Baker Award ‘Vote for Hobey' fan balltoing.

Blood, who logs more minutes than any other UND player, has emerged as one of the top two-way defensemen in NCAA hockey.

He has played in all 29 games this season, registering two goals and 12 assists. Both of his goals have been game-winners, tying him for fifth-most by a UND defenseman in a single season.

Blood leads all active UND skaters with 147 games played and has appeared in 129 straight games. Last season, Blood led the nation with a +32 rating and was named to his second straight Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) All-Academic Team.

Kristo ranks second on the team in scoring with 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 29 games and ranks second on the team with three game-winning goals.

The 2009-10 WCHA Rookie of the Year, Kristo is UND's active scoring leader with 95 points (37g, 58a) in 104 career games.

This first phase of fan balloting will run now through March 4, 2012. Phase two of fan balloting will begin on March 16 from the list of Top 10 Hobey Baker finalists. The fan vote accounts for a full 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year's award recipient.

HELLO, MY NAME IS: UND head coach Dave Hakstol announced on Jan. 10 that forward Mitch MacMillan (So., Penticton, British Columbia) transferred to UND and will join the team immediately. MacMillan is eligible to begin practicing with the team, but will not be eligible to compete until January 2013.

MacMillan will have two years of NCAA eligibility remaining when he resumes competition next January.

MacMillan transferred to UND from St. Cloud State, where he had five assists in 14 games this season. In 28 games last season as a freshman, MacMillan had four goals and two assists.

MacMillan's younger brother, Mark, is currently a freshman forward at UND. The last time the two were teammates was in 2009-10 with Alberni Valley of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), when they were the team's top two scorers and combined for 173 points (87 goals, 86 assists) in 59 games.

ASSISTANCE PLAN: Junior goalie Aaron Dell (Airdrie, Alberta) has four career assists, a total topped by only one goalie in the history of the program: current volunteer assistant coach Karl Goehring.

Goehring amassed a school-record seven assists from 1997 to 2001.

MARIO'S MILESTONE: When senior captain Mario Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) scored the game-winning goal on Nov. 19 at Bemidji State, he entered the UND history books by scoring the 10,000th goal in program history.

Perhaps it was fitting that Lamoureux would be the one to score the milestone goal, considering he is from Grand Forks, and his extensive family ties to UND hockey.

Lamoureux's sisters, Jocelyne and Monique, are junior forwards on UND's women's hockey team.

His father, Pierre, played goalie for UND from 1979-82 and was a member of two NCAA championship teams.

His brother, Jean-Philippe, was a goaltender at UND from 2004-08 and was an All-American as a senior.

Another brother, Pierre-Paul, is currently in his third season on UND's coaching staff as assistant video coordinator.

Finally, his uncle, Roger Lamoureux, was a four-year letterwinner at forward for UND from 1973 to 1977.

SUPER MARIO: In addition to the 10,000-goals milestone, Lamoureux's tally on Nov. 19 was significant for another reason.

With the goal, UND improved to 13-0-0 all-time when Lamoureux scores.

THE EAGLE SOARS INTO THE HALL: UND legend Ed Belfour made history on Nov. 14 when he became the first UND product to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Belfour parlayed a historic 1986-87 freshman season into a distinguished professional career that saw him become the third-winningest goalie in NHL history. Only Martin Brodeur (636 wins) and Patrick Roy (551) have won more games than Belfour, who won 484 from 1988 to 2007.

A native of Carman, Manitoba, Belfour won a UND-record 29 games (since broken) in 1986-87 and was named an NCAA All-American after leading UND to the 1987 national championship. He was the backbone of the famed "Hrkac Circus" team that won a then-NCAA-record 40 games.

Belfour twice won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie and helped lead the Dallas Stars to a Stanley Cup championship in 1999.

A six-time all-star game participant, Belfour ranks third in NHL history in wins (484), fourth in games played (963) and saves (24,750), and ninth in shutouts (76). He finished his career with a 2.50 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.

Belfour also excelled on the international stage, winning a Canada Cup in 1991 and an Olympic gold medal in 2002 for Canada.

CALLING ALL CAPTAINS: Senior forward Mario Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) was named team captain at UND's annual preseason media day luncheon.

In 43 games last season, Lamoureux established career highs in points (17) and assists (14) while earning his second straight WCHA All-Academic selection. In 109 career games, Lamoureux has amassed 13 goals and 22 assists.

Lamoureux's younger sister, Jocelyne, was named captain of UND's women's this season.

Mario Lamoureux joins Steve Johnson (1987-88), Jeff Panzer (2000-01) and Andy Schneider (2003-04) as the only Grand Forks natives to captain their hometown team.

 

Senior defenseman Ben Blood (Plymouth, Minn.), junior defenseman Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta) and junior forward Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) were named assistant captains.

HELLO, MY NAME IS: UND welcomes 10 freshmen to the lineup this season, including forwards Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.), Connor Gaarder (Edina, Minn.), Mark MacMillan (Penticton, British Columbia), Brendan O'Donnell (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Michael Parks (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephane Pattyn (Ste. Anne, Manitoba) and Colten St. Clair (Gilbert, Ariz.), and defensemen Nick Mattson (Chanhassen, Minn.), Dan Senkbeil (Fremont, Calif.) and Andrew Panzarella (Washington, D.C.).
It is UND's largest freshman class since 2005-06, when UND brought in 13 freshmen.

That class included future NHLers Jonathan Toews, T.J. Oshie, Taylor Chorney and Brian Lee, as well as 2006-07 Hobey Baker Award winner Ryan Duncan.

FEELING A DRAFT: The 2011-12 UND roster boasts 15 National Hockey League draft picks, including 2011 selections Rocco Grimaldi (Fr., Rossmoor, Calif.) and Dillon Simpson (So., Edmonton, Alberta).

Grimaldi was taken in the second round (33rd overall) by Florida, while Simpson went in the fourth round (92nd overall) to Edmonton.

Simpson's father, Craig, won two Stanley Cups with Edmonton during his 10-year NHL career. He is now the lead color analyst on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) Hockey Night in Canada.

UND's current collection of draft picks features two 1st-rounders (Derek Forbort, Brock Nelson), two 2nd-rounders (Rocco Grimaldi, Danny Kristo), three 4th-rounders (Ben Blood, Mark MacMillan, Dillon Simpson), four 5th-rounders (Brad Eidsness, Corban Knight, Michael Parks, Derek Rodwell), two 6th-rounders (Nick Mattson, Brendan O'Donnell) and two 7th-rounders (Joe Gleason, Andrew MacWilliam).

TRADITION NEVER GRADUATES: Fourteen former UND players have played in the NHL this season: Jason Blake (Anaheim), Taylor Chorney (Edmonton, St. Louis), Mike Commodore (Detroit), Joe Finley (Buffalo), Matt Frattin (Toronto), Matt Greene (Los Angeles), Brian Lee (Ottawa), Brad Malone (Colorado), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Zach Parise (New Jersey), Chris Porter (St. Louis), Drew Stafford (Buffalo), Jonathan Toews (Chicago), and Travis Zajac (New Jersey).

A 15th, Matt Watkins, was recalled last weekend by the Phoenix Coyotes but had yet to make his NHL debut as of Tuesday afternoon.

With the exception of Blake, who played at UND from 1996-99, each of the above players was coached by Hakstol during his tenure as a head coach or assistant coach at UND.

Other UND products in the NHL include Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett, Columbus assistant Brad Berry, Buffalo assistant James Patrick, Minnesota assistant Rick Wilson, Phoenix video coach Steve Peters, Minnesota Wild Director of Player Development Brad Bombardir, and Chicago Blackhawks radio analyst Troy Murray. Additionally, former UND football letterwinner Mark Chipman is the chairman of the Winnipeg Jets.

Sixteen UND products played in the NHL last season, including: Jason Blake (Anaheim), Taylor Chorney (Edmonton), Mike Commodore (Columbus), Matt Frattin (Toronto), Matt Greene (Los Angeles), David Hale (Ottawa), Ryan Johnson (Chicago), Brian Lee (Ottawa), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Zach Parise (New Jersey), Chris Porter (St. Louis), Matt Smaby (Tampa Bay), Drew Stafford (Buffalo), Jonathan Toews (Chicago), Chris Vande Velde (Edmonton), and Travis Zajac (New Jersey).

CALLING ALL CAPTAINS: A pair of UND products currently serve as captains of their NHL clubs: Zach Parise (2002-04) of the New Jersey Devils and Jonathan Toews (2005-07) of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Additionally, defenseman Matt Greene (2002-05) serves as an assistant captain for the L.A. Kings and forward Drew Stafford (2003-06) holds the same title for the Buffalo Sabres.

FOREVER UND: Every member of UND's coaching staff is a graduate of the University of North Dakota.

Head coach Dave Hakstol (1989-92), associate head coach Cary Eades (1978-82), assistant coach Dane Jackson (1988-92) and volunteer assistant Karl Goehring (1998-2001) each played for UND.

Additionally, nearly every member of the support staff is also a graduate of UND, including director of hockey operations Pat Swanson (2002), athletic trainer and strength coach Mark Poolman (1992), team physician Dr. Greg Greek, media relations director Jayson Hajdu (2000) and administrative assistant Carmen Pester.

 

 


RANK AND FILE: UND was voted No. 2 (four first-place votes) in the 41st annual Grand Forks Herald WCHA Coaches Preseason Poll and No. 3 (two first-place votes) in the 93X (Duluth) WCHA Media Preseason Poll.

In both polls, UND freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) was named the preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year.

2011-12 Grand Forks Herald
WCHA Coaches Preseason Poll

Rk Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Denver (7) 115
2. North Dakota (4) 110
3. Colorado College (1) 105
4. Nebraska Omaha 89
5. Minnesota Duluth 75
6. Minnesota 74
7. St. Cloud State 61
8. Wisconsin 54
9. Alaska Anchorage 36
10. Bemidji State 30
11. Minnesota State, Mankato 29
12. Michigan Tech 14

POY: Jaden Schwartz, So., F, Colorado College
ROY: Rocco Grimaldi, F, North Dakota

2011-12 93X Radio
WCHA Media Preseason Poll

Rk Team (1st place votes) Poll Avg.
1. Denver (16) 11.35
2. Colorado College (7) 10.54
3. North Dakota (2) 10.31
4. Nebraska Omaha (1) 8.31
5. Minnesota Duluth 8.12
6. Minnesota 7.73
7. Wisconsin 5.54
St. Cloud State 5.54
9. Alaska Anchorage 3.85
10. Bemidji State 2.92
11. Minnesota State 2.12
12. Michigan Tech 1.69

POY: Jason Zucker, So., F, Denver
ROY: Rocco Grimaldi, F, North Dakota
COY: Mel Pearson, Michigan Tech

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