(8-12-2, 5-8-1 WCHA)
#7 North Dakota
(12-5-3, 7-2-3 WCHA)
January 11-12, 2013 • 7:37/7:07 pm CT
Ralph Engelstad Arena (11,634) • Grand Forks, N.D.
Radio: 96.1 FM The Fox (KQHT-FM) • Webcast: UNDSports.com
TV: Midco Sports Network, FCS Central, DirecTV 623 (Friday), DirecTV 626 (Saturday)
THIS WEEK: North Dakota, unbeaten in its last seven games (6-0-1) and winner of five in a row, returns to WCHA play this weekend against Colorado College. UND has not lost since suffering a 5-3 setback at CC on Nov. 20, which was also the last win for the Tigers, who are winless in their last seven.
UND enters the series tied for third in the WCHA with 17 points, two points behind league-leading Nebraska Omaha and one point behind second-place St. Cloud State. However, UND has played two fewer league games than both of those teams and owns the WCHA's top conference winning percentage at .708.
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 Hockey Radio Network. Veteran broadcaster Tim Hennessy is in his 34th season as the voice of the men's hockey program. Steve Olson serves as color analyst for home games. Free audio is available at UNDSports.com.
This weekend's games will be broadcast live on Midco Sports Network, FOX College Sports Central and DirecTV. Friday's game will air on DirecTV channel 623 and Saturday's on channel 626. Dan Hammer calls the action with former UND standout Scott Koberinski (1985-89) providing analysis and Katie Hale conduting intermission interviews.
Video webcasts of this weekend's games can be purchased at UNDSports.com, where free live stats are also available.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive real-time updates during all UND men's hockey games by following
@UNDMHockey. Additional coverage can be found at @UNDSports and @UNDSID.
Fans can also follow the action via live chat at UNDSports.com, featuring Brad Schlossman and Tom Miller of the Grand Forks Herald and Jayson Hajdu and Matt Schill of UND Athletics Media Relations.
TICKET INFORMATION: Reserved seating and general admission tickets remain available for both games this weekend. Tickets can be purchased at the UND Box Office at Ralph Engelstad Arena or online at Tickemaster.com.
ABOUT THE TIGERS: Colorado College enters the week having lost four straight games and is winless in its last seven (0-6-1) after being swept last weekend at Nebraska Omaha (8-4, 3-1).
The Tigers are led offensively by a quartet of high-scoring senior forwards: Rylan Schwartz (10-17=27), William Rapuzzi (11-15=26), Alexander Krushelnyski (8-15=23) and Scott Winkler (10-10=20).
Another senior, defenseman Mike Boivin, has nine goals and nine assists in 22 games to lead all CC blueliners.
The Tigers rank fifth in the WCHA in scoring offense, averaging 3.36 goals per game, but rank last defensively, allowing 3.73.
CC COACHING STAFF: Scott Owens (CC ‘79) is in his 14th season at Colorado College and is 307-197-45 (.600).
Owens' staff includes assistant coaches Joe Bonnett (Western Michigan ‘93) and Eric Rud (CC ‘97), as well as volunteer assistant Terry Kleisinger (Wisconsin ‘84).
SERIES HISTORY: UND holds a 138-77-10 (.636) edge in the all-time series, including an 82-19-6 (.794) mark in Grand Forks, and has lost just twice in the last 11 meetings (8-2-1).
The two teams split their series earlier this year in Colorado Springs, when CC took the opener 5-3 and UND rebounded with a 3-2 overtime win in the series finale.
Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) is UND's leading active scorer against the Tigers with 11 points (6g, 5a) in nine career games. Linemate and fellow senior Corban Knight (Sr., High River, Alberta) has 10 points (2g, 8a) in nine career games against CC.
POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 7 in the most recent USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, released on Monday.
Colorado College is not ranked in either poll.
LAST ACTION: UND wrapped up its non-conference schedule last weekend with a home sweep of 20th-ranked Holy Cross, winning 5-2 and 3-2. Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) enjoyed a 6-point weekend, collecting two goals and two assists on Friday and two assists on Saturday.
Linemate Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) had a goal and an assist in each game, while new linemate Michael Parks (So., St. Louis, Mo.) scored a goal in each game. Parks had missed all but one period of UND's first 18 games prior to the series.
UND's power play enjoyed it's best series of the season, going 5-for-10 with the man advantage.
LUCKY 7: UND enters this week's series riding a season-long 7-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1).
It is UND's longest regular season unbeaten streak since a 9-game streak (8-0-1) to close out the 2010-11 regular season.
UND is also in the midst of a season-best 5-game winning streak.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: Last week's Subway Holiday Classic sweep over No. 20 Holy Cross concluded a grueling 16-game stretch for UND that included 12 games against nationally-ranked opponents.
UND, which went 10-4-2 (.688) during this stretch, ranks fifth nationally in strength of schedule.
ROCCO'S RETURN: UND will welcome forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) back to the lineup this weekend after the freshman helped lead the United States to a gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Hockey Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Grimaldi scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the gold medal game, his first goals of the tournament, and was named the player of the game for the U.S. He became UND's 19th medalist at the tournament and the 12th to win gold.
He finished the tournament with two goals and two assists and a +4 rating in seven games.
Grimaldi is the 47th UND player to compete at the World Junior Championship and the 34th to play for the U.S.
In 18 games with UND, Grimaldi is tied for third on the team in scoring with 16 points (7g, 9a). He is tied for third in the WCHA rookie scoring race, and his 0.89 points per game rank second.
AWARDS KNIGHT: Last Friday, senior forward Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) was named national player of the month for December. This week, he opened the month of January by nabbing two more honors.
On Monday, Knight was one of 77 players nominated for the Vote For Hobey fan voting process at HobeyBakerAward.com. Fans can cast their votes through March 10, 2013. Phase two of fan balloting will begin on March 22 from the list of Top Ten Hobey Baker finalists. The fans' vote accounts for a full 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year's award recipient.
On Tuesday, Knight was named WCHA co-Offensive Player of the Week after a 6-point series against Holy Cross. Knight scored twice (including the game-winner) and assisted on two other goals in Friday's 5-2 win. In Saturday's 3-2 win, Knight notched a pair of third-period assists on the power play, setting up the game-tying and game-winning game-winning goals as UND rallied from an early 2-0 deficit.
Knight also won 31 of 40 (77.5 percent) faceoffs in the series, including a 21-of-24 (87.5 percent) performance on Friday, upping his season percentage to 60.2. That puts him on pace to break his own school record of 59.9 percent, set as a sophomore in 2010-11.
KNIGHT STREAKING: Knight's performance against Holy Cross also extended his point streak to 15 games, UND's longest since All-American Brandon Bochenski had a 17-game streak during the 2002-03 season.
A point in each game this weekend would put Knight's streak among the 10 longest in school history:
Knight has 27 points (8g, 19a) during his streak, which began Nov. 3 against Boston University.
UND is 31-2-4 all-time when Knight scores a goal, including an unbeaten 6-0-2 record this season.
DYNAMIC DUO: Senior Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) is the leading active scorer among NCAA Division I men's hockey players with 134 career points, one better than Colorado College's Rylan Schwartz.
With 260 career points between them, Kristo and linemate Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) are the highest scoring active teammates in NCAA DI men's hockey:
Both are also among the NCAA's active career assists leaders, while Kristo is one of the top active goal scorers in the nation:
Kristo and Knight also each continue to climb UND's all-time scoring list. Refer to Page 7 for UND's all-time top 65 scorers and where Kristo and Knight rank.
SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: This weekend's series against Colorado College will feature two of the highest-scoring senior classes in the nation. CC ranks first, while UND ranks third:
UND's senior skaters include Corban Knight (10-19-29), Danny Kristo (10-15-25), Carter Rowney (6-6-12), Joe Gleason (2-6-8) and Andrew MacWilliam (1-5-6).
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: UND and CC also boast two of the highest-scoring blueline corps in the nation:
UND's blueline includes Derek Forbort (4-6-10), Dillon Simpson (2-8-10), Nick Mattson (1-8-9), Joe Gleason (2-6-8), Andrew MacWilliam (1-5-6), Jordan Schmaltz (1-5-6) and Andrew Panzarella (0-0-0).
PARKS AND REC: After missing all but one period of UND's first 18 games with an injury, sophomore forward Michael Parks (St. Louis, Mo.) returned to the lineup last weekend and scored a goal in each game in a sweep of Holy Cross.
Parks had a career-high five shots on goal Friday, and topped that total with a UND season-high nine shots on Saturday.
Parks was UND's Rookie of the Year last season when he scored 12 goals and 10 assists in 42 games.
RETURN OF THE MAC: UND also benefitted from the debut of junior forward Mitch MacMillan (Penticton, British Columbia).
After sitting out one year due to NCAA transfer rules, MacMillan became eligible to play for UND last weekend and registered three shots on goal and a +1 rating in a 2-game sweep of Holy Cross.
The older brother of UND sophomore forward Mark MacMillan, Mitch MacMillan transferred to UND from St. Cloud State last January. He notched four goals and seven assists in 11 career games with the Huskies.
NON-CONFERENCE NUMBERS: Last weekend's sweep of Holy Cross marked UND's final non-conference action of the regular season. UND finished 5-3-0 against non-conference opponents and is now 45-16-10 (.704) in regular season non-conference games under ninth-year head coach Dave Hakstol.
UND has lost just seven of its last 31 regular season non-conference games dating back to the start of the 2009-10 season, going 18-7-6 during that stretch:
Year W-L-T Opponents
2004-05 5-1-2 Maine, BC, NE, Canisius, BSU
2005-06 6-2-1 Miami, MSU, NE, UNH, BSU, Harvard
2006-07 6-2-0 Quinnipiac, Maine, Dartmouth, STL, BSU
2007-08 5-1-1 MSU, BC, NE, UNH, BSU
2008-09 5-3-0 BU, UMass, Cornell, Harvard, BSU
2009-10 5-1-2 Merrimack, OSU, Miami, Niagara, ND, Cornell
2010-11 4-2-2 Alaska, Maine, Notre Dame, Robert Morris
2011-12 4-1-2 Air Force, BC, Maine, Harvard, Clarkson
2012-13 5-3-0 Alaska, UAA, BU, Notre Dame, Holy Cross
NODAK NATION: Thanks to the National Hockey League (NHL) lockout, North Dakota has been the top hockey draw in all of North America this season.
UND is averaging 11,633 fans in the 11,634-seat Ralph Engelstad Arena, more than any other NCAA, American Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League or Canadian Hockey League team.
No other NCAA team is averaging more than 10,000 fans per game, and the only other team in North America averaging at least 10,000 is the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Last season, North Dakota led the nation in total attendance (419,981) and average attendance (9,999.5) for all games -- which includes home, away and neutral -- and also led the country in total home attendance (249,501).
UND's 2011-12 average home attendance of 11,341 fans per game ranked second nationally behind only Wisconsin's 11,772.9.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: Thanks in part to that crowd support, UND has lost just once in 10 home games this season, having gone 6-1-3.
UND has lost just three of its last 27 home games, including WCHA playoffs, going 19-3-5 (.796) during that stretch.
Last season UND went 15-4-3 (.750) at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
HEY JOE: Senior defenseman Joe Gleason (Edina, Minn.) is in the midst of the most productive stretch of his collegiate career.
Gleason has one goal and six assists in his last five games.
Since sitting out as a healthy scratch in UND's 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota Duluth on Nov. 17, Gleason has eight points (2g, 6a) and is a +6 in eight games.
CAPTAIN'S LOG: With 141 career games played, senior captain Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta) is the active leader among WCHA defensemen and ranks fifth nationally among all skaters:
MacWilliam has a goal and five assists and is a +6 in 19 games this season.
CLARKE MAKING HIS MARK: Junior goalie Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) has started the last eight consecutive games for UND, and is riding a 7-game unbeaten streak and a 5-game winning streak, both of which are the longest of his career.
In 16 starts this season, Saunders is 10-3-3 with a 2.17 goals against average and .922 save percentage, the latter ranking as the fifth-best in UND single-season history:
WORKIN' OVERTIME: UND is unbeaten (2-0-3) in five overtime games this season after going winless (0-1-3) in four overtime tilts last season.
Four of those five overtime games have come on home ice (1-0-3), where UND has lost just seven times in 40 overtime games (6-7-27) since the new Engelstad Arena opened in 2001-02.
SHOOTING GALLERY: Over the past eight games, UND has outshot its opponents by an average of 15 shots per game (39-24). UND has gone 6-1-1 during that stretch.
Prior to this current 8-game stretch, UND had been outshot in seven consecutive games, the longest such streak under ninth-year head coach Dave Hakstol.
UND is averaging 33.25 shots per game, which leads the WCHA and ranks eighth nationally.
FIRST-HALF FLOURISH: UND recorded 10 wins before the Christmas break for just the second time in the last seven years and just the fourth time during head coach Dave Hasktol's nine-year tenure:
Year Before Xmas After Xmas
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) 17-5-2 (.750)
2012-13 10-5-3 (.639) 2-0-0 (1.000)
Totals 91-62-15 (.586) 134-49-18 (.711)
FAMOUS DAVE: With 225 career victories behind the North Dakota bench, head coach Dave Hakstol is approaching his predecessor, Dean Blais, as the second winningest coach in UND history.
Blais amassed 262 victories from 1994 to 2004, to trail only John "Gino" Gasparini's 392 wins from 1978-94.
Hakstol played for Gasparini at UND and coached alongside Blais as an assistant coach from 2000-04.
With 26 victories in 2011-12, UND reached the 20-win plateau for the eighth time in as many seasons under head coach Dave Hakstol.
Only Gasaprini, who won 20 games for 13 straight years from 1978 to 1991, had a longer streak of 20-plus wins at UND.
BLUE CHIP BLUELINERS: North Dakota has routinely dressed six NHL draft picks on the blueline this season, the most in program history.
Those drafted defensemen include first-rounders Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis, 2012) and Derek Forbort (Los Angeles, 2010), sixth-rounder Nick Mattson (Chicago, 2010), fourth-rounder Dillon Simpson (Edmonton, 2010), and seventh-rounders Andrew MacWilliam (Toronto, 2008) and Joe Gleason (Chicago, 2008).
UND's lone undrafted defenseman is sophomore Andrew Panzarella.
LUCKY 13: Connor Gaarder's (So., Edina, Minn.) hat trick on Nov. 3 against No. 12 Boston University was UND's first since March 11, 2011, when Matt Frattin and Jason Gregoire each scored three times in an 8-0 win over Michigan Tech in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.
Gaarder, a walk-on, had entered the night with four goals in 36 career games and had yet to score a goal in his first three games this season.
All three of his goals on Nov. 3 either tied the game or put UND in the lead. His third and final goal was the power-play game-winner.
HELLO, MY NAME IS: UND's 2012-13 roster features seven newcomers, including five incoming freshmen, one returning freshman, and one junior transfer.
The incoming freshmen include forwards Drake Caggiula (Pickering, Ontario), Bryn Chyzyk (Virden, Manitoba) and Coltyn Sanderson (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan), goalie Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.), and defenseman Jordan Schmaltz (Verona, Wis.).
Schmaltz was a first-round draft pick of St. Louis in June, while Gothberg was taken by Boston in the sixth round of the 2010 draft.
The returning freshman is forward Colten St. Clair (Gilbert, Ariz.), who sat out the entire 2011-12 season due to an NCAA eligibility issue.
The junior transfer is goalie Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario), who came to UND after two seasons at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
Last season, Saunders posted a solid .906 save percentage and an NCAA-leading 34 saves per game for a UAH team that went 2-28-1.
An eighth player, junior forward Mitch MacMillan (Penticton, British Columbia), became eligible to play for UND in January. MacMillan transferred to UND last January after a season-and-a-half at St. Cloud State. He is the older brother of UND sophomore forward Mark MacMillan.
CONFERENCE CALL: UND was ranked No. 2 in both the WCHA preseason media and coaches polls, and freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) was named preseason rookie of the year in both:
2012-13 94X Radio
WCHA Preseason Media Poll
Rk Team (1st place votes) Pts/Vote
1. Minnesota (24) 11.92
2. North Dakota (1) 10.76
3. Denver 9.92 4. Wisconsin 7.8
5. Minnesota Duluth 6.88
6. St. Cloud State 6.84
7. Colorado College 6.08
8. Nebraska Omaha 5.48
9. Michigan Tech 5.2
10. Minnesota State 3.6
11. Bemidji State 2.48
12. Alaska Anchorage 1.04
POY: Nick Bjugstad, So., F, Minnesota
ROY: Rocco Grimaldi, F, North Dakota
2012-13 Grand Forks Herald
WCHA Preseason Coaches Poll
Rk Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Minnesota (11) 121
2. North Dakota (1) 110
3. Denver 91
4. St. Cloud State 90
5. Wisconsin 70
6. Minnesota Duluth 69
7. Colorado College 56
8. Nebraska Omaha 51
Michigan Tech 51
10. Minnesota State 37
11. Bemidji State 31
12. Alaska Anchorage 15
POY: Nick Bjugstad, So., F, Minnesota
ROY: Rocco Grimaldi, F, North Dakota
Grimaldi received the rare distinction of earning preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year honors for the second straight year. Grimaldi was the consensus choice for preseason rookie of the year last season before missing all but four games with a knee injury.
Grimaldi, who had one goal and one assist in those four games, retained his rookie status for 2012-13.
FAREWELL SEASON: The 2012-13 season is UND's last as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Beginning in 2013-14, UND will join the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), which will also consist of Denver, Colorado, Miami, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan.
Since joining the WCHA in 1959-60, UND leads the league in both regular season (15) and playoff (11) conference championships.
In 2011-12, UND made league history by becoming the first school to win three consecutive Broadmoor Trophies as WCHA Final Five champions.
CAPTAIN CRUNCH: Rugged senior defenseman Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta) was elected team captain in a vote of his teammates earlier this fall.
Fellow seniors Corban Knight (High River, Alberta), Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Carter Rowney (Sexsmith, Alberta) will serve as assistant captains.
Both MacWilliam and Knight served as assistant captains as juniors last season.
FEELING A DRAFT: UND's 2012-13 roster features 14 National Hockey League draft picks, including 2012 1st-rounder Jordan Schmaltz (Verona, Wis.). The freshman defenseman was taken in the first round (25th overall) by the St. Louis Blues.
Schmaltz is one of two 1st-round picks on UND's roster, joining 2010 selection Derek Forbort (Los Angeles).
UND's other active draft picks include two 2nd-rounders (Rocco Grimaldi, Danny Kristo), two 4th-rounders (Mark MacMillan, Dillon Simpson), three 5th-rounders (Corban Knight, Michael Parks, Derek Rodwell), three 6th-rounders (Zane Gothberg, Nick Mattson, Brendan O'Donnell) and two 7th-rounders (Joe Gleason, Andrew MacWilliam).
UND boasts six draft picks among its defensive corps, the most in program history.
MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE?: UND advanced to the NCAA postseason tournament for the 10th consecutive season in 2011-12, the second-longest active streak in the NCAA behind only Michigan (22).
It was also the 27th all-time postseason appearance for UND. Head coach Dave Hakstol has now led the program to the NCAA tournament in each of his first eight seasons behind the UND bench, including Frozen Four appearances in five of those eight years.
TRADITION NEVER GRADUATES: Seventeen former UND players appeared in the NHL last year, tying the program's most since 1993-94.
Those 17 NHLers included: Jason Blake (Anaheim), Taylor Chorney (St. Louis/Edmonton), Mike Commodore (Detroit/Tampa Bay), Joe Finley (Buffalo), Matt Frattin (Toronto), Chay Genoway (Minnesota), Matt Greene (Los Angeles), Brian Lee (Ottawa, Tampa Bay), Brad Malone (Colorado), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Zach Parise (New Jersey), Chris Porter (St. Louis), Drew Stafford (Buffalo), Jonathan Toews (Chicago), Chris Vande Velde (Edmonton), Matt Watkins (Phoenix) and Travis Zajac (New Jersey).
Finley, Genoway, Malone and Watkins each made their NHL debuts, while Greene led the Los Angeles Kings to a Stanley Cup championship, defeating Parise, Zajac and the New Jersey Devils in the finals.
NICKNAME/LOGO: The University of North Dakota officially retired its longtime "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo prior to the 2012-13 athletics season.
UND's varsity athletics teams will operate without an official nickname until 2015, when the University will undertake the process of adopting the third official nickname in school history. Until 2015, the Uuniversity's varsity athletics teams will be referred to as "the University of North Dakota," "North Dakota,"
UND adopted the "Fighting Sioux" nickname in 1930 after previously being known as the "Flickertails."