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Rocco Grimaldi and UND face Team USA on Friday night.
Game Notes: UND hosts Team USA in final exhibition
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Updated: Sunday 10/09/2012 14:32:12 (ET)
by Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
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Click on the PDF link for a complete version of game notes

U.S. Under-18 Team
(3-2-1)
at
#4 North Dakota
(0-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)

~Exhibition Game~

Oct. 12, 2012 • 7:37 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, Fox College Sports Atlantic, DirecTV 626

THIS WEEK: North Dakota will play its second of two exhibition tune-ups on Friday when it hosts the U.S. Under-18 Team at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

UND will open the regular season next weekend in Fairbanks, Alaska, at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush. The Green and White will take on Alaska Anchorage on Friday, and the host Alaska Nanooks on Saturday.

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.

Friday's game can be seen on the Midco Sports Network, Fox College Sports Atlantic and DirecTV 623. Veteran broadcaster Dan Hammer calls the action, with analysis from former UND standout Scott Koberinski (1985-89). Katie O'Keefe-Hale conducts intermission and postgame interviews.

Video webcasts of all home 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, hosted by UND media relations director Jayson Hajdu and new media director Matt Schill.

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets remain available for Friday's exhibition opener against the United States Under-18 Team.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-745-3000, by visiting the UND Ticket Office at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, or via TicketMaster TicketExchange. TicketExchange is the official online source for UND men's hockey season ticket holders to post their tickets for re-sale. Tickets can be purchased from season ticket holders online by visiting Ticketmaster.com/TicketExchange, and then clicking on "North Dakota" under College Athletics.

The UND Ticket Office at Ralph Engelstad Arena is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

ABOUT TEAM USA: The U.S. Under-18 Team took on a pair of NCAA Division I programs last weekend, falling 5-0 at Wisconsin on Friday and battling Notre Dame to a 1-1 overtime tie on Saturday.

Prior to that, Team USA went 2-2 at the USHL Fall Classic, picking up wins over Sioux Falls and Sioux City.

The program opened the season with a 7-1 USHL exhibition win over Youngstown.

Forward Shane Eiserman is the team's top scorer with three goals and three assists in six games.

Hunter Miska and Thatcher Demko have each started three games between the pipes.

TEAM USA COACHING STAFF: Don Granato (Wisconsin ‘91) is in his second year with the National Team Development Program and first as head coach of the Under-18 Team. Last season Granato coached the Under-17 Team.

He is assisted by Grand Forks native Nick Fohr (Nebraska Omaha ‘02), Josh Brown (Northern Arizona ‘09) and Mike Ayers (New Hampshire ‘04).

RECENT SERIES HISTORY: UND most recently faced the U.S. Under-18s on Dec. 18, 2011.

UND won 2-1 behind goals by Mario Lamoureux and Corban Knight.

POLL POSITION: UND remains ranked No. 4 in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls released on Monday.

UND was ranked No. 4 in both organization's preseason polls.

See page 3 for complete poll information.

LAST ACTION: UND is coming off of a 5-3 exhibition win over visiting Manitoba last Saturda night.

Senior forward Carter Rowney (Sexsmith, Alberta) led all players with a goal and two assists. Forwards Corban Knight (Sr., High River, Alberta), Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.), Mark MacMillan (So., Penticton, British Columbia) and defenseman Derek Forbort (Jr., Duluth, Minn.) also scored.

Junior transfer Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) started the game and stopped seven of eight shots. He was relieved midway through the second period by freshman Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.), who turned aside 10 of 12 Manitoba shots.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Saturday's exhbition win over Manitoba marked the return to the lineup for forwards Rocco Grimaldi (Fr., Rossmoor, Calif.), Derek Rodwell (Jr., Taber, Alberta) and Brendan O'Donnell (So., Winnipeg, Manitoba), each of whom suffered season-ending injuries last year.

None of the three reached the scoresheet, although Grimaldi registered a game-high six shots on goal. No other player on either team had more than three shots.

Grimaldi, who retained his freshman status after playing in only four games last year, has been named WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year each of the last two seasons.

HELLO, MY NAME IS: In addition to goalies Gothberg and Saunders, five skaters also made their debuts in the Kelly Green and White last Saturday night.

Those five skaters included returning freshman Colten St. Clair (Gilbert, Ariz.), who sat out the entire 2011-12 season due to an NCAA eligibility issue. St. Clair registered three shots on goal against Manitoba and was a -1.

True freshmen Drake Caggiula (Pickering, Ontario), Bryn Chyzyk (Virden, Manitoba), Coltyn Sanderson (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan) and Jordan Schmaltz (Verona, Wis.) also made their collegiate debuts.

TUNING UP FOR A TITLE?: With exhibition games against Manitoba and the U.S. Under-18 Team, UND will play two exhibition games prior to the regular season for the first time since 1999-2000.

That team opened with wins over Team Canada and Manitoba, a season that culminated with the seventh -- and most recent -- NCAA championship in program history.

CONFERENCE CALL: In the preseason WCHA media poll released in September by 94X of Duluth, North Dakota was ranked No. 2 behind only defending regular season champion Minnesota:

2012-13 94X Radio
WCHA Media Preseason 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

UND forward Rocco Grimaldi (Fr., Rossmoor, Calif.) 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.

FARWELL SEASON: The 2012-13 season will be 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.

MacWilliam leads all active returning players with 122 games played.

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.

DAN THE MAN: Senior forward Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) is the leading active scorer in the WCHA with 109 career points in 117 career games.

Colorado College senior forward Rylan Schwartz is right behind Kristo with 106 career points.

Last season Kristo achieved career highs in every offensive category, including points (45) and goals (19).

A KNIGHT'S TALE: Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) is on the verge of joining classmate Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) in UND's 100-point club.

Knight has 97 career points in 120 career games and would be the 84th player in program history to reach the 100-point plateau.

HELLO, MY NAME IS: UND's 2012-13 roster features six newcomers, including five incoming freshmen 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 junior transfer is goalie Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario), who comes 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.

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).

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 eight seasons behind the UND bench, including Frozen Four appearances in five of those eight years.

UND continued its playoff dominance under Hakstol, extending its record to is 42-15 in the playoffs (WCHA and NCAA combined) during his tenure, 16 more wins than any other WCHA team during that time.

ONE MORE BROADMOOR: In 2009-10, UND became only the second team in league history to win the Broadmoor Trophy by going 3-0 at the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul.
In 2010-11, UND repeated as champion, this time as the No. 1 seed, to become the WCHA's first repeat playoff champion since Minnesota in 2003 and 2004.

In 2011-12, UND outdid itself by becoming the first team in league history to capture the Broadmoor Trophy three years in a row as WCHA Final Five champions.

After sweeping Bemidji State during the first round of the WCHA Playoffs, UND downed St. Cloud State 4-1 in the WCHA Final Five quarterfinals to set up an epic tilt with rival and fourth-ranked Minnesota in the semifinal.

After trailing 3-0 during the second period, UND got on the board in the middle frame before exploding for five more unanswered goals in the third period of a stunning 6-3 victory.

It was all UND in the championship game, a 4-0 blanking of No. 9 Denver.

Junior goalie Aaron Dell was named the tournament's most valuable player and was joined on the all-tournament team by Brock Nelson, Mario Lamoureux, Derek Forbort and Andrew MacWilliam.

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.

NODAK NATION: Furthering the program's reputation as the top draw in men's college hockey, UND led the nation in three attendance categories in 2011-12.

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 average home attendance of 11,341 fans per game ranked second nationally behind only Wisconsin's 11,772.9.

UND played in front of two of the five largest crowds in program history when 12,065 turned out to watch a 1-1 overtime tie with Michigan Tech on Feb. 18, and 12,029 witnessed a 3-0 win over Minnesota State in the regular season finale on March 3. Those two crowds ranked as the fourth and fifth-largest in program history.

SO LONG, SENIORS: UND said goodbye to three seniors following the 2011-12 season: defenseman Ben Blood, goalie Brad Eidsness and forward Mario Lamoureux:

Ben Blood (D)
160 GP, 10 G, 38 A, 48 Pts.
2011-12 All-WCHA Third Team
2010-11 WCHA Final Five All-Tournament Team
Led NCAA with a +32 in 2010-11
Three-time All-WCHA Academic Team selection
Played in 142 straight games to end his career

Brad Eidsness (G)
104 GP, 58-27-10, 2.41 GAA, .906 SV%, 5 SHO
2011-12 NCAA and WCHA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient
2011-12 WCHA Most Outstanding Student-Athlete
2011-12 UND Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2010-11 NCAA Elite 88 Award for men's hockey
2009-10 All-WCHA Second Team
2008-09 All-WCHA Third Team, Rookie Team
Three-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete
Three-time All-WCHA Academic team selection
Third-winningest goalie in UND history

Mario Lamoureux (F)
148 GP, 17 G, 29 A, 46 Pts.
2011-12 WCHA Final Five All-Tournament Team
Three-time WCHA All-Academic Team selection
Two-time recipient of team's Cliff "Fido" Purpur Award for "hard work, determination and being a creator of excitement on the ice"
Scored 10,000th goal in program history
Served as team captain as a senior in 2011-12
PRO FILES: Five members of the Fighting Sioux signed professional contracts following the season, three of whom immediately made their pro debuts.

Senior defenseman Ben Blood signed with the Ottawa Senators and made his pro debut with Binghamton of the AHL, while sophomore forward Brock Nelson inked with the New York Islanders and made his debut with their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

Senior captain Mario Lamoureux signed with the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL, appearing in two regular season games and four playoff games.

Senior goalie Brad Eidsness signed with the ECHL's Reading Royals, but did not appear in any games.

Over the summer, junior goalie Aaron Dell signed with the ECHL's Colorado Eagles.

ROARING 20s: 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 Gino Gasaprini, who won 20 games for 13 straight years from 1978 to 1991, had a longer streak of 20-plus wins at UND.

UND's 3-2 win at SCSU on Jan. 21 was the 200th career victory for Hakstol, enabling him to join 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.

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