(6-17-7, 5-13-6 WCHA)
#6 North Dakota
(17-9-6, 12-6-6 WCHA)
March 1-2, 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, FOX College Sports Central
THIS WEEK: North Dakota (17-9-6, 12-6-6 WCHA) plays its final home series of the regular season when it hosts Bemidji State (6-17-7, 5-13-6) on Friday and Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
The puck drops at 7:37 p.m. Central on Friday and 7:07 p.m. on Saturday, which is also Senior Night.
UND enters the penultimate series of the regular season tied with Nebraska Omaha for third place in the WCHA, one point behind second-place Minnesota and one point ahead of fifth-place Minnesota State.
UND can clinch home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs as early as Saturday, but would also need help from Minnesota (against Denver) and/or Nebraska Omaha (against Wisconsin).
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 UND hockey. He is joined by color analyst Steve Olson.
Free audio is available at UNDSports.com, where video webcasts can also be purchased via UND Insider.
This weekend's games will air live on Midco Sports Network and FOX College Sports Central, with Dan Hammer (play-by-play), Scott Koberinski (color) and Katie Hale (intermission reporter) calling the action. DirecTV is also expected to carry the broadcasts but channel assignments have not yet been announced.
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 UND Athletics Media Relations.
TICKET INFORMATION: Saturday's game is sold out, while just over 150 tickets remain available for Friday's series opener.
SENIOR SALUTE: Saturday night is ‘Senior Night' and the final regular season home game for forwards Corban Knight (High River, Alberta), Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.), and Carter Rowney (Sexsmith, Alberta), defensemen Joe Gleason (Edina, Minn.) and Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta), and goalie Tate Maris (Denver, Colo.).
The six seniors will be recognized prior to Saturday's game following pre-game warmup, and a video tribute will be played at the conclusion of the game.
UND's senior class, which won its 100th game last Saturday at Denver, has won three WCHA playoff titles and one WCHA regular season championship, while qualifying for three NCAA postseason tournaments with one appearance in the Frozen Four.
This year's senior class owns a 4-year record of 100-44-15 (.676), including a 40-8-3 (.814) mark after January.
This season, UND boasts the third-most productive senior class in the nation:
ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Bemidji State (6-17-7, 5-13-6 WCHA) enters the week tied for 10th place in the WCHA with Michigan Tech.
The Beavers were idle last weekend and most recently earned a home split against Minnesota Duluth Feb. 15-16. A 4-2 win the series opener ended BSU's 12-game winless skid, during which the Beavers went 0-9-3.
BSU ranks 11th out of 12 WCHA teams in scoring offense, averaging 2.07 goals per game.
BSU COACHING STAFF: Tom Serratore (Bemidji State ‘87) is in his 12th season behind the bench of his alma mater and is 201-181-48 (.523).
His staff includes assistant coaches Bert Gilling (Minnesota Duluth ‘99) and Ted Belisle (Bemidji State ‘01), along with volunteer assistant coach Jeremy Coupal (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ‘12).
SERIES HISTORY: UND is 24-2-1 (.907) all-time against BSU, including a 16-1-1 (.917) record in Grand Forks. That lone home loss to the Beavers came on Feb. 7, 1970, the second-ever meeting between the two programs.
Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) leads all active UND skaters with nine points (2g, 7a) in eight career games against the Beavers.
Junior Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) is the only UND goalie to have faced BSU, having made three starts while with Alabama-Huntsville. Saunders went 1-2-0 with a 3.48 goals against average and an .875 save percentage against the Beavers.
POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 6 in both the most USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls released on Monday. UND is also ranked No. 6 in the national Pair- Wise Rankings. See page 3 for complete poll information.
LAST ACTION: UND is coming off of a WCHA split at No. 10 Denver last weekend, winning 6-1 on Saturday after falling 4-3 on Friday.
Sophomore forward Mark MacMillan (Penticton, British Columbia) and junior defenseman Dillon Simpson (Edmonton, Alberta) each had a goal and two assists in Saturday's 6-1 win, which was Denver's worst home loss in more than five years. UND matched its season high with three power-play goals on nine chances, while junior goalie Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) stopped Bemidji State.
Senior forward Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) had a goal and an assist each night, including a shorthanded goal in Friday's loss.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: This weekend marks the only series in a season-ending 14-game stretch in which UND will play an unranked opponent.
Prior to this week, UND played its last 10 games in a row against teams ranked in the USCHO.com top 20 poll. Next week UND will travel to ninth-ranked Minnesota State.
UND has faced the nation's fourth-toughest schedule according to the KRACH rankings.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING: UND enters the week with just one loss in its previous seven games (4-1-2) and with just four losses in its last 19 games (11-4-4).
SECOND-HALF SURGE: UND went 4-1-1 (.750) in the month of February and has now gone 40-8-3 (.814) after January since 2009-10.
During Dave Hakstol's 9-year tenure as head coach, UND is 91-27-12 (.746) in games played after January:
Throughout his tenure, Hakstol has typically guided his teams to a higher winning percentage after Christmas:
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) 7-4-3 (.607)
Totals 91-62-15 (.586) 139-53-21 (.702)
This season marked just the second time in the last seven years that UND won 10 games before Christmas, and just the fourth time during Hasktol's nine-year tenure.
THE POWER OF THREE: In the five games since Rocco Grimaldi (Fr., Rossmoor, Calif.) was put on the left side of a line with center Corban Knight (Sr., High River, Alberta) and right winger Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.), the trio has combined for 24 points (9g, 15) and a +20 rating.
In last weekend's split at Denver, the line combined for 10 points (5g, 5a) and 25 of the team's 76 shots on goal in the series.
All three enter this weekend's series riding significant point streaks, with Kristo having reached the scoresheet in seven straight games (6g, 6a), and Knight (2g, 6a) and Grimaldi (3g, 4a) each enjoying 5-game point streaks. Grimaldi's is tied for the longest of his career.
DYNAMIC DUO: Senior Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) leads all active NCAA Division I men's players in career points, while linemate and classmate Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) has combined with Kristo to give UND the nation's highest-scoring duo in terms of career points:
Kristo is also one off the active career goal-scoring lead, while both players are among the active leaders in career assists:
With 43 points each, Knight and Kristo are tied for third in the national scoring race, behind St. Lawrence's Greg Carey (47) and Nebraska Omaha's Ryan Walters (45).
Since Dec. 8, Kristo (29 points) and Knight (28) rank 1-2 nationally in scoring, with Kristo leading the nation in goals (15) and Knight leading in assists (18).
Refer to page 6 to see where each player ranks on UND's career scoring list.
THE COUNT OF DANNY KRISTO: Senior center Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) has scored at least one goal in 14 of his last 17 games and has racked up 29 points during that stretch.
His career-high 20 goals tie him with UNO's Ryan Walters for the WCHA lead and rank second nationally. He also ranks third nationally in goals per game (0.67) and points per game (1.43).
During league play, Kristo has 35 points and is tied with Walters for the WCHA scoring lead. His 16 goals tie him with UNO's Josh Archibald for the WCHA goal-scoring lead.
A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER: Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) has reached the scoresheet in 27 of his 31 games. He ranks second nationally in assists (29) and assists per game (0.94), third in points (43), and fourth in points per game (1.39).
His 43 points are one shy of matching his career high, and earlier this year he became the first UND player to enjoy three straight 40-point campaigns since T.J. Oshie and Ryan Duncan both did it in from 2005-06 to 2007-08.
POWER SURGE: In 14 games since the Christmas break, UND's power play is clicking at 29.8 percent (17-57) and averaging 1.21 power-play goals per game, second-best in the nation behind only Minnesota (1.27).
UND was converting at just 16.0 percent (12-75) in its 18 games prior to the Christmas break.
UND went 3-for-9 with the man advantage in Saturday's 6-1 win at Denver, matching the team's season-high for power-play goals.
Overall this season, UND's power play ranks fourth in the WCHA at 22.0 percent.
GET CARTER: Senior forward Carter Rowney (Sexsmith, Alberta) snapped an 11-game goal-scoring drought last Friday at Denver, then added a goal and assist on Saturday to extend his point streak to a career-long five games.
Roney has two goals and five assists during his current point streak.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: UND's defensemen have combined for 82 points and 2.56 points per game, both of which rank second nationally:
Five UND defenseman have 10 or more points this season, tied with Massachusetts for the most in the nation, and an eighth, Andrew MacWilliam, has eight points: Dillon Simpson (3-17-20), Nick Mattson (3-12-15), Joe Gleason (4-9-13), Derek Forbort (4-9-13), Jordan Schmaltz (2-8-10), MacWilliam (1-7-8) and Andrew Panzarella (0-0-0).
SIM CITY: Junior defenseman Dillon Simpson (Edmonton, Alberta) leads all UND defensemen with a career-high 20 points.
Simpson's 17 assists are tied for third among WCHA rearguards, and his 12 assists since Jan. 4 are tied for second nationally among defensemen.
CAPTAIN'S LOG: With 153 career games played, senior captain Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta) is the active leader among WCHA defensemen and ranks fifth nationally among all skaters:
With eight points (1g, 7a) on the season, MacWilliam has matched the career high he established as a sophomore in 2010-11.
FOUR-CLOSURE: Friday's 5-4 loss at Denver last Friday was UND's first setback this season when scoring at least four goals.
Following a 6-1 win the next night, UND improved to 12-1-1 this season when reaching the 4-goal plateau.
VOTE FOR HOBEY: As of Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 10 p.m. Central, senior Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) led all 77 nominees with 31,840 votes in the Vote For Hobey fan voting process at HobeyBakerAward.com.
Knight had received more than 24 percent of the 131,261 total votes cast and held a lead of 15,864 votes over the next-highest vote getter, Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College.
NODAK NATION: Prior to the end of the National Hockey League (NHL) lockout, UND had been the top hockey draw in all of North America this season.
UND is averaging 11,712 fans in the 11,634-seat Ralph Engelstad Arena, more than any other team in NCAA hockey.
Last season, UND 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).
GOLDEN GRIMALDI: Freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) helped lead the U.S. to a gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Hockey Championship in Ufa, Russia, in January.
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:
Year Player Country Medal
1982 Troy Murray Canada Gold
James Patrick Canada Gold
1983 James Patrick Canada Bronze
Gord Sherven Canada Bronze
1985 Brad Berry Canada Gold
1990 Jason Herter Canada Gold
1991 Greg Johnson Canada Gold
1992 Marty Schriner United States Bronze
2004 Brady Murray United States Gold
Zach Parise* United States Gold
Drew Stafford United States Gold
2006 Jonathan Toews Canada Gold
2007 Jonathan Toews Canada Gold
Taylor Chorney United States Bronze
Brian Lee United States Bronze
2010 Danny Kristo United States Gold
2011 Derek Forbort United States Bronze
Brock Nelson United States Bronze
2012 Rocco Grimaldi United States Gold
* - Indicates tournament MVP
Bold indicates still active at UND
Grimaldi finished the tournament with two goals and two assists and a +4 rating in seven games.
He was the 47th UND player to compete at the World Junior Championship and the 34th to play for the U.S.
Grimaldi is tied for third in the WCHA rookie scoring race with 27 points (12g, 15a) in 30 games. His points-per-game average of 0.90 also ranks third among WCHA freshmen.
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 (Washington, D.C.).
FAMOUS DAVE: With 230 career victories behind the 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 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.
NON-CONFERENCE NUMBERS: UND finished 5-3-0 against non-conference opponents this year and is now 46-16-10 (.708) in regular season non-conference games under ninth-year head coach Dave Hakstol.
UND has lost just seven of its last 32 regular season non-conference games dating back to the start of the 2009-10 season, going 19-7-6 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 5-2-2 Alaska, Maine, Notre Dame, UMD, 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
WELCOME TO THE SHOW: Ten former UND players have played in the National Hockey League so far this season: Joe Finley (New York Islanders), Matt Frattin (Toronto), Matt Greene (Los Angeles), Brian Lee (Tampa Bay), Brad Malone (Colorado), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Zach Parise (Minnesota), Drew Stafford (Buff alo), Jonathan Toews (Chicago) and Travis Zajac (New Jersey).
An 11th, Chris Porter (St. Louis), was recalled from the AHL last week but had yet to make his season debut with the Blues as of Tuesday night.
All but Parise played at UND during Dave Hakstol's head coaching tenure.
Four of those players wear letters for their respective teams. Toews is the captain in Chicago, while Parise, Stafford and Greene all serve as assistant captains for their respective clubs.
Four other former UND players currently serve on NHL coaching staffs, including Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett, Buffalo assistant coach James Patrick, Minnesota assistant coach Rick Wilson, and Phoenix video coach Steve Peters.
Additionally, Anaheim strength coach Sean Skahan (pronounced ‘skane') is a former UND assistant strength coach, and former UND football letterwinner Mark Chipman is the chairman of True North Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Winnipeg Jets.
Last season, 17 UND products appeared in the NHL, tying for 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.
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 has just one goal in 19 games since.
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.
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.
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.
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 first eight seasons behind the UND bench, including Frozen Four appearances in five of those eight years.
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."