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UND is unbeaten in three games heading into its series at Michigan Tech.
Game Notes: First half ends with series at MTU
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Updated: Sunday 12/11/2012 16:54:43 (ET)
by Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
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#8 North Dakota
(8-5-3, 5-2-3 WCHA)
at
Michigan Tech
(4-8-3, 3-6-3 WCHA)


December 14-15, 2012 • 7:07 pm ET
MacInnes Student Ice Arena (4,028) • Houghton, Mich.
Radio: 96.1 FM The Fox (KQHT-FM) • TV: None
Webcast: MichiganTechHuskies.com

THIS WEEK: Eighth-ranked North Dakota closes out the first half of its schedule with a WCHA road trip to Michigan Tech.

North Dakota enters the week tied with Nebraska Omaha for fifth place in the WCHA with 13 points, four ahead of eighth-place Michigan Tech. UND is one point behind third-place Minnesota State and St. Cloud State, two points behind second-place Minnesota and three points behind league-leading Denver.

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.

Video webcasts of this weekend's games can be purchased at MichiganTechHuskies.com, where free live stats are also available. Neither game will be televised.

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: Visit MichiganTechHuskies.com for ticket availability and information for this weekend's series.

ABOUT THE HUSKIES: Michigan Tech enters the week winless in its last five games (0-2-3) after skating to a pair of overtime ties last weekend at Wisconsin (1-1 on Friday, 3-3 on Saturday).

Kevin Genoe started both games in goal for the Huskies and made 64 saves on 68 shots during the series (.941 save percentage), upping his season mark to .909. The senior has now started each of the team's last six WCHA contests with a 2-1-2 record in those games (he was not the goalie of record Nov. 2 vs Nebraska Omaha).

Michigan Tech played its weekend series at Wisconsin without the services of five regulars: Dan Sova (arm), Justin Fillion (back), David Johnstone (upper body), Chad Pietila (leg) and Tanner Kero (appendix). Sova has been ruled out for this weekend, while the remaining four are questionable.

The Huskies are 4-1-1 when scoring the first goal of the game and 0-7-2 when their opponent scores first.

MTU COACHING STAFF: Mel Pearson (Michigan Tech ‘81), the 2011-12 WCHA Coach of the Year, is in his second season at MTU and is 20-27-7 (.435).

Pearson's staff includes assistant coaches Bill Muckalt (Michigan ‘98) and Damon Whitten (Michigan State ‘01), and goaltending coach Steve Shields (Michigan ‘94).


SERIES HISTORY: This week will mark the 249th and 250th all-time meetings between UND and MTU, with UND holding a 145-93-10 (.605) edge.

UND has lost just two of the last 21 meetings (17-2-2) and is unbeaten in the last 14 (12-0-2). The two teams skated to a 1-1 overtime tie in their last meeting (Feb. 18, 2012), which snapped UND's 12-game winning streak over the Huskies. UND is 61-55-5 (.525) all-time in Houghton, having won its last five at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Senior forward Corban Knight leads all active UND skaters with nine points (3g, 6a) in 10 career games against MTU. Fellow senior forwards Carter Rowney (4g, 4a) and Danny Kristo (2g, 6a) each have eight career points in six games.

POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 8 in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls released on Monday, a jump of one spot from the previous week's polls.

Michigan Tech is not ranked in either poll.

LAST ACTION: UND most recently took three of four points from first-place Denver last weekend in Grand Forks.

UND scored a season-high six goals in a 6-3 win on Saturday after the two teams battled to a 2-2 overtime tie on Friday.

UND's line of Carter Rowney (2g, 2a), Rocco Grimaldi (1g, 3a) and Drake Caggiula (2a) combined for 10 points in Saturday's win, with Rowney and Grimaldi each recording the first 4-point games of their careers.

Rowney and Corban Knight provided the offense in Saturday's 2-2 overtime tie.

ROCC-A-ROWN THE CLOCK: Linemates Carter Rowney (Sr., Sexsmith, Alberta) and Rocco Grimaldi (Fr., Rossmoor, Calif.) were honored by the WCHA on Tuesday, the first career weekly award for each player.

Rowney was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week while Grimaldi was named WCHA co-Rookie of the Week (with Minnesota Duluth forward Austin Farley).

Both players enjoyed the first 4-point games of their careers in Saturday's 6-3 win over No. 6 Denver, with Rowney notching two goals and two assists and Grimaldi registering a goal and three assists. Rowney's two goals included both the game-winning goal and the first shorthanded goal of his career. Grimaldi and Rowney were named the game's first and second stars, respectively.

Grimaldi's 4-point game on Saturday was the first by a UND freshman since Drew Stafford (1g, 3a) and Erik Fabian (3g, 1a) both did it in a 10-1 win at Minnesota State on Feb. 21, 2004.

In Friday's 2-2 tie, Rowney scored a goal to end a 7-game drought and Grimaldi was named the No. 3 star despite not reaching the scoresheet. He was a +1 and had a game-high five shots on goal.

A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER: Senior forward Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) had a goal on Friday and a goal and an assist on Saturday to extend his career-best point streak to 11 games.

Knight has three goals and 12 assists during his streak that began on Nov. 3 against Boston University. It is UND's longest point streak since Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) hit the scoresheet in 13 straight games in 2009-10. Steve Johnson's 27-game point streak in 1987-88 is the school record.

Knight's 3-point weekend also enabled him to continue his climb up UND's career scoring list:

Knight has also won 58.4 percent of his faceoffs this season, just slightly under the school-record 59.9 percent he won in 2009-10 as a sophomore.

UND is 28-2-4 all-time when Knight scores a goal, including an unbeaten 3-0-2 record this season.

NO REST FOR THE WEARY: This weekend's series to close out the first half of the season ends a grueling 14-game stretch for UND that has included 10 of the past 12 against nationally-ranked opponents.

UND is 6-4-2 during the stretch and will have played eight of the 14 on the road when it's over.

UND's strength of schedule this season ranks as the second-toughest in the nation behind only Boston University. UND and BU split a non-conference series Nov. 2-3 in Grand Forks, with each team claiming a 4-2 win.

SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS: UND has outshot its opponents in each of the last four games after being outshot in each of the previous seven games, which was UND's longest such streak under ninth-year head coach Dave Hakstol.

Over the last four games, UND has outshot No. 6 Denver and No. 18 Colorado College by a combined 154-89, or an average of 39-22.

CAGGIU-LA-LA: Not to be outdone by his award-winning linemates Carter Rowney and Rocco Grimaldi, freshman forward Drake Caggiula (Pickering, Ontario) has been on a roll of his own lately.

Caggiula had one assist Friday and two more Saturday against DU, extending his point streak to four games, with three goals and three assists during that time. He has nine points (4g, 5a) over his last nine games after picking up just two (1g, 1a) in his first seven.

THE COUNT OF DANNY KRISTO: Forward Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) moved into a tie for the team lead when he scored his sixth goal of the season Saturday, which snapped a 3-game skid without a point.

Kristo ranks among the active NCAA Division I men's hockey leaders in points, goals and assists:

Kristo, who is UND's active scoring leader, continues his ascent up the school's career scoring list:

WORKIN' OVERTIME: Last Friday's 2-2 tie against Denver marked UND's third straight overtime home game, which is only the second time in school history (2000-01) that has happened.

UND is unbeaten (2-0-3) in five overtime games this season after going winless (0-1-3) in four overtime tilts last season.

NODAK NATION: Thanks to the National Hockey League (NHL) lockout, North Dakota is the top hockey draw in all of North America.

After selling out its last five home games, UND is averaging 11,750 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.

CAPTAIN'S LOG: With 137 career games played, senior captain Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta) is the active leader among WCHA defensemen and ranks tied for fifth nationally among all skaters:

MacWilliam has a goal and four assists and is a +3 in 15 games this season.

GRIMALDI TABBED BY USA HOCKEY: Freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) was one of 27 players named to the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster earlier this month by USA Hockey.

The 27 players will attend training camp Dec. 16-18 at the New York Rangers' Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, N.Y. An additional camp will follow in Helsinki, Finland, with the final 23-man roster announcement scheduled for Dec. 23.

The 2013 U.S. National Junior Team will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013, in Ufa, Russia.

Grimaldi helped lead the United States to gold medals at the 2011 and 2010 U-18 World Championships.

In 16 games this season, Grimaldi is tied for second in the WCHA rookie scoring race with 15 points and leads the team with a +8 rating.

NON-CONFERENCE NUMBERS: Following its split at No. 6 Notre Dame on Nov. 23-24, North Dakota is 43-16-10 (.696) in regular season non-conference games under ninth-year head coach Dave Hakstol.

UND has lost just seven of its last 29 regular season non-conference games dating back to the start of the 2009-10 season, going 16-7-6 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 3-3-0 Alaska, UAA, BU, Notre Dame (Holy Cross)
Total 43-16-10

Only a home series with Holy Cross (Jan. 4-5) remains on UND's regular season non-conference schedule.

(ROD)WELL HAS RUN DRY: After suffering a season-ending injury last Dec. 30 that caused him to miss UND's final 23 games, junior forward Derek Rodwell (Taber, Alberta) has returned this year to play in all 16 games.

But despite 25 shots on goal in those 16 games, Rodwell has yet to register a point and has just one goal and one assist in his last 39 games, a skid that dates back to the first round of the 2011 WCHA Playoffs.

FAMOUS DAVE: With 221 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.

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.

Gaarder's eight points in 15 games this season are just two shy of the 10 he notched in 33 games as a freshman.

NET GAINS: Clarke Saunders (Jr., Brockville, Ontario) and Zane Gothberg (Fr., Thief River Falls, Minn.) are the first goalies to earn their first UND victories in the same season since 2002-03, when freshmen Jake Brandt and Josh Siembida achieved the feat.

Saunders has started 12 of UND's 16 games this season, going 6-3-3 with a 2.39 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.

Gothberg is 2-2-0 in his four starts with a 2.97 goals against average and .902 save percentage.

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), will be 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.

TUNING UP FOR A TITLE?: With exhibition games against Manitoba and the U.S. Under-18 Team, UND opened the year with two exhibition games for the first time since 1999-00.

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: 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 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.

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,"
or "UND."

UND adopted the "Fighting Sioux" nickname in 1930 after previously being known as the "Flickertails."

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