(2-5-1, 0-3-1 WCHA)
#6 North Dakota
(4-3-1, 2-1-1 WCHA)
Nov. 16-17, 2012 • 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,
DirecTV 623 (Friday), DirecTV 608 (Saturday)
THIS WEEK: Sixth-ranked North Dakota (4-3-1, 2-1-1 WCHA) returns home to host Minnesota Duluth (2-5-1, 0-3-1) in WCHA action on Friday and Saturday.
North Dakota enters the week in sixth place in the WCHA standings with five points, four up on last-place Minnesota Duluth.
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 can be seen live on Midco Sports Network, FOX College Sports and DirecTV.
Video webcasts for both games can be purchased via UND Insider at UNDSports.com.
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.
TICKET INFORMATION: Reserved seating and general admission tickets remain available for both games this weekend. The additional tickets became available as a result of unclaimed student tickets, as well as tickets unused by Minnesota Duluth.
Tickets can be purchased at the UND Box Office at Ralph Engelstad Arena or at Ticketmaster.com.
ABOUT THE BULLDOGS: Minnesota Duluth is still searching for its first WCHA win after suffering a pair of losses last Saturday and Sunday at Nebraska Omaha (3-2, 6-3).
It marked the first time the Bulldogs had been swept on the road since North Dakota turned the trick on Feb. 19-20, 2010. UMD had entered the UNO series having gone unbeaten in 16 of its previous 20 road outings (11-4-5).
Senior right winger Mike Seidel, who has picked up at least one point in seven of UMD's eight games to date, leads the Bulldogs in scoring with five goals and four assists. Four of his goals have come on the power play, tied for the most in the country.
The Bulldogs are the most penalized team in the nation, averaging 19.0 penalty minutes per game.
UMD COACHING STAFF: Former UND All-America defenseman Scott Sandelin (North Dakota ‘86) is in his 13th year as UMD head coach and is 219-215-59 (.504).
His staff includes another former UND standout, Jason Herter (UND ‘05), as well as Derek Plante (UMD ‘09) and Bill Watson (UMD ‘90).
SERIES HISTORY: UND holds a 135-75-8 (.638) edge in the all-time series with the Bulldogs, including a 75-31-2 (.704) record in Grand Forks.
UND has won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two programs, which includes a series split last February in Duluth.
Senior forwards Carter Rowney (8gp, 5g, 2a) and Danny Kristo (10gp, 2g, 5a) each have seven career points against UMD, tops among active UND skaters.
POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 5 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and No. 6 in the USCHO.com poll, both of which were released on Monday.
UND had previously been ranked No. 6 in both sets of rankings. See page 3 for complete poll information.
LAST ACTION: UND is coming off of a conference split last weekend at St. Cloud State, winning 3-0 on Friday and falling 5- 2 on Saturday.
Junior goalie Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) stopped all 32 shots he faced in Friday's win to earn his second shutout. Sophomore Mark MacMillan (Penticton, British Columbia) had a shorthanded goal and an assist, while forwards Brendan O'Donnell (So., Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Carter Rowney (Sr., Sexsmith, Alberta) provided single tallies.
UND received goals from freshman forward Drake Caggiula (Pickering, Ontario) and junior defenseman Dillon Simpson (Edmonton, Alberta) in Saturday's loss, while Saunders put forth his second straight 32-save effort.
INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore forward Michael Parks (St. Louis, Mo.) did not play in the St. Cloud State series and has yet to play during the regular season due to a lower body injury that he suffered during UND's exhibition game against Manitoba on Oct. 6.
Parks was UND's Rookie of the Year last season after collecting 12 goals and 10 assists in 42 games. UND went 11-1-0 last season when Parks scored a goal.
COLONEL SAUNDERS: With his second shutout of the season last Friday, junior goalie Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) also became the first goalie in school history to register a shutout in each of his first two road starts at UND (he also blanked Alaska Anchorage in the season opener in Fairbanks).
Saunders ranks second in the WCHA in goals against average (1.98) and save percentage (.931).
Saunders made a pair of starts against Minnesota Duluth last season while with Alabama-Huntsville and stopped 95 of 101 shots (.941 save percentage) in a UMD series sweep.
WEEKEND WEIRDNESS: Following last weekend's split at St. Cloud State, UND is now 4-0-0 on Fridays and 0-3-1 on Saturdays this season.
Last season UND went 11-5-1 on Fridays and 14-6-2 on Saturdays.
ST. CLOUD SNIPPETS: Several tidbits from last Saturday's 5-2 loss at St. Cloud State:
*It marked the first time in eight games that UND trailed entering the third period.
*UND's 24 shots on goal were a season-low, while the Huskies' 37 shots were the most allowed by UND this season.
*It marked the third straight game in which UND had allowed 30-plus shots on goal, the team's longest such streak since a 3-game stretch from Jan. 14-21 of last year. The last two games of that 3-game stretch also occurred at St. Cloud State.
OH, DANNY BOY: Senior forward Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) has racked up 116 career points in 123 games, tying him with Colorado College's Rylan Schwartz as the leading active scorer in the WCHA.
With Kristo and linemate Corban Knight (High River, Alberta), UND is the only program in the nation that boasts two players with at least 100 career points:
Kristo and Knight are also among the top eight active NCAA DI skaters in career assists:
Finally, both Kristo and Knight continue to climb UND's all-time scoring list.
Kristo's 116 career points tie him for 60th with former All-American and current Minnesota Wild star Zach Parise (2002-04):
Knight's 102 career points tie him for 78th all-time with four other players. With one more point, Knight will move into a tie with current UND assistant coach Dane Jackson (1988-92):
CAPTAIN'S LOG: With 129 career games played, senior captain Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta) is the active leader among WCHA defensemen and ranks sixth nationally among all skaters:
MacWilliam has two assists and 27 penalty minutes in seven games this season.
FIT TO BE TIED: The last time Minnesota Duluth visited Ralph Engelstad Arena, the Bulldogs captured the series finale with a 3-2 overtime win on Nov. 6, 2010.
It was also the rare overtime game at Engelstad Arena that did not end in a tie.
Since the building opened prior to the 2001-02 season, UND has played 37 overtime games (including regular season and playoffs) and 25 of them have ended in a tie.
UND is 5-7-25 in overtime in the new REA, including a 2-5-25 record in regular season games.
NODAK NATION: An NCAA-leading average of 7684.6 fans have watched UND's eight games this season (includes home and away).
That includes an average home attendance of 11,648.2, which also is the highest in NCAA DI men's hockey. In fact, no other team is averaging more than 10,000 fans per home game this season.
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 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.
DOING THE SPLITS: After last weekend's split at St. Cloud State, each of North Dakota's last five regular season road trips have resulted in series splits, a stretch that began last January in St. Cloud.
UND opened the 2012-13 season at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks, where it defeated Alaska Anchorage on Friday but fell to Alaska on Saturday.
In its final three road trips of the 2011-12 regular season, UND split at St. Cloud State (Jan. 20-21), Minnesota Duluth (Feb. 10-11) and Denver (Feb. 24-25).
LITTLE MAC ATTACK: Sophomore forward Mark MacMillan (Penticton, British Columbia) iced UND's 3-0 win at St. Cloud State last Friday with a shorthanded goal late in the third period.
It was UND's first shorthanded goal of the season, and the second straight scored by MacMillan. He also tallied a shorthanded goal in the 2012 WCHA Final Five championship game against Denver.
MacMillan has three goals and three assists in eight games this season and is tied for the team's goal-scoring lead.
(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 eight games.
But despite 12 shots on goal in those eight games, Rodwell has yet to register a point and has just one goal and one assist in his last 31 games, a skid that dates back to the first round of the 2011 WCHA Playoffs.
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 Friday either tied the game or put UND in the lead. His third and final goal was the power-play game-winner.
Gaarder's five points in five games this season are already just two shy of the seven he notched in 33 games as a freshman.
DEREK DOUBLES DOWN: After scoring two career goals entering the season, both as a sophomore, junior defenseman Derek Forbort (Duluth, Minn.) has already doubled his career total through eight games this season.
Forbort's most recent goal (Oct. 27) came with UND's goalie on the bench for an extra attacker and tied the game with 68 seconds remaining in an eventual 3-3 overtime tie with Alaska Anchorage.
NET GAINS: Through eight games this season, goalies Clarke Saunders (Jr., Brockville, Ontario) and Zane Gothberg (Fr., Thief River Falls, Minn.) have already each recorded their first career win in a North Dakota uniform.
The last time two goalies earned their first ‘W' at UND in the same season was in 2002-03, when freshmen Jake Brandt and Josh Siembida achieved the feat.
Saunders has started six of UND's eight games this season, going 3-2-1 with a 1.98 goals against average and a .931 save percentage.
Gothberg is 1-1-0 in his two starts with a 2.54 goals against average and .902 save percentage.
FRESHMAN FIRSTS: Rookie goalie Zane Gothberg (Fr., Thief River Falls, Minn.) made his first collegiate start Oct. 26 against Alaska Anchorage and backstopped UND to a 4-1 win for his first career victory.
Gothberg, the USHL Goaltender of the Year last year, stopped 17 of 18 shots in the win.
In the same game, fellow freshman Drake Caggiula (Pickering, Ontario) scored his first collegiate goal early in the second period, a tally that held up as the 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), 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.
FAREWELL 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.