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Sophomore forward Mark MacMillan and UND open the regular season in Fairbanks.
Game Notes: Puck drops on the 2012-13 season
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Updated: Monday 10/16/2012 16:35:17 (ET)
by Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
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Click on the PDF link to view a complete version of game notes.

#2 North Dakota
(0-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
vs.
Alaska Anchorage
(1-0-1, 0-0-0 WCHA)

Brice Alaska Goal Rush (Fairbanks, Alaska)

Oct. 19, 2012 • 8:05 pm CT • Carlson Center (4,595) • Fairbanks, Alaska
Radio: 96.1 FM The Fox (KQHT-FM) • Webcast: www.b2livetv.com
TV: None

THIS WEEK: Making its first trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, since the 1991-92 season, North Dakota opens the 2012-13 campaign on Friday and Saturday at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush.

UND will face WCHA foe Alaska Anchorage in a non-conference tilt on Friday, then will meet the host Alaska Nanooks on Saturday.

Merrimack is the fourth team competing in the tournament.

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 for both of UND's games at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush can be purchased by visiting www.b2livetv.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: Tournament ticket packages for the Brice Alaska Goal Rush can be purchased for $55 (reserved mezzanine) and $35 (general admission). Single-session tickets for each day can be purchased for $30 (reserved mezzanine) and $19 (general admission).

For additional ticket information, please call 474-NOOK (6665).

ABOUT ALASKA ANCHORAGE: The Seawolves opened the regular season last weekend by hosting the annual Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage. UAA captured the tournament for the second year in a row by defeating Canisius (2-0) and tying Air Force (3-3).

Junior goalie Chris Kamal stopped all 14 shots he faced in the season opener, registering his fourth career shutout. The Seawolves outshot Canisius 23-14 and got goals from sophomore defenseman Derek Docken and sophomore forward Scott Allen.

In Saturday's tie with Air Force, forwards Matt Bailey (SHG), Alex Gellert and Jordan Kwas supplied the goals, while junior goalie Rob Gunderson earned the win by stopping 20 of 23 shots.

The Seawolves are 0-for-7 on the power play through their first two games and 9-for-10 on the penalty kill.

UAA COACHING STAFF: Dave Shyiak (Northern Michigan ‘93) is in his eighth year behind the UAA bench and is 77-152-27 (.354).

Shyiak's staff includes associate head coach Campbell Blair (Maine ‘91), assistant coach T.J. Jindra (Notre Dame ‘07) and goaltending coach Scott Johnson (Minnesota Duluth).

SERIES HISTORY: UND is 44-17-4 (.708) all-time against UAA and has won 11 of the last 14 meetings (11-2-1), including four straight wins.

During head coach Dave Hakstol's first eight seasons, UND has gone 14-7-2 (.653) against the Seawolves.

UND is 5-2-0 all-time against the Alaska Nanooks and will be facing them for the first time since Oct. 9, 2010, at the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage.

POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 2 in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls released on Monday.

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

See page 3 for complete poll information.

LAST ACTION: UND closed out the exhibition season with a 6-4 win over the United States Under-18 Team last Friday night.

Freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) scored twice, while linemates Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Corban Knight (Sr., High River, Alberta) each added a goal and an assist. In addition to the eight points, that trio combined for a +8 in their first game together.

Derek Forbort (Jr., Duluth, Minn.) and Connor Gaarder (So., Edina, Minn.) also scored for UND, while freshman defenseman Jordan Schmaltz (Verona, Wis.) had three assists.

Junior goalie Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) earned his second start in as many exhibition games and stopped 24 of 25 shots in 29:20 of action. He stopped all 20 shots he faced in the first period alone.

FOND OF FAIRBANKS?: When UND last played in Fairbanks Nov. 1-2, 1991, current head coach Dave Hakstol was the team co-captain, and current assistant Dane Jackson was one of the team's two assistant captains.

In UND's 6-4 win in the season opener, Jackson scored four goals and one assist, while Hakstol had two assists. UND completed the sweep the next night with a 5-3 win, with Jackson collecting an assist for a 6-point weekend.

CAPTAIN'S LOG: Senior captain Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta) has logged 122 career games, tops among active WCHA players.

Only three active NCAA DI players have appeared in more games than MacWilliam: Michigan forward Kevin Lynch (130 GP) and A.J. Treais (128), and Miami defenseman Joe Hartman (124).

THE COUNT OF DANNY KRISTO: With 109 career points in 117 games, senior forward Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) enters the regular season tied with Colorado College's Rylan Schwartz as the leading active scorer in the WCHA.

Yale's Andrew Miller (115) is the only active DI player with more points.

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

In two exhibition games in October, Kristo led the team in points (five) and assists (three), while tying for the team lead in goals (two) and plus/minus (+4).

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

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

Knight also excels in the faceoff circle, where he won a school-record 59.9 percent of his draws as a sophomore in 2010-11.

In UND's two exhibition games this month, Knight won an astounding 36 of 46 faceoffs (78.2 percent). He went 18-6 on Oct. 6 against Manitoba and 18-4 on Oct. 12 against the United States Under-18 Team.

TALL ‘TENDER: At 6-foot-2, junior goalie Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) is tied with Corey Cadden (1990-92) as the tallest goalie in UND men's hockey history.

Saunders, who transferred to UND from Alabama-Huntsville prior to the season, started both of UND's exhibition games and stopped 31 of 33 shots (.939) in 55 minutes, 36 seconds of action.

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.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS: UND's two exhibition games 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.

Grimaldi, who retained his freshman status after playing in only four games last year, scored twice in last Friday's win over the U.S. Under-18 Team and lead UND with nine shots on goal in the two exhibition games.
Neither Rodwell nor O'Donnell reached the scoresheet during the exhibition games.

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.

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.

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 1999-2000.

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.

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.

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 WCHA 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.

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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