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North Dakota closes out the regular season at 10th-ranked Minnesota State.
Game Notes: UND, Mavs meet with MacNaughton hopes
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Updated: Saturday 03/06/2013 10:54:59 (ET)
by Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
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#5 North Dakota
(18-9-7, 13-6-7 WCHA)
at
#10 Minnesota State
(21-10-3, 15-10-1 WCHA)


March 8-9, 2013 • 7:37-7:07 pm CT
Verizon Wireless Center (4,832) • Mankato, Minn.
Radio: 96.1 FM The Fox (KQHT-FM) • Webcast: AmeriaOneSports.com
TV (local only): Charter 226 / 826 HD (both nights), Comcast 13 / 23 (Saturday only)

THIS WEEK: Fifth-ranked North Dakota (18-9-7, 13-6-7 WCHA) travels to 10th-ranked Minnesota State (21-10-3, 15-10-1 WCHA) for the final weekend of the regular season, with both teams still very much in the hunt for the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA champions.

UND, one of only two teams (St. Cloud State) to have already clinched home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs, is tied with Minnesota for second place in the league standings. UND and UM are two points behind league-leading SCSU and two points up on fourth-place MSU and 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.

This weekend's games will air live in the Mankato viewing area only on Charter channels 226 and 826 HD. Saturday's game will also be on Comcast channels 13 and 23.

Video webcasts of both games can be purchased at AmericaOneSports.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, featuring Brad Schlossman and Tom Miller of the Grand Forks Herald and Jayson Hajdu UND Athletics Media Relations.

TICKET INFORMATION: Visit www.msumavericks.com for ticket information.

PLAYOFF SCENARIOS: The WCHA playoff picture should begin to clear up after Friday night's games.

Here is what is known going into Friday night:

• St. Cloud and North Dakota have clinched home ice slots.

• Five teams (Minnesota, Minnesota State, Wisconsin, Nebraska Omaha, Denver) are alive for the remaining four home ice slots. One of those five will miss out and be seeded 7th.

• The current #8 - #11 teams (Colorado College, Minnesota Duluth, Michigan Tech, Bemidji State) will finish #8-#11 in some order and all will travel for first round.

• Alaska Anchorage is locked in as the #12 seed.

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS: Minnesota State (21-10-3 overall, 15-10-1 WCHA), which has won 18 of its last 24 games, split a two-game league series last weekend at Colorado College, droping a 4-1 decision to the Tigers Friday before sailing to a 7-2 win in Saturday's rematch.

The Mavericks' 21 wins this year marks the second time during MSU's DI-era that the program has achieved at least 21 wins. MSU also won 21 games in 1999-2000.

Forward Matt Leitner is the nation's highest-scoring sophomore with a team-leading 40 points (15g, 25a).

As a team, MSU is tied for first in the nation in goals scored in the third period with 43.

Minnesota State's 38 power-play goals ranks second in the nation, and the Mavericks' 23.5-percent power play ranks third.

MSU COACHING STAFF: Mike Hastings (St. Cloud State ‘93) is in his first season as head coach at Minnesota State after spending the previous three seasons as associate head coach at Nebraska Omaha.

Hastings' staff includes assistant coaches Darren Blue (Minnesota State ‘96) and Todd Knott (Bemidji State ‘02).

SERIES HISTORY: This weekend marks the only regular season meeting between UND and MSU in 2012-13.

UND has won each of the last nine meetings between the two teams and has just one loss in the last 20 (18-1-1), building a 37-10-7 (.750) edge in the all-time series.

UND swept a series in Grand Forks last March the last time the two teams faced.

Senior forward Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) leads all active UND skaters with two goals and five assists in six career games against the Mavericks, while linemate Corban Knight (Sr., High River, Alberta) has two goals and four assists in five games.

POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 5 in the latest USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, and is ranked No. 7 in the national PairWise Rankings.

MSU is ranked 10th in both polls and 8th in the PairWise Rankings. See page 3 for complete poll information.

LAST ACTION: UND is coming off of a 3-point weekend against Bemidji State in Grand Forks, winning 4-2 on Friday before skating to a 2-2 overtime tie on Saturday.

Sophomore forward Mark MacMillan (Penticton, British Columbia) enjoyed his second straight 3-point game in Saturday's win, registering two goals and an assist. Older brother Mitch MacMillan (Jr., Penticton, British Columbia) added a goal and an assist.

Mitch MacMillan scored again in Saturday's 2-2 overtime tie, while freshman defenseman Jordan Schmaltz (Verona, Wis.) knotted the game with a power-play goal midway through the third period.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: UND is one of only two WCHA teams (St. Cloud State) to have already clinched home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs.

It marks the 11th straight year in which UND will host the first round, the longest active streak in the WCHA.

UND is 30-8 (.789) in WCHA playoff games under ninth-year head coach Dave Hakstol and has won each of the last three Broadmoor Trophies as WCHA playoff champions (four overall under Hakstol).

QUEST FOR THE CUP: UND enters the final weekend still in the hunt to win the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular season champions.

With 33 points, UND is tied with Minnesota for second place in the WCHA, two points behind league-leading St. Cloud State.

UND has won a league-leading 15 WCHA regular season championships, most recently in 2010-11.

NO REST FOR THE WEARY: This weekend's series marks the end of a grueling stretch for UND in which it will have played 12 of its final 14 regular season games against nationally-ranked opponents.

UND has lost just four of the first 12 games of that stretch (5-3-4) and has faced the nation's fifth-toughest schedule overall, according to the KRACH rankings.

WE'RE GOING STREAKING: UND enters the week with just one loss in its previous nine games (5-1-3) and with just four losses in its last 21 games (12-4-5).

SECOND-HALF SURGE: UND has just one loss since Feb. 1 (5-1-2) and this year's senior class has now gone 41-8-4 (.811) after January since 2009-10.

During Dave Hakstol's 9-year tenure as head coach, UND is 92-27-13 (.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) 8-4-4 (.625)
Totals 91-62-15 (.586) 140-53-22 (.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.

FOUR-BODEING STAT: UND is 13-1-2 (.875) this season when scoring four or more goals.

UND has scored exactly four goals in seven of the last nine meetings with Minnesota State, all victories.

MILESTONE WATCH: Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) enters the final weekend of the regular season with 99 career WCHA points.

Linemate Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) reached the same milestone with an assist last Friday against Bemidji State.

SEEKING SCORING TITLES: Much like the standings, several WCHA statistical titles will come down to the final weekend.

Senior Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) has 36 points during WCHA play, three behind league-leader Ryan Walters of Nebraska Omaha in the league's scoring race.

Kristo's 16 goals during league play are tied with Walters for second, one behind UNO's Josh Archibald. The last UND player to win either category was Matt Frattin in 2010-11.

UND freshman Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) trails the WCHA rookie scoring race by three points. Grimaldi has 24 points during league play, tying him with UMD's Tony Cameranesi for third behind Michigan Tech's Alex Petan (27 points) and St. Cloud State's Kalle Kossila (26).

The last UND freshman to win the WCHA scoring title was Brady Murray, who had 31 points in 26 league games in 2003-04.

DYNAMIC DUO: With 44 points apiece, senior linemates Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) rank third in the national scoring race and second in the WCHA.

They have also combined for 294 points, making them the highest-scoring duo in NCAA Division I men's hockey:

Kristo is just two off the active career goal-scoring lead, while both players are among the active leaders in career assists:

Since Dec. 8, Kristo leads the nation in points (30) and goals (15), while Knight leads the nation in assists per game (1.00) and ranks second in scoring (29 points) during that same stretch.

Refer to page 7 to see where each player ranks on UND's career scoring list.

THE COUNT OF DANNY KRISTO: With 2-3 home games still remaining for UND, senior center Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) has already clinched his second straight Virg Foss 3-Star Award for accumulating the most 3-star voting points during home games.

Other notes on Kristo:

• UND's first player with four 20-assist seasons since Jeff Panzer (1997-2001)

• Has a goal in 14 of his last 19 games

• Has figured in on 10 game-winning goals, third-most in the country

• Ranks fourth nationally with career-high 20 goals
A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER: Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) leads all 77 candidates in Vote For Hobey fan voting, with more than twice as many votes as second-leading vote-getter Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College as of Wednesday morning.

Other notes on Knight:

• Leads the nation with 497 faceoff wins, 57 more than any other player

• Has reached the scoresheet in 28 different games, most in the WCHA and second-most in the country

• UND's first player since Zach Parise (2002-04) with two 30-assist seasons

• Has yet to go back-to-back games this season without a point

• Earlier this season put together a 19-game point streak, UND's longest in 25 years

ROCCO ‘ROUND THE CLOCK: Freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) enters the week riding a 7-game point streak, the longest of his young career.

Grimaldi has three goals and six assists during his 7-game streak.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: UND's defensemen have combined for 88 points and 2.59 points per game, both of which rank second nationally:
Six UND defenseman have 10 or more points this season, more than any other team in the nation: Dillon Simpson (3-17-20), Joe Gleason (5-11-16), Nick Mattson (3-12-15), Derek Forbort (4-9-13), Jordan Schmaltz (3-9-12), Andrew MacWilliam (1-9-10).

Simpson (20 points), Gleason (16) and MacWilliam (10) have all established career highs for points, while Forbort has scored a career-high four goals.

MacWilliam has a pair of 2-assist games in his last five after having gone his first 150 career games without a multi-point performance.

Schmaltz has 10 points and is a +6 in his last 20 games after scoring 2 points with a -3 in his first 14 games.

Mattson leads the team's defensemen with a career-high +11 rating.

CAPTAIN'S LOG: With 155 career games played, senior captain Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta) is the active leader among WCHA defensemen and ranks fifth nationally among all skaters:
MacWilliam has a career-high 10 points in 34 games this season.

FIT TO BE TIED: Saturday's 2-2 tie against Bemidji State was UND's seventh tie of the season, second-most in program history behind the nine draws in 2000-01.

SENIOR STANDOUTS: UND's boasts the third-highest scoring senior class in the nation, both in terms of total points and points per game:

UND's senior class includes Danny Kristo (20-24--44), Corban Knight (14-30--44), Carter Rowney (8-14--22), Joe Gleason (5-11--16), and Andrew MacWilliam (1-9--10), as well as senior goaltender Tate Maris.

NODAK NATION: UND's attendance of 12,177 last Saturday against Bemidji State was the second-largest home crowd in program history, behind only a crowd of 12,189 on Feb. 9, 2002 -- the year Ralph Engelstad Arena opened -- against Minnesota.

UND leads NCAA Division I men's hockey in average home attendance (11,751) and total home attendance (211,518) and is averaging over-capactiy in the 11,634-seat Engelstad Arena.

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 231 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
Total 46-16-10

WELCOME TO THE SHOW: Eleven 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), Chris Porter (St. Louis), Drew Stafford (Buff alo), Jonathan Toews (Chicago) and Travis Zajac (New Jersey).

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.

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.

BLEEDING GREEN: Every member of UND's coaching staff is a graduate of the University of North Dakota.

Head coach Dave Hakstol (1989-92), assistant coaches Brad Berry (1983-86) and Dane Jackson (1988-92), and volunteer assistant Karl Goehring (1998-2001) each played for North Dakota.

Additionally, nearly every member of the support staff is also a graduate of UND, including director of hockey operations Pat Swanson (2002), athletic trainer and strength coach Mark Poolman (1992), team physician Dr. Greg Greek (1977) and media relations director Jayson Hajdu (2000).

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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