#6 North Dakota
(3-2-1, 1-0-1 WCHA)
#15 St. Cloud State
(5-3-0, 3-1-0 WCHA)
Nov. 9-10, 2012 • 7:37/7:07 pm CT • National Hockey & Event Center (5,371) • St. Cloud, Minn.
Radio: 96.1 FM The Fox (KQHT-FM) • Webcast: AmericaOneSports.com
TV: Charter Cable, NESN (Saturday only), DirecTV 628 (Saturday only),
DISH Network 434 (Saturday only)
THIS WEEK: North Dakota (3-2-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) returns to WCHA play this weekend with a road trip to St. Cloud State (5-3-0, 3-1-0 WCHA).
The Huskies are tied with Denver for first place in the WCHA with six points through four games. UND is three points back in sixth place, tied with Bemidji State and Wisconsin, with two games in hand.
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 Charter Cable. Saturday's game will also be carried live by NESN, which is also available on DirecTV (628) and DISH Network (434).
Video webcasts for 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.
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for this weekend's series are still available. Call 1-877-SCSUTIX or visit www.scsutickets.com for additional information or to purchase.
ABOUT THE HUSKIES: St. Cloud State split a WCHA series at No. 3 Denver last weekend, winning 3-0 on Friday before falling 6-1 on Saturday.
Sophomore Ryan Faragher stopped 28 shots for his third career shutout in Friday's win, while junior forward Nic Dowd scored twice.
Dowd leads the Huskies and ranks third in the nation with 12 points, and leads the nation with three game-winning goals.
Senior forward Drew LeBlanc leads all active WCHA leader with 137 career games played and ranks third with 108 career points.
SCSU rookie forward Kalle Kossila currently ranks first in the nation among DI freshmen, averaging 1.33 points per game (4g, 4a).
SCSU COACHING STAFF: Bob Motzko (St. Cloud State ‘87) is in his eighth year behind the Husky bench and is 142-112-34 (.552).
His staff includes assistant coaches Mike Gibbons (Bemidji State ‘81) and Garrett Raboin (SCSU ‘10), and goaltending coach Dave Rogalski (St. Mary's).
SERIES HISTORY: UND is 59-31-11 (.639) all-time against the Huskies, including a 23-17-6 (.565) mark in St. Cloud.
UND took three of five meetings last year, including a 4-1 win in the WCHA Final Five quarterfinal, and has lost just twice in the last 11 matchups (8-2-1).
Over the past 10 years, UND has not won a Friday game in St. Cloud (0-6-4), but has not lost a Saturday game (10-0) during that same stretch.
Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) has 16 points (7g, 9a) in 14 career games against the Huskies, the most points for any active UND player against a single opponent.
POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 6 in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, both of which were released on Monday.
UND had previously been ranked No. 6 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, but dropped one spot from No. 5 in the USCHO poll.
See page 3 for complete poll information.
LAST ACTION: Six minutes away from a non-conference sweep of No. 12 Boston University last weekend, North Dakota had to settle for a split in a battle of perennial national powers.
On Friday, UND rode a Connor Gaarder (Edina, Minn.) hat trick to a 4-2 win over the Terriers. Freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) added an empty net goal and an assist, while junior Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) turned aside 20 of 22 shots for his second win of the season.
BU scored three unanswered goals in that final 5:21 of the third period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 victory on Saturday night. Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Stephane Pattyn (So., Ste. Anne, Manitoba) both scored their first goal of the season in the loss, which snapped UND's 11-game home unbeaten streak (9-0-2). Zane Gothberg (Fr., Thief River Falls, Minn.) stopped 29 shots in the loss.
INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore forward Michael Parks (St. Louis, Mo.) did not play in the BU 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.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: Last weekend's series against No. 12 Boston University begins a 7-week stretch for UND during which it will face six top-20 teams, as well as a road trip to Michigan Tech.
UND's other opponents during that 7-week period include at No. 15 St. Cloud State (Nov. 9-10), home vs. No. 20 Minnesota Duluth (Nov. 16-17), at No. 7 Notre Dame (Nov. 23-24), at No. 19 Colorado College (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) and home vs. No. 3 Denver (Dec. 7-8).
A KNIGHT'S TALE: Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) drew an assist in Saturday's loss for his 100th career point, making him the 84th player in UND history to join that exclusive membership:
Knight, who has two goals and an assist in five games this season, won 31 of 49 (63.6 percent) faceoffs in the BU series and is winning draws at a 63.0 percent clip this season. He set the school record of 59.9 percent in 2010-11 as a sophomore.
LEADERS OF THE PACK: Eight active NCAA Division I men's players have scored at least 100 points in their career, and this wekeend's series will feature three of those players, including the WCHA's active scoring leader in Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.):
The series will also feature several active NCAA DI leaders in games played, goals and assists:
THE COUNT OF DANNY KRISTO: With six points (1g, 5a) in four games, senior forward Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) is tied for the team scoring lead and continues his ascent up UND's career scoring list:
Kristo has reached the scoresheet in all four games in which he has played this season, and owns a six-game point streak dating back to both games at last year's NCAA West Regional.
LUCKY 13: Connor Gaarder's (So., Edina, Minn.) hat trick last Friday 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.
DOING THE SPLITS: Each of North Dakota's last four regular season road trips have resulted in series splits, a stretch that began last January at St. Cloud State.
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).
ROCCO ‘ROUND THE CLOCK: Freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) had an empty net goal and an assist on the game-winner last Friday.
That 2-point effort extended his point streak to seven games dating back to last season, but that streak was snapped in Saturday's loss.
With six points in six games, Grimaldi is tied with Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) for the team scoring lead and is tied for second in the WCHA rookie scoring race. Only St. Cloud State's Kalle Kossila, with eight points in six games, has more.
NODAK NATION: An NCAA-leading average of 8,589.7 fans have watched UND's six 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.
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 six 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.
Forbort has two goals and an assist through six games and is a +2.
NET GAINS: Through six 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 four of UND's six games this season, going 2-1-1 with a 1.73 goals against average and a .933 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.
FIT TO BE TIED: UND's 3-3 overtime tie with UAA on Oct. 27 continued a trend at the new Ralph Engelstad Arena, which opened prior to the 2001-02 season.
Since the building opened, 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.
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.
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.