#16 St. Cloud State
(14-10-0, 11-5-0 WCHA)
#5 North Dakota
(13-7-4, 8-4-4 WCHA)
January 25-26, 2013 • 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
THIS WEEK: North Dakota (13-7-4, 8-4-4 WCHA) returns home to host St. Cloud State (14-10-0, 11-5-0 WCHA) in a critical WCHA series on Friday and Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
St. Cloud State enters the week tied with Minnesota for first place in the WCHA with 22 points, just two points ahead of UND.
UND is tied for third place with Nebraska Omaha and Denver. UND still holds two games in hand over DU, which is idle this week.
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 will be broadcast live on Midco Sports Network, FOX College Sports Central and DirecTV channel 623.
Video webcasts of each game can also be purchased with a UND Insider subscription 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, featuring Brad Schlossman and Tom Miller of the Grand Forks Herald and Jayson Hajdu and Matt Schill of UND Athletics Media Relations.
TICKET INFORMATION: A limited number of general admission tickets remain available for both games this weekend. Tickets can be purchased at the UND ticket office at Ralph Engelstad Arena or online at Ticketmaster.com.
ABOUT THE HUSKIES: SCSU moved into a tie for first place in the WCHA after sweeping seventh-ranked Denver last weekend. The Huskies became the first team to sweep DU in a WCHA series since November 2008.
Senior Drew LeBlanc had four points in the series against DU, extending his point streak to 13 games. He leads the nation with a career-high 27 assists and ranks second with 34 points.
Freshman Jonny Brodzinski brings a nine-game point streak into the weekend.
SCSU COACHING STAFF: Bob Motzko (SCSU ‘87), who won his 150th career game last Friday, is in his eighth season at St. Cloud State and is 151-119-34 (.553).
Motzko's staff includes assistant coaches Mike Gibbons (Bemidji State ‘81) and Garrett Raboin (SCSU ‘10), as well as goalie coach Dave Rogalski (St. Mary's (Minn.).
SERIES HISTORY: UND leads the all-time series with SCSU 60-32-11 (.636), including a 30-13-5 (.677) mark in Grand Forks.
The two teams split their series earlier this year in St. Cloud (Nov. 9-10), with UND winning 3-0 on Friday and the Huskies rebounding with a 5-2 win on Saturday.
Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) leads all active UND skaters with 18 points (7g, 11a) in 16 career games against the Huskies, the most points he's scored against any opponent. Linemate and classmate Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) has 12 points (3g, 9a) in 14 games. Junior goalie Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) made his first two career appearances against the Huskies back in November, posting a 2.50 goals against average and a .928 save percentage in the series.
POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 5 in the most recent USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, released on Monday.
SCSU is ranked 15th by USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and 16th by USCHO.
LAST ACTION: UND is coming off a 1-point weekend at top-ranked Minnesota, falling 5-1 on Friday and tying 4-4 on Saturday.
Freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Fr., Rossmoor, Calif.) led UND with a goal and an assist in Saturday's tie, and linemate Drake Caggiula (Fr., Pickering, Ontario) added a goal to snap a 9-game goal-scoring drought.
Senior linemates Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) and Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) rounded out the scoring, while freshman Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.) made 31 saves in his first road start since Thanksgiving weekend at Notre Dame.
In Friday's loss, sophomore Michael Parks (St. Louis, Mo.) scored UND's lone goal.
KNIGHT STREAKING: With an assist on Friday at Minnesota and a goal on Saturday, senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) extended his point streak to 19 games, tied for the fourth-longest in UND history:
Knight, who has nine goals and 22 assists during the streak, has tallied at least one point in 21 of his 23 games this season. UND is 31-2-5 (.882) all-time when Knight scores a goal.
Earlier this month, Knight was one of 77 players nominated for the Vote For Hobey fan voting process at HobeyBakerAward.com. Fans can cast their votes through March 10, 2013. Phase two of fan balloting will begin on March 22 from the list of Top Ten Hobey Baker finalists. The fans' vote accounts for a full 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year's award recipient.
THE COUNT OF DANNY KRISTO: With 140 career points, Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) is the active scoring leader among NCAA Division I men's players. In fact, of the 20 active players with 100-plus career points, four of them will be playing in this weekend's series:
Kristo scored his 56th career goal last night, his ninth in his last eight games, which also tied him as the top active goal scorer in the country:
Kristo and linemate Knight are also among the active leaders in career assists:
Knight (33 points) and Kristo (31) rank third and fifth, respectively, in the WCHA scoring race.
Knight (1.43) and Kristo (1.41) rank fourth and seventh, respectively, among the national points per game leaders.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: Counting last weekend's series at top-ranked Minnesota, UND will play 12 of its final 14 regular season games against teams currently ranked in the USCHO.com top 20 poll, including the next 10 straight games.
WORKIN' OVERTIME: Following Saturday's tie at Minnesota, UND is now unbeaten (2-0-4) in six overtime games this year after going winless (0-1-3) in extra time last season.
ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER: Friday's 5-1 loss at Minnesota marked only the second time this season UND has been held to fewer than two goals. The only other time was a 2-1 loss at Alaska on Oct. 20, the second game of the regular season.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: With 63 points between them, UND's defensemen are tied with Minnesota as the second-highest scoring blueline in the nation:
UND's blueline includes Dillon Simpson (2-12-14), Derek Forbort (4-8-12), Joe Gleason (3-8-11), Nick Mattson (2-9-11), Jordan Schmaltz (1-6-7), Andrew MacWilliam (1-5-6) and Andrew Panzarella (0-0-0).
HEY JOE: Senior defenseman Joe Gleason (Edina, Minn.) is in the midst of the most productive stretch of his collegiate career.
Gleason has two goals and eight assists in his last nine games. Those 10 points make him UND's third-leading scorer during that 9-game stretch, behind only senior forwards Corban Knight (18 points) and Danny Kristo (17).
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: UND is 7-2-3 in 12 home games this season, and has lost just four of its last 29 home games, including WCHA playoffs, going 20-4-5 (.776) during that stretch.
Last season UND went 15-4-3 (.750) at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
HELLO AGAIN: Junior forward Mitch MacMillan (Penticton, British Columbia) will face his former team for the first time this weekend. MacMillan had 11 points in 42 career games with St. Cloud State before transferring to UND midseason last year.
Since becoming eligible to play for UND after Christmas, MacMillan has one goal and one assist in six games.
SECOND-HALF SURGE?: UND is hoping to continue its trend under ninth-year head coach Dave Hakstol of playing its best hockey in the second half of the season:
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) 3-2-1 (.583)
Totals 91-62-15 (.586) 135-51-19 (.705)
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.
SENIOR SCORING: North Dakota entered the week with the third-most productive senior class in the country in terms of both points (94) and points per game (3.92):
UND's seniors include Corban Knight (11-22-33), Danny Kristo (14-17-31), Carter Rowney (6-7-13), Joe Gleason (3-8-11) and Andrew MacWilliam (1-5-6).
NODAK NATION: Prior to the end of the National Hockey League (NHL) lockout, North Dakota had been the top hockey draw in all of North America this season.
UND is averaging 11,651 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).
CAPTAIN'S LOG: With 145 career games played, senior captain Andrew MacWilliam (Calgary, Alberta) is the active leader among WCHA defensemen and ranks fifth nationally among all skaters. St. Cloud State's Drew LeBlanc is the active leader with 153:
In 23 games this season, MacWilliam has a goal and five assists and is a +9, the latter tying him with Nick Mattson (So., Chanhassen, Minn.) for the team lead among defensemen.
NET RETURN: Freshman goalie Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.) made 31 saves in Saturday's 4-4 tie at top-ranked Minnesota, his first road start since Nov. 24 at Notre Dame.
In six starts this season, Gothberg is 3-2-1 with a 3.11 goals against average and an .895 save percentage.
CAGGIU-LA-LA: Freshman forward Drake Caggiula (Pickering, Ontario) scored a third-period goal in UND's 4-4 tie last Saturday at Minnesota, snapping a 9-game goal-scoring drought.
Caggiula has six goals and six assists in 24 games this season, with 11 of his 12 points coming in 16 WCHA games.
Caggiula (11 points) and teammate Rocco Grimaldi (14), along with St. Cloud State's Kalle Kossila (16), David Morley (10) and Jonny Brodzinski (10) are five of the 13 rookies in the WCHA who have tallied at least 10 points during league play.
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.).
GOLDEN GRIMALDI: Freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) helped lead the United States to a gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Hockey Championship in January in Ufa, Russia.
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.
In 22 games with UND, Grimaldi ranks third on the team in scoring and fourth in the WCHA rookie scoring race with 19 points (8g, 11a).
FAMOUS DAVE: With 226 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 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
WELCOME TO THE SHOW: Eight former UND players made 2013 National Hockey League opening day rosters: Joe Finley (New York Islanders), Matt Greene (Los Angeles), Brian Lee (Tampa Bay), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Zach Parise (Minnesota), Drew Stafford (Buffalo), 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. Seventeen former UND players appeared in the NHL last year, tying the program's most since 1993-94.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 first eight seasons behind the UND bench, including Frozen Four appearances in five of those eight years.
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,"
UND adopted the "Fighting Sioux" nickname in 1930 after previously being known as the "Flickertails."