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THree-time defending WCHA playoff champion UND hosts Michigan Tech.
Game Notes: UND hosts Huskies in WCHA First Round
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Updated: Friday 03/13/2013 21:56:39 (ET)
by Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
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Michigan Tech
(12-18-4, 8-16-4 WCHA)
at
#4 North Dakota
(19-10-7, 14-7-7 WCHA)

~ WCHA Playoffs, First Round ~
March 15-17, 2013 • 7:37-7:07-7:07 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, FCS Central (Friday, Saturday), FCS Pacific (Sunday)

THIS WEEK: Third-seeded North Dakota (19-10-7) hosts 10th-seeded Michigan Tech (12-18-4) in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs.

The winner of the best-of-three series advances to the Red Baron WCHA Final Five next weekend in Saint Paul.

It marks the fourth time in the last six years UND has hosted the Huskies in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.

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 can be seen live on Midco Sports Network and FOX College Sports. FOX College Sports Central will broadcast the games on Friday and Saturday, and FOX College Sports Pacific will air Sunday's game, if necessary. Dan Hammer (play-by-play), Scott Koberinski (color analyst) and Katie Hale (reporter) call the action.

Video webcasts of both games can be purchased 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, along with Matt Schill and Jayson Hajdu of UND Athletics.

TICKET INFORMATION: Series ticket packages and single-game seats remain available for this weekend's series. Tickets can be purchased at the UND Box Office at Ralph Engelstad Arena or at Ticketmaster.com.

ABOUT THE HUSKIES: Michigan Tech closed out the regular season with a home split against Colorado College, winning 2-0 on Friday before falling 4-3 on Saturday.

Freshman Alex Petan finished as the WCHA's top-scoring rookie with 29 points in 28 league games. In 34 overall games this season, Petan has 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points.

Since the beginning of January, Michigan Tech owns the most potent power play in the nation at 28.6 percent. UND ranks second natiuonally during that time at 27.7 percent.

The Huskies are 12-3-1 when scoring first and 0-15-3 when their opponents get the game's first goal.
MTU COACHING STAFF: Mel Pearson (Michigan Tech ‘81) is in his second season behind the bench of his alma mater and is 28-37-8 (.438). He was named WCHA Coach of the Year last season, his first with the Huskies.

His staff includes assistant coaches Bill Muckalt (Michigan ‘98) and Damon Whitten (Michigan State ‘01), along with goaltending coach Steve Shields (Michigan ‘94).

SERIES HISTORY: UND holds a 147-93-10 (.608) advantage in the all-time series with MTU after picking up a road sweep in Houghton back in December (6-1, 4-1).

Senior forwards Corban Knight (3g, 3a) (High River, Alberta) and Danny Kristo (2g, 4a) (Eden Prairie, Minn.) each had 6-point series that weekend. Knight has 15 points in 12 career games against the Huskies, while Kristo has 14 points in eight games.

Junior Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) started both games of that December series and stopped 65 of 67 shots

POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 4 in both the most USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls released on Monday.

UND is also ranked No. 5 in the national PairWise Rankings.

LAST ACTION: UND closed out the regular season with a split at Minnesota State, winning 4-3 on Friday before falling 2-1 in overtime on Saturday.

Friday's win was UND's 10th in a row over the Mavericks, a streak that came to an end the following night.

Freshman goalie Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.) made 72 saves in the series, including a career-high 37 in Friday's win and 35 more in Saturday's overtime loss. He was named WCHA co-Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday.

PLAYOFF PRIMER: UND earned home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs for the 11th straight season, the longest active streak in the WCHA.

If UND is able to win its first-round series against Michigan Tech, it would become just the second team in league history to advance to 11 consecutive WCHA playoff tournaments. Minnesota, which did it from 1999 to 2009, is the only team to have ever done so.

UND is 30-8 in the WCHA playoffs under ninth-year head coach Dave Hakstol - nine more wins than any other WCHA school during that time -- and has won the last three consecutive Broadmoor Trophies as WCHA playoff champions, the only team in league history to win three league tournaments in a row.

UND has won its last 13 consecutive WCHA playoff games on its way to those three straight Broadmoor Trophies.

Under Hakstol, UND is 16-3 (.842) in the WCHA First Round and has yet to lose a series.


NO REST FOR THE WEARY: UND closed out the regular season by playing 12 of its final 14 regular season games against nationally-ranked opponents.

UND, which went 6-4-4 during that stretch, has faced the nation's fourth-toughest schedule overall, according to the KRACH rankings.

SECOND-HALF SURGE: UND has just two losses since Feb. 1 (6-2-2) -- both by just one goal -- and this year's senior class has now gone 42-9-4 (.800) after January since 2009-10.

During Dave Hakstol's 9-year tenure as head coach, UND is 93-28-13 (.743) in games played after January:
Throughout his tenure, Hakstol has frequently 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) 9-5-4 (.611)
Totals 91-62-15 (.586) 141-54-22 (.700)

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 14-1-2 (.882) this season when scoring four or more goals.

ROARING TWENTIES: UND's next victory will give Dave Hasktol 20 wins in each of his nine seasons behind the bench.

Only John "Gino" Gasaprini, who won 20 games for 13 straight years from 1978 to 1991, had a longer streak of 20-plus wins at UND.

NET GAINS: Freshman goalie Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.) earned his third weekly WCHA award in the past five weeks on Monday when he was named WCHA co-Defensive Player of the Week along with Colorado College senior netminder Joe Howe.

Gothberg stopped 72 shots in UND's split at Minnesota State last weekend, the most saves by a UND goalie in a 2-game series all season.

Gothberg stopped a career-high 37 shots in Friday's 4-3 win, then added another 35 saves in Saturday's 2-1 overtime loss.

Since Feb. 1, Gothberg has lost just once (4-1-2) and leads all WCHA goaltenders with a .937 save percentage.

Gothberg led the WCHA in winning percentage during league play (.708) and finished fourth in save percentage (.923).

DYNAMIC DUO: Senior linemates Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) have combined for 296 career points, making them the highest-scoring duo in NCAA Division I men's hockey:

Kristo is just one of two players in the nation with more than 60 career goals, while both Kristo and Knight are among the active leaders in career assists:

Kristo and Knight are two of only three players in the nation who have scored 30-plus points since Dec. 8.

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

A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER: Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) was the runaway winner in Phase I of the Vote For Hobey process, leading all 77 candidates with 36,548 votes.

Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College finished a distance second with 16,646 votes.

Knight has a career-high 45 points this season and leads the nation with a school-record 525 faceoff wins, 62 more than any other player in the nation.

Twenty-three of Knight's 31 assists are first assists, which leads the nation, and he has reached the scoresheet in 29 games, more than any other WCHA player and second-most in the nation.

Knight is UND's first player since Zach Parise (2002-04) with two 30-assist seasons, and he is UND's first player with three straight 40-point seasons since T.J. Oshie and Ryan Duncan each did it from 2005 to 2008.

Earlier this season, Knight put together a 19-game point streak that was UND's longest in 25 years:

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: UND's defensemen rank among the most productive blueline units in the nation in terms of both points and points per game:

Six UND defenseman have 10 or more points this season, more than any other team in the nation: Dillon Simpson (3-18-21), 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 (21 points), Gleason (16) and MacWilliam (10) have all established career highs for points, while Forbort has scored a career-high four goals.

Schmaltz has 10 points and is a +5 in his last 22 games after scoring 2 points with a -3 in his first 14 games.

MacWilliam leads the team's defensemen with a +12 rating, while Mattson ranks second at +10.

CAPTAIN'S LOG: With 157 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 36 games this season.

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

Ten of UND's 36 games have gone into overtime this season, with UND going 2-1-7.

 


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 (21-24--45), Corban Knight (14-31--45), Carter Rowney (9-15-24), Joe Gleason (5-11--16), and Andrew MacWilliam (1-9--10), as well as senior goaltender Tate Maris.

GET CARTER: For the second year in a row, senior forward Carter Rowney (Sexsmith, Alberta) is playing his best hockey down the stretch.

Since Feb. 1, Rowney has reached the scoresheet in seven of 10 games and has three goals and seven assists during that time, an average of 1.00 points per game.

Before February, Rowney had 14 points in his first 26 games, an average of 0.54 points per game.

Last season, Rowney had 13 goals and 11 assists in his last 24 games (1.00 points per game) after scoring five goals and four assists in his first 18 games (0.50 points per game).

NODAK NATION: UND's attendance of 12,177 on March 2 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.

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 24 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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