Courtesy: Kory Wallen,
Clarke Saunders is the only active UND player to have ever faced Miami.
Game Notes: New era, new conference, new rivalry
Courtesy: Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
Release: 10/16/2013
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#6 North Dakota
(1-0-1, 0-0-0 NCHC)


#1 Miami
(2-0-0, 0-0-0 NCHC)

Friday & Saturday, October 18-19, 2013 • 6 pm CT Friday/7 pm CT Saturday
Steve Cady Arena (3,642) • Oxford, Ohio

96.1 The Fox (KQHT-FM)
TV: CBS Sports Network (Friday only)
Webcast: (Saturday only)

This Week                                    
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) era begins this weekend as sixth-ranked North Dakota (1-0-1) travels to top-ranked Miami (2-0-0) to face the RedHawks.

The series marks UND’s first-ever trip to Oxford and features a battle of the top two teams in the league’s preseason media poll, which tabbed Miami No. 1 and UND No. 2.

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, in his 35th season as the voice of UND men’s hockey, calls the action while Steve Olson provides analysis during home games.

Friday’s game will be broadcast live by CBS Sports Network. Ben Holden handles the play-by-play while Dave Starman serves as color analyst and Shireen Saski reports from rinkside.

Saturday’s game can be seen via webcast by UND Insider subscribers.

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, featuring Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald and Jayson Hajdu of UND Athletics.

Ticket Information    
Visit for ticket information or to purchase tickets.

About the RedHawks        
Miami climbed atop both national polls after opening the season with a sweep of non-conference rival Ohio State.

On Friday, the RedHawks won 6-2 in Columbus, Ohio. The following night the Red and White improved to 2-0-0 on the young season with a 6-3 win inside Steve Cady Arena in front of a sold-out crowd (3,642).

For the weekend Riley Barber recorded seven points, including four goals on Saturday night, and was named NCHC Offensive Player of the Week. Linemate Austin Czarnik had five points, while goalies Jay Williams (26 saves) and Ryan McKay (38 saves) each picked up wins.

Miami Coaching Staff    
Enrico Blasi (Miami ’94) is in his 15th season behind the RedHawk bench. He is a five-time CCHA Coach of the Year and was named national coach of the year in 2005-06. His career record of 313-196-53 makes him the winningest coach in school history.

His staff includes associate head coach Brent Brekke (Western Michigan ‘94), assistant coach Nick Petraglia (Miami ‘04) and volunteer assistant Derek Edwardson (Miami ‘04).

Series History   
This weekend marks North Dakota’s first trip to Oxford.

UND is 2-0-1 all-time against the RedHawks, most recently skating to a 5-5 tie on Nov. 28, 2009 in Grand Forks at the Subway Holiday Classic. That game is the only meeting between the two teams during the Dave Hakstol era.

Prior to that, UND won the first two meetings on neutral ice, a 5-2 win at the 1999 Badger Showdown and a 3-0 victory at the 2005 Lefty McFadden Invitational.

UND’s only current player to have faced the RedHawks is senior Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario), who started a pair of games against Miami in 2011-12 while at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Saunders suffered the loss in both starts despite stopping 73 of 80 shots (.913).

Poll Position    
UND climbed one spot to No. 6 in this week’s poll, while falling one spot to No. 8 in the latest USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.

Miami took over the top spot in both polls after having previously been ranked No. 2 in each.

Refer to page 3 for complete national poll information.

Last Week    
UND opened the regular season at home last weekend against Vermont, picking up a 5-3 win on Friday and a 2-2 overtime tie on Saturday.

Sophomore forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) keyed Friday’s victory with a goal and three assists, the second 4-point game of his young career.

Sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.) came off the bench early in the second period and stopped all 17 shots he faced to earn his first win of the season.

Gothberg was steady again in Saturday’s tie, kicking aside 25 of 27 shots. Grimaldi and linemate Drake Caggiula (So., Pickering, Ontario) accounted for the UND goals.

Rocco ‘Round the Clock    
Sophomore forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calilf.) opened the season with a 5-point weekend against Vermont, including a career-high-tying four points on Friday night.

Grimaldi had a goal and three assists Friday, then added another goal (on a career-high 10 shots) on Saturday. Both of his goals came on the power play, already matching the two power-play tallies he had all of last season.

Grimaldi and linemates Drake Caggiula (So., Pickering, Ont.) and Adam Tambellini (Fr., Edmonton, Alberta) scored five of UND’s seven goals in the series and combined for 11 points.

Caggiula had a goal and an assist each night while Tambellini had a goal Friday and an assist Saturday, the first of his career.

In-zane Goaltending    
Sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.) stopped 42 of 44 shots in the Vermont series for a .955 save percentage.

In his last 12 appearances (11 starts) dating back to Feb. 1, Gothberg owns a sizzling 1.86 goals against average and a .939 save percentage, while losing just once (7-1-3) during that stretch.

In his final 10 starts as a freshman, Gothberg went 6-1-2 and led the WCHA in goals against average (1.98) and save percentage (.937).

Kill or Be Killed    
UND’s penalty killing was outstanding in the Vermont series, killing 16 of 17 (94.1%) Vermont power plays, including the final 16 in a row.

After giving up a power-play goal less than three minutes into the game on Friday night, UND killed its final 10 shorthanded situations in the game, then went a perfect 6-for-6 on Saturday night.

The UND penalty kill is coached by assistant coach Dane Jackson.

Power Surge    
UND’s special teams play also benefitted from a power play that went 3-for-12 (25.0%) in the Vermont series.

Sophomore forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) scored a power-play goal each night after scoring just twice all season with the man advantage as a freshman.

Junior forward Mark MacMillan (Penticton, British Columbia) added a power-play goal on Friday, which proved to be the game-winner.

Crowded House    
Friday night’s sellout crowd of 11,725 was the second-largest for a home opener in UND history.

The biggest crowd to watch a home opener was 11,738 on Oct. 13, 2007 against Michigan State in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame game.
Saturday night’s crowd was even larger, officially checking in at 11,803.

UND led NCAA Division I men’s hockey in home attendance in 2012-13, averaging 11,592 fans in its 21 home games, the only program in the country to average better than 10,000 fans per home game.

Freshmen Firsts    
Six freshmen made their collegiate debuts last Friday night, including defensemen Troy Stecher (Richmond, British Columbia), Paul LaDue (Grand Forks, N.D.) and Gage Ausmus (East Grand Forks, Minn.), and forwards Wade Murphy (Victoria, British Columbia), Luke Johnson (Grand Forks, N.D.) and Adam Tambellini (Edmonton, Alberta).

Two of them recorded their first career points, with Tambellini scoring his first goal and Johnson collecting an assist. Tambellini collected his first career assist the following night.

On Saturday night, freshman defenseman Keaton Thompson (Devils Lake, N.D.) made his collegiate debut, registering one shot on goal and one blocked shot.

Of UND’s eight freshmen, only goalie Matt Hrynkiw (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) did not play last weekend.

Famous Dave    
Friday night’s victory was Dave Hakstol’s 236th win behind the UND bench

Since Hakstol took over at UND, only Boston College’s Jerry York (239) and Michigan’s Red Berenson (238) have won more games in Division I men’s hockey.

Hakstol ranks third on UND’s career wins list behind John “Gino” Gasparini (392 wins from 1978-94) and Dean Blais (262 wins from 1994 to 2004).

O Captain! My Captain!    
Senior defenseman Dillon Simpson (Edmonton, Alberta) was named team captain last week, while junior forwards Michael Parks (St. Louis, Mo.) and Stephane Pattyn (Ste. Anne, Manitoba) were chosen assistant captains.

At 20 years, 7 months, 26 days, Simpson is UND’s youngest captain since Greg Johnson in 1991-92 and is the 10th-youngest captain in program history.

Dave Hudson holds the distinction of being the young captain in program history. He was 19 years, 10 months and 17 days when the 1969-70 season began. Besides Hudson, Scott Marvin (1975-76) and Cary Eades (1981-82) are the only captains in UND history to open the season as 19-year olds (see chart top middle):

National Nod  
Simpson received national recognition earlier this month when he was one of four defensemen named to the College Hockey News’ 2013-14 Preseason All-CHN Team.

Simpson, who was was named to the second team, was named UND’s Most Improved Player last season after leading the team’s defensemen with a career-high five goals and 19 assists in 42 games.

2013-14 Preseason All-CHN Teams
First Team
F John Gaudreau, Jr., Boston College
F Austin Czarnik, Jr., Miami
F Michael Mersch, Sr., Wisconsin
D Shayne Gostisbehere, Jr., Union
D Michael Matheson, So., Boston College
G Jon Gillies, So., Providence

Second Team
F Kyle Rau, Jr., Minnesota
F Greg Carey, Sr., St. Lawrence
F Ryan Walters, Sr., Nebraska Omaha
F Matt Leitner, Jr., Minnesota State
D Dillon Simpson, Sr., North Dakota
D Jake McCabe, Jr., Wisconsin
G Connor Hellebuyck, So., Massachusetts-Lowell

A managerial finance and corporate accounting major, Simpson was a three-time All-WCHA Academic Team selection and a two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete. He was a fourth-round draft pick (92nd overall) of the Edmonton Oilers in 2011.

Simpson’s father, Craig, won two Stanley Cups with Edmonton during a 10-year National Hockey League career that also included stops in Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

Pipe Dream    
UND returns a pair of veterans between the pipes in senior Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) and sophomore Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.).

Both netminders enjoyed outstanding 2012-13 seasons, cracking UND’s single-season top 10 for save percentage (see chart at right):

Over the last two months of the season, beginning April 1, Gothberg and Saunders ranked first and third, respectively, among WCHA goalies in goals against average and first and fourth in save percentage.

UND allowed a WCHA-low 2.12 goals per game over that season-ending stretch.

Clarke Able    
Saunders enters the weekend ranked fifth in career saves among active Division I goalies:

After spending his first two collegiate seasons at Alabama-Huntsville, Saunders joined UND in 2012-13 and went 13-9-4 with a 2.30 goals against average, a .917 save percentage and a pair of shutouts.

Famous Dave    
UND head coach Dave Hakstol, now in his 10th season behind the bench of his alma mater, is the only active head coach in Division I men’s hockey who has recorded a winning record in every season as a head coach.

Hakstol’s 236 wins since taking over in 2004-05 have been topped only by Boston College’s Jerry York (239) and Michigan’s Red Berenson (238) during that time.

Hakstol’s entered the season ranked fourth among active DI men’s coaches in career winning percentage (.648):

Perhaps most impressively, only 10 coaches in the history of Division I men’s hockey (active or retired) have won as many games as Hakstol (235) with a higher winning percentage (entering the 2013-14 season): Ned Harkness (.740), Ron Mason (.696), Vic Heyliger (.685), Murray Armstrong (.675), Jeff Jackson (.675), John “Snooks” Kelley (.668), Red Berenson (.663), Doug Woog (.663), Len Ceglarski (.659) and Mark Morris (.649).

Hakstol led UND to 20-plus wins in each of his first 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.

With 236 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.

Conference Call    
The 2013-14 campaign marks UND’s first year as a member of the brand new National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).

The league released its first annual preseason media poll at NCHC Media Day on Sept. 19 in Minneapolis, and UND was ranked No. 2:

Formed July 13, 2011, by charter members North Dakota, Colorado College, Denver, Miami, Minnesota Duluth and Western Michigan, the NCHC added St. Cloud State and Western Michigan two months later to give the league eight teams.   

UND departed the WCHA having won a league-record 15 regular season championships, as well as an additional 11 WCHA playoff titles.

Many Happy Returns    
Tenth-year head coach Dave Hakstol returns 18 letterwinners from last year’s team that went 22-13-7 (14-7-7 WCHA) and advanced to the NCAA West Region championship game.
Sophomore Rocco Grimaldi (40 GP, 13-23--36) and junior Mark MacMillan (42 GP, 13-12--25) are the team’s top returning scorers, while Simpson (42 GP, 5-19—24), junior Nick Mattson (38 GP, 3-12—15) and sophomore Jordan Schmaltz (42 GP, 3-9—12) anchor the defensive unit.

Feeling a Draft    
North Dakota’s 2013-14 roster features an NCAA-leading 15 National Hockey League draft picks, including 2012 first-rounder Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis).

UND had six players (including five incoming freshmen) selected in the 2013 draft, which was the most of any NCAA school. The five incoming draft picks include Adam Tambellini (New York Rangers, 3rd round), Keaton Thompson (Anaheim, 3rd round), Gage Ausmus (San Jose, 5th round), Luke Johnson (Chicago, 5th round), Wade Murphy (7th round, Nashville).

Local Flavor    
Four of UND’s eight freshmen have significant local ties.

Forward Luke Johnson and defenseman Paul LaDue are both from Grand Forks, while defenseman Gage Ausmus is from neighboring East Grand Forks, Minn., across the Red River. Additionally, defenseman Keaton Thompson hails from Devils Lake, N.D.

The last time UND had at least three North Dakotans on its roster was 2008-09: Mario Lamoureux (Grand Forks), Jake Marto (Grand Forks) and Aaron Walski (Fargo).

Bleeding Green  
Every member of UND’s coaching staff played at and graduated from 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 (1997-2001) each played for the Fighting Sioux.

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

Nine UND products have made National Hockey League opening-night rosters, more than any other National Collegiate Hockey Conference school.

The nine include Matt Frattin (Los Angeles), Matt Greene (Los Angeles), Brian Lee (Tampa Bay), Brock Nelson (New York Islanders), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Zach Parise (Minnesota), Drew Stafford (Buffalo), Jonathan Toews (Chicago), Travis Zajac (New Jersey).

Toews captained the Blackhawks to their second Stanley Cup in four years in 2012-13 while receiving the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s Best Defensive Forward. Greene, Oshie, Parise and Zajac each serve as assistant captains for their respective clubs.

Last season, 13 UND products played at least one game in the NHL.

Three other former UND standouts currently serve on NHL coaching staffs, including Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett, Phoenix video coach Steve Peters and Minnesota assistant coach Rick Wilson.

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.

An additional 16 UND products were named to opening-night AHL rosters.

One of those players, former All-American and Hobey Baker Award candidate Danny Kristo (2009-13), was leading all AHL rookies in scoring as of Wednesday morning with two goals and three assists in four games with Hartford (NYR).

Kristo’s former UND linemate and fellow All-American and Hobey finalist, Corban Knight, was tied for third in AHL rookie scoring with a goal and three assists in four games with Abbotsford (CGY).

UND’s other opening-night AHLers included: Hunter Bishop (Manchester), Ben Blood (Binghamton), Taylor Chorney (Chicago), Joe Finley (Bridgeport), Derek Forbort (Manchester), Chay Genoway (Hershey), Joe Gleason (Rockford), Brett Hextall (Portland), Andrew MacWilliam (Toronto), Brad Malone (Lake Erie), Chris Porter (Chicago), Chris VandeVelde (Adirondack), Matt Watkins (Hershey), Darcy Zajac (Albany).

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 at least 2015, when the University will undertake the process of adopting the third official nickname in school history. Until a new nickname is officially adopted, the University’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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