MHKY Game Notes: Dreaming of a white WCHA opener
Courtesy: Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
Release: 10/14/2009
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#4 North Dakota
(2-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
#9 Minnesota
(0-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)

Oct. 16-17, 2009 • 7:37/7:07 pm CT • Ralph Engelstad Arena • Grand Forks, N.D.
RADIO: 96.1 The Fox (KQHT-FM) • Webcast:
TV: Fighting Sioux Sports Network, Fox College Sports, Fox Sports North

THIS WEEK: Defending MacNaughton Cup champion and fourth-ranked North Dakota opens the WCHA schedule when it hosts longtime rival and ninth-ranked Minnesota on Friday and Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The puck drops at 7:37 p.m. Central on Friday and 7:07 p.m. Central on Saturday.

MEDIA INFORMATION: All Fighting Sioux men’s hockey games, home and away, can be heard on 96.1 FM (The Fox) and on stations across the Fighting Sioux Hockey Network. Veteran broadcaster Tim Hennessy returns for his 30th season as the voice of the Fighting Sioux. Steve Olson provides color analysis and Paul Ralston is the intermission host.

Both games will also be televised live on the Fighting Sioux Sports Network. Pat Sweeney calls the action and former UND assistant coach Jim Scanlan serves as color analyst.

The games will also be broadcast on Fox Sports North and Fox College Sports. Friday’s game will be carried on FCS Central and Saturday’s game will be on FCS Atlantic.

Video webcasts of all Sioux home games, can be purchased at, where FREE live stats and FREE audio are also available.

TICKET INFORMATION: This weekend’s series against Minnesota is sold out.

GAME PROMOTIONS: The UND-UM series is tabbed as “White Out Weekend,” with Fighting Sioux fans encouraged to wear white to both games. It is the second straight year UND has promoted a White Out Weekend.

GAME SPONSOR: Friday and Saturday’s games are presented by Hugo’s Wine & Spirits.

ABOUT MINNESOTA: This weekend will mark the first regular season games for the Gophers, who were picked fourth in the Grand Forks Herald WCHA Coaches Preseason Poll ... UM made its 2009-10 debut with a 6-1 exhibition win over British Columbia on Oct. 4 ... Jay Barriball, Cade Fairchild and Nico Sacchetti each had a goal and two assists in that game ... The Gophers return 20 letterwinners from a year ago, including 2008-09 WCHA Rookie of the Year Jordan Schroeder, who scored 13 goals and 32 assists in 35 games last season ... Schroeder was named WCHA Preseason Co-Player of the Year (with St. Cloud State’s Ryan Lasch) in a vote of the league’s coaches ... Head coach Don Lucia enters his 11th season at Minnesota and is 256-126-45 (.652).

SERIES HISTORY: UND is 124-130-12 all-time against the Gophers but is unbeaten in the last four meetings (3-0-1) and is 8-2-1 over the last 11.

The Sioux swept the lone series between the two teams last year, skating to 6-3 and 6-1 victories in Grand Forks (Jan. 9-10).

Seniors Chris VandeVelde (3 G, 3 A) and Chay Genoway (1 G, 5 A) are the top scorers among active Sioux against Minnesota, both having notched six points in 10 career games.

CONFERENCE CALL: UND is 26-20-4 (.560) all-time in WCHA openers and has dropped its conference opener in each of the last two seasons, falling 5-1 at Minnesota State last year and 3-1 at Michigan Tech in 2007-08.

It is the first time the Sioux have opened the WCHA schedule on home ice since defeating Denver 3-1 to open the 2005-06 season. UND has opened the WCHA schedule on home ice 29 times and is 16-11-2.

The last two times North Dakota and Minnesota faced off in the WCHA opener was in 2003-04, when the Sioux earned a sweep with 7-3 and 5-3 victories. UND would go on to win the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular season champion that season.

POLL POSITION: UND is ranked No. 4 this week in both the College Sports and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, a climb of two spots in both.

Please refer to page three for complete national poll information.

UND’S LAST ACTION: The Sioux opened the regular season with a non-conference sweep of Merrimack last Friday (5-2) and Saturday (3-2) in Grand Forks.

Five different scorers found the net on Friday for UND, including freshman F Corban Knight (High River, Alberta), who scored his first collegiate goal. Senior F Chris VandeVelde’s (Moorhead, Minn.) goal midway through the second period stood as the winner. Senior D Chay Genoway (Morden, Manitoba) and freshman F Mike Cichy (New Hartford, Conn.) each had a pair of assists while sophomore F David Toews (Winnipeg, Manitoba) had a goal and an assist.

Balance was again the key in Saturday’s 3-2 win, with three different scorers accounting for the scoring. Cichy collected his first career goal, while sophomore F Brett Hextall (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) scored his second in as many games and junior D Jake Marto (Grand Forks) notched the eventual game-winner midway through the third period.

UND out-shot the Warriors 75-35 over the two games.

TWO AND OH!: The sweep over Merrimack gave UND its first 2-0-0 start since the 2005-06 season.

A win over Minnesota on Friday would put the Sioux at 3-0-0 for the first time since 2002-03, when UND opened the season with six straight victories.

CROWDED HOUSE: UND has played in front of a capacity crowd in 19 consecutive conference home games at Ralph Engelstad Arena. With both of this weekend’s games already sold out, that streak is guaranteed to extend to 21 in a row.

The Sioux have sold out 35 of the last 43 home games over the past two-plus seasons at the 11,634-seat “Ralph.” UND and Minnesota have faced off in front of the largest two crowds in REA history and in four of the top 10:

1.    2/09/02    Minnesota    12,189   
2.    11/08/03    Minnesota    11,986   
3.    2/16/08    Denver    11,926   
4.    2/28/09    Colorado College    11,885   
5.    11/07/03    Minnesota    11,875       
6.    11/15/08    Alaska Anchorage    11,865   
7.    12/08/07    Minnesota    11,857   
8.    1/24/09    Denver    11,856   
9.    2/13/09    Minnesota State    11,844   
10.    2/14/09    Minnesota State    11,842   

The Sioux enter the weekend unbeaten in 14 straight home games (including playoffs), posting a 12-0-2 record during that stretch. UND is 26-4-4 (.824) at home since the start of January 2008.
IF I COULD BE LIKE MIKE: Freshman F Mike Cichy (New Hartford, Conn.) was named WCHA Red Baron Rookie of the Week on Tuesday after debuting with a three-point weekend against Merrimack.

Cichy notched a pair of assists in Friday’s 5-2 win, was a game-high +3 and was named the game’s No. 2 star. In Saturday’s 3-2 victory, Cichy scored his first collegiate goal, was a +1 and was named the game’s No. 1 star.

Cichy was one of six Sioux freshman who made their debuts last weekend, five of whom recorded their first career point. Below is a look at how each of those six rookies fared:

UND’s four remaining freshmen -- F Brett Bruneteau (Omaha, Neb.), D Ryan Hill (Hermantown, Minn.), G Aaron Dell (Airdrie, Alberta) and G Tate Maris (Denver, Colo.) -- did not play last weekend. Dell dressed as the backup goalie but did not see game action.

THE WINNER’S CIRCLE: UND was dominant in the faceoff circle against Merrimack, winning 81 of 127 (63.7%) draws during the two-game series. Senior F Chris VandeVelde (Moorhead, Minn.) went 13-for-17 (76.5%) on Friday and won 65.1 percent in the series. Junior F Brad Malone (Miramichi, New Brunswick) went 17-for-23 (73.9%) on Saturday and won 68.8 percent for the weekend.

Balance has been the key to the Fighting Sioux offense early in the season.

On Friday, UND received goals from five different players in a 5-2 win over Merrimack. On Saturday, three different players accounted for the night’s scoring in a 3-2 victory. In all, 14 of UND’s 18 skaters collected at least one point in the two games against Merrimack.

The balance even dates back to UND’s 7-1 exhibition win over Manitoba (Oct. 4), a game in which seven different players scored goals for UND.

I AM IRON MAN: Sophomore G Brad Eidsness (Chestermere, Alberta) started both games against Merrimack, running his streak of consecutive starts to 36, the third-longest in Sioux history.

Only Jean-Philippe Lamoureux (55 straight from 2006-08) and Al Finklestein (40, 1951-53) had longer starting streaks at UND (right).

Eidsness has also now appeared in 42 straight games.

BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS IT: Sophomore F Jason Gregoire’s (Winnipeg, Manitoba) goal 39 seconds into Friday’s season opener was the second-fastest UND goal on record to open a season (UND’s box score records are incomplete prior to the 1966-67 season).

The fastest Sioux goal to open a season is six seconds, scored by Lee Davidson on Oct. 13, 1989 against Alabama-Huntsville. That goal is also the fastest Sioux goal to open any period.

CAPTAIN CLUTCH: Senior D and Sioux captain Chay Genoway (Morden, Manitoba), who had three assists last weekend against Merrimack, is the leading scorer among active WCHA defensemen with 83 career points and is bidding to become only the 11th defenseman in UND history to reach the 100-point plateau.

Genoway’s six career game-winning goals are tied for second-most by a Sioux defenseman, trailing only the eight scored by Nick Fuher from 2001-05.

CLIMBING THE COACHING LADDER: UND head coach Dave Hakstol enters this weekend with 132 career victories, fourth most in UND history and 17 shy of Rube Bjorkman (1968-78) for third all-time.

Only John “Gino” Gasparini (392 wins from 1978-94) and Dean Blais (262 wins from 1994-04) won more games at UND than Hakstol.

UND welcomes back 15 letterwinners from last year’s team that captured the MacNaughton Cup and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

Highlighting the returnees are reigning WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and AHCA All-America defenseman Chay Genoway (Morden, Manitoba) and All-WCHA third-team goaltender Brad Eidsness (Chestermere, Alberta).

Senior F Chris VandeVelde (Moorhead, Minn.), who scored a career-high 35 points last season, is the team’s top returning scorer and is one of nine returning players who notched at least 10 points in 2009-10.

FAB FROSH: The Sioux roster also includes 10 freshmen in 2009-10, UND’s largest incoming freshman class since 2005-06, when 13 rookies donned the Kelly Green and White.

That 2005-06 class included the likes of 2007 Hobey Baker Award winner Ryan Duncan and current NHLers Jonathan Toews (Chicago), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis) and Brian Lee (Ottawa).

In fact, 11 members of that 13-player 2005-06 freshman class, eight of whom graduated as seniors last season, are currently playing professional hockey:

GENOWAY, CICHY HONORED: A pair of Sioux were recognized when announced its 2009-10 preseason All-America and all-rookie teams.

Senior D Chay Genoway (Morden, Manitoba) was named to the INCH preseason All-America third team. Last season, Genoway was named a second-team All-American and the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year after collecting a career-high 32 points. He was also named an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American and a WCHA Scholar-Athlete.

Said INCH: “Genoway is college hockey’s version of Illinois quarterback Juice Williams—it seems like he’s been at North Dakota forever. Fighting Sioux fans wouldn’t mind a few extra years of his production. The reigning WCHA Defensive Player of the Year is also a dangerous threat on offense; he’s scored 80 points in three seasons, including a career-high 32 points last season.”

Genoway, this year’s team captain, enters the season with 80 career points and is aiming to become just the 11th defenseman in school history to reach the 100-point plateau for his career.

Freshman F Michael Cichy (New Hartford, Conn.) was named to INCH’s preseason All-Rookie team. A seventh-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Cichy led the Indiana Ice to a United States Hockey League championship and was named the league’s playoff MVP with 25 points (including a USHL-record 16 assists) in 16 games. He totalled 76 points in 56 regular season games.

FEELING A DRAFT: UND enters the 2009-10 season with a roster that includes 15 players who have been drafted by National Hockey League teams. The group includes goalie Brad Eidsness (Buffalo), defensemen Andrew MacWilliam (Toronto), Derrick LaPoint (Florida), Corey Fienhage (Buffalo), Joe Gleason (Chicago) and Ben Blood (Ottawa) and forwards Danny Kristo (Montreal), Michael Cichy (Montreal), Corban Knight (Florida), Brett Bruneteau (Washington), Jason Gregoire (New York Islanders), David Toews (New York Islanders), Brad Malone (Colorado), Brett Hextall (Phoenix) and Chris VandeVelde (Edmonton).

A total of 24 Sioux have been drafted during the tenure of sixth-year head coach  Dave Hakstol, including first-rounders Jonathan Toews (Chicago, 2006), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis, 2005), Brian Lee (Ottawa, 2005) and Joe Finley (Washington, 2005).

So much for the notion that hockey is a “regional sport.” UND junior F Brad Malone (Miramichi, New Brunswick) is the first New Brunswick native to ever play for the Sioux while sophomore F Brett Hextall (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) is the first Californian to suit up for the Sioux.

Freshman Michael Cichy (New Hartford, Conn.) is just the second native of Connecticut to ever play for the Sioux and the first since Frank Morgan way back in 1951-52.

Below is a geographical breakdown of the entire 2009-10 Sioux roster:

ALL IN THE FAMILY: UND’s 2009-10 roster features five players who have had family members previously play for the Fighting Sioux: defenseman Chay Genoway (Morden, Manitoba) and forwards Mario Lamoureux (Grand Forks), Brett Hextall (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), David Toews (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Darcy Zajac (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

Genoway, Toews and Zajac each have older brothers who once played at UND, Lamoureux’s father and brother played for the Sioux and Hextall has a great uncle who played for the Sioux.

Genoway’s brother, Colby, was a forward at UND from 2002-05 and scored 81 points in 115 career games. He most recently played for the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.

Hextall’s great uncle, Dennis, was a forward at UND from 1964-66 and scored 101 career points in 63 career games.  Hextall’s hockey bloodlines extend to his father (Ron), grandfather (Bryan Jr.) and great grandfather (Bryan Sr.), each of whom enjoyed lengthy NHL careers. His father, Ron, is currently the assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Kings.

Lamoureux’s brother, Jean-Pierre, was a goalie at UND from 2004-08 and is the school’s all-time co-leader in goals against average (2.14). His father, Pierre, was a goalie for the Sioux from 1979-82 and was a member of UND’s 1982 NCAA championship team. Another brother, Pierre-Paul, is in his first year as UND’s student-assistant coach while twin sisters Jocelyne and Monique are sophomore forwards on the Fighting Sioux women’s hockey team. Both are currently pursuing rosters spots on the U.S. Olympic team.

Toews’ brother, Jonathan, was a forward at UND from 2005-07, scoring 85 points in 76 career games and earning All-America honors in 2007. He is now the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Zajac’s brother, Travis, scored 96 points in 91 games from 2004-06 and currently plays for the New Jersey Devils.

FOREVER SIOUX: Every member of UND’s coaching staff and support staff is a graduate of the University of North Dakota.

Head coach Dave Hakstol (1989-92), associate head coach Cary Eades (1978-82), assistant coach Dane Jackson (1988-92) and volunteer assistant Scott Koberinski (1985-89) each played for the Fighting Sioux.

Additionally, hockey operations manager Pat Sawnson (2002), athletic trainer and strength coach Mark Poolman (1992), team physician Dr. Greek Greek and media relations director Jayson Hajdu (2000) are also UND graduates.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW: Seventeen former Fighting Sioux played in the National Hockey League last season, the most of any team in the WCHA.

UND’s 17 NHLers in 2008-09, its most since sending 21 in 1993-94, included: Ryan Bayda (Carolina, now with Pittsburgh) Jason Blake (Toronto), Brandon Bochenski (Tampa Bay), Taylor Chorney (Edmonton), Mike Commodore (Columbus), Matt Greene (Los Angeles), David Hale (Phoenix, now with Tampa Bay), Ryan Johnson (Vancouver), Brian Lee (Ottawa), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Zach Parise (New Jersey), Chris Porter (St. Louis), Matt Smaby (Tampa Bay), Drew Stafford (Buffalo), Jonathan Toews (Chicago), Landon Wilson (Dallas) and Travis Zajac (New Jersey).

Additionally, four former Sioux can be found in the NHL coaching ranks, including Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett, Tampa Bay assistant coach Rick Wilson, Buffalo assistant coach James Patrick and Phoenix video coach Steve Peters.

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