Friday morning reading: Previews, videos and features

Here are the weekly USCHO predictions.

No. 2 Minnesota (5-2, 2-2 WCHA) at Alaska-Anchorage (2-2-2, 0-1-1)

The Gophers hope the long plane trip will help them focus on better play. UAA’s Scott Allen and his offensive contributions are featured.

No. 3 Denver (5-1, 3-1) at Minnesota State (3-3-2, 1-3)

Denver junior forward Nick Shore is enjoying a good start and is featured here. There are a couple MSU stories available through links at Puckato, the MSU beat writer’s blog.

No. 6 North Dakota (3-2-1, 1-0-1) at No. 15 St. Cloud State (5-3, 3-1)

Here is video of the weekly UND press conference with head coach Dave Hakstol and players Corban Knight, Dillon Simpson and Andrew MacWilliam.

SCSU’s Garrett Milan is featured by his hometown newspaper. Nic Dowd is benefiting from hard work this summer. You can see he has grown out his hair for the Locks of Love charity in the picture with the St. Cloud Times article. Here is a radio interview of coach Bob Motzko about the upcoming series.

Bemidji State (2-1-1, 1-0-1) at No. 19 Colorado College (5-3, 2-0)

Here is CCTigers.com’s weekly preview. The BSU players hope to rengain momentum after a bye week following a four-point weekend at Nebraska-Omaha in late October. This link goes to Thursday reading, which has a video interview with BSU coach Tom Serratore, a CC preview and a feature on Eamonn McDermott.

No.  20 Minnesota-Duluth (2-3-1, 0-1-1) at Nebraska-Omaha (4-3-1, 2-1-1), Saturday-Sunday

Here is the Duluth News-Tribune’s preview and the UMD preview notes. Here is College Hockey News’ praise for Nebraska-Omaha. The Omaha World Herald examines the strong UNO penalty kill. The Mavs’ Matt White, who sat out last week due to academic issues, will be available this weekend.

Michigan Tech and Wisconsin are idle

Tuesday reading: DU chemistry, Tech commit, CC-Wisconsin, 3 Things

Colorado Springs native Chris Knowlton recorded a hat trick in Saturday’s 6-1 win over St. Cloud State. COURTESY DENVER ATHLETICS

This year’s Pioneers are relying less on their blue-chippers than last season, which has aided the development of good team chemistry according to the Denver Post.

Michigan Tech got a commit from an in-state defenseman.

Here is a very good column by the Wisconsin State Journal’s Doug Moe about playing youth baseball with Tigers coach Scott Owens and last weekend’s school connections between CC and Wisconsin.

Here are Three Things from the USCHO blog about the WCHA.

The Colorado Eagles and Altitude Sports & Entertainment announced today that the Denver-based network — which has broadcast 46 Eagles games over the past eight seasons — will air the team’s annual Military Appreciation Night (scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 7) for the fourth time in the past five years. The broadcast will be carried on the “Altitude 2” channel (check www.altitude.tv for listings in your area).

 

Tigers back in USCHO poll at No. 19

A road sweep at Wisconsin, which included a Saturday shutout by senior goalie Joe Howe, pictured,  moved Colorado College back into the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll at No. 19, matching its preseason ranking.

The Tigers (5-3, 2-0 WCHA) host Bemidji State this weekend.

With 36 teams receiving votes, the parity in college hockey has never been greater in the poll voters’ estimation.

From USCHO …     

The top three teams remain the same as last week, including top-ranked Boston College as the Eagles received 48 of 50 first-place votes and further solidified its hold on No. 1 with two wins while many other top teams split their weekend series..

Minnesota is still No. 2 and Denver stays No. 3. The Pioneers received a first-place vote this week as well.  Cornell jumps two spots to No. 4 and Miami drops one to sit fifth.

North Dakota is also down one place to No. 6, while Notre Dame remains seventh, Union moves from 10th to eighth and tallied the other first-place vote, New Hampshire is again ninth and Western Michigan moves from No. 11 to No. 10.

Boston University climbs one to go to No. 11, Michigan falls four spots to No. 12, St. Lawrence jumps three places to No. 13, Harvard drops one spot to sit 14th and St. Cloud State gets into the top 15 with a three-spot jump from No. 18 last week.

At No. 16, Northern Michigan rises four, Massachusetts-Lowell falls three places to No. 17, Ferris State climbs one to No. 18, Colorado College gets back into the rankings at No. 19 and idle Minnesota-Duluth drops three places to No. 20 this week.

Additionally, 16 other teams received votes.  The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.

More Saturday morning reading: CC at Wisconsin, BU at North Dakota, St. Cloud State at Denver, Hits to the head videos

The local daily sent a reporter to Madison (well done, Gazette) and here is what he wrote on Friday’s OT win.

Congrats to Eammon McDermott for recording three assists. Here is the CC athletics’ game story. Charlie Taft is interviewed thanks to his father’s Wisconsin connections by the Wisconsin State Journal.

Here is the Grand Forks Herald game story on No. 5 North Dakota’s 4-2 home win over No. 12 Boston University and a column on walk-on Connor Gaarder, who scored a hat trick. A walk-on getting a hat trick? Only a program like North Dakota can get talent like that without a scholarship. Here are other notes and links.

The St. Cloud Times had a good-sized writeup on the Huskies’ 3-0 road win over No. 3 Denver.

Here is a column on Friday night’s hits to the head with video available.

WCHA roundup: SCSU knocks off Denver

No. 18 St. Cloud State 3, No. 3 Denver 0

DENVER – Senior Nic Dowd scored twice to propel the visiting Huskies past Denver, handing the hosts their first loss of the season, The victory puts SCSU at 3-0 in the WCHA.

No. 2 Minnesota 3, Minnesota State 2

MINNEAPOLIS — Junior forward Zach Budish scored a power-play goal at 5:40 of the third period to lift Minnesota to a 3-2 win against Minnesota State on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.

No. 5 North Dakota 4, No. 12 Boston University 2

GRAND FORKS — Sophomore forward Connor Gaarder registered a hat trick to lead North Dakota to a 4-2 non-conference win against Boston University on Friday night at Engelstad Arena.

Nebraska-Omaha 2, Michigan Tech 1

HOUGHTON — Junior forward Zahn Raubenheimer scored a shorthanded goal at 18:50 of the third period to lift Nebraska Omaha to a 2-1 victory against Michigan Tech on Friday night at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

More Friday reading: Colorado College at Wisconsin TV/video stream options, McElhinney, Denver, Air Force, North Dakota, predictions

Photo: Kyle Daudelin

A tape-delayed free streaming option for any CC fans who don’t have access to Altitude2 (6 p.m. Mountain) is available for the Tigers at Wisconsin game Friday night. Wisconsin Public Television will broadcast the game at 9 p.m. Mountain on The Wisconsin Channel  at http://wpt.org/wisconsinchannel/ .

Colorado College is sixth in the WCHA in scoring at 3.17 goals per game but has struggled on the power play. The Tigers have not converted on their last 12 power-play chances and are ninth in the league at 13 percent (4 of 30).  Senior forwards Andrew Hamburg (four goals, one assist), William Rapuzzi (two goals, three assists) and Scott Winkler (three goals, two assists) are tied for the team lead in points at five.

Former Tiger goalie Curtis McElhinney, pictured, of the Springfield Falcons is the AHL Goaltender of the Month for October. In six appearances during the month, McElhinney went 5-1-0 with a 1.51 goals-against average, a .949 save percentage and two shutouts, helping the Falcons to the best record in the Eastern Conference. Here are the rest of the details.  Former Wisconsin standout Justin Schultz was named as player of the month suggesting that all the summer hype was not too overblown.

Here is the Denver Post’s preview for all three Front Range schools.

No. 12 Boston University is playing at No. 5 North Dakota for the first time since December 1996. Expect more such nonconference match-ups with the new league alignments forcing more nonconference games. Expect more such trips for the Terriers and Boston College, including to the state of Colorado. Fun fact: The last time UND and BU played in Grand Forks, both teams played in the national championship game (UND won 6-4 in spring 1997).

Here is Western College Hockey blog’s weekend preview and the USCHO predictions.

Friday reading: Harstad homecoming, WCHA previews, videos

Tigers sophomore defenseman Aaron Harstad will get a chance to play before family and friends when the Stevens Point, Wis, resident plays in the Kohl Center for the first time when CC travels to Wisconsin to open WCHA play this weekend.

“It’s exciting to get to play in place like the Kohl Center,” said Harstad, who played a state tournament game in the smaller UW women’s arena during his high school days. “A lot of my family will be there.”

CC practiced Thursday night at UW’s new practice rink because of a basketball game at the Kohl Center that night.

Also, Wisconsin’s Derek Lee is reportedly ready to play this weekend after missing last weekend due to injuries from a car-scooter accident.

Here are the preview notes for Colorado College at Wisconsin; No. 12 Boston University at No. 5 North Dakota; No. 18 St. Cloud State at No. 3 Denver; unranked Minnesota State vs. No. 2 Minnesota; and Nebraska-Omaha at Michigan Tech.

Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State and No. 17 Minnesota-Duluth are idle.

Here is a look at SCSU’s Nic Dowd. North Dakota received a commit from the son of its longtime athletic trainer.

Videos are becoming more commonplace for sports information departments. Here is North Dakota’s latest Through These Doors episode:

Michigan Tech’s latest In The Crease episode concerns the recent home split against Minnesota:

Tuesday reading: CCHA, WCHA lookahead, web media poll

Here are notes of interest from the CCHA’s weekly Need to Know press release …

Miami- Miami split its CCHA opening-weekend series at Michigan, falling 4-2 Friday before rebounding for a 4-3 win Saturday. The RedHawks’ win was just their sixth victory in 53 tries at Yost Ice Arena. Miami is 6-46-1 all-time at Michigan.  On Saturday, U-M held a 2-1 lead entering the third period only to surrender three straight goals in a 4-3 loss to the RedHawks.

Notre Dame- Notre Dame’s 5-1-0 start this season equals the best start for the Irish since going 5-1-0 to start the 2010-11 season.  The last time that Notre Dame had a better start than that was in 2006-07 when the Irish started that year 6-1-0 on the way to a 9-1-1 start and a 32-7-3 final record.

Western Michigan- After a weekend off, the Broncos travel to Compton Family Ice Arena to take on Notre Dame. Sophomore goalie Frank Slubowski made all four starts against the Fighting Irish last season, posting a 2-1-1 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

From the WCHA …

The month of November launches later this week with four, two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series on the docket for Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd as Michigan Tech hosts Nebraska Omaha, Colorado College travels to Wisconsin, Minnesota State visits Minnesota and Denver hosts St. Cloud State.

There will also be one non-conference set contested over the weekend as North Dakota entertains Hockey East Association-member Boston University.

At John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Michigan Tech (2-4-0, 1-3-0 WCHA) will take on Nebraska Omaha (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) in a pair of 7:07 pm ET face-offs on Friday and Saturday. The two teams will then conclude their four-game series on Feb. 1-2 in Omaha.

At the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin will play its first regular season home games of 2012-13 as the Badgers (1-2-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) go up against visiting Colorado College (3-3-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) in back-to-back 7:07 pm CT puck drops. These will be the only two regular season meetings of the two clubs and will also be the Tigers’ first two league games this season.

Defending conference champion and pre-season favorite Minnesota (4-1-0, 1-1-0 WCHA) will play a home-and-home WCHA set against Minnesota State (2-2-2, 0-2-0 WCHA), with Friday’s contest at 7:07 pm CT at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis and Saturday’s match up at Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato at 7:07 pm CT. The No. 2-ranked Golden Gophers and Mavericks will then meet again on Jan. 25 in Minneapolis and Jan. 26 in Mankato.

And in the west, unbeaten and No. 3-ranked Denver (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) will entertain No. 18-ranked St. Cloud State (4-2-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) for a pair of league contests at Magness Arena, with game times at 7:37 pm MT on Friday evening and 7:07 pm MT on Saturday night. The Pioneers and Huskies will then meet again in St. Cloud on Jan. 18-19.

Outside the WCHA this coming weekend, No. 5-ranked North Dakota (2-1-1) will play host to No. 12-ranked Boston University (3-1-0) of the Hockey East Association. Face-offs at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks are 7:37 pm CT on Nov. 2 and 7:07 pm CT on Nov. 3.  Through 37 non-conference games so far this season, WCHA member teams stand 20-14-3 (.583) against other Div. 1 teams. Against each of the other leagues, the WCHA is 5-0-1 vs Atlantic Hockey, 7-9-0 vs the CCHA, 3-2-1 vs ECAC Hockey, 2-3-0 vs Hockey East, and 3-0-1 vs independents.

Three teams – Alaska Anchorage (2-2-2, 0-1-1 WCHA), Bemidji State (2-1-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) and No. 17-ranked Minnesota Duluth (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) – are idle this week.

Looking ahead to the conference schedule for the weekend of Nov. 9-11, North Dakota will play at St. Cloud State (Friday/Saturday), Denver heads to Minnesota State (Friday/Saturday), Alaska Anchorage hosts Minnesota (Friday/Saturday), Colorado College entertains Bemidji State (Friday/Saturday), and Minnesota Duluth visits Nebraska Omaha (Saturday/Sunday). Both Michigan Tech and Wisconsin will be idle.

Here are more details from the Tech Hockey Guide WCHA Web Media Poll for Week 3:

Team Pts Previous Record High Low
1) Denver (7) 138 2 4-0-0 1 3
2) Minnesota (5) 136 1 4-1-0 1 3
3) North Dakota 120 3 2-1-1 2 4
4) St. Cloud State 109 7 4-2-0 2 5
5) Colorado College 74 6 3-3-0 4 10
6) Wisconsin 72 10 1-2-1 5 11
7) Michigan Tech 69 5 2-4-0 6 10
8) Minnesota Duluth 64 4 2-3-1 5 11
9) Bemidji State 55 11 2-1-1 5 11
10) Nebraska Omaha 52 8 2-3-1 6 10
11) Alaska Anchorage 29 12 2-2-2 6 12
12) Minnesota State 18 9 2-2-2 10 12

Road sweep drops CC out of Top 20

No big surprises this week. Three losses in a row dropped Colorado College out of the top 20 while a home sweep moves Denver up to No. 3. An anemic weekend for Minnesota (tie, win) helped Boston College solidify its hold on No. 1 in this week’s USCHO poll.

From USCHO ….

Miami drops from No. 3 to No. 4 and North Dakota falls one to round out the top five.

Cornell jumps one notch to sit sixth, Notre Dame is up two to No. 7, Michigan falls a pair to the No. 8 rank, New Hampshire climbs three to No. 9, earning two first-place votes this week, and Union, even falling two places to No. 10, took home a first-place vote.

Western Michigan falls one to No. 11, Boston University rises one to No. 12, Harvard jumps four places to now sit 13th, Massachusetts-Lowell tumbles three notches to No. 14 and Northeastern holds steady at No. 15. At No. 16, St. Lawrence enters the rankings this week, followed by Minnesota-Duluth at No. 17, down from No. 14 last week, previously-unranked St. Cloud State at No. 18, Ferris State down one to No. 19 and Northern Michigan dropping four to No. 20 this week.

In addition, 15 other schools received votes, including Colorado College.

The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.

Saturday reading: WCHA roundup, Miami, NHL lockout

From the WCHA …

No. 4 North Dakota 4, Alaska Anchorage 1

GRAND FORKS — Senior forward Danny Kristo registered an assist on three of North Dakota’s four goals to help lift his team to a 4-1 victory against Alaska Anchorage at Engelstad Arena on Friday night.

No. 5 Denver 5, Michigan Tech 1

DENVER — Junior defenseman David Makowski and junior forward Nick Shore each had a goal and an assist to lead Denver to a 5-1 victory against Michigan Tech at Magness Arena on Friday night.

Wisconsin 2, No. 14 Minnesota Duluth 0

DULUTH — Sophomore goaltender Joel Rumpel made 29 saves and junior forward Mark Zengerle had a goal and an assist to lead the Badgers to a 2-0 shutout against the Bulldogs on Friday night at AMSOIL Arena.

Bemidji State 3, Nebraska Omaha 3 OT

OMAHA — Senior forward Aaron McLeod scored a goal and an assist while sophomore netminder Andrew Walsh made 39 saves to help lift Bemidji State to a 3-3 tie against Nebraska Omaha on Friday night at CenturyLink Center.

St. Cloud State 5, Minnesota State 1

ST. CLOUD — Ben Hanowski scored a pair of goals and Drew LeBlanc added a goal and three assists to lead St. Cloud State to a 5-1 win against Minnesota State on Friday night at National Hockey Center.

No. 2 Minnesota 2, USA U-18 2 OT (exhibition)

MINNEAPOLIS — Junior forwards Tom Serratore and Nick Bjugstad each scored a goal to help Minnesota skate to a 2-2 tie against the USA Under-18 Team on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.

From the CCHA …

No. 6 Michigan 4, No. 3 Miami 2

ANN ARBOR — Michigan senior forward A.J. Treais tallied two goals to power the Wolverines to a 4-2 win over Miami. Sophomore defenseman Mike Chiasson and sophomore forward Alex Guptill both recorded 1-1-2 scoring lines while freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba had two helpers.

For the RedHawks, sophomore forward Cody Murphy scored a goal on the power play and sophomore forward Austin Czarnik netted a short-handed tally. Michigan freshman goaltender Steve Racine stopped 30 shots, while Miami’s tandem of freshman goaltenders Jay Williams and Ryan McKay combined for 31 saves.

In the pros, frustration continues to mount as more NHL players are giving up on the season to find work overseas, as former Tiger Mark Stuart points out.