Thursday reading: Injuries, weekly poll, Tech, previews, schedule

Michigan standout defenseman Jon Merrill, pictured during a recent Devils camp, is out for six weeks with a broken neck vertebrae suffered in an exhibition game. It will not require surgery.

Two North Dakota players are battling injuries already.

I am one of the voters in the weekly WCHA web media poll, a mix of beat writers and bloggers organized by the Tech Hockey Guide.

Here is recent news of the Nic Kerdiles saga and the latest update: According to Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin officials said the NCAA will not hear their appeal to the year-long suspension of Kerdiles. There is no timetable for when they will hear that appeal.

Michigan Tech will induct the entire 1961-62 NCAA championship team into its Hall of Fame, a first at the school. Here is the Houghton sports editor’s take on the upcoming season.

Here are links for the weekly previews:

Alaska Anchorage; Bemidi StateColorado College; Denver, idle; Michigan Tech; Minnesota;

Minnesota Duluth;   Minnesota State; Nebraska Omaha; North Dakota; St. Cloud State; and Wisconsin.

Here is this weekend’s WCHA schedule:

hu
10/11/12
Michigan Tech
at Lake Superior
7:35 p.m. ET
Fri
10/12/12
Michigan State
at Minnesota
6:07 p.m. CT
Fri
10/12/12
St. Cloud State
at New Hampshire
7:30 p.m. ET
Fri
10/12/12
Minnesota State
at Alab-Huntsville
7:00 p.m. CT
Fri
10/12/12
Wisconsin
vs Northern Michigan
7:05 p.m. CT
Fri
10/12/12
Ohio State
at Minnesota Duluth
7:07 p.m. CT
Fri
10/12/12
USA Under-18 Team
at North Dakota
7:37 p.m. CT
Fri
10/12/12
Clarkson
at Colorado College
7:37 p.m. MT
Fri
10/12/12
Army
vs Nebraska Omaha
9:00 p.m. CT
Fri
10/12/12
Canisius
at Alaska Anchorage
8:07 p.m. AT
Sat
10/13/12
Notre Dm/Maine
vs Nebraska Omaha
3:30/6:30 p.m. CT
Sat
10/13/12
St. Cloud State
at New Hampshire
7:00 p.m. ET
Sat
10/13/12
Lake Superior
at Michigan Tech
7:07 p.m. ET
Sat
10/13/12
Minnesota State
at Alab-Huntsville
7:00 p.m. CT
Sat
10/13/12
Wisconsin
vs Northern Michigan
7:05 p.m. CT
Sat
10/13/12
Ohio State
at Minnesota Duluth
7:07 p.m. CT
Sat
10/13/12
USA Under-18 Team
at Bemidji State
7:07 p.m. CT
Sat
10/13/12
Clarkson
at Colorado College
7:07 p.m. MT
Sat
10/13/12
Michigan State
at Minnesota
8:07 p.m. CT
Sat
10/13/12
Air Force
at Alaska Anchorage
7:07 p.m. AT

Thursday reading: Injuries and apologies

More Tigers are healing up and making the trip to play Minnesota Duluth this weekend and a capsule preview of the series, which will likely determine if the Tigers can secure home playoff ice.

CC is one of the last WCHA teams to see the new AMSOIL Arena.  I assume the duct tape connecting carpet remnants between the locker room and ice is long gone. Yes, the new arena was long overdue.

The UMD students add plenty of atmosphere to the new rink, but apparently, their racist chants during the North Dakota series prompted an apology.

Three Denver players will not play against visiting North Dakota, which will have goalie Aaron Dell on the trip. The North Dakota administrators and coaches continue to point out that continued use of the old nickname only hurts the school.

Playing at Nebraska Omaha will be tough for Minnesota, which coach Don Lucia admits can play pretty well.

Nate Ewell was named as interim director of College Hockey, Inc.

Here are the WCHA players of the week honorees. Here this weekend’s schedule as provided by the WCHA.

Games for Friday, February 24: St. Cloud State at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Colorado College at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Wisconsin at Bemidji State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; North Dakota at Denver (WCHA), 8:07 pm MT; * Alaska Fairbanks at Alaska Anchorage (NC), 7:07 pm AT. * Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup

Games for Saturday, February 25: St. Cloud State at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Colorado College at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Wisconsin at Bemidji State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; North Dakota at Denver (WCHA), 7:07 pm MT; * Alaska Anchorage at Alaska Fairbanks (NC), 7:05 pm AT. * Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup

Wednesday reading: Injury updates, features

Here’s CC’s notes for its road series at the defending champion Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs and a Tigers’ injury update. Duluth’s J.T. Brown is questionable for this weekend after practicing on Tuesday.

Here’s a feature on former Minnesota Duluth standout goalie Alex Stalock, pictured at left, who returned after a year-long recovery from a deep cut to his leg that happened only days after his NHL debut.

The Tigers’ opponent next weekend, Michigan Tech, will be a much tougher foe than most expected back in August.

Pine Creek High School graduate Emily West is featured by the Minnesota student daily as the Gopher women head into the WCHA playoffs this weekend.

The merits of live online streaming for the WCHA in 2013 are pointed out in this column. It’s critical for any league, regardless of their TV deal.

Here’s more reaction to Paul Kelly’s resignation from College Hockey Inc. and former Tiger Chad Rau’s NHL game-winner on Sunday.

Wednesday reading: Injury updates, more Rau

The bumps and bruises are becoming more serious as the stretch run continues in the WCHA.

Here’s an update on Minnesota Duluth’s JT Brown, who is out this weekend.

CC’s Tim Hall is out as well but a couple others are expected back this weekend along with updates on long-term injuries. With some injured players coming back, especially Nick Dineen and Josh Thorimbert, the Tigers may have a playoff run in them this season.

The Gophers  juggled their lines on Saturday, but its unclear if the configurations will remain this weekend against Bemidji State, especially with Kyle Rau back. Minnesota coach Don Lucia had no problem with the call and bu not so much on the one-game suspension. Jason Zucker, who was knocked unconscious by Rau’s hit, practiced Tuesday.

Mankato is feeling pretty good after a road sweep at last-place Alaska Anchorage, especially with only five defensemen making the trip.

Here’s details on the North Dakota at Nebraska Omaha outdoor game in February 2013. That will be a great early showcase for two members of The National, which begins play that fall.

Thursday reading: Weekend previews, Sioux nickname, GLI

Colorado College junior goaltender Joe Howe makes a save in the second period of an NCAA hockey game against the University of Denver at the DU's Magness Arena on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. (Daniel Petty, The Denver Post)

Colorado College’s defense is much improved of late while junior goalie Joe Howe will be the likely starter this Friday at Bemidji State. Backup Courtney Lockwood is making his first road trip. BSU coach Tom Serratore previews (video) the home series against CC.

Because of injuries, North Dakota does not have the extra players needed for a “healthy scratch” when it travels to No. 3 Minnesota Duluth. The Sioux nickname returns at the University of North Dakota, at least temporarily. The Big Sky Conference, the new league home for the other UND sports, is not amused.

It looks the Big 10 and The National may end up holding its postseason tournaments at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul every other year.

The top line for No.1/2 Minnesota will be a real test for Denver, which hosts the confident Gophers this weekend and needs to do well down the stretch to avoid having to win the Final Five tournament outright for an NCAA bid.

Nebraska-Omaha travels to Michigan Tech in a battle of two teams tied for fifth place. Mankato travels to Anchorage to conclude the Seawolves’ homestand.

St. Cloud State is idle this week. Here’s a profile of goalie Mike Lee in the interim. The Badgers also have the weekend off.

The Great Lakes Invitational will be played outdoors Dec. 28 and 29, 2012 and will included future National Collegiate Hockey Conference member Western Michigan. The NCHC announced Wednesday that it would have a 24-game league schedule when it begins play in October 2013.

Here’s the weekend schedule courtesy of wcha.com …

Games for Friday, February 10: *Nebraska Omaha at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; North Dakota at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Colorado College at Bemidji State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Minnesota at Denver (WCHA), 8:07 pm MT; Minnesota State at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT. * Winter Carnival

Games for Saturday, February 11: *Nebraska Omaha at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 5:07 pm ET; Colorado College at Bemidji State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; North Dakota at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota at Denver (WCHA), 7:07 pm MT; Minnesota State at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT. * Winter Carnival