Wednesday reading: Future Wisconsin at CC nonconference games, Hillen, Schultz, Prosser video, Rau, Fredheim, UND, Minnesota, NMU

Chad Rau is joined by Wild teammates to celebrate his goal during the second period on January 21, 2012 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. It was Rau’s NHL debut. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Wisconsin’s nonconference schedule is coming together with plans for single road games at CC and Denver during the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons and a two-game road series during the 2013-14 season. Do not be surprised to see either Minnesota or Air Force as the other opponent on those single-game weekends. Either way it is a great weekend for ticket sales at World Arena. Here is the 2012-13 Tigers schedule.

Former Tiger Jack Hillen did not receive a qualifying offer from Nashville and will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie listed Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Philadelphia and the N.Y. Rangers as the most likely landing spots for free agent Justin Schultz, who may decide as early as today.

Nate Prosser was a crowd favorite during the Wild road tour. He is interviewed in this video as is former Pioneer Jason Zucker.

Chad Rau has signed a two-year deal with the Wild while RFA Kris Fredheim did not get a qualifying offer. Here is the team’s contract chart.

Minnesota will host North Dakota as part of Hockey Day Minnesota. The retiring Gophers AD had hoped Penn State would join the CCHA and avoid the conference shakeup the sport has experienced the past two summers.

The Mining Journal outlines how Northern Michigan administrators juggled their duties over the past 19 months.

Thursday reading: Schedule; Early departures; In the pros

CC will play North Dakota four times next season according to a tentative schedule compiled by the Grand Forks Herald. The dates are UND at CC Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and the Tigers in Grand Forks Jan. 11-12.

J.T. Brown joined the growing list of WCHA early departures.

Former Tiger Tim Hall remains a member of the ECHL Western Conference champion Alaska Aces as is forward Brian Swanson and goalie Drew O’Connell who made his pro debut in a 5-1 loss in relief (seven saves on eight shots) on Feb. 11

Joey Crabb is an unrestricted free agent this summer. It remains to be seen what the Leafs’ offseason plans may be after another disappointing season.

Chad Rau was sent down to AHL Houston to free up a roster spot for rookie Jason Zucker. The Wild need to give the DU junior some ice time to determine his role.

UConn is looking to become the 12th member of Hockey East.

It is now a week until the Frozen Four begins. Here’s some game notes from Minnesota.

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.

Saturday reading: Rau hit and suspension, videos and recaps

MSU Mankato 3, Alaska Anchorage 2

ANCHORAGE — Senior forward Mike Louwerse scored his second goal of the game at 9:42 of the third period to lift the Minnesota State Mavericks to a 3-2 win against the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves on Friday night at Sullivan Arena.

Here’s the Mankato Free Press’s writeup and a video interview from Anchorage’s fan blog. The purple Mavs have a chance at moving into 10th past idle Wisconsin with the road sweep late tonight.

Here’s that nasty hit (video) by Minnesota’s Kyle Rau on DU captain Jason Zucker that has been a popular topic this morning. Here’s more from the Gophers’ perspective and an update on Zucker, who tweeted at 1:30 a.m. Mountain that he was feeling better.

Rau was suspended for Saturday’s game. Here’s the press release:

“The men’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association today announced a one-game suspension to University of Minnesota hockey player Kyle Rau for his actions in the February 10 game vs the University of Denver.

Rau’s suspension was determined after a review of the incident under the WCHA’s Supplementary Discipline Policy and Procedures. At the time of the incident, he was assessed a 5:00-major penalty for boarding and a 10:00-game misconduct.

Rau will be required to serve this one-game suspension in his team’s next regularly scheduled game on Saturday, February 11 vs the University of Denver.”

More notes and links from North Dakota’s 3-1 win at No. 3 Minnesota Duluth and a video on CC’s 4-2 road loss to Bemidji State.

There was a nasty hit (video) as well by Duluth’s Joe Basaraba on UND’s Nick Mattson too.

Here’s the Mining Gazette’s story on UNO’s 3-3 road tie against Michigan Tech.

Here are the current standings:

WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
Minnesota
21
15
6
0
30
69
43
19
10
1
111
64
Minnesota Duluth
21
12
6
3
27
77
53
18
7
4
106
72
Denver
21
11
6
4
26
73
62
16
9
4
102
79
Colorado College
21
12
8
1
25
75
63
15
10
2
90
74
North Dakota
21
12
9
0
24
59
55
16
10
2
85
76
Michigan Tech
21
10
8
3
23
75
64
13
13
3
92
86
Nebraska Omaha
21
9
7
5
23
65
66
12
11
6
87
86
St. Cloud State
22
9
10
3
21
64
59
12
14
4
90
84
Bemidji State
21
8
10
3
19
56
68
14
12
3
81
80
Wisconsin
22
7
13
2
16
58
71
12
14
2
83
84
Minnesota State
23
7
15
1
15
63
86
11
19
1
87
106
Alaska Anchorage
23
4
18
1
9
48
92
7
18
2
65
101

WCHA roundup: Beavers rally to beat CC

Bemidji State 4, No. 10 Colorado College 2

BEMIDJI – CC senior Tim Hall’s shorthanded goal during the second period wasn’t enough as Bemidji State’s Brance Orban scored twice to lead the host Beavers, 10-4-1 at home, to the win.

Rylan Schwartz scored his 19th of the season as the Tigers power play went 1-for-2 and the CC penalty kill was a perfect 1 of 1, including the shorty by hall. It was Hall’s second goal in five games.

It was CC’s first loss (13-1) after leading going into the third period. The Tigers are now in fourth after missing an opportunity to move within one point of second-place Minnesota Duluth.

No. 14 Denver 5, No. 1/2 Minnesota 3

DENVER — Jason Zucker scored the winning power play goal as the Pioneers moved into third-place in the WCHA with the win on NBC Sports Network.

No. 16 North Dakota 3, No. 3 Minnesota Duluth 1

DULUTH – The defending NCAA champion Bulldogs continue to struggle, losing at home before a North American TV audience on CBS Sports Network. Junior forward Carter Rowney scored two goals and added an assist to lead North Dakota on Friday night at AMSOIL Arena past the second-place Bulldogs.

Michigan Tech 3, Nebraska Omaha 3 OT

HOUGHTON — Senior forward Jordan Baker scored at 16:47 of the second period to lift the Michigan Tech Huskies into a 3-3 tie with the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks on Friday night at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Wednesday reading: WCHA departures; Minnesota alumni gathering; Connelly sets record; Stuart fight video

It was a tough day at the office for former Tiger Mark Stuart against Boston enforcer Shawn Thornton on Tuesday night in a 5-3 loss to the Bruins. By the way, Boston media report they're friends. Video link is below.

Alaska-Anchorage leading scorer Mickey Spencer has left the Seawolves.

Cam Reid left St. Cloud State on Monday to play in major juniors.

Here’s the NHL predraft midseason rankings.

CC’s Jan. 21 road game at Minnesota will be broadcast in Canada by Fox International Networks on SCORE TV, along with other WCHA games, one Final Five semifinal and the title game.

CC alumni will have a gathering at Minnesota.  The deadline to sign up is Jan. 16.

Former Tiger Brian Connelly set an AHL Rockford career franchise record for assists (101). Can a promotion to the Blackhawks be that far away?

Jack Hillen was a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s game at Colorado. That was unfortunate for any CC fans hoping to see him in Denver.

Now that he’s been moved up to Toronto’s second line, Joey Crabb has a new nickname (toward end of column).

The Denver Post’s Terry Frei talks to Jaden Schwartz about the world junior championships.