Weekend reading: Bjugstad, Prosser, Parise, Suter, faceshields, Penn State scandal, Union, UMass, NHL Draft, NCAAs

Minnesota standout Nick Bjugstad, pictured, likely will announce if he will return this season sometime this weekend. UPDATE: He said Sunday night he and his family will decide over the next two weeks.

Former Tiger Nate Prosser, an Elk River native, is excited, like much of Minnesota, about the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signings.

The NCAA continues its slow saunter toward 3/4 face shields.

This Penn State fan blog talks about how the recent scandal may affect hockey.

Here is the top reported remaining candidates for the open UMass coaching job.

Lake Superior State lost an undrafted forward after he excelled in the Rangers development camp. A goal in all four scrimmages apparently caught the scouts’ attention.

The 2013 NHL Draft should be as loaded as the famed 2003 picks. Five are future collegians as the Grand Forks Herald reports.

If that is not planning far enough ahead for you here are the 2013 NCAA regionals:

Northeast, Manchester, N.H., on March 29-30;

East, Providence, R.I., on March 30-31;

Midwest, Toledo, Ohio, on March 30-31;

West, Grand Rapids, Mich., on March 29-30.

UPDATED NCAA first round: Michigan, Denver fall; UMass-Lowell survives

All of Friday’s four games are over. Here are the recaps.

Midwest  Region

No. 2 Ferris State 2, No. 3 Denver 1

GREEN BAY — Simon Denis scored his first goal this season and it proved to be the game-winner for No. 2 seed Ferris State over third-seeded Denver.

Drew Shore scored less than three minutes after to trim the CCHA regular-season champion Bulldogs’ lead to 2-1. But senior goalie Taylor Nelson (19-6-3) made seven saves in the third period to hold on for the win.

No. 4 Cornell 3, No. 1 Michigan 2 OT

GREEN BAY — Cornell’s Rodger Craig scored 2:25 into overtime off a rebound to lift the Big Red to the first upset of the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan’s Kevin Lynch scored with 4:01 remaining to force overtime. Cornell’s Joakim Ryan put the Big Red ahead 2-1 with a shorthanded goal 40 seconds into the second period.

Saturday

Region final — Ferris State vs. Cornell, 7 p.m. Mountain ESPNU

East Region

No. 1 Union 3, No. 4 Michigan State 1

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Jeremy Welsh scored only 3:20 into the second period for the game-winner and goalie Troy Grosenick made 20 saves to pace the top-seeded Dutchmen past the Spartans.

No. 3 UMass-Lowell 4, No. 2 Miami 3 OT

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. —  Riley Wetmore scored 2:13 into overtime as the RiverHawks battled back after squandering a 3-0 lead. Wetmore put UMass-Lowell, coached by former CC assistants Norm Bazin and Jason Lammers, up 3-0 only 2:21 into the second period before Miami rallied.

The RedHawks tied the game at 3-3 on a goal by Alden Hirschfeld with 10:04 left in the third. Miami got back into the game with scores 14 seconds apart by Trent Vogelhunter and Austin Czarnick with 16:54 and 16:40 left in the second.

Saturday

Regional final — UMass-Lowell vs. Union, 4:30 p.m. Mountain, ESPNU

Thursday reading: NCAA TV schedule, previews

Here is the TV schedule with available preview links, etc for each game following each match-up.

As always, check your local listings. Schedule copied from Kevin Pates’ Rink and Run blog,  with times adjusted:

ALL TIMES MOUNTAIN

East Regional (Friday, March 23-Saturday, March 24) Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Conn.
No. 1 Union (24-7-7) vs. No. 4 Michigan State (19-15-4), 1 p.m. Friday, ESPNU. ESPN analyst Barry Melrose, who lives in the area, gives hometown Union a lotta love.
No. 2 Miami (24-12-2) vs. No. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell (23-12-1), 4:30 p.m. Friday, ESPNU. Former CC assistant Norm Bazin, the Hockey East Coach of the Year, is also CHN’s national honoree. Here are multiple notes and links courtesy of the RiverHawks sports information staff.
• Semifinal winners, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU.

Midwest Regional (Friday, March 23-Saturday, March 24)
Resch Center, Green Bay, Wis.

No. 2 Ferris State (23-11-5) vs. No. 3 Denver (25-13-4), 3:30 p.m. Friday, live on Altitude (tape delay ESPNU, 10:30 p.m. Friday).DU freshman Joey LaLeggia is CHN’s Rookie of the Year. Here is a pdf of DU’s NCAA media guide which includes an injury update.

No. 1 Michigan (24-12-4) vs. No. 4 Cornell (18-8-7), 6 p.m. Friday, ESPNU. Here’s the Wolverine fan blog’s take on the Big Red. The Cornell web site provides preview notes for both teams.

• Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU

West Regional (Saturday, March 24-Sunday, March 25)
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.

No. 1 North Dakota (25-12-3) vs. No. 4 Western Michigan (21-13-6), 11:30 a.m.  Saturday, FS North (tape delay ESPNU, 11:30 a.m. Sunday). Note that the UND beat writer contradicts the FS North availablity. The Broncos are enjoying another good season, this time under new coach Andy Murray. UND will unveil their new jerseys along with other team notes.

No. 2 Minnesota (26-13-1) vs. No. 3 Boston University (23-14-1), 3 p.m. Saturday, FS North plus, NESN (tape delay ESPNU, 2 p.m. Sunday). Here’s Don Lucia’s take on the Gophers and the NCAA field.
• Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.Sunday, ESPNU

Northeast Regional (Saturday, March 24-Sunday, March 25)
DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.

No. 1 Boston College (29-10-1) vs. No. 4 Air Force (21-10-7), 2 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU, 1300 AM in Colorado Springs.  The Falcons will have to contain BC 150-pounder Johnny Gaudreau.
No. 2 Minnesota Duluth (24-9-6) vs. No. 3 Maine (23-13-3), 5:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN3.com, FS North-plus (tape delay ESPNU, 9:30 p.m. Saturday). Here are multiple previews.
• Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. Sunday, ESPNU

More Tuesday reading: UW’s Schultz weighs pro options

Wisconsin standout defenseman Justin Schultz has a lot to mull over this offseason.

This reporter managed to get a short interview with former Tiger Jaden Schwartz in this article.

Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth are both assured of spots in the NCAA Tournament.

MSU Mankato hopes to build off a strong finish when the purple Mavs played their best hockey.

St. Paul is the place to be this weekend with the WCHA Final Five and St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday. Here’s more pertinent info for travelers.

Here are Inside College Hockey’s power rankings.

Thursday reading: Sioux nickname, ECAC capsules, weekend previews and features

Colorado College goalie Josh Thorimbert (39) made a save in the second period as Denver wing Chris Knowlton looks for the rebound during a college hockey game in Denver, Friday night, Feb. 3, 2012. The Denver Post, Karl Gehring

The NCAA ruled Wednesday that North Dakota would forfeit its NCAA postseason games if any team members, cheerleaders or band member wore the Sioux nickname or image during an event.

Bernard Franklin, an NCAA executive vice president, said in a letter to university provost Paul LeBel that the university “must forfeit competition” if “it has not adhered to this requirement” in any postseason games that UND teams have been invited to play in.

“We ask that the university take measures to minimize or eliminate the presence of the imagery or nickname brought to an NCAA championship venue,” Franklin’s letter says.

That’s a dose of reality for the fans still fighting to keep the nickname, but North Dakota may not have to worry about that if their NCAA Tournament bubble bursts. The letter does not affect the home playoff series or the WCHA Final Five.

North Dakota also continues to struggle to field a full lineup due to injuries.

Here’s a link to the America One video streaming for college hockey around the country. You can always watch the Tigers via a link on CCTigers.com, but wouldn’t you rather watch them live?

Here’s a capsule preview of the Michigan Tech at No. 19 Colorado series. If the Tigers win Friday or Saturday night, more than 1,000 home playoff game tickets go on sale immediately. WCHA Final Five tickets go on sale on Monday.

MSU Mankato heads to North Dakota with a player returning from injury.

The Gophers are focused on beating Wisconsin, not the league title; along with other injury updates, etc. The Badgers’ Jason Clark is featured. Here’s a look at a big week in the Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry.

Another Colorado Thunderbird commits to Denver, which travels to fifth-place Nebraska Omaha this weekend. The Pioneers will be without Beau Bennett and David Makowski.

St. Cloud State hosts No. 2 Minnesota Duluth in another series that will affect home playoff ice possibilities.

Bemidji State goes to Alaska Anchorage with both teams want to build momentum before going on the road in the league playoffs.

Here’s Bruce Ciskie’s take on the WCHA’s top forwards, including Jaden and Rylan Schwartz.

Former Minnesota captain Frank Sanders has died.

Here are Without a Peer’s ECAC first-round playoff capsules. Here’s the Pairwise rankings to see which series bear watching for WCHA fans.

The Patty Kazmaier finalists (women’s Hobey Baker award) were announced and six WCHA players made the 10-player list.

Here’s a rink the CC players will be familiar with after October 2012: the Cornell arena.

Former Tiger Brian Connelly is victorious in his return to AHL Rockford after being traded to Abbotsford a month ago.

This weekend’s schedule courtesy WCHA.com:

Games for Friday, March 2: Denver at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 6:37 pm CT; Wisconsin at Minnesota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota Duluth at St. Cloud State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Minnesota State at North Dakota (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Michigan Tech at Colorado College (WCHA), 7:37 pm MT; Bemidji State at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.

Games for Saturday, March 3: Denver at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota Duluth at St. Cloud State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota State at North Dakota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Wisconsin at Minnesota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Michigan Tech at Colorado College (WCHA), 7:07 pm MT; Bemidji State at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.

Saturday reading: UNO goalie tweets he’s OK; Pairwise update; more CC info

UNO goalie Ryan Massa, who was carried off the ice on a stretcher after a collission during overtime, tweeted from his motel room later Friday night that he was OK.

Nebraska Omaha goalie Ryan Massa, pictured at left, is okay after being taken from the ice on a stretcher in Omaha’s 2-1 overtime win Friday. That’s wonderful news.

Think those nonconference games are important? Consider that Minnesota, which is tied for the WCHA lead but played some soft nonleague foes (Sacred Heart, Niagara), would not make the NCAA Tournament if it started this morning according to the Pairwise rankings. No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth, No. 12 CC and No. 13 Denver would. Don’t get too excited, it’s Jan. 21.

Here’s more on Michael Morin’s foot injury and a video interview of Tim Hall, who scores his first career gamewinner Friday night. The Gazette says Charlie Taft will take Morin’s place on Saturday.

Here’s the Gazette’s game story, rightfully giving goalie Josh Thorimbert and the skaters in front of him their due.

Minnesota bemoans its lack of offense in the 2-1 loss while the stink from last weekend’s handshake line scuffle against North Dakota continues. Here’s the GF Herald game story on UND’s road loss at SCSU.

Penn State released the architects’ renderings for their new arena.