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.