Wednesday reading: UND goalie masks, Dineen update, top freshmen

Here are the new goalie masks for North Dakota freshman Zane Gothberg, left, and transfer Clarke Saunders, formerly of Alabama-Huntsville.

Click on Goon’s World for more images of the masks from different angles.

Here is some more information on former Tiger Nick Dineen that the KooKoo press officer Facebooked to me late Tuesday night.

Dineen signed the one-year deal in June and moved to Finland in late July to join KooKoo of the Mestis, the second-best Finnish hockey league. Former Tiger Lee Sweatt, who played in the top Finnish league before signing with the Vancouver NHL organization, helped arrange the contract for Dineen. The Kouvola-based team placed third in the league last season. Dineen is one of two import players including Matt Nickerson, a former AHL player who is coming back to the rink after two seasons away from the game.

This blogger rates the top 10 freshman classes for 2012-13 and looks ahead to 2013-14. The Western College Hockey Blog looks at Notre Dame’s strengths this coming season.

Tuesday reading: Dineen playing in Finland, Lucia, Duluth, Merrimack

Nick Dineen is pictured playing for ECHL Elmira last season.

Former Tigers captain Nick Dineen signed a one-year contract with KooKoo of the 12-team Mestis league in Finland in late July, according to a Facebook message from his father (Thank you). Kouvolan Edustuskiekko (full club name) plays in a 6,000-seat arena in Kouvola, Finland. The club was established in 1965.

Judging from a Facebook post by the club on August 8, Dineen will be centering the third line:

Antti Roppo – Jan-Mikael Juutilainen – Aatu Hämäläinen
Mikko Alikoski – Ville-Matti Koponen – Timo-Pekka Heikkinen
Tomi Tuomisto – Nick Dineen – Olli Julkunen
Niklas Appelgren – Mikko Virtanen – Jere Espo

Miihkali Teppo – Marko Kiprusoff
Jarno Lippojoki – Julius Nyqvist
Markus Västilä – Matt Nickerson

Jaakko Lehtonen   Miro Hämynen (Ville Husso)
Since I cannot read Finnish, this could be a lineup for a preseason scrimmage (season starts on Sept. 14, guessing from web site headline). I hope to get more information in English from the club later via a Facebook message. Regardless, congrats to Nick on the move overseas.

In other news, Notre Dame freshman Mario Lucia suffered a broken leg and left ankle ligament damage during an offseason practice drill. He may miss up to three months.

The Merrimack athletic director who was put under paid administrative leave for a personnel matter has resigned.

AIC’s Steve Mele will be relied on to deliver a big season for the Atlantic Hockey Association school. Three other hockey subjects are profiled by Inside College Hockey as well.

Alaska-Fairbanks hired Gary Gray from Montana State-Billings as its new athletic director.