More unfortunate news on the women’s hockey side of things.
Soon after the Herald reported that Amanda Kessel won’t play out her senior year for Minnesota, it’s now confirmed that one of UND’s players has been forced to retire due to chronic injuries.
EGF’s Leah Jensen, who was so highly touted by the coaching staff after her arrival, was injured in her first month on campus and four years later is still having trouble with back pain. Read her story here.
Jensen is one of top athletes to go through East Grand Forks and could have been a key offensive contributor for UND if she was able to stay healthy. It’s definitely a loss for UND not having her for this season.
UND still does have some talent on this squad as evidenced by USA Hockey’s picks for the national festival Aug. 11-15 in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Forward Amy Menke, who developed into a big offensive threat as a sophomore, is one. Defenseman Gracen Hirschy, a puck-moving blue liner, is the second. Goalie Lexie Shaw is the third.
Goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie also was invited, but could not attend because she’s recovering from an offseason operation. It’s unclear if Amsley-Benzie will be cleared to play by the start of the season. If not, Shaw is proven and more than capable to be a No. 1.
Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux, who are launching a new fitness and wellness program at Altru, also will participate.
I wrote about the ticket policy that Omaha enacted for the UND series in this column.
No surprise, I had several fans tweet at me that they weren’t able to get through via phone. The series is now sold out.
Ticket policies like these shouldn’t be a surprise to UND fans in the future. I think when Denver tried it two years ago, it was only the beginning. They’ll have to get creative to find ways into the building.
USA Hockey made cuts at the World Junior camp. Both Brock Boeser and Nick Schmaltz are still there, though.
Schmaltz figures to be high on the list for USA Hockey as he was on last year’s team. Boeser is putting himself in a good spot with his play, scoring four goals in two games so far this summer.
The AHL is coming to North Dakota.
The top minor-league teams of the Winnipeg Jets and the Minnesota Wild will play in Ralph Engelstad Arena on Friday, Oct. 2, and in Fargo’s Scheels Arena the next night.
The Manitoba Moose and Iowa Wild are the teams. At this point, there’s no sure bet that a UND player will be suiting up in those games.
UND hockey’s head statistician, Erik Martinson, has been named director of game operations and facilities. He previously worked in accounting.
As I wrote on Twitter, he’s a name to watch in the future as someone rising through the athletic department. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in an AD role some day.
He’s still young, but already has a background in finance and now game ops and facilities. He basically ran the Fargo regional last year, too.
Martinson is expected to continue his work as the hockey program’s head statistician.
As BGSUhockey.com noted on Twitter, Arizona State coach Greg Powers would be the second-highest paid coach in the WCHA, which probably signals that Arizona State is not going to the WCHA.
The NCHC or the Big Ten have to be the most desired leagues for the Sun Devils, but they probably have to address their arena situation in short order or those leagues will be uneasy about accepting them.