Matthews lists UND as a finalist

NTDP forward Auston Matthews, a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft (as projected by Hockey News), told USCHO’s Andy Johnson that UND is one of his five finalists.

The other finalists he lists are Boston College, Boston University, Michigan and Denver. Matthews also could go to the WHL, where the Everett Silvertips hold his rights.

Read the article here.

Matthews, an Arizona native, would have to accelerate his school and would be a 2015 recruit.

Because of his high-end pedigree, he’s one to watch in the future.

UND a ‘childhood dream’ for Bowen

Dixon Bowen said he had been talking with several other schools.

“But when it came down to it, UND was always my childhood dream,” he said.

So, Bowen verbally committed to the school over the weekend, ending his recruiting process. He was also considering offers from St. Cloud State and MSU-Mankato.

Bowen is currently playing for the Fargo Force. After a pair of games this weekend, he will return to play his senior year at East Grand Forks. When the prep season ends, he will return to the Force. Fargo’s coaching staff recently asked Bowen to play all year with them, but Bowen declined.

“I gave my word to my coaches that I’m staying in high school this year,” Bowen said.

Bowen will play all of next season with Fargo. His UND arrival date will depend on his development, but it won’t be any earlier than 2016.

Bowen said he wanted to thank all of his coaches, from his youth coaches to his high school coaches to Fargo’s coaches.

“Obviously, UND has a great coaching staff,” he said. “The school is great academically. Their tradition is excellent. They get their players to be the best they can be.”

Bowen said he’s looking forward to joining fellow the current group of five Greater Great Forks players at UND.

“It’s really cool,” he said. “I’m very fortunate to be one of those locals coming to UND.”

West Regional sells out in seconds

The NCAA West Regional in Fargo sold out in less than five seconds after the tickets went on sale at 11 a.m. this morning.

Apparently, the ticket window at Scheels Arena in Fargo opened at 10:55 a.m. and some people were able to get tickets in person. Others were not.

The number of tickets that went on sale today was very, very limited.

UND, the host school, already sold out of its allotment. There are also a number of tickets set aside for the four schools that are in the regional. They will go on sale in March.

Biggest hope for fans may be that a couple of small, Eastern schools that don’t travel well get in the regional and don’t use up their allotments. Otherwise, tickets will likely be going for a huge amount on the secondary market.

Otherwise, fear not, for the NCAA will surely be sending regionals back to empty buildings in Toledo and Grand Rapids in no time.

Stecher named D-man of the week

UND sophomore Troy Stecher is the defenseman of the week in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Stecher had four assists — two in each game — as UND earned a win and a tie against No. 5 Providence last weekend. The Richmond, B.C., product also was part of a penalty-killing unit that went 14-for-15 on the weekend.

For the season, Stecher is tied for the team lead with six assists and a plus-four rating.

Regional tickets go on sale tomorrow

Tickets for the West Regional in Fargo’s Scheels Arena will go on sale at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday).

The tickets, sold as three-game packages, may be purchased at The games will be played on March 27-28. Prices are not listed on the website.

If UND makes the NCAA tournament, it will automatically be placed in the West Regional because it is hosting it.

The other regionals will be held in South Bend, Ind., Manchester, N.H., and Providence, R.I.

Bowen commits to UND

UND has landed another local player.

East Grand Forks Senior High’s Dixon Bowen verbally committed to UND on Sunday, ending his recruiting process.

Bowen, the son of former UND player and assistant coach Jeff Bowen, is the third East Grand Forks player to commit to the team in the last three years. Gage Ausmus is a sophomore on UND’s current team while Tucker Poolman is a freshman.

Bowen led the Green Wave to its first state hockey championship last season as a junior. He will return to the team as a senior this year. Bowen has been playing with the Fargo Force before the season. He has two points in eight games for the Force.

Saturday night rewind

Five notables from around the country:

1. St. Cloud State finally snapped Union’s 22-game unbeaten streak, becoming the first team to beat the Dutchmen since January. The Huskies won the game 3-2 and outshot Union 39-24.

2. Miami outshot St. Lawrence 53-11, but it wasn’t until Shot No. 53 that the RedHawks earned the victory. Sean Kuraly scored in overtime to give Miami a series split. Clearly St. Lawrence goalie Kyle Hayton was fantastic this weekend, giving the Saints a chance on two nights that they were badly outshot.

3. Minnesota Duluth and its talented group of forwards finally got to Denver goalie Evan Cowley on Saturday night, chasing Cowley in the third period after allowing five goals. All four lines got on the scoresheet for the Bulldogs.

4. A third different opponent blew out Colorado College for the third game in a row. This time, it was New Hampshire beating the Tigers by four goals. The Tigers have allowed 19 goals in their last three games.

5. After going 170-plus minutes without a goal, Western Michigan snapped that stretch and went on to hand Alaska Fairbanks its first loss of the season. Nolan LaPorte scored a pair of power-play goals for the Broncos.

NCHC top performers

OT winner — Sean Kuraly, Miami
3 points — Nolan LaPorte, WMU (2 goals, 1 assist)
2 points — Colton Hargrove, WMU (1 goal, 1 assist)
2 points — Cody Bradley, CC (1 goal, 1 assist)
2 points — Austin Farley, Duluth (1 goal, 1 assist)
2 points — Cal Decowski, Duluth (1 goal, 1 assist)
2 points — Sammy Spurrell, Duluth (1 goal, 1 assist)

UND 2, Providence 2

Providence scored an extra-attacker goal with :38.3 seconds left in regulation and UND made the tie hold up by killing a Friar power play at the end of overtime. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Herald column on MacMillan’s absence


Other notes:

  • As disappointing as it was for the team to give up a late, tying goal, in the end, a win and a tie against Providence will be a good result for the team.
  • While Providence provided an opportunity to gain in the Pairwise, the rest of UND’s nonconference opponents will only provide a chance to plummet with losses. UND’s final four nonconference opponents currently have a combined record of 2-22. Both of those wins are by Air Force, which comes to The Ralph on Saturday.
  • I thought both goaltenders were outstanding and as advertised on Saturday. Jon Gillies came up big for the Friars several times. Zane McIntyre did the same, most notably gloving a golden chance off the stick of Niko Rufo during the third period.
  • Bryn Chyzyk is clearly at a different level than last season. He’s a lot faster. He has been showing that on the penalty kill and he showed it by torching a Friar defenseman on the outside, leading to Austin Poganski’s first-career goal.
  • Troy Stecher made his case for NCHC defenseman of the week by registering two assists on each night.
  • With Tucker Poolman settling in on defense, the coaching staff has more difficult decisions to make on the blue line for the Air Force game.
  • Providence defenseman Kyle McKenzie blocked eight shots himself on Saturday night. UND blocked 11 as a team. In all, Providence had 26 blocked shots to UND’s 11.

Gameday final: UND 2, Providence 2

Viewing: Midco Sports Network; Notes: Mark MacMillan is out indefinitely after having wrist surgery Saturday morning. Read about that here. St. Clair also scratched. Poganski and Murphy are in. No changes for Providence. Full lines and live chat are below.

First period

UND 1, Providence 0 — Luke Johnson (Bryn Chyzyk, Troy Stecher) 13:16. Chyzyk gets the puck to the inside of the right circle, where a scramble ensues. Johnson finds it and somehow sneaks one past Gillies on the short side.

UND 1, Providence 1 — Nick Saracino (Anthony Florentino, John Gilmour) 18:00 (pp). The Friars capitalize on an extended 5-on-3 power play as Florentino launches a shot from the point that takes a long bounce off the end wall. Saracino gets to it, doesn’t catch all of the puck, but gets enough to flutter it behind McIntyre.

Second period

UND 2, Providence 1 — Austin Poganski (Bryn Chyzyk, Troy Stecher) 8:15. Chyzyk picks up the puck in the neutral zone with tons of speed, torches the Providence defender on the outside and takes it to the net. At the last second, he lets go of the puck and floats it to the other post, where Poganski taps in the first of his career.

Third period

UND 2, Providence 2 — Nick Saracino (Jake Walman) 19:21 (ex). Providence pulls Gillies for the extra attacker and Walman fires a shot from the point into the slot area, where Saracino deflects it perfectly past McIntyre’s glove with 38.3 left in regulation.



Live Blog No. 5 Providence at No. 3 UND

UND’s lines

28 Stephane Pattyn–27 Luke Johnson–15 Michael Parks
21 Brendan O’Donnell–13 Connor Gaarder–7 Wade Murphy
9 Drake Caggiula–8 Nick Schmaltz–11 Trevor Olson
28 Bryn Chyzyk–10 Johnny Simonson–14 Austin Poganski

6 Paul LaDue–24 Jordan Schmaltz
20 Gage Ausmus–2 Troy Stecher
5 Nick Mattson–3 Tucker Poolman

31 Zane McIntyre
33 Cam Johnson
30 Matt Hrynkiw

Providence’s lines

22 Brandon Tanev–24 Noel Acciari–15 Steven McParland
12 Stefan Demopoulos–14 Ross Mauermann–26 Brian Pinho
29 Conor MacPhee–21 Kevin Rooney–11 Niko Rufo
20 Shane Luke–18 Nick Saracino–9 Trevor Mingoia

5 Kyle McKenzie–16 Anthony Florentino
19 Jake Walman–4 Mark Adams
3 John Gilmour–27 Josh Monk

32 Jon Gillies
35 Nick Ellis

Friday night rewind

Five notables from around the country:

1. The home woes continued for Minnesota Duluth in the only NCHC league game of the evening. The Bulldogs dropped to 1-7 in their last eight home games (they’ve won just 3 of their last 16 AmsOil Arena games), dropping a 3-1 decision to Denver. Pio goalie Evan Cowley apparently wants to make fans forget about Sam Brittain quickly. Cowley’s numbers are: 3-0, .972 save percentage, 0.68 goals-against average.

2. Miami outshot St. Lawrence 42-16 at home and lost 5-4. Jay Williams allowed 5 goals on 16 shots and three-point nights by Blake Coleman (2 goals) and Austin Czarnik (3 assists) weren’t enough.

3. In one of the highlight games, Union beat St. Cloud State 5-1 to extend its unbeaten streak to 22 games. The Huskies, who actually outshot Union 36-27, didn’t score until there were five seconds left in the game.

4. Western Michigan’s goal drought has reached 158 minutes, 42 seconds, after getting blanked 1-0 by Alaska (Fairbanks). The Nanooks, by the way, are now 5-0, while Western is 1-4 overall and 0-3 at Lawson. The big question facing the Broncos coming into the season was scoring. That appears to be playing out that way.

5. UND nonconference opponents Lake Superior State, Niagara and Wisconsin are a combined 0-16 right now after Lake State and Niagara’s losses on Friday night. Those could be big games, because they could be RPI killers if UND loses them.

Top NCHC performers

4 points — Drake Caggiula, UND (1 goal, 3 assists)
3 points — Blake Coleman, Miami (2 goals, 1 assist)
3 points — Jordan Schmaltz, UND (3 assists)
3 points — Austin Czarnik, Miami (3 assists)

UND 6, Providence 1

Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Herald column on the goalies


Other notes:

  • Top concern coming out of the game is the health of Mark MacMillan, who left late in the second period and did not return. According to a couple of friends who had a better view than I did, it sounds like he was cut with a skate near UND’s bench.
  • This was UND’s first win over a top-five team in The Ralph since beating Michigan State 6-0 in the Hall of Fame Game to open the 2007 season.
  • It’s early but Paul LaDue is tied for the national lead in points by a defenseman with seven. The only NCHC player with more points right now is Omaha’s Jake Guentzel (nine).
  • UND has four shorthanded goals this season (most in the nation). That’s how many the team had all of last season. Union and Duluth both have three shorthanders this season.
  • UND’s power play is up to 31 percent thanks to a 2-for-5 performance against the Friars.
  • UND won the faceoff battle 26-20. Connor Gaarder (8-5), Stephane Pattyn (5-2) and Nick Schmaltz (5-2) led the way.
  • The only player in UND’s lineup who did not register a shot on goal was Troy Stecher, who played a terrific game.
  • I’m guessing the coaching staff would like to get Keaton Thompson in tonight, but the big problem is, who do you take out?
  • I didn’t think UND would be able to beat Jon Gillies clean with shots from the dot, but Luke Johnson did just that in the first period. Johnson can really shoot the puck and he showed it on that play.
  • Nick Schmaltz did a terrific job protecting the puck in the offensive zone a few times. As he adds strength, he’s only going to be more and more difficult to handle.
  • If UND is able to finish the sweep of Providence tonight, it will have its first five-game winning streak in October since the Hrkac Circus team of 1986-87.