U.S. onto semifinals

The U.S. completed a perfect preliminary round at the World Junior Championship today by beating Finland 5-3. The U.S. got off to a 5-0 lead after two periods thanks to a hat trick by Boston University’s Colin Wilson, a Winnipeg native. New Hampshire’s James vanRiemsdyk continued his stellar tournament by scoring a goal and adding three assists.

The Americans (4-0) get a bye to Friday’s semifinal, where they will play the winner of Canada-Finland. The Canada-Finland game will be played Wednesday.

Canada (3-1) lost for the first time since the 2004 gold medal game on Saturday when the Swedes pulled off a 4-3 victory. The Canadians bounced back to beat Denmark today thanks to a pair of goals by Wisconsin’s Kyle Turris.

Today’s box scores:

USA 5, FIN 3
First period — 1. USA, Wilson (vanRiemsdyk, Schroeder) 9:20; 2. USA, Wilson (Blum, vanRiemsdyk) 13:20 (pp)
Second period — 3. USA, Wilson (vanRiemsdyk, Schroeder) 1:43; 4. USA, Ruegsegger (Okposo, McBain) 4:44; 5. USA, vanRiemsdyk (Wilson) 9:14
Third period — 6. FIN, Aaltonen (Salminen, Lajunen) 10:52 (pp); 7. FIN, Kousa (Lucenius, Juutilainen) 15:21 (pp); 8. FIN, Lucenius (Poysti, Jalvanti) 19:14

CAN 4, DEN 1
First period — 1. CAN, Matthias (Godfrey, Stamkos) 12:44 (pp); 2. CAN, Tavares (Halischuk, Matthias) 18:08
Second period — 3. CAN, Turris (Giroux, Hickey) 8:18
Third period — 4. DEN, Boedker (Eller, Larsen) 9:36 (pp); 5. CAN, Turris (Tavares, Godfrey) 14:42 (pp)

Game-by-game results:

USA 5, Borats 1
USA 4, Switzerland 2
USA 3, Russia 2
USA 5, Finland 3

Canada 3, Czech Republic 0
Canada 2, Slovakia 0
Sweden 4, Canada 3
Canada 4, Denmark 1

Upcoming schedule:

Quarterfinals
Canada vs. Finland, Wednesday
Russia vs. Czech Republic, Wednesday

Semifinals
USA vs. Canada/Finland winner, Friday
Sweden vs. Russia/Czech winner, Friday

Championship
Semifinal winners, Saturday

Gameday final: New Hampshire 7, UND 4

First period

UND 1, New Hampshire 0 — Evan Trupp (Derrick LaPoint, Matt Watkins) 14:53. Just as a power play expired, Watkins took the puck off the boards and sent it back to LaPoint. The defenseman flipped a snap shot from the point to Trupp, who was standing to the side of the net. Trupp re-directed it past Regan on the short side.

Second period

UND 2, New Hampshire 0 — T.J. Oshie (Rylan Kaip, Robbie Bina) 2:27 (pp). Bina’s attempt from the point was knocked out of the air in the slot by Kaip’s stick. The puck went to the bottom of the left circle where Oshie had a look at an open net and he buried it with the backhand.

UND 2, New Hampshire 1 — Bobby Butler (Peter LeBlanc, Jamie Fritsch) 4:12 (pp). LeBlanc fed Butler with a pass across the slot. Lamoureux moved over in time to see Butler’s attempt from the left circle, but the wrist shot beat Lamoureux on the short side anyway.

UND 3, New Hampshire 1 — Ryan Duncan (Chay Genoway) 7:26. After a turnover in neutral ice, Duncan carried the puck in the zone on a 2-on-1 with Kaip. Duncan took the shot himself from the right circle and beat Regan between the pads. Regan got a piece of it, but it still trickled through.

UND 3, New Hampshire 2 — Danny Dries (Mike Radja, Matt Fornataro) 11:40 (pp). Lamoureux made an outstanding glove save on Radja after sliding from right to left, but he couldn’t hang onto the rebound. The puck wound up at the top of the slot and Dries crashed the net and poked it in.

Third period

UND 3, New Hampshire 3 — Matt Fornataro (Mike Radja, Jamie Fritsch) 13:44. While skating 4-on-4, Radja’s shot was turned away by Lamoureux, but Fornataro poked in the rebound from the bottom of the left circle.

New Hampshire 4, UND 3 — Jerry Pollastrone (Thomas Fortney) 17:01. Fortney dropped a pass for Pollastrone, whose blast from the top of the right circle beat Lamoureux on the glove side.

New Hampshire 5, UND 3 — Mike Radja (Danny Dries, Craig Switzer) 17:52. Lamoureux left a rebound of Dries’ attempt on the top of the crease and Radja poked the rebound past Lamoureux’s stick.

New Hampshire 5, UND 4 — Robbie Bina (Chris VandeVelde, Chay Genoway) 18:42 (ex). Regan kicked out a rebound of Chris VandeVelde’s attempt to the left circle, where Bina put a backhand in on the short side.

New Hampshire 6, UND 4 — Greg Collins 18:50 (en). Collins scores into the empty net.

New Hampshire 7, UND 4 — Mike Radja (Greg Collins, Matt Fornataro) 19:00 (en). Radja scores into the empty net.

UND’s lines

16 Ryan Duncan–7 T.J. Oshie–17 Rylan Kaip
20 Matt Watkins–29 Chris VandeVelde–21 Matt Frattin
26 Kyle Radke–11 Darcy Zajac–8 Ryan Martens
10 Andrew Kozek–19 Evan Trupp–18 Michael Forney

4 Taylor Chorney–28 Robbie Bina
2 Joe Finley–5 Chay Genoway
6 Zach Jones–3 Derrick LaPoint

1 Phil Lamoureux
30 Aaron Walski

New Hampshire’s lines

15 Danny Dries–22 Mike Radja–39 Matt Fornataro
11 Jerry Pollastrone–9 Peter LeBlanc–12 Bobby Butler
8 Greg Collins–17 Thomas Fortney–14 Mike Sislo
16 Greg Manz–23 Phil DeSimone–20 Paul Thompson

2 Jamie Fritsch–19 Brad Flaishans
5 Kevin Kapstad–4 Craig Switzer
18 Nick Krates–7 Joe Charlebois

32 Kevin Regan
29 Brian Foster

Radke takes advantage of spot

Today’s game story more focused on UND’s third line, which came up big Friday. But one individual player that you could single out on that line is Kyle Radke.

Radke hadn’t played in nearly two months. After the game, he joked "I was pretty rested, you could say."

He had been moved back-and-forth between forward and defense in practice. He got the call up front at left wing. And he made the most of his first chance since early November by getting a pair of assists.

"(Radke) was a guy who was kind of the odd-man out for the last month and a half," coach Dave Hakstol said. "He’s a great team guy, though. Through all of that, he showed up and worked. Quite frankly, we thought he’s a guy we’ve missed in our lineup. Heart and soul is tough to replace and that’s what he brings. He looks like he’s rejuvenated right now."

Radke said he was happy to be in the lineup and when asked whether he likes playing forward or defense better, he responded: "Defense is my home, but there are pieces in the puzzle that have to be put in place in order to win a championship. I don’t know where my pieces falls, but I just want to fit in and be part of the big picture in the end."

Here is an interesting note about Radke and his linemates, Darcy Zajac and Ryan Martens. In Radke’s last 34 games, he has one goal and three assists. All of those points came in the four games he’s been with Zajac and Martens. In the other 30, he is scoreless.

I have a feeling we’ll be seeing this combo together again…

Gameday final: UND 3, New Hampshire 1

First period

UND 1, NH 0 — Darcy Zajac (Ryan Martens, Kyle Radke) 19:20. Martens picked the puck off the end wall and put it in the slot, where Zajac was standing. Zajac one-timed it past Regan to the far side.

Second period

No scoring.

Third period

UND 1, NH 1 — Jerry Pollastrone (Peter LaBlanc) 5:49. LaBlanc rushed down the right wing and centered it to Pollastrone who poked it past the glove of Lamoureux, who moved too far to his right.

UND 2, NH 1 — Evan Trupp (Matt Frattin, Chay Genoway) 6:16. Frattin’s breakaway attempt was turned away by Regan, but Trupp cleaned up the rebound by putting it past Regan’s glove.

UND 3, NH 1 — Ryan Martens (Kyle Radke, Robbie Bina) 6:57. Radke sent Martens down the left wing with speed. Martens got to the left circle and fired a wrist shot past Regan’s stick for his first goal of the season. Radke has a two-point night.

UND’s lines

16 Ryan Duncan–7 T.J. Oshie–17 Rylan Kaip
20 Matt Watkins–29 Chris VandeVelde–10 Andrew Kozek
26 Kyle Radke–11 Darcy Zajac–8 Ryan Martens
5 Chay Genoway–19 Evan Trupp–21 Matt Frattin

4 Taylor Chorney–28 Robbie Bina
2 Joe Finley–25 Jake Marto
6 Zach Jones–3 Derrick LaPoint

1 Phil Lamoureux
30 Aaron Walski

New Hampshire’s lines

15 Danny Dries–22 Mike Radja–39 Matt Fornataro
11 Jerry Pollastrone–9 Peter LaBlanc–12 Bobby Butler
8 Greg Collins–17 Thomas Fortney–14 Mike Sislo
16 Greg Manz–23 Phil DeSimone–20 Paul Thompson

2 Jamie Fritsch–19 Brad Flaishans
5 Kevin Kapstad–4 Craig Switzer
18 Nick Krates–7 Joe Charlebois

32 Kevin Regan
29 Brian Foster

Americans win again

UND may be breathing sighs of relief that it doesn’t have to see James vanRiemsdyk on the other bench tonight. vanRiemsdyk continued his fantastic play at the World Juniors by scoring a goal and setting up two others in a 4-2 American win over the Swiss. USA outshot the Swiss 51-18 and scored all four goals on the power play. Two of them came 5-on-3.

vanRiemsdyk has five points in two games for the Americans, making him the No. 1 scorer in the entire tournament right now. Box score from today’s game:

USA 4, SUI 2

First period — 1. USA, Wilson (Schroeder, vanRiemsdyk) 5:08 (pp)

Second period — 2. USA, Sanguinetti (vanRiemsdyk, Rakhshani) 2:57 (pp); 3. SUI, Bykov (Wieser) 4:17

Third period — 4. USA, vanRiemsdyk (Sanguinetti, Schroeder) 2:27 (pp); 5. USA, Wilson (Okposo, Schroeder) 9:30 (pp); 6. SUI, Jacquemet (Weber, Froidevaux) 15:45 (pp)

Saves — USA: Smith 16; SUI: Mayer 47

*****

Team Canada didn’t play today. Here are the pool standings:

Group A

Canada 2-0
Sweden 2-0
Czech Rep. 1-1
Slovakia 0-2
Denmark 0-2

Group B

USA 2-0
Russia 2-0
Finland 1-1
Switzerland 0-2
Borats 0-2

The top three advance to the medal round. The pool winners get byes to the semifinals.

Tippett, Wilson get contract extensions

Dallas Stars head coach Dave Tippett and assistant Rick Wilson both received one-year extensions this morning. Read more in the Dallas Morning News.

Tippett and Wilson, both former Sioux players, have the Stars in first place in the Pacific Division right now. With 48 points, Dallas has the second-best mark in the Western Conference and third-best in the NHL.

Last month, Tippett became the third-fastest NHL coach to reach 200 wins. He seems to be an annual candidate for the Jack Adams Award but he hasn’t won it yet.

Dallas has made the playoffs in all four seasons that Tippett has been coach, winning two division titles.

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Random updates

As you wait for gametime tonight, here are a few things to check out.

For Thursday’s paper I wrote about shakeups that we’ll see in the lineup tonight and took a look back at the previous three second-half runs the Sioux have made. Check it out here. The team has been trying a lot of different things during practice, but because of injuries, they haven’t tried everything they want to.

For today’s paper, there’s a notebook about stuff that came out of the weekly meeting with media. Dave Hakstol talks about the team’s first half, about not losing anyone to the World Juniors and he gives his opinion on the Kyle Okposo situation. Check it out here.

There’s also a short Q&A with the WCHA’s leading defenseman scorer Robbie Bina here.

Notebook on the series from the New Hampshire Union Leader here.

*****

As far as recruits go, the Schwan Cup has been going on in the Cities and three future Sioux are participating — Edina’s Joe Gleason, Eastview’s Corey Fienhage and Holy Angels’ Danny Mattson. Check out results here.

Brad Eidsness capped an incredible first half in goal for the Okotoks Oilers. He posted a 16-2-2 record and he leads the AJHL in GAA (2.07) and save percentage (.937).

The Lincoln Journal Star blog says Jason Gregoire will miss another weekend of play. He’s at home in Winnipeg for personal reasons.

The recruit database was updated earlier this week.

*****

Former Grand Forks Central goaltender Jake Moreland was involved in one of hockey’s classic moments — a goalie fight — while playing in the ECHL. Thanks to siouxfan2 for posting the link. Moreland is in the dark jersey.

Turris powers Canada to 2-0

Canada overcame a sluggish start to beat Slovakia 2-0 today in the World Junior Championship. Wisconsin freshman Kyle Turris scored both goals for the Canadians, who improved to 2-0. Both were power-play goals — the first 5-on-3.

The Americans (1-0) did not play today.

CAN 2, SVK 0

Second period — 1. CAN, Turris (Alzner, Doughty) :54 (pp)

Third period — 2. CAN, Turris (Doughty) 13:20 (pp)

Other scores:
Russia 5, Kazakhstan 4

Malone out for UNH series

Sioux freshman forward Brad Malone won’t play this weekend against New Hampshire after suffering a lower-body injury Friday night against Minnesota.

I’m assuming he is the reason why Kyle Radke dressed and participated in warmups Saturday night against Minnesota — incase Malone couldn’t go.

Although the Sioux had 20 days off, there are still other players who are banged up right now and questionable for the weekend. I’m sure there will be some game time decisions like always.

Coach Dave Hakstol’s regular weekly meeting with the media was moved to Thursday because of the strange week with Christmas. If there are any more updates on players at the press conference, they will be posted sometime around noon.

On the other side, New Hampshire will be without rookie forward James vanRiemsdyk, who is playing at the World Juniors. vanRiemsdyk scored a goal and had an assist for Team USA today.

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U.S., Canada win WJC openers

After falling behind 1-0 early, the U.S. scored five straight goals to beat Borat’s Kazakhstan team. Former Minnesota forward Kyle Okposo and New Hampshire forward James vanRiemsdyk led the way with a goal and an assist, while Minnesota’s Mike Carman, Denver’s Rhett Rakhshani and Boston University’s Colin Wilson also scored for the Americans. Denver’s Tyler Ruegsegger also had two assists. Box score:

USA 5, KAZ 1

First period — 1. K, Kurshak (Vitoshkin, Bolyakin) 14:46 (pp); 2. USA, vanRiemsdyk (Sweatt) 19:57

Second period — 3. USA, Rakhshani (Okposo, Ruegsegger) 4:58; 4. USA, Carman (Schroeder) 6:23

Third period — 5. USA, Wilson (Fairchild, vanRiemsdyk) 4:11 (pp); 6. USA, Okposo (Ruegsegger) 17:43

**********

Defending champion Canada beat host Czech Republic 3-0 in the opener thanks to the next two No. 1 overall draft picks. John Tavares, who figures to go No. 1 in 2009, scored twice while Steven Stamkos, who should go No. 1 next summer, added three assists.

CAN 3, CZE 0

Second period — 1. CAN, Tavares (Pyett, Stamkos) 11:21 (pp)

Third period — 2. CAN, Halischuk (Godfrey, Stamkos) 3:57; 3. CAN, Tavares (Stamkos, Godfrey) 11:53 (pp)

**********

Other scores:
Sweden 4, Slovakia 3
Russia 7, Finland 4