Single-game tix on sale Sept. 20

I know this has been of high interest to many: Single-game men’s hockey tickets will go on sale Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.

They can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or at Ticketmaster outlets.

Other tickets sale dates:

Football — Aug. 14 @ 10 a.m.
Volleyball — Aug. 14 @ 10 a.m.
Men’s hockey — Sept. 20 @ 10 a.m.
Women’s hockey — Sept. 20 @ 10 a.m.
Men’s basketball — Oct. 16 @ 10 a.m.
Women’s basketball — Oct. 16 @ 10 a.m.

Comments and suggestions?

If you’ve been to other AreaVoices sites, you will note that they are very restrictive. All of the sites have the exact same features on the side (blogs I read, Web sites, favorite quote, etc.).

Well, one of our web guys — Joe Greenwood — figured out that you can sneak HTML code into the favorite quote section. With his help, I’ve added some more useful sidebars like the schedule, top scorers, recruits and even some videos. Hopefully that makes the site more informative.

The 2008-09 season will be upon us before we know it. It’s a little more than two months away. So, at the Herald, it’s time to start planning coverage.

As I did last year, I’m looking for your input, comments and suggestions. What types of things are you more likely to read? What would make our coverage better? What do you want to see on our weekly Ice Time page?

You guys came up with a bunch of good ideas last year. Not all of them were implemented, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like them (I was a big fan of several, like putting WCHA box scores in the paper). Please send away to bschlossman@gfherald.com and I’ll be eager to help make improvements for the upcoming season.

Also, look for a college hockey preview special section just before the Manitoba game. Don’t worry, you’ll be reminded to grab it as the time nears.

Thanks to everyone for picking up a newspaper (our industry can use the help), reading the blog (which has over a million hits in the last year) and giving your feedback.

Q&A with Joe Gleason

UND defenseman recruit Joe Gleason put together a huge senior season at Edina High School. His numbers: 31 games, 10 goals, 33 assists and 43 points. He had 16 penalty minutes and a +66 rating.

His honors: Mr. Hockey finalist, all-conference, all-state tournament team, St. Paul Pioneer Press first team all-state, Star Tribune second team all-metro and AP second team all-state. His Edina Hornets (28-3) finished as the state runners up.

Gleason was drafted in the seventh round by Chicago last month.

Q. What were your thoughts on your season?

JOE GLEASON: I was really happy. The end sucked big time, but the year was still great. Our goal from the start was to win the state tournament. We put ourselves in position to do it. We just couldn’t capitalize. I wouldn’t say our season went badly at all, though. We were a really close group of kids. This group I played with all the way up. Our coaching staff is unbelievable. Our head coach is Curt Giles, who played in the NHL for 15 years. Our assistant, Don Beaupre, played 17 years in the NHL. And our other assistant, Dave Terwilliger, played at Minnesota. To have that kind of staff at a high school program is unheard of. I learned a lot from them. It was definitely a fun year. And there is nothing like playing in the state tournament. I don’t think you can understand it until you do it.

Q. You guys had a classic game to get to the state tournament, didn’t you?

JOE GLEASON: Yeah, we played Burnsville. That game was really cool. We went into two overtimes. I was so tired — playing on Olympic ice and only playing four d-men.

Q. You guys got to play on TV a few times, too.

JOE GLEASON: Yeah, we had two or three games televised during the season and three at state — so like six in total. That’s pretty cool. FSN has done a really good job with it.

Q. What was it like to get drafted? What was your draft experience?

JOE GLEASON: That was pretty nuts. A couple guys on our (Edina) team, Marshall Everson and Anders Lee, were both projected to go 50-60 spots ahead of me. I actually watched the draft with Anders and he was getting calls from teams during the draft and doing interviews and the whole deal. When it got to the seventh round and neither Marshall or Anders had been picked yet, I was like ‘it’s not going to happen for me,’ so I just started cheering for them.

Q. So how did you find out you got picked?

JOE GLEASON: I’m really good buddies with Jake Gardiner and Aaron Ness and they were both at the draft. I was watching it and texting them and talking to them. All of the sudden, I got like five texts from guys who were at the draft saying "congrats buddy" and "that a boy." I had no idea what was going on because nothing was on TV. Then, I saw it happen on TV and Anders and I were going nuts.

Q. Were you getting calls from teams during the draft? Or was it just Anders?

JOE GLEASON: Dale Tallon called afterwards, but nobody called during the draft. That was the weird part. Everyone was calling Anders asking him whether he was going to play football or hockey. I couldn’t figure out what the issue was because he’s told everyone that he’s going to play hockey. I don’t know if they didn’t believe him or what. But he’s one of my best friends and I could tell you that he’s going to play hockey.

Q. You went to the Hawks’ camp a couple of weeks ago. What was that experience like?

JOE GLEASON: Chicago is a sweet city. We got to go to Wrigley Field and watch a Cubs game there. That was a cool experience. Their practice facility is where the Chicago Steel (USHL) play. It’s a really nice facility. The first day we did 10 hours of physical and medical testing at the United Center. We did bike tests, they took blood, did the whole deal. If there’s something wrong with your body, they’ll find it.

Q. You had hernia surgery on Friday, how did that go?

JOE GLEASON: It wasn’t that big of a surgery. They put me under and stuff, but it only took and hour and I walked out of there and everything. It’s a quick recovery, too. Only one week of no skating and a couple of weeks of no lifting.

Q. Did you know you had to have this operation for a while?

JOE GLEASON: Yeah, I played with it all year. I just didn’t have time to do the surgery during the year.

Q. Did it bother you at all?

JOE GLEASON: There were definitely times it hurt a little bit, but I’d get too into the games to realize it. After the games I could feel it, but it didn’t affect my performance.

Q. You were traded from Green Bay to Des Moines on USHL draft day. Your thoughts?

JOE GLEASON: I think for my situation, it’s a good thing. Both teams got new coaches. J.P. Parise is the new coach at Des Moines. Obviously his kids both went to North Dakota. Coming from Curt Giles and going to J.P. Parise, those are two pretty good coaches to have.

Q. Have you talked to J.P. yet?

JOE GLEASON: Yeah, he’s excited for the season. I went to the camp there and it sounds like the team is pretty close to being set. I’ll hopefully be rooming with Jake Youso down there. I’ll maybe take a few classes and work a little. It’ll be a little different, but I definitely want to take some classes to stay in the flow of things.

Q. Your thoughts on playing a year in the USHL instead of coming to UND right away?

JOE GLEASON: Both have their upsides and downsides. It would be great to go to North Dakota right away, but I think both the coaches and myself all knew it was better to take a year to develop physically, so when I come in, I can be an impact player. I definitely want to be a top-six guy when I come in. The coaches have always been really honest with me and really clear about the situation there, so that makes it easy. It’s definitely not a big surprise that I’m going to play a year at Des Moines. I’m excited to play there, too.

Q. What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

JOE GLEASON: I’m just going to get healthy this week. Then, the big thing is going to be lifting and staying in shape. I’ll skate two to three times a week and lift three or four times. Then, September 7th, I’ll go to Des Moines.

Wild camp probably won’t last long

The Minnesota Wild finally officially announced yesterday that they will start their training camp at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The reason its coming is because the Xcel Energy Center will be undergoing major renovations for the Republican National Convention.

It appears that the Xcel Energy Center will be put back together fairly quickly after camp begins on Sept. 20.

The Wild announced their preseason schedule today. The first game is against Mike Commodore and the Columbus Blue Jackets. It’s scheduled for Sept. 24 in the Xcel Center.

Obviously Minnesota figures the building will be ready by then. So I wouldn’t expect camp to last in Grand Forks any longer than the 20th through 23rd.

The Wild haven’t announced official training camp plans yet, though.

Bina and Bemidji

A couple of quick pieces of news:

Robbie Bina signed with Springfield/Stockton, Edmonton’s AHL/ECHL affiliate. He could be playing beside his defensive partner, Taylor Chorney, once again if both are in Springfield. He also could be playing under former Sioux defenseman Tim O’Connell in Stockton. And there’s a chance he will be suiting up alongside Geoff Paukovich, too.

Bemidji is reworking plans for its events center in order to fit within the budget. Story about that is here.

Lamoureux, Eidsness enroll early

In recent seasons, it has become a trend in college football for players to graduate from high school early and enroll in college during the winter semester in order to go through spring practice.

This summer, UND has its own version of early enrollees.

Rookie forward Mario Lamoureux and freshman goaltender Brad Eidsness have been in town this summer taking classes and preparing for the upcoming season.

Eidsness, an Alberta native, said he came to UND early because he felt it was an important step in preparing to battle for the No. 1 goaltender spot. Eidsness said his goal is to take the reins in the net.

He’ll have strong competition from senior Aaron Walski, who also is spending the summer in Grand Forks in order to prepare for the season. Walski came to UND as a walk-on and has since earned a scholarship.

Oliver named, traded

Double news today featuring Roseau’s Nick Oliver.

No. 1 — He was named to the U.S. Under-18 team for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. That tourney is in a month in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It features the best 1991-born players not on the USNTDP. Check out the roster here.

No. 2 — He was traded from Tri-City to the Fargo Force. That means he’ll probably play before and after the high school season with Fargo. After graduation, he’ll play there for at least a year before going to St. Cloud State.

Sounds like Force draft pick Chad Demers is leaning toward returning to Grafton-Park River for his senior year. The Spoilers will be big favorites to repeat as champs and Demers will be the favorite to win Mr. Hockey if he goes back to high school.

CCHA feeling WCHA’s pain

With yesterday’s announcement that Michigan’s Max Pacioretty signed a three-year deal with Montreal (I had penciled in Pacioretty as one of the top 7 candidates for Hobey in our season preview), I started thinking about how many key players the CCHA has lost this summer.

According to Inside College Hockey’s list, the league has lost 11 guys early this offseason, which is a continues a trend for the league. The CCHA lost 5 guys early in the summer of 2006 and 9 guys early last summer.

Michigan State’s top two scorers, Tim Kennedy and Justin Abdelkader, both signed. The Spartans also lost a defenseman. Miami lost its best defenseman and starting goalie early. Fairbanks lost a pair of defensemen. Even last-place Western Michigan lost two players early.

It will be interesting to see how the departures will affect the league. It seems to look like it will be a two-horse race between Michigan and Notre Dame for the regular-season title.

The WCHA also has lost 11 players so far this offseason. Unlike the CCHA, WCHA fans will celebrate this number. It is the lowest in a few years.

Here is my count of early departures by year by conference with INCH’s help, although it is possible that either myself or INCH missed someone:

2008
WCHA 11
CCHA 11
HE 5

2007
WCHA 16
CCHA 9
HE 5
ECAC 3
AHA 1

2006
WCHA 17
CCHA 5
ECAC 3
AHA 2
HE 1

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