A few notes of interest…

Four things…

First, it appears the cat has been let out of the bag on who the captains are going to be this season. The players’ jerseys already had the letters stitched on during the Meet the Sioux event last weekend. No surprises at all. Ryan Duncan has the C, while Zach Jones, Matt Watkins and Joe Finley have an A. The official announcement will come today or Thursday.

Second, former Grand Forks Red River forward Eric Meland has committed to Princeton. Sounds like an appropriate destination for a guy who scored 34 on his ACT. For more on Meland, see Tom Miller’s story in today’s Herald.

Third, Ryan Bakken wrote a good story on Travis Roy and his visit to Grand Forks. Read that here.

Fourth, Alaska-Anchorage coach Dave Shyiak signed a four-year contract extention.

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Genoway is still Iron Man

Junior defenseman Chay Genoway is still the Iron Man.

Genoway won it for the second straight year. Zach Jones and Chris VandeVelde also performed well.

"It was one of the closest races in a long time," coach Dave Hakstol said. "A lot of people did well. Everyone improved. The returners all had significant improvements from last season."

Two years ago, Hakstol said he wasn’t sure if anyone had ever won the Iron Man three times, until Chris Porter did it. Genoway will have a chance to do it next year.

Update: The two commenters are correct. The best Sioux hockey historian, Virg Foss, also says Tom Philion won Iron Man four times.

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Less than a week away

It’s Monday, believe it or not, six days away from puck drop. The season has crept up awfully fast this year. But that’s a good thing if you can’t wait to see hockey games again.

It also means that hockey is going to start filling the newspaper, so here’s a few things to look for this week:

In Tuesday’s paper, columnist Ryan Bakken will take a look at Travis Roy’s visit to Grand Forks. Roy was paralyzed 11 seconds into his college career, when he missed a check on UND’s Mitch Vig and slammed into the boards. Roy will talk about the incident and more at 7 p.m. tonight in the Chester Fritz. It’s free of charge if you want to go. Roy also will tour Ralph Engelstad Arena and have dinner with the Sioux hockey team.

In Wednesday’s paper, look for the annual Grand Forks Herald WCHA coaches poll. The results are in and some are interesting.

In Thursday’s paper, look for the women’s hockey preview. Coach Brian Idalski talks about what he expects in his second season. There was a large overhaul on the roster during the offseason and he believes his freshmen can contribute right away.

In Friday’s paper, you will find the 12-page special section college hockey preview. Since newspapers are ridiculously cheap, you should definitely go out and get this one. Quite a bit of info for 75 cents. Not sure how much, if any, is going to be on the web. But there’s a team-by-team breakdown in the WCHA, a preview on every other conference in the country, stories on Jason Gregoire, Brett Bruneteau, Joe Gleason, Chris Porter, Brent Olson, Jacques Lamoureux, Kelly Zajac, Hunter Bishop and more.

In Saturday’s paper, we will have coverage from UND’s annual media day, which will be held Friday. Dave Hakstol will be addressing the media over lunch and all players will be available for interviews afterward.

In Sunday’s paper, you will realize there is a purpose to learning math. I have used it to come up with a formula to objectively compare players from different eras. This is impossible to do by just looking at point totals, because scoring has decreased so much over the years in college hockey. But I found a way to look at everyone’s season under the same light. How do the seasons of UND’s two Hobey Baker Award winners compare? Where do other Hobey-worthy seasons fit in? Find out.

In Monday’s paper, read about UND’s exhibition game against Manitoba. I’ll be there live blogging and covering a hockey game for the first time in six months.

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Forney scores in USHL debut

Michael Forney, who left the Sioux after two seasons to play a year in the USHL, scored the game-tying goal in the third period today.

His team ended up losing the game 5-4, though.

Sioux recruit Mike Cichy had a goal and an assist for Tri-City.

Forney has not decided if he’s coming back to UND or if he’s going to go elsewhere.

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WCHA gets going

I don’t know if I ever remember an exhibition game this early, but the WCHA got underway last night when the U.S. Under-18 team beat Alaska-Anchorage 4-3 in Wasilla.

Sioux recruit Nick Mattson had an assist for the U18s in the game.

I believe this is the second time ever that the U18s have beat a WCHA team. If I recall correctly, last year’s win against Minnesota-Duluth was the first.

Seawolves coach Dave Shyiak said Anchorage needs someone to step up in goal and earn the starting job.

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USHL season underway

The USHL season kicked off today in Sioux City with the Fall Classic.

The Fargo Force will be in action for the first time, as will several Sioux recruits.

Danny Kristo led Omaha with four shots on goal today, although his team lost 6-2 and he was pointless.

Mike Cichy isn’t in the lineup for Tri-City, but Brett Bruneteau and Joe Gleason are going for Des Moines. Mike Fink goes later tonight.

Check here if you want to browse box scores.

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Blake talks about difficult year

Former Sioux Jason Blake opened up to NHL.com’s James Murphy and talked about how difficult last season was.

Blake said he was not motivated last season after being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia and he spent a lot of time "hating life and everyone."

After a summer in Minnesota, he said he feels better and is ready to go this season.

The story is located here.

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Good news for the CHA

Bemidji State will host the CHA tournament this year — and the tournament still has great meaning.

The NCAA has cleared the CHA to keep its automatic bid for this season. This news comes after Wayne State dropped its program. The automatic bid will be reviewed on a year-to-year basis.

Normally, a conference needs six members to maintain an auto bid. The CHA got a waiver when there were five teams and now another one with four teams.

So that means we’ll see either Alabama-Huntsville, Bemidji State, Niagara or Robert Morris in the NCAA tournament.

What do you guys think about the decision? Was it necessary in order to keep these four programs from folding? Or should the NCAA have taken away the waiver?

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BC starts season at top

Boston College will start the 2008 season just where it left off — on the top. USA Today just released the first poll of the season and the Eagles are ranked No. 1. The Sioux are ranked fourth. In all, six of the top 15 are WCHA teams.

Here are the results:

1. Boston College (27) 490
2. Michigan (4) 432
3. Notre Dame 376
4. UND (1) 371
5. Colorado College (2) 355
6. Denver 299
7. New Hampshire 287
8. Miami 263
9. Minnesota 223
10. Boston Univ. 203
11. Clarkson 173
12. Michigan State 159
13. Wisconsin 103
14. Northern Michigan 75
15. St. Cloud State 69

Other receiving votes: Princeton 51, Cornell 30, Harvard 30, MSU-Mankato 28, Air Force 24, UMass 9, UMass-Lowell 9, Niagara 9, Vermont 6, Maine 3, Northeastern 3

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Sioux-Gophers sells out in a minute

The UND-Minnesota series was sold out within a minute this morning, with the exception of a couple singles. Even those were gone within two or three minutes.

I’ve heard from a couple of people who tried to get tickets right at 10 a.m. and couldn’t.

The teams only play once this year, which surely led to the higher interest.

Last year, the series sold out in seven minutes.

If you were shut out, I assume some tickets will be sold online as the event nears. And if you don’t want to pay the inflated prices that people may be asking, both games will be televised by both FSN and the Fighting Sioux Sports Network.

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