Gameday final: Cornell 2, UND 1

First period

No scoring.

Note: Ryan Duncan has an apparent goal disallowed with 3:19 left in the period because Chris VandeVelde was interfereing with the goalie.

Second period

Cornell 1, UND 0 — Michael Kennedy (Jared Seminoff) 15:07 (sh). Seminoff flipped a clearing attempt to neutral ice, where Kennedy was able to skate under it and get a two-on-one. Kennedy kept it himself on the left wing and shot it high over Eidsness’ blocker.

Third period

Cornell 1, UND 1 — Brett Hextall (Brad Miller, Chay Genoway) 14:37 (pp). After throwing a bunch of shots on the net, a scrum ensued. Miller was able to find the puck in the right circle and sent a pass to Hextall standing on the inside of the left circle. Hextall buried it with his dad in attendance.

Cornell 2, UND 1 — Colin Greening (Evan Barlow, Brendon Nash) 16:37 (pp). Barlow’s blast from the top of the right circle went off of Greening and in.

UND’s lines

16 Ryan Duncan–29 Chris VandeVelde–8 Ryan Martens
17 Jason Gregoire–19 Evan Trupp–21 Matt Frattin
10 Andrew Kozek–11 Darcy Zajac–18 David Toews
20 Matt Watkins–22 Brad Malone–26 Brett Hextall

3 Derrick LaPoint–5 Chay Genoway
6 Zach Jones–25 Jake Marto
24 Ben Blood–14 Brad Miller

31 Brad Eidsness
30 Aaron Walski
35 Graeme Harrington

Cornell’s lines

15 Colin Greening–14 Riley Nash–20 Evan Barlow
10 Patrick Kennedy–18 Michael Kennedy–8 Locke Jillson
9 Tyler Roeszler–27 Blake Gallagher–22 Joe Devin
28 Joe Scali–23 Derek Punches–29 Dan Nicholls

24 Brendon Nash–3 Jared Seminoff
7 Taylor Davenport–5 Justin Krueger
19 Sean Whitney–2 Mike Devin

30 Ben Scrivens
35 Michael Garman

Gameday final: UND 7, Cornell 3

First period

Cornell 1, UND 0 — Locke Jillson (Michael Kennedy, Jared Seminoff) 2:43. Brad Miller tried to steal a puck and missed and it led to a two-on-one for the Big Red. Jillson kept it himself along the left wing and shoved a backhand five-hole.

Cornell 1, UND 1 – Matt Frattin (Chay Genoway, Evan Trupp) 3:55. UND answers quickly. Genoway gets a point shot to the net and Frattin puts the rebound between Scrivens’ legs. It’s the third goal in four games for Frattin.

Cornell 2, UND 1 – Colin Greening (Evan Barlow, Riley Nash) 6:28. Nash is able to keep the puck in the zone with a strong play along the boards. He feeds it down low to the corner, where Barlow spots Greening in the slot. Greening one-times it past Eidsness’ glove.

Cornell 2, UND 2 — Ryan Martens (Matt Frattin, Evan Trupp) 17:08 (pp). Frattin’s pass from the corner was supposed to go to Trupp in the slot, but it deflected off of the stick of a Cornell defenseman and to Martens in the right circle. Martens snipes the high glove side corner of the net.

Second period

UND 3, Cornell 2 — Ryan Duncan (Brad Miller, Chay Genoway) 6:07 (pp). Miller, at the left point, got the puck to Duncan in his spot. Duncan stopped the puck, settled it on his stick and put it in on the short side.

Third period

UND 4, Cornell 2 – Chay Genoway (Chris VandeVelde) :51 (pp). VandeVelde forces a turnover in the offensive zone and puts the puck on the stick of Genoway, who was cutting down the slot. Genoway one-timed it for his first goal of the season.

UND 4, Cornell 3 – Riley Nash (Brendan Nash) 4:47. The defenseman finds his brother behind the Sioux defense and springs him for a clean breakaway. Riley puts it to the blocker side of Eidsness.

UND 5, Cornell 3 — Matt Frattin (Jason Gregoire) 7:17. Gregoire forces a turnover at neutral ice and he and Frattin come in the zone on the right wing. Gregoire leaves a pass for Frattin, who snipes the shortside corner for his second of the night. Scrivens is pulled after the goal.

UND 6, Cornell 3 — Evan Trupp (Jason Gregoire) 15:01. UND threw a puck at the net and crashed it. Gregoire took a couple of whacks at it before Trupp was able to stuff it in.

UND 7, Cornell 3 – Matt Frattin (Chay Genoway, Evan Trupp) 18:56 (pp). Frattin tips Genoway’s point shot for a hat trick. Genoway and Trupp both have four-point nights.

UND’s lines

10 Andrew Kozek–22 Brad Malone–20 Matt Watkins
16 Ryan Duncan–29 Chris VandeVelde–26 Brett Hextall
17 Jason Gregoire–19 Evan Trupp–21 Matt Frattin
9 Mario Lamoureux–11 Darcy Zajac–8 Ryan Martens

3 Derrick LaPoint–5 Chay Genoway
6 Zach Jones–14 Brad Miller
25 Jake Marto–4 Corey Fienhage

31 Brad Eidsness
30 Aaron Walski

Out of lineup: Brent Davidson, David Toews, Ben Blood, Joe Finley (inj.)

Cornell’s lines

15 Colin Greening–14 Riley Nash–20 Evan Barlow
10 Patrick Kennedy–18 Michael Kennedy–8 Locke Jillson
12 Sean Collins–27 Blake Gallagher–22 Joe Devin
28 Joe Scali–9 Tyler Roeszler–17 Jordan Kary

24 Brendon Nash–3 Jared Seminoff
7 Taylor Davenport–5 Justin Krueger
16 Jordan Berk–2 Mike Devin

30 Ben Scrivens
35 Michael Garman

College hockey’s goalie factory

Today’s weekly hockey notebook in the Herald features a bunch of random items, but at the top is the daunting task the Sioux have ahead this weekend: A struggling offense trying to generate something against the country’s best defense.

Despite being one of the traditional powers in the ECAC, Cornell is relatively unknown to many around here. The Big Red have never played in Grand Forks and the teams have only met four times total.

The No. 1 thing that stands out about Cornell is its history of outstanding goaltenders. The Big Red have sent eight goalies to the NHL. I would imagine that no other college program can claim that many NHL goalies.

The list goes on forever.

At the top, you’ve got Ken Dryden. He was a three-time All-American with an amazing career record of 76-4-1. He led Cornell to the only undefeated season in college hockey history, the 1969-70 squad that went 29-0. In the NHL, he wasn’t bad either. Imagine this: Nine years in the league, five Vezina Trophies, one Calder Trophy, one Conn Smythe and six Stanley Cups. Oh yeah, he also was the guy in the booth next to Al Michaels calling the 1980 Miracle on Ice game.

From there, we can go to 1982 first-team All-American Brian Hayward. He spent 11 seasons in the NHL, winning three William Jennings Trophies for the best goals-against average in the league. He played for Winnipeg, Montreal, Minnesota and San Jose in the 1980s and early 1990s.

You probably see Darren Eliot (first-team All-American 1983) on TV more now than when he was playing. the VERSUS commentator did play five years in the NHL with Los Angeles, Detroit and Buffalo, and he was Canada’s Olympic goalie in 1984.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Big Red also sent goalies Corrie D’Alessio, Doug Dadswell (first-team All-American in 1986) and Parris Duffus (first-team All-American in 1992) to the NHL.

In recent years, the Big Red haven’t slowed down.

Matt Underhill was a first-team All-American and the ECAC goalie of the year in 2002. He’s played in the NHL.

The following year, David LeNeveu was a first-team All-American, the ECAC goalie of the year and Cornell’s first Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist. He’s since played in the NHL.

And in 2005, David McKee was a first-team All-American, ECAC goalie of the year and Cornell’s second Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist.

So is it really a surprise that this year’s goalie, junior Ben Scrivens, leads the country in goals-against average and save percentage right now?

At first, you have to think that part of their success comes from a tight defensive system style of play. You know, it’s like Texas Tech quarterbacks. No matter who they put back there throws for a million yards a season. But one big difference is that, unlike Texas Tech quarterbacks, these guys aren’t fizzling out at the next level.

So what does this mean for UND?

Coach Dave Hakstol says that in watching tape of Cornell, the Big Red rarely give up odd-man rushes. It’s usually the opposite. That says to me, the Sioux need to score some ugly goals this weekend.

*****

A few out-takes from interviews this week:

Brad Miller said that the team had a couple of intense practices to start the week.

Ryan Duncan put the onus on himself to get the offense going. He pointed out the team’s struggles on offense and said that it starts with him. Duncan said he needs to get going and let it trickle down throughout the rest of the team.

I got an e-mail yesterday from UND saying that there are still tickets available for the Cornell series. I believe every game has been sold out so far this season.

We are two months into the season, yet the the Sioux have only played four times at home. I’m sure the players are enjoying a Thursday in Grand Forks, rather than in airports.

Here is a short Q&A with Brett Hextall. It seems that he’s already starting to get a reputation in the league. I’m sure he will be will aquainted with the officials by the time he’s done here.

*****

Around the league…

It has been widely reported that Michigan Tech senior forward Malcolm Gwilliam is done for the year with health issues. He may apply for one more year of eligibility.

The AHL site has a story about Manitoba Moose defenseman Trevor Ludwig, the son of former Sioux standout defenseman Craig Ludwig.

Undefeated Air Force will get a big test this weekend facing Denver and Colorado College. The Gazette has a story about the budding rivalry between the two teams in the Springs. The Denver Post has a story about how Air Force is doing it with older players. Falcons coach Frank Serratore has intersting comments about how none of his guys are going to go to the NHL, they are going to serve a five-year commitment to the military after they are done playing. He also says all his players must play two years of juniors before arriving in Springs.

Lastly, I hope you were all dominant at the dinner table yesterday.

David Hale snaps NHL-record goal drought

It took David Hale longer than anyone in NHL history to get his first career goal.

But tonight, it finally happened.

The former Sioux defenseman scored on a wrist shot from the left point in Phoenix’s 3-2 win over Columbus. It was game No. 231 for Hale in his NHL career.

Terry Murray previously held the record for most NHL games without scoring goal No. 1 with 217.

Hale played in New Jersey for three years, Calgary for two years and this is his first year in Phoenix.

The last time Hale had scored a goal was the 2005-06 season during a stint with the AHL’s Albany River Rats. At UND, he scored 10 goals in his three seasons.

Does this mean the stars are aligned for Zach Jones to get No. 1, too? I’m thinking so…. since I picked the second period Friday night.

Weekly Wednesday update

Nothing too out of the ordinary during today’s weekly meeting with the media.

Coach Dave Hakstol said that he’s not going to set a lineup until late this week. So we won’t find out until just prior to game time if there are going to be any line changes.

Brad Miller says there are still big adjustments for him at defense but he’s happy with how he’s coming along.

"One thing in particular is getting your gap up on forwards coming at you," Miller said. "That’s something I found really tough. But I’ve been working on it, practicing it and trying to get better."

UND will go out to Cornell on Jan. 22-23 of next season.

The signing of Danny Kristo was officially released by the school today.

The UND women’s hockey team announced four signings.

And the bad news of the day comes from the women’s team. Junior forward Ashley Paulson is hanging up the skates because of concussion problems. Paulson is still on the roster and will still go on road trips with the team, though, coach Brian Idalski said.

Five years later…

After being out of the NHL for four full seasons, former Sioux forward Landon Wilson returned over the weekend and on Monday night he scored his first NHL goal since the 2003-04 season when he was with Pittsburgh.

Wilson, 33, suffered an eye injury and went to Europe for four seasons. He got back to the United States this season and started with Grand Rapids. He was called up by Dallas late last week and it appears he’s making the most of his chance.

He told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "I’m just trying to enjoy the game. I had that eye injury (a few years ago) and it took me a while to come back playing. But I’m just blessed to be here.

Wilson’s father, Rick, is the assistant coach for the Dallas Stars. Rick also played for the Sioux. Landon’s brother, Barrett, is doing graduate work at UND and helping the hockey team in his spare time.

Prep hockey season picks

Believe it or not, high school hockey is here. It begins this week in both Minnesota and North Dakota. Here are my picks and three things to watch this season.

North Dakota

State champ: Grafton-Park River. Even though the Spoilers lost the state tournament’s MVP, Chad Demers, to the Fargo Force, there is enough talent left to bring back another title.

Mr. Hockey: Alex Gaustad, GPR. There doesn’t seem to be a big favorite heading into the season this winter. But Gaustad is a talented player who will help his line stand out even without Demers.

Item to watch No. 1: Central’s growth. The Knights exceeded expectations with a young team last season. Behind forward Casey Purpur and defenseman Danny Ray, Central could make a run at the region title.

Item to watch No. 2: Minot’s Bryce Schmitt. Former WCHA ref Mike Schmitt retired from the league a couple years ago so he could watch his son play. Bryce is giving dad a lot to watch these days. He was probably the top sophomore player in the state last season, scoring 19 goals for a rebuilding Minot team.

Item to watch No. 3: Red River’s rebuilt squad. The Roughriders lost Mr. Hockey in Ryan LaDouceur, the state’s leading scorer in Eric Meland and standouts Nick Schaefer, Jarrett Galbreath, Alex Simonson and Pat Arnason. But the Riders have had major losses before, yet Matt Malm still gets his team to state every year. It’ll be interesting to see who emerges for Red River this winter.

Minnesota

Class AA state champ: Edina. The Hornets lost Mr. Hockey candidate Zach Budish to an ACL injury in football. But with Anders Lee, Marshall Everson and company, they should have plenty to bring home the big prize.

Class A state champ: St. Thomas Academy. Who is going to knock off this powerhouse, which will be led by Gopher recruit Christian Isackson?

Mr. Hockey: Danny Mattson, Holy Angels. The Sioux recruit piled up 69 points in 25 games last season, but will have to hold off St. Cloud State recruit Ben Hanowski and Gopher recruit Nick Leddy for the award.

Item to watch No. 1: Mattson and Derek Forbort. Of course Sioux fans are going to want to watch future players. Both will be making apperances on FSN North during the season. I’ll try to remind you the week of the game incase you want to tune in.

Item to watch No. 2: Roseau’s seniors. The Rams rode an outstanding sophomore class to a state title two years ago. That class has four D-I college players in it. Two are gone, though. Aaron Ness accelerated his education and is a freshman at Minnesota, while Mike Lee decided to play for Fargo in the USHL. Potential top-two round draft pick Nick Oliver and Providence recruit Tyler Landman are still there, though.

Item to watch No. 3: EGF’s Jake Useldinger. He was the leading scorer in 8A last season as a sophomore, scoring 21 goals in 25 games. The Green Wave lost a couple of key players, but Useldinger should have a big season.

Poll time

As you would expect, UND dropped out of the rankings after a split at Duluth. In the USCHO poll, seven different teams are getting No. 1 votes right now. In the USA Today poll, five teams are getting votes. Here are the polls:

USCHO.com

1. Minnesota (41)
2. Notre Dame (2)
3. Colorado College (1)
4. Northeastern
5. Boston College
6. Miami (1)
7. Princeton (3)
8. Boston University (1)
9. Denver
10. MSU-Mankato
11. Air Force
12. Cornell
13. Vermont
14. Michigan
15. New Hampshire
16. Nebraska-Omaha
17. UMass
18. St. Cloud State
19. Alaska-Anchorage
20. Dartmouth

USA Today

1. Minnesota (30)
2. Notre Dame
3. Colorado College (1)
4. Northeastern
5. Miami (1)
6. Boston College
7. Princeton (1)
8. Boston University
9. MSU-Mankato
10. Denver
11. Air Force (1)
12. Cornell
13. Vermont
14. Nebraska-Omaha
15. Michigan

Inside College Hockey

1. Minnesota
2. Notre Dame
3. Northeastern
4. Colorado College
5. Princeton
6. Boston University
7. Boston College
8. Denver
9. MSU-Mankato
10. Air Force
11. Cornell
12. Miami
13. Vermont
14. Nebraska-Omaha
15. New Hampshire
16. Michigan
17. Dartmouth
18. St. Cloud State
19. UMass-Lowell
20. UMass

Weekend recap

Things didn’t come together for the Sioux in Duluth and the annual search for answers is on. I noticed in the comments section there are a lot of different ideas behind this year’s slow start.

My personal belief, for what it’s worth, is that it’s nothing too complicated. UND simply needs to be getting more offense out of the back end. There are six healthy natural defensemen on the roster. Five of them don’t have a point and we’re 12 games into the season.

You look at the power play, which is ranked ninth in the league. How much of that comes back to the fact that the Sioux aren’t getting any blue line offense outside of Chay Genoway?

Some guys are just not offensive defensemen and there is nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of successful defensemen who don’t put up many points. But there has to be offense coming from more than one guy.

The problems have led to the Sioux moving Brad Miller back on the blue line. Miller has probably done better than you could have ever expected from a senior who has never played there in his life. He has become a second guy to add some offense (he’s the only ‘d-man’ with a goal so far). But there are still moments it’s obvious he’s not natural back there (he caught an edge trying to pivot and fell late in the second period leading to an odd-man rush and Duluth’s game-winning goal).

The Sioux also have tried a large variety of guys on the point of the power-play units. At certain times, forwards Evan Trupp, Matt Frattin and Ryan Martens all have done it. I’m not sure if there is an answer yet. Last year, this came so easy for the Sioux with Taylor Chorney and Robbie Bina.

To me, it seems a little bit like the problems that Minnesota went through last season. Despite a large amount of talent up front, the Gophers struggled to score. They only had one defenseman (Derek Peltier) who was regularly contributing to the offense.

Minnesota’s offense was ranked seventh in the league and the power play was ranked ninth. Coach Don Lucia thought a big reason for the power play’s struggles went back to the blue line.

There seems to be a little bit of a parallel.

The good news for the Sioux is that Joe Finley could help solve some problems when he gets back. He’s got the hardest slap shot on the team, he probably makes a better outlet pass than any defenseman on the team and he’s responsible in his own end (WCHA plus-minus champion). He should help the offense and defense.

The scoring problems aren’t isolated to the defensemen, though. If the forwards are finishing more plays, the defensemen will inevitably have more points.

A few other points to ponder…

–There isn’t any reason to doubt the talent level of the team. They just aren’t clicking right now. It happens to almost every team every season. I’ll again bring up the fact that last year’s national champions were under .500 over Thanksgiving weekend. And the 2007 national champs were at .500 on Thanksgiving weekend.

–I know it upsets many of you to hear that the Sioux are not getting any bounces. But it is the truth right now. How many goals have the Sioux allowed in the last two weeks that came on a shot from the blue line that deflected off of a forechecker? It’s happened three or four games in a row now. Usually, you see that two or three times a season.

Duluth scored the game-tying goal Friday on a shot that bounced off of Brett Hextall’s stick, off of Matt Watkins’ stick and off the back of Eidsness’ glove. How else do you classify that one? In overtime, Watkins made a great pass to set up Jason Gregoire with an open net to look at. The puck jumped over Gregoire’s stick, though, right when he went to swing at it.

Another guy that can’t get anything to go for him is Chris VandeVelde. I can’t count the number of point shots he’s been able to tip. They just aren’t going in. I wouldn’t be surprised if he scores on a tip this weekend.

Coach Dave Hakstol has said that you can’t leave the game up to a bounce, though. And that’s certainly true when they are not going your way.

–In talking to a few players after Saturday’s game, they seemed adamant that they were going to straighten things out. They have to do it quickly, though, because….

–The next four games are huge. Because UND lost two nonconference games to start the season, the Sioux need these games. If they fall flat, the season could be largely doomed before Christmas break. I’m not a PairWise expert, but I know that a poor stretch here would murder UND’s comparisons.

–The WCHA race is going to be extremely tight again. Believe it or not, the Sioux are only four points out of second place right now. And every team ahead of the Sioux in the standings have played the same number of games (Wisconsin has played two more).