Poll time

UND inched up in the polls after the Subway Holiday Classic. As you can tell by the first-place votes, the top of the country is very muddled right now. Nobody has run away with the No. 1 ranking. UND is getting seven first-place votes, Bemidji State two.

USCHO.com poll

1. Miami (20) 9-2-5
2. Denver (14) 9-4-1
3. North Dakota (7) 8-4-2
4. Quinnipiac (7) 12-1
5. Bemidji State (2) 11-2-1
6. Colorado College 10-3-1
7. Cornell 6-2-1
8. UMass-Lowell 8-4-1
9. UMass 9-3
10. Yale 5-2-2
11. Michigan State 9-5-2
12t. Minnesota-Duluth 9-4-1
12t. Alaska 8-3-3
14. Notre Dame 7-5-4
15. Boston College 6-3-2
16. Wisconsin 8-5-1
17. Ferris State 9-3-2
18. Nebraska-Omaha 7-4-3
19. Vermont 5-5-1
20. St. Cloud State 6-6-2

USA Today poll

1. Miami (18)
2. Denver (10)
3. North Dakota (3)
4. Bemidji State (1)
5. Colorado College (1)
6. Quinnipiac (1)
7. Cornell
8. UMass-Lowell
9. UMass
10. Yale
11. Michigan State
12. Minnesota-Duluth
13. Alaska
14. Boston College
15. Notre Dame

INCH power rankings

1. Denver
2. North Dakota
3. Miami
4. Quinnipiac
5. Cornell
6. Bemidji State
7. Colorado College
8. UMass-Lowell
9. UMass
10. Yale
11. Michigan State
12. Alaska
13. Minnesota-Duluth
14. Boston College
15. Wisconsin
16. Notre Dame
17. Vermont
18. Ferris State
19. Nebraska-Omaha
20. St. Cloud State

Saturday rewind

Boston University held the No. 1 ranking for most of last season with an impressive record and resume. Who wants No. 1 this year? Anyone?

UND was the only team in the top six not to lose this weekend. No. 1 Miami lost and tied. No. 2 Denver, No. 3 UMass-Lowell, No. 5 Colorado College and No. 6 Bemidji State all lost, too. Nobody is finding it easy this season.

Some of Saturday night’s highlights:

1. St. Cloud State beat Denver 3-2. Coach George Gwozdecky told the Denver Post after the game that SCSU had the four deepest forward lines that the Pioneers have seen so far. UND had similar comments about SCSU’s forward units earlier this season.

2. Sean Wiles had two goals and an assist in Anchorage’s 3-2 overtime win over Colorado College. Daniel Naslund scored the winner.

3. Quinnipiac is now 12-1. Hard to ignore the Bobcats after a 5-4 overtime win over UMass. Brandon Wong, former BCHL scoring champ, had both the game-tying and game-winning goals.

4. Kael Mouillierat, who had been quiet early this season for Mankato, scored twice as the Mavs swept Tech.

5. Minnesota may start riding sophomore goalie Kent Patterson after his 37-save performance in the Gophers’ 2-1 win over Michigan State on Saturday. Alex Kangas has been playing most of the games.

As for Saturday night’s game between UND and Miami, I think everyone in attendance got their money’s worth. It was a wild and entertaining game. UND had a two-goal lead late, but Miami played well and I thought a tie was a fitting end for both teams. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald
FightingSioux.com
USCHO.com

A few more notes:

  • After the game, Jason Gregoire called out himself for losing his guy on Miami’s tying goal. Gregoire said he needs to be accountable for that. He wasn’t happy at all about the tie.
  • Danny Kristo may have lost a couple of guys for shorthanded goals earlier this season, but now everyone knows why he’s running the point on the power play. Kristo has been the key guy on that unit since Chay Genoway went out with an injury. In the five games that Genoway has missed, UND has six power-play goals. Kristo has scored three of them and assisted on two others.
  • Kristo has now moved into a three-way tie (along with Chris VandeVelde and Evan Trupp) for the team lead in points. He’s one behind Gregoire for the team lead in goals. Coach Dave Hakstol said that Kristo has been confident since Day One, but now he appears to be finding a comfort level to go along with that confidence.
  • With two assists on Saturday night, David Toews passed his point total from last season. Toews now has 12 points. He had 11 as a freshman.
  • It took Ben Blood 45 college games, but he finally got his first goal. The way he’s playing, it won’t be long until he gets No. 2.
  • Remember early last season when Hakstol said that Brad Malone has great hands, we just haven’t seen them yet? If the New Hampshire game wasn’t proof enough, everyone in Ralph Engelstad Arena saw some of the things he’s capable of doing this weekend.
  • Did anyone notice Corey Fienhage much this weekend? For a defensive defenseman, that’s a good thing. He’s continued to get better game after game.
  • One of the subjects of discussion in the press box was that UND finally seems to be used to playing without Genoway. It took a while to adjust, but the Sioux played solid hockey against two good teams this weekend.

Gameday final: UND 5, Miami 5

First period

Miami 1, UND 0 – Reilly Smith (Pat Cannone) 8:17. Cannone grabbed the puck in the corner and sent it to the far circle, where Smith had a wide open side of the net to look at. He buried it for his third of the season.

Miami 1, UND 1 – Ben Blood (Danny Kristo, Jason Gregoire) 13:52 (pp). Blood threaded a shot from the point past Knapp on the near side for his first-career goal.

Second period

Miami 2, UND 1 – Carter Camper 3:20. Camper carried the puck two-on-two and the Sioux defenders gave him a lot of room to take a shot from the high slot. The shot hit Eidsness and trickled past.

Miami 2, UND 2 – Danny Kristo (David Toews, Jake Marto) 7:23 (pp). Kristo snipes one from the point on the power play to tie it.

UND 3, Miami 2 – Jason Gregoire (Ben Blood, Brett Hextall) 7:59. Blood makes a great play at the blue line to keep the puck in the zone. Then, he moves the puck to get a shot past an attacking forward and to the net. Knapp stopped his attempt, but Gregoire was there. He was getting hauled down, but fought off the check to score on the rebound.

UND 3, Miami 3 – Tommy Wingels (Reilly Smith, Pat Cannone) 10:07. UND can’t get a clear and Miami eventually scores. Smith, near the halfwall, feeds Wingels on the other side of the net. Wingels picks the high glove corner.

UND 4, Miami 3 – Brad Malone 16:00 (sh). A nice rush by Malone and Trupp led to a loose puck in the slot, Malone used his reach to pull the puck to himself. Then, Malone brought the goalie out of his net, carried it toward the goal line with great patience and fired it in the net.

UND 5, Miami 3 — Danny Kristo (Evan Trupp, David Toews) 17:46 (pp). Trupp left a drop pass for Kristo at the point. Kristo fanned on his initial attempt, but picked up the puck, carried it low and beat Knapp five-hole.

Third period

UND 5, Miami 4 – Cameron Schilling (Jarod Palmer, Reilly Smith) 9:27 (pp). Palmer makes a nice play at the point to pass the puck around a forechecking forward to Schilling at the other point. Schilling snapped a shot in from there.

UND 5, Miami 5 – Reilly Smith (Andy Miele, Chris Wideman) 17:19. Miele found Smith streaking behind the Sioux defenders in the zone. Smith made a nice deke on Eidsness and scored to tie the game with 2:41 left.

The chat application and lines are below. Carter Rowney in for Mike Cichy. Danny Kristo goes to the third line, Brett Bruneteau to the fourth.

UND’s lines

17 Jason Gregoire–29 Chris VandeVelde–26 Brett Hextall
19 Evan Trupp–22 Brad Malone–18 David Toews
9 Mario Lamoureux–11 Darcy Zajac–7 Danny Kristo
13 Brett Bruneteau–27 Carter Rowney–10 Corban Knight

2 Andrew MacWilliam–24 Ben Blood
3 Derrick LaPoint–25 Jake Marto
20 Joe Gleason–4 Corey Fienhage

31 Brad Eidsness
32 Aaron Dell

Miami’s lines

22 Justin Vaive–27 Matt Tomassoni–8 Brandon Smith
18 Reilly Smith–20 Pat Cannone–9 Tommy Wingels
23 Alden Hirschfeld–17 Andy Miele–19 Jarod Palmer
16 Curtis McKenzie–11 Carter Camper–13 Trent Vogelhuber

4 Will Weber–26 Joe Hartman
5 Cameron Schilling–44 Steven Spinell
6 Chris Wideman–14 Vincent LoVerde

31 Connor Knapp
30 Cody Reichard

Subway Classic: Ohio State 2, BSU 1, OT

First period

Bemidji State 1, Ohio State 0 – Aaron McLeod (Darcy Findlay, Ryan Adams) 17:29. Adams sent the puck around the boards from the right point. Findlay picked it up in the corner and quickly centered it to McLeod in the slot.

Second period

Bemidji State 1, Ohio State 1 – Ian Boots (Devon Krogh, Sean Duddy) 17:39. Krogh brought the puck in the zone on the right wing on a four-on-three rush. He threw it off of Dugas’ far pad and Boots slammed in the rebound.

Third period

No scoring.

Overtime

Ohio State 2, Bemidji State 1 — Kyle Reed (John Albert, Sean Duddy) :48. Just as a power play ended, Albert threw a backhand from the corner to the crease. Dugas stopped it with his outstretched leg, but Reed got three whacks at it from down low. On the third try, the puck jumped over Dugas’ pad.

Bemidji State’s lines

28 Jordan George–19 Matt Read–22 Ian Lowe
20 Ben Kinne–11 Shea Walters–15 Ryan Cramer
17 Jamie MacQueen–23 Chris McKelvie–26 Tyler Lehrke
16 Emil Billberg–14 Aaron McLeod–6 Darcy Findlay

8 Jake Areshenko–29 Brad Hunt
27 Kyle Hardwick–25 Brady Wacker
5 Matt Carlson–3 Ryan Adams

35 Mathieu Dugas
33 Dan Bakala
1 Travis Bosch

Ohio State’s lines

44 Sergio Somma–19 Zac Dalpe–26 Peter Boyd
10 Kyle Reed–15 John Albert–16 Ian Boots
8 Hunter Bishop–20 C.J. Severyn–11 Mathieu Picard
13 Paul Kirkland–14 Alex Carlson–25 Jeff McNeil

17 Chris Reed–5 Brandon Martell
12 Matt Bartkowski–4 Corey Toy
21 Sean Duddy–27 Devon Krogh

1 Cal Heeter
41 Dustin Carlson

Friday rewind

There aren’t as many games going on over Thanksgiving weekend, but here are five highlights from around the country:

1. Minnesota suffered its worst loss in 11 years, 6-0 to Michigan. The Gophers have now lost four games in a row.

2. Derek Stepan had a breakout night for Wisconsin, going 1-4–5 in a 7-3 Badger win over Michigan State.

3. Former Fargo Force player Andy Taranto continues to tear it up for Fairbanks in his freshman season. Taranto had two goals in a 3-3 tie with Northern Michigan on Friday. He leads the team with 16 points in 13 games.

4. Colorado College goalie Joe Howe posted a 5-0 shutout of Alaska-Anchorage. The freshman’s numbers are: 9-1-1 record, 1.98 goals-against average and .935 save percentage.

5. Denver may be the No. 1 team next week. The No. 2 Pioneers beat St. Cloud State, while No. 1 Miami lost to Bemidji State and No. 3 UMass-Lowell lost to Maine.

Subway Holiday Classic info

Bemidji Pioneer: Bemidji State-Miami gamer
Herald: Bemidji State-Miami gamer
USCHO.com: Bemidji State-Miami gamer

Herald: UND-Ohio State gamer
FightingSioux.com: UND-Ohio State gamer
USCHO.com: UND-Ohio State gamer

A few notes that didn’t get into the game stories:

  • UND is now tied with Bemidji State as the best defensive team in the country. Both are allowing just 1.69 goals per game.
  • UND’s third defensive pairing of Corey Fienhage and Joe Gleason went plus-6 last night. Both were plus-3.
  • Gleason leads all WCHA rookies with a plus-8 rating this season.
  • UND’s top plus-minus guy is David Toews at plus-9. Gleason and Darcy Zajac are both at plus-8.
  • Chris VandeVelde has a point in 11 of 13 games this season. He has not went back-to-back games without a point.
  • UND and Colorado College lead the WCHA with six players that have 10 points. Nobody else has five. UND’s players are VandeVelde (13), Evan Trupp (12), Chay Genoway, David Toews, Danny Kristo and Brad Malone (10).
  • UND’s top three centers continue to have a lot of success on face-offs. Malone is 128-75 (.631), VandeVelde is 167-123 (.576) and Zajac is 104-91 (.533).
  • Trupp had a fantastic game on Friday night. He’s put together several of those games, even though the points haven’t always followed. He’s only one point off of the team lead now. Could he wind up leading the team in scoring?
  • Eleven players had points against Ohio State.
  • UND will try to become the first WCHA team to beat Miami since…. UND. The RedHawks are 6-0 against WCHA teams — wins over Denver (2), Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State (3) – since the Sioux beat Miami 3-0 on Oct. 8, 2005 in the Lefty McFadden tournament in Dayton, Ohio (the opener of the 2005-06 season and also my first game as beat writer). Jordan Parise posted a 37-save shutout. Two freshmen named Jonathan Toews and T.J. Oshie scored goals. So did Drew Stafford. As you know, all three are now in the NHL.

Gameday final: UND 4, Ohio State 1

First period

No scoring.

Second period

UND 1, Ohio State 0 – Darcy Zajac (Corey Fienhage, Brett Bruneteau) 4:30. Fienhage made a nice play at the blue line to hold the puck in the zone. Then, he fed Zajac in the left circle. Zajac sent the water bottle flying with a snap shot.

Third period

UND 2, Ohio State 0 – Brad Malone (Evan Trupp, Derrick LaPoint) 4:24. Malone walks past one guy in the neutral zone, runs over another one in the offensive zone and gets the puck to Trupp behind the net. Trupp sends it back to Malone, who pushes it past Carlson.

UND 2, Ohio State 1 – Zac Dalpe (Peter Boyd, Sergio Somma) 8:19. Dalpe took a shot on the rush and Eidsness made the initial save, but the rebound went off of Marto’s skate and in the net.

UND 3, Ohio State 1 – Danny Kristo (Chris VandeVelde, Jason Gregoire) 11:25. Gregoire fought off two Ohio State players on the halfwall and got the puck to VandeVelde behind the net. Kristo, coming on the ice fresh on a change, skated into the slot and VandeVelde found him. Kristo beat Carlson on the far side.

UND 4, Ohio State 1 — Brett Hextall (Jake Marto, Evan Trupp) 13:49 (pp). Hextall unleashed a one-timer from the left circle. It hit Carlson, bounced high in the air and fell behind him and in the net.

The live chat application and lines are below. Only change is Brett Bruneteau in for Carter Rowney.

UND’s lines

17 Jason Gregoire–29 Chris VandeVelde–26 Brett Hextall
19 Evan Trupp–22 Brad Malone–18 David Toews
9 Mario Lamoureux–11 Darcy Zajac–13 Brett Bruneteau
8 Mike Cichy–10 Corban Knight–7 Danny Kristo

2 Andrew MacWilliam–24 Ben Blood
3 Derrick LaPoint–25 Jake Marto
20 Joe Gleason–4 Corey Fienhage

31 Brad Eidsness
32 Aaron Dell

Ohio State’s lines

44 Sergio Somma–19 Zac Dalpe–26 Peter Boyd
8 Hunter Bishop–15 John Albert–10 Kyle Reed
11 Mathieu Picard–20 C.J. Severyn–16 Ian Boots
13 Paul Kirtland–23 Cory Schneider–18 Taylor Stefishen

17 Chris Reed–3 Mike Folkes
12 Matt Bartkowski–4 Corey Toy
21 Sean Duddy–27 Devon Krogh

41 Dustin Carlson
1 Cal Heeter

Subway Classic: Bemidji St. 3, Miami 2

I’ll post some random scoring updates from the first game of the Subway Holiday Classic.

First period

Bemidji State 1, Miami 0 – Darcy Findlay (Aaron McLeod) 8:37. McLeod took a big hit as he flipped the puck toward the crease from the left circle. McLeod got his stick on it and deflected it high over the near-side shoulder of Reichard.

Second period

Bemidji State 2, Miami 0 — Tyler Lehrke (Chris McKelvie) 6:02. McKelvie brought the puck up the left wing and took a highly contested shot from the outside of the circle. Reichard kicked the rebound to the slot, where Lehrke was cutting uncovered. He easily put it in.

Third period

Bemidji State 2, Miami 1 — Carter Camper (Curtis McKenzie, Joe Hartman) 5:24 (pp). McKenzie passed the puck out of the corner to Camper, who was in the slot. Camper one-timed it past Bakala’s outstretched leg to get the RedHawks on the board.

Bemidji State 2, Miami 2 — Carter Camper (Curtis McKenzie, Cameron Schilling) 9:21. Camper threw a shot toward the slot from a bad angle and it hit Bakala’s stick and went five-hole to tie it.

Bemidji State 3, Miami 2 – Chris McKelvie (Matt Read, Dan McIntyre) 16:41. Matt Read makes a great play to burn a RedHawk defenseman and then threw a backhand off of Bakala’s pad. McKelvie was there to put home the rebound.

Bemidji State’s lines

28 Jordan George–19 Matt Read–22 Ian Lowe
20 Ben Kinne–11 Shea Walters–15 Ryan Cramer
17 Jamie MacQueen–23 Chris McKelvie–26 Tyler Lehrke
16 Emil Billberg–14 Aaron McLeod–6 Darcy Findlay

8 Jake Areshenko–29 Brad Hunt
27 Kyle Hardwick–25 Brady Wacker
4 Dan McIntyre–3 Ryan Adams

33 Dan Bakala
35 Mathieu Dugas
1 Travis Bosch

Miami’s lines

18 Reilly Smith–9 Tommy Wingels–23 Alden Hirschfeld
17 Andy Miele–20 Pat Cannone–19 Jarod Palmer
16 Curtis McKenzie–11 Carter Camper–13 Trent Vogelhuber
22 Justin Vaive–3 Dane Hetland–27 Matt Tomassoni

4 Will Weber–26 Joe Hartman
5 Cameron Schilling–44 Steven Spinell
6 Chris Wideman–14 Vincent LoVerde

30 Cody Reichard
31 Connor Knapp

Friday morning reading

If all goes as planned, I’ll be stopping by the Sioux Booster lunch today, where all four coaches at the Subway Holiday Classic are scheduled to speak. I’ll post anything interesting that comes out of there this afternoon before the Bemidji State-Miami game.

As for articles about this weekend….

Bemidji State, Miami and UND ranked 1-2-3 nationally in team defense. So goals might be hard to come by this weekend.

Today’s notebook talks about UND prof John Vitton, who started Ohio State hockey in 1956. He was Ohio State’s Cal Marvin. He got the players together and scheduled the games and still has much of the documentation. Vitton supervised officials along with Serge Gambucci at the old Ralph. There are a couple of other notes in the story, including comments from Hunter Bishop, Tom Serratore and Dave Hakstol.

In the hard copy of the paper, you’ll also find a short Q&A with Andrew MacWilliam, as well as capsules and players to watch for all four teams.

Here are UND’s game notes for the weekend.

The Bemidji Pioneer has a story on today’s Frozen Four rematch against Miami. There are some more comments from Serratore in this story. The Pioneer also posted video interviews with players. Check that out here.

Elsewhere around the league:

Minnesota and Wisconsin are heading to Michigan to take on Michigan and Michigan State in the College Hockey Showcase. The Star Tribune writes about Taylor Matson and other players who have suffered knee injuries against Michigan in the past couple of seasons. The Wisconsin State Journal features former Thief River Falls player Aaron Bendickson. Read that story here.

Denver hosts St. Cloud State in WCHA action. The Denver Post writes about defenseman Chris Nutini, who was one of the Pios best last weekend against UND. The St. Cloud Times features former NHLer Bill Butters, who is a chaplain for Hockey Ministries International. He meets with Husky players during the week.

Colorado College hosts Alaska-Anchorage in what is no longer a match with Eric Walsky and his former team. The Gazette features Mike Testwuide.

Lastly, MSU-Mankato hosts Michigan Tech. The Free Press features Jerad Stewart, who scored four goals last weekend against Anchorage. Also, if you didn’t see last weekend, Mankato lost Andy Sackrison to a broken leg. He’ll be out at least two months, maybe longer.

Minnesota-Duluth is off. The Bulldogs play UND next weekend. That will mark UND’s third straight WCHA opponent that has had the week off prior to playing the Sioux.

Weekend entertainment

It’s going to be a busy weekend around the rink with a lot going on. I’ll try to help you plan with a list of events and coverage.

It all starts Friday at noon. Sioux Boosters will be held at the Alerus Center at noon. Doors open at 11:30. All four coaches are scheduled to speak — UND’s Dave Hakstol, Bemidji State’s Tom Serratore, Ohio State’s John Markell and Miami-Ohio’s Enrico Blasi. It costs $9.50 for the lunch.

After that, at 1 p.m. the men’s basketball team takes on Northern Colorado, while the women’s hockey team plays Maine in the Olympic Ice Rink. Ralph Engelstad Arena is going to open the doors between The Betty and the Olympic Rink, meaning fans can walk back and forth between games with one ticket.

The men’s hockey begins at 4:07 with a rematch of last year’s national semifinal — Bemidji State vs. Miami. The Sioux play Ohio State after that at 7:37. Again, one ticket will get you into both men’s hockey games.

On Saturday, Bemidji State plays Ohio State at 4:07 and UND takes on Miami at 7:37. Once again, one ticket will get you into both games.

So, you could buy three tickets this weekend and get into six games.

Ticket information: Tickets are still available for both days of the Subway Holiday Classic. The number was in the hundreds as of Wednesday afternoon.

TV information: FSSN and Fox College Sports Atlantic will broadcast UND’s hockey games ONLY. The Ohio State game is apparently listed on DirecTV 623.

Radio information: The Fox (96.1 FM) will broadcast UND’s hockey games.

Webcast information: ALL four games of the Subway Holiday Classic will be available on Webcast at FightingSioux.com.

Now go enjoy some turkey.