Toews vs. Parise for gold

UND will have its third gold medal winner this afternoon. It will either be USA’s Zach Parise or Canada’s Jonathan Toews.

The winner also will become the first UND player to ever win gold in both the World Juniors and in the Olympics.

Parise helped the Americans to gold in 2004. It was USA’s first-ever gold in that event. Toews won back-to-back golds for Canada. Toews also has gold in the World Championship and in the World Under-17 tournament.

UND’s two previous Olympic gold medalists are American Dave Christian (1980) and Canadian Ed Belfour (2002).

Both players have been among the best in the tournament. Who wins it all? Tune in to NBC at 2:15 p.m. to find out.

Playoff ticket info

Tickets for UND’s first-round playoff series go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday at all Ticketmaster outlets and at Ralph Engelstad Arena’s box office.

Ticket prices are:

  • Adults: $20 per game or $40 for the series
  • Students: $7 per game or $14 for the series
  • Youth: $10 per game or $20 for the series

Season ticket holders were sent mailings.

UND’s first-round opponent has not been determined yet.

Gameday final: UND 3, Colo. Coll. 2

First period

UND 1, Colorado College 0 – Chris VandeVelde (Brad Malone, Matt Frattin) 16:42 (pp). Frattin skated in from the point and released a wrist shot that Howe kicked to the bottom of the left circle. Malone took a shot from there and VandeVelde buried the rebound from the top of the crease.

Second period

UND 1, Colorado College 1 – Mike Boivin (Tyler Johnson) 1:42. Johnson makes a drop pass to Boivin who hits the corner of the net for his first-career goal.

UND 2, Colorado College 1 — Matt Frattin (Evan Trupp, Brad Malone) 10:19. Trupp picked a CC defenseman’s pocket below the goal line, skated toward the net and centered to Frattin, who one-timed it past Howe.

UND 3, Colorado College 1 – Danny Kristo (Brad Malone) 14:10. Brad Malone fed Kristo, who split the defense, faked a shot with his forehand, went to the backhand and scored. It’s Malone’s fifth point of the weekend.

Third period

UND 3, Colorado College 2 – Tyler Johnson (Ryan Lowery, Kris Fredheim) 17:51 (ex). With an extra attacker on the ice, Johnson tips a point shot to make it a one-goal game.

Chat application is below. UND has one personnel change: Toews is in for Bruneteau. The lines also have been shuffled a little bit. CC has one change: Boivin in for Behrend on the third pair defense. The game is not on TV. Webcast is on B2livetv.com. Colorado College is wearing their third jersey. UND is wearing black (4-0-1 in black this year).

UND’s lines

17 Jason Gregoire–29 Chris VandeVelde–10 Corban Knight
19 Evan Trupp–22 Brad Malone–21 Matt Frattin
26 Brett Hextall–27 Carter Rowney–7 Danny Kristo
9 Mario Lamoureux–11 Darcy Zajac–18 David Toews

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

31 Brad Eidsness
32 Aaron Dell

Colorado College’s lines

16 Andrew Hamburg–13 Rylan Schwartz–25 Mike Testwuide
21 Bill Sweatt–18 Matt Overman–11 David Civitarese
23 Tim Hall–9 Brian McMillin–17 Tyler Johnson
20 Addison DeBoer–22 Nick Dineen–27 William Rapuzzi

10 Gabe Guentzel–15 Nate Prosser
24 Ryan Lowery–4 Joe Marciano
7 Kris Fredheim–28 Mike Boivin

31 Joe Howe
1 Tyler O’Brien
33 Michael Shibrowski

Friday night rewind

After losing a couple of heartbreakers earlier this season, the Sioux got one back on Friday night. Brad Malone’s game-tying goal and Matt Frattin’s game-winner have put the Sioux in the driver’s seat for home ice with three games to go.

Grand Forks Herald
Colorado Springs Gazette gamer
Colorado Springs Gazette column
USCHO.com

Other notes and comments:

  • UND is No. 8 in the Pairwise. The Sioux didn’t move up, but last night’s game solidified that spot a little more. A loss would have dropped them.
  • The Sioux still could grab a top-three finish if everything went perfect for them, but that is very unlikely. Home ice would be big (especially for REA and the athletic department budgets).
  • Every player I talked to after the game said that Brad Eidsness stole this one for them. Sure, UND led in shots 42-26, but Colorado College had a lot of good chances and Eidsness was terrific. He ate up all of his rebounds, made saves on deflected shots and read plays very well. Probably Eidsness’ best game of the season, certainly his best two-game stretch going back to last weekend.
  • Frattin now has four goals in his last four games. He led the team with six shots on goal last night. He was bombing away from the point on power plays, generating chances, and he didn’t miss when he had a chance to end it in OT.
  • CC got a fortunate bounce to go ahead 2-1 (point shot hit traffic) and UND got a pair back to tie it and win the game (see previous post). Those bounces just weren’t coming for UND in January.
  • The Sioux fans were quite loud in the arena, as they often are in visiting venues. There was a pretty good eruption when Malone scored the tying goal and when Frattin won it. For a critical, late-February series, there were far more open seats than I expected, though.
  • Both teams will want to play a little closer to the vest in the series finale. There were lots of odd-man rushes both ways. The fact that the game wasn’t a high-scoring affair… that’s a credit to the goalies, who coach Dave Hakstol called the first and second stars of the game.
  • In UND’s current four-game winning streak, it has won games in all different ways. There was the blowout against St. Cloud, the ho-hum back-to-back wins over Duluth and now a thrilling comeback against Colorado College.
  • Tonight, UND will go for its first sweep in World Arena since 1999. Overall, the Sioux haven’t swept the Tigers since 2001.

Frattin’s game-winning goal

The game-winning, overtime goal in their own words:

Brad Malone: "I saw Trupper stretching, so I just tried the old alley-oop that I always practice in warmups, like the Mighty Ducks kind of thing. Trupper chipped it to Fratts (Trupp actually didn’t touch the puck) and Fratty doesn’t miss on too many breakaways and obviously he didn’t there."

Matt Frattin: "Malone got it out, good play to get it out. It was just kind of a scramble there between me and Trupp. It came out to me and I took off with some speed. I saw the goalie giving me glove, so I shot glove."

Here’s video of Brad Malone’s game-tying goal:

Gameday final: UND 3, Colo. Coll. 2, OT

First period

UND 1, Colorado College 0 – Danny Kristo (Corban Knight, Evan Trupp) 5:25 (pp). As a power play winded down, Kristo threaded a wrist shot from the point through traffic and past Howe.

Second period

UND 1, Colorado College 1 – Nate Prosser (Matt Overman, Billy Sweatt) 13:06. Blood gets caught pinching, trying to hold the puck in the zone and CC goes on a 2-on-1 with only Frattin back. CC executes it to perfection to tie the game.

Third period

Colorado College 2, UND 1 – Nate Prosser (William Rapuzzi, Nick Dineen) 2:44. Prosser’s point shot isn’t real hard, but it hits traffic in front and bounces over Eidsness.

Colorado College 2, UND 2 – Brad Malone (Evan Trupp, Joe Gleason) 18:18. Gleason made a play at the blue line to get the puck to Malone, who dished it to Trupp in the bottom of the right circle. Trupp put a shot on net and Malone was able to bat it out of the air for the tying goal.

Overtime

UND 3, Colorado College 2 – Matt Frattin (Brad Malone, Ben Blood) 2:09. Frattin grabbed a nice feed from Malone, went on a breakaway and buried it.

Notes: Chat is below. Our internet has been a little bit iffy, so bear with us if it’s on and off. The game is not on TV. Webcast is on B2livetv.com. Healthy scratches on trip are Toews and Cichy. Refs are Todd Anderson and Brad Shepherd. The Sioux are wearing green.

UND’s lines

17 Jason Gregoire–29 Chris VandeVelde–26 Brett Hextall
19 Evan Trupp–22 Brad Malone–21 Matt Frattin
10 Corban Knight–27 Carter Rowney–7 Danny Kristo
9 Mario Lamoureux–11 Darcy Zajac–13 Brett Bruneteau

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

31 Brad Eidsness
32 Aaron Dell

Colorado College’s lines

16 Andrew Hamburg–13 Rylan Schwartz–25 Mike Testwuide
21 Bill Sweatt–18 Matt Overman–11 David Civitarese
23 Tim Hall–9 Brian McMillin–17 Tyler Johnson
20 Addison DeBoer–22 Nick Dineen–27 William Rapuzzi

10 Gabe Guentzel–15 Nate Prosser
24 Ryan Lowery–4 Joe Marciano
3 Ted Behrend–7 Kris Fredheim

31 Joe Howe
1 Tyler O’Brien
33 Michael Shibrowski

Knight on Connolly

Word is that the WCHA has requested video of a Corban Knight hit on Duluth’s Mike Connolly from last week to use as an example that a textbook clean hit can still result in an injury.

Connolly was shaken after colliding with Knight during the third period of last Saturday’s game. He didn’t return, but he did practice this week and is in the lineup tonight against Minnesota.

Parise, USA will play for gold

UND’s Zach Parise scored the eventual game-winning goal and added an assist as the Americans crushed Finland 6-1 in the Olympic semifinals today.

That means the Americans will play for gold at 2:15 p.m. Sunday. Their opponent will be the winner of tonight’s Canada-Slovakia game. If Jonathan Toews and Canada win tonight, a former Sioux player will be guaranteed gold.

Parise still leads all American forwards in goals (3), assists (4), points (7) and plus-minus (+5).

Friday morning reading

I will apologize in advance for comments appearing slowly today. I’ll be making my way to Colorado Springs for UND’s showdown series with Colorado College. It won’t be on TV, so come join UND’s Jayson Hajdu and myself on the live blog. We’ll do our best to entertain.

Today’s Herald feature talks about the importance of this series. It’s easy to figure out. It’s big for home ice in the playoffs and it’s big for the Pairwise. Read it here.

Our abbreviated Ice Time has been posted on the Web, along with a Q&A with Jake Marto. He talks North Dakota state hockey. He won two titles when he played for the Knights.

The Thursday feature was on Brett Hextall. Check it out because there are some stats about his goal-scoring ability that are quite surprising.

He talked a little about his one-timer and how he drags his knee along the ground — ala Brett Hull — as he shoots. He never realized he did this until teammates brought it up to him. Hextall said he does it in order to get the shot up in the air and because he feels like he has better control if passes aren’t on the money.

College Hockey News named UND the team of the week. Read that story here.

Colorado College knows that a physical team will be coming to town this weekend and the Tigers will look to Nate Prosser to be their leader in that department.

The Gazette has a story similar to mine about the importance of this series for home ice. Read that here. The paper also had three things to watch in this series, including CC’s need to shore up the defense after getting swept by Minnesota.

Gazette columnist David Ramsey wrote another piece on the Fighting Sioux nickname (interviewing the same guy he did last time). The story implies UND is fighting tooth-and-nail in the face of all opposition to keep the name. Reality is that it is the tribes themselves fighting to keep it right now (Spirit Lake put the issue on the ballot, voted overwhelmingly in support of the nickname and filed the lawsuit to keep the SBOHE from changing it before November as Standing Rock collects signatures so they can vote, too). He’s not the only one to have this misconception.

Another controversy that Grand Forks is following is whether the WCHA will hand out a suspension to Aaron Marvin for his shoulder to the head of Blake Geoffrion. The St. Cloud Times wrote about that today. It is a tough spot for the WCHA, which promised to crack down on headshots, but doesn’t want to start suspending players for every hit. It would be very surprising if nothing comes from this one, though. The league needs to protect its top players.

Todd Milewski also wrote a good blog post on USCHO about the WCHA and its suspensions. The league’s current policy, which is written in its handbook, says it will keep quiet about a possible suspension for at least three days after the incident or until an appeal is done. It’s time to adopt the NHL’s style of announcing what’s happening right away, then announcing whether a suspension has been appealed. The weeklong speculation doesn’t do anyone any good.

And lastly, the UND women’s hockey team begins the playoffs tonight against WCHA champ Minnesota-Duluth. The Sioux will look to advance to their first Final Faceoff ever behind the leadership of Susi Fellner. If that does not happen, these games will be known as the last in the Pre-Lamoureux Era of the UND women’s hockey program.

UND’s run at the Olympics

Without a doubt, the Olympics have been good to UND so far. All four of its reps: Zach Parise, Jonathan Toews, Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux have been the buzz of their team or sport at one time or another during the last two weeks.

It’s hard to imagine that these four could have played any better than they have. Here are a few notes and stats that may raise the eyebrows:

  • UND has more men’s players still alive for a medal than one-third of all NHL teams.
  • Toews may be the biggest buzz in Canada right now. He’s tied for the Olympic lead in scoring, is running away with the Olympic plus-minus title, has not been on the ice for an opponent goal yet and often has the assignment of going against the opponent’s top line.
  • Want to read more about Toews? Pick a newspaper, there’s probably a story. We’ll suggest ESPN, the Toronto Sun, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Edmonton Journal, or Yahoo, which asks whether Toews should be the MVP of the tournament.
  • Team USA is undefeated and exceeding expectations, in large part, thanks to Parise. He leads all American forwards in goals, assists, points and plus-minus rating.
  • Want to read more about Parise? Everyone was dissecting his performance against the Swiss, in which he scored both goals. Sports Illustrated did a big piece on him before the tournament, saying he would make himself known to the world. So far, he hasn’t disappointed.
  • The Lamoureux twins became the first female athletes at UND to win an Olympic medal last night. Monique finished one point away from leading the team in scoring, while Jocelyne led all American forwards in plus-minus.
  • Want to read more about the twins? Again, you can find them in just about every newspaper in the country. Jocelyne had the goal of the tournament against China. It even made its way on to ESPN afternoon talk shows. Monique had the hat trick in the semifinals. Before today’s game, NBC and MSNBC both had features on the twins. They, too, had a Sports Illustrated piece before the Games.

It will all come to an end in just two days, but it’s safe to say that UND won’t soon forget these Games.

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