Herald college hockey preview is out

The 2011-12 Grand Forks Herald college hockey preview is out today, inserted in copies of the Herald. It is much like those we’ve done in recent years, if you’ve seen them. My predictions, top recruit rankings and top player rankings are all in the section.

If you live in town, you can grab a copy of the Herald at almost any gas station.

If you live out of town and want a hard copy, it will be $3.50 and you can order by calling (800) 811-2580 or e-mail gfhsubsc@gfherald.com.

If you don’t want to order a hard copy and just want to check it out online, it will be posted Sunday morning. Enjoy.

Sioux women land another Canadian U18er

The Sioux women have added another big-time prospect to its 2012 freshman class.

Becca Kohler, a 5-foot-11 power forward from Ontario, committed on Sunday, her father Rick confirmed. She will join fellow Canada U18 team member Meghan Dufault to UND’s stable of recruits that includes U.S. U18 team member Sam LaShomb.

Kohler finished with 5 points in 5 games — Canada’s fourth-leading scorer (Dufault was the leading scorer).

Kohler plays for the Bluewater Jr. Hawks of the PWHL.

Hopefully, I’ll soon have more on the commitments.

Grimaldi, St. Clair sidelined for now

With half of the team that competed in the postseason last year gone, it was assumed that the start of this season could be a little bumpy for the Sioux.

On top of that, the Sioux may be shorthanded to start the season as well.

WCHA preseason rookie of the year Rocco Grimaldi has an undisclosed leg injury and will not play Saturday against the University of Regina. Grimaldi is listed as week to week.

UND also may be without Colten St. Clair, who is being held up by the NCAA Clearinghouse. UND coach Dave Hakstol said the compliance staff is working hard to get that resolved.

Freshman forward Mike Parks, who missed part of the preseason with an injury, will be good to go for Saturday’s exhibition, though.

Hakstol said all three goalies are likely to play Saturday with Aaron Dell and Brad Eidsness seeing significant time.

Lamoureux named captain

As expected, UND named Mario Lamoureux the captain of the men’s team today. His sisters Jocelyne and Monique will captain the women’s team.

For more on the twins and their leadership skills, check out a copy of tomorrow’s college hockey preview in the Herald.

UND named Ben Blood, Andrew MacWilliam and Corban Knight alternate captains.

41st annual GFH WCHA coaches poll

The 41st annual Grand Forks Herald WCHA coaches poll is out and Denver is the favorite. UND is picked second and Colorado College third.

Sioux forward Rocco Grimaldi is the WCHA’s preseason rookie of the year, while Colorado College sophomore Jaden Schwartz is the preseason player of the year.

The Herald has a story on the poll with comments from coach Dave Hakstol. Read that here.

Coaches poll
1. Denver (7) 115
2. UND (4) 110
3. Colorado College (1) 105
4. Omaha 89
5. Duluth 75
6. Minnesota 74
7. St. Cloud State 61
8. Wisconsin 54
9. Anchorage 36
10. Bemidji State 30
11. MSU-Mankato 29
12. Michigan Tech 14

Preseason player of the year
Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College (8)
Justin Schultz, Wisconsin (2)
Terry Broadhurst, Omaha (1)
Jack Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth (1)

Preseason rookie of the year
Rocco Grimaldi, UND (10)
Joey Laleggia, Denver (1)
Jayson Megna, Omaha (1)

Ticket info for Winnipeg game

The UND-Clarkson game in Winnipeg — dubbed the U.S. College Hockey Classic — will be played Jan. 7, and now some ticket info has been announced.

A presale for Ralph Engelstad Arena suite and club seat holders and Fighting Sioux Club members who present their club membership card at the box office will take place beginning 10 a.m. Thursday and it will end at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14. Tickets for the presale are only available through the UND box office at Ralph Engelstad Arena. For questions, call (701) 777-4689 or email tickets@theralph.com

Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22. Fans can purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.com, in person at the UND or REA box offices or by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Tickets will be $23.50 and $30.50 for adults and $16.50 for students with a valid UND student ID.

There is a “fan hold” at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Winnipeg, adjacent to the MTS Centre for fans interested in lodging options for the weekend. Book reservations at (800) 395-7046.

The last time UND played a men’s hockey game in Canada was Dec. 30, 1953, when the Sioux lost a pair of games in Fort Frances, Ont. The last time the Sioux played outside of the United States was Dec. 29, 1982, when they competed in the Spengler Cup in Switzerland.

Random updates

The 2011 Herald college hockey preview section heads to press Tuesday night. Once that is behind me, it will be back to updating the blog a little more often (details on how to get it if you want it/whether it will be online will be coming soon).

While working on that thing in the past few days, I’ve noticed a few stories of note…

1. I’ll have some more news on former players later this week but one notable to start: UND fan favorite Mike Prpich is retiring from pro hockey. Prpich played five years of pro hockey, three in the top English league.

2. The Minnesota Wild assigned Chay Genoway to Houston. Matt Frattin, Brad Malone and Jason Gregoire are still in the mix for opening-day roster spots as rookies. Chris VandeVelde also is still in the mix to make a young-but-talented Edmonton Oilers roster.

3. The Portland paper has a feature on Brett Hextall. Read it here.

4. Assistant coach Dane Jackson talked to Tim Hennessy about recruiting. I thought it was a very interesting interview. Jackson talked about how young recruiting has sort of evened the playing field, how Dave Hakstol sees more games than almost any head coach and how many recruits commit before ever seeing a game in The Ralph. Watch it here.

5. Bowling Green, which has a standing invite from the WCHA, is talking with four Atlantic Hockey schools as well as Buffalo, which is considering starting up a program. Read about that here. Another update of the story says they are all considering going to the WCHA together.

6. The 41st annual Grand Forks Herald WCHA coaches poll is complete and will be released just after midnight on the Herald website. It will also be in Wednesday morning’s paper.

7. Single-day tickets for the Ice Breaker go on sale Tuesday. I believe there are plenty of tickets available as the tournament is NOT included in season ticket packages. Read more about that here.

8. Word is that the team will likely announce captains at media day, which begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday. We will still have our live chat from 3-4 p.m. that day, so stop in to hear any news from media day. If I’m not back in time for the live chat, it means I’m still dominating meatballs.

9. Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson apparently told reporters at media day that the Irish were not going independent and that it will either be the NCHC or Hockey East.

10. The Ralph is hoping to have its new scoreboard fully functional by Saturday’s exhibition. It was not working during last weekend’s women’s exhibition games against Manitoba. It will look the same, only the resolution is supposed to be better.

Sioux ranked No. 3 in preseason polls

The preseason national polls are out and the Sioux are ranked third in both (I voted them seventh). Here are the polls:

USCHO

1. Notre Dame (11)
2. Miami (12)
3. North Dakota (5)
4. Denver
5. Boston College (2)
6. Michigan
7. Colorado College
8. Minnesota-Duluth (10)
9. Yale (1)
10. Boston University (2)
11. Union
12. New Hampshire
13. Western Michigan
14. Nebraska-Omaha
15. Merrimack
16. Maine
17. Wisconsin
18. RPI
19. Minnesota
20. Cornell

USA Today

1. Miami (5)
2. Notre Dame (4)
3. North Dakota (3)
4. Denver
5. Boston College (1)
6. Boston University (3)
7. Colorado College
8. Yale (2)
9. Michigan
10. Minnesota-Duluth (6)
11. Union
12. New Hampshire
13. Western Michigan
14. Nebraska-Omaha
15. Maine

Quick thoughts on the women’s team

The Sioux destroyed Manitoba on back-to-back nights by a combined score of 21-0 this weekend in their exhibition games. It’s tough to tell a lot about teams when the competition is so lopsided, but here are a few quick thoughts:

  • The European players are as advertised. Michelle Karvinen scored a Lamoureux-like goal in the third period Saturday, Josefine Jakobsen showed good hands in getting a hat trick and Andrea Dalen looks strong in every phase of the game. They combined for 11 points in the finale.
  • Transfer Monique Weber has, hands down, the heaviest wrist shot I’ve ever seen from a fourth-line women’s hockey player. Guessing that only the Lamoureuxs can shoot a wrister as hard as she can. She scored three goals in two games — two of them flat out beating the goalie from above the circle unscreened – and sure looked like a player that will contribute a lot this season.
  • Alyssa Wiebe looks even more dynamic than last year, when she had 34 points. I would be surprised if she doesn’t eclipse that this year.
  • This is easily the most skill this team has ever had.
  • All of this being said, there were a lot of sloppy moments this weekend, which is what you would expect for the first two exhibitions of the year. They have to clean it up fast, though. They start the season by playing the top two ranked teams in the country. The BU and Wisconsin series should be a lot more telling.

Women’s final: UND 10, Manitoba 0

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First period

UND 1, Manitoba 0 — Alyssa Wiebe (Josefine Jakobsen, Kayla Berg) 9:26. Jakobsen fires a shot from the left circle that’s stopped, but Wiebe finds the rebound on her backhand and puts it five-hole.

UND 2, Manitoba 0 — Jocelyne Lamoureux (Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, Michelle Karvinen). Karvinen sets up Monique in the slot. Mo’s shot hits traffic in front, but Jocelyne finds the rebound and puts it off the post and in.

Second period

UND 3, Manitoba 0 — Josefine Jakobsen (Alyssa Wiebe, Andrea Dalen) 6:34. Dalen does the work to get the puck deep in the zone and gives it off to Wiebe. She fires it off the end wall and Jakobsen finds it at the side of the net and puts it in the far side of the net.

UND 4, Manitoba 0 — Jocelyne Lamoureux (Michelle Karvinen, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls) 11:13 (pp). The goalie catches a piece of Jocelyne’s blast from the left circle, but not enough as it still gets by her and in the net.

UND 5, Manitoba 0 — Josefine Jakobsen (Alyssa Wiebe, Ashley Furia) 16:13. Jakobsen entered the zone on a two-on-one, but took the puck up the middle of the ice and just shot herself. Her wrister beat the goalie to the stick side.

UND 6, Manitoba 0 — Monique Lamoureux-Kolls (Jocelyne Lamoureux, Michelle Karvinen) 17:00. Jocelyne makes a great play coming down the slot, gets the goal to go down, then feeds her sister off to the side of the net. Monique has a very easy goal.

UND 7, Manitoba 0 — Monique Weber (Margot Miller, Megan Gilbert) 17:12. Weber carried the puck above the left circle and flat out beats the goalie with a heavy wrist shot.

Third period

UND 8, Manitoba 0 — Josefine Jakobsen (Andrea Dalen) 9:40. Jakobsen finishes off the hat trick with her second goal from the side of the net. This time she finds room five-hole for the goal.

UND 9, Manitoba 0 — Andrea Dalen (Allison Parizek, Sara Dagenais) 12:27 (pp). Dagenais carried the puck in the zone on the left wing and passed to Parizek who launched a slap shot. The goalie made the initial save, but Dalen picked up the rebound on her backhand.

UND 10, Manitoba 0 — Michelle Karvinen (Kayla Berg) 17:29. Karvinen carried the puck on the right when and torched the Bisons defenseman wide, cut across the crease and scored on the far side for a highlight goal.

UND’s lines

18 Monique Lamoureux-Kolls–17 Jocelyne Lamoureux–8 Michelle Karvinen
13 Alyssa Wiebe–63 Josefine Jakobsen–10 Andrea Dalen
21 Kelsey Ketcher–22 Sara Dagenais–6 Allison Parizek
26 Monique Weber–15 Megan Gilbert–19 Margot Miller

7 Jordan Slavin–91 Ashley Furia
32 Candace Molle–9 Kayla Berg
16 Tori Williams–3 Madison Kolls

30 Jorid Dagfinrud
29 Steph Ney
33 Michelle Bonapace-Potvin