Poll time

The Sioux men dropped to 15th in both national polls and 17th in the INCH power rankings. The Sioux women held the No. 6 spot.

USCHO poll

Team             (First Place)   Record   Pts  Last Week
1 Boston College            (42)    7-1-0   971     1
2 Colorado College          ( 5)    4-0-0   834     3
3 Michigan                          6-1-1   779     4
4 Western Michigan          ( 1)    5-0-3   689     7
5 Minnesota                         7-1-0   684     8
6 Notre Dame                        5-2-0   681     5
7 Merrimack                         6-0-0   627     9
8 Denver                            3-2-1   589     2
9 Yale                      ( 1)    1-0-1   500    10
10 Ferris State                      6-2-0   471     6
11 Lake Superior                     7-1-0   390    18
12 Boston University                 3-2-1   373    13
13 Union                             3-1-3   367    11
14 Minnesota-Duluth                  4-3-1   331    15
15 North Dakota                      3-4-1   259    12
16 Michigan Tech                     5-2-1   204    NR
17 Northern Michigan                 4-3-1   197    14
18 Colgate                           4-2-1   136    16
19 Quinnipiac                        6-2-0   114    20
20 Maine                             3-2-1    97    NR

Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 64, Clarkson 47, Dartmouth
30, Miami 22, Nebraska-Omaha 21, Air Force 11, Cornell 11,
Harvard 7, Ohio State 7, St. Cloud State 7, Bowling Green 5,
Michigan State 3, Alaska-Anchorage 2.

USA Today poll

1     Boston College, 507 (30)
2     Colorado College, 464 (3)
3     University of Michigan, 427
4     University of Notre Dame, 366
5     University of Minnesota, 353
6     Western Michigan University, 311
7     Merrimack College, 309
8     University of Denver, 281
9     Yale University, 244 (1)
10     Ferris State University, 174
11     Union College, 158
12     Boston University, 126
13     Lake Superior State University, 109
14     University of Minnesota Duluth, 86
15     University of North Dakota, 54     

Others receiving votes: Northern Michigan University, 23; Colgate University, 21; Michigan Tech University, 21; Quinnipiac University, 18; University of Maine, 12; Clarkson University, 9; Dartmouth College, 6; United States Air Force Academy, 1.

INCH power rankings

1. Boston College
2. Colorado College
3. Minnesota
4. Michigan
5. Yale
6. Merrimack
7. Union
8. Denver
9. Notre Dame
10. Western Michigan
11. Ferris State
12. Lake Superior State
13. Colgate
14. Boston University
15. Dartmouth
16. Quinnipiac
17. North Dakota
18. Michigan Tech
19. Clarkson
20. Northern Michigan

USCHO women’s poll

Team             (First Place)   Record   Pts  Last Week
1 Wisconsin                 (14)    9-1-0   149     1
2 Cornell                   ( 1)    3-0-0   131     3
3 Minnesota                         8-2-0   124     2
4 Minnesota-Duluth                  4-3-1    87     7
5 Boston University                 5-3-1    81     5
6 Boston College                    5-2-1    77     4
 7 North Dakota                      5-4-1    61     6
8 Mercyhurst                        6-2-0    41     8
9 Northeastern                      6-1-0    35     9
10 Bemidji State                     6-2-2    12    NR
10 Harvard                           2-0-0    12    NR

Others receiving votes: Dartmouth 11, Ohio State 3, Clarkson
1.

Saturday night rewind

Facing the possibility of going 0-4 in WCHA play for the first time in program history, the Sioux came up with their best team defensive performance of the season in beating St. Cloud State 3-1 to gain a series split. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald

FightingSioux.com

St. Cloud Times

USCHO

Other notes:

  • The most noticeable part of Saturday’s game, for me, was the job that the forwards did backchecking to break up St. Cloud rushes. Danny Kristo set the tone on his first or second shift with a great backcheck to break up a play. A lot of his teammates followed suit after that. As noted a week earlier, forwards probably could have done a better job picking up trailers in Madison.
  • Ben Blood was dominant in his own end for much of the game. UND coach Dave Hakstol said that Blood may or may not have come off the ice in the last four or five minutes of the game. He’s obviously in shape to play big minutes and will continue to do so.
  • Hakstol said he was pleased with the defensive corps as a whole. Andrew Panzarella delivered more big hits in that game than he has in any other game this season. He had three of them.
  • UND didn’t get any breaks in losses to Wisconsin and St. Cloud. The Sioux finally got a few breaks Saturday night. St. Cloud State hit one post and two crossbars in the game. They went post and out instead of post and in. Hakstol was able to smile about that after the game.
  • UND got its best game out of Derek Rodwell and Carter Rowney. Rodwell earned the hard hat. Rowney has a boring line on the stat sheet: no points, even rating, no shots. But he was creating a lot of plays throughout the night.
  • Hakstol was very pleased with Aaron Dell, who seemed to find the puck through traffic in the third period when St. Cloud State had its best pressure of the game.
  • With four minutes to go in the second period, the Huskies only had six shots on goal.
  • Andrew Prochno had an impressive weekend for the Huskies.

Women salvage a point in Duluth

One week after everything went in the net during an 18-goal weekend against Ohio State, the Sioux women struggled to get anything going offensively at Minnesota-Duluth.

The offense was quiet during a 6-1 loss on Saturday afternoon and the Sioux tried switching up the top lines — putting Andrea Dalen on the Lamoureux line instead of Michelle Karvinen — for parts of Sunday.

As it appeared the Sioux were about to get swept, they scored two goals in the final five minutes — the game-tying goal with 17 seconds remaining and an extra attacker on the ice — to salvage a tie against the Bulldogs.

Josefine Jakobsen batted in the first one and Karvinen re-directed a point shot by Jocelyne Lamoureux for the tying goal. Duluth got the extra WCHA point by beating the Sioux in the shootout.

Because the Sioux haven’t had a ton of success against the top teams (1-4-1 against BU, Wisconsin and Duluth), it will magnify the importance of the next month. The Sioux take on St. Cloud State, MSU-Mankato and Bemidji State in games that they cannot afford to lose.

It starts this weekend with Friday and Saturday afternoon games against a St. Cloud State team that has just two wins in its last 47 games going back to the 2009-10 season. Losing any of these games will make it an uphill battle in the second half to make the NCAA tournament.

Gameday final: UND 3, SCSU 1

TO ENTER THE LIVE CHAT, click here.

Tonight’s viewing options: FSSN, MidcoSN3 (GF 323), FCS Central, DirecTV 617. FightingSioux.com has the webcast.

First period

No scoring.

Second period

UND 1, St. Cloud State 0 — Mark MacMillan (Ben Blood, Derek Forbort) 1:13 (pp). MacMillan re-directs a point shot by Blood to break the goal drought.

UND 2, St. Cloud State 0 — Corban Knight (Danny Kristo) 11:11. A hard-working shift by the top line leads to a goal. Knight fights off a couple of checkers, curls out of the corner and rips one just inside the post.

UND 3, St. Cloud State 0 — Brock Nelson (Rocco Grimaldi, Corban Knight) 12:40 (pp). UND escapes a St. Cloud State rush and turns the puck back with numbers. Grimaldi feeds Nelson in the right circle and Nelson blasts one home high glove.

UND 3, St. Cloud State 1 — Ben Hanowski (Nic Dowd, Kevin Gravel) 19:24. Gravel flips a backhand to the crease area, where Dowd tries to make a deke. Dowd loses control, but Hanowski is crashing the net and slams it home.

Third period

No scoring.

UND’s lines

29 Brock Nelson–10 Corban Knight–7 Danny Kristo
9 Mario Lamoureux–27 Carter Rowney–11 Derek Rodwell
16 Mark MacMillan–19 Rocco Grimaldi–20 Joe Gleason
28 Stephane Pattyn–14 Taylor Dickin–15 Michael Parks

4 Derek Forbort–24 Ben Blood
2 Andrew MacWilliam–5 Nick Mattson
18 Dillon Simpson–22 Andrew Panzarella

32 Aaron Dell
31 Brad Eidsness

St. Cloud State’s lines

23 Cam Reid–19 Drew LeBlanc–11 Jared Festler
10 Ben Hanowski–26 Nic Dowd–22 David Eddy
15 Mitch MacMillan–13 Jordy Christian–12 Travis Novak
18 Garrett Milan–8 Corey Thorson–17 Joey Holka

28 Andrew Prochno–14 Nick Jensen
7 Kevin Gravel–2 Jarrod Rabey
3 Sam Zabkowicz–40 Tim Daly

29 Ryan Faragher
33 Joe Phillippi

Friday night rewind

For the second straight game, UND badly outshot its opponent, but came away with nothing to show for it. On Friday night, the Sioux weren’t able to take advantage of a 21-shot edge or two five-minute power plays in a 4-0 loss to St. Cloud State. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald

St. Cloud Times

FightingSioux.com

USCHO

Other notes:

  • The players said after the game that they maybe need to crash the net a little harder to score some goals. I actually thought that they got plenty of whacks at rebounds and pucks bouncing around in the crease area. It’s just a matter of putting them away.
  • The challenge for the Sioux right now is not straying too far from their game and not forcing things. If they play like they did tonight, they are going to win 90 percent of their games.
  • The Sioux eased Rocco Grimaldi into the game on the fourth line. By the second period, he was centering Mark MacMillan and Michael Parks. I think that tonight we saw the real Grimaldi – he looked much better than the Boston College game.
  • UND had a chance to put SCSU on its heels on the first shift when Corban Knight was alone on top of the crease with the puck. Goalie Ryan Faragher played it well and settled in after that. Knight had 10 shots on goal himself.
  • Danny Kristo continued to be very dynamic. He made a couple of great setups for teammates.
  • Mario Lamoureux clearly is quite banged up. A couple of times his injuries were rather apparent, including after he got checked by Ben Hanowski. He went down the tunnel once or twice tonight. This is one example of why Lamoureux commands the respect that he does in the locker room.
  • UND seemed to run out of gas after St. Cloud State scored the second goal. The Sioux, after tallying 39 shots through two periods, had only five in the third.
  • It’s a guessing game to see who the team will play in goal, but I’m going to guess Aaron Dell gets a second straight start.
  • St. Cloud State’s Nick Oliver won’t play tonight. His penalty was changed to a game disqualification. Hanowski will return.
  • My other guess on a lineup change is that Taylor Dickin will play for Dan Senkbeil.
  • UND has never started 0-4 in WCHA play and will try to avoid that hole in the series finale. While the Sioux are starting to play better, they can’t dig themselves too big of a hole.
  • MacMillan received stitches and had to get a new helmet after being checked from behind by Oliver.
  • The Sioux have played seven games and have only scored the first goal in two of them. They need to get on the board early.
  • Mike Lee has a career record of 0-5-1 against the Sioux. Even if he’s ready for the series between the teams in St. Cloud, perhaps they want to go with Faragher anyway?
  • UND is on its first four-game winless streak since December 2006.

Gameday final: SCSU 4, UND 0

TO ENTER THE LIVE CHAT, click here.

Tonight’s viewing options: FSSN, MidcoSN3 (GF 323), FCS Central, DirecTV 617 or FightingSioux.com for webcast.

First period

SCSU 1, UND 0 — Jared Festler (Drew LeBlanc, Cam Reid) 7:16. Reid made a nice play along the wall to pass the puck as he’s about to get hit by Blood. That play creates a two-on-one that Festler finishes.

Second period

No scoring.

Third period

SCSU 2, UND 0 — Andrew Prochno (Cory Thorson, Nick Jensen) 2:54. The Huskies get the puck to the point, where Prochno fires a shot through traffic into the net.

SCSU 3, UND 0 — Sam Zabkowicz (Cam Reid, Jarrod Rabey) 9:23. Rabey tries to pass it to Reid, cutting toward the net, but the pass deflects off of his stick and goes to Zabkowicz at the point. His shot makes it 3-0.

SCSU 4, UND 0 — Travis Novak 19:43 (sh) (en). Novak scores into an empty net for the final goal.

UND’s lines

29 Brock Nelson–10 Corban Knight–7 Danny Kristo
16 Mark MacMillan–27 Carter Rowney–15 Michael Parks
28 Stephane Pattyn–9 Mario Lamoureux–11 Derek Rodwell
8 Dan Senkbeil–19 Rocco Grimaldi–20 Joe Gleason

4 Derek Forbort–24 Ben Blood
2 Andrew MacWilliam–5 Nick Mattson
18 Dillon Simpson–22 Andrew Panzarella

32 Aaron Dell
31 Brad Eidsness

St. Cloud State’s lines

23 Cam Reid–19 Drew LeBlanc–11 Jared Festler
10 Ben Hanowski–26 Nic Dowd–22 David Eddy
15 Mitch MacMillan–13 Jordy Christian–12 Travis Novak
27 Nick Oliver–8 Cory Thorson–17 Joey Holka

28 Andrew Prochno–14 Nick Jensen
7 Kevin Gravel–4 Taylor Johnson
3 Sam Zabkowicz–2 Jarrod Rabey

29 Ryan Faragher
33 Joe Phillippi

SCSU goalie Mike Lee not on trip

St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said Friday afternoon that goaltender Mike Lee did not make the trip to Grand Forks for the series because of an injury.

Motzko added that the team will soon learn the severity of the injury and whether it is season-ending.

Lee, a Roseau product, is the No. 1 goalie for the Huskies and was looking for his first-career win against the Sioux (0-5-1).

Instead, freshman Ryan Faragher is likely to start for the Huskies. Faragher has one college start under his belt, allowing three goals.

St. Clair won’t play this season

UND received word Thursday night that Colten St. Clair will not be able to play college hockey this season.

The NCAA did not clear the freshman forward.

A hangup with an online course/program is believed to be the reason for the NCAA’s ruling. St. Clair has not been made available to media yet to discuss the circumstance.

“I just wanna get on that ice. It will have to wait #rattled,” St. Clair tweeted last night.

St. Clair is still enrolled at UND, though he cannot practice with the team. He is able to work out at The Hockey Academy, though, I believe.

Friday morning reading

Viewing options: FSSN, MidcoSN3 (GF 323), FCS Central, DirecTV 617.

According to the Ticketmaster site, a few tickets have become available for this weekend’s series against St. Cloud State, including a couple in the lower bowl. I would expect that this series will be sold out come game time, though.

The MacMillan family already has their tickets and they are bringing a crew of nine from British Columbia. They will fly from Kelowna, B.C., to Winnipeg and drive down to Grand Forks to watch the brothers play against each other for the first time.

In Thursday’s Herald, I wrote a little bit about Mark and Mitch MacMillan, getting their thoughts about the brother battle. Of note, they have a 13-year-old sister who plays on a B.C. bantam team who has made it her goal to play for the Sioux someday. She will be at the rink this weekend.

The St. Cloud Times also has a take on the brothers playing against each other.

Today’s notebook features Danny Kristo, who coach Dave Hakstol says is playing a complete game. Of course, big-time offense is part of that complete game. Kristo is nearly averaging two points per game to start the season.

In that same notebook, Hakstol details some of the things that UND needs to improve on against the Huskies.

This week’s Ice Time features a short Q&A with Stephane Pattyn, whose game reminds me of Mario Lamoureux as a freshman. As Jayson Hajdu once said, Lamoureux plays every shift like he hasn’t made the team yet. So does Pattyn. And like Lamoureux, Pattyn seems to be making it impossible for the coaches to take him out of the lineup.

This week’s Through These Doors episode recaps Wisconsin and previews the Huskies.

The St. Cloud Times also featured one of SCSU’s top players, Drew LeBlanc, who is closing in on the Century Club and has played in 125 straight games.

As for other games in the WCHA…

Bemidji State at Minnesota Duluth: The last time these teams played, Bemidji State knocked Duluth out of the Final Five with an OT goal. Not that anyone really remembers that, because the Dogs ended up winning a different tournament there a couple weeks later on an OT goal. The Beavers remain a work in progress, while the Bulldogs see several parallels between defensive partners Brady Lamb and Wade Bergman.

Nebraska-Omaha at Wisconsin: Several Sioux players got their first taste of the Kohl Center last weekend. Now, it’s Omaha’s turn. The Mavs will not only have to deal with the crowd, they also will have to deal with alternate captain Ryan Little, who has been cleared to play after suffering an injury against the Sioux.

Denver at Michigan Tech: The Pioneers may continue to go with their 11-forward, seven-defenseman lineup against the Huskies. One of those defensemen is Josiah Didier, who is big and mobile. The Huskies will try to rebound after being swept at Bemidji.

Minnesota at Alaska Anchorage: One of the keys to Minnesota’s newfound offense is defenseman Nate Schmidt, who has a booming shot from the point. Schmidt has come alive after a rough freshman season. The Gophers are up in Anchorage, taking on a Seawolves team that will be minus Jordan Kwas, who is injured.

Colorado College at RPI: Everyone knew that Jaden Schwartz’s decision to return to Colorado College instead of go pro was big for the Tigers, but Gabe Guentzel quietly made the same decision. Guentzel is an offensive blue liner for the Tigers, who are on the road for the first time this season.

On the women’s side…

The Sioux are playing a Saturday-Sunday series against the Bulldogs in AmsOil Arena. One Sioux player mentioned this week some bad memories in the old rink, although the last college game to be played in that building was a UND women’s hockey victory over the Dogs.

I wrote this week about Margot Miller, who has been moved to defense as a senior. It’s yet another role that the former Shattuck player has agreed to take on for UND.

The Sioux also carry some impressive stats heading into the weekend.