Jocelyne named Patty Kaz finalist

UND senior forward Jocelyne Lamoureux is a top 10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, which goes to the women’s player of the year.

But something tells me that Jocelyne probably wasn’t real elated when the announcement happened on Thursday afternoon. That’s because her twin sister, Monique, was left off the list.

Jocelyne, who was a top 3 finalist last season, ranks third nationally in scoring with 71 points in 34 games. For her career, she has 275 points — the most ever scored by anyone who played in the WCHA.

Three finalists will be announced Thursday, March. 7.

Monique’s omission is surprising being that she’s the first defenseman since Harvard’s Angela Ruggiero in 2003-04 to be in the top 10 nationally in scoring (Ruggiero won Patty Kaz that year). Monique has averaged 1.96 points per game in 25 games at the blue line this year, which is a WCHA record. The second best ever is 1.38.

Top 10 Patty Kazmaier finalists

Megan Bozek, D, Minnesota
Hannah Brandt, F, Minnesota
Alex Carpenter, F, Boston College
Kendall Coyne, F, Northeastern
Brianna Decker, F, Wisconsin
Jillian Dempsey, F, Harvard
Brianne Jenner, F, Cornell
Amanda Kessel, F, Minnesota
Jocelyne Lamoureux, F, North Dakota
Noora Raty, G, Minnesota

Weekly Wednesday update

The postseason has arrived for the women’s team and it’s getting awfully close for the men’s team. So, maybe it’s a little surprising that things aren’t more hectic out at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

But for the men, it’s business as usual. UND coach Dave Hakstol remarked how the team is “relatively healthy” right now, which is allowing for a lot of lineup decisions. It has become clear that if you’re not playing your role to a T, you won’t be in the lineup, no matter where you were drafted.

Brendan O’Donnell worked his way back into the lineup last weekend and progressively got better during the weekend. We’ll see if Derek Rodwell can regain his spot.

As for the goalies, that’s anybody’s guess at this point. I don’t know if we’re any closer to knowing who the No. 1 guy is than we were in October. At times, both guys have made convincing statements. At other times, both have opened the door for their teammate.

Read what Hakstol is saying about the goaltending battle here.

For Friday’s paper, I’ll have a Q&A with Hobey Baker Award candidate Danny Kristo, who has 0 career points against Bemidji State, his father’s alma mater.

I wrote a big feature on the Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux for Thursday’s paper. It’s hard to believe, but this weekend will be the last time they play in Ralph Engelstad Arena for UND.

Their impact on UND’s program is immeasurable. In 50 years, when people have fun discussing the “Mount Rushmore” of UND women’s hockey, it will start with those two.

They also shared a story that they had kept private until last month: The origins of why they thought about transferring to UND. Read that story here.

This week’s chat was pretty active. We had a lot of questions coming in. If you want to check it out, read the transcript below.

Feb. 26 Bracketology

Since we’re only four weeks away from the NCAA tournament field being picked for real, I figured it’s time to start having fun looking at how the field might play out. Obviously, a ton can and will change during the last two weeks of the regular season and the playoffs, so take this with a grain of salt.

One thing of note is that since Niagara is in the top 16 of the Pairwise, it is completely possible that all of the top 16 get in (if Niagara wins the AHA tournament). If the NCAAs started today, this is how I think the bracket would look:

Providence, R.I.
(1) Quinnipiac vs. (4) Notre Dame
(2) Niagara vs. (3) St. Cloud State

Grand Rapids, Mich.
(1) Minnesota vs. (4) RPI
(2) MSU-Mankato vs. (3) Western Michigan

Toledo, Ohio
(1) Miami vs. (4) Yale
(2) North Dakota vs. (3) UMass-Lowell

Manchester, N.H.
(1) Boston College vs. (4) Dartmouth
(2) New Hampshire vs. (3) Denver

And on the women’s side….

(8) North Dakota at (1) Minnesota
(7) Mercyhurst at (2) Cornell
(6) Harvard at (3) Boston College
(5) Boston University at (4) Clarkson

Lamoureuxs named to USA camp

UND’s Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux have been invited to the Team USA camp in March, which will help determine the final roster for the World Championships, which are being held in Ontario in April.

Warroad’s Gigi Marvin and Roseau’s Sarah Erickson also have been invited to the camp.

There were some gigantic surprises on the list, including the omission of Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt, who ranks second nationally with 73 points in 34 games. Harvard’s Lyndsey Fry, who has 32 points this year, was taken over Brandt (of note, the coach of Team USA is Harvard’s Katey Stone).

One name that jumps out on the list is Jincy Dunne, who is the most coveted recruit out there. She’s only 15 years old right now, but there are people out there who think she has a shot at making the Olympic roster as a 16-year-old.

Dunne is from O’Fallon, Mo., the same hometown as Michael Parks.

Penn State ends first season with a bang

Penn State’s first season as a Division I college hockey team is over, but it ended with an eyebrow-raising win.

The Nittany Lions beat the University of Wisconsin 3-2 in overtime in the Kohl Center on Monday night. The game story is here.

The victory should help Penn State in its recruiting efforts this offseason, as will the statistic that Penn State went 3-2 this season against future Big Ten rivals. The Nittany Lions split with the Badgers and Michigan State and beat Ohio State.

The team is mostly made up of freshmen, and this should be a solid place for them to start. There was a lot of speculation on how long it will take the Nittany Lions to become competitive after they lost to an Arizona State club team earlier this season. But maybe they are closer than we think.

On Wisconsin’s end, this is a loss that has a lot of fans upset. It will probably result in the Badgers missing the NCAA tournament for the third year in a row and the fifth time in the last seven years (and one of the years they made it, they finished under .500).

Bucky’s Fifth Quarter did a very interesting, in-depth piece on the Wisconsin program here.

Poll time

The UND men are sixth, sixth and sixth. The women are eighth and eighth. Consistent.

Pairwise Rankings

1. Quinnipiac
2. Minnesota
3. Miami
4. Boston College
5. New Hampshire
6. North Dakota
7. Minnesota State-Mankato
8. Niagara
9. Western Michigan
10. St. Cloud State
11. UMass-Lowell
12. Denver
13. Dartmouth
14. Notre Dame
15. Yale
16. RPI
17. St. Lawrence
18. Robert Morris
19. Alaska (Fairbanks)
20. Union
21. Omaha
22. Merrimack
23. Boston University
24. Ferris State
25. Ohio State

USCHO poll

1 Quinnipiac (37) 23- 4-5 975 1
2 Minnesota (10) 21- 6-5 948 2
3 Miami (2) 21- 8-5 907 3
4 Boston College (1) 18- 8-3 835 4
5 New Hampshire 17- 8-5 770 5
6 North Dakota 17- 9-6 734 6
7 St. Cloud State 19-12-1 670 7
8 Western Michigan 18- 8-8 650 8
9 Minnesota State 20- 9-3 635 9
10 Denver 16-10-5 515 10
11 Notre Dame 19-12-3 489 11
12 Massachusetts-Lowell 18- 9-2 487 12
13 Nebraska-Omaha 18-12-2 356 14
14 Niagara 21- 6-5 335 16
15 Yale 14-10-3 323 13
16 Wisconsin 14-10-7 237 18
17 Merrimack 14-11-6 199 17
18 Dartmouth 13-10-4 119 19
19 Boston University 14-14-2 112 15
20 Providence 13-10-7 80 NR

Others receiving votes: Rensselaer 57, St. Lawrence 36,
Union 14, Ferris State 12, Alaska 3, Robert Morris 2.

USA Today poll

1 Quinnipiac University, 506 (30)
2 University of Minnesota, 471 (3)
3 Miami University, 447 (1)
4 Boston College, 406
5 University of New Hampshire, 368
6 University of North Dakota, 333
7 Minnesota State University, 261
8 Western Michigan University, 260
9 St. Cloud State University, 257
10 UMass-Lowell, 179
11 University of Denver, 166
12 University of Notre Dame, 134
13 Niagara University, 107
14 Yale University, 82
15 University of Nebraska-Omaha, 50

Others receiving votes: Merrimack College, 24; Providence College, 12; Dartmouth College, 8; University of Wisconsin, 6; Boston University, 2; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1.

Women’s Pairwise

1. Minnesota
2. Cornell
3. Boston College
4. Clarkson
5. Boston University
6. Harvard
7. Mercyhurst
8. North Dakota
9. Wisconsin
10. Northeastern
11. Quinnipiac
12. Dartmouth

Women’s USCHO poll

1 Minnesota (15) 34- 0-0 150 1
2 Cornell 23- 5-1 127 3
3 Boston College 25- 5-3 125 2
4 Boston University 23- 5-3 98 4
5 Clarkson 26- 8-0 84 7
6 Wisconsin 21- 9-2 65 6
7 Harvard 20- 5-3 62 5
8 North Dakota 23-10-1 49 8
9 Mercyhurst 26- 6-1 38 9
10 Northeastern 21-10-2 27 10

Others receiving votes: None

Saturday night rewind

Another road trip, another wild adventure home.

While the team flew a charter plane back to Grand Forks on Saturday night right after the the game and arrived back in town at about 3 a.m., the commercial route wasn’t so smooth.

After sitting at Denver International Airport for 10 hours, having a flight cancelled, three flights re-scheduled, we were able to hop on a flight to Fargo via standby and get back to North Dakota. A co-worker picked us up and we were back in the Grand Cities by 1:30 a.m. — which was a very welcome arrival time considering our re-booking wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon.

In addition to winning on the charter flight home, the team also won a big game Saturday night against Denver, allowing them to get a series split and stay at No. 6 in the Pairwise Rankings.

Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Herald column on UND solving Olkinuora

Denver Post

Other notes:

  • UND remained at No. 6 in the Pairwise after the weekend split.
  • The 6-1 result marked Denver’s worst home loss since Jan. 12, 2008, when it lost 7-2 to Wisconsin.
  • In five games since Rocco Grimaldi was put on LW with Corban Knight and Danny Kristo, the trio has 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) and is a plus-20. Those three are really starting to click together.
  • Kristo is now tied with Omaha’s Ryan Walters in the chase for the WCHA scoring title. They both have 35 points. Knight is next in line with 33 points (only points in league play count).
  • While Kristo has the scoring touch, Knight may be UND’s best set-up guy since Evan Trupp. The pass he made to feed Kristo on UND’s first goal was outstanding. He had a really small window to fit that into and he threaded it.
  • When asked about using players like Brendan O’Donnell, Colten St. Clair, Mitch MacMillan, etc., on the late power plays, UND coach Dave Hakstol said that, while those guys don’t usually see a lot of PP time, they run the power play in practice while the other guys are working on the PK. “They are good power play players,” he said. Those are guys who, at some point in their careers, may very well be regular power-play guys.
  • Five of Carter Rowney’s eight goals this season have come against Denver.
  • Three guys who were very key to UND’s late-season run last year as regular point producers — Rowney, Mark MacMillan and Michael Parks — all scored goals Saturday. Their production will be important to the team’s success down the stretch.
  • I thought UND’s defensemen, as a whole, looked as confident in the offensive zone as I’ve seen them this year. Jordan Schmaltz is a different player right now than he was at the beginning of the season. Nick Mattson had a really nice weekend, too. And Dillon Simpson has quietly been very, very good all year.
  • Simpson is tied for fifth in WCHA defenseman scoring.
  • And just when we thought UND had its No. 1 goalie in Zane Gothberg, Clarke Saunders gets a start and plays outstanding. Saunders left a couple of rebounds early, but got stronger and stronger as the game went on, and by the second period, he was locked in. Who knows where UND goes from here in net.