“It doesn’t matter who is out of the lineup. It matters who is in the lineup. And there will be enough guys in the lineup on both sides to make this a hell of a weekend.”
–St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko
Welcome to the injured reserve version of Friday morning reading, aka, the UND-St. Cloud State weekend preview.
Who won’t be playing this weekend? Well, let’s see here. . . Rocco Grimaldi, Derek Forbort, Brendan O’Donnell, Derek Rodwell, Colten St. Clair, J.T. Miller, Mike Lee, Mitch MacMillan, Cam Reid, Drew LeBlanc and perhaps Mike Parks.
Yes, these are two teams who have been victim of circumstance this season. But strangely enough, we also have two teams who are playing their best hockey as of late.
Motzko said today that the Huskies have been very good in the last month. The 3-3 record is a bit misleading because the Huskies have lost two OT games. UND, meanwhile, is 8-2-1 in the last 11.
Today’s notebook details both of these news items — the injuries (Grimaldi’s info in detail) and the strong play as of late. Read it here.
For Thursday’s paper, I detailed the incredible minutes that Ben Blood and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls played last weekend. Both played more minutes in a game last weekend than any NHLer has played in any regular-season game in the last four years.
In fact, you have to go back a decade to find the last time an NHL player played as much as Mo did on Sunday (39:34). Adrian Aucoin eclipsed 40 minutes while playing with the Islanders in 2002.
I can’t find the Andrew Panzarella Q&A online right now. Of note: He was born in Boston, lived in the Palo Alto area for a while in California and moved to Washington, D.C., in second grade. And no, he does not have a Boston accent.
Sports info director Jayson Hajdu already is in St. Cloud and fired up a travel blog post.
UND received a commitment from Omaha forward Chris Wilkie last week. I got around to talking to Wilkie and his coach, who happens to be his NHL-playing father, Dave. Read that story here.
Former UND great John Marks went into the ECHL Hall of Fame this week. Read a little about that here.
The St. Cloud Times has a feature on Jordy Christian here. Christian has strong UND ties. His cousin is Brock Nelson, his father is Eddie Christian and his uncle is Dave Christian.
St. Cloud beat writer Mick Hatten has a breakdown of the series on his blog.
Other series in the WCHA…
Anchorage at Wisconsin: The Badgers will try to get some momentum this weekend before heading to Grand Forks to take on UND. Mark Zengerle’s 20-game point streak is over and Justin Schultz was held without a point in a series for the first time last weekend, but expect both to kick it back into high gear against the Seawolves.
Alabama-Huntsville at Minnesota-Duluth: Future UND goalie Clarke Saunders gets to go to Duluth this weekend to take on his future conference foe and the No. 1 team in the country. The Duluth News Tribune has a story on J.T. Brown, who the paper says will likely sign after the season. The Huntsville Times also has an update on UAH’s situation.
Colorado College at Minnesota: It will be an interesting situation this weekend as CC defenseman Gabe Guentzel goes against the team his father coaches. The Tigers have not taken lightly to their recently struggles and even locked Jaden Schwartz and others out of a team meeting.
That’s all for now. Catch you from St. Cloud, where we’ll have the live blog fired up as long as Cover It Live isn’t down again. Stop by and chat at that time.
Also, if you are looking for TV options, it is NOT on television in Grand Forks. It is on TV in St. Cloud on Channel 87 and on the Comcast channels in the Twin Cities (23 in Minneapolis, 13 in St. Paul). If you don’t get those channels, the webcast is at www.b2livetv.com.