I will try to start a new feature this season for Mondays through Thursdays – an overnight update with various news, notes or anything that catches my eye. Not sure how difficult it will be some days, but we’ll see how it goes. Some days it may be longer, some days it may be short. But it should keep the blog fresh on non-game days.
To start this one off, the UND women trounced Pursuit of Excellence — a high school all-star team from Canada — by the score of 12-1 on Friday night. A few thoughts about that game:
- Touted D-man recruit Halli Krzyzaniak is the real deal. She had 11 shots on goal from the blue line. Has good reach, good skating ability and can get the puck to the net. By the time she’s done, she’ll be the best defenseman UND’s ever had. She might be by the end of this year, in fact.
- The other highly touted recruit, freshman Susanna Tapani, showed her skill at times. Consistency can improve, though. She will be among UND’s top four scorers this year, I’m guessing.
- One of the other highlights was redshirt freshman Marissa Salo. She looked like she’s ready to step in.
- Pursuit of Excellence had a freshman (yes, in high school) who could play in the WCHA right now. She’s that good. Her name is Amy Potomak, and I’m sure some of UND’s defenders remember that. She will be one to watch in the future.
- One other possible target for the women’s team is Fargo South/Davies forward Alex Woken. She scored 40 goals as a freshman and is off to Shattuck this year.
Over the weekend in the USHL there were a number of notable performances.
For starters, two Grand Forks products notched their first USHL goals. Central’s John Simonson, the captain of the Lincoln Stars, buried one Friday. Red River’s Jacob Benson, a St. Cloud State commit, got his on Saturday for defending Clark Cup champ Dubuque.
How about the weekend for UND recruit Nick Schmaltz? He played in the All-American Prospect Game on Thursday night in Pittsburgh, flew back to Green Bay on Friday and played that night. The travel didn’t seem to be a problem: He scored two goals, including the overtime winner for the Gamblers.
Solid start to the season for Tucker Poolman as well. The UND defenseman recruit registered assists in both games and is plus-3. He had a nice Fall Classic, too. Wonder if he will be in the mix for USHL defenseman of the year when it’s all said and done.
With the NHL about to get started Tuesday, there’s been a lot of action on the transaction wire.
UND’s Hobey Baker finalists from a year ago, Danny Kristo and Corban Knight, will both start the season in the AHL. Last year’s captain, Andrew MacWilliam, also will start there, but he drew a lot of rave reviews for his performance in training camp. It sounds like he has a great chance of making his NHL debut at some point this season.
Chris VandeVelde is another guy who received a lot of good reviews in training camp. The Flyers have loaned him to the AHL.
Chris Porter cleared waivers and was sent to the AHL, which is a bit of a surprise considering he’s on a one-way contract and his line was one of St. Louis’ most effective during the playoffs last season.
Two former Grand Forks players are going into the Lincoln Stars Hall of Fame — goalie Phil Lamoureux and forward Danny Irmen. Lamoureux starred in college at UND and Irmen starred at Minnesota.
Around the country, Denver found out that forward Zac Larraza will be out 6-8 weeks after breaking his clavicle in practice. Larraza, a solid two-way player, had a breakout sophomore season, tallying 12 goals for Denver a year ago. He was DU’s leading returning goal-scorer.
Tonight is draft night in the new 18-person league here in GF. I have lucky No. 13 pick. I’m thinking about taking Roman Cechmanek first. I hear this is his year.