Apologies for the late update, but today was a way-too-busy day with way-too-many stories to write before deadline.
UND will bench freshman defenseman Paul LaDue for Friday night’s game because of a noisy party citation he received this week. The 21-year-old has played in every game so far this season for UND.
That makes it more likely that we will see freshman defenseman Keaton Thompson in the lineup. Thompson was the NCHC’s rookie of the week for his performance against St. Lawrence. If he’s not in, UND also could move Andrew Panzarella back to defense.
Junior center Mark MacMillan is back practicing and UND coach Dave Hakstol said he’s “hopeful” that MacMillan will be able to play against the Broncos. That would be a big lift – assuming he’s able to skate better than he could against Duluth.
Hakstol said that Colten St. Clair won’t be back this weekend, but didn’t rule him out for the Northern Michigan series. He said chances are that St. Clair will return sometime after Christmas. He has been skating.
As for goaltending, sophomore Zane Gothberg said he thought he played his best game of the year on Saturday. He said he felt very comfortable in the net. He also said he knows that his next step is finding more consistency.
UND will be going up against Frank Slubowski, aka The Big Slubowski, who is one of the NCHC’s top netminders. WMU plays great defensively around him and UND will really have to work to generate offense against the Broncos. Slubowski is the guy who was in net for WMU for the 2012 NCAA regional game.
UND fans also will see a familiar face on the other side in senior forward Mike Cichy, who played two seasons at UND. Things haven’t come easy for Cichy early this season – he has no points in 10 games – but I’m sure he’d like nothing more than to get on track this weekend.
That’s it for now – off to Kalamazoo today. Hopefully we’ll have some more updates (not related to the weather and travel problems). Did I mention that it is 58 degrees in Kalamazoo right now?