Weekend status and NCAAs

UND may be getting one player back from injury this weekend.

Coach Dave Hakstol said there’s a chance that Colten St. Clair may be able to go this weekend against Northern Michigan.

“That’s a big deal,” Hakstol said. “He’s a good player. He brings energy and another hard and heavy body that we can put into our lineup. We won’t know yet, probably for another day or two, but he’s making real good strides.”

St. Clair has been skating for a couple of weeks now, but has been limited in practice until this week.

His presence has been sorely missed on the penalty kill, where he was terrific at the start of the season.

On the other side, UND will be without forward Brendan O’Donnell, who continues to battle an upper-body injury that has bothered him and sidelined him for much of the first half. O’Donnell didn’t play Saturday at Western Michigan.

After this weekend’s series, UND has 20 days until it goes to Vancouver for a couple of exhibitions. Those days off are going to be very welcome to several players.

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My first reaction to seeing the NCAA selections was that the committee got it right, awarding Fargo one of the regionals. Lots of teams — and lots of good teams — within driving distance. It should sell out no problem and be a great atmosphere.

Then, I saw the South Bend selection, which opened up a can of worms by putting it at a home site. I wrote a little bit about that in this column.

I have no clue what the committee’s reasoning is for that, and obviously it decided not to follow past practice or the wishes of the coaching body.

Regardless, Scheels Arena will be great and it will sell out quickly.

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On the women’s side, I think everyone believed it was a slam dunk that The Ralph would get a Frozen Four.

Instead, it is going to Minnesota’s Ridder Arena twice (2015, 2018), New Hampshire once and St. Charles, Mo., once.

Minnesota has built a powerhouse in women’s hockey and it certainly has some built-in advantages. The WCHA Final Faceoff has been played at Ridder Arena eight times in the last 10 years. Now, the NCAA Frozen Four will be there three times in six years (and four times in nine years).

14 thoughts on “Weekend status and NCAAs

  1. The NCAA continues to be a malfunctioning, incompetent behemoth which has an inordinate prejudice against North Dakota because we had the audacity to stand up it. I don’t expect the NCAA’s bias against North Dakota to recede anytime soon.

  2. How good would O’Donnell be if he could stay healthy? Missed games his freshman year…missed part of his sophomore year…now his junior year. I bet he has missed more games than he has played.

  3. The whole nickname deal, not just with UND but with other schools (except those with political or economic cojones), was no more than a PR stunt, showing how kind and gentle the NCAA was. It also tried to draw attention away from the abysmal job it has done in overseeing it member institutions.

  4. The NCAA is an absolute joke! The committee is going away from campus sites, supposedly, and then awards a regional to Notre Dame’s campus? How contradicting for the NCAA committee to pull this stunt. An absolute joke!

  5. Start prepping the bids for future regionals for the Ralph. The NCAA is broken and continues to be lead by people without common sense.

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