Trupp wins Kelly Cup

Former UND standout Evan Trupp has won the Kelly Cup as East Coast Hockey League champion as a member of the Alaska Aces.

Trupp celebrated the championship in the same arena (U.S. Bank Arena) that UND celebrated a Midwest Regional championship and a Frozen Four berth this season.

The Aces beat the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-2 in the series, winning 4-0 in Game 6 on Monday night.

Trupp had 6 goals and 14 points in 22 playoff games for the Aces, while taking out a couple of his old teams.

Trupp has been traded twice while playing in the ECHL by the Cyclones and the Bakersfield Condors. The Aces beat the Condors in the conference finals and knocked out the Cyclones in the Kelly Cup Finals.

After the game, fellow former UND forward T.J. Oshie tweeted a congrats to Trupp, saying that he’s “the most creative player I’ve seen.”

Greene, Trupp inch closer

Matt Greene moved a step closer to winning the Stanley Cup for a second time and Evan Trupp moved a step closer to winning the Kelly Cup on Saturday night.

For the third game in a row, Greene and the Kings trailed by two goals, but managed to rally and win in overtime. This time, it was Dustin Brown with the game-winner to give Los Angeles a 2-0 series lead on the New York Rangers.

Greene played 16:12 in Game 2, registering one assist and an even rating. So far in the playoffs, Los Angeles is 11-6 with Greene in the lineup and 3-3 without him, but there’s a chance that Greene will be out for Game 3 on Monday in New York.

Defenseman Robyn Regehr appears to be getting close to returning from injury and Greene has been the sixth defenseman.

Greene had a rough start to Saturday’s game with a turnover at the blue line and a defensive mix-up leading to Ranger goals. But he helped get one back when his point shot hit the leg of Dwight King to cut New York’s lead to 4-3 in the third. The Kings tied it soon after that.

Meanwhile, in the ECHL, the Alaska Aces went up 3-2 in the series against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Trupp had seven shots on goal but didn’t register any points in the game. The Aces have a chance to win the Kelly Cup on Monday night in the same arena where Connor Gaarder scored a double overtime goal to send UND to the Frozen Four this season.

Random updates

There will be a former UND player in the Stanley Cup Finals again. That is guaranteed after Matt Greene and the Los Angeles Kings ousted the Anaheim Ducks to earn a spot in the Western Conference finals.

The Kings will take on Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks next round in a battle between the last two Stanley Cup winners.

That series starts at 2 p.m. Sunday.

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Providence forward Drew Brown, who would have been a senior, announced he will miss the season as he battles cancer. Here’s the full release.

Brown’s Friars are scheduled to come to Grand Forks in October. If I hear of any plans to do something for Brown, I will pass it along.

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Holy Cross head coach Paul Pearl, who led the first No. 4 over No. 1 seed upset in college hockey history in 2006, is stepping down to take another job. According to USCHO, it could be the Harvard assistant coach position.

Pearl brought his Holy Cross team back to the Ralph, where it upset Minnesota, to play a two-game series against UND last season.

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New Colorado College coach Mike Haviland has not announced his assistant coaches yet, but former Tiger assistant Eric Rud is a finalist for the St. Cloud State women’s head coaching gig.

Rud was thought to be heir to Scott Owens, but was not hired by athletic director Ken Ralph.

There are actually interesting candidates for the Huskies, who hope to make the right decision this time around. Last time they had a head coaching vacancy, they passed up Brian Idalski and Brad Frost.

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While Toews and Greene are still left battling for the Stanley Cup, three other former UND players are chasing championships in other leagues.

Andrew MacWilliam and the Toronto Marlies ousted Taylor Chorney and the Chicago Wolves on Friday night. MacWilliam and the Marlies are in the Western Conference finals.

MacWilliam, an alternate captain on the Marlies, missed his first game of the playoffs due to an upper-body injury sustained Wednesday. The Marlies are expecting MacWilliam back for Round 1 of the conference finals.

Carter Rowney and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are tied 2-2 in their series with the Providence Bruins. Rowney played in Game 1 of the series but has missed the last three.

In the ECHL, Evan Trupp continued to stay red hot in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. With his Alaska Aces team trailing 1-0 in the third period, Trupp scored the tying goal and assisted on the game-winner to give Alaska a 2-1 victory.

To add insult to injury for the opponent, the Bakersfield Condors, they are the team that traded away Trupp last season. Trupp has five goals and seven points in the last five playoff games for the Aces.

Watkins scores Teddy Bear Toss goal

Former UND alternate captain Matt Watkins became the third former UND player (to my knowledge) to score a Teddy Bear Toss goal.

Watkins scored the first goal of the game for the Hershey Bears, which set off the Teddy Bear Toss — an event where fans throw teddy bears on the ice, which are collected for children of need.

You can watch Watkins, with his usual mustache greatness going on, comment on the goal here.

News organizations say that nearly 13,000 teddy bears were tossed on the ice.

Chay Genoway and Evan Trupp also have scored Teddy Bear Toss goals in their careers.

Random updates

Some UND buzz in the hockey world today…

There’s a feature in the Edmonton Journal about defenseman Dillon Simpson and his buddy Keegan Lowe — yes, the kid who drove approximately 10 hours from Edmonton to Kenmare, N.D., to pick up Simpson and Matt Frattin after Frattin’s car died. Simpson and Lowe are sons of famous Oilers.

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NHL did a feature on Colten St. Clair, who is lauded by scouts as being very hard working. St. Clair also is a great skater and is tenacious, which makes him effective even if he’s not scoring. Read the article here.

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The Voice of the Vees, Ryan Pinder, interviewed former Sioux Evan Trupp (yes, it’s weird calling him a ‘former’ Sioux). Check that interview out here.

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I also chatted with Pinder earlier this week about UND’s incoming freshmen Brendan O’Donnell and Mark MacMillan. Both played in Penticton last year. Pinder gave a little bit of a background on the players, describing how they are different. He said they have one big similarity, though: “They are both great, great kids. There won’t be any issues with their personalities or attitudes there in North Dakota.”

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The MLB draft was held this week and with 50 rounds, there are always some surprising picks. I was wondering if Sioux defenseman Jake Marto could have been one of those shot-in-the-dark picks. Marto was an outstanding player for Grand Forks Central (he made the GF legion team at age 14 and only struck out 3 times that entire season). He was recruited by Purdue, among others, for baseball. Marto was undrafted out of high school, probably in large part because teams knew they couldn’t sign him anyway. With his college hockey career over, that could have opened the door, but he was not picked.

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My story about former Sioux standout Ken Purpur, who passed away this week, has been posted to the Herald site here.

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Another piece of sad news is that Brad Malone’s grandfather, Bill, passed away this week. The obit says that Bill was quite passionate about hockey. He sure passed that down through the generations.

Trupp shows the X his skills

Evan Trupp had nearly all of the 15,008 on their feet, buzzing early in the third period for a play that didn’t even produce a goal.

Trupp picked up a loose puck at his own blue line, put it on the blade of his stick, and carried it in the air for about 100 feet until he got a scoring chance on the other end. At one point during the rush, Trupp was only holding on to his stick with one hand as he was skating it.

Watch the play here.

During the postgame press conferences, Trupp’s teammates and head coach were asked about the play.

Chay Genoway said: “Yeah…. (pauses while shaking his head and laughing) you guys got to see a little bit of what Trupper can do. We get to see that stuff almost on a daily basis. He’s a pretty special player. You just shake your head. He can do that stuff almost regularly. He tries not to show off too often.”

Frattin then chimed in: “I was breaking to the net there and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should pull up or what. He’s been doing things like that. . . he did something like that last year at the Final Five, too. He’s got a creative side. ”

Genoway then deadpanned: “Next time he should score.”

The exchange got the room of reporters to laugh a few times. Then, coach Dave Hakstol was asked about it.

He said: “He’s done so many special and creative things that it doesn’t surprise me, but I’ve never seen him do that. That’s one thing I’ve never seen him do. But he made a great play on it. And the great thing with Evan is that he has a great respect for the game. He competes so hard. He’s not doing it to bring a spotlight to him. He’s just a creative hockey player. He’s got great instincts. You’d have to ask him exactly what he was thinking, but he skated over 100 feet with the puck. It put everybody back on their heels a little bit, including our bench. As you heard Matt comment, he didn’t know what to do, either. It all worked out. You see him go from a play like that to the play he made on the winning goal and you understand what type of hockey sense that Evan has. It’s pretty special.”

For those wondering about the play he pulled off at last year’s Final Five, here it is: