Rocco Grimaldi again at the top spot.
During this weekend’s series, the NCHC announced the name of its postseason tournament — the NCHC Frozen Faceoff.
Either that or NCHC Final Faceoff were the two best options. Since the WCHA women use Final Faceoff, I’m not surprised that the NCHC went another direction.
It’s a good idea to brand the tournament, but it will probably take a while to catch on. Everyone is so used to the Final Five.
As was previously reported, the tournament will be held at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.
UND freshman forward Luke Johnson is the rookie of the week in the NCHC.
Johnson scored two goals and had two assists during UND’s weekend sweep over Western Michigan. The former Grand Forks Red River and Central forward figured into four of UND’s six goals over the weekend.
On Friday, Johnson scored twice in a 3-2 UND win. On Saturday, he had two assists as UND won 3-2.
Johnson is now the NCHC’s top rookie scorer in league play with eight points in 10 games. He’s also UND’s third-leading scorer, trailing only Rocco Grimaldi and Drake Caggiula.
UND in weekly honors
Nov. 19 — Dillon Simpson, NCHC defensive player of the week
Dec. 2 — Troy Stecher, NCHC defensive player of the week
Dec. 2 — Keaton Thompson, NCHC rookie of the week
Dec. 9 — Luke Johnson, NCHC rookie of the week
Rocco Grimaldi gets the top spot this week.
Here are the top five goals of the week in the NCHC.
Here’s this week’s top five. Jordan Schmaltz makes the list.
Great new feature by the NCHC posting the top five goals of the week. I’ll embed in the blog every Tuesday. This week, Drake Caggiula is No. 1. Kalle Kossila’s goal against UND is No. 3. Check out some of the nice goals below.
UND coach Dave Hakstol admits that he’s a traditionalist, and that part of him does not like shootouts. But Hakstol says adding shootouts in the NCHC is the right move.
To see a full story from the Herald with Hakstol’s comments, go here.
Hakstol says the league can give it four to five years, then re-evaluate how they’ve worked and how much fans have enjoyed then, then decide whether they want to keep doing them or not.
He said that when the team does shootout drills in practice, there will be a lot of evaluation going on.
He also said talked about how the team needs to react mentally to the outcome of shootouts.
“As a player, it gives you a somewhat superficial feeling of a loss or a win,” Hakstol said. “We’re going to probably have to learn to deal with it. You have to be very careful to keep everything in perspective.”
Hakstol said a team can’t get too low if they play really well in a tie and end up losing the shootout, nor can a team get too high if they play below average, tie, and win in a shootout.
The NCHC has not finalized anything on shootouts yet, but I’m hearing that it is very, very likely that they will be used for Year 1. Official word on that could come fairly soon.
The league will likely re-evaluate after the first year and see whether they were a success or not.
The point system would be sort of similar to the one used in the CCHA – 3 points for a regulation or OT win, 2 points for a shootout win, 1 point for a shootout loss, 0 points for a regulation loss. The one twist the NCHC is considering is giving a point for an OT loss like the NHL.
The games will still officially go down as a tie for NCAA tournament purposes. So, when I write game stories about a shootout, I will say the game ended in a time and Team A got an extra point for winning the shootout (as I do with WCHA women’s games now).
The NCHC will allow teams to do away with goal judges, just like the NHL. But the league will mandate that the red goal light still be turned on from somewhere in the arena. I’m guessing it is unlikely that you will see goal judges at The Ralph this season. Video replay has made their jobs obsolete.
Speaking of video replay, the NCHC will likely mandate that all teams have HD capabilities for video replay in the near future. Director of hockey operations Joe Novak said he’s not sure they will be able to have that all in place for Year 1, but down the road, that’s the direction the league is headed.
After the pool play round of games at the World Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in Europe, UND recruit Nick Schmaltz is the event’s leading scorer with 6 points in 3 games. In fact, he has 6 points in the last 6 periods of play for the Americans, who have earned a spot in the semifinals.
Here’s a video from a pretty dominant shift and a goal by Schmaltz (No. 18).
I’ve confirmed referee rosters for both the WCHA and NCHC for this upcoming season.
The WCHA is reinstating referee Peter Friesema, who was suspended after using the word “bomb” at the Anchorage airport, causing it to shut down for some time.
A couple of locals — East Grand Forks’ Bobby Lukkason and Roseau’s Brady Johnson are earning a promotion from the USHL to the WCHA. Minot’s Nick Krebsbach (who played at Red River) will be added to the NCHC.
WCHA director of officials Greg Shepherd said his staff will be young, as he lost a number of referees to the NCHC and Big Ten. But the WCHA has identified some top USHL officials that Shepherd hopes will be able to step in just fine. Shepherd said it hasn’t been easy lining up linesmen at certain places.
The NCHC is going with 14 referees. It had over 100 applicants for officiating positions, according to director of hockey operations Joe Novak. He said it wasn’t an easy process, but they started by evaluating last season.
“We had to make hard decisions on who we would take and who we wouldn’t take,” Novak said.
In looking at the NCHC roster, it primarily ended up grabbing guys from the AHL/ECHL and the WCHA. Referees Brad Shepherd and Derek Shepherd will work in the NCHC and part time in the WCHA.
The NCHC will hold a training camp for its referees from Sept. 12-14.
It’s possible that some of the referees could work part time in other leagues.
I’ve had a very difficult time getting a hold of anyone from the Big Ten, so I don’t have its roster, but I’m guessing there’s a good chance that Warroad’s Matt Ulwelling will be there since he’s not on NCHC or WCHA rosters.
With former CCHA ref Steve Piotrowski in charge of Big Ten refs, it’s expected that a number of Big Ten refs will come from the CCHA.
Kevin Hall (CCHA)
Kevin Langseth (CCHA)
Keith Surgott (CCHA)
Mark Wilkins (CCHA)
Rodney Tocco (CCHA)
Tommy Albindia (CHL/USHL)
Bobby Lukkason (USHL)
Brady Johnson (USHL)
Mike Elam (USHL)
*Derek Shepherd (part time)
*Brad Shepherd (part time)
Andy Thiessen (AHL/ECHL)
Joe Sullivan (AHL/ECHL)
Nick Krebsbach (AHL/ECHL)
Steve Patafie (AHL)
Dan Dreger (CHL)
Brian Aaron (CCHA)
C.J. Beaurline (WCHA)
Scott Bokal (WCHA)
Tom Sterns (WCHA)
Todd Anderson (WCHA)
Derek Shepherd (WCHA)
Brad Shepherd (WCHA)
Tim Walsh (WCHA)
Brian Thul (WCHA)