The USHL playoffs are in full swing right now, but there’s been lots of buzz about coaching positions in the league.
Fargo is currently searching for its replacement for John Marks, who retired at the end of the season. All four coaches in franchise history have either played or coached at UND, and it appears that Fargo may be headed down that road again.
It sounds like Sioux Falls head coach Cary Eades is emerging as the top candidate in Fargo. Eades is currently in the middle of a playoff push with the Stampede. Eades would give Fargo another UND-connected head coach and another one with local name recognition.
Should Fargo hire Eades at the end of the season, there’s considerable buzz that former Colorado College coach Scott Owens would be a top candidate in Sioux Falls.
Speaking of the USHL, UND defenseman recruit Hayden Shaw is currently dominating in the playoffs. He has 10 points in five games to lead all USHL scorers in the playoffs — forwards included. Shaw, who was traded from Waterloo to Dubuque this year, is coming to UND in the fall.
Shaw’s Dubuque teammate, Grand Forks Red River’s Jacob Benson, also is having a great playoffs with six points in five games. He’s tied as the sixth-leading scorer in the USHL postseason.
Dubuque is currently playing Muskegon in the semifinals. UND defenseman commit Christian Wolanin is currently the second-leading scorer in the playoffs for the Lumberjacks with six points in five games. He’s also coming to UND in the fall.
In the other half of the draw, it’s Eades’ Sioux Falls team against UND commit Chris Wilkie and Tri City. Wilkie has four points in four games for the Storm.
In the NHL playoffs, former UND stars Jonathan Toews and Zach Parise will meet up in the conference semifinals once again. Toews currently leads the NHL playoffs in scoring with eight points. Parise is one back with seven.
The only other player still alive from UND is Brock Nelson with the New York Islanders, who play in a Game 7 tonight against the Washington Capitals.
There are a number of former UND players still alive in the AHL playoffs, which is in the first round right now.
Carter Rowney is off to a huge start with four points in two games for Wilkes Barre-Scranton. Others in the mix include Derek Forbort (Manchester), Evan Trupp (Worcester), Aaron Dell (Worcester), Matt Frattin (Toronto), Andrew MacWilliam (Toronto), Danny Kristo (Hartford), Dillon Simpson (Oklahoma City), Rocco Grimaldi (San Antonio) and Corban Knight (San Antonio).
Frattin had a big Game 2 for Toronto, scoring a pair of goals as the Marlies went up 2-0 in the series.
In the NAHL playoffs, UND’s newest commit, Mike Gornall, had a hat trick and four points for Topeka in a 5-4 loss. Goalie commit Matej Tomek was pulled in that game after allowing four goals on 14 shots.
The Minot-Austin series, featuring GF’s Casey Johnson and Jon Lizotte and Grafton’s Jade Miller, is tied 1-1.