Bulldogs Add Stafne, Lamb

     Senior center Chris Stafne, the best
goal-scorer in a single season in Duluth Denfeld history, says he’d like to try
his hand at scoring with Minnesota Duluth and accepted a scholarship this week
from the men’s hockey program.
     Stafne had 47 goals and 77 points in 2007-08 and
plans to join the Bulldogs in 2009-10 after a season in the U.S. Hockey League.
     "I’ve been going to UMD games since I was a little
kid, and its always been my dream to play there," Stafne said Thursday. "I
talked to some other schools, but UMD was on the top of my list as my first
     UMD also received an oral commitment this
week from Brady Lamb of Calgary,
. He was voted the top
defenseman in the Alberta Junior Hockey League this season, his third year with
the Calgary Royals, and will be with the Bulldogs for the upcoming season.
     Lamb, 19, who is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, was
captain and on the South Division team in the Alberta Junior Hockey League
All-Star Game. He had 10 goals and 22 assists for 32 points in 58
regular-season games, and had 109 penalty minutes.
     "UMD has a good hockey reputation. It’s known
for moving players on to the next level, and I like the school atmosphere with
a good teacher-to-student ratio," Lamb said.
     Stafne, 5-11 and 170 pounds, played three
seasons at Denfeld and finished with 175 career points. Linemate Jake Johnson
also had 77 points this season and finished with what’s believed to be a school
career record of about 250 points, said Denfeld coach Kevin Smalley. Both were
on the 2008 News Tribune All-Area high school boys hockey first team.
     They followed in the footsteps of top Denfeld
scorers like Mike Vukonich, who had 30 goals and 53 points in 1986-87; Joe
Golcz, who had 34 goals and 63 points in 1993-94; and Mark Gunderson, who had a
then-career record 203 points following his senior season in 1996-97.
     "Chris has speed and creativity, and is such
a smooth, powerful skater," said Smalley, a UMD center in the early 1980s.
"He’s worked hard in learning both ends of the rink and becoming a two-way
player. His scoring touch this season was phenomenal."
     Stafne, who had recruiting interest from Minnesota and Quinnipiac, will be part of the Section 5AA
team in next week’s Great Eight tournament in South St.
. A U.S. Hockey League draft in May will determine
where he’ll play in 2008-09.
     Lamb was on a Calgary team that went 19-41 this season and
missed the Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs. Yet, Calgary assistant coach Troy Norcross said
Lamb wasn’t overlooked.
     "He’s a solid, very physical defenseman who
has good offensive ability," said Norcross. "He was our MVP this year and was
on the power play, killed penalties and on the ice 33 to 36 minutes a game. He
went from our fourth or fifth defenseman three years ago, to our No. 1 guy."
     Lamb, who will visit UMD for the first time
in May, also talked with Bemidji State and Robert Morris of College Hockey America.
He’ll help fill in for departing junior defenseman Jason Garrison, who expects
to sign an NHL free-agent contract with Florida
or Pittsburgh
by next week.


12 thoughts on “Bulldogs Add Stafne, Lamb

  1. Seems like a nice pick-up. Will help out on the PP (5 of 10 goals are on PP) and bring some size to the blueline- actually being our biggest defender based on published numbers.

  2. Lamb has played three years of junior hockey and he is just now getting picked up by a school? Something doesn’t seem right about that. Usually top flight players are snapped up by 19 years old after that many years of junior. Count me as a skeptic on this one.

  3. Odd-

    While you do have a point, I have to ask if you questioned Oberg’s commitment since he committed just a little more than three months shy of his 19th birthday during his 2nd year of juniors. I realize Oberg is arguably a better player, but given the limited amount of time to fill the void Garrison will be leaving it seems a viable option. Would you rather have Chase Ryan playing in 30+ games next season?

    Either way, I think we can agree Sandelin was not planning on Garrison leaving after this season

  4. The guy was voted best D by coaches and GM’s in the AJHL……

    He made a positive impression on them.

  5. I trust WebGuy’s judgement on these juniors players. He was right on about Raymond and right on about Oberg.

    I certainly hope all those people who constantly harp on tDogs will shut up for awhile. 2 great pickups here.

  6. It is obvious from the comment above that Runningwiththedogs must not have any kind of decent standards for this program. Pretty sad. Lets be honest and face some reality and admit that this program has been bad. Fans around here have every reason to harp on how things have been going. I am not sure what Runningwiththedogs is thinking but consistently bad finishes should make fans unhappy. No reason to shut up just because a couple of players commit here. We have no idea whether they will be any good once they hit the college ice. I bet if we went back in time a few years ago, we’d see similar remarks about some current players and look how that has turned out.

  7. Ya’ll have a great pick-up in Lamb… I’ve seen this kid play multiple times. In my opinion he was the best kept secret in the AJ… Can skate, is as tough as they come, and is cool and calm with the puck in his own zone… should be a fan favorite by years end.

  8. SJ is right on…
    The apologists like Runningwiththedogs must be either part of the current program or related to someone who is.
    How can any true fan of the program — without some sort of emotional or personal attachment — continue to support repeated sub .500 seasons, repeated 8th place finishes, repeated exclusions from post season play… and NO SCORING?
    Hey, we all cheer for the guys we have on the ice. We hope they do well. But how many more years (another 40 in Div 1?) do we have to wait to be good?
    Kudos to the coach for recruiting more local players… and these two new guys may be great recruits. Apaprently, Niskanen and Raymond were. But they didn’t get the job done here. Nobody seems to…
    Something is wrong. It needs to be fixed.
    Just win.

  9. Evidently, you’re not allowed to be a UMD fan anymore, RWD. Put the blog away, stop buying tickets, and stop driving to Duluth for games. You should be simply disgusted at the fact that this program was two wins away from making the NCAA Tournament this year, and that they have one of their best recruiting classes in many years coming in.

    Evidently, Niskanen and Raymond were expected to carry this team. Sucks that they didn’t. But a program that did nothing for 20 years was in the Frozen Four a scant four years ago. There’s a positive foundation coming back, and it’s too bad none of these jackbags will give the team the time of day come October. They may be missing a good show.

  10. I have been here through the years for the Bulldogs. Many of them bad years. The difference between myself and a fan like Runningwiththedogs is I expect more than the results we have seen with the current coaching staff. It is the same baloney every year with some Dog fans. They want to act like some unproven recruits will be the answer and ignore the fact that these same types of recruits have come into the program over the past few years and often done nothing for us once they show up. Any fan who is content with what we have seen over the bulk of Sandelin’s tenure is the kind of fan who must just be happy to have a team that shows up to the rink.

  11. SJ–

    You mean a Frozen Four, a really good year where the dumb PWR system robbed us of a tournament bid (but took an inferior St. Cloud team), and a year where we finished two wins away from the NCAA Tournament despite struggling to score goals start to finish doesn’t work for you?

    Good. Me, neither. But be realistic and tell me who we’re going to get in here that’ll do a better job. I know some of you don’t think facilities matter, but there’s a reason practically everyone in the league (except Michigan Tech) is either currently playing in or lobbying for updated facilities. We’re stuck with sub-standard facilities and a whole lot of “I don’t really know” when it comes to getting a new one. The support from the administration stinks, because there’s a perception that the women’s program has been getting special treatment from day one (despite the fact that it brings in almost no money to the university, and is almost wholly funded by the men’s program), and the marketing of the men’s program is terrible when you compare it even to a place like Mankato.

    All that stuff matters when a kid is making his decision. But in the future, having Niskanen and Raymond succeed in the NHL helps, too. That’s the dream of every kid coming in, and they know the dream can be realized by attending UMD.

    Those things count, but it’s not going to show a reward immediately. I believe in this coaching staff because I know where they came from and their background shows their competitiveness and desire. They’ve already shown they can win. If we can give Sertie 10 years too much before finally making a move, we can wait a couple more years on this group.

  12. How can you call yourself a fan if all you do is complain? I just don’t understand why you didn’t pack it in years ago. I mean, is it even fun for you, SJ and Blueline Bill, and the rest of you? Yeah, ALL OF YOU whiners out there, I’ll take you all on. It’s certainly not fun for me to read people complaining about tDogs all the time, although I do like to argue, so it does pass the time nicely! It certainly doesn’t motivate the boys to win when the fans are down on them. I guess, whatever, your ticket money is still revenue for the team.

    This is not an elite program that has fallen from grace. I don’t know what you expect, or what you want, but YOU HAVE TO HAVE PATIENCE. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. They are going to have good years and bad years.

    God. What a welcome for these players.

Comments are closed.