TC Marathon Half-Full

    This information on the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon, on Oct. 4, which is filling up. To check on the entry process contact for more information:
     Registration for the 2009 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon is more than half full as participants from 49 states and 11 countries continue to join the field. Capacity for the October 4 race is 11,000.

      “Continued interest in the marathon distance is exciting to see,” said Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. executive director Virginia Brophy Achman. “In its 28th year, the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon continues to draw participants from around the world. Not only do they say they come back for the great shared experience, but also because the enthusiastic community support in the Twin Cities.”

      The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon was ranked 9th largest in the United States in 2008, based on number of finishers.

Sweden Beats U.S. in OT

    Sweden rallied to beat the United States in overtime Wednesday in the World Championships in Switzerland. It was the first loss for the Americans (2-1). This report from USA Hockey:

BERN, Switzerland – Sweden erased a 5-2 deficit and gained a 6-5 overtime win over the U.S. Men’s National Team tonight in the final preliminary-round game for both teams at the 73rd International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.

 Despite the loss, the U.S. gained first place in Group C begins qualification-round play Friday against France at 1:15 p.m.

The only goal of the opening period came off the stick of Patrick O’Sullivan (Winston-Salem, N.C./Edmonton Oilers) at 14:11 when he took an up-ice feed from Jason Blake (Moorhead, Minn./Toronto Maple Leafs/University of North Dakota) and fired the puck into the top corner of the net on a partial breakaway.

Sweden scored goals 1:35 apart in the first seven minutes of the second period to take a 2-1 lead, including a power play goal from Mattias Weinhandl at 5:07 and an even-strength marker off the stick of Marcus Nilson at 6:42. John-Michael Lies (Indianapolis, Ind./Colorado Avalanche/Michigan State University) fired a puck from the side of the circle with the U.S. skating with a two-man advantage at 9:58 to tie the game. Team USA used another five-on-three power play goal, this time by Ryan Shannon (Darien, Conn./Ottawa Senators/Boston College) at 17:26, to take the lead. Defenseman Jack Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind./L.A. Kings/University of Michigan) faked a shot from the point and slid it to Shannon at the side of the net who deflected it past Sweden netminder Jonas Gustavsson. U.S. netminder Robert Esche (Utica, N.Y.) made a key save on Martin Thornberg off a two-on-one rush with :30 left in the period to keep Team USA in the lead after 40 minutes.

The U.S. dominated the first half of the third period and scored twice to take a 5-2 advantage. Shannon scored his second of the game from the slot at 4:06. Then a nice pass off the side wall from David Backes (Minneapolis, Minn./St. Louis Blues/Minnesota State University) to T.J. Oshie (Warroad, Minn./St. Louis Blues/University of North Dakota) ended in a U.S. goal as Oshie made a slick feed to Johnson who found the near corner of the net at 8:20. Sweden, however, scored at 8:46, 12:45 and 16:19 to tie the game and Kristian Huselius’ rebound goal 1:59 into the five-minute, four-on-four sudden death overtime period gave the Swedes the victory.

"We took our foot off the gas down the stretch and that cost us," said Ron Wilson, head coach of Team USA. "This is a game we’ll learn from as the tournament moves on. We did win our group and I’m proud of our guys for doing that."

Esche made 22 saves in the loss, while Gustavsson picked up with win with 39 stops.

USA 1 – 2- 2 – 0 – 5
SWE 0 – 2- 3 – 1 – 6

First Period – Scoring: 1, USA, O’Sullivan (Blake), 14:11. Penalties: SWE, Tarnstrom (tripping), 5:11; USA, Suter (cross-checking), 10:27; USA, Okposo (hooking), 14:59; SWE, Tarnstrom (interference), 16:45.

Second Period – 2, SWE, Weinhandl (Johansson, Tarnstrom), 5:07 (pp); 3, SWE, Nilson (Stralman, Andersson), 6:42; 4, USA, Liles (Johnson, O’Sullivan), 9:58 (5×3 pp); 5, USA, Shannon (Johnson, Liles), 17:26 (5×3 pp). Penalties: USA, Suter (interference), 3:09; SWE, Martensson (slashing), 8:04; SWE, Wallin (tripping), 9:48; SWE, Tarnstrom (slashing), 15:27; SWE, Andersson (delay of game), 16:04.

Third Period – 6, USA, Shannon (Stafford, Liles), 4:06; 7, USA, Johnson (Oshie, Backes), 8:20; 8, SWE, Johansson (Weinhandl, Martensson), 8:46; 9, SWE, Persson (Jonsson, Huselius), 12:45 (sh); 10, SWE, Weinhandl (Martensson), 16:19. Penalties: SWE, Akerman (hooking), 11:13.

Overtime – 11. SWE, Huselius (Persson, Johansson), 1:59. Penalties: None.

USA         13 20 11 0 — 44
SWEDEN    7 10 8 3 — 28

Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Esche 61:59 7-7 10-8 8-5 3-2 28-22
SWE, Gustavsson 61:59 13-12 20-18 11-9 0-0 44-39

Power Play: USA 2-7; SWE 1-3
Penalties: USA 3-6; SWE 7-14
Officials: Referees: Peter Orszag (SVK), Jyri Petteri Ronn (FIN); Linesmen: Ivan Dedioulia (BLR), Felix Winnekens (GER)
Attendance: 9,876

Bemidji’s View

     Here’s a Wednesday story from the Bemidji Pioneer on Tuesday’s developments in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association concerning expansion:

Bemidji State won’t know its fate with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association until later this year, WCHA officials said Tuesday.

“The presentation made by BSU for membership in the WCHA was viewed most positively and very professionally done,” WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod said in a telephone news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Bemidji State officials made their pitch for WCHA membership Monday during the league’s meetings at Marco Island, Fla., where the conference call originated.

“We did not take a direct vote on BSU’s membership,” McLeod said. “Our issue at this point is not BSU and its membership. Our issue is more with the number.”

McLeod said the WCHA will extend its lifting of a moratorium on new members and will continue to seek 12 members to the 10-member premier college hockey league in the United States.

The WCHA lifted its ban earlier this year and had an open enrollment period to the end of March. Only Bemidji State applied for membership. McLeod said a 12-member league is preferred, as an 11-member WCHA would pose irreconcilable schedule conflicts.

The difference this time, however, is that the WCHA membership gave McLeod authority to aggressively seek new members, to “negotiate” for that 12th member.

“The issue for us is to get to 12,” he said. “If we didn’t care about Bemidji, if we weren’t concerned about Bemidji, we weren’t concerned about collegiate hockey and the landscape in general, we would just stay at 10.”

McLeod wouldn’t be specific about teams, but when asked if the University of Nebraska-Omaha or Northern Michigan University had been approached or had approached the WCHA, he said: “One of them.”

The membership had a lot of discussion about a timeline, he said, “but we didn’t set a specific date. What I will say is that we did set ourselves some goals … and our goals are way more toward mid-summer rather than next spring.”

Bemidji State officials appear willing to wait it out.

“The quicker the better,” said Bemidji State men’s hockey coach Tom Serratore. “Obviously it’s tough getting recruits when there’s inconsistency on what’s going to happen. But we’ve been facing this for 10 years, so what’s a few more months?”

BSU’s current league, College Hockey America, will fold after next season, leaving BSU without a conference and hoping the WCHA will accept its membership bid.

“I feel confident that the WCHA will find a 12th team and I feel very confident where we stand with the WCHA,” said Serratore, who this year coached the Beavers to the NCAA Frozen Four. “We need to be a little more patient and things are going to work out.”

BSU Athletic Director Rick Goeb said that “we are pleased with the WCHA decision. We do understand the complications that an 11-team format would create, so we respect a decision to try to move to 12. We’re very excited and pleased with the direction that we’re headed.”

Serratore said that if WCHA membership is delayed a year, Bemidji State could play a year as an independent.

“It’s not a preference for us, but we can do that,” he said. “We have the support of the college hockey body. We just have to be patient right here and let the WCHA do their thing. … This has to play out a little bit. This is the most positive feedback we’ve gotten in a while and I’m very confident we’re going to get into the WCHA.

“We just have to let this thing play out, and when it plays out, I think it’s going to have a positive impact on Bemidji and also a 12th team,” Serratore added. The possibility of an independent schedule would be for 2010-11, but Bemidji State does have a scheduling agreement for some WCHA schools for a home and away slate.

McLeod said he is under some restrictions on how he contacts potential teams, but he will be more aggressive than in the past few months.

“The direction I got from the athletic directors is that they definitely want me to be more aggressive in my pursuit, which they consider as a compatible No. 12,” McLeod said. “I still have some issues that I have to be careful, ethics issues of approaching teams in other conferences, but I think that once I get an indication from them … I think know who some of those potential candidates are … hopefully I can find a way to ethically work through the proper channels to encourage them and put some things on the table for them.”

The moratorium was lifted indefinitely “so we don’t we don’t have some specific timeline to work with,” he said. “I don’t think we’re looking at a normal membership application — there’s a little bit more of an aspect of membership negotiation.”

The WCHA has certain criteria for membership, and McLeod said the WCHA membership has allowed him to “make some adjustments in those criteria” to woo a 12th member. He wasn’t specific on what adjustments he could offer, but he did reiterate that the WCHA membership holds the final say on who joins the league.

Agreement to add a team must come from at least eight of the 10 current members.

Reporters on the conference call repeatedly asked McLeod if Minnesota State University-Moorhead’s push for WCHA membership could play a role, and he repeatedly said no.

Moorhead has no hockey team today, but in recent weeks said it would attempt to start from scratch an NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey program that would seek WCHA membership.

College officials, however, said that at least $10 million in private funds would be needed first and that no state college money would be forthcoming.

“The timeline to get a Division I hockey team up and going and having, by our criteria, played a Division I hockey schedule for a specific number of years,” McLeod said, later saying two or three years would be needed., “and the whole issue of institutional support … is certainly a concern to the WCHA.”

An institutional commitment is necessary not only to play Division I hockey but also to have a quality commitment to a quality program is needed to join a quality conference, he said.

Moorhead “is a long ways away,” McLeod said. “And they have some basic issues regarding institutional commitment and regarding the timeline. We have people from Bemidji sitting in the room with us — let me tell you, their neck is out a long, long way hoping for membership in the WCHA. They didn’t get any assurances prior to them committing to the quality Division I program they have in place right now, and certainly the quality of the building they’re putting in place right now.”

WCHA To Pursue Expansion

      Bemidji State’s wait to gain admission to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association will be longer than expected, but the school’s hopes remain strong, men’s coach Tom Serratore said Tuesday after the league tabled an expansion vote.

     Bemidji State made an hour-long presentation to league officials Monday during WCHA meetings in Marco Island, Fla., and a vote on admission could’ve been taken Tuesday. However, commissioner Bruce McLeod said in a conference call that the league’s priority is to add two teams, not one, to allow equitable scheduling. He said the admission period would remain open indefinitely and said he’s been given latitude by the WCHA to be more aggressive and innovative in talking with prospective schools about joining the 10-team league.

     The WCHA wants a 12-team conference and hopes to find a second team to join Bemidji State to begin play in 2011-12. That would require Bemidji State to play one season as a Division I independent following the demise of its present four-team league, College Hockey America, after 2009-10.

     "We feel confident the WCHA will find a 12th team and I’m very confident we’re going to get into the WCHA," said Serratore, whose team competed in the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four. "I don’t think there will be any problem in being an independent for one year because we have the support of the college hockey body. But the quicker [Bemidji State joins the WCHA], the better."

      McLeod also said he has faith in the league’s credentials as an NCAA elite conference and the attraction it may hold for other teams. While he would like to identify a 12th team by mid-summer he said it may take longer.

     "Once I get some indication from [other prospective members] I will talk to them, while having the utmost respect for their position in other leagues," said McLeod. "We’ve reached a real critical point in college hockey." 

      Schools mentioned most often as WCHA candidates are former league member Northern Michigan of Marquette, Mich., and Nebraska-Omaha, members of the 12-team Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Northern Michigan athletic director Ken Godfrey told the News Tribune in January that he was interested enough in the WCHA to at least look at the travel budget differences between the league and the CCHA.

     The WCHA hasn’t expanded since Minnesota State-Mankato joined the league 10 years ago. McLeod stopped short of saying he has been given the OK to use incentives to find a 12th team, but said there could be negotiations on admission details including membership fees and the timetable for post-season revenue sharing.

      Bemidji State athletic director Rick Goeb said he wasn’t disappointed in the WCHA’s choice not to take an admission vote. A prospective school needs eight affirmative votes from the 10 league institutions.

     "The issue is to get 12 teams," said Goeb. "We are pleased with the WCHA’s decision and understand their situation."

      Bemidji State’s hopes of joining the WCHA helped secure funding for a Regional Events Center, a 4,000-seat building which will house the hockey team beginning in 2010-11. Groundbreaking took place earlier this month.

      McLeod was questioned about Minnesota State-Moorhead, which earlier this month gave indication of starting men’s and women’s Division I teams. But because Moorhead’s planning is in the early stages, McLeod said that the school would be a longshot to join the WCHA at this time.

      If the WCHA does expand to 12 teams, McLeod said a 28-game league schedule wouldn’t involve breaking the league into divisions, but would center on three pools, each with four teams. A 12-team league would also require six first-round playoff series, instead of five, and would likely require a restructuring of the WCHA later rounds at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center. One possibility would be for the top two seeds to have a first-round bye in St. Paul while the remaining four qualifiers would play Thursday, with winners advancing to Friday semifinal games. There would only be a championship game Saturday and no third-place game.

     Bemidji State is already a member of the women’s WCHA.

U.S. Wins, Bemidji State on Site

     The United States defeated Austria 6-1 Monday at the World Championships in Switzerland. Matt Niskanen had a power-play goal for the Americans and details of the victory are on the previous post.

Also, Bemidji State made its presentation to Western Collegiate Hockey Association officials Monday morning in Marco Island, Fla. The Beavers want to join the WCHA and the school hopes to hear Tuesday on its prospects of getting in. Below is a Monday update from the Bemidji Pioneer:

Bemidji State officials and a representative of the Leo A Daly architectural firm made a presentation to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Monday morning at Marco Island, Fla. BSU is applying to have its men’s hockey team accepted as a member of the WCHA.

The Bemidji contingent spent a little more than an hour with WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod and the conference men’s hockey representatives.

"We expect to hear the results Tuesday," said Goeb.

Bemidji brought a contingent of representatives to Florida. Included are BSU President Jon Quistgaard; Bill Maki, vice president for finance and administration; Rob Bollinger, executive director of the BSU Foundation; former BSU coach R.H. “Bob” Peters; Doug Leif, a business professor at BSU and the faculuty athletic representative; BSU head coach Tom Serratore; Goeb; and Steve Parker, the senior project manger for Leo A Daly, Bemidji Regional Event Center designer.Now the representatives will determine the next step. Eight of the 10 WCHA schools must approve Bemidji State’s application for admission.

U.S. Beats Austria

     Defenseman Matt Niskanen scored a power-play goal Monday as the United States defeated Austria 6-1 to move to 2-0 in the World Championships in Switzerland. Canada, Czechoslovakia and Russia are also 2-0. Here’s a release from USA Hockey:
     BERN, Switzerland – Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y./L.A. Kings) scored a goal and added two assists to help the United States to a 6-1 victory Monday over Austria in the second preliminary-round game for both teams at the 73rd World Championships.

With the victory, the U.S. has secured a spot in the qualification round and will finish no lower than second in Group C. The U.S. plays its final game of the preliminary round Wednesday against Sweden at 1:15 p.m. with first place in Group C at stake.

"We didn’t capitalize on some of our chances through the first half of the game, but we showed a killer instinct in the third period and picked up an important win," said Ron Wilson, head coach of Team USA.

Brown scored the only goal of the opening period at 15:11 to give the U.S. a 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes. The Team USA captain gained possession of the puck on the side boards and maneuvered to the slot through traffic before backhanding the puck past Austrian netminder Jurgen Penker from 10 feet out.

Drew Stafford (Milwaukee, Wis./Buffalo Sabres/University of North Dakota) staked the U.S. to a 2-0 advantage at 11:04 of the second period when he tapped home a nice feed across the front of the crease by Nick Foligno (Buffalo, N.Y./Ottawa Senators). Austria scored its lone goal of the game with 5:34 left in the second period.

The U.S. erupted for four third-period goals, including three on the power play. Patrick O’Sullivan (Winston-Salem, N.C./Edmonton Oilers) tipped in a Brown shot from the point just :25 into the final stanza to give the U.S. a two-goal advantage. With the U.S. skating with a two-man advantage, Jason Blake (Moorhead, Minn./Toronto Maple Leafs/University of North Dakota) converted Brown’s cross-crease pass at 7:36 to make it 4-1. Lee Stempniak (West Seneca, N.Y./Toronto Maple Leafs/Dartmouth College) and Matt Niskanen (Virginia/Dallas Stars/Minnesota Duluth) each scored power-play goals in the second half of the third period to finish the scoring.

Robert Esche (Utica, N.Y.) made 25 saves, including 11 in the second period, to pick up the win. Team USA had a 38-26 shots-on-goal advantage in the contest.

USA 1 – 1 – 4 — 6
AUT 0 – 1 – 0 — 1

 First Period – 1, USA, Brown (O’Sullivan, Niskanen), 15:11. Penalties: AUT, Schuller (high-sticking), 3:16; USA, Stempniak (interference), 6:13; USA, Backes (roughing), 18:48.

Second Period – 2, USA, Stafford (Foligno), 11:04; 3, AUT, Peintner (unassisted), 14:26. Penalties: AUT, Rebek (hooking), 4:45.

Third Period – 4, USA, O’Sullivan (Brown, Blake), :25; 5, USA, Blake (Brown, Liles), 7:56 (5×3 pp); 6, USA, Stempniak (Hainsey, Wilson), 12:06 (pp); 7, USA, Niskanen (Ballard), 15:55 (5×3 pp). Penalties: AUT, Koch (hooking), 4:37; USA, Backes (charging), 5:00; AUT, A. Lakos (cross-checking), 5:00; AUT, Trattnig (slashing), 6:57; AUT, Koch (slashing), 7:36; AUT, Unterluggauer (hooking), 11:09; AUT, A. Lakos (slashing), 14:57; AUT, Werenka (hooking), 15:44; USA, Stuart (hooking), 19:09.

Shots by Period
USA 14 7 17 — 38
AUT 7 12 7 — 26

USA, Esche 60:00 7-7 12-11 7-7 26-25
AUT, Penker 60:00 14-13 7-6 17-13 38-32
Power Play: USA 3-8; AUT 0-3
Penalties: USA 4-8; AUT 9-18

Stapleton, Gernander News

     Former Minnesota Duluth forward Tim Stapleton closed out an impressive season with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League as the Marlies lost to Manitoba on Saturday night in the league playoffs. Stapleton was seventh in the league in regular-season scoring with 79 points in 70 games, and had two goals in six playoff games, including one in Saturday’s 4-2 loss. Also Coleraine’s Ken Gernander, head coach with Hartford in the AHL, gets a one-day NHL coaching assignment Sunday. Below is a story from Sunday’s Toronto Sun and then an AHL release on Gernander :

WINNIPEG — Justin Pogge ended the Calder Cup playoffs in exactly the same place as he did last spring– on the end of the bench with his baseball cap on instead of in the crease defending the Marlies’ goal.

Ray Sawada scored the game-winning goal 6:14 into the third period to lead the Manitoba Moose to a 4-2 victory over the Marlies before a crowd of 10,947 at the MTS Centre last night.

With the loss, the Marlies bow out of the best-of-seven AHL North Division semi-final 4-2.

The big story for the Marlies was that head coach Greg Gilbert opted to start Adam Munro in goal instead of Pogge, who was brilliant in the first three games of the series but had surrendered 10 goals over the past two.

"To get a chance to play in the playoffs was obviously a thrill," said Munro, who got official word yesterday morning and finished with 29 saves.

"You’ve got to take it like any other game. I didn’t feel any added pressure or anything like that. I just block that out. It’s where everybody wants to be playing. It was good to get a start. I just wish things could have gone better. There were some bad bounces and they’re a great team.

"It was a good series. Hard fought. We’re in one of the top divisions in the league. It’s disappointing to lose, but hats off to them."

The Moose will face the winner of the series between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Hamilton Bulldogs in the North Division final.

The Griffins lead the other North Division semi 3-2, with Game 6 scheduled for tonight at Copps Coliseum.

Manitoba’s Greg Rallo scored first, but the Marlies got goals from Tim Stapleton and Alex Foster to take a 2-1 advantage.

It was just the second goal — and point — of the series for Stapleton, who led the Marlies with 28 goals and 79 points during the regular season.

The Moose had a suspicion they might see Munro in Game 6 and they planned accordingly, with extra video and a quick discussion during their meetings.

"We got to Pogge a little bit the last two games and their coach was trying to switch it up and send a message," Moose goaltender Cory Schneider said.

Germander Gets NHL Coaching Call

Hartford (Conn.) Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander and assistant J.J. Daigneault will be behind the bench Sunday afternoon as the New York Rangers look to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they take on the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

Gernander and Daigneault will assist Jim Schoenfeld, who will run the bench while John Tortorella serves a one-game NHL suspension.

Gernander, 39, led the American Hockey League’s Wolf Pack to a 50-win season in 2007-08 and guided them to an Atlantic Division title in 2008-09. He was Hartford’s team captain from 1997-2005, winning a Calder Cup championship in 2000, and served as an assistant coach under Schoenfeld from 2005-07.

The native of Coleraine, played 973 games in the American Hockey League, good for eighth on the all-time list. His 624 points are the most of any American-born player in league history.

U.S. Beats Latvia

     This release from USA Hockey on America’s 4-2 win over Latvia to open the World Championships on Saturday in Switzerland:

BERN, Switzerland – Jack Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind./L.A. Kings/University of Michigan) scored twice to help the U.S. Men’s National Team earn a hard fought 4-2 victory over Latvia in the opening game for both teams at the 73rd World Championship on Saturday.

Latvia struck first with a power-play goal when Herberts Vasiljevs beat Robert Esche (Utica, N.Y.) from alone in front at 4:40. Team USA evened the game at 11:15 as an innocent-looking shot from the right point off the stick of Johnson made it to the back of the net through traffic in front. John-Michael Lies (Indianapolis, Ind./Colorado Avalanche/Michigan State University) and Kyle Okposo (St. Paul/N.Y. Islanders/University of Minnesota) drew assists on the play.

Latvia took a 2-1 lead at 6:39 of the second thanks to Martins Karsums converting Girts Ankipans’ feed from behind the net. The U.S. evened the game when Drew Stafford (Milwaukee, Wis./Buffalo Sabres/University of North Dakota) scored from a near impossible angle in the right corner and just above the goalline at 11:13. Johnson gave the U.S. its first lead of the game at 15:31 when he spun in the corner, went down the goalline and cut in front to beat Edgars Masalskis to the far side.

Patrick O’Sullivan (Winston-Salem, N.C./Edmonton Oilers) finished the scoring when he put home a rebound of Ron Hainsey’s (Bolton, Conn./Atlanta Thrashers/University of Massachusetts-Lowell) shot from the center point 6:03 into the third period.

Esche made 18 saves in picking up the victory, while Masalskis had 34 stops in the loss.

The U.S. plays its second game of the preliminary round Monday at 9:15 a.m. CDT against Austria.

USA 1 – 2 – 1 — 4
LAT 1 – 1 – 0 — 2

 First Period – Scoring: 1, LAT, Vasiljevs (Nizivijs, Cipulis), 4:40 (pp); 2, USA, Johnson (Liles, Okposo), 11:15. Penalties: USA, Johnson (interference), 4:31; LAT, Berzins (hooking), 5:58; USA, Stempniak (holding), 19:07.

Second Period – Scoring: 3, LAT, Karsums (Ankipans, Sprukts), 6:39; 4, USA, Stafford (unassisted), 11:13; 5, USA, Johnson (unassisted), 15:31. Penalties: LAT, Vasiljevs (hooking), 1:07; USA, Stuart (slashing), 4:32; LAT, Cipulis (holding), 19:35.

Third Period – Scoring: 6, USA, O’Sullivan (Hainsey, Brown), 6:03. Penalties: USA, O’Sullivan (interference), 6:18; LAT, Vasiljevs (tripping), 7:07.

Shots on Goal
USA 12 17 9 38
LAT 7 4 9 20

Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Esche 60:00 7-6 4-3 9-9 20-18
LAT, Masalskis 60:00 12-11 17-15 9-8 38-34
Penalties: USA 4-8; LAT 4-8
Power Plays: USA 0-4; LAT 1-4
Officials: Referees: Ole Hansen (NOR), Danny Kurmann (SUI); Linesmen: Tobias Wehrli (SUI), Daniel Wirth (SUI)
Attendance: 7,840

Bemidji St. Prepares Presentation

     Bemidji State officials are preparing for Monday’s admission presentation to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in Marco Island, Fla. Here’s an update from Saturday’s Bemidji Pioneer:

By Bethany Wesley

Bemidji State University will get a seat at the table Monday as university and hockey officials make their official presentation to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

BSU spokesmen will present for one hour to WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod and the men’s hockey representatives at a meeting in Marco Island, Fla.

The Beavers now compete in College Hockey America but are seeking a new conference home for the men’s hockey program. The CHA will fold after the 2009-10 season because of a lack of teams.

The CHA now is composed of Bemidji, Niagara University, Robert Morris University and Alabama-Hunstville – but both Niagara and Robert Morris are set to join the Atlantic College Conference in 2010-11.

The ideal conference for Bemidji is the WCHA, a 10-team conference with elite teams such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Minnesota-Duluth.

But the Beavers had faced a tall hurdle: The WCHA had in place a moratorium on expansion.

The WCHA was well aware of Bemidji’s hopes of joining the conference. And, in January, WCHA members voted unanimously to lift that moratorium, opening the door for applicants.

Bemidji State was the only applicant, and on Monday, team and university representatives will make their case for admittance.

The Beavers are bringing a strong contingent of representatives to Florida. Included are BSU President Jon Quistgaard; Bill Maki, vice president for finance and administration; Rob Bollinger, executive director of the BSU Foundation; former BSU coach R.H. “Bob” Peters; Doug Leif, a business professor at BSU and the faculuty athletic representative; BSU head coach Tom Serratore; Athletic Director Rick Goeb; and Steve Parker, the senior project manger for Leo A Daly, Bemidji Regional Event Center designer.

“We have pretty good representation,” Goeb said.

While Goeb would not detail plans for the presentation, the list of those who comprise the presentation team suggests that everything from the history of the college and the men’s hockey team, future plans for the Bemidji Regional Event Center and the university’s commitment to the hockey program will be discussed.

“Obviously, you can see from the people we have going down there, we’re going to have a lot of different pieces covered,” Goeb said.

One of the tools available will be a virtual tour of the BREC from Leo A Daly. The tour features a collage of images of the facility and how will look from the outside and inside.

Goeb noted that the CHA conference will still be intact for the upcoming season, but that Bemidji State is hoping to solidify plans for the 2010-11 season, ideally competing in the WCHA.

He did not know when Bemidji would receive a response from the WCHA.

“It’s hard to say,” he said.

Bemidji State’s women’s hockey program already is a member of the WCHA. The presentation this week will be made to the men’s representatives of the WCHA.

USATF Honors Goucher

INDIANAPOLIS – Kara Goucher has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after finishing third in the Boston Marathon Monday in Boston, Mass.

The 2007 World Outdoor 10,000m bronze medalist, Goucher took third in the women’s marathon in 2 hours 32 minutes 25 seconds. It was the top finish for an American woman since Kim Jones took second in 1993.

Now in its eighth year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2009 USATF Athlete of the Week Winners: January 6, Mason Finley; January 13, Amber Campbell; January 20, Josh Cox; January 27, German Fernandez; February 3, Ashton Eaton; February 10, Shalane Flanagan; February 17, Galen Rupp; February 25, Dexter Faulk; March 3, Terrence Trammell; March 10, Diana Pickler; March 17, Galen Rupp; March 25, Sumi Onodera-Leonard; April 1, German Fernandez; April 7, Cyrus Hostetler; April 14, Curtis Beach; April 21, Kara Goucher.