Kara Goucher: Toe Surgery

     Duluth native Kara Goucher of Portland, Ore., was in Duluth as a guest speaker and race course radio commentator during Grandma’s Marathon weekend June 18-19. The U.S. track Olympian and marathoner indicated at the time she’d been dealing with lower-back pain, the result of being six-months pregnant, and said she would be having surgery on her right big toe to eliminate a bone spur. The toe surgery was last week and if you’d like to hear ALL of the details you can to Competitor.com and read about it on Goucher’s blog here.

     For something QUITE A BIT LIGHTER, there is a great video, a woman-to-woman, completely-for-laughs, exchange between Goucher and sometimes training partner and one-time Olympic teammate Shalane Flanagan, now also living in Portland. Goucher said she was a little nervous about doing the video and asked her employer, Nike, about the project and was given a solid green light to go ahead. That video is here. The Goucher-Flanagan toe-to-toe verbal exchange starts about 3 minutes, 55 seconds into the video.

Lundgren, Valesano Advance

     Catching up on some youth hockey notes:

Right winger Ryan Lundgren and center Connor Valesano have been named to a 21-player Minnesota Advanced 15 boys roster for a USA Hockey Select Development Camp July 15-21 in Rochester, N.Y. Both will be Duluth East sophomores this fall and were chosen after a series of district tryout camps.

East defenseman Meirs Moore took part in a Select 16 camp that ended Wednesday in Rochester, N.Y., while East defenseman Andy Welinski, a Minnesota Duluth recruit, will take part in a Select 17 camp July 7-13 in Rochester.

More: 2012 Women’s Frozen Four

The first full hockey season at Amsoil Arena will bring the first national exposure to the rink in 2011-12.

The 2012 NCAA Division I Frozen Four women’s tournament was awarded Monday to the DECC and Minnesota Duluth. The dates are expected to be March 16-18. Duluth previously was home to the 2008 and 2003 women’s Frozen Four. The NCAA also announced the 2013 Frozen Four women’s tournament will be at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

The $80-million, 6,600-seat Amsoil Arena at the DECC opens Dec. 30, halfway through the 2010-11 season, as the UMD men face North Dakota in a game to benefit the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The first games in the new rink for the UMD women are Jan. 21-22 against Wisconsin.

“There have been 10 Frozen Four tournaments for women, and the best two have been in Duluth because of a number of reasons,” UMD coach Shannon Miller said Tuesday. “The atmosphere at the rink has been incredible, the hospitality from the city has been tremendous and the organization of the event has been first class. That’s the feedback the NCAA has received and that’s why the tournament is coming back.”

Miller, the only coach in UMD program history, is a member of the five-person NCAA Championships Committee, chaired by Vermont senior associate athletic director Jeff Schulman. In discussing the future tournament sites, Miller said she was the last one to talk and wasn’t involved in making a final decision.

In the two Frozen Four women’s tournaments at the DECC, UMD defeated Harvard 4-3 in double overtime in the 2003 final before a crowd of 5,167, and the Bulldogs beat Wisconsin 4-0 for the 2008 title in front of 4,031 fans. UMD has won five of the 10 Frozen Four titles, including 2010, beating Cornell 3-2 in triple overtime at Ridder Arena.

It’s believed about six schools put in bids to host the 2012 and 2013 tournaments.

“We work with the DECC to build a budget, partly on projected ticket revenue, with the NCAA receiving a guaranteed percentage,” said UMD athletic director Bob Nielson. “You don’t make money, you just hope to cover your expenses, and at the same time get some good exposure for your school and city.”

DECC officials had put in bids for three hockey events in 2012, with the expectation of landing one for its new building. They had bid on an NCAA Division I men’s regional and the International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship, but since have found there is a conflict in April, with the women’s tournament, because of the Arrowhead Home and Builders Show, said DECC executive director Dan Russell. The 2012 and 2017 World Women’s Championships have been awarded to the United States, although sites haven’t been chosen.

The 2012 Division I men’s regional sites were awarded Monday to Bridgeport, Conn.; Worcester, Mass.; Green Bay, Wis.; and St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center. The 2011 Frozen Four women’s tournament is in Erie, Pa.


UMD to host 2012 Women’s Frozen Four

      Minnesota Duluth will be the host school for the 2012 NCAA Division I Frozen Four women’s tournament to be held in March at Amsoil Arena, the NCAA announced Monday.
    UMD has been the host school for the Frozen Four in 2008 and 2003, with the Bulldogs winning the Division I title in each year. The 2011 Division I Frozen Four women’s tournament is in Erie, Pa., with UMD entering the season as defending champion.
     The University of Minnesota will be the host school for the 2013 Division I Frozen Four women’s tournament.
     Also, the 2012 NCAA Division I men’s regionals will be: Bridgeport, Conn.; Worcester, Mass.; Green Bay, Wis.; and St. Paul. The winners from the four regionals advance to the Frozen Four at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. The West Regional will be at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center. That information is at U.S. College Hockey Online

Bolstad to International Falls; Hoagie and NSIC

     Minnesota Hockey Hub announced last week that Mike Bolstad has been named to follow John Prettyman as boys hockey coach at International Falls. Bolstad, 49, played at International Falls and Providence College, and older brother, Gerald, is the girls hockey coach for the Broncos. Mike Bolstad has been involved in the city’s youth program and his hiring was approved June 21. Prettyman had been in the International Falls program for 35 years, the last seven as head coach.

     That Hockey Hub story can be found here.

     And longtime Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey manager, fan and supporter of all UMD sports, Dale "Hoagie" Haagenson has been honored by the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference as winner of the Noel Olson Award. He’ll be recognized during the 11th annual NSIC Hall of Fame Banquet Wednesday, July 14 at the Best Western Kelly Inn in St. Cloud, Minn. The information and a link is below:

2010 Noel Olson Award Recipient
Dale Haagenson – University of Minnesota Duluth

      Dale, or “Hoagie” as he is affectionately known, joined the Minnesota Duluth athletic staff in 1981-82 and since that time has dutifully volunteered his services as the team manager – and inspirational leader – for the Bulldog football, baseball, and men’s hockey teams. The Babbitt native is a fixture at all home games and virtually all practices for those three sports handling various roles such as bat boy (while in complete uniform), kicking tee supervisor and puck distributor. He’s also been known to do a little sideline cheerleading when he feels the need to energize the crowd at James S. Malosky Stadium. Hoagie received the Bruce Bennett Service Award for exceptional service and commitment to UMD athletics in 2000 and six years later was the man of the hour at Hoagie Appreciation Night at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center during a Bulldog home hockey game. In addition, a men’s hockey scholarship bearing his name was established at UMD in 2006.

Northern Sun link

UPDATE: Three UMD Recruits Selected

Defenseman Justin Faulk plans to be on Minnesota Duluth’s campus Aug. 9 to prepare for his freshman season with the hockey Bulldogs. However, he’ll have a few stops before then, starting with a return from the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles.

Faulk, 18, from South St. Paul, was taken by Carolina in Saturday’s second round, the 37th pick overall, to lead UMD’s three selections in the seven rounds at Staples Center. He’ll be part of Carolina’s prospect conditioning camp in July in Raleigh, N.C., then attend the 2011 U.S. Junior Evaluation Camp starting Aug. 1 in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“I know we’re going to have a very good team at UMD and the coaches have told me I should be prepared to step in and make an impact,” Faulk said from Los Angeles. “How long I spend in college will depend on Carolina’s needs. There’s no set time table.”

Last season, Faulk helped USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program win a second straight World Under-18 title in April. He played two seasons with the program in Ann Arbor, Mich.  He was part of a record-tying 21 Americans selected in the first two rounds of the draft. A record 11 Americans were taken in Friday’s first round, including Duluth defenseman Derek Forbort, also on the U.S. U-18 team. The University of North Dakota recruit got the night’s largest ovation when chosen No. 15 overall by the hometown Los Angeles Kings.

The first-round American total includes defenseman Cam Fowler, who moved to Michigan from Windsor, Ontario, at the age of 2, and who has dual citizenship. Overall, the draft included 99 Canadians and 59 American prospects, according to the NHL.

“We had seven players from the U-18 team taken in the first two rounds, and they were all really deserving, and we had 10 total drafted. That’s pretty exciting,” said Faulk, who had 21 goals in 60 games last season.

Faulk said he looks up to veteran San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle, who has 107 career goals.

“I’m considered more of an offensive defenseman, but I guess, at the same time, I can be a pretty good two-way defenseman,” he told the News & Observer of Raleigh.

We were really happy to get Faulk at 37, Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford told the Associated Press. He’s a highly skilled guy, has a little bit of bite to his game and can hammer the puck.

Two other UMD recruits selected Saturday were right winger Joe Basaraba of Fort Frances, Ontario, who played at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn., taken in the third round, 60th overall, by Florida, and center Caleb Herbert of Bloomington, Minn., in the fifth round, 142nd overall by Washington.

Basaraba, 18, will be at UMD this fall, while Herbert is in the class of 2011-12. Basaraba had 22 goals and 24 assists for 46 points in 52 games last season. Herbert had 30 goals and 32 assists for 62 points in 28 games last season as a senior at Bloomington Jefferson, and will play in the U.S. Hockey League in 2010-11.

“I’m a power forward who likes to play in the offensive and defensive zones, a two-way player with a good shot,” Basaraba told the Florida Panthers website. “They (the Panthers) said they were happy to have me and I’m just as happy as they are.”

The Bulldogs have all but five players returning from a team that went 22-17-1 last season and tied for fourth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Faulk: Second Round

     Minnesota Duluth recruit Justin Faulk, a defenseman from South St. Paul, has been taken in the second round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the 37th player overall. The draft began with the first round Friday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles and is continuing with rounds two-through-seven Saturday (NHL Network). Faulk played with the USA Hockey U-18 program this season in Ann Arbor, Mich., with the the U-17 team in 2008-09, and will be with the Bulldogs this fall. Also, UMD recruits also selected — Joe Basaraba of Fort Frances, Ontario, a right winger who played at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn., was taken in the third round, 60th overall, by Florida, and center Caleb Herbert of Bloomington, Minn., in the fifth round, 142nd overall to Washington.

     Florida website draft interviews are here.

     In the second round, the first pick was former Minnesota State-Mankato center Tyler Pitlick, taken by Edmonton. Three other USA U-18 players were taken in the second round — defensemen Jonathon Merrill and Stephen Johns, and winger Jason Zucker. St. Paul Cretin-Derham Hall star football and hockey player, a University of Minnesota defenseman recruit, was taken 53rd overall by Carolina. 

      The draft picks are listed on the NHL website with links here Round 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

NHL Draft: Forbort first-round update

      The first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft was Friday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, which included Duluth defenseman Derek Forbort being picked 15th overall by the hometown team L.A. Kings. Rounds two-through-seven starts at noon Saturday (NHL Network).

     A link to a first-round draft story from the Los Angeles Times is at NHL draft leaves Kings, Ducks, California players smiling

       And the L.A. Times has information on the 30 players taken in this story NHL draft: First-round selections

     And an Associated Press story on Forbort’s selection is at Kings move up to grab Forbort with 15th pick

     And the News Tribune has a story here

     The Kings website has a question-and-answer story is at Q&A with Derek Forbort

     And below is an Associated Press photo showing Forbort flanked by Kings president Dean Lombardi (at left) and coach Terry Murray. 


UPDATED: Forbort No. 15

Defenseman Derek Forbort became the first Duluth native to be chosen in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, selected 15th overall by the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Kings made a trade Friday with the Florida Panthers for the No. 15 pick. He was the second American taken and the second college-bound player.

The No. 15 overall position is the highest for a player from the Northland in the history of the Entry Draft.

“I had my family and friends around me and tried to stay calm, but this was a pretty exciting, unbelievable feeling. It was a little nerve wracking and a little hard to sit still,” Forbort said from Los Angeles. “I’m overwhelmed with joy at being picked. I’m just thrilled with the outcome.”

Forbort, 18, played last season, as a high school senior, with USA Hockey’s Under-18 National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. He had five goals and 23 assists for 28 points in 65 games for a U.S. team that won a second straight World U18 championship in April in Belarus. While with Duluth East in 2008-09 as a high school junior, he was a 2009 News Tribune All-Area team selection and a Minnesota Associated Press honorable mention pick.

Forbort, 6-4½ and 198 pounds, entered the draft ranked No. 9 among North American skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau. He will be a freshman at the University of North Dakota this fall. Minnesota Duluth recruit Justin Faulk, also a defenseman with the USA U18 team last season, was ranked No. 56 and is expected to be selected in the draft’s second round, which begins at noon today (NHL Network).

“He deserves to be a high first-round pick because he’s got everything a great player needs,” former USA U18 coach Kurt Kleinendorst told the News Tribune last month about Forbort. “He has hockey smarts and great poise with the puck. He can pass or carry the puck up ice. He probably doesn’t know how good he is yet. He’s the real deal.”

Phoenix and Dallas had the most pre-draft interest in Forbort, he said, while he spent about two minutes with L.A. Kings officials during the NHL Scouting Combine last month in Toronto. Forbort was in Los Angeles with his mother and father, Mary and Keith, and younger brothers, Nick and Jack. He said he’ll be taking part in the team’s rookie camp next week.   

USA U18 goalie Jack Campbell of Port Huron, Mich., was the first American taken in the draft, going to Dallas at No. 11, while center Jaden Schwartz of Wilcox, Saskatchewan, was the first college-bound player taken, going to St. Louis at No. 14. Schwartz is headed to Colorado College, where his brother, Rylan, will be a sophomore in 2010-11. Jaden Schwartz led the U.S. Hockey League in scoring in 2009-10 with 83 points in 60 games for Tri-City of Kearney, Neb.

The Florida Panthers were to pick at No. 15, but the Kings traded their 19th and 59th picks to move up and take Forbort. At No. 19, Florida took 2010 Minnesota Mr. Hockey, center Nick Bjugstad of Blaine, a University of Minnesota recruit.

Northland athletes taken in the first two rounds the past 20 years are: forward Rusty Fitzgerald of Duluth, second round, 38th overall, by Pittsburgh in 1991; forward Jamie Langenbrunner of Cloquet, second round, 35th overall, by Dallas in 1993; defenseman Alex Goligoski of Grand Rapids, second round, 61st overall, by Pittsburgh in 2004; defenseman Matt Niskanen of Mountain Iron, second round, 28th overall, by Dallas in 2005; and forwards Patrick White of Grand Rapids, first round, 25th overall, by Vancouver, and forward Nico Sacchetti of Virginia, second round, 50th overall, by Dallas in 2007.

The most successful defenseman from Duluth to play in the NHL was Sean Hill, selected in the eighth round by Montreal in 1988. He played in 876 regular-season games over 15 years through 2008.

NHL Draft: First Round Friday

    The first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft can been seen at 6 p.m. Friday on the Versus network. Northland hockey fans should get a chance to see Duluth defenseman Derek Forbort try on a jersey and cap from an NHL team as a projected first-round pick.

     The News Tribune has a Friday story here focusing on Forbort and Minnesota Duluth recruit Justin Faulk of South St. Paul, who were teammates last season with the USA U18 team in Ann Arbor, Mich.

      Forbort is headed for the University of North Dakota this fall and the Grand Forks Herald has a story here about recruits who may be drafted in the next two days at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

     The NHL website also has video of Forbort here which is exclusively from his Duluth East High School season of 2008-09 before playing with USA Hockey in 2009-10.