Some preseason notes

These preseason notes from Thursday’s News Tribune:

Minnesota Duluth senior winger Cody Danberg of Canwood, Saskatchewan, will be out for about four months following knee surgery Aug. 17 to repair the medial meniscus in his right knee.

Danberg said the injury came after a team run as he bounced a tennis ball to a partner, twisting the knee. Recovery takes three to four months and he’s not expected to be able to play until January.

“It’s a pretty rough way to start the season, but I’m going to push to get back as soon as I can. This is going to be one of our best teams and I want to be a part of that,” Danberg said.

Danberg was the left winger on UMD’s third line in the playoffs last season. He has eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points in 99 career games. He will wear a full-length knee brace and be on crutches until Oct. 4.

The UMD men don’t start official on-ice practice until Oct. 2, but are taking part in captain’s practices this week at the school’s campus rink. Division I coaches are allowed to be on the ice with their teams for two hours a week.

The ice at the DECC will be put in following Sunday night’s Toby Keith concert and the Bulldogs expect to skate there Tuesday.

The UMD women begin official on-ice practice at 1:30 p.m. Monday. The Bulldogs will be without players Haley Irwin, Laura Fridfinnson, Jocelyne Larocque and Jessica Wong, and assistant coach Laura Schuler, who will be at Canada’s National Team camp for five days starting Wednesday in Calgary

The defending Division I champion UMD women have a home exhibition Oct. 1 with the Minnesota White Caps and open the season Oct. 8 at North Dakota.

The UMD men open the season Oct. 8 at Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

New strength coach

UMD’s head strength and conditioning coach Justin May, after 10 years with the school’s hockey programs, will be working in other areas in 2010-11, including added administrative duties in fundraising, he said this week. May, 34, will continue to oversee conditioning schedules for the school’s 14 varsity sports.

Blake Palmer has been hired as the strength and conditioning coach for the hockey programs and the equipment manager for the women’s team. He spent the past three years as conditioning coach for Waterloo (Iowa) in the U.S. Hockey League, while also serving as equipment manager for two of those years.

Palmer, a native of Northwood, Iowa, earned an exercise science degree from Northern Iowa in 2006 and a master’s degree in exercise physiology in 2008.

“I’ve been passionately involved with UMD sports from the beginning, and I enjoyed my time with the hockey teams and appreciate the friendships I made,” May said. “My new duties will give me a chance to grow as an administrator.”