Season arrives; NCHC; Jack; Shane; Pav; Moorhead

WCHA members kick off the 2011-12 season Friday as Northern Alberta plays at Alaska Anchorage. There are four more exhibition games Saturday, four Sunday and one Monday. Lakehead University of Thunder Bay, Ontario, plays at Michigan Tech on Saturday and against Minnesota Duluth at 6:07 p.m. Sunday at Amsoil Arena.

Jack Connolly, a two-time All-American center, has been placed on a Top 10 list of Division I forwards for 2011-12 by U.S. College Hockey Online. That list is here.

Adam Wodon of College Hockey News talked with Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph about the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and its status as an eight-team league. Ralph says the maximum will be nine teams. The CHN story is here.

College Hockey, Inc. has a revamped web site and wants you to take a look here.

Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press gives his view of Minnesota State Mankato’s place following conference shifting for 2013-14. That column is here.

Former Eveleth star and former UMD Al-American center Mark Pavelich is No. 56 on Minnesota Hockey Hub’s Top 100 countdown of all-time state high school players. That link is here.

Joe Stejskal of Grand Rapids, a four-year defenseman at Dartmouth through 2011, has been assigned by Montreal to Hamilton of the American Hockey League.

Former Duluth Marshall forward Zach Mausolf is on the Nebraska-Omaha roster as a walk on.

Eric Peterson of the Fargo (N.D.) Forum has an update on Minnesota State-Moorhead’s quest for Division I hockey, including budget concerns. That story is here.

U.S. Olympian and former UMD center Jenny Potter was inducted into the Edina (Minn.) Athletic Hall of Fame on Thursday night. USA Hockey has an update here.

One of the best high school cross country runners in Northeastern Minnesota, Romeo Benish of Proctor, has taken quite a road to stardom, starting at his home in Guatemala. The News Tribune has a story here.

Tardy, Irwin, Wong, tickets, throwback jerseys, title mural, Faulk

Minnesota Duluth will have plenty of ice time beginning with the official start of practice Saturday at Amsoil Arena.

Coach Scott Sandelin is planning practice and a scrimmage Saturday, and practice Sunday before a 6:07 p.m. exhibition game at home with Lakehead University. He noted that sophomore center Max Tardy will likely miss the exhibition because of an injury.

The UMD women open with an exhibition home series Friday and Saturday against the Minnesota Whitecaps. Coach Shannon Miller said she’ll be without two of her best players — senior forward Haley Irwin and junior defenseman Jessica Wong. Irwin was injured while competing in Canada’s national camp which ended Sunday in Calgary, Alberta.

The UMD ticket office reports more than 5,000 season tickets have been sold for men’s games this season, which includes 853 sold-out student tickets. Amsoil Arena seats 6,732.

Home white jerseys for the UMD men this season will be the throwback model used in the final game at the DECC last December. Those jerseys were auctioned off and new jerseys purchased.

A men’s season preview was in Thursday’s News Tribune here.

A Clint Austin photo of UMD’s 2011 championship wall mural at Amsoil Arena is here.

The NHL Carolina Hurricanes sent 12 players to the AHL on Thursday, but rookie defenseman Justin Faulk is still with the club. The Charlotte (N.C.) News Observer has a brief update here.

WCHA coaches: Denver No. 1, UMD No. 5

The 41st Grand Forks Herald coaches poll in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association was released Wednesday, as compiled by Brad Elliott Schlossman. The results aren’t a whole lot different from Tuesday’s media poll: Denver is No. 1 followed by North Dakota, Colorado College and Nebraska-Omaha.

Minnesota Duluth is No. 5 in both polls.

The Grand Forks Herald story is here.

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association coaches and media polls are also out with Notre Dame at No. 1 in both. Western Michigan is No. 4 in both. UMD plays both, starting Oct. 7-8 with the Fighting Irish at Amsoil Arena. The CCHA polls, from the conference web site, are here.

And in the Eastern College Athletic Conference polls released Wednesday Yale and Union are 1-2 in both. Ken Schott of the Schenectady (N.Y.) Daily Gazette has the details here.

Former UMD defenseman Matt Niskanen, as the 16th shooter, got the shoot out winner for Pittsburgh against the L.A. Kings on Tuesday night in Kansas City, Mo. The Penguins web site has a game wrap up here.

WCHA media poll: UMD 5th; Hockey East coaches poll; CCHA voting

Minnesota Duluth play-by-play voice Bruce Ciskie has counted the media votes and the 2011-12 Western Collegiate Hockey Association preseason poll, players of the year, rookies of the year and more is right here.

Minnesota Duluth was picked No. 5.

The WCHA coaches poll, conducted by the Grand Forks Herald, will be out Wednesday.

Hockey East’s coaches poll is here.

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association preseason all-league teams are here.

Notre Dame’s new rink; Tardy; Lamb; Who’s to blame for changes?

Top-ranked Notre Dame, the season-opening opponent for Minnesota Duluth, skated in its new 5,000-seat rink (the Compton Family Ice Arena) for the first time Monday. During media day, Notre Dame Jeff Jackson indicated that the Irish will be making a conference-affiliation decision in the next few days for 2013-14.

The Irish, in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association for two more seasons, will be going to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference or Hockey East. The South Bend Tribune has a story on Notre Dame prospects for 2011-12 in a story here.

U.S. College Hockey Online has its update on a Bowling Green (Ohio) Tribune-Sentinel report that the University of Buffalo could add a Division I program, which could lead to a revamped CCHA for 2013-14. That story is here.

How did we get into this conference-changing frenzy? Sandy Gholston, a writer for the Michigan Live newspaper chain, who covers Ferris State, opined in a Sunday piece that the National Collegiate Hockey Conference schools are to blame. That column is here.

Inside College Hockey’s walk through the alphabet has landed on UMD sophomore forward Max Tardy. His profile is here.

The UMD web site takes a look at senior defenseman Brady Lamb here.

U.S. College Hockey Online lists goalies to watch in 2011-12 in a story here.

USCHO preseason: UMD No. 8; USA Hockey: No. 10

U.S. College Hockey Online released a Division I men’s preseason poll Monday with Minnesota Duluth at No. 8. In the USA Hockey-USA Today poll the Bulldogs are No. 10. Here are the polls:

U. S. College Hockey Online

1 Notre Dame (11) 25-14-5 740
2 Miami (12) 23-10-6 722
3 North Dakota ( 5) 32- 9-3 720
4 Denver 25-12-5 670
5 Boston College ( 2) 30- 8-1 659
6 Michigan 29-11-4 613
7 Colorado College 23-19-3 594
8 Minn. Duluth (10) 26-10-6 586
9 Yale ( 1) 28- 7-1 571
10 Boston University ( 2) 19-12-8 542
11 Union 26-10-4 382
12 New Hampshire 22-11-6 368
13 Western Michigan 19-13-10 362
14 Nebraska-Omaha 21-16-2 288
15 Merrimack 25-10-4 198
16 Maine 17-12-7 190
17 Wisconsin 21-16-4 129
18 Rensselaer 20-13-5 121
19 Minnesota 16-14-6 107
20 Cornell 16-15-3 106
Others receiving votes: Dartmouth 80, Air Force 74, Rochester Institute of Technology 53, St. Cloud State 48, Alaska 22, Ohio State 16, Northeastern 15, Ferris State 12, Lake Superior 8, Northern Michigan 8, Providence 8, Princeton 7, Michigan State 4, Quinnipiac 4, Massachusetts 3. 

USA Today-USA Hockey

1 Miami of Ohio, 453 (15)
23-10-6
2 Notre Dame, 427 (4)
25-14-5
3 North Dakota, 373 (3)
32-9-3
4 Denver, 366
25-12-5
5 Boston College, 364 (1)
30-8-1
6 Boston University, 343 (3)
19-12-8
7 Colorado College, 316
23-19-3
8 Yale University, 277 (2)
28-7-1
9 Michigan, 262
29-11-4
10 Minn. Duluth, 232 (6)
26-10-6
11 Union College, 151
26-10-4
12 New Hampshire, 124
22-11-6
13 Western Michigan, 116
19-13-10
14 Nebraska Omaha, 89
21-16-2
15 Maine, 64
17-12-5

Others receiving votes: University of Minnesota, 29; Merrimack College, 19; University of Wisconsin, 17; Cornell University, 15; University of Alaska, 8; Dartmouth College, 8; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 8; Rochester Institute of Technology, 6; United States Air Force Academy, 5; Ohio State University, 3; College of the Holy Cross, 1; Lake Superior State University, 1; Quinnipiac University, 1; St. Cloud State University, 1.

UMD tickets; CCHA alive; Wisconsin women; UMD football

With the start of the 2011-12 season within sight, Minnesota Duluth reminds fans that home single-game tickets go on sale Monday — in person at UMD and Amsoil Arena — and through Ticketmaster beginning Tuesday. A release is here.

North Dakota blogger Timothy Boger makes his pick for UMD’s place in the WCHA in a post here.

There apparently is more to the conference affiliation changes for 2013-14 than the NCHC, WCHA and Big Ten. The Bowling Green (Ohio) Sentinel-Tribune continues to have updates on Bowling Green State, Atlantic Hockey members and the University of Buffalo (and its interest in joining the Division I picture). A Sunday story is here.

The Huntsville (Ala.) Times has an update on the Alabama-Huntsville program in a Sunday story here.

Chris Dilks of Western College Hockey tries to make some sense of the BG, CCHA, Buffalo news in a post here.

In women’s hockey, defending NCAA champion Wisconsin was the first WCHA team to open 2011-12 last weekend with a home sweep of Lindenwood (Mo.) University by 24-0. The WCHA has an update here.

The UMD women open with exhibition home games Friday and Saturday against the Minnesota Whitecaps, while the UMD men open at 6 p.m. Sunday against Lakehead University of Thunder Bay, Ontario, at Amsoil Arena.

On the football scene, Eric Stromgren of the Bemidji Pioneer has an update on Saturday’s Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game in Bemidji as UMD toppled previously unbeaten Bemidji State 26-23. The post in words and pictures is here.

World marathon record: Patrick Makau 2:03:38 in Berlin

Kenya’s Patrick Makau set the men’s world marathon record in Sunday’s Berlin (Germany) Marathon — winning in 2:03:38 — breaking Haile Gebrselassie mark by 21 seconds. And Gebrselassie was in the field, but was left behind as Makau made a break at 15 miles, and Gebrselassie ultimately dropped out.

Winning the women’s race was Kenyan Florence Kiplagat in 2:19:44

The Guardian has a story here.

An Associated Press story, posted in the Miami Herald, is here.

From SuperSport.com a story here.

From the Science of Sport a detailed, statistical look at the race here.

NHC expansion; Bobby Hull; Justin Faulk; cross country hero

Some weekend hockey and running notes:

Finance & Commerce of Minneapolis details a $30 million expansion planned for St. Cloud’s National Hockey Center in a story here.

The Chicago Tribune has a video interview with Hall of Famer Bobby Hull about the era of the NHL enforcer. The video here.

The Charlotte Checkers web site of the AHL takes a look at rookie defenseman Justin Faulk and his chances of making Carolina’s NHL roster. The story is here.

An update on Carolina roster cuts Saturday is here.

Also a Minnesota high school cross country story that you haven’t read before — from the St. Paul Pioneer Press here and the Minneapolis Star Tribune here.