Snow in Denver; Jeff Sauer; Bemidji goalie; camouflage jerseys

As Minnesota Duluth prepares to face Bemidji State, in a battle of northern Minnesota teams, the forecast is for a slight chance for the season’s first snow Friday in Duluth.

The Bulldogs are glad that a trip to Denver is next week. Colorado’s Front Range is getting socked with its first snow storm Wednesday. The Denver Post has the latest on the arrival of the wet, heavy stuff here.

The Bulldogs are reporting no injuries following last weekend’s trip to Providence College. Coach Scott Sandelin said he’s tweaking some forward lines for the Bemidji State series at Amsoil Arena. It will be the first appearance in the building for the Beavers (3-3), who are coming off a home sweep of Michigan Tech.

Wednesday is a big day for St. Paul native Jeff Sauer and Minneapolis native Mark Johnson, who each gained fame at the University of Wisconsin. They’ll be honored with Bob Pulford as recipients of the NHL’s Lester Patrick Award. It is presented for service to hockey in the United States. The ceremony is at St. Paul’s RiverCenter. NHL.com has feature stories here and here.

Bemidji State freshman goalie Andrew Walsh was named WCHA defensive player of the week. Coach Tom Serratore said Tuesday he’s undecided about his starting goalie for Friday, but Walsh might be a good guess. However, senior Dan Bakala has had 66 career starts and Walsh just one. The Bemidji Pioneer has a Walsh player of the week update here.

UMD will take part in a Defending the Blue Line fund raiser by wearing camouflage warm up jerseys before a home against Alaska Anchorage on Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day. The jerseys will be signed and auctioned off with proceeds going to a Stauber Brothers hockey camp for children of military personnel in the Duluth area. Information on Defending the Blue Line and a look at the jerseys is provided in a Bruce Ciskie blog post here.

Former UMD assistant Steve Rohlik and long-time friend Mark Osiecki are in their second season behind the bench at Ohio State. U.S. College Hockey Online takes a look at Ohio State (and Michigan State) in a story here.

Bemidji State; Mike Connolly; Stalock; Huntsville

Minnesota Duluth is back home following its first road trip of the season and faces Bemidji State on Friday and Saturday at Amsoil Arena (before heading back on the road Nov. 4-5 to No. 2-ranked Denver).

Bemidji State (3-3) ended a three-game losing streak last weekend with a home sweep of previously undefeated Michigan Tech. To catch up on Bemidji State, Eric Stromgren of the Bemidji Pioneer has a blog, which includes a recap of Saturday’s victory over Michigan Tech here.

The Worcester (Mass.) Telegram has updates on two former UMD players. Winger Mike Connolly is just four games into his professional career and leads the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League with four goals and three assists for seven points. He helped Worcester beat Manchester 4-2 Saturday at home and the story is here.

The story of goalie Alex Stalock’s road to recovery from a serious leg injury is here.

Rookie winger Justin Fontaine is tied for second in scoring with the Houston Aeros of the AHL at 2-3-5 in six games.

The Huntsville (Ala.) Times has coverage of the demise of Alabama-Huntsville as a Division I sport at the school. The decision came down Monday and stories for the Times are here and here and here.

UMD men at No. 15; women No. 7

The Minnesota Duluth men remained No. 15 in the U.S. College Hockey Online and USA Today-USA Hockey Magazine polls released Monday, following a win and tie at Providence College.

Boston College, Denver, Colorado College Michigan and Notre Dame are 1-through-5 in both polls. The Bulldogs (2-3-1) are home this weekend for a WCHA series with Bemidji State (3-3).

The U.S. College Hockey Online poll is here and the USA Today-USA Hockey Magazine poll here.

The UMD women dropped one spot to No. 7 in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll. Wisconsin remained No. 1 after a road sweep of UMD. The Bulldogs (3-3) are home Saturday and Sunday in a WCHA series against No. 6 North Dakota (5-3). The U.S. College Hockey Online poll is here.

Rookie defenseman Justin Faulk has been recalled by the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. Faulk, 19, played three games with Charlotte (N.C.) in the American Hockey League last week and had a goal and an assist. A release from Carolina is here.

Goucher has new coach; INCH Power Rankings

Olympic runner Kara Goucher of Portland, Ore., has made a coaching change. She is now working with former University of Wisconsin coach Jerry Schumacher after being with Alberto Salazar for seven years. She is part of the Oregon Track Club Elite program and preparing for the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon Jan. 14 in Houston, Texas.

She talks about her changes in a Competitor.com post here.

The Inside College Hockey Power Rankings are available. Don’t look for Minnesota Duluth in the Top 20 here.

The Huntsville (Ala.) Times is reporting Monday the likely demise of Alabama-Huntsville as a Division I program in a story here.

Huntsville plays at Amsoil Arena on Jan. 20-21.

U.S. College Hockey Online has a Monday WCHA column here.

One unbeaten remains in WCHA

Colorado College (2-0) is now the only unbeaten among the WCHA’s 12 teams following Vermont’s 5-4 win over No. 8 Minnesota on Sunday afternoon at Mariucci Arena before a crowd of 8,007. The Gophers are 5-1.

After losing 6-0 Friday and trailing 3-1 five minutes into the second period Sunday, the Catamounts (1-1) rallied with four straight goals. Sebastian Stalberg and Conner Brickley each had two goals for Vermont. Minnesota rookie Kyle Rau scored his sixth of the season. Losing goalie Kent Patterson had 20 saves. Minnesota led in shots 35-25. The Minnesota web site has an update here.

Colorado College, idle this weekend, is at Rensselaer Polytechnic nexts weekend. Minnesota Duluth is home with Bemidji State and Minnesota is at Alaska Anchorage.

Sunday in the WCHA

Minnesota Duluth first road trip of the season went 1-0-1 at Providence College following a 2-2 tie Saturday. The Bulldogs (2-3-1) return to Amsoil Arena this weekend against Bemidji State (3-3), which swept previously unbeaten Michigan Tech 6-5 and 3-1 in Bemidji, Minn.

After three weekends, seven of 12 WCHA teams are .500 or below. Undefeateds are Minnesota (5-0), which finishes a home series with Vermont on Sunday, and Colorado College (2-0), which was idle last weekend.

No. 15-ranked UMD outshot Providence College 34-33 and each team was 1-of-6 on power plays at Schneider Arena. Freshman Justin Crandall gave UMD a 1-0 second-period lead, Providence tied it 1-1 and Mike Seidel’s fifth goal of the season put the Bullodogs up 2-1 with 4:57 left in regulation. Matt Bergland tied it for the Friars with 2:21 to go in the third. Kenny Reiter made 31 saves for UMD. College Hockey News has a recap, focusing on Reiter, in a story here and a game summary is here.

Bemidji State was outshot 32-16, but beat Michigan Tech 3-1. Michigan Tech led 1-0 after one period on an Alex MacLeod goal and Bemijdi State countered with second-period power-play goals from Shea Walters and Ben Kinne. Drew Fisher added a goal in the third period. Andrew Walsh was the winning goalie. The Bemidji Pioneer has a game story here.

Wisconsin used Bemidji State’s script — getting outshot 42-15 at home — and winning 5-4 over No. 5 North Dakota. Taylor Dickin gave North Dakota a 1-0 lead before Wisconsin reeled off three straight, capped by a John Ramage shorthanded score. Two Danny Kristo goals got North Dakota into a 3-3 tie early in the third period. Wisconsin’s Mark Zengerle scored with 9:17 to play and Joe Faust followed with 3:22 left. Aaron Dell was in goal for North Dakota and Joe Rumpel had 38 saves for Wisconsin. Stories from the Wisconsin State Journal here and the Grand Forks Herald here.

No. 3 Denver unleashed its offense with two goals in the first period, five in the second and three in the third to beat the injury-depleted Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks 10-2 for a league sweep at Magness Arena. Shawn Ostrow and Jason Zucker each had two goals for the Pioneers. Mankato scored twice in the third period. Austin Lee started and Phil Cook finished for Mankato. Adam Murray started and Juho Olkinora finished for Denver. Denver scored three PP goals and led 39-37 in shots. On Friday, coach George Gwozdecky earned his 400th victory at Denver. Stories from the Denver Post here and the Mankato Free Press here.

Nebraska Omaha finished a home sweep of Alaska Anchorage 3-1, scoring the final three goals. Anchorage led 1-0 early and Omaha followed with goals by Matt White, Andrej Sustr and Jayson Megra. John Faulkner was the winning goalie. Omaha led in shots 40-21. The Omaha World-Herald has a story here.

St. Cloud State led by two goals in the first period at home but had to settle for a 3-3 tie with New Hampshire. Cam Reid and Jared Festler gave the Huskies a 2-0 advantage. Yet St. Cloud State needed a Nic Dowd goal at 7:53 of the third period to get even. New Hampshire (0-4-1) led in shots 47-24. St. Cloud State’s Mike Lee had 44 saves. The St. Cloud Times has a story here.

WCHA Standings Courtesy of Hockey Stats.net

 Conference Overall 
 1 Colorado College   4   2  2- 0- 0 1.00   9-  5    2  2- 0- 0 1.00   9-  5
   Denver             4   2  2- 0- 0 1.00  14-  4    4  3- 1- 0 .750  21- 10
   Minnesota          4   2  2- 0- 0 1.00  10-  8    5  5- 0- 0 1.00  31-  8
   Nebraska Omaha     4   2  2- 0- 0 1.00   7-  2    6  3- 3- 0 .500  16- 14
   Bemidji State      4   4  2- 2- 0 .500  14- 15    6  3- 3- 0 .500  21- 21
   Michigan Tech      4   4  2- 2- 0 .500  11- 12    6  4- 2- 0 .667  18- 16
   Wisconsin          4   4  2- 2- 0 .500  13- 12    6  3- 3- 0 .500  18- 17
 8 St. Cloud State    0   0  0- 0- 0 ----   0-  0    6  2- 3- 1 .417  21- 21
   Alaska Anchorage   0   2  0- 2- 0 .000   2-  7    6  3- 2- 1 .583  19- 16
   Minnesota Duluth   0   2  0- 2- 0 .000   8- 10    6  2- 3- 1 .417  22- 22
   Minnesota State    0   2  0- 2- 0 .000   4- 14    6  1- 5- 0 .167   9- 26
   North Dakota       0   2  0- 2- 0 .000   7- 10    6  2- 3- 1 .417  19- 23

Final: UMD 2 at Providence 2, tie

Minnesota Duluth finished in a 2-2 overtime tie at Providence College on Satuday. A recap from the UMD athletic department is below. More information Sunday.

BULLDOGS AND PROVIDENCE BATTLE TO 2-2 DRAW

With Mike Seidel’s promotion to the University of Minnesota Duluth’s No. 1 line at the start of the 2011-12 season came certain expectations from the Bulldog coaching staff — such as an increase in scoring production.  So far, so good. The junior left winger registered his fifth goal in six games Saturday in helping the defending NCAA champion Bulldogs salvage a 2-2 tie with host Providence College. Seidel’s power play goal came with 4:47 remaining in regulation and put UMD on top 2-1, but the Friars’ Matt Bergland forced overtime with a man advantage score of his own 2:36 later.

Complete story here.

Game 2: UMD at Providence

Rink and Run is on special assignment Saturday night and will not have immediate results on Minnesota Duluth’s game at Providence.

The best results links are the WCHA’s live scoreboard here and College Hockey Stats.net found here.

And you can find the game streaming audio on 94X with Bruce Ciskie right here.

Rink and Run will post as soon as possible late Saturday or early Sunday. Stay tuned.

Saturday in the WCHA

WCHA teams put on an offensive display Friday night as winners averaged 5.2 goals in seven games, including St. Cloud State with seven and Bemidji State and Minnesota with six. One team — Minnesota — remained undefeated at 5-0.

No. 15-ranked Minnesota Duluth went on the road for the first time and defeated Providence College of Hockey East 5-2 in Providence, R.I. The News Tribune has a recap here.

Providence College coach Nate Leaman told the Providence Journal: “For whatever reason, our compete factor wasn’t there tonight, and I’m just disappointed. (Minnesota Duluth) dominated a lot of the compete points of the game. They won the faceoffs. They won a lot of the battles along the wall and they obviously won the special teams.”

No. 8 Minnesota smacked Vermont 6-0 at Mariucci Arena in the first game of the season for the Catamounts. Minnesota (6-0) scored three goals in the first period and outshot Vermont 38-17 for the game. Nick Bjugstad had two goals and goalie Kent Patterson earned his third shutout of the young season. Stories from the Minneapolis Star Tribune here and the St. Paul Pioneer Press here.

Michigan Tech brought an unbeaten record to Bemidji State and got caught up in a scoring frenzy as the Beavers won their home opener 6-5. Michigan Tech scored three goals in six minutes in the first period for a 3-1 lead, and Bemidji State countered with three straight and a 4-3 lead. BSU’s Jordan George had goals 52 seconds apart in the second period and teammate Brance Orban finished with a pair of goals. MTU scored the final two goals from Alex MacLeod and Steve Seigo. BSU goalie Dan Bakala was replaced after 13 minutes and Andrew Walsh got the win. Josh Robinson went the whole way for Michigan Tech. BSU led in shots 34-23. The Bemidji Pioneer has a story here.

After three overtime losses already this season, Wisconsin avoided OT and knocked off No. 5 North Dakota 5-3 at the Kohl Center for its first league victory. Mark Zengerle put the Badgers up 1-0 just 8:45 into the game and Wisconsin later led 4-1 early in the second. Nick Mattson and Carter Rowney with goals three minutes apart in the second period brought North Dakota back. There was no scoring in the third. North Dakota led in shots 27-26. Brad Eidsness went 26 minutes in goal for North Dakota before being replaced by Aaron Dell. Stories from the Wisconsin State Journal here and Grand Forks Herald here.

A week ago, in a non-league game Faribanks, Alaska, Nebraska-Omaha was shut out in a loss to Alaska Anchorage. UNO turned that around Friday with a 4-1 WCHA home victory over the previously unbeaten Seawolves. Omaha’s Terry Broadhurst and Zahn Raubenheimer scored 43 seconds apart midway through the third to break open a tight game as the Mavericks snapped a three-game losing streak. John Faulkner was in the Omaha goal. Omaha led 28-19 in shots. The Omaha World Herald has a story here.

St. Cloud State scored four power-play goals to keep New Hampshire winless in a 7-5 victory in the home opener at the National Hockey Center. The game was 2-2 after one period before Drew LeBlanc and Cam Reid scored two minutes apart in the second period for St. Cloud State. Matt Di Girolama went two periods in goal for New Hampshire (0-4). Mike Lee was in goal for the Huskies. St Cloud State led in shots 37-33. The St. Cloud Times has a story here.

Minnesota State-Mankato held an early lead before losing 4-2 at No. 3 Denver. Jean-Paul Lafontaine put the Mavericks up 1-0 in the first period. Denver’s Luke Salazar had two goals in the seocnd period. The game was 2-2 in the third before Drew Shore and Nick Shore finished the scoring for the Pioneers. Adam Murray got the win in goal. Denver led in shots 38-25. Stories from the Denver Post here and the Mankato Free Press here.

Outside the WCHA, Notre Dame christened its new on-campus Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday with a 5-2 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic. The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune has a story here.

And Reid Ellingson of Cloquet (3-0) was in goal for No. 17 Northern Michigan in a 5-3 home win over No. 1 Michigan to start CCHA play. It was Michigan’s first loss of the season. Both teams are 4-1. The Marquette Mining Journal has a story here.

Final: UMD 5 at Providence 2

Minnesota Duluth improved a few trouble spots Friday night in defeating Providence College of Hockey East in a non-conference college men’s hockey game before 2,012 fans at Schneider Arena in Providence, R.I.

The No. 15-ranked Bulldogs (2-3) broke a three-game losing streak in its first road game of the season and defeated Providence (2-1) for a fourth straight time in the series.

After a pair of 5-4 home losses to Minnesota last weekend, UMD coach Scott Sandelin asked his team for improvements in special teams play, defense and goaltending.

The Bulldogs were 1-of-4 on power plays, defused all six Providence power plays and got 23 saves from senior goalie Kenny Reiter in his 31st career victory. Senior center Travis Oleksuk, who leads UMD’s scoring, boosted his career goal total to 30 with a pair of goals.

“We were good defensively, we controlled the puck, Kenny did his job, and the second and third periods we were particularly good,” said Sandelin.

UMD led 1-0 just 3:11 into the game as Keegan Flaherty drove to the net, took a Scott Kishel pass, and scored past goalie Alex Beaudry. Providence made it 1-1 before Oleksuk and Mike Seidel combined for goals two minutes apart early in the second period.

The Bulldogs led in shots 32-25 in their first trip to Providence since November of 1998.

After former Cloquet-Esko-Carlton defenseman David Brown, a Providence senior center, cut the lead to 3-2 after two periods, UMD dominated the final 20 minutes.

Oleksuk scored just 57 seconds into the third period and freshman Caleb Herbert earned his third goal of the season on a power play with 5:14 to play.

Providence, picked to finish last in Hockey East, opened the season at home last weekend with wins over Boston University and Massachusetts, scoring 11 goals total. First-year Providence coach Nate Leaman was facing UMD for the first time since March when he was behind the Union College bench in a 2-0 loss in the NCAA East Regional semifinals.

Minnesota Duluth……………. 1-2-2—5

Providence…………………….. 1-1-0—2

First period — 1. UMD, Keegan Flaherty 2 (Scott Kishel), 3:11; 2.Providence, Andy Balysky 1 (Kevin Hart), 11:31. Penalties — Robert Maloney, Providence (tripping), 3:19; Justin Crandall, UMD (holding), 8:10; Flaherty, UMD (interference), 16:02; Wade Bergman, UMD (roughing), 18:11; Tim Schaller, Providence (roughing), 18:11; Caleb Herbert, UMD (slashing), 18:56.

Second period — 3. UMD, Travis Oleksuk 5 (Joe Basaraba, Max Tardy), 5:53; 4. UMD, Mike Seidel 4 (J.T. Brown, Brady Lamb), 7:52; 5. Providence, David Brown 1 (Barrett Kaib, Billy Simon), 10:16. Penalties — Dan DeLisle, UMD (holding), 16:17; Steven Shamanski,Providence (slashing), 18:54.

Third period — 6. UMD, Oleksuk 6 (Seidel, Lamb), :57; 7. UMD, Caleb Herbert 3 (Tardy, Chris Casto), 14:46 (pp). Penalties — Casto, UMD (slashing), 7:07; Hart,Providence (hitting from behind), 13:22; Derik Johnson, UMD (roughing), 15:09; Lamb, UMD (hitting after whistle), 15:40; Derek Army, Providence (hitting after whistle), 15:40; Brown, Providence (charging), 18:01.

Shots on goal — UMD 9-10-13—32,Providence13-7-5—25. Goalies — Kenny Reiter (2-2), UMD (25 shots-23 saves); Alex Beaudry (2-1), Providence(32 shots-27 saves). Power plays — UMD 1-of-4, Providence 0-of-6. Referees — Tim Benedetto, Tom Quinn. Linesmen — Bob Bernard, Chris Millea. A — 2,012.