WCHA Power Rankings; Stalock video; More Jim Scherr; Kara Goucher

Goon’s World offers its weekly WCHA power rankings right here.

Alex Stalock is returning to form as he recovers from an injury one year ago. His first games back, with Stockton (Calif.) in the East Coast Hockey League, have provided four wins and some highlights. One short video clip has him making a save Sunday in a 2-1 home win over the Alaska Aces here.

This is a few weeks old, but Mike Moran of Colorado Springs, Colo., a former USOC communications director, provided a good, in-depth look at Jim Scherr, the first commissioner of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Moran, now a media consultant, provided the piece through the Colorado Spring Sports Corporation here.

FloTrack has a video interview with Kara Goucher from earlier this month after qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in the women’s marathon here.

UMD No. 1 in USCHO; Stalock now 4-0

Minnesota Duluth remained No. 1 in U.S. College Hockey Online poll (for an eighth straight week), just ahead of Minnesota, here, and is No. 2 in the USA Today-USA Hockey Magazine poll (behind Minnesota) here, and remained No. 1 in the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings here.

U.S. College Hockey Online looks back at the weekend that was in the WCHA here.

Stephen Anderson of the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette takes a look back on Michigan Tech’s impressive performance in a tie and win over UMD at Amsoil Arena in a story here.

Bruce Ciskie takes a look at what’s next for UMD, which heads to Alaska Anchorage this weekend, in a post here.

Alex Stalock has had a busy, winning week in his rehab assignment with the Stockton Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League, with four victories in four games with a goals-against mark of 2.50 and save percentage of .920. In Sunday’s victory, the winning goal was scored by former UMD teammate Jordan Fulton. The Stockton (Calif.) Record has a here.

Mike Montgomery, UMD’s captain last season, was part of a rough-and-tumble moment Saturday night as the Ontario Reign and the Bakersfield Condors of the East Coast Hockey League got involved in a number of fights. Montgomery got paired up with an opposing player. Video is here.

U.S. College Hockey Online also has an update on National Collegiate Hockey Conference  commissioner Jim Scherr here.

Sunday in the WCHA

The WCHA is tightening behind first-place Minnesota as Denver and North Dakota continued hot streaks Saturday night, and Minnesota Duluth saw a home unbeaten streak end.

Minnesota leads UMD by five points in the MacNaughton Cup race, then five teams are separated by four points in places in Nos. 2-through-6. Standings are below.

The top six teams in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll over the weekend: UMD 0-1-1, Boston University 0-2, Minnesota 2-0, Notre Dame 1-1, Merrimack (playing Sunday) and Ohio State 0-1-1.

The PairWise Rankings has UMD No. 1 here.

The News Tribune has a UMD-Michigan Tech story here.

Dan Myers of College Hockey News looks at the WCHA race here.

At St. Cloud, Minn., Sam Warning scored his first goal in more than three months to give No. 3 Minnesota a 3-2 over St. Cloud State and a series sweep before 6,102 fans. Ben Hanowski 15 had two goals for the Huskies. Warning scored with 79 seconds to play. Kent Patterson is 19-9-1 for the Gophers. Minnesota led in shots 46-12. St. Cloud State has lost three straight and is 2-5 the last seven. Stories from the Minneapolis Star Tribune here and St. Cloud Times here.

At Grand Forks, N.D., Brock Nelson 19 and Danny Kristo 14 led the way with goals as No. 18 North Dakota beat Wisconsin 4-2 for a series sweep before 11,898 fans. North Dakota led in shots 41-22 and is 7-2-1 the last 10 games and 11-3-1 the last 15. Defenseman Derek Forbort returned to the North Dakota lineup after an injury. Brad Eidsness was in goal. Stories from the Grand Forks Herald here and Wisconsin State Journal here.

At Bemidji, Minn., Michael Dorr had two goals and Minnesota State-Mankato scored three times in the second period for a 5-2 win over Bemidji State before 4,344 fans. Eriah Hayes 11 also scored for Mankato. Bemidji State led in shots 31-25. The game was 0-0 after one period and 3-2 Mankato after two. Phil Cook of Mankato had 29 saves. Stories from the Bemidji Pioneer here and Mankato Free Press here and here.

At Anchorage, Alaska, four first-period goals led No. 15 Denver to a 6-3 win over Alaska Anchorage and a weekend sweep before 3,226 fans. Jason Zucker 14 was part of the second-period DU barrage and Ty Loney finished with two goals. Denver led in shots 28-27. DU goalie Sam Brittain played for the first time this season, following an injury, and had 24 saves. Denver has won five straight and is 7-1 the last eight, while Anchorage (UMD’s next opponent) has lost seven straight, is 1-9-1 the last 11 and 3-16-1 the last 20. The Anchorage Daily News has a game story here.

WCHA Standings Courtesy of CollegeHockeyStats.net

 1 Minnesota         30  20 15- 5- 0 .750  66- 38   29 19- 9- 1 .672 108- 59
 2 Minnesota Duluth  25  18 11- 4- 3 .694  70- 46   26 17- 5- 4 .731  99- 65
 3 Denver            23  18 10- 5- 3 .639  66- 55   26 15- 8- 3 .635  95- 72
 4 Colorado College  22  18 11- 7- 0 .611  69- 57   24 14- 9- 1 .604  84- 68
   North Dakota      22  20 11- 9- 0 .550  56- 54   27 15-10- 2 .593  82- 75
 6 Nebraska Omaha    21  18  9- 6- 3 .583  57- 56   26 12-10- 4 .538  79- 76
 7 Michigan Tech     20  18  9- 7- 2 .556  62- 53   26 12-12- 2 .500  79- 75
 8 St. Cloud State   17  20  7-10- 3 .425  57- 57   28 10-14- 4 .429  83- 82
 9 Wisconsin         16  20  7-11- 2 .400  56- 64   26 12-12- 2 .500  81- 77
10 Bemidji State     14  18  6-10- 2 .389  45- 61   26 12-12- 2 .500  70- 73
11 Minnesota State   11  20  5-14- 1 .275  52- 74   28  9-18- 1 .339  76- 94
12 Alaska Anchorage   7  20  3-16- 1 .175  42- 83   24  6-16- 2 .292  59- 92

Final: Michigan Tech 5, UMD 0

Minnesota  Duluth has been living dangerously atop the Division I polls the past two weeks.

In a four-game stretch this month, the Bulldogs had a pair of one-goal home wins over Alabama-Hunstville, a loss at Nebraska-Omaha and a tie with Michigan Tech on Friday, after leading by four goals.

UMD hit a low point in Saturday’s rematch, showing little cohesiveness in a 5-0 loss to Michigan Tech in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s game before a sold out crowd of 6,776 at Amsoil Arena.

The Huskies (12-12-2 and 9-7-2 in the WCHA) scored four first-period goals on the way to surpassing its win total in the league for the previous three years combined. Michigan Tech, after scoring the final four goals Friday in a 4-4 overtime tie, came right after top-ranked UMD.

“The first period Friday just wasn’t us and after that it was important that we play for a little bit of pride,” said Michigan Tech captain Brett Olson, a senior center from Superior. “Winning puck battles and skating, those are our biggest assets, and we knew we had to keep doing those things because we know how dynamic UMD is.”

What Michigan Tech did was shut out the highest-scoring team in Division I for the final 109 minutes and 47 seconds to complete what first-year coach Mel Pearson called the best weekend of play this season.

It was UMD’s most one-sided loss since an 8-2 defeat by St. Cloud State last season on Feb. 11, the first shutout loss since North Dakota won 5-0 to open Amsoil Arena on Dec. 30, 2011 in a non-league game and the first shutout loss in the league in 105 games.

The Huskies scored the final nine goals of the series and senior goalie Josh Robinson stopped the final 52 shots he saw. Michigan Tech led 32-29 in shots on goal Saturday and 71-66 in the series.

“It comes down to effort and they outworked us plain and simple,” said UMD senior goalie Kenny Reiter, who was replaced after the first period. “They won battles and buried their chances and their goalie played well. I wasn’t happy with how I played, I let in two bad goals, and that’s not good when you want to keep your team in the game.”

UMD was 16-1-4 the previous 21 games, but had no answer against Michigan Tech in the final five-plus periods.

Olson got the Huskies going by taking advantage of a UMD turnover and rifling a shot over Reiter’s left shoulder unassisted 9:25 into the game. It was Olson’s 39th career goal.

Things got worse for the home team as Michigan Tech scored consecutive power-play goals on their first two man-advantage shifts, 1:49 apart, from freshmen left wingers Blake Pietila and David Johnstone.

Center Jacob Johnstone, David’s older brother, connected with 1:59 left in the opening period and it was 4-0. Aaron Crandall replaced Reiter to start the second period. The Huskies added a third-period goal.

“We got outworked for 60 minutes and it showed on the scoreboard. It was unacceptable,” said UMD senior defenseman Brady Lamb.

UMD coach Scott Sandelin changed his four forward lines after Friday’s game, a lineup that had remained the same for 16 games, but not much worked for the revamped roster. Entering the rematch, the Bulldogs were 8-0-1 the last nine home games and 7-0-1 the last eight games overall against Michigan Tech.

The Bulldogs came into the game averaging 3.96 goals a game. Their power-play woes continued, 0-of-2, and 0-of-21 the past six games.

“It wasn’t even close who the better team was from start to finish,” said Sandelin. “I liked our first shift of the game and that was about it. There weren’t many positives. It was an old-fashioned butt kicking.”

Among Michigan Tech’s wins this season were 7-2 over Denver and 3-2 in overtime against Minnesota, both rated teams. The last three years in WCHA play, the Huskies were 2-24-2, 4-24 and 2-19-7, and coach Jamie Russell was let go and former Michigan Tech forward and Michigan associated head coach Pearson was brought in.

“Our guys got a little confidence Friday and that effort continued (Saturday),” said Pearson. “To basically shut out the nation’s leading scoring team for the last five periods was a great tribute to our players, especially players like Brett Olson, who have played through some rough years.”

The loss dropped second-place UMD five points behind Minnesota in the WCHA race following a Minnesota 3-2 win at St. Cloud State. The Bulldogs head on the road this weekend at last-place Alaska Anchorage.

Michigan Tech……………….. 4-0-1—5

Minnesota Duluth……………. 0-0-0—0

First period — 1. Michigan Tech, Brett Olson 7, 9:25; 2. Michigan Tech, Blake Pietila 8 (Steven Seigo, Ryan Furne), 12:19 (pp); 3. Michigan Tech, David Johnstone 8 (B. Pietila, Seigo), 14:08 (pp); 4. Michigan Tech, Jacob Johnstone 7 (D. Johnstone, Riley Sweeney), 18:01. Penalties — Joe Basaraba, UMD (boarding), 11:43; J.T. Brown, UMD (interference), 13:42.

Second period — No scoring. Penalty — Scott Kishel, UMD (roughing), 9:11.

Third period — 5. Michigan Tech, Tanner Kero 8 (B. Pietila), :40. Penalties — Milos Gordic, Michigan Tech (boarding), 1:45; Adam Krause, UMD (interference), 7:29; Mike Seidel, UMD (roughing), 9:55; Carl Nielsen, Michigan Tech (roughing), 9:55; Sweeney, Michigan Tech (tripping), 18:40.

Shots on goal — Michigan Tech 14-9-9—32, UMD 9-11-9—29. Goalies — Josh Robinson (11-9-2), Michigan Tech (29 shots-29 saves); Kenny Reiter (16-4-4), UMD (14 shots-10 saves); Aaron Crandall, UMD (18 shots-17 saves). Power plays — Michigan Tech 2-of-4, UMD 0-of-2. Referees —C.J. Beaurline, Brad Shepherd. Linesmen — Sterling Egan, Dan Penkivech. A — 6,776 (sellout).

Final: UMD women 2, St. Cloud State 1

Minnesota Duluth built a two-goal lead Saturday afternoon and held on to defeat St. Cloud State 2-1 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association women’s game before 409 fans at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.

The No. 8-ranked Bulldgos (13-11-1 and 10-10-1 in WCHA) outshot St. Cloud State 45-22.

Junior defenseman Jessica Wong scored shorthanded late in the first period, for her 39th career goal, and Vanessa Thibault added a goal with 5:59 left in the second to give UMD a 2-0 lead. St. Cloud State’s Alex Nelson cut that to 2-1 with a power-play goal with 46 seconds left in the second period.

The Huskies (5-21-2 and 4-18) are 33rd among 34 Division I teams in scoring with a 1.32 goals per game average. St. Cloud State has been shut out eight times this season and held to one goal 10 times, and has been outscored 26-1 in losing four straight games.

Freshman goalie Julie Friend made 43 saves for the Huskies. UMD senior Jennifer Harss of Rieden, Germany, earned her 51st career victory, third-most in program history.

Minnesota Duluth……………. 1-1-0—2

St. Cloud State………………… 0-1-0—1

First period — 1. UMD, Jessica Wong 9, 19:19 (sh). Penalties — Vanessa Thibault, UMD (hooking), 5:08; Molli Mott, St. Cloud State (tripping), 11:40; Katie Wilson, UMD (slashing), 13:02; Zoe Hickel, UMD (interference), 18:53.

Second period — 2. UMD, Thibault 7 (Jamie Kenyon, Wong), 14:01; 3. St. Cloud State, Alex Nelson 5 (Audrey Hanmer, Mott), 19:14 (pp). Penalties — Julia Gilbert, St. Cloud State (slashing), 3:03; Carie Coen, St. Cloud State (hooking), 8:22; Nelson, St. Cloud State (checking), 10:34; Mott, St. Cloud State (roughing), 14:55; Wong, UMD (holding), 14:55; Michelle Burke, St. Cloud State (checking), 16:17; Tea Villila, UMD (interference), 17:22; Wilson, UMD (interference), 18:01

Third period — No scoring.  Penalties — Kylie Lane, St. Cloud State (5-minute major checking from behind, 10-minute game misconduct, served by Jaclyn Daggit), 15:38; Jenna McParland, UMD (tripping, roughing, served by Gina Dodge), 18:07; Burke, St. Cloud State (roughing), 18:07.

Shots on goal — UMD 8-24-13—45, St. Cloud State 8-6-8—22. Goalies — Jennifer Harss (14-11-1), UMD (22 shots-21 saves); Julie Friend (4-7), St. Cloud State (45 shots-43 saves). Power plays — UMD 0-of-6, St. Cloud State 1-of-5. Referees —Dan Lick, Tina Simonson. Linesmen — Sara Anderson, Stephanie Schmitz. A — 409.

Saturday in the WCHA

Five of the top six teams ranked by U.S. College Hockey Online played Friday night and only one — No. 3 Minnesota — won. The Gophers defeated St. Cloud State 2-1 to move three points ahead of Minnesota Duluth in the WCHA regular-season race.

No. 1 UMD tied Michigan Tech 4-4; No. 20 Maine defeated No. 2 Boston University 4-2; Alaska-Fairbanks beat No. 4 Notre Dame 6-3; and Lake Superior State defeated No. 6 Ohio State 1-0.

The News Tribune’s live blog for Saturday’s UMD-Michigan Tech game is here.

Stories on UMD-Michigan Tech from the News Tribune here and the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette here.

Video highlights of UMD-Michigan Tech from Jeff Stark of Amsoil Arena is here.

Some Bruce Ciske analysis is here.

The Pairwise Rankings with UMD at No. 1 is here.

At Minneapolis, Nick Bjugstad’s 21st goal of the season was the game winner as Minnesota beat St. Cloud State 2-1 before 10,088 fans. Jake Hansen gave Minnesota 1-0 lead after one and, in the second, Ben Hanowksi 13 scored for the Huskies along with Bugstad. St. Cloud State managed just 13 shots on goal, outshot 26-13. Winning goalie Kent Patterson 18-9-1 had 12 saves. Mike Lee back from hip surgery was in goal for St. Cloud State, but the Huskies lost forward Travis Novak to a leg injury. Stories from the Minneapolis Star Tribune hereand St. Cloud Times here.

At Grand Forks, N.D., the first collegiate goal from freshman Stephane Pattyn broke a tie with 1:54 to play and Brock Nelson added an empty-net score as No. 18 North Dakota edged Wisconsin 5-3 before 11,769 fans. Michael Mersch had two goals for Wisconsin. North Dakota led in shots 25-17. Aaron Dell got the win with 14 saves. Stories from the Grand Forks Herald here  and Wisconsin State Journal here.

At Bemidji, Minn., Jordan George 13 scored midway through the third period to give Bemidji State a 2-1 win over Minnesota State-Mankato before 3,374 fans. Max Gaede gave Mankato a 1-0 lead after one period. Danny Mattson tied it for BSU in the second. Mankato led in shots 40-26. Dan Bakala got the win with 39 saves. Stories from the Bemidji Pioneer here and Mankato Free Press here and here.

In Anchorage, Alaska, goals by Nick Shore and Drew Shore helped No. 15 Denver to a 4-2 win over Alaska-Anchorage before 2,960 fans. Anchorage led in shots 32-26. It was Anchorage’s sixth straight loss. Adam Murray had 30 saves in the win. A story from the Anchorage Daily News here.

WCHA Standings Courtesy of CollegeHockeyStats.net

 1 Minnesota         28  19 14- 5- 0 .737  63- 36   28 18- 9- 1 .661 105- 57
 2 Minnesota Duluth  25  17 11- 3- 3 .735  70- 41   25 17- 4- 4 .760  99- 60
 3 Colorado College  22  18 11- 7- 0 .611  69- 57   24 14- 9- 1 .604  84- 68
 4 Denver            21  17  9- 5- 3 .618  60- 52   25 14- 8- 3 .620  89- 69
   Nebraska Omaha    21  18  9- 6- 3 .583  57- 56   26 12-10- 4 .538  79- 76
 6 North Dakota      20  19 10- 9- 0 .526  52- 52   26 14-10- 2 .577  78- 73
 7 Michigan Tech     18  17  8- 7- 2 .529  57- 53   25 11-12- 2 .480  74- 75
 8 St. Cloud State   17  19  7- 9- 3 .447  55- 54   27 10-13- 4 .444  81- 79
 9 Wisconsin         16  19  7-10- 2 .421  54- 60   25 12-11- 2 .520  79- 73
10 Bemidji State     14  17  6- 9- 2 .412  43- 56   25 12-11- 2 .520  68- 68
11 Minnesota State    9  19  4-14- 1 .237  47- 72   27  8-18- 1 .315  71- 92
12 Alaska Anchorage   7  19  3-15- 1 .184  39- 77   23  6-15- 2 .304  56- 86

Final: UMD 4, Michigan Tech 4, tie

The top-ranked team in Division I outran Michigan Tech for 20 minutes and took a four-goal lead Friday night at Amsoil Arena, but it was hardly enough.

Minnesota Duluth stopped its pursuit and had to hold on for a 4-4 overtime tie in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s game before an announced crowd of 6,670.

The Bulldogs (17-4-4 and 11-3-3 in the WCHA) left the rink as if they had lost.

Michigan Tech (11-12-2 and 8-7-2) left as if it had won. The Huskies did win the final two periods after being outmatched 4-0 in the first.

“When coach (Mel) Pearson came in after the first period he told us about a Michigan team he coached that was down 5-1 against North Dakota in the Great Lakes Invitational, and came back to win in overtime,” said Michigan Tech freshman winger David Johnstone. “He just asked us to play better, to chip the puck behind UMD and try to slow their transition game. We got UMD to turn the puck over and they might’ve gotten frustrated. And our goalie (Josh Robinson) bounced back from the first period and played amazingly.”

Michigan Tech outshot UMD 19-8 in the third period and scored three goals — even-strength, shorthanded and on a power play. The tying goal came as Johnstone went to the front of the UMD net and had passes from Brett Olson and Jordan Baker. Johnstone kicked the puck to his stick and found an open net behind goalie Kenny Reiter with 5:48 left in regulation.

After seven straight losses to UMD, the Huskies were happy with a tie.

The Bulldogs said the tie hurt worse than any loss this season.

“As the game went on we stopped doing what makes us successful and it’s humbling,” said UMD freshman defenseman Chris Casto. “It was the opposite from many of our games. First periods haven’t been that good for us and the third period is usually our best. We had a substantial lead and let that get away.”

UMD is 16-1-4 the last 21 games and the Huskies are 5-10-1 the last 16. And the Bulldogs looked like much the better team early.

Senior winger David Grun’s first goal of the season 5:50 into the game gave UMD a 1-0 lead, then freshman winger Caleb Herbert and senior defenseman Brady Lamb followed with rapid-fire connections, scoring on consecutive shots 38 seconds apart for a 3-0 lead at 10:58.

With 4:47 left in the first period, Herbert added his 10th goal of the season on a pass from Travis Oleksuk.

“All the nice goals were created from hard work, and transitioning and attacking, and then we quit working,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “We got outworked for the next 40 minutes.”

Michigan Tech’s Ryan Furne scored the only goal of the second period, with 4:47 left, and then Baker connected 41 seconds into the third period. UMD’s lead was 4-2. Jacob Johnstone, David’s brother and centerman, earned a shorthanded goal near the end of a UMD five-minute power play with 8:54 left in regulation. With J.T. Brown off for cross checking, the Huskies got the equalizer.

“Our goalie played much better after the first period, his game improved, and that gave us a chance,” said Pearson, a former Michigan Tech player in his first year as head coach. “I thought we dominated the third period.”

Robinson robbed Jack Connolly (who had a 22-game point streak end) and Brown, while the Bulldogs also hit two pipes. In overtime, UMD led in shots 3-1, but the Bullldogs were 0-of-4 on power plays and are 0-of-19 the past five games.

The tie dropped the Bulldogs three points behind first-place Minnesota, a 2-1 winner over St. Cloud State. UMD does have two games in hand.

“This does sting. It’s a rotten feeling,” said Herbert. “Michigan Tech played a simple game and all of their guys kept working, and moving their feet. They were hungrier than we were.”

Michigan Tech……………….. 0-1-3—4

Minnesota Duluth……………. 4-0-0—4

First period — 1. UMD, David Grun 1 (Jake Hendrickson, Luke McManus), 5:50; 2. UMD, Caleb Herbert 9 (Wade Bergman), 10:20; 3. UMD, Brady Lamb 5 (Herbert, Travis Oleksuk), 10:58; 4. UMD, Herbert 10 (Oleksuk, J.T. Brown), 15:13. Penalties —Carl Nielsen, Michigan Tech (hooking), :19; Joe Basaraba, UMD (roughing), 18:59; Chad Pietila, Michigan Tech (too many men on ice), 18:59.

Second period — 5. Michigan Tech, Ryan Furne 8 (Tanner Kero), 15:13. Penalties — Brett Olson, Michigan Tech (holding), 3:33; Brown, UMD (slashing), 4:37; Hendrickson, UMD (tripping), 9:32; Jacob Johnstone, Michigan Tech (contact to the head), 12:34; Kenny Reiter, UMD (embellishment, served by Grun), 12:34; Riley Sweeney, Michigan Tech (holding), 16:13.

Third period — 6. Michigan Tech, Baker 8 (Brett Olson), :41; 7. Michigan Tech, Jacob Johnstone 6 (Riley Sweeney), 8:54 (sh); 8. Michigan Tech, David Johnstone 7 (Baker, Olson), 14:22.

Penalties —  Dennis Rix, Michigan Tech (5-minute hitting from behind major, 10-minute game misconduct, served by Chad Pietila), 4:29; Chris Casto, UMD 9hooking), 11:00; Brown, UMD (cross-checking), 13:10.

Shots on goal — Michigan Tech 8-11-19-1—39, UMD 14-12-8-3—37. Goalies — Josh Robinson (10-9-2), Michigan Tech (37 shots-33 saves); Kenny Reiter (16-3-4), UMD (39 shots-35 saves). Power plays — Michigan Tech 1-of-4, UMD 0-of-4. Referees —C.J. Beaurline, Brad Shepherd. Linesmen — Sterling Egan, Dan Penkivech. A — 6,670.

Game Day: Michigan Tech at UMD; and talk of Jack

Michigan Tech (11-12-1) faces Minnesota Duluth (17-4-3) at 7:07 p.m. Friday at Amsoil Arena to open a WCHA series (94.1 FM and My9).

A News Tribune live blog will be here.

The News Tribune has a Jack Connolly feature here and some series notes here.

Stephen Anderson of the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette writes that Michigan Tech has only one thing on its mind in making its Amsoil Arena debut: Winning. That story is here.

By coincidence, there was a multitude of other Connolly-related stories elsewhere so here we go: Bruce Ciskie has a piece here and College Hockey News here and U.S. College Hockey Online here and Chris Dilks of Western College Hockey here.

For Friday pre-game information there’s more Ciskie here.

And Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald here.

And Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press here.

U.S. College Hockey Online has WCHA series picks here.

Roman Augustoviz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune makes his WCHA series picks here.

Eric Burton of Goon’s World has WCHA picks here.

Audio from Jim Rich and This Week in the WCHA is here.

Also, ESPN.com has a feature on Florida defenseman Jason Garrison here.

The Omaha World-Herald has an update on a possible outdoor game between Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota for next season here.

UMD recruits

The fifth statistical listing of 2011-12 for Minnesota Duluth recruits:

USHL

Tony Cameranesi, F, Waterloo, 30 GP, 12-12-24

Willie Corrin, D, Fargo, 35 GP, 2-14-16

Cal Decowski, F, Des Moines, 31 GP, 9-10-19

Austin Farley, F, Fargo, 35 GP, 24-24-48

Matt McNeely, G, Cedar Rapids, 15 GP, .896, 3.15, 6-4-(4 OT losses)

Andy Welinski, D, Green Bay, 30 GP, 11-12-23

Austyn Young, F, Sioux Falls, 28 GP, 6-8-14

USA U-18

Kyle Osterberg, F, 37 GP, 5-15-20

Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League

Brett Boehm, F, Beardy’s Blackhawks, 34 GP, 34-39-73

HIGH SCHOOL

Adam Johnson, F, Hibbing-Chisholm, 14 GP, 18-17-35

Jared Thomas, F, Hermantown, 19 GP, 20-34-54

Dom Toninato, F, Duluth East, 19 GP, 21-28-49

Northland Connection

The fifth Northland Connection for 2011-12 for professional players connected to Northeastern Minnesota, northwest Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth. Additions, corrections and deletions can be sent to kpates@duluthnews.com or comment to this post.

NHL

Jason Garrison, D, Florida, 48 GP, 13-8-21

Cade Fairchild, D, St. Louis, 5 GP, 0-1-1; Peoria (AHL), 35 GP, 4-17-21

Justin Faulk, D, Carolina, 35 GP, 4-7-11

Alex Goligoski, D, Dallas, 37 GP, 6-10-16

Jamie Langenbrunner, W, St. Louis, 47 GP, 3-14-17

Matt Niskanen, D, Pittsburgh, 48 GP, 2-14-16

Jay Rosehill, D, Toronto, 16 GP, 0-0-0

Mason Raymond, W, Vancouver, 24 GP, 5-7-12

Tim Stapleton, C, Winnipeg, 37 GP, 7-7-14

AHL

Andrew Carroll, C, Hershey (Pa.), 41 GP, 0-2-2

Mike Connolly, F, Worcester, 29 GP, 8-16-24

Zack FitzGerald, D, Hamilton, 39 GP, 2-3-5

Justin Fontaine, F, Houston, 41 GP, 10-16-26

Evan Oberg, D, Norfolk, 13 GP, 0-2-4-6; San Antonio, 12 GP, 0-2-2; Tampa Bay (NHL), 1GP, 0-0-0

Dylan Olsen, D, Rockford, Ill., 40 GP, 2-3-5

Joe Stejskal, D, Hamilton, Ontario, 29 GP, 0-1-1

ECHL

Rob Bordson, F, Trenton, 25 GP, 13-16-29

Jordan Fulton, F, Stockton, 38 GP, 8-13-21

Michael Gergen, F, Idaho, 7GP, 1-1-2; Bakersfield, 21 GP, 4-6-10

Mike Montgomery, D, Ontario, 24 GP, 1-0-1

Aaron Slattengren, F, Colorado, 24 GP, 7-7-14

Alex Stalock, G, Stockton, 2 GP, 3.00, .898, 2-0

INTERNATIONAL

Nick Anderson, F, Pontebba, Italy, 30 GP, 4-10-14

T.J. Caig, F, HYS The Hague, Netherlands, 28 GP, 31-44-75

Travis Gawryletz, D, Karlovy, Czechoslovakia, 23 GP, 2-4-6

Ben Gordon, F, DEG Metro, Germany, 36 GP, 7-15-22

Gino Guyer, F, Lillehammer, Norway, 34 GP, 17-28-45

Chad Huttel, D, Sheffield, England, 34 GP, 1-5-6

Tim Hambly, D, Ingolstadt, Germany, 39 GP, 3-7-10

Matt McKnight, F, Lausitzer, Germany, 34 GP, 15-17-32

Josh Meyers, D, Bolzano, Italy, 32 GP, 10-17-27

Kyle Schmidt, F, Regensburg, Germany, 9 GP, 5-2-7; Lillehammer, 19 GP, 3-4-7

Andy Sertich, D, Zagreb, Austria, 41 GP, 7-17-24

MacGregor Sharp, F, Bolzano, Italy, 32 GP, 15-19-34

Steve Wagner, D, Mannheim, Germany, 32 GP, 0-10-10

Patrick White, F, Klostersee, Germany, 31 GP, 23-31-54