USA exhibition Tuesday; Irvin 5K field filled

The USA has an exhibition game Tuesday against Sweden leading to the opening of the World Championships on Friday (with a game against France at 4:15 a.m. in Helsinki, Finland).

Justin Faulk and J.T. Brown are on the American roster.

The Carolina Hurricanes web site has a feature on Faulk here.

NBC Sports Network will televise at least 13 games of the tournament, May 4-20 from Finland and Sweden. A USA Hockey release is here.

The field for the 19th William A. Irvin 5-kilometer run has reached its limit of 1,900 for the June 15 race in Duluth. The Grandma’s Marathon web site has a release here.

Wisconsin coaches receive contract extensions; Scott Jurek’s new book: Eat and Run

Five University of Wisconsin coaches received contract extensions Friday, including Mike Eaves and Mark Johnson, each for five years. Chuck Schwartz of Bucky’s 5th Quarter has details here.

Proctor native and endurance mega-star Scott Jurek has teamed with author Steve Friedman to detail Jurek’s running life in the forthcoming book: Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness ($26, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). It is due out June 5 and expected to have numerous Northeastern Minnesota connections. An early review from Trail Runner Magazine is here. Information from Amazon is here. Information from the publisher is here.

book cover

Kara Goucher to run USA Half Marathon Championships on June 16 in Duluth

Hometown Olympian Kara Goucher will run in Duluth for the first time in a major road race as part of the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships on June 16. The 13.1-mile event, for men and women, is being held in conjunction with the 35th Grandma’s Marathon and 22nd Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

Goucher, 33, a Duluth East High School graduate now living in Portland, Ore., is preparing for the 2012 Summer Games in London, competing in the marathon Aug. 5. Also competing in the half marathon along the North Shore to Canal Park will be Abdi Abdirahman, 35, of Tucson, Ariz., a three-time U.S. Olympian, also representing America in the Olympic men’s marathon Aug. 12.

In the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on January in Houston, Goucher finished in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 6 seconds and has a best of 2:24:52, while Abdirahman ran 2:09:47, his fastest marathon since a 2006 personal best of 2:08:56. Both placed third. Goucher competed in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, China, at 5,000 and 10,000 meters on the track. Abdirahman was previously an Olympian at 10,000 meters in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

In making a recommendation to USA Track and Field on behalf of Grandma’s Marathon, in a bid for the half marathon championships for 2012 and 2013, Goucher wrote:

“The timing of the (U.S. Championships) couldn’t be better. It will be perfect for the Olympic Marathon and the (2013) World Championships. The potential to draw the very best American athletes will be strong. I can’t think of a better way to prepare for a run at a medal in the 2012 Olympic Games. I would love to come through Duluth in preparation for the world’s biggest stage.”

There are 158 American athletes signed up as of Thursday for the championships with a May 15 deadline to register. They’ll compete for a record prize money purse of $82,000, including $12,000 for the men’s and women’s winners. About 100 runners in each race are expected.

“We are extremely honored to have Kara and Abdi as part of the elite group coming to Duluth for this event. With the Olympic marathon races set for August, the timing is ideal,” Grandma’s Marathon executive director Scott Keenan said in a press release. “We expect to add many more quality runners in the coming weeks.”

Grandma’s Marathon has previously sponsored the 2003 and 2004 USA Women’s Half Marathon Championships, and the 1987, 1990 and 1994 USA Women’s Marathon Championships.

The race lineup for June 16 will be:

6:15 a.m., U.S. Men’s Half Marathon Championships; 6:25 a.m., U.S. Women’s Half Marathon Championships; 6:45 a.m. 22nd Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon; 7:40 a.m. Grandma’s Marathon wheelchair race; and 7:45 a.m. 36th Grandma’s Marathon.

Hill Murray defenseman commits to UMD; Capitals advance; Garrison expected to play in Game 7; Gophers-Badgers to meet outdoors;

Another day, another Minnesota Duluth commitment: Hill Murray junior defenseman Blake Heinrich (6-feet and 185 pounds). In 31 games this season, he had 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points. Hill Murray was 19-6 and got to the Minnesota Class AA title game.

Minnesota Hockey Hub has an update here.

The Washington Capitals eliminated defending champion Boston 2-1 in overtime Wednesday in Boston in Game 7 of an NHL’s opening-round playoff series. The Washington Post has an opinion piece on coach Dale Hunter, who was brought it at mid-season. Former UMD defenseman Jim Johnson is an assistant. The Mike Wise column is here.

After missing three games, defenseman Jason Garrison is expected to return to Florida’s lineup for Thursday’s playoff Game 7 versus New Jersey. An update is here.

Minnesota and Wisconsin will meet Feb. 17, 2013, in an outdoor game at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Wisconsin State Journal has an update here.

The NCAA has a new ticket purchasing policy for the Frozen Four starting next season. The information here.

Chris Peters of the United States of hockey reviews the United States fowards, including Kyle Osterberg, following the World U 18 Championships in a posting here.

UMD adds second Beardy’s Midget AAA forward; NCHC announcement(s) coming

Rink and Run is catching up on recruiting news reported last week by Chris Heisenberg and College Hockey, Inc.

Left winger Elliott Peterson, 16, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a second-year player with the Beardy’s Blackhawks of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League has made an oral commitment to Minnesota Duluth for 2014-15.

Peterson, 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, was second in regular-season league scoring with 31 goals and 45 assists for 76 points in 43 games. Including playoffs he had 34 goals and 48 assists for 82 points in 47 games.

Teammate Brett Boehm had previously made a commitment to UMD. He led the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League in regular-season scoring with 40 goals and 46 assists for 86 points in 44 games, and overall had 42 goals and 47 assists for 89 points in 49 games.

U.S. College Hockey Online is reporting that commissioner Jim Scherr of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference is preparing for an announcement, or two, in the coming week. The announcement may concern the hiring of a hockey operations director, and/or a playoff site for the first year of play in 2013-14. The USCHO story is here.

North Dakota junior winger Danny Kristo of Eden Prairie, Minn., has told the school he’ll return for his senior year. The Grand Forks Herald has a story here.

Ryan Clark of the Fargo Forum has an update on the Fargo Force and the U.S. Hockey League playoffs. Coach John Marks is asking more from his top line, including UMD recruit Austin Farley, in a story here.

Florida’s Garrison out for Game 6; WIAC teams to leave NCHA ahead of schedule

The Florida Panthers are looking for their first NHL playoff series win since 1996, leading New Jersey 3-2 entering Tuesday’s Game 6 in the first round in New Jersey.

Yet Florida has some injuries, including goalie Jose Theodore and defenseman Jason Garrison (lower body). Former Boston College goalie Scott Clemmensen is expected to start in place of Theodore. In 77 regular-season games, Garrison had 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 points, and had played in Florida’s first three playoff games, but has missed the last two.

The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel has updates here and here.

Five members of the seven-team Northern Collegiate Hockey Association announced Tuesday they’ll leave the league to form a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference hockey league in 2013-14, a year earlier than announced. Updates from the NCHA  here and WIAC  here and Wisconsin-Superior here.

The WIAC schools announced in February they would have their own league beginning in 2014-15.

Langenbrunner, Blues move on; Reiter’s AHL season over; Bjorklund makes Colorado Running Hall of Fame

Jamie Langenbrunner helped the St. Louis Blues clinch an NHL first-round playoff series Saturday with a goal in a 3-1 victory over San Jose. It is the first playoff series victory for St. Louis since 2002.

Langenbrunner, 36, has played in 1,105 NHL games, more than any player from Northeastern Minnesota.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch has a game story here and a story on preparing to face the L.A. Kings in the second round here.

Phil Mendel, the original public address voice for the Wisconsin Badgers at the Dane County Coliseum, died last week at age 89. The Wisconsin athletic web site has a Mike Lucas story here.

The Bridgeport (Conn.) Sound Tigers were swept in an AHL first-round series last Saturday, losing 4-3 to Connecticut. That meant Bridgeport backup goalie Kenny Reiter will return to UMD this week to finish up his senior year. Reiter signed a tryout contract with Bridgeport and played in one regular-season game. The Connecticut Post has a season-ending game story here.

Proctor native Garry Bjorklund, 61, of Fort Collins, Colo., was inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame on Thursday in Denver.

Bjorklund’s biography reads, in part:

Garry Bjorklund started his running career in high school, setting a Minnesota state record mile that lasted for 39 years with a time of 4:05.1. He represented the U.S. at the 1971 and 1975 Pan American Games as well as the 1976 Summer Olympics, managing to make the 10,000 m team in spite of losing a shoe during U.S. Trials. Following his 1976 Summer Olympics appearance, Bjorklund became a marathon runner, earning fifth-place finishes in the 1977 New York City Marathon and the 1979 Boston Marathon. By 1980, he had set a national age group record and personal best time of 2:10:20 to win Grandma’s Marathon (and had won in 1977). His strong road running during this time earned him a place in the Road Runners Club of America’s Hall of Fame in 1988. Bjorklund has lived in Colorado since the late 1970′s, training with the Colorado Track Club and running partner Frank Shorter.

More information on the 2012 induction class from the Colorado Runner magazine is here.

A Hall of Fame story on Libby James, 75, of Fort Collins is in the Coloradoan newspaper here.

USA wins fourth straight World U18 title; Kipsang wins London Marathon in 2:04:44

The United States won a fourth straight U 18 World Championship on Sunday, defeating Sweden 7-0 in Brno, Czech Republic. Minnesota Duluth recruit Kyle Osterberg of Lakeville, Minn., had an assist as the USA finished 6-0 with four shutouts.

USA Hockey has a recap here.

The International Ice Hockey Federation web site has a recap here.

USA Hockey has a game photo gallery here.

The spring major marathon season ended Sunday as Kenyans swept the titles at the London Marathon. Wilson Kipsang won overall in 2:04:44 and Mary Keitany claimed the women’s title in a Kenyan record 2:18:36.

The New York Times has a story from London here.

Fitger’s 5K on a cold day; USA U18s prepare for gold-medal game: Iafallo OT goal gives Fargo playoff win

Weather conditions were not exactly ideal for a second straight year in the Fitger’s 5-Kilometer Run in downtown Duluth on Saturday morning  — 35 degrees for starters.

Rick Weegman of the News Tribune has all of the chilly details, including a record number of entries (1,848) right here.

And there is video of the road race from the DNT’s intrepid video staff here.

Three-time defending champion United States faces Sweden in the title game of the World U18 Championships on Sunday in the Czech Republic.

The International Ice Hockey Federation web site has a preview here and video highlights of the U.S. 2-1 win over Canada on Friday (including the winning goal by Minnesota Duluth recruit Kyle Osterberg) here.

Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey looks back on America’s semifinal win here.

Another UMD recruit, Alex Iafallo, scored in overtime Friday night as Fargo defeated Lincoln 2-1 to open a best-of-5 U.S. Hockey League Western Conference semifinal series in Lincoln, Neb. Ryan Clark of the Fargo Forum has an update right here.

Osterberg scores winning goal for USA U18s; Garrison sidelined

Minnesota Duluth recruit Kyle Osterberg of Lakeville, Minn., scored on a wraparound early in the third period Friday as three-time defending champion United States defeated Canada 2-1 in the semifinals of the U18 World Championships in Brno, Czech Republic. The Americans (5-0) face Sweden for the title Sunday. Sweden defeated Finland 7-3.

USA Hockey has a recap here.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has a recap here.

Florida defenseman Jason Garrison is sidelined with an injury. An update from the NHL is here.