Danberg granted final year of eligibility and named UMD captain; Connolly voted MVP

Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey forward Cody Danberg received two bits of good news Wednesday — the NCAA has granted an extra year of eligibility because of a medical hardship and he was named team captain for 2012-13 as a senior.

Danberg, 25, from Canwood, Saskatchewan, missed the 2010-11 season because of knee surgery and suffered a shoulder injury on the first shift of the first game in 2011-12, requiring rotator cuff surgery Oct. 18. He was practicing with the Bulldogs by the end of 2011-12. In three previous years, 2007-10, Danberg played in 100 games.

At UMD’s year-end banquet, forward Keegan Flaherty of Duluth and defenseman Drew Olson of Brainerd, Minn., were named assistant captains for 2012-13. Both will be seniors.

Season award winners were senior center Jack Connolly of Duluth as most valuable and most inspirational; freshman winger Caleb Herbert of Bloomington, Minn., as rookie of the year; and freshman winger Adam Krause of Hermantown as most improved.

Connolly led UMD’s scoring with 60 points in 41 games and was named the 2012 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner. Herbert was the team’s top rookie scorer with 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points in 41 games, while Krause played in 28 games as a freshman, including the last 15.

The Bulldogs open the 2012-13 season Oct. 12-13 at home against Ohio State.

UMD’s Lexi Williams wins Division II women’s 800; Goucher in Boulder

Minnesota Duluth senior Lexi Williams of Rice Lake, Wis., claimed the women’s 800-meter title Saturday night at the NCAA Division II outdoor track and field championships in Pueblo, Colo.

She became the first outdoor individual champion in UMD women’s track history. High jumper Jodi Swenson won the 1991 Division II indoor women’s title. UMD men’s national champions are Kerrick Johnson (indoor shot put in 1992 and outdoor discus in 1993) and Dan Soldner (outdoor shot put in 2004).

Williams won in 2 minutes, 11.46 second on the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl track on the campus of Colorado State-Pueblo. She edged out freshman Jaylen Rodger of Angelo (Texas) State by .14 seconds, second in 2:11.60. University of Mary junior Melissa Agnew was third in 2:12.24. There were nine runners in the finals.

In the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference outdoor championships May 12 in Bismarck, N.D., Agnew won the 800 title in 2:08.99 and Williams was second in season-best 2:10.19. In Friday’s qualifying heats, Williams ran 2:10.72.

The UMD women’s outdoor 800 record is 2:08.02 run by Liz Palkie of Carlton, finishing second in the 2009 Division II championship race.

Official results from Saturday’s women’s 800 are below.

Video of the race, showing Williams at the 108:09 mark, is here.

The UMD sports information office has a release on the 800 title here.

Also, U.S. Olympic marathoners Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan will be in Boulder, Colo., on Monday, site of the Bolder Boulder 10K, although they won’t be racing. An update from the Boulder Camera here.

NCAA Division II Championships                         
                            Colorado State - Pueblo                             
          Neta and Eddie DeRose Thunderbowl  - 5/24/2012 to 5/26/2012           

Event 4  Women 800 Meter Run
 Meet Record: * 2:02.48  5/26/1990   Teena Colebrook, Cal Poly SLO              
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points         
  1 Lexi Williams             SR Minnesota-Duluth       2:11.46   10            
  2 Jaylen Rodgers            FR Angelo State           2:11.60    8            
  3 Melissa Agnew             JR U-Mary                 2:12.24    6            
  4 Ayesha Rumble             JR Abilene Christian      2:12.65    5            
  5 Amy Varsell               JR Bentley                2:12.70    4            
  6 Alycia Wright             SR Saginaw Valley         2:13.69    3            
  7 Twishana Williams         JR Lincoln (Mo.)          2:15.03    2            
  8 Chanelle Caldwell         SR Grand Valley St.       2:17.89    1            
  9 Amanda Putt               JR Hillsdale              2:23.75                 

Green Bay wins Clark Cup; Grandma’s Marathon numbers

The winningest season in Green Bay Gamblers history ended Wednesday night with the U.S. Hockey League’s Clark Cup playoff championship. Green Bay defeated Waterloo (Iowa) 5-2 in the clinching best-of-5 final before 7,007 fans at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.

The Gamblers led 1-0 after one period and 3-1 after two. Defenseman Andy Welinski of Duluth finished a team-best plus-5 on the ice for the Gamblers.

A story from the Green Bay Press-Gazette is here.

Green Bay played 72 games in 2011-12 and won 56.

The 36th Grandma’s Marathon is less than a month away — June 16 in Duluth — and for the first time in race history, the accompanying Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon may eclipse the marathon for race entries.

As of Wednesday, the marathon had 7,331 runners and the 22nd Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon had 7,596. However, the marathon is open for entries through May 31. There are also two addition races in 2012 and 2013, the U.S. Half Marathon Championships for men and women, and each race will have about 100 runners and will start before the Bjorklund Half Marathon.

Gophers No. 1; Norfolk in AHL finals; Penn State has a schedule

Inside College Hockey is already looking toward 2012-13 and has a preseason Top 10 led by Minnesota. The rankings are right here.

Defenseman Evan Oberg had a goal Tuesday night as Norfolk (Va.) defeated St. John’s 4-0 in Newfoundland to advance to the American Hockey League’s championship round for the first time since joining the league in 2000. The victory completed a series sweep.

The Virginian-Pilot has a game story here.

When Dale Hunter stepped down recently as coach of the Washington Capitals, general manager George McPhee said he’s in no hurry to name a replacement. Jim Johnson was an assistant on Hunter’s staff, but hasn’t been mentioned as a candidate. The Washington Post had an update last week here.

Penn State has its first Division I schedule in 2012-13 which includes some Division III and club teams, and a season-ending series at Wisconsin. A release from the school is here and the schedule is here.

College Hockey News had a recent question-and-answer with National Collegiate Hockey Conference commissioner Jim Scherr which is here.

The Big Ten Conference recently hired a supervisor of officials for the start of play in 2013-14. A story from the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette is here.

Chris Dilks of Western College Hockey recently touched on a number of subjects, including NCAA rules changes in a posting here.

Mariucci Arena, which opened in 1993 in Minneapolis, is getting a few updates, including a new video screen. Gopher Puck Live has an update here.

John Buccigross of ESPN was recently signed as the lead play-by-play man of the Frozen Four.  Steve Lepore has an update here.

Waterloo forces deciding game in Clark Cup

Waterloo defeated Green Bay 5-3 Saturday in the best-of-five U.S. Hockey League Clark Cup championship series in Waterloo, Iowa. The series is 2-2 with a deciding game Wednesday in Green Bay.

The Green Bay Press Gazette has a game story here.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier has a story here.

Minnesota Duluth recruit Andy Welinski is a Green Bay defenseman, and Superior natives P.K. O’Handley and Shane Fukushima coach Waterloo.

The Courier has features on O’Handley here and Fukushima here.

Welinski named 2012 USHL defenseman of the year

Duluthian Andy Welinski of the Green Bay Gamblers has been named the 2012 U.S. Hockey League defenseman of the year. A league news release on the Minnesota Duluth recruit is here.

Welinski tied for first in league goal-scoring for defensemen with 15.

Video highlights of Welinski’s season are here.

Green Bay defeated Waterloo 3-1 Friday night in Waterloo, Iowa, to take a 2-1 lead entering Saturday’s game in the best-of-5 USHL Clark Cup championship series. Green Bay broke Waterloo’s 15-game home win streak. A game story from the Green Bay Press Gazette is here.

Finland scores with 9 seconds to play to beat the United States in quarterfinals

Finland scored with 9 seconds to play Thursday to defeat the United States 3-2 in the World Championships quarterfinals in Helsinki. Finland faces Russia in Saturday’s semifinals. Slovakia beat Canada 4-3.

USA Hockey has a recap here.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has a game story here.

The IIHF has post-game interview video here.

A game summary is here.

UPDATED: 2012-13 Minnesota Duluth schedule

OK, folks, let’s try this again. Minnesota Duluth’s 2012-13 schedule was released Tuesday, but there was one problem. There were some errors from the school’s sports information office. Rink and Run published the schedule correctly in March.

So below is the final correct version. UMD does play Thursday-Friday at Notre Dame (Oct. 18-19) to avoid conflicting with a home football game versus Brigham Young. A series at Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 10-11 is Saturday-Sunday afternoon to avoid a Friday conflict with a private party at CenturyLink Center in Omaha. A home exhibition versus with the USA Under 18 team is 2:07 p.m. on January 26 to accommodate a UMD women’s night game versus Ohio State.

Also, UMD’s team awards for 2011-12 will be announced later this month at a team gathering at Amsoil Arena (I’m just guessing that the MVP award will go to a Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner). And senior Cody Danberg, who missed last season after being injured in the opening game, is expected to hear soon from the NCAA about earning an extra season of eligibility.

2012-13 Minnesota Duluth Men’s Hockey Schedule

(Home games in CAPS)

Oct. 12-13 – OHIO STATE, 7:07

Oct. 18-19 – at Notre Dame, 6:05 p.m.

Oct. 26-27 – WISCONSIN, 7:07 p.m.

Nov. 10-11 – at Nebraska-Omaha, 7:07 p.m., 2:07 p.m.

Nov. 16-17 – at North Dakota, 7:37 p.m., 7:07 p.m.

Nov. 23-24 – ST. CLOUD STATE, 7:37 p.m., 7:07 p.m.

Nov. 30-Dec. 1 – at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.

Dec. 7-8 – BEMIDJI STATE, 7:07 p.m.

Dec. 14-15 – at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Dec. 28-29 – Florida College Classic, Estero, Fla.

Jan. 11-12 – MICHIGAN TECH, 7:07 p.m.

Jan. 18-19 – at Colorado College, 8:37 p.m., 8:07 p.m.

Jan. 26 – USA UNDER 18, 2:07 p.m.

Feb. 1-2 – DENVER, 7:07 p.m.

Feb. 8-9 – MINNESOTA STATE-MANKATO, 7:37 p.m., 7:07 p.m.

Feb. 15-16 – at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.

Feb. 22-23 – at Minnesota, 7:07 p.m.

March 1-2 – ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE, 7:07 p.m.

March 8-9 – NEBRASKA-OMAHA, 7:07 p.m.

March 15-17 – WCHA Playoffs, first round

March 21-23 – WCHA Final Five, St. Paul

March 29-31 – NCAA Regionals

April 11-13 – Frozen Four, Pittsburgh

USA defeats Switzerland for sixth win in seven games; Marty Sundvall remembered

The United States defeated Switzerland 5-2 Tuesday in the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Alex Goligoski had a goal for the Americans.

The U.S. has six wins in seven games in the tournament for the first time since 1939. The Americans face Finland at 10:30 a.m. in Thursday’s quarterfinal round on NBC Sports Network

USA Hockey has a game recap here.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has a story here.

A game summary is here.

Post-game video comments from the USA, including Justin Faulk, here.

Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey has commentary here.

Please remember Hibbing native Marty Sundvall who died Sunday in St. Cloud, Minn. He was a newspaper man, a teacher, a humorist and valued member of the St. Cloud State game day hockey statistics crew. He was 46. Frank Rajkowski of the St. Cloud Times has a few words about Marty in a story here.

A Facebook link to Marty is here.