Monday in the WCHA

The WCHA was in a celebratory mood Sunday as 2012 neared an end with three tournament championships won by Michigan Tech, Minnesota State-Mankato and Minnesota.

Michigan Tech (Minnesota Duluth’s next opponent on Jan. 11-12) finished an amazing run at the Great Lake Invitational by blanking No. 8 Western Michigan 4-0 in Detroit; No. 4 Minnesota closed out the Mariucci Classic with an eye-opening 8-1 win over No. 1 Boston College; and No. 18 Minnesota State-Mankato took the UConn Classic title by beating Connecticut 3-1 (the Purple Mavs are 9-1 the last 10 games).

At Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, secret weapon Pheonix Copley had 32 saves as Michigan Tech won the GLI for the first time since 1980. He finished with consecutive 4-0 shutouts. Tech had three goals in the third period including scores by Tanner Kero and Aaron Pietila in the final 59 seconds. Western Michigan led in shots 32-22, and was 0-8 on PPs. Attendance 14,719. From Chris Dilks of Western College Hockey here.

At Minneapolis, Nick Bjugstad had a career night with two goals and two assists in Minnesota’s 8-1 win over Boston College. Minnesota led in shots 36-33 and had four PP goals. Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox is 12-2-3. BC star goalie Parker Milner was replaced in the third period. He had 25 saves and allowed six goals. BC defeated Minnesota in the 2012 NCAA semifinals. Attendance 10,230. From the St. Paul Pioneer Press here and Minneapolis Star Tribune here.

At Storrs, Conn., two Johnny McInnis second-period goals rallied Minnesota State-Mankato past Connecticut 3-1. Stephon Williams made 17 saves for the win. McInnis was tournament MVP. Connecticut led 1-0. Mankato led in shots 31-18. Attendance 881. From the Mankato Free Press here.

At Camden, Conn., No. 9 Quinnipiac defeated No. 12 Nebraska-Omaha 3-1 to sweep a nonconference series. Quinnipiac led in shots 37-29. Omaha led 1-0 on a goal by Ryan Walters (12). Winning goalie Eric Hartzell is 14-2-2. Omaha was swept for first time this season. Attendance 2,327. From the Omaha World-Herald here.

At Hanover, N.H., Bemidji State opened play in the Ledyard Bank Classic with a 4-3 loss to Massachusetts. BSU led 2-0 on goals from Aaron McLeod and Brance Orban, then Massachusetts scored the next four. Massachusetts led 33-20 in shots. Attendance 4,500. From the Bemidji Pioneer here.

U.S. College Hockey Online has some thoughts from the WCHA’s holiday performances here.

On Monday, the United States defeated Slovakia 9-3 at the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. USA Hockey has a recap here.

Sunday in the WCHA

The WCHA flexed its muscles a bit in non-league play Saturday with three shutout victories by Minnesota, Denver and Michigan Tech, and a win by Minnesota State-Mankato.

Minnesota Duluth, however, let an early lead get away in losing to another group of Bulldogs, from No. 19-ranked Ferris State, 6-2 in the third-place game of the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla. Recaps from the News Tribune here and the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Sun here. Maine defeated No. 11 Cornell 6-4 for the tournament title and the Bangor (Maine) Daily News has a recap here.

UMD has one more day in Florida on Sunday before returning Monday, and is off until a home series with Michigan Tech on Jan. 11-12. Saturday’s attendance was listed at 3,873 at Germain Arena.

In Hamden, Conn., Jordan Samuels-Thomas scored at 3:47 of the third period to give No. 9 Quinnipiac a 5-4 home win over No. 12 Nebraska-Omaha. Ryan Walters (11) had tied the game 38 seconds into the third period. Omaha led in shots 37-30. Quinnipiac (13-3-2) led 2-0 and 3-1. Attendance 2,620. From the Omaha World-Herald here.

At Storrs, Conn., Jean-Paul Lafontaine had a pair of goals at No. 18 Minnesota State-Mankato stopped Brown University 3-1 in the UConn Classic. Stephon Williams made 18 saves for the win. Mankato led in shots 27-19. Attendance 727. From the Mankato Free Press here.

At Detroit, Jujhar Khaira had a goal and two assists as Michigan Tech blanked Michigan 4-0 in the first round of the Great Lakes Invitational. Tech faces Western Michigan on Sunday for the title. Tech had two goals in the first period and two in the third. Michigan (5-10-3) led in shots 38-36. Pheonix Copley has 38 saves for the win. Attendance 16,439. From the Ann Arbor News here.

At Minneapolis, Erik Haula provided a goal and an assist as No. 4 Minnesota stopped the Air Force Academy 4-0 in the Mariucci Classic. Minnesota led in shots 33-18. Adam Wilcox (11-2-3) was the winning goalie. Attendance 10,113. From the St. Paul Pioneer Press here and Minneapolis Star Tribune here.

Also Jerry York became college hockey’s winningest coach with a 5-2 win over Alabama-Huntsville in the Mariucci Classic. A Minneapolis Star Tribune recap is here.

In Denver, Quentin Shore and Nick Shore had goals and No. 14 Denver smacked No. 6 Boston University 6-0 in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game. The win broke an eight-game Denver winless streak. Juho Olkinuora (4-1-3) made 29 saves in the win. Denver led in shots 38-29. The Pioneer scores three goals in the first period and had three PP goals in the game. Attendance 6,026. From the Denver Post here.

And Canada defeated the United States 2-1 Sunday in the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. USA Hockey has a recap here.

Final: Ferris State 6, UMD 2

Second-period turnovers and injuries doomed Minnesota Duluth on Saturday afternoon as No. 19-ranked Ferris State rallied for a 6-2 win in the consolation final of the 13th Florida College Classic men’s hockey tournament at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.

UMD (7-10-3) led 2-1 after one period before Ferris State scored the game’s final five goals, three in the second period. UMD also lost defensemen Drew Olson and Andy Welinski with injuries, while defenseman Derik Johnson received a game disqualification for a hit to the head with five minutes to play.

Ferris State (8-8-3) of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association broke a four-game losing streak, while UMD matched its most one-sided defeated of the season and matched its loss total from last season.

“We beat ourselves and lost the game in the second period with turnovers. That was the turning point,” UMD coach Scott Sandelin said by phone. “We didn’t make good decisions with the puck and we didn’t finish that period well (allowing two goals in the final minute). If we had gotten out of the period tied 2-2, it would’ve been a much better situation.”

UMD fell behind 1-0 just seven minutes into the game, then scored twice in 30 seconds for a 2-1 lead after one period.

Winger Adam Krause tipped in a Wade Bergman drive with 3:33 left in the opening period and Caleb Herbert, moved to center, connected from the top of the circle on a power play with 3:03 remaining.

Krause’s goal, the second of his career, broke a UMD scoreless streak of 86 minutes, 45 seconds spanning three games. Maine beat UMD 1-0 Friday.

In the second period, Ferris State’s Cary Kane scored shorthanded at 4:58 before Eric Alexander and Brandon Anselmini connected 22 seconds apart in the final 44 seconds to regain the lead.

“You can’t have a great period and then a bad period, but that’s what we’ve been doing. That’s the story of our season,” said Krause, a sophomore winger from Hermantown, said by phone. “Turnovers this season have been costly. They seem to end up in our net almost every time. We need more consistency.”

Olson was injured in the first period, while Welinski was hurt in the third. That required moving Krause to defense, paired with Bergman. Following Johnson’s major penalty, Ferris State put the game away with power-play goals 2:21 apart.

UMD starting goalie Matt McNeely was replaced after two periods by Aaron Crandall. Ferris State freshman Charles Williams made 23 saves for a victory in his first collegiate start. Ferris State led 26-25 in shots on goal.

The win was the first in the series for Ferris State, which entered the game 0-4-1 lifetime against UMD, with all five games at the DECC, the most recent on Oct. 13-14, 1995.

UMD is off until home games against Michigan Tech on Jan. 11-12.

Maine defeated Cornell University 6-4 to win a second straight Florida College Classic title.

Minnesota Duluth……………. 2-0-0—2

Ferris State……………………. 1-3-2—6

First period —1. Justin Buzzeo 3 (Dom Panetta), 7:08; 2. UMD, Adam Krause 2 (Wade Bergman, Charlie Sampair), 16:27; 3. UMD, Caleb Herbert 4 (Joe Basarba, Drew Olson), 16:57 (pp). Penalties —Eric Anderson, Ferris State (hooking), 4:26; Caleb Herbert, UMD (tripping), 8:27; Travis Ouellette, Ferris State (hooking), 16:43.

Second period — 4. Ferris State, Cory Kane 5 (Simon Denis), 4:58 (sh); 5. Ferris State, Eric Alexander 4 (Andy Huff), 19:16; 6. Ferris State, Brandon Anselmini 3, 19:38. Penalties — Justin DeMartino, Ferris State (holding), 4:02; Mike Seidel, UMD (slashing), 20:00; Scott Czarnowczan, Ferris State (slashing), 20:00.

Third period — 7. Ferris State, Kyle Bonis 9 (Czarnowczan), 15:48 (pp); 8. Ferris State, Justin DeMartino 4 (Andy Huff, Kenny Babinski), 18:09 (pp). Penalties — Andy Huff, Ferris State (tripping), 2:29; Dakota Klecha, Ferris State (tripping), 5:10; Alexander, Ferris State (10-minute misconduct), 8:24; Seidel, UMD (slashing), 8:51; Derik Johnson, UMD (5-minute contact to head major, 10-minute game misconduct, roughing), 15:14; Anselmini, Ferris State (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:14.

Shots on goal — UMD 13-7-5—25, Ferris State 12-8-6—26. Goalies — Matt McNeely (5-6-1), UMD (20 shots-16 saves); Aaron Crandall, UMD (6 shots-4 saves); Charles Williams (1-0), Ferris State (25 shots-23 saves). Power plays — UMD 1-of-5, Ferris State 2-of-5. Referees — Kevin Graber, Scott Whittemore. Linesmen — Andy Petrus, Todd Whittemore.

Saturday in the WCHA

Two one-goal games made up the WCHA’s holiday schedule Friday night as Maine defeated Minnesota Duluth 1-0 in Estero, Fla., and St. Cloud State rallied to beat Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2-1 in St. Cloud, Minn.

Recaps from the UMD-Maine game from the News Tribune here, Bangor (Maine) Daily News here and Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press here.

Bruce Ciskie has some post-game thoughts here.

On Saturday at the Florida College Classic, UMD (7-9-3) meets Ferris State (7-8-3) in the 3:05 p.m. consolation final (94.1 FM), and Maine (3-11-2) plays Cornell (7-3-2) in the 6:35 p.m. title game. Maine is the defending tournament champion.

It was 77 degrees at 10 a.m. Saturday in Estero.

Rink and Run, not on site, will have UMD game updates right here.

In St. Cloud, Minn., goals less than seven minutes apart late in the second period gave St. Cloud State a 2-1 win over RPI. Drew LeBlanc got the game winner with 23 seconds left in the second period to provide a series split. The Huskies led in shots 25-15. Attendance 4,493. From the St. Cloud Times here and Troy (N.Y.) Record here.

Six games involving WCHA teams are scheduled for Saturday. U.S. College Hockey Online has picks right here.

Final: Maine 1, Minnesota Duluth 0

The lowest-scoring team in Division I men’s hockey managed one goal Friday night and it was just enough as Maine defeated Minnesota Duluth 1-0 in the first round of the 13th Florida College Classic at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.

Maine (3-11-2) scored the only goal of the game in the second period following a brief UMD 5-on-3 power play. After Maine junior goalie Martin Ouellette made a save, center Steven Swavely chipped the puck to neutral ice, finding freshman right winger Ryan Lomberg coming out of the penalty box. He got behind UMD’s defense, and rushed in uncontested for his first collegiate goal. It came with 6:34 left in the period and broke freshman goalie Matt McNeely’s shutout streak of 80 minutes, 21 seconds spanning two games. He had won four straight starts.

Ouellette gained his second collegiate shutout and put his record at 2-5-2 this season. Both teams were 0-of-5 on power players.

“We didn’t generate enough around the net. We didn’t make a good offensive push,” UMD coach Scott Sandelin said by phone. “We were off and were a little blah until the third period. We have to build off a good third period.”

The Black Bears, last among 10 teams in Hockey East, entered the game averaging 1.33 goals a game and on a 0-2-2 winless streak. Maine’s most recent game was a 1-0 loss at No. 6 Boston University on Dec. 8.

The Bulldogs (7-9-3) led in shots on goal 31-22, yet couldn’t get their offense untracked. And UMD had to kill off Caleb Herbert’s five-minute major penalty for checking from behind in the third period. The Bulldogs came into the game on a 4-1-1 streak.

“We were not as sharp as we were going into our (holiday) break,” UMD captain Cody Danberg said by phone. “We were a little sluggish for two periods and then found our legs, but 20 minutes wasn’t enough for us to win a game.

“We threw 30 shots at (Ouellette), but we didn’t get into the tough areas you need to, to score goals.”

A scoreless first period produced eight shots on goal for each team. Maine came up empty on two power plays. UMD led 8-3 in shots on goal before Maine had the last five to close the period.

The Bulldogs outshot Maine 12-6 in the second period and 11-8 in the third. UMD is 0-6 this season when trailing after two periods.

“We weren’t using our speed and we were flat,” UMD senior defenseman Drew Olson said by phone. “In the third period we started using our feet, had more intensity and showed more emotion.”

The game was a rematch of an NCAA first-round playoff meeting March 24 in the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass. UMD beat Maine 5-2.

Today, UMD faces No. 19-ranked Ferris State (7-8-3) in the 3:05 p.m. consolation final, and defending champion Maine plays No. 11 Cornell University (7-3-2) in the 6:35 p.m. title game.

In Friday’s opening game, Cornell of Ithaca, N.Y., defeated Ferris State of Big Rapids, Mich., 5-3. Cornell needed an Erik Axell shorthanded empty-net goal with 13 seconds to play to secure the victory. Goals less than three minutes apart in the third period got Ferris State within 4-3. Cornell, 4-0-1 the last five games, led in shots on goal 30-25.

Minnesota Duluth……………. 0-0-0—0

Maine…………………………… 0-1-0—1

First period — No scoring. Penalties — Austin Farley, UMD (high-sticking), 10:00; Connor Leen, Maine (holding), 12:32; Tim Smith, UMD (cross-checking), 17:47.

Second period — 1. Maine, Ryan Lomberg 1 (Steven Swavely, Martin Ouellette), 13:26 (sh). Penalties — Kyle Williams, Maine (holding), 2:03; Conor Riley, Maine (tripping), 5:32; Joe Baaraba, UMD (tripping), 7:24; Drew Olson, UMD (interference), 9:49; Lomberg, Maine (roughing), 11:16; Jake Rutt, Maine (elbowing), 12:54.

Third period — No scoring. Penalties — Caleb Herbert, UMD (5-minute checking from behind major, 10-minute game misconduct, served by Charlie Sampair), 6:13.

Shots on goal — UMD 8-12-11—31, Maine 8-6-8—22. Goalies — Matt McNeely (5-5-1), UMD (22 shots-21 saves); Martin Ouellette (2-5-2), Maine (31 shots-31 saves). Power plays — UMD 0-of-5, Maine 0-of-5. Referees — Tim Kotyra, Robert St. Lawrence. Linesmen — Andy Petrus, Justin Prusak.

Game Day: UMD vs. Maine at Florida College Classic

After a 13-day break, Minnesota Duluth (7-8-3) opens the second half of the season Friday in the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla., versus Maine (2-11-2) of Hockey East. The game is 6:35 p.m. (94.1 FM).

Rink and Run is not on site, where the temperature is expected to reach 80, but plans to have game updates Friday and Saturday right here.

The News Tribune has a update on freshman goalie Matt McNeely here and some game notes here.

The Bangor (Maine) Daily News has an update on the Black Bears and their NCAA rematch with UMD here and how coach Tim Whitehead can salvage the 2012-13 season here.

Bruce Ciskie previews UMD and Maine here.

The UMD sports information office has tournament notes here.

The Fort Myers News Press has a tournament preview here.

No. 11 Cornell faces No. 19 Ferris State in the opening 3:05 p.m. game Friday. Game times are 3:05 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. Saturday.

No. 16 St. Cloud State started the WCHA’s holiday play at home Thursday in a 4-3 loss to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Huskies led 2-0 before RPI scored three times in the second period (two from Milos Bubela), and Mark McGowan broke a 3-3 tie with 2:12 to play. Drew LeBlanc had two assists for the Huskies. St. Cloud State led 22-21 in shots. Attendance 4,393. From the St. Cloud Times here and the Troy (N.Y.) Record here.

Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey blog has a recap of Friday’s 2-1 Russia win over the U.S. at the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia, right here.

Minnesota Duluth travel day: Estero, Fla.

Minnesota Duluth practices Thursday morning at Amsoil Arena and then starts its trek to Estero, Fla., for the Florida College Classic. The Bulldogs bus to Minneapolis and fly into Fort Myers, Fla.

Predicted highs in Estero for Friday and Saturday are 81 and 82.

UMD had practice followed by a scrimmage Wednesday. Sophomore defenseman Luke McManus has returned from an upper-body injury. Scott Sandelin says he’s not planning any lineup changes from the team’s last game, a 2-1 win at Alaska Anchorage on Dec. 15.

The Bulldogs meet Maine at 6:35 p.m. Friday. The News Tribune has a UMD-Maine update here.

Bruce Ciskie takes a look at UMD at mid-season here.

U.S. College Hockey Online has picks for games on Thursday and Friday here.

No. 19 Ferris State plays No. 11 Cornell at 3:05 p.m. in the first game in Estero.

Sports information office tournament notes from Maine here, Ferris State here, and Cornell here.

No. 16 St. Cloud State begins the week’s play for WCHA teams today with a home series against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Joey Benik makes his debut for the Huskies as noted in a St. Cloud Times story here.

College Hockey Inc. previews this week’s Division I tournaments here.

The United States opened the World Junior Championships with an 8-0 win over Germany on Thursday morning in Ufa, Russia. Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey has a recap here.

Duluthian Jake Randolph, with the Omaha Lancers, had a shootout goal Dec. 14 that made it to ESPN’s SportsCenter highlights. The U.S. Hockey League web site has the goal here.

Minnesota Duluth: Back to work

Minnesota Duluth is back on the ice at 1 p.m. Wednesday in preparation for the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla. The Bulldogs also practice at Amsoil Arena on Thursday morning before traveling. Temperatures in Estero, Fla., predicted in the 70s this week.

UMD (7-8-3) faces Maine (2-11-2) at 6:35 p.m. Friday. Cornell University (6-3-2) of Ithaca, N.Y., meets Ferris State (7-7-3) of Big Rapids, Mich., at 3:05 p.m. The winners and losers are paired on Saturday with the same game times.

Cornell is without sophomore forward Cole Bardreau, an assistant captain this week with the United States team in the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. The tournament opened Wednesday, while the Americans begin play Thursday vs. Germany.

USA Hockey has a World Juniors blog here.

Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey blog has an update on the U.S. roster here.

In Tuesday’s News Tribune, the Rink and Run editor took a look back at some moments during the past 35 years of watching hockey in a piece here.

And while it has been frigid in Northeastern Minnesota the past few days, it didn’t stop UMD assistant soccer coach Kelly Grgas-Wheeler from riding a bike alongside sister, and U.S. Olympic distance runner Kara Goucher, during a workout in Duluth. Here’s a photo (umm, Kelly is on the left):

Next up for Minnesota Duluth: Maine

When Minnesota Duluth (7-8-3) returns to action, the Bulldogs will face Maine (2-11-2) at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla.

Cornell (6-3-2) and Ferris State (7-7-3) play at 3 p.m.

The UMD and Maine met in the 2012 NCAA tournament’s first round, with UMD winning 5-2 in the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.

Long-time Bangor (Maine) Daily News writer Larry Mahoney gets you up-to-date on this season’s Black Bears and their tough first-half start, from coach Tim Whitehead, in a story right here.

U.S. Junior roster nearly finalized

USA Hockey released an updated roster for the World Junior Championships on Sunday following player cuts. The tournament opens Wednesday in Ufa, Russia.

USA Hockey has a news release here.

Kevin Allen of USA Today has a U.S. Junior story here.

Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey evaluates Sunday’s U.S. cuts, and a player medical situation, here.