Duluth’s ultra-busy hockey week underway

Duluth’s final hockey-heavy week of 2012-13 began Wednesday and could continue through Sunday with as many as seven high school and college games at Amsoil Arena.

Duluth Marshall and Duluth Denfeld opened the schedule Wednesday night as Marshall won the Section 7A final 3-2. The senior twin brothers of UMD senior winger Keegan Flaherty (Connor and Caden) play for Marshall, while former UMD forward Kevin Smalley coaches Denfeld.

The News Tribune’s Rick Weegman has a game story here.

The UMD men have a nonconference series with Alabama-Huntsville at 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday, while the UMD open the post-season with a WCHA best-of-three first-round series with Ohio State starting Friday at 2:07 p.m. The News Tribune has some college notes here.

Duluth East meets Grand Rapids at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Section 7AA final. A News Tribune preview is here.

The Section 5A final, Hermantown vs. St. Cloud Cathedral, is 7 p.m. Friday in Champlin Park, Minn,

UMD’s final WCHA regular-season opponent (March 8-9 at Amsoil Arena) is featured in U.S. College Hockey Online’s This Week in the WCHA here.

Bracketology from U.S. College Hockey Online here and the INCH 4×4 here.

Kleinendorst returning to NE Minnesota

Grand Rapids native Kurt Kleinendorst will be back in Northeastern Minnesota this weekend as coach of Alabama-Huntsville, which faces Minnesota Duluth in games Friday and Saturday at Amsoil Arena.

Kleinendorst, 52, is in his first season with Huntsville and previously coached in the NHL and American Hockey League, and with the USA U18 team in Ann Arbor, Mich. He said he’s looking forward to watching Thursday’s Section 7AA boys title game at Amsoil Arena: Grand Rapids vs. Duluth East.

Huntsville (3-19-1) hasn’t played since a Feb. 8-9 series at Penn State, and played just six games total in January and February. An update on the Chargers, and their move to the WCHA for 2013-14, will be in Thursday’s News Tribune.

UMD is reporting no injuries following last weekend’s series at Minnesota. The Bulldogs are expecting to have all players available for the Huntsville series, which is followed by the season’s final regular-season series March 8-9 at home with Nebraska-Omaha, No. 22 in PairWise Rankings.

The WCHA Web Media Poll is here.

With St. Cloud State in first place in the WCHA, Pat Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune takes an historical look at the Huskies in a story here.

And the New York Times has a story on senior center Drew LeBlanc of Hermantown and his comeback from a broken leg to help lead the Huskies. The story is here.

Next for Minnesota Duluth: Alabama-Huntsville

Alabama-Huntsville, one of two independent teams in Division I, comes to Amsoil Arena on Friday and Saturday (7:07 p.m.) for a series with Minnesota Duluth. The games are the last outside the WCHA for the Bulldogs, and the last of the season for the Chargers (3-19-1).

Huntsville joins the reconfigured WCHA for 2013-14, putting the league at 10 teams. That announcement was made in January. A release from Alabama-Huntsville is here.

Huntsville is 0-7-1 vs. the WCHA season (including a 2-2 tie at home with No. 7-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato). In Duluth last January, UMD won two one-goal games, 2-1 and 4-3, while outshooting Huntsville 101-43. Huntsville goalie Clarke Saunders transferred after last season, when it appeared the program may fold, and is now 11-6-4 as a junior with No. 6 North Dakota.

Huntsville ranks last among 59 Division I teams in scoring (1.48 goals a game) and is second-to-last on defense (4.13).

Division I’s other independent, first-year varsity program Penn State, pulled off the season’s shocker to this point in a 3-2 overtime win at Wisconsin on Monday night. The Badgers had won 5-0 Sunday. The loss dropped Wisconsin all the way to No. 28 in the PairWise Rankings, virtually eliminating its chances for an NCAA tournament at-large berth. Recaps from the Wisconsin State Journal here and from the Penn State sports information office here.

It was the final game of the first varsity season for Penn State and coach Guy Gadowsky. A Wisconsin-Penn State summary is here.

Jeff Cox of SB Nation takes a close look at the WCHA race with two weeks remaining in a post here. All teams, but UMD and Alaska Anchorage, have four league games remaining.

Updated ticket information for UMD sports events, including men’s and women’s hockey, now on Twitter at @UMDTix.

The WCHA in the PairWise Rankings

The WCHA has six teams in the top 17 of the PairWise Rankings following Sunday’s Wisconsin 5-0 home victory over Penn State. Two weeks remain in the regular season.

In the PairWise: 2. Minnesota, 6. North Dakota, 7. Minnesota State-Mankato, 10. St. Cloud State, 13. Denver and 17. Wisconsin. The PairWise Rankings are here.

At Madison, Wis., Tyler Barnes had a goal and three assists as Wisconsin blanked Penn State, in the first meeting between the Big Ten Conference members. Wisconsin led in shots 51-22. The game was 0-0 after one period. The Badgers are 5-2-2 the last nine games. Joel Rumpel earned the shutout. Attendance 8,547. The teams meet again Monday night. From the Wisconsin State Journal here.

U.S. College Hockey Online looks back at last weekend in the WCHA, including Minnesota Duluth at Minnesota, here.

A video interview with Pittsburgh defenseman Matt Niskanen, who had a goal in Friday’s 3-1 win over Florida, is here.

Sunday in the WCHA

Road teams went 2-0-1 Saturday night in the WCHA as first place St. Cloud State stretched its lead to two points over Minnesota with four league games left in the regular season.

Minnesota Duluth rallied to tie No. 2 Minnesota 2-2 in overtime at Mariucci Arena. The Bulldogs are 0-7-2 the last nine games (its longest winless streak since 0-9-1 from Nov. 2-Dec. 1, 2001). Yet UMD is 0-1-2 the last three while showing improved play.

UMD will finish eighth or ninth in the league and be on the road for the first round of the WCHA playoffs March 15-17.

Recaps from Saturday in Minneapolis from the News Tribune here, St. Paul Pioneer Press here and Minneapolis Star Tribune here.

The UMD women’s team used every resource available Saturday to secure home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs, tying No. 8 North Dakota 2-2 in overtime and then winning a shootout with goals from Brigette Lacquette, Jessica Wong and Jenna McParland. The extra point for the shootout win tied UMD for fourth place, with Ohio State, and earned the home seed in a tiebreaker. The Bulldogs face Ohio State on Friday-Saturday-Sunday at 2:07 p.m. in the best-of-three series at Amsoil Arena. A recap from the UMD sports information office here.

At Denver, No. 6 North Dakota scored three goals in the first period on the way to a 6-1 win over No. 10 Denver for a series split. Mark McMillan had a goal and two assists for North Dakota, which was 3-9 on PPs. Denver led 1-0. Juho Olkinuora went one period for Denver, facing five shots and allowing three goals. Clarke Saunders was in goal for North Dakota. North Dakota led in shots 37-29. Attendance 6,049. From the Grand Forks Herald here and Denver Post here.

At Colorado Springs, Colo., No. 7 St. Cloud State had three second-period goals in dispatching Colorado College 5-2. CC led 1-0 and Rylan Schwartz had both goals. Andrew Prochnow had three assists for the Huskies. Ryan Faragher had 17 saves for the win. St. Cloud State led in shots 26-19. Attendance 7,385. From the St. Cloud Times here and Colorado Springs Gazette here.

At Omaha, Neb., the USA Under 18 team scored twice in the third period to beat Nebraska-Omaha  3-2 in an exhibition game. The U18s led in shots 45-17. Omaha led 2-1 after two. Keaton Thompson and Evan Allen scored goals 89 seconds apart for the U18s. Omaha goalie Ryan Massa saw his first duty of the season. From the Omaha World Herald here.

WCHA Standings and Summaries Courtesy of College Hockey Stats.net

 1 St. Cloud State   33  24 16- 7- 1 .688  82- 53   32 19-12- 1 .609 107- 78
 2 Minnesota         31  24 13- 6- 5 .646  80- 58   32 21- 6- 5 .734 117- 64
 3 Nebraska Omaha    30  24 14- 8- 2 .625  83- 70   32 18-12- 2 .594 112- 88
   North Dakota      30  24 12- 6- 6 .625  82- 62   32 17- 9- 6 .625 106- 80
 5 Minnesota State   29  24 14- 9- 1 .604  77- 57   32 20- 9- 3 .672 104- 71
 6 Denver            27  24 11- 8- 5 .562  76- 74   31 16-10- 5 .597 104- 87
   Wisconsin         27  24 10- 7- 7 .562  54- 53   30 13-10- 7 .550  68- 62
 8 Colorado College  22  24  9-11- 4 .458  78- 85   32 12-15- 5 .453 106-113
 9 Minnesota Duluth  21  26  8-13- 5 .404  64- 79   32 10-17- 5 .391  78- 96
10 Bemidji State     16  24  5-13- 6 .333  50- 72   30  6-17- 7 .317  62- 89
   Michigan Tech     16  24  6-14- 4 .333  62- 82   30 10-16- 4 .400  89- 94
12 Alaska Anchorage  10  26  2-18- 6 .192  50- 93   30  4-19- 7 .250  61-104
 Minnesota Duluth   2 at Minnesota          2, tie    Box   
 USA Under-18 Team  3 at Nebraska Omaha     2         Box   
 North Dakota       6 at Denver             1         Box   
 St. Cloud State    5 at Colorado College   2         Box

Final: Minnesota Duluth 2, Minnesota 2, tie

MINNEAPOLIS — February finally produced something Minnesota Duluth fans could cheer about.

The Bulldogs left the month without a victory, yet did gain a 2-2 overtime tie with No. 2-ranked Minnesota on Saturday night sparked by freshman goalie Matt McNeely.

UMD’s Jake Hendrickson scored with 7:06 remaining in the third period to create the tie in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s game played before a Mariucci Arena sellout crowd of 10,241.

McNeely finished 38 saves in what was his best game of the season.

UMD (10-17-5, 8-13-5 WCHA) ended the month 0-6-2, yet played two of its better back-to-back games against the defending MacNaughton Cup champions.

“We stuck together the entire weekend, no matter what the score. We came back from deficits three times and never lost our composure,” said McNeely, a former St. Thomas Academy goalie from Burnsville, Minn. “I knew I had to bring another level to my game (Saturday). I knew I had to play better. I was tracking the puck better and our defense blocked a lot of shots (23). I controlled my rebounds better and was able to kick them to the corners.”

Hendrickson, a senior center, converted a bouncing puck in the crease to bring UMD back. The Bulldogs had been outscored 16-1 in third periods during their winless stretch before Minnesota freshman goalie Adam Wilcox shoveled a rebound in behind the goal and Keegan Flaherty retrieved the puck, bounced it off the side of the net and into the crease where Hendrickson scored his fifth of the season.

Tom Serratore, son of Air Force coach Frank Serratore, had given the Gophers a 2-1 lead 6:25 into the third period on a wraparound attempt.

Minnesota (21-6-5, 13-6-5) never trailed in the series and led 40-37 in shots on goal Saturday. However, Minnesota had to survive a UMD power play in overtime for too many men on the ice.

“I saw a lot of push-back from our team,” said Flaherty. “We played well the entire weekend against a very good offensive team.”

Minnesota leads Division I in scoring at 3.71 goals a game and is first in power play percentage at 25.4.

The game was the 220th lifetime between the schools and marked the last regular-season meeting as WCHA members.

After going 0-of-5 on power plays in Friday’s 5-3 win, the Gophers connected on their first chance Saturday. Freshman defenseman Mike Reilly finished off some furious pressure with an open shot from the right side with 1:49 left in the first period.

Austin Farley’s third goal in two games tied the game 1-1 on a second-period power play. The freshman winger got to a Caleb Herbert rebound at the right edge of the net and knocked the puck behind Wilcox. That gave Farley 13 goals this season, tying him with Mike Seidel for the team lead.

“UMD found its power play this weekend, McNeely made some good saves, (UMD) blocked shots, and overall it was a hard-fought series,” said Minnesota coach Don Lucia. “It was pretty even.”

McNeely was particularly sharp in the second period during two Minnesota power plays. The Gophers thought they’d scored at 8:19, with a man advantage, but Kyle Rau was ruled by referee Don Adam to have put the puck in with a high stick.

It was the second straight night the teams were tied after two periods. McNeely made 16 saves in the third period.

While the Bulldogs were looking for their first win in 36 days, Minnesota was pushing toward the top of the WCHA. Yet the Gophers fell two points behind first-place St. Cloud State with Saturday’s tie as the Huskies won 5-2 at Colorado College.

“Through the first 10 minutes we weathered some storms and got some momentum,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “To come in here against a team that is pretty damn good, we made them earn everything they got. We played well and (McNeely) gave us a chance.”

UMD’s final non-league series of this season opens this Friday at home with Alabama-Huntsville.

Minnesota Duluth………… 0-1-1-0—2

Minnesota…………………… 1-0-1-0—2

First period — 1. Minnesota, Mike Reilly 3 (Ben Marshall, Sam Warning), 18:11 (pp). Penalties — Marshall, Minnesota (holding), 8:55; Cal Decowski, UMD (roughing), 10:09; Erik Haula, Minnesota (roughing), 10:09; Dan DeLisle, UMD (too many men on ice), 16:21

Second period — 2. UMD. Austin Farley 13 (Caleb Herbert, Andy Welinski), 12:13 (pp). Penalties — Seth Helgeson, Minnesota (roughing), 2:13; Mike Seidel, UMD (slashing), 6:44; Haula, Minnesota (roughing), 8:06; Welinski, UMD (cross-checking), 8:06; Kyle Rau, Minnesota (slashing), 11:15; Welinski, UMD (slashing), 13:58; Brady Skjei, Minnesota (tripping), 19:45.

Third period — 3. Minnesota, Tom Serratore 7 (Travis Boyd), 6:25; 4. UMD, Jake Hendrickson 5 (Keegan Flaherty, Decowski), 12:54. Penalties —Tony Cameranesi, UMD (boarding), 3:41; Drew Olson, UMD (roughing), 14:29; Haula, Minnesota (slashing), 14:29.

Overtime – No scoring. Penalties – Christian Isackson, Minnesota (too many men on ice), 1:47.

Shots on goal — UMD 12-9-13-3—37, Minnesota 9-11-17-3—40. Goalies — Matt McNeely (8-11-3), UMD (40 shots-38 saves); Adam Wilcox (20-5-5), Minnesota (37 shots-35 saves). Power plays — UMD 1-of-5, Minnesota 1-of-4. Referees —Don Adam, Craig Welker. Linesmen — Tony Czech, Sterling Egan.  A — 10,241.

Saturday in the WCHA

After holding off Minnesota Duluth on Friday night at Mariucci Arena, in a 5-3 victory, No. 2-ranked Minnesota saw two other WCHA title contenders fall on the road in Colorado. That left the Gophers (and Nebraska-Omaha) one point behind first-place St. Cloud State in the MacNaughton Cup race with five games remaining.

The three games combined for 24 goals.

The top seven teams are separated by one point. The WCHA standings are below.

UMD’s loss dropped the Bulldogs one spot, to ninth, two points behind Colorado College entering today’s 7:07 p.m. rematch with the Gophers (94.1 FM and Big Ten Network). A News Tribune live blog is here.

Recaps from Friday’s UMD-Minnesota game from the News Tribune here, St. Paul Pioneer Press here and Minneapolis Star Tribune here.

Bruce Ciskie looks at Bullodgs-Gophers right here.

In Colorado Springs, Colo., three third-period goals rallied Colorado College to a 4-3 victory over No. 7 St. Cloud State. The Huskies led 2-0 on goals by Jonny Brodzinski 15 and Andrew Prochnow and were up 2-1 after two periods. The Tigers came back as right winger Charlie Taft had two goals and an assist in the final period, including the game winner with 5:52 left. Rylan Schwartz also had a goal and two assists. St. Cloud State led in shots 43-29. Attendance 6,672. From the St. Cloud Times here and Colorado Springs Gazette here.

At Denver, three second-period goals helped No. 10 Denver come back to beat No. 6 North Dakota 5-4. North Dakota led 2-1 just 68 seconds into the second on a Carter Rowney goal. Denver scored four of the next five goals as Chris Knowlton had a goal and an assist. Zane Gothberg started in goal for North Dakota, lasted 24 minutes, and was replaced by Clarke Saunders. Denver led in shots 41-39. Attendance 6,031. From the Denver Post here and Grand Forks Herald here.

WCHA Summaries and Standings Courtesy of College Hockey Stats.net

 1 St. Cloud State   31  23 15- 7- 1 .674  77- 51   31 18-12- 1 .597 102- 76
 2 Minnesota         30  23 13- 6- 4 .652  78- 56   31 21- 6- 4 .742 115- 62
   Nebraska Omaha    30  24 14- 8- 2 .625  83- 70   32 18-12- 2 .594 112- 88
 4 Minnesota State   29  24 14- 9- 1 .604  77- 57   32 20- 9- 3 .672 104- 71
 5 North Dakota      28  23 11- 6- 6 .609  76- 61   31 16- 9- 6 .613 100- 79
 6 Denver            27  23 11- 7- 5 .587  75- 68   30 16- 9- 5 .617 103- 81
   Wisconsin         27  24 10- 7- 7 .562  54- 53   30 13-10- 7 .550  68- 62
 8 Colorado College  22  23  9-10- 4 .478  76- 80   31 12-14- 5 .468 104-108
 9 Minnesota Duluth  20  25  8-13- 4 .400  62- 77   31 10-17- 4 .387  76- 94
10 Bemidji State     16  24  5-13- 6 .333  50- 72   30  6-17- 7 .317  62- 89
   Michigan Tech     16  24  6-14- 4 .333  62- 82   30 10-16- 4 .400  89- 94
12 Alaska Anchorage  10  26  2-18- 6 .192  50- 93   30  4-19- 7 .250  61-104
  Minnesota Duluth   3 at Minnesota          5       Box   
  St. Cloud State    3 at Colorado College   4       Box   
  North Dakota       4 at Denver             5       Box

Final: Minnesota 5, Minnesota Duluth 3

MINNEAPOLIS  — After not meeting for 495 days, Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota put on a late-season, playoff-ready reunion Friday night at Mariucci Arena.

By the end, the No. 2-ranked Gophers flexed their offensive muscles and pulled away for a 5-3 Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s series opener before 10,078 fans.

Minnesota (21-6-4, 13-6-4 WCHA) had lost 3-2 Sunday to Wisconsin in an outdoor game at Soldier Field in Chicago and coach Don Lucia said his team didn’t have its energy early. Two goals in the final seven minutes provided the final margin, giving the Gophers a 13-2-2 home record.

UMD (10-17-4, 8-13-4) clawed back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to make Minnesota sweat, but just didn’t have enough offense. The Bulldogs are 0-7-1 the last eight games, the longest winless stretch in more than a decade, since going 0-9-1 from Nov. 2-Dec. 1, 2001.

“That was one of the best games we’ve played – a good, all-around team game,” said UMD senior winger Dan DeLisle. “It was a loss, but it’s almost something we can use as a stepping stone. For a lot of that game I thought we were the better team.”

Freshman winger Austin Farley scored twice for UMD and freshman goalie Matt McNeely was solid with 29 saves.

A strong third period had Minnesota outshooting UMD 16-4 and 34-29 for the game. Kyle Rau broke a 3-3 tie with a rebound score with 6:35 to play and center Erik Haula finished things off with his second goal of the game, an empty netter, with six seconds remaining.

The Bulldogs have been outscored 15-1 in the third period in the past eight games.

“I give our guys credit for finding a way to win the third period,” said Lucia. “The score at the end was more indicative of the way the game went. We got better as the game went on.”

UMD led 11-7 in shots on goal after the first period, but it was Minnesota leading 1-0 on the scoreboard. Junior winger Nate Condon had an open shot from the left circle and the puck just did trickle through McNeely. It came on Minnesota’s first shot on goal of the game.

The Bulldogs had their chances around the crease in front of Minnesota freshman goalie Adam Wilcox, a cousin of former Bulldog Alex Stalock. The best opportunity never led to a shot as UMD’s Mike Seidel was hooked on a breakaway down the slot by Minnesota’s Travis Boyd with seven minutes left in the first period.

UMD’s first three-goal period in more than two months put the Bulldogs into a 3-3 tie after two periods. An offensive second period produced five goals in all. UMD also hit three pipes in the period

Gopher scoring leader Haula, a junior center, finished a shorthanded rush. He has 15 goals this season, and 41 in his career. That made it 2-0. Justin Crandall followed 37 seconds later by knocking a shot from the right side past Wilcox to the short side.

The first of Farley’s goals tied it 2-2 with 6:50 left in the second, but 1:42 later sophomore Sam Warning responded with a nifty backhand-to-forehand rush to the net and a 3-2 lead.

“When you’re on a (winless) streak like we are, you have to keep fighting,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “I saw some fight and I’ve seen some good things the last couple of games that I haven’t seen for a awhile.”

With 44 seconds left in the second period, Farley banged in a Tony Cameranesi rebound on a power play. It was Farley’s 12th goal of the season.

Both teams had chances in the third period, including UMD after McNeely was pulled for an extra attacker with a minute to play, yet UMD’s offense has had trouble cashing in on opportunities all season. UMD’s power play, 3-of-34 the previous seven games, was 2-of-4 and silenced the best power play in Division I, keeping the Gophers 0-of-5.

“We played hard for 60 minutes and we just have to keep up that effort,” said Farley. “We got behind and we battled back as hard as we could. We just have to stick together and keep believing.”

The programs were meeting for the first time since Minnesota swept 5-4 games at Amsoil Arena on Oct. 14-15, 2011. UMD was playing at Mariucci Arena for the first time in more than two years, since games on Dec. 10 and 12, 2010.

Minnesota Duluth……………. 0-3-0—3

Minnesota……………………… 1-2-2—5

First period — 1. Minnesota, Nate Condon 11 (Ben Marshall, Sam Warning), 4:04. Penalties — Chris Casto, UMD (interference), 10:24; Travis Boyd, Minnesota (hooking), 13:09.

Second period — 2. Minnesota, Erik Haula 14 (Zach Budish), 7:50 (sh); 3. UMD, Justin Crandall 5 (Cal Decowski), 8:27 (pp); 4. UMD, Austin Farley 11 (Joe Basaraba), 13:10; 5. Minnesota, Sam Warning 7 (Condon), 14:52; 6. UMD, Farley 12 (Tony Cameranesi, Caleb Herbert), 19:16 (pp). Penalties — Wade Bergman, UMD (boarding), 2:03; Boyd, Minnesota (slashing), 3:52; Justin Holl, Minnesota (goalie interference), 6:48; Keegan Flaherty, UMD (holding), 8:53; Marshall, Minnesota (hooking), 17:33.

Third period — 7. Minnesota, Kyle Rau 14 (Nick Bjugstad, Budish), 13:25; 8. Minnesota, Haula 15, 19:54 (en). Penalties — Herbert, UMD (boarding0, 4:05; Farley, UMD (boarding), 15:35.

Shots on goal — UMD 11-14-4—29, Minnesota 7-11-16—34. Goalies — Matt McNeely (8-11-2), UMD (34 shots-29 saves); Adam Wilcox (20-5-4), Minnesota (29 shots-26 saves). Power plays — UMD 2-of-4, Minnesota 0-of-5. Referees —Don Adam, Craig Welker. Linesmen — Tony Czech, Sterling Egan.  A — 10,078.

Game Day: Minnesota Duluth (10-16-4) at No. 2 Minnesota (20-6-4)

Minnesota Duluth’s final regular-season appearance at Mariucci Arena, as a WCHA member, takes place with 7:07 p.m. games Friday and Saturday (94.1 FM, and FS North Plus on Friday and Big Ten Network on Saturday).

News Tribune live blogs both nights here.

The News Tribune has an update on a goal scored by UMD last week, by the oldest player in Division I, here and some series notes here.

Rachel Bount of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes about Minnesota captain Zach Budish here.

Jess Myers, Warroad’s own, talks about the 60-year-old UMD vs. Minnesota rivalry and the recent ebbs and flows of each team in a piece for KSTP, 1500 AM here.

Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald takes you around the WCHA here.

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

Former University of Minnesota goalie and good guy Adam Hauser of Bovey is featured in Let’s Play Hockey here.

If you’re projecting which teams will make the 2013 NCAA tournament, College Hockey News gets you started with some analysis here.

The New Orleans Times Picayune takes a look at two favorites in the women’s race of Sunday’s fourth Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon — Olympians Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan — in a story here.

UMD headed to Minneapolis for first time since Metrodome deflated

Minnesota Duluth is headed to Minneapolis on Thursday for a series at Minnesota for the first time since the Metrodome deflated. That was the weekend of Dec. 10-12, 2010. The Saturday game at Mariucci Arena was postponed to Sunday because of a snow storm which pretty much kept the Bulldogs inside their downtown hotel.

With center Caleb Herbert back at practice this week this is how UMD’s lines looked: Justin Crandall-Herbert-Mike Seidel; Cody Danberg-Jake Hendrickson-Keegan Flaherty; Austin Farley-Tony Cameranesi-Joe Basaraba; and Dan DeLisle-Cal Decowski-Adam Krause.

Defensive pairings are Drew Olson-Andy Welinski; Tim Smith-Chris Casto; and Derik Johnson-Wade Bergman. Goalies on the trip are Matt McNeely and Alex Fons.

Some series notes in the News Tribune are here.

Roman Augustoviz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune looks at Minnesota’s chase for a second straight MacNaughton Cup here.

Series notes from the sports information offices of UMD here and Minnesota here.

Gopher media day this week, addressing the UMD series, has player video here.

U.S. College Hockey Online looks at this week in the WCHA, highlighting North Dakota at Denver, here.

The Combine Hockey Writers have an in-depth look at WCHA series, with predictions, right here.