Hockey - Men's - News
NO. 13 UMD AND OHIO STATE SET TO COLLIDE THIS WEEKEND IN 2012-13 SEASON OPENERS
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The University of Minnesota Duluth will crack the seal on its 69th year of intercollegiate men’s ice hockey this Friday and Saturday (Oct. 12-13) when the Bulldogs play host to Ohio State University in a pair of non-conference clashes. Opening faceoff is set for 7:07 p.m. both nights at AMSOIL Arena (6,737) in downtown Duluth.
THE RECORDS: The Bulldogs closed out the 2011-12 season with a 25-10-6 overall record, placed second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings at 16-7-5, and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament, bowing out to eventual national champion Boston College in the Northeast Regional finals. Ohio State was an even 15-15-5 in all games one year ago and posted a 11-12-5 mark in Central Collegiate Hockey Association play (tied for eighth place with the University of Notre Dame).
HOW THEY RANK: Here is how UMD and Ohio State stacked up in the latest USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls:
USCHO.com USA Today
UMD 13th 12th
OSU RV RV
ON THE AIR: The two UMD-Ohio State games will be carried locally on 94X (94.1/104.3 FM) with Bruce Ciskie handling the play-by-play. The broadcast can also be heard on KQ 105.5 in Grand Rapids/Hibbing and KQ 106.7 in Ely/Virginia as part of the Bulldog Radio Network and is available on the internet at: www.fan1490.com.
In addition, My9 (KBJR DT 6.2/KRII DT 11.9) will televise both ends of this weekend’s series. Veteran sports anchor Tom Hansen and former Bulldog puck standout Judd Medak will serve as the on-air talent. My9, which is scheduled to carry at least 19 games during the 2012-13 regular season, is also available locally on Charter and Mediacom cable. The telecast will be videostreammed as well and can be viewed for a fee through America ONE at www.b2tv.com.
THE COACH: The runnerup for the 2010-11 Spencer Penrose Award (American Hockey Coaches Association NCAA Division I Coach of the Year) and recipient of that honor in 2003-04, Scott Sandelin is in his 13th season behind the UMD bench where he has compiled a 217-210-58 overall record -- including a 95-50-21 mark (a .636 winning percentage) since the 2008-09 opener. Besides capturing the school’s first NCAA championship two years ago and rolling up the team’s best overall record in 19 years (26-10-6), the Bulldogs have posted four consecutive 22-win seasons, and advanced to four NCAA tournaments (2004, 2009, 2011 and 2012), two Frozen Fours (2004 and 2011) and seven of the past 10 WCHA Final Five playoff events. During the course of the 2011-12 season, his troops set a club record by going unbeaten in 17 straight games and were ranked first in both major weekly polls (USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine for a program-best nine consecutive weeks. In March 2009, UMD became the first play-in game participant to ever claim the Final Five title and, later that spring, strung together a school-record six-game postseason winning streak before it fell to Miami University 2-1 in the NCAA West Regional final. Nine years ago, Sandelin, 48, turned UMD into a NCAA Frozen Four participant for the first time in nearly a generation, marshaling his troops to their most victories (they were 28-13-4 overall) and highest WCHA finish (second place on a 19-7-2 mark) since 1992-93. For his efforts, the Hibbing, Minn., native was chosen the WCHA Coach of the Year as well as the national coach of the year by both insidecollegehockey.com and uscho.com. In 2002-03, Sandelin’s Bulldogs went 22-15-5 overall and captured fifth place in the WCHA with a 14-10-4 mark while experiencing the greatest one-season turnaround of any league club that winter. One year earlier, he guided UMD to a 13-24-1 record in all games -- nearly doubling the number of victories from the previous season (7-28-4). Sandelin officially signed on as a member of the Bulldog staff on March 31, 2000 following six years of assistant coaching deployment at North Dakota. Prior to joining the Fighting Sioux (who won two NCAA titles during his tenure), Sandelin spent the 1993-94 season as the head coach of the Fargo-Moorhead Junior Kings of the Junior Elite Hockey League after working in that same capacity (and doubling as general manager) the previous winter with the American Hockey Association’s Fargo-Moorhead Express. He capped off his four-year playing career at North Dakota in 1985-86 by being named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. An All-WCHA first team pick and an All-American second team selection as a senior, Sandelin went on to play seven years of professional hockey, which included National Hockey League stints with the Montreal Canadiens (1986-88), Philadelphia Flyers (1990-91) and Minnesota North Stars (1991-92). Sandelin, one of just two current WCHA coaches to do time in the NHL, was the Montreal Canadiens’ second-round pick in the 1982 NHL draft (40th choice overall). He served as Team USA’s head coach at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships, directing that club to a fourth-place finish, and was an assistant coach for the U.S. at that same event last winter.
THE SERIES: UMD and Ohio State have met only three times previously, the last coming nearly six years ago. The Bulldogs are 0-2-1 lifetime against the Buckeyes, having faced them once each in Columbus, Ohio (a 4-1 loss in the opening round of the Ohio Hockey Classic on Dec. 29, 2006), Duluth (a 6-1 setback on Dec. 19, 1979) and in St. Louis, Mo. (a 3-3 tie in the third place game of the University of St. Louis Tournament on Dec. 27, 1974).
LAST WEEKEND: While the Bulldogs were idle, having officially opened preseason practice last Saturday morning, Ohio State tuned up for this weekend’s 2012-13 openers by nipping the University of Waterloo (Ontario) 3-2 in overtime in a home exhibition outing Sunday. The Buckeyes, who outshot the Warriors 42-22 on the afternoon, got goals from three different players, including right winger Anthony Greco, who scored 2:04 into the extra session and also assisted on Ohio State’s game-tying goal early in the third period.
WCHA FORECAST: In their annual preseason poll, the WCHA head coaches collectively forecasted a sixth-place league finish for UMD in 2012-13. The University of Minnesota (11 first-place votes and 121 points) was tabbed as the team to beat followed the University of North Dakota (one first-place vote and 110 points), the University of Denver (91 pts.), St. Cloud State University (90 pts.) and the University of Wisconsin (70 pts.). UMD, which collected 69 points, checked in at No. 5 for the second year in a row in the 94X WCHA Media Poll.
AYE, AYE CAPTAIN: Right winger Cody Danberg has been entrusted with the team captaincy duties for the 69th edition of UMD hockey while a pair of fellow seniors -- right winger Keegan Flaherty and defenseman Drew Olson are serving as assistant team captains.
SOME BIG SKATES TO FILL: Four of the Bulldogs’ five leading scorers from a year ago either graduated (three-time All-American and 2011-12 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Jack Connolly, All-WCHA third teamer Travis Oleksuk, and defenseman Brady Lamb) or departed early for the National Hockey League (sophomore All-American right winger J.T. Brown with Tampa Bay). That quartet accounted for just over half (74) of UMD’s entire goal yield (147) last winter and 48% percent of the team’s total points (191 of 400).
CATCH-22: The 2011-12 Bulldogs reached the 22-victory plateau for the fourth consecutive winter (only the second time that has happened in school history, with the run from 1982-86 being the other) while their second-place WCHA finish was the program’s highest in eight years.
THE BEST THING ABOUT FRESHMEN ...: Left winger Caleb Herbert, the eighth highest-scoring rookie in the country last winter, is the Bulldogs’ top returning point-producer. The Washington Capitals draftee racked up 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points – the second highest output by a UMD newcomer in 16 years (former Winnipeg Jets center Tim Stapleton finished with a team-leading 42 points in 2002-03).
GET SHORTIE: UMD scored the fewest shorthanded goals (one -- by Keegan Flaherty at Michigan Tech on Dec. 2) of any WCHA club in 2011-12, but also ceded a league-low two of its own (the fewest since it became a member of the NCAA I ranks in 1961-62).
FREE HOCKEY: The Bulldogs are unbeaten in 36 of their last 40 overtime games (15-4-21; 2-2-6 in 2011-12) stretching back to the start of the 2008-09 season. Among the 2012-13 Bulldogs, only two have an overtime goal to their collegiate credit -- seniors Cody Danberg and Mike Seidel with one each.
HE’S A PLUS ON THE BLUELINE: Chris Casto, one of 12 Bulldogs who took part in each of the team’s 41 games last season, paced all NCAA rookie defensemen -- and was fifth overall among all of the nation’s blueliners -- in plus-minus rating (+21) one year ago.
LEAD ‘DOGS: Since the 2010-11 opener, UMD is 35-1-3 (15-0-2 last winter) when taking a lead into the third period with the lone loss coming at the hands Bemidji State University (3-2 in overtime) at the 2011 WCHA Final Five. During that same stretch, they are a mere 1-16-2 (0-9-1 in 2011-12) when trailing at the second intermission.
HOW SWEEP WOULD THAT BE: The Bulldogs have not swept a season-opening series since they toppled visiting Ferris State University sin 1995-96. UMD did commence the 2001-02 season by upending both host Nebraska-Omaha and the University of Michigan to capture the Maverick Stampede title.
THEY COME TO PLAY: Right winger Keegan Flaherty has skated in 81 games in a row, a streak which started on Oct. 15, 2010, while two other seniors -- defenseman Wade Bergman and center Jake Hendrickson -- have both made 65 consecutive appearances since Dec. 30, 2010.
A SENIOR, SENIOR, SENIOR MOMENT: Left winger Cody Danberg, who, because of injuries has played just in one game over the last two seasons (the 2011-12 opener with Notre Dame at AMSOIL Arena), is the first sixth-year senior to ever play for the Bulldogs.
BLOW OUT THE CANDLES: More current Bulldogs (six) have birthdays in October than any other month. Those include senior center Jake Hendrickson (Oct. 2), freshman goaltender Alex Fons (Oct. 10), sophomore left winger Caleb Herbert (Oct. 12), rookie center Austyn Young (Oct. 16), junior center Max Tardy (Oct. 27) and freshman winger Charlie Sampair (Oct. 31).
BULLDOG BITS: The 2012-13 Bulldog roster is comprised of seven seniors, four juniors, six sophomores and nine freshmen ... UMD, the nation’s second highest-scoring club last winter (3.59 goals a game), put a NCAA-leading 36.6 shots on goal per night in 2011-12 ... Senior right winger Mike Seidel is UMD’s top returning goal producer from 2011-12, having tallied a career-high 17 times. Over the past two winters, the Bulldogs are unbeaten in 33 of the 36 outings Seidel has marked in the points column (28-3-5) ... In 10 lifetime road appearances, junior goaltender Aaron Crandall is 7-2-1 with a 2.28 goals against average and a .912 saves percentage -- a somewhat stark contrast to his home numbers (5-2-0, 3.48 and .857 in 10 outings). Crandall, whose younger brother is UMD sophomore right winger Justin Crandall, made his last crease appearance of 2011-12 on Feb. 17, registering 16 saves in a 4-2 victory at Minnesota State University-Mankato ... Since Feb. 19-26, 2010, the Bulldogs have lost back-to-back games only one time -- when they fell to Notre Dame on Oct. 8, 2011 and to Minnesota (twice) the following weekend ... UMD is 19-9-3 in its 31 lifetime engagements at AMSOIL Arena. That includes a 14-5-1 mark in 2011-12, its first full season of occupancy at that $80 million facility.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE?: Third-year Ohio State associate head coach Steve Rohlik was an assistant coach at UMD for 10 seasons (2000-10) and was part of coach Scott Sandelin’s original Bulldog staff while Buckeye senior goaltender Brady Hjelle played two winters with the Bulldogs (2008-10) before relocating to the United States Hockey League (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders). The International Falls, Minn., native posted a 10-7-1 record to go with a 2.75 goals against average and a .901 saves percentage in 21 appearances at UMD.
ON TAP: The Bulldogs will take on another CCHA opponent on Oct. 18-19 when they pay a visit to the University of Notre Dame before opening their 48th, and final, year of WCHA competition the following weekend in Duluth against the University of Wisconsin.
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