College hockey held its men’s conference tournaments this weekend, and if you watched any of the games with Minnesota teams in them, you noticed a common theme — empty seats.
College hockey conference tournaments are converging on the Twin Cities this weekend. Regular season champion Minnesota State will take the ice at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul in pursuit of its second straight Broadmoor Trophy for the WCHA playoff title.
Minnesota State’s hockey team is ranked No. 1 in two national polls after a weekend sweep of Lake Superior State.
An early start to the flu season has claimed its latest victim: collegiate hockey. Minnesota State University-Mankato cancelled its Saturday home game against Princeton because several players are out with the flu. The game will be recorded as “no contest” and not a forfeit because it was cancelled due to illness.
Kory Brown sank the winning free throw with 2 seconds remaining to lift North Dakota State to a 64-63 win over Minnesota-Crookston on Tuesday night. Leading by double digits, North Dakota State (3-2) saw its advantage vanish in the final minutes of the game as Minnesota-Crookston closed the gap on a 10-0 run to tie it at 63-all on a 3-pointer by John Huges with 24 second left.
Jonny Brodzinski scored twice in the third period to lead St. Cloud State to a 3-1 National Collegiate Hockey Conference win over North Dakota on Friday. Brodzinski broke a 1-1 tie at 1:38 of the third period and added an insurance goal on the power play at 9:43, as the Huskies (5-5-1, 2-2-1 NCHC) handed UND its first road loss of the season. The Huskies outshot UND 34-27.
The Minnesota Wild continue their developmental camp, and one name to watch down the road hails from Grand Rapids, Minn. Avery Peterson came back for his senior season at Grand Rapid High School, and won Mr. Hockey in the state.
The goalie who helped lead the University of North Dakota to the NCAA Frozen Four is sticking around. WDAY-TV reports that Zane Gothberg announced Wednesday night that he will return for his junior season.
It was just three seasons ago when Union beat Minnesota — in overtime, in Minneapolis — for a win that pretty much put its program on the map. Back then, Union had yet to even appear in an NCAA tournament. Now, it’s one victory away from the national championship.
The North Dakota-Minnesota hockey series was a significant casualty of the football-driven conference realignment that interrupted so many classic rivalries across the country. As if prearranged to mollify fans frustrated by the first regular season in 67 years without this border-state matchup, the rivalry will be revived at the Frozen Four in Philadelphia. Those close to the clash felt like it was supposed to happen.
Nic Dowd scored with 2:39 left in overtime to give St. Cloud State a 4-3 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday night the NCAA West Regional semifinals. Dowd, a Hobey Baker Award finalist who leads the Huskies with 22 goals, fired a wrist shot from the left circle that beat Steven Summerhays high. “At this point, any shot’s a good shot,” said Dowd, whose Huskies (22-10-5) will play top-seeded Minnesota on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four. The Gophers beat Robert Morris 7-3.
Minnesota earned the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament with strong goaltending and a balanced offense. The Gophers used the same formula Saturday night to advance to the West Regional final. Nate Condon scored twice and Adam Wilcox made 22 saves to help the Gophers beat Robert Morris 7-3.
While so many are focused on their basketball brackets, it’s college hockey fans filling both downtown areas Saturday. St. Paul is hosting the Big Ten Conference tournament at the Xcel Energy Center, while Minneapolis has the National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament at Target Center. Forget March Madness, for these fans it’s all about the ice.
Mark Zengerle’s rebound goal in overtime lifted Wisconsin to a 5-4 victory over Ohio State on Saturday night in the inaugural Big Ten hockey championship game, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Zengerle and Nic Kerdiles each had two assists, and the Badgers (24-10-2) won for the 10th time in 12 games. This one required a serious rally as Wisconsin trailed 4-2 with 6:52 remaining in regulation after Tanner Fritz scored for the Buckeyes.
St. Cloud State didn’t need five goals in the second period to get even with North Dakota on Saturday. One goal was all it took. Cory Thorson’s goal late in the second period led St. Cloud State over North Dakota 3-1 and into a first-place tie in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. St. Cloud State and North Dakota share the lead in the NCHC with two games remaining in the regular season. The winner earns the first Penrose Cup and gets the top seed for the playoffs.
To say North Dakota is on a roll is an understatement. One week after scoring a National Collegiate Hockey Conference record nine goals, 11th-ranked UND coasted to a 6-2 win over No. 20 Minnesota-Duluth. Paul LaDue scored two of North Dakota’s three power-play goals in a four-goal second period. With the win, North Dakota (18-9-3, 13-7-0) remained tied for first in the conference with St. Cloud State. UND is 14-2-1 in its last 17 games.
One night after its nation-best winning streak ended, North Dakota beat Bemidji State 4-2 Saturday in men’s college hockey to extend its unbeaten streak to nine games. UND goalie Zane Gothberg extended his personal unbeaten streak to nine games. He was in net in Friday’s 1-1 tie. Connor Gaarder and Andrew Panzarella scored 55 seconds apart early in the first period to stake UND (12-7-3) to the early lead. Derek Rodwell and Derek Parks extended the lead to 4-2 in the second period and the teams skated to a scoreless tie in the third.
An incoming University of Minnesota freshman hockey player has been indefinitely suspended after a DWI arrest Saturday. Gabe Guertier, 18, was pulled over by University Police early Saturday morning. He was detained at the Hennepin County Jail for several hours after being charged with fourth-degree DWI. Gopher mens hockey coach Don Lucia announced Sunday that Guertier would be suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules. His suspension will be re-evaluated in November.
The University of Alaska Anchorage is suspending its search for a head hockey coach in hopes of getting a more “robust” pool of candidates.
St Cloud State hockey coach Bob Motzko previewed the NCAA Frozen Four with Dave Lee
Ryan McKay made 20 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and Miami (Ohio) beat Minnesota State 4-0 on Saturday in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals.
Joey Benik had two goals and an assist to help fourth-seeded St. Cloud State beat top-seeded Notre Dame 5-1 on Saturday in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals.
Michigan isn’t playing. Neither is Boston University. And a small school from Connecticut, Quinnipiac, is the top seed in this year’s NCAA hockey tournament, which gets under way Friday.
The Minnesota schools playing NCAA Division I men’s hockey will be split among three conferences next season. They’ll still try to make intra-state games an annual January event.
After breezing through the regular season unbeaten, Minnesota has needed overtime to win its first two games in the NCAA women’s hockey tournament.