The Gophers lines:

Jordan Schroeder with Mike Hoeffel and Jay Barriball

Mike Carman with Ryan Flynn and Patrick White

Nico Sacchetti with Tony Lucia and Josh Birkholz

Taylor Matson with Jake Hansen and Zach Budish

Defensive pairs

Nick Leddy and David Fischer

Cade Fairchild and Seth Helgeson

Sam Lofquist and Aaron Ness


Alex Kangas


So what does one do in Grand Forks while waiting for tonight's game. I had breakfest at Perkin's -- the magnificent seven -- and then found out there was a Sioux Boosters meeting at the Alerus Center.

Had to go to that, skipped the meal because I just ate. The big room was packed, with 350-400 people. Volleyball coach of UND, a guy named Ashley, talked a lot of trash: "We are never going to lose at South Dakota again. Those days are gone."

Next up was Brian Idalski, the Sioux women's hockey coach. He began with a joke: "Treat your wife like a thoroughbred and you won't have a nag." His wife was there. Funny.

And he said he was fired up for the Sioux-Gophers series. "It makes me want to sneak into the locker room, put o the gear and skate a shift." Coach Don Lucia probably wouldn't mind if he skates two or three.

Last was the main event, Sioux men's coach Dave Hakstol starting his sixth season. He started by reminding folks how well several of his former players are doing in the NHL.

He said he played sophomore goalie Brad Eidness in bogth games against Merrimack last weekend because he was not as sharp as he wanted him to be on Friday. He was better Saturday and will start his 37th game in a row tonight.

Good, consistent goaltending produces wins in college hocket, Hakstol said. 

"Our goals will be ready to go tonight," Hakstol said.

He said the Gophers are a very good team that is flying underneath the radar a little bit. Seventh- and fifth-place WCHA finishes back-to-back tarnish a program's image.

Hakstol said if anyone looks at the Gophers' roster, experience level and talent, it's a tremendous team. ... And he wasn't buttering anyone up. Lucia was not at the luncheon nor were any of his assistants or players.

"This is one of the great rivalries in college sports in my mind," Hakstol said.

At 10 a.m. Friday, three tents were already pitched by the student entrance to the Ralph and half a dozen students were milling around. By 5:30 p.m., two hours before game time, the line of students was a block long and they were amusing themselves by singing, "Ninty-nine bottles of beer on the wall ..." It's a long song. I walked by. It's a little repetitious.