Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.
Minnesota State Mankato recently named its award winners for men's hockey.
Senior forward Eriah Hayes, La Crescent, Minn., was named the MVP. He was the team captain and had 20 goals and 16 assists for 36 points, second most on the team. His 12 power-play goals were second in the nation. He signed a free-agent deal with San Jose after the season ended.
Junior defenseman Josh Nelson, of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., was named the unsung hero. His stats were 5-9-14, all single-season career highs.
Freshman forward Taylor Herndon, Oklahoma City, Okla., was named the most improved player. He was 1-2-3 in 12 games.
Senior forward Tyler Elbrecht, of Edwardsville, Ill., received the best hustle award. He was 1-7-8.
Three-star of the year award went to sophomore forward Matt Leitner of Los Alamitos, Calif. He led the Mavericks in scoring, 17-30-47, for the second year in a row. He tied for ninth overall in Division I hockey in points. He was first in power-play points with 28. ... Only one sophomore in the country in 2012-13 had more points, that was Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau, 21-30-51, and he was one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker..
Minnesota State went 24-14-3 in 2012-13 and earned a spot in the NCAA postseason tournament ubder first-year coach Mike Hastings.
The Wisconsin men's hockey team, which is celebrating its 50th season in the modern hockey era, will wear commemorative uniforms on Feb. 17, when it faces the Gophers in the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic.
That's the outdoor game at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The alternate uniforms the Badgers will wear that game are reproductions of those worn by Wisconsin's 1931-32 team. Inside the collars are the words, "It's a great day for hockey."
Hemmed into the bottom of each is the date of the game and the teams participating, along with the game logo.
The Hockey City Classic is the third outdoor game for the Badgers in eight seasons. The Badgers defeated Ohio State 4-2 in the Frozen Tundra Hockey Classic at Lambeau Field in 2006 and beat Michigan 3-2 at the Culver’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic in 2010.
This event features two matchups, Notre Dame vs. Miami (Ohio) at noon, followed by the Gophers vs. Wisconsin at 3:30 p.m.
The Hockey City Classic will be the first outdoor game in the modern era for the three other teams.
Tickets for the Hockey City Classic are on sale to the general public through Ticketmaster.com.
For more information, go to hockeycityclassic.com, Facebook.com/HockeyCityClassic or and on @HkyCityClassic.
The commemorative jersey is available at Buckyslockerroom.com.
HASTINGS THE LOBBYIST
Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings on Monday appeared before the Mankato city council, asking for improvements for the Verizon Wireless Center, where the Mavericks play.
He said the rink needs new boards and a new ice-making system. "We've got our fingers crossed this year that we can get through the end of the year," Hastings said. The Gophers play one game in Mankato on Jan. 26. It's a home-and-home series.
The complete story is here.
Hastings in his first season as coach of the Mavericks and he has them playing very well. MSU is on a 11-1-0 run.
LEAGUE OF OFFENSIVE D-MEN
When it comes to blue-line scoring, the WCHA is in a league of its down. Four of the top five teams in the nation in scoring by defensemen are from the conference.
The Division I leaders in points by defensemen:
1. Denver 68
2. Nebraska Omaha 59
3. Union 52
4. (tie) North Dakota 50
4. Colorado College 50
Source: North Dakota
And right behind those five are the Gophers with 49 points from their D, although to be fair, some of the U defensemen have played forward at times this season.
The top individual scoring D-men in the league and their national ranking in points for blue-liners:
1. (tie) Joey LaLeggia, Denver 7-11--18
1. (tie) Mike Boivin, Colorado Col. 9-9--18
3. (tie) Nate Schmidt, Gophers 3-13--16
3. (tie) Nick Jensen, SCSU 1-15--16
5. (tie) Nolan Zajac, Denver 3-2--15
5. (tie) Dave Makowski, Denver 5-10--15
Seven in other conferences also with 15.
Minnesota Duluth freshman forward Austin Farley is the offensive player of the week in the WCHA.
The 5-9, 170 Farley is from the hockey hotbed of Niles, Ill. He had three goals and two assists and was a plus-4 as the Bulldogs left Houghton, Mich., with three of a possible four points.
UMD beat Michigan Tech 7-3, then tied the Huskies 4-4. He has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in 13 games.
He and teammate Tony Cameranesi (6-9-15) are tied for second in the nation in scoring among first-year players. Riley Barber (6-12-18) of Miami is first.
Bulldogs' power play, on which Farley is involved with, was 4-for-12 against Tech.
Three other players nominated for this award were Erik Haula of the Gophers, Josh Archibald of UNO and Scott Winkler of Colorado College -- the Gophers' next opponent.
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF WEEK
Sophomore defenseman Brett Stern of Minnesota State Mankato is the co-defensive player of the week. The 6-foot-3, 185 Stern is from Lino lakes. He had a goal and an assist and was a plus-4 as the Mavericks swept Bemidji State 3-0, 6-1.
He also had seven hits and four shots on net.
Stern shared defensive honors with Wisconsin sophomore goalie Landon Peterson who beat Denver 3-1 on Saturday. He stopped 35 of 36 shots. He has a 1.88 goal-against average and a .941 save percentage in conference games.
Also nominated for this award were UNO goalie John Faulker and CC defenseman Mike Boivin.
ROOKIE OF WEEK
Stephone Williams of MSU Mankato is the WCHA's rookie of the week. He stopped 20 shots as the Mavericks beat the Beavers 3-0 on Friday and had 17 saves in a 6-1 win for a sweep on Saturday. He is 4-3-1with a 1.92 gaa and a .932 save percentage.
CC forward Jared Hanson was another nominee for this award.
Comcast cable in the Twin Cities will carry 18 college hockey games the rest of this season involving either St. Cloud State or Minnesota State Mankato.
The first of those game will be tonight, MSU vs. Bemidji State at 7 p.m.
Comcast will air the games on Channel 13 (St. Paul area) and Channel 23 (Minneapolis area). The cable company will pick up the live feed of the games from both St. Cloud State and Minnesota State.
The telecasts from St. Cloud State are provided by the student-run Husky Productions with Twin Cities sports personality Jim Rich doing the play-by-play and former Huskies all-american and NHL veteran Mark Parrish providing color commentary.
Fifteen of the games are WCHA games, three are nonconference. The schedule:
Nov. 30 – MSU vs. Bemidji State – 7 p.m.
Dec. 14 – SCSU vs. Colorado College – 7 p.m.
Dec. 15 – SCSU vs. Colorado College – 7 p.m.
Dec. 27 – SCSU vs. RPI – 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 27 – SCSU vs. RPI – 7 p.m.
Jan. 4 – SCSU vs. Northern Michigan – 7 p.m.
Jan. 5 – MSU vs. Providence – 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 11 – MSU vs. Wisconsin – 7 p.m.
Jan. 12 – MSU vs. Wisconsin – 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 18 – SCSU vs. Denver – 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 – SCSU vs. Denver – 7 p.m.
Feb. 8 – SCSU vs. Minnesota – 7:30 p.m. (FSN feed)
Feb. 9 – SCSU vs. Minnesota – 7 p.m. (FSN feed)
Feb. 15 – MSU vs. Michigan Tech – 7 p.m.
Feb. 16 – MSU vs. Michigan Tech – 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 1 – SCSU vs. Michigan Tech – 7 p.m.
Mar. 2 – SCSU vs. Michigan Tech – 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 8 – MSU vs. North Dakota – 7 p.m.
FSN ADDS CLYMER
Ben Clymer, a former Gophers hockey player who played in the NHL for eight seasons, will be a reporter and analyst during FSN's TV coveraage of the Gophers-Nebraska Omaha game on Friday.
Clymer played on Bloomington Jefferson's 1994 state championship team, for the Gophers for two seasons and for Tampa Bay and Washington in the NHL for eight seasons, including 2004-04 when he was on the Lightning's Stanley Cup championship team.
Minnesota State has signed four players during the early hockey signing period, which began Wednesday.
They are defensemen Sean Flanagan of Kindersley, Sask. He plays for Salmon Arm of the British Colymbia Hockey League. And Carter Foguth of Fenton, Mich. He plays for Muskegon of the USHL.
Also signing with the Mavs is goalie Cole Huggins of Englewood, Colo. He plays for Coquitlam of the BCHL.
And the fourth new MSU Mankato player is forward Mike Huntebrinker of Chesterfield, Mo. He plays for /Waterloo of the USHL.
Bios on each:
.* Flanagan, 6-1, 175. Age 20. He is in his second season with Salmon Arm after playing for two years with Kindersley SJHL. ... The alternate captain for the Silverbacks has three goals and five assists for eight points in 20 games. ... Named Salmon Arm’s best defenseman for 2011-2012 (8-23--31 in 60 GP)......Selected for Canada West U19 team that played in the 2010 World Junior A Challenge Tournament held in Penticton, B.C.
* Foguth, 6-2, 210. Age 20. Two-time team captain for Muskegon, where he is playing for a third season. ... Has one goal and one assist in 14 games with Muskegon. ... Had one goal and 10 assists in 89 games in the two previous seasons with the Lumberjacks...Product of the Compuware AAA hockey program in Detroit.
* Huggins, 6-0, 180. Age 20. ... Three-year BCHL veteran. In second year with Coquitlam. ... Ranks among league-leading goaltenders in BCHL with 10-5-1 record, 2.25 goals against average and .938 save percentage. ... Played midget hockey for Colorado Thunderbirds AAA.
* Huntebrinker, 5-11, 187. Age 20. ... In second USHL season with Waterloo. ... Has 3-4--7 in four games after collecting 17-17--34 in 54 games in 2011-12 to rank sixth on his team in scoring. .. .Added 4-6--10 in 13 playoff games, helping Waterloo to a runner-up finish in the 2011-12 Clark Cup finals. ... Played midget hockey for St. Louis Jr. Blues AAA.
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