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.
Wisconsin, the preseason Big Ten favorite and ranked No. 3 in both national polls, will hold a Red vs. White scrimmage at 1 p.m. Saturdayat the Hobbs Ice Center in Eau Claire, Wis.
Tickets at the door are $20, but it's for a good cause. All proceeds will go to the UW-Eau Claire hockey program which won the Division III national title last season.
The scrimmage is also a homecoming of sorts for two assistant captains for the Badgers, senior forward Jefferson Dahl and junior defenseman Jake McCabe.
MAVS NAME CAPTAINS
Senior forward Johnny McInnis has been named the captain of Minnesota State Mankato this season. Alternate captains are senior defenseman Josh Nelson and junior defenseman Brett Stern.
McInnis, of Boston, has 22 goals, including eight game-winners, and 19 assists for 41 points in 92 career games.
Nelson, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., was named MSU's Unsung Hero last season and has six goals and 15 assists for 21 points in 84 career games.
Stern, Lino Lakes, has two goals and seven assists for nine points in 56 career games.
The Mavericks play with the University of Lethbridge (Alberta) in a home exhibition game 5 p.m. Sunday.
* The Gophers women's hockey team is a unanimous No. 1 this week, getting all 19 first-place votes in the USA Today national poll. Not sure why another poll was needed, only two two in the top 10 plays. No. 3 Clarkson is 1-0 and No. 9 Mercyhurst is 1-1.
Gophers play at Colgate this weekend, hoping to win their 50th and 51st games in a row. ... Three other WCHA teams are in the top 10: North Dakota at No. 4, Wisconsin at No. 6 and Minnesota Duluth, unranked last week, at No. 10.
So who votes on this poll? Coaches, media and the American Hockey Coaches officers and USA Hockey officers have one vote apiece, too.
* New Denver coach Jim Montgomery has quite a job ahead of him. Not only is he replacing longtime fixture George Gwozdecky at DU, he has 10 true freshmen on the roster. Fortunately, 10 of the Pioneers' first 14 games are at home, Magness Arena. DU, one of the eight teams in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, hosts Merrimack this weekend.
* Ferris State, one of the new teams in the WCHA, is the only team in that conference that plays a regular-season series this weekend. The Bulldogs are at Colgate Saturday and Sunday. ... Eight of the other nine WCHA teams play exhibition games. Only Bemidji State is idle. ... Lethbridge plays at Minnesota State Mankato at 5p.m. Sunday.
* By at least one criteria, Colorado College of the NCHC has the toughest schedule in the country The Tigers have 22 games against teams ranked in the top 15 in the USA Today preseason poll or at least receiving votes. Miami plays such foes 20 times, Notre Dame and Providence 18 times.
* Wednesday is hockey media day in Grand Forks for the UND men's and women's hockey teams.
Senior forward Zach Lehrke will not play this season for Minnesota State, Mankato, the preseason WCHA favorite.
“This is a difficult decision," he said in a Mavericks news release, "but due to a medical condition that I have been battling for some time, it has become apparent to me that I will not be able to compete for Minnesota State my senior season."
A story in the Mankato Free Press, which can be found here, said he suffered from an unnamed medical condition which caused severe cramping in the muscles throughout his body. It also said the cramping occured after workouts, practices and games.
“I’ve had a great experience here in Mankato and would like to thank the Maverick men’s hockey coaching staff, the athletic training and medical staffs in working with me on this issue in my three years with the program," Lehrke said, "and [I] wish my teammates all the best with the 2013-14 season."
Lehrke, a native of Park Rapids, Minn., had 23 goals and 31 assists for 54 career points in 104 games.
As the 15 games in the major leagues were coming into the Star Tribune headquarters on the wire Wednesday night, one thing seemed peculiar. The number of homers being hit.
So early -- very early -- Thursday morning, I added them up.
There were 48 hit in 15 games, or just over three per game. Seemed like more.
Here is a breakdown, with a few hightlights:
* Boston tied a franchise record with eight in a 20-4 stomping of Detroit.
* Pablo Sandoval, a third baseman, hit three of San Francisco's six against San Diego.
* There were two grand slams, one by Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, one by the Red Sox's Will Middlebrooks, a third baseman.
* There were two grand slams, four three-run homers, 18 two-run homers and 24 solo homers.
* The only teams that did not go deep were Arizona, the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland, Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
* The Giants had only 80 homers all season before hitting six. Shocking.
What do you think of all that? ... zzzz.
"Through These Doors" is not a real catchy name, but apparently it is a good production.
The student-produced series takes an inside look at North Dakota hockey -- wouldn't you like to get inside coach Dave Hakstol's head, Gophers fans? It offers scenes from the locker room, bench and road trips and, according to a UND news release, candid interviews with coaches and players.
And the show is one of the candidates for a 2013 Upper Midwest Emmy, although the competition is steep. Becoming Wild is another contender, as are three FSN shows, Vikings GamePlan, Wild Live and Woog Remembers.
"Through These Doors" has been running weekly for two seasons on UNDSports.com. This season it is also going to be on twice a month as part of Midco Sports Network's regular Friday night coverage of UND hockey games.
I have never seen it, but hope to this coming season to see what it is like.
OTB, Over the Boards, rated UND's incoming freshmen class third in the nation, behind only Boston College and the Gophers, so The Hack -- I'm fond of the guy, actually, you always know what you will get from him -- should have a good squad again, It should compete for the title in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
The winner of the Emmy will be announced Sept. 28 at the State Theater in downtown Minneapolis.
A story in the New York TImes on March 23, 2012, said about a dozen college hockey teams -- out of 58 -- offered some kind of behind-the scenes look that season.
It also had this quote:
“Believe it or not it was Coach Hakstol’s idea,” said Jayson Hajdu, assistant athletic director at North Dakota and the supervising producer of “Through These Doors.” “He is a fairly traditional, old-school coach as far as access, so it caught me off guard. He saw how popular ’24/7’ was and knew how rabid our fan base is and wanted to try it.”
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