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 is playing a 34-game regular-season sechedule, with 20 games at homes -- 10 in the Big Ten and 10 nonconference.
The Badgers will probably be the preseason Big Ten favorites before the 2013-14 season. They return 16 juniors or seniors from a team that finished strong, winning the Final Five and advancing to the NCAA tournament.
They ease into the college hockey season with only four games in October, six in November and six in December.
The Badgers open against Northern Michigan at home on Oct. 11-12. Then have maybe their toughest road trip the next weekend playing at Boston College on Oct. 18 and Boston University on Oct. 19.
Wisconsin's Big Ten schedule starts on Nov. 29-30 vs. the Gophers at Mariucci.
Their nonconference schedule has two tough road series -- the one in Boston and at Miami Nov. 15-16 --, but otherwise looks managable. Besides facing Northern Michigan at home, the Badgers also play Lake Superior State, Colorado College, Alabama Huntsville and Alaska Anchorage at home.
So 10 of their 14 nonconference games are at the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin has a 12-game homestand from Dec. 6 to Jan. 25, beginning with Penn State and ending with Ohio State.
Season tickets for Wisconsin hockey go on sale May 24.
DAY DATE OPPONENT Times to be announced
FRIDAY OCT. 11 NORTHERN MICHIGAN
SATURDAY OCT. 12 NORTHERN MICHIGAN
Friday Oct. 18 at Boston College
Saturday Oct. 19 at Boston University
FRIDAY NOV. 1 LAKE SUPERIOR STATE
SATURDAY NOV. 2 LAKE SUPERIOR STATE
Friday Nov. 15 at Miami
Saturday Nov. 16 at Miami
Friday Nov. 29 at Minnesota
Saturday Nov. 30 at Minnesota
FRIDAY DEC. 6 PENN STATE
SATURDAY DEC. 7 PENN STATE
FRIDAY DEC. 13 COLORADO COLLEGE
SATURDAY DEC. 14 COLORADO COLLEGE
FRIDAY DEC. 27 ALABAMA HUNTSVILLE
SATURDAY DEC. 28 ALABAMA HUNTSVILLE
FRIDAY JAN. 3 ALASKA ANCHORAGE
SATURDAY JAN. 4 ALASKA ANCHORAGE
FRIDAY JAN. 10 MICHIGAN
SATURDAY JAN. 11 MICHIGAN
FRIDAY JAN. 24 OHIO STATE
SATURDAY JAN. 25 OHIO STATE
Friday Jan. 31 at Michigan
Saturday Feb. 1 at Michigan
THURS./SAT. FEB. 6 or 8 MINNESOTA
FRIDAY FEB. 7 MINNESOTA
Friday Feb. 14 at Ohio State
Saturday Feb. 15 at Ohio State
FRIDAY FEB. 21 MICHIGAN STATE
SATURDAY FEB. 22 MICHIGAN STATE
Friday March 7 at Penn State
Saturday March 8 at Penn State
Friday March 14 at Michigan State
Saturday March 15 at Michigan State
St. Cloud State University handed out its postseason awards on Wednesday night.
The usual suspects got them:
MVP and outstanding senior, three stars award -- forward Drew LeBlanc. ... He is also one of five finalists for Sports Illustrated's male college athlete of the year in any sport
Most improved -- junior forward Nic Dowd
Most determined -- junior defenseman Nick Jensen
Outstanding rookie -- freshman forward Jonny Brodzinski
Outstanding goalie -- sophomore Ryan Faragher
Outstanding student-athlete -- sophomore forward Brooks Bertsch
The Huskies tied with the Gophers for the MacNaughton Cup and reached the Frozen Four in the NCAA tournament.
Don Lucia has hinted that the Gophers would be in the Ice Breaker Tournament this coming season.
Well, on Friday, the official announcement was made.
The 2013 Ice Breaker Tournament will be at Mariucci Arena. As its name implies, it is sorta the traditional start to the college hockey season.
Dates are Oct. 11-12. Pairings have not been set yet. but the other three teams are all from the East: Clarkson, Mercyhurst and New Hampshire. Not the greatest field:
* Clarkson. Finished ninth in the suddenly powerful ECAC, which had two teams in the Frozen Four title game. Clarkson was 8-11-3 in conference, 9-20-7 overall. So only 1-9-4 in nonconference games.
* Mercyhurst. Was 12-11-4 in Atlantic Hockey to finish sixth. Was 19-17-5 overall.
* New Hampshire. Wildcats tied for third in Hockey East with Boston University and Providence. All had 32 points -- two behind conference champion UMass-Lowell. NH was 17-14-7 overall.
The Gophers, of course, tied for first in the WCHA with St. Cloud State. They were 16-7-5 in conference play, 26-9-5 overall finishing with a thud, losing 3-0 to Colorado College in the Final Five semifinals and to eventual NCAA champion Yale 3-2 in overtime in the West Regional semifinals.
Expect U of M to be matched up with either Clarkson or Mercyhurst in first game, setting up a possible meeting with New Hampshire in the championship game.
This is the 17th annual Ice Breaker.
And, in 2013-14, more than any other season, there will be a lot of changes in college hockey. The Gophers will be in the new Big Ten Conference, for instance.
“Next year will be the beginning of a new era for the Gopher hockey program, and we’re excited to open the season at Mariucci Arena with the Ice Breaker Tournament,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said in a U of M news release. “It’s a great event for college hockey as a whole, and considering we haven’t seen these teams for a few years, I think it will be an exciting weekend for our program as well as our fans.”
“Mariucci Arena is one of the best venues in college hockey and a terrific location to celebrate the start of the 2013-14 season,” College Hockey Inc. Executive Director Mike Snee said. CHI is putting on the Ice Breaker along with the Gophers. “The four participating programs have storied histories, outstanding coaches and talented student-athletes who will showcase our sport in the Ice Breaker.”
The four schools in the 2013 field have combined for 89 NCAA Tournament appearances.
New Hampshire was also in the NCAA tournament this year.
Ice Breaker Tournament tickets will be included in season-ticket packages for Minnesota season-ticket holders. Single-day and standing-room tickets will be available at a date to be determined.
Minnesota is hosting the Ice Breaker Tournament for the third time. In 1998, the second year of the tournament, Boston College won the title at Mariucci Arena. In 2007 the event took place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, with the host Gophers winning the tournament.
What comes to mind from the 2007 tournament -- which I covered -- is that forward Ryan Stoa suffered a season-ending knee injury. He took a medical redshirt that season and played the next season for the Gophers before turning pro.
Clarkson and New Hampshire are each making their third Ice Breaker appearances. The Wildcats captured championships in both their previous appearances (2000 at Michigan, 2004 at UNH).
Clarkson was part of the first Ice Breaker Tournament, in 1997, and in 2001 at Maine.
Mercyhurst will be making its first Ice Breaker appearance.
This will be an unusual hockey season for the Gophers. They will play in three regular-season tournaments. They also will host their traditional holiday tournament in late December and then be part of a four-team, all-Minnesota tournament at the Xcel in January, playing St. Cloud State in their first game. Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota State Mankato will meet in the other game the first day.
That tournament does not have a name yet. Its modeled, roughly, after the Beanpot in Boston.
Senior center Corban Knight was named the University of North Dakota’s MVP on Thursday night for the 2012-13 season.
He was a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist and a second-team All-America. He had 16 goals and 33 assists for 49 points.
Knight led the nation with 623 faceoff wins, 120 more than any other player and second-most in UND single-season history. He had a 19-game point streak that was UND’s longest in 25 years.
Other award winners:
Cliff "Fido" Purpur Award: Danny Kristo, sr., forward, Eden Prairie ... Given to the player who exemplifies hard work, determination and being a creator of excitement on the ice ... Hobey Baker Award finalist, first-team All-America, College Hockey News Player of the Year ... Tied for second nationally with career-high 52 points and led WCHA with career-high 26 goals
Archie Krum Memorial Athletic Scholarship: Andrew MacWilliam, sr., defenseman, Calgary, Alberta ... Given to the player who demonstrates leadership qualities, high academic standards, athletic excellence ... Captain was named to third straight academic all-WCHA team
Tom Hoghaug Memorial Scholarship: Colten St. Clair, fr., forward, Gilbert, Ariz. ... Given to the freshman who demonstrates initiative, character and a sense of responsibility
Rookie of the Year: Rocco Grimaldi, fr., forward, Rossmoor, Calif. ... Led WCHA rookies and ranked third nationally with 36 points in 40 games ... Led the nation’s freshmen with 147 shots on goal
Most Improved Player: Dillon Simpson, jr., defenseman, Edmonton, Alberta ... Led UND defensemen with career-high 24 points, also had career highs with five goals and 19 assists
Coaches' Unsung Hero Award: Joe Gleason, sr. , defenseman, Edina ... Set career highs with five goals ands 13 assists for 18 points
Virg Foss 3-Star Award: Kristo ... Given to the player who receives the most 3-star voting points from the print media following home games
North Dakota (22-13-7, 14-7-7 WCHA) qualified for the NCAA postseason tournament for the 11th consecutive season, the longest active streak in Division I men’s hockey. UND won its first game, but lost to eventual-NCAA champion Yale in West Regional final.
Defenseman Troy Stecher, a future UND player, was named the MVP of the Penticton Vees who play in the British Columbia Hockey League. He is 5-11, 180 and was the team captain.
He also receieved the Courage Award and the Best Defenseman Award.
Vees forward Louie Nanne, a Gophers recruit, was named the Most Improved Player and the Humanitarian Award winner. He had 25 goals and 28 assists for 53 points in 60 games. He was sixth in team scoring in the regular season wirth 41 points and tied for second in the postseason with 12 points in 15 games.
Junior forward Michael Mersch of Park Ridge, Ill., was named Wisconsin's MVP for this past season after a vote by his teammates.
He led the Badgers in goals with 23 and points with 36.
Named captain of the Badgers for the 2013-14 season was junior defenseman Frankie Simonelli of Bensenville, Ill. The assistant captains will be junior forward Jefferson Dahl and sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe. Both are from Eau Claire, Wis.
Other award winners:
Scholastic Award: senior forward Ryan Little of Fond du Lac, Wis. ... He was a repeat winner/
Most Consistent Player: freshman defenseman Kevin Schulze of White Bear Lake ... He had a team-high plus-21 rating.
Most Improved Player: junior forward Jefferson Dahl of Eau Claire, Wis. ... He more than doubled his career goal total with seven goals, while his 14 points doubled his career totals from his first two seasons.
Most Competitive Player: Little. He led the team with 230 hits. ... Repeat winner.
7th-Man Award: Dahl
Blocked shots leader: defenseman John Ramage, 121
Best faceoff man: Brendan Woods, won 61.6 percent
Wisconsin will have 10 seniors and six juniors next season. The Badgers will, officially open practice on Oct. 5. Their first game will be against Northern Michigan on Friday, Oct. 11 at the Kohl Center.
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