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.
Junior defenseman Nate Schmidt was named the Gophers' MVP for the 2012-13 season.
Schmidt, of St. Cloud, was a second-team all-american and a first team all-WCHA pick after scoring nine goals and collecting 23 assists. His 32 points were the most of any WCHA defenseman and ranked third nationally among blue-liners.
He also has been the best quote on the team for several seasons. Reporters covering the team will miss him. Schmidt, a 6-0, 194-pound free agent, signed with the Washington Capitals shortly after the Gophers' season ended, giving up his last year of eligibility.
Goalie Adam Wilcox received three awards -- more than anyone else. He wasnamed the team's top rookie -- a no-brainer there -- the MVP of the playoffs and also got the community service award.
Wilcox, of South St. Paul, was a third team all-WCHA pick. He set a program record for the lowest single-season, goals-against average at 1.88. His 23 wins tied the rookie progream record and he was a workhorse. He played 2,331 minutes, the third most in the nation.
Captain Zach Budish, a redshirt junior, received the leadership and sportsmanship award. He had 14 goals and 36 points, both career highs.
Sophomore winger Kyle Rau was named the most determined player. He was second on the team in scoring wtih 15 goals and 25 assists for 40 points. He had seven game-winning goals, which tied him for first in the nation.
Junior forward Nate Condon was named the outstanding student-athlete. He had 12 goals and 31 points.
Sophomore Justin Holl, who split his time between defenseman and forward, was named the team's unsung hero. He had three goals and seven points.
The Gophers were 16-7-5 in conference games, good enough to tie St. Cloud State for first place, so the two shared the MacNaughton Cup. They finished 26-9-5 overall, losing to eventual NCAA champion Yale 3-2 in overtime in their opening NCAA tournament game.
The team has not announced a new captain nor the assistant captains for next season yet.
This is Offseason Blog 1 for the summer.
* St. Cloud State has started selling season tickets for the 2013-14 season, the Huskies' first in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference. For a chairback seat, the price is $400. For a bleacher seat, it is $275, or $250 for SCSU faculty and staff.
Four players who will be on the Gophers' hockey team this coming season -- and possibly a fifth -- were among the 40 forwards and defensemen invited to the national junior evaluation camp from Aug. 3-10 at Lake Placid, N.Y.
What makes the camp even more interesting is that Don Lucia, the Gophers head coach, will coach the U.S. team that will play in the World Junior Championships in Malmo, Sweden in late December and early January.
So he will have a big say in who makes the team, and he will get his first good look at most of the 40 players at this camp. The camp goalies will be announced this week.
Among the Gophers at the camp will be sophomore defenseman Brady Skjei, one of the last cuts from the 2013 U.S. team that won a gold medal in Ufa, Russia.
U of M freshmen at the camp will be forwards Taylor Cammarata of Waterloo in the USHL and Hudson Fasching of the national development team in Ann Arbor, Mich., and defenseman Mike Brodzinski of Muskegon of the USHL.
Defenseman Tommy Vannelli of the national development team is another Gophers recruit invited to the camp. It's uncertain whether he will join the Gophers for this season or the next.
Two other players who were WCHA freshmen last season also received invites. They are forwards Nic Kerdiles of Wisconsin and Quentin Shore of Denver.
There are six Minnesotans going: Skjei, Lakeville; Cammarata, Plymouth; Fasching, Burnsville; Brodzinski, Ham Lake; Vannelli, Minnetonka, and forwards Jake Guentzel, Woodbury, and Dominic Toninato, Duluth.
Guentzel, the son of associate Gophers head coach Mike Guentzel, played for Sioux City of the USHL this past season while Toninato played for Fargo in the same league.
Gopher assistant Grant Potulny was an assistant on the U.S. team last season while Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly and forward Mario Lucia, of Notre Dame and Don's son, were two of the players.
NAHL DIVISIONS SET UP
The two new Minnesota teams in the North American Hockey League -- the Richfield-based Minnesota Magicians and the Cloquet-based Minnesota Wilderness -- will be in the sixth team Midwest Division, along with two teams from Alaska, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and the Kenai River Brown Bears; one from Wisconsin, the Coulee Region Chill, and one from Washington, the Wenatchee Wild.
The Austin (Minn.) Bruins will be in the five-team Central Division. They are not a new NAHL team.
The NAHL will have four divisions and 24 teams this coming season. More than 150 of its players in 2012-13 committed to Division I teams.
* In Grand Forks, N.D., demolition of the old Ralph Engelestad Arena has begun and is expected to be done by late summer. Then the first phase of construction of UND's Athletics High Performance Center will begin. It will have a football practice field and an eight-lane track.
“We’re excited for this facility, which we’ve called a game-changer for UND Athletics. It’s been talked about and dreamed about for a long, long time, and we’re thrilled to finally see it coming to fruition,” AD Brian Faison said in a UND release. “This past spring was a perfect example of why a facility like this is so critical. Our spring sports, particularly football, baseball, softball and track and field, were forced to endure multiple weather-related issues that a facility like this will prevent in the future.”
* Greg Johnson, originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, will be one of the 2013 inductees into UND's Hall of Fame on Sept. 14. He is North Dakota's all-time leading scorer with 272 points. He played for UND from 1989-93. ... UMD coach Scott Sandelin will receive the Tom Clifford Award, given to former UND players for contributions as a college or high school hockey coach.
* The U.S. women's national team select camp will be held June 18-23 at Lake Placid. At the end, the national team will be picked and its players will train for the next Olympics.
* Nebraska Omaha has gotten three more players for the 2013-14 season. “We now have an incoming class of seven players, all of whom we think can contribute right away,” Mavericks coach Dean Blais.
One of them is from Lakeville, forward Justin Parizek. He had 19 goals and 53 points for Aberdeen of the NAHL last season. The other recruits are defenseman Preston Hodge of Bloomington, Ill., who split last season between Dubuque and Sioux Falls of the USHL and goalie Reed Peters of Morden, Manitoba, who played in the Manitoba Jr. Hockey League.
* Zach Stepan, of Faribault, has signed with Minnesota State Mankato. He gives coach Mike Hastings a seventh recruit for the 2013-14 season. Stepan was the third-leading scorer in the USHL last season with 32 goals and 78 points playing for Waterloo.
USA Hockey has named a handful of major award winners for the 2012-13 season.
They will receive their awards on June 5 or 7. Among the award winnrers are six Minnesotans. Below are their bios, compiled by USA Hockey:
Amanda Kessel ... Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year
The junior foward won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, led the Gophers to an undefeated season and an NCAA championship.
Earned a gold medal as a member of Team USA at the IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Led the nation with a career-high 101 points (46 goals, 55 assists).
Was a first-team All-America selection, and the WCHA Player of the Year.
Eric Hartzell ... College Player of the Year
Led Quinnipiac University to a 30-7-5 record, the ECAC regular-season title, and the school’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Men’s Frozen and a national runner-up finish.
The senior goaltender and White Bear Lake native was selected to the 2012-13 American Hockey Coaches Association's Division I All-America East first team and was the 2012-13 USCHO Player of the Year.
Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year honors.
The Hobey Baker finalist allowed two goals or fewer in 35 of his 42 starts and led the Bobcats to the top overall team defense in the nation. He posted a 1.57 goals-against average, a .933 save percentage and led the nation with 2,522 minutes played. His five shutouts tied for third overall.
In nets, as Hartzell as Bobcats went 18-0-3 during a 21-game unbeaten streak that ran from Nov. 9 to Feb. 9.
Taylor Cammarata ... Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year
Played for the Waterloo Black Hawks. ... Was named both the USHL’s Forward of the Year and Player of the Year after leading the league with 38 goals and 93 points in 59 games. His 55 assists placed second overall in the league.
Had at least one point in 48 of 59 games played and had 29 multiple-point games, including a six-point effort on Oct. 28 at Youngstown. He was plus or even in 53 of his 59 games and placed fourth in the league with a plus-39 rating.
Member of the U.S. junior select team this past fall that earned first place at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge.
Signed and will play for Gophers in 2013-14 season.
Charlie Lindgren ... Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year
Helped the Sioux Falls Stampede to the USHL’s Western Conference crown and a second-place finish overall in the league with a 35-14-2 regular-season record.
Led the USHL in wins with 35 victories and allowed two or fewer goals on 24 occasions, including a pair of shutouts, and finished the regular season with a 2.80 goals against average and .900 save percentage.
Fifth in the league with 1,198 saves and appeared in all 10 playoff games for Sioux Falls, posting a 5-5 record along with a 2.52 goals against average and .921 save percentage.
Will play for St. Cloud State in 2013-14.
Phil Housley ... Distinguished Achievement Award
In 2012-13, Phil Housley helped the United States capture medals at two international competitions.
Was head coach of the national Junior Team which won the gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship in January in Ufa, Russia.
In May, was assistant coach on U.S. team which eanred the bronze medal at the IIHF Men’s World Championship in Finland and Sweden.
.Housley enjoyed a 21-year career as a defenseman in the NHL, finishing with 1,232 points (338-894). Recently was named an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators.
The Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to a U.S. citizen who has made hockey his or her profession and has made outstanding contributions on or off the ice to the sport in America.
Sue Ring-Jarvi ... Adult Ironman of the Year
She organized the University of Minnesota’s women’s hockey club team in 1974 and initiated girls’ hockey programs throughout the metro area from 1976-78.
She was part of the movement that led Minnesota to become the first state to recognize girls’ hockey as a varsity sport in 1994.
Ring-Jarvi was inducted into the University of Minnesota’s National M Club Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and was recognized with the Joe Burke Award in 2007, presented annually to the person who has given outstanding contribution, support, and dedication to women’s ice hockey.
She also plays the sport, most recently competing with the Minnesota Blue J Bandits.
Henrik Sedin of Vancouver helped Sweden, his native country, win the gold medal in the IIHF World Championship on Sunday in Stockholm. He had two goals and an assists as the Sweden beat the Swiss 5-1.
Switzerland had been 9-0 in the tournament. And Roman Josi, a Swiss defenseman who plays for the Nashville Predators, was the tournament MVP.
Jhonas Enroth, Sweden's goalie who plays for the Buffalo Sabres, stopped 26 shots.
BRONZE FOR U.S.
The U.S. took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Craig Smith and Paul Stastny in the first and 16th minute, but the Finns rallied to tie the game on two third-period goals by Lauri Korpikoski of the Phoenix Coyotes and, after a scoreless overtime, it went to a shootout.
The U.S. won the four-round shootout 2-1 as Alex Galchenyuk, the Americans third shooter, scored to tie it 1-1. Then when the the sudden-victory round began, Galchenyuk went first for the U.S. and scored again.
The Wild's Mikael Granlund had an assist on Finland's tying goal but missed on his turn in the shootout.
U.S. goalie John Gibson had 36 saves through overtime and three more in the shootout. The Finns had a 38-25 shot advantage.
The U.S. team went 7-3 in the World Championships, losing to Russia and Finland by a goal in the preliminary round and to Switzerland 3-0 in the semifinals.
Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avs led the U.S. in scoring with seven goals and eight assists for 15 points. He was named one of the U.S. team's top three players. The other two were forward Craig Smith of Nashville and defenseman Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Faulk, a South St. Paul native who played at UMD in college, had six assists and was a plus-1 for the tournament. He also averaged 21:17 minutes per game.
None of the other Minnesotans did too much for the U.S. team.
Former Gophers center Nick Bjugstad of the Florida Panthers had two assists, was a minuus-2, had nine shots on goal and averaged 9:34 minutes per game.
Drew LeBlanc, St. Cloud State's Hobey Baker winner this past season as a senior, played in only six games after being a late addition. He had three assists, was a plus-1 and had seven shots.
Danny Kristo, the former UND player from Eden Prairie, had one goal and two assists, was a minus-1 and had eight shots.
Eric Johnson, an Avs defenseman, had two goals and two asists for four points. He was a plus-5 and had 11 shots and averaged nearly 18 minutes.
Defenseman Jamie McBain of the Carolina Hurricanes had two assists and was a minus-2. He averaged 10 minutes per game.
And T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues, a late addition to the team, had one goal and was a minus-1 in four games. He averaged just over 17 minutes.
The names have been out there for months.
But on Friday, North Dakota men’s hockey coach Dave Hakstol announced the names of eight incoming freshmen for the 2013-14 season.
Four are defensemen, three are forwards and one is a goalie.
Three are from North Dakota, including two cousins from Grand Forks where the school is, and one from next door in East Grand Forks, Minn. The other four players are from Canada, two from British Columbia, one from Alberta and one from Saskatchewan.
All are at least 5-11, and one is 6-4. So there is some size.
Two were teammates on the Penticton Vees in the BCHL, two were teammates on the U.S. national development team.
Hakstol said he might add a few more later.
Here are the bios on all eight, provided by UND:
Luke Johnson, 5-11, 165, Grand Forks, N.D.
Draft eligible in 2013 and is ranked 96th among North American skaters by Central Scouting ... Spent the past two seasons with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, where he was a teammate of fellow incoming freshman and Grand Forks native Paul LaDue, a cousin. Had 46 points (19g, 27a) and a team-leading nine power-play goals in 57 games in 2012-13. Had 55 points (20g, 35a) in 55 games in 2011-12 … Participated in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in each of his two years with Lincoln … Helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge, collecting four assists in four games.
Played at Grand Forks (N.D.) Central High School as a freshman (2009-10) and sophomore (2010-11), winning a state title and earning all-state honors as a sophomore.
Father, Steve, played at UND from 1984-88, was a member of UND’s 1987 NCAA championship team, and was a first-team All-American and Hobey Baker Award finalist in 1987-88 … Uncle, Chad Johnson, was his head coach in Lincoln and played at UND from 1990-93.
Wade Murphy, 6-0, 180, Victoria, British Columbia
)Draft eligible in 2013 … Led Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League in points (70) and assists (47) in 2012-13 and made his second straight BCHL Interior Conference First All-Star Team … Tied for fifth in the BCHL scoring race … Added five goals and six assists in 15 playoff games … Was a teammate of fellow incoming freshman Troy Stecher.
Joined Penticton midway through the 2011-12 season and helped lead the Vees to BCHL and Canadian national championships … Collected 14 goals and 15 assists in 22 games with the Vees after scoring 22 goals and 40 assists in 38 games with the Victoria Grizzlies … His 91 total points ranked fourth overall in league’s scoring race … Added nine goals and nine assists in 15 playoff games … Helped lead Canada West to a silver medal at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge, earning all-tournament honors with three goals and three assists in four games.
Adam Tambellini, 6-4, 177, Edmonton, Alberta
Draft eligible in 2013 and is ranked 42nd among North American skaters by Central Scouting ... Finished the 2012-13 season with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles, collecting 14 goals and 12 assists in just 16 games … Had begun the year with Vernon and amassed 22 goals and 17 assists in 36 games … His 36 total goals tied him for third in the BCHL … Helped lead Surrey to a BCHL championship and is currently competing in the Royal Bank Cup national Junior A championship … Has 10 goals and eight assists in 17 playoff games … Earned BCHL Coastal Conference Second All-Star Team honors.
Spent the entire 2011-12 season with the Vernon Vipers and recorded 27 goals and 29 assists in 55 games … Father, Steve Tambellini, enjoyed a 10-year playing career in the NHL and most recently served as general manager of the Edmonton Oilers from 2008-09 to 2012-13.
Gage Ausmus, 6-1, 204, East Grand Forks, Minn.
Draft eligible in 2013 and is ranked 148th among North American skaters by Central Scouting ... Spent the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP) where he was a teammate of fellow incoming freshman Keaton Thompson.
Played in in 66 games with the U.S. Under-18 Team in 2012-13 and had two goals and 12 assists … Tied for second on the team with a +22 rating … Helped Team USA win a silver medal at the World Under-18 Championship … Spent the 2011-12 season with the U.S. Under-17 Team and collected two goals and four assists in 54 games … Named to Media All-Tournament Team at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ontario, where the U.S. placed second … Helped lead the 2011 U.S. National Under-17 Team to a Four Nations Tournament title in Balishikha, Russia.
At East Grand Forks High School in 2010-11 prior to joining the NTDP and scored three goals and 11 assists in 15 games.
Paul LaDue, 6-2, 185, Grand Forks, N.D.
Selected in the sixth round (191st overall) by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft … Spent the past two seasons with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL where he was a teammate of fellow incoming freshman and Grand Forks native Luke Johnson, a cousin.
Set the franchise scoring record for defensemen with 83 points (21g, 62a) and was a +63 in 118 career games with Lincoln … Was named the USHL Defenseman of the Year in 2012-13 after leading the league’s defensemen in points (49) and assists (37) in 62 games … Collected 34 points (9g, 22a) in 56 games with Lincoln in 2011-12 and led USHL defensemen with a +36 rating.
Spent the 2010-11 season with the Alexandria Blizzard of the NAHL and was named to the NAHL All-Rookie Second Team after recording three goals and 19 assists in 56 games … Played prep hockey at Grand Forks (N.D.) Central High School in 2009-10 and had 10 goals and 25 assists in 27 games.
Troy Stecher, 5-11, 180, Richmond, British Columbia)
Spent the past three seasons with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL … A teammate of fellow incoming freshman Wade Murphy for the past two years … Was named 2012-13 BCHL Interior Conference Defenseman of the Year after collecting 47 points (8g, 39a) in 52 games … Was also named to the BCHL Interior Conference First All-Star Team … Led the league’s defensemen in assists … Served as team captain in 2012-13 … Won a silver medal with Canada West at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge
Was named to the BCHL Interior Conference Second All-Star Team in 2011-12 after recording 42 points (5g, 37a) in 53 games and leading the Vees to a BCHL championship … Named RBC Cup Playoffs Top Defenseman after scoring 15 points in 26 games and leading Penticton to a Canadian Junior A national championship … Helped Canada West to a gold medal at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge … Had 20 points (5g, 15a) in 54 games as a rookie with Penticton in 2010-11 … Last name is pronounced STETCH-ur.
Keaton Thompson, 6-0, 185, Devils Lake, N.D.
Draft eligible in 2013 and is ranked 53rd among North American skaters by Central Scouting ... Spent the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program, where he was a teammate of fellow incoming freshman defenseman Gage Ausmus … Appeared in 67 games with the U.S. Under-18 Team in 2012-13 and had four goals and 16 assists with a +18 rating … Helped Team USA win a silver medal at the World Under-18 Championship.
Appeared in 54 games with the U.S. Under-17 Team in 2011-12 and scored five goals and 17 assists … Member of the U.S. National Under-17 Team that finished first at the Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament … Helped lead the 2011 U.S. National Under-17 Team to a Four Nations Tournament title in Balishikha, Russia.
Matt Hrynkiw, 5-11, 179, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Spent the past three seasons with the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) … Named Canada’s 2012-13 national Junior A goaltender of the year and SJHL Goaltender of the Year after going 27-11-2 and leading the league in goals against average (1.83), save percentage (.939) and shutouts (six) … Went 10-6 with a 2.11 GAA and .932 SV% during the SJHL playoffs.
Named Humboldt’s Team MVP, Hardest Worker, Best Team Player, Most Dedicated Player, and Three-Star Award winner … Helped Humboldt to an SJHL championship in 2011-12 after leading the league in GAA (2.28) and shutouts (four) … Last name is pronounced huh-RINK-you.
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