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.
Day 2 of the college hockey season saw a few more surprises but otherwise it was pretty predictable.
At the Ralph, North Dakota topped Manitoba 3-0, getting goals 75 seconds apart in the first period from sophomore Drake Caggiula and junior Michael Parks. Freshman Luke Johnson scored early in the third period; his goal was shorthanded and unassisted.
Clarke Saunders and Zane Gothberg combined for the shutout. Saunders played the first half of the game and had seven saves, including one on a penalty shot. Gothberg had 10 saves.
North Dakota was 0x8 on the power play against the Bisons.
U.S. teams went 12-2-1 against Canadian schools.
The two losers were Michigan which lost 2-1 to Waterloo and Denver which fell to New Brunswick 2-1. Lake Superior State also lost, but they fell 3-2 to the under-18 U.S. national team.
* Minnesota State Mankato routed Lethbridge 7-1. The Pronghorns had lost 5-1 to the Gophers the night before. ... With the score tied 1-1, Matt Leitner scored the winner in the opening period and Teddy Blueger made it 3-1 Mavericks with 2:55 left in the period. Blueger also had three assists.
Three MSU goalies rotated in net and stopped 11 shots. MSU fired 52 shots at the other netminder.
* There were two regular-season games. Colgate beat Ferris State 1-0. Kyle Baun got the goal midway through the middle period on a power play. Eric Mihalk made 25 saves for the shutout. ...Clarkson beat Niagara 2-0. Steve Perry made 30 saves for the shutout. Kyle Baun made 25 saves for the shutout.
* Denver outshot New Brunswick 38-21 but the Pioneers were 0x9 on the power play. N.B. took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals on junior Sam Brittain at 12:13 and, on a power play, at 15:40. He stopped 15 shots in two periods. Freshman Evan Cowley had four saves in the third. Junior Daniel Doremus had a shorthanded goal for DU at 10:32 of the second period. ... Freshman center Matt Marcinew of Edina won 13x23 draws for the Pios.
* The University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, edged Michigan 2-1 despite being outshot 35-22 at the Yost. Andrew Copp, an alternate captain, had the only goal for the Wolverines 25 seconds into the second period. The Warriors scored twice on rebounds on sophomore Steve Racine who played the first half of the game in the Michigan nets; freshman Zach Nagelvoort replaced him after the second goal.Coach Red Berenson played nine freshmen, including five forwards and three defensemen. Michigan opens its season at home on Thursday vs. Boston College, a traditonal Hockey East power.
Said Berenson, according to Michigan's web site, "Well, it's a little scary. Typically, a team like Boston College will come in with some of the best players in the country. We've got to play better without the puck, and I thought the Waterloo team played well without it and made it tough for us to get second shots. So once they got the lead, it made it tough for us, but Boston College will certainly be a whole new challenge."
* St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko will debut his coach's show at 6 tonight on KSNI 1450-AM and 103.3-FM. It can also be heard on knsiradio.com.
UMass-Lowell was the No. 1-rated team in preseason college polls, but the River Hawks, playing in their own rink, could manage no better than a 3-3 overtime tie against McGill.
Scott Wilson scored on a power-play with under 5 minutes left for UMass-Lowell to tie the score at 3 and the overtime was scorelss. The River Hawks did have a goal by Josh Holmstrom waived off because of goalie interference.
Doubt that tie will have any influence on the next polls -- nor should it.
The other U.S. teams went 15-1 against teams from Up North.
The one loss was by RIT, the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York lost 2-1 to Queen's University of Kingston, Ont. This was a case of as goalie standing on his head. Gaels' goalie Kevin Baile had 51 saves and RIT was 0-for-7 on the power play. The loss broke the Tigers' 19-game winning streak against Canadian schools. ... One highlight for RIT, the Tigers killed a five-minute major without allowing Queen's a shot on goal. Shots were 52-26.
For a story on the Gophers's exhibition vs. Lethbridge, go here.
Other notable exhibitions:
* New Hampshire, which plays in the Gophers' Ice Breaker next weekend, scored four goals in the second period, two of them in the final minute, to beat Acadia 6-3. ... Shots were 28 apiece, but the Wildcats had the big edge on special teams. Their power play was 3x7, Acadia's 0x5. .... Kyle Smith and Grayson Downing each scored twice for N.H.
* Ohio State, which will be in the Big Ten this season, routed Toronto 9-1. ... Junior Tanner Fritz led the Buckeyes with two goals and two assists. ... “Any time you can go out there and win that’s important, but it is how we played that was the biggest take away from this game,” said Steve Rohlik, the former UMD assistant who is in his first year as the Buckeyes’ head coach. “We played hard and unselfish; our guys executed well today.”
* Colorado College beat New Brunswick 5-0. Alexander Krushelnyski had a hat trick for the Tigers, who played three different goalies.
TWO REAL GAMES
In Niagara, there was a real game with some pomp and ceremony. But the home team, the Purple Knights lost 2-1 to the Clarkson Golden Knights. Clarkson is another team in the Ice Breaker.
Niagara raised two banners, one for winning the Atlantic Hockey regular-season title and another for their fourth NCAA appearance, but Clarkson was the better team.
Freshman Jackson Teichroeb made 39 saves for Niagare to keep the game close. Jarret Burton scored the game-winner at 14:17 of the third. ... Niagara had a 22-game home unbeaten streak.
In the other real game, Ferris State, a new member of the WCHA beat Colgate 7-4. The Raiders led 2-0 and 4-3 but the Bulldogs rallied each time. Garrett Thompson got the winner at 5:29 of the third on a power play.
* There was also a scrimmage worth mentioning. The Badgers played a Red vs. White scrimmage at Hobbs Ice Center in Eau Claire, Wis., on Saturday, with proceeds going to benefit the Blugolds hockey program. It packed the people in, 1,093. Mike Mersch, one of Wisconsin's talented veterans, scored with 1:04 left in the scrimmage to tie the score at 3-all.
Today marks the official start of the college hockey season.
Teams can have full-length practices with their coaches and even schedule games.
There are two nonconference match-ups: Ferris State at Colgate (the Gophers women's team vs. Colagte is the early game at the Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y, 2 p.m.) and Clarkson at Niagara.
The other 18 college teams in action play teams from across the border, Canadian teams. So it's a U.S. vs. Canada day of exhibitions across the land.
The Big East and WCHA have four of their teams playing, the NCHA three, and the Big Ten, Atlantic and ECAC two apiece.
NCAA teams should win almost all these match-ups because the best Canadian hockey players are not at colleges. They have turned pro or are playing major juniors or are at American schools on scholarship. Figure U.S. teams should go 14-4, 15-3 something like that.
Alaska Anchorage, a WCHA holdover, got the jump on everyone Friday, beating British Columbia 2-1 in Anchorage on power play goals by junior D Austin Coldwell in the first and freshman F Dylan Hubbs in the 2. Freshman Michael Matyas was in the nets for first-year coach Matt Thomas.
What's interesting is some of the names of the Canadian schools: Wilfrid Laurier plays at Bowling Green, bet Wilfrid's players wear ties and carry their books ... Laurentian is at Michigan Tech. The Laurentian Divide determines which way water flows in northern Midwestern states; these guys must be geography majors eh? ...McGill is at UMass-Lowell, the No. 1 team in preseason NCAA polls. Sounds like the name of a school for lawyers.
The Gophers, of course, play the Lethbridge Pronghorns at 7 p.m. Used to know what a Pronghorn was, but I forgot.
We'll check the results of all these games closes but they will mean very little. This is a time for teams to experiment, to hit somebody beside a teammate and to get the competive juices flowing a bit.
Nobody will remember what happened in any of these games for long.
* Penn State, which is going from an independent to a member of the Big Ten, had a midnight practice and a public skate to get fans out. Think the Nittany Lions are excited to get going?
* St. Cloud State, coming off a Frozen Four, will have two practices Saturday. ... Did you know Huskies' freshman had 64 goals last season -- thanks Mick Hatten, Huskies beat writer for St. Cloud Times -- or almost half of SCSU's total last year? ... If those sophomores get just a little better, watch out for the Huskies.
* The Wisconsin Badgers have a scrimmage in Eau Claire today, with any money made going to the Blugolds hockey team which just happens to be the defending Division III champion.
* The Unites States of Hockey blog listed 25 players to watch in college hockey this season. To find the list, go here. Only one Gopher made the list, Kyle Rau, junior forward, at No. 8. ... Wisconsin had four players on it: sophomore forward Nic Kerdiles at No. 5, junior defenseman Jake McCabe at No. 13, and senior forwards Mike Mersch and Mark Zengerle at Nos. 19 and 21. ... No doubt the Badgers have some talent. Mersch carried UW the first half of the season and he is only at No. 19?
North Dakota will play a familiar exhibition patsy in Manitoba at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Ralph.
UND is 8-0 under coach Dave Hakstol against the Bisons, winning those games by a combined score of 51-17.
Of course, most U.S. Division I teams should beat the Canada's universities. That country's best college-age hockey players aren't going to school but playing juniors or on pro teams.
It seems UND is trying to help those programs, too. North Dakota has three exhibition games against schools in Canada. The other two are Jan. 3-4 when UND travels to British Columbia and Simon Fraser, respectively. Maybe Hakstol is trying to recruit a few players up there, too.
UND also as a fourth exhibition game against the U18 U.S. national team on Oct. 26 at home. So plenty of opportunity to try new lineups or play the end of the bench.
North Dakota is ranked No. 6 in the USCHO web poll and No. 7 in the USA Today poll and picked to finish second in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
Hakstol has 18 returning lettermen, including an NCAA-high of 15, according to UND media relations, who have been taken in the NHL draft. (The Gophers have 13 NHL draft picks on their roster.) Five of those UND draftees are incoming freshmen.
UND also has four Minnesotans on its roster: two juniors, defenseman Nick Mattson of Chanhassen and forward Connor Gaarder of Edina, sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg of Thief River Falls and freshman defensman Gage Ausmus of East Grand Forks.
Hakstol has had nine winning seasons in a row, and UND has appeared in the NCAA tournament 11 years in a row -- the longest current streak. His overall record is 235-119-37 for a .648 winning percentage. His WCHA mark was 143-82-27, a .621 winning pace.
2013 NCAA champion Yale, after vanquishing the Gophers last March, beat UND 4-1 in a regional final in the NCAA tournament.
UND finished 23-13-7 overall, 14-7-7 WCHA. Its top returning scorer is Rocco Grimaldi (13-23-36), He was a plus-14 player.
TWO FROM U GOING TO ITALY
Two University of Minnesota students, junior Ellie Gleason and sophomore Molly Sparks, have been named to the U.S. women's team that will compete in the 2013 Winter World University Games from Dec. 10-21 in Trentino, Italy.
Not heard those names before? Well, neither of them play for the Gophers. Instead, both are on the U of M women's club team which finished second in the Division I ACHA national tournament in Wooster, Ohio last season. The U lost to Northeastern 3-1 in the title game.
Gleason is a defenseman from Edina, Sparks a forward from Eagan.
The U of M women's club team practices at Mariucci Arena just like the Gophers men's team does.
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.
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