Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Gophers vs. Air Force line chart; BC's York sets NCAA wins record; NHL/NHLPA CBA update

Posted by: Michael Russo under Gophers game day, Wild off-season news Updated: December 29, 2012 - 6:51 PM

UPDATED

Legendary Boston College coach Jerry York, an NCAA head coach since 1972, became the winningest hockey coach in NCAA history this evening. The Eagles beat Alabama-Huntsville 5-2 in the first game of the Mariucci Classic.

It was York's 925th victory, passing Ron Mason for first all-time.

“Coaches coach. We play to win trophies. Despite all the hoopla, it never really entered my mind,” York said. “We always talk in our program, there’s no personal goals. We’re not trying to become Hobey Baker [winners] and All-Americans.

“Golfers, they want to win a Masters. … It’s not what we’re about with the Eagles. I’ve always been about the team. I haven’t really sought individual goals.”

York won 125 games at Clarkson, 342 at Bowling Green and now 458 in 19 seasons at Boston College. He has won five national championships – four at Boston College – and guided the Eagles to 10 Frozen Four berths since 1998.

In 1968, BC coach Bernie Burke handed York, then a graduate assistant, a whistle and said "run practice."

"I kind of liked it," York said. "I never had a whistle, you know?"

How much longer will he coach?

“I feel good, I feel healthy, I enjoy what I do,” York said. “As long as BC feels I’ve done a good job, I’ll keep on moving.”

The Gophers, who have won 12 of 21 Mariucci Classics, play BC, the No. 1 team in the nation and defending national champs, Sunday at 7. Here is the advance from today's paper. York said tonight senior defenseman Patch Alber may miss the rest of this season. The doctor here believes he tore his meniscus playing pregame soccer tonight. Also, leading scorer Johnny Gaudreau is at world juniors and defenseman Isaac MacLeod is likely out with a shoulder injury.

They host Air Force tonight.

Here is the line chart for both teams:

Minnesota

Forwards

Kyle Rau-Nick Bjugstad-Nate Condon

Sam Warning-Erik Haula-Zach Budish

Tom Serratore-Travis Boyd-Seth Ambroz

Ryan Reilly-Christian Isackson-Justin Holl

Defensemen

Seth Helgeson-Mark Alt

Jake Parenteau-Ben Marshall

Brady Skjei-Nate Schmidt

Goalies

Adam Wilcox

Mike Shibrowski

Ryan Coyne

Air Force

Forwards

Tony Thomas-Chad Demers-John Kruse

Kyle De Laurell-Stephen Carew-Cole Gunner

Scott Holm-Ben Carey-Casey Kleisinger

Ryan Timar-Jason Fabian-Mitch Torrel

Defensemen

Alex Halloran-Dan Weissenhofer

Eric Artman-Mike McDonald

Trevor Waldoch-Mike Walsh

Goalies

Jason Torf

David Bosner

Paul Moberg

---------------------------------------------------

As for NHL and NHLPA talks toward a new collective bargaining agreement, there were a series of conference calls between the two sides today.

I am told by sources that they went line by line through the NHL proposal from Thursday (see story here) and they will talk again Sunday, likely face to face, with bargaining potentially going to re-start formally Sunday or Monday.

Remember, an agreement must be struck by Jan. 11 in order for training camp to start Jan. 12 and a 48-game season to begin Jan. 19. That means the Wild's home opener could fall on Hockey Day Minnesota.

By the way, one big reason why the league would love to start Jan. 19 is NBC's first telecast is supposed to be set for Jan. 20.

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