The National Collegiate Hockey Conference won't officially start playing games until the 2013-14 season, but it is already putting out weekly news releases on its eight teams. One of them, of course, is St. Cloud State.
Got my National release by e-mail Wednesday from Dave Ahlers, the director of athletic communications at Nebraska Omaha. It's 10 pages long. Wonder how the WCHA folks feel about having a competing news release which covers five of their present teams and refers to them as The National teams?
Here are the first couple graphs of The National news release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Nov. 16, 2011
Two members of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference will square off head-to-head this week when No. 11 Denver hosts No. 19 Nebraska Omaha in a two-game set at Magness Arena. Five other members of The National will face off in conference action as fifth-ranked Colorado College hosts Wisconsin, Miami welcomes Bowling Green, eighth-ranked Minnesota Duluth takes on Minnesota State, North Dakota travels to Bemidji State and St. Cloud State plays a home-and-home series with top-ranked Minnesota. Only Western Michigan, which played a rare Tuesday game at Notre Dame, is off. The Broncos return to action next Tuesday by hosting the Irish.
LAST WEEK’S ACTION
Seven of the eight members of The National were in action last week with only North Dakota idle. Those teams posted a record of 6-4-2 which includes one game head-to-head between Colorado College and Denver. In that game, the Pioneers built a 5-1 lead only to see the Tigers claw back to make it a 5-4 final.
In other action, Minnesota Duluth continued its surge and is now unbeaten in its last eight (6-0-2) with 5-0 and 3-1 wins over visiting Alaska Anchorage. Miami earned three of four points against Michigan with a 2-1 win and a 3-3 tie at Cady Arena. Nebraska Omaha did the same on the road, tying Bemidji State, 3-3, before closing the weekend with a 5-1 win at the Sanford Center.
St. Cloud State worked out a road split at Minnesota State. After dropping the first game, 4-2, the Huskies rebounded for a 3-2 win.
The National release then has notes on all eight teams.
The NCHC is trying to build its brand early, I guess. Still seems a little strange to me.
* Jim Scherr, CEO of a marketing firm and former CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is one of two finalists for the job as commissioner of the National, according to several sources. He lives in Colorado Springs where the NCHC will have its offices.
ON VERGE OF 200 WINS
Coach Scott Sandelin’s next victory will give him 200 for at Minnesota Duluth -- a milestone only Mike
Sertich has reached.
Sandelin picked up his first collegiate win at home against Michigan Tech on Nov. 11, 2000, his 50th
versus visiting Minnesota State-Mankato on Nov. 29, 2003 and his 100th at Alaska Anchorage on Dec. 2, 2006.
The No. 10-rated Bulldogs are on an eight-game unbeaten streak (6-0-2) going into their series with Minnesota State Mankato at home this weekend. UMD is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games with the Mavericks.
U FANS BETTER OFF TV-WISE THAN MANY
Gophers fans may have to watch their favorite team on an alternate channel on Saturday -- because FSN is carrying the Wild game -- but they are still in better shape than many fans of other WCHA teams.
Here is one example: No. 11 Denver (4-3-2, 3-2-2 WCHA) hosts No. 19 Nebraska Omaha on Friday and Saturday at Magness Arena. Big WCHA series, right? Friday's game will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS and Saturday's game will be webcast live on Pioneer Vision.
A webcast Saturday?
Bemidji State has signed defenseman Graeme McCormack of Thunder Bay, Ontario. He is 6-1, 190 and plays for the Nanaimo Clippers of the British Columbia Hockey League.
“Graeme is a very exciting prospect for us,” said Ted Belisle, Bemidji State's assistant Coach and recruiting coordinator. “He brings an offensive game and potential to produce on the power play as a defenseman.
"He has great hands, his intellectual game is high end and he is a threat on the ice whenever he has the puck. He makes assertive plays and gets a lot of pucks to the net and that is where he generates a lot of his points. He has a history of producing offensively, but has also become a very good defender."
McCormack has two goals and nine assists for 11 points in eight games for the Clippers.
RECRUITING HAT TRICK FOR BADGERS
Wisconsin has signed three players: defenseman Kevin Schulze of White Bear Lake, and forwards Nicolas Kerdiles of Irvine, Calif., and Morgan Zulinick of Kamloops, British Columbia.
Schulze, 5-9, 165, was recently traded from Muskegon to Omaha in the USHL. He had six assists for Muskegon in eight games and has three assists in six games played for the Lancers.
Schulze is a former Hill-Murray captain. During the 2010-11 campaign, he scored four goals and had 29 assists in 28 regular-season games for the Pioneers.
Eaves on Schulze: “Kevin is a real smooth skating young defenseman. He sees the ice very well and can make a really good pass. For his size, he plays very aggressively and very well away from the puck.
Kerdiles, 6-1, 196, plays for the under-18 U.S. national team in Ann Arbor, Mich. The team just won the 2011 Under-18 Four Nations Tournament in Switzerland, where Kerdiles led the tournament with five goals and five points.
Zulinick, 5-11,185, will join the Badgers from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL. In 38 games during the 2010-11 season for Salmon Arm, the left-handed shot scored 12 goals and finished with 29 points. Through 17 games this season, he has seven goals and 24 points.
Eaves on Zulinick: “He’s an offensive forward playing in British Columbia. He sees the ice really well and protects the puck well. He’s a very strong competitor who will bring an offensive flair to our forward group.”