U women’s puck: Gophers sweep Orange

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

The Gophers swept Syracuse 4-3 and 4-1 this weekend. I saw all of the first game and half the second period on Sunday. Then I left for the U of M men’s hockey game.

Here is what I missed, written by the Gophers media relations office: 

 The No. 3 University of Minnesota women’s hockey team earned a series sweep and a 4-1 win over Syracuse on Sunday at Ridder Arena. Anne Schleper and Chelsey Jones each netted two goals for the win. The Golden Gophers improve to 2-0-0.

Minnesota got on the board twice in the first period when Anne Schleper scored back-to-back power-play goals 50 seconds in between each other at 7:03 and 7:53. A Syracuse penalty-killer was trying to clear the puck from the left corner before Schleper’s first goal. She was camped at the blue line and fired the puck back into play. The puck slid through Syracuse goalie Lucy Schoedel’s pads. She was screened. On her second goal, Schleper fired a shot just inside the blue line. Chelsey Jones won the faceoff and was credited with the single assist.


WCHA: St. Cloud State squeaks by

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Unlike the Gophers, St. Cloud State had a tough exhibition game on Sunday. The Huskies beat Lethbridge 4-3. Here is the report on that game from the Huskies’ public relations staff, with some minor editing by me:

The No. 13-rated St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team opened its 2009-10 season with a 4-3 exhibition victory over the University of Lethbridge on Sunday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. 

Freshman forward Ben Hanowski of Little Falls and junior forward Brian Volpei of Burbank, Calif. each tallied two goals apiece. Volpei got the game-winner at 13:41 of the third period with assists from junior defenseman Nic Rioux and junior forward Garrett Roe.

Hanowski opened the SCSU attack with a power play goal at 2:29 of the first period.  Sophomore defender Sam Zabkowicz and junior forward Tony Mosey had the assists .  Volpei made the score 2-0 with a goal just second later at 3:11 on a breakaway.


WCHA: MSU Mankato wins in OT

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Since the Gophers have not played yet, I’m trying to keep up with other WCHA team. Mankato strubbled but won in OT. Here’s a story from the Mavericks’ PR staff: 

Senior forward Jason Wiley’s goal in overtime gave Minnesota State a 4-3 victory over visiting Lethbridge (Alta.) University in men’s college hockey exhibition game Saturday night in Mankato.

The Mavericks took a 1-0 lead at 1:46 of the first period on a goal from sophomore Mike Louwerse.

Lethbridge knotted the score when Ryan Pottruff tallied at 5:52, but back-to-back MSU tallies by freshman defenseman Tyler Elbrecht at 6:29 and Tyler Thompson at 15:46, with Thompson’s goal coming with the Mavericks on the power play, made it 3-2 in favor of the Mavericks.  Lethbridge pulled its netminder and Mike Wuchterl’s marker at 19:53 with the extra skater, sent the game into overtime.

Wiley then ended it in overtime at the 4:49 with a shot from 15 feet in front of the net that beat Pronghorn goaltender Scott Bowles just inside the post on the glove side.

MSU, which owned a 39-29 shots on goal advantage in the game, hosts Bowling Green in a pair of nonconference contests next Friday and Saturday.

WCHA: 2010-11 sked still on hold

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

WCHA commish Bruce McLeod said recently that he hoped a 12-team schedule for 2010-11 might be released sometime late this week.

Turns out, that might not happen.

“It’s a hard process to make 12 teams happy,” said Doug Spencer, WCHA associate commissioner for public relations.

Spencer said the league is working on it, though, and proposals are being sent back and forth between the WCHA and the 12 schools.

A hockey coaches teleconference with the media is tenatively set for 10 a.m. on Tues., Oct. 6. My guess is a schedule will be done by then at the latest.

Deciding on a new format for the Final Five is probably a much easier, but that has not been announced yet either. Again, my guess is, the WCHA will make both announcements at the same time. Issues with the Final Five are, what to call it when it has six teams, should a third-place game be dropped? That’s about it. Rest seems pretty clear cut.


U17 nat’l development team at Super Rink

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

The under-17 national development team, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., will open its season on Wednesday competing in the North American Hockey league Showcase at the Super Rink in Blaine. The showcase is a four-day event which draws pro scouts and college coaches from everywhere.

The U17 national team will compete in the East Divison of the USHL this season and also play in three international tournaments.

It has four players from Minnesota. Michigan and Ohio are the states which have the next most, three apiece.

The Minnesotans on the team are:

* D Matt VanVoorhis, Edina

* F Travis Boyd, Hopkins … he has committed to the U

* F Dan Carlson, Corcoran … he played for Maple Grove H.S. 

* G Matt McNeeley, Burnsville … he played for St. Thomas Academy.

Ron Rolston will coach the team for the sixth year.

U women’s puck: 3 Gophers on WCHA all-stars

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Three Gophers will be on the WCHA women’s all-star team which will play the U.S. women’s national team on Sept. 25 at the Xcel.

Sophomore defenseman Anne Schleper, a second team all-WCHA pick, sophomore goalie Alyssa Grogan and junior forward Emily West will represent the U on the WCHA all-star team.

Head coach of the WCHA all-stars is St. Cloud State coach Jeff Giesen.

WCHA: More timeouts coming

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Expect WCHA games to be a little longer this season. The league recently said out an explanation of its new timeout policy.

This season there will be three official one-minute timeouts per period in all exhibition and regular-season games and in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.

The timeouts will come at the first stoppage of play 5, 10 and 15 min. into a period.

But there are exceptions. There won’t be timeouts during a power play and the league is discouraging them during four-on-four situtations.

There won’t be official timeouts after icing or in overtime.

During these timeouts, players will be able to go to the bench for words of wisdom but, with 15 seconds left, they have to start skating back to faceoff positions. So coaches will have to talk fast.


WCHA: Final Five name may live on

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Bruce McLeod, the commish of the WCHA, said he is meeting with Xcel Energy Center administrators on Friday to discuss the future of the Final Five.

The Final Five, of course, is the three-day, five-team conference tournament held at the X.

The format of the tournament undoubtedly will chance after this season because, starting in 2010-11, the WCHA will have 12 teams with the addition of Bemidji State and Nebraska-Omaha.

“We’re going to work out the logistics,’ McLeod said.

He said six teams will be advancing to the tournament in 2011, and there probably will be two games on Thursday, two semifinals on Friday and a championship game on Saturday, with the third-place game eliminated.


U.S. women’s puck: Americans beat Canada

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Jenny Potter of Edina scored two goals and former Gophers star Natalie Darwitz had an assist on Julie Chu’s  game-winner as the U.S. women’s national team beat Canada 4-2 Thursday in the Hockey Canada Cup at GM Place in Vancouver, B.C.

The U.S. team is now 2-1 in the tournament and will face Finland at 2 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals. Remember the Finns beat the U.S. 3-2 on Aug. 31, so it could be close again.

U.S. women bounce back

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

A day after losing to Finland 3-2, the U.S. women’s national team routed Sweden 7-0 on Tuesday in the Hockey Canada Cup at GM Place in Vancouver, B.C.

Natalie Darwitz, the Gophers assistant coach and former college star at the U, had one goal and two assists. Hilary Knight had two goals.

The U.S. outshot Sweden 43-12 and held the Swedes without a shot in the first period.

The U.S. plays Canada on Thursday in its final preliminary round game.


In the U18 women’s hockey series in Calgary, Alberta, Canada beat the U.S. team 3-1. The U.S. team finished 1-2-0 against Canada in the series.

Five Minnesota players were on the U.S. team: defenseman Milica McMillen of Breck, and forwards Stephanie Anderson (North St. Paul) of the Minnesota Thoroughbreds, Rachael Bona of Coon Rapids, Dana Gallop of Grand Rapids, and Taylor Kuehl of Mound Westonka.