FROZEN FOUR NOTEBOOK: Trupp gets his chanceAfter sitting out Frozen Four as a rookie UND’s dynamic winger set to play against Michigan
UND’s senior class spent much of the last two weeks talking about its second trip to the NCAA Frozen Four. Not Evan Trupp. This will be his first chance to play in college hockey’s showcase event.
By: Brad Elliott Schlossman and Tom Miller, Grand Forks Herald
ST. PAUL — UND’s senior class spent much of the last two weeks talking about its second trip to the NCAA Frozen Four.
Not Evan Trupp.
This will be his first chance to play in college hockey’s showcase event.
When UND made the Frozen Four in 2008, Trupp was unable to play because of a leg injury. He was in the stands watching as the Sioux lost to Boston College 6-1.
“It was really tough,” Trupp said. “I pretty much missed the whole playoffs. I was getting really close where I might be able to play. Obviously, the decision went against it. It’s definitely nice to have a second chance.”
Not only is Trupp at the top of his game, he also gets to play in the Xcel Energy Center. It’s a building that has been kind to the Anchorage native.
Trupp was named the most valuable player of the 2010 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five after scoring three goals and adding three assists in the tournament. This year, he set up Matt Frattin for the game-winning goals both nights and made a highlight-reel play by carrying the puck on the blade of his stick for about 100 feet before creating a scoring chance.
“I’ve had some good memories here,” Trupp said, “but hopefully the best are yet to come.”
Burlon practices, Wohlberg out
Michigan defenseman Brandon Burlon, who missed the NCAA West Regional with an illness that reportedly caused him to lose 17 pounds, participated fully in practice on Wednesday and is expected to play in Thursday’s game.
Michigan coach Red Berenson said that it will be a game time decision, though.
Burlon, a second-round pick of the New Jersey Devils, is one of Michigan’s top defensemen. He has five goals and 13 assists in 38 games this season. Burlon, a junior is expected to replace Kevin Clare in the lineup.
Junior forward David Wohlberg skated at practice on Wednesday but won’t play this weekend. He suffered a fractured collar bone recently. Wohlberg has 15 goals and 21 points this season.
Lamoureux leaves practice early
UND junior forward Mario Lamoureux left practice early on Wednesday and didn’t participate in the team’s weekly shootout drill. There was no information available on Lamoureux’s health.
The Grand Forks native scored a shorthanded goal in UND’s victory over the University of Denver in the Midwest Regional championship game. He has three goals and 17 points on the season.
UND’s other lines are expected to remain the same.
The goaltenders won the weekly shootout drill at the Xcel Energy Center by stopping finalists Brett Bruneteau and Taylor Dickin on back-to-back chances. The biggest buzz of the shootout came when volunteer assistant Karl Goehring scored five-hole.
ESPN interviews team, will show The Ralph
ESPN’s broadcast team of Gary Thorne, Barry Melrose and Clay Matvick sat down with a handful of UND players Wednesday morning to get information on the team.
Thorne, the longtime ESPN NHL play-by-play commentator, will do play-by-play duties on ESPN2 Thursday night and on ESPN for the championship game. Melrose, who serves as ESPN’s NHL analyst and recently coached the Tampa Bay Lightning, will do the color commentary.
Matvick, who will serve as the arena reporter, was born in St. Cloud, Minn., and graduated from St. Cloud State.
During Thursday’s semifinal game, ESPN plans to broadcast live shots from Ralph Engelstad Arena, which is hosting a viewing party. Parking and admission is free for the event. Beer and hot dogs will be available for purchase.
An estimated 2,000 people showed up for The Ralph’s viewing party when the Sioux took on Denver for the Midwest Regional championship.
Light-hearted press conferences
Berenson said that when he was choosing where to attend college, it came down to UND and Michigan. He picked Michigan, where he has served as head coach for 27 years.
A reporter then asked UND coach Dave Hakstol and captain Chay Genoway where they would be right now if Berenson had picked UND and was in his 30th year of coaching there.
Genoway said about Hakstol: “Well, he wouldn’t be in the golf business.”
Fargo connection for Notre Dame
Notre Dame, which plays Minnesota-Duluth at 4 p.m. Thursday, has a unique connection to Fargo.
Fargo Shanley graduate (class of 1963) Leo Collins was a goaltender on the Irish team that helped spring them from a club squad to an NCAA Division I team. Collins was a four-year starter for Notre Dame from 1963-67. In his final year, he made 72 saves against Boston University.
Collins, who now lives in the Twin Cities, is listed in Notre Dame’s media guide.
Notes and quotes
- UND forward Brad Malone after explaining how his nickname led to his line becoming known as the Pony Express: “It’s really embarrassing, actually.”
- Michigan coach Red Berenson on Minnesota crowd support: “I think they’ll root for Michigan. I know about the animosity between Minnesota and North Dakota. If it was a game at Michigan State, (Michigan State fans) would be cheering for North Dakota. We have to play our best game of the season, no matter who is here.”
- Michigan forward Louie Caporusso on a UND-heavy crowd: “North Dakota is going to have a lot of fans here, but we’re not concerned about the rink or who is coming. We are just concerned with how we are going to play.”
- UND forward Derek Rodwell: “It’s quite the experience to be here and to be one of the last four teams standing. Obviously, the jobs not done yet. Especially after talking to a lot of the seniors about how rare and how special this could be. This is only their second time going to the Frozen Four. You want to make the most of it your first time.”
- UND and Michigan have combined for 16 national titles, with the Wolverines claiming nine and the Sioux seven. On the other side of the bracket, Notre Dame and Minnesota-Duluth, have combined for zero national titles.