Brad Elliott Schlossman
Dave Hakstol is still in contention for a medal at the IIHF Men’s World Championship. Nick Schmaltz and Brock Nelson are not. Hakstol and Team Canada reached the semifinals of the Worlds with a 2-1 win over Germany on Thursday, while the Americans got knocked out by Finland 2-0. Canada takes on Russia in the semifinals on Saturday. The medal games are on Sunday. For more, click here.
Lots to catch up on after the weekend and a couple days in the Twin Cities at a regional sportswriters meeting. For starters, we have four new college graduates. Seniors Gage Ausmus and Matt Hrynkiw both earned their degrees. Tucker Poolman managed to finish off his degree after just three years as a full-time student. And Zane McIntyre finished of his degree while playing pro hockey. I’ll have more later on guys who go to school while playing pro hockey.
We’re down to one former UND player chasing the Stanley Cup. It’s Carter Rowney . I bet none of us would have guessed that five years ago. Rowney was back in the lineup for Game 7 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals as the Pens advanced with a 2-0 victory. Rowney continues to play very well when he’s in the lineup — and so do the Pens. They are 6-1 when he plays, 2-3 when he does not. For more, click here.
UND announced its annual team awards today and, not surprisingly, junior defenseman Tucker Poolman was named team MVP. Poolman, a first-team All-American, was dominant on both ends of the ice. He was the team’s best defender, while becoming UND’s first defenseman to post 30 points since Chay Genoway in 2010-11. Poolman signed with the Winnipeg Jets after the season. Here are the rest of the awards:
For the second straight year, UND’s defensive corps will favor left-handed shots — but the development of Andrew Peski and the arrival of Gabe Bast should help even that out quite a bit. Last season, Peski and Tucker Poolman were UND’s only right-handed shots on the back end. Peski missed 11 games. Poolman missed two. So, in 13 of UND’s 40 games — roughly one-third — it only had one right-handed shot on the back end. For more, click here.
UND recruit Jordan Kawaguchi had a historic BCHL playoff stat line, which meant that UND commit Nicholas Jones got overlooked a little bit. Jones also had a great BCHL playoff run — and now earned the spotlight at the five-team Western Canada Cup.
Former UND defenseman Jordan Schmaltz has been on an insane schedule in the last two weeks as the St. Louis Blues have been flying him back-and-forth from the NHL to the AHL for nearly every playoff game for both the Blues and the Chicago Wolves. In the span of 15 days, Schmaltz has traveled from St. Louis to Charlotte to Minneapolis to St. Louis to Chicago to St. Louis to Nashville to St. Louis to Chicago to St. Louis. For more, click here.
Deliberations took a little longer this year. Lots of difficult choices. But it’s time for the Fifth-Annual All-Dining Team. These are places that I hit during road trips while covering the 2016-17 college hockey season. There are a couple of nice places on the list, even though I prefer the hole-in-the-walls. For more, click here.
One area of UND’s roster and depth chart has cleared up. Goaltender Matej Tomek , who has only played 32 minutes of official game time in the last two years, will go play for Waterloo in the USHL next season. For more, click here.
Today, the coaches and commissioners seem to have a lighter schedule as they prepare for the bulk of the national meetings on Thursday and Friday. Because the NCAA’s head of National Letters of Intent is scheduled to speak, you’d have to think that the early recruiting issue is going to be a hot topic — and it should be.