Brad Elliott Schlossman
Schlossman is in his 12th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.
- Member for
- 4 years 9 months
Chris Chelios has played nearly as many years in the National Hockey League (23) as Robbie Bina is old (24). Yet the former Wisconsin Badger defenseman and the current UND defenseman are forever linked for scoring the most improbable goals I've seen in college hockey, 25 years apart. Both came with their teams skating shorthanded, both traveled at least 170 feet and both figured in victories for their respective teams. Bina's goal came Jan. 27 against Minnesota late in the first period and tied the game 3-3 in a 7-3 Sioux victory.
I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. Sad to say, though, I don't have a choice in the matter. And neither do you, the loyal college hockey fans of Greater Grand Forks and the surrounding area. What I am mad about is the poor officiating we are subjected to at nearly every UND home hockey game. It is truly a mixed bag for us college hockey fans. We are blessed with being able to watch the finest college hockey in the world in the world's finest hockey rink, Ralph Engelstad Arena.
The world slowed down for most of us as we celebrated Christmas and welcomed in the New Year. But when you're a semi-retired journalist as I am, the whole year slows down to a most comfortable pace. It gives one time to be an observer, of the good and the bad. In the world of sports, both shades of that can be found on a daily basis. Take Jonathan Toews, for example, UND's 18-year-old sophomore hockey player who already has played on two Canadian World Junior Championship gold medal-winning teams.
College hockey recruiters spend countless hours each year traveling the back roads in the United States and Canada looking for the next great player. It'll be a bit easier task for UND recruiters later this week when the Little Caesars North America Showcase comes to Grand Forks. There will be 16 teams consisting of players in the 18-and-under age bracket from the United States and Canada in the tournament that will be played out at four different rinks from Jan. 11-14.
In the spirit of the Christmas season, I'm going to tell you about the three greatest gifts the UND hockey program has received, other than Ralph Engelstad's donation of the $115 million arena bearing his name. The three "gifts" were players who came to UND without a cent of scholarship money, steered to the Sioux by former UND players in two cases and by a Hall of Famer in the third. The three are, in my opinion, the greatest "walk-ons" in UND's illustrious hockey history, all of whom played key roles in national championships won by the Sioux.
Miami of Ohio is known as the "Cradle of Coaches" because such esteemed men as Earl Blaik, Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and Ara Parseghian once coached football there. Southern Cal has been dubbed "Tailback U" because five Heisman Trophy winners, Reggie Bush, Marcus Allen, Charles White, O.J. Simpson and Mike Garrett, played that position for the Trojans. We here in Grand Forks don't have to take a back seat, folks.
For those of us who make a living writing about sports, defining greatness can be as fleeting as the transition from fall to winter. It's here one day, gone the next. I saw greatness stand the test of time recently when the 1982 UND hockey team was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. That a dozen players off that national championship team went on to play in the National Hockey League attests to their individual brilliance.
Chris Porter already had a goal and an assist. He was asking for just a little bit more. The UND captain was hauled down in the slot with one second left in overtime Saturday. He had hoped for a penalty shot, but after a lengthy discussion, referee Bill Mason gave St. Cloud State defenseman Justin Fletcher a minor penalty. It was a near miss that summed up UND's 2-2 tie with St.
Two seasons ago, you missed more than half of the season with Post-concussive syndrome. There were some worries whether you'd play again. Have you gotten any headaches or felt any symptoms lately? No. That's kind of all in the past now. . . . I just have to make sure my mouth guard is in and that I skate with my head up. There were some tough months, but it's in the past now, so I don't even worry about it. Did you feel like a rookie last season, because you missed so much time your freshman year?
Your father, Bob, played at UND from 1968 through 1971. When did he first tell you about UND hockey? He's been doing it for as long as I can remember. When is the first time you saw a Sioux game in Grand Forks? I came down to a series in the old Ralph when I was in ninth grade. Dean Blais was coaching back then and he took me, my dad and a friend around the rink and showed us what it was all about. It was pretty awesome. What do you remember from the game?