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.
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Grand Forks Herald college hockey reporter Brad Elliott Schlossman is in Oxford, Ohio, covering the UND men's hockey team's series at Miami University. This blog is meant to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the trip to Oxford and what's happening on and off the ice. He previously chronicled trip to New York City, Schenectady, N.Y., Colorado Springs and Kalamazoo, Mich. 1:30 a.m. Friday Oxford, Ohio, is an interesting destination. There's no airport, so you have to fly into either Cincinnati or Dayton and drive about an hour.
OXFORD, Ohio—It has been a long and winding road for the UND men's hockey team this season. But that road is leading back to Ralph Engelstad Arena—yet again. It took until the final night of the regular season, but UND clinched a top-half finish and home ice for the first round of the league playoffs for a 15th consecutive season with a resounding 5-2 win over Miami University on Saturday night in Goggin Ice Center.
Gracen Hirschy was a freshman when UND went to Ridder Arena and pulled a stunning upset of No. 1 Minnesota, ending the Gophers' 62-game winning streak. Hirschy scored a goal in that game. Later that season, she was part of a team that knocked off No. 2 Wisconsin in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Faceoff. As a sophomore, she was part of a team that beat No. 2 Minnesota. As a junior, she helped the Fighting Hawks upset a pair of No. 1-ranked teams.
OXFORD, Ohio—UND retreated to the locker room after Friday night's 3-2 win over Miami University and cranked the speakers. Sophomore defenseman Christian Wolanin was in charge of picking the song. There was really only one option, though. Wolanin blasted Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start the Fire'—an ode to a crazy day in which the team was evacuated from its hotel during the wee hours of Friday morning because of a fire in a dryer on the fourth floor.
OXFORD, Ohio -- The UND men's hockey team was forced to evacuate its hotel for about 90 minutes in the wee hours of Friday morning due to a fire. Shrieking alarms woke up the players and staff at about 12:30 a.m. because a dryer at The Elms Hotel caught fire on the fourth floor. UND staff members and some players were staying on the fourth floor. Others players were on the third floor. They exited the building through the staircase.
Q. What is your favorite TV show? A. Game of Thrones for sure. Myself, Colton Poolman and Zach Yon watch it all the time together. Q. What is your favorite movie? A. I've got to go back to Remember the Titans. That's always been my favorite. Q. What's your favorite restaurant in Grand Forks? A. Probably the typical Blue Moose. We always go there. Q. What's your order there? A. The smothered chicken without cheese. Q. How did you end up with your number, 26, here at UND?
OXFORD, Ohio -- The winding road from the Cincinnati airport to the campus of Miami University was like a metaphor for this UND men's hockey season. The homes lining the highway alternate between beautiful new dwellings with acres of land and aging ramblers with broken-down front porches and beat up cars sitting on patchy lawns. From one mile to the next, you don't know what you're going to see. The same could be said for the No. 16 Fighting Hawks.
UND has landed a future goaltender. Adam Scheel, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound netminder from suburban Cleveland, gave a verbal commitment to play college hockey for UND earlier this week. Scheel visited UND over the weekend. "It was just the best fit for me, that's what it came down to," Scheel said. "The coaches are great and North Dakota has a lot of hockey tradition." Scheel currently plays for the U.S. Under-18 team and USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. He will be the first NTDP goalie to play for UND.
Mark Poolman cherished the summer of 2011. He spent much of it driving his son, Tucker, from tryout camp to tryout camp. Tucker had just graduated from East Grand Forks Senior High and was hoping to find a junior hockey team that was willing to give him a roster spot. Nearly all of their trips ended the same way—teams saying they would maybe take another look at Tucker down the line, but they didn't have a spot for him now. Even though Tucker left disappointed, Mark savored the time he spent with his son in the car and in hotels.
Skilled college hockey teams may be wise to employ a new strategy: diving and embellishing calls. A study of all penalties called in college hockey this season indicates there is almost no consequence for diving or embellishing—especially in the West. The penalty has been called 79 times in all of college hockey this season, and all but five have had an offsetting minor called along with it.