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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Listen closely to some of the comments coming out of the UND men's hockey locker room when Tyson Jost's name is mentioned. You'll hear things that aren't often said about rookies in these parts. At Wednesday's weekly press conference, junior forward Trevor Olson and sophomore forward Shane Gersich, who have both already won national championships at the college level, were asked about Jost's impending return from injury for this weekend's series at Western Michigan. They both talked about the obvious skill he possesses. But that wasn't the interesting part.
UND gave up the first goal of the game. And once again, that wasn't a good sign for the Fighting Hawks. UND lost 4-2 to Minnesota in Ridder Arena on Friday night and dropped to 0-12-3 when allowing the first goal of the game. Caitlin Reilly and Katie Robinson scored Minnesota's first two goals and Kelly Pannek and Kate Schipper added empty-netters for the final margin. UND received goals from freshman Halli Theodosdopoulos and Rebekah Kolstad. The series finale is at 4:07 p.m. today in Ridder.
The coveted MacNaughton Cup is headed to Bemidji for the first time. Bemidji State officially clinched the Western Collegiate Hockey Association title Friday night. The Beavers became outright champions when Ferris State beat Michigan Tech—the Beavers won their own contest 3-2 over Alabama Huntsville for good measure. It is Bemidji State's first regular-season conference title since 2010, when it was in the four-team College Hockey America conference.
The game is still almost two years and 1,500 miles away. But the tickets are already gone. UND's showdown against rival Minnesota that will be played on Oct. 27, 2018 in Las Vegas sold out in a mere couple of seconds Friday afternoon, leaving many fans angry that the contest will be played at the 7,500-seat Orleans Arena instead of the new T-Mobile Arena, which will host the expansion NHL team starting next year. Most of the tickets for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game were snapped up in the last couple of weeks during presales for UND Champions Club members.
Halli Krzyzaniak was 12 years old when she tagged along with her mother's city league hockey team to the IIHF Women's World Championship. It was being held in the MTS Center in Winnipeg, about a two-hour drive from her hometown of Neepawa, Man. Krzyzaniak walked in and was stunned. The arena was packed. "I was just in awe," said Krzyzaniak, who had never before been exposed to high-level women's hockey. "That was cool for me to see women's hockey on that stage."
Paul LaDue walked out of the visitors dressing room in Amalie Arena on April 9 as a college hockey national champion after North Dakota beat Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four. On Tuesday, LaDue walked back into Amalie Arena and that same visitors dressing room to make some more history. LaDue, who was born in Grand Forks, attended high school at Grand Forks Central and went to college at UND, made his NHL debut for the Los Angeles Kings against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
If the college hockey season ended today, UND would be in the national tournament for the 15th straight season, extending the second-longest streak in college hockey history. That's despite the fact that UND has the 25th-best winning percentage in the country and that it has a below-.500 record in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play. UND, ranked No. 10 in the Pairwise Rankings, is enjoying large boon because of its difficult nonconference schedule, the success of the NCHC and some timely wins.
The stress was building for the UND men's hockey team. It was in an unfamiliar spot with one win in the last five games, two wins in the last 11 home games. It was slip-sliding into the danger zone of finishing in the bottom half of the league standings and missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years. But Mike Gornall came to the rescue Saturday night.
Somebody may want to inspect the UND men's hockey locker room for a broken mirror. Maybe there's a black cat scurrying around the rink. For the second time in the last week, the Fighting Hawks couldn't catch a break and lost a winnable National Collegiate Hockey Conference game. St. Cloud State scored a goal on a shot from below the end line and another one off of a player's forehead in beating UND 3-1 in front of 11,682 in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Q. What's your favorite movie? A. Miracle is up there. Remember the Titans. I'm big into sports movies. Q. What's your favorite TV show? A. I really don't watch a lot of TV unless it's SportsCenter or NHL Tonight. I'd say Breaking Bad if I had to pick a TV series. Q. What's your favorite restaurant in Grand Forks? A. I go to Fuji a lot. Grand Junction, too. I go to Grand J a lot. Wild Bill's is pretty good, too. Wild Bill's is underrated. Q. Do you have a favorite place to eat back home?