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The Daily Skate: Could Brian Idalski land at SCSU?

Brian Idalski (right), the former head UND women's hockey coach, chats with George Schubert, the former UND Faculty Representative, in March 2017.

St. Cloud State is looking for a new head women's hockey coach.

Eric Rud, who has been at the helm for the last five seasons, was introduced as the new associate head coach for the Miami men's program Monday.

That leaves an opening in St. Cloud.

One of the most intriguing candidates for the Huskies could be former UND head coach Brian Idalski.

Idalski had success turning around a UND team that won just three of 61 league games before his arrival. By Year 4, UND won 20 games, and in Years 5 and 6, it made the NCAA tournament.

The Fighting Hawks finished in the top half of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for Idalski's final seven years with the program, a feat St. Cloud State hasn't accomplished since UND's run started. The Huskies haven't finished higher than sixth since 2009-10.

UND's arrival under Idalski broke up the longstanding "Big Three" in the WCHA -- Minnesota, Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth -- three programs that held down the top three spots in the standings for 11 of 12 WCHA seasons from 1999-2011. Then, the Fighting Hawks finished ahead of the Bulldogs in five of UND's last six seasons, and tied for second with Wisconsin once.

UND never made it to the NCAA Frozen Four under Idalski, but was a goal away in 2013, when it lost in triple overtime in the NCAA quarterfinals to a Minnesota team that went a perfect 41-0-0 that season.

There is one more reason why Idalski would be an intriguing option at St. Cloud State: He's been there. Idalski was an assistant with the Huskies when UND hired him away. It's also worth noting that three of St. Cloud State's top six returning scorers for next season's team are players who Idalski originally recruited to UND.

The next St. Cloud State coach will face different circumstances than Idalski did when he landed at UND in the fall of 2007. On one hand, the Huskies program isn't in as deep of a hole as UND's was at that time and isn't dealing with the growing pains of a fledgling program. But the Huskies also don't have a recruiting tool like Ralph Engelstad Arena to sell prospects.

Idalski's familiarity with St. Cloud State and his experience turning around a program in the challenging WCHA will make him one of the most intriguing names if he decides to chase the job, though.

Idalski just finished his first season as head coach at Culver Academy in Indiana. He led Culver to its first-ever trip to nationals this spring.

Related:

Two associate coaches on one team

The surprising part wasn't who Miami hired. It had been known for a week that Barry Schutte and Rud would assist new head coach Chris Bergeron.

The surprising part of Monday's announcement was that both Schutte and Rud were named associate head coaches.

Could this be a new trend in college hockey aimed at luring top coaching candidates by giving more prestigious job titles to both assistants instead of just one?

According to collegehockeystats.net, there are four other NCAA teams that have two associate head coaches -- Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Quinnipiac and Providence. The Fighting Irish and Friars have only done it for one season. Wisconsin and Quinnipiac have done it for several years.

UND had the more traditional setup last season: a head coach (Brad Berry), an associate head coach (Dane Jackson) and an assistant coach (Matt Shaw).

REA's updates continue

Ralph Engelstad Arena is making way for the old scoreboard's video panels.

They will hang above the lounges on the ends of the arena. Workers installed brackets this week to hold the panels.

UND will be getting a new center-hung video board this summer. It will be the largest in college hockey by total screen area.

USA Hockey names camp participants

USA Hockey is launching a new goaltending development program ahead of the 2019-20 season and two players with UND ties have been announced as participants.

Kennedy Blair of Bismarck, who played for the UND women's hockey team and transferred to Mercyhurst when it folded, is one of 19 participants. UND men's hockey commit Cameron Rowe, who is expected to play for the Des Moines Buccaneers in the United States Hockey League next season before coming to school in 2020, also will participate.

The camp will begin Thursday in Plymouth, Mich.

Jost joins Canada; Stecher scores

Tyson Jost has joined Canada's Men's World Championship team after his Colorado Avalanche were eliminated in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Jost has two assists in his first two games with the Canadian squad.

Meanwhile, former UND alternate captain Troy Stecher scored his first IIHF goal on Monday in Canada's 6-5 win over Slovakia.

Former UND defenseman Christian Wolanin has played in two games for the Americans.

SF takes lead over Chicago

Sioux Falls is one win away from the Clark Cup.

The Stampede are up 2-0 in their best-of-five series with the Chicago Steel, who have two UND recruits on the roster -- forward Jake Schmaltz and defenseman Luke Reid.

The Stampede, who last won the Clark Cup in 2015 under coach Cary Eades, are now coached by former Colorado College boss Scott Owens.

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 14th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman 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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