Men's hockey: Huskies eye MacNaughton Cup

St. Cloud State is the longest-standing member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to have never won a MacNaughton Cup. That all could change in the team's 20th season as a member of the league. St. Cloud State (18-8-4, 13-6-3 WCHA) ente...

St. Cloud State is the longest-standing member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to have never won a MacNaughton Cup.

That all could change in the team's 20th season as a member of the league.

St. Cloud State (18-8-4, 13-6-3 WCHA) enters tonight's game against UND ranked No. 4 nationally and tied with Minnesota-Duluth for first place in the league standings.

The Huskies have a 1-2 punch in senior Ryan Lasch (33 points) and junior Garrett Roe (33) that rivals anyone in the country. The defensive corps is quietly solid and the Huskies boast the league's best goaltending duo in Dan Dunn and Roseau, Minn., native Mike Lee.

Since Christmas, they've been the hottest team in the league, posting a 10-1-1 mark thanks to its potent offense. In the first half of the season, St. Cloud State scored 2.6 goals per game. Since the new year, the Huskies have averaged 4.3.


"The one area we knew we could improve was offense," St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said. "We knew we had guys capable of doing more offensively and helping the team. We've gained some confidence offensively and we've gained confidence in winning games. That's been our biggest boost."

Several Husky players have taken off in the second half.

Tony Mosey has 15 points in the last 12 games. Lasch has multi-point games in six of the last eight. All six of Garrett Raboin's goals have come since Christmas. Drew LeBlanc has tallied 12 of his 19 posts since Christmas.

And Lee has been outstanding since returning from the World Junior Championship with a gold medal, posting a 4-1 record with a 1.81 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage.

"He's been much more confident and relaxed since he's been back," Motzko said. "He's been in a very good scenario, alternating starts with Dan Dunn. We never planned for it to be like that, it just worked out that way."

Sioux want

scoring depth

The Sioux (13-10-5, 8-9-3 WCHA) started the new year on the right foot, going 3-0-1 thanks to scoring depth. UND received at least one goal from its third or fourth line in all four of those games.


But that scoring has dried up in recent weeks and as a result, UND has just one win in the last six games. The Sioux only have one goal from its third and fourth line in that span.

Forwards David Toews and Mario Lamoureux are both looking to break 19-game goal droughts and Matt Frattin is still searching for his first goal of the season.

"I think we need to get a little more scoring out of different areas in our lineup," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "But in saying that, you can't just wave a magic wand and have that start happening. We're doing a lot of good things. We have to be a little bit better offensively and we're going to try to find a little bit better and more cohesive units. Along the way, a bounce of the puck will help us get on the right track."

The third 'A'

will rotate

Because of the prolonged absence of captain Chay Genoway, UND has decided to give out a third 'A' to a player as an alternate captain.

Two weeks ago, that 'A' appeared on the jersey of sophomore forward Mario Lamoureux, but it probably won't stay there for the rest of the season. Hakstol said on his weekly radio show that the plan is for the third 'A' to rotate it between deserving members of the sophomore and junior class.

The only two healthy seniors, Chris VandeVelde and Darcy Zajac, already have an 'A' on their jersey.


The rotating 'A' will stick around as long as Genoway is out, Hakstol said.

Gothberg wins Brimsek;

Nelson a finalist

UND recruit Zane Gothberg is the Frank Brimsek Award winner as the top senior goalie in the state of Minnesota.

Gothberg, who plays at Thief River Falls, is 15-6 on the season with a 1.82 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. He also has three shutouts on the season. Gothberg will come to UND whenever sophomore Brad Eidsness leaves.

Fellow UND recruit and Section 8 standout Brock Nelson, meanwhile, is one of 10 finalists for Minnesota's prestigious Mr. Hockey award.

Nelson, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward, has 34 goals, 28 assists and 62 points in 22 games. The Warroad product is attempting to join Brian Lee (2005) and George Pelawa (1986) as the only Sioux recruits to win the award.

The last five Mr. Hockey winners have been defensemen.


Other finalists are: Mark Alt (Cretin-Derham), Joey Benik (St. Francis), Nick Bjugstad (Blaine), Cal Decowski (Andover), Max Gardiner (Minnetonka), Caleb Herbert (Bloomington Jefferson), Justin Holl (Minnetonka), Christian Isackson (St. Thomas Academy) and Adam Krause (Hermantown).


Chris VandeVelde, Darcy Zajac, Jake Marto, Derrick LaPoint and Brad Eidsness are WCHA scholar athlete recipients, meaning they have maintained at least a 3.5 grade-point average for the previous two semesters.

Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to .

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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