UND HOCKEY NOTEBOOK: A rocky campaign

St. Cloud State won its first-ever NCAA tournament game last spring, returned a strong nucleus of players, was picked to finish second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association by the league's coaches and was ranked No. 4 nationally in the fir...

St. Cloud State won its first-ever NCAA tournament game last spring, returned a strong nucleus of players, was picked to finish second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association by the league's coaches and was ranked No. 4 nationally in the first poll of the season.

Clearly, this season has not gone as expected for the Huskies.

Entering this weekend's series against UND (7:07 tonight and Saturday), St. Cloud State is in ninth place with a 12-14-4 overall record and an 8-11-3 mark in league play.

Sure the Huskies have turned a corner, going 7-3-2 since Christmas, but that's of little consolation for coach Bob Motzko.

"If we have turned a corner," Motzko said, "the bad part is that we had a corner that we had to turn. We weren't real happy with what happened in the first half. We had to deal with it. We got on the wrong side of some play and we had to find a way to get better as a hockey team."


With only three weeks left in the regular season, the Huskies are No. 26 in the Pairwise Rankings with virtually no hope of climbing into the necessary top 14 or 15 to get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. It will all come down to winning the WCHA Final Five and getting an automatic bid.

"There's no watching any standings," Motzko said. "For us, it's all about the playoffs. This is one of those years where we don't have to turn on a computer. There's no computer to look at. No numbers to grind. We've got to be a team that does it the old fashioned way. We've come to grips with that."

Motzko acknowledged that his team is playing better, as evidenced by taking three points at No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth last weekend.

St. Cloud State's star player, senior Garrett Roe, has picked up his production in the second half of the season. After tallying 11 points in 18 games during the first half, he has 17 points in the last 12 games.

The team defense, a major Achilles' heel during the first half of the season, has improved from 3.3 goals per game allowed during the first half to 2.5 goals allowed during the second.

"The biggest thing is that we've played better defense," Motzko said. "We still have a tendency -- one of our problems all year -- to give up goals in a very short period of time. We haven't cured it all. We've given up some three-goal leads in the last two weeks.

"We've gotten better defensively. We haven't solved the whole deal yet, but we're giving ourselves a better chance."

After the new year, St. Cloud State dismissed forward Tony Mosey -- a 40-point scorer from a year ago -- for a rules violation. Defenseman Chris Hepp, who had a marijuana conviction earlier in the season, left the team as well under mysterious circumstances.


But Motzko doesn't think their departures have anything to do with St. Cloud State's recent success.

"The fact that we're playing better has to do with our current personnel playing better," Motzko said. "It's all about the guys you have on the ice and the resolve you play with. We've done a better job of that since Christmas."

Jacques Lamoureux aims for record

With one goal in his final four games, Air Force Academy senior and Grand Forks native Jacques Lamoureux will break the Atlantic Hockey record for most goals in conference games.

Lamoureux tied Army's Owen Meyer last Saturday by scoring his 56th career goal in conference play.

The most impressive part of Lamoureux's feat is that he did it in three years. Lamoureux played his freshman season at Northern Michigan University in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association before transferring to Air Force.

Lamoureux is leading the Falcons in scoring for the third straight season. He has 15 goals and 32 points in 29 games. The Lowe's Senior Class Award finalist has 127 career points in 107 games.



- UND is looking for its first Friday night win in St. Cloud since 1998. The Sioux are 0-7-3 since then.

- UND's top line of Evan Trupp, Brad Malone and Matt Frattin has a combined 20 points in the last four meetings against St. Cloud State. Prior to Feb. 13, 2010, in St. Cloud, Frattin had 17 goals in 96 career games. On that day, he started a stretch of 33 goals in 44 games.

- Trupp is five points short of 100 for his career. Frattin is six shy.

- Sioux goalie Aaron Dell leads the chase for the WCHA goaltending title with a 2.02 goals-against average in league play. Two of UND's final three opponents -- Bemidji State and Michigan Tech -- are the two lowest-scoring teams in the league.

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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