We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

UND hockey opens limited-hour practices; Iron Man competition is underway

The Fighting Hawks are skating in Ralph Engelstad Arena while the weight room renovation project nears completion.

031222 S GFH UNDMHKY-4.jpg
Fighting Hawks defenseman Tyler Kleven celebrates his goal with teammates Judd Caulfield (28), Mark Senden (19) and Chris Jandric (7) in the second period of an NCHC men's hockey quarterfinals matchup against Colorado College at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks on Friday, March 11, 2022
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
We are part of The Trust Project.

GRAND FORKS — The UND hockey team is back on the ice in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The Fighting Hawks are allowed on-ice practices with coaches present for four hours a week over the next three weeks. They're also allowed four hours per week with athletic trainer Mark Poolman in the weight room.

Beginning Sept. 26, full 20-hour practice weeks are allowed. The 20 hours accounts for time both on and off the ice.

The opening date for full practices was moved up one week this season by the NCAA at the request of coaches and athletic directors.

UND also has started its annual Iron Man competition, which rates players based on a variety of strength and endurance workouts.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jake Sanderson won last year's competition, followed by Ethan Frisch, Connor Ford, Judd Caulfield and Jake Schmaltz. Gavin Hain, who would have been a candidate to win last year, was held out for precautionary reasons.

This year's Iron Man competition has been a little bit more disjointed, though.

Brad Elliott Schlossman module image

We're less than a month away from the Manitoba exhibition game. Here are some other stories to check out...

The blue liner has been a top skater in Alberta and will play for former UND captain Matt Smaby in Waterloo the next two seasons.
Ethan Frisch and Gavin Hain will again serve as alternate captains, while Judd Caulfield and Riese Gaber will wear letters for the first time at UND.

"It's been a challenge because of the weight room renovation project," UND coach Brad Berry said. "We've done a majority of the testing, but we're still waiting to get other parts of it completed here. We're pecking away at it. It's been a tough year (to complete Iron Man), but we're very, very blessed to get this new weight room."

Poolman and workers in The Ralph have moved weight room equipment around during the renovation project.

The weights and exercise machines sat on the floor of the main ice rink over the summer. But the equipment was moved out last month when the ice was installed.

"They've moved some of the equipment into the weight room," Berry said. "It's kind of make-shift right now. Some is on the concourse. Mark Poolman is doing a pretty good job staying ahead of the curve on it."

Around the NCHC

Every National Collegiate Hockey Conference team has posted its roster for the 2022-23 season, but a few key newcomers are still waiting to be cleared to play.

American International goalie Jake Kucharski has transferred to Omaha, but has not been cleared, Mavericks coach Mike Gabinet said recently on a radio show. Kucharski, a Carolina Hurricanes pick, is a two-time transfer, which can make it more complicated. He was at Providence before AIC.

ADVERTISEMENT

There's enough concern about his eligibility that Omaha added Muskegon Lumberjacks goalie Raythan Robbins to the roster a couple of weeks ago to give the Mavericks three netminders even if Kucharski isn't cleared. The other goalies are rookie Simon Latkoczy and third-stringer Jacob Zab.

Colorado College is waiting for clearance for rookie forward Ryan Beck, who starred for the Dubuque Fighting Saints last season.

Beck committed to the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League in the summer of 2020. Playing in a Canadian major junior league like the OHL normally wipes out a player's college eligibility. However, the OHL shut down for 2020-21 and Beck never played in the league. In fact, he took that year off entirely, then played for Dubuque last season.

Western Michigan also is awaiting final word on the eligibility of rookie defenseman Samuel Sjolund.

During the 2020-21 coronavirus pandemic-altered season, Sjolund played for a league in his native Sweden that's deemed professional.

The NCAA handed Sjolund, a fourth-round Dallas Stars draft pick, a 41-game suspension, but Sjolund is appealing the ruling. The puck-moving blue liner is expected to serve some sort of a suspension, but it could get cut down.

Weiss back at Omaha

Omaha will have its second-leading scorer from last season back.

Tyler Weiss, a Colorado Avalanche draft pick, was not enrolled at Omaha on the first day of fall classes, but he did enroll by last Monday's deadline. After enrolling, Omaha confirmed he will be back for his fifth and final season of eligibility.

ADVERTISEMENT

That's a big development for the Mavericks, who lost leading scorer Taylor Ward (signed with Los Angeles Kings), third-leading scorer Brannon McManus (graduation), fourth-leading scorer Brandon Scanlin (signed with New York Rangers), fifth-leading scorer Chayse Primeau (transferred to Notre Dame) and seventh-leading scorer Kevin Conley (graduation).

Weiss has tallied 89 points in four seasons of college hockey.

Sanderson participates in rookie event

Former UND defenseman Jake Sanderson is participating in the NHLPA rookie showcase in Washington, D.C.

Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press reported that Sanderson told reporters his hand injury, which kept him out of the NCAA tournament last season, has healed and he "expects to be 100% for training camp."

Sanderson's injury occurred in the first round of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference playoffs when he dove into the crease to keep a puck out of his own net. Colorado College defenseman Bryan Yoon accidentally stepped on it. His injury required two surgeries.

Sanderson signed with the Ottawa Senators at the end of UND's season and is waiting to make his NHL debut.

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 bschlossman@gfherald.com.
What to read next
Predictions, a list of notable players and five things to know about each league entering the season.
Minnesota hosts Purdue on Saturday for its homecoming game
Exclusive
After 40 years as a college hockey coach, Mel Pearson will not be on a campus this season, having been dismissed from the University of Michigan in August. The claims against him and others there were numerous and thoroughly investigated. In an exclusive hour-long interview with The Rink Live where no topics were off limits, Pearson offered his side of the story regarding the case made against him and his hockey program.
Midco will now host a 30-minute pregame show from inside Ralph Engelstad Arena before the start of each home weekend.