UND men's hockey: 2011 Ice Breaker coming to REA
There will be no easing into next season for the UND men's hockey team. Ralph Engelstad Arena will host the Ice Breaker Tournament, featuring the No. 1 Sioux, No. 2 Boston College, Michigan State and Air Force Academy on Oct. 7-8. The two-day tou...
There will be no easing into next season for the UND men's hockey team.
Ralph Engelstad Arena will host the Ice Breaker Tournament, featuring the No. 1 Sioux, No. 2 Boston College, Michigan State and Air Force Academy on Oct. 7-8.
The two-day tournament was announced Wednesday. Specific matchups haven't been announced yet.
The Ice Breaker was originally scheduled for St. Louis but was moved because of NHL scheduling conflicts.
"It's fitting that we celebrate the start of the 2011 college hockey season at one of the crown jewels of the game, Ralph Engelstad Arena," said College Hockey Inc., executive director Paul Kelly, who helped set up the tournament. "(We're) confident that North Dakota will be an outstanding host for this special event that brings together four of the elite college hockey programs in the country."
There will be many storylines.
UND and Boston College have met in the Frozen Four five times in the last 11 years. Michigan State, which is searching for a new coach, recently won a national championship in 2008. Both UND and Boston College were in the Frozen Four that year.
And Air Force, champions of Atlantic Hockey in three of the last four years, will have several players from the area including Fargo South's Paul Weisgarber, Grafton's Chad Demers and Roseau's Jason Fabian. Falcons coach Frank Serratore was a former UND assistant coach and also coached Dave Hakstol in the pros.
"We have several players from the area who are looking forward to playing in front of family and friends," Serratore said. "We also look forward to playing in front of the many service men and women stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, as well as the many retired military people in the area."
Sioux coach Hakstol will lose seven seniors from this year's team, currently ranked No. 1 in the country. He says he's looking forward to the challenging start to next season.
"It's the showcase event to start the college hockey season," Hakstol said. "It's a great opportunity for us to kick off the college hockey season, in my mind, the best place possible to do that: Right here at Ralph Engelstad Arena."
UND has previously played in the Ice Breaker twice (2008 in Boston, 2001 in Ann Arbor, Mich.), but has never hosted it.
Another showcase game for later in the season is in the works. The Sioux are in the process of setting up a contest at Winnipeg's MTS Centre.
No contract has been signed yet for that game, which is tentatively set for Jan. 7.
WCHA honors Hextall
Sioux forward Brett Hextall is the offensive player of the week in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Hextall scored three goals during UND's win and tie against St. Cloud State last weekend. All three of Hextall's goals broke a tie and gave the Sioux the lead.
After scoring three goals in 23 games to start the year, Hextall has five goals in the last five games.
Genoway is expected to miss this weekend's series with a leg injury. He's expected to return for the last week of the regular season or the first week of the playoffs. . . UND forward Danny Kristo remains out with frostbite.
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .