UND men's hockey: Huskies show confidence in Lee

Mike Lee helped Roseau (Minn.) High to a state championship as a sophomore, the Fargo Force to the United States Hockey League finals as an expansion team and the U.S. World Junior squad to its second-ever gold medal.

LaPoint goal
UND's Derrick LaPoint (3) slips the puck past freshman St. Cloud State goalie Mike Lee Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010 in the second period in the National Hockey Center. Lee, a Roseau (Minn.) High product, faces UND again this weekend at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. St. Cloud Times photo by Jason Wachter.

Mike Lee helped Roseau (Minn.) High to a state championship as a sophomore, the Fargo Force to the United States Hockey League finals as an expansion team and the U.S. World Junior squad to its second-ever gold medal.

About the only thing he hasn't been able to solve is the UND men's hockey team.

As a St. Cloud State freshman, Lee lost all three starts against the Sioux, posting a 6.70 goals-against average and a .835 save percentage. He was pulled from the last two: an 8-1 loss in February and a 5-3 loss in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five title game.

Dan Dunn provided relief. And while Dunn has 43- and 47-save performances in his only two starts against the Sioux, St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said he plans to start Lee, now a sophomore, tonight when the teams meet at 7:37 in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

"It's one year," Motzko said. "I'm not going to get into certain games or series with someone that was a freshman. That has to play out over time. I can only judge Mike through a year and 14 games and he's been real strong for us in a lot of areas."


Lee, a third-round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes, and Dunn, a sixth-round pick of the Washington Capitals, have split starts in six of seven weekends this season, so it's a good bet that the Sioux will see Dunn on Saturday.

Lee is 3-4-1 with a 3.27 goals-against average and a .887 save percentage. Dunn is 2-3-1 with a 2.68 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.

"We really feel strongly that we have two good goalies," Motzko said. "We don't think either has played their best hockey yet, though."

Motzko hopes that's the case for the rest of his team as well. Picked to finish second in the WCHA by the league's coaches, the Huskies are off to a slow 5-7-2 start.

"We had an emotional first half with some high highs and some low lows," Motzko said. "We have to be a little more steady, a little more consistent over longer stretches of time. We seemed to be a little too emotional during the first 14 games. We need to steady the ship."

Sioux not thinking

about the past

This weekend will mark the first time that Husky forward Aaron Marvin and UND defenseman Chay Genoway have been on the ice together since last November, when Marvin ended Genoway's season with a hit from behind into the glass.


Genoway suffered a concussion on the play and was unable to shake the side effects until the summer. The UND captain, who returned for a fifth year with a medical redshirt, says he's not thinking about last year's incident.

"That's just in the past now," said Genoway, who will meet with Marvin and the referees during warmups as both players are their team's captain. "It's just a big four points for us."

Tensions were high when the teams met late last season with Genoway still sidelined. UND forward Mario Lamoureux challenged Marvin to a fight -- one that never happened because the referees stepped in quickly -- and Lamoureux was later suspended for a game.

St. Cloud State's Chris Hepp also was suspended one game for leaving the bench to join an altercation that happened later in the contest.

"Our concern is strictly with the four points," Lamoureux said. "That's all we're concerned with. We're not worried about getting revenge. That's not on our minds. We're worried about getting a victory (tonight) and doing the same thing Saturday night."

Genoway has 10 points in 10 league games this season. Marvin, the grandson of UND hockey founder Cal Marvin, has four goals and eight points in 13 games.

Connections aplenty

There are several UND ties with the Huskies.


While Marvin's grandfather, Cal, rounded up the first Sioux team in the 1940s, he also has a bunch of other connections. His cousins, Layla and Lisa, have committed to play for the Sioux women. And his uncle, Izzy, played for UND.

St. Cloud State junior forward Jordy Christian is the cousin of Sioux freshman forward Brock Nelson, the nephew of former Sioux Dave Christian and the son of former Sioux Ed Christian.

St. Cloud State first-year assistant coach Steve Johnson played on UND's 1987 national championship team. One of his assistant coaches that year was current UND associate coach Cary Eades. Johnson, a Grand Forks Central graduate, later applied for an assistant coaching position with the UND men and a head coaching position for the UND women.

Husky freshman forward Mitch MacMillan is the brother of future Sioux forward Mark MacMillian. Mark, a Montreal draft pick, is expected to join UND next season.


UND forward Brett Hextall will miss the series with an upper-body injury. Hakstol said Wednesday that a couple of other players are questionable. . . The Huskies had last week off. . . UND is 6-1-1 on Fridays this season and 3-4-1 on Saturdays. . . In the last two seasons, UND is 19-0-1 when Jason Gregoire scores a goal.

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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