Brad Elliott Schlossman
Schlossman is in his 14th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.
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Mason Salquist was originally supposed to play with the Fargo Force for just a single weekend in December. He was loaned to the Force by the Janesville (Wis.) Jets of the North American Hockey League with the expectation that he’d go back to Janesville after the weekend. That didn’t happen, though.
At age 30, Jonathan Toews had a career year. The former UND forward posted his personal best with 35 goals and 81 points for the Chicago Blackhawks. A healthier Zach Parise posted his best season since 2014-15 by tallying 28 goals and 61 points. He led the offensively challenged Minnesota Wild in both categories.
FARGO—UND commit Tyler Kleven stepped onto the ice at Scheels Arena on Friday night for warmups, but his teammates didn't follow. They let him skate a solo lap, as is often done in the NHL for players making their debuts. This wasn't a debut, though. This was a homecoming lap for Kleven, a former Fargo Davies defenseman who returned home this weekend to play against the Fargo Force as a member of the U.S. Under-17 Team.
Former UND defenseman Taylor Chorney played on the Washington Capitals for three seasons, but was placed on waivers in late February last season. Chorney was claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets and wasn't able to be a part of the Stanley Cup Playoff run that ended with the Capitals hoisting hockey's ultimate prize. Chorney went to Switzerland and played this season. Upon conclusion of his season in Europe, he returned to Washington, D.C., to get together with his old Washington Capitals teammates -- and they had quite the surprise for him.
A former UND player's name has gone on the Stanley Cup in seven of the last nine years. Jonathan Toews captained the Chicago Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Matt Greene was an alternate captain for the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014. Carter Rowney played a surprising role on the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup team in 2017. And T.J. Oshie played a central role in bringing the Washington Capitals their first Stanley Cup last June.
Cole Spicer started a group chat with Trey Ausmus and Jaksen Panzer this week. “We said that we’re going to do this for real,” Spicer said. “We’re going to put 100 percent into it and we’re going to make each other better.” On three consecutive days, the 2004-born hockey players from Greater Grand Forks committed to their hometown team, UND.
Jaksen Panzer has been attending UND hockey games for as long as he can remember. He’s been hearing stories from his father, Jeff, and uncle, Jay, who were members of UND’s 2000 and 1997 NCAA national championship teams. And on Tuesday, he decided to take the same path as his family members.
College hockey teams began reaching out to Trey Ausmus’s father, Troy, this spring to gauge Trey's interest in playing for their teams. But Trey didn’t pay much attention. “The only place I wanted to go was North Dakota,” Ausmus said. “I told my dad: ‘You can tell them that I haven’t decided yet if that sounds better, but I’m going to North Dakota. That’s the place.’”
Goals were hard to find this weekend in the NCAA hockey tournament. In fact, this was the lowest-scoring regional weekend since the NCAA tournament switched to its current 16-team format in 2003. There were only 50 goals scored in the 12 NCAA regional games, eclipsing the previous low of 55 set in 2004.
FARGO—Three of the five biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history—judged by the difference in Pairwise Ranking—have been St. Cloud State losses in the last four years. The Huskies lost to Pairwise No. 27 Air Force in the first round last year. They lost to Pairwise No. 30 Ferris State in 2016. And on Friday night in Scheels Arena, they lost to Pairwise No. 31 American International, which was playing in its first-ever NCAA tournament game. These upset losses have happened to different Husky teams and under different coaching staffs.