NO. 13 UMD AT NO. 9 NOTRE DAME THURSDAY AND FRIDAY FOR FIRST ROAD TESTS OF THE SEASON
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The University of Minnesota Duluth will engage in its first two road assignments of the young 2012-13 season this Thursday and Friday (Oct. 18-19) when the Bulldogs pay a visit to South Bend, Ind., for a pair of showdowns with the University of Notre Dame. The puck drops each night at 6:35 p.m. (CST) at the Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022) on the Notre Dame campus.
THE RECORDS: The Bulldogs, who are off to a 1-1-0 start this year, closed out the 2011-12 season with a 25-10-6 overall record, placed second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings at 16-7-5, and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament, bowing out to eventual national champion Boston College in the Northeast Regional finals. Notre Dame (2-0-0 overall in 2012-13) was 19-18-3 in all games one year ago and posted a 12-13-3 mark in Central Collegiate Hockey Association play (tied for eighth place with Ohio State University).
HOW THEY RANK: Here is how UMD and Notre Dame stacked up in the latest USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls:
USCHO.com USA Today
UMD 13th 13th
UND 9th 10th
ON THE AIR: The UMD-Notre Dame series will be carried locally on 94X (94.1/104.3 FM) with Bruce Ciskie handling the play-by-play. The broadcast can also be heard on KQ 105.5 in Grand Rapids/Hibbing and KQ 106.7 in Ely/Virginia as part of the Bulldog Radio Network and is available on the internet at: www.fan1490.com.
In addition, My9 (KBJR DT 6.2/KRII DT 11.9) will televise Friday night’s outing, picking up a feed from Notre Dame. Both games will be videostreammed and can be viewed for free at www.und.com
THE COACH: The runnerup for the 2010-11 Spencer Penrose Award (American Hockey Coaches Association NCAA Division I Coach of the Year) and recipient of that honor in 2003-04, Scott Sandelin is in his 13th season behind the UMD bench where he has compiled a 218-211-58 overall record -- including a 96-51-21 mark (a .634 winning percentage) since the 2008-09 opener. Besides capturing the school’s first NCAA championship two years ago and rolling up the team’s best overall record in 19 years (26-10-6), the Bulldogs have posted four consecutive 22-win seasons, and advanced to four NCAA tournaments (2004, 2009, 2011 and 2012), two Frozen Fours (2004 and 2011) and seven of the past 10 WCHA Final Five playoff events. During the course of the 2011-12 season, his troops set a club record by going unbeaten in 17 straight games and were ranked first in both major weekly polls (USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine for a program-best nine consecutive weeks. In March 2009, UMD became the first play-in game participant to ever claim the Final Five title and, later that spring, strung together a school-record six-game postseason winning streak before it fell to Miami University 2-1 in the NCAA West Regional final. Nine years ago, Sandelin, 48, turned UMD into a NCAA Frozen Four participant for the first time in nearly a generation, marshaling his troops to their most victories (they were 28-13-4 overall) and highest WCHA finish (second place on a 19-7-2 mark) since 1992-93. For his efforts, the Hibbing, Minn., native was chosen the WCHA Coach of the Year as well as the national coach of the year by both insidecollegehockey.com and uscho.com. In 2002-03, Sandelin’s Bulldogs went 22-15-5 overall and captured fifth place in the WCHA with a 14-10-4 mark while experiencing the greatest one-season turnaround of any league club that winter. One year earlier, he guided UMD to a 13-24-1 record in all games -- nearly doubling the number of victories from the previous season (7-28-4). Sandelin officially signed on as a member of the Bulldog staff on March 31, 2000 following six years of assistant coaching deployment at North Dakota. Prior to joining the Fighting Sioux (who won two NCAA titles during his tenure), Sandelin spent the 1993-94 season as the head coach of the Fargo-Moorhead Junior Kings of the Junior Elite Hockey League after working in that same capacity (and doubling as general manager) the previous winter with the American Hockey Association’s Fargo-Moorhead Express. He capped off his four-year playing career at North Dakota in 1985-86 by being named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. An All-WCHA first team pick and an All-American second team selection as a senior, Sandelin went on to play seven years of professional hockey, which included National Hockey League stints with the Montreal Canadiens (1986-88), Philadelphia Flyers (1990-91) and Minnesota North Stars (1991-92). Sandelin, one of just two current WCHA coaches to do time in the NHL, was the Montreal Canadiens’ second-round pick in the 1982 NHL draft (40th choice overall). He served as Team USA’s head coach at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships, directing that club to a fourth-place finish, and was an assistant coach for the U.S. at that same event last winter.
THE SERIES: Thursday’s clash will mark the 36th meeting ever between UMD and Notre Dame. The Irish hold a 19-12-4 lead in the all-time series, which began in Duluth on Feb. 12, 1971 when both clubs were members of the WCHA (The Irish departed that circuit after the 1980-81 season -- UMD is 4-3-2 against Notre Dame since that time). The two teams traded wins in the 2011-12 season openers (Oct. 7-8) with the host Bulldogs taking the opener 4-3 over the then-No. 1 ranked Fighting Irish before dropping a 5-3 decision the following night. In the rematch, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead a half minute into the second period only to see Notre Dame score the game’s next five goals.
LAST WEEKEND: The Bulldogs launched their 69th season of intercollegiate hockey last Friday at AMSOIL Arena by throttling Ohio State University 6-2 before the Buckeyes rebounded with a 3-2 win 24 hours later. Senior right winger Mike Seidel (two goals and one assist), sophomore center Caleb Herbert (three assists) and rookie left winger Austin Farley (one goal and two assists) each delivered three-point nights for the Bulldogs on Friday while junior goaltender Aaron Crandall turned aside 25 of 27 shots. Seidel and junior right winger Joe Basaraba helped UMD erase a 2-0 deficit the next evening with second-period goals, but Ohio State prevailed by nailing the game-winner with 6:56 to go in regulation.
Notre Dame downed both the University of Maine (1-0 on Friday) and the University of Nebraska-Omaha (3-2 on Saturday) en route to claiming the Icebreaker Tournament title in Kansas City, Mo.
WCHA FORECAST: In their annual preseason poll, the WCHA head coaches collectively forecasted a sixth-place league finish for UMD in 2012-13. The University of Minnesota (11 first-place votes and 121 points) was tabbed as the team to beat followed by North Dakota (one first-place vote and 110 pts.), the University of Denver (91 pts.), St. Cloud State University (90 pts.) and the University of Wisconsin (70 pts.). UMD, which garnered 69 points, checked in at No. 5 for the second year in a row in the 94X WCHA Media Poll.
AYE, AYE CAPTAIN: Left winger Cody Danberg has been entrusted with the team captaincy duties for the 69th edition of UMD hockey while a pair of fellow seniors -- right winger Keegan Flaherty and defenseman Drew Olson are serving as assistant team captains.
ONE DANDY DEBUT: Austin Farley, who wasted little time in making his presence felt last Friday in his UMD debut (he scored a goal on his first shift just just 65 seconds after the opening faceoff), was selected the first WCHA Rookie of the Week of 2012-13 for his spirited performance against Ohio State. Farley helped set up two other goals (both on the power play) in the 6-2 victory over the Buckeyes and was credited with one assist the ensuing night to cap off a four-point weekend. He concluded the series at a +1 and put six total shots on goal, the second highest figure on the club. Farley was one of five newcomers who made their collegiate debuts last weekend, joining defensemen Andy Welinski and Willie Corrin, and centers Tony Cameranesi and Cal Decowski .
POWER TO SPARE: UMD connected on five of 14 power play opportunities in their two-game set with Ohio State (35.7 percent) and held the Buckeyes to just one goal in 13 chances with the man advantage.
BACK-TO-BACK: Last weekend marked the first time goaltender Aaron Crandall ever started both ends of a weekend series. The fourth-year junior, whose last appearance prior to Friday night was Feb. 17, 2011, made 25 saves and held the Buckeyes scoreless for the final 34:21 of play to preserve the 6-2 opening-night win. In 22 career games with the Bulldogs, Crandall is 13-5-1 with a 2.80 goals against average and a .888 saves percentage. He seems to do his best work on the road where he has posted a 7-2-1 record, a 2.28 goals against average, a .912 saves percentage and one shutout in 12 appearances.
LEAD ‘DOGS: Since the 2010-11 opener, UMD is 36-1-3 (15-0-2 last winter and 1-0-0 this year) when taking a lead into the third period with the lone loss coming at the hands Bemidji State University (3-2 in overtime) at the 2011 WCHA Final Five. During that same stretch, they are a mere 1-16-2 (0-9-1 in 2011-12) when trailing at the second intermission.
BULLDOG BITS: UMD scored the fewest shorthanded goals (one -- by right winger Keegan Flaherty at Michigan Tech on Dec. 2) of any WCHA club in 2011-12, but also ceded a league-low two of its own (the fewest since it became a member of the NCAA I ranks in 1961-62). Flaherty has now skated in 83 consecutive games, the longest ironman streak of any current Bulldog while two other seniors -- defenseman Wade Bergman and center Jake Hendrickson -- have both made 67 consecutive appearances since Dec. 30, 2010 ... The 2011-12 Bulldogs reached the 22-victory plateau for the fourth consecutive winter (only the second time that has happened in school history, with the run from 1982-86 being the other) while their second-place WCHA finish was the program’s highest in eight years ... The Bulldogs are unbeaten in 36 of their last 40 overtime games (15-4-21; 2-2-6 in 2011-12) stretching back to the start of the 2008-09 season. Among the 2012-13 Bulldogs, only two have an overtime goal to their collegiate credit -- seniors Cody Danberg and Mike Seidel with one each ... Danberg, who, because of injuries had played just in one game over the previous two seasons (the 2011-12 opener with Notre Dame at AMSOIL Arena), is the first sixth-year senior to ever play for the Bulldogs ... More current Bulldogs (six) have birthdays in October than any other month. Those include senior centπer Jake Hendrickson (Oct. 2), freshman goaltender Alex Fons (Oct. 10), sophomore center Caleb Herbert (Oct. 12), rookie center Austyn Young (Oct. 16), junior center Max Tardy (Oct. 27) and freshman winger Charlie Sampair (Oct. 31) ... Over the past two-plus seasons, the Bulldogs are unbeaten in 34 of the 37 outings Mike Seidel has marked in the points column (29-4-5) .. The 2012-13 Bulldog roster is comprised of seven seniors, four juniors, six sophomores and nine freshmen ... Since Feb. 19-26, 2010, the Bulldogs have lost back-to-back games only one time -- when they fell to Notre Dame on Oct. 8, 2011 and to Minnesota (twice) the following weekend ... UMD is now 20-10-3 in its 33 lifetime engagements at AMSOIL Arena. That includes a 14-5-1 mark in 2011-12, its first full season of occupancy at that $80-million facility.
ON TAP: The Bulldogs will open their 48th, and final, year of WCHA competition on Oct. 26-27 with a two-game home set against the University of Wisconsin.
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