TWO-GAME WCHA ROAD SERIES WITH COLORADO COLLEGE NEXT UP FOR BULLDOGS
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
With a four-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association winning streak in tow, the University of Minnesota Duluth takes its road act to Colorado Springs, Colo., this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 18-19) for a pair of league clashes with Colorado College. The puck drops at 8:37 p.m. (CT) Friday and 8:07 p.m. the following night on the World Arena 's (7,725) Olympic-sized ice sheet.
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THE RECORDS: The Bulldogs are 9-10-3 overall and own a share of sixth place (with the University of Wisconsin) in the WCHA standings at 7-6-3 while Colorado College, which has managed just one win in its last nine outings (1-7-1), sports a 9-13-2 record in all games and a 6-9-1 WCHA mark (ninth place).
HOW THEY RANK: Here is how the UMD and Colorado College stacked up in the latest USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls as well as the PairWise rankings:
USCHO.com USA Today PairWise
UMD NR NR NR
CC NR NR NR
ON THE AIR: UMD’s two bouts against the Tigers 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 Sports Radio Network and is available on the internet at: 94xrocks.com.
Both ends of this weekend’s series will be videostreammed as well and can be viewed for a fee at: www.cctigers.com.
THE COACHES: 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 226-220-61 overall record -- including a 104-60-24 mark (for a .617 winning percentage). Besides capturing the school’s first NCAA championship two years ago, his Bulldogs have posted four consecutive 22-win seasons while advancing 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, the Bulldogs 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 charges 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 member 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 with the Bulldogs on March 31, 2000 following six years of assistant coaching deployment at North Dakota (which won two NCAA titles during his tenure). Prior to that, 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 active 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. entry at that same event last winter.
The all-time winningest coach in Colorado College hockey history, Scott Owens (Colorado College, 1979) is in his 14th year with the Tigers and has a 308-198-45 record -- 20-18-4 versus UMD -- to show for it. He’s also directed the Tigers to a three WCHA regular season championships (2007-08, 2004-05 and 2002-03) and seven NCAA post-season appearances (2010-11, 2007-08, 2005-06, 2004-05, 2002-03, 2001-02 and 2000-01). A four-time letterwinner as a Tiger goaltender, Owens was a member of the Colorado College coaching staff from 1991-95 and served as the Tigers’ associate head coach for the final two years of that stay. He left Colorado Springs in 1991 to take on the head coaching and general manager duties of the United States Hockey League’s Des Moines Buccaneers and in his four winters with that club, Owens posted an overall record of 179-76-9 for a .695 winning percentage. In 1998-99, his Buccaneers racked up a record-setting 62-12-1 mark and skated off with the USHL’s regular-season and playoff titles. They also took runnerup honors at the national Junior A championships after winning that crown the previous year. A native of Madison, Wis., Owens spent six years (1984-90) as the general manager of the USHL’s Madison Capitols, doubling as the team’s head coach his last four seasons.
THE RIVALRY: UMD and Colorado College have collided on 172 previous occasions in a rivalry which began on Jan. 4, 1961 at the old Duluth Curling Club. The Tigers hold a somewhat slim 84-81-7 lead in the all-time series, but are winless in seven of their last nine bouts with the Tigers (2-6-1). The two clubs last collided in UMD’s 2012-13 regular season home finales one year ago (Feb. 24-25) where the Bulldogs prevailed 4-3 in overtime and 5-2.
LAST WEEK: UMD went over the .500 league for the first time this season by downing Michigan Tech University twice last weekend at AMSOIL Arena. Freshman goaltender Matt McNeely turned aside all 28 Huskies shots in the opener Friday to backstop UMD to a 1-0 triumph and post his first collegiate shut out. The following night, the Bulldogs got three-point efforts from both freshman center Tony Cameranesi (two goals and one assist) and senior right winger Mike Seidel (three assists) and held on to nip their long-time WCHA rivals 5-4. Junior left winger Joe Basaraba, who collected the Bulldogs’ lone goal Friday, also tallied in the rematch.
Colorado College traded WCHA victories with North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D., snapping a seven-game losing skid (0-6-1) by skating past the host club 4-3 on Friday night before falling 5-3 in the rematch. A pair of centers -- Scott Winkler (two goals and one assist) and Rylan Schwartz (one goal and two assists) each closed out the weekend with three points.
ONE AND DONE: This is the second straight year UMD and Colorado College will meet in just one regular season series.
THAT’S ALL FOLKS: UMD and Colorado College, along with current WCHA colleagues the University of Denver, the University of Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota and St. Cloud State University, will join forces with Miami University and Western Michigan of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in the new eight-team National Collegiate Hockey Conference next fall. The Bulldogs have been members of the WCHA since the 1965-66 season.
LET’S GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD: The Bulldogs are 4-6-2 away from AMSOIL Arena this winter, which includes an 0-2-0 mark in neutral site games (The Florida College Hockey Classic). Rookie center Tony Cameranesi paces UMD in scoring in those 12 outings with six goals and nine assists for 15 points while senior right winger Mike Seidel (7-4=11) and senior defenseman Wade Bergman (0-11=11) are next. UMD has outscored the opposition 19-11 in the opening period of play but has been outscored 27-17 the rest of the way.
BULLISH BULLPUPS: UMD’s rookie class is the fifth highest-scoring group in the country at the moment (it shares that spot with Providence College) amassing 54 points on 21 goals and 33 assists. Tony Cameranesi, who snapped a three-game scoreless skid with a two-goal, one-assist effort last Saturday, ranks third among all NCAA newcomers in points with 22 -- two back of Miami University’s Riley Barber and one behind Northeastern University’s Kevin Roy. Left winger Austin Farley, who had gone pointless in five games before striking for a goal in Saturday’s 5-4 victory over Tech, is tied for sixth nationally with 17 points. Cameranesi’s 12 power play points thus far are the fourth most of any WCHA skater (and tops among freshmen) while his 3.70 shots per game ranks sixth among all league combatants. In addition, Andy Welinski holds down the No. 3 slot on the WCHA first-year defensemen scoring charts with two goals and nine assists.
SAVING SOME OF THEIR BEST HOCKEY FOR LAST: Senior right winger Mike Seidel continues to pace the Bulldogs is tied for the Bulldog scoring lead (with rookie center Tony Cameranesi) with 22 points. Six of Seidel’s team-leading 11 goals have come on the power play, a number bettered by only two other players in the nation thus far (Mercyhurst College’s Chris Bodo with eight and Minnesota State-Mankato’s Eriah Hayes with seven). Back on the blueline, senior Wade Bergman has accumulated 15 points -- three shy of his career high which he set last season and the ninth most of any WCHA defenseman.
MORE POWER TO THEM: The Bulldogs have struck at least once with the man advantage in all but six games this season and now possess the WCHA’s second best power play percentage at 22.8 percent. Only three other NCAA clubs -- the University of Minnesota (27), Union College (26) and Minnesota State University-Mankato (24) -- have racked up more power play goals than UMD (22) to date.
DRAWING A CROWD: Last Saturday night’s victory over Michigan Tech came in front of a crowd of 6,829 -- the largest to ever take in a UMD home game (the previous best was 6,808 vs. Colorado College on Feb. 25, 2012 -- the last time the Bulldogs and Tigers squared off). The Bulldogs are 24-13-4 in 41 lifetime engagements at AMSOIL Arena, which opened its doors for business on Dec. 30, 2010. That includes a 5-4-1 record this season UMD is currently averaging the sixth best home attendance (6,255 a night) of any team in the nation at the moment.
THE BIG 1-0-0: Junior right winger Joe Basaraba, who scored once in both wins over Michigan Tech last weekend, will skate in his 100th collegiate game this Saturday in Colorado Springs. Basaraba now has seven goals on the season, matching his career high which he established as a sophomore.
TIME TO RALLY THE TROOPS: The last time the Bulldogs overcame a second-intermission deficit to win was on Nov. 10, 2010 when they erased a 2-1 Michigan Tech advantage by scoring four goals in the final 20 minutes of regulation on their way to a 5-3 triumph at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. UMD is 0-22-2 (0-7-0) in that situation since then.
THAT’S A PLUS: Junior defenseman Tim Smith (+7), sophomore defenseman Chris Casto (+3) and freshman center Tony Cameranesi (+2) are the lone three UMD skaters who currently sport positive plus-minus numbers. Casto is an impressive +24 for his career while senior defenseman Wade Bergman is not far behind at a +21.
BULLDOG BITS: MinnesotaIn his last eight starts, rookie goaltender Matt McNeely is 6-2-0 with a 2.09 goals against average, a .915 saves percentage and one shut out (1-0 over Michigan Tech last Friday night). During that stretch he has given up just one power play goal (against Michigan Tech last Saturday) ... With an average of 16.5 minutes of infraction time per night, the Bulldogs are the nation’s third-most penalized team. Their opponents haven’t fared any better in this department, accruing 188 penalties (six more than UMD) for a 17.0 minutes per game ... UMD has allowed three shorthanded goals this winter -- including one each in both of its Florida College Hockey Classic bouts last months -- after allowing just two during all of 2011-12. On the flip side, The Bulldogs have collected just two shorthanded goals over the past two seasons -- by sophomore center/wing Adam Krause (his first collegiate tally) at Michigan Tech on Nov. 30 of this year and Keegan Flaherty (also at Michigan Tech on Dec. 2, 2011) ... Going back to Feb. 26, 2010, the Bulldogs have lost two or more games in a row only five times and the longest losing streak they’ve had to endure during that stretch is three outings (Oct. 8-16, 2011) ... Senior right winger Keegan Flaherty has now skated in 103 consecutive games, the longest ironman streak among active Bulldogs while senior center Jake Hendrickson has made 87 appearances in a row dating back to Dec. 30, 2010 ... The Bulldogs are unbeaten in 38 of their last 43 overtime games (15-5-23; 0-1-3 in 2012-13) stretching back to the 2008-09 season opener. Among active Bulldogs, only two have an overtime goal to their collegiate credit -- senior forwards Cody Danberg (Jan. 11, 2008 vs. Minnesota State-Mankato) and Mike Seidel (March 10, 2012 in UMD’s 3-2 double-overtime victory over visiting Minnesota State-Mankato in the WCHA playoffs) ... The Bulldogs, who have outshot the opposition in all but four of their 22 engagements to date, are averaging 32.6 shots on goal per night, which ranks 15th nationally. At the same time, they are giving up 25.9 shots to the opposition, the seventh lowest figure in the country ... Senior team captain Cody Danberg, who because of injuries had taken part in only one game over the previous two seasons (the 2011-12 opener with the University of Notre Dame at AMSOIL Arena), is the first sixth-year senior to ever play at UMD ... With an average of 16.6 minutes of infraction time per night, the Bulldogs are the nation’s third-most penalized team. Their opponents, haven’t fared any better in this department, accruing 125 penalties (four more than UMD) for a 17.4 minutes per game clip ... Since suffering a 3-2 setback to Bemidji State in the opening round of the 2011 WCHA Final Five, UMD is 22-1-4 when taking a lead into the third period (4-1-2 in 2012-13) ... UMD is 7-2-1 in series openers this season but a mere 2-6-2 in rematch games with those two triumphs coming on Dec. 15 at Alaska Anchorage and last Saturday vs. Michigan Tech ... The Bulldogs have scored the second-most first-period goals (28) of any WCHA club thus far. Minnesota is first with 33.
ON TAP: The Bulldogs will take a brief respite from WCHA warfare to host the U.S. National Under-18 Team on Jan. 26 in an exhibition matinee.
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