Brad Elliott Schlossman
Schlossman is in his 12th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He 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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GRAND FORKS — The Gambucci Cup is not on the line this weekend at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. It may have that feel, though. An expected eight Greater Grand Forks high school players — representing all three local prep programs — will play in this weekend's showdown between No. 8 North Dakota and No. 12 St. Cloud State. UND's roster features four from East Grand Forks Senior High — senior captain Gage Ausmus, junior alternate captain Tucker Poolman, freshman defenseman Colton Poolman and freshman forward Dixon Bowen.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The University of North Dakota men's hockey team is on its longest winless streak in 14 years. In large part, special teams are to blame. During the current six-game win drought — coming against No. 1 Denver, No. 2 Minnesota Duluth and No. 7 Minnesota — the Fighting Hawks have played dead-even with their opponents at even strength (7-7). But UND has been outscored 11-3 on special teams, handing the Fighting Hawks an 0-4-2 record during that stretch.
GRAND FORKS — Shane Gersich hauled in the cross-ice pass. He saw a quarter of the net open — a prime opportunity to tie the game late in the third period and finish a hat trick. He quickly fired. The puck appeared wired for the top corner of the net. Clang. It hit the crossbar, flew into the netting and North Dakota once again couldn't get over the hump in a 3-2 loss to the University of Denver in Ralph Engelstad Arena. UND's winless streak is now at six games (four losses, two ties). It is the program's longest winless streak in 14 seasons.
GRAND FORKS — Denver coach Jim Montgomery finally sat down this summer and re-watched the NCAA Frozen Four national semifinal game against UND. He didn't take notes. He didn't break down tendencies. "I watched it as a fan," Montgomery said. "Now, I understand why so many people were saying it was a classic game. It was a great game. Back and forth. Momentum swings. Everything you want. It was two teams going after a championship."
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The University of North Dakota men's hockey team will not be getting on a bus today. There is no road trip scheduled. And a weekend at home might be exactly what the Fighting Hawks need. After going 0-3-1 on its trips to Duluth and Minneapolis, No. 6 UND returns to Ralph Engelstad Arena for a two-game showdown against No. 2 Denver at 7:37 p.m. Friday and 7:07 p.m. Saturday. Maybe, the Fighting Hawks can get back on track with some home-cooking. UND is 5-0 in Ralph Engelstad Arena this season.
GRAND FORKS — Word reached the press box about 20 minutes before faceoff Saturday night. Tucker Poolman, who injured his arm blocking a shot a night earlier, was not going to be able to play against rival Minnesota. This was not good news. Not only is he one of the best defensemen in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, Poolman is the steady hand on the University of North Dakota's youthful back end. He plays roughly 30 minutes per night. That's half the game.
MINNEAPOLIS—UND will have to wait another three years to try to end its Mariucci misery. Despite putting together one of its best performances of the early season, UND only had a 2-0 loss to Minnesota to show for it Saturday night in the latest showdown between the two rivals. Minnesota goalie Eric Schierhorn, who was shaky Friday night in allowing five goals, turned in a brilliant performance Saturday, stopping 33 shots, including a penalty shot by Brock Boeser with 39.1 seconds left.
MINNEAPOLIS—It took 6 minutes, 17 seconds for North Dakota and Minnesota to get in a scuffle Friday night. "It was like, 'we're baaaaack,'" Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. Indeed, the North Dakota-Minnesota rivalry returned after three years Friday night and it was like it had never gone away. In front of a raucous Mariucci Arena crowd, these teams scuffled, showcased their skill and went blow-for-blow until it ended up as a 5-5 tie in front of 9,939 chanting fans—many wearing green.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — A name or number is all that's needed to conjure up the memories. From Neal Broten to Robbie Bina to Evan Trupp to Blake Wheeler to Chris Porter to 0.6 seconds to The Timeout, big goals and key plays in the North Dakota-Minnesota rivalry have a way of staying throughout the years. That's even more true in the YouTube era.
GRAND FORKS — Each day, the University of North Dakota hockey players enter Ralph Engelstad Arena in the northeast corner. They swipe their keycard and walk down a winding staircase. If they take a left turn at the bottom, they'll stroll by the photos. There's Matt Watkins and Chris VandeVelde with their arms raised in front of Minnesota goalie Jeff Frazee, celebrating the overtime goal that sent UND to the 2007 NCAA Frozen Four.