Brad Elliott Schlossman
Schlossman is in his 13th 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 — Zach Parise came on his recruiting visit to the University of North Dakota the day Ralph Engelstad Arena opened in October 2001. He was a highly touted prospect out of the Twin Cities and could name wherever he wanted to play college hockey. Parise chose UND. Brad Berry was an assistant coach at that time and remembers the day distinctly.
GRAND FORKS—The University of North Dakota hockey team was tied with No. 1 Denver late Friday night, Nov. 18, with less than two minutes to go. UND coach Brad Berry sent his fourth line on the ice. While many coaches are shortening their bench at that point, going down to two or three lines, Berry decided to stick with rolling four. And why not?
DENVER—Cole Smith sat in the penalty box, waiting to hear whether his penalty would be a two-minute minor or a five-minute major. After a long discussion between the officials, it was ruled a five-minute major and a game misconduct and Smith was sent to the locker room. His teammates kept that seat warm the rest of the night, though. In a game where penalty minutes were 27-2 UND, power plays were 8-1 Denver, the Pioneers' prolific top line used the extra time and space to light up the scoreboard and beat the Fighting Hawks 4-1 on Saturday night in Magness Arena.
DENVER—Brad Berry now has his own timeout game. Trailing 3-0 in a game that the University of North Dakota was being outshot 21-2, the Fighting Hawks pulled off an improbable rally after the head coach called a second-period timeout to stun No. 1 Denver 5-4 on the road Friday night in Magness Arena. Johnny Simonson deflected a Hayden Shaw point shot with 2:31 to go for the winning goal as the green and white that filled the stands erupted, cheered and chanted as their team upset the defending national champion Pioneers.
DENVER—When the University of North Dakota hockey team arrived at its Cherry Creek hotel on Wednesday night, Nov. 15, ahead of its showdown with No. 1 Denver, former captain Gage Ausmus was standing in the lobby. Ausmus, who now plays for the ECHL's Colorado Eagles about an hour away, gave hugs to the team as they walked in. "It's not a handshake," UND coach Brad Berry said. "It's a hug."
DENVER—Henrik Borgstrom blew past St. Cloud State captain Jimmy Schuldt. When the first-round pick of the Florida Panthers reached the left side of the crease, he put the puck on the toe of his stick, glided from left to right across the top of the crease, moved out of the reach of Husky goalie Jeff Smith and roofed the puck in the top corner of the net. Later in the game, Borgstrom scored again. It was business as usual for the University of Denver sophomore star from Finland.
GRAND FORKS — It won't be No. 1 vs. No. 2. But for the fourth season in a row, the University of North Dakota is set to play in a showdown between two teams ranked in the top three nationally. The Fighting Hawks checked in at No. 3 in this week's USCHO national poll, and will travel to Denver to take on the top-ranked Pioneers in a two-game series at 8:05 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19, in Magness Arena. Last season, Minnesota Duluth swept UND in a 1-2 matchup in Duluth's AmsOil Arena.
GRAND FORKS — Miami coach Rico Blasi was still waiting for a decision from star defenseman Louie Belpedio on whether he was going to sign with the Minnesota Wild or return for his senior season when the RedHawks started spring workouts. But Blasi saw a sign. Belpedio was going all-in on the physically and mentally exhausting workouts with the team. "I thought, boy, this is a lot of work for a guy who isn't going to be here. I think he might stay," Blasi said. Sure enough, he did.
GRAND FORKS — Jeff Dodson distinctly remembers Andrew Thome's first-career start. It came at national baseball power Wichita State, which had gone to seven College World Series and won an NCAA national championship under legendary coach Gene Stephenson, who sat in the opposing dugout. Thome was a young, freshman pitcher from St. Cloud, Minnesota.
GRAND FORKS—Since the beginning of last season, half of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference has spent time at No. 1 in the national rankings. That officially became the case when 7-0 St. Cloud State reached the top of the USCHO poll Monday morning. Denver, Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota also have been No. 1 during that span—but virtually nobody else.