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Former UND standouts make NHL debuts, more to come

GRAND FORKS, N.D.--Zane McIntyre made his NHL debut Tuesday night against his home-state team. Troy Stecher made his NHL debut Tuesday night as a member of his hometown team. It was a memorable evening for two of the UND hockey program's standout...

GRAND FORKS, N.D.-Zane McIntyre made his NHL debut Tuesday night against his home-state team.

Troy Stecher made his NHL debut Tuesday night as a member of his hometown team.

It was a memorable evening for two of the UND hockey program's standouts played their first NHL games, making it four NHL debuts in the last 13 days for former UND players.

McIntyre, who starred at Thief River Falls High School and at UND, made a relief appearance in goal for the Boston Bruins, who were at home against the Minnesota Wild.

McIntyre, wearing a familiar-looking goalie mask with his grandmother, Susan McIntyre, painted on the back plate, stopped 15 of 17 shots in 29 minutes, 24 seconds of action. The Bruins lost 5-0.

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McIntyre was called up to the Bruins after injuries to Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin. McIntyre was 1-0 with a .977 save percentage and a 0.44 goals-against average for Boston's top minor-league affiliate, the Providence Bruins.

McIntyre was a fifth-round pick of the Bruins.

After not having a goalie play in the NHL since Ed Belfour, UND had two in the span of a week. Aaron Dell made his first start for the San Jose Sharks last week and earned a victory.

Moments after McIntyre's game came to a conclusion, his former UND teammate, defenseman Troy Stecher, made his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks.

Stecher, who is from the Vancouver area, played on the top defensive pairing with Alex Edler, a former NHL All-Star.

Stecher led UND to the national championship last season as a junior, then signed a free-agent contract with the Canucks in April. Stecher was undrafted.

Earlier this month, Nick Schmaltz made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks and scored his first NHL goal. Schmaltz, a first-round pick of the Blackhawks, also was on UND's national title team last season.

The debuts may not be done, either.

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Drake Caggiula was slated to start the season as the third-line center for the Edmonton Oilers, but got injured in the final week of the preseason. He remains sidelined.

UND announces West Regional ticket info

UND announced ticket info for the NCAA West Regional, which will be held in Fargo's Scheels Arena on March 24-25. If UND makes the NCAA tournament, it will automatically be placed in Fargo's regional.

North Dakota Champions Club members will have the ability to purchase tickets through their My North Dakota accounts Nov. 14-15. Tickets will cost $104-$114 and will be sold as a three-game package (two semifinals and regional final).

Ticket availability is based on NDCC priority points as of noon Tuesday.

On Nov. 14, NDCC members in the top 100 will have the opportunity to purchase up to six tickets per NDCC membership account, subject to availability. On Nov. 15, NDCC members ranking from 101 through 400 will have the opportunity to purchase up to four tickets per NDCC membership account, subject to availability.

The deadline for the top 400 members to purchase tickets is 6 p.m. Central on Nov. 16.

At 10 a.m. Central on Nov. 17, NDCC members No. 401 and beyond will have the opportunity to purchase up to two tickets per NDCC membership account, subject to availability on a first-come, first-serve basis in each member's My North Dakota account.

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NDCC members received an email earlier today with more information about My North Dakota account and their current priority point ranking.

Questions about priority points and all NDCC matters should be directed to Champions Club Associate Director Val Sussex at (701) 777-4078 or vals@undfoundation.org .

Student-ticket info will be emailed to students in the coming weeks. Student tickets will be $64 and located in a standing-room only student section behind the north goal.

A limited number of tickets for the general public will be available at www.ncaa.com/frozenfour at 10 a.m. Central on Dec. 8.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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