Brad Schlossman / Forum News Service
GRAND FORKS - St. Cloud State is looking for a new head women's hockey coach. Eric Rud, who has been at the helm for the last five seasons, was introduced as the new associate head coach for the Miami men's program Monday. That leaves an opening in St. Cloud. One of the most intriguing candidates for the Huskies could be former University of North Dakota head coach Brian Idalski. Idalski had success turning around a UND team that won just three of 61 league games before his arrival. By Year 4, UND won 20 games, and in Years 5 and 6, it made the NCAA tournament.
GRAND FORKS -- By all accounts, last weekend’s national meetings in Florida didn’t cause much upheaval. That, in part, was due to the fact that 2019 is not a rules change year. College hockey can only release new points of emphasis but not wholesale rules changes for the upcoming season. But there may be one big procedural change in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
GRAND FORKS -- Last summer, college hockey approved a new rule that allows officials to use video review on potential major penalty calls during the regular season. The theory behind it was simple: Nobody likes more video reviews that slow down the game, but major penalty calls are so critical -- it hands a team a five-minute power play that doesn’t expire and it usually involves an ejection -- that it’s more important to get the call is right than it is to speed up the game. This season, there has been some pushback on that.
GRAND FORKS -- University of North Dakota coach Brad Berry made his first big shakeup after the Fighting Hawks failed to reach the NCAA tournament for a second-straight season. UND announced Tuesday, April 16, that it has parted ways with assistant coach Matt Shaw. “We thank coach Shaw for his contributions to North Dakota hockey and wish him the best in future endeavors,” Berry said in a statement.
GRAND FORKS -- Cole Spicer started a group chat with Trey Ausmus and Jaksen Panzer this week. “We said that we’re going to do this for real,” Spicer said. “We’re going to put 100 percent into it and we’re going to make each other better.” On three consecutive days, the 2004-born hockey players from Greater Grand Forks committed to their hometown team, the University of North Dakota. Spicer finished off the hat trick of commitments on Wednesday, April 3. Panzer, a forward from Grand Forks, committed Tuesday. Ausmus, a defenseman from East Grand Forks, committed Monday.
FARGO -- Eli Rosendahl remembers sitting in his office in Ralph Engelstad Arena years ago, hearing a knock on the door. It was Jacob Benson. While other participants in The Hockey Academy’s workout sessions headed home after completing their training, Benson stayed and asked Rosendahl, the director of THA, if he would open the skill room so he could keep rounding out his game. He did. Rosendahl remembers the on-ice drills, too.
There’s been an interesting common theme among the last three college hockey national championship teams. They’ve all had a North Dakotan on the roster. In 2016, the University of North Dakota won it with four North Dakotans on the roster -- forward Luke Johnson, defenseman Paul LaDue and forward Johnny Simonson of Grand Forks and defenseman Keaton Thompson of Devils Lake. In 2017, Denver won it with defenseman Matt VanVoorhis, who grew up in Grand Forks, on the team.
ST. PAUL -- The offseason battle last summer in college hockey was about overtime. Despite efforts by the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee to make overtime uniform across all six college hockey conferences, it ended up allowing each league to do as it wants. The three Eastern-based conferences -- Hockey East, the Eastern College Athletic Conference and Atlantic Hockey -- opted to stop games after the NCAA-mandated five-minute overtime and leave the game as a tie.
DENVER, Colo. — Colton Poolman's offensive point totals aren't as high as they were a season ago. The National Collegiate Hockey Conference coaches think his impact has been even greater, though. The league's coaches voted Poolman, a University of North Dakota junior defenseman and the team's captain, one of three finalists for NCHC player of the year award Thursday. The others are St. Cloud State defenseman Jimmy Schuldt and Minnesota Duluth goaltender Hunter Shepard. The award will be handed out at the NCHC's annual awards banquet next week in St. Paul.
GRAND FORKS -- Last weekend, there were 14 playoff series across four different college hockey conferences. The home teams went a combined 26-5 in games and 13-1 in series. The lone road team to win a series was 10th-seeded Army, which beat seventh-seeded Mercyhurst in a first-round Atlantic Hockey series. That home dominance has been reflected in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, too. Despite all of the talk about parity in the league, in the last three playoffs, home teams are a combined 24-3 in quarterfinal games and a perfect 12-0 in those series.