While listening to a podcast of the Pipeline show last week while riding my bike, Fighting Sioux junior defenseman Dillon Simpson said something that got me thinking – it’s going to be hockey season very soon. While I am not very good at math – we’re roughly about 2 months away from the start of the college hockey season. "If" the NHL gets their stuff together with the CBA, we are about 9 weeks away from the drop of the puck in the NHL.
The summer is beginning to wind down and incidentally the fall semester at UND starts on 22 August – so like I mentioned above -– we're getting down to crunch time – hockey season is just around the corner... The college hockey season begins the 6th and 12th of October with exhibition games against the Manitoba Bison and the USNDT under 18 team.
In the final season of the WCHA as we know it – the University of North Dakota Hockey team will begin its defense of the Broadmoor Trophy – in case you were counting – UND is going for the 4-peat … That would be unprecedented if UND won the trophy for season in a row.
Per Jayson Hajdu UND has officially gone Division I in all of their sports.
The University of North Dakota is proud to announce that it has been elected to full Division I active membership status from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), officially completing UND's transition from Division II status. UND President Dr. Robert Kelley received a letter from the NCAA today confirming the University's active membership in Division I athleticsIf you’ve been paying attention this summer, you will have noticed that the NCAA has been very busy – yesterday, the NCAA levied a very heavy punishment against BGSU defenseman freshman defenseman Ralfs Freibergs, basically Freibergs is going to get to play 3 regular season games and possibly about 2-6 playoff games if BGSU doesn’t decided to have him file for a redshirt.
Kevin Gordon Sentinel Tribune --- Bowling Green freshman defenseman Ralfs Freibergs has been suspended for 33 games by the NCAA, the result of his junior hockey team in Latvia playing in a professional league, Falcon hockey coach Chris Bergeron said.This is what former Princeton Tiger and current LA Kings’ Kevin Westgarth had to say about the prospects of the NHL having another lockout. I agree with Westgarth; I think we are going to see a lockout – actually – I would be very surprised if it didn’t happen. In my opinion, I think that the owners are trying to weaken the NHLPA.
The Latvian born Freibergs has played junior hockey in the United States the last 2 1/2 seasons, but played in his home country before that.
He played with the Latvian national team in the World Junior Championships in 2009 and 2010 . To prepare the team for the WJC, Latvian officials had the team play in a Latvian professional league.
The NCAA penalized Freibergs one game for each game he played in the league. "Ultimately, anything professional, when it comes to the NCAA, is something that will have penalties with it," Bergeron said. "We knew, as a program, as a staff, this was a possibility. It's not something out of left field."
BG has 36 regular-season games this season, so Freibergs will be eligible to play the Saturday game of its next-to-last series of the regular season.
Pat Leonard, Blue Shirts Blog --- Finally, the LA Kings’ Kevin Westgarth said it best on Wednesday when asked what he believes is the players’ No. 1 issue, considering the feedback he’s received from his peers:Boston Bruins heir apparent Tuukka Rask is ready to take over the reigns as the starting goalie in Beantown this fall. According to Capgeek, the RFA Rask has a new one year deal worth $3,500,000.
"Generally, like the fans, we are concerned about – I think everyone has a little post-traumatic stress from last time,” Westgarth said, referring to the lockout and missed season of 2004-05, when the union lost the battle and eventually agreed to the salary cap in place today.
Tuukka Rask was caught off guard - just a little - when he heard fellow Bruins goalie Tim Thomas decided not to play next season.Here is some interesting news – former Edmonton Oiler, Vancouver Canucks and New York Ranger forward Mark Messier has been awarded a $6-million in a settlement with the Vancouver Canucks. [Vancouver Sun] Mark Messier played with the Vancover Canucks from 1997-2000 and returned to play for the Rangers from 2000-04.
Shocked? Not so much.
''I wasn't expecting him to do that, obviously,'' Boston's new starting goalie said Thursday at a charity event. ''But I really appreciated what he's done and I appreciate his decision to want to be with the family and take some time off hockey.
''It really didn't shock me that much, but I'm more sad to see him leave because we had a really good connection and friendship going on. But I'm sure he's happy now where he is, and gets to spend time with his family.''
Former Fighting Sioux forward Chris Vandevelde was on an Edmonton Oilers podcast recently and this is what he had to say about his recent success in the AHL playoffs. Also, the Edmonton Journal also has this story on Vandy as well. There is a chance that Vandevelde could make the Edmonton Oilers roster out of training camp.
Jonathan Willis, Edmonton Journal --- In 68 regular season games in the AHL, Chris VandeVelde scored just seven goals. In 14 post-season games, however, he tallied six times. What happened?
I’ve spent a lot of time looking at VandeVelde’s last couple of seasons over the last two weeks. Between evaluating the Oilers’ prospects for our prospect series here at the Cult of Hockey and the Top-25 Under-25 at the Copper and Blue, his name would have come up anyway, but combine those two series with the fact that VandeVelde turned down his qualifying offer, subsequently signed an identical deal, and now is in the conversation as a possible Oilers roster option in 2012-13 and he’s been top of mind.
VandeVelde was on Oilers Now a few days ago, and host Bob Stauffer asked him about that bump in goal-scoring during the post-season. VandeVelde had some difficulty answering the question but even so I found what he said interesting:
"I mean I just… I, you know, I was shooting more and I had confidence and that’s a huge thing. Any player with confidence is obviously better, and just making good plays, playing with good line-mates, that’s just how it went and we had a good run there."
America Sky Conference: Men’s golf
Big Sky Conference (BSC): Men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s golf, soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball
Great West Conference (GWC): Baseball
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF): Men’s swimming and diving
Western Athletic Conference (WAC): Women’s swimming and diving (affiliate member)
Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA): Men’s and women’s hockey (2012-13 final season)