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 — Defenseman Gabe Bast came to the University of North Dakota with the reputation of having a heavy shot from the point and the ability to add offense. After missing the first two weeks of the season recovering from shoulder surgery, and taking a few more to adjust to college hockey, the rookie blue liner is starting to do just that. Bast will take a three-game point streak to this weekend's two-game series against Minnesota Duluth (8:08 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, and 7:07 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20).
GRAND FORKS—The University of North Dakota men's hockey team ended the nonconference portion of its schedule Saturday, Jan. 13, with a game that perfectly summed up its nonconference season. It wasn't exactly what UND wanted. But it was good enough and the Fighting Hawks will take it. UND tied Bemidji State 2-2 in front of 11,868 fans in Ralph Engelstad Arena to put its nonconference record at 6-2-4. UND had one sweep (St. Lawrence), three wins and ties (Alaska Anchorage, Wisconsin, Bemidji State), one split (Minnesota) and one loss and tie (Union).
UND has hired Bill Chaves from Eastern Washington as the school's next athletic director. A press conference is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday to introduce Chaves.
BEMIDJI—Seven games into the season, Austin Poganski was one of just two players on the UND men's hockey roster without a point. The captain vowed he wouldn't change his game, though. He said his focus was on playing his bruising style of hockey—finishing checks, being a pest defensively and not taking any shortcuts to rack up statistics. If he did that, Poganski said, the points would eventually come. Sure enough, they're coming.
GRAND FORKS—Hall of Famers Steve Yzerman and Rob Blake hovered outside the Bemidji State locker room after a game against Bowling Green last month. The two NHL legends were there on business. They are the general managers of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Los Angeles Kings—and they wanted to have a word with Bemidji State sophomore defenseman Zach Whitecloud. They weren't alone that night. And they haven't been alone this season.
GRAND FORKS — In his last trip to Amalie Arena, Brock Boeser had a goal and four points in the NCAA national championship game, leading the University of North Dakota to its eighth title. When he goes back in a couple of weeks, it will be as an NHL All-Star. Boeser was named to the NHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, Jan. 10, the lone representative from the Vancouver Canucks and the only rookie to be selected to the game.
GRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota coach Brad Berry watched the college football national championship game Monday night, Jan. 8, with his 12-year-old son, Bauer, and noticed something that looked familiar. Alabama benched starting quarterback Jalen Hurts at halftime, looking for a spark from backup Tua Tagovailoa. It worked. Alabama rallied in the second half and beat Clemson in overtime to win the national title.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Brad Berry was a standout defenseman at the University of North Dakota before becoming the program's head coach. It appears he's pretty good at recruiting that position, too. UND landed a verbal commitment this weekend from Jake Sanderson, a 2002-born defenseman from Calgary and the latest touted defenseman to join the future roster. Sanderson visited campus during UND's two-game series against Omaha and made his commitment there, according to his Instagram account.
UND coach Brad Berry pulled rookie goaltender Peter Thome aside Saturday morning during the team's pregame skate. "We're going to shake things up and try to give the team a boost," Berry told Thome. "You're going to start tonight, so be ready." That wasn't the only change Berry had up his sleeve. He also scratched two of his prized rookie forwards—Grant Mismash and Collin Adams—and juggled two of the three defensive pairings.
GRAND FORKS — It's no major surprise that offensive production was an issue for the University of North Dakota men's hockey team Friday night. That's been a theme, off and on, for this whole season. But the concern level ratcheted up when the Fighting Hawks were only able to muster one goal—on a penalty shot, no less—in a 4-1 loss to an Omaha team that entered the weekend ranked 59th of 60 college hockey teams in goals allowed and dead last in goalie save percentage.