North Star College Cup has SCSU Flavor

 

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When the teams hit the ice for the North Star College Cup this weekend at the Xcel Energy Center there will be a certain SCSU flavor to the tournament. You see, three of the four coaches – Bob Motzko, Mike Hastings and Tom Serratore all have SCSU in their resume. SCSU coach Bob Motzko is in his 11th season at the helm of the SCSU Huskies and was a player and coach for both Herb Brooks and Craig Dahl. He took over the reigns from Dahl in 2005 and has catapulted the Huskies to national prominence. Hastings, a 1993 graduate of St. Cloud State played for coaches Herb Brooks and Craig Dahl and was an assistant under Dahl. After 14 years at Omaha in the USHL he had stints at Nebraska-Omaha and the University of Minnesota before taking the head coaching position at Mankato. For his first three years, he compiled more wins than any other program in college hockey. Tom Serratore is in his 16th season as head coach of Bemidji State and was an assistant to Craig Dahl from 1993 to 1999. In addition to his 234 NCAA wins, Serratore led the Beavers to an appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four in 2009. They are also the defending champions of the North Star College Cup.

North Star College Cup Schedule

Saturday

Game One: St. Cloud State University Huskies vs Minnesota State University Mankato 1:05 PM CT

TV: FOX Sports North |  Internet Stream: FOX Sports GO

RADIO: KCML 99.9 FM | KVSC 88.1 FM

Game Two: Bemidji State University Beavers vs University of Minnesota Golden Gophers 4:05 PM CT

TV: FOX Sports North | Internet Stream : FOX Sports Go | BTN2Go

RADIO: 1500 ESPN |

Sunday

Consolation Game: TBD 1:05 PM CT

TV: FOX Sports North | Internet Stream: FOX Sports GO

Championship Game: TBD 4:05 PM CT

TV: FOX Sports North  | Internet Stream Fox Sports Go

 

Here’s a quick look at the participating teams:

ST. CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY HUSKIES (20-5-1 overall / 12-3-1 NCHC)

The #3 ranked Huskies have been one of the top performing teams in college hockey all season and are currently ranked #2 in the Pairwise. They are currently in first-place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Outstanding senior leadership, strong goaltending and solid defensive play make this a very balanced team. Nationally, the offense is ranked #2 scoring 4.35 goals per game. The defense anchored by goaltender Charlie Lindgren is ranked #7 in the country. The power play is dangerous and currently third in the country at 30.6%. If there is a weakness it’s the penalty kill currently ranked #51. However, they’ve been good the last two series vs UMD and WMU only allowing 1 goal in 16 opportunities (93%). The Huskies were 6-1-1 in the month of January.

  • Wins against top 15 PWR teams : 6
  • Head to Head vs teams in the North Star Cup: 2-0 vs UMN | 2-0 vs MSU
  • Last Series: SCSU swept Western Michigan University by scores of 8-2 and 7-3.
  • Top Scorers: Kalle Kossila (10-22-32) Joey Benik 15-14-29 David Morley (10-19-29) Jimmy Murray (9-18-27) Ethan Prow (5-20-25)
  • Goaltender: Charlie Lindgren (19-5-1) .930 SV% | 1.95 GAA | 5 shutouts

MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY MANKATO MAVERICKS (13-8-5 overall / 12-3-5 WCHA)

The #19 ranked Mavericks are currently in first-place in the WCHA. They are the lowest scoring squad in the tourney averaging 2.54 goals per game good for #37 in the country. They’ve made up for the lack of scoring punch with solid defensive play allowing 2.12 goals per game which places them #8 in college hockey. To remedy the issue, coach Hastings shook up the line combinations and the Mavs scored 13 goals vs Lake Superior State last weekend. However, the power play is really struggling converting only 13% of their opportunities. This is offset by their #5 ranked penalty kill at 88.5%. Currently ranked tied for 21st in the Pairwise, the Mavericks could use a solid weekend against the non-conference competitors in the North Star Cup to prop up their ranking. The Mavericks had a so-so month of January going 3-2-1.

  • Wins against top 15 PWR teams: 1
  • Head to Head vs teams in the North Star Cup: 1-1 vs UMN | 0-2 vs SCSU
  • Last Series: Mankato swept Lake Superior State University by scores of 8-0 and 5-1.
  • Top Scorers: Teddy Blueger (6-15-21) Casey Nelson (4-12-16) Michael Huntebrinker (6-10-16) CJ Franklin (9-5-14) Bryce Gervais (8-5-13)
  • Goaltender: Jason Pawloski (8-2-5) .908 SV% | 1.72 GAA  Cole Huggins (5-6-0) .907 SV% | 2.36 GAA

BEMIDJI STATE UNIVERSITY BEAVERS (10-10-5 overall  / 7-9-4 WCHA)

Bemidji State is the defending champion of the North Star Cup.The unranked Beavers are currently tied for 5th place in the WCHA. Defensively, this team has been outstanding. They are currently ranked #10 in team defense allowing 2.20 goals per game. Goaltender, Michael Bitzer is having a solid year and special teams play, particularly the penalty kill has been exemplary at 90.2% – good for #3 in college hockey. The challenge has been scoring goals currently ranked #27 at 2.64 goals per game. Currently ranked 35th in the Pairwise, the Beavers will need a strong run towards the end of the season and most likely a league tournament championship to secure a position in the NCAA tournament. the Beavers had a strong month of January losing only once in 8 games.

  • Wins against top 15 PWR teams: 0
  • Head to Head vs teams in the North Star Cup: 0-2 vs MSU
  • Last Series: A 1-1 overtime tie and a 2-1 loss to Ferris State
  • Top Scorers: Gerry Fitzgerald (12-8-20) Brendan Harms (4-13-17) Markus Gerbrandt (3-12-15) Cory Ward (6-8-14) Graeme McCormack (6-18-14)
  • Goaltender: Michael Bitzer (6-10-4) .915 SV% | 2.04 GAA | 4 shutouts

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (13-10-0 overall  / 8-2-0 BIG TEN)

The Gophers squeezed in at #20 in the USCHO rankings this week. They’ve been an enigma this season going 5-8 in non-conference games but eating up competition in the BIG Ten conference with an 8-2-0 record. They seem to be turning the corner but it will be a good test this weekend against non-conference opponents. Currently tied for 15th in the Pairwise, the Gophers have little room for error as they progress towards the end of the season. Most likely, they’ll be looking over their shoulder at Michigan and Penn State the rest of the way. Despite having the youngest average age of all the teams in the tourney (21y 5m vs 21y 11m SCSU ) they have 12 NHL draft choices on their roster, twice as many as all the other teams combined. Since the new year, the Gophers offense has come alive scoring 36 goals and ranking #13 nationally in goals per game at 3.36. But, they do not have an individual scorer in the top 25 in the country.They bring to the tourney the lowest ranked team defense at 2.65 goals per game placing them #23 in that category. Special teams have been moderately good at 22% for the power play  and 83.5% for the penalty kill. The Gophers have had a good month of January with a 6-2 record including 5 straight wins.

  • Wins against top 15 PWR teams: 3
  • Head to Head vs teams in the North Star Cup: 0-2 vs SCSU | 1-1 vs MSU
  • Last Series: The Gophers destroyed Wisconsin 4-0 and 9-2
  • Top Scorers: Hudson Fasching (15-12-27) Leon Bristedt (12-14-26) Justin Kloos (9-13-22) Tyler Sheehy (8-10-18)
  • Goaltender: Eric Schierhorn (13-10-2) .916 SV% | 2.46 GAA | 3 shutouts

As always, pertinent game links for the North Star College Cup will be HERE

Enjoy the games!

 

 

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