St. Cloud, MN – With the NCAA suspending all winter tournaments we’ll have an asterisk in the record book for the 2020 Frozen Four which was scheduled to be played April 9-11 in Detroit. North Dakota of the NCHC finished the season as the top-ranked team in the Pairwise and Cornell ended up as the consensus top pick in the online polls. Congratulations go out to all the league champions including American International (21-12-1, Atlantic), Penn State (20-10-4, BIG 10), Cornell (23-2-4, ECAC), Boston College (24-8-2, Hockey East), North Dakota (26-5-4, NCHC), Minnesota State (31-5-2, WCHA) and Independent, Arizona State (22-11-3) who was positioned to make their second straight appearance in the NCAA tourney.
Certainly it would have been another exciting tournament with several favorites including North Dakota, UMD, Minnesota State, Cornell and Boston College with upsets bound to have occurred. We can only speculate on how this years tourney would have played out.
NCAA “Dead Period”
Recently, the NCAA has extended the recruiting “dead period” for all Division I sports through May 31st. As such, coaches are not allowed to meet face-to-face with a recruit off campus or do any in-person scouting. They’ve also encouraged all colleges to stop all official and unofficial visits. However, recruiting will not stop completely; coaches and recruits can still communicate over email, phone, text and social media.
With that said, here’s some updates to report on;
Huskies Assemble Challenging Non-Conference Schedule
Although the official schedule has not been released yet, here’s some information on the 2020-21 schedule for the Huskies. Please keep in mind this is considered tentative until the official schedule is released.
A challenging early season calendar has SCSU starting with an exhibition with a to-be-determined Canadian university opponent on Saturday, October 3rd. They then dive into a very tough stretch of games against three teams that would have participated in the 2020 NCAA Tournament. They’ll open the season hosting Arizona State University on October 10-11 following by Minnesota State University Mankato at the HBNC on October !6 and 17. The Huskies then complete their non-conference series with Boston College and Northeastern returning to Boston to face the Eagles on October 23 and Northeastern on October 24.
They return to non-conference action with a pair of games against another 2020 NCAA tournament bound team, Bemidji State facing the Beavers in Bemidji on November 20th and in St. Cloud on November 21.
The Huskies wrap up the calendar year with an exhibition with the USA National Team Development Program on Tuesday, December 29th.
SCSU completes their non-conference schedule participating in the Mariucci Classic (teams to be determined) on January 2/3, 2021.
The complete 2020-21 tentative non-conference schedule should look like this (home games in bold):
October 3 – Exhibition (Canadian Team)
October 10/11 – Arizona State University (Home)
October 16/17 – MSU Mankato (Home)
October 23 – AT Boston College
October 24 – AT Northeastern University
November 20 – AT Bemidji State University
November 21 – Bemidji State University (Home)
December 29 (Tues) – USA National Team Development Program
January 2/3 – AT Mariucci Classic (Teams TBD)
(The complete NCHC composite schedule will be released on Wednesday. )
Coaching Search Continues
There is nothing new to report on the formal search for an assistant to replace Mike Gibbons who announced his retirement on March 19. The position for this fixed term coaching position was posted on March 26 with a closing date for online applicants by April 27th.
No names have been released and it is unlikely that any names will be released until after April 27th.
With the NCAA “Dead Period” being extended to May 31 and recruiting activities curtailed, the urgency for a swift hire is less than what it would normally be. We’ll keep you advised as developments occur.
USHL Player Commits to the Huskies
On Saturday, April 4th, the Huskies received a commitment from Grand Forks, ND native Mason Salquist. Salquist, a 5’9″ 172 pound left-shooting forward played his high school hockey at Grand Forks Red River High School, the alma mater of recent St. Cloud State University players Jon Lizotte and Jacob Benson, both four-year players for the Huskies. Salquist had a prolific three years at Grand Forks Red River compiling 59 goals and 91 assists for 150 points in 80 games. He was also quite productive in the Minnesota High School Elite League for team Great Plains with 24 points in 36 games including 13 goals.
Salquist split time between the NAHL’s Janesville Jets (Janesville, WI) and the Fargo Force of the USHL in 2018-19 and really came into his own offensively during the 2019-20 season with 15 goals and 12 assists for 27 points placing him fifth on the squad in points. Salquist is described as a determined player with skill that can handle the physical side of the game. He possesses a quick shot and and has a good eye for the net.
It is anticipated the 20 year-old will join the Huskies for the 2021-22 season.
In my next update, I’ll provide further information on the anticipated in-coming class for 2020-21.
Until then, stay safe out there.