St. Cloud athletic director Morris Kurtz is retiring after this school year. Whoever inherits his job has a lot of difficult work ahead of them. The Huskies, along with fellow in-state schools Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota State, chose to stay in the rapidly dissolving Division II for non-hockey sports, and have faced some serious budget difficulties, including needing a student vote earlier this year to raise fees in order to keep the school's football program. Hockey remains strong, this year's struggles excluded, but actual attendance and arena atmosphere have declined somewhat in recent years due to relatively high ticket prices.
AnnArbor.com profiled Michigan senior Carl Hagelin. Last Saturday, on Michigan's senior night, the Wolverines played the Swedish national anthem in honor of Hagelin, and Hagelin responded with some late-game heroics, scoring a game-tying goal with just 20 seconds left, and then netting the overtime winner with just 3 seconds remaining in the overtime.
Also of note for Michigan, they picked up a commitment from '95 forward Tyler Motte. Discussion about next year's NTDP team is probably better served in a longer post, but it's worth noting that a few years ago, a college commitment was practically a guarantee that a player would get invited to the NTDP's Final 40 camp. This year, there's already at least 18 '95s that have committed to college, with plenty of high-profile players still uncommitted, meaning there's probably going to be a few getting left out. Motte probably isn't in that category, for what it's worth.
i still hate the Pairwise with a fiery passion, but it's the system that is going to be used, whether it makes any sense or not(which it doesn't). A few people have taken some team-specific looks at how some of the comparisons breakdown. Here's one from a Michigan perspective and one from the North Dakota and Minnesota perspective.
The Minnesota high school tournament took its first crazy turn on Tuesday evening, when Section 6A's ninth seed, St. Cloud Apollo took down the section's top seed of Little Falls by a score of 3-1. Strictly based on seeding, it may be the biggest upset ever in the high school tournament. I've seen a people recall 8s beating 1s, but never a 9 beating a 1. That was a section perhaps ripe for an upset, with Little Falls not being quite as dominant, and a lot of mixed results throughout the section. Despite being the 9th seed, Apollo split with 5th seed Alexandria, who will be their next opponent, this year.
It's a nice victory for an Apollo program that is trying to rebuild itself after falling on some very hard times. Apollo was a program that once made the state tournament back in the single-tournament era, and has produced some excellent players in recent memory including Mike Howe, Chris Harrington, and Matt Hartman, but had to move down to Class A a few years ago, and hasn't even really been competitive there.
The United State of Hockey gets out ahead of the game by looking at prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft. That draft will be an incredibly interesting one, with so many extremely good defenseman available.
I did a brief interview with Ryan S. Clark's excellent Fargo Force blog.
North Dakota put out a highlight video for Matt Frattin's Hobey campaign.