The UMD men’s hockey team is entering a key weekend in WCHA play.  They are hosting the Denver Pioneers for the first time and last time this year.

It’s the only meeting of the year for the future teams in the NCHC conference. This weekend will also mark their final regular season games in the WCHA.

Head Coach Scott Sandelin says it’s a key part of the schedule, “You look at who we play here in the next ten games and of course you take it one game at a time.  Of course Denver is ahead of us in the standings by a point, Minnesota, Mankato, Omaha those teams are all ahead of us.  So we kind of control our own destiny and it’s nice that we are playing at home here and we have to take advantage of that.  But these are like playoffs.  We need to find a new level and continue to see better and better things with our team and hopefully that’s a good sign.”

Denver was the team the Bulldogs played at the final game of the DECC.  They haven’t been here since.  UMD won that game 2-1 back on December 4th 2010.

The Bulldogs are 10-11-3 overall and 8-7-3 in the WCHA.  Denver is 13-8-4 overall and 8-6-4 in WCHA.  DU is ranked 10th in the country and the Bulldogs are unranked.

The UMD Women’s hockey team ranked 10th in the country will be taking on the #1 ranked Minnesota Gophers Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  The Gophers have not lost this year and are the defending national champions.  The Gophers swept UMD earlier in the year at Amsoil Arena.  Head Coach Shannon Miller confident that they can get one game this weekend, only time will tell.  Both games at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

Trapp Time

The Esko girl’s basketball team on the road at McGregor on Thursday and got the win 68-38.  Esko led at the half, 32-21.  Savanna Trapp needed five blocks to set the all-time record for blocks and finished the game with two on the night.

The Eskomos moved to 18 – 1 on the season at McGregor.  Claudia Turner scored 18 points on the night to go with 5 rebounds to spark the Eskomos.  Savanna Trapp joined Turner in double figures with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots.  Marisa Shady (12 points) and Brooke Schramm (10 points) also reached double figures for the Eskomos, Schramm also had 7 rebounds and 5 assists.  Abby Hawkinson was the lone Merc in double figures with 19.  The Eskomos remain the lone Polar League school undefeated in conference play.

Esko plays Superior on Monday night, the record could fall then.  Superior beat Duluth East on Thursday night 75-45 in a non-conference game.  The Spartans are state ranked in Wisconsin and are in first-place in the Lake Superior conference.

In other girl’s basketball games on Thursday:

Grand Rapids  76

Denfeld   45


Cherry  59

South Ridge  43

Prep Puck Thursday

Lot’s of local hockey teams in action on Thursday night.  Hermantown topped C-E-C 4-1 in a Lake Superior Conference game.  Denfeld continues to roll, with an 8-3 victory over Duluth Marshall at Mars Lakeview Arena breaking a long losing streak against the ‘Toppers.

Duluth East beat Lakeville South 4-2.  That was the school that beat East in the first round of the state tournament a year ago.

Hibbing-Chisholm over International Falls 8-3.

Super Sunday is almost here.  Baltimore vs. San Fran.  I’m an NFC guy, always have been always will be.  Game will be on CBS.

Keep Smile’n Northland.

I will.

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