Notes: What happens in college hockey
UND faces ASU in U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game

Las Vegas hosts Arizona State and North Dakota (Photo: Jody Hodgson/@JodyatREA)

By Jayson Hajdu

The Las Vegas Strip will have a discernible college hockey feel to it this weekend.

North Dakota meets Arizona State on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena, home to the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights, in the 2022 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game. It marks the first-ever meeting between the Fighting Hawks and the Sun Devils. UND was ranked No. 6/7 in this week’s national polls while ASU received votes in both.

Other notable matchups this week include No. 1 Minnesota at No. 11 Ohio State, No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 16/17 Western, Michigan, No. 9 Boston University at No. 18 UMass Lowell, and No. 19 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 20 Cornell.

Additionally, the Ivy League schools will all open their seasons this weekend.

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Must Read:

New England Hockey Journal: 10 things we learned from New England DI college hockey Oct. 20-23
College Hockey News: Clarkson defenseman Noah Beck, after summer surprise, developing at swift pace
College Hockey News: Pandolfo’s culture change already evident at BU The legends of NHL iron man Phil Kessel
Grand Forks Herald: 10 years ago, there was the Timeout Game. Now, there’s the Stick Toss Game
Sportsnet: Rosters without borders
The Athletic: No Kevin Fiala? No problem for Wild’s Matt Boldy: ‘He’s going to be an All-Star’
The Mack Report: Merrimack has something cooking at the top
USCHO: College hockey traveler completes lifelong mission of seeing men’s games at every NCAA DI rink
USCHO: New DCU/ poll reflects playoff-type games played over wild weekend

Must Hear:

American Pipeline: Breaking down the eventful week in the NCAA and USHL, and more
CHN Insiders: Featuring St. Cloud State F Grant Cruikshank and Providence head coach Nate Leman
Inside Atlantic Hockey: Featuring Sacred Heart head coach C.J. Marrotolo
Talking Hockey Sense: Adam Fantilli’s historic start, the Minnesota-North Dakota rivalry, and more
The CCHA Show: Featuring Blake Pietila, Mike Snee, Damon Whitten
The Rink Live: A look back at a crazy, rivalry-packed weekend of college hockey
USCHO Weekend Review: Epic weekend at Minnesota, big sweeps for St. Cloud State, Wisconsin, Denver

Must Watch:

Northern News Now: Inside the House: Blake Biondi

Immediate Impact:

Eleven different teams will enter the final weekend of October being led in scoring by a player who transferred into the program prior to the 2022-23 season. American International F Jordan Biro, who arrived from Colorado College, paces all transfers with 11 points in eight games. He is tied for second in the national scoring race.

Other team scoring leaders or co-leaders who were offseason transfers include Alaska F Jonny Sorenson (Minnesota), Alaska Anchorage D Derek Hamelin (Canisius), Arizona State co-leaders Lukas Sillinger (Bemidji State) and Robert Mastrosimone (Boston University), Bemidji State F Mitchell Martan (Canisius), Canisius F Nick Bowman (RPI), Denver F Casey Dornbach (Harvard), Long Island F Anthony Vincent (Holy Cross), Penn State F Ture Linden (RPI), St. Cloud State F Grant Cruikshank (Minnesota), and UConn D Andrew Lucas (Vermont).

Freshman Fantilli On Fire:

Michigan freshman F Adam Fantilli is off to blazing start to the season, having racked up a nation’s-best 15 points and 10 assists through his first six collegiate games. He also boasts a plus-8 rating and has won 60.9 percent of his faceoffs. Fantilli, expected to be selected among the top three picks in the 2023 NHL Draft, is aiming to become the first freshman to lead the NCAA in scoring since Kyle Connor posted 71 points in 38 games for the Wolverines in 2015-16.

Special Indeed:

Special teams have been an early-season boon for No. 5 UMass, which enters the week clicking at a scorching 50 percent (8-16) on the power play through five games, tops in the nation. The Minutemen have also excelled while shorthanded, boasting a success rate of 94.1 percent (16-17) that is tied for third nationally. UMass will square off with Merrimack this weekend in Hockey East play.

NHL Note of the Week I:

Vegas F Phil Kessel (Minnesota, 2005-06) skated in his 990th consecutive game in Tuesday’s win over San Jose, breaking Keith Yandle’s NHL iron man streak that ended last March. The 35-year-old Kessel has played in 1,212 career NHL games overall, second-most among active NCAA alumni behind only Ryan Suter’s (Wisconsin, 2003-04) 1,286.

Kessel didn’t stop there, either, scoring his 400th career goal in the same game. He became the 14th NCAA alumni to reach that milestone in the NHL:

NCAA Alumni with 400 NHL Goals
Rk Name, Alma Mater Goals
1. Brett Hull, Minnesota Duluth 741
2. Joe Nieuwendyk, Cornell 564
3. Keith Tkachuk, Boston University 538
4. Joe Mullen, Boston College 502
5. Glenn Anderson, Denver 498
6. Rod Brind’Amour, Michigan State 452
7. Dave Taylor, Clarkson 431
8. Bill Guerin, Boston College 429
9. Joe Pavelski, Wisconsin 425
10. Tony Amonte, Boston University 416
11. Zach Parise, North Dakota 409
12. John LeClair, Vermont 406
13. Paul Kariya, Maine 402
14. Phil Kessel, Minnesota 400

NHL Note of the Week II:

Ottawa rookie F Shane Pinto (North Dakota, 2019-21) scored in his fifth consecutive game during Monday’s win over Dallas, breaking the franchise record for longest goal-scoring streak by a rookie. That record had been previously shared by Alexei Yashin, Daniel Alfredsson and Mark Stone.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

Ninety-two current or committed NCAA players appeared on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary players to watch list that was released Tuesday … Omaha senior F Jack Randl has lit the lamp a nation’s-best eight times through six games this season, already leaving him just one shy of the career-high nine goals he scored in 38 games a year ago … Arizona State freshman G TJ Semptimphelter is the only goalie in the nation two have posted two shutouts so far, and he’s done so despite having also faced the most shots (298) of any netminder. Long Island’s Vinnie Purpura, who has seen 89 fewer shots than Semptimphelter, has been the nation’s next-busiest goalie.

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