NCAA grants two college hockey changes
Full-time practices will now begin earlier and schools can schedule other NCAA teams in exhibition games.
GRAND FORKS — The NCAA has granted two changes that men's and women's college hockey coaches and commissioners have requested.
First, the NCAA moved up the date for the first allowable full-time practices.
In the past, full-time practices — 20 hours a week — often didn't open until about the time teams were playing their preseason exhibition games.
Now, they'll open a week earlier.
Teams will still have limited hours prior to the opening of full-time practices.
The second change allows schools to schedule other NCAA colleges in exhibition games — something that was granted temporarily during the coronavirus pandemic. It will now become permanent.
A number of college hockey teams have anticipated this change and have been waiting to announce exhibition games for the 2022-23 season until it was finalized.
UND played Bemidji State in an exhibition game last season after the NCAA granted a waiver for it.
This season, the Fighting Hawks will still play a Canadian college — the University of Manitoba — in its preseason exhibition game.
But in the future, there's flexibility to continue playing Manitoba or to schedule a college team.
Robertson Cup Finals set to open
The North American Hockey League's Robertson Cup Finals are set to open this weekend in Blaine, Minn.
Four teams qualify for the Robertson Cup Finals. The semifinals are best-of-three series. The championship game will be played Tuesday.
There is a heavy Grand Forks Central influence on one team — the New Mexico Ice Wolves.
Roseau's Max Strand, who is committed to Vermont, is on St. Cloud.
And former UND great Evan Trupp, in his first year as an assistant coach, has helped the expansion Anchorage Wolverines to the Robertson Cup Finals. Trupp has been undergoing chemotherapy during the season.
- Former UND star Michelle Karvinen has signed to play for Frolunda in Sweden next season. Karvinen spent the last two seasons playing for her old college coach, Brian Idalski, and the KRS Vanke Rays in the WHL. Idalski was named St. Cloud State's head coach this week.
- R.J. Enga will replace Nick Oliver as St. Cloud State's second assistant coach. Oliver, of Roseau, Minn., left to become the head coach of the Fargo Force in the United States Hockey League. Enga was on staff at St. Cloud State as the team's director of hockey operations. He previously served as an assistant coach at Colorado College.
- Rick Bennett, who resigned midseason at Union, has been named the head coach of the Savannah Ghost Pirates (ECHL).
- As expected, Boston University has hired Joe Pereira as its assistant coach under new coach Jay Pandolfo. Pereira had been at UConn. Pereira is a former Boston University captain.