Puck Drop

Puck Drop

Minnesota hockey, from ponds to pros.


Ex-Minnesota Duluth captain giving hockey in Hungary a try

Former Minnesota Duluth defenseman Nick Wolff.

As he waits for word of when Boston Bruins training camp will start, Nick Wolff will play for a couple of months and hone his skills with the DVTK Polar Bears, a Slovakian league team based in Miskocl, Hungary.


Big decision went swimmingly for U.S. Hall of Fame nominee Jenny Potter

Jenny Potter played for four U.S. Olympic hockey teams, winning a gold medal in 1998.

The Edina native always wanted to be an Olympian, and she struck gold by picking hockey over swimming as a teenager.


Motzko, Gophers men's hockey team await Big Ten football decision

Gophers men's hockey coach Bob Motzko

As the conference reportedly inched toward having football start in October, Minnesota coach Bob Motzko was cautiously optimistic that hockey decisions will soon follow.


Led by Minnesota, influence of college hockey keeps growing in NHL

College hockey and Minnesota were well-represented in this frame during the Eastern Conference semifinals when Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen (Virgin

More than 200 former college players were on NHL rosters as the postseason began, and many, including several Minnesotans, are emerging as standouts.


East Grand Forks is runner-up to El Paso in Hockeyville USA 2020 contest

East Grand Forks won Class 1A boys' hockey state championships in 2014 and '15.

The Minnesota community will receive $30,000 in arena upgrades, while the Texas city earned the grand prize of $150,000 in the online competition.


With another team leaving, future of WCHA men looks iffy

WCHA men's Commissioner Bill Robertson presented the MacNaughton Cup to league champion Minnesota State Mankato.

With seven teams leaving and Alaska Anchorage dropping the sport following the upcoming season, Commissioner Bill Robertson faces a monumental challenge to keep the conference alive.


USHL plans for 54-game season starting Nov. 6

Former Minnetonka standout Bobby Brink played for the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers before moving on to college hockey at Denver.

The Tier I junior league, a top feeder league for college hockey, cut eight games from its usual 62-game schedule.


Border Battle: Minnesota, Wisconsin cities are Hockeyville USA finalists

East Grand Forks celebrated Class 1A boys' hockey state championships in 2014 and '15. Will EGF be named the Hockeyville USA winner in 2020?

East Grand Forks and River Falls, Wis., are among four finalists in the contest, in which the winning community will receive $150,000 in upgrades to its hockey facilities.


Quick postseason exit leaves Wild with pressing questions

Alex Stalock seized the starting goalie job for the Wild this season. Whether he has that role in 2020-21 is among the team's offseason questions.

GM Bill Guerin saw how his team performed under playoff pressure. How he addresses a few issues will determine if he's building a Wild squad that can contend for the Stanley Cup.


Can the Wild find the spark it needs to avoid early knockout?

The Wild's Joel Eriksson Ek, right, hauled down Vancouver's Loui Eriksson for one of 11 Minnesota penalties in Game 3.

You have to wonder if the Canucks took Minnesota's best punch in Game 1 and discovered the easiest way to frustrate the Wild is to repeatedly send it on the power play.


March to penalty box haunts Wild in Game 2 loss to Canucks

Vancouver's Bo Horvat, center, pestered Wild goalie Alex Stalock while battling defenseman Brad Hunt during Tuesday night's Game 2 of the Western Conf

Minnesota couldn't find its offensive rhythm Tuesday night, and much of that was because its penalty killers were on the ice too often.


Discipline and smart swagger serve Wild well in series opener

The Wild's Jordan Greenway and Vancouver's Jay Beagle mixed it up during a first-period skirmish in Game 1 Sunday night.

By defeating the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night, coach Dean Evason's team ended a long streak of Game 1 struggles and did so by playing a tough, intense and intelligent game.


Playoff hockey is arriving. Time to embrace it, warts and all

The Wild's Joel Eriksson Ek, left, and Vancouver's Tyler Toffoli will renew acquaintances beginning Sunday night in the qualifying series.

An August postseason is far from normal for the NHL, but the simple fact that hockey has returned is something to savor. And we'll know soon enough if the Wild is in it for the long haul.


St. Thomas hockey, CCHA begin working toward 2021-22 start

St. Thomas athletic director Phil Esten.

Now that the Tommies have found a conference home for their men's hockey team, the heavy lifting begins for their debut as a Division I program.


Whitecaps update: NWHL pushes start of next season to January

Whitecaps forward Allie Thunstrom was congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal last season.

The women's hockey league was scheduled to begin play in mid-November, but the coronavirus pandemic prompted a new, 20-game schedule, which will end with the playoffs in March.


Far-from-normal year provides for busy July in hockey world

Russia's Kirill Kaprizov celebrates scoring a goal against the United States during the first period of semifinal game at the world junior ice hockey

The middle of summer usually is a quiet time for hockey, aside from the quick flurry of free agency. This year, however, we've seen big developments from the Wild, NHL and on the college front.


NCAA puts emphasis on three-on-three OT in hockey with new format

Gophers forward Sammy Walker (9) beat Niagara goalie Brian Wilson in five-on-five overtime last season. This year, regular-season games tied after thr

Beginning in the 2020-21 season, men's and women's hockey regular-season games will go directly to three-on-three overtime if the score is tied after three periods. The move gets rid of five-on-five OT that had followed regulation play.


Ice Breaker Tournament called off, was to be Gophers hockey opener vs. UMD

Ice Breaker Tournament called off, was to be Gophers hockey opener vs. UMD

The Ice Breaker Tournament, scheduled to be hosted by Minnesota Duluth, will be postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was slated for Oct. 9-10 at Amsoil Arena.


Da Beauty League postponed indefinitely because of coronavirus

Members of the TRIA Orthopedics team celebrated with the John Scott Cup after winning Da Beauty League last August.

The summer gathering of NHL, minor league and college players at Braemar Arena won't go on as scheduled, but organizer Ben Hankinson is holding out hope it can run later in the year.


Potential gamebreaker for Wild is so close but yet so far

Russia's Kirill Kaprizov celebrates scoring a goal against the United States during the first period of semifinal game at the world junior ice hockey

Though the NHL and players union are still negotiating, it appears Russian phenom Kirill Kaprizov won't be eligible to play for Minnesota when the NHL returns for the playoffs later this summer.