Two storied U.S. college hockey programs are coming to Winnipeg Jan. 7 as North Dakota faces Clarkson at MTS Centre in the U.S. College Hockey Classic.
It's a great chance to see college hockey in person if you haven't had the opportunity before, plus an opportunity that morning for bantam/midget players and their parents to learn more about the U.S. college path. (More info after the jump)
The morning skates will be open to the public and beforehand College Hockey, Inc. will host an informational session about U.S. college hockey. That begins at 8:45 a.m. and will be hosted by the group's Executive Director, Paul Kelly (former Executive Director of the NHLPA).
Faceoff that night is set for 7:30 p.m. (tickets). North Dakota travels north with 15 NHL Draft picks, led by a talented first line of Brock Nelson, Corban Knight and Danny Kristo. Clarkson, under first-year head coach Casey Jones, is 9-7-4 through Christmas and boasts five NHL Draft picks. Senior goaltender Paul Karpowich, a Thunder Bay, Ontario native and St. Louis draft pick, has played every game in goal and posted a 1.93 GAA and .938 save percentage.
“I've never played in an NHL rink before, so getting an opportunity to play in one means a lot, especially being so close to home,” said Karpowich. “Coming from Canada, hockey is everything there, the biggest sport. Here, you’ve got football and baseball, but you see college hockey taking off and getting more fans. Playing at these venues and going to Winnipeg, it shows how the game has progressed and how it’s attracting a new type of fan.”