Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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ST. PAUL—The University of North Dakota men's hockey season was put to bed Saturday night, March 17, at about 8:30 p.m., hours after the team beat Minnesota Duluth 4-1 in the NCHC third-place game. Fighting Hawks fans, who started the day enjoying the pairing of St. Patrick's Day and the final day of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament at the Xcel Energy Center, were left to ponder how the 15-year NCAA tournament streak could end this year.
ST. PAUL—Everything was on the line for the University of North Dakota hockey team late Friday afternoon, March 16, at the Xcel Energy Center. The Fighting Hawks needed to win or the school's streak of 15 straight years in the NCAA tournament was going to be in serious jeopardy. St. Cloud State was in college hockey's Big Dance no matter what. In terms of motivation, there could have been some Husky hunger to play close to home in the Sioux Falls regional or simply knock a storied program like North Dakota out of the national picture.
GRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota junior defender Christian Wolanin is having one of the best seasons from the blue line in program history. He's the team's leading scorer, and he's one goal away from the school record for goals by a defenseman in a season. Who does he credit for this standout season? Defensive pair Colton Poolman. "He makes my job so much easier," Wolanin said. "Without him, I wouldn't be the player I am this year, for sure."
GRAND FORKS — By the time the University of North Dakota and St. Cloud State started the 3-on-3 portion of overtime late Saturday night, March 3, nothing was at stake. Minnesota Duluth had already beaten Nebraska Omaha, while UND had already squeezed out a tie to earn home ice for the first round of the NCHC playoffs. The battle for one NCHC point meant nothing in terms of position in the standings at that point.
GRAND FORKS — During his college career, St. Cloud State defenseman Jon Lizotte has developed a reputation as a strong, defensive defenseman. Maybe it's something about being back home at Ralph Engelstad Arena that seems to help the Grand Forks Red River product find his old offensive skills. Lizotte had a goal, an assist and a team-best plus-one rating to lead St. Cloud State to a 4-3 overtime victory over UND on Friday night, March 2, in the NCHC series opener.
GRAND FORKS—University of North Dakota football coach Bubba Schweigert has a little more freedom at practice now. The fourth-year coach opened spring ball at the High Performance Center on Friday morning, March 2, with a little coaching staff shakeup, a move centered on his own duties. Schweigert has decided to no longer coach a position group. He had previously coached UND's cornerbacks since he was hired back to Grand Forks from Southern Illinois in 2014.
GRAND FORKS—In a matchup of one team searching for its 27th North Dakota state hockey championship and another team looking for its first, the traditional power was too much for the new blood. Grand Forks Central scored three times in the second period to win back-to-back state championships with a 4-2 win over Bismarck Century on Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
GRAND FORKS — The Bismarck girls hockey season came to an end Saturday night,, Feb. 24, the only way most of the players on the roster know how to finish a season—with a North Dakota state championship. Britta Curl scored twice and the Blizzard shut out a seventh-straight opponent in a 3-0 victory over Fargo North-South in the state title game at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Bismarck (22-4-0) won its fourth-straight state championship.
GRAND FORKS — Grand Forks Central and Grand Forks Red River played against each other at the North Dakota state boys hockey tournament Friday night, Feb. 23, for the first time in 13 years. The rare rivalry meeting wasn't a close, competitive thriller. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Central scored four times in the second period and goalie Kaleb Johnson recorded his fifth consecutive shutout as the Knights blasted the Roughriders 7-0 in the state semifinals at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
GRAND FORKS—Bismarck Century boys hockey coach Troy Olson has been an assistant or head coach of the Patriots since 1994. He's taken Century to the North Dakota state tournament 20 times. This time, he's finally reached the main event. The Patriots will play in the state championship for the first time in school history thanks to a 6-2 win over Fargo Davies on Friday night, Feb. 23, in the semifinals at Ralph Engelstad Arena.