THE REGIONAL: For the third time in four years, the University of Minnesota Duluth has nailed down a berth in the NCAA Tournament and this Saturday (March 24) the defending national champion Bulldogs will open Northeast Regional play by taking on the University of Maine in Worcester, Mass. Game time is set for 6:34 p.m. (CDT) at the DCU Center (10,893 capacity) and will be preceded by the other semifinal round matchup featuring Boston College and Air Force. The two winners will move on to the Northeast Regional championship the next night at 7:04 p.m. THE RECORDS: The Bulldogs, who are unbeaten in eight of their last 10 outings (6-2-2), own a 24-9-6 overall record and placed second in the final WCHA standings at 16-7-5. Maine is 23-13-3 in all games and went 15-10-2 in Hockey East play (fourth place) while Boston College captured the Hockey East regular season title with a 19-7-1 mark. The Eagles, who also laid claim to the 2011-12 Hockey East playoff crown, have won 15 straight games and are 29-10-1 on the year. Air Force is 21-10-7 overall and finished first in the 12-team Atlantic Hockey Association, going 15-6-6 before proceeding to win that circuit’s playoff championship THE SEEDS: Boston College is the Northeast Regionals’ No 1 seed followed by UMD (No. 2), Maine (No. 3) and Air Force (No 4). HOW THEY RANK: Here is how UMD, Maine, Boston College and Air Force stacked up in the latest USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls as well as the PairWise rankings: USCHO.com USA Today PairWise UMD 5th 5th 7th UM 11th 11th 9th(t) BC 1st 1st 1st AF 16th RV 22nd(t) ON THE AIR: All of the Bulldogs’ action at the Northeast Regional will be carried on 94X (94.1/104.3 FM) with Bruce Ciskie handling the play-by-play. The broadcast can also be heard on KQ 105.5 in Grand Rapids/Hibbing and KQ 106.7 in Ely/Virginia as part of the Bulldog Radio Network and is available on the internet at: www.fan1490.com. The UMD-Maine clash will be aired live on Fox Sports North Plus and on ESPN3.com with Joe Beninati, Billy Jaffe and Dan Parkhurst (rinkside reporter) behind the mikes. ESPNU/ESPNU HD will televise that semifinal on a tape delayed basis and show Sunday’s title game live. THE COACH: The runnerup for the 2010-11 Spencer Penrose Award (American Hockey Coaches Association NCAA Division I Coach of the Year) and recipient of that honor in 2003-04, Scott Sandelin is in his 12th season behind the UMD bench where he has compiled a 216-209-58 overall record -- including an 94-49-21 mark (a .637 winning percentage) since the 2008-09 opener. Besides capturing the school’s first NCAA championship one year ago and rolling up the team’s best overall record in 19 years (26-10-6), his Bulldogs have posted four consecutive 22-win seasons, and advanced to fourth NCAA tournaments (2004, 2009, 2011 and 2012), two Frozen Fours (2004 and 2011) and seven of the past 10 WCHA Final Five tournaments. In March 2009, UMD became the first play-in game participant to ever claim the Final Five title and, later that spring, strung together a school-record six-game postseason winning streak before it fell to Miami University 2-1 in the NCAA West Regional final. Eight years ago, Sandelin, 47, turned UMD into a NCAA Frozen Four participant for the first time in nearly a generation, marshaling his troops to their most victories (they were 28-13-4 overall) and highest WCHA finish (second place on a 19-7-2 mark) since 1992-93. For his efforts, the Hibbing, Minn., native was chosen the WCHA Coach of the Year as well as the national coach of the year by both insidecollegehockey.com and uscho.com. In 2002-03, Sandelin’s Bulldogs went 22-15-5 overall and captured fifth place in the WCHA with a 14-10-4 mark while experiencing the greatest one-season turnaround of any league club that winter. One year earlier, he guided UMD to a 13-24-1 record in all games -- nearly doubling the number of victories from the previous season (7-28-4). Sandelin officially signed on as a member of the Bulldog staff on March 31, 2000 following six years of assistant coaching deployment at North Dakota. Prior to joining the Fighting Sioux (who won two NCAA titles during his tenure), Sandelin spent the 1993-94 season as the head coach of the Fargo-Moorhead Junior Kings of the Junior Elite Hockey League after working in that same capacity (and doubling as general manager) the previous winter with the American Hockey Association’s Fargo-Moorhead Express. He capped off his four-year playing career at North Dakota in 1985-86 by being named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. An All-WCHA first team pick and an All-American second team selection as a senior, Sandelin went on to play seven years of professional hockey, which included National Hockey League stints with the Montreal Canadiens (1986-88), Philadelphia Flyers (1990-91) and Minnesota North Stars (1991-92). Sandelin, one of just two current WCHA coaches to do time in the NHL, was the Montreal Canadiens’ second-round pick in the 1982 NHL draft (40th choice overall). He served as Team USA’s head coach at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships, directing that club to a fourth-place finish, and was an assistant coach for the U.S. at that same event this winter. THE SERIES: Friday’s clash will mark only the ninth meeting ever -- and first in NCAA postseason play -- between the Bulldogs and Maine. The following is a breakdown of the all-time series, which UMD leads 5-3-0. Date Score Site Dec. 27, 2005 UMD 4, Maine 1 Estero, Fla.# Jan. 7, 1989 Maine 4, UMD 1 Duluth, Minn. Jan. 16, 1988 Maine 6, UMD 2 Bangor, Maine Jan. 3, 1987 Maine 2, UMD 1 Duluth, Minn. Nov. 23, 1985 UMD 6, Maine 3 Bangor, Maine Nov. 22, 1985 UMD 7, Maine 2 Bangor, Maine Dec. 1, 1984 UMD 7, Maine 2 Duluth, Minn. Nov. 30, 1984 UMD 6, Maine 2 Duluth, Minn. #Florida College Hockey Classic (semifinals) UMD IN THE NCAA POSTSEASON: This year’s NCAA tournament berth is the eighth-ever for the Bulldogs and third since 2008-09. UMD qualified for the NCAA postseason in 2010-11 (when it captured the school’s first NCAA championship), in 2008-09 (quarterfinal round) and in 2003-04 (semifinals) under current head coach Scott Sandelin as well as in 1992-93 (quarterfinal round), 1984-85 (third place), 1983-84 (second place) and 1982-83 (quarterfinal round). UMD has compiled a 13-8-0 lifetime record in the NCAA tournament and 7-2-0 since Sandelin’s arrival. AGAINST THE REST: Lifetime against the entire Northeast Regional field, the Bulldogs are a collective 12-13-1 -- 5-3-0 vs. Maine, 4-10-1 vs. Boston College and 3-0-0 vs. Air Force. vs. AIR FORCE Date Score Site Jan. 2, 1999 UMD 7, Air Force 2 Duluth, Minn.+ Dec. 28, 1981 UMD 10, Air Force 2 Duluth, Minn. Nov. 24, 1972 UMD 7, Air Force 2 Duluth, Minn. +Silverado Shootout vs. BOSTON COLLEGE Date Score Site Oct. 10, 2003 UMD 2, BC 2 (OT) E. Lansing, Mich.@ Dec. 29, 2001 BC 5, UMD 1 Duluth, Minn.+ Dec. 28, 1989 BC 3, UMD 2, Milwaukee, Wis.* Jan. 23, 1989 BC 7, UMD 2 Boston, Mass. Jan. 2, 1988 UMD 5, BC 1 Duluth, Minn. Dec. 27, 1987 BC 4, UMD 2 Uniondale, NY~ Jan. 16, 1987 BC 7, UMD 1 Boston, Mass. Dec. 7, 1985 BC 4, UMD 3 Duluth, Minn. Dec. 6, 1985 UMD 10, BC 1 Duluth, Minn. Mar. 30, 1985 UMD 7, BC 6 (OT) Detroit, Mich.≠ Jan. 12, 1985 BC 4, UMD 2 Boston, Mass. Jan. 11, 1985 UMD 8, BC 4 Boston, Mass. Dec. 30, 1983 BC 6, UMD 4 Duluth, Minn. Nov. 25, 1971 BC 4, UMD 3 Duluth, Minn.^ Dec. 30, 1967 BC 5, UMD 3 Duluth, Minn. @Icebreaker Invitational +Silverado Shootout *Bank One Badger Hockey Showdown ~Long Island Classic ≠NCAA Frozen Four (Third Place Game) ^Christmas City of the North Tournament THEY’VE HAD THIS IN COMMON: The Bulldogs and Black Bears had just three common opponents during the 2011-12 season, including Providence College (UMD was 1-0-1; Maine was 2-1-0), the University of Alabama-Huntsville (both teams were 2-0-0) and the University of North Dakota (UMD was 1-1-0; Maine was 0-1-1). LAST WEEKEND: UMD succumbed to Denver 4-3 in double overtime Friday afternoon in the semfinal round of the WCHA Final Five Tournament in St. Paul. The Bulldogs rallied from a 3-0 second-period deficit on a pair of goals from junior left winger Mike Seidel and another from senior center Jack Connolly only to see the Pioneers end the longest game in the 20-year history of the Final Five by striking at the 8:14 mark of the second extra session. ALL JACKED UP FOR A RUN AT THE HOBEY: Jack Connolly, the first Bulldog to ever be named a Hobey Baker Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist twice and the first to earn All-WCHA first team status three times, currently ranks second in the nation in both scoring (58 points, one shy of his career-high and three back of frontrunner Spencer Abbott of Maine) and assists (39). The two-time All-American wrapped up the 2011-12 regular season as the WCHA scoring champion (after finishing second in that race one year ago), racking up 43 points (16 goals and 27 assists) in league play. That was six more points than his next closest competitor and highest scoring yield by any player in six years. He became the sixth Bulldog to top the WCHA in points, joining the likes of Junior Lessard (2003-04), Chris Marinucci (1993-94), Derek Plante (1992-93), Bill Watson (1984-85 and 1983-84) and Keith “Huffer” Christiansen (1966-67). A finalist for the 2011-12 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, Connolly has now amassed 65 goals and 130 assists for 195 career points, which are a hefty 32 more than the next closest active NCAA skater (Yale University’s Brian O’Neill) . That places him in the No. 9 spot on UMD’s all-time scoring charts and one point behind the No. 8 occupant, the legendary “Huffer” Christiansen (1963-67). And talk about consistency: Going back to the end of his freshman season, Connolly has been held pointless for more than one game in a row only twice (on Jan. 27-28, 2012 when he was blanked in both ends of the Michigan Tech University series, which terminated his school single-season record 22-game scoring streak, and on Jan. 23 and Jan. 29, 2010). He’s gone without a goal or an assist only five times this winter and in those five outings the Bulldogs are a mere 1-3-1. Connolly, the nation’s top returning scorer from a year ago (he finished third in the NCAA with a career-high 59 points), has been a member of WCHA All-Academic Team the past three winters and is just the second two-time All-American the Bulldogs have ever had in their lineup (defenseman Norm Maciver, in 1985-86, was the other). In addition, he is the first Bulldog to post back-to-back 50-point seasons since Hobey Baker Memorial Award recipient Chris Marinucci turned the trick in 1993-94 (61) and 1992-93 (77). Connolly, who has skated in a team-record 164 consecutive games since joining the UMD program, is within striking distance of becoming the first NCAA puckster in five years (University of Michigan’s T.J. Hensick) to reach the 200-point career mark. ACTIVE NCAA CAREER SCORING LEADERS Player (Yr, School) GP G A TP 1. Jack Connolly (Sr., UMD) 164 65 130 195 2. Brian O’Neill (Sr., Yale) 138 69 94 163 3. Austin Smith (Sr., Colgate) 153 79 81 160 4. Brian Flynn (Sr., Maine) 152 69 86 155 5. Spencer Abbott (Sr., Maine) 150 53 92 145 6. Cameron Burt (Sr., RIT) 147 43 95 138 7. Chris Connolly (Sr., Boston U.) 152 39 90 129 8. Kelly Zajac (Sr., Union) 156 37 90 127 9. Reilly Smith (Jr., Miami) 120 66 56 122 10. Justin Florek (Sr., No. Mich.) 157 54 63 117 Drew Shore (Jr., Denver) 122 49 68 117 12. Andrew Miller (Jr., Yale) 104 24 91 115 13. Travis Oleksuk (Sr., UMD) 132 45 68 113 Justin Schultz (Jr., Wisconsin) 121 40 73 113 15. Brad Hunt (Sr., BSU) 150 24 88 112 UMD’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST Player (Years) GP G A TP 1. Dan Lempe (1976-80) 146 79 143 222 2. Derek Plante (1989-93) 138 96 123 219 Matt Christensen (1982-86) 168 76 143 219 4. Bill Watson (1982-85) 108 89 121 210 5. Gregg Moore (1979-83) 148 99 107 206 6. Scott Carlston (1978-82) 147 87 116 203 7. Tom Milani (1972-76) 146 100 98 198 8. Keith Christiansen (1963-67) 102 75 121 196 9. Jack Connolly (2008- ) 164 65 130 195 10. Tom Kurvers (1980-84) 164 43 149 192 UMD’S CAREER ASSISTS LEADERS Player (Years) GP No. 1. Norm Maciver (1976-80) 165 152 2. Tom Kurvers (1989-93) 164 149 3. Dan Lempe (1979-80) 146 143 Matt Christensen (1982-86) 168 143 5. Curt Giles (1975-79) 143 135 6. Jack Connolly (2008- ) 164 130 7. Derek Plante (1989-93) 138 123 HOW ABOUT THAT: The 2011-12 Bulldogs have reached the 22-victory plateau for the fourth consecutive winter (the first time that has happened since the mid-1980s) and captured second place in the final WCHA standings -- its highest league finish in eight years. WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?: Right winger J.T. Brown, the reigning Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player and a 2011-12 All-WCHA first teammer, continues to lead the NCAA in plus-minus rating (+30) and is tied for seventh in goals (a career-high 23). His 46 points, also a personal best, are bettered by 11 other players in the country at the moment. Brown, who tops UMD in shots on goal this winter with 184 -- just under five per night, is the first Bulldog to record two hat tricks in the same season (three goals at the University of Nebraska Omaha on Jan. 13 and four goals at the University of Alaska Anchorage three weeks ago) since MacGregor Sharp did it in 2008-09. LEAD ‘DOGS: Since the 2010-11 opener, UMD is 34-1-3 (14-0-2 this winter) when taking a lead into the third period with the lone loss coming at the hands Bemidji State University (3-2 in overtime) at the 2011 WCHA Final Five. During that same stretch, they are a mere 1-15-2 (0-8-1 in 2011-12) when trailing at the second intermission. WAY TO GO, T.O.: Certainly saving his best hockey for last, alternate team captain Travis Oleksuk currently is tied for fifth among all NCAA skaters in both scoring (a career-high 51 points) and plus-minus rating (+24) and is tied for 16th in goals (21, another personal best). Last month, the Thunder Bay, Ontario product became the 54th member of UMD’s century club and he now has 45 goals and 68 assists for 113 points in 130 lifetime outings. Oleksuk, a 2011-12 All-WCHA third team pick, also has six-game winning goals to his senior-year credit (to rank third nationally) and 15 for his career, which equals the team record set by current Bulldog assistant coach Derek Plante (1989-93). THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE ROAD: The Bulldogs, who earlier this season assembled a school-record 15-game road unbeaten streak (which ended with a 3-1 loss at the University of Nebraska-Omaha on Jan. 14), have compiled a 14-4-5 mark outside of Duluth since the start of the 2011 NCAA playoffs. They are 10-4-5 on the road this winter (including neutral site games) and have outscored the opposition 68-45 in the process -- 29-11 in the third period alone. Over the past two seasons, UMD has dropped just nine of its 42 away outings, going 24-9-9 (.678). ROOKIE ON THE RISE: Left winger Caleb Herbert comes into this weekend ranking 10th among all NCAA rookies in points (32). Since the 1995-96 season, only one other first-year Bulldog has bettered that scoring harvest (current Winnipeg Jets center Tim Stapleton finished with a team-leading 42 points in 2002-03.) THE “REIT” STUFF: 2011-12 All-WCHA second team goaltender Kenny Reiter owns the fourth best winning percentage in the country to date (.694 off a 22-8-5 record), is fourth nationally in victories (a career-best 22) and has logged the seventh most minutes of any NCAA puckstopper (2199:48). Reiter, a four-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipient who earlier this season set a team record for consecutive shutout minutes (166:45 from Nov. 4-12), is now 51-25-11 for his career with the Bulldogs. That translates into a .649 winning percentage, the second best figure in club history behind All-American Rick Kosti’s .753 mark (60-18-2 between 1983-85). He also holds a share of the team record (with All-American Alex Stalock, 2006-09) for career shutouts with nine and is fifth all-time in victories. Going back to the start of the 2011 NCAA postseason, Reiter has suffered just eight losses in 40 appearances (26-8-6). His current career 2.36 goals against average and .913 saves percentage are the best two marks ever compiled by a Bulldog while his 51 wins rank fourth all-time. The 2011 NCAA East Regional Most Outstanding Player, Reiter backstopped the Bulldogs to their first national title last April while turning in the third best single-season goals against average (2.30) and saves percentage (.914) in team history. THE “REIT” STUFF II: And how is this for some clutch puckstopping?: In 14 career NCAA/WCHA playoff starts, Kenny Reiter is 10-4-0 with a 1.96 goals against average and a .930 saves percentage. One year ago during UMD’s four-game run to the NCAA title, he allowed just four even strength goals while going 4-0-0 with one shutout. REITER’S CAREER SHUTOUTS Date Opponent Score Saves 11/11/11 Alaska Anchorage 5-0 27 11/5/11 @Denver 4-0 29 10/29/11 Bemidji State 1-0 23 3/25/11 Union College# 2-0 32 1/21/11 @Michigan Tech 5-0 14 1/14/11 Wisconsin 2-0 22 3/14/10 Colorado College* 4-0 25 1/30/10 Wisconsin 4-0 28 1/2/10 Mercyhurst+ 6-0 26 #NCAA East Regional (Bridgeport, Conn.) *WCHA Playoffs +in Burlington, Vt. GET SHORTIE: UMD has scored the fewest shorthanded goals (one) of any WCHA club in 2011-12, but has also given up a league-low two of its own (both at home against Michigan Tech University on Jan. 27 and the University of Notre Dame on Oct. 8). ON THE LAMB: Senior Brady Lamb, who will carry a career-high seven-game scoring streak into the Northeast Regional, ranks 10th among all NCAA defensemen in points with 30. Since the 2004-05 season, only two other UMD blueliners -- current NHLers Matt Niskanen (31 points in 2006-07) and Justin Faulk (33 points in 2010-11) -- have racked up more. PLENTY OF SENIOR MOMENTS: UMD continues to sport the highest-scoring senior class in the NCAA. The seven Bulldogs in the group, including Kenny Reiter (five assists, one shy of the UMD record for goalies)and left winger Cody Danberg, who has been out of action with injuries since the 2011-12 opener, have combined to roll up 55 goals and 116 assists for 171 points. PLENTY OF SENIOR MOMENTS II: During the last four years, UMD’s seven seniors have enjoyed quite the run, capturing the school’s first-ever NCAA title last spring and a WCHA playoff crown in historic fashion two years ago, securing three NCAA playoff berths, spending 12 weeks as the No. 1-ranked team in the country, and amassing a 94-49-21 overall record (for a .641 winning percentage). FREE HOCKEY: The Bulldogs are now unbeaten in 36 of their last 40 overtime games (15-4-21; 2-2-6 in 2011-12) stretching back to the start of the 2008-09 season. A school-record 15 of UMD’s 42 engagements last winter (35.7 percent) required an extra session, and the Bulldogs were 7-2-6 in those. The seven sudden-death victories also eclipsed the previous club standard of five set in 1984-85. Senioor center Travis Oleksuk leads all active Bulldogs in career overtime goals (three) and also assisted on Kyle Schmidt’s sudden-death score in UMD’s 3-2 win over the University of Michigan in the 2011 NCAA Frozen Four title game. In the Bulldogs’ nine overtime victories the past two seasons, Oleksuk has figured in on five of the game winners, scoring two of them himself and helping set up three others. Player OT Goals Travis Oleksuk 3 J.T. Brown 2 Jack Connolly 1 Cody Danberg 1 Mike Seidel 1 THE OLD ONE-THREE PUNCH: The Bulldogs, who have assembled college hockey’s third-best winning percentage to date (.692), still pace the nation in goals with an average of 3.64 per night and are also the third best team in the WCHA at preventing them (2.56 gpg). PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES: The top active Bulldog playoff (WCHA and NCAA) scoring leaders are as follows: Name GP G A TP +/- Jack Connolly 21 9 12 21 +6 Travis Oleksuk 21 2 10 12 -3 Brady Lamb 21 4 8 12 +8 J.T. Brown 10 4 3 7 +1 Mike Seidel 14 4 3 7 0 Jake Hendrickson 10 0 4 4 +3 Wade Bergman 14 2 2 4 +5 Joe Basaraba 10 0 3 3 +1 David Grun 14 1 1 2 -3 Caleb Herbert 3 0 1 1 -2 Scott Kishel 4 0 1 1 -2 Max Tardy 7 1 0 1 -2 Cody Danberg 11 0 1 1 -1 Keegan Flaherty 13 0 1 1 +1 Drew Olson 14 0 1 1 -4 Chris Casto 3 0 0 0 +3 Adam Krause 3 0 0 0 -1 Tim Smith 3 0 0 0 0 Dan DeLisle 4 0 0 0 -2 Name GP/GS W-L-T GA GAA SVS SVS Kenny Reiter 14/14 10-4-0 31 1.96 410 .930 Aaron Crandall 0/0 0-0-0 0 0.00 0 .000 BOMBS AWAY: UMD has been outshot in only seven of its 39 games this season and is now first in the country in shots with a 36.1 per game average. In their last outings, the Bulldogs peppered Denver goaltender Sam Brittain with a school-record 70 shots -- seven more than the previous all-time best. THAT’S A PLUS: Chris Casto, one of 12 Bulldogs who has taken part in each of the 39 games to date, leads all NCAA rookie defensemen -- and is fourth among all of the nation’s freshmen -- in plus-minus rating (+21). IRON JACK: When he took his first faceoff against North Dakota on Feb. 10, 2012, senior center Jack Connolly established a new UMD record for consecutive games played with 154. That was one more appearance than the previous record holder, Jeff Scissons, made between 1996-2000. The following is a listing of active Bulldog ironman streaks. Name Games Streak Started Jack Connolly 164 10/10/08 Travis Oleksuk 113 11/6/09 David Grun 101 1/8/10 Keegan Flaherty 79 10/15/10 Wade Bergman 63 12/30/10 Jake Hendrickson 63 12/30/10 THEIR BEST PERIOD. PERIOD: The Bulldogs have outscored the opposition 51-30 in the third period this season and those 51 goals are tops among all WCHA contingents. AT THE HEAD OF THEIR CLASS: Three Bulldogs -- sophomore goaltender Aaron Crandall, redshirted freshman defenseman Luke McManus and senior goaltender Kenny Reiter -- were among the 61 men to qualify for a WCHA Scholar Athlete Award for 2011-12. Reiter, attained that distinguished honor for a fourth time (something only four other league players have ever done since the award’s inception in 2005-06) while Crandall was also a 2010-11 recipient. THE TURNSTILES WERE A TURNIN’: UMD averaged 6,328 spectators a night during its first full season at AMSOIL Arena. Only five other schools in the country -- the University of Wisconsin (11,773), North Dakota (11,341), Minnesota (9,539), Nebraska-Omaha (7,864) and Colorado College (6,754), -- drew more. Since moving into that new $80-million, 6,726-seat downtown facility on Dec. 30, 2010, the Bulldogs have rolled up a 17-9-3 record there (12-5-1 in 2011-12). THEIR BEST YET: Of the 14 veterans on the 2011-12 Bulldog roster (not including the injured Cody Danberg), 11 have achieved career highs for scoring this winter. The three exceptions are senior center Jack Connolly (who is two points short of a single-season best), junior left winger Dan DeLisle (three points) and senior right winger David Grun (four points). Name Yr Pts Previous High Joe Basaraba So. 16 5 (2010-11) Wade Bergman Jr. 18 10 (2010-11) J.T. Brown So. 46 37 (2010-11) Keegan Flaherty Jr. 11 7 (2010-11) Jake Hendrickson So. 9 5 (2010-11) Scott Kishel Sr. 18 8 (2009-10) Brady Lamb Sr. 30 24 (2009-10) Travis Oleksuk Sr. 51 33 (2010-11) Drew Olson Jr. 8 4 (2010-11) Mike Seidel Jr. 30 14 (2010-11) Max Tardy So. 7 3 (2010-11) ONE CLASS ACT: Jack Connolly is one of 10 NCAA I hockey players -- and the lone WCHA representative --- who has been chosen as finalists for the 2011-12 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The award is presented annually to an NCAA I athlete in 10 sports (men’s hockey, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s lacrosse, softball, football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball) based on achievement in the “Four C’s” -- classroom, character, community and competition. Connolly, UMD’s second Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award finalist (Andrew Carroll was the first in 2008-09), maintains a 3.30 cumulative GPA as a communication major and will graduate this May. MAKING THEIR POINT ON THE POINT: UMD has gotten more offensive production out of its defensemen (95 points on 19 goals and 76 assists) than all but six blueline crews in the entire country (the University of Michigan with 105, Minnesota with 104, St. Cloud State with 102, Boston University with 101, and Harvard University and North Dakota, both with 97). BULLDOG BITS: The three-point outing (two goals and one assist) junior right winger Mike Seidel turned in last Friday in UMD’s 4-3 double overtime setback to Denver as the first of his collegiate career. Over the past two winters, the Bulldogs are unbeaten in 33 of the 36 outings Seidel has marked in the points column (28-3-5) ... UMD has played in two consecutive multi-overtime games (a 3-2 double OT win over Minnesota State University-Mankato on March 10 in Duluth and last Friday’s 4-3 double OT setback to Denver) -- a program first ... After going his first two seasons -- 74 games worth -- without a goal, junior left winger Keegan Flaherty, who will turn 22 this Sunday, has scored seven times in 2011-12 and registered UMD’s lone shorthanded tally thus far (Dec. 2 at Michigan Tech) ... In 10 lifetime road appearances, sophomore goaltender Aaron Crandall is 7-2-1 with a 2.28 goals against average and a .912 saves percentage -- a somewhat stark contrast to his home numbers (5-2-0, 3.48 and .857 in 10 outings). He and his younger brother, rookie left winger Justin Crandall, are the first siblings to play together for the Bulldogs in 11 years (defenseman Ryan Coole, then a senior, and his younger brother, freshman goaltender Adam Coole, were the last in 2000-01) ... UMD’s 17-game unbeaten streak, which came to an end on Jan. 14 at Nebraska-Omaha, was three games better than the previous team record set between Jan. 2-Feb. 21, 2004 ... In their nine losses thus far in 2011-12, the Bulldogs have connected on just six of their 43 power play opportunities (14.0 percent) while the opposition is 13-for-38 (34. 2 percent) with the man advantage ... Since Feb. 19-26, 2010, the Bulldogs have lost back-to-back games only one time -- when they fell to Notre Dame on Oct. 8, 2011 and to Minnesota (twice) the following weekend ... Sophomore defenseman Tim Smith is the first UMD newcomer with previous Division I experience (Providence College in 2009) since Jesse Unkelsbay, who joined UMD as junior in 2002-03 following two years at Alaska Anchorage ... When rookie defenseman Derik Johnson hit the ice for the first time against Minnesota back in October, it completed the ninth father-son combination to play for the Bulldogs. Derik’s father, Jim Johnson, also patrolled the UMD blueline and during his senior season in 1984-85 served as team captain before going on to enjoy a 13-year NHL career. (He’s now an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals). The father of senior center Travis Oleksuk -- Bill Oleksuk -- also played for the Bulldogs and captained UMD in 1981-82 and is the school’s 12th all-time leading scorer ... UMD posted a 6-1-1 non-conference record in 2011-12 for a .813 winning percentage -- its best figure since 1995-96 (4-0-0) ... The Bulldogs possess the nation’s 15th most effective power play (21.0 percent) but sit 53rd among the 58 NCAA I clubs in killing penalties (77.6 percent) ... J.T. Brown has potted at least one goal in nine of his last 11 games ... Jack Connolly is the only current Bulldogs with a NCAA playoff game-winning goal to his credit (last April in a 4-3 victory over Notre Dame in the Frozen Four semifinals) ... Senior goaltender Kenny Reiter’s 22 wins this winter are a career-high and the fifth most ever registered by a Bulldog in a single season. TAMPA OR BUST: The champions from each of this weekend’s four regionals will advance to the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four, which is set for April 5 and 7 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla.