Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co., Published December 03 2010
College men's hockey: St. Cloud State shows confidence in LeeGRAND FORKS – Mike Lee helped Roseau (Minn.) High to a state championship as a sophomore, the Fargo Force to the United States Hockey League finals as an expansion team and the U.S. World Junior squad to its second-ever gold medal.
About the only thing he hasn’t been able to solve is the UND men’s hockey team.
As a St. Cloud State freshman, Lee lost all three starts against the Sioux, posting a 6.70 goals-against average and a .835 save percentage. He was pulled from the last two: an 8-1 loss in February and a 5-3 loss in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five title game.
Dan Dunn provided relief. And while Dunn has 43- and 47-save performances in his only two starts against the Sioux, St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said he plans to start Lee, now a sophomore, tonight when the teams meet at 7:37 in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
“It’s one year,” Motzko said. “I’m not going to get into certain games or series with someone that was a freshman. That has to play out over time. I can only judge Mike through a year and 14 games and he’s been real strong for us in a lot of areas.”
Lee, a third-round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes, and Dunn, a sixth-round pick of the Washington Capitals, have split starts in six of seven weekends this season, so it’s a good bet that the Sioux will see Dunn on Saturday.
Lee is 3-4-1 with a 3.27 goals-against average and a .887 save percentage. Dunn is 2-3-1 with a 2.68 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.
“We really feel strongly that we have two good goalies,” Motzko said. “We don’t think either has played their best hockey yet, though.”
Sioux not thinking
about the past
This weekend will mark the first time that Husky forward Aaron Marvin and UND defenseman Chay Genoway have been on the ice together since last November, when Marvin ended Genoway’s season with a hit from behind into the glass.
Genoway suffered a concussion on the play and was unable to shake the side effects until the summer. The UND captain, who returned for a fifth year with a medical redshirt, says he’s not thinking about last year’s incident.
“That’s just in the past now,” said Genoway, who will meet with Marvin and the referees during warmups as both players are their team’s captain. “It’s just a big four points for us.”
Tensions were high when the teams met late last season with Genoway still sidelined. UND forward Mario Lamoureux challenged Marvin to a fight – one that never happened because the referees stepped in quickly – and Lamoureux was later suspended for a game.
St. Cloud State’s Chris Hepp also was suspended one game for leaving the bench to join an altercation that happened later in the contest.
“Our concern is strictly with the four points,” Lamoureux said. “That’s all we’re concerned with. We’re not worried about getting revenge. That’s not on our minds. We’re worried about getting a victory (tonight) and doing the same thing Saturday night.”
Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald.