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College men's hockey: Sandelin not one to rewatch UMD title games

Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin greets fans at the red carpet entrance Saturday before the NCAA championship in Buffalo, N.Y.

Scott Sandelin has coached Minnesota Duluth in four national championship games this decade, winning three.

The Hibbing native, who just completed his 19th season as head of the Bulldogs, has yet to go back and watch any of those games in their entirety. Sandelin said Wednesday he's only caught highlights and bits and pieces here and there of his previous wins in 2011 and 2018, and the loss in 2017.

He doesn't expect this year's 3-0 national championship victory over Massachusetts last Saturday in Buffalo to be any different.

"I don't want to know because I'll pick it apart. I'll figure out there is something wrong," Sandelin said. "I'm just going to enjoy what I saw and I'm going to move on. That's what I've done every game.

"Maybe when I'm done and old and really crotchety, then I'll go and watch it."

Sandelin said he has a good feel for his team on the bench. He said it was exciting and fun to watch his team beat the Minutemen the way they did.

UMD outshot UMass 31-18, out-attempted them 69-44 and Grade-A scoring chances were 9-2 in favor of UMD with UMass failing to get any legitimate scoring chances in the third period.

"Just to watch those guys play the way they did in a big moment probably stands out more than anything because that was pretty cool," Sandelin said. "It was really fun to watch."

Recruiting notes

The Bulldogs received a second verbal commitment this week, this time from 16-year-old Dominic James of Plymouth, Mich. The forward spent the past two seasons with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies program, posting 10 goals and 40 assists in 51 midget games this season.

Earlier in the week, 15-year-old forward Isaac Howard of Hudson, Wis., and Shattuck-St. Mary's committed to the Bulldogs.

• Grand Rapids native Zach Stejskal signed a national letter of intent in the fall to join the Bulldogs next season, but Sandelin indicated Wednesday there is a chance the former Thunderhawk may not make it to UMD in the fall.

"There's some academic stuff right now with him that we're waiting on," Sandelin said.

Stejskal posted a .935 save percentage and 2.47 goals-against average in 48 games this season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights of the North American Hockey League.

UMD incoming recruits for 2019-20

*Zach Stejskal, G, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (NAHL)

*Devlin McCabe, F, Sioux City (USHL)

*Luke Loheit, F, Penticton (BCHL)

*Quinn Olson, F, Okotoks (AJHL)

Brandon Puricelli, F, Springfield (NAHL)

* — signed NLI

Matt Wellens

College hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune covering the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's and women's teams, as well as the NCAA Division III programs at St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior.

(218) 723-5317