North Dakota Nursing Injuries, Hopes Oshie Can Play
by Virg Foss/Staff Writer
GRAND FORKS, N.D. At least one of the three injured players for No. 2-ranked North Dakota may return this weekend for the start of the WCHA playoffs.
Junior forward T.J. Oshie, sophomore defenseman Chay Genoway and freshman forward Evan Trupp have all been knocked from the Sioux lineup with injuries over the past two weekends.
Genoway, fifth on the team in scoring with 6 goals and 16 assists in 30 games, suffered an arm injury when Minnesota-Duluth's Michael Gergen was given a 5-minute major and game misconduct for checking Genoway from behind into the boards just over a minute into the March 2 game between the two teams in Duluth.
Genoway didn't play last weekend as the Sioux and St. Cloud State battled to a pair of overtime ties in the WCHA regular-season finale in Grand Forks.
He took part in full practice on Wednesday, however, and appears set to play this weekend when the Sioux host Michigan Tech in a best-of-3 series.
Oshie, injured on his first shift of last Saturday's game against St. Cloud State, played just one shift after that before leaving the game for good after his opening shift of the second period.
Oshie is UND's leading scorer with 35 points. He's tied for first on the team in goals (14) and assists (21) and is the school's nominee for WCHA Player of the Year.
Oshie wore a yellow jersey (no contact) at Wednesday's practice, and left the ice before full practice began.
UND coach Dave Hakstol was asked whether, given North Dakota's relative safety for making the NCAA tournament, he'd consider holding Oshie and Genoway out of the lineup this weekend.
"Those guys will be in the lineup if they can step up and contribute at a high level," Hakstol said. "You don't have to be at 100 percent. There's a lot of guys throughout the country who will play this weekend who are not at 100 percent."
So there's a chance that both Oshie and Genoway may play this weekend.
"We approach this weekend like we do any other game," Hakstol said. "When guys are ready to be back in the lineup, they going to be back in. We're not going to hold anyone back. You can't flip the switch on and off."
Trupp, who has 8 goals and 5 assists in 32 games and leads the Sioux in game-winning goals (5), may be out for an extended time with a lower body injury.
"We hope we can play long enough to give him a chance (of returning)," Hakstol said. He was injured in the March 1 game at Minnesota Duluth.
UND has advanced to the past three Frozen Fours, This year's Frozen Four is scheduled for Denver from April 10-12, so that gives Trupp nearly a month to work his way back to health.