Wednesday, February 15, 2012

J.T. Brown Out This Weekend

UMD sophomore forward J.T. Brown will miss this weekend's series against Minnesota State. Brown suffered an upper-body injury Saturday, and there is no set timetable for his return.

Brown was injured during a UMD power play late in the first period. Multiple sources indicate he was slashed by a UND player. He came off the ice in some discomfort during a four-on-three advantage, and was replaced by Mike Seidel. UMD would score a goal seconds later, as a Chris Casto shot was tipped in by Travis Oleksuk to tie the game at 2-2. Seidel scored 24 seconds later to give UMD the lead for good.

The injury was the subject of a ton of speculation in the arena, with multiple erroneous reports cycling through my Twitter feed during the game. Brown did not return to the game, and has not skated at practice this week. He's expected to skate on his own Wednesday.

UMD freshman Justin Crandall is questionable for this weekend. Crandall suffered an upper-body injury during a win at Alaska-Anchorage Feb. 3. He was scratched the next night, and believed at the time to be healthy enough to play. He missed the UND series and returned to practice this week. Crandall skated Tuesday in the always-enjoyable "DON'T HIT ME" jersey. He said he feels good, but head coach Scott Sandelin wouldn't commit to Crandall's playing status, one way or the other.

If Crandall is out, look for UMD to skate with 11 forwards and seven defenseman against Minnesota State. If the defensive pairings remain as they were on Saturday, Luke McManus and Scott Kishel will likely travel with the team to Mankato, with one of them playing as a forward for Friday's game against the Mavericks.

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