Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review: One Goal, From a UND Hockey Fan's Perspective

Coach Hakstol addresses his team after a game
One Goal, Allison Davis O’Keefe
This Christmas my wife gave me the book “One Goal” by Allison Davis O’Keefe.  If this book was not under your Christmas tree and you are thinking of purchasing it, do it.
I was told that they’re flying off of the shelves at the Sioux Shop. “One Goal” is on sale for $45.23 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena Sioux Shop. According to the Sioux Shop webpage, the book is still in stock.
In my opinion, this is a great gift idea for that person that loves UND hockey. I am glad that I found this book under my Christmas tree, and I am thankful for receiving it. Of course, this is coming from a guy that makes no apologies for his love of UND hockey. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, because I believe that the book’s audience is UND hockey fans.
If you’re a Fighting Sioux hockey fan and you followed the team during the 2010-11 season – you lived the memories that are well-documented in this book – “One Goal” will also bring back emotions that you experienced during the season.
I know the name changed for good on June 12, 2012 but for the purposes of this review, the team is referred to as Fighting Sioux, because that was the team’s name at the time.
“One Goal” is an emotional, thoughtful and personal look into the 2010-11 UND Fighting Sioux hockeyseason. “One Goal” also gives UND hockey fans a chance at closure, seeing their favorite team lose in the semifinals of the 2011 Frozen Four. This was a very painful experience for the team, the community and the fans.
“One Goal” also does a good job humanizing UND head hockey coach Dave Hakstol as well.
Coach Hakstol with his wife Erin after a game.
One Goal, Allison Davis O’Keefe
Being credentialed by UND for the last year and a half has allowed me to get a closer look at a man that many fans might not totally understand. In my opinion, Hakstol at times, has been unfairly bagged on by some in the UND fan base.
From the “front stage” perspective, Hakstol comes off a bit stiff, but also very serious and businesslike. One of my friends once asked me “when Hakstol was going to take the hanger out of his suit coat.”  If anything, this book gives the readers a chance to get a different look at the man that many fans have not seen.
From the “front stage” Hakstol at times also comes off as being a “bit” intimidating, if not standoffish.
Coach Hakstol is a very passionate person when it comes to UND Hockey and that emanates from the book as well.
“One Goal” gives a glimpse into the “back stage” version of Dave Hakstol, but also the 2010-11 Fighting Sioux Hockey team as well. You see a guy that’s a family man.
“One Goal” really does a good job giving the fans a closer look at the senior class of 2011, especially seniors Matt Frattin and Chay Genoway, two of the bigger stars in a very star-studded line up.
While Frattin was known for his bone-crushing hits and timely goals on the ice, you see a different side of a young man off the ice. You see a reflective Frattin stopping to collect his thoughts before a big game.
The 2010-11 version of UND hockey was probably one of UND’s best teams during the Dave Hakstol era that made it to the Frozen Four; in my opinion that team should have hung a banner, but in the end could not seal the deal and bring home the hardware. That is  also illustrated in the book.
“One Goal” also illustrates that it’s more than just being about hockey, it’s about comradeship and being there for your teammates.
UND not winning the NCAA title in 2010-11 left a void in the hearts of Fighting Sioux hockey fans all across the Fighting Sioux fan base. You can see from the pictures in the book, that the loss also affected the players as well.
There are few if any written words in this book, but the pictures tell the story about a hockey season that did not quite end the way most of us would have wanted.
You see the cold reality of losing and also the cold barren winter prairie that comes alive when Fighting Sioux Hockey is in town playing at the Ralph.
Historically, the 2010-11 Fighting Sioux hockey team was also the last “full” season of UND being called the Fighting Sioux.
There is a bit of irony in the book, the Fighting Sioux nickname is supposed to be “hostile and abusive” or at least that’s what we’re led to believe based on what the NCAA has said in the past.  Yet there is a picture of Fighting Sioux fans of Native American descent at the Midwest Regional wearing jerseys sporting the Fighting Sioux logo. How could that be?
The Fighting Sioux came into the Frozen Four on a 15-game unbeaten streak (14-0-1) and won theMacNaughton Cup by six points over second-place Denver.
UND also won the Broadmoor Trophy in impressive fashion beating DU 3-2 in the championship game in two over times, but the team didn’t touch either trophy when it was presented to them at center ice. UND would then travel to Green Bay, Wisconsin and roll through the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal beating RPI 6-0 and DU 6-1 in impressive fashion.
The 2010-11 team was built to win a national title and was by far the best team in the WCHA during the regular season and first three rounds of the playoffs, but as we have learned in the past, the best team doesn’t always win. Just ask Brendan Morrison from Michigan.
Matt Frattin after the Frozen Four loss against Michigan
One Goal, Allison Davis O’Keefe
The 2010-11 Fighting Sioux Hockey team had higher aspirations, but it appeared from a bystander and the book illustrates that the Fighting Sioux hockey team didn’t really stop long enough to enjoy the moment.
Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol made mention of this to the author of the book a year and a half later. From the afterword of One Goal; “he [Hakstol] wished he had allowed the team to relish their wins – that perhaps the pressure of “destiny” prevented them from appreciating their accomplishments.”
There are a few examples of this in the book. You can see the lonely Broadmoor Trophy and a MacNaughton Cup sitting at center ice just begging to be picked up and paraded around the Ralph and the Xcel Energy Center. Some of the college hockey media people seem almost taken back by that, I think the author might have been as well. None-the-less, the author gives you the opportunity to ponder that for yourself.
I have now read the book “One Goal” about ten times and I find something new each time that I re-read the book, the first time I read it I got tears in my eyes. I highly recommend picking up a copy so you can relive the memories of the UND Fighting Sioux’s 2010-11 season. It’s like you can feel the memories coming out in the pictures of the book.
It would be interesting to see the pictures that didn’t make the book.
Originally posted at the Hockey Writers Combine... 

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