My impression on the weekend … On Friday, UND came out flat against a very good team and they got beat, there is no other way to sugar coat this. I don’t think that anybody in UND’s locker room was happy with the results. Neither were the fans.
After the game the head coach was physically upset and didn’t say much in the postgame press conference. You can see his comments here if you haven’t seen them yet.
I think on Saturday that the guys in green and white did a very good job flushing Friday’s subpar effort and they were the better of the two teams on the ice all game long. North Dakota doubled up the Huskies in shots, but they were still unable to get anything past Ryan Faragher, who was rock solid all weekend long.
On Saturday night after the game, I told Mick Hatten beat writer from the Saint Cloud Times that I think SCSU is one of the better teams that I have seen in person this season. I truly believe that, the Huskies are pretty solid defensively and through the forward lines. They Huskies also have a good fore check and generate a lot of opportunities off of their opponent’s turnovers.
Perusing the messages boards and twitter, I see fans post that say that that losing to SCSU is unacceptable and that the Huskies are not a very good hockey team. Personally, I think those comments are short sighted, and I am going to disagree with that opinion. The Huskies are the first team since the 2008 season to sweep the Denver Pioneers in a weekend series.
While I don’t like watching UND lose to the Huskies, I do think we need to give credit where credit is due, the Huskies are not a bunch of talentless hacks and will be a force at the end of the season, baring injuries to key players.
If UND doesn’t play the Huskies again this season, I won’t be disappointed.
While this isn’t earth shattering news, I do think that SCSU is probably going to win the WCHA this year, unless they have a total collapse, and baring a bunch of serious injuries. I am also admit, that it pains me to say that. At the beginning of the season, I had UND winning the league in the Blogger Poll run by A Tradition of Excellence.
Saint Cloud State is a very good hockey team and if you don’t come and play well against them, they will bury you. You can’t take a shift off against a good team like the Huskies. During the game on Friday, UND took all but six minutes off.
The Huskies also have a pretty good freshman class that has paid dividends on the ice for the Huskies.
On the freshman that stuck out last weekend was freshman forward Jonny Brodzinski. The Huskies rookie Brodzinski scored (2g-1a—3pts) on the weekend and was the difference in Friday’s game. SCSU head coach Bob Motzko thinks very highly of his young forward and even compared him to former Sioux power forward Matt Frattin.
What is really interesting is that Brodzinski scored (11g-13a—24pts) in 64 games with the Fargo Force last year now is now tied for third with UND forward Rocco Grimaldi (9g-11a—20pts) for 20th overall in WCHA rookie scoring for all games with (11g-9a—20pts).
I have seen a few people that are dissatisfied with the status of the UND coaching staff. Last season, people were unhappy with Carey Eades, and wanted Brad Berry Back. Now that assistant coach Brad barry is back, I see fans that want coach Eades back.
I do get the anger, no one in the UND fan base likes seeing what transpired over the past two weekends, but that’s hockey, even the Boston Bruins that won the Stanley Cup, had a short period where they lost a couple of untimely games and had losing streaks.
Even the 2010-11 team, that went to the Frozen Four, and finished third over-all had a rough stretch where they lost three out of four games during the month of October. The Fighting Sioux also went 5-3 during the month of January as well during the 2010-11 season.
I also think that we need to put thing in perspective. UND isn’t going to fire Dave Hakstol, that’s a fact. Last spring, coach Hakstol signed an extension for six years and he currently has five years left on his deal.
I will also, predict that UND isn’t going to buy coach Hakstol out at $300,000.00 a year. Honestly, I can’t imagine that UND has 1.5 million dollars just laying around to buy him out. Let’s just say that UND fired him, who would they replace him with. That would also set the program back 2-4 seasons; they would also lose a fair number of the recruits that are already committed to UND.
Like it or not, Hakstol isn’t going anywhere, I can assure you that.
Personally, I am a fan of Dave Hakstol and I think that sooner rather than later UND is going to win another title. Just a gut feeling.