Showing posts with label Boston College Eagles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boston College Eagles. Show all posts

Thursday, September 24, 2015

UND Heading to the big Apple in 2016

Yes, it's true. UND will play the Boston College Eagles on December 3, 2016, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City at the College Hockey Showdown.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

BC Interruption: I Wonder How they Feel Today?

Someone posted this article on Sioux Sports. I was wondering If Brian still felt this way? Especially after last night's game, the newly added UConn Huskies shutout the B.C. Eagles 1-0.
Brian Favat, B.C. Interruption -- Tuesday, Grant gave us the glass half full look at the addition of UConn to Hockey East. While I appreciate a bit of enthusiasm for the Hockey East Association's newest member, I have other plans in mind for Boston College hockey.

It's time for Boston College to leave Hockey East.

My reasoning is simple: Hockey East has straight up botched expansion. There hasn't been a well-thought out expansion plan. Or maybe no expansion plan at all. Perception is reality and the perception, at least to me, is that the league all but fell over themselves themselves to toss a life raft out to Notre Dame hockey when the NCHC turned the Irish away. Expansion to 11 necessitated expansion to 12 to get to a round number, I suppose, and now a historically bad Atlantic Hockey club calls eastern college hockey's premiere conference home.

To recap, here has been Hockey East's two most recent moves:

1. Added Notre Dame as the Association's 11th team, despite the Irish striking their own TV deal with NBCUniversal (NBC Sports Network, formerly Versus) to broadcast all Irish men's hockey home games. Mind you, this was a dealbreaker for another conference (the nascent NCHC) which has yet to play a league game.

2. Added UConn to get to 12, a program that has never played in the NCAA Tournament, doesn't offer scholarships in men's ice hockey and has decided to play its HEA home games 20+ miles from campus at the HCC. If Toot Cahoon just resigned from UMass citing lack of institutional support as his reason, who do you think UConn is going to get to coach the program; one squarely behind women's basketball, men's basketball, football and maybe baseball in terms of fan support and popularity?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Boston College's New Uniforms

This was posted on twitter yesterday. I must say that the Boston College Eagles have some sharp looking uniforms. I really like the Under Armor uniforms.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Updated: Sonny Milano to sign with Columbus Blue Jackets

This seems to be a re-occurring theme for some of the USNDT players. Like I told someone the other day, until they come on Campus they're a threat to not make it to campus, especially if they were drafted high. It's a big loss for Boston College Eagles, but they're still a very loaded hockey team. My money says that Milano will end up with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Sonny Milano Watch is on

This would be a big loss for the Boston College Eagles "if" this happens. The #MilanoWatch is officially on. But those that think the Eagles cupboard is bare is highly mistaken. The Eagles will still probably be one of the top teams in Hockey East this year.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Matheson to return to the Boston College Eagles

The Boston College Eagles received some good news when Michael Matheson announced that he’s returning to the Eagles for his junior season. The Pointe-Claire, Quebec native played in 38 games for the Eagles last season, scoring (3g-18a—21pts).
Alain Poupart - --- The Fellow defenseman Michael Matheson, the Panthers' first-round pick in 2012 (No. 23), had a strong outing in the same game, although he didn't score. He won't be in training camp with the Panthers two months from now, though, because he'll be preparing for his junior season at Boston College.

For Matheson, waiting one more season is simply part of the process.

"I have to go back there and work hard and make sure I develop my game so that I can get it to this level," Matheson said. "I just felt that I could develop more at BC and that I have some more developing to do there.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

(video) 2014 Beanpot Highlights

The Boston College Eagles win the Beanpot yet again. The Eagles are smoking hot right now unbeaten in 15 games (14-0-1), that's the longest in the nation, that's their fifth Beanpot in a row. Also, the Eagles forward Johnny Gaudrea (25g-33a—50pts), is smoking hot right now, and in the last six games has scored (5g-6a—11pts).

How would you like to be a goaltender? The forward line of (1) Johnny Gaudreau (25g-33a—58pts) – (4) Bill Arnold (11g-31a—42pts) – (2) Kevin Hayes (21g-27a—48pts) is by far the best line in college hockey right now.
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Gophers no-goal during the overtime versus B.C.

Gophers fans thought forward Taylor Cammarata had scored the game winning goal against Boston College Eagles during the overtime period of Friday’s game. After further review, video confirmed that the puck has stayed out of the net when Eagles defenseman Ian McCoshen grabbed the rebound off Eagles goalie Thatcher Demko and threw the puck down the ice. If anything, the play should dead because of the hand pass.
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Monday, December 31, 2012

Clarification on the Nick Bjugstad goal

I just got off the phone with the head of officials… According to Greg Shepherd Head of Officials for the WCHA, the Boston goalie Parker Milner’s momentum carried him into the net; he wasn’t touched by the Minnesota players so that’s why it was called a goal. If Milner had been touched, it would have been ruled no goal. Now you know the rest of the story
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Time to tweak the NCAA Division I Hockey Tourney

Boston College Eagles men's ice hockey
Boston College Eagles men's ice hockey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, there was an November 29 article by Mark Bedics at and the chair of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee and current athletic director of Notre Dame Tom Nevala, would like to see the first round of the Men’s NCAA Division I hockey tourney moved on campus and have the games played at the home ice of the higher seed.
Our current setup provides a lot of challenges,” said Tom Nevala, chair of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee and senior associate athletics director at Notre Dame. “You need to find buildings that are neutral sites, have NHL ice and ideally are within close proximity to the host school’s fan base. Right now for the most part, we really need the host to qualify if we are going to have good attendance and atmosphere at our regionals. In an effort to increase attendance, the NCAA has been working with the hosts to try and make tickets more affordable but the nature of neutral sites and non-traditional game times works against us a bit.”
Although, there have been five fairly major format changes in the first 65 years of the tournament, there have been none in the last 20. The ongoing debate about championship format has become more active during the last couple years.
“Personally, I would like to see us move to an on-campus best-of-three series format for the first round,” Nevala said. “The top seeds would host regardless of size of its building. Right now we do it at the conference level and it works very well. There are upsets even with the home ice advantage and the atmosphere for everyone involved would be better. We have such great campus facilities that are such a part of the fabric of college hockey, it’s a shame that the national tourney isn’t played in them.”
I personally would welcome the change with open arms.
I would imagine something like this 1 versus 16, 2 versus 15, 3 versus 14, 4 versus 13, 5 versus 12, 6 versus 11, 7 versus 10, and 8 versus 9. This would protect the integrity of the NCAA Tourney; I would imagine that there would be some tweaks to avoid conference matchups during the first round of the playoffs, if possible.
Obviously, after the first round there would be eight teams left and you could play two regionals at predetermined locations.
This would seem a little fairer to me.
Apparently, a majority of Division I Hockey coaches would rather play in quiet half empty arenas that in some cases aren’t very attractive venues.
One of these less than attractive regional sites that immediately comes to mind is the 2010 Midwest Regional that was held in Fort Wayne, IN, where a whopping 7337 people attended three NCAA Midwest Regional games held on March 27 and 28, 2010.
Watching the Midwest Regional on television, you could see that regional was poorly attended and you had to ask; why? Seriously, why was that regional held in that location? All of the hockey arenas in the USA and the NCAA couldn’t do better option than that? Notre Dame could have hosted that tourney in Chicago or some other attractive location. Hence, the more logical idea of having the first round of the NCAA Division I Hockey tourney the on campus of the higher seeds.
In 2006, the University of North Dakota hosted a West Regional at the Ralph Englestad Arena and it was one of the best attended hockey regionals in NCAA Division I Hockey history when it drew 22,645 fans. For comparison sake, the 2006 regional outdrew the 2012 West Regional Championships that was held at the Xcel Energy Center drawing 20,360 fans.
Obviously, some teams aren’t going to be real excited about going to another teams building to play in the first round of the NCAA tourney but there needs to be an actual reward for getting a number one seed.
Most years, it wouldn’t make much difference if a number four seed played in the home building of a number one seed or played at a regional site; they’re lucky to be in the tourney and anyway you sliced it and they also deserve  play a game against a higher seeded team.
Also, why shouldn’t a higher seed be able to have the luxury of playing in their building with 11,500 of their screaming fans cheering them on. Why shouldn’t the better seed be rewarded for good play during the course of the season? Isn’t that what the NCAA is trying to do?
I am not so sure.
Is it fair for a team that is ranked number one over-all; have to fly half way across the country to Worcester, MA to face the Boston College Eagles in an arena that is 37.9 miles away from their campus. This happens on a very regular basis.
Make no mistake about it, the Eagles have been a great team over the last 10 seasons and they have the record to show for it.
But that being said, why should a number one seed from the west be rewarded with traveling to a regional championship where they have to play the Boston College Eagles in their home state a mere 40 miles away. There’s no way that you can convince me that’s a neutral site.
Maybe question should be; neutral site for who? In its present form the NCAA Division I Hockey tourney is awarding select teams the luxury of playing close to home more times than not. That’s hardly fair for all of the teams involved in the NCAA tourney.
That scenario has happened to the Miami University RedHawks twice in the last four years. In 2008, the Miami RedHawks traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts to face the Boston College Eagles and lost 4-3 in the Championship game – a great reward for finishing with the number one seed over-all.
Not Really!
In 2011, the number one seeded RedHawks would travel to Manchester, NH and this time they had to face the fourth seeded University of New Hampshire Wildcats who were playing a short 35 miles away from their campus, the top seeded RedHawks would again lose, to the host team the UNH Wildcats. Again, where was the reward for gaining the number one seed?
If you look at the schedule of the Boston College Eagles schedule over the last 10 season, they haven’t traveled very far very often. Here is a breakdown of that less than strenuous travel.
In 2003, the B.C. Eagles jumped on highway 95 and traveled a short 46.8 miles to play the Cornell Big Red in the East Regional, the Eagles would go on to lose 2-1 in double overtime.
In 2004, the B.C. Eagles traveled to Manchester, NH; a mere 60 miles up I-93 from the campus of Boston College to play the in the Northeast regional. The Eagles would advance to the Frozen Four where they would lose to Maine in the Semifinals.
In 2005, the B.C. Eagles would travel to Worcester, MA to play in the East Regional. The Eagles would lose to the University of North Dakota. To get to the Frozen Four the Fighting Sioux would have to go a mini Bean Pot Tourney beating both Boston University and Boston College to qualify for the Frozen Four, no easy task.
In 2006, the B.C. Eagles would again travel to the friendly confines of Worcester MA to play in the Northeast Regional and would advance to the Frozen Four where they would lose to NCAA Champion Wisconsin in the Championship game of the Frozen Four. (NCAA runner up)
In 2007, the B.C. Eagles traveled to Manchester, NH for the Northeast Regional, where they would again reach the Frozen Four before losing to NCAA Champion Michigan State in the Championship game of the Frozen Four. (NCAA runner up)
In 2008, the B.C. Eagles were back in Worcester, MA for the Northeast Regional where the Eagles would advance to the Frozen Four by beating both Minnesota and Miami. The Eagles would go on to win the NCAA title beating Notre Dame in the Championship game. (NCAA Champs)
In 2009, the B.C. Eagles missed the NCAA playoffs.
In 2010, the B.C. Eagles would again make the short 37.8 mile trip to Worcester, MA for the Northeast Regional were they would again advance to the NCAA Frozen Four where they would beat the Wisconsin Badgers in the Championship game. (NCAA Champs)
In 2011, the B.C. Eagles would finally travel outside of the Northeast to St. Louis MO, where the Eagles would get drubbed by the Colorado College Tigers 8-4 in the quarterfinals.
In 2012, the B.C. Eagles would again make a return to Worcester, MA to play in the Northeast Regional where they would advance to the Frozen Four and win the NCAA championship with a win in the championship game against Ferris State. (NCAA Champs)
So you can imagine that the Boston College Eagles would like to keep the status quo and keep going to regional held in Manchester, NH Providence, RI or Worcester, MA.
Obviously, the B.C. Eagles are a great hockey program and Jerry York is a great hockey coach but you can’t say that Boston College didn’t benefit from getting to play close to home where their fans travel no more than an hour to see their favorite teams play hockey.
This short travel is a huge advantage over the teams, especially the team in the west unless you’re the University of Minnesota who gets to enjoy the same luxury of getting to have a regional in their back yard virtually every other year.  The distance for the Gophers from their campus to the Xcel Energy Center is a short seven mile trip.
If you break this down, B.C. won three NCAA titles in five years and the year that they didn’t get to play close to their home they failed to make the NCAA Frozen Four and ended up losing in the first round.
What are we to make of that?
I also think that there are a certain handful of teams that benefiting from having the regionals championships in their back yards almost yearly at the expense of others.
The NCAA has announced that the 2013 Division I College Hockey regionals are going to be at Grand Rapids, Michigan, Manchester, New Hampshire, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island and Toledo, Ohio. The 2014 regionals will be held at Bridgeport, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Ohio, St. Paul, Minnesota. and Worcester, Massachusetts. Do you see a pattern here?
So I agree with Tom Nevala lets do a few tweaks to the NCAA Division I Hockey Tourney, the status quo doesn’t work for everyone.

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Monday, October 01, 2012

UND 4th in first USCHO Poll

The first USCHO Poll is out and the Boston College Eagles are the number one pick. I know that some Gopher fans will be upset with the slight but according to Todd Milewski of USCHO, only one team since the 1997-98 season the Minnesota Golden Gophers in 2002-03 has went on to win an NCAA title. So being the number one team in the first USCHO poll of the preseason really doesn't matter all that much.

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Monday, July 09, 2012

QMJHL having trouble with recruitment of American players

s/t Cam Charron, Buzzing The Net... s/t to Kathleen Lavoie, Le Soleil... Note the article is in French, so you have to use Google Translate to read the article. This is good news for Division I college hockey, I am also sure that the QMJHL isn’t going to get a lot of people to feel sorry for them.
Aiming to favour its smaller markets, the governors* voted in a new rule concerning "special arrangements" with players. This new rule, starting now, puts an annual limit of $10,000 on scholarships/bursaries allotted to Americans, for a maximum total of $40,000.

This amount is in addition to the one already outlined in the QMJHL's scholastic policy, which puts an annual limit of $5,000 on bursaries awarded to these student athletes, for a possible total of $60,000.

And yet, one year's tuition in colleges such as Boston University, Boston College or Cornell University can easily cost anywhere between $25,000 and $40,000, depending on the program. As such, it's not uncommon for an American player to be offered a full scholarship ranging from $100,000 to $150,000.

"The League's message is paradoxical", according to Jean Gagnon. "On the one hand, for the last year we have been forcing teams to draft two American players, but on the other, we're preventing teams from making competitive offers to these players."
If you’re a college hockey fan and one of your recruits is being perused by the QMJHL, this is good news.

I am not anti-CHL by any stretch of the imagination; I think that the CHL route is a good way to make the NHL if you’re one of the “top” blue chip hockey players. If you’re a late bloomer or a player that takes longer to develop the NCAA route is going to be a better path to take.

Let’s not kid ourselves, I do favor the NCAA Division I college hockey route... I have been around college hockey for a very long time and have seen some really good hockey players make the NHL from the NCAA route. All you have to do is watch the AHL or the NHL on a weekly basis to see that there are very talented players making their way to the AHL and or the NHL from the NCAA hockey ranks. This season’s AHL Calder Cup playoffs were a perfect example of this. This year's Stanley Cup playoffs also featured many former NCAA alumni.

I do also think that the NCAA is on par with the major junior route when it comes to players making the NHL. Contrary to some in the thump your chest with everything that is CHL Hockey - there is more than one route of the NHL and I don't think that any one fan base can claim that their route is better than another route. Finally, I also look at the revelations of this article as a positive for the NCAA route.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Comparing Brock Nelson and Chris Kreider's deals

Chris Kreider's Cap Geek page  

 I was perusing the Cap Geek numbers for former Fighting Sioux forward Brock Nelson and for former Boston College Eagles Chris Kreider and I was a bit shocked at the difference in numbers. It will be interesting to see how these two players’ careers play out.

 Brock Nelson's Cap Geek Page 

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A week after the onslaught

Boston College Eagles men's ice hockey
Boston College Eagles men's ice hockey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After taking some time to let last weekend’s Frozen Four sink in; the first comment I want to make is that there is no shame in the Gophers or the Ferris State Bulldogs losing to the Boston College Eagles. The 2011-12 version of the Boston College Eagles is one of the best NCAA championship teams that I have seen for a very long time.

I was eviscerated by Gopher fans for my prediction that the Boston College Eagles would beat the Golden Gophers 5-1, I know I was off; the final score ended up being 6-1; silly me. 

Losing to the Boston College Eagles should never be looked at as a "chock job" either, I think we can put that to bed right now.

Let’s also not forget that Jerry York “will” be in the U.S. Hockey Hall of fame when he is done coaching, I would bet my next pay check on that.

Let’s break York’s impressive record down further.

Currently, coach York is the winingest active division I college hockey coach and he has been coaching for 40 seasons and started coaching during the 1972-73 season with the Clarkson Knights.

Coach York with 913 career wins and has a coaching record of 913-557-94 and an impressive record of 446-222-60 at Boston College.

York’s has led Boston College to ten Frozen Fours while he was the coach of the Eagles – 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012. York’s Eagles have four Frozen Fours at Boston College since the 2000-01 season.

Overall, York’s teams have also won an impressive 5 NCAA championships.

As a fan of team that has been beaten by the Eagles, let me just say I seen this act before and I really didn’t enjoy it very much. I am sure the Ferris State and Minnesota fans felt the same way a week later.

Let me just say that, the Boston College Eagles are a very good hockey team that plays well in all three zones on the ice and we need to give credit where credit. There is no shame losing to the Eagles.

This season’s version of the Boston College Eagles won an unprecedented 19 games in a row and during that winning streak the Eagles didn’t give up more than three goals in any game. That’s impressive in any hockey league.

The last game the Eagles lost was when they were swept by the Maine Black Bears back on January 27-28 when the Eagles lost both games of a weekend series in Orono, Maine (3-4 L, 4-7 L).  Since the late January display of mediocrity the Eagles were flawless.

After being swept by the Black Bears, the Eagles record stood at 14-10-1 and looked like they were an average bubble team and they were in the Pairwise Rankings. We all know how that turned out. 

My question is, will team’s finally change the way they recruit (fast forwards, some of them under sized and a very mobile defense corps, that play both ends of the ice well) based on the way the Eagles have steamrolled the opposition when they get to the Frozen Four?

Just for the record, Boston College only had 9 NHL draft choices on their team as opposed to the Minnesota Gophers who had 17.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Fighting Sioux Stop Black Bears 3-1

Cross Posted at Inside Hockey.
University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux athl...Image via WikipediaGrand Forks, ND — Going into this series the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux had lost four games in a row to the Maine Black Bears and they were swept last October in Orono, Maine by a score of 7-3 and 4-2. This week one could describe the theme for the Fighting Sioux as looking for a little revenge against the Black Bears.

On the other side of the ice the Maine Black Bears knew that the Fighting Sioux were going to be looking to even the score and wouldn’t be looking past the Black Bears, especially after last season results.  Tonight the Fighting Sioux’s fortunes changed against the Black Bears, the Fighting Sioux lead by Corbin Knight and Ben Blood (a goal and an assist each); combined with a goaltending gem by Brad Eidsness gutted out a hard fought 3-1 win.

The First period started out slow for the Fighting Sioux as they had to kill two Maine power plays in the early going. After killing the two Black Bears power plays the Fighting Sioux had trouble getting on track as the Black Bears did a good job of limiting the Fighting Sioux’s time and space. The Fighting Sioux were out shot by the Black Bears 11-6 in the first period.

Goaltending coming into the week was one of the major question marks for the Fighting Sioux. Last year’s first team All WCHA first team goalie Aaron Dell was shaky last weekend in two games during the Ice Breaker Tourney against Air Force Academy Boston College. Dell was pulled in the second period against the Boston College Eagles and senior goalie Brad Eidsness relieved Dell in the second period and stopped the bleeding for the Fighting Sioux. Eidsness looked sharp against the Eagles stopping seven of eight shots, after the game against the B.C. Eagles some questioned if there was a goaltending battle brewing in Grand Forks.

After tonight it appears that some of those goaltending questions have been answered as Brad Eidsness stopped 30 of 31 shots, many of those shots were close in from the slot as the Maine Black Bears were all over the Fighting Sioux through two periods of hockey.

I don’t think it would be inaccurate to say that Brad Eidsness stopped at least five very difficult shots from close in during the first period and second periods keeping the Fighting Sioux in the game, if Eidsness had not been sharp the game could have gotten out of hand. In retrospect, this was probably one of Eidsness’ best game in a Fighting Sioux uniform.

The game was a scoreless tie until Fighting Sioux freshman winger Michael Parks was called for interference penalty at the 01:58 mark of the Second period. The Maine Black Bears didn’t take long to capitalize on the power play as they scored five second later on a goal by Maine forward Spencer Abbot took a shot from the point that blew past Eidsness. That’s all the Black Bears would get past Eidsness who stoned the Black Bears the rest of the way.

The Fighting Sioux evened the score about three minutes later when Parks made up for his miscue and scored his first goal of his Fighting Sioux career at the 5:01 mark of the second period to tie the game.
The Sioux went into the third period being out shot 26 – 14 by the Black Bears, did manage to out shot the Black Bears 7-5 during he third period. Fighting Sioux goalie Brad Eidsness continued to stand tall in the early minutes of the third when he stopped Maine forward Abbott close in to keep the game at 1-1, that save by Eidsness would prove to be a game saver for the Fighting Sioux.

The Sioux finally started getting the better of the Black Bears and in the third period and took the game over. Black Bear forward Joey Diamond took three ill advised penalties in the third period and at the 14:32 mark planted Fighting Sioux defenseman Ben Blood into the boards.

Blood enjoyed the best revenge three seconds later when  he took the feed from Corbin Knight off the face off and blasted the puck past Maine Goalie Martin Ouellette.  After the game Black Bears head coach Tim Whitehead said that Diamond would be watching tomorrow night’s game from the stands after taking three penalties in the third period.

The Fighting Sioux closed out the scoring at the 18:35 mark when Blood returned the favor and fed Corbin Knight a nice pass who was standing at the goal mouth and shot the puck past Ouellette who was out of position. The Sioux and the Black Bears play game two Saturday night at 7:07 pm.

Box Score
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Friday morning reading...

Former FSSN logo used from 2003-2005Image via WikipediaThe Boston College Eagles are back up and running and are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season. Check out the classic quote by Eagles head coach Jerry York. One think I learned from last weekend is that York always has something witty to say. You have to love the quote about playing cupcakes.
ESPN Boston ---- Last weekend, Boston College sat at No. 5 in the two major national hockey polls. That was before the Eagles swept through the annual Ice Breaker Tournament, downing Michigan State (5-2) and then No. 3 North Dakota (6-2). Coupled with losses by Miami and Notre Dame, those results made the Eagles the overwhelming choice as the nation's No. 1 team in both polls.

"It was a good start for us, but we emphasized all week that it's just a start," said BC coach Jerry York. "We've always tried to schedule teams like Denver or North Dakota early. If you put a cupcake schedule in front of your kids, it can create a sense of false manhood, because they think 'Hey, we're really good, because we're undefeated.' You've got to be tested."

The Eagles passed their first-week exams with flying colors. But things don't get any easier for York's crew, as they host WCHA heavyweight Denver, sitting at No. 3 in both polls, on Friday night, and then travel to No. 15/16 New Hampshire on Saturday. Of course, the same can be said for the Pioneers, who open their 2011-12 campaign with a Northeast swing through the iron of Hockey East, playing at Boston University on Saturday after their stop at BC.
Here is what Rachel Lenzi beat writer of the Maine Black Bears has to say in today's Portland Press Herald. Looks like both teams know what is on the line this weekend when they face off in the Ralph.
Portland Press Herald --- In last Friday's 2-1 loss to Merrimack, the Black Bears (1-1) believed they put forth the effort but didn't assert themselves in front of the opposing goal.

In Sunday's 6-3 win over Northeastern, Maine captain Will O'Neill said his team brought a certain attitude and edge to its game, one that the Black Bears, ranked 17th in the top 20 poll, will have to sustain not just this weekend against North Dakota (1-1) but through the season.

"When we came out Friday night, we thought we were ready," O'Neill said. "We thought we were prepared. We thought we were going to go out there and work. The effort was there Friday night, but we needed to work hard in the right areas.

"On Sunday, we had more focus and we utilized our hard work and our tenacity. It's very difficult to sustain that in sports, but that's what good teams do. Good teams show up every night and very rarely do they lay an egg. That's where we want to be."

The Fighting Sioux represent that standard. The Sioux have won seven national championships and when they face the Black Bears at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., will return 14 players from last year's team that reached the Frozen Four, losing 2-0 to Michigan in a national semifinal.
UND MEN’S HOCKEY: Sioux eager for another shot against Maine [Grand Forks Herald]

How to watch this weekends games

RADIO: 96.1 The Fox (KQHT-FM) • WEBCAST:
TV: Fighting Sioux Sports Network, Fox College Sports Central, MidcoSN3,
DirecTV 617 (Friday), DirecTV 623 (Saturday)

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sioux Prepping to Battle Black Bears

Cross posted at Inside Hockey. Yesterday I attended the Wednesday Fighting Sioux Hockey press conference at Ralph Englestad Arena and this is what I took away from the press conference. The Fighting Sioux took second place in the Ice Breaker Tourney last weekend beating Air Force Academy 4-3 before losing to the Boston College Eagles 6-2.

University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol talked about last weekend’s Ice Breaker Tournament and also talked about this weekend’s opponent the University of Maine Black Bears. Last October the Maine Black Bears swept the Fighting Sioux in Orno, Maine 7-3 and 4-2, so the Fighting Sioux are going to be looking for some revenge.

Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol was asked about his two goaltenders and if is there a goaltending battle taking in practice?

“I think there has been a pretty good battle going on in the first, what are were now, we are just over a couple of two weeks in I guess. Ah yeah I think there is a good battle there, you know. I think Aaron [Dell] is still our number one, but that being said, there has been some good competition and some pretty good level of play from both guys in practice. Brad [Eidsness] went in on Saturday and did a good job, he plugged the dam, when we were leaking a little bit in the second period; he did a good job holding the fort. He [Eidsness] has earned himself some more playing time, so he has to keep practicing hard and I will make the decision who starts on Friday. “

Coach Hasktol was asked, what he learned about his team during the last two games?

“We had the chance to learn from good on Friday and we got the chance to learn from some bad on Saturday. That’s the bottom line; I thought Friday we created some of our own problems and we dug ourselves out and made some plays and we were able to come out with a good win. Saturday, I thought we created a lot of our troubles that came back to haunt us later in the game. We took some penalties at the end of the first period and early in the second, that really affected our energy levels and I thought had a great deal to do with leading to some low energy levels and some real sloppy defensive play that over a four minute period that took us absolutely out of the hockey game. So we have got to fix some things, we have to fix those things, we have got to really challenge ourselves to play a complete sixty minute and we have yet to do that in the first two games.”

Coach Hakstol was asked if Maine is similar to last season’s team.

“Yeah. They [Maine] are a veteran team, every key position is occupied by a veteran on their hockey team and by the looks of it they play a very similar style to what they did last year, they have very good team speed and they have good depth and their top line is a very dynamic line, a good line that produces for them, the power play is efficient and is effective. So, I think they are probably similar in the way they play, to the way they were last year, you know and beyond that you probably have to ask their coaching staff that one.”

Were you surprised that Maine didn’t make the NCAA tourney last season?

“Are you trying to get me in trouble here? Let me figure out how to answer that one. Based off of the way that they played there? Yeah, absolutely, I guess I would answer it bluntly, yeah, I am, they’re a good team. I don’t know what they went through injury wise, different things throughout the season, a lot of things come into play, but they sure played well there, they play a great team game, they play with speed, they made plays. Their specialty teams were good, I thought they were a real good hockey team and the factors that went into them not being in the national tournament at the end of the day just speaks to how darn hard it is to get into the national tournament.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Second Period Shot Chart from BC and UND game...

Here is the shot chart from the second period of the Ice Breaker Tourney; in my opinion the Fighting Sioux defense had a bad night. All four Boston College goals during the second period were scored down low in the slot. If the Fighting Sioux want cut down on goals against this weekend against the Maine Black Bears they are going to have to limit shots by the opposition in the slot. More specifically, you can not give talented players like Chris Kreider offensive chances unmolested in the slot; he is going to bury the puck.

Jerry York after the Ice Breaker tourney.

Check out of what Jerry York head coach of the Boston College Eagles had to say after his team won the Ice Breaker Tourney this past weekend in Grand Forks, ND.  York has been coaching college hockey for a very long time and I found his post game comments to be interesting. Notice how coach York also gave the Sioux kudos and credit for their play in the game. s/t to Nate Ewell the Communications for College Hockey Inc.
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Links

Maine Black Bears logoImage via WikipediaThis week the Fighting Sioux play the Maine Black Bears and the Sioux have had some bad luck against Maine and Boston College as of late, I broke the numbers down in this article. [Inside Hockey]

The Fighting Sioux have lost 4 games in a row against the University of Maine Black Bears so it's not an understatement to say that the Fighting Sioux are due against the Black Bears. The Fighting Sioux played the Maine Black Bears in Orono, Maine last season and were beaten soundly Friday night (October 22nd, 2010) on national television by a score of  7-4, the Sioux took 10 penalties and had three power play goals scored against them. I think it's safe to that the Fighting Sioux will be looking for  some payback. 

Dan Myer from the College Hockey News previewed the WCHA in a two part series (part one and part two) and had this to say about the Fighting Sioux
Prediction: The Fighting Sioux may struggle early while their kids get used to playing at this level. And, until last season, early season difficulties were sort of the program's M.O. But once guys like Grimaldi and Mattson get going along with the amount of talent and depth always associated with North Dakota hockey, the Sioux will most definitely be a player by season's end. This group will be a tough out in any playoff scenario.
I have to agree with Dan's assessment. I think the Fighting Sioux who played six freshman during the opening weekend are going struggle early and are probably going to take their lumps early. I also predict that the Fighting Sioux will make their patented second half run to set them up for the playoffs.  

Fighting Sioux rookie forward Roco Grimaldi is also one of five players to watch this season. Roco was held out of Friday's game against Air Force Academy with an undisclosed lower body injury and made his season debut against the Boston College Eagles.
Rocco Grimaldi, North Dakota (Fr., F) — The hands-down favorite for WCHA Rookie of the Year, Grimaldi, spent the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program. Despite his size (5-foot-6, 165 pounds), Grimaldi has a unique scoring ability. Besides, the last time the Fighting Sioux had a 5-foot-6 player on its roster he turned out to be a Hobey Baker Award winner (Ryan Duncan in 2006-07) in his second season. [Joshua Berhow; College Hockey News]

This past Saturday night when the Fighting Sioux were getting beaten by the Boston College Eagles, some Sioux fans didn't take the loss real well. Check out some of the comments on the Fighting Sioux chat. It's a long season and NCAA Championships "are not" won in October, November and December. In fact, NCAA Championships are won in April and the Fighting Sioux could very well be in the mix come tournament time.

None of us like to see the Fighting Sioux get beaten like they were on Saturday night. That being said, there are probably 56 other teams that would like to have the Fighting Sioux's record the past seven seasons and would love to be in the Fighting Sioux's predicament.

I like, most people, are tired of watching the Boston College Eagles dance around the Fighting Sioux defense and score six goals on the Fighting Sioux goaltenders. There is no way to sugar coat it; that sucks.  Eventually things will change for the Sioux against Boston College just for the record, Jerry York is 66 years old, will be in the US Hockey hall of fame some day, and has an impressive record of 882–547–93. So it's safe to say that York has been coaching for a very long time, personally, I would call him the God Father of college hockey. 

On the flip side of that equation, Dave Hakstol is 43 years old (23 years younger than York) and has a record of 187-92-27. I predict that Coach Hakstol's day will eventually come where he leads his team to a national title and the naysayers will be running to jump on the Fighting Sioux bandwagon. 

In their last five games against the Eagles, the Fighting Sioux have gone an unimpressive 0-4-1 and have had six goals scored on them four times (6-2, 6-1, 0-0, 6-4, 6-5). It's also been almost seven years since the Fighting Sioux last beat the Eagles and that was during Dave Hakstol’s first season as head coach (2004-05 season) when the Fighting Sioux had to play in the Bean Pot Regional to make the Frozen four.

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