Wednesday, November 06, 2013
After being carried of the ice on a stretcher the week before against the U-18 team. Drake Caggiula scores one of the dirtiest goals I have seen this season to date to become the top goal of the week. Caggiula's goal also ended up being named the play of the day on Fox Sports 1 on Friday night. That's a pretty big honor as well.
Saturday, November 02, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
This season, the University of North Dakota has four exhibition games on their 2013-14 schedule. These exhibition games give the coaching staff a chance to evaluate their players. Also, the coaching staff can use these exhibition games as an opportunity to try different line combinations and defensive pairing that you couldn’t normally try in a regular season game. UND was able to play a few players that hadn’t played so far this season.
In tonight’s exhibition game, the University of North Dakota faced off against the US National U-18 team at the Ralph Englestad Arena.
UND would beat the US National U-18 Team 4-1, but the win would come with a cost. Sophomore forward Drake Caggiula would suffer an apparent injury in the early minutes of the second period. Caggiula tried to jump over an U-18 player, fell and landed on his head. Caggiula was taken off of the ice on a stretcher and taken to Altru Hospital.
After the game, fellow line mate Rocco Grimaldi was asked about the Caggiula injury.
“It was really tough,” Grimaldi said. “Actually, I was kind of tearing up for him. I have never seen anything like that in my life, so it was tough for all of us to see. Obviously, your thoughts and prayers are going out to him. Hoping he’s okay. Hoping he can get back and everything is going to be okay with him.”
After the game, the head coach Dave Hakstol had this to say about the Caggiula’s injury.
“It’s hard to see with any member of the team,” Hakstol said. “We’re happy to hear some good news and waiting, hopefully we will hear some more good news."
While the injury did take the life out of the building, there were a few positives.
After having a rough first two seasons, junior forward Brendan O’Donnell has gotten off to a fast start this season and scored (1g1a—2pts) tonight. When asked about his quick start to the season, this is what he had to say.
“You try to build confidence every game,” O’Donnell said. "Every practice, every week, in college hockey, the thing is week to week is such a big difference, fresh start every week. I just try to build on what we have done and look forward to the future."
One difference for O’Donnell this season is that he’s finally healthy.
“Obviously, you never want to be injured,” O’Donnell said. “Its been nice to be healthy...”
After the game, head coach Dave Hakstol was very complimentary of Brendan O’Donnell’s play.
“He’s just maturing in every way,” Hasktol said. “You see that maturity come through. The confidence that he’s playing with, he’s worked hard to elevate his play. He’s a guy that was out of the lineup an awful lot in the middle of the season last year. Instead of stepping back, he stepped forward. He worked extremely hard to get himself back in the lineup, late in the second half of last year. He had an excellent summer, where he was focused on all of the right things. He’s carried that into winning a job on our left side.”
On evaluating his team play, Head Coach Dave Hakstol seemed pleased with his team’s effort.
“Real good second period,” Hakstol said. “Lot of positives there, up and down first and third period. We got to the third period it was matter of just kind running out the 20-minutes from our stand point. Certainly we will give them a lot of credit. They played a game last night. They played good hockey in the third period, which was their sixth period of hockey of the weekend. Lots of credit to the young guys over there.”
Now for the good news: According to UND SID Jayson Hajdu, forward Drake Caggiula has movement and feeling in his extremities, he underwent further testing. The tests came back negative and Caggiula was released from Altru hospital.
- NCHC Hockey: North Dakota and Miami Split Inaugural Weekend (thehockeywriters.com)
- UND Completes Comeback Against Vermont (insidehockey.com)
- UND completes comeback against Vermont (ndgoon.blogspot.com)
- UND and UVM Skate to a Tie (insidehockey.com)
Thursday, December 06, 2012
UND freshman forward Drake Caggiula (Pickering, Ontario) is proving to be a very nice pickup for the University of North Dakota. Caggiula is a true freshman and came to UND from the Stouffville Spirit of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Through 14 games of the season, it would appear that Caggiula’s arrival on campus is turning out to be a very positive event.
While being listed at 5’10” 174 pounds on the roster, Caggiula plays as if he was bigger framed player. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him in street clothes, Caggiula has a physical aspect to his game and the freshman has been known to dish out big body checks; leaving the fans in awe. Caggiula is also a very good skater, that can get down the ice very quickly and sees the ice very well.
After being held off of the score sheet three games in a row, the crafty forward has scored six points in his last seven games.
So far on the season, Caggiula has scored (5g-3a--8pts) in 14 games.
So far on the season, Caggiula has scored (5g-3a--8pts) in 14 games.
It usually takes time to make the adjustment from junior hockey to Division I college hockey; Caggiula seems to be making the transition seamlessly. Last weekend, UND traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado to play the Colorado College Tigers. UND split (3-5 L – 3-2 O.T. W) their weekend series with the Tigers and UND scored 6 goals on the weekend – Caggiula scored three of those six goals, including the game winning goal in overtime of Saturday night’s game.
This is what Caggiula had to say about making the transition from junior hockey to college hockey.
“I am not exactly sure,” Caggiula said. “Defiantly I think I am feeling more comfortable making plays that I would’ve made last year in juniors. Just being more confident in myself – I talked to my dad back home and he just said be confident in yourself – be confident in the plays that you can make – do your think and don’t be scared. Tried some things and they’re starting to work out for me.”
For most of the season, Caggiula has been playing on a forward line with the highly regarded Rocco Grimaldi and the two have had developed a chemistry that has made it tough for UND head coach Dave Hakstol to break up the two.
This is what Caggiula has to say about playing on the same line as Rocco Grimaldi.
“We got a lot of chemistry on and off the ice,” Caggiula said.” We have been hanging out quite a bit off of the ice which transfers very well on ice. Playing multi weekends together is defiantly key. We’ve built a lot of chemistry – were starting to know each – where we’re going to be – where we want them to be – certain habits that we both have. So definitely, playing with someone for that long creates a lot of experience. I guess chemistry once again.”
If you look at the roster of UND over the last eight seasons, there have not been a lot of players at UND that have come from the OJHL. The only other player that I can remember during the tenure of Dave Hakstol former goalie Anthony Grieco who played for Wellington Dukes during the 2005-06 season.
Caggiula was asked about how he ended up playing at UND.
“Last year, I started out my season in the USHL playing for Des Moines,” Caggiula said. “I played in the preseason and the first four games of the year through that time UND started watching me and started recruiting me from there and then I returned back home to Stouffville Played my juniors there and UND said that was that was no problem – they said they’re still going to keep their eye on me. They followed me throughout the year and brought me in on a visit last year when they played C.C. at home and made my commitment on the visit.”
Caggiula is also making an impression on his head coach. This is what the head coach Dave Hakstol had to say about his freshman forward.
“That has a way of really building your confidence offensively,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “It’s nice to see a young player that’s offensively gifted finally start to have some things bounce his way, have him start to make plays with confidence. That’s a natural part of his development. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see that grow in the right direction.”
Playing at UND is a unique experience. There are no professional sports teams in North Dakota and with the NHL not playing due to the lockout; UND hockey is currently the most watched hockey team in North America.
This is what Caggiula has to say about playing in the Ralph Englestad Arena.
“It’s an unbelievable experience,” Caggiula said. “Playing back home in juniors you only play in front of 500 fans maybe. Coming here – playing in front of 12,000 strong fans every weekend at home – its unbelievable experience. They’re the greatest fans in the world – were the most followed team in North America right now with the lockout. It’s just a great experience to come out there and to have the screaming fans. Going to school, people congratulate you on how you played. Just the support from everyone it’s just an unbelievable.”
While Caggiula is finishing up his first semester at UND, it appears that the freshman from Pickering, Ontario is a good fit for UND going forward.Originally Posted at the Hockey Writers - Combine.