Showing posts with label Dean Blais. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dean Blais. Show all posts

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NCHC Final Award Nominees and Redwing77's Predictions

By Redwing77

I haven't posted in a while and I thought I'd do this.  The NCHC announced its award finalists today.  I'm going to go through and give my opinion on as many of the nominees as I feel comfortable opining upon and finish each section up with my predicted winner.

Herb Brooks Coach of the Year Award

Finalist #1:  Dean Blais (UNO).  You can't really argue with his body of work over most of the regular season.  UNO was pretty dominant despite not having a real star studded lineup.  Ryan Massa returned from personal problems to be every other teams' personnel problem.  He was very hard to beat for most of the year.  Freshmen Tyler Vesel, Jake Randolph, and defenseman Luke Snuggerud were very nice surprises coming directly from the USHL (coincidentally all from the Omaha Lancers) and Austin Ortega was everything advertised.  Blais is no stranger to these types of awards.  Most UND fans who were around during Blais' tenure will attest to how good of a coach he is.  Oh yeah, going 12-8-4-3 with one of the youngest teams in the nation tends to garner attention too.

Finalist #2:  Dave Hakstol (UND).  Not bad for all the "he should be fired" crowd, eh?  He led UND to the Penrose Cup and won it by 6 points.  His team is among the NCAA leaders in a variety of statistical categories.  That being said, most coaches who win the conference regular season title will be on this list.

Finalist #3:  Scott Sandelin (UMD).  Despite finishing 5th in the NCHC, UMD is top 6 in the nation in ranking.  His team plays well and is a very solid opponent.

My Prediction:  I'd LOVE for it to be Dave Hakstol, but my feeling is that it will be Dean Blais.  For most of the season, it was neck and neck with UND and Miami for the Penrose and he did it with a younger team that was picked to finish 6th in preseason NCHC polls.

NCHC Rookie of the Year Award

Finalist #1:  Louie Belpedio (D - Miami):  I do not know much about this player.  However, according to his stats, he's done quite well.  10 points, +7, 21 blocked shots.  Not at all bad.

Finalist #2:  Patrick Russell (F - SCSU):  10g-10a-20pts.  He won 3 Rookie of the Week honors.  He was very noticable on the ice.

Finalist #3:  Danton Heinen (F- DU):  Heinen was the only of the three players listed I looked up as to where he came from (Surrey of the BCHL).  What a diamond find for the Pios.  Rookie of the Month and 4x Rookie of the Week winner, he led all rookie skaters in points.  His 26 points not only led all rookies but was good for 3rd overall in the conference.

My Prediction:  Hard for it NOT to be Heinen, so I will play it safe and say Danton Heinen.

NCHC Goaltender of the Year Award

Finalist #1:  Ryan Massa (UNO):  2nd team All Conference, great stats, miserable to play against.  League-best .933 Save% and 2nd best 2.12 GAA.  Nominee for the Mike Richter Award.  He is the only senior up for this award.

Finalist #2:  Zane McIntyre (UND):  Junior goaltender led the NCHC in win percentage (.708), wins (16), and saves (704).  First Team All Conference.  Mike Richter nominee.  2nd only to Massa in Save Percentage (.931).

Finalist #3:  Kasimir Kaskisuo (UMD):  A freshman.  How about out of the gate good?  24 starts (only other to do that is McIntyre), .918 Save%, and 2.27 GAA.  Again, as a freshman.  (As an aside:  How can he be a finalist for this award and NOT be a finalist for the NCHC Rookie of the Year award?)

My PredictionZane McIntyre (UND).  Best goaltender in the NCHC and a big reason (perhaps THE reason) why UND is where it is.

NCHC Forward of the Year Award

Finalist #1:  Jonny Brodzinski (SCSU):  Rocket shot, 13 goals (tied for first), 2 game winners, NCHC leading Power Play scorer.  Patrick Russell may be "tomorrow" but Brodzinski is definitely TODAY. 13g-10a for just under 1 point per game in 24 games.  First Team All Conference

Finalist #2:  Austin Czarnik (Miami):  A measely 4 goals on the year (3 in one game ... 2 short handed..  against UND ARGH!!!!) but is among the NCAA leaders in assists (he led the NCHC in assists with 22). Second Team All Conference.  46 points in 24 games means over 1 PPG.

Finalist #3:  Trevor Moore (DU):  Sophomore.  First Team All Conference.  13g-17a-30pts.  Tied for league lead in goals but won the scoring title outright.  NCHC best +15 as well.

My Prediction: This one is hard.  I want to say Trevor Moore and it wouldn't be far fetched, but I'm going to go with Brodzinski.

NCHC Defenseman of the Year Award and Offensive Defensemen Awards

Look at the stats folks.  It's going to be Laleggia and it's not even close (13 point difference to be exact).

Defensive Forward of the Year

Czarnik reappears to join DU's Doremus and UND's Mark MacMillan.  Defensive statistics for Czarnik and MacMillan are virtually identical (2 shorties, 17 blocked shots with +/- being a bit different).

My Prediction:  Ok, I'm going full homer on this one because I honestly don't know who will win this one so I'll go with Mark MacMillan (UND).  All 3 are deserving in my opinion.

NCHC Player of the Year

Jonny Brodzinski (SCSU), Joey LaLeggia (DU), and Zane McIntyre (UND) are the finalists.  I'm going to go right to my prediction on this one and say it is Joey LaLeggia (DU).  YES, I know that McIntyre has been THE man all year but how often does a player who DOESN'T SCORE win the big award?  LaLeggia has the vote.  Look:  Best offensive defenseman by a LONG SHOT, great on defense.  He's the total package this year.  An opportunity to give the big award to a defensive player who can score.  Zane gets snubbed.

DU could be the biggest winner in the amount of awards won this year.

Just my two cents.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Omaha.COM: Blais believes the Mavs are close to contending

Interesting article about coach Dean Blais and his UNO hockey program.
Tony Boone, -- NO, entering its 18th season, still needs to establish itself as a program relevant on the national level, Blais said. Becoming a perennial NCAA tourney team is an important part of that.

The coach recalled his days at North Dakota, where he was the head coach from 1994 to 2004, when he could drive to Winnipeg, then fly to British Columbia or Saskatchewan and have immediate credibility when he visited a recruit because his program had name recognition.

“Everyone knows about North Dakota. They have that tradition,” he said. “We have to build that tradition. We have to be known as a team that’s going to be there at the end of the year. We’ll get there.”

Omaha has a recruiting advantage, Blais said, by being located within driving distance of a number of teams from the United States Hockey League, the top junior league in America. But he expects the biggest boost to come when the new on-campus arena at UNO opens next October.

Players, for the first time in the program’s history, will be able to go to practices or games without driving across the city. And they’ll have their own space they don’t have to share with another team.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Nebraska-Omaha head coach Dean Blais tossed from game

During UNO's 6-3 win against UND, Nebraska-Omaha head coach Dean Blais was tossed from the game by NCHC official Andy Thiessen for not putting a player in the penalty box after his team took an unsportsmanlike penalty.  No one really knows what was said, for the Mavericks to get an unsportsmanlike bench penalty.

“We dealt with some adversity at the start of the game,” UNO Maverick forward Josh Archibald said. “With (Dean) Blais getting kicked out of the game, our team battled back and good things happen when you battle back. We’re lucky to come out on top tonight.”

“I don’t really know how we got the two-minute unsportsmanlike penalty for the bench minor to start things off. I just don’t think that coach agreed with it and a lot of the guys on the bench didn’t agree with it. He just kept saying no to the ref and I guess he got thrown for that.”

It appears that coach Blais being tossed from the game, actually fired up his hockey team. Archibald would go on to score a natural hat trick and add an assist for a four-point night.

Archibald was asked if his coach getting tossed from the game fired up the Mavericks.

“If he (coach Blais) is going to do stuff for like that for us, we’re going to battle for him any day.” 
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Friday, November 15, 2013

North Dakota v Duluth

North Dakota is coming out of a weekend series where due to injury, sickness and a strong effort by a Dean Blais team they just barely hung on for a split.

Now it's time to square off versus Minnesota Duluth where we are still expected to be less than 100%. Herald Beat Report Brad Elliot Schlossman says he has no idea what UND's line up might be.

I think if we're to have any success this weekend I think the team is going to have to really dig deep and gut it out.  Given that I think this video is appropriate. 

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Friday, August 16, 2013

UNO Hockey: Three Maverick Hockey Players in Trouble

English: UNO Hockey vs. Michigan at the 2011 N...
English: UNO Hockey vs. Michigan at the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey Tournament (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Kevin Cole of the Omaha World Herald is reporting that three Nebraska-Omaha hockey players are in trouble for incident that took place at a downtown bar in Omaha, Nebraska on August 3, 2013. One of the players involved is former Red River and Central hockey player Alex Simonson. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with Maverick head coach Dean Blais. Story Developing.
Kevin Cole, World-Herald -- Three UNO hockey players face disorderly conduct allegations after they allegedly spouted racial slurs and got into a fight in the Old Market.

Matt White, 25, Alex Simonson, 23, and Preston Hodge, 21, all members of the University of Nebraska at Omaha hockey team, were each ticketed Aug. 3 on suspicion of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

Lamar Triplett, 26, of Omaha, who got into a confrontation with the players, was ticketed on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

“I don't know why I got a citation because I was just trying to defend myself that night,” Triplett said in an interview. “It was a crazy situation. It was the most random situation I have ever been in.”

City Prosecutor David Smallheiser said the men have not been formally charged and have court appearances scheduled in September.

Omaha police were called to a parking lot at 10th and Harney Streets about 2 a.m. to investigate a disturbance.

Witnesses told police that the hockey players had been harassing a small group of African-Americans with racial slurs and epithets.
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Good Bye to an old friend,Old REA Demolished on Monday

As most of you know, the "old Ralph" comes down on Monday at 10:00 a.m. there is a nice article in today's Grand Forks Herald talking about the old barn. I came to Grand Forks, ND and attended UND in September of 1993 and saw many games in the Old Ralph.

It was a loud building, in the late 1990's when UND had returned to the top of college hockey world, during the Dean Blais years. One of my favorite games was against the Gophers on January 23, 1999 and UND was behind going into the third period and scored something like 4 or 5 goals to win 6-5 and complete the weekend sweep. That building was really loud. Feel free to share your favorite memories.
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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Jutting Named New Hockey Assistant Coach at UNO

Congrats to former Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks head coach Troy Jutting for getting the assistant coaching position at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Last week were were alerted of the impending coaching move by SB Nation Blogger Chuck Schwartz and Bridget Brooks. The University of Nebraska Omaha came out with their "official" press release today.
OMAHA, Neb. – University of Nebraska Omaha head hockey coach Dean Blais announced today that Troy Jutting has been named the team's new assistant coach. Jutting takes over for Brian Renfrew who left Omaha after one year to take a position with the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League.

Jutting is well known to fans of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, having served as the head coach of Minnesota State for the last 12 years.

“We are fortunate that we have been able to add someone of Troy's experience to our staff,” said Blais. “After so many games coaching against us, he knows our program and our players. Just as important, he knows the WCHA and what it takes to be successful there. I think he can help us as we compete for league and national championships.” [Read the whole release here]

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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Jutting to the Red Mavericks - it appears so

According to Shane Frederick beat writer for the Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks – the rumors are true – former Maverick’s head coach Troy Jutting is indeed heading to Nebraska Omaha to be an assistant coach with the UNO Mavericks under Dean Blais.
Shane Frederick (@puckato) After communicating with a couple of sources, it looks like Jutting to Omaha is indeed happening.
Apparently, UNO Mavericks fans are not a fan of the move and have voiced their displeasure with the personnel move by head coach Dean Blais.

I have always been on record as saying that I think that Dean Blais is a great hockey mind and if he wants to hire Troy Jutting to be his assistant hockey coach, I am personally not going to question it. I am sure that Troy knows a lot of about hockey and has been in the business a long time.

Granted, there are going to be college hockey fans that aren’t crazy with the idea. Also, I have always thought that Jutting was a good coach as well – I mean really – he didn’t have a lot to work with while he was the head coach in Mankato. It was easy for the fans to throw Jutting under the bus.

During his 12 seasons as head coach at MSU-M, Troy Jutting had a record of 184-224-55 (.463) coaching the Mavericks. Jutting was also an assistant coach for 10 seasons at Mankato as well.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Jutting to the UNO Mavericks?

Lets Go Mav's favorite ex-head coach is the topic of rumors on the internet tonight - it's rumored that former Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks head coach Troy Jutting might be headed to Nebraska Omaha to be an assistant coach with the UNO Mavericks under former Fighting Sioux head coach Dean Blais.  Apparently, this rumor isn't popular with the UNO Mavericks fans.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Zombo Disallowed Goal UNO vs. CC

This is from last night's game [Friday Night] between UNO and C.C., the Tigers won the game 4-3. I don't know, it looks like the on ice officials blew the call on this one. There is no distinct kicking motion on the play. Of course the on ice officials for this series were Don Adam, Timm Walsh, two of the worst officials in the WCHA.

I was surprised that Dean Blais didn't protest this goal more but he seemed to be fine with the call after the explanation from the refs.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Blais not ready to retire just yet...

Sounds like Dean Blais’ comments that he made at the UND booster’s luncheon, when the UNO Mavericks were here back in December, migh have sent up a big red warning flag to the fans back in Omaha, NE.

Blais who spoke at the UND luncheon during the UND vs. UNO series, was asked how long he was going to be the coach of the UNO Mavericks. Blais said that he had three years left on his contract w/UNO.

Apparently, some where along the line,  some people interpreted Dean Blais as saying that he only going to coach three more seasons at UNO and then retire from coaching. This is according to the Omaha World Herald Newspaper.
Blais isn't going anywhere. Not anytime soon.

That's my take. Blais won't be pinned down to anything. But he disputed a report out of Grand Forks, N.D., last month that he had told a North Dakota booster crowd that he likely would retire when his UNO contract ends in three years.

"That was at the booster luncheon," Blais said. "The guy says, 'how many years do you have on your contract, and are you going to retire?' I said I have three years. And that's when they said I'll retire."

So you're not going to retire at the end of your contract?

"Hell, I might retire next year if we don't win," Blais said with a laugh.

So you could go past three years?

"Oh, yeah," Blais said. "I'm 60. I know one thing. I won't be 70 and coaching in this business. It's too tough. [Tom Shatel,WORLD-HERALD]
I wasn’t there at the luncheon, I read the comments in a newspaper article or a blog post, so this “could” be a written off as misunderstanding. I guess you never know with Dean Blais, he is kind of a Maverick and dances to the beat of a different drummer and sometimes there is a little thing called coach speak as well. So who knows?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shot charts from Fridays game between UNO and UND

If you don’t believe me take a look at Mavericks hulk Tony Turgeon who is listed at 6’4” and 232 pounds. But Turgeon isn’t the only one that is big on the Mavericks blue line; in fact the Mavericks only had one guy in their line up last night on the blue line that wasn’t 200 pounds. Kyle Ensign is 6’0” and 189.
Also, looking at the shot charts you will see that both goalies played pretty well and stopped many grade “A” opportunities inside the slot. I also think that this team is very close to putting all of the pieces together. The freshman line of Parks, MacMillan and Brendan O'Donnell is very close to breaking out.

As I mentioned earlier, there was a lot of physical play in last night's game and both teams lined up at the blue line making it more difficult to get across the blue line. Last night I couldn’t believe my eyes, when I saw a team led by Dean Blais use “neutral zone trap.” In the past Blais’ teams have been known for playing a wide open style of hockey, some have deemed it race horse hockey.
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Classic Dean Blais

Check out these quotes by former Fighting Sioux head coach Dean Blais. You have to love guys like Blais who tells it like it is. I don't think I would classify this as bulletin board material because that's the way that BSU plays, I would bet that BSU will come out flying tonight. These comments kind of remind me of the Tampa Bay Lightning as well.
Rob White, WORLD-HERALD --- Unlike last weekend's wide-open series with Colorado College, in which the Mavs earned a split with the team that had been ranked No. 2 in the country, UNO knows things are going to look different this weekend.

"We thought we'd match up well with CC because that's a skating team," Blais said. "They were both great games. (But) these aren't going to be great games. It's going to take a lot of patience. At times there will be boredom because of the way they play."

[Dan] Bakala is 2-3 this season with a 2.87 goals-against average but a save percentage of only .886. He's split time with two others thus far for a Beavers team that is 4-6 and 2-4.

But this weekend, UNO comes to town.

"They are disciplined in everything they do, and you have to give their coaches credit for that," Blais said. "They don't take chances offensively. Defensively they play a real compact defensive-zone coverage. They'll give you shots from the outside knowing their goaltender is good."
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Finding the "Silver Lining" After Being Swept by the Badgers.

University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux athl...Image via WikipediaThe Grand Forks Police department rushed to shut down the bridges that connect East Grand Forks and Grand Forks shortly after the Sioux were swept by the Badgers in Madison, Wisconsin. There were fears that Fighting Sioux hockey fans en mass would jump off of the bridges after watching their team get swept at the hand of the Wisconsin Badgers.

I couldn’t resist that one it's probably more funny on twitter and of course I am kidding… For a second time this season, the Fighting Sioux chat also blew up as a result of the Sioux being on the losing end of a game. It's a long season and there will be more loses. My offer to be a ticket broker for the Sioux fans that want to sell their season tickets is still on the table.

While I am not happy with the Fighting Sioux being swept this past weekend, let’s not forget that the Sioux did lose a “very big chunk” of their scoring prowess from last season's squad. Jason Gregoire 25g-18a—43 pts, Matt Frattin 36g-24a—60 pts, Chay Genoway 6g-31a—37 pts, Brad Malone 16g-24a—40 pts, Evan Trupp 17g-24a—41 pst, Brett Hextall 13g-16a—29pts. If my math is correct that is 270 points from last year’s squad that went 30-7-2.

Rant of the night – Why is it that the bigger schools like the Wisconsin Badgers; that are going to be going to the almighty Big Ten; so they can maximize their schools exposure and bank all kinds of money from their share of the BTN revenue, can’t have "all" of their home games on television so fans of other programs can watch their games when our team plays theirs? Seriously, I think it's a legitimate question. Also, this helps make the case for college hockey having a hockey television package like the NHL’s Center Ice.

On the flip side of that argument, why is it that a relatively small school like UND has all of its home games and a few of their away games on Fox College Sports, so anyone that has the sports packages on Direct TV can watch their games.

While I realized that college hockey is a niche sport, I am sure that there are many fans like me that would spend an extra $10.00-20.00 dollars a month to watch their favorite teams when they're away from home. After watching Friday's game on FSN Wisconsin, I had to spend $9.95 to purchase Saturday’s game from the University of Wisconsin so I could watch the Badgers and Sioux debacle part II. Let me say that I would rather watch a hockey game on my Toshiba flat screen, as opposed to watching it on my lap top that's four and a half to five years old. 

Rare Sweep?

The Fighting Sioux do not get swept very often had not been swept to start a WCHA season opener since the 1994-95 season, when the Fighting Sioux went 18-18-3, incidentally that was also the first year under head coach Dean Blais.

The Good

The Fighting Sioux outshot the Badgers 42-15…

Aaron Dell stopped the Badgers forward Joseph LaBate on a penalty shot to keep the game at 5-3. Dell then stopped the Badgers forward Jefferson Dahl on a break away a short time later during the waning moments of the third period to keep the Sioux in the game.

It would be an understatement to say that junior forward Danny Kristo is on fire, this past weekend Kristo had a 4-point weekend (2-2-4). According to Jayson Hajdu of the UND Sports Information Department, Kristo has scored 20 points in his last 23 games. That’s an impressive clip for the junior forward; I would imagine the Montreal Canadians are also impressed with Kristo’s play so far

Freshman Defenseman Nick Mattson had a two point game and a three point weekend for the Fighting Sioux. After starting off the season without any points, Mattson has 5 points in three games (2-3-5).

Sophomore defenseman Derek Forbort had a better night defensively for the Fighting Sioux on Saturday night as he was only on the ice for one of the five goals that the Badgers scored on the Fighting Sioux.

The Bad

Despite outshooting the Badgers the Fighting Sioux were swept and out scored by the Badgers 10-7.

The Fighting Sioux lost for the first time 2007 when they donned the black jerseys against the Boston College Eagles during the Frozen Four.

Aaron Dell last year All-WCHA and All American goalie ahs a save percentage of .813 and a goals against average of 4.05.

This was probably the last time the Fighting Sioux will play a WCHA conference game in Madison, Wisconsin. The Sioux and the Badgers will be in separate leagues to begin the 2013-14 season and the Badgers only come to Grand Forks, ND next year.

Sophomore Defenseman Derek Forbort had another rough night on Friday as he was on the ice for three of the five goals the Badgers scored.
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Monday, October 03, 2011

Blais sends a message to one of his star players.

Former Fighting Sioux hockey coach Dean Blais once sat All American forward Jason Blake when he was a member of the Fighting Sioux. In retrospect Blais once said that this move may have also cost Blaie a shot at the Hobey Baker Memorial Trophy. Fast forward to the 2011-2012 season, now as coach of the Omaha Mavericks, Dean Blais has suspended his senior star forward Alex Hudson indefinably.
Chad Purcell; --- UNO forward Alex Hudson, the Mavs' top returning scorer who recently was named a captain, has been suspended indefinitely from the team for an unspecified training violation, coach Dean Blais said.

Blais did not elaborate on Hudson's status, other than to say that the senior would not play Saturday when the University of Nebraska at Omaha hosts its exhibition game against British Columbia to open the 2010-11 season.

Hudson was not in attendance at the Mavericks' practice Wednesday.

The squad's only senior forward, Hudson, from Corona, Calif., had a career-best 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) last season. He played in all 39 games as a junior and had a team-high four game-winning goals.
Dean Blais is a throw back to the days of former Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey coach Herb Brooks who isn't afraid to call a star player out when they aren't pulling their weight. For those of us that remember, Dean Blais was famous for these comments; "if a player(s) isn't playing well he will be sitting next to the coaches on the bench or in the stands watching the game. It will be interesting to see if Mavericks forward Alex Hudson gets the message or will his suspension become permanent?
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blasier not expecting any love this weekend.

I think I can speak for quite a few of us, that former Fighting Sioux hockey coach Dean Blais will always be loved in Grand Forks, ND. Personally, I had tears in my eyes when I found out he was leaving UND for the NHL. I think that I will always have a soft spot for the Dean Blais, he is a future hall of fame coach that can get the most out of his players. Blais brought UND back to greatness 1990’s after UND had hit rock bottom, winning NCAA titles in 1997 and 2000. --- 1:50 p.m., Tuesday: Former Sioux coach Dean Blais already knows what it feels like to work from the visiting team's bench at North Dakota's Engelstad Arena.

Blais last winter led his U.S. National junior team to a 4-2 win over the Sioux. The crowd of 10,000-plus in Grand Forks was happy to have Blais back on UND's campus, and there was no chance they'd act hostile toward a team representing the USA.

But that was only an exhibition, and it didn't count a lick toward North Dakota's WCHA and NCAA championship hopes. Blais even had one of the Sioux's own -- Danny Kristo -- skating for him in a Team USA sweater.

Blais remains a revered figure at UND, but he fully expects all that good will to go out the window this weekend. For the first time since he left the Sioux in 2004, Blais will go back to Grand Forks as the coach of another college team.

"I left the University of North Dakota on great terms, going to work in the National Hockey League," Blais said Tuesday prior to the Mavs' practice. "And obviously last year, coaching for my country, that's a compliment for what we accomplished at North Dakota, too.

"But now, coming back to Grand Forks as UNO's coach -- trying to take away their points and beat their Fighting Sioux -- there's going to be no love for me up there at all."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A couple of things.

This weekends Fighting Sioux hockey games are not FCS/FSSN. The only way you will be able to watch the games is to purchase the web cast from [Click link to purchase]

For the life of me I can’t understand why these games can't be picked up by FSSN? All they would have to do is broadcast the B2 broadcast over the FSSN. That being said, not all is lost though, just log on to the link provided above and you can hook up an s-video cord from computer to your TV. During October, I watched the Maine Black Bears slaughter/debacle game that way and it worked out pretty well.

Blais not going to Minnesota

Those who like to speculate that Dean Blais is going to be the next coach of the Golden Rodents when Lucia gets fired, you might want to re-think that assessment. Brad Schlossman had this little nugget in his Wednesday update.
Blais again said he plans to coach at Omaha for five years. Then, he said he wants to retire and spend more time with his grandchildren.

“I pretty much have had the best college job in the country already,” he said.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Moving forward; Fighting Sioux vs Mavericks

This weekend’s WCHA series will feature the once beaten University of Omaha Nebraska Mavericks aka “The Red Cows” versus the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. This match up will be special to Sioux fans because it will be former Fighting Sioux head hockey coach Dean Blais’ first match up against his former team.

Sioux fans will probably always have strong feeling of affection for Dean Blais because of what he accomplished while he was the head coach at UND. Dean Blais led the Fighting Sioux to five MacNaughton Cups, two Broadmoor Trophys, two (2X) national titles in 1997 and 2000 and a runners up finish in 2001 before moving on to coach in the NHL after the 2004 season.

Can I quote you on that one?

Blais is also famous for interesting quotes and zingers. One of Blais’ more famous quotes was, ‘if a players isn’t playing well, he will be sitting on the bench next to the coach or in the stands in a suit.’ Last week Blais made this comment after he was asked by the Omaha media if the Mavericks were adjusting to the teams in the WCHA?
World-Herald --- On Saturday night, following No. 6 UNO’s wild 4-4 tie at St. Cloud State, Blais was asked whether the game was an example of his Mavs learning and adjusting to life in the WCHA.

Blais agreed, then broke out a sly smile.

“These other teams,” he said, “they’re going to have to learn and adjust to us, too.”
I think no matter how the four games go between the Fighting Sioux and the University of Omaha Mavericks, Sioux fans will have found memories and an affection for Dean Blais, because he was one of us.
Chad PurcellWorld-Herald Staff Writer --- Blais knows that UND's coaches, players and fans will want to sweep this series, too. But there's an interesting dynamic that still exists between Blais and those who live and die for Sioux hockey. And that's not likely to change, even if the Mavs enjoy big success this weekend.

“He's a major, major celebrity up there,” said Nick Fohr, UNO's director of hockey operations who grew up in Grand Forks rooting for UND. “Sioux hockey is just as big up there as Husker football is down here, and Dean is obviously a very big part of that program.”

Virg Foss can verify that fact.

Foss, a columnist for the Grand Forks Herald, formerly served as the newspaper's UND hockey beat writer. He covered the program for 35 seasons, longer than any other WCHA writer, including all 19 years of Blais' tenure.

“I think Dean will always have a warm place in everybody's heart here in North Dakota,” Foss said.

Blais grew up along the Canadian border in International Falls, Minn., and he played college hockey at the University of Minnesota. But his hockey identity in large part is defined by what he did at North Dakota.

He worked as an assistant under former UND coach Gino Gasparini in the 1980s. During that nine-year stint, Blais was one of the key recruiters and tacticians as the Sioux went 239-130-11 and won NCAA titles in 1982 and 1987.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Blais on the BTHC

I have to agree with Dean Blais on this one, what does Barry Alvarez really know about hockey? I think the Big Ten should concentrate on things that they do well;  like Basketball and Football championships. These athletic directors are messing with college hockey that is already successful and there is a delicate balance that they could upset if they get greedy.
Q: What's your take on the Big Ten possibly starting a hockey league?

A: I don't know what's going to happen for sure. I hear Penn State is starting a program and building an arena. It's hard, hard to get into a conference. They are talking about it. There's got to be a lot of thought that goes into it if the Big Ten schools are going to get together at the expense of hurting college hockey. If you have 55 (58) schools playing hockey and five fold because of that, you better know what you're doing.

(Five programs would fold? Blais said it could happen in the CCHA if it loses three teams to the Big Ten. He had some strong words for the Big Ten schools in the WCHA. “Barry Alvarez, the Wisconsin athletic director, has been pushing this. He's a football guy. Does he know anything about hockey? This could really hurt the sport. Minnesota and Wisconsin have to think about the backlash in future schedules. What's keeping everyone from blackballing them and making them look east?”)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mike and Mike: A boon for UNO's Blais

Here is a nice story on former Fighting Sioux hockey head hockey coach Dean Blais. All the coaches on the UNO staff have some kind of a connection to the Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team. Dean is going to yell Mike and two people are going to answer, Mike and Mike…
World-Herald Staff Writer --- During his more than 30 years in hockey, Dean Blais has put together his share of talented coaching staffs.

But never before, Blais said, has he been surrounded by a pair of assistants with such an impressive combination of talent and experience.

It was big news last year when Blais brought in Mike Hastings to be UNO's associate head coach. Now, by adding assistant Mike Guentzel to the Mavs' bench this summer, Blais appears to have assembled the college hockey equivalent of a rock ‘n' roll supergroup.

“It's almost like we have three head coaches,” said Blais, who's gearing up for his second season leading the University of Nebraska at Omaha hockey program. “I think that will really help us. If I have to be gone recruiting, it's not going to bother me at all to miss practice. Because I'll know either one of them (Hastings or Guentzel) can run practice as good, if not better, than I can.”

When you add up the career numbers and accomplishments on the résumés of Blais, Hastings and Guentzel, the results are eye-popping.

Together, they boast 60 years of experience coaching at the NCAA, USHL and international levels. They've spent a combined 32 seasons employed as a head coach, compiling 1,015 victories.

Between the three, they've had a hand in six NCAA titles and five USHL Clark Cup championships. Blais was USHL coach of the year once and a two-time winner of the NCAA national coach of the year award. Hastings and Guentzel, both former head coaches with the Omaha Lancers, each was named USHL coach of the year twice.

And consider this nugget: Hastings never experienced a losing season as a head coach, while Blais and Guentzel only endured one apiece.
BallHype: hype it up!