Showing posts with label Jason Gregoire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jason Gregoire. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Trip Around the Blogsphere

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Friday, December 28, 2012

One Goal; Follow up interview with Allison Davis O'Keefe

Allison Davis O’Keefe – One Goal
Allison Davis O’Keefe author of the book One Goal, agreed to answer a few questions I had about her amazing book. Here what Allison had to say about the book, her answers will also answer a few questions you might have had about the book.

Recently, I listened to the interview you did with Tim Hennessey on 96.1 between periods of a Michigan Tech and UND hockey game. You had some interesting points that I would like to expand on.
The first question I would like to ask you is; how hard was it to gain access to the Fighting Sioux hockey team and the coaching staff?  
It was hard. I am not from this community so I honestly didn’t realize how private the team can be.  They are a tight-knit group, a band of brothers, if you will, and they protect one another.  Hockey players also have many superstitions – ‘routine’ they will call it – and anything or anybody who challenges the norm is greeted with healthy suspicion.
Was it hard to convince Dave Hakstol to let you photograph him and his team?
 Yes. I think Coach Hakstol is fiercely protective of his team and he didn’t want anything to distract them from their goal.  Coach Hakstol is a naturally private person and I think that instinct extends to his team.  I, like his players, had to gain his trust and confidence; the doors weren’t flung open, even after he had agreed to allow the project to move forward.
How long did it take to get that in?
I have been asking Coach Hakstol to photograph the team in one way or another for a number of years. I think he finally agreed because it was to be the last year of the Fighting Sioux. But frankly, the book is about much more than that.
Was there ever time the head coach said, not today?
There was never a time when he said ‘not today’, no.  The agreement was open access and the team gradually accepted that.  As a photojournalist who has covered Capitol Hill and presidential campaigns, you know when to put the camera down and build a relationship, build trust, and when you absolutely can’t miss the shot.  I knew when not attend a meeting and he knew, for the most part, that I was there. I tried to use a level of discretion in the process while still capturing every aspect of team life.
I have heard people make comments about you being related to head coach via marriage and that was the reason you were able to gain access, but that’s not true?  
Coach Hakstol is married to my husband’s cousin – and, honestly, I think all that gained me was the ability to broach the subject of this project with him.  I had to earn his trust, his team’s trust, and the staff’s trust.  Without that, I would have been shut out and shut down two games into the season.  And I made it clear from the beginning that this is a work of photojournalism; I’d shoot what I saw with no interference.  To his credit, Coach Hakstol was true to that agreement. Not once did he ask to see the pictures before they were published.  And he didn’t see the final book until after it was off the printing press and on sale.
How were you received by the players?
At first the players were confused as to why I was there all the time.
There were whispers of ‘who is this person’ and ‘why is she crouched on the ground, taking photos while we board the bus’? They had questions.
I remember at an away game in Madison early in the season, Jason Gregoire turned as he loaded his bag on the team bus and said, “What are you doing here?”
But over time they all got used to it, and would make fun of me, or joke about getting ‘face time’.
I was also pregnant with my daughter during the entire season so toward the end it was a little comical watching me walk on the ice after the Final Five or the regional NCAA tournament.
It got harder to get up and down and move quickly with two cameras, a bag of lenses; some of the guys would help me up and wonder aloud if it was doctor-approved for a pregnant woman to walk on the ice.
How were you received by the UND assistant coaches?
Coach Jackson is hilarious – at one of the Thursday night steak dinners I mentioned how much I enjoyed the HBO series leading up to the Winter Classic and how much I admired the access they got.
Jackson picked up on my not-too-subtle hint and said, “Alli, what do you want? Let’s do it.”
I was busted. They all knew why I had brought it up (keep in mind I had to make sure to watch SportsCenter just to know what the heck they were always talking about) but from that point forward, I didn’t really ask to go in the locker room; I just did.
I one thing I noticed is that you did a real good job of showing the different sides of Coach Hakstol; how did that play out?
Time. It is just true that with any extended photography/documentary project, it takes time to show various sides of a person. I slowly would ask for a little more – “how about I start the day at your house and go to work with you.” But he didn’t think anyone would want to see that stuff so at first he thought it was a little weird. There is a photo that is not in the book of him driving to work while holding a mug of coffee. Despite numerous travel-mug-gifts, he still always drives to work with a mug of coffee. I don’t even think it fits in the cup holder. But that is routine. And I was interested in things like that. I think everyone sees a very stoic serious Coach – which is accurate – but for someone who is arguably a community leader and who feels a responsibility to the town that his team represents there is a lot more going on behind the scenes.
What was your impression of the 2010-11 season?
Expectations and pressure.  It seems the Fighting Sioux are always expected to win and win big but this season in particular came with an elevated level of destiny. And I can’t truly imagine what that must feel like.  They put pressure on themselves and I do think they had fun together that season but I would say that one of the lessons learned that year was that there is a value in recognizing your accomplishments along the way. At a recent UND Fan Luncheon, Coach Hakstol, in speaking about the book, said that in ten years he would bring the 2010-2011 team together for a reunion. And they would truly relish in all of their personal and professional accomplishments – something, perhaps, they didn’t do enough of in the moment.  One of the things that I think is lost in coverage of Coach Hakstol is his strong influence on these ‘young men’ as he calls them. He may have to be a disciplinarian and a coach but he truly has an effect on their lives. And Coach Hakstol knows that it is more important to be a good human being, a good man, in life than it is to focus on wins and losses.
Impression of the UND fan base and Ralph Englestad Arena?
The saying, you won’t believe it until you see it is never more true than at the Ralph Englestad Arena. I would go back to New York, hang out with my friends, meet a photo editor, and try to describe what I was trying to accomplish with this project and I genuinely couldn’t find the words.
You did a good job reflecting on the seniors on the 2010-11 Fighting Sioux hockey team; what was your impression of the class of 2011? Who stuck the most of the class?
I will attempt to answer this without sounding too sentimental – the seniors are simply a great group of guys.  You will not meet someone who works harder, is more humble, and kind than Chay Genoway. And the group that started together and went all four years on the team together were like true brothers.
Who were the characters on the team that stuck out for you?
Brad Malone is a character – there was always something happening with him. I think Brent Davidson grew so much as a player that year. That was cool to watch. I went with Jake Marto and Chay Genoway when they volunteered at the Grand Forks Senior Center. They really felt like a part of the community and it was humbling to see how well they were received.  That was a unique bunch – a great team – and I truly enjoyed getting to know each of them as individuals.
What happened to the pictures that didn’t make it into the book?
There are a number of images that I really like that didn’t make it into the book. I will likely put some on my website, The other thing that didn’t make it into the book was a lot of the content from my interviews with Coach Hakstol. We sat down a number of times over the course of the season and afterward. Those interviews are audio-only and I would like to share them in some way. The two most telling are the ones from the day after the Frozen Four loss and the one we did the following season.
Is there any way that you will do a second book? 
No, it is unlikely that there will be a second book.  This was a one-shot chance.
Is there plans for a follow book on another UND hockey team? Or another school?
No, I have no plans to do this with another hockey team. I hope that documenting the 2010-2011 season opened the door for others to document UND hockey. Peter Bottoni, Matt Schill and the team working on “Through These Doors” is fantastic.
I would like to thank Allison Davis O’Keefe for taking the time to answer my questions. Make sure to check out her book “One Goal” because it’s worth every penny.

Originally posted at the Hockey Writers - Combine.
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Friday, September 30, 2011

WCHA season preview

Western Collegiate Hockey Association logoImage via WikipediaThis is the story I submitted for Inside Hockey
The WCHA is set for another great season of hockey. This is the projected order of finish from the Grand Forks Herald’s coach’s poll. Added is my analysis of the league’s 12 teams as I see it. I didn’t include recruits because I have watch none of them play as of yet. As the season continues we will cover freshman players of note that are making an impact in the WCHA. I did include some recruits that might be worth a look as the season unfolds.

1.Denver– Pioneers have been picked to finish first in all three WCHA preseason polls (Media, Writers and the coach’s polls). The biggest question facing the Denver Pioneers this season is their inexperienced goaltending. Starting goaltender and 2010-11 All WCHA rookie team goalie Sam Brittain suffered a knee injury last season during the playoffs and had surgery during the off-season to repair that knee. In Brittain’s absence junior goalie Adam Murray, who posted a 6-3-0 record and a 3.46 goals against average with a .879 save percentage, will be expected to step into the starting goaltenders role for the Denver Pioneers.

While the Denvermedia would like us to believe that the Denver Pioneers aren’t going to be very good this season, there is no reason to believe that the Pioneers are going to be able to fly under the radar this season. I am not buying it and don’t think it’s being very realistic, Denver is a stacked team up and down the forward lines and will be one of the tops teams to beat in the WCHA and the nation this season.

From the fun fact department, the Pioneers have five players from the USNTDP on this season roster.

Leading the offensive attack for the Denver Pioneers are forwards Drew Shore 23g-23a—46 pts, Jason Zucker 23g-22a—45 pts, Beau Bennett 9g-16a—25 pts and Nick Shore 7g-11a—18 pts.

Gone from last season’s team, Matt Donovan 9g-23a—32 pts, Anthony Maiani 8g-28a—36 pts, Kyle Ostrow 15g-13a—28 pts, Chris Nutini 0g-8a—8 pts.

2. UND – The defending MacNaughton Cup and Broadmoor Trophy winners are missing many key elements from their 2010-11 squad that went and impressive 32-9-3. The Sioux were one of the best teams in the nation for most of the year. That was all for not as the Fighting Sioux had their dream season ended prematurely in the quarter finals of the Frozen Four at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines.

From the fun fact department, Fighting Sioux defenseman Dillon Simpson while a sophomore in college is the youngest player on the Fighting Sioux roster this season.

Leading the offensive attack for the Fighting Sioux, Danny Kristo 8g-20a—28 pts, Sophomore Brock Nelson 8g-13a—21 pts and Corbin Knight 14g-30a—44 pts are expected to have big season for the Fighting Sioux from the forward position.

The Fighting Sioux return an impressive blue line corps of Ben Blood 2g-10a—12 pts, Andrew MacWilliam 0g-8a—8 pts, Dillon Simpson 2g-8a—10 pts and Derek Forbort 0g-15a—15 pts that would probably play in any teams top four defensive paring.

In the net for the Fighting Sioux, there is no shortage of experience between Senior Brad Eidsness and last season’s All-American and the Inside College Hockey Goaltender of the Year  junior Aaron Dell who posted a 30-7-2 a save percentage of .924 and a goals against average of 1.79. 

Gone from last year’s team, 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.

3. Colorado College – The Tigers turned a lot of heads last spring when they easily defeated the Boston College Eagles 8-4 in the NCAA West Regional Semifinal. Moving forward this season there is a renewed optimism surrounding this season’s Colorado College Tiger hockey team that went 23-19-3 and finished sixth during the regular season.

From the fun fact department Jaden Schwartz scored nine more points than his older brother Rylan Schwartz while playing in nine less games than is older brother.

Leading the offensive attack for the Tigers, a very potent one – two scoring punch from Jaden Schwartz 17g-30a—40pts and Rylan Schwartz 10g-28a—38 pts.

Leading the defense for the Tigers, Gabe Guentzel 2g-22a—26pts, Joe Marciano 3g-8a—11pts, Eamonn McDermott 2g-12a—14pts, lead the Colorado College Tigers on defense. If there is a weakness on this Tigers squad their defense isn’t as experienced on the blue line and that showed in the West Regional Final last season againstMichigan.

In net for the Tigers, they have a proven goalie in Joe Howe who played in 36 games posting a 18-15-2 record with a 2.94 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. Also available to log some time is backup goalie Josh Thorimbert who posted a 5-4-1 record a 2.57 goals against average with .906 save percentage.

Gone from last season, Stephen Schultz 17g-28a—45pts, Tyler Johnson 20g-17a—37pts.

4. Nebraska-Omaha – In their first year in the WCHA theUniversityofNebraska Omaha Mavericksproved to a solid team that was very tough to play against, the Mavericks finished in third place in the WCHA standings one point out of second place. Coach Dean Blais’ Mavericks resembled his Fighting Sioux teams from the past; small fast forwards up front and a couple of Oak trees on defense.
Leading the offensive attack for the UNO Mavericks are Alex Hudson 13g-18a—31pts, Terry Broadhurst 11g-19a—30pts, Matt White 14g-11a—25pts.

Leading the defense, Bryce Aneloski 2g-17a—19pts, Michael Young 3g-11a—14pts.

In the net for the Mavericks, goalie John Falkner 2.56 goals against average and .906 save percentage.

Gone from last season’s team, Joey Martin 11g-24a—35pts, Matt Ambroz 17g-17a—34pts, Rich Purslow 13g-20a—33pts, Eric Olimb 3g-24a—27pts.

5. Minn.-Duluth – The Bulldogs are the reigning NCAA champion, that’s not a miss print folks. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that the Bulldogs had a bit of a ho-hum regular season, they weren’t bad but they didn’t light the league on fire by any stretch of the imagination. The Bulldogs finished the regular season in fourth place of the WCHA standings two points out of second place. Following a WCHA home playoff series win against the SCSU Huskies, the Bulldogs’ appearance at the WCHA Final Five was short lived as they were sent home early after losing their quarterfinal game to the upstart BSU Beavers in the Final Five.

From the fun fact department, the Bulldogs went an unimpressive 2-4-1 against C.C., UND and DU. I guess that record didn’t matter in the end because UMD went on to win the NCAA championship.

Bold prediction at the post game press conference

What stuck in my mind most was the post game conference after the loss in the quarter finals to BSU Beavers, the Bulldogs were obviously agitated over losing the game to the BSU Beavers. I can clearly remember Bulldog junior defenseman Brady Lamb comments, he said, “That the Bulldogs needed to go home and get refocused and that they [Bulldogs] had four games left to play this season.” Those comments caught my attention because that meant Lamb intended to be playing in the Frozen Four championship game. Lamb’s profound and bold prediction ended up being true.

Lamb was right the Bulldogs went home, got refocused and went on to win the East Regional in Bridgeport,Connecticutthe following weekend. Two weeks later the Bulldogs followed up that East Region championship by winning 2011-12 NCAA championship inSt. Paul,Minnesota. The Bulldogs breezed through the quarterfinals beating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and then followed up that win two night later by beating the University of Michigan Wolverines in the Championship game of the Frozen Four 3-2 in overtime.

Leading the offense attack, Jack Connolly 18-41—59 pts, J.T. Brown 16g-21a—37 pts, Mike Seidel 8g-6a—14 pts.

Leading the defense, Brady Lamb 1g-9a—10 pts, Wade Bergman 3g-7a—10 pts.

In the net for the Bulldogs, Kenny Reiter 16-7-5 save percentage .914 and goals against average 2.30.

Gone from last season’s team, Mike Connolly 28g-26a—54 pts, 37 Justin Fontaine 22g-36a—58 pts, Justin Faulk 8g-25a-33 pts, Mike Montgomery 0g-10a—10 pts.

 6.Minnesota– The Minnesota Gophers have missed the NCAA tourney three seasons in a row and the Final Five the past two seasons and if the Gophers don’t improve this season there could be a major house cleaning in the spring inMinneapolis,Minnesota. Last March the Golden Gophers lost their first round series against the UAA Seawolves in two games, this loss ended the Gophers season causing them to miss the WCHA Final Five and the NCAA tourney. The Gophers have let assistant coach John Hill go and have re-hired former Gopher assistant coach Mike Guentzel.

From the not so fun fact department, none of the Gophers senior class has ever been to the NCAA tourney. Historically, the Gophers used to be a shoe in for the WCHA Final Five and the NCAA tourney.

Leading the offensive attack for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Erik Haula 6g-18a—24 pts, Nick Bjugstad 8g-12a—20 pts, Zach Budish 2g-4a—6 pts.

Leading the defense for the Gophers, Justin Holl 1g-6a—7 pts, Seth Helgeson 1g-6a—7pts.

In the net for the Golden Gophers All-WCHA Second Team, senior goalie Kent Patterson who took the reins from Alex Kangas an posted a 13-5-5 record with goals against average of .926 and save percentage 2.31.

Gone from last year’s team, Jacob Cepis 12g-17a—29pts, Jay Barriball 12g-16a—28pts, Mike Hoeffel 13g-11a—24pts, Max Gardiner 1g-2a—3 pts, Cade Fairchild 6g-18a—24 pts, Aaron Ness 2g-12a—14 pts, Alex Kangas 2-5-0 record, .894 save percentage and a 3.71 goals-against average.

7. St. Cloud State – The SCSU Huskies had so much promise when they started the 2010-11 season and finished the season with what most would consider an off year finishing tied for eighth in the WCHA standing tie with UAA Seawolves. The Huskies were picked to finish second in the 2010-2011 pre-season coaches poll.

Leading the offensive attack for the Huskies, are Drew LeBlanc 13g- 26a—39 pts, Cam Reid 8g- 21a—29 pts, Jared Festler 12g-12 a—24 pts.

Leading the defense for the Huskies, Nick Jensen 5g-18a—23 pts, Kevin Gravel 1g-5a-6 pts.

In the net for the Huskies, Mike Lee 9-10-4, .915 save percentage, and a 2.75 goals-against average.

Gone from last year’s team, Aaron Marvin 9g-6a—15 pts, Garrett Roe 10g-26a—36 pts, Tony Mosey 3g-3a—6 pts, Oliver Lauridsen 1g-8a—9 pts, Chris Hepp 1g-2a—3 pts, Brian Volpei 1g-4a—5 pts, Brett Barta 3g-11g—14 pts, Nick Oslund 3g-1a—4 pts, Dan Dunn 2-3-0, .864 save percentage, and a 3.52 goals-against average.

8.Wisconsin– The Wisconsin Badgers start the season with a stable of goalies that has no college hockey experience what-so-ever, none of them have played a game at the college ranks.  This is the first time this has happened to the Badgers since the 1964-65 season. Landon Peterson and Joel Rumpel are the two freshmen goalies vying for time along with junior Mitch Thompson. So whoever ends up being the starting goalie for the Badgers on opening night; they will have zero college experience, it should be an interesting season inMadison,Wisconsinthis year.

The Badgers are coming off a less than successful season where the Badgers missed the Final Five and the NCAA playoffs, the Badgers also had to play their first round series on the road because they finished the season in seventh place of the WCHA standings. This year’s Badger hockey team seems to be flying under the radar as well as all three WCHA polls have the Badgers in either seventh or eighth place, I do expect the Badgers to finish higher than seventh or eighth in the WCHA.  Wisconsin Badgers head hockey coach Mike Eaves is known for getting the most out of his players.

From the fun fact department the Badgers went 2-11-1 against the teams above them in the standing (DU, C.C., UMD, UND and UNO) those numbers will need to improve if the Badgers are to finish in the top half of the league standings.

Leading the offensive attack for the Badgers, Mark Zengerle 5g-31a—36 pts, 25 Michael Mersch 8g-11a—19 pts,   Tyler Barnes 5g-12a—17 pts, Derek Lee 3g-14a—17.

Leading the defense for the Badgers, Justin Schultz 18g-29a—47 pts, Jake McCabe freshman; John Ramage 1g-10a—11 pts.

In goal for the Badgers, there are three goalies vying for the starting position for the Badgers, Joel Rumpel, Landon Peterson and Mitch Thompson.

Gone from last year’s team, Craig Smith 19g-24a—43 pts, Jake Gardiner 10g-31a—41 pts,   Scott Gudmandson 10-9-1, .917 SV% and 2.46 goals-against average, Brett Bennett 2-4-2, .902 save percentage, and a 2.70 goals-against average.

9. Alaska-Anchorage - The Seawolves are coming off their second-best season in the history of their program. The Seawolves made a statement during the WCHA playoffs as the Seawolves knocked off the Minnesota Gophers in Mariucci Arena in two games during the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The series win sent the Seawolves to the WCHA Final Five for only the second time in their school’s history.

The Seawolves season ended when they were beaten by the Colorado College Tigers 4-2 in the quarter finals of the WCHA Final Five. The Seawolves “should” have a balanced scoring attack from their forward lines as they return six of their top 10 points getters from the 2010-11 season.

From the fun fact department, Seawolves sophomore goalie Chris Kamal could be called a Gopher killer as he went an impressive 3-0-0 against the Golden Gophers last season. Kamal registered two shutouts and only gave up only three goal against in three games against the Golden Gophers.

Leading the offensive attack for the Seawolves, Jordan Kwas 4g-20a—24 pts, Matt Bailey 10g-10a—20 pts.

Leading the defense for the Seawolves, Curtis Leinweber 4g-6a—10 pts,  Brad Gorham 1g-5a—6 pts, Wes McLeod 2g-4a—6 pts.

In goal for the  Seawolves, Rob Gunderson 7-13-2,  .897 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average.  Chris Kamal 9-5-1, 895 save percentage and a 2.62 goals-against average.

Gone from last year’s team, Tommy Grant 16g-16a—32 pts, Craig Parkinson 8g-13a—21 pts, Sean 10g-7a—17 pts.

10. BemidjiState– The BemidjiState University Beavers took their lumps during their inaugural season in the WCHA, the Beavers finished in season in 10th place. The Beavers did, however, beat the UNO Mavericks inOmaha during the WCHA playoffs to advance to the Final Five in their first season. In their next game the Beavers beat eventual NCAA champion Minnesota Duluth 3-2 in overtime. The next night the Beavers fortunes changed and the Beavers ended up beat by the Denver Pioneers 6-2 ending the Beavers magical run.

From the Fun fact department the BSU Beavers went an impressive 5-0-1 against the UNO Mavericks last season and eliminated them from the WCHA playoffs by sweeping the Mavericks inOmahatwo games to none. The Beavers were also the last team to beat the UMD Bulldogs before they went on their run to a national title.

In net for the Beavers, Dan Bakala 14-13-4, .919 save percentage and a  2.47 goals-against average, Mathieu Dugas 1-5-1 .899 save percentage and a  2.59 goals-against average.

Leading the offensive attack for the Beavers, Jordan George 17g-19a—36 pts, Shea Walters 1g-13a—14 pts.

Leading the defense for the Beavers, Brad Hunt 3g-18a—21 pts.

Gone from last year’s team, Matt Read 22g-13a—35 pts, Ian Lowe 12g-16a—28 pts.

11. MSU-Mankato – The Mavericks have a tough task ahead of them, they lost a four high end players that played a key role in their 14-18-6 season; so the prospects of the Mavericks having a good season this year is not very good, five of the top 11 scorers were seniors.

From the not so fun fact department, the Mavericks lost eight one goal games last season, so they were in a lot of hockey games up until the end. All things considered, it still could be a very long season for the Mavericks inMankato.

Leading the offensive attack for the Mavericks, Mike Dorr 12g-14g—26 pts, Eriah Hayes 11g-11a—22 pts, Chase Grant 8g-12a—20 pts.

In net for the Mavericks, Austin Lee 4-5-2, .911 save percentage and a  2.59 goals-against average, Phil Cook 10-13-4, .903 save percentage and a  3.01 goals-against average.

Gone from last year’s team, Kurt 9g-18a—27 pts, Ben Youds 7g-14a—21, Rylan Galiardi 7g-12a—19 pts, Andrew Sackrison 5g-14a—19 pts, Channing Boe 5g-5a—10 pts.

12.MichiganTech – the Michigan Tech Huskies have nowhere to go but up this season. It would be an understatement to say that the Huskies have had three horrible seasons (six wins, five wins and four wins) in a row including last seasons unimpressive 4-30-4 run. Following the season, the Michigan Tech athletic director had seen enough of Jamie Russell and decided to go in a different direction and hire formerMichiganassistant and MTU alum Mel Pearson.

From the fun fact department, if there is a silver lining for the Huskies, going into this season the Huskies return eight of their top 10 point getters from a year ago. Three of Tech’s top players last seasons were also underclassmen.

Leading the offensive attack for the Huskies, Jordan Baker 9g-9a—18pts (2009-10), Brent Olson 4g-6a—10 pts, Millos Gordic 15g-6as—21 pts, Ryan Furne 12g-9a—21 pts, Jacob Johnstone 4g-15—19 pts.

Leading the Huskies on defense, Daniel Sova 0g-9a—9 pts, Steven Seigo 4g-13a—17 pts.

In net for the Huskies, Kevin Genoe 3-17-2, .883 save percentage and a  4.03 goals-against average, Josh Robinson 1-13-2, .884 save percentage and a 4.58 goals-against average.

Here are some of the incoming recruits to watch for this season.

Joey LaLeggia
Scott Mayfield

Matt Leitner

Kyle Rau
Travis Boyd
Seth Ambroz

Nebraska Omaha
Jayson Megna

North Dakota
Rocco Grimaldi
Nick Mattson
Mark MacMilian
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sioux 3rd in INCH 10 for 12: The Teams

North Dakota Fighting Sioux men's ice hockeyImage via WikipediaHere is the way the INCH 10 for 12 shakes out and I think that INCH has the Sioux way too high in this pre-season top 10. The Sioux lost a ton of offense from last season and the Fighting Sioux are 12 in the WCHA in returning points output.
1.Miami, 2010-11 record: 23-10-6, 16-7-5 CCHA
2. Notre Dame, 2010-11 record: 25-14-5, 18-7-3 CCHA
3. North Dakota, 2010-11 record: 32-9-3, 21-6-1 WCHA ...
Key returnees: Corban Knight, F, Jr. (14-30–44); Danny Kristo, F, Jr. (8-20–28); Brock Nelson, F, So. (8-13–21); Aaron Dell, G, Jr. (30-7-2, 1.79, .924) Key losses: Matt Frattin, F (36-24–60); Jason Gregoire, F (25-18–43); Brad Malone, F (16-24–40)
Not many teams can lose six of its seven top scorers from the previous season and still be considered a national title contender. But the Fighting Sioux reload, not rebuild. Plugging incoming freshman Rocco Grimaldi into a lineup that includes Knight, Kristo (who we expect to return to his rookie-year form), talented sophs Nelson and Derek Forbort, and INCH Goalie of the Year Dell should keep folks in Grand Forks buzzing about a spring trip to Tampa.
4. Yale, 2010-11 record: 28-7-1, 17-4-1 ECAC Hockey
5. Denver, 2010-11 record: 25-12-5, 17-8-3-2 WCHA
6. Union, 2010-11 record: 26-10-4, 17-3-2 ECAC Hockey
7. Boston University, 2010-11 record: 19-12-8, 15-6-6 Hockey East
8. Colorado College, 2010-11 record: 23-19-3, 13-13-2 WCHA
9. Minnesota, Duluth 2010-11 record: 26-10-6, 15-8-5 WCHA
10. Michigan, 2010-11 record: 29-11-4, 20-7-1-0 CCHA

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Illegal Curve on former Sioux Jason Gregoire...

Kyle from the Illegal Curve has a nice write up on former Fighting Sioux leftwing/forward Jason Gregoire. Recently Jason Gregoire decided to forgo is last year of eligibility to sign an entry level deal with the Winnipeg Jets.
More on Gregoire after the jump.

The versatile left-winger left school after his junior year to take advantage of a cap loophole and make himself a free-agent. Fielding offers from several teams, Gregoire decided on the home-town Jets.

Going forward, Gregoire figures to be in the mix for a job on the left wing with the big club. A 1989 birthdate, Gregoire will bring a mature game to camp and Illegal Curve would not be surprised if he made the club in a 3rd-line checking role or a 4th line energy role. A left-handed shot (quick release and accurate), Gregoire is said to be very coachable and well-liked in the room.

Standing not quite 6’ tall and tipping the scales at nearly 200 pounds, Gregoire can play a variety of styles and could make himself a valuable addition to Coach Noel’s depth chart. The aforementioned hockey sense, coupled with his preference to play up-and-down the wing and his knack for scoring timely goals would seem to indicate that he would slot in somewhere between 3rd and 6th on the Jets current left-wing depth chart.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jason Gregoire: Snow Has Been “First-class” College draft picks weighing all of their options

The Islanders' first logo, used from 1972-95.Image via WikipediaChriss Botta an Islanders blogger has an interesting blog post about former Fighting Sioux Forward Jason Gregoire and former UNH defenseman Blake Kessel. It would appear that some hockey prospects aren't too keen on playing for the New York Islanders. My question to Jason Gregoire is why didn't you just stay and play another year for the Fighting Sioux hockey team?
Chris Botta; NYI Point Blank ---- For Jason Gregoire and Blake Kessel, it’s nothing personal with the Islanders. Four years after being drafted by the Islanders, three years into their college hockey careers, Gregoire and Kessel appear to be simply utilizing their Collective Bargaining Agreement rights to consider offers from the other 29 teams in the NHL. They hope you’d understand.

“The ideal for me would be to sign with the Islanders,” Gregoire told Point Blank in a phone conversation last night. “They are the team that drafted me and, from the beginning, I’ve had a great relationship with the team. I was at three prospect camps, got to know the area and the staff and come through the ranks with the guys. I have nothing but great things to say about the organization and I’m happy that no doors are being closed.”

It’s not difficult to read between the lines. Gregoire left North Dakota last week, Kessel withdrew from New Hampshire earlier this week. Unable to come to terms with the Islanders on Entry Level contracts to this point, Gregoire is taking advantage of a clause in the CBA that allows college players to become free agents four years after they were drafted. Kessel is said to be considering the same. Both Gregoire and Kessel played a year in the United States Hockey League before starting college.
Here is a link to a story that was also in the New York Times Slap Shot blog that was written by Chris Botta as well. [Slap Shot Blog]
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jason Gregoire to turn pro...

Hockey Futures image
Got home from my bike ride about 2:50 this afternoon almost instantaneously got a text message from Sioux Rube asking me if Gregoire had left (decided to sign a professional contract)? I then I went to the computer to see if any news was breaking on the subject and in fact it was true… Junior forward Jason Gregoire is going to forego his senior year of eligibility with the University of North Dakota to sign a professional contract… That is a big blow to the Fighting Sioux hockey team because Gregoire is one of the best two way forwards in the WCHA. I don't think anyone is really shocked because it had been rumored for some time that Gregs was going to leave and sign, however, it's a sad day for Sioux fans non-the-less. This is what Jason Gregoire tweeted on Twitter today - Always a tough decision to leave a place you love but I will never forget grand forks and the sioux family. Thanks for a memorable 3 years. Finally this as well - You guys truly are the best! #siouxforlife... Personally, I am going to miss watching him play in the green and white because he is an offensively and dynamic hockey player that will be greatly missed.
Brad Schlossman; UND Hockey Blog ---- Jason Gregoire has withdrawn from school and will sign an NHL contract this summer.

Because he’s four years removed from his draft year, Gregoire is allowed to take advantage of a loophole in the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows him to withdraw and become a free agent if he’s not signed within 30 days by the team that drafted him.

Gregoire was drafted by the New York Islanders and said it’s very much a possibility that he will sign with them, but he’s keeping his options open and he’s looking to get more information.

Minnesota’s Blake Wheeler is the only other college player known to have taken advantage of this loophole. Most players aren’t able to do it, because they don’t play a year of juniors after they were drafted.

“I hold the Islanders in the highest regard,” Gregoire said. “In no way, shape or form have I ruled them out. I just don’t have all of the information right now to make a decision.

“I think very highly of them and they think the same of me. They know what’s going to happen as far as me keeping my options open. We’ll talk some more. If they are the best option, I will go with them.”

Friday, May 06, 2011

SNY POINT BLANK TV: DAVE HAKSTOL North Dakota coach on Nelson and Gregoire

I know this is a little old and I just found it, however, UND Fighting Sioux hockey coach Dave Hakstol was on with Chris Botta on April 27th, 2011, Chris runs an independent Islanders blog that has a lot of good information on the New York Islanders.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sioux sled past Huskies 11-2 end regular season as top musher...

Kudos to Redwing77 for posting yesterday’s game summary after the game. I couldn’t help my self with thst title… Yesterday's game between the Fighting Sioux and the MTU Huskies was a dismantling in systematic fashion… The Fighting Sioux scored two goals in the first 49 second of the game and before they could announce those two goals the MTU Huskies forward Patrick McCadden scored to make the score 2-1 only 1:23 into the game.

From that point on, it was off to the races for the UND Fighting Sioux hockey team as they skated around, through and over the hapless MTU Huskies 11-2 in Houghton, Michigan. The game was never close from there on out, the score was 6-1 after one period, 9-2 after two periods and the Sioux got two more in the third period crushing the Huskies… Kudos to both teams for not letting it get out of hand in the third period after the score was out of reach.

Watching the MTU Huskies you almost feel sorry for them, they really are a sad bunch, the MTU Huskies have had two 30 loss seasons in a row, and the Huskies have lost 25 games six times in the last eight seasons. I had not realized the Huskies were this bad until I say a twitter exchange last night between UMD Radio voice Bruce Ciskie and RWD. This is the same hockey teams that swept the Sioux in December of 2006 and beat the Sioux in Houghton during the 2007 season.

Balanced scoring

Breaking down the scoring for the Sioux yesterday afternoon - Junior forward Jason Gregoire paced the Fighting Sioux with a hat trick, Freshman forward Brock Nelson and Junior forward Brett Hextall each scored two goals. Chipping in one goal each was the Pony Express line of Matt Frattin, Evan Trupp, Brad Malone and freshman Derek Rodwell. With the win last night the Sioux extended their unbeaten streak to nine games, in cae anyone is keeping score, that’s the third longest in the nation.

A team full of Champions

Senior Forward Matt Frattin is the points champ in the WCHA with (22g-18a-40pts). Junior Forward Jason Gregoire was 7th with (18g-13a-31pts) Gregoire missed four games because of injury.

Goals Scoring

Matt Frattin was first in the WCHA for goal scoring for the Fighting Sioux with 22 goals, DU Forward freshman forward Jason Zucker was second with 20 goals, UMD’s forward Mike Connolly was third with 19 goals and Jason Gregoire was fourth with 18 goals.


Corban Knight proved to be a good set up man for the Fighting Sioux as he tied for second in the WCHA for assists with 21; Jack Connolly from UMD was first with 28 assists.


Sophomore goaltender Aaron Dell is the top WCHA goaltender with a 1.97 GAA. Kent Patterson from the Minnesota Golden Gophers was second with a 2.31 GAA and Kenny Reiter from UMD was third with a 2.32 GAA. We can split hairs all day long and say that GAA is a team defense stat, whatever, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

High Flying Sioux

The UND Fighting Sioux were the top offensive team in the WCHA scoring 4.00 goals a game, UNO was second 3.36, DU was third with 3.32 and UMN and UMD tied with 3.25.

Stingy on Defense

The Fighting Sioux were the top defensive team in the WCHA giving up 2.21 goals per game, WCHA new comer UNO was second with 2.46, Wisconsin was third 2.57 and the UMD Bulldogs were fourth with 2.61, DU rounded out the top five with 2.68.

Sioux not a bunch of Goons…

Michigan Tech was the most penalized team in the WCHA with Michigan Tech with 15.7 penalty minutes per game, DU tied UMN for second with 15.2 minutes per games, UNO was third with 14.1, and the Fighting Sioux were fifth with 13.9, C.C. was sixth with 13.8.

Top Power Play in the WCHA

The Fighting Sioux have the top power play in the WCHA scoring on 23.3 percent of their power play chances, UMD was second with 21.9%, BSU was third with 21.2%, SCSU was fourth with 19.3% and Minnesota was fifth with 18.8.

Top Scoring Team in the WCHA

The Fighting Sioux were the top scoring team in the WCHA with 112 goals, Second was UNO with 94 goals, third was DU with 93 goals, Minnesota tied with UMD for fourth with 91 goals and SCSU was sixth with 84 goals. Just for the Record the Fighting Sioux are also the 2nd ranked team in scoring nationally and are currently ranked 8th nationally on defense as well.