Showing posts with label davehakstol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label davehakstol. Show all posts

Friday, March 14, 2014

UND vs. C.C. Lines and Links (NCHC Playoffs)

North Dakota Forward Lines
9 Drake Caggiula–16 Mark MacMillan–15 Michael Parks
28 Stephane Pattyn–19 Rocco Grimaldi–27 Luke Johnson
25 Mitch MacMillan –13 Connor Gaarder–11 Derek Rodwell
21 Brendan O’Donnell –29 Bryn Chyzyk–17 Colten St. Clair

North Dakota Defense Pairings
18 Dillon Simpson–24 Jordan Schmaltz
5 Nick Mattson–6 Paul LaDue
20 Greg Ausmus–2 Troy Stecher

North Dakota Goalies
31 Zane Gothberg
33 Clarke Saunders
Colorado College’s Forward Lines
18 Scott Wamsganz–9 Sam Rothstein–28 Alex Roos
12 Archie Skalbeck–21 Jeff Collett–17 Charlie Taft
16 Alexander Krushelnyski– 10 Cody Bradley–8 Luc Gerdes
11 Hunter Fejes–15 Christian Heil–8 Luc Gerdes

Tigers Defense Parings
6 Peter Stoykewych–13 Gustav Olofsson
27 Aaron Harstad–5 Jaccob Slavin
20 Ian Young–7 Eamonn McDermott

Tigers Goalies
39 Josh Thorimbert
29 Courtney Lockwood

On-Ice Officials: Tom Stern (8), Timm Walsh (17). Linesmen: Mike Eslinger (49), Brandon Schmitt (36). 

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

UND vs. Miami Lines - Game Two

Miami University Redskins logo
Miami University Redskins logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
UND Forward Lines
9 Drake Caggiula–16 Mark MacMillan–15 Michael Parks (A)
28 Stephane Pattyn (A)–19 Rocco Grimaldi–27 Luke Johnson
21 Brendan O’Donnell–13 Connor Gaarder–11 Derek Rodwell
20 Gage Ausmus – 29 Bryn Chyzyk–17 Colten St. Clair

UND Defense Pairings
5 Nick Mattson–6 Paul LaDue
18 Dillon Simpson ©–24 Jordan Schmaltz
4 Keaton Thompson – 2 Troy Stecher

UND Goalies
31 Zane Gothberg
33 Clarke Saunders

Scratches: 7 Wade Murphy 22 Andrew Panzarella, 25 – Mitch MacMillan, 26 - Coltyn Sanderson, 30 Matt Hrynkiw.

Miami University RedHawks Forward Lines
95 Anthony Louis – 7 Austin Czarnik © - 11 Riley Barber
10 Alex Wideman – 9 Sean Kuraly – 12 Alex Gacek
14 Cody Murphy – 26 Justin Greenberg – 19 Max Cook (A)
18 John Doherty – 22 Kevin Morris – 15 Bryon Paulazzo (A)

Miami RedHawks Defense Pairings
8 Matthew Caito – 5 Chris Joyaux
4 Matt Joyaux – 28 Paulides
2 Taylor Richart – 55 Trevor Hamilton

Miami RedHawk Goalies
35 Ryan McKay
1 Jay Williams

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

(Video) UND 4 DU 2

UND took DU to the proverbial woodshed last night, and dominated DU. In my opinion, it wasn't even close. UND head coach Dave Hakstol talks about playing on their toes.  UND was on their toes all-game long and had DU on their heels for most of the night.  This was the best effort that I have seen from UND this season, bar none. Also, we have to give have to give UND goalie Clarke Saunders credit, he was simply amazing stopping 29-of-31 shots and the defenders in front of him were very good when they had to be. UND game into the game going 1-for-18 on the power play went 2-4 tonight. In the last 12 games against DU, UND is 9-3-1.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

UND beats BSU 4-2

Grand Forks, ND – The University of North Dakota entered Saturday’s game riding an eight-game unbeaten streak and looked to push it to nine-games with a win.
Mission accomplished. With the 4-2 win, UND has now won 8-of-9 games and hasn’t given up more than three goals, during that time. UND has been very stingy on defense, giving up an average of 1.77 goals per game.
Goaltending has been good as well. Sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg has started all nine games during UND’s unbeaten streak. Gothberg has been nothing short of amazing, posting an 8-0-1 record, with an impressive 1.76 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.
During the streak, UND has received balanced scoring from their forward lines. Tonight, players not normally known for their scoring chipped in goals for UND.  On the score sheet, forwards Derek Rodwell (4), Connor Gaarder (3), Andrew Panzarella (1) and Michael Parks (6) all scored for UND.
One of  tonight’s highlights was junior forward Andrew Panzarella, who scored the first goal of his UND career.
It feels definitely good,” Panzarella said. “It’s a long time coming. So, I don’t know, it couldn’t have been any easier. I was just driving to the net and Mark (MacMillan) put in on my tape, I don’t think I even moved my stick.”
The Beavers head coach Tom Serratore seemed a bit disappointed with the loss, but took it in stride.
“We just couldn’t get into a rhythm,” Serratore said. “They had a lot of offensive zone play. That was tough because we were down after one. They definitely won the time of possession battle. We just couldn’t get into a rhythm.”
“I think the biggest thing at this time of year is that you want to try to get better every game,” Serratore said. “We got a tie last night and came in here optimistic. You want to come in this building – which is a very, very difficult building to play in, but you want to respond. I thought there were some bright spots, but at the end of the day, we lost.”
UND head coach Dave Hakstol seemed pleased with the win tonight.
“We got a couple that found a hole early,” Hakstol said. “I think that was important. We put a lot of pucks to the net and this time we had something to show for it.”
One of the reoccurring storylines has been the play of forward Derek Rodwell and his linemates. That effort hasn’t gone unnoticed by the UND head coach.
“Derek played extremely well and there was chemistry there,” Hakstol said. “And that’s not just been this weekend. Those guys have been very good together over the last couple of months. Rods is playing very well right now.”
The forward line of Stephane Pattyn, Connor Gaarder and Derek Rodwell has been miserable to play against. It’s also been their calling card. Tonight, their hard work was rewarded with a couple of goals.
“I think it’s kind of starting from baseline things,” Rodwell said. “We’re kind of going out there and doing the same thing every day, going hard to the net, working (hard). They’re starting to go in for us now. We know going to the net the bounces are going to come and they kind of been coming for us lately.”
Now for the good news, UND hasn’t lost in eight-games.  With the tie, UND is (11-7-3, 7-5-0 NCHC). On the other end of the ice, the tie leaves Bemidji State Beavers with a record of (7-11-7, 7-7-4 WCHA). The Beavers now have seven ties on the season
Next weekend, UND travels to Denver, Colorado to play the University of Denver in an important two-game conference series, game time is at 7:37 Mountain Time.
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UND and BSU tie in Bemidji

emidji, MN – The University of North Dakota entered Friday’s game against the Bemidji State Beavers riding a seven-game winning streak. Unfortunately, that seven-game win streak would come to an end with a 1-1 tie against the Beavers.

Adam Walsh saves the Beavers from defeat  

I know it’s cliché, but you can cue the hot goalie reference. You have to give credit where credit is due. Junior goalie Adam Walsh was very good on Friday night. UND bombed the net with shots. UND did everything right, but score goals.
UND spent a lot of time in BSU’s end of the rink, but had nothing to show for it. The shots were very lopsided, as UND outshot BSU 38-14 through three-periods of play. UND threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Beavers, but Walsh did not bend. It just wasn’t meant to be, Bemidji State junior goalie Adam Walsh stood his ground stopping 37-of-38 shots during regulation. UND’s fortunes didn’t change in the overtime either, as Walsh was equally good, stopping five more shots.

Walsh unlikely starter

If Beavers freshman goalie Jesse Wilkins hadn’t been hurt, Walsh wouldn’t have been the starter. Currently, Wilkins is suffering from a groin injury and was unable to go. The Beavers coaching staff inserted Adam Walsh in his place and the junior goalie didn’t disappoint.

Close but no cigar

The Beavers would come close to winning the game in the overtime period. With 30 seconds left in overtime, Beaver forward Radoslav Illo rang a puck off the pipe. UND goalie Zane Gothberg had no idea where the puck was. The puck was cleared by a UND defender and Brendan O’Donnell had a chance going the other way that was saved by Walsh.
After the game, Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore sounded pleased with the tie against UND.
“We were on our heels,” Serratore said. “They played with great pace. Our puck management wasn’t very good in that first period and we allowed them to play a 200-foot game.”
“That’s not want you want them to do. You have to play a halfcourt game with them. You have to manage the puck, and possess the puck down low. The first period we neglected to do that.”
After the game, UND head coach Dave Hakstol didn’t seem all that satisfied with the tie.
“You can always do a little more,” Hakstol said. “We played well. We played hard for 60 minutes. We’ve got to, somewhere along the way, find a way to make one more play in a game like tonight.”
“We have to be a little better. We have to have a lot of the same, but a little bit better. We’re playing for a series (win). That’s what’s left on the table for us. We have to play a little bit better hockey game.”
To some the tie will seem like a loss, but I think we should look at it as a continuation of an eight-game unbeaten streak.
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

UND Comes Back to Beat C.C. 3-2

Grand Forks, ND – Tonight’s game was a tale of two teams going in separate directions. The University of North Dakota came into tonight’s game riding a six-game winning streak. The Colorado College Tigers entered tonight’s game with a (0-9-1) road record and a 0-5-3 record in one goal games.
So far this season, the second period hasn’t been kind for the Tigers. In the four previous games, the Tigers had been outscored 11-1 during the middle period. Tonight, the Tigers held UND off of the score sheet during the second period, and outscored UND 1-0, despite being outshot 13-7 by UND.  But that wasn’t enough to secure the win for the Tigers.
For a while, things were looking pretty good for Colorado College. The Tigers would get a power play goal by Alex Krushelnyski to tie the game at the 19:36 mark of the second period.  The Tigers would then take the lead on a power play goal by freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin at the 01:16 mark of the third period.
Then the roof would fall in on the Tigers.
In third period, UND would mount a furious comeback and would score two quick goals by Keaton Thompson and Rocco Grimaldi. That would give UND a 3-2 lead, that they would never relinquish.  The Tigers would mount a counterattack, but they were unable to get anything past Zane Gothberg who stopped 21-of-23 shots.

With the win, UND improves to (11-7-2, 7-5-0 NCHC). UND is currently sitting in second place in the NCHC standings, but has played two more games than Saint Cloud, Denver, Nebraska-Omaha, Western Michigan and Miami. 
Rocco Grimaldi’s game winning goal was a result of an aggressive forecheck by Derek Rodwell. The senior forward entered the offensive zone with speed, causing Tiger defenseman Gustav Olofsson to turn over the puck. Grimaldi picked up the loose puck in front of the Tigers net, and shot the puck past Tiger goalie Josh Thorimbert.
“That was a nice bounce,” Grimaldi said. “I was just trying to go for a good forecheck. The defenseman tried to slip it by me and it (the puck) hit me in the chest. It was kind of in my feet and I didn’t know where it was. I finally found it and thankfully the goalie had no idea where it was. It was a big goal for us, but obviously, a lucky one.”

Head Coach called out upperclassmen after exhibition loss

Before last weekend’s second exhibition game against Simon Fraser, UND head coach Dave Hakstol called out a few of his upperclassmen, by name. It appears that message was received. This weekend, Michael Parks and Mark MacMillan responded to the head coach’s challenge, by chipping in five points between the two of them.  Parks had two goals and an assist and MacMillan scored two goals.
“I think everyone has responded,” Mark MacMillan said. “Everyone is stepping up when they need too. Zane back there is doing a good job back there. All six D are doing their jobs. All four lines went out there and did what they needed to do.  We had constant pressure on them, a lot. If we’re going to win a lot of games that is what we have to do.”
One of the keys to the seven-game win streak is the health of Mark MacMillan, who’s finally 100 percent healthy again, after missing some time with a lower body injury.
“Obviously, injuries are always tough, especially lower body ones,” MacMillan said. “Kind of hard to skate before Christmas there, but it was good to go home and kind of rest it up, definitely feeling better.”
When asked why his team is playing so well. Coach Dave Hakstol said, “Just Guys playing hard and playing consistently. I think our team is starting to show some maturity.”
The head coach seemed pleased with his team’s performance this weekend.
“I thought it was a good performance,” Hakstol said. “I thought we played a pretty good first period. I thought we played an excellent second period. We just didn’t have anything to show for it.  Then in the third period, we came out and we’re down by one (goal) pretty quick. But again, we just went back to work. I thought we had good leadership from a lot of different areas of our line up – maybe in some unexpected areas.”

Rough Season for the C.C. Tigers

The struggles continue for the Colorado College Tigers, who are having a rough season. The Tigers have one win in the past 19 games. With the loss tonight, C.C. is 0-6-3 in one goal games and 0-10-1 on the road. The loss drops C.C. to (2-15-3, 2-7-3 NCHC).
UND plays a home and home series against non-conference foe Bemidji State University, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota. Friday’s game is at 7:37 p.m. Central Standard Time. Saturday’s game is at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, game time is at 7:07 p.m. Central Standard Time.
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Friday, January 03, 2014

UND vs. UBC exhibition game lines

UND forward lines
9 Drake Caggiula–19 Rocco Grimaldi–27 Luke Johnson
25 Mark MacMillan–16 Mitch MacMillan–15 Michael Parks (A)
28 Stephane Pattyn (A) –13 Connor Gaarder–11 Derek Rodwell
17 Colten St. Clair–10 Adam Tambellini–7 Wade Murphy
Extra Forward – 22  Andrew Panzarella
UND Defense Pairings
18 Dillon Simpson ©–24 Jordan Schmaltz
4 Keaton Thompson–6 Paul LaDue
5 Nick Mattson–2 Troy Stecher
UND goalies
31 Zane Gothberg
33 Clarke Saunders
30 Matt Hrynkiw
This week at the weekly press conference coach Hakstol said, “This is a business trip.” The team is also using this as a mid-season mini training camp as well.  I was shown the itinerary of the UND hockey team’s trip and there wasn’t a lot of down time.
You can pick up the games on line by going to this link. (

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Third period comeback propels North Dakota past Northern Michigan

The front entrance to Ralph Englested Arena in...
The front entrance to Ralph Englested Arena in Grand Forks, ND. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Grand Forks, ND – Coming into tonight’s game, the University of North Dakota Hockey team had a 0-5-0 record when the opponent is leading after two periods of play. Make that 1-5-0, with the comeback 3-1 win.
One of themes this season has been the lack of discipline and taking untimely penalties.
Tonight, through two periods of play, the UND hockey team took too many undisciplined penalties. Fortunately for UND, Northern Michigan was able to only able to go one-for-four on the man advantage and the UND defense was able to limit the Wildcats to 14 shots on net.  After the first period, UND game the Wildcats nothing.
Tonight’s game was a good ole fashioned hard fought hockey game, and through 50:35 of hockey the Northern Michigan Wildcats held a 1-0 lead. UND would bear down and play disciplined hockey in the third period.
Finally, at the 10:35 mark of the third period, freshman defenseman Gage Ausmus gave the hometown crowd something to cheer about as he picked up the equalizer off a great pass from Michael Parks.
Gage Ausmus described the game tying goal, “I saw Parks coming down the wall and all five of their guys followed him, and I saw an opening on the back side. Parksy got it to me and I beared down and got the goal.”
Game on!
At the 14:12 mark of the third period, Rocco Grimaldi and Drake Caggiula would bring the crowd to their feet with a beautiful give-and-go goal and that was all UND would need.
Derek Rodwell would ice the game at the 19:25 mark of the third period with an empty-net goal.
“A real tight – hard fought game,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “I thought the first ten-minutes was kind of like a jump ball. Nobody really wanted to take control of it. We weren’t sharp on the five-minute power play that put us back on our heels. And from there, it was little bit of a street fight through the rest of the game. That’s the best way I could describe it.”
UND also ends the first half on a positive note, with its first series sweep on home ice since January 4-5, 2013. UND (9-7-2, 5-5-0 NCHC) also ends the first half of the season on a five-game winning streak, and has now won back-to-back series. Since November 11, 2013, UND has a 7-3-1 record.
Do you sense where this is going?
“Personally that was my first time (stick salute),” Rocco Grimaldi said. “I wasn’t here for the one last year. I was overseas. It’s exciting feeling, especially our first this year. Obviously, we had kind of a rough start to the year. The last five games we put together a good streak. A couple of sweeps in a row, I think we’re heading in the right direction. So, it’s great for our team.“
UND is off until January 3-4, 2014, when they travel to travel to Burnaby, British Columbia to play in the Great West Showcase. UND will return to conference play on January 10-11, 2014, when they entertain Colorado college at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Stats of Interest

UND goalie Zane Gothberg has a 1.60 GAA and a .938 save percentage during UND’s 5-game winning streak.
Northern Michigan’s 14 shots on goal were the fewest allowed by UND since giving up 14 in a 5-2 win at Bemidji State on Oct. 15, 2010.
Rocco Grimaldi has a five-game scoring streak and has scored  (2g-4a—6pts) during that time.
With the loss, Northern Michigan dropped to 6-10-2.
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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

UND’s Hakstol: “regionals pinnacle of our season and should be played in a great atmosphere.”

und v. usa
und v. usa (Photo credit: intersubjectiv)

This past weekend, UND played in the NCAAWest Regional tourney in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  If you watched the games you will see that the games were sparsely attended,just like I had predicted.
So the NCAA wants the teams to play in empty arena’s posing as quite mausoleums during prayer time.
Come to think of it, I have probably been to churches that are louder than last week’s West and Midwest regionals.
The announced attendance for Friday’s game between Niagara and UND was 2289 and for Saturday’s game, the announced attendance was 1918 fans.
If mathematically challenged, that’s a grand total for 4207 fans to see the NCAA West Regional hockey games for the weekend. My words, “that’s pathetic.” The NCAA should be ashamed. There are high school hockey tourneys in North Dakota that have more people attend them then this regional.
Today was the last press conference of the year for UND hockey head coach Dave Hakstol was asked about his thought on the NCAA tourney being played in building with atmospheres like last weekend’s regional in Grand Rapids, Michigan?
“The pinnacle of our season should be played in a great atmosphere,” Hakstol said. “I think the players that are involved in the national tournament deserve that. “I think It’s something that has garnered a fair amount of discussion over the last couple of year, but no action.” We have to fix things. We’re not doing this the right way at the regional level – to play in front of… I saw a stat within out program we had 5500 people on a live chat, and there was maybe 1500 people in a building watching a great hockey game between Yale and North Dakota on Saturday night. That’s not right. That’s the pinnacle and that’s the spotlight of our season. Yeah, we have to change things. Certainly, I would like to work towards doing that, sooner, rather than later. The best regionals that I have been involved in, that I can remember, atmosphere wise, was here, in 05-06, where we hosted, competitive environment. The regional in Minnesota; last year at the Xcel Energy Center; in front of 10,000 people, we came up one game short. Great atmosphere to play in, spotlight event, the way the national tournament game should feel. Third one would have been; at the Kohl Center, where the University of Wisconsin hosted. We had the good fortune of coming out of that regional. That was a tough game, there was about 15,000 people cheering against us and 1,000 of our fans with us, but that was atmosphere, and that’s the stage that our national tournament should be played on, we need to get back to one shape or form. “
It’s pretty clear that the UND’s head coach would rather play in a raucous, loud arena filled with passionate fans, even if they’re another fan bases’  than an empty arena, in a nameless town with empty seats posing as fans for the sake of having a regional championship at a neutral site, in an empty building on Saturday in March.  I agree.
Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers-Combine.

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Monday, April 01, 2013

(Video) UND's No goal against Yale

When I first saw this goal, I had a feeling that it wouldn't count. I am not sure why it took seven-plus minutes to review this play, it's either there or it's not there. If you're a UND fan, you kind of feel bad for Connor Gaarder, because he went 15 games without scoring a goal and had four goals all season long, three in one game against the Boston University Terriers.

I would contend that this long review was a momentum killer, because going into the review, UND had the momentum as well.

When the review took seven-plus minutes, I had a bad feeling and I kind of knew that UND was not going to get the goal. I don't know, from past experience. If UND get's to a 2-0 lead over Yale, it's a different game. It's a tough ending to a pretty decent season.
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Sunday, March 31, 2013

UND Hockey: What Happened, day 2

Today, I have been thinking about this past season that ended at the West Region in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a 4-1 loss to Yale.

Like I mentioned in another article, this is most wonderful time of the year. It’s also very stressful. There is a finality, which surrounds the college hockey tourney. Seasons and careers end, with losses in the National tourney.
There are college players that will sit in the locker room with their jersey still on hours after a loss, and not want to take off their jersey, for the last time.
I like many others UND fans are trying to find answers, a day after UND’s season ended for a 13th year in a row without winning an NCAA title.  Many in the UND fan base are getting restless.
Monitoring the twitterverse last night was interesting.
When that first national title finally comes, and I believe it’s a matter of time before that first one comes, that second one might not take as long to replicate.
After watching our favorite team get beat at their own game, by a gritty, hungrier Yale team, I don’t know if there are any short, quick answers.
Hockey is a funny game and things don’t always play out the way that you think that they should. If you would have told me that B.C. would have gotten beaten the past weekend by Union, I would have told you that you were nuts.
Think about this, UMass-Lowell, Saint Cloud State, Yale and Quinnipiac are going to the Frozen Four. Yale and Saint Cloud State barely made the NCAA tourney. I am pretty sure that there aren’t many people that predicted that bracket. If there is, I am that person picking my lottery numbers as well, because I have a new retirement plan.
Some might point their fingers at the season schedule, which was the 12th toughest in the country, and say that the physical grind finally caught up with them and took it’s toll on them. I don’t know, maybe. The new NCHC isn’t going to be much better, if anything it’s going to be worse.
I do, find it interesting that some want to throw a head coach under the bus that has never had a losing season in nine years as head coach and has a record of 235-119-37 (.648).  Sure, this season record of 22-13-7 (.607) is the worst of Hakstol’s nine seasons, but let’s put things into perspective.
While UND night not have won an NCAA title, the season wasn’t a total loss, UND did make the NCAA tourney for the 11th straight season in a row, that’s the longest current NCAA streak. Also, UND again, had home ice for the WCHA playoffs and advanced to the WCHA Final Five, where it has a chance to win a fourth straight Broadmoor Trophy.  This time falling short, in their bid for a fourth straight, after the quarter final game, senior forward Danny Kristo said, “I have never felt like this before,” Kristo continued. “Obviously we won the last three. That was our goal coming in this year. Obviously, we wanted to four peat, or what not. You just go day-by-day. I thought we took about 20 minutes off there, between the second and third period and kind of got lulled to sleep, maybe we deserved to win the game, but we didn’t play to our potential, so at this time of the year you’re not going to win games. You can’t leave the game to a bounce of the puck.”
Looking back on that statement, we didn’t play to our potential, it kind of explains UND 2012-13 season, and they just didn’t, for whatever reason fire on all cylinders. For whatever reason, UND didn’t get any puck luck, and if four of five of Rocco Grimaldis pipes or crossbars goes in, UND might win a couple of more games over the course of a season.
The UND hockey teams also kind of fell asleep for periods of games and never really put together a string of games where they played really good after the Christmas break. For the first time a Dave Hakstol team didn’t go on the patented second half run, they played at a (.583) clip and yet they almost won the league title.
Lastly, UND made the NCAA West regional final before bowing out to Yale, but in the end they just didn’t seem to have it, when they needed to.
Traditionally Hakstol’s teams have been known for being a bear to play against after the first of the year going an impressive 95-30-13 went 9-5-2 (.625). Again, that’s not a bad record.
What I am trying to say here, is the man is a good hockey coach, no matter how you slice it.
This team was not your usual UND hockey team, they were more of a finesse team built for speed and the big ice and wasn’t built to blow a team out of the building like years past. This takes some getting used to from a fans perspective.
Down the stretch, at times it looked like teams were beating UND at its own game. They were beating UND by being tough to play against and limiting their time-and-space and capitalizing off of their turnovers.
Also, the game is changing and the on ice officials aren’t allowing the big hits anymore as we have seen with Andrew MacWilliam being assessed two major penalties, for what appears to be two legal shoulder-to-shoulder hits.
Looking at this year’s roster, there isn’t as many of the physical type players that UND has had in years past, that are going to check you out of the building.
What I am trying to say, is that I think that UND hockey is evolving and might have experienced some growing pains this season. This is just from what I have seen from covering the team this year.
Finally, the 2012-13 UND hockey team was a pleasure to cover and I will miss this year’s senior class. All of them are character people and amazing young men and I think that all of them will be successful in whatever they do in life.
 Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers Combine

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UND 2012-13 hockey season post-mortem

English: Ralph Engelstadt Arena at the Univers...

For UND hockey fans, the end of every season is always tough, especially for the last 13 years.  UND hockey fans don’t take losing well and UND hockey is a way of life, much like football is in Nebraska or Texas.
But I digress.
If you would have asked me how I thought this year would have ended, I would have said anything is possible including this ending.  Although, I was thinking that the Green and White’s season would have ended in a trip to Pittsburgh, PA culminating in their eighth NCAA title.
I thought this team had the “potential” to take it all the way to Pittsburgh, but in the last month, those expectations were quietly dampened as they had trouble getting sweeps against the likes of Bemidji State and Michigan Tech.
This year’s team was hard to put a finger on.  They never really clicked defensively or offensively.
The coaching staff was still messing around with line combinations up until the end of the season. Some of that was a result of UND’s incredible depth this season. There was also, for the most part, no major injuries so there were many combinations to play with.
Players that played poorly on the ice found themselves sitting in the stands the next game.
There never seemed to be a lot of great chemistry among the forward lines except for the top line and the energy line.
A great hockey mind told me earlier in the season; that if your team is still screwing around with the forward lines in late January, your season wasn’t going last very long. Hum…those words of wisdom, now proved to be very true. It’s not really rocket science per see, but it’ makes a lot of sense. Just seems like there was no continuity to this hockey team.
This year’s team never really had that killer instinct, they never seemed to have to have ability to put a team away and they had a propensity to let bad teams hang around longer than they should have.
That being said, this team wasn’t a bunch of talentless hacks either.
The 2012-13 version of the UND hockey team was still a pretty decent hockey team that at times looked like they could beat the best teams in the country and played one of the toughest schedules in the country.  They didn’t rack up 22 wins playing the weak sisters of the poor.
On the negative side of things, UND had two league sweeps all season long, UNO and MTU and both of these sweeps were on the road. UND swept one team at home, and that was nonconference foe Holy Cross.
The 2012-13 UND hockey team finished with a 22-13-7 record and also finished one win away from sharing the McNaughton Cup with Minnesota and Saint Cloud State.
Let this one sink in for you, this is the first time in 10 years that the UND hockey team isn’t going to go to the Frozen Four or win a Broadmoor Trophy or McNaughton Cup.  I didn’t even realize this until I read Brad Schlossman’s post game report in the Grand Forks Herald.
There are going to be those that will say that this UND hockey team didn’t meet expectations. There will be others that will say that this team lacked grit and heart.
Secondary scoring was an issue with this team and after Danny Kristo (26-g-26a—52pts), Corban Knight (16g-33a—49pts) and Rocco Grimaldi (13g-23a—36pts), there was a drop off of in scoring after the top line.
Next season, the junior class of Mark MacMillan (13g-12a—25pts) and Michael Parks (7g-1a—8pts) along with Roco Grimaldi are going to be expected to lead the way for UND.  Michael Parks was slowed this season by an injury and he never really seemed to regain his rhythm that he had from the previous season.
Fire Hakstol
As always, expectations are pretty high, especially when your team resides in Grand Forks, North Dakota, almost to a point of fanaticism. When the season ends prematurely without a NCAA title, some in the fan base begin to call for the coach’s head.
I can tell you right now that there is zero chance that head coach Dave Hakstol gets fired, he’s not going anywhere.  Not going to happen, first-off Hakstol just signed a long term deal and you would require a very big buy out.  If I had to guess, a buyout it’s in the $800,000.00 – $1,000,000.00, so no, coach Hakstol is going anywhere, unless someone is going to step forward to write the University of North Dakota a huge check and I don’t see that happening.  Nor am I suggesting that this should it happen.  The next quesition would be, who do you replace him with? Replacing him doesn’t mean the program succeeds either.
Lastly, Dave Hakstol is a very good hockey coach and has done a good job with the UND hockey program.  UND just won 20 plus games for the ninth year in a row and I think it’s just a matter of time before he leads UND to a national title. Then the naysayers will be running to catch up with the Hakstol bandwagon.

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