Sunday night rewind

After UND’s 6-1 win over Denver in the Midwest Regional final, I had multiple photographers come up to me in the media room and ask: “What? No celebration at all?” Sorry, photogs, no postgame celebration shots. In part because of the lopsided score and in part because of this team’s business-like attitude, there were only a few handshakes and fist bumps after they punched their ticket to the Frozen Four. Twitter comments:

Mike Commodore: “Fighting Sioux crush DU 6-1…frozen four ticket punched…next up Mich..NCAA loves Mich..UND will have to battle Mich and pro Mich refs.”

Ryan Duncan: “Fighting Sioux back to the Frozen Four! Fantastic news to wake up to! Well done men. Keep it going.”

Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald gamer

Grand Forks Herald notebook

Grand Forks Herald photo gallery

Grand Forks Herald story on the 2,000 people at The Ralph

FightingSioux.com

Denver Post

USCHO

USCHO sidebar

Inside College Hockey

Other notes:

  • St. Paul businesses have to be thrilled with UND coming back in two weeks. Sioux fans are the most passionate in all of college hockey, which was demonstrated today. They brought a nice crowd to Green Bay, there were 2,000 watching in Ralph Engelstad Arena and we had just under 4,000 on our live chat.
  • UND didn’t lose in either February or March this year.
  • UND is going to the Frozen Four for the fifth time in Dave Hakstol’s seven years as head coach, a remarkable feat.
  • Hakstol also is a finalist for the Spencer Penrose award for the national coach of the year. He has been a finalist for this award six times in his seven years at UND.
  • In seven years as a college coach, Hakstol’s teams now have two more NCAA tournament victories than Dean Blais’ teams have in 12 years, which is somewhat surprising considering Blais’ teams won two national championships.
  • Aaron Dell broke Ed Belfour’s school record for wins in a season. Dell now has 30. He won the regional MVP award. Recent UND regional MVPs include: Jean-Philippe Lamoureux (2008), Chris Porter (2007), Jonathan Toews (2006) and Jordan Parise (2005).
  • Dell now ranks No. 1 in the nation in goals-against average (1.81), winning percentage (.816) and shutouts (six).
  • Denver was gassed by the end of the game. That was evident. Did the 2 OT game the night before play a role in that? You have to believe it did. UND’s grinding style of game couldn’t have helped, either. But the Pioneers hardly had a quality scoring chance in the third period.
  • Captain Chay Genoway had a fantastic weekend, racking up five assists, a plus-3 and joining with Andrew MacWilliam to shut out each opponent’s top line. UND tried to match Genoway and MacWilliam on the Drew Shore line.
  • Genoway wasn’t the only defenseman that played well. All six of them did their jobs well. I thought Ben Blood should have been on all-tournament team at Final Five and this weekend at the regional. Really, though, I thought every defenseman played well this weekend.
  • Carter Rowney and Derek Rodwell were both held off the scoresheet, but both played key roles in this game, I thought. They gave UND a ton of energy every time they were on the ice and had the puck in Denver’s zone on almost every shift. They were fast and physical. Their center, Mario Lamoureux, chipped in a snipe for a shorthanded goal in the first.
  • Brock Nelson’s goal, a backhand top shelf from in tight, is the type of play we saw him make in high school. Nelson has looked a lot stronger on his skates recently than he was at the start of the season. He’s now going back to St. Paul, where he scored some pretty goals in the state tournament.
  • Danny Kristo’s three-game goal streak is over, but he continued to prove that he can be a big factor even when he’s not scoring goals. In some ways, I think his goal drought at the start of the season was good for him. Right now, he has the attitude that he doesn’t care if he scores as long as he helps his team win in other ways. He did that today.
  • Denver coach George Gwozdecky had some good things to say about UND in the postgame press conference. He talked about how difficult it is to win the WCHA regular season title, playoff title and regional title.
  • One big key to the game was holding Denver scoreless on four early power-play chances. Denver didn’t even get a ton of good looks on those power plays and I think the brutal ice conditions might have had something to do with that. It was hard to make crisp passes because the puck was bouncing so much. After practice Thursday, some of the guys were already talking about how bad it was.
  • Corban Knight was 23-12 on faceoffs this weekend.
  • During UND’s current 15-game unbeaten streak, Brett Hextall has 10 goals and 19 points. He was asked to do the postgame press conference. But don’t worry, he wore his “Give Blood, Play Hockey” hat to the press conference.
  • If there were regional champion hats, UND didn’t put them on.

32 thoughts on “Sunday night rewind

  1. I was sitting by the Sioux bench and a regional worker brought out the box of hats to the bench during the 3rd the coaching staff told them to take them away.

    • That’s great to hear! I hope our guys aren’t celebrating too much, we’ve still got two more games to win! I’m excited about the prospect of bringing home both WCHA championships, the Hobey, and the NCCA championship! Could be the biggest year in Sioux hockey history!

      • Any year that can be compared to the Hrkac Circus is incredible and it’s going to be amazing going to the Frozen Four in St. Paul, just a few weeks after the Final Five victory!

        Brad, you’re now succeeding in occupying my Friday and Monday mornings at work. If I don’t stop reading about Sioux hockey soon, I won’t be able to afford to go to any more games. It’s a good thing my Frozen Four tickets are already paid!

      • Irish, only two teams in the college hockey history have won the four major trophies. The UND Hrkac Circus in 1987 and Maine with Paul Kariya in 1993. I’d love for this year to be the third time that’s ever happened.

  2. I hate the fact that we need to wait 2 weeks to play. This team is rolling like nothing we’ve seen in a few years. Gotta find a way to keep the “mojo” alive. The maturity this team plays with is very impressive.

  3. On Malone’s empty net goal, one of the DU players (can’t remember who) threw his stick at Malone, which typically results in a penalty shot, or with an empty net, a goal is awarded (I think this is the case, maybe it’s a penalty shot too.) No call was made on the play, and Malone scored, but I was wondering…with the new rule where a delayed penalty is called even if a goal is scored, would UND have been awarded another goal or a penalty shot if the thrown stick was called? Brad, any idea?

      • I thought the guy threw his stick too. But IIRC, the player caught an edge and fell and upon falling, lost his stick. I just tried to find a video of the goal to confirm that but couldn’t locate one. Maybe I am being too kind and giving him the benefit of the doubt. Either way, the Sioux prevail. Great work on the weekend Brad, I am starting to feel like my appreciation is not being conveyed as accurately as possible. But I think I speak for the rest of the frequent visitors of the site when I say we are the luckiest fans in college hockey. Not only do we have a great team to watch, we also have the best beat guy in the nation keeping us updated. 2 more to go!

        • I have the game recorded and the DU player did throw his stick but you can see the ref in the corner with his arm up which he lowers once Malone scores. I don’t know what his call would have been but he did have an arm up.

          • Thanks for the correction. I guess that is what I get for giving the DU player the benefit of the doubt. Silly Pios, I stand corrected. Huh? is right… just put me in a BOX

    • It is only deemed an automatic goal if he is on a total breakaway, and the ref probably felt he wasn’t since he had only beaten the defense man that lost his edge and fell, and the other D was bearing down on him from an angle. Now if there is no one left to beat in the refs discretion, and the last dude behind him throws his stick, its an automatic goal. There is also some discretion on whether he threw it or lost it, since he did fall in an awkward manner that suggested he did not intend to fall over and throw his stick. If he had clearly thrown it, and there was still a D to beat, even with the EN, the ref would probably only give it a 2 min misconduct if his shot misses the EN.

      If there was a delayed call, the goal would be awarded automatically on a true breakaway, the delayed call would be assessed, and they’d go on a 2 minute Power play. There wouldn’t be a penalty shot with the goal, because they just give it an automatic goal instead of bothering with a penalty shot. The Goal is basically the penalty assessment for throwing, and the previous delayed call will still be assessed, regardless of how the goal following it is scored. So in this scenario, you mark it as a misconduct of throwing equipment on a EN breakaway, assess a goal instead of a penalty shot, and then assess the 2 minute minor, and sioux take a 5-4 PP. There would be no double-goal because the play would be automatically stopped, and the automatic goal would be assessed along with the minor. You could not throw it, score, and then take another freebie goal for the throw after you shoot. Play would have been stopped immediately on a true breakaway to assess the automatic goal, since when you award a goal you stop play :)

      Hope this helps.

      • Also in the first paragraph, if the first defenseman throws his stick, you don’t automatically stop play for it because even though there is an empty net, the 2nd defenseman is completely within his rights to attempt to make a legal block or prevention of the shot, and stopping play immediately to assess the misconduct auto-goal would prevent him from being able to do this, and that is clearly unfair to the non-offending defender for obvious reasons, thus play can only be stopped when the offending team touches the puck (assuming the player misses the empty net shot), and in this case there would be no penalty shot, because despite the empty net, he still has a defender to beat and this is not a breakaway (though a slam dunk scoring opportunity.)

  4. I’m Facebook Friends with the Big Sky Conference, and they just posted “A big congrats to the North Dakota Fighting Sioux for making yet another Frozen Four.” I think we’re gonna like the Big Sky, considering this happened despite the conference not sponsering hockey as sport, and that UND isn’t even an official member yet. Seems like a class act to me.

    • This is a nice gesture! With a comment like that, they must be really concerned about our nickname… (sarcasm)

  5. Hakstol has done a great job, but to compare him to Blais is not really fair. Hakstol walked into a great situation and has done a great job of maintaining and building on that success. Blais took over somewhat of a train wreck by UND standards when he came to UND and the same when he took over at UNO. Blais also had two National titles in his first six years at UND taking a below 500 team and turning it into a power again as it had been in the past. I hope the Fighting Sioux come home with title number eight!

  6. Brad, great coverage of the tourney so far. I believe another bullet point could have been that the Sioux are undefeated when Mario scores a goal. That was a great ice breaker for the SIoux and he seems to score timely goals. Also, I read in the INCH coverage that they gave a plus to the Resch Center. It looked like the ice was horrible. I hope they get that straightened out for next years regional.

  7. Great coverage as usual Brad! I agree with you giving props to all of our D men. That entire group played well all weekend. I enjoyed the stories ESPN did on the guys-would love to see them do a feature on all of our seniors as a group as I truely believe the leadership they bring on and off the ice is a huge factor in the success of this group. I know Marto and LaPoint don’t get as much credit for their on and off the ice leadership-but they both played with a purpose this weekend! Got my tickets and can’t wait to watch the guys bring it all home! Go Sioux!

  8. Brad,
    I echo previous comments about your updates. I look forward to your articles throughout the entire season. Thanks again for all your efforts. Please pass along to the players that the Sioux Fanbase is extremely happy with the performance and will be in St. Paul to show our appreciation. Go Sioux!!

  9. It’s too bad some Sioux fans think we have an average goalie. Two regional games 0.5 GAA.
    30 wins, 6 shut outs. Even with Marto, LaPoint, Forbert, Blood, Mc Williams, Simpson and Chay in front of you those are not average numbers

  10. XYZ, you hit it right on the nose. Blais took over a program on the downslide and returned it to national prominence. Hakstol was Blais’ choice to take over the program. Hopefully Hak can breakthrough and win it this year. Comparing their wins is kind of a mute point when only 12 teams made it before with 16 making it now resulting in more games.

  11. Brad,

    Do you know if a college is allowed to talk with a coach or an assistant coach while their team season is still going on?

  12. Brad-Do we know which end the Sioux will shoot at twice at the Excel? I have my tickets and just curious as to which end I’ll be at. Thanks!

  13. The Dakota Student writer mentioned this in his write-up, but does anyone know if Frattin saved a goal when he went to the net to help out Dell? I could not tell and ESPNU even replayed it, but I could not tell exactly. ESPNU did give Frattin credit for that effort after he turned it over I believe. They liked how he came back and worked himself into the play. I don’t think I have seen a sheet of ice as bad as that in Green Bay. I think a pond could be better than that trash of ice.

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