Thursday night rewind

For the first time since the Broadmoor Trophy was redesigned following the 2008-09 season, it will be going somewhere other than North Dakota. UND’s three-year reign as WCHA postseason champion ended with a 4-3 overtime loss to Colorado College in the WCHA quarterfinals. Game stories:

Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Herald column

Colorado Springs Gazette

USCHO

USCHO sidebar

College Hockey News

Other notes:

  • UND moved to No. 11 in the Pairwise and will now watch the rankings move during the weekend to find out what seed it will be and who the opponent in the NCAA tournament may be. UND will be either a No. 2 or a No. 3 seed.
  • The loss came on the four-year anniversary of UND’s last loss in the Final Five. UND had won eight straight Final Five games.
  • One of the big storylines out of this is that UND will not be playing a marathon of games this weekend before the NCAAs as it did in 2010 and 2012. Will it help? Who knows. The last time UND only played one game at the Final Five was 2003. That year, the team ended up losing to Ferris State in the first round. Two years ago, Duluth lost in the OT in the Thursday game to Bemidji State and ended up winning it all.
  • The other big question mark will be who UND plays in goal. I don’t ever remember UND going into the NCAAs without knowing who the guy in net is going to be. Clarke Saunders will want Goal No. 3 against CC back and that opens the door for Zane Gothberg again.
  • One of the storylines of this season will be goaltending. Both guys have showed the capability of taking over games. We probably saw Saunders steal one in Notre Dame and Gothberg do the same at Minnesota State. Yet both have allowed some tough goals. It just hasn’t been real consistent.
  • The goalie on the other end, meanwhile, played a pretty good game. Joe Howe continued his strong play that he showed in stealing a couple games from Denver. He stopped 29 shots and seemed to read a lot of plays well.
  • UND has lost two overtime games in the last three weeks. Had UND won those two, it would be MacNaughton Cup champion and in position for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
  • UND has been playing quite a few close games recently, but hasn’t been on the winning end in a lot. The last time UND lost a game by more than two goals was two months ago to St. Cloud State. Since that game, UND is 2-4 in one-goal games and 6-0 in games decided by more than a goal.
  • The biggest positive for UND was the play of the fourth line. Drake Caggiula got back on the board with two game-tying goals. Colten St. Clair also had a nice game.
  • UND’s power play went 0-for-6 in the game. They moved the puck really well on a couple of the power plays, but it deteriorated late in the game. The shorthanded goal was crucial. Had UND scored on that power play for a 3-1 lead, I think it would have won.
  • I’ll be driving back to Grand Forks today, but will try to update possible NCAA scenarios when I can.

59 thoughts on “Thursday night rewind

  1. As for goalie, all I have to say is “oh oh.” All 4 goals cc scred were marginal low yield shots. Based on the plays in the game, it should have been 6-0. I think we’re in trouble.

  2. It is just the usual disappointment, just a week earlier. I thought they would beat Colorado College, but they ran into a hot goaltender. But could almost see this coming from the continued march of “Hakstol and his underachievers” getting stretched out by Michigan Tech. UND is no higher than a 3 seed and will be a one and done. Sorry, a hot goaltender shuts them down despite their dominance of a game, and Saunders looked like he was dragging a plow sometimes in net going side to side. Maybe the extra couple days rest may help, but one last shot at the Gophers is gone, and for awhile. Unless they meet in the first round of the playoffs.

  3. Brad, if this team is to have any chance of going anywhere in the nat’l tourney this was the best outcome possible. Look, this team is not your “typical” UND team by any means. Our goalie and D are the most suspect I have ever seen….going back to the mid ’70′s. It is very hard to win (i.e., no conference home sweeps this year) with the “backstop” UND is sporting this year. We have great forwards and, as usual, they are much better in the 2nd half.
    A number of years ago Dean Blais said it is extremely hard to win the WCHA, win the Broadmoar and then go on to win the nat’l title. Our boys need a big rest and maybe Hak needs to consider a different game plan. Our D need more help than they are receiving in neutral ice and in our own end. The reasons we did not win (and I know we had a chance to win last night…this is not the point) are the exact same reasons we did not have as much success this year…..success being a relative term for UND hockey. So, Brad, call Hak and whisper in his ear…..the boys who stop the puck from going in our net need a little assist.

  4. With Saunders giving up a softie last night, there’s no reason to not go back
    to Gothberg for the NCAA tourney. He has shown that he is clearly the most athletic goalie and is more capable of stealing a game (like Howe did last night). Saunders was playing because he was more consistent, which is definitely what you want for the playoffs- no soft goals. But now after last night, you have to live or die with Gothberg, and maybe a bad goal now and then.

  5. Questionable goaltending, marginal defense and low scoring from your top forwards doesn’t equal a national title. I hope they prove me wrong.

  6. “UND has been playing quite a few close games recently, but hasn’t been on the winning end in a lot. The last time UND lost a game by more than two goals was two months ago to St. Cloud State. Since that game, UND is 2-4 in one-goal games and 6-0 in games decided by more than a goal.”

    It’s all about coaching. Not bashing Hack, but this is about mental toughness and finishing games. Coaching.

    • Sandman,
      With all due respect; a fluke bounce off the leg of a defender(when you clearly see that Saunders had the angle covered) is in no way related to mental toughness. We all have very high standards for Sioux hockey, the bar has been set and raised many times. Rest well boys, and forge ahead

      • Brad, if you think ND hockey is but a hair above mediocrity then it’s clear you have lost faith in the product. We are not talking about Alaska Fairbanks or even Mankato here. We (fans, players, coaches, administrators, etc..) have higher expectations for UND hockey….and we should. Do you think Notre Dame stood by aimlessly as their FB team won at a mediocre rate? No, they did whatever it took to get back to the NCG and they did so this year. UND is the ND of college hockey and I “expect” more from our hockey program. We get as much talent as any team in the country. We have the nicest arena in the country (imo). We have the best fan support (by far) in the country. UND hockey generates more revenue than any sport at UND and any team in the WCHA. So, my friend, there is no reason UND should not be winning nat’l championships with some regularity. There is no excuse why our goaltending is average at best. No reason we have a defensive corps that has not improved since October. ND has always had strong defense….this is the reason we have all the banners hanging in the Ralph. I am not picking on an individual player and I am not bashing the coach. You can make up your own mind as to how and why we are in this situation. Don’t let your friendship with the team get in the way of objectivity Brad. UND hockey is a Mercedes but now looks and plays like an AMC…..built on a Monday. We should never have a mediocre year, UND is built to win national championships.

        • I agree with everything you’re saying, but keep in mind, even mighty Minnesota went 23 years (1979-2002) between championships. Their fans, players, coaches, etc expect national championships too. You can have all the advantages, but it doesn’t guarantee NCAA championship banners.

        • I am being objective.

          When UND has won more games than any WCHA team in the last decade, I don’t consider that mediocrity.

          When the worst season you fans have had to endure over the last nine years is either a MacNaughton Cup, a Broadmoor Trophy or a Frozen Four — yes, that’s the WORST that UND fans have had to deal with — I don’t consider that mediocre.

          You made the Notre Dame football comparison. Well, Notre Dame finished .500 or below six times in 14 years. They didn’t win a bowl game, and lord knows there are a million of ‘em these days, for 15 years. UND hockey is not going through a stretch remotely close to that.

          You don’t think UND ever should have a mediocre year, but if you are dealing with reality, it’s going to happen some time, and I’m wondering is what this place would be like if UND went through a stretch like other national powers, Wisconsin and Minnesota, recently.

        • Suture, you might want to look up the definition of mediocre. Wait, let me do that for you since you’re so busy spouting nonsense.

          Mediocre (mē-dē-ˈō-kər): of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance : ordinary, so-so

          Has the UND hockey team really been “of low quality” during Hakstol’s tenure?

          Also, do you have any more bogus cross-sport comparisons for us? Notre Dame football went 91-68 (.572) from 1997-2009, going 1-7 in bowl games. From 1994-2006 they lost nine consecutive bowl games, an NCAA record. They last won a national championship in 1989. They did such a wonderful job of getting back to the national championship this year (and losing) after 24 years, didn’t they? They didn’t accept any mediocrity in the slightest, did they? I’d say that stretch was pretty ordinary, or so-so.

          Contrast that with UND men’s hockey, who is 234-118-37 under Hakstol (.649). The win total and winning percentage are third in the nation during that stretch behind only York and Berenson. They will be making their ninth straight NCAA tournament appearance, which will be the longest active streak in the entire country as long as Michigan doesn’t win the CCHA tournament. They’ve been to 11 straight WCHA Final Five tourneys. The next longest current streak is two. TWO. Under Hakstol they’ve captured four Broadmoor Trophies and two MacNaughtons. The Sioux have appeared in five Frozen Fours in eight seasons led by Hakstol. That’s tied for the most appearances in that span.

          Every season they are one of the top programs in the country. That’s hardly mediocre.

          Why don’t you go over to the St. Cloud side with their whole one win all-time in the NCAA tournament? Or perhaps Boston U. with their one tourney appearance in the last three years? Or even Minnesota with their one appearance in the last four years? That sure sounds better to me, and not at all mediocre.

          We don’t have room for you in our fan base. Good riddance, and don’t let the facts hit you in your delusional head on the way out.

      • Word!! The Sioux had a fantastic, exciting year (that’s not even over), yet there are actually people calling for replacing the coach, defensemen, goalies, etc etc. I can only assume most of these ridiculous comments come from unknowledgeable hockey neophytes/never-was’s. It’s a shame, because it makes the live blog difficult to take at times. It would be a great option if one could just excise the negative peanut gallery commentary, yet still follow your great coverage…..

        • Viking, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. You cheer your little heart out. When you reach your 18th birthday maybe we can talk shop. “Word”……:)

          • You couldnt hurt my feelings if you were driving a Mack truck, Skippy. Now that #1 seeds Quinnipiac, SCSU, Niagra (and perhaps even more tonght) have fallen in the first round, I think the only thing lower than your hockey knowledge/experience/skill just might be your overall IQ. Dont worry though; you can always login to the live chat tonight with your “fire Hak” and “pull the goalie” retardation… :-)

  7. Speaking of coaching:

    1. Why has it taken all year to figure out the first line? They played OD, Rocco, and McMillan up there last night, in the same game. That gives them no chance to generate chemistry or confidence. Essentially, the coaching staff had neutralized our two best players. Only heroics by Kristo have been able to get through their poor decisions.

    2. Hak should have pulled Saunders after the third goal if not the second. All four goals were weak. Saunders completely lost position on the first goal and should have let his D take care of the top of the crease in that situation. The same was true for the short-handed goal. Saunders’ right side was covered by the D and so the only move the guy could make was to Saunders’ left and yet he failed to get in front. Those are saves he needs to make in the playoffs.Hak also should have pulled him just for a momentum swing. we were asleep in the 2nd period again and needed a jolt after that shorty.

    3. My view is that the team lacks confidence, which is why they seem to fall asleep some games, especially when they give up a sort goal early. The crowd was roaring last night and the team just couldnt seem to find the snap they had on Sunday. It’s like two different teams and that’s the way they’ve been all year from game to game, which says it’s coaching to me. Their job is to build that consistency and confidence and they haven’t been able to do it this year as they have in the past.

    I’m not one to chant fire Hak and am not saying that this year but I do think poor coaching decisions have kept this team from realizing its potential. They have a second chance in the national tourney, so let’s hope they get their act together.

    • I don’t know if Kristo and Knight have been neutralized. This is the 2nd time in school history that UND has two forwards as Hobey finalists the same year. If they were truly neutralized, how would that type of production be possible? They have had trouble finding a LW for that line, no doubt about it, but those two have still been able to produce as much as anyone in the nation.

      Also, if you consider a clean breakaway goal by a kid who has 41 points a weak goal, then what isn’t a week goal in your eyes? Also not sure how you can consider the fourth goal – a shot off of a defenseman’s leg – a weak goal.

      • I agree Brad, Danny looked far from neutralized as he once again slithered through the zone and sniped from an angle offering nothing. As for the Krush shorty, too bad he doesnt wear green, he can flat out fly.

      • Weak was probably the wrong word. What I meant was that they were all saves he could and, I suggest, if he were on his game, would have made. Instead, he was shaky the entire game with a terrible save percentage. Bottom line, leaving aside those goals, the first and third goals definitely were weak and the coach’s job is to recognize when the goalie is on his game or not and Hak failed to do that. My guess is he was saying to himself, geez, Clark looks shaky but he decided to leave him in anyway and I’m just saying now (and at the time as well) that was the wrong call. But my point really goes beyond this one game. He failed to build the confidence of the team throughout the year like they usually do. They remained uncertain and tentative in many games. Others, they’d look brilliant. That inconsistency lays at the doorstep of the coaches.

      • Also, in terms of the first line, pointing to their production and saying it was good doesn’t tell us anything about what they might have done had they had a consistent line. It can’t have helped either Kristo or Knight to not know who is going to be playing with them from shift to shift, literally. I get that you need to experiment in the first half of the year but it’s a mistake to still be doing that in the playoffs.

  8. Saunders pitches a shutout in his last game, then gets villified for one (perhaps) marginal goal. Same treatment for frosh phenom Gothberg. You’d think the sky was falling in net for the Sioux, reading the blog comments. It’s a good thing the coaching staff has the knowledge and perspective to realize that’s not the case. One need only look at Joe Howe’s situation to see how ludicrous that view is. A few weeks ago CC was deemed as having the exact same net minding “problem”, yet now he’s the toast of the town. Oy…..

    • If Howe consistently raises his game during the very stressful playoff time, then he separates himself from his peers regardless of regular season.

  9. this year it really does not matter where they are seeded since all the regionals are near detroit and boston. you have to beat the best so bring it on! disheartening to see the goals given up but we can’t blame it all on the goalie. the team will regroup and play better next weekend. now…who wants to go to Toledo!

  10. I woud think Gothberg gets the net the rest of the way. Howe made twice the saves last night, and shut down 3 solid goal opportunites for the Sioux. Saunders – he couldn’t stop the 3rd one. Which cost us the game.

    Hopefully the loss will put an extra fire inside them for the NCAA tournament. I thought they out played, out hit, and out skated, out shot CC last night. But they didn’t out goaltend them last night.

    • Are you talking number of people or number of pounds?

      …I had heard you had a large fan base. Now I get the double entendre. Haven’t peopl heard of diets and exercise up there? My god…

  11. I AM one to say Hak needs to go…he has a good record but look at the talent he has squandered. Besides BC, U of M, and maybe Boston/Denver who has had this much talent and done this little? I won’t harp on Saunders because both of our goalies let in terrible goals (Remember Zane’s short side over the shoulder at Denver – geesh!) but it also seems like every weekend it a pair of defensemen fall asleep for most of the game. Last night it was Mattson and Simpson.

    • 4 wins and the hang #8 in the building.

      But we should let him go…. after all the Broadmoors and final fours. CT you could probably count on one hand how many people would want to see Hak fired.

  12. Yeah I agree it’s not time to panic. There are 50 teams that would gladly trade places with us. We need to regroup and get ready for the national tourney. We don’t have to be the best team all season, we just need to be the best team the last two weekends.

    On another note, what’s with the refs not dropping the puck in these tourneys? What are they doing out there that they have to wait 5-10 seconds? It’s ridiculous.

  13. Let us not forget, Mr. Howe for CC played outstanding!!! He carried their team last night. The CC OT loss certainly is not all Mr. Saunders’ fault, but the 3rd goal was a “soft” goal. Win as a team, lose as a team. At this stage of the season, “soft” are tougher to accept. Goaltending has been and continues to be a question mark this season. I have never been a fan of the platooning of goaltenders, especially late in the season. That said, I believe Mr. Gothberg is the better of the two goaltenders. The team overall defense needs to improve especially to help compensate for the goaltending inconsistencies. This essentially means relentless back checking is needed from the forwards. 0 for 6 on the power play last night is certainly a concern and was a huge factor in the game. One of the keys to winning hockey games is to capitalize on power plays and the Sioux did not. Taking all that into account, I’d gladly accept this loss in exchange for a winning streak ending with a National Title. Perhaps making adjustments, additional rest, practice, and the sting of the OT loss to CC will result in a National Title. We shall see…

  14. I would love to see them sent out to Manchester to play UNH in the first round with a possible matchup against Quinipiac.

  15. Tom, did you really just add in, “low scoring from your top forwards doesn’t equal a national title”?! I seriously hope you actually do understand what our top 2 forwards alone have produced this year.

    • I know what they’ve produced during the regular season and they should be proud of that but this is playoff time and the regular season is over, now is the time for those big numbers.

  16. Coach Hakstol and staff have repeatedly done well. Best of luck the rest of the way. I pity the goalie facing North Dakota when the dam breaks, and the stat move from the “quality chance” column to “goals scored”.

  17. It seems to me the two underclassmen we lost would have put this team over the top. Put Nelson back on the LW on the top line, and Dell, the CHL goalie of the year, in net. IMO that team would have a MacNaughton cup and would be playing it’s first game of the tournament this afternoon. If only…

    • I have wondered all year what would have happened if Dell stayed his Senior year, but can not blame a guy for wanting to make some bank. The goaltending has certainly been inconsistent throughout the year. Both goalies have shown flashes of greatness, but also average performances. Having that 4th or 5th year guy in the net may be the difference maker. I guess it did allow the current crop of goalies to gain that extra year of experience they would have other wised missed!

  18. Do we start talking about scsu needing to fire people and talk about the wheels falling off. Settle down Sioux fans we just had some bad bounces we’ll be fine.

  19. Hey Brad, on Fri did the team stay or did they leave for GF? Why not have them stay to watch the Fri & Sat games, to see the kind of winning hockey that’s successful for the NCAA’s? It would be a teaching moment that can help them next week. If they feel sick about watching other teams play this weekend, that’s good for next week prep for the NCAA’s. Better to feel bad for a night & then prep hard for 6 days for the NCAA’s than not prepping as well for 6 days, playing poorly again/losing, watching the NCAA’s & then training 6 months for next season. What did UMD & DU do after they lost in the Final Five, then prep for their NCAA run when they won the title? Let’s put the get the FIGHTING SIOUX back in the North Dakota hockey!

  20. The whole this is North Dakota so anything short of a banner we should be calling for people’s jobs is nauseating. Are we due? Sure, but this garbage about canning Hakstol is not only ridiculous it’s short sighted. He does so much for this program behind the scenes and for the university. The consistency of constantly having us in a position to win a championship has been unmatched outside of Jerry York. The college hockey landscape has changed so much with all the opportunities for juniors and European teams. This is still college hockey, it’s not a professional business. If you don’t like that go choose some pro team to be a rube for.

  21. And now BC, the Gophers, and Yale have all fallen to “lesser” teams. If the upset trend continues tonight in the CCHA playoffs, will all the Sioux naysayers finally see the light regarding parity in college hockey? In the case of some of the loonies posting on this page, I highly doubt it…….

  22. Great point !

    “When the worst season you fans have had to endure over the last nine years is either a MacNaughton Cup, a Broadmoor Trophy or a Frozen Four — yes, that’s the WORST that UND fans have had to deal with — I don’t consider that mediocre.”

    For comparison… Minnesota hasn’t won a Final Five game since 2008.

    2009 lost to Duluth 2-1
    2010 didn’t make it
    2011 didn’t make it
    2012 lost to Sioux 6-3
    2013 lost to CC 2-0

    Also for comparison… The LA Kings were an 8 seed last year and won the Stanley Cup. Stuff like that happens in hockey, at all levels.

    Stop the complaining Sioux fans. Winning at the end of the year is always hard. We have a great thing going and like I said earlier… 50 other D1 teams would love to be in our place.

  23. Lots of good comments and a couple2 really poor ones! For the few that are hitting the post (I mean panic button), keep the faith;). This could in fact be a good thing for our beloved FIGHTING SIOUX. It just got a little more interesting.
    That’s all. Three strait Broadmores was overly impressive and you people had to know that it eventually had to end… Ask yourself this: would you rather have banner #8 or another B-trophy? Both would be nice and I like you expect nothing but greatness out of the team but being realistic at the same time is important no matter what you do in life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>