Season comes to an end

Two years ago, I was sitting down and looking at the makeup of future UND teams.

I looked at the 2012-13 squad and said, “That team is going to be really, really good.”

I figured it would win the MacNaughton Cup. Figured they would be poised for a run at the national championship. Figured they might be just as dominant as the 2010-11 squad, and as long as they didn’t run into Shawn Hunwick, this would be the team to beat.

Who was going to compete with their depth?

Top line: Brock Nelson, Corban Knight, Danny Kristo.

Second line: Stefan Matteau, J.T. Miller, Rocco Grimaldi.

Third line: Mark MacMillan, Carter Rowney, Michael Parks.

Best line in college hockey? Heck, that may have been the best two lines in college hockey.

But then, some dominoes fell the wrong way.

Miller got drafted by the wrong team — one that wanted to sign him immediately. He signed and played for the New York Rangers this year.

Matteau, after repeatedly telling the staff (and others around the country) that he’s coming to UND, changed his mind to go play major juniors. He also signed out of high school and played for the New Jersey Devils this year.

Nelson, who most (myself included) thought would stay for his junior year, signed with the New York Islanders and played this season for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL.

And with that, UND lost three first-round picks that were scheduled to be on this year’s team. That changes things.

They recruited Connor Gaarder and Bryn Chyzyk to fill Miller and Matteau’s spots late in the game. They are solid contributors, but they are not 6-foot-2, NHL-ready power forwards with soft hands.

Yes, losing players unexpectedly is the name of the game in this age of college hockey. That’s why everyone outside of UND has missed the NCAA tournament at least once in the last 10 years — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Boston College, Michigan… everyone. That’s why none of the above-mentioned teams have a shot at winning the title this year.

You have to adjust to it and move on without them. And UND did its best.

They were still a pretty good team this season. They were a post away from winning the MacNaughton Cup (remember the OT in Mankato?). Another post away from going to the Frozen Four (one of three posts, actually). Average teams don’t get that close to those achievements.

They still won 20 games, got home ice, got to the Final Five for the 11th straight year (when nobody else has been there more than two years in a row) and reached the NCAA tournament once again (winning a game there).

Considering all of that, you have to classify this team as a good team.

But they weren’t a great team.

What kept them from being great? It’s hard not to go back and look what was penciled in for this season.

After Nelson signed, UND never found a left winger for Knight and Kristo. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. Just about everyone got a chance up there — Grimaldi, Rowney, Parks, Mark MacMillan, Mitch MacMillan, Brendan O’Donnell and Drake Caggiula. They even tried moving Kristo to his off wing and Player X to right wing. Nothing ever clicked the way Nelson did on that unit. Simply, UND was never able to replace him.

Interestingly, it didn’t really affect the production of Knight and Kristo; they were still two of the top scorers in the nation. But it’s scary to think that they might have been able to do even more with Nelson (or if someone else clicked).

They also seemed to have trouble finding the right mix for Grimaldi. He played left wing, right wing and center with a bunch of different players. Again, it’s hard not to look at the above-listed potential line combination with Grimaldi and Miller, who clicked on the same line for two years at the NTDP and dominated the World Under-18 tournament together in 2011.

I’m certain that the coaches and players don’t want to hear about Miller and Matteau. They moved on long ago without them, and they aren’t in the business of “what ifs.” They were happy with the team they had.

But there’s no denying that their de-commitments — and the loss of Nelson — had a big impact on this season. You can try to plan for guys to leave after three years in college (they were prepared for Aaron Dell’s early signing after last season), but there’s no way to plan for guys not showing up at the last minute, especially in this day and age when all the top players are committed years in advance. It can catch up to you.

As for the loss to Yale, it wasn’t for a “lack of heart” or a “lack of effort” or that they “didn’t want it.” Trust me, they wanted it bad. The team just didn’t play well enough to win. They certainly didn’t catch any breaks along the way (all three of UND’s posts went out, Yale’s one post went in, disallowed goal, etc.), but that’s beside the point, because UND didn’t play well enough against a Yale team that has NHL-bound players.

In the end, we saw a pretty good team this season with a very good senior class. But we were never able to see the exceptional team that the coaches had lined up for this year.

56 thoughts on “Season comes to an end

  1. Happy Easter Brad.

    Again, it comes down to a team that was in a position to go to the Frozen Four. Michigan, BU, RPI, Western, those were all teams that sat on the couch this weekend. North Dakota was right there in the NCAA’s. For the 11th straight year. That speaks volumes about this program and coaching staff. Even in a “down” year or a year that they weren’t a great team, they still put themselves in an incredible position. And as a fan, as badly as I want the 8th championship, I also want a team that isn’t up and down. I look at BU for example. They either are poised to run for the National Championship or they are going to be mediocre. There’s no balance. I’ll take a balanced squad anytime.

    Thanks for what you do.

  2. Happy Easter, Brad. Thank you for your insight. As fans we (me) often forget that things that happened several years ago that impact the team today. However, a couple of things were particularly maddening about this team. First, how does North Dakota only score one goal against Yale? I can understand how UND gets beat by a hot Colorado College goalie in Saint Paul, but why only score 1 against Mankato and 2 in a game against Bemidji? Zero for the last 20 power play opportunities? Please tell me who is going to score for this team next year.

  3. Brad, do you now who of the current recruits will be coming next year? I’m trying to picture the top line. Parks, Grimaldi, MacMillan? I look forward to watching Rocco if he can find chemistry with a line but I’m wondering who else will be the leaders of the team next year.

    • I went to a Fargo Force game against Lincoln about a month back and it got me extremely excited to see Luke Johnson and Paul LaDue in here next year. Johnson looks like a potential Kristo clone. Kid flies all over the place.

  4. Well said Brad. I would love to have seen this team with Brock Nelson on the second line with Grimaldi. Keeping just Nelson would have changed the dynamic of this team. Any thoughts on early departures?

    • It would be extremely disappointing to see any (if they can) team-member leave early after a second strait loss to get into the Frozen Four. The ECHL will always be there boys, UND and its four years of ellegibility will not

  5. Brad,

    Great wrap-up to the season. I am still trying to recover from the loss to Yale, thinking about the “what-if” trip to the Frozen Four. Your wrap-up helped to bring some closure on this season. The fact that UND had the de-commits and early departure of Brock set the team back and they weren’t fully able to recover. We’ll look forward to reloading for next year in the new NCHC. UND is lucky to have a passionate coach in Hakstol and for those that want his head I say to you “who do you see as a replacement; what other coach has led his team to the NCAA and conference tournaments in each of his years of tenure”?
    Thanks Brad for the great job you do of covering this team. On to next year!

  6. Every one who has been yammering about how great of a team we had that simply self-destructed needs to read this. You cannot replace kids like Nelson, Miller, and Matteau. You just can’t. We are a completely different team with those guys. Despite those missing names we still had a relatively successful season. Nice post Brad.

  7. This entire article was complaining about early departures and recruits that go to Canada!?! All major college hockey programs have to deal with that! It’s about HOW you deal with it that matters. Yes it was an up and down season but at the end they were in a position to make it to the frozen four and compete for a championship and they choked. In my opinion it is the coaches job to get hit or her players in a mindset to win when it matters and I think Hakstol has failed in years past and again this year. #firehakstol

    • I hate losing as much as the next person but come on. Your perspective needs an adjustment Tyler. Every other power is out of the tournament. The parity of college hockey has never been closer. One of these days you are going to have to accept that we aren’t that much better than the competition. NCAA games are going to be continue being “coin flips” rather than “we win because we’re supposed to” Every power program is dealing with it this year, not just us. Hakstol may not be perfection but he is the best option for us, an effective recruiter, and continues to deliver relative success to UND. Getting rid of him would be 10 giant steps backwards. Everyone’s behavior suggests we just had a 6 win season.

      • Perspective mostly comes hand-in-hand with knowledge and experience. Given that fact, you are wasting your time trying to get the average fanboy to exhibit that trait. The Sioux had another great year. How many teams would have liked to have been among the top 8 teams in the country when all the dust settles? College hockey is a great game, much more fun to follow than the NHL, and the Sioux are exemplary in that regard. This blog is always informative, and greatly appreciated. New season is but months away, go Sioux….. :-)

    • Let me guess Tyler, you’re a Gopher fan right? Trolling a UND hockey blog?

      This is classic -> In my opinion it is the coaches job to get hit or her players in a mindset to win when it matters and I think Hakstol has failed in years past and again this year. #firehakstol

      Hit? What the heck is that? You mean his?

  8. Brad, go take some time off. We really enjoyed following our favorite team again this year through your blogs, articles, and live chats. In a one-and-done tournament, sometimes things do not go your way. As it turns out, the sun came up today and we will all be ready for Sioux hockey next October. Enjoy the off-season.

  9. I have to say that going into next year…a year of change in college hockey many of the big stellar programs fell flat in the post season. Personally i think the smaller schools of the new wcha will do just fine and play work hard HUNGRY HOCKEY. Good luck new leagues….

  10. Thanks for the insights and everything this season, Brad. I’ll miss participating in the live chats. See you all next fall.

  11. I believe I have said this before but maybe in a little different way, UND hockey and all of the UND sports for that matter give me a $1000+ worth of entertainment each and every year since the age of the internet for a mere $60 a year or whatever the price is for UNDInsider. I can’t ask for anything more from these kids or coaches. Keep up the good work. Nobody seems to give the east coast talent pool credit. I think it is very fair to say there are some great hockey players out east and MN/our recruiting section of Canada don’t own hockey from the talent pool perspective. The east appear to be a buzz saw to play. Hats off to the east and Yale.

  12. Thanks again for the great coverage Brad, UND fans are a bit spoiled by all you do during the season.
    It was a frustrating season though. My opinion is that this team was good, but seemed to have an on and off switch that they would flip during games. Yes, they would have been better with Nelson, Dell, Miller and Matteau on the roster, but they were still a good team that should have done better. I don’t think anyone would say that Tech, CC or Niagra were better than UND, but those teams all out played UND for significant portions of playoff games. And the team was 20 minutes away from the Frozen Four and responded by giving up 4 unanswered goals. Maybe Yale was better than expected, but UND’s play in the second period and most of the third definitely lacked effort and urgency and Yale capitalized on it. As a fan, that’s just frustrating to watch. Don’t be afraid to be critical when it is warranted.
    Here’s to next year.

    • Agreed, especially on this point:
      “UND’s play in the second period and most of the third definitely lacked effort and urgency and Yale capitalized on it. As a fan, that’s just frustrating to watch. Don’t be afraid to be critical when it is warranted.”

      In my opinion, i think the coaching staff has been out-coached in various national tournament games. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like we are slow to adjust or make changes to our strategy to counter the opponents changes. Also, how is our PP so god awful with all the skill this squad has?

  13. Great article Brad and thanks for a another job done well this season. For a fan living across the country Im always excited to see when one of your articles goes up online.

    I wish the negative fans could put our program into perspective.

    Sioux hockey is not a professional program that can pay to keep and go after whatever players they want to build a team each season. Nor is it like college football which gets all the best talent because it’s the only stepping stone to the NFL

    College hockey is a crap shoot and I will always put my money on our staff and team because they deliver every year… maybe not in giving us a national championship every time out but they always deliver a team that makes me proud to be from North Dakota.

  14. Happy Easter!

    Rough day yesterday, but life moves on, as will the SIOUX hockey program. I want to express my thanks to all the men of the program for yet another enjoyable and entertaining year. It’s sport. You can’t win them all unfortunately. Time for the boys to work hard in the off season and come back ready to roll in October.

    Go FIGHTING SIOUX!

  15. Brad, you are the voice of reason. Thank you for that fantastic perspective. Great work as always.

    And Tyler, perhaps try reading the entire post. Brad clearly stated that every top program deals with de-commits and early departures, but I think his point was that it was a perfect storm this year as we had to attempt to replace three top-6, NHL talented forwards with second rate players. The degree to which it affected us was uncommon. And I wish just one of the Fire Hak stooges could explain what that would accomplish, or who would even replace him. Players have to do their jobs as well, you know.

    Anyway, I’d like to move on so Happy Easter to all!

    • One correction: the Sioux have NEVER had “second rate players”. If you make that team you are a good player, period…. :-)

  16. Thanks Brad for your coverage!
    We are not only spoiled to be fans of a great hockey program, but we have first-rate media coverage. In fact, college hockey coverage that is not duplicated anywhere else.
    Thanks for your insight into UND hockey. Your end-of-year comments bring needed perspective that sometimes we fans don’t see because we’re blinded by our emotions. Certainly things that happen in prior seasons do have consequences in future ones and that was well illustrated.
    Have a good off season and I look forward to your great coverage next fall.

  17. Always love reading these articles and ~most~of the posts on here. It will be missed but sure as poop plops, the Sioux will be back and in contention next year! All this fire Hak stuff has got to go! No “REAL” fan would ever say that as we know he does a heck of alot for our beloved program! I was upset last nite like everyone else but use your heads please and GO SIOUX

  18. In the world of work we have learned that the biggest impediment to being great is being good! We have had a number of good teams that have bordered on greatness but when it car down to winning the big one the other team played great. While all the excuses for our lack of playing great against Yale and for having a good team this year may be politically correct, they are just that, excuses! This team had all the necessary elements to win the big one, anyone that watched them this year saw those streaks of greatness! So who has the responsibility of getting the team ready for greatness, who’s job is it to mold all the evident talent in to a great team? Same crap different day! This team had two of college hockey’s top 10 players on the ice, we let them down!

    • I respect and consider your argument here but I consider to respectfully disagree. Hakstol and company has done a great job with this program. Please don’t fail to remember just two seasons ago when North Dakota had the best team in college hockey outplayed and outshot the Wolverines 2-1 and still were sent home. Yes Michigan stole the game from the Sioux under Hakstol’s watch but you cannot tell me that his team didn’t come to play when it counted. We lost the national championship to Denver under Hakstol’s reign in a game where we missed open nets and hit posts to lose a close game against a very very good team. Again, the Sioux were ready to play and were sent home with a loss when it counted the most. I’d argue that they played very well in those games and shouldn’t be ashamed of the losses. If those two games would have panned out differently I don’t think we’d be having this conversation. So please take the emotion out of it and examine the whole. Yes it stings to lose to Yale but considering the the way Yale was playing at the time and the chemistry our team has or hasn’t had this entire season its no failure of coaching. The coaches tried and tried this whole season to develop the perfect team but it wasn’t meant to be.

      • Iguess I a fine with the notion that good people can disagree. But please don’t confuse my comments with emotion or that of stinging sensation. I have grown immune to these sensations, it is not the first time we have seen this movie! Additionally, please don’t confuse my comments with the notion that I might believe that the coaching staff is not good. That have proven to the contrary, they are very good! But they have also demonstrated that they lack the critical quality of motivating their team to greatness. If filling seats and providing good entertainment is the goal – they have proven themselves! However, if winning another national championship is the goal – they have failed!

  19. Well written Brad. The comments postedt yesterday made me sick to my stomach. The staff at UND is first class and work their asses off. Even when you have the best players in the country, it’s hard to win a title, let alone when you have some bumps along the recruiting road. Very proud of the boys. Time to look to next year and a new challenge.

  20. “Yes, losing players unexpectedly is the name of the game in this age of college hockey. ”

    Tyler, I’m not sure how you come to the conclusions you did when that sentence is taken directly from the article. There is a difference between complaining about early departures and citing that early departures greatly effected this team’s season. You can’t argue that.

    Another good year Jumbo. Now get ready for some Duke Johnson!

  21. This team had a hard time playing 60 minutes of hockey this year.

    They should have kept the pressure on Yale, played every period like the first period. They just couldn’t put teams away this year. The minute they started playing “keep away” hockey and dumping the puck in, I knew it was going to cost us the game if they scored. Yale didn’t have more talent than the Sioux, but they sure out played us the final 40 minutes of that game. This game was a reflection of the whole year. Oh so close, but yet so far away.

    I really waned to see Kristo and Knight go out on top.

  22. I absolutely cannot believe the excuses here. If so and so hadn’t gone elsewhere, team would have been better. Sounds more like fan whining than professional beat writing. I’m sure the guys could care less who wasn’t there. Bottom line, they got beat. Forget the goal posts, the breaks, whatever. They got outworked, consistently got beat to the puck, and did not really compete the way they needed to in order to win. Good on Yale. Best of luck to them. Schlossman, you do a good job covering this team, but spare us the homer stuff. That’s for Gophers reporters. Call a spade a spade and forget the excuses.

    Also, regarding Hakstol, 5 frozen fours in 9 years, good record. The question that begs to be asked, is when is he going to win the big games? Lots of conference success and tournament success, but it sure seems like the big one escapes him. Fire him, keep him, whatever, but that question has to be asked.

  23. Don’t know if you could watch the game yesterday and say that UND wanted it as much as Yale. Plain and simple, Yale worked harder, and wanted it more. Coming off the pledge that nobody would want it more than the Sioux this year, that is very frustrating. Wouldn’t hurt for Hakstol to remind them of that every once in a while.

  24. Nice job Brad. I know this team would have been different with those other players here, my biggest problem with that is that in some way it feels like it discredits the talent we did have. Did Nelson take the usual fire a Sioux team has with him? Did we give that up when the two players who were supposed to come never came? We came up short….but we still have a good year….and I enjoyed watching all of the guys play hard…but I missed the fire… the spark that our other teams have had… I probably enjoyed our 4th line play the most this year as they seemed to always have a jump in their step– heck sometimes I wished we played them more than our other lines! I know they team will bounce back next year and we all will enjoy cheering them on. I hope this summer they can start a fire in them that will keep burning right up to the end! Something that was only seen on rare occasions this year! Best of luck to the entire group and coaching staff! Keep up the good work Brad.

  25. Very disappointed that UND got out hustled and out worked for huge chunks of that game yesterday. We were slow to react and very sloppy in our defensive end most of the game and never did push back and out hustle Yale. We can talk all we want about hitting pipes but without Saunders effort we would be talking about a 6-1 drilling by the Bulldogs, ok maybe 6-2 if one of our pipe jobs goes in.

    You can be out talented, seldom the case with UND, but never, never get out worked and hustled. That leads to sloppy, unfocused play. With the exception of the 6-0 shutout of Tech, UND’s last 5 games showed a great lack of focus. I remember Roger Thomas saying once that if one of his teams wasn’t mentally sharp, prepared or focused for a game, it was on him and his staff. He felt it was his responsibility to have his team ready to play. We did not look ready to play over the last three weeks.

  26. PERSPECTIVE.

    It is a word many of us need to consider when evaluating this and previous Sioux hockey teams. It is disturbing to me how many comments in Brad’s recent posts are over the top in emotional negativity. As if we have more invested in these teams than the players and coaches themselves do. Plain and simply, we do not.

    The players have prepared thousands of hours over their past 10-15 years to reach this point. Once on campus, besides the academics, they practice on ice 20+ hours per week, lift weights, watch video and have personal evaluations from the coaching staff. They are focused and prepare to win each and every game. But, guess what … so do their opponents. It is just not that easy to go out and win every night, yet UND has always, under this coaching staff and the players they have recruited, won a lot more than they have lost.

    Fans of any sports teams (not just Sioux hockey) that are more devastated than the players and coaches, who have invested so much of their time and energy, over wins and especially losses do not have perspective. In fact, many of those fans should consider reevaluating their priorities. It is a sport, they play games. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt or worse this season. The rest of your life: family, friends, faith, work and recreation needs to be much more important than Sioux hockey.

    Myself and my family enjoy Sioux hockey immensely, we are always disappointed with the losses and excited for the wins. We enjoy our weekends at the Ralph. We even, over a few beverages, will rehash the game and what we would have done differently, or what could have been done differently. But, we try very hard not to lose perspective over the fact that in the end, it is a great way to help get through ND winters and cheer for our favorite team at the same time, while watching the most exciting sport around.

    Go ahead and vent, go ahead and speculate, go ahead and bitch, go ahead and play what if. None of those make you a bad Sioux fan. But, if anyone truly feels they have more vested in Sioux hockey than the actual team does, in my opinion, those people have lost perspective and should consider changing their priorities.

    Brad: Thanks for all your hard work (Tom and Jayson, too) and the time and effort you put into being the best college hockey beat writer in the country (just my opinion). Enjoy your summer. See you next season.

    Go Sioux!

  27. I just don’t know why everyone thinks Hak and company do a great job? With the talent they can recruit by having the Ralph, Hak should be doing better. For instance, what coach in his right mind switches up every single line from one NCAA game to the next? Yes, these guys may have played together at some points during the season, but our team looked out of place and confused for most of the Yale game and I think it comes down to coaching in the big games? Seriously, has anyone seen a line change-up between playoff games like Hak made between Niagra and Yale? It was quite obvious our players were not on the same page. You move one guy up (Rocco) so you change every line from the day prior? I dunno. I think Hak is a poor in-game coach and doesn’t make the adjustments or scout other team’s tendencies. He focuses only on how his team plays. Hey Hak, seeing what the other teams tendencies are is part of coaching. It’s what gives one team an advantage over the other with similarly talented players. With all the parity in college hockey it comes down to coaching and Hak and Co. are not getting it done. If we’re all happy with just making the tourney why don’t we bring in Doug Woog; he always got his teams to the big show, he just didn’t know what to do once he got there. Hak’s in the same boat. 10 years is enough of this. One more year and find someone else as this is getting old. Enough with being embarrassed in the NCAA’s. And for those that say he’s been to the F4 five times…I say he’s found 5 different ways to lose there. Time for new blood in the program. People act like there are no other good coaches out there that wouldn’t love the North Dakota job. I don’t think that’s the case. I do believe Hak bleeds green and is very loyal to the program; with that in mind he should step down and give someone else a shot at it. I just don’t see him winning it all anytime soon. Flame on me all you want but that won’t change my opinion. Hak is not a good in-game coach and not real good at getting his team ready (motivating) for the big games either.

    • Are these comments awaiting approval or are they awaiting a rebuttal? I see someone else’s comments were posted after mine. I don’t think there is anything in mine that is THAT bad.

  28. Thanks for all that you do Brad, this site has been a part of my morning coffee everyday. I thought for sure you were going to Pittsburgh after Friday.

    Just imagine if Nelson, Miller, & Matteau would have played this year. What a fun season that would have been!!!

    • Nelson, yes. Miller and Matteau would have been one and done. They are both in the NHL now and I highly doubt either was emotionally committed to our program, they were just looking for a place to develop a little more before the NHL. Yes, Hak is good at developing players…I’ll give him that, but he’s not great at coaching them in a game situations. Besides, that’s what Hak’s main goal is: to develop players for the NHL. I’m thinking it should be: win a National Championship, but I think that is just an aside for Hak and Co.

  29. There is only one “great” team per year and that is the team who hoists the National Championship Trophy. This Sioux team was good, but not great. Team scoring didn’t exactly come in abundance this year, goaltending was suspect at times, and the over defense(forwards included) was disappointing to watch. This team was good, but very inconsistent and unfortunately, a team needs to play consistent to win a National Title. Next season may be the Coaching staff’s big challenge in Head Coach Hakstol’s tenure considering two of college hockey’s top scorers will move on. Goal production and team leadership will need to be replaced and much improvements need to be made to sure up playing defense and back checking, along with goaltending. New conference, new season, new challenge… GO SIOUX!!!

  30. Thanks Brad for another year of solid reporting. Although I am an SCSU Husky fan in Minnesota, I refer to this site regularly for college hockey news. While I don’t mind hearing about the UND updates, I really enjoy your perspective on the WCHA and college hockey in general. I find your stories, thoughts and opinions to be very objective and credible, and feel you do a terrific job.

    For a Husky fan, it’s unbelievable to think that the team has finally made the Frozen Four. Now, we will be able to experience what UND fans have come to know over the years-the exhilaration of being in the Frozen Four. I really hoped for UND to be there again, especially after the Minnesota loss to Yale, as an all WCHA final would have been the best.

    Keep up the tremendous work, Brad, and I’ll look forward to reading your stories on the NCHC next year!

  31. Does anyone else think this is the reason we looked so out of sync on Saturday? Not one line was the same and not just a little different.

    Friday’s Lines:
    21 Brendan O’Donnell–10 Corban Knight–7 Danny Kristo
    9 Drake Caggiula–27 Carter Rowney–19 Rocco Grimaldi
    29 Bryn Chyzyk–16 Mark MacMillan–15 Michael Parks
    13 Connor Gaarder–28 Stephane Pattyn–17 Colten St. Clair

    Saturday’s Lines:
    19 Rocco Grimaldi–10 Corban Knight–7 Danny Kristo
    16 Mark MacMillan–27 Carter Rowney–15 Michael Parks
    9 Drake Caggiula–28 Stephane Pattyn–17 Colten St. Clair
    21 Brendan O’Donnell–13 Connor Gaarder–11 Derek Rodwell

    Who in their right mind switches up every line during the playoffs? I mean, seriously??

      • I’m guessing you mean putting Rocco on the top line in the 3rd period Friday. Didn’t have much to do with Big Mac’s goal and that’s where the worm turned. Once we scored that then Kristo made a great move on the wrap-around. Not sure Rocco added much but the excitement of his skating and the puck eventually rolling harmlessly off his stick. I see he did have the second assist on Danny’s goal which means he touched it. Didn’t have a lot to do with the goal itself. And moving one guy up for a period is waaaay different than switching up every line for the next game.

  32. Tired you are having a Versation instead of a conversation. It it helps you feel better, I disagree with your thinking and bold statements :) . So there ya go. Someone responded haha. Now if you could go spend your time worrying about real life issues, that would be wonderful. We have a great university and amazing student athletes who are getting a wonderful education. We have an amazing coaching staff that our players love to play for.

    • Well then thanks for adding the Con. How is life in lolli-pop land? Is the sky green there? Take off your green colored glasses and you’ll see it’s actually blue; like most of our moods this week.

  33. Guys, enough is enough,
    I am a serious hockey genius and have forgot more than any of you will ever know combined. It’s time to fire Hakstol and here is my reasoning.
    Every week I skate with former Sioux players in old mans league at Purpur. And by skate with them I mean I get off the ice and they are in the next game because I play in a crap early league because I am a washout but we skate on the ice together for sometimes up to 2 minutes. So I get a lot of knowledge from them, or at least I think I do before I start crushing Hamms in the locker room/parking lot. They all seem to think Hakstol should go, or maybe I should go, or maybe that was the cops, but you get the point.
    Second, while coaching my nephews bantam team, I too had to deal with decommits from prospects. The OHL/WHL really poach good talent from our quality program but that didn’t stop us from taking 3rd in a tournament in Grafton and getting a trophy. The other 2 teams didn’t have to deal with our level of adversity but they still out coached us and we lost, I’m over it though because I still had Hamms to drink on the team bus. So what I’m saying is that decommits don’t stop you from putting out a quality product that can win, and that I really love Hamms.
    But what do I know? I’m just an anonymous person commenting on a blog proclaiming to have credentials and acting like I have a pair of onions and an actual say in the athletic department. What I really have is a keyboard, an internet connection, and a lot of free time. (And an empty case of Hamms)
    Get over yourself naysayers, this is college hockey, amateur players who want to better themselves at a game and get an education in the process. You can say they got outplayed, out coached or whatever, but in the end you weren’t spending hours every week busting your @$$ at practice, going to class, traveling, watching film, and earning every dollar of your education and then some. These kids are lucky to be playing for a great coach and program ripe with tradition and deserve more credit than some have been giving. If you have an issue with the coaching staff, there was an open application for an assistant coach last year, sorry you got passed over, I hear Denver is hiring.

  34. Just returned from Germany and missed the Yale game. I guess there’s always next year, but 4-1? That’s not even showing up. Good luck to the WCHA Bubble Team that’s in the Frozen Four!

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