CINCINNATI — This afternoon, UND certainly looked loose as it held practice at U.S. Bank Arena in downtown Cincinnati.
They held their weekly Thursday shootout near the end of practice. They laughed when Dillon Simpson snapped his stick while kneeing on the ground and watching. They cheered when Karl Goehring sniped the corner of the net. And the groaned when the goalies were victorious.
Another light moment came during a drill where the defensemen have to try to score a goal with a number of people blocking shots in front. Once they scored, all seven of them skated in a line behind the net and up the halfwall, each of them pulling out their best celebrations. I was too slow to capture it on film, but UND’s Matt Schill has it.
During the presser, Stephane Pattyn got a laugh out of the media after he said that they were going to play “Sioux hockey” tomorrow. After that, he leaned over and whispered to Nick Mattson, asking whether he could say that. Then, he grabbed the mic again and said, “North Dakota hockey.”
At this point, there really aren’t many lineup surprises. I’m expecting the same lineup as the Western Michigan game with the exception of Andrew Panzarella going in for Mitch MacMillan.
Photo No. 1: UND equipment manager Andy Rannells surveys the ice.
Photo No. 2: UND grad Danny Cooper holds a flag and encourages the team as they leave practice Thursday.
Photo No. 3: UND skates at U.S. Bank Arena in downtown Cincinnati.