Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hakstol Has His Game Face on Already


Did Austin Ortega Give UND Some Bulletin Board Material?

Reading Matthew Semisch's Column this week, it would appear that Austin Ortega offered UND Some bulletin board material. Just for the record, UND went 2-2-0 against the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks and has a 5-3-0 record over the last eight games against the Mavericks.
Ortega, Mavericks send a message to North Dakota

Speaking of UNO, it appears the Mavericks were trying to make a statement on Saturday during their 4-1 win over Minnesota-Duluth.

They had a point to prove to themselves, too, though. On Friday, UNO found itself up 2-0 in the second period of the Mavericks’ first home game in a month and a half, but the Bulldogs rattled off three unanswered tallies in the third period to nab a 3-2 win.

UMD gained the upper hand early in the rematch when a shot from Kyle Osterberg found the back of the net 4:40 into the game. After that, however, UNO took over and even picked up its game-winning goal through Austin Ortega – his first of two tallies on Saturday – before the opening frame was over.

The Mavericks (7-2-1, 3-1-0) are heading up I-29 later this week to meet up with second-ranked North Dakota. The two-game set in Grand Forks could end up being a defensive struggle between the top and third-best defenses in the NCHC.

Speaking after Saturday’s win over Duluth, though, Ortega took what he felt was an opportunity to send a shot across the bow.

“Tonight we were able to get up on the board; we really showed we’re a scoring team,” Ortega said. “Kind of sending a message to North Dakota that we can score on any goalie out there.”

Monday, November 24, 2014

UND Second in USCHO Poll


November 24, 2014

Team
(First Place Votes)
Record
Points
Last Poll
1
Boston University
(42)
8- 1-1
988
3
2
North Dakota
( 3)
9- 3-1
889
2
3
Minnesota
( 1)
7- 3-0
825
4
4
Massachusetts-Lowell
8- 2-3
806
5
5
Miami
10- 4-0
764
7
6
Michigan Tech
10- 2-0
748
1
7
Minnesota State
( 3)
9- 3-0
746
9
8
Minnesota-Duluth
( 1)
9- 5-0
615
8
9
Colgate
9- 4-1
575
6
10
Denver
8- 3-0
572
10
11
Nebraska-Omaha
7- 2-1
435
13
12
Boston College
7- 5-0
425
12
13
Vermont
8- 3-1
423
11
14
Quinnipiac
8- 3-1
319
14
15
Bowling Green
10- 3-1
292
18
16
St. Cloud State
5- 6-1
249
16
17
Union
6- 5-1
214
15
18
Harvard
5- 1-2
147
NR
19
Northern Michigan
7- 2-1
141
17
20
Providence
5- 5-1
115
19
Others receiving votes: Robert Morris 96, St. Lawrence 48, Merrimack 30, Yale 17, Penn State 15, Ferris State 4, Notre Dame 2.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

(Video) Milan Lucic Comments on the Prout Incident



Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic is a great fighter and a pretty good hockey player. Lucic is also one of my favorite Boston Bruins, but I think it's time for him to sack up and get over it. There's going to be days when someone gets the best of you, that's life. This is one of these instances.

UND Second in Buccigross Top 10


Not that it really matters all that much, but UND is second in the Buccigross Top 10.

UND Splits with SCSU

The University of North Dakota hasn't had a series sweep against St. Cloud State Huskies at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center since the 1998-99 season. With Friday's 3-1 loss, UND will leave St. Cloud with that streak still intact.
On Friday night, junior forward Jonny Brodzinski was nothing short of amazing. UND had no answer for the Huskies power forward who scored (2g-1a—3pts).  With the game tied at 1-1 after two periods, Brodzinski’s scored two goals in the third period to ice the game for the Huskies. Brodzinski also broke a three-game goalless streak. For his career, Brodzinski has scored 50 goals in 92 games.
UND junior forward Drake Caggiula scored the lone goal for UND. Caggiula came into Friday's game as the NCAA point's leader, but fell to second place after RIT Tigers forward Matt Garbowsky scored (2g-2a—4pts) against the Sacred Heart Pioneers.
Over the last four seasons, UND hasn't had a lot of success against the Huskies, but they did manage to earn a series split with a 3-2 win on Saturday night.  Freshman forward Trevor Olson scored a pair of goals to pace UND.
With the win, UND improves to (9-3-1 and 4-2-0 NCHC). UND is 5-8-1 in their last 14 games against the Huskies. Next weekend, UND entertains the Nebrasak-Omaha Mavericks in an important two-game conference series.
With the loss, the Huskies drop to (5-6-1 and 2-3-1 NCHC). Next weekend, the Huskies travel to Bemidji to play the Beavers in a two-game non-conference series at the Sanford Center.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rocco Grimaldi Scores His First NHL Goal



Former Fighting Sioux forward Rocco Grimaldi scores his first NHL goal in his seventh NHL game.

UND vs. SCSU lines game two

North Dakota Forward Lines
9 Drake Caggiula–16 Mark MacMillan (A) –15 Michael Parks (A)
21 Brendan O’Donnell–27 Luke Johnson–17 Colten St. Clair
28 Stephane Pattyn (C)–13 Connor Gaarde (A) –3 Tucker Poolman
11 Trevor Olson–10 Johnny Simonson–14 Austin Poganski
North Dakota Dense Pairings
20 Gage Ausmus–2 Troy Stecher       
5 Nick Mattson–6 Paul LaDue
4 Keaton Thompson–24 Jordan Schmaltz

UND Goalies
31 Zane McIntyre
33 Cam Johnson

Huskies Forward Lines
9 Joey Benik–22 Jonny Brodzinski–13 David Morley
16 Jimmy Murray–11 Kalle Kossila–63 Patrick Russell
18 Garrett Milan–17 Judd Peterson–2 Jarrod Rabey
27 Nick Oliver–37 Joe Rehkamp–21 Brooks Bertsch
Huskies Defense Pairings
28 Andrew Prochno–40 Tim Daly
5 Nathan Widman–12 Ethan Prow
7 Niklas Nevalainen–26 Mika Ilvonen

Huskies Goalies

35 Charlie Lindgren
45 Rasmus Reijola
33 Joseph Phillippi

Dalton Prout pops Milan Lucic



This one-punch was the subject of much discussion on Twitter. Give credit where credit is due, Dalton Prout got lucky, and I expect that Milan Lucic will extract his pound of flesh the next time the two teams play. In my opinion, Lucic's gloves weren't off and Prout used this as an opportunity to get the upper hand on Lucic.

Friday, November 21, 2014

UND vs. SCSU game one lines

UND Forward Lines
16 Mark MacMillan (A)–9 Drake Caggiula–15 Michael Parks (A)
28 Stephane Pattyn (C)–27 Luke Johnson–7 Wade Murphy
21 Brendan O’Donnell–13 Connor Gaarder (A)–17 Colten St. Clair
29 Bryn Chyzyk–10 Johnny Simonson–14 Austin Poganski
UND Defense Pairings
20 Gage Ausmus–2 Troy Stecher
6 Paul LaDue–3 Tucker Poolman
4 Keaton Thompson–24 Jordan Schmaltz

UND Goalies
31 Zane McIntyre
33 Cam Johnson

Huskies Forward Lines
9 Joey Benik–22 Jonny Brodzinski–13 David Morley
16 Jimmy Murray–11 Kalle Kossila–63 Patrick Russell
42 Blake Winiecki–17 Judd Peterson–2 Jarrod Rabey
27 Nick Oliver–37 Joe Rehkamp–21 Brooks Bertsch
Huskies Defense Pairings
28 Andrew Prochno–40 Tim Daly
5 Nathan Widman–12 Ethan Prow
4 Ben Storm–26 Mika Ilvonen

Huskies Goalies

35 Charlie Lindgren
45 Rasmus Reijola
33 Joseph Phillippi

UND vs. SCSU, Series History

From my article that was originally posted at the Hockey Writers.

Series history

All-time, UND is 61-36-12 (.615) against St. Cloud State. In Grand Forks, ND, UND is 30-16-6 (.635) against SCSU. In St. Cloud MN, UND is 25-19-6 (.560) against the Huskies. At neutral sites, UND 6-1-0 (.857) against the Huskies. Under head coach Dave Hakstol, UND has a 23-14-7 (.602) record against the Huskies.

Lately, UND hasn’t had a lot of success against the Huskies. In the last 10 games against SCSU, UND trails 4-5-1 (.450). UND is 1-5-1 (.214) in the last seven games against the Huskies. This includes a 1-3-0 (.250) record last season.

Series prediction

Over the last 12 games, UND hasn’t had a lot of success against the Huskies. As a matter of fact, UND’s senior class has never won a regular season series against the Huskies in St. Cloud. During those three seasons, UND has gone 4-7-1 against the Huskies. This includes a 1-4-1 record at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Not all is lost, during the last three seasons, UND has a 3-3-0 (.500) record against the Huskies in St. Cloud. Let’s just say that UND is due. UND hasn’t swept the Huskies at home since the 1998-99 season. UND’s record against the Huskies over that 17 year period, 12-12-4 (.500).

With those stats in mind, I am going to predict a split this weekend.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Almost Two Months in, Lets Look at NHL Power Rankings

As the season is about to be 1/4 over already, I thought it was time once again to take a look at how I think the NHL stands up throughout the league.

1. Montreal Canadians. The Habs are on top of the NHL right now 20 games into their season. Their record stands at 14-5-1 and look to be the team to beat in the East right now.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens have just three regulation losses in 17 games played this season and are looking like a cup contender once again this early season.

3. Nashville Predators. The surprise team in the west thus far has cruised into a tie for second in the conference and are all alone on top of the ever so tough Central. Lets see if the trend continues.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts are off to a strikingly good start and are just one win behind the league best 14 that the Habs have put up.

5. St. Louis Blues. Even with losing Oshie for a stint this season, the Blues find themselves near the top of the Central once again. Lets just hope that they don't have another epic collapse like the end of last season.

6.Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks are another team in the top 10 of the league I thought wouldn't be there. Ryan Miller is a big part of this getting back to the Ryan Miller of old.

7. Anaheim Ducks. 11-4-5 the Ducks are this season, but I thought they would be much better than that. Still on top of the Pacific, the Ducks need to be careful because three teams below them are all within three points.

8. LA Kings. The defending champs are just as good as the Ducks and are charging for the top spot in the Pacific.

9. NY Islanders. Who would have thought the boys of Long Island would be the better of the two NY teams? Not me. And who is this Brock Nelson guy playing with Tavares? I hear he went to a good college.

10. Calgary Flames. Probably the biggest surprise in the West thus far. They came out of nowhere and Jonas Hiller in net is a solid addition for the Flames.

11. Boston Bruins. The B's are not doing as well as some of their faithful rubes would like them to be right now, however they still have 24 points, so I think things in Btown are going ok.

12. Chicago Blackhawks. Ok, 10-7-1 isn't where I thought they'd be either, but you can never underestimate one of the deepest teams in the league.

13. San Jose Sharks. Just one game above 500, could their be some trouble brewing in the "Shark Tank?"

14. Minnesota Wild. The streakiest team in the league it seems and they find themselves on yet another mini winning streak of 3 games right now.

15. Detroit Red Wings. The Wings are a team I'm still not sure what to think about. Their record says they are able to compete, but I'd like to see a few less overtime decisions to convince me they are legit and worthy of a 24th straight playoff appearance.

16. Winnipeg Jets. I picked them last in the Central, but they are proving their strength in the leagues toughest division right now.

17. Ottawa Senators. As the Sens look to move on post Alfie and post Speeza, they look to rely on defenseman Erik Karlsson to lead the team to victory the remainder of the season.

18. NY Rangers.  The East champs of last season are struggling early, but can they overcome their win one lose one mentality at just one game over 500 right now?

19. Washington Capitals. Another team with a lot of fire power, but not capitalizing on it. Could, and probably should be much higher in the standings.

20. Toronto Maple Leafs. They are coming off of the biggest, and most shameful loss in the entire NHL thus far, making fans once again throw jerseys on the ice. Kinda funny to think there was rumors for a second team here when their only one has struggled for so many years.

21. Florida Panthers. The youth movement is on in Florida and I see a lot of potential here. Maybe success wont come this or next year, but it will come for Florida. Their dozens and dozens of fans just need to keep calm and weather this storm.

22. New Jersey Devils. Jagr is still Jagr and the Devils are a team who could play spoiler with Corey Schneider as the backbone of this team.

23. Arizona Coyotes. Not much to say about this team. Very average in a place that hockey probably shouldn't be because the only ones who appreciate it there are mostly the ones who are there to get away from the winter.

24. Dallas Stars. Another team that I thought would start much better, but goes to show that you can have all the talent in the world, but you still need to work hard every shift to win.

25. Philadelphia Flyers. Can captain Claude Giroux rally the troops and get the Broad Street Bullies back in their old winning ways? I sure hope so for this team because Philly's fan base doesn't like to lose.

26. Colorado Avalanche. Sophomore slump for coach Patrick Roy. The Avs are showing their youth early on this season, even with the addition of Jerome Iginla.

27. Carolina Hurricanes. Still hard to believe this franchise has a Stanley Cup, but I can tell you one thing, it won't earn number two this season.

28. Columbus Blue Jackets. Todd Richards is showing the Blue Jackets exactly what he gave Minnesotans in his two years behind the bench there. Inconsistency. I want to say last season wasn't a fluke, but it's becoming harder and harder to say that.

29. Edmonton Oilers. The team who dominated the 80's, is having trouble finding success since their Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2006. I wonder if any moves will be made to try and fix this. Funny to think that if you have three straight first overall draft picks you'd be better right?

30. Buffalo Sabres. They probably should stay snowed in for the rest of the season. 20 games in and they finally have five victories. Sorry Buffalo, I'd start playing for that draft pick.