Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Grand Forks Herald: New UND nickname committee announced

According to the Grand Forks Herald, the new nickname committee has been released. And the envelope please.

Here are the names of the people that are on the nickname committee.
Committee members: 
  • Karl Goehring, UND alumnus and former men’s hockey goaltender, investment consultant at Alerus Securities, committee chair (Goehring also served on the previous task force, which recommended that the task force be represented on the new Committee)
  • Jazmyn Friesz, UND health sciences student, Student Body chief of staff, committee vice chair
  • Landon Bahl, UND entrepreneurship and marketing student
  • John Bridewell, UND professor of aviation
  • Carla Christofferson, UND alumna, executive vice president and general counsel at AECOM, Los Angeles.
  • Diane Hillebrand, certified research administrator, UND alumna, grant and contract officer for UND’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, current past president of Staff Senate and Chair of the Bylaws/Elections Committee
  • Dayo Idowu, UND Chemical Engineering student and current men’s football student athlete
  • Dr. Leander “Russ” McDonald, three-time UND alumnus and president of United Tribes Technical College
  • Chelsea Moser, UND accountancy student and current women’s volleyball student athlete
  • Lowell Schweigert, UND alumnus and football letter winner, longtime Champions Club member, former UND Booster chairman, financial consultant and business owner of Northern Plains Financial
  • Dave St. Peter, UND alumnus and president of the Minnesota Twins

UPDATED: Mark MacMillan to have surgery

Per Brad Schlossman, via UND sports chat and twitter today. Not very good new, but it was kind of expected.

UND announces Mark MacMillan will have surgery tomorrow and is "out indefinitely." UND not ruling him out for the year yet.
So you're saying there's a chance... UPDATE: Here's the official word from UND.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota men’s hockey coach Dave Hakstol announced today that senior forward and assistant captain Mark MacMillan will undergo surgery on Wednesday, March 4, to repair a lower body injury and will be out indefinitely. MacMillan suffered the injury during North Dakota’s 3-1 victory over St. Cloud State last Saturday in Grand Forks. The Penticton, British Columbia, native leads top-ranked UND with a career-high 16 goals in 29 games this season and ranks third on the team in scoring with 25 points. He also leads UND in faceoff percentage (57.2) and his 13 goals during conference play lead the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).

A fourth-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 2010, MacMillan leads all active North Dakota skaters with 99 points (46 goals, 53 assists) in 151 career games. He is a finalist for both the 2015 Hockey Humanitarian Award and the 2015 Senior CLASS Award.

North Dakota closes out the regular season on Friday and Saturday at Miami in Oxford, Ohio. UND clinched at least a share of the Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champion last Saturday and can claim the Cup outright with one point in the series against the RedHawks.

It's Time to Move on from "Fighting Sioux"

By Zach Hawkins -- For roughly 80 years, the University of North Dakota embraced the nickname of "Fighting Sioux" for their athletics program as a tribute and an honor to all of the Sioux tribes as the university saw them as great warriors and strong willed people.

Four years ago, the NCAA made serious threats to the university stating that if the nickname of Fighting Sioux was not retired, or honored by all three Sioux tribes in North and South Dakota, then severe consequences would be taken against the athletics department which would ultimately diminish the competitive nature of it.

With the University making the transition then to become full division one President Robert Kelley and Athletic Director Brian Faison had no choice but be the "bad guys" and retire the Sioux name as of January 1st, 2012. However, at the same time, the North Dakota legislature was in the process of making a state law where the university could not drop the nickname and logo. So with being just the University of North Dakota for three weeks at the start of 2012, the Fighting Sioux name was back, or so all of us thought.

With the NCAA implying many sanctions against the university's athletics program if they did not change the name, it simply needed to be done. If the Fighting Sioux name was to continue to be recognized, the university would not be able to grant any athletic scholarships to any athlete playing for, or coming into the university. Along with that, this year's NCAA men's hockey regional in Fargo would never be able to happen. The NCAA would not allow UND to participate in any NCAA sanction tournaments or host any NCAA sanctioned events like this year's regional in Fargo.

It wasn't until the NCAA tournament that year where losing the name became a reality. New hockey jerseys were unveiled, which are the team's current jerseys right now. From that point on, it was simply the University of North Dakota. It was an ear sore for everyone at first, but as I look around the Ralph and many other places I see UND fans, they have accepted this and realize that the
university is still the university and they are still the same athletic teams on the ice, field, and court. It is still the Kelly Green and White we are all used to seeing every weekend, every game, every season. Just because there isn't a name or a logo anymore, doesn't mean the history and tradition of it is dead.
You can hear that during the end of the National Anthem at every home hockey game.

Fans for many generations will be upset about everything that happened with the name and logo, but these fans should be happy that they had the greatest name and logo in college sports and that they are fortunate enough to watch these great teams play, or for the athletes, play for these great teams.

As for now, it is in the best interest of the university to move on from the nickname and logo, but do not jump to find a new one just because the sanctions have finally been lifted. Simply being the University of North Dakota is probably the only thing that will ever be accepted and I think it is time for the university to realize that.

Avalanche's McLeod, Landeskog fined by the NHL

Looking at the schedule. The Minnesota Wild and the Colorado Avalanche play again on March 8, 2015, at the Xcel Energy center. This has the possibilities of being a very interesting game.

This time, the Wild will have some added muscle with newly acquired forward Christ Stewart who was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres.
NEW YORK -- Colorado Avalanche forwards Cody McLeod and Gabriel Landeskog each have been fined the maximum amounts allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement for their respective actions during the final seconds of NHL Game No. 930 in Denver on Saturday, February 28, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

McLeod has been fined $3,091.40 for entering the game on a legal line change for the purpose of starting an altercation with 8.1 seconds remaining in regulation. Directly off a face-off at center ice, McLeod launched into a bodycheck against Minnesota center Mikael Granlund and then engaged in a fight with Wild forward Charlie Coyle. McLeod was assessed a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, a major penalty for fighting and a misconduct penalty.

Landeskog has been fined $5,000 for throwing a punch at Minnesota forward Mikko Koivu while both players were on their respective benches with 3.3 seconds remaining in regulation. Landeskog was assessed a misconduct penalty.

The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Differing Opinions of the Wild Dismantling the Av's

As I mentioned yesterday, I am not anti-fighting. I understand the hockey code and I don't think fighting should be taken out of the NHL game. I recently covered this subject in another post at the Hockey Writers.
the NHL game is evolving, and fighting is becoming less prevalent. That’s a positive development. In today’s game, there’s not a lot of room on an NHL roster for a five shift, four-minute player that can only fight.

Okay, in Scott’s defense, over the past five games that he’s played in, the Sharks behemoth has averaged about six minutes a game. That being said, the Sharks have seen little if any production from him. He’s taking up space in the lineup.

Teams no longer can afford to have a tough guy taking up space on the player’s bench. One dimensional players like Scott are a dying breed. So why is a player like Scott still in the NHL?

That being said, what Cody McLeod did at the end of Saturday's game needs to be addressed further. It was a bush league move that should cause him to be fined and or suspended. I predict nothing will happen to Mr. McLeod. According to Michael Russo, the NHL will announce today the Colorado fines for Patrick Roy, Gabriel Landeskog and Cody McLeod.

For those that think that Sean Bergenheim hit on Nathan Mackinnon was dirty, go back and watch the video of Bergenheim's hit on Nathan Mackinnon. This was a textbook example of a clean shoulder-to-chest. Nothing more, nothing less.

I found this blog post on Mile High City and this paragraph is worth reading just to get the other side of the argument. I also found it comical that Avs fans are calling Minnesota a dirty team. The Wild don't even have a designated pugilist and their agitator Matt Cooke is currently on the IR. I have watched 85-90 percent of the Wild's games this season and they are not a dirty team. Especially with Cooke out of the Wild lineup.

If you’re keeping track at home, Kyle Brodziak (4) and Ryan Carter (3) lead the Wild in fighting majors. Those two are hardly heavy weights.
MacKinnon just got elbowed in the face and is bleeding all over the ice. Heads straight to the locker room. No call because these refs are completely overwhelmed by this game. Avs do get a call in their favor...somewhere but I missed it completely. Avs on the PP. Avs PP continues to be more flaccid than a stale banana. Barrie taking all kinds of chances pinching and Iggy does a great job getting back to help mitigate a Wild 2-on-1. Avs running out of time real quick now. (PS on second look, MacKinnon looks to have received a shoulder to the face, not an elbow. I retract my officiating complaints, sort of). (Mile High Hockey)
Maybe the refs didn't call it because it was a legal hit.

Hockey is a physical game and injuries happen as are result of physical contact. Again, this was a legal textbook shoulder-to-chest hit. The players own stick breaks his nose. How does this act warrant McLeod jumping two of the Wild's star players? It doesn't. Also, goons taking a run at star players that don't fight breaks the hockey code. It's a bush league act.

I also think that the NHL doesn't want neanderthal goons taking runs at star players because one of the players was hurt with a legal check or because the other team doesn't want to fight. That's not the Wild game.

USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll

March 02, 2015

(First Place Votes)
Last Poll
North Dakota
24- 6-3
Minnesota State
( 1)
24- 6-3
Boston University
21- 7-5
Michigan Tech
24- 8-2
Boston College
21- 9-4
17- 7-5
Bowling Green
Robert Morris
22- 7-5
Others receiving votes: St. Lawrence 43, St. Cloud State 36, Northeastern 26, Bemidji State 19, Dartmouth 6, Notre Dame 5, Canisius 3, Rochester Institute of Technology 2.

With their sweep this past weekend, UND remains in the top spot of the USCHO Poll. Cue the fans from a certain team that will say that the poll is wrong because they're third in the PWR.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

WHKY: North Dakota outlasts Ohio State in triple overtime

Grand Forks, N.D. -- Fans who attended North Dakota's Saturday afternoon game against Ohio State got more than their money's worth in a triple overtime game that ended allowing North Dakota an advancement to the WCHA Final Face-Off.

Saturday's score was more indicative of the play between the two teams more so than North Dakota's 5-2 Friday win.

The goals that drove the teams into overtime play happened in second period. North Dakota's Samantha Hanson broke the scoreless stalemate around halfway through the second. The Buckeyes were able to rally the tying goal with 38 seconds remaining in the period

After OSU's tying goal at the end of the second period. It would take another 63 minutes for North Dakota to complete the sweep and punch their ticket to play, at least, one more game at home. "It was a super grind; start to finish," head coach Brian Idalski said.

The game ended 3:17 seconds into triple overtime when Becca Kohler made a transition play that sent Megan Dufault up ice. Dufault passed the puck cutting through two OSU defense to Amy Menke who put it top shelf on UND's 41st shot on goal.

North Dakota will take a couple days off before they start preparing for the WCHA Final Face-Off that is being hosted at The Ralph on Saturday and Sunday. "The one thing we knew for sure we didn't want was to do was watch other teams play in our rink," Amy Menke said.

Taking a page out of the UND men's hockey program's playbook, the women's team is 22-2-2 sine mid-January.

North Dakota plans to take the next couple days off before preparing for face-off against the Wisconsin Badgers at 5:00 on Saturday, March 7. Tickets are available for the WCHA Final Face-Off at The Ralph box office and online.

Cody McLeod Jumps Mikael Granlund and Fights Charlie Coyle

I want to be clear, I am all for fighting and sticking up for your teammates. I get that, but what the heck is Cody McLeod doing? Or better yet, what is Avalanche coach Patrick Roy doing?

My question is: Wouldn't this be an intent to injure? McLeod took a run against an unexpecting player after the faceoff. I don't know?

Second, Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund are skilled players, they're not goons. You really don't want to see Coyle or Granlund stuck in this situation.

If you're a Minnesota Wild, you're probably talking about this today. The Minnesota Wild the Colorado Avalanche are at it yet again. In four games against the Wild the Avalanche has scored a grand total of one goal.
There are rules in place to prevent what McLeod did, but you need the refs to actually call it.

“That’s garbage is what it is,” Yeo said of McLeod’s antics. “You feel it was going that way all game long. They were obviously very emotional all game long. In an emotional type of game, we did a good job of keeping our focus and I really think that was the difference in the end.”

Asked what he thought of Roy putting out McLeod, Yeo said, “We’ve seen the league respond to things like this. There’s rules in place to try to prevent things like that and I’m quite certain that they’ll take a good long look at that.”

We’ll see if the league does examine this and determines the only thing that kept this from being an instigator with less than five minutes left is that the refs decided not levy one for some unexplained reason. (Michael Russo, StarTribune)
Apparently, Av's coach Patrick Roy sent their goon out at the end of the game because of a legal shoulder-to-chest hit.

If you don't believe me that this is a legal hit check out the GIFs embedded below.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

UND Clinches at Least a Share of the Penrose Cup! (Circle of Sticks)

A photo posted by Eric J. Burton (@eric.burton.94801) on
UND is the 2015 Penrose Champs. They have clinched at least a tie for the title. With one point next weekend, UND will win it outright.

A photo posted by Eric J. Burton (@eric.burton.94801) on

SCSU vs. UND Lines Game Two

Same lineup as last night. Senior night at the Ralph.

Redwing77 Rant - Pet Peeves Edition

by Redwing77

Ok, I need your advice ahead of what I'm about to say so... if you have been to any hockey games USHL level or higher and can chime in with similar or dissenting stories, I'd appreciate it ahead of time.  And, once again, bear in mind that this is MY opinion only and isn't to be confused as being expert advice or official statements by any organization whatsoever.

I LOVE hockey and I understand completely what arenas and league officials are trying to do, but what's with selectively ignoring the rules?  Here's a few examples:

Please be respectful...

At Ralston's Arena (home of the USHL's Omaha Lancers), I sit in a section that has almost a constant flow of people returning to their seats well after the puck has been put in play.  Now, to be absolutely clear, this isn't the people who are just getting to their rows as the puck drops or are waiting for lazy people to get up so they can pass.  I mean, they've had the puck in motion for a good long while when they start down the stairs to begin with!

Why?  PLEASE tell me this isn't the only venue where they make an announcement regarding this practice (saying it is not to be done) the arena staff ignores their own directive!

I have some ideas as to why this occurs, such as the overwhelming desire by said officials to watch the game instead of ensuring that their job is being fulfilled.  Likewise, there is a desire to avoid ALL conflicts regardless of whether or not it will be heated (especially if there is kids involved).

Is etiquette only situational?  Is there some sort of policy in place for such awfulness?

I get that they are trying to be accommodating and friendly to every attendee regardless of their level of passion for what is going on at the event, but COME ON!!!!

Genderized Music Selection

This may be JUST Ralston Arena related but...  It seems to me that, if you were to make a flippant comment about a hockey game in eras past, you'd say "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out."  In my recent experience I could modify this statement to "I went to a hockey game and a wedding reception broke out."  Since when is it that all you hear at hockey games are a random selection of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, the Spice Girls (I am serious!  Midget hockey game going on during intermission to "If you wanna be my lover"), Sir Mixalot, Village People, Kids Bop songs, and a variety of silly country music songs (sorry, I know there are some good country songs that mix well with sporting events but these, despite my unfamiliarity with country music, aren't those) THE music to play?

BTW - Is Pitbull and Macklemore now synonymous with sporting events?  (And for the record, Pitbull is the guy I wish I was.  I mean, he does almost nothing and he gets all that fame, money, and notoriety!  I mean, he barely even sings his own songs!  I am jealous.  All I get when I'm that lazy is nothing).

The only rationale I can imagine is, sadly, horrifically chauvinist.  The hockey is for the guys and the music is for the girls and kids.  A concept like that is TERRIBLY out of place with what a hockey game should be... but observe people at a hockey game some time.

In Ralston, the guys are watching the game like hawks and the girls are all texting and snap chatting or talking with their girlfriends.  Then the whistle blows and Shake it off by Taylor Swift comes on and the guys look sick to their stomachs and the girls are all dancing.   Is this what we are pandering to now?  Maybe I'm super cheap, but why would I, as someone (akin to the girls I've observed in the section around me at times) who is completely disinterested in the game, spend $15+ on a ticket when I could spend $5 on a chic coffee at a coffee shop with my girlfriend and get a better experience?  In other words, if hockey is no better than background noise, then go to a sports bar with your friends and enjoy your conversation!  I get it.  Not everyone likes hockey.  I certainly would feel the same way if I were dragged to a basketball game.  But then again, I won't spend $$$ on basketball tickets unless I fully intended to watch the game.  Much cheaper to sit at home in my super comfy recliner watching that garbage than sitting on a bench in an arena having to spend $15 for $3 worth of food and drink.

As the owner of the organization, the whole purpose is to put butts in the seats, so I get that, so why not market better?  Here's a few suggestions:

1.  Seat stratification.  Devote entire sections to season ticket holder ONLY sections.  I think the REA does this, but I'm not sure.  Ralston does not.  Allow casual fans to have their own sections where they can do whatever and no one will care.  Stratification of passionate hockey fans leads to organized chants and a fun sporting experience.

2.  Music variation:  During the hockey game and during intros, trend towards music that revs people up (examples:  For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica, Land of Confusion (Genesis cover) by Disturbed, Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses, etc.).  I guess if you were going to gender-ize the whole thing, one stereotyped as male centered songs.  During intermissions, and spotlight segments (like Kids Cam and so on), you can have the Taylor Swifts and Katy Perrys.

3.  Hold "Idiots Guide" segments:  During intermissions, create live or videoed entertaining segments that spotlight the rules of the game.  It can be just straight forward video segments with the coaches filmed during practice or it can be video edited stuff using highlights and all or, you can bring in youth coaches or whatnot and do it on the ice live.  Sort of a mini seminar. 

I guess the music thing is all me just being grumpy but the decline in courtesy and etiquette in hockey is just appalling.

End of Rant

(Video) Charlie Lindgren save on Mark MacMillan

This doesn't require a lot of narration, but what a save by St. Cloud State goalie Charlie Lindgren. This was an absolutely filthy save. Let's call it a two pad slide.

A look at the Pairwise Rankings

The University of North Dakota is now sitting at the top of the Pairwise Rankings. With the win tonight, they moved ahead of Minnesota State. If the NCAA tourney started today there would be six NCHC teams in the NCAA tourney.

UND 3 SCSU 2 (UND goals)

During his four-year career, UND is 20-0-1 when Brendan O’Donnell scores a goal.

“I don’t really think much of it,” O’Donnell said. “I don’t know what to say, I think I am just lucky.”

Friday, February 27, 2015

SCSU vs. UND Lines (Twitter Links)

Same lineup for UND as last week. There are no changes. Todd Anderson is one of the officials tonight, so it could be a long night.