April 24, 2009

VV is probably coming back

All signs are pointing for Chris VandeVelde returning for his senior season. The Edmonton Oilers assistant general manager has told VandeVelde that returning to North Dakota will not hurt him and he still has a spot in Edmonton. This is certainly great news, and we can only hope Chris takes the advice.

April 22, 2009

Sioux Nickname Approval!

A lot of Sioux fans, including myself, have been wondering about the fate of the Sioux logo...well, we're closer to retaining it. In this article, you can read about the support of the Spirit Lake tribe. Although we're not quite done yet, I think this is a good step to retaining the Sioux nickname and logo at the University of North Dakota.

April 12, 2009

College Hockey is finally done

The Frozen Four is in the books. An amazing win by BU caps off what was one hell of a hockey season. I spent the past few days in DC contemplating the season...not just the Sioux season, but the entire NCAA season. So the following are a few reflections I have made. I will talk about the Sioux, the WCHA, the NCAA, and the FF. Enjoy.

First, the Sioux season:

- People on SiouxSports need to relax. Hakstol won't be fired. He's a good coach
- Walski didn't pan out...
- Duncan is a game-changer
- The Sioux fanbase is the best in the WCHA. No questions asked
- I swear my stress level rises tenfold in the 2nd half of every Sioux season
- The best game they played all season, IMO, was the 2nd Gopher game
- The most exciting game, IMO, was the CC game in which the Sioux won in overtime
- The F5 was a huge disappointment...and the beginning of the end
- I was sad after the UNH game, but it could have gone either way
- Eids is good, but not great...he's going to have more growing pains
- I hope VV stays around

Now, the WCHA

- The Sioux had a magical season...one that sadly ended too early
- Wisconsin sucks. I hate their program. I always will
- Minnesota is going to be mediocre for a few years to come. Gopher fans are going to be miserable
- The WCHA Final Five is amazing. It is a yearly highlight
- UAA was a pleasant surprise. They are on the upswing
- Duluth was as well. Too bad they will return to near the bottom next year
- DU has some of the stupidest fans in the country
- I hope tDon gets better. Seriously
- Bachman = most overrated player in the last 4 years

Now onto the college hockey season:

- Air Force proved their doubters wrong. And Frank is awesome
- Northeastern was a big surprise this year. Honestly, who would have picked them?
- I'm happy two teams from the CHA found homes. Let's hope the other two can find homes as well
- The WCHA was mediocre. The AHA is still mediocre...although RIT gave Air Force a run at the end
- The parity in college hockey is closing. With the exception of about a dozen teams, on any given night, any team can beat any other team
- The passion for college hockey is as high as ever
- The swing of dominance from west to east is happening...and looks to continue for years to come
- Boston College is falling...and falling fast
- The ECAC continues to disappoint. Cornell or RPI need to rise up and get this league some respect
- BU was a steamroller of a team that just destroyed their opponents all season
- The regionals were the craziest in memory. Seriously...no team could be counted out

And finally, the Frozen Four:
- Bemidji making the Frozen Four = awesome
- Same with Miami of Ohio
- Love the support of Bemidji in Washington DC
- At the beginning of the season, I said there would be two of four college hockey teams in the Frozen Four that no one thought would be there. I was only one off...should have said three teams
- BU found a way to win when all the chips were down. Hats off to them. Seriously
- Their student section is probably the best in college hockey
- The Verizon Center sucks to watch hockey in
- Vermont fans were quick to leave on Thursday...seriously people. Support hockey!
- It's great to see people you haven't seen in a year
- Others, you wish you didn't have to see at all
- I love being able to drink with important people
- It's great to be able to talk to some of the bigger names in hockey. Coaches, AD's, SID's, players, etc.
- Only 5 schools in college hockey had no representation at the Frozen Four. In other words, we couldn't find anyone in a jersey, hat, jacket, etc. Those 5 were Bentley, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, Merrimack, and Huntsville. Every other school was represented in some way
- In addition, there were several others represented, including Navy, Penn State, Arizona State, Oswego (GLM), Tufts, Towson, UMBC, Virginia and Virginia Tech, MIT, West Virginia, St. Olaf, Augsburg, Wayne State, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Concordia-Moorhead
- The Frozen Four is a great gathering. Every college hockey fan should attend, even if your team is not in it. It's an experience all in its own

April 5, 2009

A Season to remember

Schloss wrote a nice piece for the Grand Forks Herald about the Sioux's season that can be found here.

As heartbreaking as the loss was, it's true that it was a great season full of wonderful moments. I look forward to next season. I certainly will remember this one though.

Bozak gone...who will be next?

I'm a little surprised at the early departures in the WCHA this year. I know it's not uncommon, and for all I know, the number of players leaving is lower than in years past, but it's something I don't like to see. I'm a firm believer in sticking around for 4 years. Put in your 4 years, get your degree, and see where it takes you after that. Unless you are a superstar and can make an immediate impact in the NHL (Toews, Parise, Vanek, Wheeler, Kessel, Oshie) you should stick around college.

It seems that some programs emphasize this a little more than others, and I think UND is one of those teams. When I hear Hak talk about players having the best time of their lives at UND and how they only get 4 years of this, it makes me feel better and have faith in the college hockey program.

I hope VandeVelde sticks around. I'm sure he can make an impact in the NHL, but for selfish reasons, I hope he stays.

April 1, 2009

One Junior sticking around for sure...

According to the Sioux blog, Chay Genoway is going to hang around for his senior season. He said that he basically loves where he's at, describing it as a special place and wishes he could play 10 years there. I think that's great, personally. Also, Chris Vandevelde is 50-50 to return. I wish it was stronger, but he certainly has the potential to have a great career in the NHL. I wouldn't fault him for leaving, but hope we see him for one more season.

In other WCHA news, the only team to apply for admission to the WCHA was Bemidji State. This means that if the vote is approved, we will be seeing an 11 team league. I was a little surprised that Alabama-Huntsville didn't even apply or that Nebraska-Omaha or Northern Michigan didn't apply. Regardless, I hope that Bemidji gets admission into the WCHA. With them playing in the Frozen Four this year, they will certainly be a force in recruiting.