Hey Sioux fans....
I know. On paper it doesn't look too good. Two losses. Drops the record to 7-4-1. Doesn't matter how close the games were, doesn't matter if the Sioux played well, they got swept in Denver. That's the bottom line. However, there is a lot more to the story than the scoreboard...
Ok, I'll give it to DU on Friday night. They deserved that game. They outplayed the Sioux for the first period and most of the 2nd. North Dakota dominated the 3rd, but were unable to crack the brick wall that is Denver goalie Marc Cheverie. That's fine. That is going to happen every now and then...and in hindsight, at least the Sioux didn't get blown out. I figured they'd come back and play harder and stronger Saturday night. And that's exactly what they did.
The Sioux jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st period and like most Sioux fans, I assumed they were going to cruise to a victory. However, things were not going to be that simple for the Sioux. They started off the 2nd period on the penalty kill and DU capitalized. Fine, no biggie. But then, as the period went on, the Sioux were getting called constantly. At one point, DU had 9 powerplays to UND's 0. That's right. Nine penalties in a row on the Sioux! Granted, not every one of them was a bad call. But there were some that made me want to throw my laptop out the window. Naturally, DU was able to take the lead, 3-2.
In the 3rd, DU kept the pressure on the Sioux, but the Sioux seemingly tied it up late in the game. Take a look below.
Unfortunately, the call was reversed on the ice, and the goal was no good. In my opinion, I cannot tell that he decisively kicked it in. Because the call one the ice was a goal, I feel this should have stood. In fairness, had they called it no-goal, I don't see anything decisive on there that shows he did NOT kick it in. It's one of those goals, I guess. And sadly, the Sioux lost the game.
As I said above, on paper, this seems awful. But there are some good things that the Sioux can take away from this weekend.
- Cichy, Kristo, and Knight were all over the place. They had a fantastic weekend
- Eidsness played great all weekend, keeping the Sioux in the game the first night with some great saves
- Fienhage and LaPoint stepped up and played fine defensively all weekend.
- The Sioux kept up physically with the Pioneers all weekend
So like I said, they are still losses in the record books. But they do have another series with the scumbags from Denver in January. I suspect that it will be more important then two wins.