November 30, 2009

A 5-5 tie with the #1 team in the nation...satisfied?

They say a tie in hockey is like kissing your sister. Or getting some from a fat chick. Call it what you want. In any event, the Sioux tied the Redhawks in the final game of the Subway Holiday Classic, earning 3/4 points on the weekend.

The Sioux did have a 5-3 lead going into the 3rd, and against the majority of teams, that lead would probably be safe. After all, they did score 4 goals in the 2nd, outplayed Miami of Ohio and quite frankly, looked much better. But in the 3rd, Miami came back and was able to tie the game.

I think a lot of people are upset the Sioux eeked out a tie. But me, I'm actually ok with it. I don't like blowing a two goal lead, but to tie the #1 team in the nation, a team that is very, very good, and in my opinion, has a Hobey worthy player in Carter Camper. Also, who is Reilly Smith? This freshman player was all over the ice and has some pretty sick hands. I was really impressed.

The Sioux had some great things happen. Danny Kristo continues to excel, scoring two goals on Saturday. Malone had a sick goal, as did Gregoire. And while Eids' numbers will drop, I don't think he was at fault for any of the goals.

Importantly, the Sioux are 3-0-1 in conference play, which will definitely bode well come tournament selection time. Up next...Daloot.

November 28, 2009

Some things to note...

I'm shamelessly lifting some things from Schloss's blog. Thanks Brad!

- UND is now tied with Bemidji State as the best defensive team in the country. Both are allowing just 1.69 goals per game

- UND and Colorado College lead the WCHA with six players that have 10 points. Nobody else has five. UND's players are VandeVelde (13), Evan Trupp (12), Chay Genoway, David Toews, Danny Kristo and Brad Malone (10)

- Eids now has a save percentage of .931

Good start to the Subway Holiday Classic

I don't like the tournament name any more than the rest of you, but I digress.

Now on to hockey...

The tournament got started off the way a good tournament should, with two teams that met up in the Frozen Four last year playing each other, Miami of Ohio and Bemidji. I watched the game last year in DC and it seemed to me that Bemidji was not only overwhelmed by being on the national stage and all the hype that followed them, but they were also overwhelmed by a Miami team that was and is very very good. Enrico Blasi has done some great things with that program and I'm excited to see some other names in college hockey. At the Frozen Four, Miami beat Bemidji 4-1, sending the Beavers packing. However, a lot of Bemidji fans stuck around Washington, and for that, I was very happy.

Yesterday afternoon, Bemidji carried a 2-0 lead into the 3rd period, but Miami evened the score at 2 with both their goals coming from junior forward Carter Camper. This kid had 41 points and 42 points respectively in his first two seasons with the Redhawks. He's a damn good player, in my opinion. However, Miami was unable to protect the lead and Bemidji went on to win 3-2, vaulting their record to 11-1-1. I gotta be honest, if this team does not get some first place consideration, I will be shocked.

Then came the game we were all waiting for. The Sioux took on the other team from Ohio, the Ohio State Buckeyes. I was curious to see how the Sioux would respond after a very tough weekend in Denver. As I said, while there was no reason for the players to hang their heads, getting swept is getting swept. And with the news that Genoway is still out, and there is really no timetable for his return, I'm sure the players are frustrated, to say the least.

The first period was interesting. I thought the Sioux dominated except for the last couple minutes. I thought it seemed like Sioux hockey as well. Physical, hard fought, etc. They took it to the Ohio players and ground it out. It came at a price though as David Toews took a crushing hit at center ice. He left the bench for a few minutes, but came back later in the game. No scoring in the 1st period.

I had to leave in the 2nd, but from the outset, the Sioux were looking to dominate and they got on the scoreboard with a goal from Darcy Zajac (seriously, this kid is going to have a huge year). Again, they were taking to Ohio and in my eyes, overwhelming them. However, they were unable to get any more goals in the frame.

In the 3rd, from what I have been told, UND decided to quit monkeying around and basically smacked the Buckeyes around. They took the game over and refused to yield even after the Buckeyes scored to bring it to 2-1. Goals from Kristo and Hextall later in the game ensured a victory. 4-1 Sioux.

Some things I noticed. It's great to see Hextall back on the board. He was definitely in a slump. I also am glad to see Kristo continuing to progress. He was flying all over the ice last night. I think the line with him, Cichy, and Knight is going to work out real well. It gives UND 4 balanced lines, which is rare in college hockey. Hell, it's rare at any level. I also like how the Sioux were able to rebound after what was certainly a very tough week last week.

I look for them to keep it up tonight as they take on Miami.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all my readers: Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year, I reflect on what I am thankful for, and it's always an amazing amount of things. It's the stuff you don't even think about on a daily basis and take for granted daily. But the fact that I have a job and am employed when over 10% of our country is not, the fact I am in good health, and the fact that I can blog about the Sioux are all things I am grateful for.

I also have a wonderful fiancee who I adore and love very much. She makes me very happy and I am very thankful for her.

So reflect on what you are thankful for today, and make sure your plate is full and your glass never empty!

November 22, 2009

Rough weekend...but some stuff to take away

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.

November 20, 2009

Here we go, it's Friday!

Alright, finally, it's time to play DU. The matchup I think a lot of Sioux fans had circled on their calendars. I know I did. Cause I'll be at the game tonight!

Anyway, we know Genoway is out. He didn't even make the trip. However, the DU side of things is a little more sketchy. Supposedly now Cheverie is "probable" and is apparently 100%. I get this completely, I just think it's uber shady. I get the mind games coaches want to play, but I also think it's poor sportsmanship. Not that I should be surprised by a DU program that has a coach who jumps on the ice when a call doesn't go his way.

What a joke! A clean hit by VandeVelde and George flips his lid!

Check this out too...

Again, classless. You're losing, so what do you do? You go after little Hextall. Way to pick on the little guy on the ice. Did they go after Finley last year? Of course not! DU players are classless and a bunch of cheap goons. I can't wait to see what kind of crap they pull tonight.

Bottom line is, this will be a hard fought series. Unfortunately, I see a split coming out of it. UND Friday, DU Saturday.

Editors note: I have met Coach Gwozdecky and have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He's a good coach and a nice guy.

November 19, 2009

Injuries on Both Sides

Big series starts tomorrow in Denver. The Sioux are playing Denver. The clash of the titans. The battle of the best. Call it what you want. It's going to be an epic series.

Or it should have been...but both teams are dealing with some serious injuries. Cheverie and Wierciosh are both out for Denver while Chay Genoway is still out for UND. Without these players, both UND and DU are hurting real bad. Let's hope it's still a good series.

November 16, 2009


I'm mad. And it has nothing to do with the Sioux losing. In fact, I think they played a nice game on Saturday but unfortunately were on the wrong side of the scoreboard. That's about it. Nothing you can do about that. That's why a few losses aren't going to kill you. No, I'm angry at some events that happened in the series.

First, you saw my post about the goal on Friday night that should have not been a goal. The same thing happened Saturday night, except this time it was against the Sioux and it was a no-goal. The video is below.

I'll break it down as I see it. At :41 into the video, Hextall fires the puck into the leg pad of Dunn. I'm guessing the puck is under his pad. At :43 Hextall is swinging at the puck. At :44 seconds, the puck is in the net nowhere near the leg pad. This clearly should have been a goal. As it was explained to Hakstol, the ref said he wanted to blow his whistle and that renders the play dead. I know this is a new rule this year; the referee can say he intended to blow his whistle and that is the law. Obviously, this can be skewed in many ways if a ref has disdain towards a team...but I digress...

The second thing is the hit on Genoway Friday night. Take a look at the highlight...or lowlight below.

It's clear to me that Aaron Marvin was keying up on Genoway and hit him with intent to injure. How do I know? First, he's coasting towards him. He's not looking at the puck, he's looking at Chay. At :15 seconds into the video, you can see this. The puck is bounding around the boards and while Genoway is going to get the puck, it's obvious Marvin has no intention to play it. Secondly, take a look at the way he actually hits Chay. He actually rears up. Instead of throwing a clean shoulder check, he is winding up so he can inflict more pain. Finally, he went for the head. Any time a player is hunting for the head, I'm going to call him a dirty player.

This should not be tolerated at any level of hockey, and I think anything less than a yearlong suspension of Aaron Marvin is terrible. Of course, he was suspended for one game and that will be all that happens, but if this kid gets hurt, I will not be sad. Scumbags like that do not belong on the ice.

November 14, 2009

Saturday morning rambling

Good morning.

The Sioux beat the Huskies last night in a hard fought, gritty game 4-2. It unfortunately came at a price, as Chay Genoway was on the receiving end of a CFB and left the game, not returning and leaving his status for tonight up in the air.

Since I wasn't able to watch the game, I'm breaking down the highlights on YouTube. One thing I'm noticing here is the 1st goal for SCSU. Initially, in real time speed, it appears Eidsness never has control of the puck and Ryan Lasch did a fine job of getting to the loose puck and poking it in. However, if you watch the video, you'll notice at the 2:47 mark that Eidsness clearly has the puck under his glove and brings his goalie stick in to protect the puck. At 2:48, Lasch is crashing the net. At 2:49 his stick slides under Eidsness's glove and appears to knock the puck loose. He then is able to put it into the net. What baffles me is how this goal can go to replay and the refs are unable to determine that Eidsness clearly had control of the puck and froze it, therefore rendering the puck dead. The whistle should have been blown. The goal should have been no good. This has been called against North Dakota plenty of times, so you can understand my frustration here.

From what else I'm seeing, Baby Toews is really coming into his own this season. He's my definition of a true grinder. A very hard working player that gives 110% on every shift and makes things happen out of nothing. Of Sioux players in the past, some other grinders that come to mind are Erik Fabian, Chris Porter, and Quinn Fylling. Sure, these guys weren't exactly the best talent on the ice, like David Toews, but they were certainly hard workers who were able to make things happen. Baby Toews is making things happen out there. As are other guys like baby baby Lammy and Baby Zajac...notice a trend here?

Anyway, it was a hard fought game, a "character win" as Coach Hakstol put it. Looking for another good effort tonight from our beloved squad.

November 13, 2009

It's Friday, which means hockey!

Yay, after a week off, it's back to Sioux hockey!

First, Schloss had an article about how popular college hockey is in the midwest. It really is impressive the numbers that the F5 puts up. I know it's an event I plan on attending every year, and have since 2003, only missing 2006 due to airline training.

Anyway, the Sioux play the Huskies of St. Cloud this weekend. I think while it should be a lock for a sweep, it won't come easy. The Sioux may be without Hextall for some injury reason. However, St. Cloud won't have Roe tonight for violating a team rule.

Bottom line is, the Sioux should come out this weekend with a sweep. That's my call.

Another interesting article here

What is DU's obsession with North Dakota?

Stumbled across the DU blog today, where again, they are taking digs at North Dakota. My only question is, why?

Check it out...if you want

November 11, 2009

Lofquist leaves the Gopher progam

I learned a couple days ago that Sam Lofquist left the Gopher program early. This is the 4th Gopher to depart the program early in the last three years (Kyle Okposo in 2007, Jimmy O'Brien and Jake Taylor in 2008) and you have to this just on the players, or is it on the coaches?

Granted, I know there are players that leave programs early from every team in every league, but you have to wonder why so many players have departed the Gopher program early. Are some of these players coming in with unrealistic expectations? Is the coaching staff making these players roles unclear? Or are the players just selfish, looking out for their best interests and not the teams?

I think in the case of Lofquist, it's just selfish. He didn't play a lot this year (3 of 8 games) and didn't register a point. It's pretty clear to me that he had one foot in and one foot out of the Gopher program. You all know how much I hate the college player leaving early, but to leave in the middle of the season? Inexcusable. And ultimately, it has to fall on the coaching staff. Don't recruit guys that are flight risks. Make sure every player is understanding of their role. And if you think they are going to leave, yank their scholarship so you can give it to a player that is deserving of it and wants it.

Article from the Star Tribune

November 8, 2009

Great weekend for the Sioux

Well then. I'm not used to this. A Sioux team that is dominating in the first half of the season? This is kind of bizarre, is it not?

The Sioux traveled up to Houghton this last weekend, a place where they do ok, not great. Against a Tech team that for some reason, gives teams like the Sioux fits every now and then. But the Sioux rose up and swept the Huskies and are sharing first place in the WCHA with Denver and Colorado College.

My thing I was most impressed with this weekend was the play of Evan Trupp. This is a kid that had a great freshman season but suffered a crucial injury against Duluth, causing him to miss the rest of the season. Last year, he wasn't bad, but wasn't impressive either. I said it at the beginning of the year that the junior class would define this team, and Evan certainly looked up to the task over the weekend, scoring 3 goals in the two wins.

Also, a guy that I think is going to make a big impact this year is baby Toews. Following in his brothers footsteps, I'm sure he's getting a lot of flak from other teams about not being the better Toews brother. He might not be as talented as Johnny, but I tell you what, this kid can play. He's gritty, he hustles, and he is always looking to make a play. The goal he scored last night proves it. Banging in your own rebound is tough. But he stayed with the puck the whole time.

I don't want to look too far ahead...but in two weekends, it looks like the showdown of the WCHA powerhouses is going to come to a head in Denver. I know George is looking forward to it; he said so in his postgame interview. The Sioux first have to play St. Cloud.

November 4, 2009

The UP Sucks

I guess I should blog about the upcoming series...but I don't have a lot to say about it.

The Sioux are playing Tech this weekend, in Houghton. I hate this town. In fact, I hate the region of the country that this stupid city is located in. Here's some reasons why.

Have you ever heard of the "Yooper Loop"? This is some sort of confusing roundabout that doesn't operate like a regular roundabout. Instead, it basically sucks you in and spits you out in random ways that you can't even comprehend. Every Tech fan will tell you it's really easy to figure out, but I still say it's a retarded piece of engineering.

The Michigan State Patrol has cars that still have the single light on top of them. I'm not talking cool either, like in Miami Vice. We're talking Unsolved Mystery era here. You drive by them and you're feeling like you're in some 70's Unsolved Mystery episode. And then you really do wish some unnamed killer would come up to your car and shoot you, just so you're put out of your misery.

The UP has some real creative names for roads and rivers. Two mile road, Three mile road, East Branch Firesteel River. Don't even get me started on the town names. Here are some examples: Bovine, Assanins, Baraga, and Gay. Plus there's just some things that are straight bizarre, like a hotel that advertises hot water and heat, another hotel that requires you to go to the lobby to use the phone because there aren't any in the rooms, and one random place where some dude named Bingo owns everything in town.

You ever eat a "Pasty"? I hadn't either until I visited the UP. As Dirty so infamously put it that day, these are nothing more than "glorified hot pockets". Seriously, it's a nasty crust, some potatoes, pepper, and I think eggs and meat. They should taste good, in theory, but no. They don't. They are disgusting.

I can think of one good thing about Houghton. They actually have a legit hockey arena. It's like a barn. You ever watch a game in Marquette? It's like watching a hockey game in a warehouse. I'm really amazed Brent doesn't go there more often to play forklift jockey. But Houghton actually reminds me of some of the arenas I played in as a kid.

End rant.