The Sioux are in a real tough position right now...
Let's discuss the weekend series against Denver. I was going to blog on Friday how Denver might be UND's biggest rival. Right now, it seems irrelevant. Why? Because UND showed up and played like they were playing a team from another conference. DU showed up and took the Sioux seriously. UND showed up and acted like the season was over.
On Friday night, the Pioneers stormed to a quick 2-0 lead, then seemed content to sit on their heels. The Sioux team, while trying to take advantage of a lot of opportunities, couldn't capitalize on a very, very good goaltender. Needless to say, they lost 2-0.
On Saturday night, the Sioux scored twice to lead 2-0. They kept the pressure up, but DU got one goal and it just deflated the team. Just like that, DU scored two more to get a 3-2 lead. They scored a 4th and won 4-2.
While I was watching the game, I noticed the team was just uninspired. They looked flat and no one really is seeming to play with fire in their heart. Schloss pointed out that the contribution from the 3rd and 4th line has been non-existent in the past few games. This was where UND needed a lot of contribution if it had any hope of having a decent season.
I'll echo my thoughts on losing Genoway again...teams lose good players to injury all the time. It happens. To compare, the Minnesota Twins lost Justin Morneau, their all-star and MVP 1st Baseman to a back injury last year right in the heart of their run to the post-season. Other players stepped up in his absence, and while it took a playoff game to get into the post-season, they pulled it off, even without one of their best players. They didn't quit. They pressed on. The Sioux should be able to do the same. Every kid on that roster is capable of playing well at the collegiate level. Or else they wouldn't be there. Plain and simple. These guys need to start playing with some heart. While home ice may not be achievable, they can ensure they will play the 5th place team in the playoffs, which will be a toss-up game at best.