The Sioux are in first place. By one point. 1st through 4th in the WCHA are separated by all of 2 points. UND has 32, DU has 31, and UMD/UNO both have 30. The next closest team is Wisconsin with 24 points. With three series left in the regular season, the Sioux are in a good position to get some points and probably take the MacNaughton. The question is, is that the best move for this team?
We've seen the past couple years the Sioux add some hardware to their trophy case, with the winning of the MacNaughton in the 2008-2009 season and the winning of the Broadmoor in 2009-2010. While these were nice additions to an already very full trophy case, none of them are the one that all us Sioux fans covet ridiculously, which is the NC trophy. In my opinion, the teams exhausted themselves by winning both the MacNaughton and the Broadmoor. Now people will be quick to point out that the Sioux went to the Frozen Four in 2006 after winning the Final Five, but that team also had John-Phillipe Lamoureux as goalie, who was quite frankly the best goaltender for the Sioux the past decade.
So the question is this: does this team have the ability/stamina to make a run at all 3 trophies? To help me figure it out, I asked my buddy Steve, who saw the team play in CC a couple weekends ago.
Steve summed it up as this: If they play like they did Friday night, the Sioux are going nowhere. If they play like they did Saturday night, this team will run the table no problem.
It seems a little more complicated then that, but then he and I discussed the depth of this team. To be honest, I can't remember a Sioux team that was this stacked from top to bottom. Sure, teams in the past have had great talent, and this team is no exception, but while this years team might not have the flashy players of the past, Frattin, Marto, Pony, Genoway, Blood, Trupp, and Gregoire are doing a damn fine job of playing hockey. Kristo and Genoway are out and yet the team didn't miss a beat last weekend against a feisty UAA team. There's something special about this team this year. I can't quite put my finger on it, and to be honest, it might just be the coaching intangibles. But regardless of what it is, you gotta be impressed with the Sioux this year.
They are in the drivers seat for their own destiny. Keep playing like they are, and a #1 seed is in their grasp. As Steve said, if they play like they did against CC on Saturday, their destiny should include the Frozen Four.
Thanks Steve for your "insight" ;-)