Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week 1 Recap

I wasn't too sure how I was going to approach the blog posting during the season, being this is a new gig for me and all. At first I considered just posting stuff as it happened, but after additional thought I have decided to go the route of more structured weekly recaps. The recaps will feature reaction, thoughts, and opinions on the Sioux action from the previous weekend as well as highlights and summaries from the week that was for former and future Sioux. I'm getting this week's recap out well after the weekend's play came to a close, but I hope to get future recaps posted in a more timely manner, specifically by Monday night. This will be in addition to the usual articles, features, videos, and other news items I have been posting with some semblance of regularity. I will still be doing other posts in addition to the weekly recaps, and I've been pretty good (thus far) about staying on top of things in the Twitter universe (give me a follow @SiouxTradition if you'd like). So without further adieu...

Week 1 Recap
I haven't had an opportunity to watch the replays of either of last weekend's games, so all thoughts from the Ice Breaker are my initial reactions. Friday night saw the Sioux defeat Air Force 4-3, while on Saturday night Boston College claimed the tournament championship with a 6-2 victory over North Dakota.
  • In both games, the defensive corps really seemed to struggle, but those struggles were magnified Saturday night due to the skill level of BC. 
  • Air Force is a hardworking, skilled and smart team, but they don't have the high-end talent to capitalize on miscues the way BC was able to. Some of the turnovers and missed assignments that Air Force was unable to take advantage of on Friday turned into goals when they were presented to BC. 
  • The silver lining to all this is that a lot of the suspect play we saw this weekend is fixable and will be cleaned up. I thought North Dakota skated with BC just fine and kept up with them all night. The vaunted Eagle team speed wasn't what did the Sioux in, it was simply some sloppy play that a very good team took advantage of. 
  • Our top line, much like during the exhibition game, was clearly a cut above the rest of our combinations in terms of regularly generating offensive chances. 
  • Brock Nelson was sensational Friday night, potting two goals to go with an assist and he is noticeably stronger on his skates, both with and without the puck. Corban Knight was also very good.
  • We saw Derek Forbort score his first collegiate goal Saturday, when we also saw highly-touted freshman Rocco Grimaldi hit the ice for the first time as a Sioux. I think it's fair to assume he wasn't 100% healthy Saturday considering he wasn't healthy enough to even get into the lineup just the day before. He did show some flashes of being the dynamic top-end talent we were expecting to see, and with full health I believe we'll begin to see that talent with regularity. Rocco is also one of the Top 10 Americans to keep an eye on this season.
  • It's very important to remember that this is a very young team and it is very early in the season. They played two good teams and came away with a split without playing their best hockey. This season could be a rollercoaster ride as the youngsters and veterans alike adjust to their surroundings: the freshman need time to adjust to the college game and the veterans also need time to adjust to their new teammates. If there is one thing I'm confident in, it is that the coaching staff will have this team playing their best hockey after the Christmas break as they make another strong run down the stretch.
  • UND now sits at #6 in both the USA Today/USA Hockey and USCHO polls.
The NHL and AHL seasons both kicked off last week, and several former Sioux got off to great starts:
Sioux Recruits:
  • Luke Johnson had two assists for the Lincoln Stars last Friday in a 4-3 loss to Waterloo. He now has three assists two games into the young USHL season.
  • Jordan Schmaltz notched two goals and an assist over the weekend, including Saturday's one goal and one assist performance on his 18th birthday. His Sioux City Musketeers split their two weekend games, and earlier this week he was recognized as the USHL's Defensive Player of the Week. He earned Defensive Player of the Week honors on five occasions last season.
  • Luke Voltin, who is currently second in scoring on the USNTDP U-17 team with two goals and four assists in seven games, is happy his parents gave him the option to play hockey. Voltin and Schmaltz are also two of Chris Peters' early USHL standouts.
  • Stefan Matteau leads the Under-18 team in scoring through the first seven games with one goal and four assists.
Other Info:
  • Senior goaltender Brad Eidsness is a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
  • Last season we saw four players reach a significant Fighting Sioux milestone as Matt Frattin, Chay Genoway, Jason Gregoire, and Evan Trupp all joined the Century Club by reaching the 100 point mark for their respective careers. Who might do it this year? Juniors Danny Kristo (64) and Corban Knight (57) are the two odds-on favorites.
  • There have been rumblings of North Dakota taking part in an outdoor game next season against Nebraska-Omaha. Thus far it all appears to be speculative in nature, but it would certainly make for a fun day of outdoor hockey should it become a reality. Nebraska-Omaha, of course, is coached by former Fighting Sioux head coach Dean Blais, who is yet another with North Dakota connections to keep an eye on this season.
  • And lastly, a very dedicated Colorado College fan has a remarkable streak going. UND staff is looking into whether Fighting Sioux hockey has had any such streaks.

    1 comment:

    1. Two seasons ago, i remember the Ralph (during a game) recognizing a 100 year old lady who had season tickets since 1947. I think that is pretty cool. wonder if/what she is doing still.