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Fighting Sioux 23
12-08-2012, 09:30 AM
My thoughts from last night...

1) I love this rivalry. IMO, it is the most intense and heated rivalry in the WCHA. These two teams have won the most WCHA games over the last decade, and I'm glad that this rivalry will continue into the NCHC.

2) I thought it was an extremely well played game by both sides for two periods. Each team had stretches where they controlled play, but then the other team would come back and control play. In the portions where neither team dominated it was racehorse hockey. It was a lot of fun to watch, and a great showcase for why college hockey is great.

3) North Dakota wore Denver down by the 3rd, and dominated the last 20 minutes and OT. It doesn't help when you start a game with only 10 forwards (trust me, us North Dakota fans know this all too well), but when you are down to 6 for a part of a period, it is no wonder why Denver looked exhausted. North Dakota was able to take control of play, but...

4) Jusi Olkinuora stole a point for Denver. Coming into this series, I didn't think either side would sweep, but I felt that one side could get three points if their goalie stole them a point in a game where they were outplayed. Jusi did this last night for Denver. If the Pioneers are able to turn the tide around tonight, they could very well leave with 3 points. Jusi made several very good saves, and of course the highlight reel save on MacMillan in the third. He was also helped by a little luck. I can think of at least three occasions where a North Dakota player had the puck on their stick, at least a partial open net, and put the puck wide or high. Rocco Grimaldi was pretty upset with himself after the game last night because he missed a wide open net midway through the third. As the old saying goes, you often create your own luck. Jusi was playing at what I imagine is the top of his game. When you do that, you deserve a little bit of luck.

5) The game had the feeling of a playoff/tournament game, and I liked the fact that both sides responded well to that. Hopefully, this is a good sign for when these teams are playing in March/April. Both teams, at least at this point in the season, are capable of winning it all. Anybody who thought DU was a fluke early in the season and not warranting a top 10 ranking should be silenced by their performance last night. DU is a top 10 team, and are one of the two best teams that North Dakota has played so far (I'd probably give the edge to Notre Dame).

6) As for tonight? If DU is able to regroup and get their legs back, I expect another similar game to last night. However, if Denver shows the signs of fatigue that would only be natural given their unique situation (playing with only 6 forwards for significant minutes, and only having 10 forwards), North Dakota could take advantage and get the win. My guess is that the rivalry, adrenaline, and the motivations by Gwoz will have the Pioneers ready to go tonight. I'll take another barnburner, back and forth match, and could very well see another tie. Goalie play will likely be the difference tonight.

vizoroo
12-08-2012, 05:14 PM
Yes, it was a great game to watch, Fast action up and down the ice. I certainly didn't notice how empty the DU bench got during the game. Can only hope the Pios come out strong. And Jussi was definitley the #1 Star.

Looking forward to another good game tonight.

Mike Rane
12-08-2012, 05:33 PM
Very entertaining game last night. I love this rivalry and looking forward to seeing Denver in the NCHC.

du78
12-08-2012, 05:38 PM
Sam Brittain in goal for DU tonight, otherwise the same line-up.

From DU Game Notes: Josiah Didier (injury), Zac Larraza (flu), Jarrod Mermis (coach's decision) and Larkin Jacobson (team suspension) are listed as inactive for Saturday's game at North Dakota.

Mike Rane
12-08-2012, 06:01 PM
Sam Brittain in goal for DU tonight, otherwise the same line-up.

I don't question the Wizard of Gwoz too often, but I would would stick with the Juice after last nights display...

cross cheque
12-08-2012, 08:09 PM
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, Panzarella is in the lineup.

burd
12-08-2012, 11:08 PM
These two teams have become great rivals. Fun hockey weekend to watch, although last night was a better game. Things are going to get interesting come Feb and March.

Dirty
12-09-2012, 12:25 AM
Dasher Monkey trying to cheat by making the officials review an obvious goal was a sad and pathetic attempt by a man who was obvious out of his element and completely befuddled by what was occurring.

duper
12-09-2012, 01:10 AM
Dasher Monkey trying to cheat by making the officials review an obvious goal was a sad and pathetic attempt by a man who was obvious out of his element and completely befuddled by what was occurring.You truly are an amusing person. It takes a special breed of person to whine about a win. :D

icehawk
12-14-2012, 04:43 PM
Great article from an SI writer on the Sioux.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nhl/news/20121214/north-dakota-hockey/