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brianvf
04-08-2011, 02:04 AM
I started one last year, so might as well start another one for next season. It will be a long offseason.
It is tough watching this year's group of seniors go out without winning the big one. They certainly were on fire at the end of the season, and they just got stoned by a stellar performance from Hunwick.

Moving on to 2011-2012.
The roster is looking like this so far:

Forwards (11):

Jason Gregoire (SR) *
Brett Hextall (SR)
Mario Lamoureux (SR)
Danny Kristo (JR) *
Corban Knight (JR)
Mike Cichy (JR)
Carter Rowney (JR)
Brett Bruneteau (JR)
Brock Nelson (SO)
Derek Rodwell (SO)
Taylor Dickin (SO)

Defense (6):

Ben Blood (SR) *
Andrew MacWilliam (JR)
Joe Gleason (JR)
Ryan Hill (JR)
Derek Forbort (SO)
Dillon Simpson (SO)

Goalies (3):

Brad Eidsness (SR) *
Aaron Dell (JR)
Tate Maris (JR)

Possible Incoming Freshmen (8):

Andrew Panzarella (D)
JT Miller (F)
Rocco Grimaldi (F)
Mark MacMillan (F)
Colten St. Clair (F)
Brendan O'Donnell (F)
Michael Parks (F)
Nick Mattson (D)

*Potential Early Departure (4): Gregoire, Kristo, Blood, Eidsness
Maybe a surprise like Cichy leaving for MJ or something like that.

If no early departures happen, that would leave us with 17 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 3 goalies.
We'll be a younger team, but still very talented. Not as talented as this year...but sometimes those teams still go on to greatness. We'll easily have the best freshmen forward group in the nation with Grimaldi, Miller, MacMillan, St. Clair, O'Donnell, and Parks coming in. I would anticipate Grimaldi having a Zucker or Schwartz type of season for us.
Defense will be solid with Mac, Forbort, and maybe Blood being the anchors. Gleason will be the puck-mover. Mattson should get plenty of playing time as well. If Dell has another season like this year (tough to follow up this year), we could have another special team.

Go Sioux!

jerryj
04-08-2011, 02:07 AM
im excited to see grimaldi.

brianvf
04-08-2011, 02:18 AM
im excited to see grimaldi.

As am I.
Hopefully we can get more than a season or two out of him before he departs. In interviews I've seen with him, he's always talked about moving onto the NHL as quickly as he can...but with his height I would think most teams would want him to get as strong as possible before signing.

Regardless, I'm excited to watch him next season as well.

GoUNH
04-08-2011, 07:18 AM
You forgot to add "offseason" in the thread title

gordwiser
04-08-2011, 09:31 AM
You forgot to add "offseason" in the thread title

We're in denial, cut us some slack.

A Shot and a Goal
04-08-2011, 02:08 PM
Stopping by with a few thoughts after last evening's Michigan-North Dakota game. For North Dakota it was one of those nights when the opposing goalie "stood on his head." Hunwick was superb in net and the Sioux fired all kinds of shots at him, but he and his Wolverine defenders had answers for all of them.

College hockey is in an era during which a team's best players rarely seem to use all of their eligibility before leaving campus to the lure of professional hockey. North Dakota will lose some gifted players to graduation and, before the start of the 2011-2012 season, it's likely the Sioux will lose one or more underclassmen to the siren call of a pro career. North Dakota is just one of many college hockey programs which has to deal with roster attrition to factors other than a player having used all his eligibility. [The team I follow--Denver--lost sophomore Matt Donovan last week to the NYI minor league system].

More than many college hockey programs, North Dakota rebounds and recovers from unexpected roster attrition in strong fashion. Over the past fifteen college hockey seasons, North Dakota and Boston College--either separately or jointly--have appeared in 12 of 15 Frozen Fours and between them have won five NCAA titles. Since 1997 it has been a very safe pre-season assumption that when the Frozen Four takes place either or both the Eagles and Fighting Sioux will be part of the Frozen Four.

I can understand the disappointment North Dakota fans are feeling at present. I also understand the prospects for NoDak to recover from graduation and underclass attrition before the start of next season are quite good. As a longtime DU season ticket holder, I was disappointed that the 2010-2011 schedule had Denver playing at REA, but did not have the Sioux coming to Magness Arena. It's just one piece of fallout from the twelve team alignment in the WCHA. I look forward to the Sioux playing Denver in Magness Arena next year as I think both teams will be among the legitimate contenders to make the NCAA field and do well in the tournament.

Congratulations to the Sioux on an outstanding season. I'll be rooting for Duluth to beat Michigan tomorrow evening and bring home the Bulldogs' first NCAA hockey title and yet another championship for the WCHA.

jerryj
04-08-2011, 09:05 PM
As am I.
Hopefully we can get more than a season or two out of him before he departs. In interviews I've seen with him, he's always talked about moving onto the NHL as quickly as he can...but with his height I would think most teams would want him to get as strong as possible before signing.

Regardless, I'm excited to watch him next season as well.

well yeah im a gopher fan.. so im hoping he is a one and done. its about time you guys have to deal with one or two of those. but he should be fun to hate :) I hope rau takes it to him.

but yeah.. I think he said in a SI interview he wanted to be in the NHL in a year or two. and hes from cali (not canada) so keeping him in north dakota if/when hes got an NHL contract on the table might not be easy..

JOHN SCOTT ROCKS
04-09-2011, 12:43 AM
i started one last year, so might as well start another one for next season. It will be a long offseason.
It is tough watching this year's group of seniors go out without winning the big one.

*potential early departure (4): Gregoire, kristo, blood, eidsness, eades
maybe a surprise like cichy leaving for mj or something like that.

Go sioux!

fyp (if shirtless can help it)

sfo19
04-09-2011, 06:28 AM
well yeah im a gopher fan.. so im hoping he is a one and done. its about time you guys have to deal with one or two of those. but he should be fun to hate :) I hope rau takes it to him.

but yeah.. I think he said in a SI interview he wanted to be in the NHL in a year or two. and hes from cali (not canada) so keeping him in north dakota if/when hes got an NHL contract on the table might not be easy..

Before or after Rau meets Ben Blood?

hockeyenthusiast
04-09-2011, 09:44 AM
It will be a long offseason.

Shorter than for most.

jerryj
04-09-2011, 12:00 PM
Before or after Rau meets Ben Blood?

LOL after dealing with malone and fratin I dont think anyones gonna be intimidated of ben blood. in fact I think for once the gophs might have more aggressive players next year than the sioux. and I realize this is a sioux forum- so Ill stop talking.

Hock Puckly
04-09-2011, 02:07 PM
I received a nice bottle of champagne for a Christmas present and decided to keep it for celebrating the Fighting Sioux NCAA championship.......oh so close! Now I will have to just raise a toast to a great season. Those young men gave a lot of joy to an otherwise long and dull winter, and gave it a greater boost at the end by beating Denver twice. Only 170 some days to puck drop! Go Sioux!

ecbrevik
04-10-2011, 05:32 PM
Coming into this season we had a pretty good idea of what the Sioux should be, a top notch team and national championship contender. This team lived up to those expectations. The Frozen Four loss is still tough to take, as I thought the Sioux had the better of the play. If someone would have told me before Thursday's game that UND would have 40 shots on goal and only one Michigan shot would get past Dell, I would have felt really good about that game.

Next year should be interesting. As has already been said, the team will still be talented, and there is some excellent new talent coming in, especially at forward. However, we don't yet know who will leave early, and the excellent leadership provided by this year's seniors will need to be replaced. I look forward to seeing how next year's team handles this transition.

Dirty
04-10-2011, 07:32 PM
im excited to see grimaldi.

The "Mini"ster you do mean. The greatest nickname I have ever come up with.

Fighting Sioux 23
04-10-2011, 08:21 PM
My thoughts on this season...

The Sioux accomplished everything that they possibly could have, minus the National Championship. Coming into the season, my goals were a top-2 finish in the WCHA, play for the Broadmoor and make the Frozen Four. They accomplished all three, and managed to win both MacNaughton and Broadmoor. The loss to Michigan was tough. Hakstol will continue to be labled Woog, and it's a very fair comparison until he wins a title. At the end of the day, if Hakstol continues to make Frozen Fours, the Sioux will eventually win a title. It was a very good year for the Sioux, and as the years go by, the loss to Michigan will fade to some degree.

My thoughts for next season...

The Senior class will be sorely missed. They put up a ton of goals/points and were great. That being said, there are plenty of VERY good players that will step up. Our blueline should be tremendous once again, and if Dell can have a year similar to this past year, we'll be fine. I'm very excited for the freshmen that will be coming in. Hopefully they will be able to contribute relatively quickly. I'm also anticipating Nelson and Forbort's sophomore campaigns. They both showed flashes of brilliance, yet also immaturity. I'd like to see 15-20 goals out of Nelson, plus see him healthy for the entire season. I think Forbort is a guy that could put up 35+ assists. He has great vision and can pass the puck well.

If Gregoire, Kristo and Blood all stay I think we'll compete for another MacNaughton, and will have an excellent chance for a Broadmoor. Denver should be very good next year, along with Nebraska-Omaha and Duluth. Minnesota will have just as much talent as anyone else in the league, and if they can get everyone working together and clicking they should be very good. Colorado College is always a top notch team, and I think Wisconsin will come back from a relatively disappointing season. St. Cloud should be able to get things going, and it will be interesting to see how Bemidji comes out in their 2nd season in the WCHA. Anchorage had one of their best seasons with a very young team, so I expect them to be solid. The WCHA will be another meat grinder next year, but as has been shown time and time again, so long as you are good and make the NCAAs, anything can happen. I don't really set my expectations until right before the season, but next year could be another very successful, and potentially special, year for North Dakota. My favorite thing about college hockey, and sports in general, is that there is always next year and the future to look forward to. Fortunately for Sioux fans, the future is very, very bright.

Farce Poobah
04-10-2011, 10:02 PM
Next year will probably be more like 2005-2006, where a relatively large number of incoming freshmen will make for growing pains in the first half of season, hopefully followed by another run at WCHA regular season and the postseason titles.

Let's assume for the moment that there's no other early departures. I think there's good reason to hope for such. First is the quality of coaching, as evidenced by the team's decision making with the puck, and how we skate without it. I've seen a bunch of NHL games in the last 2 months, and our defensive zone coverage and poise with the puck are better than a lot of what I've seen. I'm not saying we're as good as an NHL team, just that our execution of fundamental team play is exceptionally good. If you own the rights to Blood, MacWilliam, Simpson, you're probably thinking they will develop faster there than in the AHL with 80 games and limited practices or in the NHL playing 6-8 minutes a game on the 3rd pair. Similarly up front, our play along the walls, our faceoff play, our forecheck, are all evidence of significant team chemistry but also strong coaching. Last, the guys who are most likely to go up are going to get PK, PP time, clutch time and will learn how to handle. Or, maybe my heart is leading my mind here ... ;)

In goal, most teams will kill for a tandem of Dell and Eidsness. With Goehring as volunteer assistant, and the obvious development of Dell this season, I can see UND becoming a "prime destination" for top goaltending recruits.

On defense, what's left looks a lot like what played many nights THIS season. Blood-Forbort, MacWilliam-Simpson, Gleason - [hot competition for #6 slot]. Or on the road, I could see breaking up the pairings to avoid mismatches. Come October, we'll be glad of all the ice time that Simpson & Forbort got this season.

Up front, there will clearly be multiple freshmen in the lineup most nights. That would suggest a rookie mixed in each of lines 2-3-4. I can't see splitting up Gregoire-Knight-Hextall! I'd also like to see a Kristo-Rodwell combination, because I think they would complement each other well. Should be a good balance of size and speed up front. Maybe a bit more tipped toward speed than the last couple Sioux teams.

===============
To the WCHA:

In ranking this far ahead, one can rank teams by their goaltenders. So, I see a top tier of four teams: UNO, UND, CC, and DU. I'd tag UNO as the early favorite (barring more early departures). Deano will finally have most of the roster stacked with his recruits. I can see UNO hockey becoming a hot ticket in Omaha, with average attendance challenging UND. Any of these four could win the NCAA next season.

I see a second tier of UMD and Wisconsin. Depending on locker room chemistry and recruits, and a bounce here or there and either could win a MacNaughton.

I see a third tier of Bemidji (Serratore starting to get some WCHA recruits!), St Cloud, UAA and Minnesota. All could challenge for home ice, and any of them could win the Broadmoor with a good run, but I don't see a MacNaughton happening.

And, a fourth tier of MSU Mankato and Michigan Tech. Too many holes (Youds, Davis) and too far to seriously contend.

=================================
Last, and also on WCHA league topics, I'd like to see a revamp of the playoff format to mirror the CCHA's. Its no coincidence that their NCAA performances have leapt forward since giving their top seeds a weeks rest. Its time for WCHA to do likewise.

Farce Poobah
04-10-2011, 10:18 PM
The other prediction I'll make is that UND's women make a serious run at a national championship. After contending this season despite a short bench, with a full roster next year and some marvelous incoming talent, I can see them taking a run at the top dogs/beasts/rodents. Along the way, I wouldn't be surprised if they lead the nation in attendance; Grand Forks is first and foremost a hockey town and this brand of hockey continues to improve every season.

Fighting Sioux 23
04-10-2011, 10:20 PM
The other prediction I'll make is that UND's women make a serious run at a national championship. After contending this season despite a short bench, with a full roster next year and some marvelous incoming talent, I can see them taking a run at the top dogs/beasts/rodents. Along the way, I wouldn't be surprised if they lead the nation in attendance; Grand Forks is first and foremost a hockey town and this brand of hockey continues to improve every season.

While I think the women's team will be much improved next year, I think 2012-2013 will be their best shot at a national title. It would be fun to see them make a run next season though.

dolan
04-11-2011, 03:11 AM
Nice season boys. Looking forward to next year.

MavHockey14
04-11-2011, 09:53 AM
As am I.
Hopefully we can get more than a season or two out of him before he departs. In interviews I've seen with him, he's always talked about moving onto the NHL as quickly as he can...but with his height I would think most teams would want him to get as strong as possible before signing.

Regardless, I'm excited to watch him next season as well.

the kid should be an absolute joy to watch, great vision and speed.

I definitely was disappointed, just like the team and all of its fans at the end of this season, but now this week we can reflect on how great the season actually was. there's 10 other WCHA teams that would've loved to accomplish all that the Sioux did this year. Hopefully playing with the senior class this year will help Blood and Gregoire want to stay here, etc, as they came so close but didn't "drink from the cup."

I'm so excited for next season, my first season as a season ticket holder!:)