Expansion Draft Three Thoughts

The NHL Expansion Draft is now complete. The Vegas Golden Knights have their initial roster. They selected 30 players and traded for a few more. By the end of the night Vegas ended up with 12 picks in the 2017 draft. Five of those picks are in the first two rounds. Here are some quick thoughts on what took place tonight.

  • Why on earth did Florida give up Reily Smith just to lose a 30 goal scorer in Jonathan Marchessault? I get that Florida is not a cap team, but in my mind you cannot justify giving up a player who is just a year removed from a 50 point season in a third line role. Smith will bring some needed depth scoring to Vegas right away. To me this was the worse trade of the night for a team losing a player to the Golden Knights. While yes, the Panthers gained five million dollars in cap room, they lost two promising players who can score with some regularity. The Panthers still have a bright outlook next year, but they now need a bit more out of their up and comers and have to hope Jaromir Jagr comes back for another season. Florida just gave up 88 points between the two from last season to rid themselves of five million dollars in cap room.
  • Look for Vegas to pick up another goalie or more shortly. Tonight they selected Calvin Pickard, Marc-Andre Fleury, and J.F Berube. Berube was selected as part of a deal with the Islanders where Vegas also took on the contract of injured forward Mikhail Grabovski, and Jake Bischoff. The former Isles goalie has an expiring contract, and Vegas needs multiple goalies for its AHL and ECHL teams. Pickard is a serviceable backup that can start when called upon. Look for the Golden Knights to draft multiple goalies as well. Jake Oettinger out of Boston University would be one possible choice for them. He could move through their system quickly and start for them in three years.
  • Vegas has a lot of options with some of the players it picked up. Teams are willing to pay a premium for quality defenseman like Marc Methot, and Vegas wants more picks and assets to help them build for the future. Dallas has let teams know they are looking at moving their third pick and need help on their blue line. The Golden Knights have plenty of options and could put together a package to get that pick.

 

 

Michael Quesenberry: UND Track and Field

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Photo credit: UND athletics

Michael Quesenberry, graduated from Billings West High School in 2014. He decided to come to University of North Dakota to compete on the track and field team because his older brother, Brandon, competed in Track as well as football. He competes at the college level in shot put and discus. He also said that the other offers he received were for warm climates and he likes the cold.  Quesenberry was also going to play football but sadly had a poor experience with a non-UND college coach, so he decided to put everything into field. Which has worked out pretty well for him as, Quesenberry currently holds second place in UND history with a throw of 17.29 meters in shot put.

Quesenberry has the most infectious personalities, he is someone that can be friends with anyone.  He likes to spend time with his friends and watching sports. His favorite teams include Bangles, Blackhawks, LA Angels. He recently was baptized in the Catholic church and is part of FCA, which is the fellowship of Christian Athletes. He redshirted the 2015-2016 outdoor season and the 2016-2017 indoor season, due to an injury, allowing him to have two more full seasons to compete. He might not need both years though as he is a junior in the communications program.

Quesenberry has dreams of becoming a real estate agent, because he likes to make people happy and get them the best deal that he can. One of the best parts about being part of UND athletics, is no matter what your affiliation, they know each other and support one another. It’s like a family. “It is hard to be at a school, where the student body doesn’t care about the sport you compete in, but that’s just the nature of track and field.”

Kelly Nordling: UND Track and Field

 

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Photo from UND Athletics

Kelly Nordling is sophomore majoring in communications with hopes of working with a sports team in some way.  Nordling came to the University of North Dakota track team as a jumper but has since been moved to running the 400 meter hurdles (personal best 57.46 seconds). Track was not his first spring sport choice. He started playing baseball but during his 7th grade basketball season, Nordling dislocated his shoulder and didn’t think it would hold up during the fast approaching baseball season. His family has always been keen on keeping everyone busy by participating in sports year around, so a new activity had to be chosen, track and golf where the only options at the small high school in Montgomery MN.

Freshman year of college was a complicated for Nordling. His mom had found a questionable mole and decided it needed to be looked at. Cancer was the diagnosis. Not only a freshman in college but an athlete as well. Treatment was a success but nonetheless freighting and difficult to handle. None of this shifted Nordling’s dreams. Kevin Garnet said, “There is always someone working harder than you are, you can’t sleep on them” has become a source of inspiration. As sophomore year approached it was time to start looking ahead to the new season.

In high school, he was a jumper both high and triple as well as part of the 4×4 and 4×2 relays. His father, who was one of his coaches had always told him he should try hurdles, “I guess I should have listened to him” Nordling said. The biggest thing he is working on improving is learning the race. 400 meter hurdles come with their own set of problems. “I have to work on my timing really, knowing when to slow down and when to speed up. It’s a real problem.”  Nordling competed for the first time in six weeks after an ankle injury that occurred during practice.

Kelly Nordling said that being a part of a UND athletics program is one of the best decisions he has made in his young life. He has made many friends and enjoys spending time with them. Nordling is a part of FCA, which is the fellowship of Christian Athletes on campus. His favorite teams are Minnesota Timberwolves, Vikings and Wild.

San Jose Sharks vs Edmonton Oilers: Round 1, Game 1

After taking time to process through the emotions from the Sharks overtime win over the Oilers.

1st: The game started and I was so excited for playoff season to be underway!! It started off really good, SJ recorded the first three shots on net. I was thinking Okay, they got this!  Then all hell broke loose!! Everything fell apart from two minutes in till Caggiula’s hooking penalty at 19:45. Things started to pick up in those 15 seconds. Sharks made it out of the first, down 2-0

2nd:  1:43 minutes in the second Joel Ward gets it started with a power play goal! Making it 2-1. I am always hard on Ward. I am defiantly not his biggest fan! I made a beat with Oliver that if SJ pulled out a win. I would not say anything bad about him in game 2…I am glad I am eating my words…This would be the only goal of the second period. The Sharks dominated! I was on the edge of my seat!!

3rd: Started off just as well as the second. Tomas Hertl working hard behind the net to kick it out to Paul Martin who crushes into the back of the net making it his first playoff goal as a San Jose Shark at 14:38, 2-2…Tied…in the 3rd… So, now my heart is pounding and I swear I was going to be going to the ER with how hard my heart was working. San Jose continued to keep control of the game and it would stay that way. Jones didn’t allow a single puck to get behind him. Now, into overtime!! I seriously think I am going to die…I am on my feet and I don’t think I sat down at all during the intermission.

Overtime: 3 and 22 seconds in Vlasic makes a pass that hits right on Karlsson’s tape beating Talbot glove side corner. Over time ends!! Rogers Place falls dead silent for the first time all game. The sea of orange slowly turns into a slow-moving stream up the stairs…

A few thoughts: Hertl was unstoppable last night. He took the spot of Thornton and didn’t look back. Having Hertl on the power play is a huge advantage and I think that he is going to be the future of the San Jose Sharks! To be honest I have only been a Sharks fan since last April, when I got back into watching hockey. Vlasic is so understated as a player. He is a play maker!

 

I am looking forward to biting my nails to watch game 2!!

 

An Interview with Taylor Flaherty on the impact of UND Women’s Hockey

How has participating in the women’s hockey team helped you grow as a person?

I’ve grown as a person because We all have dealt with adversity in hockey that wouldn’t normally occur in regular life. You learn how to manage your time better with school, work, social lives, and our busy hockey schedule. You learn to balance plenty of things that the average person wouldn’t have to worry about. Not to mention the mental and physical strength it takes to participate in a sport like hockey.

What was the most useful thing you learned about yourself while being a part of the UND Athletics program?

To never give up. Even if you make a mistake, bounce back and be better. If something isn’t going your way do not let up; work harder, put in the extra work, improve yourself, and always do your absolute best.

Do you think you would be the same person you are today if you would not have attended UND and played hockey?

No. I have met new people in never would have known if I hadn’t gone to UND. I have made lifelong friends here on this team. I have never been on a team that gets along so well with each other. There is no drama, we truly are a family.

How do you think you have inspired other young girls to play hockey?

Yes, we as female college athletes and hockey players are role models for young girls. As the Lamoureux sisters said,  “girls cannot become what they cannot see” and I absolutely believe that. I remember when I was a kid and how much I looked up to the older female athletes that would help run the camps I attended. I wanted to be just like them. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing those young girls come out to see us at Fan Fest or when they come down to our locker room after games and line up for our autographs.

What has been your favorite on ice memory at UND?

 

I would have to say our last game of this year this past season against Wisconsin. We played so well! I was so proud of this team and everything we accomplished. We battled so hard against the top team in the country and almost won. After seeing us play like that I was so excited for the upcoming seasons and our potential!

 

What are some lessons from hockey you’ve taken to your studies?

 

I would argue that everything you learn in hockey can be applied to life outside of athletics. I’ve learned to work hard in school and be consistent. Team work, listening to different opinions and communicating. Being responsible and following through with commitments.

 

What is your favorite thing about hockey as a whole?

My team. The camaraderie. I look around our locker room and see 25 girls that would do anything for me and I would do anything for them. Every day we go work together.

 

What is your favorite memory with teammates off the ice?

 

My favorite off ice memory… there are wayyy too many to just say one. Everyday is an adventure and an honor to be a part of such a great organization. We have something special here and I would hate to see that go.

 

Why did you choose to come to UND?

 

I decided to come to UND because I wanted to be a part of this legacy. UND is a hockey school and I wanted to be a part of the biggest show in town. The Ralph is amazing and immediately eye catching. There is not a better facility and opportunity for hockey then here at UND. This school and community was built for hockey with all of its support and enthusiasm.

 

An Interview with Margot Miller on the Impact of UND Women’s Hockey

We recently had the chance to talk to Margot Miller, an alumnus of the UND Women’s Hockey program. We started doing these interviews because we want to focus more on the impact of the program off the ice as Women’s Hockey is part of the recent round of athletics cuts at UND.

While we both understand the harsh reality of budgets and deficits, we feel it is important to know what the University is losing from its campus. The best way to show what this University is giving up on, from our vantage point, is by providing an outlet for everyone who has ever played for, or been associated with the program to have a place to speak out about how this severe cut will deny opportunities to not only on-ice stars, but to the next Scholar-Athlete who could use their education at UND to make the world a better place like Margot is doing on a daily basis.

Below are our questions and her answers.

What was the most useful thing you learned about yourself while being apart of the UND athletics program?

“Playing hockey at a high level has provided me with so many learning experiences and positives attributes. The most useful thing I learned about myself and now translating into my everyday life is how to handle pressure and being a good team player. I am an ER nurse, which requires me to work under extreme pressure and make quick decisions. Another huge aspect of nursing is being able to work in a team setting, being able to be a team player has helped me succeed in my life after UND athletics as a nurse.”

Do you think you would be the same person you are today if you would not have attended UND and played hockey?

“No, absolutely not. UND and Hockey has shaped me into the person I am today. I never thought I would have stayed in Grand Forks after graduation but I fell in love with the community and UND which is so supportive and tight knit. UND and Hockey have created so many opportunities for me professionally and I will forever be grateful for what UND has provided me along with the sport of hockey. Many others should have a chance at what I had.”

How do you think you have inspired other young girls to play hockey?

“Playing at the best facility in college hockey at the highest level was a dream for me and I hope that inspires young girls to dream big. Continuing to be active in the Grand Forks hockey community as well as outreach efforts to better girls hockey in our community.”

What was your favorite on ice memory at UND?

“I have several. Clinching our first WCHA final face-off birth against Bemidji in dramatic fashion in OT at Purpur arena. Sweeping the Gophers in Ridder. Making history when we made it to the NCAA tournament in 2012 my senior year.”

What do you try to teach the players you coach now?

To be a good person no matter the circumstances. At times I catch myself using the same phrases or teaching points my UND coaches taught me. To leave it all out on the ice and have no regrets. I try to prepare my players not only with hockey skills but the skills to succeed in life and in their professional careers.”

What is your favorite thing about hockey as a whole ?

“Being apart of something bigger than myself. ”

What has been your best memory with any of your teammates since you have graduated?

“I currently serve as the assistant coach for the Grand Forks KnightRiders Girls Varsity hockey team. Our team went into the state tournament in 6th place this season. The girls left it all out on the ice and we ended up finishing in 2nd place. The best part of it all was coaching alongside my former teammate Tori Williams.”

 

Thoughts on the New NHL Hawks

With UND’s season ending multiple players have signed NHL deals over the past week and a half. Here are some thoughts about what each player brings to their new squad.

Brock Boeser-Vancouver Canucks

Canucks fans, do you like having a consistent sniper on the wing who can score more than 30 goals a season and out skate the other team? If so Brock Boeser could one day soon be the answer to the eternal, ‘who plays with the Sedins’ ?, conundrum. The Minnesota native had wrist surgery and missed the World Juniors. When he was out, UND’s scoring fell off as its more physical players instantly faced tougher match ups. When Brock is on he can score goals at a blistering pace. He also has the capacity to be a consistent defensively responsible forward depending on how he is used. If you have a tough goal-scoring winger that can back check,well, ask any Capitals fan about how rare it is to have a player like that on your team.

Tucker Poolman-Winnipeg Jets

The East Grand Forks native is recovering from multiple shoulder injuries. When healthy he will be the Jets’ fifth or sixth defenseman next season. Tucker Poolman has a booming point shot and knows how to not get caught trying to do too much. Pairing Poolman with an offensive minded left shot defenseman would give the Jets the best of both worlds. They would get a reliable defender who can score when needed, which would allow another one of their defenseman to take more chances. This could benefit someone like Josh Morrissey who , so far, has not come close to matching his WHL output.

Tyson Jost-Colorado Avalanche

Tyson Jost leaving is the biggest blow to UND. He is a complete player who has broken Connor McDavid’s scoring record in the U-18 World Championship. Tyson is a dominant two-way forward that will be at the core of Colorado’s rebuild. In his brief time at UND, Jost has routinely scored highlight-reel goals and made strong plays defensively. The new Avalanche forward can produce a point per game as well as be a future Selke trophy candidate if he continues to play his strong defensive game. Jost had an integral part getting Canada to the semifinals in the U18 World Championships in April, a key role in getting UND back to the NCAA tournament, and will be asked to do the same thing for the Avalanche as he develops.

Ideas to Improve College Hockey Replay: My Opinion

In the Fargo Regional in the first round of the NCAA tournament. UND came so close to beating the Terriers of Boston. It looked like UND won on a thrilling overtime goal by Dixon Bowen. After an overly lengthy review the goal was overturned.

Now, let’s set the basic premise of my opinion, getting the call right on the ice is always the first goal of any officiating crew. Sometimes calls are missed, which is why video review can be helpful. Was Bowen offsides? Perhaps, as UND head coach Brad Berry indicated that the call was right. That is not my main issue with hockey replay, especially in a winner-take-all scenario.

My issue is that overturn took almost as long if not longer than the 14 minute on ice delay to fix the broken pane of glass at Scheels Arena. UND was outworking the Terriers during that overtime period where the Terriers had zero shots on net. The Fighting Hawks had five shots on net that period. Boston had used its timeout.

Having an overly long review there served as another timeout for the Terriers and allowed them to regroup and hold UND off the board the rest of the way.

Do I know what the correct proper amount of time is to determine all calls?

Of course not.

Do I know that if you cannot get a clear look based on cameras available without using an off angle from the opposite end of the arena, it should be ok to go with the on ice call?

Of course I do.

Hockey replays in college hockey need to be standardized. There needs to be one review center somewhere looking at the games going on. All arenas must have blue line cameras for at least NCAA Tournament games. There also needs to be a much tighter standard than see if we can rewind the play enough times to give ourselves confirmation bias and call it the way we think we should because we have been in this box for so long. Reviews need to have a hard and fast time rule, if you cannot find clear and definitive evidence within a certain amount of time, the call on the ice stands.

Protections need to be put in place to insure that the officials do not end up reviewing their own calls. If the roles were flipped, Boston fans would have just as much to gripe about as UND fans.

Is there a perfect solution to shortening replay review times whilst getting calls right ?

No.

Is there at least a start through taking video review out of the officials hands and installing blue line cameras during the postseason ? Are there things that need to be ironed out to make this work?

Undoubtedly yes.

This article is some left over ideas that I have had for a while with Friday serving as a prime example of them.

Leave a comment if you have some other ideas or thoughts on my own ideas of how to prevent the lengthy postseason reviews to improve the flow of the game and benefit everyone with a stake in this great game of college hockey.

 

Boston University Shatters UND’s Title Hopes 4-3 in Double OT

On March 24 at Scheels arena, UND came up short against the Boston University Terriers 4-3 in double overtime. Charlie McAvoy found the back of the net on a perfect cross-crease pass from play maker extraordinaire, Clayton Keller. Boston won this game thanks to its superb defense and outstanding job limiting UND second chances. The Fighting Hawks won the shot attempts battle 145-67, yet the Terriers blocked 51 of those shots and UND missed 33 of them. North Dakota was done in by a strong Boston effort on the back end and timely transition opportunities. Jake Oettinger played a great game tonight. The freshman netminder for Boston never looked out of position and made several key saves to allow the Terriers time to survive the constant UND pressure.

The first period featured a series of back and forth exchanges. Both sides had their chances. As the game wore on, Boston’s speed was on full display. Cam Johnson had the first big save on a small breakaway from Kieffer Bellows.

17:04 in the first, Joel Janatuinen fired a pass to Rhett Gardner who used his long reach to put the puck in the net around Terrier netminder, Jake Oettinger. This goal is Gardner’s eighth tally of his sophomore season.

Boston University had some chances the rest of the way, but it remained a 1-0 game for UND after the first period.

2:05 in the second period, Doyle Somerby found the back of a wide open net to tie the game up. UND had chances throughout the rest of the period, but could not convert. Every time it looked good, Oettinger made a key save or UND missed the net.

Early in the third period, Bobo Carpenter took a superb setup from Clayton Keller to fire a puck past Cam Johnson and stake the Terriers to their first lead of the contest.

04:24 into the third period, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson put a puck past Johnson to give Boston a 3-1 lead. UND looked tired at this point.

After a 14 minute delay  due to a pane of glass shattering thanks to a nice check by Mike Gornall, UND came back to tie the game thanks to goals from Ludvig Hoff and later by Christian Wolanin. That was the score until the McAvoy marker in the second overtime period.

In the first overtime, Dixen Bowen looked to have the game winner, however after an inordinately long review UND was determined to be off sides and the goal was waved off. This goal was overturned thanks to a sky cam like angle from the opposite goal end.

The Fighting Hawks have not lost to a team other than Boston University in the postseason since 2015. The challenge for UND is trying to retain as many of its underclassmen as possible as the Fighting Hawks bid farewell to seniors Matt Hrynkiw and Gage Ausmus.

 

NCAA Tournament-Quick Regional Picks

The NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey tournament gets underway in a few hours. Here are some quick picks. One thing to keep in mind, half or more of these will end up wrong sense this tournament is known for low seeds winning and favorites falling.

On to the picks.

Midwest Regional 

Denver vs Michigan Tech

The Huskies have had a great season but will come up short against the all-world Pioneers.

Denver wins 5-2

Penn State vs. Union 

Mike Vechione and Spencer Foo are two of the most dynamic players in this tournament. They can singlehandedly change the course of a game and will have an upstart Penn State team on its heels.

Union wins 3-1

Regional Final 

Union has strong scoring and forward depth, but Denver is more battle-tested and plays a more physical brand of hockey. The Pioneers will win this game in a physical, dominating fashion.

Denver wins 5-2

Northeast Regional

Minnesota vs. Notre Dame

Irish goalie Cal Petersen is a game-changer for the Irish. The Sabres prospect has a 92.8 save percentage this season for Notre Dame. I expect Petersen to have a stellar day for the Irish.

Notre Dame wins 4-1

Cornell-Umass Lowell

Both teams have had a strong season, this game is a toss up, however based on Lowell’s regular season, and the fact that they play in the second best conference in the NCAA, I think Lowell will win.

Lowell wins 2-1

Regional Final

Notre Dame will be lead by Petersen on to Chicago.

Irish Win 4-2

East Regional 

Harvard-Providence

Harvard is one of the few teams that will challenge Denver for the title this season. Providence will benefit from playing in its home city. Harvard has the better team, lead by Bruins prospect Ryan Donato.

Harvard wins 5-4

Air Force-Western Michigan

Air Force is a fast team, the Broncos are a more physical team that will knock the Falcons off the puck.

Broncos win 2-1

Final

Harvard wins 4-2

West Regional

Duluth-Ohio State

This will be a high scoring game if NCHC-like officiating doles out the power plays. Duluth’s physical and penalty kill prowess will propel them to the final over the power play reliant Buckeyes.

Duluth wins 3-1

North Dakota-Boston

North Dakota has been plagued by inconsistency throughout the year just as they look to roll off a long streak. Boston has had similar issues, however, the Terriers have more offensive weapons than the Fighting Hawks, and better goal tending.

Boston wins 4-1

Regional Final 

Duluth will overpower the Terriers thanks to their strong physical play, and key contributions from players like Riley Tufte.

Duluth wins 4-1