UND Flies Past Manitoba 6-2:A Recap and Three Thoughts

Photo Credit: (Kelsey Lee for Violent Turtle Photography)

Tonight, in front of 10,682 fans anxious to see their first UND Men’s Hockey game in 190 days, UND stormed past the Manitoba Bisons 6-2. All six of UND’s rookies contributed in the win as the Fighting Hawks rolled all four of its lines in a balanced attack.

In the first period, UND was a bit on its heels for a little bit as Remi Laurencelle of Manitoba caused a turnover in the neutral zone, and converted a breakaway to give the Bisons the early lead 4:37 into the first period.

The Bisons’ lead lasted for less than two minutes (1:54) as Ludvig Hoff converted on an Austin Poganski pass to tie things up.

Later on in the period at the 16:17 mark, Grant Mismash tapped in a Colin Adams pass to give UND a lead which it would not relinquish.

During the second period, Christian Wolanin converted a superb cross-ice pass from Colin Adams to give the Hawks a two goal lead.

Later on, after a Bisons goal by Calvin Spencer, Hoff potted his second tally of the evening. Jordan Kawaguchi and Johnny Simonson would add two of their own markers to round out the scoring for the evening.

Cam Johnson stopped ten of twelve shots in two periods. Freshman goalie Peter Thome made his debut in the third period, and saved all five shots he faced.

Three Thoughts

Depth Depth Depth 

That word was repeated a lot at media day this week. What that meant in a game was shown tonight. Every line had positives in the game. Every line had someone contribute something to the cause.

Another example of the Fighting Hawks’ depth is backup goalie Peter Thome. He had a strong outing. The first year goalie had a tall order coming in late in the game, and had to stop a couple of grade A chances for the Bisons. He is a positionally sound goalie who showed how hard he works. The former Waterloo Blackhawk looked very calm stopping the limited chances he had.

The Returners 

Christian Wolanin, Shane Gersich, and Ludvig Hoff all had strong games. Wolanin showed his cannon of a point shot, and did an excellent job distributing to help his teammates. The Ottawa Senators prospect also showed that he is adept at finding the net to increase scoring from the back end.

Shane Gersich had an outstanding game, he played with speed in all three zones and nearly recreated his spin-o-rama goal from last season.

Ludvig Hoff was most impressive, he had two goals, played with speed, and won more than 50 percent of his faceoffs. He was all over the ice and benefited from having Gersich on his line.

Special Teams

The Fighting Hawks did an excellent job on the powerplay. While they did not score a goal, they generated a lot of zone time, and were able to move the puck effectively . The seven shots they took were all high-quality shots. This puck movement is a good sign for the rest of the season, as multiple players got some time on the powerplay. The penalty kill was also strong, and did a good job of limiting the Bisons to two shots on goal. Those two shots both happened on the second Bison power play.

Next weekend , the Fighting Hawks fly north to take on Alaska Anchorage in a two game series.

PHOTO Link: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Violentturtlephotograhpy/photos/?tab=album&album_id=672606726271241

 

Advertisements

Kelly Nordling: UND Track and Field

 

IZISJPKVQIAMESN.20160905215726
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.

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.

 

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.

 

Olson flies into post season!

 

Trevor Olson is not who you think of when looking at this year’s University of North Dakota Men’s hockey team, big names like: Brock Boeser, Tyson Jost and Cam Johnson have taken up the spot light. March third that all changed when he scored not only a shorthanded goal but ended up being the go-ahead.  At this point, Olson season is flying high. 35 games played, Olson has 5 goals, 4 being game winners and 7 assists, near producing twice as many points this season than during the last two seasons, which he played 55 games. Olson will be returning to UND for his senior year in the fall and looking forward to the more mature version of the team. Olson said that “I think we got away from who we are as kids, we got a little frustrated,” this pretty much sums up what the season has been like.

Olson is a pretty laid back communications major and has been spending the spring semester as an intern with the UND hockey team. He has been writing a blog when the team is on the road called “Olson’s Eleven.” Every time you talk to him, he is smiling and laughing, I got a chance to sit down and have him reflect on his hockey career so far. Olson comes from a family of athletes. His brother played junior hockey for three years, sister plays college soccer and mom is a record holding basketball player and his dad played fast pitch softball. Coming from a family that has so many athletes, he would try and compete with them. When he went to juniors, he started to put less pressure on himself and just started to have fun.

Olson has always wanted to be a forward “I wanted to score goals!” The last two seasons, he has taken a back seat when it comes to putting points on the sheet but that doesn’t mean that he is not helping his line mates. Like most hockey players, Olson is humble. I asked him about being so “hot” right now and his response was “My line mates and teammates have made some great plays to help me find a little bit of scoring touch.”

Olson said that he must look at it like it is his job when he goes to the rink every day it’s not “I am going to try to be the best, it’s I will be the best.” Coming to UND was not a hard decision for him. During his visit, he met with Head Coach at the time Dave Hakstol, who told him he was going to have to work for his spot but they wanted to give him a chance. “Hak is my best friend. I love that guy!” but with Hakstol leaving at the end of the 2014-2015 season Olson had to overcome a new challenge impressing incoming head coach Brad Berry. Hakstol and Berry have very different coaching styles. The biggest difference is that Hakstol is intimidating and if you screwed up in practice you would know it. Berry is more comforting Olson said “He’ll give you crap but he is not going to lay it on you” Now as the team tries to make history again by bring home two national championships in back to back seasons, Berry says “We have more boxes to check and every weekend we get one more box checked off.” The Hawks are far from being out of the run and are looking forward to taking on rivalry Denver on Friday (3/17) at the Target Center.

I could not end this any better than with Olson’s own words:

“There is a reason why we are all here, just be yourself, play the game how you know how to play. That’s how to make dreams happen!”

First Podcast

Here is a link to our first ever podcast… leave a comment good bad or otherwise! I talk about UND’s wins this weekend, mention Denver for a minute, and preview some different things future podcasts will discuss. Let me know your thoughts and we will work to improve things! It is an honor to write for our audience and we are always looking for new ways to talk puck in all forms with you!

A Hockey Love Story: Aaron and Kelly Dell

Aaron and Kelly Dell have a love story. that has made it through ten teams, eight cities and roughly 10,000 miles of traveling. Aaron has had the dream of being a National Hockey League goalie. This requires a lot of travel and time spent away from loved ones. They have been together for six and half years and all but 26 months has been spent in hockey seasons.

After meeting though a mutual friend, they had their first date in Fergus falls in the summer of 2010. Kelly had just graduated from high school and Aaron had just finished his freshman year at the University of North Dakota. They went to Perkins and had breakfast food then when to the movie theater that had two movie choices, Twilight was the best option, which they laughed though out the whole thing.

Kelly and Aaron dated for two years before they were walking around the mall one day. They went into a jewelry store and had been browsing for a ring, when Aaron picked out the perfect ring. They looked at one another, “Should we do this?”. A month later they were married in Aaron’s parents back yard in Airdrie, Alberta. Kelly only cared about two things when it came time to walk down the aisle. She wanted a white wedding dress and real flowers. Aaron wanted was to pick the cake which was marble with a custard center, topped with bride and groom rubber ducks, which Kelly collects. After the ceremony, in a perfect homage of Canada and Minnesota style, a bonfire was lite and beers were had.

When talking to Aaron about Kelly, you could hear his love for her in his voice. Even though Kelly and Aaron both said the other one said “I love you” first, one thing is for sure, they love each other to live nearly 2,000 miles apart. The distance has not been easy though. Aaron said that Kelly has always been supportive of my goal of making it to the NHL and besides my parents, she is my biggest supporter. He said “she (Kelly) is my teammate and it’s great that she understands and supports me, so we don’t have to fight between hockey and her.” Even though this year has been easier for them due to Kelly’s slower school schedule and Aaron being able to fly to games instead of riding a bus. Kelly has been able to visit roughly once a month and most recently attended the NHL All Star game in Las Angeles. They are both looking forward to being a “normal” married couple at the end of this school year when Kelly can finish her dietetics program internships in San Jose.

One things that they share, besides a love for hockey, is the drive that each have. Aaron said it is one of the things he loves most about her. They connected on that from the get go.  “I have to have a lot of drive to do what I do and I couldn’t imagen being with someone who didn’t understand that.” The biggest thing Aaron has learned over the years of being in long distance marriage is how to communicate, which Kelly joked about “sometimes it’s painful to get him to talk, but it means a lot when he does because he doesn’t open up to very many people, even teammates!”

The things Kelly loves most about Aaron are that he is brutally honest and hilarious. If you read Kelly’s blog, Crazy Pucking World: Life of a hockey wife, she posts about the funny things that Aaron has said over the years. Kelly had people tell her that “I would have slapped him, if he said that to me.” She just laughed stating that “just how Aaron is”, I always know what is going on with him because of that. Sometimes though he can be almost too honest, but he always makes sure you are laughing by the end.

Kelly watches all of Aaron’s games, whether it be in person or on the television. Aaron said that when they first started dating, he was mildly nervous for her to watch him play. Kelly laughed and said that she gets nervous enough for the both of them. She is looking forward to March when they play two games in Minnesota against the Wild. They have a lot of friends and family that are attending those games. She equated it to when Aaron played against the Minnesota Gophers during his time at UND, they have always had such a rivalry and she would also get nervous for him. Kelly said that one of the great things about Aaron is that nothing offends him, which is a great quality when it comes to being a goaltender, because no matter how well he played in the net the loss would get blamed on him.

Kelly and Aaron relationship has been built on trust and mutual respect. Not many couples could have made it through the struggle of going from an undrafted University of North Dakota goaltender, preserving throughout the minor leagues and now is the backup for the San Jose Sharks.

The amount of love that they share is memorable and reminded me of what is extraordinary about life.

Love. Respect. Friendship.

Small Rink Big Time Hockey – UND vs. Union

On December 31, 2016 I had the chance to see the Fighting Hawks take on Union College at Achilles Center in Schenectady, NY. North Dakota won the game 3-1 over Union. This post will allude to the game but focus on the home rink Union plays in, and some fun observations.

  • This is the smallest rink I have seen in some time. It seats a little over 2,000 fans and is set up in a very intimate fashion. You are right on top of the action the entire game, and can even stand right behind either goal. The standing room view for UND warm ups was superb.
  • This rink does not have replay boards. When you visit this rink, as every hockey fan should, you need to be watching the play at all times. Many fans missed UND scoring the first goal of the game just eleven seconds after the opening faceoff.
  • Union fans are some of the most knowledgeable and nicest people I have met. Every group of fans either provided fun chirping or was genuinely happy to see UND fans in the area. Cam Johnson even laughed at some nice heckling  by a group of fans. Union holds a special place in my heart for vanquishing the Gophers in the 2014 Championship. I think many Union fans feel the same way about UND for ending Quinnipiac’s run last spring.
  • Union fans also asked a lot of questions about me and fellow UND fans seeing their rink and UND play. The UND contingent was loud and vocal but was very respectful. Union genuinely enjoyed having UND there and I did not see a single negative fan despite the result. Every hockey fan needs to see a game at the Achilles Center in their lives. It is on of the mot intimate and unique hockey viewing experiences I have had.