For the Weekend Ahead

A quick preview of UND Sports This Weekend as a lot of things are happening.

  1. Volleyball (17-2) looks to continue its strong play in the Big Sky against Idaho, and Eastern Washington.
  2. Football(1-3) looks to rebound from two big defeats against South Dakota and Montana State on the road against UC Davis. Look for John Santiago and Brady Oliviera’s success to be indicative of how the game will unfold. If UND controls the ground game, and time of possession good things can happen.
  3. Look for UND Hockey to play a large lineup in its exhibition game against Manitoba. The biggest theme from media day this weekend was depth, depth, depth, and some more depth. UND has zero first round picks on its roster but a lot of upperclassman leadership and depth.

We will be at all of these games this weekend. Look for something from the exhibition AHL matchup between the Iowa Wild and the Manitoba Moose this weekend as well.

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Three goals and Six Points: A Recap of UND Soccer’s 2-0 Start in the Big Sky

Rain, cold weather, and constant pressure defending leads all weekend. Despite all of these things, the Fighting Hawks took all six points at home this weekend over Idaho State, and Weber State and eclipsed their conference win total of 2016.

Both games had some things in common. The Fighting Hawks generated multiple chances throughout the weekend. In addition, the forward play was markedly more consistent as more UND chances ended up on goal than a few weeks ago.

Friday’s game against Idaho State was punctuated by two Katie Moller goals. The first one came on a penalty kick after she got a quick ball through and earned a foul in the box. The second one came on a bouncing ball that went into the net after going through a lot of the six yard box. The Fighting Hawks then had to finish a second half against an Idaho State team that did not quit.

Head Coach Chris Logan noted the need for UND to play a complete game. He also credited Idaho State for changing the pace of play for the last 60 minutes of the game.

On Sunday, UND took their coach’s advice and generated more chances throughout the game against a Weber State team whose record was not at all indicative of their skill level. UND controlled the pace for multiple increments throughout the game. Katie Moller came close a few times to adding to her goal total on the weekend.

Moller would run her point total on the weekend to three midway through the second half. She expertly placed a ball for Mimi Eiden who headed the ball to the back of the net with rocket-like quickness.

From that point, Weber State came close on multiple attempts, but like on Friday, goalie Catherine Klein was equal to the task. The sophomore goalie has three clean sheets on the season.

Fighting Hawks fans are lucky to have Mimi Eiden play for them. She has personified the attack-oriented mentality Head Coach Chris Logan and his staff have worked so hard to instill in this program. Both Logan, and Associate Coach Chris Citowicki noted how strong Mimi played in practice. That manifested itself twice over this weekend. On Friday, she drew a couple of fouls against the Bengals late in the game to eat into the clock and preserve a shutout.

Today, Eiden got extra time playing with Katie Moller and used every bit of her talent and skill to give UND its best start in the Big Sky, and its first 2-0 start in conference play since 2003 in the NCC.

UND will have a tough test next weekend as they head out on the road to face Sacramento State and Northern Arizona.

Small Goalies: “Be like an Amish Guy” Advice from JP Lamoureux

Jean-Philipe (JP) Lamoureux is a University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey Team alumnus. He spent four years in net for UND. During that time, he established himself as a premier goaltender in college hockey despite his five-foot-ten size.

However, height and goaltending success are usually linked. According to TSN’s Jamie McLennan, In the National Hockey League, as of 2014, only four of the sixty goalies in the NHL were under the six-foot threshold.

The league is getting taller every year.

How does this impact players like Lamoureux?

Well, Lamoureux has found great success overseas despite his build. This season, he recently broke the record for most career wins by an Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL) goalie with 183 wins. The EBEL is the top league in Austria, and JP has done well to prove himself there.

He has used his success to mentor goalies here through the founding of JPL Goaltending.

Eventually, JP wants to be a coach, and that was one of the original reasons for founding JPL Goaltending. He has been operating his business for five years.

Recently, he offered some sound advice for small goalies.

“You have to accept that your whole career is an uphill battle. You’re basically like an Amish guy, you have to perform everything the big guys do plus a half…It’s just a reality, because NHL teams will always take a bigger guy over smaller guy who are close in ability.”

Look for much more from JP over the next few weeks.

UND 34 Missouri State 0: Three Thoughts

1.First, lets talk about how efficient the offense was. Keaton Studsrud went 22 for 31 with one end of the first half interception on a hail mary. The senior quarterback connected with six different receivers for 273 yards and two touchdowns. The offense employed a lot of different route combinations all day to keep Missouri State’s secondary off balance.

Players like Noah Wanzek exploited their size advantage over Missouri State to have a career high. The sophomore wideout was all over the field. He finished the day with career highs across the board. Wanzek generated 117 yards receiving.

Finally, for the Fighting Hawk offense, I was impressed to see the offensive line continue to gel. They allowed their top three running backs to all average four or more yards a carry. Brady Oliveira and John Santiago did an excellent job complimenting one another with the thunder and lightening routine. The tandem combined for 213 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.

2. Eric Schmidt did another superb job organizing his defense.This defense limited a team that put up 43 points against a potent Mizzou offense. This is a defense that already is missing  one of the best defensive backs in FCS football in Deion Harris. It also lost its starting inside linebacker Donnell Rodgers to injury early on against the Bears.This Missouri State team only was able to muster 211 yards in 48 snaps against the Fighting Hawks,

Individually, Cole Reyes and Chuck Flowers lead the way for the Hawks’ secondary. Each had seven tackles, and Flowers caused a fumble on the one yard line that halted the Bears’ best chance at points.

Up front, defensive end Mason Bennett had a superb day. He had three tackles on the day. Two of them pushed the Bears back seven yards (2 TFL’s) and he also had a key sack. The entire defensive line did an excellent job rushing Bears QB Peyton Huslig and funneling the runs back towards the center of the field. The Bears finished with 79 net rushing yards on 25 carries.

Finally, because of the score, Eric Schmidt was able to work with his staff to rotate players in and out. This ensured a lot of those players not on the two-deep got key reps at the end of the game. This will benefit the Fighting Hawks later on in the season.

3. Special Teams was the only real mixed bag for the Fighting Hawks. I was glad to see Reid Taubenheim rebound to make his last two field goals of the game after missing a 25-yard attempt early on.

In addition, the punt and kick return teams had a mixed day. John Santiago had a big opening kickoff return that was called back due to a late flag. He also had a muffed punt that gave the Bears the ball back, however he did have a 35 yard return that changed field position.

The Fighting Hawks did cover kicks and punts well. Added up, look for special teams to have a big week next week. Special Teams Coach Sean Kostich is an expert at making adjustments and teaching the game. I fully expect special teams to get even better next week.

All things considered, that was the most complete game UND has played so far. While the Bears are not a Big Sky opponent, they presented a lot of wide open looks that UND will see again in the Big Sky. To come out and put up the all around effort that the Fighting Hawks did in front of a crowd of 12,047 at the Alerus Center was impressive.

Finally, this message is for UND Students. Well done, Nodak Nation gave out all of its student tickets, and all of you were involved throughout the game. Remember this in two weeks as Montana State will be another big test for the Fighting Hawks.

 

 

 

North Dakota Sweeps Appalachian State: A Recap

Grand Forks, ND

In front of 1288 boisterous fans at the Betty Englestad Sioux Center, UND Fighting Hawks Volleyball (12-1) used a balanced attack to sweep the Appalachian State Mountaineers (3-6) 25-18, 25-19, 25-19.

Ashley Brueggeman lead a potent offensive attack for the Fighting Hawks. She had eleven kills on twenty-five attempts. She was joined by Faith Dooley who hit a strong .529 percent tonight.

A common theme of the evening for UND was managing its errors. The Fighting Hawks ended the evening with 9 errors. The Mountaineers had 23 errors.

Head Coach Mark Pryor was impressed with how his team managed its errors against a good opponent.

On the quality of the Mountaineers:

“Appalachian State’s a lot better than their record. They’re gonna be pretty good in the Sun Belt, they do a lot of good things.”

In addition, he commented on the remarkable atmosphere in the Betty, and the expectations of his program.

“The atmosphere is great, and that’s one thing we can’t stress enough is how great it is. ”

This win continues a streak for the Fighting Hawks. UND has not lost a set at home since November 5th, 2016 against Idaho.

The Fighting Hawks look to close out the UND classic against future Summit opponent South Dakota State a little bit later on today at 11:00 AM at the Betty.

 

 

UND Hockey Alums Around the World:Ryan Duncan

With hockey season right around the corner we will be publishing some interviews with University of North Dakota Hockey alumni from around the world. We will be talking to alumni both currently playing hockey, and those that have used their education to pursue other ventures.

Today’s interview is with Ryan Duncan. He was a member of the Duncan-Oshie-Toews (DOT) line that featured some of the best forward play this University has ever seen. Duncan won the Hobey Baker award in 2007, and has gone on to play most of his professional career in Austria for Red Bull Salzburg. He has won four league titles with Red Bull Salzburg in Austria’s top league known as the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL). He has numerous accolades at the team and individual level both in college hockey and in Austria.

Below are our questions and his responses:

1. What has been your favorite off-ice moment playing since you started your pro career?

” The birth of my daughter. It was an incredible experience to be a part of. It changed my perspective on a lot of things. It was truly life-changing and an extremely proud moment.”

2. What are your plans when you are finished playing hockey?

” Great question. I don’t know exactly what I want to do for work quite yet, I hope to stay involved with hockey in some capacity but my top priority will be being there for my daughter and helping create a healthy environment for her to grow up in.”

3. How much do you follow the current UND team now?

” I follow the current UND team pretty closely. I’m a fan. Any outlet that covers the team or gives updates about the team I probably follow it. I love watching the highlights and tracking their progress.”

4. What did you do to celebrate UND’s National Championship in 2016?

” I was in the middle of a playoff run over here in Austria so there wasn’t the preferred amount of celebrating but I probably pestered my current teammates by gloating about my former team. Then when the time was right, me and my Wife (who is a former UND women’s hockey player) raised a glass to UND’s accomplishment.”

5. What are some things that UND fans might like about the European game?

” I think UND fans would like the style of play and the atmosphere in the arena. it’s a finesse game with a lot of skill and the atmosphere in the stands is a fun one with lots of drum banging and local chants.”

6. During your UND time, who were some of your teammates with the biggest personality?

” I played with a lot of characters at UND. Two I’ll mention are Brett Hextall and Matt Watkins. Brett is just a really smart and clever guy who makes people feel comfortable around him. Matt is a really unique and interesting person. He grew up in rural Saskatchewan so just the perspective he brings to life makes him really fun to be around.”

7. Who has been your favorite coach to play for at any level?

” My favorite coaches were Tom Ward and Dave Hakstol. Coach Ward was my coach in high school at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. He taught me so much about life and hockey. I developed more because of him than any other coach I played for. Coach Hakstol helped continue that progression once I got to college. He really encouraged and taught the professionalism that is needed on a daily basis to be successful in the game of hockey and in life.”

8. What do you most miss about UND and Grand Forks?

” I miss everything about Grand Forks and UND. What I miss most is Red Pepper and going to school with thousands of kids around your same age. It’s a special time in life. N ot too many better things than a Saturday night after at home weekend sweep in Grand Forks.”

9. What are some interesting things in Austria that you like to do or see in your off time?

” Me and my Wife like to explore the area around Salzburg in our off time. Salzburg is a beautiful city surrounded by mountains so there’s no shortage of adventures for us to go on.”

10. What are some hockey-related goals you want to accomplish before retiring?

” My hockey related goal before I retire is simple, make EC Red Bull Salzburg a better team and organization because I’m a part of it. It’s a great organization to play for and I want to help to continue to make it even better.”

11. How many more years do you want to keep playing hockey?

” I want to keep playing hockey as long as I can. I have no set time table. I love the game and I’m passionate about it so I hope to continue playing for many more years to come. It’s a great life.”

12. What are you most thankful for learning from UND?

” I’m most thankful for learning from UND how powerful a great community, culture, and tradition can be. I think a lot of communities, businesses, organizations, and teams strive to be like Grand Forks and UND but very few achieve it. UND is a special place. I feel privileged to have been a part of it.”

 

Close: A Brief Recap of UND’s Past Two Games

This weekend UND (2-3-1) took on Nebraska-Omaha and South Dakota at Bronson Field. Both games had some common elements. They were back-and-forth affairs that resulted in UND taking zero points on the weekend. There were some noticibale differences in Friday’s play vs. Sundays play.

Friday (0-0 draw against Nebraska Omaha) 

This was a rainy back-and-forth affair that featured some chances for both sides. During the first half, Omaha had the better of play and generated more chances than the Fighting Hawks.

During the second half and the two overtime periods, UND pushed the pace and its forwards generated multiple chances. No one could finish any of them, Omaha had more shots on goal during the game but UND held possession longer and pushed the pace of the game. Katie Moller and Riley Koberinski where all over the attacking third of the pitch and where the Fighting Hawks’ two best attackers on Friday.

Head Coach Chris Logan stressed the importance of finishing chances to capitalize on the strong defense played by his resilient side. He stressed the importance of being “a little bit more composed in the final third and certainly more composed in front of goal.”

Sunday (South Dakota 1 UND 0) 

Sunday brought a significant warm-up from friday, both in temperature and in offense for the Fighting Hawks.

However, like both the weather and the finial result from friday, the Hawks were left out in the cold thanks to an unlucky bounce off of a UND player about midway through the first half. The Hawks generated eleven shot attempts, but only four of them found their way to the net.

The shot total does not tell the whole story, as like Friday, UND turned South Dakota over and often could not generate a shot attempt on net as forwards did not end their runs with a shot attempt. The pace of the game was much more up-tempo as once again, Katie Moller and Riley Koberinski generated plenty of chances for UND to equalize the game.

UND has twelve days off before its next game on Friday, September 15 against South Dakota State at Bronson Field. Kickoff is set for 3:00 PM

Pride, Passion, Belief,and a Strong Offensive Outing Gives UND a 2-0 Win over Western Illinois University

On Sunday August 20, 2017, UND flew past the Leathernecks of Western Illinois University to stake themselves to their first ever 2-0 start in the Division one era.

The Fighting Hawks raced out to a quick 3-0 first half lead thanks to strong offensive play. Katie Moller got the scoring underway with the first of her two markers on the day. Next, Olivia Geiwitz made it 2-0 with strong play inside the box. Finally, Erin Svensson had the nicest goal of the day to make it 3-0 to close the half. The defender’s shot was a high arching shot that beat everyone and everything to squeak in the top right corner. She would contribute an assist on Moller’s second tally.

In net, Olivia Swenson picked up the win for the Fighting Hawks with an eight-save shutout. Ines Palmiero made four saves on eight shots in 73:42 of play. Goalie Jennifer Currie finished the game with a scoreless relief effort.

Coach Logan noted that UND played with a lot of pride, passion and belief. The Hawks look to take those emotions to Brookings, South Dakota , and Auburn next weekend to continue this strong string of early season play. Look for UND’s speed down the wings, strong goaltending from multiple goalies, and ability to cross to make a difference for them this weekend.

 

UND Flies Past Jamestown 1-0 in Exhibition Opener

On August 12, The University of North Dakota opened its first campaign under new coach Chris Logan with a 1-0 exhibition win against the Jamestown Jimmies. The game was played in three 30 minute periods as opposed to two 45 minute halves.

Throughout the match UND controlled the pace of play. The Fighting Hawks generated 38 total shots with 14 of those getting on net. UND controlled play throughout the game thanks to the speed of its forwards and ability to maintain possession in the offensive end.

The lone goal of the contest came a mere 14 seconds into the third period. Katie Moller got the ball close to the 18-yard box and made a wide-open pass to forward Mimi Eiden who made no mistake with her chance. She capitalized on a wide open net to give UND the lead for the rest of the match. The Hawks attacked more as the game went on, in the first two periods they generated 15 shots combined. In the last period, UND generated 23 shots on Jamestown goalie Juliet Ramirez. She played a superb 30 minutes of soccer as she had to make nine saves on the ten UND chances that went on target.

UND will faceoff against Bemidji State on tuesday night in its exhibition finale at 6 PM at Bronson Field.

Here are some thoughts on the game from my post game interview with Head Coach Chris Logan, as well as things that UND could improve on.

“Overall we were edgy, I think that we were certainly afraid to make some mistakes and there was a lot of anxiety in the team today. I Think It was that very first game of the season where you have to get that anxiety out of your system. As the game went on I felt as though we started to settle down and get into a little bit more of a groove. I think certainly with the new style of play its certainly a work in progress. Good thing, was we created a lot of chances , that was nice. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a game where we created that many chances and only scored one goal, so that was a positive. We’ve certainly got some building to do still.”

 

 

 

Welcome Back ! A Quick Update before UND Flys into 2017-2018

Hello everyone, I figured I would write this article to let everyone know that we will be getting back to a normal writing schedule here with school and sports starting back up. In addition, we will be posting our NHL-focused Hockey articles on Hockey Extra from now on.

We are doing this this way for one simple reason. This blog will focus more exclusively on all things UND, everything from Basketball to Soccer. In addition we will post articles featuring college hockey interviews from different players, as well as international hockey updates that do not have an NHL focus. We have been around for over a year and received a lot of support. To all of our readers, thank you, and look for some great things this year!