UND ties Alaska Anchorage 1-1: Quick Thoughts

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee for Violent Turtle Photography)

Last night, the University of North Dakota at times looked dominant over the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves. The Fighting Hawks generated plenty of chances throughout the evening.

However, the Seawolves defense, lead by Olivier Mantha was up to the task. The senior goalie made 32 saves on 33 shots faced. The UAA defense blocked 25 shots on the evening.

UND did a lot of things right last night. They used their speed and depth to generate a lot of chances, especially as the game wore on. They kept the Seawolves playing defense most of the evening. They staved off a five-on-three powerplay in overtime. Shane Gersich showed his skill and speed all night, generating chances, and getting his linemates involved.

Yet, UND has to improve some things tonight. Here are a few areas to keep an eye on tonight.

Passing to create lanes

One thing the Fighting Hawks did exceptionally well last week against Manitoba was getting a lot of quality chances. Yes, UND had some quality chances last night they should have converted. However, part of the reason why UAA blocked so many shots is because UND did not utilize the full Olympic sheet of ice at times.

The Fighting Hawks’ only goal came on a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play where Trevor Olson found Christian Wolanin who quickly got the puck to a wide open Johnny Simonson. This team scored all but one of its goals last weekend on transitions and quick plays.

If the Fighting Hawks have a few less shots, but can utilize their ability to create time and space, then they could make life harder for Mantha.

Get One or More Special Teams Goals

The Fighting Hawks have to get one goal on special teams. Last night, they once again generated chances and had good zone time. If the Fighting Hawks can catch the Seawolves in transition that may open up their defense a bit.

Control the Dot Once More 

UND went 35-18 in the faceoff dot last night. That started a lot of their possesions, and lead to generating the amount of chances they did. If that continues look for UND to get a lot more chances tonight.

If UND can limit chances, and improve on its speed game from last night, then tonight could produce a lot different outcome for the Fighting Hawks.

 

 

 

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.

 

Hawks Fly Past the Huskies 5-2

GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA

In front of a crowd of 10,143 loud fans, the University of North Dakota vanquished the St Cloud State Huskies by a three goal margin. Rhett Gardner opened the scoring at 13:39 of the first period with a shot fired off a Husky stick to give the Fighting Hawks an early lead.

Less than a minute later, Shane Gersich got the puck at the blue line and raced in to score a breakaway goal. The Capitals prospect is the first UND sophomore to put up 20 goals in a season since Brock Nelson in the 2011-2012 season.

UND remained in control until 9:43 remaining in the second period. Jacob Benson buried a power play marker on a nice cross-ice feed from Mikey Eyssimont into a wide open net.

With 3:33 remaining in the second, Brock Boeser buried a power play tally to put the Hawks back up two.

On the Boeser goal in the second, defenseman Tucker Poolman notched point number 30. The Winnipeg Jets prospect is the first UND blue-liner to hit that mark since Chay Genoway back in the 2010-2011 season.

After the Huskies answered back with a Jimmy Schuldt goal 10:48 into the third UND was on their heels for a bit, until Austin Poganski scored another key goal on a superb breakaway  less than two minutes later to put the Hawks back ahead by two.

Joel Janatuinen would add an empty-net tally with 44.4 seconds left to secure the three goal victory.

Winnipeg Jets prospect Tucker Poolman was named the game’s first star for his two assists. Both of his assists helped set up UND goals that pushed momentum in their direction.

Tomorrow night UND looks to complete the sweep at Ralph Englestad Arena. The puck drops at 7:07 PM.

 

 

 

 

A Snarky Sentence-30 Quips on the NHL

With the NHL season starting tonight here is a quick one sentence outlook for each NHL team. It will be snarky, it may not be nice, and its all in good fun. Plus I guarantee I will be wrong on at least half of these sentences by the end of the season.

Eastern Conference -(team order is random… not projecting order of finish)

  1. Atlantic Division
    1. Toronto
      1. Give up hat tricks for Patrick? (Brandon forward  Nolan Patrick who is the projected number one pick as of today).
    2. Boston
      1. Slow and slower…the 2016-2017 Zdeno Chara experience.
    3. Florida
      1. Father time leads the future.
    4. Ottawa
      1. Scoring not named Karlsson..does enough of it exist?
    5. Detroit
      1. Everybody gets another first round playoff exit!
    6. Canadiens
      1. Is Price alright?
    7. Tampa Bay
      1. Win now because not enough not enough money exists to pay for later.
    8. Buffalo
      1. So many free agents, so little depth.
  2. Metropolitan
    1. Carolina
      1. Can they Ward off last place?
    2. Pittsburgh
      1. How many weapons does Crosby need?
    3. Washington
      1. Any year now Ovie.
    4. New York Islanders
      1. Who steps up with Tavares?
    5. New York Rangers
      1. The king needs more scoring to help in defending the Garden.
    6. Columbus
      1. Does Bob still have it?
    7. Flyers
      1. Can Hak do it again?
    8. New Jersey Devils
      1. Help out Schneider, please.
  3. Pacific
    1. Anaheim
      1. What can Randy do that Bruce couldn’t?
    2. Los Angeles
      1. How much grit can one team have?
    3. Edmonton
      1. Larsson may be good, but he’s no Hall.
    4. Calgary
      1. Can Elliot stop the goalie carousel?
    5. Vancouver
      1. So fast, so little secondary scoring.
    6. San Jose
      1. Can Bodker speed a return to the Cup?
    7. Arizona
      1. So fast,so skilled, so unproven.
  4. Central
    1. Chicago
      1. So many rookies, so much leadership,Western Conference Finals?
    2. Minnesota
      1. Slow, overpaid, and no depth.
    3. Colorado
      1. Can the defense help out?
    4. Winnipeg
      1. People should ham up Laine’s skills more.
    5. Dallas
      1. Seguin will be sensational.
    6. St. Louis
      1. The Tarasenkshow continues.
    7. Nashville
      1. P.K. will play well, can Rinne still produce?

NHL Draft-First Round Thoughts

Here are some brief thoughts after day one of the draft. Day two begins today at noon eastern.

1.Where were all those magical trades we were hearing about beforehand? Seems to me like the rumors were oversold as most are yearly.

2. I am surprised the Avalanche chose Tyson Jost over Logan Brown. Both are good players,however Brown seems ready to jump to the NHL now. Jost will play at least one year at North Dakota.

3.Why on earth did the Blue Jackets not take Jesse Puljujarvi? They selected a great player in Pierre-Luc Dubois, however Jesse could have helped them win sooner than Dubois. Jesse has proven himself in a professional league against players older than him. In addition, the Finnish forward showed he did not need Sebastian Aho to play well at the U18 Worlds in Grand Forks.

4. Edmonton still wins something at the draft. It’s Edmonton of course. They pick up an outstanding two-way forward with a rocket shot and precision passing. Imagine trying to stop a line with Puljujarvi, Connor McDavid,and Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle. Good luck. Edmonton should look to bolster their defensive prospect pool on day two.

5. St. Louis got fleeced. I understand Elliot has one year left on his deal. He seemed to have a lot of cold streaks during the season. On the other hand, this guy lead the team to the playoffs multiple times and often was playing against teams like the Sharks that used physical play to wear down the Blues defense. Calgary has plenty of A- to B+ prospects the Blues should have asked for in addition to these two (3rd in 2018 is conditional) picks.

6. Props to the Washington Capitals. The team was able to pick up a draft pick from the Blues in the third round for losing a mere two spots. This trade evens out with the horrendous Mike Weber deal completed around the trade deadline. The Capitals used their pick to get a strong offensive defenseman from the WHL in Lucas Johansen.

7.The Johansen pick gives the Capitals a strong offensive defenseman that has some speed. Hopefully Caps fans see him in the AHL soon. Johansen could make the NHL in a few years if he finishes strong in the WHL and impresses at Hershey. The Capitals have a history with picking strong WHL defenders and they know what they are getting out of that league.

8.Dear Jets fans, I know Logan Stanley was not your first choice with your second first rounder. The tweets last night and today have made that quite clear. What if and stay with me, he becomes a top four defenseman? Would that justify the pick? Top two? What makes you happy here? In my mind the Jets drafted someone with the potential to provide a physical stay at home presence when paired with a guy like Jacob Trouba. Best case, in two years Stanley is pushing for NHL time and playing the stay at home yin to an offensive defenseman’s yang. There is a huge value to that. Worst case, career AHL player with a Joe Finley career path. Give Stanley time. I have no problem with the risk for the Jets because of the reward. Scoring wise it may not show, but the Jets will benefit if Stanley can improve his skating and movement. If he can’t  then all it means is you took a risk for a player and it did not turn out the way you wanted.That happens to teams every single year. The draft,regardless of sport, is an imperfect art. When drafting 18 and 19 year olds who will (minus the usual few) take at least a year and sometimes three to four to develop, this selection process becomes even more imperfect. If in four years Stanley does not play at least 20 games in the NHL feel free to let the bust label fly. Until then, enjoy watching him develop and seeing where his career goes.