Monday, March 22, 2010

Northeast #2: North Dakota

University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux

2 seed vs. Yale, Northeast Regional (DCU Centre, Worcester, MA)
WCHA Tournament Champions
Record: 25-12-5
Coach: Dave Hakstol

On February 12, North Dakota had just lost to St. Cloud State to drop to a record of 13-11-5. It wasn't an unfamiliar spot for the Sioux, who've had to make furious stretch runs in past seasons, like in 2009, 2008, 2007, or 2005. But the 2010 team outdid those, winning 12 of their last 13 games (including the WCHA Final Five championship) to go on an absolute tear and grab a two seed.

The Sioux are led in points by senior Chris VandeVelde with a 16-25--41 line, exactly 1 point per game, and sophomore Jason Gregoire (20-17--37) leads the team in goals. Junior Evan Trupp (8-26--34) is the assists leader. He'd been held without a goal for 20 games until the Thursday night play-in game at the Final Five, when he lit the lamp against Minnesota-Duluth. He followed that performance with a pair of goals against Denver in the semifinal game. Trupp was named MVP of the tournament.

North Dakota has had a bad run of luck with post-concussion syndrome the last two years. Last season, senior defenseman Joe Finley missed two months with lingering symptoms following the GLI. This year, senior defenseman Chay Genoway has been missing time since November when he went down in a game against St. Cloud State.

No comments: