Thursday, March 24, 2011

Midwest #1: North Dakota

University of North Dakota Fighting [NICKNAME]

#1 seed vs. RPI
Midwest Regional (Resch Center, Green Bay, WI)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Automatic Qualifier from the WCHA
WCHA Regular Season Champions

Record: 30-8-3
Head Coach: Dave Hakstol

(Before we start, yes North Dakota is still fighting over the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo, at the state legislature level, so, while they're working that out, we're going with Fighting [NICKNAME] and allowing the reader to make their own choice.)

North Dakota comes in to Hockey Christmas as the hottest team in the country.  We're talking solar fusion hot, 12-0-1 in their last thirteen games, their last loss coming to Colorado College in late January (OK, four of those games were against Michigan Tech, in which NoDak beat the Huskies by a combined 28-4 margin, but you have to play the teams on your schedule and two of the games were in Houghton, so...)  North Dakota is arguably the scariest team in the tournament from top to bottom.  One major question mark is the health of Jason Gregoire, who was, before his injury, racking up the points like it was a game of Duck Hunt.

Continuing one of the great NCAA Hockey traditions, North Dakota continues to have the best hockey names, and currently has a first pairing defenseman on their roster named Ben Blood.  Ben Blood.  Seriously, his jersey IS the blood jersey!

Matt Frattin is lighting the upper Great Plains ablaze, scoring 35 goals in North Dakota's 41 games this season and chipping in 22 helpers and sophomore goalie Aaron Dell clearly shakes off bad games well, the question becomes, in a one and done format, can you avoid that bad game?  North Dakota looks to keep rolling, trying not to look too far ahead to a potential rematch with Denver in the Regional Final and a trip back to St. Paul, but if Dave Hakstol's team plays as they have over the last two months, they could win title number 7 8 (thanks for the correction!).

1 comment:

Nathan said...

UND already has 7 NCAA titles, they are playing for #8