|The Huskies need to pick themselves back up|
Performance: Undeniably, the Huskies have grossly underperformed thus far this year. This team was predicted by most to be one of the top 2 teams in the WCHA and one of the top 10 teams in the nation. Currently, the Huskies find themselves in historically unfamiliar territory in the WCHA now in eleventh place. Furthermore, the Huskies have gone un-ranked in the national rankings for well over a month. With the talent on this Huskies team, there is absolutely no excuse for being in eleventh place. This season the Huskies are off to their worst start in 15 years ('95-'96 season). Top players like Garrett Roe (winner of WCHA "Biggest Disappointment of the Year") and Tony Mosey need to start getting some more goals in and everyone needs to start putting more shots on net. The guys have tried to get a little too fancy at some points and it has yet to pay off. In the preseason, the Huskies forwards were ranked 2nd in the WCHA, the goalies ranked 1st in the WCHA, and the defense ranked 5th in the WCHA. It is safe to say that everyone on the Husky Hockey team has underperformed. Grade= F
Effort: One of the biggest arguments Huskies fans have had against their team this year has been a lack of effort. However, this lack of effort has not been consistent. During some games, the Huskies have shown tremendous effort and looked like a force to be reckoned with. During other games, the Huskies have looked like their skates where frozen to the ice and incapable of moving their feet. Sometimes this inconsistency has shown its ugly face in the middle of games. Up until last week against the University of North Dakota (honestly a pretty darn good team) the Huskies had yet to be swept by an opponent. And while Colorado College was also able to sweep us (and on home ice) last weekend, Coach Motzko had nothing put praise for the teams effort Saturday night against CC. According to Motzko, "It's a rare, rare occasion -- I don't know if, in my career, I've ever wanted to talk about a hockey team after losing 5-2. But with how our season has been going, this team deserved a much better fate." And, "We turned in a good effort." Perhaps the Huskies have turned a corner and will play with much more enthusiasm, intensity, and effort in the second half. Perhaps not. Grade= C
Social Development: Okay, so this category is a little more difficult with a hockey team than it is a student, but I will try anyway. The Husky Hockey teams relationship with its fan base has historically been one of the absolute best in the WCHA. The National Hockey Center is renown for its intense and passionate hockey fans. The NHC has consistently been one of the WCHA rinks that sells every seat for every game. The fan club "The Dog Pound" continues to be one of the most vocal hockey fan clubs in the conference. Opposing teams (especially goaltenders) have commented on the intense (some may say insane) emotion displayed there. However, the recent string of losses and performance WAY below expectations are causing some fans to become upset at their team. Recent blog posts and message boards suggest that the NHC has been awfully quiet as of late and that the energy (in one of the most energetic rinks in the nation) may be dwindling. I feel the Huskies may need to get some wins at home early in the second half to bring SCSU's fans back to their usual glory. Grade= B
Peer Relationships: Again, a little more difficult with a hockey team than a student, but here we go. The Huskies were regarded by both their opponents and their opponents fan bases early this season as one of the top talents and top threats in the league (see preseason coach's, media, and blogger polls). The Huskies were once believed to be one of the best of the best. However, as our current season has been so far, we have gone from top threat to feelings of sympathy and pity. From CC coach Scott Owns, "St. Cloud has got a lot of talent. Their confidence is down right now. I think they're going to be a very good team the second half." And from UND captain Chay Genoway, "We know what kind of team they bring. They haven't won as much as they wanted to." These type of pity statements from opposition teams are not what the Huskies are accustomed to or want. These are the types of statements you save for teams like UAA or MTU or occasionally MSU-M, but not SCSU. Hopefully, statements like these can energize our team to go from "confidence is down" and "haven't won as much as the wanted to" back to becoming a real threat and a team that other teams fear. Unfortunately, right now, I don't think there are many or any teams that are threatened by SCSU. On the positive side of peer relationships, the SCSU vs. UND battle did not turn into a blood bath with teams seeking revenge. Grade= DSo there you have it folks. The St. Cloud State Husky Hockey report card. Yes, it is a little doom-and-gloom. Yes, it is far from what we expected out of our Huskies at this point in the season. But, in the words of Husky freshmen Nic Dowd, "Right now, we're at the bottom. We're at the lowest we can get." We can only go up from here.