Friday, February 18, 2011

Let the Fight Begin...Huskies vs. Fighting Sioux

Go Huskies!
Today's game day blog has a TON of stuff to cover. Let's begin with the predictions...

Goon's World
"Last weekend the Sioux swept the UAA Seawolves in Grand Forks and the Huskies took 3-points from the UMD Bulldogs in Duluth.

These teams met in early December with the Sioux sweeping that series, 3-1 and 6-2 in Grand Forks. The Huskies got their first win over a top half of the league team last weekend. This year SCSU has not lived up to preseason expectations, they started off this year’s campaign ranked #4 and have slid since then. Home ice for the first round is still possible, but not likely, since they need to make up 3 points and play UW and DU after this weekend. The Sioux have officially locked up a home ice spot and are now looking to put a lock on the league’s top spot. UND has an easier schedule then SCSU does down the stretch, the Sioux host BSU and travel to MTU to end the season. The Huskies have squandered a pair of 3-goal leads in two of their past three games. The Sioux will need to continue their style of play this weekend to grab more points.
Goal Gophers
Chris:..."Old Charley. He pretended he was enjoying his stay in the Red River Valley, but you know dang well he was on the next phone screaming at his agent for booking him anywhere north of St. Louis. Roman has established the Sioux (are they still the “Fighting Sioux?”) as the team to beat down the stretch, and who am I to argue? The Huskies will steal one this weekend, though, for a ... Split"

Roman: "The Sioux have clinched home ice, now they want to win the MacNaughton Cup which goes to the regular-season champion. They have a one point lead, a three-game win streak and a hot, hot player. Jason Gregoire, since returning from an injury, has eight games. No wonder Dave Hakstol said he did backflips when he heard Gregoire was healthy again. The Huskies are coming off an impressive three-point weekend at UMD, but finish with a brutal sked: NoDak, Wisconsin and Denver. The Sioux swept SCSU 3-1, 6-2 at the Ralph earlier. ... UND sweep"
"I'm not sure where to start on this one. The Huskies and Sioux have some bad blood between each other dating back to last year. However, I feel that we should be back to normal now. The Sioux are a tremendous team and the Huskies have been up and down at best this season. The Huskies do have a lot of talent that, when they decide to play, are one of the tougher teams to beat. It doesn't seem to matter where these two teams meet, the Sioux almost always dominate the show. Unless the Huskies find something deep down inside, they're not going to come away with anything.
Sioux sweep 4-2, 4-3"
Theresa: "This has developed into a nice little rivalry over the past two years and should prove to be an interesting weekend. Despite injuries, the Sioux have been rolling along just fine (as coach Dave Hakstol has said, they’re not technically short-handed). The Huskies, meanwhile, may have found their stride at the perfect time in the season. I believe home ice is a stretch for them (don’t quote me on that), but, like BSU above, they can make their league positioning a lot more favorable. As a result, I believe we’ll see a split — SCSU Friday, UND Saturday."
Tyler: "UND’s key injuries (Genoway and Kristo) make it a little more of an even playing field with the series played in St. Cloud. This is probably the last bump in the road for the Sioux before they end the season with Bemidji State and Michigan Tech. Meanwhile, centers Garrett Roe and Drew LeBlanc are finally making strides for SCSU. Split."
It looks like the general consensus is that this weekend will be a split and I am inclined to agree. If past performance is any indicator of future results then a betting man would choose St. Cloud to win Friday night (Sioux are 0-7-3 on Friday night at the NHC since 1998) and the Sioux to win Saturday. I guess we will see if the teams stay true to form.

Former Husky Mike Doyle gives us his Three Keys to the Game vs. UND Feb. 18:
  1. Fierce Forecheck
  2. Flatten Frattin
  3. Faceoff Focus
The Husky Hockey Lines (courtesy of St. Cloud Times)

Hanowski- Roe- Eddy
Festler- Marvin- Novak
Reid- LeBlanc- Dowd
MacMillan- Christian- Oslund

Lauridsen- Jensen
Gravel- Barta
Zabkowicz- Johnson

Lee- Dun

Other Important Game Day Links:
  • "A rocky campaign"- talks about the struggles of the St. Cloud State Hockey team this season despite its preseason aspirations for WCHA dominance. The article has a couple good Coach Motzko quotes including, “For us, it’s all about the playoffs."
  • "Weekend Preview: UND vs. St. Cloud State"- Again, more discussion of St. Cloud not living up to its standards or expections and some good stats and numbers on both teams. 
  • Each year the Huskies and the Sioux fight for the Challenge Cup. The Cup is awarded to the school that wins the majority of the games during the 4 regular season match-ups between these two rivals. Some good history and information about the cup can be found in this article, "UND/SCSU Challenge Cup"
  • You can find some more stats and numbers about these two teams coming into this weekends games in this article, "Border Battle comes with playoff implications for Minnesota, Wisconsin"
  • Previous reports, said that the Fighting Sioux would be wearing their "lucky" black third jerseys. However, according to another source, the Huskies have asked to wear their black jerseys this weekend and will be showing them off this weekend.
  • The St. Cloud Times recently published an article titled, "He's adding up to key role at SCSU" about Jared Festler and his improving play with the Huskies.

....and bring home the Cup!!!

(....well at least get a sweep so we can share the Cup with the Sioux)

SCSU/ UND Challenge Cup

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