It’s game day on a beautiful November day in North Dakota. The deer hunters are out in orange and the hockey team is getting ready to face the undefeated Bulldogs from Duluth.
Last week the Sioux split with Denver which I think is a shame. I feel that UND had more talent but just didn’t take advantage of that on Saturday night. The game on Friday night was electric as Eddie the Eagle took center stage. Ed Belfour who only played one year with the Fighting Sioux took us to the Promised Land and has never forgotten his UND roots.
Winning game one 4-3 seemed fitting, it was fast and clean. I was a little surprised about the clean part but nice work on both sides to show these two teams can actually get along. Saturday night was a bust! Shut out 0-3 the Sioux never recovered from Malone’s hit on Jesse Martin that fractured his C-2 vertebrae. I have watched the hit close to fifty times and I am still not convinced that a penalty should have been assessed yet along a game disqualification for this Friday’s game. It was certainly bad luck and we wish the best for Martin but it did not look like a malicious hit just a hard hockey hit. UND could not put it together in the offensive zone which seems to have been a problem for them in seasons past. They need to get that figured out soon.
Saturday was a fun day as we went to the UND Hall of Fame induction and got a chance to meet Ed Belfour and get a few autographs. The introduction speech by Gino Gasparini was great; my favorite part was when he said something to the effect of “Please take time before replacing the Fighting Sioux nickname to give people time to heal. At least wait until those of us who do not want to see it changed are dead”. I agree completely.
We hit the football game in the afternoon and sat two rows in front of Ed Belfour and his family. It was interesting watching the fans asking for autographs and taking pictures. I told Dee “It is not easy being famous either”. Later that night at the game we happened to be in the same suite as him and I asked him about that. He said that he does not mind as long as people are polite but that that was not always the case. Seemed like a very nice, humble man with a deep love for the Fighting Sioux and the UND hockey program.
This week is a big deal for the Sioux. They need a home sweep or they will be back in the same shape they have been for the past several seasons. Having to work their tails off in the second half of the season to get home ice for the WCHA Playoffs and rankings in the Pairwise.
I have not seen any Duluth hockey yet this year but they must be playing well under the form UND assistant coach Sandlin. Since they are undefeated maybe they are ripe for the picking, I hope so for UND’s sake. I am going to go out on a limb and predict a Sioux sweep. There are two tough road trips coming up so the need to get out the brooms!
Until next week,