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View Full Version : UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?



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Red Cows
10-26-2015, 06:18 PM
I have no problem with UND being ahead of UNO. The Fighting Hawks (that can't seriously be a finalist for the mascot, can it?) have played a tougher schedule up to this point (especially considering Minnesota State's start this season). We can only hope that both UND and UNO are still ranked 1,2 when they meet at Baxter Arena. Considering that is the second-to-last series of the year, it would be extra crazy if it happened. I'll just say it now, not going to happen.

I would not be shocked if this happened. It certainly isn't implausible.

I'll say here and now for the record that a team that is starting a walk-on goalie and sports a head coach who, before this season had NEVER been a head coach, anywhere, ever, at any level of hockey, is suspect to me. I don't know that North Dakota has really played anybody, much like I don't know if we have, either. Pairwise (for whatever can be deduced of it this early) likes us better than them. That isn't going to mean anything until January 1st or so, though, really.

Their opponents are a cumulative 4-13-4.

Ours are 4-12-1.

There are no real conclusions that can be drawn from either team's schedule as yet, IMHO. About the only thing you can hang a hat on is the fact that UNO does have two road sweeps. I think UNO has a bit better resume' to this point than does North Dakota, but, both resume's look pretty poor at this point.

And, we probably aren't going to learn much more from the upcoming weekend since both teams are playing away against what are probably the worst two teams in the league, CC and WMU. I think two more sweeps are upcoming.

SJHovey
10-27-2015, 08:54 AM
I would not be shocked if this happened. It certainly isn't implausible.

I'll say here and now for the record that a team that is starting a walk-on goalie and sports a head coach who, before this season had NEVER been a head coach, anywhere, ever, at any level of hockey, is suspect to me. I don't know that North Dakota has really played anybody, much like I don't know if we have, either. Pairwise (for whatever can be deduced of it this early) likes us better than them. That isn't going to mean anything until January 1st or so, though, really.

Their opponents are a cumulative 4-13-4.

Ours are 4-12-1.

There are no real conclusions that can be drawn from either team's schedule as yet, IMHO. About the only thing you can hang a hat on is the fact that UNO does have two road sweeps. I think UNO has a bit better resume' to this point than does North Dakota, but, both resume's look pretty poor at this point.

And, we probably aren't going to learn much more from the upcoming weekend since both teams are playing away against what are probably the worst two teams in the league, CC and WMU. I think two more sweeps are upcoming.
I don't think UND is the No. 1 team in the country at this point, although I'm not sure UNO is either. Neither has really been tested. I'd probably go with Providence as the undefeated, defending champion.

I will say that I'm generally happy with where UND sits at this point, given the circumstances. Neither the prized goalie recruit nor a senior forward/assistant captain have played a game due to injury. Two of the top 4 freshman forward recruits have missed half the games due to injury. Playing a third string walk on goalie. This has created a formula for some losses against very weak competition, losses that would really come back to hurt us later in the year, but we've dodged those bullets thus far.

I think it will be more interesting to see if UNO can replicate its success from last year where they were one of the worst teams in terms of puck possession and shot statistics, yet rode Massa to the Frozen Four. In its early games this year, UNO has followed the same formula, and thus far the untested goalies have performed. It will be interesting to see the results against better/more talented forward play like UNO will see in the NCHC.

I'm not sure we're a better team than UNO, but I like the defensive group we have playing in front of our untested goaltenders better than I like yours. Just my two cents.

Red Cows
10-27-2015, 09:44 AM
I don't think UND is the No. 1 team in the country at this point, although I'm not sure UNO is either. Neither has really been tested. I'd probably go with Providence as the undefeated, defending champion.

I will say that I'm generally happy with where UND sits at this point, given the circumstances. Neither the prized goalie recruit nor a senior forward/assistant captain have played a game due to injury. Two of the top 4 freshman forward recruits have missed half the games due to injury. Playing a third string walk on goalie. This has created a formula for some losses against very weak competition, losses that would really come back to hurt us later in the year, but we've dodged those bullets thus far.

I think it will be more interesting to see if UNO can replicate its success from last year where they were one of the worst teams in terms of puck possession and shot statistics, yet rode Massa to the Frozen Four. In its early games this year, UNO has followed the same formula, and thus far the untested goalies have performed. It will be interesting to see the results against better/more talented forward play like UNO will see in the NCHC.

I'm not sure we're a better team than UNO, but I like the defensive group we have playing in front of our untested goaltenders better than I like yours. Just my two cents.

This.

I'm not exactly thumping my chest about our rankings, either.

UNO wins in non-traditional ways, it seems, much like the Royals win in baseball the same way. The only way I can see that you can be 6-0-0, while having been outshot in every game but one is by killing penalties and getting great goaltending. Take a look where UNO is, nationally, at both and there you go. Then, throw in one player, in particular (Ortega), who is performing at an elite level, and one that is only a step or two behind that (Guentzel), apparently, since Air Force Head Coach Frank Serratore, after our series with them in his postgame press conference, compared him to Wayne Gretzky and called him the best college hockey player he has ever seen in his 19 year college head coaching career.

It's a strange thing. I've seen every game we've played so far this season and even though we've been getting outshot, you don't have any real sense of that while we are playing and we've somehow managed to look like the better team, even while this is going on.

Coach Blais hasn't been bashful, either, saying that "no team in the country can skate with us" and also saying our top line is the "best in the country". I mean, he's been publicly comparing this team to his two title teams in North Dakota. Considering who it is that is saying this, that counts for something with me. That said, we've had strong starts before and suffered some late season swoons on his watch before.

Achilles heel has been our power play so far. Its been terrible. In the one 5-3 situation we had so far this season, against Air Force, and it was a FULL uninterrupted 2 minutes, we didn't even come close to scoring, really. 2-21 so far this season.

I'll also say this. Even though we've largely been out shot, from my perspective, we have, by and large, had more quality opportunities and taken far better shots than our opponents have. There are shots and then there are shots.

I have not seen North Dakota play at all, yet, so I certainly can't speak to what they have even looked like, but, unbeaten is unbeaten. Should stay that way after this weekend, too.

As far as we are concerned, is there a new sheriff in town? Only time will tell.

gomavs#1
10-28-2015, 05:46 PM
I think it will be more interesting to see if UNO can replicate its success from last year where they were one of the worst teams in terms of puck possession and shot statistics, yet rode Massa to the Frozen Four. In its early games this year, UNO has followed the same formula, and thus far the untested goalies have performed. It will be interesting to see the results against better/more talented forward play like UNO will see in the NCHC.

I'm not sure we're a better team than UNO, but I like the defensive group we have playing in front of our untested goaltenders better than I like yours. Just my two cents.

Agreed. The big question is can UNO replicate its tournament success again. I'm hoping it wasn't just a flash in the pan. Our roster is pretty talented, so part of me thinks that UNO has what it takes. Yet, it has been a long time since UNO has been in the final four of its own conference tournament. That streak has to stop this year.

Red Cows
10-29-2015, 09:40 PM
Agreed. The big question is can UNO replicate its tournament success again. I'm hoping it wasn't just a flash in the pan. Our roster is pretty talented, so part of me thinks that UNO has what it takes. Yet, it has been a long time since UNO has been in the final four of its own conference tournament. That streak has to stop this year.

Coach Blais has made really big deal out of us making some hay in the conference tourney this season in several interviews. By that I mean advancing beyond first round home ice.

Presuming we get home ice this year, yet again, one thing will be certainly different. The arena will be full.

gomavs#1
10-30-2015, 08:20 PM
Well, that game was fairly terrible. Too many defensive mistakes. Turnovers killed us and Thompson let one go that shouldn't have gone in for sure. We weren't going to go undefeated, but losing the first game in conference play is not the start we needed.

Red Cows
10-30-2015, 10:04 PM
Well, that game was fairly terrible. Too many defensive mistakes. Turnovers killed us and Thompson let one go that shouldn't have gone in for sure. We weren't going to go undefeated, but losing the first game in conference play is not the start we needed.


...................Thompson let one go that shouldn't have gone in for sure.

A recurring theme in every game he has played.

Red Cows
11-06-2015, 11:03 PM
Seriously ugly game tonight. At least we won. Poorly played on both sides. The only guys that showed up, really, were the two goalies.

The expected end of Kirk Thompson in goal happened tonight and Weninger got the start and he should have been the 1st star (he was the 2nd).

Outshot in yet another victory. This time, massively. 47-28.

UNO has played or has upcoming series involving 16 games, total, against teams currently ranked 31 or below in Pairwise. Our SOS isn't looking so hot right now, currently 24th and looks to be heading south from here since we have yet to play 10 of those aforementioned 16 games.

vizoroo
11-06-2015, 11:12 PM
But we got to see your new home or part of it..

Red Cows
11-06-2015, 11:33 PM
But we got to see your new home or part of it..

As well as Austin Ortega's nation leading 8th goal, his fifth game winning goal of the season.

Now, only 6 shy of tying the all time NCAA career record for game winners.

Only 9 games into his junior season.

Biddco
11-07-2015, 10:00 AM
As well as Austin Ortega's nation leading 8th goal, his fifth game winning goal of the season.

Now, only 6 shy of tying the all time NCAA career record for game winners.

Only 9 games into his junior season.

Doesn't count unless the game is tied when the goal is scored. Eventual Game Winning goals should be a separate category.

Red Cows
11-07-2015, 01:14 PM
Doesn't count unless the game is tied when the goal is scored. Eventual Game Winning goals should be a separate category.

Except we don't make the rules. Your way would also manifestly change the existing record books. I don't necessarily disagree with you, though. I wonder if all the game accounts that would be necessary to cull through actually exist to change/fix this? If so it would be a huge undertaking.

Nevertheless:

http://www.uscho.com/stats/player/mid,22711/austin-ortega/

He sticks around through next season and I can see him becoming the new standard bearer of this record, whatever one's interpretation of it is.

He causes more problems for opposing teams out on the ice than any other player in UNO history, IMHO, save perhaps, Scott Parse. He is firmly in the category of "He is getting his. It's everybody else you have to worry about".

gomavs#1
11-08-2015, 02:25 PM
Good home sweep after a terrible showing last weekend. Needed that against a good Duluth team. Really, really, really, really am disliking the (new?) rule of reviewing nearly every single goal. Slows the pace of the game down and any momentum teams develop from scoring is wiped out by 5-10 minute delays. I understand getting a call right, but does it have to be every goal?

Red Cows
11-09-2015, 03:32 AM
Good home sweep after a terrible showing last weekend. Needed that against a good Duluth team. Really, really, really, really am disliking the (new?) rule of reviewing nearly every single goal. Slows the pace of the game down and any momentum teams develop from scoring is wiped out by 5-10 minute delays. I understand getting a call right, but does it have to be every goal?

Every one of those goals that was reviewed should have been.

Worse, I had to explain to the large number of band-wagoners and wannabes that are now a fixture in our new arena, many of which seem to be sitting in close proximity to me, why these 3 goals were reviewed.


For those not in attendance (and, we are referencing the Saturday night game here):

1. Guentzel's disallowed goal occurred after he flattened/interfered with the goalie in the crease just prior to jamming in a rebound while he was still in the crease. He is lucky they didn't call a goaltender interference penalty. The refs looked at this one for every bit of 5 minutes, maybe more.

2. Olofsson's goal looked like it might have been played with a high stick. It wasn't. When replayed on the replay board from an angle where you could see it well, you could see it was not and the refs took all of 15 seconds to look at this one. Goal.

3. The review that took place on what looked like a glove save right out of the air by Weninger on a very hard slap shot from the right wing by a UMD player was because it looked like Weninger might have caught the puck in the air behind the goal line. To me, it was obvious what the review was about right away. I then had to explain to everyone sitting around me that, save or not, if the goalie catches the puck in his glove behind the goal line it's still a goal. I got this one wrong. The goal was allowed but I was pseudo-sure it wouldn't be. This wasn't a terribly lengthy review but it was sure obvious to me what they were looking at.

4. Guentzel's first goal that was allowed, looked like it might have been kicked in. It wasn't and the review was almost as fast as it was for Olofsson's goal.


Far more significant than this weekend's outcomes is concern about the answer to this question: How long can we sustain an .800 winning percentage while getting outshot in almost every game to the extent that we are? UNO has now been outshot this season 329 to 275. Our Corsi number is 48.3 (36th out of all D-1 teams). We've been outshot in every win but one.

For the naysayers about our team, I submit this. So far, we are a team with the leading goal scorer in the country and the leading scorer in the country. And, those are two different guys. Throw in great goaltending (Western Michigan excepted, Weninger has been phenomenal for a freshman, 5th, nationally, in save percentage and 9th in GAA) and Thompson has stunk and still managed to rack up a 3-1-0 record. Couple that with well above average team defense (13th, nationally) as well as an above average penalty kill (16th, nationally), throw in another guy with with a double digit point total, already, as well as leading the nation in short-handed goals, and you have an 8-2-0 team that is channeling the Kansas City Royals in winning unconventionally.

Even though we have been outshot, pretty massively, so far, I have had no real sense of it in the 8 games I have seen this season (all of the 8 games UNO has won). I find this very, very encouraging for later in the season. Being outshot, we have still, by and large looked like the better team in the 8 wins I have seen. (Duh). As the season wears on, as everyone establishes more of a comfort level with one another (we have more newcomers than you might think getting significant ice time), I think this bodes very well for us. My guess is that the shot disparity tide will turn slowly but surely. UNO is giving regular shifts to four different lines. Developing better cohesiveness when doing this takes some time. Not one of these lines returns as it was from last season (and, we didn't play 4 lines last year, either).

This is, by far, the deepest team we have ever sent out on the ice in the history of the program. As well as Weninger has played and looked, I'll go out on a limb, now, and state that this team is better than last year's team. That said, whether that translates into anything approaching last year's success obviously remains to be seen.

We're gonna be heard from. I'm pretty convinced of that. To what extent is still unknown. I've seen enough already this season to know that there is reason to be somewhat more optimistic than you might have been last season at this time.

puckhead@uno
11-09-2015, 07:19 PM
I think Duluth is a pretty darn good hockey club, and this sweep will come in mighty handy down the road.

The PP definitely needs work, not enough quality chances.

One very encouraging sign is how many goals this team scores by going to the net. Ortega almost had one on the first shift Saturday night too.

Parizek is excellent in breakaway situations, he was very patient on that goal.

8-2 is a fine start and I think this off week comes at a pretty good time. Miami will not be easy on the road, and I'd be ok with a split.

Red Cows
11-09-2015, 09:59 PM
UNO did not sell out their Saturday night game with UMD.

Thus is the power of Husker football.

The attendance was 7,135 and capacity is 7,898.

Selling out every game (nearly every reserved seat in the building is already sold for the entirety of the season) is predicated upon the students filling the 830 seat student section. These are not available until game day.

It was nowhere close to even half full. The box office, itself, had a sign that said the game Saturday night was sold out, otherwise.

Apparently, we have an element of the student body that is more interested in watching nobody, doing nothing, going nowhere, than watching a team that actually has a chance at a title, I guess.

Of note on Saturday night, too. The cheaper the seats in the arena on Saturday night, the more packed a given section of the building was. Club section and suite attendance was an issue Saturday night. Actual attendance was inversely proportional to ticket prices. I, frankly, find that pretty disgusting.

Bonin21
11-09-2015, 10:02 PM
Of note on Saturday night, too. The cheaper the seats in the arena on Saturday night, the more packed a given section of the building was. Club section and suite attendance was an issue Saturday night. Actual attendance was inversely proportional to ticket prices. I, frankly, find that pretty disgusting.
Welcome to the big leagues

gomavs#1
11-16-2015, 09:54 AM
Apparently, we have an element of the student body that is more interested in watching nobody, doing nothing, going nowhere, than watching a team that actually has a chance at a title, I guess.

Of note on Saturday night, too. The cheaper the seats in the arena on Saturday night, the more packed a given section of the building was. Club section and suite attendance was an issue Saturday night. Actual attendance was inversely proportional to ticket prices. I, frankly, find that pretty disgusting.

I think we will find this to be a fairly regular occurrence at the new barn in both respects. Students will pack it in on Friday night because they can plan their day/night around going to class and then pre-gaming for a Friday night game. Then Saturday comes and they just don't put it in their plans.

And the club/suite people were all watching the Husker game at their regular bar or rich-folk gathering. We need their money to fund the new barn, but those aren't your dedicated UNO hockey fans. They have a boatload of money and can say they have a suite/club seat at the new arena. But I wouldn't expect to see them as regular attendees.

purpleinnebraska
11-16-2015, 11:17 AM
And the club/suite people were all watching the Husker game at their regular bar or rich-folk gathering. We need their money to fund the new barn, but those aren't your dedicated UNO hockey fans. They have a boatload of money and can say they have a suite/club seat at the new arena. But I wouldn't expect to see them as regular attendees.

I think this is an issue for a lot of schools this time of year - college and high school football still going on, hunting season opening, fall harvest (Well, maybe not harvest for you guys, but for those of us in more rural areas it can play a part) - and it doesn't help that the early part of the season can include non-conference teams who don't really stoke the fires of the fans. I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot, unless it stretches into January.

gomavs#1
11-16-2015, 11:29 AM
I think this is an issue for a lot of schools this time of year - college and high school football still going on, hunting season opening, fall harvest (Well, maybe not harvest for you guys, but for those of us in more rural areas it can play a part) - and it doesn't help that the early part of the season can include non-conference teams who don't really stoke the fires of the fans. I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot, unless it stretches into January.

I would agree with that, especially in areas that aren't hockey-focused. Places up north have more hockey-centered mindsets I would guess. Husker football will always cut into UNO attendance during the first half, simply unavoidable. Even when they are terrible that will be the case. If Bill Callahan couldn't chase away the fan base, I don't think anyone will.