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

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  • #31
    Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

    Tick, tick, tick, tick.............

    That sound you hear is the countdown clock to freshman goalie Evan Weninger and his nation leading .980 save percentage, to say nothing of his 2nd best in the country .06679 GAA, being the full time UNO goalie.

    We are already at the point of "What on Earth is Kirk Thompson doing out there?"

    Being an upperclassman, despite the fact that you have never played particularly well when given the chance, previously, is a lousy reason to be playing, period.

    Thompson doesn't stink. Weninger has just markedly outplayed him.

    Not. Even. A. Contest.

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    • #32
      Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

      Originally posted by Red Cows View Post
      Tick, tick, tick, tick.............

      That sound you hear is the countdown clock to freshman goalie Evan Weninger and his nation leading .980 save percentage, to say nothing of his 2nd best in the country .06679 GAA, being the full time UNO goalie.

      We are already at the point of "What on Earth is Kirk Thompson doing out there?"

      Being an upperclassman, despite the fact that you have never played particularly well when given the chance, previously, is a lousy reason to be playing, period.

      Thompson doesn't stink. Weninger has just markedly outplayed him.

      Not. Even. A. Contest.
      I don't disagree that it's where we're heading. But I don't think you'll see that until at least closer to Thanksgiving, maybe even after Christmas. A couple years ago Massa wasn't anything special either, but he kept improving. I haven't physically watched him this year, but the description of his play is much more promising then it has been in the past. From play-by-play call it seems Thompson is moving quicker and bigger, and not giving up the big rebounds. And his stats through three games are the best start in his career.

      The other thing I think needs to be done, is make Weninger prove he can do this over 7-8 or more games to make sure its not some mirage, which I don't think it is. Also, if you sit Thompson now, and Weniger implodes after Christmas to the point we need a change, you'll see them rolling out goalies who haven't played in two months.

      I think Thompson plays until Christmas unless he gives up a couple straight 4-5 goal nights. I project he'll have one 5 goal night, go 2-2 in NCHC and 4-2 down the stretch to the break.
      University of Wisconsin - River Falls Men's and Women's Hockey Broadcaster 2007-2012
      University of Nebraska at Omaha Intermission/Post Game Host and Statistician 2012-2014
      https://twitter.com/SilversSports

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      • #33
        Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

        Originally posted by SilversSports View Post
        I don't disagree that it's where we're heading. But I don't think you'll see that until at least closer to Thanksgiving, maybe even after Christmas. A couple years ago Massa wasn't anything special either, but he kept improving. I haven't physically watched him this year, but the description of his play is much more promising then it has been in the past. From play-by-play call it seems Thompson is moving quicker and bigger, and not giving up the big rebounds. And his stats through three games are the best start in his career.

        The other thing I think needs to be done, is make Weninger prove he can do this over 7-8 or more games to make sure its not some mirage, which I don't think it is. Also, if you sit Thompson now, and Weniger implodes after Christmas to the point we need a change, you'll see them rolling out goalies who haven't played in two months.

        I think Thompson plays until Christmas unless he gives up a couple straight 4-5 goal nights. I project he'll have one 5 goal night, go 2-2 in NCHC and 4-2 down the stretch to the break.
        Well, I've said in some other posts that I believe that Weninger will be the full time goalie by New Years, at the latest. I think there is also something of a political side to this for Coach Blais. That said, take a look at Thompson's juniors numbers (or Blankenberg's, for that matter) as opposed to Thompson's. Thompson's numbers almost make you wonder why we'd have offered him, even. Weninger's juniors numbers are a highlight reel.

        Both guys have played 3 complete games. Aside for the numbers I have already cited above (besides my own eye test--I've attended 4 of UNO's 6 games and seen the other two) you can look it at like this. Thompson, in the same number of minutes played, has allowed 3 1/2 times the number of goals that Weninger has. Three and one half! Yes, it is sort of small sample size but it sure isn't insignificant. More importantly, 3 of the goals that have gone in against Thompson were ones that I am sure he wishes back (the first goal Air Force got on him on Friday night was just plain awful). Untrue of either goal against Weninger. One of which was gotten in a 5 on 3 situation and the one Air Force got on Saturday night no goalie, anywhere, was stopping that shot.

        We are already pretty clearly a title threat. I thought so before the season, based on what was coming back and I am even more sure of that, now, even just 6 games in. Accomplishing that feat is going to rest mostly on goaltending on this team, making the decision of who that is a huge one. Every other piece of the puzzle seems to be in place. We beat Air Force on Saturday night, mostly on the backs of our 4th line! Most schools don't even have 4 real lines. We have the most depth and firepower in the history of the program. The best goaltender we have needs to play and he needs to play all the time. IMHO, that is Weninger, both on paper and based on performance so far as well.

        By the way, speaking of Massa, even before his best-season-in-goal-in-program-history season last year, he was already 5th, career all time, in GAA in program history and was 2nd in save percentage.

        He hadn't exactly been chopped liver even before his off-the-charts performance last year.

        I think Coach Blais is going to give Blankenberg a start somewhere in here, too, to see what he has there, as well. My guess would be a game against Ohio State, Arizona State, or the exhibition against Trinity Western. No way would I risk a league game with an unknown commodity, now.

        Coach Blais did say today that it is going to be Thompson Friday and Weninger Saturday for awhile, though.

        I don't like musical goalies and I don't think teams win titles with musical goalies, either.

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        • #34
          Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

          Congratulations on a successful Opening weekend!
          GO DU !!!

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          • #35
            Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

            Originally posted by Red Cows View Post
            I don't like musical goalies and I don't think teams win titles with musical goalies, either.
            I agree with this if it is February, but as of right now, you don't want to burn out your goalie. If you have two that can get you the win, stick with two for now and go with the hot hand after the winter break
            UNO Maverick fan and Gopher hater, stuck in Husky country...

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            • #36
              Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

              Originally posted by Red Cows View Post

              I don't like musical goalies and I don't think teams win titles with musical goalies, either.
              You guys don't remember Fish on Fridays, Manno on Saturday?

              By the way, congrats on the new arena. I look forward to coming down and breaking it in, say like we did Amsoil.

              It does look nice, though.
              That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open lists, to win or lose.

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              • #37
                Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

                UNO (6-0) loses votes and ground to UND (4-0-2) due to UND's incredible sweep of the same Vermont team that UNO swept last week.

                Uno and Quinnipiac are the only two unbeaten, untied teams in the nation if you exclude the smart kids who haven't had to play yet
                UNO Maverick fan and Gopher hater, stuck in Husky country...

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                • #38
                  Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

                  Originally posted by 5thYearFreshman View Post
                  UNO (6-0) loses votes and ground to UND (4-0-2) due to UND's incredible sweep of the same Vermont team that UNO swept last week.

                  Uno and Quinnipiac are the only two unbeaten, untied teams in the nation if you exclude the smart kids who haven't had to play yet
                  Exactly one year ago Minnesota was the unanimous choice for #1. They struggled to make the tournament. Not a lot of rhyme or reason to first half college hockey polls.
                  That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open lists, to win or lose.

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                  • #39
                    Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

                    Originally posted by 5thYearFreshman View Post
                    UNO (6-0) loses votes and ground to UND (4-0-2) due to UND's incredible sweep of the same Vermont team that UNO swept last week.

                    Uno and Quinnipiac are the only two unbeaten, untied teams in the nation if you exclude the smart kids who haven't had to play yet
                    You're right, it was incredible. Winning both games by multiple goals and outshooting Vermont in both games.
                    Hollywood Hair Care Tip for Infinity (Directly from Hollywood himself)
                    when its minus 20 and u have to go outside.. make sure u wear a winter hat as the mohawk does not enjoy the winter weathe(r)
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                    • #40
                      Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

                      Originally posted by Dirty View Post
                      You're right, it was incredible. Winning both games by multiple goals and outshooting Vermont in both games.
                      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.
                      Last edited by gomavs#1; 10-26-2015, 06:40 PM.
                      If we could extend Blais' contract, that'd be greeeaaatttt

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                      • #41
                        Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

                        Originally posted by gomavs#1 View Post
                        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.

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                        • #42
                          Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

                          Originally posted by Red Cows View Post
                          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.
                          That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open lists, to win or lose.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

                            Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
                            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.
                            Last edited by Red Cows; 10-27-2015, 10:47 AM.

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                            • #44
                              Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

                              Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
                              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.
                              If we could extend Blais' contract, that'd be greeeaaatttt

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                              • #45
                                Re: UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?

                                Originally posted by gomavs#1 View Post
                                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.

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