This past week, Tim Rappleye of Flo Hockey asked me to write a short summary of what’s going on with the University of North Dakota hockey team.
“After being swept by Canisius College, North Dakota is in serious jeopardy of missing the NCAA playoffs for the second year in a row,” said Burton. “The UND fan base is in full meltdown mode.” As for firing Berry? “He’s in year one of a five-year contract that pays him $400,000. A year.”
Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald also contributed to Rappleye’s post.
“They’re dominating in terms of possession and shots,” said Schlossman, “But they just cannot finish. You shouldn’t lose a game where shot attempts are 93-39.” Thus, the Fighting Hawks might resemble the Fighting Sioux in terms of territorial advantage, but not on the scoreboard. And that might reflect on Brad Berry’s recruiting. Where are all the bona fide scorers? Schlossman did not hesitate: “In the NHL.”
Schlossman isn’t wrong, all of UND’s high scorers are in the NHL. Yes, the UND fan’s are getting antsy. Yes, UND is dire straights if they don’t start stringing together some wins. I think the fans have a right to be upset.
After being swept by Canisius, UND fans took to Twitter expressing their displeasure. Numerous tweets called for Brad Berry’s ouster. Don’t believe me, check out Brad Schlossman’s and my twitter feeds.
This one was more creative, but the same message.
Yes, It’s been a rough year and a half. I think firing Berry or the entire staff is a bit extreme. First, there are 16 games left in regular season. That’s a lot of hockey. I’d let things play out before we panic.
With that said, the UND hockey players are aware that the fan base is upset, but they’re going to block that out and focus on the 26 guys in the locker room.
“There’s going to be a lot of outside noise this week with how the weekend went,” a stone-faced Jones said. “Sticking together as a group is the main message there. Obviously, we know that we got passionate fans here and that’s the benefit of living here. Playing for this university at times can be tough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We’re fortunate to have a fan base we have here, but in terms of listening to that stuff, that stuff, we will be listening to the 26 guys in the locker room and the staff. We know we have a passionate fan base and if I was a fan I’d be frustrated at times, too.”
Freshman forward Mark Senden echoed his teammate’s comments.
“We try to block out as much as possible, Senden said. “We’ve just got to focus on our group, you know, 26 guys in the locker room and the staff. We just got to do we can do. We’ve got to focus on ourselves and what we can work on you know to win the game. We don’t try to listen to the outside noise too much, you know, we just kind of try and focus on the game in front of us on Friday and go from there.”
UND sits at 9-9-1 3-5-0 (NCHC). They look to right the ship against the Colorado College Tigers 8-10-2, 2-5-1 (NCHC). UND is 6-3-1 against the Tigers in the last 10 games including a 2-2-0 record the last four. Game times are 7:37 on Friday and 7:07 on Saturday.