Monday, March 20, 2006

Revenge is a Dish Best Served 8 Years Later

So the committee decided to keep Michigan and CC in the West, rather than ship BC out and thus the Wolverines will be playing in Grand Forks, in a region that they really don't stand much chance of coming out of.

Sweet revenge for North Dakota fans for 1998, as the Wolverines will now be taking on NoDak in their own barn. One fan on USCHO said that this doesn't make it even, since Michigan isn't coming in as a big favorite. To that I say that they're still probably going to get a higher-ranked Minnesota team in their own arena, so stop yer bitching.

The people that complain that Michigan gets to host all the time just crack me up. As if MSU, Wisconsin, Minnesota, CC, and now NoDak haven't gotten to host. Just because Michigan has managed to take advantage of it all three times they've hosted doesn't mean that they should be singled out as having an advantage, when so many other hockey powers have had the same opportunity. Plus there's that little thing about how Michigan bid for 2 regionals, hoping to get one a few years back. Nobody else bid, so the Wolverines got to host both times. Sorry bout your friggin luck Denver and CC. Put in a bid next time.

To the game itself, NoDak comes in having won the WCHA Tournament. The guy on ESPN2's selection show picked them to win the whole tournament, and I believe he stated that Parise is the best goalie in the tournament. Elliott, Schneider and the Miami goalies might have something to say about that, but there's little doubt that UND has a huge advantage over Michigan in goal.

Apart from in net, we'll have to see. UND has a ton of talented youngsters, just like Michigan. Michigan probably has the edge in upper-classmen leadership with Ebbett and Kal, especially if Drew Stafford isn't back in the lineup.

On the bright side for the Wolverines, North Dakota hasn't been overwhelmingly good at home this year, posting a 13-9-0 record. That includes 5 straight losses at home earlier in the season. Then again, the Wolverines haven't exactly ripped shit up on the road this year....

If Michigan is fortunate enough to beat the Sioux, they'll more than likely run into nemesis Minnesota, who has--as Brian would call it--a functional bye (though CC thought they had a functional bye against Wayne State a couple years ago, and Michigan probably thought the same about Mercyhurst). If Minnesota isn't in this edition of the Wolverines' heads yet, they're definitely in mine. I'm pretty much convinced that we're never going to win a big game against that team again, just to piss me off. Though Minnesota seems like they're having as bad of issues with their goaltending as we are (they gave up 12 in 2 games last weekend) so maybe we'd actually stand a chance. Actually, it'd be fitting for this year to have Minnesota strike the deciding blow into our hearts. It wouldn't be nearly as much fun if we weren't getting pwn3d by various Big Ten teams in all 3 sports.

I will not be making the 16 hour trek to Grand Forks. That Friday/Saturday thing is just killing me. All in all though, it'd be pretty tough to make a 1000 mile drive when there's probably a 90% chance that I'd be coming home disappointed.

8 comments:

Colin said...

I think I would be satisfied with lots of effort and good goaltending, regardless of the outcome.

Any of these games going to be televised?

Packer487 said...

Comcast Local will have our game, and several of the other ones. I don't have the link to the TV stuff right now, but I may post it later. Looks like our game will be slightly tape delayed and will begin airing at 9:30 on Friday.

A good effort & losing still makes this worse than every other team we've had that's made the tourney except one. I'm feeling a little bit better about our chances having read some more stuff about NoDak at home, and with how young they are, and how bad Minnesota's goaltending is. NoDak has God Jr. in net though...gonna be tough but I think we've got a better shot than I felt like when I saw the bracket...

Brad said...

One thing that might help too is that the games are in the new Englestad Arena, which is supposedly a palace, but I've also heard suffers somewhat from a stale atmosphere. Unlike the old Englestad, which was widely regarded as an extremely difficult place to play.

Not that I'm overly optimistic about our chances. I do think we have a better chance of beating the Sioux than the Gophers, as you said, I'm not sure we'll ever beat them again right now. Definately not with this team. We might put 3 (or 4, or 5) past Briggsieve, but they'll get 6 or 7 on us easy.

Anonymous said...

If Mich manages to beat UND, which is possible, they will have the advantage of 10,000 Gopher-haters in the stands for the matchup with MN. Think of a Yost crowd cheering against MSU.

Anonymous said...

Since I am a UND alum, and also having season tickets for hockey, it's fair to see my view is Sioux biased.

That said, Mich has always had a powerhouse hockey program, with 9 NCAA titles (UND is number 2 with 7 NCAA titles). I think it will be another historic match up. Watching UND play all season, they have gotten better as the year has gone on. The 13 freshman have diffenetly made some great improvements. As for Drew Stafford, he is like Randy Moss, "I play when I want to play." What we can entitlement hockey, you are good, but if you don't play hard every shift, we call you a slacker, not an NHL draft pick.

You should really come to Grand Forks some time and see the new Ralph. It is a palace, he spent over $100 million on the building. Every seat, and I mean every seat in the building is leather. The floor, the whole floor, both concourses, entry ways all imported marble from Italy, nice :) the scoreboard cost like $2 million, its cool. They have lasers, for laser light shows between periods in the areana. TVs everywhere so you don't miss any of the game, even in the bathroom. The oustide is all brick, nicely done, and they have 4 search lights (one on each corner) going off into the night sky before each game. you can get info and see at www.theralph.com

Good luck to you, and go Sioux.

Packer487 said...

Thanks for the post! That arena sounds just amazing. My roommate made the trip up there so I'm hoping he takes a lot of pictures so I can see it. If this series was Saturday/Sunday I would be there, but I just started a new job, so I can't take off work for it.

I ::hope:: that it's a great game. Because if it's not, frankly we don't have a chance. This team isn't in a position to beat any high quality team soundly.

Good luck to you guys as well...and if you beat us, at least go ahead and take the Gophers out too, ok?

BTW, to the person 2 posts up...that's a great point--if those 10,000 people still show up and don't sell their tickets to Minnesotans coming across the border...

Jeremy said...

I am in the pep band. I have posted here before. We leave for this game in 45 minutes. I am a senior in the band and I have seen this team through the good times and the band. I can guarantee you that if I have any voice by the end of the game tomorrow I have not done my job. I may be buzzed right now, but I fucking LOVE this team, and I will not see them go down without a fight. I am sure Mr. Ebbett and Mr. Kalienecki feel the same way. Godspeed and Go the FUCK BLUE!

(Impressions of the Ralph to follow. You keep updating, and I'll keep posting.)

-Jeremy, bass trombone

Packer487 said...

My shining moment was when Michigan was playing CC in the Regional at Yost a couple years back, I lost my voice by the 22 minute mark of warmups. Whoops.

I'm really jealous that you guys are getting to go. I'd love to be headed over to the REA right now. My roommate says it's just ridiculous.

Go The Fuck Blue is right :-D