Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Gameday: Burn the Ships

Author Napoleon Hill wrote about The Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and Conquistador Hernán Cortés in his 1937 personal development book Think and Grow Rich.

“Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a burning desire to win, essential to success.”

Cortés called for his soldiers to burn the ships, never to retreat from battle.

While this excursion is not war, but hockey, the concept of burning the ships was expressed by senior Nick Mattson in last week’s episode of Through These Doors and in a well-penned article by the Grand Forks Herald’s Brad Schlossman. The UND men’s hockey team has sold out and bought in.

The epitome of buying in and selling out for North Dakota was expressed last weekend in an epic 5-on-3 penalty kill on Saturday night against SCSU that saw the Green and White block four shots and rip all momentum from the Huskies en route to a 3-1 win that clinched UND a share of the Penrose Cup as National Collegiate Hockey Conference champions.

This kill unfortunately led to a leg injury to senior leader Mark MacMillan who blocked a rocket shot with his knee off the stick of SCSU’s Jonny Brodzinski, which could be the hardest in all of college hockey. The assistant captain is tied for the team lead in goals for UND this season, but his effort and defensive ability will be missed even more.

While the Green and White will certainly miss the services of one of their senior leaders, at this time of the year, the cliché “next man up” holds true.

With one weekend remaining in the regular season, No. 1 North Dakota is 1 point shy of clinching the Penrose outright. Standing in their way, the Miami RedHawks, who with a sweep in Oxford, Ohio, would share the Penrose with UND and take the No. 1 seed into the conference tournament.

Burn the ships.

Here’s what to watch for in the title-deciding faceoff between UND and Miami in DDC’s “Who? What? How?” preview.

Who will hoist the Penrose Cup this weekend?


Players to watch


Sr. F, Austin Czarnik, 2 goals, 30 assists – 32 points
Jr. F, Riley Barber, 16g, 15a – 31 pts
So. F, Anthony Lewis, 6g, 21a – 27 pts
Jr. F, Sean Kuraly, 16g, 7a – 23 pts

Jr. G, Jay Williams, 16-6-0, .920 save percentage, 1.90 goals against average (7th in NCAA), started in 6-2 L at DU last weekend.
Jr. G, Ryan McKay, 4-5-1, .907 save percentage, 2.81 goals against average, started in 5-3 W at DU last weekend.


UND Jr. F, Drake Caggiula
Jr. F, Drake Caggiula, 15 goals, 16 assists  – 31 points
Sr. F, Michael Parks, 12g, 19a – 31 pts
Jr. D, Jordan Schmaltz, 3g, 22a – 25 pts

Jr. G, Zane McInyre, 24-6-3, 1.93 goals against average (8th in NCAA), .933 save percentage (7th in NCAA). 24 wins lead NCAA.

16 players with at least nine points.


Standout stats


2.97 goals per game (19th in NCAA), 2.18 goals allowed per game (11th in NCAA), 19.3% power play (20th in NCAA), 83.1% penalty kill (30th in NCAA)

+24 in second period, -4 in third, 13-5-1 when scoring first, 7-6-0 when allowing first, +262 in shots


3.39 GPG (7th in NCAA), 2.09 GAG (7th in NCAA), 20.9% PP, 84.1% PK

17-0-3 when scoring first, 20-0-2 when leading after 2.

7-game unbeaten streak is longest current streak in NCAA.

Haven’t allowed a 5-on-5 goal in 259:28 (Third period, Feb. 14 vs. DU).


How’d they get here?

UND's Michael Parks celebrates his goal against Miami in November
(Photo credit: UND Sports)


No. 4 PWR, No. 5 USCHO, 20-11-1 overall, 13-8-1, 41 points, 2nd in NCHC.

Last weekend:

5-3 W, 6-2 L @ Denver.


No. 1 PWR, No. 1 USCHO, 24-6-3 overall, 15-5-2, 47 pts, 1st in NCHC.

Last weekend:

3-2 W, 3-1 W vs. St. Cloud State.

Last meeting:

Split Nov. 14-15 in Grand Forks. Miami won 3-2 on Friday and UND got the split with a 4-1 win on Saturday.

The Pick

It’s hard to take emotion out of an article like this. The gut-wrenching loss of MacMillan leaves a gaping hole for a UND team that has prided itself in outworking its opponent. MacMillan is a heart and soul player and his absence won’t go unnoticed.

That being said, depth has been the key to the Green and White’s success all season and DDC believes it will be “next man up” for UND. It will be interesting to see North Dakota’s line combinations this weekend after having the same lineup for over a month. However, DDC’s expects to see a fired up team on Friday that desperately wants to win for their injured leader and to bring the Penrose to Grand Forks while not sharing it with anybody.

On the other side of the ice, Miami is a talented as they come. The forward group led by Czarnik, Barber, Kuraly and Louis is as good as it gets in college hockey. This series in back in November in Grand Forks was high-octane, racehorse hockey and DDC expects to see this again in Oxford. No doubt, these two teams want six points. These two teams want the No. 1 seed in the NCHC tourney. These two teams want the Penrose.

The key difference comes on the backend. While Miami has certainly showed its defensive ability this season with a pair of solid goaltenders, neither Williams or McKay will be in the net for UND. Zane McIntyre will be and he has proven he’s a big-time goalie this season and DDC thinks the junior netminder shows it once again.

This is must-see college hockey.

DDC will take the criticism as a “homer” or whatever you will call him, but this UND team has truly burned the ships.

UND SWEEPS, 4-2, 3-2

No comments:

Post a Comment