Sioux storm Manitoba
Dave Hakstol got just about everything he wanted in UND's 6-2 exhibition game win Sunday night over the University of Manitoba. The Sioux men's hockey coach saw every player on the roster, outside of David Toews (minor injury), in game action. He...
Dave Hakstol got just about everything he wanted in UND's 6-2 exhibition game win Sunday night over the University of Manitoba.
The Sioux men's hockey coach saw every player on the roster, outside of David Toews (minor injury), in game action. He saw 10 of the 14 forwards factor into the scoring. He saw a new-look power play work efficiently.
And he got the effort and performance he was looking for as the first regular-season game looms five days away.
"And what an honor it was to do it in front of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota people," said Hakstol, who watched as the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribal flags were raised in a pregame ceremony. "What an honor it was to watch the pregame ceremony. I'm not just saying this to be a line in the newspaper. It truly was inspiring."
Hakstol said he and the team spent a couple of hours Sunday afternoon with tribal members. They spoke to the Sioux team about their history and tradition and the team showed them a quote painted inside the locker room that reminds them to honor the Sioux tribes with every performance.
Hakstol believes the team did that against an overmatched Bisons team that has played three games in three days.
UND piled up 51 shots on goal to Manitoba's 22. Ryan Duncan scored twice, while Jason Gregoire, Matt Watkins, Andrew Kozek and Brett Hextall each added one.
Highlighting the performance were Watkins (three points) and senior Brad Miller (two assists).
With a shortage of right-handed defensemen, the Sioux tried to play the shifty Miller on the point of the power-play unit. The result: Miller had a game-high eight shots on goal and assisted on two of UND's three power-play tallies.
"It worked out well tonight," said Miller, who had the same job while playing for the Green Bay Gamblers in junior hockey. "I found out about two weeks ago that they wanted to try it. It took some getting used to in the beginning, but after I got a couple of shifts under my belt, I felt better. It'll be nice to get a few more reps at it in practice this week. But we'll see what the coaches think."
Hakstol said he thought Miller did a good job and it's something the staff will consider continuing. Other than that, not much was cleared up regarding roster spots.
Hextall and Mario Lamoureux were listed as the extra forwards (because it was an exhibition, there were no limits on how many players could dress). Both got their names on the score sheet with Lamoureux assisting on Hextall's second-period goal.
"We wanted to get a lot of guys opportunities," Hakstol said. "Everybody has had a good month. Nobody, through dryland training or the skill sessions, has put themselves out of the mix. Certainly, tonight didn't make our roster decisions much easier."
All three goaltenders played. Senior Aaron Walski started and stopped all 10 shots he saw during 27 minutes, 56 seconds. Freshman Brad Eidsness played the next 25:44, stopping eight shots and allowing a pair of doorstep, power-play goals. Rookie Graeme Harrington played the final 6:17 and stopped two shots.
UND will have three days of practice before departing Thursday for Boston, where it will compete in the Ice Breaker Invitational. The Sioux play host Boston University on Friday and Massachusetts on Saturday.
UND will go to Boston pleased with its preparation game.
"We got a lot of good things out of it; we saw a lot of things we were hoping to see," Hakstol said. "We asked guys to go out and play the game hard and not think too much, not worry about the systems. A lot of guys made a lot of good plays."
Notes: The attendance of 11,571 set a record for an exhibition game at UND. . . . This is the fifth straight season that the Sioux have opened up with an exhibition win against Manitoba. . . . Chay Genoway had a multipoint game with two assists.
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
UND 6, Manitoba 2
Key play: Andrew Kozek and Brett Hextall goals 3 minutes, 40 seconds apart in the second period for a 4-1 lead.
Key player: Brad Miller, 2 assists, 8 shots on goal.