UND HOCKEY: Eidsness pushing for playing time
Aaron Dell broke Ed Belfour's 34-year-old, single-season wins record a year ago. That doesn't mean Brad Eidsness is letting Dell take the No. 1 goalie job this season without a challenge. Eidsness, a senior, has been pushing Dell for playing time...
Aaron Dell broke Ed Belfour's 34-year-old, single-season wins record a year ago.
That doesn't mean Brad Eidsness is letting Dell take the No. 1 goalie job this season without a challenge.
Eidsness, a senior, has been pushing Dell for playing time this fall and may earn a start this weekend in a home series against the University of Maine (7:37 p.m. Friday, 7:07 p.m. Saturday).
Eidsness saw his first action of the season midway through UND's 6-2 loss to Boston College on Saturday night. He stopped seven of eight shots in relief of Dell, highlighted by back-to-back leg saves on point-blank chances.
"I think there's been a pretty good battle going on the first two weeks," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "I think Aaron's still our No. 1. That being said, there's been good competition and pretty good level of play from both guys in practice.
"Brad went in on Saturday and did a good job. He plugged the dam when we were leaking a bit in the second. He's earned himself some more playing time. He's got to keep practicing hard. We'll make the decision who starts on Friday."
Eidsness was the No. 1 guy during his first two seasons at UND. He played 41 games as both a freshman and a sophomore, leading UND to a MacNaughton Cup and a Broadmoor Trophy. But Eidsness struggled at the start of last season, opening the door for Dell.
"I think (Eidsness) has come back and had a different frame of mind," Hakstol said. "He's practicing very well. He's competing hard and at the end of the day, what matters most is stopping pucks. And he's stopping a lot of pucks in practice."
Eidsness said his offseason routine didn't change much this year. He went back home to Chestermere, Alta., and worked out with the same trainer, same goalie coach and in the same arena as past years.
"I feel good," he said. "I think you kind of get a better understanding of where you need to be to play well and practice well. I think I put myself in a pretty good position coming into this year."
Eidsness said that entering the season as the No. 2 goalie instead of the No. 1 goalie is only slightly different.
"From a personal standpoint, I have to prepare no matter what the scenario is," Eidsness said. "I just try to show up and do what I have to do every day. Whether people on the outside are saying I'm going to start or not, that doesn't really factor into it."
"I've had an understanding since I've been here that the guy who is going to help us win is going to play games. It's our job to show up and be ready to play."
Sioux players say they feel comfortable with either Dell or Eidsness in net.
"I've been through a lot with Eids and with Dell," senior defenseman Ben Blood said. "We've won MacNaughton Cups with Eids in net and with Dell in net."
No. 17 Maine
at No. 6 UND
When: 7:37 p.m. Friday, 7:07 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Ralph Engelstad Arena.
TV/radio: FSSN, MidcoSN3 (GF Ch. 323), Fox College Sports Central, DirecTV 617 (Friday), DirecTV 623 (Saturday); The Fox (96.1 FM).
Records: UND 1-1, Maine 1-1.
Of note: This is Maine's third trip to Ralph Engelstad Arena. The teams split in 2001 and Maine swept UND in 2006.
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to email@example.com .