Sunday, December 17, 2006

It Was Going to Happen Siouxner or Later

What a weekend indeed. Our Huskies came to Grand Forks having been shut down by the #1 Gophers and losing two heartbreakers to SCSU, and the Sioux series was one to be decided by hard work and dedication. After taking the first night in convincing fashion, the second night was to be another nail-biter.

Rob Nolan started in net for the second consecutive night, after a dominating performance on Friday. For the Sioux, though, Anthony Grieco was placed in goal after Phillipe Lamoureux's 3 goal game. Once again, the first period went by with little activity, few penalties, and no scoring. After a night of less-than-stellar performance, The Oshie was able to convert on the powerplay, 49 seconds into the second. Ironically, this happened immediately after I warned the neighboring Sioux fans to avert their eyes for fear of the brilliance.

It seemed as if the Sioux had a foothold in the game, until 12 minutes in when Alex Gange was able to scoot a puck past Grieco. Less than a minute passed, and Jimmy Kerr fired a convincing shot straight past Grieco putting the Huskies up. This prompted UND coach Dave Hakstol to pull Grieco in favor of Lamoureux. Luckily for Lammy, the UND fans serenaded him with a chorus of boos, surely giving him and the Sioux team a good feeling of confidence. The Sioux were unphased by their fans' feelings, though, when The Oshie fired a shot from the side off of Nolan's glove and into the net.

Enter stalemate, once again. The Huskies and Sioux played hard for the next 20 minutes, with Lamoureux making some brilliant saves, showing up the crowd, not to be unmatched by Robby Nolan's continued hot streak. Lammy would be the first to break, though, when John Schwarz fired a shot at the net, and Malcolm Gwilliam sent it soaring straight past the goaltender's glove. 11 minutes to go, and the Huskies up one, and so it would remain. Gwilliam's beautiful game winner settled the match, and after some stellar defensive play and continued offensive pressure, the Huskies took their second consecutive win at the Ralph and first sweep of UND in ages.

So how did this win happen, you ask. Two words: Matt Greene. MeanEgirl had bet me that Matt Greene, former Sioux captain and Edmonton Oilers defenseman would not score a goal before 2007. Greene made MEg eat her words, though, with a brilliant offensive play totally unlike him on Thursday night, beating Manny Fernandez for his first goal. A dejected MEg settled on a Sioux sweep, and traveled to Grand Forks expecting the worst. All the negative energy from Greene's goal and MEg's negativity likely combined with the lack of atmosphere in the Ralph, disabling The Oshie and allowing the Huskies to win. Honestly, how else would a team like Michigan Tech be able to sweep in the Ralph?

In all seriousness, though, the play this weekend was reminiscent of the play we saw opening the season. Our guys faced some tough opponents in the past weeks, as evidenced by the cu
rrent WCHA standings. If Denver takes the series vs. UAA tonight, though, Tech will be tied for 5th. The guys will get a short break before the annual GLI, and then face UMD once again before returning home against the CHA Bemidji State Beavers.

As an analysis by the editor, I'd like to take a moment to thank all the Huskies and their parents for making this weekend awesome. It would be so easy to cheer for a team like the Gophers, who win week after week, but making a 9 hour trip to watch our guys play a team like the Sioux, where no win is ever certain, and then be treated to such good play game in and game out, and have the parents treat us so nicely as well is just awesome. The guys showed their class after the game as well, when a team of kids from the Twin Cities waited for them to come out and got autographs.

I would also like to thank MEg and Mitch's Misfits for making home series the way they are as well. I don't mean any offense to fans of the Sioux, but the atmosphere in the Ralph is non-existent. I was awestruck by the grandeur of the building, but no one seemed to care about cheering the team on. They booed their goaltender, one guy threw a beer on the ice after the Saturday game, and my personal least favorite aspect, the "home of the Sioux" during our national anthem. I think we can learn the most from the children present though. We sat in front of a group of boy and girl scouts there for a scout night, and the kids were awesome. They knew nothing about hockey, but every time we would shout something or cheer for the Huskies, they would be interjecting their "let's go Sioux" etc. The girl scouts were even able to get the entire building on their feet egging the team on with a minute to go. Here's to the kids, the good hockey fans, the players and their families. This weekend was perfect, and stay tuned for some analysis from the midget.

Oh, and Dirty did buy Hot Pockets, and they were amazing.


letsgomavs said...

Nice SWEEP!! That just topped off my weekend. Our sweep made me happy, but adding yours just made me giddy:) A Sioux fan was sitting with us at the I was giving him my normal amount of crap. Then, after the game, when I found out they were swept I really rubbed it in. NICE!! A UND loss is always good:)

MeanEgirl said...

Thanks, lgm. It was awesome seeing my team FINALLY take at least one point from the Sioux.

And Boosh, great coverage. Matt Greene still sucks though.

Goon said...

Nice photos there Mean Girl. The Blog looks great.
I hope your drive home was uneventfull and it looks like you made it home safe.