Yesterday I had an opportunity to attend UND Fighting hockey Sioux press conference at the Ralph Englestad Arena; here is what I took away from the press conference. The Fighting Sioux open the season by playing in the Ice Breaker Tourney at Ralph Englestad Arena this weekend with Michigan State University, Boston College and Air Force Academy.
The Fighting Sioux are focused on Air Force Academy and they’re not looking past the Falcons. Fighting Sioux captain Mario Lamoureux reminded us that his brother Jacques played at the Air Force Academy and that the Falcons are a very good hockey team and that they made the NCAA tourney three seasons in a row.
Junior forward Danny Kristo was in town most of the summer focusing on getting stronger. Kristo also said that he gained 5-10 pounds. Kristo spent a good deal of time working on his release and getting the puck off faster. In looking at Kristo it’s very apparent that he had a great summer in the weight room and it appears that he is in great shape going into the season.
Junior goalie Aaron Dell was asked, how much different is this year coming in kind of as the number one guy instead of last year when you had to try to beat out Brad [Eidsness]. Dell said, “I got treated the same way because if I don’t then he [Eidsness] can take my spot at any point. I just got to continue to a work as hard as I can and do the best I can.”
Dell on if he gained some weight? “A little bit I think I was 191 when I came in last year and I am about 199 now.”
Dave Hakstol on Zach Parise being name Captain of the New Jersey Devils today, “absolutely fitting, I think he exemplifies what a leader and a team caption is all about. So, he is a great players and I think you can argue that he [Zach] is the best American born players in the National Hockey League and certainly one of the top players in the world. It’s only a natural progression for him to be name caption in this stage of his career.”
Dave Hakstol was asked, are we going to see a different style of play, we lost half of the offense points from last season are we going to go more defensive like a 2-2-1 or are we still going to push the puck up the ice? Hakstol said, we are going to play the way that we play, bottom line, you know you have to obviously to tweak and change the little things with in the personality of every team, but we are going to build our team, we are going to build our mentality, we are going to grow as a team and were not going to change our mentality or philosophy as a program or as a hockey team.”
On the injury front freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi is doubtful for this weekend’s games. Word has it that Grimaldi is suffering from a lower body injury.