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fightingsiouxhockey
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I'm curious what people's views are on our nonconference schedule over the last few years. In my view, we should always try to have Minnesota & Wisconsin on the schedule if possible given the historical rivalries which I think UND has been trying to do. But I am surprised we don't schedule other nonconference bluebloods as much. To me, the glaring programs I don't think we play enough are Boston College, Boston University, and Michigan. And if we can't get those, what about Notre Dame, Maine, or Harvard that have some history. You obviously can't do all of these but why not Minnesota & Wisconsin permanent with a rotation of BC/BU/Michigan?

I think doing home & homes with these programs 1) acknowledges fellow bluebloods and the status of our program 2) give alumni in other parts of the country a chance to visit 3) help with recruiting by being "present" in other hockey regions so players out there see our program. We are after all one of the few college hockey programs that recruits nationally (MN, WI, MI, NY, TX, etc). To be blunt, I really think UND should have a trip to the East Coast every year for one weekend.

Yes, hockey is a regional sport and I respect traditional WCHA teams. But I would be totally fine dropping Bemidji State & Minnesota State for the programs I mentioned earlier. Am I alone in this opinion?

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1. Michigan refuses to play UND and come to Grand Forks. UND does not need to do that program any favors and schedule a series w/ them and be forced to travel out to them. Maybe things change with Mel Person as their current coach, I doubt it though. F-Michigan tbh. I would have loved Michigan being able to play in the Natty last year, beat Duluth then it would have been Michigan vs  UND. Dumb Covid. That game would have been fun.

2. UND has typical played Maine in the past and traveled out east. Maine’s program has really fallen off. Not what it once was…great tradition and program still. 

3. UND just recently had BC in the destination game at MSG. UND won that game. 2016 I think was year. 

4. BU, don’t think UND has much interest scheduling them and doing home series/flipping each year. Wouldn’t be opposed to having them play BU more. 

I see UND to continue to schedule and assist Bemdji’s program on an annual basis and it’s a 2-hour bus trip on HWY 2. 

Mankato, while not nationally attractive in College hockey when you list elite/recognized teams, they have been very good over the last few years. In addition, generally have older players on their team from a physical/strength standpoint. That holds a good series for UND’s team to learn and experience. Helps come March/April time.

Arizona State, I would imagine UND will schedule in the upcoming years to follow. Program still has a way to becoming  “good” but glad they’re part of college hockey. Maybe they have them on the upcoming schedule in the next few years, I forget. 

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7 hours ago, fightingsiouxhockey said:

I'm curious what people's views are on our nonconference schedule over the last few years. In my view, we should always try to have Minnesota & Wisconsin on the schedule if possible given the historical rivalries which I think UND has been trying to do. But I am surprised we don't schedule other nonconference bluebloods as much. To me, the glaring programs I don't think we play enough are Boston College, Boston University, and Michigan. And if we can't get those, what about Notre Dame, Maine, or Harvard that have some history. You obviously can't do all of these but why not Minnesota & Wisconsin permanent with a rotation of BC/BU/Michigan?

I think doing home & homes with these programs 1) acknowledges fellow bluebloods and the status of our program 2) give alumni in other parts of the country a chance to visit 3) help with recruiting by being "present" in other hockey regions so players out there see our program. We are after all one of the few college hockey programs that recruits nationally (MN, WI, MI, NY, TX, etc). To be blunt, I really think UND should have a trip to the East Coast every year for one weekend.

Yes, hockey is a regional sport and I respect traditional WCHA teams. But I would be totally fine dropping Bemidji State & Minnesota State for the programs I mentioned earlier. Am I alone in this opinion?

I understand the want from fans to schedule old rivalry games more consistently, but I think that the NCHC is a huge grind on its own, and  I would guess the coaches want a little chance to catch their breath and experiment with lineups without the backdrop of a huge rivalry.  Of course, we have seen that even if you schedule a team that could be considered "a break", it can really hurt you in the pairwise if you take them lightly or their goaltender steals the game.  Also, don't know if we give guys like Gavin Hain or others that are banged up a rest day in a rivalry game.  I like the fact we are playing Minnesota every year, so I guess I would rather do that than rotate with another old rival. 

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1 hour ago, tnt said:

I understand the want from fans to schedule old rivalry games more consistently, but I think that the NCHC is a huge grind on its own, and  I would guess the coaches want a little chance to catch their breath and experiment with lineups without the backdrop of a huge rivalry.  Of course, we have seen that even if you schedule a team that could be considered "a break", it can really hurt you in the pairwise if you take them lightly or their goaltender steals the game.  Also, don't know if we give guys like Gavin Hain or others that are banged up a rest day in a rivalry game.  I like the fact we are playing Minnesota every year, so I guess I would rather do that than rotate with another old rival. 

You kind of hit on it here but in that article talking about the collegehockeystats guy, the coaches asked him the best way to make the national tournament given the NCHC schedule. His answer was to schedule the best teams you know you can beat. So mixing in the Niagara's, Bemidji St, etc. drastically help the national picture assuming you win the games you should win.  I know the standard answer to this is we should think we can beat anyone, which while true, is mathematically not the most probable way to make the tournament.  

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This year's non-conference: 

Niagara
Bemidji State
@Quinnipiac
@PennState
Minnesota
Cornell

or put another way ...

Atlantic Hockey
CCHA
@ECAC
@BTHC
BTHC
ECAC

The schedule is put together to benchmark against other hockey conferences. 

That said, you need to win those non-conference games because you want the cross-conference benchmark to be in your favor. 

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Is Michigan still like that in the Mel Pearson era? And if so, I imagine its not just UND. They seem to be the type of program that would refuse any NC away games (not just UND) which is how some top FBS teams operate ("we are too important to travel").

I'll still stand by my original opinion...as a national program, you should be present throughout the country. I get the "free" wins concept with teams like Bemidji but I think they should be looking to make annual trips to the east coast in some type of rotation with a few programs.

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I love our current scheduling and think we do a good job of playing some east coast teams every year.  UND also can't afford to give up home game revenue.  I'd take a game vs Mankato over Michigan any year.  F michigan and their refusal to play away games. 

Also I'm pretty sure UND was trying to line up Michigan for the Nashville game, but I assume they wanted too much money or a return game in Michigan or something.

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A quick look at non-conference road schedules this season (* = one game of home and home):

Michigan:  WMU*

Minnesota: SCSU*, UMD*, UND

Wisconsin: SCSU

BC: Bentley (one game), Notre Dame (one game)

Harvard: Northeastern (one game), BC (one game)

BU: NMU, Brown (one game) 

UND: QU, PSU (one game)

 

Minnesota's schedule looks vigorous, but it also looks like a team that wants a road N/C schedule that still lets them sleep in their own beds. (Same for Harvard.) 

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1 minute ago, Blackheart said:

Didn’t it start with Red Berenson?

It goes back to the 60s. They also won't play DU. They don't like playing against 25 year old Canadians - or that was the reasoning. Kind of ironic that several east coast teams still have that formula. I have a buddy that is a BC fan (I know, I know) that said exactly that about QU.

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Personally, I think its insane we don't play Michigan. One of the biggest athletic programs. Lots of guys on Michigan played with UND players on things like NDTP program. Yost Arena. Exposure in Michigan which is one of the bigger hockey states. Cam Johnson came from the state of Michigan for instance. I assume their players would enjoy the Ralph too.

I would think Mel would be more open to these things than Red was unless the Michigan AD just runs an arrogant athletic program overall and doesn't want their teams traveling.

We can talk about Mankato's ranking all we want but we all know that programs like Mankato take 22 and 23 year olds who aren't going anywhere in hockey long-term. UND, Minnesota, BU, BC, Denver, Michigan...these are the programs getting the future NHL'ers who have more raw skill.

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I'm definitely OK with cutting back on the number of games against Bemidji.  It's not a rivalry, there's no need to play every year.

I like a wide variety of schools, so I'd like to see more single game non conference, than series.  That also creates more variety which is good for the Pairwise.  If we want to help Bemidji set up series where teams come in to play UND one night and Bemidji the next.  CC and DU do this a fair amount.  So BU and BC come out to play UND and Bemidji one year and then host the next year. 

Other similar matchups I'd like to see

  • Clarkson-St. Lawrence
  • Cornell - RIT
  • Michigan Tech - No. Michigan (would have to maybe do this with Duluth rather than Bemidji and maybe as a Thursday Saturday to ease travel, maybe over a holiday)
  • Army - Princeton - mostly because Hobey Baker Rink is like the Wrigley Field of college hockey and well worth a trip, and West Point is West Point.

I'm good with series against Minnesota and Wisconsin, and OK if they alternate and we don't play every year. 

The other thing I'd like to see, if UND hosting a holiday tournament, again to have variety and to show off the Ralph to a larger audience.  Maybe have Air Force as a semi regular participant for reasons mentioned by others above.

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3 hours ago, nodakvindy said:

I'm definitely OK with cutting back on the number of games against Bemidji.  It's not a rivalry, there's no need to play every year.

I like a wide variety of schools, so I'd like to see more single game non conference, than series.  That also creates more variety which is good for the Pairwise.  If we want to help Bemidji set up series where teams come in to play UND one night and Bemidji the next.  CC and DU do this a fair amount.  So BU and BC come out to play UND and Bemidji one year and then host the next year. 

Other similar matchups I'd like to see

  • Clarkson-St. Lawrence
  • Cornell - RIT
  • Michigan Tech - No. Michigan (would have to maybe do this with Duluth rather than Bemidji and maybe as a Thursday Saturday to ease travel, maybe over a holiday)
  • Army - Princeton - mostly because Hobey Baker Rink is like the Wrigley Field of college hockey and well worth a trip, and West Point is West Point.

I'm good with series against Minnesota and Wisconsin, and OK if they alternate and we don't play every year. 

The other thing I'd like to see, if UND hosting a holiday tournament, again to have variety and to show off the Ralph to a larger audience.  Maybe have Air Force as a semi regular participant for reasons mentioned by others above.

I like this idea. Can you imagine if UND, Minnesota, BC, and BU (or some similar variation) had an annual tournament, created some type of trophy, and rotated the host city every year? That would be awesome.

The only thing I wonder is if UND coaching staff has some respect for the small programs and would be hesitant to cut ties (we kind of were a small program that got big). There is something about Berry calling Serritore to drop them that just seems very un-UND. Minnesota has also tried to keep scheduling the small schools. Dropping Bemidji or Mankato outright would be more of a Wisconsin, Penn State, OSU move. Perhaps if they ever moved this direction, it would be more a scale back versus outright drop. I will continue to say though that UND's nonconference is a joke in comparison to other top-tier programs. Denver is playing BC this year, Michigan is playing UMD AT UMD, Wisconsin scheduled St. Cloud...and we play programs like Bemidji, Niagara, and Cornell...give me a break! The only good nonconference one they have snagged is the Gophers.

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40 minutes ago, fightingsiouxhockey said:

I like this idea. Can you imagine if UND, Minnesota, BC, and BU (or some similar variation) had an annual tournament, created some type of trophy, and rotated the host city every year? That would be awesome.

The only thing I wonder is if UND coaching staff has some respect for the small programs and would be hesitant to cut ties (we kind of were a small program that got big). There is something about Berry calling Serritore to drop them that just seems very un-UND. Minnesota has also tried to keep scheduling the small schools. Dropping Bemidji or Mankato outright would be more of a Wisconsin, Penn State, OSU move. Perhaps if they ever moved this direction, it would be more a scale back versus outright drop. I will continue to say though that UND's nonconference is a joke in comparison to other top-tier programs. Denver is playing BC this year, Michigan is playing UMD AT UMD, Wisconsin scheduled St. Cloud...and we play programs like Bemidji, Niagara, and Cornell...give me a break! The only good nonconference one they have snagged is the Gophers.

lol- have you been watching college hockey for more than two minutes?

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1 hour ago, fightingsiouxhockey said:

I like this idea. Can you imagine if UND, Minnesota, BC, and BU (or some similar variation) had an annual tournament, created some type of trophy, and rotated the host city every year? That would be awesome.

The only thing I wonder is if UND coaching staff has some respect for the small programs and would be hesitant to cut ties (we kind of were a small program that got big). There is something about Berry calling Serritore to drop them that just seems very un-UND. Minnesota has also tried to keep scheduling the small schools. Dropping Bemidji or Mankato outright would be more of a Wisconsin, Penn State, OSU move. Perhaps if they ever moved this direction, it would be more a scale back versus outright drop. I will continue to say though that UND's nonconference is a joke in comparison to other top-tier programs. Denver is playing BC this year, Michigan is playing UMD AT UMD, Wisconsin scheduled St. Cloud...and we play programs like Bemidji, Niagara, and Cornell...give me a break! The only good nonconference one they have snagged is the Gophers.

Duluth also playing Bemidji State, Alaska Fairbanks, and Northern Michigan. Denver playing Air Force, Alaska Fairbanks and Arizona State. Neither schedule is a better Pairwise booster than who we are playing.

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As to Michigan, in the last 10 years, here is the breakdown of their 104 non-conference games:

Road Games: Western Michigan (x2); New Hampshire (x4); LSSU (x2); St. Lawrence (x1); Clarkson (x1); Ferris State (x2); Vermont (x1); Dartmouth (x1); Arizona State (x1); Union (x1); RPI (x1); Boston University (x3); Massachusetts Lowell (x1); Michigan Tech (x2); Boston College (x1); RIT (x1)

 

Home Games: Arizona State (x6); Clarkson (x2); LSSU (x4); Western Michigan (x2); Vermont (x3); St. Lawrence (x3); Merrimack (x1); Ferris State (x4); Union (x3); Michigan Tech (x4); Boston University (x3); Mercyhurst (x2); Robert Morris (x2); Niagara (x3); Dartmouth (x2); New Hampshire (x2); AIC (x2); RPI (x2); Boston College (x1); Massachusetts Lowell (x1); Nebraska Omaha (x2); RIT (x2); Bentley (x3); Northeastern (x1)

 

Neutral Games: Ferris State (x1 - Detroit); Michigan Tech (x7- All in Detroit); Bowling Green (x1 - Detroit); Michigan State (x6 - Detroit); Northern Michigan (x1 - Detroit); Western Michigan (x1 - Detroit); Cornell (x1 - New York); Boston College (x1 - Detroit)

 

Based on this breakdown, a few things stick out to me:

1. Michigan does not like to travel west for non-conference games, unless it is an in-state game.

2. Michigan largely schedules "2-for-1" series (i.e. you travel to play 2 at Yost, we will travel to play 1 at your arena). 

3. For the most part, only certain Hockey East schools (BU, BC, New Hampshire) got "equal treatment."

4. Michigan has a focus on playing its in-state rivals for non-conference.  Of their 104 non-conference games, 40 have been against in-state schools (~38%).

5. Michigan likes to play in Michigan.  Of their 104 non-conference games in the past 10 seasons, 86 have been in Michigan (~83%).

 

This season, Michigan is playing 12 non-conference games.  2 are the Icebreaker Tournament (exempt games in Duluth).  The other 10 are in Michigan.  

 

I have no idea what Michigan's non-conference schedule looks like in the upcoming years, but based on their recent history, I don't foresee them traveling to play North Dakota for a series.  If they aren't going to travel here, we shouldn't travel there.

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10 hours ago, siouxfaninseattle said:

lol- have you been watching college hockey for more than two minutes?

Hey now!  He probably just forgot that...

Bemidji - was a Regional Finalist in the NCAA Tournament last year, falling to eventual National Champion Massachusetts.

Quinnipiac - has been to 6 NCAA Tournaments in the past 9 seasons, including 2 National Title games, and made the NCAA Tournament last season, falling in overtime to eventual Frozen Four Semifinalist Minnesota State.

Penn State - has been to 3 NCAA Tournaments in the past 5 seasons.

Cornell - has a tremendous history in the sport (2 National Titles, 22 NCAA Tournament appearances, and 8 Frozen Fours), was the #1 ranked team in the country prior to Covid hitting in 2020, and then did not play last season.  

 

I'll give him Minnesota and Niagara for bottom-dweller programs, but the rest of the schedule is pretty good.  ; )

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Absolutely nothing wrong with playing Quinny and Cornell non conference. Both good programs. 
 

and when we needed a place to practice a few years ago when stuck in a Colorado snowstorm, a quick call to Air Force and Coach Serratore was all Bubba had to do. 

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