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A look at UND's schedule


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Though UND has had a friendly schedule to date, we might be letting rivals' chatter mask the teams' success in that schedule a little too much.

What's happened so far

At 18-1-2, here is the breakdown of UND's success:

Opponents .500 or under: 13-0-1

Opponents over .500: 5-1-1

Not only has UND won the games it should have won, but it has done quite well when tested. Compare that with Minnesota who is nipping at UND's heels in the WCHA (and whose fans and media are the loudest detractors of UND's schedule):

Opponents .500 or under: 6-1-2

Opponents over .500: 5-4-2

Sure they've had fewer sub-.500 opponents, but they've performed MUCH worse against those opponents. Also, Minnesota has had more opponents >.500, but the comparative success against those opponents speaks for itself.

Looking to the 2nd half

The '97 championship team had 10 losses, '00 had 8. Starting from the current base of 1 loss, use whatever optimism or pessism you want to count your own projection of the losses in the remaining contests:

CC (1 game)

@UMN

@AA

@CC

Tech

@Denver

@Mankato

Duluth

@Wisconsin

Hard to picture this team finishing outside of that championship range, isn't it? Even if we split out, that will be only 10 losses on the season. Be patient -- opponents' grousing now doesn't affect the outcome of our games. This is a team that has won ALL of the games it was supposed to win and done incredibly well against tougher opponents.

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I have been of the opinion all year that the Sioux schedule has been conducive to a turnaround. After lasts years debacle & loss of confidence, a slower start with an easier schedule was the best thing to happen to the Sioux.

If the schedule was under the control of Dean, then he showed his usual genius. If it was the scheduling people of the WCHA then it was pure luck.

The Sioux needed to start this year off right & get their confidence back. Every series they won from the start did just that. After 5-6 weekends of sweeping the competition the players realized they had a team to compete against anybody. Confidence in your abilities to win gives the team the attitude of expecting to win no matter who the opponent is.

I believe everybody realized that last night against CC. The team spent too much time in the 1st. trying to control CC. They really came back when they started playing their game. The Sioux did a great job shutting down Sejna as did CC against Bochenski.

This series is another boost in confidence for the team. Being able to play with another top team in the WCHA & nation will keep their confidence high during the brutal road portion of the schedule.

When they perform well on this road segment, it will help them in the play-off run which is all on the road.

Can't wait for tonight's game & next weekend against the Goofs.

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We've beaten the teams we've had to beat, most of the time, regardless of what the whiners say. (FWIW: Minnesota's BB team played Sacred Heart today. :p) Virtually every team in any sport will always schedule "weaker" opponents to tune up for conference play.

I agree that the "softer" schedule probably helped the team come together and regroup after last season. Confidence is defintely a good thing to have and I think it showed last night with the tie with CC as we were missing three key players. Now, if only the goalies would get a bit more and own their job. :( I expect the team to lose here and there, but I think they also have the grit to learn from the losses and develop.

I feel better about our chances of finishing higher in the WCHA after seeing that the team is getting the job done and getting better over time. Fortunately, we've avoided too many serious injuries that would have adversely afftected the team, and others have filled the gaps for injured and missing players.

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OK, everyone who predicted the 14-game homestand would end with zero losses raise their hand.

The final damages? 11-0-3.

=================================

Jim, I would be happy if the Sioux can split on the road at CC, DU, MN. But I can indeed picture worse than split.

(Side note: Especially if the goaltending continues the way it has.... and it would appear Siembida played his way onto the bench until at least February, barring something bizarre, I think Brandt and Ranfranz will get the shots not just next weekend but also I think Blais will use the UAA series to try to raise their confidence - fingers crossed - going into CC).

So, let's do the back of the envelope math:

Assume now, for the sake of argument, Sioux win the last 4 home games. And let's say they sweep at UAA.

For road games against top teams, let's assume zero points:

at DU - gets back into the lineup the preseason league MVP and the anchor of their defense ... getting swept is not out of the question.

at CC - tough on the big ice ...

at MN - while they have been decimated, they will be fired up ...

Which leaves two other road series ... let's call them splits for now:

WI - tough ... but we should do no worse than split

Mankato - ... also getting better and fighting for home ice ...

Final WCHA record would then be 16-9-3, 35 points, mostly likely 3rd or 4th.

To win the WCHA title? That will probably require 43-45 points ... and at least a split at CC, at DU, and at MN, the other title contenders.

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Check out my new handy "what-if" calculomatic.

http://siouxsports.com/hockey/wchawhatif.php

Definitely easier than using an envelope back. It's a bit onerous with so many games remaining, but that will get easier. You can also save a little time by focusing only on those teams in contention, if you so choose.

(Works best with IE6, but I'm working on that)

I came up with CC beating UND by 2 points in the final standings, but UND a strong 2nd.

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Similarly, I have CC at the top (but by a wider margin) and the Sioux tied with MN for 2-3 place. Then, the Huskies and Denver closely behind that for 4,5 resp. I think 2-5 in the WCHA will be very tight this year, which will make for a great WCHA Final 5-- assuming most or all get in.

In the above scenario, I have UND losing a considerable amount the second half. The key for the Sioux is to get at least 3rd and avoid the likes of Mankato or Duluth for the play-in series. Forget about USCHO rankings, the McNaughton Cup, and all that stuff. Focus on improving and preparing for the playoffs. Take some lumps and learn from them. Solidify goaltending and continue to experiment with lines. Get into the expanded NCAA dance and see what happens. Most importantly, prepare for world domination in 03-04.

taz digs the bright future for the green and white

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The key for the Sioux is to get at least 3rd and avoid the likes of Mankato or Duluth for the play-in series. Forget about USCHO rankings, the McNaughton Cup, and all that stuff.

I agree with your entire message and apply the same thoughts to the Gophs. Great calculator above. Avoid 4th and you can win the WCHA playoffs. Play in the 4vs5 game and you will not.

I see UND and CC battling for 1st, UM and DU battling for third. SCSU and UMD battling for home ice.

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I agree with your entire message and apply the same thoughts to the Gophs. Great calculator above. Avoid 4th and you can win the WCHA playoffs. Play in the 4vs5 game and you will not.

I see UND and CC battling for 1st, UM and DU battling for third. SCSU and UMD battling for home ice.

The other reason to really REALLY want to finish 3rd or better - or even 2nd ... is the first round opponent. Big difference between #8-9-10 (WI, UAA, MTU) or #7 (UMD, Mankato or the Gophers).

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Here's what I came up with:

UND 28 48

CC 28 46

SCSU 28 34

UMN 28 32

UMD 28 30

Denver 28 29

Mankato 28 26

UW 28 18

MTech 28 10

AA 28 7

NOTE: I'm probably WAYYYY off, but it was fun nonetheless.

Will this get updated as the weeks pass, in order to take off games already played and put those points in permanantly?

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Will this get updated as the weeks pass, in order to take off games already played and put those points in permanantly?

Yeah, it dynamically generates itself from a copy of the same database that generates the rest of the site (box scores, schedules, etc...). It doesn't deal well with conference games not being in pairs, so will probably only be updated on Sunday after all games for a weekend have been played.

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I like my version better (see below)....Of course I'm assuming CC goes into a mini-slump....Doesn't matter anyway; it's all about playing for position in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the regionals shake out this year now that there are no travel restrictions like last year. (that was sad) Ann Arbor and Minneapolis could be tough places to advance from....

Team GP Pts

UND 28 43

CC 28 40

UMN 28 36

Denver 28 33

SCSU 28 32

UMD 28 29

Mankato 28 26

UW 28 16

MTech 28 15

AA 28 10

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Very nice Jim. I had the Sioux going 7-9 the rest of the way, which I think is a "the wheel's fell off" scenario. Even with that record, home ice is almost a certainty, which was really the goal of this team from the start. More likely, I think the Sioux will finish 10-6, which should put them in 2nd or 3rd. As other posters have said, the road series at Minny, CC and Denver are key. To avoid a tough 1st round opponent and the final 5 play-in game, UND must get 4 points out of these 3 series. It doesn't sound like much but.......

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If I counted I have the boys going 8-5-2 the rest of the way, starting with a tough weekend this weekend. I tried to be conservative.

Giving MN a pretty decent finish, this is how I came out

CC 41

UND 37

UMN 36

SCSU 34

Denver 32

UMD 31

Mankato 28

MTech 14

UW 14

AA 13

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I put in what I thought were very conservative results for UND:

1. Getting swept at Minnesota

2. Sweeping AA

3. Getting Swept at CC

4. And then splitting all of the rest of their series.

That put UND at 35 points and in third place. So if they are able to win a game in Minnesota and one in CC I think they finish at least second depending on how well CC finishes.

I'm still opimistic but I'm leery about this weekend and the one at CC.

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In my wishful, blissful little world where the Sioux get every bounce......

1. UND 48

2. CC 39

3. UMN 34

4. SCSU 32

5. Mankato 28

Denver 28

7. UMD 27

8. UW 16

9. MTech 14

AA 14

Aw, c'mon! SOMEBODY'S gotta put the positive energy out there.

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