Sioux await key decisionsLast week I promised an update on the Fighting Sioux nickname situation, but first, I need to pass on a few pieces of information. Many of you know Brock Nelson just turned pro. The Sioux are still waiting to hear from Danny Kristo, Corban Knight, and Aaron Dell whether they’ll stay for next season. Obviously, losing the entire Knight, Kristo, Nelson line would be huge. This is something to keep an eye on.
By: Mark Schuttenhelm , The Jamestown Sun
Last week I promised an update on the Fighting Sioux nickname situation, but first, I need to pass on a few pieces of information.
Many of you know Brock Nelson just turned pro. The Sioux are still waiting to hear from Danny Kristo, Corban Knight, and Aaron Dell whether they’ll stay for next season. Obviously, losing the entire Knight, Kristo, Nelson line would be huge. This is something to keep an eye on.
Outdoor games are becoming more and more popular in college hockey, as well as the NHL. Our own UND will play outdoors next season in Omaha, against Nebraska-Omaha as part of the Mutual of Omaha Battles on Ice. There will be a USHL game first, followed by the Sioux game. The date is Feb 9, 2013, and tickets go on sale this October 1st. My wife has already put in requests for hand and foot warmers.
The N.D. Supreme Court last week put off the constitutionality question regarding the Fighting Sioux law, which was passed, repealed, and reinstated thanks to the petition signing effort earlier this year. This pretty much ensures the question will come before them again if the folks vote to save the Fighting Sioux nickname this June.
Also churning through the Federal Courts right now is the lawsuit filed by the Spirit Lake Tribe against the NCAA. If successful, this case would essentially invalidate the agreement, called a surrender by many, between the NCAA and UND from 2007. Predictably, our ‘friends’ at the NCAA, concerned as they are with the plight of the American Indian, are attempting to get the case thrown out of court. Apparently, their concern and compassion for the Sioux people only goes so far.
Anyway, there’s a hearing in Fargo Federal Court on April 19 regarding the dismissal of the case. On another front, there’s a petition drive which, if successful, would make usage of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo part of our state constitution. So where are we with all this? I think it’s important to point out that much of the push to save the nickname is coming from the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe. Many of those folks are working extremely hard trying to save this tradition. On the other hand, every time I turn on the radio I have to listen to UND president Robert Kelley crying the blues, vowing to start an information campaign so the people of North Dakota come to their senses and vote against the nickname in June. There’s clearly something wrong with this picture.
What can you do if you’re a supporter of the nickname? You have to get out and vote for continued use of the Fighting Sioux nickname in June.
Sign the petition that would add the nickname to the state constitution. I have one and you might just see me around town with it this summer. You could also join me in asking the Attorney General’s office why they’re not going after the NCAA. Again, I say if the NCAA is pressuring universities to boycott UND, they need to be stopped.
This isn’t over folks. In the end, we need to hope somebody over at the NCAA comes to THEIR senses and puts an end to this needless harassment of our state university.
Now to the Frozen Four recap.
The Frozen Four semifinals played out pretty much as expected. In the early game, Ferris State knocked off Union College 3-1. After a scoreless, tight checking first period, the teams opened up a bit in the second. The middle period turned into a shot fest, with both teams notching a goal. Ferris State had the better of the play, but Troy Grosenick was outstanding in the net for Union. With about 6 and a half minutes left in regulation, Ferris was able to sustain pressure in the Union zone, which finally led to Kyle Bonis banging home a rebound left out in the slot by Grosenick. Other than leaving that bad rebound, Grosenick played exceptional in goal. Union really couldn’t muster much offensive pressure in the waning minutes and Ferris sealed it with an empty netter.
In the late game, Boston College extended its’ winning streak to 18 games with a 6-1 win over Minnesota. The Gophers had the better of the play in period 1 and took the play to BC for a 10-minute stretch of the second, but couldn’t solve BC goalie Parker Milner. Boston College, meanwhile, was able to convert most of their better scoring chances. With BC leading 2-0 late in the second period, Jake Hansen found himself all alone in front of Milner with the puck on his stick, but the BC goalie robbed him. Less than half a minute later Chris Kreider scored on a 2-on-1 break for BC to extend the lead to 3-0.
Another Boston College goal before the end of the period essentially put the game away. It would now be up to Ferris State to figure out a way to beat Boston College.
In a fast paced and very entertaining national championship game, Boston College beat Ferris State 4-1 to take the title. The game was much closer than the final score indicates. Like Minnesota before them, Ferris could not convert on countless grade A scoring chances, especially during periods 1 and 2.
The play was pretty even thru two periods, with a slight edge going to Ferris State, but the team from Big Rapids, Michigan trailed 2-1 going into the third. Boston College really turned up the tempo in the third, pushing hard for an insurance goal. Ferris had a few real good chances, but was stymied again and again by Parker Milner in goal for BC. Finally, with about 3 minutes left, freshman sensation Johnny Gaudreau broke in alone on Taylor Nelson. Even with 2 defenders harassing him, Gaudreau managed to get a backhander up and over the shoulder of the Ferris goalie to seal the deal. An empty netter made it 4-1.
Milner allowed just 2 goals in the 4 NCAA tournament games, stopping 110 of 112 shots. Boston College was 16 for 16 on the penalty kill. They finished the season on a 19-game winning streak and are quite deserving of the national championship.
Well friends, that’s it for me. The end of the college hockey season means my Wednesday run here at the Sun is over. Nickname supporters out there keep up the good fight, and Go Sioux!
Schuttenhelm’s column runs each Wednesday during the college hockey season