This weekend UND plays their first WCHA series of the season against the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at Ralph Englestad Arena, October 26th and 27th.
Senior forward Carter Rowney had to say about the team’s first trip of the season to Fairbanks Alaska.
“I think a lot of stepping stones this weekend,” Rowney said. “Playing shorthanded was definitely the biggest challenge probably up in Alaska. It definitely showed we can play with whoevers in the lineup – whoever is out of the lineup – we’re definitely able to compete out there and I think that’s huge – the depth in our lineup is huge and that’s the stepping stone we created on Friday night and Saturday night. I think it was a good weekend for us and we came together being on the road with the boys and a good weekend to get away.”
Carter Rowney on watching some of the young guys stepping up and scoring goals last weekend.
“Definitely, watching the game on Friday – watching some of those young guys play – a lot of them played unreal and played like veterans out there,” Rowney said. “Really good to see – a lot of them stepped up – to get comfortable real fast in games – they improved throughout the weekend I think that was something to look forward to and something for me as a senior to look down to say hey their working hard and it pushes me.”
Rowney on having a full lineup and having some of the younger on the roster players step up without the upper classmen in the lineup on Friday.
“I think it’s huge for our team,” Rowney said. “Because the more people push each other… its better – you know – coming every day to practice and having each person pushing one another – I think that’s only going to make our team improve.”
“I like how we worked on Friday,” Hakstol said. “l like how we played. I thought we played a complete game. We played a tenacious game and went to the all of the hard areas and we had contributions from everybody. We backed off a little bit on Saturday and I don’t’ think we played with quite enough energy and most importantly our difference from Friday to Saturday, was going to those greasy areas offensively, I thought that was a big difference, so hopefully that is something we can be a little more consistent this weekend from Friday to Saturday.”
Coach Hakstol on playing in the last year of the current WCHA and opening their conference play at home against UAA.
We have talked about it a lot; you know right now – it’s one game and one day,” Hakstol said. You know the big picture of the last year and everything else, that’s been put in place and that’s with in the big picture. You know, the scene that we’re concerned about is one weekend against Alaska Anchorage that’s what we have to concentrate on. You know, we have seen it before – we know how competitive the league is – we know how competitive it will be and points in the first weekend of the season are just as critical as points on the last weekend, so we got to have a focused approach.”
Coach Hakstol on what kind of team UAA is and what we’re to expect from the UAA Seawolves.
“To be very honest with you, I don’t think Alaska Anchorage played very well last Friday night when we played against them,” Hakstol said.
“There was a completely different team that stepped on the ice against Merrimack [College] the following day – they played hard – they played hungry – they played gritty and I think that’s what we will see this weekend, a highly competitive team.”
Coach Hakstol on the status of injured forward Michael Parks this weekend.
“Same, no change there,” Hakstol said. “I said last week that it’s going to be a few weeks; that’s where he is at, it’s going to be a few weeks. That’s not a medical term, I realize, but that’s probably the best I can do for you, I don’t want to put a time frame on it, because I don’t know and I don’t think anybody truly does and it going to be a few weeks.”
UND junior goalie Clarke Saunders was asked about how it felt getting his first shutout of his career for UND in the first game of the season with UND.
“It feels pretty cool,” Saunders said. “I am just happy that the team got the win. Always nice to start the season likes that and I think that we’re all pretty happy.”
Saunders was asked about his expectations coming into UND as a transfer student.
“To earn a spot, Saunders said. “Just to play there was some tough competition coming in. Zane [Gothberg] and Tate [Maris] are both very good goalies, so just try to work as hard as I can, hopefully to play as much as I can.”
Saunders was asked if he is nervous about his first WCHA home series this weekend.
“A good nervous, Saunders said. “Probably more excited is the term that I would like to use. Obviously we had two exhibition games at the Ralph, but we’re really looking forward to the home opener and the sold out crowd and I am excited to see what that’s about and experience what it’s going to be like.”