Today, I attended the UND media day for men’s hockey and these are some of the quotes that I got from the head coach and a few of the UND hockey players.
UND Head coach Dave Hakstol was asked the specifics that his team needs to improve upon.
“Our play away from the puck,” coach Hakstols said. “Our play without the puck has to improve.”
Coach Hakstol was asked about sophomore forward Michael Parks who suffered a lower leg injury during the third period of Saturday’s exhibition game against the Manitoba Bison.
“I honestly don’t have any new information than what I had on Sunday and Monday,” Coach Hakstol said. “We’re going to re-evaluate him on Friday and I think that will tell us a little bit more that we need to know he certainly won’t be available this weekend.”
Coach Hakstol was asked where red-shirt freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi and where he is going to play this weekend.
“I don’t know yet, Hakstol said. “He might play center, he might play left wing or he might play right wing. I am not trying… I don’t know exactly what we’re going to set for combinations for Friday. So far in practiced this week, he has played left wing as well as center. So were going to go with… probably, likely we will set our lines tomorrow for Thursday’s practice going into Friday’s game. But I am 100 percent set yet on exact line combinations, were going to mix it up, he’s going to play a lot of different position during the season.”
Senior defenseman Andrew MacWilliam had off season shoulder surgery and sat out the first exhibition game against the Manitoba Bison. Coach Hakstol was asked on whether defenseman Andrew MacWilliam is going to play this weekend.
“We will wait till Thursday, coach Hakstol said. “I think there’s a… he’s doing really well – potentially he could play one game even low minutes this weekend and up in Alaska and go up and play one game and that’s a great progression and get to play two games the following weekend and come back for our home opener – but we are going to give it all the time we possibly can before we make that final decision and that will probably be Thursday morning, he has practiced, he has had a regular practice jersey on for the last two weeks of practice – that tells me how close he is .”
Sophomore defenseman Nick Mattson was asked about his impression of the first exhibition game against the Manitoba Bison.
“I thought it was a good game,” Mattson said. Obviously there was a little rust and a few sloppy plays but overall it felt really good to get back on the ice and I think it’s pretty evident that we have some individuals that have a lot of skill and ability to make some plays but as a team we have a ways to go it was kind of expected. So it felt good to get back on the ice we’re looking forward to kind of improving and keeping things going here.
Senior forward Corbin Knight on whether freshman forward Drake Caggiula was going to stay on the top line with Knight and Danny Kristo.
“It’s up to the coach, I don’t know right now, Knight said. He played good there on Saturday and he made some plays. It’s up to the coach, I couldn’t tell you.”
Knight was asked about his impression of freshman Rocco Grimaldi’s play on the power play.
“He was good we didn’t get a whole lot of opportunities on the power play unfortunately,” Knight said. But from what we did, he is such a dynamic player; he makes stuff happen from anywhere on the ice. So… he is pretty impressive and it was fun to be on the ice with him.”