With UND coach Dave Hakstol somewhere on the road and Fighting Sioux basketball on the radio tonight, Tim Hennessy had captain Rylan Kaip and assistant captain Taylor Chorney on the show. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the show started early tonight because of basketball, so I only caught a small portion of what they had to say. Hakstol called in by cell phone later to give a few comments.
Both Kaip and Chorney think Denver and Colorado College will split this weekend. Chorney called it one of the better rivalries in college hockey.
On the upcoming series with St. Cloud State, Chorney said that the Sioux would have to be sharp defensively. Every team in the league has enough skilled players that it you take off a shift or two, the puck will be in the back of your net.
When Hakstol phoned in, Hennessy asked him about his votes for the All-WCHA team. He said that he hadn’t done his voting yet. There are a lot of guys in contention. He’s going to sit back and take some time before he votes. There aren’t really any can’t-miss players this year like there are some years. He hopes that everyone around the league takes some time to look at the players and what they’ve done throughout the season, not just statistics. He said it’s important to consider consistency and what a player brings to the table besides scoring.
Regarding the success of former Sioux player Jonathan Toews with the Blackhawks, Hakstol agreed with Kaip and Chorney that nothing he’s accomplished in the NHL surprises them. Watching him day in and day out for a couple of years at UND, Toews acted like a pro then, not just for games, but for practices and how he prepared. “What he’s doing is pretty special, but you can’t say it’s a surprise,” Hakstol said.
Hakstol said the Sioux want to be in position to take advantage of whatever might happen between Denver and Colorado College.
Regarding the injuries to Chay Genoway and Evan Trupp, Hakstol said he didn’t know if Genoway would play this weekend. He said it was safe to say that Trupp won’t be available, but he doesn’t know how long that might be. With Genoway, he’d just be guessing and he really doesn’t know, even at this point in the week.
Whether or not Genoway plays will first be based on what’s best for him and then what’s best for the team. They’re not going to put him at risk for further injury. The team comes second. They have a lot of confidence in the guys who can step in for Genoway. He said Jake Marto has done a good job for the team this season.
Hakstol said he doesn’t agree that SCSU has more to play for than UND and will play with more desperation. He said both teams have a lot to play for. The Sioux are playing to get better every week and to build momentum by winning games. He can only assume that the Huskies will be hungry and play desperate hockey. But he also assumes that the Sioux will show up and play the same way.
Hakstol said that both Kaip and Chorney are even-keel as team leaders. Throughout the season in practice and in games, they’re even keel, hungry, focused and driven to play well.