For the first time in program history, the UND women's hockey team is receiving votes in two separate media polls. On Monday, the October 20th USCHO.com NCAA D-I Women's Top 10 poll had UND receiving 1 vote. Out of the 15 voters on the committee, 12 of whom are coaches, someone ranked UND at #10. And for those who are wondering, NO, Coach Idalski is NOT on the committee. On October 21st, the USA Today / USA Hockey Magazine Women's D-I Poll had UND receiving 2 votes in consideration of a top 10 ranking.
Surprised? UND tied and had a shootout loss last Friday and a loss in OT to MSU-Mankato on Saturday. Obviously both close games and should have been won outright by UND. St. Cloud grabbed 4 points from Duluth with a tie and shootout win on Friday and a 3-2 win on Saturday which defintely helped UND's cause.
It may not seem like a big deal to most, but to the team, coaching staff, the University as well as the UND hockey community it's a HUGE deal. This kind of recognition was expected when the program first began 7 years ago. To say the lack of success was disheartening during the first five years would be an understatement. Success on the national stage is what hockey fans in Grand Forks expect. The news of last weeks' top 10 polls circulated so much so that congratulatory e-mails and phone calls came from those within faculty and athletic departments at UND as well as fans who have seen the program since its inception. There is a nice little buzz going on about the success of this team and where they are headed. Idalski definitely has them on the right track.
Brad Schlossman, who writes for the GF Herald and author of the 'University of North Dakota Hockey' blog wrote a nice peice last Monday in recognition of the women's team getting votes. Click the link and scroll down to 'Sioux women are receiving votes'.