WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published October 02, 2013, 09:43 PM

UND Men's Hockey Team Embraces Change

The University of North Dakota held its annual hockey media day on Wednesday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

By: Dan Corey, WDAZ

The University of North Dakota men's hockey team will see a lot of change entering the 2013-14 season.

After winning 15 WCHA regular season championships, the green and white departed the league for a new conference, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

UND head coach Dave Hakstol returns 18 from last year's squad that was one game away from the Frozen Four.

Hakstol, "We feel like we have 26 guys in the locker room which can bring something to the table to help us become a great team. Our goal isn't to have a good year or an average year, it's to be great. I think when we look at our team on paper, that's a real strength, is the balance and depth of this team."

The team loses a senior class that included Danny Kristo and Corban Knight but expectations remain high.

Dillon Simpson, UND's senior captain, "Expectations are always as high as they can be. Obviously every year you come to North Dakota, the expectation is to win a national championship and hopefully we can build toward that."

Rocco Grimaldi, UND sophomore forward, "To win the NCHC, that would be awesome for us. The national championship is in the back of our minds right now and that is what we are pursuing but right now we're going to take it one day at a time and keep getting better."

UND, picked seventh in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine preseason poll, hosts Maitoba on Sunday in exhibition play. UND opens up the season against Vermont on October 11th in Grand Forks.