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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With North Dakota Head Coach Dave Hakstol

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Thursday, March 30 at Noon ET, North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol enters the chatroom at "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The Fighting Sioux are on their way back to this season's Frozen Four.

John Harrington

Dave Hakstol is two-for-two. In his second season at North Dakota, the Fighting Sioux are en route to their second Frozen Four. When he was named the University of North Dakota's head men's hockey coach on July 9, 2004, he became just the 15th head men's hockey coach in school history and only the fourth Fighting Sioux head coach in the past 36 years. The 36-year old Hakstol, a Sioux player from 1989-92, is also just the fifth former UND player to also become head coach at North Dakota.

The former Sioux captain was a member of Dean Blais's coaching staff the past four seasons and in that stint helped coach the Sioux to a 101-47-19 (.662) overall record and 63-33-16 (.634) WCHA record. During Hakstol's four years under Blais, UND won two WCHA titles, made three NCAA appearances and finished as the 2001 national runnerup.

Named a UND assistant coach on July 1, 2000, Hakstol was elevated to associate head coach in December 2000, and he served as the team's recruiting coordinator for the past four seasons.

As a defenseman on the Sioux hockey team from 1989-92, Hakstol was a three-year letterwinner and served as team captain from 1990 to 1992. He played in 107 games for UND, scoring 10 goals and adding 36 assists for 46 points. He had 77 penalties for 191 minutes.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Dave won't be stopping by until Noon EST on Thursday, March 30, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome back to our special Thursday edition of "Tuesday @ The Rink". We are now joined by North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol.
Coach Hakstol: Hello, hockey fans. I am very happy to be here.

Tony (GF native in Kansas City): Dave, Congrats on making the Frozen Four! At what point during the season did your extremely young team finally realize their potential and start playing with such great chemistry and confidence?
Coach Hakstol: I think our starting point was back in late September. Right from Day One, this is a team that had a lot of new faces on it. Our development started then and it has been a steady climb since. If I can pinpoint one particular time during the season, it would be after our St. Cloud series at home. That seems to be the point where the chemistry really started to click and we've become a very consistent hockey team since then.

John(Minneapolis): Did Minnesota's loss to Holy Cross affect your outlook going into Saturday's game?
Coach Hakstol: I don't think it did. Going into the weekend, we were so focused on one game at a time - our sole focus was on our game against Michigan. When Saturday rolled around, it really didn't matter who we played at that time. We came to the rink prepared to win a Regional Championship, so I don't think it affected our outlook or preparation in any way.

Rich-Chicago: Coach, with so much young talent, how do you prepare your players that many do not have any Frozen Four experience to take a stage like the Bradley Center for a chance to win it all? Is it possible to prepare them?
Coach Hakstol: That is what the regular season is for. All year long, we've played in front of large crowds both at home and on the road. We've played in front of 19,000 people at the Final Five. Now, going into Frozen Four week, our older players can draw on their experience from being there last year and help pass that experience along to our younger players and prepare our lockerroom to play on Thursday.

Geoff (Denver): what will the atmosphere around practice and the team be up until next thursday?
Coach Hakstol: With the way the schedule is set up, I think this week is a week that we can take advantage of to be physically and mentally fresh. At the same time, we need to stay sharp in all aspects of our game. The true game preparation will begin early next week. That is when the intensity will begin to build towards Thursday's game.

MJ (Minneapolis): With the week and one half layoff before the Frozen Four, how do you keep the team momentum and focus going?
Coach Hakstol: I think all four teams are excited to come to the rink right now. It is fun to be around the rink. You have to stay relaxed - you don't want to get too high, too soon. We are preparing and trying to learn about BC and their team, but the real preparation won't start until next week.

Dave, Grand Forks: Coach Hakstol, Superb job getting the boys here. With Boston College coming off two huge wins in their region, both teams are on a tear. What do you believe is the most important part of getting off to a fast start?
Coach Hakstol: We certainly, as a team, realize the momentum BC is carrying. What we will do is worry about ourselves and prepare ourselves to play as well as we can on Thursday. To make that happen, we have to be ready and play extremely well from the drop of the puck. I'm sure BC is planning on doing exactly the same thing.

Rich-Chicago: Hi Coach and congrats. I've been a Badger fan since I was four (1975) and the rivaly between Wisco and ND during the 70's and 80's was as strong as any Wisco/Minn & Minn/ND game. Do your players know that when they face Wisco? I get geared up more for ND than Minn! thanks & good luck!
Coach Hakstol: I think that not only our players but our fans recognize the history our the rivalry between the schools. At times, it has been downright nasty between the players and teams, but it has always been a great one. For our fans, it has always been a lot of fun - they have fun going at it without things getting negative. Right now, the Wisconsin rivalry is not something we are concerned with.

Dave Swenson (Owatonna, MN): Coach, I am a UND alum and live in Gopher country. I was getting razzed all season, thanks for helping the spring feel better. Anyway, you have obviously been able to assist your team in peaking at the right time. How important is the psycological part of your job in preparing your team for the playoffs?
Coach Hakstol: I think at this time of year, our players and our team have to feel good about playing and coming to the rink and the next challenge in front of them. When you add all of those things up, if they are all true, it means you are playing well. If you want to have a chance for success, you have to play well as a team and I think we are doing that right now.

Bill, Bangor Maine: Congrats on a great season. What do you think is the key to your dominance over HEA teams in the NCAA tournament over the years.
Coach Hakstol: I don't think we necessarily feel like we've had any sort of dominance over anyone. When you look at not only outcomes but the competitiveness of each individual game, I think it has been collectively great college hockey, regardless of the outcomes. We have a high level of respect for the programs, coaches and teams that we come up against during Tournament time. It is a lot of fun to have that challenge and a lot of fun to be a part of.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all the time we have with Coach Hakstol today.
Coach Hakstol: Thank you very much for having me again. And thanks to everyone for supporting North Dakota hockey.
CSTV.com Moderator: Join us again next Tuesday for more Frozen Four talk on "Tuesday @ The Rink". Check back to find out who our guests will be.

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