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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With North Dakota Forward Drew Stafford

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, December 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET, North Dakota forward Drew Stafford pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. Stafford currently leads the Fighting Sioux in scoring this season.

Drew Stafford

Drew Stafford has had a great start to the 2005-06 season. The junior forward leads the Fighting Sioux in points, goals, shorthanded goals, shots and plus/minus, and is second on the team in penalty minutes.

Stafford was one of the leaders of North Dakota's Frozen Four squad in 2004-05. He finished third on team in points, led the team in game-winning goals, a total that tied for seventh nationally, led team in plus/minus and had career-high 13 goals. He had two assists in NCAA Frozen Four semifinal win against Minnesota and another in championship game loss to Denver and added a goal each night of NCAA East Regional.

The first round pick of the Buffalo Sabres (13th overall) in the 2004 Draft was named Team USA's most outstanding player in the 2005 World Junior Championships and was also a member of the 2004 squad that won gold in Finland. He is a 2003 graduate of Shattuck-St. Mary's. His father played pro hockey with the Milwaukee Admirals from 1980-87.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Drew won't be stopping by until 2:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 20th, 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 "Tuesday @ The Rink". We are now joined by North Dakota forward Drew Stafford.
Drew Stafford: Hey everyone, I'm looking forward to answering all of your questions.

Jennifer (Madison): How has the team dynamic changed going from having nine seniors on the team to having thirteen freshman on the team? Do the upperclassmen feel more like leaders and teachers? Good luck on the rest of the season.
Drew Stafford: Hey, Jennifer. The team dynamic has definitely changed. Last year, we had such great senior leadership which carried us through the playoffs. This year with only two seniors, it is really up to the larger junior class to take over. Personally, I feel like I am in a larger leadership role this year and I am trying my best to help anyway I can.

PCM (Grand Forks): With T.J. Oshie, Jonathan Toews, Brian Lee and Taylor Chorney at the World Juniors, how do you think the Sioux will adujust to their absence during the upcoming series with Harvard?
Drew Stafford: Hey Pat, those guys are obviously a huge part of our team, and that just increases the duties of our remaining defensemen even more. It also is a challenge to myself and the rest of the forwards to produce in T.J. and Jonny's absence. I think we will be fine against Harvard.

Ryan (Fountain Hills, AZ): Hey Drew, many sioux fans out here in AZ. We watch about every weekend at a sports bar! When you were recruited to North Dakota, what was the deciding factor that made you choose UND? Many fellow Shattuck players, Facilities,Coaches,Tradition or all of the above? Also, what other schools were recruiting you? ps..How is your band coming along?
Drew Stafford: What's up, Ryan. I chose UND for pretty much all those reasons. First off, UND plays in the best conference and it is somewhat close to my home in Faribault, MN. Plus the rink is obvious. But, also I have my friends from Shattuck there, too. Red Seal Peach is coming along, we should have our first full length out by this time next year.

Joe (Minneapolis): How do you like living in Grand Forks and who are you roommates?
Drew Stafford: Grand Forks is great. It's small, but the campus reminds me a lot of Shattuck. I wish it wasn't so cold all the time, but what can you do? My roomates right now are Erik Fabian, Phil Lamoureux, and Mikey Olson. Mikey is arguably the best athlete in the house.

hockey_rockz (North Dakota): I heard you had a band with Jordan Parise. Is that true and are you guys any good?
Drew Stafford: Hockey rockz whats up. Yeah our band is Red Seal Peach or RSP. Kinda like AFI is really A Fire Inside, STP is really Stone Temple Pilots, or Right Said Fred is really known as RSF. Kinda like that. Yeah our debut album "The Pralien" is coming out I believe next winter. You can probably pick up some of our demos at our shows. And yes, we are really good. Come check us out at Suite 49 at the end of the year.

Chris (Grand Forks): Gopher advocates are saying you are soft and don't step up in big games. What do you think of this and how can you use it as motivation for the games at Mariucci and the rest of the season?
Drew Stafford: Hey Chris, thanks for the support. That means a lot. I don't think the team as a whole really was ready for the Gopher series at home. When we play them in January at Mariucci it will be a different story. The guys will be ready to go. Hey, thanks again for the compliments.

Moorhead: Do you think officials have gone overboard on trying to crack down on the number of checks from behind?
Drew Stafford: The officials are just trying to do their job and this year that is trying to weed out the amount of hits from behind. After seeing Robbie Bina get hurt last year, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. The officials are trying their best. It might be frustrating at times because some hits are worse than others (I have gotten kicked out already this year for one, so I know personally), but they are trying their best and that's all you can ask for.

Ed (Boston): After winning the regional last year in here in Massachusetts, how much would it mean to win one in front of the home crowd in Grand Forks?
Drew Stafford: It would mean a lot to us being at home and all. Having that extra travel during that time of year is tough, so to be able to be in our locker room and sleep in our own beds would be a plus. Hopefully, we can turn around our play at home this year so we can use that home ice advantage in a positive way.

Al (Chicago): As the season was starting and all of this business was going around about the Sioux logo and the regional at REA, how tough was it for you and the rest of the team to keep your heads above it and get ready for the season as normal?
Drew Stafford: It actually wasn't tough at all, because we all knew who we were playing for and the significance of that logo. I have so much respect for that name and I am truly honored to wear it across my chest. The NCAA may have their own opinions, but it won't change mine or any of my teammates.

Sam (New York): Drew, last year, people were expecting a slightly down year because of the guys who left for the pros, but you made the Frozen Four anyway. You lost a couple of guys to the pros again, but how has the huge recruiting class you guys brought in affect the expectations you feel on campus?
Drew Stafford: Our team this year is a lot more skilled than last year's team. We have more offensive depth than last year as well. However, defensively we have lost a lot of our muscle and overall size. We have more offensively skilled defensemen this year, however. So it really is kind of a 180 as far as our team make-up, but we still hold very high expectations and we are still aiming to have success in the playoffs.

Pete Boone, Ottawa: Drew, in the three years you have played with the Sioux, the team has transitioned from the firepower of Parise/Bochenski, to a powerful Senior D and now a completely different team that has incredible talent but is so young. Despite its youth do you think this team will make the NCAAs and be successful.
Drew Stafford: Yes Pete, I believe we will have success in the post season. Like you said we are young, but we have so much talent that I think in time that will take over the game and give us success. Hopefully the young guys that went off to the WJC can come back with that experience and provide that extra punch we might need come playoff time. I am really excited for the second half.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all of the time we have this afternoon with Drew.
Drew Stafford: Thanks for all the questions and I hope everyone enjoys their holiday break. Red Seal Peach "The Pralien," is in stores next winter, pick it up. GO SIOUX!!!
CSTV.com Moderator: Join us next week for another edition of "Tuesday @ The Rink", when we will be joined by two more guests from the world of college hockey. Check back during the week to find out who will be joining us.

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