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This article was published 13/12/2011 (3595 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Dave Hakstol has a couple of streaks going, one he'd like to keep and one he'd like to break.
The 43-year-old coach of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux has never won a national championship -- either as a player at UND or in his seven years as head coach of the prestigious NCAA program. That streak he'd like to break.
The one-time member of the Minnesota Moose who retired as a player when the franchise moved north to Manitoba, has led his team to the national tournament in all seven of his seasons at the helm and made five Frozen Fours. That's the run he'd like to see extended.
Hakstol was in Winnipeg on Tuesday to promote his team's game with the Clarkson University Golden Knights at the MTS Centre on Saturday, Jan. 7.
The game will be UND's first in Canada in 59 years.
"It's a non-conference game and that's important for us in terms of getting into the national tournament," said Hakstol, who has guided his team to a 9-8-1 record this season.
"We're a bubble team right now and when they pump all the numbers into the computer to see who will qualify, non-conference record is an important factor."
The Sioux have gone through a lot of change this season with 10 players leaving the program.
"We've dug ourselves out of a pretty deep hole. We were four games below .500 at one point but we've grown together as a team," said the native of Warburg, Alta. "We're young and we've had some injuries. But the big thing is we've matured and started to figure things out as a group."
Hakstol has been looking for the right opportunity to bring his team to Canada for a game.
"It's great for our program to come up here and play in this building and be associated with the people at True North and the Jets," he said. "We've got a strong tradition of players from Manitoba and this is another chance to showcase our program."
Hakstol has been considered a top coach in the U.S. college ranks for some time. Opportunity has come knocking, but he doesn't want to leave Grand Forks.
"I'm invested here. I've got strong roots in the school and the town. I played there and now I've coached. I love it," said Hakstol. "I haven't won as a player or a coach and that's something that has to happen if I was ever to consider a move."
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