"I think you can look back to a press conference last year, two years ago, three years ago, four years ago and you can push play and we'd be talking about the same thing," University of North Dakota men's hockey coach Dave Hakstol said. "I say it every year - 'This is a new team.' This happens to be a little bit of a younger team than maybe we've had over the last year or two but no difference."
But this year things are a bit different. After a loss and tie in Boston this past weekend, The University of North Dakota men are unranked going in to non-conference action this weekend with St. Lawrence. According to head coach Dave Hakstol, their 5-6-2 start is just about consistency.
"That's hockey," Hakstol responded. "Mistakes happen. We need to limit not only one mistake but one mistake leading to a second or a third."
Hakstol joked if consistency were easy to fix they'd have found it back in June. But it's not that easy.
"I think it starts in practice specifically," said sophomore forward Rocco Grimaldi. "Coming to practice with the mentality that you're there to get better and you're going to work as hard as you can."
"I think Rocco touched on pretty well where it's an everyday thing," added senior captain defenseman Dillon Simpson. "I think it's got to be somewhat of a habit to have a great day every day and I think that carries over in to the games."
Having a losing record in November seems to put the UND fan base in to a tail spin but hockey is a passionate game and that extends to the stands.
But don't head for the life boat just yet.
"It always sucks to lose and it's always great to win but we always think big picture here at North Dakota," said Simpson. "It's hard work that starts in the summer and continues throughout the start. I think it's a really cool feeling and pretty cool process once it all start coming to together and clicking and I think we're on the verge."
After all, the last time UND was unranked was November of 2011. That squad started 4-7-1 and turned it around Thanksgiving weekend. They'd make the NCAA tournament as the number one seed and win the Final Five.
"We're always going to make mistakes," summarized Hakstol. "We're going to give up opportunities. We'll need great goaltending and yes we'll give up goals. We just have to percentage wise continue to improve."