Family matters between the pipes

J.P. Parise wanted his child to fail.

A number of years ago, Parise, a two-time NHL All-Star who spent 13 seasons in the league as a left forward, was coaching his son Jordan's Mites hockey team in a summer league.

J.P. knew that as his son got older and the competition got stiffer there would be more opportunities for forwards and defenders because each team typically rosters only two goaltenders.

One of his sons, Zach, got the message and now plays center for New Jersey Devils after two seasons at North Dakota. To help Jordan make up his mind about where to play on the ice, J.P. gave Jordan his chance to play goalie when his team was set to face a Minnesota youth all-star team.

"Knowing, him, he's very competitive, he doesn't like to lose, so I'll play him and he'll get his ass kicked, and he won't want to play again," J.P. said, recalling his thought process at the time. "But my God, he goes out and shuts them out one-nothing. My plan just failed. … It just assured him that decision of playing goalie was the decision to make."

Nothing has changed since then.

Jordan, a junior goalkeeper for North Dakota, has backstopped his team to the Frozen Four for the second straight year and a national semifinal showdown with Boston College at 2 p.m. today at the Bradley Center.

The Fighting Sioux netminder has a record of 24-8-1, a .933 save percentage and six shutouts this season. Jordan is 6-2 in the NCAA tournament all-time.

Even with all the success, Jordan's motivation has not changed.

"I hate to lose, more than I like to win; that's one thing I've never been content with is not being the best," Jordan said.

That made North Dakota's midseason struggles all the more frustrating.

The team was playing as many as 10 freshmen and after being swept at home by St. Cloud State on Jan. 27 and 28, the Fighting Sioux dropped into the bottom half of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings and fell to 7-8 at home.

"I think we had a lot of guys that were on different pages and maybe in different books too," Jordan said.

This is when it helped to have a hockey-centric family. Jordan turned to J.P. and Zach, whom he talks with daily, for advice.

"I was just telling him stay with what you were doing, don't second guess your game, because that's the worse thing he can do as a goalie," Zach said. "I think he did it. They kind of climbed out of it."

Since then North Dakota is 12-3.