Scott Sandelin ran into me at the World Arena while the team was dropping off their gear. We were walking through the tunnel out to the ice surface itself, and he couldn't have been more right when he told me that our luck with the weather has been really good on these Colorado trips.
(By the way, speaking of the ice...wow. If you ever want to get a feel for how big an Olympic-sized surface is, just walk down to ice level. The World Arena sheet looks especially huge, reminiscent of the pond hockey rink they built for the movie Mystery, Alaska. Really deep corners, which probably makes the biggest difference in the look of the surface compared to other Olympic sheets I've seen.)
After all, no one would have batted an eye if we were greeted by a blizzard on either of these trips. Instead, we had sunny skies and 75 degrees the day we got to Denver, and our arrival in Colorado Springs today was on a sunny, 70-degree day.
Seriously, I'm getting paid for this!
Travel was a bit bumpy today, and that's not even counting our three-plus hour layover in the Twin Cities. Right now, night has fallen here, but you can't beat our mountain view at the hotel, and the weather was awesome. Not only was it good today, but it's not supposed to waver at all during our stay. It's shorts weather during the day, albeit a bit chilly at night.
I'll give you a bit of a weekend preview tomorrow, and you can check out FanHouse for more on this weekend's Wisconsin-Michigan game.
Football picks are coming, and I'll probably post something stupid and random.
Kudos to the staff of the Colorado Springs Doubletree. We're right by the World Arena. These people are courteous, sharp, and always greet you with a smile. I don't want to go all Peter King on you, but this is one of my favorite stops for many reasons, and the fact that the hotel staff goes out of their way to make our lives a bit easier is one of the reasons why.
Back to hockey. I don't know what UMD will put together for lines this weekend now that Michael Gergen is available, and I admittedly didn't pay enough attention at practice Wednesday. But here's my best guess:
Michael Gergen - MacGregor Sharp - Nick Kemp
Matt Greer - Jordan Fulton - Matt McKnight
Andrew Carroll - Drew Akins - Justin Fontaine
Cody Danberg - Rob Bordson - Kyle Schmidt
Jason Garrison - Josh Meyers
Trent Palm - Travis Gawryletz
Jay Cascalenda - Chase Ryan
I reserve the right to be wrong. I'm rather confident in the top line, the freshman line, and the top defensive pairing. Not so sure about the rest of it. We shall see tomorrow.