Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Game 6: UMD 1, Alaska-Anchorage 1

UMD goal
Justin Fontaine 5 (Drew Akins, Jack Connolly) 10:29 1st period (5X3 power play). Remember the third goal from Friday? Yeah, very similar play. Nice setup by Akins across the goalmouth to a wide-open Fontaine.

Sorry this took so long.

Blah. Not a ton happening here. UMD hit a few pipes late in the game, and was probably left lamenting some back luck for the weekend. I mean, it's not often that a team has a tying goal (probably incorrectly) disallowed in one game, then clangs two goals off the pipe in the next game.

Oh, well. These are points UMD is going to have a hard time "recouping". After all, the expectation was for more than one out of the weekend, and this very tough ten-game stretch coming up is going to make point accumulation tough enough.

Saturday should be quite interesting at the XCel Energy Center. The Bulldogs need points, and St. Cloud State is 0-2 in the WCHA, so they obviously need them, too. With how both teams' penalty kills have struggled, and how good their power plays are, it's not tough to figure out what the keys to the game will be.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


UMD fields the following lineup as they attempt to get their first WCHA win of the season at Alaska-Anchorage:

Carroll - Akins - Greer
Connolly (Mike) - Sharp - Kemp
Fulton - Connolly (Jack) - Fontaine
Danberg - Bordson - Gergen

Oberg - Meyers
Kishel - Palm
Cascalenda - Montgomery

Stalock - Hjelle

For UAA:
Lunden - Bales - Clark
Grant - Crowder - Moir
Haddad - Parkinson - Wiles
Carlson - Tuton - Smith

Lafranchise - Robinson
Lovdahl - Vidmar
Hunt - Backstrom

Olthuis - Christianson


Former UMD defenseman Jason Garrison, who left school after last season to turn pro, has been called up by the Florida Panthers.

He was playing for the Panthers' AHL affiliate in Rochester (NY).

Garrison is in the lineup for the Panthers tonight in St. Louis.

More on that, plus lines and chatter from Anchorage, later. Assuming this wireless holds up. Grrr...


(Ignore the soccer ball. I think this is kind of funny.)

Game 5: Alaska-Anchorage 4, UMD 4*

UMD goals
MacGregor Sharp 5 (Mike Connolly 5, Nick Kemp 2), 2:00 2nd period. Kemp dropped a great feed to Sharp in the left circle, and he blasted a one-time past Jon Olthuis to get UMD on the board.

Justin Fontaine 3 (Evan Oberg 5, Josh Meyers 2), 17:23 2nd period (PP). Oberg and Meyers held the puck along the blue line, and Meyer's one-time pass was tipped in by Fontaine at the left post.

Justin Fontaine 4 (Drew Akins 1, Evan Oberg 6), 3:09 3rd period (PP). Oberg threaded a pass down low to Akins, who back-handed a wonderful feed across the goalmouth to Fontaine, who was open at the left post for a picturesque backdoor goal.

Trent Palm 1 (MacGregor Sharp 4, Michael Gergen 3), 9:55 3rd period (PP). Sharp had the puck on the right wing, and he got it to the top of the umbrella to Palm, who one-timed a great shot inside the left post. It was disallowed because the officials made a poor call.

Yes, I'm bitter about the disallowed goal.

Replay shows Connolly (Mike) at the left post, but not in the crease. Even if he did make contact with Olthuis, he has every right to be near the net as long as he stays out of the crease.

And I hate that coaches can sometimes get their way on these reviews by whining enough. Don Adam and Timm Walsh had no inclination to review the play until right before they dropped the puck to resume action after the goal. Only then did they decide to review the previous play.

I'd love to know more about this mysterious crease violation. I mean, "man in the crease" is a worthwhile, well-intentioned rule. But how do you call it when there weren't any offensive players actually in the crease?

It stinks. But UMD will deal with it. After all, they made this a difficult night by allowing four goals on UAA's first seven shots.

(This isn't to blame Alex Stalock for it. He had virtually no shot on most of the four.)

They still have to clean up the penalty kill, and they have to show up with a more consistent 60-minute effort Saturday. I'm confident this will happen.

I'm also confident that they will respond well to having a bad break go against them. History indicates they will. This is a resilient group.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Mike Connolly-MacGregor Sharp-Nick Kemp
Andrew Carroll-Drew Akins-Matt Greer
Michael Gergen-Jack Connolly-Justin Fontaine
Kyle Schmidt-Rob Bordson-Jordan Fulton

Evan Oberg-Josh Meyers
Trent Palm-Mike Montgomery
Jay Cascalenda-Brady Lamb

Alex Stalock - Brady Hjelle

Cody Danberg and Scott Kishel are the extras for UMD. Danberg is dinged up, while Kishel is a healthy scratch.

UAA goes with the following:

Lunden - Bales - Clark
Grant - Crowder - Moir
Haddad - Parkinson - Wiles
Selby - Tuton - Smith

Lafranchise - Robinson
Lovdahl - Vidmar
Hunt - Backstrom

Olthuis - Christianson

I have Jeremy Smith listed as a defenseman, but he's playing up front tonight because of a couple departures and some injury issues UAA is dealing with.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


So, you know that there's no such thing as a Seawolf, right?

Because there isn't.

I'm not making fun of them. You can call your team whatever you want.

Actually, I give them credit for not using something lame that starts with the letter "A", like Aeros or Avalanche or whatever.

So UMD plays the Seawolves. I have a few thoughts.

First off, UMD needs to use their speed on the big sheet. Sullivan Arena is Olympic-size, and instead of skating circles around teams, UAA has bigger players who - while they can move - aren't as fast as the Bulldogs. I expect UMD to have an advantage in team speed, much like they did in Marquette on the big sheet. In that game, they scored an early goal and were dominant on the penalty kill, playing a great 60-minute game.

The Bulldogs have a dynamic top line, led by the play of sophomore Justin Fontaine. He's already got seven points, more than half his total as a freshman. The ice time he got last year is really paying off right now, as is his increased confidence. You put skill like senior Michael Gergen and freshman Jack Connolly, and you have a dangerous combination.

When they're not on the ice, look out for the line of freshman Mike Connolly and seniors MacGregor Sharp and Nick Kemp. The three combined for the game-winner against Western Michigan Saturday, and both Connolly (Mike) and Sharp are off to great starts. Kemp is playing better, but the results aren't showing up on the scoresheet yet. Sharp and Connolly (Mike) are playing great together, and Sharp is finding the net much more effectively than last year. Talking to him Wednesday, he mentions how he's "getting bounces" this year, but you know what they say about good players making their own bounces. Sharpie's worked too hard for me to just pass off his improved play on some dumb luck.

The Bulldogs need to tighten up the penalty kill. UAA's power play comes in hot, and UMD can't just rely on Alex Stalock to shut it down. Stalock is coming off a poor game, which usually means good things, and this time he's coming off a poor game that UMD actually won. That's been a rarity in his time here.

I don't do predictions, but a good weekend is important for the Bulldogs. They have St. Cloud State at the XCel Energy Center next Saturday, followed by series against Denver (road), Wisconsin and North Dakota (home), a home game against St. Cloud State (Thanksgiving weekend), and a trip to Colorado College. Even a top-five team is going to struggle to get more than 12 points out of that 10-game stretch.

Finally, let me take a crack at projecting lines. I hate doing this, but I'm in Anchorage, cold, bored, and tired. Cut me some slack.

Gergen - Connolly (Jack) - Fontaine
Carroll - Akins - Fulton
Connolly (Mike) - Sharp - Kemp
Danberg - Bordson - Schmidt

Meyers - Montgomery
Oberg - Palm
Cascalenda - Lamb

Stalock - Hjelle

This is just a guess, based on what we've seen and what has worked for UMD. I'm not sure if Matt Greer will be able to play Friday, and I'm guessing that the Lamb/Kishel rotation will be back in effect as long as everyone stays healthy.


I should have done this two weeks ago.

Please save this link if you're looking to keep up with former UMD players currently in pro hockey.

I will do my best to update this every other week or so. Please understand this may be an ambitious goal.


It snowed this morning.

Not much, just enough to annoy.

It's actually one of the trips I enjoy most, but there are caveats.

1. It's a really, really, really long flight (just under six hours takeoff to touchdown).
2. I have more downtime on this trip than any other, because we leave Wednesday from Duluth and it gives me all day Thursday to adjust to the time change and putz around.
3. It's the farthest away from the family, and it's the longest time away. We don't return to Duluth until Sunday night.

Luckily, my niece lives up here, and she'll take me to lunch later today. Will probably go to some messing around shops and such here.

As for the hockey, I'll get you a preview later, unless I really haven't done well adjusting to the time change and I fall asleep. I think this is going to be a huge barometer for this UMD team, and it's an extremely important weekend from a "get some points" standpoint because of what is to come.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


If you haven't heard, KFAN radio personality and unabashed Gopher fan Jeff Dubay is in a bit of hot water.

"Puffy", as he's known to legions of loyal listeners to the "PA and Dubay Show" on a statewide network, was arrested last Wednesday. He is expected to face a felony drug possession charge.
Dubay was arrested on suspicion of a fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, which is a felony. Dubay could end up in a pretrial diversion program, meaning the matter would stand to be dismissed after 12 months without any criminal conviction on his record provided he complies with the conditions the court imposes.
Obviously, this is more of a personal note, but one I feel is necessary.

While I've never been a big fan of the show, I do listen to PA and Dubay when I can (which admittedly isn't often). It's not so much for any reason other than the fact that Dubay is so obviously in love with Gopher hockey. Yes, it's Gopher hockey, but it's also hockey.

I'm a big believer in the sport of college hockey, and so is Dubay. While his analysis isn't always spot-on because of his biases, the same could be said for so many of us involved in the game. And with such a shortage of people willing to talk about college hockey on the radio, we'll miss Dubay as long as he's gone. In this case, I'll take the "sometimes-misdirected passion" over the total apathy that serves as my alternative.

Furthermore, if this is a sign of a more serious problem for Jeff Dubay the man, I can do nothing but wish him well. No matter the circumstances, I do look forward to Jeff Dubay showing up in Duluth the next time the Gophers are in town to lose games to UMD (how about a playoff series in March?!!?).

Plus he still owes me a tour of the KFAN facility in the Cities (though I doubt he remembers this debt).


When you next hear from me, I'll be a bit further north and west than usual.

Anchorage, to be exact.

I mean, it just seems like we got back from a road trip, and we're going on another one.


Should be arriving in Anchorage around 11pm Central time, which would equate to 8pm Alaska time. Can't wait to see how angry my body gets at me for this one.

Monday, October 20, 2008


One man took the high road, wished his old team well, and appeared to mean every word of it.

The other publicly took the high road, talked about wanting them to do well, and proceeded to knife them in the back.

Kevin Hench of makes the seemingly inconceivable comparison between Ned Yost and Brett Favre.
If Favre needs a road map from Wisconsin to that elusive high road he should take a look at the way Ned Yost handled his firing from the Brewers with 12 games to play despite being tied for the wild card.

"If anybody thinks that I've got sour grapes or I don't want this club to succeed, they're crazy," said Yost. "I'll be rooting them on every inch of the way and I hope they can win that wild card and go deep, deep into the playoffs and win the World Series."

Gee, you mean Yost didn't call up Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and give him the Brewers' signals?

Yost took his separation from the Brewers like a man. Favre has taken his separation from the Packers like a spiteful, petulant child.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Ever since FOX's Jay Glazer reported that Favre spilled the beans to the Detroit Lions in a lame attempt at sabotage, I've wrestled with a few feelings on the topic.

For starters, I'm fully cognizant of the fact that this doesn't breach any NFL rules. I'm not sure that alone means anything, but anyone suggesting a Brett Favre fine or suspension are off the mark.

In many ways, this is much more meaningful than a fine or suspension.

This is about image. Legacy. Perception among the classiest, most loyal fans in sports.

When Favre was traded, CBS stations in Wisconsin were inundated with calls from fans who wanted to see the Jets play. Most of them are carrying upwards of eight Jets games this season. Even though he left the Packers, the circumstances of his departure were less than ideal, and the Packers had their own season to play, fans still wanted to watch Brett Favre play for the Jets.

Perhaps Favre has miscalculated the fans' loyalty towards him.

They're not jumping ship in droves. They're still filling Lambeau Field. They're buying Aaron Rodgers jerseys. They're making signs about Aaron Rodgers. They're cheering for Aaron Rodgers. They're smacking his helmet when he does a Lambeau Leap.

Meanwhile, Favre is inexplicably trying to sabotage his former team.

And he's failing.

I mean, if you're going to give the dirt to the Lions, you'd think the Lions could at least stay within three touchdowns, right?

(There has been speculation that he may have also given tips to Seattle, coached by former Packers head coach Mike Holmgren, and Minnesota (duh). So I'll just mention here that the Packers won those games, too. Maybe Favre kinda sucks at this "giving out secrets" thing. Or maybe Mike McCarthy smelled out the plot and changed the questions that Favre was answering.)

Meanwhile, the Brewers lost to the Phillies in the National League Division Series, but it wasn't because of espionage or dirty tactics by Yost. Instead, it was because they weren't good enough.

In reality, that's the reason Yost was fired, even though he didn't help himself by being uptight with the players and media, and not understanding that the media is a vehicle to communicate with the people who actually buy tickets to watch your team play.

Maybe it's killing Favre that we're almost halfway through the season, and Rodgers has better numbers.

Or maybe he's just an immature jerk who can't stand that fact that Ted Thompson is running the show in Green Bay.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Game 4: UMD 6, Western Michigan 5 (OT)

UMD goals
Jack Connolly 1 (Michael Gergen, Justin Fontaine), 13:37 1st period. Fontaine threw the puck high in the air out of the UMD zone. Gergen used his speed to get past the defense and beat them to the loose puck in the UMD zone. His shot was stopped by WMU goalie Jerry Kuhn, but Connolly (Jack) followed him up and stuffed the rebound in for his first collegiate goal.

Evan Oberg 1 (Justin Fontaine), :45 3rd period (5X3 power play). With UMD down two goals and up two men, Fontaine fed a puck from the left wing to Oberg in the high slot. Oberg's one-timer got home for his first career goal at the DECC.

Andrew Carroll 1 (Evan Oberg, Cody Danberg), 5:05 3rd period (shorthanded). This one rivals the goal by Connolly (Mike) from Friday as the best of the season so far. Danberg blocked a puck to center ice. Carroll ran it down and started a two-on-one with Oberg, who came flying down the left side. Carroll fed Oberg, who got it back to Carroll in front for a tip-in. Great goal.

Mike Connolly 2 (MacGregor Sharp, Jordan Fulton), 8:23 3rd period (power play). Connolly got a feed from Sharp on the right wing, skated into the right circle, and shot it in off a WMU defenseman in front. Went right through Kuhn's legs.

Jordan Fulton 2 (Andrew Carroll), 18:30 3rd period. Carroll outworked the Western Michigan forwards along the left boards near the WMU bench. He kept the puck in the WMU zone, skated into the left circle, and fed Fulton in the slot. Fulton ripped a one-timer past Kuhn.

MacGregor Sharp 4 (Evan Oberg), 2:33 overtime. Oberg intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line and shot it towards Sharp, who was open near the goalmouth and tipped it past Kuhn to set off a raucous celebration along the glass in the WMU zone.

Entertaining. Fun. Dramatic. Not good for the ticker. Not good for the voice.

It was a great night at the DECC. That game had everything, including some great offensive plays (the individual effort by Patrick Galivan of WMU for the game-tying goal late in regulation was a beauty, as was the UMD shortie that earlier had tied the game 3-3). It also had the Alex Stalock gaffe that led to the first game-tying goal by Western Michigan.

(For those who don't follow UMD closely, but may know of Stalock's tendency to wander, it's worth noting that this is the second goal directly attributable to a Stalock turnover in his UMD career. So while Stalock is always good at getting on people's nerves with his willingness to skate anywhere he wants to get a shot at the puck, it hasn't been problematic for UMD. Hopefully, this is just a blip on the radar.)

At 3-0-1, UMD is certainly off to a good start. However, the challenging WCHA schedule is about to begin. Getting points in Anchorage next weekend is a must, as UMD follows that with the XCel game against St. Cloud, a road trip to Denver, and a home series against a Wisconsin team that won't suck defensively forever.

(On Wisconsin, yes they're 0-4 and yes they've allowed 23 goals in those four games. But they have great talent on defense, and it is going to come around eventually.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Greetings from the DECC. Hopefully, this one isn't as nail-biting as that Wisconsin-Denver game was last night.

By the way, the heavily-hyped, seemingly-impenetrable Wisconsin defense has now allowed 16 goals in three games. They're 0-3. I can't believe it, either.

Carroll - Akins - Fulton
M Connolly - Sharp - Kemp
Gergen - J Connolly - Fontaine
Danberg - Bordson - Grun

Oberg - Meyers
Cascalenda - Huttel
Kishel - Palm

Stalock - Hjelle - Reiter

Weaver - R Watson - Slater
Katz - Nagorsen - Paeth
C Watson - Clackson - Squires
Roehl - Galivan - Isley

Collins - Silver
Frank - Kavaya
Connauton - Ludwig

Kuhn - Gill


Game 3: UMD 5, Western Michigan 2

UMD goals
Justin Fontaine 1 (Jack Connolly 1, Michael Gergen 2), 1:45 1st. Connolly (Jack) won the faceoff to Gergen in the WMU zone. After he got the puck back, Connolly (Jack) skated toward the area behind the net and fed a quick drop pass to Fontaine, who had a pretty easy shot at the net. It was a sign of things to come from those with the last name Connolly.

Justin Fontaine 2 (Mike Connolly 4, Jack Connolly 2), 18:00 1st (power play). A Connolly (Mike) shot created a scramble in front of the net, as WMU goalie Riley Gill couldn't control the puck. Eventually, Fontaine got a hold of the puck and jammed it in the net. A lengthy review by referees Todd Anderson and Brad Shepherd confirmed the original ruling.

Mike Connolly 1 (MacGregor Sharp 1), 5:18 2nd. Sharp established the offensive zone and gave a great feed to Connolly (Mike), springing him behind the defense. Connolly put a sick move on Gill and stuffed the puck into the open net. Goal of the year so far for UMD.

Josh Meyers 2 (Jack Connolly 3, Justin Fontaine 3), 2:54 3rd (power play). Connolly (Jack) found Meyers high in the right circle. Meyers made no mistake with a one-timer, beating Gill to give UMD a three-goal lead.

Nick Kemp 1 (Andrew Carroll 1, MacGregor Sharp 2), 18:54 3rd (empty net). Kemp came down the right side and shot the puck into the open net from the blue line.


Not a virtuoso performance, but it'll work. The Connollys both impressed, making great plays with the puck and always finding ways to get involved in the play. Sharp and Fontaine had strong games, and much credit should be given to veterans Kemp and Carroll, who were big factors in UMD's ability to hold the lead late in the game. Alex Stalock was good in net, making a couple huge saves when the Broncos were within a goal or two.

UMD does have to work on their consistency. There were a couple of letdowns, especially in the third period, and they can't afford to let that happen. WMU was a last-place team in the CCHA last year, but they lost a gaggle of one-goal and overtime games. They worked their tails off for most of the game last night, and they'll come at UMD tonight with a similarly relentless effort. To get the sweep, UMD must maintain their focus and intensity for much closer to 60 minutes.

Friday, October 17, 2008


UMD lines
Carroll - Akins - Fulton
Mike Connolly - Sharp - Kemp
Gergen - Jack Connolly - Fontaine
Danberg - Bordson - Schmidt

Meyers - Montgomery
Oberg - Palm
Cascalenda - Lamb

Stalock - Hjelle - Reiter

WMU lines
Weaver - Watson - Slater
Katz - Nagorsen - Paeth
Roehl - Campbell - Galivan
Watson - Clackson - Squires

Frank - Kavaya
Collins - Silver
Connauton - Ludwig

Gill - Kuhn

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Game 2: UMD 5, Northern Michigan 0

UMD Goals

Sharp 2 (M. Connolly 2, Montgomery 1), 2:17 1st period. Sharp took the puck down the middle with Nick Kemp on the right wing. Instead of passing, Sharp picked the top right corner and beat NMU goalie Brian Stewart with a quick wrist shot.

Sharp 3 (M. Connolly 3, Kemp 1), 12:57 2nd period. Connolly brought the puck into the NMU zone, skated into the right circle, took advantage of some time and space, and found Sharp coming down the slot for an easy backdoor goal.

Akins 1 (Fontaine 1, Meyers 1), 5:03 3rd period (PP - EAG). As UMD was about to get a five-on-three, Fontaine found Akins open in front of the net.

Fulton 1 (Cascalenda 1), 8:11 3rd period. Fulton took a pass from Cascalenda in the neutral zone, came down the middle, and ripped a shot past Stewart.

Akins 2 (Fontaine 2, Oberg 2), 14:03 3rd period. Similar play to the first Akins goal. This one came at the end of a UMD power play, and was technically an even strength goal even though the offensive zone still showed a manpower advantage for UMD. It was Fontaine to Akins over the middle once again to close out the scoring.


A nearly-perfect effort. 60 minutes of solid play by UMD on both ends of the rink. We again saw a pretty good forecheck that bottled the Wildcats up at times. The Bulldogs were very good on the penalty kill in this game. NMU had a couple of rather long five-on-threes, and UMD kept a good pocket around Alex Stalock. Sticks got into passing lanes to break up feeds to open players (when you're two men short, you're going to give up some open people, so it's key to find the passing lanes and disrupt the rhythm).

This was a team shutout. Stalock had a couple nice saves during NMU power plays, but nothing that made you gasp. It was very reminiscent of the 1-0 win at UMass-Lowell last year in that regard. Stalock didn't have to stand on his head, but he was clearly seeing the puck very well.

A good start to the season. We saw a good mix of experienced players stepping up and finishing plays and young guys making plays. Hard to complain about anything we saw.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


UMD lines

Carroll - Akins - Fulton
Gergen - J Connolly - Fontaine
M Connolly - Sharp - Kemp
Oleksuk - Bordson - Schmidt

Oberg - Meyers
Kishel - Palm
Montgomery - Cascalenda

Stalock - Hjelle

NMU lines

Cherniwchan - Brown - Sirota
Kaunisto - Butcher - Fox
Smith - Olver - Hanson
Florek - Kosinski - Gron

Miller - Dorich
Gustafsson - Cosgrove
Lindemulder - Spady

Stewart - Hartigan


Game 1: UMD 2, Lake Superior State 2

UMD goals

Sharp 1 (M. Connolly), 9:17 2nd period (PP). Connolly (Mike) stole the puck near the LSSU blue line, skated in and took a shot. The LSSU goalie made the save, but left a big rebound to his right that Sharp stuffed in from a bad angle.

Meyers 1 (Oberg), 2:17 3rd period (PP 5X3). After a Connolly (Jack) faceoff win, Oberg and Meyers played catch for a few seconds before Meyers ripped a wrist shot from the right point that eluded Inglis.


It wasn't a crisp performance by UMD, but it wasn't terrible, either. Kind of looked like a season opener, with both teams struggling to move the puck at times.

The Lakers were victimized by forechecking pressure from both Connollys, who looked really strong in that area. The Bulldogs forced LSSU to pass the puck up the ice instead of carrying it, and it make them really uncomfortable for a time.

Stalock recovered from a slow start to play well, but outside of a couple flurries in the third period, he wasn't tested much overall. Lots of long shots with little traffic, as if the Lakers thought they could get more goals like their second one, which was a long shot with little traffic (the kind Stalock will stop 499 times out of 500, in all likelihood).

The penalty kill started horribly but played very well in the last two periods. The best scoring chance on LSSU's power plays in those periods was probably a UMD rush.

Offensively, UMD struggled. They had a lot of chances, but Connolly (Jack) whiffed on a couple chances close-in, and they just missed on a couple of passes. I expect to see more crisp play out of the top lines tonight, as they did look like they were developing some better chemistry as the game wore on.

Northern Michigan, the opponent tonight, scored five goals on 11 shots against Michigan Tech last night. Tech goalie Rob Nolan stopped four of nine shots (!) before getting the hook.

So NMU, outshot 30-11 on the night, has some goaltending. The question is how are they going to handle not scoring on every shot? Methinks Stalock will be sharp from the start, and that will make things tough on the Wildcats.

I'm already in Marquette, having driven over after the game last night. I look forward to not being at this hotel anymore, as the entire sixth floor reeks of cigarette smoke. No idea where it came from, since the wing is entirely "non-smoking". Good thing I'm not allergic.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Lines for UMD tonight against Lake Superior State

Andrew Carroll - Drew Akins - Matt Greer
Kyle Schmidt - Jack Connolly - Justin Fontaine
Jordan Fulton - MacGregor Sharp - Nick Kemp
Cody Danberg - Rob Bordson - Mike Connolly

Josh Meyers - Mike Montgomery
Evan Oberg - Trent Palm
Jay Cascalenda - Brady Lamb

Alex Stalock - Brady Hjelle

Lake Superior State goes with this:
Troy Schwab - Brad Cooper - Nathan Perkovich
Will Acton - Rick Schofield - Zac MacVoy
Dan Barczuk - Pat Aubry - Chad Nehring
John Scrymgeour - Fred Cassiani - Josh Sim

Tyson Hobbins - Matt Cowie
Simon Gysbers - Kyle Haines
Steven Kaunisto - Steven Oleksy

Pat Inglis - Brian Mahoney-Wilson

Thursday, October 09, 2008


As the professional hockey season gets underway, I have compiled a list of former UMD players (and some other local names) currently playing professional hockey.

Please note that this list is not final, and there is still research to be done to find guys who may be playing in Europe.

If you know of the professional whereabouts of any former UMD player that isn't on this list, please e-mail me at the above address.

Also, if you know of any other local players who are still playing somewhere, I'd love to know about it.

Mason Raymond, Vancouver Canucks
Matt Niskanen, Dallas Stars
Craig Weller, Minnesota Wild

Jason Garrison, Rochester Americans
Junior Lessard, Chicago Wolves
Issac Reichmuth, Grand Rapids Griffins
Jay Rosehill, Norfolk Admirals
Tim Hambly, Rockford Ice Hogs

Mike Curry, Alaska Aces
Travis Gawryletz, Elmira Jackals
Matt McKnight, Las Vegas Wranglers
Jon Francisco, Ontario Reign
Josh Johnson, South Carolina Stingrays
Neil Petruic, Stockton Thunder
Bryan McGregor, Johnstown Chiefs

Brett Hammond, Colorado Eagles
Jay Hardwick, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

Luke Stauffacher, Muskegon Lumberjacks

Andy Sertich (Greenway), Bridgeport Sound Tigers, AHL
Clay Wilson (Cloquet/Esko/Carlton), Syracuse Crunch, AHL
Gino Guyer (Greenway), Phoenix RoadRunners, ECHL
Tom Sawatske (Duluth native), Phoenix RoadRunners, ECHL
B.J. Radovich (Hermantown/UWS), Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, CHL


Hey, I can see Canada from here.

Does that mean I can run for Vice President?

Hello from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where UMD opens another hockey season Friday night.

We (Kevin Pates of the DNT and Rink and Run travels with me on the driving trips) arrived here around 6:15pm Eastern time. 420 or so miles from my home in Proctor, and very, very close to Canada.

The picture is of the International Bridge here, which costs anywhere from $3 to $5 to cross, depending on what you're driving. It becomes Interstate 75 shortly after you have crossed into the US (or I-75 ends shortly before you cross into Canada). It looks like a really, really long bridge, and not one that I'd care to cross, though I'd love to visit Canada for five minutes just to say I did.

As for the hockey this weekend, it's the second annual (?) Superior Cup, which features the three Division I schools in upper Michigan along with UMD. Last year, Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan made the trips to play UMD and Michigan Tech, and the favor is returned this year. The coaches involved seem interested in keeping this thing going, but they speak of wanting a sponsor to help pay the bills for the travel (especially this trip from Duluth to Sault Ste. Marie).

It should be a good season-opening test for UMD, facing teams that improved after slow starts last year. Since Lake State started slower, they had a bigger hill to climb. Like UMD, they struggled to score goals last year. Unlike UMD, the Lakers struggled defensively, allowing a CCHA-worst 101 goals.

Northern Michigan is getting serious love from the preseason voters after a third-place finish in the CCHA Tournament. Only their rough first nine games kept them from making the NCAA Tournament. After all, nothing kills a 10-5-1 finish better than a 1-8 start.

With that in mind, UMD has their hands full. LSSU is a young team determined to start better. NMU is an experienced team determined to start better.

And UMD needs a good start, too, because they finished 2007-2008 with a whimper, and they have a run of St. Cloud State (St. Paul)/at Denver/Wisconsin/North Dakota/St. Cloud State/at Colorado College after a WCHA opening series at Alaska-Anchorage.

Monday, October 06, 2008


1 Alabama --
2 Oklahoma --
3 Missouri --
4 LSU --
5 Texas --
6 Penn State --
7 Brigham Young --
8 Southern Cal 4
9 Texas Tech --
10 Georgia --
11 Florida --
12 Ohio State 1
13 Utah 2
14 Boise State 2
15 Vanderbilt 4
16 Michigan State 1
17 Northwestern 4
18 Kansas --
19 Virginia Tech 5
20 Pittsburgh 6
21 Auburn 7
22 Oklahoma State 3
23 South Florida 15
24 Tulsa 2
25 Ball State 1

Dropped Out: Connecticut (#20), Wisconsin (#22), Fresno State (#23).

I flipped Auburn a few spots up from Monday's ballot. I think I was too harsh on a pretty good team.

The rest of it is pretty much as it was on Monday, only it looks better now.

Congrats to Brian on getting the CBS deal. This should be good for everyone.