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.