Friday, October 09, 2015

Saturday Hockey Notes and Thoughts: Bulldogs, Beavers Stymied by Power Outage in Duluth

Greetings from where I lay my head: Home.

Usually, we talk about games in a weekly update that publishes Friday night or Saturday morning, subject to change based on my schedule during a particular weekend.

This one's easy. There was no game.

UMD and Bemidji State saw their scheduled season opener Friday night postponed, thanks to a power outage that affected the ice plant -- among other things -- at Amsoil Arena. The outage started around 2pm Friday, when a contractor "bored into an unmarked private underground cable," according to a tweet from Minnesota Power.

The game was said to be in peril around 4pm, when local media became aware of the outage. The announcement of the game's postponement came shortly after 5:30pm.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, the ice could have been in playing shape within 90 minutes of the restoration of power. However, with both teams traveling to Bemidji after the game, a decision was made that the game couldn't be played later than 8pm. Once it could not be guaranteed that power would be restored by 6:30, the game was called off.

In case you're wondering, a DECC employee tweeted to me that power was restored at 7:30. DECC do-everything dude Jeff Stark was asked on Twitter about the prospect of the ice having to be replaced, and he said as long as power was restored before around 11pm, it would probably be fine by Saturday.

(Kudos to Matt Wellens, who actually was at the rink for much of the ordeal. With logistical things to take care of at the radio ranch, it wasn't practical for me to be there when no game was going to be played. I took care of radio business that needed to be done once the game was called, then made my way back here, where we had fully functioning lights. And then we spent $100 at WalMart somehow when we only needed like four things.)

As for the game itself, UMD athletic director Josh Berlo said it would not be made up Sunday, as seemed logical. While I don't know for sure the reason, it's probably due to either travel logistics for Bemidji State or scheduling issues with the teams.

Looking at the teams' schedules, the only mutual off weekend is Dec. 18-19, the week before Christmas. Outside of that, the only option would be to play on a weekday.

This is purely speculative, but I have time to kill. Just keep in mind it's pure speculation.

One option that would seem to have potential is Feb. 9 or 10. UMD is going into a bye week and coming off a home series against Colorado College. Bemidji State is coming off a bye week and plays that weekend at Lake Superior State. The week of Halloween could work, too. UMD is home that weekend, while Bemidji is at Northern Michigan.

Without asking, I would assume UMD has no desire to play this game the week of a conference series. We'll see what can be mutually agreed upon, and will let you know as soon as we do.

So now the teams will play their season opener Saturday at Sanford Center in Bemidji at 7pm. Both teams traveled up Friday evening, so Saturday will be a normal game day.


In non-conference action involving the NCHC, the league had a mixed start. North Dakota opened the IceBreaker in Portland, Maine, with a come-from-behind 5-2 win over Lake Superior State. The Lakers shocked UND with two quick goals in the first for a 2-0 lead, but UND stormed back and took the lead for good in the second. UND plays Maine to finish up the event Saturday.

Western Michigan got a power play goal from Griffen Molino in the third period to beat Ferris State 3-2. The teams play in Big Rapids Saturday. Defending national champion Providence scored four straight goals between the second and third periods to blow open a 3-2 game, and the Friars beat Miami 7-3 in Oxford, scoring those seven goals on just 26 shots. Prized freshman Jack Roslovic tallied in his RedHawks debut.

Omaha got goals from Jake Randolph, Jake Guentzel, and Austin Ortega to lead 3-0 at Minnesota State, but the Black and Red Mavericks had to hold on to beat the Purple Mavericks 3-2. Kirk Thompson made 24 saves for the win.

Veterans Joey Benik, Blake Winiecki, and Judd Peterson scored for St. Cloud State in a 3-0 win over Alaska at the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage. Charlie Lindgren only had to make 14 saves for the season-opening shutout. The Huskies play the host Seawolves tomorrow night. Arizona State is the other team in the tournament.

Quentin Shore's second goal of the game came with 6:46 left to get Denver even 4-4 at Air Force, but the Falcons got an overtime goal from Ben Kucera to upset DU 5-4. Danton Heinen and Emil Romig also scored for the Pioneers, who will host Air Force Saturday at Magness Arena. Trevor Moore had three assists Friday.

Also, UMass got a hat trick from Trevor Plevy to beat Colorado College 6-3. I expect CC to go through some serious growing pains, as Mike Haviland overhauled the roster over the offseason with a large recruiting class.

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