31 March 2006

Runnin' With the Blogs

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the kind folks who have linked to me since I stopped being ashamed of Runnin' With the Dogs and started advertising it. And by advertising, I mean putting it in my signature line on message boards I am a member of. I realize I haven't linked to ANY of you, but I am going to pass the buck on this one. It's not my fault, people. I have wanted a redesign of this site since... always, I guess, and it's happening, but oh-so-slowly, and the sad thing is, it isn't even going to be particularly spectacular (Ha! Take that!) Once the Aaaaalleged Webmaster gets something other than a bannerhead and color scheme going for me, then we will see. He wants to unveil the new website as the new season starts, I disagree. I'm just impatient like that.

So, as a consolation prize, here's a little recap of the season's blogs.

The Bruce Ciskie Show
Bruce doesn't link to me, but it isn't ripping my heart out or anything. I find football extremely dull, but I do enjoy the things he has to say about hockey, especially since he's got an insider's perspective I could only dream of (and oh, how I dream of it!) Bruce is a master of the art of sarcasm (both on his blog and during his broadcasts), and you know how the RWD staff feels about sarcasm...

Colorado College Hockey
I haven't visited CChockey too often, but the eponymous writer over likes to make you think s/he is a serious writer... and then slips in a sentence or two that will have you ROFLMAOSHIPIMP (rolling on the floor, laughing my ass off, so hard I peed in my pants).

Full DECC (Link updated 4/10/06)
Brad is another Bulldogs fan, and we found each other (isn't that all warm and fuzzy!) over at The Penalty Box. He is a major high school hockey fan as well. And not just boys' hockey, he pays attention to girls' hockey. While I wish there was checking in women's and girls' hockey, I still believe it needs to be supported, in the hopes that one day, there will be justice, in the form of checking, in the world.

The Golden Nation
I'd never heard of The Golden Nation until I discovered it on my site tracker. I wandered on over there to see what was going on, and I discovered Satnu had quoted one of my tearing my hair out-style posts. I wasn't exactly thrilled that he thought I was whining, but I understand the Internet is not the forum for subtle nuances. He's an all right guy, despite his well documented man-love for Ryan Potulny.

Goon's World
Goon is someone whom I know from the SiouxSports forum, and was kind enough to link to me based on my witty repartee over there. Until someone corrects me, that stands as the truth. I admire him for his strong convictions, and his dog, who resembles my imaginary/future dog, Gorgar.

Let's Go DU
My sports blog idol is Bat-Girl, but my college hockey blog idol is Dggoddard from LGDU. The USCHO 5, "Water"gate, the Fox 9 Investigations... I can only dream of being the blogger DG is. I can also only dream of that disallowed goal being allowed.

Maverick Hockey Nation (added 4/6/06)
I just discovered this blog today, thanks to some craftiness on my part. It's definitely in its infancy, but with Blogger Hottie of the Year Chris (Ithink that's the same guy!) giving him a hand, I can only expect great things from down there.

Michigan Tech Hockey
Again, I'm not officially linked to by MTH, but that's fine by me. The blog's pretty new, and started essentially at the end of the season, when it's tough to find content, but I look forward to seeing what MeanEGirl (and her partner in crime, HuskyHockeyWriter) comes up with. Hopefully not sticking any hockey sticks where the sun don't shine.

Nottingham Pandas
Oh. My. God. These people are so crazy. I want to fly over to Jolly Old England and go to a hockey game with them. Or just go on a pub crawl. A blog exchange program should be established: they come here and go to a Bulldogs game with me (preferrably against the Gophers, for maximum harrassment potential), and then I could go over there and party it up with them. As Dom says, it's a World-Wide Hockey Love-In between us; they even put a picture of "my" guy, Matt McKnight. Come to think of it, if I ever do meet the Pandas, I will definitely refer to it as the World-Wide Hockey Love-In (WWHLI, because you know I enjoy acronyms).

UAA Hockey Fan Blog
People put down Seawolves hockey (myself included,to some extent, as I do refer to them as the Underwolves), some people call for their expulsion from the WCHA (not me!), but Drop The Puck is a dedicated fan. On game days, he walks out of his igloo over to his oil derrick, extracts enough crude oil to power his snowmachine, and heads on over to the game at 1 in the afternoon, while it's still light out. (I'm kidding, people. You can't power a snowmobile on crude oil.) It's easy to be a Badger fan, or a Gopher fan, or a Sioux fan. It is hard to be a Seawolves fan, and I give DTP mad props. If I ever fulfill my dream of moving to Anchorage, my first purchase is going to be Seawolves season tickets.

Western College Hockey
Chris from WCH gets my Blogger Hottie of the Year award, not because I've ever seen him in person, but because he so consistently links to me, and tells me I'm funny, which is the ultimate in flattering for a person who a year and a half ago didn't think anyone would find her the least bit entertaining. I really enjoy WCH because I don't really pay much attention to hockey outside the WCHA (is there hockey outside the WCHA?), and as a responsible member of the sports media, I should. Chris, dear, there's nothing wrong with being biased. Just as long as you're biased towards the 'Dogs, you're good to go.

The Wisconsin Hockey Blog (added 4/3/06)
I didn't get the opportunity to check out Badger Backer's site until I realized that I was linked to on their site. While I am loathe to appreciate or even not mock anything Wisconsin-related, browsing through the posts, I found BB pretty knowledgable (meaning I have obviously never met this person before, because like I said, I've never met a Wisconsin fan who knows more about hockey than I do) and I am not at all ashamed to add the link here. This site incorporates women's hockey as well (although since they're the national champions this year, it would be hard not to), so big ups to them for that. Let's forget I said "big ups," by the way.

I hope I didn't forget anyone, but if I did, it isn't because I don't care. It's because I'm lazy.

28 March 2006

A Statistical Emergency

All right, now that I have made it clear BEYOND ALL DOUBT that I am a huge dork, I need to enlist the help of you, my rabid readers.

In compiling some data for my Top Secret Off-Season Project (TSO-SP), I came across
this game summary, and there's an abbreviation that makes no sense. On the final goal, there are two abbreviations: EN, which I know means empty net, and AG. What is AG? People, help me! I've been pondering this for weeks! It gnaws at me night and day, it churns my stomach, it tears me up inside! Save me from this unending hell of not knowing what the heck AG is! (I am going to feel stupid once I learn it, I'm sure, but better to ask and appear stupid than keep quiet and stay stupid.)

UPDATE: The esteemed Patrick C. Miller, of USCHO/SiouxSports fame, informs me that the AG refers to an "awarded goal." Oshie was pulled down on the play, and would have been awarded a penalty shot, except the net was empty, so it was automatically ruled a goal.

25 March 2006


It's time to say "So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good ni-ight" to our senior citizens. At a farewell Early Bird Special at Perkins this afternoon, the RWD staff bid a tearful adieu to the old codgers on the bench. Here's a recap of the event:

Player: Ryan Swanson
RWD Speech: "What can I say about Ryan Swanson? Well, nothing nice."
Parting Gift: Friend Of Bill t-shirt
Exit Music: "Na-na na na, Na-na na na, hey hey hey, go-od bye!"

Player: Justin Williams
RWD Speech: "I'm sorry I didn't vote you onto the All-WCHA Hottie Team, because you really came into your own as a hottie this year."
Parting Gift: RWD's phone number
Exit Music: Tom Jones, "Sex Bomb"

Player: Tim Stapleton
RWD Speech: "I've really enjoyed watching you score goals over the years, I just wish they weren't so often the only goals of the game. I guess you didn't enjoy it as much, because you didn't score as many as you should have."
Parting Gift: Gift certificate for a Mike Eruzione motivational speech
Exit Music: Roxette, "It Must Have Been Love"

Player: Isaac Reichmuth
RWD Speech: "You know, earlier in the year I flipped out at someone because he said you weren't a good goaltender. Now I look stupid. That's not nice. You forgot some WCHA players can actually lift the puck OVER your flopping body."
Parting Gift: Clothespins and a clothesline (from your defense)
Exit Music: Kool and the Gang, "Get Down On It"

Player: Steve Czech
RWD Speech: "I know that you and I have had our differences, but it's not my fault that I like good defensive play and you like to take lazy stick penalties."
Parting Gift: A rubber donut to sit on (all that time riding the penalty box pine has taken its toll)
Exit Music: Johnny Cash, "Folsom Prison Blues"

It's a shame that I didn't do this last year, but please know, Evan Schwabe's exit music would be "Soul and Inspiration," and for a gift, I would have thrown myself at him.

20 March 2006


That's the secret word! Now that I've had a day or two to reflect on the 2006 WCHA Final Five, I'll give you my fun-filled, action-packed recap.

The Cast of Characters:
Your intrepid heroine
One-time contributor to this site
Ace reporter and prognosticator
The Aaaahj
Aaaalleged webmaster
The Hottest Girl in Alary's
Close personal friend of Runninwiththedogs, extremely good-looking
Gopher fan extraordinaire
Rookie of the Year
No, not Phil Kessel!
That's Your Puck!
He only had 2 things to say, and that was one of them!
Token Sioux fan

Thursday I lost all patience and left work at 1:00, as soon as the other girl arrived. I'd been excited since, oh, about 11 on Sunday night, when Denver lost to the Bulldogs, so that was a long time to wait. I picked up UMDDogz and The Hottest Girl in Alary's (from here on out, referred to as THGIA), met up with DA, and found tPB at McGovern's. I sold my tickets to a couple of 'Dogs fans, since DA came through with a SUITE for us. McGovern's was a blast, making new friends that THGIA went to high school with, singing Don't Stop Believin' with tPB, jumping on a Sioux fan friend of mine (good thing he never lost his balance!)
I lost a lot of respect for Gopher fans during the game (not that I had more than a shred of respect before.) They cheered for St. Cloud over the Dogs, which is unconscionable. They got their comeuppance, though, the next day. Anyway, the Dogs lost the game pretty early on, with the defensive breakdowns I thought they'd lost back in Denver. Tim Stapleton had the lone goal for the Dogs, which I think was a fitting way for him to go out. He promised to get us to the Excel, and he did.
After the game Thursday, we somehow ended up in a taxi to Alary's bar. I lost the Aaaahj's digital camera somewhere in the cab (maybe? who knows.) We didn't know it was a cop bar, but there didn't seem to be any cops around, so it was all right. Rookie of the Year (ROY) gave THGIA her title. All was well, except, of course, the Dogs lost.

Two games on the agenda: Sioux v. Badgers, Gophers v. Huskies. Friday was a problem, because it was St. Patrick's day, also known as "Amateur Drinking Day," according to The Aaaahj. DA got lost on the way to the Runninwiththedogs World Headquarters. The parking ramps were jammed. We almost lost our spot in line to some guy making a red turn, but UMDDogz stopped him cold by yelling "Hey, you've got a red light, buddy!" The parking garage dudes must have lost count of the number of cars coming through, because they were overheard saying "Oh, we can let in about 23 more cars." That was a lie, as we got one of the LAST SPOTS in the WHOLE GARAGE. Wisconsin lost to the Sioux, the Gophers lost in overtime to the Huskies (see! I bet you're kicking yourself now, stupid blue vest man!), and the morons behind me lost track of where they were and discussed football for half the game.

UMDDogz and I started out the morning with brunch at the Hoggsbreath with some Sioux faithful. I didn't have anyone to sit with for the Saturday game, as The Aaaahj was working and his friend lost out on a terrific opportunity to watch some hockey, and learn why he shouldn't be a Gopher fan. I sat with UMDDogz, DA, Scotty, Rick, ROY, and That's Your Puck! (TYP!), who couldn't even muster one "That's your puck!" or "Stick it in the hole!" for a lackluster Gopher team. We went to Alary's for a bit, but ended up back at the Embassy Suites, where I lost my poster (complete with NDSU error), lost my program, and lost my game ticket. Oops. On the walk back, I also lost my balance and completely biffed it on the sidewalk. My knees are a little scraped up and I'm a bit bruised, but I'll live. I thought about going to the box office and making them give me a reprint of my ticket, but instead, I proclaimed, "I will buy a ticket to tonight's game for $10!" (Face value of tickets: $35.) I went up to the first scalper I saw, he offered me one for $20, I countered with my offer, and he declined. I told him how I felt about that. The next scalper I saw, I explained my situation, and, $10 later, I was in the game. Gopher fans couldn't sell their tickets fast enough. The game was great, St. Cloud lost, and I lost my dignity on the jumbotron during DanceMania. I didn't win, however; I lost to DrunkHockeyGuy. Next year, I'll have to have a better strategy.

I love the Final Five.

Interview Exclusive

A full recap of the Final Five is in the works, but we had an exclusive interview to share with you. During the championship game, Runninwiththedogs caught up with a Penalty Box Legend, DrunkHockeyGuy.

RWD (squawking, arms flailing wildly): WHO LIVES IN A PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA?
DHG: Spongebob Squarepants.

19 March 2006

The All-WCHA Hottie Teams

The Runnin' With The Dogs tradition continues! Remember, amongst all the "post-season awards" being handed out by bloggers left and right, the All-WCHA Hottie Team is the only one that's a true tradition. Last year's winners can be seen here.

Once again, we have 9 schools represented, with St. Cloud State getting the snub. Sorry, better luck next year.

Coach: Jamie Russell*

1st Team:
F Danny Irmen, UMTC
F T.J. Oshie, UND
F Chris Porter*, UND
D Weston Tardy, CC
D Matt Carle, DU
G Rob Nolan, MTU

2nd Team:
F David Backes, MSUM
F Bryan McGregor, UMD
F Chris Conner*, MTU
D Lucas Fransen, MSUM
D RJ Linder, MSUM
G Nathan Lawson, UAA

3rd Team:
F Travis Zajac, UND
F Adam Burish, UW
F AJ Degenhart*, UW
D Zach Blom*, DU
D Kyle Radke, UND
G Kevin Hachey, MTU

F TJ Oshie, UND
F Jay Beagle, UAA
F MacGregor Sharp, UMD
D Matt Niskanen, UMD
D Taylor Chorney, UND
G Rob Nolan, MTU

* denotes two-time honoree

17 March 2006

Hobey Finalists Announced; Kronick Snubbed

The Hobey Baker finalists were announced today. In alphabetical order, they are:

Matt Carle, Denver
Chris Collins, Boston College
Brian Elliott, Wisconsin
Andy Greene, Miami
Greg Moore, Maine
Scott Parse, Nebraska-Omaha
Ryan Potulny, Minnesota
Marty Sertich, Colorado College
Brett Sterling, Colorado College
T.J. Trevelyan, St. Lawrence

No Dan Kronick??? (0-0-0, 0 shots last night!)


16 March 2006

Runnin' to the Bar

I'm off to McGovern's now. I'll be back tonight, and I'd better be TRIUMPHANT! 1 win tonight = 2 MORE games of GUARANTEED Bulldog hockey.


15 March 2006

Can't Hardly Wait


Now, I always enjoy going to the best darn tournament in college hockey (Frozen Four be damned!), but this year is going to be way more special, since the 'Dogs will be there. Whatever they did to shake that monkey off their backs, I want to know. Where the heck was this team all season? Who cares, they peaked at the right time. It wouldn't have been so exciting if it hadn't been such a huge upset!

My memories of the WCHA tournament go back to the days the tournament was in the St. Paul Civic Center, Northern Michigan was still in the conference, and it was still the Final Four. The most memorable goal scored during that era was not on the ice, but rather at the World Trade Center Mall, where I won a Vikings water bottle for scoring on one of those cardboard "goalies" with a couple slots cut out in the bottom. It was a game-winner, for sure.

Two years ago, with the Bulldogs as a 2-seed, I was driving home from Illinois in a rented truck, speeding along at an average of about 90 mph (Dad, you can read that as 90 kph if you wish), trying to get to Wisconsin as fast as I could, to get in range of WCCO. The Bulldogs lost that game, 7-4, despite a stellar game from RWD favorite Evan Schwabe. The next day, vs. UAA, Junior Lessard got injured, and some LIAR who shall remain nameless tricked me into believing he was done for the season. The Bulldogs got revenge on the Gophers in the NCAA regionals (and I'm sure they would have traded us the WCHA playoff win for the Regionals win), Lessard won the Hobey, and the rest we got revenge for last weekend.

Last year, the 'Dogs were owned by UND in the first round of the playoffs, but I wore my 'Dogs jersey anyway. The bonus of last year was the lack of stress. I feel very stressed when the 'Dogs are playing, when they aren't playing, I don't really care what goes on, I can cheer for the teams I want to without worry (except worry of being jumped by the Gopher band.) The serious downside to last year was the Paukovich cheap shot that seriously injured UND forward Robbie Bina. That took a lot of the fun out of the entire weekend for me, as well as many other people.

This year, I'm looking forward to a little revenge on St. Cloud (Dan Kronick, 0 points this weekend!), a terrific game on Friday night, and Bulldog hockey on Saturday in some form. I don't ask for much, but if it isn't too much, a Mike Curry goal would be a beauty to behold.

13 March 2006

Over There

This hockey blog craze is worldwide! Check out the Nottingham Pandas!

Paint By Numbers

As you are all aware, the inspiration for Runninwiththedogs came from Bat-Girl!, who is all about "less stats, more sass." Well, Bat-Girl is an Author. Runninwiththedogs is an Engineer-To-Be. I enjoy a little number munching.

So, let's discuss what everyone's been talking about. As Curious George put it, "The team we played this weekend I didn't recognize from the regular season." (Pates, Kevin. "UMD Advances to Final Five," Duluth News Tribune, Mar. 13, 2006.) What happened? Are we really a totally different team? Let's compare. (I should note that I started this article BEFORE I knew what point I'd be making.)

In the second half of the season, we played 14 conference games and 3 conference playoff games (which are considered non-conference games, statistically speaking.) I will refer to the conference games as RS and the playoff games as PO, from here on out. Blue text indicates a stat improved on in the play-offs, green text indicates a stat that was stayed the same, red text indicates a stat where the team did worse in the play-offs.

RS: 1-13-0, shut out 4 times
PO: 2-1-0, shut out 0 times

Goals For
RS: 22, for 1.57 GPG
PO: 10, for 3.33 GPG

Goals Against
RS: 65, for 4.64 GPG
PO: 7, for 2.33 GPG

Goaltending (empty net shots/goals are excluded)
RS: Overall, 61 goals on 362 shots, 4.36 GAA, .831 save%; Reichmuth, 49 goals on 280 shots, 4.45 GAA, .825 save%; Johnson, 7 goals on 25 shots, 7 GAA, .720 save%; Ziegelmann, 5 goals on 57 shots, 2.5 GAA, .912 save%
PO: Overall, 7 goals on 87 shots, 2.33 GAA, .920 save%; Ziegelmann, same.

Opponent Goaltending (empty net shots/goals are excluded)
RS: 22 goals on 381 shots, 1.57 GAA, .942 save%
PO: 9 goals on 66 shots, 3 GAA, .864 save%

Specialty Teams
RS: Power Play 9-for-68 (13.24%), Penalty Kill 60-for-77 (77.92%), 2 SHA
PO: Power Play 4-for-14 (28.57%), Penalty Kill 11-for-14 (78.57%)

RS: 113 penalties (8.07 penalties/game) for 304 minutes (21.17 minutes/game)
PO: 22 penalties (7.33 penalties/game) for 74 minutes (24.67 minutes/game)

Opponent Penalties
RS: 105 penalties (7.5 penalties/game) for 256 minutes (18.29 minutes/game)
PO: 19 penalties (6.33 penalties/game) for 38 minutes (12.67 minutes/game)

(RS; PO. Players who kept it up or stepped it up during the playoffs are in orange, players who did not perform as well are in pink. Players who did not register a point in either the play-offs or regular season are not listed.)
MacGregor Sharp, 3-4-7; 1-0-1 (despite his OT GWG, he was ejected from the Sunday game for a CFB.)
Nick Kemp, 4-2-6; 0-2-2
Andrew Carroll, 3-3-6; 3-1-4
Tim Stapleton, 3-3-6; 1-3-4
Josh Meyers, 1-4-5; 1-1-2
Mason Raymond, 3-2-5; 0-1-1 (I love Mason, but he should have been on the scoresheet more. He still played well.)
Michael Gergen, 2-2-4; 2-0-2
Matt McKnight, 2-2-4; 0-1-1 (Ditto what I said for Mason Raymond.)
Steve Czech, 0-3-3; 0-1-1
Matt Greer, 2-0-0; 0-1-1
Justin Williams, 0-2-2; 0-3-3
Ryan Swanson, 0-2-2; 0-0-0 (Swanson NOT playing is a good thing.)
Jason Garrison, 1-1-2; 2-0-0
Matt Niskanen, 0-2-2; 0-3-3
Jay Cascalenda, 0-1-1; 0-0-0
Jeff McFarland, 0-1-1; 0-0-0
Isaac Reichmuth, 0-1-1; 0-0-0 (I would have loved to see Isaac play, but I loved seeing us win more.)
Mike Curry, 0-0-0; 0-1-1

Judging from the amount of blue and orange text (Go Illini!), I'd say we're looking at a brand new hockey team this play-off season. Is it a fluke? No. It's the team we were destined to be.

Nostradamus Speaks

Who knew Runninwiththedogs' ace reporter and father DA was also a prognosticator?

March 11: "You've gotta believe Denver is going to come out smoking. They're not going to lose this game."
Denver did indeed "win" the game, although they did not come out even a little heated, and only won because Jon Campion is a tool of the devjl himself.

March 12: "[The Bulldogs] are only going to win by a goal."
The 'Dogs won by 3, including an empty net goal.

I hope he predicts we lose in the play-in game, 10-0.

12 March 2006

"It Was Just an Empty Net Goal."

I'm sorry, Random Sioux Fan At Joe Senser's, but you just don't understand.

Forgive me, those of you who come here for silliness, but I have to get a little emotional here.

It wasn't just an empty net goal. It sealed the win for us. It was revenge for the Frozen Four in 2004. It put an end to Denver's season and their run at a three-peat, just like we did to the Gophers in 2004. It was no Miracle On Ice, but it was a small miracle nonetheless.

The Kirby Puckett memorial ceremony at the Metrodome was playing on many of the big screen TVs and the audio was on the PA system, but we were straining to hear the Bulldogs game, while keeping an eye on the Sioux-Mankato game. When Denver went up 1-0, it was deja vu all over again.

The more things stay the same, the more they change. The 'Dogs haven't been too successful with the 2 man advantage, and so I expected nothing. With 10 seconds to go in the first penalty, Tim Stapleton put one in the net. Still on the power play, Josh Meyers scored again 70 seconds later. Half a minute after, Gergy scored on an amazing pass from Stapleton. Then Garrison unleashed the beast into the back of the net, from the point, 2 minutes and 5 seconds later. 4 goals in 3 minutes, 45 seconds.

In the third period, Denver played hard, but the 'Dogs were there to answer almost every move they made. It was list watching a completely different team. Suddenly, they were in position, they knew exactly where the puck went, if one person made a mistake, another one stepped in to regain position, take away the angle, or block the shot. Denver scored on a 5 on 5 with the extra attacker, with just under 5 minutes to go in the game. They again went to the empty net with four minutes to go, and it felt like time slowed down. There was a whistle ever five seconds or so. We were out of our seats with anxiety. It seemed like the clock read :56 for 56 minutes. Then, with 29 seconds left in the game, Andrew Carroll put the puck in the empty net. Every Bulldog fan in the place was screaming, cheering, high-fiving, going crazy.

It was a wonderful game, a wonderful night. The snow fell in a soft rush outside, and inside, I was enjoying the best moments of hockey this year, the best moments of hockey I've experienced in the past year or so, with my friends (new and old), my boyfriend, and my dad, who taught me to love the Bulldogs in the first place.

It wasn't just an empty net goal.

11 March 2006

Runnin With the Dogs is closed for the night, because I am full of rage and I can't control what I might say.

News From the Frontlines

RWD ace reporter (and father) DA reports:

"News from Colorado, UMD wins!!! Even the lackluster Steve Czech gives the dogs reason to smile with several big hits during the game, but it was the rookies who came through. Well at least we get three games and who knows. It would be great to see the Dogs at the Excel."

Well said. In addition, RWD favorite MIKE CURRY gets on the scoreboard after a long (long long long long long) absence, feeding a brilliant pass to Andrew Carroll for Carroll's 2nd goal of the night. Carroll went on to assist on MacGregor Sharp's OT goal that lifted the Bulldogs above the Denver Pioneers. CLEARLY my strategies worked! I am Rocky Mountain High on Life right now.

Unfortunately, I have to work this evening (again), so I'll be missing the game. Lucky for me, I got to listen to half of last night's game, and lordy lord, it was a breath of fresh mountain air. Everyone's talking about the 'Dogs!

I'm already late to work, so the jubilant recap will have to wait. Hopefully, I'll be even MORE jubilant tonight!

10 March 2006


It's "Win or Golf" time again for the UMD Bulldogs, and our situation's grim. If we wanted to dwell on the negatives, we could discuss:

1. We have one conference win in 2006.
2. We failed to score a goal during last week's "hockey" games at Mariucci.
3. We couldn't hit the broadside of the DECC with the puck right now.
4. We're facing the defending National Champions, and they're a physical team with a bloodthirsty animal who cheapshots anyone he can.
5. Our record against Denver this year is 0-2, with 3 goals for and 7 goals against.

Out on a ledge yet? No? Well... REMEMBER LAST YEAR'S PLAYOFFS?

I should mention, I'm not responsible for anyone who kills themselves because I reminded them of just how badly we've sucked lately. I'm just the messenger.

Clearly, our game plan hasn't been working lately. So we've got to think outside the box and play some razzle-dazzle hockey. Fortunately, I've come up with a brilliant plan.

1. Let them underestimate us.
When it comes to WCHA standings, we're in the basement. The underground parking garage. The ninth circle of hell. I say, play it up. Let them think we're going to roll over and play dead. Mason Raymond can limp a little. Put Andrew Carroll's arm in a sling. Grawler can carry a box of tissues and wear a bathrobe and fuzzy bunny slippers. Maybe bring Nick Kemp in on a stretcher, covered in a blanket with nothing showing but a toe tag.

2. Use the thinner atmosphere to our advantage.
With their brains oxygen-starved in the mile-high city, maybe the players won't think so much about all the pressure on their shoulders.*

3. Dress Isaac in Ziggy's jersey.
Disguising Ike as Ziggy might make the Pies a little overconfident, and they might start to get cute around the net and make mistakes. Heck, it worked at Mariucci. When we dressed Ziggy up as the empty net, it took the Goofers four tries to score. To avoid detection, Ziggy must wear a Groucho Marx disguise on the bench.

Perfect. Excel Energy Center, here we come!

*As an aside, I have to wonder: is there really any pressure on the 'Dogs' shoulders? Last year (aaagh! I brought it up again!), we were in sixth place, and we'd split with North Dakota in our only series. Getting some quality wins in the Final Five might have given us the boost we needed into the NCAAs. This year, we've got no expectations left. Our only chance at salvaging this season is to win the Broadmoor trophy, and while statistically possible, we'd sooner thread a camel through the eye of a needle. (Personally, I would consider even making it to the Final Five as salvaging the season, but dare to dream.) The pressure is on Denver. They are expected to win, everyone's assuming they'll win. But you know what happens when you assume...

05 March 2006

A Brand New Baby Blog

Friday, March 3rd, at 5:09 PM, the blog world welcomed a brand new baby blog, all about CC hockey.

04 March 2006

"Let me leave you with this one thought... you love the Bulldogs*, but have they ever loved you back?"

Who cares if they love me back? Tonight was a great game, we kept it close and could have pulled it out. Raise your glasses to the not-too-distant future!

*it was actually Red Sox in the quotation, from the movie Fever Pitch, but if I quoted it exactly, it wouldn't make any sense.

I'll even link to a Gopher blog...

I'm a fan of anyone who's a fan of hockey... and who takes the time to comment on my blog AND quote me on theirs. I've never been quoted before, although I'd prefer it was something funnier. So, here's The Golden Nation.

03 March 2006

Bulldogs Through the Looking Glass

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,

And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:

And all the little Bulldogs stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:

Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --

And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings."...

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,

After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"

The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said.
"I deeply sympathize."

With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size.

Holding his pocket handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Bulldogs," said the Carpenter.
"You've had a pleasant run!

Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none --

And that was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.'

Lewis Carroll, from Alice Through The Looking Glass

As I was leaving work today, I got a message from my dad, asking me if I wanted to go to the game. OF COURSE I wanted to go to the game. Anytime I get to see my 'Dogs, I'm there, especially FOR FREE (thanks to Scotty, "The Man in the Box"). Lucky for me, I had a jersey in my trunk. For emergencies, you know.

Getting there was interesting, as I had only a vague idea of only route I know to the John, and the only thing I knew for certain was, I was not going that way. Once I was in Dinkytown, I drove around like a moron until I found a parking garage near the building where my stepbrother is an RA, which was nowhere near Sally's. Silly me, I thought the weather was not too bad, and left my coat in the car. I had no idea how to get to where I was supposed to be, so I called my dad. I looked like a total goon, talking loudly on my cell phone (because there is no other way to talk on a cell phone), wandering around aimlessly, wearing a UMD jersey. By the time I arrived at the bar, I was nearly frozen solid.

It's the journey that's important, people.

And then there was the game. I couldn't see for most of it, but I didn't want to see it, anyway. I thought this would be a better game than it was. It makes me sad to think our season is going to end after next weekend. (Okay, we are not mathematically eliminated, we still have an auto-bid, but let's get real, people. We are not the damn Miracle On Ice.) However, it also comes as a relief. Why are we playing the penultimate game of the regular season as tentatively as the first? Why can't we make passes? Why haven't we gotten quicker? Why is the puck in your skates, Matt Greer, while you are looking around for it? Why are we tripping over our teammates? Why can't we score on that sieve, Briggs? WHY? WHY? WHY?

We left the game before the presentation of the McNaughton Cup. I remarked to my father, "I don't want to see a former Bulldog hand a trophy to the Gophers." He agreed. He showed me a place to park for free that isn't too far away (not that I'll tell YOU), and then I spent 45 minutes in the parking garage trying to find my car. (It turned out there is more than one spot that is marked Level D Spot B8.)

Bottom Line: We were shut out 7-0, and I STILL DIDN'T LEAVE EARLY. Stupid corporate non-fans. I could have sat in your seats instead of trying to peek through the gaps between people for half the game and trying to see over the bar in the Gold Club for the other half.

If you want hockey info...

Go here. This guy has got info on the WCHA and CCHA, and he knows who Nico Sacchetti is.

01 March 2006


I want to spend lots and lots of money eating and drinking in Duluth now!

For the final game of the season, I'll be at the John screaming my lungs out for the 'Dogs. Last year I nearly flipped over the railing. I know Mike Curry's going to get a hatty for me.

Sorry for the lack of updates, but due to personal tragedies (besides the only one conference win in 2006, I mean), I haven't felt very funny lately.

*This was going to be a very short post, but then I went to the stats page and saw 2 new people were linking to me:

Goon, who posts over at siouxsports as well. I take no responsibility for any of his opinions, but the man certainly does have strong ones. I'm jealous of his dog.

This guy, whose name I don't know yet, is much better at this blogging crap than I am. I especially liked the post when he was blacklisted from USCHO.

Thanks guys, and once again, when the Alleged Webmaster makes me a site that I can be proud of, I'll be linking to you.

A funny story: while I was waiting for my flight to Denver last Friday, I saw a girl in the waiting area wearing a Fighting Sioux windbreaker. She ended up in the seat directly in front of me, so I asked if she was going to the games. She said yes, I told her I was a Sioux fan, but that my #1 team was the Bulldogs. She said something and turned back around, but then she asked me, "I don't want to sound like a huge dork, but do you post on Siouxsports.com?" I said yes, and she said "I think I know who you are." It's a small world after all.

The last weekend of the regular season's coming up, and I know I shouldn't expect anything but a shut-out loss on Friday and a 1 or 2 goal loss on Saturday (extrapolating from recent events), but I really want to see something good happen. The city of Duluth just gave the Bulldogs a gift: tangible, measurable support. Guys, the people of Duluth love you enough to pay a little extra when they eat out. Love them back with a win or two.

Finally, I just wanted to say goodbye to someone I loved, who loved hockey.