24 December 2008

A Christmas Story

Christmas was on its way. Lovely glorious beautiful Christmas, around which the entire kid year revolved.

Nick Kemp, Kyle Schmidt, Chad Huttel and I were down at Stewart's Bikes and Sports, noses pressed against the glass, staring at their window displays. There it was, the holy grail of Christmas gifts: the Red Ryder one piece 200-shot Iron Range model hockey stick with multi-rib blade construction and a Kevlar-wrapped shaft. For weeks I had been scheming to get my mitts on one of these fearsome opponent-obliterating beauties. My fevered brain seethed with the effort of trying to come up with the infinitely subtle devices necessary to implant the indelibly into my coach's subconscious.

At practice, I struggled for just the right hockey stick hint.
"Sharpie said he saw some grizzly bears near Grandma's Sports Garden!" Sandelin looked at me like I had walleye coming out of my ears. I quickly changed directions. "Coach, I bet you can't guess what I got you for Christmas?" Coach Rohlik asked me, "Jacky, what do you want for Christmas?" I don't know what came over me, or why I blurted it out despite all my subtle scheming, but I loudly proclaimed, "I want a Red Ryder one piece 200-shot Iron Range model hockey stick with multi-rib blade construction and a Kevlar-wrapped shaft." Coach Sandelin looked at me and shook his head. "You'll shoot your eye out!"

At class the next day, my professor announced we had to write a paper. I hated writing papers, but then I saw a golden opportunity. "The topic of the paper will be 'What I want for Christmas.'" A paper! Here was my chance. I knew when my professor read my eloquently crafted and devastatingly convincing paper outlining why I wanted and deserved the Red Ryder one piece 200-shot Iron Range model hockey stick with multi-rib blade construction and a Kevlar-wrapped shaft, how could she possibly resist giving me an A++++++++, which I could then show to Coach Sandelin, and then he would be powerless to deny me.

I went right from class to practice, so that I could get started on my paper right away. I thought of what I would write.
"I want a Red Ryder one piece 200 shot iron range model hockey stick with multi-rib blade construction and a Kevlar-wrapped shaft." Hmm... what else?

As we were getting ready for practice, Coach came into the locker room waving a paper in the air, as excited as the day he won the Spencer Penrose award.
"I won! I won! A major prize!" "What is it?" we all asked. "Well... well... I don't know! It could be anything! It... it could be a bowling alley!"

A few minutes later, a guy came into the locker room wheeling a large crate on a dolly. "Oooh, Fra-gee-lay. it must be Italian!" Coach exclaimed excitedly. "I think that says fragile," Gergen commented. He pried it open with a pocket knife and dug through the avalanche of packing peanuts to find... "A leg?" asked Coach Larson. "A leg!!!" Sandy exclaimed, clearly not bothered by its peculiarity. Then he dug a little bit deeper and pulled out the other piece. "This is a lamp!" It was indeed a lamp. The old man's eyes boggled.

"And I know where we're going to display it! In the corridor, right in front of one of the windows overlooking the arena!" He set it up and we all went outside to admire it, basking in the soft glow of electric sex in the window. Passerby looked puzzled, but Coach proudly announced to all of them, "It's a major award!" It could be seen up and down canal park, the symbol of the Coach's victory.

While we were all gathered out there, we saw a short and very cute looking girl walking up to the DECC, and we realized it was our beloved and revered blogger, Runninwiththedogs. Very few of us had ever seen her in person before, but of course everyone knows what she looks like. She stopped short when she saw us and tried to duck away, but not before she realized we had spotted her, and she let fly with
"Oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuudge." But she didn't say fudge, she said the big one, the queen mother of swear words, the f dash dash dash word, and Sandy heard her. She had a look on her face like she knew she was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child's play compared to what surely awaited her. Sandy was on the phone to her grandfather in Florida within moments. "Do you know what RWD just said?" he asked, and then whispered something through the phone, and we could all hear the yelling as if Gramps had been on speaker. "Where did she hear that word?" Everyone had heard it 10 times a day from Coach Sandelin, who worked in profanity the way other artists worked in oils or clay. She must have panicked, because she blurted out what only could have been the first name that came to mind. "Donald!" "That's it," Coach shouted, "come with me, young lady!" and he marched her back inside.

I felt her pain. Over the years I got to be quite a connossieur of soap. Though my personal preference was for Irish Spring, I found that Ivory had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor - heavy, but with a touch of mellow smoothness. Dial, on the other hand... YECCHH!

The next week in class, I anxiously awaited the return of our papers.
"Overall, I was somewhat pleased with these papers, although some of you could really work on your spelling and grammar." She stopped by my desk and I could barely stand the excitement as I turned the cover page and saw... A C+? And she had written "You'll shoot your eye out?" Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his playmaker?

I knew I had only one last resort, so I headed up to Miller Hill Mall to see Santa. The line stretched all the way to Hibbing, and I was at the end of it. Finally, finally, I was next in line, and then there I was sitting on the big guy's lap.
"What do you want for Christmas?" he asked me.

But my mind had gone blank. I tried to remember. I was blowing it! "How about a nice football?" he asked. I stuttered, "Uhhh... a football..." and then Santa said to his elf "Ok get him out of here," and they shoved me onto the big slide. Oh no! What was I doing? Wake up stupid! I grabbed onto the end of the slide.

"I want a Red Ryder one piece 200 shot iron range model hockey stick with multi-rib blade construction and a Kevlar-wrapped shaft." And then, horror of horrors, he uttered those dreadful words: "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

I knew there was no hope when I woke up Christmas morning. As the whole team opened up presents in their PJs, I saw nothing that would look like a Red Ryder one piece 200 shot iron range model hockey stick with multi-rib blade construction and a Kevlar-wrapped shaft. Instead, I had gotten a horrible gift from Mrs. Ciskie that everyone insisted I try on, and since I was a freshman, I had to comply.

Andrew Carroll yelled at me from the other room, "Show everyone what Mrs. Ciskie made you!" Bruce's wife labored under the delusion that I was not only four years old, but also a girl. Immediately my feet began to sweat as those two fluffy little bunnies with the blue button eyes stared sappily up at me. I just hoped that Jordan Schroeder would never spot them, as word of this humiliation could easily make life in the WCHA a living hell.

"Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas, Jacky?" Coach Rohlik asked me. I shrugged and said "Almost." "Almost?" Coach Sandelin asked. "Huh. Well... what's that over there? Behind the zamboni?"

And there it was, a Red Ryder one piece 200 shot iron range model hockey stick with multi-rib blade construction and a Kevlar-wrapped shaft. Wow! Oh it was beautiful, I ould hardly wait to try it out. I hurried to put on my skates, with Suz yelling after me "Put on your helmet!" and I barely remembered to grab it as I hit the ice, skating up so I was standing in front of one of the nets. I imagined Richard Bachman in the net, a tie game in the WCHA Final Five championship game. "Okay, Bachman, now you get yours." And I wound up and let a slap shot fly. "CLANNNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I heard the puck hit the crossbar and then it flew back at my face. OH MY GOD! I SHOT MY EYE OUT!

After I recovered, I realized that I had not, in fact, shot my eye out, but had caused a huge dent in my cage, not quite as bad as what happened to Kyle Schmidt against North Dakota, but still, Hoagie was going to kill me. I immediately started crying, and everyone came running. On the fly, I came up with a story.
"The puck... it hit a pane of glass that was out of alignment!!!" I knew that, as crappy as the DECC is, there had to be one out of joint somewhere. "Oh, poor Jacky," everyone cooed as they led me back to the locker room.

That night, next to me lay the greatest Christmas gift I had ever received or would ever. Gradually I drifted off to sleep, dreaming of triple dekes and spectacular wrist shots.

Merry Christmas to all of the RWD reading audience, and everyone who stumbles in here by mistakes.

20 December 2008

Hello There

If you are reading this because my mom pimped this site out in her Christmas letter, I am sorry that you'll never be able to get back the minutes of your life you've spent here.
Well, I guess that could go for anyone who reads this. I don't want anyone feeling left out!!

16 December 2008

Connolly Controversy

Duluth, MN - The Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs may have come out of this weekend with three points and sole possession of 5th place in the WCHA, but one controversy remains. With 4:30 left in the third period of Saturday's game, Mike Connolly took a charging penalty... or so the referees said. However, was this really a penalty? And furthermore, did this play really occur? No one seems to be able to pinpoint what happened, or even where it happened.

At first, there seemed to be no issue. Muttsdrool, the Oldest Living UMD fan, recounted that the "occurred right in front of [him] and you could have called high sticking, charging, or roughing, although the rough would have been a stretch." However, later on, Anti-Gergenite Proman countered with his own recollection. He agreed with the location of the hit, center ice, but disagreed on its severity. "The hit wasn't exactly the the way you described it. He got his hands up a little bit but his stick wasn't up and it wasn't close to the 3 or 4 blatant boarding/checking from behind hits that Tech got away with." Proman's argument was for a conspiracy, continuing, "He got called because it was UMD's turn for a penalty." Grumpy pessimist UMDBHIK went even further, denying the hit was even a hit. "It's somehow MCon's fault two Tech players happened to be in the way?.. It was a terrible call and there is no disputing it."

UMD Superfan and Antimichaelgergenestablishmentarianist DrunkHockeyGuy disagreed with Muttsdrool as well, stating it "looked pretty clean" from his vantage point high atop section 25, but Mutts challenged DHG's ability to accurately judge the situation. "[He] couldn't even see the ice. [He was] [expletive]-faced before the game." (Sources say DHG was spotted at some Canal Park establishments the previous evening, and another source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that DHG had "woken up drunk and continued drinking from there.")

Later, the location of the hit even came into question. UMD Blogger and convicted felon Runninwiththedogs stated she believed the hit came in the offensive zone, while student section attempted leader Burbstyle agreed, stating it was "like down almost even with the hashmarks." He also attempted to fend off any accusations of inebriation. "I was sober so hopefully my memory is pretty accurate." The confidence resonated from that statement. Runninwiththedogs later recanted her statement once her seatmate, freelance hockey writer Bruce Ciskie pointed out he was "pretty sure it was closer to our goaltender than Tech's," though even he wasn't entirely sure, as his attentions were focused on referee harassment. Then DHG stated the hit occurred "just outside the offensive blue line," despite RWD's recollection that it was "far away from [Ciskie and herself]," who were seated in section 23 and therefore nearest the offensive zone. Iron Ranger Rinkrat called it "a good hit at center ice," further confusing the issue, and UMDBHIK agreed, stating the hit was "right around the red line."

With so much controversy surrounding the penalty and its location, how can we even be sure a penalty occurred? Or even a clean hit? With all the changes in officiating this season, is it any wonder there is such confusion? Rinkrat Ranger voiced his dissent. "As of right now, many of the calls seem to be tools to change the swing of the game, or to amuse the refs, or to pi$$-off the coaches, players, fans, etc. After watching hockey for 30+ years, I finally can say that I don't understand the current game and the direction it is going." How can fans understand the game when they cannot even be certain if a play happened?

14 December 2008

I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It

You know... because tying is "sister-kissing"...

tUMD 1, "Winners" 1

Woohoo! This was how our drive home started today! But MEg is a true road warrior and navigated us safely through 0 visibility (believe it or not, there were times when it got WORSE than the photo) as we laughed and counted cars in the ditch. Morons. Learn to drive.

I am so lazy, I know, but it's just been a really long and fun weekend and I also had some internet issues so this post is almost 24 hours after the game ended.

The first loud cheer of the night came in the 3rd period when Howie mentioned the football team's imminent arrival in the Twin Ports and the subsequent rally. Which, okay, very exciting and happy, I watched the game and laughed at the myriad turnovers, but it was not cool because there should have been something else to cheer about before then. Meaning A GOAL. Or MANY GOALS. Sigh.

Obi got a power play goal soon after that announcement, which was great, and I figured tDogs could hold on, but they did not, and Tech got a PP goal with under 4 minutes to go. Evidently Mike Connolly is not allowed to check more than one person at a time. I said to Bruce "Did he just check three people?" Awesome. And tragic because he got a penalty which resulted in a Tech goal. Deeeeeeepressing. Whatever. Things didn't happen. Goals were not scored by us. Sadness occurred. But, still a point, and still live Bulldog hockey, which is awesome and fun.

This was the last tUMD game of 2008 and while I totally believe the guys deserve a break to study and rest and get healthy and just chill, I am REALLY GOING TO MISS HOCKEY. Next weekend Tech plays NMU and I'll probably follow along for some good times and cheer on Tech, but it's not the same... I want my guys playing!! I'll be headed to Chicago for the tournament and then I'm not sure when my next game live game will be! Upsetting!

Don't worry. There will be plenty of content here. I think.

The Numbers
Wins until we equal last season's total: 4
Points until we equal last season's total: 8! (Well, at least we still got a point!)

My Guys
MacGregor Sharp: 19
Jack Connolly: 13
Michael Gergen: 7
Rob Bordson: 0

Mike Connolly: 15
Jack Connolly: 13
David Grun: 0
Scott Kishel: 0
Brady Lamb: 0
Travis Oleksuk: 0

On Notice:
Rob Bordson
Andrew Carroll
Jay Cascalenda
Matt Greer
Alex Stalock

Goals Only
Drew Akins
Mike Connolly
Cody Danberg
Michael Gergen
Mike Montgomery
Trent Palm

13 December 2008

What Happens in Duluth...

tUMD 3, Guys Just Happy To Get A Goal 1

Yes, I know, this post is extremely late. But things happened. Secret things. And now I'm watching tUMD football and marvelling at the quality of D2 football. And I also kind of feel like death.

Jacky got a goal, which was so exciting, even though I didn't realize it was him until Howie announced it, so I didn't go as ape-[feces] as I should have.

MEg, Yager and I went out with some Duluth friends last night. We had a good time. That is all.

The Numbers
Wins until we equal last season's total: 4! (Rollin', rollin', rollin'!)
Points until we equal last season's total: 9! (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!)

My Guys
MacGregor Sharp: 19! (Ee! Power play goal!)
Jack Connolly: 13! (Off-notice! And scored a totally hott goal!)
Michael Gergen: 7
Rob Bordson: 0

Mike Connolly: 15!
Jack Connolly: 13!
David Grun: 0
Scott Kishel: 0
Brady Lamb: 0
Travis Oleksuk: 0

On Notice:
Rob Bordson
Andrew Carroll
Jay Cascalenda
Matt Greer
Alex Stalock

Goals Only
Drew Akins
Cody Danberg
Michael Gergen
Mike Montgomery
Trent Palm

10 December 2008

Number Munchers

It kind of took me awhile to get going because while searching for images for this post, I discovered I can actually play Number Munchers online and got all excited and sidetracked. I haven't played this game in over 15 years but it is still just as fabulous as always. And there are way more levels than Cedar Manor Elementary's computers had.

It's what... almost halfway through the season? And wow. Just wow. Look at all the scoring! It's insane! 7 goals? To quote Kevin Pates, "CRAZY." (emphasis mine.)

Just how wacky and wild is this scoring? FIRST OF ALL, in all of last year, tDogs scored 74 goals. This year through 16 games, tDogs have scored 51. That means they are 18.1 goals ahead of last year's pace. SWEET. Last year's total power play goals? 18. This year? 24. Yeah, I did a freaking double take at that number.

Let's look at how some of the guys are faring individually.
(Formatting is LYgoals+LYassist/LY points, TYgoals+TYassists/TY points, point differential [+ or -], points per game differential [+ or -]. You know I love to make these stats posts all pretty and colorful! If this is hard for you to understand, well, I'm sorry, but that's not my problem.)

Guys who have improved from last season already:

Sharp, MacGregor: 7+10/17, 8+10/18, 1, 0.65
Meyers, Josh: 6+8/14, 6+9/15, 1, 0.55
Fulton, Jordan: 5+9/14, 7+1/8, 6, 0.14
Gergen, Michael: 6+7/13, 3+4/7, 6, 0.07
Fontaine, Justin: 4+8/12, 8+13/21, 9, 0.97
Akins, Drew: 3+6/9, 3+3/6, 3, 0.09
Danberg, Cody: 4+3/7, 0+2/2, 5, 0.01
Oberg, Evan: 1+2/3, 3+9/12, 9, 0.63
Cascalenda, Jay: 0+2/2, 0+1/1, 1, 0.01
Montgomery, Mike: 0+1, 0+3/3, 2, 0.09

Guys who are about to go on a tear and catch up to last year's numbers any game now:

Kemp, Nick: 7+8/15, 3+3/6, 9, 0.04
Carroll, Andrew: 8+6/14, 1+4/5, 9, 0.1
Palm, Trent: 2+8/10, 0+3/3, 7, 0.04
Schmidt, Kyle: 2+6/8, 2+0/2, 6, 0.12
Greer, Matt: 2+5/7, 1+0/1, 6, 0.12
Bordson, Rob: 1+6/7, 0+0/0, 7, 0.26
Huttel, Chad: 1+1/2, 0+1/1, 1, 0.01

07 December 2008

Postcards from RWD, Vol. 10: In With The New Edition

Dear Jeff Papas,

Hello, how are you? Did you have a nice trip back to Duluth?
All right. Enough with the pleasantries. Let's get down to business.

I know you're in kind of a difficult spot. Kind of like a scab, but not quite. But also, maybe some fans need to realize that even if you had not said yes to the job, Ciskie would still have been screwed out of a job.

I listened to you both nights this weekend because I wanted to give you a chance, and also because I really really really can't stand listening to opposing team's broadcasts. Especially when I'm watching B2 and can SEE the guy isn't describing what is actually OCCURRING on the ICE, and he can't even figure out the FIRST NAME of one of our PLAYERS. But whatever, not relevant.

You're not Bruce, and I know that, and you never will be Bruce, who we were all used to and enjoyed, but I don't think you suck. Friday night, I didn't hear your first period call because NO ONE FLIPPED THE SWITCH so I didn't get warpradio until like 1:30 was left in the period, and so I didn't know how things started off. Your interview with Scott Owens was pretty good and so was your interview with the Coach and with Akins, although I miss the more personal questions. I do not miss the video game chatter though. Bleah. Maybe things got a little boring then, and the first goal call was a little flat, but by overtime, you were really into the game and getting excited. Since I was watching the game, I could also tell that you were describing the action very well.

You remind me a bit of tWild's announcer, Bob Kurtz, which is not a bad thing. You're just a little different than we're used to, although not as different as some people think; there's definitely a sarcastic streak in you. Saturday was an easier game to call, as we scored goal after goal after goal and it was pretty easy to get into the game. You kind of lucked out. Did you know that in 2006 tUMD had only one win in the second half? That would have been a bad time to start broadcasting. It would have been like becoming a stockbroker on 28 October 1929.

Thanks for stepping in. I know that this is not the circumstances anyone would have wanted, and it's a tough position to be in, so I just wanted to take a moment to give you a little welcome.

Now, if only you actually read RWD...


06 December 2008


tUMD 7, Overrated Kittens 4
tUMD 45, California University That Is Not In California, 7
tUMD 4, Stupid Beavers 1

(Okay, I've been awake for 20 hours, please forgive the incoherence. But I couldn't go to sleep without finishing this post.)

Amazing day in Bulldog sports. tUMD's football team put on a clinic for running backs, tUMD's women's hockey beat Bermidji for the googolth time, and then my wonderful boys showed CC what happens when you're cursed with the #1 ranking pre-season.

This epic battle was fought between two teams that are stronger on Saturdays than Fridays. CC, in fact, was undefeated prior to this evening. Like I told Pates during his live blog (which is super fun! Everyone should joint the party! Except it's less fun when he doesn't accept my witty comments!), there's a first time for everything.

I need some guidance here, some help coloring inside the lines, because of my exhausted delirium, so let's go through the game chronologically.

Originally, I thought the game was going better than last night's game. We made it through a minute of play without giving up a goal! That's always good. I mean, we still gave up a scoring chance but it didn't cross the goal line, so that's improvement. However, for most of the 3rd period, CC had tDogs on their heels. And then a homeless person off the street who was inserted into the lineup decided to score a goal. I still thought, okay, fine, no biggie, that's how we started off last time, down 1-0, still tied, it's not the end of the world. We killed off a penalty and then killed off a portion another before heading to the locker room (well, I didn't--I wish!) only down 1-0, which was kind of fortunate. It was kind of an uggo period.

Then the 2nd period started, and tDogs remained on the PK, and Chad Rau, helped by the Traitor and Daddy's Boy, had one of those just-after-the-power-play goals that sucks to give up but at least it doesn't hurt the PK stats! That one was kind of tough. I thought maybe CC was going to get out of their little funk and take off. Well, the joke was on me, because 19 seconds later, Justin to Jacky to Jordy and *boom* 2-1. A minute and 26 seconds later, some jerk took a penalty and Justin Fontaine, always the darling, thought "Poor MeanEgirl. She's been having a really tough time lately. How can I help her out?" and then the puck was in the net again. Monty and Palm assisted. Thanks guys!

The homeless person scored again, assisted by Imitation Connelly and Chad Rau to make it 3-2, and at this point I realized this game was going to be high-scoring. I knew tDogs weren't out of it but I also believed the Tigers would not go quietly into that good night. Mike "I Might Be Sexy But I'm Uggo Because I Think Kneeing Is Ok" Testwuide took a penalty for, well, duh, and then Ryan Lowery, Public Enemy Number One, flattened poor MacGregor Sharp into the boards and received some lovely parting gifts as he was asked to leave the arena. During the ensuing 5 on 3, Evan "Stop Calling Me Ryan You Illiterate CC Announcer" Oberg scored on assists from Meyers and Fuzzy. Back to even. Sharpy was on the ice for that as well, so he was all right despite getting clobbered by He Who Is About To Die, and then that sneaky Sharpshooter decided he was going to show Richard Bachman who was the man and who was the very little boy, and shot a laser-guided missile into the roof of the net, his sleight of hand fooling all but that wily goal judge, who saw it all the way and lit that lamp like a beacon of hope unto us all. And we had our first lead of the weekend, and our first lead on CC since (pause for me to look it up) we crapped away a 2-0 game in the 3rd period in January 2007.

But they weren't done! Nick Kemp was all "I'm sick of being On Notice!" and I said "I think so, Nick!" and despite CC's attempts to hook Sharpy, he got it to Nick and Nick took it to the house. 5 goals in a period. God. Remember when we couldn't get 5 goals in a weekend? Remember when the 2nd period was a black hole of horrendous defence? Those days are over now!

CC then went back to their locker room and cried like Dude Love when he found out crazytechfan was 16.

I guess Bachman was inconsolable, because to start the 3rd period, Drew O'Connell was in net. I don't really like him, mostly because his name is just one letter away from this guy who was really horrible to me back when I was in ROTC. Screw him. Drew also gave us our most recent win against CC, also in January 2007, in a game where Josh Meyers got a powerplay goal simply by gaining the red line and dumping the puck in the offensive zone. Jeff McFarland scored the GWG in that game, too, if you can believe it. So, this is a really long way of saying Drew O'Connell is a great big sieve, doo-dah, doo-dah. Jordy Fulton agreed, because he scored about 4 minutes into the period to make it 6-3. Arthur Fonzarelli had the only assist, but I'm sure Jacky was just as helpful in setting up the play. Some dumb loser from CC must have gotten a stick on the puck for a second or two there. Sharpshooter had a penalty and Al took a stab at a goal on a clearing attempt, but it was way wide. Tragic. Daddy's Boy scored on that power play, assisted by the homeless person and the Traitor. It was their only ppg of the weekend, so I guess they can get a nice little gold star. Kyle Schmidt got in on the scoring as well, getting his 2nd goal of the year and effectively putting the last nail in the coffin for those tigers. I know they are endangered species so I certainly hope Kyle doesn't get in trouble for poaching. I doubt it, he is one smooth criminal.

I'm tired. There will be more tomorrow. This thing took me forever to write because I'm effectively a zombie. Thanks for the great game, guys! Have a safe trip home! I know you're going to be dragging your tired butts out of bed in about 2 1/2 hours. Yikes.

The Numbers
Wins until we equal last season's total: 5! (WOW!!!!!!!!!!!)
Points until we equal last season's total: 11! (GLORIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!)

My Guys
MacGregor Sharp: 18!
Jack Connolly: 12!
Michael Gergen: 7
Rob Bordson: 0

Mike Connolly: 13!
Jack Connolly
: 12!
David Grun: 0
Scott Kishel: 0
Brady Lamb: 0
Travis Oleksuk: 0

On Notice:
Rob Bordson
Andrew Carroll
Jay Cascalenda
Matt Greer
Alex Stalock

Goals Only
Drew Akins
Jack Connolly
Cody Danberg

Mike Montgomery
Trent Palm

05 December 2008

Just The Facts, Ma'am

tUMD 1, Floating Tiger Head 1

One free beer at the Curling Club next Friday for the first commenter who correctly identifes the reference of the post title!

I've only got The Numbers tonight, as I have two tests tomorrow, one of which might possibly kill me. One annoying thing: when we scored, I didn't even know it was a goal because they IMMEDIATELY covered up the celebration with Floating Tiger Head. GARBAGE!

The Numbers
Wins until we equal last season's total: 6
Points until we equal last season's total: 13! (Many chances for the win! Tomorrow night, guys!)

My Guys
MacGregor Sharp: 16
Jack Connolly: 11
Michael Gergen: 7!
Rob Bordson: 0 (Shot Blocking King!)

Mike Connolly: 12
Jack Connolly: 11
David Grun: 0
Scott Kishel: 0
Brady Lamb: 0
Travis Oleksuk: 0

On Notice:
Rob Bordson
Andrew Carroll
Jay Cascalenda
Matt Greer

Nick Kemp
Mike Montgomery
Alex Stalock

Goals Only

Drew Akins (Okay sweetie, now get a goal!)
Jack Connolly
Cody Danberg
Evan Oberg
Trent Palm

Coach's Comments

After last weekend's series against St. Cloud, Scott Sandelin had quite a few things to say. Perhaps you didn't pick up on this little tidbit.

"Uh, I'm really happy about our play this weekend. And I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the WCHA for guys to fall in love with tUMD's sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about. Enjoy the game tonight."

The End of the Road

So we've all heard by now that Bruce Ciskie is no longer tUMD's play-by-play announcer, nor is he sports director for the Twin Ports Lame Fascist Jerk Communications Company. Why anyone would want to work for such a company is beyond me, and perhaps they should change their name, but whatever. Also why any company would be so ignorant as to think People Don't Like Sports is beyond my comprehension, and there are pretty much only two or three other things that are beyond my comprehension: the nature of the universe; why people still have mullets, especially curly mullets; and... well, okay, there's only those other two. Oh yeah, there was why bad things happen to good people, but I figured that out already.

I didn't comment sooner because I didn't really know what to say. If some ignorant, barely upright hicks eliminated my job, you better believe I wouldn't be telling any of you people; I'd be licking my wounds in private. (I'm flexible.) I think it would be absolute agony if the entire college hockey community knew I'd lost my job. I didn't want to write about it because I wasn't sure it was the right thing to do or even necessary; Bruce wasn't afforded the luxury of keeping this to himself. But yet, such is the nature of a career in the public eye, and I am a vulture who will capitalize on anything I can, so here we are. Late, but not never. Later, we shall decide if that's better or not.

Bruce is my friend and has also been my source of Bulldog trivia and information over the past few years. The first time Bruce commented on my blog was some sort of (in hindsight pathetic) validation for RWD; it also commenced a long-standing campaign of mine for Bruce to 1. sneak me on the bus for road trips 2. get me on the air and 3. tell me what the guys look like shirtless. It was a mutually beneficial partnership, because without my frantic, sweaty text messages, none of you listening in internet radio land would hear any of the games broadcast, because I was always quick to alert him if the Switch of Doom and Destruction had been flipped or not. I imagine if things do not improve I will not live much longer because I will explode if the radio does not work this weekend. I have been stressing about this series since... I guess Saturday as soon as the St. Cloud game ended. Mr. Papas, give me your cell number.

Oh, wait. That'll never happen, because I doubt this guy even knows that RWD exists. I really want to give him a chance, but it's just not going to be the same. When Kerry left, he had been the voice of Bulldog hockey for a generation and he definitely left a void not easily filled. (Hello, Kerry, in case you are reading. You rock!) But what Bruce brought to the mic was an entirely different perspective: Kerry was/is a fan; Bruce is a fan geek. He posted on message boards and blogged and nerded out like so many of us out there. So it was kind of like one of us (yes, if you are reading this, you are a fan geek, I'm sorry) out there on the air, telling our dumb USCHO jokes and bringing the sarcasm like only a jaded message board jockey could bring it. So, in other words, Bruce was totally relatable.

There were good times and bad times. We had "AND HERE COME THE TEDDY BEARS!!!!" and then we had
the game of Crazy Pepe's Chug 'n' Skate that followed. We had McFarland goals and then the eventual overturning or re-assigning. We had Nisky scoring goals for us and against us. We had Rik and Judd. Or, Judd and Rik, depending on your point of view. And... wasn't there another guy? I don't even remember. We had play-off upsets in Denver and we had the triple overtime loss in St. Cloud. It's been a rough few years, and I can't think of anyone better to get us through the, um, challenges of the past few seasons than someone who I can commiserate with.

Thanks, among other things, for being a homer, the Player Profile, the Coach's Show (when it existed, and now I understand its absence), the game-break messages, Email the Booth, myriad near-death experiences on the wintry roads of the Upper Midwest, being weaker than MEg's mom, the mixed sports metaphors, the Gauntlet, the jabs at the refs, finally answering my request for the audio files, and your unflagging optimism and support for every player on tDogs these past few years, especially the seniors who you have been following since their first days in a Bulldog jersey. And welcome back to the message boards, I guess.

And, because I'm creepy, I'll dedicate a parting song to you. (When they say "girl" just pretend they're saying "Bruce.")

Did anyone else ever wonder if that guy with the cane really needed it, or if it was a prop? Or am I really even more pathetic than previously known?

01 December 2008

RWD Media Guide

Can't figure out who I'm writing about? Here's a guide to the nicknames.

Arthur Fonzarelli: Justin Fontaine
Bordo: Rob Bordson
Bradylicious: Brady Hjelle
Fonzie: Justin Fontaine
Fuzzy: Mike Connolly
Gergasaurus, Gergzilla, or Gergy: Michael Gergen
Grunner: David Grun
the Hutt: Chad Huttel
Jacky or My Sweet Jacky: Jack Connolly
JCON: Jack Connolly
Kemper the Wrecker: Nick Kemp
MCON: Mike Connolly
MG: Michael Gergen
Monty, Montasaurus: Mike Montgomery
Obi, Obi-Wan or Obi-Wan Kenobi: Evan Oberg
Opie: Brady Hjelle
Peanut Butter Jelly Time: Brady Hjelle
Pre, Prefontaine: Justin Fontaine
Robbio: Rob Bordson
Sexy Brady: Brady Lamb
Schmitty!!!!!!: I certainly hope this one wasn't hard for you, but Kyle Schmidt
Sharpy, Sharpshooter: MacGregor Sharp

the Sherrif: Andrew Carroll

29 November 2008

No One Here Gets Out Alive

tUMD 5, Hussies 1. Five to one, baby, one to five.

Oh my my my my my my my my my my. What a day. What a day for tUMD sports!!! First, though I don't follow tUMD football at all, I do have to mention tUMD's D2 playoff win over some school I've never heard of that is apparently good in football but not good enough for D1. HOORAY!!!! And the women won in their game too. So double yay!

I know I got all giddy and gleeful about the Sioux fans and their tears and rants, but it's even MORE fun when the St. Cloud fans get upset. See, Sioux fans hate losing; St. Cloud fans hate losing to tUMD. It gets them all extra mad, and then they try to say they are playing like crap BUT tUMD is also playing like crap and somehow we were just ever so slightly less crappy than they were IN THIS PARTICULAR GAME which is why we managed to squeak out a win, but overall St. Cloud is superior. This is a very logical line of thinking. I can completely follow what they're saying.


(UMDDogz went through this period in which, whenever he disagreed with something anyone said, he would say "NOT!" It used to grind my gears like no other; it was right up there with "breathing on me," "being on my side of the car," and "getting a bigger piece than me." I led an awful, awful life.)

This was a GREAT game for tUMD. Yes, St. Cloud played very poorly, but tUMD also refused to let them get anything going. MEg got 11 points in her fantasy league based on this one game. We've outscored St. Cloud 10-2 in this "series" and though some people commented that splitting the series might have given us a disadvantage because after St. Cloud played us, they swept powerhouse Robert Morris and some little team from the Rocky Mountains, and they put up a tUMD Touchdown* against UW on their way to a split. So I was very pleased with the result. I was happy when it was 1-0, and unhappy when it was 1-1, but once it was 2-1 I thought okay, we'll win. But I wanted something a little more showy. It's like when you're playing Mortal Kombat, and you get to the end and it's all "FINISH HIM!!!!" and you forget to press UP UP B B LEFT A START to do one of your super special moves, so you just end up giving them a lame punch or something and they fall over dead. Not NEARLY as satisfying as employing some secret code embedded by some meth-addicted programmer and tracked down in some magazine for Dirty losers, so I could see Scorpion (I always played as him or Sub-Zero) eat the head off of his opponent. I was a bloodthirsty little beast. And then suddenly it was 3-1, 4-1, and magically 5-1, and my bloodlust was quenched. For now.

I was really sad that I had to work today and couldn't go up to Duluth for the game. We need to get some snow up in here or I'm going to go crazy. But it all worked out nicely, because the game was televised and THEY INTERVIEWED MY JACKY!!! EXCITING!!! They interviewed his parents, too, during the 2nd intermission, but I didn't watch that because we watched a wee bit of the Wild game and listened to Nielsen talk about the football game. I have three beefs with the interviews: first of all, in the pre-recorded interview segments they have with their feature player of the week, they are always playing this weird sad music that sounds like the Native American flute music on sale at the center court of Southdale during the holidays. It serves a purpose, yes, but this is an interview with a hockey player. I would have preferred a little more bow chicka bow-wow. Additionally, they sneak in these little teaser segments during the game and they totally cover up the game WHILE IT IS OCCURRING. This happened once when St. Cloud was in our zone (yes, they were a few times) and I stressed. Finally, the chick that interviews the guys between periods needs some SERIOUS help with her questions, and also needs to think of them BEFORE the camera is on her. She said something to Justin Fontaine about Thanksgiving. He is from CANADIA! Their Thanksgiving is in OCTOBER! But I do enjoy watching the games on TV and I like the player interviews, so keep them coming; just plan a little better, Emily. If that is your name. I'm here to help.

Little snippet of annoyance: Drew. Your name is LeBlanc. This is U.S. America. Pronounce it LeBlonk and be done with it. LeBlahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhahahahhahhaahahahahahahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh is really annoying.

Let's talk about the game, shall we? (Excuse me while I hang up my suit coat, zip up a cardigan, and lace up my stiff blue sneakers.)

1st Period
I stressed a lot for awhile. There wasn't much established on either side, which was good because we weren't getting dominated or anything, but bad because we weren't playing our own game yet. Foppish Dandy Oliver Lauridsen (isn't that the name of Ryan O'Neal's character in Love Story?), who we will now call Preppie for all eternity, landed his preppy behind in the penalty box for wearing a color other than white on the tennis court. 14 seconds later, Justin Fontaine wham-bam-thank-you-ma'amed a goal and we were 1 for 1 on the power play. That was tUMD's only power play of the game. I was somewhat depressed when St. Cloud actually scored a power play goal. I think they were confused about what happened. It was a somewhat foreign concept for them, at least in league play, as I previously discussed. The thing I like about split PKs is the team can focus their efforts a bit more, and they also don't have to worry about getting tired. I was disappointed we couldn't take advantage of that. The goal was a bit funky, but they all count the same.

2nd Period
Jacky to Justin to Jordy. Boom. 2-1. I wasn't sure about this line at first but I think they are really going to take off. Jordy's ready to break out.

3rd Period
Gergy got tripped by stupid Garrett Raboin, he of the horrible 80s first name and weird bothersome last name, and then decided he wanted a little time-out as well and went after Raboin, nullifying the power play we were about to receive. Not to worry. Mike Connolly is going to be posting Jase Weslosky's jock strap on E-bay tonight, because his goal to put tUMD up 3-1 made it look like I was in net. Except Jase was maybe somewhat paying attention, and I'm not really capable of that.
Justin to Jacky to Jordy. Boom. 4-1. Love it.
Gergy took a penalty with under a minute to go when he just crushed Preppy McPrepstein. Preppy-poo took offense to getting his perfectly coifed hair messed up and his tennis arm bumped, and Sheriff Andrew Carroll had to take care of biznass. We ended up on the PK, but I pressed UP UP B B LEFT A START and after a turnover Kyle Schmidt scored a shorthanded goal to FINISH THEM!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then Roe decided to get pissy and Huttel went crazy and they were both kicked out of the game. Well, Garrett, I'd be pissy too if I was -3 for the night and my little boyfriend (Lasch) was -4.

Where's Mitch Ryan when you need him?

The Numbers
Wins until we equal last season's total: 6! (W00000t!)
Points until we equal last season's total: 14! (Ultra W00000t!)

My Guys
MacGregor Sharp: 16!
Jack Connolly: 11! (Eeee! What a great game!!!)
Michael Gergen: 6 (Great chances, and also laid out some violent hits!)
Rob Bordson: 0 (AGAIN had a great game, it's just a matter of time Robbio!)

Mike Connolly: 12!
Jack Connolly: 11!
David Grun: 0
Scott Kishel: 0
Brady Lamb: 0
Travis Oleksuk: 0

On Notice:
Rob Bordson
Andrew Carroll
Jay Cascalenda
Matt Greer
Mike Montgomery
Alex Stalock

Goals Only
Jack Connolly
Cody Danberg
Nick Kemp
Evan Oberg
Trent Palm

*a tUMD Touchdown is only 6 points. So named because tUMD had 2 extra points blocked today.

28 November 2008

We're Not Mercyhurst!

Hello, everyone! Are you all sleepy from your 4 a.m. jaunts to Walmart for cheap crap that no one wants to receive from you because they already know it's cheap Walmart crap? I'll take a gift receipt, please. Oh, we may have some St. Cloud fans in the hizzy this weekend, so I'll try to make them feel included. Did you enjoy your campout at FleetFarm to get the lastest fashions from Carhart? Something in a coverall, perhaps?

Now, let's talk about the real turkeys: Duh Huskies!!! (Heather, you can stop reading now. It's better this way.)

"St. Cloud State University: you'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." Ah, Obi-Wan, you sure do know what you're talking about.

We really laid the hurt down on St. Cloud in the first game of the series. In case you've forgotten, here is
the box score and here is my recap. One is informative. The other is not. Guess which one!!!

To recap the recaps, the Connollys Connollied all over the Huskies. There was only one goal that was not either a direct or indirect result of a Connolly, and it was scored by Matt Greer from Andrew Carroll and Trent Palm. I always love goals where random combinations of people score. I mean, yes, Carroll and Greer were on the same line and all, but... well... they're not exactly Bill Watson and Brett Hull. But, it was a very exciting goal and I was very unstressed once they scored. tUMD also went 3/7 on the power play and 6/6 on the penalty kill. Bob Vader tried to pull another Kronick by inserting *itch Ryan onto the 2nd line, but he barely touched the ice (yet managed to be -1 as he was on the ice for the first goal) and only showed up on the stat sheet by taking a boarding penalty.

Some things have changed. St. Cloud swept Denver after Denver swept us. They also split with Wisconsin whereas we only had 1 sad little point. St. Cloud also eked out a few wins against college hockey powerhouse Robert Morris. We took three against perennial bottom-feeder North Dakota. Chris Hepp cut his mullet. *itch Ryan hasn't played since tX.

Some things have stayed the same. St. Cloud still has a terrible power play. They have 1 power play goal in conference play. ONE POWER PLAY GOAL. That is a power play percentage of 2.2%. I'm feeling pretty good about our pk. I always feel good about our PK, especially when Matty Greer is taking care of business out there.

I'm trying to figure out Garrett Roe's status by wading through the SCCC season thread on USCHO (barf) but all I can find is domestic bickering between the cousin/sibling/spouses on there. Okay, something actually posted in the game thread and it appears Roe will be playing despite a BRUISE on his LEFT ARM. REPEAT: A BRUISE ON HIS LEFT ARM. DO YOU READ, ME? OVER. Well, I guess that means there will be two crybabies on the ice instead of just the usual Ryan Lasch. (HEATHER!! I TOLD YOU TO STOP READING!!!)

We need two points this weekend. Sic 'em, Dogs. Stick salute tomorrow night!

26 November 2008

Giving Thanks

I'm a pretty big fan of Thanksgiving, because I like eating, and also because I am a descendant of participants in the first Thanksgiving. I also have a lot to be thankful for, most of which is not interesting to anyone here. (We are all going to pretend I sometimes write interesting things.) Let me instead take the time to thank my Bulldogs.

First of all, to the entire team: thanks for coming to UMD. I'm glad that you guys are putting on the jersey and I have so much fun writing about you guys. Thanks for making the Sioux fans siouxicidal last weekend. Also, thanks for not being giant jerks to me like Kurt Davis was to Let'sGoMavs!!!

Jack Connolly: Eee! My favorite goes first. Thanks for picking your hometown school! And for all the great plays you make, those nifty touch passes and the dispsy-doodle (TM Bruce Ciskie) moves you make around clueless defenders.

Mike Connolly: Thanks for humiliating the goalie from Western Michigan with that totally sick goal, and for all those smooth moves with the puck. I can't wait to see you tear up this league.

David Grun: Thanks for stepping in against Wisconsin and playing like you belonged, and thanks for almost scoring a goal on practically your first shift (how awesome would it have been if you had??? But it was still great to see you hustle!)

Brady Hjelle: Thanks for picking up the team when they needed it in Denver, and making some saves that made the Pioneers look like Peewees. I know you're pushing Al to be his best.

Scott Kishel: Thanks for all the hard work you do; I know you wouldn't crack the lineup without it. Thanks for choosing tUMD, like all good Range kids should. Thanks in advance for the awesome QBing you'll be doing on the PP.

Brady Lamb: Thanks for stepping up and being a force on the blueline, and playing like you've always been here. And also, thanks for being so nice to me and Let's Go Mavs and maybe *almost* making her not hate Stalock. And for promising to make Kurt Davis pay.

Travis Oleksuk: Thanks for being a 2nd generation Bulldog, and for all the hard work you put in. Thanks for stepping up when needed and playing like you belonged, which you do!

Rob Bordson: Thanks for coming back last Saturday and playing like you'd never left the lineup, and for all the great chances you created as well. Also, thanks for being nice to me at the X.

Cody Danberg: Thanks for the spirit and the fire you play with; maybe it wasn't so smart to take a spearing penalty but I can never really fault a guy who stands up for his teammates. Thanks for being Hunter C.'s favorite, because he really knows who's who with the Bulldogs.

Justin Fontaine: Thanks for having the breakout year I knew you'd have, because I'm a great hockey mind. Thanks for all those points you've racked up for MEg on her fantasy team, since I told her to pick you. Or maybe she picked you on her own, I can't remember. Thanks for being so humble when I bugged you at Blackwoods even though I ran away before you could even say thanks.

Chad Huttel: Thanks for having a superb game on Saturday night and for continuing to improve your defensive skills. Thanks for developing into a heckofa penalty killer and proving again and again you deserve the ice time.

Mike Montgomery: Thanks for seamlessly transitioning from forward to defence, and for having ZERO PENALTIES on the season! That's a huge accomplishment for someone still adjusting to the position who also happens to be a big guy.

Evan Oberg: Thanks for exploding offensively, as I knew you would once you healed from your injury, and for not forgetting your defensive responsibilities.

Kenny Reiter: Thanks for pushing Al and Brady in practice, and for showing dedication to the team. So glad you red-shirted and can stick around for an additional season!

Kyle Schmidt: Thanks for taking one for the team right in the face, and then coming right back out the next night and playing your heinie off. Amy B. is devastated that there might have been damage to your face, though.

Drew Akins: Thanks for being the ugly goal guy, which we so desperately needed. Thanks for the power play goals and for being an all-around badassssssssss. And thanks for enjoying my Tougher in Alaska montage!

Jordan Fulton: Thanks for that goal on Saturday night, which I know is going to be the first of MANY for you this year. Thanks for all the skill and versatility you bring to the game!

Trent Palm: Thanks for the great game you had on Saturday night! When DHG is complimenting you, you KNOW it's a big deal. And thanks for throwing around those hip checks even though you've got a "lower body injury."

Chase Ryan: Thanks for sticking with this team, unlike certain other people with the same last name. Rumor has it you're a great guy with a great attitude, and I know your time will come.

Alex Stalock: Thank you a million times over for the saves you make and the plays you start. Thanks for being feisty and an agitator, because every team needs one of those guys. Also, thanks for the joke you told FHG at the Final Five last year, although I recommend you are careful what company you're in when you tell it.

Andrew Carroll: Thanks for staying for all four years. Thanks for being the hardest worker out there and for the leadership you've shown through your unprecedented three years wearing a letter; someone who commands so much respect is a true gem and we fans are lucky to have you.

Jay Cascalenda: Thanks for staying for all four years. Thanks for picking up the defensive role when we needed help at the blueline, and for improving your skating and discipline so we can count on you to hold the blue line.

Michael Gergen: Thanks for staying for all four years. Thanks for playing through your injuries and busting your butt whether you're on the "first" line or the "fourth" line. Thanks for your versatility, and for caring what the fans think (even though you shouldn't! Except for me because you know you're my fave.)

Matt Greer: Thanks for staying for all four years. Thanks for being a one-man penalty-killing machine, perhaps the most important role on the team given the changes in officiating. Thanks for being a badassss mofo; you're the unsung hero of this team.

Nick Kemp: Thanks for staying for all four years. Thanks for all the fire and heart you bring to this team, for being KEMPER THE WRECKER and doing whatever needs to be done: pk, pp, enforcer, scorer, backchecker, grinder, and so on and so on.

Josh Meyers: Thanks for staying for all four years. Thanks for your shot from the point and the wicked fast passes you can make. Thanks for crunching the opposition and for being the leader and mentor of the blueliners.

MacGregor Sharp: Thanks for staying for all four years. Thanks for the insane amount of work it sounds like you did this summer, and for that scoring touch you've found (which I knew you had in you). Thanks for all the face-off wins and the myriad roles you've filled so effortlessly in your time here.

Lastly, thanks readers for reading. The nicest thing about writing RWD (and its insular readership) is that I'm writing almost exclusively for my friends and my family; thanks for the fun comments and the sharp wit and enough of a sense of humor to allow me to poke fun at you sometimes (or repeatedly, if you're FHG).

22 November 2008

Gorgeousness And Gorgeousity Made Flesh

tUMD 3, Terrible Power Play 1

You know, say what you will about Godzilla, but he gets results. He ravaged Tokyo. I ravaged my apartment. And now? A win. Superb! This game was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now.* It's going to be a trail of tears back to Grand Forks for those fans that made the trip. Thankfully the state is flat or there'd be throngs of people lining up to jump off cliffs.

So many good things about this game. Let's discuss!

1. Ok, this is a bad thing in a way, but stupid B2 thought the game started at 7:37. The Charter channel wasn't working right away and I was in a state of panic. I always have the radio going (and THAT didn't start until just before game time, thanks to the sub-chimpanzees that work back at the station) but I like to SEE things. I emailed B2 and they said "The game starts at 7:37, please stand by." I responded kindly (ha!) and they wrote back with a link saying I would not be charged for the game. I responded, again all sweetness and light, explaining that the problem was not the feed once it got started, but rather the game had already been underway for half an hour. They did not have any further comment at presstime. If it hadn't been in Charter I would have cut someone. I really needed to SEE the glories of this game.

2. We certainly took a lot of penalties, but our PK was so amazing tonight!!! I mean yeah, they did give up a goal, but that was on the 9th pp. There certainly were some scares where we just got lucky, but overall it was just HIGH QUALITY PLAY. We cleared the zone a LOT and normally on the PK we spend most of our time blocking shots and breaking up shooting lanes which makes me very nervous (let's face it, when am I NOT nervous during a hockey game?), but tonight it seemed like we forced a turnover just as soon as NDK tried to gain the zone.

3. Speaking of gaining the zone, as Rik put it, "the Bulldogs put up a nice picket fence on the blue line." Classic NDK hockey usually involves a strong transition game and for long stretches of the game they could not gain the zone. I feel like we are usually on the receiving end of that kind of defence, so it was great to see us play that way. GREAT adjustments from Friday to Saturday. We need to learn to defend and break out against multiple styles of play.

4. "Gergen's" goal was nice, although as much as I love Michael (and he looked very sexy in his television interview after the first period), I really don't think he touched it out front, but it is so hard to tell. Palm had a pretty great game overall (Palm-wise) and even though he took a few penalties, I'm just happy he made it on the stat sheet in another way. And boy did that water bottle pop!

3. Jordan Fulton's goal was about the most perfect goal I've seen since Mike Connolly undressed the WMU goalie. Fulton and Fontaine had a 2 on 1 with some hoser from UND (I could look up his name but it's not really important, they all suck) and Fontaine made a pass to Fulton that resulted in a wide open net and Jordy did not make any doubt about it. Also, Jordy is a MUCH better hockey name than Jordan, so I will try to refer to him as Jordy from now on.

4. While Fulton's goal was perfect, the entire play that set up MacGregor Sharp's goal was beyond perfect. Josh Meyers at the point to Mike Connolly in the semi-high slot to MacGregor Sharp who slammed it home. Two extremely quick passes to get that set up; any little error or misfire and that goal doesn't happen. I mean, that's the type of play that works perfectly in practice but never seems to go right in reality. But that's three skilled guys putting it together and executing flawlessly.

5. Alex Stalock, of course, rocked everyone's faces off. He wasn't really tested much to start the game, but once he was, he showed he was up to the task. He had a shutout going until 7:28 was left in the game, but I don't really care that he gave up one goal. As demoralizing as it would have been to the weeping masses in UND's camp to get shutout by the "vastly inferior" "clutching and grabbing" "UAA-like" Bulldogs, 1 GA is still pretty sharp. God did he make some amazing saves, sometimes seemingly at the last minute!

6. I can't single out anyone who had a bad game. Everyone seemed to be having great individual games and every line and defensive pairing worked well together. That was one well-oiled machine out there tonight, and I was so happy and proud to be a Bulldogs fan. I'm always glad I'm a Bulldogs fan but it's just so much more fun when we win! I was happy to see them assert themselves after a tie. Because the DECC is OUR HOUSE and we are rude hosts.

I will reiterate, for those UND fans who might have missed it: It has been my experience that the more someone knows about the game of hockey, the less they complain about the officiating of individual games.

The Numbers
Wins until we equal last season's total: 7! (Marvelous!)
Points until we equal last season's total: 16! (Glorious!)

My Guys
MacGregor Sharp: 15! (FANTASTIC goal!!!)
Jack Connolly: 9! (Totally awesome tonight! Almost had a goal or 2 also!)
Michael Gergen: 6! (A total sweetie and humble about it!)
Rob Bordson: 0 (But back in action! And played really well!)

Mike Connolly: 11!
Jack Connolly: 9!
David Grun: 0
Scott Kishel: 0
Brady Lamb: 0
Travis Oleksuk: 0

On Notice:
Drew Akins
Rob Bordson
Jay Cascalenda
Matt Greer
Mike Montgomery
Kyle Schmidt
Alex Stalock

Goals Only
Andrew Carroll
Jack Connolly
Cody Danberg
Nick Kemp
Trent Palm

*This and the title are A Clockwork Orange quotations. Although they are describing something entirely different. If you've seen the movie, then you know. If you haven't, well, you're culturally illiterate and most likely a St. Cloud fan.


tUMD 2, Ref Whiners 2

First of all, as a sister, I am offended that tying is considered "sister-kissing." There's nothing wrong with family affection. I mean, we're not talking about a tonsil scraping here, but just a nice peck on the cheek. Not that I have kissed my brother since I was probably 4 years old or possibly younger, but I am by no means the yardstick by which people should measure themselves. I am barely taller than a yardstick, for crying out loud.

Last night was a bit of a challenge for me. I was doing okay until something really annoying and un-hockey related set me off. I was staaaaaaaaaaaaaaarving and I had ordered a pizza that was taking forever. It finally arrived right before Travis Oleksuk's penalty, and The Aaaahj went down to get it. Then the phone rang and EVENTUALLY after a few minutes of stoner-talk, I was able to ascertain it was the pizza delivery man-child, telling me he had grabbed the wrong order and would be back in "five minutes." So I had to run back downstairs and grab the Aaaahj DURING A PENALTY KILL and then he wasn't there because he'd gone to the other entrance to the apartment to see if the man-child was there. I RAN back to the apartment and OF COURSE UND had scored and I kicked the door in frustration.

Things escalated.

Then Jacky got kicked out of the game for a check from behind. I threw my cell phone across the room. Not just because of my Jacky, but also because I lost faith that we would come back. I'm sorry, guys. I never should have done that. First tUMD had a great 2 on 1 scoring chance, but in order to break up the 2 on 1, Chris VandeVelde (who has a capital letter in the middle of their name? LOSERS!) took out Andrew Carroll and they both went crashing into the net.

I never cease to be amazed by the North Dakota fanbase. This game was televised, so we all had a great look at the play and I know there was at least one replay. It was the only thing that Vandevelde could do and the right play to make, but IT WAS A PENALTY. And UND fans thought it should be on tUMD. Yes, on a 2 on 1 scoring chance we are going to take a penalty for... trying to score on your team? But, Ben Blood punching Trent Palm repeatedly in the head is something to be lauded and praised. I expect a parade for him thrown once they return to Grand Forks. (P.S. Welcome back Trent, but could you please tone down the penalties?)

It has been my experience that the more someone knows about the game of hockey, the less they complain about the officiating of individual games. That's all I'll say on that note.

Fortunately, on the ensuing power play, we scored to tie the game! I almost had a heart attack when they reviewed the goal. The longer they deliberated about Josh's goal, the more I panicked. And Bruce and Rik weren't helping matters. I knew it was a goal (bless you, Channel 13!) but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be waved off. We've already experienced that this season.

Some people have commented that tUMD fans acted like we won the game while UND fans acted like we lost, implying that somehow tUMD is bad and our fans are so pathetic we're happy with a tie. I disagree. Obviously our fans were a lot more excited because we were the last team to score, and we were facing a loss with under 2 minutes left in the game. I'm happy with a tie if it means we got a point when we were facing none; what sane person wouldn't be? Oh... I suppose sane would be the operative word here.

All in all, good job to tUMD for never quitting and really hustling in that 3rd period, despite playing the second game in a row down 2 players (if you recall, Cody Danberg and Mike Connolly were both asked to leave the Saturday night game against UW). And Kyle Schmidt, I hope you got a lot of painkillers. How about sending me a photo of your busted cage?

The Numbers
Wins until we equal last season's total: 8
Points until we equal last season's total: 18! (Okay, creeping along.)

My Guys
MacGregor Sharp: 14! (Yay!!! Off notice!!)
Jack Connolly: 7 (Argh. Don't wanna talk about it.)
Michael Gergen: 5
Rob Bordson: 0

Mike Connolly: 10
Jack Connolly: 7
Scott Kishel: 0
Brady Lamb: 0
Travis Oleksuk: 0 (But! Cracked the lineup! And took the penalty that led to the 2nd goal!)
David Grun: 0

On Notice (Step up, guys!):
Drew Akins
Rob Bordson
Jay Cascalenda
Jack Connolly
Jordan Fulton
Matt Greer
Kyle Schmidt
Alex Stalock

Goals Only
Andrew Carroll
Cody Danberg
Nick Kemp
Mike Montgomery
Trent Palm

18 November 2008

The Gauntlet: Hooked on Phonics Edition

Next up to run the Gauntlet: the grammatically challenged Goon of Goon's World.

RWD: When did you become a Sioux fan?

Goon: 1992 when I was over visiting a friend of mine that was going to school at Mayville State and we went to a Sioux game. I was hooked.

RWD: Geez. You're like 100 years older than me and I've been a Bulldog fan longer than you've been a Sioux fan. [Almost everyone I Gauntlet is way older than me, with the exception of MEg.]

Goon: It was against NMU, MEg's favorite team.

RWD: Were they in tWCHA then?

Goon: Yes they were in the WCHA. Living in International Falls, MN, I was actually a Bulldog fan before I was a Sioux fan. [Hockey Fandom: You’re doing it wrong.] I had a Tom Herzig Jersey. It was the mid-1980's. [What is this, blog noir?]

RWD: And then came The Fall. [How existential of me.]

Goon: I turned to the Dark Side, as some would say, after I returned from the service. [Do people even say that anymore? I mean, non-grandparents?]

RWD: Brady Hjelle is from International Falls.

Goon: I didn't know that, and I am not familiar with his family name.

RWD: How do you feel about our backup goalie being better than all 3 of your goalies if they were in net at the same time?

Goon: If he is better than Stalock then he is a really good goalie. [Is this a clever misdirection? Or just Goon missing the point?]

RWD: What about the Sioux? Are you a fan of them? I mean the real humans of the Sioux tribe.

Goon: I spent a lot of time at Spirit Lake when I worked as a recruiter for Job Corps, so I have met a lot of people from the Sioux nation, and yeah I am a fan. I also have known a good number of people that are of Chippewa descent.

RWD: Do you go to Spirit Lake and sit on a bench and yell "Let's Go Sioux!" as people walk down the street and stuff?

Goon: Nah, they walk down the street like you and I and they don't do chants like Let’s Go Sioux... [Ok, I’m pretty sure that Goon was missing the point before, because he certainly is now.]

RWD: I meant, do you cheer them on? Like, "Way to drive that car!!!"

Goon: Noooo, how silly. [Really? Ya think?]

RWD: And if someone from Wisconsin rear-ended them would you raise your arm in the air and call for a penalty?

Goon: No, I would give them the one finger salute.

RWD: Oh, you'd pull a Hakstol?

Goon: Yeah, I can't fault Hak for giving someone the bird. It is like the Grand Forks wave. [God, sounds like GF is full of jerks.] It is quite common here. In defense of Hak, Adam was calling a horrible game and I would have done more than give him the bird; I would have been ushered out of the rink after the calls in the first two periods. I would have probably been throwing water bottles and towels and yelling really loud... [I can’t imagine what it would be like to be around someone like that.]

RWD: Is it ever not the ref's fault? I mean, aren't the Sioux players just sometimes hacking goons without skill? [Sometimes? What am I saying? Always!]

Goon: Well, if you listen to a few of my blogger buddies, you would think that UND are a bunch of hacks and goons and start every fight and wherever there are high penalty minutes, the Sioux are involved. [I see nothing wrong with this assessment.]

RWD: I don't think that. I know it.

Goon: You told me that the Sioux were the kings of clutching [I changed the spelling of this… among MANY OTHER words.] and grabbing last March at the Final Five.

RWD: I am wise.

Goon: Oops clutching... I affraid to miss spell a words. See I am scared. Afraid. Sorry

RWD: I'll edit it. [Except for that part. Now you have a taste of how hard I work for you people.]

Goon: Good.

RWD: Trust me. I can't have this [feces] on my site. People will be impressed [with Goon’s seemingly stellar spelling].

Goon: That is part of the schtick. [God! He’d even spelled “schtick” wrong! “Stick???”]

RWD: Do you think all the ads on your site might pay for a copy editor?

Goon: Nah I haven't got a dime. I did get 300.00 from the Ticket Liquidator and 75.00 bucks [???] from another person for putting up 8 links [What person was that? Geist the Blog Whore?], but nothing from Yard Barker yet. Versus game me a hat as well. [Noticing his error] Ah crap gave, I can't type on my new computer.

RWD: Uh, sure. It's the refs fault; it's the computer's fault. Typical UND fan. Another typical UND fan behavior is whining about the polls. Who even cares? [Seriously, they have no bearing on anything.]

Goon: I think polls are great reading in the morning when you’re eating breakfast. Then you can line the bird cage with them. Only thing is I don't have a bird. Dog would eat it... because he is a bird dog... [Well, you could train him.]

RWD: I wish I could vote in polls. [I should vote. I am a legitimate member of the media.] I would vote so annoyingly. You would die.

Goon: I don't want the responsibility. I don't find you annoying; I find you to be funny and thought provoking. [There’s a first time for everything. Usually I’m just provoking.]

RWD: #1 Air Force. #2 Princeton.

Goon: That would drive me nuts. And Miami number three, right?

RWD: Your favorite team!

Goon: I actually think they are a nice story. Ryan Jones was a monster [Frankenstein or Gamera?]; I just like arguing with Redhawk from USCHO. I called him Red Hack.

RWD: You know how you feel about polls? Well, I feel that way about Sioux7. I could use him to line my cat's litter box. [If he ever used his litter box…]

Goon: Sioux7 is my old college roommate. We emptied many of beer cans and whiskey bottles when I was in college. [That explains a lot.]

RWD: Well he is solely to blame for my Dogs’ season.

Goon: Team effort.

RWD: No. I won't let you take the blame too. [What a gallant gesture!] ALL SIOUX7.

Goon: Um, the Gandalf the Red likes Donn's predictions because the more he predicts wrong, the more the Badgers win. I don't do predictions. I won't say Sioux sweep like Dirty. Bad mojo.

RWD: Gandalf the Red lives in his mom's basement and has an awful blog. [To be fair, he’s not the only person who sucks on it. There are other sucky people too.]

Goon: I actually like his blog he said that Stalock was a sieve. [I wonder if he understands the meaning of the word.] I don't believe it though...

RWD: He thought that Wisconsin should have won on Friday night. Must have been some bad reception in mom's basement. [More tinfoil for the rabbit ears next time.] Or he was distracted by his Dungeons and Dragons game.

Goon: I think they are an enigma. Connelly is not very good [but Connollys are very good!], but they played well when the BADgers played UND and they went on a run after playing the Sioux [against the WCHA powerhouses of tUMD and MTU!]. Mom's basement, yikes... That is harsh.

RWD: Please. Lord of the Rings fan + Wisconsin loser = Basement dweller. [Like Aaron Neville, I’m tellin’ it like it is.]

Goon: I am a Harry Potter fan myself, I have never watched Lord of the Rings.

RWD: And you live above ground! Shot and a goal!

Goon: Yep, and the wind blows a lot here in God's Country...

RWD: I thought that was Montana.

Goon: I know, Montana sucks and Minnesota blows right?

RWD: Minnesota rocks. We've got trees.

Goon: And we have tree belts. [What?] I like Minnesota and I would move back, but I like North Dakota.

RWD: How do you even have a deer stand in ND if you don't have a tree to build it in?

Goon: Duck hunting... [That is not an answer.] We don't do tree stands; we walk and push sloughs for deer. We also do some road hunting as well...

RWD: When I was driving to Houghton, I drove by a deer on the side of the road with its head cut off and a bird eating its carcass. [Glorious nature!] Do you do that? Take the heads off of roadkill deer and mount them on your wall? [I think that's what he means by "road hunting."]

Goon: Road Kill. There is a town on Hwy 2 on the way to the UP in Michigan that’s named Spread Eagle. [I think FHG is moving there.] That isn't really the question, but you are right there are a lot of deer in Michigan [I don’t recall saying that] and you probably will see a lot of road kill. It is the same in ND as well. I feel that there are way too many deer in the upper Midwest. [What a civic minded man! He should have a key to the city of Grand Forks!] I have a rack I got off a deer I shot three years ago that I still haven't hung on the wall...

RWD: I have a rack too but it's not off no deer. [Hi Dad!] Do you think the animals you kill have souls?

Goon: A deep question. [Okay, if that’s the way you want to play it.] Yeah, I think so. I don't see them in my sleep.

RWD: Does that mean that maybe you have no soul?

Goon: Philosophy! I didn't know we were going to get into a deep conversation; I would have drunk a few Miller Lites in preparation. [Why? Do you crave gut rot from glorified water?] I have a soul but my wife says that I am kind of shallow. Kind of like the guy in big daddy where the kid pees on the bed and he covers it up with a news paper. I guess I have been labeled to be that guy... [WHAT?]

RWD: I... am... speechless. [Seriously. I mean, how am I supposed to respond?] MOVING ON! Let's talk about the Sioux!

Goon: Uh oh...

RWD: I heard Vandevelde's tearing it up! He got an empty netter against CC!

Goon: Yep into our own net. I have never seen that before. (I heard it on the radio). [Tragically not on YouTube yet!]

RWD: It happens. [Poor Nisky.]

Goon: I was a football player so I don't know about that.

RWD: What about that guy that ran the wrong way for the Vikings?

Goon: Yep he was a Vikings player, and I was kind of young when that happened.

RWD: So it happens.

Goon: Yep.

RWD: Ryan Duncan: overrated or extremely overrated?

Goon: Duncan is awesome, not over rated. You would think the guy is an absolute hack thought.

RWD: I would think that. He also lies.

Goon: I am pretty sure Ryan is very Hobey Baker-like. [Mike Curry was robbed!] I don't know about lying.

RWD: He said he is 5'6".

Goon: He might not be that tall.


Goon: I am not going to measure him.

RWD: Are you going to go to Duluth this weekend?

Goon: Nope I have to work this weekend and Mrs. Goon is working overnights so I won't be making the trip. One of my friends wanted me to go, but I don't want to drive that far either.

RWD: It's not on Mars. It's not that far.

Goon: I have been down Hwy 2 to Duluth a lot lately. My boss probably wouldn't let me take the time off. It’s 260 miles.

RWD: Why did you tell people they should go to Little Angie's?

Goon: They have killer food. I ate there a couple of weeks ago when we took Abby [the Spawn of Goon] to the doctor. Their margaritas are awesome. [Get one in a rocks glass!] One of them will give you a great buzz.

RWD: Barf. Killer. You said it. [Little Angie’s is disgusting.]

Goon: I was impressed with your drink gauntlet.

RWD: FHG was not impressed. [Nor was he present, he was sitting on his butt in tGarden watching the Golden Chokers.]

Goon: That guy is funny.

RWD: -looking. God, I'm really mean. [I can’t write a post without taking a shot at FHG! Sorry hon!]

Goon: The whole hat thing is cool; he should paint it Green and White...

RWD: No. It has the right colors.

Goon: Maroon and Gold aren't my colors.

RWD: Wrong emblem. Do you miss T.J. Oshie?

Goon: Yes I do, the kid was a monster player. T.J. Oshie kicked some serious [badonkadonk] while he was here. Gave his all. [All over the elevator floor!]

RWD: And you posted his dad's "public statement."

Goon: Yes I did. You remember that?

RWD: Yes. I rudely commented on it. [It was basically Papa Osh kissing up to all the people helping with his celebrity golf tourney thinly disguised as a “thank you” letter from “T.J.”]

Goon: Now I remember that conversation. It was last summer after Oshie signed with the Blues.

RWD: I recall. What should we expect to see this weekend? Who's going to be in goal? [Does it even matter?]

Goon: Brad Eidsness will be in goal and I don't know what to expect.

RWD: If you wanted to give Walski a confidence boost you could play him. [Eeee! Sorry guys! I didn’t mean it! You are awesome!! Mama loves you!!!]

Goon: I think UND is starting to get it going and actually the forwards are more talented this year. If I was the coach Walski would never touch the ice again. We do not benefit from playing a kid that is a senior when we have two freshmen that need experience. Eidsness is a way better goalie than Walski. I am sure some the ND state high school hockey homer will not like this, but that is how I feel. [First Ziggy, then Walski. ND is producing some goalies with great credentials!]

RWD: Don't hold back now.

Goon: I call it the Walski experiment. LGM aka Amy likes it but I don't.

RWD: I like it too. We need some goals.

Goon: I am sure you do. Heck UMD has scored more goals that UND. [Miracle of miracles.] I can't make any predictions because I don't know what to expect. [Cop out!] The games are on TV so I can watch them both.

RWD: How will UND win this weekend? [As if.]

Goon: They will win by making the Bulldogs pay for defensive zone break downs, solid defense and hitting and hustling.

RWD: And how will they lose? [Now we’re talkin’.]

Goon: They lose if they don't respect the ‘Dogs. They have to hit them [very respectful] and protect the puck. Transition and stay out of the box. No selfish penalties. [How is a penalty “selfish?” I would more say “stupid.” But stupidity can’t be helped.] They must not let Stalock get comfortable and see the puck, screen the goalie and let Hextall get in the Bulldogs' kitchen. [Make Mama a sandwich while you’re in there, honey!] If they don't play smart they will lose.

RWD: Hextall is going to win the Hobey Baker this year.

Goon: Nope but I love the way that kid plays. [Really? A genius came on here and left that prognostication!] I told Sioux7 he was like Prpich Lite. Only with more offensive skill. [No one is more offensive than Prp.]

RWD: Bleccch. Drew Akins will wipe the ice with him. [He will jump on him and use his stick to row, row, row the Brett gently around the rink.]

Goon: I am not familiar with Drew Akins.

RWD: Are you familiar with anyone? [He’s a freaking junior!]

Goon: I have not watched your team play this season. I am familiar with teams we have played, but I haven't had the opportunity to see the Dogs. I know your goalie is awesome.

RWD: That's tragic. Stalock is [awesome, I mean].

Goon: Yep Alex, LGM's favorite goalie... [Brady Lamb worked diligently to try to change her mind. With his smooth Barry White voice, I think he might have gotten through to her.] If you have some film on the Bulldogs I will watch it.

RWD: Nothing you want to see... [Restraining order #330] Speaking of that: Who is the hottest Sioux player?

Goon: On the women's team?

RWD: Are we talking about the women's team here? NO.

Goon: I don't know. I don't swing that way.

RWD: You can appreciate the attractiveness of people without being a homosexual. Like me and MEg.

Goon: Hey what people do behind closed door is fine with me as long as I don't have to see visual evidence. I don't know how to judge men for attractiveness. That is a loaded question that LGM asked me as well and I haven't fallen for the trick so far... I am too quick... [It’s too easy. I won’t do it.]

RWD: It's not a trick. It's been a standard of the Gauntlet since its inception.

Goon: Ok, do I have to answer that question?

RWD: YES! [Why would I asked otherwise?] Ladies need to know! [I provide a public service.]

Goon: Hextall.

RWD: Let me see. [Pause while I look him up] Well, I didn't vomit at his photo.

Goon: Wow, that's good to know.

RWD: But he's no Darcy Zajac. [Mmmmm]

Goon: I will take your word for it.

RWD: If you'd said Joe Finley I would have died. And you would be arrested. [For murder.]

Goon: That was my next choice.

RWD: So you think Bert from Sesame Street is good-looking?

Goon: Nope...

RWD: Because he and Joe are one and the same. Same eyebrows. Same consuming rage.

Goon: Yes I do, I have an eyebrow. No rage, I am a very happy person...

RWD: What?

Goon: vhat?

RWD: I said Bert and Joe Finley were the same. Not you and Joe Finley. Or you and Bert.

Goon: oh, miss that one. No, duh, woopppsss. [I left this in to prove a point.]

RWD: So, let's see if you can get through one more question without a glaring error. Weekend prediction? (And you MUST make one!)

Goon: split. Sioux Friday, Dogs win Saturday.

RWD: Wow, you even managed to mess that up! DOGS SWEEP!