31 December 2009

For Auld Lang Syne

So, it's almost 2010, and I'm sitting in my basement watching Where The Wild Things Are, thinking about what I could post. (Yes, that would seem very sad and pathetic, but not more than usual. I'm not interested in going out on amateur night.) RWD readers, the smartest blog readers on the Interwebs, know that the decade doesn't end until next year, so there's no need for a sweeping look back. I was going to do a mid-season report, but that just seems so dull. However, did you know that we only have two more conference points than we did at last season? I did not. I found out at work today while wasting time.

Still, it's funny to think that ten years ago there were people wondering if the world as we know it was going to end. Hello, we still have two years left on that one. Ten years ago I spent New Year's in my basement (of course!) watching Labyrinth with two people I'm not even friends with anymore, I was a junior in high school and I had a boyfriend who has the same name as a former NFL quarterback. Scott Sandelin was still at UND. Jon Francisco was a freshman. Brady freaking Hjelle was probably playing mite hockey, or squirts, I don't know how these age groups work.

I watched the USA vs Canada World Juniors game tonight (in case you follow me on Twitter, you already know this) and though the Americans lost, it was still a heckuva game. It was fun to cheer for the talent of the WCHA, players who are normally Public Enemy #1 when they meet the Bulldogs. I watched about 30 seconds of the Wild game. Unnecessary to watch any more.

The kids in these tournaments (and really, they are kids) and in college hockey, as well as the adults in the NHL, give up their holidays and their time at home to play hockey. They're not alone, or making some great sacrifice; there are a lot of us who have to work on Christmas Eve, or New Year's Eve, or other holidays, who travel or move hundreds of miles away from our homes for our jobs. But we should all be so lucky to do so because we do what we love, not what we have to do to live.

I could do a cliched resolutions post. But really, there's nothing to resolve. Hockey is gloriously, exhilaratingly, apocalyptically enjoyable. What's better than that?

Safe travels to Vermont tomorrow!

24 December 2009

A Brady Hjelle Christmas

Brady Hjelle: I think there must be something wrong with me, Jacky. Christmas is coming but I’m not happy, I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents, and sending cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.

Jacky: Brady Hjelle, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe RWD is right: of all the Brady Hjelles in the world, you’re the Brady Hjelliest.

Brady Hjelle: Drew, you’re the only person I know who can raise a cloud of dust in a snowstorm.

RWD: May I help you?

BRADY HJELLE: I am in sad shape.

RWD: Wait a minute, before you begin, I must ask that you pay in advance. Five cents, please. Boy what a sound! How I love hearing that old money clank! That beautiful sound of cold hard cash! That beautiful, beautiful sound: nickels, nickels, nickels! That beautiful sound of clinking nickels! All right now, what seems to be your trouble?

BRADY HJELLE: I feel depressed. I know I should be happy, but I’m not.

RWD: Well, as they say on TV, the mere fact that you realize you need help indicates that you are not too far gone. I think we better pinpoint your fears. If we can find out what you’re afraid of, we can label it. Are you afraid of referees? If you are, then you have officialphobia.

BRADY HJELLE: I don’t think that’s quite it.

RWD: How about pucks? If you are afraid of pucks, you have rubberdiskophobia.

BRADY HJELLE: Well, sort of, but I’m not sure.

RWD: Are you afraid of odd man rushes? If you are, then you have twoononeophobia. Maybe you have Mankatomavsophobia. This is fear of getting run over by opponents. Or, quintigoalophobia, which is the fear of opponents going five-hole. Or maybe you have Lordstanleysgameophobia. Do you think you have Lordstanleysgameophobia?

BRADY HJELLE: What’s Lordstanleysgameophobia?

RWD: The fear of hockey!

BRADY HJELLE: THAT’S IT! Actually, RWD, my trouble is Christmas. I just don’t understand it. I feel sort of let down.

RWD: You need involvement. You need to be involved in some real Christmas project. How would you like to be the coach of our Christmas game?

BRADY HJELLE: Me? You want me to be the coach of the Christmas game?

RWD: Sure Brady Hjelle! We need a coach. You need involvement. We’ve got referees, entertainment, bananas, everyone you need. We even have a Christmas queen.

BRADY HJELLE: I don’t know anything about coaching a Christmas game.

RWD: Don’t worry; I’ll be there to help you. I’ll meet you at the auditorium. Incidentally, I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want, I always get a lot of stupid toys or clothes or a bicycle or something like that.

BRADY HJELLE: What is it you want?

RWD: A national championship.

RWD: All right, quiet everybody. Our coach will be here any minute and we’ll start practice.

Wade Bergman: Coach? What coach?

RWD: Brady Hjelle.

Drew Olson: Oh no, no, we’re doomed.

Wade Bergman: This will be the worst Christmas game ever.

RWD: Here he comes! Attention everyone. Here’s our director.

BRADY HJELLE: Well, it’s real good seeing you all here. As you know we are going to play in the Christmas game. Due to the shortage of time, we’ll get right down to work. One of the first things to ensure a good performance is strict attention to the coach. I’ll keep my directions simple. If I point to the right, it means the right wing carries the puck. If I make a slashing motion across my throat, it means I think the ref has made a bad call. If I make a revolving motion with my hand, it means skate faster. If I spread my hands apart, it means make a long pass. It’s the spirit of the player that counts, the attention that they show their coach. Am I right? I said am I right?

BRADY HJELLE: Stop the music! All right now, we’re going to do this game, and we’re going to do it right. RWD, get those jerseys and playbooks and pass them out. Now the equipment girl will be handing out your gear.

RWD: You’re a forward.

MCON: Do forwards have naturally curly hair?

RWD: Drew Akins, you’re the goalie.

Akins: In spite of my outward appearance, I will try to keep the crease clean.

RWD: Schmitty, you’re Derek Shepherd.

Kyle Schmidt: Every Christmas it’s the same. I always end up being Derek Shepherd.

RWD: Jacky! You have to get rid of that stupid blanket! And here, memorize these plays.

Jacky: I can’t memorize these plays. This is ridiculous.

RWD: Memorize them and be ready to play when I tell you to.

Jacky: I can’t memorize this so quickly. Why should I be put through such agony? Give me one good reason why I should memorize this.

RWD (showing her fist): I’ll give you 5 good reasons.

Jacky: Those are good reasons. Christmas is not only getting too commercial, it’s getting too dangerous.

RWD: And get rid of that stupid blanket. What’s a center gonna look like with a stupid blanket like that?

Jacky: Well, this is one center that’s gonna keep his trusty blanket with him. You wouldn’t hit an innocent center, would you?

RWD: Okay, Mr. Coach, the cast is set. Take over.

BRADY HJELLE: All right, let’s have quiet, places everybody. Seidel, set the mood for the first period.

BRADY HJELLE: Cut cut! No no no! Look, let’s rehearse the power play. Mikey--

MCON: I can’t go on the ice, there’s too much dust. It’s taking the curl out of my naturally curly hair.

BRADY HJELLE: Don’t think of it as dust. Think of it as maybe the soil of some great past civilization. Maybe the soil of the ancient Duluth Curling Club arena. It staggers the imagination. He may be carrying the soil that was tread upon by Bill Watson. Or even Huffer Christiansen.

Akins: Sorta makes you wanna treat me with more respect, doesn’t it?

MCON: You’re an absolute mess. Just look at yourself.

Akins: On the contrary, I didn’t think I looked that good.

RWD: What about my part? What about the Christmas queen, hmm? Are you going to let all this beauty go to waste? You do think I’m beautiful, don’t you Brady Hjelle? You didn’t answer me right away. You had to think about it first, didn’t you? If you really had thought I was beautiful, you would have spoken right up. I know when I’ve been insulted! I know when I’ve been insulted!

BRADY HJELLE: Good grief. All right, let’s take it from the top again. Places. Puck drop.

RWD: Brady Hjelle, isn’t it a great game?

BRADY HJELLE: That does it. Now look, if we’re ever to get this game off the ground, we’ve gotta have some cooperation.

RWD: What’s matter, Brady Hjelle? Don’t you think it’s great?

BRADY HJELLE: It’s all wrong.

RWD: Look Brady, let’s face it, we all know that Christmas hockey is a big commercial racket. There’s a big eastern bias, you know.

BRADY HJELLE: Well, this is one game that won’t be commercial.

RWD: Look, Brady Hjelle, what do you want?

BRADY HJELLE: We need a Christmas tree.

RWD: Hey, perhaps a tree. A great big shiny aluminum Christmas tree. That’s it, Brady Hjelle! You get the tree. I’ll handle this crowd.

BRADY HJELLE: Ok. I’ll take Jacky with me. The rest of you practice your line changes.

RWD: Get the biggest aluminum tree you can find. Maybe paint it pink!

Wade Bergman: Yeah, do something right for a change, Brady Hjelle.

BRADY HJELLE: I don’t know Jacky, I just don’t know. Well, I guess we better concentrate on finding a nice Christmas tree.

Jacky: I suggest we try those searchlights, Brady Hjelle.

Jacky: This really brings Christmas close to a person.

BRADY HJELLE: Fantastic.

Jacky: Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees?

BRADY HJELLE: This little green one here seems to need a home.

Jacky: I don’t know, Brady Hjelle. Remember what RWD said? This doesn’t seem to fit the modern spirit.

BRADY HJELLE: I don’t care. I’ll decorate it, and it’ll be just right for our game. Besides I think it needs me.

Mike Seidel: This is the music I’ve selected for the Christmas game.

RWD: What kind of hockey music is that?

Mike Seidel: Beethoven hockey music.

RWD: What has Beethoven music got to do with hockey? Everybody talks about how great Beethoven is. Beethoven wasn’t so great.

Mike Seidel: What do you mean, Beethoven wasn’t so great?

RWD: He never got his name on the Stanley Cup, did he? Have you ever seen his name on the Stanley Cup, hmm? How can you say a person is great who’s never had his name on the Stanley Cup?

Mike Seidel: Good grief.

Brady and Jacky come back with the little tree.

BRADY HJELLE: We’re back.

Drew Olson: Boy are you stupid Brady Hjelle!

Wade Bergman: What kind of a tree is that?

RWD: You were supposed to get a good tree! Can’t you even tell a good tree from a poor tree?

Drew Olson: I told you he’d goof it up. He’s not the kind you can depend on for anything.

Wade Bergman: You’re hopeless, Brady Hjelle.

MCON: Completely hopeless.


RWD: You’ve been dumb before Brady Hjelle, but this time you really did it. What a treat.

BRADY HJELLE: I guess you were right, Jacky. I shouldn’t have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don’t know what hockey is all about. Isn’t there anyone who knows what hockey is all about?

Jacky: Sure, Brady Hjelle, I can tell you what hockey is all about. Lights, please. And there were in the same country coaches, keeping watch, abiding over their teams by weekends, and lo the angel of the NCAA came upon them, and the glory of the tournament shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is given this day in the city of Detroit a tournament, which is the Frozen Four. And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the teams with the best pairwise rankings meeting in the regionals. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of fans praising the hockey gods and saying glory to hockey in the winter and on earth peace and goodwill toward men. That’s what hockey is all about Brady Hjelle.

Jacky's voice: F
or behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is given this day in the city of Detroit a tournament, which is the Frozen Four. And this shall be a sign unto you...

BRADY HJELLE: Jacky is right. I won’t let all this commercialism ruin my Christmas. I’ll take this little tree home and decorate it, and I’ll show em it really will work at our game. I’ve killed it. OH! Everything I touch gets ruined.

JACKY: I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.

RWD: Brady Hjelle is a blockhead, but he did get a nice tree.

Loo loo loo, loo loo-loo loo-loo, loo loo loo loo-loo loo loo.

BRADY HJELLE: What’s going on here?

Everyone: Merry Christmas Brady Hjelle!

20 December 2009

The Post Before Christmas

I probably won't get around to writing another post before the vaunted Christmas Post, partially because I am lazy and partially because I am putting a crapload of work into this year's post. (One word: SCREENCAP.) For those of you who aren't aware, each year RWD has an extra special, custom-made Bulldog Christmas post.

Let's review:

In 2006, I did
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his skates were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his jock was two sizes too small.

In 2007, I rewrote the saucy Christmas carol Santa Baby
Santa baby, a game-worn jersey under the tree, Curry's
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Hah! Screw you Santa. I had to get that for myself!

And then in 2008, the masterpiece:
Jacky's Christmas Story

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!"

That last one is going to be a tough one to top. I'm not giving anything away about this year's Christmas post, but I will tell you that it is dedicated to the daughter and niece of three RWD readers who I know are also huge fans of the Christmas posts. This woman is a Marine and is going to spend Christmas with her family before deploying to Afghanistan. I hope for her safe return and I know that any RWD fans will do the same.

18 December 2009

Who's Your Mommy?

Oh, comrades, the day has come. RWD is the featured blogger on Puck Daddy's college hockey post. Bow down.
I talked about Kyle Schmidt, my Jacky, and Back to the Future. READ IT.

17 December 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods

tUMD 6, Broken Down Chevy 3

Do I really have to do this? I mean, does anyone care?

Saturday home games usually involve the same ritual. I wake up somewhere uncomfortable after getting a terrible night's sleep. Some college football is watched. Signs are made. Biddco and I have to listen to the same songs: Party in the USA, You Belong To Me, I'm On A Boat, I'm In A Box (which is a parody of On A Boat involving Balloon Boy), and Single Ladies. Some of those are interchangeable but if I haven't heard Party in the USA about six times by the time we head out for dinner, then I'm not fully ready for game time.

This weekend I was sitting in my living room trying to cram as much information about backflush costing (NOT EVEN ON THE EXAM! NOT EVEN MENTIONED! WHAT A WASTE!) as possible into my brain. I got an A in the class. Guess it was worth it. Unlike when I missed celebrating the Final Five win. Bleah.

So I had to sit at home, B2 feed on the big screen, chat room with my family, chat room for the Duluth News Tribune, USCHO game thread, tPB thread, Twitter... Yeah, there's a lot going on.

Wade Bergman got his first goal that counted! (We all know he actually scored his first goal against the Gophers, but that's fine.) And then My Jacky scored, getting Team Cougar on the board for the night (well in that game, as Malcolm Gwilliam had already done so in the MTU-UMTC game), and then Tyler Ruegsegger scored and then Oleksuk and then FINALLY we could all breathe.

In the 2nd period we all went to a dark place of which we will not speak.

Some time in the first 9 minutes of the 3rd period I said something about how I had not heard Kyle Schmidt's name much and that I was ready for him to score a goal. ONCE AGAIN you can give me the 3rd assist on his goal because I TOTALLY CALLED IT. I am sure I have outlined this gift of mine but for those of you who don't know, when I make a call, IT HAPPENS. For example, once when I was away at school, I called my ex-boyfriend and he happened to be at a Twins game. Torii Hunter was up and I said "Tell Torii Hunter to hit a home run," AND HE TOTALLY DID IN THAT AT BAT. If that doesn't convince you, I was at a Twins-Yankees playoff game and as they were doing the starting lineups they announced Henry Blanco (this was the year Baby Jeebus was injured in, like, the second game of the year) and I cheered like crazy and everyone looked at me like I was nuts and then HE HIT A HOMERUN THAT LANDED LIKE THREE ROWS IN FRONT OF ME and then everyone in the section thought I was a genius.

Then My Jacky scored AGAIN and then Rob Bordson FINALLY got himself Off Notice-Goals Only and then Gwoz pulled Chevy (because did it even matter) and I yelled GIVE THE PUCK TO JACKY!!!! as a hat trick nets a LOT of points in fantasy hockey and I am always mindful of that. Alas. No empty net goals were obtained.

I realize this is a terrible recap but I had to at least get something in the books. AND NOW THE AGONIZING BREAK IS UPON US.

Wins until we reach last season's total: 2! (Just as I asked!)
Points until we reach last season's total: 10! (Goin' down down down down down!)

My Guys
Jack Connolly: 26! (Wish it had been 27, but I'll take it!)
Brady Lamb: 8
Mike Seidel: 8!

Dylan Olsen: 9
Mike Seidel: 7
Wade Bergman: 2!
Keegan Flaherty: 2
Dan Delisle: 1
Jake Hendrickson: 1
Drew Olson: 1

Jacky: 26!
Mikey: 19!

Drew: 1
Dylan: 9

Olson: 10
Akins: 15

On Notice
Cody Danberg
Dan Delisle
Keegan Flaherty
Chad Huttel
Scott Kishel
Brady Lamb
Drew Olson

Goals Only
Jordan Fulton
Dylan Olsen
Mike Seidel

12 December 2009

Study Break

tUMD 2, Imperialist Oppressors 3

All right all right all right. Putting down my World Domination textbook to write this, even though game time is in 2 hours (edit: now 1 hour, as it took me a long time to write this) and I could totally just cheat and do one of my "weekend wraps" where I cover both games in one post. I'm hoping for a much better outcome.

I drove up to Duluth with my dad in one of those whirlwind up-and-back the same night trips. Fortunately I was in my seat BEFORE puck drop and introductions. Well, not really in MY seat. One of the benefits of having seats at the very top of my section is that no one wants to sit there. We ended up having a row to ourselves, or as I called it, a luxury row. So we moved into the middle and then we stood the whole game. I couldn't help it, I was very anxious and could not stand still.
The first period was very uneventful. tUMD had a power play chance early, which seems to happen a lot, and they did not capitalize, which also happens a lot. It wasn't that early, I guess, it was about 6 mins into the game, but I feel like those early PPs are such a missed opportunity. They're well-rested, the other team hasn't had a chance to get adjusted to their style, the goalie's not quite settled yet. Of course, 5 on 3 opportunities to tie up the game when the opponents are tired are also good chances to score. Or so it would seem.

DU got on the board in the second period thanks to junior forward Jesse Martin, who pretty much came out of nowhere for me this year. I'd never heard of him before! I think it's maybe because he has a boring name. I mean, it's easy to remember someone named Rhett Rakhshani. Well, also because he is very good. And extremely unattractive. But Jesse Martin seems about as plain vanilla as you can get and thus his emergence this year has surprised me. That goal was assisted on by one half of DU's power couple, William Wrenn (a LOT of people fell for that!!) and Anthony Maiainollyollyoxandfreeani. The DECC was as close to dead silent as 4437 (ha! Yeah right! That many people did not show up!) could be. I do not believe there was a single DU fan in the house.

I yelled at the Dogs that I didn't want to see any of that two goal lead crap, and caused this old man in front of me to visibly jump. Drew Akins scored on the Bulldogs' second power play opportunity. It was actually a power play I thought was going nowhere in a hurry, but they pumped it in with 22 seconds remaining. I didn't see what happened because there were a lot of folks in the way and it was at the other end of the rink from me.

I'd like to pause here for a public service announcement. Dear Bulldogs: when you go through your little celebratory fist pump line, it's supposed to go Goal Scorer, First Assist, Second Assist, Losers Who Didn't Get A Point. Not whoever gets there first.

Joe Colborne scored on a PP chance where he was literally a foot in front of Peanut Butter Hjelle and he roofed it. The puck went almost straight up. Guys. No need to let them in so close. That's classic Denver right there, and classic Colborne: right in front of the net, just hangin' around waiting for the puck. He's not untouchable, just give him a nice friendly hip check. He's tall, yes, but he's not very solid.

DU got that all-important 2 goal lead on a Kyle Ostrow PP goal, but tUMD answered fairly quickly with a neat goal. I can't really describe it because I'm just not good at that sort of thing, but Monkey was carrying the puck into the zone (IMAGINE THAT, IT ONLY TOOK TWO PERIODS OF HOCKEY TO FIGURE THAT OUT) and just plowed right through these DU guys and maintained possession of the puck and then something happened that I don't remember, either he shot the puck or passed it or lost it and MCON recovered it, but it was in the net! With half a period to go! Yes!

With about 7:25 to go in the game, DU took a penalty (a vicious elbow to the head that knocked a helmet off, which could easily have been a five minute major) and then another one, and then Chevy made this amazing save and then the wheels fell off the power play unit and flames blasted from my ears and nostrils.

It kind of looked like this, except without the beard, and replace DEFENSE with OFFENSE.

Once tUMD had the goalie pulled, things went crazy. Cheverie is a good goalie. There's no doubt about it. He made some great saves, and we needed to be perfect, but everything was just a little off, a little to the left or a little early or a little late or a little too far, and then the game was over. There was a sort of horsecrap call at the very end when DU had an obvious hand pass that was not blown dead, and then they iced the puck, and then there were only two seconds in the game instead of 10. Which is not THAT big of a deal but still, 10 seconds is time for a face-off win, a quick shot, and a rebound, and two seconds is not.

Oh well. Win tonight. DU will be without their star defenceman, Patrick Wiercioch, and we will be without Dylan Olsen, who did not have his best game last night. Best of luck to BOTH of them at the World Juniors camp, and I hope they represent college hockey well!

I don't know who's going to be in goal, but I do know Delisle Smash! is in for Hendo.

Wins until we reach last season's total: 3 (Let's make that 2 tonight!)
Points until we reach last season's total: 12 (And bring that down to 10!)

My Guys
Jack Connolly: 23
Brady Lamb: 8
Mike Seidel: 7

Dylan Olsen: 9
Mike Seidel: 7
Keegan Flaherty: 2
Wade Bergman: 1
Dan Delisle: 1
Jake Hendrickson: 1
Drew Olson: 1

Jacky: 23
Mikey: 16! (Only exclamation point in The Numbers, sadly)

Drew: 1
Dylan: 9

Olson: 10
Akins: 15

On Notice
Cody Danberg
Dan Delisle
Keegan Flaherty
Chad Huttel
Scott Kishel
Brady Lamb
Drew Olson

Goals Only
Rob Bordson
Jordan Fulton
Dylan Olsen
Mike Seidel

09 December 2009

On The Move

MacGregor Sharp is now with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage. Joining him is MeanEgirl's secret boyfriend, Stu Bickel. Guess that's not such a secret anymore.
Thank you to MacGregor's 2nd biggest fan, Vizoroo, for the tip.

08 December 2009

University of Denver Roster Includes Team's First Gay Couple

(above) DU freshmen Adam Murray and William Wrenn are the University's first openly gay couple.

The University of Denver is known as the curve-setter for political correctness in the collegiate world. From the replacement of their offensive, imperialist mascot Boone to workshops on microaggressions, they have set a tone of tolerance and acceptance. And now the school's hockey team sets out to break down one of the biggest barriers in today's society: gays in sports.

Two of Denver's freshmen, goaltender Adam Murray and defenceman William Wrenn, both of Anchorage, Alaska, are the University of Denver men's hockey team's first openly gay couple. According to the DU Clarion, the pair have been "best friends" since they were twelve. It appears they did not begin their relationship until after they both left for the United States' National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "We just kind of hit it off," Wrenn was quoted in the Clarion, "We get along really well."

The Pioneers' coach, George Gwozdecky, is known for his commitment to diversity, reaching out to those who are differently abled. Gwozdecky's assistant coach, Derek Lalonde, suffers from alopecia universalis, while student assistant David Carle has a condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Gwozdecky stated he is "always glad to help people who may be denied an opportunity simply because of their appearance, or their health concerns, or their sexuality."

"We really like playing for Coach Gwozdecky," Murray said in a recent interview. "He's just super!"

Wrenn added, "He's a fabulous dresser!"

Wrenn and Murray may be Denver's first gay couple, but they are not alone in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The University of North Dakota's Brett Hextall and Mario Lamoureux have been open with their relationship since a Valentine's episode of Brad Miller Time, a popular intermission video played at North Dakota home games, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities stars Danny Irmen and Ryan Potulny were rumored to be in a relationship as well, though they never publicly confirmed it.

Upon hearing about the couple, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities forward Jordan Schroeder issued a statement to the media. “I am fully committed to my heterosexuality. I have no intention to stop dating women and starting dating men. I think it’s important for me to publicly state that I am straight. I am happy for William and Adam and hope they reach their goal of gay marriage.”

When asked about how the Minnesota-Duluth student section's recent gaffe involving a homophobic chant would affect him this weekend, Murray seemed unconcerned. "It's not anything we haven't heard before," he said, shrugging it off. "I'll listen from my seat the bench and see if anything happens."

07 December 2009


Just spilling over from a discussion on Rink and Run re: the power play. I'll discuss, Shakespeare style.

Two opinions, both alike in dignity,
On the Internet, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where power play stats makes Bulldog fans unclean.
From forth the fatal minds of these few foes
A set of Bulldog fans state their thoughts;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with this post find the facts they sought.
The statistics of our special teams prove,
The true merits on which to judge their fight,
Which, but my number crunching, nought could remove,
Is now these few lines' traffic of my site;
The which if you with patient eyes attend,
What here shall miss, my toil shall strive to mend.

What say ye, Stats Man?
Here are the unbiased statistics on the powerplay:
Vs. "Bad" teams (LSSU, MSUM, Clarkson, MTU, UMN): 19-62, 31%
Vs. "Good" teams (NMU, SCSU, CC, UND): 6-40, 15%
And in response, Hockey Fan?
Bad teams don't necessarily have bad penalty kills. The bottom line is that our power play is one of the best in the nation. It isn't perfect, but it's very good.
And, let's go to the numbers!

Lake Superior State
Record: 1-0
Our PP: 33.3%
Their PK: 85.3%

Northern Michigan
Record: 0-1
Our PP: 0%
Their PK: 82.6%

Minnesota State
Record: 2-0
Our PP: 38.4%
Their PK: 82.8%

St. Cloud State
Record: 0-1-1
Our PP: 25%
Their PK: 84.6%
+9.6% (Although they did get 2 SHG)

Record: 2-0
Our PP: 20%
Their PK: 75.3%

Colorado College
Record: 1-1
Our PP: 16.7%
Their PK: 88.6%

Michigan Tech
Record: 1-1
Our PP: 50%
Their PK: 62.2%

Minnesota-Twin Cities
Record: 2-0
Our PP: 18.2%
Their PK: 82.9%

North Dakota
Record: 1-1
Our PP: 12.5%
Their PK: 88.2%

So, overall, tUMD has performed at or above the level where the opponents' PK would predict we perform. They have the 7th best power play in the country.

Now, why doesn't it feel that way sometimes?

06 December 2009

The Thrill of Victory

tUMD 3, Nazis 2

Ah yes, the hockey game. Sorry, I'm busy watching a travesty of a football game.

Saturday was an interesting day. I was very nervous all day. MEg, Biddco and I went to Carlton to watch Ciskie's kid in his goaltending debut. He did a good job, considering he had not even played in practice. He just needs to work on not looking over to the sidelines to see if we saw his save. Especially when the rebound is lying in the crease. I think that happened to Brad Eidsness on our Oleksuk goal; he was looking at his mommy. Although if his mommy was in the stands she probably wasn't very happy with the things said about her.

We busted out the banana last night. The banana, I should mention, is 2-0. We also debuted Sieve-mas carols, which are not new (Michigan Tech does them), but new to us! No one threw up behind us, or in front of us, or near us. We had a few signs, including Ron His Horse Is Thunder for Hobey. In case you did not understand the sign, Mr. His Horse Is Thunder was until recently the tribal leader of the Standing Rock Lakota, and is a key opponent of the Sioux nickname. And nothing gets the undies of Sioux fans in a bunch faster than he does, now that Myles Brand is dead. If that sign made even one UND fan angry, my mission was accomplished. (In response to the dismay from one of my Twitter followers at my usage of "Nazi", I'm sorry you were disappointed I am not classy, but I don't think I've ever tried to uphold any standard of class.)

Please note, opposing fans: Connolly-Connolly-Fontaine is not a line. And when you said "I bet we won't see Reiter in net on Saturday," it's not an astute observation. We have what's called a goalie rotation.

Ah yes, the game. I have turned off the football one.

The pre-game did not go so well, as a DECC security, um, "woman" told us we could have signs but not hang them over the railing. Nor could we hang it at the top of the section, where we hang signs oh, pretty much EVERY OTHER GAME. And then ANOTHER person came over to tell me I could not have a Sioux Play Like Pioux sign. However, that sign lived to fight another day, which was awesome! And then ANOTHER cop told us to stay off the railing, and that there was a ZERO TOLERANCE policy because we had too many people in the row. Which we did. But he also kept letting people go by us when the puck was in play! I'm always trying to help people improve themselves, so I loudly stated "PUCK IS IN PLAY!"

The first period was unpleasant. I was very unhappy. The second period began much in the same way, and I made some very angry tweets. And may have loudly stated my displeasure. Which can carry in a nearly silent arena.

The third period was awesome, of course. Kyle Schmidt (how about this guy? Our juniors are stepping it up! Kyle is as stealthy as a ninja!) broke the shutout. I feel like MEg, Biddco and I should get the 3rd, 4th, and 5th assists because we were raining a torrent of SHUTOUT heckles at him as the puck went in. You are welcome, Kyle.

Ben Blood took a penalty and the power play was just what tUMD needed... although we hadn't been particularly successful. (Something that has been frustrating fans, and which I agree. Denver puts Big Joe Colborne in the crease. We can put Big Danny Delisle there, as someone on Pates' blog suggested.) Until Bordo took a penalty to negate that. But then Farmer MacWilliam took a penalty as well! Excellent.

As far as Safetynetgate, I didn't see it. I mean, really, I have enough trouble following the puck ON the ice let alone when it deflects and flies through the air. Whatever. tUMD was the beneficiary of a blown call, and that's that. Don't quit til you hear the whistle.

So some stuff happened and the puck was on net and then I saw it lying there and I was FREAKING OUT because how many times in the series did crazy stuff happen where tUMD could just not drop the hammer? and then the puck was in the net, and I was hugging MEg and screaming and then we ran and hugged the cop (the guy, not the, um, "woman") and freaked out.

And then the game went into overtime and I honestly could not tell you what happened because I suck at watching games analytically. I'm unable to dispassionately watch a hockey game, and thus I was unable to even tell who was on the ice, just that the puck was in the net, and I was in the midst of a pile of about 50 people. Glorious! I know I'm too old to sit with the students, but really, I can't enjoy an overtime win as much sitting alone in my regular seats.

Damn, do I ever love hockey.

Oh yes, Numbers.

Wins until we reach last season's total: 3! (AWESOME OVERTIME WIN!!!)
Points until we reach last season's total: 12! (W000T!)

My Guys
Jack Connolly: 23!
Brady Lamb: 8
Mike Seidel: 7!

Dylan Olsen: 9!
Mike Seidel: 7!
Keegan Flaherty: 2
Wade Bergman: 1
Dan Delisle: 1
Jake Hendrickson: 1
Drew Olson: 1

Jacky: 23!
Mikey: 15!

Drew: 1
Dylan: 9!

Olson: 10
Akins: 15

On Notice
Dan Delisle
Keegan Flaherty
Chad Huttel
Brady Lamb
Drew Olson

Goals Only
Rob Bordson
Mike Connolly
Jordan Fulton
Scott Kishel
Dylan Olsen
Mike Seidel

05 December 2009

Off Our Game

tUMD 2, Hostile and Abusives 4

Last night was not the best of nights. It wasn't the worst of nights, by any means, we weren't run out of our own building or anything, but it was a night when pucks bounced and sticks were lifted and goalies made some errors.

Last night wasn't one of the best of nights for the students, either. I was sitting with them as I normally do when I come up by myself, and halfway through the first period some dudes came up and wanted to sit in the seats behind us, which had been vacated by some girls. They stopped before filing into the row and one said "Dude, is that puke?"

It was. In a big puddle on the floor in front of the seat behind MEg... and also on her jacket. AND WE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW. DAMN YOU, STEALTH PUKER. At least tell the arena staff to come clean it up... or APOLOGIZE for your friend puking on someone's jacket. Seriously. Fail.

Anyway, it's hard to start chants when the atmosphere surrounding you smells like puke. Or when you're gagging. Or when Sioux fans are trying to trip you on the goal lap.

Tonight I'm very nervous. We will either win or get smacked down by, like, a touchdown. Or at least a field goal. I don't know. Les Connollys and La Fontaine are not going to go quietly into that good night. Bordson will probably not be 100% due to UND's best efforts to kill him. Team Cougar needs to rebound from a horrible night last night.

We are going to quadruple our cheering efforts tonight.

03 December 2009

Where Angels Fear To Tread

Oh, my friends, I am lame, I know. This bye week has gotten me lazy lazy lazy. I tuned into National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation two nights in a row! And both nights, it was totally tuned to my favorite part, when Clark is in the attic wearing a fur capelet, a turban, and gloves while watching home movies! Serendipitous! I was so lazy I was contemplating NOT going to Duluth this weekend because it would take too much energy. Also I was contemplating not going to Duluth because OMGMACGREGORSHARP!!! is going to be here with the Ducks. Dear Chuck Fletcher, could you trade James Sheppard to Anaheim in exchange for MacGregor Sharp? I would be happy. So would Goon.

However, just like Fantine in Les Misérables, I dreamed a dream last night about the Final Five. tUMD beat the pants off the Gophers in the play-in game and the arena was empty. And also the bleachers were made of, like, plywood. Then we played UND and were tied 2-2 when the dream ended. So I'm back in action.

Speaking of MacGregor Sharp, here is an article from the Red Deer Advocate about the man himself. Thank you to the person who sent me the article, you are awesome!! ;^) To translate, "centre" is Canadian for "center."

On our coaches' role in his development:
“I played in pretty much every situation and really worked on my defensive game,” he said. “I talked to our coaches about playing pro hockey at some point and they stressed the fact that you have to be responsible defensively to get to that level. Faceoffs, penalty killing and defensive zone play . . . I worked hard at them and they’re all a big part of my game.”

On his decision between major juniors and college:
“Originally, I was just going to work on my game for a year (at the junior A level) and then probably go to Medicine Hat,” said Sharp, who was selected by the Tigers in the 2000 Western Hockey League bantam draft. “But I got a scholarship pretty early in my first season and ended up sticking with that. I followed through with it and it worked out pretty well.[..]

“I didn’t really have any plans as to where I would end up, the big thing was to continue working at my game while getting an extra couple of years to develop. I don’t think I weighed enough or was a big enough guy when I was younger to play really well in the Western League. Those couple of years of developing in college were really good for me.”
Paging Paul Kelly... please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Anyway, tUMD plays UND this weekend. I do not know if you folks are aware of this, since most of you don't have time to scour the dregs of the Interwebs, but I am sad and pathetic and have time to do so, and thus I know that UND is referred to as the "Fighting Halos." From what I understand, the moniker refers to UND fans' inability to accept their team deserves the penalties they take. They are simply above reproach. I will make sure to watch closely this weekend. Because, of course, I am going.

Team Cougar has picked up Rob Bordson. I hope this does not cause undue stress. Making him My Guy was detrimental.

Dylan Olsen has been invited to Team Canada's tryout camp for the World Junior Championships. tUMD recruit Justin Faulk has been invited to Team USA's. This is nontopical, but congratulations to both!

This is the biggest test that tUMD will have had in this young season. These next two weeks are more daunting than walking down a hallway full of Naval aviators at a Tailhook symposium. I mean, UND and DU are no Bemidji State, but they are certainly still formidable opponents.

Whoever has the better goaltender will win this series. Ditto for the next. tUMD needs to be responsible in their own end. No one comes to RWD for analysis (except for very misguided souls) so I won't bore you in a feeble attempt. Put the puck behind Eidsness and keep it in front of Kenny and Brady.

It's been far, far, FAR too long. I am so beyond jacked for some BULLDOG HOCKEY!!! See you at tDECC!!!

26 November 2009


Thanks for reading. I am amazed, every time, when someone new tells me they read this. I doubt I will ever get used to it. Plus, unlike the team, RWD readers never stress me out. Thanks for the fun comments, and the emails, and the couches to sleep on, and for buying Peanut Butter Hjelle Time shirts, and the drinks, and the zany cheers and signs, and the RWD links on your sites, and the fantastic friendships, and the inspiration, and the incredible memories.

Happy Thanksgiving!

24 November 2009


Anaheim Ducks podcast with MacGregor Sharp!!

Nerdy podcast man takes a shot at college hockey in the middle there.

21 November 2009

Grand Theft Bulldog

UMTC 3, tUMD 4 (OT)
UMTC 2, tUMD 3

Let's talk about how epic this weekend was. I can describe it with two events.

First. When Travis Oleksuk scored the game-winner with twelve seconds left in overtime on Friday, my brother (who was watching at my dad's) jumped up, launching the small dog in his lap across the room.

Second. When I got home from the game on Saturday, I had this email from my cousin:
If anyone so much as mentions that there were hockey games between UMD and UM (henceforth to be known not very affectionately as the "south campus”) at Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, that person will not only not have any stuffing but will also not receive dessert...
Sweep-sweep-sweep, sweep-sweep-sweep, sweep-sweep sweep sweepsweep! (Sing that to the tune of "Jingle Bells." Top 40 material right here.)

How did this happen? I don't even know. Tenacity? Luck? Skill? Determination? A desire to please me? All of these things and more?

I went to both games. There are about a million reasons why I love being a Bulldogs fan, and being at Mariucci reminded me of a few. Like, ticket prices, atmosphere at games, the ability to hear the public address, parking for free or almost free (depending on what time of year), being able to move around during intermission without having to practically crowd-surf...

Being at Mariucci is pretty fun. The crowd really gets into it. I mean, at times there were five whole people in the student section cheering! They are also really nice to opposing fans, and extremely punctual. Nobody came in more than 11 minutes into the game.

Gopher fans simply do not know how to trash talk, and it is sad. I have a lot more respect for someone who runs their mouth the whole game than someone who randomly starts up in the middle of the 3rd period, once the Gophers have tied it up. I love going back and forth with people. As long as they are sane, we usually end up having fun.

Gopher fans are also extremely hilarious when they accuse the refs of a bias against them. Now they know how pretty much every other team feels when they play the Gophers! Ah well. Justice was served.

Now let's discuss some individuals. Of course all of you guys are fantastic but there are a few who I must chat with.

Travis Oleksuk
Overtime goal = amazing. You caused a dog to be launched. Also you shut up so many idiots. Please don't miss any more games.

Jack Connolly
Always excellent. You got Team Cougar a lot of fantasy points this weekend and you made the Gophers look silly focusing all their attention on Fontaine. Mike Hoeffel tried to recreate one of your Friday night goals but failed, swinging away like it was baseball. Additionally, your parents looked very nice on TV.

Chad Huttel
You are a very good goalie. Thank you.

Kenny Reiter
You are a good goalie too, but I do question some of your choices. Playing the puck is cool. But there are five other guys on the ice who can help you out when there are guys from the other team there.

Justin Fontaine
Sorry you had to be triple-teamed, but the Gophers just aren't man enough to go one-on-one with you.

Kyle Schmidt
I thoroughly enjoyed you making Kangas look foolish. You certainly have a talent for embarrassing the opponents. Continue!

Mike Connolly
It was great when you deked out three Gophers. I wonder if they collected their jockstraps off the ice themselves or if the Gophers had to hire someone for that purpose. It would have been incredibly sweet if you had scored, but it still looked neat.

Wins until we reach last season's total: 4! (SWEEPALICIOUS!)
Points until we reach last season's total: 14! (Keep rackin' them up!)

My Guys
Jack Connolly: 21! (Still the nation's points leader!)
Brady Lamb: 8 (Obviously jitters at being added to Team Cougar)
Mike Seidel: 5! (Embellishment, my you-know-what!)

Dylan Olsen: 8!
Mike Seidel: 5!
Keegan Flaherty: 2
Wade Bergman: 1
Dan Delisle: 1
Jake Hendrickson: 1
Drew Olson: 1

Jacky: 21!
Mikey: 14!

Drew: 1
Dylan: 8!

Olson: 10
Akins: 15

On Notice
Dan Delisle
Keegan Flaherty
David Grun
Jake Hendrickson
Chad Huttel
Drew Olson

Goals Only
Drew Akins
Rob Bordson
Jordan Fulton
Dylan Olsen