31 December 2010

Turn the Page

What an awful, awful way to end 2010.

The opening game at AMSoil Arena had no redeeming qualities. There were no positives to the game. I do not have a single good thing to say about the game. It was an embarrassment to the program and an affront to the fans. The entire team is On Notice. Do NOT make me send you to the Humane Society of the WCHA. If you don't get adopted, you might get euthanized.

Then this afternoon we found out that Dylan Olsen has left for the AHL. Unofficially he has left because of academics.

I can't judge him. It would be hypocritical because I was in a similar situation when I left the University of Illinois in 2005, the spring before I started RWD. I was on a scholarship and trying to juggle academics with my ROTC requirements and my job at the Nuclear Radiation Lab. (Yes, really.) Well, I wasn't really trying. And so my grades sucked and I was going to be on academic probation, and I walked away. And not to anything as glamorous or lucrative as a professional hockey contract.

So, he's gone. And I hope he goes on to success and recruits look at him and say tUMD is a place to go and develop into an NHL player.

The Bulldogs need to take the last 24 hours and get very angry and very motivated and take it out on Clarkson. Take this arbitrary demarcation of the season and say "No mas!"

Make it a happy new year for your fans, boys. You owe us and you owe yourselves.

23 December 2010


Hm, I didn't mean to take a hiatus, but yet I did.

Some notes:
Justin Faulk is officially on the USA WJC team! I look forward to him returning with a gold medal around his neck.
tUMD football won the D-2 national championship!
I watched Matt McNeely play for the US-U18 team against UND. He did a good job. I don't really know much about goalies. He only gave up 2 goals on 40 shots. I wonder if he will play against tUMD.
The second Gopher game sucked and I don't want to recap it, I would prefer to move on.
I got banned from USCHO until 12/30 for trolling and also using profanity. Excellent.

A Christmas post is forthcoming, and it's gonna be good, but for now, here are my Posts of Christmas Past.

A Brady Hjelle Christmas
Jacky's Christmas Story
Santa Baby
How Derek Shepherd Stole Christmas

15 December 2010

All I Want For Christmas is Hockey Players Doing Choreographed Lip-Synching

Hello, amazing. I may be crazy but this is kind of hot.

This is the Belfast Giants (some random team from Northern Ireland) with a little holiday cheer. Worth watching. Thanks to Dirty for the link!


Hey guys! Guess what! Dylan Olsen made Team Canada's WJC Roster!!! He'll be #4 and we'll see who he's paired with.

You've gotta watch
this video, too. It's so darn cute. They've got several of the players after they just woke up and found out the news that they made the roster. Dylan and his roomie Brett Connolly are on there. Brett has some hair on him, that's for sure. Dylan has his sweatshirt on inside out and backward. Jaden Schwartz answers the door with no shirt on and says he's going to go call his sister Mandi.

Congratulations Dylan (and Jaden) and make the NCAA proud!!!! Can't wait to see you guys with your silver medals!

Now we'll see if Justin Faulk will make Team USA's roster!

11 December 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of Losing

tUMD 2, Twin Cities Diving Squad 3
tUMD... oh, wait, that game hasn't been played yet

So, this is what losing feels like. I'd forgotten. Isn't it funny to read how excited the Gopher fans are!? They're all saying it's their best game of the year. Well, it was the worst Bulldog game that I've seen, and the Gophers looked like a trainwreck on the power play and at other times, and they still only beat us by a goal. What a sad state of affairs in Gopher Nation.

Someone mentioned something to me that I think is worth repeating. tDogs needed to lose that game. If they had come back to win it after playing two terrible horrible no good very bad periods of play, it would only reinforce the whole ten feet tall and bulletproof nothin's gonna stop us now attitude. They've gotta, you know, try. The whole game. If they had played like they did against Denver on Saturday night the Gophers would not have sniffed the net.

The Gophers actually put the puck in the net four times and the Bulldogs three, but Mike Hoeffel's goal was waved off for a high stick (he is apparently unable to control his stick... he had a goal waved off against tUMD last year and he also hit Kenny Reiter in the face with his stick in the 3rd period, which set up Justin Faulk's power play wicked slappah.) MCON scored but it was waved off as it was a kick in. It's frustrating because the puck was on its way in anyway, but whatever. It's not like it happened with 2 seconds left and cost us the game or something. Fontaine failing to put a puck in an essentially open net with seconds left in the game DID cost us a tie and a chance for a win, though. But, again, a consistent effort was ultimately what cost us the game, not anything that the Gophers did or didn't do or the refs did or didn't do.

tUMD will be without Dylan Olsen, assuming he can get a flight out of MSP and be on his way to kicking ass and taking names at the WJC tryouts. With Bergman out with an injury and Olsen gone, tUMD will have 4 regular defencemen: Monkey, Faulk, Lamb and Olson. They will also have two irregular defencemen, some combination of Huttel, Palm and Kishel. Probably Huttel and Kishel, but who knows? This is not ideal but if tUMD can put the puck in the net like they should and if the Gophers quit diving (unlikely), then all will be right again in the world. Well, not entirely, because we still have a loss to a far inferior team. It'll probably hurt our PWR severely.

tUMD football is awesome, though! They gutted out a win against some directional something school and are going to the D2 National Championship!! The only good thing about the hockey game getting canceled was getting to see this game! I wish I'd been there in person though. So much excitement!

Ready for some Sunday hockey and a big Bulldog win!

Wins until we reach last season's total: 7
Points until we reach last season's total: 14

My Guys
Jack Connolly: 24!!!
JT Brown: 16
Mike Seidel: 6
Brady Lamb: 4
Drew Olson: 1

JT Brown: 16
Justin Faulk: 14!!!
Joe Basaraba: 1
others: zeros

Jacky: 24!!!!
Mikey: 23!!!!

Dylan: 13
Drew: 1

Olson: 10!
DeLisle: 4

On Notice
Joe Basaraba
Dan Delisle
Keegan Flaherty
David Grun
Jake Hendrickson
Brady Lamb
Drew Olson

Goals Only
JT Brown
Justin Fontaine (UNACCEPTABLE)
Mike Montgomery
Dylan Olsen

08 December 2010

The Gauntlet: Rube Edition

Yes, yes, finally, I'm done, whatever. Blah. Here's this week's gauntlet with Gopher Uber-Rube (that's an anagram!) Brenthoven.

RWD: So, I hear the Gophers are BACK!!!!!!!!! [This was Brent’s status after the Gophers swept UMass. They’re 3-6-3. Quite the, um, formidable opponent.]

Brent Hoven: They're lurking, waiting to pounce.

RWD: No, I heard they were BACK!!!!!! You said so yourself. [There’s no turning back! Once it’s on Facebook, it’s forever!]

BH: That night they were. They slaughtered their prey. Now they wait... possibly in a couple days' time they will pounce again.

RWD: Maybe if they're allowed to ride scooters. [Yeah Budish!]

BH: Only if they are on their way to a doctor's appt for mono. [Holla Bjugstad!]

RWD: They should stop kissing each other. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but they're spreading germs. [Really, guys, save it for the off-season.]

BH: We're just too in love with ourselves. We have no equal. [We?]

RWD: I think Sacred Heart might be your equal.

BH: Stop messing around. They don't even have a team. [They do, barely.]

RWD: Well, then, Holy Cross.

BH: Alms for the poor, that is what that was. Kind of fitting, given the school and all.

RWD: I'm sure that is how you felt. [The Gophers have been very charitable of late, then.]

BH: Actually, I felt nothing. I fell into a deep coma, and woke up the next season. It was rather serene.

RWD: Did you feel that way last Saturday night? [When the Gophers were swept by Mankato State!]

BH: Close. The infamous Mankato Meltdown scale was talked about, but it never really topped 3. [Is it on a scale of 0-3? Brent thinks people know about these things he makes up, but really only the voices in his head know.]

RWD: Did you go to the games? [Rhetorical question.]

BH: I choose to spend my money wisely. I choose to not rub elbows with the corpies. It's a terrible thing happening to Mariucci [we’re talking about Mankato, right?], and other schools are now also falling into that trap. tDECC will soon succumb with their snappy new arena, too. Just watch.

RWD: Oh, yeah, that Mankato Civic Center. So corporate. [I asked if he went to the games last weekend! Not any games ever! Although the answer is still no.]

BH: Mankato is another school where I'm surprised they still have a team. And you're saying tDogs are the same as Mankato? [This is like talking to Biddco. Or a brick wall.]

RWD: No. [Good gravy, he is not smart.] I'm saying I asked you if you went to the games, you started whining about corporate sell-outs, and I pointed out THE GAME WAS IN MANKATO.

BH: So? I seguewayed [A chill went down my spine at this horrible spelling error] a bit.

RWD: Segued.

BH: Fine, Little Miss Journalism.

RWD: That's Ms.

BH: Ok Gloria Steinem. [Is that supposed to be an insult? It’s not!]

RWD: I don't understand why you wouldn't want to attend hockey games. You could still go, with a bag over your head. [Sort of Charlie Brown-like. They’re both bald!]

BH: That would be showing shame. That is unacceptable. I'm not a Techie.

RWD: Brent, it's pride comes before a fall, not after.

BH: Pride is always there. It's how you view it, and display it. [Hm, yes, the Gophers displayed a lot of pride losing to… oh, everyone.]

RWD: Okay then. Does MNS also have pride in the Gophers?

BH: MNS needs to come out of the closet and admit he's a Gopher fan first. [Two separate events?]

RWD: Very true. Why someone would travel to Houghton to see the Gophers play when their alleged own team is clinching the MacNaughton is beyond comprehension.

BH: It is. I think he was after one of the legendary Tech 5s.

RWD: Tech 5s?

BH: The Scale of Hotness (for females) is adjusted for the MTU student body. For example, if a female from MN is rated a "3" here, she would rate a "5" at MTU. This is due to the lack of females at the school. [Oh. Another stupid scale that no one but Brent knows about.]

RWD: Okay. So it was even more of a delusional trip than I originally thought! [Like MNS could get a “Tech 5.” Or a “Tech 1.” Or even a “Tech –

BH: It's the UP. It's like one big bad acid trip. [I would never describe it that way. This is an acid trip.]

RWD: I see. Well, enough about MNS. Geist is your best friend. Does that make you want to commit suicide?

BH: He makes me feel good about being me. Not only is he a lowly Sioux fan, but he's a loud obnoxious faux-violent [He is faux-violent! He's always talking about hammer-punching people but has never actually thrown a hammer-punch.] man. I'm an angel compared to him. [The Angel of Death, perhaps.]

RWD: Aha, I see. How Mean Girl of you.

BH: Interesting viewpoint on your part.

RWD: Why do you call yourself the Rube?

BH: It was a fitting name bestowed upon me by my friends. It just kind of caught on, like most other nicknames. So I ran with it. [This is a terrible, failing explanation.]

RWD: Why do you refer to yourself in the third person when you tag yourself in Facebook photos? [He always says things like "The Rube and friends." Well, he doesn't have any friends, that was just an example.]

BH: I thought we covered this. I'm a Gopher fan, and therefore arrogant.

RWD: Like Roman Augustovitz. [Chuck's pet peeve is Roman's habit of tweeting and referring to himself as "Eye." Maybe he just doesn't know how to spell "I."]

BH: Or Herschel Walker.

RWD: We're talking about hockey here. Are you going to the games this weekend? [Rhetorical question.]

BH: I am not. I can never make the Fri games on time, and on Sat I will be celebrating a friend's birthday (although I will be watching). [He has more excuses than Don Lucia.]

RWD: You can't make the Friday game? Is that because you are a forklift jockey?

BH: That would be correct. I refuse to be the jackbag who shows up in the middle of the second period to take my seat.

RWD: You wouldn't have a seat.

BH: If I had a ticket, I'd have a seat somewhere.

RWD: Forklift jockeys can only have standing room only.

BH: That's odd. I've never had SRO. I think someone could sell you a bridge in SF [Sioux Falls?] with your thinking. [They don't take checks, Brent.] Or a tUMD National Title.

RWD: Why would I buy one when we're mere months from coming by one honestly?

BH: Ah, the hope of youth. So eternal, so foolish.

RWD: Better than being old and a top candidate for the Bosley Hair Restoration System.

BH: Depends on who you ask.

RWD: No. It doesn't.

BH: Sure it does. If you're asking me, I'm proud of myself. If you ask someone else, that answer will differ. They probably wouldn't be proud of me. So it does indeed depend on who you ask.

RWD: Good lord. Is this an after school special?

BH: Only if we can get some gold stars.

RWD: Are you going to drink Kangas Kool-Aid or Patterson Punch this weekend?

BH: I think I'm gonna switch it up. KK one night, and PP on the other.

RWD: PP, huh? [Well, it is sterile. Like Brent, we can only hope.]

BH: The PP, yes. Something that both teams have trouble with. tUMD can't stop one from what I hear, [only late in games] and MN has been in a slump with theirs.

RWD: I wouldn't worry. We get shorthanded goals.

BH: And love OT.

RWD: We get it done in regulation, too.

BH: As seen by your record, sure.

RWD: You really cheer for some terrible teams. I mean, besides the Gophers, there's the Devils and the Bills. Do you have a mental illness?

BH: Well, the Devils are in a bad way right now, but it's hard to argue they haven't been successful in the last 15 years (3 titles). The Bills? They're just the Vikings with less mob mentality fans. [This is a reason to cheer for a team?]

RWD: Why would anyone choose to be a Bills fan? Are you also a fan of the LA Clippers?

BH: A. Grew up watching the great Jim Kelly strive and survive. Hard-working Irishman. And there were others there that I admired for their dedication and heart. B. Bouncyball is terrible. The team game is pretty much gone. When the Celtic's Big Three (+ One) retired, I was done with the sport.

RWD: I see. If you like players with dedication and heart, why would you watch Gopher hockey?

BH: They have heart. Sometimes you may not see it, but they have it. There are always a few bad apples on every team, sure, but you have to look at the big picture.

RWD: Oh, that's even better. Players that have heart but choose not to use it. Better make John Hill the head coach.

BH: Nice spin, Doc. Sometimes a fan sees the tree, and not the forest. [What are you, Mr. Miyagi? A tree? Well, I'd call Helgeson a traffic cone, but ok, we'll go with tree.] Sometimes a player who seems to not have heart, is just being bested by superior player. And fire Hill.

RWD: There will be much besting of the Gophers by superior players this weekend.

BH: I thought tUMD was in Duluth, and not that dirty town to the east?

RWD: Lowercase "s."

BH: Figured you typo'd. [Never!]

RWD: No. Who are your favorite players on this Gopher, um, "team?"

BH: I like Cepis a lot, even though he's been quiet lately. Obviously a big fan of Kangas Khan and St. Pat. I do have high hopes for Serratore, he's shown some sparks.

RWD: The name Cepis is so gross. It sounds like a disease.

BH: Then refer to him as Cap'n Chirp.

RWD: [This gets confusion because I read it as "they" not "then."] No they don't, it's Papa Chirp, which is so stupid. They should call him the Dive Captain. [Like a submarine. Because their ship is going down!]

BH: I didn't say they referred to him as Cap'n Chirp. I say you should refer to him as such. [Okay, Such.] And I have to admit he embellishes. He's no Robbie Earl though. [Because Robbie Earl at least had a future in professional hockey.] Not even close. He's not a big guy. Doesn't take much to knock him down. [Oh, he's a gigantic wimp.]

RWD: I thought it was a typo.

BH: No.

RWD: I see. I will refer to him as Sepsis. Or Septic Tank. Or Seepage.

BH: You can go right ahead. [I don't need your permission, Brent.]

RWD: Or also "That kid who just got flattened by Dan DeLisle/Dylan Olsen/Brady Lamb/Mike Connolly/his own teammates/me."

BH: Olsen only valid on what, Sat?

RWD: Friday.

BH: Ok, knew it was only one day.

RWD: Why would it be Saturday only? That makes no sense.

BH: I have no idea. Why is it only one night to begin with?

RWD: We aren't the Hostile and Abusives. He didn't throw a lawn mower or get a DUI. He is going to the Team Canada tryouts.

BH: Ah. I usually don't delve into the series at hand until Wed night at the very earliest. Usually it's Thu night. [Apparently Brent doesn't have the time to type out whole days.]

RWD: Well the WJCs are a big deal.

BH: Yep. It tires the Gophers out every year. That's a lot of games and travel added to the schedule.

RWD: Hm, funny. It only tires the Gophers out.

BH: It's darn tough to be this good. It wears one down.

RWD: No worries this year. You'll have, what, one guy gone? Haula?

BH: Sure? I don't worry about it too much. Nothing one can do about it, so I just sit back and see what happens.

RWD: No one else is good enough. [Bjugstad will not make it.]

BH: According to the stats, anyways.

RWD: According to the stats, the scouts, the coaches, the media, the public... Who are some of your all-time favorite Gophers?

BH: Tony Lucia was great. Not a stat guy, he wasn't that good, but he hustled every friggin' play. Never quit. I liked to watch Vanek play, he was a true skill guy, and for some reason, I liked DeMarchi. Hard-nosed guy.

RWD: Tony. Lucia. [I don't even know what to say.]

BH: I had my doubts, too, being Coach's boy and all. He worked. He worked hard.

RWD: He's probably a forklift driver now too.

BH: We could use people like him.

RWD: No one works hard at your work?

BH: There are some that don't. [Like Brent.] I'll leave it at that. [Yeah, you don't want word to get around that you're a slacker.] I would think it's pretty common no matter where you go.

RWD: I see. Or maybe just wherever you work.

BH: It's not Phillips neighborhood, that's for sure. [Blah. Never mind on that.]

RWD: Indeed. So, who's the hottest Gopher?

BH: Me. Oh, Gopher player? I don't have an opinion on that. You should ask a colleague of mine, known as Dancing Girl.

RWD: No. I'm asking you.

BH: Then I don't have an opinion. Although Cepis looks like Spicoli (I believe LaPanta noticed that one; it might have been Chorske).

RWD: Cepis looks like someone drove a forklift over his face.

BH: It wasn't me. I'm a great driver.

RWD: Yeah right. You're the "what not to do" guy in the safety videos.

BH: I wish I was. That looks like fun.

RWD: Anyway, who is the hottest Gopher? [Brick wall!]

BH: I have no opinion. You don't read too well, do you? Must be that tUMD edumacation.

RWD: I went to Illinois and Augsburg, genius.

BH: Well, it'd be nice to know that. And that's even worse. Augsburg is supposed to be a good school. For shame.

RWD: It's on Facebook, ass. Unlike you, I don't PRETEND TO BE SOMEONE ELSE. [Brent Hoven is not his real name!]

BH: I don't care enough to know every detail about you. And outside of work, everyone calls me by my "name." Even family.

RWD: Weird. Probably because your family likes to pretend you're not really related. [Ah yes, that makes sense.]

BH: Or they want to be part of something great. [What?]

RWD: Like tUMD's season this year. [Yes!]

BH: They'll fail. Like every other run. But I bet they get that Hobey again! Woohoo! [There isn't a Gopher player even sniffing a Hobey Baker and we've got three legit contenders.]

RWD: So who will be the Gopher coaches next year? Other than Hill as head coach.

BH: My miracle wish list would be one of the Serratores. [Well, you've already got one. Player-coach?] Blais is NOT going to be here, I don't care about the urban legends concerning the secret contract clause. I'd like to see MN go all out and get Blasi. [That's Enrico Blasi, aka Mr. Bean, not a typo.] If not, then Jeff Johnson [Possible forklift jockey?], but he's going nowhere. After that? There's some rumors I've come across, but nothing to take heed over as of right now.

RWD: Jeff Johnson?

BH: Jackson, sorry. Mistype. Trying to multi-task.

RWD: Well, since you're too good for this blog, why don't you wrap it up with a few thoughts. How will the Gophers win this weekend?

BH: I enjoy the candor in The Gauntlet. It's not stuffy. [This is Goonesque.] And the Gophers will win by scoring more goals than tUMD in the game, silly. However futile, good luck to tDogs, and Ski-U-Mah! Thanks for selecting me for your sacrificial lamb.

RWD: Blah, that's not the answer. I was looking for, you know, strategery.

BH: Uh, we'll give 110% [No], take what they give us [Yes], hit hard on the forecheck [No], block some shots when they become aggressive [No]. We can't let our goalie hang out to dry [You will]. They're a good team, and they'll bring everything they've got. We'll just have to take it a shift at a time, and leave it all on the ice [Translation: Gophers will pee themselves in fear.]

RWD: And how will they lose?

BH: By not doing those things I mentioned.

RWD: Did Maturi hire Jerry Kill as a coach or as a mascot?

BH: Hired him as a sideshow.It's MN Football. I don't care.

RWD: He looks a lot like Goldy.

BH: He looks like a child molester.

RWD: So does Goldy.

BH: That would be Bucky Beaver from BSU. A cross between Bucky Badger and Goldy. He's hideous.

RWD: I did see him when I was at their sad little rink in October.

BH: You saw the old one? Yeah, it's bad.

RWD: No, I meant the new one.

BH: Robbinsdale Cooper had a better arena! [The bagel throwers!] Oh, the new one. Better or worse than say, NMU or MTU? Or is it better than NCC (personal hatred aside)?

RWD: Never been to the Berry. [Bah! I'm letting him derail me!]

BH: Berry is a pole barn. With ice. No rise to the seats. Terrible.

RWD: This conversation is irrelevant. Give a score prediction and get this thing over with.

BH: Hm... 3-2 MN OT Fri. [Since he didn't say which campus, I'll assume he meant Duluth.] 5-3 MN Sat. [Again, assume he meant Duluth.] Wait, make that 5-4 MN Sat. [No.]

RWD: Enjoy seeing your dreams crushed. Got an F hockey text all worked out? [Inside joke. Lots of naughty words used.]

BH: I expect to be dancing on my coffee table. [Gross.] And the F Hockey texts just come naturally. You can't force them.

RWD: The Gophers will make sure of it.

05 December 2010

I Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life

tUMD 2, Unlucky Stiffs 1

I'm so tired I can barely think.

I woke up this morning terrified tUMD would lose tonight's game. I've never been so nervous in my life for a non-playoff game. The 'Dogs opened the DECC with an 8-1 win over UMTC, and there was nothing I wanted more than to see them close it down with a win.

Oh, and a jersey. Right.

I went out to brunch with Biddco and the Aaaahj at Pizza Luce, and then my dad, Biddco and I went to the football game, where we met up with DHG and tPB Dude. Wrapped in layers of blankets and clothing, we watched the Bulldog football team beat Augustana 24-13. It was an exciting football game and it took my mind off the hockey game for a little while.

After the game, the waiting started to get to me. I was so nervous, in fact, that I couldn't even stay at Green Mill past 5:50. Biddco and I headed over since he wanted to get a good seat in the student section. I noted there were no other bids on the jersey I wanted and then hung out with Ma Ciskie and Li'l Ciskie and watched the DECC fill up.

The team was about to come out when the Zamboni came out onto the ice. Slowly, it opened, and out came the Loon! People were on their feet and cheering. It simply would not have been right if the Loon had not been there to close down the DECC.

The game started strangely, as I think there was supposed to be a ceremonial puck drop with Huffer, and there was not. I can't imagine what could have occurred to prevent it from happening but finally the refs just dropped the puck and the game began.

The Bulldogs were absolutely dominant for at least 40 minutes of the game. If not for Sam Brittain and the pipes, the game would have been a blowout. tUMD didn't get anything into the back of the net until Justin Faulk got a power play goal and I did my first and only goal lap around the DECC. Some of it alone, because I was too slow for Kleiner, DHG and Boody, and the students caught up with me, but I kept going once we got to the student section. Oh well. I didn't want to trip and go flying, or pass out from lack of oxygen.

In the second period, Montgomery was called for interference with 2:38 to go and I had to go down to protect my bid. I missed seeing MCON's goal but I certainly celebrated. I saw a replay of it later. Incredible goal. Just sick. I don't know if Mike Connolly has ever had a garbage goal in his life; his goals are all so lovely.

The jersey auctions are always insane. This year's was no exception. There was lots of posturing and covert observing and flat out panic (ok, that was just me.) I aggressively bid myself into owning Dylan Olsen's jersey. My dad won Trent Palm's, and the Aaaahj was boxed out at the last minute for Max Tardy's by some guy who sandbagged writing down his bid. Argh. I finally felt some of the stress melt away as I realized the jersey was mine.

In the third period, Nick Shore did his best to try to murder Kyle Schmidt, and was asked to leave the game. Let it be known that tUMD had more power play opportunities and fewer overall penalties than DU. We can put to bed any rumors from other teams' fans that the WCHA league officials are biased in favor of DU. (NCAA DII football officials may be biased in favor of Augustana, though.) tUMD did not score on the 5-minute power play although they had some excellent chances, including one that went for review. JT Brown took a slashing penalty and DU scored at the 8:25 mark, making the game too close for comfort once more.

DU put really their only sustained pressure on somewhere around maybe 8 minutes to go? I'm not sure. They had multiple chances and Kenny Reiter played the way we've known he can play all along. He was up to the task, and so were the rest of the Dogs. DU managed to pull their goalie with 1:48 to go, and the Dogs played probably the best final two minutes of a hockey game they have all year. MCON missed a chance for an empty net goal, but instead of trying for a bad shot with a DU player in his way, and a possible turnover, he tied up the puck for precious ticks off the clock. The 'Dogs kept Denver from getting anything decent going with the extra attacker on, and they gained possession with just a few seconds left and that was the game. Incredible. A gutsy way to go ungently into that good night.

After the game, the 'Dogs had a stick salute for the fans before the handshake, and then once DU left the ice, they invited all the alumni present to come down for a final stick salute. After some words from Huffer and the lowering of the "Final Year" banner, Hoagy led over 100 Bulldogs, past and present, in another final stick salute. Audio clips were played of a few milestone tUMD games, and I only wish there had been more. Finally, the players left the ice, and one final audio clip had Marsh Nelson wishing us goodnight.

What a way to go. I cried, I'm not ashamed to admit it. The DECC means a lot to a lot of people. I heard people who had sat next to each other for years saying goodbye to each other. I saw couples who met in college taking pictures with their children in the seats they used to sit in. People lingered, taking pictures, talking, in disbelief that they'll be sitting in a new arena next time the Dogs play in Duluth. The arena was a dump, but it was ours, and it held a lot of memories. And it was built at a time when most arenas were dumps, anyway.

Finally we tore ourselves away from the arena and went to claim our jerseys. I was standing around talking with other successful jersey winners and then the players snuck in. Dylan was one of the first ones in and he came over and was very friendly. I managed to rein in my extreme awkwardness and had a real conversation with him. I asked if he was excited for next weekend and the WJC tryouts and he said yeah. I told him I'd cheer for him, but not for Canada, and asked him if he would light up Justin Faulk if they played against each other. He was noncommittal. I think that means yes. I asked if his dad was there and he said no, but he wished he was. As you all know, Dylan's dad Darryl played for NMU and certainly had some games at the DECC. I also told him I'd converted some Blackhawks fans to UMD fans because of him, and told him I looked forward to watching him play in the NHL and the rest of this year... and maybe next year. He sort of smiled and I said I knew it might not happen and I just wanted him to make the right choice for himself. We got a photo together which is sort of crappy as the Aaaahj was trying to turn on the flash and failed, and then I forgot to ask him to sign my jersey. I'll have to be a creepy stalker after a game sometime and get him to sign it then.

I've spent an hour writing this post and I could probably wax rhapsodic about the DECC for another hour, but for now, I'll just wish you all goodnight.

04 December 2010


tUMD 4, Lucky Stiffs 5 (OT)

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

The penultimate game at the DECC was not what we had hoped, no. What a strange game it was! I missed the first period, as the traffic in the Twin Cities was rotten and the trip took four hours. I did not need to see the first period, as it was 2-0 after seven minutes of play.

After 1:25 of play in the second period, it was 3-0. I sent a text to Cardinal saying it was the worst goal I'd ever seen given up short of Frazee. He said it was a bold statement. I felt it was necessary. Crandall was given the hook (and no, his eyeballs did not pop out of his head like our one sad scoreboard animation) and then SEVEN SECONDS LATER my Jacky scored!!! Boom!!! Then three minute later, Wade Bergman stuffed home a rebound of Fontaine shot that I cannot believe did not go in!! And finally Mike Connolly scored to tie the game on the PP, on a sick snipe. He waited, waited, waited for Brittain to make a move and then Boom!!! the puck was in the back of the net. INSANE.

With just under five minutes to go in the 3rd period, Kyle Schmidt scored on a crazy behind the back type goal or something. I wasn't looking, for some unknown reason (sorry Kris!) but I certainly went bananas.

Then, blah, sadness, Denver scores on a deflection off a skate, and then tUMD dominates in overtime for like three minutes but lets Drew Shore pitch a tent in the crease and he scored. Two people cheered. Jeez, Denver fans, have some pride and go on a road trip or two.

Next on the docket is the football game, and then...

Then it's the final game at the DECC. I can't believe it. Four generations of my family have attended games at the DECC. It has seen it all, from the worst blowouts to the craziest comebacks. It has seen national championships and section championships. It is a dump, like all truly great college hockey rinks.

I know the team can rebound. They always play better on Saturday nights. Just stay focused. It's a big night. There's a lot of publicity and pressure. But elite hockey players will face that night in and night out, so it's not an excuse.

Please, Bulldogs. Send the DECC out in style. Give it the farewell it deserves after 45 years as our host. I know you're excited for the bright, shiny new arena with all its bells and whistles, but a lot has happened in this little building. It sounds stupid, but people's lives have been changed in the DECC, and attention must be paid. Play your very best hockey for your teammates, your fans, and forty-five years of Bulldog hockey.

Wins until we reach last season's total: 8 ("'Has your luck run out?' she laughed at him, 'Well, I guess you must have known it would one day.'" -Bob Dylan)
Points until we reach last season's total: 18 (Blah)

My Guys
Jack Connolly: 23!!!
JT Brown: 16!!!
Mike Seidel: 5
Brady Lamb: 4
Drew Olson: 1

JT Brown: 16!!!
Justin Faulk: 11!!!
Joe Basaraba: 1
others: zeros

Jacky: 23!!!!
Mikey: 21!!!!

Dylan: 13!!!!
Drew: 1

Olson: 8
DeLisle: 4!

On Notice
Joe Basaraba
David Grun
Jake Hendrickson
Brady Lamb
Max Tardy

Goals Only
JT Brown
Dan Delisle
Keegan Flaherty
Mike Montgomery
Dylan Olsen

01 December 2010

Jerseylicious (and other stories)

Oh, there's a lot to talk about.

First of all, tonight's the first night of Hanukkah. Smoke some marijuanukkah, drink a gin and tonukkah.

Next, I was going to do a post of DECC memories from RWD friends and family. The only people who responded were FHG and my mom. See, I don't really have any readers. Sadness.

Then, I saw this article today about the Canadian WJC roster announcements. (Thanks to Tom from Without a Peer!) O, Canada, you crazy mofos. Why can't you respect the players and the decisions they made? Dylan Olsen will be attending their tryouts. (The article shows a picture of him. It looks like he is being punched in the back.) Last year he was snubbed from the team. Now, of course, he was young and still developing, but Team Canada did some funky things. Like inviting Patrick Wiercioch, and then when he arrived (after missing the Denver vs. Duluth game), telling him his knee injury, which they had already known about, was going to keep him off the team. They could have just picked up the phone and reached out and touched someone, but instead they flew him there to jerk him around. Odd, no?

I still hope for the best, that Dylan Olsen will come back to tUMD in January with a silver medal for Team Canada, and that Justin Faulk will come back with a gold for Team USA!!! I will be rooting for Dylan ALL THE WAY!!!!

Okay, finally. There's going to be a jersey auction this weekend. Sigh. Here's a photo of the jerseys that the team will wear. It's a 1960s throwback, naturally. But WHAT DO I DO??? Last year's jersey auction nearly killed me. Seriously, the 2nd intermission, when I was waiting to find out if I'd get my Seidel jersey, was the longest 15 minutes of my life.

I don't know what to do. I'm not sure who I want to bid on. Do I go all in and bid on My Jacky's jersey? Or do I try for an under-the-radar guy? I don't know! Actually I have a plan on another possible jersey but we'll see. I'm getting all nervous just thinking about the possibility that I don't win a jersey. This is so upsetting! And probably a sign that I need a straitjacket instead.

Two days!!!! Then hockey!!!! And football!!!! Anyone else planning on going to the football game? I'm making a trip to Fleet Farm to stock up on foot warmers.