30 January 2011

All Work and No Play

So much My Jacky content to go over!! Zomg!

First off, he has a new blog entry up. He talks a little about what the team did in practice in the off-week. I don't plan on posting here every time there is a new Jacky Blog entry so you should be checking that out on your own.

I think the team should just get an official blog that Christian or some intern could run/write, and then the player could have their posts there. Then they could have a neater design and have individual blog posts instead of having every post on the same page. tUMD's website doesn't give a whole lot of freedom.

So Jack linked to an interview he did for "This Week in the USHL." The host of this show sounds totally hilarious. Between exceptionally long monologues by the host, Jack talks about the new arena, being a Duluth native, the state of the program and his development in the USHL.

I also got a tip from Angel on Facebook that he had done another interview on the Northland News Center's site. Jack gives the team a B+/A- so far, discusses the AMSoil opener and the Gophers series (where he said we ran into a hot goaltender and felt the Dogs played better, which I disagree with, they may have played better but they played nowhere near their potential) and the team's focus down the stretch (winning the McNaughton cup).

Thank goodness that the bye week is over and the Wild will be back Tuesday and tDogs on Friday!!!

27 January 2011

Mama Said Knock You Out

Ciskie had this video of My Nisky fighting on his blog.

I can't believe that's My Nisky! I barely recognize him! He's all grown up now. He punches strangely, though.

26 January 2011

Tom Miller is My Hero (And Other Stories)

ZOMG! All-Star week AND tUMD off-week! What's a girl to do? Well, I'm going to play some hockey, but first I shall make fun of others!

First, UND fans. I know, I know. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. It's almost too easy. Also they are like cannibals over there, eating their own. Today, though, the Grand Forks Herald's Tom Miller wrote a hilarious column about how Sioux fans are ready to jump off a cliff (after traveling to another state to locate said cliff) because they have lost a few games.

I just have one issue with the article. Miller writes:
The online message board Siouxsports.com even saw its legendary and laughable “Fire head coach Dave Hakstol” thread re-emerge. It’s five pages of babble and counting.

Tom, come on. Be serious. It's five thousand pages of babble and counting.

Next up, My Jacky. Okay, I'm not actually going to make fun of him. I am just going to point out that he is blogging over at tUMD's website.

So far he's got three posts, and while they are a good start, there's nothing on there other than the movies they watched on the bus that we could not read in a beat writer's blog or newspaper article. (Well, you could, I could not because of the boycott, which is going well, thank you.) I don't know about other fans' opinions, but I can't imagine they differ much from mine, and I would like to see more behind-the-scenes information. The best parts about Drew Akins's blog last year were his little jokes about his teammates or his little insights into his quotidian life as a hockey player. So, more of that! However, if I see that he starts writing about hotties and interviewing opposing fans in a humorous manner, I'm coming after him!

It seems like there should be a third topic here but there is not. I'm trying to avoid stressing about the upcoming Gopher series. Someone asked me if there would be a Gauntlet and I don't think so. Brent sort of ruined it for everyone else. I will probably do a story on Gopher fans and Bulldog fans skating together arm and arm in harmony at AA or something.

25 January 2011

Like Lambs to Slaughter

tUMD 5, Bad News Huskies 0
tUMD 3, Bad News Huskies 0

Everyone all thawed out after the chilly weekend? It's 15 degrees (in Minneapolis, in Duluth it's 21), I'm wearing shorts!

I know this is going to blow your mind, by Friday I went out with friends instead of listening to the game. I know! I can't even believe it either! I have friends! What? And my whole life doesn't revolve around Bulldog hockey! I'm as surprised as you are. I thought I'd break out in hives.

Saturday I wasn't really paying attention either, because I was over at MEg's house helping her paint and helping assuage her grief over the impending loss of Jamie Russell. This upsets me as well, as it's well-documented how I feel about Le Russell.

So finally! Finally tUMD gets 8 points from Michigan Tech! That has not happened since before
College Hockey Stats has data! That really sucks!

The PP still needs work. Discussion over on tPB tends to favor abandoning the four forwards approach. As did the overall sentiment in AA (I can't write the arena name anymore, not because I have a problem with it but because I am getting spammed like scrazy* with "questions" about my "involvment" with a certain synthetic oil) when we played Wisconsin. Also on the list, not waiting forever to shoot it into the opponent's legs. Just do it right away.

Also, my link for the Hobey Baker vote is jacked up, and I've been too lazy to change it, but
here's the correct one. UND's Lawn Mower Tossing Champion is in the lead right now, thanks to some Maple Leafs fans who ran out of waffles to throw. I've been voting pretty much daily just because I can, but all of our guys are sitting with less than 1% of the vote. Good thing the fan vote counts for 1% of the total voting process. Theoretically.

You can also vote for an award a Bulldog player is guaranteed to win:
the Stauber Brothers Fan Favorite award. Past winners are My Jacky, Stalock and Garrison.

I already have another idea for a post! I'm hoping this is the end of my posting doldrums!

*Scrazy is a new word Dirty made up last night. Definition pending.

17 January 2011

Lies, Damned Lies, or Statistics?

Oh for crying out loud. I forgot something I was specifically going to mention!

In the 3rd period of Saturday's game, tUMD held UW without a SOG. There's no way this is true. First of all, it seemed like the shot counter was about as stingy as possible. Second of all, with the net empty, some UW guy took a shot at the net that would have gone in, but Wade Bergman kept it out. Is it not a SOG unless the goalie saves it or it goes in the net? I am curious.

Two Minutes in Heaven

tUMD 2, Red Menace 0
tUMD 2, Red Menace 3

Oh, yes, blogging. I still do that?

I’ve got a case of the Januarys, it seems. In fact, I even wrote a post on Friday in anticipation of the series, but I was so tired it was completely incoherent and I couldn’t be bothered to edit it.

I guess the title can refer to either the two minutes at the end of Saturday's game or can refer to how much fun the penalty box was as our players seemed to end up in there a lot.

Friday I was stressed out. I just wasn’t feeling the team, I was back in that “We’re never going to win again” mode, even though the Dogs beat Clarkson and played a fine game against the Minors. Also it snowed again and it took me an hour to drive ten miles, and I missed the first period and thus both goals in the game. But what an awesome game! Everyone was raving about the complete team effort and how great everyone played and other things. I’m sad I didn’t see the game.

So then I was too tired to post on Friday night and then Saturday I had to go buy breezers with my dad so I didn’t have time to post. It is very hard to find breezers that are not for adolescent boys or gigantic men. They are a little bit big on me still but they don’t come up to my armpits or down to my knees so I’m pleased overall. I also got some new elbow pads that don’t cover my whole arm. Success! Thanks Dad!

Saturday we drove up to Duluth for the night and be it known, I did not get in a fan altercation! Amazing!

tUMD got down 2-0 fairly early on, and Justin Faulk decided to hit a guy from behind just before the period ended and was given the night off by our friends, the referees. Not a good choice, Justin. But you are young, it happens. Wisconsin scored early in their major power play and tUMD hung on.

Some interesting things occurred in the second period. A conspiracy theorist might say these things occurred because of the controversial officiating from our series in Wisconsin. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, though. Mike Connolly was ejected from the game on a contact to the head major penalty. It happened in the corner I can’t see as well, and the replay was sort of poor, so I can’t really say one way or another what I think happened. Some folks have said it was b.s. but until I see it for myself I’m not going to comment. What I did see for myself were some world-class, Robbie Earl would be proud, Academy Award winning dives.

I don’t understand why diving is never a point of emphasis. There is a whole subset of penalties that can be called in relation to diving. Embellishment, unsportsmanlike conduct, I think I have even seen unsportsmanlike diving. Every team does it, because players constantly get away with it. Refs love to call penalties. Why not call the dive, too? I mean, they are all paid per whistle, right? It is not as dangerous as hits to the head or hits from behind, plays that put players in danger when they are in a vulnerable position. But it damages the sport, and it discourages hard work. Why fight through a check when you can fall down like a sack of rocks and your team is rewarded with a power play? Why work to get to the puck when you can deliberately skate over your opponents stick blade and do a pratfall? The way WCHA games are officiated right now actually encourages diving and embellishment.

So tUMD is already down one guy and some sad pathetic little Badger, who is already falling, draws a penalty on Joe Basaraba for cross checking. Though Joe’s stick didn’t contact him. And though he was falling already. tUMD went down 5 on 3. Then Jack Connolly was called for hooking forty seconds later. I was staring right at the play. No hook occurred.

What makes this so suspect is it is so far away from the typical WCHA officiating. We usually know what to expect. Even-up calls, whistle-swallowing in OT, those types of things. We don’t like them but they are predictable. One thing referees normally fear doing is putting teams down two players. So to put a team already killing their second major penalty of the night down on an extended two-man disadvantage? That’s the complete opposite of the officiating philosophy of the WCHA as we have all witnessed.

Not to worry, though, because the Red Menace didn’t score on that little bonanza of theirs. And of course we got a couple PPs of our own (although I was yelling at Shepherd and Beaurline “You’ve got the wrong team? You’re supposed to call it on the Bulldogs!”) and were content to fanny around with the puck for 30 seconds before shooting it directly into the legs of the defender. (At this, I yelled “Stop doing that! It never works!” and then once they started shooting at something other than a player, I yelled “No! You’re doing it wrong! Shoot it into his legs!” I have to entertain myself somehow to keep from going insane.)

Wisconsin took a major penalty of their own… except tUMD had to play the first two minutes 4 on 4 because Kenny Reiter tripped someone. Poor Max Tardy had to serve that penalty too. He spent 34 minutes in the penalty box though he committed only one penalty of his own. tUMD finally took a timeout after they iced the puck on the PP and then converted the next power play on a funky goal that demoralized the jubilant Red Army comrades in my vicinity. Then tUMD scored again with the extra attacker and then just ran out of time. It was an exciting finish though!

So, to sum up Saturday’s game: Two pipes + two crossbars + 4 zebras + 1 lethal UW PP unit + 5 terrible tUMD PPs = a 3-2 loss and an overall 3-1 advantage in the season series. Not the end of the world. Now, if tUMD doesn’t take care of biznass in the UP, then we’ll have issues.

11 January 2011

Vote For Hobey!

Once Photoshop is back on my computer I'll probably have something more fun, but in the meantime:

Vote early and vote often!

You can vote for MCON, JCON or FONZ! It doesn't actually mean anything, but vote anyway!

09 January 2011

Rumble in the Jungle

tUMD 4, Teenagers 1, RWD 2

Yes! That's a correct score, folks!

So I got my first live crack at Matt McNeely, future tUMD superstar. He was voted player of the game and he certainly deserved it. 42 saves on 46 shots. Yay!

It was hard to really get into this game since it had no statistical value and our opponents were just widdle bitty boys. Biddco and I did make up some nice chants like "Obama Payroll" and "No Blood For Oil!" McNeely's fan club started chanting "USA! USA!" and we responded with "CANADA! CANADA!" and "MEXICO! MEXICO!" Meh. That was the best we could do.

So David Grun got the first Bulldog goal in the building. Not the first OFFICIAL goal as this was an exhibition game, but still, yay! Sick goal, too. MCON has the puck and the USA player falls down to try to break up the pass, MCON waits and then feeds the puck to Grunner who slams it home.

Oh, AMSoil folks? Play the rouser after a goal. Not Sweet Caroline.

I missed the second goal because a certain short person needed a pretzel and it took forever to complete the transaction, although there was no apparent reason for the slowness. Sigh. But there was a TV right there! So I could see it! My Jacky put a bouncing puck into the net. Whee!!

I missed the Teenagers' only goal too, because of another reason. It was scored by UND recruit Rocco Grimaldi, also known as the Prince of Liechtenstein. How a foreign prince is on our national team is unclear at this time.

I was, ahem, "selected" for the Subway Shoot-out in the second period and was waiting to get on the ice when the Teenagers had their goal. Biddco and Boody were also "selected." The Subway Shoot-out, in case you are unaware, is one of those competitions where contestants shoot at a board with a slot in in. One starts between the face-off dots, and gets five pucks to try to get a goal. If a goal is scored before all five pucks go in, then one moves back to the blue line, and if a goal is scored there, then one makes an attempt from center ice with any remaining pucks.

Biddco went first and missed all five. I was very nervous, because I'm not exactly Justin Faulk with his pinpoint accuracy, but I RECEIVED A SIGN FROM THE HOCKEY GODS. The stick used in the shootout? IT WAS MIKE CURRY'S! Now, that pretty much means zero goals were scored using it, but Curry's My Guy! So on my 4th shot, I got the puck in from between the face-off dots, and on the fifth one I scored from the blue line! Yay! I have four years of NCAA eligibility, BTW, coaches. Boody had to go and steal the show by scoring from center ice as well, but that was pretty cool so I can't hold a grudge.

Then something happened.

I purposefully selected my seats in AMSoil Arena at the top of a section in the upper deck so that I could stand during games, because I like to and also because I get nervous. I couldn't stand during the UND game because there were people behind me and next to me, but through the first two periods of tonight's game there weren't any people behind us.

So. Then. Some drunken man and his drunken friend showed up and decided to sit behind and to the right of us. And they didn't like us standing, although at first the drunken man asked me if we were going to stand the whole game, so they could move, and I said yes, thinking that was the end of it and they'd just move to one of the myriad other seats available. But no, Drunky McDrunkerson wanted to get into it with me, and since I'm classy like that, I made him say please before I would sit down. Which he obviously would have rather died than said. And then he yelled at me that he was 47 years old, which was hilarious, and reminded Biddco of this:

So finally some kid comes over and gets the moron to say please and I sat down, just as I said I would, and then I thought that was the end of it. But no, Drunky McDrunkerson and his stupid friend decided they would keep running their mouths. So after about three or four minutes of that I whipped around and snapped at them, and then a DECC lady intervened and I asked her to call security and they came and that shut them up. And then they went away. Yay! I win!

I think, instead of keeping a list of arenas where I have visited, I'm going to keep a list of arenas where I have had an altercation with another fan. It just so happens that list is almost identical to the list of arenas I have seen. Funny how that works.

In the third period, Keegan Flaherty and Jake Hendrickson got their first goals as Bulldogs, although for official statistical purposes they still are without a goal. Still, that just opened the floodgates, no?

The arena seems more lovely with a win, although it's not quite right yet without the students and the band.

07 January 2011

It Was A Very Good Year

Yesterday I was talking to Dirty about when I was in high school and I employed guerilla warfare tactics to try to get a certain guy to go out with me. (I'm still not sure if I was actually successful or not. We are friends and I think he reads this site occasionally, or at least keeps saying he means to, which is probably just a lie. It would really be my luck if this was the first time he surfed on in. Dirty assured me that guys are stupid so I'm going to assume he probably wouldn't recognize I'm talking about him anyway.) All of a sudden it dawned on me that my stalkerazzi salad days were ten years ago! TEN YEARS!!! What?1?!?!?!? I’m old! It’s horrifying.

The point of this story is not to appear even more scary and aggressive than usual, but rather to segue into discussing the weekend. Tomorrow night tUMD takes on the US NTDP U-18 Team. (They should have a mascot or something. Like the USA Bald Eagles or the USA Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragons.) These kids are freaking young. They were born in 1993! That just made me pull more gray hairs from my head and ears! Frightening. Let’s get some perspective.

Jurassic Park came out and grossed $915 million. Schindler’s List won best Picture and Sookie from that vampire show won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Piano. I was horribly jealous because she and I are the same age and she was in a movie and I was in a summer school theatre production of Aladdin.

River Phoenix overdosed outside the Viper Room. Frank Zappa died. No one cares about this except AJ, but Mayhem guitarist Euronymous was stabbed to death by fellow band member Varg Vikernes. Some people were born, but I’ve never heard of any of them because I don’t watch the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon.

Tragically, the band Korn was formed. Fortunately, so were the Backstreet Boys! (Who I recently learned are back together.) Arrested Development won best New Artist at the Grammys. Arrested Development! "Mr. Wendal!"

The #1 song on the Billboard Top 100 was "I Will Always Love You." A much better song, "Whoomp! (There It Is)" was #2.

The other 98 were songs I skated along to at the Roller Gardens.

Saved by the Bell The New Class and Saved By the Bell the College Years debuted, as did Mighty Morphin Power Rangers AND Walker: Texas Ranger. The Wonder Years and Cheers ended.

Czechoslovakia separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Bill Clinton was sworn in as President and Boris Yeltsin was elected. The Brady Bill was signed into law. The Branch Davidians in Waco offed themselves. The World Trade Center was bombed.

Kirby Puckett was the All-Star MVP. That pitcher with no hand threw a no hitter. Jim McMahon, Cris and Anthony Carter, Mike Tice, Randall McDaniel and Fuad Reveiz played for Denny Green and the Vikings. Basketball occurred, I assume.

Guy Carbonneau et les Habitants (avec G.M. Jacques Lemaire) ont gagne le Stanley Cup sur les LA Kings et Wayne Gretzky. Alexandre Daigle was the #1 draft pick, by the Ottawa Senators (#2 was Chris Pronger. Hm...) The North Stars left Minnesota.

Paul Kariya won the Hobey Baker and Maine beat a Jeff Jackson-coached LSSU in the national championship game in Milwaukee. Derek Plante was still playing for the MacNaughton-winning Bulldogs. Bruce Ciskie was on the chess team at Superior High School. Mike Montgomery and Kenny Reiter were in first grade. Christian Gaffy, Justin Faulk and Joe Basaraba were in diapers.

Anyone else feeling a little bit older now?

04 January 2011

The Exorcist

tUMD 4, Tarnished Knights 1
tUMD 4, Tarnished Knights 2

So, we all knew that some strange and terrible force had taken over the Bulldogs somewhere between the closing of the DECC and the games at Mariucci. Perhaps AMSoil Arena was built on a Native American burial ground, or maybe it was the ghost of Christmas Past, or it could be some guys used a Ouija board to try to contact Pat Burns.

But yes, somehow and someway, the Bulldogs fell under a demonic possession.

And they exorcized their demons this weekend, at the expense of Mike Seidel, Drew Olson, and Joe Basaraba. Here is a re-enactment of what went on the past few nights. (Sorry, embedding was disabled.)

Superb job in both games, comrades. See you this weekend for the first win in AMSoil Arena!!

(No Numbers because I got a new computer and the Excel file is still on the old one.)