Monday, March 31, 2008

HSR on Treehouse Fort

Tonight I'll be appearing on the Treehouse Fort radio show/podcast to talk about the upcoming Frozen Four. I'll be talking with Tuffy about all the teams left in the tournament and what we can expect in Denver, and hopefully I won't embarrass myself too badly. The show starts at 8:00 EDT and I'll be the first guest.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Best Bet

There are some people who love gambling on sports, any kind of sports. Vegas has their own testaments to them, but I'm not part of that group. A $5 NCAA pool, sure, but that's about it. In January, I came as close as I ever have to putting down a real bet on a team.

After watching the first half of the season, watching all of those freshmen come together, watching them open the season by taking down BC, sweeping the College Hockey Showcase, and then coming through in double-overtime to claim our first GLI crown in a decade, I started having dangerous thoughts. And after the thrashings we administered to Western, I couldn't take it anymore. I bought myself a flight to Denver.

I can't believe it paid off. I can easily believe in this team, but so often you run into a hot goalie or you have an off night. But we got a favorable draw for once and played with focus and dedication. I don't have a ticket to the games yet, but I have a connection to work and there's always StubHub. One way or another, I'm going to get in that building. The team we have here is something special and I'm not going to miss a chance like this one.

Update: My brother and I are now the proud owners of a pair of Frozen Four tickets. Who else is going to Denver?

College Hockey Closer: The CCHA is Bound for Denver

Michigan 2, Clarkson 0
It was a tightly-fought game, and both goalies had some huge stops, but the Wolverines are headed to Denver as the first qualifier for the Frozen Four. In the first period, the teams traded power-play opportunities, and finally it was Aaron Palushaj who capitalized for Michigan at the 14:23 mark. Palushaj took a pass from Kevin Porter, skated in on Leggio, waited for him to commit, then skated behind the net for the wrap-around, the same play that Kolarik used on Northern last Friday. The period ended 1-0, but both teams had plenty of other opportunities. Clarkson was most dangerous close in, trying to get an ugly goal off a loose puck, but Sauer came up with key stops and the defense managed to get the puck out of danger before the Golden Knights could put it in. On the other end of the ice, Leggio stoned Kolarik on a breakaway.

Late in the first, the Wolverines began a parade to the penalty box, and continued it well into the second. From the 15:00 point of the first until the same mark in the second, Wolverine defensemen took 5 minors, while Clarkson only took 1. But the penalty kill unit proved to be up to the task. At the end of the period, Kolarik had another breakaway stopped, and then he and Porter had a two-on-none, but ran out of real estate before they could settle the puck. No matter. In the first minute of the third, Kolarik passed to Paciorretty, who found Porter down low all alone. Porter took a few steps and buried a backhand five-hole on Leggio to gain a little breathing room.

The Knights showed their growing frustration by taking four consecutive minors of their own. Michigan even had a stretch of over a minute of 5-on-3 action, but couldn't slip another one by Leggio. The powerplays served mainly as a way for Michigan to run some more time off the clock. Then, just so things could get really interesting, Steve Kampfer took his third penalty of the night with 3:01 left in the game, nullifying a Michigan powerplay. Then, Carl Hagelin surprisingly took a tripping call, leaving Michigan to fight off a 5-on-3 as Clarkson pulled their goalie, and then a 6-on-3 when Clarkson's initial penalty expired. Billy Sauer made his best stops of the night when they were needed most. He made about five saves in 7 seconds at one point to preserve the shutout, as the Wolverines ran out the clock to punch their ticket for the program's first Frozen Four since 2003. Highlights.

Notre Dame 3, Michigan State 1
In the all-CCHA, all-upset West Regional Final match-up, defending national champion Michigan State looked to return to the Frozen Four, while Notre Dame looked for its first Frozen Four in program history. After a first period that reflected a lulling phase, Notre Dame struck first in the second period, on a goal by Christian Hanson. Old time hockey at its best. Michigan State, however, dusted itself off and less than seven minutes later tied it up on a Justin Abdelkader goal. Notre Dame looked like it had grabbed some late momentum in the second period on an Evan Rankin goal, but it was called off when it was ruled that Kevin Deeth's presence in the crease prevented Jeff Lerg from playing the puck. A tense third period followed, with Irish captain Mark Van Guilder beat Lerg over his left shoulder to make it 2-1. An insurance marker by Teddy Ruth less than two minutes later, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were able to claim the West Regional Championship, a trip to Denver, and a national semi-final showdown with Michigan.

Miami 3, Air Force 2
Once again, the Falcons threaten a top seed, but can't hold on at the end. Miami scored just 19 seconds into the game, but then Air Force's Andrew Volkening stepped up huge to keep the Falcons in the game. The Falcons came back to score two goals in the second period, one by last year's Hobey Hat-Trick member Eric Ehn, while the RedHawks were frustrated by missed opportunities. Volkening made a phenomenal mid-air stick save early in the period, when, after going down to make the original save on a Ray Eichenlaub slap-shot, Jarod Palmer looked to have a wide-open net for the rebound. Instead, lying on his chest, Volkening managed to just barely lift his stick into the path of the puck, deflecting it in mid-air into the post. In the third, the RedHawks threw everything they had at Air Force. They seemed to have a slam-dunk on one, but the bouncing rebound jumped over not one but two sticks. Finally, with under 5:00 left in regulation, Carter Camper had a tap-in rebound land right on his stick to send the game to OT. The Falcons had a two-on-one in OT, but couldn't fool Jeff Zatkoff, when Justin Mercier froze a defender and got his shot past Volkening.

Boston College 5, Minnesota 2
The first NCAA matchup between the perennial hockey powers since 1990, the story of this game can be summed up in the strangeness of the last five minutes of the third period. With the Eagles leading 4-1 after third period goals from Pat Gannon and Joe Whitney, Minnesota scored what looked to be a power play goal to narrow the gap to 4-2, but while the goal light went on, CCHA referee Brian Aaron waved it off. 162 seconds ticked off the clock before a stoppage in play thanks to an empty net goal by BC. After review, however, it was determined that Ben Gordon's shot had, in fact, gone in the net and rebounded off the back of the goal and straight out. The goal counted, but it was too little, too late for the Gophers, as Boston College got an empty netter and the right to play #1 seeded Miami in the Northeast Regional Final today. The victory was the 800th in Boston College coach Jerry York's career.

Wisconsin 6, Denver 2
The Badgers came into the game against Denver facing long odds: They'd slipped into the tournament as a controversial at-large bid with a losing record, Denver was the WCHA tournament champion, and the Pioneers were an imposing 11-1-2 all-time at the Kohl Center. Playing in front of the big home crowd, the Badgers struck first as Michael Davies put home a rebound from Jamie McBain that caught Denver's Peter Mannino out of position. The Badgers pushed their lead to 2-0 when McBain deflected a shot from the point, but Denver got on the board when Dustin Jackson forced goalie Shane Connelly to commit low before going top shelf. The second stanza ended 2-1, setting the stage for a wild third. Cody Goloubef's one-timer 9:19 in hit the post, then deflected in off Mannino's back. Just a minute later, John Mitchell found himself on a breakaway and beat Mannino stick-side to stake the Badgers to a 4-1 lead. The Pioneers didn't go away quietly, as Tom May beat Shane Connelly to cut it to 4-2, but Davies took a cue from Mitchell and scored on his own breakaway at 14:38. The desperate Pioneers lifted Mannino with almost 4:00 left in the game, but Davis Drewiske capped the game with an empty-netter at 17:14 and Denver conceded the victory.

North Dakota 5, Princeton 1
The Fighting Sioux helped showcase their Hobey Baker finalist netminder Jean-Philippe Lamoureux while roaring past ECAC playoff champion Princeton 5-1 in their opening round NCAA Regional matchup in Madison. The Sioux, the national #3 seed took just 18 shots to 39 for the Tigers, but made the most of them, scoring five times, including a pair of empty netters, and a hat trick from Ryan Duncan. The Sioux looked like one of the best teams in the country; even as the Tigers gave them their best shots, they could not beat Lamoureux until there were 33 seconds left in the match. North Dakota now faces #3 seed Wisconsin, playing on their home ice at the Kohl Center, in the Midwest Regional Final today.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

College Hockey Closer: A Good Night For the CCHA

It was an exciting opening day of tournament action. Both WCHA teams that played on Friday lost, and Michigan was the only higher seed to advance.

Michigan 5, Niagara 1
Things started slowly in this game with a scoreless first period and Michigan not playing anywhere near its crispest hockey of the season, but Max Pacioretty got the Maize and Blue on the scoreboard in the first minute of the second period, tallying on a power-play carried over from the first. From that point on, it was all Kevin Porter. Porter made an emphatic statement to those who doubted his Hobey Baker worthiness by putting in the next four goals. His first was a great sequence from Pacioretty to Kolarik to Porter, and the final one was an empty-netter. Highlights.

Notre Dame 7, New Hampshire 3
I'll admit it: After New Hampshire scored in the first minute of the game, I turned and said "Game over." I didn't believe the Irish were going to get more than one past New Hampshire's Kevin Regan, Hobey Baker finalist and the unanimous Hockey East Player of the Year. Not without Condra, and not with the way ND had been playing since January. Wow, was I ever wrong. The Irish slipped five past Regan and added a pair of empty-netters to send the University of No Hardware back to Durham.

Clarkson 2, St. Cloud State 1
And the Huskies go home winless once more. Clarkson held them to a single even-strength goal, keep St. Cloud' potent power-play off the score sheet despite six opportunities. The Huskies jumped out to a 1-0 lead 4:08 into the second on a 40-footer from Garrett Raboin, but it was Clarkson's power-play unit that sent a bloop deflection into the St. Cloud net. And then 4:58 into the third, Shea Guthrie put a backhand into the top shelf for the game-winner. St. Cloud had its chances in the third, but couldn't connect to get one past Dave Leggio.

Michigan State 3, Colorado College 1
Another game scoreless after one period, MSU looked comfortable out on the big ice of Colorado College, though neither team held much of an edge. Play had been frequently interrupted, as each team took six minutes in penalties. It was the Spartans who were able to take advantage in the second, scoring on a pair of power-play chances. Then, with 9.6 seconds left on the clock, MSU won a faceoff deep in the CC zone to put what looked like the dagger past Richard Bachman. But the Tigers weren't done yet. They finally solved Lerg 12:00 into the third to make it 3-1 and kept applying pressure, but couldn't get anything else by him.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

2008 NCAA Hockey Previews: East Regional

Here at HSR, this is our favorite time of the year. It's the start of the NCAA hockey tournament with Michigan in position to make a run to the Frozen Four. Throughout the week, we'll be posting capsule previews for the entire field that will only by accident give you any real knowledge about the team. For actual hockey info, head over to INCH's preview of this region. TV schedules can be found at CHN

Finally, ALL of the capsule previews can be found in this PDF. Thanks for reading.

East Regional – Times Union Center, Albany, NY

University of Michigan Wolverines

31-5-4; CCHA Tournament Winner (Regular Season Champion)
Michigan Wolverines

Young Lions
At the beginning of the season, Michigan counted 12 freshmen on its roster, a team record. The Wolverines generally skate nine of them every night, with backup goalies Bryan Hogan and Shawn Hunwick on the bench. Freshman Aaron Palushaj leads the team in assists with 29, while Max Pacioretty has accumulated a 14-20-34 line for himself skating mostly with Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik on the top offensive line in the nation. Matt Rust centers the all-freshmen second line, also featuring Palushaj alongside Carl Hagelin, the first Swede to skate with the Wolverines and the first European since Anton Fedorov in 1994. Scooter Vaughan, Chad Langlais, and Tristin Llewellyn all have logged a lot of ice time as blue-liners. None have scored any goals thus far, but Langlais has 19 assists to his credit, good enough for fifth on the team.

The Red Baron
After playing his last game as a Wolverine, losing in the Frozen Four to Clarkson and winning the consolation game against CC, Berenson became the first collegian to jump directly to the NHL, joining the Montreal Canadiens. He would spend the next 17 years in the NHL, becoming one of the rare players to score six goals in a single game and later winning the Jack Adams award as coach of the year with the St. Louis Blues. Obviously, he was fired shortly after that, so he became an assistant to Scotty Bowman in Buffalo.

In 1984, the Michigan hockey program was in a dire state. John Giordano had simply taken over after Dan Farrell retired from coaching to pursue a career in finance and the team had slumped into the lower ranks of the CCHA. This time, legendary athletic director Don Canham was finally able to get Berenson to agree to take over the program after pursuing him for years.

Berenson claims that, had he known how long the revival would take, he probably wouldn't have accepted the job. It took until 1987-88 before the Wolverines could claim a winning season and until 1991 before they made a return to the NCAA tournament. But since regaining that plateau, Michigan has now set an NCAA record with its active streak of 18 consecutive tournament appearances. Berenson has now coached 1,007 games with the Wolverines with a 642-297-68 record (including NCAA championships in '96 and '98), good enough for second all-time in both categories to Boston University's Jack Parker. Furthermore, Red has coached over 40% of all games that the Michigan hockey team has played in its history. He's also the owner of the only 30-win seasons in Michigan hockey history, and his teams have earned eleven of them.

Thank You, Seniors
The Wolverines may only regularly skate two seniors, but they've gotten incredible production and leadership from them. Hobey Baker finalist Kevin Porter and linemate Chad Kolarik have been instrumental in turning the massive class of freshmen into the #1-ranked team in the nation. Porter is the 87th captain of the Wolverine hockey team and Kolarik is an assistant captain and a vocal leader on the ice and on the bench. After going down with a torn hamstring in a game against Lake Superior State, Kolarik watched from the stands as his team fell to Michigan State in an ugly 5-2 loss. The next night, Kolarik was behind the bench in street clothes, encouraging his teammates, who respnded with their own 5-2 drubbing of the Spartans. The two of them are responsible for all the hat-tricks scored by the Wolverines this year, Porter against Nebraska-Omaha and Kolarik against Western Michigan, Lake Superior State, and Nebraska-Omaha. Between the usual top line of Porter, Kolarik, and Pacioretty, the three of them have more goals than 25 Division I teams. Porter and Kolarik have been together for six years now, two at the US National Team Development Program and four at Michigan, and both are Phoenix Coyotes draft picks, so the tandem could continue well into the future.

St. Cloud State University Huskies

19-15-5; At-large bid from the WCHA
St. Cloud

A Tradition of Excellence and Opportunity and Freezing
Located along the banks of the Mississippi River, St. Cloud State was founded in 1869 as St. Cloud State Normal School and became St. Cloud State Teachers College in 1921. In 1988, small riots broke out during homecoming week. The riots stemmed from students throwing empty beer cans into the sousaphones as the band marched along the parade route. This escalated until National Guard troops were summoned to put down student unrest regarding the manner in which house parties were dealt with by police. This led to SCSU canceling homecoming parades and future homecoming weeks were scheduled later in the year in the hope that the cold would reduce the risk of riots.

We'll Just Make It Up As We Go Along
St. Cloud State's most famous alumnus is Richard Dean Anderson. The star of Legend, Stargate SG-1, and MacGyver, Anderson is an avowed hockey fan, and has found ways to work his own love of hockey into several of his characters, particularly on MacGyver. Anderson also was romantically linked to Teri Hatcher, Sela Ward, Lara Flynn Boyle, and Katarina Witt.

Let's Go Hockey
In addition to having its mascot and cheerleaders on ice skates and the ignominy of having never won an NCAA Tournament game, St. Cloud State features sophomore forward Ryan Lasch. A 2008 Hobey Baker Award finalist, California native Lasch has 25 goals and 28 assists this season. Lasch ended up in St. Cloud after the strange experience of being cut by his Midget AAA team, and thus spent three seasons in Ontario's Central Junior League, scoring 60 goals in his third season with the Pembroke Lumber Kings and earning league MVP status before coming to the Huskies.

Clarkson University Golden Knights

21-12-4; At-large bid from the ECAC (Regular Season Champion)

A Workman That Needeth Not to be Ashamed
Founded in 1896 in Potsdam, New York as the Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology, in 1913 the name was changed Thomas S.Clarkson Memorial College of Technology, which was used in a shortened version as Clarkson College of Technology or CCT. Though the name of the school was officially changed in 1984 to Clarkson University, the hockey pep band at Cheel Arena still uses the rallying cry of "Let's Go Tech!" Clarkson's motto leads one to wonder, what kind of workman needeth be ashamed?

Good Knight
Clarkson is powered by the 21 goals of senior forward and Sharks' property Steve Zalewski, while sophomore Matt Beca's 24 helpers coupled with ten goals give him the team points lead. Beca also only has 8 penalty minutes this season and shares the lead in shorthanded goals (4) on a team that leads the nation in shorties. Senior David Leggio has been quite sound in the net for the Golden Knights, boasting a .918 save percentage and five shutouts. The Golden Knights already squared off with the Huskies of SCSU twice this season, splitting the November games at the Cheel.

Rules are Made to be Broken
Among Clarkson's famous non-hockey playing alumni is veteran character actor M. Emmet Walsh. Walsh has over 100 film and television appearances to his credit, including Blade Runner, Blood Simple, and The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh. Walsh is partial namesake of Roger Ebert's "Stanton-Walsh Rule" which states that "no movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad." Ebert later conceded that the rule was violated by 1999's Wild Wild West, which, if you saw it, you'd agree.

Niagara University Purple Eagles

22-10-4; CHA Tournament winner

That All May Know You
Founded in 1856, Niagara is one of three Catholic Universities in this year's NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament, each representing a different Catholic order. Boston College is one of 28 U.S. colleges in the Jesuit tradition, Notre Dame is one of nine U.S. universities that are a part of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and Niagara is one of three American schools in the Vincentian Tradition, (DePaul and St. John's being the other two). The Vincentians claim St. Vincent de Paul as their spiritual leader, the priest who "remade the face of France" in the 16th century.

Tremendous Upside Potential
One of Niagara most prominent alums is Basketball Hall of Famer Hubie Brown. Roommates with Frank Layden at Niagara, Brown has had a long and varied coaching career; assistant coach at Duke and then the Milwaukee Bucks, head coach of the ABA's Kentucky Colonels (whom he led to the 1975 ABA Championship), the Atlanta Hawks (where Brown earned Coach of the Year honors), New York Knicks (head coach during the disastrous 1984 season leading to the Draft Lottery "win" and right to select Patrick Ewing), and, after a long television career, the Memphis Grizzlies (where he would again win Coach of the Year, this time at the age of 70.) A favorite of Bill Simmons, Brown's explanations of a player's NBA prospects at the NBA Draft leads us to believe that every one of us has unlimited upside.

Last Dance?
Due to the dissolution of Wayne State's men's hockey program at the end of this season, Niagara's victory over Bemidji State in the CHA Championship game likely gave the Purple Eagles the last automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament for the College Hockey America winner. The conference will be down to four teams next season, and while there is pending NCAA legislation which may allow this to change, the conference is struggling to find replacement teams. Niagara will be making its third tournament appearance, having defeated New Hampshire in 2000 before losing to North Dakota. In 2004, Niagara was knocked out in the first round by Boston College.

2008 NCAA Hockey Previews: Northeast Regional

Here at HSR, this is our favorite time of the year. It's the start of the NCAA hockey tournament with Michigan in position to make a run to the Frozen Four. Throughout the week, we'll be posting capsule previews for the entire field that will only by accident give you any real knowledge about the team. For actual hockey info, head over to INCH's preview of this region. TV schedules can be found at CHN

Northeast Regional – DCU Center, Worcester, MA

Miami University RedHawks

32-7-1; At-large bid from the CCHA

Darling, Don't You Go and Cut Your Hair
Miami leads the nation in offense, and leading Miami this season is senior Ryan Jones, with 30-17-47 at the time of writing this. Currently sporting some excellent hockey hair, Jones will be donating his mane to Locks of Love after the season. Freshman Andy Miele left the USHL's Chicago Steel at midseason, intending to concentrate on his academics and only to practice with the team, but the RedHawks' coaching staff asked Miele to burn his redshirt in exchange for a half-season's production.

You'd Think "Ricoville" Would Be Somewhere in Jersey
With Miami hockey building a dynasty, the student section has become more dedicated. The RedHawks distribute about 2000 free tickets to students on a first come, first served basis. This led die-hards to camp out for up to 27 hours leading up to the first game of the February 8-9 series versus Michigan in what's known as "Ricoville" after head coach Enrico Blasi.

Musical Director: Vanilla Ice
While building their own traditions, the RedHawks have stolen borrowed heavily from others. From Michigan State, the band has taken the tune for "Let's Go State". From Michigan, it took the tune for "Let's Go Blue" and stole the post-goal cheer wholesale (taking it from Cornell by proxy). They also play House of Pain's "Jump Around" over the arena's PA system. At least copying Wisconsin football is marginally more creative than theft from teams in your own conference.

Boston College Eagles

21-11-8; Hockey East Tournament winner

On Notice!
Nathan Gerbe is BC's Hobey Baker Award finalist this year. Gerbe grew up in Oxford, MI, but never dreamed of playing for any of the in-state programs. A diminutive 5'5", he instead wanted to follow in the path of the similarly-sized Brian Gionta. Gerbe's Hobey candidacy may be impacted by his suspension handed down by Hockey East in November after Gerbe was accused of butt-ending a Merrimack player with his stick. Commissioner Joe Bertagna issued a statement saying, "While a suspension might not have been forthcoming on last night's actions alone, this is not the first time this season that I have been made aware of inappropriate behavior from Nathan. Given the fact that he had already been put on notice, I felt that supplemental discipline was in order in this instance."

Not on the Schedule: Prometheus
The Eagles have been feasting on their non-conference opponents this year. Only 11-9-7 in Hockey East play, BC has gone 10-2-1 against everyone else, including a 0-0 tie with North Dakota in a game that was suspended after two periods due to poor ice conditions. After a very slow start (for BC) of 3-4-5, the Eagles turned things around in December and come into the NCAA tournament on a 5-game winning streak. They survived a triple-OT game with New Hampshire to reach the Hockey East finals, where they crushed Vermont 4-0. The committee has rewarded them by placing BC in the Worcester regional.

Coincidentally, Its Theme Song is Also "How Do You Talk To An Angel"
Located in Chestnut Hill, Boston College is often referred to as "The Heights", from which the student newspaper takes its name. The school was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1863 under a charter which mandated that it "shall be open to youths of any faith". In 1925, Mary C. Mellyn became the first woman to take a degree from BC. Its fight song, "For Boston", was written in 1885, making it one of the oldest in the country.

University of Minnesota Golden Gophers

19-16-9; At-large bid from the WCHA
Skating Goldie

Does Kangas Wear Roos?
Minnesota started the season with junior Jeff Frazee as its top goaltender, but it was freshman Alex Kangas who was named MVP of the WCHA tournament. Although they won the IceBreaker to start the season, they struggled through much of the season, leading coach Don Lucia to make the switch to Kangas. They found their footing in time to make a run all the way to the WCHA tournament championship game before falling to Denver. Their first-round series against Minnesota State-Mankato was so evenly matched that all three games went to overtime, totalling an hour and 22 minutes of extra hockey. In the final game of the series, fourth-liner Tom Pohl took an awkward hit that landed him in the ICU with a fractured skull. After St. Cloud State, the Gophers again went to overtime in defeating Colorado College 3-2 (Minnesota has gone to an astonishing 16 times this year with a 3-4-9 record), before their 2-1 loss to Denver in the final.

Back to the Future
In the 14 years when Doug Woog was Minnesota's head coach, the Gophers always fielded teams provided solely of Minnesotans (Total NCAA titles: 0), but Don Lucia ended that practice (Total NCAA titles: 2). However, this year the Gophers again find themselves with a team composed entirely from in-state talent. Plymouth's Blake Wheeler leads the team in goals (15) and assists (19) and is second in penalty minutes, wiht 72. Super Sophomore Kyle Okposo departed the team halfway through the season to sign a contract with the New York Islanders. His seven goals still put him tied for fifth on the team.

Between the two of them, Minnesota and Boston College hold a combined 19 appearances in the NCAA title game with a .368 winning percentage, though they've never faced each other in that game. In its 11 appearances, Minnesota is 5-6, while BC is only 2-6 when the championship is on the line. In fact, the last time these two programs met was in a holiday tournament in 2002, despite the fact that BC came out to Minnesota twice this season for the IceBreaker and the Dodge Holiday Classic. BC lost in the first round to Michigan in the former and Minnesota lost to Air Force in the first round of the latter.

United States Air Force Academy Falcons

21-11-6; Atlantic Hockey Tournament Winner
Air Force

Hensick's Revenge
Eric Ehn won't be matching his junior season, when he scored 24-40-64 en route to being named to the Hobey Hat-Trick along with North Dakota's Ryan Duncan and Notre Dame's David Brown. That's because Ehn crashed feet-first into the boards during a January 19 game against Colorado College, breaking his fibula and doing severe damage to his ankle ligaments. Still, Ehn could possibly be in the lineup on Saturday when the Falcons take on the RedHawks. In the meantime, junior Brent Olson has paced the team with 18 goals and 20 assists and sophomore goaltender Andrew Volkening boasts a .912 save percentage.

V for Victory
Vic Heyliger had been the prime mover behind the establishment of the Frozen Four and than proceeded to win an amazing six NCAA championships as coach of the Michigan Wolverines before retiring from coaching in 1957 due to health problems. Heyliger, a severe asthmatic, had noticed how much easier it was for him to breathe in the thin, dry air when his teams played in the NCAA tournament, then always held at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, and moved there. He returned to coaching with the US national team in 1966 and then oversaw the fledgling Air Force team from its inception as a Division II program in 1968 until his permanent retirement in 1974, compiling a record with the Falcons of 85-77-3. In their history, Air Force has only had four coaches since the team gained varsity status.

Stretching the Definition
By defeating Mercyhurst in the final, the Air Force Academy has now won the Atlantic Hockey tournament crown both years the've been in the conference. The Falcons used to compete in College Hockey America from 1999-2006 before departing for the now-nominal Atlantic Hockey so as to be in the same conference as Army. We hear they get a discount on airfare. Navy stands opposed to frozen water on principle and does not field a varsity squad.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

2008 NCAA Hockey Previews: West Regional

Here at HSR, this is our favorite time of the year. It's the start of the NCAA hockey tournament with Michigan in position to make a run to the Frozen Four. Throughout the week, we'll be posting capsule previews for the entire field that will only by accident give you any real knowledge about the team. For actual hockey info, head over to INCH's preview of this region. TV schedules can be found at CHN

West Regional – World Arena, Colorado Springs, CO

University of New Hampshire Wildcats

25-9-3; At-large bid from Hockey East (Regular Season Champion)
New Hampshire

Radja, Regan, over and out.
New Hampshire is led by senior forward Mike Radja and senior netminder Kevin Regan, who had previously been teammates at Waterloo of the USHL. A Chicago native, Radja's 19 goals (including six on the power play) lead the team, matching his career high of 19 last season. Between the pipes, Kevin Regan, a Bruins draft pick from South Boston, who unfortunately names Patrick Roy as his favorite player, has played over 80% of the netminder minutes for the Wildcats, boasting a .933 save percentage and three shutouts.

Live Free or Die
New Hampshire has had 24 players named to the All-America team, starting with goalie Rod Blackburn in 1961. Cap Raeder is notable for serving as the U.S. goalie in the inaugural 1976 Canada Cup and served one game as the interim coach of the San Jose Sharks in 2002. Jason Krog, one of five UNH two-time All-America selections, won the Hobey Baker in 1999.

Horrible Single Use Dress, Flowers, Killer Heels, yep we're all set to go here.
Often dubbed the University of No Hardware, New Hampshire is NCAA Hockey's perpetual bridesmaid, having made the Frozen Four in 1977, 1979, 1982, 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2003, only making the finals in 1999, where they lost to Maine in Anaheim (which may be why no one remembers it), and in 2003, losing to the Gophers in Buffalo.

Colorado College Tigers

28-11-1; At-large bid from the WCHA (Regular Season Champion)

We've Been Saving These Up
Colorado College is a crazy quilt of awesome tidbits, and since they didn't make the tournament last year, none of these are repeats. Colorado College has just under 2,100 students, making it the smallest school to sponsor a Division I athletic team (doing so in women's soccer as well). The students attend school on the "block plan", dividing the school year into eight academic terms; a single class is taken for three and one half weeks during each term, equaling four semester hours. The rendering of Sacagawea on the U.S. golden dollar coin was by CC alum Glenna Goodacre.

Strike Up the Band! Wait, Scratch That.
Colorado College's Fight Song "Colorado 'C' Men" (to the tune of the "Washington and Lee Swing") is a classic in the old school tradition, lots of repetition, the words "yes by Gosh", "give 'em Hell", and a passing reference to rolling up old Boulder, though the teams are no longer rivals. It's just a terrific number. Unfortunately, Colorado College has neither a marching band nor even a pep band to play the song when the team scores.

Like Nothing Else at the World
The World Arena, the site of this year's West Regionals, is CC's home rink. It serves as the replacement for another World Arena. From 1948-1957, the Broadmoor Resort's World Arena in Colorado Springs played host to the NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament. In those days just a four-team tournament, two representatives each from the East and West would square off for the national championship. The Tigers, playing just down the street from their campus, would claim titles in 1950 over Boston U and in 1957 over Michigan (who had dropped the Tigers in the final game in both 1952 and 1955).

Michigan State University Spartans

24-11-5; At-large bid from the CCHA
Still fighting with that vim

You're Welcome
The Spartans went on a Cinderella run last year to win the NCAA title as a 3 seed. After being badly outplayed in the CCHA tournament semifinal by Michigan, MSU had to go to overtime against Lake Superior State in 7-6 offensive slugfest in order to even secure a spot in the NCAA field. The Spartans were then sent to the Grand Rapids regional, an hour and fifteen minutes from East Lansing, where they beat BU and Notre Dame. Meanwhile, Michigan was "rewarded" with a first-round matchup against North Dakota. In the Frozen Four, the Spartans took down an improbable Maine team before a thrilling final against Boston College, scoring the game-winning goal with 19 seconds left in regulation.

The Goaltender From Omicron-Persei 8
MSU's diminutive goaltender, Jeff Lerg, won the well-deserved Most Outstanding Player title from the 2007 tournament. Beyond his play as one of the best big-game goalies in the nation, Jeff Lerg is a severe asthmatic, a subject that has been profiled in innumerable soft-focus pregame/intermission segments for TV broadcasters. Coach Rick Comley called Lerg a 4.0 student earlier in the year, and he's a finalist for both the Hobey Baker Award and the Sullivan Award, given to the nation's top amateur athlete.

It's Either Carbon Monoxide Poisoning or MSU Has a Third-Period Lead
The Spartans play an effective defensive strategy, but one that can make for deadly boring hockey. In their game against Michigan at Yost this year, MSU staked a 1-0 lead and began lining up four skaters at their own blue line. Against lesser teams, they don't play as conservatively, but MSU knows how they're going to protect a third-period lead. It will be interesting to see how the Spartans react to the Olympic-sized sheet in Colorado Springs, whether their trap can be effective on ice that wide. MSU lost both of their games in Marquette on Northern Michigan's Olympic ice, though the Wildcats were on a hot streak then.

University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish

24-15-4; At-large Bid from the CCHA

Our Life, Our Sweetness, and Our Hope
Founded in 1842 in northern Indiana by priests from the Congregation of the Holy Cross, under the charter from the state of Indiana, the school is officially named the University of Notre Dame du Lac, which means University of Our Lady of the Lake. This is in spite of the fact that the campus actually contains two lakes. According to a legend, when Father Edward Sorin arrived at the school, everything was frozen. He thought there was only one lake and named the university accordingly. In 1972, Notre Dame became a co-educational university after proposals to merge with nearby Saint Mary's College were rejected.

Righting the Ship
Dave Poulin played for Notre Dame in the early 1980s and returned to his alma mater as coach in 1995. In 1999, Notre Dame had its first winning season in 11 years and in 2003-04, freshman goalie David Brown helped the Irish secure their first NCAA tournament bid. However, following a five win campaign the next year, former Lake Superior State coach Jeff Jackson was brought in to turn the program around. After a 13-19-4 season, Jackson and the Irish roared to a 32-7-3 campaign last year, winning the CCHA Regular and Post-Season titles and earning the #2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, downing Alabama-Huntsville in double overtime before losing to eventual NCAA champion Michigan State in Grand Rapids. Many expected Notre Dame to take a significant step back without Brown in the net this year, but Jackson's team finished fourth in the CCHA, losing a very close CCHA Semi-Final game in overtime against Miami after the Redhawks tied the game in the last five seconds. They then dropped the consolation game against Northern Michigan that actually helped them more for tournament consideration than winning. They just didn't want a tie.

He's Out of Control!
Here at the HSR, we'd like to take some time to discuss our favorite Notre Dame alumnus. The problem is, he's fictional. But President Bartlett, we are thinking of you, even if you needed a right hand man from Michigan. So instead, we'll talk about one of America's most prominent Notre Dame alums: Regis Philbin. According to Guinness, no man has spent more hours on camera than Reeg. Whether it's the host chats with first Kathie Lee and now Kelly, asking if that's your final answer on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, or making the most appearances on Celebrity Jeopardy! (the real one, not the skit) of any celebrity, Regis is everywhere.

Stuff Maize and Blue People Like

Don’t borrow, steal: a football offseason requires desperate measures, and in a pinch we’ll be happy to do the pinching. In conjunction with Every Day Should Be Saturday, we present our entry in the running series: Stuff _____ People Like, based on the painfully accurate Stuff White People Like. You can find the take from Orson et al here.

Not Losing
Illinois in '99. Purdue in 2000. Minnesota in '05. Everyone remembers the epic, agonizing defeats and rivalry games, but Maize and Blue people can't even let go of the mundane ones. We hate losing. At every point in a Michigan blowout victory, there's a point where we say a quiet prayer of thanks that the team probably won't spectacularly blow this one. We expect to win everything, and it just seems embarrassing when that doesn't come to pass.

Dead Silence
Since the late '80's, the only thing I've heard my dad say inside the Big House was when he grumbled something about "catch the goddamn ball, for chrissakes" during this year's Ohio State game. Sometimes older fans manage to clap, but this is rare. Maize and Blue people over the age of 35 prefer to sit in total silence, gritting their teeth as they prepare for the team to let them down again, because the team has something against them, personally. Maize and Blue people have a shockingly high incidence of early strokes.

Jingling Our Keys
Michigan fans are now instructed by the scoreboard to pull out their keys and wave them around on third down when the team is on defense so as to create noise on this key play. Nothing says "intimidation" quite like the sound 23,357 rustling keys drifting over the football field like far-away sleigh bells.

It wouldn't be Ann Arbor if someone wasn't complaining about something. The LGBTers are complaining about Quickie Burger's busty sign, SOLE is organizing another endless teach-in about sweatshop labor, BAMN is trying to roll back the ban on affirmative action, and somebody else is yelling about Palestine, the Iraq war, Afghanistan, the Afghan Whigs, Afghans, Afghans, and Afghanistanis with AIDS. In the last decade, the University fought two major affirmative action cases (Gratz and Grutter) all the way to the Supreme Court, winning a victory for the Law School's admissions policy and quietly sweeping the points system employed by the College of Literature, Science & the Arts under the table. The 5.6% of enrollees in the 2007 freshmen class who are African American blend with the suburban white kids from Chicago, the suburban white kids from New York, and the Asian kids from all over in the rich tapestry of student life.

If there's one thing Maize and Blue people prize above all else, it's Tradition. The varsity football team played its first game in 1879, Fielding Yost came to town in 1901, and Michigan Stadium hosted its first game in 1927. Maize and Blue people will ramble on about their "13 national championships", even though only one of them came after 1948 and it was a split title. Traditions include: Winged helmets, no in-stadium advertising, touching the GO BLUE banner, anything Bo Schembechler ever said, "The Victors", calling "The Victors" "Hail to the Victors", winning the Big Ten, losing the Rose Bowl, Ron Kramer, having an offense that's a decade past its expiration date, and pretending that beating Minnesota is worth a trophy. Losing to Ohio State at the end of the season is a relatively recent innovation and is not yet a tradition. However, if you told Maize and Blue people that the Wolverines and the Michigan State Normal School had fought over a chamber pot in their 1896 game, Maize and Blue people would immediately adopt their series with Eastern Michigan as a traditional rivalry (All-time record: Michigan 8, Eastern 0).

Jimmy John's
If you find yourself in Ann Arbor on Central Campus, you can walk to the Jimmy John's on South University, the one on State St, the one at Packard and Hill, the one on Anne, or take the bus to the one up on Plymouth Rd near North Campus, because God forbid you should be more than 7 minutes away from Free Smells! and Subs So Fast You'll Freak. Jimmy John's has managed to join Borders as the rare chain embraced by Ann Arbor, which both have done by pretending to be anything but the corporate entity they are. Maize and Blue people can tell you exactly which sandwich is their favorite by number and will then have absolutely no idea what is on said sandwich when asked.

The East Coast
The first thing a Michigan graduate does upon receiving his/her diploma is flee the state. The prospect of a pillowy soft job in the auto industry used to be enough to persuade some Maize and Blue people to cancel their plans of moving to/back to the East Coast, but its collapse has freed everyone to follow their dreams of sharing a closet-sized Williamsburg apartment with seven hipster douchebags. Getting shot "back East" in DC is much more glamorous than getting shot in Detroit.

Being Better Than You
Maize and Blue people like to tell everyone that they went to Michigan. Except for the ones who didn't go to Michigan, and there are a lot of them. But the Maize and Blue people who did will find ways to remind you constantly that they went to Michigan, and that it was hard. Really hard. It was hard to get into, and it was hard work while they were there, and the reward for that is telling anyone and everyone who will listen (and even those who won't) how much better a human being they are because they went to Michigan. They will use this to look down on and/or mock your school, its alumni, its fanbase, and its athletes. If you bring up anything unpleasant, such as facts, they will switch to the "Everyone does it" defense and change the subject to what awful thugs those Buckeyes are.

Tom Brady After He Won the Super Bowl
Maize and Blue people swell with pride when it comes to talking about the most successful NFL skill position player ever to come out of Michigan, New England Patriots quarterback/dreamboat/celebrity baby daddy Tom Brady. They will fondly recall, often with a small tear, the '99 team that would've won a championship if not for Evil Drew Henson, Brady's four TDs in the 2000 Orange Bowl, and their disappointment when he fell to the sixth round of the NFL Draft. What they will fail to mention is that a majority of fans were openly rooting for Henson to be named the starter during both the 1998 and 1999 seasons, and that the Orange Bowl victory only came on a blown extra point by Alabama in overtime, and that they were surprised when he was even selected in the Draft. But those are just pesky details that get in the way of a fine story. And Maize and Blue people hate when that happens.

John Cooper
Maize and Blue people are a little ashamed to admit this, but they probably like John Cooper a little more than the like Lloyd Carr. The reasoning is simple: Lloyd was like your dad; you saw him every day, he was a good hard-working guy, and while he'd slip up occasionally, you still were proud that he was your dad. But John Cooper was like your uncle by marriage who you only saw at Thanksgiving, and every year when he came over he brought you a new toy. Not just like a new board game, no, he'd buy you the brand new Sega Genesis, or one year, a Wii when nobody else could find one. Sure, you love your dad, but your uncle is bribing you with gifts your dad would never give you (even if you knew your dad was probably chipping in to help your uncle buy it). Then, a few years ago, your aunt left him for a heartless bastard who came to Thanksgiving and kicked you in the groin when you answered the door and spent the rest of Thanksgiving hectoring your dad until you went to your room and cried yourself to sleep. So, you really can't blame Maize and Blue people for loving John Cooper. He was a gravy train that was derailed too soon.

As a school with a high population of overachievers, Maize and Blue people take their fun seriously. We come prepared with a set of talking points on all the subjects we think are going to come up. If there is a set of questions, we will answer them in numerical order while consulting the notes we took on the subject. If there's video, someone will break it down and twelve people will write about it.

The Color "Maize"
It's Maize and Blue. Maize. Yes, like corn. We're going to have to insist on this one. Yes, the alma mater is "The Yellow & Blue". No, we don't know how that one happened. Besides, nobody knows any of the words to that one but the "HAIL!" in the middle. One more time: Maize. Maize.

As Maize and Blue people move from the disappointment that is inevitable in the Big Ten football season, they have a choice on how to get through the long, depressing winters in Michigan. They can spend their days in the morgue known as Crisler Arena, watching the basketball team flail its way through another season, reminded of what once was, but is mostly erased from the record books, or they can make their way over to Yost Ice Arena (Yes, the hockey and basketball teams both play in arenas named for football coaches) and watch Michigan's hockey team, where they can spend their winter watching the team look amazing at times, then look disinterested against a lesser opponent, take a mind-boggling loss, and inevitably blow it in the post-season. So Maize and Blue people choose hockey. To most of them, it feels like home. Except for some reason, the people in the stands are surly, profane, and loud. And sometimes there's Frankenberry.

Michigan State
Winston Smith may have ended up loving Big Brother, but Maize and Blue people love Little Brother. No other fanbase has such an inferiority complex when it comes to Michigan, and it's always so easy to push their buttons. They try to get us to care about how good they are at basketball, but it's hard to pay attention when we've beaten them six times in a row in the sport we care about. Sometimes it's a savage beating, sometimes a last-second kick in the groin, but it always leaves them wallowing in petulant agony. It's unpleasant for a whole year when they actually do win (usually by cheating), but mostly it's John L. Smith slapping himself and Bobby Williams not knowing whether he's lost his team. And when they call us "scUM" on their message boards, it's just too adorable.

Wine & Cheese
It's a stereotype for a reason. The closer you get to the stadium, the more likely you are to see a luxury SUV with the tailgate up, shading a dainty little cheese platter sitting on the table next to a moderately-priced pinot noir and a 64-year-old man snoozing in a folding chair. His kids (who went to Calvin and Adrian) are cleaning out the microbrews in the cooler before moving on to the Labatt they bought at the Blue Front as a backup.

House Parties
With the stadium under a mile from the student ghetto south of Central Campus, students at Michigan don't tailgate. Tailgates are for old people who drove in from somewhere like Grand Rapids or Troy. But every house on Division or State or Hill is having a party with a beer pong table on the front lawn. All of them will play "99 Problems", and the frat with the beach volleyball court will play "Block Rockin' Beats" at 10:30 like clockwork, because it's still 1997.

Big Ten Burrito
SEC Burrito may be quicker, but Maize and Blue people love Big Ten Burrito. The Big Ten Conference sued its tortilla-based namesake and forced a name change in 2007. As such, the franchise is now officially known as the redundant "BTB Burrito". "Committee on Institutional Cooperation Burrito" didn't have the same ring to it, and may have provoked another lawsuit.

The venerable local deli pioneered the $14 artisan sandwich in the '80's. There is no actual Zingerman; founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig just wanted a name more Jewish than "Saginaw" and less so than "Weinzweig"*. Students don't actually eat there unless their parents are in town, but once they become alumni, Maize and Blue people wax nostalgic about $8.97 for soup.

*--(I swear I saw this in a Daily article that I can't find at the moment)

Living in a house in Ann Arbor gives you two options: Pay a reasonable monthly rent and live in absolute squalor, or pay roughly the equivalent of a down payment on a new house to live somewhere suitable. There is a third variable -- distance -- which factors in with this simple formula:

Do you pay less than $500 a month for your room?
Do you live within a 10-minute walk from campus?
You're lying
The ceiling of your kitchen is rotting through and it's going to start raining bathroom floor tiles soon.

Leases are signed ten months before you move in, and few students know enough about their legal rights to pursue shady landlords. On the other hand, some students treat their houses in such a way that not getting their security deposit back is considered a good deal.

Free Beer At Parties
A vastly underrated aspect of Maize & Blue people's night life comes with this open-arms attitude: You will never be asked to pony up that $5 for a cup. Instead, you are expected to pay it forward, and continue the tradition when you live in a house. If you do charge for cups, you are a pretentious jerk, and next time you can expect people to click "not attending" on Facebook. There is no cynical drawback or punch line to this one. This unspoken rule really is that great.

Ignoring Traffic Laws
Maize and Blue people's sense of entitlement extends to the roads they walk across. That crosswalk signal? That's for grandparents and blind people. (Seriously. The signals make a little pinging noise.) To show your true Maize & Blue pride, simply step out in front of that Subaru Outback knowing that nobody will hit a pedestrian. Intersections are below them. The shortest distance between two points is the straight line they're walking, no matter what obstacles are in the way. Or might be in the way at their current 30mph trajectory. Despite this, drivers who fail to reciprocate with impossibly quick reflexes, patience, or tolerance aren't above a honk or crude finger from time to time. But come on. You're driving in front of two dorms between classes. What the hell did you think would happen?

Talking About Things That Aren't Appalachian State

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hobey Hijack

I'm shocked (shocked!) to hear that the online voting for the Hobey Baker has been cracked by bots. USCHO's Jim Connelly reports on his blog that RIT's Simon Lambert and Miami's Ryan Jones have each received more than 200,000 votes, compared to Kevin Porter's 3,994 as of this morning. Frankly, I'm terribly disappointed. Why do we even have a Computer Science building if we're going to be shown up like this?

Meanwhile, the Niagara Gazette and the Buffalo News has the Niagara team's reactions to drawing Michigan in the first round.

Finally, to ensure that we are completely cursed, Bob Norton and Sean Ritchlin both picked us to win the tournament on the selection show and the final USCHO/CSTV poll has us as #1.

2008 NCAA Hockey Previews: Midwest Regional

Here at HSR, this is our favorite time of the year. It's the start of the NCAA hockey tournament with Michigan in position to make a run to the Frozen Four. Throughout the week, we'll be posting capsule previews for the entire field that will only by accident give you any real knowledge about the team. For actual hockey info, head over to INCH's preview of this region. TV schedules can be found at CHN

Midwest Regional – Kohl Center, Madison, WI

University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux
26-10-4; At-large bid from the WCHA
North Dakota

The Fighting Sioux
Leading the country in penalty minutes, the Sioux haven't endeared themselves to the rest of the WCHA. Defenseman Joe Finley slashed Bucky Badger back in November, and later a fight broke out. Captain Ryan Kaip got in a fight at Minnesota State, Darcy Zajac fought Minnesota's Tony Lucia (the coach's son), and Kyle Radke earned himself a two-game suspension after fighting Denver's Brandon Vossberg and then continuing the fight with the back of Vossberg's head when he was lying on the ice. Even coach Dave Hakstol earned a two-game suspension for flipping off official Don Adam during a game against Minnesota, and star forward TJ Oshie was suspended for a game after an arrest for disorderly conduct.

The Sound of Settling
According to a settlement reached with the NCAA at the end of October 2007, the Fighting Sioux have three years to obtain permission from both Sioux tribes living in the state to continue using their mascot. The Spirit Lake tribe has yet to give a new opinion on the issue, but the Standing Rock tribe has already reaffirmed a council resolution opposing the nickname. If UND fails to convince both tribes to come around, it will have to change its mascot and logo or face NCAA sanctions barring its teams from hosting postseason play and competing in the postseason with any reference to Native American culture.

Ralph Engelstadt Loved His Hostile Or Abusive Mascot
Former North Dakota backup goalie and casino magnate Ralph Engelstadt funded construction of the arena that bears his name. A fanatical supporter of the Fighting Sioux name, Engelstadt threatened to halt construction when he learned the school was considering a name change. As a result of Engelstadt's devotion/spite, The Ralph bears over 2000 Fighting Sioux logos, including a 30' image in granite at the entrance, while every side of the building bears either "HOME OF THE FIGHTING SIOUX" or another 30' logo. With a nickname change, the university would also have to remove most of the Indian imagery from its campus; however, the Ralph is currently owned not by the university, but by an Engelstadt trust. In 2031 the arena will pass to the university; at that point, further action may be necessary. In the meantime, it's unclear what would have to be changed for the Ralph to host post-season play.

University of Denver Pioneers

26-10-4; WCHA Tournament winner

Soviet Relations Experts Are Surely in High Demand
One of Denver's most prominent alumni is current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Dr. Rice graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DU in 1974 at age 19 with a BA in political science. She chose poli sci after realizing that she didn't quite have the talent for a career as a concert pianist.

When Murray Armstrong came to Denver, he loaded up his teams with players from his previous gig as head coach of the Regina Pats, a Montreal Canadiens farm team. His recruitment of 22-year-old Canadian freshmen didn't sit well with other coaches in the league, but Colorado College's Tony Frasca took it to absurd lengths. Frasca (age: 30) skated one Jack Smith (age: 36) from 1957-1960. Abuses like these led 7 teams to withdraw from the old WIHL and to later reconstitute as the much looser WCHA. The WCHA allowed teams to make their own conference schedules, allowing Minnesota to boycott Denver for over a decade.

Young Pioneers
DU carries 12 freshmen on its roster this year, along with 6 sophomores, 4 juniors, and 4 seniors. The seniors carry the dual distinction of being both the last Denver team to win a national championship and the last team to even appear in the tournament. Now-senior goaltender Peter Mannino was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2005 NCAA tournament.

University of Wisconsin Badgers

15-16-7; At-large bid from the WCHA

The Wisconsin Idea
Chartered as a part of the Wisconsin state constitution in 1848, the University of Wisconsin is known for "The Wisconsin Idea". Begun in 1904 by school president Charles Van Hise, his notion was that he would "never be content until the beneficent influence of the university was available to every home in the state." The basic premise of the Wisconsin Idea is that the university's boundaries are those of the state and that the primary goal of the university and the state university system should be the betterment of the state of Wisconsin in practical and pragmatic matters.

It's Not As Important As You Think
From the state that claims Vince Lombardi as one of its great heroes, with his oft-quoted (he didn't actually say it) maxim "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.", the Badger hockey team has proven, in a mildly controversial fashion this season, that winning is perhaps not prerequisite for making the NCAA Tournament. Having won 11 PairWise comparisons to Minnesota State's 10, the Badgers earned the "last" at-large spot in the NCAA tournament as the committee adhered strictly to the PairWise standings. However, Wisconsin's role as host of the Midwest Regional at the Kohl Center has some conspiracy theorists thinking there were ulterior motives in play. For further reading, please follow this link to CHN.

Mushroom! Mushroom!
Known as the Badger State due to the early presence of lead miners in Wisconsin who lived in their mines until they could build an appropriate house, the university's first badger mascot was a live badger who was too difficult to deal with and was quickly retired (Early residents did not have access to Art Evans drew the cartoon version of the mascot in 1940, and he was named Buckingham U. Badger in 1949. On the internet, dancing badgers resemble the Camp Randall "Jump Around" tradition at

Princeton University Tigers

21-13-0; ECAC Tournament winner

Not a Clown College
Founded in 1746, Princeton is the oldest university in this year's tournament. James Madison and Woodrow Wilson both graduated from Princeton, as did Aaron Burr (they're not as fond of mentioning that one). I could go on, but it's the fourth oldest university in the United States; a lot of famous people graduated from it. Princeton is rare among colonial colleges in that it never has had any religious affiliation.

Princeton's connection to college hockey is one of the most prominent. The namesake of Princeton's home arena as well as the award given annually since 1981 to college hockey's outstanding player is named for Hobart Amory Hare Baker, better known as Hobey Baker. A two-sport star at Princeton in the early 20th Century, Baker helped lead the Tigers to the national championship in football in 1911 and two in hockey (1912 and 1914). Penalized just once in his Princeton hockey career, Baker went to work for J.P Morgan before enlisting in the U.S. Army as the United States entered World War I. Baker then joined the Lafayette Escadrille, commanding the 103rd Aero Squadron and painting his Spad XIII orange and black in honor of his alma mater. Baker died weeks after the armistice while taking a newly repaired Spad for a test flight. He was immortalized by fellow Princeton man F. Scott Fitzgerald in his novel This Side of Paradise.

Dancing Days
Princeton makes just its second appearance in the NCAA tournament; in their first they played Michigan in the opening round of the 1998 West Regional at Ann Arbor's Yost Ice Arena. There the Tigers gave Michigan all they could handle before succumbing 2-1 to the eventual tournament champions. Their opening round match-up with North Dakota will mark just the third game between the two schools, with the Sioux having taken victories in both the 2000 and 2003 meetings. The Tigers will be paced by ECAC Tournament MOP Zane Kalemba. The sophomore netminder and New Jersey native posted three shutouts against Yale and Colgate before allowing just one goal to Harvard in the conference final.

College Hockey News

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Michigan is headed to Albany as the #1 overall seed in the NCAA hockey tournament, which is a little bit of a surprise. Most people had us headed to Madison, with the spectre of possibly facing Wisconsin on home ice in the second round looming, but the committee chose to send us to upstate New York. We have the Purple Eagles of Niagara in the first round. The other pair in the regional are St. Cloud State and Clarkson. On paper, this is the easiest regional out there, but anything can happen in the tournament.

Here at HSR, we're ridiculously excited about the tournament. Like last year we'll preview all four regionals this week in anticipation of Hockey Christmas. Seriously, we can't wait.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's Comcastic!

Anybody know how to pull data off a Comcast DVR? Despite their best efforts, I did manage to record the game, including the brawl in the middle, and I'd like to put together some clips. A few notes:

  1. Comcast was totally outclassed in its coverage by WOLV. Despite the security-camera quality available for a web broadcast, WOLV showed me the whole game. Comcast:

    1. Didn't put the game in the channel guide, so I had to create a manual recording and hope.

    2. Didn't start the game on time. Fifteen minutes into the supposed broadcast, they finally stopped showing a rebroadcast of a Plymouth Whalers game. When they finally started showing the Michigan game, Naurato had already scored.

    3. Neglected to turn the sound on for the first 30 minutes of the game they actually showed. Right after the interviews at the first intermission, they finally got the sound back.

    So the first 45 minutes of the broadcast featured stupid technical problems caused by incompetent staff on one end.

  2. Kaufmann was just outside his crease when Palushaj ran him over. In theory, that's not a penalty, but you're getting called for that ten times out of ten.

  3. Tristin Llewellyn's takedown puts him as suspect #1 in the "Who Injured Scooter Vaughan?" case.

  4. Whichever "fan" went over to start something in the UNO parents' section should be banned from Yost for 5 years. Idiot.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More Important Things

Over in the WCHA this weekend, Minnesota and Minnesota State played a hard-fought, incredibly even first-round series. Every game went to overtime, and the Friday and Sunday games went to double OT. But in the middle of the second period of Sunday's game, hockey took a back seat.

Minnesota fourth-line forward Tom Pohl took an awkward hit, a high elbow, from Minnesota State's Jason Wiley. If it had happened along the high glass, it would've been two minutes in the box; no big deal. But Pohl and Wiley were up alongside the Minnesota bench. Pohl's helmet slipped off, his head slammed into the rail at the top of the dasher, and Pohl collapsed to the ice, bleeding.

The medical staff in Mankato reacted immediately to the scene, and play stopped for 13 minutes while they attended to Pohl, strapped him to a backboard, and wheeled him to a waiting ambulance. Everyone was worried about some sort of a spinal injury, since Pohl didn't seem to be moving his legs. All the broadcast team had to give out was that Pohl was conscious and talking, and that he was being treated for a broken nose and a cut on his face.

Pohl was taken to a Mankato hospital, and from there he was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic. He underwent surgery to stop bleeding in his brain and to stabilize his fractured skull. He remains in intensive care. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gophers and the Pohl family.

Star Tribune
Pioneer Press

(One more thing: Mankato PA crew, you suck. I was watching this live, and you played music over this horrible scene. What, are Coldplay's "Clocks" and "Speed of Sound" somehow appropriate for this in some non-ironic way? FAIL.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hockey: My Anti-Basketball

Tonight, the hockey team:
  • Had twice as many goal scorers (8) as the basketball team (4)
  • Had almost twice as many point scorers (16) as the basketball team (9)
  • Scored 29% as many points as the basketball team
  • Scored as many goals (10) as the basketball team made baskets
  • On a higher shooting percentage (10/40 vs. 10/50)
  • With a guy guarding the goal.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wisconsin 51, Michigan 34

Sweet zombie Jesus, that's ugly. Thank goodness we can put this season to bed. This season will be remembered for home losses to the likes of Northwestern and Minnesota and showers of bricked threes. I'd also like to extend my thanks to the Big Ten Network, which eliminated so many chances for me to bear witness to this torture. Yikes. (The Game's live-blog)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On The Origins Of The Victors

A post on mvictors discusses whether The Victors was "ripped off" from the 1898 march "Spirit of Liberty" by George Rosey.

The short and insufficient answer: The second trio of Spirit of Liberty sounds very similar to the trio of The Victors.

Listen for yourself around the 1:40 mark:

But does this constitute "ripping off," to use the parlance of our times? Interestingly, the song can be found on the album "Karussells of Europe," where its Amazon listing describes Spirit of Liberty as "traditional carousel tune."

Some guy on a forum posed the same question to the Library of Congress via their "ask a librarian" function, and got this answer:

"The Spirit of liberty march" was composed by George M. Rosey (AKA Rosenberg) and it was published in 1898. "The Victors" march was composed by Rosey's friend, Louis Elbel in 1899. The trio of "The Victors" is similar to the last section in Rosey's march which had been written a few months earlier. The two composers were reported to be good friends and the arrangement [Elbel's trio] was presumably made by mutual agreement.

Guy on a Forum isn't exactly a rock of journalistic integrity, but the LoC librarian gave his source as William H. Rehrig's "The Heritage encyclopedia of band music", published at Westerville, Ohio by Integrity Press, vols.1-2, in 1991, with a supplemental vol. 3, published in 1996.

So, yes, most of the melody of the chorus of The Victors is the same as the Spirit of Liberty march. Whether this constitutes deliberate plagiarism is largely irrelevant and debatable, both on the grounds that they were friends, and that this happened before the 1909 Copyright Act was passed.

Supposing it were corrected, it would be "The Victors, music by Louis Elbel and George M. Rosey, lyrics by Louis Elbel." Or, "The Victors, music by Louis Elbel, chorus inspired by a trio from "The Spirit of Liberty March" by George M. Rosey, aka Rosenberg, lyrics by Louis Elbel." Regardless, the lyrics are Elbel's, Rosey never called him out on it, and may have in fact given Elbel his blessing. If the Easter Bunny is dead, it's a good thing he gave his friend the recipe for Peeps a hundred years ago.