Friday, October 24, 2008

How To Lose A Game In 5 Minutes

Oh, boy. Where do you start? the beginning would probably be a good place.

The Wild got outplayed by far in the first period, and Backstrom was under siege the whole time. Most notably, he made a great save on Max Afinogenov on a rebound out in front and Backstrom made a great glove save.

Former North Dakota Fighting Sioux player Drew Stafford. He made a great move to the backhand to slip it past Backstrom. Backstrom had almost no chance on the move and he had no defensive help. Great goal.

The Second, and most of the third belonged to Minnesota. This time it was Miller under siege, as the majority of the second was played in the Sabers end.

The Wild Scoring was opened by Benoit Puliot, his second on the year. More important than that, Burns made a great play in the Wild defensive zone to prevent a chance that got the puck off Vanek's stick and onto Puliot's

Most impressive however, was that Boogard got the first assist on Puliot's goal (yes that Boogard)

After a Veilleux off a deflection, the Wild were up 2-1.

I nominate Burns's goal for the wierdest of the year. Brent Burns dumped the puck in, and Miller went out to play the puck. Somehow, Burns got his stick on the clearing pass, deflecting the Miller pass in his own net to put the Wild up 3-1.

The Wheels fell off fast for the Wild. Instead tof the Wild tightening up like Jaques intended when he called the timeout, the Wild sat back too far.

A deflection by Paetsch, and a goal by former Minnesota Gopher Vanek tied it up.

In OT, Derek Roy somehow tucked the puck behind Backstrom amist a scrum in the crease.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

State Of The State: The Latest On Gabby, Zidlicky, Nolan, And Bouchard

I know it comes as a shock to most hockey fans, but Marian Gaborik is injured again. Now, this is old news as he was injured a while ago during the road trip and was diagnosed with a “lower body injury,” which probably means groin.

Gaborik as well as Nolan skated in practice, but they are both listed as day- to- day. Both players skated before practice, but left when practice began.

Zidlicky, however, started practicing on Monday and is expected to play Thursday against the Sabers. I haven’t had a chance to see Zidlicky play yet this year, but he’s supposedly a solid offensive defenseman. He’s got experience, which is what the Wild need for their young team.

The Wild practiced with a slate of eight defenseman.

Arguably more important than Zidlicky, Pierre- Marc Bouchard practiced with the team Wednesday. Bouchard skated with the second line, and will suit up against Buffalo. Bouchard left the team before the Florida game with an apparent back injury.

Also, one Houston Aeros note: right wing Petr Kalus left the Aeros to go back to his native Czech Republic. Kalus, who was in his second pro season, is still under contract with the Aeros, so if he was to come back to North America, he would be Wild property.

Epic Division III Football Battle Comes Down to Six Inches

One of the best Division III football rivalries ever is played every October between two Catholic universities, St. Thomas and St. John's—an MIAC showdown that usually decides the division champion.

Obviously, this article will be biased, but since the vast majority of you probably didn't see the game, I can spin it any way I want—still, I'll try not to.

The game started out perfectly. A Tommies interception on the Johnnies' own 20 should be an easy six. Apparently not. A 4th-and-long and no sign of the punt unit or field goal team. What came next would have any football fan on their feet.

A triple-reverse left the St. Thomas quarterback wide open in the back of the end zone for a somewhat easy, somewhat stressful six.

I must admit, this is where my mind gets a little fuzzy. Maybe because I was a tad hung over from Friday night, or the fact that I was babysitting a friend who thought it was a good idea to have six shots of Everclear in six minutes. If you were wondering, that's not a good idea at all.

So, basically, I don't remember the rest of the first half, but I do know it involved a pooch punt by the Tommie quarterback, as well as a bunch of unsuccessful draw plays by the Tommies on 3rd-and-forever.

After a botched extra point by the Johnnies, halftime saw the Tommies up, 7-6.

Again, more babysitting by myself and convincing my friend not to puke in the middle of the stands, so we'll fast forward to the end of the third quarter.

The Johnnies scored another touchdown, and this time it was a botched two-point conversion, but it put them up, 12-7.

Again, more unsuccessful draw plays on 3rd-and-forever. Pandemonium ensues as the Tommies go three-and-out after three-and-out.

Then, hope. The Tommies pinned the Johnnies down inside their own 10 with time dwindling in the fourth quarter. It was fourth down, too, so St. Thomas was guaranteed good field position. Then, obviously a call from the sideline, the punter runs out of the back of the end zone untouched for a Tommies safety, 12-9.

The Tommies then mounted a surprisingly successful clutch drive that led them to the St. John's 1-yard line. The first try, I thought they broke the plane (I was standing right on the goal line), but apparently not. They get a bad spot, whatever.

Second down, inside 30 seconds left. The Tommies are inside the 1, but at this point it doesn't matter much. Their second push again appears to cross the goal line by quite a wide margin, but, again, no. The crowd, including me, is going ballistic at this point. It's nuts.

Third down. The running back gets a bad snap, and it's bad news. As the running back jumps up and over the pile, the ball (which he had cradled on his thigh because of the bad snap) pops straight up into the air, Johnnies recover, bad guys win.

So there you have it, and the St. John's reign of terror against St. Thomas continues.

Don't like my take? you can read about the game at Tommie Sports, or on the Star Tribune Website.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Slacker Jack

So, when I made this blog, I aimed to cover the Minnesota Wild. However, that really hasn't happened Yes, this bl0g is for whatever I want to put on it, but mostly hockey.

There's already been three Wild games, yet no recaps, but I plan on getting on the ball tonight against Tampa Bay.

I have some explanations though, I wasn't just lazy. Actually, wait....

Opening night- I was on a date with a girl at Tom Reid's. The girl was boring, and there were some drunk guys who were always standing up in front of me, so I could never see.

@ATL- I don't remember what I was doing, but it was probably pretty important.

@FLA- I was at the library studying, but I got to listen to the game.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Western Clutching and Holding Association (WCHA) Game 1 Notes

Pre- Preface: Please excuse the spelling and grammar of this article, as I am writing it at 11:40 local time, right after I got home from the Gopher game.

Preface: Today was my first time on a city bus. Going from my school, to Mariucci arena, which is supposed to take 30 minutes, actually turned out to be an hour and a half because I didn’t know what I was doing. Because of that, I missed the whole first period. We pick the action up at the end of the first with the Gophers up 1-0 on a Ryan Flynn goal.

I was impressed with the play of freshman 17-year-old defenseman Aaron Ness. Ness forwent his senior year at Roseau and took his senior year of classes online to play for the Gophers.

He didn’t score, but he was involved in the offense a lot. He didn’t make many mistakes, which is high praise for a freshman. He’s a really fluid skater, which will make him a very valuable asset in the future.

Another young kid making an impression was sophomore Pat White. He scored a goal, and was all over the place in the offensive zone.

Personally, I hate the kid because he single handedly dominated my High School, Edina, in the state tournament last year. He scored two goals in a 2-0 win, which is really a testament to how good this kid is.

Goalies Alex Kangas and Kent Patterson split time in goal, with each playing 30 minutes. With only 15 total shots, neither proved much. Patterson let in one goal on five shots, on the first shot he faced.

Overall, we had 40- some shots on goal, and pounded British Columbia, but we could have done more. There was far too much cycling and not shooting in the offensive zone for my liking.

Once more, Canada’s system is backwards from ours: in Canada, the good players play juniors, and the average ones play college. In the US, the good players play college and the average ones play juniors.

As it turns out, a 3-1 win might not be that impressive after all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

So, this is supposed to be a hockey blog

Don't worry, the hockey is coming! the NHL starts tonight, at least the North American portion. I have a TV in my dorm, so I can actually follow the games, as opposed to the preseason where I had no clue what was going on because I didn't have a radio in my dorm. Anyways, live hockey! the banner raising in Detroit is going on right now.
Tomorrow I'm going to the Minnesota- Boston College preseason college hockey game and I'll report on how the team looks, even though I'm more of a North Dakota fan than a Minnesota one when it comes to college hockey.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

LA Kings Relocation Tour 2008

The Los Angeles Kings continued their preseason relocation tour September 22nd, when they played at the Sprint Center versus the St. Louis Blues. The Kings won that game 2-1, but more important was the enthusiasm for hockey in KC. The fans want a team there, it’s a good sized market, the city would welcome a team….. and… BAM! 11,603 fans. Granted, it was a preseason game, and the Panthers get less fans than that during the regular season, but still, not a very good showing for a “hockey- starving” KC.