Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I will be away from the blog for a couple of weeks during the Christmas and New Years holidays. From Husky Hockey Time, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you are able to spend it will friends and family.

Here are a couple of Christmas related videos for your enjoyment:

I'll be back in 2011 for some more great Husky Hockey and hopefully an awesome turn-around second-half of the season.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alumni News

Andrew Gordon is back with Ovechkin and the Capitals!
Here are some quick alumni news items:
  • Recently listed 5 potential "Goals of the Year". Of the 5 goals listed, 2 of the goals came from former St. Cloud State players. You can see Andreas Nodl's goal and Matt Hendricks' goal below:

  • Former Husky Hockey player Ryan Malone is listed as one of the five players who less than 50% of people own but should be owned in more leagues in fantasy hockey. You can read more about it here.
  • Andrew Gordon was called up from the AHL Hershey Bears team to play with the Washington Capitals recently against the New York Rangers. He is currently ranked 2nd in the AHL in goals. He was one of only two AHL players to score more than 50 goals last season. Although he was reassigned to the Bears following the Caps v. Rangers game, he has already been called back up to play with Capitals. You can read more about it here. (*Notice that St. Cloud State is mentioned in the article!) You can see a post game video with Andrew Gordon below:

  • Matt Cullen has been out of the line-up with the Wild for the last couple days with a groin pull. Cullen did practice with the team today, but head coach Todd Richards has yet to say whether he will play tomorrow against Ottawa. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekend Recap and Staying Positive going into the Second Half

The Huskies need to come together to turn this season around
The Huskies were swept by WCHA opponent Colorado College this last weekend at the National Hockey Center. This was the first time the Huskies had been swept in the NHC since December 7-8, 2007 against the University of Denver. Going three years without an opponent able to walk out of our barn with a sweep is an amazing accomplishment in the WCHA and the Huskies should be proud of that record. However, these two additional loses going into Christmas break, and now being halfway through the year, is both upsetting and heartbreaking for the Husky faithful. Read the links below about the games:
Despite the heartbreaking start to the Husky Hockey season, do not give up hope. I have been realistic and critical of the Huskies season thus far (see the "F" I gave the Huskies in the Mid-Season report card) but I have yet to give up on this team and you should not either. In reviewing the Huskies season, bloggers Mick Hatten and Mike Doyle offer you some reasons why to stay positive:

Trying to find a sunny side of the street when it is snowing, below zero and the wind is howling
~Mick Hatten
  • The Huskies played their " all-around game for the forwards and defensemen for the Huskies this season in the 5-2 loss to Colorado College. For one thing, the team showed a lot more effort for the majority of the game."
  • On Saturday night, "The Huskies were aggressive, banged people around in the corners, made passes to the front of the net, had people at the front of the net and did a better job of keeping the opposing players wide in their own end and getting into more passing lanes."
  • SCSU's "...penalty kill is at 82.9 percent for the season, which is fifth in the WCHA."
  • "...the Huskies are a plus-4 in special teams net and that's also fifth in the conference."
  • In the first eight games of the second half of the season, "seven games in that stretch are against teams below .500 and there are four home games in this stretch."
  • SCSU is, "but is four points out of eighth place and seven points out of home ice for the first round of the playoffs."
  • In the locker room, "there's still confidence that they're going to turn this thing around."
  • The last time the Huskies were this bad ('95-'96) Matt Cullen and Mark Parrish were on the team. Both went on to great NHL careers.
Open letter to the Huskies: There’s still time to salvage the season
~Mike Doyle
  • "There is still time to salvage the season. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is."
  • "During the first 10 minutes of Saturday night’s game against Colorado College, you proved, when motivated, that you could be an elite team."
  • "A bounce or two can change the entire outlook of a season."
  • "You cannot let this lack of faith bury your confidence. You can only play for the guys in the locker room wearing the C-St."
  • "Ring in the New Year by playing hard, Husky Hockey. Then, you can forget about the slow start, your confidence will return and the wins will start to pile up."
You see, there are still plenty of reasons to stay positive and remain hopeful for the second-half of the season. Husky Hockey fans please continue to support the team even in their struggles. Remind this team about their loyal and passionate fan base. Your intensity and passion will rub off and the players will feed off of your energy. Take this holiday season off to re-energize and come back ready to cheer on the Huskies to victory.

" St. Cloud. Hockey is everything there and the fans were so passionate."
~Husky Hockey player, NHL player, and US Olympian Ryan Malone

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mid-Season Report Card

The Huskies need to pick themselves back up
As a middle school teacher, I find the "report card" a useful way of identifying and assessing the progress of a student (or in this case a team). So, without further ado, here is the St. Cloud State Husky Hockey Mid-Season Report Card:
Performance: Undeniably, the Huskies have grossly underperformed thus far this year. This team was predicted by most to be one of the top 2 teams in the WCHA and one of the top 10 teams in the nation. Currently, the Huskies find themselves in historically unfamiliar territory in the WCHA now in eleventh place. Furthermore, the Huskies have gone un-ranked in the national rankings for well over a month. With the talent on this Huskies team, there is absolutely no excuse for being in eleventh place. This season the Huskies are off to their worst start in 15 years ('95-'96 season). Top players like Garrett Roe (winner of WCHA "Biggest Disappointment of the Year") and Tony Mosey need to start getting some more goals in and everyone needs to start putting more shots on net. The guys have tried to get a little too fancy at some points and it has yet to pay off. In the preseason, the Huskies forwards were ranked 2nd in the WCHA, the goalies ranked 1st in the WCHA, and the defense ranked 5th in the WCHA. It is safe to say that everyone on the Husky Hockey team has underperformed. Grade= F
Effort: One of the biggest arguments Huskies fans have had against their team this year has been a lack of effort. However, this lack of effort has not been consistent. During some games, the Huskies have shown tremendous effort and looked like a force to be reckoned with. During other games, the Huskies have looked like their skates where frozen to the ice and incapable of moving their feet. Sometimes this inconsistency has shown its ugly face in the middle of games. Up until last week against the University of North Dakota (honestly a pretty darn good team) the Huskies had yet to be swept by an opponent. And while Colorado College was also able to sweep us (and on home ice) last weekend, Coach Motzko had nothing put praise for the teams effort Saturday night against CC. According to Motzko, "It's a rare, rare occasion -- I don't know if, in my career, I've ever wanted to talk about a hockey team after losing 5-2. But with how our season has been going, this team deserved a much better fate." And, "We turned in a good effort." Perhaps the Huskies have turned a corner and will play with much more enthusiasm, intensity, and effort in the second half. Perhaps not. Grade= C
Social Development: Okay, so this category is a little more difficult with a hockey team than it is a student, but I will try anyway. The Husky Hockey teams relationship with its fan base has historically been one of the absolute best in the WCHA. The National Hockey Center is renown for its intense and passionate hockey fans. The NHC has consistently been one of the WCHA rinks that sells every seat for every game. The fan club "The Dog Pound" continues to be one of the most vocal hockey fan clubs in the conference. Opposing teams (especially goaltenders) have commented on the intense (some may say insane) emotion displayed there. However, the recent string of losses and performance WAY below expectations are causing some fans to become upset at their team. Recent blog posts and message boards suggest that the NHC has been awfully quiet as of late and that the energy (in one of the most energetic rinks in the nation) may be dwindling. I feel the Huskies may need to get some wins at home early in the second half to bring SCSU's fans back to their usual glory. Grade= B
Peer Relationships: Again, a little more difficult with a hockey team than a student, but here we go. The Huskies were regarded by both their opponents and their opponents fan bases early this season as one of the top talents and top threats in the league (see preseason coach's, media, and blogger polls). The Huskies were once believed to be one of the best of the best. However, as our current season has been so far, we have gone from top threat to feelings of sympathy and pity. From CC coach Scott Owns, "St. Cloud has got a lot of talent. Their confidence is down right now. I think they're going to be a very good team the second half." And from UND captain Chay Genoway, "We know what kind of team they bring. They haven't won as much as they wanted to." These type of pity statements from opposition teams are not what the Huskies are accustomed to or want. These are the types of statements you save for teams like UAA or MTU or occasionally MSU-M, but not SCSU. Hopefully, statements like these can energize our team to go from "confidence is down" and "haven't won as much as the wanted to" back to becoming a real threat and a team that other teams fear. Unfortunately, right now, I don't think there are many or any teams that are threatened by SCSU. On the positive side of peer relationships, the SCSU vs. UND battle did not turn into a blood bath with teams seeking revenge. Grade= D
So there you have it folks. The St. Cloud State Husky Hockey report card. Yes, it is a little doom-and-gloom. Yes, it is far from what we expected out of our Huskies at this point in the season. But, in the words of Husky freshmen Nic Dowd, "Right now, we're at the bottom. We're at the lowest we can get." We can only go up from here.

Go Huskies!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Game Day- SCSU vs. CC

Roe and the Huskies!
Tonight the St. Cloud State Huskies will face the Colorado College Tigers. The Huskies will be playing at home for the first time in 3 weeks, spending the last couple of weeks at Alaska and North Dakota. In both of those series the Huskies underperformed (yet again) so the return to the National Hockey Center should be welcomed. Here are your game day links and news:
  • Joe Paisley of the Colorado Springs Gazette believes the 3 keys to CCs game this weekend is to: 1. Keep up the offensive balance, 2. Keep up the pressure on their defense, and 3. Expect a tough road series. You can read more about it here
  • Former Husky Mike Doyle's 3 Keys to tonight's game are: 1. Focus on Faceoffs, 2. Seniors Step-up, and 3. Fire the Biscuit. You can read more about it here
  • In an article titled, Tigers will need to adjust power play this weekend, Paisley also discusses the talent of the SCSU penalty kill and the absence of CC star Jaden Schwartz on Saturday.
  • The Husky hockey lines for Friday nights game may look a little odd to many Husky fans. Our top line for Friday is Mosey, Hanowski, and Festler may not seem too odd (especially considering Hanowski and Festler's time together in Little Falls). However, our fourth line of Roe, Marvin, and Volpei may seem out of place. Senior leaders Roe and Marvin are not necessarily accustomed to fourth line duties and this will be only Roe's second game this season as a winger. I sure hope Coach Motzko knows what he is doing with these line combination and hopefully something will start to click soon. I am also a little surprised to see MacMillian out of the line-up as he was one of the few Huskies to actually score last weekend. Mike Lee will be in goal Friday night.
  • Speaking of Garrett Roe, he was the sole nominee and selected winner of the WCHA "Biggest disappointment of the first half" award. They had this to say about it:
"Nominee and Winner: Garrett Roe, SCSU. Roe oh Roe, where have you been? Every other year of his career, he’s averaged well over a point per game. This year, he’s well under, at 0.62, about half as much as his worst year (freshman, 1.15). If Roe picks it up, the team might as well. Hopefully. Again, this is another category where I’m interested to hear your thoughts."
A couple more predictions for the weekend:
Theresa: "From all accounts, the Tigers looked really good against Michigan Tech ... even though it was Michigan Tech. However, I can’t completely count the Huskies out just quite yet. Therefore, I’ll go with a split — SCSU Friday, CC Saturday."
Tyler: "The Huskies haven’t swept a team all season and a lot of the blame has to be placed on goaltending. Dan Dunn and Mike Lee are statistically one of the worst 1–2 goalie combinations in the country and CC’s Jaden Schwartz knows how to find the net as as well as anyone in the nation. Still, I have to think SCSU has to come out of this weekend with a split."
Goon's World
"Last year when these two played in Colorado Springs they split SCSU won 5-4 and then CC won 6-4. I hope this year there are many goals scored, why, because they are fun and exciting games to watch. The Huskies are getting in desperate need of points, if they want to keep in the race for home ice come March. The Tigers are right in the thick of things, in the standings, with points and they have two games in hand on the other teams around them. The Huskies need to find some ways of generating more offense, and if they can do that they should win some more games and start climbing the standings. SPLIT"
For those of you counting, putting the predictions from yesterday's blog together with today's blog brings the total to 5 saying Split and 1 saying Husky Sweep. This week I am counting on the magic that is the NHC and our awesome fan support to brings the Huskies a sweep. Final total= 5 Split; 2 Husky Sweep.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Home at Last

After a couple of disappointing (and disheartening) weekends on the road against Alaska and North Dakota, the Huskies return home to the National Hockey Center to play Colorado College. I have a certain amount of respect for any WCHA teams that I feel I have a connection to and CC is one of them. One of my good friends growing up moved to Colorado Springs, CO when I was in middle school. He is an avid hockey fan and was once a Zamboni driver at World Arena. In college I would always give him a hard time when the Huskies beat the Tigers. I am hoping I can send him a message via Facebook later this weekend telling him how great the Huskies are and how they dominated the Tigers. Unfortunately, things have not looked that great for the Huskies recently, while the Tiger have fared much better (especially with the help of a great player like freshmen left winger Jaden Schwartz).  With this being said, here are a couple of predictions for this weekends match-up:

WCHA Blog:
"This is kind of a must split series for the Huskies (if not sweep!). If they want a shot at a top half finish, they'd better get their act together. They're 4 points out of 5th place with two games in hand on that team (and all but three other teams). They need to find a way to win some games. Unfortunately, I don't think they're going to win two games this weekend. CC is coming off of a huge offensive weekend at Tech, so their confidence should be through the roof. The Huskies just got blasted on the road, so they could be a little timid. I'm going with a split, but could easily see Tech sweep the lowly Huskies.
CC wins Friday 5-4, SCSU wins Saturday 4-3
Goal Gophers:
Roman: "CC is hot lately with five wins in last seven games. Especially on fire is freshmen left wing Jaden Schwartz but he is leaving this weekend for Canada’s selection camp for World Juniors. Camp starts Sunday in Toronto, so Schwartz will probably leave after Friday’s game. He should be a lock for Team Canada. He has 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points. Huskies were swept by North Dakota last weekend. Senior Garrett Roe has six goals and eight assists vs. CC. ... Split"
Kevin: "Just what the heck is going on with St. Cloud State, picked to finish second in the WCHA by the coaches? Just one win the last seven games. I say the Huskies will be glad to be back home after two weeks on the road and will sweep Colorado College even thought the Tigers have won three straight. ... St. Cloud State sweep"
In other Husky Hockey News:
  • A good article titled, Defenseman is sleepless in St. Cloud, talks about Chris Hepp and the growing agitation over St. Cloud State's under performance. Hepp talks about how the team needs to "stop and turnaround" and begin to win some games. He goes onto say that the defense is "definitely part of the problem" and will need to start playing better. 
  • You can check out the Bob Motzko Coaches Show over at the Center Ice Club. I will say that I usually really like listening to the show to hear the coaches perspective on how the team is doing, how the team played last week, and what the team will need to improve for the following weekends game. However, I am admittedly getting frustrated hearing a lot of the same stuff (I really like the guys in the locker room, we need to play the full 60, we know Roe will eventually get going, etc...). The Coach is starting to sound redundant and I just wish that next week the show will have something REAL positive to share.
  • Former St. Cloud State (and Sioux Falls Stampede) player Andreas Nodl continues to do well with the Philadelphia Flyers. You can read more about his continuing success in an article titled, "Flyers' Nodl finds his offense". The article does give Nodl some recognition for his great scoring touch while he was at SCSU.
  • Here are the lines from Wednesdays practice courtesy of KVSC Twitter. Forwards: Reid-LeBlanc-Dowd, Mosey-Hanowski-Festler, Roe-Marvin-Volpei, MacMillan-Christian-Novak. Defense: Lauridsen-Johnson, Barta-Gravel, Hepp-Jensen, Zabkowicz-Rioux, Burrell
  • There is another good article from former Husky Mike Doyle about shoot-outs in the WCHA titled, "The WCHA should continue to shutout shootouts during league play". You should check it out.
  • Check out the official press release on the game here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Disappointed, but Optomistic

Mike Lee Save
The Huskies suffered their first weekend of getting swept in the 2010-2011 season at the hands of arch-rival the Fighting Sioux. The game was fairly tight Friday night. The Sioux won 3-1 with the lone SCSU goal coming from junior forward Drew LeBlanc. Saturday night was a whole different story. The Sioux won 6-2 with SCSU goals coming from freshman forward Mitch MacMillan and junior forward Travis Novak. Despite the abysmal score, the Huskies really only lost the first period. It was just a REAL bad first period. The Fighting Sioux scored three goals in a three minute span and ended the first period with 5 goals to SCSU's 0. You can read more about the games here:
You can see some video here:

Despite a disappointing weekend (probably the most disappointing thus far this season) I remain optimistic. We are playing no where near good enough right now and well below our capabilities, but I chose to have a positive outlook and know that once our guys can start playing a full 60 minutes, start moving their feet a little more, and gain some confidence this Husky team could still be a real threat.

Go Huskies!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Pretty Fun Rivlary

From UND Captain Chay Genoway:
"We know what kind of team they bring. They haven't won as much as they wanted to. I'm looking for a huge challenge this weekend. This has become a pretty fun rivalry. I'm excited about it."
A fun rivalry indeed. The UND vs. SCSU rivalry is probably the fastest currently growing rivalry in the WCHA. While a student at St. Cloud there was no team I looked forward to playing most than the University of Minnesota; however, over the last two years I have found myself more looking forward to the UND series. It is probably because the last two years the talent between UND and St. Cloud has been greater so there has been a better show then anything coming from the UofM. Unfortunately, the hit from Aaron Marvin on Genoway last season has spoiled for some fans what could be a fun and friendly rivalry and turned it into something ugly. Here is just a couple of the (quite frankly) moronic comments coming right now over this issue:
"Aaron Marvin, the goon of the NCAA"
"...they got one bad-apple on the team (Marvin)"
"...he (Marvin) is a man on a mission, and that mission was to knock Chay out of the game and possibly end his career."
Is Aaron Marvin "the goon of the NCAA"? Nope. Not a chance.

Is he a "bad-apple"? Nope again. I have yet to read anything from anyone that has actually met him say anything but kind words about him.

And probably the worst of all... Was Marvin trying to "end his (Genoway's) career? Not a chance. It was a bad hit. It was an illegal hit. However, it was not done in an intention to end anyones career.

Personally, I like the quote coming from WCHA columnist, Theresa Spisak:
"And it may be my age talking, but seriously? It was over a year ago. I know that there’s bitterness, but honestly. If I may be so cliched, build a bridge and get over it."
And honestly, even the UND players are looking beyond this issue and just want to play a great hockey game:
“That’s just in the past now. It’s just a big four points for us.” ~Chay Genoway

"Our concern is strictly with the four points. That’s all we’re concerned with. We’re not worried about getting revenge. That’s not on our minds" ~Mario Lamoureux
Regardless of what team you cheer for, this weekend should be some good games and I am looking forward to them. I just hope that fans on both sides can remain cool-headed and just enjoy some good hockey.

Here are some links about this weekend:
  • Goon's World- Sioux Sweep
  • Goal Gophers- Shane- Sioux Sweep, Roman- Split
  • Sioux Sports- Sioux Win Friday, Tie Saturday
  • Theresa- Split, Tyler UND Sweep
  • WCHA Blog- UND Sweep
  • Sioux Yeah Yeah- Split
  • Husky Hockey Time- Unfortunately I will have to go Split. Two very talented teams playing each other and splitting kind of seems to be St. Cloud's "thing" thus far this season.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A look at the Lineup

I don't have much today. However, coming from the KVSC twitter page, here is a look at the possible lineup for Friday night's game against the UND Fighting Sioux:


Jensen- T. Johnson

Lee (to start on Friday)

Additionally, the guys practiced out at the MAC today to get some time on an NHL size rink instead of the Olympic sized rink at the NHC.

A little something to get you excited for this weekend:

Excited yet for the games this weekend? too!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back at Last!

I am back from my week long hiatus. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving break, I know I did. Here is your Husky Hockey News:
  • First, and most important, Travis Novak continues to do well after his hit last week from behind head first into the boards. He was able to fly back with the team as scheduled and was back in classes last week. They found no fractures when he was taken to the hospital and X-rayed. Despite being "very sore in the neck", according to team captain Aaron Marvin, Coach Bob Motzko expects Novak to play this weekend against rivial UND. You can read more about it in the article, "Good news on Huskies' Novak" and, "We should not forget human element".
  • Mick Hatten has a new blog post available about Husky recruit Ethan Prow titled, "SCSU hockey recruit adjusts to play in the USHL". Prow currently plays in the USHL for Des Moines Buccaneers.
  • Husky defensemen Oliver Lauridsen's "little" brother Markus Lauridsen, has committed to play for SCSU. Markus currently plays for the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL. I had the opportunity to see Markus play last weekend against my Sioux Falls Stampede. He looked big, but still has some developing to do. Markus, like his brother, is a large (6-foot-1, 201-pounds at 19-years-old) and plays defense. You can read more about him at the blog post, "Lauridsen's brother commits to Huskies"
  • The Center Ice Club player of the week was Drew LaBlanc. He had 2 goals and an assist in the last series against UAA.
  • There was no Bob Motzko show this week. However, you can catch last week's episode here.
  • An article over at, "Inconsistency the issue for underperforming St. Cloud State" wraps up the teams performance and the fans frustrations very well so far this season.
  • This weekend the Huskies will face up against one of our greatest rivals, the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. There is a UND/ SCSU fan social planned on Saturday, December 4th from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Southgate Grill and Bar in Grand Forks. According to, this pre-game social is "an annual event which provides an opportunity for fans of the University of North Dakota and St. Cloud State University to gather, celebrate the great sport of hockey, and award the UND/SCSU Challenge Cup, a traveling trophy which is presented to the team which collects more points in the four regular-season games between the schools." You can read more about it here. If you are going to the game(s) I would encourage you to attend. I think it is great when opposing fans have the opportunity to gather and celebrate their passion for their teams. The website goes on to comment, "Fans of both teams enjoy the camaraderie at these social events and regularly comment that the connection between the two fan bases is among the best in college hockey." I really wish I could be there!
Other Stuff:
  • Puck Daddy recently rated the top 10 greatest Movember mustaches for 2010. Minnesota Wild player Cal Clutterbuck was ranked 1st place and Wild player Brent Burns came in 3rd. Right in between at number 2 was Husky Hockey alum Ryan Malone. See picture below:
  •  I recently saw this preview to the 24/7 Capitals/ Penguins: Road to the NHL Winter Classic. Makes me wish I had HBO:

Go Huskies!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

I will be away from the computer for the next week or so. I plan on devoting some serious time with friends and family over the holiday. I will also have the opportunity to stop by the National Hockey Center for the first time in about 4 years since moving south. Additionally, I will get to see former assistant coach Eric Rud and the Green Bay Gamblers play against my Sioux Falls Stampede over the holiday. It will be a great time. Please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Well, I can't leave you with nothing so here are a couple of links Husky fans will enjoy...
  • Huskies’ quarter season ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’- This is a very cleverly written blog post by Husky alum Mike Doyle. It lays out the first "quarter season" and what the Huskies need to do to get back on track. A must read!
  • Husky Hockey: An inside look- This post takes a look at several current issues with the Huskies and the WCHA right now. The post mentions things like: new WCHA teams/ rivalries, recruiting, the new arena additions, and a Big 10 Hockey Conference.

Monday Morning Notes- Splitsville Continues

Travis Novak with Husky Hockey fan
First off, let me say that Travis Novak seems to be doing well. He was hit from behind and his head went into the boards during the second period of the Saturday night game at UAA. Novak was laying out on the ice for 25 minutes before an ambulance showed up to help. When they did arrive, Novak was placed on a backboard, strapped to a gurney, and taken to the Providence Alaska Medical Center. Coach Motzko reportedly said that Novak did not suffer serious injury and had been medically cleared to fly home with the team on its scheduled flight. With the recent head-injuries in the WCHA, this was a very scary incident for Novak, the Huskies, and their supporters. You can read more about it here. I will let you know more about this as I learn more. My thoughts and prayers are with Novak and his family and friends. I hope his recovery is as speedy as his ice skating abilities.

Next, let me say thank you to the UAA team, staff, and fans for their support. From what I have read, the UAA team, staff, and fans were standing, clapping, and supportive of Novak. Also, all that I have read from UAA fan blogs have been positive statements and well wishes. Thank you for that. Thank you.

For this weekend's recaps:

Quick Thoughts:

Top tier teams need to sweep bottom tier teams. Period. The Huskies did not play well enough this weekend. Yes, we were one goal, one mistake, from sweeping UAA but that does not excuse the play that was seen this weekend. To say the team has been inconsistent this year is an understatement. We need to find that consistency and soon. I had every hope and reasonable expectations that our road to recovery was going to begin this weekend against UAA. Obviously that did not happen. Some key quotes demonstrating this frustration:
"We're just not a very good hockey team right now. We can point at a number of things, but we don't have a lot of confidence. We're going to have dig down." ~Coach Motzko
"The frustration level is really high right now." ~freshman forward Cam Reid
The St. Cloud vs. North Dakota series is one that has been getting more and more exciting each year. Right now, if the University of Minnesota were to leave to a Big 10 Conference, I would bet that UND would become the new biggest rival to St. Cloud State. With that being said, I hope that when we get back from Thanksgiving break that the team brings some more enthusiasm, fire, and confidence to their game. I will still attest that SCSU has an awesome team and are capable of doing awesome things. We just need to get everyone on the same page and begin working for a full 60 minutes, two games in a row.

Quick Alum Note:
Speaking of inconsistency, Husky alum (and Sioux Falls Stampede alum) Andreas Nodl has been inconsistent for most of his still young NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers. Nodl basically split his time between the Philadelphia AHL and NHL teams his first year as a pro in 2008-2009. He then went on to spend a majority of his time during the 2009-2010 with the AHL team (most notably Nodl came in to help the Flyers last year when Ian Lapperriere was injured during the Stanley Cup finals). However, this year Coach Peter Laviolette has given Nodl the chance to shine. Andreas Nodl has scored five goals in 12 games with the Flyers. Has been not only proficient on the penalty kill, but on pace to score at least 20 goals. And Nodl was recently awarded First Star in one of the team’s most important wins this season. What has been the difference?
"I feel a lot more confident. Coach has played me in a lot of situations, and the more games I get in, the more comfortable I feel. And it seems like when you feel more comfortable, you get better each game." ~Andreas Nodl
"I think he is playing with a lot more confidence. He’s been physical, he’s been strong on the puck, and he’s chipped in on offense. He’s been a reliable player that’s putting up some points." ~ Coach Peter Laviolette
"He’s an extremely talented player. I think that’s overlooked, with the ice time that he gets. But he sees the ice really well, and he’s a great passer. He works really hard. If you have those kinds of attributes, I think it makes for a dangerous player." ~Captain Mike Richards
To top that off, Andreas Nodl's latest goal is in the (early) running for goal of the year. Check out this spin-o-rama that was also the game winning goal against Ovi and the Capitals.

The Huskies could learn a little bit about playing with confidence from this former player.

Go Huskies!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Game Day!

This weekend the Huskies will be playing the University of Anchorage-Alaska. Here are a couple things you Husky fans should have for the games:
Predictions for this weekend:

"This is a must sweep series for the Huskies if they have any hopes of finishing in the top three or four in the WCHA. They are currently 2-3-1 so it's still not out of reach, but it's going to be tough. The Huskies holds an advantage on special teams, scoring offense, and scoring defense. Alaska holds the edge in work ethic, at least so far in this early season. Anchorage is a hard working team that will beat to lose pucks if you don't work hard as well. I am down on the Huskies right now because they can't seem to put a full game together. A road trip is just what these guys need to get their season back on track. (Here's what a roadtrip can do for a team.)
Huskies sweep 3-2, 4-3"
Goal Gophers
Roman: "The Huskies are having trouble scoring goals and a trip to Alaska might not be the tonic. The Seawolves' strength is a stingy defense. On the other hand, SCSU coach Bob Motzko is 12-2-2 vs. Alaska Anchorage ... AA (2-6-2) has played in six games decided by one goal and in two ties. Freshman goalie Rob Gunderson (2-4-1) has started last four games for Seawolves. ... Split

Austin: What part of the year is it that Alaska is dark for like, 22 hours per day? Since I don't know, I'm going to say it's when St. Cloud comes to town. The Huskies have dominated the Seawolves recently, 7-1-2 in last 10 meetings. That dominance continues this weekend. ... SCSU sweeps"
Goon's World
"Last weekend the Huskies got 1-pt at home against the UNO Mavericks in St. Cloud and the Seawolves split with the Beavers in Bemidji.

The Huskies have yet to live up to the preseason predictions. And if they don’t get their dogsled moving this weekend, they will have a steep trail to mush-up. This really is a must sweep series for SCSU, in my opinon. The Seawolves play hard, but just don’t have the high end talent of other WCHA schools. If SCSU wants to be a top tier team this year, you need to take points from the bottom teams, and I mean at least 3 points. (UMD has got their points from the bottom teams.)
"Theresa: The logical choice here is a SCSU sweep. The problem is, I just can’t call that right now. The Huskies haven’t proved to me why I should call them to sweep anyone right now. So, I won’t. Prove me wrong, Huskies, and all will be forgotten. For now though, I call a split — UAA Friday, SCSU Saturday.
Tyler: UAA has a chance if it jumps on SCSU right away because the Huskies haven’t overcome a two goal or more deficit all season. SCSU also has a tough time holding third period leads, but the problem is UAA can’t bury the puck anyway (just 11 goals in 6 WCHA games for the Seawolves). SCSU sweep."
Well there you have the expert's choices. Three for a Husky Hockey sweep and three for a Husky Hockey split. We need the sweep (read why here) so I am going to say a SCSU sweep making it 4-3 Husky's sweep wins!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

An Important Game

The title, "An Important Game" coinciding with a blog about an upcoming series against the UAA Seawolves is usually not something Husky fans would hear. For most teams in the WCHA (including St. Cloud State), the most intimidating and threatening part of playing this team is the long trip it takes to get there and the potential problems a long trip like that before a game can cause to the players. In the last 5 years, UAA has not finished higher than 8th place in the WCHA (I only went back 5 years...) which generally does not pose much of a threat to SCSU Husky Hockey teams. Overall, SCSU leads UAA, 47-13-6 and in the last 10 contests, SCSU leads UAA with 7-1-2. UAA hasn’t swept the Huskies since 1988 at Sullivan Arena. As for at the National Hockey Center, the Seawolves have NEVER won a game in over 20 years (over 30 games played). Current UAA head coach Dave Shyiak is 2-12-2 against St. Cloud State.

So then why do I say this is "An Important Game"?

I was prompted when I read a blog post over at UAA Hockey Fan Blog titled, "Crucial Series With Huskies Looms".  I generally do not read this blog (as it often uses "colorful" language and is mostly negative and confrontational) but I do find it interesting to stop over there before a St. Cloud game. At first I scoffed at the title (particularly the word "crucial", as you may have scoffed at my title word "important") but the author makes a very sound argument as to why this game is important for both the Husky Hockey team and the Seawolves Hockey team. The author has this to say about the importance of this weekend's game for SCSU:
"This series is no less critical for St. Cloud.  The Seawolves and the Huskies are amongst the minority of teams in the WCHA who have played only 6 conference games.  St. Cloud has 5 points in those 6 games. Obviously there is lots of conference hockey yet to be played.  But there are corners to be turned at multiple points during the long WCHA grind and this weekend ... either direction represents a sharp 90% turn for both squads."
"The Huskies are performing well below the preseason pundits prognostications.  Almost universally they were expected to be one of the top teams in the nation.  Their roster sports 17 veteran skaters of which 15 are upperclassmen (7 juniors and 8 seniors)."
The assertion that St. Cloud needs WCHA conference points is absolutely correct. The point that the Huskies are playing WELL below expectations (and I would add ability) is absolutely correct. The Huskies were expected to be one of the nations (not just WCHAs) best teams were right on. They do have that potential, but have not lived up to it. A loss this weekend to the UAA Seawolves would be completely disheartening and disabling to both the Husky Hockey team and its fan base. Another reason (not mentioned in the UAA blog) why this game is important for SCSU Hockey is that our next opponent (on December 3rd and 4th) will be against the University of North Dakota. This series is what most Husky Hockey fans would consider "crucial" or "important". I, however, believe that it is just as important for the Huskies to get some wins (hopefully a sweep) and gain some confidence before going into the Ralph in couple of weeks. Do not be mistaken about the importance of this weekend or the ability of this Seawolves team. After all, this team was able to win last Friday against a pretty darn good Bemidji team. (Side Note: from seeing Seawolves freshmen Matt Bailey play for my Sioux Falls Stampede, I believe he is a real solid player and should do some great things for the UAA hockey program).

Although I do not agree with statements like, "The Huskies are clearly beatable" or agree with the idea that the Huskies identity is "Team Inconsistent", I do believe the blog post, "Crucial Series With Huskies Looms" is worth your time to read as a Husky fan. He makes some solid points and was very intelligently written.

In case you had forgotten about Ben Hanowski's heroics last year scoring with .1 seconds left in the game (to keep our unbeaten record against UAA at the NHC), the awesome video is below:


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mid-Week Husky Notes (playing catch-up)

Here are your mid-week Husky Hockey Notes (as well as other links to catch-up):

Last weekend:

Friday night's game- Huskies lost 3-0 to the University of Nebraska Omaha:
Saturday night's game- Huskies played much better, almost lost the game in the 3rd, came back to tie 4-4 with about a minute left on the clock:
Video with Novak:

From the Center Ice Club:
  • The CIC Player of the Week is Travis Novak who tied the game on Saturday night.
  • Listen to the Bob Motzko Show here.
Other Links:
Other Notes:
  • The Huskies have left for Anchorage, Alaska. During the Bob Motzko Show, Coach says he believes that this trip is exactly what the Huskies need right now. Hopefully we can see some great things from them this weekend.
  • Coach Motzko discontinued the rotating goalies last weekend, choosing to put Mike Lee in net for both games. Mike Lee is expected to get the start for both games this weekend as well. I hope this will be motivation and incentive for him to have great games.
  • UAA head coach Dave Shyiak is 2-12-2 against St. Cloud.
  • UAA is winless against the Huskies in the last four games.
  • Overall, SCSU leads against UAA 47-13-6
Other Great SCSU Hockey Videos (that I recently came across):


Friday, November 12, 2010

Husky Hockey Weekend Predictions

I am very much looking forward to this weekend's game against the University of Nebraska-Omaha. This UNO team has been red-hot tearing through the WCHA. They remain unbeaten in the WCHA and are looking to retain that awesome early record. However, I am looking forward to the Huskies being the team that finally puts an end to their rein. From Mick Hatten's blog, Coach Bob Motzko had this to say about UNO:
"They're one of those teams that's just been on a roll since Day 1. They've got great confidence. They're scoring goals and they've got a good hockey team. They're fast. They play hard."
So then, how do we beat them?
"First and foremost, we can't turn the puck over. They have a great transition game and they can turn it on you."
Here are some predictions for this weekends games:
Theresa: "UNO is unbeaten in league while SCSU still tries to make its mark. I really want to go with a UNO sweep, but I’m not going to. UNO Friday, SCSU Saturday."
Tyler: "These teams are in the opposite spots they were projected to be in when the WCHA Preseason Poll was released. It will be a telling weekend for both teams. The Huskies folded in the face of Miami’s offense a month ago in St. Cloud and I don’t think the Mavericks will have any trouble scoring on SCSU either. I do expect SCSU to win a game that reaches double digits in goals between the teams. Split."
Goal Gophers
Peter: "This will be an interesting matchup. SCSU finally played two decent games in a row even though they lost Saturday night in OT to BSU. UNO has been rolling, they thumped the other Mavericks last weekend at home. It’s always tough to go to SCSU and win but  SCSU still has not shown me they are consistent enough to win both games. ... Split"
Roman: "UNO is 7-1, rated No. 7 in USA Today poll. Rich Purslow had three assists last weekend in first game against MSU Mankato, Terry Broadhurst three in second. Huskies are led by Ben Hanowski (five goals) and Aaron Marvin (four) but nobody else has more than two. Even Garrett Roe is stuck at two and Mike Lee, half of goalie tandem with Dan Dunn, is 3-2 but has a 3.31 GAA and a .887 save percentage. ... UNO sweeps"
Goon's World
"Last weekend the Mavericks swept the MSUM Mavericks in Omaha and the Huskies split with the Beavers in St. Cloud.The Dean Blais led UNO Mavericks are now the only team to have a spotless record in the WCHA. The Mavericks will be playing a ranked team this weekend for the first time in league play. The Huskies have been a little bit unpredictable this season; they have split both their league series. If SCSU wants to live up the preseason hype, a couple of wins this weekend would definitely put them back on the radar. I’m going to go out on a limb here and go with the Huskies 3-pts."

So there we have it folks. The most common prediction being that the Huskies split this weekend. Again, bringing us the most ridiculous prediction, is Roman Augustoviz who predicted the Huskies would get swept last weekend. (I think I am starting to recognize a pattern.) However, I will say that there is more of a chance that the Huskies get swept than last weekend; although, it is still highly unlikely (Huskies have not been swept at home by WCHA opponent since 2007). I believe that the Huskies will a at least get one of the two wins; but, is very capable of getting the sweep if they can finally play for a full 60 minutes in back-to-back nights.

I will leave you with this:

From the Omaha-World Harold:
"They’re real good in the National Hockey Center.  I’ve had championship teams at North Dakota walk out of that building with no points." ~UNO Coach Dean Blais

"We know this is going to be a really tough series. We want to be proud of what we’ve done already this season, but we have to go into every weekend like we’re starting over from scratch. You have to keep that game-by-game approach." ~UNO’s senior defenseman, Pasko Skarica
 Go Huskies and bring your fans some wins this weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Southern Sightings and the Long Reach of the WCHA

I live in Memphis. No, I do not consider myself a Southerner. I spent the majority of my life in SD and MN and plan to return to that area after my temporary stay in the South. With that being said, and with most collegiate hockey fans living in the North, I though it might be interesting for you to know about the long reach and influence of the WCHA. Without a doubt, the biggest sport in the Southeast is college football. The next most common is college basketball. College hockey is literally almost unheard of (even with Alabama Huntsville only about 4 hours from Memphis.) However, I have seen several WCHA sightings and experiences here in Memphis. I have, on two occasions, been complimented on my St. Cloud State Husky Hockey apparel. It was also one of my Memphian students that first recognized the National Hockey Center on TV and told me about it (See the commercial below...I have seen it many times here in Memphis). I have seen a University of Minnesota hockey jersey at the local hockey team games (the Mississippi River Kings). While driving I have seen a UND Fighting Sioux license plate frame. And most recently, I saw a man crossing the street with a Mankato State Mavericks Hockey sweatshirt on. The only other college hockey experiecne I have had in the South was once talking about Boston University hockey to one of my students parents (they had a kid that went there). So from my experiences in the South, I think it would be safe to say that the WCHA has probably the largest spanning fan base in college hockey. What do you think?


Catching Up with Huskies Hockey

It has been a busy work week and I have not blogged as much as I would like to (because talking about Husky Hockey is fun stuff). Here are some quick Husky Hockey links:
  • The Center Ice Club player of the week is Aaron Marvin. Marvin scored a goal each night last weekend and notched an assist on Saturday. He had 9 SOG and was a +2. Congrats to Captain Marvin.
  • Due to technical issues, the Bob Motzko Show is not available online this week. I am kind of disappointed about that because I was interested in learning about what the coaches were doing to prepare for this weekends games against UNO.
  • Speaking of Aaron Marvin, SC Times columnist, Mick Hatten, has a new article about Marvin online. The article "SCSU's Marvin hits right spots" talks about Marvin as a hockey player, student, and hunter. The article also mentions some of the "ups and downs" of last season which included two suspensions from hits on UND's Chay Genoway and UW's Blake Geoffrion. A couple of key quotes from the post:
“He’s (Marvin) one of the hardest working guys I’ve been around in my career,” ~Coach Motzko
“Because of his points last year (16), he was one of the most under-ranked players in our league. He’s one of the most effective players in our league at what he does. It’s just great that he’s getting some offense right now and to feel a part of that offense". ~Coach Motzko
“I think the term that best describes him is he’s an honest player, meaning he does the little things. He’s simple. He makes the right play a lot. He’s not going to force something blindly. He just gets the job done and continues to work and work and work and lead us by his example.” ~senior assistant captain Garrett Roe
  • You can catch an interview from last weekend with Bret Hedican over at
  • The forward lines from Wednesday's practice (courtesy of KVSC twitter page): Hanowski-Roe-Dowd, Mosey-Marvin-Novak, Reid-LeBlanc-Festler, MacMillan-Christian-Volpei. Will Motzko ever settle on some lines? Or a starting goalie?
Tomorrow, if time allows, I will be back with the UNO preview and predictions. The only one I have read so far has been surprisingly optimistic for the Huskies. Come back tomorrow to read more!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Great Honor for a Great Hockey Player

Bret Hedican and President Potter III
On Saturday night, former Husky Hockey player Bret Hedican became the first Husky player to have his number (#24) retired. Hedican played for the Huskies from 1988-1991 where he was the first SCSU player to earn All-WCHA and helped guide the Huskies to their first-ever NCAA Division I tournament at the end of the 1988-89 season. As a defensemen, Hedican still holds several Husky Hockey records:
  • Fifth among SCSU defensemen for career points
  • Most points scored by a defenseman in a season with 48 in 1990-91
  • Most assists by a defenseman in a season with 30 in 1990-91
  • Most goals in a season for a defenseman with 18 in 1990-91 
  • Team’s single-game standard for defenders with three goals against Wisconsin on Feb. 15, 1991.
Captain Aaron Marvin and Bret Hedican
After his excellent career with the St. Cloud State Huskies, Hedican went on to have a stellar professional career. Some of his accolades include:
  • 1,147 NHL games during his career
  • 59 goals, 261 assists and 320 points during his career
  • 2006 Stanley Cup winner with the Carolina Hurricanes
  • Two Winter Olympic Games as a member of the USA men’s ice hockey team in 1992 (Albertville) and 2006 (Torino)
  • Team USA at the World Hockey Championships in 1997, 1999 and 2001
You can read more about this historic moment in Husky Hockey history at the sites below:
You can see some photos of the event here.

Below is a video tribute to Bret Hedican and his excellent career:

Bret Hedican and wife Kristi Yamaguchi with Coach Dahl
I can't put it any better, so in the words of St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III, "As a student-athlete Bret Hedican distinguished himself, the Husky hockey program and the number 24. His accomplishments as a player helped establish our men's hockey program at the Division I level, and his career and life achievements continue to bring great honor to him, his family and his alma mater. Retiring Bret's number 24 jersey is a fitting tribute to a friend and alumnus we hold in great esteem."

Congratulations Bret Hedican!

Consistently Inconsistent

Freshmen Nick Jensen's Goal!
The Huskies continue with their theme for the year (inconsistency) with a great win over the Bemidji Beavers on Friday night and an OT loss to the Beavers on Saturday. This means that Bemidji received its first ever WCHA win by beating St. Cloud State (not a record that the Huskies should be too proud of). Bemidji player Ian Lowe scored 46 seconds into overtime to give the Beavers a 3-2 win over the Huskies. Nick Jensen and Aaron Marvin were the lone goal scores for the Huskies in this game (two players that have been doing very well early in the season) and Dan Dunn is the goalie of record for this loss. Coach Motzko had this to say after the game:
"It was a hard, tough, defensive game, but I'm happy with our guys. We just happened to be the one making the one mistake."
Now I usually do not go against the coach (I realize he knows a heck of a lot more about hockey then I ever will) but it is hard to hear him saying he is "happy with our guys" after a loss to Bemidji. It seems the Huskies have been "the one making the one mistake" a little too frequently thus far this year and I sure hope they can turn it around soon.  With that being said, I do remember that SCSU had a rough start and a steady decline in the rankings early last year and ended up at #5 so I hope they are planning another turn around. You can read more about the game below:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Husky Hockey Win

Hanowski nets a hat trick for the Huskies
The Husky Hockey team had a very good game against Bemidji State last night pulling off a 6-3 victory. Ben Hanowski answered Coach Motzko's call (was sat out for a game last weekend) by getting a hat trick. Team leaders Garrett Roe and Aaron Marivn each had a goal as well as Drew LeBlanc who leads the Huskies this season with 12 points and had his hand in all three power-play goals. The Huskies depth was on display last night when 12 different players had points in the game. Read more about the games:
 Also, see the video below:

Let's hope the Huskies can put together another win for our first WCHA sweep of the season and finally start to find a little consistency to the season.

P.S. Check out Mike Doyle's three key's to tonight's game.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Husky Hockey Weekend Predictions and other Links

This weekend the Huskies will face Bemidji State for the first time as a conference rival since 1987 when the teams competed in Division III hockey. Here are a couple of predictions on this weekends games:

This is the WCHA...
"The Beavers scored their first point in conference play last week and were within a few seconds of gaining another one Friday night against No. 2 Minnesota Duluth. That's a good sign, considering how badly BSU was outplayed by North Dakota in their previous series. The difference for Bemidji was junior goaltender Mathieu Dugas, who made 28 saves in his first start of the season Saturday in a 1-1 tie. The Huskies have yet to get on track, splitting last weekend at home against Quinnipiac. In eight games, Garrett Roe has just one goal. That number will need to go up if the Huskies hope to get more than a split. 
BSU at SCSU - St. Cloud State sweep"
Goon's World
"Last weekend the Beavers lost and tied the Bulldogs in Bemidji and the Huskies split with Quinnipiac in St. Cloud.

The Beavers are still trying to get their first WCHA conference win, with this weekend being their first WCHA road games. BSU came close last weekend with a pair of overtime games. The Huskies have been sporadic to start the year, win here a lose there, repeat. SCSU had/has high hopes for the season, and the league coaches thought the Huskies were/are going to be one of the top teams in the league. This early in the year, you have to look past the standing some, SCSU sits in 10, but they have only played 2 games, where most played four or six games. BSU is winless in four games and sitting in the basement. The Beavers might have too big of a hole to dig out of, if they don’t get some points, and soon. SPLIT
Goal Gophers
"Peter: BSU has started out sluggish and maybe the pressure of getting the first win in the new building has been too much. They played UMD really tough this weekend and they can’t stay winless for long. SCSU has been wildly inconsistent, looking great one minute and very average the next. ... Split"
"Roman: Who made up the Beavers schedule? Their first three foes: North Dakota, UMD and SCSU are the top three teams in the preseason WCHA polls. BSU lost 3-2 in OT to the 'Dogs last weekend and played them to a 1-1 tie. St. Cloud State split with Quinnipiac. Who is playing better? .... Beavers sweep ON ROAD"
So much like the Huskies play this season, these predictions are all over the place. I have to say that the most ridiculous prediction is that the Beavers will sweep on the road. I don't know if Roman Augustoviz at Goal Gophers does his homework, but the last time a WCHA team has swept St. Cloud at the National Hockey Center was back in 2007 when Denver won 3-2 both nights (thus meaning BSU has been swept in their own barn by WCHA opponents more in the last 2 weeks than SCSU has in the last 2 years). Think of all the games SCSU has played since then at the NHC against UND, DU, UMD, UW, UofM, etc... and he believes it will be Bemidji to break that record? Now I know that St. Cloud has yet to find their "groove" but I believe at worst SCSU leaves this weekend with a split. Hopefully, the team can start clicking a put together a couple of solid wins for our first WCHA sweep of the season.

Other Links
  • The Bemidji Pioneer previews this weekends games in its piece, "Bemidji State men's hockey team faces St. Cloud State in first road trip of the year". The article has some good quotes from Bemidji players and Coach Serratore. The NHC's Olympic sheet of ice is one concern of theirs. 
  • In a piece on the Husky Hockey lines you can read about the players that will be seeing ice time this weekend and those that wont. The semi-surprise of this weekend is the sitting down of Husky freshmen Mitch MacMillan. The goalie rotation continues as Mike Lee takes his usual spot in net on Friday night. 
  • You can also read a blog post titled, "Preseries comments from Bemidji State men's hockey coach Tom Serratore" over at Mick Hatten's blog. Serratore on this Husky hockey team: "The St. Cloud team is extremely scary. They've got nine seniors and the bulk of their juniors are highly skilled and they have a very good power play."
See the video below for Bemidji State hockey players Jordan George and Jake Areshenko opinions on their first road series of the season this week against WCHA opponent St. Cloud State:

Go Huskies!