Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Marvin Named Captain!

Aaron Marvin has been named captain of the SCSU hockey team for the 2010-2011 season. Marvin (a Calgary Flames prospect) was an alternate team captain for the 2009-2010 season and will be playing in his senior year this season. During Marvin's career at SCSU he has notched 18 goals and 38 assists and has earned All-WCHA Academic honors in 2009 and 2010. Additionally, during his freshmen year at St. Cloud, Marvin earned the William Radovich Award as SCSU's Most Improved Player. Aaron Marvin kind of got a bad image in some parts of the WCHA (namely UND) for a couple of questionable hits on Chay Genoway (UND) and Blake Geoffrion (UW) last season and I am curious what the Fighting Sioux reaction will be to Marvin being named captain. However, I am certain that Marvin will serve as an excellent team leader this year and may very well captain SCSU to its first ever Frozen Four appearance (and hopefully championship).

*Earlier this summer I wrote about his time at the Flames prospect camp which you can see here.

Senior Garrett Roe (a Los Angeles Kings prospect) will serve as one of the alternate captains this season. Roe has already had a massively successful career at SCSU. Roe earned 45 points in his first season with the Huskies and earned 48 points the next season as a sophomore. Last year, as a junior, Roe tied Ryan Lasch for most points on the team with 49 points (20 goals and 29 assists). Garrett already ranks 5th in the team records with 142 career points and 87 career assists. Having not scored less than 45 points in his 3 years as a Husky, it is reasonable to believe that he will score at least 42 points this season to become SCSU's all time leading point producer. In 2009 and 2010 Roe earned All-WCHA Third Team honors. He also gained All-WCHA Second Team and All-WCHA Rookie team notice in 2008. During last years team awards, Roe was awarded the Frank Brimsek Award for Most Valuable Player. Garrett Roe has been named by Inside College Hockey as one of the players to watch in the 2010-2011 season.

Senior Chris Hepp will be serving this year as the other alternate team captain. Hepp, a transfer from the Air Force Academy, has two goals and eight assists during his career at SCSU since joining the team in 2008. Chris Hepp has also been recognized for earning All-WCHA Academic and WCHA Scholar-Athlete notice during his junior season.

Quote from Coach Bob Motzko:
"One of the big turnovers on our team this season was the loss of a great three-year captain Garrett Raboin. Garrett was an outstanding leader for our team, but I am very confident in turning over the captain's duties to these three guys."
I too am confident in these three guys as our captains and am looking forward to a great year. Go Huskies!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Budget Crisis and Alumni Players and CIC quotes. Oh My!

Pardon this somewhat scattered and random post. I have received a few new noteworthy items, but do not currently have the time to go into "in-depth" detail with each.

First, SCSU's budget crisis (and possibly cutting of the football program) was something I recently commented on. St. Cloud Times recently published an article talking more about the possiblilty of some athletic cutting. Here are my quick points:

  • SCSU athletic department is facing $500,000 deficit for next year.
  • Cutting will have to be made
  • Football cost the university $890,783 and brought in $67,161
  • Biggest loser financially for SCSU is women's hockey...cost $893,484 and brought in $7,100
  • In comparison, SCSU men's hockey costs $1,231,596 and brought in $1,334,774
  • Men's hockey is the only sport that makes money at SCSU (gain of $103,178)
  • Because of title 9, SCSU can not cut women's hockey.
  • "Fundamentally, we have to keep men's and women's hockey. Legally, it's not possible to drop women's hockey. After you look at that, football is the next big money sport. Then one option becomes eliminating football. If we don't eliminate football, what other options are there? That would be to cut eight minor sports — and that's not quite a satisfactory response."
Second, a couple notes on some SCSU alumn (thanks to CIC for these bits):
  • Former SCSU Husky (and Sioux Falls Stampede player) Joe Jensen has signed a professional contract for the 2010-2011 season with HC Pusteral of the Italian Serie A Professional League.
  • Former SCSU Husky Nate Raduns is hanging up the skates to attend graduate school at Vanderbilt University in Philadelphia
A couple of noteworthy quotes from CIC's twitter page:
  • "Concerning the loss of coach Rud. The upper classmen hate to see him go but understand the opportunity. They are focused on leading this team"
  • "The size and speed of this years SCSU men's squad has been ratcheted up. Cam Reid was in awe of some of the speed on this squad."
  • "Frosh forward Cam Reid (Nashville draft choice) is absolutely thrilled to be here. Competed against Mitch MacMillan in the BC league."
  • "I can't say enough about the quality of the student athletes Coach Motzko has recruited. Chatted with most of them at the Hockey Golf event."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Video Rewind pt. 4: The WCHA Finals

For the next couple of days (or weeks) I will be showing some of the best Husky Hockey YouTube videos from last year as a part of my 2009-2010 year in review. Most of these videos will come from either Husky Mag Productions or the SCSU Athletics YouTube channels. I was especially impressed with Husky Mag's videos. These YouTube videos were definitely a treat for those of us outside the MN area who seldom get to see the Husky's play.

*Also see:
Video 1: Hockey Gods- Recap of first two games against Mankato leading to game 3.

Video 2: LaBlanc OT Playoff Series Winning Goal against Mankato

Video 3: Post-Game Interviews after Mankato Series

Video 4: SCSU players talk after 2-0 victory over Wisconsin in WCHA Semifinals

Video 5: Wisconsin players talk after 2-0 loss to St. Cloud in WCHA Semifinals

Video 6: SCSU players talk after 3-5 loss to UND at WCHA Finals

Up Next for (the final) Video Rewind: "Video Rewind pt. 5: The NCAA Tournament"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Former Husky Goepfert featured on NHL.com

Not long ago I wrote about former SCSU Husky standout goaltender (and 2007 Hobey Baker finalist) Bobby Goepfert's return to North American hockey. Goepfert spent last season with Hamburg in the German Elite League but has signed on to play next season for the AHL's Charlotte Checkers. Recently, NHL.com featured an article (Goepfert readies for his chance in ECHL) about Bobby Goepfert having to overcome being underestimated his whole career. About his early career, NHL.com had this to say:

"The waiting game has worked for Goepfert in the past. He was a Hobey Baker Award finalist for St. Cloud State in 2007 and was the starting goaltender for the United States at the 2003 World Juniors, where he led the tournament with a .937 save percentage."
Despite the Carolina Hurricane's impressive depth cart in goal (Cam Ward, Justin Peters, Mike Murphy and Justin Pogge), I am confident that Bobby's hard work and impressive skills will pay off in his professional career. Best of luck Bobby!

*Of Note: Bobby Goepfert still holds SCSU records for best save percentage (.924) and best goals average against (2.24).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Video Rewind pt. 3: The WCHA Second Half

For the next couple of days (or weeks) I will be showing some of the best Husky Hockey YouTube videos from last year as a part of my 2009-2010 year in review. Most of these videos will come from either Husky Mag Productions or the SCSU Athletics YouTube channels. I was especially impressed with Husky Mag's videos. These YouTube videos were definitely a treat for those of us outside the MN area who seldom get to see the Husky's play.

*Also see:
Video 1: NHC Highlight Clip- She is Beautiful

Video 2: NHC Highlight Clip- Pour Some Sugar on Me

Video 3: NHC Highlight Clip- I Gotta Feeling

Video 4: NHC Highlight Clip- Smack Down

Video 5: UAA @ SCSU- Hanowski's goal with .1 seconds left!

Video 6: NHC Highlight Clip- Amazing

Video 7: UND @ SCSU

Up Next for Video Rewind: "Video Rewind pt. 4: The WCHA Finals"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010-2011 Husky Hockey Team Roster

The team roster for the 2010-2011 season has been announced. You can download the file here. You can also see the roster below:

So what do you think of the team? I am thinking it is looking mighty nice!

Go Huskies!

View from the Lighthouse- Husky Hockey Players

Recently, a couple of former SCSU players were mentioned in the Minnesota Wild blog "View from the Lighthouse". The blog talks about former Shattuck-Saint Mary's and WCHA buddies Zach Parise (UND), Jordan Parise (UND), Kyle Okposo (UofM), Drew Stafford (UND), Casey Borer (SCSU), and Marty Mjelleli (SCSU) visiting Target Field for some batting practice. Take a look at the video below:

Eric Rud is now offically the coach of the Gamblers

Eric Rud is now officially the coach of the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. The search is now on for a suitable replacement as assistant coach for the team. I am sure more will be coming soon.

For now, check out these links for the story:

"Gamblers hire St. Cloud State assistant Rud as coach"

"Gamblers name Eric Rud Head Coach"

I hope Eric Rud continues to find success wherever he goes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eric Rud Expected to be announced as new head coach of Green Bay Gamblers

Not long ago, I commented on the possibility of assistant Husky Hockey Coach Eric Rud taking the head coaching position for the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. Well, it is now being stated that he is expected to be announced as the new head coach tomorrow afternoon at a press conference. Rud was supposed to be starting his sixth season as an assistant coach with the Huskies in 2010-11. With the recent unfortunate news of David Eddy's ineligibility and now the loss of Eric, the Huskies have definitely taken some serious hits in the last couple days. However, Rud will have an awesome opportunity with the Green Bay Gamblers as head coach as they are coming off a great season last year winning the Clark Cup. Husky Hockey Time wishes him the best of luck in the future.

Any thoughts as to who will be his replacement?

Video Rewind Pt. 2: The WCHA First Half

For the next couple of days (or weeks) I will be showing some of the best Husky Hockey YouTube videos from last year as a part of my 2009-2010 year in review. Most of these videos will come from either Husky Mag Productions or the SCSU Athletics YouTube channels. I was especially impressed with Husky Mag's videos. These YouTube videos were definitely a treat for those of us outside the MN area who seldom get to see the Husky's play.

*Make sure you see Video Rewind Pt. 1: The Preseason first.

Video 1: UMD @ SCSU- First WCHA win of the season.

Video 2: SCSU @ UND (suggestion: Turn your speakers off for these highlights. The commentators are awful and a disgrace to SCSU's communications program and SCSU hockey. However, Dan Dunn did a stellar job with 46 saves, so I had to include the clip)

Video 3: NHC Highlight Clip-Run this Town

Video 4: UW @ SCSU- Mike Lee's first WCHA win!

Video 5: NHC Highlight Clip- 300 Violin Orchestra

Up Next for Video Rewind: "Video Rewind pt. 3: The WCHA Second Half"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

David Eddy Ineligible for the Fall and Rud's Future

St. Cloud State sophomore (and former Sioux Falls Stampede player) David Eddy will not be eligible to play for the Huskies this fall. Eddy had a very good freshmen year scoring 12 goals and added 13 assists in 35 games last season. This gave him 25 points for the year, which was the highest of any SCSU freshmen. David Eddy beat out other freshmen standouts Mike Lee and Ben Hanowski to win the Roland Vandell Award for Outstanding First Year Player during last years team awards. Eddy was placed on a line with other top scorers Garrett Roe and Tony Mosey. No other information about David Eddy’s eligibility is currently available, but the rest of the SCSU team roster is expected to be released sometime next week. Not having David Eddy on the roster this fall will definitely have a negative impact on the team.

In other news, SCSU assistant coach Eric Rud has been contacted about becoming the head coach of the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. Right now, nothing is set and no interviews have been conducted.

SCSU Football in Danger

Earlier this week it was announced that SCSU Football could be cut for next season. The reason for this is because the 2012 fiscal year (begins July 2011) needs to cut about $500,000. To solve these budgetary woes, SCSU has three main proposals:
  1. Eliminate only football
  2. Eliminate football and 3 other sports
  3. Keep football, and get rid of 8 other sports
During these budget discussions, SCSU has asked the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) if it is possible to remain in the conference, even if the school no longer has a football program. As it is currently, football is one of the sports required for schools to have to play in the NSIC conference. SCSU President Earl H. Potter III has said getting permission from the NSIC to cut their football program will not necessarily mean that the football program will be cut. Here is a couple other quotes from Potter:
"Everything's on the table. Anything is possible. I can't, at this point, say that (any program) is safe."
Does that mean hockey is not safe at SCSU?
"The hierarchy of sports on this campus in terms of revenue generation -- hockey is at the top and football is a subsidized program."
At SCSU hockey is king. Period. It will not be in danger of being one of the sports cut at SCSU because of all the sports at St. Cloud...it is the only one that actually makes money. The only immediate concern I had for the hockey program was the $30 million additions to the National Hockey Center. However, I am assuming that those additions are not at risk because the additions are being paid for by the state of Minnesota, private money, sponsorships, and naming rights. Also, within the last week I read that the NHC additions continues on schedule with subcontractor bids due in September and Phase 1 of construction to start in March (2011).

With all this being said, I do hope that St. Cloud continues its football program. With the exception of hockey, it is the next best sporting event to attend and the new Husky Football Stadium is a fun place to spend a Friday night (before hockey season begins).

Read about the issue here:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Video Rewind Pt. 1: The Preseason

For the next couple of days (or weeks) I will be showing some of the best Husky Hockey YouTube videos from last year as a part of my 2009-2010 year in review. Most of these videos will come from either Husky Mag Productions or the SCSU Athletics YouTube channels. I was especially impressed with Husky Mag's videos. These YouTube videos were definitely a treat for those of us outside the MN area who seldom get to see the Husky's play.

Video 1: "The Second Coming"

Video 2: Union College @ SCSU

Video 3: Mike Lee- Post Game Interview- First Collegiate Win

Up Next for Video Rewind: "Video Rewind pt. 2: WCHA Opponents-The First Half"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Which Playoff Misses Could Turn into Hits?

Recently, over at NHL.com, they have been featuring teams that did not make it into the playoffs last year. The articles are split into Western teams and Eastern teams. The article highlights each teams finish last year, off season changes, and why they could have a chance at making it into the playoffs.

The Minnesota Wild were featured as one of the Western Conference misses of last year that could make it to the playoffs this year. The site lists key acquisitions like former SCSU player Matt Cullen and possible breakout performances from Havlat and Bouchard as some reasons why they might make it back to the playoffs. We can also expect continued efforts from Koviu, Brunette, and Backstrom to help lead the team back to the playoffs.

On the Eastern front, NHL.com lists one of the reasons the Tampa Bay Lightning could return to the playoffs because of their "strong top six". Former SCSU player Ryan Malone is cited as one of those top six players on a line with Lecavalier and Gagne.

Glad to see our alumn's being featured on NHL.com!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cam Reid: Ready for School and Ready to play as a Husky

Recently, Examiner.com- Nashville wrote a piece about incoming freshmen Cam Reid. Cam Reid was slated to play for the University of New Hampshire last year when a high school transcript issue did let him become enrolled in the school. Reid decided to head back to the BCHL (British Colombia Hockey League) to play for the Westside Warriors for the 2009-2010 season. During that season, Cam put up some really great numbers (72 points- 27 goals- 45 assists). Cam was ranked 14th in the BCHL in points and 13th in assists. If your looking for a little comparison, Mitch MacMillian (also a freshmen for SCSU this year that played in the BCHL) was ranked 4th in points and 1st in goals. Cam Reid decided to attend SCSU because of its "really good program". Reid was drafted by Nashville in 2009 (4th round-110th overall). Nick Oliver (currently of the Fargo Force) is also a Nashville prospect and will likely join the Husky team in 2011. In a 2009 interview Nick Oliver had the following to say about why he chose to play as a Husky:
"I just really liked the coaching staff, really liked the direction the program's headed. It's a good college. And I like the fact that it's mainly a hockey school. It's the only D1 sport there. The fans love it there, and rink's awesome. They have a lot of great recruits coming in, it's on the upswing. I think it's going to a fun time."
Great comments! St. Cloud is "mainly a hockey school" and the "fans love it there". SCSU is set to have another record breaking year because of the talented players already in place and the great new players like Reid, MacMillian, and Oliver (among others) coming in. Go Huskies!

INCH A-Z: Ben Hanowski

Head on over to Inside College Hockey to see what they are saying about SCSU's own Ben Hanowski. The writer comments on how his college points are down from his HS point production (Ben is the MOST prolific scorer in MN HS history), but that he had respectable numbers for his first year (19 points- 9 goals- 10 assists). The article mentions Hanowski's "offensive abilities and his scoring touch around the net" as some of his positive attributes. Ben now has his freshmen year out of the way and has participated in the Penguins Development Camp for the last two years. Husky fans should look forward to seeing even more offensive production from him this coming season.

*See my previous post about Ben Hanowski at the Penguins Development Camp.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Early Departures and the Life that Could Have Been

There has been a lot written recently about the mass exodus taking place in college hockey of players leaving to the pro or junior ranks:
Thankfully, none on our Huskies team decided to split from their college commitments to go play somewhere else this off season. However, it is a very disconcerting phenomenon in our sport right now. I am most concerned about some peoples attitude on the competitive nature and strengths of college hockey (NCAA hockey vs. Major Junior for instance). I think Shane Frederick from the Mankato Free Press gave the best example when he said (talking of Tyler Pitlick's departure):
"In a pre-draft blog, Pierre McGuire, an analyst for NBC and a contributor to Sports Illustrated wrote, 'He plays university hockey but has the potential to play for the Medicine Hat Tigers.'

It was if going from 'university hockey' to the NHL is some improbable leap. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe McGuire was 'inside the glass' when a former college star, North Dakota’s Jonathan Toews, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as he captained the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup championship a couple of weeks ago."

In this discussion of players leaving early and my recent (and upcoming) look at last season, I can't help but to think of Andreas Nodl's early departure from the Huskies at the end of the '07-'08 season. (Of note, Nodl also played for two years for my Sioux Falls Stampede). Had Nodl stayed with the team he would played in his senior year last year. In his time with the Huskies, Nodl had 46 points his first year and 44 points his second. It is hard to believe that the Huskies would not have won just one more game and made it to the Frozen Four last year if Nodl had been playing right up there with Lasch and Roe. Since leaving the Huskies, Nodl has spent the majority of his time with the Philadelphia Flyers AHL affiliate Phantoms (107 games). Nodl has also played 48 games for the Flyers team though. Most recently, Nodl was called upon to fill in for Ian Laperriere during the Stanley Cup finals after Laperriere took a puck to the face (see video below).

Was it better for Nodl to leave? Could SCSU have gone on to the Frozen Four and a possible national championship with Nodl on the roster last year? I guess we'll never know.

NHL 30 in 30: Minnesota Wild

NHL.com is spending the month of August reviewing each of the 30 teams in the league. They are analyzing key stories for each team, player transactions, a review of the previous year, and a look into the teams 2010-2011 season. Today (Monday, August 16) is the day that they are looking at our own Minnesota Wild. I will let you read the article yourself, but the outlook for next year is greater than our last year. With some key acquisitions of Matt Cullen, John Madden, and Eric Nystrom, some good looking prospects (like former Sioux Falls Stampede player Nate Prosser) and an additional year to adjust to the new system of play, the Wild are in a good position to start the 2010-2011 season. NHL.com also has a link to an article about former SCSU Husky Matt Cullen displayed on their home page.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Year to Remember 2009-2010

Before I begin discussing the upcoming season, I believe we first need to take a look into the past. Last year was an historic one for the Huskies and with only a handful of players leaving last spring, it is sure to be another one this year. First, let's look at where the Huskies finished in the 2009-2010 season:Next, let's take a look at the records:
  • 15-9-4 in the WCHA
  • 24-15-5 Overall
  • 12-4-5 Home
  • 10-8-0 Away
  • 2-2-0 Neutral
Here is a quick look at some highlights from the '09-'10 schedule:
  • Similar to the upcoming '09-'10 season, last year the Huskies played some preseason games against Miami University. In the preseason polls last year Miami was ranked #2 in the nation. The Huskies forced the Redhawks into OT on Oct. 9th. Unfortunately we lost that game, but it was an early showing of some serious talent.
  • Our first conference opponent was the University of Minnesota Duluth. We tied the Friday night game and won the Saturday night game taking 3 points in the series.
  • On Nov. 13-14 the Huskies played against division rival North Dakota. UND won the Fri. night game, but the Huskies came back on Sat. and beat UND 3-2. It was at the Fri. night game that SCSU player Aaron Marvin hit UND player Chay Genoway from behind...ending Chay's season last year (instantly giving Marvin the "goon" title by all Sioux fans). I am glad to report that Chay will be back this year and very possibly serving as team captain.
  • The next two weekend series with Wisconsin and Denver were both splits.
  • Our first WCHA sweep of the season came against UAA on 12/4-12/5.
  • Our next WCHA sweep came against MTU on 1/8-1/9
  • Our first and only meeting with division and I-94 rival the University of Minnesota resulted with a Huskies sweep on 1/22-1/23. This is after a terrible record with the Gophers the year before. Everything suggests that the Huskies should dominate against the Gophers again this season.
  • The 2/5-2/6 games against UAA were a couple of big ones. The Fri. night game provided some riveting play when Ben Hanowski scored with .1 seconds left to force the game into OT. The game ended as a 4-4 tie. This helped the Huskies continue its home dominance against the Seawolves. The Huskies have never lost a game against UAA in the National Hockey Center (it has been well over 20 years). The Sat. game the Huskies came back from a bit of an embarrassing tie against UAA and won 6-0. This was Lee's first shutout.
  • The next two weekends resulted in splits against UND and UW.
  • In the first round of the WCHA playoffs, the Huskies played against the MSU Mavericks. The Mavericks put on an incredible show and played much better than anyone would have expected. The results were a Fri. OT loss for the Huskies, a Sat. win for the Huskies, and a Sun. OT win for the Huskies.
  • The Huskies then played Wisconsin in the WCHA semi-final. The Huskies won 2-0. This was Lee's second shutout of the year. (A pretty impressive game considering Wisconsin's talent).
  • The Huskies then played UND in the WCHA Broadmoor Trophy Championship game. Unfortunately the Sioux won.
  • On to the NCAA West Regional Semi-Final where the Huskies played against Northern Michigan. The Huskies won the game in the 2 OT with a goal by Tony Mosey. This was the Huskies first national tournament win (despite a respectable 8 appearances in about 20 years as a D-I program).
  • The Huskies then went on to play Wisconsin in the NCAA West Regional Final. Unfortunately the Huskies lost this game 3-5. The Badgers went on to the NCAA Final Championship game only to lose to Boston College (in a somewhat embarrassing fashion).
General accolades for the Huskies last year:
  • The Huskies were not swept once last year by a WCHA opponent.
  • The Huskies swept division rival University of Minnesota.
  • Played in the WCHA Final Five title game.
  • Went back to the NCAA tournament for the 9th time
  • Won our first NCAA tournament game
  • Senior Ryan Lasch leaves the school ranking 1st in 5 career stat categories (including points)
  • Junior Garrett Roe had 49 points on the season. He only needs 42 this upcoming season to become SCSU's top scorer (has never scored less then 45 points in his 3 years).
Now I am sure there were other great things in last season that I have not highlighted, so please add them in the comments as you see fit.

Coming up...I will soon be adding some video highlights of this incredible season.

Go Huskies!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Times They Are A Changin'

This year will be an historic one in the WCHA with the addition of the Univeristy of Nebraska-Omaha and Bemidji State University. It will also be historic because of the opening of a couple new fantastic looking arenas. Bemidji State will be opening the Bemidji Regional Events Center this fall. Along with being a 4,000 seat arena for the Bemidji State hockey team, it will also serve as a venue for trade shows, concerts, convocations, and other events. Check out this nice looking video:

The University of Minnesota-Duluth is also commencing a new facility which will now be called the Amsoil Arena. The arena will have seating for 6,600 for hockey games and 8,500 for concerts. A couple sweet additions to this arena include: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, more skywalk access, and an open bowl design. The arena's opening date is scheduled for December 31, 2010.

All of this talk of new new arenas has me excited for our own new renovations to the National Hockey Center. Our arena additions include a new glass atrium entrance, a new team store, concourse improvements, 20-30 luxury suites and additional regular seats. Take a look at the photos and video below:

The project is estimated to cost about $30 million dollars. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2011 and be completed by 2013. It was recently announced that after the construction is completed there will be a change of the SCSU offensive zone to the west end for 2 periods. This is opposite of its current configuration. Also, SCSU students will be moved to the "bowled" area at the west end behind the opposing goaltender for two periods, which should make for some great goaltending taunting.

At any rate I am excited for these two WCHA opponents and thier new facility and even more pumped for the coming renovations to our own National Hockey Center. Go Huskies!

Added Exhibition Game

Been busy lately...school starts up in less then a week.

Last week it was announced that St. Cloud State has added an additional exhibition game against the University of Manitoba on Saturday, October 2nd. I like this for a couple of reasons. One, it gives St. Cloud another game which is great. Two, it starts off the hockey season earlier. And third, the University of Manitoba will be playing the University of North Dakota the next night (Sun. Oct. 3rd). I like this because it will serve as an early measuring stick for the team that Inside College Hockey has called the Huskies "primary challenger for WCHA supremacy" this season.

More will be coming on the SCSU hockey schedule in the future.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Husky...Mitch MacMillian

It was recently announced that forward Mitch MacMillian has decommitted to Northeastern University and has committed to St. Cloud State University. Mitch spent the 2009-2010 season playing in the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League) for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Mitch's younger brother Mark has already committed to UND. Last season Mitch put up what can only be described as INCREDIBLE numbers. In 59 games played, he scored 61 goals and 32 assists for 93 points. He also had 33 power-play goals and 13 game-winning goals. If he can put up numbers anything like those for St. Cloud, we most definitely should be a top 5 team in the nation this year. A couple of accolades:
  • Named the Coastal Conference Most Valuable Player
  • Led the BCHL in goals with 61 and paced all Coastal scorers with 93 points
  • First BCHL player since former WI Badger Kyle Turris to score 50 goals in 50 games or less
I hope to find out more about Mitch in the future, but in the meantime here are some videos about Mitch:

Welcome to SCSU and Husky Hockey Mitch!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Goin' to Camp pt. 3

Found a few more items of SCSU players at their Prospect Development Camps over the summer.

SCSU forward Travis Novak (left) was recently photographed alongside former Wisconsin Badger Brendan Smith (right) while laughing it up at the Detroit Red Wings Prospect Camp. Novak participated in the camp as a free agent camp invitee. Travis Novak impressed SCSU hockey fans last season with his speed and ability to score shorthanded goals. Novak also was the first to score in the Huskies historic NCAA West Regional Semifinal win against Northern Michigan. See video below:

SCSU defensive player Oliver Lauridsen (aka "The Great Dane") was recently singled out as one of the best defensive standout players at the Philadelphia Flyers Prospect Development Camp. The website mentions things like Oliver's size, big hits, smooth skating, blocking, and positioning as some of his best qualities. Here is a video Husky Productions put together about Lauridsen:

I already have an updated list of SCSU players at Prospect Development Camp:
  • Mike Lee (Pheonix; see previous post)
  • Nick Oslund (Detroit; see previous post)
  • Nick Jensen (Detroit; see previous post)
  • Garrett Roe (Los Angeles)
  • Oliver Lauridsen (Philadelphia)
  • Dan Dunn (Washington)
  • Nick Oliver (Nashville)
  • Nic Dowd (Los Angeles)
  • Kevin Gravel (Los Angeles)
  • Travis Novak (Detroit)
  • Drew LeBlanc (Chicago)
  • Ben Hanowski (Penguins; see previous post)
  • Aaron Marvin (Calgary; see previous post)
(*Please let me know if this list needs editing. I think I got everyone this time.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Goin' to Camp pt. 2

A couple of additional Husky hockey players made news while at their NHL Prospect Development Camps over the summer:

Ben Hanowski came to SCSU last year with some very high expectations. After all he was a 2009 Mr. Hockey finalist, the 2009 AP player of the year, and is the MOST prolific scorer in Minnesota High School hockey history (405 points), which is no laughing matter considering the history of great players in the State of Hockey. Hanowski did well his freshmen year at SCSU (8th in points), but I am sure this year we will see even higher numbers from him. Recently, at the Penguins Development Camp, Penguins writer Jason Seidling mentioned Hanowski (taken by the Penguins in the 2009 NHL Draft-63rd overall pick) as one of the two players he is most interested in following over the next couple of years. Seidling stated things like Ben's "very quick release" and ability to "get off hard, quick shots in traffic" as some of his best qualities. According to Seidling, Hanowski, "has the look of a potential second-line forward." Below is a video interview of Ben Hanowski at this years Penguins Development Camp and a video of his game tying goal with .1 seconds on the clock last season:

Senior Aaron Marvin was also featured on the Calgary Flames website during their Prospect Development Camp. According to the site, Marvin uses his "body, strength and long reach very well" and "has great playmaking abilities and great on-ice vision." Marvin's body and strength got him into a little hot water last year around the WCHA (see videos below) but hopefully we won't have those issues this year.

Other Huskies that participated in NHL Prospect Camps:
  • Mike Lee (Pheonix; see previous post)
  • Nick Oslund (Detroit; see previous post)
  • Nick Jensen (Detroit; see previous post)
  • Garrett Roe (Los Angeles)
  • Oliver Lauridsen (Philadelphia)
  • Dan Dunn (Washington)
  • Nick Oliver (Nashville)
  • Nic Dowd (Los Angeles)
  • Kevin Gravel (Los Angeles)
(*Please let me know if this list needs editing. I think I got everyone.)

Random Luck...

As I was visiting the AHL Charlotte Checkers website to see if I could find any more information about their recent acquisition of former SCSU goalie Bobby Geopfert (see previous post) I saw that the Checkers also just signed former Sioux Falls Stampede player Jacob Micflikier (Stampede alum '01-'03). Now most of you WCHA fans will probably not recognize Jacob Micflikier's name (as he attended four years of collegiate hockey at the University of New Hampshire) but any of you who follow the Sioux Falls Stampede program are sure to recognize the name. Interestingly enough, Jacob and I graduated from the same high school (Roosevelt High School), had the same biology class our senior year, and were actually lab partners. Crazy coincidence. Good luck to Jacob, Bobby, and the rest of the Charlotte Checkers this upcoming season.

Bobby's Back!

This just in, former standout Husky Hockey goaltender Bobby Goepfert has signed a contract with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers. Goepfert (SCSU alum '05-'07) spent last season with Hamburg in the German Elite League and lead his team in goals average against and save percentage. Bobby was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2002 NHL draft and was the starting goaltender for the U.S. at the World Junior Hockey Championships in 2003 (where he was arguably the best goalie at the tournament). While at SCSU, Goepfert was a Hobey Baker Award finalist for NCAA Player of the year in 2007. Bobby Goepfert still holds SCSU records for best save percentage (.924) and best goals average against (2.24) and is one of the absolute best goalies to ever play for the Huskies.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Winter Classic- Feeling Minnesota?

It was announced this summer that the Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Washington Capitals at Heinz field for the 2011 Winter Classic. As this will be Sidney Crosby (and the Penguins) 2nd trip to the Winter Classic in the short 4 year history of the spectacle, many hockey fans are upset that the other 25 NHL teams did not get a chance at the excitement. However, I suppose the chance to highlight the Crosby/ Ovechkin rivalry would be too much for the NHL to pass up. The game most certainly will have a lot of hype and a lot of star power, but it is unfortunate that the Penguins will be playing again and that the game has stayed on the East coast.

This leads to the inevitable speculation as to which teams will participate in the 2012 Winter Classic. As I have for the last 3 Winter Classic games, I will go ahead and say that Minnesota is the logical choice to host the Winter Classic. The Bleacher Report listed several reasons why Minnesota would be the perfect place for the Winter Classic. Among them are:
  • In MN, hockey is not just a sport, its an institution.
  • Rinks are littered all over the state, even in backyards.
  • More Minnesotans have worn NHL jerseys than players from any other state.
  • High School State Hockey Championships at the Xcel
  • Hockey-crazed fans.
  • List goes on...
The issue of not having a place to host the event has been replaced with the issue of where to host the event. The Twin Cities are now home to 2 brand new ideal places to have the game. The TCF Bank Stadium of the Gophers Football program would offer a large venue for having the game and Target Field (new home to the MN Twins) offers a beautiful new baseball park where the game could be played. Some uniforms have already been speculated by the Wild fan base:

Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leopold has already made it well known that he is actively pursing the Winter Classic for Minnesota. Several websites are also assuming that a Winter Classic game in Minnesota would likely include an outdoor NCAA college hockey game. (Much like how last year's venue at Fenway included a Friday night game under the lights between Boston College and Boston University.) The big question then for college hockey fans would be who would play in this game? Unfortunately, it is likely a foregone conclusion that the University of Minnesota will be playing in the game. However, who would play as their opponent? I have read that some believe all MN Div. 1 college hockey teams should play. My assumption is that there would be one game and my assumption (and hope) would be that it would be St. Cloud State. Some reasons:

  • Last years record and early predictions for next year suggest St. Cloud State is the BEST college hockey team in Minnesota.
  • The rivalry between Minnesota and St. Cloud is one of the best (if not the best) rivalry in the WCHA.
  • The location (the Gophers and the Huskies are the two teams closest to the Twin Cities)
  • The U of M is Minnesota's largest university... St. Cloud State is Minnesota's second largest university.
Also, check out this video:

What do you think? Should the Winter Classic be held in Minnesota soon, will there be a college hockey game? If so, who will play? Why?

The National Hockey Center becomes a National Star

True story: One day last spring a middle school student of mine (in Memphis, TN) came to me and said, "Mr. Larson I saw your St. Cloud hockey rink in a commercial last night!" to which I replied to my adolescent student, "There is no way that you saw the National Hockey Center in a commercial last night." He told me to Google St. Cloud and tempurpedic and sure enough I got a video on YouTube of St. Cloud being featured in a bed commercial for a Tempur Cloud bed. I immediately sent the video link to my wife. I have since seen the commercial multiple times here in Memphis (most notably on Versus during the Stanley Cup playoffs) and according to the comments on the video's YouTube page, people have seen it everywhere from California, to Washington D.C., and all the way to the Bahamas. Tempuer-Pedic spent over 2 weeks in St. Cloud filming the 60-second commercial that features numerous St. Cloud landmarks, businesses, residents, and, of course, the National Hockey Center- home of the St. Cloud State Husky hockey team. See the commercial below.

NHL Draft 2010 Top 10 Sleeper Pick Kevin Gravel

The 2010 NHL draft was not as exciting for Husky hockey fans as last years. After all, the NHL 2009 draft had 6 SCSU players drafted (Hanowski, Lee, Jensen, Oliver, Dowd, Lauridsen) which was the most in SCSU history and tied the University of Minnesota for most college picks in the 2009 draft. Of course the University of Minnesota has since lost a number of these 2009 draft picks (Schroeder, Leddy, Birkholz, etc...) while SCSU has retained all of their 2009 NHL draft picks. However, the 2010 NHL draft still had something to offer Husky fans. Incoming SCSU freshmen, Kevin Gravel, was selected in the 5th round (148th overall) by the Los Angles Kings. According to Sportsnet.ca, Kevin Gravel is a top 10 sleeper pick in this years draft. Shane Malloy, Sportsnet.ca columnist, says that Gravel has demonstrates hockey sense and mobility and is an underrated defenseman with potential to be a solid two-way player. In an interview with McKeen's Hockey, Kevin stated St. Cloud State's atmosphere (hockey is king), rink, team, coaches, renovations, leauge (WCHA) and familial ties as reasons for passing on other interested schools. Kevin Gravel's father, Jim Gravel, played for the Huskies '77-'81. In the '80-'81 season, Jim lead the Huskies in scoring with 47 points. I hope that Kevin Gravel will experinece similar (or better) success with the Huskies as his dad once did. Welcome to SCSU Kevin!