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 USCHO.com, "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 SiouxSports.com, 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 KVSC.org.
  • 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!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Weekend Preview and Other Notes Around the WCHA

Below are a couple of previews to this weekends game against newcomer Bemidji State. Despite Bemidji being new to WCHA hockey, they are a familiar team to St. Cloud State. Read the links below to learn more:

Here is what USCHO.com had to say about this weekends game:

"The Huskies hope this is the weekend to stop the slide that has taken them from fourth to 20th in the USCHO.com poll.

This could be the turn-around weekend for SCSU if the Huskies can draw man advantages and convert against BSU, a unit that has had a tough time killing penalties. The Beavers rank near the bottom of Division I with a 69.6 percent penalty kill. All four goals the Beavers allowed to Minnesota-Duluth last weekend were power-play goals, and BSU came away with only one point.

The Beavers are just thirsting for their first WCHA win."
Check out bsubeavers.com for some great information on the BSU vs. SCSU history during their Div. III years as well as their time as Div. I programs. St. Cloud State has had 10 consecutive wins from 10/3/1999 to 10/27/2007 and are unbeaten in 16 of the last 17 against the Beavers.

Here are a few new posts from Husky Hockey beat writer Mick Hatten:
  • Check out, "Reid helps Huskies find the beat" to learn more about Nashville Predator prospect and CIC player of the week Cam Reid. The Reid-LeBlanc-Festler line were great last weekend playing with each other and are expected to play with each other again this weekend. Reid has scored two goals in seven shots this season. Let's hope he begins taking a few more shots at the net.
  • Big news coming recently from Husky Productions. Comcast Cable and Husky Productions are collaborating to bring Husky Hockey to the Twin Cities. SCSU home hockey games will be televised live on the Comcast cable systems in the Minneapolis market (channel 23) and the St. Paul market (channel 13). The first two games scheduled to be televised live are this weekends home games Friday and Saturday against Bemidji State. The other dates include Jan. 28-29 vs. Minnesota State, Feb. 19 vs. North Dakota and Feb. 25-26 vs. Wisconsin. Way to go Husky Productions! I hope this partnership continues for many years.
  • Here are some statistics on future Husky players.
Around the WCHA

The biggest news around the WCHA this last week has been Denver senior forward Jesse Martin being hit by the Sioux’s Brad Malone (former Husky standout Ryan Malone's little cousin) last weekend. Martin suffered multiple fractures to his C2 vertebrae as a result from the hit. He is being cared for at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. Much of the news surrounding this tragedy has been positive, including a call from Martin to Malone as well as many people from around the WCHA visiting Martin in the hospital. I also have seen several negative comments from many different parties from around the college hockey world so I have thus far stayed silent on the issue. I will continue to refrain from stating my own opinion as to try to keep this blog as clean and as positive as possible, but will leave you with this link to the Western College Hockey Blog that has several valid and interesting points. One quote that Husky Hockey fans might find interesting from this blog post:
"All in all, I'm not going to declare Malone the worst person ever because I think he was honestly trying to throw a legal check, but the bottom line is that he definitely threw an illegal check which seriously injured another player. What type of suspension should that be worth? For those willing to search through internet archives, you could probably find all sorts of creative solutions from North Dakota fans, demanding pounds of flesh from Aaron Marvin last year, not the least of which was former Grand Forks Herald writer Virg Foss, who penned an editorial last year saying players that injure a player with an illegal check should be suspended until the injured player returns to the ice. I doubt the Herald will be reprinting that this week. There's no need to be excessive, but the suspension should definitely be significant."
Brad Malone has been issued a one-game suspension by the WCHA. I wish Jesse Martin a safe and speedy recovery.

Another unfortunate injury that was recently suffered was a moped accident by the Gophers sophomore Zach Budish. He could potentially be sidelined for the rest of the season. Budish is a great player for the Gophers and I also hope that he has speedy recovery.

Listen to This Week in the WCHA for a couple other notes about what is going on around the best hockey league in the nation.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mid-Week Husky Hockey Notes

Here are your mid-week Husky Hockey Notes:
Cam Reid- CIC Player of the Week
  • Check out this week's Coach Bob Motzko's Show over at the Center Ice Club. This week senior defensemen Chris Hepp talks about his goal last weekend, his journey to SCSU, and his role on the team. Also hear from Coach about what the team is doing well and what it needs to improve on by this weekend against WCHA newcomer Bemidji State. 
  • The Center Ice Club player of the week is freshmen Cam Reid. Reid had a goal each night last week, one assist, and was +1.
  • You can listen to an interview this week done by KVSC at SCSU with Cam Reid here.
  • Check out Mick Hatten's latest blog, "A couple notes from SCSU men's hockey practice; new USCHO.com poll out". In the blog, Hatten talks about the Huskies game last weekend and the apparent roller coaster ride that we have been on. He also mentions some notes about this weekends upcoming series against Bemidji. Bemidji State is 0-3-1 with all four games at home; however, the Huskies can expect them to come at them hard this weekend. The line juggeling is likely to continue for this weekend with the exception of the Reid-LeBlanc- Festler line. 
  • Ben Hanowski, who was surprisingly set out Saturday night, is expected to return to the lineup this weekend. The Coach is expecting him to play with much more determination. Earlier this week in practice he was seen on the line with Roe and Dowd.
  • SCSU Husky Hockey Alumni Day is set for Nov. 6. Former players from all eras of Husky hockey are invited to take part in the men's hockey alumni day. The alumni men's hockey players will be honored at an on-ice ceremony prior to the start of the SCSU-Bemidji State game at the National Hockey Center. Retired NHL star, Stanley Cup winner, and former Olympian Bret Hedican is expected to be in attendance.
  • Freshmen defensive player Nick Jensen is already making his NHL team the Detroit Red Wings take notice. Read "Jensen a hit on first college try".
Other Hockey Stuff
  • The Sioux Falls Stampede gained some recognition this week by the USHL for its ability to instill leadership in its players. The article says, "14 of the 58 Division I hockey programs in the United States have chosen to rely on Sioux Falls alumni for leadership.  That is almost one-quarter of NCAA hockey." Way to go Sioux Falls and the Stampede organization!
  • The MN Wild has an impressive 1-0 win over the San Jose Sharks yesterday. Because it was aired nationally on Versus I was able to catch the game. I thought Backstrom's work in net was amazing. The question I had after the game was can either of St. Cloud's goalies "steal the show" the way Backstrom did in that game? Was Dunn's performance against Miami a few weeks ago an example of how great goalies can "steal the show" (Miami is now the #1 team in the nation and he only allowed one goal in)?

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    The Slide continues- Now at #20

    St. Cloud State has continued its slide in the national hockey polls. SCSU has unfortunately gone no where but down since the beginning of the season. Hopefully our guys can get a sweep this weekend and put an end to the downward spiral. This team is far too talented to keep going down like this, but I am already anxious for them to start improving.  See the full polls below:

    1 Miami (33) 5-1-2 977 1
    2 Minnesota-Duluth ( 8) 6-0-2 926 3
    3 Boston University ( 7) 6-0-1 836 6
    4 Boston College ( 1) 4-2-0 835 2
    5 Yale ( 1) 2-0-0 790 5
    6 Michigan 4-1-3 762 4
    7 Maine 4-1-2 707 7
    8 Nebraska-Omaha 5-1-0 597 9
    9 North Dakota 4-3-1 565 8
    10 New Hampshire 2-1-2 555 10
    11 Notre Dame 5-1-1 488 13
    12 Michigan State 3-0-3 481 11
    13 Denver 3-3-2 389 12
    14 Alaska 5-2-1 358 15
    15 Union 5-1-2 286 16
    15 Wisconsin 5-2-1 286 18
    17 Minnesota 5-3-0 191 20
    18 Rensselaer 3-1-3 104 20
    19 Cornell 0-2-0 91 14
    20 St. Cloud State 3-4-1 88 17 

    USA TODAY/USA Hockey 
    1 Miami University, 494 (23)15-1-25
    2 University of Minnesota Duluth, 469 (7)36-0-25
    3 Boston University, 407 (4)56-0-15
    4 Boston College, 40324-2-05
    5 University of Michigan, 36144-1-35
    6 Yale University, 35972-0-05
    7 University of Maine, 322 64-1-25
    8 University of Nebraska Omaha, 23595-1-03
    9 University of North Dakota, 208 84-3-15
    10 University of New Hampshire, 200102-1-25
    11 University of Notre Dame, 163115-1-12
    12 Michigan State University, 152143-0-32
    13 University of Denver, 94123-3-25
    14 Union College, 88135-1-22
    15 University of Alaska, 70NR5-2-14

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Weekend Review- The Roller Coaster Continues

    Hey Husky Hockey Fans! This weekend Husky fans were treated to more of the same. A great Husky hockey win and a loss that should/ could have been a win. The boys lost to Quinnipiac Friday night at the National Hockey Center with the Bobcats scoring three goals in the last 10:46 to beat the Huskies. The Huskies, leading 2-1 going into the third at home, needed to find a way to finish the game strong. You can read more about the game at the sites below:
    Saturday night the Huskies played much better beating the Bobcats to the tune of 5-2 victory. The score was tied 2-2 going into the third period; however, the Huskies learned their lesson from the previous night and came out strong in the 3rd and scored 3 unanswered goals.  Huskies coach Bob Motzko said it best, “We were better as the game wore on”, which is exactly what winning teams are able to do. The lineup change that shocked me the most was Motzko pulling out Ben Hanowski. Hanowski was the Center Ice Club player of the week back around Oct. 12 after having some success during the first week of play. Hopefully, a move like this by the coaching staff will have all Huskies playing hard to make sure they are not the next to be pulled from the lineup. You can read more about the game at the sites below:
    Not to sound like a broken record, but the Huskies need to start competing and playing harder. Right now, the Huskies are not a top 5 team (not even a top 10 team) even though they have all the potential to be. This is the time to start building some consistency, something that has been woefully lacking so far this year:
    • Manitoba- Win
    • RIT- Win
    • Clarkson- Loss
    • Miami- Loss
    • Miami- Tie
    • UofM- Win
    • UofM- Loss
    • Quinnipiac- Loss
    • Quinnipiac- Win
    This roller coaster cycle of wins and losses that SCSU has been on is ridiculous. Whether you call it a roller coaster or, like Coach Motzko calls it, "...a yo-yo thing going on here" it is doing some serious damage in the rankings. St. Cloud has gone from #4 to #10 to #14 to #17. I, for one, am a little afraid to see what this weeks polls will bring. All that being said, it is still early in the season, but when do we stop using that as an excuse to the poor play going on?

    On the lighter side, here is a couple of videos from the weekend. Enjoy!