Goalie Sighted Near Lake Superior
every preseason mention of Minnesota Duluth’s chances to
win the WCHA title included the name Isaac Reichmuth. And indeed,
the junior goalie who backstopped the Bulldogs to the Frozen Four
last spring has been a key factor in leading the nation’s
top-ranked team to a 2-0-1 record in Friday night games thus far.
on Saturday nights, the Bulldogs are 3-0-0, and Reichmuth, along
with an army of UMD fans, has been a spectator for the Josh Johnson
show. A sophomore from nearby Cloquet, Minn., Johnson leads the
Bulldog goaltending corps in every statistical category thus far,
and has doubled the number of things opponents need to consider
when preparing to take a shot on goal.
saw a lot of maturity in Josh last season, and he’s still
only lost one career start,” said Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin
after Johnson stopped all but one of Minnesota State, Mankato’s
44 shots during his last start (a 4-1 win). “He seems like
he’s more in control of the net, and he handles rebounds
three starts, UMD's Josh Johnson has posted a 2.00 GAA and
a .945 save percentage.
action in nine games as a rookie, coming in to relieve Reichmuth
in a few mid-season games when the starter struggled, and getting
the 4-2 victory over Alaska Anchorage as a starter in the WCHA
Final Five third-place game last March. Sandelin would like to
keep splitting the goaltending duties for the time being, and
added that in a season’s opening months, rotating helps
keep both goalies fresh.
in the year, fatigue can be a factor,” Sandelin said. “Having
two guys who can play keeps them on edge and allows them both
to get into game shape quicker.”
Bulldogs are ranked number one in the nation for the first time
since October 1989, when they started out 8-0-0 en route to a
20-19-1 finish. As for the added pressure on his goalies, and
the entire team, that comes from having the top ranking in the
nation, Sandelin said it’s nice recognition, but nothing
to get too worked up about.
exciting, especially for our fans because it hasn’t happened
in a while, but we have to keep it in perspective,” Sandelin
said. “It’s only October, and those things change
like the weather.”
AND HEARD IN THE WCHA
by Bucky – There’s been plenty of talk about
more strict enforcement of the rules this season, and a crackdown
on obstruction and unnecessary contact. But what is an on-ice
official to do when the guy in the stripes is the victim of the
contact, and the offender is dressed like a burrowing animal that’s
eight feet tall?
Those were the questions confronting WCHA assistant referee Karl
Olm last Friday in Madison when the Bucky Badger mascot slammed
into Olm before the game between Wisconsin and Michigan Tech.
While a few who witnessed it allege that that contact looked intentional
on the part of the mascot, others point out that the collision
happened during the introduction of the Badger players, when the
lights are dimmed and there is a great deal of noise in the building.
The more innocent explanation is that the person in the Bucky
suit couldn’t see well and crashed into Olm by accident.
WCHA supervisor of officials Greg Shepherd, who was not at the
game, was reportedly very angry after being informed of the incident
by phone, but had calmed considerably by Monday and said that
the contact was accidental.
talked to the guy and sorted it out, so it wasn’t that big
a deal,” said Shepherd, adding, “But if one of the
players gets run into before a game, we’ve got a real problem.”
worked both games, but told friends after the Friday night contest
that the collision had given him a bruised and sore leg. Shepherd
said that a different person was in the Bucky suit on Saturday
and there were no problems.
this fall, the university police ticketed another Bucky mascot
for an illegal body-passing stunt at a Wisconsin football game.
Great Weekend Getaway
These two teams were supposed to be all about defense
and struggle to find offense. Instead, both the Badgers and
Pioneers put double digits on the board last weekend, with
Jon Foster averaging a goal a game for Denver and the wunderkind
duo of freshman Joe Pavelski and sophomore Robbie Earl leading
the way for Wisconsin. And for those who give Bucky the edge
playing at home and all, we present you with this interesting
stat: Denver sports a 7-0-2 mark in its last nine regular
season games played in Madison.
While You’re There: We may be just a bit past peak
fall color in southern Wisconsin, but that would hardly diminish
the view from Observatory Hill in the heart of the UW campus.
Take in the view of Lake Mendota’s vast expanse, and
the forest on Picnic Point just off to the west. Then stroll
down the hill toward the Capitol dome to State Street, and
if you’re a bit parched from the walk, you won’t
have to look far to find a friendly barkeep with something
to wet your whistle.
WCHA (and INCH, for that matter) will see a dear friend
move to a higher elevation Nov. 5. After 18 years as sports
information director at Michigan Tech, Dave Fischer
is leaving Houghton to become the director of media relations
for USA Hockey in Colorado Springs. A face of consistent
optimism and good humor throughout the Huskies' past decade
of on-ice struggles, Fish is the man who brought us the
most entertaining and informative line charts in the business
and has served as the press conference moderator at the
Frozen Four seemingly since the days when ECACHL teams were
winning titles. Here’s hoping Fish does his many friends
in the WCHA a favor and stops by World Arena for a game
now and then.
Thursday, the student body at St. Cloud State
elected Fue Khang, a student from Minneapolis, as the school’s
2004 Homecoming Queen. Khang was nominated for the honor
by the student senate, of which he is a member. Yes, he.
Fue Khang is a man, and his election marks the first time
since SCSU homecoming royalty was first selected in 1940,
that the Queen has had to use the men’s restroom.
“We don’t like putting people in a box,”
student government president Hal Kimball told the St. Cloud
Times. “We don’t discriminate. It’s
a beautiful world.” One likes to think that Aerosmith’s
“Dude Looks Like A Lady” was blasted over the
speakers as Khang made his-post crowning stroll down the
aisle, tiara and all
to Undergo Surgery– John Hill was Don Lucia’s
assistant coach for several years, both at Colorado College and
Minnesota, before following his mentor into the head coaching
ranks when Hill took the helm at Alaska Anchorage in 2001. Now,
Hill is following in Lucia’s footsteps to the operating
beat writer Doyle Woody of the Anchorage Daily News reports
that Hill will undergo back surgery on Dec. 14 to have some vertebrae
fused. It will be the third back operation for Hill, who has been
plagued by back pain for a few years. The Seawolves have no games
between Dec. 11 and Jan. 7, giving Hill nearly a month to recuperate.
will recall that Lucia underwent neck surgery in early 2004, spending
one weekend following games from the Mariucci Arena press box
and several weeks directing games from behind the bench while
wearing a neck brace.
TO PICK UP AFTER PRACTICE
While many were surprised to see Minnesota rout North Dakota 6-0
last Saturday in Grand Forks, even more may have been surprised
by the attendance count during Friday’s 4-2 come-from-behind
win by the Sioux. Despite being ranked No. 2 in the nation
and despite having their arch-rivals in town, the Sioux failed
to sell out Friday night’s game, with more than 200 tickets
• It was “goals all around” last weekend
in Colorado Springs when Colorado College beat Air Force
(4-1) and Quinnipiac (7-2) to remain unbeaten. Seven different
Tigers scored goals over the two games and 15 different players
recorded at least one assist. CC is off this weekend before a
key series at North Dakota on Nov. 5-6.
• While Colorado College extended its lopsided winning ways
over Air Force last weekend, the WCHA gets a taste of its
most lopsided in-conference rivalry this weekend at Mariucci
Arena. Minnesota, which hosts Minnesota State, Mankato in the
Gophers' home opening series, holds a 12-2-4 all-time mark versus
the Mavericks, who come north to Minneapolis looking for their
first win of the season. MSU’s lone win at Mariucci came
in Don Brose’s final season as the Mavs’ coach (and
Don Lucia’s first season as Minnesota’s coach) when
Andy Fermoyle scored the overtime winner on Jan. 29, 2000.
• When St. Cloud State visits Hobey Baker Rink this
weekend, it will be the Huskies' first game at Princeton
since a 4-3 loss to the Tigers on Dec. 2, 1987. That was St. Cloud
State’s first season as a Division I independent and Craig
Dahl’s first season as the Huskies head coach. On Saturday,
the Huskies will make their first-ever visit to the Yale Whale.
Perhaps they’ll use their time in the Ivy League to do some
intensive study on how to make a power play work. Thus far this
season, the Huskies are just 2-for-51 with the man advantage.
• While some writers in Ann Arbor don’t think college
hockey will benefit from the absence of the NHL, it’s
a different story in the State of Hockey. The Minnesota Wild’s
web site ran a recent online poll asking fans what hockey they’ll
watch instead of NHL games this winter. As of early this week,
“WCHA Hockey” was the far and away leader with 63%
of the vote. A distant second, with 17% was “I don't watch,