it Again in the WCHA
altitudes of Colorado might have WCHA officials seeing double,
at least on questionable goals this season. The league received
permission from the NCAA to experiment with video review of goals,
and has replay systems set up at the home arenas for Denver and
two controversial calls on potential goals last weekend in arenas
other than those in Colorado, there’s a growing call among
coaches that the experiment should be expanded to all 10 WCHA
Bruce McLeod was in Minneapolis last Saturday to witness the Gophers’
overtime winner versus Minnesota State, Mankato. A pass that hit
the skate of Minnesota’s Kris Chucko and went over the goal
line was allowed to stand when the officials ruled that Chucko
didn’t intentionally direct the puck into the net.
earlier, in Madison, the defending national champs from Denver
didn’t get the call when a Luke Fulghum shot appeared to
cross the goal line, but was not seen by officials or the goal
judge. Had it counted, the Pioneers would have taken a lead into
the third period. Instead, they lost 6-3.
George Gwozdecky is a big replay backer, and not just due to what
happened to his team in the past week.
years ago when I was a rookie coach in the WCHA, I proposed instant
replay at the first league coaches’ meeting I attended and
got no support from the other coaches or the league office at
the time,” Gwozdecky told INCH. “It’s great
that today the NCAA has given the WCHA an opportunity to use this
tool. Its helped get a few important decisions correct already.”
that the support for a league-wide replay system is there.
absolutely like to see that system in all of our buildings, and
I think if you took a poll, a lot of other guys would like to
see it too,” he said. “We’re very happy with
it so far.”
team benefited greatly from video replay in last year’s
NCAA title game, when Maine’s only shot that got past Denver
goalie Adam Berkhoel was ruled “no goal” when replays
showed a Black Bear skate in the crease. The coach said that already
this season, he’s seen four goals in dispute in other arenas
that do not have replay. While admitting that there would be a
cost factor involved with getting cameras and monitors in all
10 buildings, Gwozdecky said that the league should get it done.
the referees want it, and need it,” he said. “The
game is so fast, and pucks are shot so fast, that it would help
get things right.”
AND HEARD IN THE WCHA
Seeking Answers in Mankato – With
perhaps the toughest first three weekends of any team in the nation
on its schedule, it’s not too surprising to see Minnesota
State, Mankato still winless after series versus North Dakota,
Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota. While it’s way to early
for the Mavericks to give up on the season, there are signs that
the 0-5-1 start is wearing on team members.
overtime loss in Minneapolis, Mavs coach Troy Jutting said he’s
got little to fault about his team’s effort thus far.
for about 10 minutes in Duluth, we’ve played our butts off
all season,” said Jutting. “We’ve got some kids
that can make plays, but we’ve been snakebit a little bit.”
Great Weekend Getaway
A month into the season, fans of both Bucky and Goldy
can report that the kids are all right. This series should
determine which team’s kids are more all right than
the other’s. Badgers rookie Joe Pavelski has been turning
heads with his offense, while the Gophers have won three in
a row thanks to key contributions from a slew of fast freshmen.
With that matchup seemingly even, will it be a veteran goalie
(“Bernd Brückler, please meet your party in the
blue goal crease”) that makes the difference?
You’re There: While some people will tell you that
the best post-game gatherings take place in the Mariucci
Arena suites, there’s great conversation and a great
slice of pie to be had just down the street at Campus Pizza.
Tucked into this cozy eatery after a game, it’s not
uncommon to see the likes of the Lucia family, Gopher athletic
director Joel Maturi, WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod, INCH
columnist and coaching legend Jeff Sauer, and other notables
in the college hockey world.
takes a big man to admit a mistake and ask for forgiveness.
UMD uber-fan Chris Orlett is a big man,
in many ways. After Orlett and some disappointed (and drunk)
Bulldog fans took last weekend’s loss and tie to Vermont
a little too hard (serenading the home team with chants
of “OVER-RATED” at one point last Saturday),
Orlett took responsibility for the derisive behavior, which
he said clearly crossed a line. This week Orlett went as
far as to write a letter to the Duluth newspaper apologizing
to the team and the other fans in attendance, and asking
for forgiveness. While we can’t condone unruly and
unloyal behavior, we applaud Orlett and his mates for having
the candor to stand up and admit their error.
campuses are generally havens for free speech, but that’s
not the case if you want to talk to a guy who wears stripes
and uses a whistle. This reporter was rebuffed
in an attempt to speak directly to WCHA referee Scott Zelkin
last Saturday, when seeking a comment from the official
on what he saw and why he called what he called at the controversial
end of Minnesota’s overtime win over Minnesota State,
Mankato. While WCHA supervisor of officials Greg Shepherd
was good enough to offer an explanation (media is only allowed
to direct questions to Shepherd, in accordance with current
league policy), officials should be able to answer for themselves.
meeting expectations thus far is sophomore forward David Backes,
who leads the team offensively and scored three of the team’s
four goals in the two-game series at Minnesota. After the Saturday
loss, Backes emerged from the visitors’ dressing room with
a smile, and said that he feels the team’s efforts need
to be rewarded, and soon.
know we’ve been playing hard and putting our hearts on the
line,” he said. “Now we just need to put it that extra
three inches past the goalie. The good feeling from playing well
isn’t going to last much longer. We need a win.
face Bemidji State at home this weekend without the services of
senior forward Adam Gerlach, who is expected to miss several weeks
after undergoing hernia surgery.
TO PICK UP AFTER PRACTICE
Special thanks to Bob Gilreath at Michigan Tech
for passing along an interesting tidbit about one notable collegiate
hockey debut. Midway through the second period of last Saturday’s
Huskies home loss to Alaska Anchorage, Tech freshman
goalie Kevin Hachey came on in relief of starter Bryce Luker.
It took Hachey longer to record his first collegiate save than
it did for the diminutive (he’s listed at 5-foot-6, 155
pounds) Californian to collect his first collegiate assist. At
14:49 of the second, Hachey was credited with a helper on Chris
Conner’s first goal of the season. It wasn’t until
17:50 of the period that Hachey finally made a save, denying Seawolves
wing Chris Tarkir’s point-blank shot.
we’re still bewildered about the 200 unsold tickets North
Dakota had a few weeks ago versus Minnesota, we’re
even more disappointed in our friends on the East Coast. A few
Sioux fans who attended last Friday’s game at Boston College
reported more than 1,000 empty seats for this meeting of national
hockey powers. While some have theorized that the hype surrounding
the Red Sox title kept some Boston sports fans at home, another
more controversial scenario has the opening of pheasant hunting
season in Massachusetts cutting into the BC hockey crowds.
writer Kevin Allenspach of the St. Cloud Times notes
that the 17 goals St. Cloud State scored last
weekend in beating Princeton and Yale were the most ever scored
by the Huskies in consecutive games. No word about whether the
on-ice success has SCSU athletic department officials considering
applying for membership to the ECACHL or the Ivy League.
was a nice start to the comeback by Alaska Anchorage
sophomore forward Brett Arcand-Kootenay last weekend at Michigan
Tech. Arcand-Kootenay, you’ll recall, missed the
first few weeks of the season after suffering a broken jaw as
a result of a fight with teammate Lee Green in September. Versus
the Huskies last Saturday, Arcand-Kootenay had a pair of goals,
including the game-winner.
game between North Dakota and Colorado
College in Grand Forks marks the 200th all-time on-ice
meeting between the Tigers and Fighting Sioux. While North Dakota
holds a commanding 123-67-9 lead in the series, which began on
Feb. 10, 1948 in Colorado Springs, the Tigers have held the more
recent advantage. CC is 5-1-2 in its last eight meetings with