If WCHA officials
get their way next season, each game’s on-ice officials
will have the same viewing advantage as the thousands who watch
games on TV. They’ll get to see instant replay. Perhaps
the most interesting bit of news to come out of this week’s
news conference announcing the upcoming College Hockey Breakaway
Weekend came when WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod revealed that
his league is planning to ask the NCAA to allow video goal reviews
in all 10 of the league’s rinks next year.
the league has been allowed to have video replay available to
on-ice officials in two rinks, Colorado Springs World Arena and
Magness Arena in Denver. Just in those two sites, there have already
been some interesting calls made with the aid of the video review.
Most notable is the overtime-winning goal officials granted to
Denver, after reviewing a shot on goal that had crossed the goal
line, a few weeks ago in a game with Alaska Anchorage.
in their Friday night game at Minnesota, the Seawolves were seemingly
punished by the lack of video review at Mariucci Arena, when TV
replays showed that a Gopher goal credited to Gino Guyer had been
directed into the net by a deft turn of Guyer’s skate. The
goal turned out to be inconsequential in the Seawolves' 3-2 victory.
coaches and league officials favor video review as a way to hopefully
ensure that goals are called correctly, it’s not an inexpensive
technology. McLeod told reporters tuning in to the conference
call that the league expects the necessary equipment to cost $20,000
per arena. Original league estimates had it costing $14,000 per
arena to install the replay systems league-wide, but upgrades
like digitizing the video added to the cost.
The WCHA will
use the existing NHL system installed at the Xcel Energy Center
in St. Paul to employ video review at its upcoming Final Five
AND HEARD IN THE WCHA
Not Bad, for a Starter: Alaska Anchorage goaltender John
DeCaro admits he felt a little uneasy on the first 10 shots or
so that he faced last Friday at Minnesota. But he seemed to handle
the next 47 shots just fine.
his teammates to Minnesota having not started in nearly three
months and having hardly played at all in that time. But when
it became clear before the series opener that regular goalie Nathan
Lawson would be unavailable due to a pulled groin muscle, DeCaro
got the call to fill the gap between the pipes. Sixty minutes
and nearly as many saves later, DeCaro was the owner of a WCHA
win and a school record for most saves in a game.
57 of the 59 shots he faced in the Seawolves' 3-2 victory –
their first win at Mariucci Arena since 1999. Things got particularly
hectic for DeCaro in the third period, with the Seawolves clinging
to a 3-1 lead and doing next to nothing offensively. The visitors
had just three shots on goal in the final 20 minutes, while the
Gophers had 19. DeCaro said that while his body was ready to play
throughout, his head took more time to get into the action.
was hard mentally to get into it, having not played in three months,
but once I got into a groove it went great,” he said. “This
was my biggest game. Nothing even comes close. Especially in a
big building like this full of fans. It was nice to quiet them
down and take two points.”
transferred to Alaska Anchorage after playing 14 games over two
seasons at Ferris State, said the record-setting night was made
even more special via the miracle of satellite TV. He got a call
from his parents, watching at home in suburban Seattle, congratulating
him on the win and the record shortly after the game ended. Asked
if he realized that he’s stopped nearly 60 shots, DeCaro
was surprised, with the Gophers reputation for offense, that the
shot total was so low.
felt like more,” he said. “I hadn’t played for
a while so it took me about a period to get set. And in that third
period everything was coming from everywhere, but our defense
played really well tonight.”
DeCaro had a quiet night in the second game of the series, finishing
with just 51 saves in a 5-5 tie.
Great Weekend Getaway
College at Wisconsin (Fri.-Sat.) The MacNaughton Cup round-robin continues this
weekend at the Kohl Center as two huge crowds of red-clad
roughnecks await the Tigers. With Denver taking three points
from Wisconsin last weekend, and with the Pioneers holding
two games in hand on the Tigers, this weekend’s series
looks like it's for second place. We’ll be bold and
say that a split this weekend in Madison means that you
can just as well ship the Cup to Magness Arena and polish
it up nice and shiny-like. A bonus story line involves Sports
Illustrated naming CC’s Marty Sertich and Brett
Sterling on its five-man list of Hobey candidates this week.
A bad weekend by one or both of them, and there may be something
to this “SI jinx” idea.
You’re There: Some say that after a hard weekend of
watching hockey, the perfect way to unwind is by watching
curling. You can find out if that’s true this Saturday
as the Madison Curling Club hosts its Olympic trials. Madison
has already sent two women’s rinks to past Olympics,
and the winning men’s and women’s teams from
this event will advance to the 2005 World Curling Championships
and have a shot at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy.
Tickets are just $5 at the door of the Madison Curling Club,
located at 4802 Marsh Road in McFarland.
the fourth season in a row, the Denver Pioneers find themselves
at the top of a national poll. Congrats to coach
George Gwozdecky, first for re-tooling the defense-crazy
Pioneers that won the NCAA title last season into an offensive
juggernaut this time around, and second for rallying the
team from a mediocre start to a 16-1-2 mark it its last
19 games. That WCHA coach of the year trophy should look
good next to the 2004 NCAA trophy and the MacNaughton Cup
in Gwozdecky’s office.
we’re partial to the college version of the game, and
yes, the NHL usually only really gets good during the Stanley
Cup playoffs. With that said, what happened this week,
as pro hockey became the first league ever to lose an entire
season to a labor impasse, is an international disgrace. One
can’t help but think of the scores of young American
kids who are looking to choose a sport to try this year, and
will pick basketball, or baseball, or lacrosse, or Australian
rules football because there’s no pro hockey being shown
on national TV to draw their attention. A generation of potential
stars may be lost because of greed and bull-headedness on
the part of labor leaders and owners. Shame on both your houses.
TO PICK UP AFTER PRACTICE
• Minnesota Duluth goaltender
Issac Reichmuth returns to the scene of one of his best collegiate
outings this weekend when the Bulldogs visit Denver.
Last January Reichmuth turned aside all 32 Pioneers shots in a
1-0 shutout. While the Bulldogs have not recorded a home shutout
since 1998, Reichmuth’s whitewash is one of six shutouts
they’ve recorded away from the DECC since then.
both of his team’s games last weekend, Minnesota
coach Don Lucia watched his team fall behind 2-0. It’s
a marked change from early in the season, when the Gophers were
the ones with the early offense. “We’re getting down
a lot now,” said Lucia of his team's recent struggles. “In
the first part of the year we were eliminating teams in the first
be noted that the last time Minnesota rallied from a 2-0 deficit
to win was at the 2004 Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich.,
when Notre Dame led the Gophers 2-0 early before Minnesota scored
five unanswered. Of course, there’s very, very little chance
of Lucia having to face his alma mater in the NCAA playoffs this
Clark seems to be settling into the role as Minnesota
State, Mankato’s top goaltender late in his sophomore
season. Clark has started the Mavericks' last three games and
has produced the best numbers of any of the trio (Jon Volp and
Kyle Nixon being the others) that has seen time in the Mavs' net
this season. Clark, who hails from the San Francisco suburb of
San Mateo, is only the second Californian to lace them up for
the Mavericks. John Cobb, of Whittier, Calif., played 40 games
for the Mavs in the mid-1980s, becoming the program’s first
generations ago, Michgan Tech was all but unbeatable
during its Winter Carnival weekend. John MacInnes’ powerful
Huskies teams went 18-2-0 during Winter Carnival in the 1960s.
By contrast, last weekend’s Winter Carnival win and tie
by the Huskies marked just the second time in the last seven seasons
that Tech has won a game during the weekend festival.
College fell victim to perhaps the most memorable playoff
upset in league history in 1994 when the league-champion Tigers
fell to 10th-place Michigan Tech in the opening
round. With lower-division teams pulling off scores of upsets
in the second half of this season (including 10th-place St.
Cloud State beating CC in overtime last weekend), current
Tigers coach Scott Owens recently told the St. Cloud Times
that it’s nearly impossible to determine who his team
would like to host in the playoffs. “It’s hard to
say,” Owens told Times reporter Kevin Allenspach.
“Tech is going good. St. Cloud always plays well in this
building. Mankato we’ve seen a lot this
year, and Anchorage, my God. No matter who you
play, the way visiting teams are playing in the league this year
it’s going to be a tough battle.”
loss at Alaska Anchorage on Friday would give
North Dakota a six-game WCHA losing streak, and
mark the first time since the 1974-75 season that the Sioux have
dropped six conference games in a row. The Sioux have not been
to Alaska in more than two years, but won 11-2 and 3-0 on their
last trip there, in January 2003.
know that some coaches love to talk, while it’s a chore
to squeeze a complete sentence out of others. Wisconsin
assistant coach Troy Ward is apparently in the former category,
especially when it comes to talking on the phone. A recent story
in the Wisconsin State Journal revealed that Ward had
the highest cell phone bill of any UW employee in 2004, racking
up more than $8,600 in calls last year. Apparently, those roaming
charges in south-central Wisconsin add up.
of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.