26 , 2004
MSU's Goebel brings top line to life
Michigan State junior
forwards Jim Slater and Mike Lalonde are among the CCHA’s
top offensive talents, as evidenced by Slater’s conference-best
44 points and Lalonde’s league-leading 19 goals. It’s
a freshman generously listed at 5-7, 161 pounds, however, keeping
the Spartans’ top line humming as the team jockeys for position
in the CCHA standings and eyes a possible NCAA Tournament berth.
Jan. 23 return from a three-week bout with mononucleosis neatly
coincides with a stretch that has seen MSU win seven of its last
10 games. More directly, he’s boosted the fortunes of his
linemates. In six games without Goebel, Lalonde and Slater combined
for three goals and four assists. In the Spartans’ last
six games – five of them wins – the juniors have picked
up seven goals and 12 assists between them.
“He makes a lot
of plays for Mike and me,” Slater said. “He’s
one of those guys who makes a play out of nothing.”
freshman Tom Goebel has 27 points in 29 games.
named CCHA Rookie of the Week after scoring five points in last
weekend’s sweep of Nebraska-Omaha in East Lansing. Not bad
for someone who says he has yet to get back to top form.
don’t think I’m playing hockey the way I should be
playing,” said Goebel, a Parma, Ohio, native. “I’m
a little disappointed in myself.”
the start of the season, I had a lot more jump on the ice and
could play physical and still put up a few points. I’ve
felt a little run down, I’ve been playing sloppy and making
stupid decisions with the puck.”
Goebel is a little
too critical of himself. He made a terrific play on the Spartans’
second goal Saturday, just seconds into the second period. Slater
won a battle for the puck along the wall in the MSU defensive
end, carried it out of the neutral zone and passed it to Goebel,
who was also near the wall. Slater drove to the net, pulling the
UNO defenders with him and allowing Goebel set up on the half
boards. Instead of forcing the puck to Slater, Goebel found the
trailing Lalonde, who barreled into the slot and flipped a quick
wrister over the shoulder of the UNO goalie.
got great guys on my line,” Goebel says. “They’re
both big guys and good in the corners which opens up a lot of
ice for me. Mike’s good at making the cross-ice pass and
gives me a chance to beat the defenseman and get some speed.”
Goebel says he’s
just getting back to normal, good news for the Spartans and not
so good for their opponents. He adds that with linemates like
Slater and Lalonde, one doesn’t necessarily need to be at
100 percent in order to be productive.
when I wasn’t feeling good,” Goebel admitted, “you
still get tons of scoring opportunities just being on the ice
AND HEARD IN THE CCHA
FUTURE IS...IN THE FUTURE – The Hockey News
issued its annual Future Watch report earlier this month and the
CCHA has a formidable presence among the top 50 prospects. Unfortunately
for the conference’s fans – and coaches, too –
the bulk of those players are skating for dollars these days.
players are included in the top 50, and all left school early
to pursue professional careers. Former Michigan State goaltender
Ryan Miller is rated third overall while ex-Ohio State standout
Ryan Kesler is 14th. Two former Michigan skaters round are also
mentioned – Mike Komisarek is 20th and Mike Cammalleri is
Just two players
who are currently in the league – Michigan State’s
Jim Slater (46th) and Michigan’s Eric Nystrom (50th) –
appear in the top 50. The WCHA, meanwhile, has three players in
the top six with Minnesota’s Thomas Vanek, Zach
Parise of North Dakota and Wisconsin’s Ryan Suter occupying
spots four through six.
Hockey East has two players – Boston University’s
Ryan Whitney and Patrick Eaves of Boston College – rated
ahead of Slater. In the ECAC, Dartmouth’s Hugh Jessiman,
No. 42 on the THN list, appears ahead of Slater as well.
it all mean? First, it’s clear that no other league has
been hurt by early departures more than the CCHA. THN
also rates each NHL team’s top 10 prospects and in addition
to the aforementioned four, other early departees featured prominently
include former U-M defenseman Danny Richmond, ex-Michigan State
rearguard Duncan Keith, UNO three-time letterwinner Dan Ellis
and former Ohio State forward R.J. Umberger.
speaks a lot for what the CCHA is doing and the players [the coaches]
are bringing in,” Slater said. “There’s still
a lot of great talent and guys who can play at the next level.”
True to Slater’s
word, the CCHA is bursting with young (read: yet-to-be drafted)
talent. Check the Future Watch next year, and there is a strong
possibility that Slater and Nystrom will be joined on the top
50 list by probable first-round draft picks Al Montoya of Michigan,
Michigan State’s David Booth and – if the NCAA’s
stance on the opt-in rule changes – Wes O’Neill of
Notre Dame and MSU’s A.J. Thelen.
Great Weekend Getaway
Michigan at Notre
Dame (Fri.-Sat.): This series means much more to
the Irish, battling for home ice in the first round of the
CCHA playoffs and squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble,
than it does to the Wolverines. A sweep for Michigan, however,
enables them to clinch the league’s regular season
title. Jeff Tambellini broke out of a prolonged scoring
slump last weekend; if he’s back on track, the Wolves
are going to be that much tougher to beat from here on out.
While you’re there: It’s natural to assume
that hockey is Canada’s official national sport when
it is, in fact, lacrosse. Some Canadians go as far to refer
to hockey as the country’s official winter sport and
lacrosse as the official summer game. You can combine the
two activities this weekend as Notre Dame hosts Penn State
at the Loftus Sports Center Sunday at 1 p.m. in the season
opener for the two teams. Keep an eye on Irish sophomore
Patrick Walsh – the Inside Lacrosse pre-season
All-American scored 52 points as a freshman.
to CCHA.com for its “Masked Men” feature,
which tells the stories behind the artwork found on the
helmets of one goalie from each of the league’s 12
teams and includes color photos of the masks from the front
and the side. The best mask thus far? Give me BGSU goalie
Jordan Sigalet’s bucket. The artwork is fantastic
and the story behind it is even better.
Henderson’s punishment for touching off the
skirmish in the third period of Saturday’s UNO-MSU game
should have been much more severe than the mandatory one-game
suspension he received along with his fighting major and game
disqualification. Henderson’s hit, while borne of frustration,
was thoughtless, malicious and unwarranted. He should be benched
for multiple games.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• Even though they won handily, Michigan State’s
5-0 victory against Nebraska-Omaha could be a costly one
for the Spartans. The Mavericks’ Bobby Henderson drilled
Drew Miller from behind shortly after the Spartans’ Lee
Falardeau had scored the team’s fifth goal. The hit sparked
a melee, during which two players from each team – Henderson
and Dan Hacker from UNO, and MSU’s Miller and Kevin Estrada
– were given fighting majors and game disqualifications.
Henderson and Hacker will miss Friday’s game against visiting
Alaska-Fairbanks. The Spartans, however, are off this weekend,
so Estrada and Miller will sit out MSU’s game against Michigan
in East Lansing March 5.
was a tough weekend for UNO, but hockey fans in Omaha had something
to smile about when former Maverick netminder Dan Ellis
made his National Hockey League debut Feb. 18, backstopping
Dallas to a 4-3 win over Los Angeles. Ellis, who bypassed his
final year of college eligibility to sign with the Stars last
summer, was returned to the team’s AHL affiliate in Utah
later in the week.
go from a guy who’s just embarking on an NHL career to one
who’s being honored for his lengthy years of service: Notre
Dame coach Dave Poulin will be enshrined in the Philadelphia
Flyers Hall of Fame in a ceremony prior to the Flyers’
game against Nashville March 3.
really came very unexpectedly,” Poulin said earlier this
week. “Every day…you just reminded yourself that you
were sitting between Bobby Clarke and Darryl Sittler or Billy
Barber was across the room, so you never had those kind of thoughts
that this is where it would end up one day.”
eight seasons with the Flyers (1982-90) and served as captain
for six seasons. He won the Selke Trophy for best defensive forward
in 1987 and earned the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership
and humanitarian contribution in 1993.
a sure sign you’re doing something right, or the opposing
goaltender is doing something really, really wrong. In its 5-2
win over Upper Peninsula rival Northern Michigan last Friday,
Lake Superior State scored three first-period goals on
six shots, then notched a pair of second period goals
on five shots. For those of you scoring at home – or by
yourself – that’s five goals on 11 shots. I’m
no Scotty Bowman, but my hunch is that if you score on 45.5 percent
of your shots, you’ll most likely win the game.
fans are fascinated by numbers starting with a figure between
1 and 9 followed by two or more zeroes, which leads into the Obscure
Bowling Green Note of the Week. First, forward D’arcy
McConvey needs two points to become the 67th player in school
history to reach the 100-point plateau. He currently has 29-69—98
in 148 career games. Meanwhile, our old fave Jordan Sigalet is
three saves shy of 1,000 for the season. In fact, with 48 saves
in team’s three remaining games – two vs. NMU this
weekend and one at Western Michigan next week – Sigalet
will surpass the number of stops he made in his first two seasons
at BGSU combined.
money says that Sigalet will reach his milestone sooner than McConvey.
That is, unless the Falcons score on 45.5 percent of their shots.
variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.
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