Worth the Wait
who says that Alaska Anchorage went a whole year without
a win is wrong. It was only 364 days. The Seawolves last
previous win was on October 11, 2002, when they beat Alaska
Fairbanks in Anchorage. On October 10 of this year, they
finally tasted victory again.
it probably looked like it would be a year when UAF needed
just 1:17 to grab a 1-0 lead in the season opener for both
teams last Friday in Fairbanks. That’s before an enthusiastic
bunch of freshmen and sophomores rallied the Seawolves to
a 3-2 win. Although coaches and players alike had downplayed
the team’s 35-game winless streak last season, they
admitted that finally winning a game was very important.
was certainly a burden, and we’re all relieved that
it’s over,” said coach John Hill, whose opening
game lineup featured eight newcomers. “I certainly
felt relieved for our players.”
Seawolves were 30 seconds from establishing a winning streak
on Saturday, with a 3-2 lead over UAF in the final minute
of play. But a bizarre turn of events featuring a lost faceoff,
a defenseman falling down and an empty-net goal led to an
improbable 5-3 Nanooks win. As stung as they were by the
loss, Hill said his team was refocused by snatching defeat
from the jaws of victory, and has had a great week of practice
in preparation for this weekend’s Nye Frontier Classic
in Anchorage. The Seawolves open with Air Force, then face
either Miami or UMass Lowell.
most notable effort for UAA came from sophomore forward
Chris Fournier, an Anchorage native who transferred home
after one season at North Dakota, who had a goal and two
assists over the weekend.
think we’re a much better skating team with a lot
more stick skill than last year,” said Hill. “I
won’t say Fairbanks took us lightly, but I do think
that we surprised them a little bit. I think we’ll
have the element of surprise on our side a lot this year.”
AND HEARD IN THE WCHA
for the Bulldogs – They’re not printing
playoff tickets at Minnesota Duluth just yet (they’ll
probably wait until the Bulldogs have actually won a game)
but if they were, Boston College coach Jerry York would
likely buy a pair.
Great Weekend Getaway
College at North Dakota (Fri.-Sat.)
a hockey series being played before the start of the
World Series, it doesn’t get much bigger than
No. 3 North Dakota hosting No. 1 Boston College for
a pair this weekend. J.D. Forrest will play (academic
eligibility is a wonderful thing). Zach Parise might
not play (getting hurt in an exhibition game is a
bad way to start campaigning for the Hobey). And there’s
no word as to whether there will be an all-class hockey
reunion from Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, with
eight former SSM skaters on the rosters. And that’s
to say nothing of the fact that this is a rematch
of the 2000 and 2001 NCAA title games.
to the good folks at CSTV, Friday night’s contest
will be on the tube nation-wide. Strap yourself in
for this pair, because the pre-game laser show won’t
be the only eye-popping thing to see at the Ralph.
you’re there: The famed Red Pepper is definitely
the place to go after bartime (1 a.m. in North Dakota,
and an hour later just across the Red River in Minnesota).
But before the late-night munchies kick in, grab a
table at the Blue Moose, on the riverfront in East
Grand Forks, which looks and feels like a north woods
fishing lodge inside.
Minnesota junior defenseman Judd Stevens.
His name’s been forgotten or ignored while manning
a blue line alongside the likes of Jordan Leopold,
Paul Martin and Keith Ballard the last few seasons.
But it was Stevens scoring a pair of goals for the
Gophers as they rallied from a 3-0 hole with a late
touchdown to beat Nebraska-Omaha 7-3 last weekend
in Omaha. Paired with sophomore Peter Kennedy during
the game, Stevens scored in the final minute of the
second to make it 3-2 Omaha, then added the final
goal of the game as Minnesota rebounded from their
tournament-opening 4-0 loss to Maine.
a good shooter, he’s just needed to step up
and play with more confidence,” said Gophers
assistant coach Mike Guentzel. “It was nice
to see him step up, and he’s a junior now, so
you’d expect that kind of game out of him.”
Fox Sports Net. College hockey as
a national television product has made huge leaps
forward this season. But for those of us who follow
the game, and who are often at rinks on Friday and
Saturday nights, a little live hockey on TV at the
bar afterwards, or on TV at home when we return from
the arena, would be nice. Until there’s a Fox
Sports Net Alaska (to go along with the 412 other
regional Fox Sports Net networks they have) showing
UAA and UAF games, we’re out of luck. Hey Rupert,
you’ve got the dough to get this done. What
‘ya waiting for?
team beat UMD 5-1 to win the now-defunct Silverado Shootout
holiday tournament in Duluth in December 2001, when the
Bulldogs were struggling under second-year coach Scott Sandelin.
Last weekend, UMD rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie
BC in the opener of the Icebreaker in East Lansing (the
Eagles got the win via a shootout). York was impressed with
how far Sandelin’s brought the team in two years.
was excellent,” said York, after the Bulldogs got
third-period goals from Brett Hammond and Junior Lessard.
“They will finish in the top four in the WCHA.”
Shot At Redemption In St. Cloud – St. Cloud
State and Wisconsin will play the WCHA’s first conference
games of the season this weekend in St. Cloud. There is
much cloudiness surrounding the fortunes of the Huskies,
especially regarding who will score and who will provide
consistent play between the pipes.
Jason Montgomery (3-7-4 in 15 starts last season) will get
the nod on Friday versus the Badgers. If he struggles, Huskies
coach Craig Dahl has an intriguing backup option in junior
Adam Coole. If facing the Badgers gives Coole the jitters,
you may recall, was a high school star at Duluth East, and
tried to be a hometown boy making good at UMD. But Coole’s
time as a Bulldog was a disaster. He was 5-22-4 over two
seasons with a save percentage well under .900. The low
moment (in fact, the last moment) of his UMD career came
on March 2, 2002, at the Kohl Center, when Coole started
and played all of 1:59, allowing three goals on four shots.
UMD coach Scott Sandelin, in a controversial move, cut the
former hometown hero from the team, and Coole transferred
showing against Wisconsin this weekend would more than likely
have Coole thinking about redemption when the Huskies travel
to UMD on Nov. 7-8.
TO PICK UP AFTER PRACTICE
Nice season opener for Wisconsin senior defenseman Dan Boeser.
After a junior year mixed with illness and injury, and 42-game
streak without a goal, Boeser got the overtime winner in
the opener of the Maverick Stampede in Omaha. The goal allowed
Wisconsin to beat host Nebraska-Omaha 4-3, but Maine was
too much for Bucky in the title game, winning 6-2.
Sure, his name is a combination of a Canadian college and
a bad Ted Danson vehicle, but MSU-Mankato sophomore Brock
Becker has them expecting good things in southern Minnesota.
As the Mavericks search high and low for offense to fill
the Grant Stevenson void, Becker’s name has been bandied
about a little. Mav fans hope his two-goal, two-assist performance
in a 9-1 exhibition win over St. Clair College is a sign
of what to expect.
It’s (finally) time to pay the piper for Michigan
Tech junior defenseman Clay Wilson. The native of Sturgeon
Lake, Minn., will sit out the Huskies' game at Northern
Michigan on Friday, serving a one-game suspension for a
game disqualification he received on March 15 after a tussle
with Minnesota’s Matt DeMarchi. Both players were
ejected from the Huskies’ season-ending 5-2 loss to
Holding a late lead versus Colorado College might not mean
much this year. Of the 10 goals the Tigers scored in a pair
of exhibition wins last weekend, six of them came in the
third period. Maybe the effects of that thin mountain air
really hit visiting goalies late in the game.
A sweep of visiting Northeastern this weekend would give
Denver coach George Gwozdecky 200 wins at the helm of the
Pioneers. His DU record, after nine-plus seasons at the
school, stands at 198-140-26 with one WCHA regular season
title and two WCHA playoff titles to his credit in that