October 22, 2003
After a Long Wait, a Coole Kind of Revenge

By Jess Myers

 WCHA Notebook

This week's schedule
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Hockey East Notebook

It's been said that revenge is a dish best served cold. At St. Cloud State last weekend, revenge was served Coole.

Making his first college hockey start in more than 18 months, Huskies goalie Adam Coole shut down, and nearly shut out, the Wisconsin Badgers, turning aside all but one of Wisconsin's 29 shots in a 3-1 win. For the junior from Duluth, Minn., the victory was the reward for working his way back to respectability after a disastrous start to his college hockey career.

Coole was a star for Duluth East High School, and enrolled at Minnesota Duluth. But his tenure with the Bulldogs started slow and ended badly. On March 2, 2002, in a game against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center, Coole started and lasted just 1:59, allowing three goals on four shots. Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin released him from the program just days later, leaving Coole with a hockey future that was uncertain, at best.

So after getting a second chance at St. Cloud State, was Coole hungry to avenge what the Badgers had done to him on that night in Madison? Starving is more like it.

"(Revenge) was all I thought about all week," said Coole after the game. "I owed these guys after they packed my bags in Duluth. After that, I didn't know if I'd ever step on the ice again.

"I had a year and a half to think about how Wisconsin ran me out of the net, so as I told my Dad before the game, losing was not an option."

With experienced goalies at a premium in the league, Huskies coach Craig Dahl is delighted to have Coole on the roster, regardless of his past struggles.

And if anyone thinks that Coole can just go back to focusing on hockey now and forget about revenge, they apparently haven't looked at St. Cloud State's schedule. The Huskies have a two-game series at Minnesota Duluth in just a few weeks.


Big Red Rube – Former Badger Tom Sagissor, who provides color commentary for Fox Sports Net North's coverage of Wisconsin hockey, has been alternately criticized and praised for his flamboyant on-air style. So last Saturday's Sagissor performance, depending on whether you like him or not, was either a new high or a new low.

Great Weekend Getaway
120x60 - Brand Red

Minnesota Duluth at Minnesota (Fri.-Sat.)
There are more storylines than one could count this weekend when the Bulldogs and Gophers face off in Minneapolis. This is a rivalry that extends far beyond the ice, as the coaches routinely clash over the best northern Minnesota recruits, and many Duluthians look south to the Twin Cities with a mixture of envy and contempt. As for the action on the frozen surface of Mariucci Arena, the Bulldogs are desperate for a win (off to a 0-2-1 start) to prove that the lofty preseason predictions for the team are justified. The Gophers are hoping to prove that 4-0 loss to Maine two weeks ago was a fluke, and the drive for a NCAA three-peat is on.

While you’re there: The best thin-crust pie in the Twin Cities is three blocks from Mariucci at Campus
Pizza. It's the place to go if you're looking for a quieter post-game with a pitcher of root beer, an
outstanding pizza, and a semi-regular appearance by the Lucia family (or the likes of Jerry York and Jeff Sauer, depending on who's in town) on Saturday nights.

Stick Salutes

To Denver coach George Gwozdecky, for earning win #200
behind the Pioneers bench last weekend. While he has yet to guide DU to its first Frozen Four trip since 1986, Gwoz's nine-plus seasons in the Mile High City
have included a WCHA regular season title, two WCHA playoff titles and four trips to the NCAA playoffs. And with the Pioneers off to a 4-0 start, more good times might be on the way. Plus, among writers, he's renowned as the best quote in college hockey.

To Alaska Anchorage, for a great start to the season. Yes, we're a long way from anyone booking flights to Alaska for the playoffs, but after the one-win disaster that was last season, winning their tournament last weekend and sprinting to a 3-1-0 start must feel great for the Seawolves and their fans.

Bench Minor

To the residents of Greater Grand Forks. You've got the nicest arena in the country (possibly in the world) and you've got the top team in the nation (Boston College) playing your beloved Fighting Sioux last Friday night. So how do more than 500 tickets for a game of that magnitude go unsold? Sioux SID Jayson Hajdu points out that the revised official attendance of 11,153 (capacity is 11,675) is more than 20% of the population of Grand Forks. Still, were there that many other big events going on in town that night?

To Fox Sports Net (for the second week in a row). CSTV was all set to air Minnesota Duluth at Minnesota for its national game of the week on Friday, before the folks at Fox made a stink about owning the rights to Gopher games. So CSTV relented, opting to show Boston College and Notre Dame instead. Until Fox regularly covers more than three of the league's 10 teams (Minnesota, Denver and Wisconsin), they shouldn't try to dictate what others can do. Seriously, is Fox thinking that more exposure for the college game is going to hurt their ratings?

For his pregame intro, Sagissor stood in front of a rabid (and well lubricated) group of St. Cloud State fans and talked of the rink's intimidating atmosphere. Behind him were four Huskies fans stripped to the waist with letters spelling "S-C-S-U" on their chests. In the middle of his intro, Sagissor removed his own shirt, revealing a red "W" painted on his bare chest, generating a roar of derision from the student section.

There's a fine line between being a journalist and being a rube. Sagissor has apparently chosen to paint a big red "W' over that line.

Shaky Start in Mankato – There was good news and bad news for Mavericks fans last weekend as Minnesota State, Mankato was swept by Providence at the Midwest Wireless Civic Center. The good news is that the line of Brock Becker, Shane Joseph and David Backes was impressive, as that trio put up three of the team's four goals on the weekend. In the process, Joseph extended his streak of consecutive games with a point to eight. The bad news was that Providence scored seven goals, winning 2-1 and 5-3.

Mankato sportscaster Randall Harder of KYSM-AM noted that Backes, one of the league's most highly-touted freshmen, and Joseph complemented each other well. On the downside, said Harder, it's obvious Joseph misses having Grant Stevenson on his line and the youthful Mavs defenders struggled to get the puck
out of their zone at times.

It doesn't get any easier for the Mavericks anytime soon, with road trips to CHA favorite Bemidji State and defending WCHA champ Colorado College looming on the schedule. Many predicted that the Mavs would suffer a fall from their second-place finish in the league last year. But unless an infusion of consistency on offense and defense is forthcoming, the fall may be sooner, and farther, than expected.


• Just a few weeks into the season, Michigan Tech junior forward Colin Murphy is getting fans, and his coach, excited. Murphy turned in a four-goal game last Saturday as the Huskies came from behind to beat arch-rival Northern Michigan 7-6 in overtime. Tech
trailed 6-3 with less than five minutes to play, before an incredible rally began. Nick Anderson's power-play goal cut the Wildcats' lead to 6-4, then Murphy notched a natural hat-trick (including the winner 2:58 into OT) to give Huskies' coach Jamie Russell his first collegiate victory. Russell credited Murphy, and the Huskies fans, for getting the win. "When we started to rally, the building got very, very loud," he said. "Then we were fortunate enough to get a faceoff goal in overtime and the place went crazy. Watching Colin is worth the price of admission. I find myself clapping for him on the bench."

• Over the summer, Minnesota state law was changed allowing bars to stay open until 2 a.m. But the St. Cloud City Council didn't approve the bartime change within the St. Cloud city limits until recently, and the change did not go into effect in St. Cloud until Oct. 24. With St. Cloud State's hockey team hosting
Wisconsin last weekend, and the Huskies football team hosting South Dakota for homecoming last Saturday as well, the new bartime was apparently delayed in hopes of avoiding rioting. St. Cloud State had homecoming riots in 1988, and with cars burning in Minneapolis and Mankato in recent months, college town authorities are understandably skittish.

• Thoughts and prayers from all of us at INCH go out to Minnesota sophomore forward Gino Guyer and his family. The Guyers are mourning the tragic death of Gino's cousin, Jenni, who died in a car accident on Sunday, Oct. 12, while retuning from watching Gino play in the Maverick Stampede in Omaha. Jenni, 20, was in an eastbound SUV which was struck by a westbound car that veered out of control and crossed the freeway median on I-80 near Stuart, Iowa. A student at Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Jenni was a 2001 graduate of Greenway High School and had been the school's homecoming queen.

• One of the worst examples of political correctness run amok is on display at the National Hockey Center. St. Cloud State officials have launched a protest against Native American nicknames in the past, urging schools like North Dakota to rethink their teams' moniker. In the Huskies home rink, they have a wall of fame with paintings of men who helped build hockey in Minnesota. Among those pictured is Sam LoPresti, who spent a year at St. Cloud Teachers College (now SCSU) before playing 74 games for the Chicago Blackhawks in the early 1940s. LoPresti is pictured wearing a Blackhawks sweater from that era. But on painting, they've replaced the Indian head logo with a depiction of a dog. Yes, it's a husky. Some are apparently not just content to re-write history, they want to re-paint it too.

• When Colorado College visits Clarkson this weekend for a two-game set, it will only be the seventh and eighth all-time meetings between these long-time powers. But that doesn't mean that there's not usually a lot on the line when the Tigers and Golden Knights get together. Of their six previous meetings (all of which have been won by CC), three of them have come in the NCAA playoffs. In 1957, the Tigers beat Clarkson 5-3 in the Frozen Four semifinals, and bested Michigan 13-6 the next day to claim the school's second (and most recent) NCAA title.

• In addition to the action on the ice at Mariucci Arena this weekend, there will be plenty of special doings off the ice as well. On Friday, the Gophers' 2003 NCAA Championship banner will be raised to the rink's rafters. And on Saturday On Saturday, Oct. 25, they will honor the legacy of former player and coach Herb Brooks, who died in a car crash last summer. Brooks was a Gopher player from 1956-59 and the team's head coach from 1972-79. A special "HB" logo will be on the arena's ice and the team will wear a similar patch on their sweaters. Many players and staff from Brooks' seven Minnesota teams, along with Brooks' teammates from his playing days, have been invited to the celebration. St. Cloud State, where Brooks coached for one season, is also wearing a "HB" patch on their sweaters this season.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.

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