you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold
That line, taken from the John McCrae poem
“In Flanders Field”, is emblazoned above the
lockers in the Montreal Canadiens dressing room. It serves
as a reminder that each player who dons the bleu, blanc
et rouge is responsible for perpetuating the franchise's
Red Berenson would know. The Michigan coach
spent four seasons with the Habs. So it's no surprise that
a similar philosophy has taken hold in Ann Arbor. One veteran
star moves on; a fresh face fills the vacancy by elevating
Case in point: freshmen forwards Jeff Tambellini
and Brandon Kaleniecki, who've done more than their share
to fill the gaping vacancy created when Mike Cammalleri
decided to forego his senior season and sign with the Los
"With him leaving, it opens up an enormous
role," says Tambellini. "Nobody can fill a player
like Mike Cammalleri's shoes, but I thought it was a chance
to make a big step right away."
A big step, indeed. The Port Moody, B.C.,
product leads the Wolverines with 12 goals and 18 points
in 22 games. Not far behind are Kaleniecki (10 goals, 15
points) and fellow rookie Andrew Ebbett (seven goals, 14
points). Their contributions, coupled with the improvement
of sophomores David Moss and Dwight Helminen, have kept
the Maize and Blue afloat despite injuries –
seniors John Shouneyia and Jed Ortmeyer have both missed
significant time this season –
and sub-par efforts from key players such as second-year
forward Eric Nystrom (11 points in 18 games).
"My expectations were to help out in
any way I can and just be in the lineup," said Kaleniecki,
a product of nearby Livonia. "At first, it’s
obviously pretty tough adjusting. It was a gradual process
The Wolverines enter the weekend third in
the CCHA with 19 points, trailing front-running Ferris State
by six points. The good news: Michigan has two games in
hand over the Bulldogs. The bad news: the team's murderous
schedule down the stretch includes a home-and-home series
with Ferris State, two games against Northern Michigan at
Yost Arena, series at Nebraska-Omaha and Ohio State, and
four outings with Michigan State.
"I remember (former U-M star and current
Vancouver Canuck) Brendan Morrison telling me, “This
is as close as it’s going to get (to the NHL),”
said Tambellini, whose father, Steve, is the Canucks' vice
president of player personnel. "You want to play in
the tight games, the tight-checking games. That was half
the reason I came to Michigan. I wanted to play in a situation
that’s as close to the NHL as I can get."
While both Tambellini and Kaleniecki say
their transition has been made easier due to the fact they're
part of a relatively large freshman class –
a half-dozen rookies dot the Michigan roster –
they're quick to point out that regardless of the newcomers'
success, they'll only go as far as the teams quintet of
seniors lead them.
"They’re the heart and soul of
the team," said Kaleniecki. "They’re the
reason we’re as good as we are and the team is as
good as it is. We’re just fortunate to help out."
you start something, a lot of people say 'You'll never
do this,' or 'You'll never do that.' I never thought
about winning 300 games. I just tried to go get good
players, build a solid base and run a good program."
– St. Cloud State head coach Craig Dahl,
after winning his 300th game behind the Huskies' bench
Saturday vs. Providence.
have full confidence in this team that they are going
to respond in a positive way. Third place still is
within reach, but more important is that we have to
make sure we finish on a strong note.” –
Denver head coach George Gwozdecky, whose Pioneers
are in sixth place in the WCHA after earning one point
in last weekend’s series with Minnesota State.
want everyone to stand up and join me in singing happy
birthday to Woody” – Ferris State President
Dr. William Sederburg, at a ceremony commemorating the
150th anniversary of university founder Woodbridge Ferris’
birth during the first intermission of Saturday’s
Northern Michigan-Ferris State game.
has happened to Nebraska-Omaha? Perhaps the better question
is, What hasn't happened to the Mavericks? A 1-6-1 showing
since posting a sweep of Lake Superior State early last
month has UNO mired in 10th place in the CCHA standings.
With just eight conference games remaining, the Mavs are
virtually assured of spending the first round of the conference
playoffs on the road.
from the end of last season to now, it's been one thing
after another," said UNO coach Mike Kemp. "It's
taken the heart out of the team. Every time you turn around,
another key member of the team is on the disabled list."
UNO has lost
players for every reason short of alien abduction. The list:
Defensemen Greg Zanon (knee injury, staph infection), Brett
Davis (medial collateral ligament sprain) and Chris Claffey
(Achilles tendon) are out. Forward Andrew Wong missed all
but one period of the recent Michigan State series with
a knee injury and will sit out the upcoming series against
Ohio State, but goaltender Dan Ellis, who couldn't play
in Saturday's finale at MSU due to severe cramping, will
be back to face the Buckeyes.
Coveted recruit Matt Ellison skipped out on a college career
and joined the Western Hockey League's Red Deer Rebels.
He's currently fourth in the league in points. Blueliner
Craig Zubersky bolted after just two games for the WHL's
Kootenay Ice, while defenseman Bryce Lampman departed for
the American Hockey League's Hartford Wolfpack.
Freshman Kaleb Betts has been sidelined the entire season
due to academics.
the personnel shortcomings – the Mavericks have dressed
four defensemen twice this season – some UNO players
have openly questioned the team's desire.
got a handful of guys who come with their hard hats every
night and a lot of guys playing like pretenders," senior
forward Joe Periera told the Omaha World-Herald.
Kemp echoed Periera's
there's been players who have come and gone over the last
couple weeks," the sixth-year head coach said. "Some
play some nights, some don't. And the results speak for
Hockey League’s Central Scouting Bureau last week
released its mid-term ranking of prospects eligible for
this year’s NHL Entry Draft and, as usual, there was
a healthy representation of college players among North
American skaters evaluated.
forward Thomas Vanek is rated third overall, trailing only
Ontario Hockey League standouts Derek Staal of Peterborough
and Dustin Brown of Guelph. North Dakota’s Zach Parise
is 11th on the list, followed by defenseman Mark Stuart
of Colorado College (17th) and Ohio State forward Ryan Kesler
college players ranked, by conference:
Jeff Tambellini, Michigan, 37th; Danny Richmond, Michigan,
48th; David Booth, Michigan State, 71st; Corey Potter, Michigan
State, 80th; Tim Wallace, Notre Dame, 122nd; Cody Blanshan,
Nebraska-Omaha, 135th; Jamie Milam, Northern Michigan, 181st;
Stephen Dennis, Miami, 237; Alvaro Montoya, Michigan, 2nd
(goalies are ranked separately).
Gino Guyer, Minnesota, 84th; Jonathon Lehun, St. Cloud State,
99th; Alex Leavitt, Wisconsin, 151st; Peter Kennedy, Minnesota,
175th; Dan Kronick, Minnesota-Duluth, 194th.
FROM TODAY'S HEADLINES
You Take This Nanook to Be Your Husband?: Alaska-Fairbanks
forward Jason Grinevitch had a fairly normal week leading
up to last weekend’s home series with Lake Superior
State – went to class, attended practice, got married.
right. He tied the knot with Lindsay Duterte, his girlfriend
of four years, in Haines Junction, Yukon Territory, Jan.
15. The skinny:
lives with Jason, was trying to return to Fairbanks from
Edmonton Jan. 12, but was not allowed to board the airplane
because of a visa issue. When she was denied entry into
the U.S. the following day, she took the advice of a customs
agent, who told her if she and Jason were married she could
cross the border via his student visa.
ironing out the details that night, Duterte and her parents
met Grinevitch in Whitehorse, the Yukon Territory capital
city, the following day. They obtained a marriage license,
complied with the obligatory 24-hour waiting period and
tracked down a justice of the peace in Haines Junction.
After the ceremony – which took place at the home
of the justice of the peace – the newlyweds drove
to Fairbanks. Grinevitch was back in time for practice Thursday,
and earned an assist in the Nanooks’ 2-2 tie with
was in jeans and a T-shirt and Jason had his hockey training
pants and shirt on,” said Lindsay to Fairbanks Daily
News-Miner reporter Richard Larson. “We didn’t
look that good, but it didn’t matter.”
when she couldn’t make it across,” Grinevitch
told Larson. “I’m willing to do anything for
couple had originally scheduled their wedding for July 26
in Lindsay’s hometown of Bonnyville, Alberta. They’re
still planning on going through with the ceremony.
I Want My Leafs TV: The CCHA announced
last week that Leafs TV, the 24-hour hockey cable network
owned and operated by the Toronto Maple Leafs, will carry
25 regular-season and playoff games this season.
but seven of the games will be broadcast on a tape-delay
basis. Each of the league’s 12 teams will appear on
Leafs TV at least once. Leafs TV, which debuted in September
2001, is available to most of the province of Ontario.
Great Weekend Getaways
Ferris State at Miami: Both teams have
different sets of motivators in this series. The Bulldogs
wouldn’t mind creating breathing room between
themselves and Ohio State atop the CCHA standings.
The RedHawks, 2-7-1 in their last 10 games, are fighting
to earn home ice in the first round of the conference
playoffs for good reason - they’re 8-1-2 at
Goggin Ice Arena this season.
you’re there: No trip to Oxford is complete
without a visit to the First Run, arguably the finest
post-game hangout in the CCHA. Housed in a former
movie theatre, the First Run is routinely packed with
Miami students and features three bars and a huge
dance floor. If the club scene isn’t your bag,
there are a number of options on High Street, including
Steinkeller, a comfortable – and popular
– German pub and restaurant.
2. Minnesota State, Mankato at Minnesota:
Minnesota is four points behind the surprising
Mavericks in the WCHA standings, but the Gophers have
four games in hand. These two teams split in Mankato
earlier this season. The anticipated return of junior
captain Grant Potulny should provide a boost for the
3. Alabama-Huntsville at Northern Michigan:
Not only is Alabama-Huntsville the nation’s
hottest team, but a pair of wins in Marquette would
undoubtedly boost the Chargers’ Pairwise ranking.
The up-and-down Wildcats, meanwhile, could use two
quality wins to boost their confidence.
OT 411: Bemidji State lost a pair of overtime decisions
at Alabama-Huntsville last week, the team’s 10th and
11th extra-session contests this season. The 11 overtime
games set new school and College Hockey America conference
records. With seven weeks remaining in the regular season,
the Beavers are well within reach of breaking the NCAA record
of 13 overtime games shared by many teams. Maine, in 2000-01,
was the most recent to do so.
last weekend’s series marked the first time Alabama-Huntsville
had ever won consecutive overtime games. It was also the
first time in school history Bemidji State had dropped back-to-back
Under Pressure: Certainly, coach George Gwozdecky
and his Denver squad weren’t pleased to earn just
one point in last weekend’s WCHA series against Minnesota
State University, Mankato. It could have been worse.
goaltender Wade Dubielewicz lifted for an extra attacker,
the Pioneers got two goals in the final minute of regulation
to salvage a 3-3 tie with the Mavericks. Luke Fulghum cut
the Minnesota State lead in half with 56 seconds to play
in the third period; Kevin Ulanski evened the score with
20 seconds to go.
played desperate at the end of the game,” Denver forward
Connor James told the Rocky Mountain News. “That's
the way you have to play in this league."
of the Weird: Lake Superior State goaltender
Matt Violin stopped a school-record 60 shots in
a 2-2 tie at Alaska-Fairbanks Friday, including 23 in the
third period. The kicker: Violin was named the game's No.
2 star. Who voted, Simon Cowell?...Speaking of Upper Peninsula
netminders, Michigan Tech's Cam Ellsworth
made 55 saves – including 28 in the first period –
in a 3-1 loss to Colorado College in Houghton Saturday...With
a tie and win at Tech last weekend, CC extended
its regular-season unbeaten streak against the Huskies to
34 games (27-0-7) dating back to the 1992-93 season.
That span, of course, doesn't include MTU's upset of the
top-seeded Tigers in the opening round of the 1994 WCHA
playoffs...Milam Redux: The Milam brothers
– Ferris State's Troy and Jamie of Northern Michigan
– each went home with a victory as the Bulldogs and
Wildcats split in Big Rapids last weekend. The big winner,
however, was the boys' mother, Linda. She held the winning
ticket in Saturday's 50-50 drawing at Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Miller: Congratulations on your first career
shutout, a 1-0 win against the Minnesota Wild last week.
Don’t look now, but Buffalo is on a roll, and Miller
has a 2.18 GAA and a .915 svs% in nine starts.
McConnell: A junior forward at Denver, the
grandson of the legendary “Badger” Bob Johnson
made his collegiate debut in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to
Minnesota State at Magness Arena.
Dame: The Fighting Irish, currently ninth
in the CCHA, are 1-5-2 since Christmas after being swept
by Yale last weekend. The Dave Poulin Watch has officially
begun, especially with back-to-back series against Michigan
State and Ohio State up next.
Ice Arena music: MSU radio analyst Joe
Blackburn referenced the music selection in this space last
week, but it bears repeating. I sometimes think Alan
Freed is picking the records. Seriously, I keep waiting
for a sock hop to break out.
THIS WEEK'S NHL TRANSACTIONS
Hockey League: Suspended Dallas goaltender Marty
Turco (Michigan) one game without pay for high-sticking
incident in Jan. 20 game vs. Colorado.
Thrashers: Assigned forward J.P. Vigier (Northern
Michigan) to Chicago of the American Hockey League.
Bruins: Acquired defenseman Jeff Jillson (Michigan)
and goaltender Jeff Hackett from the San Jose Sharks for
defenseman Kyle McLaren and a 2004 fourth-round draft pick
as part of a three-team trade involving the Montreal Canadiens.
Calgary Flames: Assigned defenseman Jordan
Leopold (Minnesota) to Saint John of the American Hockey
Hurricanes: Placed center Rod Brind’Amour
(Michigan State) on injured reserve.
Blue Jackets: Assigned defenseman Paul Manning
(Colorado College) to Syracuse of the American Hockey League.
Angeles Kings: Recalled forward Mike Cammalleri
(Michigan) from Manchester of the American Hockey League;
activated forward Bryan Smolinski (Michigan State) from
injured reserve; assigned Cammalleri to Manchester.
Wild: Activated forward Darby Hendrickson (Minnesota)
from injured reserve.
Bay Lightning: Placed forward Ben Clymer (Minnesota)
on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 14.
MINOR LEAGUE TRANSACTION OF THE WEEK
Wolf Pack (AHL): Recalled forward David Inman (Notre
Dame) from Charlotte of the East Coast Hockey League.