Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Night in Paradise

The recently sliding Michigan Tech Huskies made their trip to Grand Forks, North Dakota this weekend to fight the Fighting Sioux for a series in the $100+ million dollar Ralph Engelstad Arena. After night one, though, it appears that the Huskies have regained the play that they exhibited early on in the season.

Friday night started out very slowly, the most entertainment coming from one of the skating cheerleaders trying to skate on her skate guards, to no avail. The dueling Zambonis also provided much entertainment, as well as the fabled TJ Oshie injuring himself by falling into his own net.

Play went slowly through the first period, with little eventful occuring. The Oshie continued to suck, and neither team showed a real advantage. The second period opened as the first, with little to brag about, save the Oshie's continued lack of greatness. After nearly 16 minutes of stalemate, Alex Lord shoved a puck in past Lamoreux after a puck had gone in and bounced out less than 5 seconds prior. The few Husky fans in attendance did quite the job of showing up the fans in the Ralph noisewise, and the momentum paid off when Lars Helminen lightly lobbed a puck in from the blueline on the powerplay, and after a deflection (off a high stick) from Peter Rouleau, Lamoreux opened his 5-hole wide, letting an easy save slide right through.

After exhibiting great sieveness, Lamoreux once again opened his 5-hole wide as Ryan Bunger built on his goal total, weaving up to the net and sliding a backhander in. Though the great Oshie and UND seemed to be shut down and Rob Nolan would get a shutout, Brad Miller was able to scoot a puck by near the end of the third with an extra attacker. This came to no avail, as the arena was emptying with nearly 2 minutes remaining, and the Huskies took their first game at the Ralph since 2003.

What can be learned from this series? Disrespecting Native Americans may get your hockey team a $100 million dollar arena, but the angry spirits will eventually curse your hockey team (don't tell Tyler Hirsch), causing them to continually lose [sarcasm]. Perhaps it was the rude replacement of "home of the brave" to "home of the Sioux" in the nation's national anthem. Or maybe it was the ugly drunk preppy kids displaying signs of affection with their middle fingers during the third period, or the exploitation of attractive women with glowing wands dancing on the ice for us. No, maybe it was just good hockey vs. bad hockey. Stay tuned for more updates regarding the rest of the series.

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