Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Out...

Michigan Tech Huskies 08-09 Schedule

What I Like About This Schedule

*The National Development Team will come to town for an exhibition game in October. I like this mostly because it is something new.

*North Dakota at the GLI - this is no doubt going to be the best/toughest holiday tournament in the country this season.

*CC for Carnival - we've done well against them lately, but mostly I'm just happy they scheduled someone different.

*Only two games against SCSU, and they won't be in our barn, so I won't have to watch us extend that losing streak.

What I Don't Like About This Schedule

*Sans the exhibition game against a TBD Canadian school, we start the season on the road. Then, we go to Colorado to open up WCHA play. At high altitude. On Olympic ice. Boo.

*We don't get back-to-back home weekends until the end of the season - even then, they are separated by a weekend in-between.

*They scheduled the road series against Wisconsin and Minnesota on back-to-back weekends. I was planning to make both. Yikes.

*Duluth the weekend before finals. Curse you, whoever scheduled that.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Wow, yet another rollercoaster of a game. But this time, the rollercoaster went up. And this time, that's where it stayed.


With 10 seconds left in regulation, I thought that there were 10 seconds left in my fifth and final season of MTU hockey as a student. With 5.5 seconds left and as I watched the goal slowly cross the goal line... ... ... I can't even finish that sentence. I don't even know what to say.

I think with this entry, I'm just going to tell it like it is.

After that first goal, I figured it would be the same old, same old story like most times we play UND... especially in the Ralph. The first goal was a complete disappointment. There's no question that Michael-Lee should have had that one. But feces happens sometimes.

Despite being down 1-0 early (as usual), Michigan Tech was dominating play. UND started to take over. This is yet another common occurrence with this Huskies team: no matter how good they're dominating, when they don't get results, the other team just starts taking over.

The Sioux took what was once ours, the first period, and made it theirs.

The second period was fairly even, but again, the Sioux were able to capitalize and the Huskies were not. UND's Brad Miller had one hell of a game. I'm not sure where that came from, as he rarely does anything on most nights.

Tech scored early in the third on a powerplay goal. It was a KKK goal... Kerr from Kinrade and Kattelus.

As the clock was winding down, I think reality was starting to set in. IF THEY DON'T WIN, THEY ARE DONE.

With less than two minutes to go, Tech was called for a penalty. This is the point where many teams wave the white flag and just bend over for the other team. However, following that penalty, from puck drop until the end of regulation, they played with the most determination I've seen from this team all season long. They immediately took control of the puck and played Keep Away with the Sioux. The Huskies took the puck down the ice. Michael-Lee Teslak raced to the bench so an extra Husky skater could take the ice. With about 10 seconds left, the puck was in the corner near the Sioux net. I fully expected the worse... no goal. However, what happened next is the reason why I am a hockey fan. Those miracles, those unlikely turn of events... Somehow, the puck made its way to the front of the Sioux net. It sat in the crease for what seemed like an eternity until assistant captain Tyler Shelast poked it past the goal line.

We were supposed to be 5.5 seconds from the end of our season. Six seniors were to be on the ice in their Husky jerseys for the last time. However, they weren't ready to be done.

The feelings felt when the tying goal happened are in no way describable. But like I said, things like that are a huge reason why I am a hockey fan--a Michigan Tech Hockey fan.

On a side note, I'd just like to call attention to a post in the SiouxSports forum by northfieldsioux22. CLICK HERE and check out post 172. Good job, dude. Way to jump the gun there. :)

In the overtime period, the Sioux get called for an early penalty. Tech once again takes control of the situation. It didn't take long for them to do what they needed to do. Shelast puts away his second of the game, along with the help of Kinrade and Rouleau.

This series is NOT over yet!

Congratulations to Shirtless Guy for getting to take his shirt off in yet another arena. And how that girl in the picture is smiling and not puking is beyond me...

Sunday night either marks the beginning or the end. If Michigan Tech can play with that determination and urgency, they may be able to join their band at the Final Five. Otherwise, they will sit back as their bands racks up more Final Five experience than they have. The choice is theirs.

I would like to thank the Sioux fans for their hospitality, as always; especially those who kept asking us during the game how it felt to be watching our last game of the season. To those people, I'd like to say: "AWESOME! Thanks." Sometimes, karma works like it's supposed to.

= = = = =

A SIDENOTE: To those Husky parents and Sioux fans whom I told that UAA won, I received false information via a text message. I was later texted that CSTV had lied and UAA was only up and did not win, sadly. I apologize to those of you who I "lied" to. I was upset to find out the truth too, believe me.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Three More Periods of Scoreless Husky Hockey in the REA

ZERO shots on goal in the first period. WHAT THE HELL.

I think there was a solid 8 minutes or so of good Husky hockey played during that game. Unfortunately, eight minutes is not enough... especially when playing one of the best teams in the nation.

I really don't have much to say about this game. It was a typical MTU-UND game played in REA: The Sioux score lots of goals; the Huskies do not.

Dear Michigan Tech Huskies: Unless you want your season to end tomorrow, it's time to really GET SERIOUS about this whole hockey business. We need nine straight games and they start TOMORROW.

While it is no secret that my favorite Husky is Geoff Kinrade, it's time for me to again sing his praises. Geoff had 5 of our 14 SOG for the night. He continues to make smart plays, log a TON of ice time, and be a solid guy in our lineup. The rest of the Huskies could really learn a thing or two from him. There were not very many strong points in MTU's game last night, but Geoff was certainly one of them. Keep it up, Geoff... and the rest of the Huskies: get your asses in gear.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Like There Is No Tomorrow (or Just for Now)

*Warning: The following post contains clichés. Not only does it include clichés, it includes desperation and the fading hope of a college hockey fan. With that being said, there is no telling the way the post will come across, but understand it is what it is.

This is it. Thirty-six games in the books. We've had some good moments, and we've had some bad moments. We've gotten bounce that went in our direction, and we've gotten bounces that have destroyed us. We've played smart, and we have made some stupid mistakes. There's been times were we've felt and played like we couldn't be beat, and there's been some times were I'm sure any pee-wee team off the streets could have blown us out of the building. Well right now none of that matters. Those last thirty-six games mean nothing, we can just call those practice. We can write those down as us figuring out us, what works, what doesn't, what we can take and what we can give.

Now matters, this moment, this second, this team, this game. Don't worry about yesterday and don't worry about tomorrow, neither matters, today matters. We can't change what we did yesterday, and tomorrow only depends on today, today matters. So tonight when you take the ice, as long as we're playing whenever you take the ice, play like there is not tomorrow, because there might not be. Every game might be your last game, so play like you don't want it to be. I don't mind if you take risk and make mistakes, but do it big, mess up trying to make a big hit, mess up trying to change the game, but make sure when you skate off the ice you skate off knowing that at that moment you gave it everything you had.

Other teams may look at you and see weaknesses, they may see a fragile team this has given up and is just waiting for someone to put their season away. Honestly if any of you see that when you look into the mirrors, please don't take the ice tonight. Instead when you look in the mirror I want you to see yourself for what you are, desperate and capable of anything.

No matter what remember this, this moment matters. There may not be a tomorrow but there will always be a now, live in the now, play in the now, compete in the now. So when you go out there, make the most of all of your nows, because at the end of the day that all that matters, now. Now is the time to get this done, now is the time to prove to ourselves that we can do this, now is the time to be who we know we our. Nothing else matters but now. There is no tomorrow, there is no next game, there is no next time. There is only now, so I am asking you and I am telling you, go play, go compete, go live, go give everything you have, go be now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend in Mankato - Recap

Could've been worse... Could've been better... I thought the team played fairly well on both nights. The defense was slightly lacking on Friday though. I definitely can't place the blame on Teslak for all of those five goals. With John Schwarz being out with an injury this past weekend, it definitely hurt the team.

On Friday, the team got an early power play. The way they were moving that puck around, actually taking shots, and maintaining control of the puck was fantastic. Even though nothing came of it, it was great to see a much improved-looking power play.

Unfortunately, during one of our power plays, the Mavericks were able to bury it in our net. That concluding the first period. Tech came out strong, played hard, and nothing came of it.

During the second period, the Huskies kind of lost control of the game. The Mavericks buried four more goals. After they scored their second of the game, Malcom Gwilliam (assisted by MeanEgirl favorite Geoff Kinrade and Pete Rouleau), were able to put one away for the Huskies. That was closest that our comeback attempt came, however. Shortly after our goal, Mick Berge scored two goals for the Mavs.

Not much else happened for the rest of the game. With around 5:00 left, Mark Malekoff scored one for the Huskies. Too little, too late, however. Also, Rob Nolan came in during the 3rd period to finish off the game. He played very well and didn't let anything by him.

All in all, that game was a very clean game that was fun to watch.

Saturday night was senior night for the Mavericks. I guess the Huskies, and especially Geoff Kinrade, were out to spoil that for them though.

The Huskies took first blood less than six minutes into the game. Eric Kattelus, with a little help from Foote and Kinrade, were able to bring some Husky cheer. The Tech fans in attendance, myself included, were barely able to finish all of our cheering for that goal. When we got to "Do it again! Do it again! We liked it! We liked it!", the Huskies (Gagne (Shelast, Vlaisavljevich)) indeed did it again, right after we said it. Now that's the way to start a game.

During the second period, power play extraordinaire and MeanEgirl favorite Geoff Kinrade had a really nice shot on the man-advantage that would later become the game winner. :)

Luckily, the Huskies didn't completely choke away the lead and the game, though it came so close... Tech needs to work on holding a lead a little better...

And for the record, Geoff Kinrade was the first star of the game on Saturday night. :)

A special thanks goes out to the Minnesota Golden Gophers for losing yet another game on Saturday night, which cost us a trip to Denver. Now, thanks to the Gophers not doing their part, we have to go to Grand Forks for the first round of playoffs. Ugh.

Let's hope for a repeat of the events of two Decembers ago......

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Huskies Pep Band to Make THIRD Appearance at the Final Five!

The WCHA just can't get enough of the Huskies Pep Band! And who could blame them?

This year will mark the third time in three years that the Huskies Pep Band has been invited by the WCHA to act as the official or host band to the WCHA/Red Baron Final Five.

Sadly though, St. Patrick's Day does not fall during the same time as the Final Five, so there will be no HPB appearance in St. Paul's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Now that our band has made the tournament, hopefully our Huskies do too!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Thanks Seniors

So last night I was all set to make my first post for THB. I sat down and realized I had multiple potential topics. These were my options:

1. I could talk about the exciting weekend of hockey we got from the Huskies, in spite of only coming away with a split. Reasonable enough, so see below.

2. I could talk about what a horrible job Campion did on Saturday, letting things get out of hand, and seemingly trying to hand Denver the game in the third period with a string of shitty calls. In spite of it though, we still won that game and as bad as the officiating regularly is in the WCHA, I try not to whine about it much, because it's like beating a dead horse.

3. I could rant about the woman I was seated close to, who objected to my friend and I singing the 'Refs' and 'Sex' verses of No Beer because, "there are children around" and pointedly suggested that if we wanted to use 'that language' (oh no! They said 'sex'!) we should go join the Misfits or the band. However, I will post my thoughts on that over at the tSBFitW blog and try to maintain at least a shred of journalistic integrity here at THB.

4. I could simply thank our seniors for their four years of dedication to Tech hockey. This was my best idea, so I will run with that in a bit.

First, about the games. Both of them were very entertaining and the Huskies played well, which made their inability to finish several scoring chances on Friday very frustrating. Both goaltenders had good weekends, with Teslak and Mannino coming up big many times, and getting lucky a few times. Tech's defense played very well, particularly on Saturday when they successfully killed off a DU 6-on-3 advantage for the final minute and a half of regulation to hang on for the win. Additionally, Kinrade had a beauty of a GWG and the Huskies worked hard to generate chances all night.

I'd like to thank our senior class for really leading the way this season, even if things didn't turn out quite as we had hoped. We had a solid start and still came away with more than ten wins (plus, the season isn't quite over yet!). We also gave ourselves plenty of chances to win games, and even though we couldn't finish many of them, that still says a lot about how far the program has come under Jamie. They are in a position to win almost every night; now it's just a matter of finding the right balance between hard-hitting grinders and soft-handed snipers, and getting them enough playing experience to put the Huskies back on top.

These seniors have helped put Tech hockey back on the map and given the program some positive media coverage these past two seasons. While we may be still be referred to as 'upstart Michigan Tech' (and rightfully so), it's a heck of a lot better than being called the 'perennial doormats' of the league, and you can bet that plenty of opposing coaches have been circling their games against MTU this season and making sure they are well-prepared for us.

So now, looking to salvage some pride and finish potentially as high as 8th, the Huskies turn towards their final regular season series at Mankato. The Mavericks have been playing much better hockey in the second-half of the season and are definitely not the team that we swept in Houghton back in October. I look forward to reading about the results of these games next Sunday night, as I won't be traveling to Mankato, nor will I able to listen in either night. I just hope for a couple of good road games to close out the season and then we'll see who Tech will be paying a visit to for the WCHA first-round, and whether or not I should start looking forward to summer.