Monday, August 31, 2009

Hockey Canada Cup G1: FIN 3 - USA 2

Hilary Knight tries to make a move to get by a Finnish defender. Photo by Dave Holland / Hockey Canada

The Hockey Canada Cup commenced earlier today, and Team USA lost the opening game of the tournament 3-2 to Finland, the bronze-medal team in the most recent IIHF Women's World Championship (April 2009).

Meghan Duggan scored the 2nd US goal. Jessie Vetter stopped 20 of 23 SOG.
"We ran into a goaltender that played exceptionally well, while not capitalizing on the opportunities we had," said Team USA Head Coach Mark Johnson. "It wasn't the way we wanted to start the tournament but all we can do is bounce back and play well against Sweden tomorrow. We'll take the lessons we learned and move forward from here."
usahockey: game notes, recap, photos
hockeycanada: box

Next up for Team USA: Tuesday 9/1 @ 4 PM CT -- Sweden

(FWIW, as I write this, Canada is leading Sweden 3-0 after 1 period, with CAN outshooting SWE 20-2. Yikes.)

WCH Best of the West

The Western College Hockey Blog continues their countdown of the top players entering the WCHA/CCHA and that includes two Badgers.

#20 Derek Lee

Role he'll likely play: Lee fills a role that the Badgers really haven't had in recent years: a small playmaker who excels at setting up his teammates. Mike Davies is a small, offensively gifted player, but he has nearly as many goals as assists in his college career, whereas Lee is more likely to have at least 2 assists for every goal he scores. Lee could be a valuable asset, especially on the powerplay, where he has the ability to set up some of Wisconsin's big defensemen at the point.

Why he is ranked here: Lee was an outstanding player in the BCHL for three years, so his numbers declined a bit last season when he switched teams, and there are some concerns about his game translating to the next level due to his lack of size.

Why he'll be great: Lee has shown the ability, if he finds the right chemistry, to pick up a lot of assists. The fact that Wisconsin doesn't have a lot of players like him means that if he's good, he'll play a lot.

Why he might not: It's not easy to play in the WCHA at just 165 lbs. He might have to add some weight before he really stars to be effective.

Contrived Rivals-style star ranking: 3 and a half stars


#26 Craig Smith

Role he'll likely play: With 16 forwards on the roster, Smith will have to really fight to find ice time on a deep Wisconsin team, but there's a number of older forwards on the team he should be able to beat out to get pretty consistent ice time.

Why he is ranked here: After two fairly average seasons in the USHL, Smith had a breakout year last season, scoring 76 points and being among the league leaders in +/-. His effort got him drafted in the NHL Draft in his final year of draft eligibility. If scoring like that becomes a habit and not a fluke, Smith could be an excellent college player.

Why he'll be great: Smith has always been regarded as a player with a lot of potential. Last year, that potential started to come together. If he continues building on that, he could become one of Wisconsin's top forwards.

Why he might not: Wisconsin has a glut of forwards and it could be hard for Smith to really show his abilities in a more limited role, at least early on in his career.

Contrived Rivals-style star ranking: Three and a half stars


Chris makes some good points about both players. I think Smith will play almost every night this season, he is a big strong kid coming off a great season. Lee may or may not be limited by his size and strength (see Garrett Roe at SCSU), I think he'll play a lot but of the two I think Smith will contribute more as a frosh.

Pat Flatley resigns as NHLPA Assistant Director of Player Affairs

The NHLPA has fired their Executive Director, Paul Kelly, and Badger alum Pat Flately has subsequently resigned his position as Assistant Director of Player Affairs.

From Spector:
Pat Flatley, who we know for certain to be a good, intelligent and experienced man inside the NHPLA, has walked away. Not a good sign.
From Dreger:
NHLPA Assistant Director of player affairs Pat Flatley resigned, and said he did so minutes after Kelly was dismissed.

If you want to read more about Kelly's firing, here are some additional links: Mirtle, Puck Daddy, Dreger, Cox.

On a tangent...

For those who recall the Madison Ice Muskies, who were created about month ago in the fledgling Midwest Hockey League, you should know that they have had a change of plans.

The Midwest Hockey League is no more. They formed a merger with the year-old All American Hockey League, which absorbed the Muskies and key MHL personnell. It's noted that expansion teams (Milwaukee?) and IHL affiliations are still key elements for the six teams in the AAHL:

The merger had been the focal point of discussions for several months and
solidifies the AAHL as a premier “A” level minor professional hockey league. All
six franchises have strong ownership, business plans and commitments to both the
AAHL and their respective communities. In addition, the AAHL is very happy with
ongoing negotiations to have all of their teams affiliated with IHL teams.

“We are pleased that all parties were able to work together to
make this happen,” said Crawford. “All the issues that we were facing and
preventing a merger have been corrected and now we can move forward in a
positive manner.”

Expansion markets for 2010 and 2011 are already in the works, lending
enough time to effectively grow the league.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stealing from DPlaya: TW Minor / Jordan Schmaltz / WEHL

DPlaya had some good info this morning, and since I have nothing additional to post, I'm simply going to pass on his info. As always, thanks DP!

TW Minor has added a last-minute series v. Chicago Mission Minor this coming Saturday @ Madison Ice Arena (11 AM, 4 PM). Hmmm . . . perhaps the blog and a certain Door County resident will need to take a little trip . . . ?

DP was expecting future Badger defenseman Jordan Schmaltz to play for the Chicago Mission Minor team this season, but he made the Major roster, so we won't get to see him play this weekend.

DPlaya also gives some love to the WEHL, saying, "The rosters for teams in both the Elite U16 and Elite U18 divisions are very impressive. It's not difficult to see how the WEHL should really continue to pay off in building the depth of quality hockey players in the state of Wisconsin, especially now with leagues reaching all the way down to U-14's as well as to girls hockey."

2009 Hockey Canada Cup begins Monday

The Hockey Canada Cup, an exhibition tournament which is serving as a test event for the 2010 Olympics, kicks off tomorrow in Vancouver. The tourney includes the top teams in women's hockey: the US, Canada, Sweden, and Finland.

The IIHF announcement tells you a bit more about the event, as does the Hockey Canada announcement. The games will be webcast (available for a fee) on hockeycanada.ca.

The US opens the tourney Monday evening at 5 PM CT v. Finland; Canada takes on Sweden at 9:30 PM CT. The preliminary round runs 8/31 - 9/3, with the semifinals on 9/5 and the medal games on 9/6. Here's the full schedule.

Team USA, coached by Badger Women's Head Coach Mark Johnson, includes Badgers Kerry Weiland, Molly Engstrom, Jinelle Zaugg-Siergiej, Jessie Vetter, Erika Lawler, Angie Keseley, Meghan Duggan, and Hilary Knight. Team Canada includes Badgers Carla MacLeod and Meaghan Mikkelson.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

USA Badgers photos & and Meghan Duggan article

BLAINE, MN - AUGUST 25: University of Wisconsin attendees back row (L-R) Angie Keseley, Jinelle Zaugg-Siergiej, Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan, Molly Engstrom, front row (L-R) Kerry Weiland, Jessie Vetter and Erika Lawler of the U.S. Women's National Hockey Team pose for a portrait on August 25, 2009 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota.

LIFE has a whole bunch o' photos of the 2009-10 US Women's National Team, including this Tom Dahlin/Getty Images photo of the 8 Badgers on the team. To see other photos of each player, click on their names.

(By the way, the caption on the LIFE site currently has the players in the back row listed in the incorrect order, so I fixed it above. Also, it's nice that LIFE allows for sharing of photos on non-commercial websites.)

In addition to looking for photos, I've also been continuing to look for articles on our USA Badgers, and today I found another article on Meghan Duggan.
“I was really excited to hear my name announced on Monday,” Duggan said. “It’s really huge to make it this far — to get by that first cut.

“I wished for, waited for and trained for this moment my entire life, and again it was great to hear my name announced the other day.”

Another HF's Top 20 Prospects, Fall 2009

Carolina Hurricanes
4. (4) Jamie McBain, D, 21, 7.5B
Acquired 2nd round, 63rd overall, 2006

The University of Wisconsin’s loss becomes Carolina’s gain. McBain decided to turn pro following a junior season that saw him finish second in the NCAA in points by a defenseman (37), win the WCHA Player of the Year award, and earn a nomination for the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top performer.

McBain provides the complete package on the blueline: size, skill, skating and smarts. In a 10-game stint with Albany the end of last season, the 21-year-old managed just a goal and an assist, but his poise and ability to play in every situation surely made an impression. Expect him to play big minutes in his first full season with the River Rats.

Sara Bauer: her choice not to play for Canada & her future plans

Quite a while back, I asked someone why Sara Bauer was never invited to Hockey Canada camps and never included on Canadian national teams. I was told that there were some politics involved, possibly due to her going the NCAA route rather than the CIS route.

Earlier this week I stumbled upon this article in the Niagara Falls Review: Choosing not to play for the national team. (And I now see that if I had began following BadgersWHockey earlier, I would've seen it sooner.)

It appears that there was a period of time during which Hockey Canada snubbed Sara Bauer, but they eventually came to their senses and invited her to a national camp in 2007, after which she told them she wasn't interested in trying out any more.

"Way back, I didn't get the chance, but they put the ball in my court a couple of times and I just decided it was something I didn't want to do."

"I'm sure a lot of people don't understand it and I don't expect them to. I know it's a great opportunity and I know a lot of people would wish they were in my position, but it's just something I didn't want to particularly do."

While she didn't give an explicit explanation, she did admit that she didn't enjoy her national experiences:

"It's a different kind of dynamic there. There's a lot of expectations and a lot of responsibility that you have to pay to that team."

Now, if you followed Bauer at all during her time at Wisconsin, you'll know that she's not the type to shirk from responsibility or expectations -- she sets high standards for herself and always wants to do the best she can, she's an extremely hard worker, she led Wisconsin to 2 national titles (with broken ribs for 1 of those, I believe), and she won the Patty Kaz in 2006 (and was a finalist in 2007).

So it appears that Bauer didn't have fun playing hockey at the national camps, potentially due to the dynamics of and politics involved, and that the fun aspect of the game is essential to her.

"But I love the game and I just want to be playing where I'm having the most fun."

"I always felt I did my best when I was enjoying something, when you're motivated to do something and you like being there and you want to learn."
And while it might be hard to see how a player could walk away from opportunities to play for Team Canada in international play and potentially the Olympics, it's also understandable that a player wouldn't want to pursue something that had lost the joy associated with playing hockey. And if Sara is comfortable with her decision, well then that's good enough for me. Furthermore, I admire the way she handled prior lack of inclusion in national camps (never any disgruntled comments) and the way in which she explained her decision (a simple acknowledgment that it was something she didn't want to do).

Bauer, who graduated with a 3.98 gpa and a degree in kinesiology, will be pursuing a teaching degree from Niagara University starting this Fall, and her future plans include teaching high school and coaching hockey. She also has started her own summer hockey camps in St. Catharines, ON. Last year, she played hockey for the CWHL's Burlington Barracudas.

I am quite sure that Bauer will be quite successful in her teaching and coaching endeavors.

Sara, thanks for being a Badger.

A KT update, some WCHA predictions, and various odds & ends

  • Kyle Turris is pain free and ready for camp -- he indicates the back surgery he had in April was successful, and he's added a much-needed 10 pounds to his frame. [Thanks, Illegal Curve!]
    "It feels a lot better now. It's unbelievable. No pain."

    "I feel bigger, faster and stronger. I'm looking forward to a better year. I want to help our more, want to contribute more, obviously play a bigger role and help the team in any way I can."
  • Over on the UAA Hockey Fan Blog, Donald tells us how he sees the 2009-10 WCHA.
    Bucky should be better but they still have offensive challenges; logic says though that their returners will be at least as good as last year. And that will probably be enough. If their all-world defensive corps can also continue to bring the O they'll be more than ok. If they take more penalties than their opponents they could have some difficulties. Power play points are going to be a big part of their offense. Experience will likely serve them very well. Eaves knows how to play defense. Getting pucks past any Bucky goalie is a tough task. Not because any of them in the last few years have been massively talented but because the whole team is always responsible in their own end.

    I'll go ahead and pick the order of finish. But my parenthetical notes regarding range is more relevant than the placings on which I've settled.
    1. Denver (highest 1st; lowest 1st)
    2. Wisconsin (highest 2nd; lowest 4th)
    3. UND (highest 3rd; lowest 5th)
    4. Minnesota (highest 3rd; lowest 6th)
    5. UAA (highest 4th; lowest 7th)
    6. UMD (highest 4th; lowest 7th)
    7. SCSU (highest 5th; lowest 8th)
    8. Mankato (highest 7th; lowest 9th)
    9. Colorado College (highest 8th; lowest 9th)
    10. Michigan Tech (highest 10th; lowest 10th)
    By the way, here are Gandalf's 09-10 WCHA Previews so far, with #6 coming soon: 7. UAA, 8. Mankato, 9. CC, 10. MTU. (I think I might really enjoy # 6 . . . )
  • I previously posted the HF's Top Prospects for the Edmonton Oilers, and of course it includes future Badger Troy Hesketh. Oilers blogger extraordinaire Lowetide says that HF writer Andrew SR Cowie did a good job with his rankings.
  • INCH is in the process of doing their annual A to Z profiles. Right now they're on the letter "P". Looking at the Badgers rosters, it's almost a given now that the last name of the Badger profiled will start with an "S", as what's left is 1 R, 6 S's, and 3 T's, and the R's and T's are unlikely. I'll go on the record, however, as predicting we'll see a Derek Stepan profile, as I've been expecting (and hoping for) him ever since the letter "G" passed on by. Stay tuned . . .
  • You've probably heard that Jase Weslosky will not be returning to St. Cloud due to academic issues, but you may not have heard much about junior SCSU goaltender Dan Dunn, who according to Kevin Allenspach was "basically told there would be no room for him in the Huskies' crease with senior Jase Weslosky and heralded freshman Mike Lee." Dunn says he made his decision to return before knowing for sure about Weslosky's fate, saying, "I want everyone to know I came back because I wanted to and nothing else. I like school. I like my professors. I like the people here. It's not like I hate my life. So, why not try again?" [Thanks, Eye of the Tiger Blog.]

    By the way, the New York Islanders, who hold Weslosky's draft rights, are likely to cut Weslosky loose.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Capo's Photo of the Day


Courtesy of Capobianco's blog: The Badgers recently spent some time on the "ice" at Camp Randall Stadium.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

WCH loves Justin Schultz, but perhaps not as much as he should

Chris @ WCH likes Justin Schultz well enough to include him on his "Best of the West: 20009's Top Recruits" series.

Role he'll likely play: Schultz joins a crowded UW blueline that already has Ryan McDonagh, Cody Goloubef, Brendan Smith, and Jake Gardiner, so minutes, especially on the powerplay should be hard to come by this first season. That said, Schultz is a pure playmaker and if he finds ways to create offense, he'll earn more ice time.

Why he is ranked here: Schultz won his division's Defenseman of the Year honors thanks to some impressive point totals the past two seasons in the BCHL. Schultz has huge potential to be an excellent offensive defenseman.

Why he'll be great: Schultz has the ability to rack up a lot of assists, especially if he starts seeing powerplay time.

Why he might not: Points are going to be harder to come by, so Schultz will have to become more well-rounded as a player. He added about 15 lbs. of weight last season, but still isn't the strongest guy.

But he doesn't like him well enough to put him in the top 10, placing him at #11 behind gopher defensive recruit Seth Helgeson.

As you might know, in all things recruiting I defer to Chuck and Gandalf here on the blog, and so I'll do so again now:
Chuck: Justin Schultz immediately steps into the UW lineup as the #5 defenseman. AT BEST Helgeson is the #6 at Minnesota behind Fairchild, Ness, Leddy, Lofquist and Wehrs. I still don't understand how Helgeson is more valuable, or rated higher.

Gandalf: I'm cool w/ Schultz being under the radar. He's this year's Jake Gardiner, a better defensive game who doesn't skate as well (who does?). He'll be an immediate contributor to the team and we (as in Badger fans) can all look back and laugh at everyone else when he is on the All Rookie team w/ Dylan Olsen.

Comparing gopher dmen w/ Wisconsin dmen is like having a 100' length of rope when you are climbing down a 200' wall, the 100' rope looks useful, until you actually try to use it and realize all the actual good defensemen in your state decided to wear the Cardinal and White instead of falling to their death.
Thanks for the insight, boys!

From my perspective, I'd simply like to state that no self-respecting defenseman goes to minnesota.

More Chris Chelios / Dany Heatley

Just 2 quick links tonight:

More HF's Top 20 Prospects, Fall 2009

Ottawa Senators
4.(3) Brian Elliott, G
Rating: 7.0B
Acquired: 2003 draft, 291st overall

After a stellar start to the year in the AHL, Elliott was recalled to Ottawa. For a time, it seemed like Elliott could help get the Senators back into the playoff picture. However, Elliott would show growing pains typical of a young goalie. Still, his play was overall impressive, resulting in him be signed to a two-year contract this offseason.

Going into 2009-10, the 24-year-old looks to be the backup on a full-time basis, but given Pascal Leclaire’s history of injuries, Elliott could see substantial time between the pipes. To take the next step and push to be a No. 1 goalie, Elliott must work on his rebound control, which was shaky at the NHL level. His athleticism and hockey IQ are both top notch, so with a bit of work, Elliott usurping Leclaire is not that far-fetched.
Edmonton Oilers
19. (NR) Troy Hesketh, D, 18
Acquired: 2009 draft, 71st overall

Hesketh, picked in the third round of the 2009 draft, was a lesser-known player. He has good size at 6’2, but is lanky. In his high school career, he’s shown good speed, a healthy shot and quick adaptation to the play.

Hesketh has some offensive tools, but he’s not an offensive defenseman and he’s good on the back end, but you wouldn’t call him a stay-at-homer. He’s well-rounded at this point.

It might take years to see if Hesketh pans out, but he’ll start at the University of Wisconsin in 2011-12 so the real meter of his growth will start to be seen at that point.

Women's U18 Series G3: CAN 3 - US 1

In the final game of the U18 Series, Canada defeated the US 3-1 today to win the series 2 games to 1. Brittany Ammerman had 1 assist; Alex Rigsby made 19 saves.

Game recaps: usahockey, hockeycanada

Women's U18 Series G2: CAN 4 - US 2

Brittany Ammerman picked up as assist in the US U18 team's 4-2 loss to Canada last night. Alex Rigsby did not play, as Kerrin Sperry got the start.

From US head coach Katie King:
"We weren't able to capitalize on our opportunities tonight. Although the outcome wasn't in our favor, the team played very hard, and will able to learn and improve their game moving forward."
Game recaps: usahockey, hockeycanada

Next game: Today at 3:30 CT

Preds might be interested in Chelios

"I said, 'Chris, are you sure you'd have the interest of playing in Nashville, because you're not exactly well-liked here?' '' Trotz said. "He said, 'Trotzy, trust me, I'm not well-liked anywhere.' I said 'Yeah, I guess you're right.' ''
According to the Tennessean's John Glennon (via Illegal Curve), the Predators haven't ruled out adding a veteran for the 7th spot on the blueline before the season starts. Head Coach Barry Trotz indicates he's going to give younger guys the opportunity to win a roster spot but that they would definitely consider Chelios.

Preds on the Glass has this to say:
Not that it will actually happen, but my ongoing effort at mentioning Chris Chelios as a 7/8 D-Man has finally made the MSM. John Glennon writes of the possibility this morning. Will it actually happen? I doubt it. Chelios has spoken with every team in the league in his search for a job including hanging out at the US and Canada Olympic camps.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A few more US Women's National Team links

  • MinnPost's article of the youth of the US Women's National Team has a nice mention of Jessie Vetter:
    Johnson said he wanted a young, energetic team. "Maybe we're a little younger that we anticipated, but on the positive side," he said. "The youngness is what really excites me."

    Vetter, one of the Wisconsin products, may be the key to success in Vancouver. The Patty Kazmaier Award winner as the top player in women's college hockey last year, Vetter helped Wisconsin win three NCAA titles in four years, and was the primary goalie for Team USA's back-to-back world titles.

    "You say Vetter is young, but for the last three years, she's all I've known," Darwitz said. "In my mind, she's one of the leaders and an integral part of our team. Just because they haven't been to the Olympics doesn't mean they don't have good international experience under their belt."
  • The Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise has an article on Erika Lawler's making the roster:
    At the Women's Frozen Four in Boston over a week in March, Johnson spoke highly of Lawler, foreshadowing the possibility that she would receive a national team nod.

    "(Erika) does a lot of things well," Johnson said during a Frozen Four press conference in March. "Obviously, one of them is her ability to get around the ice. If you've seen her play, you've seen how competitive she is.


    "She's going to go and get the puck on any areas of the ice and usually wins the battles and gets control," added Johnson, who was one of the stars of the USA's legendary 1980 Miracle On Ice gold medal squad. "Her play-making comes from her being able to get into areas and get pucks to her linemates."
  • I wish I could find an article about Angie Keseley. She's never been on a US team before, so her inclusion is pretty cool. In his interview w/ Posick today, Mark Johnson said that her play in the FF in Boston this year helped her catch the eye of USA Hockey and helped her earn an invite to the Festival camp.

    Since I don't have an article, instead I'll post a some quotes from her high school coach that I stumbled upon today on a site called mnpuck.
    St. Louis Park head coach Mike Peluso said:

    Angie is a smart player with good speed and rink sense.

    Angie is a smart, smart hockey player. I don't think she gets as much credit as she should for her defensive play.

    She's the best player in the state, at least one of the best, and she's an even better person. She is just a great kid to coach.
  • This teamUSA.org Jessie Vetter article is several months old, but I like it, and I honestly don't remember posting it before. So I figured I might as well post it now.
  • I do remember our posting this hockeyjournal.com Hilary Knight article, but Hilary's The Bomb, and I like the article, so I'm posting it again. Who's gonna stop me?
    "She seems to be very happy, always has a smile on her face, and would (seem to me to be) a very good teammate. Very concerned and helpful with her peers, and seems to really enjoy life," said Badgers head coach Mark Johnson, who knows a thing or two about prime-time players.
    .
    .
    .
    "Every day that she comes to practice, and every game she competes in, you know what you're going to get. She works very hard at her game, and she's made great strides in the almost two years that she's been here,” Johnson praised. “She's had an opportunity to play at a higher level than the college game with the national program, and you're just happy to see someone who wants to be a good player, and works at becoming a good player gets those opportunities because of her hard work.”

    Johnson has played Knight (Hanover, N.H.) on a line with Angie Keseley and Erika Lawler (Fitchburg, Mass.) since the midpoint of last season, and the combination has been magical. The coach describes a shift against them as 45 seconds of defense, with the Badgers playing keep-away until they either light the lamp or go for a change.

    "They've got the puck all the time, and they're no fun to play against ... because unless you bring your own puck and take it on the ice, you're not going to see much of it," he laughed.

Adam Burish Chat Transcript

Courtesy of Blackhawks.com, your #1 stop for information on that one team that I would hate with all of my heart and soul if not for the slew of Badgers in their system, that play in that Lord forsaken dump of a town where people act out their lame NASCAR fantasies on the freeway.

Whew. There's a good chance I blacked out while typing that. Anyways, here are a few choice Qs and As:

3:02
[Comment From Katie ]Whats the best thing about playing in Chicago?
3:02
Adam Burish: Probably two things... it's the best city of any
NHL city... and now every single game has the best atmosphere of any rink in the
NHL.
3:02
Adam Burish: And we have the best jerseys.

3:04
[Comment From Kwin ]How are you going to uphold the title of
"Ladies Man" this year?
3:05
Adam Burish: I got a lot of work to
do. I don't think the guys will ever let me live that one down, but I'll do my
best and will always make sure I'm well dressed and my hair is combed.

3:22
[Comment From valentine19 ]what's the weirdest thing a fan has
ever said to you?
3:23
Adam Burish: At the Convention a couple
girls actually asked if they could sleep in my room for the night. Another asked
last year if I would think about getting married to her.

3:33
[Comment From Stephanie ]Do you have any nicknames we don't
know about that the team calls you?
3:34
Adam Burish: The guys just
call me Bur. I don't have any funny ones like some of the guys. But one of the
things guys laugh at about me is that whenever I get to the hotel on the road, I
wear my robe around the hotel. No nicknames that go with that though.

3:16
[Comment From Katie ]If you could have any goal song what would
you pick?
3:16
Adam Burish: Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me by Keith
Urban.
3:17
[Comment From HAWKTALK ]What's your favorite band?
3:18
Adam Burish: Really been into country music this summer. My
buddy Brian O'Connell is the biggest country music promoter in the world (I had
to put that plug in for him)... he's taken me to a bunch of shows this summer.
Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Brooks and Dunn are a few. On the rock side, Dave
Matthews Band and Pearl Jam.

(Note from EoDS: Once you're done shaking your head in shame, continue on...)

3:14
[Comment From Berto ]Are you Bears fan or Packers fan ???
3:15
Adam Burish: I gotta say I'm probably more of a Packers fan. I
cheer for the Bears when they're not playing the Packers. I like the Vikings
coach because he coached at Wisconsin, but don't like Brett Favre anymore.
3:15
[Comment From Badger Bill ]Where's the best place to grab a beer in
Madison?
3:16
Adam Burish: The Kollege Klub on Lake and Langdon.
But there are other things to do besides drink beer and eat cheese in Wisconsin.

So what have we learned?
  1. UW athletes still love the KK.
  2. Burish is still a ladies man, and evidently wanders hotels dressed like Hugh Hefner.
  3. Bur should never be in charge of your stereo.
  4. Chicago has great jerseys.
  5. And when you're paid by people in Chicago, you're evidently willing to say nice things about the place.

So, really... we've learned nothing new. Also worth noting: A few brief, short and nice mentions/shoutouts to Tom Gilbert, Ryan MacMurchy, Coach Eaves and Coach Oz in the Q&A.

A few US Women's National Team links

  • The US Women's National team will be at the Minnesota State Fair tomorrow, marching in the State Fair Parade and signing autograpsh. (Thanks to brookyone for the link.)
  • The Salem News has an article about Meghan Duggan making the team. (Thanks to BadgersWHockey, a fan-based twitter feed, which was nicely pointed out to me by a reader. I'm adding a link on the left of the blog.)
  • Boscacci tells us that Mark Johnson will be one of Brian Posick's guests after 2PM on "On Wisconsin" on WTSO 1070. Hey, it's about 2PM right now, I'd better head over there! EDIT: BadgersWHockey says Johnson will be on around 2:20.

Connelly signs with Elmira, and other alumni links

  • Shane Connelly has signed with the Elmira Jackals, the Ottawa Senators' ECHL affiliate.
    Uwbadgers announcement

    Former Wisconsin goaltender Shane Connelly (Cheltenham, Pa.) has signed a professional contract with the Elmira Jackels of the ECHL. Elmira is the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Ottawa Senators.

    Completing his Badger career last season, Connelly finished among the school's top five all-time in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. He went 19-14-4 with a 2.51 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and three shutouts during the 2008-09 campaign. For his career, Connelly posted a 41-36-11 record with a 2.39 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and eight shutouts.

    A back-up at Wisconsin during his first two seasons behind All-American Brian Elliott, Connelly joins the same organization for whom Elliott currently plays.

    Connelly will attend the Ottawa Senators rookie camp in Kitchener, Ontario in September, which will also feature players from the organizations of the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs.
    Elmira Jackals announcement (thanks to Capo for the link)
    The Elmira Jackals, ECHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators and Binghamton Senators, continue to add on to their roster, signing three more players for the 2009-2010 season. Center Chris Korchinski returns for another season with the Jackals, while goaltender Shane Connelly and winger Brett Gallant will make their first professional appearances in Elmira.
    .
    .
    .
    Goaltender Shane Connelly comes to Elmira by way of the University of Wisconsin of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), where he started two seasons for the Badgers after backing up current Ottawa Senators goaltender Brian Elliott for two seasons. In his career at Wisconsin, Connelly posted a .913 save percentage while recording a goals against average of 2.39. As a freshman, Connelly backstopped the Badgers to a 4-2 win over Ohio State in the Frozen Tundra Hockey Classic at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. The Cheltenham, PA native had eight shutouts at Wisconsin, including a 43 save effort against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in November of 2007. Connelly will attend the Ottawa Senators rookie camp in Kitchener, ON in September which will also feature players from the organizations of the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

    "Shane had a very strong career at the University of Wisconsin and he'll be part of a solid tandem in Elmira," Martinson said.
  • Jackie MacMillan is featured in uwbadgers.com's latest "Where are they now?" spot. You might remember that she was named head coach of CSS's new women's hockey program earlier this summer.
  • If you happen to be in the LA area this Saturday, you can go say "hi" to Davis Drewiske, as he'll be signing autographs from 1 to 2 pm as part of the 3-day LA Kings Hockey Fest (Aug 28-30). Don't forget to tell him "Thanks for being a Badger!"

Women's U18 Series G1: USA 4 - CAN 3

Future Badger Alex Rigsby made 37 saves en-route to a 4-3 USA victory over Canada in the Women's U18 Series. Brittany Ammerman, also representing the Badgers on the US team, was held off the scoresheet. (No Badgers on CAN, at least not that have committed yet. I don't know of any potential recruits, but I'm not really in the loop.)

Despite a string of US penalties in the 1st period (looks like the girls figured things out after that, b/c they only had 1 penalty in the next 2 periods) and being reportedly outplayed and outshot (30-9) by Canada in the 1st 2 periods, the US was down by just 1 goal entering the 3rd period. In the 3rd period it was Canada's turn to take a string of penalties, and the US staged a comeback for the win.

From USA head coach Katie King:
"It was good for the players to get on the ice and see some competition coming out of camp," said Katie King, head coach of the 2009 U.S. Women's Under-18 Select Team. "I was proud of the team's resiliency and our ability to come back and capitalize on the power play."
Game recaps: usahockey, hockeycanada

Next game: Today at 8PM CT.

"The season is right around the corner!" & other random items

  • Profiles have finally been added to the Badger Men's roster for incoming players. EDIT: Well, at least most of them, anyway. (This is what I get for initially just checking Justin Schultz.) Right now I see profiles for Schultz, Lee, Meuer, Thompson, and Ramage, with the others (Bennett, C. Smith) still "coming soon".
  • It's fitting that the profiles were added yesterday, as yesterday appears to be the 1st day of the season for the hockey staff. Mike Cerniglia tells me his summer is over and "I hope you are looking forward to a great year!!", and Paul Capobianco says "We had our first staff meeting of the year in the hockey office this afternoon. The season is right around the corner!"
  • I never noticed this before, but it's down in the very bottom left hand corner of the WCHA website and thus not noticeable when stopping by the site to scan for new articles, so I have no idea how long it may or may not have been there. It's a feature called "The WCHA Coaches Corner" in which WCHA coaches "present instructional information, philosophy, systems of play, and strategies of on-ice game situations. Many different subjects will be introduced in order to assist you in gaining a better understanding of how the game is played in the WCHA."

    2 of the first 3 entries are from Badger coaches. KP talks about stickwork, and Oz talks about shot blocking. The other entry, from OSU Women's head coach Jackie Barto, talks about practice plan preparation.
  • I know we posted this USA Today Hilary Knight feature back in June, but I stumbled upon it again while checking out the Vetter article, and I liked it so I thought I'd post it again.
  • The Omaha World-Herald has an interesting article about Dean Blais' approach to starting things out at UNO. (Props to Goon)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WCHA Previews: Alaska Anchorage

School: Alaska Anchorage
Mascot: Seawolves
National Championships: snickering…
Head Coach: Dave Shyiak, 40-86-19, 5th season

Last Season: 9-14-5, 9th Place WCHA; 14-17-5 Overall

Predicted 09/10 WCHA Finish: 7th

Key Departures:
F Paul Crowder, 14-19-33*
F Brian Bales, 1-15-16
D Mat Robinson, 3-12-15
*All stats listed from 08/09

Key Returnees: (80% of scoring returns)
F Kevin Clark (Sr), 13-18-31
F Tommy Grant (Jr), 15-10-25
F Josh Lunden (Sr), 14-6-20
D Trevor Hunt (Sr), 4-8-12
D Curtis Leinweber (So), 2-10-12

Top Sieve:
Bryce Christenson, 8-8-4, 2.60 GAA, 0.893 save %

Key Additions:
F Daniel Naslund (Sweden J20), 23-32-55
D Lee Baldwin (BCHL), 13-41-54
F Mitch Bruijsten (USHL), 16-25-41
F Alex Gellert (BCHL), 24-31-55
F Mickey Spencer (BCHL), 31-23-54

Freshman Scouting Report: UAA has actually assembled a pretty good class here. Daniel Naslund is a big forward from Sweden who should fit in w/ other big forwards like Tommy Grant and Sean Wiles. Baldwin was a teammate of Derek Lee w/ the Victoria Grizzles last season and led their blue line in scoring. He was often filling the box scores when I checked on Lee. Bruijsten is from the Netherlands adds another big forward to the roster. Gellert and Spencer were teammates in the BCHL last season and were the top two goals scorers on their team. Of the four teams I’ve previewed so far, this might actually be the best class.

When Wisconsin Beats UAA: KC 11/13 & 11/14

08/09 Recap: After a few seasons at the bottom of the WCHA, while finishing 9th, UAA was right in the battle for home ice until the last few weekends of the season. They were only 6 pts out of 5th. They fought to the bitter end going to Denver and forcing DU to come from behind twice to move on to the Final Five. UW swept the season series, taking all four games last season. The Seawolves had several bright spots on the team including Paul Crowder and Tommy Grant. UAA also swept both games against in state rival Alaska Fairbanks.

Team’s Biggest Strength(es): This coming season, their biggest strength is experience. The Seawolves have two goalies w/ a lot of WCHA experience, and a nice group of upperclassmen.

Team’s Biggest Weakness(es): Travel. I’m sure there are others, but no other team in the WCHA has to make 7 long trips on an airplane throughout the season. They seem to lose steam in the second half of the season.

09/10 Thoughts: I don’t think many other people will place UAA above 9th, but why not? They have two experienced WCHA goalies and Christenson looks to be the better of the two and improving. They have a solid group of forwards including Josh Lunden and Tommy Grant, and a decent blue line. Sure the loss of Paul Crowder early to a pro contract hurts, but they have a lot going for them. It’s a small window for UAA though, the team is old and will lose a lot of their talent after the season. The freshman class looks solid, a few other teams are down this season, so it might be UAA’s best chance at home ice anytime soon.

The Badgers don’t make the trip to Alaska this year, which I think is a good thing for UW.

"Why no love?" and Badger Women's catch-up

  • UPDATE: I am told that the Mertz article was included on page 2 of Tuesday's WSJ Sports Page, and I think that's great. Mertz's article was very good, and I'm glad to see it included. And as such, there's no need for Baggot to also write a WSJ article -- I had included that wish b/c I had thought Mertz's article would be printed only as part of the once-weekly TCT insert. (Are they still doing that insert? I know that's what they were doing last hockey season, but I suppose this may have changed.) I'm leaving my original text below, though, b/c I don't feel like rewriting anything, and I'm not going to pretend I didn't write something that I did. (Besides, then the title of this post wouldn't make sense.) I do maintain, however, that there have been issues with Madison Newspapers coverage of Badger Hockey since TCT went online only -- but I don't feel like getting into here in this post.

    Original post: Why no love for the USA Badgers from the Wisconsin State Journal? Maybe there's a small blurb in the print version today, but I don't see anything in the online version. The WSJ's sister "paper", The Capital Times, which is an online publication with (I believe) a once-weekly print insert in the WSJ, did have a nice article by Adam Mertz yesterday, and I'm hoping that Mertz's article will be included in the TCT print insert (on whatever day that occurs). I'm also hoping that Baggot will have an article in the WSJ.
  • As you know, 8 Badgers will be playing in the Qwest Tour with the Women's National Team. I'll be honest; I didn't look all that hard at the Qwest Tour schedule. I knew it included some games against various conference all-star teams, including a Sept 25 game v. a WCHA All-Star team, but I didn't really think much about it. A few days ago, the BTD blog points out that the schedule includes All-Star games against just 3 of the 4 conferences, leaving out College Hockey America. Now, I'll admit to not following much women's hockey outside of the WCHA, but Mercyhurst was in the FF finals last season and seems to me to always have a strong team, and I think Wayne State was pretty good last season as well. So it seems odd to me to leave out the CHA. Too bad.
  • A few days ago, Baggot had an article about Peter Johnson, one of the Badger Women's new interim assistant coaches.
  • Last week, Canada's Women's U22 and Women's National teams competed in a 3-game series. Forward Mallory Deluce and defenseman Stefanie McKeough represented the Badgers on the U22 Team; defensemen Carla MacLeod and Meaghan Mikkelson represented the Badgers on the National Team. The National Team swept the U22 Team 4-3, 5-2, 10-0.

Badger Men's Catch-up

Several items that have been accumulating over the past several days . . .
  • In a previous post, I lamented that nubeetle hadn't sent me a link to a Bernd Bruckler interview. I have since updated that post to include the link, but I thought I'd better post the link here as well for those who might've missed it. In the interview, Bruckler talks about going to the KHL and about what he's been working on this summer. (Thanks, nubeetle!)
  • Canada's Olympic Orientation Camp began yesterday. Dany Heatley is the Badgers' sole representative . Mirtle breaks down the camp roster into "locks", "contenders", "long shots", and "not going to happen"; he has Heatley as a "contender".
  • As pointed out by DPlaya, American Junior Hockey has been "introducing" players for USHL's Youngstown Phantoms, including future Badgers Cody Strang and Jefferson Dahl.
    Cody Strang
    Ht/Wt: 5-8/160
    DoB: 8/25/1990
    Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
    Previous: Madison (Wisc.) Edgewood High School
    Acquired: Fifth-round selection in USHL Entry Draft
    Scoop: A tremendous athlete, Strang was honored as Wisconsin’s Mr. Hockey 2009 this spring. Was a sleeper in the draft due to his size, but smarts and agility make him an impact centerman. Likely to develop into top scorer, both in this league and when he gets to his hometown University of Wisconsin in the fall of 2011. Played on Edgewood’s state champion golf team.
    Coach Says: “Another dynamic player with skill to spare. Cody sticks his nose in all the battles and wins more than his share.”

    Jefferson Dahl (DOLL)
    Ht/Wt: 5-9/175
    DoB: 9/13/1989
    Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    Previous: Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
    Acquired: Selected in USHL Expansion Draft
    Scoop: Voted Mr. Hockey for the state of Wisconsin in 2008, Dahl netted 15 goals and 26 points for a good Green Bay team last year. Although smaller in stature, Jefferson is a skilled playmaker and a responsible two-way center. Acquiring Dahl was one of the highlights of the Phantoms’ expansion draft. A personable young man with a smile on his face, he has committed to the University of Wisconsin at Madison for next fall.
    Coach Says: “(Jefferson) is a dynamic two-way forward. He’ll provide a lot of energy and we’ll look to him for some big goals.”
  • Walby reports that the WEHL schedule opened this past weekend. WEHL offers "before and after" programs for both boys and girls in Wisconsin. Badger alum Gary Shuchuk oversees coaching and development and serves as Madison GM.

More HF's Top 20 Prospects, Fall 2009

Detroit Red Wings
3. Brendan Smith, D – 7.5C
6’2, 174lbs
Acquired: 1st round, 27th overall, 2007

While off-ice incidents have hindered Smith’s progress, the mobile defender’s point production has still improved quite nicely. Smith nearly doubled his 2007-08 production during the 2008-09 season, potted 23 points in 31 games for the University of Wisconsin. His mobility and strong power-play presence make Smith an ideal prospect for the Red Wings’ style of play.

Smith will return to Wisconsin this fall. His play and behavior during the year could determine whether or not Detroit will bring him up to the AHL a year early. So long as Smith can improve on his point totals and keep a straight head on and off the ice, he should stay on a development curve.
Nashville Predators
17. Blake Geoffrion, LW
Acquired: 2nd round, 2006

In his third season for the University of Wisconsin, Geoffrion placed fourth on his team in scoring with 28 points in 35 games. He was also tied for the club lead in goals with 15.

Although a fast skater with decent offensive instincts, Geoffrion is known more for his stable two-way play and utility as a forward. Geoffrion uses his 6'2" frame well on the ice, frequently delivering hard hits along the boards. Although he shows a willingness to drive to the hard areas in the offensive zone, Geoffrion's offensive abilities aren't quite as high other Nashville prospects so he'll have to continue to grow the other aspects of his game in order to eventually make the NHL. He'll return to Wisconsin for another season.
Craig Smith is an "Other Notable".

Everybody Loves Ryan Suter, Brian Rafalski, & (again) Tom Gilbert

I seem to have a bit of a theme going lately, with everybody loving Derek Stepan and Tom Gilbert, and now Ryan Suter and Brian Rafalski. But hey, I like it, don't you?
  • Burnside (ESPN): Another Suter, another 'Miracle'?
    "He's certainly on track to be one of the best defensemen in the NHL," suggested David Poile, assistant GM of the U.S. Olympic team and the man who drafted Suter into the Nashville Predators organization.
  • Levin (Nashville Predators): One-one-one with GM David Poile

    NP.com: Ryan Suter was one of the 34 players at the Orientation. What are Suter’s chances to make the final Olympic roster? Has he helped his chances at any of the USA Hockey events this summer?

    Poile: I think Ryan’s chances are really good. He came on strong last year for the Predators; had his best season and improved in every facet of the game. The fact that he played for the United States in the World Championships this spring under Brian Burke, myself, Ron Wilson, who is the head coach. Brian and Ron got a good chance to see him day-to-day and I think they are very comfortable with Ryan. As long as he continues to perform at the level he did last year, hopefully a bit better, I think his chances are excellent to make the Olympic team.
  • Detroit Free Press: Rafalski could be option as USA captain
    Bill Beacon of the Canadian Press staff broke down the top candidates, and the Red Wings' Brian Rafalski (Dearborn) is on that list. The Canadian Press called him a top puck-moving defenseman and potential captain.
    Beacon's picks on D:
    Rafalski, Rob Scuderi, Los Angeles; Paul Martin, New Jersey; Ryan Suter, Nashville; Erik Johnson, St. Louis; Mike Komisarek, Toronto; Brooks Orpik, Pittsburgh and Tom Gilbert, Edmonton.
  • Kurtenbach (Chicago Blackhawks Examiner): Call Me Kotter

    His picks for defensive pairings and 7th defenseman
    Erik Johnson
    Jack Johnson
    This Johnson line will be the back bone of USA hockey for many year. Both players have great offensive upside. For EJ, camp is his first real hockey action since the unfortunate (not for Blackhawks fans) drunk in a golf cart incident. If he regains form, he's likely to lead power play unit.

    Mike Komisarek
    Brian Rafalski
    The big hitters. Both are rock solid in their own zone, and Komisarek do what is nesessary in the attacking zone. Rafalski, like the Johnsons will be a dependable powerplay force for the US.

    Ryan Whitney
    Rob Scuderi
    I like Whitney to make the team because of his powerplay prowess as well. While Scuderi brings the toughness factor to the team.

    Scratch- Tom Gilbert
    Most have never head of Tom Gilbert, but this Edmonton Oiler is a beast and will make a name for himself with team USA.
  • Canadian Press (NHL.com): A look at which players should make the US Olympic Hockey Team
    Brian Rafalski, defence, Detroit: A top puck-moving defenceman and potential captain.

    Ryan Suter, defence, Nashville: Gifted young player with U.S. Olympic bloodlines.

    Tom Gilbert, defence, Edmonton: Strong puck-moving blue-liner.
  • Kreiser (NHL.com): Brodeur, Lidstrom led the NHL's over-35 club
    SECOND TEAM

    Defense

    Brian Rafalski, Detroit Red Wings
    Age: 35
    Rafalski went home in the summer of 2007, signing with the Red Wings after seven seasons (and two Stanley Cups) in New Jersey -- and put up the two best offensive seasons of his career while helping the Wings win the Cup in 2008 and get to Game 7 of the Final last season. His 49 assists and 59 points were both career-highs, and he teamed with Lidstrom to make the Red Wings' power play the best in the NHL. Like Lidstrom, he's smart, a good skater and hard to hit, meaning that he should have several more productive NHL seasons.

Monday, August 24, 2009

US Women's National Team linkorama

This is one of what will likely be several linkoramas for the US Women's National Team, as I'd imagine we'll have more such linkoramas as we stumble upon links.

usahockey: 2009-10 US Women's National Team announced, Announcement audio
uwbadgers: Eight Badgers selected to US National Team
Mertz (TCT): Women's Hockey: Eight Badgers on track for Olympics
Augustine (WWH): USA Badgers
BTD: Qwest Tour to have young but familiar flair in 2010
Woody (Anchorage Daily News): Palmer's Weiland one step closer to Olympics
Bates (Rhinelander Daily News): Zaugg-Siergiej makes National Team

Melissa Wade has the roster with photo gallery links for most of the players.


And here are a couple links from prior to today's announcement that I hadn't gotten around to posting yet:

From yesterday's New York Times: Vetter brings own soundtrack to US goal (Props to TM for the link)
From the Big Ten Network (6/17/09): Audio interview with Meghan Duggan

Badger Bonanza on the US Women's National Team Roster

Eight Badgers have been selected for the 23 player roster for Team USA that will compete in the upcoming Quest Tour in preparation for the 2010 Olympics. Those players include:

G Jessie Vetter
D Molly Engstrom
D Kerry Weiland
F Meghan Duggan
F Angie Keseley
F Hilary Knight
F Erika Lawler
F Jinelle Zaugg-Siergiej

Zaugg and Keseley are surprises to me, but Mark Johnson is the coach so why not go w/ what you know, especially when both players are worthy of a spot. Lawler/Keseley/Knight was the best line in Women's NCAA last season; not many games went by where a goal didn't involve that line in some combo, so maybe Coach Johnson sees that continuing on the Olympic stage.

We'll pass along more info as it becomes available.

If I were Eaves...(Forwards)

There is some discussion on the line combination's right now in various places. I gave it my best shot this afternoon.

I think we are going to see Eaves try out numerous like combo's in the first month or two. I know people will disagree with that but I think it's the only way to see how players like Craig Smith and Derek Lee will play at this level. This is also the first year since the championship season where there is going to be at least 2 regular offensive player sitting every night, and not because a player is sitting because of performance issues. I think it's very important that we get AT LEAST 14 forwards regular action to start the season. I don't think we need to have a set lineup until probably the North Dakota series.

I think one of our biggest advantages this season is how strong we are down the middle. In my opinion we have 7 pivots that I'm comfortable playing in the lineup at any time (Street, Geoffrion, Stepan, Thurber, Bendickson, Smith, Dolan). From those 7, only Street, Geoffrion and Stepan are locks to play every night.

Another huge advantage is that like I mentioned earlier, we have probably 14 forwards who would be playing in virtually almost any lineup in the country. Eaves will not be afraid to sit a guy who didn't give it his all during a game or a practice. I think the depth we have this season up front will make every player be on the top of their game with the fear that they could be replaced at any time.

With that said, here is how I would like to see the roster set up, not exactly how I think it will be set up.

Line 1) Bohmbach-Geoffrion-Grotting

Experience, experience, experience. You have 3 veterans to lead off with in this line. All three are seniors and all three have played a lot of games for the Badgers. More important than the experience is that all three of these players are defensively responsible. This like was built more to shut down opposing teams top lines than to score goals. These 3 will still get their points but shutting down players like Jordan Schroeder, Chris VandeVelde, and the Roe/Lasch combo is just as important.

Line 2) Mitchell-Street-Davies


This time I didn't try to pair 3 seniors, it just happened to work that way. The ability for this team to pair 6 senior forwards at the top of the lineup is ridiculous. All 3 of these players have the ability to put up seasons of 30 points. Can you imagine 90 points out of our second line? Last season Davies had 23, Mitchell 26, and Street had 30 in his last full season of action. I worry about this line defensively only a smidge. Davies is the weak link on the defensive side here but Street more than makes up for it.

Line 3) Murray-Stepan-Smith

I'd like to see another team in the nation trot out a third line that is going to match these guys in points. Smith was second in the USHL in scoring last season. Murray is an excellent two way player who when paired with the right players has shown the ability to bury the puck. I think Stepan speaks for himself. He could/should be a first line player in every lineup in the country. I think the way our roster sets up lets us use his ability in this role to our advantage.

Line 4) Dolan/Podge/Johnson-Bendickson-Thurber

Similar to our 4th line in the 06 championship season, this needs to be a line that can play every 4th shift and give us an energy boost. I really tried to get some speed on this line with Thurber and Bendickson. The third spot on this line is going to go to whoever is having the best week at practice. All three of Dolan, Podge, and Patty have played significant minutes in the past.

Extras) Dolan/Podge/Johnson-Lee-Meuer

All of these guys will see some action early in the season. Lee is a guy who will get an opportunity to play this season but it needs to be on a scoring line. Getting minutes up there could be tough for him. Dolan/Podge/Johnson and Meuer will also see minutes. The first three will see more time than Meuer who was brought in for more of a filler to help balance the classes a bit.

Women's Team USA announcement today

Today at 1pm CT, USA Hockey will announce the 23-player roster for the 2009-10 US Women's National Team. You can watch the live webcast on usahockey.com.

As you know, Badgers competing for roster spots include Molly Engstrom, Kerry Weiland, Jinelle Zaugg Siergiej, Erika Lawler, Jessie Vetter, Angie Keseley, Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan, Brooke Ammerman, Geena Prough, Brianna Decker, and Chanda Gunn.

The US National Team will participate in the Qwest Tour (Sept 25 - Feb 4), the National Women's Invitational Tournament (Aug 26 - Sept 6, Vancouver), and the Four Nations Cup (Nov 2 - 8). In mid-December, the roster will be pared down to 21 players for the Olympic Games.

USA Hockey didn't have a ton of coverage of the Women's National Festival, which is wrapping up today with the roster announcement, but I see that yesterday they did put up an article that includes quotes from Molly Engstrom, Mark Johnson, and Hilary Knight:
The USA Hockey Women’s National Festival continues to be a big draw at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. All the festival practices and games are open to the public and hundreds have filed through to catch the action.

“I wasn’t expecting it, because we’re not used to it,” said defenseman Molly Engstrom. “The energy is high when there are that many people in the stands.”

U.S. Olympic Women’s Team Head Coach Mark Johnson said it’s encouraging to see the turnout and pointed out that the festival is a chance for young hockey fans in attendance to see the elite in women’s hockey.

“It’s nice for so many people to get a chance to watch these kids play,” he said.

Forward Hilary Knight has handed out quite a few high-fives to those young hockey fans during the Festival and said she enjoys the atmosphere.

“I can remember when I was one of those little girls standing by the glass,” she said. “It’s definitely a rush when you see all these kids out here wanting to shake your hand. It’s great for women’s hockey to get all this support.”

Sunday, August 23, 2009

TW weekend wrap-up

TW Minor swept the Waterloo Jr. Blackhawks Minor team this weekend in Madison. As the team alternates played at least 1 game this weekend, TW scratched several players for each game. I'm told that for future games there won't be any scratches as only regulars will be attending.


Sat 8/22: TW 4 - Waterloo 1
TW scoring: 1. Eddie Matsushima (Paul Byrne), 2. Kody Novinska (Jason Ford), 3. Nick Szopinski (Garrett Clemment), 4. Matt Fosdick (Brandon Walls, Tim Davison)

TW goalies: Saxton Soley 8-8, Austin Priebe 15-14

TW healthy scratches: Tyler Platz, Brett Bukowski, Dylan Cleereman, Trevor Okeson


Sunday 8/23: TW 5 - Waterloo 3
TW scoring: 1. Garrett Clemment (unassisted), 2. Alex Dahl (Eddie Matsushima), 3. Matt Fosdick (unassisted). 4. Jason Ford (Aston Wackym), 5. Eddie Matsushima (Dahl)

TW goalies: Saxton Soley 9-8, Tyler Platz 16-14

TW healthy scratches: Ryan Dau, John Feemster, Tim Davison, Austin Priebe


Next up for TW Minor:
Wakota Arena - South St. Paul, MN
9/12 9:35 AM - Metro SW (Rink 2)
9/12 4:50 PM - Northeast (Rink 1)
9/13 9:00 AM - Omaha (Rink 2)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Everybody Loves Tom Gilbert

Well, maybe not EVERYBODY, but hey, if Lowetide loves Tom Gilbert, that's good enough for me. LT is in the process of doing his "Reasonable Expectations" posts for the upcoming season, and today he takes a look at good ol' Tom. Good stuff.

LT prefaces his discussion of TG's numbers with this:
For those who believe you can't be young, unique, have personality and a lust for life while playing hockey for the Edmonton Oilers, allow me to present Mr. Tom Gilbert.

Much like a rock star, there seems to be a gap between what he "is" and what he "represents." What he "is" at this point is an outstanding hockey player: Tom Gilbert might be the best defenseman on a club teeming with them.

The only question left is something called "established level of ability." What does that mean? Well, in pure terms, we know what Albert Pujols is going to produce season over season: 40 homers, 125 rbi's and something called "ops" that is over 1.00 (is that on-base plus slugging? why would they do that? is this a useful stat? please explain!) and 162 times a season he causes the opposition starter to have a bead of sweat run from the back of his neck all the way down the crack of his ass. That's established level of ability: Albert Pujols is a walking barf bag for pitchers, the human 'dead man walking' for starters and the man who ends careers before they've started.

It takes some time, and Gilbert isn't there yet. He's not Albert Pujols, but Jesus H. he's trending nicely as an NHL player.
After a bit of discussion, LT leaves us with this prediction:
Prediction for 2009-10: 82gp, 9-31-40 (.488 per game)
Which represents a few more goals but a few less assists compared to his actual stats from last year.
Predicted: 82gp, 7-15-22 (.268 per game)
Actual: 82gp, 5-40-45 (.549 per game)
By the way, it looks like LT had to change the photo for his post. He initially had a fantastic photo taken by Curtis Comeau (Eternal Images Photography). I can't figure out how to link directly to the photo, but you can scroll through the portrait gallery and find it, as well as another photo Tom.

On a sillier note, edmontonoilers.nhl.com has a couple of videos with Tom Gilbert and Ladislav Smid: Ladislav Smid reports, How well does Ladislav Smid know Tom Gilbert?

Everybody Hates Dany Heatley?

If you're interested in the fall-out from the Dany Heatley conference call, Illegal Curve has a bunch of links that I honestly haven't read, and Mirtle and Brownlee weigh in as well.

On the other side of things, a couple of days ago Steve Yzerman talked about how Dany Heatley deserves to be at the Team Canada Olympic orientation camp.

As for me, I think I'll sit this debate out, for the most part, anyway. I think the whole trade saga paints him in a rather unfavorable light, but I do agree he belongs at the Olympic camp, I like the way he acknowledges Badger fans at his NHL games, and he once did something very nice for nubeetle. Can I just blame his agent for the whole mess?

U17 Five Nations: USA 9 - GER 6

As expected, the US defeated Germany (9-6) and Slovakia defeated Switzerland (6-1).

Future Badger Jordan Schmaltz scored USA's 4th goal. Wisconsinites Jake McCabe and Alex Racino were held off the scoresheet.

If you want to watch the USA-GER game, here's a video link.

Final Standings:
SVK 4-0-0
CZE 3-1-0
USA 2-2-0
SUI 1-3-0
GER 0-4-0

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dany Heatley speaks . . .

Heatley says that 'Diminished Role' led to trade demand

Audio from the conference call
(16:28)

Video interview w/ TSN's Ryan Rishaug (2:49)

TW Minor sched

Gandalf already posted links for TW Major's "before" schedule. Today, I bring you TW Minor's "before" sched:

Aug 22-23: Waterloo Blackhawks (Madison, WI - Madison Ice Arena)
Sept 12-13: Metro SW, Northeast, Omaha (South St. Paul, MN - Wakota Arena)
Sept 17-20: Chicago Fury, Alaska All-Stars, Chicago Young Americans (Blaine, MN - Schwan's SuperRink)
Sept 26-27: Southeast, Metro NE, Metro East (Cottage Grove, MN - Cottage Grove Arena)
Oct 3-4: Metro NW, Metro East, Metro SE (Eau Claire, WI - Hobbs Arena)
Oct 10-11: Metro SW, ND Phantoms, ND Rebels (Blaine, MN - Schwan's SuperRink)
Oct 17-18: TBA (Faribault, MN - Shattuck)
Oct 24-25: Southeast, Omaha, Southwest (Rochester, MN - Graham Arena)
Oct 31-Nov 1: Metro SE, Northwest, Metro East (South St. Paul, MN - Wakota Arena)
Nov 5 - 8: Nike Bauer Invitational Tournament (Chicago, IL)

Not sure I'll be able to make it to any of those games, but I gotta tell ya, I'm sure gonna try. TW Minor has a strong team again this year and should make a strong run for the national title. Should be a heck of a lot of fun.

You can find the TW Major and Minor rosters here.

Go TW!

U17 Five Nations: CZE 2 - USA 1

The US U17 team dropped today's game to the Czech Republic 2-1. Future Badger defenseman Jordan Schmaltz had an assist on USA's sole goal. Jake McCabe and Alex Racino were held off the scoresheet.

In today's other game, Switzerland defeated Germany 4-3.

The tournament wraps up tomorrow, with Slovakia facing Switzerland at 9 AM CDT and USA facing Germany at 11:30 AM CDT. If you remember, USA defeated Germany 3-1 in their exhibition prior to the tournament.

Here are the standings so far:
SVK 3-0-0
CZE 3-1-0
USA 1-2-0
SUI 1-2-0
GER 0-3-0

Looks like a likely 3rd place finish for the US. We can't finish any higher than that, but I'd expect us to beat Germany again and for Slovakia to beat Switzerland.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Night Odds & Ends

  • The WSJ discusses the Badger Women's 2009-2010 schedule.
  • Jake Gardiner gets some love: Gardiner adapting fine to new position. (Thanks to anon for the link.) Lots of good quotes in this article -- too many to post -- so you'll just have to read it yourself.
  • Bernd Bruckler is featured in the latest Uwbadgers "Where are they Now?". And nubeetle was kind enough to send me the link to this short video interview w/ Bernd in which he talks about going to the KHL next season and what he's working on this summer. Thanks, nu!
  • Dany Heatley is finally going to talk to the media, participating in a confence call and a follow-up press conference in Kelowna on Friday. Heatley had been asked by Hockey Canada to clear the air before next week's Olympic orientation camp so that the "Dany Heatley Predicament" wouldn't overshadow the camp.
  • This has been reported EVERYWHERE, so you probably already know that UND's Matt Frattin was arrested for DUI early Wednesday morning and was subsequently dismissed from the team. If he hadn't been dismissed, he would've already faced a minimum 2-game suspension, reduced scholarship money, and mandatory counseling due to some lawnmower-throwing shenanigans with Joe Finley. Hakstol is leaving the door open for Frattin to return to the team after this season.

    UND is expected to quickly add another forward to the team, and Schlossman thinks it will be Corban Knight.
  • I posted this before, but it was tacked onto the end of the Badger Women's Outlook Video post, so you may have missed it: The Duluth Foreign Legion has extended Shannon Miller's contract through the 2012-13 season.
  • USCHO's Paula Weston reports on the CCHA's denial of UAH's application and then gives her take. I don't know though -- I'm not buying the whole "the CCHA needs to maintain the strongest possible CCHA to keep the Big Ten wolf at bay" argument. Because you can't tell me that, if the BTHC came calling, the CCHA-sans-UAH would be any more successful than the CCHA+UAH at stopping the creation of the BTHC. I mean, come on, REALLY?

    By the way, you might be interested in this article about UAH's fate from the front page of Sunday's Huntsville Times. The same edition also has an article about the importance of UAH Hockey in the community and an article that refutes the CCHA's reasons for denial.
  • For what it's worth, I like Team Canada's new Olympic jerseys. At the same link, you can also take a look at Team Canada jerseys over the years, going all the way back to the 1920's.
  • Well, this is probably the most impressive location for an outdoor hockey game. Dean Millard of Coming Down the Pipe tells us that the Norfolk Admirals are planning on playing a game on the deck of the USS Eisenhower.

US Olympic Camps linkorama

  • The 2009 USA Hockey Women's National Festival is currently underway, starting yesterday and running through Monday the 24th. The festival is serving as the selection camp for the 23-player 2009-10 US Select Team that will participate in the Qwest Tour (Sept 25 - Feb 4), the National Women's Invitational Tournament (Aug 26 - Sept 6, Vancouver), and the Four Nations Cup (Nov 2 - 8).

    The 23-player Select Team roster will be announced on Monday. (In mid-December, the roster will be pared down to 21 players for the Olympic Games.)

    Badgers at the camp include Molly Engstrom, Kerry Weiland, Jinelle Zaugg Siergiej, Erika Lawler, Jessie Vetter, Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan, Geena Prough, Brianna Decker, and Chanda Gunn.
  • The US Men's Olympic orientation camp wrapped-up yesterday. Unlike the Women's Festival, this camp was more about team-building than anything else.

    34 players participated. Team USA GM Brian Burke says right now that 14 players have locked-up spots on the team. Kevin Paul DuPont of The Globe and Mail speculates on which players are likely to make the roster.

    Badgers at the camp were Brian Rafalski, Ryan Suter, Tom Gilbert, and Joe Pavelski.
  • Bob at the Fifth Feather attended one of open sessions during the camp and shares his experience. (Thanks to Illegal Curve for the link.)

    Finally, Brian Rafalski was introduced last to a loud chorus of boos and even a little “Detroit Sucks!” chant. (Maybe I should have just gone to work.)

    Then, following introductions, the players skated around the rink, stretching and talking. As players skated by the side of the ice with bleachers, people screamed things at select players with little interference from rink noise typical in NHL stadiums. “Brian Rafalski, you suck!” said one man, who brought the easily amused crowd to a roar.

    “He’s on the Red Wings” I heard one man say to another. (It’s usually not funny if you have to explain it.) Rafalski acknowledged the yelp with a slight smile and a wave.
    Don't you just love Brian Rafalski?
  • Down Goes Brown, a Maple Leafs blog, gives us their own special "behind the scenes" from the camp. Sure, they take some shots at Joe Pavelski, Tom Gilbert, and Dany Heatley, but I think it's hilarious. (Once again, thanks to Illegal Curve for the link.)