Saturday, November 28, 2009

WHKY G16: Badgers 4 - Friars 1

Box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats
Recaps: uwbadgers
Blog: Boscacci (uwbadgers)

(I'll finish adding links on Sunday)

Decker and Deluce each had 2 goals. Decker's 1st goal was assisted by Nash and Dronen, and her 2nd was assisted by Ammerman. Deluce's 1st goal was asssisted by Sanders and Giles, and her 2nd was unassisted. Wisconsin outshot Providence 40-10, with Alannah McCready making 9 saves for the win.

I forgot to mention this yesterday -- the Kelters are finally in the lineup. Looks like Alev played yesterday, and both played tonight.

MHKY G 14: Wolverines 3 - Badgers 2

Box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats
Recaps: uwbadgers, Baggot (WSJ), mgoblue, Worgull (BN), USCHO, Wodon (CHN)
Blogs: Capobianco (uwbadgers), Worgull (BN), M-HockeyNet

(I'll add links in Sunday AM)

3 Stars (per Posick/Cerniglia)
1. Blake Geoffrion (1-0-1, 2 SOG, +1, scored the Badgers' 1st goal)
2. John Ramage (0-0-0, 0 SOG, +1, played hard, had a couple of nice blocked shots and some hard hits)
3. Brendan Smith (0-1-1, 2 SOG, E)

Subway Sub of the Game (per Posick/Cerniglia): Scott Gudmandson

In case you missed it:
The Badgers played most of the game with just 10 forwards, as they dressed only 11 forwards to start the game and Jordy Murray left the game midway through the 1st period. So players were double shifted and the lines were a bit mixed up during the rest of the game.

By the way, Eric Springer, who was dressed as a 7th defenseman, played only a few shifts the entire game. Of course, there was no way to predict ahead of time that both Gardiner and McDonagh would hold up and that Murray would be injured, so it's hard to fault Eaves for the decision.

Random Thoughts:
I think Michigan might be a bit better than their record had previously indicated. Camp Randall Classic should be fun, hey?

Saturday night lines

Per Baggot, Mike Eaves has made a number of lineup changes for tonight:

F
- John Mitchell is a healthy scratch. Patrick Johnson has been moved up to the 2nd line to take his spot.
- Aaron Bendickson has been moved up from centering the 4th line to taking the LW spot on the top line. Andy Bohmbach has been moved from the LW on the top line to LW on the 4th line.
- The Badgers are dressing only 11 forwards

D
- The Badgers dressed 7 defenseman, with Jake Gardinerand Ryan McDonagh (both of whom were dinged up last night) remaining in the lineup and Eric Springer being added to rotate in.

G
- As expected, Scott Gudmandson will be in net tonight.

Badger Lines
Aaron Bendickson - Blake Geoffrion - Craig Smith
Patrick Johnson - Ben Street - Derek Lee
Jordy Murray - Derek Stepan - Michael Davies
Andy Bohmbach - Sean Dolan - Ben Grotting

Brendan Smith - John Ramage
Cody Goloubef - Justin Schultz
Gardiner - Ryan McDonagh

Scott Gudmandson

Wolverine Lines
Carl Hagelin - Matt Rust - Chris Brown
David Wohlberg - Louie Caporusso - A.J. Treais
Ben Winnett - Luke Glendening - Kevin Lynch
Lindsay Sparks - Anthony Ciraulo - Scooter Vaughn

Chad Langlais - Chris Summers
Brandon Burlon - Greg Pateryn
Tristin Llewellyn - Steve Kampfer

Bryan Hogan

Friday, November 27, 2009

WHKY G15: Friars 2 - Badgers 2 (Friars win the SO)

Box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats
Recaps: uwbadgers
Blogs: Boscacci

Badgers outshot Providence 36-15 but couldn't get the win.Your Badger goals were scored by Prough (Nash) and Deluce (Prévost). Becca Ruegsegger made 13 saves, including a save in the 1st on a penalty shot. Providence won the shootout 2-1, with only Steph McKeough scoring (Ammerman and Nash missed).

MHKY G13: Badgers 7 - Spartans 3

"We got it handed to us. They are a very good team. That’s probably the toughest game that we’ve had all year, as far as playing against speed." -- MSU head coach Rick Comley [Weston]
Box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats
Recaps:
- uwbadgers: Badgers gobble up Spartans
- msuspartans: Spartans fall 7-3 to Badgers
- Baggot (WSJ): Badgers expect good return on investment
- Worgull (BN): An offensive showcase (premium content)
- Weston (USCHO): Stepan's five points, Smith's two tallies buoy Badgers in upset win
- Kopeke (Lansing Journal): Future Red Wing sparks Badgers
- Wodon (CHN): Friday Round-up
Blogs: Capobianco, Worgull
Photos: msuspartans

3 Stars (per Posick/Cerniglia):
1. Derek Stepan (1-4-5, 3 SOG, +2, didn't have to sacrifice a chicken)
2. Brendan Smith (2-1-3, 7 SOG, +1, scored the 1st 2 goals of the game)
3. Michael Davies (2-1-3, 4 SOG, +1, physical play, consistent play)

Subway Sub of the Game (per Posick/Cerniglia): Brett Bennett

In case you missed it:
The Badgers played most of the game with 5 D, as Jake Gardiner suffered an undisclosed injury in the 1st period. Andy Baggot reports that Eaves says he doesn't yet know if Gardiner would be available Saturday night. The entire roster made the trip this weekend, so if Gardiner is out, Eaves will have his pick of C Johnson/Springer/Little.

Mike Eaves also apparently shuffled the forward lines in the 3rd, which isn't all that surprising, as he seems to have had a tendency to do that quite a bit this season in the 3rd period based on who has been playing well during the 1st 2 periods. Unfortunately, I missed the new line combos. I think Davies was bumped up to the top line, but I'm not sure. If I figure it out, I'll come back and edit this.

Face-Offs W/L
Geoffrion - 13/13
Bohmback - 1/0
P Johnson - 0/1
Murray - 1/0
Stepan - 4/7
Street - 5/9
Bendickson - 6/9
(Team total 30/39)

I tried to watch the game on bigtennetwork, but the video feed kept freezing up. Not impressed. *shrug*

The impression I had of the game (take it for what it's worth) is that State had the momentum early in the 1st, but the Badgers took the momentum midway through the 1st and held on throughout most of the 2nd. State got a questionable goal at the end of the 2nd, picked up another goal to start the 3rd, and really had the momentum for the first 9 minutes or so of the 3rd. But the Badgers weathered the storm to hold the Spartans at 3 goals and then grabbed control of the game again when Geoffrion scored the Badgers' 6th goal.

You know what was fun? Seeing (and I use that term loosely, given the video feed issues, although I usually caught the replays) guys capitalize on opportunities rather than missing the net or shooting right into the goaltender. Good stuff! Nice to see Stepan finally score again, as he's been a bit snakebitten lately (he joked earlier to Posick that he was considering sacrificing a chicken), and nice to see Davies find the back of the net a couple of times. Aaron Bendickson had a nice hardworking goal, and Geoffrion had a really nice top-shelf goal. I missed both of B Smith's goals, but he definitely grabbed the momentum for the Badgers by scoring the 1st two goals.

It doesn't take all that much to make me happy, but I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty happy about beating MSU 7-3. State's a good team, so this is pretty nice win. It's also nice to have a 3-0-0 non-conference record. In comparison to past couple of years, it'll be nice to have a strong non-conf record (assuming the Badgers keep it up) when looking at the PWR later in the season.

Tomorrow, the Badgers take on the Wolverines, who by the way beat the gophers 6-0 tonight. Per CHN: "Michigan found the perfect cure for its ills -- a storied program doing even more poorly."

College Hockey Showcase Outlook

Is this the last season of the annual College Hockey Showcase? The event which was created in 1993 faces a very realistic possibility that this could be the end.

We had a weird off season news wise with the announcements of the Culvers Camp Randall game, Bemidji and Nebraska-Omaha entering the league, and talk of a Big Ten Hockey conference as well as talk that Wisconsin had internal talks about joining the CCHA. Lost in the shuffle was the news about the potential abortion of the CHS.

From an Andy Baggot update in late October, "UW is looking to incorporate CCHA member Ohio State, the fifth hockey-playing entity from the Big Ten, into the rotation. That could result in a series with the Buckeyes one year, followed by one with Michigan and Michigan State the next."

I know that the interest generated by the College Hockey Showcase has been down in recent years, but I still absolutely love the current format. In my opinion it would be an absolute travesty to only be able to play Michigan once every three seasons.

The hockey history that Ohio State brings to the table pales in comparison to the histories of Michigan and Michigan State. To tell you the truth, if Ohio State didn't have the Big Ten name legacy, their hockey program wouldn't have a pot to piss in. They play in a huge arena and get zero fan support. The last thing I want to do is skip a bi-annual trip to legendary facilities like Yost and Munn so that we can play in front 4,200 fans in a facility that seats 17,000? What a joke.


2009 College Hockey Showcase Predictions

Friday Night vs Michigan State

In my opinion Wisconsin is the best team in the showcase this year. If they are the best, State has to be second. I think that Wisconsin comes out and dominates from the beginning. The talent is too much to overcome for Michigan State.

Wisconsin 5, Michigan State 2

Saturday Night vs Michigan

Michigan is always a battle no matter what. They weren't predicted to finish as high as they were for no reason. With that said, I still think we're a much better team and should take care of business.

Wisconsin 3, Michigan 2


Photo by RedHeat15

It's Friday, I'm in Love


I don't care if Monday's blue
Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don't care about you
It's Friday, I'm in love





BADGER MEN @ College Hockey Showcase: FRI 6 PM (MSU) / SAT 6:30 PM (UofM)

Gameday Links
TV: Saturday only - Comcast (Michigan)
Radio: WIBA 1310
Audio webstream: insideBADGERSPORTS ($9.95/mo)
Video webstream: Friday only - bigtennetwork ($2.99/game)
Live stats: CBS gametracker - Friday, Saturday
Live blog: Capobianco*, Worgull (BN)*

* I don't have the direct blog links, but they should be linked on the front page of their respective sites at game time.

Weekly Shooutout Winner
This week, JORDY MURRAY won the shootout over Ryan Little.

Here are the previous winners and how they did that weekend:
Wk 6: Derek Stepan (0-1-1, E)
Wk 5: Jake Gardiner (0-0-0, +4, 3 SOG)
Wk 4: Blake Geoffrion (2-1-3, 10 SOG, +1)
Wk 3: Justin Schultz (0-0-0, E, 1 SOG, looked solid on D to me)
Wk 2: Mike Davies (0-2-0, 6 SOG, and sounds like he played really well)
Wk 1: Podge Turnbull (0-0-0, 5 SOG, and despite being held off the scoresheet I thought he looked really good)

Badger Lines
Bohmbach - Geoffrion - C Smith
Mitchell - Street - Lee
Murray - Stepan - Davies
Grotting - Bendickson - P Johnson

McDonagh - Gardiner
Smith - Ramage
Goloubef - Schultz

Bennett
Gudmandson

The forward lines appear to be mostly the same as last weekend with a couple of minor changes. John Mitchell has been moved up to the 2nd line, moving Derek Lee over to the left side of that line and bumping Ben Grotting back down to the 4th line.

The defensive pairings remain the same. Brett Bennett gets the nod in goal on Friday. As usual we'll have to wait until Saturday to hear who will play Sat night, although in his Monday press conference, Eaves' implied that Gudmandson will start on Sat.

Series Previews

uwbadgers: game notes
msuspartans: preview, game notes
mgoblue: game notes
Baggot (WSJ): College Hockey Showcase
Baggot (WSJ blog): Badgers prepare for smaller ice sheets
Baggot (WSJ blog): Eaves, UW seek a signature victory


Other Articles/Links
Baggot (WSJ): Small package packs productive punches
Baggot (WSJ blog): Eaves inspired by his peers
Baggot (WSJ blog): Five good minutes with Cody Goloubef
uwbadgers: Mike Eaves' weekly presser

The Usual Suspects
CHN: Tale of the Tape - @ MSU, @ UofM
USCHO: This Week in the WCHA, Milewski's What I Think, Tuesday Morning Quarterback (Extra)
INCH: Friday Four-cast (national notebook), First Shift (national notebook), WCHA: Bulldogs succeed with scoring
Goon's World: Weekend Match-ups (Sioux7)

HatchetJoe says . . .
"oohgani nawgawah eechi pow-wow goomeh" ...Potawatomi for,"Are these BigTen Conference games?"


BADGER WOMEN @ Providence: Fri/Sat 6 PM

Gameday Links

TV: none
Radio: none
Audio webstream: Sat only - CBS College Sports (per Boscacci, but I don't see the event listed yet)
Video webstream: none
Live stats: CBS gametracker - Friday, Saturday
Live blog: Boscacci*

* I don't have the direct blog link, but it should be linked on the front page at game time.

Weekly Shootout Winner
Stephanie McKeough

Series Previews
uwbadgers: preview, game notes
friars: I don't see anything on their site

Other Articles/Links
Olivia Jakiel (uwbadgers blog): Thanksgiving weekend

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Recruiting: Statistical Updates

I've updated the recruiting stat sheets that can be found here. Here is a look at some committed recruits that are having big starts to the 2009/2010 hockey season as well as some predictions. In the next stat update we'll look at some un-committed recruits who are having big seasons.


Mark Zengerle:

Shocker, Mark Zengerle is leading the BCHL in scoring. Zengerle continues to impress and exceed expectations. His 62 points in 29 games is absolutely absurd. Salmon Arm is currently in fourth place in the Interior Conference of the BCHL so Zengerle who recently signed a letter of intent for Wisconsin is going to have to continue to carry the team to propel them into the playoffs.

Predictions: BCHL MVP



Matt Paape:

Matt Paape, who is only a senior in high school, is having little trouble adjusting to life in the USHL. The Appleton natives 8 points in his first 16 USHL games are good enough for third on the team in scoring. Sioux City has a new head coach and General Manager in Luke Strand and I expect as the season wears on that the team will improve and with that, Paape's point totals will continue to go up.




Tyler Barnes:

A lot was made about Barnes being pushed back a year due to the fact that projected departures (Mitchell and Geoffrion), ended up staying. Barnes has handled it in stride and is having an absolute monster year so far in the USHL. Barnes is currently tied for 10th in the USHL in scoring but has played 3 less games than the players he is tied with. I expect Barnes point totals to continue to grow. He should finish the season in the top 10 in scoring and with a good push could end up in the top 5.

Friday, November 20, 2009

There were fights last friday night?




Dear Mr. Hottmann,

Over the past five years, I’ve only seen one actual “fight” during a Badger Men’s Hockey game. This occurred last season when gopher Patricia White collared Badger Ben Grotting from behind, and was subsequently beat down for his cowardly act by Mr. Grotting. THAT was a fight; nothing last Friday against UAA remotely resembled this.

As an adult who claims involvement w/ youth hockey, I’d expect that you’d know more about hockey, and what a fight is and what a fight ISN’T. Nothing last weekend against UAA remotely resembled a fight, but extra curricular activities after the whistle that is a somewhat regular occurrence during WCHA games due to the official’s poor handling of most games. There was shoving, a lot of “hugging,” some smack was talked and a few players might have traded a few “blows” w/ their gloves on. This is hardly fighting, no gloves were dropped, no actual fists connected w/ any faces. Had there been any actual fighting, game disqualifications would have been accessed, players would have been ejected and suspended for an additional game by the NCAA and possibly further depending upon the severity of the transgression.

There are rules to punish players for fighting in NCAA hockey, and these rules would have been exercised if any actual fighting occurred. In the opening example, Ben Grotting was ejected and suspended for the Badgers’ next game.

I’m somewhat confused on your involvement in, but lack of knowledge of, the game of hockey. Fighting is part of the game, and has been for a long time.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of fighting, but I feel it has its place, and actually wish that the NCAA would allow it. I abhor when two NHL players just decide to “drop the gloves” for the sake of fighting and getting the crowd excited. I like fighting as a self policing part of the game when the opponent pulls some shit and needs to pay for it. In the WCHA, the on ice officials are so horrible that it would help clean up the game; they lose control sometimes before the puck even drops. If the opponent is taking cheap shots at your goalie, and a few shifts later one of those punks is getting the crap beat of him, the cheap shots would stop. Fighting should never be a regular occurrence in hockey, but can keep the game “clean” when the officials aren’t doing their job.

In addition, I’m disappointed that the WSJ would allow this stupidity to be posted in their paper. Not only did Madison papers decide the wise decision was to re-assign their best hockey beat writer at TCT and leave us w/ the senior and barely passable Andy Baggot, but they paint the college hockey game in a misleading light. The picture chosen to include w/ this opinion is a prime example of misleading. I don’t remember Ross Carlson ever receiving a 5 minute major for fighting, a game disqualification and additional game suspension for fighting in his career. Come to blows at the Kohl Center? Come on WSJ.

Lastly, Mr. Hottmann, if you can’t enjoy the game of hockey for what it is, and what it has been for many, many decades, I suggest you find another sport to enjoy. There is no reason for a sport to change because a minority of fans don’t like some aspect of it, especially when you don’t include the proper facts about what is currently occurring in NCAA Hockey. Fighting is outlawed in College Hockey, has been for a long time. Instead of jerseys, would you like the players to come out in dresses instead?

Sincerely,

A non-disillusioned Badger Hockey Fan

It's Friday, I'm in Love


You can never get enough
Enough of this stuff
It's Friday, I'm in love



Both the Men and Women are in St. Cloud this weekend.

BADGER MEN @ St. Cloud: FRI/SAT 7 PM

UW: 6-3-1 overall, 4-3-1 WCHA (last weekend swept UAA 5-1. 6-2)
SCSU: 4-4-2 overall, 3-2-1 WCHA (last weekend split @ UND 2-4, 3-2)

Gameday Links
TV:
- Live - both nights - Charter Extra Channel 87
- Tape delay - none
Radio: Friday WIBA 1310, Saturday WTSO 1070
Audio webstream: insideBADGERSPORTS ($9.95/mo), KVSU (free)
Video webstream: b2live ($7/game)
Live stats: stcloudstate
Live blog: Capobianco*, Worgull (BN)*

* I don't have the direct blog links, but they should be linked on the front page of their respective sites at game time.

Weekly Shooutout Winner
This week, DEREK STEPAN won the shootout.

Here are the previous winners and how they did that weekend:
Wk 5: Jake Gardiner (0-0-0, +4, 3 SOG)
Wk 4: Blake Geoffrion (2-1-3, 10 SOG, +1)
Wk 3: Justin Schultz (0-0-0, E, 1 SOG, looked solid on D to me)
Wk 2: Mike Davies (0-2-0, 6 SOG, and sounds like he played really well)
Wk 1: Podge Turnbull (0-0-0, 5 SOG, and despite being held off the scoresheet I thought he looked really good)

Badger Lines
Bohmbach - Geoffrion - C Smith
Lee - Street - Grotting
Murray - Stepan - Davies
Mitchell - Bendickson - P Johnson

McDonagh - Gardiner
Smith - Ramage
Goloubef - Schultz

Bennett
Gudmandson

The forward lines appear to be the same as last weekend, with Turbull/Dolan/Thurber/Meuer as the scratches.

The defensive pairings also remain the same. Brett Bennett gets the nod in goal on Friday, and as usual we'll have to wait until Saturday to hear who will play Sat night. I expect Gudmandson, but what the heck do I know?

I don't know who the 2 extra skaters are that made the trip. Anyone know? (I have an email out to Cerniglia and am hoping that Capobianco will post it on twitter.)

Husky lines
Baggot and Allenspach have different forward lines listed. *shrug*
per Baggot:
Eddy - Roe - Lasch
Mosey - LeBlanc - Volpei
Festler - Oslund - Novak
Hanowski - Christian - Ammerman

per Allenspach:
Eddy - Marvin - Lasch
Mosey - Roe - Volpei
Festler - LeBlanc - Novak
Hanowski - Oslund - Christian


Gaudet - Raboin
Zabkowicz - Hepp
Lauridsen - Johnson

Lee
Dunn

Mike Lee gets the start in goal tonight, and Dan Dunn is expected to start tomorrow.

Series Previews

uwbadgers: preview, game notes
stcloudstate: preview, game notes (I don't see anything yet)
Baggot (WSJ): Badgers at St. Cloud State
Holt (Badger Herald): Badgers, Street looking for success vs. St. Cloud
Gabriel (Daily Cardinal): High-octane Badger offense takes act to the road to face St. Cloud
Allenspach (sctimes): Friday bugaboo haunts Huskies
Allenspach (sctimes blog): Lasch climbs ladder and Lee starts another series

Other Articles/Links
Baggot (WSJ blog): Five good minutes with Jordy Murray
Baggot (WSJ): McDonagh learning to channel forceful personality
uwbadgers: Eaves' weekly presser
Worgull (BN): Veteran freshman (premium)
Bleach (BN): Just wanting a chance (premium)
Henson (Badger Herald): Fighting for ice time only improves Badgers
Allenspach (sctimes): Mosey makes most of skills
stcloudstate: Bob Motzko interview
stcloudstate: Dann Dunn player profile

The Usual Suspects
CHN: Tale of the Tape
USCHO: This Week in the WCHA, Milewski's What I Think, Tuesday Morning Quarterback (Extra)
INCH: Friday Four-cast (national notebook), First Shift (national notebook), WCHA: review gets it right
Goon's World: Weekend Match-ups (Sioux7)

HatchetJoe says . . .
"Eetchie waah ugala nakamee" . . . Potawatomi for "Get them [f'n] dogs off the ice"

BADGER WOMEN @ St. Cloud: Fri/Sat 2 PM

UW: 7-4-1 overall, 5-3-0 WCHA (last weekend 2-2 tie (lost SO) and 6-2 win v. Wayne State)
St. Cloud: 4-9-0 overall, 3-6-0 WCHA (last weekend split w/ Bemidji 0-1, 5-2)

Bring 2 canned food items to the game on Friday and get in free!

Gameday Links

TV: none
Radio: none
Audio webstream: KVSC (free)
Video webstream: b2live ($7)
Live stats: stcloudstate
Live blog: Boscacci*

* I don't have the direct blog link, but it should be linked on the front page at game time.

Weekly Shootout Winner
Stephanie McKeough

Series Previews
uwbadgers: preview, game notes
stcloudstate: preview, game notes (I don't see anything yet)
Erickson (Badger Herald): Badgers hope to find consistent success at National Hockey Center

Other Articles/Links
Erickson (Badger Herald): DeKeyser brings familiar feel in place of Johnson
Jakiel (uwbadgers blog): On the road again

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wisconsin Recruiting: Seven Early Signers

Yesterday I had an update that Wisconsin would be signing at least 5 players in the early signing period. Tonight, Andy Baggot informs us that the official count is seven.

Forwards

Tyler Barnes-Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL)-Burnsville, MN (3)
Jefferson Dahl-Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)-Eau Claire, WI (2.5)
Sean Little-Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)-Fond du Lac, WI (1.5)
Michael Mersch-USA NTDP (U18)-Park Ridge, IL (4)
Mark Zengerle-Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL)-Rochester, NY (4.5)

Defense

Chase Drake-Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)-Mosinee, WI (2.5)
Frankie Simonelli-USA NTDP (U18)-Bensenville, IL (4)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic Update

Back in July, when Barry Alvarez announced that Culver's would be sponsoring the Camp Randall Hockey "Classic", he made note of the fact that UW had sold 20,000 tickets to the event. (See our blog entry and Baggot's blog entry)

Alvarez, Mike Eaves and Co. seemed cautiously optimistic that the event might still hit the world record by selling out the event. I know that I was skeptical, although I wanted to see how things were later in the fall, when youth hockey schedules were out and when "UW has a chance to pimp this event non-stop during the football season."

Turns out, there's hope for a sellout yet. I just checked the ticket website on UWBadgers.com, and they are claiming that the entire lower bowl has sold out, except for the south end zone seats (sections Y1-3, YZ and Z1-3). I tried a quick search for four tickets in YZ, and it put me all the way back in row 38. The upper deck seats aren't going on sale until the lower bowl sells out.

I don't have much of a handle on what capacity would be at Camp Randall if they don't sell any upper deck tickets, but this is certainly very promising to see.

Wisconsin Recruiting: Early Signing Period

With a rather large senior class this season, and the prospects that numerous underclassmen may bolt to the NHL, a lot has been made about what UW is going to do with the early signing period that began November 11th.

First of all, I'd just like to point out that the early signing period is stupid. Let me rephrase, signing periods are stupid. And more to the point, the NCAA is stupid.

Regardless of that, these are the players that can be confirmed so far that Wisconsin will be signing during the early signing period.


Chase Drake-Defenseman, Sioux City (USHL)

Drake is a slick, smooth skating defenseman from Mosinee who has spent the past year and a half playing for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. Drakes skating ability should be a big asset in his favor in making the transition from junior hockey to the WCHA. He still has things to work on in his own end of the ice but should be a solid player for Wisconsin.

Rating= 2.5 stars


Jefferson Dahl-Forward, Youngstown (USHL)

Dahl is a smaller forward but he's a pest that you always want on your team. He's very talented with the puck and has the ability to create plays for his teammates. The Eau Claire native can be looked upon as a leader, a good guy in the community, and could evolve in my opinion to be an outstanding college hockey player when it's all said and done.

Rating= 2.5 stars


Sean Little-Forward, Green Bay (USHL)

Little, like his older brother (Wisconsin defenseman Ryan Little) is an all out, balls to the walls physical player. Little has been known to be a bit of a scrapper so far in his USHL career. His offensive statistics have been more underwhelming than what was expected of him, but every team needs a forward who's not afraid to make a big hit similar to a player like Ben Grotting.

Rating= 1.5 stars


Tyler Barnes-Forward, Waterloo (USHL)

It seems like Barnes committed forever and a day ago (October, 07). A lot was made about Barnes being pushed back a year due to the fact that projected departures (Mitchell and Geoffrion), ended up staying. Barnes has handled it in stride and is having an absolute monster year so far in the USHL. Should be able to step in and immediately contribute next season.

Rating= 3 stars


Mark Zengerle-Forward, Salmon Arm (BCHL)

The highlight of this class is hands down Salmon Arm forward Mark Zengerle. Once again, (and no shock to anyone) Zengerle is leading the British Columbia Hockey League in scoring. Zengerle is an absolute stud in the offensive zone. The 5'11 right hander has upped his scoring output this season from a league best 1.7 points per game last season, to a league best 2.2 this season. Zengerle has taken it upon himself to evolve as a player this season.

Rating= 4.5 stars


Keep in mind, these are only players that have been confirmed by either myself, or other sources (Dplaya confirmed Little, Baggot confirmed Barnes and Zengerle, WEAU in Eau Claire confirmed Dahl, and I'm obviously confirming Drake) at this time.

Wisconsin, by being a Big Ten member (yes it still applies to hockey), must be able to show a recruit on a letter of intent EXACTLY how much money is available to them instead of just promising it to them like every other school in the nation without Big Ten ties. Therefore, UW is handcuffed a bit in the fact that some players who have committed for next season are going to have to wait until the spring to sign.

For example, a player like Frankie Simonelli, who is committed to UW for next season may have to wait until the spring to sign because maybe he was promised the scholarship money that Ryan McDonagh is receiving. McDonagh, being a junior (even though everyone and thier mother knows he'll be in a Rangers uniform next season), is still looked at by the Big 10 as a player coming back until he officially leaves. Keep in mind that was just an example, I have no idea what Simonelli was promised.

What I'm trying to say, is that you shouldn't be shocked or concerned if committed players like Simonelli, Michael Mersch, etc etc don't end up signing in the early signing period. Those players are big scholarship players and UW, by following Big 10 rules, might have to wait until things are official in the spring. Hence my reason that signing periods are stupid.

When It's all said and done, I expect the official UW freshman class of 2010-2011 to look like this (Star rating in parenthesis) :

Forwards

Tyler Barnes-Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL)-Burnsville, MN (3)
Jefferson Dahl-Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)-Eau Claire, WI (2.5)
Gavin Hartzog-Fargo Force (USHL)-Milwaukee, WI (2)
Tyler Lapic-Omaha Lancers (USHL)-New Prague, MN (3)
Sean Little-Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)-Fond du Lac, WI (1.5)
Michael Mersch-USA NTDP (U18)-Park Ridge, IL (4)
Matt Paape-Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)-Appleton, WI (4)
Mark Zengerle-Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL)-Rochester, NY (4.5)

Defense

Chase Drake-Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)-Mosinee, WI (2.5)
Frankie Simonelli-USA NTDP (U18)-Bensenville, IL (4)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

UAA Swept to Russia

5-1 Last Night

6-2 Tonight

Great play by almost every Badger this weekend!

Freshman Craig Smith and Justin Schultz both scored their first goals as Badgers this weekend, congrats!

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Friday, I'm in Love


Saturday, wait

And Sunday always comes too late

But Friday, never hesitate . . .



Both the Badger Men and Badger Women are at home again this weekend, with the Men hosting the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves and the Women hosting the Wayne State Warriors. (The opening game of the women's series was actually last night. The game is officially a 2-2 tie, but Wayne state won in the shootout.)

BADGER MEN v Alaska-Anchorage: FRI/SAT 7 PM (Kohl Center)
I think everyone is upset about last Saturday so practice has been high tempo, battling as hard as we can. -- Brendan Smith

Right now we just need to find a way to score goals and finish. Each guy has taken his own notes, bearing down when chances come, and that has been the main focus. -- Derek Stepan

I think are best times are still to come from the guys. We need to find a way to get some dirty goals, some gritty goals. The pretty ones will come because that’s who you are. We just need to work hard and continue to get chances, because it will come around. -- Mike Eaves [Badger Herald]
UW: 4-3-1 overall, 2-3-1 WCHA (last weekend split v. minnesota 4-2, 2-5)
UAA: 4-6-0 overall, 2-4-0 WCHA (last weekend split v. Denver 2-3, 7-3)

Featured on this week's tickets are senior forwards Ben Grotting and Michael Davies.

Ya know, I never used to be a huge Ben Grotting fan. It's not that he's ever been in my doghouse, but rather that I never had strong feelings one way or the other about him. Perhaps I should listen to Hatchet Joe a bit more (selectively, of course), but Grotting's starting to grow on me. He's solid defensively, and I like the physicality of his game and the energy that he brings to the ice. Brett Kurtz (It's Kurtzy Time!) and Dennis Snedden used to talk about their 4th-line roles on the 1990 team as "raising havoc" and creating "controlled chaos", and Jeff Sauer said "They're not pretty, but they go out and make things happen . . . I use them in a situation where I want to make something happen." Well, Grotting's not pretty, but I think he's got the havoc/chaos thing down, and I like it.

Coming into this season, Grotting was 9-17-26 in 106 GP. He's played in all 8 games this season and has recorded 1 goal.

Mike Davies sometimes drives me nuts because of his inconsistency. But he's got offensive skills, and I like the way he responded when he got back in the lineup after being held out to start the season. Coming into this season, Davies was the 2nd returning career goal-scorer and top returning points-scorer (24-27-71 in 114 GP). Among current players, last season he was 3rd in goals (10 G in 24 GP). In 6 games this season, Davies is 1-3-4.


Gameday Links

TV:
- Live - Friday FSN WI; Saturday WISC Ch 3 (Madison), Charter Extra Channel 87, Time Warner Sports
- Tape delay - both nights on The Wisconsin Channel (10 PM game day and 6 PM next day)
Radio: WIBA 1310 (Madison)
Audio webstream: insideBADGERSPORTS ($9.95/mo), WSUM (free) - no confirmation, but I'd expect they'll be broadcasting
Video webstream: The Wisconsin Channel's live stream (tape-delay 10 PM game day and 6 PM next day), insideBADGERSPORTS (live Saturday only, $9.95/mo)
Live stats: CBSSports gametracker - Friday, Saturday
Live blog: Worgull (BN)*

* I don't have the direct blog link, but it should be linked on the BN front page at game time.

Weekly Shooutout Winner
This week, JAKE GARDINER won the shootout over Justin Schultz and Mike Davies.

Here are the previous winners and how they did that weekend:
Wk 4: Blake Geoffrion (2-1-3, 10 SOG, +1)
Wk 3: Justin Schultz (0-0-0, E, 1 SOG, looked solid on D to me)
Wk 2: Mike Davies (0-2-0, 6 SOG, and sounds like he played really well)
Wk 1: Podge Turnbull (0-0-0, 5 SOG, and despite being held off the scoresheet I thought he looked really good)

Badger Lines
Bohmbach - Geoffrion - C Smith
Lee - Street - Grotting
Murray - Stepan - Davies
Mitchell - Bendickson - P Johnson

McDonagh - Gardiner
Smith - Ramage
Goloubef - Schultz

Bennett
Gudmandson

Mike Eaves has scrambled his forward lines - well, the 2nd and 4th lines, anyway. Grotting has been moved up to the 2nd line. And after being scratched last Saturday, John Mitchell has found his way back into the lineup. Sean Dolan and Podge Turbull have been knocked back out of the lineup, and (to our continued dismay) Matt Thurber continues to be scratched.

The defensive pairings remain the same. Brett Bennett gets the nod in goal on Friday, and as usual we'll have to wait until Saturday to hear who will play Sat night. Personally, I like the Bennett-Gudmandson rotation, and so I'd like to see that again this weekend.

What's a seawolf?
Spencer - Naslund - Selby
Lunden - Leinweber - Haddad
Grant - Gellert - Clark
Bruijsten - Parkinson - Crowell

Baldwin - Backstrom
Darwitz - Vidmar
Hunt - Tuton

Christianson

Wisconsinite Sean Wiles, this week's WCHA co-offensive POTW, is out for the series with a shoulder injury. Sophomore Kane LaFranchise has made the trip but has to sit out tonight's game after receiving a game DQ for clipping last Saturday v. Denver. (I didn't see it, but WCH reports that the hit was clean and that the WCHA admitted that they screwed up. Interesting.)

Series Previews

uwbadgers: preview, game notes
goseawolves: preview, game notes
Baggot (WSJ): UW men's hockey vs. Alaska-Anchorage
Baggot (WSJ blog): Eaves will look at another lineup
Henson (Badger Herald): Seawolves sail into Kohl Center
Gabriel (Daily Cardinal): Badgers continue WCHA Schedule against Seawolves
Durrell (Seawolves Examiner): UAA at Wisconsin preview

Other Articles/Links
Baggot (WSJ blog): Eaves sends mixed signals about his goalies
Baggot (WSJ blog): Measuring the power of UW's shots on goal
Baggot (WSJ blog): Five good minutes with Ben Street
uwbadgers: Eaves' weekly presser
Holt (Badger Herald): Easy Street: captain back from ACL tear
Woody (ADN): Scoring goals breed confidence for UAA

The Usual Suspects
CHN: Tale of the Tape
USCHO: This Week in the WCHA
INCH: Friday Four-cast (national notebook), Role Reversal for gophers (WCHA notebook)
Goon's World: Weekend Match-ups (Sioux 7)


BADGER WOMEN v. Wayne State: Thurs 7 PM / Fri 2 PM (Kohl Center)

UW: 6-4-0 overall, 5-3-0 WCHA (last weekend split w/ Robert Morris 1-3, 3-2 OT)
Wayne State: 3-5-2 overall, 0-2-0 CHA (last weekend lost to Mercyhurst 1-3, 2-7)

By the way, last night was Snuggie Night at the Kohl Center. . . . REALLY? . . . Umm, yeah, I got nothin' . . .

Gameday Links

TV: none
Radio: none
Audio webstream: WSUM (free) - no confirmation, but I'd expect they'll be broadcasting
Video webstream: bigtennetwork ($2.99/game)
Live stats: CBSSports gametracker - Thursday, Friday
Live blog: none (away games only)

Series Previews
uwbadgers: preview, game notes
wsuathletics: hmm, the last news on this site is from 10/3 . . .
Hager (Badger Herald): Women's Hockey to face Wayne State at Kohl Center

Other Articles/Links
Hager (Badger Herald): Badgers' Giles brings winning touch to program

Thursday Results
recaps: uwbadgers, WSJ, Hager (Badger Herald), Erickson (Badger Herald)
box: uwbadgers, collegehockeystats

Friday, November 6, 2009

Badgers 4 Wangicided gophers 2

Nice prediction Chuck!

Tough choice for the goofs, stay w/ Four Soft Goals Wangas, or bring in Pattersieve tomorrow night?

Recruit Jordan Schmaltz Moves To The USHL

Jordan Schmaltz, a defenseman from Verona, WI who is committed to attend Wisconsin in the fall of 2012 has taken the next step in his development. Thanks to a tip from the USCHO poster Milzie, we've learned that Schmaltz has been added to the roster of the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL.

According to the online box score, Schmaltz dressed last night for the Musketeers wearing #15 in a home loss, 4-2 to Indiana. Schmaltz did not record any statistics in last nights contest.

Wisconsin forward recruit Matt Paape and defense recruit Chase Drake also play for the Musketeers. Eau Claire native Luke Strand is the head coach and General Manager.

Sioux City will be back in action Saturday night when they host future Badger Tyler Lapic and the Omaha Lancers.

Hey Patricia White, Grotting Is Looking For You

Minnesota Still Sucks

Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts. How about a nice, cool drink, varmints? Scum! Slime! Menace to the hockey industry! You're a disgrace. You're varmints. You're one of the lowest members of the food chain and you'll probably be replaced by the rat.

Well, I have been pushed. It's about time somebody teaches these varmints a little lesson about morality and about what it's like to be a decent, upstanding member of a society! Come to Carl, varmint. I guess we're playing for keeps now. I guess the kidding around is pretty much over. I guess it's just a matter of pumping about five thousand gallons of water down there to teach you a little bit of a lesson. Is that it? I think it is!

Friday Prediction: Wisconsin 4, Minnesota 2

Cha-Cha-Cha-CHIA!!!!

It's Friday, I'm in Love

Monday, you can hold your head
Tuesday, Wednesday stay in bed
Or Thursday - watch the walls instead
It's Friday, I'm in love



Both the Badger Men and Badger women are at home again this weekend, with the Men hosting minnesota and the Women hosting Robert Morris. Go RED!

BADGER MEN v minnesota: FRI/SAT 7 PM (Kohl Center)
I think we’re both kind of in the same spot right now, if you look at our records and where we’re at, coming off the weekends we had. We were struggling similar to them, and we both finally put together a solid two-win weekend. So I think it’s going to be a real intense series for everyone. -- Ryan McDonagh [Badger Herald]

[W]e’re going to be really tough to beat if we can roll out four lines consistently throughout the year. . . . We can really beat up on teams if we can go one, two, three, four lines and they’re only playing three. -- Andy Bohmbach [Badger Herald]
UW: 3-2-1 overall, 1-2-1 WCHA (last weekend swept UNH 4-1, 6-1)
minn: 2-3-1 overall, 2-3-1WCHA (last weekend swept UAA 5-1, 4-1)

By the way, tomorrow is a somewhat dubious day in history, as it's the birthday of minnesota's rouser. My favorite reactions to the rouser after it's debut [music.umn.edu]:
It hasn't enough spirit. It sounds like a kindergarten song. -- univ of minnesota student

The chorus is great if it weren't for the words. -- univ of minnesota student

It has no distinction of language. It is commonplace and not worthy of Minnesota. We shouldn't have given the prize until a really good song was submitted. -- univ of minnesota president Cyrus Northrop
Well, I won't aruge with Northrup's take on the song, but we might differ on what might be "worthy of Minnesota", and I submit that perhaps it's a good fit. Thankfully, WT Purdy had the good sense to remove his entry from the contest and instead offer it to Wisconsin. ON, WISCONSIN!

Moving along, featured on this week's tickets are senior forward Ben Street and sophomore forward Derek Stepan.

Street, of course, is serving as one of the Badgers' tri-captains this year, along with Blake Geoffrion and Ryan McDonagh. Coming off of a medical redshirt for last season, Street entered this season as the Badgers' most experienced player, having played in 128 games. His junior year, he led the team in goals (13, tied w/ Davies) and was 2nd in total points (30, tied w/ Geoffrion), and he entered this season leading current Badgers in career goals (34, tied w/ Davies) and 3rd in total points (63, behind Davies and Geoffrion. In 6 games this season, Street is 1-1-2, +1, and 54% in the face-off circle.

As a freshman last season, St. Stepan showed us he's a pretty good playmaker, finishing 2nd on the team in points (33, behind McBain) based on his 24 assists (2nd only to McBain's 27). This season, he's shown us he can score, too, as he's leading the team in goals (3, tied w/ Geoffrion & Murray). I think most would agree that St. Stepan stepped up his game in the 2nd-half of last season and has continued to further step up his game this season. And I gotta tell ya, he sure is an exciting player to watch on the ice. In 6 games this season, Stepan is 3-2-5, +3, and 54% in the face-off circle. (No update yet on when St. Stepan's Day will officially be celebrated.)


Gameday Links

TV:
- Live - Friday TVW Ch 14 (Madison); Saturday WISC Ch 3 (Madison), Charter Extra Ch 87; both nights FSN North (not FSN WI) / FCS Central
- Tape delay - both nights WPT (11 PM) and next day on The Wisconsin Channel (6 PM)
Radio: WIBA 1310 (Madison)
Audio webstream: insideBADGERSPORTS ($9.95/mo), WSUM (free) - no confirmation, but I'd expect they'll be broadcasting
Video webstream: only if you're not in Wisconsin - insideBADGERSPORTS ($9.95/mo)
Live stats: CBSSports gametracker - Friday, Saturday
Live blog: Worgull (BN)*

* I don't have the direct blog link, but it should be linked on the BN front page at game time.

Weekly Shooutout Winner
This week, BLAKE GEOFFRION beat out Cody Goloubef to win the shootout.

Here are the previous winners and how they did that weekend:
Wk 3: Justin Schultz (0-0-0, E, 1 SOG, looked solid on D to me)
Wk 2: Mike Davies (0-2-0, 6 SOG, and sounds like he played really well)
Wk 1: Podge Turnbull (0-0-0, 5 SOG, and despite being held off the scoresheet I thought he looked really good)

Badger Lines
Bohmbach - Geoffrion - C Smith
Mitchell - Street - Lee
Murray - Stepan - Davies
Bendickson - Dolan - Grotting

McDonagh - Gardiner
Goloubef - Schultz
Smith - Ramage

Bennett
Gudmandson

As you know, C Smith is returning to the lineup and has taken P Johnson's spot on the top line. Derek Lee, who made his Badger debut last weekend, keeps his spot in the lineup, as does Sean Dolan, who replaced Podge Turnbull last Saturday. (Boy, that's a tough one. I thought Podge has looked good all year, but Dolan did a nice job on Saturday, and I'm happy with both players.)

The defensive pairings remain the same. Brett Bennett gets the nod in goal on Friday, and as usual we'll have to wait until Saturday to hear who will play Sat night.

Listen, Alex, unless you want me to lead, you're going to have
to put your hand on my waist. Photo courtesy of Neil Ament,
caption courtesy of EoDS before he was ours.


gopher lines
Hoeffel - Schroeder - Sacchetti
Lucia - Carman - Matson
Hansen - Budish - White
Birkholz - Larson - Flynn

Fairchild - Fischer
Lofquist - Ness
Wehrs - Helgeson

Kangas
Patterson

Kangas gets the nod tonight, and I'd expect we'll see him tomorrow as well. To learn more about Kangas, you can read Gandalf's most recent article about him, as well as the biography that Gandalf wrote last season. Quite informative.

Senior forward Jay Barriball suffered a season-ending knee injury during practice this week. Freshman defenseman Nick Leddy had his jaw broken during last Friday's game v. UAA and is out for 6 weeks.

And to refresh your memory, you may want to glance at Gandalf's preseason look at the goofs.


I know Kangas is my grandson, but it still makes me vomit
in my mouth to watch these guys. Photo courtesy of
Neil Ament, caption courtesy of anonymouse.

Series Previews
uwbadgers: preview, game notes
gophersports: preview, game notes
Baggot (WSJ): UW men's hockey vs. Minnesota
Baggot (WSJ blog): Stats don't change Eaves' plan
Holt (Badger Herald): Men's hockey team to host rival Minnesota
Gabriel (Daily Cardinal): Border Battle, raucus Kohl Center await Badgers

A couple of fun items from Baggot's preview: Per Baggot, Mike Hoeffel is the only gopher in the lineup to have scored 10 or more goals in a season (12 last year, but I'm not sure he's the only player, b/c didn't Jordan Schroeder score 13 goals last year?), and the gophers have more SH goals (2) than PP goals (1) this season. (By my count, the Badgers have 5 players in the lineup who have scored 10 or more goals in a season - Street, Geoffrion, Davies, Bohmbach, Mitchell - and have scored 6 PP goals. The Badgers are still waiting for their first SH goal of the season.)

Other Articles/Links
Wodon (CHN): Team of the Week: Wisconsin
uwbadgers: Smith, Ramage earn WCHA laurels
Baggot (WSJ): UW's hockey team focuses on finding the right pairings on defense
Baggot (WSJ blog): Five good minutes with Craig Smith
Baggot (WSJ blog): Eaves sends a not-so-subtle message
Augustoviz (Star Trib): Gophers' Hoeffel works for bigger role
Holt (Badger Herald): Outstanding depth gives men's hockey big advantage
Holt (Badger Herald): Penalties kill, help men's hockey team
Henson (Badger Herald): Border battle key for season
Bleach (BN): Loading a loose cannon (premium content)

The Usual Suspects
CHN: Tale of the Tape
USCHO: This Week in the WCHA
INCH: Friday Four-Cast (national notebook)
Goon's World: Weekend Match-ups (Sioux 7)


BADGER WOMEN v. Robert Morris: Fri/Sat 2 PM (Kohl Center)

UW: 5-3-0 overall, 5-3-0 WCHA (last weekend swept the previously undefeated minnesota, 4-2, 5-2)
RMU: 3-5-0 overall, 0-0-0 CHA (last weekend swept Maine, 3-1, 1-0 (OT))

Gameday Links

TV: none
Radio: none
Audio webstream: WSUM (free) - no confirmation, but I'd expect they'll be broadcasting
Video webstream: bigtennetwork ($2.99/game)
Live stats: CBSSports gametracker - Friday, Saturday
Live blog: none (away games only)

Series Previews
uwbadgers: preview, game notes
rmucolonials: preview, game notes
Hager (Badger Herald): Badgers to host Robert Morris
Savidge (Daily Cardinal): Streaking Badgers look to keep rolling


Other Articles/Links
Augustine (wisconsinwomenshockey): highlight video from last weekend
Gilbert (wcha): The small things lead to big things
WSJ: Ruegsegger named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
uwbadgers: Ruegsegger claims first WCHA weekly honor
Jakiel (uwbadgers blog): Get out your brooms, Badger fans

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pat Johnson Out Of The Lineup

Mike Eaves finally gets it. It's time to pull the plug on the Pat Johnson experiment on the first line. Johnson, the only player to play in all 6 games who has not recorded a point has been demoted from the first line to the 5th line, and thus likely out of the lineup for this weekends series with rival Minnesota.

After a brutal performance out of his 5'9 winger last weekend, Eaves had to make the change.

"A little message to Patrick, quite honestly,'' Eaves said. "There's a message there to everybody that you have to perform game in and game out. We have a deep team and if (quality play) is not going to happen, we have the ability to do stuff like this.''

Johnson's play has fallen off significantly since he rode Kyle Turris's coat tails to a 21 point freshman season. Last year in 35 games, the tiny forward from Madison recorded a whopping 4 points.

Current Lines courtesy of Andy Baggot:

Andy Bohmbach-Blake Geoffrion-Craig Smith
Jordy Murray-Derek Stepan-Mike Davies
John Mitchell-Ben Street-Derek Lee
Aaron Bendickson-Sean Dolan-Ben Grotting

Who taught them how to read?




















Honestly, who reads at a hockey game?

Kangas wins Oscar

AP – St. Paul

Despite the early season struggles for the golden gophers’ men’s hockey team, one of their players accomplished something never done before by a WCHA goaltender. Earlier in 2009, Alex Kangas was a winner at the academy awards, winning the award for best kangaroo in a short film for his work in several short films created during the second half of the gophers NCAA missing 2008/09 season.

In all, four films were created about Kangas during the first four months of 2009, which might explain his woes as a goaltender.

The first film was Collapse, named for the Jared Diamond book by the same name; this film chronicled Kangas’ epic collapse during the second half of the 2008/09 season. The film was narrated by James Earl Jones. At the holiday break, Kangas was the best statistical goaltending in the WCHA (even picked as a mid-season 1st teamer by the legendary 60 Minutes, No Alibis, No Regrets blog) and by the end of the season he wasn’t even in the top 5, finishing 8th in GAA and 9th in save percentage.

When author Jared Diamond was reached for comment about the film he wondered, “Who the hell is Alex Kangas?” After reviewing the historical information of Kangas’ epic collapse in net Diamond added, “When the Mayan Civilization collapsed many centuries ago it was epic, at least until I saw some tape of Kangas’ play at the end of last season. His teammates would have been better off putting a stuffed kangaroo in the damn net.”

The second film was Swept a film about the weekend of February 7th when the Wisconsin Badgers traveled to the Twin Cities and took the broom to Kangas and his teammates. His sordidly poor play could not be overcome by his team’s offense and legitimately killed any chance his team had at winning the MacNaughton Cup. Soft goals were the storyline of the weekend.

Unlike the other films, this film followed dual storylines. The jubilation of the Badgers fans celebrating a big road sweep by their team, countered with the utter dejection of gopher fans, including an in depth look at several gopher fans that live in their parents basements while trolling opposing team’s blogs and leaving anonymous comments.

Middle Finger was a short film, only minutes long, where Kangas encountered some Badger fans following the events of the movie Swept in a parking lot. It was his tribute to North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol.

One of the characters in the film is based on hockey blogger Chuck Schwartz, who lived through the middle finger experience. Schwartz didn’t beat around the bush, “I’m happy that Kangas is successful at something, because it certainly isn’t goaltending.”

Finally, in Pardon Me, I’m Not Helen Briggs, Kangas searches his soul as he comes to grips with the legacy of pathetic goaltending at the university of minnesota. The short film was partly a comparison of his career to that of former golden gopher Helen Briggs (who occasionally went by Kellen) who was in net during the biggest upset in College Hockey history against Holy Cross on March 24, 2006, as lowly Holy Cross knocked off the #1 seeded gophers.

The film followed Kangas through campus and the lonely streets of the Twin Cities as he came to terms not only w/ his own failures, but of those of coach Rob Stauber and all past minnesota goaltenders. Following the private screening attending by FSN minnesota all-stars Doug Woog, Kevin Gorg and Frank “the Rug” Mazzdorko, Gorg commented, “wow he is almost as bad at goaltending as we are at providing a quality broadcast.”

At the Academy Awards themselves, the award was one of the first on the docket. The award presentation was given by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk; Kangas was the only nominee for the award. Before Kangas was asked to the stage to accept his award, the Teleprompter of the United States of America (TOTUS) had a short message of congratulation spoken by President Barack Obama.

“Ahh…On behalf of the people of the United States, I’d like to congratulate Alex Kangas on his success in these short films. From personal experience, I know how difficult it is to rise above when the deck is stacked against you. It takes great courage to overcome the obstacles presented by society. Ahh…umm….ahhh…our staff here at the White House will work diligently to bring universal health care to all kangaroos and to pass cap and trade so that kangaroos around the world have the chance to succeed and not see their dreams destroyed due to global climate change. Good night America. I’m Barack Obama?”

Kangas made his way to the stage accompanied by his head coach Don Lucia and several teammates. While Kangas accepted the award, Lucia spoke on his behalf. “Alex would like to thank all of his fans, who only support the team when things are going good and quickly turn on us when they don’t. As his coach and mentor, Alex has taught me many things. I’ve learned that there is still hope for my son Tony, who like Alex is a talentless hockey player. I now have hope that he can rise above and seek his other dreams, since they certainly won’t be on the ice. Thank…” As Lucia was attempting to finish his speech Kanye West took the stage and added, “I know plenty of kangaroos who were just as deserving of this award…”

This news was taken to the streets of the gophers’ biggest rival, the Wisconsin Badgers, in the epicenter of Badger Hockey: Madison, WI. Hockey fans met the news w/ laughs and jeers, while a homeless person with a bird on his shoulder only pandered us for spare change to buy crack. One fan, legendary Door County Badger (who has serious issues w/ his Door County Bias), was willing to provide a quote for this article. “You know what they say, you can’t spell sex with a kangaroo without Kangas. And that is the TRUTH.”

Throughout the time in Madison, an old man wearing a Tomahawk Hockey sweatshirt kept yelling “Ford Field Sucks.”

It would only be fitting that this story end sadly, and to accomplish that task we traveled to the San Diego Zoo. There we talked with Kangas’ former zoo keeper. With his head in his hands, he was weeping uncontrollably. “He's a kangaroo damnit! He doesn't need this!”

Oddly, Alex could not be reached for comment as part of this article, but his spokesman, FSN studio commentator Anthony LaPanties, said that Kangas looks forward to another productive season, of making short films.