Friday, May 28, 2010

WCHA Update

There has been a lot going in the WCHA since the season ended and it is time for an update.

The most important thing that has occurred (heavy sarcasm) is that Frank Mazzocco, formerly known as “the Rug,” was let go by FSN and Badger fans (and all other WCHA fans) will no longer have to listen to his ass kissing, extremely homerific play by play of gopher hockey when the Badgers cross the border. The best part of the story is the party that occurred for him at Tom Reid’s to kick off “Frank Mazzocco Photography.” I know regular commenter Hatchet Joe will be contacting Frank to take some pictures for him very soon and giving us some feedback on his new career.

Woog will also not always be part of the game broadcasts, and Anthony LaPanties will be the new play by play voice of the gophers. Congrats to gopher fans on the broadcast upgrade! It is like gopher goaltending, no matter what the name is on the jersey they’ll still suck.

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On to the serious news, North Dakota defenseman Chay Genoway will be returning for one more season in Grand Forks after receiving a medical redshirt. This is good news, not for his WCHA opponents, but because he gets to end his NCAA career on his own terms. Last season was cut short, after St Cloud’s dress wearing Aaron Marvin cheap shotted Genoway from behind, which lead to some serious problems for the young man just doing day to day activities and trying to be a student. Should he return at 100%, Genoway would have to be a front runner for the Hobey Baker to start the season.

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Wisconsin wasn’t the only team to feel some early departures. Below is the list of underclassmen moving on somewhere next season; thanks to Goon’s blog for the cut and paste.

Denver -- 3
Joe Colborne, So, F, Boston Bruins
Patrick Wiercioch, So, D, Ottawa Senators
Marc Cheverie, Jr, G, Florida Panthers

Alaska-Anchorage -- 2
Lee Baldwin, Fr, D, New York Rangers
Bryce Christianson, Jr, G, Stockton (ECHL)

Wisconsin -- 2
Cody Goloubef, Jr, D, Columbus Blue Jackets
Brendan Smith, Jr, D, Detroit Red Wings

University of North Dakota -- 2
David Toews, So, F, going to the WHL
Corey Fienhage, So, D, going to the WHL

Minnesota-Duluth -- 2
Rob Bordson, Jr, F, Anaheim Ducks
Brady Hjelle, So, G, going back to the USHL

Minnesota -- 1
Jordan Schroeder, So, F, Vancouver Canucks

Minnesota State Mankato -- 1
Kevin Murdock, Fr, G, going to Lincoln Stars USHL
Tyler Pitlick, Fr, F, Medicine Hat of the WHL (WCH is reporting his departure)

North Dakota is pretty loaded, and w/ Genoway returning, Corey Fienhage is looking for more playing time in the WHL. David Toews is headed there as well, which surprises me because he was teammates w/ Stepan and Murray at Shattuck before joining the Fighting ????? and was one of the top scorers on that team, but never really translated that at this level.

Two goalies are headed back to the USHL next season after leaving their respective programs. Brady Hjelle started a good chunk of games last season for Duluth, but didn’t play well in the 2nd half and was displaced by Kenny Reiter. Kevin Murdock started a few games w/ Mankato before being demoted to the #3 goalie. Both had good stats in the USHL before heading to college, and one of them MIGHT be an option for the Badgers heading into 2011/12. W/ the graduation of both Scott Gudmandson and Brett Bennett, and only Joel Rumpel scheduled to arrive as a freshman, the Badgers will be in need of another goalie. Both Hjelle and Murdock have NCAA experience and would space out the goalies a little by graduation. It very well could be that neither of these kids are what the Badgers need, but I’d think Eaves would want to bring in a goalie w/ some NCAA experience to compliment Rumpel in case he plays more like Adam Murray of Denver did this season as a freshman (huge sieve) than Richard Bachman did for CC a few years back.

I'm very hopeful about Rumpel, but would be a fool to not expect Eaves to have a solid backup plan.

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Lastly, Duluth freshman-to-be (well not anymore) Christopher Michael Stafne beat up his girlfriend and is in trouble w/ the law. True, innocent until proven guilty, but it doesn’t sound good for this young man. No word yet if Dave Hakstol has contacted him about decommitting and joining the Fighting ?????. That was a joke, I mean he doesn’t have a history of driving drunk or throwing landmowers into the street. There have been several incidents of college players getting in trouble this off season, w/ Boston College and Notre Dame players finding their names on police reports already.